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Title: Love Unexpected and Unaverage
Author/Artist: doraeazure
Pairing(s): Draco/Ginny, little bit of background Ron/Hermione and Harry/Luna
Prompt: # 122 from 2011: Ginny is forced to attend a Winter Solstice party where she meets Draco Malfoy, the snooty son of the hosts. She immediately hates him but ends up kissing him at midnight. Random words: Yule Log, rainbow coloured bow, "boxers or briefs?", walking in the garden. Bonus for Harry singing "All I Want For Christmas is You" to Ron.
Word Count: 5,710
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: I sort of used the prompt loosely in that this fic is canon. Otherwise I tried to stick to it pretty closely.
Summary: Ginny goes home for the holidays—her first vacation in ages—and instead of the relaxing break she expected, she finds herself shoved into tight-fitting robes and forced to attend a party at the home of her worst enemies. A comedic romance.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Everything was so shiny. Too shiny. Nothing had any business being this shiny, especially not a house.

How could anyone live in a place this shiny? Ginny was afraid to touch anything. Or sit anywhere. It was more than a bit ridiculous.

Ginny Weasley stood in a corner of the entryway of this ridiculously shiny house, waiting in line to check her cloak and alternating between gazing at her grandiose surroundings and surreptitiously glaring at the back of Luna’s head.

It was all Luna’s fault. And Hermione’s fault. And possibly Harry and Ron’s. But mostly, it was Luna’s fault. The uncomfortable dress robes, the too-heavy hairstyle that was already giving her a headache, having to look at all the shininess...

Luna was to blame for all of it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ginny hadn’t been home in ages—nearly a year. She was a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies, and she absolutely loved her intense, jet-setting, adrenaline-filled job. It was a career she’d aspired to from the moment she’d first sat on a broom (which she’d snuck out of the back shed in the middle of the night). The fact that she was only five years old at the time, or that she fell off the (stolen) broom not ten minutes later, breaking her arm in three places and causing her family to forbid her to so much as look at brooms for the next several years, didn’t deter her in the least.

Now that she’d achieved her dream job, there was very little about it that she didn’t like. Except that she rarely got to see her friends and family due to her rigorous travel schedule, and she missed them a great deal. She really didn’t write or Floo home often enough.

So when she managed to get two weeks off, Ginny was excited. Getting that much vacation time all at once was practically a miracle, and the fact that she would be making it home just in time for the holidays made it even better.

On the last day before her overdue vacation, Ginny didn’t even stop at her flat after practice, she was so eager to get home. She’d brought her luggage with her, and as soon as the coach dismissed the team from the pitch, Ginny took off running. She showered, shoved her dirty kit in her laundry bag, grabbed her broom, and headed for the Apparition Point.

Ginny arrived at the Burrow with a soft pop, a frisson of excited anticipation shooting straight up her spine. The empty fields outside her childhood home made for the best sight she’d seen in a long time, right up until she turned around and laid eyes on the Burrow. She could hardly wait to go inside and hug her mother

When she stepped into the house, she was extra careful to do so quietly—she hadn’t told anyone she was coming, and she was looking forward to seeing the surprise on everyone’s faces. So she went in through the little-used front door, hung up her cloak, and tiptoed her way through the house in search of Molly Weasley. She didn’t have to look hard; this time of day, the family matriarch was usually in the kitchen baking up a storm, and if the smell of chocolate in the air was anything to go by, today was no exception.

Molly Weasley was, in fact, baking chocolate biscuits when Ginny peeked into the kitchen. The minute her mother spotted her, she dropped her wand (sending several important baking items crashing to the floor) and screamed. Almost before Ginny could blink, she was enveloped in her mother’s arms. By the time Molly was ready to let go, Ginny’s father was waiting in line. And then Harry, and Ron, and Hermione, who happened to have come for dinner. And then, only somewhat to Ginny’s surprise, Luna stepped in through the back door.

