For those of you who have read my other story While You Were Sleeping, you may recognize the classroom scene. I took it from this story and worked it into that one.
“You know?” Ginny was unable to keep the shock from her trembling voice.
Instead of pushing her away, she found outstretched arms that beckoned her closer. Harry dabbed at another tear that had fallen. Moving aside on his bed, he said softly, “Sit with me Ginny.”
Ginny did just that, mere centimeters away from the man with tousled black hair, glasses and lightning bolt scar. A healing gash on his cheek was the only reminder of past pain Harry hid behind now darkening green eyes. Ginny hung her head in shame as silence surrounded them. Only sounds of rolling thunder in the distance brought them back to the ominous questions that both were too frightened to ask or answer. “I’m sorry Harry. I’m so sorry.”
She waited for him to tell her that sorry wasn’t enough. On a sunny afternoon 6 years ago, promises were made that joined their souls together, witnessed by family and friends. Promises that were broken. Her soul now bonded to another.
“All our dreams were shattered Ginny.” Cupping her chin he looked deeply into Ginny’s brown eyes. “I was angry when I heard what went on, but don’t think for a minute that I blame you.”
Ginny bit her lip hoping his answer would be no, “You don’t hate me?”
“Hate you?? Are you crazy Gin?” Running a lazy hand through her long red tresses he whispered, “How could I not love you?”
Harry closed the space between them allowing Ginny to rest her head against his chest. Ginny had forgotten how warm and safe Harry felt as his arms wrapped around her. Just like the first time he held her at the Burrow, it felt completely natural. A twinge of guilt hit her. As natural as it felt with Draco.
It would have been easier had Harry pushed her away. Choices would have been much simpler. Could she even go home to share a bed with Draco knowing that Harry still loved her?
In the back of her mind Ginny sensed something wasn’t quite right. The feeling gnawed at her. Had his long absence affected him in some way? Perhaps he was keeping his feelings inside. Was this some type of survival mechanism that enabled him to last a tortuous 6 years without her?
Ginny crinkled her eyebrows in confusion. “I don’t understand. Yell at me if you must - you have every right to do so.”
It was Harry’s turn to look confused. “Ginny, My gods, you were lonely. How could I not understand. I spent 6 years...” Harry’s eyes glazed over taking on a far off look . No longer was he in the safe confines of St. Mungo’s.
“Harry?” it was frightening for Ginny to see his face twisted in intense pain. She felt utterly helpless. Harry’s glasses flew to the floor as his arms and legs started to jerk violently. His head lolled onto his neck as if he had no support. “Harry!”
Past healer instincts kicked in. Guiding him with care onto his pillows she immediately covered him with blankets. Never forgotten healing spells echoed throughout the room, “Demens Claro! Desiit Coruscus!”
Five minutes later a very tired Harry emerged from his mental prison. Concerned staff from St. Mungo’s surrounded him. Blinking, he tried to make out the identity of the blurred faces. Gently Ginny slipped Harry’s glasses over the bridge of his nose. Giving her a grateful smile he sat up.
“You worried me Harry.” Ginny said brushing a stray lock from his face. “I called for your Healer.”
Harry frowned in displeasure. “I’M FINE!”
“Don’t be stubborn. Your last display wasn’t quite convincing.” Ginny stepped aside allowing Healer-in-Charge Augustus Pye and his Trainee Healer Samantha Gordon to examine Harry. She pulled the curtains around the bed to allow for privacy. It took her every measure of self control not to take over his care.
Raindrops pattered as Ginny rested her head against the cool window pane waiting for Harry’s physical to end. What in all the Gods names did they - whoever they were - do to him? Her heart contracted painfully in her chest. Or was it the pain of knowing about her marriage to Draco?
Ginny was jolted from her thoughts.
It seemed odd responding to the name after all these years. “Yes?”
“What Harry experienced was-“
Ginny interrupted , ”A Grand Mal seizure.”
