Standing outside The Burrow, Ginny felt a wave of guilt wash over her. She frowned, and continued to rehearse the apology in her head. She didn't really know how to explain things to her family, but she knew she had to try. When the door opened, she was startled by the sight of her father. She hadn't expected him to be home for whatever reason. She exhaled slowly and smiled.
“Ginny?” he said, surprise evident in his voice. “What are you doing here? Are you okay?”
She nodded and stepped inside. “I'm fine, Dad. I just wanted to visit. I can do that, can't I?”
“Of course,” he told her. “We just weren't expecting you, that's all. It's been a long time.”
“I know,” she mumbled, looking around. “Is Mum home?”
Her father smiled. “She's somewhere in this house. We have too many rooms. We were thinking about cutting back.”
He was trying to make her feel better, she knew. Instead of replying to his joke, she excused herself and searched for her mother. Ginny found her in the garden. She was so busy that Ginny saw her jump when she cleared her throat.
“Oh, you scared me,” Molly said, pressing a hand to her heart. “Goodness, Ginny, what are you doing here?” She hugged her daughter tightly.
“Everything's fine,” Ginny assured her. “I just know it's been a while since I came by. I wanted to apologize for that, and for everything else.”
Molly frowned and wiped a smudge of dirt off her cheek. “There's no need, we just miss seeing you. You know it's lonely here without all my kids causing chaos.” She smiled slightly. “Ron wrote to you. He said you never replied.”
“I've been busy,” Ginny answered, sitting in the grass.
“Of course,” Molly commented. “How is working going for you?”
“Well let's just say I've gone to a bar every night this week.” She grinned. “No, but really, it's okay. It's just a bit more responsibility than I thought.”
“Welcome to adulthood,” her mother said. “Come back inside, I made lemonade.” Ginny followed her into the house. They sat down at the kitchen table and as Molly handed her a glass, she said, “So, have you been seeing anyone lately?”
Ginny coughed, choking on her lemonade. “No, I'm not seeing anyone.”
Molly frowned. “That's okay. But is there anyone you're interested in?”
“I have too much work to do to even think about a relationship,” Ginny answered truthfully. She suddenly felt the need to leave. “Actually, this has been really nice. We should do it again sometime. I've got to get going though, I'm sorry.”
“But you were barely here an hour.” Molly shook her head. “I don't understand this. If you were just going to leave again, why did you come here?”
Ginny's heart sank at her mother's words. She stood and Apparated before she retorted with anything less than kind words. Though how she could after what Molly said, she didn't know. But she did realize, as she landed somewhere in the streets of London, that she deserved what was said to her. She stumbled slightly. After she regained her balance, she found herself outside the bar she'd been in numerous times since she'd started her job.
“Well, hello there.”
She blinked, the sunlight bright on her face. Turning to the voice, she froze. It was early. She hadn't expected to see him out yet. Perhaps he had business to attend to. Whether or not, that was none of her concern. She squelched down the desire to embrace him after the morning she had, knowing he'd only push her away.
“Good morning. What are you doing here?”
Malfoy smirked. “I'm not here to drink, Weasley. It's far too early for that. I was just out for a walk, actually.” He stepped closer, and she caught the scent of his cologne. He frowned. “You look upset. Did something happen?”
“No,” she said. “I just didn't sleep well. Actually, it's good that you're here. Have you spoken to Blaise? We were supposed to get breakfast.”
He shook his head. “I'm afraid I haven't. But I can give you his address. I'm sure he wouldn't mind a visit from you since he likes you.”
This surprised her. “He does? But he barely knows me.”
Draco chuckled, but didn't sound amused when he said, “Well, neither did I.”
She could hear the regret in his voice – because he didn't even know her, or because sleeping together had been a monumental mistake in his eyes? Maybe it was both. But that didn't mean she was going to feel sad about it. She wouldn't let him get to her emotions that way.
“Pansy said you don't want to get close to me,” she said before she could stop herself.
He nodded. “I did say that. Look, I don't want you to think that the other night could turn into anything. I won't let that happen.”
“What are you so scared of?” she demanded. “We've already been through this and it ended badly, or don't you remember?”
In her anger, she had forgotten that he didn't.
He stared at her, gray eyes hard, his voice was full of confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“It's nothing,” she muttered. “Never mind. I've gotta get going.”
As she walked by him, Draco reached out and gripped her arm. She turned and narrowed her eyes at him, pulling out of his grasp.
“What have we been through before?” he asked, his voice softening. “Tell me, please.”
“I can't,” Ginny whispered, her voice tight. Tears filled her eyes.
His fingers slid to hold her face. “I know there's something you're not telling me,” he told her quietly. “I know something happened between us – before. I had a dream about you last night. But I don't think that's what it was. I think it was a memory.”
Ginny, wide-eyed and pale, shook her head. “Please don't do this. Don't ask me any more questions. I can't answer them for you.”
“I think you can,” Draco said roughly. “I think you know exactly what happened, but for some reason you're too afraid to tell me what you did.”
“Calm down!” she shouted. “You're overreacting.”
He frowned and dragged a hand down his face. “Did you do something to me, Ginny? Something to my memories? Because it sure as hell feels like you've trespassed when you aren't welcome.”
“I didn't do anything,” she snapped.
Then she vanished with a crack.
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