Chapter 1 : Homecoming
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She heard the loud popping sound of someone Apparating, and then several things happened at once. Looking up, she saw Harry standing in the doorway smiling sadly. She started to run to him, but something in his eyes stopped her. Molly Weasley was the first to gather him in a hug, and he seemed to tolerate that well enough. When Ginny approached him cautiously, he just nodded at her and moved around her to speak to Ron.
Ginny blinked her eyes furiously to stem the tide of tears that were threatening to break. Her mom must have noticed because she said, “Ginny, be a dear and go get me a fresh table cloth from the linen closet upstairs.”
Since Ginny had just put a fresh tablecloth on the table that morning, she knew her mom was giving her a chance to escape.
Dashing up the stairs, Ginny ran into her room and slammed the door. A soft knocking interrupted her crying. “Who is it?”
“It’s Hermione, can I come in?”
Ginny dabbed her eyes and walked over to open the door. The look of pity on Hermione’s face was almost more than she could take. “I saw how he greeted you. I’m sorry, Ginny, but maybe he just needs some time to adjust to being back.”
Ginny nodded. “Maybe, you’re right.” After checking her face in the mirror, Ginny headed back downstairs with a new tablecloth. She made it through dinner by not looking at Harry. Instead, she focused on a spot just above his head when he spoke. It was easier that way.
When dinner was over, Harry waited for everyone to leave the table before he spoke to her. “Ginny, can I talk to you?”
“Of course, Harry. Why don’t we go for a walk?”
Harry walked by her side and talked about how glad he was that the war was over. It had been two long years. Ginny tried to listen patiently. She knew how bloody long it had been. She had spent most of the time locked up in Grimmauld Place. At first it had been to keep her safe, since Harry’s ex-girlfriend would be a likely target. After a while, she figured out that people didn’t know what to do with her.
Ginny stopped walking and grabbed his hand. “Harry, what do you want from me?”
Harry looked at the ground and shrugged. “I don’t know what I want anymore, Ginny.”
Ginny sighed. That was not the answer she was hoping for. Deciding to act, she reached up and pulled his face down to hers and offered him her lips. He kissed her slowly at first and then with a passion that she didn’t remember. He pulled back from her and smiled. Without saying a word, he led her over to a secluded grove of trees and laid his cloak on the ground. They sat down, and he kissed her again.
Her body was responding strongly to him. It had been two years since anyone had touched her. She realized that something wasn’t right about what they were doing, but she was too caught up in what this might mean to stop. Harry started tugging at her clothes and then he was moving inside of her. She looked into his face, expecting to see love. What she saw was a blankness that frightened her. When he was finished, he didn’t look at her. He just started getting dressed and said, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. We should go back.”
“What do you mean you’re sorry? Harry, what’s wrong?”
Harry gave her that sad smile again. This time she wanted to smack it off of his face. She dressed quickly and watched as he walked away from her. She caught up with him and grabbed his arm. “You don’t just get to walk away after that. What is going on?”
Harry sighed and looked at her like he didn’t know her. “I was hoping if I touched you that I would feel something again. I don’t feel anything anymore. I’m completely numb. I’m sorry, Gin.”
Ginny stood dumbfounded and watched everybody’s hero walk away from her. She wondered how they would feel about him if they knew he shagged her and then told her he didn’t have any feelings for her. Deciding that this maybe was all a bad dream, she went back to the house to go to bed.
When she walked in the front door, she saw Harry sitting and laughing with her family. She just couldn’t understand how everything had gone so wrong. It was more than she could take, so she ran up the stairs and tried to think of someone that she could talk to about this. The only person that came to mind was the person who used to tease her endlessly about waiting for Harry. She smiled as she thought about the other unofficial prisoner of Grimmauld Place, Draco Malfoy.
Draco had come over to their side reluctantly, but in the end he provided helpful information about his father and other Death Eaters, that turned the tide of the war. She remembered many a late night staying up talking with him as neither one of them could sleep. Their friendship was based on insomnia.
She remembered that first night when she had been in the kitchen, and Draco had walked in scowling. She had just finished heating up some milk on the stove. After one look at his face, she stood up, poured him a glass out of the still warm pan, and offered it to him. He had looked surprised that she was being civil to him, but he accepted the milk with his usual grace. “Can I assume this isn’t poisoned?”
