In Seven Days
Deciding Your Future
Friday December 20th 1997
What really happened:
"Draco, I'm – I'm sorry."
"Save it Ginny. I don't want to hear it. You've been speaking to your friends haven't you? You must have, only they could try to talk you out of this and succeed."
Ginny bent her head. "I have to follow my heart or-."
"Or else it'll get crushed by me is that it? If that's what you think Ginny… I obviously don't know you." He got up and made for the door of the classroom. Ginny braced herself for the loud slam but it never came. She looked up to see the door held open centimeters from the frame. It opened once more.
Draco turned back to her from the corridor. "I would've made you happier than you know." Then, he was gone.
Ginny sat down for what felt like forever. She just wanted the earth to swallow her whole. She had chosen Harry because she was told it was a better option in the long run. The things that Lavender, Parvati, Hermione and Luna had said to her were utterly preposterous. There was no way that Draco, her Draco, could do anything like that. The more they spoke, however, the more it made sense. What about in the long run? When he got tired of her, as he tended to do with all the other girls he had dated. He would just go. There was nothing to tie him down to her. There would be no reason to stay.
She saw him again at the end of the school year for the last time. He was getting on the train back to the platform in London. He looked at her then, in a way that made her feel like running to him pleading for forgiveness. But she hadn't. He left for good without a second glance and, though her heart was wreaking havoc in her chest a thousand times over, she let him go.
She walked behind Harry to the compartment that Hermione had chosen. Harry stood aside to allow her to go first and she smiled at him as she put a foot blindly on the compartment's step. Without warning her foot slipped and it stumbled back to the ground at the same time as the stack of reading Hermione had brought for the train ride fell. She held onto the side of the compartment to steady herself. When she straightened she suddenly looked to her side to see Draco looking at her, leaning against one side of a compartment a few doors down. Though his face was that of stone, she new that glint of concern in his eye.
"You okay, Ginny?" Harry said above her, he was about to climb in around her. She nodded quickly eager to get rid of that gaze at her left. As she sat down she realised Harry was helping Hermione with her books and had passed her straight. He thought she could handle herself, that's all. He loved her. He had told her so and he wouldn't hurt her like Draco would inevitably do. She nodded to herself as the train jerked forward and smiled.
She was sure she had made the right choice.
Friday December 18th 2009
But now, now after what she had seen. It was proving to be the worst thing she had ever done. She had told him she'd followed her heart but she had only followed her head and the hearts of her friends. It was logical, it was sensible.
But sensible things don't always make sense.
She ran down the stairs of her two story apartment out into the cold night air of London. She wrapped her coat around her and ran out onto the street wondering when the hell it had become winter and blatantly ignored the loud pleas of Harry's voice behind her. She had to leave, she had to… escape.
He had her with him to keep him warm anyway.
"Ginny, I love you. I would never do anything to hurt you. You believe me right?"
"Of course, Harry. I will always believe you."
'What the hell was I thinking?' she thought to herself. She thought many things as she sat on the stool at the bar before getting a headache and reprimanding herself for thinking too much and not drinking enough to dull the pain.
"Who the hell did he think he was, promising me forever just to steal me away from Draco so that he could shack up with some other bird and fly off?" She slammed her glass down on the counter as she faced the barman. He looked at her sympathetically. There were too many witches out there that came to this bar to get rid of cheating husbands or boyfriends. Thank Merlin it was a Wizarding bar, or else there would be a lot of explaining to do with muggles who saw stray spells soaring all over the place from an angry witches wand. He smiled to himself.
Ginny squinted to see his face better. Apparently the alcohol had a bizarre effect on eyesight. "Are you laughing at me?" She raised her hands in distress. "Here I am, paying your wages and you're laughing at me? Who do you think you are? Harry?" She gave a spluttering scoff. "I don't think so, you're too good looking and not half thin enough and that scar is dreadfully out of place."
She suddenly burst out in laughter.
The barman shook his head watching the ever changing moods of the witch before him. He hadn't yet seen a laugher. This was definitely new to him. So, he kept watching. Suddenly, she simmered down and rested her head in her outstretched hand. The hand had an empty glass and it was knocking against the bar top.
