Thank you all for the lovely reviews! They're always inspirational! Here's XXII, hope you all enjoy! :)
*WARNING: Strong Violence
(GORGEOUS banner by Anthea at TDA! :D)
The next morning when Ginny and Draco made their way to the Great Hall for breakfast, they noticed the Valentine’s Day decorations. They walked into the Great Hall to see tiny cherubs flying around the hall with tiny bows and arrows acting like cupid. Ginny chuckled as one flew towards her and Draco, shooting an arrow at Draco’s forehead.
“Stupid flying thing,” he mumbled darkly under his breath.
“Oh, cheer up! Last night went great, and Valentine’s Day is Friday,” she said with a chuckle in her voice as she leant over and kissed his cheek.
“I don’t think I’d be able to forget with all this junk around.”
Ginny frowned slightly as they sat down, taking notice of Draco’s dark mood. They ate breakfast in silence and parted ways before class started.
A few days passed and Draco was still in his gloomy mood. He was short with everyone and even more brutish then usual. At first it wasn’t bothering Ginny, but as the days passed, it really started to weigh on her mind.
She was sitting in her classroom, checking papers and other people on her break, when her mind began to wander about Draco. Moving the quill back and forth in her fingers, the feather began to tickle her chin as she thought about some of the reasons why Draco had been acting like he had all week.
Maybe the conference was too much…he did, after all, punch his father. Maybe he’s just getting sick of me, that is very plausible. I mean, honestly, who couldn’t get sick of me? Even I get sick of me. Perhaps he’s just avoiding me, trying to warn me about what’s about to happen…could he be leaving me?
A tapping at the window brought her out of her trance. She looked over to see Pigwidgeon standing on the outside ledge. Ginny shook her head slightly and walked over to the window, opening it. Pigwidgeon flew in from the cold quickly, landing on Ginny’s desk, and shook his wings of the snow that landed on him.
Ginny walked back over to her desk and sat down, grabbing the small scroll that Pigwidgeon dropped. She unrolled the scroll and unconsciously rummaged through her drawer to pull out a treat for Pigwidgeon. He nipped the treat out of her hand and then flew out of the classroom, leaving Ginny alone once again.
She looked back down at the tiny scroll, recognizing Draco’s handwriting as she read:
We need to talk. I’ll see you soon, love.
Well, where else would I be? she questioned herself, a small chuckle coming out. But then her worries reformed in her mind, and she bit on her lip. Should I be worrying? I mean…he did say “love” in the note…. If it was bad, he wouldn’t be calling me that…would he? Suddenly, the bell rang and the students poured into the classroom, her thoughts set in the back of her mind to worry about later.
Finally, after all of her classes were over, Ginny went straight down to Draco’s office to meet him as usual, but he wasn’t there. The thoughts that bothered her earlier rose again. Her brows furrowed and she bit her lip before she walked out of his office.
Once she left his office, she walked to the Great Hall, expecting to see Draco there. Looking up at the high table instantly, her small excitement died down when she didn’t spot him. She then walked up to the table, sat in her seat, took some food, and talked to her other colleagues.
When she finished dinner, she walked over to Bolton and bent near his ear, “Can I have a word with you once you’ve finished?”
“I’m done now,” he responded quickly, setting his napkin on the plate and standing up.
“Are you sure? It doesn’t look like you’re even half done…,” Ginny trailed.
“I’m not that hungry,” he responded.
“Well, if you’re sure,” she said. “Is my office alright?”
He nodded as they walked out of the Great Hall, and started up the stairs. Their walk was completely silent and Ginny’s hands wrung together slightly.
Eventually, after a long silence, they finally reached Ginny’s office. She opened the door with candles all around the room already lit. Her brows furrowed slightly as a few floating candles led up the stairs. She shook her head and turned to Bolton.
“I didn’t know you liked candles,” he commented as he took in all the candles.
“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me, Bolton. They’ve become therapeutic, but I can assure you I never have this many….”
“Did you forget to blow out a few?” he asked with a small chuckle.
“No…I didn’t have any lit this afternoon,” she replied.
He looked at her suspiciously and she walked to her desk slowly, looking up the spiraling staircase where a few more floating candles led up to. “Umm…I have something for you in my desk drawer….”
She opened her drawer and looked through the different files she had. “Ah, here we go,” she said, taking out a folder and looking at it. “Here’s the folder that you were asking for. And I just really wanted to thank you again for everything Monday night.”
“It’s no problem, Ginny. Thank you for the files. Have a good night,” Bolton answered quickly before turning and walking back to the door.
“You too, Bolton,” she called after him.
When he walked out of the door, Ginny then looked to the stairs again and started walking up them slowly, her hand wrapped around her wand. She reached the top and had her hand on the doorknob, counting the seconds before she’d open the door. Taking in a deep breath, she opened the door slowly and stepped in, brandishing her wand out in front of her.
“Damnit, Malfoy,” she cursed as she saw him and lit candles surrounding the room, her breath caught in her throat.
“Did I scare you?” he asked with a slight chuckle as he walked up to her, kissing her on the cheek. She pulled away from him and looked at him, her expression unreadable. He looked at her with a slight smirk. “I’m sorry I scared you.”
