Title: That Lunch in December

Author: Deep-Ware

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns all the characters from the book and all the stuff I don't make up :D

Comments: this chapter took forever to start...still sort of awkward

Chapter Eight: All That Matters

Draco paled. 'Forty-eight hours? Two days? To search all of London for one sixteen year old boy? Impossible.' Unfortunately that was what Draco had to do if he wanted the only one who had ever loved him to stay alive. He grimaced and stood, but another wave of nausea forced him back down. Frowning with concentration, Draco willed his body up again. Snape watched as the weak blonde trudged back to his room to change into some cleaner clothes.

"I'm going now." Draco said to Snape when he came back down wearing black denim and an olive tee. The man nodded gravely and wished him good luck. Draco made his way over to the fireplace, grabbed a fistful of floo powder and took a deep breath before shouting "The Burrow!"

Draco stepped out of the Weasley's fire and looked around. The room he stood in had a very small couch, a radio, a small tree and a clock that displayed where each family member was. The small, white kitchen was covered with many potted plants and pictures. Below a moving family portrait was an old silver sink with dishes piled high inside. Sitting at the cramped wooden table was most of the Weasley family, all staring at him.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Arthur snapped, his cup of coffee sill under his nose. The twins were glaring at him, Fred holding a tissue to his nose. Molly looked obviously confused and Ginny was shaking slightly.

Draco swallowed his nervousness, turned on his charm and walked a bit closer. "I'm terribly sorry to bother you Sir, but I just came to ask if you know where Ron is."

"You? Why would you-?" Molly blurted out. She seemed confused but then it dawned on her. To Draco's disappointment, a look of disgust came onto her face.

"You?" She whispered in a high-pitched voice that didn't suit her. "He loved...I mean, you...and him?!"

"Yes."

"I tried to tell you mum. Ron's with a Death-Eater." George said to his mother. Draco's head snapped towards the older boy at the last word and he frowned.

"I am NOT a Death-Eater, thank you. I assure you that the only chance of me becoming one came and went. Now that I can chose for myself, I decided against it."

"What do you mean you can now chose for your self?" Fred asked suspiciously.

"My father disowned me when he found out I was gay." Draco answered simply. He really wasn't in the mood to entertain. Looking back at Molly, he started to become worried again. "I really don't want to bother you, if you can tell me where Ron is, I'll just be on my way..."

"Of course not! You must stay for a few minutes. Please, sit." Molly objected; her motherly instinct kicked in and all she saw was a small boy in need of a meal.

"I really can't. I do need to no where Ron is though."

"We don't know." Arthur snapped. Draco became more anxious but sat anyways when Molly pulled on his arm. She grabbed a plate and started to pile on toast and eggs but Draco stopped her. He looked back at Arthur.

"What happened?" whispered the blonde.

George rolled his eyes. "We found that dumb present of yours and Ron blew up when we didn't give it back right away. He freaked out and actually paid us for it! After that he grabbed some brown bag from his room and went for a walk."

George shrugged. "He just never came back."

"Is there any place you think he might have gone? Any parks or stores near by?" asked Draco.

"No, no parks. The closest muggle stores are 30 miles from here. Even Ron can't walk that far." Arthur replied in a somewhat softer voice. "I'd say check Diagon Alley first."

"All right. Thank you." Draco smiled shyly as he stood to leave.

"Wait." A little voice said. Draco turned and saw not-so-little Ginny coming towards him. She tugged at his sleeve and beckoned for him to follow her up the stairs. Once they were up on the second floor landing, she shoved him through a door with a plaque on it that said 'Ronald's Room'. She spun him around, shoved him back on the bed and slapped him on the face. Hard.

"You deserve that." He did. Draco had never really been all that nice to the girl. He guessed she was also trying to get back at him for all the times he had been rude to Ron and Hermione.

"You probably deserve a lot more than that, but I'm not a terrible person." Ginny looked at the boy, frowning. "My mother pities you. All she sees in you is an un-loved, malnourished, small blonde. Which you probably are, but I've seen your bad side Malfoy, and you scare me. You scare me very much because I never expected such a harsh, cold, power thirsty person to ever love my quiet, nature loving brother."

