Shades of Green

Chapter One: Moments Between Sleep

-x-

It was the summer before her seventh year and Hogwarts, and frankly, Ginevra Molly Weasley wished it would go by a little quicker. She absolutely hated being home, it was monotonous and abhorrently annoying.

Her family had always just acted so odd around her, they were weirdly fake. And she hated it.

She knew they didn't understand her, they didn't want to either. She also knew they were confused by her, almost frightened of her. But they loved her, which kept them from expressing all the aforementioned emotions.

It was paradoxical, and at first painful, but now it was just laughable.

Because the day she had been sorted into Slytherin House was the day it all changed.

Her first year at Hogwarts had been blurry and hazy at best, most of her memory was filled with large gaps and missing pieces. It was almost as if she had been in a waking dream state for most of it.

And maybe that's exactly what it had been, considering she was possessed for most of it.

The tale was not all that complicated or interesting, it was one almost everyone knew, but didn't know what to do with.

Before her first year at Hogwarts, a certain slippery, greasy haired, "former" Death Eater by the name of Lucius Malfoy decided to slip a living piece of the (now dead who briefly came back to life but back then still dead) Dark Lord's soul, into her bag. In the form of a diary. The rest after that is a piece of history she didn't like to relive, but then, who could blame her.

Basically, this piece of soul (or whatever it was because no one was sure anymore) possessed her the moment she opened the book and began writing in it. The soul took over, fed on her life energy, nearly killed her.

Oh and got her sorted into Slytherin House, which basically ruined her relationship with her family, never-mind the almost dying part though.

None other than Harry Potter ended up coming to her rescue, restoring her life and senses. He got the proverbial gold medal in the form of the House Cup and an award for "Services to the School" and she got to be eternally grateful to the boy who lived.

What a bunch of farce.

Not that she wasn't grateful to Harry, because she was, and it wasn't that he ever rubbed it in her face or something, because he didn't. It was just more that after all that, after finding out everything she had been through and the circumstances surrounding the incident, no one did anything to help her.

She'd practically been mind-raped for the last year, and did anyone give a damn? Nope, not really. They were more concerned with throwing Harry parties and patting him on the back.

She even approached Dumbledore about re-sorting her, he didn't oblige. He knew everything that happened, but he still refused to bend the rules just a little due to the extraneous circumstances, the way he would have for Harry Hermione and Ron. Instead, he just gave her some mysterious, cliché advice "the individual is not determined by where he is sorted, but by his character. Not all Gryffindors are inherently good, just as not all Slytherins are born bad."

Thanks, Dumbledore.

It all got to her at the beginning, it got to her so bad. She would cry all the time, because it just felt so unfair. She always felt so much different from everyone in her family, she was the only girl, she always just wanted to fit in.

It wasn't that her family made feel unwanted or ignored, they weren't bad to her either. She knew her family loved her dearly, that wasn't the issue. It was more of how careful they were around her. As if anything they say will set her off, upset her, or hurt her. That was why it was annoying. Because it was as if getting sorted into Slytherin had automatically changed everything that made her Ginny, and they had to reacquaint themselves with her.

It was all just so irritating at this point.

The only person that was halfway normal in this house was her brother Bill, but he was divided between here, Egypt and France. So she barely saw him, save the holidays and surprise visits.

But he always treated her as Ginny, the same baby sister he would hoist onto his shoulders at Quidditch games.

Between then and now, the Dark Lord had risen again, Harry and his friends went on a save the world mission, go figure, and are now back, after said mission was successful.

Of course, that's oversimplifying it completely. They all almost lost their lives on numerous occasions, Harry might have even died (there was still some confusion around that subject) and it was nowhere near as easy as just saying a few spells to vanquish the Dark Lord.

Regardless, somehow, someway, Harry did it. Again.

