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An Impossible Incident

Chapter Text

White.

That’s what she noticed first. A whole lot of white.

White ceiling, as it turned out. Her vision solidified as she came back to complete consciousness.

Her eyes travelled over the crisp paint, following the intricate design of the ceiling rose, along the crisscrossing coffers and out to the delicate cornices. This was not a ceiling she knew.

Her eyes continued down the walls (also white) to flow over the elegant furnishings of rich silk brocade and mahogany, finally landing on the large French doors and balcony beyond.

Ah. Right. She was in Paris.

An exceptionally expensive hotel in Paris.

Yay work!

Not that work actually paid for this, but it brought her here. A change or hotel and an upgrade was simple enough to organise, and Ginny felt like if she was ever going to enjoy a splurge, Paris was the place to do it.

Ginny Weasley pulled herself out of bed and strolled to the doors, taking in the breathtaking view before her. Elegant buildings stretched in all directions, divided by wide avenues and narrow, cobbled alleys. The Eiffel Tower soared over everything, stoically romantic in the distance.

There was a pleasant blue, summery atmosphere resting like a blanket over the town. It would be a warm day, but not too hot hopefully. Though, it was still early, so who knew.

She thought about Hermione’s odd muggle phone thing. It would know. Muggles really did come up with the most interesting ways to get by without magic. In many ways, at least from what she understood talking to her muggleborn friends, beginning to surpass wizarding society… which was a slightly unsettling thought.

She thought briefly about going outside, eyeing the elegant handle in contemplation, but eventually decided against it.

Instead, she shuffled to the bathroom, splashed water on her face, and dressed.

A pair of white capris (it really was the colour of the day, it seemed) and a light blue polo shirt later, Ginny grabbed her wand and purse before heading to the door.

* * *

Downstairs, Ginny was wolfing down a mammoth breakfast in the opulent hotel dining room, when she was joined by her friends.

Luna Lovegood glided down next to her, snagging a piece of melon. “Good morning, Ginny.” She chimed.

“Really, Ginevra, could you eat with any less decorum?” drawled Blaise Zabini, as he lowered himself gracefully into the chair opposite. “You have enough food here to feed an armada. And is that three sausages? Are you eating for two or something?”

Ginny, mouth full, rolled her eyes dramatically. They all knew very well she wasn’t eating for two. Ginny couldn’t remember the last time she’d gotten laid. The Stone Age perhaps.

“Ginny just has a healthy appetite, My Love.” Replied Luna. “You know that.”

Blaise hummed in disapproval. “Well, at least sit up straight. You look like you’re afraid someone will take it all away.”

Ginny swallowed, irritated. “If you don’t like my eating habits, don’t watch me eat. You can go somewhere else.” But she did adjust her posture. She hadn’t been intentionally hunching over.

Blaise grinned. “That wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.”

Ginny went back to eating, grumbling about arsehole brunettes who ought to know when to mind their own business.

It had surprised Ginny, when she had realised that Blaise was not only her friend, but one of her closest.

They met six years after she graduated Hogwarts, at a Ministry benefit for Elfish rights. Ginny had demanded, absolutely irate, to know why he was there. After all, the event was organised by Hermione and he was a Slytherin, one of Malfoy’s lot too. Surely an event such as this was scraping the bottom of the barrel for him.

Blaise had smirked, bowed, declared he was delighted to see her again too, and turned to address the person slightly to her left.

Hermione.

“Thank you for the invitation, Hermione.” He had said, perfectly at ease. “I’m more than happy to support such a worthy cause. Whatever is in my power, just let me know.”

Hermione had smiled, thanked him, glared daggers at Ginny, and returned to greeting guests.

Ginny had later found out that Blaise was one of the lawyers involved with the charity, though she couldn’t fathom why to begin with. She had spent that night trying to figure it out. Blaise, she now knew, had found it incredibly amusing to watch her try all her tricks to get him to spill.

He didn’t, of course. Instead, he had artfully directed their conversation to the other guests, despite her best efforts.

It turned out that he was one of the wittiest people Ginny had ever met. He knew all kinds of gossip. He exclaimed over the International Relations Minister, Laurietta Pierce, and her affair with her secretary. He remarked on the Magical Games and Sports undersecretary’s penchant for Belladonna. He revealed the closely guarded secret of Mario Grug, the senior editor of The Daily Prophet, who happened to have a second family in Chiswick.

Ginny considered most of it to be fiction. She was in the information game, after all, and was quite sure that she would have heard of some of this at some point. Mind you, the Mario Grug story might be worth a look.

Ginny was the ‘star reporter’ for The Prophet’s sports section. She truly enjoyed her job, but often felt that she would like to transition into other areas of journalism. Something on Grug, though she would be loath to use it, might come in handy one day.

In any case, by the end of the night, Ginny had garnered no more information about Blaise’s presence.

She hadn’t given up though. She did what she always did in such a situation. She dug.

And all she’d found was that she enjoyed his company, and that he treated his own house elves with respect. His free, paid house elves.

The true solidifying of their friendship, however, had come when she discovered that he was dating Luna. Ginny had been a tad hurt that her friend hadn’t shared that fact earlier. But Luna had assured her it was very new, and she had had every intension of telling her if she thought it would surpass the constantly-shagging stage.

It never did quite pass that stage. They were still constantly shagging. But now, three years later, they were spending equal amounts of time with Ginny, often telling her far more than she’d like to know about said shagging. They were both terribly open. Luna, because she had always overshared with everyone, especially Ginny; and Blaise, because he knew she really didn’t want to know.

“We thought we’d go to the Louvre today.” Luna said, tactfully changing the subject. “Would you like to come with us?”

Yes, was what Ginny wanted to say. She’d love to go. She wanted to go. She even wouldn’t mind going with them. Blaise would probably have all kinds of stories (made up or otherwise) about the artists and the people in the portraits. Plus, the wing in the sub-sub-basement was said to be the best collection of wizarding art in the world.

“You know I have to work.” Ginny replied, with a little rancour.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” retorted Blaise. “What’s the point of a holiday in Paris if you don’t see Paris?”

“I’m not on holiday! I’m here for work. Yesterday’s Quidditch match, remember? I have an article to write. I told you this when you said you wanted to come!” God, he was aggravating. She didn’t know why she bothered. She’d said all this before. He never listened.

“Oh please, Ginny?” reasoned Luna, “You spent all yesterday evening on your article. It’s got to be almost finished now. We’re leaving tomorrow, and your deadline’s not until Monday. Surely you can take a break and enjoy Paris, just for today.”

Ginny groaned. Her friend was right, technically, her article was almost finished. She really could spend the day with them without endangering her deadline. She just really didn’t like to leave anything half done. What if she forgot something important? And they should know that about her! They’d crashed her work trip without asking, then expected her to just drop everything and go sightseeing with them? So not ok. Plus, what if Ginny had had her own ideas about what she wanted to do today?

Ginny had, despite logically knowing it was ridiculous, had the slightly romantic vision of herself wandering aimlessly through the city and running into the man who would turn out to be Mr Right. Her more realistic vision was finding a Mr Right Now. You can’t do that with your best friends in tow.

But, perhaps she could slip away from them at some point. Yes, maybe that would work. And she would get to see the Louvre.

* * *

Well, her plan had half worked.

The Louvre was amazing, both the muggle and wizarding sections. Blaise had a wonderful conspiracy theory going on whether or not other patrons were casing the place. It got more and more outlandish, as Ginny and Luna added to the story; Ginny in jest, Luna in some kind of mix of humour and earnestness. You never could tell with her.

Eventually, when it devolved into Blaise making innuendos about the guards, Ginny decided to see if she could slip away.

It was easy enough, as she just began wandering in a different direction.

The whole Mr Right Now thing, of course, never eventuated. In truth, it was no more realistic an idea as the Mr Right version. You don’t just bump into people, drag them into a closet and shag their brains out. That doesn’t happen. It’s ridiculous. Well, ok, she was imagining a slightly more complex scenario, including giggling and drinks between the meeting and the closet. But still.

So, Ginny ended up dawdling out of the Louvre and along the Seine. She stopped a few times, to take in the view or peruse some of the little souvenir stalls.

Ginny was a bit of a sucker for souvenirs, so it was no surprise that she came away with a painting, several post cards (muggles were brilliant!), and a few pieces of jewellery, and a couple of knickknacks for her friends.

Mid-afternoon found her at a little café, sipping coffee and nibbling at a pastry. She watched passers-by from over the top of her sunglasses (because that’s what an elegant person did in Paris, right?) and admired the new golden charm bracelet on her wrist.

She wondered at her stupidity. She could have been enjoying Paris with her friends, not sitting here on her own.

She knew (she knew!) that Prince Charming didn’t just drop in out of the sky. Life didn’t work like that. And besides, she was Ginny Weasley! She was The Prophet’s best sports reporter. She’d won awards! She was twenty-six years old and there was absolutely nothing wrong with her being single. It was perfectly natural in this day and age.

So what if her mum kept hinting that she’d love to see Ginny ‘happy and settled’ like her brothers (well, most of them… everyone had all but given up on Charlie). Molly Weasley had ten grandchildren already. She could wait for the next instalment.

And So what if she had a tiny voice in her own head saying that she wanted that too. She still had time. She still had almost a decade before the clock started slowing down, several years until she really had any reason to listen to its ticking. It didn’t matter that that ticking was getting just a teensy bit louder already. She’d be fine.

It wasn’t like she was the only one still single either, or the only one without kids. Luna and Blaise weren’t at that point yet, even though they’d been together so long. They weren’t even married. They weren’t even thinking about getting married. Plus, many of her other friends were single or wending their way through short term dalliances, just like her.

