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Chapter One: I WILL Make Malfoy Miserable




 “You cannot be serious.”




            “I’m afraid that I am, Miss Weasley,” Professor, or Headmistress rather, McGonagall stated sadly, her bespectacled eyes shooting them a mournful glace over her rims. 




            “With all due respect, why the bloody hell would I agree to this?” 




            “First and foremost, Mr. Malfoy, I suggest you watch your language,” the strict Headmistress admonished, “You have no choice but to agree to this arrangement…or you face certain death.”




             “That’s pretty much the same thing, aren’t they?” Malfoy mumbled under his breath, sighing heavily as his breath moved the wisps of platinum hair out of his metallic orbs.




             “Oh shut up, Malfoy, it’s not like I think this is all sunshine and daisies either, you know,” Ginny whined, dark sienna eyes glaring fiercely at the Slytherin she had grown to hate so much in the last six years through heavy lashes.




             “Well, think of it this way, Weaselette, at least you don’t have to spend your days with somebody like, well, you,” Draco sneered, giving her the once-over and taking inventory of her obnoxiously red hair, shower of freckles covering her cheeks and nose, and her shabby black robes, “you get the honour of spending your year with me.  And let’s face it - what girl in this school wouldn’t be thrilled to have such a privilege?”




            “Hmmm, let’s see,” Ginny tapped her delicately pronounced chin thoughtfully, “For starters - me.  Professor, do we really have to?”  She knew she sounded childish, but really…Malfoy?



 



            “The Minister and I really do not see any other way around it.  Either you do as suggested or you will have condemned yourself to a fate far worse than anyone who has died in this war so far,” McGonagall reproved austerely.  “I expect you both to give me an answer today - right now, actually - so we can get things set up for you by tomorrow; the sooner the better.”




             “Fine,” Draco haughtily conceded, “but, I’m not pleased about it - and I do expect some sort of award.”




           “Right, Malfoy, they often reward gits with big heads such as yours who not-so-humbly step down off their high horse to spare their own lives,” the feisty redhead rolled her eyes, “I believe it’s probably named after your father, so you’ve basically got it in the bag already.”




             “That’s enough!” McGonagall’s voice sliced through the air just as Malfoy began to open his mouth, seething from the attack.  “Miss Weasley, what’s your answer?”




             “I’ll have to, won’t I?” the diminutive girl answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.  “If I don’t, Malfoy will have far too good a time by himself.”




             This answer earned her a scowl like no other she’d received in her lifetime from a certain blonde next to her.  She childishly stuck her tongue out at him and turned her attention back to Professor McGonagall.




             “Whatever your reasons are, I can assure you that you have both made the right choice.  I know it will be hard, but in the end, I believe it will have a rather large pay off,” the stern lady declared.  At seeing Draco Malfoy’s eyes light up, she felt obligated to go on, “No, Mr. Malfoy, not a monetary payoff.  You will be alive, that will be the best thing we could ever hope to give you in times like these.”




             His face fell but his disappointment was washed away and replaced with a look of practiced Slytherin indifference.  He knew he was the only one who valued his life, even if only a miniscule amount.



 



            “May I go now, Headmistress?” Draco asked impatiently, “I have things to tend to before tomorrow.”




             “Yes, you may both go and begin packing up a few things,” she dismissed them, “Meet me back here at nine o’clock tomorrow morning.  Do not be late.”



 



            Both students rose and politely excused themselves from their chairs, making their way back toward the entrance, all the while insulting one another freely.  Just as the door was closing behind them, McGonagall saw Ginny Weasley give her companion a rather large shove and then smile gaily as Draco stumbled, shouting about Weasley filth on his posh robes.



 



            “It will be truly amazing should they make it the whole year without killing one another,” McGonagall remarked to herself quietly smirking before returning to her work.




 





 



            “Wait, you have to what?!” a highly enraged Colin shouted upon hearing the news his best friend Ginny had just announced



 



            “I have to spend one year with Malfoy, living as Muggles,” she groaned, slowly twirling her fiery mane through her slender fingers.