“Luna!” Harry said, startled. Ginny hid a smile. She knew Harry and Luna were dating because Luna had written to her about it ages ago, but judging by the frantic looks he was darting between his former and current girlfriends, Harry wasn’t aware that Ginny had been informed. She wondered momentarily why he was worried about it—Ginny really didn’t care, she just wanted her friends to be happy—but it was likely to make for some entertainment.

“There you are!” Luna said, ignoring Harry, who was looking rather panicked now, and making a beeline for Ginny. She swept the redhead into a tight, enthusiastic hug. “You’re finally here! I am so glad you’ve come home. This house has felt empty without you in it.”

“You say that like you live here, Lu,” Ginny said dryly, hugging her dearest friend close.

“She might as well,” Ron muttered. Hermione elbowed him. Harry just glanced away uncomfortably.

“Harry,” Ginny said as Luna pulled away. “Luna is my best friend. Obviously she’s told me that you’re dating. There is no reason to look like someone’s shoved a lemon in your mouth out of fear that the subject might come up.”

“Erm,” said Harry.

Ginny watched as he turned red and shifted awkwardly, then turned her eyes to Luna. The blond shrugged as if to say “don’t look at me,” and Ginny rolled her eyes in response.

They were in agreement. Harry was ridiculous.

The group sat down for dinner with no little discomfort on Harry’s part, seemingly because Luna was sat between he and his former girlfriend. The two girls shared another speaking look at his awkward shifting, and then:

“Ow!” Harry yelped. “Hermione!”

“Honestly, Harry,” Hermione muttered, obviously having kicked him under the table. “You and Ginny stopped dating ages ago. No one else cares. Stop acting like this is the inquisition.”

Ginny sniggered as she scooped some vegetables onto her plate. Harry glared, but seemed to relax after that.

“So, Ginny,” Luna began once everyone had served themselves. Ginny turned suspicious eyes on her best friend. That tone was dangerous. That tone set alarm bells off in Ginny’s head. When Luna used that tone, bad things happened. “What are you doing tomorrow evening?” Luna continued mildly.

Hermione’s head shot up. Ron gaped at Luna from across the table. If Luna’s tone hadn’t been enough to alarm Ginny, that would have done it.

“I am busy,” she said decisively. “Very, very busy. In fact, I am busy all week. Get back to me the week after. Or possibly in two weeks.”

“I thought you went back to Wales in two weeks,” said Ron, frowning in confusion. “Isn’t that when you have to go back to the team?”

“Exactly,” Ginny agreed.

Luna gave her a knowing look. “So you haven’t any plans tomorrow, then. I don’t suppose you’ve any dress robes with you?”

“Even if I had, Lu, I certainly wouldn’t tell you now.”

“Hmmm...” Luna tilted her head thoughtfully. “I doubt anything of Hermione’s would fit you. She’s much taller than you are.”

“Not much taller.” Ginny muttered, despite the fact that there was a five inch difference in their heights.

“I’m only a few inches taller; I’m sure we can get one of my robes to fit you,” Luna continued as if Ginny hadn’t spoken.

“What are we doing that requires dress robes?” Ginny asked, reluctantly giving in to the inevitable.

Ron groaned, earning an elbow to the ribs form Hermione. Harry mumbled something unpleasant under his breath. Luna just smiled serenely.

“Just a Yule celebration,” Luna told her.

“A Yule celebration?” Ginny suspected there was a lot more to it than that.

“It’s being hosted by a coworker of mine,” Hermione explained, “of whom the boys are not particularly fond.”

“That’s an understatement,” Harry muttered.

“No kidding,” Ron agreed.

Ginny looked around the table, then narrowed her eyes at Luna. Luna took a bite of her roast beef.

“Luna.”

“You can come over tomorrow to try on robes,” Luna told her. Then, smiling, added, “If you want, we can do one of those ‘get ready’ things girls do.” She looked thoughtfully at the ceiling. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to one before.”

