A/N: Thanks, as always, to Jho, who's awesome!

Chapter Fifteen

Deeper and Deeper

Monday, 24 March, 2003

He had to keep her busy. That was his goal.

Draco thought a lot over the weekend, trying to decide his best course of action. He was still upset with Blaise and Pansy, so they were not included in his plans – they had the rest of his bloody family to take over his role. They could do without him for the next few days. The only thing to focus on was Weasley, and keeping her from discovering everything he was up to. And to do that, he would have to be her morning, afternoon, and night. He would have to be her life.

It would be easier to do so since he was no longer focused directly on The Plan. Every so often he would leave Ginny home alone and drop by Pansy's to check on the progress, but other than that, good riddance to them all. They would have to contact him if they needed his help.

He was sure they eventually would.

It was a good thing he'd discovered he liked Ginny's little act. Because he was going to have to put a hell of a lot of time and energy into keeping her company.

First, he had to impress her, and money was always an impressive tool. So that morning as Ginny peered over the sizzling bacon on the stove, wearing nothing but a T-shirt, he came up behind her and slipped a wad of Euros into the elastic of her underwear.

"Buy yourself something decent," he told her as she turned to face him. "I want to go out tonight."

Ginny reached back for the money and counted it with a mixture of shock and delight on her face. After a moment the flicker died; she did have her pride, after all, and she tried to hand it back, albeit unwillingly. "Draco . . . I have my own money. I already told you about my book deal –"

Tempting though it was to let her rattle on about her humorous biography, he pushed the money back towards her. "Don't insult me, Weasley," he drawled. "The sort of clothes I will allow myself to be seen with you in requires more money than your entire family has." For the first time in his existence, he did not get a thrill out of seeing her eyes darken and her mouth tighten defensively. "Just take it," he added in a slightly less mocking tone, "and I don't want to see any change."

She bit her lower lip, and he found himself wishing it was he who was doing the action. "Do you want me to buy something Muggle?"

"Absolutely not," he said, feigning offence.

"Well, when you hand me Muggle money, what do you expect me to think?" she all but snarled.

He gave a short laugh, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "Calm down, will you? I'm doing you a favor. Just exchange the money for Galleons – there's a Spanish Diagon Alley about fifteen minutes away from here, Esquina del Encanto. . . ."

He could see she was still pissed off, presumably from his attack on her family's monetary situation, but when she spoke, she sounded like she was forcing herself to be amiable. He knew she couldn't risk becoming angry with him, because she couldn't risk losing him. It was wonderfully entertaining. "Where are we going tonight?"

"It's a surprise," he said mysteriously.

She tried to smother the smile that was tugging at her lips, as if reluctant to forget her annoyance with him. "Well, in that case. . . ." She lightly kissed him and headed out of the kitchen. "I think I'll go get dressed. Watch that bacon, will you?"

One more step to keep her occupied, he thought, satisfied. He grinned to himself, pleasantly tending to the breakfast preparations. A few minutes later, she came back, dressed in a disturbingly appealing denim skirt and a simple white top through which he could see her bra. As they sat down and ate, Ginny, her earlier grievance with him forgotten, chatted nonstop about the new designer dress robes that were out on shelves now and how she'd been dying for a new set.

"Do you remember Cho Chang? She was a year ahead of you at Hogwarts, a Ravenclaw . . . she dated Harry for a little while. Just last year she struck gold with a new winter line of robes, and she's been on the rise ever since. One of the most popular designers now. I'm so jealous . . . she gets loads of Galleons for designing pretty clothes. Can you imagine? That's got to be much better than being a biographist . . . but I do wish Harry still kept in contact with her. Then maybe I could get free robes, or try her new fashions before they hit stores and keep whatever I model for her . . . I wonder how much models make? But then, who cares, they get free clothes no matter what. I really hope they have her new spring line out, there's a really beautiful set of purple robes that I saw in her catalogue that I know would look just great on me. . . ."

He listened to her discursive talk with half an ear, concentrating on his food at the same time. It had taken a couple of days, but he'd managed to perfect the art of listening without processing what she said.

