Author's Note: Originally written for Adelagia in November 2008 and posted in January 2009. The prompt was a lost shoe. Beta'd by FreeDaChickens.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related characters, settings, and terminology belong to J.K. Rowling.


On One Condition

Ginny growled in frustration as she dug through her trunk, tossing her robes and books out onto the floor. She stared at the bottom of the now empty trunk with loathing and exasperation. The floor of the sixth year Gryffindor girls' dormitory was cluttered with all of her belongings except one wretched thing.

A shoe. One measly shoe.

She didn't even know how she could have lost her one shoe when she only had two to her name. In another situation—if she had more shoes or money to buy new ones—she wouldn't have cared if she lost a shoe. In fact, she would have been happy to lose this particular one.

She really couldn't help the fact that her family was so poor that they could only afford to buy shoes every couple of years, and even then, only from used clothes stores. Ginny stared down at the shoe she had put on before she realized that she didn't know where its brother was. It was made of stiff, age-blackened leather that had used to be brown. Unfortunately, they had been worn into that state before she had received them. The laces were thin and fragile; they often broke as she was tying them.

Ginny hated these shoes. Not only were they uncomfortable and ugly, they smelled of something that had died. Certainly not from her own feet, but she hated to think what kind of fungus the foot that used to occupy these shoes had. She had tried spells and potions to make them smell better, but had only succeeded in making the smell stronger.

The idea that someone might have found her shoe or stolen it was horrifying. She didn't want to admit it was hers if someone asked around, but her only other option was to walk around school with one shoe.

Ginny looked around the dormitory surreptitiously, though she knew her roommates had already left for breakfast half an hour ago. She tried to open the trunk of the girl whose bed was left of hers and snarled to herself when she couldn't. She tried her other roommate's trunk, but it too was locked. She sighed. She had a decision in front of her.

Walk around the castle in one shoe or socks?

By the end of the day, Ginny was a wild, snapping werewolf. Most people stayed out of her way, but the unfortunate ones who hadn't heard about Ginny Weasley's explosive anger today and dared to look at her sideways were yelled at or hexed with her best Bat Bogey curse. It had been bad enough going down to breakfast wearing one shoe and receiving all kinds of looks and jokes, but then to have to walk into and out of the Great Hall after people had dropped food and made a right mess of the floors was not only disgusting but humiliating.

Finding only one shoe wasn't even the worst part of her day. It was only the beginning of her bad day; the rest had only gotten worse as it passed.

In Potions, Professor Snape had taken points from her for "refusing to wear the proper attire for class." She had not been allowed to participate in the day's lesson because she hadn't had protection for both of her feet, and he'd given her a zero grade for the day.

Then she'd had to walk outside to Herbology, and since it had rained the night before, there had been mud puddles everywhere.

Professor McGonagall had also taken points from Ginny for her incomplete uniform. She was so angry that she'd been unable to concentrate in Charms, and Professor Flitwick's disappointment was almost worse than McGonagall's thin-lipped disapproval.

Then she had to go back to the Great Hall to wade through more food. First years pointed and giggled at her, but they quickly scattered under the weight of her savage glare. Pansy Parkinson had set eyes on her at some point during the day, and cornered her in the second floor corridor with Crabbe and Goyle behind her like bodyguards.

"Have things gotten so bad, Weasley, that you can't even afford a whole pair of shoes?" she asked.

"Have you gotten so desperate, Parkinson, that you've resigned yourself to Crabbe and Goyle? Malfoy isn't tending to your needs?"

Her face pinked in anger and embarrassment. She did not look at the two boys beside her. Ginny didn't think they had even understood what had been implied.

"You stupid wretch! Don't speak of things you know nothing about!"

Ginny smirked then and discreetly pulled out her wand. "I might know more about it than you think." Parkinson's eyes widened, but in the next second she was being chased by her own flying bogeys.

That had set a good example for the rest of the school.

Now, as Ginny left dinner, she didn't care that her one sock was disgusting and soiled with food and dirt and water and dust. She only wanted to get to her room and go to sleep. Who cared about the other damn shoe? Her day had begun and ended terribly, but the next one couldn't possibly be as bad. With this thought in mind, she left the Great Hall, not noticing Draco Malfoy standing in the shadow of the marble staircase until he called to her.

"Hey, Weasley!"

She froze and turned around slowly. Malfoy was leaning against the wall nonchalantly, spinning an ugly black shoe on one finger.

"You!" she cried when she saw the shoe, whose equally ugly brother she wore on her left foot.

"Lose something?" he asked with a smirk. She stalked up to him and tried to take her shoe back, but he raised it in the air above his head, out of her reach.

"Give it back, Malfoy!"

"On one condition."

"There's always one condition," she complained.

"Yes, well you should be familiar with them by now then."

Ginny rolled her eyes but followed after him as he headed towards the dungeons.

"Why must you always take my things?" she asked.

"Why must you always leave? If you would just stay put, I wouldn't have to steal your belongings to make you come back."

He stopped in front of the door of a classroom that Ginny knew from personal experience was always empty. He turned on her, disarming her as he always did with his smile.

"We have classes. And people would wonder where I've gone," she said. "Unlike you, I'm popular enough that people would miss me."

He leaned over her, his breath warm on her neck in the cool dungeons. "Is that so?" he muttered.

Her body trembled because of his nearness as she replied, "Yes it is." Trying to come up with something to distract him, she threw out, "Parkinson cornered me today. She seemed bitter."

"Wouldn't surprise me," he murmured between kisses on her jaw. "She keeps thinking she has a chance. She should take a hint and realize I'm not interested."

Unable to concentrate, Ginny stuttered, "W-why d-don't you tell her you're otherwise, um, engaged?"

"What? And ruin the game we have?" He tried to kiss her on the lips, but Ginny turned her head away.

"It's not a game to me, Draco."

"Right. I know. It's not to me either," he whispered in apology.

"Can't we discuss this inside?" she asked.

"Sure."

Draco removed the ward he had placed on the door to keep intruders out and let Ginny inside the classroom before following her in. As soon as they were inside, he reached for her waist and pulled her against his chest, lowering his head to finally taste her lips. Several heated moments later she pulled away.

"Don't ever take my shoe again! I need that, you idiot!"

"That's the idea, silly weasel," he smirked. "If I took something you could do without, what would bring you back?"

"I'll always come back, stupid."

He pushed her up against the door, pinning her there with his warm body. Ginny couldn't breathe while his lips were on hers, but it was a pleasant suffocation that she would gladly suffer any day. Her fingers stroked his face and his hair, while his hands roamed her body. One of his hands had managed to get underneath her school robes and her shirt, and now one finger was spelling something into her bare back. Her body shook and heated, and she never wanted to leave this room, but for some reason she always did. Right now she couldn't remember her rationale for leaving. Staying seemed like too much of a wonderful idea at the moment.

As if he had read her thoughts, he muttered on her mouth, "Will you stay this time?"

He had already unfastened her robes and dropped them to the floor. His hands were now tugging gently at the hem of her shirt. Hers fumbled with the buttons on his robes. Ginny's mind swirled foggily. She couldn't really think clearly, but she knew that she had to be crazy to end what they were doing now.

"On one condition," she said.

Draco laughed. "What's that?" She let go of him long enough for him to tug her shirt up over her head but then returned right back to his arms.

"You never ever steal my shoe again."

"Fine," he agreed as he guided her towards the sofa that they had conjured the first time they had met in the room. She lowered herself down and pulled him on top of her, her lips refusing to leave his.

Ginny didn't notice him smirking to himself. He had never promised not to steal her knickers, had he?