This was written for Farrha's challenge at The DG Forum. The prompt: Ginny opens up her own shop. Draco becomes a regular customer. Bonus points if Draco spills ice cream onto Ginny somehow.

There were some other bonus points, but I was feeling lazy.

Of Brothels and Ice Cream

Ron called it the brothel. Dean Thomas called it a good time. Molly and Arthur Weasley preferred not to think about it at all. Such was the response to Ginny Weasley's latest attempt at playing entrepreneur. She had always dreamed of opening her own shop, though no one had ever thought that dream would take fruition as a massage parlour.

"You're bringing shame on the family's name!" Ron had declared when he found out. "You had might as well go sell yourself on Knockturn Alley corner!"

"For the last time, Ron, it is not a bloody brothel!" Ginny retorted. "I'm a masseuse; I give people massages. The only people getting undressed are my clients, not me."

But Ron had not been satisfied. Then again, he was known to be quite the prude, and the thought of his sister rubbing her hands all over wizards and witches in various states of undress (though mostly wizards, if the rumours were true), made him turn quite purple with rage and embarrassment.

Others were not so nice in their ideas. Theodore Nott, for one, rather enjoyed the way Ginny kneaded and rubbed her hands over his body, and was known to be a regular customer. In fact, many young, influential wizards became patrons of Ginny's new shop, so it was inevitable that Draco Malfoy should one day decide to enter its portals to see what all the fuss was about. He always did like to be in the mode.

Draco's first impression of the parlour was mixed. He had been expecting some garish rendition of a Turkish harem: bright walls, an abundance of silk, and the whole place perfumed with noxious incense. He was therefore pleasantly surprised when he saw the minimalist but tasteful decor, and that the walls had been painted a soothing apricot. Soft music was playing from the Wireless, and the air was not thick with incense, but smelt of relaxing oils and something floral – seductive scents that were by no means overpowering.

Then Draco saw the owner.

"Hello," Ginny said cheerfully, placing a box of something down on the floor and pushing a bundle of thick red hair out of her face. "Do you have an appointment?"

Draco examined the woman before him with a subtle but expert eye. She was not wearing wizarding robes; instead, she was dressed in loose pants of a non-descript colour, which, as he soon realised, did nothing to disguise her shapely legs. Ironically, while the too-much material on her lower-half did nothing to conceal her legs, so did the too-little material on her upper-half do barely enough to hide her breasts. The green singlet she had chosen to wear did indeed cover everything, but her full breasts strained against the cloth, leaving no illusions as to what was underneath.

The blond smiled wryly to himself as he lifted his eyes to her (admittedly) pretty face. So this was why the shop was so popular.

Ginny quirked an eyebrow at him. "Satisfied with what you see, or would you like me to pose for you while you're at it?"

Draco blinked, taken aback. Had he been that obvious? No woman had ever caught him out before. He brushed the matter off in a second. It made no difference if she had seen him checking her out.

"I was simply seeing why my friends have taken such a fancy to this place," he replied in his soft drawl, casting his eyes about the shop in appraising way before focusing back on her. "Now I know."

Coming from anyone else, his words might have been taken as a compliment. Ginny, however, was no fool, and saw the barb for what it was.

She placed a hand on her hip, meeting his grey eyes challengingly. "I'm sorry, Malfoy, do I offend you prudish pureblood sensibilities because I like to wear pants and a singlet instead of robes?"

"What you wear has nothing to do with me, Weasley," he responded, and though his tone was polite, there was no disguising his contempt.

Ginny gave a low chuckle. "Goodness, you are stiff. I'd hate to think what your back is like."

A crease formed on his brow. "Excuse me?"

She grinned, and he had the sudden feeling he was being led on like a lured fish, waiting to be hooked.

"This is a massage parlour, Malfoy. My job is to help people ease the tension in their bodies." She eyed him speculatively, taking in his rigid (but perfect) posture, and the tightness of his jaw. "Judging by the look of you, I'd say you don't even know the meaning of the word 'relaxed'."

Draco, if it were possible, held himself even straighter. "I do know how to relax."

"Is that so?" she responded, lifting an eyebrow, her voice quivering with amusement. "Prove it, then."

"Excuse me?" he repeated, as if the very idea was unfathomable.

"Relax. Loosen up. For Merlin's sake, stop acting like you've got a piece of iron strapped to your back."