When she finally left, he had the day to himself. He briefly considered stopping at Pansy's flat but he was quick to dismiss the idea. He'd just seen them two days ago – if they needed to see him already, they could send word. He wasn't going to put himself through more arguments and frustrations when he had the choice to do otherwise.

So he spent the afternoon reading. Ginny had subscribed to The Daily Prophet since moving in and there were several days' worth on the table in the living room, as well as a couple of her beauty magazines. He was interest solely for the reason that they were wizard reading material, and read each from cover to cover. While the news was always a good read, he was surprised by how entertaining her magazines were. He never knew there was a spell that could give you perfectly arched eyebrows, or that mixing powdered dragon scales into your milk each morning would help you lose up to five pounds a week.

"Rubbish," he mumbled, trying to save his masculinity and dropping the last magazine back onto the table. "The things women will read."

Ginny returned around five in the evening, laden with shopping bags. "Really, Draco, you gave me too much, and you said no change," she said breathlessly before he had even uttered a word. "So I went a little crazy and got a few pairs of new shoes and some day robes to replace my old ones."

He gave her a smirk. "Unless they're see-through, you're paying me back."

She stuck out her tongue and hurried into his room to put everything away.

She spent the next hour "getting ready". When he offered his new knowledge of obtaining perfect eyebrows to help speed the process along, she stuck her head out and worriedly asked what was wrong with her eyebrows. "Are they getting bushy?" she questioned with genuine concern.

Finally, she emerged fully dressed, and he had to admit it was worth the effort. Her hair was tied back halfway with a comb glittering in crystals, the rest falling to her shoulders in waves, and her skin was powdered a pale ivory. Her new dress robes were indeed purple . . . lilac, he relented, if he was allowed to know what that color was . . . and they fit her perfectly, hugging her waist and flaring out to her feet.

"Mmm," he said, nuzzling her neck and breathing in her perfume. "Delicious."

She laughed. "Stop it, you'll mess my hair."

Draco pulled back and grinned at her. For once, he decided, it wouldn't be so bad to be seen in public with this particularly Weasley.

Ginny wasn't sure where all this romanticism was coming from, but it was encouraging. Draco insisted they walk to wherever they were going, because he refused to tell her the destination – which she would need to know if they were to Apparate. He held her hand loosely as they strolled down the street, ignorant of the odd stares Muggles were giving them and their attire. As usual, she was the only one talking, but she was used to it. It didn't diminish the warm feeling she had from the thought of looming success and completion of her mission.

Was it safe to think that she might be going home in a short few weeks? She would have to start pestering Draco about returning to England. Maybe she could convince him just come along and see her home. That was all she needed, really. One day on English soil, and he was as good as locked up.

About fifteen minutes later, they reached a grubby looking pub. Ginny couldn't keep the skepticism out of her voice as he pulled her inside. "If this is your idea of a date, Malfoy, I swear. . . ."

He answered by tightening his grip on her hand. She glanced around the inside of the pub doubtfully, noting the population of even grubbier men – wizards, she realized, seeing their robes and the occasional wand. They were all sitting at old-fashioned wooden tables and didn't look up as the pair of them walked in.

"¡Hola, Señor Malfoy!" said the bartender heartily, startling Ginny. He waved across the room as if trying to flag Draco down. "¿Como está?"

"Estoy bien, gracias, Filipe," Draco replied casually, with an almost regal nod. He continued his trek across the bar, still holding her hand. "¿Se abre el clubo de baile?"

"¡Naturalmente!" the bartender cried with what Ginny thought was too much gusto. It was disturbing to think that even in different countries, people turned into obsequious little bastards in the presence of a Malfoy.

"Bueno," Draco returned, reaching a door towards the back and shoving it open. They were now in a bland hall, tiled in light green and lit with flickering torches.

"What did you say?" Ginny asked, hurrying up alongside Draco.

"You'll see," he promised.

She frowned. "How'd you know about this place? I thought you converted to Muggle when you moved here."

