Chapter 24- My Bane
Draco's eyes went to the door again, and Ginny closed her eyes momentarily, steeling herself to see his father walk into the room. She'd been gone for months; he must've been released from Azkaban while she was back in time. The door opened, and Ginny opened her eyes again, determined to watch Lucius Malfoy walk through it without flinching.
The person that greeted her vision was most definitely not Lucius Malfoy.
Ginny watched Severus Snape walk through the door, and shock numbed her all the way to her toes. "Him? You want me to accept him?!"
Remus, on the other side of the room talking with the werewolf, heard her shout and straightened. When he caught sight of Snape standing at the foot of Ginny's bed, his back became rigid and he strode hurriedly across the room, hand going for his wand. "What are you doing here?"
His voice was practically a snarl, and even Snape looked a bit surprised.
"I came with Draco to meet this amazing girl that he apparently feels very seriously about."
Remus's expression didn't change, and Ginny instinctively stepped in. "Remus."
"You have no right to be here. She needs rest, not the constant aggravation and anxiety that follows you around!"
Snape's expression soured, and his hand twitched toward his wand, too. "I'm here at Draco's request, and Draco's request only. Do you think it's exactly my idea of a good time to talk with a Weasley?"
"You're lucky that-"
"Stop it, both of you!" The two men both jumped a bit, having obviously forgotten that they weren't alone, then looked at the angry redhead in the bed. "Remus, I appreciate your concern and I know that you're only trying to be helpful, but let me handle this myself. I'm a big girl."
Remus looked only slightly abashed and stalked back across the room reluctantly. Ginny nodded to herself and looked at the other perpetrator of the fight. "And you get out. Just get out."
Snape didn't even hesitate. He just turned on his heel and strode casually out the door as if he didn't have a care in the world.
Ginny looked back at Draco. "Going back to our conversation… you want me to accept him?!"
Draco glanced at Snape, casually closing the door behind him, then back at his girlfriend. "Yes. Ginny, he saved my life. And he's the closest thing I have to a father right now." The betrayal remained in Ginny's eyes, and Draco sighed. "He's changed, Gin, he has. I don't care if you believe him when he says it, but you trust me. Please, Gin. You don't have to like him, just be able to be in the same room with him occasionally."
Ginny closed her eyes and leaned her head back. She couldn't believe she was about to do this. Her brothers were going to kill her. "Get him back in here, Draco."
If her eyes had been open, Ginny would've seen the shock written across her boyfriend's face as he quickly stood and went to the door. It was only a matter of moments before Snape was standing beside her bed once more.
Blinking a couple of times, Ginny pushed her hand out in her former potions master's general direction. She glanced at Draco when she felt Snape's hand grasp hers, and the happiness she read on his face told her that she'd just made a lasting commitment in his mind. Surprisingly enough, that didn't bother her at all.
Ginny sighed contentedly and snuggled closer to Draco, watching the fire dwindle down into glowing coals. His arm tightened around her shoulders and she smiled slightly, closing her eyes momentarily. They'd come a long way since that hospital wing a year ago, and she couldn't remember ever being so happy. Yes, they still had frequent spats, not to mention the awkwardness that was always present when they stayed at Order Headquarters or attended lavish Malfoy parties together. Nevertheless, Ginny was content when she was with him. He made her happy.
She felt him draw in a deep breath and knew that he was about to speak. "Will you do something for me?"
"Depends on what it is."
Ginny pulled back from his shoulder slowly, eyes wide. "Are you serious?"
"Completely. I love you more than anything else in the world, and I want you to be my wife."
Ginny's eyes sparkled with tears, but she managed a mischievous grin through them. "I don't care who you are, Mr. Malfoy, you are doing this thing properly."
Draco rolled his eyes and pulled a ring box from his jacket pocket. He raised a questioning eyebrow at her, and Ginny shook her head. "Nope, still not right. You've got to kneel."
He sighed, but knelt down in front of her and opened the box, extending it toward her. "Well, Miss Weasley?"
Ginny smiled. "Well, now that you've finally gotten it right…" She leaned in and kissed him lightly, then rested her forehead on his. "Of course I will."
Draco pulled the ring from its padding and watched his girlfriend- no, his fiancé- examine it. The large diamond glinted in the faint firelight, but Ginny was smiling at something else. Etched into the gold band were the words 'My Bane'.