Ginevra Weasley didn’t really understand how she had ended up working on Christmas Day. Perhaps it was because she worked for a slave driver, who demanded that she come in and finish up that last bits and pieces of her Christmas day column. Whatever the reason was, she was just happy that they had been released early. She had just enough time to get to the Burrow, without being reprimanded by her mother for missing the day's festivities. Yes, Ginny was safe from her mother’s wrath, or so she thought. She would soon realize exactly how unhappy Molly Weasley was with her for not arriving at the Burrow at eight in the morning.
She landed on the steps of the back porch, her velvet five inch stilettos crunching the snow beneath her feet. A gust of wind passed, causing her to snuggle into her tweed overcoat. Perhaps it had not been the best idea to wear her new velvet and tweed dress, the one that sucked onto her every curve, to a family gathering. She didn’t think her family, especially her brothers, would appreciate the way her breasts were exposed. But she didn’t really have any time to worry about that.
She threw open the door and yelled, “I’m home.”
“Oh, there you are, dear.” Molly spun around, a spoon in her hand and a smile on her face. “You arrived just in time.”
“Just in time for what?” asked Ginny warily. She didn’t like the glint in her mother’s eyes.
“Well, Bill just sent a letter. He missed his Portkey. Unfortunately, he cannot arrange another one through the Ministry in Egypt as they are now closed.” Molly placed her spoon on the counter and wiped her hands on her apron. “Your father managed to procure a Portkey from here, but someone has to go and get Bill. Since you already have your shoes and coat, I am sure you’re capable of doing that.”
Ginny gaped at her mother. “You want me to travel to the middle of the dessert--now?”
“In the spirit of Christmas, dear,” Molly said, smiling. “What would Christmas be like without Bill here?”
“I--but--Mum, I just got here,” Ginny exclaimed, her voice very close to a whine. “I’ve been slaving over a piece on bloody Christmas cheer all morning. I’m exhausted.”
“Good, well, you should be able to muster some Christmas cheer of your own while going to get your brother.” Molly silenced her protests with the raise of her hand. “I’m done talking. You will go and pick up your brother. And you will not, I repeat, will not lash out at Bill, do you understand?”
Ginny grumbled under her breath.
“What was that, Ginny?” Molly rested her hands on her hips. “I didn’t quite catch what you said.”
“Nothing, Mum,” Ginny groaned. “Where’s the Portkey?”
“The fork on the table,” Molly said, pointing to the silver utensil. “You can activate it using the Portkey spell. Your father didn’t want to put a time on it because he didn’t know how long it would take you to find Bill.”
“What do you mean find Bill? Won’t he be waiting?” asked Ginny, grabbing the fork off the dining table.
“The Portkey will take you to the camp, Ginny. Bill said some of the workers are staying there for Christmas, so you will probably have to find him. I for one think that’s an awful way to spend Christmas, in the desert.” Molly clucked her tongue. “Anyways, you should get going. Maybe you can spread a bit of Christmas cheer in the desert.”
Ginny gripped her clutch tightly in hand and said, “Yes, Mum.”
Stomping out of the house, she made her way down the steps, barely managing to make it down the snow covered steps without falling on her face. She didn’t understand why her mother would make her go and get Bill. Usually, for such a task, she would send out one of the boys, not her darling Ginny. However, Ginny suspected that her mother was upset with Ginny for not only being late, but for not marrying the great Harry Potter, no matter how many times he asked.
Ginny muttered obscenities under her breath before waving her wand and muttering the Portkey spell. She waited for the fork to grow blue. When it did, she felt a pulling feeling at her navel, the familiar flutters in her stomach overtaking her. Within minutes, she was standing in the Sahara desert.
Inky blackness surrounded her, the only light coming from a roaring fire in the center of the camp where she could see rows and rows of tents. The only problem was that she was standing nowhere near the camp. In fact, she was a good half a mile away from the camp, standing in darkness. She stomped her foot in irritation, stumbling back when her heel got stuck in the sand. She shrieked, her voice carrying in the silence around her, as she fell backwards, landing in the sand.
