In the Red


Rating: PG13
Genres: Romance, Humor
Relationships: Draco & Ginny
Book: Draco & Ginny, Books 1 - 6
Published: 08/06/2006
Last Updated: 11/01/2016
Status: In Progress

Ginny Weasley. 25. Shopaholic in debt up to her eyeballs. Draco Malfoy. 26. Multibillionaire, and financial planner responsible for Ginny Weasley's file at Gringotts. Who will make it out alive?

1. Reality's a Witch.


In the Red Mei Queen


Authoress’ Note: Random. But give it a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised. It is the product of too much rock music…I get really hyper and ambitious. Lol “In the Red” = too much Panic! At the Disco for MeiQueen. Yeah…I’m done, sorry.


Disclaimer: All characters you recognise belong to the goddess J.K. Rowling. The plot was inspired by Shania Twain’s song “Ka-Ching!” and one of my favourite book series, Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.


Chapter 1: Reality’s a…Witch.


Ginevra Weasley Bedroom Brimming with Stuff 1336 Bumblebee Place

East Bristol

December 1, 2005

Dear Madam Weasley,

This letter comes after multiple attempts on the part of Gringotts Bank and its affiliates to reach you. We understand that you are busy, and we wish to take up no more of your time than necessary. However, it has come to our attention that your account and management of finances is in need of some re-evaluation. The overdraft on your account now totals some 29,012 Galleons, 134 Sickles, and 26 Knuts. If you have already taken steps to help remedy this situation, then thank you! Feel free to disregard this letter. Otherwise, we ask that you please use the contact information below to set up a meeting with one of our financial planners at your very earliest convenience.


Guido Berks

Guido Berks, Head Goblin

The Biggest Office

Gringotts Corporate Offices

1775 Finance Way

Lamal, Saudi Arabia


“Bugger,” Ginny Weasley cursed, noticing the overdraft letter clutched firmly in the talons of the rather impatient eagle owl in her kitchen. “Another one? That’s like the fifth this week. Don’t they think I understand that I’m in a little bit of debt? Hmm…maybe I shouldn’t have taken out that wizard credit at Gladrags today.”

Looking guiltily at the floor in her living room, she saw a mountain of shopping bags. “Merlin. This is such a bad habit…but I couldn’t imagine life without those adorable dress robes…or that cool wand holster…I mean, really. It’s not like I got any nice things as a child. I always had to re-use my brothers’ old stuff. I think I deserve this,” she finished convincingly, eyes settling on the placid bird.

The owl did not look remotely convinced by her argument.

Scowling in irritation, she walked over and snatched the envelope, shooing the bird out as she did so. Cautiously opening the envelope, she was met with a letter from the Head Goblin and her account’s detail statement. Her eyes widened in horror when she saw the full total. How did I get in so deep? It doesn’t seem possible that I can be this much in…debt. It’s not like I bought a house or anything, I just bought a few little things…here…and there…

Scanning the detail statement, she was immediately infuriated. This had to be wrong! There was no way that Ginny, one of the worst cooks in existence, could have possibly spent 200 Galleons in Quality Cooking Supplies! Someone had tampered with her statement! She wasn’t as far in debt as she thought!

Her stomach turned and her happiness deflated when she thought of the new cookbook she just had to have. Well, that hardly counts. That was to prepare food. That’s a ‘lifestyle necessity’; it’s not a big deal.

But it was a 20 Galleon cookbook, endorsed by Celestina Warbeck. Well, that just makes it more worth it, if celebrities are willing to use it.

And then there was the new apron to go with the cooking spree. Oh yeah, Ginny thought guiltily, eyes flickering over to the corner of her tiled counter that the new supplies were piled on. But it was so cute! It was the special Quidditch edition! It’s even got little brooms, Quaffles, Snitches, and beater bats!

That still doesn’t total 200 Galleons! There’s still a chance that someone else was using my cards! Ginny thought to herself hopefully, allowing a smile to spread on to her features.

Oh…then there was the new whisk. Right, and the spatula. And the new frying pans.

Okay. Maybe 200 Galleons wasn’t wrong.


Draco Malfoy sighed, leaning back in his comfortable office chair. Turning to the window, he enjoyed the fabulous view from his office. This was actually one of his many offices, as he owned many businesses. He usually only went in to each business for about an hour daily, just to catch up on his messages and hear the latest news and stock statistics. Most of his businesses he completely owned, but others, like this one, he only owned a sizable amount of shares and contented himself with running them closely. This was his office in Gringotts Bank, an organisation he was chairman of the board for.

“Sir?” asked a hesitant voice from the doorway.

Turning in his chair, his eyes were met with one of the young interns, fresh out of Hogwarts. His high testosterone levels noted that she was extraordinarily pretty. Blonde, slim, blue eyes…just how he liked them, he noted with satisfaction.

Smiling and beckoning her to a chair, Draco folded his hands on the desk. “What seems to be the problem…I’m sorry, what was your name?”

“Natalie… Natalie Fisk,” the blonde answered timidly, taking a seat.

“Right. Natalie, what seems to be the problem?” he asked, still smiling.

“Well, sir, you were saying at this morning’s company meeting that you wanted to be more in touch with the customers…”

“Yes, I did. Why?”

“Sir, it’s my job to go through all the paperwork for our ‘problem customers’. Guido, our Head Goblin, he asks me to prioritise them, from extremely urgent to mildly problematic. Guido was wondering if you would like to take on a few of our ‘extremely urgent’ customers, to help get in touch with our clientele.”

She folded her hands primly in her lap, tucking one leg gently behind the other.

“Well,” Draco looked thoughtful. “It’s unusual, but Guido has never really steered me wrong with business decisions before. Sure, why not? Who have you got?”

Somewhat relieved, Natalie pulled a few manila folders from the dragon-hide briefcase leaning neatly against her chair. “Here you go, Mister Malfoy.”

“Right, thank you, and please feel free to call me Draco, Natalie,” he replied, flashing his best grin.

Natalie smiled, getting up from her chair and sliding the folders on to his desk. “You’re welcome, si-…I mean… Draco.”

He grinned, pulling the folders closer to him. Natalie had begun to turn the doorknob before he spoke again. “Oh, and incidentally, Natalie, do you know when Guido wants me to contact these people by?”

She turned from the door, smiling. “He said as soon as possible. I think you’ll find that reading their cases goes very quickly, though; some of them are rather entertaining. They’re real doozies, si- Draco, sorry…enjoy yourself.”

With a final nod to her boss, Natalie Fisk exited the office.

If Draco Malfoy had immediately looked at the folders, he would have noticed a profile on one Ginevra Weasley mid-way through the pile.


“Gin, are you sure you left anything in Diagon? Those stores will probably have to re-stock just because you visited,” Harry Potter quipped, stepping carefully over the shopping bags in the Ginny Weasley’s foyer.

“Oh, ha bloody ha, Harry. Aren’t we hilarious?” Ginny asked in wry annoyance, looking up from where she had been relaxing on the couch with a cup of tea. Getting up to greet her guest, she gave him a hug and a brief peck on the cheek. “Would you like a cup of tea?”

“Please,” Harry replied, smiling. Running a hand through his messy ebony hair, he took a seat in the living room. “Hey, Gin…I know you don’t like to talk about money, but if you ever need any help, I don’t mind. Really.”

Ginny sighed. “Thank you. That’s sweet. But I can take care of myself.”

“Are you sure you’re doing okay?” he asked suspiciously.

“Yeah,” she replied brightly, applying a fake smile and handing Harry his teacup. “I’m definitely sure.”

“Okay,” he replied, returning the smile and taking a sip. “Mmm…it’s good, Gin.”

“I’ve been getting better,” the redhead replied with a grin. “I’m even learning to cook! Maybe you could come over for dinner sometime…”

Harry lowered his teacup, fixing her with his most wary expression. “Just as friends, right? Because, Ginny, we’ve been down that road. And yeah, I love you…as a friend. But we both know that the war changed us. We’re different people…it doesn’t work anymore.”

Ginny lowered her eyes to the carpet. Applying the second fake smile of the evening, she replied chirpily, “Of course as friends, silly! I mean, really, Harry…you’re just not my type.”

Thankfully, that was enough to make the corners of Harry Potter’s mouth turn upwards in a grin. The awkwardness had been dispelled, and the two began to catch up on everything they had missed in each other’s lives as of late. The sun had long since set when Harry bid Ginny good night, and she padded to bed in her new satin stuffed slippers (a steal! They were only 15 Galleons at Gladrags last week during their big blow-out sale!). And as she crawled under her satin sheets and reached over to turn off the stained-glass Tiffany lamp on her bedside table, she thought positively to herself, I’m going to fix my debt. I’ll do everything right…I’ll scrimp and save…I’ll meet with a bloke from Gringotts. Yup. I’m going to get this all figured out…tomorrow.


It was late.

1 a.m., maybe? Draco Malfoy wondered, paging through a manila folder, tucked comfortably in his king-sized bed. As he pushed his reading glasses higher up on his nose, his eyes concentrated on the words on the paperwork. While his eyes were fixated, however, his mind was wandering. Natalie was right…this folders are really interesting. First there was Robert Lugman, that really bad kleptomaniac…he kept getting caught and then having to pay for everything he wanted to steal plus a stocking fee. I get a feeling Robert will be a real treat in person, I should probably keep a close eye on my cufflinks, though. Hmm…who else have I read tonight? A-ha. Ernie Macmillan, that Hufflepuff nitwit. Right. Well, I suppose he’s not a nitwit…he seemed well-liked enough back at Hogwarts. His plummet in to the depths of debt was something else, especially considering how well-connected his family actually is. Some people just can’t handle a vice, that’s all I have to say about Ernie. First we’ll get him to put down the high-quality firewhiskey and stop idolising Slughorn, and then we’ll see where it goes.

Closing up Ernie’s file and setting it on top of Robert’s on his bedside table, Draco went to the next and, very thankfully, last folder.

Ginevra Weasley read the secretary’s neat cursive on the top of the file.

Weasley? This should be good, Draco thought with a smirk, opening the folder.


Madam Ginevra Weasley

Account #8903335291.

Accounts Statement from: 11-1-05 to 12-1-05

Deposits: 936 Galleons and 20 Knuts.

Withdrawals: 1048 Galleons, 22 Sickles, and 44 Knuts.


Draco Malfoy’s eyebrow lifted in surprise. She doesn’t exactly understand the concept of a budget, now does she?

His surprise only deepened as he continued to read on.


Account Balance: -29,012 Galleons, 134 Sickles, and 26 Knuts


Oh, dear Merlin, Draco thought to himself, letting out a low whistle as he read the figure. This is going to be the hardest case to solve, I can already tell. At least you can bind the hands of a klepto. You can lock up an alcoholic or force him to drink cheap beer. But a shopaholic? That requires coaching. That requires serious lifestyle changes or the easy out of miraculously winning the lottery. And the real crap bit? I’m going to be forced to work long and hard…with a Weasley.


Ginevra Weasley briefly checked her watch before making sure she had everything she needed for the day. Coffee traveller cup? Purse? Briefcase? Cute scarf to tie on to briefcase for no other reason except that it’s cute? Looks like everything’s present and accounted for. Fab!

Closing her eyes, she Apparated to her office.

“You’re late,” was the greeting she was met with a moment later. Opening her eyes, she saw a practically empty office, but two of her brothers, Fred and George, were crowded around a desk. Fred was the one who had so kindly welcomed her.

“Well, good morning to you too, sunshine,” she muttered irritably, stomping over to her desk (quite the feat in her new stilettos, but they were worth the extravagant price. Her legs looked twice as long as they used to!). Sighing, she placed her belongings underneath her desk and turned to face the red-headed men.

