A/N: This is a silly little oneshot that provoked me two days ago. No worries, dear readers: I'm still writing Highrollers. I just couldn't ignore this plot bunny. I got pulled into its horrible clutches! Also, I have no beta. Any grammatical mistakes are on me.

Wherefore Art Thou Draco? or: Making Sweet
Passionate Love for the Good of the Performance

It was hands down and without a doubt the most ridiculous, foul idea the old buffoon ever had.

It was preposterous. It was absolutely disgusting that he should have to stand in front of the staff and try to obtain some blasted role in a frankly far-fetched and debasing play. Not even writing to his father helped one bit; Lucius had simply told Draco it was something he was going to have to suffer through.

He had practically shredded that letter over his plate of breakfast muffins. Malfoys don't bloody well suffer. They found a goddamn way. Didn't father know? Didn't he realize that the sixth and seventh years performing some play (by a deceased half-blood no less) warranted a bit of his time and notice?

Apparently not.

"Mr. Malfoy," Snape drawled from his seat, looking quite as impatient and bored as Draco felt. His naturally commanding voice boomed in the auditorium, some huge theater most people didn't even know Hogwarts had because it was so well-hidden and out of use. How it should have stayed, Draco thought moodily. "If you could be so kind to read from Romeo's pivotal and renowned monologue during Act II, Scene II, we might get on with this day quicker."

Draco let out a heavy sigh and rolled his eyes, ignoring the way McGonagall huffed at his lack of seriousness. Snape seemed to appreciate it. Draco raised his arm limply and began in a quick monotone. "But soft what light through yonder window breaks it is the East and Juliet is the sun arise fair sun-"

"No!" protested Professor Sprout, bristling in her seat. "Not like that, Mr. Malfoy! With feeling! And pauses! Again!" she prompted.

Draco resisted the urge to throw something heavy at her. Like the stool a few paces from him or the nauseating script he had in his hands. (The stool would hurt more, he decided.) Thankfully he was a Slytherin, and a bloody good one. Bloody good Slytherins were fantastic liars. If this was what it took to get off this stage and hopefully not be in the play, he would recite the lines again with feeling.

And pauses.

A week later when the cast list had been posted, Draco realized how that had been a bad idea. Unfortunately, realizing anything in retrospect was hardly helpful.

The thing about Ginny Weasley and her maddening mouth was the fact that she opened it so often. It was downright irritating, how the fiery girl would use that sharp tongue of hers to somehow ruin one thing or another. It wasn't the first time Draco had been cursed enough to be in her presence, but it was the first time he must make love to her with his eyes (and convincingly) and whatnot.

The first week of rehearsals she did everything in her power to make this difficult: calling him an evil, prejudice waste of space, a slimy snake, and the scum that sticks to the scum at the bottom of shoes. He returned the favor gladly, calling her crimson hair carroty strands of frizz, informing her of how much money her family did not have, and even poking fun at her tendency to mess up her blasted lines.

It wasn't until the start of the second week that Draco realized, quite on accident, that Miss Ginny Weasley was most tormented when he flirted with her.

He made it a point to do so often.

This, he realized, once again in unhelpful retrospect, was probably his second mistake.

"Look what we have here. My beautiful Juliet."

"Sod off, Malfoy."

"Is that any way to talk to your beloved husband?"

"I'll talk to you however I like, and I'll have you know that I feel sorry for anyone who ends up with you as a husband."

"Now that's a little harsh, isn't it, Weasley?"


They were sitting in the library when she denied this completely rational claim. (Honestly, his wife would be absurdly rich - something he thought someone like impoverished Ginny Weasley would appreciate.) Ginny was ignoring him entirely, looking only from her quill and parchment to the Transfiguration text in front of her. Draco wondered absentmindedly if she was trying to imitate Granger with that prissy little look on her face, and proceeded to ask her such.

This prompted her attention to finally rest fully on him; he smirked in victory as she aimed her cinnamon-colored blazing eyes in his direction. He was sitting across from her, his feet propped up casually on the table.

Her answer was reaching across the island of books and wood to shove his legs quite violently to the floor (she had such a violent streak in her; it was really quite alarming) and snap, "Don't talk about Hermione like that, Malfoy. I told you to sod off."