Ginny winced internally. Luna didn’t have many girlfriends. And the ones she had tended not to be overly girly.

The redhead exchanged a look with Hermione, then heaved a deep sigh. “Alright, Lu. What time should I come over?”

Luna’s smile could have lit up the whole room. “How does three in the afternoon work for you?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And so here Ginny was, attending the annual Malfoy Winter Solstice party in a set of fancy emerald green robes that were far too slinky for comfort—Ginny and Luna might be close in height, but Luna was built a bit like a boyish waif. Her robes were far too tight on Ginny’s somewhat fuller figure.

When she stepped into the ballroom, Ginny was not surprised to see more shininess there as well. It was at least a more Yuletide type shine, however. The whole room was decorated in a Winter Wonderland sort of theme: ribbons and swaths of fabric in silver, white, and the palest blue covered the walls and tables. The ceiling was charmed to look like a snowy winter sky, and the magical snow that disappeared just above head level over the dining tables and the dance floor fell all the way to the floor along the walls. There was an absolutely gigantic hearth set in one wall, big enough to fit three grown men inside it and framed on either side by the most beautiful Christmas trees she’d ever seen.

Ginny went through the receiving line with bad grace. No matter how much she loved and supported Hermione, she could not understand her friendship with the ferret. She would be civil to the youngest Malfoy for Hermione’s sake, she decided, but she was not speaking to the man who put her in contact with Tom Riddle’s diary and terrorized her childhood. Or his snooty wife.

In the end, Ginny didn’t hold to her resolve. This was primarily due to Narcissa’s heretofore undiscovered streak of gracious kindness. When Ginny had reached Lucius Malfoy’s place in the line, he’d smirked and opened his mouth, no doubt intending to spew a number of smoothly veiled insults. But before he could speak, Narcissa had stepped in with a swift glare for her husband and kind words for Ginny, accompanied by a genuine smile and an extended hand.

Ginny had been so shocked and grateful that she’d accepted the hand despite herself and engaged in conversation for several equally surprising moments.

And then she was standing before the ferret himself. Her greeting was stilted and uncomfortable, but Malfoy didn’t seem to notice. He bowed over her hand just as he had with every other woman who went through the line, and he replied to her greeting smoothly. He was terribly polite throughout the entire exchange, so much so it was as if they were complete strangers. But when it was over and Ginny escaped in relief, she could feel his eyes on her as she walked away.

Ginny felt rather awkward after that. She could swear she could still feel Malfoy looking at her, although he never was when she glanced over to check. It was making her uncomfortable, and she was already feeling uncomfortable thanks the to the robes she was wearing. She was hard pressed not to tug at them.

Currently, she was managing that feat by hovering near the hors d'oeuvres, keeping one hand occupied with a flute of champagne and the other with finger foods.

“I am shocked to discover your Millicent-esque appetite, Red,” a soft, familiar voice spoke quietly in her ear. Ginny started, then turned to face the speaker. Draco Malfoy’s smirking face met her eyes. His gaze slithered over her from head to toe and back again. The smirk he turned salacious. “If I weren’t seeing it with my own eyes, I’d never believe it.”

“Malfoy.” Ginny managed a fairly polite tone of voice; she was proud of herself.

“Weaslette,” Malfoy returned, amused.

“Can I help you with something?” Ginny bit out.

“No, no.” His eyes swept over her again and that infuriating smirk returned. “You’re providing everything I need already. Do carry on.”

Ginny clenched her teeth, embarrassed and angry. To her irritation, she could feel her face heating. Malfoy let out an amused laugh. Ginny was so startled by the laugh—and by how nice his smooth voice sounded when it turned to genuine laughter—that she forgot to be irritated for a moment.

Like this, smiling and happy, Malfoy was really rather attractive. Breathtakingly so, actually.

