The Cruelty of the Past

Chapter 26

Maintaining Connections

"It's good that you can continue with your studies," Lucius said that night as he readied himself for bed.

Ginny was shocked to hear this from him, for she remembered all too well what he said before they got married about there being no need for her to attend school. She chose not to say anything.

Lucius stopped and looked at her. "Ginevra, have you heard from your family?"

Ginny hadn't, and she was hurt by this fact. In her stubborn mind, she wasn't the one in the wrong and she shouldn't have to beg for forgiveness. "No."

Lucius shifted uncomfortably. "Would you like me to Owl them for you?"

"No. When they finally realize that I did this for them and not to hurt them, they will Owl me."

He wasn't sure of what to say; he knew her whole family was stubborn, but this was crazy! She needed her mother right now, but at the same time he wanted to make her happy. Finally he settled for, "Are you sure? You-"

"Yes!" she yelled. Clearly, she was done with the subject.

As Lucius lay in bed, his drugged and pregnant teen bride beside him, he pondered what to do. He knew that to contact her family was the morally right thing to do, but he wasn't trying to be morally right; he was trying to ensure that Ginevra fell in love with him. Pissing her off by contacting her family behind her back would only cause her to lose what little trust they had built between them so far. He needed to show her that she can trust him to do what she wants, but he knew he also needed to watch for signs that she wanted and needed him to contact them.

Two days later, Oliver Wood stood in Lucius Malfoy's bedroom, and he felt very odd being there. To be in Malfoy's home, never mind the man's bedroom, was the last place he ever pictured himself being. The whole Manor was everything he had ever heard that it was: large, grand, and old, but extremely well-cared for. There wasn't a thing out of place. Every single piece looked as if the whole room had been planned around it. He knew this had to have been Narcissa Malfoy's doing.

Now standing in Lucius' room, Oliver noticed it was all done in cool blue tones with white linens, and Ginny Weasley half lying, half sitting on the stark, crisp, white bed. Her bruises looked horrid on her plain skin, with the outermost edges turning a sickly yellow followed by purple and finally a shade between navy and black. He too was surprised to see how bruised up Ginny was. "How are you feeling?" he asked.

"I am still in pain, but the Muggle drugs help a lot."

"That's good, I guess." He paused, "I have NEVER seen a fall like yours! I was sure you were dead!"

She gave a little frown. "Come on, I survived Tom Riddle trying to kill me, I made it through the war fighting in the final battle. It would be pretty sad to be killed in a school Quidditch match!" Her voice held an echo of humour that he felt her brother Fred would have appreciated.

He seemed a bit nervous to Ginny. "I'm really glad you're alright. Well, alive. I was told it's best not to use magic around you."

"Yes, nothing that might disturb my magical flow." She was going a little overboard here. She had even asked Lucius to order the house elves not to use magic for any of the household chores, especially the cooking and washing of anything she might come in contact with.

"It was discussed, and I will give you all your tests orally. Any papers you have to do can be written in someone else's handwriting."

Ginny tried, but couldn't imagine Lucius writing her papers. "Could a house elf write them?"

"Of course. I had Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger pack up your personal things from your room at the school. I brought that stuff with me and letters from both girls."

"Oh! Thank you."

He reached into his robes, pulled out two letters, and handed them to her. "For this week, you just need to read the following," he pulled out a list on a piece of parchment and handed that to her too. "If you need any books from the Hogwarts library over the coming months, just Owl me and I will bring them or Owl them to you. Now, as a friend, how are you doing?"

"I answered that for you already."

"I mean from a mental point."

She looked down, avoiding his gaze. "I'm fine." Her voice sounded strong and sure, but her limited body language told another story.

Oliver came closer to her. "Really? Come on Ginny, we're friends. Talk to me."

She vicioussly rubbed her eye before looking up at him. "I'm -"

"Fine? No, you're not, Ginny! Come on, I knew all of your brothers and I can tell when a Weasley is hiding something." He tried to sound brotherly to her.

