I don't even know—what the heck was I thinking when I—it just sort of—it's all Nikki-chan's—oh, just read it.
Nein, not mine.
Where do you take me, my love, away from my
From my trees, from my little bed, and from my
From my mirrors, from my moon, from the closet
of my life...from my shyness?
-Homing Pigeons- Mahmoud Darwish
And Here In This World, I'm Broken
The boy was lying on his bed, alone and without recognizable thoughts. He was on his stomach, eyes staring blankly at the wall. Every so often, his body trembled, the only signal that he was going through immense pain. The door to his room suddenly opened, and a man walked in.
Lucius Malfoy's eyes swept over his son, radiating contempt. "Come now, Draco, surely it must have happened by now. You're holding them in, I suppose? You shouldn't—it will only hurt more."
Draco clenched his fists as a particularly violent spasm forced him to curl up into a ball. He was wearing nothing but a pair of black slacks, and the fireplace wasn't burning, but he had never felt so hot in his entire life.
Lucius curled his lip in distaste. "I never asked for this—imagine! The son of such a prominent family, having this inside of him. But you must pay for your disobedience, Draco."
The platinum blond boy closed his eyes, clutching the sheets to him. He knew what would come next, and he suddenly wished he could just throw himself out of the window. Lucius took his wand from his robes, raising it imperiously.
"Crucio," he whispered.
Draco whimpered as the pain started up again, doubling, from the effects of the curse and the pain he had already been feeling. Two small bumps appeared in between his shoulder blades, and he moaned in anguish as his jaw seemed to shift.
Lucius raised an eyebrow, before upping the curse. Draco's eyes flew open, and he let out a scream. The door flew open, and a red blur collapsed at Lucius's feet. Narcissa Malfoy gazed up at her husband imploringly.
"No—please, I beg of you, he didn't mean it! Leave him be, please!" But Lucius knocked her aside, and as she crumpled up onto the floor, weeping like mad, her son let out another shriek of agony.
Harry Potter was confused as hell.
He had gone to the Burrow at the beginning of August, expecting to find some sort of reprieve; after all, his sixth year was like hell, with everyone on high alert for a Death Eater attack that was sure to happen, in revenge for the fall of their Lord (for the second time). Besides that, Ginny Weasley seemed intent on ignoring him, even though he wasn't sure what exactly he had done wrong and why this should bother him.
"Oi, Harry, Quidditch in the garden!" Ron called to him. Harry looked up from the Daily Prophet and nodded. "Be right there, Ron." As soon as the redhead had left, he summoned his broom and the Practice Snitch he had received for his birthday from Hermione that year.
Outside, Ron was already floating next to goal hoops, which were large baskets with holes cut in the back. Fred and George Weasley were underneath them, explaining to their mother that yes, they could indeed repair the baskets afterwards.
Charlie and Bill Weasley were apparently telling jokes, as Hermione and Ginny were doubled over in laughter. Ron waved to Harry and swooped down. "Are you ready?"
Harry looked about. "That's eight players, Ron, so four on four?"
Ron nodded eagerly. "We've picked teams. It's me, Fred, Charlie, and Hermione. You're with George, Bill, and Ginny. You and Hermione are seekers, Fred and George are beaters, and Ginny and Bill are the Chasers."
Harry nodded, pretending not to notice the glare Ginny was sending his way. "Of course. Let's get started, then!"
Twenty minutes into the game, Harry had become sorely disgruntled. Ginny refused to cooperate with any of his strategies, and he was sure the Snitch wanted nothing more than to kill him. It had twice rammed into his stomach before fluttering away, and for a miniscule ball, it was very tough. Not to mention Fred and George thought it hilarious to hit the actual Bludgers through the baskets just so they could watch Ron scream.
"Ginny! Get the Quaffle, for Merlin's sake!" Harry cried for what seemed like the twentieth time. The redheaded girl looked at him with pure loathing in her eyes before grabbing said ball. Seeing as it would be the first goal in the match (it's said that the first goal in the match marks it for the rest) Fred sent the Bludger her way, and Charlie started speeding to her.
