Sometimes Love takes you by surprise.
You could just be going along, perfectly happy in your life, when it happens.
Bang. Lightning bolt out of clear blue sky. And you know your life will never be the same again.
That was what happened to me one day ten years ago.
I was browsing in a bookstore, minding my own business, when I heard my name.
The voice was familiar, somehow. I turned and saw him.
I hadn't seen him in more than 4 years, since he graduated from Hogwarts. He'd left England right after that and stayed away for years. I remembered reading something about a year before that he'd returned, was living again at Malfoy Manor, managing his father's millions. And yet here he was, in a Muggle bookstore, of all places, and actually acknowledging me.
"Malfoy," I said just as briefly, giving him only a curt nod before turning back to the books. Not that I really saw any of the titles anymore.
The one look I'd gotten of him was now seared in my memory and somehow, his face was all I could see now. He'd grown, filled out. He'd always been a handsome boy, I suppose, but I'd never been able to see it, because of the perpetual smirk on his face. Now, however, the smirk was gone. He looked chastened, humbled almost, and I couldn't help wondering exactly what had made him look that way. His gray eyes were still coolly appraising but they no longer held that superior look that said so clearly that he considered himself to be above everything he saw. And his body… Great ghost. I felt myself blush the color of my hair at the thought.
Get a grip, Ginny, I scolded myself mentally. Anyone would think you'd never seen a wizard before, much less a good-looking one!
Then I heard his voice again, sounding amused this time. "Blushing, Weasley? I wonder just what about the books makes you blush."
I turned to glare at him. "For your information, I wasn't thinking about books at all," I snapped.
His smile grew, and I realized I'd nearly admitted just how much he unnerved me with his very presence.
I turned back to the books, pulling one out blindly, to make it appear I was paying attention to them.
"Love Potion #9? You're reading what Muggles think about love potions now, Weasley?"
Damn his amused tone.
I looked down at the book I'd pulled off the shelf. It was indeed called Love Potion #9, probably some romance novel. I cursed myself and my luck silently. Of all the books on the shelf, I had to pull out one with a title like that. And of course I couldn't put it back now either, because that would be admitting I hadn't looked at it before pulling it out of the shelf.
"Ginny, are you finished?"
I started when I heard Hermione's voice and then saw her coming towards us, holding several books, in typical Hermione fashion. She slowed, a frown appearing on her face when she saw and recognized who was with me. "Malfoy," she said curtly.
"Granger," he said, just as curtly. At least it was an improvement on what he used to call her, "Mudblood", I thought rather sardonically.
Hermione and I left the store, once Hermione had gotten her books. I didn't get anything because I was still too busy wondering about Draco to really be paying that much attention.
When we left, I could feel his eyes following me and shivered.
I avoided looking back as long as I could but finally, I turned around to look at him.
Our eyes met again, and even at that distance, I blushed.
Merlin's ghost, this was ridiculous. I hadn't even seen Draco Malfoy in years and yet this one meeting was enough to change things.
I saw him again a few days later.
I came home one day to find him sitting outside my door, for all the world as if he belonged there.
"What are you doing?" I asked, half in dismay, half in joy that he was back. "And how did you find out where I lived?"
He smiled. "Malfoys have their ways, Virginia."
I wondered just how he managed to make my name sound so elegant. I'd always disliked it before, preferred to be called Ginny, but he made my name sound beautiful.
I had unlocked the door by now and asked him in.
He came in and we talked. We had dinner together and then talked some more. He admitted he'd asked around several places to find where I lived.
"Why?" I asked simply, more to hear him say it than out of real curiosity.
He just looked at with those gray eyes. "I think you know, Virginia."
And I knew then that my life would never be the same.
Draco and I have been married for almost 9 years now.
It took a while before my family, no, not my family in general, really just Ron, to accept him. I don't know how many times I had to swear that I really did love Draco and that I really believed he loved me. (He loves me. How amazing is that? I still can't believe it sometimes.) And eventually Ron gave in, although he'll probably never really like Draco. But they're polite, which is the important thing.
I wonder sometimes how it all happened. How Draco Malfoy went from being the general enemy, obnoxious Slytherin, to being Draco Malfoy, the man I love, my husband, the father of my children.
I don't really know.
All I can say is, sometimes Love really does take you by surprise.