Altered by ReverseBeauty
Summary: Someone stole Draco's memories of the time he spent with Ginny years ago, and he's determined to get them back.
Categories: Works in Progress Characters: Blaise Zabini (boy), Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Pansy Parkinson
Compliant with: Fully compliant
Era: Post-Hogwarts
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 14 Completed: No Word count: 15229 Read: 15726 Published: Aug 13, 2016 Updated: Jan 10, 2019

1. Chapter 1 by ReverseBeauty

2. Chapter 2 by ReverseBeauty

3. Chapter 3 by ReverseBeauty

4. Chapter 4 by ReverseBeauty

5. Chapter 5 by ReverseBeauty

6. Chapter 6 by ReverseBeauty

7. Chapter 7 by ReverseBeauty

8. Chapter 8 by ReverseBeauty

9. Chapter 9 by ReverseBeauty

10. Chapter 10 by ReverseBeauty

11. Chapter 11 by ReverseBeauty

12. Chapter 12 by ReverseBeauty

13. Chapter 13 by ReverseBeauty

14. Chapter 14 by ReverseBeauty

Chapter 1 by ReverseBeauty
The sun fell across his face. He squinted and put a hand over his eyes. Rolling over, he hit something soft and warm. He knew it was her by the way she smelled. Under the layer of alcohol, he caught the scent of honeysuckle.

“Oh shit,” he said.

“Keep it down, would you?” she whispered. “I have the worst headache.”

“That's because you're hungover,” he told her. He frowned at the ceiling and glanced at the lock of red hair that looked far too bright against the white pillow.

Lifting her face, makeup smeared and brown eyes wide, she groaned. “Oh God.” She looked horrified. “We didn't sleep together, did we?”

He just stared at her. He expected her to start shrieking or throwing things, but what she actually did both surprised and annoyed him.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she demanded.

Okay, he hadn't anticipated that.

His eyes narrowed. “What did I do?”

“You kept giving me drinks. Don't you remember? God, this is so humiliating.” She wrapped a sheet around herself and hopped out of the bed, stalking to the bathroom and slamming the door.

“Bloody hell,” Draco growled. After putting his boxers back on, he knocked on the door. “Look, I realize you must think this is the lowest you can go, but trust me, it's not you who should be feeling that way. I slept with you, after all.”

That was positively the worst thing he could have said, because when the door opened, the redhead punched him with force he didn't know she possessed. He staggered back into the wall, holding his bruised face.

“Goddamnit, Weasley!” he shouted. “Are you insane?”

Using her wand, she conjured clothes, and, giving him one final glare, shut the door. His mind tried to wrap around what had happened. He winced as he walked downstairs and into the kitchen. Instead of magic to heal his face, he placed ice on it. He returned to the hallway and knocked on the still closed door.

“Can you come out here, Weasley?”

“What for?” she asked, her voice cold. “If I come out there, I am going to hit you again.”

He moved his jaw back and forth. It hurt, but not too much. “We obviously need to talk about this. Come on, Weasley.”

“That's not my name.”

He blinked. Crap. If sleeping with her had pissed her off so much that she hit him, she was really going to kill him when she found out he had no idea what her first name was. He tried to think of a good enough response, but before he could, she appeared.

“Do you want to talk?” he asked.

Her mouth twitched, but she didn't reply. She wore a gray shirt and a black skirt, her hair tied to the side, spilling over her shoulder. He thought she looked good, but he'd never tell her that. She's probably laugh in his face.

“What's my name?” she said.

“Excuse me?”

She frowned. “You keep calling me Weasley. I want to know what you think my first name is.” She left him there, then headed downstairs.

He followed, and saw that she had just helped herself to anything in his refrigerator. Kicking the door shut, her arms full of eggs, butter and juice, she pinned him with a stare. Setting the food items down, she tapped her fingers on the counter top.

“Well?” she demanded.

“I'm thinking.”

When she started throwing eggs at him, he'd begun to curse. “Why the hell are you still here? You're wasting my food. Ouch, that hurt! Would you stop?”

All the while, he had been reaching deep inside his mind for the answer.

“You're such an asshole!”

Another egg, this time in his hair. That was enough. He advanced on her, seized her by the shoulders and slammed her against the counter. He tossed the eggs down onto the floor and gripped her chin in his fingers, then he leaned down and crashed his lips against hers. She kicked him, her nails digging into his neck. But he didn't let go. He continued to kiss her, his fingers gripping her hips painfully.

She groaned, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer. She didn't care that he didn't know her. Maybe it was better that way. Because it wouldn't go any further, and they both knew it.

**


Hours later, she didn't know what she was still doing there. They were finally back in his bed. She figured his kitchen looked like a hurricane hit it, but that was only do to the fact that they had shagged on nearly everything they could. He was currently propped up against the pillows, staring at her. She lifted her head, her eyes holding his, waiting for him to speak. She looked outside at the darkness and groaned. Crap, crap, crap. She'd gotten so wrapped up in, well, him, that she forgot she had to visit her family today.

"I think you need a new table and sofa," she commented.

He ignored her, but smirked slightly in response. "Did you have any plans today?"

"I did, but it's too late now."

Just as he was about to ask something else, there was a tap on the window. When Draco opened it, an owl flew in. A very familiar looking one at that. Ginny cursed under her breath and unrolled the parchment. She suddenly wished the stupid bird hadn't found her. Her eyes scanned the letter, and as Draco leaned closer to her, she crumbled the paper.

"What is it?" he wondered.

"Nothing," she muttered.

She leaned back and closed her eyes while his fingers twisted in her hair. She didn't understand the hold he had on her. They hadn't seen each other in years. One drunken night wasn't enough to change things between them – especially since they had ended so badly the first time.

But what he didn't remember wouldn't hurt him.
End Notes:
Guys, it's been a long time since I've written anything. I'm trying to get back into it :)
Chapter 2 by ReverseBeauty
He smirked when she entered the bar. He hadn't seen her since last night, though she hadn't noticed him. He watched her sit down and order a glass of vodka, which she drank in one shot. Impressed, he walked over and stood beside her table.

“Most women can't take their alcohol,” he commented. “You've put them to shame tonight.”

She glanced at him, her brown eyes narrowed. She moved her red hair away from her face and waved her hand dismissively. “If that's your line, you might want to move on.”

“Oh, come now, Weasley. Don't be like that.”

Ginny tapped her empty glass. “Okay, I'll bite. You obviously know me, but I don't have any idea who you are. Care to give me a name?”

He frowned. “You honestly don't remember me? Boy, I thought you were smart.”

“Hey, Zabini!” someone called. “Stop harassing the lady.”

She smiled. “Blaise Zabini. Of course. I haven't seen you in a long time. What are you doing here? I seem to be the only female in this place, so no wonder you came over.”

Blaise's dark eyes gleamed as he leaned closer. “I'm here to ask you something, and I'm hoping you have the answer I want.”

Ginny stared at him, waiting.

“How is it that you left with one of the most eligible single men last night, but you are alone right now? Shouldn't you still be in his flat?”

Receiving another vodka, Ginny took a sip. “Why is that any of your business, Zabini?”

He smiled. “Draco is my friend. I just wanted to make sure he had a good time.”

“What did you have to do with anything?” she asked.

“He wouldn't talk to you sober,” Blaise answered. “Don't you remember?”

She did. She watched the way Malfoy looked at her when she walked in – like she didn't belong there. That angered her, but she didn't let it stop her from flirting with him when he stumbled over to her. It had crossed her mind to sleep with him briefly, as disturbing as that seemed.

He was Draco Malfoy, after all.

And, yet, somehow it happened. She had woken up this morning in his bed. Why she had stayed the whole day was something she still didn't understand.

Nothing should have happened. But it did. And now she was sitting in the same spot as last night, drinking the same thing, speaking to a man she hadn't seen in years about her one night stand with his best friend. She sighed.

Before she could say anything else, someone fell into the chair beside her. Pansy grinned, tossing her dark hair over her shoulder. Ginny hadn't seen her in a few weeks.

“You're sitting quite close,” Blaise said, looking back and forth between them. “I thought you hated each other.”

“Things have changed in the last few years,” Pansy said. She gazed at Ginny. “So, I heard that you and Draco –”

Ginny wasn't surprised. “Of course you have. That was fast. I'm assuming he told you.”

She shook her head. “Actually, no. Someone saw you here last night and they just put two and two together.” She smirked. “How was it?”

Ginny stared at her friend. “Haven't you slept with him multiple times? What are you asking me for?”

Pansy frowned. “Come on. Friends tell each other that stuff.”

“I'd tell you if I could remember,” she admitted.

Blaise snorted into his drink. They glared at him. “Sorry,” he said, “but this is too good. Usually Draco's the one that gets so drunk he's forgotten he's slept with someone, even after he's woken up next to her.”

“Thank you for that, Zabini,” a voice drawled. “Though somehow I think my reputation will still be intact after I leave here. Good evening, ladies.” His gray eyes lingered on Ginny before he looked away.

“Draco.” Pansy nodded. She took Ginny's drink and slid it across the table, holding it firmly. “She was just tasting it. She doesn't have her own. How about you buy her one?”

He nodded and headed toward the bar.

Ginny looked Pansy and hissed, “What are you doing?”

