A/n: And I'm back with the last chapter of Can love Survive it all. Before you begin reading the chapter, I'd like to say a few thank-you's. First of all to fallenwitch, who returns my chapters within a day, so that I don't have to worry as to how my readers are going to react to a particular dialogue or action within the chapter.
Second to bslehofer who loves this story. Thirdly to all those anonymous reviewers who were kind enough to leave me their response in spite of not having an account here. To everybody who has steadfastly stood by this story – Thanks a lot. I enjoyed writing this one, and bringing it back to life. I only hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing.
Hermione paced the length of her living room, looking up in alarm at every sound. Five days! Ginny had been gone for five days, and the Aurors still didn't have any leads on her location. All they could tell her was that Ginny was safe and had come to no harm. But why was the hand of the Weasley family clock stuck on Mortal Peril?
Hermione took a deep breath and went to the fireplace. Throwing in some floo powder, she said in a clear voice, "The Burrow".
In the mean time, Ron and Harry left the Aurors' office. With a scowl on his face and his jaw set at a determined angle, Ron walked ahead. His nose buried in what looked like an old map, Harry followed behind, until both came to rest under the shade of a tree.
"So have you got her position yet?" asked Ron, turning to Harry.
"Wait a moment," said Harry distractedly.
"I swear, if its Malfoy she's with, he's going to..."
"Shut up Ron! I need to concentrate here. This map isn't as accurate and fast in finding locations as the Marauder's," said Harry, scanning the parchment closely. The Aurors had invented a map that could identify the location of a missing person with the help of a potion. When the potion was mixed with any object that belonged to the missing person and a drop of it was dropped on the map, the person's current location could be established with minimum fuss. A Weasley invention, the Achilles map was guarded. Being the famous Harry Potter came with certain benefits and access to the map was one of them.
Pushing his glasses higher on his nose, Harry scanned the mountain range that had just appeared on the map and saw a mansion resting deep within its valley's. The owner's name appeared slowly, as if the map itself didn't want to reveal the name.
"Malfoy," Harry gasped in shock.
Ron uttered an oath and took the map from Harry's hands to scan it. "How long will it take us to set up a Portkey?" he asked his eyes full of rage.
"An hour maybe," said Harry, thinking quickly.
"Harry, she's my sister," Ron said.
"I know. Let's go get her back," said Harry.
"So what do you want for breakfast?" asked Draco, peeking into the refrigerator. "We've got eggs and some bread, fresh juice and a couple of biscuits." Turning to Ginny he added, "Name your poison".
Ginny studied Draco's profile. His ruffled hair and open shirt made him look like a seventeen year old. Nodding her approval at what she saw, she closed her eyes and sighed happily. "Anything that you can whip up in exactly five minutes".
"Your wish-" He stopped abruptly as he heard a noise outside. He motioned to Ginny, and she came over and stood beside him.
"Who's that?" she asked, from the corner of her mouth, her voice low.
"I never could predict the future," he said lightly. Tensing, as another loud crack split the silence around them, Draco placed a protective arm around Ginny. Closing his eyes, he silently Accio'ed his wand. Handing Ginny hers from the refrigerator, he took a step in the direction of the voice.
Opening the door to the patio, he peered around carefully, until a fist came and knocked him sideways.
"Draco," he heard Ginny scream in alarm. Without thinking twice, he lashed out at whoever had hit him and soon had a big male body pinned under his weight. Sitting up a little to see who his attacker was, he was surprised to see...
"Richard? What are you doing here?" asked Ginny incredulously.
"Saving you from Mortal Peril, what do you think?" he said, looking sardonically in her direction. "Some savior ha," he said, pointing at Draco, who still had him pinned to the ground.
"Whoever told you I was in Mortal Peril?" asked Ginny, panic evident in her voice.
"Molly's clock, what else? Where else will you find such a pair of words describing danger? Now, can we have this conversation where a six foot man isn't knocking the breath out of me?" he said.
Reluctantly, Draco sat up. He offered Richard his hand and pulled him to his feet. Richard immediately went to Ginny and enveloped her in a bear hug. "Do you know how worried I've been? Why did you suddenly take off like this?" asked Richard concerned.
"I didn't. I was kidnapped," said Ginny flatly.
"I knew it, you jerk!" And with that, Richard attacked Draco again, placing a few timely punches in his stomach. "How dare you do such a thing? What did you think, nobody would ever find out?"
Panicked, Ginny hit Richard on his head. He turned with a pained expression, and she quickly bent to help Draco up. "Richard, yes Draco did bring me here without my permission, but we had to talk," she said.
Suddenly, another pair of cracks rang around them, and another set of hands started beating the heck out of Draco. Doubling over with pain, Draco looked up in time to avoid Ron's fist colliding with his left eye.
"Ron, stop this," said Ginny.
"No. Malfoy, what the heck is your problem? You probably thought you didn't hurt her enough last time, so you came back again. Well, enough is enough," said Ron and lunged for Draco again.
Unable to avoid another blow, Draco uttered a long painful moan. And then ducked, in time to avoid Harry's attempt to damage his right eye. Richard who was a bystander until now, joined in and attacked Draco's legs, kicking at them, until finally Draco fell down to knees.
"That's it, stop it you three or you're going to lose me forever," screamed Ginny.
That got their attention. With their mouths hanging open, they turned to Ginny. She stood there, with her legs apart, her hands on her hips, small red sparks coming out of her wand. Taking a deep breath, she ran her hand through her hair, and for the first time that morning, all four men noticed that she was wearing nothing but a shirt. A man's shirt.