Well, not just like her. They hadn’t been single for the majority of their adult lives. Don’t get her wrong, Ginny had had boyfriends. Quite a few at Hogwarts. And she’d dated Harry for two years after school finished. Plus, there’d been that incredibly unfortunate few months with Oliver Wood while she was still playing for the Harpies. And a few one night stands here and there that she’d never told anyone about.

God, she was pathetic.

Pathetic, single, spinster Weasley, that’s what she was. She’d get to watch her nieces and nephews grow up, showering them with love and gifts (because she was the cool Aunt who bucked tradition). She’d be the one who hadn’t let a man define her life. She’d be the one with an amazing career that took her all over the world.

Ginny looked down at her pastry. She’d torn it to shreds without eating a bite. Great. Pathetic, single, and now pastry-less.

Ugh! Now Ginny felt pathetic for feeling so pathetic. Stupid vicious cycle.

No! Stupid Paris! That was it. It was this stupid romantic town filling her brain with stupid medieval visions of true loves and happily-ever-afters. It was all Paris’s fault! She wasn’t this soppy, starry-eyed woman longing for a man! She was a feminist, for Circe’s sake!

* * *

When she returned to her hotel, the receptionist gave her a message from Luna. She and Blaise had gone to some kind of show. They’d told her the address and to come if she wanted, but otherwise to enjoy her evening.

Ginny went back up to her room to finish her article.

Stupid Paris.

Chapter Text

It had been just under a week since she returned from Paris.

The Wicked Witch was crowded and noisy, just like every Friday evening.

Ginny scanned the sea of heads, spotting Neville and Colin squashed into the far corner. Waving, she headed over and plopped herself down on the stool waiting for her.

Parvati was there too.

“Hey Gin,” she said, slightly shouting over the din. “How was Paris?”

Ginny grinned. “Great!” she replied. It was only about 10% a lie, as that afternoon had been the only downside. “Did some sightseeing, bought some souvenirs, and the game was brilliant! Both teams’ chasers were in top shape.”

Colin and Neville looked like they wanted to say something, but, as was often the case, Parvati beat them to it.

“Yes, yes, great game, but what about the city? Did you go to the Eiffel Tower? Was it beautiful? Did you speak French? How was the food? I’ve heard they have the most scrumptious pastries there! Mind you, I probably wouldn’t eat them myself. Empty calories, you know. So, what did you buy? I’ve heard the shopping there is wonderful!”

Ginny hid an amused smile. “Yes, I went to the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, I spoke French. Badly. The food was wonderful. I ate quite a few pastries. You know holiday calories don’t count. And I bought quite a few different things.”

“Did you go to the Louvre?” Cut in Colin, eager as ever, before Ginny could start listing her purchases. “I heard their magical photography section is marvellous. I wish they’d sent me instead of Vance.”

Colin was one of the Prophet’s photographers, but unfortunately for him, the editor had decided to send Jason Vance to cover the game with Ginny. Vance was a snob, and thought far too highly of himself for her liking. She would have preferred Colin too. Luckily, they’d stayed at different hotels (Ginny upgraded hers), so they didn’t have to see each other, apart from the game itself.

“Yeah, you would have loved it, Colin. They had five Miles Lincolnblart pieces. Really lovely.”

Ginny grabbed her handbag and pulled out a post-card. She knew Lincolnblart was one of Colin’s favourite photographers, so she’d grabbed one from the Magical section’s gift shop on her way out.

She handed the card over to Colin, who looked like he was about to cry.

“Really? They had Music By The Lake? I love that one! Oh, that’s just not fair!” He carefully slid it into his satchel. “Thanks Gin.”

“You’re welcome.” She replied.

Neville asked, “Did you go to the Gardens of Versailles? I know they’re muggle, but they set the trend for so many gardens around the world, magical and non-magical. I’d love to see them. Beautiful, I’ve heard.”

“No, unfortunately,” said Ginny, “I didn’t have time. I wanted to, but I suppose it just means I’ll have to go back.”

It was at this moment that Parvati latched on to Ginny’s wrist.

“What’s this?” she all but squealed. “This is new.”

Ginny looked down to see her new charm bracelet. It was a fine, gold chain, with five charms on it: the Eiffel Tower, the French flag, a poodle, a croissant and a rose. Cheesy, but what else would you expect of jewellery bought from a souvenir stand, and the rose was quite beautiful. She had worn it a few times since she’d bought it.

“Yeah, I got this here.” Ginny replied, “Pretty, right?”

“Very!” agreed Parvati, turning Ginny’s wrist this way and that. “I rather wish I had one.”

Ginny laughed. Parvati was never subtle. She reached into her handbag and handed her a small paper bag.

Upending it on her hand, Parvati squealed again. She swiftly put on her new earrings (delicate gold roses, the same as the one on Ginny’s bracelet) and swamped her friend in a hug. “I love them!” she breathed.

“Present time, is it?” drawled a voice behind her.

Ginny felt an arm drape over her shoulder and she looked up to see Blaise smirking down at her.

“What do I get?” he asked.

Ginny rolled her eyes. “You were there, Greedy. You don’t get anything.”

Blaise sighed dramatically and moved around to the other side of the table, next to Neville. “She’s so mean to me.” He whined.

Neville just laughed.

Ginny gave a small, amused smile, before rifling through her bag again. She’d had time on the last day for another purchase.

The small hessian bag went to Neville, who opened it with a delighted smile. Inside were some small purple and orange seeds. “Pendular Waterpepper seeds! Brilliant! Where did you find them?”

“A little shop in the Wizarding Quarter. I asked the shop girl for something you might not have. You like them then?”

Neville nodded, “Yeah, they’re great! Thank you, Gin. They’re really helpful in all kinds of potions. Malfoy’s been at me for ages to get some.”

“Speak of The Devil and he shall appear.” intoned Blaise.

Ginny turned to see said Malfoy’s blonde head wending his way through the crowd towards them.

Ginny scrunched up her nose. It wasn’t that she disliked Malfoy. He was just incredibly annoying, always complaining about one thing or another. And he never seemed to realise when he was being selfish or snobbish. But he was Blaise’s best mate, and Neville’s colleague at Hogwarts, so putting up with him was a given.

And, though Ginny would never admit it out loud, he was rather easy on the eyes. He’d grown into his pointy features, his hair was now styled more casually, and he had a fair amount of height on him. Not quite as much as Neville, but enough to be getting on with. Plus, he oozed a sort of casual strength that quite a few of Ginny’s workmates had sighed over.

“Greetings all,” Malfoy drawled, draping himself onto a stool between Ginny and Colin.

The table chorused their reply.

“Look what Ginny got me from Paris!” Neville said, handing over the little bag.

Malfoy peered inside. “Hmm, pendular waterpepper seeds.” He paused, stormy eyes flicking to Ginny before coming to rest on Neville. “Finally. I’ve been asking for pendular waterpepper flowers for years.”

It was at this moment that Ginny realised her error. She’d managed to grab little gifts for all her friends. But, as she rather thought of Malfoy as ‘the guy she had to put up with’, she’d entirely forgotten to include him on her list.

Thinking quickly, she glanced at Neville, eyes wide for him to play along. “Yeah, I figured you guys could use some. It’s a joint gift, really.”

Neville, who was really a wonderful friend, nodded eagerly in confirmation.

The potions master’s eyes flicked back to Ginny. He raised an eyebrow, as if he knew exactly what the truth was, but chose not to comment. Instead, he said, “Thank you. They shall be quite useful.” In a rather accusatory tone, directed towards Neville, he added, “It will be nice to have a fresh local crop, rather than importing them from Switzerland.”

Neville didn’t bat an eyelid.

It sometimes struck Ginny as odd, that Neville and Malfoy got along as well as they did. While Neville had been quite terrified of Malfoy as a child, he now tended to find more amusement in his colleague’s bluster than anything else. They were the youngest teachers on the Hogwarts staff, and it seemed that they had banded together, sort of. Neville liked to describe him as ‘all bark, no bite.’ Malfoy didn’t know of that description of course, as he would have been exceptionally offended.

Bizarrely, according to Neville, Malfoy was also a student favourite. Apparently, like his old mentor, Snape, he was strict and didn’t suffer fools. But, unlike Snape, he was also fair and only overly intimidating when he needed to be. Neville equated him to McGonagall in that way.

Ginny snickered, remembering the time Malfoy had heard Neville compare him with the formidable headmistress. He had fumed and blustered for a good ten minutes, causing everyone to laugh. The laughing, of course, had caused him to almost leave. Malfoys didn’t cope well with being laughed at. Neville had apologised and assured him that it was an unfair comparison, everyone else had agreed placatingly, and Malfoy had sulked quietly for the rest of the night. Thankfully, he had gotten over it by the next time they all caught up.

* * *

By the time Luna arrived, conversation had turned several times, and most of the table’s occupants were three or four drinks in.

Ginny was regaling Neville, Colin and Malfoy with a play-by-play of the French quidditch match, while Blaise and Parvati discussed the atrocities of fashion they’d seen at the ministry that week.

Luna slipped easily into the latter conversation, bringing her normal positivity by pointing out that Agatha Hopkirk’s fluoro green robes had been quite striking, particularly as the bright purple polka dots meant that she could be spotted a mile away. “She was quite easy to find that day.” Luna observed airily.

Several more rounds, and the decision was made to go dancing. It wasn’t exactly a regular turn of events, but it wasn’t unheard of. They traipsed down the road to another local bar (one with music) and took up the beat.

