Ginny Weasley hastened into the greeting room of the Diagon Wizard's Club at an extremely quick pace. She had a meeting with the Registrar for the upcoming charity auction being co-hosted by the Diagon Witch's Club and she was horribly late. The auction was benefiting the new wing at St. Mungo's that had been dedicated to veterans of the second war. As the female counter-part to the Wizard's Club Registrar, she would be performing appraisals and keeping inventory of all of the items donated and being considered for auction. Her position as Assistant Head of the Department of Magical Artifacts, a new section of the Ministry implementing and maintaining the registration of all known magical relics, texts, and documents in existence, made her a perfect match for Registrar position and she had practically been a shoo-in when the Witch's Club had decided on whom to appoint to the job.
Ginny stepped up to the front desk and smiled warmly at the elderly wizard seated just behind a glass partition.
"Good Afternoon, sir," she stated through the hole in the glass, "I am here to meet with the Registrar for the upcoming charity auction. He should be expecting me."
"That I am," a smooth voice drawled and Ginny whirled around to face the last person she wanted to see lounging elegantly against the far wall.
"Oh shite," she thought irritably.
Blaise Zabini stood there in a crisp muggle suit that fit his body in the most infuriatingly attractive manner. His shaggy brown hair and dark eyes were warm and mischievous as he scanned her body fortuitously. She could feel her cheeks starting to burn in a combination of anger and embarrassment, whichever emotion was more intense she wasn't quite sure.
"You are the Registrar?" she asked touchily.
"I am," Blaise replied with a sly grin, "now, if you'd care to follow me, we can begin discussing the inventory and appraisal process."
Ginny huffed indignantly but followed Blaise nonetheless. He led her back into a large gallery just off the main entrance. It was a beautiful room, outfitted in your typical men's club décor. A rich mahogany flanked every surface and Blaise gestured toward a massive leather club chair for her to sit in. She stalked over and plopped down, crossing her legs and clasping her hands in an effort to maintain her sanity. It had been merely a week since she had last seen Zabini and his cool demeanor threw her off guard. After all, their last meeting had not ended well. Not that that was surprising, whenever she was around him she found it almost impossible to keep herself from lashing out in the most irrational comportment. He was quite literally a catalyst that fueled her fiery Weasley temper. His insanely good looks and ridiculously smooth manner brassed her off for some reason and she always seemed to end up erupting like a volcano.
It had always been that way with him, even during school. He had been quite the ladies man back at Hogwarts and Ginny had had a crush on him during her seventh year. She had been dating Harry then, but she couldn't deny that her eye had wandered in Zabini's direction more often than naught. She had noticed him appraising her frequently also and strange feelings towards the handsome Slytherin had quickly developed. Indeed, it was those very feelings that had a small part in her and Harry's final break up. Once she became single, several wizards had sought her out but Zabini had not been among them. To say that she had been disappointed was an understatement. She had been utterly irate and his tendency to watch her, occasionally tease her, as an added incentive to Draco's incessant taunting, and his constant presence around her had not bode well. Whether it was the library, down by the lake, the Quidditch pitch, Zabini would ultimately show up. Yet he never once made a move. In fact, he always had some lovely swot with him and he seemed to almost flaunt the fact that she wasn't the one on his arm. It was truly maddening.
Since then, Ginny had been submerged into the strangest of social circles. After the war, Harry had actually become friends with Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini. The three of them worked as Aurors at the Ministry and, as a result, the odd relationship that was Draco and Hermione Malfoy had been borne. The two of them had begun dating after an interesting day in which the Ministry's magical lift broke down with the two of them inside it. Apparently, one thing had led to another and they had emerged as the newest and most interesting couple in the wizarding world. In truth, Ginny had not been all that surprised. She had noticed the way that Draco had looked at Hermione during school and then working with her at the Ministry. She had enjoyed seeing the internal battle that raged behind his silvery eyes whenever he looked at his alleged arch nemesis. She had also noticed Hermione's preoccupation with fighting with him whenever possible and the intense thrill the both of them seemed to get from it. Yes, the pair was most definitely a perfect match and they had wed a couple of years ago, further substantiating that fact.
