Part Two: Prefects Bathroom
Disclaimer: Its not ours. Its JKs.
When we last left our heroes
"Well," said Myrtles voice from behind her, "that was disgusting."
Ginny looked around to find Myrtles head once more protruding from the bowl of the toilet. Ginny herself wasnt quite sure she didnt agree. She WAS happy for them, really, and amused by their singular way of doing things, but at the same time rather depressed, and very annoyed with Myrtle.
"Im going." Ginny threw open the door to the stall and headed for the exit. All of a sudden, a horrid possibility occurred to her, and she swiveled. "And dont run around talking about this to anyone who will listen, Myrtle. I mean it. Keep your mouth shut." She found herself completely out of patience, and unable to be conciliatory with the ghost. "If I hear from anyone about this " Her threat was abruptly cut off by the flash of a swiftly moving Myrtle flying past her head.
"Well, I like that!" she screeched. "Coming here into my bathroom and threatening me after what youve done. Heartless, thats what you are. Heartless and manipulative." She sobbed.
"All right, Myrtle, what have I done? Lets hear it. Did I inadvertently allude to something that made you remember that you arent alive? What?" Even as she spit out the words, Ginny felt she might have gone a bit far, but she had no control left. She just wanted out of this bathroom.
"You have no feelings at all," sniveled Myrtle. "Coming round all the time, pretending to be friends. Making fun of d-dead people! Youre awful, you are!" A positive torrent of sobs burst forth.
Instantly, and against her will, Ginny felt guilty. "Aw, Myrtle. Stop crying. Im sorry, really I am. I am your friend. Im Im just in a bad mood, thats all."
"There you g-go lying to m-me again. I d-dont know why he l-likes you. Youre a horrible g-girl."
Ginny felt rather hurt. "Look, I dont know what youre talking- what? He who?"
"That got your attention, did it?" said Myrtle with glum satisfaction.
Ginny took a deep breath. This was going nowhere. It was definitely time to exit. "Myrtle. Listen. Im sorry that you think whatever it is that you think, but were both upset and I think its better if I just leave now before "
Myrtle interrupted. "You dont want to hear what he said, then? I should think youd want to know what he said about you."
"He who?" Her voice was shrill to her own ears.
Despite fiercely willing it not to do such an undignified thing, her stomach lurched. Harry had been talking about her? To Myrtle? It was the most unlikely thing shed ever heard. She found that her heart was pounding in her ears.
"Well, what did he say, then?" She cursed herself for the wobble in her voice.
Myrtle bobbed slyly in the air before Ginny. "I dont know if I should tell you. Youve lied to me." She turned a slow somersault, savoring the moment. She was obviously torn between torturing Ginny and the gratification of gossip.
"Fine," said Ginny, trying to play it cool. "Dont do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable." She desperately tried to formulate a strategy. "In fact, maybe I better leave, so you wont feel pressured." This was a risky last-ditch effort, she knew, but this was the moment Myrtle would put up or shut up. Stiffening her resolve, Ginny headed for the exit.
"Welll " interjected Myrtle quickly. "I suppose "
"Yes?" Ginny stopped a few feet from the door.
"All right, Ill tell you. But you dont deserve it, you know. Im just too sensitive. I-Its what got me k-killed in the first place." Myrtles chin was trembling again, and tears were imminent.
"Yes, youre very sensitive." Ginny hoped that her impatience wasnt leaking through the soothing voice she had adopted. "Go on, Myrtle."
"Yesterday I was hiding from Peeves in the Prefects Bathroom on the second floor-"
"But thats a boys bathroom," interrupted Ginny, shocked.
"Obviously thats why its a good hiding place," said Myrtle with dignity.
The Prefects Bathroom: Yesterday
"Stop shaking your head at me. Youre acting like your mum."
Ron grinned at Harry. "Somehow I dont think my mum would have let that fight go on as long as I did."
"Let the fight honestly, Ron, it barely got started before you pulled me off him!" said Harry, glaring at him. He glanced around the brightly-lit bathroom. "What am I doing in here anyway? Im not the one whos a prefect."
Ron settled himself against the edge of the sink. "Excuse me. I thought it might be better than dripping blood through the hallways.
What was that about, anyway?"
Ron looked at him curiously, cocking his head to one side. He hadnt seen Harry this angry in a long time. It was odd, wasnt it?
Malfoy had gone through his usual list of Weasley put-downs; no money, too many children, muggle-lovers-the usual. Ron and Harry had heard it so many times that sometimes they would recite it along with Malfoy, which aggravated him greatly. But today, something had been different. Harry had hurled himself at Malfoy, surprising him so much that Malfoy had barely reacted. That is, until Harry punched him in the nose. But why had Harry reacted so violently to this particular encounter? True, it was the first time that Malfoy had ever mentioned Ginny personally. He usually stuck to insulting Fred, George, and Ron but this
time Malfoy had said something particularly nasty about Ginny. His eyes narrowed. But that couldnt be it, could it? Why would Harry ? It didnt make any sense. Ron shook his head, trying to ignore the small knot of suspicion growing in his stomach.
