Interlude by Mourning Broken Angel
Past Featured StorySummary: *Final chapter added* Parenting can be overwhelming, even for wizards. Especially when there are teenagers involved. Draco and Ginny, summoned to Hogwarts for a conference with their children's Head of House, share an interlude neither can forget.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters: D/G Offspring, Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Other Characters
Compliant with: Fully compliant
Era: Next Generation
Genres: Angst, Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: The Interlude Arc
Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes Word count: 6828 Read: 15997 Published: Dec 20, 2007 Updated: Dec 31, 2007
Story Notes:
This was my entry for the 2007 Ficmas list on DracoGinnyFanFic at Yahoo!Groups, but I thought I'd add it here with all my other stuff.

Thank you to the very lovely jandjsalmon for the speedy beta job. She is an awesome lady. Happy holidays to everyone!

1. Chapter 1 by Mourning Broken Angel

2. Chapter 2 by Mourning Broken Angel

Chapter 1 by Mourning Broken Angel
17th December

Jumping lightly down the last few steps into the dungeons, Ginny slid to a halt in front of Professor Slughorn's door. She took a moment to catch her breath and straighten her robes before raising her hand to knock, jolting in surprise when the door swung silently inward while she was still gulping for air.

"Mrs. Potter!" Professor Slughorn cried joyously from the chair he looked to be shoehorned in. "I'm delighted you could make it; I'd begun to think my clock was off."

"S- So sorry I'm late," Ginny huffed quickly, still somewhat breathless and fighting the feeling of being a tardy schoolgirl once again. "I got a bit waylaid."

"Some things never change, do they?" came from directly behind the opened door.

Ginny grimaced. Some things do never change, she thought, like that voice with its plummy accent and low, drawling tones that never failed to rasp softly on an 'n'.

"Malfoy," she said with a brightly false smile. "Good to see you again."

Letting the heavy old door swing closed, he ushered her solicitously to a chair. "I'm sure you're truly delighted," he murmured softly so Slughorn wouldn't hear. "After all, our last conversation concluded with a hearty 'sod off and die!' I believe."

Ginny blushed. She really hadn't meant to say that at the Ministry Halloween party two months past; after all, he had apologized when he'd realized the bum he squeezed hadn't been his wife's. "I can see how you mixed up two redheads dressed as Helga Hufflepuff, Malfoy. I may have overreacted."

"Overreacted to what?" The portly old professor was leaning forward in his ominously creaking chair, his beady eyes avidly watching them.

"A brief case of mistaken identity," Draco inserted smoothly. "Nothing more." He stepped away from Ginny's chair to a divan flanked by two overflowing bookcases. "Now, about my son's behavior. I believe that's why I've been summoned here?"

Patting his enormous satin-covered belly, Professor Slughorn sighed. "Yes, quite right. Scorpius and Lily have frankly left me at a loss. Their behavior towards one another is out of control, and detentions and the loss of Hogsmeade privileges hasn't even made a dent in things." He hefted himself to his feet and peered over at Ginny. "Now that I think about it, I believe I requested that both parents attend this meeting, didn't I?"

Ginny fought the urge to squirm, telling herself firmly that adults didn't quail under a professor's watchful eye. "Harry's away at the moment, I'm afraid." She gave him her most charming smile. "I sent him an owl, but he just couldn't get away from Copenhagen."

"We could schedule a follow-up when it's convenient," Slughorn suggested.

Waving a hand quickly, Ginny tried to suppress her annoyance. She wished he'd just let it go. "No, really; I'm not sure when he's free and his calendar is usually filled to the brim." She shot an irate glance at the blond man lounging forgotten in the background. "Where's the lovely Mrs. Marin Malfoy?"

Draco snorted. "I've already apprised Professor Slughorn of my wife's inability to discipline herself when it comes to shopping, let alone setting boundaries for our son. She was perfectly content to let me handle this."

Ignoring Ginny's snort of laughter, Slytherin's Head of House picked up an overflowing file. "This is the record of incidents involving Lily and Scorpius hexing, dueling, screaming or, on one memorable occasion, flinging food at one another. After discussions with Headmistress McGonagall, I've decided that more serious results are warranted, and I wish to discuss them with you first."

"Finally going to let old Filch use his thumbscrews?"

Ginny swiveled in her seat to snap, "Our children are at each others' throats and you're cracking jokes?"

His eyes were dancing. "A Malfoy and a Potter quarrelling. How novel." Draco forestalled her furious response by adding seriously, "Of course I don't like it, but we don't know any of the details yet. Perhaps there's a reason. Or maybe teenagers are just complete idiots sometimes."

