To be or not to be a Weasley
Can you believe it, Diary? I hardly remember a time before this when I've ever felt more at ease and calm in my life. I feel unstoppable! Well…I'm quite sure that when I get my marks from exams I won't feel all that "unstoppable," but at least for now I can finally breathe…And oh, it feels fantastic! Oh…wait a minute…Hermione's at the door…
Alright, back. She's wonderful, that Hermione Granger. Other than me, she's been the happiest witch at Hogwarts these days. Have I not told you? It's been ages since I've written. So much has happened since that night at the train station. Firstly, my oaf of a brother has finally taken a giant dose of his pride and swallowed it ALL (well at least enough to take his head out of his arse and start talking to Harry and Hermione again). I love him dearly, but really, it was pure bollocks the way he treated them. You should see Harry! The boy has never glowed like he does now. My heart melts when I see the three of them together. Their bond is nearly palpable, Diary. Voldemort has got a lot to handle if he comes face to face with that team any time soon. I just know it.
But I'm sure you're much more interested in what else has been going on, particularly in my love life. Isn't is odd, Diary, that just months ago I was fretting over whether or not to dye my hair brown and change my last name, and now I'm waltzing around (well…only in private, of course) on the arm of the most…Oh, what word is right enough for him, Diary? I really should borrow Hermione's seven language dictionary and pick out a decent one for him. For now, I shall simply refer to him as…Perfect. Perfect Draco. A bit of an oxymoron, I know, but honestly! How could I envision him any other way? He is perfect to me. But, oh, where was I? Oh, right…the waltzing! Figuratively speaking, of course. We both know that I have two left feet and no sense of coordination when I'm not on my broomstick.
I've been with Draco every moment of every day that I can since December. In between classes (and during, but promise you won't tell Ron!), after meals, during Hogsmeade visits, even at night when I can't sleep for anticipation of my seeing him the following morning, I sneak out and go to the gazing room. He's always there when I arrive, too. I'll never know how he knows that I'll be there, but the security it brings me to go there whenever I want and see him smile at me the way I know he never smiles at anyone else—it's magic, Diary.
I've got to make this quick, though. The train leaves in only three hours and I've barely finished my packing. I suppose you'd like to know what happened the rest of that night, eh? Well, as much as we both would have liked to stay huddled in that dreadfully drafty tunnel for the rest of our lives (or at least until we were too hungry to bear it), I knew that my presence would be missed the next morning. At the exit, we must have argued for hours with each other over what to do next. I was, of course, set on finding Dumbledore that instant and telling him everything that had occurred, but Draco would not have it. He's still so loyal to his father. He'd never expose his whereabouts or help anyone capture him. I suppose I find that as part of his charm, though. His passion for loyalty. Oh, bollocks, another bloody oxymoronic thing for me to say about a Slytherin, eh? But I suppose that is what makes Draco so endearing to me. I find it so amazing that in that cold soul of his, there lies a warmth (one that he would never admit to feeling or being in touch with in any way) that some piece of him sets apart for those he cares deeply for. Granted, he doesn't love his father exactly, and I don't think I'll ever understand why he doesn't wash his hands of him all together. Whenever I bring it up, he merely holds me closely (the kind of way you hold someone when they're getting ready to go to sleep or leave for the evening, like you want that hug to be the last thing they remember before slipping away) and tells me that he doesn't exactly know why himself. It's just what his intuition tells him to do.
I believe that if Lucius is caught, Draco would be partly relieved. I would be as well. He's been the alleged instigator of three raids since February against Wizarding events. The World Cup has been nearly canceled twice so far (Ron nearly strangled Seamus when he read the article in the Prophet). The entire Wizarding world has been affected. The war is…oh, I'd hate to get started on all that rubbish now. The most important thing to me is that my family and Draco are safe.