What? Ginny let out a little growl—this was Malfoy. And the way he was behaving thus far, he was clearly every bit the arrogant, facetious prat she’d always known. “Why are you bothering me, Malfoy?”

“Oh, am I bothering you? It’s just, I saw you from across the room and thought I should come and make sure you are enjoying yourself like a good host.”

“How kind.”

“Aren’t I though?” He smiled, all white teeth and apparent interest. It was rather disconcerting. Mostly because Malfoy wasn’t supposed to smile like that, especially not at her. And she definitely wasn’t supposed feel all warm inside because of it.

“Well, now that you’re hostly duties have been fulfilled, you can leave,” Ginny told him brightly.

Malfoy went still for a moment, then suddenly went all...sensual. He tilted his head, giving her an intense, half-lidded gaze. “Why, Red,” he murmured, leaning close enough that she could feel the warmth of his body wash against her side, “if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to get rid of me.”

“Oh, well-spotted,” she said, rolling her eyes (as much to convince herself that she didn’t like the sensation as much as it was out of irritation).

Malfoy chuckled quietly in her ear and Ginny fought down a shiver. “I’m hurt, Weasley.”

“Malfoy, you—” Ginny turned to glare at him and froze when she found his face just a few scant inches away. She found herself temporarily lost in pale blue-grey eyes framed by unfairly long lashes.

“‘I’ what?” Malfoy prompted.

“Huh?”

“You stopped midsentence, just like your brother when he turns that rather interesting shade of puce.” Malfoy stared into the distance for a moment with a disturbingly self-satisfied look on his face. Ginny really didn’t want to know what awful thing he’d said or done in regards to her brother to put that look on his face. Then Malfoy continued, “So what was it you were going to say about me?” Malfoy leaned even closer. “I’m dying of curiosity.”

Ginny froze. Because he was breathing in her ear. Which was, judging by the tightness in her chest, causing her own lungs to malfunction. And her heart to race. This was wrong on so many levels. And also extremely horrifying.

She wondered if maybe Ron’s arch nemesis had his wand up his sleeve. This had to be a jinx or a curse or something. Maybe he’d slipped something in her drink? It wasn’t impossible. The house-elves serving at this little soiree did live here, after all.

She couldn’t stand it anymore. If this went on she either going to kiss him or hit him.

Ginny hated Malfoy. If she hit him, Hermione would be furious with her for causing a scene and damaging a co-workers face. (Hermione had, inexplicably, bonded with Malfoy. It had horrified pretty much...everyone). On the other hand, if she ended up kissing him...she was going to be very sick afterwards. No matter how enjoyable it might be...

“You are infuriating,” she told him with a little snarl. She set her glass down on the refreshments table and stalked off to the sound of more inappropriately hot laughter.

She felt his gaze off and on for the rest of the night.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When Ginny showed up at Luna’s house the afternoon of the party, she was horrified to see the selection of robes that Luna had laid out.

“Luna, I can’t wear any of these.”

“Why not?”

Ginny gave her an incredulous look. “Have you seen these robes?” Ginny asked, pointing to the robes in question.

“I own them, Ginny,” Luna replied.

“My point exactly.”

Luna just looked at her. And then she blinked. Ginny sighed.

“They’ll be far too tight on me, Lu.”

“Nonsense. They’ll fit wonderfully. Try on the green ones first.”

Ginny eyed the green robes. They were made from a beautiful emerald coloured silk with gold trim. Considering the cut, Ginny suspected she would have a hard time breathing in them. Especially if she didn’t want to go spilling out of the cups. And there was a slit in the skirt that was thigh high.

“I’m not wearing these, Luna,” Ginny said firmly.

When she stepped out of the loo several minutes later with the beautiful green robes wrapped around her, Ginny didn’t really know how it happened.

“Oh, those are lovely!” Luna exclaimed. “I knew the green ones would be the best choice.”

“Lu, I can’t breathe. And the top of this thing is barely decent. For that matter, the skirt is barely decent.”

