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Draco Malfoy knew it must have burned Pansy to admit that many boys, even Slytherin boys,  considered Ginny Weasley, Blood Traitor and of the dirt poor Weasleys, pretty. But it was true - of the few pureblooded females around Draco's age, Ginny Weasley stood out for her combination of sass, the red hair that looked like living fire from far away with how it caught light, and her other pleasing physical attributes. It was crude to think that, knowing that Weasley, even if her blood was "pure" was so beneath him with her father's Muggle loving ways and her family's willingness to accept Mudbloods and Halfbloods and how they obviously sided against You-Know-Who, but he was a teenage male. It's not like he couldn't appreciate her looks. Not that he would admit that to anyone, though, admittance would have its own delightful possibilities in the tactical sense. Tactical in a way that if he had admitted it and it had gotten out, he would have known which of his yearmates had loose lips and if it had gotten out it would have possibly spurred Weasel or Potter into a confrontation with him which would have served a dual purpose of being entertaining and possibly cause suspension to the Weasel and Potter. It was too bad that he couldn’t really put it into action since he had other things to do, tasked by his father and the Dark Lord.

It was a shame, he thought to himself, watching how she smiled as she talked with Granger and Weasel and Potter. If she weren’t a blood traitor, she would have been one of the most appealing pureblood females to him. At first he had thought her as just a Potter fangirl, but that Bat-Bogey Hex she had thrown at him was respectable. Better than anything most of his lot could cast, if he admitted it. It was too bad she was on the wrong side. He brushed away the thoughts that he was trying to bury about what right was, what wrong was that were threatening to come back up in his head.

With that thought, he went back to his gruesome task which he had been distracting himself from - repairing that cabinet.

***

Her parents would have offered to find her counseling had they known how much she thought about her first year even years down the road, but Ginny knew that would be expensive and she thought she would do well enough without it. She did for the most part, but there were nightmares sometimes of things that had and hadn’t happened that year, writing to You-Know-Who and being taken into the Chamber of Secrets, moments she could never remember what she did.

She knew she was lucky to not have died then, she thought, so she had come out of that experience with the drive to become someone who enjoyed every day as it came, to suspect things that she couldn’t understand. She had been so naive then, trusting a battered diary that wrote back.

It had strengthened her admiration of Harry then, she realized, after getting some of her memories of that time writing to Tom Riddle back. For him to willingly want to fight fairly with someone so evil and to not have any uncertainties nor fear… it just added to her terrible crush on him at that time.


It was also this experience with the diary that had been… ‘planted’, as her brothers indignantly said, by Lucius Malfoy that made her keep noticing his offspring. Not exactly his looks, though clearly Draco was easy on the eye (a comment made by many of her classmates when they caught sight of him in the hallways or the Great Hall), but that he could be capable of such plots as his father had been. It was partly for her safety, she reasoned with herself, all of her brothers had talked to her individually once they had gotten home and told her to watch herself that she wouldn’t be tricked by any Slytherin again. It was a logical conclusion - if the father had tried something, the son (who seemed to be raised in all ways to be the second coming of the father) would try something.

***

When the war is over, she raises her head for a moment, unsure of the words to say to her mother.  “Thank you” felt so inadequate when your mother had just killed someone to protect you.

In that moment she raises her head, she sees the Malfoys, their uncertainty both pitiful and humbling, and she realizes that stripping away the prejudices and the choices they had, she and Draco aren’t so much different after all.

They both had parents who would do anything to protect them, after all.

***

It is of no surprise to many that Ginny Weasley decides to go into Professional Quidditch after Hogwarts. For all the resentment, most petty but Draco considered himself young enough to let himself still indulge in such pettiness, he had to admit the girl could fly - whether as a Seeker or a Chaser. It is how he comes in contact with her again, when a friend of his is able to wrangle tickets to a game that her team had played. He hadn’t planned to greet her but one of his co-workers, clearly unaware of the bad blood between the Malfoys and the Weasleys, had brought him over to talk to her, “since you two were at Hogwarts around the same time.” Clearly the man was not the sharpest knife around.

Thankfully, she is civil this time. "Oh, hullo, Malfoy." A far cry from the Bat-Bogey Hex she had given him back in his fifth year. It was good for his safety that they were currently near one of the Harpies’ big sponsors.

"Hello," said Draco, biting down the urge to say 'She-Weasel' or 'Weaselette” to not trigger any supposed Weasley tempers or get Bat Bogey hexed again. "Congratulations on your win today."

She grinned at him, her eyes showing amusement at the conversation. "Thanks."

***

One of the moments Ginny would always be proud of was hexing Draco successfully in Umbridge’s office during her fourth year. Draco Malfoy, supposed Death Eater in training and one of the supposed leaders of Slytherin, brought down by a Bat-Bogey Hex.

There were some moments in Ginny’s life which she still felt ashamed of so she took the good moments and reveled in it. If her bad moment was getting tricked by the magical diary sneaked into her school stuff by Lucius Malfoy, one of her good moments would be stopping his son from following them into the Department of Mysteries.

Later on in life, when the war was over and everything was rebuilding she would be surprised that Draco Malfoy would be part of more good moments than bad.

***

It is a surprise for Ginny to see him again when she stops by the Department of Magical Sports and Games to visit someone else.

“You work for the Ministry?”

“It’s a safe place for people like me, I suppose” he shrugged. “Keep your enemies closer and all.” It had actually horrified his father and mother when Draco had accepted the job that had been offered to him; every week they seemed to expect him either to be fired, hauled in for questioning, or sent to Azkaban without trial. (Reality was much less exciting and more filled with paperwork. He had no idea that sports required so much paperwork.) He knew that they were keeping an eye on the Malfoys - it would be much less stressful for him if he already knew that instead of keeping his eyes open while working in the private sector. It was kind of amusing to prove them wrong each evaluation day when they couldn’t say a bad word about his work. (At least this work didn’t require him to try and kill anyone, he thought morbidly, remembering the mark on his arm.)

Besides, the free Quidditch tickets didn’t hurt.

“I suppose it would be hard to raise a coup in the Department of Magical Games and Sports,” she said lightly.

“Oh yes, it’s hard when people would turn on you for front row tickets to the World Cup and gamble their salaries on betting. But no more gambling anymore - that’ll merit a reevaluation.”

“Well, I’m going to the World Cup for sure,” said Ginny. “As a participant.”

He raised an eyebrow, a grin creeping up on his face. “Then good luck.”

*** 

"I was surprised you were so civil back then," she tells him one day when they had met up with plans to eat together. If many saw them together they would say that hell had frozen over, but it was really just two people trying to move on from being on different sides in the war and readjusting their perceptions of each other. Still, it was probably better if Ron didn’t know about it for now.

"I almost bit my tongue so that I wouldn't call you Weaselette or She-Weasel, actually" he admitted. "It wouldn't have been proper, especially when I've been trying to clear the Malfoy name and all."


Her eyes twinkled mischievously. "I almost slipped and called you Ferret myself, so we'll call it even."