Her friend smirked. “Getting you another shag.”

“Oh my God,” Ginny groaned as she placed her head in her hands. “That's not what I want. At all.” She glanced up. “Crap. He's coming back with more vodka. This is just like last night.”

Blaise was trying to contain himself long enough to speak when Draco came back and sat down next to him. Draco glanced at him and slid Ginny her drink.

“Thank you,” she murmured.

“You're welcome. So, Blaise, what are you doing back? I was under the impression that you were done with London.”

His friend's lips curved and his eyes connected with a woman across the bar. “Oh, I have some business to take care of here. So I'm back for a while.”

“Well, it was good to see you last night. We've got to do that again.”

Blaise's mouth twitched as he looked at Ginny. “With the same outcome?”

Draco shook his head. “I don't think so, mate. I don't know about you, but I like to have options.”

Pansy glared at him. “That's a shitty thing to say to the woman you slept with. God, Draco. You can be a real bastard sometimes.”

He blinked. “I didn't mean it that way.” He looked at Ginny. “It was a one night stand, Weasley.”

The redhead frowned. “Is that all?”

She wanted to say more – to tell him about their time together at Hogwarts – but then she could see his reaction so clearly: the denial, the disgust, and finally, the confusion.

Because it hadn't happened.

At least not in his mind.
Chapter 3 by ReverseBeauty
Her mouth quirked as she was left with Ginny. She looked at the redhead and smiled. Pansy downed the rest of her drink and said, “So what happened between you two?”

Ginny, who had been watching Draco, looked over at her friend. “What do you mean? We slept together. That's all.”

The dark-haired woman shook her head. “No, I know that. But there's something else. Something you've acknowledged, but he hasn't. Now what was it?”

“It's nothing.”

“Please,” Pansy replied. “I know when someone looks guilty – and you, my friend, look on the verge of throwing up over whatever it is that you've done.”

“It was so long ago,” Ginny said before she could stop herself. “It doesn't even matter anymore. I'm just being silly. So, are you seeing anyone?”

“Nice change of subject.” Pansy nodded. “But that's not going to work. And, for your information, I will find out whatever it is that you're hiding. I'm good at exposing people's secrets.”

Ginny blanched. If anyone out what she had done, well, she didn't want to think about it. Before she could say anything else, Draco and Blaise returned.

“We should get together soon,” Pansy said. “We could go out.”

“I think that's called a double date,” Blaise responded, smirking. “I'm quite sure that Draco doesn't want to do that. He's not really one for dating anymore.”

“It's just dinner,” Ginny said kindly, as she glanced at Draco. “Don't you like to eat?”

God, that was a stupid thing to say.

He looked at her and nodded. “I do appreciate fine cuisine, but I'd if it's all the same to you I'd rather not go out with you, Weasley.”

She could hear the disgust in his voice. She wondered if it was because of last night. He seemed to be enjoying himself, even after she'd thrown eggs at him. And after they'd used the kitchen as their own personal bedroom, they spent the rest of the night in his bed, talking.

So she didn't understand his change in demeanor.

“Well that was rude,” Pansy remarked, her voice chipped, glaring at Draco. “What is wrong with you?”

“I just don't want to go out with her,” he snapped. “Alright?”

“I'm no expert or anything, but I think you should wait until the person you're discussing isn't within earshot before you verbally bash them,” Blaise interrupted. He stood and took Ginny's hand. “Come on, we'll get out of here. You don't need to sit there and be insulted.”

Ginny didn't withdraw her hand. Instead, she curled it around his and let him lead her outside. The air was cool as it hit her. Blaise leaned against the window of the bar, his eyes on her. His fingers tightened around hers in a reassuring manner. When she moved to stand beside him, he dropped her hand and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. He felt her relax slightly.

“You didn't deserve that,” he told her. “I don't know why Draco's being such a prick. Did something else happen between you two last night?”

Something did happen, just not last night.

“No,” she said, shaking her head. “We had a nice time. At least I thought so.”

“Oh good, you're still here. I'm so sorry about that. I really thought he'd respond better than he did.” Pansy stepped beside her. “He told me why he said that.”

Ginny shrugged. “It wasn't going to turn into anything, we knew that. One night stands stay that way. He had every right to decline the offer if he felt you were pushing him into something more.”

“He thinks he shouldn't get close to you, but he couldn't explain why.”

She didn't really know what to say. Maybe it was better that she didn't show up for awhile – he seemed to frequent this place. And if he didn't see her, he wouldn't have a reason to get close to her, and everything would be okay.

Nothing would go to shit.

“I'm going home,” she said, untangling herself from Blaise.

“Maybe we can get breakfast later,” he said, grinning.

“I don't think so,” Ginny said. “I'm probably going to see my parents tomorrow. But maybe we can get together afterward?”

Blaise nodded. “Sounds good.”

As Ginny walked away, Pansy hit him in the shoulder.

“What the hell are you doing?” she asked.

“What? She's fair game,” he commented, smirking.

**


Draco's fingers tangled in her hair as he pushed her up against the wall. Her hands wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer, her scent intoxicating. When her hands left him and reached underneath his shirt and her hands splayed across his chest, he groaned softly against her mouth. He felt her lips curve upward slightly.

“This is definitely not how I imaged it,” she said softly.

He smirked and pressed his lips against her neck. “You've thought about this?”

“For a long time,” she admitted.

They moved to the bed, his fingers working to undo the buttons of her blouse. It didn't take long for their clothes to be tossed to the floor. When they were wrapped in his green sheet, he stared down at her, his blond hair falling into his eyes.

“What would people say if they knew you were here right now?” he asked.

She smirked. “Other people don't matter. It's just us, Draco.”

As he slid into her, he relished in the fact that no one would ever know about this. She was right. It was just about them. It had been going on for months. Months of hiding, of stolen glances and secret meetings in the darkest corner of the library.

It seemed like hours later when they had finished. The moonlight outside seeped into the room, sliding across their bodies. He stared at her still form, all the while his fingers in her hair. When she opened her brown eyes to look at him, he spoke.

“I'm in love with you, Ginny Weasley.”


Draco sat up. His heart pounded and his body was covered with sweat. He gripped the bed sheet and ran his hands through his hair. He didn't know what had just happened, but it felt so familiar, almost like it was a distant memory, broken into pieces over time and put back together by his intoxicated brain.

“What the fuck?” he whispered into the darkness, his voice raspy
Chapter 4 by ReverseBeauty
Standing outside The Burrow, Ginny felt a wave of guilt wash over her. She frowned, and continued to rehearse the apology in her head. She didn't really know how to explain things to her family, but she knew she had to try. When the door opened, she was startled by the sight of her father. She hadn't expected him to be home for whatever reason. She exhaled slowly and smiled.

“Ginny?” he said, surprise evident in his voice. “What are you doing here? Are you okay?”

She nodded and stepped inside. “I'm fine, Dad. I just wanted to visit. I can do that, can't I?”

“Of course,” he told her. “We just weren't expecting you, that's all. It's been a long time.”

“I know,” she mumbled, looking around. “Is Mum home?”

Her father smiled. “She's somewhere in this house. We have too many rooms. We were thinking about cutting back.”

He was trying to make her feel better, she knew. Instead of replying to his joke, she excused herself and searched for her mother. Ginny found her in the garden. She was so busy that Ginny saw her jump when she cleared her throat.

“Oh, you scared me,” Molly said, pressing a hand to her heart. “Goodness, Ginny, what are you doing here?” She hugged her daughter tightly.

“Everything's fine,” Ginny assured her. “I just know it's been a while since I came by. I wanted to apologize for that, and for everything else.”

Molly frowned and wiped a smudge of dirt off her cheek. “There's no need, we just miss seeing you. You know it's lonely here without all my kids causing chaos.” She smiled slightly. “Ron wrote to you. He said you never replied.”

“I've been busy,” Ginny answered, sitting in the grass.

“Of course,” Molly commented. “How is working going for you?”

“Well let's just say I've gone to a bar every night this week.” She grinned. “No, but really, it's okay. It's just a bit more responsibility than I thought.”

“Welcome to adulthood,” her mother said. “Come back inside, I made lemonade.” Ginny followed her into the house. They sat down at the kitchen table and as Molly handed her a glass, she said, “So, have you been seeing anyone lately?”

Ginny coughed, choking on her lemonade. “No, I'm not seeing anyone.”

Molly frowned. “That's okay. But is there anyone you're interested in?”

“I have too much work to do to even think about a relationship,” Ginny answered truthfully. She suddenly felt the need to leave. “Actually, this has been really nice. We should do it again sometime. I've got to get going though, I'm sorry.”

“But you were barely here an hour.” Molly shook her head. “I don't understand this. If you were just going to leave again, why did you come here?”

Ginny's heart sank at her mother's words. She stood and Apparated before she retorted with anything less than kind words. Though how she could after what Molly said, she didn't know. But she did realize, as she landed somewhere in the streets of London, that she deserved what was said to her. She stumbled slightly. After she regained her balance, she found herself outside the bar she'd been in numerous times since she'd started her job.

“Well, hello there.”

She blinked, the sunlight bright on her face. Turning to the voice, she froze. It was early. She hadn't expected to see him out yet. Perhaps he had business to attend to. Whether or not, that was none of her concern. She squelched down the desire to embrace him after the morning she had, knowing he'd only push her away.

