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Title: In My Place

Summary: A thought came to mind; this was not how Draco expected his week to go, babysitting a werewolf's child with the help of a Weasley. What had he done to deserve this?

Disclaimer: None of it is mine!

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Love:

Noun | \ˈləv\

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

sexual passion or desire.

the insane feeling Ginny Weasley felt when with Draco Malfoy.

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Four Months Later:

"Poor attempt at keeping ahold of the Quaffle this game, hmm?"

Despite the fact that he was mocking her, and the fact that Ginny did have trouble keeping a hold of the Quaffle (it was raining, for Merlin's sake!), she couldn't find the proper retort. Draco's lips were pressed against the exposed skin of her neck and one of his hands was inching under her shirt, towards her breast. Impatience made her grind her hips against his. She linked her leg around his knee to tug him closer.

The warmth of his breath as he laughed against her skin made her shiver.

"You're one to talk," she gasped.

His free hand was tugging on the waistband of her pants, moving towards the button. Ginny could envision the path she wanted his hand to go; jerking her pants down, fingers brushing the sensitive skin hidden by the thin cloth of her knickers, teasing her, stroking her. Just the idea made her mouth go dry and she tried to shake herself from it.

"Seemed a bit distracted out there, Malfoy. Is this your record for the longest time it's taken you to—ah—" Draco nipped at her earlobe and she had trouble finishing the sentence.

"Yes?"

"Capture the Snitch?"

Draco leaned back, his lips curled upwards.

"That's not very nice, Weasley. I was attempting to keep an eye on you. I thought girlfriends normally liked that?"

Her back arched without permission when he tweaked her already hard nipple through her shirt. Ginny growled deep in her throat, slapping his hand away.

"Prat. I don't need a babysitter. I need you to pay attention to the game."

"You sound like the coaches. I don't like that very much. Makes this less fun."

"Practice season, Draco. Remember? The Chudley Cannons—"

"Are an absolute rubbish team who didn't have a chance of winning this game, whether it was a real match up or not," Draco finished coolly.

Ginny bit her lip to keep from grinning.

"Their Seeker almost knocked you off your broom. If it had been a real game… Either way, we're trying to get to the playoffs this season, Draco. Get the League Cup for once. Eternal glory and all that. It's sort of what we get paid to do."

He stared at her blankly and her amusement broke through. Draco wasn't wrong—the combined team practice with the Cannons was pretty much useless, since the Cannons were so rotten. But it helped both teams get ready for the real matchups come early spring. The Tornados were determined to get to the playoffs this year and win the League Cup.

Now, however, wasn't the time to think of that. Practice was done. Draco's body was hard and hot against her own. And she had to bite her tongue in order to not beg for him to continue touching her.

When Draco seemed like he was about to respond, something sarcastic mostly likely, Ginny acted. It was natural for her to reach up and curl her fingers in his hair, pulling him back towards her. Draco moved easily, meeting her halfway, his lips warm against hers. She sighed into the kiss, relieved when his hand traced the length of her body.

Despite the fact that his touch still made her hot all over, still made her heart race in anticipation, still made the breath leave her lungs, there was something so familiar about it that she couldn't help but relax. Ginny had trouble remembering how she managed to survive last season, bantering with Draco as they changed in the locker room, a reasonable amount of space between them and nothing wicked in their gazes. She must've been on the edge of madness.

For now they had trouble remaining any distance apart, especially when changing. And it usually ended up like this; the bench of the locker room pressed into her back as Draco attempted to find the button to her pants. Their locker doors were left ajar, for they had hardly finished changing before they were on each other, glad to see the back of their last teammate as they walked out.

"I also know, for a fact," she breathed in sharply as his fingers followed the route she had imagined earlier. "that you take this practice far too seriously to be watching me the whole time."

He nodded slightly.

"There's hardly a point, is there?" he murmured. "You're the best Chaser on the team."

She shifted against him and he went rigid at the unexpected movement. Raising her eyebrows, Ginny pursed her lips.

