An Innocent Obsession by Januarybaby
Summary: Ginny Weasley has a secret obsession. Until now, she thought it was harmless. Then she met Draco Malfoy.
Categories: Long and Completed Characters: Blaise Zabini (boy), Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood
Compliant with: None
Era: Hogwarts-era
Genres: Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes Word count: 11904 Read: 18077 Published: Feb 20, 2010 Updated: Mar 18, 2010
Story Notes:
Thank you to my beta, flaminia_x, for her wonderful and quick work.

1. Shoulders and Umgubular Slashkilters by Januarybaby

2. Bad Poetry and Overprotective Brothers by Januarybaby

3. Nice Boys and Serious Conversations by Januarybaby

4. Smiling Professors and Happily-Ever-Afters by Januarybaby

Shoulders and Umgubular Slashkilters by Januarybaby
It had all started with his shoulders. Shoulders had always been one of Ginny's weaknesses. Along with chocolate brownies and high-heeled boots, shoulders were very important to Ginny. She wasn't exactly sure, but Ginny thought it was likely that this preoccupation with shoulders had started at an early age. She had countless memories of being hoisted up onto her older brothers’ or dad’s shoulders. From up high, she was the lady of the manor, to be taken wherever she commanded, and Ginny did so like to command. Before brooms, sitting on her father’s shoulders had been her favourite and most used form of transport. This childish liking had, however, bloomed into something entirely more menacing.

Until recently, Ginny had viewed this preoccupation with men's shoulders as slightly odd but rather like Hermione's favouring of tall men. Ginny had always watched the men around her and rated them according to the width, strength and general niceness of their shoulders. Most men failed to reach her high standards. This was hardly surprising when it was taken into account that she was using the Weasley men to compare against. Her brothers, particularly Charlie, all had fabulous shoulders and Ginny was not prepared to settle for second best.

Harry was rather lacking in the shoulder department and once Ginny had gotten over her rather childish crush on him, she was surprised at the number of girls, and occasionally boys, who could ignore this large and obvious fault. He may have been the Boy Who Lived, but he was definitely not the boy for Ginny.

It had come to her attention that Quidditch players appeared to have the most worthy shoulders. She supposed this was due to the large number of intensive workouts they did. Part of the reason Ginny chose to join the Quidditch team was because it provided a lovely excuse to goggle at some beautiful shoulders. It was during one eventful Quidditch match against Slytherin that Ginny saw some shoulders that she knew would haunt her until the day she died. They were the most beautiful and exquisite shoulders Ginny had ever seen. Even under Quidditch robes, it was obvious that they were strong and muscular, and she had the sudden urge to rest her head on them. It took several seconds for Ginny to pull her gaze away from them but in those seconds two momentous things happened. Firstly, Slytherin scored and then, far more importantly, the owner of the shoulders turned around and looked straight at Ginny. She snapped her hanging jaw shut and flushed brilliantly as she realised who the shoulders belonged to.

Draco Malfoy was staring straight at her. His grey eyes met hers, and from the expression on his face he knew she had been staring at him. Malfoy smirked at her before wheeling his broom around and heading after the snitch. Damn him. She wanted to wipe that supercilious smirk off his face, preferably with a nasty hex. It wasn't her fault that he had the sexiest shoulders she had ever seen. By rights, his shoulders should have been as underdeveloped as Harry's, as they were both Seekers. Ginny tore her attention away from Malfoy and refocused her mind back onto the game but, as any Weasley man will tell you, what a Weasley woman wants she gets. And Ginny Weasley wanted those shoulders, no matter who they belonged to.

So, with Luna’s help, Ginny came up with a plan. It involved a lot of patience, and more importantly, a lot of flirting.

At first, Ginny was subtle about it. She wore tighter tops, and would let him see her staring at him. Occasionally, she ate chocolate mousse in an absolutely deplorable manner while watching him. Then she watched him adjust his pants and walk out of the room. Sometimes, she would bump into him on the hallways, drop her books and allow him to pick them up for her. Since he was brought up by Narcissa Malfoy, Queen of Manners, he always picked them up, but since he was also brought up by Lucius Malfoy, King of Snide, he always made some smart-arsed comment. Ginny found that she didn’t really mind his sarcastic retorts all that much. If they weren’t directed at her, they could be quite amusing. Ginny, unlike Ron, could appreciate that Draco really did have a good sense of humour.

She started to wonder if maybe it was possible that Malfoy had other good qualities besides just his shoulders. She had to admit that other Slytherins actually seemed to like him so he couldn’t be a complete ponce, could he? He was funny; Ginny had to stop herself from laughing at some of his scathing remarks. He was Hermione’s only real competition which meant he was smart, and probably dedicated and hardworking too. True, he was also incredibly vain and while it appeared that he had matured a lot in the last couple of years, he still tormented Ron. He had somehow managed to stop badgering Harry and Hermione, and it appeared they had come to a truce, perhaps even a very tentative friendship. Ginny really couldn’t blame him for not getting along with Ron. After all, Ginny enjoyed making fun of Ron herself.

So maybe Draco had more good qualities than just his shoulders. Besides the fact that it would annoy the hell out of Ron, dating Draco Malfoy might not be quite so bad after all.

Draco, however, did not seem to be getting Ginny’s hints. Yes, sometimes she caught him staring at her, and occasionally he even smiled at her. But nothing was actually happening. Ginny needed his shoulders, and the rest of him preferably with them. The plan was obviously not working effectively. She had thought Draco would do something far earlier than this. People called him a Sex God, and yet he didn’t seem to be getting the message. Ginny didn’t know what more she could do to get his attention.

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~


Draco was confused. The little Weasley girl was flirting with him, and Draco just couldn’t understand why. It had all started during that Gryffindor versus Slytherin match a couple of weeks ago. He hadn’t even fully realized that Ginny Weasley as an individual person had existed before that game. She had been Ron Weasley’s little sister, a good chaser and occasionally good for arguing with but not really worth his time. Now she was a very pretty girl with some amazing curves and a head of hair that he found he inexplicably wanted to touch. She could also eat chocolate mousse in a way that should only be found in Playwizard magazines. What was he going to do with her?

So Draco did what he always did when he was having women troubles. He went and talked to Blaise Zabini. Blaise was the official guide to women in Slytherin. Due to his own success with the female sex Zabini was only too happy ‘to help others less gifted in the art of wooing a woman’. At least that’s what he was considering putting on the card for his new business idea, ‘A Match made in Heaven’.

Draco found Blaise holding court in the Slytherin common room. Many little first-and second-years were sitting around Blaise listening in adoration as he told them of his many successes, both of a romantic and physical nature. Draco pushed his way through them, ignoring their respectful whispers. Draco, like Blaise, had a certain reputation in Slytherin, and indeed the whole school, for being successful in whatever he attempted. He could only hope that it proved true in regard to the little Weasley girl.

Blaise listened patiently as Draco explained his current predicament. ‘And I just don’t know what to do. On one hand, the fact that it would annoy the hell out of her brother makes me want to consider pursuing her. On the other hand, she is still a Weasley and the entire thing could be a massive joke she and her friends came up with. What do you think?’

