The madness of Ginny and Draco started on April 20 at exactly 8:27 PM. It was then that Draco Malfoy turned up sopping wet, begging for help, at the doorstep of the Burrow. Molly Weasley, who was home at the time, saw that he was not his usual sleek and well-kept self and took pity on him, bringing him into the house at the exact moment that Ginny Weasley, who had been visiting, was leaving. She nearly tripped over her own feet at the sight of a drenched and unkempt Draco Malfoy. She had absolutely no idea what Draco would be doing at her former home, at night, in the rain, without an army of Death Eaters behind him. She would have asked what was going on, but her mother gave her a look and she continued on her way, her mind baffled.
It wasn't until later that she learned that Draco had come because he needed help. Harry had managed to destroy most of Voldemort's Horcruxes, meaning that he was very much weakened. He needed a plan, and a good one at that. He decided that he would use Draco's body as a Horcrux, assuming that the Order wouldn't dare try to destroy it. Draco, liking his body way too much to lend it to anyone, much less a Dark Lord bent on world domination who would possibly get him killed, refused to give himself up and now every Death Eater in the country was after him at Voldemort's orders. Draco needed protection, which was why he had come to the Burrow, to ask for the protection that Dumbledore had offered him eight years ago. At first, Molly was a little wary, but after contacting other members of the Order, it was decided that they had to honor Dumbledore's offer.
Much to Ginny's discontent, she discovered all this when she returned to Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place that evening and walked right into Draco, who was lurking around the corner of the corridor.
"Hey! Watch it!" Draco exclaimed, glaring at her.
"Sorry," Ginny said defensively. "Don't lurk around corners and it won't be a problem."
Surprisingly, Draco didn't respond. Instead, he fixed her with an odd look. Ginny turned around abruptly and stormed down to the kitchen, where she found her mother, Ron, and Harry. They all greeted her when she entered, but faltered when they saw the look on her face and the set of her stance.
"Okay, would someone care to explain why the hell Draco Malfoy is hanging around headquarters?" she exclaimed, fixing each person with an accusatory look.
"Now, Ginny dear, calm down," her mother said in a placatory tone, looking up from her cooking. "We had to give him protection. Dumbledore had offered it to him before he died."
"And why in Merlin's name would Malfoy need protection from the Order of the Phoenix when, last I checked, it was our goal to have him in Azkaban?" Ginny demanded furiously.
"Well, Gin, it's a really long story…" Ron and Harry launched into the story, each saying Draco's name as though it were a disease every time he came up. As Ginny listened her expression went from angry to incredulous.
"So, let me get this straight," she said once they had finished. "You-Know-Who wants to turn Malfoy into a Horcrux?"
"If that isn't the lamest story I have ever heard, God strike me now!" Ginny concluded, throwing her arms up in exasperation.
"Ginny, believe it or not, it's not as lame as you think," Ron said, sighing and resting his head in his hands. "If Malfoy was turned into a Horcrux, we would have difficulties trying to destroy it because it would mean killing him. The only problem is, he's not willing, and You-Know-Who isn't going to chance trying to turn one of his other Death Eaters into a Horcrux because they're not nearly as strong as Malfoy. It's all really complicated."
"So, you're saying he's just suddenly…redeemed himself and seen the light?" Ginny asked somewhat sarcastically, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at her brother.
"No, I'm saying we have to protect him because Dumbledore had offered it before he died and we have to honor his dying wishes."
Ginny refrained from pointing out that they wouldn't even be his dying wishes if it weren't for Malfoy.
Just then, Hermione entered the room and Ron's expression lightened immediately. She surveyed the scene before her and seemed to pick up on Ginny's annoyance.
"Okay, what happened?" she asked in a resigned tone, going and sitting down beside Ron.
"Malfoy, that's what," Ginny replied bitterly, taking a seat opposite the Trio and launching into the story Ron and Harry had just told her. Hermione's expression turned from tired to absolutely incredulous.
When Ginny finished, Hermione sighed and leaned against Ron, letting her head rest on his shoulder. Ron swiftly pulled her onto his lap, and she smiled as she leaned back against him and closed her eyes.
"I'll just, um, leave you two alone…" Ginny said hastily, not liking to ever interrupt the extremely fluffy moments between her brother and his wife. She got up and quickly made her getaway, only to bump into Draco again.
"My, my, Weasel, you're just turning up everywhere!" he said, smirking. Ginny glared at him.