Luna started to put the other robes away. “That’s alright. Hermione is very good at tailoring charms. When we get back to the Burrow, we’ll have her fix it.”

“Why are you putting those away, Luna? Stop that. I’m not wearing these, so I’m going to need to try those on. Luna. Luna!

~*~*~*~

Ginny was still wearing the green robes when she and Luna Flooed to the Burrow several hours later. And she still couldn’t breathe in them.

“Hermione!” she called out the moment she’d finished brushing soot off herself. “Hermione!”

The brunette girl appeared in the doorway and gaped at Ginny, who had her arms crossed over her chest, straining the robes’ ability to...contain her.

Luna was really much smaller than Ginny. This was the first time Ginny had ever had problems with...spillage.

“Ginny, what?”

“Luna has forced me into these robes and insists that I wear them to this party thing this evening. Please fix this madness.” She indicated her robes with a jerky motion of her hand.

Just then, Ron entered the room with Harry behind him. When he spotted Ginny, Ron made an inarticulate sound and whirled around again. He had his eyes clenched shut, and he clapped a hand over Harry’s as well.

“Ron!” Harry protested.

“Ginny, what are you wearing?” Ron cried, ignoring Harry’s shout.

Harry went very still under Ron’s hand. “Oh,” he said.

“It’s not that bad,” Hermione said.

“It’s bad enough. There are some things you can’t unsee, Hermione. And I do not ever want to see that much of my sister.”

“Luna made me wear it,” Ginny muttered. “And Hermione is going to fix it. So go away, Ron.”

“So long as you’re not going to be wearing that when I come back, gladly,” Ron agreed, leaving the room and taking Harry, still blinded by Ron’s grip on his face, with him.

Ginny looked at Hermione. “Mione, please. Luna said you’re good with tailoring charms. Please fix this. Please.”

Hermione shook her head. “There’s only so much I can do,” she said. “But I’ll do what I can.”

Ten minutes later, Ginny still couldn’t breathe easily (apparently Luna’s rib cage was smaller around than hers), but Hermione had tailored the dress to Ginny’s shorter height and deepened the cups a bit (although not enough). She’d even transfigured a tea towel into a bit of gold coloured chiffon and adhered it to the bust line to give Ginny a bit more modesty. Looking thoughtful, she looped the excess chiffon over one of Ginny’s bare shoulders and let it trail down the back of the robes like a train.

“There,” she said, stepping back. “Better?”

“Much,” Ginny answered. “I still can’t breathe, but at least I’m not about to go falling out of this thing. And the gold stuff is pretty,” she added, fingering the chiffon. “Just...is there anything you can do about this?” she asked, sticking her leg out to emphasize the extremely high slit in the skirt.

“I can,” Hermione replied. “What is it you want done?”

“Can you close it up? There’s lots of fabric in the slinky skirt of this slinky dress, and I don’t want to have to worry about showing my underwear to the whole room whenever I twirl.”

Hermione looked amused. “Are you planning to twirl?”

“You people are making me spend part of my vacation at this party. I am going to twirl.”

Hermione laughed as she gather up the skirt and waved her wand to begin sewing up the slit. Several minutes after that, Hermione climbed to her feet. The skirt of Ginny’s robe was now slit-less, the seam sealing it together disguised by beautiful gold embroidered leaves and vines.

“Lovely,” said Luna, glancing over at Ginny before turning back to admiring her distorted reflection in the side of one of Molly’s bigger pots. She was wearing a very fluffy set of bright red robes with lots of ruffles and flounces over the sleeves and the skirt. There was a matching headband in her hair with an oversized bow attached. Luna was fiddling with the headband, adjusting how it sat on her head and the way her hair was curled around it.

“Does this bow look odd to you?” she asked, adjusting it again.

Hermione and Ginny exchanged glances. “You’re...concerned about your bow, Luna?” Hermione asked tentatively.