‘I’m not sure yet. Genius takes time, mate,’ responded Blaise lazily. He had taken to smoking cigars, and he proceeded to blow smoke rings in Draco’s face. Draco rolled his eyes. He knew Blaise enjoyed his reputation as one cool customer. As Draco knew the importance of believing in one's reputation, he allowed Blaise these small acts of supposed coolness.

‘Whatever, but I need your opinion. I need to know what she thinks of me.’

‘I’ll get on it. I’ve got spies everywhere,’ said Blaise as he drew out the last word in a puff of smoke.

And get on it Blaise did. Blaise may have portrayed a languid and carefree attitude to the world, but in reality Blaise could be very dedicated and quick to act when necessary. He could also be very creative when necessary. According to Ms Pansy Parkinson, he could be very, very creative when necessary. She’d had the orgasm to prove it. Working their way around life’s little problems without appearing to lift a finger was a special trait of the Zabinis. So while Blaise might have been exaggerating slightly when he said he had spies everywhere, he did however know how to get spies anywhere. So Blaise went to speak to the one person who might know exactly how the youngest Weasley felt. He went to Luna Lovegood.

‘So, it’s Luna, right? inquired Blaise as he sat down next to her. Blaise had decided that since Luna was a female he would use his famed charm on her. Luna had been sitting under a tree looking at the lake. She had been happy. And now, this Slytherin had turned up.

‘Yes, that’s right. But I’m afraid that I don’t know your name,’ said Luna politely.

For a second Blaise was flummoxed. She didn’t know who he was. Everyone knew who Blaise Zabini was. Maybe they knew him as a Slytherin jerk, but they still knew him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had had to introduce himself to someone in Hogwarts.

‘I’m Zabini, Blaise Zabini, Blaise finally managed to mutter.

‘Oh, that’s nice, said Luna absent-mindedly. To be honest, Luna couldn’t have cared less who this boy was. He was interrupting her staring at the lake time. Luna did this every weekend. It was a time for thinking and being alone, and she was never ever interrupted. It was Luna-time, and she valued it immensely.

Blaise could feel her indifference towards him. Nobody was indifferent towards him. Mostly they loved him, occasionally they hated him but they were never indifferent. He was suddenly struck by the thought that maybe his charm wouldn’t work on this particularly young lady, but perhaps honesty would. Blaise could be honest. As a proud Slytherin he didn’t do it often, but he did however have the canny ability to know which of his tools worked best in which situation. It seemed honesty was the only tool which would work with Luna Lovegood.

‘Well you see, Luna, I’m friends with Draco Malfoy. You have heard of him, haven’t you?’ Blaise was suddenly unsure. Maybe she hadn’t heard of Draco. What would he do then?

‘Oh, of course. He’s the one Ginny’s in love with.’

Blaise blanched. She had not just said that. She had not just blurted out the information which he had been prepared to carefully coax from her. And love? Who had mentioned anything about love?
Luna turned to Blaise and smiled rather condescendingly. ‘That’s what you came here for. There’s no point beating around the bush now, is there. If you do that an Umgubular Slashkilter may fly out which we wouldn’t want at all. Of course, Ginny doesn’t know she’s in love with him. She just thinks she likes him for his shoulders.’

‘His shoulders?’ said Blaise weakly. What the hell is an Umgubular Slashkilter when it’s at home?, he wondered.

‘Yes, his shoulders. You see, Ginny has a shoulder fetish. And you must admit that Draco does have rather manly shoulders.’

Blaise was confused. He was the King of Anything to do With Women and here he was confused by this pretty girl who was a year younger than him. And Draco had manly shoulders. Where did that come from? Blaise could honestly say that he had never really looked at his friend’s shoulders. What about his own shoulders - were they manly? Blaise looked at his own shoulders in a slightly dejected manner.

‘Oh, don’t worry,’ assured Luna as she noticed his glance. ‘You have lovely shoulders. I’m not quite as picky as Ginny, but yours are quite acceptable. You can tell Draco that she likes him, and that it’s not a joke or anything. But perhaps it would be best to leave out the fact that she’s in love with him. Considering that she doesn’t know she is yet, it might be better all around. Don’t you think?’

Blaise nodded slightly. His shoulders were acceptable, while Draco’s were manly. Something was obviously very wrong with the world.

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~


Blaise sat slumped in the large chairs in the Slytherin common room. Opposite him sat Draco. ‘What the hell is wrong with you, mate?’ said Draco. ‘I know you said you were going after the Loony girl. What did she say to make you like…this? Your mother would have a heart attack if she could see your posture now.’

Blaise sat up slightly straighter because whatever Zabinis were, they were not hunchbacks. ‘The Weasley girl likes you. Apparently, she has a shoulder fetish, and you fit her description of ‘manly shoulders’. Luna told me it all.’

Draco nodded, smirking slightly at this good news. He had manly shoulders. And Ginny Weasley liked him. Life was good. Then he remembered his friend.

‘And…?’ asked Draco.

‘And what?’ replied Blaise.

‘And what has you looking like someone hit you with a Confundus charm? What else did she say?’

‘Nothing, really. It’s more the way she said it. She didn’t know who I was. She knew who you were. Ginny likes you. She thinks my shoulders are acceptable. She gave me all that information in a disinterested tone. She didn’t want me there. And for some inexplicable reason I can’t get her out of my head. No woman has ever got in my head before. Hands, yes. Head, no. I didn’t sleep last night because of her and her bloody Umgubular Slashkilter. I had to go look it up in the library today.’

‘Sorry, I’m lost. What the hell is an Umgubular Slashkilter?’

‘It’s nothing is what it damn well is. According to ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ it’s a mythical creature which has never been verified but is believed by some to inhabit dense forest areas.’

‘I’m still confused,’said Draco.

‘So am I, mate. So am I,’ said Blaise slowly as he slipped lower in his chair.

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~


Draco was happy now. The Weasley girl, wait, if he was to date her, he must begin to call her Ginny or Ginevra. But which to choose? Ginny was much more approachable and friendly than Ginevra which was rather snooty-sounding. Personally he preferred Ginny; he could imagine calling her Ginny. It seemed to suit her. Ginevra, on the other hand, sounded like a name his father would like. And Draco had recently decided that most of his father’s opinions were dead wrong. So Ginny it was. Ginny seemed to like him. She thought he had manly shoulders. Draco found himself taking rather longer than was strictly necessary to look at his shoulders in the mirror that morning. He thought he just might agree with her; his shoulders were rather manly.

Now that Draco knew for sure that Ginny was actually interested in him he had no further qualms about showing his own interest. But the only problem was how to do it in a way befitting a Malfoy. He wanted to impress her, and wasn’t it damn annoying that he wanted to impress a Weasley? But it must be remembered, a very pretty Weasley.

So how was Draco to show Ginny that he was willing to date her? After a long conversation with Blaise, Draco realized that there were several options that were available to him if he wanted to ask Ginny out to the up and coming Hogsmeade trip. One, he could just walk up to her and ask her out. Two, he could fly up to her window on his broom and ask her out. Three, he could compose a sonnet declaring her beauty and general wonderfulness, and he could read it to the entire school.

Unfortunately, there were problems involved in each of these solutions. One was rather boring and not really fit for a Malfoy. Two was difficult as she slept in a dorm, and he would be effectively speaking to an entire dorm of giggling girls. Three was just plain poncy and was just not going to happen, whatever Blaise said about women liking romance. A man had his dignity after all.

