Serpent's Bride X
hey! Here's Serpent's Bride part 10 however, i would like to ask if you could somehow change the rating to R because this has sexual content. Thanks! Reiko Naoe Imaginative...Bewitching...Ambitious...Cunning...Simply Wicked ~~ Slytherins have the power of tomorrow!~~ *Willow, Phoenix Feather, 12 1/2* Keeper of Ruriko's Arrows Assistant Professor Quidditch Class Delivered by: Arnold the Owl *Arnold: Sweets please... thanks!* _________________________________________________________________ MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos: http://photos.msn.com/support/worldwide.aspx
Chapter X: The Portrait On The Wall
Chapter X: The Portrait On The Wall
No speech though kind has it, but kinder silence doles,
Unto its mates, by night consoles,
By day congratulates…
- Henry David Thoreau
Ginny forced her eyes open upon hearing the happy chirping of the birds signaling the start of another new day. Slowly, she sat up, her fingers lightly scratching her head. She squinted as bright sunlight immediately filled the massive chamber. Pain immediately drilled into her eyes.
Then she swore.
"Hammilton," she groaned, slumping once again on the bed of her ‘borrowed’ chamber, her right arm immediately covering her face, particularly her eyes. Instantly, the ghost valet of Draco floated down from the ceiling.
"You called, madam?" it inquired in its usual dead, unemotional voice.
"How many times do I have to tell you not to open the drapes?" she asked, brushing the velvet red covers of her bed aside and finally sitting up.
"I’m terribly sorry, madam, but Master Draco gave specific instructions to always wake you up before Master Malfoy finds you here in this chamber," the ghost answered as Ginny groggily got out of bed. She slipped her feet into the pair of velvet white slippers, reached for her robe and draped it over her body.
"Same old thing, I guess," she sighed as Hammilton deftly prepared her basin and warm water. "What time is it, Hammilton?" she asked as she dipped her hand into the water and began washing her face.
"Quarter past seven, Mistress," the ghost answered, handing her a towel. Ginny took it with displeasure.
"Jesus," Ginny swore, wiping her face dry. "Don’t they sleep at all?" she asked no one in particular.
"The young Master Draco, Master Malfoy and the Mistress Malfoy will be expecting you for breakfast," it answered instead. And with that, it slowly floated its transparent form away from her, passing smoothly through the wall.
"What else is new?" Ginny asked herself sarcastically as she slowly put on the light yellow dress she had prepared the night before. She was about to put on her shoes when she decided to just sit down for a while and close her eyes.
When will this end? She asked herself. Her head was aching, her eyes were gritty and heavy and she felt like a dozen Bludgers had hit her everywhere. Ever since that ‘wedding night’ mishap, Ginny would always disapparate, using this chamber somewhere in the east wing. The thing was, even though Draco’s chamber was located somewhere in the other wing, Ginny still didn’t trust him. As a result, she would often wake up in the middle of the night only to stay alert in case he would try to sneak in and do ‘something.’ Apparently, after two weeks of waking up and not getting any proper sleep at all, she had found out, again and again, morning after morning, that Draco hadn’t tried to sneak up on her and she had treated herself to the worst fourteen mornings of her life.
"This is getting very ridiculous," she thought as she forced her eyes open once again. She stood up and put her shoes on while her hand was busy feeling the night table for her hair clip.
This ‘war’ thing is getting very preposterous. She thought. Actually the ‘wedding night’ started it all. She remembered it clearly, after scoring her ‘two points’ that night, Draco retaliated the next morning by ordering the house elves to cook hot and spicy foods, the one thing that she hated the most. Chili peppers, spicy burritos and everything that had something to do with the words ‘hot’ and ‘spicy’ were prepared and she practically starved to death that day not to mention finished the whole water supply of the manor.
The next day, Ginny repaid him by waking up early, way ahead of him, only to make cow brain and liver. During dinner, she herself served it, in front of Vladimir, telling everyone that she cooked it because it was her ‘darling’ husband’s favorite. And Draco had no choice but to eat it without gagging. Ginny knew how Draco hated ‘unsophisticated’ food. She remembered one time when he was telling her that people who ate liver, brain and such were nothing but cannibals. He absolutely despised them. On that particular dinner night, she was treated to the most entertaining and, at the same time, most revolting night of her life, watching Draco turn green with every bite then hearing him barfing later on inside the bathroom.
The next day, Draco kicked her cat. He hated it.
She hid his favorite boots.
He took away her mini vanity set and gave it to a girl servant in front of Vladimir, saying that his ‘darling’ wife was very good and generous. She couldn’t do anything but to force out a smile while her delicate jade-handled combs, brushes and mirrors were given away.
She shook her head. It was a never-ending and immature cycle and she readily admitted that she was getting tired of it. Surely Draco was getting tired of it too, right? After all, she was also making his married life miserable. He would surely agree to a truce. With that, Ginny then walked towards the door, wondering what this day had in store for her. She opened the door and stepped out. Just then, a sudden voice boomed at her.
"Why, Virginia! What the hell are you doing inside that chamber?"
Virginia turned around only to see the huge form of Vladimir walking towards her. Her jaw dropped. "Uh-oh, he saw me! What should I do?" she thought frantically. She looked at him at first, quite unsure of what to say. She thought of going back inside the chamber but that would’ve been pathetic.
"Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Draco’s chamber is in the other wing?" the man asked suspiciously.
Ginny took a deep breath, her nerves jumbling. "Draco will kill me if he finds this out," she thought. Or maybe, it made her wonder, what, from her things, would Draco decide to give away or ruin later when he learns of this. "W- well what- what it is—"
"Breakfast, sir," said Fields suddenly, appearing before them via the wall. Vladimir’s right hand shot up to his chest while Virginia didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh with relief. For the distraction, she could kiss Fields right now!
"Good heavens, man!" boomed Vladimir, his brows crinkling with displeasure, totally forgetting that Fields was a ghost and not a 'man.' "You’re going to give me a heart attack!"
"I’m sorry, sir," said Fields apologetically. "The mistress and the young master’s been asking for you," it said. Then it turned its transparent head towards Virginia who was watching it warily. "And you too, young mistress," it added.
"Very well," Vladimir said as he waved his hand casually, a sign of dismissal. The ghost floated away from them. He turned to Ginny and offered his arm. "Shall we, Virginia?" he asked, his face alight with a smile.
Virginia chuckled. "All right, Grandfather," she answered.
Vladimir nodded and steered her towards the dining hall. They walked in amiable silence, with Vladimir humming a soft cheerful tune and Ginny smiling at nothing in particular. Upon reaching the dining hall, Draco and Narcissa immediately stood up. Apparently, they were about to eat since breakfast was already laid on the table. Ginny bit her lip upon seeing Draco’s eyes widening with shock and confusion. She looked down when his eyes turned angry upon seeing her arm in arm with Vladimir.
"Good morning!" greeted Vladimir as he made his way towards his chair. After the faint choruses of good mornings, Virginia then sauntered to her seat, beside Draco while Draco immediately assisted her.
"What is the meaning of this?" he hissed against her ear as he gave Virginia a sound kiss on her cheek. "Good morning, honey," he said loudly for everybody to hear.
Ginny chuckled pleasantly at that. Then her statement turned serious. "I don’t know. I just found him there, lurking about," she hissed back, not letting Draco go, acting as if she wanted one more kiss.
He gave her another one. "You’re dead, you know that? Now he’ll be asking for great grandchildren," he said as he took his seat. Ginny turned to him, her eyes wide.
"So explain," said Vladimir suddenly as he tied his table napkin around his neck. He looked at Virginia sharply but not unkindly.
