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Okay, so just a little intro; This takes place at the time of the Founders, but Ginny and Draco are there, so it's kinda throwback. This is a time when everything has a place in society, particularly men and women. Draco and Ginny both have a hatred for the rules of society, but a love for painting and each other. Ask me if you have any questions!!!
Long before it was a school, Hogwarts was the finest institution for the young men who were to fight for the country’s ruler. They were the most excellent men of the land, and they were brought together to become even finer.
The sun never greeted the walls and grounds. It was cloudy overheard every minute of the days and years. In front of their officers, the men were serious, focused. They studied and practiced for twelve or thirteen hours of the day.
But by night, they were their own selves. They laughed and made jokes. They imitated their officers and reenacted their latest sword-fighting techniques with jest.
There were four classes, depending on their age; Primary, Secondary, Junior and Eldest. Each had their own wing of the castle for their studies, and then separate common areas and rooms. There was a dining hall, a library, larger common area and courtyard in the middle of the castle, the only area where all the classes shared.
No girl was allowed inside, unsupervised, that it to say; they must have at least two older women with her, and they must come with a firm and approved purpose. The only time a woman would be seen in the castle was if they were engaged to one of them men, or thus, in line to be. Then, it would be satisfactory for the man to show the woman the grounds while she nods politely, under close guard and supervision, of course. This was only for the man to show off how proud he was of his training, strength and maturity.
No woman was to ever cross these lines, nor was any man to be caught crossing them either.
That excludes the fact that it was not allowed, it was simply not publicized.
A short distance around the hills and at the opposite end of the lake was William’s Academy for Young Ladies. Predictable. The Victorian castle was good sized, considering there were merely eighty young ladies who attended the school. There were gardens and courtyards and small white tables and chairs in a reserved area for those rare occasions where a girl who would be attended by a family member or possibly a fiancée.
The ladies were taught manners, how to prepare and serve tea, the proper steps and posture to a waltz. They were educated in Latin and French. At age sixteen, they were given the choice of an Art: singing or painting. They would study their art, in addition to their edicts, until they were courted by a man or turned over to a family as a maid.
They were taught their place in society; the pretty figure on the arm of a handsome and successful man. One child, maybe two, but that was all; too many children meant plump figures and an unpleasing appearance. They were told to be quiet, beautiful and graceful.
And dutiful. Never do anything your husband would disapprove of.
The men dutifully stood upright in their proper ranks and stared, stone faced, towards the horizon.
They clasped their swords and marched forward three half steps. In unison, they stomped their feet together and waited.
They reached their right arms over their waist, grasped the handle and thrust them out.
The sword tips pointed to the ground and fell to each man’s side.
“Heads, forward, march…twice!”
The front row of men, the Heads, took two steps forward in sync.
“Heads, by-side, arms!”
The row put their swords in the loops at their waist in short, fluid motions. Then, they stood, chests out, hands pressed at their sides, staring ahead.
Another order and the others followed.
A tall, muscled man dressed smartly in his black and blue uniform stepped in front of the group.
“As your headmaster, it gives me great pride to see before me such firm and obedient young men. You have done this school proud, and someday, you will do this country proud. In honor of your maturity and improvement as young soldiers and young men, these badges shall be placed upon your shoulders and you shall become Eldest.”
There were no smiles or cheers until each man had stood respectfully and had a red badge pinned to their shoulder.
They walked down the hall of the castle towards the main common area and courtyard. Along the way, they laughed and roughly teased the underclassmen that lingered in the hallway.
“Well, what’d you know, boys!” a dark-haired, green-eyed boy said, grinning. “We’re Eldest, now! We finally get to start training for war!”
“If there ever will be a war…” A red-haired boy replied.
“There will. Just wait.” It was, of course, Draco, always confident, arrogant. “There will be someone who tries to change our course, and our country will call upon our fine asses to defend the land! Can you not picture those women waiting for us? Bosoms and handkerchiefs out, shaking for us…”
They turned the corner to the courtyard to see the Headmaster there, along with a couple of their professors.
“There has been word from the town! It seems the ladies at William’s Academy are hosting a celebration!”
The men smiled and nodded boldly.
“For what, sir?” one asked.
“Our young Tybalt, here,” all heads turned towards the red haired boy, “is, as of this morning, engaged to a Miss Violet Cassandra Kemington, of William’s Academy! The families have asked the Eldests from Hogwarts to join their sixteen and seventeen year-old ladies for a night of well mannered dancing and mingling.”
A dangerous idea, Draco thought maliciously, grinning wickedly.
“I will remind you, boys, to be on your best behavior, or else we will have no hesitation to dismiss you from this school immediately.”
The girls let out un-lady-like squeals when Violet held out her hand and showed them all the beautiful ruby on her finger.
“He said he picked red to match his hair,” she whispered excitedly. “So that, should we ever be apart-that is, if he is called to war-I will look at our engagement ring and think of him.”
Another round of squeals. Ginny pressed her way forward.
“Violet, we’re so happy for you. You will make a beautiful wife and bride.” She grinned at her friend and kissed her twice on each cheek.
“Of course, you’ll all come to the wedding. Mama says a spring wedding will fit the mood!”
“We have to wait till spring?” It was Anna. She pouted happily at Violet.
“I’m afraid so. Tybalt has to finish school, and so I shall remain here. Did the Headmistress tell you? There is to be a ball tonight, in our honor! The young men from Hogwarts will be here!”
Now it was chaos. The girls squealed and shook their hands excitedly.
“WAIT!” Ginny pushed her way to Violet again, who had turned to Anna for a second. “You mean, just the older ones? The older girls here and the older boys? We will not be worrying over the youngers, will we?”
Violet shook her head. “No, I would not have it. I nearly had to beg the Headmistress to let it be so, but she agreed. Quickly, now, what shall I wear?! The blue dress is rather bold for such an occasion…”
“Then, you must!” Ginny said, as if it was the final verdict. Anna agreed.
“Very well, then!” Violet grinned. “How shall I wear my hair?”
In the case of most women, their engagement would mean that the headmistress would write to the girl’s family, explaining that a man was interested in their daughter. Then, the parents of both would come and, over tea, discuss their children. In a while, (there was hardly ever a second-guess) the men would discuss a residency and the woman would decide upon the wedding specifics.
It was over a matter of a few minutes, and the girl never had one ounce of input. Then, just like that, her future was decided. She could only hope she would please everyone and her husband would be gentle with her.
But in Violet’s case, the parents all knew each other. Tybalt and Violet knew each other before they were sent off to school at age thirteen. The family’s met over several cups of tea, while the two teens threw eyes and polite smiles at each other.
Luckily, both were happy.
Ginny could tell this simply by looking at Violet, who was nearly lost among a group of girls and one maid trying to pull her hair into a beautiful bun. She looked sideways and found Ginny. They grinned at each other. Ginny then turned to Anna.
“Come on, your hair needs work, too.” Ginny looped her arm through Anna’s and walked off towards the stairway leading to the other rooms.
Anna was a year younger than Ginny and Violet, but the three took to each other when Anna arrived and were nearly inseparable since. Anna tagged along whenever the older two would waltz among their friends and discuss classes when they had free time in the afternoon. But at night, the three would sneak down to Violet’s room, which was farthest from earshot of the teachers, and spend the night laughing and dreaming of their futures.
And now, it was here.
“I hope she does alright,” Ginny said, closing the door to Anna’s room.
“What do you mean?” Anna asked, unlacing her school dress.
“Well, there’s excitement and anticipation of the wedding, but then what? She will become a fragile figure on the arm of my brother. I hope he keeps her happy.”
“At least it’s your brother she’s marrying. Now you two will see each other once in a while. It is not fitting for a young lady to leave a man’s house to visit her school friends, I learned last week in class. But you will see each other at Christmas and Easter, I suppose, for a family gathering…”
“Only, I will be required to go to my husband’s family gathering.” Ginny looked down at the hairbrush she held. Just like their society, this brush was to form Anna’s hair just as it should be; pulled back and allowing some hair to cover the back and sides of her neck so men would not be curious or tempted to unholy thoughts.
But when Anna had selected a beautiful yellow and white gown, Ginny knew exactly how she would fix Anna’s hair.
Ginny helped Anna tie her corset-a proper corset, one that tied in the back, for such an occasion. On a school day, she would wear one that tied in the front so she could tie it herself. Then, Anna slipped into the skirt and Ginny fitted her top gown over it and tied this as well. Anna looked beautiful.
“You will make Violet jealous,” Ginny said as Anna sat down at her dressing table. Anna grinned and bowed her head.
“Perhaps I should change…”
“No. Do you not think the other girls will do the same?”
Anna began to pinch her cheeks to add a red glow to her visage and then painted some lip paint on. Ginny was grinning mischievously as she brushed and pinned Anna’s beautiful blonde curls atop her head, so that her pristine neck and shoulders radiated.
Anna and Ginny, both looking bold and breath-taking, whispered to Violet as she stood in the hall outside the ballroom of the castle with her fiancée, the headmistress and their parents.
“You look beautiful!” Anna whispered earnestly when Violet joined them behind the statue.
“But you smell ordinary.” Ginny held up the small bushel of flowers she and Anna had collected. Ginny handed some to Anna and they gently rubbed the flowers along Violet’s shoulders, neck and behind her ears.
“Now, he’ll have an excuse to get closer when we dance!” Violet’s whisper was dripping with bliss. They giggled. No, they laughed, for giggling was for young school girls, not mature (betrothed) young ladies.
“Girls!” The headmistress discovered them and they straightened up as she approached. “Violet, you wanted to make an entrance and it looks as though most everyone is inside already. Anna, Ginny, you can chat later, go on inside… My, you girls look daring!” She looked disapproving, but was smiling. Ginny and Anna curtseyed to their headmistress and threw Violet one last smile before heading into the hall.
Amidst the gold and shimmering décor were a hundred or so men and women, all dressed to their best and dazzling smiles on their faces, which were more than likely natural, since tonight was rare; young men and woman in the same room!
Ginny found a space near the entrance where she and Anna could stand to watch Violet come in with Russo.
“Are you friends with the bride-to-be?”
Ginny turned to the young man who smiled at her.
“Yes, she is our good friend.” Ginny motioned to Anna. “The groom is my brother.”
Ginny had done exactly what she had been taught to do all these years at school. Short replies to questions will show obedience and tolerance; do not say more than is necessary.
“Is he, now! Well, my dear. I am a good friend of your brother, Tybalt.”
“Oh,” she smiled politely. “That’s lovely, Mr. . . ?”
“Praton. James Praton.” He held her hand and kissed it courteously.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Praton. I am Ginny.”
He smiled at her. “Perhaps you will save me a dance, Miss Ginny?”
