Chapter 48 - The Twelfth Hour
As the Hogwarts Express pulled into Hogsmeade station, Draco's head fell forward and he woke from his deep sleep with bleary eyes and a confused sense of being. Looking around his compartment for his companion that had only been there moments before, suddenly he realized that he had only been dreaming. Rubbing his eyes and inhaling deeply he brought himself back to the harsh reality that Ginevra had only been in his dreams.
As he exited the train he noticed the carriages filling quickly as the heavens opened drenching the scrambling students. Not really caring if he got soaked he made his way to the next carriage with an open space. Climbing in Draco kept to himself as the other seats filled with timid looking first years. The ride to the castle was silent and all Draco could think of was the dream he'd had about Ginny.
Ginny mulled over her dinner in the Great Hall and all she could think about was Draco. Students had been arriving all day, more had returned for the second term than she had expected. The war was in full force and most parents thought Hogwarts was the most dangerous place to be, while others thought it to be the safest. She had a time with her parents, they didn't want her to return school, and they wanted to keep her close. But she finally convinced them that she would be safe.
She had seen Harry over the holiday, and it had gone as she expected. He was Harry, he was the chosen one. How could she compare to that? How could she get in the way of his destiny? He was kind, as usual, he put her safety above his own, and her well being was the second most important thing next his defeating the Dark Lord. Closure was what she was looking for and closure was what she got when he kissed her gently on the lips and told her she should move on. It hit affected her more than she had wanted it to.
Pushing her plate to the center of the table, Ginny got up and headed for the exit. So many things had changed for her in the last weeks; she definitely had closure with Harry, and what seemed like a wide open door with Draco, neither of which she was certain of now that she had it.
Just as she pushed the door open leading to the Entrance Hall the large door opened to a flock of rain drenched students. Draco was in the midst of the hurrying crowd; he looked up as he wiped water from his face and their eyes met. Her breath hitched in her throat. Her first impulse was to run to him and throw her arms around his neck. Quickly her senses took over and she slid into the shadows of the staircase keeping him in view.
She could smell him as he passed by her, heading in the direction of the dungeons. The scent was strong as it filled her nostrils; she had to fight to control herself. Before he disappeared through the doorway he looked back over his shoulder at her. He was tired behind the silver-grey that glinted in the torch light. Holding her gaze for what seemed like forever ended abruptly with the despicable voice of Gregory Goyle.
"Draco," he said stiffly as his oversized hand clasped Draco on the shoulder. "How was the train?"
Ginny dipped further into the shadows and sighed heavily as the two of them disappeared through the door leading to the dungeons.
When the entrance hall cleared Ginny slipped from behind the staircase and headed towards the Gryffindor Tower in slow motion. As she came to the portrait of the Fat Lady, she could hear footsteps behind her. Turning her head slightly looking over her shoulder she saw a few of her house mates heading toward the portrait. She smiled friendly and then turned back to the Fat Lady and gave her the pass word.
The portrait swung wide and allowed Ginny entrance into the Gryffindor common room. It was as she remembered a cozy fire, fluffy chairs and sofas, oversized pillows and candy. She took a deep breath inhaling the surroundings. So gripped by her thoughts she didn't even notice the other students parting ways going to their dormitories. Finally she looked at the spiraling staircase that led up to her room. With a deep breath she took the stairs as if she were almost afraid to enter into the room. Slowly she turned the knob and pushed the heavy door open.
It was just as she left it, bed made, pictures of her friends still on the bureau, and now her trunk at the foot of her bed. Ginny took another bottomless intake of air, a sigh of relief—from what she wasn't sure. Sitting on her trunk Ginny put her head in her hands and looked at the floor for a long moment before getting up and rummaging through her trunk for her pajamas. When she reached the bottom of her trunk she noticed the red leather bound journal she had started keeping when she returned home for the summer at the end of last year.