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~


In the end, as most things do, it finished much like it had started. The entire Gryffindor team was on the pitch practicing for their upcoming game against Hufflepuff, when who should appear but the Slytherin team and their captain, Draco? Now it had been a couple of years since Draco had purposefully interfered with the Gryffindor practice sessions, and in this instant neither the Slytherins or the Gryffindors had behaved in an underhand manner. Professor Hooch had simply made a mistake when booking pitch times therefore, giving both the Slytherins and the Gryffindors the same time allotment. If this had happened between any other team a discussion would have followed and some sort of agreement would have been reached. But this did not happen between any other team; it happened between the teams with Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy on them. And Ron simply could not forget or forgive those times when Draco had purposefully thwarted the Gryffindor pitch time. So without asking any questions or finding out the truth about the matter Ron went on the attack.

‘So, slimeball, what do you think you are doing here? This is Gryffindor pitch time. We’re training to beat your pathetic team just like we did last year, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your little Death Eater daddy and whore of a mum can’t help you out on the pitch. It’s about being a real man out here,’ said Ron.

Now Draco had grown up. He had matured, and the pathetic Weasel just wasn’t worth his time. Draco tried really hard to remind himself of this but then he heard the ‘whore of a mum’ statement in his head again. Draco smirked, and then he punched Ron in the face.

He heard the satisfying sound of Ron’s nose breaking before the two boys were grappling on the ground. Punches were thrown and a few landed before Draco and Ron were pulled apart.

‘Enough,’ roared Harry in both their faces. ‘What the hell was that about? Both Ron and Draco started to explain but Harry interrupted them. ‘No, not from either of you. I want the truth.’

He pointed to one of the Slytherin chasers. ‘You, explain.’

The chaser swallowed slightly. Even with his underdeveloped shoulders, Harry could actually be a bit scary. Draco was rather impressed. ‘Well, we walked over here, and then he came down.’ He pointed at Ron. ‘And then he said something to Draco about how it was Gryffindor pitch time, and we should leave. He called Draco’s mum a whore. Then Draco punched him, and you came over and pulled them apart and then you asked me to say what happened,’ let out the chaser in a puff of breath.

Harry nodded. ‘Thank You. Did you call his mum a whore, Ron?’ asked Harry.

Ron looked pissed off and, to Draco’s infinite happiness, his nose was definitely broken. ‘Oh fine, I did. So what? It’s Malfoy, Harry! He’s the biggest git in the history of gits.’

‘Ron, get over it. I don’t even hate Malfoy anymore. This grudge is childish and silly. You should apologize. Calling his mum a whore is too far, man.’ Harry seemed tired and annoyed at having his practice session interrupted. Draco was even more impressed.

‘No way,’ said Ron. ‘Uh uh, there is no way I’m apologizing to this skinny loser.’

‘He’s not skinny.’ The voice was quiet but piercing and as soon as Ginny said it she wanted to take it back. Both of the teams turned and stared at her. ‘Well he’s not skinny. Look at him.’

If Draco had resembled a cat who’d just eaten cream when Ron had been told to apologize to him now he looked like a cat that had the keys to the creamery and the aviary. In short, he looked pretty damn pleased with himself.

‘Yeah, she’s right. Whatever you want to say about Malfoy’s personality, you got to admit that he does have a mighty fine body,’ said one of the female Gryffindor chasers.

A chorus of agreement came from the surrounding females and even some of the males. If possible, Draco’s smirk got even larger. In comparison Ron looked like he was about to have a fit. ‘What do you mean ‘fine’?’ he blustered. ‘He’s a slimy, evil Malfoy git. Ginny, you think Malfoy’s scum, don’t you?’

Desperation was evident in Ron’s voice, and Draco felt like this was perhaps the most perfect moment in his life. And it was only about to get better. Now was the perfect moment to ask Ginny out. ‘See, Ginny, I heard this little rumour which tells a different story about your opinion of me. Something about my shoulders and their manliness’ said Draco very slowly as he reveled in everyone’s attention.

Ginny was pissed. Yes, she had intended for Draco to ask her out but not like this in front of everyone, including her brother and former crush. She had intended for it to be a romantic and most of all private moment. But Ginny was nothing if not resilient.

‘Yeah Malfoy, I think you have good looking shoulders. What ‘cha gonna do about it?’ she said haughtily.

Then Ginny smirked, and Draco knew exactly what he was going to do about it.

‘Ginny Weasley, would you like to accompany me on the next Hogsmeade trip?’

‘Took you awhile, Malfoy,’ said Ginny as she crossed over to him and kissed him square on the mouth.

As they kissed, dead silence fell. In the case of some, it was due to the romance of the situation. In the case of others, it was because of the unlikelihood of the situation, and in the case of Ron it was because for the first time in his life he was absolutely and completely gobsmacked.
End Notes:
A second chapter is coming soon.
Bad Poetry and Overprotective Brothers by Januarybaby
Author's Notes:
Please don’t kill me. The rhyming is truly horrible but I intended it to be that way. Neither Draco nor Blaise strike me as the next Keats. OMM stands for Oh My Merlin. It amused me.
Ginny stood in the middle of her dorm, staring at her body critically in the mirror. She was sure she looked like an overdressed pig. What had her mother always said? Mutton dressed up as lamb. Well, while Ginny might not be quite old enough to be categorized as ‘mutton’, she was definitely dressed up. Of course, news of Ginny’s and Draco’s date had spread like wildfire around the school. Draco’s shoulders had been the hot topic of conversation, and a voting system had even been put in place. So far, the verdict on Draco’s shoulders was between ‘OMM-burning-building-hot’ and ‘OMM-volcano-erupting-and-destroying-half-the-planet-hot’. As Ginny’s date was now of interest to the entire school, Ginny’s dorm-mates had taken it upon themselves to dress her appropriately for this most important of occasions.

Ginny was nervous. It had been a long time since she had gotten nervous about the idea of a first date. Ginny didn’t know if this was a bad thing or a good thing. They had arranged to meet in the Great Hall so Ginny started to make her way there. She hoped that today went well. Draco had good boyfriend potential, but they had never spent an entire day together. What would they talk about? When she had expressed this doubt to Hermione, the other girl had come up with a list of possible conversation starters. While Ginny had scoffed at the idea at the time, she now had that list in her pocket.

As soon as Ginny walked into the Great Hall, she realized that everyone’s attention was fixated on a boy standing on the Slytherin table. As she got closer, she realized that it was none other than Blaise Zabini and that he was reciting some sort of poetry.

‘The first time I saw you
I thought you so divine
I saw you by the lake
And oh how I wished you were mine

Your beauty is uncompared
Your brain is utterly unique
Your Umgubular Slashkilter
Has kept me from my sleep

At first I was upset
You did not know my name
But now you’re in my life
And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same

So beautiful Luna
Please take pity on me
And accept my invite
To the Hogsmeade soiree’

To Ginny’s utter surprise, Luna walked over to Blaise and kissed him full on the mouth.

‘Would you like to sit with me by the lake next week?’ asked Luna. Blaise just nodded his head, and pulled her in to kiss him again.

Ginny hadn’t even known that Luna knew who Blaise was, let alone was interested in dating him. Draco walked over to where Ginny was standing, shaking his head slowly. ‘Pathetic, isn’t it?’