He gave her a mischievous look. "I wasn't entirely honest with you," he admitted. "I didn't drop the wizarding world completely. Occasionally I'd come here."

They turned a corner, and the next hall that stretched before them looked no different. However, at the end was a single door. When Draco stopped in front of it, she deemed it their destination.

A ripple of unease went through her. She couldn't explain it, but she felt apprehensive about going in. What if Draco had somehow discovered she was a Ministry official? What if Blaise and Pansy were waiting on the other side, ready to Stun her – or worse, kill her?

She felt silly reacting in such an extreme way, but she couldn't ignore her fear. Who was she to trust Draco?

He placed a hand on the door handle, pausing a moment to stare at her. After a beat, in which her heart thumped loudly, he said with a mocking bow, "Welcome to Madrid's wizarding nightlife."

The door whooshed open, and a blast of loud music streamed out. A strong pulsating bass throbbed in her head. Obviously, the room had been enchanted with a Silence Charm to shield outside listeners. Draco pulled her in and shut the door behind them.

She knew what it was immediately, and felt extremely silly for her earlier jump to a ridiculous conclusion. It was a dance club. The large space was jammed with wall-to-wall people, dancing on the main floor or standing at the bar, sipping an array of alcoholic beverages. The ceiling was blazing spectacularly with magical heatless fire, casting an orange glow over everything. Up on the stage, a band played. The lead female singer was wailing in Spanish. Unlike Ginny's previous experience with Spanish music, this band did not play salsa – though there were two trumpets that added a salsa-like flare.

As Draco wove her through the crowd by the hand, she couldn't stop herself from staring at everyone. She'd been to dance clubs before, but clearly she'd been to the tamer English sort. She saw a woman wearing a robe made entirely out of white lace, revealing her black undergarments. Another didn't even bother with a bra. But the men, it seemed, wore robes very similar to Draco's.

She felt a brief stab of anger. Why hadn't Draco prepared her properly for this sort of place? While no one appeared to be staring at her or condoning her for her matronly clothing, she still felt immensely self-conscious. She waited until they reached the bar before she rounded on him. "Why didn't you just tell me to come naked, Draco?" she snapped.

His face glowed in the firelight from above. "I beg your pardon?" he asked politely, raising an eyebrow.

"You know what I mean. Look at everyone. Look at her." She gestured wildly to a passerby who seemed to have misplaced the midriff of her robes. The woman paused, stared back, and said something in Spanish that Ginny could neither hear nor understand. "You see?" Ginny demanded as the woman moved on haughtily. "I look like a bloody prude . . . what are you laughing at? What did she say?"

He didn't have the decency to stop laughing. "She said, 'I would be upset if I looked like you, too, asquerosa,'" he told her through a broad grin.

She hit his shoulder. Hard. "What's an asquerosa?"

"Arsehole," he said, still grinning, and caught her hand before she could hit him again.

"I don't see what's so funny about that!" Ginny screeched, wrenching her arm free. "She had a point, didn't she! I look awful and overdressed. Why didn't you just tell me where we were going?"

"You look fantastic, Weasley," he assured her, leaning in to give her a quick kiss on her cheek. He turned his attention to the bartender, still grinning, as Ginny's anger melted away. His compliment had completely disarmed any insecurity she'd had. A knot loosened in her stomach and she forced herself to relax.

It wasn't so bad. After all, she was an individual. She didn't have to dress like everyone else, did she? Especially when the code of dress was so . . . not her.

He ordered a drink for her, something he called Encanto Negro . . . or Black Magic. When it came, she saw the name did not disappoint – it was a pint-filled glass of black liquid.

"How does it taste?" she asked Draco hesitantly, watching him sip his own water. The fact that he hadn't ordered anything alcoholic made her uneasy.

"Like shit," he told her, and had to smile at her stricken expression. "It's a lady's drink, Ginny, you'll like it. Just try it."

"It's a big glass," she mused, stalling for time. Would he be suspicious if she accidentally-on-purpose threw it on the floor?

