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Secrets in Disguise by x3CherryWatermelonx3
Chapter 17 : XVI
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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Thank you so much for all of your support! I wanted to have this chapter out much sooner, but my life has been up in a whirlwind! But anyway, here it is! And thank you again for all of your support. It absolutely means the world to me! Also, the next chapter should be out much sooner! Now, enjoy! :) Beautiful banner by PhoenixFlames at TDA! :)







A couple more weeks passed and Christmas break had begun. Ginny and Draco had both agreed to stay for the first few days at Hogwarts, keeping patrol of the halls and watching over the students who opted to stay at the castle. 

It was in the early morning of Christmas Eve when Draco and Ginny were patrolling the halls. They were near Ravenclaw tower when a second year boy tried to zoom past them. 





“Stop right there, Beacons,” Draco said, stopping the young boy from moving closer to the common room entrance.

Suddenly, the boy stood frozen on the spot. Ginny looked from the frozen figure to Draco and saw the slight smirk that seemed to permanently etch his face. She crossed her arms and waited for him to continue. 

“It’s past the curfew, Beacons, what do you think you’re doing?” Draco asked as his gray eyes stayed on the boy.




 

“I-I was in the l-library, P-Professor,” the boy stuttered as he turned around to face Draco, his eyes on the floor.




 

“So, you decided you were better than every student? Or perhaps, seeing as it’s the holidays, you thought that the nine o’clock curfew wasn’t in tact.”




 

“N-no, sir. That’s not it at all!”




 

Before Draco could continue, Ginny cut across him, “Oh, Draco, relax. Get on in there, Peter.” 




 

Peter tried to smile at Ginny in thanks, but could only muster a slight move of the corners of his mouth. Ginny smiled a small smile at him as he dashed down the hall towards his entranceway. 




 

As soon as his body was out of view, Ginny turned to Draco and slapped him on the shoulder. “You’re terrible,” she stated.




 

“How am I terrible? It’s half past two, and he’s out of bed!” Draco exclaimed as he looked at Ginny.




 

“It’s Christmas Eve, and he’s a second year. You should’ve been St. Nick tonight,” she said as she began to walk down the hallway.




 

“What? You want me to dress up in a big red suit with a white curly beard?”




 

“Don’t forget about the cherry colored nose, and your faithful companions – the reindeer,” she laughed.




 

“You know, the only good factor of being St. Nick would be the plate of cookies and glasses of milk,” Draco added as an afterthought.




 

Ginny eyed him as her smile remained on her face. “It should be that you’re making the children happy.”




 

“Children are bratty nuisances.”




 

“Coming back from the biggest bratty nuisance!” Ginny exclaimed as she laughed.




 

“I was not a brat, nor a nuisance,” Draco replied as they began their way to Ginny’s room.




 

“That could be the biggest lie I think I’ve ever heard you tell,” Ginny mused as she chuckled.




 

“Oh, if only you knew,” he said softly as he held the door open for her.




 

“What was that?” she questioned.




 

“Nothing, nothing.”




 

They walked through her office and up the small stairs to her bedroom. Once they reached her room, Draco sat down at her desk as she moved to her closet. She slid off her robe and stood in a pair of black, stretchy pants and a tank top.




 

She walked over to her bed and sat down on it, her legs crossed underneath her. Draco looked over at her, and the two of them stared at each other in silence. After a few short moments, Ginny broke the silence and said, “Are you sure today’s going to be okay?”




 

“What are you so worried about, Ginny?” Draco questioned as he walked over to her bed and sat down next to her, kissing her head gently.




 

“Well…they’re different…and I’ve already had bad experiences with them….”




 

“I felt the same way with your family, Ginny. Although, I think your family was worse due to the fact there’s so many of them.” Ginny looked at him, biting her lip slightly. He sighed and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Everything’s going to be fine, I promise.”




 

Before she could say anything else, Draco kissed her and laid her down, pulling the blanket over the two of them. After a few minutes, he broke away from her and wrapped his arm over her stomach and whispered, “Good night.”




 

As he fell asleep, Ginny lied on her back and looked at the ceiling, her eyes wide. She bit her lip nervously as her thoughts drifted off to what would happen later that day. Eventually, her sleepiness took over, and she fell fast asleep.



