Disclaimer: YES! THE FINAL ONE! I DO NOT OWN IT!
Ok, ok. So this is the very last chapter, and yes I'll miss all of you and this has been a great ride. I'm terribly sorry for leaving all of you in suspense, but you see—I just had three story endings planned out and couldn't decide whether to leave Ginny for dead or not. Cruel as that may sound; in some cases it would have been better, and in others, worse. But here's the end, and a few parting words;
People often say that a writer's best tool is a pen, but it's
actually the compliments received. With them, they can morph the good
feelings into good fics—which is what I hope I've done here.
Thanks so much, and goodbye!
3 years later
Draco hissed lightly as the steaming liquid touched his tongue, burning it.
"Careful, dear." Mrs. Weasley handed him an ice cube and he took it, dropping it into his mug of hot cocoa almost as an afterthought. The motherly figure in front of him shook her head. "Fred and George did that all the time."
"You're being likened to more twins," another voice teased. Draco pretended not to notice as Harry slipped into the seat next to his.
"Malfoys don't sulk."
"Brooding, then?" Harry chuckled, and then turned serious. "We all miss her, Draco. Don't act like you're the only one."
The blonde's lips twitched a little at that. "Jealous much, Potter?"
"Boys," Mrs. Weasley warned. "Don't start now. I've already gotten wind that Katherine and Sebastian will be coming today—Draco, stop poking Harry—and I just know something's going to break out once Sebastian and my twins start arguing over who're the better pair."
"Kat and Seb." Harry answered promptly.
"Fred and George." Draco smirked back at the ex-Gryffindor, who looked scandalized. "Come on, Potter. I've got absolutely no opinion on this whatsoever, but going against you is just too much fun."
Harry flushed, and opened his mouth to retort but Mrs. Weasley waved him away. "Quiet, Harry. Goodness, I haven't had the house so full in ages, now that all my children have moved out!" She started to tick them off.
"Bill living all on his own in that big mansion off in Gloucester, Charlie still in Romania, Fred and George with their idiotic shop, Ron marrying Hermione and moving into that flat, Ginny—" She stopped, and sniffled.
Draco and Harry glanced at each other, before the blonde held up a cookie. "These are marvelous, Molly! It would have done me some good if I had been able to eat these earlier, instead of the garbage they made me eat at the Manor."
"Snide little monkey," Harry whispered as Mrs. Weasley beamed and turned back to her oven. "Distracting her like that."
"I've been doing a lot of it to myself lately." Draco stood, and waved to Mrs. Weasley as he grabbed Harry's hand. "We'll just be going; I think I'd like to tease Weas—er, Ronald a little."
"Be nice," the plump woman replied, and then uttered a small cry as her fireplace turned a brilliant green. Out popped the face of George Eidelhart, red and looking flustered.
"Molly?" he said. "Are ye there?"
Since the return of Kat and Sebby, George had become a more central figure in the Weasley home, and was constantly arriving with a bag of sweets for "those absolutely beautiful children who saved the lives of mine!"
"Yes, yes," she answered, noticing his excitement. "What is it?"
George peered around the kitchen, and his gaze landed on the two boys. "Er…they'll 'ave t'go, Molly. Although this has to do with them, they'll 'ave to stay out till you think it's okay to tell them."
"Don't come in no matter what," Mrs. Weasley ordered.
Shrugging, Draco and Harry made their way outside. No use in arguing with the mother of seven children.
Outside, snow was falling in thick, fat flakes. Draco turned to Harry, eyes registering curiosity. "What d'you think they're doing?"
Harry shrugged, and looked over to where Hermione and Ron were sitting, chatting gaily about—what else—their new child.
Roslyn was nestled snugly in her mother's arms, squirming just a little but all right nonetheless. Hermione had her wrapped thoroughly in a white parka, and as she rubbed noses with the tiny thing, Ron laughed. Harry and Draco trudged over to them, and immediately after greetings, told the two about the strange incident in the kitchen.