“We need you to do payroll today,” George began simply before apparently having a brainwave and running off to find a bit of parchment. Ginny was far too used to the way her brothers worked by now. They were her bosses here at Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Incorporated. Her brothers were the Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) of the company, but they relished the main reason they had created the business in the first place: prank development. Ginny Weasley knew far better than to throw out any scrap of paper found anywhere near the brothers’ offices when they were in their creative moods. She had actually had her pay docked once for ‘delaying product development progress.’ All she had really done was throw out a stained spare bit of parchment that read “mucus- in the fake mimbletonia. Cloaking Charm. We’ll make them…poinsettias!” It wasn’t even a profitable idea, anyhow. The mimbletonia project had been scrapped after wasting far too much money in development, and Ginny’s pay was restored, much to her relief. Her job was dull, but it didn’t pay too badly. Ginny was in charge of accounts payable, payroll, the budget, and basically anything that involved math, parchment and far too much patience that her brothers simply did not possess. It’s ironic that I balance accounts and budgets for a living, the redhead mentally quipped, trying to rub the sleep from her eyes.

Fred shook his head, smiling at his brother’s antics. “Yeah, Madge and Elmer both need their checks soon. Apparently their rent is due next week or something.”

Madge Fleming and Elmer Moot were the other two employees of the office. Though the many WWW, Inc. stores internationally employed many people, the only people Ginny had to worry about as far as payroll was concerned was herself, Madge, and Elmer.

Madge was an extremely kind elderly witch, and George and Fred put her in charge of customer relations just because of her extremely patient and sweet personality. She was Muggle-born, as well, a tremendous help as the WWW, Inc. offices greatly used the telephone. Ginny was grateful she didn’t have Madge’s job; the poor woman answered over two hundred calls a day, all asking the same thing, “We love Fred and George! They’re ruddy brilliant! Can you put them on?”

At that, Madge would have to exhaustedly explain that the blokes were tremendously busy, but if we could just get your name and address, we would be only too happy to owl you some lovely colour autographed photos!

Poor Madge, Ginny thought briefly, typing up the woman’s check.

Elmer Moot, meanwhile, was the janitor here at the office. He was the only person who worked at the Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Inc. offices during the night, to ensure there were no break-ins, no theft, etc. Elmer was elderly as well…not nearly as old as Madge, but the grey in his hair was visible where the ebony used to lie so peacefully. He was Ginny’s favourite person around the office. Even though she rarely got to see him because of their conflicting schedules, Elmer would always be sure to leave a little present for Ginny at her desk in the mornings, often with a note.

Today’s gift was a little chunk of Honeydukes chocolate with the note, “Good morning to my favourite redhead! Watch out for your brothers, eh? They’ve been at it all night, but they’ve got to sleep sometime. See you soon, love!”

All in all, Ginny Weasley thought contentedly, she could have a far worse lot working with her everyday.

“Ginny,” Madge whispered from across the office.

“Oh, good morning, Madge! Didn’t see you there,” Ginny replied brightly.

“Good morning, doll,” the elderly woman replied, pushing a stray grey curl back from her face. “Line 1 is the Hungarian Humour for Holidays group…they want to talk to you about that promotion.”

“Fabulous,” Ginny replied with a sigh. She had been avoiding this call all week, simply because she knew the Hungarians only wanted Fred and George to supply more free products for one of their little getaways, and while she was not opposed to idea, it didn’t fit brilliantly in to the budget. Taking a big sip of coffee, she resolutely reached her hand to the receiver. “Time to face the music.”


Later that day, Ginny Weasley finally had a free moment in the office that was humming with energy.

Reaching her hands over her head in a stretch, one arm fell to the telephone. Sighing and picking it up, she grudgingly dialled in W411, or 9411. W411 had been created about two years ago by the Ministry of Magic. It was the wizarding version of the information hotline, and it had been met with an acceptance of the Muggle telephone like never before. W411 was one of the most popularly dialled numbers in existence for wizards and witches everywhere.

“Good afternoon!” a hyper female voice chirped on the other end.

Pausing to summon her most enthusiastic tone, Ginny replied, smiling, “Hello!”

“What can I help you with today?”

“I need the number for Gringotts Bank,” Ginny replied, lowering her voice in case Madge heard.

“No problem. Now do we need the Diagon Alley branch or the corporate offices?” The chirpy voice continued with equal brightness.

Ginny wrinkled her nose in distaste. That was a phrase she had always hated: “we”. “We” is a pronoun that should only be used if the other person is participating in the activity with you, in Ginny’s opinion. Right now it was coming off like the woman was talking to a child!

Shrugging off her irritation, Ginny replied. “Corporate offices.”

“Right-o! Just a moment, please,” the woman requested, before Ginny was met with “musak”, the crazy Muggle elevator music that in Ginny’s opinion was just as bad as the improper use of the word “we”. Both should be retired. Immediately, Ginny thought with annoyance, examining the French-manicured nails on her right hand while she waited.

“Okay, are you still there?” the chirpy voice asked.

“Yup, still here,” Ginny replied, not even bothering to sound enthusiastic anymore.

“Well, I’ve got a few numbers listed for the corporate offices. Do you know who it is that you are trying to reach?”

Ginny thought for a moment. What had that letter said? Something about a…a “financial planner”, that’s it. Lowering her voice even quieter (she could see Madge trying to inconspicuously eavesdrop from the cubicle across the way), she whispered, “Financial planners?”


She tried again, this time a little louder. “Financial planners?”

“Oh! Financial planners!”

Ginny let out a sigh of relief that she hadn’t had to shout it across the office.

The perky voice paused for a moment before continuing. “Okay, it looks like the main line for financial planning is 1-431-862-9423. The receptionist can direct you from there. Do you need that number again?”

Ginny set down the quill she had been scribbling with. “It’s…1-431-862-9423?”

“Right! You’re all set, unless you need anything else,” the energetic voice replied.

“Nope, that’s it, thank you so much for your help.”

“You’re welcome, have a great day!”

Ginny returned the sentiment before returning the receiver to its cradle.

“What number did you need?” Madge asked curiously.

“Oh…just a number for Gringotts. We’re having trouble with our Assyrian account,” Ginny lied. She hoped Madge would buy it, she really didn’t want to answer any awkward financial questions at the moment.

Fortunately, however, Madge just gave her the typical “isn’t work crazy” harried expression, which Ginny gratefully returned, and Madge went back to the switchboard which had rapidly lit up like the sky on Guy Fawkes Day.

Turning to the phone again, Ginny Weasley began to dial.


“Good afternoon, Gringotts Corporate Offices- Financial Planning Branch. This is Natalie speaking, how may I direct your call?” the blonde asked, exhaling a breath after she said it. Mister Malfoy…I mean, Draco…really must come up with a shorter speech one of these days.

Brushing a blonde bit of fringe out of her eyes, she struggled to make out what the caller was saying. It was so quiet.

“I’m sorry; I didn’t catch that, madam.”

The caller repeated what they were saying, and this time Natalie understood.

“I received a letter asking to make an appointment with a financial planner.”

“Ah,” Natalie replied in recognition. “And what was your name? I need to find out which planner our system matches you with.”

“Ginevra Weasley.”

Fingernails clacking, her computer screen showed her the response. Natalie was very glad she was Muggle-born, that was the main reason she had gotten such a good position in the first place. The Gringotts Corporate Offices didn’t scorn the Muggle computer invention like most would expect…they actually admitted the efficiency of the machines, and expected the employees to adapt to and use them.

Madam Ginevra Weasley…


“Right-o,” the blonde said with a smile. “Our planner that is handling your particular case has actually left for the day already. He will be back tomorrow, though. I can have him call you back if you like.”

“No, that’s okay, I’ll just call back tomorrow.”

“Thanks for calling, Madam Weasley! We look forward to hearing from you again!”

They really like to lay on the sappiness, don’t they? Ginny thought to herself cynically. Saying a stunted goodbye to Natalie, Ginny returned the receiver to its cradle with extreme relief. The planner not being in meant that she didn’t have to deal with this situation right now. She had done everything she could. Ginny had been good. Surely she deserved some sort of reward for this type of thing…how about those beautiful leather boots she had seen window-shopping last week...that black leather had felt like butter against her hands. And how lovely they would go with a new wrap-dress!

Eyes trailing to the clock, she was met with exactly what she wanted to see. 5 P.M.

Time to go shopping, Ginny thought to herself excitedly, sliding the number to Gringotts inside her desk drawer and putting all thoughts of debt, money and the practicalities of life to the very back of her mind, to be dealt with at a later time.


Authoress’ Note: What did you think? Tell me in a review!!

2. Small Talk

In the Red

Mei Queen


Authoress’ Note: Thanks to my beta, Chelsea, for motivating me when I felt like not doing anything…I appreciate it sooooo much. You’re a star! And, of course- thank you so much to my loyal readers…without you, I wouldn’t be doing this!


Disclaimer: Not mine.


Chapter 2: Small Talk


Just like she said she would, Ginny Weasley called the bank again the next day to arrange a meeting with her financial planner (trying to put the fact that she had gone shopping just yesterday to the back of her mind). Unfortunately, Natalie (the receptionist) relayed, Ginny’s financial planner was in a board meeting. Fortunately, the Muggle-born Natalie Fisk was a Girl Scout growing up, and was constantly prepared for any given situation. One tanned hand caressing the leather book and opening it up to the proper date, Natalie offered, “I have his schedule right here, Madam Weasley…would it be alright for me to schedule the meeting, that way you won’t have to call back?”

“Absolutely,” Ginny had replied with relief, quite obviously thrilled that she wouldn’t have to call yet another time.

“How does Saturday at noon sound?” Natalie asked tentatively, her Biro pen (because quills were just too inconvenient for Natalie…some Muggle devices had stuck with her) hovering above the slot on Draco Malfoy’s day planner.

The redhead scrunched her nose in distaste. “Do you have anything…later?

“I’m sorry; he has a polo match that afternoon, Madam. If you prefer, he has an opening on Monday morning at eight AM…”

“I’ll take the noon slot, please!” Ginny cried with desperation evident in her tone. She hated the thought of starting her weekend with a meeting with someone who would tell her to decrease her spending, but what choice did she have? She certainly wasn’t going to be getting up earlier than she needed to for work to meet with him on Monday! Ugh. I have to spend Saturday with some stuffy financial planner. Cheers to an exciting weekend, honestly…


The week came and went, and Saturday morning came much too quickly for Ginny’s liking.

“It can’t be this time already! I mean, really…ten o’ bloody clock. Who wants to wake up at ten on a Saturday?” Ginny Weasley moaned, pushing the snooze button on her alarm and crawling back underneath the covers. It was finally the weekend, but she had set up a meeting with her financial planner for noon…a fact that was already serving to ruin the first day of the weekend for Ginny. Pulling the sheet over her head, she shouted to nobody in particular, “I’m not getting out unless someone has ludicrous amounts of coffee held by a male model in the kitchen. ‘Til then…”


“Gah,” she muttered, pushing a stray curl out of her bleary eyes and turning over in her bed. Resolutely shutting her eyes as tight as she could, she called, “I can’t hear that…Nope. I can’t hear the obnoxious telephone going off in kitchen too early in the morning. Can’t ruddy hear it at all.”


“Bloody ruddy phone. Why do I have one of these useless contraptions anyhow?” Ginny murmured (mostly to herself), grudgingly flinging off the duvet and padding to the kitchen in her slippers. Clutching her dressing robe a bit closer to protect her from the cold, the redhead leisurely made it to the kitchen and put the kettle on for some coffee. Heaving a sigh, she picked up the receiver of the telephone. Hoping her voice didn’t sound too hoarse, Ginny croaked, “Hello?”

