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Trust Me by hpfan15
Chapter 20 : Chapter 20
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 9


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Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer applies. I'm feeling lazy...I don't want to have to take the time to come up w/something more creative and then have to write it.

AN: Forwarning, this is a more...sensitive chapter and was hard to write so please, let me know if its ok and don't be too terribly harsh if it isn't. Thanks in advance!

Chapter 20

          Maybe I never should have said anything. I should have just kept my mouth shut. He's probably pretty ticked off right about now.

         
Ginny sighed irritably. She'd been up most of last night, thinking about her conversation with Draco. She knew he had to be upset over her revelation, and he sorta had a right to be. She'd gotten so upset with him that she had inadvertently told him the one thing she'd sworn she never would. She'd told him about witnessing the event in the Forbidden Forest. The time she'd spied on him.

          Draco always made her so mad, always managed to push her buttons just so and ignite the infamous Weasley temper. And when Ginny got mad she couldn't think straight. As a result she often ended up saying things she regretted later. Some she didn't mean and others, well, they just weren't intended to actually leave her head, to be heard by other people.

          He just had to call Hermione a Mudblood, though, didn't he? He always had to say something. She was actually starting to think that maybe he wasn't so bad after all and then he goes and opens his big, fat mouth and effectively shatters the illusion.

          Ginny had been walking as she thought and, because she tended to be somewhat oblivious when thinking intently, paid no attention to her surroundings. And this caused to fall on her arse with a loud, 'oomph!', when she rounded the next corner and hit something very solid.

          Or maybe someone. She frowned, holding her slightly throbbing head, which she must have hit on his shoulder, and looked up into Draco's smirking face.

          "You really should watch where you're going?" he said softly, slowly.

          "And you should stay out of my way," Ginny bit out as she stood up. "Malfoy."

          "Back to last names now? Feeling a bit hostile today, are we?" he asked, his tone slightly mocking as he took a step closer.

          Ginny chose not to respond to that, just made a show of dusting off her robes and ignoring the headache she now had. She hadn't realized before how solid he was. Draco simply watched her, his eyebrows raised.

          She took a step forward but he made no move to get out of her way. Instead of just shoving him out of the way and moving on like she normally would have done, she looked up into his stormy but unreadable eyes. After a moment she asked, "Can I ask you something? Two somethings, actually."

         Draco took his dear sweet time pretending to ponder her request. "Well, you already asked one." He continued before she could respond, "But I suppose it wouldn't kill me to hear a couple more."

          "Well that's good because heaven forbid I bore you to death or something," Ginny snapped. She shook her head and focused her gaze somewhere on his chest. "Are you angry?"

"Back to last names now? Feeling a bit hostile today, are we?" he asked, his tone slightly mocking as he took a step closer.

          Ginny chose not to respond to that, just made a show of dusting off her robes and ignoring the headache she now had. She hadn't realized before how solid he was. Draco simply watched her, his eyebrows raised.

          She took a step forward but he made no move to get out of her way. Instead of just shoving him out of the way and moving on like she normally would have done, she looked up into his stormy but unreadable eyes. After a moment she asked, "Can I ask you something? Two somethings, actually."

         Draco took his dear sweet time pretending to ponder her request. "Well, you already asked one." He continued before she could respond, "But I suppose it wouldn't kill me to hear a couple more."

         "Well that's good because heaven forbid I bore you to death," Ginny snapped. She shook her head at his smirk and then focused her gaze somewhere on his chest. "Are you angry?"

         "Should I be?" he asked, his voice laced with confusion.

         "Actually, sorta, yeah. I mean...after last night....I just expected you would be," she stuttered her eyes still staring firmly below his chin.

         Draco stepped closer, eliminating the remaining few inches between them. He gently forced her to look at him as he asked in an uncharacteristically soft manner, "What makes you think you did?"

         Ginny furrowed her brow. "Why wouldn't you be?"