Moving laboriously for the door, Professor Slughorn said, "I think long-term manual labor over the weekends will likely do the trick, but a little parental reinforcement is always beneficial. Now let me just go get Mister Malfoy and we'll get to the bottom of things together."

Ginny eyed Draco in the silence that followed the closing of the door. When he smirked at her for no apparent reason, it was as if they were teens again themselves. She barely resisted plucking her wand from her sleeve to jinx him. "What?"

"Nothing you'd want to hear, Potter," he assured as his lips turned up even more. He was perilously close to smiling. "Just thinking about Halloween."

Her hand twitched. He was damn good at pushing her buttons.

***

"What's she doing here?" the boy asked, slinging himself into a chair with a scowl as he jerked a thumb at Ginny. "At least now I know where Potter got that particular shade of hideous ginger hair from."

Ginny shoved her right sleeve up and blew out a sigh of relief at the sight of the jagged scar she got playing professional Quidditch.

"Did I miss something?" Draco asked, bewildered.

Sparing the sullen teenage boy a quick glance, Ginny looked Draco full in the eye. "Just making sure I'm not stuck in some sort of time loop. Really, Malfoy, it's uncanny how much he's like you. As a boy, I mean. Looks, mannerisms, insults, everything. It's like you cloned yourself."

He raised an eyebrow as one corner of his mouth curled. "Of course he's like me. The Malfoy genetics are fearsomely dominant." He turned to Scorpius. "I believe I taught you to properly greet your elders, son."

The boy straightened with a huff of annoyance. "Professor Slughorn. Father." Scorpius nodded formally to each. After a moment, he added with obvious disdain, "Potter."

Draco scowled at him. "I know I taught you to treat women with respect, Scorpius. Now."

The boy turned grey eyes on her that were as defiant as any of her children's after being chastened. "My humble apologies, Mrs. Potter. It's delightful to meet you."

Ginny held up a hand when Draco opened his mouth. "No, it's all right. The sarcasm may be thick enough to trip on, but he choked out the words." She smiled sweetly at Draco Malfoy's carbon copy son. "And it hasn't even killed him." Yet, she added silently. She just couldn't help tacking on, "Besides, it's hard for a fourteen year old boy to get corrected in front of strangers."

"I'm sixteen!" he shouted, levering to his feet to glower at Ginny, hands fisted at his sides.

"Stop baiting my son, Potter," Draco said mildly. "Even if he does deserve it."

She smiled fatly as Professor Slughorn cleared his throat loudly. "Scorpius, why don't you tell us how your little disagreement with Miss Potter began?"

"That stupid girl leveled a Bludger at me during a training session. Damn near took my head off, too, if I had been a little slower. There's a reason girls weren't allowed in the Slytherin team- they're bloody mental."

Ginny was about to defend her daughter, but Professor Slughorn beat her to it.

"Lily, despite her rather assertive nature, is not typically bloodthirsty, Mister Malfoy. I'd also like to remind you that she made the team because of her unusual skill at Quidditch. You all knew that, tradition aside, someday a talented young woman would decide to try for the House team."

Draco pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers, looking incredibly harassed. "Please don't tell me you've been fighting with a girl because she plays Quidditch. Please tell me that the Slytherin team no longer being exclusively male is not the reason I'm wasting an afternoon listening to you whinge."

"You can't shout at the injured party here, Dad!" Scorpius groaned, swinging to face his father. "I told you, she tried to kill me on the pitch. I may have retaliated a little that night in the common room. That should have been the end of things, but the stubborn bint-" He tripped up at the glare Ginny gave him. "Sorry. I meant 'girl', not 'bint'."

"Too right," Slughorn said heartily. "Mrs. Potter is a dab hand at hexes herself, if I remember correctly. I wouldn't go calling her daughter names, Mister Malfoy."

"What did you do after the Quidditch incident?" Draco crossed his arms.

"Nothing too awful. I jinxed her plait to knot around the newel post at the top of the stairs to the girls' dorm."

Draco snickered. "That's not bad at all, son. Very creative."

Professor Slughorn tapped Scorpius' shoulder with his wand. "Tell them the rest, if you please."

"She may have fallen down the stairs when it jerked taut," he admitted in a rush. "But that wasn't my fault!"

Ginny jumped to her feet. "Is she all right?"

"This was last week, Mrs. Potter. She had only a few bumps and bruises, but I sent her off to Madam Pomfrey anyway."

