Possible Spoilers/Warnings: All Books, just in case. Canon up to the Epilogue, as all good D/G fic usually is. =]
I threw this one out to the universe and hoped it wouldn't come back to bite me.
My whole life had revolved around what my mother thought was good for me. I was almost twenty-two years old, already an adult in my world, and she still hadn't given up the reigns of my life to my hands. (Is that pathetic? Maybe just a bit, but who the hell are you to judge anyway?) Yeah, Mum always was a bit of a control freak when it came to my brothers and me. I think it was mostly due to the fact that there were so many of us.
I was the only girl of seven children. The rest of those children are, obviously, boys… all strong-willed and rambunctious. That was another reason my mother controlled me the most. I was her little girl. I should have been a pretty, proper little princess like snooty little Susan Bones, or a simpering twit like Lavender Brown. I shouldn't have been interested in saving the world by actually doing something useful to the cause.
Merlin forbid, I could have broken a nail!
Maybe I was overreacting.
I highly doubted it, though.
One of the worst things about the whole situation was how Harry and everyone else seemed to agree that I shouldn't actually try to fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters were still at large. As much as I loved Harry, I already had six brothers, I didn't need another. That's the main reason Harry and I called the whole thing off all those years ago.
So then, was it so wrong for me to rebel a little? I mean, it was their entire fault, after all. The tighter you hold something, the more eager it will be to get away, right? So it was their own fault that I'd done something that crazy.
My name was Ginny Weasley… and I was a brunette.
There. I'd said it. It was out there in the universe for everyone to behold. I'd magic'd my hair into a lovely shade of Midnight Madness, and, thanks to the styling assistance of Hermione Granger, chopped off the majority of it.
So, yeah, there I was in The Golden Needle (my very own robe shop, thanks to George's generous contribution to my cause once I'd turned nineteen and realized my dream), taking this bloke's inseam in, when who else but my brother and his best mate sidled up behind me? The worst part, though, was that they didn't even know it was me! My über hulk of a brother then cleared his throat and asked if I'd seen his sister.
I jumped, spinning to face the pair and accidentally wounding my client in the process. Poor Mr. Gould…
"Pardon? What was that?"
"Ginny Weasley? Have you seen her about?" It's Harry that replied.
"Harry, you dunce, it's me."
I tell you, no matter how old I live to be, I'll never forget the look on his face when he heard me say that. Dumbfounded was putting it lightly. My brother was no better. I smiled a bit and begged Mr. Gould's pardon for a moment.
(Poor chap looked like he needed a moment, anyway.)
"Ginevra Molly Weasley!" Ron burst out as we stepped into the back of the shop. "What on earth have you done to your head?"
"I've dyed it, of course," I replied, hesitant and suddenly timid about my new style. "A bit of a trim as well…"
Colin and his newest boy toy had both agreed it was très chic. Would Colin lie? I highly doubted it, especially concerning fashion… But he'd hate to hurt my feelings. Maybe it was a nice look, but not entirely me-esque? When Hermione had helped me pick it out of Witch Weekly's Hottest Styles, she'd confirmed that it "suited her very well." And, of course, we all knew how Hermione was with her opinions.
"Mum's going to massacre you!"
Oh yes, Ron was still going on about my hair, wasn't he? Choosing to be the bigger person in our situation — which wasn't very hard, considering I was talking to Ron — and ignore his comment, I turned to his friend.
"You've been awful quiet, Harry."
He seemed to snap out of his daze, then. "I like it, Ginny."
"Of course you like it!" Ron snapped. "It's your haircut! Give her a set of glasses and a scar on her forehead and she's your bloody twin!"
I blanched, hurt that he'd say something like that. Did I ever criticize him and his stupid haircut? No! Did this stop him from talking out of his arse all the time? No.
"Shut it, Ron," Harry said, obviously sensing my hurt.
"Why don't the two of you just get out of here? I, unlike some people, don't have time to dawdle around," I suggested, running a hand through my fairy hair. "I have clients."
So they fled in shame (not), which left me to tend to poor Mr. Gould.
- - - - - - - - -
I sighed as I glanced at the clock, which was stuck between time to work and time to go home. If it didn't turn soon, it was going to be time to dump the dumb old clock in the rubbish.
I sighed again, turning to face yet another client in my growing list. I smiled at him briefly, an apology of sorts for ignoring him. My eyes glanced over him quickly, only registering the basics: blonde, slender, tall…
"Sorry, love," I said, to go along with my smile. "How may I assist?"
"I have a gala of sorts coming up. I need new dress robes."
I nodded, smiling again. "Of course, Mister—"
"Malfoy. Draco, if you please."
Wait, what? Did the world just flip on its ear? What the bloody hell was Draco Malfoy doing here in my shop? The strategically placed smile didn't wane as I grabbed a pad and a quill. He obviously didn't recognize me, and the shop needed his patronage. Plus, it wasn't like he was the very same rat-faced little snot as he was in Hogwarts… He didn't look half as rat-faced.
"What are you looking for in a robe, Mr. Malfoy?"
"Just call me Draco, love. I need something modern, with a touch of class. No ruffles, no lace. No ridiculous colors that supposedly 'go well with my coloring.'"
"Black robes, then?"
"Finally, someone who understands fine fashion!"
Despite myself, I laughed. He was a very charming little toad when he didn't know you were, oh, say, one of his most hated enemies.