         "Well..." Draco decided to think carefully before responding to that. "You'd think I would be. And you do. I also think I would be. As for why I'm not, I have no idea. After all, you did spy on me. And for all I know you could have told people,..."

         "I swear I didn't," Ginny interrupted hurriedly.

         "...and you were pretty rude last night," Draco continued as if she hadn't spoken at all. "So you're right, I do have every reason to be upset with you." He muttered, "And yet, I'm not."

         Ginny tried to control the unexpected and unnecessary blush she could feel fast heating up her face and pointed out that he hadn't come down for breakfast.

         "Yes well, I had some trouble sleeping last night and made up for it this morning. I didn't feel like traipsing downstairs for food so I had the house elves bring some up to my room."

         "Good to know," Ginny muttered. It then occurred to her how close they were to each other and immediately stepped back a bit, her previously under control blush coming back with a vengeance. Either Draco didn't notice or he just decided not to comment.

         "You had a second question, if I remember correctly," he pointed out.

         "Yes, I did. Um, I was just wondering what you did around here when you weren't at Hogwarts?"

         Draco smirked again. "Read the entire library already?"

         "No, but after a month I've read everything of interest in there. And that's not saying much." She hesitated and then looked up at him from underneath her eyelashes, "I bet your library would be much more interesting."

         Without pause he shook his head, his unwillingness to grant her persistent request evident as soon as she said 'your library'.

         This caused Ginny to pout and Draco grinned, unable to do anything else when presented with the rather adorable picture she was currently giving him.
         
         "To answer your second question, there was always the parties and get-togethers thrown by the upper class. Those were rather boring, mind you. My two favorite activities were reading and flying. There are two reasons I have my own library. First, for the privacy, and second, because the public library is more for show than anything. There isn't much in the way of interesting material down there."

         "You're telling me."

         "There are things to do around here but I doubt any of them would interest you."

         "I like flying," Ginny said, catching onto his briefly mentioned love for it.

         "So do I, but I'm afraid its not an option."

         "Why not? Do tell, as I know for a fact it isn't because you only have one broom. I know someone like you would have at least two."

         "I happen to have four," Draco corrected casually. "But its hard for me to keep an eye on you when you're flying all over the place and I'm not supposed to let you out of my sight."

         Ginny rolled her eyes, despite the fact that they both knew he was right. "You take all the fun out of everything."

         "And you are whining like a two year old," Draco said, mimicking her tone. "If you're really that bored that just explore the Manor. I've lived here my whole life and I still don't know everything about it."

         "Why not?"

         "Well, when I was younger I didn't because I got lost once and was told to stay in certain areas. So I did. When I got older it was mostly because my father told me where I could and could not go and I knew better than to cross him. And he always knew when I disobeyed, even when he wasn't here."

         Ginny made a face. "So tell me about these parties."

         "Why do you want to know?"

         She smiled sweetly and then transformed that into a smirk almost identical to his as she copied his drawl, "Well, Weasley, being lower class I know you've never been to one of these functions and wouldn't expect you to know a thing about them. They aren't for...blood-traitors and the like."

         Draco smirked at her somewhat uncanny imitation of him and responded, "In short the adults stand around talking about how rich they are and how much better they are than other people, etc. On occasion they dance and most of the women there, if they can be called that, aren't people you want to dance with. Not that I ever let on, of course."

         "Standing around talking about how wonderful you are," Ginny mused with a frown. "Isn't that what you do best?"

         "I thought insulting other people was what I did best."

         "Both."

         "I see. In that case....Maybe so but it gets old. Fast. The only high light of those things is when you can manage to find some alcohol. So, in my personal opinion, if you had to attend one of those things the night would end in one of two ways. You get so bored your head explodes, or you get so bored you start playing pranks and wreak havoc on everyone."

         Ginny pretended to consider his assessment for a moment and then said, "You know what? I think I actually agree with you. For once.

         "Oh, wait. I know what we could do!" She grabbed his wrist and yanked him towards the stairs.