Draco responded by giving her a contemptuous smile. "I'm not playing these games with you, Weasley. I came here to satisfy my curiosity because my friends seemed to believe there was something special about this place. Now I see it is just as common as I thought it."

Ginny remained unperturbed and folded her arms, a smug smile fastening to her lips. "I thought so."

He paused on his way to the door. "Thought what?"

"You can't relax. It's not surprising, really, considering how far that pompous pureblood code of conduct has been shoved up your arse."

Draco let out a small breath. He knew he was going to regret what he did next, but the redhead was proving to be rather like a persistent mosquito: impossible to ignore, and irritating beyond reason. He turned to face her, resigned now to playing her game, if only to shut her up.

"Do you really think that goading me is going to make me want to let you touch me?" he said bluntly, not even bothering to be polite now.

She smiled, showing every one of her teeth. "Yes, Malfoy, I do. Wanna know why?"

"Why?" he repeated, rolling his eyes.

"Because you're curious." A chuckle escaped her lips. "And because you can't bear the thought of a Weasley getting the best of you."

She was right, of course, on both counts. Draco glowered at her.

"There's no need to look at me like that," Ginny observed with frustrating cheerfulness. "I guarantee you'll enjoy it."

"I find that highly unlikely," was all he saw fit to reply.

Nevertheless, Draco allowed himself to be steered into the backroom where Ginny gave her massages. The smell of oils was much stronger back here, and he eyed the massage chair in the centre rather as one might eye a guillotine, uncertain if it was really safe or not.

Ginny smiled at him. "So then, do you want the full body massage or just a back massage? I'd recommend the full body – you look like you need it."

Draco glanced away from the chair, meeting her twinkling brown eyes. Something about that sparkle made him go on alert.

"What does the full body massage entail?" he asked warily.

"Pretty much everything, but I should let you know that you'll need to be naked for the full body massage." She smiled at his surprised (and slightly embarrassed) expression. "Don't worry, I'll give you a towel to cover yourself."

"I really don't think—" Draco began awkwardly, but Ginny cut him off.

"There's no need to be shy. Believe me, in my line of business it gets to the point where you don't care how little a person is wearing." She smiled again, her eyes glinting with teasing humour. "I promise I won't perve."

Draco's cheeks flushed with colour, but he went back to his usual pale self soon enough. "Alright," he agreed coolly, Malfoy pride coming to his rescue, "you can give me a full body massage."

The last thing he wanted was to prove that he was too uptight to let her give him a massage. Though why he cared what she thought was beyond him, especially since he did feel uncomfortable at what she was suggesting. He was not the kind of person who got undressed for just anybody. Towel or no, he was not certain that he wanted to let Ginny Weasley into those privileged ranks of women who had seen him without clothes.

"You can get undressed behind that screen," Ginny said, oblivious to the privilege she was about to receive as she gestured to the partition in the corner. "You'll find some towels in there as well."

Draco went behind the partition without a further word and began undressing. He was acutely aware of the woman behind the screen, and once again asked himself why he was doing this. It was completely ridiculous. Theo and Blaise might enjoy it, but Draco was feeling anything but relaxed, and he doubted Ginny Weasley's supposedly 'magical hands' would change that.

He came out from behind the partition, towel wrapped around his waist, and looking rather unimpressed. Ginny smiled but said nothing, merely gesturing for him to get comfortable on the bench-like chair – Draco wasn't actually sure what it was. Gingerly, he lay down on his stomach, careful to make sure the towel didn't reveal anything. He had his modesty to protect, after all.

Ginny came over to fix up the towel, and he couldn't help but flinch when her fingers brushed against his skin.

"Just relax," she told him in a soothing voice.

His body tensed even more, rebellious to her commands. When she straddled him, he almost sat up in surprise, but then her hands, slick with oil, began stroking gently on either side of his neck, moving up to his temples, which she lightly rubbed, and then back down to his neck. Draco closed his eyes without even realising it, his body losing some of its rigidity as she guided him with her hands into submission. She worked on the pressure points in his neck, then his shoulders, taking her time to ease the knots of tension.

Once she had finished with his shoulders, she made her way down his spine, pressing gently, only to come back to his shoulders along his sides, kneading and massaging, her palms moving seamlessly against his skin like liquid on silk. He was already beginning to feel sleepy when she made her leisurely way down his arms, taking an almost pedantic interest with his hands. Then she was back at his shoulders, trailing her hands caressingly down his body until she came to his lower back. She spent much longer there, working out all the stress and tension he was carrying, and applying much more pressure with the heels of her hands. She seemed to know exactly where to touch him in order to work her magic, pausing only to rub more oils into her palms when necessary.

