I completed a fic, I'm so proud of myself. The first few bits are cookies pieced together and then I finally took the time to finish it. It was inspired, and prodded along by conversations with LilyAyl who is the closest thing I have to a beta. Somewhere along the line I got into periods where I think I may have channeled the characters, still not quite sure. No I do not own them and if you really do not like this Draco/Ginny thing, hit that back button, don't waste your time, or both of ours with a flame. If you do enjoy this whole D/G thing, or think you just might, read please and reply.

Hope you enjoy.

Laura

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

There it was, on her pillow case just like it was supposed to be. One perfect white rose, freshly cut and completely elegant.

And heartbreaking.

Ginny Weasley crossed the room and picked up the rose. What was it Neville had said the other day while helping Ron and Hermione, well mostly Hermione, pick out flowers for their upcoming wedding? Ah yes, white roses were for love lost and forsaken, for a love that would never be. It was quite an appropriate symbol of why the rose was there. Had he known, or was it simply because she had once called white roses ice roses, and he had taken it to heart.

After all, Draco Malfoy had been the ice king.

She had never meant to love him, she knew that. For as long as she could remember the Malfoy's were the enemy; they weren't suitable companion ship. Besides, from the instant she had laid eyes on Harry Potter she had wanted none but him. There was no Draco Malfoy in any of her plans ever. Except maybe pain for his continual attacking of her family.

She didn't know when it had changed, when she had wanted him. His eyes had changed, still swirling silver gray, but sometimes they weren't as unaffected and what showed through was sadness. It had made her curious, damn her want to fix him. Somehow they had come together, he was beauty and ugliness all at once. He personified the dark with a glimmer of light in the distance.

And she had loved him.

Malfoy and Weasley, Weasley and Malfoy. Whatever way you put it was wrong. There was never to be a happily ever after for them.

When they were together, it was red roses he had laid on her pillow to find. Red roses of fire and passion, and true love. Then one day she had found a white one instead. Shocked and surprised, she went to find Draco, but he was no where to be found. In there usuall spots, wedged between two stones was a note. She could still see it, his dark green ink across the page in his beautiful script.

__Gin,

By now you've realized I am gone. You knew my aims, and I intend to fulfill them. The Dark Lord has made me one of his chosen few. I will be back within a week to take my last set of exams and then I will be gone.

What we have had, whatever it was, it's over. I could never be one of your muggle and Potter loving bunch, and I know you could never become one of the elite that I am. This letter is probably not the bravest way out, but Slytherins were never known for bravery. I couldn't face you with this one, you never would have understood.

I can't give you promises of someday, only leave the memories. For whatever it's worth, I do love you Ginny. Maybe one day you'll forgive me for all this.

D. Malfoy__

Once a year from then on, on the anniversary of her finding the first white rose, there was always a new one on her pillow. 'It should be enough,' Ginny told herself, 'to know that he is out there, alive, and remembers.' But she couldn't help but wish she would catch him placing the rose there.

She took the beautiful flower and laid a kiss on the silken petals as she liked to pretend he did. While he never gave the promise of someday, she never gave up the hope. It was odd and irrational, but something that she had to do.

"Ginny! Dinner!"

"I'll be right down Mum."

She walked over to the clear glass bell that encased the white rose from the year before. She had gotten the idea from the old myth Beauty and the Beast. Somehow that had always fit them as well. She shook her head and pulled the bell off of the dresser, causing the old rose to instantly fall and diminish into nothing. She carefully placed it in the trash, before she held the new rose upright and placed the bell over it. It stood there suspended, and would last a whole year.

Ginny took out her wand, and pointed it at the base of the bell, etching another rose in the glass. She wondered how many she would have around the rim. Years without him in it. And would she ever get another red rose.

Ginny let a sigh leave her lips before she turned and headed for the stairs.

~*~

He watched her as she stopped and stared. He had left it there not so long before and then he had returned to his sanctuary with the crystal. He only indulged himself in watching her, in remembering her so vividly one day a year.

She crossed the room and picked it up in those petite hands that he could practically feel again. She was treating this rose like it was a cherished item.

Draco scowled and turned away from the image as pain spurted through what little there was left of his heart. He only sat for a moment before rolling up his sleeve and staring at the image that was there. It was the reason he was sequestered in Malfoy Manor instead of with her.

He had believed fully in the Mark when he had gotten it. The power it would bring him, hopefully enough to do in Potter and overthrow the Dark Lord, but in the end he was nothing more than a follower. 'Oh that had burned,' Draco remembered with malice. He, Draco Malfoy had been nothing more than an expendable follower. It was then he had come to detest the Mark, the Master and all who surrounded it.

