Here’s a little flashback- if you’ve read my While You Were Sleeping story, you can tell I’m rather fond of them. The flashback is from Harry’s POV
Flashes of green light flashed through the small cracks of his dungeon cell. Harry could hear the sound of screams as a curse hurtled towards their intended targets. This had been going on for hours. The fortress shook as the ceiling above developed great cracks, drifting more dirt unto the prisoner below.
Then it stopped. Nothing.
Lying in the silent darkness Harry thought about the battle that had raged just beyond the stonewalls that caged him in. He wondered if the next curse would send the ancient prison down to crush him.
Bellatrix had shown him the paper that announced his death to the world so very long ago. No one knew he was here. How ironic that it would be the Aurors’ curses that would kill him. He crouched low in his cell praying to the Gods. His mind filled with images of the redheaded beauty that had kept him sane. Ginny, I won’t give up hope. I won’t give up.
Harry heard the whisper outside his door. It could be anyone coming to finish him before the Aurors found him. Tears leaked from Harry’s eyes. So close. He had been so close.
“Here’s the layout of the Black castle Malfoy gave us. We should be in the dungeons. Let’s do a quick sweep to see if there are any more illegal magical devices and potions and then we send this little island prison to the bottom of the sea.”
Ron’s voice? No, he was hallucinating. Too many times he heard his friend’s familiar voice. Just last week or was it last month, or was it last year, he had argued with Ron about the odds of the Canons winning the championship? But he hadn’t. He hadn’t talked to his friend in years.
Magic was a language all its own. Harry heard the powerful chanting that could only belong to the warrior class of Aurors as they battled the black curses that surrounded and invaded his prison.
More explosions and flashes of green light as his tormentors met their fate.
“We’ve got Bellatrix Lestrange!” shouted - was it Neville Longbottom?
Harry crept to the small barred opening in the door that was his only connection to the world outside. “Help me!”
Eyes turned around, wands raised. Ron Weasley stood but a few feet from him, separated by a steel door, “We’ve got a live one!” Ron shouted down the corridor to his companions. Never taking his eyes off Harry, he commanded, “Identify yourself!”
Cracking with hope and excitement Harry cried, “Ron, it’s me. It’s Harry.”
Ron’s voice trembled with emotion,” That’s impossible. It can’t be!”
“Ron, mate what’s going on?” asked Seamus Finnegan pointing his wand at the green eyes that stared though the small opening.
“H-Harry. Harry Potter is here!”
More footsteps raced down the hallway stopping outside Harry’s door. Seamus, Dean, Percy, Charlie, Bill and Ron. Harry grabbed onto the small bars letting the tears stream down his cheeks. He was going home. He was going to be with Ginny.
“We’re going to get you out Harry!” said a shaking Ron.
Counter curses were hurled at the door but it stood it’s ground. Bellatrix Lestrange had made sure of that. “Get that bitch and make her open this door!” growled Ron.
Neville arrived floating a struggling Bellatrix whose arms and legs were bound.
“Tell me how to open this door!” screamed Ron.
Bellatrix only smiled, “Ask me nice first and I might consider freeing my favorite pet.”
Ron had never hit a woman but in his opinion Bellatrix didn’t qualify as one. A harsh slap met her face. Bellatrix could only grin. “I have rights you know. Maybe I’ll report you to the Minister of Magic for beating a prisoner.”
Ron slapped her again, “ I don’t think my wife would care!” Ron gritted through his teeth. He snapped his fingers at Neville, “ Get her out of my sight!”
As Neville’s footsteps disappeared with prisoner in tow, Ron’s voice became calmer as he turned to address his best friend. “Harry you’ve got to take cover. We’re going to throw everything we’ve got to get you out. Understand?”
Just like old times, Harry answered, “Roger that Ron.”
He took cover in the corner of his cell, covering his head with his arms as the steel door exploded. Sharp jagged pieces cut into his skin, but Harry didn’t care. Pain he was used to. Harry tried to stand erect only to feel his knees give out as he fell to the floor.
Harry opened his eyes to meet the faces of his closest friends. There was a stunned silence before Seamus asked, “Is that really you Harry?”
With his tattered prison garment, gaunt appearance and beard Harry knew he must look unrecognizable. Ron brushed the long black hair from Harry’s head to gaze upon the scar that could only belong to one wizard.
Ron was a grown man but that didn’t stop the tears that rolled down his cheeks as he knelt down to the friend he had thought was dead. Wrapping his arms around Harry he cried. “It really is you Harry. Sweet Merlin, you’re alive.”
For the first time in years, Harry grinned. “What took you so long?”
Harry’s own tears joined his friends as his mind wandered to the love of a woman who made him cling to life. I’m coming home Ginny. I’m coming home.