The three had decided to return to Hogwarts, though Ginny suspected it was Hermione just strong arming Harry and Ron into doing so. They had received several titles and medals and plaques for everything they had done. They were qualified to do just about any job, hell, Harry had even received an offer to run for Minister of Magic.

But instead, Hermione Granger insisted to get her degree the proper way and strongly suggested Ron and Harry do the same.

Something was different about the three of them since they'd gotten back. Ron was no longer chasing after Hermione like a luckless puppy.

And Harry and Hermione were sort of… coupley, without even meaning to do so.

She would often catch them holding hands, touching each other's faces and just always being close to each other.

The other day she even saw Harry playing with Hermione's hair as she talked about something in Hogwarts, A History.

It was all so strange.

But she supposed it was cute, they belonged together. Everyone knew it, she even accepted it a long time ago. And now it seemed, that her thick headed, stubborn, knuts for brains brother had even accepted it.

She just wished the two of them would get on with it already, instead of just furiously blushing anytime anyone brought it up.

Harry Potter had been her childhood crush since the moment he had stopped to ask her mother how to get through the platform at King's Cross.

Even more when he saved her from Riddle's diary.

And it grew stronger every time she was around him, which was only around the holdiays when he was over the Burrow, otherwise Slytherins and Gryffindors didn't mingle.

But it was during her third year, the Yule Ball most specifically, when she saw the way Harry had looked at Hermione on the arm of Viktor Krum.

It was that moment that she knew he would never look at her that way, that she was chasing the ghost of something that was not meant to be hers.

That was also the moment she stopped feeling sorry for herself and things that were out of her control.

She decided that she would make the best of being in Slytherin, she would try to be friends with the people who were good to her, instead of chasing after people who kept her in the peripheries.

She never liked Pansy Parkinson, or Crabbe or Goyle for that matter. But Daphne Greengrass was always nice to her.

So was Kennedy Rosier and Romilda Vane.

Blaise Zabini wasn't half bad when he wasn't in one of his moods, the boy liked to brood.

She had expected all the Slytherins to shun her, ridicule her and call her a blood traitor. It really wasn't like that at all, it was as if being sorted into the House had just made her one of them. And they would bear no grudges.

It was Ginny that kept herself isolated for three years, hoping to gain acceptance from Harry Potter and the others.

It never came, at least not in the way she wanted to.

But she did get it from people in her own House.

She had feared for when the War would touch Hogwarts, causing everyone to frantically choose sides.

The Gryffindors were particularly loud about expressing their distaste for anything Death Eater, which for them meant Slytherin house as a whole. But everything else was not as divided as she had thought it would be.

Surprisingly, her friends had not scrambled to side with the Dark Lord as she thought they would. No one excitedly got themselves branded, no plots to overthrow Hogwarts had been hatched.

They were all just worried for their NEWT's.

Now, it was over. Things were calm again, and Ginny was looking forward to being back at Hogwarts. She had missed Kennedy and Romilda, even Daphne.

There was a knock at her door.

Hermione poked her head in a second later, "Hey, Gin. We're all downstairs if you want to join. The boys are involved in particularly riveting—" She paused to role her eyes, "game of exploding snap. Perhaps you could give me some company?" She suggested.

That was the thing about Hermione, she was so damn sweet there was no way anyone could hate her.

And Ginny knew, because she had tried. But it was no use, it would be like hating a unicorn or a pygmy puff.

Reluctantly, Ginny put down the novel she had been trying to read, and got off her bed. "Sure." She obliged.

She pulled her long hair into a pony tail, before following Hermione downstairs.

As expected, Ron and Harry were rather involved in a game of Exploding Snap. She could see why Hermione would be bored out of her mind.

Hermione took a seat on sofa behind Harry, who was sitting on the floor. Almost innately, he leaned back against her legs. And just as naturally, Hermione ran her fingers through his soft black hair.

But they were just friends, right?

Yeah, real believable.

Hermione patted a spot next to her, beckoning Ginny over.