"I'm not sure I'll ever get used to these compliments."

"You say that as though I never complimented you before!"

He sounded mildly outraged as his fingers traced the band of her knickers.

"You didn't."

Her voice was far too throaty as she lifted her hips to meet his touch.

"Of course, I did," Draco responded, bending to press a kiss to the soft skin beside her hip. "I've told you many times that you have lovely breasts."

She snorted.

"A perfect arse to cup, whenever I'm feeling daring. These freckles of yours," his fingers traced some of the freckles on her upper thigh and goosebumps rose in place of his touch. "Pretty sure there's some constellations here. Haven't found them yet, I find myself too distracted whenever I begin looking."

"You've called those freckles unsightly blemishes before," Ginny reminded him, running her hand through his hair.

Whenever they left the locker room, the first thing Draco would do is make sure his hair was in place. He hated being in public if it was ever disheveled, which gave Ginny extra pleasure in messing it up.

"Ah, I was a fool. Must you continue to remind me of my past mistakes?"

"Yes, how else will I keep you from acting out?"

He kissed the cloth of her underwear, far from the spot where she wanted his lips to caress, but her breath caught in her lungs nonetheless. Ginny recognized the feeling of his smirk against her skin.

"And those compliments were all times after we had already shagged," she muttered.

Draco looked up at her, a single eyebrow high on his forehead.

"Nevertheless, they were compliments."

She smiled. Draco stared at her for a second before abandoning his post down below, keeping balance on the bench with his hand as he climbed back up her body.

There were still so many days that Ginny couldn't believe they were here, that the seed that had been planted when Draco first joined the Tornados had grown into this. How long she had wanted this. How long she had dreamt of this. How long she joked with Draco before watching him leave to go meet his mates, wanting to go with him, wishing she didn't feel that way.

"Gin, I—"

The sound of the locker room door opening cut Draco off.

"Okay, guys, it's really sweet that you're dating and all but, you know, everyone is outside waiting for you and I can't keep making excuses that aren't going to make George throw up."

Ginny tilted her head backwards awkwardly and spotted Angelina standing in the locker room, her hand over her eyes as she spoke. The older witch shifted awkwardly from one foot to the other.

"Forgot we were in Britain," Draco said loudly.

"Yeah, I figured," Angelina replied, amused. "Come on then."

She watched as Angelina walked backwards, searched for the door handle with her free hand, then spun and left. Ginny looked back to Draco, who had yet to move from off of her.

"Where'd you think we were?"

"Romania. Seems like yesterday we were still training from dawn to dusk."

"Romania was fun, wasn't it?"

He glanced down at her, his eyes roving over her face as he smiled softly. Ginny still wasn't used to this smile; the one that screamed of his affection for her. Yes, Draco's touch was scorching and something she desired from the moment she woke up to the moment she fell asleep, but this new smile was one that left her truly breathless. Merlin, she had already liked Draco without knowing about this smile. She had never expected it.

And now Draco wore it as easily as he wore his smirk as he delivered a particularly cutting line, his wicked grin when he watched her across the room, knowing why she was pressing her thighs together and squirming in her seat, his slight frown as he worked out something silently. The subtle, gentle smile that decorated his face often now made Ginny feel wanted and right and loved. They hadn't said it yet, the special three words, but it was how he made her feel.

"It was," Draco agreed. "Let's go see your family, then."

He got off of her, helped her up with a tug of his hand, before grabbing what he needed from his locker and shutting it. They had been about to leave with their teammates, really they had been, when they shared an excited glance over their first game with another team that they had won. Then, well, they ended up snogging on the bench, thankful that they had taken so long to shower and change. Ginny mimicked his actions, grabbing her bag and wand before shutting her locker. Then she buttoned her pants, smoothed out her wild locks, and started towards the exit.

Unsurprisingly, Draco caught up with her easily as he ran a hand through his hair, putting all the strands back in place. She bit her bottom lip to hide her grin.