With an exasperated sigh, he took the glass from her. "Watch, I'll drink it first, just to show you it's safe," he said snidely.

She watched him closely as he took a decent sized swallow. He put the pint back on the table, wiped the black mustache off his upper lip, and then gave a shudder. It was the first time she'd seen him drink anything besides water.


"It's good. Your turn."

Well, she supposed one taste wouldn't hurt. And then she could claim she didn't like it. Raising the glass, she sniffed it, found no particularly obtrusive or recognizable scent, and then brought it to her lips. It tasted like gin flavored strongly with cherries. In fact, it wasn't too bad at all, despite the fact she'd never liked hard liquor. She opened her mouth to lie and say she hated it when pleasant warmth rippled through her body, no doubt an after-affect of the drink. The wave reached her head, making her feel dizzy for a moment.

"It's okay," she relented as the warmth and dizziness melted away. "But I don't like how it made me dizzy."

He was staring at her with a gentle expression that made Ginny's stomach flutter. She looked away, pretending to be interested in a water ring on the bar counter. She was perturbed not by the look he'd given her, but by her reaction to it.

"Let's dance," he said smoothly, and she was glad to not think anymore.

She allowed him, once again, to take her hand and lead her onto the floor. She felt a little insecure from the stares other women were giving her, but she was determined to ignore them. None of them, she noticed with relish, had such a hot date as herself.

The music was loud and fast. Draco hooked his arms around her waist and pulled her against him. The front of body her seemed to mold perfectly with him, and, finding a groove easily, they began to move together at their own pace, ignoring the beat completely. Ginny put her arms around the back of his neck and caught his eyes. He grinned at her, an uncharacteristically delighted grin that he'd been displaying often now, and she felt another burst of warmth run through her. But this time it wasn't because of the alcohol.

Disconcerted once more, she lowered her head to his shoulder with a frown. This wasn't the Draco she knew. The Draco she knew insulted, snubbed, upset her. The Draco she knew she could handle. She could make him fall in love with her from an objective point of view. He wasn't supposed to be so damn charming. He wasn't supposed to look at her like that.

Her insides twisted unpleasantly. Don't think about it, her mind commanded. She pressed her body against his tighter, squeezing her eyes shut. Just do your job. Don't think about yourself and you'll be fine.

Draco gently slid his hand down her back. Her nerves tingled in response.

Don't think.

In the next three weeks that followed, Ginny put her work aside. She responded to Creedmoore's letters halfheartedly, only to keep him off her back. She locked all her notes and information deep in her trunk and shoved it under the bed, sealing it away from sight.

I have to concentrate on Draco, don't I? she asked herself in attempt to justify her laziness. That's the primary goal right now – to get Draco back to England.

She was never out of Draco's sight. This was a good thing for two reasons. She was able to put the Blaise and Pansy threat, as well as whatever little scheme Draco was up to with those blueprints, to rest. He never mentioned his two Slytherin friends, and never seemed eager to escape her company to do mysterious things anymore. More importantly, if Draco wasn't doing anything besides spending time with her, there was no way he could be up to no good. If Blaise and Pansy decided to help a prisoner escape Azkaban – then fine. That wasn't her problem. Draco was. She'd told Creedmoore all about the Greece/blueprint fiasco, and it was up to him to act appropriately.

The second reason was the simple fact that she was enjoying herself. I'm allowed to have fun, she thought defiantly. If she was having fun, then Draco had to be, too. It was a huge cycle that kept coming back to the main plan: have him fall in love with her. And then follow her back to England.

They began doing touristy things that Ginny had envisioned them engaging in from the start. One day, not much later than their first real date at the dance club, they visited the ruins of an old castle on the outskirts of Madrid. It was a Giant's castle, and though there wasn't much left of it, the structures that remained were nearly two hundred feet tall. After a little bit of grumbling, Draco relented and paid the extra money to go onto an old balcony, held upright only by a column of stairs and magic. It was a windy and unusually chilly day, but the view was spectacular. Ginny could see straight to Madrid; the sight of the Muggle buildings glittering in the sunlight astounded her. When she glanced over at Draco, she saw him staring pensively out over the expanse of the grounds, a fisted hand under his chin, and she had to laugh at him.

