Leafing through the Daily Prophet, Hermione Granger paused
at a full-page advertisement, her eye caught, not by the perfume
in the foreground, but by the misty image in the background, of
an elegant couple kissing passionately against a fiery sunrise...
Hermione sighed, and turned the page.
Its Winter Solstice, said Draco Malfoy.
His fiancée, Astoria Greengrass, who until then had been
excitedly tearing the coloured wrapping paper from her gift, stopped,
and scowled. Youre giving me a sample of your own
perfume?! she exclaimed, in her ever-so-slightly grating
Draco winced inwardly.
First of all, my dear, he assured her, there
is no such thing as a sample of one of my perfumesnobody
gets a free bottle, not even Blaise. Secondly, this isnt
just any bottle of Winter Solstice, this is the very first bottle
off the production line, and Im giving it to you, my muse.
Well, said Astoria, when you put it like that...
I want you to wear it tonight, he continued, with
your new robes.
Hed had a fairy-tale gown created for her, to match the
perfumes exotic packaging. He knew that, with her elfin
face and her long, sable hair, shed look stunning in it,
and that photographs of themthe brilliant young entrepreneur
and his beautiful fiancéearm in arm at the Gringotts
Yuletide Ball, would fill the society pages of the following mornings
newspaperson the very day that Winter Solstice officially
went on sale.
He just hoped that Astoria wouldnt ruin everything by treating
the reporters to one of her lifes so unfair to us
pure-blood socialites monologues. If only Father had
chosen himself a daughter-in-law with something other than fluff
between her ears, he thought.
...Winter Solstice, said the reporter from the Daily
Prophet. If I might be so bold, Miss Greengrass? He
held out his hand.
Astoria placed her hand in his, and he brought it to his nose.
Delightful, he murmured, raising his eyes to meet
hers, and holding her gaze as he kissed the back of her hand.
Annoyed by the mans antics, Draco seized Astorias
arm and led her away, up the red carpet, towards the waiting photographersbut
he hadnt taken many steps before he remembered the importance
of keeping the Press on side, and he called over his shoulder,
Well talk later. Youll find I can open doors
for you. He reached into his magically extended breast pocket,
drew out a spare invitation to the ball, and handed it over before
he and Astoria entered the storm of camera flashes.
The great hall of Gringotts had been transformed into a ballroomthousands
of candles danced beneath the vaulted ceiling; garlands of evergreens
swathed the marble columns and festooned the wooden counters;
somewhere, an orchestra was playing Viennese waltzes.
Draco scanned the merry crowd for anyone worth mingling
with, and was surprised to see Hermione Granger and her ginger
boyfriend hovering on the fringes of the funboth frowning
as though theyd rather have been mucking out Hippogriffs
than attending one of the wizarding worlds most prestigious
Draco ran a curious eye over his former schoolmate. Its
a shame that Granger looks so cross, he thought, because
shes cleaned up pretty well... And hed just decided
that she was one of the most attractive witches hed seen
in a long while, when she suddenly turned, caught him staring,
and stared right back at him.
For a long moment, each held the others gaze.
Then Draco broke off, because Astoria was tugging at his arm,
butas he followed his fiancée onto the dance floorhe
filed away the expression on Grangers face for future consideration.
Have you seen Astoria? asked Draco, accosting Blaise
Zabini and his pretty French girlfriend. She told me she
was going to the Ladies room, but that was ages ago.
He cast an anxious glance around the great hall. Go and
look for her, would you, Marguerite?
Whats getting your shorts in a twist?
asked Blaise, after his slightly disgruntled girlfriend had disappeared
on her errand.
Draco shrugged. Astorias acting strange.
All women act strange. Blaise drained his champagne.
Draco considered his friends statement. No, they
dont, he said, seriously. But Astoria is. Shes
up to something, and I cant afford any trouble tonight.
Blaise dumped his empty glass with a passing waiter, and grabbed
another drink. What are you talking about, Draco?
She is not zair, said Marguerite, returning from
the Ladies room.
Draco sighed. Thanks.
It was the scent of Winter Solstice that gave her away.
She and her reporter friend had found themselves a broom cupboard.
Draco opened the door without any warning, and almost laughed
at their expressions. You can find your own way home,
he told Astoria, and left them to it.