She glared at the boy until he dropped his gaze. "You can't condone physical violence, Professor. My daughter may have escaped relatively unscathed that time, but he may seriously injure her in the future, and I won't have it."

"That's why I called the Malfoys and the Potters here today. The very next day, Mister Malfoy here went to Madam Pomfrey with a broken nose that he refused to explain how he got. Coincidentally, Miss Potter skipped a team training session that day with a sore hand."

Ginny had the good grace to blush. "Oh my. Lily did that to you, Scorpius? Are you all right?"

Truculently, he shouted, "I did not get beat up by a girl, especially not that shrieking bitch you call a daughter!"

Draco was hauling him by the collar to the door in a flash. "Outside," he barked. "Stand there and wait until we call you back in. Don't speak. Don't move. Just stand there."

"And if I don't?"

Ginny rolled her eyes. All boys seemed to want to challenge their parents' authority at his age.

"I'll beat you."

"Yeah, sure." Scorpius, looking a bit surprised at his own daring, laughed. "Grandfather said you don't believe in physical punishment."

Draco smiled evilly. "I'll tell your grandmother to never send you another package of sweets again, and to never, under any circumstances, allow you another bite of her lemon pie."

Scorpius blanched. "That's just playing dirty."

"Try me, son."

"I'll sneak her recipe card and have one of the elves make it," he argued belligerently.

Draco shook his head. "I'd like to see you try," he challenged. "It's a Black family recipe and it's in her head, not written down. Since the only other Black still alive is your Great Aunt Andromeda, who has vowed to hex our entire family on sight should we ever cross her path, I'm afraid you're quite out of luck." Draco shoved him out the door. "Now stay." He closed the door, but snapped it right back open. "And remember," he drawled, "That lemon pie is awfully good."

***

Scorpius had been outside for no more than two minutes when a crash shook the crystal dish on the corner of the desk. Indistinct though it was through the heavy oak door, Ginny recognized the strident voice that followed as her daughter's.

"Would you?" Slughorn asked as he waved at the door.

Ginny stood quickly. "Of course." Pulling open the door, she opened her mouth to greet her daughter-

"And I hope you die, Scorpius, you toe rag!"

"Lily Potter, I'll wash out your mouth, so help me!" Ginny reached out and snatched her daughter's arm with a scowl. "Apologize to that boy this instant."

With a fierce glare, Lily straightened her shoulders. All streaming red hair and billowing black robes, the fourteen year old blew into the room and said mutinously, "I won't. He's vile, and I really do hope he keels over from some fiendishly horrid disease." She paused thoughtfully next to a chair. "I wonder if the Black Death could make an appearance."

Draco laughed. Potter ending up with an honest-to-God Slytherin for a daughter was pure karma. The icing on the cake was that she seemed to be as obnoxious as his own son.

Ginny scowled at her teenager- wasn't it just yesterday she was a sweet, biddable six year old? Oh, how she longed for those days.

"Mister Malfoy, you're excused for now," Slughorn called out. "Please close the door before you return to the common room to wait for us."

***

Draco hadn't laughed so hard in ages. Lily Potter was a brat- a manipulative brat that had charmed his socks right off, much to her mother's annoyance.

"Mum!" she wailed when Ginny told her that she'd be left at school for the holiday break if she didn't shape up. "Please don't leave me here all alone for Christmas, Mum. Mummy." She sniffled. "I really like watching everyone open their gifts together and just have a good time."

Draco clapped slowly and shared an amused, knowing look with the Slytherin Head of House. "Well, well," he drawled. "Who knew you could get a true Slytherin by breeding two dyed-in-the-wool Gryffindors?" Draco crossed his legs and leaned back casually as he and Lily locked eyes. "Recessive trait, I suppose." Indicating Ginny with a tilt of his head, he added, "Though she certainly had her moments."

Ginny leaned forward to glare at him. "Do not encourage her, Malfoy. She's calculating enough on her own, thank you."

Draco had gotten much better at feigning innocence over the years, it seemed. "Sorry? So it wasn't Ginny Weasley that I recall ramming Zacharias Smith headlong into the Quidditch stands in her fifth year? Or telling bald-faced lies to Dolores Umbridge in her fourth year?" He began to warm to the subject. "Of course, there was that one time I remember seeing you burst into tears in the library and tell Dean Thomas that you-"

"That's enough," Ginny cut in a little desperately. "We're talking about Lily's behavior here, Malfoy."

He winked at the girl. "I'm just letting her know she came by her skills honestly, is all."