"Explain… what?" Virginia asked, her eyebrows raised in mock confusion. Draco rolled his eyes mentally as he decided to remain silent. Narcissa frowned in confusion and turned to Ginny as well.
"Why I saw you emerging from a bedroom located in the east wing." he said as he lightly buttered his toast. He took a bite and looked at her expectantly.
"East wing?" Narcissa asked. "From what I understand, Draco’s private chambers are in the west?" she added. Then she sighed. "Am I forgetting things already?"
"Virginia?" Vladimir asked while ignoring Narcissa.
Virginia blinked her eyes fast, her heart beating at an enormously fast rate. She took a deep breath and looked at Draco whom was busy eyeing his breakfast suspiciously. He then poked his breakfast with his fork looking for some signs of brains and liver in them, obviously too preoccupied to help her. Whether he was being deliberately unhelpful or nasty, she should not care. She had to give Vladimir an acceptable answer first. She would make Draco pay later.
"Well, Draco— snores," she finally said. With that, a faint clutter rang inside the dining hall.
Draco turned to her aghast.
Vladimir’s awaiting statement cracked.
Moments later he laughed.
"Excuse me?" Draco asked, looking at her with a horrified statement.
Ginny cleared her throat and looked at Vladimir straight in the eye. "He snores. Actually, he snores so loud that I— I can’t take it anymore," she continued.
"I absolutely do not snore!" Draco declared loudly. Vladimir laughed harder while Narcissa looked from Draco to Ginny, then to the laughing Vladimir with an statement that asked them: Whatever are you talking about?
"Yes, you do, honey. I’m sorry," insisted Ginny. Although she did not like telling something like that considering that she would later on propose a truce it left her no other choice. "Well, you could always say that you became disgusted because you discovered he’s gay or he couldn’t get ‘it’ up," her brain coaxed helpfully. At that thought, Ginny suppressed the giggles fighting out to get free.
"I DO NOT," Draco pressed with forced calmness.
"Oh, hush boy! You’re asleep and Virginia’s awake, of course she would know. And besides that’s just snoring! That’s not the end of—of—" Vladimir couldn’t continue any longer as another round of laughter came out of his mouth. Ginny looked at Draco only to notice his eyes turning dark with fury.
"I didn’t know you snored." Narcissa asked delicately as she took a bite of her toast. She chewed slowly before swallowing. "Do you snore?" she asked innocently as if nothing was amiss, as if they were discussing something about the weather or the latest piece of teacups or furniture. This flared Draco’s temper even more.
Ginny frowned at this. Ghost servants, a rich crazy old man for a grandfather, an unaffected woman for a mother— no wonder Draco turned out like this! She thought. This family was certifiably and completely wackos!
"You’d better do something about that snoring problem of yours, boy!" Vladimir managed to say after his gales of laughter. "At that rate, I won’t be having great grandchildren running around here," he added as he stirred his coffee.
Another faint clutter.
This time, it was Draco’s turn to smile at Ginny.
Ginny’s mouth dropped. She shut it immediately.
"Virginia’s having trouble with having children," said Draco nonchalantly. At that, Narcissa and Vladimir stopped and looked at her as if her hair turned blue or something.
"What do you mean?" Vladimir demanded, the laughter immediately dying. His face turned grave, his eyes narrowing. His whole statement became cold and calculating, like a businessman surveying a damaged good delivered to him.
"You’re not sick are you, Virginia?" Narcissa asked worriedly
Ginny swallowed hard. "May—may—I—"
"Of course Virginia’s not sick," said Draco frowning at his mother. "What I meant to say was Virginia’s having trouble with having children at this time," he added. "Of course, she told me that she would rather take care of me first before taking care of our would-be babies."
"Oh," Vladimir and Narcissa said at the same time, relieved. Vladimir then turned his attentions back to his coffee while Narcissa deftly buttered another of her toast.
"May I be excused?" Virginia asked suddenly, standing up.
"Of course, Virginia," said Vladimir without looking up.
"Whatever for?" Narcissa asked without thinking and looking at her.
Ginny turned to her and said without thinking, "To freak out." And with that, she turned around and made her way out of the dining hall. Upon seeing this, Draco’s face went from smug to that of confusion and irritation. He excused himself as well and immediately followed her.
"Now what was that all about?" Narcissa asked.
Vladimir momentarily looked up at his grandson’s departing form before taking a sip of his coffee. "Damn it all! I swear I could’ve earned millions selling tickets to this show!" he thought with raw amusement.
Draco shook his head and ran after her. She was already near the manor’s front entrance when he suddenly yanked her arm, forcing her to stop. Virginia let out a cry of pain as she wrenched her arm free from his grasp. Draco immediately let go.
"Don’t you touch me," said Ginny as she slowly massaged her right arm.
Draco’s face softened upon seeing the hurt statement on her face. "You should’ve stopped when I called you," he said softly, his voice apologetic.
"Now it’s my fault?" Ginny spat acidly.
At that, Draco took a deep breath and turned away from her. "I’m sorry," he murmured.
"What did you say?" Ginny asked, looking at him.
"I’m sorry," he said again, a little louder.
"I said ‘I’M SORRY’!" Draco almost yelled.
Ginny frowned. "Is that how you say sorry?" she asked with malice. "You were yelling at me."
"You’re deaf," answered Draco back.
"I am not deaf," said Ginny loudly. "Why is it hard for you to say sorry? To admit that it’s your fault? To admit that you make mistakes?" she nearly yelled.
"That is not the subject at hand, Virginia," said Draco stiffly. Ginny eyed him sharply and decided to say nothing. Draco looked at her sternly. "What you said back there was very, very impolite and inappropriate," he finally said, shaking his head with displeasure.
"I admit it was but I’m not sorry about it," said Ginny viciously.
"I’m not expecting you to be sorry, you know," said Draco neutrally. "But please, next time you decide to say some hurtful words, better say it when we’re alone or say it anywhere but in the dining hall having a meal."
Ginny’s face softened a little. She looked at him first, then sighed. "It doesn’t bother you one bit?" she asked doubtfully.
"Well, I’m used to it really," he replied. "Let’s see," he paused and looked up to think, his finger against his chin, "Ah yes… you’ve been saying those bad things for about two months of our pre-wedding days and two weeks now, as husband and wife," he finished. He brought his eyes to her and after staring at her face for quite some time and noting Ginny’s widening brown eyes, he finally let out a smile.
Ginny then frowned thoughtfully. "Well, I’m used to it too, I guess," she said slowly. "You’ve been a miserable prat for the past two months so I guess that makes us even." Then she tossed her hands up. "Does it bore you, I mean?" she asked exasperatedly.
"Well depends on what you mean about boring," replied Draco truthfully. "I can hardly call you boring at all, Virginia," he thought. "There’s so much to learn about you."
Ginny looked at him and bit her lip. Draco raised one eyebrow up at her. Then he smiled knowingly. "Say it," he finally said.
She frowned, "What?"
"Say it. Whatever it is," he said again confidently. "I promise I won’t laugh and I promise I will agree to it."
"How did you know that I was about to ask you for something?" she asked.
"Your eyes tell it all," he said with a shake of his head. "And besides, this is actually the first time we had a ‘normal’ conversation with you initiating it," he added. Actually, Draco was hoping that Virginia would call for a truce. The past two weeks, he had to admit, was crazy. Crazier compared to those years when his father was still alive. Until now, Draco hadn’t realized that there was somebody who could drive him insane other than his father and his grandfather.
Just then, Ginny’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why don’t you call for ‘it’ first?" she asked shrewdly, obviously reading Draco’s mind.
"Why should I?" Draco spat back. "You started this whole mess in the first place by inviting Grandfather to stay here for a month!"
"I did not start it!" Ginny cried indignantly. She placed her hands on her hips and raised her chin defiantly. "You say it!"
