Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.

13 Let Dead Men Lie – One Half.

"Ginevra Weasley, where in Merlin's name have you been?" Molly Weasley thundered as her daughter cowered at the kitchen table. "I have to be told by one of your colleagues that you never showed up for work, and Hermione has no idea where you are? She told me that you slipped out in the middle of the night and didn't leave a note!"

Ginny winced as her mother angrily slammed a mug of tea on the table in front of her. "Mum, I –"

"Gone all night and gone all day? And then you go and show up on my doorstep in clothes that you don't own and in a Slytherin shirt, of all things! What am I meant to think, hmm?"

There was nothing she could do or say until Molly calmed down. Her only choice was to ride out the storm.

"You're my only daughter, Ginny, and I'll be damned if I'm having another six boys if anything happens to you. Merlin, help me! I always thought you had a good head on your shoulders, girl. I never thought you would prove me so wrong. I was practically sick with worry, do you hear?"

Eventually, Molly slammed herself into a chair, exhausted from her lecture.

Ginny turned the warm mug in her hands. "Please don't be mad at me, Mum."

"That depends on what else you've done, other than gallivanting off into the middle of the night."

"There's a boy." Ginny whispered.

"A boy?" Molly arched her eyebrow. "You nearly gave me a heart attack - for a boy?"

"Mum, there's always been a boy. The same boy, actually."

"Explain." She pierced her daughter with a sharp stare, and Ginny was eerily reminded of Narcissa.

"I don't know how." She muttered as she sipped her tea. "I just… It happened, and I didn't mean for it to, but it did."

Molly was as pale as a sheet. "Ginny, are you pregnant?"

"No," Ginny laughed harshly. "Although, that would probably be easier for you and Dad to stomach."

"Then what happened?"

"Draco Malfoy," Ginny braced herself for the blow.

It didn't come. Molly was watching her daughter with pensive eyes.

"Didn't you hear me?" Ginny spat. "I said, Draco—"

"I heard you," Molly interrupted quietly.

"Then why aren't you yelling?"

Molly sighed. "What am I going to tell you, love? That the family is rotten to the core? That nothing good can come of associating with them? No, I suspect you already know that. I also expect that there is more to this than Draco Malfoy materialising from thin air." She covered her daughters' cold hand with her warm ones. "Talk to me, sweetheart."

"I don't know what I can say, Mummy."

"Just start at the beginning."

So she did.

"He's just like me; he doesn't know where he fits into the world. But he's not his father, Mum. Not by a long shot. He cares."

"Cares about you?"

"I didn't mean that – but, yeah, I think he does."

"And he makes you happy?" Molly's tone was resigned.

"I can't answer that, not yet. When I'm with him, it's like nothing else exists. But he left me once, who's to say he won't do it again? I was so broken by it the first time, I don't know if I could stand it again." Ginny swirled the dregs of her tea, not able to meet her mother's gaze.

Molly took the empty mug, dropping it lightly into the sink. An enchanted sponge happily took responsibility.

"Sweetheart, sometimes you have to take the chance."

"You're okay… with it?" Ginny hesitated.

"Not at all, love. But there's not much I can do about it. I know you far too well to delude myself by thinking that you'll give it up because I don't approve." Molly crinkled a smile. "Now, wash your face and put on some different clothes, your father will be home soon and I don't think you want his opinion on this."

Ginny nodded and wandered up the stairs, pausing at her old room. It had been left untouched. Faded posters of the Holyhead Harpies waved wearily at her as she smoothed their curling corners. She watched the sluggish movement of her childhood hero for a few moments, before pushing her bed frame off the loose floorboard. She tugged out an old diary, flicking through the tattered pages.

"Dear diary – I hope you don't talk back." End of her first year at Hogwarts.

"The Yule Ball was surprisingly good. Neville is such a nice guy, never would have picked him for a dancer though –" Third year.

"Harry – oh! Sulking away because Moody said he might be possessed. The bloody sook could at least talk to me about it, seeing as I've been there." Fourth year.

"I ran into Draco Malfoy tonight. I don't think I ever seen someone look so alone." The first time she met him on the roof.

"He makes me feel whole."

Ginny closed the diary against the painful memories that resided in the later pages. She ran her fingers through her hair, finding a few tangles from her flight earlier in the afternoon. Replacing her diary in its hiding place, Ginny tweaked the doona absent-mindedly.

Voices drifted up from downstairs. She hurried across her room, simultaneously stripping and pulling out a pair of faded jeans and a white jumper from her closet. Stuffing the borrowed clothes into the laundry hamper, she took a deep breath and felt substantially more like herself.

"Where do you want the salad, Mum?" Ginny shouted.

Molly popped her head around the corner. "Just pop it in the middle somewhere, love."

Ginny pursed her lips slightly, surveying the already cluttered table before her. In the middle of the table, oh sure. She rolled her eyes and balanced the bowl in one hand, trying to shuffle some of the overflowing platters to make some room. Carefully placing the bowl in the newly vacant space, Ginny stepped back to admire her handiwork. A CRACK sounded from the front door. George must have arrived.

The stocky red-headed man was readjusting his robe when his little sister tackled him.

"All right, Gin?"

"Yeah," She forced a smile. "I'm alright."

"Mum chew your ear out for the disappearing act?"

"Could you tell?" Ginny sighed in relief at his assumption.

He winked at her, patting her shoulder. "Chin up; she can't be mad at you forever."

She nodded resolutely, following him inside.

The Weasley's had clumped themselves around the dining table, loud chatter filling her family home as they passed the dishes around the table. Ginny positioned herself as far away from Molly as she could – the last thing she wanted was for her mum to notice how little she had on her plate.

Ginny picked at her meal and watched her family, trying to ignore the resoundingly hollow feeling that curled deep inside her stomach.