 






 

The next afternoon, Draco had woken Ginny up and helped her pack her belongings. Before long, they finished packing her bag and went down to the dungeons, to Draco’s room, and began packing a couple of his bags. By the time they finished, it was early evening when they had begun to make their way through the snow towards the Hogwarts gates.




 

“Would you stop worrying?” Draco questioned as she saw her gnawing on her lip.




 

“I can’t help it!” she exclaimed as her brows furrowed in slight frustration. “Do they even know I’m coming?”




 

“Of course they know you’re coming!” Draco replied exasperatedly. “You know how I feel about surprises – like the one you did with Charlie.”




 

“That was hard for me to do, and you know it,” Ginny said back harshly. 




 

Draco looked at her and sighed, calming down. He ran a hand through his hair before he looked at her. “Look, it’s Christmas Eve, and I really don’t want to fight. I’m sorry for the comment about Charlie, it was uncalled for. I do know you’re nervous, and I’m sorry for not helping with calming you down.”




 

Ginny looked at Draco, her hair whipping around her face, her nose red, and snowflakes spotting her hair. He walked closer to her and took her hand, putting a strand of hair around her ear. Kissing her forehead gently he said, “Relax a bit…everything’s going to be alright, I promise. My parents know that you’re coming, and they’re happy that I’m bringing someone home this holiday season.”




 

“In other words, they’ll be on their best behavior,” Ginny responded softly.




 

Without warning, Draco laughed loudly, causing Ginny to jump. She looked at him as his laughs began to calm down. He took her hand, the smile from his laughter still on his face, and said, “Yes, their best behavior.”




 

“May I ask what was so funny about that?” she questioned as he lead her off in the snow, closer to the gates.




 

“I just wasn’t expecting it, and the way you said it was perfect,” he answered jovially. 




 

Silence then enveloped them as they reached the gates. Draco undid the charms that protected the castle, and as they stepped outside the gates, he redid them. Then, without a moment to lose, he retook Ginny’s hand and the two of them Apparated to Malfoy Manor. 




 

As they stood before the wrought iron gates, Draco squeezed Ginny’s hand before they walked through the gates and down the long walk towards the manor. After a few minutes, they reached the doors and Draco knocked on them before walking in. 




 

Ginny was about to ask something when he placed his fingers to his lips, signaling for her to be quiet. She stayed quiet, and they continued their way down the long hall to the opened door on the left.




 

Draco held onto Ginny’s hand somewhat tighter as he saw Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy in the lounge. His fathers’ back was to them as Narcissa was sitting elegantly on the couch. They were whispering about something when Draco cleared his throat. Narcissa’s head shot up from where she was looking to him, and Lucius’ head turned slightly to look.




 

“Draco, you’ve made it!” Narcissa exclaimed as she stood from the couch and made her way to Draco, her arms wrapping around him.




 

“It’s good to see you, Mum,” Draco replied as he wrapped an arm around her. He pulled away and looked at her with a slight smirk. “Mum, this is Ginny Weasley.” 




 

“I’ve heard all about you,” Narcissa said as she looked at Ginny quickly, her head rising slightly.




 

“It’s nice to meet you, Mrs. Malfoy,” Ginny stated as she held out her hand. “Hopefully what you’ve heard hasn’t been too bad.”




 

Narcissa barely took her hand and shook it as she said, “The Daily Prophet is usually spot on with their news.”




 

Lucius let out a slight snigger, his back still facing the small group. Ginny looked at Narcissa, completely flabbergasted. Her mouth opened, wanting to say something, but before she could come up with the words, Draco said, “Mum, you know how the papers like to stretch the truth.”




 

“The papers have been spot on though, lately,” Narcissa said as she turned towards her husband. “What do you think, Lucius?”




 

“What I think,” he began slowly as he turned around. His eyes fell upon Draco and saw the look he was receiving. He took an intake of breath and restarted, “What I think is if we don’t stop talking about the Prophet and the things…in it…we will never eat.”




 

“Mr. Malfoy,” Ginny said with a slight nod.




 

Lucius looked at her, trying to hold back a sneer as he linked arms with Narcissa. The two of them stalked off to the dining room, leaving Ginny and Draco in the lounge. 




 

Ginny looked up at Draco, her eyes searching his. “Are you sure this is a good thing?”




