SUMMARY – Ginny poured tea for her guests, smiling as she knew a gracious hostess always should. "Oh, Harry," Lavender purred enviously. "Isn't she just perfect!" Harry grinned. "Yes, she is. And she's all mine,"
Ginny Weasley has faded from the person she was, the person she always wanted to be. But two weeks before her 21st birthday, a part of her past shows up to show her that perfection is often overrated…
PLEASE NOTE: For the purposes of this story, I have changed Ginny's full name to Virginia, not Ginevra. Being a huge Ginny fan, I understand that this may be annoying, but if you like to story, you'll get over it. If you want to flame me for it, I'll report you ) quite simple.
DISCLAIMER – I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I own the rights to any of the songs used in this story.
You never take
Take the time to really look
Look at the oneThe one I really am
You tried to fit,Fit me in your perfect box
You let me slip between the cracks
Now I've faded
Into someone else
You made me someone
I don't wanna be.
Faded – Kate DeAraugo
Virginia Weasley was, in essence, perfect. She had a dazzling smile, was the perfect housewife to the perfect husband, and obeyed him, as his word was law. After all, he was The Boy Who Lived, the boy who had defeated the most fearsome wizard in all of history, and he was now the Minister for Magic. Under his rule, never again would the wizarding world be lied to. Never again would a threat such as Voldemort rear its head in society. Never again would she lead a normal life…
He'd won her over in fifth year, only to leave her again…
"Ginny, listen. I can't be involved with you anymore. We've got to stop seeing each other. We can't be together,"
"It's for some stupid, noble reason, isn't it?"
"…I've got things to do alone now,"
She had not let him see her cry, and had held back her tears. But later, in the arms of the most surprising person, she had cried, oh how she'd cried. Swearing never to love again like she had loved him. Towards the end of her seventh year, Harry had defeated Voldemort, and at her graduation, he had come for her.
- FLASHBACK -
She'd taken her scroll graciously from Professor McGonagall with a stab of pain as she remembered Dumbledore. She was thankful for McGonagall however, as she had managed to convince the governors that closing Hogwarts would be stupid. "How can these kids be trained to defend themselves if there is no school to teach them?" she'd said, and she'd won.
Ginny gave McGonagall her most charming smile and stepped off the stage, running into her mothers arms, tears falling down her face. It's all over she thought, crying. As she pulled away, wiping down her face, she spotted his lopsided grin. War had aged him slightly, but for the most part, he had not changed.
"Hey Gin, Congrats! You did it!"
"Yeah, thanks," she replied. Her newest ally, Blaise Zabini had waved at her from the crowd, and she had waved back. Harry's smile faltered as he saw Malfoy grin at Ginny from next to Blaise.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yeah I'm fine. Can we talk?"
Her heart leapt, and she grinned. "Of course!"
After leading her through the forest, where a small stream ran through a field, he grabbed her hand and looked at her carefully.
"Harry? What's wrong?"
"Nothing, Gin. That's the thing,"
"I don't understand…?"
"I'm Harry Potter, youngest Minister of Magic in over a century! I defeated the Dark Lord! I'm rich, I've got everything I should want, and more…"
"But?" she prompted.
"But there's this huge gaping hole in my chest where you belong. I can't be happy unless I have you!"
She stared at him for a moment, blinking.
"What are you saying?"
"We haven't dated for years, I understand that. But all this time I feel like you've been with me, every step of the way. It's ok if you don't want to, if you think I'm rushing, but…"
He pulled a box out of his pocket and stared at it, before opening it slowly. She let out a gasp at the sight of the ring in his hands. It was a thin, gold band, with a large ruby in the centre, surrounded by small diamonds in a flower shape.
"What do you think?" he asked. "Could we do it?"
She took a deep breath and grinned, throwing her arms around his neck.
"We can do anything!" she exclaimed, kissing him.
They had married on the night of her 19th birthday, and gone on a romantic honeymoon to Italy. After two weeks of bliss, they returned home, to her family and his duties. A week later, when she visited him at work, there was a woman in his office, sitting bolt upright, and sipping tea with her little finger sticking out.
"Snob," Ginny had muttered under her breath before smiling. "Hi, I'm Ginny, Harry's wife,"
"Good afternoon, Miss Potter, you're late. I believe part one of your training will entail the finer points of punctuality,"
Ginny looked at Harry. "Training?"
"Yes, training. We can't have the Minister's wife running wild like this, can we? No, in the next few months I shall teach you everything you need to know about being respectable,"
"Harry! What's going on here?"
