Author's Note: Last chapter! =) I just wanted to let you know that I took liberties with the Romanian word flacăra which means 'flame' and turned it into a term of endearment that I imagine means 'little flame'. I twisted reality a little bit to make that work for me and thought I'd better let you in on the madness =)
Ginny didn't know how long she sat crying on the floor of that classroom, but the sun was beginning to set as she finally picked herself up.
No more tears.
She had done everything she could and it still wasn't enough, so she vowed that after she left that room she would not let her emotions betray her. The last thing she wanted was for him to know how thoroughly he had destroyed her.
She made her way back to the common room and stood at the staircase debating going to dinner versus curling up in her bed. She really didn't want to do anything that going to dinner entailed, but she also didn't want her absence to be noticed and asked about. It was already going to be bad enough since she'd missed the afternoon's classes. Her decision was made for her when Hermione came walking down the stairs and spotted her.
"Ginny! There you are, I've been looking everywhere for you." Her friend's smile was a little too bright but she really didn't have the mental strength to ponder the cause. "Come on, you really don't want to miss dinner tonight."
She thought that comment a bit odd but still couldn't muster the energy to contemplate it for long. She simply acquiesced to Hermione's request and began following her to the great hall.
The sight that greeted her when she got there took her breath away.
Every inch of table space was covered with vases full of flowers. And not just any flowers. All of her favorites.
It looked like someone had taken every kind of flower she grew in her garden at home and bought the entire wizarding world out of each of them.
Hermione was fairly beaming now and Ginny looked around the room trying to find the cause of all of this madness. The entire student body, minus the Slytherins who honestly looked as shocked as she did, were smiling at her in the same strange way Hermione was. When she saw her parents and all of her brothers standing in the corner she knew the flowers couldn't be a coincidence. Her mother waved at her happily and looked as if she was about to cry.
"Hermione, what the hell is going on?"
Her friend didn't answer, just backed away with that maddening smile on her face and went to stand next to Snape of all people who, instead of shifting away from the close proximity, actually seemed to lean closer. I must have fallen asleep in that classroom, because there is no way this is can be an accurate portrayal of reality.
Her thoughts were only further confirmed in her mind as the answer she'd been seeking from Hermione came from behind her, in that silky destructive voice she'd come to crave.
"Ginny, do you love me?"
She whirled to face him and actually reached down and pinched herself. The pain was the only thing about this whole situation that indicated it was actually happening. Her level of disbelief wasn't allowing her to process his question.
"Do you love me? Before I go any further with this excruciating display I need to know." Her heart twisted at the hope she could see breaking through his mask as he awaited her answer and she didn't even try to hide the truth.
The breath she hadn't noticed he was holding left him in a rush before he turned and climbed up to stand on the nearest tabletop.
"I am standing here before you, in the middle of this appallingly colorful field of flowers, in front of everyone we know to ask for something I don't deserve. I hurt you today, and I know now that I've been hurting you for quite a while in my stupidity. I can't promise I'll never again fall victim to future bouts of said stupidity, but I can promise to always do everything in my power to make it up to you."
An extra pinch reassured her that yes, Draco Malfoy was actually standing on top of a table, making a public declaration of his feelings. For her.
"I'm usually not much for grand gestures but I will stand on every tabletop in London if that's what it takes to convince you that I'm sincere. It took me far too long to realize it and even longer to accept it but here it is. I love you. I thought you would be better off without me, and that I could will away this infernal feeling but I was wrong. No matter what I did, that one part of me I couldn't control kept screaming that you were mine. Every time I looked at you it told me to claim you, and tell the rest of the world they could go sod off if they didn't like it. So here I am, doing the one thing a Malfoy is trained never to do... listening to my bloody heart."
He climbed down from the table and came to stand in front of her. Tears were streaming down her face and he took one of her hands in his.
She thought her shock could not be eclipsed... until he dropped to one knee.
"Ginevra Molly Weasley, will you bestow upon me an honor I know I don't deserve and agree to be mine for the rest of our, according to Granger, unnaturally long lives?"
She was already nodding before he'd even finished his sentence. After slipping a ring on her finger containing a diamond that would rival an ice rink; she saw an unguarded, genuine smile light up his face, and she was spellbound.
The forgotten crowd whooped and cheered as he stood to take her in his arms, spinning her around. As soon as her feet touched the ground they were suddenly surrounded by her family.
Her mother was weeping openly now and had pulled Draco into a hug. "Oh, you wonderful boy! Bless you for letting us be here for this. I nearly died when you flooed earlier to tell us your plan, and the boys came from all over just as soon as they could." She let go of Draco to wrap her arms around Ginny and the weeping increased.
