Disclaimers - I disclaim!
A/N - I don't know if anyone wants this.
Chapter 19 - Let Me Be Nobody
The second Ginny landed on the roof of the tower, she regretted her decision. She was going to talk to him from afar, not meet him in person! What was she doing? She had strayed so far off course, but Harry had forgiven her. Now she was straying again. Part of her hoped that he wouldn't show up. There was no future for her with him.
When she heard someone land on the roof behind her, she turned. Draco's broom clattered to the ground by his feet. Ginny froze, staring at the hooded figure in front of her. Slowly he began to walk towards her. Her fingers tightened their grip around her broom. Maybe she should go, go while she still had the chance. But as Draco reached up and pushed back her hood, she realized she was already too late. Her broom fell to the ground as well.
She stared up into the shadow that was his face, wide-eyed. Her hands drifted up and stiffly pushed his hood back. For the first time they were meeting face to face on their tower. Draco's eyes were cold and vacant, his face expressionless. They gazed at each another silently.
Finally he spoke, "Well this is a first. Why did you need to see me exactly?" His voice was bitter.
Ginny looked down at her feet. "I don't know," she murmured. "Sometimes I get these thoughts..."
"So you asked me to sneak out and come all the way up here for no reason," he drawled.
"You serve the Dark Lord?" Ginny asked, setting her eyes on him again.
Draco crossed his arms. "I already told you that," he said evenly.
"But not because you want to, because you have to," Ginny guessed.
"You want me to be good, don't you?" Draco spat. "You're hoping deep down I'm just a pure-hearted noble prat like Potter."
"If I wanted Harry, then I would be with Harry," she retorted.
"I'm not stupid," growled. "I know you wished it were him. All those times you were with me you thought it was Potter."
Ginny scoffed, rolling her eyes. "The first two times I had no idea who you were," she countered. "I didn't really start guessing until the third time, after I had spoken with you in the journal. I thought maybe Harry, maybe Neville, but certainly not you. I wasn't wishing you were anybody in particular, though, just making guesses. But then Pansy pretty much gave it away with her tantrum on the stairs and I went with you, didn't I? Harry was holding me and apologizing and I walked off with you and told you I..." Ginny faltered, uncomfortable. "I..."
"You loved your faceless fantasy," he finished for her. "Don't pretend like that had anything to do with me."
"It was you, it is you," Ginny insisted.
"How could you possibly know who I am?" Draco fumed.
"I know you are alone, like me," she murmured. "I know you feel trapped, like a pawn, barely able to make up your own mind about anything. I know you hurt. I know you need me as much as I need you."
"How sweet," Draco drawled. "But I'm afraid you are still just playing out some little story in that screwed up blood traitor head of yours, Weasley."
Ginny pursed her lips. "And you were the one saying things would be okay once we were face to face," she said, eyeing him with disdain. "I was doubtful, though. I knew you would just revert to whatever fucking facade this is. I despise this person, but I had to try one last time before I gave up. I can't believe I wasted my time spelling a new journal and everything. This is the last time." She lifted her right hand and her broom shot up into it. Reaching into her robes, she produced her journal and offered it to him. "I'm done writing to boys that don't exist."
Draco stood there, oddly hunched, and stared at the journal, but did not take it. Ginny shook it at him impatiently. They stared at each other for a long moment before Ginny dropped the journal, assuming he had no interest in taking it. As she turned away to leave, Draco started forward and grabbed her wrist. Before she could twist out of his grip, he had pulled her to him. Ginny felt her hood being tugged up over her head and when she opened her mouth to protest, she saw his hood was shadowing his face as well.
"Draco..?" she whispered, part of her wanting to pull away, but the rest of her hoping he would reveal something.
The faceless figure bowed his head. "Please let me explain," he murmured. When she didn't respond, he sat down, pulling her with him. They sat side by side, but Ginny left some space between them. "I just can't face you yet. It would have been easier if we had never found out."
"But we can't ignore what we know," Ginny said gently. "We can't backtrack and start over."
"Can't we?" he asked, voice so low she could barely hear him.
"Just give me until holiday," he implored, an edge to his tone.
"For what?" Ginny wondered, incredulous. "That's just about a week away! What difference would that make?"
There was a long silence, heavy with tension. Draco rigidly took one of her hands in his. "Please?" he pleaded. "Just let me be nobody a while longer."
Ginny wasn't sure how to respond. She wanted answers so she could move forward, but Draco wasn't going to give her any and his request would land her back in the past. As much as she felt she should resolutely march out of his life and never look back, she felt deep down inside that there was something left she couldn't ignore. The boy she loved had hidden for so long behind a mask of cruelty that he had never shown his face... to anyone. Maybe not even himself.
"I will make a deal with you," she offered. Draco's hand curled tighter around her own. "Write me every night at 10."
"Meet me every night at 10," Draco insisted.
"Write first, then we'll meet," she compromised. "That way I get my talking and you get your silence."
"Every night until break," he confirmed.
"Every night," she echoed. "But you must leave me alone at all other times."
"Yes," he agreed.
"Let's start tonight," she suggested, strangely excited.
"Yes," he repeated.
Ginny pulled her hand away and got to her feet. "I don't want to be late for dinner," she told him.
"Of course not," he replied, also rising.
As Ginny got on her broom, she heard Draco clear his throat. When she turned to him, she saw he was holding her journal out for her to take. "Don't forget this," he said, a smile in his voice. Ginny wondered what his face might look like underneath the shadow. She might never find out.
"Thanks," she replied, taking the book. A moment later she was flying away.