Ginny immediately grabbed onto her father's arm.
"Mr. Minister," Arthur said, I would appreciate it if I could talk to you alone about this matter.
"He kidnapped me," Ginny said quietly, "I don't know what he's told you but he was the one who kidnapped me.
"She's telling the truth sir," Arthur spoke up, "Lucius has had her locked up in a room in his manor for a month now."
"Arthur, Arthur," Fudge said waving his hand to silence Mr. Weasley, "I'm afraid you're mistaken, Lucius has explained it all."
"Explain what?" Ginny spoke up, "How his son raped me so many times that I've lost count?"
"Oh poor dear," Fudge spoke up, "Doesn't even know what's happened to her."
"What's going on?" Arthur asked, "Why is he here? He's been holding my daughter prisoner for a month."
"No no, let me explain," Lucius spoke up, "I'm afraid your daughter is under a strong Confundus charm-"
"I am not!" Ginny yelled.
"Poor child doesn't even see it," Lucius said. "My son explained it all to me. He was riding his broom over the muggle establishment by our Manor when he saw young Ginny wandering around looking lost. He of course knew the Wizarding World was looking for her but he also knew he wasn't supposed to be flying where muggles could see him. He was worried about getting caught so he put the poor child on the Knight Bus. He said the poor dear started struggling against him saying that she'd just escaped. It's my guess that she was placed under a Confundus Charm that made her believe the first Wizard she saw kidnapped her."
"That's not true at all!" Ginny protested, "I have letters that I wrote from the Manor. I can tell you the layout of their Manor. And I have his son's wand. I stupified him and took it!" Ginny couldn't believe this was happening. Fudge surely couldn't believe Lucius Malfoy over her farther.
"Letters?" Lucius said and Ginny could swear she saw his eyes flicker with worry.
"Yes Letters you kidnapper!" Ginny said pointing a finger.
"Now Ginny," Percy said, "Mr. Malfoy said you have a confundus charm on you. I think that's a feasible possibility."
"I can't believe you!" she called turning on Percy, "How could you believe Lucius over me!"
"Now Ginny," Lucius said, "I understand you have some very horrid memories of me at the moment but I assure you I was only trying to help. You have my son's wand you say? May I see it?"
"No!" Ginny said protectively clutching the wand, "You're going to come up with some excuse why I have it. I know it's Draco's wand!"
"Well I fear I've been framed of something," Lucius said turning to Fudge, "At first I thought it was just random but apparently this kidnapper wanted Ms. Weasley to believe it was my son and me all along. It wouldn't be difficult to discover the characteristics of my son's wand. Apparently they went through the trouble of re-creating it and giving it to Ms. Weasley. I'm even willing to bet they deposited Ms. Weasley in York just to frame us."
"May I see the letters you mentioned?" Fudge questioned holding out his hand.
"No!" Ginny cried, tears now brimming on her eyes
"Now child," Lucius said quietly, "Those letters could help us find the real kidnapper."
"You don't have to look very far! You're right here!" she screamed, tears now streaming freely down her face.
"Ginny darling," Arthur said, "I believe you but let the Minister see one of the letters. Perhaps he can tell that it's real."
Still sobbing Ginny handed Fudge a letter.
"Oh look Cornelius," Lucius said looking over Fudge's shoulder, "You can see how untidy this is. I bet she was fighting the Imperius Curse."
"No!" Ginny sobbed, "No that's untidy because I had just been raped, I was shaken."
"I'm very sorry that your daughter has these memories Arthur," Fudge said, "But Lucius has been searching for Ginny since you came in and reported her missing."
"Because he's the one who kidnapped me! He knew where I was the whole time!
"Calm down!" Lucius said, "I assure you Ms. Weasley, I have done nothing of the sort. I am in fact delighted to see you home safe. Really Arthur," he said turning to Mr. Weasley, "I think you should teach your children better manners."
"I am sorry for my sister's behavior," Percy spoke up, "But the girl has been through a lot."
"Shut up Percy," Ginny said.
"Well you'll have to excuse anyone who's facing the fact that their kidnapper may get off. Especially if she has such apparent vivid memories of what she went through. Perhaps she is hesitant to trust you due to an incident involving a diary that you gave her." Arthur stated curtly. Ginny let out a fresh wave of sobs at the memory of being possessed by Tom. She couldn't believe Mr. Malfoy was getting off with hurting her again.
