Disclaimer: JK Rowling created most of these characters. I thank her for doing so because they've brought joy to my life. However, they've brought no money so don't sue me.
Notes: I'm sorry this took so long. My muses don't love me anymore. You can send all your hate mail to them. This chapter is dedicated to Fearthainn. (Good beta! Biscuit for you!) It was a gift for her because she keeps bugging me about making Draco and Ginny snog.
"So how's this going to work?" Ginny asked, finding that she needed to practically shout to be heard. Draco had long strides, and very determined ones at that. She could barely keep up.
"We find somewhere far enough out of the way that they can't find us. Then you can do whatever you want." For someone who had just saved her life, he seemed to care very little about what happened to her.
They came up to the motorbike, parked hastily in front of the library. She wondered how he found her in time. She wondered why he came back. There were a lot of questions. She put her hands on her hips and picked the most pressing one. "And you're just okay with this plan? Lots of running," Ginny scoffed.
Draco threw his lean leg over the side of the bike. "Let's have less talking and more fleeing for our lives," he grunted. "Unless you want to wait for them to come back. Feel free."
She opened her mouth to say something back but found no words, just a creeping fear in the back of her neck and a sharp pain in her arm. They would be back. And they hadn't meant to hit her in the arm. Frightened, she hopped on and shut up.
Ginny clung to Draco's back as the bike ascended into the sky. She closed her eyes. The farther they got from the library, the more she allowed herself to think about her arm. It hurt like she couldn't describe and it was still bleeding. She the fabric of her cloak as tightly around her arm as she could without taking the whole thing off. It was so cold in the air. She felt herself shiver underneath the force of the cold night air.
She swayed and clung to Draco even tighter, barely registering the way he shifted underneath her touch. She didn't remember it being so cold last time she had flown on the back of the bike. It hadn't been so hard to hold on then either. She found herself leaning to her right; beneath her were the bright lights of the City. It was as if she were inching closer and closer to the lights, like fairies that lured you into the forest never to be seen again.
She started, abruptly shifting herself in the seat. Her heart was racing.
"Draco…" she moaned too softly for him to hear.
Her cloak was all wet now. She couldn't figure out why. She hadn't had anything to drink on this flight. It was all thick and goopy and her black cloak shone red in the moonlight wile the fairy lights of the city below still beckoned.
"You gotta stop passing out," he said when she woke up. "That's twice tonight I've saved your life," he said it like he should give him some sort of compensation.
"Ow," was all Ginny could reply.
"You should've told me you were bleeding."
She gritted her teeth. This was her fault now? "You should've noticed."
With effort, Ginny sat up in bed. The bed, she realized, was in a small room, presumably a seedy hotel. Everything was very brown and dirty. Pointedly, she ignored Draco, who had the nerve to keep looking at her. She tried a few simple healing charms she knew from school. Nothing worked.
Exhausted, she collapsed onto the bed once more. Everything hurt, especially her arm. She hadn't been awake for more than ten minutes and she was all ready to fall asleep again.
"Their blades are magical," said Draco. "You can't fix the wounds with charms."
"Thanks for telling me that before," snapped Ginny. He was so irritating with his sitting there and being calm and not bleeding.
She flopped her head on the pillow, listening to whatever cheap material was in it crinkle beneath her head. The sheets were hard. She thought about her soft bed at the Burrow, with her pillow so fluffy her head sunk into it like a rock in the ocean. And the more she thought about her home the angrier she got.
Bloody Draco. Bloody Draco who brought her here. Bloody Draco who almost got her killed. Bloody Draco who didn't know how to fix her arm.
And bloody arm that… was bloody.
The chair scratched loudly when Draco got up to leave. He said nothing as he went. Bloody Draco, leaving me here while I'm injured, was the last thought she had before she fell asleep again.
She blinked. The pillow protested beneath her head. She tried to move her arm but found it too painful. Excruciating was the word she was looking for.
"Hey." He was back.
"Hi," she whimpered. She felt tears in her eyes. Irrationally she cried, "I think my arm is going to fall off!"
"Erm, don't worry," he murmured in an oddly hollow voice meant to comfort her.
"Don't worry, he says," she scoffed.
"All right, I take it back: worry. Worry a lot."
It hurt to chuckle. "Stop that," she grumbled.