“Should I not be? Do you think it’s alright?”

“It’s fine, Lu.” Ginny said. She shrugged when Hermione sent her a bewildered look. She wasn’t going to be the one to tell Luna she was far, far too fluffy to be worrying about her bow. Apparently Hermione agreed because she let it go.

Just then, there was a knock on the door jamb. “Is it safe?” Harry asked, leaning in the doorway with his eyes closed. He was wearing his dress shirt and trousers, but his robes were conspicuously absent.

“Yes, Ginny’s properly covered now,” Luna said, just as if it hadn’t been her who’d forced Ginny into the indecent robes to begin with.

“Oh good.” Harry opened his eyes with a sigh of relief and held up a bowtie. “I need some help with this,” he said with a rueful grin.

“Oh! Ron won’t be able to tie his either.” Hermione started for the door. “I should go track him down.”

“Luna? Ginny?” Harry offered the tie to each of them in turn.

“Maybe I should wear a black bow,” Luna mused. “Then Harry and I will match.” She turned back to the pot.

Ginny grinned. “I guess that means I’m handling the tie,” she said, taking it from Harry and looping it around his neck.

Luna drifted over—her hair bow now a glossy black—and took Harry in as Ginny knotted his bowtie.

“You look very nice, Harry,” Luna said, her eyes on Harry’s derriere.

Ginny finished knotting the tie just in time to catch the direction of Luna’s gaze. She grinned and stepped back to look at Harry too. “She’s right. Your trousers in particular are fitting very well today,” Ginny told him, circling Harry slowly. Her grin widened when Harry spluttered. “They fit much better than the last time you wore them. What kind of pants are you wearing? Boxers or briefs?”

By now, Harry had turned scarlet. “You can’t ask me questions like that anymore, Gin,” he said defiantly. Ginny laughed. Harry tugged on his bowtie in discomfort and scowled when Ginny slapped his hand away.

Luna stepped closer and tilted her head. “She’s right you know. Your backside looks very nice in those trousers.”

“Luna!”

“What? Aren’t I allowed to make that observation?”

No one is allowed to make public comments about my backside,” Harry muttered.

“Best go put your robes on then,” Hermione said, coming back into the room with Ron in tow. “Although, if you don’t want people admiring it, you’d be better off wearing looser trousers.”

“Hermione!” Ron and Harry cried in unison.

“What?” Hermione grinned and continued in an innocent tone, “I’m only offering a bit of useful advice.”

Harry hurried out of the room before anyone else could say anything. Luna, meanwhile, was shifting her gaze from Ginny’s green robes to Hermione’s blue, and down to her own red.

“We match a bit too much, I think,” she murmured.

“What? You don’t match at all, Luna, what are you on abou—Ow!” Ron scowled and rubbed his ribs where Hermione had elbowed him sharply.

“It’s alright, Hermione,” Luna said. “He’s a boy. He doesn’t know about fashion.” She pointed at herself. “Solid color.” The pointed finger turned to Hermione. “Solid color.” And, pointing to Ginny, “nearly solid color. There’s not enough variety amongst us. It’s a little bit boring, I think.” She tapped her wand against her chin thoughtfully. “How to fix it,” she mused.

Ron leaned closer to Hermione. “Is she serious?”

Hermione’s expression was somewhat exasperated. “This is Luna. Do you really need to ask that?”

Luna waved her wand and muttered something. There was a flash of light from Luna’s robes, and then...nothing.

“Lu?”

“Give it a moment,” Luna replied, eyes on the skirt of her robes. Slowly, the color began to shift from bright red to deep violet. A few seconds later it shifted to a startlingly brilliant yellow.

Ginny looked away before she was blinded by any more crazy colors.

“I’m back,” said Harry, edging back into the room. “Are we ready?”

