Setting: the Great Hall; then, outside the castle
Summary: After a run-in with a Bewitched Boy, Harry and Ginny go off on their own.
The Bewitched Boys continued to play as vigourously as they had at the beginning of their performance, and Ginny was forcibly reminded of Fred as they gyrated their hips and swung themselves around the stage. Although, Fred did not have jet-black long hair and artfully torn robes with fringe. And Fred was not strangely attractive with a penetrating stare and...why was one of the band members staring at her, anyway? Ginny swallowed. She smiled back slightly.
Harry weaved through the crowd, craning his neck and trying to figure out where Ginny was. He was beginning to feel bad for being such a prat towards her, and figured that he'd better apologise.
Over on the stage, the Bewitched Boy seemed to take Ginny's smile as a sign, belting out the next few lines of the chorus and gesticulating in her direction. As the song ended, Ginny breathed a sigh of relief. Perhaps she would go and find Harry now?
But as she turned to move back towards the centre of the Hall, something caught her eye. The Bewitched Boy, shaking off a very disgruntled Pansy Parkinson and heading her way. Dear Merlin, thought Ginny, what can he possibly want?
"Why, hullo there," said a very sultry voice. A hand swept back a wave of black hair, tinted slightly blue by the unnatural torches at the side of the stage. "And what might your name be, my flaming princess?"
"Erm..." Ginny stumbled. "I...It's...erm...Ginny."
"Ginny," breathed the decadent figure. "I am," he extended a hand, "Mordred Pallas."
"Nice to...to meet you, Mordred," said Ginny, blushing under the young man's intense stare.
The sounds of several boys whining love songs were thoroughly irritating Harry. He glanced at the stage, annoyed, and caught a glimpse of what was unmistakeably Ginny's bright red hair.
"We're taking a breather," enunciated Mordred Pallas eloquently. "Would you care to come and have a drink with me?" He raised a sculptured eyebrow.
There was something tugging at Ginny's mind. "Actually, I have to...I'm looking for someone," she finished lamely.
"Are you?" queried the Bewitched Boy. "Well, you just found him, little witch." And he took her arm and began to lead her away.
Who was that bloke? Harry wondered, pushing his way through the crowds. 'Hey, Gin! GINNY!" he yelled, trying to catch her attention.
Mordred heard someone calling his true love's name through the crowd. He turned. Some boy. Well, he wasn't about to give up Ginny, fair red-haired maiden, about whom he planned compose many best-selling songs for the new year. He gripped Ginny's arm more tightly, hoping she hadn't heard the boy call her name.
"Ginny! Ginny!" Harry shouted as she moved further away with the bloke who looked like he needed a good haircut. "'Scuse me, sorry," he muttered as he pushed people aside.
Finally, Mordred gave up the fight. His mind on other things, he had backed them up into a corner. He resigned himself to duelling this newcomer for the love of Ginny. Mordred pulled out an ebony wand perfectly honed to his hair colour but easily charmed to change hue, encrusted with cubic zirconium.
"Hey, Ginny," Harry panted as he finally caught up with them. He stared for a moment at the boy beside her—he looked about as odd as the Weird Sisters – with his torn robes...and was he wearing eyeliner?—which was saying something.
"Hey, Harry," said Ginny. "This is Mordred. He's one of the Bewitched Boys."
"Oh," Harry said as Mordred whipped his hair back and condescended to glance at Harry, before turning his attention back to Ginny with his most smouldering stare. "Er - hullo."
"Greetings," said Mordred coolly. "I assume now you shall offer to duel in an attempt to win the lady?"
"What?" Harry looked incredulous. He decided that the bloke was off his rocker, and turned towards Ginny. "D'you have a minute, Gin?"
"Of course I do, Harry," said Ginny. She glanced at Mordred. "I'm really sorry, I've got to go...nice meeting you, Mordred."
What? Mordred seethed on the inside but only smiled, displaying a perfect set of even white teeth. "I'm afraid...I do not understand. You are...leaving me for this, this," he gestured to Harry, "small spectacled boy?"
"Erm - yeah, she is." This boy was starting to get on Harry's nerves, and he'd already had to put up with Ron's nonsense. "I'm Harry, by the way."
"Ah, Harrius. A fine, noble name," murmured the tall, elegant wizard. "But I must warn you not to come between our love, or you shall meet your doom."
"Yes, yes." Mordred waved a hand. "Now you must take your leave now, young Hatty. I fear your fate is not written into the song of the stars as it is for Ginny and I."
"HARRY." Harry was beginning to lose his temper for the second time tonight. "And I don't know what rubbish you're on about, but you've got no right to tell me to go away."
"Mordred." Ginny tried to take control of the situation. "I'm sorry, but you must have me confused with someone else. I amn't your lady. I hardly know you! Harry is my date to the ball. Will you please let me go?"
"Let - her - go." This boy was really getting on Harry's nerves.
"I durst not!" exclaimed the raven-haired young man, staring at Ginny with a wounded expression. But abruptly he turned to Harry with fury. "You—you have corrupted her!" he hissed. He took a step forward—
Before he really knew what he was doing, Harry balled up his right hand and drew back his hand and – WHAM!
Mordred emitted a melodramatic cry of pain and fell to the ground.
"Come on," Harry grabbed Ginny's hand and ran out, acutely aware that everyone was staring at him "Let's get out of here."