‘What?’ asked Ginny. She was still in shock and hadn’t even fully realized that her date had arrived.

Draco, on the other hand, was very aware that Ginny was most certainly present, so to speak. Her hair was curling down her back, and Draco couldn’t help but wonder if it felt as soft as it looked. Her eyes seemed bigger today. How the hell had she managed that?

‘The poem. It’s pathetic. I helped him write it last night. He’s so wrapped up in her, and he wanted to ask her out. Being a Zabini, he had to make a prat of himself in front of the entire school to do so.’

‘Instead of just two entire Quidditch teams.’

‘I didn’t make a prat of myself. I was completely in control of myself the entire time.’

‘Sure, particularly while you were rolling on the ground with my brother. Anyway, you write poetry?’

‘Not if I can help it,’ replied Draco tersely.

To Ginny’s intense relief, the conversation flowed naturally. Ginny didn’t have any problems thinking about what to say to Draco, and it seemed he felt the same. From Blaise and Luna to Quidditch and school, they had no end of conversation topics. Hermione’s list stayed firmly in Ginny’s pocket.

‘So, is there anything particular you wanted to do?’ asked Draco as they walked into the small village.

Ginny nodded. Like the conversation subjects, Ginny had been prepared for this question.

‘I want to drop in on my brothers’ new store, but then we can do anything,’ said Ginny. ‘Oh, except, can we please not go anywhere near Madam Puddifoots?’

Draco laughed. Strangely, the sound made little shivers run up and down Ginny’s back. She couldn’t remember anyone’s mere voice doing that to her before. ‘I agree with you completely on that one. There’s somewhere I’d like to take you after we go to your brothers’ store, if that’s okay,’ said Draco.

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~


As Ginny had expected, her brothers’ new store was packed with Hogwarts students. Not only was their store cheaper than Zonko’s but it had way better stuff. At least, that was Ginny’s completely unbiased opinion.

The shelves were packed with magic gimmicks and tricks. Ginny was impressed with what her brothers had done with their new shop. It was filled to the brim with fake wands, Skiving Snackboxes and some very cute Pygmy Puffs. Patented Daydream Charms and Wonderwitch products were selling particularly well, noted Ginny.

Ginny pushed her way through the crowds to the back of the store. Draco trailed slightly behind her wearing a bemused expression on his face. Finally she arrived at the private ‘Employees Only’ section at the back of the store. She knew one or both of the twins would come straight there when they knew someone had entered their precious back room. It was easier to get them to come to her than to search for either of them in the crowd outside. Sure enough, Ginny and Draco had just entered and had barely had time to take in the eclectic range of items on display when Fred and George both showed up. The room was filled with some of the twins’ more interesting projects. George had explained it to Ginny ‘as the stuff we wouldn’t want Mum to see’.

The lingerie which allowed you to rip it apart but then came back together, the dildo which changed shape and size due to preference or the various lotions and potions which could do everything from solve size problems to changing the gender of your partner (s) were probably not suitable for the majority of the twins’ underage customers. That didn’t stop Ginny from looking or wondering. Draco had gone a delightful shade of red before the twins walked into the room with their wands drawn.

‘Oh, it’s you, Ginny,’ said George. ‘You had us thinking-’

‘- that it was a burglar,’ finished Fred. ‘This must be Malfoy. Ron came down and told us all about the ‘slimy lecherous git who must have put Ginny under an Imperious’ to make her date him.’

Well really, thought Draco. He hadn’t even learnt the Imperius charm yet. The Weasel was so thick.

‘Seemed really peeved he did,’ commented George.

Bit of an understatement that is, brother of mine,’ laughed Fred. Suddenly, both of the twins’ expressions became serious. ‘While we may not feel quite so…peeved about you and our sister as Ron does, we’re not exactly happy either. In the absence of our father, we feel it’s time for a little heart-to-heart chat, Malfoy. Don’t you?’

Draco swallowed the lump that had suddenly appeared in his throat. While the Weasel may not have been a threat, these two looked very scary and protective of their little Ginny. And they had their wands drawn.

‘Now Ginny, toddle off for awhile, won’t you? I think it’s time for some friendly male bonding,’ said George. He was smiling in a way that for some strange reason was reminding Draco of a shark.

‘Malfoy will be fine. Promise we won’t break any important bones,’ said Fred. The emphasis on the word important was not lost on Draco. He gulped again.

If the twins were trying to intimidate Draco, it was working. Draco tried to take comfort in the fact that they were shorter than him. However, their wands and the plain unfair fact that there were two of them put Draco at a disadvantage that no height difference could help with.

Ginny laughed. Draco could not help but turn to stare at her. Why was she laughing? He was about to be bashed up and hexed by her older brothers, and she found this funny. Maybe she was insane after all. It would explain those weird jumpers she sometimes wore.

‘Stop it, you two. Look at his face. He actually thinks you’re going to hurt him up. Apologize,’ ordered Ginny.

‘But we are going to hurt him up,’ said Fred, straight-faced.

All Ginny did was raise her eyebrows and look expectantly at her brothers.

‘Fine. Please Malfoy, accept our heartfelt apologies. Our behaviour was absolutely deplorable and unnecessary. Can you ever find it in your heart to forgive us?’ asked George in a false voice of concern.

Behind him, Fred smirked.

‘I suppose that’ll have to do,’ said Ginny. ‘Come on, Draco. I think it’s time we left these two clowns alone. Didn’t you say there was somewhere you wanted to go?’

Ginny turned to walk out of the rather interesting back room, and Draco followed quickly. He didn’t want to be left alone in here with the twins, whatever Ginny might say. But he wasn’t quick enough. A hand came down on Draco’s shoulder, and a low voice – Draco couldn’t tell whose – said, ‘We may have been joking before, Malfoy, but just a little hint. If you hurt our sister in any way, shape or form we will come after you. And not only us. One of our brothers is a dragon keeper.’

‘Nasty way to go that – being burnt alive. I’ve heard it’s very difficult to identify the body. Remember that, Malfoy,’ said the other voice in his ear.