Draco was no saintthat, hed readily admitbut
hed been raised to believe that a pure-blood husband did
not betray his wifeat least, not until after their union
had borne fruit and theyd come to some mutual arrangementand
hed been faithful to Astoria since the day their fathers
had drawn up the Marriage Contract.
He wondered how many times shed cheated on him.
When he got back to the great hall, he realised that it would
have been better for businessand would certainly have meant
less trouble with his fatherif hed dragged Astoria
out of the cupboard, cleaned her up, and taken her back to the
party, smiling as though nothing had happened.
But the thought of that made him feel... somehow, less of a Malfoy,
and he left the ball without another word to anyonenot even
to Hermione Granger, who still seemed to be staring at him.
Winter Solstice, said Ginny, excitedly, thats
Draco Malfoys new perfume! She grabbed Hermione by
the arm and steered her towards the window of Madam Malkins
Robes for All Occasions. Look!
Hermiones head was aching and her stomach was queasy, but
she was refusing to admit thatthanks to Rons usual
grumpiness, and the embarrassment of having been caught ogling
the Draco Malfoy in questionshed drunk far more than
she should have done the night before, and had a hangover. She
willed her stomach to behave itself and, gingerly leaning forwards,
peered through the window at the bottle of glittering, iridescent
glassvaguely familiar from the advertsstanding on
a pale, silver-gold pyramid, beneath garlands of vivid green leaves
and plump red berriesand felt a sudden and uncharacteristic
desire to own it.
Come on, said Ginny, excitedly, lets
try it on!
You do know, Hermione protested, as she followed
her friend into the shop, that the perfume part of a perfume
only costs a few Knuts to make, dont you? They spend the
real money on the seductive packagingand then they add a
huge mark up
No, this is different, Ginny insisted, weaving through
the crowd of excited women. I read all about it in last
weeks Witch Weekly. Its filled with tiny flakes
of pure, white gold, charmed to vibrate on your skin so it shines
like winter sunlight,Hermiones stomach heavedand
theres a rumour it contains a rare secret ingredient, so
it transforms itself according to whoevers wearing it. Ive
been dying to see what it does for me!
That rumour was obviously started by Malfoy himself, Ginny,
tooh, Merlin! Hermione clamped her hands on the edge
of the perfume counter and swallowed hard. And theres
no price on it. It must cost a fortune.
One hundred Galleons an ounce, said Ginny, according
to Witch Weekly.
As if the Malfoys needed any more money.
Ginnys hand shot out, beating two other womens to
the Tester. Hold out your wrist, she ordered, expertly
spreading her elbows to fend off her angry rivals.
Hermione responded with a murderousif rather sicklyscowl.
Hurry up, Miss Boring Knickershold it out.
Grrr, said Hermione, but it was easiest just to give
Ginny pulled the tall, elegant stopper from the bottle and stroked
the delicate glass rod, loaded with perfume, on Hermiones
wrist, then she dipped the rod again, and applied it to her own.
The Tester was immediately torn from her grasp by Millicent Bulstrode.
In concert, Hermione and Ginny raised their hands, and sniffed.
Hermione smelled a sharp tang, like something rotten, which might
possibly have had something to do with the hangover, but whichcoupled
with her earlier reaction to the bottle in the windowimmediately
made her spider-senses prickle. Is Malfoy using Dark magic
to snare his customers? she wondered.
She sniffed again, but the sour smell had already disappeared,
leaving behind a glorious bouquet of green winter blossoms, warmed
by the fragrant equivalent of pale yellow sunlight, then cooled
by just a hint of frosty white cloud...
Hermione had to admit that it was absolutely ravishingbut,
of course, Malfoy had always been good at potions.
She looked at Ginny.
Her friend smiled back at her with dewy eyes. This will
have Harry down on his knees, proposing to me all over again,
she said, dreamily.
Hmmm, said Hermione. It would certainly do no
harm, she thought, to search the Ministrys archives
for anything suspicious about Draco Malfoy, his business, his
perfumes, and any other potions he might be foisting on the innocent
Winter Solstice, Astoria muttered, screwing up the
weird robes that Draco had made her wear to the Gringotts Yuletide
Ball, and stuffing them in a cardboard box.
Her ex-fiancés note had been short and, though far
from sweet, unambiguous:
I cannot marry a woman who might try to pass off another mans
bastard as my son. You may keep the ring.
