One week had passed since the duel. How the boys did not go completely mad, their friends had no idea. Malfoy, it seemed, could put all his resentment to one side by enjoying the fact that he could use Harry’s body to benefit himself; mainly through his “affection” towards Pansy.
Harry became so disgusted with Malfoy’s behaviour that he arranged a long meeting with Dumbledore to talk about Malfoy’s misuse of his body. Dumbledore reassured him many times during that hour that Malfoy was being watched. Nothing Malfoy did would be allowed to harm Harry’s body, and his body would not be used in any questionable acts. The latter statement made Harry shudder at unwanted images of Malfoy and Pansy which materialized in his mind.
Ron was waiting for Harry when he came out of the Headmaster’s office. When Harry looked up, Ron saw the outcome written plainly in his friend’s expression.
“That bad, huh?”
“Let’s put it this way,” Harry sighed as they walked to their next class. “When Dumbledore has to reassure me that Malfoy isn’t doing ‘questionable acts’ with my body, you know the meeting did not go well.”
Ron shuddered at the thought.
Hermione met up with them before they entered the Charms classroom. Malfoy sat in his usual place near the back while the three Gryffindors walked to the front of the classroom.
“What’s today’s topic?” Ron asked as the group settled into their seats.
“Honestly, Ron, do you not read ahead?”
”I’ve been busy plotting Harry’s revenge against that git in case you haven’t noticed.”
”I’ve noticed. Your school work has been lacking,” Hermione retorted.
”Lacking what?” Ron snapped
While Ron and Hermione argued, Harry opened his book to the day’s topic: the Luck Charm.
Anyone who is hit with this charm would have a day full of good luck or bad luck depending on which prefix was used along with the charm. Harry smirked at the passage before continuing. If this charm were combined with Felix Felicis, then the person would be lucky for an entire week at least.
He felt like he needed a good luck spell to hit him; his week was full of bad luck due to being in Malfoy’s body.
He glanced over to Malfoy who appeared to be thinking the same thought Harry was. Malfoy looked ill at ease as he listened to the day’s lesson. A look of agreement passed between them before it quickly vanished. The instant agreement shocked Harry and he quickly turned back to Professor Flitwick. The diminutive professor was demonstrating the very complicated wand technique as Harry furiously wrote down the exact movement. Maybe I can use this later. Then as an afterthought, maybe I can use it after I get in my body.
Laying down his quill, he turned to Ron and Hermione and found them glaring at each other intermittently while they took notes. Sighing, he turned back to his own notes and ignored his friends.
Harry was not hungry. Dinner in the Great Hall was always good, but today the food was not the issue. Ron and Hermione were still bickering, although at the moment they weren’t speaking to each other. They sat at different ends of the table and insisted that Harry join one of them. Harry instead sat in the middle. Ginny saw the chasm between the three friends and joined up with Harry.
“I take it those two are quarrelling again?”
Harry nodded and put his head on the table. Ginny sighed and absentmindedly ruffled his hair lightly. He turned his head to her with a confused look on his face. But she didn’t see his expression as she continued to eat her dinner.
“Hmm?” she said inattentively.
“What were you doing?”
She then looked down at him before turning back to her dinner, Weasley red with embarrassment.
“I wasn’t complaining, Ginny. I was just wondering since…” Harry whispered to her.
“I know. I just…uh…wanted to, I guess. You looked like you needed someone to talk to or something since my brother is being his usual pratty self.”
Harry gave her a slight smile before lifting his head up to eat his dinner.
“I’m confused, Harry,” a voice said behind Harry as he entered the common room.
“About what, Neville?”
Neville had found Harry in the common room after dinner and needed to talk. He’d been wary at first, but after a week of the switch Neville acknowledged it. He even suggested ways that Harry could torment Malfoy. Harry smiled at the gesture; it was a way to make the situation more bearable.
“Well…how much longer are you going to be in this body?”
“Another three weeks, unfortunately. Snape and Dumbledore are trying to fix this quickly. I think Snape feels that this is spiteful to him. He has to look at me everyday since I’m technically in Slytherin,” he stated with a chuckle.
“I was going to say, have you thought of doing anything to his body so that when Malfoy gets it back he would have a constant reminder that you were there?” Neville asked curiously.
Harry looked at him with surprise at first before realizing the idea Neville had in mind. Since Harry refused to charm it or use any sort of potion to keep it in place, Malfoy’s sleek blond hair turned into a fluffy, tangled mess that was worse than Hermione’s hair. With that in mind he started to chuckle. Neville looked pleased that he could make Harry laugh in light of the situation.
“What do you suggest?” Harry asked once he had regained control of himself.
