A/N: THIS STORY CONTAINS SOME DEATHLY HALLOWS SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
On that note, this story is dedicated to my absolutely beautiful and wonderful Ariana (Haji666)!! I hope she enjoys it!!! I wrote this first chapter on a whim because she told me to. We sat in the park for hours, and thought. Finally, she came up with her own wonderful storyline, and gave me the beginning of a plot for something like this... and so, this pathetic little story popped out, and here it is! I hope it's not TOO horrible, and I also hope I can ACTUALLY finish it, unlike pretty much everything else I do. Hee hee. Anyway... do enjoy the story!!
Oh, and just so you know: the story WILL get more interesting as it goes on, I promise... or rather, I'll certainly do my best!! ENJOY!!
The glint of the store window caught her eye as she passed. Her head turned automatically to stare, and she found herself stationary in the middle of the street. The bride-to-be inside of her was paralyzed by the sight of the shop, which was brightly lit and full of happy, chattering customers. The window display was simple, but it appealed immediately to the excitement that consumed Ginny's conscious thought: a row of delicate, golden rings was laid out upon a spectacularly clean white cushion.
As though she was a magnet to the wedding rings, Ginny walked to the glass in a trance-like state. Her eyes fell dazedly upon the display, and as she stared in awe, she let out a breath of wonder. She and Harry had not yet chosen their wedding rings, but then, their engagement was really quite recent. She remembered the proposal with a comfortable smile upon her face: she remembered the unbelievable shock, the sudden mirth that then crashed upon her, and she remembered, too, the wonderful hour that had followed.
She must have been grinning something outrageous, because she knew eyes were upon her. Her face heated as she quickly wiped away her silly expression, embarrassment rising rapidly to her pale cheeks. She turned to apologize to the poor witness to her moment of public giddiness, but the sight that met her ashamed gaze changed her feelings abruptly. Her small, awkward smile disappeared as quickly as though it had been hexed away as a head of blonde hair that she could have recognized anywhere stood before her now, shaking itself softly with a low, amused chuckle.
"Wipe that shock and disgust off your face, Weasley: it doesn't flatter you." In the year that had passed since the battle against Voldemort, Draco Malfoy's cold sneer had not changed even slightly. His mouth was twisted into its usual smirk, and his fierce eyes betrayed the haughty laughter he was clearly restraining.
Ginny could think of no response, her mind wiped blank with the shock of seeing Malfoy again, after all that time. Confusion swept over her, and she opened her mouth to say something just as nasty and rude to the man, but all that tumbled from her lips was: "What are you doing here, Malfoy?" It was pathetic, but she was still too taken aback by his sudden presence to realize how lame the question sounded.
"I should ask of you the same question," Malfoy sneered, his eyebrows high on his face, adding to his expression of smug pride. He glanced toward the display of rings that shone dazzlingly in the window, taunting her. "I can already see the obvious answer, however, so there would really be no reason to ask it." A horrible glint in his cold, grey eye told Ginny he did know, and thought her engagement comical. "Am I correct to assume that you and Saint Potter are going to be wed?" The corners of his lips twitched arrogantly, clearly entertained by the thought.
She knew angry color was rising to her face, but she could not stop it. She felt it pointless to lie, so she admitted a quiet, stuttering "yes," before turning back to the window.
"Touching," was his reply, his voice full of arrogant sarcasm.
Still focused upon the glistening rings, she cleared her throat. "You haven't answered my question, Malfoy: why are you here?"
The man was silent. His lack of a quick, sarcastic retort made her look up. His face had gone slack, and she could not read this new expression. "I would think that obvious," he said quietly, turning his gaze to the rings as well. It took him a while to continue. She waited patiently for him to go on, curiosity nailing her to the spot. She watched him lick his lips and inhale deeply before saying at last, "I'm going to propose to my girlfriend."
Ginny instantly grabbed the opportunity for an excellent chance to insult him, smiling sweetly while her eyes danced with mischief: "Another one? What— was Pansy Parkinson not loose enough for you?"
Malfoy stayed calm, but the stiff writhing of his mouth expressed his amusement at her words. "Pansy was not for me," he said. "I prefer my women more sophisticated, and at least slightly more reserved than she."
