A cute little one-shot I wrote a while ago and just never posted. It's D/G and there's a tiny bit of Harry-Hate, but not too much. :) It's meant to be light-hearted, so please don't take it any other way. Review and let me know what you think! -- Pia
A Perfect Yule
"Sulking again, Potter?"
Harry looked up to observe the face of the last person on earth he wanted to see. "Bugger off, Malfoy." But he didn't leave; instead he sat down next to Harry on the steps. Inside, everyone had gathered for the Weasley's annual Christmas party, Sirius' house being the only place large enough to house all of the guests. When Draco didn't say anything for a long while, Harry spat, "No one wants you here, Malfoy."
"Quite the contrary, actually. Gin did a whole hell of a lot of persuading to get me here. And going by Molly's response, I'd say I was rather welcome."
Harry knew he was right, which was, quite possibly, the worst part of the entire situation. Even some of the Weasley males had begun to accept Ginny's relationship with the only living Malfoy – Ron was the exception, of course. But Molly was a completely different story; she'd welcomed him with open arms, both because he made Ginny happy and because he'd joined the Order, despite the pressure of his family. Now that the war was over, giving Ginny and Draco more of a chance to pursue a relationship, Draco was well on his way to becoming the Weasleys' first and only son-in-law. In fact, he was even closer than Harry realized, as there was a perfect, platinum engagement ring residing in his pocket at that very moment.
Harry grumbled something inaudible and Draco just chuckled quietly. "What's wrong? No snappy insults for me today?"
"What do you want, Malfoy?"
"Just to piss you off. Ginevra went off to spend some time with Bill. She hasn't seen him all year, you see. And since I was otherwise unoccupied, I thought I'd come out and vex The-Boy-Who-Just-Wouldn't-Die, just for old time's sake."
Harry glared, for a moment, before coming to a split-second decision that he would later regret. Draco Malfoy was a strange creature, true, but there was one question, in particular, that had been bothering Harry for quite some time. "I just don't get you. You've got nothing left; your company's in shambles, thanks to your father, all of your family died in the war, your inheritance is nonexistent, and almost the entire wizarding world despises you for being who you are. Where do you get off coming here and acting like you're better than all of us?"
"You're wrong on two counts."
"Yes. First of all, I don't act like I'm better than all of you. If you'd open your eyes, you'd see that the only people I'm truly better than are you, Granger, Ron, and Percy. And the latter two are simply assholes whose only life goal is to piss Gin off." Draco scowled darkly at this, but Harry wasn't the least bit surprised. The former Slytherin was more protective of Ginny than all of her brothers combined and Harry frequently wondered how he avoided smothering her, as her brothers had never been able to do.
"I see," Harry responded with a roll of his emerald eyes.
"Quite. And secondly, my companies, my inheritance, the family that despised me, the wizarding world … none of it really matters. At all."
"You just don't get it, do you, Potter?"
"And what would that be?"
"I've got Ginevra. And, as if that weren't enough to keep me completely content for the rest of my life, between the two of us, we'll get everything else fixed. The company's on its way to being put back together not to include any ties with the Dark Arts. Gin's a lot smarter than I am when it comes to finances and such. My inheritance won't matter once the company is up and running again and, until it is, she'll help me make do with what I have, having grown up doing just that. My family? Well, if all those people inside don't constitute as family, then I'm not sure what does. And I know Ginevra will want lots of children, once we get that far. Besides, my father and mother didn't exactly constitute as family to begin with. And the wizarding world? Who cares? They're fickle and useless; I have no time for their petty drivel." Draco leaned back on his elbows, content expression on his face.
Harry was shocked by his admission, to say the absolute least. Not only was he utterly floored to learn that Draco was no longer the shallow, bratty little boy he had been for his entire Hogwarts career, he was having trouble comprehending exactly how he could be so bloody sure of himself, when anyone else would have been insecure as hell.
"Not really the answer you wanted, was it, Potter?"
Harry didn't say anything for a long time, but, eventually, he bit out, "No, I suppose not." Laughing bitterly, he continued, "I had her once, you know."
Harry was more than a bit startled to hear Draco start laughing heartily. "You've got to be shitting me."