 

“If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have brought you here,” Draco answered as he kissed her lightly. “It’ll be alright. Things will get better, you’ll see.” 




 

Without another word, Draco took her hand and led her out of the lounge. Moving down the hall towards the dining room, portraits surrounded them of the Malfoy family. As they continued down the hall, Ginny could hear the portraits whispering. She simply ignored them until she heard the harsh, baby mimicking voice. Quickly turning, she saw the portrait of Bellatrix Lestrange. Her hair was long and shiny, her eyes heavy lidded, and her mouth as thin as ever.




 

“If it isn’t the wittle girl who had her dear ol’ mummy defeat me,” Bellatrix said to her, her voice high, and her mouth in a snarl.




 

Ginny continued to look at her in disbelief, an anger rising in her she couldn’t control. Draco slightly pulled Ginny, but she stood her ground and said, “Apparently, you weren’t as great a witch as you thought you were, Bellatrix, and neither was your leader.”




 

“You dare mention him!? He’s done greater things than your precious Potter ever did!” Bellatrix shrieked.




 

At her shrieks, Lucius and Narcissa walked out of the dining room and looked from the portrait to Ginny to Draco. Ginny didn’t notice their presence and said in a quivering voice, “He’s done the best thing the wizarding world has seen, and that’s killing Voldemort.” 




 

A hiss escaped Bellatrix’s mouth and she screeched, “You dirty blood traitor! Where’s your precious Potter now? Isn’t he dead?! Didn’t he die? Didn’t he die, and leave you here all alone?”




 

“That’s enough!” Draco bellowed as he took out his wand, instantly quieting Bellatrix. “Blasted old witch….”




 

“Dinner’s about to be served,” Narcissa said, her voice tight and demanding. Her and Lucius moved out of the way of Draco and Ginny, staying in the hall. Narcissa watched after the pair and then turned to Lucius. “What is Draco doing, Lucius? Out of all the witches in the wizarding world, he chooses her?”




 

Lucius undid the charm that was bestowed on Bellatrix’s portrait and turned to his wife. “If I knew, Narcissa, I would be able to solve our infestation of blood traitor’s.” 




 

The two looked at each other silently and then moved into the dining hall, seeing Draco kiss Ginny softly. Lucius made a noise that sounded in between a cough and a gag. The two broke apart and looked at Draco’s parents sheepishly. 




 

Lucius and Narcissa sat down and after a few moments of looking at Draco and Ginny, who were still standing looking at each other, she said, “Well, sit down.”




 

Draco moved to his seat instantly, and Ginny awkwardly sat down, her hands wringing together in her lap.




 

The silence continued as four house-elves entered the room, quickly placing bowls filled with soup in front of each of them. They then poured the each of them a glass of red wine. Without a word from anyone, the house-elves exited the room, and everyone but Ginny had begun to eat their soup.




 

Draco looked at her questioningly and was just about to ask her something when Lucius cut across him, “Is there something wrong? Is this wine not high enough quality for you?”




 

“No, of course not! It’s not that at all,” Ginny stammered quickly.




 

Draco then realized and looked at both of his parents. “I told you both”




 

“What are you talking about, Draco?” Narcissa questioned, her chin rising and her blue eyes looking down at him.




 

He snarled and said, “You know what I’m talking about, Mother. I specifically told you that we couldn’t have any sort of alcohol.”




 

“Draco, it’s custom to have a glass of wine with dinner – especially on Christmas Eve. There is nothing wrong with that.”




 

“It may be what we usually do, Mother, but I had brought it to your attention that it wasn’t acceptable this year.”




 

“Do not speak to your mother like that, Draco,” Lucius said, his voice threateningly softer. 




 

Draco looked to his father, his icy gray eyes glaring into the ones opposite him. His hand formed into a fist, his anger overcoming him. As he was about to say something to Lucius, Ginny touched his arm slightly causing him to stop.




 

She looked up at him with a small smile and then back at his parents. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause a disturbance. If it would be alright, I would just like to exchange the wine for a glass of water.”




 

Without a word, Lucius snapped his fingers and a few house-elves rushed into the dining room. His cold eyes stayed upon Ginny as he said, “Our guest doesn’t want the wine. Exchange it for water.”