"What?" he wondered what he had done to offend her now. She was always getting offended at everything he did. He wanted to grab her and shake her and say, "I saved your bloody, worthless, Weasley life!" But then she looked so pale and fragile underneath the dirty sheets. And if he shook her then she would break into little pieces. Then who would he tease?
"Make me laugh," she explained. "It hurts."
"Oh," said Draco, feeling foolish. "Well, erm. I have something for you. It'll make you feel better."
He held up a bag, paper with no distinguishing features on it whatsoever. There was a bottle inside. Ginny sighed, hoping it was some potion he had discovered cured the Alecto wounds. Draco had been good in potions, she remembered Ron saying. He was Snape's favorite. Maybe he made it himself. But then why was it in a bag?
"What is it?" she asked, peering curiously at the brown bag.
"Ogden's Old Firewhisky."
Ginny was in a strange hallway. She didn't know how she got there. It was all brown and wobbly. After more examination she decided it probably wasn't the hall that was wobbly. It might be her. But then again, you never knew with halls. They were tricky little buggers.
It was hard to think about it. Thoughts were hard to hang onto. They slipped away from her like they were greased. She felt like she was in a padded universe. She was dimly aware of the pain in her arm, but it took too much effort to focus on it. If she thought about that, they she couldn't think about other things like how nice Draco was being to her and how to walk in a straight line. That was harder than it looked. It was a good thing she didn't have to chew gum too.
Her head felt very heavy. She had never been aware of its weight before. All she really wanted to do was lie down and sleep. A bed sounded amazing right about then. Lying down required so much less work than standing up.
"Why are you out of bed?" Someone asked behind her.
She giggled. "I lost it." Tricky bugger.
It was him, she realized belatedly. Draco.
He was surprised when she reached out to run her fingers through his hair. He didn't dare move any part of him but his eyes, which frantically looked about for the people whose idea of a joke this was. She wouldn't do this on her own. Someone must've put her up to this, he thought. Only a second later, he realized that technically that someone had been him when he foolishly handed her that bottle of firewhisky.
Ginny picked up a lock of his hair and rubbed it between her fingers. It didn't make a sound as she twisted it. "Soft," she said astutely, in a slightly wobbly voice.
Draco didn't know how to reply. "Uh huh," he said vacantly, looking for a way to make his escape without offending her. Maybe he could just throw her down on the ground and make a run for it. Chances were she was too drunk to remember in the morning.
But there was still that chance that she would remember. For some reason he really didn't want to make her mad at him. Not now.
"Maybe you should go to bed," he suggested tentatively.
He really was being nice to her. She couldn't figure out why but he was suddenly very protective of her. If she had been capable of thinking about it for any length of time, she would've been concerned. Instead she was more interested in his hair. It really was amazing. She had never seen hair so naturally light before. She half expected it to feel like hay, as if it had been bleached beyond repair.
She giggled. At first, he thought she was laughing at his suggestion. Then she kept giggling, and giggled some more for good measure. She probably hadn't even heard him. "You have blond hair," she said like it was the funniest joke in the world. "I have red hair." Again, she giggled and swallowed hard, trying to force the complicated words out. "Wanna switch? Don't like red no more."
"You really should go to bed."
"Wanna come with me?" she asked, waggling her eyebrows suggestively. She burst into more peals of laughter at his reaction. "You're too good to be Malfoy."
He didn't know if that was a compliment or not, so he decided to ignore it. He also chose to ignore the part of him that honestly considered taking the inebriated Ginny Weasley up on her giggly offer. I am a man, he told himself, like it was an excuse.
"That's enough for you," he said, confiscating the bottle. For someone so small and so drunk she sure did have a vice like grip on the bottle. He tried to push her gently onto the bed, hoping once she closed her eyes it would be too hard for her to open them again. He knew he should've covered her in a blanket or removed her shoes or something. Nice guys did that. He wasn't so nice.
"Don't wanna," she slurred, trying to sit up. She wobbled so you'd think she was doing an exaggerated impression of a drunken person. He imagined she didn't imbibe alcohol very often.
"Just because you're drunk doesn't mean you can be stereotypical," he admonished, shaking his head at her and pushing her more firmly onto the mattress.
And then, with a sigh, he left her alone to sleep it off.