This bar, a club really, was muggle, but it had quite a few wizarding patrons (not that the muggles knew that). The music, therefore, was quite eclectic. A few wizards over the years had attempted to convert magical musical recordings to muggle technology, with varied success. So, it wasn’t uncommon to hear a muggle shouting out how much they loved this or that tune, and damnit, why wasn’t Shazam recognising it? Ginny had no idea who ‘Shazam’ was, but she supposed it must be someone with great musical knowledge, for all the muggles to consult him.

She danced until she couldn’t anymore. Blaise or Malfoy would occasionally retreat to the bar, bringing rounds back for the whole group. At one point, she remembered glancing at Luna and Blaise as they swayed together like one undulating organism. Colin had found some guy to dance with, and Neville some girl. Parvati happily alternated between spinning by herself, or dancing with Ginny. Malfoy mostly dance by himself too, though at one point Ginny knew he had danced with her. She remembered his hands on her hips, her back flush with his chest and her palms against his neck.

It was four in the morning by the time Ginny rolled into bed.

Chapter Text

Waking, the first thing Ginny noticed was the headache.

The second thing was the nausea.

The third thing was the desperate need to run for the bathroom.

Two hours later, Luna found her sitting on the tiled floor, her legs splayed haphazardly in front of her, her arms limp, and her head resting on the rim of the bath.

Looking blearily up at her friend, Ginny gratefully opened her mouth for the bitter hangover potion Luna poured in it.

“Thanks,” she said, feeling her limbs come back to life as the headache abated.

“I had a feeling you’d need it.” Luna smiled. “Blaise certainly did. That’s two down, four to go.” She held up the other small bottles in her hand.

Ginny smirked. Somehow, Luna was never hungover. It was bloody annoying. But she was also the mother hen of the group, which Ginny was exceptionally grateful for at this precise moment. This was not the first time she’d shown up with hangover potion, and she was quite sure it wouldn’t be the last.

Gingerly pulling herself off the floor, Ginny sighed in relief. The nausea was gone too. She ran a hand through her hair, glancing in the bathroom mirror. “Ugh.” Not a pretty sight.

Luna cocked her head. “I wonder, would you mind taking the other potions to everyone today?”

Ginny looked at her in surprise. Normally, Luna would have apparated to the next apartment by now, trusting the potion to do its work. She had never asked Ginny to take over the role before. Not that she minded.

“Yeah, I suppose.” Ginny answered. She wondered why Luna felt like changing the pattern today.

Luna smiled brilliantly. “Great! I have a few errands to run this morning and I want to get them done as soon as possible.”

Ginny nodded. “Ok.”

Luna passed Ginny, who was still quite dishevelled and a tad disoriented, three green bottles. “Now, these are for Parvati, Colin and Neville.” She then gave her a blue one. “This is for Draco. It’s the stronger one.”

Ginny nodded again, smiling tiredly at her friend.

“Thank you, Ginny!” Luna hugged her and disapparated.

Ginny shook her head and looked back at the bottles in her hand. Glancing at the empty one on the bathroom counter, she noticed that her bottle had also been blue.

* * *

After a quick shower and some very welcome clean clothes, Ginny dutifully handed out the potions to Neville, Parvati and Colin. They had each been surprised to see her, but no less grateful.

She then found herself standing in the front room of Draco Malfoy’s apartment. She’d only ever been in this room once, and then only to help Blaise drop a very drunk Malfoy on his couch.

The room was neat and well styled. She had somehow always assumed that Malfoy’s home would be similarly decked out to her Parisian hotel suite, all brocade and fancy. But it was actually quite simple. A comfy-looking tan leather couch, a wood and glass coffee table. Shelves full of books and a fireplace opposite the doorway that lead to the rest of the house.

She hadn’t looked around much when she was here last, but now she took her time.

There wasn’t a lot to see. The books were mostly potions texts, with a few defence against the dark arts books thrown in. But the middle shelf appeared to be fiction, with a few of her own favourite authors present. she even spotted a couple of muggle authors that Hermione had insisted Ginny read. Quite good stories, Ginny thought, but she was surprised to see Malfoy had them.

On the mantle above the fireplace was a small photograph of Malfoy’s parents. They were dancing at a ball, by the looks of things. It was a candid shot, showing the couple laughing and smiling at each other, totally unaware of the camera. They looked natural, normal. It suddenly occurred to Ginny that her understanding of the older Malfoys (evil, conniving Death Eaters who wanted to destroy the world) might not be the whole story. It made her feel altogether uncomfortable.

She moved on. There was another photo: one of the three Malfoys together. This was a formal portrait, one that fit much more snugly into Ginny’s perception of the family. Draco, aged perhaps thirteen or fourteen, stood with his parents at his back. His mother’s hand was on his shoulder and all wore the same haughty expression. Each parent’s eyes would flit between their spouse and their son, while Draco stared resolutely (and a little bored) at the camera. For a wizarding photograph, they didn’t move much.

There wasn’t much left to see in the room, so Ginny moved out into the small entranceway. The front door was to her right, the kitchen immediately in front of her, and a short hallway to her left.

She followed the hallway, passing a hall closet and another entrance to the kitchen. At the very end of the passage was the only door, presumably leading to the bedroom.

Ginny squirmed. She’d never had any desire to see Malfoy’s bedroom, let alone go in it while he was in it too. She didn’t really want to have anything to do with him at all, most of the time. True, she’d accepted that he wasn’t evil (he was a kid when he did all those things, after all, and under duress), but that didn’t mean she overly liked his company. This felt a little like an invasion of his privacy.

Still, she’d said she would give him the potion.

Taking a deep breath, Ginny knocked on the door quietly.

A muffled grunt came from inside. She decided that meant ‘come in’.

Opening the door, Ginny was greeted with a dimly lit room. Again, it was simple. A bed, bedside tables and a built-in wardrobe. There was a door she assumed lead to the bathroom.

A strip of bright sun peeked through the gap in the curtains, illuminating a flurry of clothes on the floor and a lump buried under covers on the bed.

“Malfoy?” Ginny said timidly.

The lump didn’t move.

Deciding it was a good idea to just leave the potion on the bedside table, Ginny stepped forward. She dodged the clothes and reached out to put it down.

A hand shot out from under the blankets and grabbed her wrist.

Ginny squeaked, jumping. This caused the arm to move, which caused the blankets to move as well.

Grey eyes under a mop of tangled blond hair peered out at her.

“Weasley?” he croaked, sounding somewhat incredulous.

Ginny smiled tightly, “Luna asked me to drop off your potion.”

Malfoy blinked, then groaned, letting go of her wrist.

It seemed to be a great effort to move. He pulled himself up, stopping halfway, looking dizzy. “Bloody Hell.” He muttered, turning onto his side and holding out his hand. “Oh, thank Merlin.”

Ginny didn’t notice his hand. Instead, what she noticed was that the covers had shifted again, revealing a bare torso and hip, which, if she wasn’t mistaken, suggested a bare everything else too. Not that she was looking. Of course she wasn’t. Particularly not looking at how pale his skin was in the dim light, or how nicely his lean muscles filled him out. Nope, definitely not looking.

Malfoy noticed her looking.

“I know I’m fit, Weasley, but now is hardly the time.” He drawled.

Ginny snapped her eyes up to his, going red from head to toe.

He flicked his hand, indicating the little blue bottle.

Ginny frowned and shook her head slightly. Stupid. It was just that she hadn’t been in a room with a naked man for ages. That was all. Had nothing to do with Malfoy himself.

She handed him the bottle. His fingers brushed hers, causing a tiny intake of breath on her part and an infinitesimal quirk of the lip on his.

She withdrew her hand, crossing her arms (Not defensively! Casually!) across her chest.

Malfoy’s eyes flicked down, following her hands, before he rolled back onto his back, popped out the cork and emptied the vial in one gulp. He closed his eyes and leaned back, sinking into the pillows.

A guttural moan escaped his throat. “Thank fucking Circe.” He sighed.

Ginny knew that feeling. Finally his world had stopped spinning and the stampede of hippogriffs had thundered away to someone else’s head. Relax, breath, nausea gone. Perhaps in unconscious empathy, she sighed too.

Draco’s eyes blinked open again, focusing on her properly for the first time. What Ginny didn’t know, was that he was thinking about their dance the night before. He had quite liked having her supple, curvy frame up against his. She’d fit perfectly.

So, in a split second decision, he whipped his hand out again. He grabbed her wrist and tugged, causing her to fall on top of him.

With a squeak of surprise, Ginny found herself being rolled over. He was leaning over her before she could even take another breath.

“Good morning, Weaslette,” He crooned, “How are you this morning?”

Ginny, in complete indignation (mostly), shoved at his chest. “What the hell, Malfoy! Get off me! Let me up!”

He smirked. His parents would have heart attacks if they knew the situation he was in right at this moment. So would hers, probably. Not that he was thinking about that. No, he was far too preoccupied with the wrist he held above her head and the breasts he felt pressed into his chest.

He breathed in, noting the scent of cinnamon and something he couldn’t put his finger on. “I’d rather not.” He drawled. His hand slid from her wrist, down her arm and along her side to her waist, passing perilously close to her breast.

Ginny gasped. This was absolutely 100% not appropriate. And she absolutely did NOT like the feel of his chest against hers, his hands running down her sides. She did not want to find out how firm his muscles would be under her fingers, and she definitely didn’t want to know what his lips tasted like. She looked up into his eyes as he breathed her in. They were hungry and focused, but slightly glassy.

Ah. That explained it. Hangover cures cured hangovers, not drunkenness, and he was still drunk.

She frowned. As much as this situation appealed to h—No! Not appealing! DEFINITELY NOT APPEALING!!

She shoved him hard, now that her hand was free, and he landed back on his back with an oomph.

“You’re no fun, Weasley.” He whined.

