Summary: Ginny's been sent undercover to retrieve Draco from Spain. But just who is deceiving who? With help from the most unlikely duo – an American stripper and an impetuous Irishwoman – Ginny slowly unravels the thread of lies while steadily proceeding to fall hard for Draco.
Spoilers: OotP a bit.
A/N: Well, all, I'm back! It's been over a half a year, but here I am with a bright, shiny new fic for you. I've got the basic plot outlined, but so far I'm still writing chapter two − I had wanted to write the entire thing before I posted, but I ignored my wiser voices and went ahead to post it.
This fic is, as always, a D/G romance. The two are out of Hogwarts, Ginny is 21, Draco is 22. I'm pretending that Ginny's birthday is in January or February. The main setting is in Madrid, Spain. I've added quite a few new characters, but there are some of JKR's as well. Which brings me to the
Disclaimer: Just about everyone in this chapter besides Creedmoore, Anid, and Jocelyn belong to JKR. Any magic you recognize is probably hers as well.
If It Were Any Simpler, It Would Be Impossible
Hit Witch in Training
Tuesday, 4 March, 2003
Three black-clad figures were spread out on an immaculate white leather sofa. The trio had the appearance of the very wealthy; their clothes hung perfectly, their hair was styled, and their faces held the constant expression of arrogance and confidence. They contrasted with each other, and yet they seemed exactly in place together. The mood in the air was that of ease, proving these three knew, trusted, and respected one another.
The female, a petite woman with magic-perfect brown glossy curls spilling faultlessly on her shoulders, had her short, shapely legs on the lap of a pale haired male, seemingly oblivious to the fact she wore a skirt. She was lying on her back, her head propped up by the arm of the couch. The third, a darkly complexioned male with short black hair and blacker eyes, sat on the opposite side of the other man, slouched into the corner of the sofa with his legs sprawled out in front of him.
"This is one of your nicer places, Draco," said Pansy Parkinson, glancing around the room and then meeting the blonde's eyes. "For a man, you managed to pick something with style."
Draco Malfoy shot her a lazy grin. "My most recent . . . companion . . . was an interior decorator. She forced me to buy here."
"I can see your knickers, Pansy," drawled Blaise Zabini from his corner, looking bored.
Pansy, who thought her knee-length skirt was quite long enough to cover what needed to be covered, smiled unconcernedly at him. "Nothing you haven't seen before, Blaise," she answered smoothly. However, she crossed her legs at the ankles.
There was a comfortable silence as the three of them mused separate subjects. Draco's mind was on his apartment, and how long he would be living in it. Pansy was right – the place was rather attractive, and in the two days he'd been living there he'd grown quite fond of it. It had come completely furnished, and as it was also in a prime neighborhood in Madrid, it had cost a hefty sum. The price hadn't been a great deal of importance to Draco − money had never been a problem. Ever since his father had been sent to Azkaban and his mother had gotten remarried, Draco had been in charge of the Malfoy fortune.
But Draco knew the Ministry of Magic was after him. In the past year he'd moved to eleven different countries, barely staying in one place more than a month. It was only a matter of time before the Ministry caught up with him in Spain and he had to leave again. He hated it. He cherished stability and continuity in life, and jumping to a new country once a month disrupted his wanted lifestyle.
And the worst part of it was, he'd had to live as a Muggle for the past year. By blending in with Muggles and changing his name, Draco was able to loose the Ministry − at least for a few weeks at a time. But now he was even forbidden to use any sort of magic. Pansy had pointed out, cleverly, that the Ministry had probably sensed magic coming from a Muggle dwelling and had investigated the matter. "That's how they keep finding you," Pansy had said calmly, as Draco had fumed at the very thought of not using his wand. "Don't use magic, and avoid magical places. That's the only way you'll keep yourself from being Avada Kedrava'd by an Auror."
"Only a month and a half," muttered Draco bitterly, "and I'll be able to use magic again."
"Poor Draco," Pansy cooed with a mocking pout. "It's not our fault you're on the run from the Ministry."
