Sixth year at Hogwarts was going to be terrible; Ginny just knew it. She sat next to Luna Lovegood on the train, leaning to the side with her eyes closed so she could pretend she was sleeping. Luna was reading a magazine, the Quibbler, Ginny assumed because she certainly couldn’t read the title, and was happy to leave Ginny to her nap.
Ginny let her magic spread out along the train so she could “see” what was going on. Everyone on board was a Pureblood or a Halfblood. No Muggleborns had dared to return to school, not with Voldemort in control of the Ministry and the hunts going out to search for those who dared to “steal” magic from more deserving wizards and witches.
Ginny could feel the presence of Death Eaters on the train. Some were young, students most like, but there were a couple older ones around to allegedly keep the peace. Ginny had felt a couple people being forced to leave the train already because they were Muggleborn or their parents had been Muggleborn. Ginny was waiting for the Death Eaters to get to their compartment to deal with Ginny and Luna, two Pureblooded blood traitors.
She heard the door to the compartment slide open and knew that it was Draco Malfoy before she sat up and opened her eyes. He had his usual scowl on his face, but he looked drawn and worn and quite a bit downtrodden.
Ginny had come up with a theory over the long summer about why she had suddenly gotten and subsequently lost her sight during the Battle as Draco Malfoy rushed by. It had come to her that there was something about Draco Malfoy that forced her eyes to see. Something about him that pushed whatever was wrong with her eyes back, making light and color return whenever he was near.
He was in the room now and she could certainly see him with enough clarity to know that he hadn’t been eating right and that the worry lines on his face were going to become permanent if this war didn’t end soon.
She took the time to look around the compartment. The seats were grayish brown and she marveled at the color, as if something so ugly looking was the most amazing thing she had seen in a long time. She looked at what Luna was reading, the Quibbler, of course, and at the smiling picture of Harry on the cover. She realized that he didn’t have that cute upturn to the end of his nose or the scrumptious little curve to his eyebrows when he smiled that she had imagined while putting a face to the boy who was kissing her. In reality, he really was just an ordinary boy with bad hair, ugly glasses, and an excellent personality. Malfoy was handsomer than Harry.
“Lovegood,” an oily, slimy voice called as Malfoy was pushed out of the way. A man who reeked of Death Eater power and of unwashed stench sauntered into the room, cruel black eyes on Luna for the moment. This must be Amycus Carrow, the man and his sister Ginny’s mother had warned her about before allowing her daughter onto the train.
“Lovegood,” the man repeated with a lopsided leer. “Ten points from Gryffindor for reading radical, rebellious trash. Any further sign of this rag will lead you to detention.” The man tore the magazine out of Luna’s hands and flicked his wand so that it burst into flames.
He turned to see who else was in the compartment and his eyes widened with horrible glee when he saw Ginny.
“A Weasley? I had hoped you were all dead,” he laughed. “I’ll be keeping a special eye on you. One blood traitor comment or action and I’ll have you in detention with me for a month!” His cold laughter echoed behind him as he shoved past Malfoy to get out of the compartment.
Malfoy turned to go with a sense of dread around him like a cloud and Ginny almost panicked. This was the first time she had really seen anything in nearly a year and now her only link to sight was leaving.
“I’m surprised they let you back, Malfoy,” Ginny said with a snort to hide how much she wanted him to stay for just a few more seconds. “You helped kill an innocent man,” Malfoy flinched, “and you botched your mission for the Dark Lord. I would have thought they might have locked you up.”
“And I would have thought they might have put you into St. Mungo’s to get your head checked,” Malfoy sneered. Ginny was alarmed for a moment because she thought Malfoy knew about her eyes before he continued, making Ginny realize he was just being rude instead of pointed. “Being a blood traitor automatically means there’s something wrong with your head. You should be getting your brain rearranged so that you can think correctly, rather than going to school.”
“Just make sure Carrow doesn’t rape you, Malfoy,” Luna said suddenly. “I’ve heard he likes young blond boys.”
Malfoy’s already pale face went white.
“Malfoy! Where the hell did you go?” Carrow’s voice echoed down the hallway and into the open compartment door. Malfoy winced and threw the door shut. He climbed underneath the bench as Carrow’s footsteps sounded outside the door.
“I’m not here,” Malfoy said almost desperately to Ginny since Luna had gone back to aimlessly humming to herself.