 

The house-elf quickly left with the wine filled glass and returned with a clean glass and a pitcher of water. As soon as they placed the glass of water in front of her, they rushed out of the room, leaving the four in silence. 




 

Draco continued to stare at his parents and Ginny’s eyes darted around the room, feeling uncomfortable. Eventually, her eyes landed on Draco and she lightly touched him again. “Draco, it’s okay, really.”




 

He looked at her quickly and then let out a slight sigh before they all began eating their soup. Throughout the rest of the dinner courses, the four of them ate in silence. The room was filled with tension, and Ginny felt awkward and misplaced. 




 

After dessert, Narcissa and Lucius stood up, Narcissa’s arm around his. She then looked at them both, “I’m sure you two are tired. Draco, your bedroom’s all set for you. We will see you in the morning.”




 

With a barely unnoticeable nod from Lucius, the two made their way out the dining room and started up the stairs. Once they were left alone, Draco looked to Ginny. “I’m really sorry about tonight.”




 

“It’s okay, really. It went better than I actually thought,” she said as she smiled slightly. “Let’s go to bed, and then we can enjoy tomorrow.”




 

“Sounds like a plan,” Draco replied as they stood from the table and started their way up the stairs to his room.



 






 

The next morning, Ginny stirred in bed and then stretched. She rolled over to see Draco still asleep. Smiling slightly, Ginny ran her fingers along his arm before she stood from the bed and walked to the drawn, dark green curtains. She opened one side slightly, the sun streaming into the room. Hearing Draco stir, she quickly opened the glass door, letting the curtain fall again as she stepped outside. 




 

As she stood outside, she leaned against the balcony railing, inhaling the fresh air. She looked across the snowy grounds, taking in their beauty.




 

Before she realized how much time passed by, Draco came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, whispering, “I was hoping you’d come back to bed.”




 

She jumped and let out a slight noise in shock. Turning around, she looked at him and tried to put on a frown. When she couldn’t, she said, “You scared me.”




 

“I’m sorry,” he chuckled. He then kissed her and took her hands in his feeling how cold she was. “Come on, let’s go inside. I want to give you your present before breakfast.”




 

“You didn’t have to get me anything.”




 

Without another word, he led her inside and sat down on the bed. He went into his side drawer and grabbed a white, elegant box. He smiled and then handed it to her. She slowly took it from his hands and revealed a diamond bracelet with a pair of earrings to match. Her mouth opened slightly as the diamonds sparkled at her.




 

“Draco…they’re beautiful,” she said breathlessly, unable to stop herself. A quiet moment passed between them before she set the box down softly and kissed him. She broke away from him and whispered, “Thank you so much…I love them.”




 

“You’re more than welcome,” he said as he smiled. “Are you ready for breakfast?” She nodded and smiled. 




 

The two of them made their way down a couple hallways before reaching the grand stairs. As they descended, Ginny said, “I don’t have your present with me. It’s at the Burrow.”




 

“That’s okay,” he said as he squeezed her hand. “I know we weren’t supposed to exchange gifts until later, but I wanted to give you my present early.”




 

“I’m glad you did,” she replied as she reached over and kissed his cheek. 




 

They finished moving down the stairs and entered the dining room where their plates of food were already placed.




 

“You’re late,” Lucius commented as he took a sip of coffee.




 

“Sorry, Father,” Draco answered as they took their seats. “I had a matter I had to take care of this morning.”




 

“Well, let’s get this done with, shall we? Your mother and I have other plans today.”




 

“You won’t have to worry about us ruining your plans,” Draco said with disgust in his voice.




 

“After breakfast, we’ll be going to my parents’ place for the rest of the day,” Ginny added on.




 

“How…lovely,” Narcissa said as she popped a piece of chopped of fruit in her mouth.




 

Yet again, silence overcame the room as the four of them ate. As soon as they were done eating, Draco drew his wand and hovered their bags down to the entryway. The four then stood from the table and moved to the entryway.




 

Lucius and Narcissa stood and looked down at Draco and Ginny. Draco took a step towards his mom and embraced her in a hug. She moved to his ear and whispered, “You’re making a mistake, Draco.”




 

Ginny looked down to her shoes as she heard Narcissa and saw the smirk that was on Lucius’ face. Draco moved away from his mother, a grimace on his face.




