Whip Him Into Shape
Authoress' Note: So it's been FIVE YEARS since I updated this story. I had to re-read this. Hell, I had to re-read all my stories to have any idea what they were about. But recently, I've been getting emails from ff.net alerting me to new story followers and reviews, and they all just sounded so hopeful. I figured I could at least try for all the new people out there hopeful enough to subscribe to stories that haven't been updated for as long as mine haven't.
I can't really give you guys a good reason why I haven't updated...three boyfriends, one broken engagement, two degrees (I have a Masters! Whaaaaaaat), one state change (CA to MN. It freaking snows here, guys) and adult job later, I'm a totally different person than I was when I was writing these. Hopefully, those changes have been for the better.
I really hope you'll review and let me know what's been going on with your lives. Some of you were such loyal readers and supporters for me growing up. I grew to think of you all as friends, and reading over some of my old reviews the other day reminded me how much I missed you all!
Finally, I passed my 10-year fanfiction anniversary in October. I'd always hoped that I'd have all my stories complete by this point, but I don't. I really hope that will your encouragement, I'll be able to get these all completed soon...I have an idea for a novel that won't go away. It needs to be written, but I feel like I need to finish these first. Hope to hear from you all soon... <3 - MQ
Ginny had no idea what was going on. It was the next morning, and somehow, she found herself in her soft bed, surrounded by her many pillows, still in her party dress from the night before. At least I'm not wearing my shoes anymore, she noted dimly. God, my head fuckin' hurts!
Getting up and tying on her robe, she slipped her feet into her slippers. Padding into the kitchen, she shielded her eyes against the bright fluorescent light, searching for some damn aspirin. Stupid champagne. I knew I shouldn't have drunk so much, she thought regretfully. After an aspirin and a lot of water, the Weasley was feeling much better. Looking to the fruit bowl on her kitchen counter for breakfast, she was startled to find a note propped against the nectarines.
I was on my own way home, and saw Zabini's car on the side of the street, and saw Zabini making a move on you. He probably would have gone much farther if I hadn't interrupted. Since you weren't yourself, I figured I should do something. I brought you in here and took off your shoes. Sorry you had to sleep in your new dress.
Ginny's eyes widened in shock, and her hand drifted to the side, allowing the note to trickle down to the floor. No bloody way. Draco stopped Blaise making a move on me when I was pissed. Not to mention he made sure I got inside safely. Hell, he even tucked me in to bed! Well…I suppose now I can honestly say that I've seen everything. I wonder how much more awkward this will make my individual workouts with Draco…
Then another thought hit her. How the hell am I going to act with Zabini?!
Chapter 3: Testing the Limits
Ginny Weasley was nervous.
She wasn't usually one of those nervous people, you know. Ginny was a trainer, the best at any of the Shape Gyms in her district. She knew her job. She knew people. She knew how to make the bodies of those people respond desirably to different weight loss techniques.
But today...nope, today Ginny Weasley was completely at a loss.
She was standing in front of Blaise Zabini's plush flat, yet somehow she could not convince her hand to reach up and ring the doorbell. She had been positively dreading this interaction all week. Every day Ginny checked her iPhone calendar, and the looming blue dot on Thursday at 11 am was threatening to send her already nervous pulse into overdrive.
Her boss, Jacques, had even text messaged her that morning to make sure she was going to go after what happened at the party.
If I get a call saying you didn't show up, you're going shopping with me for Muffin's clothes for the next year- J
Muffin, Jacques' pathetically small dog, was perhaps the saddest addition to the animal kingdom that Ginny had ever seen. Muffin was mad at everything and everyone, which could perhaps have to do with 1) her name being Muffin and 2) being forced to dress up in frilly, scratchy clothing all day by her gay father. There was simply no worse torture imaginable to Ginny than having to shop for those terrible clothes with Jacques.
I'm here, J. Take a chill pill, she texted back right then from the front stoop.
Somehow, she made it here, but taking that last step to actually go inside and face the man she'd had such an awkward interaction with last week (Merlin! Could it have only been last week?) was proving to be a little too much to ask.
Taking a moment to look skyward and ask Merlin yet again why she hadn't just called a cab from the party that night, the petite redhead grudgingly pressed the bell.
The result sounded...familiar.
"I know that melody," she muttered to herself. "How do I know it? It's a song, it's not just your usual Muggle doorbell chime..."
The opening front door interrupted Ginny's private rant. Blaise Zabini stood on the other side wearing track pants and a lecherous grin, his button-down shirtfront wide open for the world to see.
"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts," he sang cheerfully, his head tipping from side to side with the beat.
Suddenly, Ginny knew exactly where she'd heard that tune before. "You have the Hogwarts school song as your doorbell tune?!"
