Author's Note: I owe you all an apology and an explanation. I'm very sorry about how long this took, and the truth is I really wasn't that busy at all. Just bored with this story and frustrated by my writing. I came back to it because I still have an idea of where I'm taking this story, I just don't know if I can write it well enough in that direction. Anyways here is the long overdue chapter 7, which I hope you like more than previous chapters, or in the very least, just as much.
Disclaimer: Chapter 1 says it all.
"Well do you have any better ideas, Weasley?" Argument number seven hundred and eighty-four was now beginning to surface between Ginny and Draco not long after sunrise on Boxing Day. Ginny opened her mouth but Draco quickly cut in, "And staying in the cabin is not an option."
"Why not?" She said coolly. "I'd like to think it a little safer than your idea."
"Yeah, you'd 'like to think' all right. You'd like to, but you won't try. Well that's all right Weasley, thinking was never one of your strong suits," Malfoy regarded her with disdain, "it's best you don't even attempt."
Ginny stood by the kitchen table, looking out the window. She considered the blizzard conditions outside. "I am thinking," she snarled, teeth gritted. She threw Draco a look of hatred as he stood by the fire. "A little more logically than you! We can't leave the cabin! We don't know any way out, and we could run into death eaters—"
"Good," Malfoy snapped. He crossed the room to face her. "I hope we find them. They'll be our only way out. If we confront Volde—"
"Oh yeah, we'll get out then," Ginny hissed. "Sent straight back home, our remains wrapped in a nice little parcel!"
"So therefore the logical idea is to stay in the cabin?"
Ginny's eyes met Draco's sharply. "No—"
Malfoy shook his head, interjecting, "Don't you get it, Weasley? No one is going to find us. No one knows where we are."
Ginny didn't look at him. "People are looking for me," she whispered.
"I'm sure you're hoping wonder boy will swoop in here on his golden broom and save the day," Malfoy said dryly, "But Potter isn't—"
"Shut up!" Her hands shook, as she looked at him with fire. "Don't say it, Malfoy. Don't you talk about him." Ginny swallowed hard and tried to keep herself together. If there was anyone that she never wanted to hear Draco even refer to, it was Harry. Too much had happened with him. He had been her first love. He had saved her life when she was eleven, given her her first kiss at fifteen, and told her he loved her at sixteen. She would never forget when he went to war. How things had ended between them... She had gotten over Harry Potter as he had with her, but in the back of her mind she wondered if he was trying to save her still. "Don't even mention him."
Malfoy smirked. "Loverboy isn't coming for you, Weasel. I'm afraid he has better things to do like pose for Witch Week—"
"Shut up Malfoy, I swear to god!" Ginny held up her wand, but Draco snatched it out of her hand.
"Magic doesn't work in this cabin, Weasley. Did you forget so quickly?" He twirled her wand between his fingers as she looked up at him with loathing. "If it had I surely would have cursed you the hell out of here—"
"I bet you would have, Malfoy! Funny thing is, you've been too distracted with kissing me!"
He froze. "Well, what the hell else are you good for?" Malfoy tossed the wand back in her face, and Ginny watched it fall to the floor, noticing still that his words barely pierced her. She had a funny feeling that a few days ago what he said would have affected her differently, but it was interesting. Somehow now, she hardly believed him.
"Don't you think," she said slowly, "that your father is looking for you?"
The look in his eyes faltered for just a moment as Ginny reverted back to her argument. He looked at her for a second. "I have a feeling my dad was one of the death eaters I saw out there."
Ginny's lips parted slightly. "No," she said, her voice barely above a hoarse whisper. "He wouldn't – you're his son."
"No," Draco muttered. "As far as he's concerned, I'm not." Draco licked his lips, not in any mood for Ginny's sudden pity. "Listen," he said. "I know it's a risk, but we have to go find them. I can't stay here and wait to die." He ran his hands through his hair. "I'd like to know I had a chance."
Ginny's eyes locked with his in determination but Draco broke contact, walking towards the bedroom. Ginny breathed deeply, "Wait." She stepped forward and grabbed his arm. "I'm coming with you."
"Aren't you scared, Weasley?" he drawled.
She held up her chin. "To death. But we're in this together," she said firmly. "Like it or not."
Malfoy's eyes met hers; he pulled her to him, both hands on her waist. Ginny had begun to say his name but Draco cut her off, pressing his lips to hers, staggering, guiding her back to the wall. Ginny opened her mouth slightly as she felt her back slam against the solid wood, kissing him more deeply. He was so close to her, she could feel him. Really feel him. It sent shivers up and down her spine.
Draco stepped back. He smirked, as Ginny held on to him still, afraid she might collapse. Her eyes met his almost drunkenly; "You sure use me for all I'm good for."
Malfoy laughed lightly as she mocked his words. "Might as well, as long as you're here."
Ginny stood on her tiptoes, leaning in close. "No," she whispered, her breath tickling his ear. "Something is happening here."
