On the eve of the final battle, Ginny makes a decision.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters:
May 06, 2004 Updated:
Feb 07, 2007
1. ... by Mynuet
2. After by Mynuet
She looked around at the dark room, and wondered at how it was that it seemed that way. There were candles flickering, and no one else at the never-ending party seemed to believe the amount of light was lacking. Only Ginny, curled up in a window seat and looking dreamily into the horizon, seemed to notice that all the beeswax in the world could be set ablaze and the room would still be dark, with the shadows of words that would not be said, cast by the gaiety that was all the stronger for being forced.
Tomorrow... Tomorrow, a lot of the people in this room would not live to see the sun set. And Ginny should have cared, should have felt the same sorrow and fear and desperate, grasping revelry at having one more night to fill with drink and dancing and laughter. She didn't, though. All she felt was the aching void inside her, where there had once been light.
The war continued, and continued, until it seemed like everything good and pure in the world had been ground down, extinguished. Except, somehow, when he was with her, it was different. She wanted that, thirsted for it, and she could no longer believe herself when she insisted that what mattered was to make the honorable choice, to make her family proud. The love of her family was like fresh, warm bread, offered to lips parched and burned with thirst.
She stood, and was immediately accosted. Pushing away the hand at her waist, she tried to leave and was turned around and pulled into another pair of strange arms. She closed her eyes as she was whirled around the dance floor, passing from partner to partner in a grotesque parody of happier times, when the boys had been intent only on dancing. At last she managed to break away, her last 'suitor' being too drunk to keep a hold of her. Picking up her hem, she ran.
"Where are you going?" She looked at Harry's face, with far too many frown lines for one so young.
"To my room," she said calmly.
He scowled. "Don't lie to me, Ginny. Not after--"
Closing her eyes against the knowledge she would hurt him, she said, "If you know I'm lying, then you know what the answer is." Without another word, she walked away, her heels clicking against the flagstones in time with the beat of her heart, which grew lighter and lighter the farther she went.
The door creaked open and he threw an arm up to shield his eyes against the blaze of light. He had stared out of the small, barred window, with its tiny slice of horizon, until the last of the sun had faded, and then sat in darkness for hours as he waited for the moon to rise. Turning now towards the door, he prepared for another round of what would not be called torture, because it was done by the Boy Who Lived.
Instead he found his shackles dropping off his arms as he stared dumbly at the red-haired girl he'd been told had participated willingly in his capture. "Ginny?"
She kissed him, and he knew. "You're here. You're really here, with me."
"Do you remember what we talked about, before?" She looked up at him, and his breath hitched in his chest.
"Lyonesse," he muttered, as he wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair. "Atlantis. Ys."
She laughed as he dropped kisses onto her skin. "We'll find them, and Hawaiki and Avalon, sailing oceans that don't exist any more."
He stepped back, his hands on her shoulders as he looked into her eyes. "Are you sure?"
"Yes." She took one of his hands from her shoulder and then placed his wand in it, wrapping his fingers around it. "It's time to say goodbye to all this."
He closed his eyes briefly, pulling her close to him as he allowed himself one more moment to convince himself that it was real, that this girl who had become his sun, his moon, his everything, had really chosen to be with him. The oaths he had sworn, the duty that his father had impressed upon him since his youngest days, none of that mattered now. He would leave it all behind.
Still holding each other, they apparated away, Death Eater and DA Member, Weasley and Malfoy, Slytherin and Gryffindor, Potter's girl and Voldemort's chosen, who no longer cared about anything except each other.
They couldn't go far; he was much too weak. Even with Ginny doing most of the work of Apparation, they still reappeared much too close to Potter's stronghold. And it was definitely Potter's now. Any sense of egalitarianism had burned away, until what was left was a hierarchal structure eerily reminiscent of the Death Eaters. When Draco had pointed this out, Potter had gone into a fury, only stopping to demand that Draco take it back. He had, eventually, because he would have given anything to stop the pain.
Almost anything. He'd never mentioned anything about Ginny, no matter what Potter did. Potter knew there was something there, because he had been captured while supposedly menacing Ginny, but everyone who had seen them knew there had been no danger involved in the two of them simply holding each other. No one would have spoken, though, due to Potter's rage.
"You should leave me," Draco said to Ginny now. "Potter... I'm too weak; you should run... But you won't."
"No, I won't." She smiled crookedly. "For two reasons. One, I didn't go to the trouble of getting the man I love out of the dungeon just to discard him like yesterday's fish."
His heart skipped a beat, as it always did with her, and he said, "I love you, too," before crushing her against him.
She hugged him back fiercely, but her tone was wry as she said, "Well, I hope you still do after I confess that reason number two is that I don't have a plan."
Draco started to laugh, only to have it turn into a racking cough. At last he said, "I should still have some safehouses. We can stay in one tonight and then use the battle as a distraction while we leave the country tomorrow, after you've healed me and we've rested. We'll go to America first; I've always wanted to see a real jazz band, and meet a Red Indian."
The smile on her face was something to behold, and he felt a bit of energy crawl back into his body as she said in a sultry voice, "I suppose we could rest a bit, in between. We have some catching up to do."
"Come on," he said, and this time he took charge of the Apparating. He fell to his knees once they got there, too dizzy and weak to stand, and let himself slip into unconsciousness as she floated him to the bed in the room and lay down beside him. She would take care of him. He could trust her completely.
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