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Adventures in Matrimony by Mynuet
1. Marriage Counseling by Mynuet
2. Dinner with the Family by Mynuet
3. Late Night by Mynuet
Marriage Counseling by Mynuet
Inspired by a random comment in my Spanish class, this is the first of the ficlets I translated to turn in for a grade. At least one more ficlet in this universe is still to come, and possibly more.
"He never listens to me," Ginny said with a pout.
Her husband sneered. "I listen when you say something worthwhile."
"Do you see?" Ginny turned to the third person in the room, who seemed to be trying to disappear into the overstuffed chair she sat on.
As the woman was a muggle, the likelihood of disappearance was low. She seemed to realize this and sat up, clearing her throat as she looked quickly at her watch. "Now, Mr. Malfoy, why would you want to hurt Ginny by saying that?"
"Because it's true," Draco said, not a trace of apology in his voice.
Ginny gave a little shriek and threw her hands in the air. "This is exactly why we fight all the time. You never think you're wrong!"
"And you do? If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times!" Draco pitched his voice impossibly high and twittered, "Now, Draco, you knooow that you have no idea how real people live. Just listen to me, and I'll fix everything that way I want things."
"That's so unfair! You really don't know how real people live!" She turned to the counselor and said earnestly, "He thinks it's freakish to lift a finger and do anything for yourself."
"You insist on getting me out of bed at dawn so you can make the beds," he said evenly. "And you've driven the house elves to tears and talk of suicide by evicting them from the kitchen."
"He means servants," Ginny told the counselor hurriedly. "And there's too many of them."
Draco met her glare with an impassive expression. "They've served the family for hundreds of years, generations upon generations. I refuse to repay their service by kicking them out on the streets."
"The economy is very difficult right now," the counselor murmured. "If they're that old-fashioned..."
"Old-fashioned? You should see his parents! They're practically fossilized!"
"Oh, like yours are a model to follow? They live in squalor," Draco said with a sneer. "And all your brothers are good-for-nothings."
Ginny gasped and took a deep breath, her face red with the growing fury about to burst forth. Before she could explode, the counselor shouted, "Enough!"
The couple turned to her expectantly, and the counselor toyed nervously with her pearls for a moment before she pulled herself together. "You've been here for several sessions now, and I'm afraid we haven't made any progress."
"What are you saying?" Ginny asked, frowning slightly.
"I'm saying that the main question isn't how to stay married, but why you got married in the first place." The counselor looked down at her clipboard and wrote something. "This is the number for an attorney--"
"WHAT?" Ginny was on her feet, the shock having finally worn off. "How dare you? You're a disgrace to your profession! I'll have your license!"
The counselor tried to stand, but fell back in the face of Ginny's evil glare. "You are blind. Blind and stupid, and I will destroy you."
She stormed out, the door slamming behind her, and Draco stood. "Thank you for letting her blow off steam," he said with a small bow.
"Is... Is she always like that?" asked the trembling counselor.
"Oh, yes," Draco said. "I love her passion - it's why I married her. And now, if you'll excuse me..."
The counselor nodded, but as he reached the door she called out, "Wait! About her threats... She didn't mean... She couldn't..."
"I'm terribly sorry," said Draco. "She really will destroy you, and we have so much money she could spend millions doing it and we wouldn't miss it. Still, I'll make sure you end up in a nice sanitarium, and have a small nest egg to help you when you're ready to try picking up the pieces of your broken life."
He left, and found his wife still outside, pacing and seething. "If I ever listen to Hermione again, hit me."
"You'd break my fingers." He smiled and gathered her close, giving her a small kiss on the cheek. "If I promise to go to Sunday dinners at your parents' house, will you let the house elves do their jobs and let me sleep until a decent hour?"
She looked up at him with a raised brow. "And you won't complain about the poor surroundings or taunt my brothers?"
"And you won't make the beds or kick the elves out of the kitchen?" he returned, hiding his amused smile against the smooth skin of her neck.
"Well," she said. "Maybe an occasional taunt."
"I suppose I would miss your meatloaf," he replied.
Smiling at last, she said, "I really do love you, you know."
"I love you, too," he said, "and I'd marry you all over again."