Ron looked quizzical after hearing it. "The same thing happened when I was at Fred and George's shop. They got a visit from Eidelhart too, but they kicked me out and I had to take the Knight Bus home. Dunno what he said. They were ecstatic and it was only yesterday."
"Aren't they always high?" Draco muttered.
"Watch yourself, Malfoy," Ron said threateningly.
"Don't start, you two," Hermione warned them, rolling her eyes. "I've had enough or your whining, Ron, and you're getting too caustic, Draco, and Harry don't just stand there! You're so asinine."
The boys blinked at her.
"She needs pills," Draco said finally. "And I suggest you take a few too, Weasley." Ron glared at him, and Draco flashed him a brilliant smile. "Merry Christmas, Ronald."
Momentarily thrown off by the use of his first name, Ron stuttered out a response. Harry laughed.
"You're both idiots," he said through chuckles. "Gin would throw a fit if she could see you." Ron nodded, suddenly mellow.
"Yeah. If." The redhead muttered, and chucked his daughter under her chin. She gurgled happily and grabbed onto his finger. Ron smiled.
"I think the Terrifying Twins are here," Hermione said suddenly, looking up at the sky. Four brooms had landed just in front of the house, and she frowned. "Why didn't they take the Knight Bus if they don't have transportation?"
"And why four brooms?" Ron interjected. "Unless Kat's moved on to someone more—rugged…" Harry blushed and socked Ron in the arm.
"You need to be restrained," Draco commented lightly.
"Someone needs to put a muzzle on your face, Ferret."
"At least I'm thought of as cute. Aren't weasels normally seen as snide, conniving little sons of—"
"Hey!" Harry shouted, placing his hands on the sides of his head. "My virgin ears, geez."
"Not to mention other such parts of your anatomy," a voice said behind him. "Although if I could have my naughty way with you…" Katherine came up behind him, and wrapped her arms around his neck. Harry grinned, and turned fully to envelop her in a warm embrace.
"Cease and desist with the mauling of my sister," Sebastian said, shaking his head. "Geez, you leave a guy alone for a moment and he's all over the inherited goodness."
"Why you conceited little twat," Draco said, arching an eyebrow. "I wasn't expecting you to rush out so fast. What's so exciting?"
"We've got a guest," Sebastian announced importantly. "And I'm sure you'd like to meet her, Draco, and then we can set you up with her and you'll go on to have beautiful children that are cute but eerily cynical."
"…Thanks for that," the blonde replied. "But why should I be so excited about this guest? In case you haven't noticed, I've been quite indifferent to the female population for the better part of three years."
Katherine smacked her brother on the chest before he could reply. "Don't say anything, Toad," she warned, and then turned to the others. "Just follow us. We found her vacationing in United States, and let me tell you, we hit it off straight away."
Hermione stood, eyes sparkling and suddenly ecstatic. "Then let's meet her already!" Her eyes met Katherine's, and the younger girl sighed. Sometimes, Hermione was too smart for her own good; she'd already figured out what was supposed to be a surprise.
"Onward, then!" Sebastian cried, undeterred. "And, by the way, she's also very cranky at the moment as your mother nearly fell upon her knees in hysterics—"
Sebastian grinned back at his sister. "You too, luv, you too."
They reached the back door, and Katherine went in before any of them, dragging Harry fiercely by the hand. Everyone else stayed back to hang up their coats, so when Harry walked into the kitchen, he was virtually alone.
"On all that's holy…" came his shocked voice, and than only the rustle of fabric and a whispered reply. Katherine was leaning against the doorway, a light smile on her face.
"You know, if I didn't like her, I would have to sock her for doing that," she said. Sebastian rolled his eyes, and held out his arms to Hermione.
"I think I'll need to hold the baby, Hermsey. If you drop her after this, I can't be held responsible for her death." He grinned lopsidedly. "Besides, I haven't held her forever!"