Ginny sat beside her, Harry looked up at her. "Hey, Gin. Nice to see you up." He winked.

It still made her heart flutter, just barely, but it was there.

She hated how… how, Harry, he was.

But then she saw him swiftly take the hand that was intertwined in his hair, and kiss her knuckles.

It was enough to make the fluttering cease and desist immediately.

Flushing red, Hermione quickly pulled her hand away, lightly nudging the back of Harry's head, before turning her attention to Ginny.

"How have you been?" She asked, a little breathlessly.

Whatever Harry was putting down was clearly good considering how bothered Hermione was just by him kissing her hand, Ginny surmised.

Ginny just shrugged a shoulder, she appreciated Hermione trying, but it felt a tad forced.

But Hermione was nothing if not persistent.

"I feel like we've barely spoken, everything has been such a whirlwind. I've barely had a minute to myself." She sighed.

Ginny nodded, "It's understandable. You guys went through a lot. Did a lot." She said honestly.

The three of them, but especially Harry and Hermione, deserved all the recognition they received.

Hermione gave her a shy smile, "Harry, really. It was all Harry." There it was, that lovey dovey look of affection Hermione seemed to be giving Harry a lot lately.

"Certainly. Harry has done a great service to all of Britain." Ginny agreed. "But you mustn't forget how large of a part you played in getting him there." Ginny had always known Hermione was what Harry needed.

She pushed him, challenged him, kept him grounded and wasn't afraid to tell him when he was making a mistake. She wasn't his yes man the way most people were, she told him the truth, and she wanted only the best for him.

She was his best friend, through and through, and Ginny knew there was no competing with that.

Plus the fact that Hermione really blossomed from an ugly, plain bookworm with bushy hair and buck teeth, to a rather beautiful young woman.

There was no way anyone could compare with that.

Harry would be crazy not to be in love with her.

Again, Hermione hid her slight blush. "Are you excited about your last year at Hogwarts, have you decided which specialty you'd like to pursue, last you said you wanted to work as a Healer?"

Ginny raised a shoulder. "My mind is always changing." She admitted. "Lately I've been leaning more towards becoming a Mind Healer." She said.

Hermione knitted her eyebrows in confusion.

"So many people have been affected the War. The Imperius Curse, the Cruciatus curse. They all leave long term effects on the brain. " She thought of the Longbottoms still at 's suffering from the traumas of the First War. "Let alone all the people who have been psychologically impacted by what they've witnessed and lost because of it."

"Ah, so basically like a Psychiatrist?" Harry piped in.

Ginny was surprised he had even been listening, since when did he even know she existed?

"I suppose, if that is what they are called in the Muggle world." Ginny answered.

A look of comprehension dawned on Hermione's delicate features. "I've heard they had those in the wizarding world, but it's a rather new medical field, no?" Hemrione asked, genuinely interested. "Mind magic is tricky, restoring and repairing areas of the brain… that could take years." She mused.

Ginny nodded. "Yes. It would be a lot of work, endless hours, blood sweat and tears. But if the people who need it most could benefit from it, I feel like it's worth a shot." She thought of her mother, who didn't leave her room these days because of the loss of her son.

She thought of George, ear-less, twin-less, killing himself at a job he hated to avoid thinking about the pain he felt of losing the other part of him.

Her father, who barely came home anymore.

Percy, who couldn't handle emotions.

Even Ron, who feigned acceptance and bravery, when she knew he had to be hurting too.

And that was just everyone at home.

There were so many other people who had lost everything, who probably needed the help more than her.

For the second time, Hermione looked at Harry.

This time, Ginny knew it was out of gratitude.

No one had expected Harry especially to come out of this alive, not even Hermione, she suspected.

Hermione leaned down and pecked him on the cheek, it was brief but sweet.

Harry gave her a smile.

And even Ginny had to admit how beautiful it was when he did that.