 

“Happy Christmas, Mother, Father,” he said as he gave each of them a nod.




 

“Thank you for having me,” Ginny said meekly. Draco took her hand as she continued,




 

“And happy Christmas.”




 

When they continued to look down at her, without saying anything, Draco squeezed her hand once again, and Apparated. As Ginny’s surroundings stopped spinning, she gained her balance and opened her eyes. She looked at Draco whose anger was visible on his face. He clenched his teeth together and looked away from her.




 

“I’m sorry about my parents,” he said stiffly.




 

Ginny moved to him, her hands running down his arms as she rested her head on his shoulder. “Don’t apologize for something you can’t control, Draco. It was better than I expected. But we can’t control our families, and I’m sure my family’s not going to be much better today than they were last time.”




 

Draco then turned and looked at Ginny. His gray eyes softened before he pulled her in his arms. As he held her, he kissed her head and said, “You’re right. Things can only get better, right?”




 

Ginny pulled away from him slightly, smiled, and nodded. She then kissed him as she linked her fingers with his. When they broke apart, Ginny led Draco down the large hill to the Burrow – her old home.




 

As Draco saw the appearance of the house, his nose automatically crinkled, not being able to help himself. He had always made jokes about their household, saying things such as “Do you and your family all sleep on the floor?”




 

Not only did the actual house seem small, but the additions seemed as if they were going to fall at just a simple touch. Ginny looked at him as his thoughts were still scrambling about.




 

“Are you okay?” she questioned. Before he could answer, she squeezed his hand.




 

“Don’t worry, my family won’t hurt you.”




 

“That’s not what I was thinking,” Draco said, truthfully.




 

“What were yo-,” Ginny was about to ask before Mrs. Weasley rushed towards them, her arms opened wide.




 

“Oh, Ginny!” Mrs. Weasley cried as she wrapped her arms around Ginny. Without being able to object, or say anything, Ginny hugged her back. Mrs. Weasley then let go of her and turned her attention to Draco, wrapping her arms around him. “And, Draco, it’s so nice to have you here.”




 

Draco’s eyes widened, him not knowing what to do. Ginny watched and tried to stifle a laugh. And before Mrs. Weasley could let go, Draco quickly wrapped his arms around her.




 

“You guys are early!  Your things arrived earlier. If you’d like, you two can go put them up in your room, and then come down. Afterward, I could used your help in the kitchen, Ginny.”




 

“Okay, Mum,” Ginny responded as they walked over the threshold. “We’ll be right back.”




 

“All right, dear,” Mrs. Weasley answered with a smile before she began working on the dishes again.




 

Ginny began to ascend the stairs. Draco watched as she moved up a few stairs, levitating her bags before he started to follow. The stairs creaked beneath his feet, and a flicker of worry flashed across his face as the image of the stair beneath him collapsed, him falling through the air.




 

Before he could control his thoughts, he questioned Ginny, “How much further are you up?”




 

“A couple more flights,” she answered. Looking over her shoulder at him, she asked,




 

“Why? You aren’t tired already, are you?”




 

“Of course not,” he snapped without realizing.




 

She let out a soft chuckle as she caught his worried glance to the stair underneath him. “The stairs won’t collapse either. There’s nothing to be scared of.”




 

“I’m not scared,” he snapped again.




 

“Don’t talk to her like that,” Fred said as he and George poked their heads out of their old bedroom.




 

“Yeah. We may just have to show you about respect,” George added as he looked at Draco.




 

Ginny rolled her eyes and looked at her brothers. “If you two don’t stop threatening him, I swear to Merlin I’ll show you what respect is. Don’t forget, I don’t only know where you’ll sleep tonight, but I know where you sleep every night. So, if I were you two, I’d shut your trap if you don’t want to sleep with one eye open.”




 

“What do you think about that, Fred?”




 

“I’d have to say our sisters’ wrath hasn’t changed after all these years,” Fred answered. After a short second, grins etched on the twins faces. “Welcome back, Ginny.”




 

“Happy Christmas,” Ginny smiled before she started to move up the last flight of stairs.




 

“Happy Christmas,” Fred and George chorused as Draco followed Ginny.



 


A few short minutes passed before Ginny opened a door. “Here we are. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”




 

Draco set his bags down and looked at her. Without an answer, he sat down on her bed and let out a deep sigh. “Are they ever going to let the past go?”




