A Change of Policy
Possible Spoilers/Warnings: NA
Author's Note: Much love to all participants.
Summary: Draco and Ginny are brought in to work together on a change in the ministry, only to realize they, too, have changed.
The blasted woman just would not let him be. It was as though she was compelled to bother him. It was always Malfoy, have you read the new report? or Haven’t you finished yet? When human resources had given him the memo three weeks ago that he was to get a new partner, he hadn’t thought it would be the ghost of bloody hells past.
Unfortunately for Draco, Ginny Weasley had gallivanted back into his world like a frigging hippogriff chasing a rat. She was loud and obnoxious. If it weren’t for the fact that she was tolerable when quiet, he’d have requested an immediate transfer; not that he’d be granted it. She was a special request from the Department of Magical Creatures and she seemed to think that made her the queen of the office.
“Oh, come on, Malfoy. Scared of an inspection? You know that these are vital to the new regulatory act. Are you really still an ickle school boy scared of a few claws?”
He scowled at her.
“Not all of us were fortunate enough to grow up with ogres for siblings, Weasley.”
She rolled her eyes at him and walked out of the office. He wished she’d stop doing that. It smelled of jasmine for ages afterwards.
There was something especially infuriating about being poked fun at by a prim and proper freckled-face Gryffindor. Ginny Weasley was a very different person than he remembered from ten years ago. She was quicker with retorts, put up with a great deal less shit, and had become quite confident. He peered at her through the office door’s window. Still with the copper red hair of course, though it was longer and had a few grays scattered throughout. Freckles were even more present, if that was even possible. They kept catching his eye every time her blouse rode up exposing her lower back.
He’d been on the minister’s team to rework the import/export and care regulations for the wizarding world. It was going to change the way that schools taught, rare potions ingredients were collected, and creatures were contained for the better. Just because he was making policy didn’t mean he wanted to spend time with the creatures, but they still had to go to the field the next day.
When he came trudging into the office the next morning, he was surprised to find that Ginny Weasley had forwent her usual blouse and pencil skirt combination in favor of dragon hide pants and a loose fitting linen top.
“Trying for a less prudish look, Weasley? Aren’t dragon hide trousers a bit last year?”
She rolled her eyes at him.
“You do remember we’re in the field today, Malfoy? Or did you want to get dragon shit and burns all over your fancy clothes? It would distract from that pointy face of yours, I suppose.”
She bent over and the already tight pants gave him a generous view of her bum. Truth was, he didn’t think they would need to get too up close and personal with the dragons they were due to visit. He’d been able to keep his distance with the hippogriffs and the kneazle breeders. That was before She Who He Wished Would Stay Silent had appeared.
He glared at her as she stepped into the apparition point and disappeared. After a few deep breaths, he followed.
When he appeared at their location, he nearly fell backwards. The heat and sand had whipped at his face, taking him quite by surprise. When he got his bearings, he saw Weasley climbing into a confinement area where a large, vicious looking female dragon was being kept. Apparently she was fearless—or was pretending to be. She had to be pretending. The beast looked like it would tear Hagrid apart without a second thought.
“Get away from there!” He shouted, racing to the edge of the enclosure, “Dammit, Weasley, what the fuck do you think you’re doing! We’re here to inspect the overall establishment’s needs and do some interviews not bloody get ourselves toasted!”
“Oh, calm down, I know what I’m doing. We’ll have a twenty minute chat with Bradley and we can go. You don’t need to give yourself an aneurism. Red isn’t your color.” She pulled herself up and through the fencing. “Didn’t know you cared so much.” She winked.
“I bloody well don’t. You think putting on a pair of overly tight pants and some hooker boots makes you a dragon tamer, go ahead and get yourself killed. But save me the paperwork and do it on your own time. No wonder your department got you reassigned. You’re enough to give a person a bloody heart attack.”
Ginny watched as Draco paced. His muscles were tense and his breathing rough. She wondered if he realized how powerful he was. He was dressed in slacks and a button down. It was formal, but when he acted like this he seemed wild and unreserved. It was a far cry from the tightly wound boy she’d once known. But, after all, they’d both grown up. She realized she knew as much about him as he did her. In other words, very little.
Startled by his outburst, she remained reserved throughout the interview; she’d do her catching up with Bradley at some other point; for Malfoy’s sanity she kept it to business. She resolved to get to know this strange man she worked with better.