They were all stunned when she stood on her broom, threw the Quaffle past her brother, who was baffled beyond the point of reason, and jumped off the broom to avoid collision with Charlie. She tumbled when she reached the ground, stood, and flicked Harry off before stalking away.
Harry barely heard George pull up next to him. "What did you do to her, mate?" Harry shook his head.
"I honestly have no idea! She's been like that since last year too, and I'm very sure I haven't done anything to hurt her? Do you think—maybe she still likes me?" He let out an "ow!" as someone hit him in the back of his head.
Hermione was glaring at him, arms crossed and since she was absolutely terrified of flying and had to be bribed into doing this, she looked intimidating indeed. "Honestly, Harry, not everything is about you! Learn to suck it up!" So saying, she dropped swiftly from the air and ran after Ginny.
"Wow, mate, I wonder how you're ever gonna get married." Bill said, with the tiniest of smiles. "Maybe you should go apologize?"
"But they'll murder me!" Harry protested. By now all the remaining boys had floated down to he ground and started walking back to the house. Inside of the kitchen, Mrs. Weasley was shouting something, and a voice they recognized as Ginny's answered. Hermione was sitting on the door, head in hands.
"…It is ANYTHING BUT a crush, Mother! I can't believe you won't—refuse to believe me!" Ginny was saying. There was a crashing noise.
"I can't believe you…dishonor…horrible…" Harry could only catch snatches of Mrs. Weasley's side of the conversation, but Ginny's was much louder.
"I DON'T CARE MUM! JUST BECAUSE HE'S—Don't tell me to lower my voice! It's not like he can hear, Mum! I can't believe this—just—just leave me alone!" The door flew open and Ginny raced past them, sprinting up the stairs with incredible speed. Hermione raised her head and sighing wearily, she followed. The door slammed from upstairs, twice.
There was low murmuring from inside of the kitchen, followed by a fresh round of things banging about. Charlie shook his head. "It's been like this all summer, Harry. We don't know what it's about, but Mum, Dad and Hermione sure do. Ginny's become an enigma, now. All we can figure is that it has to do with a guy."
They all glanced meaningfully at Harry, who shook his head. "No idea, remember guys? If she does, she's never hinted at me about it since her third year."
"And don't you forget it," Fred said playfully. His mood sobered, then. "But if you're not who she's talking about, then who is it?" Bill shrugged.
"I don't suppose we'll ever know, now will we?" He turned to Ron, his ponytail narrowly avoiding a collision with Harry's face. "Now, little bro, why have you been so quiet during this whole thing?"
Ron scuffed the floor silently, before meeting their eyes. "I always wanted her to get with Harry, it was the only thing that would've made sense all my life…"
They all laughed.
Ginny was lying on her bed, and staring at the ceiling in a very meaningful way. Hermione walked in, and gave her a disapproving look. "You're going to have to tell them soon, especially if you plan on leaving."
Ginny flipped over onto her stomach and fiddled with the cloth of the pillow. "Yes, but I was hoping to just say it and then run." There was a pause, and then Hermione sighed.
"It's not Harry's fault, Gin. He couldn't have known!"
Hermione was startled to see tears fighting to get out in the corner of Ginny's eyes as the redhead sat up. "Yes it is, Hermione! If Harry hadn't—hadn't said those things and been such a bloody hero, then maybe I wouldn't have gotten that letter inviting me to go with him. Then maybe Mum and Dad would just go on, pretending not to see the owls."
"It couldn't have gone on forever, Gin." Hermione maintained firmly. "You'd have to tell your brothers soon enough, and when you did, there'd be hell to pay, and you know it. Why not just do it now?"
"It was bad enough with me; how do you think Ron's going to take it?" She sulked. The door opened suddenly, and Mr. Weasley walked in. He looked strangely detached from the world, none of his usual bounciness being intact.
"Ginny—your mother and I have been talking. Judging by the argument we heard, it seems like you're adamant in this decision." If Arthur was struggling not to get down on his knees and beg his only daughter to listen to him, he wasn't doing a very good job of it. "You can go. But you must tell the others first."
