DISCLAIMER: All of the characters and places here are owned and copyrighted by JK Rowling.
I know it took me ages to release this 4th chapter... and it might take an even longer time for the next one! But I still hope & pray you'd still have time to read & enjoy this fic!
I also wanna thank my lovely & extremely gifted beta-readers namely Pat (One of the nicest guys in the planet! You're truly one of the best!), Animagus_Steph (You're an angel! My respect & admiration for you & and your beliefs would forever be in my heart!), Clairvoyant_Snake (I miss yah, sweetie!), and Fred (For being such a great friend! I miss our chat sessions so much!) I'm forever in your debt! ::glomps at everybody::
"And you and Ron?" Draco asked, listening intently to every word she said. As she lay there in bed, her hair now loosened from its knot, she reminded him of those little country girls he used to see in pictures from the books her mother would read to him as a child. But the one thing that separated her from those cheery, candy-coated angels were her brown eyes, both tired and weary from her ordeals.
Yet still carry a sense of innocence that flickered all over her face.
"Ron suffered a few cuts and bruises, some broken ribs and a shattered leg, but nonetheless he was pretty much okay. I, on the other hand, took a huge blow in the back of my head due to the impact, as well as major concussions in my face, arms and legs. It seemed the car windows exploded right in front of us, and I took in most of the damage. The doctors were able to cure my wounds, but they couldn't do anything to salvage my eyesight. Said it was because of the blow in my head, plus some shards of glass they found scattered in the choroids and optic nerves. It didn't destroy the cornea, but it somehow left both my eyes paralyzed." She picked up her can and drank all of it in one gulp. "And that's how I became blind."
Draco stretched over to the other side of the bed, and grabbed the remaining cans as well as the bottle of Smirnoff. "Wait a minute, if both you and Ron survived in the accident, how come you guys got separated?"
Ginny pinched off her joint and asked for another one and some more beer. "I think it involved the institute being exclusively for the disabled. Since you can't consider Ron's broken leg as a disability, they disregarded his chances of getting a residency here."
Draco frowned. "Don't you have like relatives that could take both of you in?" Before he could ask another question, Ginny held up her hand to him.
"Maybe it would be best if I finish off my story."
After two months of rehabilitation in the local hospital, one of the directors of Hogwarts, Miss Minerva McGonagall, paid us a visit and told us that she wanted to adopt us in behalf of the institute. But then things didn't turn out the way they supposed to be...
"Mister Fudge, I beg you to please reconsider my proposal." Minerva McGonagall explained. She knew that the chances of it were slim but she insisted on a meeting with the Vice-Chairman of the Hogwarts Foundation. If she could state her claim clearly to him, the children would finally have a place they could call home. For the children's sake...
"Don't these kids have relatives that could take care of them?" Cornelius Fudge asked, eyeing the children that were sitting quietly at one of the benches in his office. Both of them seem to pay no attention to their discussion.
McGonagall shook her head. "All of their remaining relatives have left the country. I've talked to al of them and they said that they couldn't afford to travel back here, let alone adopt them. We are these children's last hope."
Fudge removed his glasses and looked at her for a moment. "Minerva, do understand that the decision of the Board of Trusties is final, and there is nothing I can do to change that. Now if you'll excuse me, I have papers to attend to-"
"What was Albus' take on this?" she inquired, hoping for his word on it. Albus Dumbledore is the head of the Hogwarts Foundation. He built the institution for the very purpose of her demand - to help save children in need of their love and support.
"He and I were the only ones who approved of it," he implied, choosing one of the piles of documents strewn over his desk. "But the majority of the votes still insist on not going forward with your request."
"Clearly there must be something you can do-"
"It is final, Miss McGonagall. We have read your proposal over and over again, and we have all agreed to only accept Miss Weasley as a resident." He bent on his head to one of the financial documents that needed to be read.
"But what about the boy?" McGonagall asked, the size of the huge office starting to cave in on her, a feeling she gets whenever she feels nervous.