"What?" he asked her with a smirk.

"Your hair looks ridiculous," she told him. The wind was blowing it every which way, even straight up. It was the first time she had ever seen it less than perfect.

"Oh is it?" he asked pleasantly. "And that's funny?"

She nodded, giggling.

"I see." Without warning, he waved his wand. "Wingardium Leviosa!"

Her laughter turned to a surprised shriek as the stone balcony vanished from beneath her. She rose a few feet from the stone, suspended in the air. Crossing her arms, she stared down at him and grinned broadly.

"Take it back," he ordered calmly, as though asking to borrow her quill.

"I won't," she said stubbornly.

"Take it back," he repeated, lifting his eyebrows with pseudo-severity. He casually moved the tip of his wand, bringing her closer to the edge of the balcony.

"No," she repeated.

He sighed mockingly. "Well, I see you leave me no choice. I hate to do it, Weasley . . ."

She began drifting towards the edge. And crazily enough, the most shocking part of it wasn't the fact that Draco was threatening to toss her over the edge, a hundred feet to the ground below. It was the fact that she wasn't frightened. Really, she didn't have any reason to. She couldn't hear anything other than playfulness in his voice, and what did he hope to gain by throwing her off a balcony with dozens of tourists around? But above all, the most convincing argument was because she simply trusted him.

A few days ago, she'd been apprehensive about approaching a door to a dance club. Now, she was laughing carelessly as he levitated her towards the edge of a giant's balcony.

A warning sounded somewhere in the back of her head. You're getting in too deep, Ginny.

Draco let her dangle near the edge of the balcony for a few more minutes, before she finally told him his hair looked sexy, as oppose to ridiculous. He lowered her back to the stone and was there to catch her as her feet hit. As had become the trend lately, she pushed every warning from her brain as she held onto him and breathed him in.

It really was a pity he was a criminal. Things would be so much easier if . . .

Well, she didn't let herself think about it.

On another day, they spent an afternoon at place called La Vida Antigua. It was an ancient village about fifty miles from Madrid that had been revived in the spirit of life in medieval wizarding times. At one point, a guide was giving out free lessons to anyone who wanted to learn the outdated spells that the ancient people had used.

Since she did not know Spanish, Ginny made Draco ask if the spells still worked. She flushed with pride when the group glanced back at his question and saw her clinging to his hand. She'd gotten awfully possessive about having him beside her. He drew stares from women of all ages and she could hardly stop herself from beaming happily at the lot of them when he didn't give them a second glance.

When the guide replied that the spells definitely still worked, Ginny was eager to try one out. "Why?" Draco asked sourly. "It's rather pointless."

"Oh, Draco, you're no fun," she chided. "Come on, let's try out that plumbing one. That's the only one I remember."

She dragged him to a hut off the main road where no guides were milling about in their costumes to bother them. She raised her wand and pointed it at a bush beside the hut. However, when she said the words that were to turn the shrub into a pool of water, she somehow mispronounced the spell. A stream of nasty yellow shot out of the tip and cut straight through the shrub like a hot knife through butter. It hit the side of the hut and reverberated off. Draco and Ginny watched, helpless, as the rogue spell shot across the yard and hit an unfortunate man on the road. The man stopped walking, fell to his knees, let out a strange grunt, and promptly turned into a chicken.

Ginny stared a moment, horrified, and then heard Draco snort beside her. Glancing over, she saw him with his hand to his mouth and his shoulders shaking. After a moment she realized he was laughing and, struck by how funny the situation actually was, fought a smile of her own.

"Draco, it's not funny!" she scolded him, biting both lips to keep from laughing. "Stop . . ."

But it was no use. She dissolved into giggles. They both watched, hysterical, as the man strut along the road, squawking loudly and flapping his wings frantically.

Unable to keep standing, they both fell against the hut. Ginny's stomach hurt and tears were leaking from her eyes. She'd never seen Draco laugh so hard and for so long before. Happily, she squeezed his hand.