Speaking of Draco…Oh, Diary, I feel dreadful for him. As I mentioned before, he refused to tell Dumbledore anything other than he feared that his safety was in danger because he had refused the Dark Mark. We decided to leave my role in things out of the conversation. Dumbledore, with his all-knowing twinkling eyes, seemed to completely understand. He readily offered Draco his own apartment (close to Slytherin's dungeons) where only he and Dumbledore could gain access. I was never given the means to find it on my own (Draco wouldn't even budge when I tried to snog it out of him) but I believe it's as safe as he's going to get. His lessons have progressed, but I know that he fears leaving for the summer. He's not heard a word from his mum since December, and if she's been at the London estate for all this time….Draco's eyes go dark when he mentions it. I pray for her, Diary. Draco needs her; I know he does.
As far as summer goes, I'm not looking forward to it either. What will I do without Draco for three WHOLE months? If I were any other blathering fifth year girl I'd probably shrivel up and die, but I'm not (thank heavens) and therefore I will be strong and wait. I just don't know where Draco will go. His father has access to all of the mansions, estates, cottages, assorted resorts, and even private islands (Draco could start his own country with the real estate his family has racked up). Dumbledore has been keeping close watch over him. Oh, by the way, after Christmas, Pansy Parkinson disappeared, the pesky little bi—well, let's not get me started now. I can only imagine where Voldemort's got her lurking, waiting for her turn to rid the world of muggles and muggleborn.
But I digress…Draco has no where to go other than the ministry, and there's no way he would do that. If he leaves, Lucius will find him, and if the stories I've heard are accurate, the Dark Lord does not take kindly to traitors. Draco turned his back on a life that was preordained—he's the perfect source the ministry could use to sniff out a hoard of Death Eaters, and Voldie just couldn't possibly have that threat out there, could he? He would do whatever it takes to wipe the world of Draco Malfoy. Without blinking. If he could blink…I suppose.
I've offered for him to stay with my family, but that's out of the question as well. He won't put us in that danger (or himself for that matter—I still haven't quite broken the news that I'm dating my family's arch enemy's son).
He's gone today to have a word with Dumbledore, and I'm sure that he will think of something for Draco to do. I just hope Draco will suck up enough of his pride to accept the aid of an "old fool" as he so presumptuously referred to him for 6 years. He should be back any minute now…I'm dying to see him. I'm sure he could use a hug or something…I just love him so much, I don't know what I would do if I lost him to the dark side. I must keep telling myself that he had every opportunity to choose that path on the train, but he chose me, Diary. ME. Little Ginevra Molly Weasley. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh, what marvelous surprises Fate leaves for us all. Did I mention that Draco makes the most adorable face when he feels uncomfortable? Like when I mention how cute his nose is or the way his ears are pointy at the tips…I'm giggling just imagining it. Oh, wait…I think that's his owl now…bye for now!
Ginny laid down her quill and rolled off of her bed. The tapping noise that had roused her from her thoughts persisted, and she sighed as she lifted the heavy window next to Holly's bed and Draco's eagle owl soared in. It fretted for a moment on her bed, beating its wings as if intending to make her wait for him as he had for her while she daydreamed in front of a book.
"Oh, come now, Onyx! Let me have it." Ginny reached out and poked the annoyed eagle's side, emitting a strangled squawk from its throat. He nipped at the air, harboring the yellow bit of parchment on his right wing and turning so that his tail feathers were gracefully exposed.
"Oh, aren't you a cheeky little bugger? Did Draco forget to feed you this morning—again?" She rolled her eyes and retrieved a piece of toast from the breakfast she had taken in her room that morning.
"Here you are."
Onyx eyed the proffered toast with a snobbish glare before tentatively taking a small bite off one of the corners. Ginny smiled and reached for the letter again, this time successful, as Onyx began to cautiously devour the rest of the food.
"Thank you ever so much, Onyx." Ginny snorted and plopped onto the bed beside hers, unfolding the letter.
Care for a walk before we're whisked away from this hell hole? I've got something important to tell you. Meet me by the lake.
"Something important, eh?" Ginny scoffed and crumpled the letter, tossing it into the trash bin beside her bed. "The last time you had something important to tell me, it was that you were two seconds away from socking my brother in his big fat head if he scuffed your shoes one more time with those bloody monstrosities that he calls feet."