"I've coordinated with the Smeltings Shelter which is very much willing to take in the child. Hopefully in due time, they would be able to find suitable foster parents for him."
McGonagall was up on her feet and confronted him, trying desperately to control her anger. "Do you have an idea how this would affect the children? If you separate them, who knows what emotional harm it would bring to them?"
"Do you think I'm this cruel, Miss McGonagall?" Fudge glowered at the respectable woman, though her actions were not commendable. "Believe me, my heart goes out for those two, but if we let that boy stay, then we might as let in all the abandoned kids scattered across the city!"
"That is not the reason why I want him here!" she retorted, causing the Vice Chairman to stand up from his seat. "The girl is in deep psychological and emotional shock, and I believe that if you take away her brother from her, I guarantee you, she will never speak again! It's bad enough that she's blind, but to be mute is something I don't wish to happen."
"This institute prides itself with having the best child psychiatrists in the country-"
"What she needs is her family," McGonagall snapped, all formalities gone to waste. "Or what's left of it. If you do this, it's as if you've killed both of them as well."
Fudge's mouth twitched slightly, and some of the tension went out of his shoulders. "You have your orders, Miss McGonagall. You are to escort Mister Weasley to the Smeltings Shelter right now. They'll be expecting him there and I'd appreciate it if you'd be very prompt about it. And don't worry about Miss Weasley. I've already called one of the nurses to take her to her room and have her settled in."
Giving him one final glare, Miss McGonagall excused herself, and turned her back on him. Silently, she cursed the day the accident had occurred. It not only took a toll on the lives it destroyed, but as well as her own. Sighing, she walked her way towards the children. The sight of the boy swinging his now-healed leg freely while her young sister was silently hugging her teddy caused her to fight back the tears in her eyes. The only thing now she could offer to the young ones was her strength and determination to keep them safe, no matter how hard it would get.
She knelt in front of him and tried to catch a glimpse of his innocent face. In his eyes she could almost tell how sad he was, though maintaining what little hope life has to offer him. Be strong, little one! "Ronald, I want you to come with me for awhile."
Ron looked up to her and stared. "Is Ginny coming with us?" he asked naively.
McGonagall shook her head, tears rolling from her cheeks. "I'm afraid not."
Ron simply smiled and nodded. He then whispered something to Ginny's ear. "I'll see you later, okay?"
She didn't respond. Ron, giving her a slight tap on the arm, faced McGonagall and took her hand. He stood up and went with her as they headed out of the room...
"Those were the last words he told me," Ginny said, unconsciously twirling one of the ribbons of her dress. "I never heard from him again, till about three years ago."
Draco sat there, his emotion varying from sadness to disgust. Why that fucking bastard?! How can he live like that, leaving his blind sister to the care of others! That guy's a mad idiot!? "He didn't try to write or call you?"
She shook her head. "They wouldn't allow him to. They thought that it would cause me more pain if I found out that my brother was gone. Plus they insisted that the best way for me to recover was to remember my past on my own." She held up her last can of beer and took a swig at it.
Draco glared. "That's still not a good excuse! If he had cared for you that much, then he should have done something... anything!"
"How dare you talk about him like that?!" Ginny snarled, sitting up to face him. "First of all, you can't imagine how hard it was for him to witness everything-"
"So have you, but he still didn't make the effort-"
"It was I you didn't make the effort because I have NO memory of it all?!"
Draco froze. He watched at her tear-streaked face averting her gaze from him. These confessions of her confused him more that he could ever imagine. Was she telling the truth? If not, were those really a bunch of lies to hide the real events of her life? And what bothered him the most...
He wanted to know the truth.
"What are you trying to prove, Weasley?"