“It’s not that, it’s just…if you plan on ending things between us, I’d rather you not make it harder than it will be.”
He looked at her, his smirk completely gone and his brows furrowed. “What do you mean ‘end things?’”
“You’ve been acting strange and distant all week, and your behavior makes sense if you’re going to end things,” she said quietly, her eyes looking away from him.
Draco chuckled again lightly and moved towards her. His arms wrapped around her waist, and he kissed her lightly. “Ginny Weasley, don’t you know I love you?”
She bit her lip as she finally looked at him. Her brown eyes searched his gray ones, and then a small smile came upon her lips. Before she could say anything, he continued, “I’m sorry if it seemed like I was avoiding you or that I was being harsh. It wasn’t anything personal, it’s just I didn’t want you to spoil the surprise.”
“Surprise?” she asked in curiosity.
His arms moved away from her waist, and his hand went into his robes pocket. He took out a small, black velvet box and got down on one knee, taking her hand, and looking up at her.
She looked down at him, her breath caught in her throat once again, and her jaw hung slightly open. Her eyes left his really quick as they watered, and she finally understood all of the candles in the room and down in her office. She looked back down at him when he squeezed her hand gently.
“Ginevra Molly Weasley, you’ve made these past six months the greatest months of my life. I never thought I’d be able to find someone like you, someone so strong, thoughtful, and caring. And I know it may seem a little soon, but will you please do me the honor of being my wife?”
A few tears were rolling down Ginny’s cheeks as she continued to look down at Draco. When he finished, she nodded her head quickly and choked out a yes. He grinned, slid the ring on her finger, and stood up, kissing her hard.
She kissed him back, her hands running through his hair while his arms wrapped around her body. They ran up and down her back slowly, his hands playing around with the ends of her hair.
He then pulled away and smiled at her. “Are you sure it’s not too soon?”
“I’m very sure,” she smiled. “Now stop ruining the moment, Draco.”
Bolton came back a few minutes after he had left Ginny’s office, needing a few more papers that weren’t in the folder. When he didn’t see Ginny in her office, he started to go up the small spiraling stairs to her bedroom. He reached out and was about to knock when he heard Draco.
“ – seem a little soon, but will you please do me the honor of being my wife?”
All of the air that supplied his lungs seemed to escape him as his mouth hung open. The fist that was about to knock on the door tightened and he hurried down the stairs quietly and out of her office.
Once he was out he sped along the corridors, trying to get to his bedroom. Before he reached it though, he lost his cool and began to punch the wall. When he felt a couple of his knuckles break and the opened skin that was bleeding, he slid down the wall and sat down, his head hitting the wall gently.
“This is what you asked him to do,” he uttered to himself as his head rested against the wall and his eyes closed.
Early next morning, Ginny went to the owlery and wrote to her parents, asking them if they could have a family dinner that evening. Once she tied the letter to Pigwidgeon’s leg, Ginny headed back to her bedroom where Draco was still sleeping.
She reached her bedroom door and opened it slowly. A small smile crept onto her face as she saw Draco lying on his stomach, his arms wrapped around his pillow. She slipped off her shoes and tiptoed to the bed.
Climbing in, she leaned against Malfoy who suddenly mumbled, “There she is.”
Ginny jumped slightly and then kissed her shoulder as she chuckled. “Yes, I’m here.”
Draco turned over so he was on his back and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to his body. Her head rested on his chest and he ran his fingers through her hair as he asked, “Where’d you go?”
“To the owlery,” she answered nonchalantly as she looked down at her newly obtained ring.
“Decided to spend the morning with the owls rather than your husband-to-be, eh?”
She looked up at him with a smile. “Mmmm…I like how that sounds.”
“Oh, you do, do you?” he asked as he looked at her, a small smirk upon his lips.
“Very much so,” she whispered as she leant up and kissed him.
He welcomed the kiss and kissed her back, rolling her over onto her back. Holding himself up, he moved his lips along her jaw and down to her neck as his hands roamed over her body. She let out a soft sigh as her own hands roamed across his naked torso.
Suddenly, there was a tapping on the window and Draco let out a slight groan as his lips moved back to hers. She looked towards the window to see Pigwidgeon as she kissed him.
She tried to pull away, but Draco wouldn’t allow her to get far and mumbled against his lips, “We. Have. To. Let. Him. In.”
Draco pulled away slightly and looked at her. “He can wait,” he responded as he leant down and kissed her again.
Ginny chuckled and kissed him again before she started towards the edge of her bed. Her legs reached the edge and she kissed him one last time before standing up.
Draco groaned and fell onto the bed, his hand running through his hair. “Your bloody owl has the worst timing.”
“Now, now, don’t be mean to Pigwidgeon,” Ginny chuckled as she opened the window.
Pigwidgeon flew in and landed on Draco’s stomach, shaking his wings a little to spray Draco with the melted snow. Draco stood up quickly and grimaced at Pigwidgeon.
Pigwidgeon stared at Draco, his eyes unwavering, and Ginny began to laugh. “I told you not to be mean to him.”
“I’ll be back with breakfast,” he said as he put his robe on and walked to the door.
