Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo

After wandering for ten minutes, Ginny spotted a twisted mass of rubble among some branches. After repeatedly pulling at the branches surrounding it forcefully to no avail, the redhead looked up to see her arrogant companion’s face sneering at her.

“Well? What do you want me to do? Malfoy, if you think you can get out of your little girl knickers and get this blasted Muggle automobile out, be my guest!” screeched Ginny, irritated beyond belief at his smug expression.

Draco took three long strides and with one tug sent every twist and tangle of the verdure raining on the car. Finally, the hunk of metal revealed itself to be a light blue Fiat. Unfortunately, the car had seen much better days, covered with countless dents and scratches, but even the filth of the machine did not curb Draco’s good mood at having annoyed his partner. He brushed the twigs off effortlessly and, after smoothly unlocking the vehicle, opened the car door for Ginny mockingly.

She stomped towards the car and plopped down onto the passenger seat, slamming the door so hard the window nearly shattered.

Draco strutted to the driver’s seat, positively aglow with self-satisfaction. Ginny narrowed her eyes dangerously at his façade.

That insufferable idiot! How is it possible for a person to have absolutely nothing else in his head except for hot air? Draco Malfoy is the single most annoying person in the entire world. Bloody irritating toff—”

Still beaming, Draco floored the gas pedal and took off at full speed. The old sport car’s wheels could barely take the rough forest ground, and Draco’s maniac speed was not helping at all. Ginny clutched to the armrest like a scared rabbit.

Draco was, on the other hand, having the time of his life. The only thing he was not very good at was the turns, but – with the map in his left hand and his right on the wheel – he was enjoying himself.

Unfortunately, once the car had stumbled out of the forest, they were on the paved road, which was full of sharp swerves and winding curves. He made several wide arcs, nearly hitting a terrified fruit seller and causing several motorcycles to collide with each other.

Ginny could take it no longer. After precisely fifteen minutes of her companion’s reckless driving, she grabbed the wheel from him in an effort to gain control of the car. In surprise, Draco let go suddenly and the car veered off the road, hitting some small shrubs. Coughing and crawling out of the wreckage, unharmed but angry, Ginny and Draco stood up and faced each other.

“What the hell was that for?” Draco shouted, his face darkening. “Do you want us both to die? Are you bloody insane, witch?”

“Excuse me,” Ginny retorted, “I didn’t realize that I should’ve not stopped you from nearly destroying all of Sardinia!”

“I don’t care! Now, how exactly do you propose we get to the villa? If we don’t get there, it will be all your fault and I’ll be left to—”

“Malfoy, if you even bother to pull your head out of your arse for only a few seconds, you would know that we were already here!” she yelled, and gestured behind him.

Draco whipped around, and his shoulders sagged in relief at the sight of the grand villa. Beyond the shrubbery lay the magical border that hid the estate from Muggles. The house, regal in standing, was a fusion between a luxurious, classic Italian home and the original Malfoy Manor. Ginny, relieved to see a hospitable, clean safe place, sprinted to the door and waited to be granted entrance.

Draco followed behind, pulling their shrunken luggage out of his coat pocket as he walked. Taking his time, he strode to the door and stepped directly in front of Ginny, who rolled her eyes. At his very step on the doormat, the door flew open. A miniscule house-elf appeared in front of them.

“Master Draco! Oh, the young master has grown so tall and big, just like Master Lucius! Oh, sir, Dara is honored to serve Master Draco,” the house-elf squeaked, her wide brown eyes brimming with joyful tears.

To Ginny, she said, “Hello, Mistress Wheezy! Mistress Wheezy is just as pretty as Dara was expecting.” Then the house-elf turned to face her completely, and gave her a knowing wink, which went by unnoticed by Draco.

Ginny stared at the tiny creature in bewilderment, but gave the elf a genuine smile.

At least someone in this house doesn’t want to gut me like a fish. I may actually have a good time.

Draco cleared his throat and asked Dara to unpack for them. Dara nearly fell over bowing to both Draco and Ginny, and scurried away to do her chores.

Ginny took the opportunity to look around the gargantuan place. The floors alternated between mahogany paneling and solid marble in golden tones. Silk-embroidered Persian carpets lay on the floor. Ancient magical tapestry, covered with runes, hung from the walls, and all of the furniture was made from richly-colored woods. A large set of double staircases opened up the foyer and separated the right wing from the left. While the Malfoy Manor was cold, dungeon-like, and dark, the villa had obviously been decorated to cater to Narcissa’s every whim. Fresh orchids in golden inlayed pots bloomed from every spot.

Ginny was in awe. She fell in love with the décor at once, and could not wait to see her room. Living in luxury was definitely a plus side to working with Malfoy.

Ginny watched Draco carefully for a moment to see what he would do once arriving home. However, he just stood in silence, refusing to budge an inch. She shrugged and kept waiting. Finally, when she could take it no longer, she prodded him.


“What?” he snapped.

“It would be great if you had the decency to inform me where I am to stay.”

“Fine,” Draco muttered, “it might actually encourage you to show up on time if you could navigate yourself around the house.” He led the way up the grand staircase, taking two steps at a time, while Ginny, teeth clenched, sprinted to keep up with his long strides.

Countless twists and turns later, Draco indicated the room directly in front of him. “This is your room. Unfortunately, the guesthouse is being emptied out at the moment, and my mother insisted that you stay in the house—God knows why—so, for the time being, I am forced to let you—”

Ginny stepped inside in astonishment, ignoring Draco’s cutting remarks completely. The room was gorgeous. The walls were done in golden paint, and in the midst of it all was an exquisite cherry sleigh bed, draped with crimson silk sheets. A beautiful cherry dresser, vanity, and bureau completed the room.

