Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /home/draco3/public_html/modules/displayword/displayword.php on line 77
Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/draco3/public_html/modules/displayword/displayword.php:77) in /home/draco3/public_html/modules/displayword/displayword.php on line 77
Never Leave Me by Burgosdamasco
1. Harry Potter Returns by Burgosdamasco
2. The Land of the Living by Burgosdamasco
3. The Potions Master by Burgosdamasco
4. Combat Aurors by Burgosdamasco
5. Sea of Sorrows by Burgosdamasco
6. Reassurance by Burgosdamasco
7. Harry's Understanding by Burgosdamasco
8. Dangerous Complications by Burgosdamasco
9. No More Lies by Burgosdamasco
10. Wizards Duel by Burgosdamasco
11. Ray of Light by Burgosdamasco
Harry Potter Returns by Burgosdamasco
“Harry Potter Alive!” screamed the headlines from the Daily Prophet. The picture showed a bearded man, looking emaciated and weak being led into St. Mungo's on a stretcher. The only thing that hinted the identity of the man was a faint scar that graced his forehead.
"Inflammare," the blonde man whispered . His gray eyes flickered with anger watching the flames lick the edges of the paper. His wife would be home shortly, no doubt, hearing how her presumed dead husband was alive. It would only be a matter of time before she heard the news. The reporters from the Daily Prophet swarmed outside his home, he refused to answer their questions warning them of hexes and unforgivable curses should they step onto his property.
Draco heard a pop in the living room and retreated from his study. Ginny stood there looking disheveled, her face tear streaked.
"You were supposed to be here 6 hours ago!" he said, his voice visibly shaking for the first time in his life. Draco felt his stomach twisting. The same feeling he had when Potter caught the snitch. Old fears and uncertainties which he had long since forgotten came erupting to the surface. He asked where she had been although he already knew, "WHERE WERE YOU!"
No answer came. She fell to her knees in front of the fireplace, while tortured sobs shook her soul.
He left her there standing in her grief and slammed the door to their bedroom.
Draco lay in the dark staring at the ceiling. The bed so empty without his wife. She was his wife wasn't she? Was their marriage even valid anymore? Draco waited for her but a fitful sleep overtook him. He awoke to the sounds of Ginny crying in her pillow. He reached out to her, to comfort not only his wife but himself.
"I'm sorry love," Draco smoothed her hair. The red hair he made fun of so long ago, the hair he now buried himself in.
Still she cried.
He loved his beautiful redhead.Gathering her in his arms and turning her towards him, Draco held Ginny protectively, possessively. Between each word he planted kisses on her shoulders, neck and face.
"Don't - Leave -Me -Virginia"
She clung to him, aching to relieve her pain through his embrace.
Draco stared with longing at his wife, his Virginia. " I love you," he whispered. His lips slowly descended to meet hers gently covering her mouth.
Ginny found herself quivering at the tenderness of his kisses and his touch. She parted her lips searching for him hungrily this time, burying her hands in his silver-blonde hair.Ginny felt herself melting into Draco. Her softness molding into his hardness, becoming one, as he kissed her again and again. An ancient rhythm bound their bodies together. Nothing could come between their love.
Brightness filled the room as a new day dawned. Draco awoke, adjusting his eyes to the morning light. Today they would get through this crisis together. Reaching out for his wife, he realized, she was gone.
The Land of the Living by Burgosdamasco
A boisterous crowd had gathered outside what looked to be an empty department store. Ginny shook her head at the sight of wizards, no doubt from the Daily Prophet.
"The Ministry will have their hands full performing Memory Charms tonight," she chuckled to no one in particular, as she looked at the confused glances of Muggle passerby. Aurors and various Ministry officials were outside the decrepit store keeping reporters away from the biggest story in a century since Voldemort's defeat.
Tightening the scarf around her hair and readjusting her sunglasses she walked up to the dirty window requesting passage from the broken dummy being displayed. She entered, unnoticed into St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. The hospital smell attacked her senses the moment she stepped inside. It smelled of healing potions, cleanliness, and death. Never before had she felt so nauseated.
"Are you ok Miss?" a plump blond witch asked with concern.
Ginny faked a smile, "Yes, Yes I' m quite fine, thank you," she said clutching her abdomen. A sense of dread overcame her as she slowly made her way to the 4th floor visitor's area. Her thoughts drifted to Draco. Guilt washed over her entire being, as she thought of the blond man she had left sleeping soundly in their bed. Emotional pain had seemed to ebb away when she had been in Draco's arms. Only temporarily. Daylight had a way of uncovering things best hidden in darkness.
Turning the corner she caught sight of mostly reds with a sprinkling of black and brown heads. All of the Weasley clan was there waiting to welcome Harry Potter into the land of the living.
Sitting next to Charlie she removed her disguise. He rubbed her back soothingly as if letting her know that somehow, everything would work itself out.
"Some tea dear?" Molly Weasley asked. A faint smile crossed Ginny's face. Leave it up to her mother to think food and drink could make everything better.
"No thanks, mum," Ginny was unsure if she could keep even tea down.
A handsome young black man in official ministry robes took the empty seat next to her. "How are you holding up?"
"Do you want the truth?" she asked her old friend Dean Thomas, Ginny sighed, "Even I don't know how I am supposed to feel."
"Then I won't ask how Draco feels, although I can gather a guess. "
"Naturally he's upset. I just wish he could understand, although how can I expect him when I can't even begin to understand what all this means ."
"Which brings me to what I was going to inform you of, after Harry visits with you and your family, the ministry will be debriefing him today," he motioned towards Seamus Finnegan, Percy and Ron conversing in a corner , " Since he's been asleep we haven't been able to question him. You'll have your answers soon, I promise."
Curiosity had been burning inside Ginny since she read the Daily Prophet yesterday. It had not gone into detail about the circumstances surrounding Harry's rescue. Various scenarios had gone through her mind and she tried not to think of the suffering he may have had to endure.
A nurse came out to the waiting room, " Mrs.- " the nurse's voice wavered as if unsure how to address Ginny, "Potter, er, Malfoy, Mr. Potter is awake now. He's been requesting his wife."
Ginny nodded as she rose from the chair. The Weasley family including the twins were uncharacteristically quiet. Everyone stayed seated knowing how important it was that Harry first see Ginny.
A question that was on everyone's lips was answered by Ron and Hermione's young son James, "Where's Uncle Draco?" Hermione hurriedly picked him up, with a sympathetic glance towards Ginny as she interested James in a stuffed Dragon.
"You have to tell him Ginny," Ron said softly not looking at Ginny. She could almost make out tears in her brother's eyes. Ron the famed auror, who had lived with the now erroneous fact that his best friend had died. The past 6 years had been as painful for Ron as for Ginny. Blaming himself constantly for Harry's death, Ron had become quite a bitter man. "The Ministry will be conducting a press conference tomorrow morning, it's best he hear it from you and not from the Daily Prophet."
Expressing their support Molly Weasley and Fred's wife Angelina gave her a quick hug. No words had to be said. They all knew the difficult task Ginny had to face.
Ginny followed the nurse with nervous yet anticipating steps. The day Ginny heard about Harry she raced to St Mungo's grabbing a coworker's broom. He had been given a sleeping draught then. So thin Harry was, she almost didn't recognize him. Holding his hand Ginny had talked to him, sang to him, even imagined he squeezed her hand and perhaps he did.
What would she say to him, now that he was fully awake?
"You have 10 minutes, Miss, er,"
"Ginny, just call me Ginny" Ginny wrung her hands nervously, hoping that the rest of the hospital staff would have sense not to call her Mrs. Malfoy in front of Harry.
"You can visit for 10 minutes, dear, then the healers must run additional tests." Opening the door for Ginny, the nurse motioned her in.
The boy who lived, now a man, slowly raised his head from the hospital bed. Ginny winced seeing him raise the rest of his upper body from the bed. It obviously took much effort on his part. Now cleanly shaven he more closely resembled the Harry that she once knew.
"Ginny," he called for her, a weak yet wanting voice.
"Oh Harry!" Ginny sat on his bed, fighting back tears. She propped his pillow behind his back. It hurt her to see him so physically uncomfortable. Yesterday she had been in shock at his appearance. Today was no different. His bones could be easily seen and his eyes were sunken in. It was hard to imagine that he once had the body of a lean yet muscular seeker.
"Are you real Ginny? I'm not hallucinating am I?" He reached up to touch her hair, bringing her close to him, their foreheads touching .
"Your so," Ginny paused her voice cracking, "thin."
Harry pointed to a gift basket full of chocolate frogs on the nightstand, "Don't worry Gin. Thanks to Ron's gift of sweets I'll be fat in no time." He stroked her face, wiping away the tear that had fallen.
"You need to eat more than Chocolate Frogs!" Ginny found herself laughing for the first time in days. Leave it to Ron, she thought.
Briefly he separated from her reaching into his nightstand, and brought out a worn wizard photo of Ginny that she recognized was from their honeymoon. "I thought about you everyday, every night."
Caressing the photo gingerly between his hands, "This was the only possession I had Gin. Your picture kept me alive. When I wanted to end it all, I kept thinking about getting back home to you."
All those sleepless nights she cried for him. The emptiness that had almost killed her, the feelings all came flooding back. Every memory she had safely hidden in her heart was now becoming unlocked. She just couldn't bring herself to tell him.
Draco had asked her once, " Do you still love him?"
"Yes, I always will." was Ginny's sincere reply. It was safe to love two men, one who was alive and one she thought was long buried.
Although he tried to hide it, she knew that Draco had always been jealous of Harry even in death. Ginny didn't want to comprehend the feelings that Draco would be feeling right now. For the moment she pushed those thoughts to the furthest reaches of her mind.
Ginny's attention turned again to the man sitting in front of her. She was angry that someone had nearly broken Harry, leaving him with bruises that marred his once beautiful skin. Furious that someone had deliberately kept him away from all who loved him. His sadness and fragility moved her, she wanted to take away his pain. Instinctively she put her arms around him as his lips found hers. Years of separation magically disappeared.
"Miss, um, Ginny," the nurse interrupted carrying a tray of healing potions followed by two healers. "You can send the rest of your family in after the tests."
Reluctantly she withdrew from his arms giving him a goodbye kiss. Confusion clouded her mind even more. She loved Draco immensely which made it all the more difficult when she realized how much it would hurt him to know that not only did she kiss Harry but that she still loved the boy who lived. She had once read that you couldn't love more than one person. Oh how wrong that truly was.
That morning Harry had become reacquainted with his adopted family and was delighted at the new additions. Ron had given him some pumpkin pasties much to the consternation of his wife. Hermione agreed with Ginny that he ought to have something healthy.
It escaped no ones' s attention that Harry was still in the dark about Ginny's marriage to Draco, especially Ron.
"What's the first thing you'd like to do now that you're back? Quidditch perhaps? Now that we actually have a chance to beat you." joked Fred
Harry took Ginny's hand, "I'd like to keep my promise to Ginny"
Ginny gulped, remembering the promise he gave her before his assumed death.
"We're going to start a family. Maybe bring another little Ginny and Harry into the world." Harry looked up at the redheaded woman with hope in his eyes.
Why didn't I tell him?! A right mess you have yourself in now, she told herself. Ginny felt like sinking into the floor. The room became eerily quiet. She received nervous glances from her mother and Hermione. A hardened glance from Ron didn't help matters.
Little James looked curiously at both his Aunt Ginny and his newly found Uncle Harry. Before he could utter a word, Hermione clamped it shut.
Harry's eyes wandered from Ginny to the rest of the Weasley's, his brow furrowed in confusion at the now silent family.
Hesitating a bit, she measured her words carefully, "Let's get to know each other again Harry. There's no rush in thinking about children right now." Ginny avoided looking at anyone else as she held Harry's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.
"You're absolutely right Gin. I want to make up for all the time we lost and concentrate on you first and foremost," Harry managed a weak yet happy smile.
Ron took this opportunity to usher the family out of the room and begin the Ministry questioning. "We'll talk later," Ron hissed to Ginny as she left Harry's room .
The Potions Master by Burgosdamasco
"Lumos," he uttered, as he opened the closet door. Searching behind glass bottles of shredded boomslang skin and powdered graphorn, his eyes settled on the stone basin. He reached for it, studying the silvery contents that lay in its depths.
Whispers in the staff room. Looks of pity from the students.
Memories that had been troubling him the entire day.
"Professor?" Standing at the entrance of the door was a young 4th year.
He turned around in surprise, almost dropping the Pensieve. "WHAT NOW?" thoroughly irritated at being interrupted by a Gryffindor no less, he was tempted to take away house points.
The teenager hesitated, flinching at the tone of the potion professor's voice.
"Are you mute? Speak up boy!" Walking briskly past the Gryffindor, he slammed the pensieve on his desk. Inspecting the basin he thanked the Gods that it still appeared to be in one piece. Turning his eye again on the trembling adolescent in front of him, he was suddenly reminded of a younger Longbottom.
The Gryffindor stuttered, "I, h-have d-detention sir."
"I've decided against giving you detention, out of the goodness of my heart. Write me a report on the uses of Jobberknoll feathers instead. I expect it done with no mistakes. Return it promptly to my desk in the morning." The potions master noticed the boy had stayed rooted to the floor.
Not a soul at Hogwarts had ever escaped his detentions. Excuses were unacceptable. The Professor knew he had the reputation of being the strictest teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry.
Obviously the young boy was in disbelief.