Ginny had rolled her eyes and shown him her own mug full of warm milk. “Unless you’ve caught me in the middle of committing suicide, I think you’re safe.”
“With all of those annoying brothers of yours, it must have seemed like a good option at some point.”
Ginny had laughed in spite of herself, and an uneasy truce had been formed. After that night, they met up in the kitchen several times a week. Whoever showed up first was responsible for heating up the milk, not that it really helped. It just seemed like the thing to do.
One particular night always stuck out in Ginny’s mind. As she and Draco started to yawn, they had walked upstairs to their respective rooms. Her room came first, so she always said good night to him and watched him walk off. On that particular night, she had stood up on tiptoe and kissed him goodnight on the cheek. Draco had stood very still, and looked at her like he wanted to kiss her. Then he had backed away quickly, wished her a good night and gone off to his room.
Ginny decided that she needed to speak to Draco. He would be the only person who would understand the depth of Harry’s betrayal. Impulsively, she Apparated to his front gate. After ringing a small bell, a house elf appeared and looked at her expectantly.
“Is Draco home?”
The house elf nodded. “He is home. Who shall I say is calling?”
The house elf popped off, and a moment later the gates opened. Ginny walked up to the front door and wasn’t sure if she was supposed to knock again. While she was deciding, the house elf opened the door. When she walked in, she saw Draco walking down the staircase in front of her. “Hello, Ginny. This is a surprise.”
Ginny’s voice cracked. “I’m sorry to bother you. I just needed to talk.”
Draco looked at her rumpled appearance and her puffy red eyes . “Let’s go into the parlor.”
Ginny followed Draco, grateful that he didn’t press her for answers right away. He handed her a drink, and waited for her to start talking.
“Harry came back tonight. I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t for him to touch me and then tell me that it didn’t mean anything.”
Ginny looked up at Draco to see what his response would be. He looked hurt and angry. “Do you mean..?” Ginny nodded and Draco scowled. “Afterwards, he said it didn’t mean anything?”
“I knew at the time that something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what it was.”
Draco bit out. “Potter is an idiot. You’ve waited for him for two years, and this is how he repays you. Did you tell anyone?”
“No, I couldn’t tell anyone,” Ginny responded bitterly. “I couldn’t take away their hero.”
“You do realize that your brothers would pummel him for you, despite his hero status.”
“I know, but I feel like I should have known better. It must be partly my fault.”
Draco ground his teeth at the defeated expression on Ginny’s face. Taking a breath, he tried to speak in a soothing voice, “What’s done is done. Not to seem insensitive, but did you use a contraceptive charm?”
Ginny’s breath caught, and Draco pulled his wand out and muttered the strongest spell he knew. Ginny doubled over a moment later, and then looked at him in alarm. “It’s all right. I just used a strong spell. I figured you didn’t want to take any chances.”
“I feel like such a fool.”
“You are not a fool; you just believed in the wrong man. I happen to have some experience in that area, so I know what I am talking about.”
Ginny nodded in understanding. “I guess you’re right.”
“I’ll have the house elves fix us some hot chocolate, and then we can get you settled into a guest room.”
“Thank you. I’d like that.”
Draco and Ginny drank their hot chocolate and he tried to distract her by talking about his efforts to restore Malfoy Manor. Once she seemed reasonably calmed down, he handed her a quill and a piece of parchment. “Write a note to your mother and tell her that you are going to stay in one of my guest rooms for a while. I’ll have one of the house elves take it over, and your mother can pack a bag for you.”
Draco showed Ginny to her room, and she sighed when she spotted the huge bathtub in the loo. “Would you mind if I took a bath?”
“No, go right ahead. I’ll have the house elf place your things in your room when he gets back.”
Draco wrote his own note to accompany Ginny’s. He told Mrs. Weasley that Harry had broken up with Ginny in a very insensitive manner, and that she had shown up on his doorstep crying. He asked her to pack a bag, and he invited her to come over and visit the next morning. He promised that he would take good care of Ginny. After the house elf disappeared, he noticed a foreign feeling in his chest. He vaguely thought it might be hope.
