|Halfway to Anywhere
Author: Dove and Thalia PM
On the night of his graduation, a young man who thinks that he is stuck in a dead end watches a young girl... and learns that perhaps, there is life for him after all. Draco and Ginny, angst, fatalism, impulsive decisions and snogs all in a one-shot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Draco M. & Ginny W. - Words: 3,531 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 12 - Published: 03-31-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1289526
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
~*Halfway to Anywhere*~
Dove: Eeeeeeeeeeeee! Draco/Ginny angst-fluff! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! So awesome! Read it for the snog scenes, if nothing else. We have managed to outdo ourselves, if that's possible. Add to that the fact that this is my favorite pairing. Do the math.
Thalia: *squeeee* Yay for angsty!fatalistic!glompable!Draco and spunky!sensible!mad!Ginny (yes... it will make sense. Really.)! This was inspired by... many things. Among them one of the greatest songs ever. Go read. Go love the song, the story, and us.
Disclaimer: Sadly, we don't own the song. And the Draco is owned by the Ginny.
"We're leaving here tonight
There's no need to tell anyone
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning's light
We'll be halfway to anywhere
Where no one needs a reason...
Forget this life
Come with me
Don't look back you're safe now
Unlock your heart
Drop your guard
No one's left to stop you..."
Sunset. The sky was all shades of rose and coral and flame... and someone's hair. But heaven would soon be plunged into darkness. And as he watched, the young man with blond hair scowled, his heart heavy, a taste of bitterness in his mouth.
He stood alone by the lake, black robes flapping open, his green and silver tie dangling, knotted loosely around his neck. He was Head Boy... and it was his graduation. But he wanted... needed to be alone. There was only one person whose company he craved... and he did not want to mire her into his dark world.
A week. A week and then, all would be lost. It was bloody unfair... and he would give all his money, all his prestige and power... but it would amount to nothing, because all of that came from the one who was waiting to bring him into that group. That group that he wanted no part of. And there was nothing he could do.
Powerlessness was a despicable concept to a Slytherin.
The sunset was across the lake… and so was she. Actually, most of those who had gone to see their friends graduate were still there, but she stood out. She had always stood out to him, with that hair, and eyes so large and dark she couldn't help but look innocent. She was, of course, which was the main reason he couldn't just go up to her and say anything that didn't sting like an insult. Much better that she never suspect he watched her and wished and hoped and sometimes found himself taking a step nearer before pulling back and walking away. If she didn't know, he couldn't hurt her.
As the sun sunk lower behind the trees and turned the sky the color of fresh blood, her laughter floated across the lake to him. He smiled faintly, though the smile didn't reach his eyes. It was good to hear her laugh.
The people across the lake began to disperse, including her friends and siblings, but she lay down in the grass, her face up to the sky, probably watching the colors change. He couldn't see her very well anymore, except as a spot of black and fiery red on the ground. He sighed; he was an idiot for staring at something he couldn't have.
That didn't sit particularly well with his Slytherin mentality either.
The sun gradually dipped below the horizon, and the sky darkened to a smoky purple. The color of blood... to the color of bruises. Draco's face remained impassive, half watching the sunset... and half watching the girl. No. He... could not. Even thinking of her... was folly. Wasn't it enough that his life would be ruined in a week?
He would not speak to her. He would leave... and he would follow the destiny that had been spelled out for him since birth. And his face would be frozen, impassive. Betraying no emotion was nothing new after all. Or, otherwise, hiding behind a mask of icy, jaded indifference. What did it matter any more?
Why couldn't he look away?
As if sensing his eyes on her, the girl with the flame-red hair turned, and velvety brown eyes met storm gray ones. And as her eyes widened and a rosy blush bloomed over her cheeks, barely noticeable in the dying light, his eyes narrowed, and he scowled.
She quietly stepped away... away from the ones of the light. Away from the friends and family that were laughing and unnoticing. And lightly walked towards where he was standing in the shadows. His jaw tightened, and as soon as she approached, he put on a habitual sneer. "Lost, Weaslette? Won't your prat brother have a conniption, seeing you voluntarily approaching the evil and dangerous 'Draco sodding Malfoy'?"