“Perhaps.” Ginny did not hide her grin as she turned back to Anna and winked. As she looked up, her eyes found a pair of crystal blues looking boldly at her. She was supposed to look away, but she could not. Nor could he. She could not help but sense arrogance as the eyes traveled down her front and then back to her face. She gave him a look, out of her own grace and not of her proper feminine duty.
Violet and Tybalt entered, arm in arm grinning at the polite applause that greeted them. Violet and Tybalt's gaze found her in turn and Ginny grinned at them. Then they joined hands in form and began the first dance. The crowd stood politely and watched.
When they were finished, Anna and Ginny picked up two glasses of wine apiece and went to find Tybalt and Violet.
“You two are beautiful together!” Anna said, handing Violet a glass.
“Well, one of you is beautiful, at least.” Ginny grinned at Violet and held the smile as she handed Tybalt the other glass in her hand.
“Why, thank you, my dear and wonderful sister.” He gave her a fake smile that eventually broke into a real one.
Anna and Ginny accepted dances from a few men before retiring to a bench outside for short break. When they were seated and let out a sigh each, Ginny’s eyes found the blue ones again. He stood a ways off with two friends and four girls. He took a sip from his goblet and then handed it to one of his friends, whom Ginny realized was James.
Then he walked towards her, his eyes boldly locking to hers.
“I could not help but notice you like to be the object of my gaze.”
“And it is the choice of your gaze and not the object.” She realized how arrogant her voice sounded, and she liked the way it felt.
“My, my! I think I love your attitude.” His voice was a purr. “My name is Draco Malfoy.”
“Hello, Mr. Malfoy.” She stood and offered her hand, hoping he would take it. “I am Ginny Weasley.”
He took it and kissed it, his lips lingering longer than was considered acceptable on her hand. “I take it you are Tybalt’s sister?”
“Well, Miss Weasley, I believe I hear the next waltz starting. May I have this dance?”
He offered his hand and she took it.
“Ginny!” It was James. He caught up with them as they headed inside. “Who is your friend?”
“Her name is Anna, and I think she would love to dance.” She grinned at him and he returned it.
Throughout eternity, there are moments that pass by faster than they should. Those moments where Ginny’s hands found themselves in the strong hands of one Draco Malfoy served as one of them. She could not help but to blush at the closeness of their bodies. Surely this was closer than she had been taught to?
“You are keeping me so close, Mr. Malfoy. Are you afraid I will run away?”
“Not afraid of you running away, Miss Weasley, for I would like the chase.”
“Then why so close?” She raised her eyebrows and tried to control her smile.
He grinned. “Must there be a reason?”
And with that, the waltz ended. She was disappointed.
“Thank you, Mr. Malfoy.” She bowed her head slightly to him.
“I was hoping to catch the fresh air again. Care to join me?” He offered her his arm. She took it, liking the feeling of his jacket and firm forearm under her lace gloves.
Draco stole two wine glasses from a nearby tray and led her outside again. Ginny spotted the group he was with before the dance.
“Will we be joining them, then?” she asked, motioning to them. Draco shook his head.
“They would be jealous.”
“The fact that I would not give them an ounce of my attention.” He threw a smile at her and her face flushed again; only she let him see it, hoping to return his flattery. He led her to a bench under a blossomed cherry tree near the lake. They sat and sipped their wine.
“So you are at Hogwarts?”
He nodded. “Eldest, as of this afternoon.”
“Lovely. Do you fancy it?”
“I do. My father graduated from there some time ago and was very proud that I was accepted.”
“And what will you do after you graduate?”
“What is expected of me, I suppose. Marry, find a job, and go to war if called upon. I wish there was more to it.”
“You do not like the step-in-turn lifestyle society has fallen into?” She looked down at her hands.
“No.” He was quiet and leaned on his elbows, which were propped on his knees. He looked back at her. “Do you?”
“Of course not. But what can we do about it?”
“What do you do here, exactly?” He nodded his head at the school.
“We practice for married life. Or else, becoming a maid, if no man seeks us.”
“That’s all? You are puppets!”
“Welcome to our society.” She smiled and took a sip. “We do get to chose some of our classes, though. Well, no, we get to chose one.”
“We can decide if we want to paint or sing, so that we have some form of talents for our husbands to admire.”
“Which did you chose?”
“Painting. I loathe singing, my voice it horrible.”
“I rather like it.”
She smiled. “You’re too kind.”
“You know, my father has a family artist. Well, he paints us once a year. Would you ever like to have your form painted by our artist?”
She was shocked! “You realize that is an invitation into your life, do you not?” She whispered, her heart loving the reality.
“I will not take it back.” He smiled. She decided then that she loved that smile, it was so childish and yet her heart beat louder than thunder when she saw it.
She looked around, not sure what to say. Her eyes fell upon a slightly bright castle resting upon the mountain at the other end of the lake. “One can see Hogwarts from here. I never knew that.”
“Will you think of me when you gaze upon it?” He stood up. Her face lifted to look into his. She rose slowly and found the strength to give him a confident smile.
“Would you like me to?”
“Very much.” He bent his head down and kissed her softly on her cheek by her lips so that the corners of their mouths touched.
And with that, he was gone into the crowd, who Ginny now realized was dispersing.
**Please let me know what you guys think of the story so far!!**
(Yes, I must note the song title is courtesy of the wonderful Billie Holiday)
The days drifted on into fall. The leaves and mountains turned brilliant orange and red. The chill in the air was enough to turn every cheek and nose bright pink.
The cooler weather meant that the boys of Hogwarts were now forced to practice their practical techniques inside in the training halls. Needless to say, though, when learning of finances and politics, their minds would wander outside to the foliage.
When classes were let out, the boys would wander out to the courtyard and admire the world around them, as they were today.
“There she is, boys,” one boy said, admiring the castle opposite the dark lake. “The beholder of our futures.”
“Indeed. When do we get to take our pick?” another asked.
“They’re not cattle,” Draco snapped. He picked a dying flower from the ground and began plucking off it’s petals.
“You’ve got one in mind, then?” James asked, looking sideways at him.
“I think so. You?”
James nodded, smiled.
“Then court them,” one of the other boys said.
“It’s not that easy, is it?” Draco asked.
“Oh, come on Draco, that girl you were sauntering with couldn’t keep her eyes from you.”
They turned to find Tyblat and their friend, Godric, coming to join them.
“But how can I know that we’d be happy for the rest of our lives by just meeting once?”
“Draco, do you live in our society?” Godric taunted. “What does it matter? That girl was breath-taking-”
Draco shot a glare at him and shifted himself so that he was facing their friend.
“I just mean; how could you not be happy with that?”
“What if she’s not happy?”
They all stared at him, the world coming to a sudden halt around them.
“Are- are you serious, Draco?” Godric’s mouth hung open slightly.
“How can I be happy if she’s not?”
“Drake, did you see her?” James nearly laughed at him. “She would have lifted her dress for you right there…”
Draco threw the remains of the flower at James as Tybalt shot up.
“Ay, that’s my sister you’re talking about, and she’s not that kind of girl!”
“I know, Tybalt, I’m sorry.”
“Come on,” Draco said, staring at the academy across the lake as he stood. “I’m starving.”
“Alright, ladies, focus now.” Miss Harris demonstrated the proper brush strokes to the class, who were all seated around her.
Ginny was so absorbed in her painting that she didn’t even look up when Miss Harris spoke. She was painting a beautiful lily that she had picked from the garden before class. For some reason, she was having trouble getting the beauty of the flower to appear in her painting.
It was several minutes later when Miss Harris asked them to wash their brushes and put their paintings by the window to dry.
“Ginny!” Violet was waiting with Anna when Ginny emerged from her painting class. “How was painting?”
They headed off towards the courtyard together.
“Frustrating,” Ginny mumbled.
“Don’t be down,” Anna said sweetly, looping her arm through Ginny’s. “Violet has a plan for us.”
“Does she?” Ginny gave Violet a questioning look.
“It’s Friday. I haven’t seen Tybalt in weeks. So, I sent him a letter last week and hid a little message among the wedding plans.”
“Do I really want to know?”
“Yes. He is going to meet us in town tonight.”
“Yes, you and Anna and me.” Violet flashed her a smile as they turned out the door into the crisp air of fall.
“We’ll be caught, Vie. The headmistress goes out on weekends to town, she’ll see us.”
“Not if we’re careful. Besides, don’t you want to see that handsome blonde again?”
“Can I?” Ginny hushed, wide-eyed.
“Now you’ll go,” Violet teased. “Yes, Tyblat will bring James for Anna and Draco for you.”
Ginny’s heart beat a little faster. She walked to a nearby bush and plucked a lily from it.
“Do you think a lily has a lovely scent?”
The girls grinned and picked one as well.
Ginny and the others could hardly sit still during dinner. They practically raced to bed afterwards, hoping the night would close quickly around them. When several hours of flipping through stiff magazines finally brought ten-thirty, she rose from bed and dressed.
She wore a simple purple dress and pulled her hair up. She grabbed the lily and pulled her black cloak from the rack. She opened her door slowly and peered out into the hallway. After two younger girls had passed and turned the corner, she ran as swiftly and noiselessly as she could to Violet’s room.
Anna and Violet were waiting for her by the mirror. She smiled at them and closed the door. They put on lip paint and rubbed the lilies on their hands and neck, smiling and giggling all the while.
“You going to break the rules, James?” Tyblat asked, grinning.
“Ha, he doesn’t know how to.” Draco raised his eyebrows testily at James and then grinned as well.
“Don’t you get any ideas with my sister, Draco.”
“I’ll be gentle, Tyb. I promise.”
“That’s not funny!”
“Good evening boys.”
Three heads snapped in the direction of the mouth of the alleyway. The girls strolled up to them and smiled.
“Where are we going, Draco?”
“To my room.” He held her hand tightly as they approached the edge of the forest, Hogwarts just in sight.
“Draco…” Her whisper was shaky.
“Don’t worry. It’s not that. I have something I think you might like to see.”
Ginny had never been in the castle before. As she followed Draco up the grand staircase, she looked around as far as her eyes could see in the dimly lit area. In every corner, she could picture Draco there. She smiled, liking the fact that he was there with her now.
He slipped her into his room. She looked around in awe at the couches, stone fireplace, elegant carpets and drapes.
“This is my common room,” he whispered behind her, his hands gently pulling her cloak from her shoulders. “Look at the walls.”
She did. There were what looked like a hundred paintings, all different sizes. Draco sat down on the couch and leaned back, his gaze on Ginny as hers was on the paintings. She walked up to them and admired them for moments at a time.
Her attention was drawn to one in particular. It was a rose garden. She stared at the magnificent flowers, trying to find the brushstrokes to understand how the artist made the picture so beautiful. She couldn’t find them.
“They’re magnificent,” she whispered, turning back to him, her eyes watery from staring so long. “Who painted them?”
