Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Summary: Ginny/Harry/Draco in various styles and worlds, written as responses to thirtyforthree's first theme set. Experimental.

Author's Note: This is a request ficlet for Asuka Kureru, in response to the prompt, "Ginny, Harry and Draco and... er. What kind of thing did you not touch in your series... Malfoy's family's reaction, maybe. Would they be offended more at him humping a low-class blood-traitor or a half-blood, even if the half-blood is loaded and, well, rather important today? XD Any cousins or uncles or aunts who actually APPROVE, even for a totally materialistic and missing-the-point reason? XD"

It seems to have ended up as a lead-in to "Domesticity," the first half of chapter 9.

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Blood Is Thinner
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People talked about hereditary Black insanity, but that overlooked the truth that all old pureblood families tended toward oddness one way or another. The Malfoys were no exception.

"I don't care if I'm the head of the family," Draco said to his cousin's face in the fire. "You couldn't bribe me to stand around and pretend to be pleasant to Uncle Gaius or Aunt Livia, and by this point you can't blackmail me either -- the papers have already aired all my secrets. I meant it when I said I never wanted to see them again!"

Hera Drachenberg-Malfoy sighed. "I know Mother and Uncle Gaius can be a trial, but really, Draco, don't you realize what your avoidance looks like to them? They're talking of going to court and challenging your inheritance -- if you don't soothe them a bit, your life will be a living hell in short order. You'll have to see them ten times more often than if you just dropped by at Christmas and Easter to show willing."

Draco frowned; he could feel a headache building. "Challenge my inheritance? On what grounds?"

"Immorality, for one," said Hera, "which I think covers being a Death Eater and betraying the Death Eaters as well as your relationship with Potter and Weasley. They also say there's no way to be sure you'll have legitimate heirs, since any of Weasley's children are as likely to be Potter's as yours." She pursed her lips. "If you and she have a child as soon as possible, and have paternity publicly confirmed, it might throw a stone in their path."

Draco considered the possible results of asking Ginny to bear his child just so he could keep his family estate in his own hands, and winced. That would not go over well. "Weasley doesn't want children now. You should understand that."

Hera, who had come very close to being disinherited when she refused to marry Abelard Flint and pop out little pureblood babies on command, shrugged. "I'm simply telling you the situation. In any case, you can probably put the confrontation off a few years if you come over next Sunday and sweet-talk Mother and Uncle Gaius a little."

"I'd rather take my chances with Weasley."

Hera raised her eyebrows. "What on earth did they do to you? It's not as though I like them much myself, but this seems excessive even for you."

"You know perfectly well that your mother's been trying to poison me since my fifth birthday," snapped Draco. "I'm not illegitimate, no matter what she thinks my mother got up to while my father was running around with the Dark Lord. And I refuse to listen to her rant about how I'm dirtying the family name by living in sin with power-crazed halfbloods and guttersnipe blood traitors, when she's spent nearly a decade carrying on with that spineless catamite of hers."

"Moral consistency has never been Mother's strong point," Hera conceded. "Still, it's not as if she was any different last year, and you've obviously never had trouble avoiding the poisons."

"I reached the limit of my patience," said Draco. "And even discounting your mother, I don't think I can listen to Uncle Gaius speculate about Weasley and Potter's bedroom skills without committing murder. It was hard enough when I was in school and he talked about Pansy. Do you realize that the last time I saw him he asked if I'd lend Weasley to him for a night?"

Hera sighed. "I'm not surprised. I think your father would have done the world a favor if he'd carried through and castrated Uncle Gaius that time."

Draco blinked. "Come again?"

"You didn't know? I suppose it's not surprising -- you were only four at the time. Uncle Gaius propositioned your mother once. She hexed him and informed your father, who called a family meeting and swore on the Malfoy name that if Uncle Gaius ever tried that again, he'd castrate him... and possibly burn out his eyes with a poker for good measure." Hera shrugged. "Uncle Lucius and Uncle Gaius didn't get along particularly well."

It was terrifying how easily Draco could see that happening -- testimony to his extended family's dysfunction. Hera's bland indifference was equally unsettling, in its way. He was never sure how much of her calm was natural, how much was a reaction to Aunt Livia's histrionics, and how much might be the byproduct of Theophrastus Drachenberg's research into mind-altering charms.

There were days he thought his parents' marriage was a miracle -- an utterly improbable island of normality in the sea of Black insanity and Malfoy obsession.

"I'm sorry I wasn't old enough to remember that," he said eventually. "I'd like to see someone put Uncle Gaius in his place."

"Technically, you could," said Hera. "You are the head of the family."

"But I'd have to be in the same room as him to do that," said Draco, "and besides, it would defeat the purpose of a conciliatory visit."

"There is that," Hera agreed. "In any case, it's your prerogative to avoid them, and I suspect you'd win any court case they manage to bring -- you have Potter on your side, and he carries a lot of influence. I simply think it will cause everyone less aggravation if you work around Mother and Uncle Gaius instead of confronting them head-on. The party is at three at Mother's house in Essex -- the Floo will be open if you decide to attend."

Her head vanished.

Draco leaned back in his armchair and sighed heavily. It did make sense to play along rather than force a confrontation, but living with two Gryffindors seemed to be twisting his instincts. He knew he was in the right, and as far as he was concerned his family could go hang.

But... there was no need to expose Harry and Ginny to his family's personal brand of insanity. He could manage to visit and smile politely for half an hour. He could plot ludicrously complex assassinations to keep himself sane, and remind Hera's brothers and his second cousins that, no matter how loudly Uncle Gaius and Aunt Livia denounced him, he was the family head. It would feel like flirting with a dementor, but he could do it.

"You're a Slytherin. Act like it," Draco told himself, and pinched the bridge of his nose to ward off his growing headache.

"Bad day at work?" asked Harry from the doorway, two glasses of butterbeer in his hand.

"No. Come here and give me one of those," said Draco, straightening from his slouch.

"Demanding, aren't you," said Ginny, slipping into the room after Harry. She sniffed the air. "Who called?"

"My cousin Hera, with news of the latest evil plot brewing amongst my relatives," Draco told her, and took a long swallow of butterbeer. He looked speculatively at Ginny. Think Slytherin -- they were young, and he didn't want to be a father just yet, but if it would keep his relatives off his back, it couldn't hurt to ask...

He felt a smirk slide onto his face. "Weasley? You have to get pregnant, and it has to be mine."

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AN: Thanks for reading, and please review!