"I'm sorry Gin, but as my wife, you need to step up to the job a little better than you have been,"
"But, you married me for me, and now you want me to change?"
He stood up and walked over to her, hugging her. "I love you Gin, but sometimes change is good, ok?" and he had strode out of the office.
Firstly, Ginny's wardrobe was emptied of all her clothes, which had been burnt in front of her eyes.
"Say goodbye to your old life, Virginia," Miss Davis had sneered.
"Yes, Ginny," she said to herself. "Say goodbye to happiness,"
Her clothes had been replaced with the most elegant suits and dresses money could buy. She had been taught how to sit, stand, walk, smile, host and truly bethe Minister's perfect wife. Ginny Weasley had gone, only to be replaced by Virginia Potter, the most prominent woman in the Ministry, and Mrs. Minister for Magic…
Two and a half weeks before Ginny's 21st birthday, she sat at her dressing table and straightened the kinks out of her long brown hair. Harry had decided he didn't like her red hair, so she changed it. He hadn't liked her eye colour either, so she bought blue contacts. He didn't enjoy her body, so she starved herself, and went to the muggle gym every night. Now she had the perfect hair, the perfect eyes, and a body to die for. She was perfect, and just in time too.
Harry had informed her the night before that they would be hosting a Gryffindor reunion; all the males in his year, and their wives. Seamus and Parvati Finnigan, Dean and Lavender Thomas, Ron and Hermione Weasley, Neville and Padma Longbottom, and Harry and Virginia Potter. Won't that just be wonderful? He'd said to her. Lovely, just fucking dandy! she'd replied. She was putting on her make up as he walked in their bedroom door.
"Now don't we just look lovely?"
"Now, Ginny," he said, in a warning tone.
"It's Virginia," she replied sweetly.
"When will you be thankful for everything I've done for you?" He yelled.
She slammed down her compact and the mirror shattered.
"Harry James Potter, don't you EVER pretend that what you did was for me! Ever!" she screamed, and walked calmly from the room. He glanced around, and caught sight of a photo of her in a frame. Her hair was red, her eyes were brown, and she was laughing hysterically, while being tickled by unknown hands.
"She never smiles like that anymore," he said miserably. "But that's not my fault!" he replied, slamming the frame down next to her compact. The doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of their guests, and he looked around the room wistfully, before striding out to play Mr. Perfect.
"Harry!" Hermione squealed, running up and hugging him tight. "It's been so long!"
"I know, Hermione, almost forever," he replied, hugging her back.
"Ginny, what did you do to your hair?" Ron asked, from the door.
"It's Virginia, remember? I changed it, ask Harry," she replied, holding the door open for Lavender and Dean, and kissing Lavender on each cheek.
Harry glared at her for a moment, before shaking Deans hand, and hugging Lavender.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
After dessert, Ginny poured tea for her guests, smiling as she knew a gracious hostess always should.
"Oh, Harry," Lavender purred enviously. "Isn't she just perfect!"
Harry grinned. "Yes, she is. And she's all mine,"
Ginny returned his smile, but he did not miss the resentment behind her eyes.
"You must be so happy Ginny," Parvati said, taking a sip of her tea.
"Oh I am," Ginny replied, smiling widely. "I truly am," she put her hand in Harry's and kissed him on the cheek.
"When can we expect the pitter patter of little feet?" Padma asked.
Ginny almost spat out her tea.
"Uh, we've already begun trying," Harry replied, handing her a napkin. "Are you alright darling? You look like you've seen a ghost!"
"Yes, yes I'm fine!" she replied, breathlessly. That filthy bastard!
"Oh my gosh! It's so late Dean! Sybil will be wondering where we are! We have to go guys, I'm so sorry!" Lavender cried. Dean looked at his watch and sighed.
"We should probably go too," Neville said, grabbing Padma's hand and smiling.
"Ditto with us. We've got a big day tomorrow love," Seamus said to Parvati. They all stood and said their goodbyes.
"Thank you for a lovely night!" Lavender gushed. "We should get together, just us girls,"
"Of course! That would be lovely!" Ginny replied, smiling. "I'll have my people call your people, we'll do lunch!"
Lavender laughed, that had been a joke between them in Ginny's sixth year.
"I'll see you all soon!" she exclaimed, waving as they entered the elevator together.
As she shut the door, Harry attempted to put his hand around her waist. She pulled away and strode purposefully along the sitting room.
"Hermione, do you want to have a drink with me in the kitchen? Give Harry and Ron some time to catch up?"
"Sure," Hermione replied, sensing something was wrong.