Draco nodded. As a Slytherin, he understood threats. As a Malfoy, he was damn sure they would follow through with them. As Lucius Malfoy’s son, he respected that. As a boyfriend, he was scared shitless. As Draco followed Ginny out of the store, he had to admit to himself that he liked the idea of Ginny having six older brothers to protect her. If his mum had had that sort of protection maybe she wouldn’t have married such a loser like his dad.

~~~~~~~o~~~~~~~


‘I like your brothers,’ said Draco. Would it be weird if he took her hand now, he wondered?

‘Really?’ asked Ginny incredulously. ‘They weren’t exactly out to impress you. Don’t tell Ron, but they’re my favourites. Bill’s my oldest brother, and he’s nice. But he was away a lot at school when I was little so I didn’t really connect with him. Same with Charlie, although he was the first who taught me how to fly and play Quidditch. Percy’s just a git, and Ron’s probably too close to my age for us to get along really well. But the twins were always there, always helping me win a fight against Ron or making sure I didn’t get lost at school. We just connect, you know.’

‘I must admit, I don’t. I don’t have any siblings. I get along well with my Mum, but Dad and I don’t really see eye-to-eye. I think I might have liked a big family. I know Mum did. Well, she at least wanted more than one child. But Dad only wanted me, and he usually gets what he wants,’ said Draco dryly.

Just go for it, thought Draco. He took her hand as they turned down a little lane.

Ginny smiled. She liked him holding her hand. ‘It has its good moments and its bad. Because I’m the only girl, I get my own room and stuff so that’s good. When the boys were little they used to get a lot of hand- me-downs but I couldn’t, so plus for me. Trying to get hold of the bathroom in the morning’s a pain though. Where are we going?’ asked Ginny as she broke away from her reverie and for the first time really looked around.

‘It’s not far from here. My mum showed me this spot. It’s beautiful. Close your eyes. I want it to surprise you. No peeking, now,’ admonished Draco.

The hand holding was now serving a more practical purpose as Draco led Ginny down a small path. She could smell a woodsy tree smell and funnily enough, water. Soon Ginny could hear the water too. It sounded like a waterfall.

‘You can open your eyes now.’

It was beautiful was the first thought that came into Ginny’s head. They were standing in a small grove, surrounded by trees. A baby waterfall was making a charming tinkling sound, and Ginny was pretty sure that Draco had just won the best date award ever. Wait till she told her friends about this; it would tip the undecided voters in the shoulder hotness competition.

‘Do you want to go for a swim?’ asked Draco, breaking into her thoughts.

‘I didn’t bring my swimming togs or a change of clothing.’

Draco smirked and an evil little twinkle came into his eye. Ginny was reminded of the fact that although he may have just done the most romantic thing ever, he was still a Slytherin. He was still a Malfoy, and not to be completely trusted when cold water was around. Like now.

Draco moved forward and slipped his hand around her waist. ‘You look beautiful, you know,’ he muttered, his face inches from hers as he leaned down to capture her lips with his.

Ginny’s head went light with anticipation. She felt dizzy and slightly out of breath. Malfoy sure did know how to kiss. Just as their lips were about to touch, Ginny felt his hand move away from her waist. Suddenly, with a strong push from Draco she was tumbling into the small pool at the base of the waterfall.

Ginny surfaced, pushing her hair out of her eyes. The curls her friends had worked so long on were gone. And it was so damn cold. She had known he was thinking about pushing her in, and yet one little kiss and she completely forgot everything. Devious, that’s what Draco was. And there he was standing on the bank, looking mighty pleased with himself. Well, she’d give him something to be pleased about. She had grown up with six brothers after all. Ginny Weasley could be as devious as a Malfoy if she wanted to. And by Merlin, she wanted to.

‘You look good wet, Ginny,’ said Draco with a completely straight face. ‘The water isn’t too cold?’

‘Oh, of course not,’ said Ginny sarcastically as goose pimples rose on her arms. ‘It’s really warm, toasty even.’

And then Ginny decided to be devious.

Slowly Ginny began to undo the top few buttons on her shirt. Seconds later she was wearing only her bra and wet jeans. With a flick of her wand, Ginny transfigured her bra and remaining clothes into a bikini. It was a bit chilly but well worth the look on Draco’s face.

‘Why don’t you come in?’ asked Ginny in her most ‘I am-really-devious-and-Malfoy-like-but-am pretending-to-be-innocent’ voice.

Draco choked for a second before remembering that he was a Malfoy. And Draco Malfoy did not get choked up simply because a really beautiful girl was wet, wearing at a bikini and smiling at him like she would gobble him up. No, Malfoys are brave and courageous. So, Draco did something very brave and very courageous, and possibly very stupid. He pulled off his shirt and slid into the water. Damn it. The water was really cold.

Ginny smiled. Draco really did have very impressive shoulders. They were muscled and firm without being out of proportion with the rest of his body. Mind you, the rest of his body was pretty damn good looking too. Ginny walked over to Draco, trying to wiggle her hips in a natural but still sexy way. Wrapping her arms around Draco and pushing her chest against his, Ginny murmured, ‘I hope you’re warm enough, Draco.’

‘I am now,’ replied Draco as he leant down to steal a kiss.

Quickly Ginny hooked her foot behind his and pushed hard. Draco went under like a sack of drunken pixies. Ginny giggled, waiting for Draco to re-emerge from the water. Nothing happened. Silence reigned, and Ginny was starting to get a little bit concerned. Suddenly Draco exploded out of the water and dove for her. Ginny squealed and turned to run. And so began a rather hands-on game of water tag.

Ten minutes later, Ginny was finally out of breath. They crawled on to the bank and lay down next to each other gasping.

‘I won,’ Draco announced when he got his breath back.

‘Uh-Uh, I won. Who was it that had his head held under water until he begged for mercy?’ argued Ginny.

Draco smiled. That little begging move had allowed him to come in very close contact with her breasts. Maybe there were some benefits to losing. ‘Fine, I can live with us tying. We are, after all, very evenly matched. I’m stronger but you play dirty.’

I play dirty - this from the great and evil Malfoy,’ said Ginny sarcastically.

Draco reached for his wand and with a quick drying spell made sure he and Ginny would avoid hypothermia. ‘If I was truly evil, I would have let you freeze to death.’

‘True. I guess that’s why I’m dating you. A Weasley could never have a truly evil boyfriend,’ said Ginny as she snuggled up close to Draco and rested her head on his pretty damn wonderful shoulders.
Nice Boys and Serious Conversations by Januarybaby
Ginny cast the Silencing Spell as she moved up the stairs to the dormitory. She didn’t want anyone to hear her. Ginny knew she would be in a whole lot of trouble if she was found sneaking her way up to somebody else’s dormitory after midnight. McGonagall would have a phoenix if she knew what one of her ‘good’ Gryffindors was doing. And Ron, well, Ron would just go red and start to splutter which was so not a good look for him.

Ginny reached the dormitory door and hoped against hope that it wouldn’t squeak as she opened it. It didn’t, thank Merlin, so Ginny opened the door further and crept inside looking for the one bed that was her destination. It wouldn’t do at all for her to get into the wrong bed. Imagine the kerfuffle that would bring about. All the bed curtains were drawn shut, and as Ginny did not sneak in to other people’s beds often, she was at a bit of a loss at what to do. She looked around for a while, wondering why she hadn’t thought of this problem when she had come up with this brilliant plan. Obviously, Ginny had some work to do on her Slytherin planning skills.

Suddenly, Luna’s head stuck out of one of the bed curtains, and she gestured for Ginny to follow. Ginny raced across the floor of the Ravenclaw Girls’ dormitory, happy that Luna had come to her rescue.

