December

Ginny looked into the mirror and wondered how this had happened. No, she knew how it happened but she couldn't help but ponder as to why. What gods thought so little of her that she was, at sixteen, facing such a grim and depressing destiny? Sighing, she flattened the front of her dress and looked once more at her reflection. For once she was glad the Contract forbid her to cry or show emotion in public. She reckoned without it she would be balling. Briefly, she wished the Contract would actually make her feel as happy as her reflection looked, because at the moment she felt horrible. The fact that she wasn't crying didn't change the desperation in her heart.

"I'm getting married," she told the smiling reflection staring back at her, for such a beautiful girl surely couldn't know that in just a thirty minutes time she would be walking down the aisle to be married to a man she loathed. She knew the entireties of the guests waiting in the Malfoy's ballroom downstairs were saying she was embarking a perfect Marriage through the perfect wedding. If only they knew the whole story.

September

Ginny sat staring out the window of the Hogwarts Express, watching the scenery rush by in a blur of green trees and gray mountains, listening to the steady thud-da-dump, thud-da-dump, of the train going down the rail. She was glad to be getting back to Hogwarts; it would be a return to normalcy. Perhaps she could forget about the last month with Draco. 'Fat chance,' she thought. Too much had happened to forget about it. How could she forget that he raped her numerous times, treated her like an object, and refused her human all other contact? In the last week she had tried to forget about the horrendous ordeal but all the previous reasons made it nearly impossible.

Due to the fact that she was coming up five days late, the usually bristling Hogwarts Express was empty now except for her and a few witches too pregnant to Apparate, but wanted a day enjoying themselves in Hogsmeade. This left Ginny once again alone, and now she had a new detest for loneliness. Not only did it remind her of the horribly lonely month of August she spent locked in the Malfoy Manor, but it gave her time to reflect, and reflecting wasn't what she wanted to do. For when she sat with her eyes closed, all she could see were blurbs of last August. She had spent the last week shopping in Diagon Alley with her mother to get her school things, and relentlessly trying to convince the Ministry of Magic that she wasn't under a Confundus Charm, that she had really been kidnapped by Lucius Malfoy and forced to sleep with his son, Draco, on a regular basis. But like always, Lucius Malfoy had had the Ministry in the back of his pocket and both Lucius and Draco had gotten off without having been charged with kidnapping or rape. Which meant Draco was going to be at Hogwarts.

As much as she was looking forward to her return to Hogwarts, Ginny was positively dreading seeing Draco. She was telling herself that it was because he would simply remind her of what he had done to her but she knew it was much more. She wouldn't admit this to anyone, even to herself. After all she had escaped from Draco's clutches, even if she did have to bribe him with sex and pretend to be a complete tart. But the memories of their last two meetings were still fresh. Both times Ginny had seen Draco, he had been controlling, harsh, and collected, not the boy Ginny had dealt with while she was still at the Manor. She suspected it had to do with his Death Eater activities but had no way of backing that up. Death Eater or not, Draco and Lucius couldn't do anything to her with Albus Dumbledore around. Could they?

A/N: Sorry it took so long to get up. Updates should be twice a month, and chapters will be longer than this one. If you'd like an update e-mail please review and say so, and leave your e-mail address in the review. Thanks for reading.