“You’re still drunk, Malfoy.” She responded, annoyed. Annoyed at him, and perhaps a little at herself. Her need to get laid did not mean she’d stoop so low as to sleep with a Malfoy, drunk or not.

She clambered off the other side of the bed. Stepping towards the window, she put her hands on her hips while she waited for her breathing to return to normal.

A light snore startled her. She sighed, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. Of course he was already asleep again. Stupid Malfoy. Probably wouldn’t even remember this. Probably would deny it vehemently if she reminded him. Probably a good thing he forgot it, actually.

She turned, ready to walk around the bed and back to the door. And froze.

Malfoy’s rolling her about had caused him to completely lose the blankets. And she’d been right. Not a scrap of clothing.

Ginny stared, somewhat transfixed. Delicate pink, and of a reasonable size, but not too large. Nestled in a smattering of blonde hair. Rather attractive, for a cock, at least as far as Ginny understood. With significant embarrassment, she noticed it was partially erect too. Her eyes flicked up to his face, but he was fast asleep.

Logically, she knew she should leave. He could wake at any second, and she couldn’t imagine his reaction to finding her staring at him naked.

The more primal part of her wanted to reach out, bring it to life. Bring him to life. The whole lot of him was rather yummy, actually. Pale, lean, toned and tall.

The sensible part of her, the part that was disgusted by her train of thought, wanted her to run.

Thankfully, she listened to the latter.

Chapter Text

Ginny’s Saturday was quiet, once she returned home. She pottered about, read a book, went for a run. That was it.

She relaxed, seeing as Sunday was her work day. Not that Sunday was going to be particularly stressful. She had to go to the game between Puddlemere United and the Holyhead Harpies, then spend the rest of the afternoon writing an article about it, as it needed to be in Monday’s morning edition. It would be an easy write, so she’d be done in time to make the weekly pilgrimage to the Burrow for dinner.

As it turned out, Ginny’s Sunday was a little more complicated than she expected.

She remembered waking suddenly with the desperate need to vomit.

She did.

For quite some time.

She almost missed the match.

Ginny did manage to pull herself together in time, however. She was pale and lethargic, but upright and present, when the match began. She was feeling much more like herself by the end. By the time she was due at the Burrow, she’d even managed to finish off her article.

Sending it off with her owl, a boobook called Pitta, she apparated to her mother’s front door.

As usual, the kitchen bustled with movement, holding more bodies than should be possible. Her mother was by the stove, her eldest brother by the sink. Victoire and Dominique were at the table, kneading dough. Little Rose was in her high-chair, smooshing some of her own dough between her fingers. Audrey and Hermione were shelling peas, and George and Ron were peeling potatoes.

“Evening all!” Ginny called out.

The usual chorus replied.

“Ginny, dear, how was your week?” asked her mother, bustling over to give her a hug.

Ginny smiled, returning it. “Just fine mum. You know, work. Nothing out of the ordinary.”

Hermione and Ron snickered, causing all to look their way.

“What?” Ginny suddenly felt the need to be defensive, though she had no idea what for.

“Nothing,” replied her youngest brother, slyly. “We just heard you had a bit of a big night on Friday.”

Ginny raised an eyebrow. “Ran into Luna, did you?”

“Colin, actually.” Said Hermione, smoothly.

Of course. Colin and his big mouth.

Ginny blinked, deciding defensiveness was not the answer. Instead, she went with unapologetic. “Yeah, just me and the guys. We went dancing. It was fun.”

Molly perked up at this, and Ginny had a sneaking suspicion she knew what she was going to say. “Dancing? Oh that sounds lovely, dear. Did you meet anyone interesting?” Yep. Saw that coming a mile off.

“Mum, it was just me and my mates. We didn’t branch out.” Ginny rolled her eyes and Molly looked disappointed. She really did want those grandkids.

“I heard you did quite a bit of dancing, Ginny.” Snickered George. “With a certain great bouncing ferret we all know.”

Molly looked hopeful all over again, until she heard Ron sneer. “Why did you have to dance with Malfoy, Ginny? It’s disgusting! Why was he even there? I don’t know how you can be ok with him around.”

Ginny scrunched up her face. She wondered that about herself frequently. “He’s just there. I ignore him most of the time.” Not really true, but you can’t not talk to your friends’ friend who’s always around. It’s rude. “He’s mates with my mates, so there’s not much I can do if I don’t want to be a bit- ah, burk.” Ginny concluded lamely, eyes on the children.

“But you danced with him, Ginny!” whined Ron.

Ginny rolled her eyes. “I was drunk, Ronald! I was dancing. Full stop. He just happened to be nearby. Neither of us were even remotely interested in each other. Just the music.” Also not really true, if his actions yesterday morning were anything to go by. She plastered an appalled grimace on her face for good measure. “And it’s not as if I’d ever touch him sober! Yuck!” Mostly not true. She hadn’t instigated said sober touching. And he’d still been drunk, so it certainly didn’t count at all. “Besides, I was dancing with Parvati too.” Just not quite so… closely. God her friends were going to pay her out so badly for this.

Ron seemed placated. “It must suck to have to be around him, Gin. I feel for you.”

Ginny nodded, putting on another pained expression. Yes, being around Malfoy was hard. Particularly when he decided to pin her beneath him like he possessed her. Very hard. Ah, no, not hard! Difficult! Yes, difficult. Much better word.

Hermione, wisely, chose that time to change the subject.

Ginny sat next to her sister-in-law with a smile. Good old Hermione. Always making the smart choices.

* * *

 

Later, George and Ron were enthusiastically explaining their latest product at the joke shop, when Ginny frowned.

“What’s that?” she muttered.

Nobody heard her over George and Ron’s raucous laughter.

“What’s that horrible smell?” Ginny said, louder, scrunched up her nose.

“What’s that, dear?” asked her mother.

“That smell! It’s awful!” Like something off. Something rancid.

Everyone was frowning at her.

“I don’t smell anything.” Said Ron.

“Me neither.” Said Bill.

The others all shook their heads, bewildered, when she looked at them.

“I can’t be the only one smelling it!” Said Ginny, incredulous.

It truly was awful, whatever it was. She looked around the kitchen, eying the mashed potatoes and peas. No, probably not that.

Ah.

She stood up, walking over to the bench where the lamb stew sat bubbling away. Yep, that was it. She covered her mouth and nose with her sleeve.

“You can’t smell that?” She gasped, disbelieving. She breathed through her mouth.

Everyone again shook their heads.

“Well, I don’t know.” She said, waspily. “It doesn’t smell right to me.” Then she deflated, thinking of earlier that day. “Maybe I’m still not well.”

Molly frowned, and Ginny felt compelled to explain. “I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. Thought I was all good now, though.”

Molly’s face flitted between surprise and concerne. “Oh, well,” She cooed, “Perhaps you should go upstairs to rest, dear?”

Ginny grimaced. The smell was really starting to get to her. “Actually, maybe I’ll head home.”

“Of course, Sweetheart. You go home and feel better soon.” Was it her imagination, or did Molly’s voice sound a little shaky.

* * *

Ginny felt immediately better on returning home. Smell gone, she was back to her old self. It was a bit odd really, but she didn’t question her luck.

Instead of her mother’s horrid stew (and really, what was she doing using rancid meat!! Molly knew better than that!), she ended up eating some leftover chicken soup, which tasted even better than when she made it three days ago.

Since she had her evening surprisingly free, she decided to spend it working on her article about the Cannon’s keeper, Morioh Lumiere, due on Monday afternoon. He was making quite the splash for the otherwise useless team. They still weren’t scoring many points, and their seeker had managed to catch the snitch only once in the last two seasons. But, despite being as ordinary as his teammates up until recently, Lumiere currently wasn’t letting a single quaffle past him. So their losing streak was far less embarrassing.

* * *

Nausea greeted her again on Monday morning.

It was quite overpowering, and Ginny found herself sending Pitta to The Prophet, begging off for the day.

Apparently it had reached Luna, as she turned up around 11 with one of her little blue bottles, to find her friend once again on the bathroom floor.

“Oh, dear.” Cooed her friend. “You poor thing.”

The potion burned slightly going down, but Ginny began to feel better almost instantly. Merlin, that was good potion.

“Thanks, Lune.” Said Ginny, smiling gratefully.

“Of course, Ginny. Any time!”

She groaned. “I don’t know what’s going on. Must have caught a bug or something.”

Luna nodded, understanding. She opened her bag and took out three more blue bottles. “Well, this is what I have.” She said, placing them on the sink. “If you need more, you’re going to have to owl Draco yourself.”

Ginny raised an eyebrow. “Draco?”

“Of course!” Replied Luna, airily. “Who do you think makes them? He is a potions master, after all.”

Ginny frowned. She’d never thought about it before. She supposed it made sense. Although, “How come you take him a potion too, if it’s his potion to begin with?”

Luna smiled. “Oh, he just didn’t have any in his house on Saturday. He normally keeps enough of his own stock.”

Ginny frowned. “I guess.”

Feeling better, Ginny spent the rest of the day lolling about on her couch. She sent her article in, having finished it last night, along with an apology and a promise to be in the next day.

* * *

Ginny was never more thankful for her best friend, as she was the next morning, when that little blue bottle meant she could keep her promise. Just.

Several co-workers exclaimed over her pallor. She felt weak, and a bit shaky, but she’d be damned if she didn’t soldier on. She was a Weasley, after all! Well, a Weasley woman. The men were notorious wimps. Well, Ron and Percy were, at any rate.

Her boss, having tried and failed to get her to go back home, let Ginny get back to work. She started with the questions for the David MacBride interview. He was the new owner of the Banchory Bangers and the quidditch scene was abuzz with rumour over his intentions for the team. It was a multipage spread, so Ginny was quite excited to get started.