That fateful day had also forged an alliance between Gryffindor and Slytherin like none other and Ginny had been literally forced to endure Zabini since that time. Whenever she visited Hermione and Draco at the Manor, there he was. Drinks with Harry after work? Zabini was there. Hell, even lunches weren't Zabini-free anymore!! It was as if her Hogwarts days were repeating themselves and now she was being forced to work with him on this ruddy auction.
"Fanbloodytastic," she thought cantankerously.
This new development was not only irritating but it also scared her a little. To say that she wasn't still attracted to Zabini would be a lie. She found him extremely good-looking and his personality enthralling. Still, his incessant need to berate her and his obvious indifference towards her added a bitter note to the equation. Again, his presence around her usually did not come unescorted. In fact, each time she saw him he had a different, and rather exquisite, girl on his arm. Ginny usually had no one. It wasn't that she didn't have offers, hell she had just turned down a pro Quidditch player from Puddlemere, it was just that her new position and her extremely fastidious nature had kept her from dating as of late.
The sound of Zabini's smooth drawl broke her out of her reverie.
"Seeing as we only have a month to accept and catalogue the items being put up for auction, I suggest that we make it a point to meet every Friday to maintain a running inventory," Zabini stated smoothly. He was pouring himself a brandy and looked over at Ginny questioningly, holding up the decanter.
"No thank you," she replied, "I agree that we should try to maintain a running inventory however at this point we have no idea how many items will be coming in on a daily basis. What if one day a week isn't enough?"
Zabini sat down in the leather club chair directly across from her and quirked a brow. He swirled his brandy and smiled deviously.
"Am I to believe that you desire to spend more time with me than is absolutely necessary, Weasley?" he asked wickedly. His gorgeous brown eyes were doing a mischievous dance and Ginny felt her stomach lurch in annoyance.
"Surely, based on our previous meetings, you could come to the conclusion that the idea is entirely ludicrous. I am however dedicated to this position and I refuse to fall down on the job," she stated casually. She was attempting to keep her temper in check, but the bright red tinge to her cheeks was defying her.
Zabini smiled confidently and sipped his drink. He was thinking about something, she could tell, but whether it was yet another quip to provoke her or taking her words into consideration, she wasn't sure.
"Why is that, Weasley?" he asked curiously.
"Why is what?" she replied tersely.
"Why do we always seem to part on such, how shall I put it, sour terms?" he said slyly.
"Perhaps it is the tactless way in which you address me," she quipped petulantly.
"I'm tactless? Come now, Weasley, I am not the one who has a tendency to pour drinks over other peoples' heads," he replied, an annoyingly attractive smirk sliding over his features.
Ginny blushed furiously and clasped her hands tightly. She would not allow him to do this again. She tapped her foot in irritation and breathed in and out in an attempt to calm herself.
"Look, Zabini, I'm not going to discuss this with you for the umpteenth time. What's done is done," she replied, "now can we please continue discussing the bloody auction and forget about my dumping a drink over your head for being your usual, irritating self?"
"So that's the reason, is it? I'm irritating?" he replied and completely ignored her attempt at steering the conversation into a different direction.
"Perhaps if you didn't always aim to provoke me then we wouldn't have a problem. Now, we're going to have to work together over the next few weeks and I think we should try to put our personal opinions of each other aside in order to be successful in our endeavor," she stated firmly.
"I'll only agree to that when you apologize for dousing me with troll beer," he replied coldly, "it wasn't warranted, Weasley."
"How would you know what is or isn't warranted? Have you even though about the way you speak to me?" she stated defensively.
Zabini grinned slyly and opened his mouth to speak but Ginny instantly cut him off.
"What is it, eh Zabini? Some little game you play to try and pull one over on me? Well, I've had quite enough of it! Please, for the love of Merlin, attempt to forgo your normal pattern of nitpicking every little thing about me and work on this bloody auction!" she said, her sweet voice, louder than it should have been, echoed around the gallery hollowly.
Several men in an adjoining room were peaking into the gallery to see what all the commotion was. Among them was Draco Malfoy, who wore a triumphant smirk. He had seen Zabini and Weasley go at it before and each time was more entertaining than the next. He turned to the other men and waved them away from the door, explaining that it was only another Weasley- Zabini row and not worth fussing over.