"No, you say it!" Draco said, his voice stone cold. When Ginny shook her head. Draco finally threw his hands up in the air. "I can’t believe I’m acting so immature about this! And for the past two weeks!" he said aloud, pacing back and forth before her. He stopped and turned to her. Upon noting the still determined look on her face, he finally gave a defeated sigh.
"Truce, okay?" he said finally. "There! I said it! Happy now?"
At that, a sweet smile finally replaced the stern look on Ginny’s face. Upon seeing it, Draco felt that it was worth asking for a truce first. Until that moment, he never realized the truth about the things people said about the power of a woman’s smile. He looked away from her and raked his fingers against his hair, sighing tiredly. He then felt a soft hand resting on his right arm.
"I’m sorry I made you eat cow brains and livers," said Ginny softly.
"I didn’t mean to kick your cat," said Draco turning to face her. "And giving your— brushes away."
Ginny smiled softly while Draco took a deep breath. "And about having children, you don’t have to worry. I’m sure Grandfather won’t live to see the day of our—uh—divorce." Somehow, he couldn’t get the word ‘divorce’ out. He realized that whether he liked it or not, he was sure that he would miss this woman after this marriage.
This made her frown, partly from confusion because of the slight pain those words brought her and partly because of confusion about Vladimir. "What do you mean?" she asked.
"He’s dying," answered Draco quietly.
"He— he can’t be—" Ginny shook her head with disbelief. "No, he can’t be dying. He looks so young and so strong. That’s— that’s—"
"He’s half-vampire, Virginia," Draco cut in.
"He hasn’t tasted human blood since god-knows-when," continued Draco, rolling his eyes. "That is food for his kind. His soul will deteriorate as well as his mortal body without it."
"Then why— doesn’t he—"
"I don’t know why he refused to take in human blood," Draco said suddenly. "He just—stopped. I’m not really sure why."
"So— he’ll die?"
At that, Ginny couldn’t help but feel sad and angry at the same time. Sad because, although Vladimir had this weird tendency to bite people’s head off with his not-so-polite remarks, he was always nice to her. He was always the perfect gentleman when it came to the ladies. He had been like the Grandfather she never had. And then she felt angry with herself because of the awful charade they were playing, robbing Vladimir of his hard-earned fortune.
"Look, I meant what I said back there," said Draco after a moment, purposely dropping the conversation about his grandfather. She turned to him. "Let’s just spend the rest of this marriage as peacefully as possible, all right? God knows I’m getting tired of getting back at you and being repaid nastily in return."
Ginny stared at him for a while then she let out a smile. "All right," she said, offering her hand. "Truce?"
Draco nodded. "Truce." he said, shaking it. After a moment, he let go of her hand. A momentary silence filled the hall as Ginny looked at Draco, waiting for him to say something. Draco’s eyes in turn traveled upwards, he let out soft whistle, his eyes scanning the ceiling for nothing in particular. Then it struck her! She had actually made friends with Draco Malfoy! They had actually, for the first time, agreed to one thing! For the first time, they had actually had a normal conversation as husband and wife! And that was really— that was totally…! She swallowed her laughter. She was willing to bet that if Ron found out about this, he would chop off Draco’s head with an axe first then chain her inside her room for all eternity.
"So— what do we do now?" she asked quite awkwardly. She just was not used to having these kind of moments with him. It was both uncomfortable and surprising at the same time.
Draco turned to her, giving her a lopsided grin. "Well, maybe I could give you a decent kiss or something?" he asked without a trace of embarrassment. Suddenly, he winked at her.
"Is there such a thing as a decent kiss with Draco Malfoy?" Ginny asked doubtfully but nevertheless chuckled. Draco’s eyes narrowed. He then made his way towards her slowly. Ginny shook her head and backed away a little. "You’re just too sure of yourself, aren’t you?" she asked.
"What Draco wants, Draco gets," he drawled, getting closer.
"Oh, I wouldn’t exactly say that," answered Ginny. "I’m a living proof of that."
"Maybe," he said as his hands finally caught her arm. He gently pulled the unresisting Ginny to him till he could feel the gentle rising and falling of her body against his.
They stared at each other at first. Ginny let her eyes momentarily roam around his face before settling back to his eyes while Draco looked straight at her eyes. Then he felt it! He felt it again! That unexplainable jolt inside his chest! "What was that all about?" he found himself asking. It was warm and terrifying at the same time. And now looking straight at her, seeing his face reflected in her eyes, made him want to run away and stay at the same time. He slowly let his head down, his fingers settling under her chin to lift her face up to his. Then he stopped. He wanted to kiss her so badly but so afraid of what that kiss would do to him. He was so sure that that kiss would change his life forever and right now, he wasn’t ready for it. He just couldn’t--
"Draco, honey, is Ginny there?" Narcissa asked, suddenly emerging from the dining hall. Upon hearing her voice, Ginny and Draco reluctantly let go of each other, the momentary spell broken. Draco felt relief and disappointment at the same time as he cleared his throat noisily.
Narcissa looked at the two before her and noted Ginny’s flushed cheeks and Draco’s unusual silence. Realizing everything she gave a soft gasp. "Oh my, I didn’t disturb you, did I?" she asked.
"No, mother," replied Draco, giving her a reassuring smile.
"Of— of course not," Ginny seconded, shaking her head.
"Oh, okay," the other woman said with relief. She flashed a dazzling smile towards Ginny’s direction. "I want you to be ready in a few minutes, Ginny. We’re going out," she said.
Ginny frowned. "Out? Where to?" she asked.
Narcissa looked at her as if she had just decided to wear a rice sack for a ball and insisting that it was fine. "Are you forgetting that it’s two weeks away from Christmas?" she asked.
"Um, no," said Ginny.
"Mother always does her Christmas shopping at this time," said Draco while taking his pocket watch out and looking at it. "Which reminds me," he stopped and turned to his mother, "I’ll be coming with you. I have some business to take care of."
"All right, honey," replied Narcissa. Then she chuckled while looking at Ginny’s. "It’s so good to have a good-looking man with us for a change. Your Grandfather much preferred to stay here where it is warm and dark."
"Very well," said Draco cordially, finally putting his watch inside his pocket. "I’ll see to the carriages." And with that, he leaned towards Ginny and gave her the most unusual parting kiss she had. He kissed her lightly on her neck and immediately went off, leaving her staring at him in bewilderment and unhidden pleasure.
"I hope you don’t mind if we use the carriages, dear," said Narcissa suddenly as she hooked her arm with Ginny’s and began leading her towards the grand staircase. "I know you young people are used to flying your brooms and apparating here and there but I’m not much of flier even when I was younger and I’m terribly afraid of apparating," she paused and took another breath. "That’s why Draco would always have the carriages ready whenever I go out. I’m sure glad he doesn’t mind the slow travel." she continued as they climbed the stairs leisurely.
"Of course not," said Ginny. It made Narcissa smile.
Upon reaching Narcissa’s chamber, she lightly let go of Ginny’s arm. She was about to enter her room when she suddenly remembered something. She turned to Ginny and frowned slightly. "Don’t you work in the Muggle world, dear?" she asked.
"Yes," said Ginny, nodding.
"Well, surely you didn’t quit your job just because of this marriage, right?" asked Narcissa hopefully. "I would surely hate to see that."
This made Ginny smile. She shook her head. "No, no, I didn’t quit my job. And Draco too, was most unwilling. I’m just on break, with the Christmas Holiday and New Year’s— I’ll be back, however, late January, at the start of classes," she replied. Well, it was partly true. She thought. Although Draco didn’t particularly ask her to quit her job, he didn’t also ask her to go on. All in all, it brought her to the sudden conclusion that Draco didn’t care with what she chose to do, which was both good and bad at the same time. Good because she was not really used to the idea of someone telling her what to do. Bad because of the thought that Draco simply didn’t care about her in any way.