‘Hop in,’ whispered Luna with a gesture at her bed. ‘I thought you might want to talk to me after your date with Draco.’

Ginny smiled smugly and arranged herself comfortably in her best friend’s bed for a good gossip. ‘Well, you know, we went to Hogsmeade which was fun. Then we visited the twins’ shop, and he got to meet them. And I suppose it doesn’t really mean much, but he liked them and I’m pretty sure they thought he was okay as well. If they hadn’t thought he was decent, I would have received a Howler from Mum about it before now. But then it got way better, Luna. He took me to a little waterfall. I’ve been to Hogsmeade loads of times, and I didn’t even know it existed. He said his mother showed it to him. It was so romantic.’

Luna exhaled a breath of pure female envy. ‘You’re so lucky, Gin. Nice, smart, funny. It’s almost impossible to get all three of those in one guy.’

‘And that’s not the end,’ teased Ginny. ‘We came back to Hogwarts, and he got the house-elves to get us some ice-cream. We went and ate it by the lake. It was so perfect. He kissed me again.’ Her hand traced her lips like she could still feel the pressure of Draco’s lips against her own.

‘Luna, I’ve been kissed before, and I thought it was good. But Merlin, that boy can kiss. It sounds like a cliché but it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I got tingly all over, and I thought I was going to melt into a puddle right at the bottom of his feet.’

Luna laughed. ‘You know, before today I would have been super jealous of you and your belly tingles, but today I had some belly tingles of my own. Blaise is a very good kisser,’ confided Luna with a slight nod. ‘He has slightly wandering hands, but I’ll soon be able to fix that. If I want to,’ said Luna after a pause. ‘No boy’s ever really liked me before, Ginny. I’m Loony Lovegood, more of an oddity than a girl. And I’ve pretended it was okay but it was nice to have someone say I look beautiful. That my hair smells nice. He thought my earrings suited me,’ she said, touching the radishes at her ears.

‘You deserve that, Luna. To have someone like you for who you truly are,’ said Ginny.

‘And he does. He doesn’t just like my hair or my body. I can tell. He thinks I’m smart and funny. He actually listens when I talk about the Quibbler and the countries and animals I want to see after school. He doesn’t laugh at me like some of them do,’ said Luna quietly.

Ginny smiled at her friend. ‘That’s because he sees the true you, Luna. Like I do.’

Luna laughed. ‘We’re so lucky to have found nice boys, Ginny. Who would have thought they would be in Slytherin?’

‘Nobody I guess, least of all us,’ yawned Ginny. ‘Can I sleep here for the night? I’m so tired. Who would have thought that snogging could tire you out so much?’

‘Of course,’ said Luna with a giggle. The two girls snuggled under the bedcover, red and blonde hair mixing on top of the pillow case. ‘I like him, Luna. I really do,’ said Ginny before slipping off into the sleep of the truly tired.

Luna smiled knowingly into the darkness. ‘I wonder how long it will take you to work out you love him,’ she said quietly to the night air.

Across the school in the Slytherin boys’ dorm, two other people were awake. Draco and Blaise sat on the edge of the windowsill. The only source of light in the room was the tiny tip of the cigarette they were passing between them.

‘So?’ asked Blaise, a man of many words.

‘It was good. Damn good. She’s funny, Blaise. As in I, the King of Controlling My Face, actually laughed out-loud without meaning to.’

‘Merlin’s hairy balls,’ exclaimed Blaise with a puff of smoke.

‘Hope you didn’t use that kind of language around Luna.’

‘Course not. Do I look thick to you?’

‘Well…’

‘You’re so funny.’

‘Ginny seemed to think so. I told her stuff about my family I don’t do that, Blaise. The only other person who knows about the arse my dad is, is you. But one date with her, and I’m spilling my guts. I trust her. Which is weird ‘cause I don’t trust anyone,’ says Draco with an frustrated gesture.

‘You trust me,’ points out Blaise.

‘Yeah, and how long have I known you, mate? Pretty much my entire life. One day with her, and I know she wouldn’t tell a soul if I told her something important. That means a hell of a lot to the son of a Death Eater.’

Blaise nods slowly. ‘What else did you do?’

‘I took her to the waterfall.’

The waterfall. As in the waterfall your mum took you to when you were little.’

‘Yeah. Give it to me,’ said Draco as he took the cigarette from Blaise’s hand.

‘Did you tell her what it meant to you?’

‘Of course not. I didn’t even mean to take her there. I didn’t need to spill my guts and sound like some crap romantic guy out of a book.’

‘Draco, you love that place. Your happiest memory happened there.’

‘Yeah, see, crap romantic guy. She probably had some idealistic childhood filled with fun and laughter.’ Draco’s voice is sarcastic now. ‘She doesn’t need to hear what a loser my dad is and that the one time my mum ran away from him she took me to that waterfall. The place she claims she fell in love with my father and out of love with the servant to the Dark Lord he became. Bit too deep and meaningful for a first date, don’t ‘cha think?’

Luna’s words swirled around Blaise’s head. He can see her sitting under her tree saying, ‘He’s the one Ginny’s in love with.’

‘I think you’re underestimating her, Draco. The fact that you took her to the waterfall obviously means she’s important to you. Maybe it’s good for you to learn to trust.’

‘How was your date with the Loony?’ said Draco in such an obvious change of topic that Blaise lets it past.

‘Don’t call her that,’ said Blaise immediately. ‘I know you’re just joking but I’m pretty sure it actually hurts her when people say that. She gets called it all the time, and it’s so wrong. She’s really smart and knows all this random stuff. She was so surprised when I asked her out. She hadn’t been kissed before today.’

‘Seriously, she’s never been kissed? We go to a co-ed school with some really horny guys in it, and she’s never been kissed. Even Longbottom snogged that weirdo Hufflepuff.’

‘People don’t see her as she is – this really pretty girl, with a brilliant laugh who’s really smart. They don’t even see the physical her. She’s gorgeous. And no one’s ever told her that before. She doesn’t even think she’s pretty because for all her life she’s just been Loony Lovegood. She’s so much more than that. ‘

‘Then you tell her, mate.’

‘Damn right, I will. Draco?’

‘What?’

‘On a purely physical level, she has massive boobs.’

‘Nice,’ exhales Draco. ‘I was wondering how long it would be before you got around to the purely physical level. You know, mate, with most girls you’re like all about the physical. I think it’s good you’ve found one who can think. You like her as a person, don’t you?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Well, most of your other girlfriends – well, all of them – were kind of thick and hot. Now, you’ve found one who’s smart and hot. It’s a big improvement, mate. You got bored with the other ones. They may have kept you occupied in bed, but in reality, as much as it pains me to admit, you can’t actually spend all your time having sex. Having a girlfriend that you like is a very sensible thing to do. But then when have you been sensible?’

‘I guess now. Though I don’t think many people would say that dating a girl called Loony Lovegood makes me sensible,’ said Blaise for the sake of arguing.

‘Yeah, but most people know shit.’

‘And don’t we know it.’

‘Growing up with Death Eaters probably reinforces how ignorant people can be,’ said Draco sarcastically.

‘Yet both our girlfriends are purebloods. Maybe more of their crap sunk in than we thought.’

‘If that’s the case, then you might as well Avada me now. We won’t let the shit in our families touch either of them, Luna or Ginny. They shouldn’t have to put up with the stuff our mums did.’

‘Too right, mate,’ said Blaise on a puff of the almost extinguished cigarette. ‘Too right.’
End Notes:
Hope you all like it. There's one more chapter coming.
Smiling Professors and Happily-Ever-Afters by Januarybaby
‘Mhh-Mhh,’ said Lavender as she coughed politely. A few of the older students looked around for Umbridge.

