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The Trouble with Princesses by Rainpuddle
TTwP 01 - Dry Run by Rainpuddle
Title: Dry Run
Name of Volunteer: rainpuddle13
Name of Requester: mugglechump
Fandom: Harry Potter
Prompt: First - The one we talked about: Draco, Rauri and a boy.
Rating: PG
Characters/Ships: Draco/Ginny, Rauri
Warnings (if applicable): None that I can think of
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Notes: This story follows And Baby Makes Three, The Cabbage Capers, Draco's Bad Day, Fifteen Years, The Pixie Faerie Diaries, and Amici ed Amanti.

Summary: Rauri brings home a sacrificial lamb.

Dry Run

Ginny couldn’t figure out for the life of her why her three sons, all of her brothers, and Harry Potter were gathered in the family sitting room. They had company coming that afternoon and it was not the time for a rowdy family visit.

“Draco, darling,” she said as she entered his study, “why are my brothers here?”

“Oh good, they’re here,” he replied, getting up from behind his large mahogany desk and glancing at the large clock on the mantle. “Early, too. I knew I could count on them.”

“What on earth are you talking about?” She gave her husband a dubious look. “You invited them over?”

He gathered her in his arms, placing a tender kiss on her cheek. “Of course I invited them. Can’t I have our family over without having to have a reason?”

She knew right then that Draco had taken leave of his senses. He would have never willingly invited every male member of her family over to the house without having a damn good reason. Charlie, maybe, because he got on best with her eldest living brother, but the others were out of the question. Percy drove him distraction with his incessant holier-than-thou attitude about everything. He had a healthy fear of the twins born from years of humiliation at their hands. And Ron was, simply put, Ron.

“Are you feeling all right?” Ginny asked, half teasing half serious. She allowed him to kiss her mouth lightly.

“I couldn’t be better,” he exclaimed while nudging her towards the door. “It isn’t polite to keep our guests waiting.”

“You do remember that Rauri is bringing a friend over to meet us, don’t you?” she pressed.

“Oh, was that today?” he asked with an innocent air to his voice. Too innocent in her opinion.
She turned to glare at him, asking suspiciously, “You’re planning something, aren’t you?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, love. None. I simply invited a few of my favorite people over to listen to the Falcons/Magpies match on the wireless.”

“You’re lying,” she accused.

“Would I lie you?” He gave her an appalled look.

“When it suits your purpose, yes.”

“I am truly offended that you think that of me, your husband of over thirty years!”

“I think that because I know you, Draco Malfoy.”

“Mortally wounded!” he cried, a hand over his heart.

“I’ll mortally wound you if you ruin this for Rauri,” she warned dangerously.

“Would I ruin anything for my princess bunny?” he asked earnestly.

“Anything involving a boy, yes.” Ginny had spent the last fifteen years of her life listening to all the things her darling husband was planning to do to any boy who so much as glanced at their eldest daughter.

“She’s too young for a boyfriend!” he protested.

“She’ll be sixteen in a few weeks, and I’d already had three boyfriends by that age!”

She gave him a sly little smile as he blanched at the thought that their daughter might have had boyfriends he knew nothing about. “But did you bring any of them home to meet your mum?”

“Of course not! You were the first one I brought home, you know, the one I intended to marry.” She didn’t bring him home so much as he’d inserted himself into her family during the time she was struggling to recover from her deep grief over her oldest brother’s death. He had some how managed to win over her mother and her brother, Charlie. Her father and remaining brothers had remained skeptical for years, but they too, eventually came around. Mostly.

“She’s not going to marry this boy!” he stated unequivocally as he started towards the family sitting room where the male members of her family were gathered. “She’s too young to even think about marriage!”

Ginny easily kept up with his long strides, matching him step for step. “You’ve seen her pink book haven’t you? She’s been planning her wedding since she was five!”

“No,” he said, stopping just outside the little hidden door into the sitting room and closing his eyes.

“You’ve not seen it?” she asked, awed. “It’s pink, leather, and about this big.” She gestured the approximate size of the book her sons had deemed the ‘pink book of doom’.

“I’ve seen it,” he said tiredly. “I meant I don’t want to hear about how long she’s been planning her wedding.”

It wasn’t until that moment that she realized what the problem was with her husband. He finally admitted to himself that his little girl is growing up, no matter how much he hated it. Rauri was no longer his little princess who insisted on wearing impossibly frilly pink dresses and tiaras for everyday wear.

