Ginny woke up the next morning panting, as though she had run for miles on end. The constant sobbing from last night had sufficiently drained her. The dark memories returned and as she staggered off the bed, she remembered that there was a possibly dangerous fugitive a story above her.
Her white-walled room seemed to be glowing with heavens rays this morning. The sun itself wore a smile. Ginny threw a glare at everything that provided hope, silently screaming at it to suddenly turn black or be struck with lighting from the dark cloud that had encased her.
She scowled and went to brush her hair and teeth in the bathroom that lay at the end of the hallway. Blue and while tiles patterned the floor and pale blue wallpaper wrapped itself snuggly around the walls. The right wall was covered in a mirror and below it hung the white sink. But she did not immediately pick up the toothbrush; instead she stared aimlessly at the mirror.
A pale, tear-streaked face glared at her with watery brown eyes. The bright red hair hung down, creating a sort of shield between the ghostly pale face and the vivid hair. He loved that hair the best: he had told her many times. And possibly, he would never see that hair again, yet she would live with it everyday, knowing how much he wanted to touch it but never be able to.
Her hands suddenly dove for a drawer beside the mirror. She ripped it open and frantically dug around until she pulled out a pair of silver scissors. New tears rushing down her face, Ginny grabbed a lock of her hair and snipped through. The scarlet strand of hair quietly fell to the ground, but it felt so ominous. The brown eyes saw the jagged cut-off where her hair only reached her chin line. Something stirred inside and again, Ginny sheared off more hair.
Twenty minutes later, Ginny emerged from the bathroom, a towel wrapped around her wet body and her newfound haircut dripping.
Ginny made her way down to the kitchen, fully dressed but her hair tucked up into a hat. She wasn’t exactly ready to show the world her drastic change. Her mother was already making breakfast in a seemingly happy mood. She was whistling an old English folk song as she moved back and forth between the pancake batter and the omelets.
“Morning, Ginny, dear…” She sang cheerfully.
Ginny simply waved in greeting.
“You know, I had the funniest dream last night,” Mrs. Weasley giggled. She finished pilling Ginny’s plate with omelets and pancakes, poured a glass of pumpkin juice and handed the breakfast to her youngest daughter. “Somehow Draco Malfoy had gotten past the barriers last night and he’s up stairs right now…”
Mrs. Weasley chuckled. “Funny dream, huh?”
Ginny stared down at the pancakes: they seemed to be mocking her with their square eyes and over-pouring syrup tears. “It would be, Mum, except it did happen. Malfoy’s upstairs bound by a curse, and probably awaiting breakfast. Charlie no doubt alerted the entire Order and half of Hogwarts that he’s here, so they’ll be getting here any minute now.”
Ginny said this with such authority and doubtlessness, her mother just sighed and scowled. “So he’s really up there?”
When Ginny nodded, Mrs. Weasley waved her wand and a medicine kit appeared on the counter. Nodding towards the stairs, Mrs. Weasley began to climb. Ginny, scowling as darkly as ever, snatched up the uneaten plate of food and grudgingly followed her mother.
Ginny violently pushed open the trap door and finished her climb up.
“Room service,” she called darkly.
Malfoy was lying on the bed, staring up blankly at the ceiling. He glanced over and immediately leaped up.
“You got something to eat?” he barked.
“Not for you,” Ginny glowered, her eyes narrowing. She wasn’t in the mood for being polite. Malfoy scowled back and sat back down on the bed, his arms crossed.
“Ginny…give him…the food…” Mrs. Weasley’s voiced wavered up from below the trap door. She sounded out of breath. Ginny looked over at Malfoy, who was sneering at the door. His face immediately gave away his thoughts: the words “too fat” and “too old” were obviously on his mind. Her face bright red, Ginny shoved the plate into his hands and almost shattering it in the process: his chest was as hard as rock and the force behind the plate was almost enough to crush it.
His eyes swarmed over it and he brought it close to his face. It was almost as though he was sniffing it for something. He suddenly wrinkled his nose.
“Anything to drink?”
“Be happy… you got that…” Mrs. Weasley panted from behind them. Malfoy’s silver eyes narrowed.
“Well fine… are you the first round? Are you going to administer the first douse of Veritaserum?”
“No, we’re here to fix you up. You were crawling last night and if you’re too fragile to answer questions, then what are you worth? Now sit down and be quiet…” Ginny answered before her mother could. She sighed and pulled off her hat. Helping her mother sit down on an old chair, she then snatched the medicine kit away and approached Malfoy.