She hadn't written anything in a while. Her cold fingers flipped open the cover and she began to read her entries. They were no longer strange to her like they were when she first wrote them. They still didn't have much meaning to them, and yet they didn't seem so farfetched. As she read through them, she felt her cheeks flush when she came to one about her and Draco. When she got to the last entry she found herself wanting to read more, she wished she had stayed faithful to writing in it. The last thing she wrote about the Quidditch pitch and how they both agreed that they had been sent back in time and wanting to talk to Dumbledore.
There were no entries after they had talked to Dumbledore, she hadn't written it down. They were both very much on a mission into figuring out the "watch". She sat there for a long time catching up her journal and how she and Draco had spent their time trying to figure out the watch and what they had found out.
As she dipped her quill in ink and placed it to the page she began to write:
It was the last day before all the students were sent home for the holidays. Draco was going home and I was staying here. I had been to Hagrid's hut. It was cold and raining, I was soaked to the bone and I headed to the library, but she was closed and told me to come back in the morning.
Ginny continued scribbling the evening all the way through to where she lost her virginity to Draco Malfoy. She hadn't realized that she was clutching the quill so tightly in her hand, and her entire body was flushed as her breath was ragged. Then her mind filled with him entering through the large doors of the entrance hall. How she could smell him, freshly fallen snow in a pine forest, the sharp scent overwhelmed her. Ginny closed her eyes and took several deep breaths in attempt to clear her head. When she opened them, it hadn't worked it was only stronger, her need for him.
She moved to the edge of her bed and put on her slippers, the clock on the bedside table read eleven-forty. Swallowing hard and closing her eyes again Ginny stood and closed her journal, placing her protective spells on it then putting in back in the bottom of her trunk. Grabbing her cloak from her bed post she wrapped it around her and held her wand tightly in her covered hand as she blew the candle out on the table and turned heading out of her room and down the dark winding stairs of Gryffindor Tower.
As she exited the portrait hole she hadn't really been thinking of how she would get into the Slytherin Common room and then further down into Draco's Dungeon. No all she was thinking about as her feet carried her swiftly through the dim, deserted corridors was getting to him, being with him. The feeling was so strong running through her she barely thought of anything else. Her fist was tightly around her wand, as she passed through the entrance hall and to the door that led down to the dungeons. The nearer she got to the dungeons the stronger the smell of freshly fallen snow in a pine forest became.
She was close to the Slytherin entrance but it like every other entrance into the houses were either disguised and or protected by secret passwords. Her breath was quick and excited and she held out her wand to the wall and closed her eyes. When she opened them she simply took a step forward and passed through the cold damp wall into Slytherin House.
It was as lavish as Gryffindor, except the main colors were green and silver. A fire was crackling in the grate in the common room, there a couple of people sitting around in the chairs; they seemed preoccupied with books and each other. Ginny hadn't a clue as to how the house was laid out and she didn't know in which direction to go to find Draco.
Ginny drew into a tight stance when she felt a hand on her shoulder, it hadn't occurred to her until that very moment that she felt the hand that she wouldn't be welcome in Slytherin.
"Ginny?" said a whispering voice.
Slowly she turned her head to see Pansy Parkinson standing behind her.
"Is something the matter?" she asked her pulling her behind a hanging tapestry.
Ginny jerked her head around, she'd scared her. Ginny couldn't even answer her. She could feel her cheeks burning, her breathing had still not calmed. Suddenly she had realized at how stupid it was for her to be standing behind a tapestry in the Slytherin Common room.
"Come with me." Pansy took her by the hand and led her quickly through the common room.
Pansy led her through a quite unique labyrinth of tunnels, she could see doors to rooms or what she thought would be rooms. Stopping, Pansy turned to her; she could barely make out her pale features in the dim light of the wall torches.
"Draco's room is around the corner first door on the left." Pansy encountered her gaze briefly.
"Thank you," Ginny said.
Pansy turned and headed back from the direction they came from, it didn't take long for Ginny to lose sight of in the dank light. Rounding the corner, Ginny saw the door that Pansy said was Draco's. Quickly her hand formed and fist and she knocked as softly as she could.
