- Story Summary:
- In Ginny Weasley’s 6th year, Draco Malfoy saved her life and that’s a wizard’s debt. Now, five years later its payback time. Especially now that Draco’s in desperate need of a wife.
- Chapter Summary:
- In Ginny's sixth year, Draco saved her life and that's a wizard's debt. Now, five years later, its payback time. Especially now that Draco is in desperate need of a wife.
- Author's Note:
- Author’s Notes: I’m sorry for the lack of G/D action here but really, this part calls for it. But promise, the next chapter will have lots of it! This mainly contains Draco’s POV. Well, as a consolation, at least we could mess around inside his head! ::cackles evilly::
Chapter IV: Letters
Chapter IV: Letters
"What did you just say?" Ron demanded. He immediately stood up and paced back and forth in the Weasley living room. "Ginny! Is this some kind of a joke? Draco Malfoy? Are you out of your mind?"
"Ron--," began Hermione. She looked apologetically at Arthur and Molly Weasley, who were sitting there not saying anything. "Ron, what did you expect? They were dating, right? Of course it would've just been a matter of time before he asked for her hand in marriage!" she said. She looked at Ginny and forced out a smile.
"Ah, dating yes. When I heard about it from SOMEBODY else and not from my own sister," he turned momentarily to Ginny and gave her a dark look. Ginny looked back, her face blank. After several seconds, Ron then cleared his throat and continued, "I had hard time believing it. And you know what? I accepted that fact and tolerated it somehow because I knew that it wouldn't last. Sorry 'bout that Gin. But now, marriage?" he exploded. He turned to his parents. "What are you two doing? Your only daughter will marry a brute and-"
"Draco's not a brute!" Ginny said, forcing the words especially his first name out.
"He is too!" Ron answered back. "Didn't he make your life at Hogwarts miserable? Oh, as I remember, it wasn't just your life. My life, Harry's life, Hermione's life… And what about Harry? That stupid, son of a-"
"That is not very fair, Ron!" Ginny answered back.
"I don't care!" her brother replied fuming. He walked towards her, his green eyes glowing with anger. Ginny swallowed hard upon seeing the rage written across her brother's face. She hadn't expected Ron to get this angry. "I won't let Malfoy marry my younger sister and that's final. If you won't listen to me, Ginny, then I will make his life a living hell instead! And I will-"
"Ronald Weasley, you stop it this instant!" Hermione cried out indignantly when she saw the miserable look on Ginny's face. Ron, upon hearing his wife's angry voice, immediately shut his mouth. Hermione sighed. "There's no need for you to shout, you might wake Sylvia up. And as for Ginny, at least you could be happy for her, right?"
Ron's green eyes narrowed. "Oh, don't be a hypocrite, Herm. Surely this is a shocker for you too, now isn't it?" he said nastily.
At that, Hermione's jaw dropped. Well, yes. It had really surprised her to learn of Ginny's sudden engagement to Malfoy. Just like Ron, she had dismissed the thought of them dating together, presuming it was nothing serious. But now…
"Mom, Dad," said Ginny softly turning to her parents. "Please say something."
Arthur Weasley sighed and took his glasses off. He rubbed the bridge of his nose tiredly just like the way he used to when he was being pressured back in the Ministry. Molly Weasley, in turn, looked at her husband questioningly.
"Are his intentions good?" he asked finally, putting his glasses back again.
Ginny thought about the kiss they shared the night he 'proposed', the way his eyes raked over her… "Yes, his intentions are good," she forced out, feeling terribly sick.
"This has nothing to do with the orphanage being in financial trouble?" her father asked again.
"No," lied Ginny. She hated lying, especially to her parents. But she couldn't possibly tell them about the deal she made with Draco. "Even if he wants to help me with the orphanage, the Malfoy fortune isn't enough to see us through. Well, it is enough, but he wants for us to eat three times a day too, you know," she added. Now she was truly ready to barf.