Eyeing him suspiciously, Hermione handed over Roslyn. "Don't you dare hurt her…" she warned him, and then, quickly regaining all of her previous anxiety, she started towards the door. Hermione stopped just before it, however, and held out a hand to Ron, and the other to Draco. While her husband took it immediately, Draco hesitated.
"Why so friendly now, Granger?" he asked finally.
She smiled faintly. "I think—" she paused, and looked back at Sebby. The black-haired boy was looking strangely relaxed, tickling baby Roslyn with a finger. He looked up, caught Hermione's eye, and winked. The witch laughed.
"I think now, Draco, we all need to be friendly." Before he could protest, she grabbed his hand and marched into the kitchen, eyes already glimmering with tears.
3 years earlier
Ginny Weasley had been promised a long vacation, and she usually got what she wanted.
So she wasn't all that surprised when she awoke in a bustling alley, head aching a little and in Muggle clothing. Her wand was tucked into the waistband of the pleated skirt she wore, and she noticed with disgust her white shirt was spotlessly straight. Harrumphing a little, she mussed up her hair and pulled at the shirt till it was effectively wrinkled.
Smiling against the sudden chill that had swept across her face, Ginny Weasley stepped into New York City for the first time of her life.
It had been relatively easy to blend in, once she'd found out that a sort of complicated memory charm had been performed. Teachers and students at Salem Witches Prep School all remembered wild, rambunctious Ginevra Weasley who had but one more month to go before she finally graduated.
It had been relatively easy to figure out who her friends were supposed to be, as well as enemies; the spineless Samantha Mason could never stand up to the heroic blonde Abigail James who Ginny had supposedly grown up it.
It had been relatively easy to pass all her classes with the same flying colors that was expected of Salem's Ginevra Weasley, and even more so to find a job there as the Potions teacher until she had enough money to travel on her own.
It hadn't been relatively easy, however, to keep her from going straight home every time she felt a pang of loneliness. She assured herself she would return someday, but the moment never felt right.
She never knew when it would, either.
Three years and twenty-six days before Christmas, she was starting to feel in that mood. She and Abigail had gone clubbing the night before, and as Ginny performed a quick hangover charm, her memory came back to her.
"He was hot," the now drunk Ginny admitted. "Hot and rebellious. I think I loved him," she slurred.
Abigail nodded, and tried to snap her fingers, only to end up staring at her limp hand as she spoke. "But who was he? You always—always—allays—always talk about him when you think we don't—HICCUP—hear."
Ginny nodded seriously. "That's cuz he's a secret. BIG secret. Enemy of my family, y'see, but we went on a big mission and giggle blew a few things up, and had a couple of fights."
Abigail blinked. "Doesn't sound so nice t'me." She let her head drop on the table as she looked to Ginny, who was suddenly looking very much sober.
"Yeah," she whispered. "To you. To everyone. But he was nice, sometimes. And when he was, he was the nicest, bestest person in the whole widest world." She looked up. "Abby—I think I could've loved him."
Abigail started to snore.
Ginny rolled her eyes, and then collapsed in her own spot.
Luckily, the bartender had been a friend, and had Flooed them home quickly. Ginny groaned now even as she thought of it. Abigail would no doubt never stop bugging her about this mystery man; she needed to get away.
"When was the last time I've had a vacation?" she asked aloud, and then smiled. How cynical of her. Of course, this was a vacation, albeit a long and virtually endless one. She grabbed a pen and a notepad, and wrote a few words on it quickly. She was packed in twenty minutes, and it took her twenty more to make reservations for a nice hotel along the beach in California.
When Abigail Apparated in later, all she found was a note that said Gone for now, be back in a few weeks or so. Love, the Mysterious One (Gin)
Not three hours later, as Ginny lay sunbathing on a beach, Sebastian tripped over her while chasing after a small dog that had stolen his sunscreen. He'd blinked at her in shock for a few moments, and she was in the same position. So much so that when he asked her who she was, she replied without hesitation.
"Ginny Weasley, Toad."