“Why me?” She laid in the sand, one arm across her stomach, the other gripping her wand tightly. “Why is this happening to me?”
After several minutes of simply laying there, she sat up, and dislodged her heel from the sand. She attempted to stand up, but ended up falling back down in a mess of flailing limbs. Ginny got on her knees, and slowly tried to get up again, this time succeeding. With a huff, she blew a strand of hair out of her face, knowing that her once immaculate chignon was now a complete and total mess. However, she didn’t dwell on that thought any longer, concentrating on the trek ahead. If someone had told her that she would have to walk a half a mile through a desert today, she would have probably worn more sensible shoes.
She marched through the desert, cringing as her heels continuously sank down into the sand. The shoes had cost her half a month’s salary. Now, here she was, stomping through the desert and ruining them. Not for the first time that day, she cursed her boss for making her come into the work. Furthermore, she cursed herself for allowing her boss to walk over her like that. She could have denied her request to come in and do the final edit until after Christmas day, especially since the article wasn’t going to press for another two days. But Ginny really didn’t like saving things for last minute.
Ginny was so deep in her thoughts that she failed to see that she had wandered into a dig site. As she took a step forward, her foot met air, and she fell into a deep hole, screaming out in fright. She let out a groan of pain when she landed on the ground with a thud. When she tried to get up, a hiss of pain left her mouth. It seemed she had twisted her ankle. Tears came to her eyes as she tried in vain to stand on her own two feet. Finally, she sank down on her knees and scrambled around in search of her clutch, wand, and, most of all, the Portkey.
She found her wand first, and sent her Patronus off to Bill’s tent. Next was the Portkey and then her clutch. After making sure her wand was lit, she crossed her arms, and began to wonder who had it out for her. Apparently, sending her to the middle of the Sahara desert was not enough. She also had to fall into a hole, and break her ankle. She pulled her coat closer around her, despite the heat of the desert. She felt vulnerable sitting in the hole, unsure of what would stumble upon her. And, suddenly, her thoughts ran wild with images of beasts falling into the hole with her and mauling her to death.
She drew her knees up to her chest, and rested her chin on her knee. Ginny squeezed her eyes shut, but opened them up again when more images assaulted her. Instead, she began to hum to herself, hoping that the music would help stave off the frightening image of her blood splattered against sand. She immediately stopped when she heard the sound of a voice.
“Help,” she yelled out.
Within minutes, a light was shining down at her from above. For a second, she thought of the Muggles and their thing about seeing the light before they died. If it weren’t for the fact that she was quite sure she wasn’t dead, she might have thought that she was about to die. Instead, she shielded her eyes and tried to see who it was behind the light, thinking it must be her brother Bill. However when she heard the voice, she wrinkled her nose.
“Do you plan on spending Christmas in a hole, Weasley? Is that what you’re used to?”
“Malfoy,” Ginny snapped. “Get me out of this bloody hole.”
“Didn’t your parents ever teach you manners?” Draco dimmed the light from his wand to stare down at the redhead.
“Didn’t your parents ever teach you to help people who are stuck in holes?” Ginny snapped back.
“No, I didn’t quite get taught that lesson,” Draco retorted smoothly.
“Malfoy,” Ginny growled.
“Did you happen to forget that you would be walking through a desert, Weasley?” Draco’s eyes ran down her form. “Or are you foolish enough to believe that your current attire is appropriate for traveling in a desert?”
“I didn’t bloody well know I would be traipsing through a desert, Malfoy. It didn’t cross my mind that my mother would send me out here to get my good for nothing brother, who probably missed his Portkey because of a dumb reason like Quidditch,” Ginny ranted, letting out a slew of curses.
