Chapter 1 : Run, Baby, Run.
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“Go ahead and cry,” he whispers in her ear, his lips grazing her flesh and sending tingles flashing through her. “It doesn’t matter.”
Despite her efforts, tears slide down her cheeks, bumping over her lips and dripping off of her chin. She breathes in deeply but it doesn’t help.
She opens her mouth to scream.
“Go ahead and scream,” he murmurs. “No one can hear you.”
She screams loudly; her scream ripples goosebumps on her own skin and causes the tears that don’t matter to fall faster.
There is no answer to her scream.
She turns to look at her captor, twisting in his arms roughly to look into cold, grey eyes that stare her down mercilessly.
“Go ahead and fight,” he tells her. “You’re going to die anyway.”
She woke up with a sharp gasp and a jerking motion, flinging herself over the side of the bed and landing with a sharp thud on the floor. Salty tears dripped into the cracks of the floorboards, reflecting silver in the moonlight. She breathed deeply and untangled herself from the sheets, standing up and gingerly touching her arm where she had whacked herself. It was sore and she knew it would bruise.
She looked around the room—no one else was stirring. She breathed a sigh of relief and crawled back into her bed, yanking the deep crimson hangings around her once more. She let her eyes drift closed but didn’t let herself fall back asleep for fear the dream, the horrid, terrifying dream, would return.
She saw him at breakfast, and she looked away quickly because he was looking at her. Their eyes met, quickly, a flash of grey versus brown. Icy grey triumphed, crushed down the rich chocolate.
She ate her breakfast quietly, her friends watching her silently. Her arm ached and she had a blooming blue bruise on her back from when she had fallen the night before.
Snape sat at the high table, and his eyes were on her. Don’t you start anything, Weasley, they said. You know what we’ll do to you. She could still feel the sharp sting of the Carrows’ curse. She looked away from his sharp, angry gaze and back to her bacon.
“You all right?” Neville asked her. She looked up and managed a half smile, one that was so obviously forced that Neville looked even more worried.
“Yeah,” she told him.
She knew that he didn’t believe her, but she was grateful that he didn’t push and he touched her arm gently instead, in a way that made her eyes fill with tears. She shook her head quickly, looking away from the curious gazes of others.
She felt sick. She didn’t feel like rebelling anymore. What if it wasn’t going to work? What if nothing worked? What if it was all insignificant and they were only pawns, pawns of someone who didn’t even want them as pawns. Someone who thought of pawns as worthless. That was what she felt—worthless. Of no value, equal with dirt.
She could feel Neville’s hand take hers and press it three times—meeting. They would be meeting. She did not know where, she would know that later. Breakfast ended and she stood up, turned to smile at Neville.
“Ready for Potions, Ginny?” he asked her softly. He was smiling, but the cut on his face caused her stomach to ache. It looked painful. She didn’t let her pain show on in her face—she only smiled back, a real one this time. They needed real smiles.
“Don’t give up, Gin. We’ll make it,” Neville whispered in her ear as they made their way to Potions. She didn’t reply, and they walked silently the rest of the way. She did not feel as though they wouldn’t make it— she knew they would. She, in fact, felt angry.
Angry at Harry. Angry at him for leaving them—for leaving her—all alone. For breaking up with her when she needed him most—when he needed her most. Where was he now, when Hogwarts had gone to hell? Where was he going? How could he have left her alone?
She felt betrayed and angry, angry enough to restart Dumbledore’s Army, angry enough to rebel against the Carrows and Snape and to use their old galleons to make new meetings. Neville would call one, Ginny knew, and she knew where. He had pushed three times; Hagrid’s cabin. One of the only places that was not watched constantly—Hagrid had refused Snape and Snape had, blessedly, not bothered him about it. They would sneak down after curfew, carefully and quietly. It would only be Luna, Neville, and Ginny.
She sat down in her place in Potions, beside Draco Malfoy. He did not acknowledge her and she did not acknowledge him. It was common knowledge that they did not speak any longer. It was almost a sort of truce they had come to—he ignored her and she ignored him. She hated him. She thought she hated him. She felt hatred, but there was something else there, something buried deep—pity.
Pity is a dangerous emotion.
The lesson began but Ginny was only half listening. She absentmindedly mixed the blue-grey mixture, thinking that it looked like the eyes that watched her the previous night in her dream. The eyes of the boy standing beside her.
She sighed unhappily and began to stir in the opposite direction, but a strong hand clamped around her wrist. Draco’s hand.
She looked up in alarm, panic racing through her veins. What was he doing?
“You’re mixing it the wrong way,” he told her.
She relaxed and he dropped her wrist, looking away.
