This was written for idreamofdraco in The DG Forum Fic Exchange - Summer 2018 by a member of our forum. For more details, please visit our page.
Malfoy was drunk. Again.
"Take that, you bastard little steps." A few, unsteady footsteps. "Think you can trip me up. I'll show you how I—son of a cock wobbler's goat! Where'd that even come from?"
Ginny clamped her pillow over her ears and tried to block out the sound of her neighbour cursing and stumbling around outside. He'd obviously caught the Knight Bus home, which was something at least. One time he'd splinched himself trying to Apparate into his apartment and she'd been forced to help him. That had been a nightmare.
"Bloody wand," he slurred, followed by some crashing and banging. "Stop jumping away from me."
She gritted her teeth and counted the seconds. Malfoy continued grumbling until there was a particularly loud thunk, then silence.
Too much silence.
Ginny emerged from under her pillow and listened intently. It hadn't sounded like Malfoy had made it inside his apartment yet. Had the idiot fallen over and hurt himself? Was he currently unconscious and bleeding from the head?
"Ugh, fine," she muttered, thrusting the covers off and snatching her wand from the bedside table.
She'd just make sure he was alive and not about to die anytime soon. That was the decent thing to do as a human being, and Ginny was a decent human being.
She marched for the door and something furry darted past her feet, half-tripping her and making her stub her toe against the kitchen bench. Pain throbbed all through her toe. That bloody cat! It was lucky she didn't have any stairs in her apartment; she was quite certain Mab would have killed her by now.
Cursing and hopping on one foot, she finally unlocked the door and peered out around the corridor. There was no sign of Malfoy. Mab, a black cat with big green eyes, escaped through the gap with a swish of her tail.
"Come back here!" Ginny hissed.
Mab ignored her and went to investigate a lumpy bundle of cloth. Oh, wait, that looked like silvery-blond hair emerging from a cloak. Bloody Malfoy. He'd fallen asleep near the stairwell.
She walked over and kicked him in the side. "Wake up."
He groaned and swatted at her leg. Ginny took this as a sign to give him another kick. Screw being gentle and using magic. This bastard didn't deserve such kindness. Besides, it was cold and she wanted to hurry up and get back to the warmth of her apartment.
"Wake up, Malfoy, or I really will leave you to freeze!"
This time he rolled over onto his back. His hair splayed around him and he blinked up at her through hazy grey eyes. "Orange."
"Your hair." He pointed vaguely in the direction of her head. "It's so orange."
"Gee, I never noticed before."
He snickered to himself, still muttering about orange, and then blinked up at the ceiling. "I think I'll sleep here under the stars. So many stars."
"We're inside. There are no stars."
"You just can't see them, you blind, orange plebeian. Look!" He gestured at the ceiling. "Look at all the—oh, they're gone." His face scrunched and he draped his arm over his eyes. "Ugh, Weasley, tell the walls to stop moving. I don't like this."
Ginny face-palmed. "Why do you even drink when you can't hold your alcohol at all?" she muttered under her breath. "Though I'm beginning to wonder if alcohol was the only thing you've been imbibing."
Malfoy was too busy making all sorts of groans to hear her. He was such a child. Really, he was the worst. She didn't know why so many females seemed to fancy him.
"Can you stand or not?" she asked abruptly.
He didn't respond. It seemed he'd got sidetracked by Mab, who'd come up near his face. "Tickles," he grunted, trying to move his face away from the cat's whiskers.
Ginny sighed. Why was this her life?
"I could be asleep right now," she grumbled, stooping down to loop her arms around him and hoisting him up. "I could be enjoying a nice, beautiful, uninterrupted sleep. Instead, what am I doing?"
She glared at the blond, who was leaning far too heavily against her and now burrowed his face into the nook between her neck and shoulder. He made a sleepy sound and murmured that she smelt nice for a plebeian orange. Ginny would have face-palmed if she had spare hands.
"Go to sleep again and I'm gonna drop you," she warned.
"I'm awake," he assured her, except his voice was more slurred than ever.
"What was the occasion tonight anyway?" she asked, half-dragging him to his door.
He jerked as if he'd got a fright. "Awake. I'm awake."
She rolled her eyes and repeated the question. He explained it was Theodore's stag night. Blaise had organised everything.
"No wonder you're off your head," she muttered.
