"Draco, Giovanni wants that dragon book again," Ginny said from behind the blonde who was crouched over a pile of faded parchment on his worktable.
"Again? What is he doing with it? Honestly, that is like the tenth time this month."
Ginny shrugged, and Draco stretched and sighed before descending the ladder into the underground rare book room. Moments later, he returned, his eyes watery and trying to hold back a sneeze. Most of the books downstairs rarely saw the light of day, but this particular book, Draconis Victus, The Living Dragon, a 13c manuscript by an Italian monk, seemed very popular. Draco made a note to inspect it that evening after Giovanni left for signs of overuse.
Draco handed Ginny the book, and she exited the small workroom through a small arched doorway. The narrow stone passage looked distinctly careworn, and the chill from the stone belied the waning of spring in Rome.
She emerged from the passage into a large, dimly lit room. The stones were darkened with age, and the rich wood of the ceiling offset the dusty glow from a row of large gothic stained glass windows that stretched to the floor. The room's only occupant sat at the far end under a large stained-glass image of a wizard duel on dragon-back; the elderly wizard sat at a large wooden table, his leather-bound notebook and quill poised and ready.
"Eccolo," Ginny said with a small smile as she gingerly placed the book in from of the man, who beamed at her.
"Your Italian is getting very good," said Giovanni through a thick Italian accent.
Ginny tipped her head at the elderly man before saying, "Grazie," and retreating to the workroom where Draco labored over a new acquisition of the archive.
"Draco," she pleaded, "I am starving! Come with me to lunch." Draco frowned once more at his pile of parchment before pushing back his stool to join a beaming Ginny.
As they retreated through the stained-glass reading room, Ginny paused to tell the girl reading behind the counter to keep an eye on Giovanni, and that they would return after lunch.
Draco grabbed Ginny's hand as they stepped into the bright, bustling streets of Rome, and Ginny sighed happily tilting her head back to bask in the warm glow of the sun.
As the pair walked silently along their usual route, Ginny took in the sights. After almost two years she still had not gotten over the grandeur of Rome: the ancient monuments, the breathtaking Renaissance paintings that even Draco had admitted liking, and the awe-inspiring size and beauty of its countless church facades.
The pair had arrived in Rome in a flurry of panic and grief. Draco knew of a place that his mother had often secretly retreated to in the heart of Rome where they would not be found. When they arrived in the small palazzo, Draco fell into despair. He refused to leave his room, and Ginny was too frightened to venture outside. For a week neither spoke, and Ginny spent hours at a time gazing out the front window into the unknown world outside.
When Draco finally emerged, he found a haggard looking Ginny gazing forlornly out the window. He knelt at her side, took her hand in his, and kissed her briefly on the cheek before saying, "I'm sorry I left you alone so long."
Unused to this tenderness but too weak to reply, Ginny simply smiled and nodded. Draco pulled her to her feet and out of the palazzo. The first place he took her was too a café where he sat at her side and helped her order from the Italian menu. Once Ginny was feeling a bit more like herself, she had turned to Draco, her eyes full of sympathy and wet with unshed tears, but he shook his head at her and whisked her away to see the sights of the city.
The next few days went by in a whirlwind of excitement. The pair spent every minute of daylight combing the streets of Rome: learning every alley and every ristorante. The first time Ginny saw St. Peter's Square, she sank down at the base of the obelisk and stared in wonder. Draco had smiled at her, and kissed her on the cheek again. Her hand flew to her cheek in surprise, and she turned questioning eyes on him, but he merely smiled and pointed out some trivia about the square and cathedral.
The days stretched on at a lazy pace, and in time the pair reverted to the playful banter they had enjoyed earlier in the school year. The fast-paced desperation that had ruled their final days at Hogwarts were not forgotten, but pushed aside in favor of happier emotions.
Ginny was the one who had seen the old wizard first. In a narrow alley near their palazzo, Ginny spied a man disappear into a wall, and she immediately drug Draco downstairs with her. After almost an hour of trying to figure out how to do it, Ginny and Draco re-entered the wizarding world. Only it was much different. They stood in an Italian counterpart to Diagon Alley; the streets were lined with wizarding shops and people bustled up and down the street in brightly colored robes. Draco sighed in relief; he would not have to live as a muggle. Yet the pair was careful, because they had to determine what Italy knew of the war in England, and if Voldemort was a threat to them there. It turned out the Italians concerned themselves very little with the goings on of foreign countries, especially England which wasn't even on the continent.