“Thanks,” she muttered, returning to mixing clockwise.
“One,” he said, quietly.
“What?” she asked, confused. He wasn’t looking at her. He was looking down, at the floor, his pale skin especially sallow in the light of the dungeons. He looked tired and she was unsure of what was happening.
“Wait until one,” he said.
For a moment she was sure that he was talking about the potion. What was she supposed to wait for one with the potion? One what? How come she couldn’t read the book? Where did it say in there anything about waiting until one?
Then she realized that he was talking about their meeting. They always met at midnight, and he was telling them to meet at one. Why? Could she trust him?
She looked over at him, at the way that his shoulders were tense and his eyes were averted. He looked nervous and unsure, and her heart went out to him.
It was that pity again. That damned emotion that manages to get us into endless amounts of trouble.
“Okay,” she whispered, taking possibly the biggest leap of her entire life when she put her trust in Draco Malfoy.
She finally knew what it felt like to be brave.
It was scary as hell.
She cannot breathe. He is looking at her in a way that she has never seen—anger, lust, pity, love, worry, hate. How can so many things be rolled into one? She does not understand. It hurts to look into his dark, grey eyes. Stormy and angry.
“What do you want?” she whispers.
“I don’t know,” he tells her. He doesn’t look like he knows, either. He looks confused and puzzled.
“I’m not going to fight you,” she says angrily. His eyes bore into hers, icy and cold to the core.
“It doesn’t matter anyway,” he says. He takes a step toward her and she screams.
“HARRY!” she cries. “HARRY! Where are you?”
Harry doesn’t answer. She can picture him in her mind, plain as day and whispering to her. Run, Ginny. Run.
I won’t run, she thinks stubbornly.
“I’ll catch you,” Draco adds, leaning closer to her. His hands grip her arms and pull her closer to him. He’s going to kill her. She can see that look in his eyes, that bloodthirsty, angry, vengeful look. Why her? Why does he hate her so?
“No,” she whispers. “Save me, Harry. Come back.”
“Harry isn’t going to save you,” he tells her. Her eyes look into his, pleading and sad. His grip loosens slightly, but he doesn’t let go.
“I pity you,” she tells him. There’s silence, a moment where brown battles grey. Grey wins, as it always does. It’s a stronger color, strong as steel. Brown is only as strong as mud—soft and malleable, wishy-washy.
“Too bad,” he murmurs. “Pity won’t save you.”
She woke almost calmly, sitting up and breathing in deeply, feeling her heart pounding only a little faster than normal. What had woken her? For once, for though she had dreamt of him for a very long time, she had not been afraid in her dream. She had not woken due to fear.
It was one o’clock. Time to meet Neville and Luna. She had told them she had a suspicion that Snape was onto them and they should meet at one instead of midnight, and they had trusted her. They had always trusted her blindly—they looked up to her, admired her. She hated that.
She was already wearing a long black robe. She covered her flaming red hair with a black hood, feeling not unlike a Death Eater.
She slipped out of the castle silently, easily slipping past Filch and one of the Carrows, who was snoring softly. As she ran nimbly toward Hagrid’s hut, she felt foreboding deep in her chest. What if Draco was lying? What if she had pitied him, trusted him too much? What would happen to her?
She paused outside the door, straining to hear something, anything, but it was silent. She knew there would be silencing charms and the whole lot if Neville or Luna were already there.
She lifted her hand and knocked, quietly, three quick raps. The door opened instantly and her heart hammered in her chest—had Malfoy betrayed her?
But there stood Hagrid, who ushered her inside and locked the door behind her.
The relief that rushed through her was so great that she grinned at Neville and Luna. Luna looked happy, glowing in the light of the candle, and Neville looked excited. Ginny felt only relief.
“Good thing you wanted to come at one, Gin, Hagrid said Alecto came down for a visit just after midnight.”
Ginny suddenly wanted to kiss Draco Malfoy.
“Good thing,” she echoed, mostly in disbelief that he had willingly helped them.
Luna spoke quickly, knowing they didn’t have much time. “We’re going to steal Gryffindor’s sword from Snape.”
“When?” asked Ginny, smiling warmly at her friend. She could feel the tremors of exhilaration, the anticipation of a thrill she knew she wouldn’t forget thrumming through her. She lived for that—the thrill. Neville seemed to live for the results and Luna seemed to live for the fun, the fun that she had with her friends.
“Tomorrow night,” Neville told her.
Ginny’s heart beat a little faster.
It was dark. She couldn’t see anything, but she could feel Luna’s hand clutching hers tightly. She was worried her circulation would be cut off completely but she was afraid to let go, afraid to let Luna slip into the darkness ahead of her and leave her behind.