"It would be my pleasure, my darling," he drawled, sneering as he straightened and tried to look dignified after that little outburst of hers. She smiled a very small, telling smile that transformed all of her lovely anger into dark and satisfied amusement. This look of hers always warranted his appreciation; no Gryffindor should ever look so much like a Slytherin. Or perhaps no Weasley should ever look so attractive was what he was getting at. But no matter. "As it is that old bat Trelawney wants us to run lines in an hour. She says our auras need to find the other's tune and make sweet passionate love or what have you. You know, for the good of the performance."

"Ah, yes," Ginny said sarcastically, with an exaggerated eye roll. "The good of the performance." The good of the performance happened to be whatever tickled Trelawney's fancy each and every day. For some reason that idiot Dumbledore thought appointing the crazy hag as director some grand idea.

Draco let out an amused snort and played with his striped tie. "I suggested we just make sweet passionate love instead," he murmured conversationally, peering up at her in a way that always made his conquests drop their skirts. "What do you say, Weasley? For the good of the performance?"

Ginny, accustomed to such advances by now, merely chucked a book at him.

She had cut his cheek with that book. He had cursed at her for it even days after, his teeth gritting every time his admonishments only made her cover giggles behind her hand. Or worse, sometimes she would call him a baby and offer to owl his mummy about his tender ickle bruising.

At least he got her back , which soothed him. Later that week he had been fortunate enough to slip into the girls' dressing room and charm one of her costumes to itch something fierce. As an added bonus, he charmed it to stick to her skin.

Ginny had been halfway through giving him a holy palmers' kiss before she had grown so brightly red and twitchy she had to sprint out of sight, her hands already trying to rip the fabric off.

Draco had laughed so hard his sides hurt, but he had removed the nasty jinx and the charm to boot. ("Draco, make it stop!" "Why" - guffaw - "should" - chuckle - "I?" "Because if you don't in the next second I will cut off your private bits and stuff them down your throat!" "Cor, Weasley. What an imagination you have.")

Ginny had given him a solid punch in the gut.

It had been well worth it. It was also the start of a rather determined cycle of pranking each other.

It was two months into these escapades that everything had taken a turn towards complete and utter madness.

Ginny's much dimmer and exceedingly less talented older brother had obviously many gripes with Draco starring in the production opposite his beloved and beautiful untouched flower of a sister. Ron himself had been cast as some inconsequential extra; Draco had obviously taken the opportunity to rub the Weasel's continued instances of inferiority into his puce-colored face. (Ginny was never as amused as she ought to be by his clever taunts, if one were to ask Draco.)

It was without a doubt what broke the camel's back one evening during rehearsal.

Luna and the others painting the backdrop said it was Ron who had struck first. Harry, who had been chatting with Hermione in the audience (both had luckily not made the cut and instead were part of crew), obviously said Ron never would have lunged for the Slytherin if he hadn't been so thoroughly provoked. Professor Trelawney said she knew it was going to happen all along, but that didn't really explain why she hadn't stopped it before it began.

The point was Ron had been defending Ginny's virtue and Draco had clearly been trying to violate the same. "It was only a rehearsal!" he roared later in the Headmaster's office. "There was no bloody-"

"Ron!" Hermione hissed.

"-reason that - that - He was kissing my sister!" he burst out, positively scandalized. "With tongue!"

Draco had been kissing Ginny with tongue, as a matter of fact. He stuck firmly to the conclusion that she was not averse to the kissing or his tongue.

That would explain the pleasantly surprised gasp she made when he pulled her against him. And it would explain the way her fingers curled into his robes when he pressed his lips to her soft ones. He wasn't even mentioning the pleased sound she made when his tongue nudged hers, nor how she proceeded to jump on him like an animal in heat.

Her little display of eagerness was what truly started the mess, as far as Draco was concerned. If the terribly attractive bint hadn't tried to climb up his body, he wouldn't have lost his balance. They wouldn't have stumbled out on the rickety old balcony.

Ronald Weasley wouldn't have had any more reason to beat him to a bloody pulp.