“I don’t know. Maybe having permanent hair spells so that his hair sticks up worse than yours.”
“He’s already angry that it does that now. Even my body isn’t cooperating with him – have you noticed that my hair is still as messy as before? He must put a whole bottle of Sleekeasy’s on it and it still won’t stay down.”
“Yeah. That’s funny. No matter which body you’re in, your hairstyle still follows.”
Harry started laughing again. When he stopped, he looked to at his friend with a grin. Neville’s idea was brilliant and should work if done properly, but then another idea came to mind. This idea was even better than a permanent hair spell. If only he knew…
At that moment Ginny Weasley stepped through the portrait hole. She looked first at Harry who instantly tried to hide his maniacal grin, then at Neville and back at Harry before Neville explained what happened. She nodded before going to a table and pulling out her books and what looked like her latest Potions essay. He was glad that she did not see his evil grin. That would make her question his sanity since it was so sinister.
“Thanks, Neville. I needed a good laugh. I’ll talk to Hermione about it…after she gets over her fight with Ron.”
“Another fight. What about this time?”
Harry shrugged as his answer.
When Neville left, Harry saw Ginny at a table and started to head over to her. He noticed that she was working on her Potions essay and began to walk away.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Ginny asked.
“I just noticed you were working on an essay. I was going to let you work in peace,” he commented as lightly as possible, not to hint disappointment.
”Oh, come on, Harry. Keep me company.”
He raised an eyebrow at her while she moved some of her books off the table for him. She wants me to keep her company. Why? He shook his head to clear his mind and fetched his homework. He had a Defence essay to revise and a Potions essay to start. It was harder work compared to the O.W.L. assignments he had last year. He was thankful that Professor Snape was not teaching Potions this year; however, he did not enjoy having Professor Snape teaching Defence.
Defence was the only class that Harry felt confident about compared to the rest of his workload. There had been a few times this year that Harry managed to outwit the professor due to his prior experience with Death Eaters and Voldemort. He even managed to explain a first hand account of Priori Incantatem on his last essay for the class. That essay got an “A”…barely. After talking to Professor McGonagall about his essay and the mark he got for it, she had made Professor Snape give him the mark his essay warranted, an “O”. He smiled at the memory. He looked up to see Ginny looking at him strangely before resuming her schoolwork. Sighing, he unrolled a piece of parchment and began to write.
They worked peacefully until Ron and Hermione came in from their prefect rounds, still raging at each other. Harry and Ginny glanced to them and shook their heads.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry cast a Silencing Spell on the both of them so he could concentrate. Ginny gave him a grateful look while Ron and Hermione shot him venomous glares. Harry ignored them until they arrived by his side and threw him off his chair.
Landing on the floor, he looked up at his friends before grinning at them. That was a mistake. Hermione and Ron pointed their wands at him and waited for his next action.
“Look. I just want to finish my schoolwork in peace. Take your argument somewhere else please,” he asked with his hands raised in surrender mode.
They looked at him and then at each other. While they looked away from Harry, he took that opportunity to sneak away from them. Ginny nodded slightly and had her wand ready in case they fired at Harry. When the pair discovered that Harry was gone, they turned to Ginny who held her wand out to them.
“Take it elsewhere. I’ll remove the incantation as you leave.”
The pair glared at them before leaving. Just as the portrait hole was closing, Ginny and Harry could hear them resuming their argument. He gave Ginny’s shoulder a light squeeze of thanks before going back to his seat to continue his schoolwork.
He wondered what Ginny was thinking just then. He had given her a sign of affection, if one could call it that, and she had not responded to him. Maybe she did and I did not see it. He was starting to worry, but he would not let her see. He kept his head down as he wrote. The only sounds in the room were coming from their quills scratching on parchment and pages of books being turned.
He did not have to wait long for a response, though. She packed her bag and headed to the stairs. Before she left the room, she tousled Harry’s hair and gave him a smile.
Maybe I might not need the Good Luck Spell after all, he thought before his bottle of ink fell off the table. Figures that would happen…
Ginny rushed to her room and changed before she ducked under the covers. What was I thinking? She could not believe that she had first helped Harry without blinking an eye and then tousled his hair. She knew that his hair was perpetually messy, even in a different body, but why do that?
It was Malfoy’s body, but Harry is inside it. Do I like Harry after all?
No, Ginevra, no, you gave up on him remember?
Yeah, but it’s Harry. Even though he is stuck in Malfoy’s body for a while, he is still Harry. The messy hair, the soft smile…
Oh, now you like his smile. It’s Malfoy’s!
No it’s not: Malfoy sneers; Harry smiles. Merlin, does Harry smile. Just wait until he gets back into his own body. Then his smile will really be something.