End of flashback
Ginny Weasley couldn’t imagine a time when she wasn’t in love with Harry Potter. From the moment she saw him on Platform 9 ¾, in her heart she knew. It had been the end of her 6th year. The war had ended and the hero of the war was just as unattainable as he had been when he was just the Boy Who lived. It didn’t matter that they had fought side by side in the worst battle in wizarding history. It didn’t matter that the wizard’s debt that bonded her to Harry was repaid. She had taken a curse for him, allowing Harry the opportunity to take down Voldemort once and for all.
Harry Potter was out of her league, out of her reach. Dates with numerous boys didn’t remove the feeling that her heart knew was destined to be. Everyday he came to St. Mungos’ to visit. But he was just doing what a normal friend would do, right?
When she was released from the hospital and allowed to recover at home, Harry was there. He wanted to take her for a walk. Ron and Hermione trying to hide their secret laughter urged Ginny on.
They walked amongst the woods beyond the Burrow, Harry opening up to Ginny for the first time. He was happy it was all over. Happy he no longer had to look over his back. How long had they been talking, Ginny could only guess it had been hours. The sky was staring to darken as stars started to peek through the night sky. Harry started to seem nervous. Maybe they should go home, Ginny had suggested. It was late.
She heard Harry mutter, “It’s now or never.”
That night he kissed her, a little girl’s dream coming true. Pressing her up against a tree so that she felt his whole length against her, hard and lean by years of Quidditch, Harry kissed her again and again. Everywhere he touched sent her nerves on fire. It seemed that she had been waiting her whole life for this particular moment.
Ginny landed her broom in the middle of Hogsmeade looking for the unmistakable figure of Harry Potter. She stopped into the Three Broomsticks, the usual greeting didn’t meet her. For that she was relieved. She was tired of running from reporters and facing questions from the local townspeople. Instead all the patrons were huddled over cauldrons or looking into crystal balls. Ginny pulled the hood of her cloak to hide her face, pushing stray strands of red hair inside.
Peering into a nearby crystal ball she saw the hazy image of Hermione Weasley. “Thank you for attending this press conference. Harry Potter unfortunately is still recovering and cannot attend.”
Roars of protest and complaints rose as Hermione held out a silencing hand, “I assure you all your questions will be answered. I present to you Head Auror Ronald Weasley.”
“Bellatrix deserves the Dementor’s kiss!” shouted one patron after hearing the tale of Harry’s rescue.
Ron continued, “Although Voldemort has been dead for many years, his followers are still around the globe trying to resurrect the Death Eaters. For a long time we believed Bellatrix Lestrange to have died. We started to gather intelligence of illegal magical items being collected and of magical experiments that were being conducted and not authorized by any Ministry of Magic. From the information we gathered from other countries, we were able to track down Bellatrix Lestrange, a Death Eater who faked her own death. She had Harry Potter portkeyed to an island prison in the South Pacific, which was once the vacation home of the Black family. ”
“Why didn’t they just kill Harry Potter?” asked one reporter.
“Bellatrix Lestrange is carrying on experiments known to have been developed by Voldemort and the late Lucius Malfoy. In order to test their strength and potency Bellatrix Lestrange tested her hexes and potions on Harry Potter.”
More questions followed which Ron would only answer as no comment. “Why Harry?”
Ginny knew for she had some of those same gifts passed to her. Harry had inherited some of Voldemort’s power. A very powerful wizard was the ultimate guinea pig. Ginny knew it would come to this; The question that was on everyone else’s tongue.
A reporter that Ginny recognized as the one whose camera had been broken, shot his arm in the air, “Auror Weasley.”
“Yes?” Ron asked.
“About Draco Malfoy -”
Ron wasn’t about to be flustered. Ron would not give the reporter the answer he wanted. “Draco Malfoy was very integral in the rescue of Harry Potter. For many years he has aided us on counter curses for the newer dark magic spells that were being developed by Voldemort’s followers. Magical weapons that were meant to be unleashed on the muggle and wizarding population never came to fruition thanks to Professor Malfoy’s help. He supplied us with the maps of the Black family vacation estate. Next question, and please keep it to the topic at hand, Harry Potter’s rescue.”
Ginny silently clapped her hands, “Thanks big brother.”
Apparently the reporters were not listening, With quill in hand a woman who looked eerily similar to Rita Skeeter stood up, “Due to wizarding law, Ginny Malfoy is not legally married to Draco Malfoy. In fact she is still Mrs. Potter. How does Mr. Malfoy feel about these turn of events?”
Ron’s voice rose, “May I remind you -”
He was cut off by more tabloid questions, “Is it true that Ginny Potter has returned to her first husband?”
“Harry Potter and his wife Ginny were reported to have been seen kissing in his hospital room. Can you comment on this?”
Ginny immediately turned away from the crystal ball feeling sick. Draco was watching this; she could only imagine what was running though his head. She wanted to take the damn crystal ball and send it shattering to the ground.
“No contest there, she should be with Harry Potter,” exclaimed a bearded man sipping his butterbeer.
“Wait one minute,” an older witch cut in, “This Malfoy bloke is just as much her husband as the first one.”