"So, who's this new girl?" Ginny questioned, letting her stare fix upon one particularly beautiful ring that sparkled in the sun pouring through the gap between their bodies.
"You wouldn't know her."
"I'm sure," Ginny sniggered. "What are you, ashamed of her, whoever she is?"
Draco Malfoy's glare was malicious. A muscle in his jaw twitched maniacally as he struggled with his words. Finally, with what seemed a lot of effort, he hissed slowly though his teeth as though every word was a struggle to emit: "You don't know her, Weasley." He placed particularly angry emphasis upon his last word. His brow was creased, and his lip curled in seething fury. She watched his hands twist in their tight grasp behind his back.
She gulped, his icy glare intimidating her into submission on the topic. "Alright," she said, surprising herself with her calm tone, "alright, I get it. So: Draco Malfoy's in love, is that it? I didn't know it was possible." She smiled wryly.
Malfoy's neck seemed to give an involuntary twitch. Ginny stared at him. The man's brow fell low over his eyes as he stared furiously at the shop window, as though he had never hated anything more than the glass before him. His reflection glinted at her as she looked back at the display as well, and she licked her dry lips once as she waited for him to speak. He stood so stiffly he could have been an angry but beautiful ice sculpture. She gazed for a few more moments upon the shining rings, but soon after her thoughts began to drift towards her wedding, he spoke:
"I suppose I am," he said inconclusively. His tone was cold but calm in contrast to his angry demeanor that seemed to emanate a chilling hatred, warning her not to persist in her questions. She did as his posture suggested, and continued to stare silently at a single ring as it glowed at her lusciously. Several moments of silence passed, and she found herself wondering why she was still standing there beside him. Just as she began to contemplate leaving, he spoke again. He spoke as though it cost him to do so, and with such uncertainty that it felt contagious, and made her confused simply to hear him speak. "My father likes her," he said slowly, "for she will gladly continue our family's proud legacy."
The response came immediately, without a second thought: "Your father likes her? What, so you're just going to marry her because he likes her? What about love?"
She looked back up at him, unable to resist as he said brusquely, "My father is a smart man. He knows what he is talking about."
Ginny snorted. "Oh, yeah," she laughed sarcastically. "He's a genius! The man went to Azkaban for a year because he was smart enough to join You-Know—Voldemort, and smart enough to be a bigot who hates people just because of their background."
She regretted her pronouncement the moment she finished it. He was too fast for her, and very suddenly, he had her pressed against the window, his vicious glare more terrible than ever she had seen it. She could hear his fingers clutch at the glass angrily, and heard it shake echoingly so that shouts of worry could be heard from within the shop. "Don't you ever talk about my father like that, Weasley," Malfoy hissed. His face was a mere inch from her own, and her heart was beating fast as his sneer hovered over her obviously terrified expression. Pure, unadulterated disgust dripped from his every word, and his arms shook on either side of her. She heard his fingertips slide upon the immaculate glass, and as the owner gave a cry from within and began scurrying toward the door to tell them off, Malfoy growled in annoyance, looking over her shoulder at the small old man. He removed his arms so she was no longer trapped, but still she remained frozen in shock and terror, her wand buried deep within her robes where she could not retrieve it easily. She was panting when he pulled away.
"We're done here," he grunted, lifting his eyebrows at her as a salutation before pushing passed her to actually enter the shop. She turned to watch him go, her breath still shallow from shock. His palm prints stuck heatedly to the clean glass. Between the two handprints, she pressed her front to the window, staring in at the white-blonde man now sweeping over the cases of engagement rings. The encounter left her breathless, and terrified. She continued to stare, until Malfoy seemed to at last find a ring he deemed worthy, and pointed to it stiffly. As she watched him sneer down at the tiny boisterous man who took it out of its enclosure to let him examine it, a terrible fire of hatred rose within her. It gave her at last the strength to pull herself together, straighten out her robes, and remove herself from the scene in a huff.
A/N: OH YES, AND DON'T FORGET TO REVIEW, MY FRIENDS!! I DO SO LOVE REVIEWS!! I GOBBLE 'EM UP HAPPILY, SO DON'T LET ME STARVE!!