"That’s good to hear," said Narcissa. "I firmly believe that a woman must not quit living her life just because she’s married." Then she let out a bittersweet smile. "Don’t be like me, Virginia. That would be the biggest mistake you’d be making if you let Draco take total control of your life," she said softly but firmly.
"I assure you, you don’t have anything to worry about," said Ginny, smiling softly, "Mother," she finally concluded. At that, Narcissa smiled with pleasure and gave her a kiss fondly on the cheek.
"Well, off you go," she said as she opened her door. "I’ll meet you in the stables."
"Yes," replied Ginny. When Narcissa disappeared inside her chamber, Ginny turned around and made her way quickly towards the east wing, towards her chamber, keeping out a sharp eye for Vladimir. Finally, after the brisk walk that seemed to take forever, she reached her chamber door. She was about to open it when she felt something peculiar. She stopped and turned towards the narrow hallway to her right, the hallway where she saw Vladimir early that morning. Then forgetting about going inside her room, she slowly made her way to the darkened hall.
The hall, she noticed, became dimmer and gloomier with every step. She cautiously looked around only to see rows and rows of huge doors lining each side of the narrow corridor with portraits hung in between each entranceway. Ginny swallowed hard upon feeling the moving eyes of the portraits following her. She noticed that they were just interested in watching her since they made no effort to talk or to say something. A cold chill ran down Ginny’s spine upon seeing one of the portraits, with the palest skin, bare its fangs at her. It was beyond doubt that every portrait was a member of the Malfoy ancestry since everyone had the Malfoy eyes, sharp and piercing. Most of them were blonde and the vampire blood ran strongly in every face. There were women too, sophisticated and beautiful but most were men. "I would look terribly out of place here, she thought as she saw one woman with black hair, deep blue eyes and red pouty lips. She had a beauty mark on the left side of her chin and she was looking straight at her as if she was a child. Ginny noticed her prominent cheekbones and her generous bosom practically oozing out of the tight bodice she had on. She couldn’t help but notice the unusual attractiveness each portrait had. Somehow, they had the same good-bad kind of thing Draco had, men and women alike. Now Ginny fully understood where Draco got everything.
She continued on her way, delving deeper into the east wing, feeling the cold damp air against her skin. Noting the darkening hallway, she took her wand out and deftly flicked it, whispering a faint ‘Lumos’. Instantly, light emerged at the tip of her wand. Just then a cry of surprise nearly made Ginny’s heart stop. Shaking with unknown fear, she cautiously pointed the tip of her wand forwards, expecting something dreadful to come out and eat her alive. "What have I gotten myself into?" she asked herself. "Stupid, stupid! Didn’t you know that curiosity killed the cat!" her brain scolded. Ginny turned around and prepared herself to run when a sudden, gentle voice rang inside the empty hall.
"Good heavens! Might that be you, Virginia?"
Ginny stood there, frozen. Lips and hands trembling, she positioned her wand above her head only to see a dead end wall and a portrait hanging on it. Then her fear subsided a little upon noting the mild statement on the man’s face. She stared at him momentarily and noticed the fine blonde hair on his head, so blonde that they were like Christmas tinsels. He had sparkling silver eyes with an aristocratic nose to go with it. Although he had an arrogant chin, Ginny didn’t miss the shadow of a grin that once grazed his lips. Judging from the frilly collars of his white shirt and his long red coat, she surmised that this person lived through the 18th century. She frowned. The portrait strongly reminded her of Draco but there was something different, something missing. Ginny cleared her throat softly.
"I’m sorry to intrude your—uh—silence or whatever. I just got lost and—and— I’ll go now and I won’t--"
The portrait frowned. Then to Ginny’s absolute surprise, he smiled. "Are you afraid of me?" it asked. Ginny didn’t miss the tone of amusement in his voice.
"Why, no of course not," she forced herself to say. Then she frowned. "Why should I? After all, you’re just a painting. You cannot move," she added.
"Now that was very good to hear," he said with mild sarcasm. Ginny had to stifle a laughter upon noting how exactly he sounded like Draco. Then the painting stared at her for a long time that made Ginny wonder if had died. When it still decided not to say something, she shrugged and was about to turn around when the portrait suddenly spoke, "So now I see who’s been giving young Draco sleepless nights."
With that, Ginny’s eyes widened. "I— I beg your pardon?"
"You must be Virginia." he surmised. "Ginny, he would often say, that is."
A reluctant smile curled Ginny’s lips. "Who are you?" she asked softly.
"I’m Ed—er—Fredrick, Madam," the portrait replied in its most gallant voice. "Captain Frederick Butler Charlesworth III at your service."
Ginny let out a soft chuckle. "A pleasure Captain Charlesworth," she replied. "I’m Virginia Wea—uh—Malfoy. Virginia Malfoy."
"I know," Fredrick answered in an almost misty voice that made Ginny frown slightly.
"So, Fredrick— may I call you Fredrick? Ginny started.
"Of course Madam," it said. "Whatever will please the lady."
"All right then. Fredrick, why is it that you’re all alone here?" she asked. "I’ve noticed that you look very much like my husband but— are you sure you’re not related to him?" she asked, noting the portrait’s last name.
"I assure you, Madam, that the young Master isn’t related to me. Whatever of my looks he may have is just pure coincidence," replied Fredrick. Ginny, for a moment there, had a little trouble talking to an immobile thing, let alone a still portrait whose mouth and eyes moved. "I was placed here for a purpose, young Mistress."
"Purpose? Like as a guardian of something?" Ginny asked, remembering the portrait of the Fat Lady back at Hogwarts.
"You could say that," Fredrick replied. "The wall behind me isn’t exactly just a wall, young Mistress," it added mysteriously.
Ginny’s eyes narrowed shrewdly. "So it must be a secret room, am I right?" she asked, her curiosity growing with every minute.
"Behind me is the young Master’s secret quarters," said the portrait.
"Draco’s secret quarters?" Ginny echoed thoughtfully. "Whatever do you mean by secret quarters?" she asked. Then it made her wonder. Was that the room where Draco often hid his mistresses? Such a thought sent her blood boiling, her desire to get into that room becoming stronger than ever.
"This is where young Draco keeps all his important things," said Fredrick. "At least those important to him. Things which are only meant for his eyes."
"I’m willing to bet they are," she thought, gritting her teeth. "You wouldn’t let me in that room, would you Fredrick?" she asked sweetly.
This time, Frederick’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why should I?" he asked. Then he smiled. "Well, I may if you give me one good answer as to why I should let you enter," he added.
"I’m his wife," said Ginny flatly.
"And so what if you’re his wife?" Fredrick asked delicately. "Even his mother didn’t know about his secret chamber. So why should I let you?"
At that, Ginny gave a defeated sigh. "Oh forget it," she said tiredly. She let out a weak smile. "I’m sure whatever Draco has in there is really very important to him, maybe some part of him he isn’t ready to share with anyone else," she murmured. "And besides, I respect his privacy."
"But you do want to see, right?" the painting said knowingly.
"Yes, I do," she said truthfully.
"Because— because I want— to understand him. To know the real him and somehow, I have this strong feeling that I will find all the answers inside there, you know." Then Ginny shook her head and laughed softly. "Oh look at me, babbling nonsense again. You know, I should just—" Just then, Ginny stopped. Her eyes widened upon seeing the portrait swinging open, its rusted hinges making loud creaking noises inside the empty hall. For a moment, Ginny stood there as if her feet were glued to the floor. Then gripping her wand tightly, she made her way inside the room cautiously, her wand ready for attack. Who knows, what if the important thing that painting was referring to was a three-headed monster. After all Draco was a Malfoy and everything beyond normal was indeed one of a Malfoy’s doing.