“Just a moment,” Luna answered him. She lifted the pot she’d been using as a mirror and adjusted its height until she could see her bow properly. Another wave of her want and the black bow disappeared. She adjusted her new, rainbow coloured bow and set the pot down.
“Alright,” she said, “let’s go.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The rest of the party went surprisingly well. Despite the fact that it was a Malfoy-hosted party, there were a large number of Ginny’s friends and acquaintances present, and Ginny enjoyed catching up.

(And When had the Malfoys become friends with all of her friends anyway? It was bad enough the youngest Malfoy was working with Hermione at the Ministry...)

When she tired of circling the room (and avoiding Malfoy, who kept turning up whenever she paused too long, being strangely friendly and giving her intense looks that made her doubt everything she’d ever thought she knew about him), Ginny went in search of Hermione and Luna. When she found them in the midst of a very circular argument about the existence of certain magical creatures, she turned and walked away again.

Maybe walking in the garden was a better use of her time just now.

On her way to the door, Ginny passed Ron and Harry at the back of the room. They were clearly drunk, most likely in an attempt to escape the pain of having to be civil to the Malfoys, whom both men still hated with a passion. When she neared their table, Harry and Ron were in the middle of a drunken fight, which mostly consisted of them pushing at each other half-heartedly. Ginny paused, just to make sure they didn’t end up killing each other by accident.

She needn’t have worried. The fight ended when Ron said something about Harry hating him, and Harry threw his arms around Ron in response.

“Course, I don’ hate you, Ron. You’re m’bes’ friend.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Ginny left (in a hurry) when Harry began a truly horrible rendition of a Muggle Christmas song. His off key singing drifted after her as she escaped through the back door: “Make my wish come true! All I want for Christmas is you!”

Ginny rolled her eyes and walked faster. She spent quite a while wandering through the garden, which she suspected was beautiful in its own right, but in the darkness, lit up with fairy lights and decorated to match the interior of the party, it was absolutely breathtaking.

She was really enjoying herself, right up until she followed the path to a little clearing containing a water feature and a bench and Draco Malfoy.

They stared at each other for several long, uncomfortable moments.

“Well this is awkward,” Ginny said.

Malfoy’s eyes swept over her from head to toe. “You look anything but awkward.”

“Um.” Well that was unexpected. She cleared her throat. That had to have been sarcastic, right? She thought about being sarcastic in return, then remembered his (seemingly endless) attempts to be friendly this evening, and decided against it. “I wasn’t expecting to be attending a party tonight. I had to borrow something from Luna.” She tugged uncomfortably at the skirt of her robes.

“Well, then thank her for me. You have a magnificent figure, Red, and those robes show it off to perfection.” Another of those slow, sweeping looks. Ginny was grateful for the semi-darkness of the dimly lit gardens as she felt her face heat.

Not sarcastic then.

“You’re not what I expected, Malfoy,” she said after a little bit of thought.

“No?”

“No. You’re not at all the snarky, skinny blond kid from Hogwarts.”

“I’m still every bit as snarky as I ever was,” Malfoy said in a dry voice.

“Yes but...not mean. Not even when I was being rude.” She hesitated. “You’re not the person I knew.”

“Well, we didn’t really know each other at Hogwarts, did we?”

Ginny gave him a sharp look. Malfoy’s expression remained neutral. “Hmm. I suppose not.” There was silence again. Ginny took a deep breath. In for a penny... “Ok, Mr. Mysterious. What is it you do then? Other than drive Hermione mad at work.”

Amusement climbed into his expression and set up shop. “Trying to get to know the new me?”

“I’m making up for lost time. I thought I knew who you were. Apparently I was wrong. So?”

“I don’t really think you’d be interested in hearing about my work at the ministry. It’s very technical and boring. What you might be interested in knowing,” he added quickly before she could protest, “is that I am heavily invested in Quidditch. One team in particular.”

“Really?”

“Really. I actually help manage the team. Not publicly, mind, but I still have a lot of input.”

“What team?”

