Decapitated Chocolate Frogs
"Well," Molly Weasley said standing in the family room at the Burrow next to Arthur, who was seated in his favourite armchair, wearing a bemused expression. "You mean to tell us you're not moving to Romania, anymore? After you caused all that commotion?"
"No, I'm not," Ginny looked at her parents sheepishly. "Since Ronald started a fight at a Ministry function, and it directly involved me, my transfer was put on hold. So, I decided to cancel it altogether."
"But you already gave up your apartment!" For the first time that afternoon, Molly actually looked happy. "So you'll be moving back home, then?"
"No, I won't be." Her mother's deflated look only lasted a moment, until she continued. "I'll be moving in with my boyfriend."
"Ginny, you mean – Harry?"
"No, I don't," she replied, and Molly looked thoroughly put out again.
Arthur readjusted his glasses, still seemingly confused. "What do you mean, 'your boyfriend', Ginny?"
This was the tricky part. "He's waiting outside if you'd like to meet him."
Her parents exchanged one of their meaningful looks – the ones that she and her siblings had still never quite figured out – and she shrugged, heading outside to collect him.
Draco stood around the corner, looking extremely uncomfortable. "Really, Ginny, you couldn't have told them by yourself?"
"Not unless you ever want to see me again. You think they'd ever let me leave here if I came on my own to break the news?"
"Believe it or not, I gave your family a little more credit." He paused thoughtfully. "Well, your parents at least; not really for most of your brothers."
Ginny rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand. "You should beware my mum going forward, in that case. Get in here."
Molly's eyes widened when they came back inside. "Is this a joke?"
"No, it's not." Ginny gave Draco's hand a squeeze, prompting him.
"Hello, Mrs Weasley, Mr Weasley."
Her parents stood there, speechless, until Arthur seemed to collect his thoughts. "How long has this been going on?" he asked tersely.
Ginny thought about that, smothering a laugh. "Technically, about five years. Officially? Fourteen hours."
Her parent's expressions were inscrutable, and Ginny wasn't sure what they were going to say as she and Draco stood nervously in the living room.
Luckily for them, Ron ambled into the house at that moment – still wearing his dishevelled robes from the night before. "Oh, you're here," he mumbled when he spotted Draco, then went into the kitchen and began rifling through the cupboards.
"Uh..." Ginny exchanged a glance with Draco, confused that there had been no yelling. "Ron? Are you okay?"
"No," he replied, his mouth full of leftover chicken that he'd found in the fridge. "'Mione broke up wif me."
"Ronald, don't chew with your mouth open," Molly said exasperatedly, Draco all but forgotten. "What did you do?"
Her mother pursed her lips, clearly annoyed that Ron was so ill-mannered. Ginny was relieved when she pursued the more important matter. "Well, she wouldn't just leave for no reason."
"Maybe it had something to do with him handling her like a sack of old Quaffles last night," Ginny said, crossing her arms. That set Molly off – that any of her sons would act in such a way – and she promptly launched into a long lecture about treating women with respect and not talking while eating.
Arthur slowly rose from his armchair and motioned for Draco and Ginny to follow him outside.
When they stood in chilly, open air and Molly's voice became shrill background noise, he turned to them. Nervously, Ginny linked her arm in Draco's.
"I've never seen eye-to-eye with your father, Draco Malfoy, just as most of my sons never have with you," Arthur said matter-of-factly. Ginny edged a little closer to Draco, nervously.
"Yes, sir," Draco said, clearly reluctant to agree, and she squeezed his hand encouragingly.
"I'm definitely not happy about this, but Ginny has gotten along fine with you for years, now, and I do trust her judgement. I can't ignore that."
Ginny felt a surge of relief. "Dad –"
He held up a hand to stop her, and turned to Draco. "Let me make it clear that if you ever hurt my daughter in any way, you will regret it."
She looked at Draco, and saw his expression harden at the threat. "I don't doubt that I will, sir."
There was a tense moment, and she looked between the two men, hands on hips. "Dad, I can take care of myself."
Arthur looked at her affectionately. "I know. I didn't specify who would make him regret it."
She smiled at him, happy that he had such faith in her, and gave him a hug. "Love you, Dad."
"Love you too, Gin!" The sound of Ron yelling drifted through the doorway, and Arthur sighed.
"Uh, we're gonna go." Ginny took Draco's arm again and led him toward the front gate, waving back at her father. "See you soon!"
As soon as they were out of the gate, they Apparated back to their apartment.
Immediately, Draco's arms slipped around her waist. "I suppose that was less horrific than I expected."
She laughed, resting her hands on his chest and pecking him on the lips. "And just think; Ron and Charlie already know, so the worst is over."
"You're forgetting that we still need to tell my parents."
"Oh," Ginny said, turning away from him. "Good luck –"
Tap, tap, tap.
She glanced across the room to see a tawny barn owl perched on the window sill. "That's Hermione's owl."
Ginny opened the window and took the letter from the owl, unsealing it. She bit her lip as she scanned the contents.
"Hermione broke up with Ron; she thinks I might be mad at her!" she exclaimed, then read aloud. "'I took some time off work; Charlie offered me his spare bedroom, since he said you won't be needing it.'"
"Well," was all she said after a moment, her eyes wide, and handed the note to Draco when he raised his brow at her.
"Well," he agreed. "That is an interesting turn of events."
Ginny nodded, then headed to Draco's study and quickly wrote out a reply on a spare piece of parchment.
You know you can always stay with me, if you need to (Draco won't mind, I promise).
PS. Tell Charlie that he's an incorrigible sneak, will you?
Draco had followed her in a moment later, leaning over her shoulder just before she folded the letter up and sealed it. "You did not just invite Granger to stay with us."
Ginny walked back to the main room, Draco in tow, and gave her letter to the owl, then shut the window behind it. "Hermione will be visiting us plenty, so you'd best get used to her." She smiled at him, running a hand down his chest.
"I suppose I can put up with Granger." Ginny couldn't help grinning at his challenge. "As long as you make it worth my while." he said, his grey eyes softening as his hands slipped around her waist, moulding her body to him.
"Something tells me I'm going to get the better end of this deal," she said in a mock-serious voice, even as her hand slipped below the waistline of his pants.
Draco smirked at her, then his mouth pressed down against her parted lips, making her melt. "We'd better discuss the terms of our agreement, then."
AN: Thank you to MemoriesFade for her wonderful prompt; it was a pleasure working on my response and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing.
Thank you to Samurai-Kagome, my big sister and Hannah Askance (waterwhistle) for their beta services and general advice throughout and after the exchange, who were so wonderful and supportive of me in what can only be described as a frantic effort to do something I've never done before.
A final thank you goes to everyone who reviewed this fic during the exchange and after, because your lovely words have made me feel as though I've done this prompt some justice and written something to be proud of.