 

She looked at him with a slight sorrow as she sat next to him. “Them letting go of the past is like you letting go of your prejudices when you were younger. It didn’t happen right away, and it’s not going to with them. Will it happen eventually? Yes, I surely believe it will.”




 

Taking his hand into hers, Ginny leaned closer to him and kissed his cheek. As she was about to say something, Hermione stood in the doorway and said, “I thought I heard your voice.”




 

“Along with the ferrets,” Ron said smugly. 



 


Hermione elbowed him in the stomach and scolded, “Why don’t you go join your dad and Victoire outside?” Ron grumbled and made his way down the stairs. Hermione watched as he made his way down the stairs before saying, “Sorry about that. He’s just crabby because I woke him up early.”




 

Ginny looked up to see Hermione. She beamed and moved to Hermione, giving her a hug. Hermione reciprocated, and then pulled away.




 

“How are you?” Ginny asked.




 

“I’m good, how about yourself? I see you and Draco made it safely.”



 


Ginny turned to look at Draco who was still looking at the floor. She turned back to Hermione and said, “For the most part anyway. We just came from his parents’ house. We stayed there last night, had dinner, and brunch this morning.”




 

“Oh,” Hermione said softly. She then leaned in to Ginny and lowered her voice, “Is that why he looks so glum?”




 

“I hope you know, Hermione, no matter how low you make your voice, I can still hear you,” Draco said as he finally looked at the two.




 

When Draco’s gray eyes reached Hermione’s brown ones, color rose into her cheeks and her eyes darted from his. As she looked to Ginny and then the floor, she said,




 

“Well, Happy Christmas, Draco.”




 

“Happy Christmas, Hermione,” he responded.




 

He then stood from the bed and walked over to them. “I think I’m going to go downstairs and see if your mum needs help with anything.”




 

“She’ll appreciate that,” Ginny said with a smile. Draco then kissed her before walking out of the room and down the stairs. Ginny’s eyes finally reached Hermione’s inquisitive glance. “What’s that look for?”




 

“Oh, nothing,” Hermione answered with a slight smirk on her face.




 

The two of them walked into Ginny’s room, closed the door, and then sat on her bed and began to talk as they used to when they were in Hogwarts. Hermione looked at Ginny as she crossed her legs underneath her.




 

“So…you and Draco…,” Hermione said, trailing off.




 

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” Ginny replied with a smile.




 

“I don’t know about ‘funny’ per say. More like shocking,” she mused.




 

Ginny shrugged. “I don’t know what it is. He’s different than he was in Hogwarts, Hermione.”




 

“Well, I see that. He didn’t call me ‘mudblood’ as usual.”




 

At that, Ginny’s eyes darkened slightly. She looked to her bed and then back to Hermione. “I’m serious, Hermione. He has changed. He’s nothing like he was in Hogwarts. He’s been a huge help with my…,” Ginny paused slightly, “problem. And most of all, he makes me happy.”




 

“Happier than what you have been,” Hermione countered. She then reached for Ginny’s hand and cupped it with hers. “He may have changed a little bit, Ginny, but I can guarantee you that he hasn’t changed completely. I’ve seen him at the Ministry, and I don’t see that much of a difference. He’s still a Malfoy, and I’m sure you won’t forget who they followed ad what they stood for….”




 

When Ginny didn’t say anything, Hermione stood from the bed and began to walk out of the room. She paused in the doorway and looked back at Ginny with a small smile. “All I’m trying to say is to be careful.”




 

Without waiting for a response, Hermione went down the stairs. Ginny let out a rough sigh as she laid down on the bed. After a few minutes of her thoughts whirring around what Hermione said, she stood up and made her way into the kitchen.




 

As she reached the kitchen, she didn’t see Draco anywhere. She moved into the kitchen and spotted Fleur, her stomach even bigger than before.




 

“Fleur, look at you! You look fantastic!” Ginny exclaimed as she walked up to her and embraced her in a hug.




 

A huge grin came upon her face as she hugged Ginny back. “Thank you, Ginny! You look wonderful!”




 

“Don’t I always?” she questioned jokingly. Fleur let out a laugh and Ginny continued, “Seriously though, how are you feeling?”




