Title: What Ginny Forgot
Summary: "After one too many hits to the head from a Bludger, you've forgotten the past ten years," Malfoy said slowly, staring at her as if she were dumb. "You've forgotten you have kids and you've forgotten me. Your husband. Which is rather rude, you must admit." D/G
Disclaimer: None of it is mine!
Author's Note: I got this idea from the novel What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, which is an awesome, insightful story. I recommend it fully. This story won't be exactly like the novel, of course, but it will take bits of ideas from it. Hope you enjoy!
Cool, fresh, sharp.
The minty scent tickled her nose. She wanted to fan it away — the smell was overpowering — but she felt reluctant to move. If given the option to remain snuggled under the covers, she would stay forever.
But the smell was far too distracting.
It reminded her strongly of someone. Their face popped up in her mind's eye, but blurry, as if she were wearing Harry's smudged glasses as a joke. Thinking harder on their identity made her head hurt.
Actually, it was already aching.
Had she been drinking last night? Perhaps. She occasionally indulged in a glass of wine with dinner, alone as Harry never seemed too interested, or maybe a glass of neat scotch. No, that wasn't right at all. She never drank scotch, period. And if she did, she rarely drank it neat. Ginny cringed at the idea.
When would she even casually drink scotch? Before bed? After dinner? With dinner? No, she hardly drank scotch. If Harry was already wary of her wine-drinking at dinner, he would most certainly worry over her scotch-drinking.
But she had moderated her drinking. Playing Quidditch professionally didn't leave her with room to indulge. She had decided, long ago, that she wanted to pursue Quidditch beyond a recreational interest. Marriage? Yes, of course, in the distant future. Harry wasn't going anywhere and neither was she. Kids? Well, it was likely. Harry yearned for his own children. He desperately wanted to start a family.
She simply wasn't ready.
Her head pulsed at the thought and Ginny tried to turn over in bed.
But she wasn't in her bed. Alarms rang in her head, obnoxiously echoing within her skull. The bed was too hard, like cement— no, it wasn't cement. Her fingers relaxed as she took a deep breath, feeling softness beneath them.
Maybe she was on the couch. Or on the floor in front of the fireplace? After a night of drinking with Ron and George, Ginny would sometimes fall asleep in front of the fire. Harry would always laugh when he spotted her in the morning, and offer to make her tea.
The minty aroma drifted into her memory again and a clearer image of the mysterious person formed in her mind. She could feel their touch, their fingertips, brush against her temple, pushing her hair away from her face. The gesture soothed her deeply, and she could hear his chuckle, low and deep, as if he knew his touch had an effect on her.
Her stomach twisted from emotion, one that was deep and hot, that Ginny tried to identify. Longing and anger and happiness and lust and… much more. She hated it, hated that the feelings were associated with someone other than Harry.
She ignored the voice and suddenly wondered what she had done the previous night that could have given her a raging headache and random thoughts. Had she really gone and drank with her brothers? Ginny fought to recall. Not last night. The children had been up late, debating which house they would be sorted in—
"Can you hear us?"
The children? What children? Teddy? Had she been with Harry and Teddy last night?
She was desperate to catch her breath, to open her eyes, to find out what had happened. But her head pounded and she really didn't wish to witness the ruckus she had caused. Was Harry angry with her? Was that why she felt so strange? Had they gotten in a row?
"Ginny, open your eyes, poppet, please."
Ginny struggled to think. She definitely hadn't been with Teddy and Harry; Harry usually stayed over at Andromeda's when he and Teddy had sleepovers, and he rarely brought Teddy to their flat unless it was during the early morning. If she had been with Ron and George, their meetup would have been impulsive, which was uncharacteristic of her brothers. The only rational explanation was that she and Harry had fought. Their rows were frequent, with their full-time work and hectic schedules amongst other things.
It overwhelmed her senses and then, with horror, she could view the person from her memory clearly. Malfoy. Draco Malfoy, a person she hadn't thought of in years, brushing her hair away, his intense scent in her nose, his lips curling upwards as he stared at her.
"Mrs. Malfoy? Please, wake up!"