"But I have other proof!" Ginny said, "Draco's been gone this whole last week and two nights ago. I saw him when he was escaping, he had Death Eater robes on!" she cried desperately, "And when I got home Dad told me there had been muggle attacks and a Death Eater attack on the Diggorys!"
"Nonsense!" Fudge said.
"Actually Cornelius," Lucius spoke up, "the girl may be onto something. Whoever was doing those attacks was also holding Ms. Weasley captive."
"No!" she cried, "No it was you, it was you," Finally she turned to her father and started to sob into his robes, "It was him Daddy, don't let him get away with doing this to me again. Please, I know I'm not under a Confundus charm, I know what really happened to me! I do, it was Draco he raped me. He did, so many times I've lost count."
"I believe you sweety," Mr. Weasley said lightly patting Ginny's head, "I know what you say is true,"
"Arthur I thought you had more sense then to fall for a Confundus charm," Fudge spoke up.
"And I thought you were better than falling for Lucius and his Wizarding Gold!" Ginny yelled with her face still burrowed in her father's robes.
"What's wrong with your neck child?" Fudge asked ignoring Ginny's comment.
"Bite marks," she said turning to face Fudge her eyes bright once more. Surely Fudge couldn't ignore something so plainly Draco's, "Draco Malfoy bit down my neck when he caught me while I was trying to escape, but I kneed him, grabbed his wand and got out," she said.
"That's preposterous!" Lucius suddenly said, "You can't possibly believe that can you Cornelius?"
"No, of course not Lucius," he said then turned to Arthur, "I'm sorry Arthur, I assure you we will find the person that did this to your daughter."
"Don't bother wasting any of the Ministries resources on it." Arthur replied, "I know who the real kidnapper is." And with that he turned, pulling a sobbing Ginny behind him.
Percy followed them saying, "Now Father, don't you think it's at least possible that Ginny is under a confundus charm and was under Imperio when she wrote those letters?"
"Shut up Percy!" Ginny yelled when they were only half way through Celia's room, "I can't believe you are saying that. I have bite marks down my neck from that, that Death Eater's horrid son! His son raped me countless times and you want me to believe that I'm under a Confundus?"
"I'm just saying it's a possibility Ginny." Percy said calmly. Ginny only glared at Percy.
"Percy why don't you go to work while I take your sister home," Arthur spoke up.
"Well I am needed at the office," Percy said, "I should be going." Ginny only shot her brother a death glare before allowing Arthur to lead her back down the staircases and corridors to the lobby.
"The Burrow!" Ginny called stepping into the fireplace.
Ginny tumbled into the family room of the Burrow a few seconds later.
"Ginny!" Harry called, "You're back! What happened to Mr. Malfoy? Is Draco in trouble too? They've at least expelled him right?"
"No," Ginny said wiping a few remaining tears from her eyes, "he found a way to weasel out of it."
"Excuse me?" Fred asked.
"Did I hear you correctly?" George spoke up.
"Yes, he got off," Mr. Weasley said who had just tumbled through the fireplace next to Ginny.
"But we had the letters!" Ron exclaimed.
"Well Lucius covered all his tracks."
"I'm going to beat Draco into a bloody pulp!" Ron said.
"I'm going to help," Harry chimed in. For once Hermione didn't try to stop the boys from fighting.
"Come on Fred," George said, "Let's go work on those hexing quills. I think Draco Malfoy might be in need of one." Mrs. Weasley made no move to stop her boys.
"Oh Ginny, I'm sorry dear," Mrs. Weasley spoke up.
"Even if he didn't get in trouble with the law, we'll be sure he gets in trouble with us," Ron promised. Ginny just looked around at all her family. She was so glad to be home and have everyone supporting her. However, that didn't change her mind about how grossly unfair what had just transpired was.
"We should be going to King's Cross if we want to catch the train," Mrs. Weasley said, "Fred, George, you're coming with us right?"
"Yeah Mum. We want to say goodbye to Ron," George spoke up; though Ginny guessed they were secretly selling things from the Weasley's Wizards Wheeze to students boarding the train.