Ginny stepped inside the room and instantly, light poured out from the lamps. Her eyes roamed around only to see mountains of books on one desk at the center and a dozen paintings neatly stacked on the other side of the room. There was a comfortable looking couch built for two just before the fire. On the other wall were glass cabinets containing a collection of expensive wines and champagne and delicate wine glasses. Even with the smallness of the room, it was well kept. It had a warm and earthy ambiance to it.
She made her way towards the paintings, her fingers carefully lifting one after the other. There were pieces by Picasso, several by Vincent van Gogh, some by Salvador Dali and many more. Ginny’s eyes widened in disbelief! Draco’s passion included paintings? Muggle paintings at that? She then let her eyes travel towards the desk full of books. She made her way towards them to find several books about history and mythology, William Shakespeare… It seems like Draco is a big fan of the arts. She thought examining one book. She was about to go back to the paintings when she noticed something sticking out of the thick volume just in front of her. Frowning, she carefully lifted the book to reveal a dusty velvet box. She picked it up and slowly flipped it’s top open to find a single gold chain inside with an oval locket hanging from it.
"It’s beautiful," Ginny said as she carefully opened the locket. Inside was a picture of a young girl with long black hair and the most expressive violet eyes she had ever seen. She stared at it for a while before closing and turning it only to see the inscription at the back.
Bianca Anne Fairfax
"Bianca Anne Fairfax?" Ginny asked herself, opening the locket once again. She stared at the girl which, she was sure, wasn’t any older than nine or ten. Who was the girl and what was she doing inside Draco’s secret quarters? Was she someone important to Draco? Was she one of his mistresses? If she was, then why would Draco even think of keeping a photo of her taken when she was just a mere child? It didn’t make any sense at all!
"I believe the Mistress is calling for you, Virginia," Fredrick suddenly called out, shattering her thoughts. With that, Ginny decided to keep the gold chain, wounding it around her neck and placing the locket beneath her dress. Then running towards the exit, Ginny carefully stepped out as the portrait’s hinges came creaking once again. "I believe I’ll see more of you young Virginia," Fredrick finally said, taking his usual place against the wall, blocking the secret chamber from her view.
"I’ll be back," said Ginny as she hurriedly made her way towards her chamber, unmindful of the unfriendly faces looming over her.
"Oh that was a very tiring day!" exclaimed Narcissa as they settled themselves comfortably on the couch. Draco’s mother then went about her shopping bags while Ginny slumped tiredly against her soft leather seat, her olive green coat carelessly around her body. She let out a sigh as she looked out the carriage window to gaze at the setting sun. Moments later, the carriage began to move.
She had never expected that going shopping with Narcissa would be quite a nightmare. The older woman dragged her practically everywhere! First, they went to her seamstress, then to Madam Malkin’s to purchase several dress robes, and gowns. Then it was off to the cloth shop were they purchased rolls and rolls of mouthwatering silk and satin for their new gowns. After that, they went for shoes, then for accessories, jewelry— she could go on! Actually, Ginny had lost track of how many Galleons they spent that day and for that matter she couldn’t really blame Draco for thinking that women were just good when it came to spending money, nothing more, nothing less. Although most of the things Narcissa bought was for her, (seems like the woman enjoyed spending money for her) she found it touching and a little bit irritating at the same time, because when Narcissa shopped, it wasn’t just ‘shopping,’. It included fussing here and there and letting Ginny try on several different pairs of shoes and gowns till she couldn’t stand it anymore!
"Virginia, would you like to come with me?" Narcissa asked suddenly. Ginny looked up and was surprised to realize that they had already stopped. She turned to Narcissa and raised her eyebrows.
"Where to?" she asked.
"Oh, just to Flourish and Blotts," answered Narcissa while preparing to climb down. She opened the door and let one booted foot out. "Father gave me a list of books he wanted. Seems like Flourish and Blotts has new releases."
Ginny then smiled. At last, they could go for real ‘shopping.’ She thought. She had always been a big fan of books. "All right," she said. With that, Narcissa nodded and stepped down from the carriage with Ginny behind her.
"Ah, good afternoon Mrs. Malfoy!" the shopkeeper named Mr. Gardner greeted as they entered the shop. When the man laid his eyes on Ginny, he smiled fondly. "I see the young Mrs. Malfoy’s here again," he said.
Ginny chuckled. "Oh you know I always visit your shop first, even when I was still going at Hogwarts," she said.
Mr. Gardner nodded. "Yes, yes indeed," he replied.
"I have here a list of books my father wants to buy," said Narcissa delicately while handing the parchment to the man. He, in turn, took the paper and put his glasses on. "Er, why don’t you look around first, Virginia? You can read for free if you want," he added.
"You know I always do that," said Ginny, giggling. She then proceeded to the first shelf full of books labeled "New Releases" and began inspecting them.
New Spells for the New Millennium by Miranda Goshawk and Amanda Portman
Hogwarts: A History, 9th Edition by Hermione Granger-Weasley.
Ginny’s eyebrows raised up a notch when she saw this. So Hermione did eventually venture out to writing. She thought.
Advanced Transfiguration, 10th Edition by Minerva McGonagall
Understanding Muggles and How to Live With Them by Arthur Weasley
Ginny smiled at this and without thinking she took the book from the shelf with the intention of buying it. Her father didn’t exactly tell her that his new book was already out. Then going back, she deftly took another thick volume, Hermione’s book to be exact, and went straight to the counter.
"Ah, I see you’ve found two to your liking?" Mr. Gardner said noting the two thick volumes against Ginny’s chest. He then carefully placed Narcissa’s pile of books in a shopping bag then took Ginny’s own purchases.
"Actually, it’s more like a family thing," said Ginny as she fished in her coat pocket for her purse. "I’d really hate it when my father and my sister-in-law see my book collection without theirs in it. I would never hear the end of it," she finished chuckling.
"Understanding Muggles and How to Live With Them?" Narcissa asked wonderingly, her eyes scanning the leather bound book before her.
Mr. Gardner nodded. "Quite a piece, if you ask me Mrs. Malfoy," he said. "Truly one of its kind. Glad that someone of our kind took great and REAL interest in writing about the non-magical community for once and actually adding guides to live with them. It’s quite important, you see, since most of us live and interact with them." Then he turned to Ginny. "That’ll be 168 Galleons, all in all."
"A hundred and sixty-eight it is," said Ginny while busily counting several gold Galleons. Somehow, it was much easier spending money now compared to before. Oh, well, she thought. It was just as Draco said, the benefit of being a Malfoy. But then again, part of this was from her earnings actually. She didn’t marry Draco for nothing, did she?
Mr. Gardner accepted the gold coins Ginny handed him with a smile. "Thank you, my dear. Do enjoy the books!"
"I will! Thanks!" Ginny answered back, taking her purchases with her.
Narcissa smiled. "Thank you," she said amiably as they made their way outside the shop.
Once outside, Ginny turned around only to see Draco emerging from-- Knockturn Alley? She frowned and turned to Narcissa who was busy handing her new purchases to the coach driver. Apparently, Narcissa didn’t notice that her son was already making his way towards them.
"Had lovely time shopping?" he asked lightly. He then planted a kiss on Ginny’s lips as if it was the normal thing to do.
"Oh yes," said her mother.
"Yes," said Ginny thoughtfully. Was Narcissa aware that his son was a regular in Knockturn Alley just like Lucius? She turned to Draco and was about to ask him as to what he had been doing there when a sudden whoosh of cold air swept past her. She momentarily closed her eyes and shivered. Just then she saw nothing… blackness… then blurry images materializing before her…
A young boy’s cry…
"No! Father, please don’t!"
