Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K.Rowling. I'm just playing with her universe.
Post HPB- Eventually D/G
First impressions are hard to break. Remember Ginny hates Draco; he has never given her any reason to feel otherwise towards him. Ok, let the games begin!
Ginnugagap: ("seeming emptiness"), in the cosmology of Norse mythology, is the primordial void separating Niflheim and Muspell, the land of eternal ice and snow and the land of eternal heat and flame.
Shaking fingers reached out, stretching for the potion in front of them. Draco's fingers twitched and his muscles pulled slightly as he wound his long pale digits around the desired vial. He grasped it tightly in his right hand, steadying it with his left.
Another stab of pain shot through his left side, jostling the potion and splashing bright yellow liquid on his wrist. He grit his teeth against the pain, his lips straining and almost white as he let out a guttural yell. His breathing was heavy and he knew that if he could just gather enough composure to be able to knock back the potion, the pain would be gone…mostly.
He couldn't hear anything over the swoosh of blood rushing in his ears. He couldn't concentrate on anything other than the throbbing pulse that was his left arm; and he knew that if he looked there, his mark would be a dark and angry red-black against his alabaster skin. Everything felt unreal, dead, and no matter how many times he had felt the pain in the past, it never got any easier. A gust of breath passed his lips and he could feel it catch and sting upon where his bottom lip had split from being pulled too tightly against his teeth. He opened his eyes slowly, letting the swirling yellow hues of the potion ground him. His body twitched again, and before the potion could spill even one drop more, he had raised it to his lips and swallowed it back in one big gulp.
He slammed the vial down on the counter in front of him, his hand pressing it down into the wood and shattering it. The potion was working. He could feel the familiar trickling from the roots of his hair, tingling down the back of his head, neck, shoulder, arm, and fingers. Thank the gods for Severus Snape and his potion. It didn't completely negate the pain of the Dark Mark, but lessened it slightly. Enough to where the person no longer wanted to throw themselves off the nearest tower just to get rid of the pain. Just enough to cool his burning flesh.
Draco was more aware of his surroundings now, aware of the acrid taste of blood in his mouth, the sweat dripping down his faces and back… the person watching him from the doorway.
He lifted two fingers off of the table in a small wave, acknowledging the person's presence, his head still hanging limply forward as his arms braced him against the counter.
"I uh-was just looking for Professor McGonagall", she said slowly, evenly. The burning of dislike, and maybe a slight amount of fear, clung to her words. He could hear her foot scrape on the stone floor as she turned to go.
"Why do you need to see her?" Draco asked, his head rising, his tense muscles relaxing slightly.
"You heard me."
"That's none of your concern." the red head said, hotly.
"It IS my concern. We're on the same side, Weasley. Or have you forgotten?" he asked, a grimace replacing his usual sneer.
"We will never be on the same side," she whispered, turning to the door once more.
"Stay. Keep talking," he said through gritted teeth, making it obvious that it was not a request.
She snorted in return, leaning against the door frame and staring into the darkened room at his tall, thin frame. He was truly the most infuriating boy she had ever known. "Why should I do-?"
"BECAUSE! It helps with the pain… takes my mind off-- Just. Keep. Talking." he growled.
"What should I talk about?" she snapped, her voice sharp with the stirrings of her temper.
"Anything. Why do you need to see McGonagall?"
"I already told you that's none of your-"
"Then talk about something else!" he yelled, swallowing thickly against the pain.
Her fists clenched tightly at her sides. She hated it when people cut her off, didn't allow her to talk. She could feel her temper rising and let it take over. Who the hell did he think he was? "What do you want me to talk about, Malfoy?" she spat, " Hmm?"
He hissed loudly through clenched teeth but didn't reply. Ginny stared at him, she felt as if she were on fire, her whole body heated with her anger.
"Should I talk about the weather? Or maybe Quidditch? No! I know! Why don't we talk about how Lord-fucking-Voldemort is out there right now, killing innocent people, his Death Eaters at his side. That's why your mark burns, isn't it? Because good ole' Voldie wants to play?"
His continued silence only fueled her fire. "Do you miss it? Huh! Do you miss going to play with him? Hurting and killing right beside dear old daddy? Do you reminisce every time it burns? Think about how you let them into the school last year! About how, because of you my brother will never be the same?" She stopped, her breathing ragged.
"I… I didn't know," he responded, his silver eyes sorrowful and dull as he stood to full height.
"What didn't you know?" she whispered harshly.
"I didn't know he--Greyback, would be there. If I had known…"
"Don't," she warned, making his eyes narrow.
"Look, you don't have to trust me, Weasley. But I fucked up. I made mistakes, but I'm on the right side now and I'm dealing with it and you should, too."
