|Shades of Grey
Author: chromeknickers PM
In the aftermath of the Hogwarts' battle, Draco Malfoy is interned at Godric's Hollow under the vigilant eye of Ginevra Weasley. While Harry and the Order convene to decide on Draco's fate, an unlikely bond is formed between captor and captive.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Drama - Draco M. & Ginny W. - Chapters: 18 - Words: 52,154 - Reviews: 104 - Favs: 72 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 12-11-09 - Published: 09-29-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5409693
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Shades of Grey
Chapter Eighteen: Turning the Tables
"This is not the end. This is only the beginning." – Incognito (me).
It was an especially cold and snowy March evening as Ginevra, Percy, and George came in from outside, trudging the fluffy white substance into the Burrow with them. They took off their coats and gloves and settled themselves down at the dinner table with their mother and father. Ron was almost never home anymore, having moved into Grimmauld Place with Harry and Hermione; however, coming down the stairs at that moment was the infamous Trio.
All three smiled at Ginevra, greeting her and her brothers as they took their seats at the table. Bill and Fleur were at Shell Cottage as the pretty French woman was very visibly pregnant with their first child and was, predictably, too sick to sample Molly's food. Charlie, equally predictable, was still in Romania but was scheduled to return home once the baby was born, giving the Weasley family three wonderful events to celebrate: the birth of their first grandchild, the return of their second eldest son, and the first year anniversary of Voldemort's defeat.
Family and friends chatted animatedly with one another, laughing and smiling as Molly passed around the roast beef. Harry smiled nervously in his seat beside Ginevra. He had been trying admirably for the last week to ingratiate himself with her. For her part, Ginevra had endeavoured to get back into the routine with Harry but found it rather difficult. She still couldn't stop thinking about Draco: how he smiled, how he smelled, how his eyes changed from dark to light depending on his mood, how his lips tasted—
She had to move on from this path. The road to Draco wasn't even a cross-junction; it was a dead end. He didn't care for her. All that mattered to Draco was being free – free of her. Ginevra was with Harry now, and she had to accept this fact. She had not forgot what Harry had done, but she had forgiven him and decided to stay, to make things work between them. She supposed she was a bit like Catherine. She couldn't have Draco, so now she was settling for Harry because everyone would approve of such a union. A union with Draco would only cause stress and heartache. But that was a moot point: he didn't want her; he had only ever seen her as his guard, his captor.
Loud thudding on the door shook Ginevra from her thoughts. Everyone turned, wondering who could be knocking at this hour. Bill and Fleur would have merely Apparated in as would have Charlie or even Kingsley. So who could it be?
"Excuse me," Arthur said.
There was a tight smile on his face as he rose from the dinner table and exited the kitchen to go answer the door.
"Good evening, Mister Weasley," a charmingly silky voice greeted her father, and Ginevra whipped her head around to put a face to the familiar voice.
"Malfoy?" Ron queried, his mouth ajar.
Ron's fork was hanging precariously close to his eye, so Hermione lowered his fork with one hand and shut his jaw with the other.
Harry turned his head around too and then glanced over at Ginevra, whose eyes were shinning brightly – a shadow of a smile playing on her lips. Everyone watched the exchange with a mixture of mild shock and horror, especially when Draco extended his hand to Arthur. The older man took it somewhat reluctantly and shook it firmly. Quickly recomposing himself, Arthur put a hand on Draco's shoulder and ushered the blond into the dining room.
"Everyone, Mister Malfoy has come to join us for dinner."
The entire family, guests included, opened their mouths much like how Ron had earlier.
"I'm afraid I arrived late," Draco said, holding his gloves in his left hand. "Perhaps I shall take you up on that offer next time when I have followed proper decorum and owled the lady of the house for permission." He formally bowed to Molly, who almost squeaked at being called a lady. "It was rude of me to impose."