The steadfast woman morphed into a young, carefree girl at the lavish scene before her, and squealed with delight. She turned around to thank her partner, but he was nowhere to be seen.

All the better. Now I need to just take a very, very long bath.

She walked into the bathroom, where her bath had already been drawn for her, and stepped into the lilac-infused water, noting the ruby-encrusted handles of the faucet.

I guess when you have that much money, you really must not have anything to do with it.

The second she immersed herself in the water, Dara appeared beside her. Ginny blushed and ducked herself farther into the thick bubbles, unaccustomed to having servants help her bathe.

Dara, armed with a battalion of shampoos and perfumes, hummed songs in soprano as she went about anointing Ginny with her various potions and products.

After about the sixth conditioner, Ginny was rather fed up with the whole deal. She snatched the bottle and read, “Madam Malfalda’s Magic 20-Second Hair Gloss. ‘Guaranteed to make your hair as shiny as unicorn tail!’ What utter rubbish.”

“Yes, miss, but very effective it is indeed! And Mistress should always look her best! Master is expecting you at two o’ clock, promptly,” Dara replied.

Ginny turned her head around to raise an eyebrow at the miniscule servant, who went back to humming as usual, as if nothing had happened.

Ginny asked carefully, “Is there something I should know? Is there any particular reason I need to ‘look my best’?”

Because to be honest, she added to herself, the only other person I would probably come in contact with for miles is Malfoy, and that’s something I will try to avoid as much as possible.

The elf widened her eyes, and opened her mouth, then shut it quickly.

After seeming to have a minor mental argument with herself, Dara finally squeaked, “Oh, Miss, Dara was just saying, she wishes she could tell, but no, she cannot. But she can tell you one thing, oh yes, Dara can. Dara wants to warn Mistress to always, always look at things in a new light. And two is always better than one, ‘tis the truth. ”

Ginny knew there was some truth to the elf’s words, especially when they had to do with unknown Dark forces—she remembered with clarity Harry’s experience with Dobby, and how the elf had known of the dangers of the Chamber of Secrets. Ginny shuddered at the thought of the chamber, which brought back all of the horrific memories of that year.

Attempting to shake herself away from those thoughts, Ginny forced a smile onto her face and nodded, responding, “Thank you, Dara. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Dara beamed at her approval.

Ginny slipped out of the tub and into a fuzzy scarlet bathrobe, marveling at how soft it was. Striding out of the bathroom, she went to look for her clothes. She reached inside the dresser—where Dara had already folded her newly washed and pressed clothes— and pulled out a pair of crisp black trousers and an olive-green V-neck sweater. Ginny wove her wand around her head and her hair twisted up into a chignon, looking in the ornate mirror of her vanity as she did so.

Wow, those hair potions were actually quite useful. My head doesn’t look like Arnold the Pygmy Puff took residence there, that’s for sure.

She then grabbed a pair of dragon-hide slingbacks (her birthday present from George) and proceeded out the door.

“Oh, damn, I forgot my earrings. And Malfoy,” Ginny cursed, and with her wand drawn, muttered, “Accio earrings.

She got no response. She tried again, “Accio earrings!

Ginny gave one last futile attempt, to no avail: “Uh, Accio Ginny Weasley’s earrings? Um, Dara? Are you there?” Apparently Dara was assisting her master, because she was nowhere to be found.

Great. I bet the Malfoys’ have one of those fancy protection enchantments on all of their guestrooms or something. I guess I’ll just have to search manually.

Ginny padded toward the drawers once again and thoroughly searched all of them, disgusted by their contents. She had neglected to look at everything before, and realized the drawers were full of possibly the smuttiest lingerie she had ever seen.

Whose are these? Ginny wondered, half-disgusted, and half-intrigued.

After pulling out countless numbers of teddies, nightgowns, and brassieres, she gave up, and moved on to the bureau. This one was no different. She pulled out a black handkerchief and threw it back in repulsion when it revealed itself to be a lacy crotchless thong.

Malfoy sure does get around, doesn’t he?

Finally, in the very last drawer, she found her small pouch of jewelry and pulled out the earrings that she had wasted so much time looking for.

She slipped them on and looked at the clock. As usual, she was late. The ornate clock’s hands showed five after two.

Ginny racked her brains, but she hadn’t the foggiest where she was supposed to be. After walking around pointlessly for God knew how long, Ginny ended up in the right wing. The first door she saw was embossed with three Latin words, and she faintly made one of them out to be Draco.

This must be his room. There’s probably an elf cleaning up after Malfoy in there. Maybe one of them can tell me where his grand, pig-headed Lordship is.

She rapped on the door three times, and when she got no reply, she barged inside.

The room was very spacious, with a small sitting area, a study desk, and a very large bed, with a door to the adjoining bathroom inside. The décor was symbolic of Slytherin to the highest degree: the curtains, bed sheets, blankets, throws, and rugs were all emerald. All of the other furnishings were in cream, white, or gold, and the overall tone of the room was very elegant and sophisticated. The materials of the furniture further reflected the Malfoys’ posh tastes, as the room housed everything from cashmere to silk to cherry. His bedroom set was much like hers, but larger and definitely more ornate.

Ginny tiptoed around, looking for any tiny house elves lurking in the corners, and paused to feel the soft cashmere throw on the couch. It smelled inherently of him, like smoky woods and something very, very sweet, but Ginny could not tell what it was. All she knew was that the smell was incredibly intoxicating.

Shaking her head away, she proceeded to look in the bathroom. Pushing open the door, Ginny looked inside and stopped dead in her tracks, mouth agape.

Author notes: Now, this may seem like a cliffhanger, but it's not really a huge one at all. The NEXT chapter is where we will be leading up to something new! ;) Review please! Enjoy, y'all :)

-M :)

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