She grabbed Ginny's hand and dragged her into the kitchen. Ginny burst into tears the minute they set foot through the door. Hermione pointed her wand at the walls and muttered the silencing charm, followed by an imperturable charm.
"Ginny? Honey, tell me what's wrong?"
"Oh, Hermione, I'm not cut out for this life!"
"What do you mean?"
Ginny wiped away her tears and straightened up.
"Well, first of all, it's not Ginny, it's Virginia. Ginny was the fun girl at Hogwarts with long red hair, blue eyes and smile that could tempt any man, or woman for that matter. She was fun to be around, she never stopped smiling, and she lived the life that SHE WANTED!" she screamed. Then she laughed ironically. "Virginia, is Mrs. Minister of Magic, brown haired, blue eyed, depressed young woman, who has tried to end her life several times, who does nothing but hosts dinner parties and argues with her husband constantly. Ginny, wanted nothing more in life to be happy. Virginia is miserable, and doesn't want life,"
"You've tried to kill yourself?"
"I worked out something. I can't stand the pain of life, but I can't cheat death. I've got to stick it out, don't I?"
"You're really that unhappy?" Hermione asked.
"Hermione, it's my 21st in two weeks. When I was young I dreamt of the biggest party anyone had ever seen. Do you know what 'm getting?"
"A fucking tea party," she whispered maliciously. "Because it's unbecoming of the Minister's wife to dance,"
"Oh, Ginny," Hermione wailed. She was crying now, and she wrapped her arms around the young girl, who had seemed so much like a woman before, but was now reduced to a mess before her very eyes.
"We'll fix this Ginny, I promise we will,"
"How? Hermione, I don't know what to do! I don't even have my own friends anymore! Before it used to be…never mind,"
"It used to be what?"
"In my sixth year, I befriended…well I befriended some Slytherins, and they looked after me, they made me happy…happier than Harry has ever managed to. He banned me from seeing them, and I had to make it clear to them that…well that it was of my own volition and under no circumstances were they to enter my life again. He made me say I hated them!"
"Who did you befriend?"
"You've got to understand Hermione! You weren't there! None of you were!"
"Ginny, what are you talking about?" Hermione exclaimed.
"I'm going to tell you a story ok? And I want you to listen to me, and not say a word. Oh Hermione, you're going to hate me!"
Ginny stepped on to the Hogwarts Express alone, against her family's wishes. She held her prefect letter in her hands, and headed to the prefects carriage, where she sat, alone, until Luna Lovegood had joined her.
"Luna! You've come back! Oh I so hoped you would!" Ginny exclaimed, tears rolling down her face.
"Ginny I missed you so much! Do you know there are only about 200 of us that have come back?"
"Are you serious?" Ginny asked.
"Yes! It's amazing! All the Slytherin sixth and seventh years are back! Every single one!"
"Oh my God! That's amazing!"
"Isn't it just," a voice drawled from the door.
"Oh my God," Ginny whispered. "How could you come back! After everything you did!"
"I need an education,"
"I was unaware Voldemort cared about grades!" she spat.
"Well, it seems that the Dark Lord has surprised us all, then, doesn't it?"
"What do you want Malfoy?"
"Well, this is the prefect's carriage, and since, as Head Boy, it's my job to give you rounds…"
"YOU'RE Head Boy? What dickhead came up with that idea?"
"That would be myself, Miss Weasley," McGonagall slid open the carriage door. "Whilst I understand you most probably doubt my decision, I'll ask you to keep your tongue, Miss Weasley, especially since I'm about to ask a rather large favor of you,"
"Fine. What is it you want me to do?"
"I'm sure you'll have heard that a large handful of students have returned to Hogwarts?"
"Yes, I heard that. I also heard that all the Slytherin sixth and seventh years have come back. Is it true?"
"Yes, it is. Around ten Seventh years have returned from the other houses, though, and all of them male. Albus never wanted both a Head Boy and Girl from Slytherin, believing they would abuse the power. So while Miss Parkinson was a high choice for the position, I have rather opted to go for a sixth year,"
"What's this got to do with me?" Ginny asked, still not catching on. Malfoy, however, had. His lip was curling with distaste at what he knew he was about to hear.
"I would like to offer you the position of Head Girl, not only for this year, but for the next two years,"
Ginny stared at McGonagall in shock for a moment, then looked at Malfoy. He was shaking his head, almost as if begging her not to do it. She grinned at him.