Of course, there were moments when he felt a flash of discomfort (like when her hands slipped beneath the towel to work her way down his buttocks), but there was something about the way she kneaded and worked her hands into his body that made him instantly relax again. He forgot why he should be concerned that a Weasley's fingers were coming very close to the family jewels, and almost drifted off altogether as her touch, combined with the ambient music playing in the room, lulled him into a state of euphoric sleepiness.

Draco barely registered when she got off him and moved down to massage his legs and feet, so caught up in the pleasurable feel of it all. In fact, it was only when she told him that she needed him to turn over that he began to come to himself again. He obliged, still retaining enough cognitive powers to remember to hold the towel in place and settle it comfortably over his private parts once he was lying on his back. Ginny only smiled at his prudishness and then began massaging his legs, starting at the shins and then moving up to his thighs. Draco closed his eyes, surrendering to the relaxing power of her touch.

Again, he barely noticed when she straddled him and shifted her attention to his hips, then his ribs, then his chest, until finally back to his neck. He felt like he was in a trance – a very pleasurable trance. She rubbed her thumb lightly along his jawbone to just below his ear and back, and then, just when he was certain to fall asleep, she removed her hands and slowly eased off him.

Draco lay there for a moment, half expecting her to start massaging him again. Nothing happened. He raised himself up on his elbows groggily, meeting her amused gaze.

"Feeling better?" she asked, mouth lifting into a smile.

"I, uh . . ."

"Careful," Ginny interposed with a nod downwards, "you're about to lose your towel."

Draco clutched the towel to his waist, pink blooming and dying on his cheeks. "Thank you," he said stiffly, sitting up more to avert the danger of flashing the redhead.

Ginny laughed. "Even after all that, you're still as stiff as a plank of wood."

"And you're still as tactless as ever."

A smile danced in her eyes. "Ah, but I did get you to relax, if only while the massage lasted."

"Do you want a gold star for your achievement?"

"If you have one," she said cheekily.

He rolled his eyes and stood up, still clutching the towel to his waist. "I'm going to get dressed."

Without waiting for her to reply, he went back behind the partition and pulled his clothes on. It was impossible to make witty retorts when one was conscious of only wearing a towel while his tormentor was fully clothed. Draco was confident, but he wasn't that confident. He needed to even the scales.

He could hear Ginny bustling about from the other side of the screen, no doubt cleaning up after their session. Draco slung on his robe, frowning at his reflection (though not because he looked bad; he was well aware of how attractive he looked in black). He hated to admit it, but the massage actually had been very nice – certainly better than that painful travesty Pansy called a massage. He still shuddered at the thought of her crimson talons digging into his back (it had not occurred to Pansy that having long nails might impair her massaging abilities).

Draco came out from behind the partition, meeting Ginny's amused gaze. The woman seemed to never stop smiling. It was beginning to get on his nerves, for it seemed to him that she was indulging in a private joke – one, he had no doubt, which was all at his expense.

"How much am I paying you, then?" Draco asked before she could get in another of her irritating comments.

Ginny said the amount. Draco raised an eyebrow (apparently she did not come cheap), but he simply pulled out his wallet and handed over the specified money.

"Thank you," Ginny said with her ever-present smile.

He nodded once to her in reply – a gesture that may have been acknowledgment or dismissal – and then he left the shop. Ginny watched the door shut behind him. It was difficult to say whether she thought she would ever see him again. She knew she had given him a good massage, but then Malfoys were proud creatures and were not against making sacrifices to maintain their loftiness.

Her scepticism was not ill-founded. Draco, after leaving the shop, certainly did not plan to return to it. He had enjoyed the massage, but he was no longer under the drugging powers of her hands and had soon realised that to go back would be a crime not only to his family name, but also his dignity. He would not join those ranks of wizards who flocked to her shop like adoring dogs. He had far more pride than that . . .

Which is why, of course, barely a month later he was walking back through the doors and demanding a massage from her.

Ginny had the sense not to say anything provoking, perceiving that it had probably taken Herculean efforts for him just to enter the shop, and that he would leave at the drop of a wand should she offend his sensibilities. So she simply led him into the back room and gave him his massage, where he once more became malleable under her fingers like softened metal. Just as he was about to leave, she told him that the next time he wanted a massage, he would have to make an appointment. Draco nodded and then left without a further word, just as he had the first time.