The problem was she had freckles everywhere. Even her damn no-good mouth was assaulted with a lone, distracting freckle, positioned quite enticingly on the heart-shaped curve of her upper lip. This was something that took Draco exactly one month to notice amongst teasing and flirting with the youngest Weasley. Why he would notice something so nuanced about her, he didn't know.

Why he would think of it while trying to get some sleep was a bigger mystery.

It wasn't until he was tossing and turning that he realized why. He had noticed and catalogued that silly freckle because he had noticed her lips as a whole. That wasn't so remarkable, he reasoned. She had nice lips. He enjoyed watching them as she snapped at him with such lively anger or tried to spout off sickeningly sweet lines of Shakespeare his way.

It had become a bit of a game to them and that's why he almost enjoyed rehearsal, though he'd sooner die than admit it. They both hated the ridiculous story and thought it was absurd. Their characters had known each other for three days before eloping and dying for each other in the most stupid and useless of ways. So every time they announced their undying love and attraction to each other, it was always with a secret sarcastic tilt to their smiles and a mocking light in their eyes.

Come to think of it, he rather liked her eyes too.

After that, he was helpless. In retrospect, it was his pivotal mistake, realizing he rather liked Ginny Weasley.

"Weasley, will you just move-"

"Back off, you arse! Stop poking me!"

"What was that? I'm poking you in the arse?"

"Ow! Cor, woman! You little- ow!"

"Shut up or I swear-"

"Swear away, love. I love it when you talk dirty-"

It wasn't much of a surprise that this conversation ran its course to an abrupt halt, in large part because little Ginny Weasley had barrelled into him and they ended up sprawled on the floor atop scratchy old brooms and cleaning supplies. Draco couldn't help but wonder whose fault this all was, honestly. Who could be blamed for the fact that Ginny's petite body was huffing and puffing over his, her sweet brown eyes narrowed down at him? His lips curled up into a suggestive simper and he lifted his arms to encircle her waist. (Despite the broom handle digging into his spine.)

Maybe it was his fault, for hiding that garden gnome in her bed. He would never divulge to her how he acquired the password to Gryffindor tower despite her incessant curiosity and questioning. He was just disappointed he couldn't have been there to watch her shriek in shock and anger when she found it under her pillow. (Apparently the gnome had grown quite protective of that pillow.) Maybe it was her fault for displaying her own slyness in obtaining the password to the Slytherin dungeons and leaving her twin brothers' latest stink bomb in his own sheets. (The dormitories and most of his clothes still stunk of rotten eggs.)

Either way, he supposed, they had been found out and now they had a detention to clean out the broomshed without the use of magic.

Of course, this meant Ginny had to go and hog all the broom cleaner and he had to fight her for it.

Of course, this meant she had attacked him and now here they were.

Of course, the moment he embraced her she shivered, her cheeks bursting with color and her lashes fluttering before she made a face of disgust and clamored off him, taking care to knee his shin on the way. "Hands off," she ordered tumultuously.

Draco chuckled past the pain and reached beneath him to toss the offending broom out of the way, coming up to prop himself onto his elbows. Ginny walked off with the broom polisher and a broom, plopping down on a bench with a rather juvenile pout. "What is your problem now, red? Aren't you supposed to 'deny thy father and refuse thy name'?"

"In your dreams, Malfoy," she replied hotly, still blushing fiercely, still pointedly avoiding his eyes.

He supposed that was the moment Ginny Weasley realized she rather liked him.

Draco couldn't quite recall the reason he kissed Ginny Weasley backstage during dress rehearsal. If he had to venture an educated guess, she was probably doing that adorable thing with her nose. She scrunched it up a bit like a rabbit whenever she felt impatient with him, her kissable lips pursing and her hands curling into promising fists.

She was yelling at him about something or other; he was leaning against a doorframe and rolling his eyes. She called him an insufferable bastard; he called her a frustrating minx. She gave him a good slap; he gave her a good snog.

He thought that was fair.

He also thought it fair that the Weasel received a week of detention for breaking his nose. Thankfully, it healed before opening night. Ginny dutifully kissed it better between poking fun at his considerable pain.

Naturally, the play was a raving success.

Apparently he and his leading lady had chemistry.