"What? Is it so hard to believe that she'd ever want me? She had a crush on me for her first six years of Hogwarts, Malfoy."
"Potter, your idiocy never ceases to astound me. I'm not laughing because I don't think she'd want you. Hell, Gin's probably the only person that would want you. She's the one of the few that actually thinks there's anything in you that makes you worth keeping around. But no, I'm laughing because you had her … and yet you were enough of an idiot to let her go?" Harry started to say something, but Draco just continued as if he hadn't noticed. "Oh wait, it was for some dumb ass noble reason too, wasn't it?"
"I was going into the war … what else was I supposed to do? I couldn't put her in danger."
"Whoever said anything about putting her in danger?"
"If she had been with me—"
"Everyone was in danger during the war, you imbecile. That doesn't mean you let her go. Even if she had to sit here healing war-torn wizards every day for years and years, you still don't let her go."
"That's awfully selfish."
"Ha! I'll be the first to admit that I'm a selfish bastard. But, once you've got someone like Ginevra, you never let go, ever. She promised me to stay away from the front lines; that was good enough for me. And, hell, what's the difference anyways? If I hadn't come back from the war, Gin would've moved on, found someone that actually deserved her and lived her life, happily ever after. Fact is, I did survive and, when I got back, she was here, waiting for me. And the look on her face when I did," Draco chuckled softly. "Gods, I've never seen her look so absolutely radiant."
"I don't need to hear this, Malfoy. Don't you think it's bad enough, seeing you with her every single day?"
"I don't know how bad it is or isn't, Potter. All I know is that I've never been more thankful that you fucked things up." After a long moment of silence, Draco stood up and went back inside the house, leaving a very confused Harry Potter sitting on the steps of Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
… … …
"Get out!" Molly slapped her husband's hand away as he tried to get a taste of the recently frosted cake that was sitting on the counter. Arthur gave her a petulant look and opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by Draco entering the kitchen. "Oh, hello dear."
"Hi, Molly. Is there anything I can do to help?"
"No, no. Everything's taken care of, you just go relax." Molly gave him a fond smile as she continued to bustle about the kitchen.
"In that case …" Draco wrung his hands nervously as he turned to Arthur. "Mr. Weasley? Might I have a word?" He cleared his throat. "Privately?"
The older man hesitated, giving him a strange look. Draco hadn't called him 'Mr. Weasley' in longer than he could remember. "Of course. Is the library alright?"
"Yes, yes, that's fine." Draco attempted a smile – although, his expression came out looking more like he'd accidentally eaten one of the twins' creations – before following Arthur to the library. Once there, they sat down in a pair of armchairs that faced each other, Arthur looking rather worried and Draco looking like he was going to be sick any moment.
"Is something wrong, Draco?"
"No," he squeaked abruptly, his voice several octaves higher than it should have been. He cleared his throat and tried again, "I mean, no. I just … I have a question for you."
"Well … you know I love Ginevra … more than I could possibly say." Arthur nodded, waiting for him to continue. Draco cleared his throat again, trying not to hyperventilate or be sick. "You see … I …" After taking one more deep breath, Draco took the plunge. "I want to ask your permission to ask Gin to marry me," he finished in a rush. When Arthur didn't respond for a few moments, Draco chanced a glance at him. A heavy rock dropped into his stomach when he saw the contemplative look he was giving him.
"You love her, I know, but can you make her happy?"
"I want nothing more than to do just that, sir." He was mildly surprised to hear that his voice didn't even quiver as he said this. Arthur, on the other hand, seemed to be rather pleased by the fact, as he smiled that warm smile of his and held out his hand to Draco.
"Then of course you have my permission, Draco." Draco couldn't stop the goofy grin that spread across his face as he shook hands with his soon-to-be father-in-law. "Oh, but son?"
"If you ever hurt her, her brothers and I will hunt you down and you will die a more painful, agonizing death than you can ever imagine."
… … …
"Something wrong?" Ginny whispered, not looking at him, as Draco sat down next to her. Her eyes were trained on her eldest brother, who was talking animatedly about something his son had done.
"Nope." He was still grinning like an idiot and he leaned over to give her a kiss on the cheek. "Why?"