“That’s quite a mouth, Weasley.” Draco smirked down at her. “I can think of a lot nicer things for you to do with it rather than dirty it with curses.”
Ginny wrinkled her nose in disgust. “You wish, Malfoy.”
“It wasn’t on my list of wishes from Santa,” Draco drawled. He winked at her. “But maybe I should add it. That mane of red hair you have would look nice when you’re on your--”
“Where is my brother?” Ginny didn’t feel comfortable with the new subject.
“He was in the shower when the message came,” Draco replied. “You could at least stand up so I can pull you out. The hole isn’t that deep. You could have even climbed out.”
“I sprained my ankle,” Ginny bit out in irritation.
Ginny was shocked to see a concern mar Draco’s face. He quickly outed the light on his wand, told her to hang onto her things, and levitated her out of the hole. She expected him to release her onto the sand. But, instead, he levitated her into his arms. Her mouth fell open in both shock and indignation. She didn’t understand why Draco Malfoy was holding her, nor did she understand why the touch of his arm behind her knee sent butterflies in her stomach.
“What are you doing?”
Draco glanced down at her with a irritated expression. “What does it look like I’m doing, Weasley? I’m carrying you.”
“I know that,” Ginny shot back. She rolled her eyes. “I meant why are you carrying me?”
“I’m assuming you can’t walk. And I’m afraid in my irritation I may just drop you in another hole if I levitate you over this dig site.” Draco grunted. “What have you been eating, Weasley?”
“Didn’t your parents ever teach you manners?” Ginny mocked. “It’s bad form to make fun of a lady’s weight.”
Draco snorted. “Lady? I see none.”
“Are you trying to insinuate I’m not a woman?” asked Ginny, trying her best not to hit him.
Draco leered at her, his eyes fixated on her breasts. “I don’t doubt you’re a woman. I do doubt your abilities to be lady-like.”
Ginny wished upon all things that she had not broken her ankle, nor fallen into a hole. She did not want to be in Draco Malfoy’s arms with her arms wound around his neck for support. She ducked her head in embarrassment when they made their way through the camp, the sound of catcalls and whistles causing her cheeks to become a rather ugly shade of red. She could practically feel the smugness radiating off Draco, and desperately wanted to smack him for it. However, she was saved by the sound of her brother’s voice.
Her head snapped up. “Oh, thank Merlin.”
“One would think you don’t like my heroic act,” Draco said, managing to muster a sincere look of hurt on his face. “I’m saddened.”
“Oh, shove it, Malfoy,” Ginny bit out.
“What happened to you?” Bill held the curtain to his tent open, and let Malfoy put Ginny on his bunk.
“I fell in a hole,” Ginny muttered. She looked down at her ankle. “I’m pretty sure my ankle is sprained. I sent my Patronus to your tent but you apparently didn’t get it.”
“Lucky thing you decided to stick around for the holidays after all, Malfoy,” Bill said, clapping Draco on the back. “I’m going to go tell Cardstone I’m getting ready to leave. Malfoy, do me a favor and heal my sister’s ankle.”
Draco nodded stiffly. “Fine.”
“Wait, you’re leaving him in charge of healing me?” Ginny stared at her brother as if he had just grown three heads.
“He’s the best at healing spells.” He smiled at Ginny. “You’re in capable hands.”
Draco raised an eyebrow as Ginny leveled a glare on him. “Keep looking at me like that and I won’t heal your ankle.”
“Could you please just hurry this up?” Ginny huffed. “I would prefer to spend Christmas at home, not in a desert.”
Draco sat down at the end of the bed, and gently lifted her leg onto his lap. “Weasley, perhaps if you had learned to watch where you were going and walk on your own two feet, you wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“I--ouch,” Ginny exclaimed as he touched her ankle. “What the bloody hell are you doing?”
“Trying to assess the damage,” Draco drawled. “I don’t know what idiot decides to wear stilettos in the middle of a bloody desert.”