Ginny's eyes burst open and she jolted upright. Weights around her wrists prevented her from moving freely, and she squirmed against the restraints. Had she cheated on Harry? Had she met Malfoy last night? Had they… dear Merlin, had they kissed? Or more? She would never, ever cheat on Harry. But to do so with Malfoy…
Her head roared the longer she struggled and she paused, weak from the pain. Voices around her spoke rapidly— oh, they were speaking to her. Ginny squinted up at the faces above her through the blinding agony she felt. They were concerned, all women speaking at once. She wanted to hear what they were saying but, Merlin help her, if she didn't obtain a headache cure soon, she would get sick all over them.
"Ginny? Ginny?" a familiar voice rang above the chaos. "Everyone shut it, will you? Back off! She's not going to run for the mountains!"
Maggie Juniper pushed everyone away without hesitation. Once she surmised that Ginny finally had some breathing space, she turned her attention back to her wounded friend. Relief filled Ginny. Ever since she had joined the Holyhead Harpies, Maggie had been her first real friend. Although a few years older than her, Maggie had made sure she felt welcomed despite knowing that Ginny would eventually settle in.
Ginny frowned as she observed her friend. Maggie looked worn out. Perhaps she had fallen ill? Tiredness haunted her, making her appear aged.
"The Mediwitch is coming, Gin," Maggie promised. "You took quite a blow to the head there."
Frowning, Ginny lifted her hand to tenderly touch her head.
"What happened?" she muttered, looking away from Maggie to the strangers that anxiously watched. "What's going on?"
"Nasty hits like that can cause concussions," a random girl said loudly. "She's likely not to remember—"
"Shut it, Rogers," Maggie snapped over her shoulder before looking back at Ginny affectionately. "This isn't the first hit we've seen from a Bludger."
"A Bludger?" Ginny faintly asked, grimacing when her fingers found the bruise.
"Yes, but first one to the head," another girl remarked.
"To the head?" Her voice sounded oddly calm in spite of her rising panic.
She had taken a Bludger to the head. In all her years of spectating and playing Quidditch, she had never witnessed a player receiving a Bludger-related head injury.
"It skimmed you," Maggie assured her. "You didn't seem to be paying attention, which was rather silly of you. You're familiar with the rules."
Ginny quickly looked around again. She was lying on the grassy ground of a Quidditch field. She practiced in the familiar field with the Holyhead Harpies. But she didn't recognize any of the girls that stood around her. Only Maggie, who looked different from the last time they had practiced together. Her black, curly hair was much longer and pulled back in a braid. Her skin was brown, tanned from hours of practice under the sun. There was an unknown scar trailing down from her left ear to her neck.
"What happened?" Ginny asked, reaching up to trace the scar.
Maggie tilted her head, eyes narrowing.
"Ginny, you were there," she answered slowly. "Remember? Years ago, I had that row with, well, you know, Peter. And—"
Her mind frantically tried to put a face to the name Maggie casually spoke of. She didn't know a Peter, couldn't picture anyone for the life of her, and she felt the panic spread, seeping into her blood like poison.
"Maggie, something's wrong," she whispered, tugging at her friend's hand.
Maggie's eyebrows rose in surprise, but before she could speak, a round woman hurried over, waving her wand over Ginny. The Mediwitch. With a tight squeeze of her hand, Maggie and Ginny watched as the Mediwitch traced runes into the air. Around them, the other women spoke in hushed whispers.
"Who are they?"
Maggie looked away.
"Those girls." Ginny pointed in the direction of the crowd.
Now that she had a second to study them, she noticed that they were all sweaty and dirty, clad in training gear.
Maggie's lips twitched — a telltale sign that she was worried.
"Ginny," she said softly. "They're the team."
At her blank expression, Maggie looked from the Mediwitch back to her.
"The Holyhead Harpies. They're training for the next season."
Ginny blinked in surprise as the Mediwitch sighed loudly.
"Off to St. Mungo's, I'm afraid. Don't have the ability to treat her here. Serious head injury. Really, love, you need to be careful when reporting on the field. I told the advisors that having additional personnel on the field was rather stupid. But did they listen?" the Mediwitch huffed, tucking her wand away. "I'll be taking her there myself, if you please. With that, I'd rather practice end for the day. Don't want to risk another injury, do we?"