"So?" he asked casually, flattening his admittedly impressive body against the door to allow Ginny entry into the apartment. She nervously wandered into the living room, Blaise trailing behind her. She took a seat on the couch opposite the armchair where she assumed Blaise usually sat - if the stack of books, magazines and empty cups of tea were any indication. He settled into that same chair, then looked at her expectantly for a reply.
"I dunno," she answered. "Just always thought you'd get kicked out of Slytherin for doing something like that."
Then Ginny realized what she just said... and who exactly was paying her rent this month. Her hand went up to her mouth, which had formed a perfect "o". "Sorry. No offense, I mean."
Blaise noted her embarrassment and grinned. "No, you're completely right, actually. I'm quite the lifetime alumnus, so I think they'll let it slide, just this once. They've had so many of my Galleons over the years that I've got some bloody Slytherin-spirited wand about here somewhere..."
"Oh, really?" she asked, intrigued. "Does it house basilisks, promote pureblood supremacy, and ooze smug superiority?"
He cocked his head to the side, pretending to think very carefully. "Nope. But it does do a pretty wicked rendition of `Oh Potter, You Rotter.' Oh, and `Weasley is Our King.' Er...no offense."
Ginny smirked. Even though part of her had been dreading seeing Blaise again since he tried to put the moves on her that night, another part was reluctantly enjoying this. He can be all right sometimes, she thought to herself. His chest isn't bad, either...
"So," Blaise began, noting where her gaze had settled and subtly covering a little more of his chest, "where do we start with all this?"
"Hmm...that's a good question. I guess I have to start in a different place with the entire party, since I'm sure you're all at different levels of physical fitness. You seem like you're in great shape, honestly, so I really don't know that we'll have that much to do," she said, desperately trying not to blush as she finished that last sentence.
She looked over at him, attempting to maintain some eye contact in the name of appearing professional. Her heart skipped a beat when she realized he was already looking right at her. Good God, Ginny. Get it together!
"Right," she said, taking a deep breath and flashing her brightest smile. "Let's see just how in shape you are, shall we?"
One hour later, Ginny Weasley knew how much Blaise Zabini weighed, his height, how many sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups he could do in one minute, respectively, and was currently timing him running a mile in the park across the street from his flat.
She reclined on the bench and peered at him through her designer sunglasses. God, he's fit, she thought to herself grudgingly. I wish I knew why he did what he did that night. If he hadn't tried to make something happen with me when I was pissed, well, let's be honest...I'd have no qualms going to bed with that man right now. Odd, that.
He finished his mile, and she pressed the button on her stopwatch.
"Impressive, I must say," she murmured. "You really are in excellent shape. If you'd like, I can just give you a routine to help you maintain your current fitness level or maybe build even more muscle, but I'd definitely advise against losing any weight or doing anything drastic."
He nodded. "I try to take care of myself. Right now, I've just been trying to eat healthy, and I do cardio about five times a week. I lift weights twice a week, but I dunno...I've never wanted to be one of those really bulky guys, you know? Does that make me seem less manly?"
Ginny realized she'd actually been thinking exactly the opposite. "Um...no. Not at all. What would you like to do, then? You still have me for an hour."
His dark eyes met her chocolate, and his reply definitely was not one she'd been expecting: "I'd like to cook you dinner, actually."
Ginny stared at her reflection in the mirror of Blaise's loo. How did I get in this situation? What was I thinking, agreeing to let a Slytherin and former enemy cook me dinner?! Why does he bloody want to do that to begin with? I'll admit, I'm definitely attracted to him, but I'm sort of terrified after what he did the last time we met- do I really want to be spending time with a man capable of that sort of thing?
She knew that the answer was no, but something about Blaise was keeping her here. Something about the powerful way he held her gaze with his, or the "accidental" brush of his hand on the small of her back when they walked back from the park...
There was something there, and Ginny was desperate to know what it was.
Blaise's knuckles rapped softly on the bathroom door.
"Ginny? Is everything okay?" he asked softly, sounding concerned.
"Yeah, everything's fine. Be out in a second!"
Get it together, Gin. You can do this. It's just one dinner, you'll be out before you know it. She took a deep breath, opened the door, and was met with a glass of red wine.
"I poured this for you. Mine's back in the kitchen. Listen, before we eat tonight, I have something I really need to tell you," he said quietly.
Accepting the wineglass with a nod of thanks, she asked, "Is that so?"
"Yes." His eyes met hers, and his fingers touched her arm. "Ginny, I'm very sorry about what happened after Draco's party the other night. That should never have happened. I guess sometimes I don't respect people's boundaries when I'm pissed...not that that's an excuse, because nothing could excuse what I did."
Her eyes widened. He was...apologizing? This she had definitely not been expecting.
"I'm sure he told you by now, but Draco came along and stopped that situation from going any further. I have to tell you, Gin, I'm so grateful that he did. You're a great girl, and if anything were to happen between us...I just...I wouldn't want it to happen like that," he said in a near-whisper, his eyes trailing down to the floor.