"Fine," Zabini stated tetchily, "we'll work on the ruddy auction."
Several weeks later, Blaise Zabini found himself in a world of aggravation. He had been forced to work with Ginny Weasley on a charity event and the ridiculous influx of items going up for auction had proven her initial theory correct, thereby resulting in them working together three times a week. This would not have been a problem if it was anyone other than Ginny Weasley that he was working with however it was Weasley and therefore he had battled with an insane amount of frustration over the last few weeks.
To say that Blaise was attracted to Weasley was an understatement. He found her incredibly alluring, extremely intelligent, and exceptionally beautiful. The minor drawback? She seemed totally unable to keep her temper in check around him and she was seemingly apathetic towards his diminutive fascination with her. Everything was a clipped answer, a searing retort, or an inevitable shouting match. He could, with perfect precision, pinpoint exactly when the fiery beast within would emerge and, with its exceptionally preposterous war cry, unleash on his poor, well meaning character. There was just something about him that drove her to the most irrational of reactions.
He could recall how insanely ecstatic he had been when she and Potter had broken it off in their seventh year but she had never indicated that she was even remotely interested in him. After all, he had been in Slytherin and Gryffindors had rarely dated anyone from his house, even after the war. This had made approaching her next to impossible, not to mention the fact that she and Granger had been practically attached at the hip. The only time he encountered her alone had been on the pitch or during their mutual classes, but even then she seemed to be surrounded by Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff males who all seemed to want a piece of the gorgeous witch that was Ginny Weasley.
Blaise suspected that his slight apprehension around her had played into it as well. She was bold and fierce, a force to be reckoned with, and he had to admit that she intimidated him. So instead of exerting the usual confidence he had around every other bloody witch in his year, he found himself immersed in trepidation and completely unable to speak a single coherent sentence to the infernal woman. Alternatively, he found himself parading around with a barrage of different females in order to capture her attention. It did, indeed, seem to have an affect. However, the sweet and flirtatious reaction he had hoped for, it had not been. No, the fire breathing, fury riddled heliopath had descended upon him and ever since he had been truly befuddled with this particular witch.
Presently, he saw her whenever he was with Draco and Hermione which was certainly often. He smiled at the thought of his two closest friends. They were so ridiculously perfect for each other and he had made a conscious effort to ensure that the pair ended up together. It was hard to believe it had been five years since that day. He had gone to a lot of trouble in order to secure Draco's claim over his wife. At the time, neither of them could admit that their feelings of detestation were a mask for their inherent passion for one another. So Blaise had taken it upon himself to make them see it. Esther Biglebee, a close friend to the Zabini family, and conveniently the Head of the Department for Magical Transportation, had agreed to remove the protection spells on the lift that day. Charming the lift had been the easy part but taking the polyjuice potion to mimic that blasted filing wizard had left a rotten taste in his mouth to this very day.
After his brilliant production had been played out, the two of them had become exclusive. He had known it would happen. Draco wouldn't have it any other way. Blaise knew his best mate all too well, and once he had tasted the forbidden fruit that was Hermione Granger, he knew that he would never be able let her go. Blaise smirked arrogantly at his success. He truly was the most cunning wizard he knew.
Since then, Ginny Weasley had become a common fixture in his life and had successfully driven him absolutely mad. Presently, she was standing across from him in a pair of fitted black trousers and a deep crimson top that hugged her curves lovingly. Her long, sleek red hair had been pulled up into an elegant pony tail and she was bent over slightly, writing down the newest items that had been donated for auction. This afforded him with a fantastic view of her extremely fit bum, and he felt as if the room was closing in on him. He turned away quickly, hoping that by the time he faced her again, she would no longer be bent down over that bloody piece of parchment.
"Zabini, come and take a look at these!" she said suddenly. The excitement in her voice was entirely evident and he hastened over to look at what she held in her hand.
It was two halves of a silver medallion. One half boasted a fierce looking lion and the other, a sly serpent. He assumed that a vicious battle scene would be formed when the two halves were joined together. He picked up one of the halves and examined it closely.