Draco was the practical one who found them jobs. He spoke a fair amount of Italian due to his frequent childhood travels, and spotted two positions at a local wizarding library. The irony was not lost on him as he was told that the library needed a pair of wizards to work in cataloguing. Months later, they were such a successful team that Ginny and Draco were promoted to the special archives, as the curator had decided to retire. So every day Draco and Ginny walked to their archives and sat amongst the dusty volumes that served as a daily reminder of their fateful library duel.
Draco's final confession to his mother was never brought up, but the mutual affection was not difficult to see. Ginny thought that Draco's loss must have put things into perspective for him, because he stopped trying to push her away every time they had a moment. He did not, however, stop prattling on about blood superiority; when he said something offensive, Ginny usually swatted his on the back of the head, but let him say what he wanted. While it was unpleasant, Ginny recognized it as a harmless, unchangeable effect of his childhood.
One blustery winter evening Ginny was sitting in the reading room pouring over an old volume and freezing. She kept shouting out random complaints about the cold while Draco worked diligently away in the back room. He was surprisingly involved in his work; it was an escape from the real world for him, just as Rome was his escape from the war and a murderous lunatic.
"And I think I have lost all of my toes! They've fallen off and are scattered on the floor. Bring the broom when you come out, I don't want to frighten the readers in the morning. Have to clean it up!" Draco cracked a smile and looked again at his watch. He sighed and closed the book before clicking the light off and gathering his cloak.
When he entered the reading room, Draco found Ginny huddled under a cloak in a chair, her chin resting on her knees, which were pulled up to her chest. She was so involved in her reading that she did not look up when he approached her. Draco shook his head and chuckled. "It really is time to go now," he said as he rested his arm on Ginny's shoulder.
"No," she said distractedly, "just five more minutes. This is really interesting!"
"Ah, but you have already lost your precious toes! I think I stepped on one on my way over here. Pity… Anyway, I can't have you losing your fingers as well; you need those for working, and for the pretty present I have for you."
Ginny's head immediately snapped up to look at the blonde over her shoulder. "A present? For me?" Ginny threw off the cloak and jumped up to his side. "Well, what is it? Let's have a look!"
Draco tutted at her and said, "No, it is far too cold in here, and I want my warm fire. I've let you read half the night away, and I want to go home."
"Oh please," Ginny begged.
"No," Draco replied stubbornly.
A mischievous look flitted across Ginny's face before she pouted and nuzzled into his chest. "Okay… It sure is cold in here. Mmm, but you are nice and warm." Draco looked down at the girl suspiciously, and she snatched a kiss while he was off guard.
"No!" he said. "No present tonight! Honestly you are such a child."
Ginny wrinkled her nose at him and said, "Fine let's go home. Someone is awfully grumpy."
"I wasn't grumpy until you started whining!"
"Well I wasn't whining until you teased me!"
"I didn't tease you until you… what are we arguing about?" he asked at last as he helped Ginny drape her cloak over her shoulders.
Ginny shrugged. "I don't know, but I think I am winning."
"You most certainly are not! I do not lose anything, especially arguments, and even more especially arguments with Weasleys!"
"Yeah, yeah. Keep telling yourself that," Ginny replied rolling her eyes as she stepped into the winter wind. Draco swiftly stepped up to her side and wrapped his arm around her. He could be very attentive when he wanted to, but especially when the pair walked the streets at night.
When they arrived in their palazzo, Ginny made a beeline for the bedroom and quickly crawled into be under the massive pile of luxurious blankets. Though Draco only had a small portion of the Malfoy wealth that had been diverted into a private account, he still insisted that they did not live like beggars- or even like Weasleys. Once Ginny was thoroughly buried, only her eyes and nose peering out into the chilly air, she waited.
Finally, Draco sauntered into the bedroom and climbed into bed beside her. "Your feet are freezing!" she exclaimed pulling her own warm and still-attached toes away. Once she had settled into her pillow, she said, "I love you." Silently he leaned over and kissed her before sinking into his own pillow facing the opposite direction.
It was routine. She always said it, and he never did. But she knew what the kiss meant. It meant, "I love you, too, but I am too proud to admit it, and too scared to say it." The pair had remained somewhat platonic and slept in separate rooms even after Draco's confession to his mother until Ginny heard him having a nightmare one night. She did not say anything when she entered, but crawled into bed with him and held him until he calmed. After that, she never left him to sleep alone. They never talked about it, just as they never mentioned his pronouncement of loving a Weasley.