Shrugging, she showed Onyx to the window after giving him a bit of water and headed for the door. Draco wasn't supposed to leave the castle while unattended by a professor, but he was just as bad as Harry when it came to obeying the rules. At least he'd been given back his wand, for use only during classes and for protection.
Ginny patted her wavy hair down as she descended the stairs towards the entrance hall. Everyone was mostly in the common room, lazing about before being called for the carriage ride back to Hogsmeade or (in Hermione's and Harry's case) snogging off in some cloak closet to make up for the next 3 months when good snogging time would be fairly limited.
Even the gloomy pillars in the courtyard could not escape the weather's warm welcome to the summer sun. Ginny wrapped her arms around herself, enjoying the warm white glow of the ancient stones and the piercing blue sky that overlooked Hogwart's refreshed grounds. It was one of those days when she would have normally longed to be home, lying out on the grass with her brothers whizzing by on brooms and the hazy summer heat sticking to her face in golden waves. But today was different. Today meant leaving more than friends behind.
When she reached the lake, it seemed to liven considerably, dancing back and forth in gilded ripples, showing off its freshly sprouted water lilies and giddy fish that flirted with the surface before darting back down into the darkness.
She inhaled deeply and released her breath, easing her way around the water's edge and into the more shaded area where tall shrubs thrived and where Draco would be waiting for her. She wasn't disappointed.
Draco was standing with his back to her and his hands stuffed into his trouser pockets. She took a second to admire his regal stance and to get over the first rush of anxiety that filled her every time she met him when she realized that he was waiting for her. He loved her. And then, after she'd gotten rid of that initial reaction, she allowed herself to believe that everything in the world was completely right for the moment.
"Hello, stranger. I hear you've got something important to disclose with me." She approached him, hands clasped sweetly in front of her. Her sky blue sundress rustled around her knees in silk luxury. It was a gift from Draco, bought in some secretive way (he refused to tell) and delivered by owl the previous afternoon.
Draco took his hands from his pockets and turned eagerly, drinking in the sight of her for a moment before closing the distance between her and wrapping her in a warm embrace.
"Stranger, eh? It's been what? Two hours since I last saw you at breakfast, and already I've become a stranger, have I?"
Ginny laughed against his chest, inhaling his scent as if drinking water—in slow gulps so she could enjoy every moment of it.
"Two very long hours, Draco. I've been worried, y'know. How did your meeting with Dumbledore go?" She lifted her eyes to his and bit her lip, waiting for his answer.
Draco's eyes were the clearest blue she'd ever seen then, and she welcomed the change from the ever-steely gray that she had been used to in the wintertime. His hair had taken on a more healthy blonde shade, leaving behind the flaxen hue for light gold. She drew her hands to his face and traced the outline of his jaw and cheeks as she always did when she was with him, admiring the life that seemed to slowly breathe back into his skin with the help of time.
It was when she was this close that she could feel the slight tension in his grip around her waist, and in his crystal pools, she noted the depths of worry that darkened the edges. Feeling his slight discomfort, she squeezed his torso and kissed his lips shortly, lingering near his chin for a moment.
She opened her eyes and looked at him expectantly. Draco sighed and leaned his forehead against hers.
"That's what I needed to speak to you about. Against my every protest, he has insisted that I spend my summer at a place that he believes I will be most safe."
"But where—" Ginny was cut off as he shook his head briefly for her silence.
"The old bugger's convinced that my dad will come out for me the minute I step off that train. So he's made…arrangements for my mum and me."
Ginny narrowed her eyes. "Arrangements? What sort of arrangements? I thought your mum was in bloody London. How on earth did Dumbledore reach her without interference?"
"Calm down, Gin. Let me finish." He rubbed her forearms with his hands, waiting for the alarm in her face to drain itself slowly.
"Dumbledore didn't reach my mum. She reached him. I don't know how, but she managed to send word through Eleston just days ago. She's been held in London ever since November, but has recently moved to my great grandmother's chateaux in Paris. She's said for me not to be sent there—it's too dangerous with her whereabouts known to my father. So…she suggested I be sent to one of her relatives' place for a while."
He finished with a tense air, waiting for her reaction. Ginny nibbled her bottom lip, and the crease between her eyes formed as she mulled over the information rapidly. After a moment, Draco tilted her chin up and looked at her expectantly.