With a burst of strength, Ginny reached up and tugged Maggie's face close to hers.
"You need to get Harry for me. Something's going on," Ginny hissed.
She could feel the onlookers' eyes on her, and she didn't like being watched and judged. A Bludger to the head and now she seemed a bit off, they would say. The last thing she wanted was for the news to reach Rita Skeeter, who was enough of a nightmare without the additional gossip.
"Harry?" Maggie tried to pull back but Ginny kept her grip.
"Margaret?" the Mediwitch called.
"Yes, Harry," Ginny snapped, frustration building.
At Maggie's blank expression, her frustration left and a wave of dread washed over her.
"Harry Potter," Ginny whispered. "My boyfriend."
Maggie looked incredibly nervous at her words.
"Ginny, poppet, what year do you think it is now?"
"Margaret! I really must be taking her if you'd step to the side," the Mediwitch ordered.
They both ignored her, knowing that time was running out. What year did she think it was? Intense pain overwhelmed her and she squeezed her eyes shut, feeling her insides squirm. What year was it? What year was it? What year was it? 2007, of course.
Before she could reply, her breakfast, or perhaps it was lunch or dinner, rose and spilled out of her mouth. She could hear the Mediwitch shout but the edges of her vision were darkening. Maggie was talking as well as she placed her warm hand to Ginny's face. Then, all she saw was black.
When she opened her eyes again, unfamiliar people hovered above her, speaking quickly while working. Healers. The pain was so severe that her nausea returned.
"My boyfriend," she managed to mumble. "Can you contact my boyfriend?"
The only person she wanted to see was Harry.
One of the Healers quietened as he noticed her. He nodded his head kindly.
"Your husband has been contacted but he's overseas. Your family has been notified and they'll be here soon," he promised.
She passed out before she could respond.
A soft humming woke her up. Her surroundings were far too white, and she squinted and groaned at the sight. A chuckle sounded to her left and someone squeezed her shoulder.
"Alright there, Gin?"
Ginny looked over at her brother and sagged in relief. She wasn't sure who she had expected but she was insanely happy to see Ron.
"I had the worst…" she paused as she tore her gaze away.
She was in St. Mungo's. The realization was instant. Ginny sat up, or tried to, but Ron's hand on her shoulder stilled her.
"Easy there, Gin. Your head is fragile right now," Ron told her, a teasing lilt colouring his words. "Mum will kill me if I let you out of bed before she gets here."
A chill crept up Ginny's spine. Even Ron looked different, Ron who constantly remained the same. His hair, Merlin's beard, had a streak of grey! It was faint but it existed. Wrinkles formed at the corners of his eyes, and a light dusting of hair covered his jawline. Ron had never been able to grow a beard. He was often mocked for his inability to sport facial hair. Nothing felt right or real.
Ron froze as she visibly panicked.
"What's wrong?" he asked her, inching closer. "You feel sick? Should I call for someone?"
"No, no," she said, waving his concern away. "I just… I think I've gone mad. Is that possible? From a bump to the head?"
Ron leaned back in his seat and shrugged.
"Dunno," he told her helpfully. "The Healer, who attended to you, said that you went untreated for too long. You should've been brought over right away."
His light eyes danced over her face, studying her.
"Come on, Gin, talk to me."
Ginny lifted her hands in front of her and stared at them. There were more veins than she remembered. Or was she imagining things? No, no… Her nails were painted a bright red at one point, the paint chipped off in places now. The last finger was completely void of the colour. And… the tan line on her ring finger was unmistakable.
She hid her hands under the covers.
"Gin-ny," Ron sing-songed. "I won't tell Mum."
She rolled her eyes and Ron grinned. She had to confide in someone. Ginny couldn't hold in her worries forever. Something was amiss. Maybe she was in a different universe. Or she had managed to time travel. Or…
"What year is it?" she finally asked.
Ron's eyebrows shot up. He paused for a second before responding.
"2017. Or 2016— no, definitely 2017. Rose just left for Hogwarts, which makes her eleven, and that means the year is 2017, without a doubt," he answered, partly to himself.
