:::REVISED! REVISED! Due to certain confusion, mainly in the part of yours truly (the author, that is), I made the necessary correction in this chapter to co-relate with the two lead characters' age -- and I also realized it'll be impossible for some of the characters to have children already attending Hogwarts:::
Disclaimer: As always Harry Potter and all its wonderful cast of characters is the product of JK Rowlings' vivid imagination. I'm just borrowing characters from her wonderful work and use them to play a part in my own little plot bunny idea.
Summary: There's always that one person who will always have your heart; You'll never see them coming 'coz you're blinded from the start...
PhoenixRae's Notes: I'm sure you can tell from the summary that this fic is based on a song, but it's not really a songfic. I was just inspired by a song hence the hatching for the plot for this fic. I sure hope you enjoy it coz I sure as heck am excited to start writing this story. :::smiles:::
I. First Meeting in Years...
Twenty-eight year old Ginny Weasley stopped dead on her tracks when she climbed on to the gleaming red steam engine waiting for its hundreds of occupants to board it at platform 9 ¾. Standing before her wearing an expensive black velvet cloak, his once longish platinum blond hair now chopped short and lay loosely on his head was the last man on earth she expected to run in to. Their last meeting had been in the battlefield twelve years ago; he was siding with the Dark Lord and she was fighting alongside Harry Potter and former Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
Apparently from the surprised look on his chiseled face he too wasn't expecting to see her board the Hogwarts Express on the first of September. He had been on his way to somewhere when she climbed up the train and ran into him. She was far too preoccupied with her luggage to pay attention to where she was going until she ran smack-dab into someone's wall of rock-solid chest. The sheer force of their impact nearly sent her reeling backwards if it hadn't been for a pair of vise-like hands snaking out to grab her arms before she embarrassed herself.
"Malfoy," She couldn't help from lacing her tone sarcasm, after all their last meeting wasn't something she could write home about. Not that she would anyway, but it did leave quite an impression on her; a mixed impression that even to this day she couldn't quite fathom how he managed to do it.
Twenty-nine year old Draco Malfoy straightened at the sound of that voice albeit spoken in a very low tone, it sent shivers down his spine. His steel gray eyes traveled slowly from the top of his assailant's head down to meet a pair of glaring brown eyes. He sucked in an audible deep breath as recognition dawned in. It had been five years since he last had the pleasure of looking into the depths of those pair of chocolate brown eyes, and finding himself staring into them once again started a flashback of events that occurred the night of their final meeting.
Loosening his grip on her arms, Draco took a step back, his gaze never faltering as he kept it locked with hers. What was she doing on this train? He was under the impression he was the sole adult riding with the rest of the Hogwarts students. Last he heard Ginny Weasley was busy performing her magic to the wonderment of numerous sickly people at St. Mungo's, crafting her gift she mastered while attending to the numerous victims of the war. Madam Pomfrey wasn't in need of any assistance in the hospital wing. He just saw the elderly mediwitch two months ago before school was out and she was a poster witch for good health.
"Weasley," Draco hadn't meant to snarl, but it was an automatic reaction he had whenever he was faced with a Weasley, whether the said Weasley was an attractive young woman with boy-cut hairstyle and a mop of screaming red hair or an overzealous Weasley boy he had the misfortune of teaching in almost every class of his.
Ginny jutted her chin high, thrusting her nose to the air and looked down her nose at the tall blond haired man standing before her.
"What a surprise. I wasn't expecting you onboard the train."
Draco cocked an eyebrow at her airy remark. "I'm the one who's surprised. I wasn't expecting you onboard the train."
"Really? Pray tell why?" She goaded.
Draco's eyebrow rose another fraction of an inch. Silently he applauded the youngest Weasley's candor. Ever since his fifth year Ginny Weasley's spurs started to sharpen, over the course of his next two years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry he has had the misfortune of experiencing exactly how sharp her spurs had become. They were very sharp.
"You won't believe me even if I told you," He crossed his arms on his chest, his chin and nose jutted high and looked down his nose at the petite redhead.
"Oh?" Ginny's eyebrow rose as well. "Try me," she challenged.
Draco's upper lip curled to a smirk. Cocky to boot, he liked that. Inside he was glad she remained the same stubborn headed young woman she was.
"Alright, if you insist."
"You know I do."
"I am the Potions Master at Hogwarts for the past two years now, Weasley. I have every right as these students on board this train to be here," Was his cheeky reply.
"You the Potions Master?" Ginny gave him a blank stare, the corners of her lips twitching as she controlled herself from laughing out loud. No way this man standing before her was the Potions teacher at Hogwarts for the past two years. If he was her numerous nieces and nephews that attended Hogwarts would've mentioned it to her.
"Yes, me," He nodded uncrossing his arms from his chest and planted his hands on his hips. "Now, would you mind telling me about your presence onboard this train? I doubt you're back at Hogwarts as a student. If I remembered correctly you already graduated eleven years ago."
"Your memory's still functioning quite well, Malfoy. Unfortunately I must quash whatever insult you had in mind of throwing at me. Like yourself, I too am headed for Hogwarts as a replacement professor."
"Oh? Whose class are you taking over?"
"You are going to teach at Hogwarts?" Since when did Ginny Weasley mastered the arts of teaching? For sure he was under the impression she was headed for Hogwarts as a replacement for Madam Pomfrey.
"Yeah," She nodded. "Why? You got a problem with that? The Headmaster owled me asking if I might be interested in a teaching position at Hogwarts. Apparently Professor Spinnell quit after three years of handling the job."