"You're not scared of me Ginny, you're scared of Lucius. You're scared of the evil he beat into me when I was younger, you're scared of the horrible things he said to me that I repeat to those around me. You're also probably scared for Ron. Don't be."

"You're saying that for all those years it was Lucius that did those things? That Lucius called 'Mione a mudblood and not you? That Lucius laughed at our family because we're poor and not you?"

"In a way, yes."

"Then you should have spoken up, fought back, something, anything!" Ginny yelled exasperated. Then for a moment she just looked at him. She admired his elegance, the way he held him self, and praised him for his maturity. He looked so calm, so in control that it seemed he would break at any moment.

Draco saw the way she looked at him. He had seen that same look from many other girls, but somehow he knew that she saw father into him than the others. She didn't just admire his natural beauty. It was as if she could see every dark secret he bottled up inside, and he didn't like it. "What?"

"I was just wondering about you. Why you're so cold in public but right now seem so calm and quiet. You...You remind me of Ron. He always seems so far away, almost as if he was from another planet. Nature always calms him; that's why he loves to paint you know. He once told me that he started painting so he could capture that beauty. He's always been the only person I've known to match my maturity, but now that I see you...normal, I question your childhood. I wonder if you were once like my brother."

"My mother always said I never had a childhood, and that I was born an adult. Yes I too love nature, but I doubt that Ron's younger years were like mine. Seeing your family together like that made me wish I wasn't a Malfoy. Father was always forcing me to be what I wasn't; competitive, rude, angry, and to always believe I was better than everyone. He even once said that being a Death-Eater was a privilege for those who worked hard and strived to be the best." Draco's eyes starting to overflow and his throat hurt from the memories.

"Oh really?" Ginny said as she stared at him, frowning slightly. She had believed Draco to be a monster for six years and she wasn't going to forgive him just because he could recite a touching story and was starting to cry. Ginny might be sympathetic, but she wasn't that sympathetic.

Draco was shocked at the girl's voice. There was no sympathy or pity, just dullness that made him believe Ginny didn't trust him. He was very angry that she had let him say all of that if she didn't believe him.

"Yes, actually. And do you know why he told me that? He said that to me because I asked him if a certain family was really that bad because they were poor!"

Ginny's heart skipped a beat. He had to be lying. Had he really stood up for them? For her? For Fred and George? For Percy, Bill and Charlie? For Ron? Had he stood of against his only family to protect the one he lived even before he knew him? Ginny looked at the blonde again, this time with more respect. She could tell by the was he was breathing hard through his nose, the way he sat just a little bit taller, and the way he stared into her eyes that she knew he was telling the truth.

As Ginny watched the older boy sift uncomfortably in front of her, she began to understand how her mother felt. Draco was just a boy who was never loved by his parents and he was just a boy who had found that love in her brother. She could accept that, but when she looked into his eyes she found something. A memory of sorts that he wanted to forget but couldn't. He was obviously disturbed by it and Ginny felt for him. She came to sit next to him and wrapped her arms around him, laying her head on his shoulder. Draco was surprised by her and stood still, but when she didn't attack him he visibly relaxed.

They stood like that, lost in their thoughts until Draco felt sick again. He rushed into the next room and retched into the toilet. He flushed and slowly walked into Ron's room again. When he sat back down, Ginny gave him a half worried, half curious glance. Draco looked at her and thought it best to explain himself.

"Ginny, the day Ron left Hogwarts I gave him a silver charm. It was a dragon with his name under it. In the center was a rose. That rose was part of a set of rings given to me by Lucius. They were charmed so that if two people were wearing them, those people would slightly feel each other's extreme emotions. They were supposed to be for my wedding." Draco felt his cheeks getting hot and his eyes watering. Determined to tell Ginny everything, he took a deep breath and continued.

"Since only the rose was charmed, I snipped it of the ring and welded it onto the charm I got him as a present on the day of school. When I gave him the charm, he gave me a painting that I keep in my room. I was looking at it this morning when Sev gave me a letter from Ron. He told me about his fight with the twins and how he punched Fred. When I stood up, I felt sick and threw up so I asked Sev what was wrong with me and he reminded me about the rings and their power to feel the other person's emotions."