"If you don't want to have detention for the entire term," he rubbed the now aching spot between his eyes, "LEAVE MY SIGHT!"
The 4th year didn't have to be told twice. Much to the relief of the potions master, the student quickly left the dungeons. Finally, he was alone with his thoughts.
Closing his eyes, he touched the wand to his forehead. Into the Pensieve he allowed secrets to fall. Memories of his father. Memories of his mother. Memories of his wife.
A familiar whisper floated through the air carrying his name. "Draco?"
She was standing in the hallway, leaning against the doorpost for support. He turned towards her, "How did you avoid the reporters?" He should have asked her how she was. No, the question he wanted to ask was, Do you still love Potter?
"I've practiced hiding from them all day. They're pretty easy to avoid once you get the hang of it." Ginny's shaky laughter didn't hide her nervousness as she stepped inside the classroom.
There was a long moment when they just stared at each other. Was it just three days ago they planned a vacation to Italy? Two days ago they had discussed what to paint the kitchen and disagreed on the color. That brought a slight smile to his lips. A nice mundane conversation with his wife. Before Potter.
Yesterday they made love. Today they couldn't talk. Just like complete stangers.
Draco broke the silence, "You look pale Ginny." He eyed her, noticing Ginny's cheeks lacked her normally rosy coloring. She often blushed, even when she wasn't embarrassed. Draco had found that completely endearing.
Pulling up an extra chair next to his desk, he pointed, "Please hon, sit down." She trembled, slowly lowering herself into the chair. He knelt down on his knees in front of Ginny. Taking her hands in his, "What's wrong?" he asked softly.
He hoped her answer wouldn't be - I still love Harry Potter. His heart couldn't take it.
"Light-headed and very tired." was her reply, as Draco breathed a sigh of relief.
Draco pulled open one of his drawers and handed her some chocolates from Honeydukes. He put the back of his hand to her forehead. No fever. It was stress. Stress he attributed to Harry Potter.
Ginny finished the chocolates rather quickly, as if she hadn't eaten in days. "Do you have more?" she asked.
"You're going to go through my whole stash woman!" he said in a mock angry voice handing the rest of the candies to her.
How long will we avoid what you really came to discuss? Draco pondered the question in his head as he trailed a finger along her arm. Contemplating what the future held for them, he was broken out of his reverie.
"We need to talk about Harry."
The Boy Who Lived was all over the news once again. Reporters were everywhere, in Hogsmeade, outside Hogwarts, at home. He couldn't avoid stepping on them. The worst ones could care less about Harry's rescue. The big story was the HARRY / GINNY / DRACO triangle. The Quibbler was nice enough to print it so boldly on their first page. Draco had made an extra effort to buy up all the extra copies in Hogsmeade and burn them.
"You were there Draco."
Draco dropped her hands as he straightened up, avoiding her gaze.
Ginny stirred uneasily in the chair, her voice breaking slightly, "You were the last one to see him alive Draco. I need to know what happened."
Draco sensed an odd twinge of disappointment, "You don't trust me?"
Ginny's fingers tensed in her lap.
"You don't trust me." He repeated. This time it wasn't a question.
He placed the Pensieve in front of her.
"Not like this," she shook her head, pushing it away, "This is private."
Gently he reached inside Ginny's cloak pocket, searching for her wand. Finding it, he placed the wand in her palm. Encircling his hands over hers, he pointed the wand at the Pensieve's shimmering depths. The contents began to swirl. There was no turning back.
"Let me show you, luv."
Combat Aurors by Burgosdamasco
Falling, Ginny felt herself falling....
Getting a handle on her bearings Ginny found herself in the midst of black cloaked figures moving in darkness through the dense forest. Camouflaged by the enveloping night, the soldiers moved silently. Draco stood next to her, holding her hand as they walked side by side with his memories.
"Watch your interval," barked the dark haired wizard leading the platoon of Aurors. He reached inside his cloak pocket, pulling out a picture of his young wife Ginny. Quickly he kissed it for good luck. "I love you Ginny." Harry whispered.
Ginny wanted to reach out and touch him, tell him that she loved him too. He was the Harry that haunted her memories. The young wizard who had defeated Voldemort twice, a now confident leader. Harry was full of hope, strength and dreams.
Most importantly he was her first love. Although she knew he couldn't hear, "Harry, I lo.. ." , Ginny caught herself before I love you could escape her lips. Ginny immediately glanced towards Draco. The last thing she wanted to do was hurt him. His face was blank and unreadable. Looking down, Ginny realized that she had removed her hand from his.
"Wands at the ready!" Ron whispered to the others noticing a disturbance within his peripheral view. He raised his arm 45 degrees and brought it palm down, signaling the wizards behind him to take cover.
Instinctively, Ginny ducked behind the nearest shrubbery,
"No one can see you Virginia." Draco drawled.
Ginny stood up, "I-I know. This just seems too..."
Draco finished, "Real? At one time it was."
Ginny wanted to close her eyes and leave this memory. She knew in a few hours Harry would be known to her as dead. In a few hours, Ginny herself would arrive on the scene. That night her heart would shatter in a million pieces.
She turned away from him hiding the tears that started to fall from her eyes. "Please Draco, I want to leave."
Draco answered her tersely, "No. You will observe so that you don't get any funny notions in your head that I'm with you because I contributed to Harry's disappearance." He put his hands on her shoulder in a possessive gesture. Draco's voice grated harshly, "Now watch!" he ordered her. Ginny obeyed.
"What do you see?" Harry asked, peering into the underbrush, muttering underneath his breath at the state of his piss poor vision.
"20-30 deatheaters, tops. It looks like they might be initiating new members. It's about 300 paces from here and another 100 to the mansion. Our contact believes that Bellatrix Lestrange and the remaining deatheaters are using it as their base of operation ." Ron read his map by moonlight. Using magic would foolishly give their location away. Voldemort was dead but evil was still very much alive and well.
Harry waved his hand forward, "Stay low!"
Low crawling 50 more paces, the platoon hid in the tall grass as they came to a clearing. Signaling for his third in command, Harry ordered, "I want you to scout this meeting."
Without hesitation, the muscular soldier hidden in the darkness gave a firm answer, "Yes sir!
The Auror medic observing the situation asked, "May I offer a suggestion,"
Harry raised his eyebrows, "Yes?"
"In my opinion Longbottom would be a poor choice, My advice is to send another Auror. It's my understanding that Longbottom may become too emotional due to the presence of Lestrange."
"Remember who is in command here." Harry said shooting a burning gaze at someone so bold as too stand up against a superior officer.
The medic returned with an icy reply, " My, My Potter. A little power hungry now are you? Happy to finally lord your will over me? "
"Watch your tone medic," Harry paused, then added slowly while clenching his wand tightly, "when addressing a superior."
Ron glared at the medic, " Were you trying to imply that Neville is incompetent?"
"Not at all. My concern is of another matter. Don't you agree that the safety of the Auror platoon should be a priority?" questioned the medic.
Angry groans arose from the rest of the Grimmauld Combat Auror Company, 1st platoon. This was not the first time conflict within the group occurred, it certainly wouldn't be the last.
"If we want your advice Malfoy, we'll ask for it!" Ron ground the words out between his teeth.
Grey eyes bored into the red haired wizard. The medic nodded, "As you wish."
"Unlike you," Ron faced Draco with wand drawn, clearly not finished with the conversation, " We volunteered for this. We care about what happens to our comrades and place full trust in our fellow Aurors."
"Believe what you want Weasley." Draco dropped his potions bag and pointed his own wand directly at Ron.
Neville interrupted forcing Ron and Draco's hands down, "Let's not waste time bickering amongst ourselves!" pointing to the faint light through the trees ahead, " That's our enemy!"
With only a touch of sarcasm, Draco admitted, "Longbottom, that's the most sensible statement you've ever said."
Harry affirmed, "I stand by my decision." turning to Neville, "Remember no magic unless absolutely necessary." Harry reminded him, "The element of surprise is our weapon."
Neville disappeared blending in with the foliage. Nothing could be heard but the rustle of leaves and faint sounds of wildlife.
A voice broke the silence, " Your dark lord is dead Malfoy, we'll be catching the rest of your friends tonight!"
A few bouts of laughter could be heard amongst the troops. Ignoring the rest of the platoon, Draco started preparing his healing potions. Twisting the bottles open with more force than he needed to, he broke a bottle, cutting his finger on a shard of glass. "Dammit!"
More snickering ensued. More comments and ridicule were followed by the junior Aurors.
"Stay in the back where you belong medic."
"Is it true your penniless, Malfoy? The Ministry took control of the sacred Malfoy vault?"
"That's what he gets for being a git."
"Ever been on the receiving end of a blanket party, ferret?"
"Payback time Malfoy. Payback time."
Ginny shook her head in dismay. She knew that Draco was given a rough time when he was assigned to Harry's platoon by Dumbledore. The extent of the abuse, she hadn't a clue. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be. I deserved it for being such an ass at Hogwarts. What's that muggle saying? " Draco released his grip on Ginny. He took a deep breath while clenching his jaw slightly, " Ah yes, What goes around comes around."
Sea of Sorrows by Burgosdamasco
"AT EASE!" Harry ordered as loudly as he could without calling attention to their position.
The laughter subsided, with only an occasional jab at Draco's expense, this time by the second in command. " So - how were the accommodations in Azkaban, Malfoy?"
Draco's face was etched in a frown as he continued to concentrate on his potions. After mixing various concoctions for later use, he busied himself by taking inventory of his bandages.
With a voice full of glee, Ron asked, "Did they have silk sheets in Azkaban?"
Harry rose slightly from prone position to address his brother in law, "That's enough!"
"Shit!" someone exclaimed.
Neville appeared, his body seizing, as blood pooled onto the forest floor.
Draco sprinted towards the injured Auror but stopped abruptly. Taking notice of an orb that had apparated with Neville, he started to slowly step back. A reddish smoky substance swirled and danced within the clear object enticing the soldiers closer.
A chill ran through Draco's spine as he realized what the orb was. "Stay away from Neville! All of you!"
"Come here Medic!" demanded Harry as he ran from his position towards Neville.
Draco continued to step backwards. "Now is not the time to play hero Potter!"
Kneeling at Neville's side and clearly frustrated, Harry yelled as his temper flared, "Refusing an order is insubordination!"
Draco pointed at the orb whose mysterious contents spun faster and faster. "This is an E. M. P. curse. Voldemort was trying to develop the Errant Magical Prevention curse prior to his death. It's capable of rendering your magical powers useless that is if you happen to be within 20 feet of the device when it explodes. The loss of magic is temporary, but also quite effective. It can easily give the Deatheaters an upper hand."
Harry was searching Draco's face, looking for answers. There was no reason for Harry to trust him. "Why should I believe you?"
"My father helped develop it. For all his hatred of mudbloods -"
Ron made a growling sound deep in his throat but Draco continued, "- he was influenced by a muggle device, also called an E.M.P., electromagnetic pulse in which their electrical devices simply stop working. Chaos ensues, as you would know Potter, since muggles rely on electricity in the same way we do magic. If Voldemort had the E. M. P. fully operational before his death, I assure you that none of us would be here today.
"You're probably still in league with those Deatheaters!" accused Ron.
"Ungrateful bastard! You and Potter pointed your knobby fingers at Professor Snape up until the day he died for your cause! If you want to die then so be it, just don't drag everyone else along!" All eyes were on Medic Malfoy as the heated exchange with Lieutenant Weasley continued to spiral out of control, " Every minute spent accusing me is a minute wasted getting to safety!"
Ron shook with anger, "And you'd let Neville die?!"
Draco spoke calmly being sure to look at each and every soldier, "We may have to sacrifice one or face the massacre of all."
Ron walked forward, stopping within arms reach of his archenemy. "Death is that easy for you, isn't it?"
"If you take my advice, we'd be of better help to Neville!"
Harry's eyes stayed fixed on Neville, "Leave No Man Behind." He pointed to Private Johnson, "Get on the two way mirror and call 2nd platoon for backup. Ask Captain Granger-Weasley to send in her best curse breakers."
Draco lowered his voice so that only Harry and Private Johnson could hear, "Request additional medics and a healer." Staring at the orb once again he walked towards the back of the clearing.
"Roger that." Pvt. Johnson took out the 2-way mirror and started the communications, "Echo two this is Echo one - over...."
Harry met the medic's eyes studying the grim expression as reality set in. They both knew that death would visit 1st platoon tonight.
Harry nodded towards Draco in agreement, "Abort Mission, Prepare to Apparate."
A deafening explosion fell onto the ears of first platoon as a blinding light colored the velvet sky.
"Open your eyes."
At the sound of Draco's voice, Ginny's eyes fluttered open.
If only 2nd platoon had been faster, if only their communications hadn't been cut prematurely. So many if's.
Being in Draco's memory, her own was stirred in remembrance as well. After Voldemort's fall, the remaining missions were supposed to be easier. Harry Potter and the Order were invincible.
A nagging thought played in the back of her mind, had 2nd platoon arrived at that instant, there would be no Draco and Ginny. The very idea hurt her as much as the knowledge that soon in this memory, Harry would be no more.
Ginny distanced herself from those thoughts, focusing her attention back to the unfolding events before her.
The bright light started to fade as darkness reclaimed the night.
"Give me report!" shouted Harry so that all could hear. It was too late to worry about giving away their location, "1st squad?!"
"All present and accounted for." Came the voice of Sergeant Justin Finch- Fletchley.
