Destiny. Fate. Things were supposedly meant to be. Just like Ron and Hermione, who had started going out in their sixth year at Hogwarts and were now happily married, with four kids (and one on the way). Or Percy and Penelope, whom everyone had known would end up together; a match made in heaven. Their destinies had gone exactly right, exactly how everyone thought they would. But when it came to Ginny, the Fates had screwed up.
She knew in her heart that she had been destined to be with some nice Gryffindor boy. She knew in her heart that she had been destined to be an exemplary daughter. She knew in her heart that what she was doing was blatantly defying the Fates. But she also knew that her heart was telling her this was okay, which confused her more than anything else.
But he tasted so good…
His gray eyes were so easy to get lost in…
And his voice mesmerized her…
Against all impulses, Ginny had fallen for the one person she had thought she'd never be drawn to. And he had fallen for her.
It had all started one snowy afternoon in December. Christmas was drawing ever closer, and Ginny knew that only meant one thing; family gatherings. And the last thing she wanted to do was be in the same room all day with all the happily married couples with their children. All the people she had known all her life would be at her dear brother Fred's house, coupled off, with children running around their legs, and Ginny would be the only one without someone to kiss under the mistletoe. But, she had endured it for the past few years, so she would have to endure it again.
That didn't mean she wanted to.
Ginny was strolling down a shady side street. She was barely watching where she was going, so she was constantly tripping over rocks or cracks in the sidewalk, and bumping into trees. This time, however, what she bumped into was not an inanimate object. As she looked up to excuse herself, she found herself staring into soft gray eyes, eyes that had once glared at her with malice, that had once held a superior look. But now, they were simply soft.
"Fancy seeing you here," Draco said softly.
"D-D-Draco?" Ginny stammered.
"The one and only," he replied with a slight smile. "Back from my insane travels. And I needed nothing more than to see a familiar face."
Draco Malfoy, ex-Death Eater gone charitable. At least, that was what people said. When Voldemort had finally been defeated in The Great Wizard War Draco was among the Death Eaters who had been caught right away. But instead of being sentenced to the Kolassy (no one was really sure what that was, except Ministry officials and Albus Dumbledore) he was sent to a deserted island, along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Why Dumbledore (who had decided Draco's punishment) chose those three people, no one really knew. The island had an anti-Apparition spell put on it, so no one could Apparate or Disapparate there. No one knew what had gone on there, for Dumbledore had made them swear to secrecy, but when Draco returned he was a changed man. With both his parents having already been killed by Aurors before the Kolassy came about, he was in charge of the entire Malfoy family fortune. Draco was now known for donating large sums of Galleons each year to various good causes. He was also known for being the only one crazy enough to actually move out of the famous Malfoy Manor.
Besides the newfound generosity, Draco was also known for not staying in one place very long. He seemed restless after the Turnaround, as they called his abrupt change in behavior, and had been to every continent at least twice (with the exception of Antarctica) and had never stayed in one town for more than three months. He also hadn't dated anyone since Pansy Parkinson had disappeared. Rumors had been flying around about him being a constant client at whorehouses and red light districts. But somehow, none of the things people had been saying about him since the Turnaround had seemed accurate to Ginny.
His voice was different somehow. Ginny realized that she had never before heard him talk without a hint of sarcasm, or malice, or loathing. His voice was softer now, it had lost its edge, and all traces of arrogance were gone as well.
The silence that ensued was slightly awkward. Ginny hadn't seen Draco in such a long time, and the last time she had seen him he'd been evil, plain and simple. Now, all of a sudden, he seemed to have lost his arrogance. He didn't stand up as straight as he used to, didn't look down his nose at her, didn't have a wicked smirk playing across his lips. Either way, he was still a gorgeous creature. Ginny knew that back in Hogwarts, many girls had lusted after him. She had tried her hardest not to find herself among them. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't draw away from those eyes.