“Those,” he pointed to the ones next to the fireplace, “were done by Glacius, the man who does our family portraits. The others I have collected, or stolen.”
“You have not.” She smiled, her head turned away from him.
He raised his eyebrows at her, making her heart race.
“Would you like some wine?” He stood and walked to a cabinet nearby. He withdrew two glasses and a bottle and sat down next to her on the couch.
“You like them, then?”
She nodded. ‘I cannot understand how the artists make them so breath-taking. I wish I could do that.”
“Believe me, you do.” He couldn’t look at her as he fought back a smile and filled the wine glasses.
“Are you blushing, Mr. Malfoy?”
He rolled his eyes at her, still smiling. “I happen to have a reputation that needs to remain intact.”
“Is that so? I bet you say that to the other girls you bring here.”
‘You are the first, actually.’
He handed her a glass and met her eyes. His gaze forced her voice to a whisper.
‘I am honored.’
They drank in silence for a while. Ginny was more content than she could ever remember being. Finally, Draco spoke.
‘When will you leave William’s?’
She was quiet for a moment. She knew the answer, but she did not want to say it, for some reason.
‘When I am betrothed.’
He looked at her. He wanted nothing more than to touch her face, to feel her skin. It would not be proper, though. He wondered if she wanted to touch his skin as badly as he wanted hers.
Her eyes found him.
‘Why do you have all these paintings, Draco?’
He looked down, smiling. ‘It is foolish. But each takes me away from the duty and structure of this life and into another place where I can dream, where I can do whatever I please.’
‘That’s poetic.’ She threw the words at him, but part of her meant it and melted in it.
‘Thank you. I like that freedom.’
‘I do, too.’
They were quiet for a while.
Draco memorized her face. The line of her jaw. Her pale skin. Her bright eyes and soft gaze. The beautiful red curls atop her head. Her soft, pink lips.
He reached out and placed a hand on her cheek and pulled her face towards his. His fingers were tingling with the excitement of touching her skin.
And then he closed his eyes and pressed his lips firmly and gently to hers. She froze for a moment, and then relaxed and joined his excitement.
He did not want to, but he pulled away. He kept his hand on her cheek and his forehead against her. He bit his bottom lip and basked in her warm breath on his face.
‘I should go,’ she whispered, smiling.
‘Yes.’ He backed away and watched her stand. ‘I’m sorry…’
‘I’m not.’ She grinned at him. ‘We’re rebels, you know, and society shall not stand in our way.’
‘Ginny.’ His voice stopped her. She turned to him.
‘I will have your picture painted someday.’
She smiled and looked around at the ones on his wall.
‘Perhaps I shall paint you.’
Please, please, please, please, please lemme know what you guys think!!!
Ginny’s mind was in a daze for a while. She swept through her classes, through meals; through keeping proper posture and forcing polite manners.
Her painting skills sharpened quickly. She found that she could paint a lily in the same beautiful shade of blue that was held in Draco’s eyes.
She found herself picturing a life with Draco, no matter how many times she told herself not to get carried away. They would marry in their own time, live where they wanted. She would paint pictures of him and he would work. They would laugh and smile. They would sit on the porch and eat their meals instead of sitting properly at the dining table. They would have as many children as they wanted. They would love, for love and not for duty.
“Mes filles, assez-vous, le classe se commence.”
The girls took their seats and began copying down the notes from the blackboard.
There was a soft knock at the door and the headmistress’s face emerged from behind the half-open door.
“Madame LeFleur, I am sorry to interrupt. If I may, Miss Weasley needs to be excused for a while.”
“Of course. Miss Weasley, you may copy Violet’s notes when you see her after class.”
“Yes, Madame LeFleur.” Ginny rose slowly and gathered her books, a little hesitant to find out what awaited her.
She followed the headmistress out into the main hall, past the other classrooms, to the courtyard.
“Your parents are here to see you, Miss Weasley.” The headmistress stepped aside so that Ginny’s parents came into view.
“Thank you, Madame.” Ginny gave a small curtsey and went to her parents. She kissed them each on the cheek and smiled at them politely.
“Shall we sit?” Her mother smiled and motioned to a nearby bench. Ginny led them over and sat in the bench and they sat down.
“How is school, Ginny?” Her father asked, folding his hands on his lap.
“It is going well, thank you. Um, may I ask; what brings you here?”
Her mother placed her hand on hers. “We have news, Ginny.”
“What?” Her heart raced.
“A man has asked us for your hand.”
Her heart stopped. The ceasing of its beating caused her body to warm.
“Salazar Slytherin. He is Count Slytherin’s son.”
She could not speak. She did not want this. Her mind went blank, and any image of the dreamy life she had pictured was erased.
Her face must have showed pain and disdain.
“It is not easy, Ginny…” her mother began.
“No!” Her voice was harsh, but unsteady. “I do not want to, there is another man I wish to marry! He is kind and will be successful and-”
“Hush, Ginny.” Her father was stern. “It is not your decision to make. You will marry Salazar and be happy with him.”
She stood and most improperly began to cry. “No! It should be my decision! It is my life!”
“Ginny, control yourself, this is so improper!”
She simply turned on her feet and swiftly went away, out of their reach.
It was an hour later when Ginny had locked herself in her room that she heard a knock on her door. She didn’t answer.
“Ginny, its Violet and Anna, please let us in!”
She did. They rushed in and shut the door.
Ginny found that her eyes could no longer hold back tears. She let them glide freely down her face.
“They’ve given my hand to Salazar Slytherin.”
“Oh, Ginny, I’m so sorry.” Anna knelt down beside her on the floor and put her arm around Ginny. She could not bring herself closer to her friend, since the shirts of their dresses were so heavy and balloon-like.
Violet knelt down beside her as well.
“We heard your mother telling the headmistress that you said you wanted another man. Was it Draco?”
Ginny bobbed her head, but kept her face in her hands.
Anna and Violet understood everything at the point and did nothing but kept their silence, listening only to Ginny’s moans every now and again.
That face of yours burns brightly in my head
I’m breathing in every word you’ve said
Those eyes of yours put tears in mine
I’m staring at you like I’m going blind
The wedding preparations began. Ginny and Salazar sat with their parents over tea one afternoon and discussed the wedding plans. Her parents acted as if the incident in the garden had not happened.
Ginny wanted nothing but to slip away into the forest one night and have Draco take her, so that at least her body and soul belonged to him in one way. She wanted tell him she was sorry and that she wanted to be his.
And then she wondered if he even wanted her. How could she know that she was not simply a girl he had entertained with hopes for something more?
Her wedding wasn’t going to be like Violet’s. It was not a happy beginning to the rest of her beautiful life. It was a gateway to the chains that would forever bind her.
It was this that drove her to find out for sure what Draco meant to her. If he did not love her, perhaps her mind would be able to close him out of her mind. But if he did love her, it would open a door she was sure would never close.
The way you walk; it’s like you glide
I’m dying to know how you feel inside
I’m tasting lust in that smile of yours
The possibilities behind closed doors
She made sure the lights of William’s Academy were occupied and not following her before she slipped away into the woods. Up to Hogwarts.
She snuck through the front door and ran as quickly as her legs would take her up the stairs and to where she knew his room was.
She waited for him to answer her frantic knock. She lost her breath when she saw him, his beautiful, angel face and bare, taught chest.
“Forgive me,” she whispered. He grinned. Her heart sank with the rise of his smile. Perhaps this was going to be harder than she thought.
“Please come in.”
She walked inside and felt a pleasurable happiness in his room. Being surrounded by a place that was his, that held him in every inch of space made her want to stay there forever.
She faced him and saw him walking to a chair, where he picked up his robe and began to shrug it over his shoulders.
“Please.” Her voice was stronger than she thought it would be. He looked at her, his arms frozen in the air. “Don’t.”
She looked down at her hands. “I don’t ever want to see you hidden behind something proper.”
When she looked up at him again, he was bare-chested again.
“I am betrothed, Draco.” She hated herself.
She hated that it was what she had said.
“To someone who is not you.” Tears streamed from her eyes again. ‘The only thing worse than that is how low it makes me feel whenever I realize how true it is again.’
Draco walked over to her and put his fingers through her hair, brought his lips to her forehead.
‘I don’t want to, Draco. I don’t want anyone but you. And it cannot be so.’
They stood like that for a while. She let the beautiful warmth of his body so close excite her, and the calm her. She had to ask him, but she wanted him to understand as much as those moments allowed.
“Draco? Do you love me as much I think I love you? Do you…did you picture us together in your future? Did your heart rise at the thought of being together, as mine did?”
He looked into her eyes, and she understood the 'Yes' before he said it.
“I just needed to know that.” She let her heart get infected with this fact as she went to the door.
She loved her name when he said it. But how could she? She turned to him.
“Don’t go just yet.”
He turned away from her and walked over behind his couch by the fireplace where there were objects hidden beneath a red sheet. He pulled them away.
“I got these from the storage room downstairs in hopes you would come to me like this. Well, I had imagined you were…I mean, that you were still…”
She knew he meant she was still his. Her eyes took in the easel he stood next to as she drew closer. He had also gotten a small table to hold her paints and brushes.
She gently fingered the brushes. Her eyes traveled to the blank canvas.
“I think I will paint you.”
She wiped her eyes. Her eyes found him; he was smirking.
“How shall I be?”
She looked around the room and decided she liked how the light fell on the couch. She pointed to it. He walked over it and observed it. She shrugged off her cloak, only to realize she was wearing nothing but her white lace corset and sleeping gown. She wondered how it would make him feel.
Her eyes lifted to see him looking at her as she sat down behind the canvas. He smiled, and she realized what she felt.
“How should I be?” he asked again. “I mean, shall I wear my shirt, shall I lay down?”
“How ever you feel you should be. I will not look. Just… put yourself how you feel is right.”
She looked over the canvas for a moment, taking in the detail of the color, the texture, so she could find how to coax her subject from it. She looked over the paints, rolled up in soft cloth. She unrolled them all so their beauty and tone shown up at her.
She brought her eyes slowly around the easel to find Draco on the couch, lying on his side, his head tilted towards her. His body was bare. She wondered how he felt. She found his eyes and understood.
They were comfortable. Happy.
She smiled and picked up a small brush. She picked a dark blue and began to outline his body on the canvas.
She blushed as she took in every piece of his toned skin and body. She fell more in love with him as she copied his form into the painting.
She felt desire come over her with the blush. But she held it back. She let his beauty soak into her body and onto the canvas.
Holding on to every moment my eyes saw you
And the last time that I saw you
I felt so alive
She painted till her subject, her lover, was covering the canvas and her neck was sore from leaning forward. She sat back and admired the product she had created. She felt as though, for the first time in her life, she had placed the elegance and beauty from the subject into the painting.