"Interesting," he stated quietly, "this is most likely worth a considerable amount of money. Note the emerald eyes of the serpent and the lion seems to be gilded in gold. Who donated them?"
"The name submitted with the donation was Malanger," she said as she read the submission ticket, "have you heard of the family?"
"Hmmm, sounds slightly familiar," he replied thoughtfully, "though I don't believe that they run in pureblood circles. Perhaps they are half-blood."
"Let's join the halves, I want to see the full scene," she stated anxiously.
Blaise nodded and they stepped toward one another and placed the two halves together. As they joined, the serpent and the lion suddenly came to life. The lion surged forward, striking at the serpent with its claws. The serpent reared back and maintained its striking position. Blaise and Ginny held onto the medallion and stared at it in awe. Suddenly, it jerked of its own accord and the two of them felt a distinctive surge before blackness descended on them.
Blaise sat up quickly, clutching his wand and looked around. He noticed that he was in some sort of stone room and he immediately flinched when he felt someone move beside him. Ginny sat up and placed a hand to her forehead. In her right hand she still clutched the medallion.
"Oh, my head," she stated groggily, "what the hell happened?"
"I don't know, but I have a feeling that medallion has something to do with it," he replied pointing to the medal in her hand. She looked down at it and sighed.
"Damn it! I have dinner plans tonight! What the hell are we going to do?" she said irritably. She looked at Blaise and furrowed her brows in exasperation.
"Well, Weasley, perhaps if you hadn't suggested to put the blasted pieces together in the first place we wouldn't be stuck here and you'd be able to make your precious date," he replied bitterly. He didn't like the fact that the first thing she mentioned was missing her prior engagement.
"It's not a date, Zabini and how the hell was I supposed to know this would happen?" she asked petulantly.
"I can't say I'm surprised. You Weasley's never could keep your nosy beaks away from things that fascinate you," he stated coldly.
"Excuse me?!" she shouted, "How dare you insult my family, you…you…"
"What? What am I, Weasley?" he challenged.
Ginny stood up and looked down at him with malice. Her cheeks had grown red with anger and her eyes were like icy daggers piercing his soul. She stared him down ominously and he felt himself recoil from her brutal gaze. He had obviously said the wrong thing and now he felt slightly remorseful for having ever uttered a thing against the bloody Weasley's. He stood up and crossed his arms, looking at her defiantly. If she wanted to play hard ball, he was game.
"You're a pig!" she stated angrily and swiftly kicked him right in the shin.
"Ow!! You violent, little spitfire! What is your bloody problem!!" he shouted back, "why do you find it necessary to physically assault me whenever possible?"
"You insulted my family, you git! What do you expect?"
"I did not insult them! I just said they were nosy!"
"And that's not an insult? Are you completely mental?" she retorted angrily.
She glared up at him menacingly, her chest was heaving up and down and she clenched her fists in anger. Blaise thought she had never looked more beautiful, like a poisonous flower.
"I refuse to argue with you about your blasted family!! We need to try to find a way out of here," he stated dejectedly.
Ginny narrowed her eyes at him and sighed loudly. She was still angry, he could tell, but his decision to be productive had deterred her wrath for the time being. She glanced at him contemptuously and began looking around.
"I'm sure there's a door around here somewhere," she stated purposefully.
She felt the walls with her hands and made her way around the room. As she went, Blaise watched her closely, silently hoping that she'd find something. As she made her way round the room for the third time, she halted abruptly and groaned.
"What?" he asked curiously.
She looked at him and sneered. "It seems that there isn't a door in this place," she stated waspishly, "which means that I'm stuck here until the end of time with you."
"And that's just so horrible, isn't it Weasley," he said sarcastically, "I've always been the bane of your existence, the thorn in your side, haven't I?"
She looked at him incredulously. It wasn't often that he had shown any type of emotion around her and he was currently treading on dangerous ground. He was certainly at risk for spilling his secret should they be stuck together at length. He wasn't the type to choke on his own sentiments before uttering them.
"What are you on about? You have always been the culprit and you know it, you prat!" she replied heatedly.
