Pansy Makes an Impression
Pansy, more than anyone else, had been told by both Draco and Lucius about what was happening with Ginny. She felt sad for Ginny. She remembered how her father pulled away from her after her mother's death and how he disappeared from her life when he met his new wife. When confronted about it, he told anyone who dared to say anything that they were wrong and that he didn't see as much of his daughter because she also started Hogwarts that year. If it hadn't been for Lucius and Narcissa, she would have been left forgotten at King's Cross station on Christmas break her first year. When Narcissa placed a Floo call to the Parkinson home, a house elf informed her that Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson had left on holiday and wouldn't be returning for a month. Pansy spent Christmas at Malfoy Manor that year.
Pansy could only imagine how it felt for Ginny. Everyone at Hogwarts was able to see how the Weasley siblings were close, so she was shocked to hear that none of them had contacted Ginny. However, in an odd way she understood how stubborn they all were.
Life for the Weasleys had not just continued.
Bill spent every second of his free time trying to find a way to break the curse on Ginny's betrothal as well as the marriage bonds. He was desperate to find a way to free his baby sister. As a result, his marriage was suffering greatly. Fleur had returned home to her parents in France and had found a job. She saw no reason to be with Bill as he only came home to sleep. Shell Cottage was now covered in a blanket of dust in every room but the bathroom and the master bedroom.
Charlie had taken a leave from his job at the dragon sanctuary, as he felt he could no longer do his job there due to a lack of passion for it. He had returned to London where he was staying in Fred's old room with George; the two hardly spoke. Charlie had taken a job in a book shop to cover his living expenses.
George had thrown himself into the joke shop and coming up with new products like never before. He often fell asleep in the lab at the back of the shop.
Percy didn't seem any different to anyone; he kept up at work and there was no decline in his productivity.
Ron was failing in his Auror training. He was the most lost of them all. Harry and Hermione were both at Hogwarts, and that meant Ron felt he had lost everyone.
Arthur, like George, spent most of his time at work. He claimed there was a lot of cleanup to do after the war.
None of the Weasley men felt they had a right to enjoy themselves when Ginny was being raped nightly by Lucius. Each was so consumed by their own guilt that they couldn't even see that each of them was doing the same thing.
Molly had tried to remain normal for awhile after Ginny married Lucius, but the change in her husband and boys broke her heart. She had tried to have family dinners, but the quiet each time she tried was deafening. This past Christmas, there were no Weasley jumpers for anyone. Birthdays came and went without any fanfare.
Meanwhile at Malfoy Manor, Lucius was doing his best to get Ginny to fall in love with him. He made a point of having breakfast and dinner with her each day. He found she had a great sense of humour when she was in good spirits, but he also found his wife wasn't one to hold her tongue when mad! She would give the person whom she was displeased with quite the lashing, yet in the same breath was perfectly nice to others.
This night, Ginny and Lucius were talking and she was in a good mood. He dared to ask about something that had been bugging him for months. "When we first married, you implied that Voldemort taught you things. May I ask what?"
Ginny had grown to trust Lucius. It was hard not to when she was spending each night in his bed. She still wanted to be in the Rose room, but that was just wanting to be in control. Yes, Lucius allowed her control over what was happening with the baby, but he also wanted control. He was old school, where a husband was the head of the house and made all decisions. She got that he was not as liberal as her own father was, but she saw he was trying. She was grateful for the attempt. "I lied," she admitted.
Lucius smiled at her. "I figured as much. It was smart of you, really," he admitted. "Never let someone you don't feel you can trust know what you can and cannot do. Do you feel you can trust me now?"
Ginny thought for a long moment before replying, "We have been married for eight months now, and sharing a bed nightly for four of those. During the night, you never allow yourself to sleep hard enough to miss me stirring. You have never harmed me, as I feared. You haven't gone out socially since I have been trapped in this bed, but you refuse to allow me to return to the Rose room. I do trust you, but it's a cautions trust."
Lucius knew that Ginny wanted to return to the Rose room, as she pointed it out each chance she could.
"Ginevra, it makes sense that you're here. This is the master suite in the home; therefore, it's the largest. This means that there is more room for the medical equipment, for your nurse, and for your teacher. Pansy asked about making some changes; would that help?"
She didn't want to explain that it was the personal issue of sleeping with him and leaving herself open that no longer bothered her, but the fact that she was now sleeping each night next to him so well. "I guess it could not hurt," she lamented.
"No large changes at this time. We can't have major work going on right now," he reminded her.
