A sudden presence at the end of the aisle made Ginny look up. "I wasn't sure if you would come," she said warily.
Draco shrugged, fingering a wooden elephant. There were a hundred like it on the shelves of the shop, thousands more in flea markets around the city, so Ginny doubted that he was that interested. "That makes us a pair, then," he muttered. "It's against my better judgment, believe me."
That stung a bit, even if she understood why. "I'm off," she said, quick and, in theory, less painful. "The Association's given me another assignment. New Zealand."
There was a brief, naked moment where he stared at her with hurt in his eyes. Then the mask was back. "I see. And you wanted to once again emphasize your utter inaccessibility, is that it?" he asked acidly. "I'm hardly slow. I got it the first time."
Noticing that the shop owner, a tiny old European wizard, was had started to prick his ears at this tidbit of drama, she pulled Draco further down the aisle. "Now you are being thick," she hissed. "I wanted to say goodbye. It's something that people do," she added, exasperated at his sour demeanor. He was mute, unreadable. What is going on in your head? Ginny thought, watching him.
"And then you'll go back to him." His tone was acid but low, trying to keep the shopkeeper out of hearing. The little old man was getting more curious about the arguing couple by the minute
"Because I love him. I thought I made that clear," Ginny whispered furiously. Although last night Harry's hold on her heart seemed more tenuous than it had before. Damn you, Draco.
"What if things changed? What then?
A vision arose in her mind, both tantalizing and horrifying. "What-ifs are beside the point. It's not going to change. "
"But if it did?" Draco grasped one of her arms, looking down at her intently
The silence stretched, unspoken words getting louder with each passing second. Draco's expression gradually lost its edge of hurt and turned into something more watchful. Ginny finally dropped her eyes, unwilling to answer.
Momentarily satisfied, Draco dropped his hand and stepped away. "You know how to find me," he told her, a dark invitation lurking behind the innocuous phrase. Their eyes held for a moment, green to grey. Turning, he strode to the exit and gave a little salute. "Take care of yourself."
Ginny nodded mutely, and watched him walk out. She scrubbed her eyes and cleared her throat to be sure of her voice. Then she dipped her hand into the pot of Floo powder and threw it into the fireplace, saying, "Wizarding World headquarters, Bombay." In a moment, she was gone.
Behind his counter, the little old man grumbled to himself, "Well, now I'll never find out. Blast."