A/N: This is the final chapter of 'Curiosity'. While I didn't get many reviews for the last chapter, (although that's not surprising as I increased the rating), everyone who DID review, liked the update. Honestly, once I got over the embarrassment, so did I.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of it!
Please Note: You might that Mione's a little OOC. Sorry about that, but that's just the way she came out. Remember, she's angry, and in love with Harry herself. (Yes, I know, I'm "delusional", but that won't stop me being a Harmony shipper!)
In addition, the longish note at the end may interest some of you.
Curiosity Leads to Broom Closets
I closed the closet door behind me and sank to the floor against it. My eyes slid shut as, once again, I felt the tears well up behind them.
Everything was ending. Dumbledore was dead, Hermione despised me, Harry had dumped me, and Draco was gone.
I was alone.
The corridor on the other side if the door was silent and deserted. All the other students were down in the Great Hall waiting to be transported to Hogsmeade Station and the waiting Hogwarts Express.
But I didn't want to be around them; couldn't be around them. In the days since Dumbledore's death, all I had been able to think about was Draco and where he could be. Only Hermione knew for certain that my tears and silence were not for the Headmaster alone. Harry might have suspected, but I could tell he didn't care anymore. His whole existence centred around Voldemort and his downfall now.
A lone tear slipped down my cheek and landed on my bare arm with a cold splash.
Why am I crying? He told me he would leave. I shouldn't be crying!
This thought didn't help. If anything, it only made the matter worse, and more tears followed the first.
"I knew what I was getting into," I whispered to myself. "If I ruined everything I had going for me, I have no one to blame but myself."
I leaned my head back until it hit the door and opened my eyes so that I could see my surroundings.
Tiny droplets clung to my eyelashes, but my tears had, for the most part, subsided.
I sighed. I couldn't keep going like this. I had to go home, prepare for Bill and Fleur's wedding, help Harry as much as he would allow and, number one on my list, forget Draco.
I couldn't afford to remember him. As a Weasley, it wouldn't be acceptable, and anyway, if I forgot about him, then I would have no reason to be disappointed to hear that he was dead, as I was sure I would.
There was no way Voldemort would let Draco live, and if by some miracle he did, Harry would surely do the job himself.
It was difficult to imagine Harry killing a person, but I had no doubt that he would. My lips tilted up a little in a smile that had become unfamiliar. Draco was the one everyone had thought would be the murderer, but in the end, he hadn't been able to commit the act. I liked to think that it had been my voice and my face that had flashed before Draco's eyes when his wand had been trained on Dumbledore.
I took a deep breath and got to my feet. I had to let go of Draco and the brief affair that we'd had. I would always treasure it, even though I'd betrayed Harry's trust, but I had to move on.
I stood in silence for a moment, taking in Filch's bucket and mop, before I opened the door and walked.
I made my way slowly down to the Entrance Hall, feeling my tears dry on my cheeks, and stopped at the top of the stairs, looking down on all the students. Some looked scared; most looked sad.
I looked around when I heard someone call my name, and my eyes landed on Ron, surrounded by Harry, Hermione, Luna, and Neville.
I waved and Ron indicated that I should join them.
Pushing through the crowd, I made my way over to my friends. Ron was instantly on my back.
"Where were you? We were getting worried. You shouldn't be walking around on your own these days Ginny. Who knows who's going to-?"
"Pop out of a Vanishing Cabinet?"
Ron frowned and then reddened in anger when Neville and Luna laughed slightly at my comment. "Ginny, this is serious."
"I know it is Ron, but I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself."
"Someone might have sneaked up on you! You can never be sure who'll turn out to be one of the Draco Malfoy's of the world."
"In all honest Ron, I'm fairly sure that Draco Malfoy wouldn't have attacked me."
I saw Hermione look my way from her station beside Harry and caught her eye. There was a hardness there that had only recently developed. She loved Harry dearly, I knew, and didn't want anyone to hurt him, but I had, and I would have to work hard to regain her trust.
Ron snorted in response to my comment and I knew than, that there never would have been any opportunity to have a formal relationship with Draco, had he been on our side. My family simply hated his too much. There was no other way about it.
I was reminded briefly of the famous muggle play that Hermione had let me read one summer. Romeo and Juliet had died for the love they had for each other, although it was more an accident than anything else. Still, romantic notions were comforting in times such as these.
"You'll still be attending Bill and Fleur's wedding won't you Harry, Hermione?" I asked, when my friends had lapsed into silence.
The pair nodded; Harry almost reluctantly and Hermione with pursed lips.
She leant towards me and whispered harshly, "You shouldn't say such things aloud Ginny. Merlin knows who could be listening, and I'm sure there are numerous people around who would kill to know about Harry's movements this summer."
My eyes widened. "I'm sorry. I didn't even think."
"No, you didn't. It's an important lesson Ginny, to think before speaking … or acting."
I knew what she was alluding to and felt the guilt well up again, as it did every night as I lay in bed.
"It's fine Mione," Harry said and tugged her back to his side. "Don't be so harsh on her. We must all learn to curb our words these days, where once we would have simply come out and said them."
"I suppose that's true."
I thought about Harry's statement as I stood with them, not really taking part in the conversation outside a few nods and shakes of the head.
It seemed as though Harry didn't know about Draco and me. Surely he would have picked up on Hermione's double meaning, as I had, if I knew the full story.
Or maybe he's just trying to ignore the fact. I did the unthinkable after all. He's been hurt by so many people already. I, who knew about all this, still took a knife and stabbed him in the back.
That was probably the likeliest explanation. Harry was far from stupid, though a little thick when it came to girls. I didn't think he would have screwed this one up though. The signs of an affair were all there. He simply had to interpret them correctly.
I doubted Hermione had told him. I didn't think it was in her to cause him pain.
The crowd around the front doors began thinning and the people to the rear were pushing forward, eager to get to the carriages and the Hogwarts Express.
My little band of friends moved slowly with the crowd, not really in any hurry, although Harry, Ron, and Hermione moved noticeably slower than Neville, Luna and myself. I figured they'd been through too much now to be scared enough to rush ahead.
We reached the huge oak doors with little effort however and claimed one of the last carriages.
The carriage began trundling down the drive and I watched as Harry turned back to the castle that he called home. It had been the source of the joys of his much, much too fleeting childhood, and I felt his pain. I think everyone else felt it too.
Hermione tightened her hold on his arm, and I hoped for Harry's sake that he realised just how much his best friend loved him. He deserved her kind of unconditional love.
"We'll be back Harry," she whispered. "You'll see."
He sighed and, patting her hand, turned his face away and toward the future.
My gaze lingered on the castle a moment longer, almost certain that I would see Draco come through the front doors and hop into the carriage at the very end of the long, long line.
It didn't happen though. He didn't come.
I looked away and left the closet behind me.
A/N: … OMG. I finished a chapter. I actually FINISHED a chapter. YAY! does little dance around the room This is SO exciting! It's been ages since I've been able to write anything, let alone finish it!
I apologize, BTW, for the very extended wait. I didn't mean for it to happen. School got in the way, and when I tried to write, everything came out horrible. I think I've been cured though. I also apologize for it being so short (only just 5 pages), but, you know, sometimes less is more.
I know it's a lot to ask after such a break, but don't you think I've suffered enough? If so, (and honestly, even if NOT), leave me a couple of reviews and tell me what you think.
PLEASE NOTE: While this is finished, I have a one-shot locked away that I started ages ago. It's gradually been turning itself into a sequel to 'Curiosity', so keep your eyes peeled for that.