She wondered once more if she would ever see him again, but, sure enough, Draco came back the next month after making an appointment. This time he was more talkative and seemed much more relaxed in her presence. She was not surprised when he made another appointment for the next month, or the month after that. Then the monthly visit was increased to every fortnight, and then every week, until Draco became her most frequent customer.

Ginny didn't know how it had happened, but their relationship had subtly changed since that first time she had given him a massage. He still hardly ever spoke about his own life, but they bantered and flirted with each other like old friends whenever he came for his massages now, and while he still kept the towel when she was giving him a full body massage, he wasn't quite so pedantic about protecting his modesty. He had grown to be comfortable around her, and this in turn had let her discover how much she enjoyed his company. Draco Malfoy with his guard down was very different to Draco Malfoy with his guard up, though he was still a little cool and mocking.

So when said Malfoy barged into her shop one summer day and demanded a massage without so much as a hello, Ginny could only stare at him with a faint crease on her brow.

"Do you have an appointment?" she asked, folding her arms.

"You know damn well I don't have an appointment," he snapped, looking rather frazzled.

The contrast between this edgy young man and the cool, faintly mocking gentleman she had got to know over the past eight months was almost ridiculous. Ginny soon discovered the reason for his distress as she was giving him his massage. Pansy Parkinson, it seemed, was doing her best to ruin his life. Draco wouldn't go into the details (he was not some gossiping school girl), but he did mutter a lot of unflattering things about the dark-haired witch, most of which seemed to stem around someone named Irena.

Ginny assumed that Pansy had somehow sabotaged Draco's relationship with the absent Irena, and had to check her own disappointment. It wasn't that she liked the blond, exactly, but giving a massage to a handsome, single man was much more exciting than massaging one who was not hers to admire at will. And Ginny did indeed admire him.

She had never forgot the first time she had given Draco a massage. It wasn't just because his grey eyes were really quite beautiful, or because there was something about the way the light caught his silvery blond hair. It wasn't even because he had a nice body, and she rather enjoyed the way it felt under her hands. No, there was just something different about him, and she had noticed that when giving him his massage. Perhaps it was simply because he was the only one of her male patrons who did not throw his clothes off with indecent relish or give her those smug looks like she should be falling at his naked feet. Or perhaps it had something to do with the way the blond, normally so rigid and formal, relaxed so easily at her touch. Either way, Draco Malfoy had stuck in her mind, and that attraction had only increased the more he had come to her.

But if he had a girlfriend . . .

"So this Irena is your girlfriend?" Ginny asked casually as she worked her hands into the grooves and muscles on his back.

Draco gave an inelegant snort. "Hardly."

Ginny's initial reaction was to give a pleased smile, but then it occurred to her that just because he wasn't dating Irena didn't rule out that he was still seeing the woman. And if Pansy, whom Ginny knew had dated Draco for several years, was interfering with the relationship, there had to be something there . . .

The redhead frowned, her hands pausing slightly as she tried to reason out her entangled thoughts.

"Something wrong?" Draco asked when she continued to remain still.

Ginny blinked and immediately got back to massaging. "Sorry. I was just thinking about something."

Draco chuckled. "I thought I was the only one whose thoughts were allowed to wander during these massages. I wonder what I'm even paying you for."

"Quiet, you," Ginny said sternly, giving him a light tap on his back.

He smirked (not that she could see, but she just knew he would be smirking).

Ginny finished up the massage and then stepped back, wiping her hands on a nearby cloth. "There, you're done."

He thanked her and got up off the bench, stretching to wake his sleepy limbs. Ginny couldn't help but admire his toned body, watching the muscles grow taut and then relax again as he let his hands drop back to his sides. Draco noticed her staring and raised his eyebrow questioningly. Ginny glanced away, trying to busy herself with her oils.

"Same time next week, then?" she asked, not looking at him.

"I can't," he said, slipping on his shirt. "I need to take care of Irena."

Ginny frowned, not certain what he meant by that.

Draco pulled out his wallet and handed over the money for his massage. "I'll see you round, Weasley," he said offhandedly. "And thanks for the massage. I know it was short notice."

The door closed behind him before he had even finished his sentence. Ginny placed a hand on her hip, unsure whether she should be annoyed or just resigned that he always left so rudely.