“Good morning!” the chipper voice on the other end replied, obviously amazed that someone decided to pick up after five rings.

Wincing at the brightness of it all, Ginny slowly returned the sentiment, beginning to wonder who might be on the other end, and cursing the fact that she hadn’t bought a phone with Caller ID when she had had the entirely idiotic idea to buy a telephone in the first place.

“This is Natalie from Gringotts Bank Corporate Offices!”

Does every sentence have to end in an exclamation point? I wonder if she’s on something…nobody should naturally be that happy, Ginny thought cynically, mustering her most cheerful tone to reply. “Hello, Natalie!”

“Hello, Madam Weasley!”

Well, now that we have that out of the way, Ginny thought with a wry smile, grinning slightly as she poured herself a coffee. Slowly taking a sip, she waited for Natalie to continue. When her waiting was met with silence, Ginny prompted, “So, what can I help you with, Natalie?”

“Oh, right. I was calling to confirm your appointment with your financial planner at noon,” the blonde answered brightly.

“Noon’s fine with me,” Ginny replied simply. “Where are we meeting?”

“This is just a briefing, a short and simple plan for your future, but we prefer it to be in a location that’s comfortable to you…we find that the first meeting is the most difficult for some people. How’s Starbucks for you?” Natalie asked with a grin, already knowing the answer. Please. Women and Starbucks? Case closed.

“Fantastic, yes. Which one?” Ginny asked, obviously pleased that she wouldn’t have to go to some stuffy bank for this first nerve-wracking meeting.

“The one closest to your home, on 5th and Lexington.”

“Great, thanks, Natalie.”

“You’re welcome,” Natalie Fisk replied cheerfully, returning the receiver to the cradle.

“Hey, boss, I just got confirmation, she’ll be there!”

“Thank you, Nat,” Draco Malfoy answered with a nod, putting on his coat. “This should be interesting. And for the last time, it’s Draco, not sir, boss, or any title remotely respectful, Natalie. We all know how disrespectful I can be.”

With a lewd smirk and a final wink at his receptionist, Draco Apparated right out of the office.


5th and Lexington? That’s not a long walk from here, Ginny thought contentedly, returning the receiver to the cradle. She was thrilled about this fact, as she had never thought it worthwhile to invest in a car (she could always Apparate, after all), and particularly detested public transportation. The idea of being stuffed in to a seat next to a potentially smelly lunatic had never really appealed to Ginevra Weasley.

Ginny hummed during her shower (some new tune she’d just heard on the WWN- “Un-break my Wand” by The Wailing Banshees), making sure to condition her hair a long time, making it feel as soft as possible. She wanted to make a good impression, after all- from what she’d gathered from her talk with Natalie a few days ago, she would need to work closely with this planner to restructure all of her bad spending habits. Natalie mentioned that it had taken some particularly bad shopping cases as long as three months to completely solve their accounts. Three months.

I hope he’s nice and has a semblance of a sense of humour…Merlin forbid I be stuck with some boring jerk for three months. Ugh.

Ginny towelled off the steamed mirror of the bathroom, smiling at her reflection as she did so. Quickly dressing and grabbing her wand, she whispered a few select charms to dry her hair and ready her for the day. “Not long now,” she muttered to herself nervously. Gods, I’m always talking to myself. I really must get a pet one of these days…if nothing else than to stop looking quite so mad…


Draco Malfoy sighed, reclining in the uncomfortable metal chair of the Starbucks and absentmindedly sipping his latte. He was early, as he usually was these days (one had to be constantly on schedule when one has as many responsibilities as Draco Malfoy, you see), but he didn’t mind it. Draco enjoyed the few minutes of quiet before his latest case arrived- it gave him a chance to people-watch, a moment to collect his thoughts and ready himself for the first meeting with his new client.

Draco hadn’t had to deal with many cases before (well, none, really), as Guido Berks, the Head Goblin, had never requested something so bizarre as the CEO of Gringotts helping a customer on a real case before. But, Draco thought with a slight wry smile, there’s a first for everything. Who knows? It might be fun…haha. Yeah, right, Draco. Pigs might fly and Crabbe and Goyle might single-handedly discover a cure for cancer, too. Then my father will come and hold hands with the Weasel’s family and we’ll all skip around in happy bloody circles. I’m sure hanging out with a Weasley and forcing her to break her love affair with credit cards is going to be the highlight of my young years, indeed…

Rolling his eyes at the thought, Draco let out the breath he hadn’t realised he’d been holding. I didn’t really expect to be nervous about this, but I rather am…What if she catches on that I have no bloody idea what I’m doing? It can’t be that hard, can it? You know, just call her mobile, ask where she is, and tell her to put down the Prada… really. It can’t be that difficult. But…if financial planning is easy, then why do we so heavily screen the applications for our team of planners? …Oh, shit. Here she comes…


Ginevra Weasley had been having a mildly horrific morning, all things considered. First, the morning wake-up call from Natalie (who, in Ginny’s opinion, seriously needed to lay off the happy drugs), then she realised she hadn’t done the laundry, so she couldn’t find an appropriate outfit to wear to the meeting, and then once she actually found the perfect pair of shoes, her stiletto heel caught in a storm drain walking over, so now she had one beautiful heel, and one (to Ginny’s major dismay, as these were her best Jimmy Choos) makeshift ballet flat.

The world hates the Weasleys…especially the only girl, Ginny thought wryly, hobbling the rest of the block to the Starbucks. Her eyes widened when she noticed a certain blonde billionaire sitting casually at the sidewalk table, looking much less surprised by her appearance than she was by his presence.

“Ah, Weasley,” Draco drawled, and in a surprising act of good manners, stood up to pull out Ginny’s chair.

Ginny, meanwhile, stood stock-still on the sidewalk and regarded him like he had grown an extra head. “Um…I’m afraid I’m already meeting someone, ferret. I hope to have a lovely argument with you when your cruel soul re-inhabits its proper body, though.”

“Honestly, Weasel, your slowness is remarkable. You’re meeting me,” Draco replied in exasperation, pointing to the seat in annoyance, clearly unused to people not following his every direction. Looking entirely confused, Ginny slowly sat down; still looking at Draco like this was a cruel practical joke that she had just not been let in on the punch line of.

Draco’s grey eyes flicked up from his fancy leather folder and beautiful new embossed parchment to meet Ginny’s bewildered chocolate ones. “By the way, did you know that you lost one of your heels? You looked like Filch when you were walking up here.”

Ginny glowered at him in annoyance. “Thanks for the memo.”

Sighing, Draco set him pen down and got up from his chair. “All right, what can I get you? The coffee is on Gringotts.”


Are you fucking kidding me? The world hates me today. First - Natalie. Next there was the heel. Third- no vanilla in my bloody vanilla latte, you incompetent barista…and now, Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret, is my financial planner. Like my world wasn’t horrible enough, Ginny thought irritably, keeping a running mental commentary of complaints going as Draco continued to drone on about a payment schedule, budgeting, and a whole bunch of other boring accounting terms that Ginny just didn’t really feel like listening to. Her eyes trailed off to the sidewalk as she sipped her disgustingly bitter latte.

Her attention was brought back when Draco stopped talking and looked back at Ginny expectantly.

“I’m sorry, what?” The redhead apprehensively asked while trying to keep her eyes trained on the sidewalk, so as not to meet his infuriated eyes.

“You haven’t been listening the entire time, have you?” Draco demanded incredulously, throwing down his awfully expensive pen down in irritation. “I can’t do this; I can’t work with a Weasel. I’ll just go in on Monday and tell them-”

“Tell them what, exactly? That you couldn’t handle a girl and her small spending problem?”

“Weasley,” Draco drawled in frustration. “I’ve looked at your accounts folder. Unless ‘small’ is the new ‘gargantuan’, you do not have a small spending problem. You have a big problem. Like if small were Hogwarts, your problem would encompass the entire continent of Europe…hell, possibly Russia, too…”

“I get the analogy,” Ginny muttered in annoyance, crossing her arms over her chest and blowing a stray strand of fringe out of her eyes. “…like I want to work with you, anyhow. I doubt you’ve ever had to budget anything in your entire life. The very thought of you financially structuring my life is ludicrous.”

Draco snorted. “True. So I don’t budget shit…I’ve never had to. Hell, doing this job is a bit odd, to be honest…”

Ginny’s eyes widened in alarm. “Wait. Are you telling me that you have no idea what you’re doing? I got the financial planner that has never financially planned?”

She took Draco’s silence and distracted gaze for assent.

Throwing her hands up in aggravation, Ginny continued her rant. “When did my life go so speedily downhill, anyway? Where did I go wrong? This is probably God’s punishment for not capitalising on that great sale at Jigsaw and instead waiting until my favourite scarf went off sale, all so I wouldn’t have a weird carrier bag, I mean really. What would people think? I love carrier bags; they’re great to bring things around in, but a sale carrier bag? That’s horribly tacky…”

“I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about,” Draco interjected in annoyance, pushing his chair back from the table. “But I think this first completely useless meeting can be safely considered over.

“I’m thrilled to hear it,” Ginny muttered, getting up and slamming her chair back up against the table, defiantly chucking her unsatisfactory latte in the nearest bin. Turning on her heel, she heard Draco call, “Oh, and Weasley- you’ll be hearing from our receptionist to reschedule.”


“I hate him!” Ginny screamed for the fifth time that morning. It was now Monday morning, a morning that had come much too early for Ginny’s liking, as her weekend had felt extraordinarily shorter than usual. She knew that Natalie would be calling today. Ginny wasn’t entirely sure how she was positive, but she just knew in her bones that one of the many calls filtering in through the Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Inc. phone lines would be Natalie Fisk, asking in her entirely abnormally joyful way when Ginny was free next.

“We understand that you hate him, Gin,” George Weasley spat in annoyance, passing by his sister’s desk to retrieve a memo from their American offices. “Who is he, anyway? You’ve just been talking about hating him the whole bloody morning.”

“Nobody,” Ginny muttered quietly, turning back to her computer monitor slowly. She didn’t want to tell her family about her financial situation, they would probably be so disappointed in her lack of responsibility that they’d never trust her with money again. Ginny hated the thought of disappointing her parents, who had had to work so hard to provide everything for her and her siblings over the years.

“Okay,” George muttered in frustration. His sister was quite the enigma when she wanted to be, he noted irritably. However, one stern look from Madge was enough to make George back away from his sister’s desk and head back to his own. “Oi, Fred! Do we have the design done for the Spitting Salve yet?”

Madge heaved a sigh, abandoning her desk momentarily to slowly stride over to Ginny’s, throwing a final angry glare in George’s general direction. “What’s the problem, dear?” the sweet elderly woman asked gently, putting a supportive hand on the redhead’s forearm.

“Madge…I’ve afraid I’ve completely mucked things up.”

The older woman’s eyes shone with amusement, but to her credit, she didn’t laugh. “I’m sure that’s not true,” the woman offered kindly.

“Oh, it is. I’m in debt. And the man I have to work with on it, well, he’s…horrible,” Ginny whispered hopelessly, one hand frantically reaching for the Sugar Quill Elmer had left on her desk that morning. Relaxing slightly as she sucked on the tip, Ginny fidgeted nervously, leaning back in her office chair. “I guess it isn’t too late to fix things,” she murmured to nobody in particular, eyes looking past Madge, to the windows where sunlight was so happily streaming in.

“That’s the attitude I like to hear, darling,” Madge said affectionately, reaching over to give Ginny a small hug before returning to her desk.

“Yeah,” Ginny stated decisively, grin lighting up her features. “Things will get better.”

Madge sat down in her office chair and grudgingly picked up the insistently ringing telephone. “Oh, you need Madam Weasley? Yes, just a moment, please.”

