June 10, 2014

Author's Note: Reviews appreciated! This story was written for FIA's 2014 Summer Challenge. Thanks so much to my betas: my friend, D, and Ha'niqua. Prompt to follow story.

Parley with a Pirate

For hours Draco's arms and legs had been in constant motion as he'd tried to stay afloat, but his energy was fading. More than once, his head sank below the water as the sea stirred, wave after wave pushing him under. The sky darkened, and when the clouds parted to release a torrential downpour, he gave up. In the sea or out of it, he was going to drown.

As the storm crashed above him and the sea roiled below, his consciousness slipped in and out. Before the water swallowed him a final time, something caught his attention near the horizon.

Black clouds. An eery white skull floating in the sky. Even in death, Draco couldn't escape the Dark Mark, but at least he was finally free.

He came to on an unsteady wooden floor that rocked like a violent cradle. At first, darkness conquered until his eyes adjusted to a soft glow that unveiled a corner of the room he was in. However, he wasn't alone.

Booted feet were planted near his head, solid, steady, and only just illuminated by the flame from a candle sitting on a table. Draco's eyes followed the path of the boots upwards, to shapely calves and strong thighs covered in breeches so tight, they might as well have been painted on. His eyes rose higher to hips that dipped out and in like the crest of a wave. The rest of the woman standing over him hid in shadow, but the view so far was magnificent. Last he remembered, Draco had been drowning, but now he was with a woman whose depths he'd have liked nothing more than to explore. Not a bad way to die.

"Rise, landlubber," she said, her feminine voice harsh with impatience.

Draco tried to lift himself up, but the room's rocking made it impossible for his weak limbs to support him.

"I said rise!" the woman repeated as she pushed him over with an unforgiving boot until he was flat on his back. She left her foot on his chest, pinning him to the ground.

The light drifted as she lifted the candle from the tabletop, revealing most of her face. The flickering flame and rocking room made it difficult to get a clear picture of her, but he could see riotous red curls tumbling down to her waist that seemed to ignite despite the flame's small size. From what he could see of her, her face was less impressive than her body—but perhaps the scar that marked her from chin to ear had more to do with that than her features. Her scowl pulled the scar taut, making her look fearsome, and suddenly Draco began to wonder if he might have been better off in the sea.

"Who are you?" Draco asked, his throat raw from the seawater he'd swallowed.

She pressed down on his chest even harder—the pain that flared made Draco fear for his ribcage and left him gasping. "There be more important matters than me name, ye scurvy dog," she snarled.

And he saw that there were. Her free hand reached across her waist to her hip and drew a cutlass, the tip of which she pointed right between his eyes.

Even though he was laying down, the blood rushed from his head to his feet, and he thought he might faint again if the spinning room was anything to go by.

"I'm sorry! Please. I—I'll do as you say!"

Both boot and sword were removed as the woman kneeled down to meet Draco's eyes. She left the candle on the floor next to them, which would have steadied the light if the floor hadn't pitched so suddenly just then.

"Belay yer speech and mayhap ye will survive the night." Her lips lifted up into a snarling smirk that made her scar curl in an atrocious second smile. Draco didn't move a muscle as she leaned down, the space between them diminishing quickly until her lips pressed against his in a surprisingly gentle caress.

As soon as their lips touched, Draco fell unconscious again.

A shiver tore down Draco's back as he regained consciousness once more. A slightly chilly breeze ruffled the hair at the nape of his neck. Unfortunately, his hands were currently tied behind his back—and he was tied to a wooden pole—so he couldn't scratch the itch caused by his unruly locks.

Echoing what the woman with the anachronistic speech had said earlier, he had more important matters to think about than his ticklish neck, like the skull and crossbones flailing in the wind from the top of the mast above him... and a band of pirates surrounding him with glares and swords. Quite a few of them, he was bemused to note, he recognized.

"Avast, mateys! The landlubber wakes!" Ron Weasley said as he stepped out of the crowd and addressed the ragtag crew.

The moonlight was bright enough for Draco to recognize the likes of the Creevey brothers, a sprinkling of other Weasleys, Neville Longbottom, Dean Thomas, and even that prat Zacharias Smith, all of whom were wearing a ridiculous assortment of clothes. Draco had never had the desire to see Ronald Weasley in a billowy shirt loosely laced up the front, skin-tight breeches, and an assortment of sashes tied around his waist. Honestly, the sight of his pale, freckle-y chest made Draco want to take his chances with the sea.