"2nd squad.." the anxiety in Harry's voice lessened as he was assured all his 4 squads was safe. "Anyone hurt?"
Only Neville was still wounded. With the present danger passing, Draco attended to the patient. He poured a frothy liquid down Neville's throat. Initially he coughed violently, Draco administered more of the liquid. Neville's seizures subsided as his respirations returned to normal.
"I-I'm sorry.." Neville managed to say, " Our contact...Zabini... found out...Bellatrix Lestrange was torturing ...had to stop..I'm sorry." Neville drifted in and out of consciousness.
Draco grabbed bandages from his bag and started to dress Neville's wounds. "Cruento Desiit" he whispered as he tapped the wounds with his wand. Slowly the wounds started to repair themselves; the blood loss appeared controlled. Draco thanked the Gods aloud that he had been outside the 20 ft perimeter, "Potter, tell your men to check their magic."
Harry gave the order, hearing his platoon chant the familiar and simple spell, "Lumos"
Rumors started to spread amongst the Aurors. Magic was a constant. It was always there, like the oxygen one breathed. They all turned their eyes on Harry. If they could do nothing else, Harry would take care of them.
Harry flicked his wand with expert skill, "Lumos!"
No light. They were without magic, about to face whatever surprise the Deatheaters had planned. Defenseless.
"Aurors, keep watch on your perimeter!" Harry's voice stayed calm and authoritative, not betraying what everyone knew he must feel, fear.
They kept watch peering into the dark woods ahead. The light that had been there previously had disappeared. First platoon waited and watched, straining to hear any pops that would warn them of an intrusion. Still there was nothing.
"Something's out there." Private Dennis Creevey whispered, "Near that pine tree on the right."
Sergeant Finch-Fletchley grumbled, "You're scaring yourself, I don't see a thing."
"Look closer, that shadow is moving!"
That's when Lt. Weasley saw hundreds of ghostlike black on black shadows hovering above the ground advancing towards them. The stars that provided light had slipped from view. The moon that had shone brightly became invisible as the air surrounding the Aurors lost its warmth. "Gods help us!"
The dementors crept closer revealing their grayish skeletal features that brought hopelessness and death. Coldness filled the Aurors mentally as well as physically, each one dropping to the ground shivering.
Pvt. Creevey clutched his chest, "I - I can't breathe!"
Harry's tone now matched the panicked soldiers, despite his order, "C- C -Calm down Private."
"Respiro." Draco shakily pointed his wand at the hyperventilating soldier. A whoosh of air sounded as it rushed in the young soldier's lungs.
A desperate Harry shouted, "EXPECTO PATRONUM!" as the Dementors surrounded first Platoon. It was of no use. He prayed to the Gods then that his patronus would appear. Tonight they would not be listening .
Sgt Finch- Fletchley was the first one to scream as a Dementor's jaws locked onto his mouth. Soon the Sgt. ceased to make sounds, his body falling, as if lifeless onto the grassy floor.
From all directions came terrified voices and cries of grown men.
"I can't see! I can't see!"
Harry cried out as a Dementor leaned over him, grasping his neck with icy fingers. "No!!" was his blood curdling scream.
Fire engulfed the dementors as the dragon's scales caught the reflection of the horror around it. It thrashed wildly impaling dementors on its horns before tossing and flinging them upon a funeral pyre. The dementors realizing their defeat rose into the sky, escaping the flames below.
Standing in the middle of the platoon was Draco, his wand still pointed to the now vanishing patronus. Dozens of Aurors lay around him, their souls already taken.
Surveying the survivors, Harry slumped to the ground. Out of 40 Aurors only 6 were all that remained. "I couldn't protect them!"
"Harry! Get up!" Ron reached down and lifted Harry to his feet, "Your men need you!"
Lt. Ron Weasley, Sergeant Neville Longbottom, Corporal Ernie Macmillan, Private Dennis Creevey, and Medic Draco Malfoy were all that had been lucky enough not to receive the dementor's kiss.
Regaining his composure, Harry straightened up and immediately started barking orders.
"Private Creevey, I want you to stay with Neville. Corporal, retrieve the two way mirror from Johnson and attempt to re-contact 2nd platoon. Tell them we have men down." Harry breathed deeply as the whimpers of the Dementor's victims reached his ears. He kicked a small tree repeatedly, letting the rage building inside him to release. He pointed to Ron and Draco, "We'll be heading to the mansion as planned."
"I just want to say," Ron's next words caused him great difficulty. "Th-th- thank you." He managed to croak.
Trudging through the forest, Draco ignored him, not bothering to say welcome.
"Yes, um, where did you learn to produce a Patronus?" Harry asked as he swept a branch away from his face.
"Azkaban." Draco said, ignoring the shocked glances shared by Ron and Harry.
Ron asked as they jumped over a small creek, "How long until we regain our powers?"
"When the Errant Magical Prevention Curse was in development, it was 10 minutes."
Harry slapped at buzzing flies that started to gather in ever increasing numbers, "What the Hell?!"
They caught sight of an unmoving black-haired man. Hanging from a tree was Zabini's body. His tongue had been torn from his mouth. Emptiness stared at them. Zabini's eyes had been ripped from their sockets.
"Bloody Monsters!" cried Ron. More dead bodies swayed from the trees. Inhabitants from a nearby muggle village who had suffered the same fate as Blaise Zabini. Men, women, and children.
A witch they recognized as the former Padma Patil hung next to her muggle husband. Her unborn baby had been ripped from her womb, lying in a horrendous mass at the base of the tree.
Closing his eyes and not bothering to hide his weakness, Draco vomited. Harry leaned against a tree trying not to do the same.
Neville wasn't incompetent. He was human. Had it been any one of them that had scouted the mission, they too would have interfered.
"DEATH EATERS - PREPARE TO MEET HELL TONIGHT" Harry's voice bellowed letting the wind carry out his threat.
She had heard about the massacre, but had never seen it. Ginny covered her mouth fighting the same urge.
Draco's eyes were closed as well, matching the Draco of his memory. She didn't bother telling him to open them. Instead she rubbed his back soothingly, reminding him that it was just a memory. It wasn't taking place now. The memory was almost over. Almost.
Looming before them was the sinister-looking mansion. It seemed alive. Huge glass windows watched their every move. Unspeakable things happened here, including the development of the E M P curse and torture of innocents. Now they knew without a shadow of a doubt that the remaining Deatheaters, even without their leader were still a serious threat. They had to be hunted and brought to justice.
"So glad you could join us!" a high pitched cackle belonging to Bellatrix Lestrange greeted them. "Expelliarmus." She chuckled as she collected their wands , "Too easy, too easy."
Mulciber joined her, a huge grin plastered on his face as he saw who the prisoners were.
"Did you enjoy our handiwork?" behind them Draco took note of his former Slytherin housemates Marcus Flint and Malcolm Baddock. "Fancy meeting you here Malfoy!" before Draco could reply ,Marcus cocked his arm back delivering a blow to Draco's jaw. "That's for always losing Quidditch to Gryffindor."
Bellatrix held up a hand to Marcus indicating for him to stop as she swept an approving gaze over Draco, "Nephew." She hissed, her breath hot in his ear. "Looking more and more like Lucius with each passing day, rest his evil soul." She ran a pointed finger along his chest drawing out her words slowly, "So like your father."
Draco stiffened, "Get away from me."
Bellatrix pretended to fight back tears, "That's what your mother said before I killed her! So much like your mother too!"
Draco lunged at his aunt before being hit by the Stupefy spell, falling to the ground.
"Remember when you used to hide from me every time your auntie wanted to give you a kiss? " Bellatrix delivered a swift kick to Draco's stomach. "You can't hide anymore."
She motioned to Mulciber. Pinning Draco's hands behind him, Mulciber dragged him up facing his Aunt Bellatrix once again. Grabbing the back of his head forcefully with her right arm she brought his head down, pressing her lips to his while her other arm snaked inside his cloak. Her moans caused Ron and Harry to look in the opposite direction while the deatheaters ogled, viewing the sadistic display as entertainment.
Bellatrix stomped her foot, "You're supposed to kiss back! Bad Boy! Now I will have to punish you!" Trailing her tongue lightly over his lip, she whispered, "I want to see you bleed nephew!" She bit his lip hard, breaking it, causing blood to run down his chin. "When you were 18 you loved getting kissies from your auntie. Have you told your friends about us? Hmm? Why don't you tell them how I used to put you to bed every single night."
Draco spit on her. His gray eyes darkened like angry storm clouds. "Bitch"
Bellatrix flashed her own wicked smile at him as she wiped Draco's spit from her face. She plunged her teeth on his earlobe. Satisfied after hearing him yelp in pain, she stepped back admiring her handiwork. She smoothed Draco's hair back as he flinched at her touch. "Tsk, Tsk. I liked you a lot better when you were younger. Much easier to control. " She ripped the arm of his cloak exposing his dark mark. "That's more like it nephew." Draco tried to pull away from her, knowing exactly what was coming next.
"You're not surprising in the least, Aunt Bellatrix." He added through gritted teeth.
She traced the outline of the dark mark with her mouth, kissing it, admiring it before raking her nails into his flesh as he struggled.
Ron seethed with anger, "You're a sick bunch of bastards!"
A sudden chill hung onto the edge of Lestrange's words, "OFF WITH HIS TONGUE!"
Baddock charmed a piece of rope to tie the hands of all three as he pulled a glimmering object from his cloak, " I prefer the muggle way to magic. Slower and more painful, don't you agree?" He winked as he brought a knife down to Ron's throat drawing blood. "That's for starters, Weasley."
Bellatrix flipped her hair back as she turned towards the mansion. Sitting herself on the steps she clapped her hands, "Time to watch the show!"
Bellatrix screamed as the wands flew to their original owners.
Shouts of Stupefy and flashes of bright light followed,
"Petrificus totalis!" Ron shouted as Flint and Baddock turned as stiff as stone. "My magic's back Harry!"
Bellatrix backed up the stairs grabbing her broom.
"Incendio!" Bellatrix's broom burst into flames at Draco's command.
"She'll apparate out of there!" Harry said frustrated. " We'll never get her!"
"Not to worry Potter, The Lestrange Manor doesn't let people apparate into or out of the house, grounds yes, house no."
Harry and Draco raced towards the house as Bellatrix slammed the door behind her.
"Alohomora." Harry muttered. The door swung open, "Lumos." he grinned seeing light emit from the tip of his wand
"There she is!" Catching site of Lestrange, Harry ran down a wood paneled hallway closely followed by Draco.
Ron Weasley's screams stopped Draco in his tracks. Racing outside he found Mulciber standing over Ron's body. "IMPERIO!"
As if in slow motion Draco watched as Mulciber handed Ron the knife. Ron took the knife plunging it deep into his own chest, over and over and over.
"Crucio!" a blinding white light struck Mulciber causing him to topple over, twitching and writhing in pain mercilessly. Not one to miss an opportunity, Draco issued a kick of his own to Mulciber's stomach. "This is for Blaise!" He kicked him again, this time in the face, "This is for Padma Patil!" His final kick in Mulciber's groin gave him some sense of due process, "This is for the mudbloods!"
Now more focused, he rushed to Ron's side. Ron's pupils rolled into the back of his head so that only the whites of the eye were visible. Draco did a quick vital sign spell as he applied pressure to his chest wound. Bright red numbers floated from the tip of his wand. 70/40, was his blood pressure, dangerously low and indicative of severe blood loss. Ron shivered, feeling clammy to Draco's touch, he was clearly in shock. Draco muttered one healing spell after the other, "Cruento Desiit, Respiro, Tepidus Corpus ...."
"It hurts, it hurts." Ron cried as his mouth filled with blood, " I- I don't want to die."
"You're not going to die, Weasley!" Draco said with conviction, "I won't let you!" Draco inspected all the wounds pouring additional medicine on them, watching it fizz as the skin started to slowly repair itself. Not fast enough. If the healers didn't get here, if he wasn't transported to St Mungo's immediately....
"Tell Mione I love her." Ron's breath became ragged as he grasped onto the knife still imbedded in his chest." Draco placed padding around the knife, stabilizing it. If taken out Ron would indeed bleed to death in the middle of the Lestrange Gardens.
A crash brought his attention to the mansion. Viewing the ballroom through the bay windows, Draco could make out Harry and Bellatrix currently engaged in a wizard's dual. The windows each in turn exploded outward sending broken glass flying across the once manicured lawn.
For the first time in his life, Draco rooted for Harry. "You're going to get what you deserve Aunt Bellatrix!"
"Avada Kedavra!" The hated curse.
Simultaneously he heard the words hurled with ferocity by both his aunt and Potter. Watching the mansion begin to fill with eerie green light until they were no longer visible through the windows, Draco watched in horrified awe. Expanding in and out, the mansion started to breath. Lestrange Mansion lifted off it's foundation before it exploded and shattered into a million pieces.
Stillness replaced what was once a fight for their lives. Pieces of wood and glass littered the lawn amongst Draco and Ron.
"Potter!" Draco yelled. He would have given anything at that moment to hear the familiar voice of the hated scarhead answer back . There wouldn't be a reply. Chanting a pain medicine spell before leaving Ron, he caught sight of an object in the middle of what was once the mansion. Harry Potter's wand.
Second Platoon had arrived.
Captain Granger-Weasley spotted Draco first. "Medic Malfoy," she said as she headed towards him. "I'll need a full after action report -"
Malfoy cut her off, " I need your best healer Captain."
