That was the first thing that
floated into Ginny Weasley's mind as she surfaced from sleep. She wasn't used
to such softness, like sleeping on feathers. But it felt so good, and since she
was still half-asleep, she did not pay it much mind.
luxuriously, a small smile on her lips. Her dream had been a pleasant one . . .
she'd been in the arms of some man with silvery-blond hair and it had been very
fluttered open, and slowly her smile faded.
She was not in her Hogwarts
bed. The one she was in was two times the size of what she was used to. She lay
among a sea of fluffy pillows and satin sheets, with thick navy blue curtains
hanging open from the canopy, giving her a view of what was not the Gryffindor
seventh year girls' dormitory.
Ginny gasped softly and sat
up, confusion settling over her. She took in her surroundings, half believing
that it really was not there.
The room was enormous. A
thick, dark Persian rug covered the hardwood floor, and a fire blazed in the
marble fireplace, cackling gently and giving the large place a soothing
quality. The walls were wallpapered in dark red, and there were gas lamps
decorated with gold attached to them. Hanging from one was a life-sized
portrait of herself, and it thoroughly creeped her out. A huge crystal
chandelier hung from the middle of the ceiling, but all the light that was
needed came through the ceiling high windows on the wall the head of the bed
was pushed up against. From where she was sitting, she faced closed double
doors beside a monstrous mahogany wardrobe. There was a large table with gold
cushioned chairs in the middle of the room, and up against the wall was a desk
with a washbasin.
Ginny gaped. The room was
elegant and gorgeous; there was no doubt about it. It gave her the feeling of
an ancient castle.
What on earth is going
on? she thought, pulling the coverlet back. She got out of bed to stand
before the full-length mirror.
She looked normal, except
for the fact she wore a long, old-fashioned white nightgown. Her reflection
stared back at her, showing her the confused arch of her eyebrows. Ginny had
never really been interested in her mirror reflection – people told her she was
the prettiest girl in school, but she didn't care. She was the only one in her
year who didn't use makeup, but what was the point? Her porcelain skin never
needed any, not to mention she was rather fond of her freckles.
But her looks were the
farthest thing from her mind at the moment. Nothing was wrong with her, so why
was she in this beautiful, classical room? Was she dreaming? For some reason
she doubted it . . . it felt so real. She could hear the popping of the fire,
could feel its warmth against the side of her body, could think clearly and
rationally. So if she wasn't dreaming, then what was happening?
The double doors opened,
jerking Ginny's head from the mirror. A short, plump woman with straight black
hair and wearing a long plain white dress bustled in, not glancing at her.
"Majesty, time to wake . .
." she said with a Spanish accented voice, but trailed off when she saw Ginny
before the mirror.
Oh no, Ginny thought.
This woman knows I'm not supposed to be here.
But the Spaniard's face only
lit into a warm smile. "I am surprised to see you awake at the proper hour,
Majesty," she said, speaking perfect English. "Surprised and glad."
thought. Surely this woman was confusing her for someone else. "Where am I?"
Ginny asked, her voice quite and hoarse even to her own ears.
The woman appeared not to
have heard her; she went straight to the wardrobe and opened it, shifting
through its contents. "Your father has told me he would like to see you wear
one of your velvets for His Highness Malfoy's arrival this noon. What color
would you like?"
repeated in her head. Did she say Malfoy? "His Highness Malfoy?" Ginny
spoke aloud. "What, is he a king or something?"
The lady turned and stared
at her. "M'dear, are you doing this to get a rise out of me?"
I could ask you the same
thing. "I beg your pardon?"
She sighed, and settled her
lips into an understanding smile. "Majesty, I know you simply detest Highness
Draco, but you have been betrothed to him since . . . well, since before you
were born. Don't speak a word of this, but I believe that was poor judgment on
your father's part, not allowing you two to grow up as playmates together. To
have you meet for the first time two months ago, and with the wedding being
planned for Christmas, well, I can sympathize for you . . ."
But Ginny was no longer
listening. The main words of this woman's sayings floated around her head. Highness
Draco . . . betrothed . . . meet . . . detest . . .
She tried to piece it
together. This woman thought she was someone she clearly was not. And she
needed to set her straight.
"Listen, ma'am, I appreciate
what you are trying to do –"
"Ma'am?" the woman said,
sticking out her bosom and swelling to her full five feet. "I beg forgiveness
for interrupting you, Majesty, but I do not like the word 'ma'am' coming from
your lips in addressing me. You call me Maria, you hear?"
"All right, Maria," Ginny
said, fighting the urge to smile. She was quite taken to Maria, even from the
few sentences she had spoken. "I just don't think I'm who you . . . well, think
sympathetically. "Ah, dear Majesty, do sit down with me."