“What are you doing here anyways?” snapped Ginny, not able to come up with a proper retort. “Shouldn’t you be off at one of your vacation homes hiding in the dark away from the sun?”
Draco chuckled. “Is that the best you can come up with?”
“Bill never mentioned you were here,” Ginny said, ignoring his comment. “I’ve never seen you as the type of person to risk sunburn to find ancient artifacts.”
“I don’t burn,” Draco said haughtily.
Ginny had to admit that he was right. He had beautifully sun-kissed skin that seemed to match his build perfectly. The low slung shorts he wore gave her a nice view of his legs, which were muscular but not overly so. He wore a plain black t-shirt, the short sleeves drawing attention to his biceps. His hair was cut short, more than likely to prevent him from getting too hot.
“Done checking me out Weasley?”
Ginny opened and closed her mouth before looking away in embarrassment. “I wasn’t checking you out.”
“Right,” Draco said, sarcasm evident in his voice. He touched her ankle again, turning it gently. “If you must know, I’m funding this search. It’s the only reason why I’m here. I wanted to be on hand when we found the artifacts.”
“So you don’t actually help with the dig?” Ginny smiled smugly, knowing that a Malfoy would never stoop to doing manual labor.
“No, I help,” Draco said, running his wand in a circle against her ankle.
When he didn’t elaborate, Ginny asked, “So, why not go home for the holidays?”
“Why so curious about my life, Weasley?” Draco smirked. “You wouldn’t be developing a crush, would you?”
“I would rather kiss a Hippogriff, Malfoy,” Ginny spat.
“No one mentioned kissing,” Draco said, raising an eyebrow. “Is that what’s on your mind, Ginevra? Was that on your list to Santa, be snogged senseless by the gorgeous Draco Malfoy?”
Ginny blushed. “No.”
Though, now that he mentioned it, her eyes were drawn to his lips. She suddenly found herself wondering what it would be like to kiss those lips. She had once seen Draco snogging Pansy Parkinson in school. He had held the pug faced girl up against the wall, and snogged her senseless. She began to imagine herself in Pansy’s position, being held against the wall, his knee between her legs, holding her up. A new kind of need pooled in her stomach.
“I think it is,” Draco murmured. He slipped her heel back onto her foot. He stood from the bunk, and held out his hand for Ginny. When she grasped it, he pulled her up, her body slamming into his chest. “Now, what do I get for healing your ankle?”
“What do you want?” Ginny already knew the answer though.
“To show you some better uses for that mouth,” Draco muttered.
Before Ginny knew what was happening, Draco’s lips were on her own. His tongue ran along the seam of her lips, plunging into her mouth. It was as if Draco had not had water in his many days in the desert, and Ginny was his water supply. He ravished her lips, his tongue moving along hers, exploring her mouth like he, no doubt, explored the desert. Her hands wrapped around his neck, and she leaned further into the kiss, only pulling away when she felt his hand reach down to touch her bum.
“You’ve certainly improved my Christmas,” Draco murmured.
“Well, my mum did say to spread a bit of Christmas cheer,” Ginny said with a smile.
“Ginny, what the bloody hell are you doing?” asked Bill as he entered the tent.
“Malfoy’s coming home with us for Christmas,” Ginny said, not knowing what made her decide to blurt that out. When she saw her brother and Draco shoot her curious glances, she added, “Mum said I was to spread a bit of Christmas cheer. And I haven’t finished spreading my Christmas cheer to Malfoy yet.”
“I can’t wait to feel your Christmas cheer, love,” Draco said, cheekily.
“Stop using Christmas cheer as a bloody cover up for what you really mean,” Bill snapped. He knew exactly what was on Malfoy’s mind. He’d been living with the man for six months.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Bill.” Ginny straightened herself. “Now, are we ready to go?”
Ginny smiled as Draco moved to change. She would have a cheerful Christmas indeed.
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