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She caught her looking again. Thick eyelashes and an even thicker bob, she could feel Pansy’s attention all the way across the Great Hall. Ginny barely turned her eyes towards the Slytherin table, and instantly she was looking at her full plate, her still-clean fork, anywhere but her.

But she knew that just a moment before, her eyes were focused on her strawberry hair, on her chin, on the slope of her breasts. And, with a realization that’s been slowly building over time, Ginny found herself biting her lip in anticipation for the next glance.

She knew she shouldn’t. Deep down, behind the fluttering in her stomach, she knew she should hate Pansy Parkinson. Trying to turn her boyfriend, ex- boyfriend in to the Dark Lord. The one who sat by when Malfoy called Hermione those filthy names. 

She cast her own glance down the table, still not used to seeing Harry’s arm wrapped around Malfoy. A lot had changed since the war ended, that much was true. And if Harry could forgive, could move forward and be happy , then maybe she could as well.

Her past relationships had never made her happy. She told Tom everything , all her secrets, all her fears. The way she felt so ashamed about her hair, and her stick-thin waist, and her too-tiny breasts that her brothers always teased her about. Then he tried to kill her in that Chamber. 

Her mind flipped instantly to late nights, when Harry’s hands would drag lower and lower, his voice in her ear telling her what he wanted to do to her body. His fingers tracing the outline of her knickers made her clam up and break into sweats. 

The fact that both of her exes died at each others hands didn’t help either.

Maybe Ginny was cursed. Some kind of punishment for being the only girl in a family of boys, or for opening the Chamber, or for wanting to stop Harry from going to the forest. 

She tried to shake the thought out of her head as she collected her textbooks, heading to Potions.

They were all sharing classes, too few Eighth years returning and too few Seventh years remaining. She wished Luna was in this lesson, but the draw of tending to the Thestrals was too strong for such a free spirit to be kept indoors. 

Instead, she had begrudgingly partnered with Harry, him mumbling something that first day about how they were still practically family, and they should mend fences. It hadn’t been half-bad, except Harry spent most of the class smiling giddily, sending love cranes back and forth with his boyfriend. 

Someone approached her table, and, assuming it was Harry, she quickly told him to go grab more moonbeam powder from the shelves.

“Do you like ordering people around, Weasley?” a voice, sultry and soft, snapped her back to the classroom. Her cheeks instantly flushed and she cursed her fair-skinned heritage. 

“Parkinson,” Ginny blurted in acknowledgement, and winced at the anger that filled her voice. She coughed, then tried again. “I mean, hi Pansy.”

A smile curved the corner of her lips. “The boys decided they couldn’t stand not spending another moment together, so you’re stuck with me today.” Pansy pointed her thumb towards Malfoy and Harry in the back of the room. 

Ginny glanced over her shoulder, and caught a brief wink from Harry before the two of them were snogging. Ginny rolled her eyes. Some people just couldn’t keep it in their pants for five minutes.

Pansy just shrugged in response. “Young love. I’ll go get the powder.”

Watching her leave out of the corner of her eye, Ginny took the moment to collect herself. She breathed in through her nose and out through her mouth, forcing the colour to drain from her cheeks and the butterflies to stop knocking around in her stomach.

When Pansy returned, she offered her a small smile, and took the moonbeam from her fingers with shaky hands.

“You okay?”

Ginny answered with a simple shrug of her shoulders.

Pansy tilted her head, and Ginny could feel those eyes on her again. A blush creeped up her neck and she bit her lip, forcing herself not to glance back.

“You’re very pretty, you know,” Pansy purred, and Ginny scoffed. “Especially when you get all shy.”

“I’m not shy,” Ginny shook her head. “I’m just…” She started, but she couldn’t find the right word to defend herself. Instead, she blushed, scarlet red and her hands jutted into the pockets of her robes.

Pansy looked at her, then, and Ginny could feel it seeping into her skin. 

“Just...” Pansy said, the heat of her breath suddenly hot against Ginny’s cheek.

She stepped back. “You don’t know anything about me,” she said, forcing herself to meet Pansy’s gaze head-on. 

“Then let me.”