A happy Harry Potter was a thing to be marveled at, because his whole face lit up. His eyes down to the dimple on his cheek.

It was nothing short of perfection.

And she had only seen one person bring that out of him, and that was Hermione Granger.

"You guys are going to get married someday." Ginny didn't realize she had voiced this aloud.

Hermione laughed shyly.

But Harry, to everyone's surprise, just stared at her.

"Only if she'd have me." He answered, in the sweetest tone.

It almost made Ginny swoon, she was surprised Hermione hadn't melted into a puddle on the floor.

Ron made a retching sound behind his hand, the first noise he'd made since she entered the room.

She had forgotten he was even there.

Hermione just rolled her eyes.

Things felt different, Ginny noticed. Easy, almost.

For the first time in years, she didn't feel left out of hushed conversations about dark and foreboding times. She wasn't being ushered out of rooms where "grown-ups" were talking (all the while being assured it wasn't because she was a Slytherin but because it was "official Order business") instead, she felt kind of included.

She felt like she was wanted.

She was well aware this could just be an outlier, things may just return to business as usual tomorrow.

But something did shift, the burden the three of them carried had been lifted.

The idea of Harry's imminent death was erased.

As they all laughed at a joke Ron made, Ginny could tell this was a turning point.

-x-

The summer months flew by easily and breezily.

She played Quidditch with Harry and Ron, even George began joining them (after a lot of persistence from Harry.)

Luna would come over sometimes (her and Ron were sort of seeing each oher… in a weird and awkward way) and Ginny always enjoyed the blonde's company. She was so strange, but wise.

Hermione was making such a large effort to "bond" with her, Ginny could hardly ignore it. And over the days it was becoming easier and more natural.

As opposed to formal and pressed, the way it had always been.

In a way, Ginny was sad that the summer was winding down.

As anxious as she had been for it to be over when it had first started, she had fallen into a steady rhythm.

She wasn't as sad anymore.

Everyone seemed to be healing, really healing. Just by spending time with one another.

Things were starting to feel okay.

She didn't want it all to change just when she was getting used to it.

But Ginny knew that was her life, just when things were coming together, the rug would get pulled out from under her and she'd be back on the floor.

She was prepared for it this time.

Today was a Hogsmeade day, her mother still hadn't come out of her room. But her father had not forgotten her birthday was soon, he'd given her a rather large sum of galleons (a lot more than he had afforded her any previous birthdays) to buy with what she wanted.

Hermione, Harry and Luna had decided to accompany her.

Well, Luna and Hermione had come willingly. Harry was came a bit unwillingly, because shopping was the last thing he wanted to do, but he had been wanting to buy Hermione a present for a long time now, and he kept putting it off.

He figured he might as well go with her and have her pick out something she liked.

"I'm going to go into Madame Malkins." Ginny announced, as they began to get closer to it.

"I think I'll join you." Luna said dreamily, her wind chime ear rings singing in the wind.

Hermione looked at them, then back at Harry. "Do you mind if I take you somewhere?" He asked softly.

Hermione smiled shyly. "I'll meet up with you guys." She assured them, letting the two younger girls go ahead.

"I've been wanting to get you something, considering your birthday was spent in a tent searching for horcruxes." Harry rubbed the back of his neck, sending her an apologetic glance.

Hermione's face softened. "Do you know what you got me, do you know all I wished for that birthday?" She asked him, as they walked.

Harry looked down at her, and shook his head.

"You, Harry James Potter. I prayed for your life that night, every night." She said, not daring to look at him. "You, being alive, healthy and well. You without death looming over your shoulder. That's what I wanted. I have that, nothing else will ever matter." She wasn't trying to be sappy or overly indulgent, she just wanted to tell him the truth.

All the war had taught her, the biggest lesson was that nothing was guaranteed.

She needed him to know how much he meant to her, every moment, all the time.

Because she still couldn't come to terms with the fact that losing him wasn't fact anymore.