When Ginny noticed Lily cast her fourth blushing little glance over at the blond man lounging on the divan, she threw her hands up in frustration. "Oh, for goodness' sake! Kindly stop flirting with my underage daughter, you pervert. Don't play on her girlish appreciation for your oily charms."

"Mum!" Mortified, Lily tried to sink into her robes as Professor Slughorn sat back and watched the proceedings with amused interest. He pulled the candy dish closer. This sort of thing really required refreshments.

Draco stretched casually. "Honestly, Potter, even you can't truly think I'm that depraved. She's a child."

"Hey!" Lily glared at him.

He sat forward to pat her arm. "Not that you aren't exceptionally pretty, Lily, but enjoy your childhood. There'll be plenty of time for flirting and boys when you're just a bit older. Someday you'll make some lucky wizard very happy." He grinned wickedly at Ginny. "Just make sure the bloke you pick out is better-looking than your father. Your mother obviously has hideously poor taste in men." When Ginny took a halfhearted swipe at him, the whole room burst into laughter. "I'm sure you'll end up with someone even better looking than me."

Lily sighed dreamily. "Oh no, Mr. Malfoy, you're quite nice."

"I think I may be sick." Ginny gave her youngest child's shoulder a light shove to pull her from her reveries. "No crushes on a middle-aged Draco Malfoy. No blonds that might resemble him. In fact, no boys at all." She dropped her head against the chair. "Ever."

***

"I think your daughter has a thing for my son."

The companionable silence Ginny had been sharing with Draco Malfoy as they left Hogwarts to walk down to the Apparition point outside the gates evaporated.

"Are you insane?" She gave him a look of pure disbelief. "We just spent two hours mediating months' worth of sniping and nasty attacks."

He shrugged inside his expensive overcoat and adjusted his gloves. "Just an observation. It's not like Malfoy men are ugly."

"You're certainly not irresistible, either," she quipped.

Apparently, the humor in her voice was lost on him. "At least I'm punctual, Weasley."

"I was visiting with Neville," Ginny growled, all previous good nature evaporating in the face of his snappish comment. "I lost track of the time. I'm terribly sorry for having friends, Malfoy."

He rolled his eyes and turned to continue down the path to Hogsmeade. "I'm not having such a juvenile argument with you, Weasley. I'll leave that to the children."

She ground her teeth. "Potter."

"Whatever," he said with a dismissive wave. "You may be used to being 'Potter' after all these years, but I've barely seen you -outside Ministry events- since our schooldays." He tapped the side of his head with one long finger. "In here, you're still 'Weasley'."

"I don't suppose letting you call me 'Ginny' would clear this up, would it?"

He raised a brow. "Such familiarity," he said raising a hand to his heart in mock wonder.

His biting sarcasm was still there; it was just tempered a bit, dulled by life and perhaps maturity into an exceptionally dry wit. Ginny couldn't have stopped her smile if she'd tried. After all, she'd always had a bit of a mean streak herself when it came to humor.

"So, visiting Longbottom," he mused. "I'm still shocked he survived Hogwarts, let alone became a contributing member of society."

Ginny, eyes wide, hauled him -midstride- around to face her. "What exactly are you saying?" she bit out. Her lips clamped shut as if she was trying to physically restrain herself long enough for him to answer.

He rubbed his shoulder gingerly- she was stronger than she looked. "I'm saying it's a miracle he didn't meet his end with a cauldron in Potions. He was abominable. Snape actually had nightmares about Longbottom blowing up the dungeons."

"Oh," she breathed, eyebrows raised. A faint flush stained the tops of her cheeks.

"What did you think I meant?" Draco asked, pushing his hands in his pockets.

She looked away. "I thought you meant that Neville wouldn't have survived the… you know, your seventh year."

"The final battle?" Draco asked with some surprise. He offered a one-shouldered shrug. "I never really thought about that, but I suppose his role that day is somewhat contrary to form."

"Neville is and was a loyal, outstanding wizard," she huffed angrily, "and if he hadn't used the Sword of Gryffindor-"

"Yes, yes, I'm familiar with the series of events," he cut in. "He's as big a hero as Snape then, I guess."

"Snape," she laughed mockingly. "Don't get me wrong, he was absolutely crucial, but he was no hero. Everything he did was for revenge."

"A Gryffindor to the dreary end, are you?"

"And just what's that supposed to mean?" Her hands flew to her hips defensively.

"Not all heroes are made of candyfloss and string mints, you shortsighted cow. His motives don't affect the legacy of his actions. He may have turned into a double -no, quadruple- agent because the Dark Lord killed his true love, but you'd be standing here with a Dark Mark on your arm right now if he hadn't done what he did. Severus Snape was a hero."