" Dumbledore will need this information now. I'll send for a medic later!" Hermione tapped her foot impatiently.
Malfoy spun her around, " That can wait! My soldier needs to be evacuated immediately!" he said forcefully.
Hermione let out a cry as she laid eyes on her wounded husband. "Ron!" She ran towards Ron, collapsing beside him.
Her soldiers simply stared, not knowing how to react with their leader losing control.
"You!" Malfoy took charge pointing to a private, "Contact your healer!"
"H-Healer Ginny Potter is with Sergeant Longbottom." She replied, taken aback at the Medic's angry tone of voice.
Malfoy snatched the two-way mirror from the young Auror, "You are useless private!"
Raising the mirror to his face, he said loudly, "GINNY POTTER" At first the image was blurry, suddenly becoming clear. "This is Healer Ginny Potter- Go ahead with your message ."
"Healer Potter, we have a casualty who has multiple chest wounds, I suspect a punctured lung. He needs to be transported out of the area as soon as possible."
"Roger that Malfoy."
More Pops were heard as Ginny Potter arrived with a team of medics. Her face lost color as she saw whom the wounded Auror was. Wasting no time she chanted a sterilization spell and began to perform field surgery beneath the stars on her brother. "Medic Malfoy, I need your assistance!" she ordered snapping her fingers at the tall blonde.
An odd feeling rose inside Ginny as she watched her past self race the clock to save her brother. It was another life. Almost as if she had never lived it. Becoming a healer had been her dream and passion. In just a few minutes after successfully operating on her brother, she would make the decision to no longer be a healer. After all, she hadn't been able to save her own husband.
Hermione stood shaking beyond the sterilization barrier, as her husband's life hung in the balance. Her sister in law, Lieutenant Ginny Potter refused to show fear taking full control of the situation. Combining the talents of the individual medics into a cohesive team, Ronald Weasley was finally stabilized.
"We'll be transferring him to St Mungo's, Captain." Ginny replied not losing any formality with her sister in law.
Instead of a broom, a medical evacuation flying carpet appeared on which the medics lowered a very anesthetized Ronald Weasley. Hermione and another medic followed.
"We'll inspect the remaining area ma'am." Sgt Dean Thomas saluted, watching them take off into the early dawn. Dean Thomas divided the platoon up into two, instructing them to cover every inch of Lestrange Manor.
Lieutenant Ginny Potter waved Medic Malfoy over, asking him to give names of the survivors.
He never mentioned Harry.
Harry had killed Voldemort. Operation Lestrange was supposed to be an easy mission. A piece of cake, he had told her. It would take not more than half an hour to accomplish. Harry couldn't have died. Malfoy must have made a mistake.
"Any other survivors?" she asked forcing her voice to remain steady.
Malfoy considered the red haired woman for a minute. "Perhaps you should have a seat." Without giving her a choice he put his hands on her shoulders, gently forcing her to kneel down on the damp grass.
He lowered himself to face her, fumbling in his pocket. "I - I think you should have this"
It was Harry's blood and soot covered wand. Ginny took it, staring at it for a moment. As if it might reveal Harry, she turned the wand over in her hands .
"NO! No!" Ginny covered her tear-streaked face with her hands. "You've made a mistake! He's out there. He needs my help I can feel it!"
Ginny started walking towards the woods when Malfoy grabbed her not wanting her to see the frightening sights beyond.
"No! My husband is alive." she choked , holding her chest as if she couldn't breath.
"Lieutenant," his eyes darkened in pain with her, "Harry Potter is dead."
Sgt. Dean Thomas and Sgt. Seamus Finnegan watching the drama unfold, offered their support to Ginny.
"Leave me alone!" she screamed. She twisted around to face Draco, "You're a liar MALFOY!" she started to strike at his chest. Draco caught her arms. He held her tight preventing Ginny from releasing any more blows. Suddenly she became limp collapsing against him, her body shaking with misery. She sobbed into him, "Harry " she cried, "Harry.... come back to me Harry!"
This time Ginny found herself being swept away into the potions classroom, still crying against Draco. Her tears falling against his neck. She wrapped her hands around him, trying not to drown, allowing him to be her life preserver amongst the sea of sorrows. It was just like before. Except this time when he held onto her, he kissed her forehead. Rocking silently with her until she fell asleep, Draco summoned his broom. Cradling her in his arms, they flew home.
Reassurance by Burgosdamasco
Draco awoke with Ginny sleeping soundly underneath him. Her eyes still swollen from too many tears. Still, she was lovely. Studying her ivory face with just a faint dusting of freckles, he wished that Ginny would never leave. His mouth danced along a column of her throat bringing Ginny out of her slumber.
Something was wrong. She was pushing him away. "Not now, Draco." She slipped from his grasp easing herself out of bed.
"Where are you going?" he asked, his eyes pleading with her, "I thought we could spend the day together. I could call off work and get a substitute to teach my classes."
"I have to talk with..." she mumbled as she walked to the shower, " Harry."
Draco shoved the blankets that had covered him and Ginny just moments before, to the floor. He sat up on the edge of the bed sighing heavily. After sharing so much with her, he had assumed, wrongfully so, that she would want to be with him today. Perhaps he had shown her too much. There were old wounds in his memory he hadn't wanted to face again. Obviously she didn't either.
Towel drying her hair, Ginny took a seat at her vanity, "It's not what you think Draco. The press conference is this morning. He needs to know about you and I."
Vultures, the name was too nice a descriptive for the Daily Prophet. He didn't relish the thought of being at their mercy. Only for Ginny would he meet the press he had so long tried to avoid. Hexes wouldn't come fast enough if the Prophet or the Quibbler hurt her.
Draco crossed the room, chanting a quick dry spell for his wife, "Do you want me there with you?" Waiting for her reply, he pulled a hairbrush through Ginny's long red hair. He loved combing her hair, it had become a bit of a tradition each morning. A part of him hoped that one day a little one of their own would have her hair.
Less than a month ago they had been lounging in bed after another round of fabulous lovemaking on a lazy Sunday afternoon. His mind still couldn't fathom the fact that after 3 years of marriage, Ginny loved him despite his past. No longer was he rich. Gone was Malfoy Mansion to be replaced by a small cottage in Hogsmeade. No matter. Ginny Malfoy was lying beside him looking up at him with more love than he felt he rightly deserved.
"I want our little ones to have your hair." Draco had said playing with a stray tendril as he lay between her thighs.
Ginny's soft laughter reached his ears as she feigned surprise, " A Malfoy wants red haired offspring?"
"Correction, I want our babies to have blazing red hair, freckles too. Think you can manage that Mrs. Malfoy?" he told her as his nose nuzzled against her neck.
She had disagreed, "If they have red hair they'll be teased mercilessly. I prefer blonde babies with grayish-blue eyes."
"Let's get started then Gin-girl." They never did leave the bed that day. From sunrise until the sun dipped from view they spent the day in exploration and arousal. Draco decided he most definitely wouldn't put that memory in a pensieve. Safely he would have it locked in his mind for instant retrieval. Three long years they had tried to conceive, without success. It wasn't for lack of trying. And what great fun they had having a go at it.
Never would he admit to Ginny how scared he was. If she chose Potter, he would never get a chance to make love to her again.
Putting the brush down Draco caught her gaze in the mirror as he rested his hand on her shoulder. Ginny reached up and laid her hand over his.
"I think it's best I go alone."
He snatched his hand away, "It's becoming a bit of a habit for you, isn't it Virginia. To leave me!?"
Draco started to pace back and forth in a manner Ginny had never seen, "Maybe it was a - a mistake, allowing you access to my pensieve! What the hell was I thinking!" Would she now start making comparisons between the great Captain Harry Potter and lowly Medic Malfoy ? The awardee of Order of Merlin 1st class due to Operation Lestrange had been despised by his whole platoon, while Harry Potter had been loved and respected. Valiantly Harry fought a hero's battle against his evil wicked witch of an aunt. The humiliation he suffered under his Aunt Bellatrix, went far deeper than he thought Ginny would ever begin to suspect. Ginny probably hated him for it.
Draco hated himself for it. He who so prided himself in being strong, had been weak and hadn't been able to stop any of it.
Ginny rose fluidly from the chair , looking up into the grey eyes that tried to hide so much yet told her everything. She brushed her fingers softly against his cheek. "I love you even more Draco. I love you even more."
Ginny brought her hand to her face trying to shield her eyes from the blinding flashes. Reporters surrounded her from all sides threatening to crush her.
"Is it true you had a torrid affair with Draco Malfoy prior to Harry Potter's disappearance?" asked a pudgy reporter with a badge that read "THE QUIBBLER." He stepped in front of her attempting to snap a picture.
A fully cloaked man with hood drawn reached out to grab the camera, sending it smashing to bits on the sidewalk in front of St. Mungo's.
"That's Quibbler property! You'll pay for that!"
The cloaked figure threw off his hood, "Bill me!" Ron Weasley ushered Ginny hastily past the mob into St. Mungo's Hospital. He rushed up the stairs , taking them two at a time. "C'mon Ginny!" he yelled down to her from the 4th floor landing, watching his sister carefully ascend the stairwell.
"You sure do take your sweet time sis." he said to her as they entered the corridor. " For someone who played Quidditch, you're incredibly slow."
"Don't rush me Ron!" Tapping her wand to her temple ,Ginny chanted the headache banishing spell. Trepidation filled her every step as Ron swept her past the corridor full of Aurors.
"Why so many?" Ginny asked, although she suspected the reasoning behind it.
Ron stopped at an empty patient room two doors down from Harry. Opening the door he revealed a room filled with thousands upon thousands of letters, piled from the floor until they reached the ceiling. "Security measures. Death threats are owled daily..."
Ginny brought her hand up to her lips, gasping in surprise and horror.
Ron continued, "... as well as numerous marriage proposals, job offers, requests for money and autographs. Bunch of nutters if you ask me. The ministry has had to censor his mail before allowing him to read it. Some of the correspondence reveals information that is highly sensitive."
Ron shared a knowing look with Ginny. She had to tell him - and soon.
Entering Harry's room, Ron's grim expression quickly changed as he flashed a brilliant smile at Harry. "I've brought a visitor."
Ginny stepped out from behind her brother. Cards, flowers and muggle balloons decorated the room. "Get well soon. Get well soon." a card on his stand repeated. A crude picture drawn by her nephew James hung prominently over Harry's bed. "The Weasley Family - by James Harry Weasley." Had been drawn in crayon. Ginny had to laugh at the stick figures of her mum, dad, and brothers. He had drawn his aunt Angelina and her children a bit too dark. James had even added Harry Potter making his scar a bit bigger than the rest of his body. There was no mistaking which stick figure she was. The long red hair gave it away. Standing next to Ginny, his stick hand in hers was the only blonde in the picture. Draco.
Had Harry noticed? Did he question who the mysterious figure was amongst a sea of Weasley's?
Ron gave Ginny a comforting squeeze as if willing to add his strength to hers. "I'll leave you two alone then." Before turning towards the door Ron whispered in Ginny's ear, "You have an hour."
It's now or never, she told herself. Harry had suffered enough. To prolong his knowledge of the truth would be cruel. Ginny settled herself in a chair nearest his bed. "H-Harry I have something to tell- "
She didn't get a chance to finish. Harry swung his legs over the hospital bed. He sat forward looking at her intently with the same sparkling green eyes that had once said. "Till death do us part." Ginny felt neverending tears start to fall. She had let him down.
Pressing a finger to her lips, he said quietly, "Shh Gin - I know."
Harry's Understanding by Burgosdamasco
For those of you who have read my other story While You Were Sleeping, you may recognize the classroom scene. I took it from this story and worked it into that one.
“You know?” Ginny was unable to keep the shock from her trembling voice.
Instead of pushing her away, she found outstretched arms that beckoned her closer. Harry dabbed at another tear that had fallen. Moving aside on his bed, he said softly, “Sit with me Ginny.”
Ginny did just that, mere centimeters away from the man with tousled black hair, glasses and lightning bolt scar. A healing gash on his cheek was the only reminder of past pain Harry hid behind now darkening green eyes. Ginny hung her head in shame as silence surrounded them. Only sounds of rolling thunder in the distance brought them back to the ominous questions that both were too frightened to ask or answer. “I’m sorry Harry. I’m so sorry.”
She waited for him to tell her that sorry wasn’t enough. On a sunny afternoon 6 years ago, promises were made that joined their souls together, witnessed by family and friends. Promises that were broken. Her soul now bonded to another.
“All our dreams were shattered Ginny.” Cupping her chin he looked deeply into Ginny’s brown eyes. “I was angry when I heard what went on, but don’t think for a minute that I blame you.”
Ginny bit her lip hoping his answer would be no, “You don’t hate me?”
“Hate you?? Are you crazy Gin?” Running a lazy hand through her long red tresses he whispered, “How could I not love you?”
Harry closed the space between them allowing Ginny to rest her head against his chest. Ginny had forgotten how warm and safe Harry felt as his arms wrapped around her. Just like the first time he held her at the Burrow, it felt completely natural. A twinge of guilt hit her. As natural as it felt with Draco.
It would have been easier had Harry pushed her away. Choices would have been much simpler. Could she even go home to share a bed with Draco knowing that Harry still loved her?
In the back of her mind Ginny sensed something wasn’t quite right. The feeling gnawed at her. Had his long absence affected him in some way? Perhaps he was keeping his feelings inside. Was this some type of survival mechanism that enabled him to last a tortuous 6 years without her?