Sometimes she still felt terrified that this was all just one elaborate dream. That eventually she would wake up in a tent, uncertain and unsure whether this was the last day she'd see Harry.

Tears sprung up in her eyes.

He stopped, lightly holding her elbow to stop her too. He brought her to stand in front of him, delicately ran his fingertips down the side of her face. "I know." He smiled one of his brilliant Harry smiles. "But can't I get you something tangible?" He pouted his bottom lip, pushing her hair behind her ear.

She laughed as he kissed her nose, putting her hand over his. "Of course you can."

He leaned down and pressed a kiss into her mouth.

It was still something new, something they didn't do all the time. They were still trying to figure each other out, hell they were trying to figure themselves out.

Everything after the War had been a whirlwind of press releases, interviews, book/movie offers, job offers, meetings around the world, ribbon cutting ceremonies, galas and appearances. The last couple of months had been nothing short of a hurricane of notoriety and unwanted fame.

They barely had moments alone to think let alone do anything else.

But it felt nice, and right.

He took her into Melrose Place, it was the most renown wizarding jewelry shop in Great Britain. It had stones dating back to the Middle Ages. Though they probably weren't for sale.

The woman who owned it, Valentina Melrose, was rumored to be a thousand year old vampire.

"Harry, we really didn't have to come here. We could have gotten anything from—

"What, Borgin and Burke's?" Harry rolled his eyes, "C'mon Hemione, let me do this." He whined.

She smiled, threading her fingers through his. "Okay, okay." She said.

The woman had sensed their presence, she came over almost immediately.

Harry could tell why people said she must be vampire, or at least half. She had practically glided to them, with unnatural grace and poise.

She was beautiful, but in a hauntingly dark way. It wasn't traditional beauty, it wasn't modern beauty, it was old beauty. Something out of a history book, something that shouldn't exist.

Her eyes were the color of amethysts, her pupils were almost slit like.

She smiled, Harry saw no fangs.

But there was something chilling about her demeanor, nonetheless.

"I am Valentina." She had a slight accent, the nationality was hard to place though. "Is there anything I can help you vith."

"Yes, Hello." Harry cleared his throat. "I'm—

"I know you are, boy who lived…twice." She smiled a toothy smile. "Your legend precedes you." She bowed in front of him.

Harry and Hermione exchanged glances.

Harry felt a blush creeping up his neck. "I was thinking of looking at a necklace—

"Diamond. On a twenty four karat chain." She nodded.

Harry was shocked, she probably really was a vampire, she read his mind.

"I haav the exact one."

Hermione looked taken aback, but Harry was intrigued.

Still, he made sure he held Hermione behind him, as they followed Valentina to the back of the store.

Until she disappeared.

"We should leave, I don't get a good feeling about her." Hermione said in a rushed whisper.

Harry just chuckled. "She's harmless, love." He assured her.

They were in Diagon Alley, during the day, surrounded by people.

And not for nothing, he had just defeated the darkest wizard to ever live just a few months prior. It had given him new confidence in his abilities as a wizard, and well deserved too.

She came back holding a dazzling diamond pendant by its chain.

It glittered and shimmered, twisting and turning in the air, the light refracting off the stone in the most beautiful fashion.

It was everything Harry had imagined.

Simple, elegant, beautiful and demure. Everything that he thought of Hermione.

"What do you think?" He turned to the object of his affection.

She was wide-eyed. "It's gorgeous." She breathed out.

Harry grinned. "We'll take it." He announced. "Whatever the price is." He took out his Gringott's card.

"For special people there are special discounts, of course." Valentina said serenely, taking his card between two long fingers. "Seeing Hermione Granger wearing one of Melrose's originals will be beneficial for us as well."

Harry knew that was true, the amount of endorsements and advertisement he was being offered was ridiculous.

She came back with the necklace in a box and his card. "There is a quill at the front, put this parchment under it and it will create a receipt." She handed him all three things. "I do hope you'll be doing business with us in the future."

