Disclaimer: I don't own, obviously. This would never happen in the real books. Which, I'm guessing, is why you're here…
There was a bang and a flash of purple light. Ginny was temporarily blinded by its brightness. When her sight was restored, she gave a scream of horror and threw herself across the lifeless body of Draco Malfoy.
"Ginny," said the disturbingly calm voice of Harry Potter, "get off him. Now!"
Ginny cradled Draco's blond head in her lap and sobbed. "Or what?" she cried, suddenly furious. "How can you possibly do more damage than you already have done?"
"Ginny-" Harry's voice was still level, but Ginny, knowing him as well as she did, could detect a hint of danger in it, and pain. She could have cared less about his pain at the moment. When at last she looked up at him, the hatred in her eyes was enough to send him staggering backwards. Seeing this, she laughed a rough, shaky laugh.
"You have no idea, do you?" she whispered. "No idea what you've done? And suddenly the contempt was gone, replaced with a bone-deep weariness. "It's my fault. I should have told you earlier. But I couldn't stand…"
"What?" roared Harry, suddenly full of rage. "What couldn't you stand?"
Ginny's eyes found Harry's, and they were filled with such sadness and regret that his wand hand shook. "I couldn't stand to lose you," she whispered. She was dimly aware of a dam breaking in her mind, and the memories that she had been holding back for so long flooded through her…
Ginny breathed in the sweet winter air, loving the way it burned her throat on the way down. She exhaled softly, carefully, and watched her crystalline breath disappear in the crisp, clean air. She remembered, as a little girl, going to the Muggle cinema in town and being fascinated with the way the lead actress smoked cigarettes. It was tough, yet feminine. With a flick of the wrist and a flicker of an eyelash, she had the leading man hopelessly entranced. Ginny had spent hours trying to mimic the action on winter mornings, only to be rewarded by her mother asking her if there was something in her eye.
She sighed. She'd led a fairly predictable life, and while she loved her parents and all of her brothers dearly, she had to admit that there were times when she longed for something more. Times when she craved adventure that didn't involve hanging one-handed from a broomstick or being the only one in her dormitory willing to kill insects without mercy. She wanted excitement, passion, romance. It was part of the reason she'd fallen so hard for Harry Potter. He was brave and attractive, yes, but he was also slightly mysterious, and that was what Ginny loved about him. She was thirteen, and she was hungry. She wanted more out of life than her fair share, which explained why she was currently freezing her arse off out here in the beautiful but very chilly garden while her classmates enjoyed the Yule Ball.
By all rights she shouldn't even be here at all. She knew Neville had only invited her because no one in his own year was willing to go with him, and she'd ditched him as soon as she could, feeling only mildly guilty. He was used to rejection, so she knew he'd be over it soon enough. What really interested her was Harry, but he seemed to be far too busy mooning over that idiot Cho Chang. What did he see in her, anyway?
Ginny was distracted from her musings by the sound of someone whistling. Her head snapped up, and to her great disgust she saw none other than the insufferable Draco Malfoy strolling towards her with an absentminded look on his face.
She was halfway tempted to trip him, partially concealed as she was behind a conveniently located rosebush, but decided it wasn't worth the effort. Instead she sat back, folded her arms, and crossed her legs, forgetting to smooth down her sapphire dress. She was unaware that the expression on her face, which plainly stated that whoever was looking at her at the moment wasn't worth her time and the fact that half her fiery hair had come unpinned from her updo and was now gracefully framing her face made her look even prettier than usual.
Ginny couldn't resist throwing out a taunt when Malfoy walked by. She loved confrontation – it was part of her nature. "Hey, Malfoy," she called softly as he walked by, still whistling, "how much do you charge for a private concert?"
Malfoy froze in mid-whistle, his pale cheeks going pink with embarrassment, and began looking around for the source of the voice. The effect was so comical that Ginny started to giggle uncontrollably, and Malfoy had soon located her beside the rosebush. She scowled at him, and he rewarded her with a knowing smirk. Ginny couldn't make head or tail of his expression until he spoke, and immediately she wished he hadn't.
"Well, well, Weasley…date ditched you, eh? Resorted to desperate measures? Tempting, but I don't mess around with blood traitors, I'm afraid…" he said, shaking his head in phony regret and motioning towards her legs. Ginny looked down and realized with horror that her skirt had ridden up, exposing several inches of her lily-white thigh. Fuming, she leapt to her feet and yanked it down, but the damage was already done. Malfoy laughed as she struggled with her dress, her cheeks blazing.
"I'd rather date dragon dung," she declared when her skirt was lying flat again. "At least it smells better than you!"
Malfoy showed all his teeth in something that did not remotely resemble a smile. "Still upset over Potter, are you?" he chided her softly. "When are you going to realize that's never going to happen? You're so obsessed with that bloody fool that you can't see what's right in front of you."
Ginny shook. How dare he call Harry a fool! "All I see in front of me is an arrogant bastard who can't seem to see that nobody wants him!" she snapped. Malfoy flushed, and she felt pleased with herself for striking a nerve. Then she shivered, and the look on his face softened.
"You must be freezing," he said, looking at her with something like concern in his eyes. "Here, take my cloak."
Ginny's jaw dropped. Draco Malfoy, being considerate? It had to be a trick. "I'm f-fine," she lied through chattering teeth.
"Don't be stupid," he scolded her gently, throwing his cloak around her trembling shoulders.
"Thanks," Ginny mumbled grudgingly. The cloak was warm, and as she wrapped it tighter around her, she caught a trace of his smell. It reminded her of woodsmoke and fall leaves – infinitely better than dragon dung.
"Don't mention it."
They walked in companionable silence back to Hogwarts. When they neared the entrance, Ginny slipped regretfully out of his cloak and handed it back to him. He gave her a look that she didn't understand, and then without so much as a wave goodbye, walked briskly into Hogwarts, presumably to rejoin the dance.
Ginny stood there stock-still and listened to the faint call of an owl hooting into the darkness. She wasn't sure what had just happened – in fact, she was inclined to believe the whole encounter had been some strange product of her bored imagination. Uprooting her feet, she made her way into the Great Hall, where she laughed and danced with more than her share of boys while older, plainer girls watched jealously from the sidelines. But when she kicked off her heels and fell into her four-poster that night, she wasn't thinking of Dean Thomas' jokes or Michael Corners' good looks. Instead, she fell asleep with the scent of woodsmoke and the sound of Malfoy's laugh filling her mind with dangerous thoughts…