"It's bloody annoying, that's what it is," snarled Blaise, throwing a dark look at Draco. "The Plan could've already been set in action − we could've already done it − if only we didn't have to sneak around as to avoid being seen with you."
Draco only smirked. The Plan. That's what he liked to call it, since it didn't have a name. For the past six months, the three of them had been devising an ingenious plan to free the Death Eaters of Azkaban.
During Draco's seventh year at Hogwarts, Lord Voldemort had exploded half the prison, killing off prisoners that weren't loyal to him − not because he wanted to, just because he would easily sacrifice the lives of others to get what he wanted. He'd released all his Death Eaters, and the wizarding world had been thrown into dark times, even darker than Voldemort's first reign.
Because of this, when Voldemort was defeated at the end of Draco's Hogwarts career (because of − this might come as a shock − Harry Potter, who had managed to kill him off for good), Azkaban was rebuilt with new security that was just about impossible to penetrate. No visitors were allowed to see the former Death Eaters. Every package, letter, and owl was run through by magic to make sure they didn't carry anything threatening. The new precautions made it nearly impossible to free anyone or for anyone to escape.
Blaise and Pansy and their families had somehow not been found associated with the Dark Lord, so they didn't have any relatives in Azkaban and had avoided the prison themselves. Draco had had to fake his own death in order to escape the prospect of going to jail, despite the fact he didn't deserve it. He wasn't a Death Eater − he'd never gotten to his initiation before Voldemort was defeated. But the Ministry had figured he was the son of the most important Death Eater, and therefore was a threat to society and needed to be locked away for life.
So Draco had pulled some homeless man off the street, shoved Polyjuice Potion down his throat, and had killed him. Ironically, the only crime he'd ever committed he'd gotten away with.
Until he'd been spotted a year ago in France.
That was why Pansy and Blaise had to be careful when they visited him. They didn't want to be seen associating with Draco and risk Azkaban themselves. His situation made it near impossible to get The Plan plotted out; if he hadn't been on the run, they would've had it completed months ago.
It had actually been the pair of them who had approached Draco with The Plan to free the Death Eaters. Even though they'd skirted Azkaban, they had been and still vaguely were strong supporters of Voldemort. They had figured Draco would want to be apart of their plan, considering his dad was in Azkaban. Not to mention they could've desperately used another brain and body, and Draco was the only person out of prison that could help them.
They'd known he was actually alive; were the only ones in the world who had known until recently. He'd told them he was going to use a decoy to pose as his dead self before he'd done it. Pansy and Blaise had been and always would be the only two people in the world he trusted. During the time, Draco's life had been confusing; his father had just been sent to Azkaban, his mother was talking about moving out of England, the Ministry had been sending owl after owl claiming they were sending dementors to his house to collect him for jail. It had been a last minute decision to kill himself off. Truth be told, he had been rather . . . intimidated at the thought of "dying" and no one knowing the truth. So he had told his two closest friends, making them swear they would never try to contact him, and knowing full well they would if they wanted to, and had died. So to speak.
And they had contacted him, with a proposition. Draco hadn't refused to help them. The truth was, he'd only agreed because he needed a project to stay occupied with. Running from the Ministry had lost its flair.
And now, after six long months of planning, they were on the threshold of putting The Plan into action. Just one more month . . . four more weeks . . . and the Death Eaters would be free. The Ministry would be so occupied trying to rally them back up they'd most likely forget all about Draco. He'd be able to escape and establish a safe life so articulately the Ministry wouldn't be able to find him once they began to pick up the pieces once more.
"We can't have the Ministry on your arse now, Draco," Blaise said tonelessly. "It was all right during the beginning, because we were just sketching the tiny parts of The Plan together − we didn't need to spend long amounts of time thinking on it together. But now . . . now that we're almost finished . . . we'll need to work together for days at a time. We still need to perfect that spell −"
"Do you think I'm not aware of that?" Draco snapped. "Believe me, I would be much happier than you two if I wasn't being chased by the Ministry. But I am, and there's nothing I can do about it."
"Isn't there?" Pansy questioned softly.