“I’m finished,” she said, standing and smiling. He looked tired, his eyelids heavy, his body calm and relaxed.
She walked to the window on the opposite side of the room. Sitting in front of the fire had made her skin warm. She sat against the cool pane and let it cool her.
Draco sat up and looked back at her, his face bathed in fatigue.
“You look tired,” she said, softly. “I should go.”
“I don’t want you to.”
“I don’t either.”
“Stay with me.”
She looked at the painting for a long while. When her eyes returned to him, there were tears in them.
A/N=song is by me, called "alive" PLEASE leave me a review and lemme know what you guys think
Ginny’s wedding was in October. She would be leaving the school she had grown to love and all those within its walls in less than a month.
She was not ready for this.
Her heart wanted nothing more than to just stay here with her friends, and him just a midnight walk’s distance away. She did not care if it meant she would become a maid at some household, as long as she had him. And them.
But it was not to be. There were only gown fittings and last minute details to be worked out.
“I have only met him once. And now, I am going to be with him for the rest of my life.”
She cried softly with Anna in her room late one night. Violet was off getting them something to drink.
“These might be the last days that I see you, Anna.” She sniffed and took her friend’s small hand in hers. “I hope you find someone who will love you. Who you are happy with.”
The door creaked behind them and they turned to see Violet and Tybalt coming in.
“He met me at the edge of the forest. He brought this.” She held out a bottle of wine and the two crept in and joined them on the floor. Tybalt sat next to Ginny and put an arm around her.
“I heard mother telling the headmistress she was sorry you had been uncooperative.” He kissed the top of her head. “It’s going to be alright, Ginny. Violet and I will help you, even if mum and father do not.”
“Thank you.” She rested his head against his shoulder. “Tybalt, do you know anything about Salazar?”
“Only of his reputation. He is several years your senior and works in the royal ministry. His father was dark and known for his cold, bitter ways. I have heard Salazar is not much different. They are rich, Ginny. You will live in the most beautiful castle and have a dozen of your own personal maids. I pray for you, Ginny.”
They were quiet for a while as they passed around the wine bottle, each taking their desired fill.
“Do mother and father know of this reputation of his?” Ginny asked, her throat stinging and her eyes watering from the strong liquor.
“Not as much as they know how much his family gave them to have you.”
“He paid for me?!” Ginny shot up.
“I’m afraid that you are little more than a maid to him, Ginny, only you will not work and you will be the jewel hanging from his arm at every social gathering.”
“Blast, what a society!” Ginny wanted to cry and scream. And retch.
“It is not as though you cannot bend the rules, Ginny.” Violet smiled matter-of-factly at her. “Tybalt and I have.”
“You haven’t!” Her eyes grew wide. Violet merely nodded, smiled.
“You and Draco could do the same.”
Ginny’s face fell. She wondered what he was doing right now.
And it pained her even more to realize she did not know what he was doing.
That she may never know.
Violet’s idea had burned in her mind for the weeks leading up to the wedding and even at the wedding itself. As she kneeled there, before the minister and next to Salazar, she thought only of Draco and conspired all the ways she could be with him.
There was an orchestra. There was a fountain and food and wine. And there were hundred of people, all dressed in their finest silks and suits, all worn with a smile that Ginny was surely a result of the fine champagne.
She only met his eyes once; that brief moment before they pressed their faces forward and allowed their lips to meet.
After that, she became what she had been expecting for years. She rested her hand on his forearm and walked half a step behind him. They waltzed and paraded around for the mass of people.
Salazar spoke to her only long enough to introduce Ginny and her parents to his father. He briefly explained that his mother was out of the country and could not make it back in time for the wedding.
And then it was time to leave.
Ginny searched the crowd for her two friends. She found them, behind all the others, just barely visible atop all the others. The met her eyes, waved and gave sad smiles before letting them fall and allowing the tears to fall.
She returned them.
Salazar brought her to a rather large and magnificent carriage. She climbed inside and went to the farthest corner, where, to her benefit, she found herself in the dark, despite that it was early afternoon. She turned her face away as her husband climbed in and sat next to her.
She was silently thankful he did not speak to her the whole way.
They arrived a while later. Ginny peered out the door window at a large, ancient gray manor sitting atop a hill. Though the sun was shining on it, Ginny thought it looked the visage of a great, old and dreary man.
The carriage crunched to a stop at the front steps. Salazar got out in a business-like manor and the footman offered her a hand as she climbed out. The air was thick. The sun was running away to the sky opposite her, and she could not blame it.
She followed him dutifully. She took in the large entrance hall, the swords and buntings and banners hanging on the walls. There was a great staircase on one side of it and they went up it. Ginny’s feet clicked on the marble steps. She remembered how when she was little she would run up and down the stairs of her house in her mother’s shoes just to make that sound.
They walked down a long hall, dark green carpets leading the way. There was a large door at the end. Ginny understood before they got there that it was their room.
Salazar opened the door and stepped aside for her to come in. There was one window on the side of the room. There was a large bed and a magnificent rug underfoot. Salazar nodded at the bed as he began to shrug off his clothes. She understood.
“Let you hair down, too.” His voice was tough, worn.
She did as he told her. She turned away as she pulled the many layers of clothes from her body. She closed her eyes and tried to force him from her mind. But she could not help but feel that this was supposed to more ceremonious than this.
She turned to him a while later and found him walking towards her, his body not plump, but not tempting.
Not like Draco’s.
Her head throbbed. He came to her and ran his hands over her skin, touching her everywhere. His touch became harder, and Ginny was scared when she was pulled closer to him, close enough to feel him harden as he touched her.
He pulled her slowly to the bed. Her heart was pounding, but not with excitement. She lay down on her back; the sheets cool on her back. She rested her head back and stared at the ceiling.
He did not kiss her. He did not take notice that he was hurting her body with his hard movements. He panted and held himself above her. She kept her eyes closed.
When he was finished, it was dark out. Ginny sat up and vaguely took notice of him as he pulled a robe from a nearby chair and wrapped it around him. He walked from the room and spoke to one of the servants, ordering him to get food and wine.
Ginny slouched down on the floor and leaned against the bed while clutching her legs to her chest. She waited for a while for him to return.
She did not expect him to hold her, to ask if he had hurt her. But her blood boiled all the while he was gone.
She was not sure if she was expecting him to come back to her and make things better.
But the fact that he didn’t made her angry.
She heard his footsteps on the stairs a while later and she let the hot tears pour from her eyes. He came in and paused briefly as he took her in.
“I hate you,” she hissed.
Her cheek hurt where he had struck her, and when she looked at herself in the mirror, she saw a bright red cheek. She did not look in the mirror after that.
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It was nearly Christmastime when Ginny received a letter from her parents. The servant who gave it to her whispered to her that she should not show it to Salazar, and that if she wished to respond to the letter, she should give it to him.
“I will sneak it to the mailman and Salazar will never know. His first wife got herself a blackened eye for writing to her sister. I would be careful about your correspondences.”
“He has been married before?”
The young servant nodded.
“What happened? Why aren’t they married now?”
“She could not bear children, m’lady." He glanced around and then leaned in to whisper to her. "He sent her to Paris, among the whores and night ladies.”
Ginny’s throat shrank. She whispered a thank you to the servant and went to her study.
The one kind gesture Salazar had given her was that she had her own study. It was really the library, but she did not mind. There was a desk in the corner for her to write poetry or read. There was a tea table and two chairs. The entire outside wall was a window, so the room bathed in light and beautiful scenery.
She went to her desk and opened the letter, only to find it was not only from her parents. There were two letters inside:
Ginny, the first read. Your father and I hope you are doing well. We regret to inform you that your husband has denied us the permission to see you over the Christmas holidays, and we respect that. We will miss you. We know that you are being the proper wife to Salazar. We shall write again soon.
Her heart did not warm at their words. It burned when she read that Salazar had not let them see her. But the rest of their words were not of a parent’s; they might as well have been from her headmistress. She turned her attention to the second letter.
It’s Violet and Anna. Your brother asked your parents if he could send a letter with theirs and so, we’ve snuck it in. Oh, Ginny, we are thinking of you constantly. We’re missing you-our late night gatherings are not as much fun without you. It chills us to know that you are with that man. We saw Draco a few days ago, and he asked about you. He was most disappointed to hear that you had been married already. The two of us are required to stay at William’s for the holidays as both our families are going away without us. We are thinking of you, and please reply if you can!
Love, you’re two bests
Ginny found a tear of mixed emotions streaming down her cheek. She was thrilled to know her friends were thinking of her. But she was saddened to hear about Draco.
She pressed her eyes shut and allowed herself to think about him. His smile and the elation of her heart when she saw it.
She couldn’t help but to notice that his face was not as clear in her mind as it had once been.
Children do as their parents tell them. Sit up straight. Do not talk to your parent’s friends unless they speak to you. Do everything you are told and never object.
That was what Ginny had become. A child. Obedient and emotionless. She did not speak. She waited to be told what to do, and she never looked him in the eye.
She sat next to him during dinner. One night, he put his hand on hers to stop her from eating her desert- a beautiful white chocolate cake.
“I will not have a plump wife,” he said thickly, picking up his fork and eating his.
She could only glare at him in disbelief as a maid took her plate from her.
She hated herself for not being able to be stronger, to hold herself together. But during the nights she lay awake naked next to him while he snored in his sleep, she allowed herself to be weak.
She thought of her friends and of Draco.
She hated thinking of him.
She wanted to paint. She had not painted since the night she had painted him. Sitting in her study, she gazed out upon the beautiful mountains and thought she might try to paint them.
One of the maids helped her find some canvas and dyes. She paid the mailman a few coins to get her several paintbrushes.
She set herself up in her study. She looked out over the scene and took in every color and shade, every curve.
And she painted. She glanced at the white snow covering the moutians. Then she painted them. She could not control the speed of her brush, but she felt elated as she brought the scene to life on her canvas. She even painted the cold, December air into the image.
When she had finished, she was not ready to stop.
She set her brush down and wandered out into the hallway. She slowly made her way to the kitchen. It was a gray and bland room, small and tight. She put a pot of tea on the stove and while waiting for it to boil, helped herself to some of the cake she had been denied.
When the tea was ready, she set it on a plate and carried it carefully back up the small, narrow staircase to the hallway.
“Benjamin!” She turned to see a young boy chasing after a small ball that had gotten loose. His mother, one of the maids, hurried after him.
“If you had broken something, I would be fired!”
The small boy nodded in apology and picked up his ball.
Ginny’s eyes grew wide as she took in the young boy; his brilliant blonde hair and bright eyes.
“Mary?” Ginny hurried over. “May I paint a portrait of your son?”
Mary gazed at her for a moment. “I don’t think the master would like it.”
“He looks tired,” she said, admiring the boy. “Perhaps he could sleep on the couch in my study and I could paint him. He’d be out of your hair and out of trouble.”