"Have you forgotten that he disappeared during the war?" Ron butted in. "Just like Voldemort! For all we know, he disappeared just to study the Dark Arts somewhere—uh-- dark. He may be planning to be the next Voldemort and was just looking for a- a queen or something, you know, for him to breed his evil, horrible little off springs with. Don't forget you're easy prey to him. Being exposed to the Dark Arts at a very young age would surely-- " He stopped momentarily breathing hard. "For all we know, you might be under a- an Imperius Curse. Yes, that's it and-"
"Ron, don't be stupid," Ginny spat back. "Draco disappeared because he didn't want to take part in anything that had to do with his father and that included the dark lord. And I'm not under some curse! That's nothing but rubbish!" she supplied in Draco's defense. It nearly made her sick thinking that she was actually defending him in front of her family.
"Does he make you happy?" her father asked seriously.
Ginny put on her best I'm-In Love-With-Him smile. "Yes, he loves me and I'm so much in love with him. He will be a good husband," she answered, now feeling the bile slowly rising in her throat. She swallowed hard.
At that, Arthur Weasley stood up. "For that matter, I can't do anything," he said in resignation.
"What the fuck--" Ron cried out.
"Ronald Weasley, I will not have that language in my house!" threatened their mother. "Especially not in front of your father," she added, pulling her large build up from the couch.
But instead of apologizing, Ron sat back down and sulked while his wife eyed him with much disapproval.
Ginny's face brightened. "You mean, you approve?" she asked.
"Have him here by the fortnight and we shall see," was her father's only reply. Then giving out a tired sigh, he said, "Good night, I'll be retiring."
"Good night," Hermione and Ginny both said. Ron scowled.
Molly Weasley, in turn, kissed Hermione then Ginny. "Best that you owl the rest of your brothers, dear," she said. "And be light about it," she added. She had a nasty feeling that this marriage would bring about only disaster. She can just picture Fred and George's reactions... and Bill and Charlie and Percy... She closed her eyes momentarily thinking about the nearing chaos this would bring.
"I will," said Ginny with feigned cheerfully. "Good night, Mom."
"Good night, dears," her mother said before following their father up into their room.
With the three of them alone, Hermione cleared her throat. Turning to Ginny, she smiled kindly. "So Gin, this is so," she paused, her eyebrows crinkling in thought. Ginny turned to her questioningly. "So—unexpected," she continued. "And-- and-- wonderful, really," she added lamely.
Ron gave out a disgusted snort. "This is stupid. I'm going to bed," he declared grumpily. He stood up and crossly made his way to his room that he now shared with his family. Upon hearing the angry slam of the door behind him, Hermione turned to Ginny apologetically.
"You have to excuse him, Gin," she began tossing her long brown hair behind her shoulders. "You know how Malfoy was with him."
Ginny shook her head. "No, its okay. I understand him," she said. "I just didn't expect that he would react that way," she added. She took a deep breath and began braiding her hair nonchalantly, looking absently at nothing.
"Oh, you know how your brother is," Hermione said in tired voice. "Ever since we started dating he's always had this crazy notion that you and Harry should be together. He was really the first one, oh make that the only one, to object when Harry told him that he would be marrying Cho."
Ginny just smiled weakly as her reply. It wasn't just him who'd objected. She thought. She bit her lip and looked away. She longed to tell Hermione her secret. But then, if she did- she shook her head. No, she absolutely couldn't do that. The children were depending on her. And what would Hermione think of her? Besides, she never asked Hermione for serious help.
It was never her habit to go to Hermione, or her brother, or Harry for anything. Even during her Hogwarts years. That was the sole reason why she had gotten into trouble in her first year. But then, no one could really blame her. Harry, Ron and Hermione had this tight circle that included just the three of them. It was so tight, in fact, that even she couldn't penetrate it. And it made her feel so lonely and left out. Even though Hermione would ask her now and then about stuff and things, even with her attempts to make her feel comfortable and welcome, still Ginny felt so alone. Growing up with six brothers, not one of them taking her seriously… it really was difficult to make friends. For everybody at Hogwarts, she was just Ginny, Ron's 'baby sister.' Someone they had to protect. Someone they had to pamper. Almost everybody in the
Gryffindor common room took care of her because she was JUST Ginny. And not Virginia.
"A penny for your thoughts."
Ginny, hearing Hermione's sudden voice, turned to her. "What?" she asked frowning. "Were you saying something?"
"Um, no, but you, on the other hand, were thinking of something," she replied smiling. "Care to share?"
Ginny smiled weakly. "I was just thinking about what Ron said," she replied. "Was it really shocking? I mean, me and D- Draco?"