The two men looked at her. Not for the first time Draco thought that when she didn't have her face screwed into a grimace − which is what she did when she didn't like something, and that was often − her resemblance to a pug faded and she was attractive. As they stared, waiting for her to go on, she swung her legs off of Draco's lap gracefully, her curls bouncing, a small smile on her lips.
"I just got an idea," she said slowly, looking pleased with herself.
A few seconds passed, and she merely appeared lost in thought, a smile fixed on her small features. Finally, Draco said piercingly, "We're waiting, Parkinson."
Pansy ignored his tone, licked her lips. Then she purred, "What if . . . we had the Ministry send someone after you?"
There was a pause. "That would be wonderful, Pansy," said Blaise with slight impatience. "It's not as if they don't already send someone on their own, without our help."
"Just listen, Blaise," Pansy said delicately. "We can use the Imperius Curse on the Head of Aurors. After all, they're only sending Aurors after you, aren't they?" Without waiting for Draco to answer, she went on. "We can use the Imperius Curse on the man, and have him send whoever we choose after Draco."
Blaise cut in. "Pansy, if we go through all the trouble to use the Imperius Curse, then why not use it to have the Head of Aurors call off the hunt on Draco?"
Pansy narrowed her cloudy blue eyes at him. "Don't be daft, Blaise. That would be too suspicious. The Ministry wants Draco − badly enough, evidently, to be after him even after a year − and they won't accept the Head just 'calling it off'. They might hire another Head, or try to figure out why this one is abruptly changing his mind and find out we were using the Imperius Curse on him −"
"All right, I get your point," Blaise interrupted.
Pansy smiled − more like grimaced − and reached across Draco to pat Blaise's cheek. "Blaise, darling, you need to trust me. If we use the Imperius Curse on the Head, then we can have him send out the most incompetent Auror he has."
"Unfortunately, there's no such thing," Draco said, half-smirking. "There are only about ten Aurors now, and they've all been after me. I've seen them in action, and they're anything but incompetent. If you're going where I think you're going with this, Pansy, the Aurors will only get in our way. Like they have been."
"Then we'll have them send a Hit Wizard," shrugged Pansy. "You know, those blokes who try to merely enforce magical law and don't do anything nearly as violent and dangerous as the Aurors do. Or better yet, a Hit Wizard in training."
"Please tell me this," Blaise said, now entertained by Pansy's absurd scheme. "The Ministry would get suspicious if the Head of Aurors calls off the chase for Draco. But they won't suspect a thing if the Head sends a Hit-Wizard-in-training?"
"Leave all the details to me, love," Pansy said, grinning once more. "Auntie Pansy will figure everything out."
Draco mulled the idea over in his head. Pansy did have a point, he had to give her that. If someone who didn't know what he was doing was sent after Draco, the bugger would be easy to brush off. It would be effortless to sneak around with Pansy and Blaise and complete The Plan.
"All right, Pansy," Draco relented, reaching out to fluff her perfect hair. She shrieked and tried to duck out of his hand. "I'll just have to trust you, won't I?"
Pansy, irritated that he'd messed with her hair, snapped at him. "Sod off."
* * *
Thursday, 6 March, 2003
Ginny jumped, spilling hot tea into her lap. She bit her lip to hold back a curse and glanced up. Her boss, Jacob Creedmoore, had his head stuck in the doorway and his squinty eyes on her.
"My office, now," he ordered, and promptly disappeared from view.
"Ouch, that has to hurt," Anid Klepter murmured sympathetically. "Want me to clean it for you?"
"No," Ginny grumbled, trying to find an empty spot on her desk free from her papers to put her cup down. She ended up putting it on top of a blank parchment, figuring she could sacrifice it. "I've got it, thanks."
Ginny and Anid shared an office, along with another girl, Jocelyn Umber. Jocelyn was, at the moment, out for tea with her boss ("Tea," Anid had scoffed at the excuse, "more like gone to shag him senseless").