Over a month later, Ginny had received her gift. She was lying on her stomach reading a book, her legs kicking in the air, when Draco entered to palazzo and shook the snow off of his cloak. Without looking up, she shot a greeting over her shoulder.
"What is so bloody enchanting about that book that you can't even bother to look at me when you are talking to me?" he asked irritably.
"Mmm, it is about a princess and a knight, and he rescues her, and… well it sounds much better on paper," she finished, still without looking up. She listened as his footsteps crossed to her, and she smiled as his feet stopped inched from her book; she knew the irritated and exasperated look that was gracing his features, even without looking up.
Moments later, her book was buried under a pile of fragrant flowers, and Ginny finally looked up at the man towering above her in amazement. She squealed and jumped to her feet before gathering Draco into a crushing hug and a passionate kiss. When she pulled back to look at him, Ginny was surprised at the look that had crossed his face. His silvery eyes were a deep stormy grey, and a tentative smile spread across his face.
Draco looked her levelly in the eye before saying, "I love you, too." The joy on Ginny's face lit up the room as she immediately closed the distance between them again and kissed him with a joy and passion that had been unknown to the young couple. She always knew he loved her, but she knew how hard it was for him to say, so it was all the more important.
Suddenly, he pulled back from the kiss and fumbled around in his pocket. When he pulled out a small velvet box, and opened it to reveal a diamond ring, Ginny closed her eyes and sunk to the floor. He sat down beside her and took her hand in his. He cleared his throat and slid the ring onto her finger wordlessly. When she did not look up at him, he said, "So, I guess you don't need to find a husband anymore."
Ginny cracked up. She started laughing so hard that tears streamed from her eyes as she clutched onto an alarmed looking Draco. Finally she fell back panting to the floor, beaming and breathless. When she noticed Draco's bemused expression, she asked, "How do you know I was going to say yes?"
This time Draco beamed and pulled himself closer to her on the floor, brushing her book out of the way. "Because I am charming and wonderful, and you think I am irresistible."
"Yes, well, that is why I love you."
Draco paused a moment then said, "and I love you."
They were wed in a small ceremony attended only by a few fellow wizards from the library and conducted entirely in Italian. They were blissfully happy and spent weeks away from work just roaming the city that they had come to love. No word passed their lips of their other lives; neither voiced their concern over a vengeful Dark Lord or an anxious family of redheads, though their idyllic lives were punctuated with moments of dawning realization, which were pushed aside with a frown. They lived a fantasy out of one of Ginny's novels.
They both knew that it could not last, nor would they want it to. Ginny missed her family more as time went by, and Draco grew weary of his fearful existence.
Though still quite young, the couple lived as if they were completely unattached from the world and anyone but themselves. Neither finished school due to their flight to safety, and they married far younger than was entirely common. Nor was it common for so young a married couple to celebrate Ginny's news of pregnancy as they did. Draco beamed for days, shaking everyone's hand that walked by, and shouting it aloud in several of their favorite restaurants. Ginny blushed and tried to calm him, but she was secretly overjoyed at his reaction. He couldn't be happier.
Until the day he walked his very pregnant wife to a café for lunch.
As the couple sat at a table on the patio of a street-side café in the wizarding alley, a headline on a customer's newspaper caught his eye. Not only was the man holding paper with English headlines, but also in large black letters it read, "War in England Over! Evil Wizard Defeated!"
"What?" Draco asked loudly as he crossed to the wizard and snatched his newspaper away. To the indignant man's expression he mumbled a quick, "scusi" and rushed to his table where Ginny watched bewildered.
"Draco? What is-" but she stopped as he thrust the paper onto the table. Ginny's hand flew to her mouth and she looked up at Draco in astonishment. "What does it-? Who-?"
Draco pulled his chair closer to Ginny's side and read aloud:
After years of fighting a losing battle with Lord Voldemort, the English wizarding community has won a surprising victory!
For months now the attacks have become more frequent and brutal, leading all to believe that the end was near at hand. Indeed it was, for last night the Ministry of Magic was swarmed by over three hundred of his followers. The battle that ensued was long and bloody, but the light side had a strange advantage. Unforgivable curses bounced off them to rebound onto their casters! No one has been available for questioning on this matter, but it was surely what won the battle.