“You’ll owe me,” Ginny snapped as the compartment door slid open. Malfoy nodded before huddling deeper into the shadows.
“You seen Malfoy?” Carrow snapped as he glanced around the room quickly.
“Bathroom, I think,” Ginny said dismissively. Carrow left and Malfoy climbed out and sat down on the bench across from her.
“He and his sister both like blonds,” Malfoy confirmed with a shudder. “They always torture the blond Muggles they capture the worst. I’ve just been waiting,” he trailed off and shook his head with a grimace of pain.
“That’s horrible,” Ginny whispered. “You have to do something!”
“There’s nothing to do,” Malfoy snapped.
“Fight them!” Ginny gasped. “Don’t let them win this horrible war and they’ll never be able to touch you.”
Malfoy just sneered. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, Weasley. Now, what do you want from me?”
Ginny hadn’t thought that Malfoy would agree to her terms so was taken aback for a second before she got excited about the prospects of what she could get Malfoy to promise to.
She could get him to promise something impossible, like protecting her family from all harm in this war, or something dangerous, like spying. But neither would get her anything she wanted. Ginny just wanted to see and Malfoy could give her that.
“Your time,” Ginny said softly. “Once a week I want to spend an evening with you. Just so I can see.”
“What?” Malfoy gaped. “See? What the hell does that have to do with anything?”
“She’s blind, you know,” Luna piped up suddenly. “Ginny can’t see anything except around you.”
“How?” Ginny asked Luna. How could she possibly know? Ginny hadn’t told anyone and no one had ever noticed before.
“You always walk so carefully,” Luna said with a smile. “As if the slightest wrong movement would send you careening into everything around you. But you can see now so I’m guessing Malfoy has something to do with this.”
Ginny sometimes forgot how perceptive Luna could be behind her looniness. She wasn’t sure if she was glad that Luna had figured it out or whether it would be a problem. Luna had already told Malfoy.
“Blind?” Malfoy laughed. “She’s looking at me right now! She’s hardly blind.”
“I am,” Ginny said softly. “Only, for some reason I can see whenever you’re around.”
“And I’m supposed to believe that?” Malfoy sneered and stood to leave.
“One evening a week,” Ginny said pointedly as Malfoy left. “Send me a note for which one is best for you.”
Malfoy sneered and left so Ginny turned to look at Luna while she still had a little sight left.
“I won’t tell anyone else,” Luna said, as if reading her mind. Ginny nodded thankfully as her sight flickered from clear to blurry to black and the colors abandoned her again.
Draco Malfoy refused to believe that Ginny Weasley was blind. She had looked right at him as she had told him and there was nothing wrong with her eyes. Still, for the past week he had been keeping a closer watch on the Weasley girl than he normally would have and he had come to the conclusion that there was something wrong with her.
She never walked into anything or anyone, not even on accident. When he walked down the halls, Draco accidentally brushed against people all the time. She never, ever, did. It was almost as if she could see where they were going to move before they moved and was able to get out of the way before someone could touch her.
Sometimes she walked down the hallway with her eyes closed, as if it was too much of a bother to open them. Yet, even with her eyes closed she still walked as unerringly as when they were open.
Then, whenever he would get close to her, her eyes would open and he could watch as they went from unfocused to focused as she immediately looked right at him. Her walking style would change then, as if using her eyes was different then how she usually saw her way down the hall. The further and further away from him she got, the more she returned to relying on whatever other sense she used to navigate.
Unfortunately, Draco didn’t have as much time to watch her as he would like. His father had demands that any good Death Eater’s son must answer. Had there been any sign of Undesirable Number One? Had any of the Order loving traitors made a move? Were the Carrows properly punishing those blood traitors? Draco answered all he could, spying around the school for his father so that Lucius could report his nosiness back to the Dark Lord to earn some favor.
But that meant that by spending his time spying on other people, he still hadn’t figured out what was so odd about Ginevra Weasley. On Saturday afternoon he finally sent her a note.
She didn’t reply, but that night he went to the abandoned classroom he had designated on the letter anyway. He purposefully arrived five minutes late just so she would have time to settle in and feel comfortable and unwary. He put a Disillusionment Charm on himself before he reached the hallway the classroom was located on and crept into the room on silent feet…only to find that she wasn’t there yet.