Ginny's eyes slanted a look at his left arm.

"Yes, Weasley, it's still there," he said softly. "Now it's just a reminder of what I almost became."

"You were a Death Eater, Malfoy. Not almost. Actually." Her voice was hard. The Death Eaters took so much from her; she missed her friends and especially her brother every day of her life. "Being found not guilty in court is not the same thing as being innocent."

He stared steadily down at her, his eyes inscrutable beyond a vague sadness. "I was talking about something else; I may have been a Death Eater, but I didn't lose my…" He cleared his throat. "It doesn't matter. The events surrounding the Dark Lord's demise showed me that I had other things to choose."

"Like what?" Ginny asked softly, wondering what the mind of a former Death Eater could possibly put above the most horrible of ambitions.

"Love," he answered, looking over her shoulder at the snow blanketing the field. "My parents truly loved me. My mother betrayed the most terrible wizard of our age -possibly all of history- not once, but twice on the off chance of saving me. If my father could change his priorities after so many years of service to the Dark Lord, I could after one year."

Tucking her hair behind her ears, Ginny failed to suppress a disbelieving sound. "So you became a new man?"

Draco snorted, breaking his trance-like concentration on the snowy ground behind her. His smirk was every bit as condescending as it had been when he was just a brash teen. "Dream on, Weasley. I just took the life I had and enjoyed it as I could. I'm no saint like your precious husband and I never will be. I curse; I drink firewhisky with the boys and cheat at cards; I've coveted a co-worker's wife for years and I keep dirty magazines in my wardrobe- all things your darling Harry would never dream of, I'm sure."

Ginny raised an eyebrow. "Do I look like a priest, Malfoy? Don't confess your dirty laundry to me. We're none of us perfect, but you don't see me spilling my guts."

"But you're married to Perfect Potter," he drawled with mocking innocence. "You can't possibly have any faults- otherwise he'd have divorced you years ago."

Inwardly, Ginny winced. She'd often wondered over the years if Harry had become so wrapped up in his work because she'd been doing something wrong. Leave it to Malfoy to hit squarely on her one insecurity. "I'm not perfect," she said softly, sadly, her eyes drifting as she added mentally, Maybe if I had been- Hard fingers wrapped in buttery soft leather gripped her jaw.

"Perfection is ridiculous," he said firmly, holding her gaze. "You don't want it. It'll drive you mad. You're fine exactly as you are."

She gave him a weak smile and tried to ignore the hand still determinedly holding her chin and the resulting jolts of heat that it sent through her belly. It'd been a long time since Harry had done more than press a perfunctory kiss to her cheek and ask if she was up for some "fun", which usually meant a ten-minute shag that had about as much passion as a cookery show. The feel of a man taking control was foreign and strangely appealing. "Am I?" Her voice came out breathy and she mentally kicked herself as his eyes focused on her lips. She should pull away. She should say something pithy. She should-

His mouth was on hers in a flash, lips soft and warm despite the chill of the air, and Ginny marveled as the heat in her stomach exploded into a conflagration. She fought the urge to wind her arms around his neck and bury her fingers in his too-neat hair.

Draco cursed himself when he licked her lower lip delicately. He'd never meant to actually do this. Fantasizing about it for years was one thing, but actually kissing Ginny Potter, in the snow, at Hogwarts… He pulled away quickly. "My apologies. I just-" He straightened his overcoat. "I have no idea what came over me."

Ginny swallowed hard on the urge to lean in and see what would happen if she kissed him now. "No, it's- don't worry about it. I was shocked, but… It never happened." She'd later concede to herself that she could have pulled away several seconds before he did, but at the moment her body was too tingly, he was too close and his lips were far too pink.

He forced a laugh. "Good thing we've passed that bend there; otherwise, anyone from the castle could have seen us. It would have looked like some sentimental, Rockwellian scene." He coughed.

Ginny looked down at her hands, willing the damnable urge to kiss him again to go away. Even through her gloves, the outline of her wedding and engagement rings were clearly visible. She stared at them, knowing that the choice she made here would change her entire life. Draco Malfoy stood awkwardly in front of her on the path to Hogsmeade, having kissed her for the first time not as a schoolboy, but as a man with grey in his hair. He had a child, a wife, a job. She had three beautiful children and a husband that she'd loved since she was ten years old, even if their marriage wasn't what she'd dreamed of as a girl. The decision should have been easy. It wasn't.