Blaise threw his hands in the air in frustration. It wasn't worth trying to make sense out of the woman's mad logic. She was obviously quite aggravated at the moment and trying to obtain a discernable answer from her was not a possibility as long as she was breathing fire. He slumped against the wall and attempted to ignore the gorgeous witch glaring at him from across the small room.
After a good hour of sulking, Blaise decided that ignoring Weasley would not help them get out of there. He, too, had dinner plans, and decided that working together to get out of this place would be better than working alone. He looked up and noticed her staring at the medallion, her brows knitted together furiously.
"What are you doing?" he asked suddenly. She jumped slightly and looked up at him disapprovingly.
"I was studying this ruddy medal to see if it could lend any clues as to how it works," she replied wearily.
"And?" he prompted impatiently.
"And, nothing, the stupid thing is completely useless!" she cried irritably.
She stood up and pulled out her wand, attempting to cast Revelio charms around the room. Apparently, she was hoping to uncover a door or something of the sort but her attempts were in vain. Nothing appeared. Blaise sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Obviously that is getting you no where Weasley so just cut it out," he stated exasperatedly.
"Oh, just shut up Blaise! I don't need your bloody opinion anyway," she retorted hotly and continued flicking her wand furiously at the walls around them.
Blaise stood up and strode over to her, his steely gaze fixed on her bright brown eyes. He halted just a foot shy of where she stood and looked down at her appraisingly. She seemed slightly unnerved by his proximity and he suddenly felt a surge of heat rocket through him.
"Let's settle this, once and for all Weasley," he growled.
Ginny looked slightly alarmed by his statement and the steely undertone to his normally passive voice. She frowned instinctively and shook her head.
"W- What are you talking about?" she asked anxiously.
"What is your problem with me, eh?" he asked forcefully.
Ginny's eyes flashed and she snorted. "I believe I already relayed my sentiments regarding this particular topic, Blaise," she replied fiercely.
"Ah, right, I'm the culprit, I believe was how you put it," he said, his voice rising defensively.
"Yes! You always provoke me, always go after the jugular…what is it about me that makes you act so…ridiculous?" she screamed.
"Weasley, I don't know what…"
"No, I refuse to accept that answer, Zabini! You do know what I'm talking about. You know only too well!! You have always attempted to berate me, you have always gone out of your way to tease me, and you have rubbed your perfect ability to charm every female this side of the hemisphere right in my face!" she shouted crossly.
Blaise had been looking down at his feet, contemplating her latest outburst but his head shot up in surprise at her mention of his dating habits. This, he had not expected, and her admittance that such a thing bothered her caused a little bubble of hope to form inside of him. He stepped forward and she flinched slightly, their proximity was even closer now and he longed to taste the supple, pink jewels that glistened in the torchlight.
"Do they bother you then?" he asked seductively. His lust washed over him in a wave of blissful ecstasy and he felt himself ready to pounce. All he needed was the cue from her.
"Who?" she asked bitterly, her deadly gaze piercing his sensual one.
"The women I date," he replied in a slightly mocking tone, "Are you jealous of them Weasley?"
He watched in total fascination as she transformed before his tremendously blessed eyes. The collected girl that had been struggling to maintain her composure before him had been shoved aside and a fiery, fallen angel had taken possession of her body. Her eyes were glowing malevolently and her breaths were coming in quick, short rasps. She scowled at him with such fury that he literally felt the energy shooting out of her and into his body and it felt absolutely heavenly.
"Don't you ever presume that I would actually be jealous of anyone you date! You are nothing but a conceited, cocky, unbelievably self-righteous git who is…mmm"
Blaise had successfully interrupted her by crashing his lips down on hers. His mouth was devouring hers hungrily and he heard her moan fortuitously as his tongue swept against her lips. She immediately allowed him access into her supple mouth and her arms flew around his neck and drew him in closer to her lithe body. His arms went round her waist and his hand played at the small of her back. She was grinding against him with such fervor that he suddenly felt light headed, her enthusiasm was intoxicating and he stumbled forward.