 

“I’m great! Honestly,” Fleur said with a laugh as she saw the skepticism cross Ginny’s face. “I definitely can’t wait for this little guy to be born.”




 

“I can only imagine! Soon, though,” Ginny said with a smile. “Hey, Mum, where’s Draco? I thought he was going to help you in the kitchen.”




 

“I sent him outside to collect some firewood with your father and brother,” she answered as she looked at Ginny. “You best go and collect them. Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes, and we need a roaring fire with it.”




 

“Alright. Be back in a minute,” she replied as she went through the door and out to the yard.




 

As soon as she walked out the door, Fred and George walked into the kitchen as Fleur stated, “She looks happy.”




 

“Yes, it’s a good change,” Mrs. Weasley agreed as she brought over a food dish.




 

“I’m worried,” Hermione spoke up as she took a sip of water from her glass. She then took a seat as everyone looked at her. “Oh, you can’t tell me you’ve had the same thoughts.”




 

“Actually, Hermione, I haven’t worried about her since she left Romania,” Charlie answered as he walked into the kitchen.




 

Hermione turned to look at him. Her brows furrowed as she analyzed him. “I’m not talking about her drinking problem.”




 

“Neither was I,” Charlie answered with a grin. “Besides, it’s Christmas and we should just be counting our blessings that Ginny’s out of her bad place and happy.”




 

“That’s my boy,” Mrs. Weasley said. She pulled Charlie into a hug and kissed his cheek. “Now, where are those four?”




 

“Right here, dear,” Mr. Weasley answered, wrapping his arms around her waist.




 

“Oh, you’re cold! Quick, quick! Get those logs into the fireplace and get that fire started.”




 

Draco, Mr. Weasley, and Ron moved to the fireplace and set the logs in it. They then started the fire, and went back to the table where everyone was seated. As they took their seats, Mrs. Weasley looked around the table with a smile and said, “Everyone, dig in!”




 

Without a moment to spare, everyone began to take food and pass dishes along. All of them began talking about different things. After a while, things began to quiet down and Mrs. Weasley began to clear the dirty dishes. Once the table was clear, she brought over the dessert and served it.




 

As the dessert portion began, the talking started again. Draco and Ginny were sitting next to each other as they were talking to Charlie and Bill.




 

“So, Draco…,” Fred trailed off to get his attention. Draco looked up at him. Fred then continued, “How was your visit with your Mum and Dad? Hermione here was just telling me you and Ginny were there last night to celebrate Christmas.”




 

“Yes, we were,” Draco answered as he felt Ginny’s hand enclose around his. “It wasn’t too bad. We had a good visit.”




 

“That’s good,” he replied.




 

“How was good ol’ Lucius?” George asked.




 

“George!” Mrs. Weasley hissed, shooting him daggers.




 

“It’s fine, Mrs. Weasley,” Draco replied. He looked back at George as he realized the whole table went silent. “My dad is fine. He’s been keeping quiet and living out the rest of his life.”




 

“Wonderful, wonderful,” Fred and George responded. “And your dear mother? How is she doing? By the way, does she still look as if she has dung under her nose?”




 

Draco stood quickly, a look of fury on his face. Ginny stood up with him, holding him back as she glared at Fred and George. Mrs. Weasley looked furious as she scolded the twins.




 

“What is wrong with you two?!” Ginny questioned.




 

Fred and George were leaning back in their chairs, relaxing as they looked up at Ginny.




 

Before they, or anyone else, could respond, Charlie stood and said, “There’s something you all should know.” When no one turned to him, he swallowed hard and said louder, “I’m gay!”




 

Silence filled the room as everyone looked to Charlie, baffled. Charlie looked at them wide eyed, not able to believe that he had just blurted it out.




 

Mrs. Weasley looked at Charlie with tears in her eyes. Her bottom lip quivered as she asked, “W-what did you say?”




 

Swallowing hard, his eyes diverting, Charlie answered, “I said I was gay, Mum.”




 

“Gay?”




 

Fred and George let out a low whistle as they looked from Charlie to Mrs. Weasley. Everyone else was watching the two, anticipating what was going to happen next.




 

“Maybe we should move into the living room?” Draco questioned as he looked at Ginny. She looked up at him questioningly, not understanding what he was asking. He then nodded his head to the living room.