Hermione pursed her lips as she desperately weighed her answer. Ginny looked at her anxiously. Then after a moment, she spoke. "Even I was baffled by your sudden decision to marry him, Gin, to tell you honestly," she replied carefully. "With all due respect, Malfoy was a miserable bastard to you and to everyone else, and you two have been dating for just a month. Just a month, Ginny!"
"I know," she said, nodding her head.
"So, why so sudden?" Hermione interjected. "Can't you at least wait two or three years-"
"I-" Ginny began searching for an answer. "I can't. We can't."
Hermione's face turned serious. "Is there a problem, Ginny?" she asked cautiously. "If there is, you know you can always tell me," she added.
Ginny looked at her momentarily then she shook her head. "We just can't wait, I guess," she replied uncertainly.
Hermione gasped. "You're not pregnant, are you?" she asked, her brown eyes wide as saucers.
"No, of course not!" Ginny cried out. "Hermione!"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Hermione quickly said. "So, why the long face?"
Ginny shrugged. "Wedding jitters, I guess?" she answered forcing out a laugh. Well it was true! Other than the sickening thought of marrying Malfoy made her anxious, sad and worried, it was also the wedding jitters that made her less happy, which was very, very unusual for a bride-to-be. "Did you have this when you were about to marry Ron?" she asked changing the topic.
"Tell me about it," said Hermione, rolling her eyes. "I was a total nervous wreck! Especially with my family! You know they're Muggles, right? But then, Ron was able to, you know," she shook her head and chuckled. "Ron, actually courted my whole family!"
"Really?" Ginny said weakly. Would Draco court her family if he knew what was going on now? She found herself asking. She admitted that there was no doubt that Draco could win her family over, except Ron of course. Draco could be a charmer when he wanted to. What Draco wanted, Draco got… that was a proven fact. Ginny found herself almost believing that the saying really did apply to him. The night he proposed was a proof of that. "So, how did Ron court your family, Herm?" she asked listlessly.
At the mention of Ron's name, Hermione beamed as a light giggle escaped her lips. "You know my parents are dentists, right?" she said eagerly. Ginny nodded and smiled feebly. "Well, in order to win them over, Ron uh… Oh god I shouldn't be telling you this-- but," she stopped and laughed. Ginny frowned upon seeing her face glowing with happiness. Envy immediately washed over her. All her life she had never been happy. She was kind and good and nice but why was she never happy? A would-be-bride should have been happy, right? You only got married once… well technically speaking, not once since there was divorce, but then-- this would be her first wedding. Why did she feel as if it were a funeral wake that would be coming and not her wedding day? It was just not fair!
Hermione cleared her throat. "Sorry… okay," she began turning serious. "Ron actually performed a teeth-bending hex on himself and had my parents fix it up for him, you know just to win some 'points'," she said, giggling again. "The only thing was Ron made a mistake somewhere and before he knew it, all his teeth fell out!" she laughed.
Ginny's eyes widened. "What?" she exclaimed. "I never knew that!" she cried as a giggle escaped her sad lips. She could just picture Ron without teeth at all. The sight made her laugh. Yes, it was a typical Ron moment! "You know that something would always go wrong when it comes to Ron using hexes," she couldn't resist adding.
"Yes, and he made me promise not to tell a single soul about it or he wouldn't marry me," answered Hermione. "But then, now that we're married and all- I can't see the point of hiding this from you," she added.
"So what did he do?" Ginny asked curiously.
"Well, my parents eventually saw what happened. It was when he was sitting in my dad's chair, his mouth opened up and ready for the braces, when his teeth suddenly fell out. I guess it made them feel sorry for him. And the sight was just really, really funny," replied Hermione, shaking her head. "I made him a tooth-growing potion afterwards, of course."
Ginny laughed. "You were a crazy bunch, right?" she asked finally.
Hermione's eyes misted. "Yes, I can say we were," she said. "Ron, Harry and I-it was really fun."
Ginny's eyes looked down. "It was," she replied sadly thinking about her boring Hogwarts days. Then she shook her head. "So, Herm. What are you doing here? I thought you were in Ireland with Harry?" she asked instead.