Pressing ‘hold’ and returning the receiver, the kind woman looked over at Ginny. “For you…it’s Gringotts.”

Smiling nervously and giving Madge a thumbs-up, Ginny picked up the call, leaning back in her chair to, once again, talk to Natalie.

But, this time, to Ginny’s great surprise, it wasn’t Natalie.

“Weasley?” a male voice demanded, obviously slightly confused as to the inner workings of a Muggle telephone.

Ginny rolled her eyes in annoyance. Even nutcase Natalie is better than having to talk to the ferret himself; she thought snarkily to herself before replying. “Hi, Malfoy, how’s it going?”

“Can you hear me?” the voice roared.

“Duh, Malfoy. How would I have recognised your voice if I couldn’t hear you, may I ask?” Ginny asked with a snort. She always found purebloods struggling with Muggle contraptions very amusing (she had once been one, yes; the fact did not escape her. But she had actually taken Muggle Studies unlike the majority of purebloods- excelled at it, actually, and always had Harry and Hermione to reference if she ever had trouble with anything).

“Right,” Draco answered, considerably chastened and lowering his voice level. “So, next meeting…when do you want to meet?”

“So we have to keep up with this, then?”

“Unless you have spontaneously pulled 29 thousand Galleons and some odd Sickles and Knuts out of an orifice I’d rather not hear about, of course we do,” Draco countered evenly, voice cracking a little bit in laughter.

She couldn’t help it. Ginny felt a smile start to show on the stoic features she usually used when speaking with Draco Malfoy. “Nope, no orifices.”

“All right, then,” Draco replied, surprised to feel a smile begin to form on his own face. “So, how’s next Tuesday evening?”

“I work until five,” she offered, spinning a strand of hair around her index finger and propping one foot up on her desk as she spoke.

“Okay. Shall we say, six at The Leaky Cauldron, then? We can grab some dinner and a drink or something and go over the file.”

“I’m guessing dinner is on Gringotts?” Ginny asked with a giggle. She didn’t know why she wanted to prolong the call with mundane details; on any normal day; she would have happily hung up on Draco Malfoy. But, Ginny Weasley noted with a wry grin, these days lately had been rather far from normal.

“Naturally,” Draco drawled, his smile widening despite himself. What am I doing? Am I actually deliberately lengthening a conversation with the Weaselette? When did I go completely mad, anyway? I wonder if I should go to St. Mungo’s and get my head checked rather than going to Haiti on holiday, again. Hmm…well, it’s an option to consider…

“Okay,” Ginny murmured uncertainly, “Well, I’ll see you then, I suppose.”

“All right. Talk to you later, Weasel.”

Ginny’s nose scrunched with distaste, and she noted that Draco had not yet hung up his receiver, so she decided to do something that Ginny Weasley had rarely done in her life- demand what she wanted. “Hold on!”

“What?” Draco asked in annoyance, reluctantly bringing the receiver back up to his ear.

“Don’t you think that since we’ll be working together, we should stop referring to each by our surnames? It seems sort of ridiculous to me.” Ginny trailed off nervously, not really sure of whether the idea of first names was a good one or not.

Draco rolled his eyes, his tone indicating how absurd a request he found Ginny’s need for first names. “Alright, then, Ginevra.”

“Eww. Nobody calls me Ginevra but my mum, and that’s when I’m in trouble. How about ‘Ginny’, like the rest of the universe?” the redhead asked sarcastically, picking up a nail file from her pen jar to shape her fingernails. She smirked because for once in Draco Malfoy’s life, he was actually going to have to do what she wanted- if Draco messed up with a client, he’d have to admit it Guido Berks. And Draco Malfoy…well, he never admitted his own mistakes. So, Ginny had realised almost immediately after returning home after their first meeting… she had leverage.

“Alright, fine, Ginny, then. I will see you next week, Ginny.

“Thank you. See you then…Draco.”


3. Assessing the Damage


In the Red

Mei Queen



“Alright, fine, Ginny, then. I will see you next week, Ginny.

“Thank you. See you then…Draco.”


Disclaimer: I don’t own it. Sophie Kinsella owns the Shopaholic series, and the book The Undomestic Goddess, from which the joke about shaping truffles was taken. Read her stuff. It frikkin rocks.


Authoress’ Note: I thought I had given up on this story, but after some very colorful begging reviews, I’m back. I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and there was a review I wanted to address. This person said that I was just taking the Shopaholic series and placing it in Harry Potter, and I found that somewhat ridiculous. Point A) yes, Ginny works as a payroll person, but she’s not giving national financing advice to anyone. She’s just got a spending problem. B) Luke didn’t find out about Becky’s spending problem until the rest of the world did, near the end. Draco knew from the beginning and is the person responsible for fixing the problem, making the plot entirely different. C) Harry presents a second male character, something that the Shopaholics never had. So there. That review just really irritated me. Great authors inspire me, sure, but I definitely don’t think I’m copying Kinsella here.


Chapter 3: Assessing the Damage


Ginny returned the receiver to its cradle feeling vaguely ill. I didn’t just flirt with Draco Malfoy, did I? I’m more cracked than I thought I was. Perhaps I’m coming down with something…I should ask Fred and George to just let me go home early. Obviously I’ve gone completely mad if I’m resorting to civil conversation with that…that…wanker!

Putting a hand to her forehead theatrically, Ginny called across the hall, “Oi! Fred!”

Ginny’s older brother looked up from his paperwork, obviously irritated. “What is it now, Ginny? Going to go on about him again? Whoever he is, seeing as Madge won’t let me ask.”

The elderly woman shot a dirty look in Fred’s direction, shutting him up quick enough. Ginny, meanwhile, took a few steps toward her brother’s desk, hand still theatrically splayed across her forehead. “No, Fred. It’s not that. I just don’t feel…well.”

Fred raised an eyebrow suspiciously. “You sick or summat?”

“Dunno,” Ginny replied innocently. “I was really tired this weekend, so maybe. Either way, my forehead’s feeling pretty warm, and I don’t want Elmer or Madge to catch anything…then you blokes might actually have to answer your own phones…”

The expression of sheer panic on Fred’s face was enough of an answer for Ginny.


When Ginny Apparated back into her apartment, she noticed that the red light was blinking on the answering machine. Pressing Play, Draco Malfoy’s booming voice filled up the room.

“Weas- er…Ginny. Yes. Ginny, I’ve got a bit of a problem. That day we agreed upon, next Tuesday? Natalie’s just told me she booked me something then. Apparently I’m supposed to notify her when I schedule appointments. Must remember to do that from now on... Anyway, are you busy tomorrow? Tomorrow Natalie can actually be there to take notes for us, so it actually works out better. Anyway, call me back. You know the number. Bye.”

Ginny felt her stomach turn slightly. How could I have been so stupid, thinking he just wanted to have dinner with me… it’s just part of his job. And now Natalie Fisk is coming…Ms. Speed Addict herself. Cheers.

Picking up the phone with a groan (this relationship with Draco was beginning to make her hate her own telephone), she dialed the number and patiently waited.


Natalie Fisk blushed slightly. Her boss, Draco Malfoy, had been sneaking peeks at her through his open office door all morning, and now he had caught her staring at him. She could tell by the way her raised his eyebrow, smirking slightly. Why do I get the feeling that we’ll be ending up together? Natalie thought, shaking her head and turning her gaze down to Draco’s appointment book. After all, this much sexual tension can’t just go unnoticed…can it?

There was that ruddy phone again. It’d been ringing off the hook nearly all morning; it was really beginning to drive Natalie mad. Picking up the phone wearily, she recited the long speech and waited for a response.

“Hi Natalie, Madam Weasley here. Is Malf- er…Draco around?”

“Just a moment, please,” Natalie replied automatically, pressing the hold button and dialing Draco’s extension. “I’ve got Madam Weasley on Line 1, sir.”

She could see Draco pick up the receiver through the open door to talk with Natalie herself. “For the love of Merlin, Nat, it’s Draco, not sir. And I’m assuming by Madam Weasley we mean Ginny, right, not her mother transferred here by mistake or something?”

“Yes, si- I mean…Draco. Right.”


Rolling his eyes at that submissive habit of Natalie’s, Draco hit the Line 1 button, much to the relief of Ginny Weasley (who, quite frankly, despised Draco’s choice of hold music- Celestina Warbeck. Who did he think his customer base was comprised of, anyway? Old witches in rocking chairs?). “Oi. Weasley.”

“Ginny,” she muttered through her teeth irritably.

“Right. Ginny. So how are things?”

“Oh, you know…not much different than they were last night. You?”

Draco didn’t really catch the sarcastic note in the redhead’s voice, so he replied, “Basically the same, too. Did you get my message?”

“Yes, I did,” she answered, sighing audibly. She really didn’t want to be forced to sit down to dinner with Draco and Natalie. Draco was bad bloody enough! Now she had to deal with Natalie? But Natalie just speaking gives me a headache…imagine how bad she’d be in the flesh. That thought made Ginny shudder involuntarily.


Ginny rolled her eyes. Even though it obviously isn’t that great of a situation, he’s clearly just going to keep inviting her until we find a day we can all go. I might as well just go and get it over with. “Yes, that’s fine.”

“Great. So, Leaky Cauldron tomorrow at six?” Draco replied, not really paying attention to Ginny anymore, instead winking at Natalie across the hall. Nat looks so cute when she blushes, he thought, a sly grin beginning to spread across his face.

“Sounds fine. Alright, gotta run, bye!” Ginny muttered, rushing to get him off the phone.

Draco barely noticed, absently saying ‘bye’ and returning the receiver before returning to his new favorite sport- Natalie-watching.


After talking with Draco, the redhead went to the telly, flicking through channels and trying to find her favorite programs. Well, this is a boring waste of a day off, she thought irritably. I wonder what Harry’s doing.

Picking up her mobile, she pressed speed number ‘5’ and waited for the ringing to begin.

“Harry Potter’s mobile!” his assistant, Charlotte, chirped.

“Hey, Char!” Ginny greeted, smiling. “It’s Ginny, how are you doing?”

“Oh good, good,” Charlotte replied breathlessly. “How have you been, hon?”

“Peachy,” the redhead murmured. “Is Harry around?”

“Yeah, he’s just got out of a press conference for Aurors United, but I’ll get him on. Harry! Oi! Harry! Phone call for you!”

Ginny rolled her eyes. Sometimes getting a hold of Harry Potter was about as difficult as…well…getting in touch with the savior of the wizarding world.

Shocking, that.

“Hello?” Harry greeted irritably, simultaneously trying to speak in the mobile Charlotte had propped by his ear and fend off a teenaged fan who was now clawing at his clothes and begging for an autograph.

“Harry! How are you doing?”

“Ginny!” he replied with a grin. Thank Merlin, somebody I actually enjoy speaking with. “How are you, chick?”

“Peachy,” she repeated, smiling. “What are you up to today?”

Harry turned to Charlotte. “What do I have planned today, Char? I don’t remember.”

Nodding curtly in thanks to his doorman, Arnold, Harry slid into his limousine and poured a glass of water for himself and Charlotte.

Charlotte slid into the limousine after Harry and accepted the glass gratefully. Taking a sip and opening her planner, Charlotte replied. “Now that that meeting is over, you’re actually pretty free, sir.”

“Free as a bird, Miss Weasley,” Harry relayed. “Why? Don’t you have work today? Are we skiving again? Do I have to notify your bosses?”

Ginny snorted. “Oh, come on. Like you could work with those two every bloody day without needing time off for your mental health.”

“Fair point,” he conceded, grinning. “So, can I tempt you with lunch? It’s on me, missy.”

“I’d love to, Harry.”


