Disclaimer: Harry Potter and whomever else that might crop-up in this fan fiction story of mine belongs to their respected creators. I am merely borrowing these characters to satiate my own plot bunny.
Summary: After years of spending his time away from the place he called home for most of his growing-up years, Draco Malfoy returned to the place that held both sweet and bitter memories. But will a certain redhead be able to help him forget and start anew?
Timeline: Obviously this is set years after the final battle. I tried to stick as close to canon-time as possible, but since there are certain characters that perished in the books that I didn't want to see gone, they might be ressurected. But be warned, those "ressurected" characters wouldn't be Sirius, Remus, Tonks, or Fred. Also, some of the offsprings' age will be fudged a bit just because of the timeline I have for this story, otherwise I will try to remain in-canon throughout the rest of this story.
Author's Note: Well, after a long absense from writing chaptered fan fics, here I am once again attempting to hopefully complete a fic that centers around my two most popular ship: Draco Malfoy & Ginny Weasley. I can't promise on fast updates; maybe on days when I am not bombarded with work and other stuff I'll be able to upload quickly, but it might be a couple of days or so before the latest chapter goes up. Regardless I hope you enjoy this attempt of mine to go back and write a Draco/Ginny fic.
I. Welcome Back
THE HEELS OF HIS EXPENSIVE Italian shoes echoed as he walked down the old familiar hallway devoid of its usual hustle and bustle of eager students. September first was still a day and a half away before the pandemonium starts; he has until then to enjoy this quiet solitude he knew he'd have a hard time coming by once the term starts.
Draco Malfoy stopped outside the large Great Hall doors peering at the empty hall devoid of its usual long tables set for the studets of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He remembered back when he was still a student here; this hall was a safe haven for most students next to the library and of course their own dormitories. Memories of his school years came flashing back to him, starting with his first year at Hogwarts and meeting that blasted Boy Who Lived. He remembered being friendly enough to approach said boy and introduced himself; too bad the prat chose his Muggle-loving weasle of a friend and that Muggle-born know-it-all for friends. Sometimes Draco wondered what his life at Hogwarts would've been like if he and Harry Potter ended up best mates instead. Would he tolerate having a Gryffindor for a friend?
Draco was startled to hear the old familiar voice of his former Transfiguration professor and now Hogwart's Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall. He turned around and faced the still feisty witch who stood strong and proud even during the height of the battle against Lord Voldemort during his seventh year.
"You have an uncanny way of sneaking up on people, Headmistress," he said.
Professor McGonagall kept the proud tilt of her head and looked down her nose at their newest recruit for this school year. When Draco Malfoy's name was passed on to her as a possible teacher to replace one of their retiring staff she nearly had an apoplexy. Not only because no one has seen nor heard from him since the fall of Lord Voldemort, but because he chose to turn an about face and made a life for himself that didn't involve his former life or any of his former associations.
"I have to have stealth, after all I can transform to a cat and cats aren't known to be clumsy or noisy when going about, are they?" she replied.
"True," Draco agreed. "And to answer your query, no, I wasn't reminiscing."
Professor McGonagall was quick to cock an eyebrow when he heard his response. "Your experience here couldn't have been all that bad, could it?"
Draco chose not to give her a verbal response. A mere shrugging of the shoulders would suffice.
"It was a lifetime ago, Professor," was all he said then excused himself and went on past the Great Hall doors and towards tue stairs.
HOGWARTS WASN'T completely devoid of staff. Aside from the ghosts and house elves, other teachers who arrived early were also present. Draco already reacquainted himself with a former housemate turned professor at their former alma mater, Blaise Zabini.
"What made you become a teacher here of all places?" Draco asked while he and his former housemate and now colleague walked outside the castle later that afternoon.
Blaise didn't answer right away. He seemed to contemplate on his words before saying them. It was very unlike the. Blaise he knew from years ago.
"Hogwarts was - and still is, I think - the only place willing to hire me. I guess the stigma of allying with the wrong people cuts deep," Blaise replied with a hint of remoese and something else.
Draco knew what he meant all too well. The stigma of having his family name associated with the Dark Lord and his minions was the reason why he decided to go underground and remained hidden, reinventing himself and starting a new life elsewhere.
"What about you, why are you here?" Blaise asked.
