A Decent Cup of Tea by TASHAx
Summary: Written for Leigh’s ‘A Malfoy inspects a Weasley after a fight’ challenge on the DG Forum on FF.NET.

Ginny’s married and so is Draco, just not to each other. After an argument with Harry there’s only one person Ginny wants to see.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters: Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley
Compliant with: Fully compliant
Era: Post-Hogwarts
Genres: Angst, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 2264 Read: 3191 Published: Apr 27, 2011 Updated: Apr 28, 2011

1. A Decent Cup of Tea by TASHAx

A Decent Cup of Tea by TASHAx
A Decent Cup of Tea

‘...and if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible.’ – Frank Turner

Bedtime stories with funny voices and delighted squeals had been read, teeth thoroughly brushed, and little heads laid to rest on pillows. Eyelids were heavy and dreams had already begun creeping in. Ginny had nipped into each of the children’s rooms and dimmed the lights until they were almost in darkness. She'd cooed she loved them as she'd closed their doors and tapped her wand on the handles whilst muttering silencing charms; they were such light sleepers and would use any excuse to wriggle out of their beds for extras hugs and love from Mummy or Daddy. Lily, Albus and James were her beautiful children but she couldn't help but think that occasionally they were so sneaky that one day they'd end up being sorted in Slytherin. She smiled at the thought. Ron would go mental.

Pushing her long red hair on top of her head and securing it with a butterfly clip, she meandered down the oak stair case and entered the living room. It was all bright crimson; Ginny suspected Harry had been trying to recreate the Gryffindor common room. As it was technically his parents’ old house, she'd let him have his way, even if it was a little gaudier than she'd have liked her home to be. The log burner was lit and the flames were licking at the glass happily – she loved having an open fire, especially in these cold winter months.

Snuggling onto one end of the sofa, she picked up her dog-eared book and opened it to where she'd left off last night. Not that it mattered. She knew the words almost off by heart, anyway. She'd read it countless times over the past six years, telling everyone it was like her comfort blanket. The truth was that it was his favourite book and when she read it she felt close to him in a way that wasn't physically allowed as often as she'd like. So she read the book and imagined his arms around her and his deep voice in her ear. She moved her lips, silently reading to herself but didn't really take in the prose; her mind had wandered into a realm of blond hair and grey eyes. She felt the sofa dip beside her and was suddenly engulfed with the scent of her husband.

"Again, Gin? Really?" He rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. She used to think his slapstick humour was funny.

"It's my favourite, Harry. You know that. Just something I can lose myself in."

She felt him lean closer, his body heat scorching her. His lips found the side of her exposed neck and she found herself wishing she hadn't put her hair up; he loved her long, pale neck. His lips felt like fiendfyre. It felt as if he'd blister her flesh, and not in a good way.

"I know something you can lose yourself in." His voice growled against her skin, scraping at her tender neck with brazen innuendo. She jerked herself away from his touch.

"Harry, I'm not really in the mood. Lily was acting up all day..."

He paid no attention and returned to nuzzling into the crook of her neck. It felt like smoke was rising in thick grey tendrils. He moved his lips to her jaw. The smoke began to feel like it was choking her; it was like being stuck in a house fire with no exit. His lips were almost resting upon hers. One of his hands lay upon her waist and the other was stroking her inner thigh. As he turned to face her, the bulge in trousers became even more prominent.

His eyes were closed. Hers were snapped wide open. The smoke was rising and she felt so stifled. The book fell to the ground just as Harry jerked her to bring her to his lips. It was like she was wearing a corset that just kept tightening. He shifted her body so she was practically horizontal, and he was above her just kissing, kissing, kissing. His favourite book was on the floor. The corset tightened. Air felt as though it was becoming increasingly scarce: her skin felt on fire, her complexion was mottled and blotchy. She couldn't breathe. His book was on the floor.

She pushed her husband off her with so much tenacity he fell to the floor, his glasses askew. His emerald eyes were full of worry and hurt.

"I told you no."

Anger flickered through him.

"What in the name of Merlin is wrong with you, Ginny?" He clamoured to his feet and assessed his wife. She was covered in a sheen of sweat, her skin was splotched with red and her eyes were cold. "Why can't I touch you anymore?"

"I'm going out." She stood and picked up her book.

"Like hell you are. You're my wife, Ginny. My wife!"

"Yes. Don't I fucking know it."

She fled to the kitchen where her wand was waiting. Harry was hot on her heels.

"And what precisely was that supposed to mean, hey?"

"It doesn't matter, Harry. Just give me some space, please."

"You're so selfish, Gin. How do you think I feel? Or do you just not give a shit? I'm not allowed near you, we don't talk about anything except our kids! Do you...do you still love me?"

The question broke her; his voice was full of anger and bitterness and pain. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't think.

Crack.

Harry was left alone in the kitchen. Blindly, he threw a punch at the wall. His knuckles began to bleed.

0x

Stupid girl. It was the dead of winter and she was standing in a coppice in Wiltshire wearing only a pair of leggings and a fitted t-shirt. She could feel goose bumps erupting on her arms. She wrenched the clip out of her hair, and tapped it with her wand, transfiguring it into an oversized jumper. Pulling on the woollen garment, she looked down at her feet: just socks. She could feel tears gathering in her brown eyes and knew she should just Apparate back home. Go back to Harry, apologise to him. Hold him. Love him. But she couldn't. She felt broken after their fight. Something inside her had just snapped.

She looked up and could see the silhouette of Malfoy manor's high walls. Impenetrable. She couldn't just walk up to his front door; there were wards and enchantments. There was her and there was Scorpius. What a mess.