"I'm sorry, Draco." Her eyes widened at her use of his given name, but she plowed on. "I can't- I just can't. I've got to go." She practically flew down the snowy path to Hogsmeade, the gate shining a few tantalizing meters away.

Draco watched her flee, holding himself stiffly to prevent his traitorous feet from bolting after her. His lips burned with the feel of her mouth. He'd spent years dreaming of kissing her, but he'd spent just as long telling himself it was a harmless fantasy that would never come to fruition. He wasn't an idiot; seducing Potter's wife was a death sentence, and his position at the Ministry wouldn't save him if Potter ever got wind of this. Tearing off his gloves, he scrubbed at his face. His wedding band scraped painfully over his cheekbone and he slowly lowered his hand, studying the glint of gold in the pale winter sunlight.

It was a beautiful band, hand carved with ancient symbols for things like fidelity and fertility. Draco snorted. "Ridiculous."

He turned to the castle. Marin may not have turned out to be what he wanted her to, but Scorpius- the boy meant everything to him, more than even his own happiness. He grinned wryly. It was apparently a Malfoy trait to love your child more than anything else on the planet. The clang of the gate behind him let him know that Ginny was on the verge of Apparating away. He whirled to catch one last glimpse of her.

"Potter!" She stilled at his shout and her eyes flew to his. He smiled a genuine smile and waved a hand with an elaborate wedding band in farewell. When she had gone with a whirl of long red hair and a pop!, Draco smiled again and made for the gates himself. If that was going to be his only kiss with Ginny Weasley -Potter- whatever, at least it was the sweetest kiss he could remember. It would be enough.

***


4th January

Dearest Mrs. Potter,
Lily's détente with young Scorpius has lasted a grand total of one fortnight. As discussed in our conference, I've assigned her four straight weeks of kitchen duty without magic.

Yours most warmly,
Horace Slughorn

PS- Her wandwork is spectacular for a fourth year. The hex she used to cement Mister Malfoy's undergarments to the hearth was quite ingenious. Lucky for him, her 'Incendio' still needs some work.


***



14th February

Dear Gin,
You may want to send Lily a new satchel for her books. Rose told me that Malfoy's spawn 'accidentally' spilled bubotuber pus all over her old one this afternoon outside Madam Pudifoot's. He must have nicked it from my class (I'm really sorry; I'll keep a closer eye on him from now on). Little git's as bad as his father. Don't worry though, I gave him detention bagging manure for the compost heap (and I still haven't found a spell that gets the awful stink of manure off).

My love to everyone,
Neville

PS- Happy Valentine's Day! I hope Harry got you something nice.


***



3rd March

Potter-
Rein in that redheaded hellion you call a child before she drives my son to murder (and I'm not joking- look at the genetics). Pretty or not, tell her I'm very cross with her and that it's unacceptable to try to drown my son in the Prefect's bathroom. Or any bathroom, really.

-Malfoy

PS- The Christmas cookies were delicious. Thank you.


***



4th March

Malfoy,
I've discussed it with my gossipy old neighbor; she agrees that your fascination with my underage daughter is both creepy and illegal. Beyond that, stop trying to encourage her ridiculous crush on you. Do you have some sort of strange thing for redheads? No, never mind. I don't want to know. In any event, Lily has been warned that drowning Malfoys is bad form; I believe her father did mention something about tossing them from cliffs though, so be sure Scorpius can do a decent Levitation spell.

-Potter (the redheaded one)

PS- I'm glad you enjoyed the cookies.
PPS- That recipe you sent me was to die for. That wouldn't, by chance, be the lemon pie recipe you claimed wasn't written down, was it? Tsk tsk- lying to your own son. Shame on you.


***



1st April

Auntie Gin,
I didn't know what else to do but write to you. If I told Al or James, they'd kill someone. I saw Lil and Scorpius Malfoy snogging in that secret corridor Dad told me about. I left before they saw me, but -God!- Malfoy? He's horrid! And they've been trying to get one another expelled all year! I'm hoping it's a prank, given the date and all, but if not, don't tell her I was the one that told you when you kill her.

Your nephew,
Hugo


***


Ginny grinned down at the letter. "Bloody Malfoy men." Chucking the cat under the chin as it purred in her lap, she watched from the window seat as the last snow of the year melted and green shoots began to peek through. "Bloody genetics."

"What?" Harry called from the study. "Who can't hex?"

She rolled her eyes. "Nothing, Harry!" she shouted back. "Just a letter from Hugo."

Harry came into the room running a hand through his perpetually untidy hair. "Alright then, love, I'm off to Cardiff in a few minutes. Grab my lunch from the fridge for me, will you?" He pressed an absent-minded kiss to her temple as he headed for the staircase. "I'll be back late."

