Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns it.
A/N: Here is the final chapter!
I dedicate it to Christine and Archer, who helped me get through this bloody fic when all I wanted to do was give up ;)
Sorting Things Out
They didn't leave Lucius's study right away.
"Slytherin's men are still here," Draco reminded Ginny.
He then contacted the Ministry. They didn't have to wait long before the room was flooded with Aurors. Ginny gripped Draco's arm and stayed close to him the whole time, watching as they began searching the study. About a dozen left to go and find Slytherin's men, and a couple of them crouched beside Lucius's dead body and began inspecting it.
Ginny and Draco were both questioned. Hours passed, it seemed, and all Ginny wanted to do was go home and go to sleep. But the fact that it was all over, that she would sleep safely and soundly that night, made everything seem easier. She didn't mind telling the story half as much as she'd imagined.
Her parents came after a few hours, and she was relieved to see them. They wrapped her up in a hug between them and kissed her repeatedly, her mother muttering scoldings that she'd disobeyed and praisings that she was still alive.
Finally, they released her, Mrs. Weasley wiping at her eyes. "All right, dear, let's get you home," she murmured, guiding Ginny towards the door.
"Wait," She stopped and turned back to Draco, who was still sitting on the couch pretending not to be listening. "Draco's coming with us."
Draco looked over at them at the sound of his name.
"You're more than welcome to come," Mr. Weasley told him, smiling broadly.
Draco's face warmed slightly. He said politely, "Thank you, but I think I'll stay here for a little while. Help with everything."
Ginny's mouth dropped open in protest, but she didn't say anything. She met his eyes and could almost read his thoughts. He needed to be alone for a little while.
She could understand that.
She gave him a small farewell smile, and allowed her mother and father to lead her out of the room. They took Floo Powder home, and the instant she appeared in her fireplace at home she was surrounded by Harry, Hermione, and her brothers. Even Charlie and Bill were home. Ginny noted with sadness that Percy was not.
"Where is Percy?" she asked to nobody in particular.
"He's sleeping," Charlie answered. "Not in a coma anymore."
"He's home?" she said.
"Don't get too excited," Fred told her.
"Yeah, he hasn't gotten out of bed once," George added.
"It's no fun," Fred said. "Mum won't let us pick on him since he's so fragile."
"So he's all right?" Ginny said.
"Unfortunately, he'll be back to his boring self in a couple of weeks," Fred said wisely.
"Ginny, dear, come and have something to eat," Mrs. Weasley called from the kitchen. "Then you get into bed yourself."
* * *
The next day Ginny was feeling normal again. She hadn't realized how wonderful it felt to not have to worry every minute of every day about being killed. It seemed a great weight had been lifted off her chest and now she could move around freely and not be afraid of anything. Nothing was going to hurt her now.
Percy woke up about three times a day to eat. The only time he got out of bed was to go to the bathroom. Every other time he slept.
"To be honest he isn't much less exciting than he usually is," George had muttered so Mrs. Weasley wouldn't hear.
Ginny had smiled. She knew that Fred and George were fond of Percy. Deep down.
"So what happened to Percy?" Ginny asked her mother that night while they sat alone together in the kitchen, drinking hot chocolate.
"We brought him home a couple of days ago," Mrs. Weasley explained. "Of course, we were worried to death about you then, so I couldn't really be very happy at his recovery. When he woke up from his coma, finally, he told us that it was Lucius Malfoy who'd attacked him. Naturally, that only frightened us more, because we knew that he was after you. Ginny, we had no idea where you were. We thought you'd been taken from us again." She reached across the table and put her hand over Ginny's, her eyes filling up with tears. "A mother can only go through so much," she said thickly. "Promise me that the next time you leave you leave a note or something. Because I think I might just have a heart attack if you're gone and I don't know what happened to you."
Ginny smiled, feeling tears burn in her own eyes. "I promise, Mum. I don't plan on leaving any time soon. To do anything dangerous, anyway."
"Good," she said, sniffing and wiping her cheeks dry. "Good."
* * *
The following morning Ginny managed to break away from the hustle and bustle of returning to school to talk with Harry. While her father and a few of her brothers was loading the car they'd gotten about a year ago with everyone's trunks, Mrs. Weasley was inside with Hermione making sandwiches for the Hogwarts Express. Ginny had snuck out to find Harry, and she found him out back, sitting under the shade of a tree and reading a book on Quidditch.
He looked up as she approached, and smiled at her. "Hey Ginny."
She returned his smile and kneeled beside him. Glancing at his book, she commented, "Do you ever read about anything else?"
"Not really," he grinned lazily. There was a moment of silence. Ginny stared down at her lap and Harry marked his page and shut his book. "So there must've been a reason you came out here, right?"
"Yes," Ginny replied, distracted. She looked up and met his eyes. "Harry, I'm not really sure what to do about us."
He slowly sucked in a breath, then exhaled through his mouth loudly, looking beyond her. "I'm not too sure, either," he answered finally.
"I . . . we . . . well, we just wouldn't be right together," she sputtered. "I used to think we would, but we won't."
"It's because you love Draco," Harry stated simply, turning his head to catch her gaze.
"Yes," she said weakly. "I do."
"Well," he said, raising his eyebrows and dropping them, "I wouldn't want to interfere with you two. I would've never guessed that you'd end up together, but it doesn't seem so crazy now."