"Oh that. Well, it wasn't really my decision to go to Ireland but Ron insisted that we go there to watch Harry play," she snorted. "Humph! For all I know it was just that stupid Chudley Canons-- I really don't get them, Quidditch and all!" Then she clamped her hand to her mouth and turned to Ginny apologetically. "I'm sorry Gin, I know you played Quidditch but that's not what I meant," she quickly said.
"No, I get what you mean," replied Ginny, shaking her head.
"Makes me wonder though," began Hermione. "You were a good Chaser back then at Hogwarts so why didn't you try for professional Quidditch after graduation?" she asked.
Ginny pursed her lips and frowned. "I think I'm just not up for real Quidditch, that's all," she said, finally standing up, then stretching and yawning, her red main now in disarray. "I think I'll go to bed," she said, voice muffled.
"Where will you sleep?" Hermione asked, standing up as well.
"In my old bedroom, of course," replied Ginny, climbing up the stairs. When she reached her baby-blue colored door, Hermione gently laid a hand on top of her shoulder. Ginny stopped and turned to her questioningly.
"How about Harry then?" she asked softly. "You've been dating, right?"
Ginny frowned with the sudden question. "Well, I have to tell him of course," she answered carefully. "But he-he has to deal with it, right?"
"He has no other choice," replied Hermione evenly. Ginny looked away. After a moment, Hermione cleared her throat.
"You know you can always talk to me about anything, Gin," she said lightly. "Just don't hesitate to tell me any problems you may have, all right?" she added softly.
Ginny smiled. "I will. Thank you," she replied. "Good night."
Hermione nodded her head. "Good night."
And with that, Ginny opened her door and entered. Hermione gave her one last smile before disappearing into her room. Closing the door behind her, Ginny heaved a deep breath and began walking towards her small writing desk.
"Ready for a night stroll, Athena?" she asked her owl as she busily gathered up her parchment, ink and quill. She looked up and smiled upon hearing the soft agreeing coo of her snow-white owl. "All right then," she said sitting down. She spread out her parchment and dipped her quill into her inkbottle. Frowning with concentration, she began writing her letter.
My father said yes. Be here by the fortnight.
Ginny put her quill down and surveyed her short letter to her "fiancé." Shrugging, she then lightly stamped her family insignia, a single red rose, and began folding it neatly. Ever since Molly made peace with his father, they were now allowed to use the Aurelius crest Then turning to Athena, she stood up.
"Give this to Draco, dear," she whispered as she tied the letter to her owl's left leg. "And be quick. You still have more letters to deliver," she added as her owl settled on her shoulder while she opened her window. Athena gave her one last affectionate nip before speeding up into the black sky.
Ginny then made her way back towards her desk to finish the rest of her letters.
Draco made his way silently towards the manor that night. He tightened his cloak around him upon feeling the cold night air breezing past him. He shook his head remembering his recent encounter with Blaise.
As he had expected, Blaise didn't take the news kindly. When he told her about the proposal, Ginny and the marriage, Blaise threw a terrible tantrum that nearly shook the whole Zabini estate into collapsing. Blaise could be terrible if she wanted to and Draco had to use a binding hex just to keep her from clawing him. The conversation turned from bad to worse when the subject of his marriage partner was brought up. Blaise demanded to know why he chose Ginny over her and Draco unfeelingly told, with a straight face, what his grandfather had said. With that, the dark-haired woman became hysterical, crying and sobbing and shouting at the same time. Even the fact that he and Ginny would eventually divorce didn't make her stop. It was just a matter of time before he was able to calm her down by saying charming, sweet nothings to her and eventually spending three full straight hours in her bed.
But then, it made him wonder. He DELIBERATELY vexed Blaise. For the first time in his life, he deliberately vexed Blaise and he hadn't felt sorry about it. Even the sex they just had, it didn't feel right, unlike before. He was surprisingly not in the mood, though normally he would have been. Blaise was a stunning woman, yes. In Draco's opinion, Blaise was a certified sensual animal. She had this long black hair, sharp, feline eyes and those red pouty lips that could make any man drool… all in all, Blaise was a full-bodied woman with all the curves in the right places, voluptuous and dangerously sensual. But for the first time in his life, he found her very, very… boring.
Draco shook his head as their ghost butler opened the door for him. The thing was, Blaise, with her vast sexual knowledge and prowess, Blaise who knew how to please any man she wanted, bored the hell out of him. The disturbing thing about this also was the fact that he couldn't stop thinking about a particular red-haired innocent woman, even while he was spending those full three hours with Blaise.