Stop thinking this! You’re over him.
At this thought she shoved the blankets away and sat up. She had thought she was over him, but now she was not so sure of herself.
She pulled out a Muggle notebook from her dresser and started to write. She was apprehensive about journals after being possessed by one during her first year. Hermione found a Muggle notebook and pen that would help her overcome her fear later the next year. She even checked for any charms while Ginny looked on. Only when they were certain the pen and notebook were charm-free did she finally take it.
She used the notebook as an outlet for her thoughts, and as a journal, but mainly a thought outlet. Most of the thoughts somehow connected to Harry. Some were general concern for him; usually the concern was for his sanity and health due to living with the Muggles or dealing with Tom.
She hated Tom with a passion. Being possessed by him even prevented her from having a normal relationship with boys. Michael Corner had been understanding to a point: He just wanted a good snog, and she did not have the time or the patience to deal with that. Dating Dean would have been interesting, if only to see what the relationship would have been like.
A relationship with Harry, now, that was something to ponder. He could understand her when it came to dealing with pure evil. Did he fancy her even though she was Ron’s little sister?
After thinking for a moment about the relationship aspect, she looked down at her notebook to discover that she had written out three pages of thoughts. Habit, I guess. She flipped through the notebook before going to the next page and continuing her train of thought.
When she got up the next day, Hedwig sat at the foot of her bed with a note.
Can we talk a moment at lunch, actually, during lunch or sometime after eating? Sorry if it seems like I’m rambling, but I have a hard time with my thoughts. I just want to ask you something. It’s important, to me anyway.
Hope to see you tomorrow, today or whenever you get this.
She wondered why he would write a note like this to her. She was confused by this action but kept the note. Then she fed Hedwig an owl treat before she got ready for the day.
Harry paced around the room as he waited for Hedwig. He was beginning to regret sending that note, but he must talk to her somehow. A confrontation was too forceful; a long letter could make the intended message worse. In the end, he chose to meet with her after sending a short note.
Just as he was about to leave his room, Hedwig flew in and landed on his arm.
Hedwig hooted before giving her master an affectionate nip on the ear and flying off. Harry smiled after she left and made his way out of the room and down the stairs to the common room where he met Ron and Hermione who were waiting at the portrait hole to go to breakfast.
Hedwig had not been accepting of the body switch immediately after it happened; at first she ignored him in Malfoy’s body, flying instead to the one she was accustomed to seeing. After Malfoy started to try and hit her, she nipped him on the hand hard enough to draw a sizable amount of blood and flew to the owlery. When Harry found her, she gave him a friendly nip on the fingers as an apology. He forgave her for her misconception of the switch. He knew she was just being faithful to her master, but he also knew that she was a smart owl and had figured out the difference eventually.
Now, as he made his way to his seat in the Great Hall, he saw that Ginny had his note in her hands. Smiling out of nervousness, he quickly ate his breakfast and left before she could notice his presence. As he exited the Great Hall he nearly collided with Malfoy. Malfoy raised an eyebrow at him before he went on his way inside the hall. Harry would have given anything to know what Malfoy was thinking just then, but dashed the thought as he left.
“I got the note. What’s wrong?” Ginny asked when she saw him after lessons.
“I just wanted to talk a little bit about yesterday,” Harry said, hoping his voice would not squeak.
Oh no. “Yesterday? Why? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, not at all. I just have a question or two about that, though.”
They headed to Gryffindor Tower to drop off some of their books before going to the Great Hall. When they got to the common room, Harry sat in a chair near the stairs rubbing his temples. Ginny went to her room quickly before returning to find him pacing in front of the stairs. As she reached the bottom, he turned to her with concern.
“What’s wrong? You seem really worried.”
“Do you like me?”
“You’re nice. I…why?”
“Because of last night when you messed up my hair and smiled, I thought that…I don’t know. I just thought that you might fancy me, or something close to that. I don’t know if you like me for me since I – well…the physical form of me – am in Slytherin or if you like me for some other reason. I was told that you were not going out with Dean, and I was also told that you had given up on me. Are either of those claims true? I just don’t want to lead you on if you feel like that.”
There, I said it. Now what? Harry had continued pacing during his confession and did not see the expression on her face change from confusion to surprise to hurt. When he turned to face her, she had turned away.
Slowly, using all the Gryffindor courage she could muster, she turned to face him to find him looking at her intensely, expectantly waiting for her answer. She knew he was waiting for the worst; he always did when it came to finding positive aspects of his life. He never had much to hope for and usually would not be surprised when life gave him a bad sign. Not this time though.