         It took Draco a second to get over his shock enough to dig in his heels and stop her progress.

         "Hold on. Exactly what is this idea of yours?" he asked with a wary look.

         Ginny sighed theatrically. "I'm gonna show you."

         "I don't want you to show me, I want you to tell me."

         "Oh don't be a spoilsport Draco! Loosen up a little, for once!" Ginny immediately started tugging on him again and this time he let her pull him, though not without muttered complaints the entire way. She just ignored him.
         
         She pulled him into his library and shoved him into one of the armchairs. "Why do I get the feeling I'm about to be subjected to some form of torture?"

         Ginny sat down across from him and once again ignored what he said and the glare he was giving her. "Most friends sit and talk, get to know each other. I want to know more about you...."
 
         "Who said we were friends?"

         Ginny gave him a slightly patronizing look and continued, "So, here's how it works. You can ask me anything you want about me and I have to answer truthfully. If I do then I am allowed to ask you anything I want and you have to answer truthfully as well."

         "And how would you know if I was answering truthfully?"

         "I just trust that you will."

         "You shouldn't trust me," he said quietly. A little louder he added, "Never trust a Slytherin. Everyone knows that."

         "If it comes down to it, we can just use Veritaserum."

         "So now you're just assuming that I have that. It is illegal you know."

Ginny sat down across from him and once again ignored what he said and the glare he was giving her. "Most friends sit and talk, get to know each other. I want to know more about you...."
 
         "Who said we were friends?"

         Ginny gave him a slightly patronizing look and continued, "So, here's how it works. You can ask me anything you want about me and I have to answer truthfully. If I do then I am allowed to ask you anything I want and you have to answer truthfully as well."

         "And how would you know if I was answering truthfully?"

         "I just trust that you will."

         "You shouldn't trust me," he said quietly. A little louder he added, "Never trust a Slytherin. Everyone knows that."

         "If it comes down to it then we'll just use Veritaserum."

         "Now you're assuming I have it. It is illegal to have that you know."

         "Since when has that ever stopped you?"

         Draco rolled his eyes at her but didn't say anything. She did have a point. "For some reason you're still assuming that I actually want to play this stupid game of yours."

         "Its not stupid and isn't there anything you want to know about me?" There was, but Draco still didn't particularly feel like indulging her. "C'mon, just one round. Please?"

         "Only if you promise to leave me alone. Otherwise this truce won't last long; I'm going to end up hexing you."

         "Fine." Ginny beamed and Draco had to fight to keep the scowl on his face. Who knew that willing, while grudgingly, submitting oneself to a Weasley's version of a good time could make her so happy?

"If it comes to it then we'll just use Veritaserum."

         "Now you're assuming I have it. It is illegal to have that you know."

         "Since when has that ever stopped you?"

         Draco rolled his eyes at her but didn't say anything. She did have a point. "For some reason you're still assuming that I actually want to play this stupid game of yours."

         "Its not stupid and isn't there anything you want to know about me?" There was, but Draco still didn't particularly feel like indulging her. "C'mon, just one round. Please?"

         "Only if you promise to leave me alone. Otherwise this truce won't last long; I'm gong to end up hexing you."

         "Fine." She beamed and Draco had to fight to keep the scowl on his face in place. Who knew that willingly, while grudgingly, submitting oneself to a Weasley's idea of a good time could make her so happy?

         "Can I go first?"

         "Whatever."

         "Okay. Um, tell me about the time that Voldemort gave you the assignment to kill Dumbledore."

         "No," Draco said rudely. He stood up and started to walk away.

         "Draco, wait." Ginny stood up too.

         "Why should I? So you can give me some crap advice about its better to talk about unpleasant things, to get it out and 'unburden' myself? Forget it."

         "That wasn't what I was going to say. Believe me, I know how it feels. Sometimes talking about with someone does help and other times it just makes it all worse."