“Exactly. He’s been exposed to numerous hexes and curses continuously over a long period of time. We’ve tried various magical remedies but we’d also like to integrate alternative therapies to speed his progress. As you are his wife - we would like to go over treatment options with you.” Healer Augustus Pye gave his trainee the signal to continue.
“Ah,yes. We’d like to start him on a muggle drug, Carbamazepine.” The trainee healer looked nervously at Pye and Ginny, “I’ve also placed an energizing spell on Mr. Potter. He should be well enough to attend the press conference.”
Should she answer as his wife? Taking this step would mean so much more than either Healer could ever know. One thought drove her on - Harry was suffering. Ginny nodded in agreement, “E- Excellent idea, in the meantime I think you should also refer him to a Neurological Healer and………..” she added thinking of Harry’s reaction to the news about her marriage with Draco, “I think a Psyche Evaluation is in order.” Keeping feelings inside would only contribute to further illness and she would do anything in her power to ensure Harry’s return to health.
Enthusiastically the trainee Healer waved her wand. Out of thin air a prescription pad appeared and she began to write orders. Looking over her quill the young trainee said with reverence, “Healer Potter, correct?”
“Six years ago that would have been accurate.” she said eyeing the young blonde before her. She barely looked 16. Ginny wondered if she had looked that fresh faced when she started. A millennia ago, it seemed to Ginny ,that she herself was a trainee healer directly out of Hogwarts. Within 2 years she was made Surgical Healer- in –Charge. War had a way of either ending or advancing one’s career. In Ginny’s case, war had accomplished both.
“I had to do a report on you during my Surgical Healer rotation. Mrs. Ginny Potter the youngest surgical healer in magical medical history and the best. The advances you made in emergent magical surgery were outstanding.”
The compliment was unexpected. “Thank you.” The irony amused her. Here was a healer more impressed to meet Ginny than to be taking care of world famous Harry Potter. Trainee Healer Gordon slowly backed out of the room still in awe at meeting her hero.
“Can I join the fan club?” came Harry’s voice.
Ginny pulled back the curtains. Feeling relief at his recovery, she kissed him chastely on the cheek. Disquieting thoughts began to race through her mind. She felt guilty and selfish. It was an innocent kiss, wasn’t it? As Ginny’s heart beat for both Harry and Draco, she felt her soul being torn in two.
Black robes billowed behind the fair haired wizard as he made his way past the wrought- iron gates. His only companions were heavy clouds that lurked above, and in his heart. A flash of lightening illuminated a cold grey stone. Lonely and forlorn, it was overgrown with vines Tearing away at the vegetation that covered her gravestone , a name etched in granite caused the wizard to fall to his knees.
She forgot herself for those she loved and cherished, but the Gods remember.
“I’m sorry Mum.” Placing a red rose on his mother’s grave, Draco wept. The rain mixing with his own tears. “It’s my fault mum, please forgive me – I didn’t mean it to happen.”
Unconditionally his mother had loved him. Death had been her reward.
“For a time I had someone’s luv, mum. You would have loved her.” Draco sobbed as the bitter wind chilled him, “I lost you mum and I think I might lose her too.
I deserve it. I deserve all of it.
“How do I look -” Harry asked emerging from the washroom, “- for my first public appearance?”
As always his hair was still messy . He wore a crisp white button down muggle shirt and black trousers. The ensemble was a bit too big, but in a few weeks with proper care and adequate nutrition, Harry would fit into them quite nicely. To all but the most astute observers, his slight limp was imperceptible.
Handing him his wizarding cloak she eyed him from top to bottom, “You look fine but -but something’s missing.”
Ignoring Harry’s worried expression, Ginny reached into her pocket. She handed over the one thing that had given Ginny a small part of the boy who lived, “This belongs to you.”
Inspecting the narrow box, he mouthed a thank you to Ginny, “You shouldn’t have.” Carefully he opened it. What he found inside left him momentarily speechless. A Phoenix feather wand. His wand. “But how?” was his choked question as his shaky fingers grasped onto it for dear life. Reunited with its master the wand flashed brilliant bolts of white light.
