A/N – I know, I know. I should have been working on Not Quite Fate. Unfortunately, the urge sort of took over to write this, and you know how that goes. Or maybe you don’t, but either way, here’s yet another D/G one-shot from me.
Warning: mild swearing throughout.
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The Different Days of Draco Malfoy
Sometimes I think he doesn’t even realize how he’s acting, like his upbringing or whatever it is just kicks in and that’s it—Draco’s conscious thinking ceases to exist. I know he tries (around me anyway) to be decent. Not necessarily “good,” but then I don’t think I would think of him the way I do if he were any more respectable. I’ve come to love the Slytherin in him as much as the rest, I think. But in any case, he tries to be an all right guy…when it’s only the two of us. Just sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.
Today was what I refer to as one of his “cold days,” where he treats me with nothing but indifference. He also has his “loving days,” which are brilliant and feature lots of touching and soft looks and whispers in my ear, and his “lusty days,” which…well, you know. Then there’s the “panicky days,” where he starts thinking about the future and how we could never work in the real world and all that rot, and least frequent but utterly sublime are the “carefree days.” Then it’s just me and him in each other’s arms and all the rest falls away. Surprisingly, he doesn’t have jealous days. A lot of people assume that he’s a very jealous person, but he’s just…not. Not even of Harry, which even I found a bit shocking at first.
But anyway, today was one of the “cold days,” and it’s absolutely infuriating when that happens. Personally, I think it’s something of a self-preservation tactic, a built-in means of keeping his heart from getting bruised or, scariest of all, broken. I also think that’s what most Slytherins are when you get right down to it, scared I mean. That’s why they act so rude and arrogant and aloof so much of the time—it keeps people at a distance, and if no one ever gets close, they can’t do much damage, can they?
I’m getting side-tracked…Draco hates it when I try and analyze him and his mates anyway. He says he’s just who he is, and there’s no reason why and I’m just wasting my energy. I say he’s afraid to find out something about his motives he’d rather not know. He says I have too much free time. Unless it’s a loving or lusty day, in which case he uses his mouth in an entirely different way to silence me.
But there I go again, losing my train of thought. That happens a lot. Draco jokes that maybe I should spend less time playing therapist to him and concentrate on my own issues. Maybe he’s right, but that’s neither here nor there.
I was saying that Draco had a cold day. Those used to pop up quite often, actually; more than all the others combined. He improved so much, though, that my tolerance level for them dropped through the floor, so now I have quite a time coping with them when they do make an appearance. They infuriate me, to be honest, because we both know his feelings for me are anything but indifferent. But he likes to pretend sometimes, for different reasons. Sometimes it’s just that warped survival instinct flaring up. Other times something triggers it. Today there was a trigger. And its name is Harry Potter.
I already said that Draco isn’t a jealous fellow, and I stand by it. He’s not. He knows I’m mad about him and would never do anything to jeopardize us. That doesn’t mean that certain things don’t get him thinking, though, and when he starts thinking…well, that’s when the trouble starts. Usually it incites one of the panicky days, which sadly are becoming more and more frequent of late, but this time it was different.
Harry caught up to me today after Quidditch, when I was still sweaty and admittedly very gross. I wasn’t even a little bit in the mood to talk strategy, and even less eager to hear about the vagaries of finding yourself a third wheel when your two best mates decide to fall in love (Ron and Hermione, that is). But unlike Draco who would have been able to tell him to shove off, I’m a nice person and forced a smile anyway.
“Hi, Harry. What’s up?”
He panted for a couple seconds from the run (I sort of pretended not to hear him for awhile, so he had a bit of a jog), and said, “Hey, Ginny. I need to talk to you.”
Uh-oh. Not good. That line was usually followed by a half-hour of the “no one understands what it’s like to be me” talk. My smile faltered, but held. “Sure,” I manage through gritted teeth. “What about?”
He glanced around like he was looking for spies, then grabbed my elbow and proceeded to drag me, still completely in need of a shower mind, to the locker rooms. Once inside with the door safely shut, he explained, “More private.”
I sat down on a bench. “Uh huh. Any particular reason we need privacy, Harry?”
He mussed up his hair even more than usual, looking entirely uncomfortable. I’ll admit it: my interest was thoroughly sparked by now. “Hopefully not.”