Draco opened the locker room door and the momentary silence between them was disrupted by cheers and hollers. Ginny looked around at the group waiting for them. Sure, Draco had been right when he said it was her family here but there were others also. Andromeda, Teddy, Narcissa, Flint, Parkinson, Zabini… it was his family too. The practice had been open to the public and nearly everyone had shown up.

Ginny walked towards her mum and dad, who grabbed her in one giant hug. Then she was passed along to each brother, and each of their wives or girlfriends. She was most surprised to see Hermione among the group.

"You won! Ginny, you looked absolutely amazing out there!" Hermione cried, wrapping her arms around Ginny.

"It was just a practice." The older witch's eyebrows rose and Ginny laughed. "But, yeah, it was awesome to win. I thought you'd be home with Hugo? I hadn't been expecting you!"

Hermione waved her hand, dismissing the idea.

"I needed to get out of the house and my parents have been begging to watch the children. Ginny, your team looks much better. At least, that's what Ron and George kept saying next to me. I know Quidditch, of course, but not nearly as well as they do. And you won! How exciting! Ah, someone's waiting for you."

Turning, Ginny saw Teddy behind her, bouncing on the balls of his feet. Once he noticed that he had her attention, he jumped up, wrapping his arms around her waist and leaning his head against her stomach. His hair turned ginger and she smiled, squatting so they were eyelevel.

"Did you like the game?"

"I loved it! Ginny, you were so good! You were there and then, then, you were there! And you'd grab the Quaffle and go so fast! The Keeper had no idea—why don't we play like that at little league? D'you think I should ask the coaches next season? I want to fly like you did. And Draco! Did you see him? When he saw the Snitch? You probably didn't, you had just scored, but Ginny, I couldn't even find him, he went so fast! The other Seeker had no idea, did she? Did she?"

Ginny laughed, shaking her head.

"I don't think she did," she agreed.

Teddy nodded happily.

"Ginny?"

"Yeah?"

Teddy leaned towards her, his voice lowering as he glanced around. She had a feeling he was looking for Draco. When he noticed that Draco was stuck in conversation with Angelina and George, he smiled.

"Guess what I brought?" he asked mischievously.

Her eyebrows twitched.

"What?"

Teddy, she realized, must've dropped a bag by his feet when he hugged her. Now he picked it up and opened it slowly, lifting it up so she could get a better view of the inside. Right away Ginny burst out into laughter. She covered her mouth with her hand to try to mute the sound to no luck. Draco looked over at the pair suspiciously.

"Where did you get this?"

"Aunt Narcissa showed it to me when I went to the manor yesterday," he whispered, grinning. "Said she thought it was yours! But I knew it wasn't. I didn't tell her, though."

This alone reminded Ginny that Teddy was the offspring of Remus and Tonks. She winked at him and his grin grew.

"Well, we'll have to show Draco then, won't we?"

Teddy giggled.

Straightening, Ginny motioned for Teddy to put on what was in the bag. It was a lumpy, green jumper that fell to Teddy's knees and a poorly made hat. Teddy's red strands stuck out from under the hat, making Ginny laugh even more as she pushed them to the side for him. Then she lifted Teddy onto her hip and walked over to Draco. It was as if Draco could feel her presence, for he immediately turned around.

His jaw dropped.

"Your mother thought this was mine," Ginny told him cheekily.

Ginny smiled from Draco to Teddy, then froze. For the first time ever, Teddy's locks weren't ginger or black or brown or teal. They were a white blonde that was startlingly similar to the man across from her. Teddy held his arms up, showing off the jumper he wore, clueless to the fact that his hair had changed colors.

"You made this, Draco!" Teddy told him, laughing.

"Did you knit those, Malfoy?"

Angelina's voice distracted both Draco and Ginny, reminding them of what Teddy was so happy about. Her heart squeezed as Draco attempted to find the right words. The first time Teddy's hair had changed to match Ginny's he had been so young; while still an honor, baby Teddy had simply enjoyed the funny faces she made. But only months ago Teddy had hated being around Draco and now… now his joy of being near Draco showed clearly.