Something in his eyes told her that he was telling the truth, and for a moment, only a moment, she felt bad for attacking him when he was so weak. "Alright," she said.
He nodded slowly. "Ok," he said, turning from her and finding a chair to fall into.
Ginny watched him as he made his way to the nearest chair and flopped into it. She stood there, just watching him for a few minutes. He looked so tired, so drained, that it was hard not to feel sorry for him. He was only a year older than her. They were the same, teenagers trapped in a war, being forced to make decisions and choices that they should have never had to make. She pursed her lips in thought, licking her lips and shoving a lock of hair behind her ears.
"I got a letter… From Ron. That's why I need to see her, they've found the last Horcrux," she said quietly before walking out of the room and continuing her search for the new headmistress.
Three sets of hands stretched out to the fire in the center of the cave, gathering warmth to ward off the wet chill of the cave's jagged walls. The light bounced off of the damp rocks and played across the faces and bodies of the three heroes.
"I can't believe we got the last one," Harry said, a small smile of victory gracing his lips. Ron smiled at him, shaking his head in wonder as he stoked the fire.
"It's not over yet, boys. We still need to destroy the Horcrux. And then…"
"The final battle," Harry finished, dragging a hand through his hair.
"You're sure that spell will work, 'Mione?" Ron asked the brunette beside him, brushing a messy tendril from her face as he spoke.
She smiled kindly at him, leaning her head against his shoulder. "It has to."
They were all silent for a moment, thinking of what was to come, and at the same time wishing tomorrow didn't have to exist. Harry sighed loudly after a moment. "We should probably get some rest. I'll keep watch if you…" He was cut off by a loud crack.
The crack of someone Apparating nearby.
No one knew where they were, they had made sure to keep it that way by moving often. Harry could feel a lump grow in his throat. A shiver cascaded down his spine and the small hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention.
He lifted himself silently from the ground, looking out towards the cave entrance.
"Harry," Hermione whispered, grabbing onto Ron tightly. Both boys signaled for her to be quiet. Harry gave them a hand movement that clearly stated that he wanted them to stay put as he made his way towards the source of the noise.
He made his way to the entrance, his wand tightly clasped in his fist and trained ahead of him. There was a man a few feet in front of him, his back turned away from him and a dark cloak covering his features. The person turned slowly towards Harry and let out a chilling laugh, "I've found you," he said, his snake like mouth turning up in a mock-smirk.
'Voldemort? Here? How?' Harry thought frantically for a moment and then it hit him. The Horcrux, it must have a tracker.
"Where are your friends?"
"Where are yours?" Harry asked, noting that Voldemort was alone.
"I asked first," he snarled out the false pleasantry
"They're not here, Voldemort," Harry forced out, his wand still at the ready, pointed at the thing's chest.
"It's not nice to lie, Potter. Ahh, here they are."
Harry felt his blood run cold as he heard his friends walk up behind him. Without looking, he knew they both had their wands trained on the wizard in front of them as well.
"Three against one. Seems… almost unfair, doesn't it?" he asked, and before any of the three could react, he said the fateful words, "Avada Kedavra"
There was a sickening thud and the squelching sound of a head hitting stone to Harry's left. He felt numb, he couldn't move. Flashbacks of Cedric assaulted his vision, and he was only brought back when he heard Hermione's scream of anguish. 'Ron..'
Harry never let his eyes leave the red pair in front of him. He didn't have time to mourn right now. They had to act quickly, "Hermione! The spell!"
"Ron…" she rasped and he could hear the tears in her voice
"HERMIONE! GO!" he yelled, not looking back at her, or at Ron's crumbled body. A breath later, he heard her footsteps rushing back into the cave.
"Down to one on one for now. I like those odds much better, don't you?" Voldemort said with a sneer. "Let's get started, shall we? CRUCIO!"
"Where is it? Where is it?" She flipped through page after page, her vision watery as she tried to focus on the page numbers. "There." She quickly read the page, memorizing its contents before rushing to her knapsack.
She rustled through it until her fingers grazed cold metal. Hufflepuff's cup. She grabbed it, setting it before the fire and whispering the spell.
A sob caught in her throat. It had to work, it just had to. She could hear the sounds of a battle raging outside the cave and she closed her eyes, letting the tears that were swimming in them fall down her cheeks. Please, please work. She took a deep breath, and when she opened her eyes once more, they were more determined. She yelled the spell once more.
Light. An explosion of light erupted inside the cave. Pieces of rock broke off the walls, shattering everywhere. One large piece hit her in the head and she could feel the blood trickling down her cheek. She stumbled forward.
"HARRY! NOW!" she yelled as she rushed towards him.
A/N: So, what do you think? Yes, I killed Ron and it hurt to do so… but is necessary for the plot a little later.