Ginny crinkled her eyebrows in confusion. “I don’t understand. Yell at me if you must - you have every right to do so.”
It was Harry’s turn to look confused. “Ginny, My gods, you were lonely. How could I not understand. I spent 6 years...” Harry’s eyes glazed over taking on a far off look . No longer was he in the safe confines of St. Mungo’s.
“Harry?” it was frightening for Ginny to see his face twisted in intense pain. She felt utterly helpless. Harry’s glasses flew to the floor as his arms and legs started to jerk violently. His head lolled onto his neck as if he had no support. “Harry!”
Past healer instincts kicked in. Guiding him with care onto his pillows she immediately covered him with blankets. Never forgotten healing spells echoed throughout the room, “Demens Claro! Desiit Coruscus!”
Five minutes later a very tired Harry emerged from his mental prison. Concerned staff from St. Mungo’s surrounded him. Blinking, he tried to make out the identity of the blurred faces. Gently Ginny slipped Harry’s glasses over the bridge of his nose. Giving her a grateful smile he sat up.
“You worried me Harry.” Ginny said brushing a stray lock from his face. “I called for your Healer.”
Harry frowned in displeasure. “I’M FINE!”
“Don’t be stubborn. Your last display wasn’t quite convincing.” Ginny stepped aside allowing Healer-in-Charge Augustus Pye and his Trainee Healer Samantha Gordon to examine Harry. She pulled the curtains around the bed to allow for privacy. It took her every measure of self control not to take over his care.
Raindrops pattered as Ginny rested her head against the cool window pane waiting for Harry’s physical to end. What in all the Gods names did they - whoever they were - do to him? Her heart contracted painfully in her chest. Or was it the pain of knowing about her marriage to Draco?
Ginny was jolted from her thoughts.
It seemed odd responding to the name after all these years. “Yes?”
“What Harry experienced was-“
Ginny interrupted , ”A Grand Mal seizure.”
“Exactly. He’s been exposed to numerous hexes and curses continuously over a long period of time. We’ve tried various magical remedies but we’d also like to integrate alternative therapies to speed his progress. As you are his wife - we would like to go over treatment options with you.” Healer Augustus Pye gave his trainee the signal to continue.
“Ah,yes. We’d like to start him on a muggle drug, Carbamazepine.” The trainee healer looked nervously at Pye and Ginny, “I’ve also placed an energizing spell on Mr. Potter. He should be well enough to attend the press conference.”
Should she answer as his wife? Taking this step would mean so much more than either Healer could ever know. One thought drove her on - Harry was suffering. Ginny nodded in agreement, “E- Excellent idea, in the meantime I think you should also refer him to a Neurological Healer and………..” she added thinking of Harry’s reaction to the news about her marriage with Draco, “I think a Psyche Evaluation is in order.” Keeping feelings inside would only contribute to further illness and she would do anything in her power to ensure Harry’s return to health.
Enthusiastically the trainee Healer waved her wand. Out of thin air a prescription pad appeared and she began to write orders. Looking over her quill the young trainee said with reverence, “Healer Potter, correct?”
“Six years ago that would have been accurate.” she said eyeing the young blonde before her. She barely looked 16. Ginny wondered if she had looked that fresh faced when she started. A millennia ago, it seemed to Ginny ,that she herself was a trainee healer directly out of Hogwarts. Within 2 years she was made Surgical Healer- in –Charge. War had a way of either ending or advancing one’s career. In Ginny’s case, war had accomplished both.
“I had to do a report on you during my Surgical Healer rotation. Mrs. Ginny Potter the youngest surgical healer in magical medical history and the best. The advances you made in emergent magical surgery were outstanding.”
The compliment was unexpected. “Thank you.” The irony amused her. Here was a healer more impressed to meet Ginny than to be taking care of world famous Harry Potter. Trainee Healer Gordon slowly backed out of the room still in awe at meeting her hero.
“Can I join the fan club?” came Harry’s voice.
Ginny pulled back the curtains. Feeling relief at his recovery, she kissed him chastely on the cheek. Disquieting thoughts began to race through her mind. She felt guilty and selfish. It was an innocent kiss, wasn’t it? As Ginny’s heart beat for both Harry and Draco, she felt her soul being torn in two.
Black robes billowed behind the fair haired wizard as he made his way past the wrought- iron gates. His only companions were heavy clouds that lurked above, and in his heart. A flash of lightening illuminated a cold grey stone. Lonely and forlorn, it was overgrown with vines Tearing away at the vegetation that covered her gravestone , a name etched in granite caused the wizard to fall to his knees.
She forgot herself for those she loved and cherished, but the Gods remember.
“I’m sorry Mum.” Placing a red rose on his mother’s grave, Draco wept. The rain mixing with his own tears. “It’s my fault mum, please forgive me – I didn’t mean it to happen.”
Unconditionally his mother had loved him. Death had been her reward.
“For a time I had someone’s luv, mum. You would have loved her.” Draco sobbed as the bitter wind chilled him, “I lost you mum and I think I might lose her too.
I deserve it. I deserve all of it.
“How do I look -” Harry asked emerging from the washroom, “- for my first public appearance?”
As always his hair was still messy . He wore a crisp white button down muggle shirt and black trousers. The ensemble was a bit too big, but in a few weeks with proper care and adequate nutrition, Harry would fit into them quite nicely. To all but the most astute observers, his slight limp was imperceptible.
Handing him his wizarding cloak she eyed him from top to bottom, “You look fine but -but something’s missing.”
Ignoring Harry’s worried expression, Ginny reached into her pocket. She handed over the one thing that had given Ginny a small part of the boy who lived, “This belongs to you.”
Inspecting the narrow box, he mouthed a thank you to Ginny, “You shouldn’t have.” Carefully he opened it. What he found inside left him momentarily speechless. A Phoenix feather wand. His wand. “But how?” was his choked question as his shaky fingers grasped onto it for dear life. Reunited with its master the wand flashed brilliant bolts of white light.
“Draco.” Ginny paused upon saying her beloveds name in the presence of Harry. She continued in a sinking tone, “He found it that night.” That night he saved your platoon Harry. That night he saved Ron. That night your boyhood enemy allowed me to grieve over my lost love.
“Malfoy.” Harry said without a hint of dislike, “I must thank him in person – Tell me, what’s Malfoy been up to?”
Ginny stood there, horrified as a sickening feeling started churning in her stomach. She could feel the color draining from her face. He doesn’t know. Oh dear Gods he doesn’t know!
“Everytime I ask, Hermione and Ron change the subject. I’m beginning to think he’s dead.”
Ginny felt the small ache in the pit of her stomach start rising to her throat. She tried to breathe, feeling her throat become tight.
He eyed her with concern, “Are you alright Gin?”
Pushing past him she ran to the washroom. Sounds of uncontrollable vomiting filled the tiny room. She held her abdomen wishing for the sickness to pass. Wiping the sweat off her brow she stood unsteadily as she twisted the doorknob to face Harry. Waiting for her was a glass of water that Harry had conjured. Averting her eyes from Harry’s she took the water, thankful for the refreshment and cleansing it offered. If only it could wash away the overwhelming guilt she felt.
“A bit of bad toast I ate this morning Harry.” Ginny said before he could ask what was wrong, which in her case was everything.
He returned a smile to her, believing the lie.
“Where is Professor Malfoy?” was the question on all the students lips.
“Maybe that pompous git will give himself detention for being late.” snickered 2nd year Ravenclaw Thomas Corner.
A smack resounded throughout the room. Caressing his cheek, Thomas Corner found red- haired Diana Weasley towering over him, “Don’t you dare talk about my uncle that way!” Crush or no crush, she would not let the black haired boy talk about Professor Malfoy, or as she affectionately called him, Uncle D.
Returning to her seat she opened her potions textbook trying to concentrate on the effect of the Forgetfulness potion. It was useless, it was just a jumble of letters on a page. How she wished she had the extendable ears her Uncles Fred and George had advised her to take, but her mother wouldn’t hear of it. She could still hear her mother complaining, “Bill, zess brothers of yours are zuch a bad influeence!”
Whispers filled the room. Rumors about how Professor Malfoy had gone mad. Giggling from Diana’s own friends who secretly harbored a liking for her uncle, which she thought was extremely gross. She wondered if her uncle knew why so many female students conspired to get detention.
“Says here,” said her own housmate Gryffindor Roarke Abercrombie, holding the latest edition of the Daily Prophet, “ an undisclosed staff member revealed that Mrs. Virginia Malfoy has engaged in intimate relations with Harry Potter daily in his hospital room.”
“Give me that!” Her books fell to the dungeon floor as she jumped from her desk. Pointing her wand at her foul mouthed classmate, she fully intended to use it.
He held it away , clearly enjoying her frustration. “Maybe that’s why our dear PROFESSOR DEATHEATER is in such a pissy mood. He’s not getting any while your Aunt shags Harry Potter.”
The class roared in laughter, abruptly dying down as a drenched Professor Malfoy entered the dungeon classroom. Slamming the door behind him with such force it almost came off its hinges, he stalked down the aisle towards Roarke Abercrombie. Snatching the Daily Prophet from Roarke’s hands, Draco dragged the yelling student out of the chair by his ear.
“My father will hear of this!” Roarke Abercrombie said as his face turned a shade of beet red , in part to pain but mostly due to extreme embarrassment as his friends snickered at his present predicament.
“Brat, that excuse doesn’t work with me!” Draco shoved the Gryffindor in the potions closet pointing to a small cupboard underneath the shelves. “There’s a boggart that needs taken care of.”
Roarke’s eyes grew as wide as saucers,” B-But Professor Longbottom hasn’t taught us that yet!”
“Are you sure you’re a brave Gryffindor? Perhaps you are more suited to Hufflepuff.”
Roarke stood there shaking as the potions professor crossed his arms wrathfully.
Pounding his hand on the wall, Draco yelled causing Roarke to jump, “OPEN IT NOW!”
Slowly the Gryffindor bent to the cupboard, screaming when a Norweigan Ridgeback appeared.
“Pathetic.” Draco remarked as he shut the closet door behind him. Ignoring the screams he turned to the rest of the students who had become deathly quiet, “Anyone else?” Draco didn’t particularly feel like teaching at the moment. Instead he instructed them to read pages 50-500 of their textbook with warnings that he better not hear so much as a peep from any of them .
He caught the gaze of his red-headed niece who looked so much like Ginny did when she attended Hogwarts. Of course back then he couldn’t stand the sight of any Weasley’s, hating Ron with a passion. With Ginny, he had been plotting her demise since the night she bat-bogey hexed him. A faint smile tugged at the corner of his lips. What would his past self have thought, had he known his future self would fall madly in love with said hexer?
Seeing his niece reminded him not only of Ginny but the rest of the Weasley family. He felt the connection between husband and wife start to weaken at the time he most needed it. Draco wondered how long it would be before Harry replaced him, not just in Ginny’s heart but in the hearts of the Weasley’s, which he had tried so hard to become a part of. Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself. A voice he hadn’t heard in a long time whispered to him, It’s unbecoming of a Malfoy.
An owl skittering across his desk brought him out of misery. He recognized the spotted owl as belonging to Headmistress McGonagall.
Dear Professor Malfoy,
Due to extraordinary events in the wizarding world , the board has decided to cancel classes for today. There will be a special teachers viewing of the press conference held in the Divination classroom.
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall
The announcement of no classes drew shouts of glee as the students raced out of the dungeons. Becoming increasingly agitated by screams in the Potions closet, Draco dismissed Roarke Abercrombie, “You’re an embarrassment to Wizarding kind!” he shouted after him, before getting rid of the boggart himself. Returning to his seat as if nursing a headache, he leaned forward with his head in his hands.
Only Diana Weasley stayed behind, walking towards him with a bit of apprehension. Her usually impeccably dressed uncle was a complete mess. Dragon-skin boots that she recognized were a birthday gift from her Uncle Charlie were caked in mud. His robe was dripping wet, and his hair, which was always carefully slicked back was now in disarray, covering his eyes.
What could she do to make him feel better? She thought for a minute before placing her small 2nd year arms in a great hug around him. Diana felt her uncle place a tiny kiss on her forehead as she said with utmost certainty, “You’ll always be my uncle.”
“Feeling better Gin?” Harry asked while massaging Ginny’s back.
She chewed her on her lower lip and stole a look at him. Harry had gone through so much already. Would the hurting ever stop? Why did life have to be so damn cruel to the people she loved the most?
“Harry,” she sat in the chair, slumped over with a worried expression, “What you know-“
“Gin, we’ve gone over that, there’s no need –“
Now it was Ginny’s turn to cut him off. “No! We haven’t talked about it. That’s the problem!” Ginny rose from the chair, her hands twisting in nervousness.
Harry put a calming hand on her shoulder, “Ginny, are your worried about your hospitalization coming out in the Daily Prophet? Because I can tell you - I don’t care. You were grieving and needed help. If people can’t understand,then they can all just sod off!”
Gathering her in his arms, he held her snugly. “I don’t care what the press dregs up. The fact of the matter is that I love you. Nothing can change that!”
Without looking away Ginny backed out of his grasp. If you didn’t care Harry this wouldn’t be so hard to say. Staring into emerald eyes, Ginny took a deep breath ignoring the uneasiness rising within her, “The past 3 years I’ve been ma...”