"Well? Are you going to say something?"
Ginny sighed. "I don't know what to say. What relative could she possibly have that Lucius would not know about? I can't say that I'm too sure that that's the safest place for you to be either. Isn't your mother's line of family more on the…well…not so friendly side?" She sucked her lip back in and went to nibbling furiously.
Draco shrugged. "Well, if you haven't noticed, Gin, both sides of my family aren't known for their joyous get-togethers and family picnics. But it's what the bloody Headmaster—"
"Draco, if you would please be civil towards him. He's only trying to help you," Ginny implored, scowling at him. "I know you don't like Dumbledore, but he's really brilliant, I promise. He'll make sure that you're safe. As long as he says you'll be safe, I trust him."
Draco nodded with an ironic laugh. "Well, he's done a fine job keeping Pothead safe hasn't he? I believe this year's the only year that our hero hasn't had to risk his neck pulling some bloody harebrained stunt like taking on twenty death eaters alone and such."
Ginny looked dubious. "It wasn't twenty."
"Oh, bollocks. Whether it was twenty or a hundred, I believe that given Dumbledore's track record, I'd be safer stowing off on some deserted island and working on my tan while the rest of all the bloody Scarhead-wannabes take care of all the bad guys, eh? Care to join me?" He grinned mischievously and nipped at her bottom lip, ceasing her frantic nibbling.
"Draco!" Ginny smacked his arm playfully, unable to stop the smile that snuck onto her face. "Be serious, please. You've got no other choice. Just do what he says…please?" She made her eyes as wide as possible, enhancing her fan of matching lashes.
Draco seemed torn. "But, Gin! How'm I to know where that sodding—erm…man…is going to dump me off at? What if it's some smelly witch in Knockturn Alley? D'you know what they do to young wizards of upstanding reputation and agonizingly good looks in a place like that?"
Ginny rolled her eyes dramatically and refrained from smacking the arrogance off of his face. It was a trait she was working on abolishing but still failing miserably with.
"I suppose they drag him to the nearest dirty cellar and have their way with him?" She said nonchalantly.
"No! " Draco looked appalled. "They—they…Hang on…d'you really imagine they'd do that? Should I buy an attack dog or something? Perhaps have Eleston accompany me wherever I go?" He mentally envisioned the numerous tragic scenes that could develop if he were left alone to himself in the middle of Knockturn. He cringed when he imagined his robes covered in dirty fingerprints from the mobs that would swallow him whole.
When he snapped out of his reverie, he was met with the sight of Ginny bent over and nearly crying with laughter.
"Oh, now you've gone and started that bloody giggling again. Shall I begin CPR or do you think you can manage to breathe on your own?"
Ginny tried to speak but only collapsed into laughter again. It was nearly contagious, hearing her bubbling happiness, but Draco refrained from partaking.
He took a seat next to a healthy sized shrub and decided to wait for her spell to pass as it usually did once she'd worn herself out.
Ginny wiped at her eyes and clutched her stomach. Draco fiddled with a straw of grass and watched her with one eye. Her wavy hair was about as rebellious as Ginny herself and never wanted to stay in one place. It flowed like a raging river over her shoulders and just past her elbows, curling into the sun's warmth and reflecting it as well. Her cheeks were red with laughing, enhancing the freckles that were scattered over her nose and cheeks but had been lightened to a warm golden hue by the sunlight. The mirth in her eyes made them glow almost golden, and he felt his breath latch onto his throat and lodge itself there. His mouth opened, and as her giggles subsided and she came to kneel in front of him with an apologetic smile, he said the first thing that came to his mind.
Ginny gulped, clasping her hands over her folded knees. Draco was never one to be very complimentary, even in private, but when he did it was as spontaneous as a snitch in a quidditch match. She almost missed his simple comments when he made them, but because they were so rarely spoken, she held onto them with all her might and allowed herself to enjoy them.
Draco shrugged casually, giving her a lopsided grin that had the curious habit of melting her heart to nothing.
"Just thought I'd let you know."
Ginny nodded vaguely, absently fiddling with a strand of her hair.