"Harry . . ." She trailed off helplessly. This was not going as she'd hoped. She hated the way he sounded as though he was covering up his real feelings, pretending that he was just fine and dandy with the whole situation, when he clearly wasn't. "It's infuriating, isn't it?" she asked softly after a moment.
He met her eyes again. "What?"
"Being obsessed with someone," she explained. "It's all you ever think about, right? And you want to think of something else, but you can't. No matter what you do your mind always travels back to that person."
He smiled thinly. "Yes."
"I know what it's like," she said softly. "But it's just some sort of spell, Harry, and eventually you'll get over it."
"It's not just a spell, Ginny," he said, allowing some feeling into his voice. "When you saved my life you put some of your life force into me. You became a part of me. And you're right – you're all I can ever think about anymore. Every time you leave and go off with Draco I go crazy with worry. But I always knew you were alive because I could feel it."
Ginny just stared at him, unable to speak.
"The thing is," he said, this time a bit calmer, "is that I'm not sure how I'm obsessed with you. I don't know if I'm attracted to you, if the obsession is sexual, or if I just want to be near you all the time. I just don't know."
"Harry," Ginny interrupted, nearly in tears. "Harry, you need to forget about me. You're a great person. You can have any girl you want. I don't want you making the same mistake I did. I don't want you waiting around, obsessing, for someone you can't have."
He stared at her, his eyes searching hers for something he couldn't find. "You know what?" he whispered.
Ginny didn't answer.
"I've seen you with Draco before. And I know you'd be ten times happier with him than with me. And you know something? That makes me happy."
Her expression turned confused. "Huh?" she asked quietly.
"I'm happy because you're happy," Harry emphasized. "The more I think, the more I realize this obsession isn't about wanting you. It's just . . . it's just wanting you to live the way you want." He seemed to get more excited with his idea. "If you're apart of me, that means that I feel some of what you feel. So if you're happy then I'm happy, too."
"Are you sure?" she asked. "Are you just saying that so I won't bother you anymore?"
"No." He shook his head. "No, I think it's really true."
"But even if I'm happy you'll still go on obsessing about me," she stated dully. "You won't be able to love anyone else fully because I'll always be on your mind."
"Who says I won't be able to love anyone fully?" Harry demanded. "I'm sure if I found the right person I could. And all obsessions fade away sometime, Ginny. Especially obsessions that aren't real."
It was the truth, but somehow it made her a little sad. She nodded. "Yes, you're right. You're strong, Harry, and when you find someone whose right for you you'll be able to forget about me."
He reached out and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "I won't forget about you, Ginny," he promised quietly.
She started to smile, then heard her mother calling her. "Ginny! Harry! Come on, we're getting ready to leave!"
They both got to their feet and hurried into the house.
* * *
"GINNY! Hurry up!" Ron screamed from outside.
She was in her room, having forgotten her Transfiguration book at her desk. Everyone else was outside in the car, since they'd driven for nearly five minutes before she'd remembered about it.
"All right, all right," Ginny muttered, rummaging through her desk parchments. "I know it's here somewhere, I know it is . . ."
She spun around and got down on her knees, lifting up the bed skirt to look under her bed. It was a mess under there. Finally, frustrated, she stood up, pulled out her wand, and opened her mouth to use the Summoning Charm.
Something glinted in the corner of her eye.
She glanced down at her bed. Sunlight flitted through the window onto her bedspread, causing something lying there to sparkle.
Ginny's breath caught in her throat. It couldn't be!
She snatched the Locator Ring off her bed. Staring at it for a moment, she laughed aloud with sheer joy and shoved it onto her finger. Glancing back at the bed, she saw that it'd come with a note. Grabbing it, she quickly unfolded it, unable to stop grinning.
Love is magic all in its own . . . I thought you might be needing this.
That was it. That was the only thing that was printed on the small parchment. Still, it was enough. "Thank you!" she yelled out loud.
Everything was beginning to look up after that. She saw her Transfiguration book sticking out between her dresser and wall and grabbed it, hurrying back outside.
As they drove along, Ron singing loudly along with the wizarding radio, Harry and Hermione trying to get him to shut up, Ginny stared happily out the window, still smiling. She could feel the warmth and reassurance of the ring on her finger, reminding her that she would be seeing Draco again in a few hours.
This is definitely going to be an interesting year, she thought, resting her head against the glass. I wonder how everyone will react to Draco and me together.
Ginny had never been in love before. She wasn't sure if it would last, or if they'd get married, or even have kids.
All she knew was if her love for Draco remained as strong as it was now forever, then she would most certainly become Mrs. Draco Malfoy.
Her smile widened.
* * *
A/N: Wow, I finally finished it. It's taken me a while, but I have. Sadly, I do not think I'll be doing a sequel . . . or if I do, it won't be anytime soon. So thank you for everyone who has stuck with the story and reviewed. I love you all!
Final thank yous for those who reviewed chapter 21:
w&m_law, summer_thyme (hook up with Dobby?!), Brooklyn Majestic, The Jade Princess, Melissa Belial Riddle, Cithara, Athena Lionfire16, Tigre, krissy, audig, angelic*, Archer (I want a pair of Slytherin socks! Lol), Demeter, Elaine, sOmEoNeSpEcIaL, danabird, ~*Crystal Lily*~, and Phoenix Flare.
Thank you to everyone!