The Chosen One, Harry Potter, entered into a one-on-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and just as it did nineteen-years ago, Lord Voldemort's killing curse rebounded; this time finishing off the dark wizard. There has been speculation for some time about the possibility of horcruxes as a barrier to victory, but there is no evidence to support this theory.
The final death count was far higher on the dark side, though many brave witches and wizards lost theirs too. Along with Lord Voldemort's death, we have received news that every member of his inner circle was found dead, including Severus Snape, the murderer of Albus Dumbledore, and Lucius Malfoy, the fugitive wizard responsible for the string of mass muggle killings two-years ago.
Draco sat back and blinked at the paper. Ginny shakily let out the breath she didn't know she had been holding and took his hand in hers. When he looked up at her, his face was grim, and a teary eyed Ginny nodded. It was time to go home.
The rest of the afternoon passed with very few words between the pair, each was drawn into his or her own worries and doubts about going back. Draco had no one to go back to, except those that no doubt wanted to capture and kill him for 'kidnapping' Ginny. Ginny Malfoy. Ginny, on the other hand, had many people to go back to, many people who she feared would hate her for leaving as she did, or hate her for her husband and soon-to-be child. She also feared to know who had not made it through the war, as she was sure to have lost someone. At any rate, neither suspected their return after a two-year absence to be easy.
After making arrangements with library, the pair loaded their things into a private car of a wizarding train, and commenced their journey. Ginny's child was due at any time, and neither wanted to risk apparation or the floo network in her condition. Though neither said it, they were also terrified of what would happen if they just appeared at the Burrow.
As their cross-continental journey drew to a close, Ginny grew more and more agitated. What would everyone say? In London, the pair rented a car, and made for Ottery St. Catchpole and the Burrow. Draco kept his sneering comments about why anyone would willingly call their home a burrow at a minimum, since Ginny was too stressed and in too delicate a condition to make arguing worthwhile.
The pair arrived at nightfall at the illuminated windows of the Burrow. Ginny had hoped to have a moment to collect herself and the tears that began falling as soon as she saw the house, but as she suspected, the coming headlights had alerted everyone to their presence. Ginny sighed and squeezed Draco's hand. "I think you should stay here for a minute," she said, "I'll try to get them used to the idea so they don't try to kill you." Draco nodded mutely and watched his young wife squeeze her way out the door and across the lawn to face the people whose curious faces were silhouetted in the kitchen windows.
As she neared, she heard several loud shouts, and the door slammed open with a crash. "Ginny!" a tall redheaded boy shouted as he barreled toward her. "Ginny! Can it really-? Is it really-?"
Ginny's face broke into a broad grin and her eyes shone with tears as she called, "Ron! I've missed you so much!" As he reached her, Ginny saw his eyes flicker momentarily to her stomach, then he gathered her in as tight a hug as he could manage with her huge belly. Ron's cries of joy were met by the unbelieving faces of Bill and Charlie, who immediately rushed to her side.
"I can't believe it! You are my Gin, and you are here! You came back to us!" Bill said through tears. When the three stepped back to get a better look at her, they noticed Ginny's eyes flickering to the door, waiting for the others.
"Gin," said Ron quietly, "we have lots of things to tell you. Fred and George are- and Mum is-" Ron's face scrunched up as if trying to hold back tears.
"No!" Ginny moaned as she sunk to the dirt path below her.
"Whoa," said Charlie, "let's be careful here, Ron. Ginny, Mum is okay; she is with Dad in the hospital. They messed him up pretty good at the last battle a couple of nights ago."
"They are okay? Fred and George? They are all-"
Bill held up a hand to stop her. "We lost Fred and George last year, Ginny. There was a battle at Diagon Alley, and you know them; they always had to be right in the thick of it. But they went together, just as they always did everything else together."
Ginny was hunched over on the ground sobbing when she heard Draco call her from the car. "Ginny? Are you okay?" Of course he was worried, and she made him sit in the car and watch this entire scene without knowing what was going on.
The three boys looked up at the sound of the voice and back down to Ginny before making a move toward the car. "No, wait!" she called. Only Bill stopped to help her off of the ground.
Ginny watched in horror as Draco opened the car door to meet Ron and Charlie who had grim looks on their faces. "Malfoy!" Ron shouted as Charlie leveled his wand. "What did you do to my baby sister?"