Ginny Weasley settled into the cushioned chair at the restaurant table, sipping her Sea Breeze. This is the life. Drinks before noon, going to eat with a handsome man…who I’m not actually dating and have no future with, but…that’s not the point. This is so much better than sitting to eat with Malfoy, or just lounging around my house watching crap television.

Harry Potter walked up to the table, ruffling his hair slightly as he did so. “Hey, Gin. It’s good to see you,” he greeted warmly, reaching over to give her a hug.

“You too, Harry,” she replied, smiling. “Where’s Charlotte?”

“Well, since I didn’t have anything else to do, I figured I’d be a nice boss and give her the rest of the day off.”

“You are a nice boss,” she murmured. “Hell will freeze over before Fred and George do that.”

“Hey,” Harry countered. “You had your chance, and, of course, the offer still stands. Don’t get me wrong, you made a great choice when you helped me pick Charlotte, but you know I’d rather have my best mate as my personal assistant.”

Ginny’s cheeks colored slightly. “I appreciate the offer, Harry, I really do. But I know that George and Fred…well, they need me. I handle all their accounts, I’m a liaison to all their clients…I basically am the face of WWW, Inc, as far as our suppliers go. You know I can’t give that up, especially for a charity job.”

“It’s not a charity job,” he replied quickly. “I offer because I know you can do it, Gin. You’re fantastic at organization, clerical duties, everything an assistant should excel at.”

“I just can’t do it well in my own life, it seems,” Ginny murmured hopelessly, throwing up her hands in frustration.

A waiter approached their table. After taking their orders, he walked away, leaving Harry and Ginny to continue their heated conversation.

Meeting Ginny’s eyes over the breadbasket, Harry murmured, “You know…if you ever need help. I have no problem helping you, I know you’re an honorable person and will pay me back…well, you don’t even need to pay me back right away. Just pay me when you get back on your feet.”

“I’ll think about it, Harry, I promise. But I don’t want charity.”

“I know that,” he said, gritting his teeth in frustration. “It’s not charity. It’s just a loan, a business transaction. No more, no less.”

“I appreciate it,” she murmured. “I promise to consider the offer.”

Harry nodded. “Thank you. And if you ever need extra money, I could use a second assistant, just for weekends, when Charlotte’s off. I pay a really fair salary. Plus great benefits,” he said with a grin.

“I’ll think about that, too,” the redhead said with a laugh, reaching for a piece of bread.


Ginny checked her watch impatiently. 5:42 pm. Come on, time, and move faster! Ginny had arrived early for dinner with Draco and Natalie at the Leaky Cauldron. She had left work a tad early, eager to browse in the shop windows of Diagon Alley before sitting down to eat. However, the shop windows didn’t take that long to browse. Roughly sixteen minutes, to be exact. So Ginny Weasley had been sitting in Leaky Cauldron, sipping on a pint, for over half an hour now.

The door chimed, announcing another patron. Eyes darting eagerly to the door, the redhead was relieved to see none other than Draco Malfoy and Natalie Fisk. Draco looked as immaculate as ever, wearing an expensive business suit and punching buttons at random and talking rapid-fire into his mobile phone. Natalie, Ginny was disgusted to notice, looked as thin, blonde, and absolutely stunning as ever, and was currently guiding her boss to the table where Ginny was sitting.

“Hello, Madam Weasley. It’s nice to finally meet you,” Natalie said cordially, outstretching her delicate hand with a smile.

“You too, Natalie,” Ginny muttered stiffly, shaking the hand and inclining her head in a nod.

Draco finished up with his mobile and turned to regard the ladies he was sitting opposite. “Hi, Wea-…Ginny. Good to see you.”

“Same here, Draco.”

“Alright,” Natalie said sweetly, raising a hand to signal Tom the barkeep to come take their order. Opening a large leather folder, uncapping her Biro and lowering it to the empty pad, she said, “Let’s get started.”


“So how often will we be meeting?” Ginny asked before taking a bite of her salad.

Draco weighed the question, taking another bite of his meal. “I think with a case like yours, the more often we meet, the better. It’s hard to break someone of a habit without constant observation of them, I find.”

“So what does that mean, exactly?” the redhead asked with gritted teeth. God, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being chastised by a Malfoy. That would just be too sad.

“At least twice a week,” he replied. “Preferably three to four times. An hour or more apiece.”

Ginny’s eyes widened. Was he joking? How exactly did he expect her to have a life?

Natalie dutifully jotted down the time frame.

“Wait,” the redhead croaked. “You are kidding, correct? That’s more time than I spend with my therapist!”

Draco shook his head, turning to Natalie. “Note this for me- fire her therapist. Her therapist is obviously crap, judging by her level of sanity. Besides, everyone knows therapy is a very expensive load of hogwash.”

Ginny turned indignantly to Draco. “Excuse me? I’ll fire whom I like, thank you very much. Dr. Benson happens to be a very qualified therapist, and I think I have made some real progress with him.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Sure. Whatever you say, Weasley. But let me ask you this- how much does he charge?”

The Weasley’s cheeks reddened. “I don’t see why that matters.”

Draco’s jaw dropped, regarding Ginny like she had grown an extra head.

“I’m trying to consolidate your finances,” he explained patiently and slowly, as if he were talking to someone entirely dense. “I need to get rid of all unnecessary expenses, at least until we get you back in the black again. I’m sorry, Weasley, but there’s no other way about this. You’re going to have to make a lot of sacrifices if you want to get out of debt properly.”

Ginny’s shoulders sank. He was right. She knew it. But Ginny was not happy to admit it. “Okay, fine. Whatever you think.”

Inclining his head gratefully at her agreement, Draco replied, “Thank you. Now…what would you say you average income was, in comparison to the amount you spend per week? Then we’ll compare your numbers to the correct ones, and hopefully this should put things more into perspective for you.”


The meeting ended with a future meeting already scheduled for four days later, on a Saturday. Draco wanted to get a feel for her home, so he asked to be invited over. Ginny wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but knew she had little choice in the matter either way. Three of those days since the last meeting had already passed, and now Ginny was at home, trying to find places for all her purchases before Draco showed up at two in the afternoon.

Pouring herself a cup of coffee, the redhead walked slowly into the living room, where a small mountain of carrier bags (purchases, for the most part, still inside) had accumulated. “Oh, Merlin,” she muttered. “I didn’t realize it had gotten quite this bad.”

Sighing, she picked up the nearest bag at peeked inside. A few tops from H&M. Fine. They can go in the bedroom pile. Well, that was easy, the redhead thought happily. I can do this, I just need to organize everything and find places. No problem.

Picking up another carrier bag, Ginny was met with one of the same tops from the first bag. No way. I couldn’t have bought the same top twice…could I?

But holding them up next to each other, she realized that she, in fact, did now own two small black beaded H&M halter-tops. Maybe this is why people put their purchases in closets, she thought to herself wryly, studying the identical tops. So they don’t buy the exact same thing again.

Checking the tag, she was even more irritated to find that it wasn’t a cheap top, either. Bloody hell. Well…now I feel pretty thick.

Putting the two tops to the side for the moment, she picked up another carrier bag. Cooking supplies. Well, this shouldn’t be too bad.

Picking up a heavy instrument, one that looked like a large aluminum nail file, out of the bag, Ginny twirled it in her hands, looking for the label. But there was none. Looking at it even more intently and noting the serrated edges, Ginny Weasley couldn’t help but wonder- what the hell is it? What does it do? And…what did I buy it for?


Ding dong! The doorbell cheerfully rang at a quarter to two in the afternoon. Ginny looked down at her clothes. She had gotten so wrapped up in sorting purchases that she didn’t actually take time to shower or change, and was still in her Quidditch pajamas, the ones with the bright flying Snitches. Oh well, she thought hopelessly, taking a dressing robe from the couch and cinching it tightly around her waist, if we’re going to work together as often as he says we are, he’s going to see me at my worst. We might as well start today, she thought grimly, walking to the door.

Swinging it wide, she was met with a slightly more relaxed Draco Malfoy than she was used to. Rather than a business suit, Draco was wearing a fitted green shirt and jeans in a dark wash. It suited him- clean, yet casual.

Ginny smiled at him. “Sorry about the mess. I’ve been going through bags all morning, I didn’t really get time to change either.”

Draco had the urge to make a smart remark about Ginny’s colorful pajamas, but decided to hold it back. You’re representing Gringotts. You need to be professional, or at least as professional as you get, until this is over. Then you can go back to ridiculing Weasleys with fervor, Draco assured himself, meanwhile stepping into Ginny’s flat and looking around. “Nice place, Weasley.”

Ginny’s eyes widened somewhat at a compliment coming from a Malfoy, but accepted it graciously nonetheless. “Tea, Draco?”

“Please. White, if you would.”

Nodding, Ginny walked into the kitchen, leaving Draco to his own devices in the living room/ carrier bag mountain.

“Done some shopping?” he asked when she returned with the tea, pointing to the bags.

Her cheeks reddened. “Not recently. That stuff has been here for ages, I just never quite got around to unpacking it.”

“Spring cleaning, then,” he surmised, eyes surveying the lot. Eyebrow jolting upward in confusion, he picked up the same instrument Ginny had been puzzled over earlier. “What is this, Weasley? Torture device? To sand off the skin of those Weasley Incorporated fans?”

“It’s for cooking,” she muttered defensively.

“Cooking what, exactly?” Draco demanded, running his finger along the serrated edge. “Human organs?”

“Um…” Ginny stalled, trying to think of some obscure food Draco would most likely not know the preparations for. “Truffles. Yeah. It’s for…shaping truffles.”

Draco looked at her questioningly. “Huh. So…you do a lot of truffle shaping, then?”

“Maybe,” the redhead retorted defensively, crossing her arms over her chest. “What’s it to you?”

Draco fished in the bag for the receipt. Holding it up triumphantly, he began to match items to their respective spots on the receipt. “What it is to me, Weasley, is approximately forty pounds.”

Ginny’s eyes widened. There was no way. How in the world did she pay forty pounds for that…thing? And…exactly what did she plan on using it for?

Regarding her with a smirk, the blond couldn’t resist adding, “Oh, and by the way, it’s actually a zester. Just so you know.”

“A what?” the redhead muttered.

“You zest things with it,” he explained, talking slowly, as if he were talking to a five year old.

“Obviously,” she snorted.

Draco rolled his eyes. “You use it on the peels of citrus or anything you want to get an essence of and you rub back and forth on that thing’s surface- sort of like grating cheese. Besides, you bought it. Shouldn’t you know what it does?”

Ginny’s jaw dropped. “And how do you know how to use a zester, Mr. I’ve-Had-All-My-Meals-Personally-Prepped-Since-I-Graced-the-Earth-with-My-Humble-and-Oh-So-Beautiful-Presence?”

Draco tapped his finger to his jaw thoughtfully. “That’s not bad. I should get that on my business cards.”

The redhead rolled her eyes. Obviously she was not going to get an explanation for Draco’s curious knowledge of zesters at the moment. She made a mental note to quiz him about it later, and then grabbed another carrier bag, this one from Tiffany & Co, and cringed in anticipation when Draco snatched the receipt.


“Well, that was fun,” Ginny muttered sarcastically, lying on the floor, surrounded by tissue paper and empty carrier bags. Her purchases were now carefully sorted at the side, receipts filed away in a system Draco had created for her.

Draco snorted. “I’ve never seen so many useless things in my life. Now I understand why people go into debt as often as they do,” he muttered. “I mean, a zester, honestly! Do you even cook? Be honest with me here, Ginny.”

“Not the Muggle way,” she murmured, cheeks reddening. “Well, I can make a few things the Muggle way. You know, an omelet, pancakes, summat like that. But when it comes to things you might need a zester for…well, not really.”