Now as she sat in a kitchen she hadn't seen in three years, after watching her mother collapse in happiness when she had Flooed in, and then gone back for her broom, after seeing the Boy Who Lived become paralyzed in surprise and hug her, she wondered why she had ever stayed so far away.
Her back was turned to the door, as she excitedly told Harry of how she'd managed to become the first ever non-Greasy Potions teacher in the history of the Wizarding world, so she didn't realize anyone was inside until they spoke.
She turned, eyes still sparkling, but they dimmed when she saw her brother, staring as though he'd seen a ghost. Her face softened. "Hey, Ron."
Ron made a small noise of distress, and then in the next instant was wrapping her in a huge hug, sniffling as he did so. Ginny smiled fondly and didn't say a word as he continued to rant softly in her ear, stating that if she ever, ever did such a thing again…
"You're crazy," he finished finally. "But thank you so much, for being sane enough to come home." He pulled away from her and she smiled.
"You're welcome," Ginny said. The redhead took Hermione's hand, and gave her friend a brief hug. "I've been missing you for ages, Herm."
"Oh, Ginny," Hermione breathed, eyes misted over. But then she remembered herself and glanced over her shoulder. Ginny followed her gaze, and was suddenly unable to move.
Draco had entered the kitchen with a slightly confused smirk on his face, but as it became apparent who was inside, the icy façade had melted, and he had simply stared. Ginny, never the shy one, immediately shook herself and crossed the room, taking both his hands in hers.
"Missed me?" she said cheekily. Draco's eyes hinted towards anger, but she squeezed his hands. "I missed you."
For a moment, Ginny was afraid she'd gone too far. Draco's emotions immediately righted themselves, and his face was expressionless once more. She heard someone behind her suck in a deep breath, and she loosened her grip on Draco's hands, ready to step back.
And then her head was tilted up, meeting soft and yet slightly chapped lips halfway through. Cold breath mingled with warm, and she gasped as the ferocity of the kiss made her knees weak.
When they finally broke away, it was to the laughter of Katherine and Sebastian as they watched Hermione scold Ron and Harry, who were scowling darkly.
"I suppose that's a yes," Ginny mused aloud as he looked down at Draco's arms. They had encircled her waist sometime during the kiss and she hadn't noticed. Suddenly bashful, she inclined her head and looked to her mother.
Molly Weasley had seen her children come and go more times than she could count. Now, as she watched her youngest melt in the arms of someone who could probably take far greater care of her than she, she was forced to wipe a tear from her eye. "I give you my blessings," she said roughly. "But come on, now, we've got dinner and I do believe your brothers are coming!"
"Fred and George knew!" Ron said, outraged. "I can't believe they—why would—gah! I hate brothers. Gin, you're a better sister than most, so I'll keep you for the moment." He quickly hid behind his wife as Ginny glared at him.
The kitchen soon became more alive than before, as Sebastian and Katherine retold their tale, and most listened with rapt attention. Ginny and Draco were still by the door, however, talking in low voices.
"What about Soleil and Blaise?" Draco murmured, forehead resting on the redhead's. Ginny shrugged.
"What about them?"
"Do they know?"
She scoffed. "First people I went to. Soleil sobbed her poor heart out. And Blaise was halfway to see you before I stopped him. I wanted to be your little Christmas present."
Draco grinned, then, one of the rare ones Ginny had been privy to. "Tell Santa Clause I like it."
Ginny was surprised. "You know of the Muggle guy?"
"Been spending a lot of time with your family, love."
Ginny smirked. "So it's love now?" Draco opened his mouth to retort, but Ginny pointed deviously upwards to the doorframe. "Mistletoe."
Draco glared at the offending shrub for a moment, before Ginny pulled his face down to meet hers. "How have you lived without me?"
Draco smirked. "Just beautifully."
He smothered her reply with a well-timed kiss, promising many more to come under his breath.
And that's it, that's all, darlings. Non grazi, non grazi. I hope this reaches you all and maybe this will help you out, make your weekend a little better, eh?