Her eyes blazed with temper for a moment before she put on an expression that was eerily kind, considering their relationship up to this point; namely that he insulted her and she snapped back. "He'll survive," she said with a small shrug. The wind played with the ends of her hair, loose around her face. "I don't suppose I should care, but you looked upset today. Head Boy. Top honors. You should be happy. Why aren't you?"
His heart gave a pang. After the way he treated her, she still tried to help him. "What the hell do you know, anyway?"
She sighed. "Couldn't hurt you to be civil," she pointed out. "My closest friend was Head Girl. I'm Head Girl next year. I suppose I have some experience, anyway. A year from now, I'll probably be ecstatic."
A year from now, he would probably be dead. Or as good as. "I'm supposed to care because..?"
Her eyes flashed in temper again, and this time she didn't bother to suppress it. "Fine, Malfoy. I tried to be nice to you. I thought… well, never mind what I thought. Have a nice life."
Have a nice life!? At that, he turned away slightly from her, and laughed. A cynical, hollow, bitter laugh. He idly wondered... if prisoners sent to their execution... laughed before the light was snuffed from their eyes. "Thanks for the kind wishes, Weaslette," he harshed out after a few moments, "As for 'niceness', it's overrated. And ineffectual."
She looked at him, a slight frown on her face, and he gave a ragged sigh before turning his back to her. "Forget it. You go and have a nice life."
She huffed slightly, and strode up to him, walking quickly around his form so that they were face to face. "Must you be so... so cynical... and... and brusque all the time?" she asked, her voice scolding.
Dammit, why couldn't she just leave him alone? Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Why couldn't... Draco shut off his thoughts with a click. This was folly, he reflected for not the first time. "What's it to you? You don't know. You don't want to know. Just... go and be your cheerful little Gryffindor self with your saintly little entourage."
She sighed and wrapped her arms around herself, as though trying to suppress a shiver, though the night was warm. "I wish I didn't keep thinking there was more to you," she nearly whispered. "It's clear that there isn't, but I keep having this feeling… well, anyway. I don't know why I'm talking to you. I should go back to the castle and pack to go home tomorrow." She made no move, though, just standing there. There was silence except the lake lapping at the shore.
Eventually she raised her eyes, and her gaze seemed to physically hit him. He was surprised he didn't stagger back. "Today's the last time I'll ever see you," she said. "I shouldn't tell you, I suppose, but… I'll miss seeing you around. I've enjoyed bantering with you; I suppose I have masochistic tendencies. I know you hate me… but those wishes to have a nice life are genuine." She pulled her gaze from his almost reluctantly, and that hurt too. "Congratulations on your graduation." The soft, timid voice was back. She turned her back and began walking very slowly back towards the castle.
Draco's jaw tightened as she turned, head bowed, and started to walk away from him, red hair glittering in the dusky light. This... was the end. There was no more... and he growled low in his throat. In two strides, he had overtaken her. Blast... he was dying... or as good as. And there were some things that one had to do before one's existence was plunged into darkness and hell.
He would go to hell for it. For touching something so pure and innocent.
But he was destined for hell since the very first anyway, and he didn't care.
She looked up, eyes wide, when he stepped into her path, and he did not say a word. He was not gentle... had never learnt to be. Unceremoniously, almost bluntly, he laid his hands on her shoulders, pressing down slightly and pulling her close to him. And as her lips parted in surprise, he covered them with his.
The kiss was fierce, tasting of bittersweet and despair and a darkened heaven. And his arms encircled her tightly, crushing her to his chest. She mewled slightly and squirmed, but by Merlin, he wouldn't let her go.
Only when his lungs started to burn from lack of air did he pull away, and his eyes were stormy and luminous, like a lightning-torn sky. He spoke, his voice slightly hitched and bitter, "There. I had to do it. It's... the last time that I could."
She stared up at him silently, then lifted her hand and brushed his hair away from his eyes. "I knew there was more," she finally said. She didn't look scared or disgusted, or anything else she should have looked. Only a little tentative. "Is that why your eyes are so sad?"