The door to Harry’s room opened interrupting Ginny’s revelation. Ron stood in the doorway, “It’s time.”
Dangerous Complications by Burgosdamasco
“Congratulations Professor Malfoy.”
Draco narrowed his eyes at Lavender Thomas as he entered the Divination classroom. He thrust his hands into his pockets, which itched to strangle the life out of Lavender. She had become quite strange after becoming the Divinations Professor, always sputtering nonsense.
“What pray tell, am I supposed to be so damn happy about!” Are you congratulating me on losing my wife? Draco flung his cloak against the wall as he joined the others at the large cauldron in the center of the room. Professor Longbottom muttered a spell and Draco’s wrinkled cloak floated neatly to a hook on the wall. Nervous glances were exchanged between the teachers wondering what had possessed McGonagall to invite Draco to the viewing.
Neville approached his friend with concern.
Draco halted him, “Professor Longbottom, if you want to ask me how I am, -Don’t bother.”
Neville hesitated at his bitter tone of voice. Draco Malfoy, the epitome of cool, calm and collected was anything but. Draco looked as if he hadn’t slept in days, adding weary lines to his once young looking face. He weighed his options. Should he just leave Draco alone? What kind of friend was Neville if he did? Maybe Draco thought he could deal with his problems on his own but Neville thought otherwise. If Draco didn’t let out his feelings soon, they would erupt in a horrific mess.
“When you feel like talking, Malfoy – I’m here.” Neville offered a tentative pat then stepped back. He had done his part; the rest was up to Draco.
Draco nodded curtly staring intently at the smoking cauldron waiting for the conference to begin. He was immersed in thoughts of Virginia, not noticing when Professor McGonagall stepped beside him.
“Professor Malfoy I’m glad you could attend. Perhaps I could have a word with you before this begins.” The headmistress led Draco to a dusty side room covered with ancient Astrological charts. Minerva McGonagall motioned for Draco to sit. Like a good pupil he did just that, arms folded on the desk. Many changes had occurred in Draco Malfoy. It felt like only yesterday that she was scolding the young Malfoy for fighting with Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley.
“I suppose you are wondering why I invited you to watch the proceedings.”
Staring straight ahead Draco looked past the headmistress, but she continued. “Rumors are flying about Hogwarts, not just among the students. I am ashamed to say I have heard tidbits of gossip from the staff.”
“I can’t say that I care.” Draco lied as he thought about the newspaper incident in his potions class. He had lost complete control in front of class and came very close to hurting his own student.
“Well I, for one, care a great deal.” Minerva pulled up a chair sitting across from her former pupil, now her peer. “Draco not many people know that you have contributed to the Order. Your research helped us rid the globe of the last of the Deatheaters. If it wasn’t for your assistance, Harry Potter might still be a memory.”
Draco let out a hollow laugh. Would the return of his wife to the Great Harry Potter be his reward? He had imagined in better times of growing old and grey with his dear redhead. The thought of watching her with another turned and twisted his stomach. If only he could do it all over again, Draco thought. If only he had noticed Ginny at Hogwarts before Harry Potter finally did. What if they had been able to have children?
“Ronald Weasley informed me that you refused to attend the informational session at the Ministry. Aurors will be acknowledged for their contributions in the rescue of Harry in which you are one.”
“I don’t care for a meaningless award. I was just doing my job, being honored for heroics wasn’t part of my plan.” Draco stood up, pushing his chair in. So this was what Lavender was congratulating me for. He could care less about the award. As soon as he received the award, he would flush it down the toilet. Yes, that’s exactly what he would do. If I could redo everything, I wouldn’t help the damn Order at al!
Minerva pushed her glasses back along the bridge of her nose, “I might be getting on in years but I’m not deaf. Your nickname among the students is Professor Death Eater, is it not?”
Draco nodded, stifling for the first time in many weeks - a laugh. That was one of the nicer names he had been called. There had even been a running bet with the students as to whether Professor Malfoy was actually a vampire; this information was given to him courtesy of his beloved niece.
“Some teachers here, unfortunately think you are still in cohorts with Voldemort’s followers, I intercepted a petition regarding your removal the first time year you were here and almost every year thereafter. It is my hope that the information released today will cease all rumors.”
I highly doubt it. Draco thought to himself silently. No matter how much he tried to further himself from all things Voldemort, the more people talked. Being called a hero after the Battle of Lestrange did nothing but bring more unwanted attention to him. After years of being jealous of Harry Potter he now understood the man a bit more. Only now he wouldn’t be jealous of Harry Potter’s popularity. He wouldn’t care if the whole world knelt in worship at Potter’s feet, as long as the one person he loved didn’t.
“That is my hope as well, Headmistress.”
Ginny tried to gather together the remnants of her Gryffindor bravery as she sat across from Harry, in a room adjacent to the Ministry’s auditorium. There had never been a good time to tell him. The broom ride had been long and chilly with Aurors constantly surrounding Harry.
Aurors milled about the room, inside and outside ensuring the safety of the world’s most beloved Wizard. A small part of Ginny was thankful that Ron was too busy with preparations to ask how her supposed discussion with Harry had went. Ron had mistaken her silence for an admission.
“Something to drink Mrs. Potter?”
She nodded at the young Ministry official, “Thank you.” she reached for the glass of wine, fingering the long stemmed glass without taking a drink.
“Nervous?” Harry asked sitting beside her on the sofa.
Ginny took a tiny sip and proceeded to spit it out in the nearest trash receptacle, “Gods that’s disgusting!” She used to like wine but this variety tasted quite bitter. Ginny blushed to the roots of her hair, “Sorry, I guess that wasn’t so ladylike, was it? Oh,and yes, I’m quite the nervous wreck.”
Harry gave her a warming smile, “Once we put all of this mess behind us we’ll be ok. Everything will be back to the way it was. I promise.”
Don’t make promises you can’t keep Harry. It’s now or never.
“It’s a horrible mess Harry, a horrible mess!” She withdrew the cartoon picture that had hung on Harry’s hospital wall. Harry shared a questioning look with her, wondering why she had brought little James’ artwork. She unfolded the paper and laid it before Harry.
“What do you see?” her fingers shook as she pointed to the blond holding her hand. Harry wore glasses but was he really that blind? Could he not see what was right in front of him?
“My ring?” Harry held up Ginny’s left hand as if seeing it for the first time, inspecting a jewel that promised eternal love. “This isn’t my ring.”
“Don’t bother, they won’t come off.” Bellatrix smiled wickedly, watching the guard trying to frantically magic away her bites. Spell after spell did nothing but make the bruises on his neck turn an even deeper shade of purple.
“Bitch!” he called from beyond the bars. “My wife will kill me.”
Bellatrix chuckled softly as she slipped back into her prison robes. “Zip up your pants big boy or you’ll get fired before you meet your death” It had been a long time since she had been with such a willing partner. All she had to do was flash her eyes and he would do her bidding. She had gleaned much information from the guard in her short stay at Azkaban, but there was much more she needed. Bellatrix pressed herself against the prison bars licking her lips seductively. Already she saw the signs of his response. It just proved her theory. Men were such weak creatures.
“Come here love, I’m not done with you.” She called from her cell but the guard refused to move. “Come here or I will cry rape. You don’t want me to do that, do you?” She watched with smug delight as he chanted Alohamora.
“I could lose my job.” He said weakly as Bellatrix undid his pants. Bellatrix looked at him with delicious anticipation. Making a man fall to his knees made her feel powerful. In a matter of minutes, his hands were wrapped around her dark tresses. The guard begged her for more as their encounter became more intense. She writhed beneath him, filled with more rage than passion. Just this once, she would let him think he was dominant. He was calling her name now, just like many had done before. Pleasure blinded him as he moved erratically. She laughed at his stupidity.
“Bellatrix!” he screamed as the green light engulfed him. Casually she tossed him away, once again donning her robes and pocketing his wand.
“Can’t say it hasn’t been fun!” she said to the lifeless man lying on the floor. She chanted a spell transfiguring her prison garb into something more befitting a free woman. Bellatrix kicked the body out of her way as she walked out of her prison cell. “I have a family reunion to attend.”
No More Lies by Burgosdamasco
“Out! Everyone Out!” Harry rose to his feet knocking over the glass of wine that he had been drinking.
A young ministry official that looked to be barely out of his teens, tentatively approached him. His voice wavered as he spoke, “Mr. Potter we were given clear orders to keep you within our sight at all times.”
Harry’s face was a glowering mask of rage as he spat, “I don’t care who gave you that order, get the hell out of here and leave me alone with my, my,wife!”
Ginny suddenly felt weak and vulnerable in the face of Harry’s anger. Ginny watched helplessly as Harry paced the room her eyes meeting Dean Thomas’ before he and the other Aurors exited out the door.
“Is it Thomas or Finnegan??? Maybe you’re Mrs. Longbottom now. What other surprises are you hiding from me Ginny?!”
Harry ran his fingers through his hair, his green eyes watering as he slumped back onto the sofa. “Do you have any idea what it was like to spend 6 years in a cell no larger than a cardboard box?! The sun -” Ginny saw his tears start to fall, tears that had been accumulating for those long years spent apart, “the sun Ginny,I didn’t see the sun for 6 years. Can you imagine what that feels like? CAN YOU?!”
Ginny closed her eyes. Her heart aching with the pain Harry was sharing. There was absolutely nothing she could say or do to make things right. All she knew now was that her heart was shattering with his. She let him rant and rave, silence on her part was the best option.
“I wanted to die Ginny but I loved you so much… …so much that I held out hope that I would see you again. But it was for nothing! I should have died in that gods forsaken place.” He covered his face with trembling hands and gave vent to the agony of everything he had lost.
Ginny couldn’t bear the sight of him without breaking down herself. His chest heaved in pain but Ginny was not afraid. Harry would never hurt her. She reached out to Harry, placing her hand over his.
Immediately he flung her hand away from his as if it burned. “Get away from me!” he seethed pushing himself off the sofa.
“Harry, I’m sorry.”
“I DON’T CARE TO HEAR YOUR APOLOGIES GINNY!” Ginny jumped, as Harry with his back turned towards her punched his fist into the wall over and over leaving his hand bruised and swollen. “DAMMIT!” he sobbed leaving an indentation as pieces of the wall fell to the floor.
“Stop Harry! Please!” Ginny pleaded as Harry fell to his knees cradling his injured arm. Carefully she walked towards Harry, kneeling next to him. “Let me heal your hand.”
“Who made you forget me?” he whispered, his voice barely audible as he held his arm even tighter against his chest.
“I never forgot about you Harry.” Ginny fingered the ring around her neck. Harry’s ring hung there suspended on a gold chain. Draco’s ring may have been on her finger but she had never rid herself of her first husbands ring which lay even closer to her heart. Tears slowly found their way down her cheeks. “I never forgot you!” she cried.
“She waited for you Harry.” Ron said softly as he closed the door behind him. “My sister couldn’t eat or sleep. Ginny was close to dying herself until Mum admitted her to St. Mungo’s.”
Harry kept his voice steady but there was still an undercurrent of anger, “You knew all this time Ron and you didn’t tell me.” Harry voice was laced with hurt. Not only was he betrayed by his wife but his best friend as well. He avoided looking at his friend, instead turning his reddened eyes up towards the ceiling.
“It wasn’t my place to tell.” Ron remarked.
Harry laughed hoarsely picking up the drawing that had fluttered to the ground. “James said this was your angel Ginny. He said the angel took care of you while I was away.” Harry traced the outline of the stick figure. “How stupid of me not to realize your angel was real.”
“Stop torturing yourself Harry.” Ron remarked walking towards his friend and putting a comforting arm on Harry’s shoulder.
Harry shrugged it off, “You.” he rose to standing face to face with Ron , “You were promoted after I left. Ron Weasley - Head Auror. That should have been me!” Harry poked a hard finger into Ron’s chest, “Without me you would be nothing! Absolutely nothing!”
Turning his attention to Ginny he brought up what they had once promised to bury forever, “Without me you’d be dead in that chamber!”
“This isn’t helping you or Ginny.” Ginny eyes filled with more tears as she meet the gaze of her brother. How long had she tried to put that horrible episode behind her? Numerous taunts she had suffered from her fellow students, Draco Malfoy included. How ironic that it was Draco who would comfort her when her mind couldn’t forget but Harry who would remind her.
Suddenly Ginny felt Harry’s hands drag her to her feet. “Whose bed have you been sleeping in while I’ve been away?!”
“Harry, I know you’re upset but there’s no need -” Ron’s eyes darted from Harry to Ginny then back to Harry.
“Stay out of this Ron!” Harry held out his wand , and for the first time pointed it at his best friend.
Ron held out his hands in mock surrender, “Don’t do something you’ll regret Harry.”
Harry kept his wand pointed at Ron waiting for the answer he didn’t want to hear. Harry pursed his lips, his green eyes welling with more tears, “Answer me! Who have you been having your fun with while I’ve spent the past 6 years being tortured?”
Ginny swallowed, her chest aching for what she and Harry had once shared. “I didn’t mean for it to happen.” Merlin only knew how she tried to push Draco away.
After Harry was believed dead she wanted to die with him as well. Nothing was worth living for. Never again would she share the strong connection with another that she had shared with Harry. You could only have one soulmate, one true love. This is what she had grown up with. It was myth in the muggle world and fact in the wizard world. Harry had been the piece that was missing. One breathes in and one breathes out. That was the saying her mum would say. Take half of your soul away and it would lead to death. But she didn’t die. Ginny defied the odds by falling madly and deeply for Draco Malfoy, the most unlikely man had connected with her on a level that she didn’t believe was possible.