The three of them were Hit Witches in training and under the supervision of different Hit Wizards or Witches. In Ginny's opinion, Anid and Jocelyn had ended up luckier than her. Anid's supervisor was a kind-hearted woman named Regina Winston, and Jocelyn's supervisor was a good-looking, sex-machine who went by the single name of Gareth. Ginny was stuck with round, middle-age, and ill-tempered Jacob Creedmoore.
Ginny was practically Creedmoore's slave. She was aware that those in training had to do everything their boss told them, such as paperwork, personal errands, and occasionally accompany them on jobs. But it seemed Creedmoore only had her do the trivial stuff; the paperwork and the personal errands. In the six months Ginny had been there, she had gone with Creedmoore on only two jobs.
But Ginny put up with it. She had made it this far; the only way to go was up. And Ginny, as she often prided herself, wasn't a quitter.
"He rarely ever calls you into his office," Anid pointed out as Ginny waved her wand to vanish the tea stain from her skirt. With it went the burning sensation on her skin, and she released a breath.
"I know," Ginny sighed. Creedmoore liked to order her around in Ginny's office, or around other respected Hit Wizards/Witches, just to show his authority. He only called her into his office privately about once every other month. "Last time he wanted me in his office," Ginny told Anid sourly, "I had to translate a ten parchment letter in Greek to Finnish. Finnish! He claimed he had to send it to the Minster in Finland or some such nonsense − bullocks, I say, he just wanted to keep me up for two consecutive nights. . . ."
"Well," Anid said, holding up her own cup of tea in a toast, "here's to hoping that no more parchments written in Greek are waiting for you to translate them into another impossible language."
Ginny had to laugh. "Wish me luck," she said dramatically, and headed out.
"I thought I just did?" Anid yelled after her.
Ginny lost her smile as she approached her boss's office. She began to feel slightly anxious. Maybe this time, Creedmoore would have something useful for her to do. Some important task that would hint that she was nearly ready to become a full Hit Witch. She'd been in training for almost a half a year now, and most Hit people she'd spoken with had left training after about three months. It was double past her time; in fact, she'd recently begun to wonder if she was some sort of imbecile for not completing the training in the usual amount of time. She'd reassured herself with the fact that it wasn't her − it was her impossible boss.
Maybe he's going to tell me now that I'm ready to be a Hit Witch, she thought, and couldn't stop her smile from returning. It was foolish to hope . . . but not useless.
Ginny was ready to have a real job. She'd been living with her parents up until recently; she finally had her own flat now and was independent. Sure, she still returned to The Burrow every Sunday afternoon for dinner, but she was pretty much on her own. All she needed was a genuine job and everything would be perfect. Then she could focus on finding a boyfriend who she'd date more than once, which would then lead to marriage, which would then lead to another Weasley-related family with ten children.
Creedmoore's door was open, but she knocked anyway to announce her presence. He was scribbling on a parchment and didn't look up as he said gruffly, "Sit down." She walked in and started to sit in the chair in front of the desk when he suddenly snapped, "Shut the door first," as if she were the stupidest person alive for not knowing to do it. She obeyed him, refusing to feel inadequate as she normally did in his presence, and then sat down.
He kept on writing, ignoring her, for about five minutes. She found she was glaring at the top of his shiny, bald head and relaxed. She disliked the man thoroughly, but, she had come to find only recently, she grudgingly respected him. The man was actually quite brilliant . . . even when he didn't want to act like it.
Finally, when Ginny was seconds from standing and leaving the office (oh, who was she fooling, she would never do anything that extreme), Creedmoore slapped down his quill and raised his beady eyes to her. For a minute, he seemed to scrutinize her, and she tried not to squirm uncomfortably.
Before she could stop herself, she blurted, "What? Do I have ink on my face?" Her tone was bit too harsh, and she immediately wished she could take the words back.
Creedmoore, however, ignored her. Abruptly, almost like a bark, he asked, "Do you know why you're not a Hit Witch yet, Weasley?"
Ginny's stomach fluttered. He was going to discuss the topic of being a Hit Witch with her! Cheering in her mind, she replied as calmly as possible, "No, sir, I don't."