He didn't know what to say to that. "You should scream. Or slap me. Or… something."
"That wouldn't be a fitting beginning to the rest of your life," she said seriously.
He knew he looked torn. And probably furious. He felt so much he didn't know how to begin describing it. "You're such a bloody idealist," he said, his voice sad under the anger. "The rest of my life is over. This is it. Once I walk away from here. It might not be a fitting beginning, but it's a flaming fine ending."
She watched him, and he reveled in the moment, her standing so close and not seeming to want to move, her hand frozen in his hair, her eyes on his. "Why?"
"Why? Why?" His voice was higher than normal, just a bit shaky, and he cursed himself mentally. Walk away, Malfoy... Goddammit, walk AWAY! Why couldn't he? He bit down hard on his lip, which had just a moment ago pressed against hers so hard... that hers were swollen. He tasted blood, and laughed that sullen, bitter laugh again. "Why do you think, Weaslette? Or... wait. Don't think, rather. It's not fit for delicate Gryffindor ears like your own." He gritted his teeth. Why wouldn't she move? Why wouldn't she take her hand away from his hair... caressing it with a tenderness that infuriated him, because he didn't deserve it, and because he craved it, and knew he couldn't have it?
He as good as told her that he would be a Death Eater. Told her... someone whose ties to the Light side ran deeper than the roots of the tallest tree. Fatalistic, perhaps... she could tell them. He could die. He would die. He was dead. But the survival instinct had left him... ever since the letter he'd received, telling him the date and time, and that was all. Any moment now, she would understand. She was no fool. And she would run. Tell the others... and he would not do anything to stop her. They might even be merciful... noble idealistic heroic types that they were.
He kept his face completely expressionless, frozen... as he watched her eyes widen, then shimmer with tears and comprehension. She knew. She understood. And now, she would hate him... despise him. He was a demon... disgusting and dark. And she would run... and he would go off to his fate. Bitter... but he licked his lip and tasted her sweetness and purity. He knew that when he died, he would die remembering that taste.
She was silent for an impossibly long moment before she spoke again. "Do you want to?" she asked.
He did laugh then, a bitter little chuckle. "Who the hell cares what I want?"
She shook her head, and repeated herself. "Do you want to?"
He watched her, wondering why she was so insistent. "Hell, no," he finally said, his voice tired.
She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him very quickly, very softly. There was only time for the shock to register, no time to think of deepening the kiss, prolonging the moment, before she pulled away. "So don't," she said simply.
His hands clenched at his sides. "'Don't'?! You... don't understand, Weaslette. You try saying to a circle of men who've cast Unforgivables with about as much ease and thought as a bloody Summoning Charm... and their leader... that you 'don't wish to participate' in their little cult." He paused, then scowled darkly, "Actually, don't. Gryffindor insanity or no... forget it. I'm dead. No matter what, I'm dead. Nice knowing you," he added sarcastically. Now he would go. Really. He stepped backward, but she reached out, grabbing his hand in her small, warm one and clasping it tight, with a surprising amount of strength.
"I didn't peg you for someone who gave up at first signs of trouble," she said, her voice strong and faintly contemptuous. "There's always a choice. There's always a way. You're alive now. You could be dead tomorrow, but you're alive now." She let his hand go, and crossed her arms. "Walk away from me, Draco," she said, emphasizing her use of his name. "I dare you. You think you're ready to lie down and die? Go ahead. Walk up that hill, out of my life, and away from your choices. I will cry for you once, and then I will forgive you for being weak and stupid, and I will not think of you again." Her eyes shone with those tears, ready to spill. "I feel you watching me. Your gaze burns like fire. You say you're dead? Dead men don't watch that way, like I was your only salvation. You walk by every day, and you're horrid to me, yet I put up with you. Why? Did you ever stop to think that maybe it's because I watch you too? Did you ever think to look in my eyes instead of over my head and realize that I've dreamed about you, that I've prayed I wasn't wrong, that there was more to you?" A tear meandered down her cheek and she took a deep steadying breath. "I don't care who you were up to this day," she whispered. "I don't care what you've done. If, after all of that, I can believe in you… dammit, why can't you?"