They met the wall and continued their ministrations, his hands exploring her beautiful curves and hers running through his shaggy hair. He broke their kiss and tended to her soft, creamy neck. She gasped as he nipped at her exposed collarbone and he smirked as she sought out his kiss once again. At the sight of his expression she swatted his arm and brought him in close again. He pressed against her and she sighed contentedly as he looked into her eyes. Something passed between them, a silent and beautiful admission and he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his body. He pulled her against him again and whispered saucily into her ear. She shivered in response and they slid down the wall, ripping off the clothes that suddenly felt entirely too binding.
Three hours had passed since their accidental transport to another world. It seemed that such a trip had been necessary- it had allowed them to indulge in things they never would have had the courage to partake in before. Now that she had tasted the forbidden fruit that was Blaise Zabini, Ginny certainly had no intentions of ever letting go. Presently she was leaning against his chest, blissfully reminiscing about their recent tryst, and humming a little tune.
Blaise smiled, it was familiar tune, something his mother had sung to him when he was a boy, and he found the nostalgia all the more enchanting now that the melody passed over his lover's lips. She had been quiet since their unbidden tryst, and he hoped that regret was the last thing on her mind. She sighed happily and leaned into him more fully.
"What the hell were we waiting for?" she murmured with a little shake of her head.
Blaise smiled joyfully. "I have no idea," he said playfully, "but it certainly was worth the trip, don't you agree?"
Ginny chuckled sweetly and nodded. "Definitely worth the trip," she replied contently.
She looked down at the medallion in her hands and noticed that the former battle scene was now decidedly different. The lion and the serpent were no longer at odds rather the serpent had intertwined itself with the lion. Both were sleeping soundly and peacefully.
"Blaise, look at the medallion!" Ginny said in surprise.
He looked down and noticed the new scene. He reached out to touch it and suddenly the two of them felt themselves being pulled once again. The medal surged and suddenly blackness enveloped the pair. They held onto each other and landed with a soft thud on the floor of the gallery room in the Diagon Wizard's Club.
Ginny looked around in awe. They were back to reality. She glanced quickly over at Blaise and he was smiling at her blissfully.
"That was interesting," he stated incredulously, pulling her close to him.
"Was it?" a familiarly arrogant drawl interjected.
Blaise looked up to see Draco Malfoy looking down at them with quite the exultant smirk. Blaise furrowed his brows and looked at Draco questioningly.
"What are you doing here?" he asked quizzically.
"I happen to be a member of the club," Draco stated glibly.
"Yes, I know that," Blaise said shaking his head, "but why are you looking at us like that?"
"Well, you two are looking quite…cozy. I find it interesting," he said with that same infuriating smirk.
Blaise narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "And how is it that you happen to be here right at this moment?" he asked warily.
"Meeting's starting in ten minutes mate. Are you alright?" Draco replied, a concerned look on his handsome face.
"Yes, yes, I'm fine," he replied.
"What are you two doing, anyway?" Draco asked eyeing Ginny with a sly smile.
"We were researching a new relic, Malfoy," Ginny interjected, "now, run along, we're a little busy."
Draco merely smirked and nodded. He sauntered away and Blaise shook his head.
"That's the first time ever that I've seen him refrain from shooting a quip back at anyone. Something's not right," Blaise stated guardedly, "I think he had something to do with our little trip. It's just too convenient that he was here."
"Oh please, do you really think Malfoy would have gone to all trouble just to send us off to some little room Merlin knows where?" Ginny asked disbelievingly.
The thought of his little escapades at the Ministry five years earlier popped into his head. It was actually quite easy to believe...
Blaise looked at her guiltily. "Believe me it's not as far fetched as it sounds."
Hermione Granger-Malfoy leaned back in her chair, a triumphant grin spread on her pretty face as she surveyed the couple seated directly across from her. Blaise Zabini and Ginny Weasley had officially been dating for three months and she felt her heart palpitate at the sight of them. She leaned over to her husband and brushed her lips across his cheek. Draco looked up, surprised by her public display of affection. Normally, they refrained from this type of behavior- otherwise it could get out of hand. There had been several incidents where the pair had been unable to contain themselves, once in a nightclub men's room, once in a park near their home, and, befittingly, a few times on the Ministry lift. He smirked at the thought of that lift- it certainly had a tendency to get them going.
