many thanks to Rainpuddle for the fabulous beta
We'll Never Know
Draco thought he might be going out of his mind. It'd been two weeks. Two bloody weeks since Ginny showed up in his rooms, talking in riddles. Two weeks since McGonagall told him his attachment wasn't as one sided as he thought. Two weeks of avoiding the redhead, afraid she might pick up on his inappropriate thoughts.
After the initial conversation with the Headmistress, she'd approached him again about the matter. The second time she offered to arrange for a weekend away for the both of them. The Slytherin in him was wary – McGonagall, a Gryffindor, helping him steal Ginny away from Potter? Wasn't Potter like family to her? Draco could remember her blatant favoritism of Potter, Weasley, and Granger in school and wondered what had changed.
Still, the offer was tempting. A whole weekend without the distraction of students, duties, and her fiancé? It was more than tempting – Draco couldn't stop thinking of the villa his family owned on Crete. The weather would be perfect for a weekend holiday. He and Ginny could spend days on the beach, lounging, and nights out on the town. It would be a vast improvement over Scotland in mid-April. He could hardly remember the last time he'd seen sunshine.
He pushed the thoughts from his mind. It wasn't to be, and the sooner he accepted that the easier things would be for him. Draco had already decided this would be his last year at Hogwarts. As things now stood, he couldn't be around Ginny and not be with her. Seeing her on a daily basis now was torturous, and he could hardly imagine what it would be like after she married Potter. There was the possibility she wouldn't return to Hogwarts; but, Draco knew she loved teaching and wouldn't think of quitting. She'd mentioned to him they would be buying a house in Hogsmeade and Potter would Apparate to London every day.
The blond stood, unable to sit and think of Ginny Weasley anymore that day. He had other things he needed to do. Earlier that week his solicitor had sent him a stack of papers to look over and sign dealing with the Malfoy estate. He should attend to that and stop thinking of the redhead. Even if she was likely making the biggest mistake of her life. Who was he to tell her whom she should or shouldn't marry?
Draco sighed and ran a frustrated hand through his hair. He glanced over at his desk and the papers once more, and decided to take a shower before dealing with them. Perhaps, if he was lucky, he might distract himself for the rest of the evening.
His mind made up, he reached for his tie and started to loosen it. Next came the white oxford he wore beneath his robes everyday, and then the plain undershirt. He left his belt and trousers outside the bathroom door and his boxers beside the shower. The blond got in the giant stall and turned the water on, momentarily shocked by the cold. But soon steaming hot water was rushing over his body, and Draco found that his mind was clear for the first time that day. The pulsing water seemed to awaken another part of his body, though, and desperate for a reprieve Draco offered himself the only relief he could.
After his shower, Draco didn't bother redressing. He wasn't expecting anyone and his solicitor wouldn't know he signed the documents in his robe. Besides, as soon as he finished he planned on going to bed. Tomorrow was his free Sunday, and he'd made plans to meet his mother for lunch in Diagon Alley and then do some shopping. However, his morning was his and he planned to sleep most of it away.
He was on his last stack of papers when his fireplace turned green. Perfect. He'd forgotten he hadn't yet doused the fire and it was connected to the Floo network, even if very few people could contact him that way. He stood and made his way over, expecting his mother or Severus. They were the only two who bothered at this time of night. Instead, he was greeted by a familiar redhead. "Weasley?"
"Would you mind if I popped down for a bit, Draco? I need to talk to someone."
Draco knew he would regret it later, but he nodded. "That's fine. Are you coming through, or will you walk down?"
As soon as her head disappeared from the fire, Draco threw off his robe. He went to his drawers and pulled out an old Slytherin Quidditch practice shirt and pajama bottoms. He'd just pulled the t-shirt over his head when she knocked. Before he answered the door, the blond took a moment to compose himself. He was twenty-six years old, for Merlin's sake. Why was he acting like a schoolboy with his first crush?
He opened the door before she could knock again. "Weasley."
The redhead gave him a weak smile. "Draco. Thanks for letting me come by."
He nodded and stepped aside so she could enter. Draco watched as she made her way to his chair in front of the fire and seated herself. "Can I get you anything?"
"No, I'm fine." Ginny closed her eyes and sighed loudly.
Draco busied himself by making a drink and pulling the second armchair closer so he could sit with her. He knew she would start talking when she was ready.
"Do you ever wonder…" she paused and he noticed she was playing with a charm on her necklace. "Do you think you can be in love with two people at once?"
He felt his heart drop into his stomach. Did she have feelings for someone besides Potter? Still, he answered her. "Yes, I think so."
Her brown eyes opened to look at him. "Really? Has it ever happened to you?"
"Then why do you think it's possible?"
Draco took a swallow of his Firewhisky to put off his answer. The liquid gave him courage as it blazed down his esophagus and settled into his stomach. "My mother. She has been with my father for thirty years – supporting him, loving him – but I have no doubt that she loves Severus more."
Ginny raised an eyebrow at his statement. "Then why is she still with your father?"
