Ginny was surprised when an owl landed in front of her while she was having breakfast. She reached out and untied the large, squishy envelope from his leg. There was a card taped to the front of it. She pulled the card off and read.
Do not open this package at the table. Take it back to your room.
Ginny shoved the parcel in her bag. She was glad that she had come to breakfast early, so that her brother and his friends had not seen her receive her gift. She looked across the room and saw Draco smirking at her. She smiled at him as she wondered what was in the package.
After finishing her oatmeal, Ginny stood up with the intention of going back to her room to open the package. She bumped into Hermione on the way out of the Great Hall, and was relieved when Hermione only momentarily stopped her.
“Ginny, aren’t you going to eat?” Hermione asked with concern in her voice. “You’re looking a bit tired.”
Ginny smiled while she thought about why she was tired. “I ate already, Hermione. I’m just not getting a lot of sleep.”
Hermione sighed and rubbed her own eyes. “I know what you mean. When you want to sleep, sometimes it escapes you.”
Ginny smiled and nodded as she hurried up the stairs towards the Fat Lady, and then towards her room. She reached her room without further delay, and was glad to see that her roommates were gone. After locking the door, she sat on the bed to open the parcel. There was a note inside.
Because the plain white knickers you wear are abysmal, and because I think peach satin will look lovely against your skin.
Ginny frowned when she read the first part of the note. She wasn’t even sure what abysmal meant, but she knew it was not a compliment. The part about the peach satin looking good on her was nice though. The stupid git needed to learn to give a compliment.
When she reached into the package and pulled out the peach and cream bra and knickers, she smiled. They were beautiful. She performed a cleaning spell on them, and then undressed to put them on.
Ginny smiled at her reflection in the mirror. This gift was definitely a step up from the cloak. Quickly, she put her school uniform back on, and walked down the stairs to her first class. She saw Draco watching her walk down the hall, and she winked at him. She could have sworn that he smiled at her, before he thought better of it and adjusted his face to his trademark smirk. Ginny chuckled and thought that she couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when they met later that night.
While she sat through her next class, Ginny imagined different scenarios where she would introduce Draco to her family. Each one ended with wands being drawn. Frowning, Ginny decided that she should probably keep her relationship secret for a while longer. She knew Ron and Harry had good reason to hate him, but he was different around her.
Half the time she thought that the only reason he baited her fellow Gryffindors was because he was insecure. Of course, Draco would probably rather die than admit it, but she thought that he was lonely. The Slytherins that he hung around with all seemed very cold and distant. Whenever anything bad befell one of them, the others deserted him lest they be associated with failure or weakness. Her house was the exact opposite; Gryffindors rallied around one another and were always willing to help. She was proud to be a member of her house.
Ginny drifted through her lessons, and was relieved when it was time for dinner. She was on her way to the Great Hall, when she saw Draco standing in an alcove. He tilted his head towards her in a manner that suggested she was supposed to follow him. Waiting a moment to see that no one was watching, she turned and followed where he had indicated. In the alcove, she found a note telling her when and where to meet him after dinner.
Ginny walked into the Great Hall with a smirk on her face. Blaise Zabini saw her expression and wondered what it meant. When Draco walked in with the exact same smirk a few moments later, he came to an insane conclusion. When Draco sat down next to him, he decided to test his new theory.
“Have you noticed Ginny Weasley lately?” he asked, in a slightly lusty voice, as he watched Draco pouring his pumpkin juice.
The pitcher jerked slightly in Draco’s hand, almost causing him to overflow his glass. But when he spoke, his voice was full of its normal casual disdain. “No, I don’t normally pay attention to Gryffindors. I find it’s bad for my digestion.”
Blaise smiled as he chewed his food and thought of what to say next. “She’s worth noticing. Maybe I’ll see if I can find out what she’s wearing under those second hand clothes.”
Draco briefly choked on the mouthful of food that he had been about to swallow. When he turned to glare at Blaise, he found his only true friend in Slytherin laughing at him before he asked in an amused voice, “How in the hell did you hook up with the Weaselette?”
Draco smirked and asked, “How did you figure it out?”
“I’m brilliant, of course.” Blaise declared as he smiled cheekily. “It helped that she walked in here wearing your smirk.”
Draco looked over at Ginny just in time to catch her smirking at her brother, who was apparently lecturing her about something. “I wonder when she started doing that.”
Blaise shrugged. “I don’t know. But on her, it looks sexy.”
Draco turned to glare at Blaise again. Blaise just smiled and took a bite of his food. “You might want to make some kind of subtle statement to your housemates. We’re not the only ones looking at her right now.”
Draco looked down the table to see that other male Slytherins were indeed checking out what he considered his territory. That simply wouldn’t do. Eating his meal quickly, he went back to his room to dig through his assorted cufflinks and cloak pins until he found what he was looking for.