"You look different." She looked him up and down, studying him for a moment, before continuing, "But good different, I think."
"Yeah, really." After smiling at him for a moment, she snuggled closer to him, pulling her feet up onto the couch, and turned back to listen to Bill.
"Hey, come walk with me?" Draco asked after a few moments.
"Sure. Bill, I'll talk to you after dinner."
"Of course, Gin-bug." He smiled and turned to Charlie, continuing his story.
Ginny stood up and followed Draco out into the backyard, which now housed several spacious gardens, courtesy of Molly. He took her hand and their fingers instinctively entwined. "Are you having a good Yule, Dray?"
He smiled slightly; Ginny was one of the few people who knew that he'd never had a proper Yule. In his father's home, it had been celebrated by a visit from a long list of Death Eaters and, occasionally, Lord Voldemort, himself. And, in the years after he'd left his father's house, he'd never had time to celebrate, thanks to the war. In recent years, he and Ginny had been able to spend an hour or two together to exchange gifts, before he was whisked away by his duties. This year, however … this year was either going to be the worst ever, or utterly perfect.
He stopped walking, pulling her into his arms. "I'm surrounded by real family, for the first time in my life, one of your Mum's mouthwatering dinners is nearly ready, and I've got the most perfect woman in the world, right here in my arms. What more could I ask for?" She looked up at him, blushing slightly, but smiled, nonetheless.
"I love you," she whispered.
"And I love you." They stayed like that for a long while, simply enjoying each other's presence. "I want to show you something." Draco took her hand, once again and led her to the little hill a few yards away. When they finally reached the top and could see the entirety of the garden sprawled out in front of her, Ginny couldn't stop the gasp that escaped her lips. Normally this garden was full of vegetables and the like, as Molly had saved the other one for flowers. But now, it was filled to the edges with all of her favorite flowers. Snapdragons, lupines, every kind and color of rose, Queen Anne's Lace, Poppies, Easter lilies, calla lilies, and, most abundantly, orchids of every shape, size, color, and variety. Her hand flew to her mouth, involuntarily, as tears started to fill her eyes.
"Draco … this is absolutely breathtaking."
"I thought it would be better than a regular old bouquet."
She turned to look at him them, still grinning like a fool, and was rather confused to find that he looked extremely nervous. "Dray?"
He smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes, which held only uncertainty. "Gin … I can't tell you how much I love you. More than I ever thought possible. Hell, before you, I didn't even think it was possible for me to love." She smiled warmly at him and some of the uncertainty dissipated, only to be replaced by admiration. "You're my everything. Nothing matters except you." He took a deep breath and, taking her hands in his, brought them up to his lips and kissed one. "I don't deserve you, Ginevra. I never have and … I can only hope that someday, I might come close to deserving more than just a scornful look from those beautiful doe eyes of yours." She blushed a deep shade of crimson and tried to look away, but Draco took her chin in one of his hands and pulled her, gently, back to look him in the eye. "During the war, you were the only thing in my life that made it worth living … you still are, in a way. You're the center of my entire universe, but you've given me more than I could have ever dreamed. Family, a home, acceptance, love." All of this was extremely uncharacteristic of Draco, and they both knew it. While he was relatively comfortable with talking to Ginny openly, it had never been like this. Yet, he was so nervous that he needed to lay it all on the line, tell her everything, in the hope that it would be enough. "Now, I want to make you the center of my universe for all eternity." He got down on one knee and pulled the little velvet jewelry box out of his pocket. Ginny gasped involuntarily, her eyes filling with tears once more as she beamed down at him. He clicked open the box to reveal the engagement band that he'd spent months shopping for, and held it up to her. "Ginevra Molly Weasley, will you make me the happiest man in the world by becoming my wife?"
Her smile got even wider, even though he hadn't thought it possible and, finally, he felt all of the nervousness and uncertainty dissolve, in favor of the overwhelming joy. Yes, Draco Malfoy could honestly say that he was joyful in the moment when she whispered, "Yes, Draco, I'd love to marry you."
"Yeah, really, you big oaf, now kiss me." He took a moment to slip the ring onto her finger, before standing up and doing just that.