Waiting for Superman
She is talking to angels
Counting the stars
Making a wish on a passing car
She is dancing with strangers
Waiting for Superman
To pick her up in his arms.
Ginny Weasley did not scare easily, she was brave and bold, and everything a true Gryffindor should be. She always believed that she was meant to be in Gryffindor, not just because her brothers had been in that house, but because of her flaming red hair. To her it was a sign, red and gold for the brave and bold. She was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter; extraordinary magic ran through her veins. She was strong and entirely capable of taking care of herself. She grew up with Fred and George; she learned quickly how to take care of herself.
However, right now she felt helpless, even with all the magic and all the wits and bravery that she had she still felt completely and utterly helpless. She recalled a visit to Diagon Alley back when she was little. The twins had run off somewhere and Molly Weasley was beside herself. Ginny remembered seeing the panic in her mother's eyes and wondering what her mom was so afraid of; Fred and George were just in the joke shop after all. Now she knew what Molly had been afraid of; the fear of losing your child and not knowing if they were unharmed and if you would ever see them again was all-consuming. Her mother had been afraid of losing her children; nothing was stronger than a mother's love. Ginny tried pushing the bad thoughts from her mind; she tried telling herself that James only wandered off to cause trouble because he was bored. Her son shared his father and grandfather's knack for getting into trouble. Ginny herself didn't mind getting into trouble, she grew up in a house with six brothers, trouble was unavoidable.
Ginny and Hermione had spread out and Ginny was currently walking through the turns of the alleys behind The Three Broomsticks. James would not have gone far, he was alright. She just had to keep telling herself that. She would not allow the dark thoughts to creep in.
Unfortunately they did. Ginny could not help but thinking, what if Death Eaters took him? What if some unknown enemy took him? They were at peace for now, the remaining Death Eaters spread across the globe, but Ginny was always wary. Harry had reassured her countless times that the threat was gone; that the dark Lord was gone and his followers with him, but Ginny knew there was always the faintest possibility that the darkness was not completely gone. The light casts shadows and darkness was inevitable. She liked to think of herself as a realist and not a pessimist. If someone still wanted to hurt Harry, then taking James would do exactly that.
No, he is just off causing trouble, she told herself sternly as she called out for her child. "James? Where are you sweetheart?"
She pulled her cloak tighter around herself as she rounded a corner before stopping dead in her tracks. She was back in the main street again, but a section of the street was closed off and out of the public view, it appeared to be a stairwell that led to the upper floor of The Three Broomsticks. It was well hidden, as Ginny had never seen it before, and it was clearly a secret entrance to the pub. Descending the steps at the moment was Draco Malfoy, his platinum blonde hair was unmissable, and a slender, brown haired woman. It took Ginny a moment to remember who she was, Astoria Greengrass. She was in the same year as Ginny when they were at Hogwarts and one of the few Slytherins who later re-joined the battle. Ginny could just make out the conversation they were having.
"How believable do you intend to make this engagement?" Astoria was asking Malfoy as the climbed the steps.
"Believable. Draco Malfoy does not do things half-assed," Malfoy sounded tired and defeated, two words Ginny never thought she would associate with him. "My mother clearly wanted this spectacle to take place, so it will. I can't disappoint her." This time he sounded bitter and resentful.
"We'll date for four months, you will propose in a public place over the holidays and announce that the wedding will be in August next year. We will remain married for as long as it takes to meet the conditions of your mother's will and then I will divorce you," Astoria nodded her head, going over what seemed to be their plan. What was Malfoy up to?
"And you will be paid, of course."
Ginny's mouth almost dropped open. Draco Malfoy was paying someone to marry him? He was a very handsome man; surely, he could find someone? What was the point of this marriage?
"Then it is settled. I shall make sure we meet all the conditions and send an owl to you."
"Be discreet about it," Malfoy said as he held his arm out to Astoria. She was about to take it when someone came running up to them.
"James!" Ginny nearly fainted from the relief as her black haired boy ran up to Draco Malfoy, something black clutched in his small hand. Ginny ran out of her hiding place and toward James, not caring if Malfoy and Astoria knew she had eavesdropped their conversation. She reached Malfoy before James did and she took him into her arms, hugging him tight. His small arms closed around her neck as she lifted him up, afraid to let go of him again. She closed her eyes for a moment, just taking in the scent of him. She had come so close to losing him and she never wanted to feel like that again. Losing a child was something she never wanted to experience in her lifetime. She saw the look in her own parents' eyes whenever Fred was brought up and she could not even imagine what they must have gone through and what they are still going through. Her mother told her one day that the pain does not go away; you just learn how to live with it. The pain remained; eating at you for all eternity until eventually you become numb. "Where have you been young man?" Ginny asked as she pulled back to look at James. Relief had quickly faded and been replaced by anger. "Don't ever run off like that again, do you understand?" She asked sternly.
