Water drenched him as he hurried down the street. Though healed, his body still ached, slowing his steps. To anyone who passed him, they would assume he was drunk. He almost wished he was, to numb the anger he felt.

Alcohol would cloud him, and it wouldn't protect her.

He needed to be completely alert.

Someone was calling him. He heard them. Not too far behind, but not close enough to him that he would stop to chat. He only had one thing on his mind.

"Stop," a voice demanded.

Over the rain and wind, that's what he heard. It was a yell, a woman's voice. That halted him. Turning, he saw a mane of dark hair and a cloak pulled over her face.


"Didn't you hear me?" she said loudly. "What are you doing out here?"

"Nott," he managed to get out, his body shivering with anger. "Nott's on his way to my flat. He took my memories. Now he's going to take her."

Pansy's eyes widened, then narrowed. "No, he isn't."

"I'm so glad that we agree, but I don't have time for this."

He turned away, but not before she gripped his arm, her eyes dark beneath her hood. She ran ahead of him. He followed, and together they raced through the street, the storm overhead baring down harder.

"Can't you Apparate?" Pansy asked him.

Draco frowned, but quickened his pace. All at once, he grabbed her around the waist, pulling her closer. "Hold on," he said, and they vanished.

They reappeared inside his flat, and deafening screams met their ears. Ginny was on the floor, blood dripping from her lip. She was crouched down over a body. Draco's insides tightened. Then he heard the laughter from behind.

Theodore Nott was leaning against the counter, his eyes hard. He still had blood on his face, from their fight in the bar. He hadn't healed himself. But there was a new bruise forming on his cheek.

"You're just a little too late," he said.

Blaise's eyes watched Draco, but they didn't move. His entire body was motionless, and Ginny was clutching his hand, head bent, crying. She hadn't looked at Draco since he appeared.

Theo walked over to Ginny and touched her cheek. She flinched, drawing back. "Don't touch me," she whispered, her voice savage. "You did this. All of this."

His smile was cold. When he gripped her hair, too fast for her to run, she cried out. He twisted, dragging her across the floor. Gripping her chin, he forced her head up. Finally, her eyes connected with Draco. Pansy stood behind him, and he held her for support.

"You're here," she said quietly, her eyes full of tears. "He told me you were dead."

Draco stiffened. "He's not a killer."

"But Blaise–"

"He's okay," Draco told her. "Now, I need you to do something for me, all right?"

She nodded.

"Stay calm," he said gently. "I'll take care of this prick."

Theodore glared at him, used his hand to wipe the blood off of his face, and held onto Ginny more tightly. "You know I could hurt her if you say anything else, Malfoy."

Draco smirked. "But you won't. Your problems aren't with her. They're with me. So let her go and deal with your issues, Nott."

Theo's mouth twitched. "She denied me."

"Oh, get over it." Blaise was sitting up, but disoriented. It took him a few moments to stand, but when he did, his expression shifted; he was pissed. "It's been years, and you're still mad about something that happened when you were a teenager? Christ, we should have figured it was you from the start. I'm sorry I didn't, otherwise I would have made you sorry."

Nott's eyes widened. "I killed you," he stated with surprise.

Blaise smirked. "You might want to rethink that, mate. I'm not going to leave this place while you hurt my friends. Face it: You weren't important enough for Ginny to remember, that's why she didn't. She only had eyes for one person back then."

Theodore's fingers clutched his wand with one hand, his other still holding Ginny.

"So all of this was for nothing," Draco told him. "You ruined a life, piece by piece, because you were jealous and wanted someone who clearly hadn't given you a second glance."

"You're lying," he yelled, looking down at the redhead. "He's a liar. You wanted me, I know you did. But he got his fucking claws into you. What did he do? Did he force you to fall in love with him?" His hands shook enough for his grip to slacken, and Ginny pushed away from him. He didn't move to grab her again.

"This is really sad," Pansy murmured.

Draco nodded. He crouched down, cradling Ginny against his chest when she scampered over to him. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.

"Yes," she breathed. She looked back at Theo. "He didn't do anything to me, but show me a person under the mask. You tried to steal me away. I fell in love with who he was. I could have never done that with you, and I'm sorry. But you had no right to take things from him. Aren't you going to apologize for what you've done?"

Nott's tilted his head, his eyes dark. He wand rose – aiming at Ginny.

Several cries of "No!" filled the flat.

He never got to cast the spell, however, because Blaise had seized up a heavy statue off the side table and slammed it down onto Nott's head. Theo turned, and Blaise saw the blood dripping down his temple, before his knees buckled and he collapsed.

Ginny barely heard the noise in the bar. She was focused on her drink. Draco was holding her hand under the table, his eyes on her the entire time. They'd come here after everything, mostly because Ginny didn't want to be in the flat anymore.

"What did Blaise do with him?" she asked quietly.

"I don't know," Draco answered. "He wasn't dead – that's a shame – when Blaise got rid of him. He probably just dumped him on the street."

"You'll be happy to know, my friends, that Theodore Nott is at the Ministry. While modifying your memory isn't technically illegal, intent to harm or kill is," Blaise said as he sat down. "I think it's better to let them deal with that scum than us. Because, I'm sorry, but I'd have no problem maiming him."

Draco nodded. "I wouldn't hold you back."

"I don't think anyone would," Ginny remarked. "I'm just glad it's all over. Now we can go back to living normal lives."

As Draco watched her closely, he wondered if that was true.
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