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It had been one month, three weeks, and five days since she had done the stupidest thing in her life. Well, the second stupidest thing. The stupidest thing she had ever done was one month, three weeks, and six days ago when she had gotten blindingly drunk and had woken up naked in the bed of her old fuck buddy, Oliver Wood. It had been one month, three weeks and five days since her frantic floo call asking Oliver to check his bedside for her wand. It had also been one month, three weeks, and five days since Draco overheard said call and all hell broke loose. But worst of all, it had been one month, three weeks, and five days since Draco turned around and walked out of their house. He didn’t even pack a bag. After screaming, raving, and glass-breaking for two hours, he stopped mid-sentence and simply said, “I can’t stay.” He picked up his wand, threw on a cloak, and walked out the front door.

Ginny had sat by the window and cried for the first week. What had happened that night? Why had she been so stupid? Yes, she was drunk. Yes, she had reached her limit of five firewhiskeys. Yes, she was mad at Draco. And yes, it was nice to feel loved for once even if it was just by Oliver. But she hadn’t meant to sleep with him. In fact, she distinctly remembered telling Oliver over the first firewhiskey shot that she loved Draco despite the fact he could not verbally express any emotion worth shit (except anger, but that doesn’t count). The second shot was also drunk in respect of her emotionally stunted boyfriend who had not said 'I love you' in two years. And the fact that even that confession was a mistake made during one of their screaming matches was the inspiration for shot number three. Shot number four was for Lucius Malfoy—may he burn in hell for making Draco like this. And her last shot? It was to falling in love with a guy who will never marry. If the words 'I love you' were difficult for him, Ginny knew that 'Will you marry me' would never happen, even if hell did freeze over. Twice.

So finally, three days before Christmas, Ginny gave up and opened the box of Christmas decorations. As futile as it was, she had hoped he would have found his way back by now and they could carry out their Christmas tradition. For five years now, on the twelfth day before Christmas, they would drink spiked eggnog, hang Christmas lights, wrap presents, and trim the tree. And at night, when all the gifts were under the tree, and all the lights were off except the twinkling tree lights, and Draco would complete the day by placing the star on top of the tree. And finally, he would insist she open one of her presents early which just always happened to be a box of forest green lingerie from him (“Of course it has to be green every year, Gin! Now you’ll look like Christmas too!”) She would model it for him (“We have to make sure it fits, Gin!”) and they would officially begin the holidays by celebrating right underneath that tree.

But not this year. Ginny waited and waited until she could wait no longer. Even though she was alone, she made eggnog for two—just in case. Ginny slowly wrapped presents, tied ribbons, and signed the cards—‘Merry Christmas. With love, Ginny and Draco.’ She added his name, just in case. Alone, she hung lights and stockings—one for her and one for Draco, just in case. But at night, after the lights were dimmed, it was her hand that put the star on top of the tree. He wasn’t going to come back. He wasn’t going to forgive her. And she didn’t blame him. There was no ‘just in case.’

“That’s my job.”

Ginny whirled around. And there he was—folded arms, smirk, everything. “Where have you been?? Do you know how much I looked for you? I’m so, so, so sorry… I was drunk… I know it’s no excuse… I don’t even remember anything...”

He just stared at her for what seemed like an eternity. She looked away after a minute and started twisting her hands. Her eyes darted everywhere but to him. When the silence became unbearable she blurted out, “If you can’t forgive me, I’ll understand… I can’t forgive myself…”

She fell silent as he started towards her.

“First things first.” He reached up and took the star off the top of the tree. “This job is mine to do. If I am not here, you will wait until I am here. No one but me will ever complete your tree.”

“But what if you die?” Ginny asked boldly, trying to feel him out.

He shot her a glare. “Then you’ll forever have an unfinished tree. Problem?”

“No,” Ginny squeaked meekly and stared at her feet.

Draco looked at her trembling there and softened a little. “How about you open a present early?”

“Lingerie? Now? Really?” Ginny looked up incredulously, until he handed her a small box. Confused, she opened it up to reveal a stunning solitaire diamond ring flanked with emeralds. She froze as she watched Draco get on one knee before her. He smirked as she opened and closed her mouth, trying to speak. She cleared her throat and tried again. “Does this mean…”

“Well, I beat the truth out of Oliver. Literally. But St. Mungo's took care of his ribcage in no time. They said his face wouldn’t have too much permanent scarring either… Oh, don’t look so shocked. He touched you. Undressed you. I don’t care if you were nearly passed out and then fell asleep before he could start anything. No one touches you but me,” Draco growled.

“I’m so sorry! I should never have let it go that far. I don’t know what happened..”

Draco looked at Ginny incredulously. “Gin, being drunk is no excuse. God knows if it were me, you’d have me out on the sidewalk already which is honestly what I almost did to you. But after I left you, I realized I don't even have a choice. I have to swallow my bloody pride and come back to you because, Ginny, I literally don’t think I can live without you.”

“But you never say anything.”

“I thought I didn’t need to.”

“Well sometimes I need to hear it.”

“Well then. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you,” Draco laughed as Ginny melted in his arms. “There. That should be good for another ten years.”

“Wha—“

“I’m just kidding. I. Love. You. Now, do you want this ring or not?”

“It’s green.”

“Of course it is.”

“Is it like the lingerie? So that I’ll always look like Christmas?”

“No,” Draco leaned in and whispered conspiringly. “Here's a secret. I always buy you green because you look the hottest in green.”

And with that they celebrated under the tree as tradition dictated they should.
The End.
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