"Just because you're under our protection because you were too scared of You-Know-Who to defy him doesn't mean you can do whatever you want, Ferret Boy!" she said in an edgy tone.
"Scared, was I, Weasel?" he said, leaning lazily against the wall behind him.
"Yes, so scared you came groveling to your old schoolmates, whom you never liked until it was convenient for you. And now if you think that we'll all take dearly to you because you don't want Voldy to turn you into a safe for his soul, then I think you're much mistaken. You're still evil, and you still disgust me."
"Well, getting personal now, Weasel. You surprise me."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"I always saw you as the calm, quiet type. Kind of the opposite of Granger really."
"You obviously thought wrong," she retorted, storming past him and not stopping until she reached her room. She shut the door behind her and bolted it before flopping down on her bed, much as she had done numerous times in her youth. Why did she have to put up with him? Yes, he was still as hot as he'd ever been, but he was also as incredibly evil as he'd ever been. She could not believe that there was any way that he could suddenly be on the Light side, when he'd spent his whole life immersed in Darkness. She suspected that this was either some elaborate scheme of Voldemort's or else Draco would just hide until Harry finally killed Voldemort for good, and then the slimy git would go back out into the world and continue to spread evil. He was a Malfoy to the core, self-centered and always looking out for his own interests. When it came down to it, he was a coward, taking the easy way out.
Ginny sighed. She had been hoping for a peaceful spring, but apparently no such luck. With Malfoy to deal with, life would be anything but peaceful.
Dinner that night was eaten in the most tense atmosphere Ginny had ever had to sit through. Nobody would look in Draco's direction. Mrs. Weasley tried to keep the mood cheerful with smiles and attempts at conversation, helped along by Remus Lupin (though rather half-heartedly) and Tonks, but Harry and Ron kept exchanging glances, Hermione was too tired to do anything but smile weakly, and Ginny kept her eyes downcast. All the while, Draco was uncharacteristically quiet, his eyes on his food, only looking up to scan the table from time to time.
Ginny ate quickly and excused herself promptly, then retreated to the warmth of the sitting room, where she found Harry's giant black dog Snuffles. Harry had picked up the dog a year after he left Hogwarts. He had found him on the street, and the shaggy black dog had reminded him so much of Sirius that he had to take him in. His name is self-explanatory. When Ginny entered, Snuffles barked and began licking her hands. She smiled and gently pushed the dog's snout away before flopping down on the couch in front of the fire. Snuffles jumped up after her and curled up at the far end of the couch, his tongue lolling out as he panted.
Ginny stared into the dancing flames and contemplated the current situation she was faced with. Draco Malfoy was living with her. He was obnoxious, rude, annoying, and unbearably evil. He was also under the Order's protection until the threat of Voldemort subsided. Ginny prayed that Harry would be able to finish him off next time they fought. But the issue still remained that Draco Malfoy was living in the same house as Ginny!
Oh boy! If anybody at work catches wind of this, there's going to be hell to pay! Ginny thought, holding her head in her hands. She worked at the Daily Prophet, and she had never met a bunch of nosier people than her coworkers. If they found out that Draco Malfoy, heir to the Malfoy fortune and one of the most coveted men in Britain (by Aurors and women alike), was suddenly under the protection of the Order of the Phoenix, they'd have a field day. And much worse, they'd probably cook up some far-fetched rumor that he was having an affair with Hermione, or even Ginny! She snorted aloud at the thought, making Snuffles jerk his head up to fix her with an inquisitive look.
Yeah right, Malfoy and me, together. Pfft! That will never happen. She shook her head and adjusted herself more comfortably on the couch. He was evil and stubborn and a total snarky, stuck-up git. And she was, well, pretty stubborn, but other than that she was basically the opposite of him. They were like…fire and ice! Total opposites, if there ever were any.
A few minutes later, it occurred to Ginny that she was starting to sound slightly obsessive when listing why she and Malfoy were opposites and halted that thought process, or at least tried to. Then, an alarming though flitted across her mind. What if the only reason you're so determined to prove that you and Malfoy are opposites is because you have a thing for him…? Woah! Where on Earth did that thought come from? She didn't have a thing for Draco Malfoy. She'd sooner have a thing for a garden gnome. The only thing Malfoy had going for him was looks. She couldn't actually like him…could she?
Stop that Ginny! Of course you don't like him! Still, she had developed an odd feeling in the pit of her stomach, and try as she might, she couldn't make it go away.