She worked diligently through the day, feeling better with each hour. She managed several other small jobs and left the office feeling quite productive.

Things went south again the following morning, when another bottle of potion was needed to get her off the floor. Once again, her colleagues twittered over her appearance, perhaps even a little more so than yesterday. Once again, her boss tried to get her to go home. Once again, she powered through. And once again, she felt better in the afternoon.

Thursday saw her standing in her boss’s office, being berated for coming to work at all.

“For Circe’s sake, Weasley!” He thundered, “You’ve been stumbling about here all week. You look like hell. Who knows what you’re exposing the rest of the team to. I can’t have the whole sports department coming down with something, let alone the rest of the office. Go home! Or go to St Mungo’s. One or the other, but I do not want to see you here until at least next week!”

“But the interview!” It was today. She couldn’t miss it!

“I’m giving it to Montague. You’ll get duel credit, since you came up with the questions. But I’m not risking David MacBride with whatever you’ve got.”

Ginny sighed. She knew it was no good. If he’d given away her interview, he was dead serious.

Grumbling, she made her way home and went to bed. She was really rather tired.

* * *

Friday saw her run out of potion.

Without it, it wasn’t until 10:30 that she was able to send Pitta off to Malfoy.

A knock at the door came at 12:00.

Dragging herself to the door, bleary eyed and fuzzy-headed, she opened it without thinking.

“Well, you really do need this potion, don’t you Weaslette.” Drawled the potions master, eyes sweeping up and down her pyjama-clad frame.

Ginny grimaced. Why, oh why, had he not just sent the potions with Pitta?

Standing there for a moment, he raised an eyebrow. “Aren’t you going to invite me in, Weasley?”

She scowled. “You’re not a vampire.”

“No, it’s just polite to wait until one invites you into their apartment. It’s what civilised people do.”

Her scowl deepened. “Fine. Please come in.”

He swept past her, eyes flying over her little open plan kitchen and sitting room (normally neat, not so right now). He didn’t comment though.

Instead, he pulled one of the little blue bottles out of his pocket and handed it to her.

Eagerly, she popped the cork and gulped it down. Oh, that was so much better! She might have groaned, but she couldn’t be sure.

Her limbs started to feel less lead-like and her mind was able to focus a bit more.

Ugh. Malfoy was in her kitchen.

He smirked. “Glad I could help,” he said, pulling more vials out of his pocket.

He set five down on her kitchen table. At the sight of them, she smiled. Who cared if Malfoy was in her kitchen. He brought little bottles of relief. He could be wherever he wanted.

“Now, let’s be clear,” he said, turning to her, “You are to take no more than one of these a day, and no more than seven days in a row, is that clear? The effect is cumulative, so you should be fine after a few doses if the first doesn’t do it.” He frowned. “Why did you owl me, anyway? Surely Luna has some extras she could give you?”

Ginny glanced again at the bottles. Oh-oh. “Um, she already did.”

Malfoy’s eyebrows rose. “How many have you taken?”

“Uh, one every day since Monday?” It sounded somewhere between a question and an admission. “Oh, wait, I took one on Saturday too, for the hangover. But I didn’t take one on Sunday.”

“Since…” His brow creased. “Bloody hell, Ginny. That’s six! If it hasn’t stopped you feeling this bloody awful by now, it’s not working. You need to get to St Mungo’s.”

Ginny’s shoulders hunched. She really didn’t want to do that. “It’s only six, though. Five, really. Does Saturday count if I skipped Sunday? Can’t I wait and see how I feel tomorrow?” She thought she might have sounded like a child.

The back of his hand was on her forehead, then her cheeks. They were clammy, and made his frown deepen. Then he was stepping back and putting the potions back in his pocket.

Damn.

“Skipping Sunday helps slightly, but only slightly. It’s really not safe.” He put his hands either side of her shoulders, peering into her eyes.

She didn’t like it.

“I’m fine!” She spat, somewhat weaker than she intended, stepping away. “I don’t need to go to the hospital. I just have the flu or something. I don’t know. It’ll go away.”

He shook his head. “I work with kids. I know what the flu looks like. This is not it. You need to get yourself checked out.”

She huffed.

She knew he was right. She was feeling better, but not so much better as she had when she took the potion earlier that week. It wasn’t working as well. And tomorrow? He obviously wasn’t going to leave her any potion, which meant she was in for another morning like the one she just had.

Oh, fine.

Wait, did she say that out loud? She must have, because all of a sudden his hands were on her again, this time pulling her towards him.

She didn’t have time to struggle. With a flick of his wand, she felt the squeeze of apparition and they were standing in the St Mungo’s emergency ward.

Chapter Text

Oh, sweet Merlin, she had never met a group of more incompetent people in her entire life. Her entire life! And she’d been taught by Gilderoy Lockhart!

Head buried in her hands, because what else are you supposed to do when people are idiots, she thought about the past three hours.

On bringing her to the ward, Malfoy had swept his way to the front of the queue. There was an accurate impression of Professor Snape, if ever she saw one. The right word in the right ear, and Ginny was seated in the waiting room with her number, a piece of parchment on a clipboard and a quill.

People had been looking. They knew her, of course. She was Ginny Weasley; ex-star chaser; chocolate frog card; one of the ‘Chosen Few’, as Harry’s close friends were often called in the media. And he? Well, everyone knew a Malfoy when they saw one. Plus, he was known to most Hogwarts parents.

She had begun filling out the intake form, but apparently hadn’t done a good enough job, because she found it being taken out of her hands.

“Allergies?” He asked.

“Dew berries.” She answered. She was tired.

“Any history of heart disease in the family?”

“No.” Hmm. His shoulder looked comfy.

“Any medications?”

“No.” Oh. His shoulder WAS comfy. She wondered if he minded being her pillow.

“How about the six doses of alleviaserum?”

What? Oh, the blue bottles. “Oh yeah.” She didn’t care if he minded being her pillow. She wasn’t moving. Mmm, that was a really lovely aftershave.

“Any chance you’re pregnant?”

Slight snort. “Nope.” Focus on the aftershave. Merlin, he smells divine. What is that?

“Any recent trips to Africa or South East Asia.”

“No. You knew that one.” Can’t figure it out. Brain is fuzzy.

“Hmm. Lolly.”

What? Why would she want a lolly? Her eyes opened.

Oh. A house elf. Hmm, it was wearing clothes. She closed her eyes again.

“Yes, Mr Malfoy, sir?”

“Please go to Molly Weasley. Tell her that her daughter is at St Mungo’s, that it’s not an emergency, and she’s not alone. But she may wish to visit if she can. Then, please go and inform the headmistress that I will be missing my afternoon classes.”

Ginny heard the pop of apparition, but she didn’t open her eyes.

* * *

It hadn’t been long before her mother was sitting beside her, embracing her and clucking in concern. “Oh, my dear girl, what a mess. Are you alright?” Before Ginny could answer, Molly had turned to Malfoy. “You brought her?”

Malfoy nodded. “She’s been taking alleviaserum, but it hasn’t done much good. When I found out she was still this bad after six doses, I brought her straight here.”

Molly looked at her daughter, worried. “No, I don’t suppose it would. Never did with me, anyway. Thank you for being there. I don’t like to think of her going through all this by herself.”

Ginny couldn’t be bothered to understand what her mother was going on about. It sort of made sense. It’s never fun to be sick without someone to look after you. But for her to thank Malfoy. That didn’t fit.

“It was no trouble,” Malfoy replied. She wasn’t sure when, but her head had shifted from his shoulder to her mother’s. She now heard his voice from somewhere above her. He had stood up. “I’ll be off then. I just wanted to make sure she was taken care of.”

“Oh, you don’t have to go.” Molly replied.

What? Why would she tell Malfoy that? That was absurd. She certainly didn’t want him to stay, no matter how comfortable his shoulder had been. Or how nice he’d smelt.

Ginny opened her eyes, peering up at him. His face was placid, but she thought she saw a small amount of concern swimming in his eyes. He had nice eyes.

What was wrong with her? She hadn’t been this dopey when she took the serum yesterday.

He was talking, “It’s alright, I have classes.” That wasn’t right. He’d just told Lolly to get him out of them. “Please owl me, though, if she is in need of any particular potions. I’d rather make them myself than have her take store-bought generics. Fresher ingredients and all that.”

If Ginny had looked, she would have seen her mother smile brightly at the young man. “Thank you, dear. I will definitely do that.”

She and Malfoy locked eyes for a moment, then he nodded, and swept off to the apparition point.

“Well, Ginny,” Said her Mother, soothingly, “What have you gotten yourself into, hmm?”

Ginny didn’t respond.

* * *

Soon enough, Ginny had been sitting, mouth agape, staring at the healer and midwitch in horror.

“But, that’s impossible! I can’t be pregnant.”

“My dear,” said the healer, in that patronising tone that they sometimes used, “I assure you that it’s quite possible. You are definitely pregnant. The tests all prove it. They are 100% accurate.”

Ginny frowned. She turned to her mother, who was sitting beside her. “But I can’t be.”

Molly sighed, smiling caringly at her daughter. “Sweetheart, I’m sure you’ve been very careful. But sometimes these things just have a way of getting through anyway.”

“No, Mum, you don’t understand.” Ginny couldn’t seem to find a way to get this through to them. “I can’t be pregnant. It’s not possible. I haven’t had sex in ages!”

Molly pursed her lips, before her face cleared. “Darling, you did say you drank quite a lot last week. Perhaps the memories are a little blurry?”

“I’d remember having sex, Mum!” She yelled.

