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Chapter 2: A Trust to be Reconciled With
The morning after Ginny Weasley’s seventeenth birthday...
A soft poke in her subconscious stirred Ginny from a sluggish sleep. She could see sunlight through her eyelids, but she was too warm and comfortable to open them just yet. Instead, she awakened each of her other senses one by one. His musky smell was what stole her attention first, and she breathed deeply, the memory of the weight of his body over hers drifting to the front of her thoughts. Aware that her head was moving up and down rhythmically with his breaths, she took to listening to his chest, her ear pressed against it. A steady and relaxed thumping was heard behind the ribs her cheek lay against. She then awakened the feel of his skin beneath her fingertips. Ever so softly so as to not rouse him, she traced the familiar lines that criss-crossed his chest: very thin and faint scars left from Draco and Harry’s last dual. Though Snape’s usage of the Essence of Dittany had prevented disfiguring scars, these hardly noticeable souvenirs had been left behind.
She then turned her head so that she could press her lips against the skin her cheek had just been touching, tasting a faint salty residue: A result of a night of sweaty, strenuous activity. He stirred, his hips shifting to angle towards hers and the arm wrapped around her shoulders tightening its hold. She felt muscles in his chest constrict as his free arm rose, and then his curled fingers were beneath her chin, lifting her face. She found Draco’s eyes of dark mist just before they closed, and he pressed his lips against hers for just an instant. Pulling back immediately, she smiled as she wrinkled her nose. Her lids rose to find him smirking.
“What?” he asked, and his breath washed over her face.
“Eww, morning breath,” she whispered, bringing up her hand to cover her own mouth.
He snorted, and then buried his nose into the crevice between her neck and shoulder. The abrupt prickling sensation caused her to arch her back and giggle.
“No, stop!” she laughed as she pushed at his chest.
He only pulled her body against his in response, his large hands spread across her naked back. The nose-nuzzling had been exchanged for kisses as he ran his lips down her front, and she stopped writhing in protest.
“Mmm, why haven’t we always done this?” she asked, revelling.
His lips broke contact with her skin and he uttered hoarsely, “I honestly can’t remember.”
Now looking up at her with his chin resting on her stomach, he smiled. His cool, grey eyes seemed to smile at her as well from beneath a fringe of white-blond hair. It was odd looking at him from this angle, but she savoured every second. She loved that he had seen every part of her and she felt completely at ease, and even better, she had seen every part of him.
His eyes shifted to the bedside clock, and he pursed his lips.
“You should go soon before your mother calls you down for breakfast.”
Rolling her eyes, she exhaled with irritation through her nose.
“I’m of age now, and I want to stay here with you,” she argued, pulling him by his upper arms so that he would lie next to her.
He submitted for a moment, cradling her in his embrace as she rested her head in that perfect nook of his shoulder. With a sigh, he tightened his hold and then released her, sliding beneath the covers to the edge of the bed. As he sat up, locating his pants and trousers near his feet, he heard her snort with irritation before moving to the opposite side of the bed. Sneaking a look over his shoulder, his breath caught. She was shoving a foot into one side of her knickers with clear aggravation, so he took that moment to admire the perfect hourglass of her shape and the flawlessly pale skin of her back as it contrasted with her flowing mane of glowing red hair. He knew she needed to get home soon, and getting on Mrs. Weasley’s bad side for keeping her only daughter all night was not an option.
Tearing his eyes away, he commenced pulling on his own garments with a little more difficulty than he would have had had he not looked.
As Ginny buttoned her last button, Draco snuck up behind her, sliding each of his palms around either side of her hips to rest together against her middle and pushed aside a lock of her hair with his nose to kiss her neck. She turned to face him, smiling contentedly. He feigned a disappointed expression, drawing his eyebrows together and pouting a little.
“What’s wrong?” she asked self-consciously, her hands coming up to smooth her bed-head.
“All covered up,” he said in a whiny voice, and she giggled softly. He brought one hand up to touch her face, grazing her cheek with his thumb. “But still beautiful.”
“Ugh,” she scoffed as she rolled her eyes. “You know, you won’t need that cheesy rubbish anymore to get me into bed.”
She had uttered the magic words that would cause any bloke to go weak at the knees. Stepping forward to press her body against his, she pulled apart the top opening of his shirt to kiss him at the base of his throat.
“Merlin, Ginny, what are you doing to me?” he whispered with a groan into her ear as his hands came around to run themselves up her back.
She pushed against his chest, knocking his knees out against the side of the bed and forcing him onto his back.
“Getting my way,” she whispered back with a smirk as she climbed on top of him.
For this reason she wasn’t in her room when Mrs. Weasley called her down to breakfast, but showed up fifteen minutes after her mother had poked her head into the empty room to rouse her daughter. Ginny flew swiftly through her open bedroom window, seated upon Ron’s old Shooting Star. Propping the broom against the wall, she looked to her right into her bureau mirror, initially alarmed by the way her body took on the colours of whatever lay behind her. And then she noticed a face staring at her from the left part of her stomach as if it were a part of her travel robes.