"2017?" Ginny repeated, voice weak.
Ron nodded, concern flashing across his face.
"What year do you think it is?"
Ginny licked her lips but her mouth had gone so dry that there wasn't any saliva. She needed water, she needed fresh air, and she needed to see a Healer. The year was not 2017. It wasn't possible. She was being pranked, her family was fooling her, and they were being silly if they had thought that she would fall for their trickery.
She was pushing off the bedsheets and standing on her feet before Ron could jump out of his seat. Where was her Healer? If she could speak to them, all would be explained. Her legs wobbled on the tile and the world swam in front of her eyes. The world tilted or… no, she slumped against the wall. Ron was instantly by her side, gripping her arms gently and steering her back to the bed.
"Are you mad?" Ron cried out. "You have a head injury, arse."
He sat her on the edge of the bed and took a seat next to her. There wasn't enough room for the both of them but he didn't seem to mind partially hanging off the bed. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, Ron tilted his head to look down at her.
"Tell me the truth," he prodded.
Ginny took a deep breath and shook her head. The movement caused a light shock to shoot through her body.
"It isn't 2017," she admitted. "Not to me."
He appeared deep in thought over what she said. If it was really 2017, ten years further than she remembered, Ron was likely speculating if the Bludger had knocked a screw loose in her head. He was probably figuring out the best way to keep her calm until their mum showed up. Hugging her closer to him, Ron cleared his throat.
"It was a bad hit," he said instead, surprising her. "Let me fetch a Healer. We'll get some answers."
He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and stood. Ginny cried out, grabbing his arm.
"They'll be coming around soon, right?" Ron shrugged at her question. "Stay with me, please. I— I'm pretty terrified right now, to be honest."
He gently pushed her to lie back on the bed. A frown formed between his eyebrows as he reclaimed his seat, sighed loudly, and met her eyes.
"What's the last thing that you remember?"
Ginny tried to wet her lips again with little success. Ron reached over and pressed a cup of water into her hands. The hands she didn't recognise. No, the ring mark on her finger she didn't recognise. She gulped the water down, feeling ill again from her empty stomach. She squeezed her eyes shut till the nausea passed.
Ron was still staring when she reopened them.
"Come on," he pushed, touching her lightly on the arm as if it would help her along.
She nodded and began to think. The last thing she remembered? A person's lips brushing her cheek as she bade them goodbye. Ginny shook her head. Harry. Harry had kissed her goodbye. Where was she going?
"Or, erm." Ron coughed into his hand. "What did you eat for breakfast?"
Ginny glanced over at him and he smiled at her.
"It's an easier question, yeah?"
Was it as easy to answer? Ginny bit her lip. Breakfast? She usually had some toast, laden with peanut butter or jam, and a cup of tea. A nice, light breakfast. But Ginny wasn't certain she had had her usual. On some days, she switched her routine for a more extravagant breakfast of eggs and ham. Or, if she was feeling particularly creative, she attempted to make waffles by hand like Hermione had taught her.
Ron's patience wore thin the longer she remained quiet.
"I should get the Healer," he said after several minutes had passed in silence.
Ginny's hand whipped out and held onto his arm, squeezing it tight.
"Toast?" she told him quietly.
"Was that a question or a statement, Gin?" he sighed.
"You sound like Hermione," Ginny grumbled.
"And you sound like a nut. Let's make it easier then, if you can't remember breakfast. Your children. What are their names?"
Ron was confident that she would have a ready response, sitting back down. He ran a hand through his short hair and looked up at her. He blanched at the sight of her pale face.
He reached for her.
"I have children?" she asked faintly.
She had children. It was 2017 and she had children. The look on Ron's face was proof. There were no tricks, no foolery on her family's end. Ginny had been hit in the head and… and had forgotten years.
"I need to speak to a Healer," Ron said quickly, his face flushing deep. "Something's wrong."
"No! Ron, no!" Ginny screamed. "You have to sit and tell me. Tell me everything. Where's Harry?"
"Harry?" Ron looked stunned to hear his best friend's name.
Ginny took a shuddering breath.
