A/N* This a fic I wrote for Vicky (Faith Akiyama), the despicable soul who lured me into the world of D/G.  Written, of course, when I should have been studying for finals.  ^^  But that's okay, because it's her birthday and we all love her.  It was actually her birthday yesterday, but I wasn't home at all and therefore had not the chance to upload this.  But alas!  Happy 17th, Vicky! (See, seventeen…seven…hahaha)  Anyways, I'll be updating Masquerade as soon as possible, so I hope you enjoy this piece of D/G which, honestly speaking, is one of my favorite one-shots yet.  Favorite as compared to other fanfictions of my own writing, I mean.  I'm not comparing myself to other authors…that would be arrogant lol.  Well, read on!  And don't forget to review!

- SEVEN DAYS IN PARIS -

A D/G Ficlet

It only takes seven days to fall in love.

***

On the first day, she steals a key to his suite.

            Convincing the concierge is not easy, nor is it quick, and so by the time she slips into his soon-to-be-occupied room, she has but half an hour left.  Like lightning, Ginny lights the candles around the four-poster bed, and situates herself near the door, head light and heart anticipating.

            Draco enters unsuspectingly, suitcases floating behind him on a Leviosa spell and handsome face wearied from travel.  He halts when he sees her, mercury eyes unfathomable, and they stare at each other for silent seconds that drag into eternity before she hurls herself into his arms and covers his face with the kisses she has wanted to lavish on him for years.  As his arms come around her, she cannot imagine how she has survived for so long without the indescribable feeling that is Draco Malfoy.  One hand comes to stroke her face, grazing her cheek with the glittering Slytherin ring perpetually on his finger, and she welcomes the familiar gesture.

            "Ginny," he says when they finally break apart, and her name has never sounded so beautiful to her own ears before.

***

On the second day, he wants to talk.

            He wakes her up early in the morning and looks at her with eyes that are heartbreakingly solemn and aged, sad in a way she cannot quite explain.  He speaks curtly and haughtily, but when he hands her breakfast his hands are gentle, so gentle, and she can feel herself melting like butter in a hot pan.  They do not speak of the previous night, because when Draco does break the silence it is with a harsh, demanding question, in such a halting tone it almost masks the pain and the grief and the wonder flickering in his beautiful eyes.

            Almost.

            He wants to know why she has come, and he wants to know how.  He sounds as if he does not want her to be here, but then he asks her why she left and she knows, deep inside, that the past years have been just as terrible on him.  There are so many questions Draco has for her Ginny is nearly stunned, because for the first time she does not want to talk.  What she wants makes her blush even in the dark, things she cannot put into words and so she tells him to shut up and when he doesn't, she makes him.

***

On the third day, she passes hours dreaming on the balcony.

            Draco has business matters during the day, matters of which he does not tell her and she does not ask.  And truthfully, she does not quite care where he goes as long as he comes back to her.

            When he does, they do not speak much to one another, partly because neither knows entirely what to say.  She likes to think that they are above words, and is certainly not discouraged from this theory when she catches him staring at her with a feral gleam, eyebrow raised in that cockily smug expression that she has grown to love.

            It is not until near midnight that he reaches into his robes and hands her a folded parchment.  "You have a letter," Draco tells her in a placid voice devoid of emotion.  "An owl, from Seamus Finnegan."

            She takes the parchment, decorated with hearts and ribbon, and throws it into the fire.

            He touches her then, lightly, just below the elbow, and it burns her in a manner she has not been able to achieve with other men before.  "Are you sure?" He says, so calmly it scares her.

            Ginny does not answer, only meets his eyes for a long, meaningful second, and that is answer enough for him.

***

            On the fourth day, Draco surprises her with dinner on the Eiffel Tower.

            A well-performed charm conceals them from the muggle eye, and from their vantage point the entirety of Paris is susceptible to their eyes.  He serves her food she has never before seen or tasted, and because he does not comment on her unrefined taste Ginny does not make a remark about his terrible cooking, or rather, conjuring.  The sun is setting as they eat, a brilliant mirage of fiery red and iridescent orange that illuminates his aristocratic features and causes her breathing to grow slightly more difficult.