The breakup was admittedly a setback, because her parents were
counting on her to marry money, but she was confident her father
would soon find her another husbandsomeone with an even
The ring was already at Glister and Findings, awaiting
Well, she thought, Draco has only himself to blame,
always making me feel stupidof course I had the odd fling,
when a man treated me like a proper woman.
She picked up the bottle of his precious perfume, dumped it on
top of the robes, closed the box, and called for one of the house-elves:
Parsley, take this to St Mungos Charity Shop for me.
Winter Solstice, murmured Hermione, tapping her quill
against her lips, hmm, Winter. Solstice.
So far, her search for evidence of wrongdoing on Malfoys
part had proved fruitless. She re-read her notes:
Sentenced to two years in Azkaban.
Overturned after served 8 months. Fortune restored.
Licence to purvey potions granted 3 September 2003.
Malfoy Perfumes registered 11 December 2003.
Draco Malfoy + Blaise Zabini partners.
Accounts 2004 - 2007 deposited with Department of Company Regulation.
Registered Trademarks: Queen of the May (2005) | Saturnalia (2006)
| Winter Solstice (2008).
Magical Patent pending on new process for extracting essential
Nothing particularly suspicious there...
She scoured the Daily Prophets weekly consumer column
for reports of shoddy merchandise, and drew a blank. She hunted
through three years of court records for law suits filed by wronged
employees, or by customers poisoned or disfigured by Malfoys
perfumes, and found none.
But I know youre up to something, you sly,
unscrupulous... impossibly sexy person!
She scratched her forehead, and the scent of Winter Solstice,
lingering on her wrist, summoned up an image of the man shed
seen at the Gringotts Yuletide Balltall, lean and beautiful
in his white tie and tailsmaking her hungry in places that,
quite frankly, hadnt been hungry in yearsthough that
was, obviously, as much her fault as Rons.
Merlin, she wanted a bottle of that perfume!
Andoh, Merlinshe wanted Malfoy himself, in her bed
or, better still, in one of the lifts at the Ministry of Magic,
trapped between two floors, and completely at her mercy...
Hermione raked back her hair. He must have cast a charm on
the bottle, she thought, or incorporated a love potion
in the scent, oror SOMETHING! Its Dark magic thats
making me so obsessed with him!
Arrggh! She thumped her desk.
There was only one thing to do.
Since the Being Division, despite some very creative pleading
on Hermiones part, had declined to foot the bill for a bottle
of Winter Solstice, a little ingenuity was called for.
It took her almost ten minutes to work her way to the front of
the jostling crowd, grab the perfume Tester, drop a bead of perfume
into the specially miniaturised and Disillusioned vial strapped
to her wrist, and beat a hasty retreat.
Women were still fighting to buy the stuff.
And Hermione would soon know why.
Arrggh, she cried, thumping the workbench.
Winter Solstice had defied her every attempt to analyse its ingredients.
Malfoy had definitely wrapped the finished product in a charm,
butas Anthony Goldstein had pointed out, when hed
come to see what all the yelling and thumping was aboutthat
was standard practice with consumer potions, and didnt necessarily
mean that there was anything Dark going on.
Hermione slumped on her stool. The smell of the perfume was driving
her crazy, conjuring up detailed mental images of herself doing
unspeakable things to Malfoy...
And of Malfoy enjoying it.
And the strangest thing was that she actually felt that, wearing
Winter Solstice, she would have the nerve to seduce him.
She was so tempted to go back to Madam Malkins and buy
a bottle of perfume.
That would be like sleeping with the enemy.
There was only one thingone other thingto do.
Winter Solstice, wrote Draco, in his elegant handwriting.
He was adding up the first days sales figures. They were
phenomenalthe new perfume seemed to appeal to all ages and,
despite its price tag, to all pockets. Winter Solstice was already
a brilliant success.
He hadnt loved Astoriafortunately, as it turned outshed
been his fathers choice, not his. But what sad sort of
bastard, he wondered, despite having wealth and social
position to offer, despite being reasonably presentable andhed
been tolda more than decent lover, couldnt hold
on to his own fiancée?
His father had wanted him to give Astoria a second chance, until
Draco had pointed out that the reporter hed caught her shagging
had been a Squib. He hadnt needed, then, to explain her
potential impact on the Malfoy bloodline.