"The Healer said that he was overseas but he had been contacted. Have you talked to him? Where is he? I want to see him, I need to talk to him."
I need him to tell me that everything will be okay, she thought desperately.
Ron looked comical in his confusion.
"Harry's not overseas, Gin," he told her. "Pretty sure he's at his flat. Why would you want to see—"
He suddenly stopped. His flush deepened, turning an ugly purple. Ginny's heart raced at the sight.
"Tell me," she ordered.
"Healer. Gotta, gotta go get 'em, be right back!"
"Ron! Ron, tell me!"
But he dashed out of the room. Ginny was out of bed, ready to chase him down and obtain answers, just as Ron, a Healer Ginny didn't recognise, and her mum entered. Molly, in all her loveliness, headed for Ginny straight away to embrace her.
"Sit down, dear, sit. I'm sorry it took so long; I was watching the children, as you know, and took them over to Ron and Hermione's so I could come this way. They're very worried, of course. You look pale. Doesn't she look pale? And skinny. Have you been sick?"
Ginny allowed herself to be fussed over but her mum's voice blocked out Ron's conversation with the Healer. The Healer was nodding, occasionally glancing over at Ginny before looking away, as if everything Ron had mentioned was reflected on her form. She glared at her brother and his face darkened in shame.
"Ginny, dear, did you hear me?" her mum asked.
She tore her gaze away from the pair and to Molly.
"No," she replied honestly.
Her mum looked much older but Ginny was able to dismiss any differences. She was still real and very much the same. The hat her mum wore was one she had since Ginny's second year at Hogwarts. She had knitted them both a matching pair over autumn — a friendly reminder that she was there for her.
Ginny sighed and leaned into her mum's touch.
"You look tired," Molly commented.
She nodded in agreement.
The Healer turned away from Ron and walked over to the bed. He squatted beside her and Ginny recognised him immediately. He was the same Healer who had said that he contacted her… her husband. Ginny glanced down at her hand, at the tan line, and her stomach flipped. He peered into her eyes, had her look back and forth, took notes on his clipboard, and leaned back.
"Ginny," Ron interrupted, his face still bright red. "Call her Ginny."
Her mum gasped out a soft "Ronald!" but the Healer nodded slowly, clearly remembering what Ron had told him. Ginny felt sick again.
"Ginny," the Healer began again. "Your brother tells me that you've lost a significant amount of your memory. This is very common with concussions. Don't be afraid. You were hit in the head by a loose Bludger and, from what witnesses said, fell a far distance. Memory loss happens. Your memories will return, certainly."
"When?" Ginny asked at the same time as Molly piped in with, "You've lost your memory? She's lost her memory?"
The Healer regarded Ginny as Ron nodded miserably to Molly.
"We've given you some potions to take at home to speed up the process. But a week, most likely. Give or take. This doesn't happen very often. Bludgers to the head, so," he paused. "A week."
"So… this isn't a dream?" she asked softly.
"No," the Healer responded kindly, patting her hand. "It will be all right. If you'd like, you can stay at St. Mungo's for observation."
"What if my memories won't return after a week?" Ginny questioned desperately.
The Healer looked surprised.
"Come back and see me," he told her. "However, I have plenty of faith that you'll be fine within a few days."
Ginny didn't hesitate on her decision to not spend another minute in St. Mungo's. She had never been a fan of hospitals and the idea of spending the night alone chilled her to the bone. The Healer didn't stay long, only lingering to appease Molly by divulging her all the details on file. Ron sat quietly beside Ginny as their mum prodded for information to her heart's content. When she stared at him, lost, he offered her a weak smile.
"We'll tell you everything when we get home," Ron promised.
"The Burrow," Ron replied, his smile genuine. "Always. Mum will want you to spend the night there anyway, to keep an eye on you."
She wanted to know everything she had forgotten. Truly, she did. Ginny had children; the sheer idea frightened her ten years ago. She also had a husband who, obviously, was not Harry. Her heart broke at the thought but she was determined to mend anything that had happened between her and Harry. They had been through so much and… she would fix things, no matter what.