Ginny pulled up her legs again and hugged. "All the stories I told you, the accident and the meeting, those weren't my memories... they were Ron's. The truth is, I don't have any recollection of my past! I don't know who my parents were or my brothers. Dammit, I can't even remember what they look like!" She then groped for the last beer, opened it, and took a swig. "It was my fifteenth birthday when he first arrived here in Hogwarts after ten years of not seeing me. He held me in his arms and whispered things like, 'I'm sorry' and 'I miss you' that echoed all over my head to the point were it no longer makes sense to me. And you know what my first words to him were? I said to his face 'Who are you?' God, I could still feel how he trembled in despair upon knowing that the one person who kept him alive all this time, never even knew he existed."
Draco frowned. If Ron had already been in her life for the past three years, then why hadn't he able to gain her sister's trust? Hell, she even valued a person who wasn't even related to her.
But then how can you trust someone you've just met?
Ginny continued. "So out of guilt I kinda convinced myself that if I take Ron's memories and make them my own, they would somehow forgive me for abandoning them."
"You didn't abandon them," Draco corrected, his eyes now focused on Ginny's face. "You were a just a kid, blocking out your nightmares-"
"So are you saying that I wanted it to happen?" Ginny asked, giving him an accusing look.
"No, but you can't blame yourself for something you can't control," Draco said sternly. "It's better that you don't remember the things that cause you so much pain, rather than face them every single day of your life."
Ginny tilted her head and giggled at the tone of his voice, all knowing and... concerned? "Geez Preppie, you're beginning to sound like Colin."
Great! Now I'm being compared to the guy! What's next? That I'm his long lost twin?! "Ah! The famous Colin. Tell me, how come you care so much about this guy more than your own brother?"
"Is that a question or an insult?" Ginny sneered.
Awkwardly, Ginny looked down at her hands and whispered. "Because he's the one who saved my life."
He arrived three years after my accident. And in all those times... I still couldn't speak.
"I can assure you Mrs. Creevey," Doctor Perkins explained, handing to her the medical forms that needed to be signed. "Colin will get the best medical attention this institute has to offer."
Mrs. Creevey smiled, taking the forms. "I appreciate it very much, Doctor. You have no idea how hard it is for our family to leave him here." She then gave her son a nice comforting squeeze on his shoulder.
Doctor Perkins nodded, promising that they will do whatever they can to help the young lad. As they continued on discussing his treatment, as well as his boarding arrangements, Colin squirmed on his wheelchair, bored and tired. The trip was a pain and the fact that he had to live far away from home was something he wasn't too happy either. It's not that he had a life, but at least he knew some people there, not like in this wretched old castle. He continued on bickering as to how miserable his new home will be when he saw an opened door just out of the corner of his eye.
Curious, he wheeled toward it and peered inside only to find a little girl sitting by her rocker, hugging a little teddy. Looking back at his mummy, who was still in deep talk with the doctor, quietly pushed the door and entered her room. He looked around and found it to be a bit sparse, with only a small study table and a bed as her furniture (besides the rocker that is). Leaving the door ajar, he slowly approached her. As he moved closer, he noticed how she didn't even fidget from where she was sitting, though he was sure that he was making enough noise with his wheelchair.
"Hi! My name is Colin," he greeted politely. "What's yours?"
She didn't respond, nor even gazed at his direction.
"I'm new here," he continued on, feeling a bit uncomfortable with the deafening silence between them. "I just arrived from Wigtown. It's actually a small town in Scotland." He then turned his attention to some of the books scattered on the floor next to her. He picked up one of them and began reading it, only to find a bunch of dots in every page. "This one's written in Braille, right? I guess that means you're blind then?"
"I didn't know blind people can't speak too," Colin mumbled, returning the book back into its place. "Anyhow, I happen to be a paralytic. I don't really know what it means, but I do know that I can't walk and that I need to stay here so that one day I can stand up and play football just like the other boys back home!" Hearing nothing from her yet again, he had finally given up and headed for the door. "I guess I should be going now. Sorry if I disturbed you." He was about to grab the doorknob when he heard a slight whisper.