His voice choked as he shook her, “Who?”
Tears gathered in her eyes, “Draco Malfoy.”
With a pop, Harry was gone.
“Hello Narcissa.” Bellatrix smiled at her reflection, her now raven locks charmed a brilliant blonde. “Back from the dead and more beautiful than ever.”
A knock at the door diverted her attention, “Room service, Miss.”
“You may enter.” She said pinching her cheeks which added a bit of color. The young man who couldn’t have been more than eighteen flushed red as Bellatrix walked towards him in nothing but a flimsy red negligee. He looked away quickly, pleasure instantly rising within her to know she still had that effect on men.
“For you and your husband.” The young man croaked spinning himself around and heading for the door. The bellboy struggled with the knob. Frustrated he shouted, "Alohamora." Icy laughter met his ears as he turned to face her.
“I have no husband. He has long since died and left me a very, very lonely widow.” Bellatrix lay sprawled on the bed beckoning the poor boy who had no recourse but to follow. “Come, have breakfast with me. Do a good deed and keep this poor widow company.” While reserving the room she had spotted the boy. What Bellatrix wanted she got. Always. This was no exception.
With great trepidation the trembling young man made his way to the vixen that was bewitching him. He sat at the edge of the bed with his back turned towards her. “I-I really n-need to get back to w-work.”
She could feel him stiffening at the feel of her breath on his neck. “Don’t be scared.” She whispered as she ran her hands through his blonde hair. Hair that reminded her so much of Draco.
The young man soon was upon her, his will power melted. She screamed and in turn made him scream as he entered her, rocking back and forth wildly. He didn’t know her name and didn’t care. What a story he’d have to tell his friends tonight. The only part he’d leave out was the name she kept calling him.
“Draco.” The blonde woman had moaned. “Draco.”
“We go on as scheduled and have the press conference without him.” Ron stated to the Ministry officials, “In the meantime I am sending Aurors Thomas and Finnegan to locate Harry Potter.”
Ginny watched as her brother shouted out directions. No longer was he the trusty sidekick relegated to the sidelines. He had grown in the years since Voldemort’s death. The turning point had been the Battle of Lestrange. Faced with death Ron had pulled through and emerged a very different man.
Ginny asked although already knowing the answer, “He’s going after Draco isn’t he?” Harry was a smart man. He had kept himself alive for six years. Finding Draco would be an easy task for the man who was still considered the world’s greatest Wizard. She’d be damned if Dean and Seamus left without her. There would be no more coddling and protecting. “I’m coming with the both of you.”
Dean started to open his mouth in protest, “Shut it Dean, I’m coming and that’s that.” She said grabbing her broom.
“Oh no. You are not leaving this room Ginny.” Ron blocked the door preventing his sister from exiting. “He’s much too volatile.”
She glared at him, “You can’t hold me here like a common prisoner! I’m your sister for Merlin’s sake!”
He tried to reason with his sister, “It’s for your safety Ginny. His psychological profile isn’t exactly stable.”
Ginny was confident of one thing, Harry wouldn’t harm her. Yell- yes, that was expected. Cause her pain? That was a definite no. “Ronald Weasley, Harry would never hurt me and you know that!”
Ron rubbed his hand over his face in frustration, “There are still a lot of sick people who would like nothing more than to see the great Harry Potter dead. We need to locate him for security reasons. If you were with him and something happened……..” Ron paused, his eyes full of worry, “Ginny please just stay here. We will find him, I promise.”
Fear and anger knotted inside her, “How about Draco?! What about his safety or have you forgotten?”
“No, I haven’t. I’m having one of the junior Aurors owl Mcgonagall and Neville as we speak.”
She wasn’t raised with George and Fred for nothing. “Fine,” she lied, “I’ll stay but promise that you’ll keep me informed.” Ginny even handed her broom to her brother sealing the pact and ensuring his trust. There was no need to look for Harry. Ginny knew exactly where he was headed.
“You’ll be the first person we notify when we hear something, Ok?”
Ginny nodded in false agreement. She would bide her time for the next few minutes and wait. Watching the last of the Aurors and ministry workers file out of the room, she wasn’t the least bit surprised when Ron ordered another Auror to keep watch over her. As if she was in need of a babysitter! The Auror looked young and gullible enough to believe anything.
“I really need to use the bathroom.” Ginny asked in the sweetest voice she could conjure up. It didn’t work. Her face fell as he emphatically shook his head no.
“Why not?” she demanded.
“Auror Weasley -”
Ginny didn’t let him finish his sentence. She might be the youngest Weasley but she was no longer the twelve year old in need of protection.Ginny only hoped that what she was about to do didn’t get the poor kid fired. “Petrificus Totalis.” Immediately the young Auror became stiff as a board, falling onto the soft carpet. “Sorry” She whispered, “But I had no other choice.”
Taking out her wand she flicked it, disapparating in her quest to find the two men that shared her soul.
Wizards Duel by Burgosdamasco
Here’s a little flashback- if you’ve read my While You Were Sleeping story, you can tell I’m rather fond of them. The flashback is from Harry’s POV
Flashes of green light flashed through the small cracks of his dungeon cell. Harry could hear the sound of screams as a curse hurtled towards their intended targets. This had been going on for hours. The fortress shook as the ceiling above developed great cracks, drifting more dirt unto the prisoner below.
Then it stopped. Nothing.
Lying in the silent darkness Harry thought about the battle that had raged just beyond the stonewalls that caged him in. He wondered if the next curse would send the ancient prison down to crush him.
Bellatrix had shown him the paper that announced his death to the world so very long ago. No one knew he was here. How ironic that it would be the Aurors’ curses that would kill him. He crouched low in his cell praying to the Gods. His mind filled with images of the redheaded beauty that had kept him sane. Ginny, I won’t give up hope. I won’t give up.
Harry heard the whisper outside his door. It could be anyone coming to finish him before the Aurors found him. Tears leaked from Harry’s eyes. So close. He had been so close.
“Here’s the layout of the Black castle Malfoy gave us. We should be in the dungeons. Let’s do a quick sweep to see if there are any more illegal magical devices and potions and then we send this little island prison to the bottom of the sea.”
Ron’s voice? No, he was hallucinating. Too many times he heard his friend’s familiar voice. Just last week or was it last month, or was it last year, he had argued with Ron about the odds of the Canons winning the championship? But he hadn’t. He hadn’t talked to his friend in years.
Magic was a language all its own. Harry heard the powerful chanting that could only belong to the warrior class of Aurors as they battled the black curses that surrounded and invaded his prison.
More explosions and flashes of green light as his tormentors met their fate.
“We’ve got Bellatrix Lestrange!” shouted - was it Neville Longbottom?
Harry crept to the small barred opening in the door that was his only connection to the world outside. “Help me!”
Eyes turned around, wands raised. Ron Weasley stood but a few feet from him, separated by a steel door, “We’ve got a live one!” Ron shouted down the corridor to his companions. Never taking his eyes off Harry, he commanded, “Identify yourself!”
Cracking with hope and excitement Harry cried, “Ron, it’s me. It’s Harry.”
Ron’s voice trembled with emotion,” That’s impossible. It can’t be!”
“Ron, mate what’s going on?” asked Seamus Finnegan pointing his wand at the green eyes that stared though the small opening.
“H-Harry. Harry Potter is here!”
More footsteps raced down the hallway stopping outside Harry’s door. Seamus, Dean, Percy, Charlie, Bill and Ron. Harry grabbed onto the small bars letting the tears stream down his cheeks. He was going home. He was going to be with Ginny.
“We’re going to get you out Harry!” said a shaking Ron.
Counter curses were hurled at the door but it stood it’s ground. Bellatrix Lestrange had made sure of that. “Get that bitch and make her open this door!” growled Ron.
Neville arrived floating a struggling Bellatrix whose arms and legs were bound.
“Tell me how to open this door!” screamed Ron.
Bellatrix only smiled, “Ask me nice first and I might consider freeing my favorite pet.”
Ron had never hit a woman but in his opinion Bellatrix didn’t qualify as one. A harsh slap met her face. Bellatrix could only grin. “I have rights you know. Maybe I’ll report you to the Minister of Magic for beating a prisoner.”
Ron slapped her again, “ I don’t think my wife would care!” Ron gritted through his teeth. He snapped his fingers at Neville, “ Get her out of my sight!”
As Neville’s footsteps disappeared with prisoner in tow, Ron’s voice became calmer as he turned to address his best friend. “Harry you’ve got to take cover. We’re going to throw everything we’ve got to get you out. Understand?”
Just like old times, Harry answered, “Roger that Ron.”
He took cover in the corner of his cell, covering his head with his arms as the steel door exploded. Sharp jagged pieces cut into his skin, but Harry didn’t care. Pain he was used to. Harry tried to stand erect only to feel his knees give out as he fell to the floor.
Harry opened his eyes to meet the faces of his closest friends. There was a stunned silence before Seamus asked, “Is that really you Harry?”
With his tattered prison garment, gaunt appearance and beard Harry knew he must look unrecognizable. Ron brushed the long black hair from Harry’s head to gaze upon the scar that could only belong to one wizard.
Ron was a grown man but that didn’t stop the tears that rolled down his cheeks as he knelt down to the friend he had thought was dead. Wrapping his arms around Harry he cried. “It really is you Harry. Sweet Merlin, you’re alive.”
For the first time in years, Harry grinned. “What took you so long?”
Harry’s own tears joined his friends as his mind wandered to the love of a woman who made him cling to life. I’m coming home Ginny. I’m coming home.
End of flashback
Ginny Weasley couldn’t imagine a time when she wasn’t in love with Harry Potter. From the moment she saw him on Platform 9 ¾, in her heart she knew. It had been the end of her 6th year. The war had ended and the hero of the war was just as unattainable as he had been when he was just the Boy Who lived. It didn’t matter that they had fought side by side in the worst battle in wizarding history. It didn’t matter that the wizard’s debt that bonded her to Harry was repaid. She had taken a curse for him, allowing Harry the opportunity to take down Voldemort once and for all.
Harry Potter was out of her league, out of her reach. Dates with numerous boys didn’t remove the feeling that her heart knew was destined to be. Everyday he came to St. Mungos’ to visit. But he was just doing what a normal friend would do, right?
When she was released from the hospital and allowed to recover at home, Harry was there. He wanted to take her for a walk. Ron and Hermione trying to hide their secret laughter urged Ginny on.
They walked amongst the woods beyond the Burrow, Harry opening up to Ginny for the first time. He was happy it was all over. Happy he no longer had to look over his back. How long had they been talking, Ginny could only guess it had been hours. The sky was staring to darken as stars started to peek through the night sky. Harry started to seem nervous. Maybe they should go home, Ginny had suggested. It was late.
She heard Harry mutter, “It’s now or never.”
That night he kissed her, a little girl’s dream coming true. Pressing her up against a tree so that she felt his whole length against her, hard and lean by years of Quidditch, Harry kissed her again and again. Everywhere he touched sent her nerves on fire. It seemed that she had been waiting her whole life for this particular moment.
Ginny landed her broom in the middle of Hogsmeade looking for the unmistakable figure of Harry Potter. She stopped into the Three Broomsticks, the usual greeting didn’t meet her. For that she was relieved. She was tired of running from reporters and facing questions from the local townspeople. Instead all the patrons were huddled over cauldrons or looking into crystal balls. Ginny pulled the hood of her cloak to hide her face, pushing stray strands of red hair inside.
Peering into a nearby crystal ball she saw the hazy image of Hermione Weasley. “Thank you for attending this press conference. Harry Potter unfortunately is still recovering and cannot attend.”
Roars of protest and complaints rose as Hermione held out a silencing hand, “I assure you all your questions will be answered. I present to you Head Auror Ronald Weasley.”
“Bellatrix deserves the Dementor’s kiss!” shouted one patron after hearing the tale of Harry’s rescue.
Ron continued, “Although Voldemort has been dead for many years, his followers are still around the globe trying to resurrect the Death Eaters. For a long time we believed Bellatrix Lestrange to have died. We started to gather intelligence of illegal magical items being collected and of magical experiments that were being conducted and not authorized by any Ministry of Magic. From the information we gathered from other countries, we were able to track down Bellatrix Lestrange, a Death Eater who faked her own death. She had Harry Potter portkeyed to an island prison in the South Pacific, which was once the vacation home of the Black family. ”
“Why didn’t they just kill Harry Potter?” asked one reporter.
“Bellatrix Lestrange is carrying on experiments known to have been developed by Voldemort and the late Lucius Malfoy. In order to test their strength and potency Bellatrix Lestrange tested her hexes and potions on Harry Potter.”
More questions followed which Ron would only answer as no comment. “Why Harry?”
Ginny knew for she had some of those same gifts passed to her. Harry had inherited some of Voldemort’s power. A very powerful wizard was the ultimate guinea pig. Ginny knew it would come to this; The question that was on everyone else’s tongue.
A reporter that Ginny recognized as the one whose camera had been broken, shot his arm in the air, “Auror Weasley.”
“Yes?” Ron asked.