But she had an unknown husband. Her children, however many of them there were, shared half of the DNA of her mystery husband. A decade ago, there was no one else in her sights except Harry. Clearly she had moved on after they had broken up. But with whom?
Her mum filled out her discharge papers and Ron stood anxiously by her side. Once her departure was approved, Ron presented her wand and then offered to assist her with Side-Along Apparition. Having her wand in her hand made her feel normal again and she managed a smile before nodding.
Ginny had a house somewhere in the country. A house filled with children. Yet her finger bore no ring. Perhaps life wasn't as blissful as she had thought.
She could find Harry.
Ginny would fix them.
Her body seemed to squeeze and then expand and the brightness of St. Mungo's was replaced with the darkness of the heavens. Ginny looked up at the sky and the stars swam in front of her, dodging each other in a fight for her attention. She closed her eyes tightly and opened them again. The world had righted itself. Ron was holding onto her elbow, eyeing her but saying nothing. Her mum was already rushing up the path to the Burrow, muttering about tea and bedrest.
Swallowing a deep breath, Ginny felt the frost burn her lungs. Even the weather was different. She could remember the sun on her face, warming her cheeks, sweat beading her forehead, and a summer breeze whisking her hair as she flew higher into the sky…
It was winter now. She could always spy the telltale signs of the Burrow during the cold season. The chickens were snuggled warmly in their coop instead of roaming the front yard. A trail of smoke would rise from the chimney, for the fireplace was lit constantly, maintaining a toasty interior for the family. The lopsided sign on the front yard, declaring the property The Burrow, had twinkling lights wrapped around it during the holidays. Each light winked at her as she walked past, towards her home.
Ron helped her up to the front door and she wanted to both shrug him off and hug him closer once they stepped inside. She could hear her mum from the kitchen, setting the kettle on to heat. Ginny bit her lip as she looked around. The Burrow, thankfully, remained untouched except for the pictures. Framed photographs hung on the walls, much more than she had ever seen. She breathed out in surprise and reached out to touch the first one. It was a family picture, from when they visited Bill in Egypt.
She smiled. She could remember the trip, clear as day. The warmth of the sun on her pale arms and forehead, the unique smell of sand and humidity that lingered in the air, Fred's laugh as he convinced her to distract their parents so that he and George could sneak into a pyramid. Studying the picture relieved the weight off her shoulders. Her mum had kept the family picture on the mantle above the fireplace for years. Eventually, a kind soul had purchased a frame for it.
When she moved onto the next photograph, she noticed Ron had slipped into the kitchen with Molly. Ginny followed slowly. Children's toys littered the ground — that was new. On the kitchen walls, several drawings had been pasted on. She glanced at them as she sat at the kitchen table. One drawing was of a dragon. There was a stick figure with bright orange hair below the dragon. She could only assume that it was Charlie. Written in large letters at the bottom was the name GRAY.
The loud clink of china snapped her attention back to Molly and Ron. A fresh cup of tea sat before her. She lifted it slowly to her lips and inhaled the heat. There was no way she was going to drink before she had her answers.
"How are you feeling, dear?" her mum asked, looking torn between sitting down and preparing some food. "Your father is at the Ministry but he'll be home soon, and he'll be so pleased to see you. I had asked him to stay at work, that I'd watch over you. And for him not to worry, he's very busy these days, Ginny, as you know—"
Ron sighed loudly.
"Sit down, Mum," he implored.
"Are you hungry, Ginny? I have plenty of food. The children barely touched their meals once they heard about—"
Her head pounded. Children. Her children? From Ron's subsequent sigh to her mum's wide-eyed look upon the realization of her mistake, Ginny could only assume so.
"Mum, sit, please," Ginny half begged. "I only want… I want the both of you to tell me the truth. If this is, if this is somehow real… and it's beginning to seem so… then I need to know what I've forgotten."
Molly finally sat, hands twisting in her lap. Ron shared a look with their mum before turning to Ginny.
"You love your life, Gin," he started.
"You do," her mum added, nodding. "You're very happy."
They were stalling, as though preparing her for a death sentence. What had she done? Evidently, they were withholding certain information from her.