I felt my eyebrows go up. “Something the matter?”
“No. Yes.” He sighed, all frustration, then plopped down on the bench across from me. “I heard a rumor.”
“Harry, people have been spreading rumors about you since first year. Don’t you know how to ignore that yet?”
He shook his head. “No, about you.”
I immediately went on my guard. “Really? What is it?”
He leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees, hanging his head and looking every bit the reluctant bringer of bad news. “It’s got to do with Malfoy.”
And the proverbial red flag went shooting up. It was about this point I knew this was not going to be a pleasant conversation. “Oh?” was all I could think to say. In retrospect, I probably should have come up with something at least slightly more intelligent.
He lifted his head and stared at me through his glasses. “Don’t you care what people are saying?”
Ah, excellent opportunity for retreat. “Not really, no,” I told him, and started stripping off what gear I could and remain presentable.
I brushed sweat-matted hair off my neck and made a face—Merlin I really needed to clean up. “You know better than anyone how wrong people usually are.”
He frowned, then seemed to brighten, probably thinking that was actually very true, meaning the rumors most likely were not. “So it didn’t happen.”
I was almost tempted to say no, it didn’t, and be done with the whole affair. Unfortunately, curiosity beat that inclination to a pulp, and I heard myself say, “Well, I don’t know the rumor, so I can’t really say if it did or not, can I?”
He ruffled his hair some more, awkward and refusing to meet my eyes. “They’re saying someone saw Malfoy snog you outside the Great Hall. And that you snogged him back.”
“Oh?” That was obviously not the response he was looking for.
“Well, what do you want me to say?”
“That it’s not true!”
He blinked a few times. “Well?”
I decided playing dumb was as good a way to stall as any. “Well, what?”
“Is it what? You’re really not being very clear, Harry.”
He stood up and turned around, balling his fists and I sort of started to suspect maybe I went too far. “Did you, or did you not, snog Malfoy?” he asked with impeccable enunciation.
“Outside the Great Hall?”
I literally cringed from how loud he shouted, “You mean there’s multiple instances?!”
“Uh….” Note to self: learn how to think on one’s feet…or even sitting on one’s bum. Or in any position, really.
Apparently that was all the answer Harry needed, because almost right away he spun around and stormed through the door. Until today, I never actually saw someone “storm” before, but that’s exactly what he did. Not knowing what he had in mind, but positive that it could not be good, I jumped up and rushed after him. He was stomping off towards the pitch. The Slytherin’s were having their practice at the moment. Let’s just say it did not require amazing powers of deduction to figure out his intentions.
“Harry!” I tried, but the call fell on deaf ears, and now he was running.
He reached the pitch just before me, cupped his hands around his mouth like a megaphone, and bellowed out, “Malfoy! Get your arse down here!”
I finally caught up and groaned out loud, putting my hands through my hair, which was still all stiff and slick with sweat, reminding me that I never did get that shower. And thanks to Harry, the entire Slytherin Quidditch team, including my somehow always presentable boyfriend, was looking at me. Lovely. Just…bloody…lovely.
“Harry!” I hissed. “Let it go, all right? I’ll explain, I swear, just come on.” I tried to tug him away, but it was like hauling one of those suits of armor in the Entrance Hall. Impossible, in other words.
Draco circled low on his broom lazily, regarding us warily. He touched down. “Something I can do for you, Potter?”
Then Harry tackled him. I swear, just like that. One minute, Draco was standing there, looking his proud and haughty self, and the next he was on his back with a very angry Harry swinging away on top of him.
“What the hell?!” Draco demanded, doing his best to shield his precious, unblemished face from Harry’s fists. In my state of shock, I experienced this ridiculous urge to giggle, thinking that he would be so mad if his perfectly straight nose got bent or anything.
“You piece of shit!” Harry roared, arms pumping at Draco in a frenzy. The plus side of his being so out-of-control was that he wasn’t bothering to aim, so not many of the punches landed on anything extremely vital. “How dare you touch her?!”
“Ginny!” Draco shouted over Harry’s ongoing tirade. “Get him off now or I won’t be held responsible for my actions!”
That finally snapped me out of it, because I knew he wasn’t lying, and I knew that Draco could do some serious damage, especially when he had the advantage of being clearheaded…if a little confused. I ran over and grabbed at one of Harry’s arms, but it took all my strength just to hold back the one.