"Of course we did," Fred snorted, "We wouldn't dream of missing seeing Draco Malfoy, Slytherin's poster boy, brought low by our very own baby sister. It was epic."
George clapped Draco on the back good naturedly. "Don't feel too bad about it mate. She has an uncanny ability to always get what she wants. Been boggling us for years."
Her father shook Draco's hand and nodded in approval. "Welcome to the family."
"Thank you, sir."
She pulled out of her mother's arms to watch Ron approach and held her breath. Her youngest brother eyed Draco speculatively for a long moment and she feared she would shortly have to break up a fight. Ron and Draco just had never managed to stop antagonizing each other. But today seemed to be the day for men to surprise her. Ron offered his hand and Draco took it.
"That was a rather spectacular display, Malfoy."
"I though so."
"Hurt my sister and you won't live to regret it." Ron said but the normal animosity was missing.
"Understandable threat, Weasley, but thoroughly unrealistic. A flobberworm would be a more challenging opponent than you."
Ginny shook her head as both men nodded in some sort of strange male understanding that their relationship wouldn't have to change too drastically because they would soon be family.
The well wishers surrounded them and as much as the grand display he'd arranged took her breath away, at that moment she almost wished he'd made his proposal in private. She wanted him alone, pressed up against her and showing her how he felt in another way.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Fred slip something into Draco's pocket and bend to say something in his ear. Her future husband's smile was decidedly wicked as he nodded his thanks to her brother and met her eyes across the crowd.
Suddenly, darkness prevailed through the hall and a few screams rang out. She felt a tug on her hand and followed, instinctively knowing his touch. They made it out the door just as the Peruvian darkness powder wore off and she could hear the confusion from the hallway.
"Where did they go?" Her mother.
"Honestly, woman, where do you think they went? How many children do you have?" George.
She clapped her hand over her mouth to contain her giggles as he pulled her into the nearest classroom but her laughter died as she turned to face him.
She took in the desire raging in his eyes and a sudden tightening of her stomach smothered it. Anticipation poured through her and he saw the moment her amusement turned to wanting.
He needed no further encouragement.
In an instant he had her pressed up against the wall, his mouth claiming hers with all the pent up lust he'd carried with him for a year. She couldn't think, couldn't breath, the force of his passion consuming her so that she could do nothing but feel. The hard length of his body was pressed fully against the softness of hers and the feeling of being held up against the wall, helpless to escape, didn't frighten her as she thought it might.
She reveled in it. Because it was him who was holding her.
She'd often dreamed about being tied to his bed and had wondered how she would actually handle such a situation. Now she knew she would love it.
He broke their kiss and she whimpered slightly, trying to pull him back. His dark chuckle sent a shiver shooting through her core.
"Patience, flacăra, I have plans for you." The seductive tone of his voice resonated against her throat just before he scraped his teeth against her pulse point. She jerked in his arms and then melted as he swirled his tongue over the faint mark.
"I want to learn every way to make you respond to me." His lips pressed light kisses to the skin behind her ear and she shivered.
"How to make you tremble in my arms."
It was as if her body followed his wishes as he began unbuttoning her shirt.
"How to make your breathing falter."
Her breath caught as he trailed a finger over the swell of her breast tracing the edge of her bra.
"How to make you moan."
He pulled the scrap of lace aside, baring her to his gaze and blew on the budded peak, driving a low sound from her throat.
"How to make you scream for me."
His mouth was suddenly surrounding the sensitized bud, pulling strongly and she cried out. His tongue circled her nipple as his hand slid under her skirt and up her thigh. When she widened her stance to give him better access he had to clamp down hard on his control. His fingers traced small circles in time with his tongue as he slowly made his way to her center. She was writhing under his mouth and hand by the time he made it to his destination. He felt the slick evidence of her desire as his fingers pushed aside her knickers and slid slowly into her core.
All thoughts of slow seduction flew out the window as his name tumbled from her lips on a broken cry.
His hold on his control snapped and he ripped away the lacy scrap covering his prize. In the next instant he'd freed himself and grabbed the back of her thigh, pulling her leg up to wrap around his hip. When his hard length came into contact with her soft heat he thought he would die from the pleasure. He looked down into her eyes as he thrust into her and the sound she made as he claimed her would be branded into his memory forever.