Colin pivoted, only to find the young girl slanting her head towards his direction, as if trying to find his voice. "What did you say?"
She smiled weakly. "My name is Ginny."
Colin beamed, pushing his wheelchair to meet her. It would be nice to have a friend in this desolate place. He knew it wasn't home, but maybe a nice friendship would help cheer things up for him.
And for her.
"Nice to meet you, Ginny. I'm Colin..."
Draco puffed off the last of his pack, when he noticed her again lying, eyes closed across the mattress. After finishing off the beers and half a bottle of vodka, not to mention a whole pack of spliffs, it was official - they were both mullered for the day! "I reckon he and Ron are buddies?"
"Not really," she slurred, the effects of the booze finally making her nauseous. "I mean they're civil and all, and Colin's trying very hard to befriend him. It's just that Ron's a bit..."
"Jealous?" Draco interrupted, silently complaining to himself as a massive headache started creeping inside him. Damn, I hate it when I get this sloshed!
She didn't want to agree with him... but it was the truth. "Why blame me if I don't care about him as much..."
"Neither is he, so stop this fucking I-love-Colin-more-than-my-brother bullshit?!" he snapped, dagger looks thrown all over her face. Seeing how surprised she was, he suddenly felt like a complete idiot! Fuck, I'm defending a guy I haven't even met before?! That's it! I've completely lost my mind!
Ginny pondered for awhile, then eyed him curiously. "You really hate me this much, do you?"
"No!" he lied. He wondered why he even cared to answer that question at all. Somehow, the whole afternoon only made him feel worse, not only towards her but also on himself. "I'm just having a really bad day..."
"I can't blame you if you do," Ginny continued, sitting up, her hands on her head. "All my life I've done nothing but run away from the people that should matter to me the most. I blocked out all memory of my family because I was afraid that if I didn't, I'd never let them go, that I'd forever be stuck in my past. So I made up this really crazy fantasy world wherein I have this really famous mother who had to give me up for adoption because she didn't want to ruin her career or that I was a love-child of some wealthy heiress from one of her butlers. God, I would have accepted any excuse whatsoever… as long as it wasn't the truth. My truth." She looked out from the deck and started crying again. Damn, I don't want him to see me like this...
"I'm sorry," Draco said timidly. To be honest, he wasn't even sure if he really meant it - he just didn't know what else to say in a situation like this.
He was always used to being the one with the sad angst-ridden stories... and not the one who had to listen to them.
For the nth time that day, she tittered, wiping off her tears. "Don't be. It's not like you were there when it happened." With a determined look in her eyes, she stood up and paced herself toward to the observation deck. She felt a cool breeze cross her face as her hands groped the marble balustrade. "You know what I've always wanted to do whenever I've gone out here and pretend that I could actually see the sky?"
Now that his headache has taken a life of its own, Draco throbbed in pain. Right now is not the time to get all chatty with him... especially when he's on a verge of a major migraine! "Oh I dunno, jump off and try to fly?" he answered irritably. "Exactly!" Without hesitation, she climbed unto the railing and rose to her feet. "It's a bit windy, I should say," she called out, tapping her feet to see if it was strong enough to hold her. "My God, this castle is definitely built to last a lifetime!"
Now that her shouts are adding up to the pain, Draco cocked his head up to find her completely erect on top of the desk's banister... over a hundred meters from the ground! What the fuck...
"Jesus Christ, if you want to bloody kill yourself, can you like do it some other time!" Draco shouted, already up on his feet. Unfortunately though, too much spirits in his system was enough to make him wanna tumble to the floor. "I don't plan on going to jail for murder..."
Ginny laughed, stretching her arms freely like a bird in flight. "Aww... come on, Preppie! Don't you have any sense of adventure? Look, if you extend your arms like this, you could almost feel like you're flying off the ground!"
Finally reaching the balustrade, he rested his hand on it and cursed everything he took - the drinks, the drugs, her tragic life... everything! "Do you have any idea how high you are right now?"