Draco tried to focus on the figures.
But hed created Winter Solstice with Astoriaan idealised
Astoriain mind: her style, her vivacity, her scent when
they were intimate. Hed lost more than his fiancée;
hed lost his muse.
What he needed was another woman to inspire him.
What he wanted was a woman he could love, and who would
love him; a woman he could trust; a woman who was as bright as
she was sexy...
And he was shocked when a face appeared in his minds eye.
Winter Solstice! said Ron Weasley. Wow!
Ron knew nothing about lip colours, or eyeliners, or any of those
other things women seemed to think were so important, but even
he had heard of Draco Malfoys new perfume, which
had been featured in the previous weeks Quidditch ScoreboardScore
with HER this Christmasand which seemed to have every
woman he knew in a tizzy...
And there was a bottle of the stuff, sitting in the window
of the St Mungos Charity Shop!
If that wont smooth things over with Hermione, he
thought, nothing will. He glanced furtively up and down
Diagon Alley. It was still early. The only people out and about
were shopkeepers, like himself, going about their business. There
was no competition.
He peered through the window. The Charity Shop, staffed by volunteers,
didnt open until ten oclock, but he could see Susan
Bones pottering about in the storeroom at the back.
He knocked on the glass.
Susan came out into the shop, and pointed at the clock behind
Ron clasped his hands together and begged.
Susans expression changedRon knew shed always
been a little bit sweet on himand, with a rueful smile,
she opened the door.
Im sorry, Susan, he said, I know youre
still closed, but you might just be able to save my life.
...and, especially, said Hermione, slapping
her Ministry paperwork down on the reception desk, Winter
Solstice production. Shed had to call in every favour
she was owedand a few she wasntto get a warrant
to inspect Malfoys perfume manufactory.
The receptionist selected an extendible ear. Mr Malfoy...
As she was waiting, Hermione looked round Malfoys premises.
The building was Victorian, formerly a broom factory, located
not far from Diagon Alley and, if the foyer was anything to go
by, Malfoy had spent a fortune converting it
She saw the receptionists face light up and, realising
that Malfoy must be standing right behind her, she slowly turned
He was much taller than she remembered, and even more impressive,
dressed impeccably in severe, traditional robes.
She tried to take a deep, calming breath
Granger, said Malfoy, holding out his hand as though
he were pleased to see her.
Hermione took it, then made the mistake of looking up into his
Oh, those eyes! Like a stormy winter sky!
And those lips
Merlin, those lips are moving, she thought. Malfoy
must be saying something!
...so well start with the workshop, he was
explaining, which is where I compose the perfumes, and then
Ill show you round the manufactory. He stepped aside,
indicating that she should precede him through the door. But
what I dont understand, Granger, is why the Being Divisions
so interested in Malfoy Perfumes. I mean, we dont employ
any goblins or elves, and the few animal-based ingredients we
use are traditional, and sourced from licensed suppliers.
Those were all excellent points. Well, weumwe
just need to make sure, Hermione stammered.
Now this one. Malfoy scattered a few drops of his
latest blend onto a silk handkerchief and waved it in the air.
Hermione closed her eyes andas hed shown her earliertook
a few short, sharp sniffs, followed by one long inhale. A
warm summer evening, she announced. Theres definitely
orange in there. And ginger. And... Is it cola? She opened
her eyes and looked up at him.
Malfoy was smiling. Very good, he said, but
youve missed one very important ingredient.
Hermione sniffed again. No. Ive no idea. She
shook her head.
Flitterbloom. He re-corked the flask. We find
that tiny traces of an unpleasant odour can add a real kick to
Is that why Winter Solstice smells so sour when it first
touches your skin?
Malfoy looked surprised. Thats impressive, Granger.
Most people dont notice that. He leaned closer and
spoke softly, as though sharing a secret, You know, you
have an exceptional nose.
Hermione was suddenly feeling rather warm. Are you going
to show me round the manufactory now? she asked.
Malfoy stepped back, and carefully set the flask down on his
workbench. Of course.
It was fascinating to see how Malfoy had combined the traditional,
Mediaeval extraction processes with more modern potion-making
techniques, all in a scrupulously clean environmentthe last
factor, Hermione suspected, influenced by Muggle science.
He introduced her to four witches, capped and robed in white,
whose job it was to fill and stopper the bottles.