Molly Weasley was startled when a house elf suddenly appeared in her living room and said, “I have a letter for Mrs. Weasley.”
Molly read the two notes. She felt a wave of guilt when she realized that she hadn’t even noticed that Ginny was gone. She took a moment to glare at Harry before she invited the house elf to follow her upstairs to Ginny’s room. She rummaged through Ginny’s drawers and packed her favorite clothes in a small bag. She also gave the house elf a note thanking Draco for taking care of Ginny.
Harry was beginning to feel awful about the way he had behaved towards Ginny. He knew his apology earlier wasn’t nearly good enough, so he decided to look for her. Once he realized he couldn’t spot her, he asked Mrs. Weasley where she was. He was surprised at the sharp tone she took with him.
“I don’t believe Ginny’s whereabouts are any of your concern anymore. However, if her brothers ask, she went to stay with a friend.”
Harry retreated quickly back to his circle of friends. He decided he’d try to get some information out of Hermione. “Has Ginny been seeing anyone?”
Hermione scowled at Harry. “Harry, when I told you she’d been waiting for you, I meant exactly that.”
Ron added. “There was a time when we thought she might be up to something with Malfoy, but nothing ever came of that.”
“Malfoy?” Harry asked in disbelief. “How can you even say that?”
Ron shrugged. “Malfoy changed, Harry. You were gone, and he helped dad and the others a lot. It’s not like he was a prince or anything, but he remembered to pay attention to Ginny when the rest of us forgot about her.” Ron looked around. “Damn it, I’ve done it again. Where is she?”
“Your mum said she went to stay with a friend. She was pretty upset when I told her that I didn’t have feelings for her anymore.”
Hermione sighed. “At least tell me that you were considerate when breaking it off with her.”
Harry couldn’t speak; he just looked at the ground and shook his head.
Ron growled, “Harry, if you weren’t the savoir of the wizarding world, I would beat the crap out of you.”
Harry looked up slowly. “I might feel better if you did.”
After getting out of the bath, Ginny dressed in her navy blue pajamas and went in search of Draco. After walking down two hallways that seemed to lead nowhere, she yelled, “Hello, is anyone there?”
A house elf appeared by her side and led her to Draco. He was in an office looking over some papers. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
Draco looked up and smiled. “I don’t mind. I just work at night because I still don’t sleep very well. I always thought that after the war was over I’d be able to sleep again.”
“Maybe, once you’ve restored the Manor and gotten your business in order you’ll be able to sleep.”
Frowning, Draco replied, “I wonder if the Manor is worth restoring. There were some bloody battles fought here. I’ve had to completely gut some of the rooms, and I don’t know what I want to do with them.”
Ginny picked at the hem of her sleeve as she spoke. “I could help you if you like.”
Draco realized that giving Ginny a purpose would help take her mind off of things. Plus, he liked the idea of extending her stay at the Manor. Standing up, he said, “Follow me. There is something I want to show you.”
Ginny followed Draco to a large ballroom down the hall. When he turned on the lights, she sucked in her breath. “What is all of this?”
“This is all of the furniture that my mother had in storage in the east wing. I had the house elves put it it in here because I wanted to sort through it. Would you like to help me?”
Ginny looked at the dozens of bedroom sets and couches that were laid out one after the other. “How in the world did you ever collect this much furniture?”
“Some of it is hundreds of years old. Every Malfoy bride has tried to put her stamp on Malfoy Manor by pushing the old furniture off into storage and buying new pieces.”
Ginny walked over to an ivory colored bedroom suite. Each piece of furniture had delicate carvings in the shapes of flowers and leaves. “Why would anyone want to get rid of this?”
Draco liked how her face lit up as she ran her fingertips over the intricate carvings. “Would you like to start with a bedroom set first? There are several guest rooms that are empty.”
“I’d love to. Could we start tonight?”
Draco summoned the house elves, and explained what pieces he wanted cleaned up, and then he took Ginny to look at the empty guest rooms. She picked a room with large windows and pale blue wallpaper. At a word from Draco, the furniture appeared, and then Ginny set about arranging it.