“Good morning. What are you doing here?”

Malfoy smirked. “I'm not here to drink, Weasley. It's far too early for that. I was just out for a walk, actually.” He stepped closer, and she caught the scent of his cologne. He frowned. “You look upset. Did something happen?”

“No,” she said. “I just didn't sleep well. Actually, it's good that you're here. Have you spoken to Blaise? We were supposed to get breakfast.”

He shook his head. “I'm afraid I haven't. But I can give you his address. I'm sure he wouldn't mind a visit from you since he likes you.”

This surprised her. “He does? But he barely knows me.”

Draco chuckled, but didn't sound amused when he said, “Well, neither did I.”

She could hear the regret in his voice – because he didn't even know her, or because sleeping together had been a monumental mistake in his eyes? Maybe it was both. But that didn't mean she was going to feel sad about it. She wouldn't let him get to her emotions that way.

“Pansy said you don't want to get close to me,” she said before she could stop herself.

He nodded. “I did say that. Look, I don't want you to think that the other night could turn into anything. I won't let that happen.”

“What are you so scared of?” she demanded. “We've already been through this and it ended badly, or don't you remember?”

In her anger, she had forgotten that he didn't.

He stared at her, gray eyes hard, his voice was full of confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“It's nothing,” she muttered. “Never mind. I've gotta get going.”

As she walked by him, Draco reached out and gripped her arm. She turned and narrowed her eyes at him, pulling out of his grasp.

“What have we been through before?” he asked, his voice softening. “Tell me, please.”

“I can't,” Ginny whispered, her voice tight. Tears filled her eyes.

His fingers slid to hold her face. “I know there's something you're not telling me,” he told her quietly. “I know something happened between us – before. I had a dream about you last night. But I don't think that's what it was. I think it was a memory.”

Ginny, wide-eyed and pale, shook her head. “Please don't do this. Don't ask me any more questions. I can't answer them for you.”

“I think you can,” Draco said roughly. “I think you know exactly what happened, but for some reason you're too afraid to tell me what you did.”

“Calm down!” she shouted. “You're overreacting.”

He frowned and dragged a hand down his face. “Did you do something to me, Ginny? Something to my memories? Because it sure as hell feels like you've trespassed when you aren't welcome.”

“I didn't do anything,” she snapped.

Then she vanished with a crack.
Chapter 5 by ReverseBeauty
He watched her disappear, leaving him alone on the busy streets, sunlight glaring down at him. He turned the corner when someone stepped in his way. Blaise stared at him, a scowl on his face.

"You look about as bad as I feel," Draco said gruffly. "Get up on the wrong side of some woman's bed?"

Blaise's eyes narrowed. "Jesus Christ, mate. Aren't you going after her? I heard what happened. But I don't think Ginny's capable of doing what you accused her of."

Draco blinked. "You don't understand. You just – wait a minute. You weren't here on accident. You were meeting her, that much I know. But you're acting weird. Oh, goddammit. You like her, don't you?"

Blaise smirked. "So what if I do? You're not going to be dating her. Because clearly she's messed with your brain or something. What does that even mean?"

"If you heard everything, you know exactly what it means." He moved past his friend and called over his shoulder. "She's all yours now, Zabini."

**


Anger continued to spread through Ginny, and she wasn't feeling better when there was a knock on the door. Tearing through the flat and opening the door, she found Pansy standing in the hallway, her arms full of bags.

"Give me a hand, would you?"

"Sure," Ginny said, taking one. "What is all this?"

"Supplies," Pansy answered, pulling out a carton of ice cream. "I spoke to Draco. Figured you could use some cheering up."

Ginny sighed and pulled on the contents of her bag, which mostly consisted of various chocolate. She set them down while Pansy stuck the ice cream in the freezer. Then she turned around, her eyes narrowed.

"I didn't do what he said," she said quietly. "He assumes I did, though. And I think I know why."

Pansy waited patiently.

Ginny's voice was soft. "Once upon a time, Draco Malfoy and I fell in love. It was never supposed to happen, we knew that, so we never told anyone. It went on for months, until he left Hogwarts. But the night before he was graduated, I had an idea. It was positively the worst thing ever. I realized I should have done it from the start, and that killed me to consider."

"You were going to erase his memory of the time you'd spent together," Pansy whispered, her voice tight. "Oh, Ginny. Why didn't you ever tell me?"

"How could I?" she asked.

"What happened after you went to see him?" Pansy said, taking a seat next to her.

At that question, Ginny shut her eyes. "I went to his room, like every other time. My gut twisted, because of what I was going to do. I got there and knocked on the door. Draco opened it, and had the strangest look on his face, almost like he didn't recognize me. Then he asked what I was doing. When he called me Weasley, I knew it was over."

"Did you ever find out what happened?"

Ginny shook her head, opening her eyes. "No. I never asked. I just left him alone after that. What else could I do?"

"Who do you think Obliviated him?"

"I wish I knew," Ginny commented. "But it's not as though we could even ask Draco."

"This is so messed up," Pansy muttered. "Did you ever meet Blaise?"

"Oh, crap." Ginny sighed. "I forgot. I was going to, and then Draco and I got into that huge fight."

Pansy stood up and went to the freezer. She took out the ice cream and got two spoons. Then headed back to the couch. She sat down and handed Ginny the carton.

"Here," she said. "You need this now."

"Thanks," the redhead mumbled. The chocolatey flavor was cool on her tongue, and it eased her emotions a little as she continued eating. "You know, this is really unhealthy for so early in the morning. What were you thinking?"

Pansy shrugged. "We females can't resist anything chocolate."

Ginny stuck the spoon in the carton, and stood up. "Thank you for everything, but I don't think anything is going to be fixed."

"But the guilt is gone, right?"

"I don't really think it will be," she replied. "After what I did–"

"But you didn't do anything!" Pansy nearly shouted, trying to get her friend to understand. "You went there with the intention of erasing his memory, and you didn't. Someone else got to him first. But, the question is, who knew about the two of you?"

"Did you?" Ginny asked pointedly.

Pansy smiled. "Give me a little credit. If I had, you know I would have used that knowledge against you, at least back then. So, no, I didn't know about your secret."

Ginny put her head in her hands and sighed. "I think I want to talk to him again. I need to make him believe that I didn't do what he thinks."

Pansy headed for the door. "Do you want me to go with you?"

She shook her head. "I have to do this alone. I have to try. Goddammit, how am I going to make him see that I didn't do this?"

"You could always drink Veritaserum," Pansy said quickly.

Ginny looked at her. "That's probably not the best solution. I want to be able to make him see the truth because he wants to, not because I've tricked him."

"But you wouldn't be tricking him, you'd just be honest."

"I can do that on my own."

Pansy frowned, thoughtful for a moment before she said, "Legilimency. You need to know who did this to him, don't you? Well, you could use it and search his memories."

"He would know," Ginny responded.

Before Pansy could reply, however, there was a knock on the door. Ginny opened it to find Draco on the other side, and he stank of alcohol. He was leaning against the door, his eyes dark, lips set in a thin line. He looked at her miserably.

"We used to be in love," he said quietly, stepping inside. "But something went wrong." He touched her face, and she let him. "I know you didn't do this to me – you would never. So, please, help me find out who did."
Chapter 6 by ReverseBeauty
She watched Draco from her spot in the kitchen. He was sitting on the couch, his head in his hands. Pansy was next to him, her hand on his back. She was talking softly to him, but Ginny couldn't really hear what she was saying. Not that she wanted to eavesdrop.

Pansy was beside her now, a worried look on her face. “He's not doing well. I mean, he's sobered up, but now he's just kind of sitting there, muttering about how could someone do this to him. He's actually pretty pissed.”

“I don't blame him,” Ginny murmured. “I'd like to know who did this to him, too. Then I'd find them and hurt them very, very badly.”

“Take it easy, Red,” Draco said quietly. “You wouldn't hurt them. It's not in your nature. I, however, am completely capable of violence.” He smirked a little. “Pansy, I hate to do this, but could you give us some time alone to talk?”

Once she was gone, Draco came over to stand by Ginny. He leaned against the counter and brushed a hand through his hair. He watched her for a few minutes before speaking. His question was something she'd already thought about, but never voiced.

“Do you think it was my father?”

She turned to him, her eyes searching his face. “That's impossible. You wouldn't have told him about us, right?”

He stared at her. “Absolutely not.”

“Right. Of course not. But I'm trying to figure out who could have done this to you. I know you had a long list of enemies, but I swear, no one knew about us.”

“Obviously someone did,” he said coldly. “If it wasn't my father, then I have no idea who it could have been.”

Ginny nodded. But something still nagged her about the whole situation. She looked at him. “Did you ever wonder why whoever found out didn't just tell you they knew? I mean, why go through all the trouble of erasing that part of your memory?”

“Because whoever did this didn't like me much, I suppose.”

She frowned, her tone serious. “I think whoever did this hated you.”

If possible, his eyes darkened. Scratching his chin, he said, “That's more likely. Believe me, I'd never have done something like that. I wouldn't have traded what we had.” The last part was spoken quietly.

“I never thought you did it to yourself, I just knew you thought that I did.”

