Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
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The sun began to pick its way through the thin curtains that hung over her bedroom window and Ginny decided that enough time had passed to be able to get up now and go into the Ministry. Dressing herself in neatly cut robes, she ate breakfast as slowly as she could before Apparating to work.
As she walked into the office, she caught Daniel sending her apprehensive looks, and sighed as she realised she had been neglecting her responsibility as his superior to continue his training on the job. She gave him a brief smile, but groaned inwardly as this seemed to prompt his to think this a cue to approach her.
“Yes, Daniel?” she enquired politely.
“Ah, well, you see, ma’am, Auror Thomas, ah, requested that you be here when he comes in this morning,” he said haltingly.
Ginny knew Dean would have heard all about the Parkinsons’ dinner by now, and she was not ready to face his questions.
“Uh, well actually, I have to be somewhere. If you could tell Auror Thomas I’ll see him when I get back, that would be great,” Ginny said quickly.
Daniel’s face paled at the prospect of telling Dean that she had gone, and Ginny was sure Dean had demanded he make sure she stay. Straightening, he looked at her more assertively than before.
“Auror Thomas told me to tell you that he expects you to be here when he comes in unless you have gone to visit family,” he said, and Ginny had to admire his guts for talking to her like that, though she wondered if this meant he was more intimidated by Dean than by her. She smiled at him.
“Well, it’s a god job that’s exactly what I’m doing then.”
Leaving Daniel gaping at her, she turned back the way she had just come and, for the first time in many months, Apparated to The Burrow.
“Ginny,” Charlie said in surprise as he opened the door. She made herself smile at him, though no one had called her that for many years, except Malfoy. It was possibly the thing she found most irritating about him.
“Charlie,” she replied, trying to keep her voice light though the strain of being here once again was already settling upon her. “Is Mum home?”
“I…sure,” Charlie told her, still startled by her presence but nevertheless stepping aside to let her walk past him.
Walking the familiar route to the kitchen, Ginny breathed in the smell of her mother’s cooking, something she had gone without for such a long time now. She did not have to say anything as she entered before Molly glanced to the door and promptly dropped her wand in the custard she had been stirring.
“Ginny,” she breathed, not moving to retrieve her wand. Ginny barely had time to quirk her lips in another attempt at a smile before she was being enveloped in a hug that knocked the breath from her. “Oh, Ginny, I thought you’d never come home.”
Ginny shifted uncomfortably; she knew that for all she had been a Floo call away, in truth she might as well have been dead for all that her mother could reach her. And now she was here again, and she was more than half inclined to step right back outside again and run as far away as she could. She had closed herself off from her family when they had begun to move on from the deaths of her father and brothers, and eventually they had let her be, let her withdraw from them and any possibility of healing had gone with her decision to continue pursuing Death Eaters against their wishes.
She seemed far from herself, looking from a distance as her mother sat her down and began to pile food in front of her despite her protests of having eaten breakfast not that long ago. They talked of inconsequential things, and Ginny was grateful her mother never asked her any of the things she didn’t want to talk about, but she knew it could not last. Sure enough, while Molly cleared away after their meal – and Ginny noticed how no one else entered the kitchen while she was there – she turned the subject to Ginny’s career.
“Yes, Mum,” Ginny replied with a sigh as Molly enquired as to whether she was still an Auror, though she had no doubt that she knew she was perfectly well.
“You haven’t thought it might be time for change of profession, perhaps?” Molly suggested, as if she had only just thought of it.
“No,” Ginny said firmly, and knowing she might as well get it over with, continued to dig her hole deeper. “There are still Death Eaters at large, and until they are all brought to justice, I will continue as an Auror. Besides, I’m good at what I do.”
“I just don’t think it’s healthy for you,” Molly continued on. “The war is over now, Ginny, some things should just be laid at rest. Do you think your father would have wanted you doing this in order to avenge him?”
Ginny winced visibly; Molly had said such things before but never so bluntly and she couldn’t help the stab of anger she felt at her words.