"Why do I even care?" she muttered to herself.

Having no answer to this question, Ginny pushed all thought of Draco Malfoy aside and focused back on her work. Unfortunately, he and the mysterious Irena kept creeping back into her mind without her permission. Ginny was rather glad when it was time to close up shop. It was difficult to stay focused on Vivian Legerwood's dramatic conversations when all she could think about was a certain grey-eyed man.

By the time Ginny got back to her house and cooked herself dinner, she had realised two things: the first was that she really detested Irena; the second was that, despite her attempts to be professional, she had somehow fallen for her favourite customer. Being a woman who liked to have her own way and never accepted defeat without a fight, there was only one option now available to Ginny.

"The tart has to go," Ginny said grimly.

She stabbed her fork into her tortellini with such ruthlessness that one almost felt sorry for the absent Irena. Ginny, however, had no pity to spare. All was fair in love and war, and Ginny was quite determined to be with Draco Malfoy now that she had realised she liked him. It was just a matter of convincing him that he liked her too.

"Which shouldn't be too hard," Ginny mused. It was obvious he was attracted to her, and he had been coming to her shop more frequently.

But first the mysterious Irena would have to go.


Ginny did not see Draco the next week and missed him dreadfully. When he didn't make an appointment for the week after, she began to get a little worried. Finally, she asked Theodore Nott if he knew what Draco was up to these days. What she learned made her heart turn cold. Draco was with Irena. He had been with Irena ever since Pansy had gone away for her honeymoon with Blaise. Why, hadn't Draco been turning up for his weekly massages?

Since this last part was said with knowing mockery, Ginny retaliated by pushing much harder on the pressure point she was currently working on. Theodore's back jerked and he gave a small hiss of pain. He stopped teasing her after that. By then, however, the damage had already been done. It was obvious Draco liked Irena, yet this only made Ginny more determined to get her foot in the door before Irena managed to shut it completely. Weasleys, it must be noted, never took defeat sitting down.

So when Ginny saw Draco in Diagon Alley the next day, she wasted no time in coming over and talking to him.

"So this is where you've been hiding," she said by way of greeting.

Draco jumped at the sound of her voice and swung around to face her. The ice cream in his hand, which was already melting, slid off the cone with the abrupt movement and splattered at Ginny's feet, spraying her with bits of Cauldron Surprise. Ginny winced, feeling the sticky coldness of the ice cream seep through her open-toed shoes. Draco, who had gone pale when he first saw her, was now staring at the spilt ice cream like he couldn't believe such a ridiculous thing had happened.

"I'm sor—" he began, but a little girl with black hair and big grey eyes suddenly came bounding up to him.

"Where's my ice cream?" she demanded, staring at the topless cone in his hand.

"I'm afraid it fell off the cone," Draco admitted, shooting a quick glance at Ginny.

The girl's lip trembled. "I want my ice cream!"

Draco knelt down beside the screaming and sobbing girl, trying to calm her. "Don't cry, Irena," he pleaded. "Look, we'll just get you another ice cream, okay?"

"But I want my one!"

"The new one will be your one as well," Draco pointed out.

"No!" she screamed, and then stamped her foot for good measure.

Draco sighed and ran his hand through his hair. Clearly, this little one's tantrums were not new to him.

Ginny, meanwhile, was staring at the tantrum-thrower as if she had never seen a child throw a fit before. Draco had called the girl Irena. Irena.

"Oh my gosh," Ginny breathed, realising the full extent of her idiocy.

She had been getting jealous over a dark-haired brat who looked no older than four years old.

Draco glanced up at her as if just remembering she was there. "Right, Weasley. Look, I'm sorry about the ice cream. I'll make it up to you sometime, but I—"

"I want my ice cream!" Irena sobbed, drowning out the rest of his words. "I want my ice cream!"

"That's enough, Irena!" Draco snapped, rounding on the little girl.

She went silent, shuffling her feet and staring up at him through her big grey eyes. "But you promised," she said pitifully.

"I know, which is why I'm going to buy you a new one. Now just be patient." He turned to Ginny. "Look, I'm really sorry, but I'm kind of tied up right now. Perhaps we can talk another time."

Ginny stared at the sulky girl, then back to Draco, noting his thinly veiled exasperation.

"Would you like some help?" Ginny said instead.

Draco frowned. "What?"