"Whats going on with you, Harry?" Rons voice was impatient.
"Nothing except Malfoy is still breathing."
Ron rolled his eyes. "Look Harry, you know I think Malfoy is a quivering git but I couldnt very well just stand there and let you break his nose. Oi, I didnt even pull you off until he started getting in some good hits!" He sounded a little hurt.
Moaning Myrtles: Today
"Wait. I thought he split his lip in Quidditch practice. Thats what he told Hermione." Ginny could no longer contain herself.
"So now youre calling me a liar, are you?" Myrtles face was thunderous.
"No!" Said Ginny quickly.
"Because I saw the whole thing," said Myrtle with dark satisfaction. "Before I hid in the tap. He had the blond one on the floor, and he was hitting him all over."
The Prefects Bathroom- Yesterday
"Your mouths still bleeding," Ron noticed. Harry stood up, and walked over to an enormous mirror that stretched from floor to ceiling. He scowled at his reflection. Gingerly, he dabbed at the thin trickle of blood that flowed from the cut Malfoys knuckle had given him. "Stupid git", he muttered more at himself than Malfoy. Ron walked over and stood next to him. He leaned over and examined the cut.
"Youll live. Look, its already stopping bleeding. I dont think Malfoy got off so easily. It looked to me like his nose was gushing pretty heavily." Rons tone was a mixture of pride and something else. Suspicion? Harry took a deep breath and glanced over at Ron who was now leaning against the wall, arms folded in front of his chest. "So, what was that all about, Harry? Not that I blame you for wanting to beat the crap out of Malfoy, but " Ron trailed off. He was looking at Harry differently now. Almost surveying him, sizing him up.
Oh, this is brilliant, Harry thought, and avoided Rons eyes. How was he going to explain why hed gotten so upset? He barely knew himself. Theyd met Malfoy in the hall and hed started in with all his stupid insults. He was pretty used to that- not a bother on him. And then hed said that that thing about Ginny and something inside Harry just snapped. He couldnt, wouldnt just stand there and listen to Malfoy talk about Ginny like that. He clenched his fists again, almost without thinking. All he could think about was punching his stupid face and then all of a sudden he was punching Malfoy, over and over and Ron was yelling and pulling him off.
Harry stared at his reflection in the mirror. His hair was sticking up in clumps where Malfoy had pulled it. Harry tried to smooth it down with his hands, mostly just to buy a few more seconds before he had to answer Rons question. He took another breath and tried to calm down. He had been realizing for some time that his feelings toward Ginny Weasley werent so much I care about you because youre my best mates little sister as they were Every time I see you I forget how to breathe and Im petrified because youre my best mates little sister. He remembered how his stomach had felt when he had had that stupid crush on Cho Chang.
That had been little butterflies and a slight queasiness. When he was around Ginny it felt like Hagrid was bouncing up and down on his chest. And where had all this gotten him? He had practically broken Malfoys nose, Ron was looking at him very suspiciously and his mouth was turning black and blue. Love, thought Harry, is crappy.
Moaning Myrtles: Today
"Im sorry, Myrtle. I still dont understand. Whats this got to do with anything? Malfoys always acting like a prat. I mean, usually its Ron who has to be pulled off him, but I dont see "
"Well, you wouldnt, would you? I havent told you what Malfoy said."
"All right, then, what did Malfoy say?"
Myrtle looked very smug. "I cant tell you. He used some really filthy words."
Ginny sighed impatiently. "Just give me the gist, then."
"Id still have to use really filthy words."
"Can you whisper it or something? Please?"
All Myrtle needed was some additional coaxing. Certain now that she had a rapt audience, she floated closer to Ginnys ear and whispered into it.
"That-" And Ginny said a really filthy word.
The Prefects Bathroom- Yesterday
Ron had changed tactics.
"Like I said, Im the last person to blame you for starting the fight. He was saying some pretty horrible things. And about Ginny, well, thats going a bit far. I can ignore the stuff about me but hes got no right to talk about Ginny that way. Glad you did something about it," Ron said lightly, not removing his eyes from Harry. " I mean, you really went at him. Youd almost think she was your little sister I suppose she must seem like your little sister." Rons tone implied that she better seem like his little sister.
Harry said nothing. If at all possible, he would avoid actually lying to Ron, but he felt no need to volunteer information. Still, it didnt look like he was going to get out of this easily. He bent over the sink and began to splash water on his face.
"Lets not tell her about this, ok?" He could feel Rons eyes burrowing into the back of his neck.