         Draco spun around to face her, his face livid. "Oh you do huh? You know how I feel? How is that? What in the world could little, innocent Ginny Weasley ever had to go through in her perfect life to be able to sympathize with me?"

         Ginny smiled sadly. "I wouldn't expect you to understand. Or even remember. No one else does. Your second year, Chamber of Secrets. Ringing any bells for you?"

         Draco was stopped short by the sheen of tears he could see over her eyes. He had forgotten about that. He didn't know all the details but he did know that she had somehow been involved in the opening of the Chamber. Mostly he knew about Potter coming in and saving the day. Again. The bloody hero.

         "I know what its like to have a secret. To feel that people think of you differently because of it. To live in that shadow your whole life, unable to ever really let go, even if it wasn't really your fault. I know having a secret like that can really take a toll on a person. Especially when no one else understands."

         Draco found himself considering sitting back down. She obviously hadn't meant to be offensive in asking about it, but at the same time she should know more than anyone how much he hated having to talk about that. And yet he had retaken his seat.

         Ginny watched him for a second before sitting back down as well. She said nothing, waiting patiently for him to speak or do something.

         He took a deep breath and started, "In the summer before my sixth year the Dark Lord showed up here, at Malfoy Manor. He said he just wanted to meet me for the first time. I knew that wasn't all he wanted. I knew that with the end of my school years approaching also came the time when I would be expected to join his ranks. I was nervous, more so than I had ever been before, but I as determined not to show it.

         Draco paused for a minute, lost in his thoughts, remembering something that happened years ago, seeing something Ginny could not. "I remember the first time I saw him. I knew he was a skilled Legilimens so I tried to keep my thoughts under control but to say I was shocked would be an understatement. I assume you saw him at some point or another. He barely even resembled a human anymore. With snake-like, red eyes and nearly transparent skin he was rather frightening. I remember wondering if blood actually ran through his veins. Again, I tried not to show that I was afraid.

         "Just being in his presence made my skin crawl. And they way he walked...like he owned the place, the world, and everything in it...made me sick. At the time it was just me, him and my parents. He told me that I was to find a way to kill Dumbledore. I was dumbfounded. And scared. My mind was immediately racing with questions and plans. How was I going to do it? What were the chances I would succeed? Would I get injured in the process? Why did he give me a task like that?

         "I know now that he never intended for me to succeed. He never actually cared if I did do it or not, or if I died. I know it was his way of humiliating and punishing my father for his most recent blunder. Screwing up at the Ministry. I saw it as a chance to prove myself and he expected me not to even survive the attempt.

         "I hesitated to accept his assignment, more out of shock than anything else, and so he threatened my parents. Said that if I didn't do it then he would kill them. I knew then that I had no choice.

         "I took my time planning. I didn't want to do it but I wanted even less for harm to come to my parents, especially because of me." At this point Draco had closed his eyes and Ginny could see his clenched fists and tense muscles. "But I waited too long to act and he got impatient. So I tried the necklace. I knew was pathetic and had about zero chance at working but he needed to see I was trying. In the meantime I spent most of time working on the real thing. The only chance I knew I had of succeeding. The Vanishing Cabinet. I was rather proud of myself for thinking of it. I just needed the bloody idiot to calm down a bit. I was already skipping on many meals and classes and a good bit of my sleeping time to fix this thing and perfect my plan.

         "I remember hearing about the Gryffindor girl who was on the receiving end of my curse. At first I didn't care, I just ignored the stories. But they got worse and worse and my conscience, the same one everyone seems to think I lack, got to me. I had what they call a mental breakdown." Draco sighed. "I managed to get to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom before anyone saw anything but I didn't realize Potter was following me."