Ginny wasn't sure how she felt. While part of her didn't know if she'd ever feel safe around Blaise again (especially if he'd been drinking), the other part was awestruck and grateful at the bravery and honesty it must have taken to give her such a sincere apology. She settled for saying what she knew: "Thank you, Blaise. That couldn't have been easy to say."
"So you'll forgive me?"
"I didn't say that," she answered reluctantly. "But I might be getting there. Can I help you with dinner?"
He grinned widely and his fingers trailed from their spot on her arm to her elbow so he could lead her back down the hallway. "There really isn't much left to do, but I'd certainly love your company in the kitchen. Tell me how you got into training."
Two, okay, fine, three glasses of red wine later, and Ginny Weasley was getting ready to head home. She wasn't going to Apparate (as fun as drunken splicing sounded), but she knew she needed to get home soon- she had an early appointment the next morning with the maid of honor.
"I need to get going," she murmured, her eyes locked with Blaise's across the pub table. They'd been sitting for hours. Merlin, she couldn't remember the last time she'd had such a good time. They'd had salad, pasta, and some sort of delicious dessert...
It was wonderful, and it felt great to give those packaged LeanCuisines at the office a rest in favor of some real food. Blaise was a surprisingly good cook (especially for a rich Slytherin with house-elves).
"There's something kind of satisfying about making a meal by hand," he'd replied when she'd asked him about how he'd started cooking. "You really feel like you earned it when you take that first bite. A few years ago, I started thinking that it made a difference in maintaining my weight, you know, like by cooking it and getting in touch with my food I was feeling full faster and doing less overeating. I don't know if that's true, but now it's my tradition. I like it."
"Well, you're great at it. Thank you so much for dinner tonight," she replied. She was surprised to feel a bit sad as she reached for her coat.
"It was absolutely my pleasure. So...same time next week?"
Ginny met his eyes in surprise. "But you don't need my help. You're perfectly in shape, and you basically have a near-ideal fitness routine in place already."
"Yeah," he replied, nodding, "but I don't have a dinner companion. I hear that careful eating does wonders for the waistline..."
She grinned. "Okay. Um...it's a date, then."
"Wonderful. I'm looking forward to it," he replied, smiling. He stepped closer until their faces were mere inches apart. "May I drive you home? I promise, tonight I only had the one glass of wine, and I won't try anything at all."
Was it her imagination, or did Ginny feel disappointed by that? She bit her lip. Am I going to regret this? Aw, hell. I only live once right?
The car pulled up in front of Ginny's flat about half an hour later. Rather than idling in the street (a habit Ginny loathed), Blaise neatly guided the car into a parking space and turned off the ignition. Their eyes met in the darkened cab.
"So," she began, tucking a stray strand of fiery hair behind her left ear.
He watched the path of her hand attentively, his eyes focusing on the nape of her neck where that errant hair rested. "I...I had a great time with you tonight, Red."
She smirked at the nickname. "You too, Zabini. You know, for a soul-sucking Slytherin, you're not all bad."
"Well, for a goody-two-shoes Gryffindor, you don't quite make my skin crawl."
Ginny laughed. "You sure know how to compliment a girl, you know that?"
"I know how to do plenty of other things to a girl, too," he said softly, his voice just loud enough to carry in the cab. The silence that followed was deafening. Ginny's heart beat so loud, she swore he must be able to hear it, too.
Her pulse was escalating, and she knew that his last comment had been the last straw. She'd been able to see Blaise shirtless and banter with him over drinks and dinner and attempt to be platonic all day, but that last comment had thoughts of the two of them in bed swirling in Ginny's head. She didn't dare meet his eyes--she was positive if she did, he'd be able to immediately read the direction her thoughts had taken.
Merlin, she wanted him.
God, Ginny. He's a client. At least attempt to salvage some bit of professionalism. Say `thank you for the ride,' and get the fuck out of there! Ginny knew that her conscience was right, regardless of how sexy Blaise Zabini was appearing to be.
She finally dared to look up. "Thank you for the-"
She trailed off when she realized that his eyes were right in front of her own. He was leaning across the cab so his face was right in front of hers.
"I'm afraid I'm in a bit of a predicament," he whispered.
Her pulse quickened. "Really? What's that?"
"I said I wouldn't try anything, and I won't," he said softly. His eyes locked with hers. "But Merlin, I fucking want to."
She bit her lip and looked down at the floor of the cab. "What if..."
"What?" he asked hopefully, reaching one hand up to tuck that same errant hair behind Ginny's left ear again.
Do you really want to say this, Ginny? It's going to permanently change your working relationship with him. You should calmly just get out of this situation. Even though Ginny was sure her conscience was right with this (as it usually was), that's not what she did.
She looked up and made sure their eyes, mere inches apart, met. "What if I want you to try something?"
That was all the permission Blaise Zabini needed.
Authoress' Note (Part 2): Reviews are good for the soul. :)