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Chapter 12 : Weasleyfying a Malfoy
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Disclaimer: Listen up, this is NOT MINE! I'm just using the characters for my own twisted pleasure. Dance, puppets, dance!
Author's Notes: Kudos to the magnificent dragonsangel68 for all her tremendous help. Lets wish her the bestest of the bestests =D
As stated in the previous chapter, I've started a diary on LJ. Don't be afraid to friend cause I really don't bite... too much.
And the last thing. Since my updating schedule is a real shame, I decided to start a Mailing-List for your convenience. If you wish to be notified when the next chapter is posted, please leave your email in a review =)
Other than that, enjoy! ^_^
Draco Malfoy considered himself a very reasonable person. Clear reason and healthy logic was what helped him recollect the pieces of Malfoy Empire after his Father's demise, reshape it to fit his own vision of power and profit, and reemerge yet again into the social and business wizarding British society stronger and better than before. Healthy logic was what prompted him to switch alliances about a decade ago when he was one of the firsts to notice that the Dark Lord's attempt to overthrow the Ministry, were not going according to his supposedly immaculate plan. Good sense was what aided him countless times in dealing with an enraged Voldemort, skillfully hiding his true loyalties while the wreck of a wizard raked his mind with a fine comb, and accounting to every seemingly faultless failure with flawless charm and explanations.
It was while dealing with a certain redheaded witch that healthy logic and clear reason were catapulted right out of his mind with the brutality of a rabid hippogriff. For it undoubtedly wasn't clear reason that prodded him to rescue the girl's father, risking his own precious life after even the Order members - with great pain in their hearts and crocodile tears in their eyes - decided that Arthur Weasley was an acceptable sacrifice for the sake of the Greater Good. Nor was it healthy logic that cajoled him into taking the youngest Weasley into his house, threatening her superior into repositioning her, taking up the sodden Boy Who Lived (after quite unintentionally strolling near the Daily Prophet's editorial after work-hours with no desire whatsoever to accompany the redhead back home safely), and on top of that assaulting her the previous morning when she told him she was returning back to her childhood house.
Albeit, the so-called assault was quite enjoyable to both parties, judging by the soft moans and content sighs of the little Weasley, but that was disregarded at the moment.
At the moment, Draco was mentally cursing himself and his newly acquired continuous lack of reason as he stood on the porch of the rickety shack that was the notorious Burrow. His restless hands were gripping Madam Malkin's shopping bags and his was mind reeling in search of better excuse than the one he initially stormed out of the Manor with.
All traces of coherent thoughts were lost for good when the door was swung open and before him stood a dainty form of the aforementioned redheaded witch, visibly trying to veil her irritation. He instantly tightened his grip on the shopping bags and clenched his jaw involuntarily in a well-trained attempt to keep his composure pristine; his eyes bore deeper into the unnerved witch.
The irritation was replaced by surprise, then by horror and confusion, and at last by a luscious scarlet blush mixed with traces of relief in her honey-coated eyes. She blinked couple of times, apparently to make sure that he was not a mirage or a twisted illusion of her mind and opened her mouth to say something, but closed it before any sound left her little pink lips. Her eyes traveled over his form, taking in the black robes he spent the day in, the carefully mussed locks of colorless blond hair and the scarcely flushed cheeks from the night-flight. Her eyes slipped to the shopping bags in his hands and the treacherous scarlet deepened upon her cheeks as she glanced back up to meet his eyes.
He tried to ignore the countless wonderful and terrifying things her soft questioning gaze and tantalizing blush did to his body, but was barely able to stand still under the scrutiny of her wandering eyes. Begrudgingly, he became self-conscious of the plain yet considerably expensive work robes, far less than perfect hair, and the stinging redness on his cheeks that most probably made him look like a common simpleton. He stopped himself from shifting his weight uncomfortably and steadied his eyes upon hers when they finally settled back onto his face.
