Wow, what was that about?
Draco thought as he watched the young woman practically run away from him. It couldn’t have been his looks; he was a fairly good-looking guy and plenty of women had been quick to tell him so.
Disappointed with the course of the evening, Draco downed the last of his drink and exited the club.
Once outside, he realized he had no idea how to get around by muggle means and he needed to find a hotel to spend the night. His best shot was to talk to Louie through one of the ‘tele-phones’ and ask him for advice. Louie, Draco’s most trusted friend, was not actually muggle but a squib. His mother was a witch but Louie had been raised in the muggle world.
“Excuse me,” Draco approached the large man standing by the door. “Could you direct me to the nearest…umm…phone booth?”
The man gave a loud chuckle.
“A phone booth? Man! We live in the 21st century, everybody owns a cellphone now.”
“Ah!” Draco said, not wanting to give away the fact that he had no bloody idea what a ‘cellphone’ was. “And where does one get one of those?”
“It’s kindda late, but you might wanna try an electronics store that’s two blocks from here.”
“Right, thanks,” Draco said and started walking in the direction of the store.
“I told you Angela we are short staffed, you need to finish your shift.”
“But I really don’t feel well John,” Ginny pleaded.
“Take an aspirin…and don’t call me John around here, call me boss or people will start thinking I favor you.”
“Well, you are sleeping with my roommate, doesn’t that count for something?”
“Not when we are short staffed,” John said with finality. “Get back to work Angela.”
Ginny sighed. She was scared to leave the locker rooms; she was scared that her little panic attack might have alerted Malfoy of who she really was. Nobody in the wizarding world could know she was in Seattle.
What is Malfoy doing in Seattle of all places? Maybe he is just passing through… or maybe he has been hired to look for me.
Her entire body shook with panic.
She needed to calm down. She needed to be rational. She only had two more hours left of her shift, all she had to do was avoid Malfoy’s nearby area and she would be fine.
Taking a deep breath, Ginny opened to door and headed for the bar to resume her duties.
It was going to be the longest two hours of her life.
The process of buying a bloody stupid cellphone had been excruciating. First of all, muggle technology was incredible confusing. Muggle money was no easier. All in all it had taken Draco an hour to finally get out of the infernal store and be able to call Louie.
“Asleep,” muttered a voice from the other side of the line.
“Louie, wake up! It’s me Draco.”
“Draco? How are you calling me?”
“You don’t own a cellphone.”
“I do now. Listen, I’m in muggle Seattle and…”
“Seattle? What are you doing there?”
“Remember that job I took? The Weasley girl? Well I traced her here but it’s late and I need a place to sleep.”
“Find a hotel mate.”
Draco rolled his eyes.
“I will but I can’t use too much magic here, she might be able to sense it. So I need to get to a hotel by muggle means, what do I do?”
“Sometimes I forget how helpless you are in the muggle world,” he said. “Use this cellphone to call a taxi company, when the motor car arrives get in and tell the driver to take you to the nearest hotel.”
“Right, and I pay this man?”
“Yes, after he gets you to the hotel.”
“Alright mate, good luck on your search.”
“Thanks but I don’t need it, I can feel I’m getting closer.”
Ginny rushed to climb the stairs of her apartment building.
When she finally closed the apartment door behind her, she let out a sigh of relief. She had not seen Malfoy at the club anymore after their little encounter and she had made sure he hadn’t been waiting outside for her. Hopefully Malfoy would never again set foot at Savages and she could continue with the life she had created for herself. She was quite comfortable with her life; she didn’t live in luxury and she had to work tons of hours to pay her share of the bills plus the classes she was taking at a local university, but she had made good friends in Seattle and the awful dreams about her family and the war had been reduced to only a couple of nights a week.
Careful not to draw attention to herself Ginny muttered a spell under her breath and her eyes changed to their natural color. She also took the black wig off and dumped it on a chair nearby.
“You’re home.” Dee greeted her from the couch, where she was curled up with a pint of ice cream in one hand, watching a movie.
“Yeah, I got out of there as fast as I could.”
“Oh! Just a creepy client,” Ginny lied. She sat down next to her friend and stole a spoonful of ice cream.
“Hey!” Dee protested. “Fine, but get your own spoon.” Ginny giggled. “You know, tomorrow is my birthday.”
Dee had been announcing her birthday for months, Ginny could not have forgotten if she wanted to.
“We are dressing up and going out to celebrate, I already invited some of the girls at work and John of course.”
Ginny tried to fake a smile. The last thing she wanted was to be out and about town when Malfoy was lurking around Seattle.
“Oh! Dee I actually have to…”
“Nothing! I already talked to John and he is giving you the day off,” Dee said firmly.
“Fine, but lets just keep away from this area okay?”
“Alright, we’ll go to the Skyline, it’ll be so much fun!”
Ginny nodded, not so sure Dee was correct in her assessment. She had a bad, bad feeling about Malfoy being in town.
Draco bit into his breakfast toast as shuffled through the evidence he had amassed for the Weasley case: the security tapes from the London train station, a copy of the tickets Ginny had used to get to Paris and then Seattle, a photograph of Ginny graduating from Hogwarts—the most recent picture the Weasleys had of their daughter—and a letter Ginny had left for Potter the day she disappeared, which read:
I’m sorry. I will always love you,
She has quite a way with words, thought Draco and laughed at his own joke.
Taking a sip from his orange juice, Draco picked up the photograph again and inspected it: Ginny was wearing her formal robes and she was holding her Hogwarts diploma. Her smile seemed a little forced, her downcast eyes were a soft brown, her red hair was loose around her shoulders and her face was covered in light freckles.
Hang on a second…I’ve seen that face…
Draco picked up his new cell phone and dialed the only number in his contact list.
“Agent Gibson here.”
“Louie I need a favor,” Draco said urgently.
“What a shocker!” came the sarcastic reply.
Completely ignoring it, Draco continued, “Is there a way for you to modify a picture? Say, add stuff to it, make a person look different.”
“Sure, we have a software at the station just for that, a lot of people change their looks when they are on the run.”
“Excellent, do you still have the picture of Ginny Weasley I gave you in case she got in trouble with the muggle police?”
“I want you to take it and modify it: add black hair, heavy make up, change the eye color to green and make her look five years older…oh! And take some of the freckles out.”
“Mate what is this about?”
“I think I found her Louie.”
“A strip club,” Draco smiled triumphantly. “A strip club of all places.”