'My shirt' thought Draco with pleasure. 'My dress shirt, from our dance date.' He beamed his pleasure, in spite of the pain he was in.
"What are you doing wearing a man's shirt?" asked Ron, recovering first.
"I shall answer that question along with all others, if you'll only give me time to explain things," said Ginny,irritated. "Now will you mind if we go, seat ourselves and talk things like the mature adults that we are supposed to be?"
Grumbling, Ron and Harry followed Ginny in,accompanied by a sullen looking Richard. "She never wore my shirt," he said to himself, with a childish expression on his face.
"What are you saying Molly?" asked Hermione, her breath hitched.
"Just what you've heard, my dear. The clock never said Mortal Peril, darling. Ginny's hand was pointed at vacation, so we assumed everything was alright. But Richard," Molly stopped, to shrug, "he just said that she never took a vacation all this time, and now that they're engaged, they should travel together. And then he just went away," she finished.
Hermione shook her head confused. If Ginny never was in Mortal Peril, then why had Richard said that she was? Unless, he wanted to find Ginny and tell her what he felt about her taking a vacation alone. But then, why come to Harry for help.
"Molly, did Richard tell you that he told Ron and Harry that Ginny is in Mortal Peril?" asked Hermione.
Molly Wesley's eyes widened. "Why would he do that?" she said.
"I don't know, but I intend to find out. Come on Molly, we're going to the Aurors' office".
"So that's why Draco lied to me. He needed to push me away so that I would be safe. Unfortunately, things didn't exactly turn out the way they were supposed to," finished Ginny. Taking a deep breath, she looked around the table. Harry looked sympathetic, Ron skeptical, but the most shocking expression was on Richard's face. He looked as if he were about to start crying.
"And where was he all these years?" asked Ron, suspiciously.
"I was busy with work and clearing my name from all accounts of Death Eater attacks. I wanted my name to be completely cleared of any association with the Dark Lord before I tried to renew my –uh- association with your sister. And then I heard of her eminent engagement with Richard two years back, and gave up. But when the actual thing took place, I just couldn't stay away," he finished, wincing as his eye stung.
"And you suppose you can just walk back in here and ask Ginny to come back into your life. Well, I won't have it," said Ron. "Ginny is engaged to Richard and that's how things remain," he added rising.
"Ron, sit," instructed Ginny, angrily. "Now listen here, Draco and I have cleared all our misunderstandings, and I've realized that I want to be with Draco," she said, turning to smile lovingly at Draco.
"What do you mean by that? You're engaged to Richard, and the clock in the burrow says you're in Mortal Peril," shouted Ron.
"No, it doesn't," came a voice from behind them all. All five heads turned to see Hermione walk towards Richard and slap him hard across his face.
"Hey," complained Richard, rubbing his cheek softly.
"Why did you lie? Ginny was never in Mortal Peril, she was always just on a vacation. You sick idiot, you had us worried for so long," she said angrily. Then turning calmly to her husband, she gave Harry a small kiss on his cheek and then rushed to hug Ginny.
Molly, who has followed Hermione, tsk'ed behind Richard. "Why did you lie?" she asked simply.
"I had to tell her something important, something urgent," confessed Richard. "I- I, I can't marry her," he said.
"What?" asked Ron, his voice rising again. "Why not?"
"I-I I'm going to be a father," he said simply. "I uh I have to get married to my neighbor".
"What?" shouted Ron again. "Everybody has gone completely insane! You wanted to find Ginny to tell her that you can't marry her, and you have to get married to another woman. Oh gosh, I should've hit you instead of Draco," said Ron advancing towards him.
Holding up his arms, Richard added "listen. She's my obligation; I have to get married to her. I love Ginny, but I can't let Emily go. This might be my only chance at fatherhood," he said, painfully.
"What do you mean?" asked Molly, his eyes wide open.
"My healer says I can't become a father ever again," said Richard and hanged his head in shame.
"And when were you going to tell Ginny this?" asked Hermione.
"After we got married. I swear, I just love her so much, but I need to get married to Emily now. Oh gosh!" he exclaimed. "I hope you understand Ginny," he said, raising apologetic eyes to Ginny.
Smiling softly Ginny moved towards him. "I understand. We all have our reasons to do things. As long as you understand, I have to be with Draco now," she said. When he nodded, she gave him a warm hug and went to stand next to Draco.
"What do you mean you have to be with Draco?" asked Molly, while Hermione exclaimed in glee.
Sighing, Ginny said, "It's a long story mother".
"Well we have all the time in the world, now that we're here. Hermione, why don't you go get Draco cleaned up, all that blood is simply ruining this fine carpet, and Ginny can sit down and fill her old woman in. And Ronald, you better escort Richard back, and I warn you - don't hit him".
When everyone had been placated enough and fed, they left. The house went back to being quite, and Ginny and Draco sat down in front of the fire, curling up under a comforter.
"What are you thinking?" asked Draco, noticing how quiet she was. "Something wrong? I thought everything was pretty much perfect after they stopped hitting me," he added with a wink.
"Everything is perfect. I'm just worried about what happens next".
"Well, tomorrow we go get your clothes from your house, and then go visit the Weasley family and assure them I'm not that big an oaf".
"And then we live happily ever after?" asked Ginny, sounding skeptical.
"What's the matter?" asked Draco worried.
"I'm just worried about the future".
"Don't worry. As long as you're here with me, our future will turn out just fine. I promise".
A/n:I had lots of fun with this fic. Someday I might just write a sequel. Untill I come back with another story, Goodbye.