            He is so beautiful, she thinks to herself.

            Afterwards, she suggests that they walk back to the hotel, to which he surprisingly complies.  She makes the bold venture of tucking her small hand neatly into his, warm and roughened into cool and slender.  When he does not pull away, she turns her chin just slightly as to hide the wide smile threatening to overtake her face, but he sees, of course, because he always sees.

            She is so beautiful, he thinks to himself.

***

            On the fifth day, Draco skips his work obligations.

She is surprised to see him when she wakes—it is almost noon, and he is situated at the polished oak desk, bent over in concentration.  She presses a gentle kiss to his ear, and as he whirls around there is an expression of pure delight reflected in his face.  But it disappears immediately, and she wonders whether or not she is seeing things.

            The afternoon is spent in lazy content, slow and blissful just as Ginny wants it to be.  She tries to savor every moment, stretch out every second, and stares at his face as to memorize the lines and crooks.  If he notices, he does not say anything, and she does not ask him.

            At night they are lying side by side under the coverlet, his warmth radiating and tingling her skin, and she thinks him asleep when he whispers hoarsely in her ear.  He wants to know why she left, once again, and after a few seconds of pretending that she is asleep, Ginny turns to him with pained eyes.

            "I didn't," she tells him.  "You left me."

            There is utter silence in the room, and she wonders if she has displeased him.  Looking at his profile she sees that he his utterly stiff, utterly rigid as he murmurs, "And you didn't stop me."

            And then she tucks her arms around his, fitting their bodies together neatly in a gesture more than words, and they drift off into dreams together.

***

On the sixth day, she tells him she loves him.

He does not say those three words back to her, of course.  Draco Malfoy does not say those three words to anyone, much less her. 

They are standing outside his suite when she tells him, in the afterglow of a quiet evening.  He looks so elegant and refined in his rich black robes she almost wonders if he is repulsed by her, repulsed that such a naïve little girl would wear her heart on her sleeve.  But as the seconds drift on, she observes that he is instead rather incredulous, staring at her with skeptical gray eyes and almost waiting for her to break into laughter, to tell him she isn't serious.

            Only she doesn't.

            She stares back at him, eyes watering of their own accord and feeling utterly vulnerable to the world.  Her breath is hitched and her lips parted, an expression of truth and honesty and pleading upon her face.  Seeing that she means what she says, he cannot seem to find the right words, and so he does not use words.  His hands and lips are on her before they are even inside the hotel room, touching her as if he will never touch her again.

***

            On the seventh day, he leaves.

            He's gone when she wakes up, alone and desolate in the cool silence of the hotel room.  It does not strike her immediately, as it always takes a few minutes before Ginny adjusts to her surroundings, but when she does realize that he has left she feels oddly disappointed, oddly fearful, oddly like she wants to break down and sob.  A part of her cries that he'll be back, and yet another part knows he won't.  On the nightstand near her there lies a single red rose, stems still glistening with water, and aside it his thick silver ring.

            Draco Malfoy would never in a million years leave his namesake ring behind, she tells herself, fingering the intricate grooves and hefting its warm weight in her hand.

            There is the rose, and the ring, but there is no note.

            She decides to stay another night, in case he can't find her, and the sheets smell so much of him she nearly wants to cry.

***

            On the eighth day, the newspaper comes.

            The Ministry of Magic, the headlines scream, has defeated the last remaining Death Eaters last night in an epic battle near Versailles, France.  Seventeen aurors are severely injured, and eight are dead.  None of the Death Eaters survived.

            She scans the list of the deceased knowing all too well whose name is on it.  Next to the loopy auror names, it is printed in small, black font just like the other rebels, insignificant font, because to the world he is insignificant.  And suddenly, she does not want to be swathed in his blankets, lying in the bed in his hotel suite that will never again be filled by him.  Suddenly, she does not want to eat the lavish breakfast prepared for her, the tea and biscuits that will surely taste of cardboard.  In fact, she does not want to do much of anything at all, not sleep, or speak, or cry, or live.

He is not coming back for the ring, after all.

            And nor is he coming back for her.

-fin-

            Reviews are much appreciated.