 



            “But why?”  Her friend looked truly disgusted at the thought of having to spend a whole year with Malfoy.  What Gryffindor wouldn’t?  It was a ridiculous thought - Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy playing house together in the Muggle world while the rest of the school got to go on living perfectly normal lives and worrying about nothing but Arithmancy and what was for dinner that evening.



 



            “Some rot about how I’m too valuable to Harry and since Malfoy failed his mission to kill Dumbledore, You-Know-Who will be after us in a heartbeat this year.  He needs to get rid of Malfoy in order to keep the knowledge of his ever-rising power strictly within his inner circle.  He also will be coming after me to gain leverage against Harry since we dated last year and we have sworn to wait for each other and continue once he returns from him, Hermione, and Ron’s search for whatever evil they’ve trotted off looking for.” Ginny explained quickly, remembering at the same time how unhappy she was that no one would trust her enough to let her in on the secret goings-ons of the Order.



 



            “So what you’re telling me here is that, the “Dark Lord” keeps up on the gossip of Hogwarts relationships?” Colin asked dumbfounded, “Who would have thought?”




             “If that’s how you want to think of it, then yes, I suppose that in his own way he does,” the freckle-faced young woman acknowledged.  “But that’s not really the important bit is it?  What’s important here is that I essentially have to pose as Draco Malfoy’s girlfriend in Muggle London!”




             Ginny stared into the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room, thinking about how the day just couldn’t get any worse.  How in the world was she supposed to be able to spend a year with her most hated enemy in a place where she would have no help should he turn on her?  How did she even know that he wasn’t still a Death Eater in disguise to help lure her to You-Know-Who?  She didn’t.  She would just have to trust him and McGonagall’s judgment on this one, which, quite frankly, she was finding very hard to do at the moment. 



 



            “Wait, wait, wait.  You have to pose as his girlfriend?” Colin asked, stunned.  “You didn’t exactly mention that the first time through.”




             “Well, we haven’t gone over the plans yet but I figure, we can’t be seen in public fighting like cats and dogs can we?  It’ll just arouse suspicion for anyone who might be undercover - we’ll have to be civil to each other to try to blend into the crowd,” Ginny reasoned.  “Of course, if we could do this without that little detail, it would be fabulous!  We’ll just have to see once what McGonagall says tomorrow morning.”




             “I can’t believe you’re leaving me tomorrow morning already to go and live with the world’s largest git whom your family can’t stand and who hasn’t gone a day of his school years without insulting at least one member of the Weasley clan,” the sandy-haired boy said sadly, looking incredibly adorable with his crystalline eyes.  They’d spent every day together at Hogwarts since their second year.  Of course, Ginny couldn’t help but wonder if things wouldn’t be different if she had ever disclosed her secret to him - the one about the Chamber.  She couldn’t bear to think of him knowing it was her who had tried to kill him their first year at Hogwarts, however unintentional.  She knew it was a terrible thing to do and someday she had to tell him…when the time was right.




      “I know, I know Col,” Ginny said soothingly as she slipped her arms around his ribs in a friendly hug.  “You’re just going to have to learn how to cope without me I suppose.  I know it’ll be hard at first but when you’re sitting at the Great Hall with Luna, drinking pumpkin juice and thinking about how terribly you miss my bright and shining face, just remember where I am.  I will be sitting in the graces of the rudest, most self-centered prat in all of England, trying to find ways to stop myself from killing him.”



 



“Since you’re leaving tomorrow, maybe you should be packing instead of chattering on and on about your love life with Malfoy,” Colin teased, pulling away enough to look her in the eyes seriously.




             “Ugh, don’t even call it that!” Ginny warned, temper flaring.  “It gives me the shivers just thinking about it - and not in a good way.”




