Alright, I've imported this fic as well. This is a trilogy, and I will be posting the next chapter sometime soon. Credit for the summary goes to Pia! --Jes

Helplessly

Draco Malfoy was tired. He was tired in so many senses, the word has almost lost its meaning. He was tired of always being looked down upon, he was tired of staying late nights at work, and he was tired of hiding his feelings. No matter which way he saw it, he was exhausted in body and mind. And yet, he thought wryly, he still had to go over 3 more reports before he could go back to his apartment. Back to his roommate.

Sometime during Draco's 6th year, he had been assigned to work on a class project with none other than Ginevra Weasley, the only reigning Weasel Queen and what looked to be like a Hermione Granger in the making. She was outspoken, possessed an arrogance to rival his own, and was emotional. And he had grown to respect her in the month's work they'd done.

Ginny had become Draco's first true friend; unafraid to point out his flaws (eager, even), and helpful when she was able. It was through her assistance that he managed to scrape by in Herbology, and with his pointers, she excelled in advanced Potions. She was the person who taught Draco happiness, becoming the person his life revolved around. And at the same time, he envied her for her family and friends. She could turn to them if ever anything happened to him. If he were to lose her, he would have no one. Here, he began to realize what a truly wonderful thing self deception was; it allowed him to pretend he felt nothing but friendship towards the youngest Weasley and enabled him to treat her with respect even though his chest tightened oddly whenever she was around.

They continued their friendship secretly for several months, and then openly as Harry managed to defeat Voldemort by using Parseltongue in a simple binding spell at the beginning of his seventh year. Of course, there had been problems. Draco had retained his disdain for Harry and Hermione, and his dislike for the vast majority of the Weasley family, excluding Fred and George. Ron had also been tricky in convincing Draco's harmless intentions to his sister.

The Yule Ball had been a turning point in their relationship; they had gone together and shocked most of Hogwarts, teachers included. At the Ball, Draco valiantly insisted to himself that it was simply the beautiful dress Ginny was wearing that made her so striking and lovely, and did nothing besides a polite kiss on the hand to end the evening.

And so Draco graduated from Hogwarts, with only one guest attending just for him. She occupied the area his parents would have sat at had they been alive, and ran up to him afterwards, giving him all the appropriate congratulations and encouragements. And afterwards, they had gone to the Three Broomsticks, just the two of them, and sat for hours, discussing what the best course of action would be for Draco now that he was leaving Hogwarts.

They spent the summer picking out items for Draco's new apartment and making plans for the destruction of Malfoy Manor, but many days they spent like young children, frolicking around muggle London and playing Quidditch. When Ginny returned to Hogwarts, he wrote her as often as he could, he telling her of his new job at the Ministry and she telling him of Snape's new relationship with Hermione Granger, the new Muggle Studies professor. Her letters became the highlight of his days, and he felt bereft whenever significant amounts of schoolwork hindered their correspondence. Winter Break was spent catching up on events they hadn't talked about in their letters, and when Ginny graduated Hogwarts, Draco had sat with the Weasley family in their large section, avoiding everyone but Fred and George, with whom he felt an odd kinship to.

While they were celebrating Ginny's graduation, Draco had impulsively invited Ginny to join him in his apartment while she studied at St. Mungo's, and while he watched her face light up as she agreed, he knew he had fallen in love with his best and only friend. She had moved in shortly after, and Draco had tried unsuccessfully to quash his feelings, but she became the loveliest virus he'd ever seen, with her infectious laughter and quick temper. She spread to every part of his life, intruding on his thoughts and pervading his dreams. He had hoped for their friendship to deepen for her as it had for him, but he'd never had the same kind of courage that came readily to most.

And now, here he sat, two years later and no closer to admitting his feelings. He'd told her everything, he mused, about his painful home life and his sense of loneliness. He'd told her everything but the one secret he'd hidden for years.

He swallowed hard, thinking of Ginny's current boyfriend. There was no way he could ruin her happiness by telling her how he felt now; it would kill him to make her choose. And he was absolutely terrified that she would choose Seamus over him.

Seamus wasn't a bad sort, but Draco still hated him in a way even he couldn't understand. He was both happy and upset when Seamus agreed with Ginny's insistence not to discontinue their current living arrangements, because this put him in a Hell where he saw her everyday, without respite. Sometimes, though, he wondered what it would be like to see her once a month, to baby-sit her kids, to listen to her talk of a love that wasn't him and he felt as though there was no way out of this horrible situation. All he was sure of was that he would never put her through this. No, he couldn't tell her, it was better to take this burden upon himself. There was no way he could submit her to that kind of pain. This time, he would suffer alone.

Returning to his reports, he pored over them for another two hours before finally finishing. Grabbing his cloak, he tried valiantly to concentrate on Apparating to his apartment, but in the end walked over to his fireplace, resigning himself to the use of the detested Floo powder.