"Well," he said gruffly, "you're qualified. But," he added quickly, seeing her face brighten, "qualification isn't good enough for me. I'm keeping you as my trainee, Weasley, because you don't have the traits I like to see in Hit Witches."
Ginny's excitement began to bubble into anger. That's unfair! she thought hotly. If she was qualified, that meant by Ministry standards she should be a Hit Witch. But no, she had to follow Creedmoore standards as well. Not for the first time she wished she was under the supervision of Sex-God-Gareth.
Had she thought she respected her boss? Well, she'd lied. She loathed the hairless creature who sat before her.
"And what traits are those, sir?" she asked, struggling to keep her voice controlled.
"Punctuality, for one thing," said Creedmoore, loudly and incredulously, as though he couldn't believe she didn't know what traits. "You waltz into this building ten or fifteen minutes late every morning."
"That's because my clock doesn't work correctly −" Ginny began.
"Buy a new clock, then," Creedmoore cut her off. "Or sleep at a friend's. That's not even one of the most important traits I need to see in you. I need to see self-control −"
"I have self-control!" Ginny declared fiercely, forgetting all restraints that were keeping her civil.
"− because if you loose your head trying to catch law offenders, it will get you nowhere," he completed. "I need to see respect −"
"What?" Ginny fairly shrieked.
"− to me, but you'll also need to respect the criminals, even if you only act like it; being rude will get you nowhere −"
"I'm not rude!"
"You lack appreciation for the rules; how many times do I remind you of the rule against dating within the company, and how many times have I caught you snogging one of my coworkers shamelessly?"
"I don't date them, I just kiss them . . . a bit . . . in fact, that whole thing with Robert was a misunderstanding," Ginny explained helplessly, having the decency to blush. "And you've only caught me twice − once when you exclude the Robert affair, er, incident − that's hardly enough to say I disregard the rules. . . ."
"There are other rules you ignore as well," Creedmoore snapped. "'No eating in the staff lounge' − and then there you are, with the messiest sandwich just oozing all sorts of meats and . . . and condiments −"
"What's the point of a lounge if you can't eat in it?" Ginny retorted.
"To sit, relax, be social!" Creedmoore bellowed with exasperation. "Christ, Weasley, you're seconds from being thrown from my office by the scruff of your neck if you don't sit there quietly and refrain from interrupting me again."
Ginny bit her lip and prayed she could keep her mouth shut.
Creedmoore seemed to run out of steam. Breathing loudly through his nostrils, he said, "Anyway, I didn't call you here to point out all your faults − though God knows, someone needs to. I'm here to tell you that, against my warnings, the Ministry has asked for you precisely to do a job."
Ginny perked up immediately, exhilaration rumbling in her stomach once again. "A Hit job?" she asked, a bit eagerly.
Creedmoore leaned back in his chair. "Not necessarily. It's actually been an Auror job for the past year."
"Year?" Ginny frowned. "That's a long time to be trying to kill somebody."
"Aurors don't try to kill people, Weasley," Creedmoore said sharply. "They catch their You-Know-Who-Loving-Arses and send them to Azkaban."
"Thanks, sir, I didn't know that," Ginny said simply, sarcasm laced in her voice. She only had a brother who was an Auror, and was close friends with another.
Creedmoore looked at her, trying to decipher if she was being insolent with him, and let it pass. "You probably do know, however, that these last five years, the Aurors have had their hands full trying to round up anyone who was in any way associated with the Dark Lord."
Voldemort had been defeated at the end of Ginny's sixth year by Harry Potter. He (Voldemort) was gone, dead . . . never to return. It was amazing, of course, that no one close to Ginny had died over the years of his terrible − but final − reign . . . except for Sirius Black, but she didn't associate his death with the Second War. Every time she thought of him, she felt a fresh stab of sadness and tried to think of something else.
Many Aurors had been killed, however, and ever since then, the Auror population had remained small. Only a dozen or so remained now. Harry had (surprise) become an Auror, along with Ron, and despite how much he complained about it when he thought only Ron was listening, Ginny knew he had a secret passion for it.