Draco snarled to himself and settled into a corner to wait. He would catch her in this act of hers even if she came in after him. His plan wasn’t ruined just yet.
He waited and waited until nearly a half hour had gone by without any sign of her. Draco began to wonder if she were coming at all when he heard a scraping sound from the hallway. He quickly stood alert and silent in the corner and watched as the door slid open and Ginny walked in.
“Do you know how much trouble this meeting is?” she asked as she walked into the room. She spoke as if she already knew he was there even though he was camouflaged with the wall and, as her head turned unerringly to where he was standing, Draco could see that her eyes were closed again.
“First I had to find a completely private place where I could put a spell on your parchment so it would read itself to me.” She took her cloak off and flung it at one of the old desks in the center of the room. A wind picked up the cloak halfway there and carried it all the way over where the cloak draped itself over the desk. Draco couldn’t help wondering how a wind had gotten into a classroom without any windows and had picked up the cloak so perfectly.
“Then I had to sneak out of the Common Room, which wasn’t that hard, but finding classroom ten when I can’t read? That was hard. It was lucky I felt you in here or I probably never would have found it.”
She opened her eyes then and blinked at the blank space where Draco should be standing. “Please take the spell off. I can finally see and I don’t want to feel like I’m talking to myself even though I know you’re here.”
Draco blinked at her once, surprised beyond all belief. He had crept into the Carrows’ offices under this Charm and had ruffled through their papers while the Death Eater had been sitting right there. This girl who professed to be blind could find him under this spell when a seasoned and evil Death Eater could not. It was amazing and very curious.
Draco took the spell off and walked over towards her. “How did you know I was here?” he asked as he joined her.
“I knew I was going blind,” Ginny explained as she conjured a couch to sit on. Draco wondered why he couldn’t see her wand when she cast the spell. He also wondered why she was glancing around the room as if it were the most marvelous thing she had seen all week.
“So I practiced. I didn’t want to be helpless, especially since my Mum would lock me away in a carefully padded room for the rest of my life so I would never hurt myself by not being able to see. I inadvertently discovered a way of seeing that doesn’t require eyes and, now that I’m totally blind, it means that I can get around easily.”
“But you can see just fine now,” Draco shook his head in disbelief.
Ginny just smiled happily and began digging through her bag for her schoolwork. “I can, and no, I don’t know why. All I know is that I can see when I’m around you and it’s wonderful.”
Wonderful? Draco mused. No one had ever said that about him before. Her explanation still made no sense but for now he would accept it. It was probably the best one he would get and, it seemed, it was the only answer she herself knew.
Draco settled himself down on the couch next to her and pulled out his own schoolwork. “So you want one evening a week with me because I give you back your ability to see?” he asked curiously as she settled back into the cushions with her potions book on her lap.
“Exactly,” she answered with a smile. “Do you know how difficult it is to do homework when your book has to read itself aloud to you? Or when you have to dictate everything to a quill so that you can get your essays done? It’s horrid. If I can get all my homework for the week done tonight I won’t have to do that again for a while.”
She sounded so happy and so sincere about this that Draco began to wonder. He had never heard someone speak so descriptively about a problem without having firsthand knowledge of it. Something inside of him began to soften at her words. Maybe her story was true and she was blind everywhere except around him. There was no possible way for him to prove it. All he could do was take her at her word.
“What about tests?” Draco asked curiously. If she had this much trouble with homework then how did she hide her condition in class?
Ginny told him about her trick with the cotton ball and he couldn’t help thinking that she was very smart and resilient. He wouldn’t have done half as well as her if he had been blind. Just the fact that she had found some way to see without needing her eyes was enough to make him shake his head in awe.
Draco paused in his thoughts for a second and reviewed what he had been thinking. With a start he realized that he had been thinking along the lines that she really was blind, as if deep in his heart he believed her unbelievable story.
They sat in companionable silence for the rest of the evening, then went their separate ways for the rest of the week. They met up in that abandoned classroom every Saturday night for the next two months to do homework. Ginny seemed pleased with this arrangement and Draco certainly didn’t mind. It was odd for him to be doing something for someone else, even if it wasn’t anything more than being present.
At the end of the two months Ginny declared Draco’s debt paid.
“I know it’s not really pleasant for you to have to sit here with me. Covering for you to keep the Carrow bastard away from you couldn’t cost more than eight meetings.” Ginny smiled sadly at him as she gathered her books together for what would be the last time.