Draco had given up love for power, it was a foolish choice. For there had been no power, only dependence where he strived for independence. It stung all the more to know that the weasel brat, his weasel brat was right, The Dark Lord hadn't been the path for him.

His servitude ended slightly before Voldemort had fallen. He had been asked to kill Ginny, in all of her splendor. She was still his weakness, damn and blast her to hell. So he had done the only thing he had thought to do, killed the messengers and ran.

He had stayed realtively hidden even after the Dark Lord's death. There were people out there who very much wanted to see him dead because he was a defector and those who wanted him dead because he had been a Death Eater.

So instead he stayed in Malfoy Manor and on Malfoy family grounds, only leaving once a year to delever the rose, stand in her room and breathe her in. The simple smell of her still drove him wild, maybe more so after all this time of not having her. She had been everything to him, once.

__Draco,

I can't believe I left you only this morning. I will never regret the actions of last night, regardless of what fate has in store for us. I love you and wanted to show you that fully. I am truly yours now. No other man has ever touched me as you have, and I cannot see how I could ever let another man do what you have.

It does not bother me that I was not the first to be with you, I honestly never expected you to be the type to wait. You're not like me in the slightest Draco, maybe that's part of the fun. I know there's a chance that we will not last, I am not as foolish or naïve as you would like to believe me. Trust that I know my heart and soul and what I am doing.

I love you. Please let that be enough for now.

Ginny__

It was the only tangeable piece of her. Her scrawling mediocre Weasley script in the bright red ink of her choice. All these years later and he liked to pretend that it smelled of her. It didn't, but it called it up in his mind at least. Called up everything about her.

Draco needed to see her again. He turned back to the image the crystal was projecting and watched as she placed the rose under the glass bell, ending their ritual that she didn't know they had. She knew her end of it, but not that he watched her every time.

He watched as she exited the room; heading down for dinner he presumed. They'd probably shove her next to Potter, hoping that he would want her.

As much as Draco wanted Ginny to be happy and loved, he was still a selfish bastard. He wanted to be her first and her last. Her only. The only one she would ever love, the only one she would ever touch, and the only one that she would ever let touch her.

It was stupid and foolish and he knew that they never would be again. They had run out of their chances so long ago.

If there was ever a chance for them again, he would still leave a rose on her pillow. But this time it would be red again, and instead of watching her from the Manor, he would be in her room waiting.

If only red roses could be a reality for them.

~*~

Ginny trudged up the stairs after apperating in from work. She still lived at home, but then had never actually had the courage to move out on her own. Would he know where she was? Would he be able to leave one?

The thought of him and the rose made her rush up the stairs. It was today, the anniversary. He always came through for her today, regardless of the ways he ahd let her down and hadn't been able to be there every other time. It was today that made her turn from Harry's advances. Draco was still out there, still loved her, still remembered.

She threw the door to her room open and stopped. It wasn't there!

She shook her head to clear it of such a foolish thought. I had to be there somewhere. It HAD to.

"Ginny."

Ginny's head snapped up at the voice. The wrong voice. "Harry," she said , trying to sound excited, but failing. Her family had been pushing them closer and closer after the past few years. Harry was definitely falling for her, and while she loved him, would always love him, she wasn't so sure she was in love with him.

Harry smiled at her as he walked closer. "I hope I didn't overstep my bounds. I just needed to talk to you," he said taking her hand.

Ginny smiled a bit brighter, trying to make herself forget what she had been looking for. "No, no. Of course not."

Draco hovered on his broom above the Burrow taking a deep breath as the nerves coursed through him. He looked down to the rose in his hand. Red. He hadn't given her a red rose since school days when he was willing to admit his love to her. He was ready to do it again.

He was going to lay the rose on the pillow and hide in her room for her. Or maybe he shouldn't place the rose on pillow and be standing by her door, and when she turned, she'd find him. Or he could be lying on the bed with the pillow in his mouth. "Stick to the original plan!" his mind screamed at him. "Malfoys do not get nervous."

He cruised the broom lower and peered in her window ready to lift the slightly open window further up and slip silently into her room. The sight inside stopped him. Harry Potter was standing in Ginny's room, holding her hand. Looking at her with loving eyes.

He dropped to one knee before Ginny. "No! No Potter. Don't you dare or I will kill you!" Draco's mind screamed. But Harry didn't listen. "I love you Ginny, maybe I always have, I know I always will. Marry me Virginia."