Creedmoore went on with his speech. "The Aurors had thought they'd gotten all those associated with the Dark Lord and had their hides in Azkaban. Then about a year ago someone reported seeing an old schoolmate down in France who they knew was strongly connected to him. Background checks proved that this man was connected, and that he hadn't been captured yet. They sent an Auror after him –"
"Why hadn't he been captured?" Ginny interrupted. It was her nature to be inquisitive, and that was sometimes rather obnoxious.
"He'd wanted to be forgotten about, and had managed to do it up until recently," Creedmoore grunted, his feathers ruffled at being interrupted.
Huh. That explained nothing, only confusing Ginny more.
"Anyway, the Ministry sent an Auror after this man. But somehow, he escaped, moved to a different country, and changed his name. They've been after this son of a bitch for a year now, and he always outsmarts them. First he was in France, then the Netherlands, then Belguim, Italy, Switzerland, Germany . . ."
"I get the point," Ginny interrupted. "I just don't understand what it has to do with us." Hit Wizards/Witches and Aurors had been two separate professions that rarely ever associated with each other ever since Voldemort's death. "Aurors have been and still are better at capturing Dark Wizards than we are, and everyone knows that," Ginny added.
"Well," Creedmoore drawled, "therein lies the problem. This is the one wizard they haven't been able to snatch. And it's been driving them crazy. After a little research and thinking – or so they claim – they decided they needed someone undercover. They decided to dump him on us."
"Why? They're better at undercover then we are, too," Ginny frowned.
"They're not better; they've done that sort of thing many times and have experience," Creedmoore corrected harshly. He seemed offended. "They gave us – or should I say you – this job because you meet the criteria they're looking for. They figured they needed someone young, someone female . . . you know, to catch this guy's attention. There are only three female Aurors left, and the youngest is a forty-year-old woman who has five kids and the hips to prove it. So the Head Auror, Octavious Dunnegan, owled me yesterday, requesting you specifically."
Ginny tried not to flush with pride. As modestly as she could manage, she asked, "Why me? I'm not a Hit Witch yet." Though I should be, she added stubbornly.
"They figured you have an advantage," said Creedmoore. "Our youngest Hit Witch here is thirty but as ugly as a hag."
Ginny almost protested. She knew who he was talking about, and she thought Paisley was very nice. Ginny really couldn't deny, however, that it was almost painful to look at the woman.
And yet, what was with all this talk of not-so-fashionable women? What did looks and youth and being a female necessarily have to do with going undercover? Ginny understood that they wanted someone approachable, but wouldn't they rather have someone experienced and cake them with cosmetics and appearance-altering spells than . . . well, her?
All that aside and ignored, the question then was why her out of all the trainees? Why not Anid or Jocelyn? After all, Jocelyn was better looking than Ginny. And Anid had a bubblier personality. But Ginny was too proud and thrilled about being chosen to question the specifics.
"Also," Creedmoore said, glancing at a parchment on his desk, "according to this letter, the biggest advantage you have over him is that you might've known him. You went to school with him for six years. The name Draco Malfoy ring a bell?"
"Malfoy?" Ginny raised her eyebrows in surprise. That was a name she hadn't heard in a while. Suddenly she had to fight the urge to smile; if they knew the relationship Ginny had had with Malfoy, they wouldn't say she had an advantage in the slightest. "Yes, I remember him."
"But you didn't know that he supposedly died five years ago," Creedmoore assumed.
Ginny's eyes widened. "What? No, I never heard of that."
"He was found dead a few years ago," he explained, "in his home. About a week after You-Know-Who was killed and the Aurors were starting to capture all those connected to him. If they had known that it wasn't his dead body, and that he was still alive, they probably would've hunted for him until they caught him."
"So he's not really dead," Ginny concluded.
Creedmoore scowled at her. "If he was, you think we'd be going through this much trouble to get him?" he demanded.
He began shifting through the parchments on his desk, which was – Ginny noted with a satisfied smirk – messier than hers. He pulled out a single parchment and threw it at her. It fluttered, causing her to leap up to grab at it. She fumbled with it for a second and then sat back down.