Malfoy emerged from his burrow to look at her. Their faces were very, very close. She could see the darker flecks of silver in his eyes and smell the alcohol on his breath. Ugh. It was like hugging a brewery. Still, the intense way he looked at her was new. It annoyed her that her cheeks warmed a little.
"Weasley," he said seriously.
"Has anyone ever told you that you wear hideous pyjamas? Flannel and broomsticks? Are you twelve?"
"Oh, for the love of—"
"Wait, wait, wait!" He clung to her so she'd have to prise him off if she wanted to drop him; his self-preservation instincts must have warned him of her intention. "It was just an observation."
"Observation, my arse. And stop clinging."
She shoved at him to get him to loosen his grip, but Malfoy remained stuck to her like a starfish. A very heavy, very annoying starfish. A sigh escaped her lips.
"I swear this is the last time I help you," she grumbled, continuing the slow trek to his door. Mab frisked around near their feet. "Do you hear me, Malfoy? The last time."
He dared to make one of those sleepy sounds and snuggle more against her. "Mhmm," he breathed near her ear. "You're a good neighbour, Weasley."
Ginny huffed. Bastard wasn't even listening.
She used her wand to unlock and open his door, then nudged it open so she could lug him inside. Mab darted in first, almost tripping her up again. She muttered curses at the cat and muttered curses at the blond trying to crush her with his sleepy, drunken arse. A muttered "Lumos" let light fill the room. Ginny froze. Even Mab had stopped.
The apartment was filled with misshapen potatoes that had sprouted limbs. They clung to the blinds, lounged on his chairs, walked all over his kitchen bench, rummaged in his cupboards. It was like an infestation.
"Malfoy," she said, giving him a nudge. "Why are there gnomes in your apartment?"
He snickered into her hair. "You high? Why would I—bloody hell!" He staggered back, half-dragging her with him as he took in the creatures. "There are gnomes in my apartment!"
"Well, get rid of them!"
Ginny's eyes flashed. "What am I, your pest control? How you do you even get garden gnomes in a city apartment?"
"Oi!" the closest gnome said, fixing its beady eyes on Ginny. "I'll have ye know we ain't no ordinary garden gnomes. We be gnomes of the Lady sent on a most 'portant mission and …"
The gnome kept blah blah blahing about why he and his potato buddies were better than ordinary gnomes. Ginny was too distracted by Malfoy's wriggling to pay attention to what the creature was saying. Malfoy, it seemed, wasn't even trying to listen. He was busy fumbling for his wand.
"I'll just blast the ugly buggers," he muttered, "and then—"
"That's not how you deal with gnomes!" she hissed. "You're supposed to swing them round and make them dizzy and then toss them …" She trailed off as she realised there was only the balcony to toss them over, which led to a bone-crushing drop. Oh.
"Weasley, my wand is putting up much resistance. You'll have to be the one to blast them."
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Idiot. I just told you we can't—"
"And that's why ye be coming with us," the gnome, who had still been talking, concluded dramatically.
Malfoy and Ginny both swung back to face him. If it was a him. It was hard to tell. Gnomes didn't have distinguishing features and their voices were all gruff, though this one had a clump of what looked like dirt-encrusted hairs growing from its chin. Or maybe they were just sprouts.
"What?" Malfoy and Ginny exclaimed in unison.
The gnome flashed a row of grubby teeth and punched his fist to the air. "Boble-ho!"
Ginny wasn't sure what that was supposed to mean, but it had quite the effect on the rest of the gnomes. They charged like an army of potatoes and cried "Boble-ho!" as they swarmed all over her and Malfoy. It was so unexpected and overwhelming that her wand was gone in seconds; the little bastards had snatched it. Even Mab wasn't spared. The cat hissed, fur sticking up, and swatted with her claws at anything that got close.
"Get off me!" Ginny roared, flapping her gnome-laden arms in an attempt to dislodge them and also get rid of the one dangling from her hair. Something struck her in the face, making clouds of pink dust billow everywhere. Then she just coughed.
"Ya-ha, down ye go!" Sprouty Beard cackled.
And, indeed, down she went. The little gnomes caught her before she could actually hit the ground, which would have been a nice gesture if she wasn't now paralysed from head to foot. She couldn't move an inch. A glance to her right revealed Mab and Malfoy were in the same predicament.
"Boble-ho!" Sprouty Beard exclaimed, punching his fist into the air again.