She stood up on her tip-toes and kissed him deeply, smiling into his mouth at the feel of his arms sliding around her waist to pull her flush against his long, lean body. She relished the little thrill that ran up her spine when he nipped lightly at her lips. Even after all the years they’d been together, Draco could cause her insides to turn to mush with very little effort. They were both panting by the time she pulled away with great effort on her part because she was starting to seriously consider hauling him upstairs to have her wicked way with him.

Draco drew in a deep breath, pressing his forehead against hers. “What was that for?”

“Because I love you,” she said softly before kissing him again.

“I love you too, Gin Gin,” he whispered back.

“Go listen to your Quidditch match,” she urged. “I’ll entertain Rauri’s little friend and send him packing.”

“Promise?” He gave her his best puppy dog pleading look.

Ginny kissed him one last time to seal the deal. “Promise.”

The next hour of her life was spent sitting the rose garden chatting with her eldest daughter and a boy who strongly reminded her of Cedric Diggory, the seventh year Hufflepuff who was murdered by Voldemort during the last task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament back when she was at school.

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton was tall and lanky, with sparkling blue eyes and sandy brown hair. He was exceedingly polite; well educated with good head on his shoulders; impeccably dressed; knew more Quidditch stats than Murphy, Liam, Ava and Draco combined; and completely wrong for her daughter.

Ginny couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she could definitely tell that something wasn’t quite as it seemed. Rauri appeared to be listening with rapt attention as he prattled on about the upcoming World Cup despite the fact that she had never once in her life expressed even a passing interest in the sport her father, brothers and sister revered. She began to wonder when he might start turning blue since she didn’t believe he’d taken a breath since he started on the brilliance of Puddlemere United.

He stopped in mid-sentence when her youngest child crossed through the garden on the way to the house. She was still wearing her Quidditch kit and carrying her broom. “You have a pitch?”
“What?” Rauri shook her head as if to clear her thoughts, giving him a confused look. “Pitch?”

“A Quidditch pitch?” he asked, eager curiosity most evident in his voice.

She waved her hand in dismissal, her attention focused solely on her sister who was making faces at her. “Yes, yes, of course we have a pitch.”

“Is it regulation?”

“I have no idea. Mother, make her stop!”

“Ava Molly,” Ginny said sternly, without even turning around. She could tell by the satisfied look on Rauri’s face that she wouldn’t have get up to chase her wayward child into the house. “Yes, our pitch is regulation.”

Edward looked like he was about to ask for the pitch’s hand in marriage. “Really?”

Her daughter rolled her eyes, and sighed exasperatedly as her patience was obviously starting to wear thin. “Where is Da? I thought he would be joining us for tea.”

“Your father is entertaining this afternoon,” Ginny answered since there was no sense in hiding the truth. She was rewarded with a flash of something – she wasn’t quite sure what – across Rauri’s face before she schooled her features into a look of utter devastation.

“He promised,” she cried, almost convincingly.

“Can I see it?” he asked in awe.

Ginny had to give him credit for having a one-track mind. Her daughter’s virtue was safe as long he continued to worship Quidditch more than her. And that would also be his downfall; there was no way that Rauri was going to play second fiddle to a sport for too long. She was rather surprised it’d gone on this long.

“Why don’t we go see about the match on the wireless?” Rauri asked sweetly before Ginny could suggest a walk down to the pitch. She wanted to keep her husband as far away from any boy that might be interested in one of his princesses.

“I don’t know…” he trailed off, seemingly torn, but afraid to voice what he truly wanted to do.
Her daughter gave her boyfriend the look, the very same one Ginny herself often employed to bully Draco into doings things against his will. She was felt sorry for any male in Rauri’s life that was on the receiving end of it because she knew that she wouldn’t hesitate to use it.

“Sweetheart, why don’t you show him the pitch?” Ginny suggested

“Who wants to see a big field of grass?” She stood up, grabbing a very disappointed Edward’s hand and began dragging him toward the house, leaving Ginny little choice but to bring up the rear.
Rauri blithely ignored her sister’s attempts to ruin her afternoon by making kiss-y noises from the first floor landing as she made a beeline straight to the family sitting room.

“Da!” she cried as she burst through the door.