Brown doe-like eyes bore into his mercury pools sending both wizards plummeting into the abysses of memories long forgotten that never truly existed. She heaved him up from under the burden just to gift him with yet another burden far more lethal yet all the more welcoming. Ancient worlds and entities collided with callously seething and simmering roars and destinies, like loosened threads, lost their initial pattern, disentangling and intertwining themselves into new forgotten paths that should have been.
But all that was overlooked by the oblivious pair standing on the threshold of the Burrow, both staring into the eyes of the other and refusing to be the firsts to speak.
"Ginny!" The familiar voice of Mrs. Weasley drifted between them from somewhere far away, shattering the moment into irreparable shards. "How long does it take to fetch a wand, dear? -Oh, Oh dear…"
Draco blinked the moment Ginny whirled around to face her mother, stuttering a guilty explanation for no apparent reason.
"I-- umm, we-- well, I…"
"Good evening, Mrs. Weasley," he decided to speak up, seeing as Ginny didn't really have any explanations to his presence at the threshold of their home. "You seem to look lovelier with every single time we meet. "
Recovering from the initial surprise, Mrs. Weasley smiled slightly as her cheeks shone rosily with the tiniest shadow of a blush. "Oh thank you, Draco dear. What are you doing here at this hour?" her voice was laced with her usual welcoming warmth, and Draco had to give the woman credit for her acting skills. He knew his uninvited appearance must cause her more discomfort than she let on.
"I apologize, Mrs. Weasley, for my intrusion at such an hour, but--"
"Nonsense, Draco dear, come in. Come in!"
Draco was so thunderstruck by the unexpectedly hearty reaction, his expression actually slipping for a moment from his usual collected self and his eyes widening in surprise when Mrs. Weasley ushered him into the house in such a manner that thwarted any thought of resistance. He threw a glance at Ginny, wordlessly asking her whether he should fear for his life, but she was as shocked by her mother as he was.
The last couple of times he visited the Burrow he was received with the acceptably detached politeness by Mr. Weasley as Mrs. Weasley wasn't present at those times. He never thought the Weasley matriarch would greet him with such enthusiastic hospitality. In fact he was quite sure that such a reaction coming from a Weasley towards a Malfoy was humanly impossible. That's why the notion of Mrs. Weasley welcoming him with such warmth was somewhat unsettling and nerve racking, causing his mind to dive into paranoid conspiracies and musings, while he was practically dragged out of the foyer and into the living room.
"Take a seat, dear. So what brings you here? Did you come to check up on Ginny?"
Draco hesitated for a moment before taking a seat on the sofa across from Mrs. Weasley. Something in the redheaded witch made him anxiously compliant, as he was sure angering her was not in his best interest. He could feel Ginny uncertainly enter the living room behind them and was watch him intently, making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
He hesitated another moment before replying, licking his lips absently and extending the shopping bags in his hands to the Weasley matriarch. "Yes. Yes, I did. Also, I'm afraid Ginevra was in such hurry to leave the Manor that she left some of her clothing behind. I came here to return them and… oh--" His eyes slipped to the entrance of the kitchen and from there to the open door leading into the overcrowded back yard. "-- I can see that you're entertaining some guests now, so I'll be off --"
"Oh, we're just having a little family gathering. Why don't you stay, dear?" came the abrupt voice of Mrs. Weasley, so brusque and eager that it seemed to Draco she was waiting through his words just to ask him.
"Pardon me?" Draco blurted out quite awkwardly.
A scandalous "What?" followed immediately. It has come simultaneously from both Ginny and another voice that echoed from the entrance to the kitchen.
Draco glanced up and noticed the ever tall and ever lanky form of Ronald Weasley standing in the doorway, eyes gawking with confusion and visible displeasure at the present scene of his mother entertaining a Malfoy - Draco at that - in the Burrow's living room.
Draco smothered the smirk that threatened to appear, despite his own confusion and bewilderment, at Mrs. Weasley's offer. "Oh no, Mrs. Weasley. I could never intrude on a family occasion--"
"Nonsense, Draco dear. The more the merrier," Mrs. Weasley countered him stoically, her eyes gleaming with unfamiliar, to him, obstinacy.
