Chapter 20 : Chapter 20
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Ginny blew out an exasperated breath while Pansy redid her makeup charms. “Pansy, we were supposed to meet the boys in the Common Room ten minutes ago.”
Pansy rolled her eyes. “I’m aware of that. We are going to make an entrance. Don’t you know how this works?”
Ginny groused. “I do not want to be late for the Malfoy’s ceremony. The last time I was there, I didn’t have great experience. I don’t want to do anything to muck it up this time. You look perfect, now let’s go.”
Luna watched this exchange in amusement before saying, “Pansy, it’s time to go.”
Pansy frowned. “Fine, but if Blaise faints, you get to catch him.”
Ginny pushed Pansy towards the door, and Luna followed them. When they walked into the Common Room, they found the boys sitting on the couch taking bets about how late they would be.
Blaise looked up in confusion and said, “You’re only ten minutes late. How did that happen?”
“Ginny and I ganged up on her and pushed her out the door.” Luna informed him as she walked over to stand by his side.
Neville smiled at his distressed girlfriend. “You look lovely. I’m sure there isn’t anything else you could have done to look any prettier.”
Pansy sighed. “You say the sweetest things.”
Draco wasn’t really paying attention to the conversations going on around him because he was looking at Ginny in awe. He had never seen her dressed up before, and she looked stunning. Having no idea how to express this, without looking as dorky as Neville, he chose to kiss her instead.
When he pulled away, Ginny looked at the heat swirling in his eyes and asked, “Does that mean you think I look pretty?”
Draco smirked. “That means I think you look amazing. I find myself wishing that we didn’t have to go anywhere at all this evening.”
Blaise cleared his throat, and everyone looked at him. “Excuse me, but we need to be leaving. Dumbledore gave me the Portkey because I am obviously the only one who isn’t running around acting like a fool. If you would all gather over here, we can get to Malfoy Manor at the appointed time.”
Draco put his arm around Ginny’s shoulder as they assembled around the Portkey. They all reached for the wineglass, and then suddenly they were inside a parlor at Malfoy Manor. A house elf greeted them, and escorted them to another room where Lucius Malfoy was waiting.
Draco shook his father’s hand and then introduced the new members of the group. Lucius nodded at them absently, and then asked to speak to Draco alone. Blaise led the group to their assigned table in the ballroom where the ceremony was to be performed, and Draco joined them about fifteen minutes later with an odd expression on his face.
“What’s wrong, Draco?” Ginny asked as he took his seat.
Draco whispered in her hear, “We can’t tell anyone else, but I just found out that I am going to be a big brother.”
Ginny’s face must have shown her shock because Draco laughed reassuring her. “It’s what my mother wanted. My father didn’t expect it so happen quite so quickly, but apparently it did.”
Ginny started giggling, and Draco raised an eyebrow at her. She leaned over and whispered, “This has to be the most elaborate shotgun wedding in history.”
Draco looked at the elegant decorations. “You have a point.”
Music started playing, and Lucius Malfoy took his place on a raised platform at the front of the room. He smiled at the crowd. “Thank you for joining my wife and I today. After years of marriage, we decided that it was time to start a fresh chapter in our lives.”
The music swelled, and Narcissa entered the room from a side hallway. Ginny looked at the woman in awe. She was the epitome of grace and elegance. No one would know that she was pregnant by looking at her, and Ginny realized that she couldn’t be more than a month or so along.
The man officiating started speaking, and Ginny soon lost the thread of his words. It wasn’t until several people inhaled sharply that she tuned back in to what he was saying. She realized that Narcissa and Lucius were taking Vows of Fidelity. Glancing sideways at Draco, she saw that he looked proud of what his parents were doing. Ginny also noticed several men in crowd receiving speculative looks from their wives. She guessed that these men were not very happy with this turn of events, and that their wives would be giving them hell later. ‘Serves the cheating bastards right,’ she thought.
After the ceremony was over, place settings appeared on the table as well as bottles of wine. Ginny looked at all of the forks and frowned. She caught Neville’s eye and he shook his head and said, “I have no idea.”
Luna chimed in. “I’m going to watch what Blaise does, and if I end up with extra utensils I’m going to chuck them under the table.”
Blaise looked at her in horror, while Ginny and Neville laughed. Pansy pointed at each utensil and explained what it was for. Ginny looked at Draco. “If you don’t mind, I’m going with Luna’s plan.”
“Just leave each utensil on the plate when you’re done with each course, and the wait staff will remove it.” Draco explained with a shrug.
“That doesn’t sound so bad.” Ginny winked at Luna and advised, “Throw shallow, so they land under the middle of the table.”
Appetizers appeared on their plates, and Luna made a show of watching Blaise pick up his fork. He ignored her, and they all began to eat. When the meal was over, Neville asked. “Why do I have three forks left?”
“I have four.” Ginny volunteered.
Luna smiled. “I have two, but I chucked two under the table.”
Blaise looked under the table and then at Luna. He shook his head, and she just laughed.
Music started to play as the remaining plates and silverware disappeared from the table. People started to make their way towards the dance floor, and Ginny watched as the couples began to move about the room in intricate patterns. She looked at Draco expectantly, and he said, “I suppose you want to dance?”