"I'm blind, you dolt!" she quipped. Hearing his voice all wound up made her laugh even more! "It doesn't matter if it's two feet or a thousand meters high! All I see from here on is black, black... and more black!"
"Oh that's very reassuring of you!" he remarked sarcastically. His original plan was to stay away from her as much as possible. Now, from the looks at things, he has completely plunged himself into the dark realm known only to him as the world of Virginia Weasley. He was about to tell her that he'd had enough of this nonsense when he saw her jumping up and down, singing wildly at the top of her lungs! She's gone mental! Without more ado, he grabbed hold of her waist and dragged her off the deck.
"Hey! I wasn't done yet..." she complained, as she found herself being pinned down on the mattress, his hands gripping on her wrists to prevent her from moving. She fidgeted, trying to get way from him... but somehow the feel of his body close to her excited her - a delightful appetite she once enjoyed... and feared at the same time...
"Are you out of your mind?!" he roared to her face. "You could have died up there and you know who gets the blame for it if that happens. ME!" He was about to go on another round when he felt her fingers tracing his lips soothingly. Her touch, soft and gentle, sent shivers all over his spine. He wondered how such a simple act could cause him so much... This is it, baby! Your patience has finally paid off!
Blame on the alcohol or the drugs, but right now, all Ginny could think off was how his lips quivered in every stroke she made. She teasingly started making a move his neck towards his chest, clothed in what appeared to be a very expensive jumper. "I guess your plan did work after all." Grabbing a fist-full, she pulled him down and crushed her lips onto with his.
The frustrations he had all day, surmounted to sheer lust as he devoured her lips with such force, he could almost taste the seething fire burning inside her body. He mentally smiled as he felt her fingers tugging off his jumper slowly, gliding it across his now naked back. Oh yeah, she's done this before... He did his own exploration of sorts, cruising his hands from her fiery hair towards the frilly ribbons and buttons that bound her luscious skin. Tearing them apart one by one, his kisses ran through her neck, making her moan in utter bliss. He slipped his hands inside her dress and used his fingertips to nudge the straps of her bra, dancing slightly over the swell, with his thumb circling her nipples through the cotton. He didn't want her to anticipate. Wanted all her senses stunned and her mind empty of all but pleasure.
He would see to it.
She wanted to resist, to push him back before he dragged her over a line she sworn never to cross again. But then his mouth was urgent, his hands impatient as they molded and pressed and stroked. She dragged at his trousers, desperate now that nerves have been swallowed by needs.
That's when the voices start crawling in...
Baby, yeah baby. Give it to me. Harder!
I'm come back for you, I promise...
Shhh... we don't want them to hear us, now do we? That's right... God, you're so beautiful...
I love you, Virginia... always will...
Her mind was now in chaos, the voices crashing into her like waves across the breakwaters. She wanted it to stop, to make it go away. The need to run overrode whatever passion she had for fear was now looming across the room...
And she had nowhere else to go.
"Stop!" she pleaded, and started to cry, sensing his erection pressed against her thighs. She pounded her fist onto his chest, the thunders in her heart racing against her will. "Please stop. Please."
Draco resisted her at first, the call of the flesh too agonizing to control, but the sight of her struggling to free herself from his grasp made his stomach lurch. Immediately, he rolled off and laid his back beside her. She then curled herself in a ball as her shoulders shook, hands over her ears as her sobs echoed before them. He stared at the roof for what seemed like an eternity. He didn't know what to say to her; for fear that that it might again trigger another panic attack. He wanted to pretend that nothing was wrong, that people go through this sort of thing whenever they feel like the world no longer made any sense to them... when there was no one else to blame but the world. He'd been to that road before, but seeing it from the eyes of someone else made it look like he was back there all over again. He exhaled slowly, shoving his hands through his hair. She didn't deserve his empathy, let alone his anger, but then... "You heard it again, didn't you?"