Draco looked up at her in surprise as she announced that. She was willing to give up her only time to see just because his debt had been paid. Anyone Draco knew would have milked the debt for all they could. He wouldn’t have been wrong to expect years of meetings like this if he had been indebted to a Slytherin.
Then he thought about what she was really saying. He wouldn’t be able to spend Saturday evening with her anymore. Her company wasn’t unpleasant and her magic was more than impressive. He hadn’t seen her use her wand once despite all the advanced spells she performed when practicing for her next class. She also wasn’t ugly with her thin body and well sized assets, and with her long beautiful hair. He had watched as whatever magic she was using slowly changed her body, something she probably couldn’t notice without her sight. She grew skinnier and more muscular. Her hair, eyes, and skin began to grow paler as if the magic were taking all the color out of her body as it put a semblance of sight back into her. The changes were infinitesimal and he only noticed them because he was looking. Draco doubted that anyone else would bother to notice.
Draco realized suddenly that he would miss her company, miss looking for her changes, and would even miss riling her about her lack of sight. He didn’t really want their meetings to end.
“I’ll still be here next week,” Draco said without looking at her. “Regardless of whether you come or not,” he added quickly so she wouldn’t think he was doing it just for her. “I’ve found studying like this is good for my grades and it gets a lot of homework done.”
Despite his attempt to throw her off, she smiled beautifully anyway, as if she knew that she was the real reason he was staying. Then again, she could know. That magic of hers was powerful and the only thing it absolutely couldn’t show her was written words and colors. Maybe she could read emotions or thoughts. The idea was startling, but Draco knew that she wouldn’t abuse such power so he left her to it.
Yet, when next week rolled around, Draco found himself running nearly an hour late. He had been searching McGonagall’s office for any information and had forgotten that the old woman was part cat. She had smelled him in her room so he had to spend a lot of time and energy making sure that she couldn’t catch him as he ran away and making an alibi so when she confronted him about it he could prove that it wasn’t him.
When he reached the outside of the classroom he heard the disembodied voice of a book reading itself and couldn’t help feeling bad that he had left Ginny alone to muddle through her homework for so long.
The book stopped reading when he entered the room and Ginny looked up in surprise.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” she mumbled.
Draco gaped at how sad she sounded. It was almost as if she enjoyed his company just as much as he enjoyed hers. Could it be that she liked him?
He found himself explaining about the McGonagall fiasco and about what his father was having him do, all the spying and searching just so Lucius could get ahead in the Dark world.
“I’d ask if you were with me to get information about Harry,” she said wryly, “but you haven’t even mentioned him in all the time we’ve been meeting.”
“I never crossed my mind,” Draco said honestly. He knew she could read lying from truth with her strange sight so he didn’t bother trying to disseminate.
“Good,” Ginny said thoughtfully. She turned her head to look at him and her eyes were closed as she studied him. Draco knew she was searching him with her power for something and waited patiently for her to tell him what was happening.
“You don’t have the same stench as most Death Eaters,” she said finally.
“I bathe,” Draco replied, somewhat affronted but still in a joking manner.
“No, no. I mean to their magic. You don’t have that sense of death and darkness to you. Every other Death Eater I’ve ever encountered reeked.” Ginny opened her eyes. “You’ve never killed someone,” she went on. “You’ve never tortured someone. Yet you still profess to want to be a Death Eater.”
Draco grimaced. “My father wants me to be a Death Eater. I’d prefer to just be left alone.” He pulled up his sleeve to show her his Dark Mark. “But I’ve got this so I don’t really have a choice, do I?”
Ginny tentatively reached out and touched it. “There’s a bit of evil surrounding it,” she said as she caressed the mark. “But that’s more of an afterimage of Voldemort than anything you’ve done. It will fade in time.”
“Not in enough time to save me from servitude and death,” Draco replied sharply. Didn’t she know what the Dark Mark meant? He was indentured to Voldemort for the rest of the bastard’s unnatural life. If the Dark Lord won he would be a servant for the rest of his life. If the Dark Lord lost the Order and the Ministry would send him to Azkaban. His life was over anyway.
