Disclaimer: These characters are works of JK Rowling's imagination, not mine.
09 Let Dead Men Lie - Eye of the Storm.
Ginny tossed and turned in her bed, trying valiantly to get comfortable. The rain was keeping her awake. Normally, she found the rhythmic pounding on her window soothing, but apparently tonight was an exception to the rule. She rolled over onto her side and checked the clock beside her for what felt like the umpteenth time.
Ginny narrowed her eyes. The damned thing almost looked cheerful, happily proclaiming the ungodly hour at which she was awake. Letting out an audible groan, she petulantly flopped back onto her back, glaring at the ceiling. She closed her eyes against the dark room and tried counting her breaths.
Fuck you, clock.
Ginny propped herself up onto her elbows, giving up on the idea of sleep. It just wasn't going to happen, not tonight. She reached over and flicked the light on, squinting as she was blinded by the sudden influx of light. Throwing back the covers and tugging free the dressing gown that was trying to commit suicide in the gap between her bed and the wall, Ginny got up. She crept down the hallway and into the kitchen, being careful not to make too much noise. Hermione was a notoriously light sleeper.
Sipping a glass of water, Ginny stared at the cone of light streaming from the street lamp outside. The rain had calmed down into a light drizzle, allowing fog to lazily rise from the drenched road. Her mouth quirked into a grin; it was almost poetic. Gently setting the glass down in the sink, Ginny leant against the bench. What are we going to do tonight, Ginevra? You've got over 3 hours before you have to be at work.
Brown eyes drifted toward the window again as tendrils of a very bad idea curled their way into her mind.
She tiptoed back into her room, and carefully pulled a jacket and a pair of tired boots out of her wardrobe. She tossed her dressing gown on the bed and contemplated briefly whether to change her clothes, looking down at her button up pyjama shirt and track pants. Dismissing the idea, Ginny fished a knobbly woollen jumper out of the washing basket and pulled it over her head, forcing her red curls into a rough ponytail. Crouching down to lace up her boots, she reached under her bed and quietly pulled her broom towards her. After quickly transfiguring a lone sock into the other half of a pair of gloves, she tucked her wand into an inside pocket and slowly opened her window. It gave way with a noticeable squeak, allowing a gust of frosty air to flow into the room. Ginny climbed half out of the window, tossing her broom onto the ground. She followed it, landing with a soft thump.
"Up," she whispered. The broom obediently rose into her gloved hand. Ginny threw her leg over it and kicked off the sodden ground, soaring into the night sky. The air was freezing on her skin and she could practically feel the ice forming on her cheeks. A laugh escaped as she grinned like a madwoman, her only concrete thought the broom beneath her and the air that chilled her to her bones.
It was the murmurs that woke her. Who was in her bedroom? And why didn't they have the common courtesy to be quiet? Ginny cracked her eyes open in spite of the blinding headache. An unfamiliar room greeted her.
Panic made her freeze, aching head forgotten as adrenaline rushed through her veins. She tried to hear the whispered conversation over her pounding heart. Fuck, where was her wand? Ginny swallowed her fear and leapt to her feet. She snatched a lamp off the bedside table as she backed herself against the wall.
The rooms other occupants had the decency to look surprised. The kindly old man took a step towards her, pausing as she lifted the lamp threateningly. His tall companion didn't move.
"Miss Weasley, please put down the lamp." He said softly.
"Where am I?" Ginny demanded in what she hoped was an intimidating voice. "How do you know who I am?"
"Miss Weasley, I'm not going to hurt you." He had eyes that reminded her of Dumbledore.
"Where am I?" She repeated.
"You're safe," his face crinkled into a sympathetic smile. "I can understand your confusion,"
"Who are you?"
"Hippocrates Smethwyck. I'm a Healer."
"I'm a Healer," Ginny frowned, "and I don't know you."
"I'm retired, Miss Weasley. Now, can you please put down the lamp?"
Ginny looked down at the lamp in her hand, having forgotten that she was brandishing it as a weapon. She also realised that she was standing in a room of unfamiliar men in nothing but her underwear.