He raked his fingers against his hair and made his way to his room. It was just 'boring' sex and nothing else, he assured himself. He was sure that he was capable of not feeling anything other than that. For him, the word "love" was… well, it was just rubbish. His father never loved his mother and his mother, undoubtedly, never did love his father, so what difference would "love" make to him? His mother only felt respect for his father, not love. He shuddered at the word. Love. Such a word didn't exist anymore. It was a word never used, never uttered in the Malfoy household. Even if he felt it for his mother, which was normal, considering the fact that he was her son and it was his nature's duty, he didn't actually think that he was capable of feeling it for anybody else. They were just merely toys, puppets, used for propagating a bunch of offspring that would carry on the family name and inherit the musty old fortunes of the family. It was never about love.
Draco then made his way into his chamber, firmly dismissing the disturbing thoughts about his "fiancé". He was about to unclasp his cloak when he noticed a snow-white owl perched on top of his desk, waiting patiently for him. Frowning, he walked towards it and inspected its left foot.
"A letter for me?" he found himself asking. He then gave the owl a sweet before brushing the heavy drapes of his open windows aside and letting it out. Then sitting down on his bed, unmindful of the cold, he unfolded the letter and began scanning its content.
"Hammilton!" he called out suddenly. Instantly, his ghost valet floated down from his ceiling.
"Yes, Master Draco?" the ghost asked, floating before him.
"Have my family robes ready by the fortnight but don't include the formal robes and everything," he instructed. Then he stopped and looked at his awaiting butler. "I'm going to ask for a lady's hand in marriage, Hammilton," he added neutrally, as if it were normal to converse with the house help about such things. He was now rummaging his drawers for his quill and parchment when he heard Hammilton's flat, unemotional "Very good, Master Draco" answer.
"That will be all," he said, dismissing his valet. The ghost then nodded its transparent head and floated out of his chamber. Draco sat down and started writing his letters, one for his grandfather and one for Gringgots.
He had to get this thing done early. He had a big day ahead of him. Tomorrow, he would be visiting Virginia in her office.
"You think it wise to let Ginny marry that Malfoy, Arthur?" Molly asked as she pulled the covers over her body that same night. She moved sideways to give her husband more room.
"Ginny's a big girl now, Molly," replied Arthur tiredly while removing his glasses. "And besides, what else is new? Isn't history just repeating itself?" he supplied, pulling up the covers as well.
"Well yes, but why don't I feel comfortable about it?" she said stubbornly. "Past generations and all that rubbish! I don't believe a single word of it!" she scoffed.
Arthur closed his eyes and leaned his head comfortably on his pillow. "Whatever you say, Molly. But don't forget it took four or five generations of your family… why, even you… wasn't it that you were involved with Lucius Malfoy? I wouldn't call it just coincidences."
At that, Molly gave a tired, dejected sigh. "I guess you're right but then Ginny's-- Ginny's my baby girl. Something's just not right. I just-"
"How many times do I have to tell you that Ginny's not a baby anymore?" Arthur murmured tiredly. "For goodness sake! She already has her own flat, her own job and everything! And besides, things happen for a reason, Molly. Don't you forget that."
"But why Ginny?" Molly answered back. "Why not me? Or my mom or Grandmother Eloise?" Then she fell silent, feeling the stillness in the house. She closed her eyes. "You know very well that it's quite natural for me to worry. I'm her mother. And I just have this funny feeling, it is really strange, why, after all these years, a Weasley and a Malfoy would finally, " she stopped momentarily upon hearing the soft snoring noises beside her. Gritting her teeth, she opened her eyes and poked her husband in the ribs.
"Arthur?" she demanded crossly. "Arthur Weasley!"
Arthur snored softly again as his reply. Molly then decided to give up and close her eyes again.
Her baby girl was finally getting married and the best thing that she could do was to be happy for her. Molly couldn't help but think that everything was strange, everything was going too fast. With that thought, anxiety and fear for her daughter gripped her.
"Please mother, grandmother," she silently prayed. "Please protect Ginny from harm."
And with that prayer, she finally drifted off the sleep while swearing to kill all the Malfoys, especially Draco, should anything bad ever happened to her Ginny.End of Part IV
(End of Chapter)