"Nice catch," he sneered, causing her to fume silently and look down at the parchment. "That came with the letter from Dunnegan. It should fill you in on everything you need to know about Malfoy. Just tap it with your wand to read more information."
When he didn't continue, Ginny looked up again, confused. "So if you thought Malfoy was dead," she said, "then how did you know that it was actually him in France?"
"A couple curious Aurors dug up the body that was supposed to be Malfoy's, and did some brief testing," Creedmoore answered. "The results proved that the body wasn't his. Whoever had died that day had taken a Polyjuice Potion to transform himself to look like Malfoy, and then was killed while he still had that form. Since the potion wasn't circulating in the dead fellow's body, it took about a year for the effects to wear off. When they dug him up the man – though he was so decomposed his face was unidentifiable – he clearly wasn't Draco Malfoy."
"How do you know that for sure?" Ginny questioned. She wasn't doubtful; just curious. "I mean, couldn't the bloke they found in France just resemble Malfoy?"
"We have several witnesses who had known him back at Hogwarts − including your brother and your friend Potter − who confirmed that it was Draco Malfoy when they tried to catch him themselves," Creedmoore said. "Besides, if it wasn't Malfoy, then why would the guy run from us? An innocent person wouldn't have anything to hide."
"Why would he fake his death, though?" she continued. She noted with some satisfaction she had managed to utterly annoy him.
"So we wouldn't catch him and send him to Azkaban," Creedmoore snapped. "Weasley, are you always this quick?"
She chose to ignore him. "Ah. But that's where I get slightly confused. He was just a kid when he 'died', when You-Know-Who was defeated. He was still under his parents' legal guardianship. How could he be considered a Dark Wizard?"
"His father was merely the most powerful Death Eater," said Creedmoore through gritted teeth. "Weasley, even if this Malfoy wasn't a direct messenger for You-Know-Who, he still was connected in more ways than many who are sitting in Azkaban now were. Not to mention he's resisted capture eleven times. The department wants his balls on a silver platter, and they want you to do it − my recommendations be damned. So are you taking the job or not?"
Ginny would be far too stupid to refuse. "Of course I'm taking it," she said shortly. "I never said I wouldn't. I just need instructions. What do you want me to do in Spain?"
"We need him to come back to England before we can touch him," he said. "He was last spotted in Spain, and on Spanish soil we can't touch him. We need his arse here, or else the Spanish ministry has claims on him and can imprison him. We want him. Add him to our collection in Azkaban. So what you need to do is bring him here."
"How do I do that?"
"Well, he's not supposed to know you work for us," Creedmoore said, standing up and stretching his back. "You'll have to confront him in Spain. You know, put on a push-up bra and spend a few extra minutes on your hair so you look halfway decent."
Ginny reached up to touch her hair defensively. She thought her hair was quite nice, thank you very much.
"Do whatever you think will bring him back here to England," Creedmoore continued. "Befriend him, seduce him, whatever. Just get him back here."
"How long do I have?"
"However long it takes," he answered. "But if I was you, and I wanted to be a Hit Witch, I'd bring Malfoy back here as soon as humanly possible so I would have a good résumé. Though if you successfully do this job, even if it takes a while, you'll most likely be a Hit Witch the day you come home." He mumbled the last sentence stingily.
Ginny couldn't help but say, "Even if you don't think I'm qualified?"
He made a point to pretend he hadn't heard her. "Under no circumstances, Weasley, are you to let Malfoy know you work for us," he said severely. "The minute he finds out, he'll be out of that country so fast you won't have time to blink. And you'll botch this entire mission."
Right. No pressure or anything, Weasley.
"Any other questions?" grumbled Creedmoore. She didn't even have a chance to open her mouth before he said, "Good, then get out of here. And shut the door on the way out."
* * *
A/N: Okay, chapter 1 done, and as always, not that thrilling.
Oh, and just for the record: I think Blaise Zabini is a female. I just needed a guy Slytherin, so I decided to make him male in this fic.
Next chapter: Ginny heads over to Spain, gets cracking on tracking Draco (hee, I rhymed), and I do believe they meet for the first time in five years.
Until next time, then!