Thomas, who, Draco was loathe to admit, looked cavalier in his pirate get-up, drew a sword and raised it in the air. "Shall we slice him down from nose to navel?"

"Nay," Weasley said, lifting his own sword with an ominous smile. "The cap'n be wantin' 'im alive for questionin'."

"Right ye be, me hearty." At that moment, the door to the cabin opened, and in its shadow stood the woman from before and a man behind her.

"All me duty to ye, Cap'n!" the crew said simultaneously, each man pulling the hat or rag off his head to hold it to his heart.

"At ease, gentlemen," she replied with a wave of her hand. Draco thought he could detect some fondness in the harsh growl of her voice, but if she smiled, the gesture was hidden in shadow. Not for long, however.

She walked to the middle of the deck where the moon bathed her in pearly light, her hair abominably red in its glow, the scar on her face distinct and eye-catching. He knew exactly who she was now, and as she approached him, Draco couldn't keep his eyes off Ginny Weasley's form-fitting clothes. His hands itched to remove the layers of coat, linen shirt, and scarves to map the crests and valleys of her breasts, her waist, her hips. As he struggled, his bindings tightened, so he stilled himself and transferred his attention to her face instead.

The identity of the man who had followed her outside suddenly became clear as well, and Draco sneered at Potter as he stood behind Weasley, using her as a shield, no doubt. Clearly Potter was the captain of the ship. Draco had never known Potter not to have a disgustingly loyal following.

Weasley turned around to see what Draco was staring at and smirked. "Nay, ye be mistaken, bilgerat." She ran a finger down his cheek, her fingernail lightly scratching his skin and threatening to replicate her scar on his face. "I be the cap'n of this ship, 'n' ye'll find no quarter with me."

She spun around to address her crew while Draco stared in slack-jawed awe. "Partake yerselves of spirits below deck. Leave the landlubber to me."

"Aye aye, Cap'n!" echoed across the deck as the men took to the stairs with a raucous and lively air.

"How 'bout a game o' cards, Long John," Ron Weasley said to Longbottom with a forceful slap on the back.

"Aye, but ye best not hornswaggle me this time, or ye'll get a taste o' the cat!"

Weasley laughed like he'd never heard a better joke. "Ye must've drunk too much grog already if ye think ye've got the constitution to flog me! A gentler gentleman o' fortune I've yet to meet—" Their voices disappeared as the cabin door swung closed behind them.

When only the captain and her loyal bodyguard were left, she said, "I'll not be needin' the provost's services tonight."

Potter's brows bunched together over his eyes, clearly displeased with her suggestion. "But, Cap'n—"

"Join the carousin', Potter. Smartly, or ye'll be a-swabbin' the deck for a fortnight." Her tone brooked no argument. Watching dashing pirate Potter scurry off like a wounded puppy brought the biggest smirk to Draco's face, never mind that he was on a pirate ship, tied to a thick wooden pole, his fate in the hands of a woman who wielded a sword with more ease than a wand. Just to see Potter unwelcome and dismissed made this the best night of Draco's life.

She waited in silence, long after Potter had skulked below deck, her hands clasped gently behind her back as she paced in front of Draco, eyeing him like prey. As brightly as the moon lit the ship, he couldn't clearly see her expression for the wide-brimmed hat she wore. Draco, who wasn't as conveniently covered, felt exposed, but he straightened his spine despite his binds and put on the most supercilious sneer he could. She may have had control of the crew, but she would not intimidate Draco.

The silence didn't seem to agree with her because she stopped in front of Draco, feet firmly planted and steady despite the tumultuous waves. "By the looks of ye, yer of noble blood, blue to the heart. What brings ye so far from home?"

Draco ignored the question. "Untie me. Now." Even though the ropes and the beam to which he was attached kept his body erect, his muscles were exhausted from his fight with the sea. Rope dug into his skin, burning and chafing until wounds opened and bled freely. He didn't have the energy to deal with Weasley unless he was flat on his back with her rocking on top of him.