"I guess we're going to be sharing a room together this year Malfoy,"
"Bugger," he whispered. "Oh yes, I can hardly wait to get to know you better,"
"Now that's what I like to hear. Anyway, I should go. You have prefects to attend to," she waved at the three of them, and left the carriage. Luna shrieked and hung off Ginny's neck excitedly. Malfoy and Ginny stared at each other; Malfoy angry, Ginny amused, until Ginny put her arms around Luna and laughed happily.
Over the next few weeks, Ginny stressed out so much she barely thought it believable. She was taking all the subjects required to be an Auror or a Healer, and was taking advance Potions and Transfiguration, meaning she was in classes with Malfoy as well. For the first few nights in their shared room, they had avoided each other, until the night Malfoy caught her crying with the stress of it all. She didn't know he'd seen her, but after that, she couldn't help but notice he was being considerably kinder towards her.
One night, after a particularly difficult Potions lesson, he walked in to find her sitting in front of their fire, her head in her hands, blood dripping from her wrists.
"That's a filthy habit, you know. Almost worst than smoking," he'd whispered in her ear. She whipped her head up and accidentally head butted him, breaking his nose.
"Oh my God, I am so sorry!" she screeched, doing a mending charm immediately.
"I'm ok, really. It's fine. Ginny, it's fine!" he exclaimed. "What about you? How long have you been doing that for?" he asked, indicating her wrists.
"Oh leave me alone! What do you care anyway!" she exclaimed, healing it. The cut disappeared entirely, leaving nothing, not even a scar.
"How long?" he demanded.
"A little while," she whispered.
"I know the feeling," he replied.
"You? The always in control Draco bloody Malfoy? Cut your wrists?"
"Yes. Believe it or not, Weaselette, last year wasn't easy on me!"
"How was last year hard for you? You got what you wanted! The Dark Lord loves you! Your parents must be so proud!" she replied sarcastically.
"I wouldn't expect you to understand, Weasley. You've spent too long around Potter and your brother to understand,"
"I know that you used to cry to Moaning Myrtle," she whispered. He whipped his head up and glared at her.
"Don't you dare mention that! Don't even pretend that you know!"
"I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours?" she said meekly.
He glared at her some more.
"Oh come on Malfoy! If you want me to understand then let me in!"
"Oh alright!" he yelled. "Don't say I didn't warn you!"
He told her all about what had happened. He hadn't wanted to do it, but his parents had been threatened, what else could he do? He hated Voldemort, hated his father, but he had to protect his mother. She was the only person he'd ever cared about, only person who'd ever loved him. Everytime he failed, the Dark Lord would torture her.
"When I failed to kill Dumbledore that was the last straw. My mother is now in the closed ward at St Mungo's, crucio'd into insanity," he said sadly.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," she said, wrapping her arms around him. He stiffened for a moment, then put his hand on her back and patted it for a moment.
Half way through the year, they had become quite good acquaintances.
"I don't have a lot of friends. Blaise is the only one I would really count. But I would love to have your acquaintance," he explained. She'd laughed at him. She became friends with Blaise as well, and the three of them plus Luna would sit under the tree by the lake and talk, just like she had with Harry, Ron and Hermione. But with Blaise, Luna and Draco, she actually felt like she belonged. She wasn't a tag along, she wasn't a pain, she was happy, she was Ginny.
On one particular down night, he summoned hot chocolate for her and they sat by the fire for a while, saying nothing, until he snapped his head up.
"Gin, when was the last time you did something really fun? Like went out or something?"
"Honestly? I haven't really, why?"
"Hang on, ok?"
He picked up a pen, wrote something down and sent it off with his owl. Five minutes later, Blaise and Luna showed up, dressed up and ready to go somewhere.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"Stand up!" Draco said, grinning.
She stood up, slightly unsure of what they were doing. Blaise pointed his wand at her and she looked down in shock. She was wearing a pair of black skinny jeans, and a red and grey camisole. Her slippers had turned to black stiletto heels and Luna clapped gleefully. It was only then that Ginny took in Luna's outfit. She was wearing a denim skirt with a gold, silk, wrap around top. She looked gorgeous.
"Luna…wow!" she exclaimed, hugging her best friend. "Ok, what's going on?"
"Do you ever catch a drift of the Slytherin parties?" Blaise asked.
"I've heard of them. They're meant to be the best parties in existence," Ginny replied.
"That's right, every Friday night," Draco grabbed her hand and pulled her out the portrait hole. He'd changed into a pair of jeans and a black shirt, half tucked in.
"Where are we going?"
"Slytherin party," Luna replied, grinning. "Aren't you just excited?"
They had entered the Slytherin Common Room to the sound of deafening music. Luna had clapped her hands excitedly, and convinced Blaise to dance with her.