"Say no! You don't love him. You love me." Draco's mind shouted. There was nothing more that he wanted than to spring through the window with the rose in hand and ask her for her hand instead. But it had to be Ginny's choice. If she wanted Potter she could have him. And if she said no, he'd be gracious and wait for Potter to leave before he took back his flame haired princess.

Ginny knew that Harry was waiting for an answer, she took a pained look at the empty pillow and then back at the year old rose in it's glass bell. He hadn't come with his remembrance this year. He had forgotten. "Yes Harry. I will marry you."

The words struck Draco in his heart and the rose fell silently from the . The icy armor hadn't been enough to protect him from this. She was going to marry Potter. She could have the over glorified prat. It didn't matter to him.

He spirited away from her window, ignoring the burning that the unshed tears were causing his eyes. He needed to be gone. Fool he'd been to think she would wait for him when stupid Potter was around. Sure she had treasured every one of the white roses he had left, but that didn't mean she would hold out for a missing lover when her dream was before her.

Harry slipped the ring on Ginny's finger before standing and kissing her passionately. He broke away and caught sight of her clock. "Damn it! Ginny I've got to go. I'll be back for dinner. We can tell everyone then."

Ginny simply nodded, still in shock. "Alright."

Harry laid a gentle kiss on Ginny's forehead and his green eyes sparkled at her. "I love you."

"I love you too," she told him. It wasn't a lie if she did love him.

She sighed as he disappearated and she was alone again. She turned to the glass bell, ready to let Draco Malfoy go for the last time. Something on the sill caught her eye. She turned back to the sill and felt her knees weaken as they hadn't with Harry.

A rose. A red one.

She rushed over and took it in her hands, feeling her heart break. It hadn't been there before, which meant that. What had she done?

Her stomach ached, her broken heart resulting in physical pain, as she sat on the floor, dumbly staring at the rose in her hands. He had come after all. He hadn't just come to leave a remembrance, but he had come for her. He wanted her; wanted to be with her. And she, she had accepted Harry's marriage proposal.

Why couldn't he have been fifteen minutes earlier? Why couldn't the rose have been waiting on her pillow? Or Draco himself.

And now he thought she was in love with Harry. She wasn't. Loved him, always, but in love with him, no. The majority of her heart had belonged to Draco since the end of her fifth year, and he had never given it back. He didn't know that though.

Ginny closed her eyes and pressed her lips to the rose. She had to do something. She just didn't know what yet.

~*~

Ginny Weasley closed her eyes and let out a deep breath. Today she was gearing up do do something she probably should have done a few days ago but had waited. Some people cooled down after a few days of an argument and were easier to reach, not Draco. Draco froze in an instant and wasn't known to melt again. Ginny only hoped that she could melt him the way she used to. Especially with what she was holding in her hands.

The memory of a week ago came back. Finding the rose and then what happened after.

__Ginny walked down the stairs feeling lightheaded and sick. How when one was offered everything they'd ever wanted things could go so wrong Ginny wasn't quite sure, but everything was in shambles. She now had go and explain to Harry why she couldn't marry him. She just needed to get to him before he decided to share the good news with her family.

Harry was sitting in the living room of the Burrow, talking with Ron and Hermione. Ron and Hermione were sitting comfortably with Ron's arm wrapped tightly around Hermione's shoulders. Before Hermione used to be uncomfortable with Ron touching her too much in the Burrow, but after George had kissed Hermione for fun, Ron was highly possessive.

Ron was the first one to glance across the room and spot her standing watching them. "Gin what are you doing just standing there?" he asked her as if she were crazy for just watching them all.

Harry turned and smiled upon seeing her. His green eyes were sparkling behind his glasses, only making Ginny want to sink into the floor and die. "Gin," he said reverently holding out a hand.

Ginny smiled and pushed herself off of the wall, hoping for the strength to make it through this evening. "I was just watching the product of matrimonial bliss."

Ron smiled as he watched Harry pull Ginny down to sit on the arm of his chair. "You might want to try it some day."

Harry looked up at Ginny and then turned back to Ron and Hermione with a smile on his face. "About that-"

Ginny tugged on Harry's sleeve. "Harry, I need to speak with you," she insisted and pulled him off into the kitchen.

"What is it Ginny? Don't you want to tell them?"

Ginny closed her eyes and pursed her lips before she started. "Harry," she managed hating this entire thing. "I wish I didn't have to do this."

Harry instantly became aware of what she was going to do and tightened his grip on her hands. "Then don't. Take my hand, go out there with me and announce our news."