“Come on, Malfoy,” she said once they’d gotten back to the office, “I’ve a five year old single malt that could do with an uncorking.”
He eyed her suspiciously.
“What’s to stop you from killing me?” He retorted.
“My superior sense of morality.”
It took fifteen minutes and an in case of death note to convince Draco to go with her. They arrived at her flat by floo—she didn’t want to bother with the apparition wards or side-along.
She tossed her robes over a chair. “Make yourself at home. Loo is down the hall to the right if you need. I’ll go get glasses and something to eat.”
He still could feel sand on his skin. Going to wash his hands, he meandered down the hallway. Pictures hung along the wall, some waving others absorbed in what they were doing. He took a moment on his ay back to the living room to look at one of a young Ginny. She was probably eight and sitting with what must have been another one of the brood. The man in the picture was around twenty and was hugging her. Both had large grins on their faces. There was a lopsided house in the background and a table with balloons.
“My brother, Charlie. He lives in Romania now.”
Draco looked up at her. She passed him a glass of whiskey. He took a sip, “What’s he do there?”
“He’s a dragon tamer. Works with Hungarian Horntails mostly. He’s quite skilled.”
They took seats in the living room where Ginny had put out a plate of baked goods. She grabbed something chocolatey.
Draco thought about what she’d told him. He’d never really considered what her family might do for a living, other than breeding and loving muggles.
They spent the next hour or so chatting about what old classmates were up to; apparently Crabbe and Goyle had opened up a robe shop for large men and Luna Lovegood had shacked up with Blaise Zambini. Once they’d finished the whiskey they’d moved on to cheap liquor.
Midnight had rolled around. Draco’s robes had found their way onto the back of her couch and Ginny had tossed her feet across his lap.
“So, then, Ron starts kissing the ghoul and wakes up to a face full of slime. Pour Ghouly never got over him.”
The two of them laughed.
“I need the loo.”
Ginny stumbled down the hall. Draco took the opportunity to look around a little more. There were pictures and knickknacks all over the place. It was so vastly different than the manor. She had some patterned blanket hung on the wall with masks around it. There were frames her nieces and nephews must have made her—they were little more than arts and crafts projects. The dishes and furniture were all mismatched and well-worn. But somehow, it all seemed to fit.
She stumbled back into the room, sitting a little closer now.
“So how in the world did you wind up at the ministry of all places? Shouldn’t you be traipsing around the world with some blond bimbo with tits the size of her head?” It seemed that when Weasley got drunk she swore like a man.
“I breed thestrals.”
“Breed thestrals. When I was a kid, I thought it was so cool how some carriages moved by themselves. After the war, when I could see the thestrals, I felt for them. They were dark, but beautiful, you know? So, when I got bored at home, I worked with them and the minister asked me to consult on the policy changes.”
“What about you, Weasley? Aren’t your lot all aurors and muggle nuts?”
“And dragon tamers. That’s why I wasn’t scared of Lacey. I worked with her for seven years. I’m still the most experienced person the ministry could have gotten who wasn’t eighty and in bed with the old regs.”
Draco was surprised and, frankly, a little drunk. He looked at her for a few seconds.
She pushed the glass into his hands.
An hour or so later, she was walking him to the door.
“Try not to be so terrible tomorrow. You’re such a nag sober.”
“I’ll try if you try not to be such an insufferable ponce.”
Draco apparated and stumbled into his room, robe in hand. Falling on the bed, he kicked his shoes off. Rolling into the duvet, he yawned deeply. He shook his head. The scent of jasmine clung to his clothes and robes. Funnily enough, he didn’t seem to mind. He fell asleep and dreamed of red hair and freckled skin.
1.) Briefly describe what you'd like to receive in your fic:
The tone/mood of the fic: Snarky and fun. Lots of banter and sexual tension.
An element/line of dialogue/object you would specifically like in your fic: A relationship in the workplace.
Preferred rating of the the fic you want: Any.
More canon, or more AU?: Canon minus that bloody epilogue.
Deal Breakers (anything you don't want?): Super angry/annoying Weasleys/Harry/Hermione.
Are you willing to receive art instead of a fic? Yes.
If yes, what kind of artwork would you like to receive? Something full of movement and colour.
Is there anything you specifically don't want? N/A.