When she was finished, Draco walked over and put an arm around her shoulders. “I’ll Apparate us to the room with the accessories, and you can pick out what you want to decorate with.”
Ginny liked the way his arm felt around her shoulders, and was disappointed when he stepped away from her. The disappointment faded when she surveyed the room full of mirrors, vases, paintings, and knickknacks of every description.
“This is amazing.” Ginny darted around, and soon she had accumulated a pile of decorations that she thought would suit the new room.
Once she had the items transported back up to the blue room, she set about decorating. Draco lay down on the bed, which the house elves had outfitted with sheets and a bedspread, and he watched Ginny putter about. He smiled as she talked to herself about what would look good in various places. He found this sort of thing tedious, but he enjoyed watching her have fun.
After placing the last vase on the dresser, Ginny turned to ask Draco what he thought. She smiled when she saw him sleeping on the bed. A huge yawn overtook her, and she wondered if she could find her way back to her room. After peeking out into the hallway, she decided that she had no idea where she was, so she crawled into bed next to Draco and drifted off to sleep.
Draco woke up the next morning feeling well rested for the first time in days. As he gradually became aware of his surroundings, he felt a soft warmth pressed against his back. Shifting carefully, he turned over and saw Ginny sleeping next to him. She must have felt him watching her, because her eyes fluttered open. “Good morning, Draco.”
On impulse, Draco reached out and traced her jaw with his fingertips. “Good morning, Ginny.” He was about to lean in and kiss her, when a house elf popped into the room.
“Master, Mrs. Weasley is here to see her daughter.”
Ginny’s eyes grew wide, and Draco reassured her. “I sent her a note last night asking her to come and visit this morning.”
Ginny smiled. “I guess we should get cleaned up then. Of course, you’ll have to direct me to my room. I couldn’t find it last night.”
Draco escorted her to her room, and then he quickly went to his own room to change clothes. Once they were both ready, they went to the dining room to meet her mum.
Molly Weasley was surprised to see a smile on her daughter’s face, and she wondered if it was thanks to the blond man standing next to her. “Hello, dears, how are you?”
Draco spoke first. “I’m fine. I’ll leave you and Ginny alone for a bit while I attend to some business.”
Ginny looked at the breakfast that the house elves had laid out for them. “Let’s fix our plates before we start talking about serious things.” After they were both settled at the table, Ginny sighed. “I don’t suppose Harry expressed any regret over his actions last night?”
Molly shook her head. “He never said a word. Are you all right?”
“I will be. Draco is going to let me help him fix up the Manor, and that will keep me away from Harry long enough to toughen up my skin.”
Molly frowned. “I don’t know what happened to Harry, but he just isn’t the same boy he was. I guess we should have expected that.” Molly took a drink of her tea while she decided how to best continue the conversation. “You know, Draco has turned out to be quite a caring young man.”
“He’s been very...understanding. After what happened with Harry, he could have been judgmental, but he wasn’t.”
Molly cleared her throat and looked questioningly at Ginny. “What happened between you and Harry?”
Ginny took a deep breath. “It was a misunderstanding. I thought something was meaningful, and he was just testing the waters to see if he could feel anything for me again.”
Ginny watched the mutinous expression appear on her mum’s face. “Ginny, are you saying what I think you’re saying? Why didn’t you come to me last night? I would have beaten the tar out of Harry.”
Chuckling as a tear ran down her face, Ginny nodded. “I know, and that is why I didn’t tell you. You all deserved to have your hero back for one night. I think everyone will see that Harry is just a shell of who he used to be, but I didn’t want to be the one who showed people that.”
Molly Weasley dabbed at her eyes with her napkin. “I’m sorry, Ginny. I feel like we’ve let you down.”
“I’m going to be ok. Draco will keep me distracted with his acres of furniture and then after a while I’ll forget about Harry.”
“I think he’ll be distracting you with more than that. I’ve seen the way that man looks at you. He cares about you, Ginny. I think he has for quite a while now.”
Ginny’s heart sped up a bit. “I wish that were true, mum, but I think he is just looking for a friend.”
“Well, you can be that too, you know. Your father is my best friend.”