She laughed. "I mean would you like some help taking care of Irena. She seems quite the handful."

As if to prove Ginny's point, Irena started tugging at Draco's hand and demanding when he was going to buy her the new ice cream. Draco shushed the girl and then looked back at Ginny.

"Sure," he said, barely managing to contain his relief.

They walked together back to the ice cream shop, Irena skipping along beside them. Draco bought the new Cauldron Surprise ice cream, which he told Irena she had to eat quickly or she would lose it again. Irena simply grinned and then set about licking her ice cream (and seeing how much of it she could get on her face in the process).

Draco and Ginny sat down at one of tables outside the ice cream parlour, watching Irena prance around with the other children hovering around the shop.

"Is she yours?" Ginny asked, turning to face the blond.

He was a silent for a moment. "Yes," he admitted.

Even if he hadn't said yes, however, she would have known Irena to be his daughter. There was no mistaking those grey eyes.

"You're not married, are you?" Ginny asked suddenly, casting an anxious glance at his hand to see if he wore a ring, even though she had never seen him wear one before.

He laughed. "No, I'm not married."


He shook his head.

"I see."

Draco stared at her sharply. "What do you mean I see?"

She shrugged. "Well, if you're not married and not divorced, you must have got Irena's mother pregnant during a fling or while you were dating."

"Your point?"

"I just didn't peg you for the type to go around getting random girl's knocked up."

"I don't go around getting random girl's knocked up, as you put it," Draco said coldly. "It was just the one girl, Weasley, and I happen to have known her my whole life."

"Alright, alright, there's no need to get in a miff."

Draco rolled his eyes. "You have some nerve coming here and judging me like this. You're not so perfect yourself, you know."

"I know," Ginny agreed amiably. "According to my brother, I run a brothel and might as well be selling myself on Knockturn Alley corner for all the respectability I have."

Draco laughed, despite his best efforts to remain annoyed with her. "Well, you do like to ask your customers to get naked for you."

"So do artists, but people don't call them brothel keepers."

He chuckled again. "Thank goodness my daughter isn't around to hear this conversation."

Ginny looked a bit guilty. "Right, probably shouldn't discuss brothels and prostitutes in family-friendly areas." She stared at him more intently. "So are you going to tell me who Irena's mother is or not?"

He lounged back in his chair. "I would have thought it was obvious."


He nodded. "We were twenty-two: young, stupid. It shouldn't have happened, but we were careless. We broke up three months after Irena was born."


"Things were already rocky between us when Pansy got pregnant." He shrugged. "It was only a matter of time."

"And now she's marrying Blaise?"

He nodded.

"So who will Irena live with?"

"She lives with Pansy normally, so it would make sense for Irena to stay with them, but I don't know. Irena doesn't particularly like Blaise."

"I see."

Draco smiled. "Again with the I sees."

Ginny laughed. "I'm not judging you."

"I know, I'm just wondering why you're so interested."

She coloured slightly and looked away. Now was probably not the best time to admit she fancied him. Besides, she didn't even know what to think now that she had discovered he had a four-year-old daughter.

Irena suddenly came bounding over to them, green ice cream smeared all over her face. "Can we go look at the pet shop, Daddy. Please? I want to see the turtle!"

Draco picked up one of the napkins and cleaned her face for her with expert precision. "Alright, Irena, but only for a little while."

Ginny smiled as she watched the two interact, then started as the little girl seized her hand and turned her big grey eyes on her.

"You'll come too, won't you, pretty lady?"

"Of course," Ginny said warmly, feeling oddly flattered by the girl's innocent remark.

The little hand squeezed hers, and Ginny suddenly found herself walking alongside Irena (who was also holding Draco's hand) as they headed to the pet shop. They looked like a family, a fact both Draco and Ginny were aware of. She chanced a glance over Irena's head and met his eyes. He looked apologetic, even a little uncomfortable. She grinned, letting him know it was fine. In truth, she was quite enjoying herself.

They got to the pet shop, where Irena gushed over the jewel-encrusted turtle. Ginny spent most of her time admiring Draco, taking a strange sort of pleasure in watching how he behaved with his daughter. He was a good father, she thought.

"What?" Draco demanded when he caught her staring at him for the tenth time.

"Nothing," Ginny said with her small, secretive smile.

"You keep staring at me," he stated, refusing to be dismissed.

"Do I?" she asked innocently.

His eyes narrowed, taking on a suspicious glint.

