Hey all you people out there, visit the newest Harry Potter fanfiction archive: Charmed Diagon Alley! http://www.angelfire.com/wizard/charmedda/main.html
The idea of the Vivacia Charm belongs to Cassandra Claire, who is hailed as a genius in many, many HP-loving homes across the world. Everyone you
recognize isn't mine. The rest is.

xXxXxXxXx

"Cheers!"

Wine flowed, food was passed around on large silver platters, and Draco and Ginny celebrated their first anniversary. It
wasn't really an anniversary like a wedding anniversary, it was just their way to mark the years since they had put aside
their differences and moved in together, both working as Aurors for the Ministry of Magic. Their sense of fun had kept both
Gryffindors and Slytherins laughing, and not much had changed this year. In light of their recently acquired profession,
everyone was required to wear black, and speak in code. The attempt at pig latin from Harry had been abandoned with much
laughter early on, and everyone was chatting merrily - in whatever language they chose.

Then the door had banged open. Seamus Finnigan, face ruddy and hair windblown, dashed inside. His freckles, still apparent at
20 years old, had been even more prominent that night on his bloodless face. "Death Eaters," he gasped, clutching a stitch in
his side.

The place had gone up in an uproar. Draco and Ginny had grabbed their wands and unsheathed the poisoned daggers they kept at
times such as this, when Voldemort's supporters were getting ever more persistant. The poison was not deadly, but was a
slightly diluted version of the Draft of Living Death, an immensely powerful sleeping potion. They herded everyone to the
back of the room, away from the windows, aided by Harry and Lavender. The four, all Aurors, faced the door with daggers and
wands ready.

Harry glanced over at Lavender. "How many?"

Lavender, given special respect by the others because of her genuine Divination talents, closed her eyes and muttered to
herself. "Thirty... maybe forty," she said solemnly, opening her eyes after a pause.

Harry cursed. "We have to get everyone else out."

"Go by Floo, through the fireplace," Ginny urged the crowd huddled behind them. "Get to the Ministry and tell them there's a
mob of Death Eaters storming the place. Go!"

They scrambled to obey, to get out of the suddenly volatile situation. Bright green flames engulfed person after person,
until the four Aurors were the only ones left in the room.

A thunderous clap resounded throughout the room and the bolted door shuddered. Piercing green light could be seen from
between the cracks of the old wooden door, and there were several muted shrieks.

Beside Draco, Harry Potter screamed, clutched at his forehead and collapsed. Lavender fainted.

"They're far too sensitive," Ginny muttered to Draco.

Draco glanced at the two, passed out on the floor. "I'll say. So much for Harry Potter the Lion-Hearted."

Ginny was nervous, and she became impatient and curt at times like these. "No, you idiot, I mean they're sensitive to Lord
Voldemort's presence. Harry's scar was hurting him, didn't you see? And Lavender, although frankly not being the best Auror
in the world, is certainly our best Seer. Her mind is sensitive to the things around her, and the Death Eaters must have
attacked it."

"Well that's just bloody brilliant," Draco muttered, hearing the screams and clanging of metal getting closer.

The door burst open. A crowd of Death Eaters were massed in the doorway, their black hoods casting deep shadows over their
faces. Draco did not need to see their faces to identify them - he had been in school with many of them. Gregory Goyle and
Vincent Crabbe were probably at the back of the group, being too stupid to do anything but follow orders. Pansy Parkinson,
out of pure bitterment that Draco had joined the ranks of many Gryffindors and Ravenclaws as an Auror, had become a Death
Eater. Blaise Zabini, Marcus Flint, Millicent Bulstrode, they were more than likely all here.

The leader raised a heavy-gloved hand. "We have taken most of your Hufflepuff-" he said the word as though it were poisonous-
"friends, and the rest have been killed. Cooperate and we will not do the same to you."

"We don't cooperate with murderers," Ginny spat, voice trembling. "Those were our friends."

Those who graduated from Hogwarts and chose to work for the Defense league of the Ministry of Magic were put into service
depending on their Houses. Gryffindors and some Ravenclaws were the Aurors, most of them being best at Defense Against The
Dark Arts. Most of the Ravenclaws were the battle directors, specializing in psychology, modern history and medieval warfare.
The Hufflepuffs were mostly medical support, using their nursing and medical skills to tend to those afflicted by the war.
Slytherins, of course, were nearly entirely their enemies.

Ginny had known the medical backup team well. She had become friends with Justin Finch-Fletchley, who had long ago forgiven
Harry for the nasty incident in his second year. The two were wonderful friends, and Ginny prayed that he had not been hurt.

Draco tugged at the small silver charm that hung around his neck. Ginny had given it to him exactly one year ago, telling him
that it would protect him and give him strength. He was sure that if there was ever a time when he needed it, it was now.

There was a shing of metal as the entire mob of Death Eaters drew swords. Rapiers, cutlasses, daggers were all aimed at the
two barring their way into the small chamber. The window banged open and a gust of bitter wind swirled through the room,
scattering loose parchments everywhere.

"Avada Kedavra!" the leader intoned in a deep voice. Draco felt, as though in slow motion, a wave of pain wash through him.
"Ginny-" he cried out.

"Vivacia Draco!" Ginny yelled.

Instead of the world going suddenly black, Draco saw the color merely sucked out of it. Around him, everything became
grayscale. Ginny's hair was no longer a vivid red, only a dark gray. The yellow light of the flickering chandeliers swinging
above them dulled to a pale grey. "Something's wrong," Draco thought frantically. For a split second he could feel Ginny's
mind - fear and determination and sadness all rolled into a mental brick wall that slammed into him with the force of the
Killing Curse itself.