"W-wait," Ginny stammered, even as she found herself being carried towards the balcony. "Stop!"
It was like everything in her stomach knotted and plummeted. The gnomes were going to toss her over. Even her cat was coming. They were all going to die. This was all bloody Malfoy's fault!
"Do something!" she yelled at the blond.
Malfoy's eyes were shut and he was making groaning noises again. Ugh. That useless drunk.
They passed through the sliding glass door and moved out onto the balcony. Snowflakes were falling from the sky. A particularly globby one got in Ginny's eye, making her curse even more. Of course she just had to get snow in her eye. She willed her paralysed limbs to move, but nothing responded. This was it. This was the end.
This was so utterly, utterly humiliating.
"You better hope I never find you on the other side," Ginny growled at Malfoy. "I'm going to make your afterlife a personal hell."
A groan was all she got in response. Mab made unhappy cat yowls.
The gnomes propped each other up against the edge of the balcony to make potato-looking ladders. Then Ginny, Malfoy and Mab were passed up and over with a cheery "heave-ho". The ground rushed towards her. Ginny screamed. Malfoy turned green. Mab made even louder yowls.
She squeezed her eyes shut and braced herself for impact.
It never came.
Warmth passed over her. Ginny frowned and dared to risk opening one eye. There was no snow. There were no buildings or streetlamps or anything. She wasn't even falling at a rapid rate now but drifted gently like a leaf before landing on a stretch of grass. It was lush and green and tickled her skin. Trees and wild flowers surrounded the clearing. The sky above was honey-gold and painted everything in a warm, buttery light.
Her heart fluttered a little. This was definitely not London.
Malfoy and Mab landed beside her on the grass. The army of gnomes followed a moment later. She tried wriggling but found that she still couldn't move.
"Are we dead?" Ginny asked.
Sprouty Beard laughed. "She asks if we be dead."
The other gnomes chortled as if she'd told the funniest joke ever created. One of them even slapped its spindly leg. Ginny decided she really hated gnomes.
"Ye not dead, human thing. Ye be in the Faerie Kingdom."
Ginny blinked. "The what?"
"The Faerie Kingdom."
"It's neither here nor there but it exists everywhere."
The words from her mum's stories came back to her in a rush. Her heart fluttered now for a different reason. Ginny had been raised on stories about the Faerie Kingdom. She'd loved them as a child—all the strange creatures and the even stranger magic. It was a special place that didn't follow the normal rules. But those had just been stories. This place wasn't meant to be real.
"You're—you're kidding, right?" she said.
"Nope," one of the other gnomes said. "Ye be really in the Faerie Kingdom."
"But why? Why bring us here?"
"Our mission was to find the Faerie King," Sprouty Beard explained. "Mind, we was only s'posed to bring him back with us."
"Faerie … King?" Her gaze travelled to the blond, who'd ended up vomiting on himself and was now groaning because he couldn't wipe it off. Her nose scrunched in distaste. "Don't tell me—"
"Aye. That be the Faerie King."
Malfoy groaned again. Ginny blinked. If the gnomes were to be believed, the handsome, charming king she'd had a crush on as a young girl—the same who was supposed to be so perfect and lovely—was just the selfish prick who lived next door to her. A man who fell asleep in corridors because he was too drunk to unlock his door and didn't know how to open his mouth without being insulting.
"You're kidding, right?" she repeated flatly, looking back at the gnome.
Sprouty Beard flashed his grubby-teethed grin. "Nope. We gnomes be very good finders."
"Great." Ginny sighed and resigned herself to being carried as the gnomes picked her up again. "Just great."
Malfoy was the Faerie King. Bloody Malfoy. There went all her childhood fantasies.
Jessica's Prompt (2)
Basic premise: When Ginny was a child, her mother told her stories about the land of the fae and its faerie king. Little did Ginny know that the stories were true. (This can be as AU or as allegorical as you'd like! If you don't fancy a literal interpretation, feel free to just use this as a jumping off point.)
Must haves: A happy ending.
No-no's: Cheating. I do not like the following nicknames: Ferret, Weaselette, Mione. No rape/non-con sex.
Rating range: Any.
Bonus points: If Draco is the faerie king. Or Ginny is secretly fae royalty. If you go the non-literal route, if one of Molly's faerie tales is interwoven with the story. A mystical/faerie tale atmosphere.