 

“No,” Charlie answered. “You all are a part of this family, and we need to discuss this. Mum, I’m gay. And it’s part of the reason why I haven’t come back so often.”




 

“Y-you’ve been afraid to come home?!” Mrs. Weasley choked out.




 

Charlie shook his head. As he was about to answer, Ginny shot across him and said, “He didn’t mean it like that, Mum. What he’s trying to say is that -.”




 

“What he was trying to say was that he wanted to come home, but he didn’t want to ruin the wonderful day you always had planned,” Draco continued. Everyone looked at him in surprise. He swallowed and said, “I’m sure I’ve said enough. I think I’m just going to excuse myself….”




 

Draco took that moment to walk out of the room and up the stairs. The room was quiet until Ginny moved closer to Charlie. She embraced him in a hug and said, “I love you, Charlie. No matter what.”




 

He returned the hug, his eyes never leaving Mrs. Weasley’s. She continued to look at him, her eyes still watery. Finally looking away, she moved to the stove, taking out a sheet of cookies. “Why don’t we all move into the living room? I’ll bring in the cookies and mugs of hot chocolate.” When she didn’t hear any movement, she looked at them and said, “Go on ahead. Oh, go on, I’ll be right in.”




 

All of them then began to make their way into the living room. After Mrs. Weasley placed the cookies in a container and the hot chocolate on a tray, she looked up and jumped as she saw Charlie. “Oh, Charlie, you scared me! What are you doing in here? You’re supposed to be in the living room.”




 

“Mum, we need to talk about this,” Charlie said as he took a step closer to her.




 

“Not today, Charlie. Today’s Christmas, and it’s a happy one.”




 

“Will you just look at me?” he questioned, his voice raised. Mrs. Weasley looked at him surprised at his tone. He took advantage and said, “I’m sorry it came out like it did, but I couldn’t see Ginny how she was at Bill’s birthday party. She deserves to be as happy today as anyone.”




 

“It’s okay, I understand,” Mrs. Weasley responded. “I understand you made an excuse to let things slide.”




 

“This isn’t just a joke, Mum. When I said I was gay, I meant it. There’s someone in Romania that I’m seeing, and I care a lot about him.”




 

Without warning, Mrs. Weasley broke into sobs. About to collapse on her knees, Charlie caught her and she continued to sob. Charlie held onto her tight, trying to console her.




 

“There’s just so much. There’s just so much going on,” she sobbed. “My family is falling to pieces. First, Harry dies, then there’s Ginny with her drinking problem and now with Draco, and now you! What else could happen?”




 

“Mum…everything’s okay. Things just worked out differently then you planned – then we all planned. That’s okay though, Mum. Ginny’s fine and happy, and I’m happy.”




 

Although her sobs didn’t stop, she looked up at him and hiccupped, “Are you happy? Do you promise me you’re happy?”




 

“I’m more than happy. I’m even happier knowing you know now.”




 

“Do you guys need some help in here?” Fleur asked as she saw Mrs. Weasley sobbing onto Charlie’s chest.




 

“I think we’re okay, Fleur. Thank you though,” Charlie answered.




 

Fleur was about to walk back when Mrs. Weasley said, “Wait. Fleur, wait a moment. Can you take the cookies and hot chocolate out to everyone?”




 

“Of course,” she answered with a smile. She grabbed the tray of hot chocolate and levitated the cookies to the other room. As she was making her way in, she had a sharp pain run through the course of her stomach. She dropped the tray and leant against the wall.




 

“Fleur! Fleur, what is it?!” Bill asked as he rushed to her. She let out a loud groan.




 

“It’s time, Bill! The baby’s coming!” Fleur bellowed as she let out another scream.




 

At those words, everyone began to rush about. Bill walked Fleur to the fireplace and the two of them vanished to St. Mungo’s.




 

Victoire wailed as everyone started to talk and move around. Ginny grabbed Victoire and tried to soothe her. Everyone began Apparating to the hospital. Draco stayed close to Ginny and asked, “Do you want to stay here or should we go with the rest of your family?”




 

“Well of course we’re going to go! You know I’m not very patient and would go crazy waiting here!”




 

Draco chuckled and took a hold of her wrist. “There certainly is never a dull moment with the Weasley’s!”


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