The bearded man only laughed, “What do you suggest, she live with both?”
Slamming the door behind her, Ginny exited the Three Broomsticks wiping the tears from her eyes. Ginny wanted to hide and run away from all the pain she had and all the pain she would cause. With broom in hand she trudged up the hill to Hogwarts. A flash of green light hit the tree behind her. The once proud 100-year-old tree lay fallen. Dead. Shouts of the unforgivables reached her ears.
Draco kicked the cauldron over sending the contents across the floor of the divination classroom. The other teachers scrambled away, not only from the mess but from the temper of the Potions Master.
“Malfoy, you really need to get that temper under control. For the sake of...”
“Shut it Lavender!! I don’t want to hear a word out of that stupid opening you call a mouth! You talk far too much and it’s nothing but bullshit. Utter and complete bullshit!”
Lavender became wide eyed at the remark, “Why, I never!” she stormed out of the classroom followed by the hurried footsteps of the other staff members eager to not be in the same room as a raging mad Draco Malfoy.
At that moment Neville and Headmistress McGonagall returned to see the exiting teachers.
With a hollow laugh Draco said, “You two missed the best part of the conference. My wife’s run off with Harry Potter!” Draco started flinging desks and chairs only to have his wand fly out of his hand.
“Expelliarmus!” shouted Neville.
“Mr. Malfoy, you know better than to believe everything you hear! You of all people should know this!” Headmistress McGonagall started to wave her wand, leaving the room in the order it had originally been in.
Draco stood against the blackboard shaking. Closing his eyes, Draco hit the back of his head again and again on the hard surface. “She’s left me! She’s left me!” he repeated over and over until firm hands gripped his shoulders forcing him into a chair.
“Get a hold of yourself Malfoy!” the usually quiet Neville yelled. “She’s done nothing of the sort!” Neville turned to McGonagall, “I’ll take care of things from here.”
Headmistress nodded, “Thank you Professor Longbottom. I have to attend to security issues.”
“What the hell was that? Does McGonagall think I’m a danger to the students?” growled Draco noticing for the first time Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan standing behind him. “Come to take me in for destroying the Divination classroom? Sorry but I’ve already served my time!” Draco started to stand only to be pushed back into the chair.
“Will you stop being so damn stubborn Malfoy. We are only trying to help you!” Neville sat in the chair opposite Draco, “We need to keep you here Malfoy.”
Draco could feel the vein in his neck throb in anger. “What for!”
“We need to protect you from Harry Potter.”
Draco clutched the arms of the chair, his knuckle’s turning white. The man who took his wife was coming here. Harry Potter had everything, fame, loving friends and ironically now more money than Draco could ever hope for. All Draco wanted was Ginny. Was that too much to ask? Why couldn’t he have her? Why should he allow Potter to have her? He wouldn’t. Not without a fight.
Draco surprised Neville, grabbing his wand from Neville’s grasp knocking him from his chair. Seamus and Dean immediately went to the door barring his exit.
“You can’t keep me here!” snarled Draco. With superhuman strength he shoved the two Aurors aside. Speeding past the students, he sent them scattering against the wall. “Out of My Way!
They stared at their crazed professor with alarm. Never had they seen him in such a state.
Draco cursed when he realized the doors that lead outside Hogwarts refused to open. Draco tried a window, only to find out that those wouldn’t open either.
Pointing his wand at the door, he shouted forbidden spells at the door. He didn’t care if the Ministry fined him for using dark spells. Let them come. I’ll be ready!
The door shook violently before sending shards of wood and metal flying through the hallway. Shouts from the other Hogwarts staff members instructed curious student eyes to their houses.
Draco stepped out into the almost blinding sunlight. As soon as he left the safe confines of Hogwarts, Draco could feel himself flying through the air crashing headfirst into the ground. Lifting his head, he slowly stood to face the boy- who- lived, now the boy- who-returned to take what was his.
A hint of iciness dripped from his words. “Like old times Malfoy.” Harry laughed with his wand pointed at his old boyhood rival.
Gathering his bearings Draco would allow Harry to have the first move, but what he did next would be what counted. “But this time Potter, I will win.”
“Crucio!” shouted Harry.
Draco blocked the curse sending it into the woods beyond. “The great Harry Potter, is that all you can do? Six years in a cage and you perform magic like a mere squib!” It was the wrong thing to say. Before Draco could protect himself, he felt a slamming sensation strike his chest. Draco tried to breathe as the curse attacked his muscles and his lungs, denying him oxygen. As the curse subsided, Draco drank in the air feeling weak and angry at Harry Potter’s attack.
“Ginny’s not your wife Malfoy! She never was!”
Never again would he be made a fool in front of Potter. Potter may have stolen the snitch from him, but he would not stand for Potter to steal his wife. With all the rage and jealousy that had been building in him since the Daily Prophet hailed the discovery of Harry Potter, Draco uttered the curse that had damned the souls of many.
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