She reached up to put her
arm around Ginny's shoulders and led her to the edge of the bed. Maria took
Ginny's hands in hers as they sat down, and she turned to face her. Ginny
opened her mouth to speak more when she cut her off with the raising of her
"Silence, m'dear," she
ordered. "Let me speak with you for a moment. I know this is a hard time for
you. This time next year you will be married, and Wales and England will be one
kingdom. Goodness knows that's a lot of land, and the pressures of keeping
everything orderly will be high. But Prince Draco is a good man despite what he
tries to let on. I have a gift, Majesty, you know I do, to see through people's
hard shells and see what sort of soul they have. You're life with him will be
good. I know you two don't have much in common, but sometimes opposites make
the best relationships."
"I'm marrying Draco Malfoy?"
Ginny burst out, unable to keep horror from her face.
Maria laughed, and it was a
trilling laugh that caused the corners of Ginny's mouth to tug into a smile.
"You've known it for your entire life, Majesty," Maria said, patting her hand.
"Don't act so surprised. Besides, Prince Draco is very handsome. You will
produce beautiful children."
The thought of having
children with Draco Malfoy, sworn enemy to Ginny's entire family, made her
stomach lurch. Yet she couldn't help but picture him in her mind, and knew that
Maria was not lying. Ginny hadn't seen him for quite a few months now, since he
had graduated from Hogwarts the previous June. But she could still remember his
finely chiseled face, his lips always twisted into a sneer or a smirk, his cold
and flashing ice gray eyes, and silky white blond hair that was long enough to
spill over his eyes if he allowed it. He was what Ginny always thought of as a
"demon angel" because he looked like an angel but had the temper and wit of a
demon. She had seen quite a few fights between him and her older brother Ron to
know that he despised just about anyone to liked Harry Potter, or anyone with
red hair and the last name Weasley, for that matter.
"Now," Maria said, giving
one final hand pat and standing up to return to the wardrobe, "back to the gown
color. Which would you prefer?"
"Whatever you think is
best," Ginny said absently.
I'm not dreaming, she
thought slowly, so I must be in some sort of warped world.
"What is the date, Maria?"
she asked suddenly.
"The fifth of December,
Maria turned and gave her a
queer look. Ginny forced a grin. "Just want to see if you know," she said,
feeling incredibly stupid.
"1607," Maria replied,
rolling her eyes, and turned back to the wardrobe.
1607! her brain
screamed. Nearly four hundred years ago! I'm four hundred years into the
Her wand. She
would need her wand. But as she began to search for a place where it would be,
she realized that she probably didn't have it. She was most likely Muggle.
Her eyes flew to her
self-portrait on the wall. Yes, definitely Muggle, or else her picture would be
grinning and waving. Instead it was deathly still, a wry smile playing on her
"What do you know about
magic, Maria?" Ginny asked, once more feeling like an idiot.
But Maria didn't even turn
around. "Much as the next person, I suppose," she said, going through dress
after dress. "'Fraid I can't help you much on that subject, but you know that
sorceress what's-her-face . . . um, Alexandria . . . could probably tell you
all you wanted to know. That woman is in tune with every magical person on this
planet, I swear."
"So . . . you don't find
magic odd?" Ginny asked curiously.
"Not odd," Maria replied.
"Most people in this kingdom do 'cause they don't understand it. But I don't
understand it but . . . I respect it, y'know what I mean?"
"Absolutely," Ginny said.
"You've always had a
fascination with sorcerers and such . . ." Maria started, but Ginny went back
into her thoughts.
So there was magic in this
world she was in. But she obviously wasn't magic. How could that be?
She'd grown up in magic, been surrounded by it her whole life, and now she was
in a place where she was Muggle?
Am I ever going to get
out of this world? Ginny wondered. I'm not sure I could survive! Being
married to "Prince" Draco . . .
Then something hit her.
"Maria!" she cried, not meaning to sound so alarmed.
Maria spun around, startled.
"What?" she asked, looking concerned.
"If Malfoy's a prince does
that make me a . . ." She swallowed the lump in her throat. "A princess?" She
whispered the last sentence.
Maria trilled her laugh
again, placing on hand on her round middle. "Oh, m'dear, you are a trip! You
are meant for the stage, you are. You can fake a very good surprised and
Princess . . . princess,
I'm a princess . . . The words swam around in her head, and she felt
slightly sick. She had not grown up even close to a princess – youngest of
seven, the only girl, there hadn't been much money to spare for each family
member's individual needs. Ginny had been raised with hand-me-downs and had
despised it. But now she was a princess!
I'm a princess and I'm
going to marry a prince, she thought. Her image of princes had always been
tall, dark, handsome men, riding on a white horse to save their maidens. Not
tall, fair, scowling men who made fun of people because they didn't have money,
or didn't have wizarding parents, or any parents at all. I'm going to marry
"Ah!" Maria cried
triumphantly, turning around with a gown of green velvet in her arms. "Perfect!
It will bring out the gold in your hair wonderfully, m'dear."
Ginny allowed herself to be
squeezed into a corset, laced so tight she felt as if she was going to pass
out, and then sat patiently in her own thoughts as Maria put thick white
stockings over long underwear, and finally dressed in the velvet gown.