"I can't be dying," Draco's brain screamed. He overbalanced with the force of the howling wind, roaring in his ears. Stars
exploded in his vision and the silver charm glinted in the flickering green light. He hit the floor and looked up to see the
first Death Eater looming over him, long black cloak flapping around its craggy, menacing figure. Color, although dark and
blurred, had returned to his vision.

"I'm definitely not dying," he thought, scrambling to his feet. "But how?"

The answer to his question was Ginny, lying limp on the floor next to him. Her nose was bleeding and staining her cheek.
Draco's mouth sagged open. Why had he survived and Ginny had not?

Ginny had not. The three words echoed harshly in Draco's mind, penetrating the shock.

Ginny had not survived.

They had killed her, but he had survived. Why? Was he immune to the Killing Curse?

Ginny was not. Ginny was dead.

"You killed her," Draco breathed, staring at Ginny's body. "She's dead."

He turned on the Death Eater. "You killed her!" he growled, reaching into his robes for his wand.

The Death Eater was quite obviously perplexed. He turned back to his colleagues for an instant, muttering a curt order and
gesturing at Ginny.

That second was all Draco needed. His fingers had come in contact with his dagger instead of his wand, and he grabbed it
and leapt at the leader with a rage fueled by the sight of Ginny's blood and her vacant expression.

"You murdering bastard!" Draco yelled. The Death Eater half-turned back to Draco, but the enraged Slytherin plunged the
poisoned knife straight into the other's chest.

Blood spurted and the leader fell shrieking, an ear-piercing sound that rattled the windowpanes and revived Harry Potter. The
dark-haired Auror stumbled groggily to his feet, fumbling for his wand. His confused gaze did not fall upon Ginny's body,
lying at Draco's feet along with the remains of the Death Eaters' ringleader.

A dissonant murmur swept through the band of Death Eaters. They evidently felt that the loss of their leader was not helping
their situation, and many of them fled.

Draco retrieved the dagger from the leader's chest. "This has as much poison as I need to get rid of the bloody lot of you,"
he hissed dangerously, "so if I were you I'd clear off."

This was apparently enough to sway the stragglers. The few remaining Death Eaters turned and swiftly disappeared down the
long corridor, the blond Auror in black robes watching after them.

Draco stood motionless for a long time. Harry, having spotted Ginny's body, was cradling her head in his lap and remained
quiet. He tenderly wiped away the blood trickling out of her mouth and nose. His tears splashed silently on the younger girl's
still face.

Draco slowly turned and let the dagger fall to the floor. It clattered on the stone, painfully loud in the dead quiet, and
Harry looked up, pale and shocked.

"Draco-" Harry's voice was raw. "I'm sorry."

Silhouetted by the stark moonlight flooding the dark room, Draco seemed to be etched in silver shadows. The part of his face
that Harry could see was completely still, and the Gryffindor feared he had gone into shock. There was complete silence.

"She made that charm for you specially," Harry said quietly, indicating the silver charm that was still bound about Draco's
neck with a leather cord. "It's called a Vivacia Charm. It transfers any injury the bearer receives onto the one who made
the charm."

Draco spoke then. "She took my bullet?" His voice was soft.

"Yes, I suppose you could say that. I don't think she told you what it was, did she." It was not phrased as a question, but
Draco answered anyways. "No."

Harry got up and approached Draco. Letting his hand rest on the other boy's shoulder, Harry looked back at Ginny. As Draco
turned to face him, Harry noticed the moon-shaped charm glint. Its light was friendly and merry, as though nothing had just
happened, as though that very charm had not just indirectly killed Ginny Weasley. Harry had a sudden urge to rip it off
Draco's neck and stomp on it.

Harry forced himself to concentrate. "Don't... don't blame yourself, Draco."

Lavender awoke with a start. "Ginny!" she gasped, sitting bolt upright.

Harry took the distraught girl to the corner of the room, leaving Draco to look after Ginny's body. He sank to his knees in
front of her and clasped her hand in both of his. "Ginny," he whispered, voice hoarse and painful. "I'm sorry, Ginny. I'm so
sorry."

He brushed a lock of hair away from her eyes. "Why would you do this for me?"

Draco sat there for a while. Harry caught his last uttered words as he stood up, gazing down at Ginny Weasley.

"Was I worth that much?"

xXx

Draco had resolved not to cry. And yet, tears were threatening his vision, blurring the heart-wrenching scene. Ginny was
dead. There was nothing he could do about it. Why, then, did he feel like if he got the tears out, he would be better off?

They were all there, that bitter Sunday afternoon, pale-faced and somber. Ron had tears streaming down his face. Hermione's
jaw was clenched and her breathing was shallow. Harry closed his eyes and clasped his hands, tears dripping onto the hard
soil. The wind bit at their hands and ears, and black gloves or black cloaks were wrapped around them. They watched the
procession bearing Ginny's casket.

"Don't blame yourself, Draco."

The whispers in his mind hissed it at him every second. And yet, he did. He blamed himself because it was his own fault.
"Why didn't I ask what it was? Why didn't I look it up? Why didn't I take her seriously when she said it would protect me?"
he berated himself constantly. He was grieving, in his own way, although apart from being pale and not eating, he didn't show
it. Others cried - Draco blamed himself, because that was what he had been taught. "It's your own fault, you fix it."

"Don't blame yourself, Draco."

Ginny's casket was lifted into the grave. Draco finally gave in.

A pool of tears collected on the engraved surface of the casket, splashing over the inscription and soaking into the ground
as it was covered in earth.

Draco cried, and the punishment was far worse than any physical abuse.

Ginny was dead.