He touched her cheek, his knuckles brushing her jaw. He drew her into his arms. “Dammit, I loved you so much. I can feel it every time I look at you now. I'm so sorry.”

“You have nothing to apologize for,” she said softly. “I know how you feel.”

Then he kissed her.

**


Pansy was sitting on the steps outside the flat. She wasn't going to leave, not until they let her back in and she could find out what they talked about. After all, she was the one that Ginny told her secret to. As she stood to head back in, someone fell in step beside her. Blaise looked at the door, then back at her.

“Are you having trouble getting inside?”

She laughed. “Draco is in there with Ginny. He's kind of a wreck.”

“I guess you heard then,” Blaise muttered, leaning against the railing. “But I don't see her ever hurting anyone.”

Pansy shook her head. “She wouldn't. She's too – oh, fuck. Does Draco know you have a crush on his girlfriend?”

“She's not his girlfriend,” Blaise said firmly.

A scowl. “Well, she's currently off limits, as I expect they're patching things up. Is that why you're here, to ask her out?”

“Not that it's any of your business, but I was going to see if she wanted to grab lunch,” he answered. “I guess I can't do that now.” He glanced at her. “Do you know when they'll be done?”

“You can't be serious. They. Are. Fixing. Things. Understand?”

Blaise's lip curled slightly, and he turned away from her. Stepping onto the sidewalk, he looked over his shoulder. “Yes,” he said, his voice strange. “Tell her I stopped by.”

Pansy sighed and knocked on the door before opening it. She hoped that she wouldn't see anything that would cause her to want to stab her eyes out.

**


Breathless, faces flushed and some clothing removed, the two sprang apart as the door opened. Draco slipped his shirt back on and glanced at Ginny, who was fixing her tank top, her red hair slightly messy.

“Well, it's nice to know you're on speaking terms, and more, with each other.” Pansy slid past Ginny and opened the freezer, digging out the ice cream. “By the way, Blaise came by. He was acting weird. You might want to talk to him.”

Ginny blinked. “Is he okay?”

“I think he feels rejected,” Pansy said as she ate. She glanced at Draco and tipped the carton. He shook his head.

“I didn't do anything,” Ginny said. “I knew he liked me, but I didn't feel the same. He's got to know that. Crap, I guess I'll talk to him tomorrow.” She looked back and forth between them. “Would you two want to go out for lunch?”

Pansy nodded, stuck the ice cream back in the freezer and headed for the door. “Okay, but on the way I want details of what happened here today.”
Chapter 7 by ReverseBeauty
Draco's eyes widened as they approached the restaurant. He took in the large number of people and looked at Ginny. "This place is too crowded. We'll go somewhere else."

"We can wait," Pansy said.

"Besides, we need to compile a list of the people who could've altered Draco's memory."

Pansy smirked. "Do you have a few weeks?"

Draco glared at her. "It won't take that long. Jesus." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I'm fairly certain that anyone who had hated me years ago has grown up since then."

"Except maybe Harry," Pansy said.

"He was too busy looking at Hermione then to see anything else," Ginny replied icily. "But, no, it wouldn't be him. He didn't know about us."

Pansy cleared her throat. "I have something to say, but you're not going to like it."

"What is it?" Draco asked, raising an eyebrow.

Pansy was quiet for several minutes before she said, "What if it was Blaise?"

**


"Draco, stop!" she shouted, trailing after him.

"Why?" he snapped, turning to face her.

"Because you have to talk to her!" Ginny shouted, gripping his arm. "She never would have said what she did if she didn't think she had proof."

"He's my best friend," he said, his voice thick with emotion. "How would you feel?"

Ginny stared at him, her eyes lowered. "I know it was terrible to hear. I know. I wouldn't believe it unless the person had evidence. But even then–"

"She doesn't," he said angrily. "She's just reaching. This didn't even happen to her and she's twisting everything." He advanced on Ginny and touched her arm. "What did you tell her about that night?"

"I told her the truth," said Ginny. "I told her how I went to your room and you acted like you didn't see me anymore, not the way you did the previous night. God, I can't even begin to tell you how angry I was. At first, I thought you had just come to your senses and ended it. But then when I tried to talk to you again, about us, about why you shut me out, do you remember what you said?"

He did. He just hadn't remembered why he'd said the words to her back then. Until now. Until she was staring him in the face, trying not to lose herself in this mess that someone else had caused.

Sunlight drenched the halls. Students filled the corridor, and she was shoved this way and that, but she didn't care. She needed to get to him. She needed an explanation.

She needed closure.

Feeling like she had been running forever, she stopped to take a breath. When she looked up, she finally saw him. He was leaning against the wall near the Great Hall, his eyes on her. They looked different.

As she approached him, she saw him smirk a little.

"Are you running from someone, Weasley?" he asked. "Perhaps Potter? God knows, if I were him, I'd go into hiding from you."

She narrowed her eyes, even though her heart was aching from his words. She didn't understand what had happened. She didn't know this boy in front of her anymore – maybe she never had, she reasoned.

Her Draco would never say anything so cruel to her. But he was gone, and whoever this was didn't recognize her anymore. She watched his smirk widen and she looked at the floor. She wouldn't let him tear her down.

"What happened to you?" Ginny asked weakly, as she lifted her head.

"There you go again," he answered, frowning. "You're acting as though I was nice to you. Tell me." He walked toward her, his fingers reaching for a strand of her hair. When he had it, he twisted it around his finger. "Why did you come to my room last night?"

"Stop it," she said, yanking her hair away from him. She stepped back. "We were together for months, up until last night." Her eyes welled up, and she bit her lip. "Don't you remember?"

His lips curved, and he gripped her chin. His words were careful, painful, slicing through her. They left her broken.

"You mean nothing to me. You never have and you never will."

Then he was gone, and she was alone.


He felt like shit. His brain tried to form words, but whatever he'd come up with had not reached his mouth. So he was rooted to the spot, unable to speak, with her looking at him the same way she had that day. He expected her to walk away. Wondered how long she could have held that anger inside. He knew, better than most, that pissing off Ginny Weasley was something you didn't come back from. And yet...

"Oh God," he whispered. He tried to hug her, but she pushed him away. "I'm sorry. You have to believe that I didn't mean what I said."

"But you did," she said, her voice tight. "You may feel like you didn't mean what you said back then, but you did. We were never supposed to be together, Draco. It wasn't right. It still isn't, and I can't do this."

"Stop," he said, tugging her toward him. This time she let him. He tucked her body into his and stroked her hair. "That wasn't me, and you knew it. I was a fucking bastard, okay? An idiot. And I'm sorry. But I can't do this without you." He pulled away and looked at her. "Help me."

She rested her head against his chest. "I don't know how," she muttered. She was quiet for a while, then: "What if Pansy's right?"

"Impossible," he answered. "Please don't indulge her delusion. You know he would never do anything so stupid. If he had, I would have broken all of his bones, best friend or not."

"You wouldn't have known he was the one," said Ginny. "If he covered his tracks well enough."

Draco scratched his chin. "But I don't think he's the one. He feels bad for a lot, and this would definitely be one of those things if he had done it. So he would come clean about it."

Ginny shook her head. "All of this is so complicated. I don't get why anyone would go to such lengths to tear us apart. It's been years."

"Well, apparently someone's still holding a grudge."
Chapter 8 by ReverseBeauty
It was hours later that Draco realized maybe Ginny wasn't the best person for him to be around right now. Maybe she was clouding his judgment about things, and making it harder for him to do what he needed to.

When there was a knock on the door, he looked up from his book, and stood. Opening it, he found Pansy on the other side. She looked worried, he noticed, so he stepped aside and let her in.

"What happened?"

Pansy started to pace, and Draco watched her curiously.

"I have to tell you something, but don't know if I should. It's not my place, after all."

Draco's mouth twitched slightly. "Well, if you think you shouldn't, then don't. Unless, of course, it's harmful."

"It's not my secret," she said.

"It's a joint secret," he answered. "If you know something that someone else does. But if it isn't your secret to tell, then I would advise against it."

"Potentially," Pansy muttered.

"What?" he asked.

"I said that it could be potentially harmful."

Draco's eyes narrowed. But before he could ask what she meant, there was another knock at the door. He wondered if maybe it was Ginny, and if it was, he'd have no choice but to tell her he needed to stop seeing her.

He answered it, finding Blaise leaning casually against the door frame, a smirk on his lips. He walked in and looked at Pansy. "Have you spoken with her?"

She nodded. "I told her you wanted to talk, but she I haven't seen her since then. You know where she lives, why don't you go there? We're in the middle of something."

Blaise's smirk faded. "She needs to know how I feel."

"Tell me." Draco's voice was hard. "How exactly do you feel?"

Zabini stiffened and turned around. "It's not what you think."

Draco stared at him. "I'm sure it's not. Of course it's not. Because if it were the way I thought, then that would mean you have feelings for her. So, am I close?"

"She's not your—"

"She still means something to me, you bastard. And, as it happens, she doesn't feel the same as you do. That's what she was going to tell you when she talked to you yesterday."

"I want to hear it from her, not you. Because there's a good chance you could be lying just to keep her for yourself, like before."

Draco's eyes widened. "What did you say? What do you mean 'like before'? Blaise, what did you do?"