"Well, that's quite alright, Draco," Arthur said, straining his mouth to smile. "It is all my fault, really. I let your owl to me earlier slip my mind entirely." He cleared his throat and then sat down. "Please, take a seat."
Draco remained standing, hovering for a moment. Everyone else remained seated, still staring up at the blond in shock. Ginevra eyes were wide like saucer plates. What was he doing here, now?
"I'm afraid I cannot stay long," Draco politely refused, and Arthur looked more apprehensive about this than relieved. "Pardon me, if I could—" he looked at Arthur, interrupting the awkward silence "—but I would like to speak with Ginevra alone."
Arthur Weasley looked over at his daughter and swallowed nervously.
"Yes," Ginevra answered immediately for her father and stood up, nodding her head emphatically.
The slightest trace of a smile crossed Draco's handsome features, and he extended his hand to her. Ginevra, in turn, grinned openly and somewhat foolishly at him, stepping forward to take his hand. Just then, Harry's fingers encircled her free wrist.
"Ginny!" he hissed. "What are you doing?"
Draco reached forward, lightening quick, and not so gently removed Harry's hand from Ginevra's.
"She is going for a walk with me, Potter. You have my word that no harm shall come to her," he stated solemnly, and then turned to look directly at Arthur, who inclined his head somewhat reluctantly.
A great murmur of protest erupted at the table, but Arthur immediately silenced everyone with a raised hand. Ginevra did not hear any of it. She quickly went to the door and stuffed her small feet into her boots, following Draco outside into the cold, not bothering to put on a coat. Instead, Draco took off his warm, insulated cloak and secured it around the shivering redhead. She took in a deep breath of the cold, crisp air and smiled. He was finally here with her. What took so long?
The snow began to fall lightly on their heads, and Ginevra reached forward to dust the snowflakes off Draco's shoulders while he tussled the wet flakes out of his now-short hair. He had apparently received a hair cut since he had left Godric's Hollow. It was now spiked in a roguish manner, matching the charming grin on his face. While she loved his hair long, she had to admit that she liked it short and messy too. Hell, any hairstyle looked good on him.
"Ginevra," he said, smiling down at her in the moonlight.
They made an indelible scene: she, pale and beautiful with vibrant red hair, and he, equally pale with matching snow-white hair, both facing each other against the backdrop of a star-lit sky that continued to deposit large, fluffy flakes of snow on top of them.
"Draco." She breathed his name like a prayer, blushing slightly at her own exuberance. She should still be mad at him. He ignored her.
Draco hesitantly reached out, his fingers on her cheek. When Ginevra leaned into his touch, he brought his other hand up and cupped her face.
"I never got your owl until just recently," he admitted softly, and she pressed a hand to his chest in shock, wide brown eyes swimming. "I would have come over immediately when I received it, but I had a few loose ends to tie up."
He looked down at her somewhat sheepishly. "I had to end my relationship with Astoria."
Ginevra's face fell. She really had no right to be upset; in fact, it would have made her a hypocrite since she was dating Harry. But still, she couldn't help but feel disappointed and jealous.
"My mother never told me that you had asked about me," Draco added, a small scowl forming on his face, as though his visual expression alone could offer her a reasonable explanation for why he had even considered dating the Greengrass girl in the first place.
Ginevra tilted her head and was about to open her mouth to question why his mother failed to tell him when he cut her off with a wave of his hand.
"It doesn't matter why she did it, Ginevra. It's in the past, and I promise that nothing like that will never happen again." His face was dark and serious.
She smiled hesitantly. She did not know if this boded well or ill for her.
"I didn't contact you when I returned home because I thought you had read my entries in the journal and dismissed them." His demeanour softened. "My last entry asked if you wanted to stay in contact because – because I wanted to."
He lowered his hands to his sides, and she looked up at him, shaking her head in disbelief.
"I never thought to read the journal. I just sent it back to you. I … Merlin! I'm so stupid!"
She brought a hand to her forehead in frustration, and he gently reached out to take her hand in his.