“Blaise!” I shouted to Draco’s best mate, who stood by looking extremely amused by the entire spectacle. “Help me, damn it!”
He seemed to consider this a moment, then shrugged and moseyed on over, in no apparent hurry at all. Personally, I think Draco could use some new friends. He says the same to me, though, and I suppose it’s not one of his friends attacking me, so he might actually have something there.
“Grab his other arm!” I instructed Blaise, forced to yell over Harry, who was hollering something about my virtue at the time.
Blaise frowned, probably thinking that it sounded like far too much trouble when he was rather enjoying the show anyway, but I saw his chest rise and fall in a sigh, and he reached down and took hold of Harry’s one still flailing limb. Together, we managed to haul him off of Draco, who rolled up with murder in his eyes. I believe my exact thought at the time was, Ohhh, dear….
In a very quiet, controlled voice (which, to my shame, I couldn’t help but find extremely sexy even under the circumstances) Draco said, “What…the hell…is going on?”
Harry thrashed around a bit, but Blaise delivered him a sound cuff over the head, and that seemed to calm him down. He spat, “You snogged Ginny.”
Draco’s eyes flicked over to me, and I could feel everyone else staring too, and I was really beginning to feel amazingly self-conscious of my grimy appearance. God, how embarrassing. I shrugged helplessly.
Finally, apparently seeing I wasn’t going to shed any light on the matter, Draco climbed to his feet with the grace I’ve always admired and envied in equal measure, then said with deliberate calm, “You’re being ridiculous, Potter. Do you realize how mad you sound?”
I really have to say, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, yes, Draco and I agreed not to tell anyone (except Blaise, and only because he walked in on us in a very...ah…compromising position…which is another story completely), but still. I guess I sort of had this fantasy where one day Draco would just stand up and declare his undying love to the world, and then we would have the whole ride-into-the-sunset bit like in those Muggle westerns. Completely ridiculous, especially since Draco still hasn’t even declared that to me yet, so he won’t be telling the world any time soon, but a girl can dream.
Anyway, he took the route of denial, which really is exactly what I should have expected, especially since we already told each other that’s what we would do in the event something like this came up. We’re both very pragmatic, you see. Harry wasn’t buying it, though.
“People saw you, Malfoy! And Ginny admitted it!”
Draco gave me a look that could cut through diamonds. I threw up my hands. “I did not!” What? I didn’t. Not technically, anyway, and when dealing with Slytherins, the technicalities count for everything.
Blaise gave a half-snort, half-laugh that he quickly covered up with a very unconvincing cough. Draco glared. Harry seethed. I really, really wanted a shower.
Finally, Harry took this great big breath and gave me one of those looks that make me feel like I’m kicking a puppy or something when I lie to him. “Did you, or did you not, snog him?” Harry asked very carefully.
I glanced at Draco, who inclined his head just the tiniest, almost imperceptible bit as if to say, You know what to do—just like we planned, and then I looked at Harry’s chin because I couldn’t do it looking him in the eye. “Harry, how could you think that I would actually touch him? I mean, it’s Malfoy.”
He looked utterly confused, and little pink smudges of embarrassment colored his cheeks. I felt sort of bad for him, even if it was his own fault. But then I felt bad about that, too, because he only did it in the first place for me, thinking in his warped Hero Brain that I would somehow appreciate it.
“But…in the locker room….”
“I was just shocked that a rumor like that was going around,” I lied. “I never said it happened…which it didn’t. Honestly, Harry. Malfoy?”
Blaise smirked like there was no tomorrow, and I made a mental note to give him a good smack later. Harry finally started relaxing, so we let him go, and I looked over to see Draco giving me the oddest look—this mix of anger, annoyance, and resignation. I think that’s when I really knew it was going to be a bad day. I wasn’t sure yet which one of the bad days it would be, but I knew without a doubt that one of them was coming.
I didn’t find out until after supper—and after I’d finally washed up, thank goodness—that it would be a cold day. I waited for him outside the Great Hall, nervous as a girl on her first date, and when he finally walked out, I cleared my throat and raised my eyebrows at him. We both knew full well that this meant, Meet me in the spare, hardly-used potions lab. He barely looked in my direction, and didn’t give me the obligatory nod before he moved on.