         Draco grimaced at the memory. "I'd never had a breakdown like that before. Feeling like I couldn't control my own emotions....That was all I had left. Voldemort controled everything else. I couldn't even do what I wanted anymore. And the one person I hate most had to see it. When I looked up and saw him there in the mirror....I was...livid, to say the least. And scared. Scared of how he would try and use this against me. Of course, Saint Potter is probably to noble to do anything like that, but I am a Slytherin and automatically assume the worst. So I tried to curse him. We went back and forth for a few minutes and then, just when I thought I had him, he said come curse I've never heard before. I felt this burning sensation in my chest and felt myself flying through the air. I blacked out before I hit the ground. And woke up in the Hospital Wing. Severus was there and he told me I was going to be all right but nothing more.

         "And again, Voldemort expressed displeasure with my lack of progress. So I tried the mead. I shouldn't have given it to Slughorn, should've known the bloody arse would keep it for himself, but I knew he was the only one gullible enough to find mead in his cabinet that he knows nothing about and assume its a present for Dumbledore like it says it is." At this point Draco came to the realization that the only one who had actually ingested the poison had been Ginny's older brother, Ronald, and abruptly stopped talking.

         He opened his eyes to look over at Ginny and winced slightly. She was sitting in her fists, looking for all she was worth like she was having to seriously restrain herself from reaching for her wand. He'd heard that youngest Weasley boy had spent days in the Hospital Wing recovering from the effects of the poison. He'd come very close to dying. Draco sat and up and gingerly leaned forward. "Ginny I....I didn't..."

         "He almost died because of you," she whispered through clenched teeth. "You almost killed my brother."

         "I know. I may not like your brother but I didn't want to kill him. I was scared and I didn't want anything to happen to my parents. And because of that people got hurt. And I have to live with that the rest of my life."

         Ginny took a deep breath and forced herself to relax. When she'd asked him to tell her this story she hadn't thought about her brother's involvement. When she did remember it was too late. She'd been surprised by the sheer force of the feelings his words brought to the surface. For a moment there she'd thought that she was actually going to lose it and do something she'd regret later.

         But it passed and she nodded at him to continue.

         "I assume you know how the Death Eaters got into the school." Ginny nodded in affirmation and said she knew about that night from later conversations she overheard from Harry.

         "Well, I managed to disarm Dumbledore but when I went to kill him I hesitated. The words were right there, on the tip of my tongue but they didn't come out. He took advantage of my hesitation and began to prey on my doubts and fears. And when it came down to it, I knew he was right. I wasn't a killer. He voiced everything I'd been thinking over the past few months and I knew that even of he'd stayed silent, I wouldn't have done anything. I couldn't."

         Ginny picked an invisible piece of lint off of her robes and said, "You let the Death Eaters into the school." Draco started to respond but Ginny cut him off. "One of them, the werewolf, Fenrir Greyback, to be specific, attacked my oldest brother. Bill almost died. He's okay now but he has terrible scars."

         Draco felt the blood drain from his face at this information. Not one, but two of her brothers almost died because of his actions. And, to be honest, that werewolf had always scared him, especially after he heard that the thing didn't always wait until full moon to attack, and in some cases eat, people. "Greyback wasn't supposed to be there. I had no idea he was going to come until he stepped through the Cabinet."

         He stood up and walked over to the window. "I regret what I did more than I can ever say. And I don't like to talk about it. I prefer to try and forget."

         Ginny got up and joined him. "I can understand that."

         He turned slightly to face her and asked, "So? Tell me about the Chamber?"

         "Only if you promise not to interrupt, tell me what I should have done, or mention it ever again."

         "For starters, I have no right to tell you what you should have done when I made some bad choices so no worries there, and as for the other, you have a lot over my head. I can only imagine how miserably you could make me if I gave you reason to."

         "How much do you know about what happened? Well, I know all the stories about the Chamber, I know it held a Basilisk, rumor only, and that Potter killed it. Other than that I have only the pathetic cover story the staff decided to give us. That about covers it."

         "It was my first year at Hogwarts. I was so happy to finally be there with my brothers. To have the chance to make friends, to see where my older brothers got their stories. I always hated seeing them off every year, especially after Ron went and it was just me and Mum and Dad all year, when I knew I couldn't go with them. They'd always send letters and pictures and presents when they could but it wasn't the same.

