The sweltering heat that had descended during the week of the N.E.W.Ts was still upon them, but that didn’t stop Ginny from shaking as she stood outside the Great Hall. She paced back and forth, wringing her hands nervously, until strong arms encircled her from behind.
“Stop moving, little girl, you’re making me dizzy,” Draco said, brushing her hair away and speaking into her ear. The brush of his lips on the outer shell of her ear caused her to tremble in his grip, and he laughed at her.
Ginny turned around in his arms. “I am so bloody nervous,” she said.
The Leaving Feast was about to begin, and Ginny was preparing to perform for the first and last time in front of all her schoolmates. She had sang in front of all the seventh years not too long ago (although the state of most of them at the time might be taken into consideration), but Ginny was terrified because she would be singing in front of the entire school, all the faculty and staff, the parents of the seventh year students and what remained of her family. No one in her family had heard her sing before and it was that that Ginny was most nervous about.
“You’re going to be amazing. After all, how could you possibly go wrong with such a virtuoso playing for you,” he replied, raising a haughty eyebrow.
Ginny was too nervous to even chastise him; she gave Draco a wan smile and went back to going over the song in her head. Draco shook his head and leaned in to kiss her forehead.
“You’re going to be amazing,” he repeated. “I have to go in now. Good luck.” With one more quick kiss, he walked into the Great Hall.
Ginny straightened her emerald green dress robes, took a deep, calming breath, and then followed Draco into the Great Hall.
The students were all at their House Tables, all the seventh years looking resplendent in their dress robes surrounded by their proud families. Ginny glanced over at the Gryffindor table and spotted a flock of redheads. She quickly turned her head back to the front of the room; she was not ready to look at them for fear that she would throw up.
Ginny climbed up on the platform that normally held the Head Table. Today it just had a beautiful grand piano and a podium. Dumbledore smiled at her and took her hand in his. “Do us proud, Miss Weasley,” he said softly and then turned to address the crowd.
“Ladies and gentlemen, as we come to the end of another school year, I wish to tell you all how proud I am of our graduating seventh years. They have worked so hard and are now moving off to bigger and better things. But here, to give them a proper sendoff, is Miss Ginevra Weasley.”
The Hall exploded into anticipatory applause, as well as a wolf whistle Ginny was positive came from her brother George. Ginny grinned, ears reddening. She walked over to Draco quickly for some assurance.
“Beautiful,” he whispered. “Absolutely beautiful.” He took her hand in his for a moment and then pushed her away gently so she could begin. He trilled into the melancholic beginning of one of his favorite Cole Porter songs. Ginny took another quick breath in and out and then turned to face her audience. She cast the Sonorus charm on her throat and her magically enhanced voice rang out over the Hall.
“I would like, if I may, to dedicate this song not only to all the seventh year students, but also to the former Minister of Magic and my father, Arthur Weasley,” she said quickly, before the lump in her throat could become actual tears. Then she began to sing.
Every time we say goodbye, I die a little Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little
When the song came to its close, Ginny wiped the tears out of her eyes and muttered “Quietus” to remove the charm. There was no noise in the Hall, no rustling, no anything except the sound of quiet crying. Draco stood up and began to clap quietly, which served to break the ice. The entire Hall burst into thunderous applause, cheering and whistling for her to take a bow.
Ginny made a small curtsy before Draco swept her into his arms and kissed her soundly, right there in front of everyone. That more than anything made the tears flow harder until she was effectively sobbing into his chest.
“I love you, Ginny,” he whispered into her hair. “I love you.”
Ginny hugged him tightly for nearly a minute, before he broke apart gently. “I think some people want to say hello to you,” he said, turning her around. There waiting was her family - Charlie, his very pregnant wife, and their two-year-old son Bill, Percy and his girlfriend Penny Clearwater, and the Twins. Behind them was their mother, crying quietly. She brushed past them all to envelop Ginny in a hug.
“My little girl, you’re so grown up,” she gushed, nearly crushing Ginny with the force of her embrace. Ginny found that she didn’t mind, not one bit.
“I love you, mum,” she said, finally tearing herself from her mother’s grip. She was then engulfed by her brothers, George especially taking the longest time with her. “You were brilliant, Ginnerkins,” he said, mussing her hair. “Dad would be proud.”
Then, Ginny smiled and turned around to call Draco over. He hesitated for a moment, but then walked resolutely over, taking Ginny’s hand in his as he did so.
“Mum, this is Draco Malfoy…I know you’ve already met, but let me do this…this is Draco Malfoy, my accompanist and my boyfriend. Draco, this is my mother, Molly Weasley,” she said. Draco extended his hand to Molly, but she pushed it aside and pulled him into a hug as well.
“You’ve made my little girl so happy, Draco. Thank you,” she said. Draco tried his very best, but he could not hide the genuine smile that curled onto his lips.
“Mum, I have a request,” Ginny interjected. “If it’s all right with you, and the Headmaster of course, I was wondering if, well, perhaps, could Draco stay with us this summer? At the Burrow?”
Draco’s eyes flickered over to Ginny, shocked at the invitation. He walked back over to her and took her hand. “Do you mean it?” he asked, so that no one but her could hear him. “You’d…you’d let me in your home?”
“Of course I would,” she practically shouted. “Mum, would it be okay?” Mrs. Weasley looked Draco up and down and then at the glowing smile on Ginny’s face. She smiled.
“I think it could be arranged,” she answered finally. “Yes, Mr. Malfoy, would you like to spend the summer at the Burrow?”
Draco nodded slowly and then grinned, picking Ginny up and spinning her in a completely undignified circle. He set her down and coughed awkwardly. “I mean, that would be very nice of you, Mrs. Weasley,” he said.
“So it’s settled then,” Mrs. Weasley said, but it was heard by no one, as Dumbledore raised his glass in a toast.
“To you all, may we never really say goodbye.”
“Cheers,” the hall replied.
Draco and Ginny smiled at each other and then kissed gently. “To us,” Ginny whispered.
- Fin -
2nd Note: Every Time We Say Goodbye belongs to Cole Porter. Thank you to everyone who has read this, including those of you over at ffDOTnet, even though they were evil and made me take down all the lyrics. Much love to anyone who reviews...or just silently reads.
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