Chapter 3

"Lumos," he uttered, as he opened the closet door. Searching behind glass bottles of shredded boomslang skin and powdered graphorn, his eyes settled on the stone basin. He reached for it, studying the silvery contents that lay in its depths.

Whispers in the staff room. Looks of pity from the students.

Memories that had been troubling him the entire day.

"Professor?" Standing at the entrance of the door was a young 4th year.

He turned around in surprise, almost dropping the Pensieve. "WHAT NOW?" thoroughly irritated at being interrupted by a Gryffindor no less, he was tempted to take away house points.

The teenager hesitated, flinching at the tone of the potion professor's voice.

"Are you mute? Speak up boy!" Walking briskly past the Gryffindor, he slammed the pensieve on his desk. Inspecting the basin he thanked the Gods that it still appeared to be in one piece. Turning his eye again on the trembling adolescent in front of him, he was suddenly reminded of a younger Longbottom.

The Gryffindor stuttered, "I, h-have d-detention sir."

"I've decided against giving you detention, out of the goodness of my heart. Write me a report on the uses of Jobberknoll feathers instead. I expect it done with no mistakes. Return it promptly to my desk in the morning." The potions master noticed the boy had stayed rooted to the floor.

Not a soul at Hogwarts had ever escaped his detentions. Excuses were unacceptable. The Professor knew he had the reputation of being the strictest teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry.

Obviously the young boy was in disbelief.

"If you don't want to have detention for the entire term," he rubbed the now aching spot between his eyes, "LEAVE MY SIGHT!"

The 4th year didn't have to be told twice. Much to the relief of the potions master, the student quickly left the dungeons. Finally, he was alone with his thoughts.

Closing his eyes, he touched the wand to his forehead. Into the Pensieve he allowed secrets to fall. Memories of his father. Memories of his mother. Memories of his wife.

A familiar whisper floated through the air carrying his name. "Draco?"

She was standing in the hallway, leaning against the doorpost for support. He turned towards her, "How did you avoid the reporters?" He should have asked her how she was. No, the question he wanted to ask was, Do you still love Potter?

"I've practiced hiding from them all day. They're pretty easy to avoid once you get the hang of it." Ginny's shaky laughter didn't hide her nervousness as she stepped inside the classroom.

There was a long moment when they just stared at each other. Was it just three days ago they planned a vacation to Italy? Two days ago they had discussed what to paint the kitchen and disagreed on the color. That brought a slight smile to his lips. A nice mundane conversation with his wife. Before Potter.

Yesterday they made love. Today they couldn't talk. Just like complete stangers.

Draco broke the silence, "You look pale Ginny." He eyed her, noticing Ginny's cheeks lacked her normally rosy coloring. She often blushed, even when she wasn't embarrassed. Draco had found that completely endearing.

Pulling up an extra chair next to his desk, he pointed, "Please hon, sit down." She trembled, slowly lowering herself into the chair. He knelt down on his knees in front of Ginny. Taking her hands in his, "What's wrong?" he asked softly.

He hoped her answer wouldn't be - I still love Harry Potter. His heart couldn't take it.

"Light-headed and very tired." was her reply, as Draco breathed a sigh of relief.

Draco pulled open one of his drawers and handed her some chocolates from Honeydukes. He put the back of his hand to her forehead. No fever. It was stress. Stress he attributed to Harry Potter.

Ginny finished the chocolates rather quickly, as if she hadn't eaten in days. "Do you have more?" she asked.

"You're going to go through my whole stash woman!" he said in a mock angry voice handing the rest of the candies to her.

How long will we avoid what you really came to discuss? Draco pondered the question in his head as he trailed a finger along her arm. Contemplating what the future held for them, he was broken out of his reverie.

"We need to talk about Harry."

The Boy Who Lived was all over the news once again. Reporters were everywhere, in Hogsmeade, outside Hogwarts, at home. He couldn't avoid stepping on them. The worst ones could care less about Harry's rescue. The big story was the HARRY / GINNY / DRACO triangle. The Quibbler was nice enough to print it so boldly on their first page. Draco had made an extra effort to buy up all the extra copies in Hogsmeade and burn them.

"You were there Draco."

Draco dropped her hands as he straightened up, avoiding her gaze.

Ginny stirred uneasily in the chair, her voice breaking slightly, "You were the last one to see him alive Draco. I need to know what happened."

Draco sensed an odd twinge of disappointment, "You don't trust me?"

Ginny's fingers tensed in her lap.

"You don't trust me." He repeated. This time it wasn't a question.

He placed the Pensieve in front of her.

"Not like this," she shook her head, pushing it away, "This is private."

Gently he reached inside Ginny's cloak pocket, searching for her wand. Finding it, he placed the wand in her palm. Encircling his hands over hers, he pointed the wand at the Pensieve's shimmering depths. The contents began to swirl. There was no turning back.

"Let me show you, luv."
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