Oh, there's my signal. He reached forward with the bottle in his hand. He was never sure how drinkers knew that their glasses were suddenly full, it was truly fascinating how they wouldn't look but knew exactly when to drink from a newly refreshed glass of alcohol.
"I should have stayed with him," he suddenly heard.
For the first time since she had sat down there, he spoke. "Pardon?"
"I should have stayed with him," she repeated.
"With your boyfriend? I thought he was cheating on you?"
"No," she said waving her hand, "not him. Draco. I should never have turned him down." She smiled. "He told me that he would make me happier than I ever knew." She bent her head and secured it in her arms. "I loved him so much." She began to cry.
And here's the final stage. He pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her.
She took it gratefully. "Thank you," she sobbed. "I'm sorry."
"No need to apologize love. It's my job."
She smiled at him. "I should have stayed with him. He gave me a choice and I chose Harry, I wish I had chosen him. I'd love to know how things would turn out with him, if only for a day or a week. I'm sure I would have been better off."
"Really?" said a voice to her side.
She jumped and turned to the man who had seated himself beside her. She caught at her chest and breathed deeply. "Who are you?"
"I am about to become your new best friend."
Ginny frowned and looked at the barman. He was watching the man in contempt. "Janos, not now. Not her, she's in grief."
Janos looked at his friend. "Exactly, she needs my help."
Ginny watched the two of them go at it wondering what the hell they were going on about. The two of them argued like old friends, as if she wasn't there. Oh well, I can remedy that.
"I am telling you to leave her alone. She has enough on her plate." He pointed to her but then realised that she wasn't there. Janos followed suit and then turned towards the doors. He watched his friend and smiled evilly.
"So long, my friend, I'm off."
"Janos Elliot, I am warning you."
"That you are, and I am ignoring you."
He ran to the doors to catch up with the woman who he had yet to learn the name of, he reached outside in time to see her turning a corner and sprinted after her. He caught up as she went into a grocery store.
Ginny turned to him and frowned. "Huh?" she asked wondering who the hell he was.
His smiled slowly dropped. "We… just met in the bar. You were saying something about wanting to find out something?" he tried. She must be really out of her head if she couldn't remember the last three minutes.
She slowed in her stalking of the aisles pondering what he was on about. She suddenly rummaged in her pockets. "Are you talking about my loser boyfriend, Harry?" she said as she retrieved her wand. She looked at him with a straight face. He thought she was about to hex him, she saw this face and burst out laughing ignoring the faces of the other shoppers that passed them.
"Are you alright?" he asked cautiously. She seemed to be changing moods quite often.
"I'm fine. I'm absolutely brilliant." She waved her arms around theatrically. "I gave up the love of my life to settle with a prick of a man who probably only lied to win something or keep my brother happy. You know, I used to wish that Harry would just hurry up and ask me to marry him. Now, I thank my lucky stars. And children, ha! Thank Merlin we didn't have any children." She then fell back on a shelf and dropped to the ground. "I wanted children. I wanted the perfect house with the perfect husband and the perfect children. I wanted someone to love me. I wanted…" She shook her head. "I wanted happiness. I don't think I can call myself happy, do you?" She looked up to him for an answer.
He looked down on her and surveyed the teary eyes and the wand grasped tightly in her hand. She was one of the few who really needed his help. "Are you planning on using that wand?"
She nodded, "Yeah."
"Suicide." She looked up at him. "Or murder, I haven't decided yet." She sighed heavily and stood up. "He's ruined everything. I don't want him around anymore. A good hexing and an unforgivable or two would brighten my day significantly." She moved to go around him and exit the store.
He opened his eyes wide. Would she really go out and kill him? Surely she couldn't. She must have some sense, even if she was plastered. "You don't want to do that," he called after her knowing that she'd turn.
The drunken ones always did.
She turned and frowned at him. "Why not?" she said planting her hand firmly on her hips and reminding herself too much of her mother. She took them off instantly.
He smiled brightly. "I already told you, I'm your new best friend." He moved forward and put an arm over her shoulder. They walked outside into the cold night air. "I'm going to help you out." He cupped her face in his hands and closed his eyes muttering something under his breath. When he opened his eyes he looked at her pointedly. He caught her nervous look.
"Don't worry," he smiled. "In the morning, everything will be right as rain."
Suddenly, everything went black.