Draco chuckled. “I knew it. You looked so shocked that I knew what it was, too.”

“How did you know what it was? Did you know all along, or did you just make it up after seeing the item description on the receipt?”

He met her eyes and took a long sip of tea before responding. “Well, I’ve been a bachelor a long time. I usually employ a housekeeper who cleans my flat and does my cooking, but I do know how to cook, for when she has the weekends off. I like it. I guess I find it somewhat relaxing. And yes, I knew what it was the entire time, I just had a sneaking suspicion you didn’t.”

Ginny snorted. “A Malfoy cooks…for fun?”

Draco’s eyes narrowed defensively. “Well, we all need a hobby. Besides, at least I can keep up with my hobby and remain in the black on my bank balance.”

The redhead shook her head. “You remain in the black because you’ve always had money, Draco. Some of us don’t know what that’s like.”


After Ginny said what she did, it was like all the awkwardness of those years of family feuding had settled between the Weasley and the Malfoy right there in Ginny’s living room, preventing a successful conversation from taking place again. Draco couldn’t meet her eyes. He suddenly didn’t blame her for shopping as much as she did. She was just trying to get a taste of the life he had taken so much for granted all these years. Guilt began to close in on Draco like a blanket, enveloping him completely. All those years I teased them…all those years I teased her…I’m part of the reason she’s turned out this way. Obviously I didn’t force her to swipe that credit card, but…I can’t help thinking that she might not have if I hadn’t made her feel ashamed of her lifestyle.

Shaking off the thoughts, Draco got up from the floor, stretching out his legs. “I think it’s best if we leave it here for the day, Ginny.”

She nodded, taking his teacup, and turned to walk him to the door, not saying a word. Draco walked a few steps ahead.

Reaching the door, he turned, and said softly, “Weasley, I’m sorry I was…the way I was to you back in school. It’s obviously had bad effects on you, and I know that at least part of that is my fault. I just want you to know that I have changed a lot since then, and now I can look back and know…well…what I did was wrong. Really wrong. And I hope you’ll forgive me. I don’t want working with you to be awkward.”

Ginny nodded. She was surprised, but the apology coming from the Malfoy seemed admirably heartfelt. He was honestly sorry he had made her life such a living hell. “I don’t want it to be awkward, either,” she ventured, meeting his eyes. “I appreciate, and accept, the apology.”

Draco nodded stiffly. Apologies weren’t his thing, especially apologies to family rivals, so he was glad she had accepted it the first go round. “Good. Well…see you Wednesday?”

“What’s on the agenda for Wednesday?” the redhead asked curiously.

The blond man’s features curled into a smirk. “Budgeting 101, Weasley. It should be good fun.”

Ginny merely groaned in response, shutting the door behind the Malfoy as he exited. “Fun, indeed.”


Authoress’ Note (Take Two): Review! They make me happy.

4. Robbed!


In the Red

Mei Queen


Authoress’ Note: Sorry it took so long. There’s a major plot twist in it, and I had to tweak this chapter a lot to get it where I wanted it. I wish I wasn’t a perfectionist; honestly, it would make my life a lot easier. But I am how I am, and I hope you guys won’t hold that fact against me when you review. Notice I said ‘when you review’ instead of ‘if you review’…


Mood Music: Headlines- Spice Girls



The blond man’s features curled into a smirk. “Budgeting 101, Weasley. It should be good fun.”

Ginny merely groaned in response, shutting the door behind the Malfoy as he exited. “Fun, indeed.”


Chapter 4: Robbed!


“Weasley! I saw that!” Draco Malfoy snapped irritably, reaching for the statement Ginny had snuck behind her back. The two were at Ginny’s flat again working on a budget for Ginny, one that she could follow throughout the months to come. So far they had just been tracking her current expenses using bills and credit card statements so she would have an idea of how much money was left after all her bills, but they weren’t getting very far.

Ginny seemed reluctant to part with a certain piece of paper. Tucking the paper in her large pile of papers, she looked back up at Draco with wide eyes, asking innocently, “Saw what?”

Draco rolled his eyes. He was much too used to the redhead’s antics by now; this was the third statement she’d tried to hide today. “The statement you just stole. What was it?”

“I didn’t steal anything,” she replied angelically, turning her eyes back to the budget, carefully avoiding Draco’s eyes in the hopes that her own chocolate ones wouldn’t give away her blatant lie.

“Weasley,” he said through gritted teeth, thoroughly peeved off by this point. “I saw you do it. Which bill was it?”

Ginny sighed. Damn it, she was caught. “Okay, okay. It was Dr. Benson’s statement.”

Draco looked back at her incredulously. Crazy bint. “The crackpot therapist? You’ve got all of these other luxuries- TiVo, magazine subscriptions, day spas- that you could vouch for. You could say, ‘Draco, all I want is a nice massage! Is that too much to ask?’ I’d understand that. But no, you decide that you want to vouch for the ruddy therapist. He obviously doesn’t work- you’re still nuts.”

“I like looking at him,” Ginny mumbled, cheeks reddening as she put the statement to the side.

He rolled his eyes, grabbing the statement from Ginny’s side, much to her irritation. “Now this is just too much. You can’t seriously be going to a therapist who is basically extorting with his fees just to look at him. If you want cute men, I’ll buy you a bloody subscription to Playwitch!”

Ginny’s cheeks reddened further, and she stopped her frantic grasps to get the statement back from Draco. “Fine, no Dr. Benson.”

Draco smirked in response, taking the statement and gleefully chucking it in the bin. “Thank you.”


Two hours later, Ginny and Draco were still working on the budget. Ginny yawned, reaching for her now ice-cold cup of coffee and shuddering when she took a sip. Disgusting. Why couldn’t Draco get us Starbucks like he did last time? Ugh. If he’s going to make me look at my finances, it seems like the least that he could do to buy me a bloody vanilla latte. “Warm up?” she grudgingly offered to the blond man, moving to pick up his cup.

“Sure, thanks,” he answered distractedly, eyes never straying from the budget that was slowly but finally emerging from the mass of crumpled statements scattered all over Ginny’s kitchen table. “White, please.”

She nodded, going to the carafe and pouring the cups to a nice steaming level of full. Her eyes wandered absentmindedly around the kitchen, straying from the beautiful new refrigerator to the cooking supplies she never used to the answering machine, which was blinking.

Blinking? Why was it blinking? She hadn’t been out; she shouldn’t have any messages on there. Not stopping to check the Caller ID, she pressed the message button, and Harry Potter’s voice filled up the room.

“Hey Gin, it’s me. I just wanted to see how you were doing; you seemed rather down at lunch the other day. I was wondering if you’ve given any thought to my job offer, too. Let me know! Call me back. Soon.”

Ginny snorted, she could plainly hear the worry in Harry’s voice as he hadn’t even bothered to try to hide it. Draco finally looked up from the papers he was shuffling through at the table. His face was contorted into a pug-like expression of disgust. “Was that Potter? Haven’t heard his golden voice in years…” Draco trailed off, turning his face to the papers again. The last part of his sentence he muttered under his breath: “I was rather hoping it would stay that way.”

Ginny smiled in amusement. “Not a fan of the Man Who Lived, then?”

Draco looked up at her, jaw dropping in shock. Then, pointing at his face, he said sweetly, “This face? This is the vice-president of the Scarhead fan club! You can be a member too; all it takes is a set of zoom binoculars and a bunch of Floo powder!”

Ginny snorted despite herself. “Thanks, I’ll think about it. You know,” she choked out, laughing, “I’ve got his number if you’re interested…”

Draco’s expression went stoic. “Wow. Dreams do come true.”

She smiled, giggling as she sipped her coffee by the kitchen counter.

Draco rolled his eyes at her, shaking some statements in the air. “Sit your arse down, Weasley. I’m not doing this for my health!”


“So I’ll see you Friday?” Ginny asked softly, walking Draco to the door now that the budget was finally squared away.

He looked over at her, regarding her intently before responding. “Yeah. Friday’s good. Dinner?”

Ginny’s breath caught nervously. When he says it like that, walking to the door like this…it almost sounds like he’s asking me on a date. If it were from anyone else, I’d think that’s what was going on…but he is him. So there’s nothing romantic about it— there’s barely anything friendly about it with Draco, come to that. “Sure. Seven?”

“Sounds good to me, I’ll pick you up or call you later this week to let you know the restaurant,” he answered with a smile, opening Ginny’s front door. Stepping out onto the porch into the bitter, biting cold of November, he suddenly realized he had left his scarf on the chair he’d been sitting in by the table. Whirling around to retrieve it, he was met face-to-face with the redhead herself.

She looked up at him challengingly. Their faces were mere centimeters apart. Draco’s breath hitched as his thoughts bounced all over the place but eyes stayed focused right on Ginny’s glossy lips. Some of those furiously bouncing thoughts included: She’s your client! This is completely unprofessional…I could get fired! But then, who would fire me? Me? I’m not firing myself, that’s for sure. But she’s a Weasley! Ick. That’s a better reason. Think of meeting the family, and Christmas and Easter and redhead, freckled nieces, nephews, in-laws, and God forbid, babies. Okay, that’s it, moment over.

Hastily backing away from Ginny (and smacking his head on the front door), Draco practically sprinted for his car, no longer caring about the damn scarf. It was Burberry, but she could have it for all he cared—maybe it would save him having to make room in her damn budget for a fancy scarf.


Ginny groaned the next morning, blearily opening one eye to the bloody constant bleeping of her alarm clock. One arm braving the cold of her icy flat to poke out from under the duvet and turn off the insistent Muggle device, Ginny yawned and rubbed tiredly at her eyes. Her head felt fuzzy and confused. She couldn’t remember much of what had happened the night before…it felt like a bad hangover, but she hadn’t been drinking anything stronger than coffee. Maybe I blocked it all out…I’m sure those memories will come trickling back over time, it’s happened before. What time is it, anyway? Work already? Ugh. That’s just not right. It bloody feels like I just left those loons…

Getting up and stumbling through her morning routines, she grudgingly Apparated herself to work, coffee flask tucked firmly in hand.

When she arrived at the WWW, Inc offices, though, it was sheer pandemonium. The phone lines were ringing off the hook, people were continually buzzing up to the offices in the hopes of being let in, owls were swooping through the window every other minute, rifling papers and generally ruining any organization the office may have had in their wake. Ginny looked at the scene before her with wide eyes, taking in a harried Madge who was answering insistent phones, to Elmer trying to horde off the crowds gathering outside the office door, to the conspicuous lack of her brothers.

“Oh. My. God.”


Madge Fleming looked up at Ginny with sympathetic eyes from her messy desk. She was answering phone calls in furious succession, to the point where her words became a blur of: “Weasley’s Wizarding Inc. offices, hold please,” “Weasley’s Wizarding Inc. offices, hol-” “Weasley’s Wizarding Inc, off-”.

Ginny shook her head in pity for Madge. That woman had to put up with much more than her job was worth, in Ginny’s opinion. “What’s going on?” the redhead asked in confusion, finally looking to her desk for her daily gift from Elmer Moot, the WWW, Inc. janitor. He had been doing crowd control when Ginny got there, but it was time for him to go home, so, shrugging and apologizing to Ginny and Madge for leaving them on their own, he had taken his leave.