“I am merely doing my job,” she said through clenched teeth, trying to hold to her calm.
“You are seeking revenge,” Molly contradicted, eyes hard as she looked at her daughter, but there was desperation to drill this into her in her voice, and Ginny knew she worried she would not see her again.
Abruptly, Ginny stood up and reached to pull on her cloak that she had hung over the back of her chair.
“I’m going now, Mum; I have to get back to the office.” Even if it meant facing Dean, Ginny was now perfectly prepared to do so.
Molly looked at her sadly, and Ginny ignored the tears that glistened in her mother’s eyes.
“Goodbye,” she said softly. “Visit again soon, Ginny.”
Ginny made no reply to this and walked quickly from the house, turning on the spot as she fixed her destination in mind.
Dean strode up to her as soon as she entered the office and she braced herself to deal with his questions. Perhaps visiting her mother had not been such a good idea.
“Where have you been?” he demanded.
“Visiting my mother,” she replied, taking a moment to enjoy the incredulous look he gave her.
“You visited your mother?”
“And you sat and danced with Draco yesterday evening?”
Dean looked immensely torn about something for a moment then, and Ginny suddenly took more interest in the conversation.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Draco,” Dean said eventually. “He left a message for you asking if you’d like to have dinner tonight.”
He eyed her apprehensively then, as if preparing himself for the explosion that never came.
“Sounds perfect,” Ginny said, her mind racing with possibilities. There was an invention of her father’s, one of his last before he died, of a hybrid magic and Muggle device used to record both what was said and the magic cast. If she could get Malfoy to slip up and had it recorded, she could bring the case to light again.
“Are you all right?” Dean asked worriedly, peering at her intently.
“Fine,” Ginny assured him with a smile. “Absolutely fine.”
Draco was already there when Ginny arrived at the restaurant he had asked to meet her at. She had her recording device attached to the hollowed back of the necklace she wore, but she knew she could not rely on its capabilities while still out in public, the more activity the less it was able to record accurately, and she knew she was going to need to get Draco alone for a while somehow. Her mind was also still plagued with thoughts of her mother as she followed him to their table, but she stubbornly pushed them aside to focus on this dinner.
Ginny had raised her eyebrows at him when she first learned he had already booked their table for two as she had not contacted him to let him know she was indeed coming. He had merely smiled as though her presence had never been in question. It irked her but she didn’t let it show.
“Where are you staying?” she asked him, allowing a mild curiosity to creep into her voice.
He shot her a mocking look, but nevertheless answered her without pause.
“At Pansy’s, just until I have a few things sorted out.”
It was Ginny’s turn to send him a pointed look.
“How lovely for you,” she said, keeping her tone neutral though he knew perfectly well what she was implying.
“I assure you it is,” he said, perfectly comfortable in his words and making Ginny roll her eyes.
She kept the conversation light and away from potentially troublesome subjects as they ate their meal, and did not attempt to lay any traps for him, having realised there were just too many other people around in the restaurant. That was okay though, she could be patient.
It was as they were leaving that he presented her with a dilemma.
“So, Miss Weasley, would you like to return with me for a nightcap,” he asked and the look he gave her left her in no doubt as to what he was really asking.
On the one hand, going back with him would give her the perfect opportunity to talk to him alone, on the other she was not sure she could live with herself if she did. Finally though, she hardened her resolve.
“I’d love to,” she replied, and she felt a thrill of satisfaction as surprise crept into his expression. He recovered quickly though and soon she found herself standing once more inside Pansy Parkinson’s mansion. This time though, she was not led to the room she had always been in before, but she followed Draco down corridors and upstairs.
They stopped to recover some firewhiskey from a small drawing room before continuing on to what Ginny assumed were some of Pansy’s guest rooms. Draco appeared to have a living room, large bathroom and bedroom to call his own for his stay there, and Ginny could not help appreciating the elegance of the place, a white sofa and chairs complimenting the pale wood of the other furniture and neutrally decorated rooms. Draco poured her a drink and she sipped at it quickly, hoping to encourage him to also drink his.