Ginny exchanged a shocked look with Hermione, before looking back to her father and nodding. "Thanks, Dad. I'll be right there to see you before the train—it's only in another two weeks."
Arthur nodded, his face still grave. "But you must owl us every day, and we want you to try and Floo by sometime. Ok?" Ginny got off the bed carefully, walked over to her father and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
"No worries, Dad. He'd never do anything to hurt me. But it'll only be me telling the guys? You won't be there?" Mr. Weasley mistook her intentions.
"Ginny, your brothers and Harry wouldn't hurt him, at least not in front of me and your mother, and we will be there when he comes." Ginny let out a short, bitter laugh.
"Actually, Dad, I'm more worried for my own health than his."
Half an hour later, Ginny had finished packing, and found herself sitting with Hermione on one side of the dining table. The boys were sitting on the other side; Mr. And Mrs. Weasley were just behind the door.
"Ok, Ginbug, why're we here?" Fred gave her a lopsided grin, and she reflected on how if she let out her news then, the grin would probably slide right off his face and end up in a liquid pile on the floor.
"Ginny's got something very important to tell you." Hermione, sensing her distress, had started off. "She's going away for the rest of the week to spend some time with her best friend. He's got a few problems that have just come up and needs her there."
Ginny almost smiled; she'd expected those reactions. Only Harry seemed indifferent, but now her brothers were all over her. "Who is it?" Ron asked, his face tinting. "Is it Dean? Or Seamus?"
"Are you sure you're not talking about someone like Corner? We're still not sure he's a guy yet." George added thoughtfully.
"Who is it, Gin?" Charlie asked her pointedly, with a good-natured smile but underneath, he was just as tense as any of his brothers. Ginny looked down at her hands, which were folded neatly in her lap. Her wand was there too; she was hoping she wouldn't have to use it.
"He's coming to pick me up today; we're taking a car to sort of cottage place. He's not getting—getting along with his parents." She chided herself for stumbling over her words, but no one seemed to notice.
"Maybe it's a Ravenclaw," Fred volunteered. "Or a Hufflepuff." All his brothers turned to him in distaste, and he smiled sheepishly. "Right, right. Gin's too well-bred to even think about a Hufflepuff."
"D'you think it's a Slytherin?" Bill said. The kitchen was suddenly very still, and Ginny swore she could hear the leaves falling outside. She kept her eyes cast down to her lap, marveling at how many folds she could make in the pleated skirt.
"It's a Slytherin." Hermione said, after a while. The boys were horrified, even Harry almost fell off his stool. George held up a hand, looking a little pallid.
"Wait, wait. Maybe it's someone like Zabini—he's not meant to be in Slytherin, poor bloke. He was the one who stopped Malfoy calling Hermione a Mudblood a few times when we were still there, right?"
"It's not Zabini." The redheaded girl shook her head, and looked up. She was getting tired of all the secrecy of this, and stood, planting both hands on the table. "It's Malfoy."
For exactly fifty-seven seconds, not one person in the entire vicinity of the house moved. The clock hanging on the wall suddenly had the hand labeled Ginny swing to "Mortal Peril".
"How long?" Charlie spoke first, knuckles clenched against the table so hard it was a wonder the wood didn't crack. Ginny relaxed a little. This was good. They hadn't started hexing immediately.
"Since my second year. I was in the kitchens and eating some ice cream. The house-elves were sitting around me while I told them about tricks I'd played. I didn't hear him until he laughed, and it all sort of went uphill from there." She shrugged indifferently.
Harry frowned. He, Ron and Hermione had been busy that year. It was the year he'd first heard of Sirius, and Lupin was there to distract them with his lessons. He'd been busy learning the Patronus charm. Hermione had her Time-Turner. Ron was alternately questioning and fuming about Hermione. Of course they wouldn't have noticed if Malfoy or Ginny acted a little differently—of course.
"What about when you hexed him? In my fourth year, after the Tri-Wizard Tournament?" He could feel the gazes turned to him, all relived at having a question that might be unanswerable.
"He was being a prat." Ginny crossed her arms, eyes blazing. "And he deserved it. It's not like I apologized afterwards or anything."