The gift was a Sugar Quill, much to Ginny’s delight. The note attached was longer than usual, something which automatically made Ginny feel a bit wary. Elmer’s notes, while a wonderful pick-me-up for Ginny, were almost never longer than a sentence or two. Something must be up…

Ginny picked up the candy and sucked thoughtfully on it as she read Elmer’s note:


There was a break-in to the offices last night. The phones are bound to be off the hook, a bloke from the Daily Prophet was across the street when it happened (curse the luck). Anyway, I just wanted to warn you that the boys will be in terrible tempers whenever they actually get in. I haven’t heard from them since I called to let them know what the thieves stole- whoever broke in took all the latest prank development ideas. This could be bad…

Ginny’s eyes widened as she crushed the note and threw it in the bin. Elmer was right; this situation could be very bad indeed. Though the twins would be furious and the phones would be busy for a day, that wasn’t nearly the worst of the matter. If someone had stolen the Weasleys’ ideas, Ginny could very well find herself in some serious trouble financially, even more than she was already! Someone could easily take those ideas, put them into development, and then sell their products at a slightly lower price, undercutting her brothers…that’s all it would take for the WWW, Inc. companies to collapse. Then Ginny…

She felt her breath catch in her throat.

I’ll be out of a job! Damn it, I knew I shouldn’t have let Draco fire my therapist.


Draco was reclining in his office chair at the Gringotts office, enjoying his favorite pastime of late- watching Natalie answer his phone calls. Occasionally she would notice him staring, blush, get flustered and look back at her phone. It was cute. Watching Natalie amused Draco greatly and really helped him get his mind off of Ginny Weasley and the almost-kiss the other night. What would have happened if he did kiss her? Did he want to? How the hell would he work with her again with any semblance of professionalism if he had kissed her?

I made the right decision not doing it, Draco thought decisively, trying to ignore the nagging ‘what-ifs’ that had been bubbling up inside him for the past day and a half. Even though he knew what the best and smartest route was for his and Ginny’s continued interaction, it didn’t change the fact that he just wished he knew—what would it have been like? Was it true about redheads; were they more passionate? As worldly as Draco was, he couldn’t remember seriously kissing any redheads (that weren’t bottle redheads, anyway). Perhaps it was because redheads reminded him of the Weasleys…

Ironic, that was.

He sighed, grudgingly sitting up in his chair to check the copy of his itinerary Natalie had so helpfully left on his desk. Dinner with Ginny tomorrow, he noted idly, trying to ignore the ‘what-ifs’ that were beginning to churn in his head again at the prospect of seeing Ginny. I wonder how that will go…


Ginny, meanwhile, was waiting anxiously at her desk, helping Madge field phone calls while the two women waited for the Weasley twins to arrive. Merlin’s eyes, they must be brassed off, the redhead thought irritably, half-listening to some pre-pubescent girl squeal on about the Fred and George’s “awesomeness.” Ginny rolled her eyes, inspecting her nails with boredom. Before the little girl could start another excited rant, Ginny cut her off- “Yes, that’s very nice, thank you for your interest. We’ll be sending you some lovely colour autographed photos. Good day!”

Putting her phone into the receiver with zeal, she looked around the office. It was around one, and the owl stream had finally lessened to a mild trickle. The crowds outside were growing bored of being ignored by Ginny and Madge, and the phones, though still a little crazy, were starting to cool off. Though Fred and George were still nowhere to be seen, Ginny reasoned that now was as good a time as any to take her lunch.

Telling Madge her plan, the redhead quickly ducked out of the office, excited to be anywhere without a constantly ringing phone.


As irony often has it, Ginny’s cell phone began to ring insistently as soon as she exited the glass doors of WWW, Inc.

Fumbling in her oversize bag for the flip-phone, she finally located it—right under an old pack of Drooble’s. Wrinkling her nose a bit, she grudgingly opened the sticky phone with her fingertips. “Hello?”


Ginny smiled; it was Harry. Though she’d forgotten to call him back after playing his message the night before, she was happy to hear from him, especially with the looming possibility of losing her job. She shuddered at the thought.

“Hey, Harry! How have you been? Sorry I didn’t call you back before; I just got your message late last night.”

He smiled on the other end. He knew she had to have a decent reason for not calling him back; she always did. “It’s okay. Hey, are you at lunch right now?”

“Yup,” the redhead answered with a grin. “Was just trying to decide where to go, actually.”

“Listen, I’m in that area. Charlotte had me booked for some conference or other. How about I pick you up?”

She smiled. “Sounds perfect.”


Ginny twirled her glass of water absently, enjoying watching the ice cubes clink against one another as she did. Harry looked at her intently, trying to study her unfocused expression. What’s up with her? She’s been quiet the whole ten minutes we’ve been here…something’s got to be up.

“What’s up, Ginny?”

She looked up at him, as if surprised to see that he was there. “Oh. Nothing. It’s just been a crazy day at work.”

He nodded, obviously concerned. “I saw the Prophet, yeah. It didn’t say what was stolen though. What’s going on?”

She heaved a monstrous sigh, seemingly trying to get out all of the frustrations of the day with that one deep exhalation. Closing her eyes as if it would sting less to say it that way, she murmured softly, “Somebody stole their prank development ideas.”

Harry’s eyes widened. He may not be a master of business, but he knew the possible implications of that type of theft. If someone had the development ideas and directions as to how to achieve the intended result, what was to stop those people from becoming multi-millionaires overnight? Moreover, what was to stop them from putting WWW, Inc. out of business entirely? And then Fred, George, Madge, Elmer, and Ginny…

He looked at her, concern and protectiveness evident in his bright green eyes. Ginny would be out of a job. He knew she was having trouble already, no wonder she was so upset today—today and the few days following could decide her entire career!

He came to a decision. “That’s it, I’m firing Charlotte.”


Draco looked at the phone on his desk with disdain. He didn’t really want to call Ginny right now, but he had just gotten restaurant confirmations from Natalie, and it seemed only polite to let Ginny know the moment that he knew. Sighing at his own good manners, he picked up the receiver and dialed Ginny’s work line.

A harassed older woman answered, blurring her words together slightly as she spoke: “Weasl- Wiz- In- offi, hold,” was as much as Draco managed to decipher, but he waited anyhow, listening to the abysmally bad hold music.

As the music played on, Draco allowed his thoughts to drift. What’s going on? The woman that answered sounded like she was in a big hurry…that’s very unusual. Normally she’s very cheerful and personable. Something has got to be wrong…

Curious, he dragged the Daily Prophet Natalie had so thoughtfully laid on his desk to him, thinking he might find something about Ginny’s work closer to the Business section, perhaps something about a heavily funded prank gone awry.

Imagine his surprise when the article he was looking for was front-page news—

Weasley’s Wizarding Inc. Offices Robbed!

As Draco’s eyes took in the moving photo in the Daily Prophet of the robbery, the hold music abruptly stopped, and he found himself connected to Ginny’s voicemail at work. “Hello, this is Ginny Weasley, the head of accounting here at WWW, Inc. If you just leave me a message with your name and number, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!”

Shaking himself out of his reverie, he murmured, “Ginny, it’s Draco. We need to talk. Soon. Call me back. You know the number.”


Ginny, meanwhile, was still at lunch with Harry, trying to get over her shock at his comment about firing Charlotte.

Ginny looked up at him like he was nuts. “No, you’re not,” she answered decisively.

He looked back at her irritably. “Yes, I am. If I say I am, I am. You’d be better for the job, anyhow.”

“No, Harry,” she muttered. “I won’t let you. I picked out Charlotte. I like her; she recognizes my voice and never confuses me with Mum. That’s more than I can say for half your past assistants. I won’t allow you to put her out of a job.”

He narrowed his eyes at her stubbornness, but relented. “Fine. Well, can you at least do weekends or holidays when she’s off anyway? That won’t affect her at all; in fact, it would probably help her quite a bit. Her work always piles up on Mondays; she’s forever complaining about it.”

She smiled. “Sure. That would probably help me quite a bit, too.”


When Ginny got back to the offices, she was in quite a good mood. Though Harry’s offer would by no means keep her afloat if she lost her job, it would at least help pay her bills and keep her away from the shops on the weekends. It was a nice perk too, she decided, that she got to hang out with one of her best mates while she did it. Draping her purse and coat on her chair, she looked at her phone. It was blinking.

Damn it, when did she get so popular?

Grudgingly pressing the voicemail button, Draco’s voice flooded her ears. “Ginny, it’s Draco. We need to talk. Soon. Call me back. You know the number.”

Rolling her eyes, she dialed his direct line at Gringotts, waiting patiently for Natalie to pick up the phone. But she didn’t. The phone rang two, four, finally, five times before Draco himself answered it, and most impolitely at that.

“What?” he barked irritably, obviously cranky as hell that he had to answer some of his own calls. Natalie was at lunch, and he had no coverage for moments like that. He just had to stick it out. It figures that half the bloody calls of the day would come in during that forty-five minute period.

Ginny recoiled a little in her chair, used to Draco’s irritability by now but uncomfortable at it being used directly at her. “You told me to call, Draco.”

He sat in his chair, slumping his shoulders guiltily. “Ah, Ginny. Sorry about that. Natalie’s at lunch, the whole place goes mad for about an hour when she bloody does that.”

She smirked. “I bet. You have to do something, too. How difficult that must be for you.”

Draco rolled his eyes. Smarmy bint. Ugh. “I don’t know why I deal with you sometimes, Weasel.”

“It’s your job, Ferret,” she fired back, enjoying the little banter they had going. It was helping her forget about the crazy events of her day, events she had no desire to recall anytime soon. When the banter began to run out, though, she grudgingly returned to the task at hand. “So… what did you call me about?”

He grimaced. He knew she was going to be defensive when he talked to her about this, and he had no desire to deal with a furious redhead, he had enough on his plate as it was. “I saw the article in the Prophet.” There. Might as well go with facts, she can’t get cranky that way.

“You and the rest of the wizarding world,” she growled irritably.

Okay, maybe that comment could make her angry, Draco mentally amended, searching for a way to say what he needed without offending her. Finding no way to do that, he just decided to be blunt. “If they’ve stolen what I think they have, you’re going to lose your job.”

The redhead sighed, leaning back in her chair, allowing all of the feelings of hopelessness she’d been walking around with all day to wash over her like a warm bath. “I know. I kinda figured that out.”

He sighed. He honestly felt bad for the weasel; she hadn’t done anything to deserve her current situation. How he’d like to get a hold of those robbers and do a nice slow and painful Crucio… “You can come work for me.”

“That’s my second job offer of the day,” Ginny countered. “I’m starting to feel very wanted here. Maybe you and Harry can get into a bidding war.”

He scowled. “Don’t tell me you’re going to go work for Potter.”

“Fine, I won’t tell you,” she answered angelically. “And since you’re wondering, I’m only going to be working there on the weekends.”

“Well, it’s settled then,” he replied brightly. “During the week, you can work for me.”


Authoress’ Note: Will Ginny accept Draco’s offer? How would they act if they do work together, especially after the almost-kiss when they were budgeting? What will happen to WWW, Inc and its employees— Ginny, Madge, Elmer, and the Weasley twins? How is Ginny going to do on her first weekend with Harry? This and more to come—all in the next installment of In the Red! Stay tuned! P.S. Review!

5. Wherefore art thou Ginny Weasley?


In the Red

Mei Queen


Authoress' Note: It's been years. Literally. Years upon years (like racks on racks on racks, except slightly less funny but also easier to understand since the words mean what you think they mean…). I'm so sorry, guys. For reals.

Update on me - I live in the Silicon Valley now and write and create sales strategies and playbooks and occasionally write marketing campaigns and website copy for big tech companies. It's fun. But it's a lot of hours and a lot of work and I miss you all. Seriously. I do. Also, I play a lot of video games…if anyone wants to add me, please do (PSN: MissMeiberry, XboxLive: Meiberry).

And I've been thinking more and more about writing that YA book. I'm actually quite excited because I think I have a plot mapped out — random question: would any of you be willing to read chapters for me? I can't tell you how much it would mean. It's so weird, having it in your head and thinking it's great and brilliant but secretly wondering if it's the dumbest idea ever and if anyone in their right minds would ever want to read that business. If anyone seems down, I'll write out the first chapter and get it posted on FictionPress (and link it), so you guys can review.