She didn't hear anything, but she knew he was behind the door, she could smell him more clearly now.
As she knocked again she whispered his name into the wood, "Draco."
Suddenly the door flew open and Draco was standing there, his face bore a very startled expression. He was still dressed as she'd seen him coming into the entrance hall.
"Ginevra what are you doing," he spat, his voice etched with a hint of fear as he pulled her into his room closing the door quickly behind her. "What in Merlin's—
"I had to see you," she said softly, pressing her back against the door staring at him. She could visibly see the worry etching in the lines around his eyes.
"How did you get in here?" he asked trying to calm his voice.
She could smell him so strongly now, it was painful to her senses. She wanted to touch him, kiss him.
He shifted his stance, obviously addled that she was there. "Parkinson?"
"Draco," Ginny started trying to clarify her reason for being there, but before she could speak again his face was there in hers, his mouth slanting over hers.
He exhaled into her mouth, and it fired her up. That was what she had wanted, needed; his very breath. Holding her tight, he pressed into her until her back was against the door. Her entire body pushed back at him, her skin getting hotter by the second. Draco plunged his tongue deeply inside of her; she could taste him now, right down to the freshly fallen snow that he smelled of.
He slid her cloak off her shoulders and she felt it pool to around her feet. Dropping her wand in the heap of black at her feet, Ginny slid her hands up his arms to his shoulders Draco slid his hand beneath her bottom and pulled her into his erection.
"Ginevra," he breathed into her mouth, "Merlin I have missed you."
"I missed you too," she groaned out as his teeth skimmed her jaw. "I worried about you; I couldn't even see you in my dreams. I didn't know what was happening with you."
Her hands tugged at the bottom of his shirt, as his quickly undid the buttons, leaving it lying in the mangled heap of her cloak.
"I told you not to worry about me." His hands pulled at her oxford, popping of the buttons as his mouth brushed the top of her breast. "You should watch out for yourself." His mouth was back on hers again, as she removed her shirt and unfastened her bra. She could feel her nipples harden against his bare chest.
"I couldn't help it," she said sucking in air when his mouth ran across her sensitive nipples. He moved quickly, his mouth on hers again, his tongue hot on her lips.
His hands were quick and smooth on her hips as he pushed her pants down over them and to the floor with the rest of the clothes. Ginny had no hesitation in unfastening the leather belt that held his black trews in place. He slid his hand down her thigh and under her knee, his skin was warm. He pulled her leg up high over his hip, until she was exposed and vulnerable to him.
He stopped moving, and looked at her; she could feel the tip of his cock, there, just barely grazing her sensitive flesh. His hair was framing his face, his breathing ragged, he was sinfully beautiful.
"What," she said her breathing just as ragged.
"I missed you," he said again, looking into her eyes.
"You said that," she reminded him, her hands clasping behind his neck. Ginny felt fire sweep through to her center as the head of his erection pushed through her folds and directly to her core. A deep groan escaped her as her back was pushed hard into the door. Draco lifted her so that she was straddling him completely, buried in her to the hilt.
Closing her eyes, her head fell back, repeatedly hitting the wooden door as he pushed into her. She could hear his guttural growls and moans as he rocked his hips into hers. His fingers pressed deep into her flesh. This was nothing like the night she had spent with him before they left for the holidays; this need was feral, for the both of them.
"Draco," she whispered his name aloud.
He slammed into her fast and hard, each time jolting her body, her core. Ginny hissed and moaned in pleasure until her swollen center could take it no longer and she cried out repeatedly as she came and Draco continued pushing into her. His rhythm quickened and his thrusts were harder than before and Ginny continued clamping around him as he emptied into her.
Ginny lay next to Draco, his body warm against hers, his arm underneath her head. She knew it was getting to be late into the night and she needed to get back to her own room, but she didn't want to leave the comfort she was in at the moment. The silken sheets soothed her body, and the heavy down comforter weighed heavy on her chest.