Ginny looked down at the gold wedding band and the oversized diamond of her engagement ring on her hand before sneaking one last longing glance out at the snow. Her lips tingled with memory.

"Where's that food at, Gin? I'm going to be late."

She sighed and turned for the kitchen. "Coming."
End Notes:
All right, people, it's the holidays. Won't you be sweet and wonderful and leave me a review as a gift?

I knew you would; you're awesome like that. :D
Chapter 2 by Mourning Broken Angel
Author's Notes:
So I caved to popular opinion and did a second chapter. It's nowhere near as long as the first one, but I think it paints a nice picture of what happens after the original story. I'm really happy everyone liked it so much, and I hope you like this too.

Happy New Year!

Love,
MBA
Chapter Two: Correspondence


5th June

Ginny-

Thank you for the birthday gift (I'll save opening it until our scheduled lunch tomorrow); I'm writing this as your inadequate owl gasps for life in the corner. I figure I've at least time for a lengthy thank you note and perhaps a read-through of Hogwarts: A History before the decrepit old thing recovers enough to take the letter back to you. Where on earth did you get such a tatty owl? Or is it another of your charity cases? Perhaps I'll return the gift I've ordered for your birthday and buy you a nice eagle owl instead. Two months is plenty of time for me to train it to peck out your husband's eyes on sight, I believe.

As to your letter last week- I can't believe you sent me that trash. Honestly. Do I look like your bosom buddy? Have I, unbeknownst to me, grown breasts? God, woman. As a testament to my insanity, I actually have an answer for you: NO.

Potter is not cheating on you. He simply appears to be as asexual as a flobberworm, if your sordid sex timeline is anything to go by (and I have to say, I've contacted St. Mungo's about scheduling a partial Obliviate to get rid of that horrible memory). As to Potter, I've made a number of inquiries and lost six hours of my life that I'll never get back to following that mind-numbingly boring git around for you. Appreciate it- no, scratch that. Be prepared for payback. I'll come up with a suitable punishment for you; perhaps babysitting Scorpius for a weekend would be vile enough…

But I ramble. Mother is looking forward to your visit tomorrow for your customary Tuesday luncheon. She natters on about you incessantly, but I'm glad she considers you a friend- she has so few. I am, however, convinced you've struck up this friendship as a pretense to see me, because you're madly in love with me and just waiting for Lily to graduate before you cast Potter aside like week-old refuse. No, don't snort. It's an apt comparison.

Ah, your owl shows signs of reviving. Until tomorrow,

-Draco


***


7th June

Dearest Ginevra,

It was so lovely to have you over yesterday for our little luncheon. I am struck by how much your beautiful daughter resembles you, though I am somewhat flabbergasted by the behavior between her and Scorpius. I just don't understand children these days, I suppose.

My son tells me it's called "pulling pigtails", which is patently ridiculous. Had Lucius ever pulled my hair in school, I would have slapped him soundly and refused to ever speak to him again. Lucky for me my dear husband had impeccable manners at Scorpius' age. I blame Marin for the boy's inability to restrain himself.

Speaking of, Draco finally had word from her this morning. She's in Singapore looking for bathing costumes. Honestly; I thought the woman was dead or had run away. Three days without a word. She's lucky Draco tolerates her nonsense, though I don't understand why. He'll only tell me that he'll put up with her as long as "the redhead is willing to keep to her sham of a marriage." He says the same thing every time; it's a very strange way of speaking about one's wife and marriage, but my son is as stubborn as a mule. You think I'd be used to it by now.

In any event, I had a lovely time. Please feel free to bring Lily with you next week as well. I am most interested in observing this pulling of pigtails; perhaps there's something I can glean to spice things up with Lucius. You're never too old to learn new things, Ginny. You must remember that. Life is all about change and adaptation.

My fondest thoughts,
Narcissa


***


7th June

Draco,

OH GOD. Your mother just sent me a letter mentioning her sex life with your father. I need the name of the medi-wizard that you contacted for that partial Obliviate. Now.

Ginny


***


17th June

Malfoy-

I just found a stack of letters from you in my wife's desk. So help me, if I find one shred of evidence that you've been dallying with my wife, I'll flail the skin from your body, douse you in lemon juice and then roll you in salt. She's my wife. You've got your own. Back off!

-Potter

PS- Now you've gone and done it, you bastard. She's stormed out of here when I confronted her, likely to fling herself into your waiting arms. I'm going to kill you, just you wait.