"What do you want me to do, Weas—Virginia?" his voice was tinged with something suspiciously like despair, almost undetectable. "Waltz into my father's study and say 'Guess what, I'm not going to join after all. Bwha!'?! It. Doesn't. Bloody. Work. That. Way. And what I want doesn't matter." He stepped backwards, and muttered something softly to himself.
Her brow furrowed slightly. "I didn't hear."
"I said... I can't be with you. You can't be with me. They'd kill you, you know. You ought to be running away from me right now... to safety and all those good things that lie ahead for your life."
"Maybe," she said. "But I don't want to. So I won't." She looked at him challengingly. "I've waited too long for those barriers you build around yourself to crumble."
"I repeat, Virginia, what would you have me do? Kill my father, maybe? Kill my father and all his friends and, hey, let's add the Dark Lord in for seasoning? I'm not bloody Potter."
"If you were Harry, I wouldn't be standing here trying to beat some sense into your head," she said. "Is perpetuating a massacre your only solution?"
"What else is there?" he asked.
She shrugged. "You could go away. Far away, where they can't find you. You could start over. You could be you instead of what they all want you to be. Don't you want to?"
"Where would I go?"
She smiled softly. "Anywhere," she said. "That's the beauty of it."
He stared at her, as if seeing her for the first time, effectually rendered speechless. She merely gave him an impishly sweet little grin, and said, "Now that that's settled, shouldn't we be on our way?"
"W-'we'?" he managed to choke out. "What the... you've gone mad!"
She merely shook her head, still smiling at him, and grabbed his hand again, pulling him towards the direction of the broom shed, "You heard me right, Draco. We. You. Me. Now, will you please stop gaping? It's really an unattractive look... and I repeat, we should be on our way."
"B-but... you... your family... Head Girl... you... run away?!" He was still trying to compute her statements, and figure out why... why in the world they seemed so frightfully appealing all of the sudden. He barely noticed that she had pulled him halfway to the broomshed.
She stopped at the door of the broomshed, muttering a spell and unlocking it. As she pulled it open, she turned towards him with a completely serious face, dark eyes shining into his gray ones. "So?"
"Why the hell are you doing this? It's insane!" He was very nearly shouting. He had to talk her out of this. This was crazy. Not a good idea. But wouldn't it be nice…
She pretended to think a moment. "Well, it could be that, for a Gryffindor, I haven't taken enough foolish risks. Or maybe it's the fact that I'm crazy in love with you, although I can't imagine why-"
That was as far as she got before he dragged her against him a second time, stumbling into the dark interior of the broomshed, pressing her between him and the wall. She wasn't fighting him this time, though. Her hands were fisted in the hair at the back of his neck, and her lips burned on his. Not the sort of soft, innocent kisses he had imagined from her. More than he'd ever imagined.
She melted against him like hot wax, until he wasn't sure why the shed didn't burst on fire around them. When she dragged her lips away, he groaned despite himself, and she giggled breathlessly. Her breath came in rapid gasps, as though she had just run up a steep hill. "I think that was a, 'Wow, Ginny, what a marvelous idea! Why didn't I think of that?'"
"You... you... bloody mad Gryffindor," his voice was full of incredulity. She merely grinned widely at him in the half-dark, and strode over to the rack of brooms that belonged to the Slytherin Quidditch team. Quickly, she picked out his, and held it out towards him with an expectant expression.
He stared at her, then at the broomstick, then back at her again. And finally, he let out a light laugh. A real laugh, unlike the saturnine, heavily cold chortles that were customary to him. "You... are mad."
"So I've been told," she informed him archly, then smirked when he took the broom from her outstretched hands. "But I knew that you'd have the sense to see it my way, eventually."
"If you're mad, and I 'see things your way', how does that equate to 'sense'?" he jibed, eyes glinting as he started to step out of the shed, broom in hand.
She gave a light snort, then her face lit up when he mounted the broom, and she climbed on behind him, wrapping her slender arms around his waist. Her warm breath tickled his ear as he kicked off, and as the two rose into the starry night sky, she whispered softly, "You figure it out."