“But the master…”
“I will take responsibility of it.”
Ginny smiled all the while she painted the angelic, sleeping boy. She loved his face and the innocence of it. His clothes were too big for his little body. He held his ball in his hands as he sighed himself to sleep.
She had barely sat back to admire her finished piece when Salazar burst into the study.
“What are you doing?” His eyes blared and she was more scared of his anger now than ever.
She stood quickly, folding her hands in front of her. “I am painting.”
He rushed over and looked at the canvas. Ginny now saw that her subject was sitting up on the couch, his ball clutched in his hands.
Salazar breathed through his nose as he tore the painting from the stand. He held it high above his head and ripped it in two. He stormed to the fireplace and threw it in.
Ginny’s heart broke. She could only look at the ground. How could this man be human?
“You are not to paint anymore.”
And with that he left.
“What does he do in his study?” she asked the servant who gave her the letter. “Why is the door always closed?”
“No one knows what he does. He has a man over ever few weeks and they disappear into that room. Once, when he was gone for a week, he left it opened, on accident, I suppose. Anyway, we peeked in and saw all kinds of things. There was a shelf of sticks, and when we picked them up, they vibrated. There were glass balls, like orbs, and pots with strange liquids in them.”
“That’s peculiar.” She was lost in thought for a moment. “Would you mind sneaking this to the mailman?”
She handed him her response to Violet and Anna. She hadn’t bothered to respond to her parents.
“Thank you. Chance, how old are you?”
“I am in my early twenties.”
“You are not married?”
“No, m’lady. I have grown up here; my mother worked here before me. She left some time ago.”
“Where did she go?”
“I’ve not an idea.”
“I am sorry, Chance. You must miss her.”
His eyes were dark, mysterious for a moment. “Yes. I do, m’lady.” He looked down and then met her eyes again. “The master requested you in your room, m’lady.”
He bowed and left her.
She entered the room to find it brightly lit with candles and her husband, bare skinned, standing in front of the window.
“It’s time for children.” He said, not looking at her. “Undress.”
It was in the middle of the night, after several hours of lying on her back and stiffly taking his movements, that he spoke to her.
“I am going away for a fortnight. You will surely be pregnant by then.”
The thought of his child inside of her sickened her.
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Ginny found herself lying awake that night, gazing out the window at the starry skies above the trees. She was running through every memory of William’s she could find in the corners of her mind.
The first time she saw Violet, several years before. Her friend had twice as many trunks as the rest of the girls. Her parents watched her as she took in the other girls and found Ginny.
“I have a doll who has the same color hair as yours,” she said, matter-of-factly to Ginny. “She’s friends with the blonde doll who looks like me. That means that we’re friends. I’m Violet Collins. Who are you?”
Ginny remembered she was slightly taken aback by this girl, but she nonetheless gave the girl her name.
She closed her eyes and smiled at the thought of her friend.
The following year, when the new girls were being dropped off, Ginny and Violet noticed a girl standing among a pile of trunks and bags. She was kissing her parents good-bye and then they hurried off, without helping their daughter bring her belongings to her room. Ginny and Violet rushed over to help her.
Anna was shocked that the two older girls were helping her.
From then on, they had been closer than anyone else in the world.
Ginny’s heart grew hot with excitement. Why hadn’t she realized it before?
She looked over at her snoring husband before rolling over and forcing herself to sleep with a smile on her face.
Ginny lined up with the maids and servants when Salazar was putting his trunk in the carriage. He looked around at everyone and then stepped towards Ginny.
“No wine or meat; it’s not good for our young one.” She let him kiss her rather forcefully before he disappeared into the carriage.
Once inside, Ginny looked around at all the maids and servants, each going their different ways.
“Um, excuse me, everyone?”
They all stopped and turned, some looking a little surprised as they had never heard her speak before.
“Well, since Salazar is gone, I am head of the house, and um…well, I am going away for a few days. I’d like you all to keep that quiet. But I also want you to enjoy yourselves. You may leave or enjoy the house, but please make it look innocent when he returns. Brigham?”
The stable boy, who was heading for the basement, turned to her.
“Would you please bring the small carriage around front in a few moments? I will just pack and be down shortly.”
As she raised the hem of her dress to walk up the stairs, many looked at her as though she were ludicrous, whereas some whooped and cheered.
The ride away from the castle was considerably more enjoyable and shorter than the one to it. She asked the driver to let her off a ways from the school. She slipped into the woods and waited for a few hours for darkness to conceal her.
She gazed off over the lake where Draco was. She hadn’t decided if she would go see him; she didn’t know if she could handle it.
As she trekked through the woods, she tore her dress and saw that it was dirtied around the hem. She would have to ask the maid to wash it carefully so Salazar wouldn’t see the stains.
She snuck through the gardens and was lost again in the seductive scent. She kept a sharp eye on each window.
She made it to the dorms with only having to avoid one of the kitchen maids. She heard a few girls in the dining hall finishing their dinner, but proceeded to a certain dorm instead, despite that her stomach ached with hunger.
She knocked on Violet’s door and heard her get up from her bed to answer.
Ginny had to shush her friend’s scream when she saw her. Ginny rushed in and closed the door. Violet threw her arms around Ginny’s neck. Ginny noticed Anna over Vee’s shoulder. She waited till Vee released her to hug Ginny.
“What are you doing here?” Anna asked.
“Salazar is away, and I was dying to see you two, so I snuck away.”
“How is everything going?” Violet asked, sitting close to her friend.
“Miserably.” Her stomach grumbled. “Do you have any food?”
Anna and Violet snuck down to the dining hall and gathered the last few sweets from the maids who were clearing them away and brought them back to her.
“He doesn’t let me eat sweats. He wants me to get pregnant and he will not let me paint.”
“Ginny, we’re so sorry. We miss you terribly.” Anna smiled a sad smile at her friend.
“Tell me about everything here. How are the wedding preparations going, Violet?”
“Wonderfully.” Vee’s face lit up as she described her wedding dress to Ginny.
She felt more at home and more comfortable here with her friends than she had since she left. They laughed and gossiped as though there was never a long period of absence.
After a while, they grew tired. Anna and Violet decided to make up a second and third bed in Anna’s room so they could stay together. Violet snuck some extra linens inside and they laid awake for a while; Anna sang to them and Violet and Ginny listened in peaceful bliss.
But Ginny could not sleep. She stared at the ceiling long after Anna’s voice had faded into her stupor. She knew she would have tomorrow and a few days to see him, but something felt right about now.
I’ve gone to see Draco, if I’m not here when you wake.”
She waited outside his door for a while for reasons she did not understand. Perhaps part of her questioned what they had and if it was still alive.
But she knocked nonetheless.
And all was quiet.
She knocked again.
She sighed and turned away. Her feet pulled her down the hallway into the darkness.
Until she heard his door creak open. “Ginny?”
She did not turn for a moment. Her blood was pumping faster than ever. She had forgotten how her name sounded on his lips. She smiled and turned.
He leaned his back against the doorframe, and then his head. His chest was bare again. The light from the fireplace inside his room cast an orange-yellow glow over him. She was happy even if that moment were to be the she spent in his presence.
“You say that when you visit me. Why?”
She thought for a moment, looking at her hands. “I guess my company might displease you.”
“It could never.” His voice was soft. “Please. I cannot bare you being so far from me. Come in.”
She followed him inside. The familiar feeling of comfort and excitement of his room filled her, pulling her into a blissful oblivion. She took in the beautiful smell of fire and him. She looked around at the paintings and got lost in them again.
“How are you, Ginny? It’s good to see you.” He smiled at her.
“I’m sorry to intrude like this, especially so late at night. But I had to see you.”
“I’m glad you came you came. Life has been so dull without you.”
She let her heart rise with this information. “How is school?”
“It is well. Challenging. Consuming. How is…Salazar?”
She did not look at him. “Horrible. His suffocates me; I have no freedom. Let’s not talk about him.” She smiled at him. “I’ve missed you. More than I can say.”
“You know why?” He smiled maliciously.
“No.” She was hesitant to hear his response.
“Because you love me.” He grinned and folded his arms over his chest.
She blushed and looked away. “I am not supposed to love.”
“But you do.”
“And do you?” Her voice was a little harsh to his taunting.
“Like nothing else.”
He tilted his head and grinned, making her heart go crazy. Why did he have to be so damn beautiful?
“Say what, Ginny?”
She stepped towards him, her eyes never leaving his as she slowly made her way to him. “Say you love me.”
She stopped when her face was just in front of his, his breath warm on her face, her body heating to their closeness.
“I love you, Ginny.”
He pulled his hand around the side of her neck, below her hairline, and brought her smoothly to him. Their lips melted together in an emotion neither had felt in a long time; passion.
That face of yours burns brightly in my head
I’m breathing in every word you’ve said
Those eyes of yours put tears in mine
I’m staring at you like I’m going blind
If it had been any other way, Ginny would have pushed him away, given him a tearful goodbye and rushed to return to her duties as a good, faithful wife.
But the temptation of momentary happiness and ardor took over her completely.
She instead pulled him closer until their bodies entwined into one. She held him as though he were trying to escape. But he could never. Both were lost in the other.
Draco pulled her to the stairway and turned her so he could untie her corset. She closed her eyes and took in the way his fingers brushed her lace under dress, just a breath away from her bare skin. She released a held-in breath as her torso was freed from the bounding material. But when she turned and took in his lustful gaze, her breath was lost again.
He led her up the stairs and pushed open the heavy door. She barely took in the green carpet and black-sheeted bed before he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her impossibly close to him and pushed his lips feverishly to hers. He pulled himself away a moment later, but only far enough away so that he could gently pull the lace off her shoulders and down her body. He stripped himself bare, too.
Ginny’s breath was an excited unsteadiness. Draco’s skin was smooth, tempting under her fingers. She brought her lips to his shoulders and left soft kisses along his neck. She held her lips over his and looked into his eyes, only to find they were closed in sweet oblivion. He opened them and she felt like an angel. He pulled her to him and they were gone again.
They whispered sweet “I Love You’s” in between breaths. Draco held her head as he kissed her neck hungrily. His hips moved into hers in a strong, but loving, passionate rhythm. His tempo set her body on fire with pleasure.
She had never felt so alive.
She woke the next morning to an empty bed. When she rolled over, she saw that he had drawn the curtains and the room was bathed in light. She couldn’t remember ever seeing the sunlight when she was here, or at William’s.
She heard his footsteps coming up the stairs and then watched him appear in the doorway. He smiled at her.
“You look so beautiful like that.”
She lied back on the pillows and let the sheets hang loosely on her body. She loved being seductive to him.
She glued her eyes to him as he shrugged off his coat to reveal his uniform. His eyes snuck to her body several times and she didn’t hide her blushes.