Finally, today's chapter goes out to girlygirl456, who favorited me and “In the Red” on this week, even though I haven't posted at all in four years (and haven't updated this story in NINE YEARS!!!!). I really appreciate people who do that. I know I don't post much, but I want you all to know that I do see the notifications and really feel moved when you still favorite even though my posts are so ridiculously infrequent. It matters. You matter. You rock. Moving on.

To Nutmeg44: Yes, I've read “Can You Keep a Secret?” :) It's one of my absolute favs. I'm working on “Twenties Girl” now along with “I've Got Your Number”!

P.S. Boys suck and are the reason I'm drunk-writing right now. If any of you spot errors or inconsistencies, that's totes why and I'm super, uber-sorry. Don't boys suck? You all know they do, so I don't think anyone can blame me for the vodka writing. <3


Mood Music: Rachel Platten, “Lone Ranger” (and freaking everything from “Wildfire - FOR REALS, GUYS, THIS IS THE BEST) - Kendrick Lamar, “Backseat Freestyle” - James Bay, “Hold Back the River”

Mood Book: The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey. The best. I'm not one to be effusive over “just OK” books, so I can promise you this isn't just OK. I just finished this last night and immediately bought the sequel on Kindle and read till 2 AM. Do yourself a favor, guys.

Mood Guru and Mood Absolutely Everything: Yoga with Adriene, “Yoga Boot Camp 2016” (it's on YouTube). Do it. You'll thank me later.


RECAP: Draco offered Ginny a job during the week, just like Harry has offered her his assistant job for the weekends because there's a chance that all Weasley's Wizard Wheezes prank ideas were stolen during the break-in, which could mean havoc for the company. I would actually copy and paste, but this is a new computer and all my files are freaking lost. Seriously. The fan fiction authoress struggle is SO REAL.


Chapter 5: Wherefore art thou Ginny Weasley?


Draco's voice melted like chocolate through the plastic receiver, a seemingly perfectly-timed answer to all the anxiety she'd felt all morning. “Ginny? Ginny? Are you there? Did you hear what I said?”

For a second, she worried that Draco could hear her heartbeat through the phone. After all, the ba-bumps were so loud, she must not be the only one who could hear them.

But she couldn't respond. The idea of working for Harry had been fine, sure. He didn't have Charlotte on the weekends, anyway. Ginny wouldn't be displacing anyone and she'd be filling the gap in his life that he'd needed for so long. He'd actually be more efficient with her, and she might actually -dare we dream- have fun!

But Draco was different. Natalie was ruthlessly efficient, if her prompt meeting reminder emails were any indication. She simply did not deserve to lose her job, and Ginny refused to play any part in a plan that would cause Natalie to be unemployed.

Then, almost like it was choreographed, Ginny heard her mobile ping with an email and brought it up to check, her work phone receiver tucked neatly beneath her chin.


FROM: Natalie Fisk

TO: Ginevra Weasley

CC: Draco Malfoy

RE: Reminder: Dinner with Draco this evening


Hi Ginny,

It's Natalie. Just sending a quick reminder about your meeting this evening with Draco. Tonight's dinner will be at Chez Maurice at 8 PM. Please let me know if this time no longer works for you, and I'll go ahead and reschedule.

Best regards,



Goddamnit. How could you even dislike the girl, really? She's so ridiculously good at her job. Finally coming to her senses, she realized that Draco had been waiting at least a solid two minutes on her work line. “Oh…Draco?”

She thought she heard him exhale a sigh of relief on the other end of the line. “Yes, Ginny?”

“I'm not sure what I'd like to do yet,” she replied. “Can we talk more about this tonight?”

He let out the breath he wasn't sure he'd been holding. “Yes. Absolutely. See you at eight.”


Draco set the receiver in the cradle with the care of a bomb squad member handling a possible explosive. He loved Natalie. She was so good at what she did. She was probably… no. She was the best assistant that he'd ever had. He was incredibly lucky to have her, and part of him felt traitorous even offering a position to Ginny.

But another, stronger, part of him felt a tie to Ginny that went beyond a planner/client relationship, one that made him feel an obligation to care for her and make sure everything would be ok. This part of him felt instinctual — he couldn't justify it or make sense of it, but somehow, he knew that men like him had been making decisions like this for thousands upon thousands of years.

Ginny hadn't made a choice, but, honestly, he hadn't expected her to. He knew enough about that fiery redhead to know that she would never displace anyone (i.e., Natalie) and would also never disrespect or compete with anyone (i.e., Harry, and the job offer he provided).

Draco knew that if he were to convince Ginny to take him up on his offer, he would have to make sure that 1) Natalie's job was safe, and 2) his job offer wouldn't compete with Harry's.


Ginny shivered on the pavement outside Chez Maurice. The cab had dropped her off about five minutes ago, but she knew she was still early. She hadn't meant to be, but just when you think you've planned the extra time for London traffic, the streets were clear. There you were.

As she thought to herself outside the restaurant, a glossy black BMW pulled up. Draco exited the driver side door and tossed his keys smartly to the valet in one smooth motion. Ginny suddenly felt considerably less coordinated.

“Thanks, mate,” he murmured as the young brunette male Muggle took the steering wheel. He turned to Ginny and offered him arm. “Shall we?”


They made it through the bread course, appetizers, and salads rather uneventfully. Since Ginny knew tonight was on Gringotts, she may have been slightly more profligate in her menu choices. Draco, however, had made no comment when the orders were taken, ordering several courses himself.

He didn't think he could really admit it to himself, but… he liked her. He liked being around her. She was the biggest pain in his arse right now in terms of clients, but…he felt …lighter when he saw her name at the top of the file. He thought that he might actually feel his heart physically leaping when her name was in print on his desk. Sometimes, when he was alone, he thought that Ginny Weasley (if she weren't Ginny Weasley)… would be it for him.

What was it that Muggle said that time? Romeo. Wherefore art thou Romeo? He had always loved that line. So many people thought that Juliet was asking where Romeo was, but she was really asking why he was. Any other name would have worked. He could have been Romeo Smith, and then the whole Capulet family would have been okay with the arrangement. Romeo Jones, even. But he was Romeo Montague, and that simply didn't work.

When Draco was full of firewhisky and feeling his absolute most sentimental, sometimes he thought that about Ginny. She was gorgeous. That was just a fact. Sleek red hair with freckles and brown eyes, but not a murky brown. This was a chocolate brown that saw deep inside your soul and made the judgements that needed to be made about what was down there. Her eyes mirrored your very thoughts to you in a sort of jarring accuracy, so suddenly that left you feeling both naked and confused.

She was intelligent, the kind of whip-smart that responded to him in kind with biting cynicism that he wished he had at his command at her speed.

She was funny, which mildly irritated him, especially when he needed her to be taking her situation seriously.

Ginny. Wherefore art thou Ginny Weasley?

But no. Really.


The entrees came, accompanied by the same familiar silence that had settled over their table since the bread course. Draco was waiting for her to break the silence in regard to his job offer. Ginny was waiting for him to make the dinner about her financial issues. They seemed to be at a stalemate.

Finally, Ginny chewed a big bit of her salmon, swallowed, and exhaled. “Okay.”

Draco let out the breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. “Okay,” he echoed.

“I appreciated your job offer,” she continued thoughtfully.

“…but you're not going to take it,” he replied dully.

“No, not if it puts Natalie out of a job. She's great at what she does. I can't do what she does better than her, and she doesn't deserve this, Draco.”

He'd expected this, so hearing it didn't really hurt. “I wasn't planning to get rid of her.”

Ginny's ears perked up. “Oh?” He's not going to get rid of Natalie? Now I feel like I can be actually interested. If she's not losing a job, but I'm just gaining one, that seems like a win/win for everybody, right?

Draco continued. “No. I think Natalie is perfect right where she is. I was actually planning to offer you a different position, and I should have been more explicit on the phone this afternoon. I wanted to make sure that it was really a position I could offer, though. However, I spoke to the head goblins this evening, and it seems to be. Ginny, I'm offering you the position of Head Buyer for Gringotts.”

Her head felt like it was spinning. Suddenly, she felt dizzy, like she'd left one of those Muggle merry-go-rounds too soon, and that the solid floor was a rude awakening from the flying sensation she'd had only moments before. “Head…buyer? For Gringotts? That's a thing?”

He laughed as a friendly waiter came by and took their half-empty plates, preparing to serve the dessert course. “Well, apparently it is now. As you know, Gringotts is horribly old-fashioned, run by goblins who would proudly run the business into the ground along with their ancestors' created swords and metalworks if they could, but I think in my time there I've made one crucial point. Businesses must evolve. They hate it, absolutely loathe it, but they see my point. Gringotts simply cannot prosper based on its history in the past. To bring it into the future, we need to acquire other businesses, and that starts with a buyer.”

Ginny shook her head, slowly. “But I don't know anything about buying businesses, Draco. At all.”

He chuckled as the good-natured waiter slipped the creme brûlée in front of Ginny and the sticky toffee pudding in from of him. “Your credit card statements say otherwise. My only thoughts in getting you in this position are that you're smart, and you have a very good idea as to what businesses will actually be prospering, otherwise you wouldn't be contributing your hard-earned Galleons to their cause. It's really a job of researching, then sitting in a room with me and sharing your opinions on different businesses. Do you think you can do that?”


An hour later, Ginny Weasley was neatly tucked into the passenger seat of Draco Malfoy's BMW, heading north to her flat. She'd tried several times to convince him to just let her get a cab, but to no avail.

“It's just more money,” he'd growled at her playfully from the valet station. Though he told her that, she couldn't help thinking there was another reason he wanted to drive her home. She hadn't given him an answer yet on the job offer. That said, though, she couldn't think of anything in the world she'd like to do more. She was young when she took the job at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, more concerned with doing absolutely anything she could to help her family than she was with finding a job that she was actually good at. And, sure, she was decent at what she did at WWW, but she just didn't like it.

Did that make her a bad person? Maybe.

But Draco's job offer excited her in a way that she hadn't felt in…well, in maybe ever. It felt like a real career, not just a job, and that difference made all the difference in the world to Ginny right at that moment.

Draco's hand neatly shifted gears right near Ginny's left thigh, and she thought she could feel a response on the surface of her skin just from the proximity of his fingers, like her entire body was on edge, just waiting to see what he would do.

But I'm being silly, she chided herself. He's only giving me a ride home because he knows how expensive cabs are in the city. He would probably rather be anywhere else but here in this car with me.


As the BMW rolled to a smooth stop outside of Ginny's flat, Draco found himself feeling a bit sad. He'd been looking forward to dinner with her all week, and now that it was over, he felt bereft, like he'd been suddenly deprived somehow.

He cleared his throat, suddenly nervous but not sure why. “I hope you'll think about that job offer.”

She smiled at him in the darkness of the BMW's interior. “I will, thank you. I'll think about Harry's, too. Maybe I'll end up taking both.”

For some reason, that answer made Draco's anger flare up irrationally, but he tried to keep that from showing in his expression. “Okay. That sounds good.”

Ginny's hand closed on the door handle. “Thank you for the ride, Draco.”

He smiled, a real smile this time. “Anytime, Red.”

She chuckled and opened the door. She'd started to exit when she suddenly remembered something and turned back around. “Oh, hey, Draco - “

That was as far as she got before his lips were on hers.


Authoress' Note: I did this all on a Sunday night in Pages because I still haven't bought Word for this laptop!! Feeling pretty proud of myself right now. It's the little things. Please review (and let me know if you would review if I posted a chapter of my YA book on FictionPress!!). <3 MQ

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