"You know, I think they might like each other," Malfoy said, laughing.
"Who woulda thunk it?" Ginny replied, grinning.
"Drakie!" Pansy squealed, running over and kissing him on the cheek. He pulled away slightly, and Ginny laughed. "Oh. Oh dear, how cute, you brought a tagalong,"
"Actually Pansy, Ginny's my date for the night," Draco said. Ginny whipped her head around, shocked.
'What?" Pansy screeched.
"What?" Ginny whispered.
"Dance with me," he replied, taking her hand and leading her out to the dance floor next to Luna and Blaise. He put his hands on her hips, and she raised hers above his head, and let them rest around his neck, and on his shoulders. They were dancing slowly, to Christina Aguilera's 'Walk Away'.
"Not the most romantic of songs, but we can manage," he said, grinning.
He had taught her how to slow dance, and she in turn taught him how to dirty dance like the best of them. Her hand expertly tucked behind his head, and pressed up against him, they began to sway slowly. His skin pressed against hers, she could hear his breath quicken as she moved against his body.
At the end of the night, she fell asleep in his arms, and he carried her back to their room, placing her on her bed and closing the door…
"You were friends with Malfoy!" Hermione screeched. "After everything he did!"
"Look, I explained it to you ok? I know what he did was wrong! But he was so nice, so understanding!"
"And Zabini! I thought you hated him!"
"I did! But they looked after me so well, and they were so good to me!""
"Hermione please, calm down ok? It's all over anyway. The only true friends I had are gone!" she said miserably.
"We were your friends!"
"No, Hermione! You were the Dream Team! The Golden Trio! Trio, Hermione, TRIO! I was never a part of that. I was, in Draco's words, an acquaintance,"
"Oh Gin, why couldn't you have told me this earlier?"
"What difference would it have made?"
"I don't know! Any!"
"Hermione!" Ron bellowed. Ginny looked at her.
"You should go," she said.
"Mhmm," Hermione removed the Imperturable charm and stepped out.
Ron put his arm around Ginny and kissed her cheek.
"If you ever need anything, any help at all, just call me ok? I don't care what it is," he whispered in her ear. Ginny looked at him in surprise, and he nodded. "I love you little sis, I would give up everything to make sure you're happy,"
She hugged him, whispering in his ear. "Even your friends?"
He smiled at her and nodded, walking out the door.
"I'll call you tomorrow Ginny, ok? We'll work out a lunch plan or something, ok?"
Ginny nodded, and waved them away. She shut the door and turned around, almost walking straight into Harry.
"Did you and Hermione have a good chat?" he asked.
"Yes, it was lovely. It was nice to think I had a friend,"
"I'm your friend Virginia,"
"Harry, you're Virginia's friend. This is what you want, Virginia is what you want. What I meant, is that it's nice to know some people still remember fun, loving Ginny Weasley,"
"You're not Ginny Weasley anymore," he growled.
"No, but god I would give anything to be!" she yelled, turning around to face him.
"You're saying you don't want this? You never wanted to marry me?"
"If I could turn back time, and say no, by God Harry, I would! If I could find a way, I might actually still have friends of my own, people who cared about me!"
"Those slimy Slytherin gits!" he spat. "Draco Malfoy!"
"At least they cared! At least he loved me!" she screamed.
"Never mind, just forget I said anything," she said.
"Listen, Virginia, I – "
"Harry please, just let me go to bed. I'm so tired," Ever so tired…
"I…of course. I'll see you soon, ok?"
She nodded, and planted a kiss on his cheek. "I'm sorry honey. I'll try to be better,"
She wanted him to say, 'No, don't worry, it's me, it's all me,' but he just nodded. "Please do,"
She sighed, and went into the bedroom, changed slowly into her pyjamas and climbed into bed, thinking of Draco, Blaise and Luna.
She'd received a wedding invitation from Blaise and Luna a few months ago, but Harry had refused to let her go. Her heart had ached at not being able to see her friends. But she sent a gift, and her blessing and apologies that she could not be there.
"God I miss you guys," she said softly, and sobbed into her pillow.
A/N: Hey to anyone who has read this! The idea for this just sort of popped into my head while I was having a shower, and it was meant to be a one shot, but I couldn't work out how to make it so! I guess I've kind of painted Harry in a bad light, that usually tends to happen in my stories, but I really do like him! Honestly! And Draco may be a little OOC or maybe even a lot, but I'm trying to think that the events of HBP changed him, I mean come on! He cried to Moaning Myrtle for Gods' sakes! Anyway, let me know what you think, ok?