***


18th June

To Draco Malfoy:

My daughter asked that I send you a letter, but an inter-office memo to you will have to do. I think your father is a malevolent, lying piece of filth, but you seem to have tried to put your life on the straight and narrow, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here.

Ginny has temporarily left Harry. She and the children are staying at the Burrow with Molly and me while they cool off. They had a blazing row about him searching her belongings, and she said to tell you "the redhead is considering her sham of a marriage." If that means what I think it does, I'll have your job. My daughter will not give up twenty-odd years of a relationship because you came sallying in during a rough patch. Convince her to do the right thing, because she won't listen to me.

Arthur Weasley,
Deputy Minister of Magic, Muggle Affairs


***


19th June

Ginny-

Your father has kindly explained the current situation to me. Don't make a lasting decision in the heat of the moment. You owe yourself and your children the courtesy of weighing all the facts before you come to a decision, and those facts should involve only five people: You, Potter and the children. Your parents, me, society- none of us matter. Whether you stay with Potter or not is about how you and your family feel.

-Draco


***


31st July

Harry,

The children agreed to take this to you and swore they wouldn't try to open it. I jinxed it, just in case. If their hands are blue, please punish their lying little arses appropriately. If not, I hope they have a lovely time with you at Ron and Hermione's for your birthday party.

I know it's been some weeks now since we spoke, but I wanted to wish you a happy birthday. I still don't know what I'm going to do, but I think it's important that we meet soon to discuss things. If we let this silence carry on much longer, there won't be any relationship left to try to repair. I know you are still furious with me, but the truth remains. I am not sleeping with Malfoy. Draco Malfoy and I are just friends, as I am friends with his mother. It all started because of Lily and Scorpius, and that is the truth. On that note, do not yell at Lily about breaking up with the boy. She fancies herself head over heels in love with him. The harder you push, the tighter she'll cling to him. Give it time; they'll likely outgrow one another, as most school age couples do.

I do still love you in some ways, so there's still a chance we can work things out. Please respond when you have a moment.

Ginny


***


2nd August

Mrs. Molly Weasley,

I hope this finds you well. I know you and I have not spoken in many a year, but I felt, all things considered, that you were the best person to contact. Given Ginny's situation at home, I believed it imprudent of me to have her over to Malfoy Manor for tea, as was our custom. Please tell her that I miss her most fondly, and that my thoughts are with her.

My primary reason for writing was Scorpius. The boy is languishing about, bemoaning the fact that he hasn't seen Lily in "ages". Children are so melodramatic sometimes, but I can't stand to see him so miserable. I would like to invite you and Lily over for a Saturday tea, if you would be so kind as to accept. Lily is a lovely child, and I miss her. Should you like to bring them, the boys are welcome as well. Scorpius tells me that after their one spectacular fistfight, he, James, and Albus get on splendidly.

My best regards,
Narcissa Malfoy


***


4th September

Mum,

We're all back at school (well, not James, but you already knew that, because he graduated. Wait, we talked to him too by owl, so this letter is actually from all of us, even though James isn't here at Hogwarts-

Mum, this is Lily. Al was dithering on about things that don't matter. He, James and I have all talked, and we've decided that we want you and Dad to stay apart. Things were awful these last couple of weeks once we went home. Everything was awkward and quiet and it felt like the other boot was waiting to drop. James promised to write to Dad as well. We think you guys should split. I think you should marry Mr. Malfoy. He's hot (well, he looks like Scorpius, so that makes sense-

Mum, it's Al. Lily's getting all cross-eyed over her boyfriend again. We don't care if you marry Mr. Malfoy (He is nice though; we met him when Grandmum took us over to the Malfoys' for tea) or not, but you and Dad need to talk. We love you both so much, but we're not children any longer. We know when two people are forcing themselves together for their kids' sake. We just wanted you to know that we'd much rather you'd be happy.

Love you! And kisses to Dad! (from Lily)

I love you too,
Al


***


5th September

Draco,

We need to talk. I have something important to tell you. Harry and I have made a decision, and I think it's important that I relay that information to you in person.

Ginny



***
End Notes:
Oh yes, that last one is totally ambiguous on purpose, but you don't want a clear-cut ending, do you? *grins and ducks the tomatoes being thrown* I didn't think so.

What's that, you ask? Why, that's the review box. Type in it and press the little button. Cursing at me is quite acceptable. I hope everyone had happy holidays and is prepared to have a fabulous new year!

EDITED TO ADD: There's actually an honest-to-God epilogue now, and you can find it here- http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=5901
This story archived at http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=5823