"I should be getting back to work," Arthur said raising his wand to Apparate out.
"Can I go with you Mum?" Ginny said. She didn't fancy being home alone once more.
"If you like," Mrs. Weasley said slowly, "But you realize you may see Draco Malfoy there." Ginny paused, was she ready to see Malfoy already? Of course she was. He wouldn't dare come near her when she was around all of her brothers. Besides, she wanted Malfoy to see that he didn't harm her. She was bigger and better than anything he could ever do to her.
"I'll be fine," she said wiping the tears still on her face away.
Draco sat watching the scenery go by. He hated muggle traffic, it always seemed that no matter how early you left there was always a back up somewhere. Oh well, maybe if he was lucky he would get stuck long enough to miss the train up to Hogwarts and then he could delay going for another week when the next Express left. He was not looking forward to his return to Hogwarts. First of all, he knew Ginny's brother and Potter wouldn't believe the Confundus charm nonsense and that they would go out of their way to make his life a living hell. Not that they didn't normally, but he figured now it was going to be especially vicious. And the other thing, he was not looking forward to seeing Ginny. He couldn't believe the little tramp had been playing him for so long. Yet deep down, very deep down, he knew he would miss her. He loved waking up next to her and comforting her when she was lonely. He loved the way her red hair would spread out on the pillow next to him or fan out on his chest. He would miss having her naked body pressed so close to his, or how she would let him take her twice a night if he liked. And all of that was just an act. She had never actually adored him, never even really liked him. In fact, she had most likely hated him, but it almost hurt to think of that. He refused to believe his Ginny actually hated him. She was too sweet to hate anyone, let alone him. Yeah right, he thought, Fat chance. He sighed; he supposed his mother was right in saying he felt betrayed. Well at least he still had something, he had taken her virginity. That was his and his alone. He had once heard someone say that no one can really take that from you. They had claimed that only you are allowed to give it to someone. Well Ginny had given it to him, when she bargained with him to let her have that open window and if not that very first time, than one of the many times after that, when she had ceased to struggle against him. He still had that. Even if he wasn't allowed to go near Ginny, and would most likely never be alone in a room with her again, he could rest assured, knowing that a part of her would always belong belonged to him. It was something she could never give to Potter.
Much to Draco's dismay, the ride did end with plenty of time to get onto the platform.
"Come along Draco," his mother said when he didn't make a move to get out of the car.
"I don't want to go back to school," he whined.
Mrs. Malfoy sighed. Part of her felt bad for her son. He didn't have many good friends at school. Those two cronies were rather limited company if they were anything like their fathers.
"Draco I know you don't like school," she spoke up, getting back into the car and sitting down next to him, "Honestly your father didn't like it very much either. He won't admit to it but he wasn't fond of Hogwarts. It's simply something you have to do."
"Can't I go to Durmstrang?" he pouted.
"No," Mrs. Malfoy said firmly, "You have to go to Hogwarts."
"Mother please, just let me stay a week."
"Draco you're acting like a child!" she spouted, "I will not have you whining to me like you're a first year!"
"Not buts! Now get your trunk ready." Mumbling under his breath Draco got his trunk out and the driver fetched him a trolley. Ignoring his mother as much as possible, Draco rolled his way to Platforms 9 and 10.
The ministry had agreed to provide cars for the Weasleys. They didn't try to hide it under any false guise or Hermione being Head Girl, or Mr. Weasley working for the Ministry, but flat out said that they wanted Harry Potter kept safe. Harry who had yet to get over his guilt over Mr. Weasley's car still roaming the forest, accepted without resistance.
Ginny was helping people carry their trunks out to the car and making herself useful. She was so enjoying being around her massive family again. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had even owled Bill and Charlie to come home and see Ginny so she could be with all but one of her brothers. Ron objected at first and desperately tried to delay returning for another week until Fred and George pointed out, "You get Ginny all year at school." True, they were treating her somewhat like a new toy but not in the same way Malfoy had. Draco had acted like she was there to please him, but her family constantly wanted to take care of her and make sure she was okay.
After the trunks were taken care of everyone got into the car. Arthur was in the front, with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Mrs. Weasley, Fred, George, and Ginny in that order, in the back. All of them were of course seated quite comfortably.