"But things changed. I thought he was gone Harry, I thought he had let go, but I was wrong."

Harry pursed his own lips and settled her with a sharp look from his green eyes. "Ginny, Draco left you when you were sixteen. It's been over for years."

"No, not really. He leaves me a white rose once a year, he didn't this year."

Harry let go of her hands and stepped back from her. "And that's why you accepted, because you thought he was done?" he asked her, his voice trembling.

"He wasn't. I found a red rose on the windowsill after you left."

"There wasn't one there before-"

Ginny looked down at the floor below her ashamed. "I know."

"So he knows." Harry's eyes held a spark of hope again and it pierced Ginny. "If he thinks we're together he's not going to want you back. Let him go."

Ginny shook her head knowing that she couldn't do that. It had been stupid and foolish of her to accept Harry's proposal when he was merely a replacement for someone else. "I can't. Harry you have to let me go."

"In the end the boy who lived is the rejected one," Harry said bitterly, walking away from her and towards the window that looked out over the Weasley's back lawn.

"I DO love you Harry," Ginny insisted vehemently. Needing to say it, needing Harry to believe it, because she did. "I'm just not in love with you."

"You're in love with him," Harry said flatly, saying what she couldn't bring herself to.

"I'm so sorry. I-"

"Don't," Harry said turning back to her, shaking his head. "It won't be mentioned. Are you staying for dinner or are you going after him now?"

"Staying," she said, as calmly as possible. "He won't even think of seeing me tonight."__

And now she had decided he'd had enough time. She raised one hand to pull the knocker on the heavy wooden doors as the other was occupied with a rose encased in a bell.

Within moments the door creaked open and a small house elf clothed in dishrags stood before her. "I am here to see Mr. Draco Malfoy," Ginny said in the most authoritative tone she could manage under the circumstances. She didn't know what she was going to say once she was in there, but she knew she needed to go in.

The house elf seemed to shrink back slightly as if the command frightened the thing. "He does not wish to see anyone."

"Tell him it's important." She closed her eyes and prayed that the next words would be enough. "Tell him it is Ginny."

The door closed in her face and she stood their waiting for the elf to return to her with whatever message Draco would give it. After a few minutes passed with no sign of the elf Ginny figured she would be left out there to freeze or go home. Knowing Draco he would have laid out curses for the path back when he found out who it was.

Just as she was about to turn away, the sound of the door creaking hit her ears and the face of the house elf reappeared. "Follow me miss," it squeaked softly before turning and heading back into the manor.

She was lead through the impressive house to a study deep within it. Sitting at a desk before heavily curtained windows sat a man she hadn't actually laid eyes on in eight years. He looked up upon hearing footsteps and ushered away the house elf with a wave of his hand as Ginny imagined his father must have done often.

When the house elf was gone he gave her a look that let Ginny know her presence wasn't very welcome. "What?" He practically spat the word at her and then waited for a reply.

Ginny inhaled one deep breath before striding across the room and placing the encased rose down on his desk. "You didn't see what you thought you saw," she told him firmly.

Draco's lips curled up in a mirthless smile that shed nearly forgotten, perhaps had tried to forget. "Funny, I thought I saw you accepting a proposal from Harry Potter the golden boy. Did my perfect eyes and ears fail me?"

"Do you know why I accepted that proposal?" she asked, taking a seat in one of the chairs across from him as if she had as much right to the house as he did.

"Because you've always wanted Potter more than anything," he sneered, a bitterness and anger coming through the cold he sent her way. "Followed him around like a pathetic puppy dog until you got smart. Apparently you got stupid again."

"I accepted because I thought you hadn't come, that you stopped caring. Then I found this." Ginny gestured to the rose, unable to keep the tenderness out of her eyes.

"And let me guess; you were for me again?"

The barb made her sound like the child he had often claimed her to be. "It means you did care," she insisted, needing to say the truth as she knew it. "Still do."

Draco showed no response to this and returned to his work. "I don't particularly have time for fickle girls. Pansy has been exceptionally faithful for years, constantly begging me to pick her. Not so bad a choice really," he said, fingering the end of his quill.

Ginny couldn't stand the injustice of hit all. She felt her eyes widen and the urge to throw something welled within her. "Fickle!" she cried out, standing and sending the chair she had been sitting in a few meters back. "I have been faithful to you for eight years! Eight years! And all I got to show for it was a white rose once a year on the anniversary of the day you left me! Harry was finally interested and it felt good, and he was there while you weren't," she charged, giving them both the truth of that one. "And when I thought you'd finally tired of our little ritual, I gave up!"