"Ron, no!" Ginny cried rushing to Draco's side. She stepped in front of him and took Draco's hands in hers. "Ron, please, I want to talk to you."
"You want to talk to me?" he asked angrily. "What is he doing here, Ginny? After all this time you are still with him? Your kidnapper?"
"Honestly, Weasley, I didn't kidnap anyone. And would you kindly stop pointing your wand at my wife," Draco added to Charlie.
"Your wife?" Charlie spluttered as Ron's face turned a brilliant shade of red.
"Yes," Ginny said calmly. "Draco and I have been married for over a year, and I love him, so you need to cool it with the accusations."
Ron gave Ginny a hurt look, and retreated into the house. Charlie gave Ginny a weak smile before following Ron. Bill on the other hand, walked right up to the pair and shook Draco's hand. "You are a lucky man," he said.
"I know," Draco replied simply, though he was stunned at the friendly gesture. From a Weasley.
"Let's get you inside. You look about ready to burst; Fleur looked just like you do before Jacqueline was born."
Ginny turned to Bill with a smile. "You have a baby?" she asked and Bill nodded, beaming with pride.
As the group entered the Burrow, Draco's disdainful looks at its interior earned him a swat across the back of the head, and he smirked at Ginny. Ron and Charlie were sitting at the kitchen table looking grim, when Ginny, Draco and Bill joined them.
After and awkward silence, Charlie cleared his throat and said, "The girls should be home soon."
"Girls?" Ginny asked curiously.
"Hermione and Fleur took Jacqueline out shopping this afternoon to take their minds off of everything."
Just then, Ginny heard a commotion in the living room as several people stepped out of the fireplace.
The first to enter the room was a small blonde girl who rushed to Bill, who pulled her up to his lap and kissed her on the head. Next came Fleur who seemed distracted looking for her daughter, but once she got to Bill's side, she notice the two arrivals and watched them suspiciously. The last to enter was a familiar bushy-headed girl.
Before she took in the company, Hermione began, "Ron, I got you some-" but was distracted immediately. "Ginny!" Hermione shouted in joy. "Oh, Ginny it is you! You are all right! Oh, Ginny, I've missed you so much! You are having a baby! How have you been? Where have you been?"
Ginny smiled and held up her hands, "Whoa there, Hermione. All in good time." It was then that Hermione finally noticed Draco, and she sunk into the chair beside Ginny. "I expected as much," she said. She turned to Ron, "Didn't I tell you? I told you that they ran away together!"
Ron crinkled his nose and Ginny laughed.
Hermione turned back to Ginny and asked, "Are you happy?"
Ginny beamed and nodded an enthusiastic yes, so Hermione got up and placed her hand out to shake Draco's. He looked at it doubtfully before Ginny nudged him and muttered "Grow up, Draco," so he shook it begrudgingly.
"Good." Hermione nodded and resumed her seat.
"I don't know if I call it exactly good," Ron mumbled from across the table. Charlie seemed to share this sentiment.
Hermione's eyes narrowed and she shook a finger at him. "Honestly Ronald, would you rather she not be here? The choice is to have her here with us and Malfoy, who I can only assume is the father of her child, or you can wish that she had never come home at all, and you could spend the rest of your life wondering what ever happened to her. You are lucky, Ronald Weasley."
Fleur's eyes widened at the argument, and Ginny couldn't help but laugh. After all of this time, those two still fought like cats and dogs. But apparently it worked because Ron, and even Charlie, looked thoroughly chastised.
Ron pulled a face then said, "Yes, dear."
"Dear?" Ginny asked.
It was Hermione's turn to look proud. "Ron and I got married a few months ago."
"About time, Weasley," Draco said at last. "I thought you would never get up the courage to do it."
"What?" Ron asked in bewilderment.
"Everyone knew," said Ginny. "Even the Slytherins."
"Right, well…" he began. "So shouldn't we go see Mum and Dad?"
"Yes, I want to see them," Ginny said standing.
"Let's go, then," said Bill standing.
"Right," Ginny replied and looked to Draco. "I really don't think I can handle another long drive back to London. I'm sure it would be okay if I just-" she stopped when she saw the look on his face.
"Oh, honestly," said Bill, "Fleur traveled by Floo all the time when she was pregnant. You know there are more automobile accidents than floo accidents."
"See," Ginny said with a smile, "it will be fine, and I really want to see my mum."