Ginny whirled around, all thoughts involving her chameleon appearance forced to the back of her mind.
“Mum!” she cried with surprise, her eyes wide. “I was just–”
“Oh, Ginevra, I know where you were. You think that you could have snuck out almost every night without me noticing?” Mrs. Weasley said seriously, but with a hint of a smile in her warm, chocolate eyes.
Ginny’s mouth fell open, and she stared at her mother for a moment. Now she was in for it.
“Come, come, sit with me.” Mrs. Weasley let the smile spread to her lips as she patted the quilted bedspread of the twin bed she sat upon.
Inching forward with admonition, Ginny finally joined the older witch.
“Now,” Mrs. Weasley brought up her wand to rap Ginny on the head, perhaps a little harder than was necessary. Ginny felt the familiar cascade of warmth run through her from the tingling spot on her head where the wand had touched it. “I can see those guilty eyes.”
The hot sting of culpability crept across Ginny’s cheeks, and she knew they now rivalled the hue of her fiery hair. Her eyes dropped, unable to look into the kind face that should be laying into her for her blatant disregard of her mother’s trust. She noticed, clutched within Mrs. Weasley’s slightly restless hands, a small ball of purple fur. Another smaller wave of guilt grew for Arnold, her forgotten Pygmy Puff. It seemed ages ago that having one was so important; when had her childhood ended?
“Poor guy,” Ginny murmured, poking the fuzzy ball, and Arnold twitched in response.
Mrs. Weasley opened her hands, and the Pygmy Puff bounced up Ginny’s arm to rest on her shoulder. She felt silly again, but enjoyed it. Her mother released a long sigh, and Ginny met her eyes. They held no admonition or resentment, only love.
“I don’t understand,” she said slowly, “Why aren’t you yelling and screaming like you do at the boys?”
Laughing lightly – which threw Ginny off even further – Mrs. Weasley replied, “Because dear, your brothers have been blessed with your father’s thick skull. Yelling and screaming is the only way to get through to them.”
Ginny smiled; no argument there.
Her mother reached up to smooth her daughter’s hair, running her fingers through the fiery ginger strands.
“My baby girl, my only girl; all grown up and ready to leave me,” she said softly, her misty eyes following the progress of her fingers continuing to comb through Ginny’s hair.
Now Ginny understood what was holding back the screams.
“Mum, I don’t want to leave you! But– I just–” she started to voice, but she couldn’t quite string together a complete thought.
“I know, honey,” Mrs. Weasley said with a sad smile, “but you remember how young your father and I married. I just hope you’re not rushing into something.”
“We’re not getting married!” Ginny exclaimed, causing Arnold to jump an inch into the air before landing back on her shoulder. “I just always want to be with him! I can’t get enough of his company, and when I have to sleep by myself, all I can think about is wishing he were next to me. That’s all!”
Mrs. Weasley’s hand that had made a pass through the crimson mane held in mid-air during Ginny’s outburst and then dropped to the bed as a relieved smile spread across her face.
“Good,” she replied, the skin around her warm eyes crinkling with laugh-lines, “because if you think I would let your education suffer for an infatuation, that I would let you drop out of school for this boy, I will yell and scream as much as it takes!”
Ginny’s cheeks began to flush with embarrassment; she hadn’t realized that her mother had been so worried about she and Draco running off to get married, not about what they were doing all alone at Draco’s flat. As her cheeks burned, Mrs. Weasley reached out to touch the necklace Draco had given her only yesterday.
“This looks beautiful with your hair,” Mrs. Weasley spoke, lifting the heavy pendant that hung from Ginny’s neck. She held it up with her two fingers, leaning closer to admire the large sapphire.
“It was his mother’s,” Ginny said softly, remembering the time Draco had first spoke to her about his mother, the time he had first opened his heart to her.
“Oh Ginny, dear,” her mother sighed as she let the pendant slip from her fingers to once again hang from her daughter’s neck, “it seems so soon for these things. But, I know, you’re an adult now, and I’ve raised a smart girl. ”
She couldn’t believe she was getting off this easily; being of age was already paying off.
With a sigh, Mrs. Weasley pushed herself up and walked towards the door.
“I’ll heat up your breakfast for you, dear,” she called over her shoulder as she left the room.
Ginny collapsed onto her bed as a whoosh of air left her lungs in heavy relief.
“Oh, and by the way,” her mother said sweetly as she poked her head back into Ginny’s room, “you’re grounded until school starts.”
Ginny hadn’t even had time to sit up before Mrs. Weasley was padding down the stairs. Her mouth hung open as she stared up at the ceiling, a Holyhead Harpies banner covering every inch of it. One of the chasers was making rounds from one end of the pitch to the other, giving Ginny a grin and a thumbs-up before putting on a burst of speed. Ginny gave a childish screech of anger before getting up, realizing that school was a whole three weeks away.