-There's a place I go when I'm alone
Do anything I want, be anyone I want to be
But it is us I see
And I cannot believe I'm falling-
There was rain, lots of rain, pouring down from the sky, emptying out of the amazing purple-grey clouds overhead. The phrase "the heavens opened" had never been more accurately used. In some way, this felt right, this was deserved. Looking up at the sky, squinting against the raindrops falling in her eyes, she could see the lighter outlines at the edge of the clouds, where the sun was somehow trying to break through… But it couldn't quite make it, and the grounds were still dark.
It was cold, and she was only wearing a thin shirt, but right now that didn't matter. She was numb, disconnected from the rest of her body. She could hear someone sobbing quietly and was surprised to find it was herself. More fool her, she'd broken her own heart, and now she was outside, uncaring, in the rain. She'd managed to ignore the strong throbbing pain into a dull ache, but she couldn't help but remember him.
Ginny felt the tears and the rain mix on her face, get trapped in the long copper curls of her hair, turning it into a darker auburn. She had hoped for insight, maybe a form of release. Being out in the rain, feeling it wash her soul clean, might have somehow helped, but instead Ginny just felt more depressed, had less of an idea what to do… all she'd achieved was to soak through her shirt, and get chills to her bones. She was shivering, unsure if that was through the cold or the misery.
What have I done? What have I done?
She was as bad as him, she had betrayed them all, more so than he had. Maybe in a different way, but still, there it was. Everyone expected it of him, not of her. She was a traitor- she had betrayed her brothers, her friends, everyone she cared about almost.
And all this, her face turned up to the stormy sky, was for someone who should be her worst enemy, who persistently called her Red as opposed to Ginny (although occasionally he managed a mini-Weasel or Weaselette). An arrogant, insufferable, cowardly idiot who thought he was God's gift to Slytherin.
A hand on her waist pressed the wet shirt to her skin, and spun her round. She turned back away from him, having caught sight of blond hair dripping with water and grey eyes to match the storm clouds. "Draco Malfoy, who'd have thought."
An arm snaked around her, pulling her tight against his chest, shirt to shirt, skin to skin. She felt his cold lips press against the top of her head gently, and sank back into him. "Hello, Red."
She thought back to the day this had all started, the way it had continued. He told her secrets, about his fear of the Dark Lord and the way he'd promised to kill Dumbledore, and she'd looked at his pale, unblemished forearm every time she saw him as insurance. Truthfully, she couldn't see any reason why he'd lie to her, it wasn't like anyone important in his world would believe anything she'd tell them. She was a blood traitor, and by getting closer to him she'd betrayed her family too.
And now they were standing out in the June rain in the school grounds, pretending that they weren't on opposite sides which had suddenly become the same side, and that she hadn't stupidly fallen in love. Not that she'd told him that, and she still didn't trust him, but after the months that they'd spent together sharing secrets in a school filled with mistrust he was closer than anyone else she knew.
And then just now on her birthday in front of the entire school, everything had come to a head, and it had ended with Harry, and now she was outside in the rain and the one holding her up yet again was Draco Malfoy, who rightly should hate her guts for leading him on. Draco, who was still the same arrogant bastard he'd been since she started school. Draco, who she'd somehow fallen in love with despite that.
She was shivering again, remembering the look in Ron's eyes, the way Harry had turned away from her as she revealed what, or rather who, she'd been doing whilst they'd been away. She hadn't played the comfort card, because in the end he'd been worth so much more to her than that.
He spun her round to face him, shirt sticking to his chest, looking at her with a combination of lust and love that made Ginny feel weak at the knees. "You told Luna everything? Because it won't be at all awkward working with Granger tomorrow, now she knows that I'm the Slytherin that slept with her best friend."
"I didn't tell her everything. I didn't tell her why I did it." There was a sudden silence as she spoke, a break in the wind, although the rain still pattered on the ground all around them. Strands of red were glued to her face with the water, but he smoothed them away with one hand to reveal her look of desperation.
"What do you mean, why you did it? I thought you were just getting back at Potter for leaving."
She shook her head at his inability to comprehend, and the wind whipped up again, swirling around them. It was a little early to be having a summer storm, but that had never stopped Hogwarts. In Scotland you expected the rain anyway, although by this time it was usually more in the 'fine mist blurrily obscuring the rolling hills' style rather than a blatter which hit your shoulders hard enough to bruise and you could feel it in your blood that this, right now, was who you were.
"I wouldn't sleep with someone out of pity or revenge. Why waste myself on that, when I could be with you?" The honesty in her voice was raw, and when she tipped her head back to catch the water in her mouth, avoiding his eyes, he could see the water running down her milky throat and somehow know that what she said was true.
"You love me?" he asked, stunned, pushing her head forwards so he could look her in the eyes. She was oddly defiant, staring back at him as if she was daring him to start something. He'd known she was fierce, a fighter- who else would take on the establishment in a school run by Death Eaters?- but until now she'd never turned that fight on him, never had to. Anything she wanted, anything he wanted, they'd done. Together.
His lips pressed to her forehead, reverently. Her eyelids fluttered shut, and he watched her hold him as if this was the last time she ever could. "I do," she whispered, finally. "I'm sorry."
He split them, keeping an arm round her waist as he steered her in the direction of the school, towering grey over them. The Lake to their right was washing over its banks, waves taller than her, and the same menacing grey as his eyes had been when Dolohov had tried to attack her outside the Great Hall and he'd finally showed his true colours.
"What have you got to be sorry for? Don't worry about what Golden Boy or your stupid brother think. They're not worth crying over if they care little enough to hurt you." So he'd been able to tell the difference between the rain and the tears.
"But I've got no one left, Draco. Hermione'll be fine eventually, but I doubt most of my friends will see this the same way. I've dumped Harry Potter to be with you." The greatest betrayal, choosing their saviour's enemy over their saviour. But somehow, this betrayal wasn't wrong, because she'd followed her heart, and her heart was slowly and painfully leading her home.
"Well, I suppose in that case, it needs to be said, doesn't it?" And he smirked yet again at the perplexed look on her face. "I love you," he told her, watching how the sun peeking out from behind one of the many storm clouds caught the tear rolling down her cheek, the raindrop glinting on her nose… of course he could tell the difference. And the copper curls stuck across her forehead, plastered there by rain so the wind couldn't pick them off again. And the reflection turning her chocolate eyes almost golden, the pupils grown huge in the shade. And the beautiful, lightning soul jumping out.
She heard it despite the wind's increasing howling, despite the fact that it was the thing she most and least wanted to hear. And he watched how she lit up more, and the bruise-purple under her eyes just disappeared and she began to glow.
Much kissing in the rain and running back into school and laughter and white towels turning grey later, Ginny turned to Draco with that big glowing smile on her face. "You're amazing."
"And you're intrigued," he leered, grinning down at her with the intense look in his eyes which made her feel weak again. Grinning? Draco Malfoy? But it suited him strangely well. They were standing by the window in his room, not to hide from the rest of the school but simply to get a moment between them to sort out what they were.
She had a frown furrowing her forehead under the strands of her still-wet hair, and from a year's worth of telling secrets he knew exactly what she was thinking. "There's no need to worry about it all. We're together, we'll get through it." He'd been trusting her for a year now, and she'd never told a single one of his secrets, but she knew it was still hard for him to tell how he felt, to speak emotions. The word together still thrilled in her veins.
Water trickled down the windowpane. Outside, the rain was still falling. Outside, the lightning struck home.
Lyrics are Newton Faulkner: Dream Catch Me
Sorry it's taken me forever to upload, I got distracted by uni- thanks to everyone that's read/reviewed.