Chapter 20- Recoveries of Many Kinds

A deep pain was stinging in Ginny’s back, like someone was shoveling hot embers into four long furrows. She moved a little, trying to get comfortable, and tears sprang to her eyes; a single word escaped in a half-whimper. “Ow.”

“You’re awake!”

The words were whispered, and Ginny opened her eyes to find Draco sitting beside her bed looking more worried than she’d ever seen him. He reached out with one hand to brush back a strand of hair that had fallen into her face, gray eyes apprehensive.

“Listen, Gin… about last night…”

Ginny, shock running through her at the realization that Draco was about to admit he’d been wrong, whipped her head around to look at him; that proved to be a mistake. Pain shot down the grooves in her back, and she winced. “Hold my hand, Draco.”


“I need something to squeeze. Hold my hand!”

Draco found Ginny’s slim hand after a bit of fumbling and pushed his own into it, gasping at the grip she had on it after a moment. He sat like that for a few minutes, holding his girlfriend’s hand and wishing there was something he could do to help relieve her pain. It wasn’t overly long before Ginny’s fingers relaxed their grip and she sighed.

“Okay, talk to me.”

“About what?”

“Anything. I just need something to focus on.”

Draco was silent, and Ginny rolled her eyes.

“Fine, I’ll introduce something. The ball last night.”

“What about it?”

“How did you know it was me?”

Draco reached out and touched one of the dangly diamond earrings that still hung from Ginny’s ears. “I gave those to you.”

“Fair enough. I-” Ginny stopped dead; a thought had just occurred to her. “Draco, what are you still doing here?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, why aren’t you expelled or something?”

“Dumbledore let me off with the equivalent of a slap on the hand and telling me I was a bad boy.”

“Isn’t that a little light? How is he going to explain that to the rest of the staff?”

Draco shrugged, running his thumb lightly over the back of Ginny’s hand. “He probably let me off as easily as he did because he knows there’s nothing else that I can do in this time. Anyway, it’s his problem, now.”

“Draco, don’t be so flippant. You could’ve ruined everything!”

Draco didn’t reply, and Ginny felt the anger slowly draining out of her. “Anyway, at least that’s all cleared up now.”

It was just about a month after Ginny’s run-in with the Marauders that she found herself off on a visit to Hogsmeade. She was currently sitting in the Three Broomsticks with Bellatrix, Narcissa, and a few other Slytherin girls. The blonde half of the Black duo was showing off her new engagement ring.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” she stated more than asked, waving her hand so the ring caught the light. “Lucius felt that it would be best to get married soon, seeing as I’m going to be having his baby come September.”

Ginny’s mouth fell open with shock, as did those of a number of other girls sitting around the table. “When did you find out?”

Narcissa waved the surprise of her friends away as though it was nothing, but a telltale excitement gleamed in her eyes. “I wasn’t feeling very well, so Mother took me to St. Mungo’s last week. I mean, obviously I wasn’t going to go to a silly school nurse for something so important.”

“Of course not,” Ginny replied knowingly, her head reeling. It was a very odd thing to hear your friend talk about being pregnant with your boyfriend.

“Your ring is so lovely, Narcissa,” exclaimed one of the other girls at the table. “It must’ve cost him a fortune!”

“It’s not like that means much, Anastasia,” Bellatrix snapped at the rather annoying girl. “You make it sound like the Malfoys want for money. What stones are set in it, Cissy?”

“Diamonds, obviously, and those little alternating ones are emeralds. Lucius is so clever; he even kept the ring Slytherin colors.” Narcissa smiled in genuine happiness and turned to her sister. “What about you, Bella? Have you and Rodolpus talked about a wedding at all?”

Bellatrix tossed her illustrious dark hair grandiosely over one shoulder. “Oh, he’s taking me ring shopping the second we get back to King’s Cross in the spring. We’ll go straight to Diagon Alley from there; his mother owns the most fantastic jewelry shop.”

As the younger girls started chattering about the Blacks’ men, Bellatrix turned expectantly to Ginny.

“What about you, Isendre? When is Erik taking you to get your ring?”

“Oh! Um…we hadn’t really talked about it. I suppose we’ll… um..”

“Hello, ladies,” Draco put in smoothly, approaching with Rodolphus and Lucius. He slid onto a stool beside Ginny and put a possessive arm around her shoulders. “What are we talking about?”

“Bella was just asking when we’re going ring shopping.”

To Draco’s credit, he didn’t even blink. “We’ll be buying it when we return to France at the end of this school year. Isendre and I are planning to summer in Dijon and have a wedding come autumn.”

“That sounds lovely, Isendre.”

Silence fell over the group, and Ginny cast about quickly for something to say. “Oh, did you hear Narcissa’s news, sweetheart?”

“You mean that she and Lucius are getting married?”

“No, the other news.”

“I don’t think so, no. Care to tell me, Cissa?”

Narcissa threw a dazzling smile back at Lucius before answering. “I’m expecting!”

“That’s fantastic! In fact, I think that constitutes Butterbeers all around; I’ll buy.” Draco put a hand on Ginny’s shoulder and gave her a significant look. “Help me carry, love?”

Ginny nodded at once and followed Draco up to the bar. He waved Madam Rosmerta away when she came their way and just stood there for a moment, staring at the countertop.

“Is… everything alright, baby?”

Draco shook his head as if to wake himself up and answered still staring downward. “It’s just… it’s so odd to see her pregnant with me when I’m right here.”

“I know, I thought that, too.”

Draco stood there for a few more minutes, eyes staring unseeingly at the counter, before he raised his head and looked at Ginny with a very strange look in his eyes. Without any warning at all, Draco grasped the back of her neck and pulled her in for a kiss. When he released her just a moment later, it was with a soft, almost tender smile on his lips. Without a word, he turned and walked away.

Ginny stood at the counter and watched him go, bemused. “What was that?”


Ginny turned at her name and found Lily Evans extending an envelope toward her; she took it curiously.

“Professor Dumbledore would like you to read this immediately. And privately.”
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