After putting the rest of his jewelry away, he took four cufflinks with small emeralds in them and laid them in a pleasing pattern. Then he transfigured them so that they became a hair barrette. When he checked the time, he realized that he should leave to meet Ginny. He hoped she would like her new present, because he wanted her to wear it all of the time.
Ginny had noticed Draco’s sudden departure from the Great Hall. She hoped he wasn’t in a foul mood when he came to meet her. Not wanting to be late, she reached her destination early. Draco came walking in a few moments later. When he saw her, he smiled at her.
Ginny smiled back and was surprised when he presented her with another gift. “I have something for you, and I want you to wear it all of the time.”
Nervously, Ginny opened the tissue paper that the gift was wrapped in. When she saw a silver barrette with green crystals set in it, she was delighted. “Oh, Draco. It’s beautiful.” Pulling her hair up on the right side of her face, she placed the barrette in her hair. “How does it look?”
Draco smiled at the way the emeralds sparkled against her red hair. “It looks beautiful. Now, I’m ready to open my present.”
Ginny’s face fell as she said. “I’m sorry. I didn’t get you anything.”
Kissing her forehead, Draco chuckled. “You misunderstood. You are my present.”
When Ginny looked up at him, her smile lit up the room. “I see. So, the peach silk was just interesting wrapping paper.”
Draco nodded. “I think you understand now.”
Pulling his tie down so that she could kiss him, Ginny agreed. “I think I do.”
Later, when Ginny’s head was resting on his chest, Draco wondered how much he should tell her about the barrette. He knew anyone from his house would recognize it as something that was given by a Slytherin. He figured that it should be enough to keep any amorous males from his house at a respectful distance. Any males from another house, he knew that Ginny could handle by herself.
When Ginny and Draco parted company, she was humming happily to herself. She met up with Lavender walking back towards the portrait of the Fat Lady. Lavender took one look at her and laughed. “Ginny Weasley, I’m ashamed of you.”
Ginny stopped humming and looked down to make sure that her clothes were in order before asking, “What?”
Lavender smiled. “I know what you were just doing. That love song you’re humming gives you away.”
Ginny started to protest, and then she smiled. “You don’t think Ron will notice, do you?”
Lavender rolled her eyes. “No offense, but your brother is clueless. Hermione, however, will give you the ‘look of judgment’."
“Really?” Ginny asked as they reached the portrait and said the password.
Lavender nodded. “Oh yeah, I’ve been getting it for years.” Ginny started laughing and Lavender raised an eyebrow.
Stifling her laughter, Ginny explained. “Sorry, but that sounded like a joke.”
Lavender thought back to what she said. “You’re right, I sounded like Seamus.”
The girls were giggling when Hermione and Ron looked up from the couch. Ginny heard Hermione make a sniffing sound as a funny look crossed her face, and she started to laugh harder.
Ron started to ask her what was so funny, but then he caught sight of something shiny in Ginny’s hair. “Gin, where did you get that barrette?”
Lavender looked at Ginny’s hair. “Oh, that’s gorgeous. The green glass looks great next to your hair.”
Ginny smiled “Thanks. I like it.”
Ron made a huffing sound and stood up. “Where did that come from?”
Ginny smiled at her brother. “Someone gave it to me.”
“It’s green.” Ron declared like that was a crime.
Ginny nodded. “Very good, Ron. I knew you’d sort out those colors eventually.”
“Did a Slytherin give that to you?” Ron asked in a voice loud enough to stop all conversation in the room.
Ginny glared at her brother. “Who gave this to me is none of your business.”
Seamus spoke from the sidelines. “If he gave her that, I bet he’s giving her something else too.”
Ron turned on Seamus, and Ginny fled up to her room, laughing the entire way.
The next morning, Ginny carefully fixed her hair, and made sure that the barrette was shown off to good effect. On the way down to the Common Room, Hermione stopped her.
“Ginny, are you seeing someone?”
“Yes, Hermione. I am. Are you gathering information for my brother?”
Hermione sighed. “I’m just concerned about you. You look like you’re in love. I just wanted to make sure everything was ok.”
Ginny looked at the hurt expression on Hermione’s face. “I’m sorry, Hermione. I shouldn’t have said that. I know you care about me. Ron just makes me so mad. It’s funny, but he is the reason that I’m with this person.”
Ginny looked around. “I can’t tell you the story now, because if news got out, it would be... awkward. But hopefully someday soon, it won’t be.”
Hermione nodded. “You’re a smart girl, Gin. Just be sure you’re being careful.”
Ginny looped her arm through Hermione’s and pulled her down towards the Common Room. “Are you and my brother being careful?”
Hermione snorted. “Your brother is clueless. I love him as a friend.” A conspiratorial smile crossed Hermione’s face. “I’m being careful with someone else.”
Ginny stopped walking halfway down the stairs. “No! Who?”
Hermione freed her arm from Ginny’s and said, ”Sorry, I can’t say. It would be... awkward.”
Ginny’s mouth fell open for a moment before she said, “Maybe we could arrange to trade information.”
Hermione just chuckled as she walked through the portrait hole.