"I didn't do anything," he snapped. "I just knew about the two of you and tried to talk her out of it."

"Talk her out of what?" Draco asked. He raised his hands to rub his temples. He was beginning to get a headache, and he knew the cause. He just needed to get rid of it. He closed his eyes and sighed. "What happened? Please just tell me."

Blaise shook his head, then he started to talk.

He found her standing out outside the Slytherin common room, talking to herself. He hadn't seen much of her this year, not that he had been looking. But when he had spotted her, her nose was often in a book. She was like Granger in that way.

"No book this time, I see," he said as he stepped beside her. "If you're waiting for him, he's not in there. You might want to go back to your tower, Red."

She pushed her hair behind her head, shaking her head. "I'm not waiting for anyone."

"Of course you're not," he stated, rolling his eyes. "Then what are you, a Gryffindor, doing hovering outside our common room?" He leaned in close, close enough so that he could smell whatever soap she had used in the shower. "I know about you and Draco, Weasley."

Ginny swallowed. "I don't know what you're talking about, Zabini. There's nothing going on between me and Malfoy."

"He doesn't need you, not like you think. He's using you, it's what he does." A smirk settled into place. "You'll do well to remember who you are, and who you aren't. He doesn't want you, can't you see? You're ruining his reputation. So why not just end it before he humiliates you by bringing your relationship to light."

"It would hurt him to," Ginny said before she could stop herself.

"I doubt it," Blaise said. "But I'm warning you. End it or you're going to be sorry."


"So you threatened her," Draco concluded after the story was over. He was standing by the window, his hand on the sill, eyes narrowed. "Are you the reason I lost my memories of her and I together?"

"Someone erased your memories?" Blaise cursed softly. "Well, it wasn't me. Ginny wanted to, but she just couldn't, and when–"

Draco turned his head, his body trembling. "She wanted to erase them?"

Blaise merely stared at the floor. But when his body slammed into the wall near the door, he finally looked up. Draco was furious, his fingers wrapped around his friend's collar. They should have been around his throat, the bastard. He tried to get Draco to release him, all the while Pansy was yelling in the background, beneath the hard breathing and growling.

"Let me go," Blaise snarled.

"Not a fucking chance," Draco hissed, his grip tightening. "She did what I thought, didn't she? Erased my memories. Goddammit." When he released Blaise, it was only to shove him harder into the wall. Then he sank onto the carpet. "I trusted her," he said softly. "I believed her, and she lied to my face."

"Maybe that's not what happened," Pansy said gently, sitting beside him.

He looked at her. "That's what you wanted to tell me, wasn't it? That she was the one who did this to me?" He stood, reaching for the door. "I'm going to make her tell me."

"That's not–"

"Stop trying to protect her," he said, glaring at Pansy.

He slammed the door behind him.

Ginny had been sitting on the steps outside the building, debating whether or not to go in, when the door opened and Draco stepped out. He stopped when he saw her, and she expected him to look happy. But instead he looked stunned. Then his expression morphed into something that resembled anger.

"I was just going to come inside," she said, standing.

"That won't be necessary. I need you to be honest with me when I ask you this. Did you have anything to do with my memories getting erased?"

"No," she said calmly.

"You know, I really hate being lied to." He chuckled lightly. "But everyone seems to love doing it. If you don't tell me the truth right now, we're done."

"I don't know what you're–"

That was when he grabbed her and shoved her down the steps. She staggered but regained her balance, with his fingers digging into her shoulders. Tears filled her eyes, and she hadn't even realized she'd hit him until he touched his face, rubbing the red spot on his cheek.
Chapter 9 by ReverseBeauty
He dropped his hand and glared at her. He'd never been hit before, not even by his father, and everyone knew how much Lucius Malfoy enjoyed causing other people pain. But he never laid a hair on his son, no matter how angry he was.

"Jesus Christ," he snapped. "Why did you hit me?"

"Because you weren't listening," she said angrily. "Goddammit. I told you I wasn't lying to you, Draco. It's not my fault you're being stubborn and won't believe me. I've been nothing but honest with you."

"Is that so?" he asked, a scowl forming on his face. "Well, that's interesting. Because I've just had a conversaion with Blaise and he told me a little story about you. I already know what you've done, Ginny. So, please don't stand there and lie to me again."

She frowned at him, her eyes narrowed. "What did he tell you?"

His smile was hard. "Just that you were going to erase my memories, but someone beat you to it. You should have told me."

"How the hell was I supposed to tell you something like that?" she demanded. "You would have been furious."

He looked at her, his gray eyes soft. At that moment, he wanted to touch her, to hold her close, to tell her everything was going to be okay. They would work things out. They had to. So, instead of speaking, he closed his eyes and sighed, trying to gather his thoughts.

"You wanted to do it, but you didn't. That means something." He opened his eyes and stared down at her, moving close until he could smell her lavender scented perfume.

Ginny shut her eyes, and when his fingers touched his cheek, she exhaled slowly. She looked at him then, her lips parted slightly. His lips pressed against hers softly, his arms going around her. She pressed into him, her head spinning. He muttered something against her mouth, and she pulled back, her eyes wide.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I need to find out who did this to me, and in order to do that, you can't be here. Not now."

"You need me to help you," Ginny said, reaching for his hand.

"How can you help me?" he snapped. "You weren't even there when it happened. It would have been so much better if you had been the one to do it."

"I couldn't," Ginny whispered. "I knew you didn't deserve that. But I didn't want you to wake up one morning and–" She shook her head, her voice strained.

"And what?" he asked softly.

Her eyes filled with tears again. "I didn't want you to wake up one morning and realize who I was. I wasn't any good for you, and I knew eventually you would figure that out. But then months went by and you never did, so I thought the best way to end things was to make you forget."

"But you couldn't," he replied. "How thoughtful."

He was angry now.

"I should have told you," she said. "Having you forget about us, I thought it would make me happy. But when I really saw that someone had done that to you, I was upset. Someone hated us that much. I felt awful. I used to wonder who did it, too. Then I realized it didn't matter, because you'd never remember that we were together. So how could you possibly be mad at what you didn't have an recollection of?"

"But I did," he said. "And as far as I was aware, there was no reason for me to ever remember. I don't understand. Once you got your memories erased, that should be it."

"Only one memory came back," he told her. "But it was enough to make me realize we'd had a relationship in the past." He reached out and took her hands, pulling her close. "I want you to tell me what else we had together." He rested his forehead against hers. "Did you love me?"

She nodded, shutting her eyes. "It scared me. All of it scared me. We were so different."

"Two sides of the same coin," he said. His mouth twitched. "How about we talk more over dinner tonight? Blaise and Pansy are waiting for me in my apartment. I think they'd enjoy seeing you again, if you want to come in."

Ginny smiled. "That sounds nice."

**


Blaise had been rummaging for wine when Draco and Ginny walked through the door. He grinned and nodded at Ginny. "Hello, Red." Then to Draco, "Do you have anything to drink that isn't coffee or tea?"

"He means alcohol," Pansy said, getting up from the couch. She hugged Ginny. "Did you and Draco get reacquainted?"

"We talked about things," she replied, not really wanting to get into it. "Do you have wine?" she asked Draco.

He eyed Blaise. "I think there is a search commencing as we speak."

Blaise laughed, then emerged with a bottle in his hand. "This looks so old, man. Sure you guys want to drink it?"

Pansy extended her hand. "Give it up, Zabini. We'll drink it if you're too afraid of getting sick."

"Oh, shut up," Blaise snapped, snatching the bottle away and opening it. He held it out to Ginny. "We don't need glasses, right?"

She shook her head and took a sip. She started to relax, and it was quite easy with the three of them. They didn't judge her for what happened, like others might have.

"Give me that," Pansy said, taking the bottle. "We don't need you getting smashed. Remember what happened the last time you had this?"

Ginny frowned.

They'd went through a bottle of wine. Just one and she was feeling the effects. A warm feeling surged through her, and she felt content, with him. He kissed her jaw, his light hair brushing her cheek as she wrapped her around around him.

In the back of the library, leaning against the shelves, Ginny Weasley was kissing the last person she ever thought she would. Because of a dare. It was a stupid dare, she thought.

Pansy Parkinson didn't seem to think so.

Neither did Draco Malfoy, it seemed. Because he wasn't pushing her away. In fact, he was enjoying himself. He had his hands tangled in her hair, his lips hot against her mouth now. Ginny pressed herself into him, slipped her arms tighter around his waist, and moaned.

When they finally pulled apart, his head was against the crook of her shoulder, his breathing ragged. But he slid his hands along her body until they rested on her hips. He closed his eyes and sighed.

"Jesus Christ, Weasley," he said tiredly. "I've got to thank Pansy for being setting this up."

"You knew?" Ginny asked. "That's just great. I thought it was a surprise."

"Oh, it was." He chuckled. "I've seen the way you've been looking at me. I didn't think you'd have enough nerve to approach me at all. I guess I was wrong."

"No one can know about this," she told him. "Do you understand?"

He looked at her, his eyes gleaming. "They wouldn't believe me if I said anything. They know who you are."

"And who am I?" Ginny said, anger twisting inside her.

Draco stepped back and smirked. "They know you're not good for me, and you would damage my reputation if I ever thought about getting involved with you. But you know what? Fuck them."

