Title: Help Me Daphne

Author: Playing the fool

Summary: Draco fancies Ginny. Daphne has a temper. Ginny is running from her past. Harry wants to protect Hermione.

A/N: Hey all! Thanks for putting up with me for another year. As a reward, I'm going to FINALLY post this story. THe first three chapters were written quite a while ago so please be patient. I promise it will get better!

Chapter One

"Well Rhonda you look so fine

And I could give you lots of reasons why

You gotta, Help me Rhonda

Help me get her outta my heart."

Help Me Rhonda, Beach Boys

Daphne bit down gently on the breakfast bar as she rifled through her saddle bag. Somedays her mother could be so... American, Daphne thought, fishing out a copy of Stephen King's The Tommyknockers. For a Muggle, King knew this horror stuff quite well.

Daphne was the black cat of the Slytherin house. Her mother was an American witch of a wizarding family that predated the Salem trials. However, American witches were considered flighty and Muggle lovers. Daphne would admit her mother was more into Muggle things than most, but frankly she didn't care. She had long since stopped trying to prove herself to idiots like Pansy Parkinson, who treated her with no end of disdain.

Daphne bit off part of the breakfast bar (Another legacy from summers spent in America with that side of the family) and leaned back in her chair. As usual she was insanely early for Potions class (As she was for all her classes) and she decided to get some reading done as well as finish her breakfast. She had skipped breakfast this morning to work on a project for Defense Against the Dark Arts with her partner, the ever brilliant but rarely appreciated Ginny Weasley.

As a Slytherin outcast, Daphne had experimented around in the friend department. She found Ginny to be one of her favorite people in the school, regardless of her status. Ginny too found Daphne fascinating. Daphne had grown up around a fair deal of Muggles and Ginny predicatably found them interesting.

Daphne frowned around her breakfast bar as Draco Malfoy sat down beside her. Daphne was a year ahead in her Potions class. So was Ginny but the other girl hadn't arrived for class yet.

"Do you mind? That's saved," she pointed out. Snape was tickled pink by the fact that GInny and Daphne sat together and did all their work. He loved the idea of his two youngest prize students working together. In class he refused to make a fuss about it but Fridays when they stayed after to help out, he had been known to drop a compliment or two. Besides, they always got full marks.

Draco glanced down at the empty seat as other students filtered into the room. "No, it's not."

"Yes, it is." Daphne insisted as Pansy Parkinson shot her a venom filled glare. Daphne lifted her breakfast to take another bite, flicking off the stupid brunette as she did followed her gaze and smirked.

"Look, Daphne, I need to talk to you. And besides you can't save seats."

"Good thing I'm here then!"

Daphne looked past Draco as Ginny Weasley skirted around him. "Sorry to trouble you, Malfoy. But if you want to ask Daphie on a date, you'll have to wait 'til class is over."

Ginny set her things down and turned to him.

"I can do what ever I please," Draco sneered.

Ginny placed her hands on her hips in a gesture of self confidence that Daphne could only dream about. Hell three years ago Ginny herself would have been dreaming too. But three years and four boyfriends later, Ginny was not the timid first year she had been.

"Oh? Is that so?" Ginny drawled in a very good impersonation of their Potions professor. "I wonder what our esteemed Professor of things Potiony would say to that?"

Draco scowled at her but they both knew he was beat. He tossed a glance at Daphne. "See me after classes."

GInny sat herself down. "Will I get to hear about this later?"

"Depends. I don't want you to embarrass him too much. One might think you like him." Daphne commented, watching Ginny carefully. She rather suspected Ginny was carrying a little torch in that department.

Ginny laughed but Daphne noticed the telltale blush on her freckled cheeks. "Please!"

Daphne let it pass and focused on her book once more. After class, Ginny darted off to Herbology, the only class she wasn't good at. Daphne would be in Muggle Studies later with her. Despite her own familiarity with things Muggle, Daphne loved the class dearly. Ginny made the class twice as amusing with her candid enthusiasm for all things muggle.

Daphne waited patiently as Draco extracted himself from Parkinson's clutches. Daphne knew she would have to do something about this girl soon. Pansy was obviously infatuated with Ron Weasley, but she wouldn't lower herself to bother with a Weasley, even if she really liked him.

Draco came over to Daphne.

"And just what can I do you, Sir Malfoy?"

"I need your help."

"I gathered that from our previous conversation," Daphne said as she walked towards the stairs. She had Anchient Runes now and she knew Draco would be headed for his own class, Charms. Daphne was a little disappointed Ginny hadn't taken Anchient Runes as well but she would get over it. Apparently Ginny really liked her Arithmancy class.

"With what?" Daphne finally prompted when Draco remained silent.

He sighed heavily. "I like this girl."

"I see no problem so far."

"She's not a Slytherin."

Daphne resisted an urge to laugh. Oh, Draco. You poor, poor fool.

"So? Just get over her."

"I'm finding that a little hard to do," Draco objected.

I can imagine, Daphne thought. "Okay, so what do you want me to do?"

"I want you to date me."

Daphne blinked. "But I don't like you like that."

Draco winced. "I know, I know. I just need you to pretend to. Then I can...you know, get over her."

It made no sense to Daphne but she was interested, inspite of herself. Draco was not one to make a fool of himself over a girl but he seemed dangerously close if today's class was any indication. So the question was, could she still manipulate the pair into a relationship as she was pretending to be Draco's girl?

The answer came and she let it slip from her lips. "Oh, absolutely."

Draco smiled with relief and Daphne nearly laughed. The poor, poor fool.