 





 



            As a Malfoy, Draco had always upheld his name.  His first year, he was sorted into Slytherin in the blink of an eye and became enemies with the great Harry Potter the moment the twerp refused to be his friend - no one refused a Malfoy.  Every year he tormented the Golden Trio, making their lives miserable and doing the best to hurt all those whose presence they enjoyed.  In his third year he had almost gotten that oaf Hagrid fired and had gotten rid of the bird that injured him as well.  Finally, at the age of sixteen he was permitted to join the Death Eaters on a trial basis, to measure up his worthiness, and accepted his first task: making Hogwarts susceptible to attack and then killing the much-loved Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.  He succeeded quite well at the first part and then failed miserably on the second, faltering at the wrong moment - not sure how capable he was of killing anyone, costing him his bright, or rather dark, future as a Death Eater in Voldemort’s inner circle.  Killing was after all a very useful and crucial part of being a Death Eater.




             He had always called him ‘Voldemort’ and never ‘You-Know-Who’ or ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,’ and you can count on the fact that he never called him ‘My Lord.’  The fact that you couldn’t even speak someone’s name said a good deal about your character and Draco had always been particularly fond of the fact that he feared nothing - not even Voldemort - and especially not his name.  However, now there was something to fear.  He was wanted dead or alive - Death Eaters were looking for him everywhere, including his father - just ready to turn him over to Voldemort; and he wasn’t going to go down easy.




             So what if he had to live for a year with that filthy Weasley girl anyway?  He could probably just bully her into doing anything - or make her mad enough that she’d never talk to him again.  The thought of having one year away from school and under the protection of the Order, the Minister, and McGonagall was enough to make him positively giddy.  Except, Malfoys don’t get giddy, they can be pleased, satisfied, or content, but certainly not giddy.




             “What’s going on, Malfoy?” a deep, sluggish voice asked from behind him as he magically folded his clothes and placed them carefully in his trunk.




             “I’m packing.  What does it look like I’m doing, you oaf?” Malfoy snarled, turning to face Gregory Goyle accompanied by none other than Vincent Crabbe.




            “Why?”  Crabbe asked stupidly.




             “What have I told you two about asking questions?” Malfoy sneered, giving no real answer.




             “But you just asked us a question,” Goyle giggled, thinking of the irony of the situation.  Of course, Goyle didn’t know what irony meant, but all the same, it seemed funny to him.



 



            A simple look from Malfoy was enough to let even the two thickest students at Hogwarts know that they should have stopped talking already.  The blonde boy paid them no mind and continued his packing. 




            “We’ll be in the library studying for the Herbology exam tomorrow if you need us for something,” Crabbe said.




             Draco had to chuckle inwardly at the thought of the pair of them in the library studying - he doubted either of them even knew how to read.  They would probably just end up tormenting some first years in the corridors.  As for Draco ever needing them, that was totally laughable.




             “Well, I highly doubt I’ll be seeing you around,” he put in.




             “Why not?” Crabbe and Goyle both asked dumbfounded as to what they would do without their ringleader.



 



            “I’m leaving for the year,” Draco supplied, leaving it at that.  After all, they were both the sons of active Death Eaters and that was exactly who he was hiding from.




            “Where are you going?” Crabbe asked.




             “It’s really none of your business now is it?” Draco sneered.  “Just don’t expect me around any time soon.  Now leave.”




             Regardless of their many unanswered questions, both large boys left at this command, knowing it was a threat concealed in that command.  Whether he had the gall to kill Dumbledore or not, it hardly mattered when it came to the issue of whether he would hesitate to destroy them.




             Watching their retreating backs, Draco laughed as he thought of what must be running through their minds at that moment.  They would be alone without him for the first time since they were born, and that probably scared them to death.  As it should.  Without Draco around to guide them, they’d probably fail all their classes - as if he cared.  He rolled his eyes and packed a few more things before closing his trunk.




             Being finished with his packing, he laid back on his bed, tucking his hands under his head and just thought.  How different would Hogwarts be without a Malfoy and a Weasley around to keep things entertaining?  He had a feeling it would be all too quiet.




 





 

 



A/N:  I know, I’m sorry - kind of short, but it is just the beginning - a prelude if you will!  So next chapter will be quite a bit longer for you and it’s where the real adventure begins.  I must warn you though - not everything is sunshine and daisies for them.  Draco and Ginny will NOT be falling in love right away, it will have to take an appropriate amount of time, as I like to think that the best part about D/G is how imaginative you have to be in order to find half-way realistic ways to make it work out in the end.

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