I think I already knew he wouldn’t show, but I made the trip to the lab anyway. I waited twenty minutes before I accepted the inevitable—it was a cold day, and he was going to be aloof and a royal pain in the arse. Clomping my feet loudly as I walked, I marched to the Slytherin common room…I am not a young woman easily deterred.
I tapped their portrait—this truly hideous snake thing—three quick, successive times, then gave two more drawn-out pounds (the code between Blaise, Draco and I to make sure it’s one of them that answers), then jumped into the shadow of a truly convenient if cramped little alcove just to be safe. Sure enough, Blaise appeared in the entrance, stepped out, and closed it behind him again. He leaned back and crossed his arms.
“Come out, little weasel,” he called cheerfully.
I did, scowling. “I don’t want to talk to you, you utter prat,” I promptly informed him. “Send out Draco.”
“Sorry, Draco’s not in at the moment,” he said in a voice like a Muggle operator. “May I take a message, please?”
“Not funny Blaise!” I snapped. “I’m serious, go get him. I don’t care about your best mates’ code or whatever, I want to see him, and you will fetch him for me. Now.”
Blaise likes to talk tough, but he’s really a big softie at heart, as he demonstrated then by pouting and obediently disappearing back into the common room. Draco came out a few minutes later and eyed me with cool detachment.
I struggled to contain my temper, which is quite an accomplishment for someone in the Weasley line. “You didn’t meet me.”
“Oh, sorry, is that what you were getting at?”
I felt my jaw clench. “You know it was, Draco.”
He shrugged, then leaned against the opposite wall from me, well outside touching distance. “I didn’t pay much attention. Apparently, outside the Great Hall isn’t a good spot. I thought at least one of us should practice some discretion.”
“You snogged me that day!” I exploded. “I don’t even like public displays! You’re the one that likes to show off!” That’s been hard for him since the start, I know, not being able to flaunt his latest girl, I mean. He quite likes his reputation as a ladies’ man, and the rest of the school thinking he’s in a dry spell isn’t easy on him.
He stiffened, but it flowed out of him almost immediately, and the bored posture returned. “At least I’m not off blabbing to Potter.”
“I wasn’t blabbing. He heard the rumors!” I paused. “Did you know about that? That there’s rumors now, I mean?”
“Blaise said something of the sort. I don’t really recall.”
Bull shit, but it was a cold day, after all, and his saying things like that were to be expected. “Did he say if it was just the snogging one, or are there more?”
He looked at me as if I was a blathering idiot. I hate when makes me feel stupid like that. Most people can’t, as my self-esteem is, as Draco puts it, through the roof, but he has a knack for really making me feel thick sometimes. “I don’t recall,” he repeated, slowly.
My patience for his games ran out right about then. “Damn it, Draco, stop it! I know you do! What the bloody hell did he say?!”
Unlike Blaise, Draco unfortunately can’t be bullied. My outburst didn’t even faze him. In fact, if anything, it only encouraged him. “I think you need some rest, Ginny,” he suggested.
I closed my eyes and counted to ten. I kept reminding myself that this attitude would pass, that it always did after awhile, and tomorrow (or maybe a few days later, depending) would probably even be a loving day to make up for it. It didn’t help much, but enough. “Draco, I’m sorry about this afternoon,” I said quietly. “I tried to stop him, I swear, but…well, you saw how he was.”
Draco didn’t say a word, or give any indication of what he was thinking. I sighed. I knew from experience that if he was going to be difficult, then that was that, and it was best just to wait him out…and pray. I’m always secretly afraid that one of these times he won’t get over it, that the mood will stick, and it’ll all be over. But Draco is a boy that requires space, and I know better than to deny him that. Then it would end for sure.
“I’m gonna go,” I said. “I just wanted to see you. Maybe we’ll talk tomorrow…or something.”
I turned around, started to walk away feeling completely depressed, wondered if any of the girls would be in the dormitory and hoped not, then stopped dead in my tracks when Draco called, “I’m tired, Gin.”
I turned around, but took care not to step any closer. That might’ve compromised his breathing room and totally destroyed whatever made him open up in the first place. He really is ridiculously temperamental for a male.