"Well, Weasley," he said appreciatively, wiping at his eyes, "you have a gift with magic."

She had just gained control of herself and burst out in laughter again. "Do you . . . do you think we should do something?" she got out.

Draco grinned as a couple of children approached the obnoxious chicken. "I hate to say it, but yes. Those kids might take him home for dinner."

It took another few moments, but Ginny finally was able to stop laughing long enough to stand up. She and Draco both attempted to grab the flailing man-turned-chicken, but he would not stand still long enough to be caught. Watching Draco lunge for him and miss, falling cleanly onto the dirt road, sent her into another bout of giggles. Finally, they found their heads and Stunned the chicken, carrying him by the talons to the tourist center.

Draco had trouble telling the tourist man there what happened. He kept breaking up into laughter, much to the guide's annoyance. As they left, Draco translated to Ginny that the guide had thought it was no laughing matter and that if he had his way, he'd have called the Ministry on "us stupid kids."

It was been one of the best days Ginny had had in a long time. It was also the first day since her meeting with Draco that she had not thought once about her job.

It was the beginning of her troubles.

Saturday, 19 April, 2003

"Are we there yet?"

Draco glanced back at Ginny and grinned coyly. He'd put a black blindfold around her eyes and was leading her by her hand. She took slow, unsure steps, but she had a tiny smile on her lips as she followed behind him.

"I hear water. And it smells like fish. Are we going swimming?"

They were indeed by the water. A port, in fact. It was the fairly large wizarding city of Enseña, on the Atlantic coast. Draco had never been there before, but he knew where he was going. The man who had loaned the yacht to him had given good directions.

"A boat, maybe?" Ginny kept guessing.

"Will you be quiet? This is supposed to be a surprise!"

"I hate surprises, Draco," she whined. "You know I do."

"You do not. You're just too impatient for them. You love them just the same," he accused.

She gave his hand a squeeze in reply.

A few moments later, he came to a stop before a great white boat moored to the dock. He resisted the urge to whistle. The description Mr. Alvarez had given about his million galleon yacht had not done the vessel justice. It was not very large, but it was certainly grand. Dock lamps reflected off the slick white hull and several berth windows were open to spill light into the darkness. It bobbed up and down in the water humbly, rocked by the gentle waves of the port.

Draco led Ginny to the plank, warning her to watch her step. "I knew it!" she cried as she felt the uncertain ground beneath her. "We're going sailing!"

"In the middle of the night, Weasley?" he scoffed. "It's not even windy."

"Can I take my bloody blindfold off then?"

"Not yet." He let go of her hand when they reached the deck, gently pushing her against the cabin wall. "Stay here a moment."

With a wave of his wand, he got rid of the plank. Then he returned to Ginny and guided her along by her elbow, taking her to the bridge. Once there he instructed her to sit down in a chair against the back wall.

"My blindfold?" she asked pleasantly. "I know we're on a ship, Draco, I don't need it anymore."

"Yes, but you don't know where we're going," he told her. "Just a bit longer." He tapped the control panel with his wand and the yacht hummed to life.

"I didn't know you could run a ship," she said with a slightly impressed tone.

"There're a lot of things you don't know," he replied easily, and she lapsed into silence.

Draco had learned how to operate a ship when he had been very young. Each summer his family had holidayed on the coast of Sicily and his father had taught him one July. Those first few summers were the best times he remembered with his dad – something about the sun and the Italians seemed to soften Lucius Malfoy to the point of being a real father.

Draco hadn't gone boating in a long time. It usually made him resentful; all the memories were bitter rather than happy. Why he decided to share such an experience with Ginny, he wasn't sure. All he knew was that he wanted to. And he didn't regret his decision. With her, he didn't feel so bitter.

He'd missed the sensation of it. The feeling of controlling such a huge craft, guiding it seamlessly through the water. The power of it. Coming out here had been a good choice.