“I want to have you painted like that,” he said, climbing on the bed and inching closer to her. They were both aware that ever time he moved closer, he was pulling the sheets away from her body.
Finally, he was level with her and the sheets were curved around her waist. She took his hand and placed it on her stomach. He spread his fingers and moved his hand slowly over her skin.
“You are not skipping a class, are you?”
“I would, but it’s lunch.”
“Good.” She put her head back and closed her eyes, her body loving the feel of his hand on her skin.
He brought his lips to her stomach and gently kissed her there. His motions became more passionate, then, and she responded.
And they were bare skinned again, together. And he was inside her, and they were kissing and loving each other in a perfect, graceful rhythm.
It was bliss all over again. Their bodies rubbed together. His strong form was forceful, but gentle on her tender, loving one. They moaned and sighed together. She pushed her head back in pleasure, and with a smirk on his face, he leaned in and devoured her bare neck.
They lied together for a while afterward, taking in what they had done. Ginny lay on her back, but rested her head on his chest.
“We should not have done this,” he said quietly, looking out the window. The sun had faded, and now it was just the bright gray sky outside.
“What?” She panicked. “Do you regret it?”
“Of course not.” He looked at her with a serious face. “It’s just…” He looked away. “You’re married. To someone else.”
She turned her head away, too. Her mind wandered over what had happened. Was it real?
“Life here has been so dull without you…” Was she just a cure to his boredom? Did he really love her the way she loved him? Did she love him, or did she just cling to some hope that there was happiness outside of her husband and the chains he bound her in?
“You do not love me, do you Draco?” Her voice, like her heart, was bitter.
He sat up and propped himself up on his elbows. “I love you more than anything, Ginny.”
“How do you know?” She sat up, too. This time, she held the sheets around her.
“Because.” He looked away and then looked back at her. “Each time my father and mother present a beautiful woman in front of me and tell me that I should marry her, I find some excuse to say ‘No.’ I never knew what that was until last night when I took your face in my hands and kissed you with more passion than I had. It was because of you.”
“It cannot be, Draco. I am married.”
“Do you love me?”
“I am supposed to love someone else!”
“But you cannot! You can’t Ginny, because he is a cold bastard! And because you love me!”
“I do, Draco! But…”
“Draco, when we met, we connected over the fact that we hate this society we are forced to live in. And I think we still both hate it. But where is that hatred going to get us? Right back here! We cannot love each other, Draco. How do we even know that we love each other? We have barely gotten to know each other…”
“I know you better than your husband does.”
“But still! How is that to say that we are in love?”
“Are you happy? Are you happy with me? Yes, you are, you cannot hide that. Does your husband make you happy? Like hell, he does not. So is that love? Ginny, if being with me and being as happy as you are isn’t love, than what the hell is it?”
She could not deny it. She opened her mouth and then closed it. She let a single tear roll down her cheek. “You are right. But still, Draco, what are we to do about it? What can we do about it?”
“You could leave him.”
“He would have me hunted down, beaten and killed.”
“We’ll work on the finer details later.”
She laughed as her stomach grumbled. She realized it had been a day plus since she had eaten a proper meal.
“I’ll go get you some food.”
She watched him go, then stood and dressed.
“Here you go.” He set a basket of food down on the table in the common area of his room. He opened it and pulled out two plates, and then began to withdraw foods.
“You are breathless.”
“Well,” he smiled. “There is news around the dining hall. This afternoon, there will be an assembly in town. Apparently it is some big to-do. All the students from here are required to go, and from what I’ve heard, most of the young ladies from William’s will be there as well. Businessmen and merchants from London are coming as well.”
“Wow, I wonder what it’s all about…”
“Come with me!”
“I shall. But I must see if I can find Violet and Anna there as well. I must say good-bye.”
“What do you mean?”
He sat down after filling the plates and poured wine.
“I am leaving this evening. I asked the footman to meet me outside of town tonight. I must return home.”
He nodded and we ate.
She snuck out after the castle had cleared. She followed them from a path near the edge of the woods. The town was a ways down the hill. Ginny found his blonde hair among the hundreds of men marching towards town. She watched him like he was walking to his death.
About a half hour later, they saw the edge of the great city. The white and gray buildings struck out from the dark green mountains that closely surrounded it.
Ginny trailed behind the men for a while through the city before they came to an opening and thinned out. She ducked behind the columns of a nearby building and scanned the crowd. She found a large group of girls accompanied by her stern looking headmistress.
“Vee,” she hissed, sharply. She had snuck up behind her friend and gently tugged at her elbow. Violet turned and, when her eyes found Ginny, smiled. Together they ducked back into the shadows.
“How was your evening?”
“Sorry, did you get my note?” Vee nodded. “It was wonderful. What’s with the headmistress?”
“I do not know. She has been short tempered and anxious all morning. Something about this gathering has her bun in twist…”
“Vee, I came to say-”
But she was cut short by the call of a gentleman.
“Welcome, everyone!” Vee and Ginny pushed their heads around the pillar.
“Vee, where’s Anna?”
“She’s back at the Academy. With her parents.” Their eyes locked and Ginny understood what that meant.
“But she’s still so young!” Ginny whispered.
Violet gave her a sad shrug. Together, they turned their attention back to the crowd. Ginny could now see a dozen or so gentlemen standing on a riser at the front of the crowd. Ginny scanned them, taking in each face.
“What?” Violet followed her gaze to Salazar. She gasped and turned back to Ginny.
‘Thank you all for joining us today.” The young boy who spoke looked no older than Ginny and Violet. “For the past few years, there have been many experiments and trials. Today, the Cunningham Chamber of England is honored to bring forth Salazar Slytherin and Godric Gryffindor to discuss these experiments.”
There was a polite round of applause and Salazar stepped forward, as did a handsome brunette, much younger than Salazar. He spoke before Salazar did.
“Salazar and I have discovered something in our very everyday presence that will most likely change the course of our society for years to come.”
He paused and looked back at Salazar, who took a step forward, folded his hands behind him and said,
There was a momentary pause before everyone lost control and all went to chaos. Some people shouted at those standing on the riser, while others simply turned to those standing around them and began speaking, shaking their heads.
“People!” Godric raised his hands and the silenced some. “In addition to Salazar and myself, two others have helped us come to this discovery.”
Everyone looked around for a moment before Salazar spoke
“Helga Hufflepuff, of the Cunningham Chamber…”
Several gasps followed this and all heads turned towards the woman who stepped up onto the riser to join the others.
“And Rowena Ravenclaw…”
But the rest was drowned out by yells of protest and anger. Ginny was looking around to find out who this was, but Vee already knew.
Ginny turned to see their headmistress pushing through the crowd in addition to attempting to get her students rounded up.
“Come, Ginny, we’ll go see Anna once before you go.”
They turned and Tybalt was pushing his way towards them. His eyes found his sister.
“Ginny?!” He laughed. “I did not know Salazar brought you…”
“He did not, Tybalt, I came her on my own. We’re going back to the castle and then I am going home…”
“You better put this on.” Draco had forced his way to them and handed her a dark cloak. “It will hide you. We’re going to William’s then?”
Vee led them through a path in the woods and they managed to get to the Academy before the others. Anna and her parents were walking around the courtyard with a man who looked to be in his early twenties.
“She’s barely sixteen,” Ginny sighed. The four of them sat in the window seat of window on the third floor, which conveniently overlooked the gardens.
“Do you know the boy?” Violet asked.
“He one of the sons of the Chamber men,” Draco said. “My father had him round a couple of times for dinner. He’s a real sour apple.”
“Your father’s in the Chamber?” Ginny asked, surprised. Draco nodded.
“Godric’s father is, too,” Tybalt added. “Yes, he’s in our class.” He must have seen the question in Vee’s eyes.
“I wonder what will happen now,” Violet said. “This is so earth shattering. Magic? Witchcraft? Not in this society. It cannot happen.”
Ginny was lost in thought for a moment before there were voices rising up the stairwell.
“They must be returning,” Vee said, standing up.
Aside from the sound of dozens of footsteps and hushed whispers, there was not but one voice.
“I told you I did not want any credit! I cannot have this, what these girls’ parents say! I’ll be out of a job! Oh, you damn fool, Salazar…”
“She’s not happy,” Vee said, looking at Ginny. “She’ll be kicked out in a week.”
The girls were ordered to go to their dorms.
“Come on!” Vee said, ushering them to her room.
“No, Vee, I have to go! I can sneak out while they argue in the parlor. I’m playing with fire here…”
Vee nodded, then rushed forward to give her friend a hug. “I’ll miss you, and please do try and write!”
“I will, and I’ll visit again soon. Tell Anna I love her and I hope everything will work out!”
She said goodbye to Tybalt and was preparing to give a pleasant and tearful goodbye to Draco, but the other girls were coming behind them too quickly.
“I will try and come back soon, Draco. Please do not stop thinking of me. Your body and soul are the only blood in my veins right now, Draco…”
He cupped her face in his hands and brought his lips passionately to hers.
And then she was gone.
To every moment
My eyes saw you
And the last time that I saw you
I felt so alive
“You said you would be back weeks ago,” she said to him, coming down the stairs as he arrived.
“Are you pregnant?” were the first words he spoke to her.
She shook her head. She did not what was supposed to happen or how she was supposed to feel if she were to be pregnant. She simply knew she was not.
“We will try again.” He walked past her and up the stairs. “Godric and the others will be coming this afternoon with a reporter for the Flier. Then, we are going into town for a ball. I expect you to be radiant.”
And he was gone.
He did not introduce her to the others when they came an hour later. She already knew her headmistress, whom she bowed her head to as she entered. Godric came next, and he smiled and kissed her hand politely. Helga came shortly thereafter and gave Ginny a polite smile.
And then they retreated to the sitting area and Ginny’s presence was no longer required. She dragged her feet to her study, but could find nothing to do. Chance came and gave her tea.
“Sit with me, won’t you Chance?”
He looked around, unsure of what to do.
“It’s alright, Chance, I simply want to talk with a human being.”
He smiled and sat down. “The master can be cold from time to time.”
“Quite.” She offered him some tea, and then poured herself a cup. “Chance, have you ever fancied to get away from here?”
Chance looked at her, an innocent, childish look on his face. “Oh, yes, m’lady. Many a time.”
“Where do you imagine you’d go?”
“I would want to go to the ocean. Perhaps someplace warmer.”
“With Isabella?” Ginny smiled from behind her teacup and enjoyed the shocked look his face for a moment. “I’ve noticed you two together. You’re a lovely pair.”
“M’lady, it is not like that…”
“Not to the master. Chance, understand that I am no different from you. I have my own fancies, and I despise my husband as much as anyone here does, even though I’m the only one who admit it.”