"Get out of the way, boy!"
"Don’t make me hurt you again!"
Then a flash of bright green light…
A terrified scream…
A young girl dead…
Virginia blinked and looked around her. "What was that?" she asked herself upon seeing the normal crowd of bustling people, busy with their own Christmas shopping. Her eyes then riveted towards the shop and was surprised to see the sign Flourish and Blotts hanging there clearly. She swallowed hard, her heart beating fast against her chest. "Was it a dream? Who were they?"
Ginny turned towards the voice only to see Draco peering at her with confusion and obvious concern. "Did you see that?" she asked as she frantically looked around.
"Saw what?" Draco asked frowning.
Ginny turned to him, surprised. "You didn’t see it?"
"What?" he repeated this time impatiently.
"Was I the only one who saw it? she asked herself upon noting Draco’s confusion and Narcissa’s bafflement. She then shook her head. "No, it’s nothing," she finally replied.
"Are you all right, Virginia?" Narcissa asked, her hand immediately feeling her forehead. "Seems like you’re dizzy."
"Yes, I’m fine," answered Ginny faintly. "Just— a little tired, I guess."
"Then you must rest and wait for us in the carriage," said Narcissa quite jovially, obviously thinking that Ginny’s actual ‘dizziness’ was a sign of pregnancy. "I have one more errand to go to and would’ve asked you to join me but—"
"Come on," said Draco as he gently took her arm and led her towards the carriage with Narcissa following close behind, fussing about them. Ginny tried her best not to wobble because in fact, she felt suddenly weak, drained.
Upon reaching the coach, Draco opened the door, lifted her up easily and settled her inside. "I’m going to Gringgots for a while to deposit something in your vault but I’ll be back. Are you sure you’ll be fine?" he asked, his face emotionless against the darkening sky. When Ginny nodded, Draco then stepped down from the couch and closed the door behind him softly.
Once alone, Ginny closed her eyes. Her hands immediately flew to her chest only to feel the cold locket against her fingers. Almost immediately, another set of cold winds blew against her…
Long black hair… a pair of violet eyes staring at her blankly… lifeless…
A cruel laugh…
"No weaknesses, boy!"
Then a slap.
The boy’s blonde head threw backwards, blood on his lips
"I said no weaknesses, do you understand?"
"Answer me, boy!"
Just then Ginny felt the unusual movement of the carriage wheels below her. Then her brain finally focusing, she heard the shouts of people about her. She looked out curiously and gave a startled cry when she saw the dark river below her, the carriage hanging helplessly onto the bridge, its two back wheels rolling in mid-air! She let out another terrified scream as the carriage swung backwards, the stone holding the two wheels giving in a little as rocks fell into the murky waters below them. She looked out only to see no horses at the front. No driver.
"Virginia!" Draco yelled as he saw the carriage helplessly dangling onto the bridge. "Virginia!"
Ginny heard him. "Draco!" she shouted, moving towards the other window. Due to that, the carriage gave another swing. She screamed.
Draco gritted his teeth. "Virginia! Don’t move!" he yelled as he fought his way through the thick crowds of people milling about frantically. "Get your wand out! Your wand, Virginia!"
At that, Virginia frantically searched her pocket for her wand. Just then she felt the rocks beneath her loosening making the carriage tilt to one side. She gave a scream of terror as the door swung open, the shopping bags falling one by one.
"Draco!" she cried, both of her hands enclosing in on the other window opening, holding for dear life, the wand already forgotten.
"Just hang on!" she heard him yell. "Wingardium---"
Just then, her grip loosened and with one last terrified scream, she fell and plunged into the deep cold waters, the huge carriage going after her.
Ginny frowned upon hearing Draco’s loud voice. She forced her eyes open only to find herself on his bed, feeling all warm and good and Draco pacing back and forth, talking to their stable caretaker. Vladimir and Narcissa sat there, side by side, not saying anything. "So I fell into the water," she thought. She then closed her eyes and pretended to sleep.
"Apparently someone tampered with the carriages, sir," the caretaker answered timidly.
"Who would even think of sabotaging Virginia? It doesn’t make any sense at all," said Narcissa suddenly as Draco slumped tiredly on the couch facing the fire. "It was probably the carriage. They’re old anyway and—"
"It was tampered with," said Vladimir quietly. Narcissa immediately stopped and turned to him. "I checked the damages and saw the wooden beams connecting the horses to the carriage sawed. Deep enough to cause an accident but not so deep as to be noticed at first glance."
"The driver said that somebody set the horses running loose, probably threw a rock or something and before he knew it, the first beam snapped in half. He tried calming the horses but everything was uncontrollable," the caretaker said his eyes not leaving Draco’s face. "Finally, they slammed against the stone railings of the bridge while the other beam broke, freeing the horses and he together with them."
"So magic wasn’t used," surmised Draco thoughtfully.
"It was just an accident as simple as that," said Narcissa.
Draco turned to her, unconvinced, while Vladimir went about asking the caretaker further questions. Then he turned to them and said something about talking to the driver personally and went away with the stable man.
"I don’t see why anybody would want to sabotage Virginia," she said tiredly. "She’s a good girl and I don’t think she has enemies—" She stopped as a soft mew echoed inside the room. Narcissa looked down to see Ginny’s cat emerging from under the bed. She bent down and gently picked it up. She stroked it lightly. "Look, Virginia needs rest and I think you do too. I’ll be going to my chambers for a while, all right?"
When Draco nodded, Narcissa silently made her way outside the room taking the cat with her. Once alone, Draco sighed tiredly and brought his fingers to his temple. After several minutes of enervated silence, he looked up and turned to Ginny’s ‘sleeping’ form.
He stared at her for a while before heaving up the covers to her chin. "Rest," was all he said before turning around and exiting the chamber.
Upon feeling Draco already gone, Ginny’s eyes immediately snapped open. Then remembering the visions, she leapt out of bed, grabbed her robe and silently made her way towards the east wing. She had an idea where Draco was heading at a time like this. Actually, she was just waiting for the perfect time so that she could inquire him about the locket she found in his ‘other’ chamber.
Just then, she stopped upon reaching the portrait. "Fredrick," she hissed.
"Of course, Madam," it said and it immediately swung open. Ginny thanked him softly and made her way inside to find Draco’s back to her, sitting on the couch before the fire, a glass of wine in his hand.
"How did you find this?" he asked not turning to look at her. The chamber ‘door’ shut immediately.
"Who’s Bianca Fairfax?"
At that, Draco turned to her. "How do you know about her?" he asked, his eyes narrowing angrily upon hearing the name after fourteen years, a name long ago forgotten.
"Who’s Bianca Fairfax?" Ginny asked again, this time firmly.
"How do you know about her?" Draco almost yelled.
As her reply, Ginny walked towards him and dropped a locket on his lap. Draco’s eyes widened upon seeing the familiar gold chain lying there, contrasting with the black color of his trousers.
"Who’s Bianca Fairfax?" Ginny asked yet again.
At that, Draco took the locket and threw it aside. "It’s none of your business!" he growled angrily, standing up and walking away from her.
"It is too my business!" she answered back. "For the last time, who’s Bianca Fairfax and what does she have to do with you?" she cried walking towards him.
"Why should I tell you?" snarled Draco, his eyes turning cold and cruel.
Ginny’s lower lip trembled. "I’m— I’m having visions. I’m seeing things," she replied, her body shaking with unknown fear. "I— saw her dead… I— I saw you…"
Draco’s eyes widened. He turned to her aghast. "You saw me?" he said.