As she finally got close to him, she noticed the extent of his cuts and bruises. His face was covered in small purple and green spots and the cut from Ginny’s curse had dried, blood caked all over. There was a twinge of guilt and embarrassment that she had overacted and cursed him so harshly, yet when she saw his up-turned lip and better-than-thou glare, she roughly grabbed either side of his cheeks. Then she gasped: it was like sticking her hands in frozen water. The glare turned comical.
“Are you going to fix me up or are you going to feel me up?”
Ginny jerked his head down. “I’m looking for cuts on your head… or lice…” He gave her another look. After spreading apart his hair, she found no blood. She then grabbed his cheeks again and moved his head up and down, making sure his neck and spine were in working order.
Then her hands moved for his neck and peeled down his collar.
“Hey!” He yelped and leaned back. “None of that!” Ginny rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips.
“Oh come on, it’s just your neck. I need to see if there is any bruising or swelling. God knows what my brother did to you. It’s not like I’m asking you to remove your pants…”
Malfoy sneered as she returned to inspecting his neck. “Bet you’d love that…”
“What was that, hostage?”
“Nothing… but I do love the hair…”
Now Ginny desperately wished to have her old hair length again so she could hide the scarlet blush that was inflaming her cheeks. Harry was the only one that was supposed to like “the hair.” But the blush evaporated when she saw the scars along his neck. They were a milky white and both in a circular shape, but in different places. One was low, near his shoulder, while the other was directly above it, about an inch higher. It looked as though something had skewered his neck.
“You’re pet dog is not so friendly?” Ginny asked sarcastically. Malfoy’s eyes darkened but he said nothing.
Ginny reached into the medicine kit and took out a quill and paper. She recorded the site, length and size of the scar. Malfoy eyed it carefully.
“What’s that for?”
“I’m taking notes, for future reference…” He still seemed doubtful. But it wasn’t Ginny’s job to care. “Now take off your shirt…”
“What?” Malfoy retreated.
“I told you, I need to check everywhere…”
The silver eyes darted down. “Not there…you prat…”
“But what if my legs are broken?”
“You’ll live. And if you make another crack like that, I’ll be sure they are… now take your shirt off…” Ginny said again, heat creeping up again.
Malfoy shrugged and pulled his black shirt over his head. Ginny immediately dove into the medicine kit, desperate to keep her eyes away. “Hey Mum, want to help me over here-?”
She had heard rumors of the Draco Malfoy beach body, but she had never figured they were true. But they were oh-so-definitely true.
There was a loud snort and Ginny twisted around to see over her shoulder: her mother was fast asleep. She glanced over at the top-less Malfoy reproachfully. He had placed his hands over his head and had lain down on the bed. He was looking quite smug. “Are you going to make me all better or what?”
Ginny rolled her eyes and sighed. She took out her wand and some gauze and sat down on the side of the bed.
Her heart stumbled up into her throat and she grabbed his right wrist, keeping her eyes only on the gauze and the wand. She didn’t even see this much on Harry…
Come on, just look up once. That’s all you need. Just one peek.
Ginny could feel the heat raging inside her, desperate for a way to get out.
I wonder if his chest is as cold as his face. I am the Healer here, maybe one quick touch.
She bit her lip, her hand twitching as she gently rubbed his fingers.
It looks so hard… and chiseled. He definitely works out…
She pressed along all his main nerves, continuously checking for any sign of injury. Since he let out no gasps of pain, she continued up his forearm, gently rubbing along the ice cold statue. Soon, it wasn’t as hard to ignore his bare chest: whenever she did medical checkups, it always relaxed her.
The summer after Sirius Black died, her mother had taken up the job of teaching her youngest daughter in the ways of medicine and healing potions. It had been merely as a precaution at first, but Ginny soon discovered she had a knack in the medical world. With Burrow as some sort of safe house, and as the casualties continued to pile up, the need for well-trained Healers was becoming more and more apparent.
“Ow!” Malfoy yelped and cringed. Ginny was brought back from her trance when the marble arm suddenly drew away. She had reached his shoulder and when she touched his bruised collar, he immediately retreated.