"Thanks…" She breathed again.
"You've said that already," Draco suppressed his chuckle. She was utterly adorable when she blushed. Why not prolong it?
Ginny's face didn't disappoint as it burned even brighter beneath her freckles. When Draco's face cracked, and he let slip a deep laugh, she glared at him and crossed her arms again.
"Oh, stop it. I know what you're doing, and flattery will not delay the inevitable. I still think you should listen to Dumbledore. It's for the best."
His fun over, Draco sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "I don't know, Gin. Everything's so damn complicated now. How am I supposed to just sit by and hide out while my mother is suffering and my father is running around in a rage wanting to find me? And he will not stop until he does, Ginny. I know he won't."
Ginny— for lack of something comforting to say—closed the distance between them by covering his lips with her own, leaving them both a bit more at ease when she parted reluctantly.
"If only we could just snog all summer long. Wouldn't that make things so much less complicated?" She nuzzled her nose against his and allowed him to tug her into his lap, her back pressed against his chest.
"Sounds great to me. However, I doubt you could handle it. I've been known to—"
"I suggest you refrain from finishing that sentence if you want to save yourself a bullock or two." Ginny warned him sleepily and closed her eyes.
Draco's wince went unnoticed as she drifted away.
"Ginny…" After a moment, he nudged her to rouse her from her half-asleep state. She responded by curling into his arms and rubbing her cheek against his chest.
Draco sighed. "There's…erm…one slight catch to my staying with this relative of mine."
Ginny mumbled sleepily, "Whatisit?"
"I…well…I'll be out of contact with everyone. No owls, no floo, no Apparition. Until my father is captured…I cease to exist."
"WHAT?" Ginny tore herself out of his arms and around to face him. She fought to find words, but tears were already threatening to spill.
"Gin, don't….please…" Draco recognized the signs and pulled her back into his arms. "Now do you see why I was so hesitant to go along with this? I don't want to have to spend three months…well…without you..."
Ginny's head was pressed to his chest, so she simply nodded and sniffled softly. "Me either…"
"But perhaps it's for the best, hmm? Your family was more than thrilled to see me leave at the start of term, and I can't say that I didn't share the sentiment—"
"Draco…" Ginny began warningly.
"Anyway…I just don't think it's the best time for them to find out about us. After all, your dad has been attacked three times in the past year by my father's affiliates. I doubt he'd much fancy the thought of you frolicking around with me."
"We don't…frolic." Ginny said defensively.
"Whatever. We snog and that's enough for any father to go mad over."
"Alright. I see your point. But that doesn't alter the fact that I can't imagine three months without knowing where you are. Can you not tell me anything about where you'll be staying?"
She tried to pull her doe-eyes on him, but he instantly turned the other direction and seemed to suddenly find a preying mantis supremely intriguing.
"Don't, Gin. I can't. It's one of the terms. But in all honesty, I don't know where this place is myself. All Dumbledore said was that it was a place where no one could gain access unless permitted by its resident or himself. All this bloody secrecy is starting to annoy the hell out if me."
Ginny nodded in agreement. "Are you certain that there's no way for me to contact you at all? Not even if I—"
"Not even if you hop on your wimpy little Shooting Star and fly to me."
"Hey! It's not wimpy! It's a classic!" She elbowed him in his ribs, and he laughed loudly.
"Oh, pardon moi, Mademoiselle. I wasn't aware that they considered twigs with bristles "classics" anymore."
"Well if it bothers you so bloody much, then you can buy me a new broom and be done with it." She turned up her nose and "hmphed."
After second of contemplation, Draco shrugged. "Alright, then. I'll have it sent before July. That way you'll have plenty of time to practice and get ready to eat my dust next year on the pitch."
"Draco Malfoy, you are not buying me a broom! What'll my parent's say?"
"I dunno. What about, 'Oy, look! Gin's got herself a new broom!'"
Ginny rolled her eyes. "They'll know I couldn't have afforded it on my own."
"Tell them it was a gift from a friend."
"I don't have any friends with that kind of money."
"Tell them you stole it."
"You're being ridiculous, Draco."