Sparks flared behind her eyelids as her eyes slipped closed in pleasure. She tilted her hips in time with his thrusts, begging him for more and he complied. His fierce possession quickly took her to the edge of madness and threw her over. A moment later she heard his harsh groan and he stilled as his pleasure overtook him as well. They slid to the floor, still wrapped around each other, breathing heavily, hearts pounding and Ginny was awestruck by the feeling of completion she found in his arms.
"Now," he panted against her hair, "you belong to me."
A tired smile curled her lips.
"I've always belonged to you."
Dumbledore sat at the teacher's table in the great hall, surveying the merry revelry that surrounded him. He had turned dinner into a little celebration for the newly engaged couple, even thought they were still nowhere to be found and he strongly suspected no one would see them until morning.
Nevertheless, everyone else was enjoying themselves in their honor. Most, but not all, of the wonderful flowers had been removed to make room for food; and the house tables, after being covered in a buffet type spread, had been pushed to the sides. This accomplished two things that pleased him. House mingling and dancing.
From his seat he could see Severus extending his hand to Miss Granger for a waltz, which sent the room into a state of silent shock that soon turned to a hushed frenzy of gossip as she accepted. They moved perfectly together and neither really seemed to notice the turmoil they were creating.
"What on earth! Albus do you see-?" Professor McGonagall started to exclaim.
His smile of self satisfaction must have set off her... what was it the muggle born students had called it? Oh yes... 'spidey sense' as she was currently eyeing him with shrewd suspicion.
"Why do you seem not only unsurprised by that shocking display but also look so thoroughly pleased with yourself, Albus?"
"I'm just happy with the way things have settled, Minerva. Severus and Miss Granger, young Mr. Malfoy and Miss Weasley. They really are perfectly suited and I'm glad they finally figured that out is all."
Her eyebrow raised in a clear indication that she didn't believe a word.
"I know you much better than that Albus, and if you honestly think I'm going to buy that load of tripe then you don't know me very well at all."
"Oh, I had a little something to do with it, but really it was nothing. Just a few charms here and there and voila! Two happy couples."
Her eyes widened and she looked the picture of outrage.
"Albus you used love charms on students? On Severus?"
"Of course not Minerva, that would be highly unethical."
The tense set of her shoulders relaxed slightly. "Please explain yourself, Albus."
His smile returned, larger than before. "It was quite inspired really, if I do say so myself. With Severus and Miss Granger I used a charm I am quite fond of, although I only needed to use it on him. Hermione proved to be much quicker to catch on to their obvious fate. She really is the brightest witch of almost any age."
At this point he stopped to wink at a still stern faced McGonagall before continuing.
"All it took for her was to send her looking for Severus one day this summer when I knew she would find him in a decidedly different manner than she was used to. Severus proved more stubborn, although that didn't surprise me in the least. I simply slipped an eye opening charm into Miss Granger's bag on the first day of school." He watched her face lose its disapproving expression as that bit of information set in.
"You mean he-?"
"Oh yes, quite." Dumbledore said merrily. "Thoroughly taken with her, but so very set against even the idea of opening up that he'd blocked it entirely. So you see, it was completely harmless. If he hadn't felt anything for her he would have had some other great revelation that day when she walked into his class. I simply opened his eyes to his own feelings. Useful little charms those, I use them quite often to remember things that have become buried in my mind."
"All right, Albus, I admit that while definitely meddlesome, that was as you said, harmless. But what did you do to Mr. Malfoy and Miss Weasley?"
Dumbledore's smile took on an amused slant. "Now those two actually took me by surprise. I used a dream share charm on them and the results were astounding. I intended to just give them glimpses of each others' dreams to show them that they might have similar feelings. Again perfectly harmless, since if I was wrong they would have each just had a slightly strange dream that didn't make much sense to them. People have those all the time." His eyes twinkled. "I did not expect their dreams to so closely resemble each other that they would actually merge- Now don't look at me like that Minerva, I most certainly did not spy on their dreams."
She closed her mouth, halting the words that were about to fly out and humphed.
"I enchanted a stone to act as an indicator as to weather or not they did, in fact, dream of each other. If their dreams had been unrelated the stone would have turned blue. If their dreams involved each other, as I suspected, the stone would have turned green. The stone did neither of those things. It, in fact, turned red which means they shared the exact same dream. Even I had not predicted that, but I can't say I wasn't pleased. And as you can see," he indicated the party, "it has all worked out quite nicely."
Minerva shook her head at his antics. "This time. Honestly Albus, why must you interfere in everything?"
He took his wife's hand under the table. "I just want everyone to be as happy as we are, dear." The small tilting of her lips she couldn't suppress meant he was safe from her ire. His self satisfied smile returned. Life was indeed wonderful today.