“Ok, I think we found our first broken bone…” Ginny muttered. “Now lie back down, and try to relax…”
Malfoy slipped back down, distrust etching his face. Ginny laid a gentle hand on his collarbone again and slowly moved around. About half way down the bone, he gasped again. Nodding to herself, Ginny took out the gauze again. She then reached into the kit and pulled out a light green bottle. She poured out the bottle’s contents onto her hands, rubbed them together and softly moved her hands over the bone.
“This is a healing cream. It’ll make the healing process go faster…” she muttered.
Ginny then unwound the gauze and wrapped it across his shoulder and down to his waist. She waved her wand and the cloth stayed in place.
“All better…” She smiled and glanced up. Soft blue eyes were grinning at her and the paleness surrounding the eyes only made them stand out more.
“You’re very good with your hands…” said a smooth voice from somewhere far away. Ginny only nodded. She just continued to stare into the bottomless oceans.
They just never ended.
The color was simply heart-stopping; it was the palest blue, gently stroked with gray and silver.
Something cold touched her hand and she jerked. Malfoy had nudged her, giving her an odd look at the same time.
“Weasley, are you in there?”
“What? Oh yeah… I’m fine…” But inside, her stomach was churning. Something suddenly clawed at her and urged her to grab the beautiful blonde head and kiss it senselessly.
Ginny gulped. That was wrong, she thought, very wrong. What would Harry think? He was a Malfoy, not to mention a Death Eater. Perhaps it was some sort of Death Eater mind control… but then why was her heart screaming something different? She could not be in the same room with him now that he had control over her.
Malfoy raised an eyebrow at her when she stood up and took out her wand again. Ginny pointed it at him and suddenly he glowed, a green light encasing him, then there was a purple light over three ribs (which were very visible). The green glow disappeared.
“So does that mean I’ve got something hairy growing in my gut?” Malfoy asked sarcastically. Ginny did an odd movement between shaking her head and shrugging. She silently pointed to the gauze again and then to Malfoy’s rib cage. They tied themselves snuggly to his chest then glued themselves together.
The blue eyes looked back at her, only this time sarcastic humor was dancing around.
“If you could have done that, then why did you spend time giving me a massage?”
“I’m not very good at that spell. I didn’t want to accidentally strangle you…” Ginny muttered quietly as she began to shove all the materials back into the kit. She then pushed her mother awake. Mrs. Weasley snorted and glanced wearily from the bewildered and topless Malfoy on the bed, to her anxious daughter.
“I need to go clean the dishes right?”
“Right, great… bye. I’ll put the medicine away and Malfoy’s all patched up. You go back to bed…” And without another word, Ginny dashed back down the trap door.
She scrubbed and she scrubbed. She scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Yet nothing could remove the dark spot on the plate. Why was it being so stubborn? It was just a spot after all, so why couldn’t it just go away? And why did it have to get attached to this plate? Why this certain plate where there were two other spots that were madly in love, but one was just away for a little bit? Why couldn’t it just leave and be a good little spot? And why did this spot have to be so damn attractive??
“ARGH!!” Ginny cried. She threw down the plate and it shattered into a thousand pieces. She stood there, panting, clutching either side of the sink.
“It’s just a spot, Gin, no need to worry about that…” Mrs. Weasley came down stairs, yawning.
“Mother, you need to go to bed. You fell asleep –“
“I know, I know. I’m just going to get a drink, then I’m off. No need to worry. I guess your mother is just not as able to stay up as late as she once could, eh?” Her mother chuckled. “And really, it’s just a spot on a plate, nothing to get violent about. What’d that plate ever do to you, anyway?” She laughed again.
“It’s unbelievably gorgeous…” Ginny muttered.
“What, dear?” Mrs. Weasley asked brightly. She had finished filling up her glass and was headed back up the stairs.
“Nothing Mum, you just take your nap. I think I can keep the hostage a hostage while you’re asleep…” Ginny smiled, while her mother and finished her walk up the stairs. The minute she had gone, Ginny grabbed the medicine kit from under the sink and sprinted up the back stairs.
In her room, Ginny snatched out the notebook and quill. It would be much easier for her to finish her notes if the subject wasn’t there, so she wouldn’t be tempted to… recheck her work. She came to her page where she had made the first notes about the scar. On the top, she wrote Draco Malfoy, Death Eater Captive. Her hand bent down again to write Beautiful Eyes, but her mind screamed at her and she stopped. She threw a worried look at the floor. Damn it…
She mentally shook herself and returned to her notes:
DRACO MALFOY, DEATH EATER CAPTIVE: • Scar marks along neck- Two: one above far back collarbone, one directly over first. Resembles puncture marks. Cause:
Ginny decided to leave that part blank: she truly had no idea what could cause such an odd scarring.