Draco stood outside of the door, glad that he had waited a moment to knock. Not wanting to be discovered eavesdropping, he knocked quickly and entered the room. “Ginny, do you want to show your mum the room you decorated last night?”
Ginny jumped up. “I hope it looks as good today as I thought it did last night.”
After Draco led them to their destination, Molly Weasley beamed with pride. “This is beautiful. I never would have put these decorations together, but they look great.”
Draco looked around the room at the eclectic mix of items that Ginny had thrown together. “I never would have guessed that a painting of a dragon would do so well in here.”
Ginny smiled. “It’s the colors, they are perfect opposites, so somehow it works.”
Molly nodded. “You’re right. I better be off. I told your dad that we’d work on the garden today.”
“Tell Ron to have fun with those garden gnomes,” Ginny teased.
After Ginny’s mum left, she and Draco started sorting through more furniture. She found a masculine bedroom set made of mahogany, and she created a bedroom that included a full set of knight’s armor. Draco laughed when she hung swords and shields on the wall.
“Do you have a problem, Mr. Malfoy?”
“No, I do not. I just hope that whoever stays in this room doesn’t try to play with those swords. They are real and could cause quite a bit of damage.”
Ginny sat on the bed, and then collapsed backwards on it. “I’m done in. How long have we been going at it?”
Draco checked his watch. “It’s after two. Do you want to go out and get some lunch?”
Ginny nodded. “That would be great. If you’ll just direct me back to my room, I’d like to freshen up a bit.”
“Maybe, I should have the house elves give you some bread crumbs to trail along behind you, so you can find your way around.” Draco commented as he led Ginny back to the room with the ivory carved furniture. She looked at him in surprise, and he walked over and opened up the wardrobe. “I had the house elves move your things here.”
Ginny smiled. “Thank you. I love this room.”
Draco nodded. “I thought that you did. Now follow me for a moment.”
Ginny watched as Draco walked out into the hall and went to the door diagonally across from hers. “This is my room. I figured you’d be less likely to get lost if I was near by.”
“Good thinking. I’ll change and come knock on your door just to prove I’m not terminally lost.”
Ginny changed into one of the nicer outfits her mum had sent along. Then, she walked across the hall and knocked on Draco’s door. The door opened, and he smiled at her. “I think you’re getting the hang of this.”
Draco took Ginny to a small French restaurant where she had great fun mispronouncing the entrees just to annoy him. They were seated by several large windows, and Ginny looked up to see Hermione glancing inside. She waved, and Hermione smiled and waved back.
Draco saw Ron next to Hermione, and he nodded. Ron seemed to think for a moment and then he nodded back. Ginny smiled at Draco. “I believe you just got the Ronald Weasley patented nod of regretful approval.”
Draco smirked. “I am so honored.”
Ginny feigned confusion and pointed at the dessert menu on the table. “What kind of dessert is a chocolate mouse?”
Draco groaned. “You know full well that is pronounced ‘moose’.”
Ginny tilted her head to the side. “That doesn’t make very much sense either.”
“I suppose you’re right. It would be easier if they just called it custard.”
Hermione and Ron met Harry for an early supper. He seemed nervous. “Have you heard from Ginny?”
Hermione smiled. “We saw her having lunch with a friend. She was smiling and seemed to be having a good time.”
“Oh, well that is good.” Harry realized that he was a bit crestfallen that she wasn’t somewhere pining for him.
Ron cleared his throat. “You had your chance, Harry.”
Harry nodded. “You’re right. She deserves someone with less baggage.”
Hermione snorted. “I think Malfoy is probably the only person who has more emotional baggage than you do, but they do seem to work together.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed. “Malfoy was the friend you saw her with?”
Ginny found that she was having a wonderful time with Draco. When they went to leave the restaurant, she heard a young man hiss, “Good riddance, Death Eater.”
She saw Draco wince, and she stalked over to the young man. “In case you didn’t know it, he was on our side in the war. If it wasn’t for him, we probably wouldn’t have won. He risked his life while you were probably hiding under a rock somewhere.”
The man looked taken aback by Ginny’s vehemence. Draco touched her gently on the arm, and she turned to look at him. “It doesn’t matter; let’s go.”
