The next evening it was seven forty-five and Ginny had not yet selected what she was going to wear. She was currently only wearing a short T-shirt and a pair of boyshorts.
“Fuck,” she muttered as she dug her way through the heaps of clothes on her bed. She held up a lowcut, fuchsia shirt and, after two seconds’ consideration, cast it aside. She suddenly spotted a bit of white sticking out from her mass of colorful clothes and seized it, pulling it out. It was a floaty, cotton summer dress with thin straps. She held it up to herself. It just covered her knees and accentuated all the right curves. Perfect, she thought. She quickly changed from her casual underwear to a lacy white bra and matching underwear, just in case. She then pulled the dress over her head and smoothed it out as she studied herself in the full length mirror in front of her. The dress looked great on her and felt even greater in the hot July weather.
“Right,” she mumbled as she searched for her wand. She found it lying on her dresser under a green tube top and grabbed it. Quickly she performed a few spells on her hair and soon it floated down her back in carelessly beautiful copper curls. In record time, she cast her wand aside, raced into the bathroom, and made up her face.
By five to eight she was sitting restlessly on her couch, wearing a pair of high heeled sandals and clutching her favorite purse. She was incredibly nervous, yet did not really know why. She was just going out with Malfoy. No big deal. He had never mattered to her during her time at Hogwarts, apart from a few nasty pranks they had played on each other preceding Voldemort’s death and the ultimate merge of Gryffindors and Slytherins. Draco and Harry had never quite made odds, but so what? She and Harry were long done. He had made sure of that when he slept with her supposed best friend. It didn’t matter what Harry thought. Did it?
Ginny couldn’t stand sitting in silence, waiting, with all of her thoughts bouncing around in her head. She grabbed the nearest readable item (a Daily Prophet from a few days ago) and begin to scan it.
POTTER INDUCTED INTO WIZARD HALL OF FAME, read one of the bold headlines. WIZENGAMOT REACHES DECISION ON LESTRANGE CASE, read another. Almost all the articles were still going on about the aftermath of the war. Ginny couldn’t concentrate on anything in the paper, so she cast it aside and checked her watch. Hmm. 8:02. She had guessed he wouldn’t be perfectly punctual. Sighing, she pulled her legs up on the chair and crossed them. She closed her eyes and attempted to calm herself down. No big deal. No big deal. No big deal.
The doorbell rang.
Her eyes flew open. BIG DEAL, screamed her heart as it began racing. Ginny stood up hastily and almost fell over as her legs got caught up in each other. She steadied herself, took a deep breath, and walked to the door of her apartment. Peeking through the looking hole, she saw Malfoy standing outside, the small hole making his head seem comically large compared to the rest of his body. He looked good. Merlin, he looked good. Ginny closed her eyes quickly and looked back out at him. He was now studying his shoes. Was that a bad sign? With one last deep breath, Ginny opened the door. Malfoy looked up at her as the door swung open.
“Hi,” she said, putting one hand on her hip. It felt unnatural so she took it off and let it hang limply at her side instead.
“Hello,” said Malfoy with a small smile as he looked her up and down. She hoped he thought she looked as good as she thought he looked.
“Um, come on in,” she said. “I just need to grab my purse quickly.”
She stepped back and let him enter her apartment.
“Sit down,” she offered, gesturing toward the cream colored couch in the living room.
He took a seat, setting one ankle on the knee of his other leg and looking up at her expectantly as she stood there.
“Oh... um, I’ll be right back,” said Ginny.
“That’s fine,” said Malfoy calmly. Merlin, why was he so calm?
Ginny shuffled out of the living room and into her bedroom. She sank down onto her bed and held her head in her hands. She could not, for the love of Merlin, understand why she was acting this way. She was usually an extremely outgoing person; she was never afraid to speak her mind and she had dated various men with more power and good looks than Draco. Why was she so meek when she was around him? She hated when girls acted like she was acting at the moment. What if he fell in love with this version of her? It wasn’t truly her. She couldn’t let that happen.
Determined to be herself and not feel intimidated by the tall blonde sitting in her living room, she stormed out of her room and back into the main part of her flat.
Malfoy had mixed feelings about how the date was going so far. He was impressed with how beautiful Ginny looked in her white dress, with her hair falling in curls around her face. He was, however, disappointed with her lack of conversation. He had always heard about how smart and opinionated she was, not only from fellow students while he was at Hogwarts, but from colleagues at the Ministry and the gossip magazines at Blaine’s flat which Malfoy occasionally read in private. Most of the women that Draco dated were gorgeous, but couldn’t string a plausible sentence together to save their lives (unless they were discussing fashion, how they looked, or the bitch that had copied their shoes at work last Tuesday). He had been extremely curious to see how he would react to a woman with an actual opinion on things. So far, though, she hadn’t said five words to him. He uncrossed his legs. Maybe he was being stupid. Their date had, after all, just begun. She could just be nervous. Yeah, that was probably it. He could understand that, considering his good looks.