• Treatment: No need for apparent attention.
Her stomached flipped and her heart leaped to her throat again and she wrote the next two injuries.
• Broken collarbone, point of impact: near scars. Cause: Treatment: Madame Zacks healing ointment, three layers of gauze. • Three broken ribs, point of impact: Top left, top right down. Cause: Treatment: Madame Zacks healing ointment, four layers of gauze.
Now, see, that wasn’t too horrible, Ginny thought. Not too many thoughts…
Malfoy’s cold, bare chest popped up in her mind, and Ginny groaned. She threw her notebook and quill to the ground and buried her head in her pillows.
“Go away…” she muttered.
There was a scratching sound and Ginny just shoved the pillows deeper into her ears.
“I said go away!!”
There it was again: it was alien, but it stirred something in her mind. She sat up and faced her window. The owl hooted again as the snow-white feathered animal bobbed up and down. Ginny flew off the bed and wrenched open the window.
The owl gracefully swooped in and landed on her bed side table.
“Do you have news from Harry?” Ginny asked quickly as she crossed the room to reach Hedwig. The owl hooted dolefully and stuck out its leg.
Being as careful as she could with such shaking hands, Ginny unwove the letter from her leg. Hedwig then flew up to her dresser, where she had caught the scent of some old Owl Treats.
Ginny gulped and sat down on her bed and uncouthly opened the letter. It read:
It’s great where we are. We’ve finally stopped at a town, so I could write to you. Our fuzzy-headed friend –
Fuzzy-headed friend? Ginny sat there puzzled for a moment until she realized he was talking about Hermione.
-has been driving us constantly. But it’s good we’re here together, I would have gone home weeks ago if it wasn’t for this friend. I was just bored, so I decided to write to you… hope everything’s good. Hopefully see you soon.
Ginny frowned, and flipped over the letter. There was nothing there but blank parchment. It was undoubtedly the shortest letter Harry had ever sent her. Perhaps Hermione was coming and he had to hurry. Or maybe, they were just about to go traveling again and he had to wrap up what could have been a long and decent letter. Ginny nodded inwardly to herself: that had to be it.
But no matter what she said to herself, it could not shake off the horrible feeling that this was going to be the longest letter he was going to send for a while. Swallowing the large knot that was crushing her throat, Ginny reached into her drawer and pulled out some parchment and a quill.
She began, but then immediately stopped. How could she explain that his childhood arch-nemesis was only a few feet away, and the reason why he wasn’t dead was because of her? If not to tell him the most currents events, then she could ask him how he dared write such a short letter when she stayed awake day and night worrying about his well being. But she sighed and returned to her letter.
Everything’s fine here. I’m enjoying the break, now that school has been shut down for awhile. Mum has taught me about the magical medical world and surprisingly I’m quite good. We had a picnic yesterday, down by an ocean and it was beautiful. It reminds me of the many times we walked together.
Hoping see you soon.
-The one and only
Making sure the letter didn’t give any locations away, Ginny smiled and sealed up the letter. She stood up on the edge of the dresser to reach Hedwig.
“You can send this to Harry in the morning, but I’m sure you’ll want to rest. I’ll go see if we have any more Owl Treats, but don’t hoot, okay? I don’t want people to know you’re here. I think I might get in trouble if they knew Harry and I were corresponding.”
Hedwig dipped her large, white head and Ginny jumped back down and headed down stairs. She returned in a matter of minutes, several bags of Owl Treats tucked into her jacket pocket. Ginny opened a few and scattered them around Hedwig, then poured some water from the bathroom into a small ceramic bowl and placed it next to the owl.
“There, girl,” she said. “That should keep you happy for a while.” The owl hooted quietly and began to eat, occasionally slurping down some water.
Ginny smiled and returned to her bed. She flopped down and grabbed Harry’s letter off the bed side table. She reread it again and suddenly there was a gust of air from the open window. Ginny suddenly inhaled the sweet smell of Harry’s skin. She had always wondered whether it was his soap or he just smelled that way and secretly she preferred to think of it as his normal scent.
She lay there, remembering everything about Harry, from his rugged hair to his smooth skin. Her heart slowed down and she cringed. She rolled over and did not fight the tears this time.
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