"Nay," she answered as she took a step closer to him, her hand reaching up to push his bedraggled hair out of his eyes. Her brown eyes were remarkably dark. Like burnt coffee. Or mud. "Answer me and mayhaps ye'll see victuals before we send ye to Davy Jones' locker. Where do ye hail from, landlubber?"

"Didn't you say just before you knocked me out that I'd live through the night if I stopped talking? You're sending mixed signals, Captain."

"Aye, it be true, but I amend me statement now. Speak or die, boy."

If Draco hadn't been so exhausted, he might have taken greater offense at being called boy when he hadn't been a boy for years. As it was, he could hardly keep his head up, but he eyed her from head to toe and back to head, taking in every inch of her, scuffed boots, feathered hat and all.

"I'm hardly a boy, and if you untie me, I'll show you exactly what kind of man I am."

"Keep dodgin' me, and ye'll be a dead man," she snarled.

"Dead men tell no tales," he answered, his whole body limp against his binds.

The steely sound of her cutlass being drawn rang across the deck. She pulled his head up by the roots of his hair to look in his eyes, the tip of the sword just touching Draco's jaw. He grit his teeth against the pain in his scalp—unfortunately, she'd seen the wince before he'd managed to compose his expression.

"What good are ye to me alive?"

"M-my family has m-money," he said. "My parents will pay you handsomely if you return me unharmed."

With another painful jerk, she pulled his head back farther. "How do I know where to return ye if ye refuse to talk?"

At that, the corner of Draco's lips twitched upwards. "Touche, pirate."

Weasley released her hold on his hair and took a step back, her eyes now scanning him up and down. Under her gaze, a roll of heat rushed straight down his spine, and miraculously Draco's body stood at attention once again.

Her eyes narrowed at his crotch and her grip on her sword tightened. "If it be a punch house wench ye be after, ye shouldn't've left land."

Draco didn't dare say anything because she raised the cutlass again, the tip just brushing the neck of his filthy shirt. The cold steel glided down the middle of his chest with just enough pressure to slice the tattered material, but not enough to puncture skin. She handled the weapon with slow and deliberate precision. By the time she reached his navel, his erection strained painfully against his trousers, rock-hard and throbbing.

The sea breeze produced goosebumps on his bared chest, and the contrast between his chilled torso and the heat in his cock sent a wave of shivers through his body that receded and advanced like a tide. He thought she'd stop once his shirt was destroyed, but she didn't. She pulled the sword away for a moment only to lower it to the bulge in his trousers. His hips bucked as it carefully glided up the constricted length of him—thankfully she took a step back before he accidentally castrated himself.

Somehow the ropes tying him to the beam and binding his hands together had disappeared. He couldn't even remember becoming free—he'd been too preoccupied with the sword to notice.

"Is this how you torture all your prisoners?" he asked through ragged breaths, his heart pounding in his ribcage. He didn't know what sort of picture he made, but her eyes were drilled into him, dark and dangerous in the emotion they tried to hide.

"Nay, only the cheeky ones," she replied seriously.

His legs threatened to collapse thanks to his exhaustion and the rerouting of his blood straight to his irrepressible cock, but he took a step forward, reaching for her.

"What do you think you're doing, Malfoy?" she yelled, startling him.

His arms dropped, and his brow furrowed in confusion. "What?"

"Snap out of it!

Suddenly, like a wave crashing against a rocky shore, the ship, the sea, and pirate captain Ginny Weasley faded away in a mist only to be replaced with a Quidditch pitch, the sky, and team captain Ginny Weasley instead.

"Get your damn head in the game!" she snarled at him, gesticulating wildly. "What were you doing? The Snitch was right beside you!"

Then Draco remembered. His team, the Pontypool Pirates, were playing in the finals for the League Cup against the reigning champions, the Montrose Magpies. No one had expected the Pirates to make it to the finals, but now that they were there, tension was high. It had been a rough match, until, that is, Draco had completely stalled midair. He wiped some drool off his face with the sleeve of his uniform, bewildered, tingling from head to toe, and sporting a raging erection.

Cheers erupted from the audience as the Magpies' Seeker flew a lap around the pitch, his arm held high, the Snitch's wings fluttering helplessly from between his fingers. Draco's stomach sank, and, next to him, Ginny released a strangled, frustrated sound.