He shrugged. "For a multitude of reasons, I imagine. Even though my father was never particularly faithful to her, he demanded she give up any other liaisons. In the beginning, she didn't mind. She was really in love with him. But as I got older I noticed how they interacted with each other. My mother respects my father, but she loves my godfather. However, she's been Narcissa Malfoy for so long; she wouldn't know how to be anyone else."
"Does your father know?"
"Probably. I learned a long time ago there isn't much my father doesn't know." He took another swallow of the alcohol. "What's this about?"
"It's just—I sometimes think there are two Harry's, and I'm not sure I'm in love with both of them."
Draco didn't comment, and waited for her to continue.
"Despite the fact that we're both very private people, Harry enjoys the spotlight. I think part of the reason is because of his childhood. I know it was horrible for him, but I don't think he understands that I'd like to be able to go out for dinner without a bloody entourage of people following us."
"That makes sense."
"Maybe I'm being unfair. Do you think I'm being unfair?"
"No," he answered. "I think you're being reasonable. Even the most public people need to have some semblance of privacy."
"And then we argue about it, and it's horrible. I think part of the reason is that Harry can't imagine his life without those people – almost like he isn't normal if someone isn't following him around with a camera. Personally, I don't want all of Britain to know how I prefer my meat cooked. It isn't any of their bloody business."
He watched her carefully, noticing several things. The oddest of them all was that she wasn't wearing her engagement ring. "What's really going on, Weasley? It's obvious to me you're upset, but you aren't telling me why."
"I told you—"
"That might be part of it," he interrupted. "But that certainly isn't the entire problem. There's another problem, something you aren't telling me. If you want my help, you have to be honest."
Ginny pressed the heels of her hands into her eyes, trying to push back the tears. She didn't want to do this in front of Draco. "It's just—I'm not sure."
"About what?" he pressed. "What aren't you sure about?"
She remained silent, hoping he would change the subject. As the quiet stretched between them, she knew she would have to confess. "Harry. I'm not sure about him."
Draco let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. What did that mean? "Weasley—"
"No, Draco. That's not all."
"Ok, then go on."
"I'm not sure I'm in love with him anymore. Honestly, I'm not sure I have been for a long time."
"What are you planning to do?"
The redhead shrugged. "I don't know. I don't want to tell Harry, or anyone else, until I'm sure. If I call off the wedding now, it might be the biggest mistake of my life. But if I go through with it, I might be making an even bigger mistake." Her eyes widened. "You won't tell anyone, will you? Especially not Pansy, because she'll tell Ron."
"I won't tell anyone," he assured her. "But you have some decisions to make, Weasley. Your wedding is in less than five months. If you don't want to marry him, then you need to decide quickly."
"What would you do?" she asked.
"I'd have never become engaged to Potter in the first place."
The redhead laughed at him. "Of course not. But if you were in my situation, if you were engaged to someone you weren't sure about, how would you proceed? Would you tell the person you were having doubts? Or keep it to yourself in hopes of figuring everything out?"
"You know that Malfoys rarely marry for love, right? I'd likely not have a choice in the matter."
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, I know. But if you did have a choice and you realized you might not really love the person. Would you marry them still?"
"It's hard to imagine myself in this situation, because it's so unlikely. I think it's highly unlikely I'll marry for love, but you're different from me. You have that option. If not with Potter, then someone else. Weasley, I've watched my parents put on a show my entire life and since I consider you a friend, I would wish better for you."
"Okay. I wish there was a place I could go to figure this out. Some place where I'm not Harry Potter's fiancée."
The trip to Crete immediately popped into his mind, but he held back. "Can't you go on holiday when the term ends?"
"No. Hermione's wedding is two weeks later. Maybe I'll take my next weekend off and go away somewhere by myself to think."
"When is that?"
"The week after next. I was supposed to go wedding shopping with Mum, but I'll get out of it. I can probably afford a few days at a hotel in Muggle London. I should have some privacy there."
Draco nodded. "Yes." The next words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. "I also have that weekend off, and was planning on visiting my family's villa on Crete. You're welcome to come if you want."
"Draco, I couldn't possibly impose on you like that."
"You wouldn't be. The villa is huge – you'd have your wing, I'd have mine. You'd only have to see me if you wanted."
"It sounds lovely, but still—"
"If not for yourself, then go for me. I'd feel better knowing you weren't holed up a hotel in Muggle London. I won't be able to enjoy myself if I have to think of you in those miserable conditions."
"Draco." The redhead was surprised by how much she wanted to accept, but she also knew some of her issues with Harry were coming from her feelings for Draco. "I just…can I think about it?"
He nodded. "Of course. Take the week and consider it, and if you want to go, I'll arrange everything with my steward."
Ginny gave him a genuine smile. "Thank you."
"I didn't do anything, Weasley, so there's no reason to be thanking me."
"But you did. You always do." She stood and moved toward the door. "I should go up to bed."
Draco rose behind her and went to the door. "Goodnight, Weasley."
She turned and kissed his cheek. "Goodnight, Draco. Thank you."
Once she was gone, he went to his bed to lie down. He was a bloody idiot. That's all there was to it.
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