"Mum!" Ron hissed through clenched teeth and stomped into the room, towering beside his mother and sending troubled glances at his younger sister. "Guests are waiting. Ferr--Mal--Dra--Malfoy… what are you doing here?" he asked almost pleasantly, if not for the dimly noticeable distaste on his face.
"Draco just dropped by to return some robes Ginny left at Malfoy Manor. Isn't that nice, dear?" Mrs. Weasley chirped in, smiling pleasantly up at Ron and back at Draco.
"Yes, yes, it is…" Ron agreed dismissively, surveying Draco suspiciously, as if expecting the small conceited boy to jump out of this suit of a respected grown man and to throw dungbombs at him or hex some horribly mucous skin condition upon his freckled face.
Somewhere at the back of Draco's mind a small voice continues to chant repeatedly, reminding him of Ginny's whereabouts. She's behind you, behind you; she's looking, looking…
He couldn't help but to chance a glance over his shoulder at the petite redhead. The confusion and surprise regarding her mother's actions were replaced by quiet discomfort. Noticing his eyes, she blinked couple of times, trying to muster all her lost wits into a single coherent thought and when that didn't work as she hoped, she just looked away.
Draco continued to look at her silently, until her eyes reluctantly slipped back to meet his. The silver in his eyes wavered into something else than the icy exterior and a small, almost unnoticeable smile tugged at his lips. Ginny blinked again, her eyes widening subtly as she fidgeted with a golden band on one of her fingers.
His heart suddenly sunk. The wedding ring.
He turned away abruptly, glancing at Mrs. Weasley with a perfectly polite smile, veiling the wrenching of his stomach.
"Well," Draco interrupted the wordless conversation between Molly Weasley and her son, which included glares, prodding and a lot of swatting by Mrs. Weasley, slowly standing up. "Though, I am appreciative of your warm invitation, Mrs. Weasley, I am afraid I cannot accept. "
"I will hear nothing of the sort, dear. No guest has ever declined an offer for a Weasley-cooked dinner and believe you me, you will not be the first," Mrs. Weasley responded briskly, standing up and readying herself to drag the fair-haired wizard by his robes, if such thing was necessary.
Draco's eyes slipped to the stout oak wand Mrs. Weasley retrieved from Ginny back in the foyer and which the redheaded matriarch now stroked absently. Draco allowed a small indulgent smile flatter past his lips and he closed his eyes for a moment and most imperceptibly shook his head. "Once again, Mrs. Weasley, thank you very much for your invitation, but I really should be heading back. I'm afraid I left important issues that must be taken care of immediately and I have already spent more time here, then I anticipated. I do wish you a fine evening," he bowed curtly and made his way to the foyer before the witch could stop him.
Of course what he just said was a complete and total lie, but he really couldn't see himself accepting such an invitation. The thought of spending the evening surrounded by hot-tempered Weasleys, most of who were still harboring a grudge against him because of various reasons, wasn't what troubled him about the arrangement. What troubled him was spending the evening in close proximity to the youngest Weasley witch, trying not to stare or at least not be conspicuous about it. And he knew for certain that he would stare at the youngest Weasley witch if such opportunity presented itself, because she still hadn't spoken a word and the voice at the back of his head was still hissing and sputtering vindictively, She's there, there! Looking, she's looking!
Draco was so deep in contemplation and striding purposefully towards the door that it took him a few moments to realize there had been some foreign pressure applied to his ear, pulling him slightly downwards and back. If the invitation to spend the evening among various members of the Weasley clan wasn't enough to make Draco lose his composure, the fact that he now was staring into the uncomfortably close brown eyes of Mrs. Weasley, who was pulling him by his ear downwards to face her equally, definitely was. His eyes widened in shock of such antic and his mouth slipped open.
"Did I not make myself crystal clear when I said no one refuses a Weasley invitation, Mr. Malfoy?" came the crisp voice of Molly Weasley, unabashed by the fact that she was still holding a grown man - a Malfoy - by his ear.