She gathered more Gryffindor courage and promptly walked to him and kissed him on the mouth. He was caught by surprise and was not quick to return the favour. It ended as quickly as it began. They stared at each other a moment before Ginny walked toward the portrait hole. She was just about to step through when Harry recovered from the shock.
She stopped and turned back to Harry. He quickly caught up to her and brought her back into the room.
“Was that the answer?”
What a prat, a cute prat, but a prat nevertheless. “Yes, that should answer both of your questions clearly.”
He smiled with her response. She fancies me, he thought as he linked arms with her. Not this grotesque Malfoy façade, but me. That thought alone filled him with joy; he wanted to return the joy, but soon found it awkward since he was still in Malfoy’s body.
“That’s wonderful Ginny. I…uh…I fancy you too and…well…”
“What? Talk slower there,” she said with a smirk.
“Do you think I would be using you if I kissed you?” he asked more slowly.
He could see her face break out in a wide grin before she shook her head in exasperation. Then she unlinked arms before taking Harry’s face into her hands to make him look her directly in the eyes.
“Harry, I kissed you. You know that I would never kiss Malfoy in a million years. You are Harry no matter which body you are in. Understand?”
Harry answered her by returning the kiss she had given him earlier. While doing so, he was immensely glad that no one came up during lunch to the Common Room.
“Harry, where were you?” Hermione exclaimed as he joined her and Ron in the Transfigurations classroom. “We didn’t see you at lunch.”
“I know, Hermione, sorry about that. I was in the library doing some research for the Potions essay due tomorrow.”
Ron rolled his eyes at Harry’s lie before commenting to Hermione about how much of an ‘influence’ she had on the overly-stressed Harry’s schoolwork. Harry looked at the two as they began yet another fight. Two in a row, this must be a bad week. Parvati, who sat nearby, gave Harry a sympathetic glance before looking at her schoolbook. His other two roommates, sans Neville, chose to cover their ears. That’s it. He then got between them and covered their mouths before they could continue.
“As much as I want to use a Silencing Charm on you two again, I know that it does not work. Maybe physical silencing would be better, and hopefully we can all get through a day in peace.”
As the two combatants glared at Harry, his peers started to applaud his bravery before the professor came in to start class. Harry happened to catch Malfoy’s expression: the typical rolling of the eyes followed by an annoyed sigh. Can’t please them all, Harry thought as he removed his hands from his friends’ mouths. Ron glared while Hermione opened her book, ignoring him. Just another class full of tension, I really need to give them Cheering charms!
Ginny was waiting for him after class since hers had got out early due to injury of the professor. The spell being taught had backfired and sent the professor to the Hospital Wing thus ending class for the day.
When she saw the classroom doors open, Neville came out and quickly warned her of the events that transpired. She soon saw Ron and Hermione glaring at each other again and Harry looking more exasperated than ever. After Harry finally came out, she gave him a desperately needed hug.
“Bad day then?”
“Just in class. You know your brother is a stubborn prat!” he growled pointing down the hall Ron went.
“Yes, I know. Known it all my life,” she said with a smile.
Someone cleared their throat rudely in their direction interrupted their moment. That someone was Malfoy. He leaned against the doorway and glared at the two as he looked down at them with his usual discontent.
“Well, well, well. What’s this? Since when did you get this desperate? The Weasel girl? Only you would stoop this low, Potter. I know my body is irresistible but do me a favour, don’t contaminate me anymore than you already have. I would really hate to get some allergy from being around such people.”
Ginny was about to reach for her wand when Harry caught her hand and shook his head, intertwining their fingers together to lock their hands together. He saw that Malfoy was giving him an evil glare and turned to Ginny. She smiled widely before promptly giving Harry a kiss on the cheek.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Well, Malfoy, I’m giving Harry a kiss on the cheek because I like him.”
Harry smirked at her answer when he saw how uncomfortable Malfoy had become. It must be his worst nightmare, he thought. With an evil smile, he continued the thought. Let’s make it worse!
“Is this so bad, Malfoy, having a beautiful girl kiss you?” Harry asked. Malfoy got redder by the second and had the appearance of a cat ready to pounce. “I think it is wonderful really,” Harry drawled, still grinning wickedly. He leaned down to give Ginny a subtle, yet nice kiss that she soon deepened.
Okay…this is getting interesting. I don’t think I want to know what Malfoy’s thinking.
Nevertheless, it didn’t take long before he got his answer. With a disgusted growl, Malfoy turned on his heal and headed toward the stairs. Now there was no one in the hall except for Ginny and himself. He had his hands on her arms and moved them to her waist as she moved her hands to his waist in turn. Good thing there are no more lessons for the day. His day was heading from a bad afternoon class to a great evening kissing Ginny. Even Malfoy could not spoil his moment with Ginny since he ran off from the scene. Probably to tell Snape…
He slowly and deliberately departed from the kiss to look at Ginny.