Draco glanced back at Ginny and smiled at her, slouched forward with her hands in her lap and knees together, feet apart. Her mouth hung open slightly. He should've found the expression annoying. But he'd discovered he didn't find many things annoying about her anymore.

Except when she bit her fingernails. For some reason that irritated him immensely.

Draco returned his attention to the ocean. They were pulling out of bay now, entering the unusually smooth water of the open sea. There were no lights on the horizon save for a few rogue stars.

He grew contemplative, his mind wandering into deep thought. The past few weeks he had not seen Pansy and Blaise once. And what was more, he didn't care. The thought of them performing The Plan without him almost relieved him. Even though he had put a lot of energy into the beginning stages, he did not mind leaving the rest to the two of them, along with his mother and aunt. They could do it without him. And he knew regardless, they would be doing it soon. The only question would be if they contacted him for his help or not.

His main source of concern, however, was Ginny. She'd been pestering him for over a week now to return to England with her. He wasn't sure what to do with her.

Of course, he wasn't going to accompany her home. That much was clear. But now the time had come to make a decision; leave her or . . . well, apparently there was no other option. Obviously he could not stay with her forever. Just until the release of Azkaban. She wouldn't need to be kept from Blaise and Pansy after that . . . but come to think of it, she really didn't need anymore supervision at the present. If he left her now and she did decide to spy on Blaise and Pansy, she wouldn't find anything out in time to prevent it. He'd done his duty with her.

Yet there were two things holding him back from leaving her. The only thing to do, once he got rid of Weasley, would be to return to his friends. He was not keen on this idea. While he wasn't completely opposed to The Plan, he wasn't too eager to participate any longer. It was just too much work, and if they didn't need him, then what was the point? The second thing was that he'd grown quite fond of his Weasley. He wasn't ready to let her go yet.

The feelings he had for her frightened him, but he didn't like to dwell on them. They were there, and that was that. All that mattered was that when the time came, he could leave her. It wouldn't be pleasant, but he was tough. It could be done. But that time had not come just yet.

"How much longer?" she complained. "My eyes are starting to itch."

Draco sighed and slowed the yacht down. He scanned the ocean and decided the spot was good enough. He used his wand to lower the anchor and told Ginny to stand up, leading her out of the bridge. The boat swayed beneath their feet as they made their way towards the stern.

"All right, this is good enough," he announced. "You can look now."

Ginny ripped the blindfold off eagerly. Her mouth formed a small O of surprise as she caught sight of the coastline several miles away. The Muggle lights shone brilliantly against the backdrop of the black sky, dotted with millions of stars. Draco was a little astonished himself at the view. The lights of the coast seemed to stretch on forever, the yellow contrasting starkly with the darkness of night.

Ginny slipped her hand into his, huddling against him. "It's beautiful, Draco," she murmured.

He drew her into an embrace, the movement so casual he didn't even think about it anymore. He kissed her gently and she drew away smiling.

"Come to England with me," she commanded in a whisper.

Draco's stomach tightened. She sure knew how to ruin a moment. "No," he answered quietly and firmly.

She wove her fingers into his, bringing both his hands between them so they were palm to palm. "I have to leave soon," she said, avoiding his eyes. "I can't live in Spain forever, you know."

"I know."

"Draco . . ." She trailed off. Sighing, she lifted her eyes. "Do you want me to beg?"

He tried to grin, but he knew it came off as a smirk. "In fact, yes," he said roughly, wrapping his arms around her neck. She pushed him away to make eye contact again.

"Seriously, Draco. We need to address this now. Can you focus, please?"

"Why?" He lost his smile. "It's a beautiful night, Ginny. I just want to make love with you right over there, with no distractions or bloody Muggle sounds to interrupt –"

"And then what?" she asked a bit loudly. "And then what? We go to your flat, we waste more time together, we make love every night . . . and then I go home? I go home to England and never see you again?"

To her credit, she was beginning to sound authentically hysterical. He released a breath heavily. "I never promised you forever, Ginny," he told her quietly.

"No, you didn't," she agreed. "But things have changed since we first met. We used to despise the sight of each other . . . we used to fight over everything –"

"We still do. We fought this morning, remember?"