His amused expression turned sly. “Can’t you guess?”

“If the universe was at all good and kind, you would say the words ‘Chudley Cannons.’ I would love to see the look on Ron’s face when he found out you owned and managed his precious team.”

Malfoy burst into laughter. “You are a wicked, wicked girl.”

Ginny grinned. “I love my brother, but I owe Ron for years of childhood torture.”

Malfoy laughed again. “Well, I wish I could help you with that, but unfortunately, I’m involved with another team entirely.”

“Which one?” Draco gave her a pointed look. It took her a minute to catch on. “Mine?”

“That would be the one.” His tone was very blasé. She somehow got the impression it was a front.

“Really?”

“Oh yes. And I’ve attended several of your games too. You’re very good.”

She eyed him. “What are you, a stalker or something?”

He turned that heated, half-lidded gaze from the hors d'oeuvres table on her again. “Or something,” he agreed.

She suddenly wondered how much “several” was an under-exaggeration of how often he’d seen her play.

“How come you never came and said hello?” she wondered, aiming for a casual tone that she suspected she was failing to achieve.

One of Malfoy’s aristocratic brows arched upwards. “Would you have appreciated it?”

“Probably not,” she mused. “But maybe I should have.”

Draco straightened in shock. She smiled and made her way towards him. He scrambled to stand up from his bench and meet her halfway. Ginny would never know how he managed to do it gracefully.

“Does that mean you want me to come say hello in future?” he asked when he reached her.

“I think you’d better.”

The heated look was back. She was becoming more and more fond of that look. “What about dinner afterwards?” he wondered, curling one hand over her hip. The other brushed a wisp of her hair from her face.

“Weeeell,” she prevaricated. His eyes narrowed and she laughed. “I do still have to do the celebratory team pub crawl after home games. Otherwise I’m all yours.”

“Hmmm.” Malfoy’s lovely grey eyes were smoldering at her now and he tugged her a little closer. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

She placed her hands on his shoulders and leaned closer, giving him her best vixen look. “Oh, I can keep it.”

Could she ever! Malfoy was not the man she’d thought he was. She should have known that based on Hermione’s friendship with him, but she was glad she’d been able to see it for herself.

Malfoy’s arms slid around her waist and he pulled her steadily closer until she was pressed against his chest. “I’m going to kiss you now, Red,” he murmured. The tone of his voice was a perfect match for his molten gaze.

“Oh? Why’s that?” she teased.

Malfoy shrugged. “It’s midnight.”

“Isn’t that a New Year’s thing?”

“Does it really matter?”

Ginny laughed quietly. “Just making sure you’re not doing it out of obligation, Malfoy.”

“Oh, it won’t be an obligation.” He leaned close, his voice warm and intimate. “It’ll be a pleasure, I guarantee it.”

“Arrogant,” she murmured, winding her arms around his neck and giving in to the temptation to run her fingers through the soft blond hair at the nape of his neck.

“You like it,” he asserted. “You like me.” His smile was smug.

“I barely know you.”

“We’re working on that, remember?”

“Why are we still talking?

Malfoy laughed. “I suppose I would be a poor host if I kept you waiting, hmm?” He teasingly rubbed his nose against hers.

“Malfoy—”

“Draco,” he corrected gently.

Ginny felt her insides go all soft and gooey. “Draco. Shut up and kiss me already.”

Draco leaned in. “Yes ma’am,” he murmured in a voice like velvet. Then he tilted his head down and obeyed.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
alisanne
Dec. 22nd, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
YUM!
I love how Luna has everyone wrapped about her little finger, how very sexy Draco is here *licks him*, and how he managed to change Ginny's opinion of him. *g* Must be a Yule miracle. ;)
Sweet and sexy piece!
Well done. :)
doraeazure
Jan. 8th, 2013 07:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! Luna is one of my favorite characters to write (she's so versatile and funny). And really, what is life without a lickable Draco Malfoy?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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