Harry glanced at Ginny sitting all the way down the row from him, "Er," he said and checked his watch, "I forgot something," and he dashed out of the car and into the house. Those remaining in the back seat naturally shifted to occupy Harry's empty spot. Ginny watched from the car as his figure appeared in Ron's window, looked frantically around and grabbed something off Ron's desk, and then reappeared in the doorway. He ran back out to the car opened Ginny's door, and slid smiling right next to her. She looked into his hand and saw a beaten up old quill and raised a quizzical eyebrow at him.
"It's errr," he stuttered tearing his gaze from her and looking at the quil, "My favorite quill." Ginny however, knew for certain that Ron had had a broken quill like that sitting on his desk for ages.
They reached King's Cross well before eleven o'clock. Everyone set off to get trolleys. Harry however, was having a problem getting Hedwig's cage to fit properly on with his trunk.
"Here," Ginny said, "let me help." Smiling, Harry handed her the cage and the group set off disappearing onto Platform 9/4. Ginny and Harry went through just as the clock hit 10:30.
"10:30," Draco commented to his mother, "We're here early."
"Yes," she said, "Do you need me anymore, can you see yourself onto the platform?" she asked checking her watch.
"Yes Mother I'm fine," Draco responded going through the barrier. He didn't waste time finding Crabbe and Goyle.
"Where we gonna sit Dray?" Crabbe asked as he hoisted both his and Draco's trunks up.
"I don't care." Draco drawled, "let's just find an empty compartment." He headed off towards the rear of car seven with Crabbe and Goyle lagging behind.
Ginny was following Harry and the gang while they found an empty compartment.
"Let's just find somewhere where we can all sit," Harry suggested.
"We're here early enough," Ron, said, "there should be plenty of empty compartments." Ginny agreed and they followed Harry into the front door of car number seven. Ginny could hardly see from behind Hedwig's cage and was taking to watching Hermione's feet so she could determine exactly where they were headed. She almost dropped Hedwig's cage and ran screaming the other way when she heard it.
"Hello Potter," Draco Malfoy's voice drawled.
'Be strong,' she thought, 'Don't let him see how much you want to run.'
"Sod off Draco!" Ron said.
"Weasley, I just saved your little sister. You should be thankful to me,"
"You didn't save me," Ginny said quietly and lowered her eyes to glare at Draco. Inside she was practically shaking with fear. She could do this though. She could be strong. She watched his eyes narrow.
Draco couldn't believe she was here. His father would not be happy about this. 'Oh well,' he thought, 'My father didn't say what to do if she ran smack into me,'
"Ginny, so glad to see you safe with your family,"
"Liar!" she spat, "You wish you still had me locked in that horrid little room."
"Ginny," he said calmly, "I'm sorry you're under that Confundus charm but I assure you I would never hurt you."
"Just wait Draco Malfoy," Ginny responded in a deadly whisper, "You'll get what's coming to you."
"I hope I'm greatly rewarded for helping you home too Ginny," Draco said pleasantly.
"No," she said still whispering, "you'll get what you deserve. I don't know when or how, but I hope I'll play a part in it." saying so, she gently set down Hedwig's cage and walked off the train her shoulders squared. Draco watched her go his mouth slightly open. This wasn't his pet.If only Ginny and Draco knew what lay in their futures--together.
(well, at least until the sequel--)
A/N: Well that's it! I'm done with this story. I'm rather proud of that. This is the longest piece of fiction I've finished. I haven't a clue when the sequel will be out. I want to write most of the key events before I post the first chapter. It could be out anywhere from the end of November to February. I'm a bit tired of Ginny/Draco and although I have the general plot figured out, no enriching ideas are coming to me. I'll post another chapter to this story to tell you that the sequel is posted. Of course, there will be an e-mail sent out to all who want it. Please put your e-mail address in your review if you would like to receive the update notice. I think the sequel's name will be 'The Dragon's Reality' but that's subject to change. In the meantime, you can read my other story (which I have yet to stop pushing, and never will) Perfectly Dark. Also, read Barb's fiction at www.fictionalley.com. It's very good and will take you at least two weeks to get through all she has written.