Ginny was quiet as he wrapped one arm around her waist, pulling her closer. When he kissed her, it was hard. He cupped her face, the knuckles of his free hand brushing her skin.
Chapter 10 by ReverseBeauty
Dinner had consisted of cartons of takeout and more wine, which Pansy had offered to go and get because they'd finished the first bottle fast. Draco glanced at Ginny, who was laughing at something Blaise said.

"So, are things okay now?" Pansy leaned over and whispered to him. "I mean, you seemed pretty happy when you came back. I was surprised it was with her, but still."

He nodded, the memory of the time in the library with Ginny still fresh in his mind. "It's fine," he said. "I just want this all to be over with, you know? It's causing a goddamn strain on things."

"What're you guys talking about?" Ginny asked, sipping more wine.

"The food," Pansy said quickly. "It's good, isn't it?"

Ginny smiled and nodded, as Draco excused himself, pulling Pansy with him. They went into his bedroom, and he shut the door, leaning against it. He stared at her before running a hand down his face.

"What the hell was that?"

"I just figured you guys could use a break. Or at least she could. I doubt she'd be happy to know you're constantly thinking about what happened."

"How can I not?" he asked angrily. "Pansy, whoever did this, they could have done worse. But they stole something from me, altered my mind. They shouldn't have done that. If they didn't like us together, maybe they should have told me instead of–"

"Maybe they did talk to you, but you didn't listen."

"Impossible," he snapped. "I would have listened if someone had a problem with who I was dating."

Pansy lifted an eyebrow.

"Okay, fine, no, I probably wouldn't have listened. But I would have remembered if someone said something. There's not a person in that school that would have been alright with Ginny and I together, and you know it."

"Did you ever stop to think that maybe someone did talk to you about how they felt, but you just ended up forgetting that too? I mean, anything to do with you and her, and your time together, is blank. Except for that one memory, you said. So it's possible the culprit erased any trace that you mentioned her, or had her mentioned to you."

Draco stared at her, his mind reeling. It all made sense. A terrible, twisted, fucked up amount of sense.

"Damn, you would make a good detective, Parkinson."

She smirked.

There was a knock on the door, and Blaise's voice said, "We're getting a little worried out here, mate. You and Pansy aren't finally confessing your feelings, are you?" Something was pushed into the wood. "Ouch, Ginny, I was kidding! Hey, stop! Dammit, Draco, control your woman before she beats me to death!"

Draco snorted and tapped his knuckles on the door. "Could you not kill my best friend, love? It takes too much time to replace one of those."

The noises stopped, then: "What are you doing?"

"Talking," Pansy said, grinning at Draco. "I mean, what else is there to do after you make out?"

He glared at her, opened the door, and saw Blaise sitting on the floor. He looked up at them as he sipped a glass of wine.

"I got tired of waiting," he said. "Besides, your girlfriend has the bottle. I think she finished it. She's quite delightful." He grinned crookedly.

His fingers found her hair in the dark. She was curled against him on the couch. They'd been like this ever since Blaise and Pansy left around midnight. It was quiet, peaceful, and they needed that. To clear their heads. To be with one another.

"Did you like the wine?" Draco asked. Of course she did, you idiot. She drank most of it.

"It was good," she said, yawning. "I'm sorry I hit Blaise."

Draco laughed. "He probably deserved it. You don't injure people without reason."

Ginny frowned and said, "I really should talk to people when I'm angry. I was so used to the twins and Ron hitting each other when they got mad, I guess I just picked that up. I remember the first time I hit Ron, I thought my mum was going to faint."

Draco smiled. "Did you get into trouble?"

"Gnome duty," she said, groaning.

"Gnomes?" he said. "Do I want to know?"

"De-gnoming the garden. It's exhausting and irritating. Of course, you would never do something so demeaning."

"Well, since I was raised to have others to my work for you, I expect not."

Ginny hit him in the shoulder.

"Better than the face," mumbled Draco. He kissed the top of her head. "Do your parents know about me?"

Ginny chuckled. "The last time I went to see them, it didn't go well. Actually, that was the day you and I had the fight outside the bar."

Draco tensed slightly. He was hoping she wouldn't have brought that up. Because that was what started the accusations, the anger, and distrust. All of which he still wanted to take back, but didn't know how. So, instead of speaking, he tipped her chin and kissed her softly, wrapped his arms around her. He sighed contently as she snuggled against him.

"We'll figure this out," she said into his shirt. "Then we'll be able to be happy."

He hoped so. But he was very aware that happiness came with a price. That nothing in life was free, and you had to work like hell to keep the things and people who mattered.

"Losing you is not an option," he whispered. "Not again."

"I'm not going anywhere," she reassured him. She laced their fingers together. "We'll be okay, Draco. We'll find out who did this and make them pay."

Draco thought he liked that idea. He liked it very much. Hurting people wasn't something he was used to. But he would do it if it meant protecting Ginny. Because he wasn't sure what would happen to either of them when this was solved. Perhaps the person who had done this was going to hurt them. In that case, he had to be prepared to fight.
Chapter 11 by ReverseBeauty
The smell of coffee stirred him, and he found Ginny sitting on the floor, holding a mug up to his face. Grinning tiredly, he took it and let the hot liquid slip down his throat before putting an arm around her lightly.

"Thank you," he said softly, kissing her hair. "How's your hangover?"

"Stable," replied Ginny. "I've had more coffee in the last hour than in the last week." She turned to look at him, chewing her lip. "What are we going to do?" she asked softly.

"I don't know, but I've been thinking about something Pansy said. She figured out that I had more than our time together taken away – any mention of you was gone, too." He sighed. "I hate this. I only know what you and Blaise have told me, though he was more about pulling us apart at the time." He caught her expression. "Don't. He's not responsible for this."

"We'll make new memories," she promised.

He smiled.

**


There was a knock on the door. It grew urgent before Ginny opened it. Blaise stood there, looking disheveled and pissed about something. He didn't wait to be let in. Approaching Draco, he sat on the couch and shook his head.

"Theo's back," he announced.

Draco's eyes narrowed. "Where?"

"I don't know, I didn't actually see him. Pansy told me."

Ginny looked at them. "Who?"

"Theodore Nott," Draco informed her. "He was an asshole and I don't particularly like him. But I'm not sure why that is."

"You don't remember?" Blaise shot Draco an incredulous look. "He tried to take her from you." He nodded toward the redhead. "You never let him have her, though. You fought tooth and nail to keep her." He glanced at Ginny. "Did you know any of this?"

She didn't. "No. I don't remember him at all."

"I don't believe he erased any parts of your memory," Blaise told her, as if reading her mind. "Because if he had, he would have kept the ones of himself. But you say you don't remember him."

Draco's voice was full of quiet rage.

"Did he do this to me?"

"I don't know," Blaise answered truthfully. "But it would explain why you don't like him. Though, Pansy told me what she figured out, and if that's the case – if he took your memories of Ginny and everything related – then you would have no reason to dislike him."

Draco put his head in his hands. "That doesn't make any sense. It has to be Nott."

"Why?" Blaise wondered. "Why does it have to be him? Maybe whoever it was, maybe they're dead. Did you ever think about that? Maybe it doesn't matter anymore. You have her back. What more do you want? Revenge? Will that make you feel better?"

"He wants answers," Ginny said quietly. She was sitting on the floor. "If someone took your memories, wouldn't you want to know why?"

"Well, yes, but–"

"That's it," Draco said firmly. "There's nothing else to discuss." He stood up went to his bedroom. Once clothed, he opened the front door. "I want answers and I am going to get them, with or without your help."

"Do you think he'll find him?" Ginny asked as they both stared at the closed door.

"Theo doesn't go far from the bars," Blaise told her. "Here, sit, it may be a while." He dropped onto the couch and crossed his legs, leaning back. "I suppose we ought to tell Pansy what's going on, since she knows he's back."

Ginny rubbed her temples. "Why don't I remember him?"

"I have no idea," Blaise explained. "Memories of Theo have been erased, as well, because they are linked to his interaction with you. That's why Draco didn't remember what happened, but it doesn't make sense that you wouldn't remember him. No one tampered with your mind. Anyone you came in contact with, at any point in your life, you should be able to recall. You and Draco are two separate people."

"I remember being with Draco," she said quietly. "No one could take that from me."

"He probably thought the same thing. But someone had other plans." He looked over at her. "I wonder, though, if you two should really be focusing on that now. You may never know who the culprit is, and you should just be happy you're together."

"You sound sad," Ginny acknowledged softly. She smiled. "This wasn't you. You wouldn't have jeopardized your friendship. If you did this, you'd remember."

"Perhaps," he said thoughtfully. "But I've been thinking – theorizing, actually. What if the person who did this to you doesn't want to remember? So much so that they erased their own memories of that time?"

That was absurd, of course. But deep down, she wasn't so sure.

He knew where he'd find Theo – where he always did before the man left London – in some dingy, small bar with a glass of gin in front of him. Any bar would do, Theo wasn't picky. As long as he could get a drink and drown his day away.

Stepping into the bar he frequented recently, he scanned the customers. His eyes fell on a man hunched over a half empty glass of liquid. The man looked up, his eyes widening. And he stood, almost as though he knew what Draco was there for.