“It bloody well does matter. Harry didn’t win this war all by himself. Good people made sacrifices so we could win, and people need to know that.”
Draco looked at the conviction in Ginny’s eyes, and he nodded. “You’re right, but this is neither the time nor the place.”
Ginny gave into the gentle pressure he was exerting on her arm, and she let herself be led out of the restaurant. They walked along in silence for a while before Draco looked at her and said, “Thank you. No one has ever defended me before.”
Ginny smiled shyly at him. “You deserve to be defended. You’re a good man.” Draco didn’t respond, but her heart skipped a beat when she felt his hand wrap around hers.
Later that night, they were sorting through the furniture when Ginny found a bed shaped like a swan. It was built on a smaller scale, and she realized it must have been designed for a little girl. “Look at this. I would have loved something like this when I was a child.”
“I think that may have belonged to my grandmother when she was a little girl.”
Ginny found a dresser and a wardrobe that appeared to match the bed. “Do you mind if we make a child’s room?”
“I’d like to think that there will be children in this house again someday,” Draco said, in a voice that Ginny barely heard.
She smiled at him. “I’m sure there will be. Now let’s go pick out a room. Is there a room with rose wallpaper or paint?”
“You do realize we can buy paint if you wish?”
Ginny’s smiled widened. “You never told me that. I love to paint.”
“No one loves to paint.” Draco protested as Ginny grabbed him and started dragging him towards the door.
“I would have killed for a gallon of paint when we were at Grimmauld Place. I was so tired of those shabby walls and the water spots on the ceiling. I think the war wouldn’t have been half as bad if we weren’t staying in such a dump.”
Draco stopped walking abruptly and Ginny came to a standstill. She turned to look at him to see what the problem was.
“I wouldn’t have made it at Grimmauld Place without you, Ginny. Do you remember that night when you kissed me on the cheek?” Ginny nodded. “I almost kissed you that night. Ever since then, I have wondered about something. If I had kissed you, would you would have spent the rest of your time waiting for Potter, or would you have been happy with me?”
“I think I would have been happy with you,” Ginny said without hesitation. When Draco looked at her doubtfully, she smiled encouragingly at him. “You could kiss me now. I mean, if you still wanted to after everything that’s happened.”
Draco leaned towards her and she met him halfway. His lips moved gently against hers as his hands wrapped around her waist and pulled her body closer to his. She sighed and melted against him. Just when she was about to lose all reason, Draco pulled back and cleared his throat. “I think we should see about that paint.”
Ginny nodded. “Right.”
After they purchased the paint, Draco and Ginny returned to the Manor to have lunch. They worked for the rest of the day, with occasional breaks for snogging thrown in. The next month passed in a blur. If anyone asked what she had been doing, Ginny would have answered, “We are painting, sorting through furniture, and snogging each other senseless.” Of course, no one but her mum stopped by to see how she was doing.
As they put the finishing touches on a parlor, Draco asked Ginny a question. “Are you disappointed that he hasn’t come by to see you?”
Ginny looked up from the painting she was hanging on the wall. “I’m sure he is busy. Hermione is pressuring him for a ring, and he is about ready to cave.”
Draco felt like he had his answer. Walking over, he turned Ginny around and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and played with his hair in a way that gave him goosebumps. Knowing that the time was right, Draco Apparated them up to her room.
When Ginny felt a strange shift, she opened her eyes and realized that Draco had Apparated them into her bedroom. He looked questioningly at her, and she nodded once before he kissed her again.
His hands began to glide over her body, and she felt a slow desire building in the pit of her stomach. When his mouth followed his hands, she felt her knees growing weak, and Draco must have noticed because he began backing her towards the bed. Later, she would remember heat and longing that seemed to go on forever, followed by an explosive union that took her breath away.
She woke up the next morning, wrapped in Draco’s arms. Afraid to wake him, she lay quietly until she was sure he was up. Rolling over, she smiled at him. “Last night was the most amazing night of my life.”
Draco smiled at her and said, “I hope it’s the first of many.”
“I don’t think I have any plans for the next sixty or seventy years.”
Draco seemed to think for a moment. “I think I’m free as well.” He sat up, and pulled her out of bed. “Come with me.”