"Yes, Ginny," he muttered. Ginny's breath quickened when he met her eyes, his face mere inches from hers, "We're kissing." She knew he meant to say, 'and that's all' but the funny thing was, he didn't. "If you're coming with me, get your coat." Malfoy stepped back, and turned, walking to the bedroom to get his own jacket.
Knees weak, Ginny sunk to the floor. A coat? It was funny, at that moment she felt as though she needed to take a few layers off.
"I am not dragging, Malfoy," Ginny said through gritted teeth as she plowed painfully through the snow.
Malfoy did not look back at her. It was true, Ginny was falling behind, but how could she not? They both were running on borrowed energy. Their diet consisted of stale chips, crackers, and soup. She was starving, every movement hurt, and she was so cold, so frail, and so thin. How could Malfoy stand it?
With deep breaths, Ginny trudged on trying to determine how long before they came to the campsite, until she remembered to be in no hurry to get there. It was not normal to be anticipating a confrontation with death eaters, but all her options seemed pretty dark when she considered. She could stay in the cabin and starve. Be where she was, exhausted, and freeze to death, or go to the death eater campsite and be murdered.
"Draco," she mumbled. "Slow down." She tried to double up her steps but her feet got caught beneath her and she wobbled helplessly before collapsing face first into the snow.
"God damn it, Weasley!" Malfoy ran back to her. "Get up! Damn it, get up!" Ginny groaned. "I don't care if you fucking ache. You don't see me on the ground!" Ginny pushed at the snow in blind effort to pull herself up but her hands sank beneath the surface. Malfoy stared down at her with disgust. "The snow has finally let up. We could be making progress but look at you! You're useless."
His words rang in her ears. Ginny concentrated all her energy on this one task of heaving herself up off the ground. Her hands shook, clawing at the snow and her knees wobbled dangerously beneath her. "Useless," Ginny muttered, a hand to her head as she pulled herself up slowly. "And yet you came back for me."
She didn't look at him when she staggered past.
They walked they rest of the way to the campsite in silence. Every so often Draco would stop, look around as if remembering something, and continue on. The minutes ticked painfully slow, and when Ginny was sure that it had been hours and hours since they had left the cabin, she was tempted to ask Draco if he knew where they were going at all, or if this entire trip was just one big guess. Ginny had opened her mouth when she noticed Draco had again stopped, but when she enclosed the distance between them she noticed they were standing dangerously close to the end of what seemed to be a massive glacier.
"Holy..." Ginny put a hand to her mouth. She and Draco were looking over what were unmistakably the grounds for some sort of death eater hideout.
For moments, not a word was said; finally Ginny heard her name uttered in what was just a hoarse whisper. She turned to Draco. "Are you ready?"
"I guess," she whispered. Malfoy looked down at her, "Well I have no choice, do I?"
"We both don't. Come on."
"Don't you have a plan?" Ginny cried as Malfoy began his careful and slightly unsteady traipse down the mountain.
"This," he said. "This was my plan."
"We'll get caught," Ginny said desperately. "We'll..."
"I know." Malfoy held out his hand. "Ginny, we have to find them. If we don't, we're dead already."
"Weasley, would you hurry up!"
"I'm scared," she whispered.
And for a moment, Malfoy said nothing, but suddenly, arm still outstretched, he took her hand. "I know, Ginny." And as they climbed down together it occurred to Ginny that that was all the comfort he could offer her, because he was scared too.
It seemed to Ginny that for wanting to be caught by death eaters, Draco had become awfully cautious. The long bitter struggle down the icy mountain led them only to two small cabins; identical to the one they had just left. Inching around the back of both cabins and peering inside dusty windows only showed them shabby, abandoned interiors. The entire surrounding area in fact held no sign of life. Ginny rubbed her eyes tiredly. "Draco..."
In immediate response he shot at her, "Don't start with me, Weasley."
Ginny kicked at the snow. "I wasn't going to say—!"
"I know that there were death eaters here," Malfoy interjected firmly. "I know what I saw."
"And I believe you!" She threw up her hands in exasperation. "All I was going to say was that maybe the cabins are just bewitched, so that anyone looking in from the outside sees it as abandoned, but on the inside... It's something entirely different." Ginny walked around the side of the first cabin, and stood in front of the door. "I mean, what if we..."
Draco stood beside her. They both looked apprehensively at what stood before them. "You want to go in?"
"I well don't want to," she huffed. "But there's no point in being here if we don't."
Malfoy faced her. "Good idea, Weasley," he said smoothly, drawing his arm out in front of him. "Ladies first."
Ginny narrowed her eyes. "Oh ha ha," she said sourly. "You're such a gentleman." Malfoy nodded smugly, and Ginny's hands shook as she reached in front of her for the brass knob.
On the opposite side of the door however, someone beat her to it. Ginny looked at Malfoy fearfully as the knob began to turn under her fingertips. She pulled her arm back at once as the door swung open.
Malfoy caught her arm the moment Ginny stumbled backwards, his eyes never moving from the familiar face of the tall hooded figure that stood before them.
Ginny swallowed, her voice shaking. "Hello Ron," she said.