But he didn't run.

Draco approached him, and sat down, his eyes narrowed. "I was under the impression you were never coming back here again."

Theodore Nott looked less weedy than he had years ago. He ran a hand through his dark hair and smirked. "I had business to take care of. Did Parkinson tell you that I was back?"

"Blaise," Draco informed him. "Have you spoken to Ginny since you'd been back?"

"Ginny?" Nott looked confused.

"Weasley."

Theo's smirk widened slightly. "Oh, her. No. I didn't know she still lived here. I haven't seen her since Hogwarts."

"Right," muttered Draco, as he ordered a shot of vodka. "Didn't you want to date her then? I think she was with someone else at the time."

Nott shook his head. "I don't know. It was a long time ago. Why are you asking me about that girl? Are you with her or something?"

"Yes," he answered. "I am." His drink arrived, but he didn't touch it. Instead, he folded his hands in front of him and leaned forward. "A funny thing happened, though. It's hysterical, really. You're going to laugh. Are you ready?"

"She's probably a great lay," Nott said, smiling. "I always wanted to know if I could make her scream."

Draco's vision grew hazy, and his head hurt terribly. He'd felt this way before. Just once. He knew what was happening. God, Theo was looking at his memories. The recent ones. To find her.

In a flash, he had his hands around Theo's neck. He'd tackled him to the floor, the glasses of liquor broken behind them. People shouted, but he didn't let go.

"You destroyed my memories!" Draco hissed as he felt the crunch of bone underneath his fist. He didn't stop. Theo's lip split beneath his knuckle, blood sprayed along his fingers. "You bastard," he whispered hoarsely. "Why?"

Theo's bloody lips twisted into a heinous smile, then he shoved Draco off. Rolling onto his side, he stood up slowly. "You always did get everything you wanted, my friend. Frankly, I was sick of it." He spat onto the floor. Then his fist slammed into the side of Draco's temple, causing him to sink to his knees.

Draco gasped, his head throbbing, as he watched Theo walk out of the bar. He heard a voice above him, felt a hand on his shoulder. Someone was going to help him. They healed his wounds, and when he stood, he could only think of one thing.

He had to get to Ginny before Theo did.
Chapter 12 by ReverseBeauty
Water drenched him as he hurried down the street. Though healed, his body still ached, slowing his steps. To anyone who passed him, they would assume he was drunk. He almost wished he was, to numb the anger he felt.

Alcohol would cloud him, and it wouldn't protect her.

He needed to be completely alert.

Someone was calling him. He heard them. Not too far behind, but not close enough to him that he would stop to chat. He only had one thing on his mind.

"Stop," a voice demanded.

Over the rain and wind, that's what he heard. It was a yell, a woman's voice. That halted him. Turning, he saw a mane of dark hair and a cloak pulled over her face.

Pansy.

"Didn't you hear me?" she said loudly. "What are you doing out here?"

"Nott," he managed to get out, his body shivering with anger. "Nott's on his way to my flat. He took my memories. Now he's going to take her."

Pansy's eyes widened, then narrowed. "No, he isn't."

"I'm so glad that we agree, but I don't have time for this."

He turned away, but not before she gripped his arm, her eyes dark beneath her hood. She ran ahead of him. He followed, and together they raced through the street, the storm overhead baring down harder.

"Can't you Apparate?" Pansy asked him.

Draco frowned, but quickened his pace. All at once, he grabbed her around the waist, pulling her closer. "Hold on," he said, and they vanished.

They reappeared inside his flat, and deafening screams met their ears. Ginny was on the floor, blood dripping from her lip. She was crouched down over a body. Draco's insides tightened. Then he heard the laughter from behind.

Theodore Nott was leaning against the counter, his eyes hard. He still had blood on his face, from their fight in the bar. He hadn't healed himself. But there was a new bruise forming on his cheek.

"You're just a little too late," he said.

Blaise's eyes watched Draco, but they didn't move. His entire body was motionless, and Ginny was clutching his hand, head bent, crying. She hadn't looked at Draco since he appeared.

Theo walked over to Ginny and touched her cheek. She flinched, drawing back. "Don't touch me," she whispered, her voice savage. "You did this. All of this."

His smile was cold. When he gripped her hair, too fast for her to run, she cried out. He twisted, dragging her across the floor. Gripping her chin, he forced her head up. Finally, her eyes connected with Draco. Pansy stood behind him, and he held her for support.

"You're here," she said quietly, her eyes full of tears. "He told me you were dead."

Draco stiffened. "He's not a killer."

"But Blaise–"

"He's okay," Draco told her. "Now, I need you to do something for me, all right?"

She nodded.

"Stay calm," he said gently. "I'll take care of this prick."

Theodore glared at him, used his hand to wipe the blood off of his face, and held onto Ginny more tightly. "You know I could hurt her if you say anything else, Malfoy."

Draco smirked. "But you won't. Your problems aren't with her. They're with me. So let her go and deal with your issues, Nott."

Theo's mouth twitched. "She denied me."

"Oh, get over it." Blaise was sitting up, but disoriented. It took him a few moments to stand, but when he did, his expression shifted; he was pissed. "It's been years, and you're still mad about something that happened when you were a teenager? Christ, we should have figured it was you from the start. I'm sorry I didn't, otherwise I would have made you sorry."

Nott's eyes widened. "I killed you," he stated with surprise.

Blaise smirked. "You might want to rethink that, mate. I'm not going to leave this place while you hurt my friends. Face it: You weren't important enough for Ginny to remember, that's why she didn't. She only had eyes for one person back then."

Theodore's fingers clutched his wand with one hand, his other still holding Ginny.

"So all of this was for nothing," Draco told him. "You ruined a life, piece by piece, because you were jealous and wanted someone who clearly hadn't given you a second glance."

"You're lying," he yelled, looking down at the redhead. "He's a liar. You wanted me, I know you did. But he got his fucking claws into you. What did he do? Did he force you to fall in love with him?" His hands shook enough for his grip to slacken, and Ginny pushed away from him. He didn't move to grab her again.

"This is really sad," Pansy murmured.

Draco nodded. He crouched down, cradling Ginny against his chest when she scampered over to him. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.

"Yes," she breathed. She looked back at Theo. "He didn't do anything to me, but show me a person under the mask. You tried to steal me away. I fell in love with who he was. I could have never done that with you, and I'm sorry. But you had no right to take things from him. Aren't you going to apologize for what you've done?"

Nott's tilted his head, his eyes dark. He wand rose – aiming at Ginny.

Several cries of "No!" filled the flat.

He never got to cast the spell, however, because Blaise had seized up a heavy statue off the side table and slammed it down onto Nott's head. Theo turned, and Blaise saw the blood dripping down his temple, before his knees buckled and he collapsed.

Ginny barely heard the noise in the bar. She was focused on her drink. Draco was holding her hand under the table, his eyes on her the entire time. They'd come here after everything, mostly because Ginny didn't want to be in the flat anymore.

"What did Blaise do with him?" she asked quietly.

"I don't know," Draco answered. "He wasn't dead – that's a shame – when Blaise got rid of him. He probably just dumped him on the street."

"You'll be happy to know, my friends, that Theodore Nott is at the Ministry. While modifying your memory isn't technically illegal, intent to harm or kill is," Blaise said as he sat down. "I think it's better to let them deal with that scum than us. Because, I'm sorry, but I'd have no problem maiming him."

Draco nodded. "I wouldn't hold you back."

"I don't think anyone would," Ginny remarked. "I'm just glad it's all over. Now we can go back to living normal lives."

As Draco watched her closely, he wondered if that was true.
Chapter 13 by ReverseBeauty
It had been two weeks since the incident, and Ginny wasn't feeling any safer, especially in Draco's flat. Every time she turned off a light or walked down the hallway to the bedroom alone, she felt eyes on her. She shivered at the thought.

Theo was everywhere.

"He's not here," Draco told her. He was sitting on his bed with a book. He'd stopped reading once she hesitated shutting the door. "It's over."

"You must think I'm completely paranoid," she said, smiling faintly. She slipped onto the bed and pressed her cheek against his shoulder. When he put an arm around her, she relaxed slightly.

"I don't," he answered. "You had something happen. It's okay to be afraid. But maybe you should talk to someone about it. You know, a doctor."

Ginny glanced at him. "You mean a therapist."

He shrugged. "It could help you feel less...wound up, I suppose, if you were able to vent to someone about what's scaring you."

"Why can't I just talk to you?" she asked. "You already know what's going on."

He smiled faintly, brushing his lips against her temple. "I'm not qualified to help you like a therapist would be. They're trained, and from what I hear, very good."

"How do you even know anything about that?" Ginny wondered. "You detest Muggles."

"Granger used to talk about Muggles a lot. I accidentally paid attention once, and it seemed intriguing, so I filed the information away."

Ginny nodded. "Maybe. I'd rather just talk to people that I know, who won't medicate me. I want to still be a fully functional person, you know."

Draco frowned, made his way off the bed and went to the door. He looked back at her. "You, my dear, are sounding entirely too Muggle for my liking, so I'm going to sleep in the living room."

Ginny scowled.