“Princess!” Draco was on his feet in a second, nearly knocking over a small end table in his haste. She dropped her boyfriend’s hand in favor of being gathered in her father’s arms, but wouldn’t offer him her cheek when he tried to give her a kiss. “Sweetheart, what is wrong?”

“I thought you loved me,” she said, her voice wobbly with hurt.

Her father kissed the top of her head. “I love you more than life itself. Why in the world you think otherwise?”

She drew in a shaky breath as she looked up at him with big brown watery eyes. “Because you’d rather listen to a Quidditch match than spend the afternoon with me…”

Ginny felt helpless as she watched her daughter masterfully manipulate her husband. Draco, who had faced some of the vilest evil ever known once upon a time and lived to tell the tale, was easily felled by a princess. To Rauri’s credit, she did have the most powerful weapon in her arsenal working for her – guilt. Rauri could wield it like the most skilled swordsman, slicing her opponent into thin ribbons before they realized what was happening. She’d seen the look on her daughter’s face when she’d entered the room and encountered her brothers and uncles. She was going to make them all think twice about not catering to her whims, and her father was the hapless example.

“Oh, princess,” he said contritely, holding her close. “That simply isn’t true.”

“Yes it is,” she said, giving her brothers and uncles an accusatory look. “You’d rather be with them than me.”

“Who’s your friend, princess?” Draco said in attempt to change the subject, letting her go.

She sniffled for effect, but her mother did not miss the mischievous sparkle in her eyes. “My boyfriend.”

Ginny decided that it was time to insert herself into the situation, putting a hand on the boy in question’s shoulder. The poor bloke had lost all the color in his face the second he had laid eyes on the room full of men. “Draco, sweetheart, this is Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a friend of Rauri’s from school,” she said calmly.

“A friend?” Draco drawled, suddenly turning deadly serious.

“Yes, sir,” the boy squeaked after a gentle nudge. He was trying to look anywhere but at the room full of strapping wizards who were ready to commit murder.

Liam joined his father, glaring menacingly at the trembling young wizard. “What kind of friend?”
“That had better not be boyfriend,” Murphy added as he wrapped strong, protective arms around Rauri.

“I’ll second that,” Gareth said, handing over a bundle swaddled in a soft ivory blanket to Ginny in order to seem more threatening. “You’re far too young for a boyfriend, Rauri.”

She was so distracted by the sweet little sleeping grandbaby in her arms; Ginny almost forgot why everyone was gathered in her sitting room.

“Mum had already had three boyfriends by the time she was my age!” her daughter retorted.

“Yes,” Draco growled, “that is because your Uncle Ron wasn’t doing his job properly.”

“I resent that!” Ron cried from the other side of the room. “She had a mind of her own!”

“You are not Mum,” Liam reminded her firmly.

Her father grinned. “Have you met my sons, Edward?”

“N-n-n-no, sir,” Edward managed to stutter, eyeing the tallest of the younger wizards with reverent awe.

“My oldest, Liam, European Quidditch Player of the Year three years running. Murphy, a Hit Wizard. Did you know that he is an expert in tracking down criminals?” Draco gloated as Edward’s eyes flicked between the three wizards gathered around him. “And the youngest, Gareth happens to be an Auror. He’s responsible for helping squelch a Death Eater resurgence a few years ago.”

“Draco,” Ginny warned, momentarily recovering from the grandbaby stupor, “be nice. Edward is a nice young man who hasn’t done anything wrong.”

“Also,” he continued on as if she’d not even spoken, motioning towards the wizards who watching the proceedings with avid interest from the sidelines, “these are my wife’s brothers, Rauri’s uncles. The dark-haired bloke is Harry Potter, surely you’ve heard of him?”

Edward nodded. “Yes, sir, I’ve heard of him.”

“So tell me, Edward, it is Edward right?” He waited for a confirmation nod from the brown haired boy. “So tell me, what does your father do for a living?” he husband prompted.

“My father is a professor,” he answered quickly.

“A professor?”

“Yes, sir, he teaches Middle English at Oxford.”

“Bulwer-Lytton,” Draco uttered, the name rolling off his tongue. “I’m not familiar with this name? Liam? Murphy? Gareth?” All three wizards shook their heads. “Ginny, are you familiar with it? I thought I was familiar with all the predominate wizarding family names.”

Rauri pulled away from the safety of Murphy’s arms. “That is because he’s Muggle-born, Da.”