"Alright then. I'll let you have it when school starts. Then you can tell your nosey arse of a brother that you borrowed it from a classmate and we can all watch him seethe with jealousy." He rubbed his nose against her cheek playfully and grinned, "Won't that be fun?"
Ginny laughed despite herself and sighed, resting her cheek against his.
"I love you…did you know that?"
Draco's first response was to puff out his chest and ask her if she thought she ever actually stood a chance against falling in love with him, but when she nestled her head against his chest and squeezed his waist, he felt his heart clench tightly.
"Thank you, Gin…" He mumbled against her head. Ginny nodded softly, not asking him to say more. And so they remained until the sound of hooves clapping against pavement sounded in the distance.
Draco stood, pulling Ginny up with him. She instantly clung to his waist and squeezed tightly.
"Do we really have to go?"
Draco dropped a kiss on her head and nodded. "Afraid so. Unless, of course, you're waiting for a knight in shining armor to come whisk you off—"
Ginny tore her head from his chest and playfully glared at him. "I believe that I'm a bit past that stage, Mr. Malfoy. I'm much more partial to tall, arrogant Slytherins who are way too attractive for their own good and all too aware of it, as well."
Leaning forward, Draco tugged at her bottom lip with his teeth and kissed her with enough emotion to leave her reeling for the entire summer.
After a few more minutes of snogging-goodness, they broke apart, lips throbbing and hearts beating wildly.
"Three months, eh?" Ginny breathed heavily against his chest.
Draco sighed loudly, trying to catch his own breath. "Three months."
"Well, too bad we didn't have a chance to shag before then. It'd be nice to leave you with something to look forward to when school starts again." Ginny purred against his neck, and Draco's body instantly stiffened. He opened his mouth for a moment and then closed it, giving up on speaking all together.
Ginny stepped back, wanting to enjoy the crestfallen expression on his face. When he finally spoke, he pulled her back to him. "Well…we've still got about an hour before—"
"Draco!" Ginny laughed and slapped his arm. "I was joking! What d'you think I am? Some little—"
Smiling, Draco smothered her mouth with his own, drowning out her next words. When they parted, he smiled deviously.
"Like you said. I'll definitely have something to look forward to for next year."
Ginny's lips spread into a wide grin, and she winked. "We'll see."
"I suppose that's as much guarantee as I'm going to get, eh?" Draco played with her hair absently.
"Mmmhmm…" Ginny gave a silly laugh and tugged on his hand. "Shall we then?"
Sighing, Draco threw his hands in the air and allowed himself to be dragged along. "Oh, fine. Let's ruin the moment with more time inside that bloody school."
"Well, you can tour the castle if you want. I was thinking more along the lines of an empty cloak closet, though. You know…for old time's sake." She winked again, and Draco rubbed his chin, mulling over the possibility.
"Well, I suppose it is a bit of a tradition, isn't it? One last good snog next to a rack of old dirty cloaks before the summer?"
"Or we could just stay here," Ginny offered, stopping her slow walk and letting herself melt into his arms.
Draco smiled silently, playing with the hair on the crown of her head.
"That, Ginevra Weasley, is exactly what I had in mind."
Ginny nodded in agreement and tried to forget that they would be parting in only minutes for what would be the longest summer of their lives. But as Draco cradled her head and laid sweet kisses on her face and lips, she realized that "here" was exactly where she wanted to be all along.
"GINEVRA MOLLY WEASLEY!"
Ginny and Draco immediately flew apart. Draco growled. Ginny gasped. And across the lake, his hand clutched firmly in that of Luna Lovegood's, Ronald Weasley radiated with scarlet rage.
"Want to make a run for it?" Ginny muttered through the side of her mouth.
Releasing his hand from hers, Draco nodded shortly. "See you at the station."
And they dashed off in opposite directions, Ginny's hair flying wildly behind her as she prayed that Ron would run after her and not Draco. The summer would be long, but as they sprinted on different paths, Ginny felt in her heart that there would always be a bridge that would bring them back together. And that, she knew, was purely magical.
------------------------------------------------THE END (for real!)-----------------------------------------------
Until next time!
Peace in '05