"We fought over what to have for breakfast, Draco! It was silly! We still bicker, yes, but it's over stupid things. We're like . . . we're like an old married couple!"

He wasn't quite sure how to reply to that. So he did not say anything. Undaunted, she went on. "I never intended this to go on forever. But I think we have a chance now, don't you? I know you care about me – look at this." She gestured to the horizon. "Even my most romantic boyfriends wouldn't ever have done this for me, not in a million years. And I'm willing to bet you've never done this for any girl before, either."

"Ginny, I can't just drop my life here and leave," he said, trying another tactic. "Where would I live? What would I –"

"Don't even try that, Draco," she interrupted with furrowed brows. "You have enough money to buy a house in every country of the world. You don't have a job here, and you wouldn't need one in England. It would be very easy to move back."

He looked at her. She looked back. For a moment, all he wanted to do was say yes. For a moment, he allowed himself to visualize a life that was not his; a life where he was not a criminal, running from the British Ministry . . . a life that would let him follow her anywhere. But he was quick to shake the thought from his mind. There was no point in wishing for the impossible.

"Let me think about it," he relented.

Her face relaxed; it was the closest he'd come to saying yes yet. "Do that," she said, and a slow grin crept across her face. "And now, what was this about making love?"

A/N: So there you have it, G/Dness in all its glory. Whatever will happen next?

The thank yous I've been promising for a while now:

Thank you to ShadesofMidnight (don't die! That would not be good), ToOtHpIcK (yes, I myself was wondering when I would come back to the fic, but come back I did. You'll just have to see how many plans are ruined because of all the Blaise/Pansy/Draco tension. Thanks!), SpazzingAzn (are you really obsessed? That's fantastic! Thank you very much), Isadora (hope the next one isn't so long in coming, either! Thank you!), Faded Memories (much thanks!), TrinMalfoy (as usual, your long reviews make my life. I actually just finished my junior year of high school. I started writing fics in the eighth. Which is sadder; the fact that I was so young when I started, or the fact that I'm still writing today? Anyway, thanks for all your delightful comments!), Jade Summers (that's so funny, I just got Confirmed last month! Four days after you, if you got Confirmed the day you reviewed. How crazy is that! Yay for Catholics! Anyway, thanks for the review!), kittybro (I updated, I updated!), Wizzabee (you may say so indeed, thanks!), shewhodanceswithsquirrels (and how did you like all this D/Gness?), Calla-ForEvEa (glad to be of service in the D/G spreading department), fanfictionsissy (the same thing does seem to be happening, but if it wasn't, I would totally be rushing the "love" thing between them. So it's got to be kind of repetitive for a while), bean (yes, I know, glad you really like the story and all, thanks for your helpful review sarcasm is a great thing that is sorely missed in writing), seekerpeeker (thank you!), if-666 (hope this chapter was fun too! I enjoyed writing it anyway), Brooke Kenobi (so judging by your second name, you seem like a Star Wars fan. What'd you think of Episode III? I thought it was the best out of the newer three; I enjoyed it much! Anyway, thanks!), lilblondeiy214 (haha thanks!), FemmeDraconis (Blaise and Pansy, hide something? What makes you think so? Ha, you'll just have to wait and see! Thanks!), Lady-Thetis (I couldn't make it end unhappily. That would make me mad, too. Thank you!), singer (yes, what is going on? Eventually it will become clear! Thanks for your review!), surely not I (I haven't had the time, but I would be delighted to sometime!), LuvablyWicked (thanks!), hepsalarkalamia (entire history of bestness, eh? Awesome, thanks!), mari (yes, let's leave them alive just for plot purposes! Then we can kill them. Of course I won't abandon this! Thanks for your review!), caz-10-5 (I have not read that. I'll have to check it out. Thank you much!), whatdoihavetodo (thanks!), Preppygirl (I haven't read them either. Thank you!), MoonlightPrincess (yes, something is up! You'll find out soon. Thanks for the review!), and Gizmogirl (I've updated!).