Private Jokes and Family Resemblances by Nutmeg44
Summary: Draco and Ginny run an apothecary together but is their relationship strictly professional or is there more? Only Blaise and Luna know and they aren't telling.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters: Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley
Compliant with: OotP and below
Era: Future AU
Genres: Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 2715 Read: 5168 Published: Apr 11, 2012 Updated: Apr 13, 2012
Story Notes:
Written for the 2011 DGFicExchange at LiveJournal, for themadmermaid. Special thanks to my beta, jessicakmalfoy for spotting all my errors.

1. Private Jokes and Family Resemblances by Nutmeg44

Private Jokes and Family Resemblances by Nutmeg44
"I just don't understand why you have to work for the Ferret!"

"Ron, we've been over this a million times. I like my job and Draco isn't that bad." Ginny had had this exact conversation with her brother, and indeed most of her family, especially her parents, every week for the last three years.

Today, it was Ron. It took about six months for her other brothers to stop asking the question. About a year after that, her parents stopped asking as well, but good old stubborn Ron kept asking. He never failed to ask the question whenever they met at The Leaky Cauldron for their usual Thursday lunch.

"Ron, can't we have a nice peaceful lunch without you bringing up all of Draco's personality flaws?"

"It's hard not to bring them up. The prat has so many!"

Ginny was getting exasperated. With a loud sigh, she stood up and dropped few sickles on the table to pay for her fish & chips lunch. "I'm heading back to work. I'm sure we'll continue this same time next week. Give the twins my love, tell them I'll see them at the usual time tomorrow." Giving Ron a small kiss on his forehead, she grabbed the take-away bag next to her plate, turned and left the pub.

Ginny Weasley loved Diagon Alley. It held all her favourite memories as a child, from her first shopping trips with her parents to her first real date and now her first real job. She worked at Malbini's Apothecary, so named for the two masterminds behind it - Draco Malfoy, who ran the place, and Blaise Zabini, who was the silent partner.

After the war, most of the Malfoy fortune had been taken by the Ministry as payment for Lucius Malfoy's crimes against the wizarding world. Draco was left with just one small flat and a small sum of money for his help in bringing about the end of the war. With no inheritance and no living adult relatives, he was forced to rebuild his life and the Malfoy name. Using Blaise Zabini's inheritance and Draco's business sense, they were able to turn the tide and somewhat rebuild the fortune. In three short years, the business was built from the ground up and was now in the process of expanding to the office space next door.

Speaking of the shop, she had just arrived at the door while an excited little girl and her mother were leaving. The girl was obviously a soon-to-be Hogwarts first year purchasing her first potions kit. Ginny smiled at the girl and wished her a good year before entering the shop.

"Emma, you can head off to lunch now. I'll tell our fearless leader I'm back," Ginny said to the shop girl Emma, as she made her way into the shop and behind the cash counter. Emma Dobbs was a former Ravenclaw who had taken the job as a sales clerk after she saw that a Weasley was comfortable working for a Malfoy. Initially, Draco had not been too keen on having Ginny working for him, but then he saw the positive reaction his little shop got from having a 'good guy' Weasley as the first person with whom customers interacted. In fact, their first interaction was less than warm and fuzzy, on his part at least.

Ginny had been strolling through Diagon Alley on particularly cloudy day when the clouds opened up and dumped a fury of rain on the back-to-school shoppers. In an effort to dodge the down-pour, Ginny popped into the nearest shop. It used to be a Zonko's Joke Shop, but that had gone out of business shortly after her brothers started Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. Looking around the shop, she realized that she saw no one, no attendant, no owner, no cashier, just shelves of herbs and many coloured potions in vials and jars.

"Hello! Is anyone here? I might be a customer, but I could just as easily be robbing the place!" Ginny bellowed each sentence as she browsed the goods on the shelves.

From the back room, she heard a bellowed reply of, "One minute, although if you were stealing, you wouldn't be able to leave the shop!"

"I'm sure I could," the redhead countered in a singsong voice with a little giggle.

"How can I help yo-" Draco stopped dead in his tracks. Standing next to the pepper-up potion was a very pretty petite brunette. She appeared to have come in to the shop to take shelter from the rain.

"Actually, you can hel- Malfoy?" Ginny had turned to face the voice when she realized she was standing in front of a very toned, very attractive Draco Malfoy.

"Weasley?" So apparently it was a very attractive redhead, not brunette.