“What is it, Harry?”
“I think Malfoy went off to find Snape to get us in trouble,” he said looking down the hall.
”How do you know?”
“Just a guess. Come on, let’s go get dinner,” he declared as he took Ginny’s hand in his before walking to the Great Hall.
Dinner sounded wonderful at that moment since the two of them had not eaten lunch. Snogging each other senseless was not the reason for skipping lunch actually. Instead, they had spent the time talking and being in each other’s company. Dinner was just going to be the icing on the cake.
When they entered the Great Hall with Ginny, Harry saw that Ron’s face was red and Hermione…something was different about her. He sat down in front of them, keeping his gaze on Hermione. There was something different and he could not let her know that he figured it out. Ginny on the other hand held a hand to her mouth to keep from bursting out laughing.
“Ron? Hermione? What’s going on?” Harry asked nonchalantly as he served himself some food.
Ron glowered while Hermione growled back. Ginny turned to Harry with a smile threatening to change into a laugh. They noticed Seamus and Dean nearby with Neville buried in a book; all were suspiciously guilty of something. It was not until Harry caught sight of the book title that it all made sense.
“Neville?” Harry started to ask when Neville looked up.
His face was bright red with slight tear tracks from laughing. Dean and Seamus were also red from laughing earlier and were trying to help their friend out.
“Nice hair, Granger,” Malfoy commented scathingly from behind Harry. “It actually looks like an improvement. Now you look like a Puffskein with a face.”
Harry did not know whether to hit him or laugh. It was very true. Her bushy hair was worse for wear and fluffier than ever. It was so fluffy that it was sticking on end all over her head and taking on a slightly lighter colour.
“You should have heard what Dean called it. An ‘Afro’ look,” Seamus said as he started to chuckle.
Harry heard Malfoy let out a small laugh before he left. It was the first time this week there was a smile on his face. The smile looked strange on his face, unfamiliar. When Harry turned back to the table, he extended his hand out to get Neville’s book. Neville proffered the book to him while wiping away the laughter tears from his face.
“Where did you get this? 2002 Innocent Pranks: Get Your Friends with a Smile. This looks like something Fred and George would sell,” Harry asked as he flipped through the pages.
“It is. They got a shipment a few days ago, and thought it would be a good idea to market. So they gave it to Hermione. But she did not want anything to do with it so she tossed it to Neville and the rest. They opened the book to some random page and tried a spell. Lo and behold, it actually worked,” Ron explained.
“Then why are you red?” Ginny asked her brother.
“This is due to a spell Neville found. Never Ending Blush hex. I’ll be red for days!” Ron moaned.
“Well,” Harry said with a smile, “at least it matches your hair.”
Ginny snorted while Hermione started to smile a little. His roommates were uproariously laughing with Seamus the loudest. Ron rolled his eyes before smiling a little.
“I guess. But this is just embarrassing!”
“Now how is it that you two got hit with these spells?” Harry wondered as he took a drink of his pumpkin juice.
“Neville’s punishment!” Dean said causing Harry to spit out his juice in surprise.
“Neville?” Harry sputtered as he wiped the juice off his chin. “Really?”
“It was absolutely brilliant! Maybe now those two won’t fight as much,” Seamus said before starting on his dinner.
“Hope so. It’s just bad when I have to try and intervene. I thought that they would bite my hand for that.”
“You were lucky we didn’t. I was half tempted to though,” Hermione spoke for the first time that evening. “Oh, and before I forget, I’m sorry for fighting.”
“Yeah…me too,” Ron murmured to her.
“Finally! Now call a truce and eat before the moment is ruined,” Harry said while grabbing their right hands so they could shake.
“What a way to go about it, Potter. I’ll call my own truce if you don’t mind.”
“Ron, listen to yourself. You don’t call truces. I’m just helping,” Harry said cheekily.
“Don’t start,” he said with a smile.
Harry returned to his dinner with a smile. His friends were now talking. Peacefully, too! And to add to this great evening, he kissed Ginny and held her hand under the table. No need for Ron to know yet. Ginny and he stole glances in between bites and smiled at each other. It had turned out to be a great day after all.
I need to thank those for helping with this story. Without you, it would look bad. Thanks to Arnel, my beta taking over for the ever busy Tante. I also thank Tante for looking over this a bit despite her busy life. There is my wonderful pre-beta I need to thank. So Bart, thank you so much for helping with this story.