"This is your fault!" she cried, her eyebrows slanted over her eyes in a severe V. She may not have been a real pirate, but her anger was as sharp as a sword.

The worst part, though, was that the loss may have been Draco's fault, but his memory was spotty. He couldn't say what he'd been doing or thinking or how much of the match he'd missed.

A horn blasted from the Falcons' end of the pitch, interrupting the celebration in the stadium. The referee descended to the ground, where two other officials were meeting.

"What now?" Ginny cried. She turned on Draco, poking him in the chest with an angry, gloved finger. "I am serious here, Malfoy. You will regret this loss. If I were you, I'd start running."

The sun made her hair spark like a crackling fire, and even though her face was marred with freckles, it was smooth and scar-free. How had he never noticed how pretty she was?

He smirked, refusing to be intimidated by her. "Oh, please. You wouldn't harm your star Seeker."

She exhaled hard, the creases in her brow deepening as her eyes narrowed. "Not another word from you! Don't test me!"

They both zoomed down to the ground to see what the hubbub was about, but Draco zoomed a little slower for the view of her arse as they flew.

"What's the deal, ref?" Ginny griped as soon as she touched down.

Draco stood back as she argued at the officials. Even as she complained, which was and always had been annoying, he couldn't help but appreciate the way her Quidditch kit hugged her hips and thighs, accentuated her breasts. The uniform contained her form about as well as a Bludger in its restraints. She was a force to be reckoned with, a sore loser, and not easily won over or dominated.

For the first time, Draco wondered what that kind of energy would be like in the bedroom, but he already had an idea, didn't he? The memory of Ginny Weasley, the captain of a swashbuckling crew, and her wicked sword made Draco's blood sing. He clenched his trembling hands into fists in an attempt to contain the Bludger in his trousers, but he could tell it was as indomitable as ever.

After several moments, Ginny returned to Draco's side, her face stunned. "I... I'm sorry, Malfoy. You... we..."

A whistle blew, and the referee's arms waved in signal. From the commentator's stand, a magnified voice echoed throughout the stadium. "Well, ladies and gentleman, it looks like the refs are calling a foul against Alasdair Maddock for using illegal magic against the Pirates' Seeker, Malfoy. Per league rules concerning sabotage, the Montrose Magpies are forced to forfeit the match. Pontypool Pirates win!"

"They tried to hornswaggle us?" Draco asked in disbelief as his teammates picked him up onto their shoulders, tossing him around like a ragdoll. A deafening roar of confusion and anger could be heard coming from the stands, but the Pirates' joyous whoops nearly drowned it out.

Ginny laughed at the display. It took several minutes for Draco to be returned to the ground, and then she grabbed his arm to steady him as his world spun. "The ground referee found an empty Patented Daydream Charm package near the Magpies' locker room. When you stopped flying around, you were just sitting there with a stupid look on your face. I didn't notice until the Magpies' Seeker flew at you, but I guess you were in that state for nearly half the match."

"So it looks like we won because of me," Draco said with a smirk.

The smile dropped off her face and she punched him in the shoulder. It didn't hurt. In fact, it kind of excited him.

"Don't get used to it. Bletchley and Smee will be released from St. Mungo's in two weeks, and then you can go back to just being our generous benefactor. That's the best place for you."

"I can think of a better one," he replied. "Why don't we parley over dinner? My treat. We can talk about how you can repay me for winning you the League Cup."

"In your dreams, Malfoy!"

At that moment, Chaser Alicia Spinnett thrust a gold cup in Ginny's arms, and her irritation with Draco was forgotten as she laughed and hugged each member of the team in turn.

He watched her, smirking and optimistic, as she rushed off with her treasure to celebrate with her crew. "You have no idea, Captain."


Prompt #10
Setting: PIRATE! the open sea! Bermuda Triangle perhaps? or wherever seems appropriate...
Fic era: post-Hogwarts or entirely AU
Line/phrase: the word "hornswaggled!" in relation to Ron Weasley; saucy dialogue liberally sprinkled with pirate words/sayings (used accurately or inaccurately, depending on the character and their role... i.e. a Ginny-who-doesn't-quite-get-it would misspeak or mangle things, whereas a Pirate!Ginny would say things right)