"I thought that after everything I had done to you in the past you wanted me out of your life forever," she whispered, her voice faltering. "I thought that you wanted to forget me."
"You, Ginevra?" He laughed softly, shaking his head. "How could I ever forget you?"
She smiled and let out a little laugh of her own, staring down at her snow-covered boots. Her heart felt as though it had swelled to twice its size with joy and relief. He had not rejected her like she thought he had.
Draco put a finger underneath Ginevra chin's and lifted her face so that she could meet his eyes.
"This isn't a romance novel," he stated seriously, taking both of her gloveless hands in his.
"I don't expect a happy ending," she replied, as if they'd had this conversation before – perhaps in her mind or in another lifetime.
She let go of his hands and reached up to graze her fingers along the ridge of his scar, noting how beautiful it made him look. He brought his hand on top of hers, letting the ghost of a smile haunt his lips as he pressed her fingertips against his cool cheek.
"What I mean is …" He paused. "I don't want a tragic ending like Heathcliff and Catherine. I don't want to make the same mistakes they made, that others have made – fictional or otherwise." He smirked, and she laughed softly. "The same mistakes that Potter made with you."
She looked up at him shocked. What was he trying to say?
"I would have never sent you to guard a man you despised," he said, as though he had been holding his breath the entire time. "I would have never let you out of my sight!"
Ginevra let out an audible gasp as Draco possessively pulled her in close to him. He shook his head and squeezed her hands affectionately, letting her know that he was being serious.
"I cannot promise that a life with me will be easy," he admitted. "I have a lot of soul-searching to do, and I am still an incorrigible git." He smirked, and she felt the tears brim in her eyes. "The road will be long and difficult and teemed with many shouting matches and crying – mainly on your part." His smirk widened, and she laughed, slapping his arm as the tears freely trickled down her cheeks. "But I would have no one else but you to take that journey with me."
Ginevra smiled and sniffed at the cold and the raw emotion that she felt. She took a step forward and leaned her face into his broad chest as he securely wrapped his strong arms around her.
"I knew that you were the one to fill my life with intrigue and adventure, Draco," she stated, her cheek flat against his chest. "I cannot see myself with anyone but you – for good or for bad." She turned her head up at him and smiled shyly.
"That's all I wanted to hear." He tilted her chin once more, forcing her to look up at him with her mouth parted as he bent down towards her face. "And now you shall be my prisoner," he whispered in her ear.
Her eyes widened in shock, and Draco stood back up, giving Ginevra his patented Malfoy smirk. He then grabbed her hand and led her towards a luxurious black carriage just outside the grounds. She had surmised that he had Apparated outside her house. How foolish of her to assume that Draco Malfoy would be anything other than ostentatious.
"Draco," she began, looking back at the Burrow, expecting one of her brothers to come storming out of the house to chase them down.
"You have visited your family long enough, Ginevra," he said with authority, and with that same roguish grin plastered on his face. "You will see them again." He squeezed her hand reassuringly. "For now, you will be staying with me at the Manor until I decide when your term of incarceration is over." He looked down at her and waggled his pale eyebrows in jest.
Ginevra suddenly stopped dead in her tracks, and Draco turned around, still holding onto her hand.
"You can't be serious," she stated, a look of shock registering on her face.
He shook his head and grinned. "Ginevra, you know that I am joking about you being my prisoner."
"Oh, yes, I know that," she said, smiling, relieving him of his worries.
He thought that maybe he had gone too far and had unsettled her.
"I just mean, I can't," she said, looking down at her feet. "I can't go with you."
"And why not?" he asked, his tone of superiority returning.
"There is no way my family would let me go with you," she answered, looking up at him with her rich brown eyes.
"Do you object to going with me?" he asked in a hopeful tone.
"Well, no," she began, blushing. "My family, however—"
"Well, then if you do not object to going then I cannot see a problem." The self-assured grin returned to his face.