“About Draco Malfoy -”
Ron wasn’t about to be flustered. Ron would not give the reporter the answer he wanted. “Draco Malfoy was very integral in the rescue of Harry Potter. For many years he has aided us on counter curses for the newer dark magic spells that were being developed by Voldemort’s followers. Magical weapons that were meant to be unleashed on the muggle and wizarding population never came to fruition thanks to Professor Malfoy’s help. He supplied us with the maps of the Black family vacation estate. Next question, and please keep it to the topic at hand, Harry Potter’s rescue.”
Ginny silently clapped her hands, “Thanks big brother.”
Apparently the reporters were not listening, With quill in hand a woman who looked eerily similar to Rita Skeeter stood up, “Due to wizarding law, Ginny Malfoy is not legally married to Draco Malfoy. In fact she is still Mrs. Potter. How does Mr. Malfoy feel about these turn of events?”
Ron’s voice rose, “May I remind you -”
He was cut off by more tabloid questions, “Is it true that Ginny Potter has returned to her first husband?”
“Harry Potter and his wife Ginny were reported to have been seen kissing in his hospital room. Can you comment on this?”
Ginny immediately turned away from the crystal ball feeling sick. Draco was watching this; she could only imagine what was running though his head. She wanted to take the damn crystal ball and send it shattering to the ground.
“No contest there, she should be with Harry Potter,” exclaimed a bearded man sipping his butterbeer.
“Wait one minute,” an older witch cut in, “This Malfoy bloke is just as much her husband as the first one.”
The bearded man only laughed, “What do you suggest, she live with both?”
Slamming the door behind her, Ginny exited the Three Broomsticks wiping the tears from her eyes. Ginny wanted to hide and run away from all the pain she had and all the pain she would cause. With broom in hand she trudged up the hill to Hogwarts. A flash of green light hit the tree behind her. The once proud 100-year-old tree lay fallen. Dead. Shouts of the unforgivables reached her ears.
Draco kicked the cauldron over sending the contents across the floor of the divination classroom. The other teachers scrambled away, not only from the mess but from the temper of the Potions Master.
“Malfoy, you really need to get that temper under control. For the sake of...”
“Shut it Lavender!! I don’t want to hear a word out of that stupid opening you call a mouth! You talk far too much and it’s nothing but bullshit. Utter and complete bullshit!”
Lavender became wide eyed at the remark, “Why, I never!” she stormed out of the classroom followed by the hurried footsteps of the other staff members eager to not be in the same room as a raging mad Draco Malfoy.
At that moment Neville and Headmistress McGonagall returned to see the exiting teachers.
With a hollow laugh Draco said, “You two missed the best part of the conference. My wife’s run off with Harry Potter!” Draco started flinging desks and chairs only to have his wand fly out of his hand.
“Expelliarmus!” shouted Neville.
“Mr. Malfoy, you know better than to believe everything you hear! You of all people should know this!” Headmistress McGonagall started to wave her wand, leaving the room in the order it had originally been in.
Draco stood against the blackboard shaking. Closing his eyes, Draco hit the back of his head again and again on the hard surface. “She’s left me! She’s left me!” he repeated over and over until firm hands gripped his shoulders forcing him into a chair.
“Get a hold of yourself Malfoy!” the usually quiet Neville yelled. “She’s done nothing of the sort!” Neville turned to McGonagall, “I’ll take care of things from here.”
Headmistress nodded, “Thank you Professor Longbottom. I have to attend to security issues.”
“What the hell was that? Does McGonagall think I’m a danger to the students?” growled Draco noticing for the first time Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan standing behind him. “Come to take me in for destroying the Divination classroom? Sorry but I’ve already served my time!” Draco started to stand only to be pushed back into the chair.
“Will you stop being so damn stubborn Malfoy. We are only trying to help you!” Neville sat in the chair opposite Draco, “We need to keep you here Malfoy.”
Draco could feel the vein in his neck throb in anger. “What for!”
“We need to protect you from Harry Potter.”
Draco clutched the arms of the chair, his knuckle’s turning white. The man who took his wife was coming here. Harry Potter had everything, fame, loving friends and ironically now more money than Draco could ever hope for. All Draco wanted was Ginny. Was that too much to ask? Why couldn’t he have her? Why should he allow Potter to have her? He wouldn’t. Not without a fight.
Draco surprised Neville, grabbing his wand from Neville’s grasp knocking him from his chair. Seamus and Dean immediately went to the door barring his exit.
“You can’t keep me here!” snarled Draco. With superhuman strength he shoved the two Aurors aside. Speeding past the students, he sent them scattering against the wall. “Out of My Way!
They stared at their crazed professor with alarm. Never had they seen him in such a state.
Draco cursed when he realized the doors that lead outside Hogwarts refused to open. Draco tried a window, only to find out that those wouldn’t open either.
Pointing his wand at the door, he shouted forbidden spells at the door. He didn’t care if the Ministry fined him for using dark spells. Let them come. I’ll be ready!
The door shook violently before sending shards of wood and metal flying through the hallway. Shouts from the other Hogwarts staff members instructed curious student eyes to their houses.
Draco stepped out into the almost blinding sunlight. As soon as he left the safe confines of Hogwarts, Draco could feel himself flying through the air crashing headfirst into the ground. Lifting his head, he slowly stood to face the boy- who- lived, now the boy- who-returned to take what was his.
A hint of iciness dripped from his words. “Like old times Malfoy.” Harry laughed with his wand pointed at his old boyhood rival.
Gathering his bearings Draco would allow Harry to have the first move, but what he did next would be what counted. “But this time Potter, I will win.”
“Crucio!” shouted Harry.
Draco blocked the curse sending it into the woods beyond. “The great Harry Potter, is that all you can do? Six years in a cage and you perform magic like a mere squib!” It was the wrong thing to say. Before Draco could protect himself, he felt a slamming sensation strike his chest. Draco tried to breathe as the curse attacked his muscles and his lungs, denying him oxygen. As the curse subsided, Draco drank in the air feeling weak and angry at Harry Potter’s attack.
“Ginny’s not your wife Malfoy! She never was!”
Never again would he be made a fool in front of Potter. Potter may have stolen the snitch from him, but he would not stand for Potter to steal his wife. With all the rage and jealousy that had been building in him since the Daily Prophet hailed the discovery of Harry Potter, Draco uttered the curse that had damned the souls of many.
Ray of Light by Burgosdamasco
Ginny looked on in horror as the light raced towards her. She should have reached into her cloak and pulled out her wand but she was frozen, entranced by the light that would soon send her to an early death. She was unable to see the shocked faces of the men before her, one whose face was already covered in tears yelling for her to take cover.
“Mobilarbus Arboreus!” shouted Neville Longbottom who had just arrived on the scene. But this command Ginny did not hear. Ginny looked on in fright as the massive Whomping Willow before her lifted itself from its roots, twining her between its massive branches.
“No!” her scream was lost in a brilliant flash of green, as she was hurled into the sky.
Ginny closed her eyes as her body fell back towards the earth. The wind whipped around her madly. It was so very cold and the air seemed to rush out of her lungs. She was falling through the clouds faster now, the earth rising up to meet her. Instead of the harsh impact Ginny was sure was imminent, she found herself being lifted.
“I’ve got you Ginny.”
“Draco!” Ginny sobbed into the folds of his cloak as the broom carrying the both of them drifted towards the ground. She collapsed against him as the broom landed, clinging onto him as tightly as he held on to her. She burrowed her face against his neck unable to stop her trembling. “I’ve never been so frightened in m life.” Ginny whispered
“I was scared too.” But it wasn’t Draco that Ginny found herself holding on to. She looked up to see green instead of grey.
Harry who was much too ill to have left St.Mungo’s, had saved her. He looked as tired as she thought she must be as well. His breath came in gasps as he stared at her, running his fingers through her hair as if to assure himself that she was indeed in one piece. She wrapped her own arms around his neck not wanting to ever let go of the safety she had lost long ago.
The other man who stood but a few feet away could only watch his love take comfort in another. He was tempted to rip them apart but was held away by the firm grasp of Neville. “Let them be.”
“If you had your broom, you would have done the same. Now give me your wand Draco.”
Before Draco could say no, Neville had summoned it from his hands. “What do you think you’re doing ?!” Draco seethed as Neville proceeded to snap the wand in half.
“You’ll acquire another one.” Neville said calmly.
Draco fumed inside. He had made a mistake. A mistake that nearly cost Ginny her life. But did Neville still think him a threat? “I didn’t mean to hurt her!”
“Hurt her? Hurt her?” Harry jumped up away from Ginny advancing towards Draco, his voice rising with each word. “You almost killed Ginny!” Harry waved to Seamus and Dean, motioning them forward. “Arrest this man. He’s used an unforgivable, the Avada Kedavra.”
“Liar!” Draco spat lunging for Harry. He could go to Azkaban. The memories of the place still haunted his dreams. He could still remember the screams, the stench, the joyless aura that seemed to suck any happiness out of him even without the Dementors. Death would be preferable to being back in that dungeon.
Ginny jumped into the fray, placing herself between both men. “Stop it! The both of you!” He followed her eyes to the blackened Whomping Willow that had stood on Hogwarts Grounds for Centuries. The condition of the tree spoke the awful truth. He couldn’t meet her eyes when she whispered quietly, “How could you Draco?”
“Ginny, I -” Draco said stepping closer to her, wanting to draw her up in his arms and forget everything. Couldn’t she see that he loved her so much he had nearly lost his mind?
He was stopped by Ginny who placed her small hand upon his chest. He reached for it just as she pushed him away, sending him stumbling backwards. “I can’t bear to hear your excuses Draco. I can’t bear to even look at you!”
“It’s all Potter's fault!” Draco yelled, regaining his footing. If Potter hadn’t come to Hogwarts looking for him he wouldn’t be faced with the possibility of prison and the loss of his wife. It wasn’t fair. Potter was the one looking for trouble. Just like in their school days, he would be rewarded for it. This time the reward would be much more than mere points, it would be his own wife.
“Sorry about this mate.” Dean said to Draco, drawing suspicious glances from Harry due to the politeness of the request, “I’ll need to check your wand.”
Draco would have to thank Neville. Not only had he just saved him from a return trip to Azkaban but it was Neville whose quick thinking had truly saved Ginny. Draco had no doubt that even without Harry taking off in his broom, Neville and he had enough time to make her landing safe. “Taking the credit just like you’ve always done Potter!” Draco said through clenched teeth.
“Boyhood squabbles, you know.” Neville answered Dean, dangling Draco’s destroyed wand from his hand.
“You’ll have me believe all this is a boyhood squabble?” Headmisstress McGonagall arrived on the chaotic scene , eying the Whomping Willow warily. She wrung her hands looking from Draco to Harry ,shaking her head. “When will you two ever…” She stopped in midsentence rushing over to Ginny. “Stop this nonsense immediately! We must get this child to St. Mungo’s!”
“I’m fine.” Ginny said, her actions going against her words as she swayed unsteadily on her feet. “I’m perfectly fine.”
Draco looked horrified at the blood pooled around Ginny, blood that hadn’t been there just moments before. He rushed towards Ginny, catching her before she collapsed on the ground. He held her against him offering apologies to Ginny and praying to the Gods that they would look beyond his past unbelief to spare his wife. He would believe in such beings if the Gods would save her.
Ginny awoke to find herself surrounded by the whirr of hospital machinery. Various potions were scattered atop a nightstand close to her bed. She reached for a bottle intending to find out exactly what she was being treated for. The last thing she remembered was wondering why her skirt had been covered with blood. A bout of nausea hit her just then sending the glass bottle crashing to the floor below. Ginny grabbed a basin instead wretching violently into it and wishing for it all to stop.
A familiar blond woman entered the room. The same healer that had taken care of Harry just days before. “You’re awake.” Healer Gordon said, a bit too chipper in Ginny’s opinion.
“Of course I’m awake!” snapped Ginny, wiping away the traces of her sickness. Immediately regretting her tone of voice. “Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled." Ginny motioned to the basin, "As you can see I am feeling quite ill .”
The healer conjured up a glass of water, offering it to Ginny. “It’s completely understandable Miss Potter. It’s natural for you to be worried. But let me assure you, we have done everything in our power to keep the both of you safe.”
The smiling demeanor of Healer Gordon confused Ginny even more. The both of them safe? The last thing Ginny remembered was blood staining her skirt. Had Draco’s curse hurt her in some way? Had Draco’s curse harmed Harry?
“Is he ok?” Ginny asked, hoping that Harry hadn’t suffered any more than he already had. How could Draco have done such a horrible thing? She refused to think of Draco, her heart and mind torn at the thought of his actions. How could the man she loved, a man she trusted and knew as changed, do something so despicable as to use an unforgivable? The disappointment was overwhelming.
“Sure it’s a he, are you?”
Ginny was becoming even more irritated with the sunny disposition of Healer Gordon. She had almost died and now this healer had the gall to laugh about Harry. “Is he alright?” Ginny demanded ,swinging her legs off the bed determined to get her own answers.
“Miss Potter you need to be back in bed!” Ginny was no match for Healer Gordon’s strength as she was put back into bed rather forcefully. “I know you want to tell everyone the good news but now is not the time. You and the baby need to rest.”
It was one those odd moments in space and time where the world seemed to stop turning. Ginny’s fingers barely grazed her still flat stomach. After all this time, was it possible? Three long years she and Draco had tried. The daughter of Molly Weasley had felt like such a failure. She would hold her many nieces and nephews wishing that they were her own. How desperately she wanted a child yet unable to have one of her own. “Baby?” she whispered more to herself than the healer. She burst into tears, but they were not of sadness. “I’m going to have a baby!”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.