A/N: Ninquelote: I've been feeling guilty about not updating this fic in so long. I seem to have taken a hiatus from it for quite sometime. I've been very busy with school, I have the SATs coming up and that's very stressful, but excuses are lame. So, here is the long awaited chapter ten. The story is actually nearing it's end if you can believe it. I usually leave things semi-open when I end fics (I'm evil), but there's no reason that there couldn't be a sequel someday. Anyway...it's not over yet! I wanted to thank you for your kind review, that was truly the most awesome review I've ever read! I'm glad that I'm print-worthy, lol.
PS- If you like this fic (and I see by your allusion to Galadriel that you a familiar with Tolkien) then please read my new LotR fic, Those They Left Behind, if you have the time. I -heart- Haldir...
Chapter Ten: Changes
Severus Snape was no fool. Unlike some of the other professors he was well aware of most of what went on with his Slytherins. That night after Ginny had escaped his office like some skittish forest creature, he left the desolation of his quarters and went into the corridors of the dungeons for his nightly walk. He watched his Head Boy swoop down upon that loathsome James McQueeny like a true knight in shining armor. A week later McQueeny was expelled from Hogwarts for undisclosed reasons, but in that night all Snape could do was gape at the budding friendship between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Was this the house unity that Dumbledore so yearned for among the students of Hogwarts? Severus could not help but be drawn backward once more in time to the smiling face of his beloved Arienette. He saw his fate and hoped that for Draco and Ginny things could be different. From the shadows Severus Snape allowed tears to fill his eyes as he watched the red headed Gryffindor and silver haired Slytherin move away from him.
The next morning Draco rose early and nudged Ginny awake; they had fallen asleep in each other's arms. Things were becoming dangerous.
"Wake up," Draco called to Ginny through her sleep clouded mind,"You should be leaving soon if you don't wish to give rise to rumors...and we both know how quickly they spread through the school."
Ginny actually laughed at his comment as she arose from sleep. It seemed like an eternity since the last time she had been able to find humor in something so lightly. Reluctantly Ginny took leave of Draco's rooms without much more conversation, but they both knew that there was some unspoken communication between them that things were different now. After Ginny had departed Draco sat down at his desk in deep contemplation.
He knew that there was no turning back now unless he wanted to hurt Ginny, and that was something he couldn't bare to think of. He was finally ready to admit to himself that he cared for the girl. He didn't know why, or exactly when it had happened, he just knew that it was true. He knew now, that he could no longer stand the anger and torment that his father's expectations caused him. Ginny was his way out and his salvation.
Yes, Draco was prejudiced and most certainly had a superiority complex, but he did not agree with his father or Voldemort's methods of collecting power. Death was something that Draco never wanted to witness again. His mother's passing had cut deeply into his heart. He knew that it was time for change, for if he didn't act now to save himself he would end up a puppet just like his father. With this and his blossoming feelings for Ginny in mind, Draco went to Dumbledore.
By that very afternoon Draco found himself seated in a comfortable yet somewhat lumpy arm chair before the Headmaster of Hogwarts. As he unfolded all of his emotions to Dumbledore in somewhat clumsy words the old man's eyes lit up and he could not suppress a smile. Though parts of Draco's tale were sad, Dumbledore was overjoyed to find goodness in the boy who everyone else had given up on. Well...maybe not everyone else. Draco told Dumbledore of his feelings for Ginny as well. The old man laughed with great mirth and looked lovingly upon Draco.
"My dear boy," Dumbledore began in his warm voice,"you have no idea how happy I am to hear of your decision. It won't be easy, I warn you, no...going against your father will be trying emotionally for you and dangerous as well. But I believe that the best thing to do is to keep you away from your father. You cannot go back to your home now that you've decided to join us, you realize that don't you?"
"Yes, sir," Draco said gravely. It would be hard, leaving the place he'd grown up in and which held so many memories of his mother, but Draco's resolve was strong.
Dumbledore gazed at Draco then, as if he were measuring the boy's integrity and sincerity. After a moment, the man seemed pleased,"Yes...the safest place for you will be the Order's headquarters, the house that now belongs to Harry Potter."
Of course, Draco had known that with his decision he would have to come to a truce with the boy he disliked so much. Still, at the Headmaster's words Draco knew that his transition to the Order's side would be even more difficult. As Draco sat thinking of this Dumbledore began to explain to Draco about the Order of the Phoenix, when he revealed that Professor Snape was a double agent with loyalties to the Order Draco looked up shocked.
"You didn't think that I could honestly allow a true Deatheater to teach at my school did you? I'm more perceptive than that."
That evening Draco collapsed onto the couch of his sitting room, weary from all the information he had received and troubled thinking about the conflicts and turmoil that lay ahead of him.