"But my father—"
"Do not worry about your father or your family," Draco reassured her. "Mister Weasley has no objections to you staying with me for a little while, as long as you agree to it."
Ginevra looked up at Draco in wide-eyed disbelief. "He couldn't possibly trust you."
"Thank you for that vote of confidence, Weasley."
She punched him in the arm. "It's Ginevra, Draco!"
"Yes, well, Ginevra, your father knows that I am taking you to Malfoy Manor." He smiled as she looked up at him with open incredulity. "I met with him last week at the Ministry of Magic, and we had a … talk."
"A talk?" She looked somewhat horrified at the thought of Draco and her father having a heart-to-heart conversation about her.
"I convinced him of my honourable intentions towards you and allowed him to perform Legilimency on me." He waved his hand dismissively as though this was nothing out of the ordinary. "He trusts that you will not be harmed in my presence."
"How?" She still had no idea how her father would have consented even if he knew that Draco had honourable intentions.
"An Unbreakable Vow tends to placate one's fears and doubts," he remarked nonchalantly.
"An Unbreakable Vow?" She took a step closer. "Why did you—"
"I vowed to your father that I would never intentionally harm you, physically," he explained, cutting her off. "I wanted to add emotionally too, but Mister Weasley insisted that the physical element was adequate enough. He remarked that as a Gryffindor and a Weasley your pride was easily hurt." He put his finger to his lips, looking upwards in a contemplating manner. "How did he put it? 'No point in dying because you failed to notice one day that she had changed her hairstyle'." Draco looked down at her and grinned. "I must say, I rather don't mind your father. He's a very tolerable sort."
"You git!" Ginevra punched the handsome blond in the arm – again.
"See!" Draco exclaimed dramatically, pointing his finger at the ground. "I'd be face-planted in the snow right now if your father hadn't stopped me!"
His facial expression was far too serious, and Ginevra ended up being seized by a fit of giggles, which quickly escalated into sweet-sounding, belly-rumbling laughter.
Draco pulled her in close and laughed with her, holding onto her tightly while she struggled to free herself from his grasp. She desperately needed to punch him again, to get back at him for being so cheeky and to feel that he was real and here with her, right now. She needed that tangible veracity to let her know that what she had been dreaming of for all these months was finally coming true.
"I can't believe you did that with my father and without my consent at all! You are an infuriating man," she growled, finally wrestling free from his grasp to punch his shoulder yet again.
Luckily, he had developed more muscle there over the past ten months or he would have had a series of black and blue bruises up and down his arms.
"What about Harry?" Ginevra asked suddenly.
Draco scowled at her, furrowing his brow. "What about him?" he asked bitingly.
Ginevra couldn't help but giggle at his sour expression. "Shouldn't I go back and break up with him?" .
Draco's countenance brightened considerably. "Why don't you do it in an owl?"
She laughed again, despite herself, and brought her arm back to throw another playful punch at him. He caught her hand this time and drew her in close, crushing her tiny frame against his chest as he looked down into her almond-shaped eyes.
"So …" he began, bending his head down so that their noses were touching, feeling her breath on his cheek.
"Do you hate me?" he asked, a knowing smirk playing on his face.
"Yes," she whispered, biting her bottom lip.
He bent down to capture her lips with his, finally capitulating to their long, unfulfilled desires with a deep, passionate kiss. She melted into his touch, her eyes still closed when he finally drew back, smirking.
Author's notes: It's done! Yay! I realise that Draco was a tad OOC (or 'soft around the edges'), but how can any of us know what eight months of solitude can do to a person, what being with only one other human being for seven months can make one feel for the other? I think such solitude can change a man and a woman's perception of that man and bring them together. No longer can they see each other or the world around them in black and white: now it is all in shades of grey.
Thank you to all who read and reviewed this story. I appreciate your kind words of encouragement and appreciation. This story is dedicated to you, the loyal reader.