Chance smiled. “M’lady, there is nothing we can do to displace ourselves from here. He is far too popular and rich for anyone here to escape him.”
“Ah, but you are mistaken, Chance.” She placed her cup down and leaned in so they could whisper. “I have escaped. Right under his eyes. I have a love, Chance, just as you and Isabella do, but not for that snake. And I dream of being with him, I dream of our lives together. That is an escape.”
“But dreaming can only go on for so long.”
“I know.” Ginny sighed and leaned back in her chair. “Do not worry, Chance. I will come up with a grand scheme and we will be whisked away from this place.”
“I am anxious to hear what it is, M’lady.”
“Hmm. As am I.”
Ginny wandered out into the entrance hall a while later, wondering if it was time for her to begin getting ready for the ball. But she found that the manor was eerily quiet.
She glanced out the large window in the dining room and noticed the foursome gathered in the gardens. She casually strolled up and peered around the pane to see Salazar half-kneeling on the grass and talking-
To a snake.
Ginny had to squint her eyes to make sure she was certain of what she was seeing. The snake slithered around his feet and his lips were moving as though he were conversing with the being.
He pointed off towards Ginny’s left and the snake scurried off into the distance and out of sight. The others chattered excitedly and Salazar looked up, grinned maliciously when he met Ginny’s gaze.
Ginny was standing stone still as the maid pulled the red and black silk around her body and tightened it. It took several minutes for the dress to fit perfectly on her form. The maid turned away and then began fixing Ginny’s hair.
There was a knock on the powder room door.
“Come in,” Ginny said, quietly, thinking it was Salazar. It was the headmistress.
“May I speak with you, Ginny?”
She nodded and motioned for the maid give her the lip paint and then she left.
“How are you, Mrs. Slytherin?”
She winced. “Please, call me Ginny.”
“I do not blame you. Your husband is impossible.”
Ginny looked around at her, shocked.
“I did not want to be a part of this whole thing.” She sat down and Ginny kept her eyes on her. “I didn’t really do anything. I merely provided a few phrases from ancient languages and they flicked their little wands-those stick things- and they thought it was brilliance!”
“It certainly is quite the discovery.”
“Indeed. The Chamber is already offering the wands to the public for people to try. They don’t even know how to use them properly!”
She sighed and then looked over Ginny. “That color is awful. Too dark.”
“Salazar requested it,” she said, looking down at her hands.
Ginny was shocked again. “Well,” she managed to say. “We are women. We are not equal.”
“Oh, but, Ginny! We are! Don’t you see! This whole magic idea was credited to two men and two women-Equal! This may be a new idea in more way than just one!”
As the headmistress left, Ginny felt silly for not realizing this earlier.
It was drizzling when Ginny stepped down from the carriage and took her husband’s arm at the gates of the House of the Chamber. She did not concern herself with the fact that the rain was probably smudging her make-up.
Ginny had never been to a formal ball like this; dressed up and strolling with her hand on her husband’s arm. Certainly she had dreamed that she would go to these occasions weekly. She had imagined herself considerably more content and excited than she presently felt.
Inside, the atmosphere was dramatically different. It was warm and bright, the fires and candelabras gave the room a pleasant feeling to it.
Ginny followed Salazar dutifully as he shook hands with and spoke to several people. She wasn’t even an afterthought. She was not mentioned, nor introduced. A few looked at her as though expecting to speak to her, but Salazar wouldn’t allow it.
They were seated at a long table at the front of the room. The other guests followed suit at smaller, scattered tables. The violins and piano slowed to a quiet serenade as the food was served. Ginny hardly ate; she wasn’t the least bit hungry. Her back was warm, she felt as though she were being scrutinized.
An hour later, after the plates had been cleared away and the wine and champagne glass refilled, Godric stood up and addressed the crowd.
“Well! It certainly has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. We understand that our discovery has shocked all, but we do not want to cause fear; more curiosity. We welcome all those who want to embrace this idea with open arms, and encourage all to follow suit. For your enjoyment this evening, we have several volunteers to demonstrate the powers of magic. Now, if you look around and find all those in red, and now, hold up your wands, lads!”
Around the room, several men held up the sticks Ginny had seen in Salazar’s study. All had expressionless faces.
“These men can perform tricks for you that will no doubt change our daily lives one day very soon. And on that note…You all know that Mrs. Ravenclaw is the delightful headmistress at William’s Academy for Young Ladies. Well now is as good a time as any to announce that, in order to educate the youth of our country in the skills and arts of magic, William’s Academy and Hogwarts Academy for the Military are hereby combining.
From now on, all will attend one school; Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
Ginny turned in a most improper manner to the table behind her and found her headmistress waiting for her argument.
“Ginny,” she leaned around her chair to speak in a low tone to her. “This is the only way to make this whole society balance out; now, women can study magic just as men can!”
Ginny’s heart still felt heavy with anger that her school was to be no longer. She turned back to the scornful eyes of her husband. She looked away and let her mind take in this new information.
And then she saw him.
She was mildly surprised he was here. But then she realized he was standing with a man who looked considerably like him, but years older, and she knew this was his father. She remembered him telling her his father was on the Chamber.
She stared at him for a while. She grew more content by the minute as she watched him standing silently next to his father.
A while later, Ginny’s arm was being tugged and she stood up dutifully to take her husband’s arm. He strolled over to a nearby count. They began talking deeply about the collaboration.
“Ginny.” She knew the sweetness of the whisper behind her could only belong to a single person. She dropped Salazar’s arm casually and he turned to watch her. She made for the table a few feet away, where there were self-serve beverages. She took up a napkin and began dabbing her hand, as though she had something on her precious skin. Salazar’s gaze turned back to the count.
Draco came up beside her and began pouring himself a drink.
“Could you excuse yourself to the powder room and meet me on the balcony upstairs?”
“Of course,” she muttered, putting the napkin down and returning to her husband. She waited for him to stop talking to the count, which took several minutes.
“I need to use the powder room.” She paused and took in his stern face, before deciding to add, innocently, “Is that alright?”
He nodded and watched her go towards the hallway at the back of the room.
She turned towards the powder room, but ducked back and darted for the stairs with as much speed as the heavy gown would allow.
The balcony was dark. She felt his presense, but could not see him. She strolled over to a nearby archway, which gave sight to the ballroom below. She stood half-hidden behind a bulky mahogany curtain.
“He won’t even let you speak.” His voice was soft, smooth. She still could not see him. She pretended to be looking over the crowd below.
“Not all gentlemen are as perfect as you are, my Draco.”
She heard him laugh a little.
“No other woman is as divine as you are.”
She blushed and struggled to keep her composure.
“Have you painted in a while?”
“No. He was livid when I tried to paint once before. I haven’t dared to try since.”
“You left before I could return the painting you did of me.”
“You still have it?” Her eyes still scanned the ball from her hidden perch.
“I’ve been wanting to return it to you.”
“You don’t want it?” She almost laughed. He did.
“No. I have no use for it, I am not that arrogant.”
“I should like to have your picture with me. I will have to hide it, of course.”
“I could send it.”
“Yes, please do. One of the servants is my secret corresponding coordinator. Could you address it from Mr. and Mrs. Weasley?”
“Now, come out of the shadows. The mystery of your whereabouts is not as intriguing as your silky voice, but I want to look into your eyes.”
“I might not be able to.”
“Come into the shadows.”
She took a step back and there was only light on her left side. Her vision was blocked by darkness.
“Why wouldn’t you be able to?”
His voice was suddenly close, a centimeter from her ear. “Because it is harder now than ever to look into the eyes of what I desire, but cannot keep.”
“I thought we were running away together.” She smiled.
“It is not that simple anymore.”
“Why not?” She was not sure she wanted to hear the answer, but she needed to.
“I am betrothed.”
“No!” A scream fought in her throat to escape. “Draco!”
“You are mine!”
“And you are mine, but you are married and I will be soon!”
She turned away from him, suddenly not wanting to be close to him. She didn’t want to have this argument again.
“You know what I have learned about marriage, Draco? It is so materialistic, so unreal. Your husband can strike you and you are still married the next morning. You can be forbidden to enjoy your own pleasures, and yet you are expected to smile. Will you do to your wife what Salazar does to me? What does that make us, both of us, if we are to live in that kind of situation? Misery, Draco, that’s all marriage really is. And if no one stops it, this world will destruct because it cannot go on without some bloody shred of happiness! Everyone falls into the step of the damn society. But I would run away with you, Draco, right now if you wanted to.”
She didn’t speak, but rather turned and walked back to the ball.
“Ginny.” Salazar offered her shall as they were among the last to leave. “We are going to stay at the Marchiote up the street with the other Chamber members. I have some meetings tomorrow and I do not want to go all the way back to the Manor.”
She nodded and let him put the shall over her shoulders. She was confused by this small kind gesture. Together they followed the Chamber members outside to the carriages.
The air was refreshingly cool and damp after being inside a stuffy room all evening. Ginny felt her eyes grow heavy as the temperature reminded her how exhausting the evening had been. She found Draco and his father as they climbed into the carriage ahead of them.
The grand Marchiote took Ginny’s breath away when they strolled into the entrance hall. The other Chamber members seemed oblivious to the glorious chandeliers and gold plated statues.
“Come, Ginny. Our room is this way.” Salazar held her elbow and pulled in the direction of a nearby hallway. She turned her head slightly and found Draco’s gaze just as they were turning the corner. She fell a half step behind her husband, pulled an earring out and dropped it to the ground.
At the end of the hall, Salazar stopped and a lobby boy opened the door for them.
“Oh, dear.” Ginny reached up to her ear. “Salazar, I’ve lost my earring.”
“Let the lobby boys find it.”
“No, I think I see it,” she said, pointing up the hall and walking towards it. “Just there.”
She could feel his eyes on her as she walked back down the hall, her eyes straight ahead where Draco and his father were entering their room, right where her earring was. Draco saw her and she motioned to the floor by his foot.
“I believe I dropped something, there, by your foot.”
Draco looked over her shoulder towards Salazar and then back at Ginny as he bent down to pick up the jewel. He straightened and extended his hand to her.
She could feel the parchment under the earring as she brushed her hand against his. She held his gaze for a moment; he was looking at her from the bottom of his eyes, his head titled back slightly. She brought the earring and the parchment to her stomach and tucked the note inside a crease in the dress fabric.
Ginny sipped coffee while watching her husband sleep. She had to wake up a little, but she also needed to give her husband an hour or so to slip into a deep stupor.
Finally, she set the cup down and slowly made her way to the door.
She slipped out into the hallway, which was only lit by the lights from the lobby.
“You took your time, love.” She could hear a smile in his voice. She glanced down the hallway to make certain they were alone as she closed the door behind her.
“I had to make sure he was asleep.” She turned to find his eyes, only to discover he was in the shadows again. “You love to hide on me.”