Ginny began to walk towards the direction of the entrance gate. Maybe there'd be a house elf on out there who would deliver a message to him. She just needed to see him.
As she approached the large wrought iron gates, she saw a tall figure standing outside, looking up at the starry sky. Their white blond hair was shimmering like a sort of halo in the moonlight. In that moment, her heart seemed to slow and speed up all at once.

"You took your time."

He hadn't even turned to face her. She never questioned how he knew when she needed him but she loved him for it.
She found herself speeding towards him. Her tear-stained cheeks and cold, scratched feet meant nothing to her now. He spun so that she could see his face and she stopped just short of bumping into his chest. They were centimetres apart. She looked up at his beautiful features; he was devastatingly handsome to her eyes. His large hands wiped the wetness from her cheeks and held her face up to his.

"Come on, we'll go back to my flat.” His arms had clamped tightly around her. She noticed how beneath his grip she didn't feel smothered, but safe. With a swift crack she found herself snuggled into Draco's chest and in the warmth of his elegant flat in Notting Hill. The blond pulled away from the embrace so he was able to inspect her properly. Her long coppery hair fell in thick tendrils around her face, her freckles looked stark against her pale skin, and her eye make-up was smudged from the tears she'd been crying. It'd been three weeks since he'd last been able to see her in person and he noticed she looked thinner although her giant jumper, probably wasn't helping his assessment.

"Ginevra, what happened?"

She took a deep breath. "Harry and I had a fight."

He closed his eyes tightly. He knew Potter would never physically hurt her, but he hated that her husband made her cry. "Go have a shower; you have a change of clothes here. I'll make us a cup of tea."

She smiled and stood on her tip-toes so she was able to peck him on the cheek before padding off to the bathroom.

0x

His shower was powerful and the shooting jets of hot water just felt so good as they hit her cold skin. She was foolish to have left Godric's Hollow and gone to the manor, and she knew she’d have questions to answer when she returned home. She felt herself begin to cry again but the tears mingled with the gloriously hot cascades of water. She was a prize idiot. She was that woman.

Making a fool out of Harry and Astoria was never their plan...they just fell in love. By that point both were married and had a child, and neither wanted their child's home to be broken. It had started with stolen glimpses and cheeky owls, lingering touches and smouldering stares. They were such a cliché, but she couldn't stop. Draco was the love of her life; Harry was the father of her children and her husband.

The bile in her stomach boiled and burnt her throat; the thought of how she was treating Harry made her feel physically sick. Sometimes she repulsed herself, but when Lily was seventeen and out of Hogwarts she could leave Harry and be with Draco. Her family would hate her, Harry too. Her children might even resent her for a while but it would work out eventually. She hoped, anyway.

Reluctantly, she turned off the shower and stepped out onto the heated tile flooring. Wrapping a towel around herself, she exited into the bedroom where Draco had left out a pair of her jeans, a tight fitting lilac sweater, and some clean underwear. Once she was dry, warm and clothed again she joined him on the sofa where a large mug of tea was awaiting her. She took a sip; it was milky and sugary and wonderful. She drank deeply. It was amazing how calming tea could be. She wondered idly if it was because her mother had always seen it as the remedy to all her children's ailments throughout their life. There was nothing a decent cup of tea couldn't solve, apparently.

Draco gave her forearm an affectionate squeeze. "Want to talk about it?"

She sighed. "Not especially. I think I was just missing you, and I was reading and Harry just came along and started nuzzling me...I felt like I was choking. It was horrible, Draco."

His grey eyes remained emotionless. He couldn't allow himself the luxury of jealousy or anger; her surname was Potter not Malfoy. Harry had every right to make love to the redhead before him, the redhead he loved.

"I know I was just being ridiculous. I shouldn't have overreacted but...I just feel so trapped."

He nodded. He knew that feeling well. "It's difficult, Gin. We knew it would be. I will leave her; you know that...I'll leave her right now."

"I can't devastate my children, Draco. They're so young still. Perhaps after they're all at Hogwarts...I'm really not sure I can wait for Lily to turn seventeen. I want you and I want to stop lying to everyone. I want Harry to find someone who deserves his love."

"Four years. I can wait four years." He sipped the last of his tea. "I'd wait forever for you, but I don't want to."

She drained the liquid from her mug and placed it on the table. "I should go."

"I suppose so. You're okay though, aren't you?"

"As much as I can be. Patience was never my strongest virtue."

He grinned. Merlin, didn't he know it.

They both stood, and he surveyed her from head to foot. Her hair had dried now and was falling in waves around her shoulders. Her eyes were a little puffy and a little bloodshot but her back was no longer slumped, and the corners of her lips seemed quicker to lift up into a smile. She was so beautiful.

He dipped his face and brushed his lips against hers. The kiss was soft and chaste and spoke of everything they feared saying aloud. She tasted of tea and tears. She smelt of his soap. He felt like strength and hope. He was her future; she just needed to survive her present.
Just four years and then maybe, maybe it could work. Maybe it would be their time. Even if they were just words, she could tell herself this to get to sleep at night, to give her the strength to get up each morning and sit beside the man she didn't love but respected and hated lying to.

She clasped Draco’s hand tightly in hers and then she picked up her wand and was gone. Draco stood alone listening to the sounds of his empty flat. He could still feel her there.
End Notes:
Um, it's sad, I know. But kind of hopeful too :)

It was beta'd by the beautiful Kim (Boogum).

Oh, and please, no tantrums about the cheating.
This story archived at http://www.dracoandginny.com/viewstory.php?sid=7111