The entire Great Hall turned and stared at her. Lavender smiled. She did so love having everyone’s attention focused purely on her, and the opportunity of announcing the results of Draco’s shoulder competition with the use of a Sonorus Charm was really too good to let past. So when the Gryffindor girls had collated the results (an honour fiercely fought over between all the houses) and decided that the perfect time to unveil the data was during breakfast, Lavender had argued fast and hard for the right to present it. As Lavender quite scared most of the girls in Gryffindor (apparently, she had a very nasty right hook) they acquiesced, if not with grace, then at least alacrity.

So Lavender stood proudly in front of the entire hall. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ she began.

But it seemed she would not get very far. ‘What, may I ask, is the meaning of this… wonderful display, Ms Brown,’ inquired Professor Snape politely from the teachers’ table.

At first glance, he seemed honestly interested in the answer, and Lavender, who was not very good at understanding Professor Snape’s sarcasm, answered with complete sincerity.

‘Well Professor, you may have heard that Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy are going out?’

He raised an eyebrow. ‘No, I can’t say I am privy to such information, Ms Brown. Continue,’ instructed Snape.

‘Oh, yes, well. It all happened because Ginny thought Draco had nice shoulders, and others agreed and some didn’t,’ she added in shocked tones.

Professor Snape’s other eyebrow rose to join the one already lost amongst his hair. Snape couldn’t work out if he was more surprised that Lucius’ son had the balls to go out with a Gryffindor or that the Gryffindor in question was Ms Ginevra Weasley. It seemed that Snape didn’t know everything after all.

‘So we decided to finish it once and for all. We held a survey to evaluate the hotness of Draco’s shoulders.’

‘And you, I presume, are going to announce these results.’

‘Yes, Professor.’

McGonagall had been listening to this conversation while she enjoyed her eggs, but now she intervened. ‘Really, Ms Brown, this is unacceptable. You can’t…’

‘Oh Minerva, I really think we should allow them this fun. It sounds amusing,’ interrupted Snape.

‘Well perhaps for you, Severus, but imagine how embarrassing it would be for poor Malfoy?’

‘Minerva, Minerva. Let the children enjoy themselves,’ said Snape as he went back to his tea with a very Dumbledore like twinkle in his eyes. Then he smiled. Showing his teeth.

Lavender took an involuntary step back, and one of the first years fainted. Professor Snape could smile! Who knew?

Even Professor McGonagall was a bit surprised and stopped her championing of Malfoy before her eggs got cold.

During this entire conversation, Lavender had left the Sonorus Charm on so the entire hall heard her explanation of the dating situation in Hogwarts. Including Ginny and Draco, who were sitting at their respective tables staring in horror at each other while enduring quite a bit of elbow nudging from their elbow-nudging friends.

‘I’m sorry,’ mouthed Ginny across the room.

‘Not your fault,’ mouthed back Draco.

‘Oh, this is good. I’m really interested in the results. Start talking, Lavender,’ demanded Blaise loudly with his mouth full of toast. Luna was sitting next to him, and she seemed not to mind him speaking with his mouth full, much.

Unluckily for Draco, Lavender understood Blaise and this was enough encouragement to get her over the sight of a smiling Professor Snape and into the announcing.

‘Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure, an absolute pleasure, to be able to speak to you today,’ said Lavender in her best announcer tone.

‘Hurry up, Lavender. We know it’s about Draco’s shoulders, and their hotness. We know it’s because he’s going out with Ginny. Does everyone in the hall know that?’ yelled Blaise; thankfully he had finished his toast.

A mumble of ‘yeses’ and ‘of courses’ were voiced by the surrounding tables. One little confused Ravenclaw said, ‘What?’ and was quickly hushed by her more socially orientated friends.

‘See, all you have to do is tell us the results ‘cause I have Potions in first and I don’t want to be late,’ continued Blaise with a spare look for the presumably simple-minded Ravenclaw.

‘And I have to go to the library before class, so if you don’t mind,’ said Hermione.

Several stares were sent at her; some were incredulous, others (like Ron’s, who was looking at his cereal like it contained the cure for lycanthropy) were a tad on the nasty side. Hermione pointedly ignored him, and took hold of Harry’s hand. Harry jumped a bit, but smiled hesitantly at his best friend, who was a girl but wasn’t a girlfriend (yet, anyway).

Draco and Ginny were both slowly turning bright red, so naturally Colin Creevey started taking photos. It was a toss-up between whether Ginny with her matching face and hair or Draco with his white face and bright pink cheeks looked more comical. Creevey reckoned it might be cause for another survey.

Her hot air completely gone, Lavender began, ‘Well then, if we’re all quite finished, I would like to speak. As you all obviously know about the voting that has taken place in the last couple of days, I won’t go into the details. A nasty look was sent at Blaise. ‘However, the results for Draco’s shoulders have swung for the past few days between ‘OMM-burning-building-hot’ and ‘OMM-volcano-erupting-and-destroying-half-the-planet-hot’. I, personally, feel that Draco’s shoulders deserve much higher praise than either of these ratings. But it is not only my votes which can be taken into account; there were several nasty, petty votes (a look was sent at Pansy) which have lowered these otherwise outstanding results. The end result is - drum roll please - ‘OMM burning building hot.’ Well done, Draco.’
Clapping filled the room, and Draco sank lower into his seat.

But Draco’s torture was not over. Lavender had more to say.

‘So Draco, I would like to present you with this beautiful crown. It has your final results engraved in it. Come, come up here,’ she beckoned.

Draco sat resolutely in his seat, shaking his head at the now slightly annoyed Lavender. ‘Draco, come up here to accept your crown.’

‘Lavender, I don’t want the crown,’ said Draco.

But Blaise pushed at him and Snape interjected, ‘Nonsense, Mr Malfoy. Your classmates have taken time and care to make you a wonderful crown. I suggest you accept it with grace.’

Draco, unlike Lavender, did understand sarcasm and he sent Professor Snape a dirty look.

Snape just smiled.

So Draco walked over to Lavender, who promptly climbed up on the table to put it on top of Draco’s head. Draco got redder. Lavender leaned over and kissed Draco on the cheek. ‘If you ever get bored with the Weasley, remember me,’ said Lavender.

Of course, she had forgotten the Sonorus Charm so the entire Hall heard and started to laugh.

Suddenly, a sound other than laughter could be heard. Sobs. Someone was crying. The someone was Pansy.

‘It’s not fair. It’s not fair. I’ve liked him forever, and we even kissed a couple of times. He was supposed to be mine,’ wailed Pansy.

‘I’ll tell you what isn’t fair,’ interrupted a furious and rather pissed-off voice. ‘What isn’t fair is the fact that my sister is dating the biggest git in the entire world,’ said Ron as he pushed his plate away and stood up to face the hall full of people. ‘And nobody but me knows it. But when I tell everyone I get told to ‘be quiet, Ron’ and ‘grow up’ as if I’m the one with the problem. His father is a Death Eater, and he is going to turn into a fucking Death Eater as well. He’s probably going to rape her and then cut her into tiny bits to feed to You-Know-Who.’

Ginny stood up. Ron had gone too far this time, but before she could say anything Draco had stood up and marched over to Ron. He towered over the red-head, and Ron seemed ridiculously small and timid in comparison.

‘Listen up, Weasley, I am not my father. He is not me,’ said Draco quietly and with a controlled passion that destroyed Ron’s previous blustering. ‘I happen to like your sister a lot, because unlike a lot of people she doesn’t judge and she doesn’t blame. Maybe you can get it through your thick head that I’m not going to hurt her, that I couldn’t hurt her. Also, maybe the reason people keep telling you to grow up is because you’re acting like an immature three-year-old.’