"Ginny." Ron seemed on the verge of tears. "You're my little sister, I have to protect you. Do you hear what you're saying? Malfoy? The Amazing Bouncing Ferret? He's been torturing me and Harry since our first year!"
"He did a few bad things." Ginny waved off his accusations. "So have you two! You haven't exactly been angelic in your responses; besides, he's different. Even Hermione's noticed a change in him, especially now that she's Head Girl and he's Head Boy. They've been doing rounds together since forever; you don't think they could have talked during some of that time?"
"You knew?" Ron's voice rose as he pointed a biting finger at the brown-haired girl across from him. "You knew and you never told me or Harry?"
There was a knock at the door. Ginny bit her lip and glanced down at her wristwatch, while footsteps hurried away from the kitchen door.
"He's here?" Fred suddenly looked sick. "I thought this was just a joke, Gin. A very well-played, horrible joke." There was the murmur of voices, an exclamation, and then Mrs. Weasley's voice saying something in a soothing, motherly tone.
"What the hell, Ginny?" Ron was on his feet. "This is serious? How can you—this goes against everything we've ever taught you! Everything we've ever told you!"
"That's just it!" His sister shouted back. "Before you met him, you'd only heard stories about his father. He's not his father Ron! He was born and bred to be arrogant, but he's changed, and you know you've noticed it!"
"But he hates us!" Harry protested feebly, already feeling guilty. Ginny directed her glare to him, and he winced, wondering if this was why she had been angry all summer.
"You're one to talk," Ginny spat. "Especially seeing as it's because of you I'm spending the last two weeks of summer with him. So if you're all done telling me that I'm associating with scum, I think I have someplace to go!" She whirled around and pulled open the door. Her father almost fell on top of her, and she had to help him stay up.
"Dad." Ron crossed the room. "Dad, did you hear her? She's leaving with Malfoy! Draco Malfoy of all people! Do you remember fighting with him at the bookstore? It's his father that started the Chamber!"
Mr. Weasley winced, but didn't move otherwise. "It was his father that was wrong, Ron. Not him. Ginny knows that she has the consent of her mother and I to leave." The kitchen was once more plunged into a deep silence, and Ginny's face suddenly brightened. She turned to her brothers, and offered them a scathing frown.
"When you've all come to your sense, you can send me messages by the owl you'll be seeing every day, and I'm coming to visit by Floo." And she was gone, walking down the hallway.
Hermione rose and walked to the window, which was facing the front yard. There was a moment's hesitation before the redheads and single raven-haired one got up and scrambled over to the window, peering outside. Ron let out a low gasp.
Draco Malfoy was speaking to Mrs. Weasley, a sort of half-smile on his face. He looked much more paler than before, and a little thinner as well, but he seemed to glow with some sort of abnormal radiance. His hair had grown out, to his shoulder, but was held by a black rubber hand. He was wearing black slacks, and a light gray sweatshirt. Mrs. Weasley seemed to be enjoying herself, and her laughter floated through the walls.
Fred and George scowled simultaneously.
Ginny was suddenly in their view, dragging along a trunk. Draco took his wand out of his pocket and levitated it. She smiled briefly in his direction, before turning to hug her mother and say good-bye. Behind them, in the entrance of the Burrow, a sleek black limousine was waiting, and a wisp of smoke was visible from the back.
"Show-off," muttered Ron, and Harry felt himself to be in total agreement with him. Hermione rolled her eyes, but returned to watching the scene. Mr. Weasley joined the group outside. Draco offered his hand awkwardly, and Mr. Weasley started what must have been a long speech, but Ginny interrupted and said two words that no one could make out clearly.
Draco Malfoy blushed—blushed! And the Weasley parents did as well. Mr. Weasley cleared his throat, tried to say something, and failed miserably. Mrs. Weasley merely leaned up and whispered something in Draco's ear, before handing him a small packet and standing back.
Ginny hugged both of her parents, before grabbing Draco's arm and dragging him off. She turned around only once, to wave at the kitchen window, and Hermione waved back. Draco caught Harry's eye, and for a moment, a burning sensation went through both boys. Harry suddenly felt short of breath and slid down from where he'd been kneeling on the counter; he found his vision to be nothing more than an explosion of silver and dark green.