Draco blinked, still unable to recompose himself. From the corner of his eye he could see Ron gawk in utter disbelief at the scene; and he could've sworn he heard a meek giggle coming from where he last saw Ginny. He opened his mouth, but found that he was too flabbergasted to piece a reply. What could've been his reply to the woman he met barely dozen times in his entire life, but already felt nonchalant enough about him that deemed it appropriate to yank his ears? He had to squelch the malicious comment about the Weasley manners that was whirring through his mind in order to maintain the last traces of his poise.
"I do understand your discomfort regarding such an invitation, seeing as our families have been at odds for longer than any of us can recall," she spoke calmly, almost neutrally, but her voice was traced with an apparent edge. "But I can assure you that my invitation was not made from feeling of obligation or plain etiquette. When I invited you, I did not expect you to decline because of this foolish family feud and certainly did not expect you to muster up a dimwitted excuse as to why not to accept it. Now, I understand I mostly certainly caused you more than mild discomfort by my action and I will let you go in just one second, but if you think you are leaving this house without having at least twelve helpings of the dishes I worked so hard over and wholeheartedly wish to share with you, you have another thing coming. Dear. "
Emphasizing the last word with a cheerful smile, Mrs. Weasley let go of Draco's ear and brushed her dress robes absently, smoothing the slight wrinkles. "Now… who's up for some breathtaking meal?" she beamed readily, pocketing her wand, clasping her hands together, and glancing at her children and Draco in turn.
"I am," Ron raised his hand immediately, his voice laced with obvious fear of his mother. He trudged towards the kitchen after shooting Draco a strange look, a look that suspiciously resembled pity. It seems he was well trained in his mother's berating antics and automatically felt sympathy for whoever was unlucky enough to undergo it.
Draco straightened slowly, still staring with mildly wide eyes at the plump woman in front of him. Tugging at the hem of his sweater to smooth it down and cleared his throat subtly. "Right then," he muttered more to himself, chancing a glance at Ginny. Though the discomfort was still evident, he could see the sides of her mouth pulled up in a small smile. Apparently she found the image of Weasley matriarch scolding a grown Draco Malfoy amusing, for whatever reason. Looking back at Mrs. Weasley, Draco shot her the most brilliant smile he could muster without breaking his usual Malfoy veneer and offered her his arm. "Shall we?"
Mrs. Weasley smiled good naturedly, hooking one of plump arms with Draco's slender one and lead him into the back yard. A distraught Ginny Weasley followed close behind.
Ginny couldn't believe her mother. Of all the quirky-bordering-on-insane things she might've done, inviting Draco to a Weasley family gathering, then practically dragging him in by his ear when he declined, wasn't high on Ginny's scale of predictions. She loved her Mum with all her heart and was appreciative of all the things she was given and taught, but right about now she couldn't squash the desire to do something not nice to her mother or at least demand a valid explanation, instead of the one she was given when helping Molly with the last dishes.
Nobody refuses a Weasley-cooked meal my cute little arse, Ginny thought to herself, stabbing the steak on her plate.
Not that the evening had been completely ruined by the glacially pristine presence of Draco Malfoy at the family gathering. Despite what Ginny dreaded before entering the back yard, not all her family members hated Draco automatically because of what his father once stood for and represented. On the contrary, most of the Prewetts and the Weasleys were eager to converse with him and welcomed him openly, because of what he himself was - Order member, immaculate businessman and an intelligent and interesting conversant. The sight of numerous uncles and cousins eagerly trying to draw his attention into various conversations was somewhat unnerving, though Ginny couldn't quite place her finger on why exactly. Even her older brothers were drawn to the flawless Malfoy charm - Bill unabashedly tried to inquire regarding the Malfoy infamous collection of Dark Artifacts, more specifically the known counter curses, while Charlie was enamored instantly at Draco's mention of the Dragon Farm he owned in Romania, and was even invited into the closed and warded estate to observe one of the few Ukrainian Ironbellies left in northern hemisphere.