"I think Pansy is the one you need to remind of that," Ginny commented.
"Merlin, yes! Narcissa taught that girl how to shop and even decorate."
Ginny still felt bad; she forced Lucius to marry her before he could finish grieving for his late wife. "How are you doing with her death?"
"I'm fine with it," Lucius stated. He didn't think Ginny needed to feel guilt over the fact that her birth had been the then unknown reason for the breakdown of his marriage to Draco's mother.
Ginny watched the wall rebuild around Lucius.
Pansy was picking up some new magazines to bring to Ginny. She wanted to get a feel for what Ginny liked. While in the shop, she noticed a man stocking the shelves; he was very attractive to her. She knew deep down she had a thing for bad boys... not bad boys, but men. Men her father wouldn't approve of. And a stock guy in a book shop was exactly that.
When Pansy arrived at Malfoy Manor, she found Draco visiting Ginny. "Good day, Draco. Ginny, I hope you don't mind that I returned so soon."
"No, that's fine Pansy. Would you mind doing me a favour and slap Draco for me?"
Pansy cocked her head and looked at Draco while replying to Ginny, "Is he being an arse again?"
"Always!" Ginny fumed.
Pansy swatted at Draco. "Go away! And don't come back until Ginny asks you here!"
Draco knew Pansy very well and this lack of interest in beating him when asked told him something was up. "Pansy saw something, or rather someone, she wants badly."
Ginny's eyes lit up with excitement. "Oh, do tell!" She was a romantic at heart. "Draco, go away!" she ordered.
Draco shook his head. "Women! You're both traitors! A week back, the idea of you two chatting was unthinkable. Now you're both kicking me out to gossip!"
"GO!" Ginny demanded.
"Fine, I'm going."
Once Draco left, Ginny smiled at Pansy. "So, what did you see?"
Pansy blushed. "Just this guy, a stock boy at the book shop."
"Was he cute?" Ginny asked. She wasn't a boy crazy girl, but after being cooped up in one room for months, she was taking a big interest in anything that happened in the "outside world."
"He was handsome, and very sexy."
"What's his name?"
"I don't even know; he was so focused on his work, I could have been walking around naked and I don't think he would have noticed me."
"Aw Pansy, I'm sure he was just busy," Ginny tried to assure her. "Did you try talking to him?"
"No, I couldn't think of anything to say!"
"But you were in a book shop!" Ginny exclaimed.
Pansy looked a bit embarrassed. "I know that; it's just when I see a guy like that, I can't think for the life of me!"
Ginny smiled. "I remember being like that once. You could have asked about a book."
Pansy started to laugh. "Oh Merlin, how dumb am I?" She then covered her mouth. "You are totally right! He was so good looking."
Ginny smiled. "You know Pansy, I kind of need a book with baby names."
Pansy smiled back at Ginny. "I like you, Ginny. I'm actually sorry we didn't get to know each other before this."
Ginny got a sad look on her face. "My other friends, Luna and Hermione, won't come here," she admitted sadly.
Pansy wasn't really sure what to say. "Um, I guess I can understand why. I'm sure they wish they could see you," she offered.
"I know, I just... I miss my family too," Ginny started to cry. She hadn't voiced this to anyone yet.
Pansy had a reasonable idea of what was happening from Draco and Lucius. "You could send them an owl."
Ginny shook her head and a sob escaped. "It's not time; they're all too stubborn to see it. Once this baby arrives, then they will understand.
"I don't know Ginny." She paused, "How will they know the baby has come?"
Ginny gave a laugh. "A birth announcement, or my sister-in-law will end up pregnant."
"You don't plan on telling them?"
"I will. I just mean it could happen before I get to tell them. The odds are pretty high, after all."
Before returning home, Pansy stopped back at the book shop. She wasn't sure where she would find a book of baby names, so she walked around looking lost. She was pleased when she saw the guy from earlier.
"Was there something I can help you find?" he asked.
"Um, yes. I need a book of baby names."
"Oh, well that's a project you won't find here in cooking. Follow me to the childcare section. And congratulations!"
"Oh no, it's not for myself! My friend is on strict bed rest and asked me to get one for her," Pansy explained.
"Come with me." He led the way to the childcare section. Once there, he grabbed a book. "My mother used an older version of this one. It has both old fashioned and modern names included." When he passed it to Pansy, their fingers touched. Both felt a connection, but Charlie, knowing of the curse of not being able to have children, pretended he didn't feel it.