There was the distant sound of an engine revving up and pulling away, before there was total silence. Ron sat next to Harry, his mouth open in a small 'o'. "I can't believe she actually did that."
Harry couldn't answer. His stomach was doing flip-flops, and he got the vague feeling that meant sometime later that day, he was sure to throw up. Hermione didn't say a word, instead choosing to slip out of the kitchen and up to the room she shared with Ginny, her first frown line etched onto her forehead.
"You know what scared me?" Fred said suddenly.
"No, what?" George said.
Fred looked back out the window, where his parents were still standing, and then to the boys clustered around him. "Those two words Ginny said to Mum and Dad—the ones that made Dad stop talking? They looked an awfully lot like 'He's gay'."
For the third time that day, the teenagers lost the ability to speak.
Ginny was curled up in the backseat of the limo, scratching patterns on the foggy window. Draco was playing absently with his hair when she looked up to him, eyes twinkling.
"You know, that went a lot better than I expected." Draco smirked.
"Was that meant to be a joke, Weasley?" He winced as she hit him. Ginny sat up and suddenly poked a finger in the hollow of his cheek. He looked shocked.
"What was that for?" Ginny shrugged.
"I wanted to see them—you know. What they looked like, since you said I can't see the—the wings." She stumbled over her words again, and swore quietly as her cheeks flamed up. Draco regarded her silently, before prodding her own cheek. She glanced up, surprised.
His mouth was partly opened, and glinting behind them was clearly a set of elongated canines. Fangs. The pale boy picked up his wand and waved it over his mouth, and the teeth shimmered for a moment before gaining a normal look. He turned back to the redhead, expecting some sort of outburst of disgust, but instead found her eyes lighting up in childish glee.
"I want a pair of those! They're awesome! Now if only I could see the wings…?" She begged subtly. Draco laughed; a quiet, somewhat restrained one, but it lightened up the air considerably.
"No way, Ginevra. You aren't sneaking those out of me; for my mate only, remember?" He chucked her under the chin when she started pouting, and removed his hand from hers so he could put his wand back in his jean pocket.
There was a moment of comfortable silence, before Ginny slipped over the edge of the seat and let her head hang down as she planted her feet against the back of the chair. She looked up at his eyes, which she found were open to anyone who dared look, and found grief hidden in the murky depths.
"How did your father take it?"
He grimaced. "His son, his only heir, being the first Malfoy to inherit Urian blood in almost ten generations? That wasn't so bad. Urian are respected, usually, to the point where they could be worshipped. But then to have the blood be tainted because—because of this?"
Ginny stared for a moment before sitting up again and propping her chin in her hands as she sat. "Ok, so tell me again, how did this happen? Your letter must be the vaguest one I've ever gotten, save for the one Gred and Forge sent me saying 'Pumpernickel must die.'"
Draco leaned back in his seat, and his eyes took on a glazed look. "It was just a few weeks back. You know why I left the Manor—and my father had told me not to. He said there might be some people doing a few things. I didn't think that this soon after weaseling—no offense—his way out of Azkaban he would try something."
Ginny pinched the bridge of her nose thoughtfully. "But you did. And coincidentally, everyone in your family or who your father considered worthy except for you was not outside on June the twenty-ninth, when Diagon Ally was attacked by the handful of vampires still loyal to Voldemort."
"Exactly." Draco nodded. "I ran, of course. Didn't have any of the necessary things needed to take them out. Aurors arrived soon; I saw my Aunt Tonks there. She was the one who found me, after that one vampire got away from the group. I had him Stunned for a moment, and had turned to leave when he jumped me from behind—"
Unconsciously, Draco reached up a hand and pushed some strands of hair behind his ear. Ginny caught sight of two areas on his neck, darker than his pale skin, before another glint caught her eye.
"Is that an EARRING!"
Draco had the decency to look ashamed for a moment before resuming his arrogant stance. "So what if it is? I got it just yesterday."
Ginny gaped. It was a single, crimson red stud in his left ear. Had she not known him for four years straight, she would have been shocked. "Payback to your dad?"