Dinner with the Family by Mynuet
Second of the Spanish Class Ficlets. And man, this new feature for showing the hit counts right next to the review counts is depressing. In case you're wondering, the first chapter of this had 696 views... And 9 reviews.
"Well, isn't this nice," said Molly, handing around a large plate.
Draco looked at the forest of toothpicks rising from the plate and suppressed a shudder. Dried out pineapple squares with the husk cut off improperly? Tiny chunks of an unidentifiable variety of cheese? He spotted an olive and snatched it up, only then noticing it had a pimiento stuffed into it, rather than being an unadulterated example of the species. He gave a tiny little sigh, which was cut off abruptly as Ginny's nails sank into the back of his hand. She shot him a killing look even as she covered for him by saying brightly, "Thanks, Mum, but you really didn't have to go to any trouble."
"Oh, it's not trouble, darling, I'm just happy that you two have finally found the time to come visit your old mum. I've missed you, you know." Draco fought not to roll his eyes and prayed for the olive to be poisoned. Not enough to kill him, but enough to make him sick enough to leave. No matter how fiercely he chewed, the olive did not seem to be cooperating. "And here's Harry!"
Draco choked on the remains of the unfortunate olive, getting a few solid whacks between his shoulder blades for his troubles. "Not a word," his wife hissed, and Draco stifled the urge to protest. As if this dinner didn't promise to be bad enough, with all six of her large and insane brothers in attendance, someone had invited her ex-boyfriend, also known as "the man her family wanted her to marry."
If Draco hadn't hated him with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns, though, he might've been grateful to the bastard for saying, "I'm starving - shall we go sit down for dinner?"
Or maybe not, considering there was some distinctly undignified maneuvering going on to try to place Draco next to his mother-in-law and Ginny all the way at the other end of the table, with Harry. Draco managed to keep Ginny next to him by dint of holding onto her hand tightly enough to cut off her circulation, but he was still trapped next to the Weasley matriarch, making it a bit of a Pyrrhic victory. That Molly spent most of the meal fawning over Harry and making slighting comments about Draco keeping Ginny all to himself made him wonder if maybe he could go back and try again to find an obligingly poisonous olive.
The traditional fish and soup courses were apparently combined in the form of a heavily spiced eel stew. He wished that no one had told him that, actually, because he'd been enjoying it a lot before knowing what it contained. Thankfully, Molly accepted the excuse of wanting to save room for the main course as the reason why his spoon had dropped so abruptly to the table. Molly smiled broadly and said. "Of course, of course, it's time to bring out the roast. Ginny, will you help me?"
The women retired to the kitchen, leaving Draco to become the sole focus of eight men whose stares communicated quite clearly that they believed his presence was a mistake, and the best way to correct that mistake was to carry him out in a pine box. Just as he was poised to run before her father leapt across the table, Ginny came in, carrying three big bowls. "Mashed swede!" said one of her brothers, and another shouted, "Snap beans!" and still a third cried out, "Roast potatoes!"
Unsure of how they could tell the difference, as all three dishes looked somewhat grey, Draco nevertheless took a bit from each platter. He'd just shaken off the last serving spoon when Molly entered, proudly carrying a whole sucking pig, complete with an apple in its mouth. As she set it down, Ginny leaned over to whisper in Draco's ear. "Now what's the matter?"
Draco swallowed against the rising bile in his throat. "Do you remember that movie you made me watch, with the little pig who could herd sheep?"
Before Draco could explain further, Ginny went dead white and scrambled out of her chair to run out of the room. Loud retching sounds could be heard shortly thereafter.
All the Weasley heads turned synchronously to stare at Draco, who thought fast and said, "She's been feeling a bit ill in the mornings lately..."
"Sick? In the morning?" Molly's eyes lit up. "Is she--"
With what he hoped was the right amount of bashfulness, Draco said, "It's a bit too early to tell yet, but we're hoping the doctor gives us good news."
"Oh! Oh! Babies!" Molly hugged him and he grinned over her shoulder at Harry, who was looking furious and vaguely ill. She disentangled herself and shooed him towards where the sounds of Ginny's stomach rebellion were coming from. "Go on, you take care of her, get her ready to go home. I'll pack up the dessert to see if you can tempt her to eat later. And make sure she drinks plenty of milk!"