"I told you he knitted," Ginny said to Angelina, once she regained her ability to speak.

Draco glanced back at her, looking torn between several emotions. In the end, that same soft smile curled on his lips and he let out a sigh.

"Yes," he admitted slowly. "I knit those."

George's laugh sounded like a snort as he attempted to cover it. Angelina was looking at Teddy with her head tilted. Hermione walked up behind Ginny and Teddy, coming to stand next to Draco. He looked down at her briefly, eyebrows furrowed, before looking back to Teddy and Ginny.

"It's not too bad," Hermione told him.

"Looks like what Hermione's did in fourth year," Ron gleefully pointed out.

"The jumper too? You knit that?" Angelina questioned.

Draco nodded.

"Hmm. I never would've believed Ginny."

Ginny grinned in triumph and gave Teddy a light squeeze in thanks.

"I had thought it was Ginevra's," Ginny heard Narcissa admit to Andromeda. "Draco's rather talented, though, isn't he?"

She glanced at the two women, unsurprised to see that they stood off to the side. Andromeda gave her sister a grimace.

"Eh, sort of, yeah," she answered quickly. "It fits Teddy well, at least!"

"Could fit a house-elf too," Parkinson muttered.

Marcus laughed his strange, chortling laugh.

"I'll have to tell Roger," Angelina continued thoughtfully. "Are you going to knit us something for our birthdays?"

"No," Draco answered shortly, his eyes still lingering on Teddy and his shockingly light hair.

"What about us? I'd like to add it to my mum's collection of jumpers she's made me," George piped in. "Maybe a hat? Or gloves?"

"No."

"Rose would like something from you," Hermione told him. "She does prefer you so."

Draco glanced over at Hermione, frowning slightly, before nodding.

"Rose can get something."

"What! That's not fair!" George cried dramatically.

"And Ginny," Draco added, waving in Ginny's direction.

She beamed.

"You'd treat your girlfriend to more gifts than us?" Bill asked, walking up and throwing his arm around Draco's shoulders. "Unfair bias."

"Don't call Ginny that!" Ron begged, half whining at the term 'girlfriend'.

"Well, they are dating, Ron," her mum informed him briskly, shooting a warm smile at Draco. "Have been for months now."

"Yeah, but they might break up—"

"Unlikely, Weasley. I have to spend more time with them than you and I can truthfully inform you that they're quite compatible," Zabini butted in with an exaggerated sigh, as though it was his worst nightmare confirmed.

Ron groaned.

"Weren't we heading to the pub?" Arthur asked curiously, stepping towards the group.

"Right! Alright, let's go, guys! Leaky Cauldron, eh?" Bill called out.

Bill dropped his arm around Draco, motioning for everyone to start moving.

Some of the group began to walk away, headed by George, who happily skipped to the front. She was surprised to see that he stepped up to Flint and Pansy, muttering something that made both men smirk. Ginny forgot that George and Marcus had played Quidditch at Hogwarts together. Turning, lost in thought, Ginny noticed that Narcissa hadn't moved, lingering beside Andromeda. Her mum was watching hesitantly and Ginny knew what was about to happen, her mouth going dry.

Molly walked up to Narcissa, twisting her hands in front of her.

"I hope you'll join us for some drinks and food. To celebrate our children…" Molly trailed off before lifting her chin, almost defiantly. "Your son… is a welcome part of our family. You should know—I'd like you to know that."

A tense moment passed before Narcissa inclined her head slightly, her face portraying nothing. There weren't many times that Ginny's parents and Draco's mother found themselves in each other's company. The pair had done well with keeping everyone separated. But with the next Quidditch season approaching, and the fact that Draco and Ginny were spending more and more time together, Ginny knew it was time for the three adults to learn to be around each other. Her heart swelled and she fought the temptation to hug her mum; she wasn't surprised that Molly had taken the first step, for she cared about Draco more than Ginny would ever have imagined possible.

Molly and Arthur shared a feeble smile before heading after the rest of the group. Draco glanced at his mother.