Ginny shivered and rubbed her arms, suddenly extremely cold. The wind gusted and the pair's cloaks billowed.
"Listen, my place isn't that far from here," Draco said, breaking the silence. "There's no sense standing around in the cold, so why don't you come."
Ginny found herself agreeing before it fully registered with her brain. Why on Earth had she just consented to going to Draco Malfoy's house? She pulled her cloak tighter around herself and followed as Draco led her down another side street, up the front walk, and through the door of a small, two-story house bedecked with enchanted Christmas lights. They walked into the sitting room, and Draco pulled out his wand. He waved it and a fire sprang up in the fireplace. Ginny tried to glance around nonchalantly, just to double check for any evil looking things. Though she didn't want to admit it, the house appeared to hold no trace of any Dark or dangerous items. In fact, it looked almost quaint. There was a large Christmas tree set up in the corner, with glittering ornaments (no doubt magical) and holly garlands hanging on the walls. Enchanted snow sparkled on the mantelpiece.
Ginny settled herself in a brown sofa in front of the fire, still glancing around. A big, fluffy white cat came slinking into the room and settled itself on the hearthrug. Ginny felt slight movement, and when she looked she saw that Draco had sat down on the other end of the sofa. There was an awkward silence broken only by the crackling fire and the white cat purring.
"Want anything to drink?" Draco asked after a while.
"Erm, tea would be nice," Ginny replied.
Draco waved his wand and a tea tray appeared on the small coffee table. He picked up a steaming cup and handed it to Ginny. As she was accepting it, his hand slipped and he spilled the hot liquid right down her front.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" Draco said frantically, grabbing a napkin from the tea tray and dabbing at the wet spots. It took a moment for him to realize that he had been dabbing at a spot right above Ginny's breasts. He instantly dropped the napkin and cleared his throat rather awkwardly. Ginny waved her wand and the tea disappeared from her clothes. However, she couldn't shake the feeling of goosebumps that she'd gotten at his touch.
"So, where've you been lately?" she asked casually, trying to shift gears nonchalantly.
"I just left Greece," Draco replied. "It was beautiful there. Must have been my fourth time going, at least. I stayed in a tiny mountain village this time…"
Ginny sat and listened, mesmerized, as Draco told tale after tale of his many travels. He had been to Burkina Faso in Africa. He'd been to Bali and Delhi and all the farthest reaches of the world. After a while, Ginny noticed that Draco was sitting only a few inches away form her, whereas when he had started talking, they had been on opposite ends of the couch. Draco seemed to notice too, for he stopped and glanced at her.
"So, what have you been doing with your life?" he asked after a few seconds of silence.
For some strange reason, Ginny found herself pouring her heart out. Before she could stop herself, she was telling how alone she felt, with everyone she had known coupled off. Her brothers were all married, most with kids, her best friends were all either married or going steady with someone, and yet she was still all alone. But Draco listened sympathetically, maybe even empathetically. His eyes were locked in hers the whole time. And when she stopped talking, he reached up slowly to brush a stray hair out of her face. The side of his hand just barely grazed her cheek, and it sent shivers up her spine.
"So, what brought you back?" Ginny asked softly, eyes still locked with his.
"I wanted to be forgiven," he replied in almost a whisper. Their faces were inches – no, centimeters – apart. It was as though time was standing still. But before Ginny knew what was going on, she had her arms around Draco, he had his arms around her, and they were kissing. As it deepened, Draco's hand became entangled in Ginny's brilliant locks of hair, and they were no longer sitting up. Ginny's senses were going crazy. No one had ever kissed her like that, no one. It was hard to explain. But whatever the explanation, she couldn't get enough if his touch, enough of his kiss, enough of him.
It was very late that night when Ginny finally went home. She knew her life would never be the same after that moment, and she knew she had just blatantly defied the Fates. But she also knew that what the Fates had had in mind might have just been to surprise everyone with this seemingly impossible match made in heaven.
So today, Destiny can take a hike!