When Worlds Collide

A/N: This fiction is based on my one-shot songfic, Until the Wolves are Away. It's not necessary to read that before reading this, but it would enrich the experience. This title is under my scrutiny because it is shared by Powerman 5000...and honestly.....I don't think I have to -say- why it may be subject to change (no matter how well-fitting it is). I hope you enjoy this story, I'll try to update quickly. PLEASE review, I live for feedback. I think that's it...

Disclaimer: Characters are not mine.

Chapter One: The Fragile

Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever

Ginny Weasley sat rapt by the memories that still plagued her after five years. She could see herself dragging her bloodied fingers over the gray stone, forming the words that spelled her own doom. But why couldn't she see these words when she had been scribing them? Why couldn't she see what he had been making her do? Haunted. That power, that complete control that he had held over her for all those months. Why couldn't she have fought it...fought him? Why couldn't she have been stronger? That feeling of helplessness, of incontrol, had never left her. Tainted...

It was the saturday after her first week back to Hogwarts. The beginning of Ginny's sixth year at the school of witchcraft and wizardry. The summers had been a comfort to Ginny after the horrors of her first year, an escape from the place where she had lost her innocence; for that was what Ginny saw her first year as, a loss of innocence. Of course, everyone around her could not understand, they still saw a sweet little girl. But Ginny felt dirty.

As soon as Ginny returned to Hogwarts each year the old emotions resurfaced. She could not escape Tom Riddle.

Crimson curtains were drawn around Ginny's bed, shutting her out from the world. Her fellow Gryffindors were presumably fast asleep, but Ginny's shaking form sat upright amidst an ocean of gold and crimson blankets. There she sat, letting the tears fall freely, hoping that they might carry with them some part of the memories which stabbed at her.

For most of the day she had kept busy with Harry and Ron on the Quidditch Pitch, getting in some training before the first official Gryffindor practice of the season. They'd played until dinnertime when Ginny had reluctanty dragged herself and her second-hand broom back into the castle.

At dinner Ginny caught up with Hermione, who she hadn't seen all day and whom she had become very close with over the summer.

"Yes, so I've just been getting a headstart on my potions research. Advanced Potions will be tough, but Snape seems to take the class more seriously than others, he doesn't single out the Gryffindors so much. I'm glad to see that we're getting to business..."

In truth Snape had not singled out the Gryffindors yet this year. But considering there was only Hermione and Harry alone of the Gryffindor house in the class and that Snape had taken to completely ignoring them rather than singling them out, Hermione seemed to be a little overly optimistic.Of course Snape ignoring Hermione was no big surprise, he'd been practicing that policy since her first year. But Hermione might have noticed that Professor Snape now chose to ignore Harry as well, whom he usually enjoyed tormenting.

It wasn't that Ginny didn't find Hermione's zealous talk of all her advanced classes interesting...it was just that...after a certain number of minutes into Hermione's chatter, Ginny had discovered, she could completely zone out without Hermione's notice. And so, Ginny took this opportunity to scan the inhabitants of the Great Hall.

The more faces Ginny glanced at, the more she became aware of her own lack of mirth. Everyone in the hall seemed so carefree. Each face was smiling and laughing, either inwardly or outwardly, it seemed impossible to think, when watching these faces, that there could be a war going on outside the grounds of Hogwarts. At length Ginny's eyes found the Slytherin table, and came to meet with another pair of roving orbs. Gray. For minutes all Ginny could see were those eyes, she couldn't even make out who they belonged to in her fixation. But eventually the mist parted and she discovered their identity. Draco Malfoy had locked eyes with her and his scrutiny now became apparant. His eyes dug into her, they looked right into and through her. Ginny had only known one other gaze so unnerving...

"...you know Harry, he's always overreacting about nothing and HE thinks--wha?" Hermione was cut short by the sudden exit of her friend. Ginny, struck by the memories she had been trying so hard to evade, abruptly rose from her seat and left the Great Hall, leaving Hermione, Ron and Harry looking rather confused and Draco Malfoy with an utterly blank expression.

That was what had brought Ginny to the state she was in now. Thankfully the worst of her sorrow had passed before the other girls began to retreat from the common room to the dormitory. Now, it was well passed midnight and Ginny sat in the fragile calm that followed an immense emotional storm. From time to time her lower lip would begin that tell-tale quiver and she would have to bite down to control her tears. Eventually, Ginny decided that a change of scenery was what she needed. Swiftly and quietly she opened her bed curtains and left the dormitory, descending the spiral staircase rather quickly and making her way across the common room and through the portrait-hole.

The darkened corridors of Hogwarts seemed like miles of black interrupted occasionally by bright starlight leaking in through a window. She had no idea where she was going, or even why it had seemed such a necessary thing for her to leave the Gryffindor tower. But, after a while of walking aimlessly, she seemed to come to her destination. In her subconscious wandering she did not know exactly where she was, but she had found a window that seemed just the place she needed to be on that night and so she sat upon the sill and leaned her forehead against the cool glass.

Moments or hours passed by. Ginny remained on that window sill, hugging her knees to her chest and lowering her head. Suddenly, she felt that familiar pressure on her shoulder that could only be another person's hand. Immediately her head snapped upward and her eyes were met once again with the stormclouds of Draco Malfoy.

His eyes did not falter under her gaze, and he made no move to retract his hand from her shoulder. Confused, Ginny dragged her eyes away from his and turned to look upon the night scenery outside her window. Neither Draco, nor Ginny could ever say how long, exactly, they had stayed together at that window on that night, him slowly and gently rubbing her shoulder and her, eyes averted, devouring the human comfort he offered her. But when they finally parted ways, wordlessly, the sky had considerably lightened.