She was afraid of being left behind.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione had all abandoned her—she was worried she would lose everyone else she was close to. It terrified her.
“Let’s go,” whispered Neville.
There was hiding behind a huge statue, one that Peeves had recently caused to stretch several meters and that no one had gotten around to fixing.
Something lighter than all else flashed in the corner of Ginny’s eye. Something had just run around a corner. Fear rose in her throat. Neville was already starting to move, and she reached out and yanked him back. Who was there? Who was it she had seen? She was petrified, and all she could do was glare at Neville sharply and point to the ground, telling him to stay. He nodded. It was so dark that she could barely see the motion.
She let go of Luna’s hand, cool air rushing to greet the sweaty parts of her hand that had previously been melded to Luna’s. She hated that feeling.
She slid out from behind the statue. Her heart pounding double time in her chest, she peered around the corner, expecting a curse in the face or a shout as soon as someone noticed her white forehead. But none came.
He was standing there, waiting for her.
She stepped around the corner to greet him, attempting to keep the shock and anxiety off of her face.
“What are you doing here?” she murmured, her voice low and anxious.
“You shouldn’t do this,” he told her. He looked tired still, and annoyed with her, but he stood tall and majestic. He knew he was doing something good, she knew, but she felt angry with him.
“I have no choice,” she hissed at him.
“Don’t,” he said warningly. “Run, Ginny. Run.” He stepped closer to her. They were inches apart, and her heart pounded so loudly she was sure he could hear it ringing in his ears the way it was ringing in hers.
“I can’t, Draco,” she whispered. She said it sadly, dejectedly. “I can’t.”
She looked up at him. He was taller than she remembered, but suddenly their faces were so close she could feel his breath, soft and gentle, on her face. Her stomach exploded with butterflies.
She wondered briefly before his lowered his lips to hers if circumstances were different if she would have been with him or with Harry. She loved Harry, she adored Harry. She admired Harry. But Draco, Draco was different. At that moment, she was enamored of him. She wanted him. She hated him. She was angry with him and she wished that they could work, that something could work.
But she loved Harry.
And Draco was not on her side. Draco was the enemy, a cold-hearted, cowardly enemy. But was what he was doing cowardly? Helping her, helping what he had always been taught was wrong but knew in his heart was right? She could never do what he was doing. Was he, in fact, braver than she was?
His lips were cool and smooth on hers, soft and convincing. Only their lips touched—a cool breeze separated the rest of them. When he pulled away from her, her eyes were filled with tears.
“Run,” he whispered.
“I’m sorry,” she told him. Their eyes met, but this time no one won—both eyes were sad and defeated.
She turned around to go back to Neville and Luna, her friends, her friends who needed her strength and courage more than anything. She paused at the corner, turned back to look at him—but he was gone.
Luna and Neville stood where she had left them, and she wondered if they had heard their conversation. If they had, they never mentioned it. Instead Luna took hold of Ginny’s cold, clammy hand and squeezed it reassuringly.
“It’s all right then, Ginny,” she whispered. She worded it as a question but said it as a statement; she was saying more than one thing, Ginny knew.
“Yes,” Ginny whispered back. And as they slipped silently out from behind the abnormally large statue, they linked hands and ran, and Ginny realized that no matter what happened she would never truly be alone.
He watches her. He is silent, but she can feel him watching. His cool, grey eyes are always there, watching her every move. But he doesn’t move forward any longer—she has made her choice.
“Harry,” she whispers. “You came back.”
Harry stands in front of her, tall and proud, messy black and emerald green eyes that pierce her soul. “Ginny,” he murmurs, touching her fiery hair softly.
Harry turns to look at Draco, angrily. “What did he do to you?” he demands of Ginny.
Ginny turns to see Draco standing to the side, silently, watching them. His icy grey eyes meet her rich chestnut brown ones. Something passes between them, something soft and silent and longing. Her heart reaches out to him, full of pity and lust and love and a little bit of hate, though it was pity that sparked it all.
She turns back to Harry. “Nothing, Harry. Nothing.”
Harry takes her hand. “Run, Ginny. We have to go.”
As they turn to run from where they stand, Ginny turns her head as grey meets brown once more.
“Run, Baby. Run,” Draco mouths.
A/N: Well, in terms of inspiration I have to say that I have absolutely NO IDEA where this came from! But I do know that the title was inspired by Sheryl Crow, so kudos to her. =) Anyway, I actually really, really like this one. It’s probably my favorite that I have ever written, so I would love love love to hear what you thought about it, and I would also really appreciate it! So thanks tons for reading and tons more if you’re about to leave me a review.
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