“Muggle?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yes, Da, and he’s a Hufflepuff…” Rauri started.

There was a collective gasp from those in the room the moment the words left her lips, and Draco turned so white that Ginny didn’t think he had any blood left in his body. She had to admit that she a bit taken aback because she never dreamed that Rauri would go to such extremes, although she did have to admit the boy was rather on the handsome side. And the things handsome young wizards could get a witch to do…

“And I love him,” she finished quietly, watching her father from beneath lowered lashes.

Liam was the first to act, grasping Edward by the arm and dragging him toward the French doors that let out onto the portico. “Don’t worry, Da, I know exactly what to do. Murphy? Gareth?”

Ginny was hard pressed to have to put the baby down in the bassinette that stood in the quiet corner of the room. “Boys,” she called after her sons and brothers as they filed from the room. “Don’t hurt him. Too badly,” she finished under the breath, knowing that her sons and brothers were going to put the fear of god, Merlin and a few other deities into him. This went a lot worse than she had imaged it would. Never in her wildest dreams could have imagined things would go down this way.

“Rauri?” she asked, a bit concerned that her daughter didn’t look worried over the fate of her boyfriend.

Her husband could do nothing more than stare at their daughter with an incredulous look on his face. “A Muggle-born Hufflepuff,” he whispered to himself. “Where did I go wrong?”

Ginny took his hand, lacing her fingers through his. “You didn’t, sweetheart. Teenage witches do crazy things when it comes to handsome young wizards. Remember all the really nutter things I did at that age all in the name of love?”

Draco’s eyes grew big as the memories apparently came flooding back to him. Ginny had done a lot of sneaking around behind everyone’s back to meet him in dark corridors and he’d done his very best to take advantage of the situation. “Oh god, this is your fault for not letting me build that tower!” he blurted out.

“What’s this about a tower?” Rauri demanded.

“Your father had the bright idea back when you were a baby to build a tower so he could lock you away to save his sanity until he’d found you the perfect mate, and then, and only then, would he let you out,” Ginny explained.

“Uhhh!” Rauri squeaked indignantly.

Her father captured her face between his hands, looking adoringly into her eyes before pressing a tender kiss to her forehead. “My princess,” he said softly before releasing her to wander away, looking dazed and muttering about high towers, charmed locks, and thrown away keys.

"Well," her daughter said after her father was well out of earshot, "I'm rather relieved I didn't bring home my actual boyfriend."

"What?" Ginny asked in disbelief that the trauma that had just transpired in her family sitting room was possibly a hoax.

"You didn't actually believe I would bring a boy I do like home without seeing what Da would do first would?" she asked, as if it was natural everyday occurrence to dupe her father.

It was very disconcerting to Ginny to see the notorious Malfoy smirk grace the lips of her eldest daughter. Rauri's red hair and big mud brown eyes was just deceptive packaging. She might have been wrapped in a pretty Weasley outside, but she was most definitely Malfoy on the inside. It was the makings of a lethal combination for anyone who dared to cross her.

"For the life of me, I cannot figure out how you were not sorted into Slytherin," Ginny said with defeated sigh.

"Believe me, Mum, I ask myself the same question every day when I wake up,” Rauri commiserated.

"I suggest you go make sure your brothers don’t scar Edward for life,” she suggested.

“Yes, Mum,” her daughter said obediently, and started toward the doors.

“And when things quiet down, you and I are going to have a very long talk about you real young man, do you hear me?” Ginny commanded.

She could practically hear her daughter rolling her eyes. “Yes, mother,” Rauri replied bitingly.

“Tell your brother I put the baby down in the bassinette.”

“Yes, mother!” She watched as her daughter stalked toward the French doors, glaring icily at a snickering Ava who had taken advantage of the commotion to get into a strategic position where she could watch all the goings-on while being almost inconspicuous. “Laugh it up while you can. This will be you in a few years!”

“I’m not stupid enough to bring a boy home,” Ava said loftily as she followed her big sister out the door where the bickering continued, thankfully out of their mother’s hearing range.

“Now let me go see if Draco’s had a stroke yet,” Ginny groused to herself as she set off on the unenviable task of finding her husband and explaining to him that he’d just been out-Slytherined by his precious baby girl.


Word count: 3,326

Thanks to Nokomis for the beta as always!


This story archived at http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=4572