"Y- yes," she said as she tightened her robe about her. "At first I felt cold wind then I heard screams, then I saw you and— and— a girl, the one in the locket…" she brought her hands to her face. "It was horrible, your father—your---"
"Now you know everything," he said suddenly, his voice stone cold. He turned away from her and drowned the last contents of his glass. "Get out."
Ginny looked up. "No," she said firmly. "You will tell me all about her and you will tell me everything now!" she almost shouted.
"Fine!" Draco shouted back, facing her, his face with cold fury. "You want to know everything? You want to know how my father killed the only friend I had? You want to know how my father sent that horrifying green light against her body, taking the life of the girl I cared for so much—"
"You want to know how she screamed for help, begged for her life? Is that it!" Draco yelled at her face. Ginny took a deep breath.
"You want to know how I felt seeing, with my own eyes the only important person in my life lying there, lifeless?"
"Draco, stop it!" Ginny yelled.
At that, Draco stopped and stared at her, his gray eyes turning blank. Then without a word, he slumped himself on the couch, his body trembling. Ginny immediately went to him and wounded her arms around him.
"Don’t touch me," he whispered but not making an effort to squirm out of her arms. "Don’t you touch me. I don’t need your pity."
"I’m sorry, Draco," said Ginny softly, not letting him go.
"I lost her," he said, his voice shaking with remorse and pain at the same time. "I just— I just stood there and did nothing. I saw her— I saw her…"
"Shh… that’s enough now," said Ginny soothingly while she lightly stroked Draco’s hair as her heart went out to him. Now she fully understood why Draco was the person he was. He was afraid to get close to someone for fear of losing them. He wouldn’t stand the pain the second time around. Somehow, seeing him like this hurt her. He looked so vulnerable and so fragile. She closed her eyes and lightly kissed his hair, desperately wanting to take away his pain, wanting it to go away.
"She died because I did nothing," said Draco. "I did fucking nothing, do you hear!" he suddenly screamed.
"It’s all in the past, Draco," she said, finally letting go of him. Surprisingly, she didn’t see a single tear in his eyes but he was trembling violently, the rage slowly closing in on him. "The past should— the past should make who you are and— and not burden you in anyway," she added softly.
"The past repeats itself," he thought darkly remembering how terrified he had been earlier. When it was Bianca, he did nothing to protect her and then it was Virginia and again he stood there, doing nothing. He looked at her, desperately wanting to ask for her forgiveness, desperately wanting to tell her how afraid he had been for her, how worried, but nothing came out of his lips. Until that incident, he never really did realize how much Virginia had meant to him. She was the only one who could make him really smile, who could make him angry at the same time. She was the only one who found out the real him. Unwillingly, Virginia had become his friend, his only friend. "So say it!" his brain hissed at him. "You’ll never understand," he said instead, looking away.
"No, it’s you who doesn’t understand anything!" Ginny said loudly. She stood up and paced back and forth before him. "Do you think that Bianca’s happy seeing you like this? Tormenting yourself on her behalf?"
"You always think that you’re a bad person Draco but in truth you’re not! Would you just do yourself and everybody a favor and just for once stop blaming yourself? For goodness sake! It wasn’t your fault! You didn’t kill her! Your father did! He should be the one suffering and not you!"
At that, Draco stared at her, completely surprised with her little speech. Ginny sighed and knelt before him, her chin resting on top of his knee, her eyes looking up at him. Against the crackling fire, Draco noticed how beautiful she was. Without a word, he deftly ran his fingers against her hair, his eyes roaming around her face as if seeing her for the first time.
"I may not understand the pain you’ve felt before, Draco," she whispered as his fingers caressed her face. Ginny’s hand went up to touch his. "But I do know one thing. You’re not a bad or— or an evil person just because of that and-- and nobody hated you for that. Actually, nobody hates you, so please stop hating yourself."
"Potter hates me," said Draco quietly. "Your brother, Granger—"
Ginny shook her head. "No, they don’t hate you," she denied. "They’re just angry but surely you can’t blame them, right?"
At that, Draco gave a snort. "Yeah, right," he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. Then he smiled without humor. "You hate me."
Ginny looked up momentarily. She then smiled. "Okay, let’s rephrase that, shall we?" she said turning to him. "I’ve always thought I hated you but then I realized that I actually don’t." Then she looked at him with heartfelt eyes. "To be honest, it was only your voice I heard clearly amidst the frantic shouting and yelling a while ago. It was you, just you and at that moment I really felt like I had to see you, you know. It was weird, actually and that’s when I realized that I didn’t really hate you after all these years. Well, although you have this uncanny ability to irk me once in a while…"
Draco chuckled. "I do that, don’t I?" he asked.
"Yes," said Ginny. Then she reached up and touched his face. Draco found his eyes closing, savoring the gentle movement of her fingers, his face leaning into her touch. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath. "May— may I kiss you?" she asked. Then without waiting for his answer, Ginny stood up and sealed his lips with hers.
Upon feeling her lips against his, Draco hurriedly pulled her to him, settling her on top of his lap, kissing her like there was no tomorrow. He let his lips run along her eyes, her nose, her cheek… just everywhere… he didn’t care anymore! His hands settled on her robe sash and skillfully untied it only to reveal the thin material of her night gown.
Ginny gasped as she felt his hands settling on her breasts, caressing them. She threw her head back when Draco began nipping at her neck. She was feeling so hot and dizzy at the same time as different kinds of emotions crashed at her all at once. She pulled her to him, closer, her hands gently kneading through his hair. "Make love to me, Draco," she whispered against his ear.
At that, Draco lifted her up easily and laid her on the couch. He stared at her momentarily. She was looking up at him, her brown eyes pleading, shining with raw desire, the faint orange glow of the fire playing upon her skin complementing the sweet-smelling crown of red mane atop her head and she never looked so beautiful… painfully beautiful… Just then, he felt the unusual warmness bursting inside his chest… and he felt terrified. "I can’t do this. This is all new to me, I can’t…"
He smiled, leaned towards her and did something he never did with any woman before. He softly kissed her on the forehead and covered her body with her robe. Then without a word, he stood up and left her there, looking after him with a pained and confused statement on her face.
"What was that all about?" his body screamed as Draco slammed his bedroom door behind him. He leaned against his door, breathing hard.
"I don’t know. I don’t understand anything anymore," his brain said. His hands flew to his face. "I can’t believe I’m feeling all fucked up over this! Over her!"
"Then quit being a wussy and tell her what you feel."
At that, Draco let his hands down. Tell her what I feel? He asked himself. But—what do I feel? He shook his head and slumped himself on his bed, not even bothering to turn any light on except for the fire, which gave out a soft glow. He was now fully aware that what he had felt a while ago weren’t just hormones anymore, it was something else, something totally beyond everything, something he was terrified of. He was scared because he couldn’t understand the feeling, he couldn’t comprehend…
"Did I scare you?"
Draco whirled around only to see Ginny standing before her chamber ‘door.’ She looked at him, her statement unreadable. Draco turned away from her saying nothing.
"Why won’t you look at me, Draco?" Ginny asked slowly walking towards him. "Don’t I please you in anyway?" she said in a hurt voice.
"No, no it’s not that," said Draco quickly. "It’s just that—"
"I know I’m not like Blaise or—or—"
This time, Draco turned to her. "Don’t you ever, ever compare yourself with that woman, do you hear?" he rasped. Ginny looked down and bit her lip, trying hard not to cry. Draco’s face softened. "Because you’re more than that, as you’ve said."
And with that, Draco immediately pulled her to him, enclosing her in his embrace. What the hell was he thinking back there? Just seeing her, feeling her body against his and hearing her sigh was enough to convince him that nothing mattered anymore, that it was not a question of whether everything felt right or wrong… everything was just about her, Virginia. Nothing mattered but her…
He then slowly lifted her face up to his and planted his lips on hers, giving her a slow sensuous kiss, a learning kiss, feeling hers at first. When he felt her responding, he deepened it, teasing her mouth with his tongue till a soft moan escaped her lips. Taking the opportunity, Draco slid his tongue inside to taste her.
