Standard disclaimer applies, only the plot is mine.

Ginny Weasley knows that it is Draco Malfoy that has her pinned against a wall; she knows that. But as she looks up at him, she sees Lucius Malfoy instead, his sneering face as he thrusts Tom Riddle’s diary back at her in Flourish and Blott’s, and the horror of her first year washes over her, drenching her in fear. Draco watches as her face goes slack, her eyes go blank, and he wonders what the hell is going on. Then suddenly her entire body tenses, her wand hand tries futilely to break his grip, and her mouth works against his hand, and he is shocked to realize that if she could speak, she would cast the killing curse at that very moment.

He pulls back from her, just a bit, and it’s enough to bring her back to her senses. Her eyes refocus and the horror of seeing Lucius Malfoy in front of her is replaced by the horror of knowing she would have killed Draco Malfoy had she been able. She sags against him and he pushes her back up against the wall, trying to keep her upright. He’s not sure what just happened but he now knows that Ginny Weasley can’t help him; she’s as much a prisoner of hate as he is – she just hides it better.

“Look, Weasley,” he mutters, knowing that students could be coming by any moment and reluctant to draw any attention to this bizarre drama, “I made a mistake. I’ll let you go but only if you promise not to do anything, okay?”

Ginny can only stare at him, unable to speak and wanting only to escape. She finally nods, feeling as if her head will fall off if she moves it more than a fraction, and he releases her from his grip. She bolts, trying to put as much distance between them as she can, and he watches her slight figure disappear down the corridor. His stomach is clenching with disappointment and another emotion he can’t identify – it’s foreign to him. He would be shocked to know that it is pity. With a sigh, he turns and walks in the opposite direction from the fleeing Ginny Weasley.

After the incident in the corridor, Ginny Weasley skulks about the castle, trying to avoid Draco Malfoy. They’re in different years so it should be easy, but it’s not … it’s ironic how their class schedules result in their passing one another in the halls too often for comfort. She can feel his silver gaze slip over her, and it’s unwelcome – like the touch of a cobweb, delicate but dangerous, not knowing if the next touch is the bite of a fang. She begins to lose weight and gain circles under her eyes, and her brother keeps pressing her to tell him what’s wrong. She can’t tell him; he hates Draco Malfoy and if he knows Malfoy’s the cause of her distress, he’ll confront him. She doesn’t want anyone to know, especially Ron, that she was a hair’s breath away from casting an Unforgivable.

Draco’s as miserable as she is. He was so sure Ginny Weasley could help him, even if he wasn’t sure that she would. The knowledge that she can’t, that she’s even more damaged than him, has shaken him. He doesn’t know why she acted the way she did, and now the need to know why is almost as great as his prior need to have her help him.

He begins to tail her, to follow her, and it only spurs her to more desperate measures to avoid him. It finally comes to a head in a seldom-used classroom near the entrance to the Slytherin dungeons. Ginny has seen him coming down the corridor and she’s hastened her pace, hoping to outrun him. His legs are longer than hers though, and she hears his footsteps drawing nearer and nearer. She ducks into the empty classroom and locks the door, hoping to give him the slip, hoping that he’ll just pass by. She’s pressed against the wall by the door, waiting to hear his footsteps move past. They don’t and instead she hears a spell and the lock open with a click. She’s behind the door so he won’t see her immediately when it opens but he will … eventually. Her thoughts skitter in her mind like spiders on a floor and she can’t think of what to do.

Draco pushes the door open slowly, wand held at the ready, knowing that she’s in this room. He catches a glimpse of her behind the door through the crack and pushes the door open to its full extent, trapping her against the wall with the door. He can’t keep her there for long though as he needs to close the door so that their conversation can be private. He reaches into the space, finds her arm, and then with a strength he didn’t know he had, pulls her out and shuts the door in one swift movement.

He’s seen her in the halls but this is the first time since the incident in the corridor that he’s been able to take a good look at her. Her appearance shocks him – she’s pale and thin and she’s lost the vitality he once envied. She’s trembling and her arms hang loosely at her sides … she hasn’t even gotten her wand out.

They stare at one another and then Draco breaks the silence. “I need to know why you acted the way you did that day in the corridor, Weasley. We both know what you would have done if you could. Why?” he asks, his voice low but determined.

Ginny can only continue staring. He wants her to explain it to him when she can’t even explain it to herself? Finally she says only one word, so faintly that he has to strain to hear it, “Can’t.”

Draco tamps down the feeling of rage that washes over him at her refusal; getting angry won’t get him the answers that he needs. He grasps her shoulders, resisting the urge to shake her, and spits out, “Can’t, or won’t?”

His touching her shakes her out of her apathy, and she wrenches out of his grip, pushing herself back against the wall. “Can’t, Malfoy, can’t. I can’t explain to myself so how the hell can I explain it to you?” she snarls. “I thought I was over this, thought I had more control, but I was wrong. Just go away and leave me alone, damn it!”

He shakes his head. “I can’t. I need to know. I thought you could help me but now I find that you need help yourself. You hide it well … I’d never have known.”

Ginny jerks in surprise, and then to his amazement, starts laughing almost maniacally. “Help you? Help a Malfoy? Your father did this to me. Why in the hell would I help you?” she manages to get out, tears in her eyes now. “If you’re in pain, then I’m glad. It’s only justice that you should hurt too.”

Draco looks at her uncomprehendingly. “What does my father have to do with this?” he asks.

Now it’s her turn to look at him with the same incomprehension. “You don’t know?” she says, disbelief in her voice. “Your father was the one who caused me to be possessed in my first year. He gave me an enchanted diary – Voldemort’s diary from when he was here at Hogwarts. Your father’s the reason I’m damaged.”

His father, responsible for Ginny’s Weasley’s possession; now that is something his mother didn’t let slip in her ranting. Yet he knows it to be the truth; it makes sense and it is something his father would have done in his mad quest to serve the Dark Lord.

They stare at one another and the silence builds until it is oppressive, weighing them both down. Finally Ginny breaks it, crossing her arms defiantly, or so she thinks, and says harshly, “Move away from me now, Malfoy, I want to leave.” She would have been more believable if her voice hadn’t quavered at the end and if she’d been able to stop the trembling of her limbs.

Draco doesn’t want her to leave – he has her here with him now and this could be his only chance to get some answers. He’s not quite sure how to keep her there, however, and he says the first thing that pops into his mind. “How do you control it, Weasley? I’d never have known there was anything wrong with you.”

Her eyes slide past him and he can tell she’s readying herself to bolt at the first opportunity. He moves closer to her, invading her space, cutting off her possible escape. Finally she says only one word, “Pensieve.”

He doesn’t understand and asks, “What?”

She bites out, “Pensieve! Dumbledore gave me one. It helps, or it did. Now let me go.”

Draco is determined; if she has something that helps, he wants it too. “Alright, Weasley, I’ll let you go but you have to do something for me first. I want to try that Pensieve.”

Ginny stares at him and then shrugs her shoulders. “Fine. I’ll meet you back here at 10 pm. Now, let me go.”

He moves aside and she dashes out of the room. He wonders if she will show up … if she doesn’t, he’ll find her again. He has to.
Leave a Review
You must login (register) to review.