         "I was so excited....Remember the first time we saw each other, in Flourish and Blott's?" Draco nodded. "Your father slipped a journal into my cauldron when came up to speak to us and no one noticed. When I got to Hogwarts I found the journal and just assumed that my parents had given it to me as a going away present.

         "So I began to write in it. And then it began to write back. At first I was a little scared. I'd never heard of a diary that talked back. But he was so nice. He said his name was Tom and asked me what mine was. We started talking and...he became my closest friend.

         "Every day when I had the chance I was writing in it. I told Tom about my family and how hard it was with so many people and so little money. And he told me about how he never knew his family, had always been an orphan. I didn't notice at first but there some things he didn't talk about. Like why he was in a diary at all, why we could communicate. I didn't care. I told him about how Ron totally ignored me and hung out with Harry and Hermione all the time. How much I missed my parents and how Hogwarts was great but not everything I thought it would be.

         "Tom was my only real friend. I told him everything. I poured into him my hopes and dreams and struggles, I told him about my successes and my failures and he was always so encouraging. He made me want to get better grades just so he would congratulate me. He made me feel special and that was something I'd never felt before. In a family my size its hard to stand out, to be different.

         "I didn't know at the time that every word I wrote in that diary made Tom stronger, less of a memory and more real and tangible than he had been in fifty years. I didn't know that he was Voldemort, a mere memory of his sixteen year old self. I didn't know that he had gained enough strength to come out of the diary for brief periods of time, that he could get into my head and make me do things.

         "Voldemort, or Tom Riddle, as he used to be known, was the last living descendant of Salazar Slytherin. He was a half blood. His whole crusade against Muggles and Muggle-borns was hypocritical when he wasn't even a pureblood himself. His father was a Muggle and his mother was a Squib, an heir of Slytherin.

         "Tom got into my head and made me do things. Made me open the Chamber and release the monster, made me kill the chickens and then write on the wall. I would wake up with no memory of the last few hours or why I was covered in chicken feathers, why I had red on my hands.

         "Eventually I figured out what he was doing and tried to dispose of the diary. I flushed it in the girl's bathroom and then Harry found it. I was going to tell him, tell him what happened but I couldn't. So ransacked his room until it and stole it. Then Tom came out of the diary. The next thing I remember was waking up in the Chamber of Secrets next to Harry with a dead Basilsk far too close for comfort.

         "Tom had been draining me of my life and making himself real again. If he'd succeeded Voldemort would've been back. But Harry destroyed the diary and, in turn, Tom. He had preserved himself in the diary as a Horcrux, and I'm sure you know the story there.

         "The truth came out then and I was subjected to a bunch of testing to see if I was injured. But Madame Pomfrey said other than being exhausted and traumatized, I was fine and would make a full recovery. But I never did. Physically I was fine, sure. But what Tom did changed me, left scars. Nobody even seemed to consider the emotional damage there might be. The nightmares I suffered from for years, the...." Ginny abruptly stopped and winced. "No one ever understood. It was all too easy into fooling them that I was alright. But they didn't think about the fact that people almost died because of me and I was going to have to live with the repercussions of that forever.

         "You were sixteen and had already had some experience with the Dark Arts. I was eleven years old and as naive as one can be. It did some permanent damage."

         For a moment they were silent. Draco was still processing what she'd told him. She was quite the storyteller but at the end there she'd said everything in such a detached amnner he wondered if that's how she saw it. If she treated the memories as if they'd happened to someone else and she was just telling a story. He wondered if that helped her cope with it.

         "Wow," he said, whispering almost unconsciously. He shook his head. "I never would have guessed."

         "No one did." Ginny gave a sad smile. "Every one has secrets Draco."

AN: Whew! Its finally done! This chapter is about twice as long as the last no I hope it makes up for the lack of updates. 5223 words as compared to the previous record at 2876! Enjoy!


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