Of course, not all Weasleys were bedazzled by Draco's eloquence and manners. Throughout the evening she could see Ron sulking at the farther end of the table, next to Dad who seemed none too pleased as well. Hermione kept casting odd glances from Draco to Ginny, her face veiled in that expression she undertook in Hogwarts whenever struggling with an exceptionally difficult Arithmancy problem. Even Aunt Eloise - who begged Ginny to take a seat beside her and tried to prod her into talking about Harry, but was shooed away by Molly, who rescued Ginny and reseated her away, suspiciously closer to the center, where Draco was given a seat - was spotted shooting Draco hateful glares of the sort that made Ginny recoil subtly in her seat.
She didn't give it too much thought, knowing that generally everything was mostly perfectly normal and civil. That was until she noticed Fred and George flanking Draco at each side, grinning widely and chatting nonchalantly with the clueless wizard, absently handing his a cup with bright fruity goodness that would seem completely harmless to unsuspecting Malfoys who didn't have to grow up with those two menaces running amok.
Ginny gulped the piece of meat she's been chewing with some difficulty and called out to Draco. Apparently he couldn't quite hear her over the noise of ceaseless chatter, since he didn't turn or give any indication that he had heard her. She was about to excuse herself from the table and make her way to the garden patch where several men, including Draco and her twin brothers, discussed various matters while having a minute of relative peace away from the table, when Aunt Eloise tried to drag her into yet another tiresome conversation about family history. Ginny finally managed to slip away, proclaiming that if Aunt Eloise refused to release her, she would reenact the notorious incident of 1986 where Ginny didn't reach the bathroom in time and left a very unladylike puddle on Aunt Eloise's favorite Persian rug.
Once given freedom, Ginny hurried into the Burrow where her mind absently remembered that the incident actually occurred in Uncle Jacob's house and it was Aunt Annie's favorite Persian rug, but it didn't matter as she left through the front door and made her way around the house and over to the trio that had concerned her.
Oh good, Ginny thought to herself with a sigh of relief, noticing that Draco hadn't drunk the punch yet, which was mostly definitely spiked with liquid Weasley-Do.
"Hi, guys," she chirped, stepping closer into the light.
The three men glanced up at her, her two brothers greeting her with cautious smiles and Draco with a subtle tilt of his head in acknowledgment.
"What are you doing here?" she continued with the same easy voice, throwing warning looks at her twin brothers - both knew exactly why she was here.
"Discussing Quidditch, Gin-bug," George countered almost evenly, deciding it was safe as long as Ginny had no evidence.
"Really?" she asked with fake fascination, eyeing the punch cup warily. Could she just knock it out of Draco's grasp? No, he had enough of Weasley odd behavior to last a lifetime; he wouldn't survive anything that drastic.
"Yes," Fred confirmed brightly. "Malfoy here was just telling us that he is considering sponsoring Chuddley Cannons next season…"
"How nice of him," Ginny responded evenly, thinking Draco probably got that idea just this evening after discovering Ron was their devoted fan. Shaking her head slightly, she suddenly noticed Draco draw the punch cup to his lips, ready to take an absent sip while she was having an idle conversation with her brothers.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Ginny blurted quickly, hoping Draco would freeze at her command and throw the cup away.
But he didn't. Instead he brought the cup to his lips and tipped it subtly, taking a sip while sending her an inquiring look over the rim. Drawing the cup away, he was completely unaware of the quickly darkening and reddening splotches that spread on his colorless fair locks.
"Do what?" he frowned in mild puzzlement, absently noticing the two men beside him, trying to suppress their erupting laughter.
"That," Ginny sighed in defeat, looking apologetically as the charm slithered about Draco's tresses, finally reaching the tips of his locks, leaving an unnatural mane of fiercely red hair atop of Draco Malfoy's head.
"What?" Draco snapped irritably, his suspicion rising into rigid panic at the sight of two heaps of guffawing redheads beside him. "What is it, Weasley?"
Ginny emanated a small, strangled sound and looked away. Though the situation might've caused her to join her brothers in a heap of jeering giggles in Hogwarts, now it was positively painful to watch those silken strands of fair white engulfed in burning red, that was somewhat unbecoming of Draco's whole fa?ade. Unable to watch the horror any further, she turned to her brothers as they crouched on the ground, bracing their stomach as thunderous barks of laughter rolled out freely.
