This was written for Eustacia Vye in The DG Forum Fic Exchange - Summer 2018 by a member of our forum. For more details, please visit our page.

Stories about heroes

Who overcame their deepest sorrows

They'll put hope into his heart again

To cherish everyday

He'll find a better world

And the strength to face tomorrow

I'm sure that when he knows the way

He'll want to stay…

Beauty and the Beast's Enchanted Christmas

INTRODUCTION - the beginning

Draco Malfoy had always loved to read. From the minute he learnt to string together a sentence he was hooked. Growing up an only child in the vast, imposing, Malfoy Manor he had often escaped into the pages of stories and later started creating his own. He'd fought dragons and travelled to the depths of the ocean before has was even eleven years of age. Characters in his favourite books kept him company whilst his father was at work and his mother at a charity gala or afternoon tea.

Then, as he grew up, when things became more complicated, and life went from dull to terrifying, reading and writing in his notebooks became the only things which kept him sane. He was saddened to realise he no longer had much in common with the heroes in these narratives. Whilst never the most brave or courageous human, Draco, as a child had believed he would still save the day if he needed to; maybe not by running in swinging a sword but he'd think of a plan. He'd know that, ultimately, he was good.

Later, once the terror had subsided, and the healing of the Wizarding world began Draco returned to his books. When he moved from the manor, because try as he might he could not exorcise the demons in those walls, he bought himself a flat with floor to ceiling bookshelves and large windows to let as much light and air in as possible. He wanted to read and breathe. Everything else would fall into place eventually, he hoped.

When he attended the mandatory, Ministry enforced, psycho-healing sessions his Head Healer had recommended Draco write everything down, all that he'd felt and seen and done. And, although he'd never admit it, it did seem to help. As words poured onto the page he felt himself begin to feel lighter, less burdened. He started to sleep again, started to heal.

Ginny came to books much later than Draco had. She'd always loved her parents, and older brothers, reading to her at bedtime when she was a child but she didn't begin devouring books until she was twelve. After her first year at Hogwarts, after Tom Riddle had succeeded in possessing her body and mind, Ginny found the only way she could stop thinking about it, stop fixating on it, was being lost in the pages of a book.

She could wander through time and distant lands from her bed at The Burrow or an armchair in the Gryffindor common room. She could read about other people who fought to be saved and who had perhaps done things they weren't proud of but learnt to forgive themselves anyway. In some strange way books, fiction, helped her survive in the real world. A port in an, all too real, storm which allowed her to collect her thoughts and process experiences.

She'd gone back to Hogwarts - after the war was over - and achieved her NEWTs. She'd done well and could have taken her pick of many careers but Ginny moved herself to Dent in Yorkshire. It was a small village, with only 400 people living there, most of whom were muggle. She lived in a small stone cottage, with thick walls, wonky windows and a beautiful view of rolling green hills. She bought an old wooden desk from a local charity shop and had the delivery men plonk it in front the window with the best view. Ginny Weasley meant to be a writer and she was trying to inspire herself as much as possible.

And, despite isolating themselves a little, both were certain it was impossible to be lonely with a stack of books by your side. There were lives to be lived, characters to befriend and comfort to be taken amongst those pages.

Eustacia Vye's Prompt (#3)

Basic premise: Author!Ginny doing research for her next novel. (plot within the plot is all up to you, dear writer. I know it's hard enough coming up with plots in the first place...)

Must haves: "Do you know how hard it is to string words together so that they make sense? Do you? No, you don't!" (Okay to paraphrase depending on your story!)

No-no's: No Harry/Ginny. Like, EVER. I happily ignore that in canon, please and thank you. My usual do not wants include cheating, scat, watersports, mpreg, noncon (mentioned tangentially is okay, but not explicitly described in fic please) and victim blaming.

Rating range: Go wherever the muse takes you! I'm a-okay with smut, and it's perfectly allowed on AO3, where I usually hang out. :)

Bonus points: I wouldn't mind if Draco was her editor or a competing novelist.