"The last thing I remember," she offered, pushing past her fears, "is being with Harry. We're living… we were living in the flat in Godric's Hollow. I'm playing for the Holyhead Harpies. Rose's first birthday had just passed. We celebrated at your new house, Ron, and you tried to blow up all the balloons yourself and none of them floated. Hermione said they needed some sort of special gas or something."
Ron smiled fondly at the memory.
"Yeah, yeah, I remember," said Ron, eyebrows arching. "That was ten years ago, Gin."
"Rose is at Hogwarts," Ginny muttered, shaking her head.
If Rose was at Hogwarts, Teddy and Victoire were now older students themselves. She had missed their growths. Or, rather, she supposed it was all simply missing from her head.
"Who am I married to?" she groaned, dropping her head into her hands. "Just tell me. You're both clearly dodging the reality of my situation."
She eyed her brother and mum. Ron's lips were pressed together and her mum was constantly sighing, softly in despair.
Well, Mum, imagine how I feel.
A thought tugged at the strings of her memory. Ginny's eyebrows furrowed as she recalled. Someone had called her a name when she first woke up… she had been reliving a memory, or a dream, and dismissed the incident…
Ginny pushed away from the table abruptly, startling her family. Her mum dropped her cup and the china shattered on the floor.
"Don't… don't tell me," Ginny cried out. "Malfoy? Is it— am I— is it Malfoy? Tell me, please, tell me I'm wrong."
Tears sprung from her eyes. She had been called Mrs. Malfoy at the Quidditch field. And she had a horrible dream — or was it a memory — of Malfoy touching her face. She had been happy. Dear Merlin, it couldn't be true.
"Gin, it's fine—" Ron began but she screamed.
"You're okay with this? You? How did you not stop me? How did this happen? Ron, tell me the truth! Am I married to Malfoy?"
Her naked finger suddenly felt heavy.
"I have children with Malfoy? I left Harry for Malfoy? Is that what happened? Was I— could I have been tricked? Was I forced into it? Did you look into everything, Ron? Tell me the truth!" she shouted.
Molly stood abruptly and glared at Ginny.
"Ginny, sit!" Her mum pointed to the seat Ginny had vacated. "We'll get nowhere if you keep carrying on. And drink your tea."
"Mum!" she yelled, horrified.
"You've lost your memories," Molly chided, turning and grabbing the potions the Healer had given her. "And you're upset, yes, I can see that. But Draco is your husband and the father of your children. And you love him. You're only insulting him by asking if he— if he forced you into the marriage."
Ginny gaped in disbelief. The feeling in her legs left her and she blindly grabbed the chair so that she wouldn't collapse to the floor. Ron groaned into his hands, scrubbed his face roughly, then looked between the two women.
"Mum's rather fond of Malfoy," Ron admitted.
"This is twisted," Ginny muttered, running her hands through her tangled hair. "He's Draco to you, Mum? You both hate him! You hate his family! You hate everything he stands for! He tried to turn Harry in to Voldemort during the Final Battle! Have you just forgotten that?"
They both stared in alarm at her words. She felt like she was going absolutely bonkers. How were they so calm? How had they accepted this? How could she not have been fooled into a marriage with Malfoy?
"Show me my children!" she ordered. "I need to see them."
Ron blinked owlishly but her mum left the kitchen quickly and returned with a framed photo that Ginny didn't notice earlier. Molly handed it to her cautiously, face down, as if she feared Ginny would also insult the children.
Ginny snatched the frame out of her hands but froze before she could look at the photograph. Her hands shook. Ron reached over and grabbed her wrist, squeezing it sympathetically.
"It's alright, Gin," he told her. "You love them and they love you, very much—"
"Yes, I know I love them. Apparently, I love everything about my life," she snapped. "But I don't remember anything. I don't remember my own children."
Tears clouded her vision, threatening to spill down her cheeks, yet she willed herself not to cry. With a deep breath, Ginny turned the frame over and gazed at the photo. Three young children stood in the front yard of the Burrow, her father posed in the middle. Her eyes hungrily took in their appearances. The oldest had to be the tall boy proudly clutching a broom by his side. He had her vibrant red hair, which startled Ginny as she studied him. Indeed, he was a Malfoy, holding himself in a way that reminded her of Draco Malfoy during their Hogwarts' days. But the Weasley trademark hair spoke volumes of his full identity. The youngest was a girl in Arthur's arms. Her resemblance to Ginny was striking as she switched between waving happily and squeezing her grandfather's neck affectionately. Another boy smiled up at her, actively digging a hole next to the chicken coop. He looked like a miniature Malfoy.