“So do something about it!” Ginny snapped, reminding Draco of the time on the train when she had yelled, ‘Fight them!’ in much the same manner. “You’ve just told me you’re good at spying, so spy on the Death Eaters. Send information to the Order to help them win. Then, when the Order destroys Voldemort you’ll be free.”
“It’s not that easy,” Draco shook his head. He turned his head away from her to signal the end to the conversation and focused back on his homework.
They never brought the subject up again but it circled through his mind. Spying on the Death Eaters. Helping the Order of the Phoenix. It would certainly solve his problem, unless the Dark Lord or his father discovered what Draco was doing. It was something to think about, at least.
The rest of the year passed quickly without many problems. Ginny never heard from Harry, not even once, and began to wonder if the boy ever even thought of her while he was out searching for something, something that he wouldn’t tell anyone about. No one had heard from Harry, Hermione, or Ron, to tell the truth. Her mother was constantly in hysterics and the rest of the Order hadn’t been in much better shape when Ginny went home for the Christmas Holidays.
Draco, on the other hand, had a habit of popping up outside her classrooms when he knew she had tests, just to give her five minutes to look over her answers. When she, Luna, and Neville had gotten that detention in the Forbidden Forest for trying to steal Gryffindor’s sword from Snape’s office he had been waiting for her, which was a good thing because the forest was supersaturated with magic and her senses were struggling to focus by the time the detention finished. She might not have been able to make it back to the castle relying on just her magic. Having the use of her eyes saved her that night and she thanked Draco for it profusely.
He had been on the train home when the Death Eaters had taken Luna as retribution for what her father was publishing. Ginny had been crying when Draco found her. He promised that he would do everything he could to keep Luna alive while he was home.
Then, on the train back to school, Draco had found her to tell her about seeing the trio and how Luna had been rescued. Ginny had kissed him then, too excited to realize what exactly she was doing. Still, Draco kissed her back and Ginny couldn’t stop the warm fuzzy feelings that burst in her stomach at the contact.
Their meetings resumed and every once in a while they would kiss, but they never spoke about their feelings or whether this was something more than comfort.
The year came to a close very benignly. Harry was still out doing whatever he was doing. Voldemort was still at large. And Ginny and Draco met one last time the night before the train home.
Draco’s NEWT’s had gone well and Ginny’s end of the year tests were finally over. They met up just to relax. Ginny knew that this would probably be that last time she would ever see again so she treasured the moment.
“What are you going to be doing now that you’ve graduated?” Ginny asked as she laid her head on his shoulder.
“Go work next to my father like a good puppet,” Draco sighed.
“Have you,” Ginny paused because she was bringing up a delicate conversation. “Have you thought about what I said earlier, about spying?”
Draco shook his head. “I don’t know if I can. If I get caught…” he groaned. “It’s too dangerous.”
“I don’t want to lose you,” Ginny said quickly. She wasn’t sure if she didn’t want to lose his friendship, his drugging kisses, or the fact that she could see around him. All three were wonderful, but she couldn’t say which one was more important to her.
Draco shook his head and laughed. “Either way you lose me. I’m going to be working for the Dark Lord. If I spy and they catch me, I’m dead. If I spy and the Order loses, I’m dead. If I don’t spy and the Order wins, I’m dead. I don’t have that many options for living.”
“Oh Draco,” Ginny sighed. “Sometimes you have to take some risks.”
He bent his head and kissed her. “There, I’ve taken a risk. Do you know how many people would kill me if they knew I had kissed you?”
Ginny giggled. “I’d be just as dead.”
That sobered Draco up really quickly. “The only way neither of us would be dead would be if I were an Order member or if you were a Death Eater.” He laughed. “If I joined the Order, my father would still kill us both. If you joined the Death Eaters, your family would abandon you.”
“How about we stop talking about this and just enjoy our last evening together,” Ginny said, felling guilty about bringing up such a serious subject on the last night she and Draco would ever spend together.
“I like that idea,” Draco said before bending down to kiss her again.
They spent as much time together on the train as they could, but Draco had to go placate the Death Eaters he was subservient to and couldn’t be seen with a blood traitor, so they couldn’t be together long.
The train came into the station and Draco went over to his father while Ginny found her own father and quickly left to escape all the Death Eaters who were glaring at them.
Her last sight was of Draco nodding politely to his father even as his grey eyes searched her out for one last look of his own. Then Ginny was through the barrier behind her father and the colors abandoned her again.
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