That was certainly news to Draco. When he last saw the pretty brunette Transfiguration teacher that took over from McGonagall when she was appointed Headmaster of Hogwarts when Dumbledore retired, he got the impression that Winifred Spinnell was willing to take their blossoming relationship to the next level after the summer break. Now what could've possibly caused her sudden departure from Hogwarts?
"You're bluffing, Weasley. You're a mediwitch."
Ginny's brow rose higher at his assumption. But he wasn't far from the truth. She was a mediwitch. She was happily tending to the sick at St. Mungo's when she received an owl from her former Head of House who was now the new Headmaster of Hogwarts.
"So what if I am? A little background knowledge in medicinal potions and such doesn't hinder my ability to teach Transfiguration," She told him matter-of-factly.
She had a good point. So what if she was a mediwitch? But her taking over Winnie's class? He wondered what happened over the summer to her...
"Now Malfoy, if you'd excuse me. I must find myself a compartment to rest. It's been a long, tiring day--and it's not even noon yet!" Ginny picked up the shoulder bag she dropped when she ran into him from the floor and slung the strap over her shoulders. "Excuse me," She shouldered her way past him and moved down the corridor at the long line of glassed compartments, checking which ones were empty.
Draco stepped aside, his gaze lingered on the gutsy redhead, watching her walk down the corridor of the train. He still couldn't believe he'd be working alongside her this time. Their last meeting they were working against each other, and that had been interesting enough. Now they were on the same side he wondered what would their working side-by-side would be like.
Ginny sat alongside her fellow professors at the head table facing the hundreds of Hogwarts students. From her vantage point of view she could easily spot her nieces and nephews populating the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw tables. A smirk she couldn't help appeared from the corners of her lips when she saw the familiar Weasley red hair amongst the brunettes and blonds of Ravenclaw. Hermione and Ron must be proud; their children were scattered between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
Professor McGonagall finished her speech, reminding new students not to wander off into the Dark Forest as well as a few other reminders that Mr. Filch, Hogwarts caretaker, has instilled. He was a snarky one that man; he hated students who made messes, but hate them all he liked, he never seemed to want to up and leave the school. Ginny watched the man with long hair and menacing eyes petting his pet cat, Mrs. Norris. She didn't really think Argus Filch was all that bad; he must have at least a wee bit of compassion for the students hence why he chose to remain a part of Hogwarts staff. On cue platters filled with mouth-watering food appeared on the table, creating a wave of excited and awed chattered from the students.
Ginny kept a close eye on her brothers' children. They were a rowdy bunch, but alas, ever since the war ended Ginny barely spent time with her family, let alone watch her nieces and nephews grow up. Two boys, who were the sporting image of her twin brothers, were being what Fred and George were like when they were younger: annoying. Another redhead, a Percy look-alike, reprimanded the two with the stern-like glare he mastered from his father. The two boys quickly hushed up and resumed eating. Ginny chuckled, the food on her plate barely touched, as she enjoyed the scene playing before her.
"If you're just going to play with your food, you might as well not eat at all."
Ginny jumped at the sound of the snarling male voice so close to her ear. She tore her gaze from her nieces and nephews and glared at the blond haired man who had been the bane of her existence since she arrived. At the train she had the misfortune of ending up occupying the same compartment as him since everywhere else was full. Of course she didn't know she was sharing a compartment with him until he waltzed in and plucked his royal behind down.
"I am not toying with my food, Malfoy," She hissed back, her glaring eyes shooting sharpened daggers at him. "And what do you care whether or not I played with my food? Mind your own business and I will mine, hm?"
Draco grinned, baring his pearly whites and dazzling her with it. Of course Ginny appeared adverse his charm; she had to if she wanted to keep the upper hand. Draco Malfoy was a notorious flirt; an insufferable git; and an all-time troublemaker. One must always be a step ahead of him if they didn't want to be taken down easily.
"Sure I can do that, but people pushing their food around their plate happens to be one of my pet peeves," He told her matter-of-factly.
"Really?" Ginny's eyebrow quickly shot up, "Somehow I doubt that. You don't strike me as the type of guy who gives a damn whether one plays with their food or not."
"No?" He sounded surprised, but Ginny didn't buy that act. He was far too seasoned of a flirt and charmer to fool her. Nevertheless she decided to play along with whatever game he planned playing.
"No, Malfoy, I don't believe you. Now would you mind minding your own business and let me be?"
"Cool your jets, Weasley. I will let you be, but you have to promise me one thing."
Ginny's forehead creased to a frown and gave her fellow teacher a funny look. "Promise you what?"
Draco's upper lip twitched to his trademark smirk, his gray eyes glistening with unsaid mischief that almost made Ginny wish she didn't give him any ideas that she might actually concede to whatever he wanted her to promise him.
Draco took his time. Inching just a wee bit closer to his new colleague, he leaned his head closer and spoke, but his voice was too low that Ginny was left with no other choice but to lean her head closer to hear him. Draco's grin broadened and when he spoke again to whisper to Ginny what he wanted her to promise him, his lips grazed her ear.
"Stop playing with your food, Weasley."
The look on Ginny's face was priceless after he told her what he wanted her to promise him. If they had been alone Draco knew he would've been hexed to oblivion by the hotheaded woman. As it was he was thankful they were in the Great Hall surrounded by teachers and students alike.
A/N: If you're reading this that means you either a.) skimmed through the chapter until you reached the bottom or b.) you actually read the chapter and enjoyed it. Let me just take this moment to thank you all, my wonderful readers & reviewers, for always being there. Now here's another serving of a Draco/Ginny fic for your entertainment. Let me know what you think. Constructive criticisms are welcome as always.