Well, to be accurate, I'm the sister of one of his most hated enemies, as well as the ex-girlfriend of his most hated enemy. Draco and I never had enough interaction in Hogwarts to qualify me as one of his enemies, nor he as one of mine.
I told him to hop up onto the platform so I could get his measurements.
"What kind of gala are these robes for then, Mr. Mal—" he gave me a very pointed look "—I mean, Draco?"
"The Ministry of Magic's throwing another of those dreadful Christmas balls. You know the ones."
In fact, I didn't know. Even though Dad had always gotten invited to such parties, we'd never been able to go since there were so many kids in our family and Mum never knew anyone willing to give up an entire evening to babysitting. Since I'd grown older, I'd never really had the opportunity to go to one.
I nodded anyways, though, since Malfoy did know this neat little fact.
"If they're so very dreadful, then why go?"
"Because, being my mother's son, I have to."
"Why is that?" I asked, murmuring to my quill the width of his back, which it recorded on the parchment without delay.
"She's the one that's planned it this year and is completely running it."
His appointment went on in much the same way, the two of us having a surprisingly interesting conversation and me muttering to my quill. When we'd finished up and I was telling him that I'd have his robes ready by tomorrow so he could come in for the final adjustments on them, things got a little odd.
"Say, would you like to have lunch?"
I glanced up from my parchment, confusion and shock all over my face.
"Lunch. Would you like to meet me for lunch tomorrow?"
You don't even know my name!
I hesitated, fingering the ring Mum had given me as an early Christmas present. Supposedly it had belonged to her mother before she'd passed, but I never knew Grandma Prewett to wear such things. Malfoy seemed to notice my lingering gaze as I turned over the offer in my head.
"Oh, Merlin, I'm being an ass, aren't I?" he chuckled, a sheepish smile begging my pardon. "Here I am completely ignoring the fact that this lovely witch is obviously taken and asking for a date anyway."
Blushing has always been one of the things I detested most about my natural hair color. That, and the fact that I could never wear my house colors without clashing horribly. And, sadly, even though I'd dyed my hair, I could never escape the proof that I was a natural redhead.
"Taken? Me?" I laughed nervously for some reason and blushed profusely. "Hardly! I haven't had a date in, oh, ages I suppose."
Yeah, because that didn't make you sound pathetic at all…
He smiled at me, sensing that I was even more embarrassed by what had just come out of my mouth.
"How about dinner tonight, then?"
"I'm sorry, I can't; I'm having dinner with my… family."
"How about this: I'll be back tomorrow for my robes and I'll bring you an invitation to the Ministry's ball. Don't make any plans for Saturday night; I need a date."
With a charming, smirky little smile at me, he was gone.
What have I gotten myself into?
- - - - - - - - -
The next day came and went with Draco doing precisely as he'd said he would. He stopped by the shop and tried on his robes to find they were a perfect fit, which was not unusual for my clientele. As I admired him in the exquisite ebony garment, he took it upon himself to bring up Saturday night.
"So will I need anything else to match with your dress robes, my dear?"
I smirked at him cockily. "And how are you just so sure that I'll be there?"
"Because who can resist my charms?"
I rolled my eyes, but smile to myself. Somehow, our comfortable relationship didn't bother me. After everything that went on during and after Voldemort's fall, I couldn't find it within myself to be awkward. He helped us win, as did his mother. Despite our families' tensions, I didn't want to open up the flood gates of prejudice… I still hadn't come clean about my identity. He still didn't know my name. He didn't know it was me under this messy mop of Midnight Madness.
I didn't want to lose this weird, lighthearted situation we had.
So, yeah, that's how I ended up standing in this massive line at the Ministry so they could check my invitation and take my coat. My feet were aching already from standing there for so damned long, waiting for others to find their tickets to be let inside. How the hell do you lose a magical invitation in your bloody purse, at any rate? Bloody stupid bints…
I glanced up to see the door man reaching out. Oh, right, my invitation.
I smiled and handed it over. "Here you are."
The man looked relieved that at least one person had their shit together. I laughed lightly.
"Go on in."
I stepped inside the ballroom and smiled. Lady Malfoy did not disappoint, that was for sure. I checked my coat and bag, then began my search for the elusive Master Malfoy. It didn't last long.
"Care to dance?" His voice was silky smooth as he sidled up behind me and placed a hand on the small of my back.
"I'd love to."
I'll admit it: I felt self-conscious in the long ruby red robes. Off the shoulder and low-cut in the front, they left me thanking the Powers that my assets weren't large enough to overcome the v-neck. Draco didn't seem to mind.
"You look great, love," he murmured as we lazily swirled on the floor. "But I think red hair and green robes would've been more fitting."
I gasped and looked up at him. He was smirking.
"You honestly thought I didn't know you were Ginny Weasley? After the uproar your brother made about your hair when he left your shop?"
I blushed and ducked my head. The whole of Diagon Alley must have known about it by the time Ron had made it from my shop to the Leaky Cauldron.
"I-I dunno… Why didn't you say anything?"
"Why ruin the moment and make you feel an obligation to loathe me?"
I smiled as his words obviously echoed my earlier thoughts.
"So now what do we do?" I asked, smiling a bit.
"Oh, the usual. Ride off into the sunset—"
"It's dark outside."
"Walk along the beach with our hands entwined—"
"I hate sand."
"Get married and live happily ever after—"
"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance," I retorted, smirking at him as the song ended.
"Then let us hope that luck is on our side."
-- fin. --