It was odd, Ginny knew, that she could almost understand the conversation happening silently between Narcissa and Draco. Before, back at Hogwarts, Ginny could never read Draco. He had been an absolute mystery. But now, after learning his quirks and his tells, she thought she knew what he was thinking—it was something he had whispered to her one night as they sipped wine by his fire. Half tipsy, tired from shagging, they had shared secrets with each other.

My mother felt like after my father went to Azkaban that we'd never be a proper family again. When she left Teddy with me, she had… she had told me she wanted us to be a family again. I hadn't thought I needed a new family. But now…

She could remember the glow of the fire on his face as he trailed off, not needing to finish his sentence. Because Ginny knew. They had created a family over the summer, a new family, an unexpected family.

And it was quite a large family. The Weasleys had more than accepted Draco over the last few months, sometimes clear disappointment showing when he couldn't go to the weekly Friday dinner. Pansy, Zabini, and Flint often joined Draco and Ginny for meals, accepting her into the fold as though she had been there all along.

And now she stood across from Draco with Teddy clinging to her, the boy smiling and laughing as he lowered and lifted his arms to show off the jumper.

Narcissa's light eyes left Draco's, gazing at the few people left near them before eyeing the group that was walking away. She gave a small, silent nod and walked briskly after the other group, Zabini and Andromeda in tow. Zabini gave an obnoxious wink and Andromeda flashed them a quick smile.

Draco turned to Ginny and Teddy. He reached out without thought then, his fingers brushing Teddy's hair. Teddy wiggled a bit, motioning that he wanted to be put down. When his feet touched the ground, he ran after his grandmother.

"Is she upset?" Ginny asked, taking a hold of Draco's hand.

"I think she's rather on your idiot brother's page," Draco admitted. "Didn't expect to come home from vacation to find us playing house at the manor. Thought we'd break up as soon as Teddy went back with Andromeda."

But they hadn't.

Her heart squeezed tight. Draco smirked, tugging her closer.

"Did you see his hair?" he whispered in her ear.

Ginny stepped away. Laughter spilled from her lips at the excitement painted across his features.

"Yeah, yeah, I did."

"Better be ready, Weasley, his hair will never go ginger again while I'm around."

"You wish!"

They began their walk after the group in brief silence.

"You think he missed us?" Draco mused after a moment.

"Well, we were off training for a while… Did you miss him?"

It was a simple question for anyone other than Draco. When Andromeda and Narcissa had finally arrived home, Draco had seemed almost relieved to lose custody of Teddy. Ginny had been worried by his relief, of course, but then she found he was rather intent on shagging her anywhere possible. Without a child around, his touch was more frequent, sliding up her thigh, at her waistband, pulling her closer.

But Draco had continued waking up early every morning, Ginny knew, to check on Teddy, even when the boy wasn't there. He continued planning their events out before realizing they didn't have anyone to entertain but themselves. Draco would randomly admit how much he missed watching Teddy's games—the season was over but it was something he associated with the child. When they'd do dinner at the Burrow, now joined by Andromeda and Teddy, Draco was almost always with him.

So when she asked if he missed Teddy, Ginny already knew the answer. But she honestly hadn't expected him to respond so quickly.

"Of course," Draco replied, glancing at her from the corner of his eye.

Standing on her tip toes, Ginny didn't have to tug Draco to her. He lowered his head on instinct, meeting her lips without question. Warmth flooded her, as it always did, making her toes curl in her shoes. When she leaned back, he was giving her that soft smile she adored.

"Family time?" she asked gently, nodding towards the group that was beginning to Apparate to the Leaky Cauldron.

"Indeed," he murmured back, pushing her hair from her face, his eyes gentle.

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Author's Note: The end! Happy holidays! I hope this story filled everyone with a little more love for Draco and Ginny—it was challenging to write but very rewarding. Please leave a review to let me know what you thought of it! Thank you, everyone, for reading and reviewing this story and I hope you all have a great holiday season!