"Nice to see you too, Malfoy. This your shop?" Ginny continued as if Draco hadn't said anything.

"Yes it is. Can I help you with something?" His voice had a bit more of an edge than he had intended.

"Actually, by the looks of things, it's me who can help you," Ginny replied, while looking around the shop.

"And how is it that you can help me?" Draco's sneer was firmly in place with a full serving of contempt directed at the redhead.

"Well, by the looks of things, you brew the potions and then you sell them-" Ginny began.

"Well spotted, Weasley. Nothing gets past you I see," Draco interrupted.

"When business picks up you won't be able to do both at the same time. You will need a Sales Clerk and I need a job," Ginny continued, as if the blond man hadn't cut in.

"And why would I hire you?" Draco asked, with a raise of his perfectly sculpted eyebrow.

"Well I'm good with people and I have a spotless reputation, which would instantly improve your…shall we say, tarnished reputation by proxy," She stated matter-of-factly.

Draco knew she had a point and was now seriously considering her proposition. With his arms folded across his chest, he circled the redhead as if he were a lion circling his cornered prey. He really did find her attractive, but he wasn't about to let her know that. Time had done wonders for Ginny. She wasn't the image of the skinny, knobbly-kneed Gryffindor he had in his memory. She was shorter than he had initially thought when he stepped onto the shop floor. Her long legs gave the impression that she was closer to his six-foot three-inch frame. He also noted that she had a rather shapely bottom and pretty great tits (her damp t-shirt provided plenty of fodder for his imagination). Pretending to consider her as a 'potential' employee, rather than jumping at the chance to have someone working for him who wasn't instantly disgusted by his presence he said, "Fine, you can have a one month probation beginning on Monday. The shop opens at 9AM, be here at 7:30 sharp."


As the final chimes sounded signalling Emma's departure, Ginny walked into the back room that acted as office, potions lab and employee lounge to find Draco ladling Blood Replenishing potion into a number of vials and bottles with his back to the door.

"Emma's gone to lunch, I brought you back a sandwich and Ron sends his best." The last part was said with more than the faintest hint of humour.

"Thanks, Gin, I forgot to eat again," he still hadn't looked at her yet.

In the past year, their relationship had developed from one of boss and employee to one of actual friends. This was partly due to his best mate and business partner falling for and subsequently marrying her best mate. It stood to reason that they would have to bury any and all animosity they still felt for each other. In the end, they found that it wasn't so hard to bury the hatchet. Ginny wasn't very judgemental and Draco was looking for a fresh start. It also helped that he stayed as far away from Ginny's family as humanly possible. As it turned out, she employed the same 'only when necessary' approach to dealing with them as well.

"Blaise Flooed while you were at lunch," Draco said, still pouring the potion into vials. "He says it's your turn to pick up dinner and that if he eats anymore fish and chips, he's going to grow gills."

"So Chinese take-away it is then."

"Can we please have something else? If I eat one more egg roll, I will turn into one." He finally turned to face her, but only to aim the full force of his begging pout at her. He had learned very early in their business relationship that she found it very hard to say no to his begging pout. He assumed it was because it reminded her of her nieces and nephews and she could never say no to them. She knew it was because she couldn't really say no to him. But she wasn't about to change his belief.

"Fine," Ginny said with a sigh and a playful roll of her eyes. "We'll just get a pizza on the way, then."

"Thank you," he responded as the redhead returned to the shop floor. The chuckle that followed her departure let her know that he knew the begging pout had won again.

Just as Thursday lunches with Ron and Friday lunches with Fred and George were standing appointments, so was Thursday dinner with Blaise and Luna Zabini. It had started before the couple had gotten engaged, as a way for their friends to get used to the new situation and adjust to the idea of being around each other outside of the workplace. Now, it was a time for them to just unwind with their best mates who just happen to be married. Their weekly dinners solidified the friendship of both sets of friends and also ensured that Blaise and Ginny and Draco and Luna got on well together. By now, it was so habitual that, for one week at the beginning of July, they even went on holiday together. One such holiday led to events that the four still didn't discuss after swearing each other to secrecy.

They had rented a three bedroom, three bathroom villa on the island of Ios in Greece. Their plan was a week-long fun in the sun holiday on the beach. Instead, they got to have an experience of getting drunk in a Greek nightclub, getting sick on the front porch of the villa, Draco holding Ginny's hair as she got sick all over his shoes and her making him her special Weasley family hangover cure consisting of every greasy, fried food they could think of and even some you couldn't. It had tasted surprisingly good given the circumstances and actually made him feel better. For Draco, it showed that Ginny actually cared for his well-being.