“Of what?” I asked carefully, feeling my stomach twist. Uh-oh, this was it, he was going to tell me that he was sick of us, and he’d leave me, and I would drown my sorrows in vats of ice-cream and become morbidly obese so that no one would ever want to date me again and I’d die an old maid and oh hell he was coming closer and now I needed the space. I checked myself, forced myself to breathe, and managed to hold my ground. He stopped an arm’s length away.
“Of hiding like this, like it’s something to be ashamed of,” he said. “You’re right, I do like showing off when I’m dating a beautiful girl, but I can’t do that, and I’m tired of it. I honestly don’t think I can stand it anymore. Today just pushed me too far.”
I closed my eyes. I wished he would make it quick. Draco’s not a nice person, but he’s not sadistic either. Why wasn’t he just getting to the point? He’s usually so good about that….
“Ginny, look at me.”
I did, reluctantly. He’s so beautiful. I don’t tend to think that about men, but Draco really is. Not in an almost-homosexual, pretty boy kind of way, and not even entirely in an aesthetic way (though I’ll admit physical attraction was what started this whole thing off), but he’s just got this air about him, this powerful magnetism that I can’t describe but can’t imagine surviving without.
“Can you honestly tell me you’re happy like this?” he asked. “Not being able to go out in public and lying to your friends? Having to give me a look after supper just so we can meet, because you don’t want to risk being seen talking? That’s all right with you?”
“I knew you saw that I wanted to meet you after supper,” I whispered.
He rolled his eyes. “Ginny.”
I huffed. “It’s not the most ideal situation, no,” I admitted, hating every word coming out of my own mouth, “but…” I swallowed. I was about to put myself out there, to risk my heart being trampled on and torn to pieces by a cold-hearted Slytherin. I could taste something sour in the back of my throat, and I swallowed again. I could tell that he saw. “But I think it’s worth it, if it means being with you. I…I think I love you, Draco.” There, I’d said it. Now he could break it off, and I wouldn’t have any regrets. Mortified humiliation, but no regrets. I closed my eyes and waited.
It was silent for a long, long time, but I still wouldn’t open my eyes. That would’ve led to tears, you see, and Draco still has yet to see me cry. I vowed that his breaking up with me would not be the first time for that particular milestone.
At long last, I heard him say, “All right. So. What are we going to do about this?”
I opened my eyes. “Huh?”
“Well there’s this incredibly ravishing redhead in love with me, and when that happens, a bloke doesn’t go keeping her in the shadows. Especially when the bloke happens to love her back.”
In that second, time stopped, and the floor dropped out from under me while my head swam and my stomach flipped, but all I could do was stare because Draco Malfoy just said he was in love with me.
“You…you love me?” I finally managed to squeak.
He nodded grimly, stepping forward to grab my hand and yank my stunned, rag doll body into his. “Every last bit. Temper, stubbornness, giggles, and psychoanalyst tendencies and all.”
So of course I giggled, and he rolled his eyes because he hates it when girls giggle, but he smiled a little too, and he just said he loved my giggles, so I didn’t worry about it. Then I put my hands on either side of his face, looked him straight in his silver-blue eyes, and said, “I am in love with you, Draco Malfoy.” Then I smiled, and because there was just too much happiness and relief in me to hold it all in any longer, I let my head fall back and laughed.
I heard him making this scoffing sound, and then he mumbled, “Silly girl,” but when I lifted my head to defend myself, he was kissing me, and I sort of forgot what I was going to say anyway.
So now we’re out by the lake, under this humungous oak tree facing the water and well in the view of every student on the grounds. I am curled in Draco’s lap, and he has one of his hands on my thigh and the other one tracing little swirls on my stomach beneath my shirt, occasionally tickling me (quite on purpose, I’m sure). Sometimes I reach up and kiss him, short and sweet, just because I can, and every once in awhile his lips brush the top of my head. People are gawking, but we let them. We are in love.
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A/N – I’ve got to say, of everything I’ve ever done, I think I enjoyed writing this one more than all the rest combined. (Now watch, everyone else will hate it haha. Ain’t that how it always goes.) And hey, there was a little bit of Blaise in there!
Oh, and just a reminder, this was a one-shot, so don’t bother looking for updates. Thanks so much for reading! Now back to Not Quite Fate…
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