"Fine," Draco mumbled, "but don't blame me when something happens."
Ginny rolled her eyes and the stepped into the cluttered Burrow living room. She was the first to floo away, and was met at the other end by a concerned looking St. Mungo's nurse as she tried to regain her footing.
Ginny smiled and waved the nurse off, though she hobbled to the wall and held it for support. Draco arrived moments later, and rushed to her side muttering bitterly about ignorant Weasleys who were endangering his wife for no good reason. When she heard him spit out something about revenge, Ginny laughed a little, and straightened up.
"I'm fine, see!" she said with an effort, because she was still feeling a little off after her dizzy floo journey for the first time in months. Draco eyed her appraisingly, but they were shortly joined by the rest of the noisy Weasley clan and bustled down the narrow halls.
At the end of the hall, a harried looking Mrs. Weasley rushed out of a room and said, "Hush! He's finally gotten to sleep, and I don't want you waking him with all of this noi-" Her eyes widened and her hand flew to her chest before she rushed at her daughter, her eyes streaming with tears.
Wordlessly she held her daughter and the redheaded pair sobbed for several minutes. When Ginny finally pulled back, she said, "I missed you, Mum." This started another onslaught of tears while Mrs. Weasley made strange noises and motioned several times to Ginny's large belly.
Finally, she pulled away from Ginny to look at Draco full in the face. "You are the Malfoy boy?"
"Yes, ma'am," he replied politely. "I am Draco."
"And have you married her?"
Ginny laughed and shook her head at her mother's antics. "Yes, ma'am." At this Mrs. Weasley turned bright red and started motioning wilding as unintelligible streams of words came out of her mouth.
Draco looked between Ginny and Mrs. Weasley in bewilderment before he finally heard a sentence of Mrs. Weasley's rant. "And now I haven't even gone to my only daughter's wedding!"
Draco frowned at the thought that his mother-in-law was more concerned with missing the wedding than the fact that her daughter now had the last name of the family rival.
Draco looked up to catch Ginny's eye but was surprised to see her holding her stomach, a pained expression on her face. "Ginevra!" he called as he rushed to her side, and everyone gathered around in concern. "Are you okay? What's wrong? Is there something wrong? I told you not to go in the floo! I blame you!" he said pointing wildly at the Weasley boys who all looked thoroughly taken aback.
Mrs. Weasley patted him on the shoulder and said, "Calm down, son, she is only going into labor." Slightly taken aback that he had been addressed as 'son' in a way that was not threatening, and partially taken back by the sudden realization that he was soon to be a father, Draco gripped Ginny's hand and leaned back to the wall.
"Uh, Draco?" Ginny asked. "You either need to let go, or walk with me because I really need to sit down.
Minutes later, she was dressed in a hospital gown and propped up slightly in a bed surrounded by concerned faces and a stressed out Draco. Several hours later, the same room hosted a room full of beaming witches and wizards, and a very tiny addition wrapped in a pink blanket and nestled up to her father's chest fast asleep.
Again Ginny and Draco's life was thrown into fast-forward. On top of the stresses of re-entering the world they had left behind, they had a small child to care for and many prejudices to handle. Draco spent long afternoons at Gringott's handling his father's estate, which he had never expected to inherit. Apparently his mother had worked a charm into the will such that Draco could not be disowned.
Ginny became reacquainted with her family and friends, and explained far more times than she wished to why exactly she had married Draco Malfoy. Seeing Harry again had been awkward, because of his continued affection at the time of her disappearance, but he seemed to have done well for himself and was dating a witch he met during his auror training.
Ginny and Draco eventually retreated back to their cozy little hideout and library in Rome, where they spent most of their time, and their daughter grew up charming most everyone who walked through the library door. Over time the little family grew and they made frequent trips back and forth to the Burrow through a long-distance floo system that they had installed. The children spent the day at the Burrow with their grandparents (for Mr. Weasley had healed over time) and cousins (for Ron and Hermione had quickly started in on a family, and had several frizzy-haired redheads).
Though Draco never really got over his prejudice, and never opened up emotionally to anyone but his family, he had still let Ginny break down his barriers and let some light into his dark world. Ginny never really got over her idealistic tendencies and naïve optimism, but her witty banter and often completely disorienting relationship with Draco kept her grounded. They lived not in slow idyllic detachment or fast-paced harried involvement, and not as dark Malfoys or light Weasleys, but somewhere in the grey.