Draco laughed out loud at himself. He was being really silly. Had he expected her to pummel him with her view on Rufus Scrimgeurs’ new law on house-elves as soon as he walked in the doorway? No, no. This date had just begun, and it was going to get even better, he thought to himself confidently.
“Hey again.” Ginny appeared in the doorway. “I forgot– my purse was in here all along!”
She smiled at him and then walked to where he was sitting. She picked up the suave bag lying on the sofa next to Draco and swung it onto her shoulder. Draco stood up.
“So. You ready?” she asked. She was much shorter than him, he noted, as she smiled up at him.
“Yeah. Yeah, let’s go,” said Draco. He could sense that there was a change in her since she had returned from looking for her purse. She was less shy, more confident.
“How are we getting there?” she asked interestedly.
“Side-apparation, I thought,” he replied.
“Oh, all right.”
“Right. Well then.” He placed a hand on her basically bare shoulder and felt tingles in his stomach before he apparated them to Le Broux, the fancy restaurant in the heart of Diagon Alley. The restaurant was brightly illuminated by torches on the walls and the place exuded prestige.
“Mister Malfoy, how pleasant to see you again.” A middle-aged male waiter with dark, slicked back hair and a rather snooty air about him greeted Draco with a tight-lipped smile.
“Thank you, Francis.”
“May I show you to your seats?”
Francis led them to a small round table at the back of the restaurant. He pulled the chair out for Ginny and handed them menus.
“Whenever you’re ready,” he said and left.
Draco opened his menu and started scanning the list of foods. He was just debating whether he should order the salmon, as he usually did, or go out on a limb and try the pork when he heard a small giggle. He looked up from his menu to see Ginny trying hard not to laugh.
“What?” he said. He was utterly confused.
“N-nothing,” she giggled. “It’s just....”
“No... no, nothing. Nevermind.” She opened her menu and fixated her eyes upon it, a smile still fixed on her face. Draco shook his head and looked back down at his menu. After a few minutes Francis returned to take their orders.
“Yes, I’ll have the cooked salmon with potatoes and green beans on the side please. Lemon sauce and pepper on the salmon, and creme fraische on the potatoes. Pinot Noir to drink.”
Ginny, apparently, thought this was very funny, for a few moments later she was laughing out loud. It was quite a pleasant laugh, tinkering and gentle, yet Draco felt immensely annoyed by it at the moment.
“Would you tell me what the bloody hell is so funny?” he demanded, leaning forward over the table.
Ginny could not speak for laughter. The occupants of the tables surrounding theirs turned to stare at her, yet she did not seem to care. Once she had calmed down she breathlessly ordered the sautéed chicken breast and ice tea. Francis gave her a disapproving look before leaving their table with their menus. As soon as he was gone Ginny relapsed into her wild giggles.
“Tell me what’s funny, and tell me now,” Draco said through clenched teeth.
“W-well... um,” Ginny began after her laughter had died down. “It’s just... I have this really good friend, her name is Penelope, and I believe you’ve taken her out for dinner before. She, uh, predicted what would happen on our, er, date, and... well... everything she’s said you would do... you’ve done.”
“What? Like what?”
“The restaurant. The table. The food. Even the waiter is the same. Is dating, like, a routine for you?” she asked. She was more serious now.
“Well... well, no,” he said. He was very taken aback. “I mean, I date a lot.” He smirked to himself, noting how he could always subtly complement himself in every conversation. “It’s not that fun coming up with, you know, different stuff to do all the time. I mean, if I’m really into someone I’ll take them some place else for another date, but I think this is fine for the first date.”
“Right,” she said tonelessly.
“It’s the most expensive restaurant in Diagon Alley,” he added.
“I see.” Was he imagining things or did she sound a bit frosty? “So, you just take out any woman who crosses your path?” All right, now he was sure she was pissed.
“Well, no, I mean... I’m a Malfoy. We have standards.”
“Right. Well, I’m a Weasley, and we do too.”
She scraped her chair back, grabbed her purse, and stood up.
“Have a lovely dinner,” she said, and left.
Author notes: Chapter 3 coming soon!.. thanks for reading.. please review! ^_^
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