“You think it’s sexy.”
She laughed and bowed her head. “Indeed.”
His hand found hers and together they disappeared into the darkness.
“We cannot be perceptive any longer.”
She peered out the window at the lake they had sat next to so many months before when they first met. Only now, they were sitting in an abandoned hallway of a grand hotel, each promised to someone else.
“We have to runaway.”
“Why not? We’ll just slip away before they awake and take to the sea.”
“Draco, that’s too obvious. If we’re to do this properly, we should bring others. Else, we’ll be too easily connected. They will know.”
“Who do you think we should bring with us?”
“Violet and my brother. Anna and…”
“James. They are pathetically in love and Anna is betrothed.”
“Perfect. And my servants.”
“Because there are helpless lovers there as well.”
“Alright. You go back to your house tonight. Gather them and whatever you want to bring with you. Take them to the docks out by the South Port. Hide them there, and meet me with Anna and Violet there.”
“Yes. You’ll get my brother and James?”
They grinned at each other for a while. Ginny felt giddy inside.
“Where will we go?”
“Anywhere. I’ve heard Italy is breath-taking.”
“There is one more thing we must do. Tonight.”
He took her to one of the abandoned rooms after whispering something to one of the lobby boys.
“What are we doing?” she asked, looking around the darkened room.
He spun her around and held his lips above hers. His whisper was a warm breath on her pleading lips.
“Making us eternal.” And he captured her lips in his.
There was a soft knock on the door a while later. Ginny, who had been resting her head on Draco’s bare chest, sat up suddenly.
“It’s alright,” Draco whispered, sitting up and placing his hand on her back. “It’s a painter. I asked the lobby boy to go fetch him.”
He walked stiffly to the door and let the man in.
“Thank you, Jacob. I understand this is late…”
“Not to worry, Mr. Malfoy. Your family has been good to me.”
He took no notice of Ginny and Draco’s nakedness. Draco smiled at Ginny’s bewildered face as he sat down on the bed next to her.
“I’ve got to light some candles; this light is horrible.”
Ginny and Draco watched Jacob set up his easel and arranged the room to his liking.
“I think it’d be best if you two sat over here.”
Ginny, wrapped in a dark red sheet, and Draco moved to a ring of candles where a couch sat in the middle. He sat down and she sat against him.
“Excellent. Now hold as still as you can. Draco if you’ll look down at her face, and Ginny, is it? Ginny will you look down at the ground…Perfect. Here we go now.”
Ginny and Draco admired the painting as the sun was coming up over the lake.
“I should get to the Manor. I have little time before he realized I am away. How will we take this with us?” She asked.
“Ah, I know a charm!” Draco pulled out a stick from his cloak, with lay on the floor.
Draco said something odd and the painting folded itself into a small square the size of a hand.
“Isn’t it? Alright, off you go, now. You know what you have to do? Good, I will see you tonight, there is a cargo ship taking off around five. Can you do it by then?”
They dressed quickly. Ginny did not tie her nightdress tightly. She turned and pulled his face to hers and kissed him with every ounce of passion she had.
“Alright.” She pulled away, breathless. “Five o’clock, then.”
She pulled open the door. “Ginny?”
“Yes?” She stepped out into the hallway and began tying her dress tighter.
“I love you.”
She paused for a moment, unaware of everything. She took in his face and felt hers grow warm. He stepped out of the room as well and closed the door.
“I love you, too.” She had never said those words before. They were strange on her tongue, but she liked how sweet they tasted.
A harsh voice pulled her attention towards the end of the hallway.
Her heart dropped.
***last chapter coming in a bit!***
ReViEw PleAse!! You guys are the reason I write and it means the world to me to hear what you think!!!!!
She stared at them in disbelief.
“Ginny.” Her mother gave her a hard look as she approached her daughter. “Who is this man?”
She didn’t look back at Draco. Her mind searched for an emotion that would help her be strong now.
“What are you doing here?” She asked them, her mind still in limbo.
“Who is this man, Ginny? Where is Salazar?”
“I asked you what you are doing here.”
She realized at that moment that she would most likely never lay eyes on her parents again. Her mind wondered for a moment if she should act nicer to them.
“Your father and I have come to argue with the Chamber about this magic nonsense, along with hundreds of others arriving today. Now, who is this man?”
Her mother’s stern eyes and pursed lips reminded Ginny of her youthful days when her mother would look at her much in the same ways when Ginny misbehaved.
“Some one you’d never approve of.” Ginny ducked her head down and turned around. Her eyes met Draco’s and together they began down the hall, away from her parents.
“Ginny! This is not expectable behavior!” She could hear the disapproval in her mother’s voice even if she could not see it in her face. Draco and Ginny picked up their pace slightly.
“Ginny! Listen to your mother! Get back here and explain yourself!” Her father’s voice was boisterous enough Ginny was sure half the guests could hear it.
“Ginny Slytherin! You are disgracing us! This is unacceptable!”
Now Ginny was sure everyone could hear them. Indeed, when Ginny stopped and turned around, she saw several people gathered in the hallway to see what was happening.
“Ginny? What the hell is going on?” His face was red as he pushed his way through the crowd. “Who the hell is that?”
Ginny shot at a look at Draco, who grabbed her hand and pulled her down the hallway.
They broke into a run. Ginny’s feet had never carried her faster. But being next to Draco gave her wings, and she ran swiftly towards their lives together.
And away from her parents and her husband; the life she had never really lived.
They broke out of the hotel through a back door and found themselves in a narrow alleyway.
“Draco, I don’t have much time! He’ll have me hunted down. I’ll never make it to the bloody Manor and get everyone out of there!”
Draco looked around the alleyway, his cloak billowing as he turned frantically. His eyes found a broom standing against a door opposite where they were standing. He rushed towards it and picked it up.
“I think…I think you might be able to fly this…”
“What? Are you mad?” She was panicking now. They couldn’t let their plan fall apart.
She watched in disbelief as Draco pulled out that stick from his robes and set the broom on the ground.
“Do you trust me on this, Ginny?” He looked at her and just like every other time he did, she melted.
“Yes. O-of course.”
He waved the stick and muttered another strange phrase. The broom levitated slightly.
“I think it worked!”
“Brilliant, Draco! Where did you learn that?”
“We had to learn a few spells to impress people. The Chambermen, I mean.”
“Those words and the wand movements. C’mon, we need to get going. We’ll go up to the castles together. Then you go to the Manor and hurry back to the docks.”
She nodded. He swung one leg over the broom and straddled it. She did the same. She grasped on to his cloak as he kicked off from the ground and they were thrust into the air.
She turned back and saw her headmistress in the alleyway. She stared up at them and smiled. Ginny grinned back.
But she jerked her arm at just the wrong moment and Draco’s cloak shook slightly. She gasped as she watched the small, folded up canvas fall to the ground.
The headmistress rushed forward and picked it up from the ground.
Ginny was about to instruct Draco to turn around when she saw Salazar rushing out from the same door she and Draco had come from moments ago.
“Take care of it, will you?” Ginny shouted to her headmistress.
“What are we doing here, m’lady?” Chance asked as they pressed through the fog of the nearly empty harbor.
“I’ve come up with a plan, Chance. We’re getting away!”
Ginny could see Violet and Anna standing on the dock a ways ahead of them. As they drew closer, Ginny saw James, Draco and Tybalt as well.
“You’ve made it!” Violet rushed to Ginny and kissed her cheek. “We’re about to take off.”
Ginny found Draco and grinned. “We’ve done it!”
Draco didn’t look at her. “Indeed.”
“What is it? Draco, is everything alright?”
“You’d better get on board.”
Ginny watched him in disbelief as he refused to meet her eyes. He took her bag from her and tossed it lightly over the edge of the boat. The others were already getting on as Ginny turned to Draco.
“What is it?” She took his beautiful face in her hands. “Draco, this is it! This is the rest of our lives. We can finally love without limitations!”
The mere idea made her heart beat as fast as it did the first time they made love.
Still, Draco would not meet her eyes.
“C’mon.” Draco held her arm as she swung one leg over the edge of the boat. She gained a firm balance and turned to him.
“Alright, here.” She held out her hand to him. He stared at it and then gathered it in his. He pressed his warm lips to the inside of her palm and then pressed it to his cheek. The boat jolted and her hand fell from his.
“Draco, come on! Get on quick, the ship is leaving.” As the words rushed from her mouth, the ship was already pulling away from the dock. He still had time to jump aboard.
“Draco!” The seconds ticked away and he stood stone still, staring down at the water between the cracks of the dock.
Finally, when the ship was an arm’s length away, he looked up and stared harshly into her eyes.
“It cannot be, Ginny. It will never be.”
Her heart and throat burned with hatred. It hurt.
“You’re wrong, Draco,” she hissed. “You were just too weak to try.”
The wind picked up, pulling her and her dress sideways. His voice wasn’t any louder and she barely heard it above the waves and the wind.
“Maybe.” He shrugged.
They stared at each other, she angry and he ashamed, for a while as the ship pulled them apart before finally the fog consumed them and they could no longer see each other.
That face of yours burns brightly in my head
I’m breathing in every word you’ve said
Those eyes of yours put tears in mine
I’m staring at you like I’m going blind
The way you walk; it’s like you glide
I’m dying to know how you feel inside
I’m tasting lust in that smile of yours
The possibilities behind closed doors
Holding on to every moment my eyes saw you
And the last time that I saw you
I felt so alive
I’m praying your heart hasn’t slipped away
That you’ll find your heart in mine one day
I’m craving to be the object of your gaze
I’d find a way to get lost in your ways
Holding on to every time I’ve seen you
And the last time that I saw you
I felt so alive
Ms. Ravenclaw took the painting and guarded it for two years. She watched as the castle of Hogwarts was pulled apart and put back together. She regarded the broken faces of her former students as they watched their castle, their home, being torn apart as well. She attended balls and meetings about the future of magic and never said a word.
Finally, when Hogwarts was open to the public on a warm, bright September morning, she and the other three founders walked among the halls and watched the classes as they were selected into houses-named for them, as a tribute and eternal reminder- and then given their schedules.
Ms. Ravenclaw wandered up to one of the castle’s towers. She glanced out at the lake took a deep breath, taking everything in. The world finally had balance between men and women, and yet she still was not content. The sacrifices made had been too great.
She pulled the small, folded canvas from her pocket and took in the image once again.
She found a small wooden door a ways down the hallway and snuck through it. It opened to a wider hallway where they were going to put in more classrooms in the years to come.
She found a blank area on the stone walls and went to it. She pulled out her wand and hung the painting there. In the darkened hall, her heart rose and then sank as she took in the two fated lovers. She fought back tears at the memories of these two.
She walked away from it without enchanting it. The subjects in this painting, unlike all the others, would not move.
Song = ‘alive’ by me.