“Draco.” Ginny paused upon saying her beloveds name in the presence of Harry. She continued in a sinking tone, “He found it that night.” That night he saved your platoon Harry. That night he saved Ron. That night your boyhood enemy allowed me to grieve over my lost love.
“Malfoy.” Harry said without a hint of dislike, “I must thank him in person – Tell me, what’s Malfoy been up to?”
Ginny stood there, horrified as a sickening feeling started churning in her stomach. She could feel the color draining from her face. He doesn’t know. Oh dear Gods he doesn’t know!
“Everytime I ask, Hermione and Ron change the subject. I’m beginning to think he’s dead.”
Ginny felt the small ache in the pit of her stomach start rising to her throat. She tried to breathe, feeling her throat become tight.
He eyed her with concern, “Are you alright Gin?”
Pushing past him she ran to the washroom. Sounds of uncontrollable vomiting filled the tiny room. She held her abdomen wishing for the sickness to pass. Wiping the sweat off her brow she stood unsteadily as she twisted the doorknob to face Harry. Waiting for her was a glass of water that Harry had conjured. Averting her eyes from Harry’s she took the water, thankful for the refreshment and cleansing it offered. If only it could wash away the overwhelming guilt she felt.
“A bit of bad toast I ate this morning Harry.” Ginny said before he could ask what was wrong, which in her case was everything.
He returned a smile to her, believing the lie.
“Where is Professor Malfoy?” was the question on all the students lips.
“Maybe that pompous git will give himself detention for being late.” snickered 2nd year Ravenclaw Thomas Corner.
A smack resounded throughout the room. Caressing his cheek, Thomas Corner found red- haired Diana Weasley towering over him, “Don’t you dare talk about my uncle that way!” Crush or no crush, she would not let the black haired boy talk about Professor Malfoy, or as she affectionately called him, Uncle D.
Returning to her seat she opened her potions textbook trying to concentrate on the effect of the Forgetfulness potion. It was useless, it was just a jumble of letters on a page. How she wished she had the extendable ears her Uncles Fred and George had advised her to take, but her mother wouldn’t hear of it. She could still hear her mother complaining, “Bill, zess brothers of yours are zuch a bad influeence!”
Whispers filled the room. Rumors about how Professor Malfoy had gone mad. Giggling from Diana’s own friends who secretly harbored a liking for her uncle, which she thought was extremely gross. She wondered if her uncle knew why so many female students conspired to get detention.
“Says here,” said her own housmate Gryffindor Roarke Abercrombie, holding the latest edition of the Daily Prophet, “ an undisclosed staff member revealed that Mrs. Virginia Malfoy has engaged in intimate relations with Harry Potter daily in his hospital room.”
“Give me that!” Her books fell to the dungeon floor as she jumped from her desk. Pointing her wand at her foul mouthed classmate, she fully intended to use it.
He held it away , clearly enjoying her frustration. “Maybe that’s why our dear PROFESSOR DEATHEATER is in such a pissy mood. He’s not getting any while your Aunt shags Harry Potter.”
The class roared in laughter, abruptly dying down as a drenched Professor Malfoy entered the dungeon classroom. Slamming the door behind him with such force it almost came off its hinges, he stalked down the aisle towards Roarke Abercrombie. Snatching the Daily Prophet from Roarke’s hands, Draco dragged the yelling student out of the chair by his ear.
“My father will hear of this!” Roarke Abercrombie said as his face turned a shade of beet red , in part to pain but mostly due to extreme embarrassment as his friends snickered at his present predicament.
“Brat, that excuse doesn’t work with me!” Draco shoved the Gryffindor in the potions closet pointing to a small cupboard underneath the shelves. “There’s a boggart that needs taken care of.”
Roarke’s eyes grew as wide as saucers,” B-But Professor Longbottom hasn’t taught us that yet!”