Draco turned and, with flair worthy of Snape, walked from the room.

Ginny stood, watching him go before turning to face Ron. ‘Everyone besides you can accept that I’m dating Draco. Harry and Hermione are okay with it, so are all my friends, and even the twins thought he was decent. It’s just you. I want you to like or at least get along with him, and you’re making it difficult for me, Ron. I want you to think about whether your issues with Draco or my happiness is more important to you.’

Ginny left the now completely silent hall to follow Draco.

The silence was broken dramatically by Pansy’s sobs as she rushed from the room. Ron, red-faced, quickly followed. Hermione sighed quietly and grabbed hold of Harry’s hand to make their way to the library.

‘Well, that was certainly interesting,’ declared Luna. ‘I haven’t been so intrigued since I went with Father on our expedition to find Umgubular Slashkilters. Blaise, should we go and find Draco and Ginny?’

‘No, I think they should work this out on their own. This whole… issue of our families had to come up sooner or later. Draco and Ginny need to talk. We have a couple of minutes before class; I reckon we should talk as well,’ said Blaise as he took Luna’s hand to walk to their tree.

‘I’m very glad you like my tree,’ said Luna as she settled herself amongst the roots.

‘Our tree,’ said Blaise with a small smile.

‘Yes, I like the sound of that. Blaise, you have to know that I can be a bit…unfocused some of the time. But I really do pay attention when it’s important. I know you’re going to talk to me about the Death Eaters and stuff, and explain how you aren’t going to join and maybe that will mean going into hiding for awhile or fighting with the Order. But I don’t care,’ whispered Luna. ‘I don’t care. I think you should know, Blaise, that I’m starting to fall in love with you. It’s a little letter now, not a capital and I’m not fully in love with you, yet. But I’m on the edge.’

Blaise stared at Luna, slightly shocked. ‘Whoa, wait. Luna, we’ve been dating for less than a week. How can you say you love me?’

‘Silly, what does time have to do with love? And I didn’t say I was in love with you, just that I was on the edge. And I think you may be on the edge of falling for me too.’

‘Luna, I like you a lot but… My mum has had like, lots, and I do mean lots of husbands. Each time she says that ‘this is it’ or ‘he’s the one’. I’ve only known you for a week, and maybe you can fall in love in that time but I just don’t know yet.’

Luna just smiled her wise little smile which made her eyes crinkle at the corners. ‘Blaise, all I ask of you is this; that you come sit beside me and kiss me. I don’t expect you to love me or to make heroic declarations, just yet. Just sit here and kiss me.’

‘Whatever you say, my dear,’ laughed Blaise as he sat down beside Luna.

Then she placed her hand on the curve of his cheek. ‘It’s going to be okay, Blaise, because whatever happens we’ll be together.’

Draco and Ginny, on the other hand, were not experiencing such harmony. Ginny had followed Draco down to the Quidditch pitch, where instead of having a normal, adult conversation like Ginny had expected, he had got on his broom and flown off. Ginny presumed it was some kind of calming-down technique (which she supposed he was entitled to) but after ten minutes the cold air and the fact that Draco was still circling around the sky was starting to piss her off.

‘Draco,’ bellowed Ginny up at the night sky.

An absent-minded wave was all she received in acknowledgement, but slowly Draco began to make his way down to the ground.

‘I’m angry,’ said Draco before Ginny could say anything. ‘But I realize we need to talk, so if you want to talk, I suggest you ride with me.’

He gestured at his broom, and Ginny, forcing herself not to think of the various accidents that had occurred from tandem broom riding, got on. Draco was a superb flyer. He flew with a grace and innate sense of balance that Ginny envied. Ginny knew she was good, very good even, but she would never be able to gain the almost spooky control Draco had. They rode in silent for a minute, each gathering their thoughts, before Draco spoke.

‘I’m sorry that I left you down there and that I walked out of the Hall, but I didn’t want to say the stuff I was thinking. Especially not to you. Some stuff just gets me really angry, and it’s like I can’t control myself. Your brother hit on one of those topics. My dad. And then he landed on another minefield. The Death Eaters. Basically, my Dad is a bastard. He’s just not a nice guy. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s never hit my mother or me or anything. But he’s never hugged us either. They don’t love each other. Merlin, they don’t even like each other. They used to. Unlike what most people think, they did actually like each other when they got married. But then Dad got involved in the Death Eaters, and he changed. Now, they have separate rooms and separate lives. And it suits them both. They did their duty and had me. Now they mean absolutely nothing to each other. And it doesn’t help that the entire world seems to know that Dad is involved with the Death Eaters.’

Draco said the words like they left a dirty taste in his mouth. And Ginny wondered how anyone, let alone her own brother, could think he was capable of joining them.
Ginny shook her head in disbelief. His life was so different to the warm and supporting family she had grown up with. She wrapped her arms around his back, resting her head on his shoulders.

‘I was pretty much raised by my mother until about two years ago, and then I started getting all these questions about my grades and my friends. Suddenly, he gave a shit about me and my life. At first, I was massively proud, trying to live up to his expectations. But then…then I heard him and Mum arguing about how she didn’t want me to become a Death Eater. He started yelling at her and telling her it was none of her business what his son did. His son, like he had anything to do with the raising of me. He made her cry. So, I decided that I would be nothing like my father. It makes me sound all brave to say I don’t want to become a Death Eater, but I’m really just stubborn, Ginny. I don’t want to make my mother cry.’

Ginny leant into Draco’s back, smelling the scent that was somehow uniquely him. He was speaking of defying his father, one of Voldemort’s top Death Eaters. Draco would have to hide and probably join the Order. He would be an outcast from both his own people and the people in the Order who wouldn’t accept him. And he thought he wasn’t brave.

‘And your brother brought all that stuff up, and then said how I’m probably going to rape you and feed you to Voldemort or something. And I just…snapped. I’m sorry,’ said Draco.

‘Don’t apologise. It’s Ron’s fault. He was rude and said things he knows nothing about. He should be the one apologizing,’ said Ginny.

‘But he won’t.’

‘No, he won’t,’ agreed Ginny. ‘Unfortunately, it might take quite awhile for Ron to come down from his high horse and accept you.’

‘I don’t mind his not liking me, but Ginny I couldn’t stand it if you actually thought I could ever…hurt you,’ said Draco softly.

‘Draco, I know you wouldn’t hurt me. I know you couldn’t. Don’t worry about what Ron said.’

‘I won’t. Ginny, in the hall I said I liked you a lot. I want you to know that’s true. I like you more than I’ve ever liked a girl before. I think of you all the time, and I want you to know how special you are to me.

‘I really like you too, Draco.’

‘And not just for my shoulders?’ joked Draco.

‘Well, no, you do have really good chest muscles as well,’ said Ginny in a fake-serious voice.

Draco laughed, and Ginny realized how glad it made her that she could make him happy. He landed the broom gently by the side of the pitch.

‘We’ve got class soon,’ said Draco as they dismounted the broom.

‘I wish we could be in the same class.’

‘I know. Then we could do this more often,’ said Draco as he lowered his head to catch her lips in a kiss. It was sweet and long (and really warming after the cold air on the broom ride).

Ginny leaned in, hands wrapped in Draco’s school shirt. ‘I think this is pretty close to perfect,’ said Ginny as she and Draco stood as one.

The End
End Notes:
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