Chapter 15- Christmas: Part 2
Draco reached the small cluster of girls and smiled charmingly at them. “Hello, ladies. I trust you’re having a good time? Narcissa- Bellatrix, you look charming this evening.”
“Why, thank you,” Narcissa said, smiling broadly . “We’re having a very good time.”
“I wonder, Narcissa, if I might have a quick word with you.”
“Of course,” she said graciously, handing her cocktail to Bellatrix. “Excuse me, everyone.
Draco led his mother to a short distance away from the others. “Is it working?
“Hook, line, and sinker. She’s stuck on you, Erik.”
Draco nodded. “Good.” The couple walked swiftly back over to the small group of females.
“I wonder, would you ladies mind terribly if I borrowed Isendre for a bit? I promised her a dance.”
Bellatrix waved her hand at Ginny, shooing her away. “Of course not. Go along, Isendre, we’ll finish introductions later. And if you see Rodolphus, tell him I’m expecting a dance or two as well.”
Draco took Ginny’s hand and led her out onto the dance floor, fervent whisperings following them. He swung her into him and started a slow waltz to the music. Ginny looked up, surprised.
“Since when do you dance?”
“I think you’ll find there’s a lot you don’t know about me.”
Ginny fell quiet, and Draco refrained from saying anything further; silence reigned between them. Draco pulled her into him, closing the already rather small space separating them. Ginny relaxed enough to rest her head on his shoulder, and that was when she noticed just how many stares they were receiving.
“Draco?” She said, her voice soft enough to be heard by only him.
“Yes?” His breath was hot on her neck, yet she shivered.
“Why is everyone watching us?”
Draco lifted his head from where it rested on hers, surveying the room with a superbly disdainful look. People quickly averted their gazes and watched the other couples, or buried themselves in another glass of wine.
Ginny laughed softly into his neck. “I wonder why that is.”
“I haven’t the faintest idea.” Draco’s eye went to where his aunt stood, watching them closely. Bellatrix nodded, and he winked in return. He carefully cleared his mind and worked up the right spell; Draco was quite good with wandless magic. ‘Stupefy,’ he thought, directing the flow of power into Ginny; she collapsed in his arms.
Around the room, people gasped. Draco carefully lifted Ginny and bore her off the dance floor. Bellatrix followed, reassuring people as she went. “It’s just the heat. . . Oh, she’s simply exhausted. . . No, no, I have it under control, thank you.”
Once outside the main ballroom, Bellatrix pointed to the conservatory doors. “Go that way, people won’t be expecting it. There are benches on the far end, or you can continue on to the garden.”
“What about you?”
“I’ll work my way around the house then go back to the ballroom. That will have been enough time to ‘get her settled in bed.’
Draco nodded and headed toward the conservatory. “Thank you.”
Ginny blinked groggily. Her gaze roamed over the ceiling of the greenhouse before coming to rest on him. Her eyes took a long time to focus, filling with recognition after a few moments of silence.
“You passed out while we were dancing,” Draco said with a perfectly straight face.
“Oh.” She lay back down on the bench.
They were both silent for a few minutes, before Ginny spoke again.
“So. . .what are we doing?”
“Cooling you off.”
Ginny just looked at him. “In a greenhouse, Draco?”
He looked thoughtful for a moment. “I suppose that wasn’t thought out entirely well on my part.”
Ginny sighed at his silence, letting one leg flop off the bench. She watched as Draco’s eyes went slowly to it, a strange expression creeping onto his face, and it was then that she remembered the long slit up the side of her dress. Blushing, she sat up hurriedly, rearranging the green satin to cover herself as much as possible.
“I know what’s going through your head right now, and I want it to stop.” Even as she spoke, Ginny could feel herself getting redder.
Draco’s eyes moved slowly over her red face, slightly mussed hair, and glorious curves, and just shook his head. “You have no idea.”
Ginny went, if possible, even redder and started to move away.
“Lucius, where are you taking me?”
Draco and Ginny both froze, listening to a laughing Narcissa tease her boyfriend. The voices came nearer, and Draco stood, taking Ginny with him. “Come this way.”
Draco pulled Ginny up the main staircase and down the hallway, kicking open the door to her bedroom and pushing her inside. She allowed him to enter after her and close the door. When he started to come close to her again, though, she calmly pulled out her wand (no one has yet figured out where from) and held it between them.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Draco looked amused, but behind the casual face was a hint of apprehension.
“I could ask you the same question.”
“Did you really expect me to forgive you, just like that?”
“You were acting like you did a few minutes ago.”
“Draco, shut up! This isn’t a game, okay? I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with you, and until I do, you need to keep your distance!”
“I know this isn’t a game! Merlin, I’ve been trying to make amends with you!”
“It sure seems like a game, and I’m the one being played!”
“Why did you tell me the truth? Just tell me that, why?!”
“Because I couldn’t let myself love you!”
Ginny’s eyes widened in shock.
“I. . .you. . .what?”
Draco raked a hand through his hair, shouting on. “Dammit, Ginny, I can’t stand to lose you, but I can’t let you stay! Do you have any idea what you do to me?! You intoxicate me. Whenever I’m near you, I can’t see anyone else, and when you’re away, you fill my every thought!”
Ginny’s anger melted away, her voice breaking as she spoke. “Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“Because I’m evil, Ginny! No matter what you want, I’ve given myself to the dark side and that’s not going to change! I’ve spent the last four months of my life trying to figure out what it is I want!”
Ginny’s head tilted slightly. “And what have you figured out, Draco Malfoy? What do you want?”
“I want you, Ginny, but I need my life, too.”
Ginny’s chin dropped, her eyes squeezing shut against a rush of tears. She stayed in that position for a long time, breathing heavily.
“I-” she choked and stopped, her head coming up to reveal the trail of tears sparkling down her cheeks. “I don’t want to lose you.” She shook her head, more tears welling up in her eyes. “Draco, I can’t lose you!”
Draco closed the distance between them and pulled her into his arms; she pressed her face into his shirt.
“What are you going to do?”
Ginny took one deep, shuddering breath. “I’m going to stay with you. No matter what.”