Mordred lay on the desperately cold floor of the Great Hall, clutching his chest, moaning to himself. Finally, someone heard his cries, and—
"Thou art an angel come to earth to bring me rescue," breathed Mordred Pallas, gazing up at the visage of a very surprised Parvati Patil.
Harry marched out of the Great Hall, Ginny in tow, and onto the Hogwarts grounds. She didn't protest. The grounds looked slightly eerie, with glowing yellow and purple lights in the bushes and dimly lit pumpkins placed strategically around. The fairies who sat on the leaves and branches to lessen the effect, lest some students let their imagination run wild and scare themselves silly. Harry looked around, annoyed, trying to find some spot where there weren't people snogging or in the case of Cho and Michael, in the first stages of undress.
"Something you wanted to discuss with me, Harry?" Ginny asked.
"Not really." Harry tried not to scowl. "Just wanted to - to - get away from that...Mordred." He let go of her hand and felt his anger slowly ebbing away.
Ginny watched him with a frown. "Are you all right, Harry?"
"Yeah, I guess," Harry shoved his hands into his pockets and tried to grin. Ginny was staring at him concernedly as he exhaled slowly and tried to compose himself.
"Look, Gin," he finally said. "I'm - er - sorry that I was being such a - a prat."
"You weren't being a prat, Harry," Ginny said. "Don't feel badly about it. I wouldn't say punching him was the best idea, but..." She shrugged. "At least we got away."
"I didn't mean that bit. He did - er - deserve a punch." Harry's face darkened. "I meant the bit when I was bossing you around,"
"Oh." Ginny paused. "I understand you were angry, Harry. I'll forgive you for that. Did you work things out with Ron and Hermione?"
"No," Harry replied shortly. "Did you and - er - this Mordred have a good time?"
"Well, no, not really," Ginny admitted. "All of a sudden he just started pulling me towards the exit. Dunno what he was thinking."
"He probably fancied you."
"Of course he didn't," Ginny scoffed. "He's the singer in a famous band. Why would he fancy me?"
"I wouldn't know. He probably finds you pretty." Harry felt irritated and looked away.
Ginny looked chagrined. "Look, let's not talk about Mordred Pallas, alright? Want to take a walk?" She gestured towards the castle. "Let the others party themselves out. I'm tired of dancing, and of all those people."
"Fin - why not?" Harry tried to keep his voice pleasant and casual, but it did not go unnoticed even by him when Ginny slipped her hand into his as they walked off slowly.
"It's a full moon," Ginny pointed out as they set off towards the lake. "Perfect for Hallowe'en.
"I wonder where Professor Lupin is now."
"Probably locked up in the house - the headquarters - playing hide and seek with Buckbeak." Harry smiled bitterly.
Realising she had touched a nerve, Ginny tried to steer away from the subject. "I mean...that is..." she backtracked, "...yeah... Oh!" She reached into her robes. "Look, I saved you something from the table." Ginny held up an orange-and-black Snitch made of foil with the face of a Jack-o'-lantern, grinning up at them both. "It's actually a sweet. Toffee-flavoured, I think."
Harry couldn't help but smile. "Thanks," he said, taking the sweet.
"You're welcome, Harry," Ginny said, eyes shining. He noticed that she had still not let go of his other hand.
He cast around for a topic of conversation, but his mind was oddly blank. They walked on in silence for a while; Ginny glanced at Harry, who seemed to be steeling himself for something. "Hey, Gin?" he finally said, halting in his tracks and turning to her.
"Yes?" she said, turning to face him.
There was an odd look in his eyes, and an awkward silence hovered between them for a while. Harry swallowed, and then leant forward, closed his eyes and gently pressed his lips against Ginny's forehead.
"Harry," Ginny sighed affectionately, "sometimes you are just the sweetest boy in the world." She swept the rumpled fringe away from his forehead and kissed him square on the lips.
Harry's eyes flew open in surprise before they shut again, and he had to restrain himself from sputtering a little. He didn't know how to kiss a girl, but Ginny seemed to know what she was doing. Ginny decided that Harry was quite a good kisser for an amateur, but she didn't want to scare him off, so she gently ended the kiss.
Harry, as much as he was enjoying the moment, was slightly relieved that it had ended - he was beginning to run out of air. His face broke into a tentative grin and he could feel his face going red, much to his embarrassment. "Er." He cleared his throat. "Erm - that - I mean - right."
"Thanks for asking me to the ball, Harry," Ginny said. "I really like you..." She blushed. "But you've known that for a long time, haven't you?"
"Not really," Harry replied truthfully. "I mean - you were..." He didn't think it would be very nice to add 'you were always off with other boys'. "You were - er - always so ... er - busy."
"I suppose I was," Ginny admitted. "I wish it hadn't taken me half the boys in the school to figure out none of them were who I wanted—I am joking," she amended hastily, seeing his look. "I've only dated four boys. But they were all terrible boyfriends."
"So... am I number five?" Harry looked at her uncertainly.
"Does it matter?" Ginny linked her arm in his. "C'mon, let's go back inside. Everyone's probably wondering where we've gone."
"Okay," Harry replied. He hesitated before kissing Ginny swiftly. "Or maybe... we should just stay here..."
"If you'd like, Harry," said Ginny steadily.