His lips twitched. "Relax, I'm just going to make tea." He edged out of the room, but stopped when he saw her panicked expression. "You'll be fine. You can come with me if you'd like."

She nodded. "Okay."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I don't know what else to do. She doesn't even feel safe with me, and she woke up again in the middle of the night, screaming."

Draco had his head tipped back, and he was staring at the ceiling. The smell of freshly cooked food hung in the air, and as pans slammed around him, he realized how hungry he was. Blaise looked up from his spot by the stove. He had been in the process of cooking food for a date that canceled, when Draco showed up.

"Perhaps she should move out temporarily," Blaise suggested. "I'm pretty sure Pansy would love to have her as a roommate."

Draco nodded. "That could work."

"She won't be happy about you asking her to leave, though. But if you think it's best for her to go, then she will. You're trying to help her."

"The Ministry's taken care of him, but she doesn't believe me."

Blaise glanced at him. "Maybe she needs to see that he's not going to come back."

Draco blinked. "What do you mean?"

"Take her to The Ministry. Her father works there, doesn't he? So it won't be so bad."

"He does, but there's a small problem. Her parents, while they know I exist, they don't know I'm part of their daughter's life, and I don't think they'd take too kindly to knowing everything that's been going on."

"Maybe she could move back in with them."

Draco shook his head. "That would require an explanation. I think Ginny moving in with Pansy is our safest option for now."

"Where is she now?" Blaise asked. He turned off the stove. "This is a waste of food. I was planning on sleeping with a beautiful blonde tonight."

"I don't think Ginny would appreciate that."

Blaise eyes narrowed. "You have a sick sense of humor, mate."

Draco grinned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"You don't want me here anymore?"

Draco groaned and ran a hand down his face in frustration. He'd just got back from visiting Blaise, and apparently word spread fast. The redhead was fuming. She placed her hands on her hips and her eyes narrowed into slits.

He thought she would be upset – crying, mainly – but this type of upset was lethal. It would damage things more. Draco reminded himself to kick Blaise's ass once he was through here.

"It's not that I don't want you here, I just think you'd be safer away from me for a while, at least until you can calm down again."

Ginny's eyes widened. "Is that what you think? That I need to just calm down and ignore what happened?"

"No." He sighed. "I just think that time apart right now would do us some good. Your life is complicated enough with me in it." He took a deep breath. "If we'd never gotten drunk on Pansy's dare at Hogwarts–"

"Don't do that. It had nothing to do with the wine, you know that."

The next words left his mouth before he could stop them.

"I never would have touched you had I been sober."

It happened so fast: His head snapped to the side as she struck him across the face. She was crying, throwing things at him, and screaming. Then Ginny was gone. He let her go. He wouldn't be surprised if she didn't come back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"You look lonely."

The redhead looked up from her drink. "I'm pissed off, there's a difference."

She was supposed to remember something, but couldn't. He was being nice, and that's what she needed right now. So when he asked her to take a walk with him, she did. Her mind swam, and when he touched her cheek, she leaned into his warm hand.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He pounded on the door. He knew she'd be here. When Pansy answered, Draco didn't want to be invited in. He stepped past her and turned to face her. He must have looked like hell, because her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open a little.

"Is Ginny here?" he asked softly.

She squinted at him. "You're drunk. Good grief. But, no, she isn't here. I haven't heard from her for a while. But I talked to Blaise, and I think what you're doing is a good thing. She would be safer with me, at least for now."

Draco blinked at her, and his insides quivered.

"I let her go," he said, his voice strained.

The front door opened and Blaise walked in, carrying The Daily Prophet. "I'm glad you're both here. There's something that you need to see."

Draco eyed him. "Ginny's missing," he said. "I think. We had a fight and then she left. I thought she would come here, but Pansy said she hadn't heard from her."

Blaise rubbed his chin, then his eyes narrowed, and he handed over the newspaper.

WIZARD THEODORE NOTT ESCAPES MINISTRY.

AUROR IN CHARGE SPEAKS OUT.
Chapter 14 by ReverseBeauty
Draco's hands shook as he looked at the paper. His mind was spinning a million miles a minute at the thought of where Nott was. But he didn't have to think, because he knew.

"He's going to her," he told them.

"Are you sure?" Pansy asked.

Draco nodded. "Of course I am. Ginny's who he wants. This is a game to him, and she's the prize. We have to find her before he does." He headed for the door, ripping it open. "I know where she is."

**


Ginny's fingers tightened around her glass. She wanted to numb herself because of everything, but she had to be aware, alert.

Someone brushed her arm, and she turned her head, her eyes wide.

"What are you doing here?" she snapped, her voice shaking.

Theo smirked at her, put a hand on her shoulder, and squeezed until she winced. Ginny stood and took out her wand to curse him, but her aim was off slightly.

"Get away from me," she hissed.

"I don't think so," he said, lip curling. "Come with me. Now." When he grabbed her, Ginny was horrified that no one seemed to move to stop the attack. In fact, as she looked around, she noticed that no one moved at all.

"What did you do?" But even as she said the words, she knew. That was not possible. "You couldn't have done that to so many people."

Irritated, he pinched the back of her neck until she winced. "Do as I say."

Ginny closed her eyes, her brain muddled. She felt very weak suddenly, and she leaned back against Theo for support. She knew she wasn't drunk, so what had he done to her?

"You did something," she accused.

His arms went around her waist, tugging her closer. Theo brushed his lips along the outer part of her ear, and she remembered what was wrong.

"You're not him," she said, pulling away. "Let me go."

She pushed Theo back. He stumbled into the bar, and cursed softly. He went to grab her again, but something hit him in the chest, and he dropped to the floor.

"Get away from her!" Draco snarled, as he gripped Ginny's arm and pushed her behind him. "I swear to god, if you don't leave her alone—leave us alone, I will kill you."

Theo got up, his expression hard. Then he smiled, and pointed his wand at several bottles; they exploded into giant shards. It was distracting enough. "I don't think you will, Malfoy. There's too much at stake."

As glass shot everywhere from the blast, Theo snatched Ginny, and Apparated out of the bar.

"No!" Draco shouted.

Blaise had ducked, his arms around Pansy, protecting her. They watched the bar come back to life, customers wondering why there was broken glass everywhere. But no one had witnessed the fight.

"Come on," Blaise said, putting a hand on his friend's shoulder.

Draco jerked away. "She trusted me to keep her safe," he murmured. "He's going to hurt her."

"No, he's not," Pansy said. "We can find them."

"How?" Draco demanded angrily.

"Well, while you two were fighting, I used Legilimency on Theo."

Blaise cleared his throat and looked at her. "Excuse me? Since when do you know how to do that?"

Pansy shrugged. "I've been practicing. It seemed useful."

"Snape used it," Draco said. "He was good at it."

"Where are they going?" Blaise asked Pansy.

She glanced at both of them. "He's taking her back to where it all started."

**


They stumbled, and Ginny straightened. She looked around at the grounds and her eyes took in the familiar halls with a pang of nostalgia.

"You brought me back to Hogwarts?" she snapped. "Why?"

"Because," Theo muttered, "this is where we first met, and I want you to realize that what we had was real. What you have with him, it's not...it's wrong. We're supposed to be together, Ginny."

"No," Ginny whispered. "We're not."

Theo's nails dug into her arm.

"Stop it," she cried. "You're hurting me. You don't want to do that, Theo. Please."

"Oh, but I do." He grinned at her, but it held no warmth. "I want you to know how badly I feel for what you did to me. You should feel what I feel."

"What do you feel?" Ginny asked, looking at him.

"Pain," he said, and twisted her arm. "Anger. Humiliation."

"Let go," she said, her legs shaking.

"No." He raised his hand and hit her. But she didn't make a sound. Her cheek was red, a handprint left there. "You need to understand. You need to learn that you can't mess with people's feelings."

When he stuck her again, this time she was ready. Before his fist connected, she grabbed his arm and shoved him into the wall.

"No," she yelled. "You don't get to do this to me anymore."

Theo struggled, his anger blazing. "You bitch!"

Ginny smirked. "You don't know who you're messing with, Nott." She pressed her wand into his back, hands trembling. She wants very much to hurt him, but it won't do any good.

Before she can decide what to do, however, a hand falls on her shoulder. The voice in her ear was concerned.

"Gin?"

He was here.

**


The water was hot enough to burn her, but she didn't care. She needed the heat to ease the sore muscles and scrapes. Ginny lowered herself into the bathtub with a wince.

"Take it slow," Draco murmured, brushing a hand along her hair. "This whole thing is going to take a long time to process, and overcome, but I know you can do it."

"What will happen to Theo now?" Ginny asked, placing a hot hand on his cheek.

"He'll go to trial," Draco assured her. "That much I know. But you don't have to go to that if you don't want to. Blaise and Pansy will be here a lot to watch you when I'm not here." He caught her expression. "Don't look at me like that, you need someone here in case you have another attack."

Ginny sighed and closed her eyes. She'd been having anxiety attacks on and off for a few weeks, but Draco had made her a calming draught for her nerves.

"I want this to be over," she whispered. "I don't want to think about him again."

Draco leaned over and kissed her softly. "We'll have our lives back soon, love," he promised.
End Notes:
Hi, all. I know it's been a long time since I updated this story, but I'll try to post regularly now.

Thanks for reading :)