“Now, Miss Weasley -,” began the midwitch.

“No!” she shouted. “You’re wrong. Seriously, I wouldn’t forget having sex, of all things! Check! Go into my head and check! I don’t care! I didn’t have sex! There’s got to be another explanation for this!”

“Ginny!” snapped her mother, “Stop this right now! This might not be what you expected, but it’s what you’ve got. Stop throwing a tantrum like you’re the child in this situation! You act rashly, you have to bear the consequences.”

Ginny gaped hopelessly. How could her own mother not believe her? This was insane! She wasn’t pregnant! She physically couldn’t be pregnant!

The healer, presuming he wouldn’t get anything sensible out of his patient, turned to Mrs Weasley.

“If the nausea has been bad enough that she’s been taking alleviaserum, I suggest you try Naus Gravida. You can get it from any apothecary.”

“Yes, I know the one.” Nodded, Molly. “Twice a day with breakfast and dinner, is that still the case?”

The healer nodded. “For the first trimester. Her twelve week check-up should confirm whether or not she needs to continue. However, I encourage her to see Midwitch Vance once every four weeks. She should book her first appointment now.”

Molly nodded, standing. “I know the drill. Come darling, I’m taking you home.”

“But-.”

“No buts, Ginevra Weasley. You are going home and I am taking care of you.”

Ginny sighed, putting her head in her hands.

Bloody hell.

Chapter Text

Surprisingly, Ginny found herself tucked up in her own bed. She had expected to be ‘cared for’ at The Burrow, but apparently her mother didn’t deem it appropriate.

Thank goodness for small mercies!

“I know how much you value your privacy, Sweetheart.” Molly said, as she pottered around her room, picking up clothes. “Everyone will know soon enough, of course, but for now, I’ll let you have your peace so it can sink in. Besides, the kitchen smells are likely to set you off. I wasn’t able to eat any red meat when I was pregnant. No fish either. Couldn’t stand to be anywhere near the stuff. That’s how I knew, of course. Your reaction to the stew. You love that stew. Always have. But when you said it smelt off, I knew. I always know! I knew when Hermione stopped eating eggs, and when Angelina started wanting more pie. She was never a big eater, you know. I knew when Audrey ate all the chocolate biscuits and when Fleur… Well, I just knew with Fleur. I think it’s a grandmother’s instinct to know when the first grandbaby is finally coming. Of course, we had Teddy already, but that’s not exactly the same thing. I did know when Nymphadora was pregnant though. Her hair stayed the same colour for an entire week. You can’t miss a clue like that.”

Ginny sighed. “Mum, I’m not preg-.”

“Oh, Ginny, will you stop!” Her mother snapped. She put her hands on her hips. “I’m not disappointed, you know. A little surprised, maybe. But I could never be disappointed in you. You’re my daughter!” She went back to cleaning. “So it’s a little out of order, that’s alright. Everyone seems to be doing things differently these days. Not like when your father and I were young. Having a child out of wedlock was just not done! I rather like that it’s changed though. I knew a few witches who married for the wrong reasons. It never ended well… Well, maybe once. But that’s neither here nor there.”

Having tidied the bedroom, she moved to the bathroom, her voice drifting out as she cleaned.

Ginny wasn’t really listening.

“Now, I’ll make you some chicken soup. That always hit the spot for me. Going off your reaction to the stew, there might be other similarities too. And we need to find foods you can keep down. You need your strength. And I’ll owl your Draco. He should know. And he said he’d make up your potions. He’ll want to give you one this evening, I’m sure. Such a surprise! I wouldn’t have picked it. But he was clearly so concerned for you, Sweetheart. And I can’t fault any man who cares for my daughter. Plus, he’s not his father, is he? He’s clearly got a good head on his shoulders. I can’t imagine McGonagall hiring anyone less than upstanding. It’ll be an adjustment, of course. Particularly for your father and Ron, to have him around. But, for the baby -.”

“Mum!” Would she never stop?! And, sorry, why was she talking about Malfoy?

Misinterpreting her, Molly cried. “Oh! Of course, you’d rather tell him in person! Silly me. I’ll owl him to come over and make myself scarce.”

“Mum, what are you on about?” She asked, definitely listening now.

“Draco, dear.” She replied, popping her head out of the bathroom. “You’ll want to tell him in person.”

Ginny blinked, uncomprehending, then her jaw dropped. Surely her mother didn’t mean… First, everyone was saying she’s pregnant. Now Molly Weasley thinks it’s Malfoy’s?!

“Mum, I’m not pregnant!” Ugh. It was like talking to a brick wall. “And even if I was, it wouldn’t be Draco’s!” Fuck. I mean, Malfoy’s! Merlin, Malfoy's?! Ew! Not with a ten foot pole!

Molly smiled. It was her indulgent smile. “Don’t worry, Ginny. I’ll break it to everyone. You won’t have to worry about your brother’s temper. And your father loves you too much to be upset. I’ll ban them from your apartment for a few days, to give you some space, you know. Just let me know when it’s ok for people to come round and I’ll organise a bit of a schedule. You know how our family is. If we let them, they’d all be there at once. That’s a bit much when you’re feeling delicate, trust me.”

Feeling delicate?! Seriously?!

“Anyway, I’ll just go send that owl and then I’ll make you that soup. Well, technically, it’s already made. Like I said, I knew! It’s at home. I’ll just pop out to get it.”

“Mum-!” But she was gone.

Ginny scrubbed at her eyes. Oh, Sweet Merlin, she was tired! This was ludicrous! She just wanted to sleep and get over whatever pregnancy-mirroring illness she had, so that she could get on with her life.

But, no! Her mother was convinced! Her mother was so sure! Her mother was- Fuck! Her mother was going to tell everyone that she was pregnant with Malfoy’s kid!

Merlin’s Sweaty Balls! What was she supposed to do now?!

Thinking quickly (or as quickly as she could, given her still slightly fuzzy brain), Ginny hopped out of bed and over to her desk. She grabbed some parchment, scribbling.

Malfoy,
My mother is about to owl you. Don’t believe a word she says. She’s gone mad! Everyone has!
Ginny

As she was finishing the missive, she heard the distinct sound of her mother reappearing. The chatter started up again immediately.

“I’ve got the soup, and I sent a note to Draco. I remembered he had that elf, Lolly, so I called her. She said she would get the message to him quick as you like. So useful! And clothed, did you notice? The laws haven’t even been passed yet, but his elf is clothed! Quite the conscientious young man, it appears to me! I am beginning to see what you see in him!”

Oh, for the Love of Dumbledore! “Mum, will you please stop!”

Ignoring her, Molly smiled. She ushered Ginny (who hadn't had the time to give the note to Pitta, and instead ended up pushing it into her pocket) out to the kitchen table, placing the soup in front of her.

Staring at it, Ginny found it hard to deny just how wonderful it smelt. And she really was hungry. It wouldn’t hurt to eat, right? And Malfoy probably hadn’t gotten the message from Lolly yet. He was probably in class. She wouldn’t interrupt him there, surely. In fact, he might not even come at all! She could relax for just a second.

And perhaps convince her mother to leave.

“Anyway, I’ll be off.” Molly said, as if reading her mind. “There’s extra soup in the cold-cupboard. There are two doses of Naus Gravida on the bench. It’s store bought, just in case Draco doesn’t have any made in time for this evening and tomorrow morning. I’m sure he’ll do his best, but potions take as long as they take. Make sure you floo me if you need anything, or send a note with Pitta. Actually, Pitta would be better. A whirling head isn’t the most pleasant sensation at the best of times. Now, you take one dose when you eat dinner. Then, the second dose as soon as you wake up, but wait half an hour before you eat breakfast. It’s marvellous stuff. You’ll feel just like your old self in a couple of days, Sweetheart, I promise. And Draco will be there, I’m sure. He’ll look after you.”

With that, Molly Weasley dropped a kiss on her daughter’s head, “I love you, my darling.” and disapparated.

* * *

The knock came at the door barely a half hour later.

Ginny, dreading the other side, opened it slowly.

“Your mother summoned, Weasley?”

Ginny stared up at him. Oh, Merlin, how was she going to explain all this?

She stood aside and he entered, somewhat cautiously. He had a right to be weary, she thought.

He was wearing black professor’s robes today. She couldn’t remember if she’d ever seen him dressed like this. Well, he’d probably been dressed the same earlier, but she’d been in no state to tell. His normal attire was more casual: crisp shirts with the sleeves rolled up, or obviously expensive sweaters, always coupled with slacks. She absently noticed that these robes made him look commanding, somehow above the situation. Or perhaps that was just him. Very Malfoy.

He turned to her, “Well?”

She gulped. Oh God.

He sighed. “You know, she could have just told me the potion in her letter. It would be much more efficient.”

Ginny glanced down. She was wringing her hands. She had never been this nervous in her life. Not ever! She was about to tell a man she loathed (well, ok, not loathed, but close enough) that her mother believed her pregnant with his child and was probably right now telling the entire Weasley clan that fact. Never mind that it wasn’t true. Never mind that she wasn’t even pregnant. It was about to blow up massively. And, knowing her family, it would spread like wildfire. And then the press would probably find out. A Malfoy/Weasley connection would be about as scandalous as it got! Not to mention, their friends would be wanting to know exactly why they hadn’t been told about this supposed clandestine relationship. Oh, this was a mess.

And he was staring at her.

“Weeaaaslette? You in there?”

Oh dear, oh dear, oh Sweet Circe, what was she going to do?

“Weasley!”

Shit! Right! Brain! Work! Please! Just, tick over, just a bit! “Uh, you better sit down.” Good start!