Draco nodded and went to Ginny, and shortly afterwards they found themselves back at their own home, carrying an enormous chocolate cake with chocolate-hazelnut icing and a large tub of homemade vanilla ice cream. Draco put them away in the kitchen after serving himself large portions of each, bringing them with him to the bedroom. "The good news," he said, "is that I can truthfully say your mother makes the best desserts I've ever tasted."
"The better news," he said, dragging a finger through the icing and then smearing it on her lips, "is that we need to start seriously practicing the art of making babies for your mother to dote on."
She licked her lips. "Do we need practice?"
"Oh yes. Lots."
Chapter End Notes:
In case y'all missed one of the best kid movies ever, the pig thing is a reference to "Babe" - just don't watch it if you plan to eat pork anytime soon.
As the cry rang through the still night air, Draco wished that he had managed to retain the ability to sleep through anything. It had, alas, vanished as soon as his daughter was born, along with his sex life and the ability to make conversation that didn’t at some point involve a deep and thorough discussion of the baby’s digestive system. He continued to lay still, hoping that maybe this time his beloved wife would go take care of the baby, and he could roll over and go back to sleep.
“Your turn,” the evil woman murmured and she rolled over and cuddled her pillow. “I went last time.”
“But what if she’s hungry?” he asked, without twitching a muscle to sit up.
“I expressed some milk earlier. Just get the bottle out of the fridge and warm it up.” She tried to pull the blanket off of him, but he tugged back. With a scowl, she brought what blanket remained over her up to her chin and determinedly shut her eyes.
He sighed, but sat up. “I thought breast feeding was supposed to be a marvelous bonding experience between mother and child.”
One of her eyes opened in order to shoot him the deadliest glare he had ever seen. “And now bottle feeding will be a wonderful moment of father-daughter time, especially since I’ve been up twice already.”
“You realize this is exactly why I wanted to have my mother stay with us, or get a nanny. Hell, even your mother would have—“
“If you want to live,” she said pleasantly, “I’d suggest you shut your fucking mouth and go take care of the baby right now.”
Grumbling, but not clearly enough for her to understand any of what he said, he pulled himself out of bed and shuffled into the adjoining room. He’d prepared bottles so often in the past month that he could do it now entirely by feel, needing only the glow of the nightlight to confirm that he had the correct bottle before he warmed it and approached the crib.
“Hey, monkey,” he said softly, smiling down at the huge, startled eyes of his daughter. “Yeah, it’s just your dad. Come on, let’s check your nappy.”
This was another procedure Draco had learned to be efficient at, and she was soon sporting a powdered bum inside a fresh diaper. Not bothering to cover up a huge yawn, he found himself smirking at the way the baby looked at him with one eyebrow raised, much as his mother might’ve looked at him if he’d displayed bad manners. “Come on, don’t tell and I’ll feed you.”
She nodded, or at least her head lolled forward a bit, and he sat down in the rocking chair to give her the bottle. Ginny had been right about it being a lovely moment, with a feeling of great closeless, but he didn’t think he’d tell her so. It’d just encourage her to make him do it again, and these late nights were killing him.
He remembered the cloth before he put the baby to his shoulder this time, and as he rocked gently, the baby’s warmth stretched across his chest, he let his eyes drift closed, just for a moment...
The next time he woke, it was because his arm was already moving to clutch at the baby, who had woken up and started to wriggle. He looked around blearily at the nursery, filled with the soft light of dawn, and then back at the baby. “Don’t tell your mum, okay?”
Taking the spit bubbles she blew as agreement, he stood up, careful to support her head, and stretched as much as he could while still holding her. “Come on, let’s go see if there’s anything on tap.”
As he entered the bedroom, he grinned. His delicate wife was sprawled over the bed, a foot hanging off one side and a hand over the other, with her hair in a wild tangle all around her and her jaw hanging open to allow some truly impressive snores to escape. “On second thought, let’s check the icebox,” he told the baby as he tiptoed back out. “Maybe if she gets a bit of extra sleep this morning, she’ll let your old dad sleep a bit more tonight.”
While he’d been told that babies didn’t even smile until they were at least three months old, Draco could’ve have sworn his own child had just laughed at him.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.