He was smiling at her now, and appreciation danced in his eyes. "You always did have a beautiful temper."

"Not now!" Ginny banged her fist on his beautiful desk to get his attention. "Take me now Draco or leave me for good. The choice is yours."

Dracos eyes stayed locked on her as he leaned back in his chair, still playing with his quill. "This is a decision that will take more consideration than you believe it will."

Ginny closed her eyes against the sting. "Fine," she spat finally, before standing and whirling away.

"Now hold on," he said, stopping her dead in her tracks and causing her to turn back to look at him. "I never said you were not my choice did I?"

"You have to be the most-" she cut herself off before she said anything that would cause this meeting to be prolonged. "Never mind. I'm just going to go."

"No," he instructed, standing behind his desk. This time Ginny whirled on him, chocolate eyes alight. "That's not an option."

"And what is? You don't want a girl like me but you don't want me to go anywhere."

"Never said I didn't want you," Draco said, rounding the desk and advancing towards her. He backed her into a wall and trapped her there with hands on either side of her shoulders. "That's the problem Weasley, I do want you. Always have."

The tears welled in her eyes and Ginny faught to keep them back. She would not cry here, trapped. "Eight bloody years," she managed, her voice wavering with anger and tears.

"Four of which were spent under the Dark Lord and the rest-" he trailed off and looked at a spot on the wall over her head.

"Yes?"

"For the first two I had to watch myself to make sure I wouldn't be killed or imprisoned and then the last two, well." Draco paused as if not sure he really wanted to go on. "I was testing you," he muttered softly, at a level that she just barely caught. He spun away from her and walked back towards his desk.

As always Draco had a way of taking whatever it was she was thinking and twisting it into his truth. "You were. Testing me?" she spat out in disbelief.

"That's what I said." His voice was harsh and his back still turned.

"After six years, six bloody years, I wasn't trustworthy enough for you? Not for The Draco Malfoy, Lord of Malfoy Manor and all he surveys," she sneered, letting the pain pierce her. "Heaven forbid a little ratty Weasley girl like me could ever be worthy of your trust. No, six years of tormenting me weren't nearly enough, not for you. You had to go on drag it out. Make me count the days, just waiting. You really are a bastard Malfoy." Ginny picked up a crystal vase from the nearest table and flung it across the room, nearly clipping his head as it zoomed past. It hit the wall and shattered.

After a few minutes of staring at that Draco spun back around and glared at her through icy gray eyes. "I never pretended to be otherwise, did I? Never once was I anything like Potter, and you know I never pretended to be. I could have charmed you or anyone else by putting on an image of a wonderful man, but I didn't. And why the hell should I trust anyone? I have yet to meet anyone in my life worthy of such a precious thing."

Her eyes were caught by a flash of red. She walked towards it without a second thought. "Why did you bring this then?" she said, brushing against him as she stood by the desk and touched the bell that encased her rose.

Draco pulled away from the warmth of her shoulder against his arm and moved to the window. "I made a mistake."

Ginny quirked a lip as she stared at his back, old words of his floating back to her. "Malfoy's don't make mistakes."

"We both know better."

"Is that an apology or a dismissal? With you one never knows."

He didn't turn around but his stance relaxed. "And you like that." It wasn't a question, but a declarative. Firm and confident and even through the back of his head Ginny could see the smirk plastered on his face.

She nearly crossed the room to him, but when she was a few steps away, about to open her arms and wrap them around him she pulled up short. "I haven't forgiven you."

"Nor I you," he returned, still not looking at her. He had stiffened once again though, standing like a guard at his gate.

"I broke it off with him. He knows, he's accepted. Let it go." Her words were imploring.

"You first."

Ginny felt humorless laugher rise in her, she should have known. The feeling passed and anger rose instead. "Bloody stubborn-"

He whirled around, looking at her for the first time since he had given her the why she'd been waiting for. His piercing gaze cut her off. "Accept me for who I am Gin, there are no other options to you at this point. You came to me, you take the damn step."

She snorted. "Why should I? You wouldn't."

"You're not me," Draco reminded her plainly. "We've agreed on that one several times. Take me or leave me Ginny."

Ginny stared at him, considering. She wondered if there was really a hint of worry hidden behind his eyes or if it was her imagination. "I'll take you," she said finally, and watched the gleam of triumph flash across Draco's eyes. "But if you make me regret it I swear Malfoy so will you. I'll see to it."

He had closed the distance to her in two long, self assured strides. He reached out and pulled her possessively into his arms. "Smart girl," Draco managed before he closed his mouth over hers.