He sat on her couch. Folded himself onto it, more like. God, he was tall. And so obviously strong. Oh, Merlin, wrong direction, Ginny!

Ginny cleared her throat, sitting at the other end of the couch. “Um, okay.” Just say it. Just get it out there. This isn’t your fault. The world’s gone mad! That’s not your fault!

One more deep breath, and out it poured.

“So, the healers said I’m pregnant, which is ridiculous because I haven’t had sex in ages. Not that that’s really something you need to know. Only, they keep insisting. They say their tests are foolproof. And mum believes them! She won’t believe me! But, that’s not the worst of it! The fact that you were there at the hospital, and probably because she heard we danced together last weekend, - I swear, I’m going to kill Colin! She seems to think… She thinks it’s yours. She’s quite convinced. I couldn’t stop her. She kept going on about it and before I knew it, she’d made me soup and contacted you and now she’s probably telling everyone! And I’m NOT pregnant! I CAN’T be pregnant! It’s not possible and nobody will BELIEVE me! And I’m sorry you got dragged into this whole mess!”

She hid her face in her hands and could feel tears pouring down her cheeks. Her chest heaved as she tried to gain some kind of control over herself. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she recognised that this was not a typical Ginny Weasley reaction.

Eventually, as her hysterics calmed, she realised the other side of the couch was completely silent. Peeking through her fingers, she saw Malfoy, still as stone, with a face full of shock.

She couldn’t really blame him.

Bringing her hands back to her lap, she watched him apprehensively. If she were him, she’d be just about ready to blow up. But she didn’t really know him that well, did she.

Malfoy took a deep breath. Then another. And another. Then he spoke.

“Your mother thinks you’re pregnant with my kid?”

Ginny nodded.

“But we’ve never… I mean… we’ve NEVER!”

“I know.”

“And she wouldn’t listen to you when you told her it was ridiculous.”

She nodded again.

“And now she’s telling everyone about it?”

Another nod.

A pause.

Suddenly, laugher bubbled up uncontrollably and he was shaking with the power of it. She could see little tears in his eyes and it sounded brittle.

When finally he regained some semblance of control, his breathing was harsh and his eyes had a ring of hysteria to them. “Merlin’s Beard, what the bloody hell do I do with that?!”

And then they were both laughing. Because it was basically that or break down.

“I have no idea!” Ginny wheezed. “I tried! I tried to tell her! But she just wouldn’t believe me! She kept going on about the stew! I didn’t like her stew, so I must be pregnant! And the closest she’s seen anyone get to me in years was you at the hospital. There was no stopping her! God, why wasn’t I born Muggle?”

He stopped laughing. His frown said he thought that last bit completely nutters. “What? Why?”

“Something Hermione said once.” She explained, heaving. “Muggles often don’t tell anyone about a pregnancy until at least 12 weeks. They can’t monitor what’s going on as accurately as we can, you know, without magic. Apparently, miscarriages are quite common. So you see, if I were a muggle, Mum wouldn’t go around telling everyone. Not yet, anyway. She’d wait and we’d have time to convince her that she’s lost the plot.”

Their breathing had returned to normal. But, looking at each other, their eyes remained a little wider than they should be.

“Shit.” He said, at last.

“Yeah.”

* * *

They sat that way for who knows how long. Ginny watched him, and he alternated between watching the coffee table and glancing at her.

“I have an idea,” he said eventually.

Ginny straightened. Oh, thank Merlin!

“I take it they’ve prescribed you Naus Gravida?”

Ginny nodded.

“Ok, so we give you that. It’s a very specific potion. It only works on nausea associated with pregnancy. We’ll give you that and I’m sorry, but you’ll have to be ridiculously sick again tomorrow. Everyone will see that the Naus Gravida isn’t working, thus proving you’re not pregnant and it’s something else.”

Ginny breathed out, her eyes sliding closed. “Oh, thank you!”

“I’m not going to lie, Ginny,” Draco continued, when her eyes were on him again, “This is really weird. I’ve never heard of any kind of illness that mimics pregnancy enough to fool healers’ tests. They really are as foolproof as they sound. You’re sure there’s absolutely no way -.”

“NO!”

He held up his hands. “Okay, I believe you! I just want you to understand. If there’s no baby, then something is seriously wrong here! Something new!”

Ginny’s mind whirled. “But if it’s strong enough to fool the healers’ tests, will the Naus Gravida still not work?”

“I don’t know. Maybe?” He shrugged, looking slightly helpless. “The tests are specifically targeted at the womb. The Naus Gravida works on your brain chemistry, blocking receptors, specific ones, so that the changes in your body and brain don’t affect you so much. I don’t know if whatever this is would be compatible with Naus Gravida.”

“So what do we do if it still works?”

“Ah, how about we cross that bridge if we come to it?”

Ginny crossed her arms, unconvinced. It was a better plan that the one she had (which mostly consisted of yelling at everyone until they listened), but it didn’t sound nearly as conclusive as she would have liked.
“So, what do we do now?”

Malfoy sighed. “Well, I’ll go back to the school and get some potion from Poppy. She likes to keep a stock of the stuff, just in case. You never know when a student will do something stupid.”

“Mum got me some from the shop.”

He frowned, “But I told her -.”

“Yes, but she wasn’t sure if you’d have any on hand. She got them just in case. And to be honest, I think she might have already had them. She was completely prepared for this.”

“I suppose. Where are they?”

She pointed over the back of the couch, into the kitchen.
He stood, unfolding his long limbs, and moved to the counter. Ginny absently wondered how a man could move so gracefully when he was clearly still so agitated.

He turned one of the bottles this way and that, reading the label and holding it up to the mid-afternoon light. He didn’t look entirely impressed.

“It will do in a pinch.” He said, “But I’d rather you use mine. Keep this in the cupboard in case of emergency.”

Putting the bottle down, he turned back towards Ginny, looking at her and crossing his arms. “I’ll be back in a little while, yeah?”

Ginny nodded.

He seemed awkward all of a sudden, his grace gone. He cleared his throat. “You’ll be alright on your own?”

Grimacing, Ginny rolled her eyes. “Of course I will be, Malfoy! I’m sick, not useless.” Her limbs ached. She figured she’d been so tense these last hours, it wasn’t a big surprise. And she was exhausted! She’d forgotten while talking with him. “Besides, the alleviaserum made me crazy tired. I’ll just go to sleep or something.”

He nodded, unfolding and heading for the door. “Alright then, I’ll be back in a few.”

When he’d closed the door behind him and she’d heard the distinctive pop of disapparition, Ginny groaned and leant her head back on the arm of the couch. She stared up at the ceiling without seeing it, head swimming.

She really ought to get up. Perhaps go to bed for a nap. That’s what she should do.

Having finally convinced her body to move, Ginny was to her bedroom door when there was a sharp knock at the door.

Glaring at it, she couldn’t be bothered turning and opening it. He could bloody well do it himself. “Just come in, Malfoy.”

The door opened. But it wasn’t Malfoy.

“Hello, Ginny.” Said Hermione, with a timid smile.

Chapter Text

Blinking, Ginny finally got her brain to catch up with her eyes.

“I thought Mum was going to keep you all away.”

Hermione looked startled, then a little sheepish. “Oh, well… I didn’t really think you meant me. I… figured that was just, you know, for your brothers and Harry.”

Ginny groaned. Her mum really had gathered everyone and told them. She’d really done it! She’s said she would, but until now, Ginny had subconsciously hoped that it wouldn’t happen. So much for that.

And she’d told Harry too! Oh my God! Not that she should be surprised. He was practically another brother. But still!

Hermione shuffled her feet, stepping inside and closing the door. “I just… I thought… maybe you needed some comfort. This is kind of huge. I mean, a baby! And you’re not even married. Not that you have to be married! It’s just that… well… I mean, Malfoy of all people! It’s a bit crazy. How on Earth did THAT happen?”

Should she bother trying to explain? Would Hermione believe her?

Hermione continued. “Mind you, your mum was kind of fantastic! I mean, she totally defended Malfoy… um, Draco. I suppose I should get used to that… She told everyone to leave you alone. Both of you! Threatened to hex Ron blue for a month when he argued. She said we would just have to get over our issues with him, since he’d be a fixture from now on.”

“Hermione?”

“Yeah?”

Yep, tell her. She’s smart. She’ll believe you.

“I’m not pregnant.”

“Oh? But your mum said -.”

“I know. She and the healers are convinced. But how do you get pregnant if you’ve had no sex in almost a year?”

“A year?”

“Yep.”

“But your mum said you and Malfoy-.”

“Mum jumped to conclusions. He was dropping off a dose of painkillers, since Luna ran out. He saw how sick I was and insisted I get checked out. He was being a good friend. That’s it.”

Hmm, Malfoy was being a good friend. There’s a turn up for the books. Was Malfoy her friend? She couldn't quite wrap her mind around it.

Hermione looked at a loss. She moved to the kitchen table and sat down with a thump. “But, the healers think…”

“They’re wrong.”

“But what tests did they do? You know there are -.”

“I know, Hermione! They did all the tests. The tests are wrong.”

“Ginny, those tests -.”

“I KNOW! But they HAVE to be wrong! Either that or there’s a new messiah!”

Hermione didn’t laugh at the joke. To be honest, neither did Ginny.

“But… I mean… you can’t be pregnant if you haven’t had sex.”

“Exactly! That’s what I’ve been telling everyone!”

Hermione frowned. “Well, maybe when you went out drinking last week…”

“A YEAR, Hermione!”

“Right… Or maybe in Paris? Did you meet-.”

“HERMIONE!”

“Ok! I’m just trying to understand, Ginny!” She put her hands up defensively. “Those tests can’t give false positives!”