"I was recommended," was his quick reply.
"Really?" Blaise sounded surprised, and Draco couldn't blame him. Between the two of them he knew Zabini was most likely the one to end up in a teaching position and not him. "Where were you then?"
Blaise cocked an eyebrow. "What made you travel all the way across the pond?" he asked.
Draco stopped walking and gave his friend a queer look followed by raising his eyebrow at him. It was an unusual choice for him to go to of all places, but it was the only place he could think of that he didn't know anybody and chances of him running in to an old acquaintance was less than likely considering most of the witches and wizards he knew often frolicked in Europe only; they seldom cross the pond and visit the good ol' United States of America or its neighbouring country up north, Canada. He wanted to get away from the whole mess that was the Battle of Hogwarts and watching so many deaths and suffering at a very young age. He realized, after the battle was lost and the Death Eaters were overthrown, that he went through all that for nothing.
He wanted to get out of the whole Death Eater business, ever since his sixth year when he was tasked the most difficult initiation task given to someone so young being welcomed into the Death Eater fold. But he did it anyway because he knew the price for disobeying was far worse. Looking back now he should've just chosen death over what he did, but that wouldn't have done anything. The Dark Lord would've found someone else to coerce and do what he wanted done so his minions could gain access to the school with or without Draco Malfoy.
"Not sure. Just felt like it, that's all," was his reply before resuming his walk.
Blaise stared at his former housemate's back as he continued to walk, leaving him behind at least a good three to four paces. Something's happened to the former Slytherin during his time away from the wizarding world. He said he was in America when he was recommended the open teaching position at Hogwarts; obviously he didn't stay hidden from the wizarding world in North America if he was recommended by whomever.
OTHER TEACHERS STARTED ARRIVING at the castle by supper time. Soon there were at least two long tables prepared inside the Great Hall to accommodate the additional staff that arrived in preparation for tomorrow's first day.
Seated between him and Blaise was none other than Katie Bell, a former Gryffindor and one of the unfortunate casualties of his earlier foray as a Death Eater back in his sixth year, who took over supervising the Hospital Wing since Madam Pomfrey stepped down from the position a few years back. It was an awkward moment when they both sat down and realized who they were sitting beside each other with. For the first part of dinner she spent most of her time talking to Zabini whom she seemed to have formed a cordial rapport with.
Draco was fine being ignored. Actually he preferred to be kept to himself as much as possible. That way he can avoid answering questions pertaining to his past and what happened during the in-betweens. But his moment of solitude was kept on being interrupted by Zabini and his attempt at including him in whatever conversation he was having with Bell.
"Can you believe Malfoy's teaching here as well?" he overheard Zabini mention to Bell who was aptly listening to him. "It's like old times again, ain't it?" he added.
Bell chuckled and stole a quick glance at Draco, meeting the former Slytherin's gaze briefly before looking back to give her full attention to Zabini. "Well, that will remain to be seen until tomorrow," she replied.
Her answer irked Draco's curiosity. He has been following the duo's conversation – although he tried not to, but it was hard to ignore them since theirs was a far more interesting conversation that what the other teachers were having – since they started chatting, but he was never attempted to jump in and join them until now.
"Why? What's happening tomorrow aside from it being the first day the students arrive in school as well as the arrival of what I assume is the rest of the faculty staff?" Draco asked.
Bell turned to look at him, her brown eyes wide from amazement and she darted a look back and forth between him and Zabini before settling her gaze on his former housemate.
"You didn't tell him yet?" She sounded almost accussing when she spoke to Zabini.
Now Draco was more intrigued than before.
"Are you two keeping something from me?" Draco couldn't help from asking.
Zabini briefly looked at him over Bell's shoulder, but when he spoke he was talking to the witch seated between them.
"I thought I'd surprise him," he said.
Bell gasped and giggled. "You're one evil, slimy person, Professor Zabini!" she accused.
Instead of being offended, Zabini beamed at the brunette. "Why thank you, Madam Bell," he winked before chuckling himself at some shared inside joke between the two of them excluding Draco.
A/N 2: Hmmm, okay, I think this is a good enough "spot" to end this chapter. Don't worry, chapter 2's in the works as I upload this so hopefully the continuation will be up and ready for reading by tomorrow night if not sooner.