And then, he said, theyre levitated to
the security department, where Septimus,a young wizard
bowed to Hermionecasts a Wrapping Charm on them to
prevent anyone separating the perfume into its constituent parts
and copying the mixturethough I dont know how well
the charm would stand up to a serious attack.
Pretty well, said Hermione, before she realised what
she was saying. That is, I assume...
Hermione bit her lip.
Why, Granger? His voice was soft, and she wasnt
sure whether he was angry, or just curious.
Iumwell, it was the effect it was having. Onumon
women... On me. I wanted to be sure there was nothing...
Um... You know...
I know, he said, quietly. Then he added, There
We sell a dream, Granger. We design the whole thingthe
fragrance, the packaging, the advertisingadvertisings
Blaises departmentto make women feel they can have
a little bit of the life they long for; the life they truly deserve.
It may be cynical, but its not illegal. And you mustnt
think, because of it, he continued, that my perfumes
arent genuine works of art. Im very proud of them.
They use all of my potions skills. Winter Solstice actually contains
A secret ingredient, said Hermione, smiling now,
so that it transforms itself to match the wearer.
Its fluxweed, said Malfoy.
The key ingredient in Polyjuice Potion. Clever!
My perfumes break new ground, Granger. Uncle SevI
mean, Severus Snapewould be proud of his pupil.
Im sure he would, said Hermione. And
your father must be proud, too, she added, because it seemed
odd that he should mention Snape but not Lucius Malfoy, and something
about the way he was being so open with herand seemed so
anxious to impress herwas making her feel strangealmost
protective towards him.
Well, he said, I think Fathers proud
of the money.
As theyd been talking, Malfoy had led her back to the foyer.
He opened the front door for her and, as he held it, he asked,
Will you be at the Ministry Ball tomorrow night, Granger?
Hermione had been dreading the Ministry Ballall the dressing
up, the wearing high heels, the pretending not to notice Rons
foul moodbut, for some reason, when Malfoy asked her, she
simply smiled, and said, Yes.
Then Ill see you there, he replied.
Youve bought a bottle of Winter Solstice! said
Ron looked over his shoulder.
Pansy, who had a part-time job at Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes
just to get out of the house, had been tidying the
broom cupboard, and had spotted the elaborate box sticking out
of his cloak pocket. Hermiones a lucky woman,
she said, giving him a brave little smile...
And, at that very moment, Ron realised that he and Hermione were
a lost cause, and that Hermione must have come to the same conclusion
months earlier. He decided that they needed to talkto plan
how to break the news to their family and friends, and to work
out how to ensure that their own friendship survived unscathedas
soon as possible.
Well, he said, turning to Pansy, his heart feeling
lighter than it had in years, I actually got it for you,which,
in retrospect, he realised, was trueand it was supposed
to be a surprise, but its better if I give it to you now,
then you can wear it.
And is Winter Solstice performing as well as expected?
asked Lucius Malfoy, in the disdainful drawl he always affected
when talking about Dracos perfumes. He was seated at his
desk, perusing An Anthology of Eighteenth-Century Charms.
Yes, Father, replied Draco. In fact, better.
He pulled up a chair, and sat down.
Lucius eyed him, curiously.
Ive chosen myself a wife, said Draco, because
he knew there was no sense in beating about the bush. Shes
beautiful, intelligent, considerate; shes loyal to a fault;
and shes interested in my work. I like her, Father, and
I believe that she likes me.
Lucius leaned back in his chair, steepling his elegant hands.
And do I know this paragon? he asked.
Draco smiled. Yes, Father. Quite well, in fact.
Luciuss haughty expression suddenly slipped; his pale face
turned ashen. Who is it? he asked, hoarsely.
Hermione Granger, said Draco.
Luciuss eyes narrowed: Marry that Mudblood, Draco,
he whispered, and I will cut you off without a penny.
I dont need a penny, Father.
I shall disown you.
Draco had already decided that the best way to deal with his
fathers anger would be to withdraw and let it burn itself
outthough he realised that that might take several
years. But, as he reached for the door handle, he couldnt
resist turning back, and saying, This family needs
new blood, Father. And I know that, in time, youll come
to love your grandchildren, because it isnt in your nature
to do anything else.
Is that Winter Solstice?