Ginny brought the photo to her chest.
"Do you remember them?" Ron asked.
"They're her children," Molly interjected. "Of course she does. Don't you?"
Ginny shook her head. In the photo, the children looked happy and healthy and, undoubtedly, bore a resemblance to her. She had children with Draco Malfoy. She was married to him. And the children were cared for. Her parents loved and watched over them. Her mum favored Malfoy.
She was in an alternate universe. She had to be… it had to be…
"If he's my husband," she said, choking back tears. "why isn't he here? Where is he? Doesn't he care that I've— that I was— about the accident?"
Molly fluttered about at her words, coming over and wrapping her in a huge hug. Ginny deflated at her mum's comfort, resting her head against her mum's shoulder and squeezing her eyes shut.
"He's on an overseas business trip," Molly cooed. "He left just yesterday. I've been in contact with him, as has St. Mungo's, and he's on his way back now. The states have different regulations on portkeys. I fear he's stuck overnight, at least, until the supervisor approves of the new portkey."
Draco Malfoy was rushing home to see her. Was he afraid for her? Did he know about her memory loss? Or was the accident a hassle for him? And where were her kids?
"With Hermione," Ron supplied.
She realized she had mumbled miserably into her mum's shirt and Ron had heard.
"I dropped them off with Hermione once I heard," Molly said in agreeance. "They're all worried sick, of course, and they'll be pleased to see you safe tomorrow. Lyra was particularly upset."
"Lyra?" Ginny asked, leaning back.
"Your daughter," her mum told her, cupping her cheek and smiling sadly.
She sat in front of her bedroom window, wrapped in her childhood comforter. It smelt of cinnamon and pies and honey. Disgustingly sweet. And, yet, it brought comfort to her. Flashbacks from her childhood appeared in her head as she breathed in the scent. But a different aroma lingered. Ron had told her, jokingly, that their bedrooms had been transformed for the children's sleepovers. Rose had taken a preference to Ginny's old room.
Stars shone bright from the heavens and Ginny watched them, her stomach still churning.
Even seeing her father, who returned home disorganised and concerned, hadn't saved her sinking heart. He had been immensely worried, but reassured her that she was very happy in her life. Or seemed to be. She drank her potions and hoped and prayed and wished that everything would come back to her…
She had stood in front of the mirror, once alone for the first time. Everyone insisted that she loved her life, throwing facts and reminders as assurance, but she wouldn't feel the same way until she had definitive proof. Throughout the day, she had avoided mirrors, intentionally or otherwise. Minutes flew by and, come morning, Draco Malfoy would arrive to check on his wife.
His wife, Ginny Weasley.
His wife, who wasn't wearing her ring.
Merlin, how was her current life real? How had she consciously made her choice?
Old photographs had been tacked onto the frame of the mirror and she had, cowardly, looked at them first. Some were of her with the twins, and others of her with Neville and Luna. Upon seeing Luna, her heart stirred briefly, the sensation vanishing once she contemplated on it. One was of her standing, arm in arm, with Ron, Hermione, and Harry.
What had happened?
When she had finally regarded her reflection, she was pleasantly taken aback. Not much had changed. Her hair was shorter than she would normally allow, brushing below her shoulders. The colour had morphed into a lighter shade of red with gold and orange blending in. Wrinkles had formed by her mouth and at the corners of her eyes, just like Ron. She had more freckles adorning her skin.
Ginny had been oddly disappointed, though she had supposed it was fortunate that, in ten years, she hadn't changed much.
She didn't budge from her window seat. Ron had left to help Hermione with the children. Her children. After a lot of fussing and hugs, her parents retired to bed. Concern had lingered in her father's eyes. Time ticked on. The sun would rise in a few short hours. And Draco Malfoy would come for the wife who didn't remember him.