The best part of the holiday was that only Blaise and Luna remembered exactly what had happened that weekend, and were not telling. Blaise just kept giving cryptic responses whenever they asked for the details and said that he would give them a straight answer but his Looney-Moon preferred it this way. His cryptic responses ranged from 'I'm surprised you don't remember, considering you said you never want to be without it ever again' and 'We know Ginny is a screamer, but then again, I'm sure that Greek chap is speaking in a much higher pitch after that night you had too' and everything imaginable in between.

The best Draco and Ginny could ascertain from Blaise's code was that they had a wild night after leaving Se-du-ce that somehow involved Ginny, Draco and an anonymous Greek chap who may, or not, have hooked-up with one or both of them. The question was which one. That just added to the endless string of inside jokes that the four of them shared. Once such joke was the fact that ferrets and weasels come from the same family of animal; so Blaise couldn't see why they didn't get along better.

On the following Monday, the expansion was due to begin. Magical contractors arrived and had started tearing down the wall separating the two stores. There was plasterboard and plasterboard dust everywhere and on everything. The shop was currently closed for renovations as the pre-September busy season had passed. Ginny was doing a last minute sweep of the office/lab/lounge when the light from the open window caused something in the corner of her eye to gleam. Looking in the direction of the gleam to see what it was, she noticed Draco's most prized post-war possession. She had just made her way toward the object to remove it from the demolition zone that would soon be the office. A loud bang from the other side of the wall caused her to jump just as her hand closed around the cricket ball sized cube. Instinctively, she ducked, just in time for a large chunk of wall to go soaring over her head. The scream that left her mouth was a bit of a delayed response to the shock of almost losing her head.

It was this scream that greeted Draco when he walked into the space that was formerly his apothecary that morning. Terror filled him instantly. Ginny. When he ran toward the noise, he saw Ginny covered in plasterboard dust holding the crystal paper weight that housed the first galleon he'd ever earned. The paperweight was a gift from Blaise as congratulations on the business doing well. She heard his entrance and turned to face him.

"It was almost crushed when the wall broke." Her voice was barely audible and she was visibly shaken. Even though she was covered in construction dust, he could see the faint blush creeping beyond her collar. "I know how much it means to you. I know how much it means to me." Her blush deepened.

"That's why I love you, you have such a big heart," Draco mumbled and, faster than Ginny had ever seen him move before, he was across the room and had claimed her lips with his. The kiss startled her. She didn't think he had felt that way about her. It was a firm, powerful kiss. It seemed Draco had waited a long time for this kiss because once it started, it seemed like it would never end. Draco's hands were everywhere – in Ginny's hair holding her face to his, at the small of her back pressing her body to his, at her neck, at her shoulders, on every part he could reach. He passed his tongue across the seam of her lips and she opened her mouth to permit him access. When his tongue touched hers, light exploded behind her eyelids and she couldn't prevent the moan that escaped. Her brain moaned 'Draco' and she realized that she was kissing Draco Malfoy. Her boss, Draco Malfoy. The man she has been in love with for the better part of two years, Draco Malfoy. It was then that her brain filtered in, 'it's the man who said he loves you, Draco Malfoy'.

Pushing on his shoulders, she looked up into the molten grey eyes of Draco and whispered, "You love me?"

"Yes I do love you, Weasel. I'm in love with a crazy redhead and if this keeps up, all my children will have pink hair and the same crazy genes," Draco replied with a chuckle as he used his wand to cast a quick cleaning charm.

With a contented sigh, she said, "I love you too, Ferret," before pulling him back into another kiss. This time, the kiss was slow, passionate and not covered in plasterboard dust.


Original Prompt:

Briefly describe what you'd like to receive in your fic: I prefer post-Hogwarts romance, with a heavy dose of wit and humor.

The tone/mood of the fic: Light, but not fluffy.

An element/line of dialogue/object you would specifically like in your fic: I enjoy fics where their work or career throw Draco and Ginny together.

Preferred rating of the fic you want: Any

Canon or AU? Either.

Deal Breakers (anything you don't want?): I'd rather not have Draco or Ginny's parents figure prominently in the story. Siblings, friends, or anybody else are fine