The way she looked in the
beautiful dress almost made up for the tight corset. The bodice was tight to
show off her small waist and swelling breasts, and the skirt billowed out
around her legs. It touched the floor and made a swishing noise when she
walked. The sleeves were short, and Ginny wondered why because it had to be
cold outside. But then Maria gave her white gloves that reached past her
elbows. Ginny didn't put them on yet because under the heat of all the clothing
she was beginning to sweat.
Maria combed out Ginny's
long, gorgeous thick red hair that curled just right at the end and put it up
in a fancy upsweep. Ginny had often imagined what it would be like to wear the
gorgeous gowns of earlier times, but had never thought it would suit her so
well – as uncomfortable as it was.
"What time is, uh, Prince
Draco arriving?" Ginny asked, hating saying the first name out loud. It did not
sound right coming from her mouth.
"I have told you many
times," Maria said. She was standing behind Ginny and, being so short, had to
peer around Ginny's shoulder to meet her eyes in the full-length mirror's
reflection. "Noon. Now, what necklace would you like to wear?"
Ginny nearly fainted at the
collection of jewels she had. They were hers . . . she had millions of Galleons
worth of jewels, and they were hers. Not her father's, the "king" or her
mother's the "queen" but her very own.
"Oh my," Ginny murmured,
peering into the large box of necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
With Maria's help, she
finally settled on a small heart-shaped emerald on a thin gold chain. Ginny
felt the others were too bulky and flashy and it would be like an anchor around
her neck, though she didn't say such a thing.
"Breakfast," Maria said, and
thankfully led the way down to the dinning room.
They were most certainly in
a castle. A castle much different from Hogwarts – it was somewhat colder, and
unfamiliar. There were no voices, the only sound being Ginny's high-heeled
shoes clicking on the stone floor. No blazing torches lit the passageways.
Instead, they used fancy gas lamps that had flickering, meek candlelight.
Maria led Ginny into the
dinning room, nearly twice the size of Ginny's bedroom with a table that could
probably seat at least fifty people. It was rather ironic, then, to see only
two people sitting at it while two maids came in and out of the adjoining
kitchen with more food and drink.
A man and a woman sat at the
table, wearing gorgeous clothes that had to be very expensive. Maria went into
the kitchen, leaving Ginny standing there and feeling very silly.
The woman looked up and
frowned at her. The man didn't glance at her and said gruffly, "Well, c'mon, girl.
Sit down and eat."
Ginny obeyed, and sat on the
right side of the man, who sat at the head of the table. Across from her was
the stern-faced woman, reminding Ginny of Professor McGonagall.
Will I ever see Professor
McGonagall again? Ginny thought rather sadly.
"How was your sleep, dear?"
the woman asked, sounding strained. It was as if she was forcing the polite
words from her mouth.
Ginny stared at her for a
moment. Dear? Oh, God, these were supposed to be her parents. The
king and queen . . . of what? Wales or England? She didn't know and felt
There was a tense feeling in
the air, almost awkward, and Ginny knew it wasn't because this was the first
time she'd ever seen these people in her life. They didn't get along. She wasn't
sure how she knew it, but she did. This couple did not tease each other, or
kiss each other goodnight, or hold hands when strolling around town. They did
not tuck their daughter in, did not read her bedtime stories, or help her with
her schoolwork. This family was the total opposite from what Ginny was used to.
"Eat," the man, her father,
said gruffly, nodding to her full plate. Her plate full of some stuff she
couldn't recognize, that is.
Ginny picked up one of the
many forks and began to lower it to her food. How on earth could she eat
anything when her stomach was pinched so tight she could scarcely breathe?
The door to the kitchen
opened and out came another servant. Ginny looked up, uninterested, until she
saw the face of the servant.
Unlike most servants she had
seen, it was a man. Or a boy, rather. With that familiar messy black hair,
bright green eyes, and glasses, Ginny recognized him instantly.
"Harry!" she cried, dropping
her fork with a clatter on to her plate.
Harry, who had been in the
process of leaning over the table to place a bowl of porridge in a spot free of
other items, froze and stared at her. Ginny's "parents" ceased chewing at also
kept their eyes on her, looking between stunned and shocked.
She felt her cheeks flush.
"You are Harry, aren't you?" she asked meekly.
He nodded slowly, placing
the bowl down and straightening. Then he turned and went back into the kitchen,
and Ginny could've sworn he was walking faster than usual.
He doesn't recognize me,
she thought, her stomach dropping with dread. Harry doesn't know me. Does
that mean Draco won't know me, either?
Ginny returned to her food,
but her appetite was lost. She poked at some sort of brown meat with her fork.
It was then she realized that Harry hadn't had the lightning bolt scar on his
A/N: So what do you think? It isn't too terrible, is it? I will
continue but you must give me time! Ooh, I know I should've started another
story but I just couldn't help myself! Now it's two o'clock in the morning and
I'm famished, so I think I shall go to bed!