Both Harry and Hermione gave her awkward smiles, before walking away.

Harry did as she told him to with the parchment. "I want to put this on you now, but I have to send it to the ministry to get inspected for any traces of dark magic." He complained, as he took the receipt.

Hermione took it from his hands, "Nearly Twenty two thousand galleons!" She shrieked. "Harry Potter have you lost your mind!" She demanded.

"That's the price before discount."

Hermione scanned the paper. "Thirteen thousand galleons is not that much more reasonable." She glared.

"Hermione, do you like it?"

"I love it."

"That's all I wanted it. So please, don't make a big deal of it." He begged. "I have money, more than what I know to do with. I should be able to get my girl something shiny."

Hermione smiled, "Your girl?" She quirked an eyebrow.

He put an arm around her shoulders. "Well, aren't you?" He asked.

"I'm certainly not anyone else's." She responded.

He kissed her temple. "I don't have all the answers, I don't know where to go with this or what comes next." He sighed. "It was never in the plan, because the plan always consisted of me dy—

Hermione put two fingers to his lips. "I think we're doing pretty well without a manual, don't you?"

He nodded.

"So, let's just keep doing whatever we're doing."

"Sounds like a plan."

-x-

Luna had gone into some "Astronomy" equipment shop Ginny had never even heard of or knew existed, it looked like somewhere one might find Professor Trelawney.

Ginny ventured to Flourish and Blott's, she wanted to use this time to get some of her school supplies as well.

Of course she found herself in the romance novel section, reading the back of some book by Sienna Venus, a well-known author in the romance world.

Her latest novel, already critically acclaimed with raving reviews, was about a young witch named Delilah Everdeen, an auror who was unscrupulously attracted to a wanted wizard.

She sighed wistfully, putting the book down. It did not do well to dwell on such frivolous things, she had to remind herself.

So lost in her own musings, she didn't realize she had ventured into the potions section, where she bumped into the last person she'd ever expected to run into.

Draco Malfoy.

-x-

A/N: Hello, I just thought I would put this over drawn and unnecessarily long author's note at the end instead of the beginning, that way none of you feel entirely too obligated to read it.

This is not my first story, I've been writing since about 2007 (when I was fourteen) and I've posted a few stories aside from this one. However, it is my first venture in the Harry Potter world. I grew up reading these novels, I'm so obsessed still it's practically disgusting. However, my biggest complaint with series will always be the epilogue that put Harry and Ginny together (as well as Ron and Hermione.) I won't go into a long pro H/HR rant, I'd assume most people are with me on this.

Anyway, this story isn't even predominantly H/Hr, it will be a Draco-Ginny fic. It is going to be slow to build up, obviously it is not canon compliant and a little A/Uish (though all the major events of canon are kept, for example riddle's diary & the chamber of secrets, the triwizard tournament and all the events surrounding Voldemort's rise to power, Dumbledore's death, just about everything involving the Horcruxes in book 7 as well as all the deaths in the books.)

Secondly, I would like to point out that there is going to be some characters that don't exist, this is mostly because there aren't enough Slytherin characters to build a story around without introducing some new ones.

They aren't going to be completely random, either. They will be the sons and daughters of wizards/witches that existed in the books (like Evan Rosier & Antonin Dolohov, just to give two examples.) I will supplement this with back information that will be included within the story but also outside of it, should anyone want access to it.

As far as POV's go, the beginning is mostly told in the third person but from Ginny's perspective. As the different storylines emerge, there will be slight POV shifts (still third person but from different perspectives) and there is going to be some H/Hr fluff thrown in somewhat frequently. I can't help myself

The last thing I want to say is, I've been working on this story for quite some time, I have about ten chapters written and edited and am working on the eleventh as we speak. So updates will not be too far apart.

I hope you all enjoy the story & give me some feedback! I'd really appreciate it!