“Are you sure you’re a brave Gryffindor? Perhaps you are more suited to Hufflepuff.”
Roarke stood there shaking as the potions professor crossed his arms wrathfully.
Pounding his hand on the wall, Draco yelled causing Roarke to jump, “OPEN IT NOW!”
Slowly the Gryffindor bent to the cupboard, screaming when a Norweigan Ridgeback appeared.
“Pathetic.” Draco remarked as he shut the closet door behind him. Ignoring the screams he turned to the rest of the students who had become deathly quiet, “Anyone else?” Draco didn’t particularly feel like teaching at the moment. Instead he instructed them to read pages 50-500 of their textbook with warnings that he better not hear so much as a peep from any of them .
He caught the gaze of his red-headed niece who looked so much like Ginny did when she attended Hogwarts. Of course back then he couldn’t stand the sight of any Weasley’s, hating Ron with a passion. With Ginny, he had been plotting her demise since the night she bat-bogey hexed him. A faint smile tugged at the corner of his lips. What would his past self have thought, had he known his future self would fall madly in love with said hexer?
Seeing his niece reminded him not only of Ginny but the rest of the Weasley family. He felt the connection between husband and wife start to weaken at the time he most needed it. Draco wondered how long it would be before Harry replaced him, not just in Ginny’s heart but in the hearts of the Weasley’s, which he had tried so hard to become a part of. Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself. A voice he hadn’t heard in a long time whispered to him, It’s unbecoming of a Malfoy.
An owl skittering across his desk brought him out of misery. He recognized the spotted owl as belonging to Headmistress McGonagall.
Dear Professor Malfoy,
Due to extraordinary events in the wizarding world , the board has decided to cancel classes for today. There will be a special teachers viewing of the press conference held in the Divination classroom.
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall
The announcement of no classes drew shouts of glee as the students raced out of the dungeons. Becoming increasingly agitated by screams in the Potions closet, Draco dismissed Roarke Abercrombie, “You’re an embarrassment to Wizarding kind!” he shouted after him, before getting rid of the boggart himself. Returning to his seat as if nursing a headache, he leaned forward with his head in his hands.
Only Diana Weasley stayed behind, walking towards him with a bit of apprehension. Her usually impeccably dressed uncle was a complete mess. Dragon-skin boots that she recognized were a birthday gift from her Uncle Charlie were caked in mud. His robe was dripping wet, and his hair, which was always carefully slicked back was now in disarray, covering his eyes.
What could she do to make him feel better? She thought for a minute before placing her small 2nd year arms in a great hug around him. Diana felt her uncle place a tiny kiss on her forehead as she said with utmost certainty, “You’ll always be my uncle.”
“Feeling better Gin?” Harry asked while massaging Ginny’s back.
She chewed her on her lower lip and stole a look at him. Harry had gone through so much already. Would the hurting ever stop? Why did life have to be so damn cruel to the people she loved the most?
“Harry,” she sat in the chair, slumped over with a worried expression, “What you know-“
“Gin, we’ve gone over that, there’s no need –“
Now it was Ginny’s turn to cut him off. “No! We haven’t talked about it. That’s the problem!” Ginny rose from the chair, her hands twisting in nervousness.
Harry put a calming hand on her shoulder, “Ginny, are your worried about your hospitalization coming out in the Daily Prophet? Because I can tell you - I don’t care. You were grieving and needed help. If people can’t understand,then they can all just sod off!”
Gathering her in his arms, he held her snugly. “I don’t care what the press dregs up. The fact of the matter is that I love you. Nothing can change that!”
Without looking away Ginny backed out of his grasp. If you didn’t care Harry this wouldn’t be so hard to say. Staring into emerald eyes, Ginny took a deep breath ignoring the uneasiness rising within her, “The past 3 years I’ve been ma...”
The door to Harry’s room opened interrupting Ginny’s revelation. Ron stood in the doorway, “It’s time.”
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