That was the only word that he could think of to describe what he was about to do as the trudged up the last of winding stairs that led up to the Astronomy Tower. Draco pulled his cloak a little tighter in a vain attempt to ward off the bitterly cold night air and cursed aloud when it failed to do any good.
“You know,” the Weaselette said as he crested the last step, “for someone so handsome, you sure do have a potty mouth!”
She was leaning back again a stone turret looking like some pagan goddess basking in the shadowy moonlight. He ignored the little flutter in his stomach her words had caused (did she really think he was handsome?) and schooled his face into his best scowl.
“So what’s it to you?” he asked.
“Nothing, really,” she said, pushing away from the wall and stepping fully into the golden glow being cast from the lit fire pit, “just surprised.”
“Yeah, well, you can bugger off.”
“I could,” she whispered in a husky voice as she slowly walked around him, “but I don’t think you want me to…”
It was true. He most certainly didn’t want her to go anywhere (although he was loathe to admit it). She was still wearing the midnight blue velvet robes shot with silver threads she’d worn to Christmas dinner in the Great Hall a few hours earlier. He’d thought them out of date and too old for her, but now, in the moment, they were perfect. (Being able to openly appreciate the swell of her full, creamy breasts showcased by the rounded neckline apparently made all the difference.)
“You don’t know what I want,” Draco said defiantly.
“I think you want to kiss me again.”
“Whatever gave you that idea?” He wanted to kiss her again, oh yes, but he wasn’t about to give her the satisfaction of being right.
Ginny twirled a twig of mistletoe between her thumb and forefinger. “You haven’t been able to resist me once since that night in the hot house when I caught you stealing my pumpkin.”
“It’s bad luck not to kiss someone with mistletoe!” he cried in self-defense.
“I didn’t always have mistletoe,” she said with a sly smile.
Draco tore his eyes away from the wisp of a witch in front of him in order to regain some semblance of composure before he threw caution to the wind and did something really stupid. There was something about her that always left him feeling discombobulated, as if he was no longer in control of his actions. She’d bewitched somehow, he was sure of it.
“You surely didn’t call me up here for a snog, now did you?” he drawled.
“No, actually, I didn’t, although you certainly do have the most kissable lips.”
“You think my lips are kissable?” he asked, vanity overriding his good senses.
“That’s beside the point.”
“No, I do believe that is the point. So you think my lips are kissable?”
She gave a dramatic sigh and rolled her eyes. “You boys are all the same!”
“You were the one that brought it up,” he pointed out helpfully.
“Forget I ever mentioned it,” she groaned.
“Oh, no, it’s out in the open now.”
“Anyway, I asked you up here for something entirely different.”
“Oh? If it wasn’t to snog me silly, then why would require my presence this evening?”
“To give you a Christmas present,” she said softly, looking up at him through lowered lashes.
Now he felt like a heel. He hasn’t gotten her anything for Christmas, but to be fair he really didn’t know the rules for buying presents for non-existent girlfriends. That isn’t to say he hadn’t thought of gifts he’d like to have given her (usually of the skimpy black lace variety).
“You didn’t have to,” he spluttered after managing to bite back a curse. “I didn’t get you anything.”
She retrieved a small basket covered in a fuzzy deep green material to hand to him. “Christmas isn’t about receiving.”
Ginny Weasley apparently had never spent a Christmas at Malfoy Manor, where the holidays were always lavish and over-the-top. Draco suddenly felt guilty for the pang of bitter disappointment he’d felt on Christmas morning if his pile of presents wasn’t as large as it was in previous years, even if the items were more expensive. He just stared at the basket in his hand, his throat feeling thick. Someone who practically had nothing gave him, who had practically everything, a gift for no reason at all. It was difficult for him to comprehend why anyone would want to do that.
“Aren’t you going to open it?”
“Yes, yes, of course,” he answered, his contemplative stupor broken by the sound of her voice.
He carefully peeled back the cloth to see what in the world she could have given him that would require the use of a basket, yelping a little when a tiny gray striped head popped up followed by an equally tiny body. Little claws sought purchase in the wool of his cloak as the kitten tried to make his way up to nuzzle against his neck.
“Do you like him?” she asked hopefully. “I saw him and thought he was just adorable.”
He pulled the squirming and purring kitten off his cloak to have a closer look at his ‘gift’. It was tiny, with needle sharp little claws, gray with black stripes and little blue eyes, and no tail. Draco had to fight hard to keep a silly grin from giving away his delight at his pressie. It wouldn’t do for the girl weasel to know she’d just given him the best present he’d ever received. He’d always wanted a kitten (dogs required too much attention), but his mother wouldn’t hear of it, no matter how much he’d begged. Something about ruining her carpets and furniture. “Uh, Weasley, I hate to inform you, but this thing is defective. It has no tail.”
“It’s not a thing. His name is Timothy, and he’s supposed to be that way. He’s a Manx,” she told him in a voice that eerily reminded him of that know-it-all Granger.
“Timothy? That’s a silly name for a cat,” he griped.
“Draco is a silly name for a human,” she shot back.
“I will have you know that Draco is a good, strong name! My father picked it out, and I happen to like it. What about Ginevra, eh? It’s hard to say and sounds ugly.”
She shrugged, and then perked up immediately. “My name is ugly and hard to say and I hate it, but how do you know what it is? I don’t recall ever telling you.”
No, she’d never told him what her full name was; she really hadn’t had the opportunity what with her being so busy shoving her tongue down his throat at every turn. He’d actually done a little detective work to find out everything he could about little Ginny Weasley. If she was having him on, he wanted to be prepared for retaliation.
“I don’t like the name Timothy and I’m changing it.”
“Fine,” she said, giving him a knowing look that made him feel very uneasy, “he’s yours so you can name him anything you want.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“Well, then, Happy Christmas,” Ginny said, dodging around him to escape down the stairs.
“Hey,” he shouted, grabbing her arm before she got away, “don’t I get a Christmas kiss?”
“Do you think you deserve one after complaining about my gift and telling me my name is ugly?”
“But you agreed!”
“That’s beside the point; a girl doesn’t like to hear the boy she likes tell her her name is ugly!”
“I’m sorry, how is that?” Draco said as contritely as he could muster. He was dying to ask her if she really did like him or if she was just saying that, but he was afraid of what her answer might be.
“Mmm,” Ginny mumbled, eyeing him suspiciously. “You didn’t even say if you liked your pressie.”
“I love it, okay?”
“Okay.” She leaned into him, turning her face up to be kissed. He eagerly complied, wrapping his free hand around her waist and pulling her closer to him as he claimed her mouth in searing kiss.
Ginny pulled away from him a few moments later. “Think of me every night when you curl up in bed with your kitten,” she said saucily before disappearing into the dark doorway.
“Believe me, I didn’t need the kitten for that,” he said to the empty tower.
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