Chapter Two

"This isn't as hard as you seem to want to make it," Weasley said, folding her arms over her very nice chest and leaning against his kitchen counter. She had followed him back to his apartment after the fight and she seemed very intent on getting her way. She hadn't been this aggressive in school, he thought. He would have remembered that.

"Will you please just get out of my life and stay there? I was really happy to pretend I didn't know you and why are you trying so hard to help me?" he asked.

"It's my job," she said, unfolding her arms and pushing back one side of her long coat. A silver badge, engraved with white letters clung to her belt.

"Auror?" he gasped.

"I'd talk about it but it's kinda not allowed."

"Unspeakable?"

She snapped her fingers and pointed at him with her forefinger. "Bingo, Malfoy. But you didn't hear it from me."

She hopped up and sat on his counter. "Now then, are you going to let me help you?"

"You're asking me to turn over my wand," he pointed out. "That's not exactly going to help me the next time those assholes come after me. And get your ass off my counter."

He liked his apartment. It was four rooms: a living/kitchen area, the bathroom and two bedrooms. The building was an older one and it had high ceilings and large windows. His apartment was a corner one and he had windows in both the bedrooms and the living room. Currently, Ginny Weasley was sitting on the breakfast bar that separated his kitchen from the living room. She had not made a comment on his TV though he was expecting one before long, considering how anti-Muggle he'd been in his youth.

He hated to admit it, but she made his kitchen look good. She had always been tall but it was a gangly, awkward tall, like her brother. Only now she had curves to go with all those inches of hers. Her chest in particular was noteworthy. Her hair was still that godawful red but it looked healthier than in school, as if she was on a new beauty regime. She still had an insane number of freckles and he tried to focus on them, not on the way her jeans looked on her thighs.

"How right you are," she said, making no move to get down. "But take this into consideration. The Dark Riders follow your wand. Each wand is individual and leaves a residue every time it's used. That residue can be followed years later. If I take your wand, we can identify that residue and erase it from the world until we can take out the Dark Riders. Then you'll get your wand back and everything will be fine."

"And what happens when the Dark Riders find me anyway and I don't have a wand."

"We'll give you a temporary wand. We're less than a year from taking them down completely. You just have to trust us to hold onto your wand until then."

It was very straightforward and easy. There was no way to know for certain when he'd get his wand back but a temp one would work just as well. It was tempting. Until he remembered the spell that he'd put on her. He didn't really think Weasley needed help. She could handle herself. And if he gave her the wand, the spell would end. She would be visible to whoever wanted to hurt her.

If he kept the wand, she would be unstoppable. No one could hurt her. She could get the job done in half the time. He was usually not this altruistic. He really didn't know what he was thinking.

That was about where his thoughts were when the key turned in the lock and Saoirse came in.

"Hey, Draco, I've been thinking and-" she trailed off when she caught sight of Ginny. Draco realized just then how this must look. He had an attractive redhead on his kitchen counter. The only way this could have looked worse was if Weasley had on a skirt instead of those tight jeans.

"Who is this?" Saoirse asked.

"I'm Ginny Weasley," she said, hopping off the counter and approaching Saoirse, one hand extended.

"My cousin," Draco said hastily. Weasley shot him an amused look but did not contradict him.

"Oh, I didn't know you were still in touch with your family," Saoirse said. Draco remembered then that he had mentioned how he did not talk to his family anymore. He was also trying to remember if he had ever mentioned his cousin Tonks by name.

"It's been a while," Weasley said. "My work keeps me busy."

"Oh, then I should leave you guys to catch up. Draco, I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Yeah, study date," he said. He felt like he was cheating even thought he had no feelings for Weasley.

She came over and kissed him on the cheek. She shook Weasley's hand then left.

"Well this is wicked interesting," Weasley said after Saoirse left.

"I can't give you my wand," he said. The moment the words were out of his mouth, he knew it was the right thing. He was really angry with himself but for the first time in his life he knew he was doing what mattered.

"You've got to be kidding. You know what this means, don't you, you little cretin?"

"I keep my wand. You go back to work and we forget this ever happened."

"That is most assuredly not what happens," she snarled. "You're number one on their list. I just took out seven of their members but rest assured that there are at least another fifteen in the wings. They will massacre you, Malfoy. And anyone else they have to to take you down. Including that innocent little Muggle you're playing around with."

"How did you know?" he asked.

"Please. I do this for a living. I know a non-magic when I see one. If you keep that wand you will be a dead man walking, no matter what you did in the war or what my captain says. You're on your own."

"Fine," he said.

"You son of a-" she broke off with an inarticulate shriek. "Do you have a spare bed?"

"I've got a Murphy bed in my spare room," he said slowly, not sure where she was going with this.

"Fine. Until further notice, until you hand over your wand or the Dark Riders are disolved, I'm your babysitter."

"You're kidding."

"Absolutely I am not. Standard operating procedure. You are a person of interest to this operation and like it or not, you are my fucking problem."

"You are kidding. I mean, seriously, Weasley. You are kidding?"

"God I hate this job," she said, collapsing on his couch. "You better not leave the seat up or I'll have to hex you."

(A/N: Oh, Ginny. I've been trying to work more details into my stories so please let me know how I did!