"Fuck!" She swore, dropping the lamp and lunging for the sheet. Smethwyck's companion whipped out his wand and summoned the lamp before it could crash onto the floor. Ginny swaddled herself in the sheet and tried to pretend her cheeks weren't flaming red.
"Tell Mister Malfoy that his guest is awake," Smethwyck said to the dark-haired man behind him. He nodded swiftly and swept out of the room.
"Malfoy?" Ginny was on her feet again.
"Yes, Miss Weasley. You're at Malfoy Manor," He smiled as if there was nothing unusual about his statement.
"What?" She sputtered. "Why?"
"Because you fell off your broom." Draco marched into the room. His face was dark and his eyes were a thunderstorm.
"What were you thinking?" Draco yelled.
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Ginny clutched the sheet closer to her body.
"Mister Malfoy! You will contain yourself." The iron in Smethwyck's voice made Draco pause. "As your family Healer, I can have you removed."
The blonde narrowed his eyes. "Fine," he spat.
"Good." The old man turned his blue eyes to Ginny, softening as he spoke. "Now, Miss Weasley. I'm going to ask you to hop back into that bed, and I'm going to give you a dose of Pepper Up potion." There was no room for arguments. Ginny meekly climbed back under the covers, tucking them securely around her.
He handed her a steaming glass and she took it reluctantly.
"Drink it," he said sternly, watching her closely as she complied. "Good girl. Mister Malfoy, can I trust you to be mindful of your behaviour?"
Draco nodded abruptly.
Smethwyck turned to Ginny again. "Miss Weasley, I will come back and check on you in a few hours. If you can, I highly suggest you get some sleep." He took the empty glass from her as he left the room.
Draco glowered at her and tensely perched on the edge of the bed. Ginny bit her lip as her ears began to steam.
"What were you thinking?" He repeated his earlier question. His calm tone belied the storm brewing underneath.
"I don't know," Ginny whispered. "I don't know what happened."
"You fell off your broom." He sneered.
"I don't fall off my broom," Ginny countered.
"Apparently, you do." Draco's expression darkened. "What on Earth was going through your mind when you decided to go flying last night, directly after a storm?" He hissed.
"I just needed to get out…"
"Ginny. You were completely frozen. You lost control; the broom got locked in a corkscrew spin. You fell from over sixty meters. If the wards hadn't caught you…" Draco leant in and took hold of her shoulder, gripping it tightly. "You could have died." His stomach twisted unpleasantly at the thought.
Ginny blinked. Something clicked inside her mind, springing her into action. "What time is it?"
"What?" Draco frowned, confused by her outburst.
"The time! What time is it?"
Draco checked his watch. "It's half eight, you were unconscious for a while."
"Half eight?" Ginny squealed, scrambling to get up.
"Ginny, what are you doing?"
"I have to go to work!" She looked around her.
"Yes!" Ginny yelled. "They'll be wondering where I am! I was meant to start at six this morning! Where are my clothes?"
Draco couldn't hold back his smirk. "They were drenched. They're being washed. I'll get Smethwyck to Floo St. Mungo's, he used to work there."
Ginny started to follow him. Draco pointed at the bed. "Sit down," he ordered.
Ginny grew herself up to her full height. "You can't tell me what to do!"
"No, but you are in my house. And unless you want to meet my mother in nothing but a sheet, I'd suggest you get back into that bed." The door closed behind him with a solid thud.
Ginny sullenly crawled back onto the bed, pulling her knees to her chest. She rested her chin on them, her head suddenly heavy.
"I lost control." She echoed what Draco had said before, whispering into the empty room.
Of course you lost control. Just look at you. You can't do anything right. You lost control, and you almost died. How pathetic. You couldn't even do that properly.
The voice inside her head continued to berate her long after her words had faded. Ginny tried not to listen.
Apologies for the wait - university is practically a sponge on my free time, at the moment. In saying that, please don't expect anything new until December (final exams and all that.)