She eyed him appraisingly as he moved around the room searching for something, really looked at him as just a guy and not Draco Malfoy, and she had to admit he had turned out very nicely, in a refined sort of way. She hoped that would make it easier for her, but her mind was once more dwelling on her mother, and inevitably turned to the family she had lost.
She realised then that Draco was walking towards her, holding out to her a wrapped box that she took in confusion.
“What’s this?” she asked, running a finger over the paper that even managed to feel expensive.
“Just something I thought would look good on you, and perhaps a start to letting go of the past.”
His words washed over her, smooth and logical, but they were too close to what her mother had said. Still, she dutifully unwrapped the box, careful not to tear the paper even though she knew it would never be used again. As she opened the large, flat box she uncovered, she gasped. The beauty of the jewellery alone should have elicited such a response, but that was not why she had gasped. It was a necklace, and she would have to take off her own. She looked at Draco in suspicion, but there was nothing there to tell her that he knew what was so special about her necklace, he couldn’t know. As she looked once more at the deep sapphire that hung in an elegant pendant backed with white gold, her mind was so confused as to what to do that she had allowed Draco to unfasten the necklace she wore at the moment without realising it. It seemed she could do nothing as she took the other necklace from its box and allowed him to secure it around her neck, softly letting her hair fall back down as his fingers grazed her shoulders lightly.
“It’s beautiful,” she managed to choke out as he turned her towards a mirror, the necklace matched the deep blue dress robes she had chosen to wear, something else he could not have known. There was no point now in engaging him in conversation, no point to being here; she should leave.
And yet she wasn’t moving, she was rooted to the spot as it seemed she stared at herself from a distance. Draco stood behind her, his eyes a darker grey than she remembered them as she stared at their reflection together. One of his hands rested on her shoulder and the other curled around her to move the necklace into a better light. Perhaps it did not really matter if she stayed, she could use this to get closer to him, to gain his trust, she reasoned to herself as his touches on her bare skin made her shiver. It had been so long since she had done this, so long since she had lost herself for just a little while, and she needed that now.
His head bowed to let his lips press softly to the curve of her neck, and she tilted her head back to allow him better access. It seemed her decision was made then and she turned around to lift her own hands to his hair, to catch his lips with hers as she breathed in the scent of him. He was smiling against her mouth and she didn’t care, reckless now in her abandon.
Her hand hands found their way beneath his robes and she could feel the tautness of his stomach, the stretch of his chest. He pulled away from her and easily rid himself of the robes, leaving just black boxers as he returned to Ginny’s touch almost without pause. His long fingers found the fastenings to her own robes then and made short work of them as his lips pressed against hers and his breath caressed her cheek in slightly ragged gasps. She allowed her hands to come between them, dancing across his chest and back as she pushed harder against him. He was gentle though, taking time to remove her clothes, her underwear ever so slowly pulled off her as his hands took their time to touch her, to explore and know what seemed like every inch of her soft skin, lightly tracing every curve to leave her trembling and gasping. She didn’t need his gentleness though, didn’t want it, and she fairly growled as he continued his slow administrations. She didn’t think she could do this if he kept up like this; felt she was almost ready to break of it.
As if he had heard her thoughts, his mouth was suddenly harsh, his kisses bruising her lips as he backed her towards the large sofa. His hands pinned her wrists beneath him as he lay her down, fully undressed as they pressed flush against each other, and oh God. Ginny’s breath hitched, the heat between them so intense now and, as he released her hands, she dug her fingernails into his shoulders mercilessly, not quite sure but not really caring what she was trying to hang onto. She arched up and, unnoticed, a single tear fell from the side of her eye as they lay panting, their breath harsh in the otherwise still room. And she was sorry, so sorry.
Author's Note: An update, yay! Unfortunately I cannot say when the next chapter will be, but hopefully not too long. Things will be getting busy in a few weeks, but I hope to do some writing before then. No definite idea of when a new chapter will be up though. Reviews on this one are very appreciated mind ;) .