As she laid there and looked around the room, she had never fully realized that Draco had so many possessions. He had things in his room that she only saw in store display windows. Shelves lined the walls filled with trinkets and collectibles, some looked very expensive. He had awards displayed in shadow boxes, pictures of places he had traveled, Quidditch brooms, and displayed on his dressing table a mirrored plate filled with glass bottles of different shapes and sizes all containing a different color liquid. While her eyes roamed over the room her mind began to bounce back and forth, as she had done before quick flashes of light filled her mind then gone. But something held her strongly to the feeling that she had been in this very room countless times before.
"Are you awake?" Draco breathed into her neck.
Ginny turned over to face him.
"I haven't been to sleep," she whispered, her fingers lightly moved up his arm and back down again.
"I can't emphasize enough what an incredible risk you took coming down here tonight." He drew his brow, giving her a very disapproving look. "Please don't make it a habit."
Ginny knew he was right, but she didn't quite see it to the same degree as he did.
"I needed to see you," she said innocently. "And you're right it was incredibly stupid of me to just waltz in here. I should have thought it through. I'm sorry. And if Pansy hadn't led me down here, I would just have been standing there not even knowing where to go."
"I can't believe you trusted her," he scolded her; "how many times have I told you, you should trust no one."
"Even you?" she teased.
"You know what I mean Ginevra." He leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips. "You shouldn't just be willing to be so trusting."
"I know your right," she agreed again.
"I'm glad you agree." He tried to continue looking cross.
Ginny felt it was time to change the subject. "How was your holiday?"
"Miserable, as expected. My father and Voldemort demanded a full update on my progress with you."
"And how is that going for you?" She smiled.
"As I told the both of them, I think things are going in my favor. My father was quite pleased with what I had to tell him. Goyle was still being a bit of a bloody pain in my side, but he was instructed quite clearly that he was to do nothing to jeopardize the mission with you."
"Pansy too then, that's probably why she led me to you." Ginny closed her hand around his smooth forearm, just above the Dark Mark.
"Actually she and I had a long chat." His gaze iced over, she could tell he was thinking.
"Really, what about?" Her leg slid over his.
"I told her to think for herself, and that this absurd blood war was a lost cause and that Potter would defeat him," he answered as he squirmed a bit. "She was horrified with the straight talk at first, but she is smart and I guess her first step to thinking for herself was leading you down here."
"Unless she was still holding to the silly notion that I will fall into You-know-Who's powers and lead me down here for you do continue your dirty deeds."
"Perhaps," he replied, rolling on top of her. "How was your holiday? Did you do anything fun?"
"I went sledding with my brother's, and nieces and nephews." She smiled looking up at him. His shoulders, flexed, the chords of his neck visible as he held his self over her. "A lot of snowball fights, and I made you something."
"You made me something?"
He chuckled lightly. "I do hope it's not in Gryffindor colors."
"No, you prat." She playfully tapped his arm as she spoke; "it's in the hideous green and silver that you so adore."
"Good," he said then smiled briefly before it was over taken with a serious look. "I looked up time turners in my father's library while I was home."
"And? Did you come across anything?"
"A few things, I did see a picture of a time turner that was similar to the one we have, it was shaped a bit differently, but the basics to the inside being empty was all the same."
"Just as Dumbledore said, there were three of the Empty Turners made, and two of them had seven pieces to make it work while the third had three. Of course it did not state what the pieces were to make it work but it did say that when the pieces were separated they always found a way of coming back together."
"That's interesting; I took the watch apart over the holiday and found that the glass tubing from a special quill pen that slid right through the center of it."
Quickly he moved from off of her and off the bed towards his clothes at the door. "Get dressed."
Ginny sat up pulling the cover with her.
"What are we doing?" she asked as he tossed her clothes on the bed.
"Where did you get the quill with the glass tubing?" he asked pulling his trousers up.