She stared at him as if challenging him.

He remained in his spot, not moving, not backing down.

"Fine! I'm scared! What if I fail? What if I lose this baby?" she whispered as if fearful someone might hear.

He fought the urge to run over and give her a hug for fear of hurting her. He gave her a half smile. "Ginny, if you lose this baby it's not because you failed. If you lose the baby it will be because the baby wasn't strong enough. The only way you would have failed would have been if you had never tried." He paused, "I would give you a hug, but I'm scared of hurting you."

There were tears welling up in her eyes, but she refused to allow them to fall.

Oliver looked at her and remembered the Weasley pride. "I'm going to leave now, so Owl me if you need anything." He knew letting her be by herself to cry was the best thing for her, but he really didn't want to leave her.

Once Oliver was gone, Ginny cried her heart out. She was scared of losing the baby and of failing the baby, her family, and even Lucius and Draco. It wasn't fair! Why did all this have to be on her shoulders?

Once she calmed down, she picked up the letters Oliver had brought. She opened Luna's first:

Oh Ginny,

I was so relieved when Neville told me you hadn't died. Can you please explain what is going on? They just keep telling us that there are special rules that apply to the Malfoy family. Ginny, you are my closest and dearest friend. I can't bear the idea of not having you around!

Luna

Ginny was surprised how much this did not sound like Luna. It told her just how truly worried Luna was about her. As she was still in no shape to write, Ginny placed it aside and picked up Hermione's letter:

Ginny,

I am so thankful you are alive, but I have no idea about what all your injuries are. They say you are at Malfoy Manor and not at the hospital, which I really don't understand. If you're well enough to not be in St. Mungo's, then why not return to Hogwarts?

Harry is very worried about you, too. Please write back soon!

Hermione Granger.

Ginny smiled at the fact Hermoine still signed her full name, even in a personal letter.

It was in that moment that Stella returned to the room. "How are you feeling?" she asked as she came over, picked up Ginny's wrist, and took her pulse.

"I'm still okay," Ginny replied.

"How did the meeting with your Professor go?"

"Not bad; kind of like the first day of class, really. He just explained how this would work."

"That's good."

"Stella, can I ask a question?"

"Of course."

Ginny knew this was a sensitive matter. "How do you know all about Muggle healing?"

The woman smiled warmly at her. "Well, I was born into a magical family, but I can't say I'm a Squib. My mother was a Muggle and she met my father during the war, WWII, when London was being bombed. He was a wizard, they fell in love, and got married. My older brother is magical, but I'm not. Mum used to say I took after her, and because of my dual background, I knew all about magic even if I couldn't do it. My brother and I each had an interest in helping the sick. He became a healer and I studied to become a Muggle nurse. I often work with the hospital helping Muggle families understand magical healing."

"So you're not a Squib?" Ginny inquired.

"No, dear. Squibs are persons whose parents are both magical. I could explain what I think happens, but today is not the day for that."

"Stella, would you mind writing a letter for me?" Ginny asked hopefully.

"Of course." She then reached into her large bag and pulled out a large pad of paper and a pen. "I'm a very fast writer. Just talk it out to me."

"Kay.' Luna and Hermione,

Thank you so much for your letters. As for my injuries, there are a few; a broken hip, leg, and arm. None are that bad normally, but the problem is I am expecting and my own magic is keeping me from miscarrying the baby. The only choice for healing me is non magical, Muggle medicine and such, which is why I am at the Manor and not the hospital. I will remain here on complete bed rest until the baby is born, then the broken hip can be repaired magically and I will be fine.

Hermione- I know Harry is your closest friend, but please do not share my personal information with him. Harry needs to accept that I am no longer his concern.

As for both of you, I can't see any reason why you couldn't come for a visit in a couple of weeks.

Your friend, Ginny.'" Ginny paused. "Can I get you to give it to Lucius' butler Paul to mail for me?"

"Of course," Stella replied, finally looking up from the pad.