Irena tugged at his coat, distracting his attention. "Can I get a kitten, Daddy?"

"Certainly not," Draco replied. "Besides, your mother would kill me."

"But I want one!" was the automatic response.

Draco, however, would not be moved, and took her whining for furry creatures as a sign that it was time to leave the pet shop. It didn't occur to either of the Malfoys that Ginny should not come with them, so Ginny decided to follow them to their next destination, and so it continued until Draco invited her to have dinner with them.

"I'm sure Irena would like it," he added.

"Would you like it?" Ginny asked, deciding it was time be forward.

He met her eyes in a quick, searching look. "I wouldn't be against it," he said slowly.

"Then I'll stay."

And that was that. Ginny joined them at Draco's house, where Irena was staying while her mother and Blaise were away. Irena insisted that Ginny sit next to her (she seemed to have taken to the redhead), and spent most of the evening chattering and pestering both adults with questions. Ginny found herself meeting Draco's eyes more than once with a smile when his daughter said something particularly ridiculous – a smile that seemed to spread until it was no longer gracing her lips, but had become part of her heart, warming her body with its gentle beat.

"She's an adorable child," Ginny said once Irena had been sent off to bed later that night.

"She's spoilt as hell," Draco responded, dropping onto the couch beside her.

He closed his eyes, letting out a tired sigh. Ginny nudged him in the ribs.

"What?" he said, opening an eye to look at her.

"Lean forward," she told him.

He obliged, and she scooted around behind him, letting her legs rest on either side of him. Without a word, she began to massage his shoulders, working her fingers through the thin cotton of his shirt. He sighed much more contently this time and leaned into her touch.

"That feels wonderful," he murmured, eyes still closed.

Ginny smiled and continued to massage his shoulders, feeling him slowly relax under her fingers. Once she was satisfied that he was nicely de-stressed, she pulled her hands away and made to move out from behind him, but his hand stopped her. He twisted around to face her, and the hand he had placed on her thigh slid up to rest on her waist. She met his grey eyes, which were suddenly very close, and felt her heart quicken in her chest. They looked at each other for a moment, and then he closed the gap between them and pressed his lips to hers.

Fire tingled through Ginny's veins as she felt their lips collide – a fire that went straight to her core when he deepened the kiss. He guided her back against the seat, and she sighed as his body brushed against hers in all the right places, igniting her blood with little sparks of passion. She wanted more, so much more, and couldn't help but press herself against him as she locked her thighs around his waist, needing that friction.

"Gods, Weasley," Draco bit out, pulling back from her. "Are you trying to make me rip your clothes off?"

"Do me a favour, Draco," Ginny said, grabbing a fistful of his collar. "Stop calling me 'Weasley'."

She kissed him before he could get a word out in response, holding him down by the grip she had on his shirt. He stopped complaining after that, even letting her remove his shirt, but when she started going for his pants, he put his hand down to stop her.

"Not with Irena here," Draco said firmly, though not at all rudely.

Ginny sighed, losing some of the wild passion that had taken control of her body, and flopped back against the couch.

"Well, there goes that plan."

"So desperate to shag me?" he asked, raising his eyebrow in amusement as he held himself above her.

"I've only been looking at your sexy naked arse for the past eight months. Can you really blame me?"

He laughed. "I thought you said it didn't matter what your clients were wearing – or, rather, not wearing."

"That was before you came along."

Draco smiled and smoothed her hair away from her face. "Good."

"What do you mean good?" Ginny snapped.

"I meant exactly what I said. I don't want you getting your jollies out of looking at other men."

"Oh, really?"

"Yes, really," he murmured, placing a small kiss on her neck. "I want you all for myself."

"And who says you get to claim me as yours?"

His eyes danced with wicked humour. "Well, love, after already getting one girl pregnant, I don't do the sleeping around for fun thing anymore. I'm afraid you're going to have to become my girlfriend if you want to shag me."

"Only if I become your girlfriend?" Ginny asked in mock dismay.

"Mhm," he murmured, trailing kisses down her collar bone to her breasts, which the half-unbuttoned blouse did not quite cover.

Ginny gave an exaggerated sigh. "Well, then, I guess I'll just have to become your girlfriend."

Draco raised his face, meeting her twinkling brown eyes. They stared at each for a moment, and then—

"Ah, screw it," Draco muttered, grabbing his wand and muttering a silencing and locking charm on the door. "Irena will never know."