“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.