Ginny, startled by his question, simply nodded. The voices have finally subsided, but they left feeling lost and empty. She couldn't come up with the right explanation for her actions either; she was the one who made them come out, not him... and she needed to tell him that.
How can you convince him that the pain you feel was something of your own doing, and not of his?
"It's not your fault..."
"You damn right, it isn't!" Standing up, he buttoned back his trousers and picked up his jumper. Finally dressed, he caught sight of her now sitting upright, hugging herself as if she was in terrible pain. Oh no! Not again... Crouching beside her, he peered to her eyes, trying to see if he was going to lose her again. "You okay?"
Ginny shook her head, her body shuddering senselessly. "I don't feel so good," she mumbled. Her throat was as dry as a desert while her whole body felt like there's a storm brewing inside of her. "I think I'm going to be sick..."
Draco quickly held her face and checked her eyes, blood-shot and completely stoned. The color of her skin has gone pale and her lips trembled fretfully. "Damn it, if you plan on getting yourself drunk, then you shouldn't have taken those blasted nose candies of yours!" She was definitely having a cocaine withdrawal, and if he couldn't find a way to stop this, then both their arses would be in deep shit. "Can you stand up?"
"I can't," she whimpered, the pain getting too unbearable to take. She needed a hit... and she needed it now. She fumbled for her matchbox but Draco snatched it from her. "Look, if I could snort just a little..."
"NO!" Draco retorted, grabbing her arms to calm her down. "The last thing you need is to get us both in trouble for something as stupid as this!"
She wanted to scream at him, as the cravings started getting stronger by the minute. "I'll tell them that you weren't involved..."
"Yeah, like they'd believe all that," he smirked, wiping a tear that escaped off her flushed cheeks. He scooped her into his arms and felt her arms wrapped around his neck, causing his heart to skip a beat. Somehow, behind the wild tough-chick façade that she kept showing him, lay a little girl who was in dire need of help.
Something nobody has ever asked him before.
Whatever fear she felt awhile back was replaced with a sense of security she'd never imagined she'd find in him. Despite all the sarcasm and arrogance he projected, there was a caring soul that had, in one way tried to save her life, more than anything she could ever ask for. If it were a lie, a trick that he liked to pull on people… then just maybe, even for a short while, she might actually convince herself that this is all true. "Please don't leave me."
"What?" Draco asked, confused that she would ever say such a thing to him, after everything that had happened between them. He even pictured her saying Get the hell out of my life or something of that nature.
She panicked, afraid that he wasn't taking her seriously. "Promise me that whatever fucking bullshit I say or do, you won't walk out on me, got that?" She then held him closer, desperately wanting nothing more but to gain comfort from him, from anyone at this point. "I just don't wanna be alone right now, okay?"
"Okay," Draco responded awkwardly, tapping her shoulder slightly like a father would do to his ailing child. He wasn't sure if he met it - he just wanted to go home, take a long hot shower and forget that this day never happened at all...
Except for the brief snogging they had earlier.
As they reached the last flight of stairs, he noticed that the shakes had receded. He looked down at her to find her sleeping soundly, her eyelids fluttering. He wondered if she knew where she was, or the crazy things they'd said or done. But one thing was for sure...
His hunger for her was still imminent. Resistance was getting futile, with the feel of her legs hanging in his arms and the scent of her hair smelling sweetly against his face. He unconsciously began stroking her thigh, despite the pants she was wearing. God, why can't I just have her? Just this once... PLEASE!
"Preppie?" she whispered, her eyes still closed.
"Yeah?" he asked, his left hand resting under her thighs while his other cradled her arms.
"If you even attempt to fuck me in my sleep, I will cut your bloody dick to shreds."
Why you little... "Sod off, Weasley" Draco sighed irritably. If there was one thing he learned from his experiences with women that he values the most, this would probably be it:
Never underestimate a woman's threat... especially if it involves your manhood.