“Well, this time they did!”

Ginny glared. Then yawned. Loudly.

Hermione was back to looking startled. She jumped out of her chair and stepped towards the door. “Alright, you get some rest. I’ll do some research. Maybe there’s some kind of rare illness that can cause a false positive.”

Hermione in research mode. There WAS a god! Ginny wasn’t sure that her sister-in-law completely believed her, but if anyone could find whatever was wrong with her, it was her.

“Thanks, Hermione.”

The other witch gave a sympathetic smile. “We’ll figure this out, Gin. Promise.” She opened the front door. “Oh, and Gin?”

“Yeah?”

“Just to be clear, you and Malfoy… you’re not a… you know… there’s nothing between you, right?”

“Of course not!”

“Ok then. Good. Sleep well, Ginny.”

With a wry smile, Hermione pulled the door closed, and Ginny could swear she heard her say, “Thank God. Ron can stop shouting.”

* * *

Ginny had been asleep for a couple of hours by the time Draco returned. He apparated directly into the darkened kitchen, glanced around, and made his way to her bedroom door.

On seeing the motionless lump curled up under the blankets, he debated what to do. His hands held two Naus Gravida potions. He should probably wake her up to take them.

Then again, she’d seemed very tired. And if they weren’t going to work…

Oh, who was he kidding. Of course they were going to work. She was just in denial! She’d obviously slept with someone! Not HIM, of course. But someone! So she was either so far in denial it wasn’t funny, or she’d completely forgotten…

Obliviation? Could someone have obliviated her? God, if someone had gone to that extent, what had happened to her?! If she really couldn’t remember…

Shaking his head to rid himself of the dark thought, he looked at the little bottles, then back at her sleeping form. There was a light snore coming from the blankets. It was kind of cute.

No, not cute. Weasley wasn’t cute. She was annoying. And self-righteous. She was the kind of person who most people thought could do no wrong, which made her even more annoying. She had no refining features, as far as Draco was concerned. He didn’t like her long copper hair, the freckles dusted over every inch of pale skin, her bright brown eyes, her long lean legs. He certainly didn’t like her loud boisterous laugh or her lumos maxima smile. He couldn’t stand her really. He just put up with her because of Blaise and Luna, and a bit because of Longbottom, though he wouldn’t tell anyone that. She definitely wasn’t cute!

Making a decision, he stepped back out into the living area, heading for her cold-cupboard. Inside was a large mason jar filled with soup. There were two notes on top.

Sweetheart,
I love you. Drink it all and you’ll feel better. Don’t forget the potion.
Love,
Mum

Draco,
She should be able to keep this down. Thank you for taking care of our girl. She’s lucky to have you.
Love,
Molly

Blinking, bewildered, Draco chose to ignore the second note. He found a bowl, poured out some soup and warmed it with his wand. Grabbing a spoon, he headed back to the bedroom.

This time, when he reached the doorway, he didn’t stop. He strode over to her bed and put everything down on the bedside table.

Incredibly uncomfortable, he reached over and gently shook her awake.

“Weasley,” He whispered loudly. “Weasley, I’ve got the potion. It’s about seven o’clock. You can have it now and go back to sleep.”

Weasley groaned, rolling over. “Gway.”

Hmm, not a ‘morning person’ then.

“Ginny, you have to wake up and eat this.” God, he felt like a house elf. He should have sent Lolly. Why was that occurring to him only now?

Pulling the covers away from her face, Weasley glared blearily up at him. “Malfoy, whyryouwk’nmeyup?”

He raised an eyebrow. Merlin, she’d lost the power of speech. No, wait. She was a Weasley. “Say again, Weaslette?”

With a grunt and a heave, she sat herself up against the headboard. “I said,” she began with more clarity, “Why are you waking me up?”

He rolled his eyes, waiting for her to settle properly. “Because you need to take this potion now, and eat with it, so that it works properly with the one you take in the morning.”

“But we don’t want it to work.” Replied Weasley.

“But we have to do it properly for everyone to believe us. You take it as prescribed and I watch you take it so there’s a witness. Can’t dispute it then.” He certainly wasn’t doing this because he wanted to. And maybe she'd relent when it worked.

Weasley huffed and ran a hand though the bird’s nest that was her hair. Draco deliberately did not notice how bloody amazing it looked all tousled like that. He also quite deliberately DID NOT look at the healthy amount of cleavage shown off by her vest.

She put her hand out for the soup.

He handed it to her, then took the cork out of the Naus Gravida bottle. “Here, drink up so I can go home.”

This time she was the one rolling her eyes. She swallowed it in one go, grimacing. “Ugh! That tastes like goblin piss!”

“Hmm,” he said, noncommittedly. Then he was back by her bedroom door. “I’ll be off then.”

“Malfoy!”

He turned back to her, eyebrows raised in askance.

“Thanks. You know… for getting me to the hospital today… even if they are all idiots… and for the potions. And, you know… for putting up with my insane mother.”

He blinked. Huh. He never thought he’d hear a Weasley thank a Malfoy for anything, let alone sincerely. But then, this particular Weasley wasn’t quite as horrid as all the others really, was she. He wouldn’t interact with her nearly as often if she were. So maybe it wasn’t that surprising.

“You’re welcome, Weasley.” He replied. “The other potion is there beside your bed. Take it when you wake up tomorrow, then eat about half an hour later. I’ll drop by around midmorning with more-.”

“I won’t need more.”

“Then I’ll drop by midmorning to take you back to the hospital to tell them it didn’t work, won’t I.”

Weasley smiled. “Yeah, I’ll probably be half dead by then, so that might be helpful.”

He smirked, and once again turned to leave.

“Hey, are you catching up with the guys tonight?”

He shook his head, turning back to her again. “No, not tonight.”

“Oh, ok. I was just going to say… don’t tell them, yeah? Blaise would have a field day with this.”

Draco had the good sense to look guilty. “Ah, it may be a bit late for that. Neville was there when I got your note this morning and when I got back from St Mungo’s. When I got your mum’s letter… well, by now he’s almost definitely contacted Lovegood, who would have told Blaise. And one of them is bound to have told Colin and Parvati.”

“Oh Merlin!”

“Sorry.”

“Not your fault.” She sighed. “Any chance you can owl them that I’m fine but need some rest? You know, with NO visitors?”

“Yeah, I guess I could probably do-.”

Pop!

Too late.

“Ginny! Oh, Draco! Hello!”

Pop!

Crap.

“Hey Drake!”

Eyes wide, Draco fought to recover his equilibrium as he stared at Blaise and Luna. 'Just apparate directly behind a bloke, why don’t you!' he thought. 'That’s not going to scare the living daylights out of me!'

Dimly, he heard Ginny groan.

Unfortunately, Luna heard it too, and was immediately straight past him into her best friend’s bedroom.

“Oh, Ginny!” She fussed, misinterpreting her friend’s look of anguish. “What happened? You look terrible! Neville said you were in St Mungo’s but he didn’t know why! Was it the same thing from earlier this week? Are you o-.”

There was a brief pause, in which all watched Luna snatch the empty potion bottle (which Draco had clearly labelled) from Weasley’s bedside table.

Then she shrieked. “You’re PREGNANT?”

Draco put his hands over his eyes. Merlin, he really wanted to run away right now. Could he do that? This really had nothing to do with him, after all, no matter what Mrs Weasley thought.

He glanced back. No, Blaise was right behind him. Damn.

“Luna-.” Weasley tried to interrupt her friend, but Luna powered through.

“I can’t believe this! When? With who? Oh, Ginny, this is so exciting! Is it exciting? Are you ok? Can I help? What can I do?”

“She needs rest.” Draco answered for her. “All the questions can wait.” Not that it was any of his business, but she’d said she didn’t want to see anyone, and it was roundabout his fault they were here. The least he could do was get them to leave.

Luna nodded, cooing protectively over her friend.

A shuffle brought his attention to Blaise, who was now standing beside him.

“So, why are you here then?” Blaise asked him, tilting his head with a particularly calculating expression. Draco didn’t like that look one bit. It was the same face that guessed Draco had cheated on his arithmancy test. It was the face that worked out Draco was working for Voldemort.

“Potion.” Draco replied, trying to look innocent. Which he was, of course.

“At eight o’clock at night?”

Had he really been here an hour already? Huh.

“You have to take it with dinner.” That was Weasley.

All eyes swivelled to her, and Draco couldn’t help notice that she’d gone red. He didn’t know why. But he did abstractly think it rather suited her.

Her response however, didn’t alter the look on Blaise’s face. In fact, his expression became even more concentrated. His eyes flicked between the redhead and the blonde. Then he grinned.

He slung an arm around Draco’s shoulder. “Oh, you big softy!” He crowed. “You’re looking after our Ginny, making sure she eats. See, Luna, Ginny’s fine. She has DRACO taking care of her. Who could ask for more, ay?”

A smile blossomed on Luna’s face in response. She stood from where she sat on Weasley’s bed and made her way back to the door.

Luna put a hand on Draco’s arm, eyes searching his face. She seemed to find something she liked, as her smile grew. “I’m glad.” She said at last. “This is wonderful.”

“But Luna-.” Weasley began.

Luna returned quickly to her friend, squeezing her hand. “We’ll go. Draco’s right. You should be resting. But I want to see you on Sunday morning, ok? I’ll come by around 11. Feel better, my friend.”

“No, Luna, you-.”

But Luna had already disapparated.

Blaise squeezed Draco’s shoulder, and if he didn’t know better, Draco would have thought it was almost threatening.

“Look after our girl, Draco.” He said, jovially. “Don’t fuck this up.” Then he disapparated too.

Oh dear.