Ginny grabbed at the bed sheet. “I’m naked,” she objected.
Draco glanced at her appreciatively. “That is most distracting, and I suppose it’s unfair that I have my boxers on.”
Leaning down, he grabbed his shirt and tossed it to her. “Put this on. We aren’t going far.”
Ginny struggled at buttoning his shirt one handed, since he didn’t appear to want to let go of her other hand anytime soon. She laughed as he pulled her towards his room. He stopped at the doorway and instructed her to close her eyes.
Ginny complied and felt herself being led across the carpet. “All right we are going to stop right here,” Draco informed her. She heard him rooting around in something as he muttered to himself, “This one won’t work. That one might. No, wait. There it is. Now if you don’t like this one, I’ll let you choose something else, but you should know that I will complain endlessly that you don’t like my taste.”
Ginny laughed until she felt Draco slide something on her finger. Her eyes flashed open and she stared at the emerald cut diamond that was now sparkling on her hand. She looked up at Draco. “Does that mean what I think it means?”
“Well, you basically proposed to me in the other room, I was just sealing the deal with a ring. Do you like it?”
“I love it. I want to go show my mum.”
Draco looked at her. “You do realize we’d have to get dressed first.”
“Mum will have to wait I guess, because I have decided that the Manor is a clothing optional area.”
“Really? We may have to start burning the fires a little higher. It get’s a bit nippy later in the evening.”
“Whatever works,” Ginny informed him as she stood up on tiptoe to kiss him.
When Ginny woke up on the floor an hour later, she was delighted to find out that this hadn’t all been a dream. She was admiring the way the light sparkled off of her engagement ring, when a house elf popped into the room and scared the hell out of her. Draco woke up from a dead sleep and looked to see what Ginny was shrieking about. “I’m sorry, the house elf scared me,” she explained.
Draco looked at the elf. “Please knock from now on, the future Mrs. Malfoy is a bit high strung.”
“As you wish, but what should I do about the party at the door?”
Draco rubbed his hand over his unshaven jaw. “We are in no condition to receive guests. Who is it?”
“Mr. Harry Potter, sir.”
Draco looked at Ginny and smirked, “Scratch that, I feel like receiving that guest just as I am.”
Ginny grabbed Draco’s leg as he went to walk by. “Don’t be too mean, just be mean enough.”
Draco nodded. “I can do that.” Grabbing a green silk robe, Draco made his way to the front door. When he opened it, he saw Harry frowning at him. “Sorry to keep you waiting, I was indisposed.”
Harry’s frown turned into a glare as he took in Draco’s appearance. “Sleeping a bit late, were we?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say we were sleeping.” Draco shot back. “Now, what did you need?”
“I need to speak to Ginny.”
“I’m sorry. She’s very tired and is taking a nap, maybe she could Floo you later.”
“Malfoy, I don’t know what you’re up to, but Ginny and I have unfinished business.”
Draco laughed. “You have absolutely no business with Ginny ever again. You had your shot Potter. That girl waited two years for you. Then you show up, sleep with her, and then walk away from her like she was some camp follower. She didn’t deserve that, and you sure as hell don’t deserve her.”
Draco watched as a muscle in Harry’s jaw began to twitch. “You could never deserve her.”
Draco nodded. “The difference, between you and I, is that I know how lucky I am that she is even looking at me. You took her for granted. I am going to treat her like a queen every day for the rest of my life. By the way, before you make some snarky comment you should know that she has agreed to spend the rest of her life with me.”
Harry stared at the triumphant look in Draco’s eyes, and he knew that what he was saying was true. “I see. Well, then there is nothing left for me to say, is there?”
“It’s kind of funny the way this turned out. In this scenario, I am the hero. Mrs. Weasley practically gave me her blessing the other day, and Ron seems to be coming along. Now, you get to play my part. You are the man that everyone feels indebted to, but no one really wants to look directly in the eye. ” Draco smirked. “How does that feel, Potter?”
Harry didn’t say anything. He just turned around and walked off. Draco smiled and turned around to see Ginny walking towards the top of the staircase. “I see you found your way to the front door.”
Ginny smiled. “I don’t think I’m going to get lost ever again.”
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