James nodded with wide eyes, he didn't understand what he had done wrong and he never would, only when he had children of his own. "I was playing outside. Then a girl told me to give this to Mr Malfoy so I went to look for him."
Ginny had almost forgotten that Malfoy and Astoria were still with them. Malfoy was watching the holding a black feather.
Ginny frowned as she didn't understand why someone would want to give Malfoy a feather. Malfoy looked equally confused for a moment, but composed himself and stepped forward to take the feather.
"Thank you James, do you know who asked you to give this to me, by any chance?"
James shook his head. "No, but she said you should ask Aunty Mione."
The day had been exhausting for Hermione. She was all too happy when she fell into the sunken leather chairs in her living room and kicked off her shoes. It had been a long day indeed.
Ginny found James, along with Malfoy and a woman that looked very familiar to Hermione, but one she could not place. It was only until after the woman introduced herself that she remembered who she was. Astoria Greengrass, Daphne's younger sister. Daphne was a bright girl and one of the few Slytherin's Hermione could stand to be around, she was shy and smart and Hermione liked that about her. Astoria Greengrass was another person entirely. The moment she shook Hermione's hand she knew that Astoria was trouble. She looked down on Hermione with the same air that Malfoy used to look down at her. It made her uncomfortable but she masked it well.
James had gotten bored of their conversation and wandered outside and behind The Three Broomsticks, where Ginny, Malfoy and Astoria found him. Hermione didn't bother to ask Malfoy what he was doing with Astoria behind The Three Broomsticks, she honestly didn't care, she was just glad that James was safe. After Ginny and James flooed back home Hermione spent the rest of the day wandering around Hogsmeade, making sure the students stayed out of trouble. She was all too happy when it was time to return to the castle, her feet were sore and she felt a headache coming on. She decided to skip dinner, fetching herself a plate of food from the kitchens to eat in her room a little later. The house elves welcomed her as they always did and she smiled as she saw that all of them looked well fed and well paid.
Hermione had hoped to have a calm evening, but her hopes were dashed as someone knocked on her door. She heaved herself out of her chair and padded barefoot across the stone floor, not bother to ask who was at the door before she flung it open.
Draco Malfoy stood in front of her, his hair hanging over his eyes. She could see his molten silver eyes were alive with fire and it made everything below her waistline clench tightly. She lost all control over her body and her feelings when he was so close to her. His eyes burned into hers and he gave her a devilish smirk before walking into her room, shutting the door behind him.
He was playing with her and she knew it, she had to keep a clear head. That was the plan, keep a clear head and never be alone with him. She already failed on the last part.
Draco shrugged his cloak off, tossing it onto one of the sofas. Hermione bit her lip as she saw he was still dressed in his muggle clothes, a tight black shirt and blue jeans that hung off his hips in the most delicious of ways. He knew what he was doing to her and he was good at it too. Hermione had never been so intoxicated by his presence before and she wasn't sure why she was now. Maybe it was because he had grown up. Maybe it was because, despite herself, Hermione truly had a thing for dangerous people.
"We need to talk, little bird." He drawled as he took a step closer to Hermione. Instinctively she wanted to take a step toward him, but her rational side won out and she took a step back.
That was the wrong move. Fire flashed across the molten silver of his eyes as he watched her, she was making him chase her and Draco Malfoy did not chase anyone.
Three more steps and he was in front of her, two more and Hermione could feel the cool stone wall pressed against her back as Malfoy's hard body pressed against her front. Her breath caught in her throat and she felt his fingers lightly brush across her sides, her eyes glued to his. She knew if she looked away she would lose this game. She had already lost this round, but she was intent on winning the game, if she could keep her wits.
"What do we need to talk about?" Hermione heard herself say, but it did not sound like her voice. It was far, distant, and ragged. Hermione's whole body flushed and her stomach muscles tensed as Malfoy's hands rested on her hips, his thumbs trailing across her stomach. She felt something cool and soft touch her cheek, a black feather.
Her stomach clenched again, he was taunting her, teasing her, and it was working. The rational part of her brain was being overpowered. Hermione blamed Draco Malfoy for many things, he was the reason why she had fallen into such a dark pit, why she had tried to kill herself, why her relationship with Ron failed, why she couldn't have children… Yet fear no longer held her in place, this time it was something else, something deeper, a burning desire that had been buried for a long time…
"I think you know, little bird," his voice was right by her ear, his warm body pressed against hers. The feather tickled her cheek, followed by the soft touch of his lips that made it all the way to the corner of her mouth before he pulled away.
"I'm getting married Hermione."