"Draco," she whimpered helplessly as she felt his hands going to her robe and untying the sash. Her hands then automatically went to his shirt to lift it up, her hands trailing along his chest. Draco shivered upon feeling the butterfly movements of her fingers as he momentarily raised his arms. Having himself free of the shirt, he went back to kissing her while his hands busily unbuttoned her nightgown.
"Ginny…" he breathed as she proceeded to place wet kisses against his naked chest, her hands busy fumbling with his belt. A chuckle escaped his lips upon hearing her impatient sigh, her hands were already tugging at his trousers. He took her hands with his and stared at her, his eyes momentarily dropping to her half-opened nightgown, revealing a glimpse of her breasts.
"I have— I have to tell you something first," said Ginny, her face getting scarlet. She cast her eyes down and bit her lower lip. "I— I haven’t done this before and I—"
Draco’s eyes widened. She’s a virgin? "You’re a virgin?" he asked aloud, astounded.
Ginny looked up. "Is that a bad thing?" she asked timidly, suddenly feeling all shy.
Draco shook his head. "No, no of course not," he said quickly. He gave her a reassuring hug. Good heavens! He didn’t quite expect to her to be a virgin! They were actually a dying breed nowadays and considering the fact that he didn’t bring women in his chamber, let alone doing ‘it’ with a virgin here! It was actually not his habit to bring women inside his chamber and have sex with them because he had always considered that his room was kind of like a sacred place, something special. But now, doing this with Virginia, in here…
"We’ll take everything slowly, all right?" he said kissing her on the forehead. It amazed him. Since when did he care for anybody but himself let alone their pleasure over his?
"Okay," squeaked Ginny.
Draco then slowly eased the nightgown and the pair of knickers off her only to reveal the dainty form of her body before him. He let his eyes momentarily roam from her face then to her breasts, firm but not too small and also not too big. His hand went up to gently caress one tender bud. Truly, her body was made for pleasure. What was that stupid Potter thinking before?
She took a deep heated breath.
Draco then lifted her up and placed her on his bed. Then standing up, he shrugged his trousers off, settling them in a messy heap on the floor. Ginny turned away shyly as Draco joined her on the bed, both of them fully clothed with the night. He stared at her for a moment only to notice her narrow waist giving way to the delicate roundness of her hips. Just as he expected, she was pink and white all over.
"I swear, Virginia that I would never intentionally hurt you," he whispered, giving her shoulder light kisses.
Ginny turned and faced him. "I know," she whispered back. Draco then settled his body on top of hers, he gazed at her first before sealing her mouth with his, his tongue immediately seeking out her own. When he felt her shy and awkward response, he groaned with pleasure. She tasted sweet and clean at the same time.
Ginny gasped when she felt his hands caressing her. Her gasps turned to a moan when she finally felt his lips on her breasts, sucking her tenderly, his teeth lightly grazing one gentle bud. She cried out and arched her body up to his. "Oh god, Draco," she whimpered when she felt him taking the other one.
Upon hearing her urgent cries, Draco kissed her again and this time her lips parted quickly, her fingers tentatively exploring the bare skin of his chest. Seeing the look of raw desire in her eyes and feeling her softness beneath him was driving his body to a burning passion. But remembering how tender she was right now, he forced himself to go slowly.
Lowering his head, he then trailed his lips on her chest down to her stomach. When he reached the smooth skin of her abdomen, he gently let his tongue graze them, enjoying the taste of her. He was immediately rewarded with a pleasurable sigh as if her breath had caught in her throat. When he went lower, she laced her fingers in his hair and pulled him closer, calling his name hoarsely.
"Draco, please… not… " but her protests drowned out upon feeling his lips over her, kissing and tasting her.
Draco smiled mentally upon seeing the look of sweet torment on her face, her eyes half-closed, her lips parted slightly. His need throbbed even more when he heard another set of gasps and moans from her lips. This was the sign of the encouragement that he had hoped for.
Taking his time, Draco then explored every inch of her body, licking and kissing her everywhere, teaching her how to enjoy his touch and how to touch him in return. By the time the fire burned low, Draco then positioned himself between her legs and gazed at her eyes.
"Are you ready, Virginia?" he asked while kissing her nose gently.
"Yes," replied Ginny.
With that, he kissed her briefly on the lips and began easing himself slowly into her. "You all right?" Draco asked breathlessly upon feeling her so tight and so warm around him. So tight and so warm that it took all his willpower not to shove himself immediately inside her. He gritted his teeth for control.
"Y- yes," she replied. When Draco pushed, a sudden cry came out of her lips. Immediately, he stopped and soothed and reassured her. Surprisingly, he felt her pain as if whatever touched her, touched him as well. Moments later, Ginny moved her hips beneath his and he entered her fully.
Draco then began to move against her slowly, pulling almost all the way out only to ease back inside her. When her momentary discomfort melted, Ginny then urged him to go faster, her legs wrapping about him.
"Please… oh… please…" she whimpered against his shoulders upon feeling him pushing fast and hard into her warmth. She pulled him closer, her body moving with accordance to his fast sensual rhythm. Then, as if forever, Ginny called out his name as she felt herself coming over the edge.
When Draco finally felt her smooth contractions around him, he completely lost himself. His body responding to hers, he released his soul inside her, groaning out her name and silencing her with a kiss within that wondrous moment.
Then they lay there in tired silence, the dying fire crackling softly, feeling each other’s heartbeats. A moment later, Draco slowly eased himself out of her and pulled her to him. Ginny willingly rolled into his embrace, entwining her legs with his, their bodies both heaving. She placed her head on his chest and began giving it light kisses. Closing her eyes momentarily, she took a deep breath. The room strongly smelled of oak, lust, wine and Draco put together and it was the most pleasant scent to her senses. She felt like she could dwell in that scent forever and not get tired of it.
"Now, that was unexpected," she said after a moment, her lips brushing against his chest with her every word. At that, Draco chuckled.
"Is that all you have to say?" he asked looking at her.
Ginny shrugged as Draco pulled the covers around them. "I like the way you feel against me," she said truthfully.
"And I like the way you feel against me," he replied, looking at her fondly. He never felt this with other women before. For him, what they just did wasn't just sex, it was something deeper, something special. It was like taking a part of her and giving something of his in return.
It was really surprising. He didn’t know that he was capable of being gentle. Actually, he preferred the rough thing when it comes to doing ‘it’ before. He didn’t want tenderness and Blaise would often give what he wanted. But now, he was actually afraid of not pleasing her! Now, he fully understood the difference of having sex from making love. Virginia made him understand that. And if he were to be asked now, he preferred this one better. The thought scared him but at this moment, he didn’t care. Nothing mattered but her and her softness against him.
Ginny smiled at this. Never had she experienced such an unexpected rush of sheer pleasure. Now her body felt exhausted but warm at the same time. She frowned mentally. What the hell was she thinking before? Not letting Draco do this with her sooner? If she had just known how—pleasurable this was-- Just then, she felt Draco taking in a deep breath. She looked up at him only to find him yawning. Then unmindful of the amused look she gave him, Draco kissed her lightly on the forehead and closed his eyes.
"Draco?" she called out softly.
Draco forced his eyes open. "Yes?" he asked.
"Mm... good night," he murmured back, closing his eyes once again and giving her arm a light squeeze
With that, Ginny finally closed her eyes, sleep finally worming its way to her.
In the silence of the night, the first signs of snow gently fell from the sky.
End of Part X
(End of Chapter)