Yes! said Pansy, happily. Shed had to
empty out the entire contents of her make up purse to find the
lip colour she was carefully touching up, so the perfume was lying
in full view. She glanced at the speaker in the mirror, and was
shocked to find herself eye-to-eye with Hermione Granger.
Pansy had agreed with Ron that he should bring Hermione to the
ball as planned, and she knew that he wouldnt have had the
opportunity to have the talk with her as yet. Ier,she
tried not to look guiltya friend gave it to me. Would
you like to put some on?
Hermione smiled back at herYes. Thank you,and
waited patiently whilst Pansy popped her vial of lip colour back
in her purse, then handed her the bottle of perfume. You
know, she said, as she stroked the glass rod on her wrist,
I visited the manufactory yesterday.
Really? said Pansy, surprised. Dracos
usually so secretive about his perfumes. Ive never
been allowed in his workshop, and I was rubbish at potions.
Well, said Hermione, thoughtfully. It was
official Ministry business.
Youre wearing Winter Solstice, said the sexiest
voice in the world.
Hermione spun round, smiling.
I hope you didnt buy a bottle? he added.
No, she said, her smile turning into a cheeky grin,
Pansy Parkinson let me put on some of hers.
Ah. Well, I shall have to thank Pansy. Shes given
me a reason to be proud of it again. He held out his hand.
Care for a walk on the terrace, Granger?
The Ministry has a terrace?
Only for tonight. Its up on the roof.
Hermione scanned the ballroom until she spotted Ron. He was dancing
with Pansy Parkinson, looking happier than shed ever seen
him, and a little bell rang in her headbut she decided that
that could wait until later. Id love to,
she said, taking Malfoys arm, and letting him lead her out
into the hallway, and into a waiting lift.
Terrace, said Malfoy. Then, after theyd risen
a few floors, he seemed to change his mind. Wait!
The lift stopped.
Hermione looked up at him, puzzled.
Whats your opinion on blood purity, Granger?
Is that a trick question, Draco? Or have you forgotten
that Im a Mudblood?
Oh, Granger... Tentatively, Malfoy seized her hands.
What Im asking, he said, softly, is, do
you think you can forgive a man whos committed crueltiescrimesin
the name of blood purity?
Do you mean your father? she asked.
I mean me.
You didnt commit any crimes, Draco.
You dont know, Granger.
Yes, I do, she replied, firmly. Ive read
the transcript of your trial, and I know that what you did, you
did under duress. Ive read the transcript of your appeal,
and I know what you refused to do. And I remember how you
refused to betray Harry and Ron and me. You paid for what you
did, with eight months in Azkaban and, since then, youve
built a life you can be proud of.
Merlin, I want you, he whispered.
For several long moments they gazed at each other, the tension
between them almost audible.
Then Hermione pulled Malfoy closer, and they were kissing
He was kissing her in the lift at the Ministry of Magic! He was
dipping her like the man in the Winter Solstice advert!
And, although he was trying to keep it from her, Hermione knewshe
could feelthat he was aroused, and she smiled at his delicacy,
becauseoh, Merlin!shed had sex that was less
exciting than the mere grasp of his hands at her waisteven
her tingles had tingles!
She wanted him, too! So much!
Ron, she gasped.
Malfoy drew back. Im sorry?
I have to make things right with Ron, Draco, she
explained. First. Before we... You know. Before we let things
go any further. I want them to go further, DracoI
Oh, Granger! Malfoy hugged her tightly. Youre
She wasnt sure what he meant by that, but when he kissed
her again it was with a restraint that told her he understood
Lemon, honeycomb, and just a hint of nutmeg, he breathed.
You, he said. Lemon, honeycomb, and just a
hint of nutmeg. Youre a powerful aphrodisiac, Granger.
Are you planning to make me into a perfume?
Draco nuzzled her ear. No way, he said. Im
not having every Tom, Dirk or Albus turned on by the scent of
my woman. But Ill make perfumes for you, Hermione.
And with you, I hope.
In answer, Hermione stretched up on tip-toe, and kissed him thoroughly.
Then, Your woman? she teased.
My woman. He returned her kiss just as thoroughly.
Better get used to the idea, he murmured.
Mmmm, said Hermione, blissfully. I really dont
think thats going to be much of a problem, Draco. Though
I do think I ought to go and have that talk with Ron before I
let you get too possessive.