"He won't know till the end of the school year, and by then, I'm legally not under his care anyway. I collect my fortune and leave. It's all been planned; Mother goes with me." He said curtly. Ginny nodded, and then hesitated.
"No word of your mate then?"
Draco opened his mouth, but paused. He remembered the warm blush he'd felt creeping up his neck as he locked eyes with Harry, and how the first thing he had noticed was that the boy had grown more handsome, if possible. He quickly shut his mouth with a snap, however, as he heard Ginny's giggles.
"No. No word." She cast him a disbelieving look, before peeking out of the windows. "I suppose we'll just have to wait, then. Dumbledore no doubt knows of this already, and I'm sure he's going to play matchmaker with you."
Draco growled. "Old fool. It won't work with me, that's for sure."
"Riiiiiiggggghhtttt." Ginny mumbled.
"It won't!" He insisted. "I'll ignore him if I have to, skip classes, cast a Disillusionment charm when he comes closer, but there's no way I'm letting him play matchmaker!"
"That's ok. I heard from Harry it looks like he's working on Ron and Hermione these days. He's going to come after me, next." She shivered. "Maybe I should tell him I'm dating you, just to keep him out of my hair."
"Didn't we discuss this already?" Draco said dryly. "I seem to remember such a conversation ending with that oh so important realization that you didn't like me in the way, and I didn't like you in that way."
"You don't like girls in general." Ginny turned back to him. "If Pansy hadn't been flogging any girl who came near you and telling everyone you're engaged, I shudder to think who else would've known."
"Good old Pans." Draco agreed. "She's done a great deal of reputation ruining these days, what with the faking and all. Thank Merlin she isn't someone who depends on opinions."
"Shut up, you great brute." Ginny shook a finger at him. "And let me tell you something, if Dumbledore doesn't do anything, she, Blaise and I will be the ones doing the matchmaking, got that?"
"I'm afraid." Draco clutched at his chest in mock horror, but Ginny smiled, eyes glinting with some mad inner light.
"Oh, yes. You'd better be."
"Don't do that. It scares me." He looked anything but scared; in fact, he was obviously amused. Ginny scowled, and tried again.
"Can you at least take off the glamour so I can see what you look like now? You just look really sick. I want to see the new, beautiful you!"
Draco was silent for a moment, before casting a cold gaze on her. "Ginevra, you know I'm not done with the transformation yet, right? And then the glamour won't work, I'll be going to school without it, and the whole world will probably start to kiss the very ground I walk on."
"…" Ginny hit him over the head. "Stupid! That's a good thing!"
"Not if I don't find my mate!" He protested, but at the same time he winked. Ginny wriggled away from him and looked out of the window again.
"I bet you, if Fate goes the way it's been going these past few days, I know who your mate is." Draco looked at her, suddenly intrigued.
"Really? And who is the lucky person?"
A sly smile played around the redhead's lips as she pictured her brother's raven-haired friend. "Oh, it's someone you know. No need to get think any further about it, though, it looks like we're here."
And in front of her loomed the biggest mansion she'd ever seen, seeming rather dastardly in the rain that had just started up. The door opened, and Draco stepped out, not even bothering to cover up as he gazed at the house.
Ginny went after him, grumbling under her breath but secretly marveling at the size of the house. "This is where we're staying?" She let slip. Draco turned to answer her, but he never got to as several dark figures suddenly surrounded them, all wearing hoods.
Ginny let out a squeak and scrambled behind Draco, who seemed oddly calm. With no fear in his voice whatsoever, he held out a hand and said, coolly:
"I wasn't expecting you so soon."
As the figure lowered its hood, Ginny screamed.
As you can see, I was very into typing this before I realized, Holy Crap, I'm about to kill off the main character! So...is it good, bad, or what? A friend of mine (What up, Nikki-chan?) asked me to try and write a slashy-fic besides Sirius/Remus, which she says is too easy since I use her rabbit (Remus Lapin, the french bunny) her rabbit's husband (Sirius Lee Black) and her rabbit babies, who we will be naming later on today. So cute!