"Yeah, ok." Harry straightened up and grabbed a towel from a bracket underneath a reproduction of the Mona Lisa. She winked at him. (Honeychurch and Lallybroch wink back!)
"Its a good thing she doesnt seem to have a crush on you anymore. If she heard about this, she might get all silly about it. You know girls." Rons voice expressed a world of condescension.
Harry attempted to laugh, but apparently, he wasnt very convincing. He turned to find Ron standing in front of him with his arms crossed over his chest.
Moaning Myrtles: Today
Ginny had hoisted herself up on to one of the sinks. She was listening avidly to Myrtle, who was describing the fight in minute detail.
" and then he just jumped on him, like that, and he hit him in the faceoooh, lots of times." Myrtle was looking happier than Ginny had ever seen her. "And there was blood and everything. But then your brother pulled him off the blond one." She seemed less happy about this.
"Then they went into the bathroom, and I went in there too. You know, to get away from Peeves."
"Myrtle! You went in there to spy on them!"
"I did not! As if I have nothing better to do than hide places and watch people. I do THINGS, I do." She nodded emphatically.
Privately Ginny felt that Myrtle had absolutely nothing better to do, and further, did very little else, but she held her tongue. There was no point in angering her when this was getting so very interesting.
Myrtles whole face went glum again. "And thats when I found out you lied to me."
"Myrtle, honestly, I swear I never lied to you. What are you going on about?"
"You never told me you liked him." There was no question to whom Myrtle was referring. Ginny felt herself go pink.
"That- That was ages ago," she lied. "They were talking about that?" Well, that was just the most humiliating thing ever. She could die, right here, and keep Moaning Myrtle company in the neighboring stall.
"Ron wanted to know if he liked you back. He didnt seem to fancy the idea very much." Myrtles dull alto was tinged with satisfaction.
The Prefects Bathroom- Yesterday
"But its not like you like her, right? Because you like her, but you dont like her, right?"
Harry started, turning so quickly that he fell backwards over the chair resting next to the mirror. He scrambled hastily to his feet, smoothing his rumpled robes. Rons eyes were wide. "Harry, thats not a yes, is it?" he said in a shocked voice.
"What, the falling?" asked Harry in what he hoped was an innocent and casual tone. "No, the chair it moved Im a bit fuzzy after the fight and all ahem. Yes."
He began slowly inching toward the door. "Course I like her. Shes your little sister. Why wouldnt I like her? Shes very likable." Harry waved his hands dismissively. "But I dont like her like her. Because you wouldnt like that, would you? Would you?" He ventured a glance at Ron. "No, no, of course you wouldnt like that. So thats why I dont like her. Like that. Not that the only reason I dont like her that way is because you wouldnt like it if I " He had finally reached the door. Grasping at the handle he yanked it open and stuck his head out into the empty hallway.
"Whats that Hermione? Yes, Ill be right there. Right, thanks for the help Ron and Ive got to go." Harry dashed out the door and disappeared down the corridor.
Ron remained standing in the center of the room, stunned.
Moaning Myrtles: Today
"He said that?"
"Hes a horrible liar." Myrtle was matter of fact about this. "Youd think hed be better at it." She floated down to rest on the sink next to Ginny. The light was glinting off her glasses, and Ginny couldnt get a clear view of her expression, but it seemed a bit sympathetic. "What are you going to do now?" she asked, curiously. "Are you going find him and kiss him passionately?" Ginny blushed furiously and shook her head. "Ooohh Are you going to slap his face and call him a scoundrel?" Myrtle spun several excited circles in the air and settled back down on the sink. "If thats what you do, will you do it in here so I can watch?" she asked, breathlessly.
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Oh, honestly Myrtle. Im not going to do either of those things. You sound like a Barbara Cartland novel. Im Ive got to talk to Hermione. Im sorry, but I have to go. Will you be alright?" Myrtle nodded morosely. Ginny jumped off the sink and started toward the door. She stopped and turned back to the ghost floating dejectedly above the sink.
"Myrtle? Why did you tell me this?"
"You asked me." Myrtle said, wounded.
"No, actually I didnt. You brought it up in the first place." Ginny looked straight at her, or rather, through her. "You didnt have to tell, you know. I think it was quite nice of you. In fact, I think you rather enjoyed it." And she turned and ran out the door.
"Fights are more entertaining," Myrtle mumbled, and headed back to the toilet.
Authors Notes: Oh, if only Ginny hadnt been so distracted by Myrtles story. She promptly forgot what had just transpired between Hermione and Ron when she went looking for her. It was highly embarrassing for all three of them when she cornered them in the empty library. Ahem. We wish to dedicate this story to everyone at Sugarquill.com-check it out! Oh, and Erik? Be assured that Draco Malfoy was harmed in the creation of this fic and is somewhere calling you that very filthy name. Thank you and good night.