"Oh no..." Ginny whispered, wide-eyed and horror struck. She understood what Draco was hinting at and she couldn't believe it. Her brother, her favorite brother who had always been there for her, was in terrible pain. She remembered Draco saying 'slightly feel their extreme emotions' and decided that if it was bad enough to make Draco throw up, Ron was probably close to death. Ginny leapt up and pulled Draco with her. Her face was almost touching his when she whispered, "How long do you have to find him?"

"Two days according to Sev."

"I'll help you. He's my brother so I think I have the right to."

"Gin-" Draco started to object but she put a finger to his lips.

"I'm coming." She told him sternly and Draco grinned. He actually hoped she would force him to let her go too. He knew he would have to look in the dark alleys and, even though he was used to it, it gave him the creeps to go alone. He would never tell, but to him all the old witches and wizards looked like retired DE's.

"Fine Miss, you can come." Draco told a grinning Ginny. She was so happy that she grabbed his hand and bounced down the stairs. The rest of the family, save Percy (who was in his room), stared confused at the guilty Draco and the ecstatic Ginny coming down the stairs.

"I'm going too." Ginny told her family.

Molly frowned and retorted, "You will do no such thing! You will let Mr. Malfoy be on his way and you will sit her and finish your breakfast!"

"No mum, I'm going too. Ron's my brother and so I believe I have the right to go as well. Besides, no one else can go. Dad has work tomorrow, Fred and George have to finish their shop's paperwork, Percy is busy with work too, Bill and Charlie are too far away to send an owl, and you have to take care of the house. I don't have any responsibilities that have to be taken care of, so I'm free to do what I please."

Molly, after some outbursts from the twins and tears from Ginny, finally accepted the fact that her daughter was going whether she wanted her to or not. Ginny was fifteen, almost an adult. She could make her own decisions from now on. Both grabbing a small amount of floo powder, Draco stepped in to the fireplace. Smiling at Ginny, he shouted, "Gefar Street!" He disappeared in a burst of flame and Ginny concentrating hard.

"What street was that?" Arthur asked his wife. "I've never heard of it. Ginny, I thought you two were going to Diagon alley."

"We are daddy. Malfoy said it's a side alley." Ginney reassured him. She stepped into the fireplace and repeated what Draco had said. "Gefar Street!"

-- -- --

Ginny tumbled out of the fireplace in a heap. She stood up, brushed her clothes off and looked at the store she had landed in. It was old and the air was stale. Looking at the closest glass case, she shuddered; inside was many number of shrunken heads. As she made her way to the door, she was reminded of the secret room of mysteries she had gone in last year to save Harry and Sirius. Draco was waiting outside for her.

As they walked down the street, Ginny became more and more nervous. The cobblestone road they followed was covered in grime and most of the witches and wizards wore old and torn cloaks. Next to them, she felt very rich indeed. Draco was also grim, but that was only because of the memories the street brought back. After they passed an apothecary, a fortune booth and a small group of witches staring at their clothes Ginny became visibly uncomfortable.

"Exactly where are we?" she asked.

"Knockturn alley."

"What?! Malfoy, you've sent me to my death!" Ginny shrieked. Some bats nearby screeched and she almost fainted in panic. Draco grabbed her and pulled he off to the front of a store.

"Look Ginny, this is where Ron is going to be. Where else would you think to find the son..." at this Draco gave a pained expression. "...of a Death Eater? Besides, I know of an art shop that would take Ron's paintings if he painted the right things."

"What king of things?" Ginny asked as she ran to catch up with Draco's long brisk pace.

"Dark scenes. Scenes of werewolves, vampires, old and broken mansions. That sort of thing." Draco said dismissively, looking at the shops to his right. Soon enough the sign reading, 'Dark ARTS here', came into view.

They looked in the window and sure enough, there was Ron. This Ron looked terrible though; his sweater was grimy, his trousers paint stained, and his hair hung limp and greasy across his face. He was handing over a painting to a large wizard and received a few silver coins in return. He stared desperately at the man but said nothing, just pocketed the money and looked at the ground as he slowly made his way out of the shop.

Draco made his way past some older wizards and lay a hand on Ron's arm. Ron looked over his shoulder and smiled. He was saved.

"Draco!" Ron said breathlessly and flung himself at the blonde. He felt nauseous and stepped back, coughing. Soon, he had fainted. Ginny rushed over to her brother and crouched beside him, brushing his fiery-red hair out of his eyes. Draco came beside her and lifted Ron from the ground. They slowly made their way to the abandoned shop they had came from. Everyone stared, but it didn't matter. Ron was going to be safe.