"I can't believe you two! You bloody gits! This is beyond any other childish prank you've done! This is plain brutal!"
"What is?" Draco demanded, glaring at the twins and Ginny, demanding explanation. "What did they do? What did you do?"
"Just you wait until I find Mum and tell her about this!" Ginny hollered, kicking Fred in the shin.
The twins rolled about in her uncontrollable feet up until the mention of Weasley matriarch. They both froze, glancing at their sister with wide brown eyes, trying to gauge whether she would really betray them in the foulest way-telling Mum.
"Yeah, that's right. I will," she assured them briskly, folding her arms across her chest. "Unless you fix him. Now. "
"Fix what?" Draco all but shrieked, despising being ignored. "What did they do?"
Ginny glanced at him, her eyes yet again filling with pity and apology for crimes not her own.
"We can't," George mumbled into his sweater, standing up and helping his brother up. "It will wear off though," he offered hopefully with a bright smile.
"For Merlin's sake! If you're not telling me this instance what these two looters did to me, I am cursing your brothers into all seven rings of hell!" Draco roared, glaring down at Ginny with his eyes spitting fire.
Biting back her tongue, she sighed in defeat and led him back into the house, where the first thing Draco encountered on his way in, was the mirror in the foyer.
There were no screams, no shouts and no cursing. Just thin silence, zinging through Ginny's ears as Draco gazed into the mirror with a horrified expression. Then the twitching began and for some reason when Draco slowly, almost fearfully, turned to face her, she couldn't help the giggle that escaped her lips joining the rejuvenated guffaws of her brothers. He opened his mouth once, but no sound came out and Ginny feared then that perhaps they'd gone too far and Draco was going to be the first wizard to ever expire after encountering such a high concentration of Weasleys in a short time.
"I'm sorry," she mouthed timidly, trying to appease him with a smile. "But it does wear off…"
"Eventually," choked out the heap of laughing body parts that belonged to George. An admission that earned him two sharp kicks in his thigh and back from Ginny, all too trained with her brothers' most painful places.
Ginny glanced back at Draco and had to bite back a cry. He looked so wounded, so hurt that she just couldn't help the pained expression on her face. He opened his mouth again in a meek attempt to say something, anything, but was simply unable.
She really should've found it amusing - The Amazing Bouncing Ferret, now in scarlet! - but she just couldn't. Not entirely, anyway.
"Oh dear…" a muffled gasp broke the silence and Ginny turned to face her mother, staring at the newly redheaded Draco Malfoy. Her eyes then slipped to the two grown men, both of whom froze at the sight of their mother spotting them and now appeared like a vision of two identical gazelles caught up in the headlights of a great Muggle monster truck, knowing all too well what was about to happen.
"You two have exactly five seconds to climb upstairs and silence charm the entire floor. I don't want to disturb the guests with your grueling shouts of pain and horror," Molly spoke crisply again, eyeing the twins like a hawk as the two headed upstairs wordlessly. Her eyes softened as they passed onto Draco, who was yet again staring into the mirror. "How about a nice cup of tea, Draco dear?"
Ginny cringed involuntarily when Draco glanced at the older witch, his left eye still twitching. She waited with ghastly feeling in her stomach for Draco to finally snap and mouth off to her mother for everything he had to endure tonight, but was beyond surprised when he finally spoke.
"A cup of tea would be lovely, Mrs. Weasley," came the almost nonchalant reply out of Draco's mouth.
Ginny had to stop herself from gawking in utter disbelief. Who was this man and what did he do with the conceited, spoilt, bratty and just plain mean Draco 'Ferret' Malfoy?
Mrs. Weasley smiled fondly at the traumatized wizard, waving her wand into the living room where a tray with two sets of service appeared. "Ginny, be a dear and keep Draco a company while I take care of the delinquents," she uttered with a smile, before heading upstairs with a stiff air about her.
Author's Notes: Oh, and I've been rewriting the first chapters to fix some glitches and holes, so if you're bored you should check those out =)
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