"It was some special quill that my father got from the Ministry several years ago, an anniversary present from them I think. Why?"
Ginny grabbed her clothes and began putting them on quickly. Draco had dressed and then began to rummage through his trunk. He brought out a very old tatty looking book. It looked as if it would fall apart if it were opened just once more.
He sat on the edge of the bed and turned the pages very gently to one he had marked. Laying it on the bed he pointed to the picture. Ginny fastened her pants and sat down putting on her shoes, looking at the book.
"Here, read this," he said pointing to a passage beside the very faded drawings of the time turners.
"The Empty Watch," she read in a low voice, "It is believed that there were only three of these watches made. The empty watch works much like a time turner, but with much greater range of time-space travel for the time traveler(s). When the empty watch is filled and the user figures out the complicated dials and settings the range of time that can be travelled is far beyond that of a regular time turner. With the empty watch the time is much more like that of sifting rather than backwards motion. The traveler(s) is said to experience a dream like trance of falling through space and time, often times being hurled through several different time periods on a continuum of twelve. It is not known if the twelve is in seconds, minutes, hours or years or more. So even though the time traveled can be much greater it is not as precise as a Time Turner, whose time travel is much shorter but more accurate.
The Empty Watch is also said that once the traveler (s) has reached the destination of intention, the pieces will relocate themselves, which in most cases can be very inconvenient since the watch is not precise in landing the traveler(s) where he or she may want to be. The most reliable thing on the watch is the time waves it produces as the traveler(s) is tossed from time to time. The waves are like a reverberation that could possibly change things in the traveler(s) reality, again each wave is on a twelve continuum, thus making the waves hard to predict. Another rather irritating feature of the watch is it possesses a memory charm often leaving the traveler(s) disoriented for weeks or days, sometimes years.
It is not known at the time of the publishing of this book where these Empty Watches are or if they even exist. "
Ginny looked up at Draco.
"So even if we do manage to get this thing back together, we may end up in the same situation in the future." Her brow furrowed.
"Possibly." He closed the book gently. "If we got it back together, it would be a chance we would just have to take I guess."
"We may not ever get it back together." Ginny stood, raking her hair with her fingers.
"Then what do we do?" she asked now tying her hair with one of Draco's elastics.
"I don't know." He continued sitting on the bed, he was looking up at her now. "We could just leave it be, throw the damn thing off a cliff, and let it sink into the ocean."
"If we do that, then we might not ever get a chance to get back to where we came from," she answered sitting back down.
"What if this is where we came from? What if we are where we are supposed to be?"
Ginny could tell he had given this a lot of thought.
"Maybe it is," she said solemnly and stood walking to his dresser with the full round mirror. "But how will ever be sure." She took her wand and stroked the lower part of her abdomen with it, in a sidetracked manner.
"We might not ever know it would be something that we would just have to accept. We could just live our lives from here on out and whatever happens, happens."
"Is that what you want?" She turned to face him.
"I had a dream on the train, and you were telling me that was what you wanted, it was so real, and you kept telling me that our dreams try to tell us something."
"As I have told you in the waking world many times."
"So maybe that is what I want, to leave it be, and just be here with you in the here and now, and see where life takes us. Maybe just maybe we might muddle through it and everything is just like it's supposed to be."
He stood and walked around the bed to where she was standing, placing his hands on her shoulders. "Just think about it," he said softly. "Come on, you should get back to your room."
He took her by the hand and led her out of his room to a secret passage just beyond his door.
As Ginny followed Draco through what must have been endless turns and very steep climbs she pondered in silence what he had said to her. She hadn't thought of anything but getting back to the time they came from, never thinking that he didn't want to do the same.
I know this took a while, and you should know that the end is nearing for this story. Hopefully in two more chapters. Incase you didn't realilze it, the bit on the trian in the previous chapter was a dream. Ginny wasn't really on the train at all. Nor did Draco ride to the castle with Snodgrass. He wsa on the train, but he fell asleep and had a very vivid dream, again.