Ginny nodded enthusiastically, and he stood up and offered her his hand. Ginny followed him onto the dance floor, oblivious to all of the people who were taking note of her. Draco was an excellent dancer, and he spun her around the floor until she was dizzy and laughing.
Draco looked down at the happy sparkle in Ginny’s eyes, and he felt satisfaction in knowing that he was the reason for it. Time seemed to fly as he twirled her around the dance floor. When the band announced that it was the last song of the evening, he was amazed. Looking down at Ginny, he asked, “Have we been dancing for that long?”
“I don’t know, when I’m this close to you my brain tends to shut down.” She smiled evilly at him. “I don’t suppose there is a deserted room around here that we could sneak off to?”
Draco pulled her closer and kissed her before he replied. “I would love to sneak off with you, but my parents are expecting us to say goodbye before we leave.”
Ginny pouted at him, and he leaned his forehead against hers whispering, “You’re killing me.”
Ginny chuckled. “I suppose I’ll just have to wait until we get back to school.” Then, she whispered in his hear. “Did I mention that I’m not wearing anything under this dress?”
Draco pulled her off the dance floor, intent on finding his parents and leaving the party as soon as possible. He found his father sitting at the head table, looking lovingly into his mother’s eyes. “Father, Mother, I think everything turned out beautifully this evening.”
Narcissa smiled at her son. “I think you’re right. I’m glad you both could be here.” She looked at Ginny. “I take it you enjoyed this visit more than the last?”
Ginny nodded. “This was much better. I didn’t have to threaten to hex anyone.”
Lucius smiled. “I’m glad you enjoyed yourselves.”
Draco kissed his Mother on the cheek, and shook his father’s hand. Then, he took Ginny’s hand and said, “I think we should get Blaise and Pansy rounded up and head on back to Hogwarts.”
“Blaise has the Portkey, I believe.”
Draco muttered as they walked off. “I don’t know why Dumbledore gave it to him.”
Ginny shrugged, “I’m happy not to be responsible for it.” She spotted Pansy through the crowd. “I see Pansy and Neville. I’ll go get them and meet you back at our table.”
“I’ll go get Blaise and Luna. I think they are over by the dance floor.”
Ginny was making her way through the crowd, when a young woman she didn’t recognize stopped her by placing a hand on her arm. “You know you’re just fooling yourself.”
“Excuse me?” Ginny asked, not sure if the woman was talking to her.
“He’ll never marry you.”
“I’m sorry, I’m afraid you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
The woman laughed. “I know exactly who you are. You are the girl who thinks she’s found the golden ticket, but Draco would never marry someone like you.”
Ginny looked at the woman for a moment and decided that she had a huge chip on her shoulder. “Listen to me. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t care. I am dating Draco, and I’m not planning on marrying anyone for quite some time. I am going to finish Hogwarts, go to university, get a job, and buy my own flat where I can run around in my knickers for the first time in my life. Eventually, I will probably decide to get married and have children, but I can assure you that it will not happen for five to ten years. Now that I have explained my life plan to you, will you please get the hell out of my way so that I can gather up my friends and get back to my date?”
Ginny suddenly realized that it was very quiet. The music had stopped playing just as she had started telling the woman off. Pansy came to her rescue by shuffling through the crowd and saying. “What university are you looking at? Neville and I were hoping to go to the Wizarding branch of Harvard because it has a great Herbology department.”
Ginny shrugged. “I’m not sure yet, Bill went to Yale, and he loved it.”
Draco appeared at Ginny’s side. “Tell me more about this obsession of running around in your knickers.”
Ginny laughed. “I have six brothers. They get to waltz around in their boxers, and I have to wrap myself up in a big flannel robe. I just always imagined that when I get my flat, I wouldn’t have to worry about such things.”
Draco put his arm around her shoulder and propelled her towards Blaise and Luna. “Let’s get out of here. I believe there were some things that we needed to take care of back at the castle.”
Ginny let Draco lead her towards Blaise and the waiting Portkey. She wondered why that woman had been so rude, but she really didn’t care. Her plan was to hold onto Draco for as long as she could, but she knew it would end sooner or later. They were still in school, and he would graduate at the end of this year, and he would go to university somewhere and leave her behind.
When they returned to the castle, Ginny decided that living in the present was her only option. She may not get to keep Draco, but she would certainly make sure he never forgot their time together.
Draco lay on the bed, trying to remember how to breathe. He wasn’t sure if it was the dancing, or the confrontation with that woman that had caused Ginny to take charge of the situation the moment they had stepped into his room. Whatever it was, he wasn’t complaining.
Ginny woke up with Draco’s arms wrapped tightly around her. She stretched and winced at the twinges in her muscles. She reached down to rub her thigh muscle, and the movement woke Draco. “You should have stretched properly last night before you attempted that last maneuver.” Ginny didn’t have to look up to know that he was smirking at her.
“I was a little too enthusiastic for my own good,” she admitted as she massaged her sore muscles.
Draco kissed the top of her head. “Your enthusiasm was most appreciated. Let me go get you a potion from the loo.”
Draco returned with a potion marked, anti-inflammatory, and she swallowed it gratefully. “Thank you.”
Draco climbed back into bed and pulled her against him spoon fashion. “Let’s sleep some more.” Ginny drifted off to sleep with a smile on her face. She wondered if anyone would believe her if she told them that Draco Malfoy was thoughtful and that he liked to cuddle.
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