-- -- --

Draco woke with a start, he had been sitting in one of his godfather's luxurious chairs and dosed off. Not much had changed though; Arthur was still pacing, Ginny was next to him on the footstool, Fred and George were glaring into the fire, Molly was silently praying at Snape's table with Dumbledore trying to comfort her, and Hermione was shaking on another couch.

Ten minutes later, the Potions Master was seen from the stairs. They all looked at him expectantly. For the last few hours he had been healing Ron with potions and pills and salves. He came into the room and gave them all a half-hearted smile.

"It's going to be alright. He'll be as good as new in a few days." Snape informed the nervous group of people who had gathered unexpectedly in his kitchen. They cheered, grinned and spoke reassuring words to the ones beside them.

-- -- --

It was Tuesday when Ron could finally stand out of bed, and Thursday when Snape allowed him to leave his room. His family had gone back home after his parents visited him but insisted on being called the moment Ron was alright. It wasn't them who he first wanted to see though. Not Hermione either. The moment he could leave his room he went straight to the kitchen where Draco was having coffee.

"Morning Sunshine." Draco said cheerfully when he saw Ron gingerly move towards him. He shoved a plate of delicious bacon and a slice of toast towards the boy and finished his own. Ron was the first to break the silence.

"Draco, what are we going to do about next year? It's our last year and I don't want to get in the way..." Ron started to say anxiously but Draco, looking shocked and hurt, cut him off.

"Get in the way! Hell no, you'd never get in the way!" Draco burst and came to stand next to the red head. "Ron, I love you. I want you beside me the whole time."

"I love you too." Ron whispered. He had been worrying about that for the last few hours and didn't know how Draco felt about them going public.

-- -- --

Attention! Attention." Professor McGonagall shouted to the students. The first years had just been sorted and were chatting exceptionally loud. Soon enough though, the noise died down and Dumbledore rose.

"Welcome again, to another year of Hogwarts!" Everyone cheered. "I only have a few things to say this year. First, Mr. Filch has bought a second cat and advises you not to go out after curfew. Second, the Dark Forest is still strictly out of bounds to all and the curfew is now eleven thirty. Lastly, I strongly recommend that you keep your hearts open to new friends and see others for who they are, not what they are." As Dumbledore spoke his last words, he looked intently towards Ron and Draco in turn.

Ron shivered and turned to look at Draco. Draco lifted his head, and they met each other's gaze. As he looked at Draco, he saw the boy's shining gray eyes filled with emotion. Draco smiled lovingly at him and then turned back to his golden plate that had filled with food.

Ron felt something jab his ribs and looked at Hermione. She motioned towards the potatoes and sausage, and turned back to the asparagus that she was trying to cram onto her own plate.

-- -- --

"Ready?" Draco asked the boy beside him. Ron squirmed a little, but nodded anyways.

"Ready."

With that, they walked side by side to transfiguration. Almost everyone stared but it didn't matter. They loved each other. Nothing would get in the way. Passing through the large door, the two made their way towards an empty pair of seats. In pretty much every class, the Gryffindors sat on one side of the room, Slytherins on the other, and the center tables were shared by pairs from the same house.

The rest of the class stared at them as they unpacked their books and sat grinning at each other. Suddenly the door burst open and a flustered Hermione burst in. She spotted the two and sat behind them, next to a shocked Dean Thomas. "I wondered where you two were! I looked for you at lunch, but I didn't see you."

"Library." Ron replied simply. "Potions assignment due tomorrow."

"Oh, right."

""I'm surprised we didn't see you there. I mean, from what I know, you practically live in the library." Draco replied. Hermione and Ron both laughed and the whole class turned to see Draco grinning at them.

A few weeks later, the school finally became used to seeing Draco, the Slytherin Prince, with Ron and Hermione, two good guys who were supposed to be fighting against him. But this didn't change Draco and Ron's relationship. They loved each other. That was all that mattered.

A/N: first...sorry it took so long!!! I've been busy with horses lately so I didn't get much chance...second...I know the ending it sort of sappy and rushed, but I ran out of ideas...hope you liked it!