He noticed immediately where her gaze was fixed and he grinned slyly. He watched the couple across from them interact with one another and he chuckled to himself. Why it had taken them this long to admit their feelings was beyond him. He contemplated this for some time until a familiar female voice made him glance up quickly.
"Hello Esther!" Hermione said sweetly.
Draco glanced at Blaise, who looked like he was going to heave up a lung. His face had gone ashen and he stared at Esther Biglebee in astonishment.
"Hermione dear, I see everything worked out smashingly," Esther stated and nodded at Blaise and Ginny.
Hermione glanced at them and smiled wickedly. "That it did, Esther. Thank you so much for suggesting that wonderful spell, it worked like a charm," she said deviously and winked at the older woman.
"Hello Blaise," Esther said with a coy little smile, "and Ms. Weasley, wonderful to see the two of you so happy."
"Um, thank you Esther," Blaise said anxiously, "it's good to see you too."
"Yes, my husband and I are just on our way out. Had a fabulous dinner, you all should try the Chicken Florentine, it's to die for!" she said and turned towards a man waving at her wildly.
"Ah, it appears that I am being summoned. I better run! Blaise, Ginny, good to see you, Hermione, Draco, always a pleasure," she winked at Hermione once more and slipped away.
Blaise looked at Hermione suspiciously. "Hermione, how do you know Esther?" he asked cautiously.
"Oh, didn't Ginny mention? She's the Chair Witch of the Diagon Witch's Club," Hermione stated casually, "and being on the board has allowed me to become a close friend of hers."
Blaise gulped nervously. "Close, eh?" he said nonchalantly.
"Oh yes, very close. In fact, we're so close it might surprise you," she said leaning forward with a malevolent glint in her eye.
Blaise felt his stomach churn and his heart rate pick up significantly. Hermione smiled serenely at him and fingered her wedding ring.
"I suppose we should thank you, Blaise. After all, if it weren't for you, Draco and I wouldn't be married," she said, an iniquitous smirk spreading over her pretty face.
"Yeah, thanks mate," Draco said with a wink.
"What the hell are you on about?" Ginny asked looking back and forth between Blaise and the couple.
"Ginny, Blaise was responsible for the lift incident all those years ago," Hermione said smartly.
"What! You did that! You sneaky little bastard!" she quipped good-naturedly and swatted him on the arm.
"So…you two aren't brassed off then?" he asked.
"Oh, of course not," Hermione said and took a sip of her wine. She gazed at her menu casually and Blaise looked at Draco who winked assuredly.
"Besides, we already got our revenge, you know," she stated matter-of-factly, not bothering to look up from the menu in her hand.
"What do you mean?" Ginny asked suspiciously. She glanced at Blaise warily and he shrugged his shoulders in befuddlement.
Hermoine looked Blaise squarely in the eye, a smile tugging at the corners of her full lips.
"You didn't actually believe any other family besides ours would own a medallion like that, did you?" she asked cunningly.
Both Blaise and Ginny's mouths fell open in complete astonishment. Draco chuckled merrily at their reaction and Hermione merely sat back and sipped her wine, a smug grin on her lovely face.
"But how…when…the family name was Malanger!!" Ginny spluttered.
"Malfoy, Granger, put them together and what do you get?" Hermione replied with a giggle, "and you thought you were so cunning!!"
Blaise couldn't believe what he was hearing. Hermione sodding Granger had pulled one over on the master of games, the king of cunning, the ruler of all that is guile. Not to mention, she had also gotten some major vengeance for his little trick. He was utterly flabbergasted. He had absolutely no words.
"Have you anything to say?" she asked Blaise with a wicked grin.
He shook his head, his eyes wide in disbelief.
"What can I tell you Blaise? Payback's a witch."
A/N- I tell you no lies when I say that I have literally agonized over this bloody sequel for a good month! The general idea was easy enough to come up with but you wouldn't believe how difficult it was to tweak!! I went through several drafts before finally deciding it was good enough for posting.
Please read & review and tell me it was worth it!!
Oh, and isn't a cunning Hermione unbelievable!! She's even better than Blaise, in my good opinion ; )