As he walked through the door, Ginny could hear him mumble “bloody owl.” She chuckled and then sat on the bed next to Pigwidgeon, and stroked the top of his head with the back of her two fingers. She then slid the letter attached to his leg.
“Better get going before he gets back,” she said.
Pigwidgeon nipped her finger affectionately and then flew off. Ginny moved to the window and shut it again before reading the scroll.
I was so happy to get your note, and to get the family altogether! Dinner will be at 6 0’clock. Feel free to come early with Draco.
Ginny smiled and looked towards the door as Draco walked in with a tray of assorted breakfast foods.
“Breakfast in bed?” Draco asked with a slight smirk. She nodded and sat on the bed as he walked over and sat on the bed, placing the tray down in front of them. “So, what’s in the letter?”
“Dinner plans for tonight,” Ginny responded as she took a bite out of piece of toast.
“Family dinner at my parents tonight.”
“Oh, joy,” he sighed as he rolled his eyes, a smile on his face the whole time.
Ginny laughed and threw a grape at him. Draco looked at her in mocked shock before leaning over and kissing her. And before either of them could control themselves, they fell down onto the bed together.
Draco and Ginny were standing in Ginny’s fireplace about to floo to her parents’ house.
“Ready to share the fantastic news?” Ginny asked as she linked hands with him.
He looked at her as he took a handful of floo powder in his free hand. “As long as they think it’ll be good news.”
“Are you kidding? Of course they will! How could they not after what happened at the conference Monday?”
He shook his head and shouted “The Burrow!” They begin to spin around passing crate after crate until their feet crashed into the one at the Burrow.
Mrs. Weasley rushed into the living room where the fireplace was to see Draco and Ginny stepping out, brushing the soot off their robes. She smiled and walked up to them with her arms opened. “Hello! Hello!”
After she finished hugging them both, she looked from one to the other with a grin. “What made you want a family dinner, Ginny?”
“I don’t want to say yet, Mum,” Ginny responded with a smile, her left hand hiding behind Draco’s as he held it. “I want to wait for everyone to be here.”
“They are, dear. They’re all in the kitchen. You guys just made it for dinner. Go on in and take a seat,” Mrs. Weasley said, pushing the two into the kitchen where everyone was seated around the table.
There was a rush of greetings as Draco and Ginny entered the kitchen. They said “hello” in return and then sat down in the two spot that were vacant. Mrs. Weasley levitated the last dish of food onto the table.
“Dinner is served!” she exclaimed as she sat down next to Mr. Weasley, giving him a swift kiss.
Everyone began to dig in and passing things. Draco passed the bowl of mashed potatoes to Ginny, and once Ginny took her proportion, she passed it to Charlie, who was sitting next to her, when Fred and George said, “Bloody hell!”
Everyone looked at them as Mrs. Weasley said, “Fred! George!”
“You’d say it too, Mum, if you saw the rock on Ginny’s finger!” Fred exclaimed.
Ginny blushed as all eyes turned to her and her hand. Draco looked at her too and chuckled. She placed her hands in her lap.
“What was that thing?” George asked as he looked at Ginny.
“Well, it wasn’t supposed to come out like this,” she said as she looked sharply at Fred and George, “but, Draco and I are engaged.”
There was a round of congratulations and Mrs. Weasley got up and rushed to the oven where there was a cake with white frosting and “Congratulations” written on the top.
“Oh, I just knew it!” Mrs. Weasley exclaimed as she brought the cake over.
Ginny looked at Draco suspiciously and he shrugged. “Well, I had to ask your parents, didn’t I?”
She smiled and kissed him. They pulled away quickly though when they heard the door to the yard slam shut. Ginny looked at the table to see Ron gone from the table. She, along with everyone else, then watched Hermione stand up from the table and go outside.
“Well,” Mrs. Weasley started as she set the cake onto the stove, “let’s continue eating, shall we?”
“I’ll be right back,” Ginny said after a few minutes. She stood from her chair and walked out of the door.
When she entered the yard, she looked around and spotted them by the wall her, Fred, George, and Ron used to throw the gnomes over. She wrapped her arms around her, making sure the ring was hidden under her arm, and walked over quietly.
“Ron? Hermione?” she said quietly.
Hermione looked back at Ginny, her eyes watery. She shook her head and turned her attention back to Ron. Ginny bit her lip as a lump caught in her throat.
“Ron?” she choked out as she took another step towards them.
When there wasn’t a response, Ginny started to walk away. As she took a few steps back towards the house, she heard Ron say, “I liked it better when you went to the bottle instead of Draco’s bed.”
Tears stung Ginny’s eyes as she froze into place. She stayed put and tried to pull herself together as her chin quivered slightly. A few minutes passed before she could say, “Perhaps you’d like it if I were dead and buried six feet under.”
“That’d be a whole lot better than you being with him. You’d at least be with who you’re supposed to be with.”
“Ron!” Hermione gasped.
His words tore into Ginny. She turned to look at him, his body still against her. Tears continued to sting her eyes as the heaviness came back in her chest and her stomach seemed to rip apart.
“Well I’m still alive, Ron! I’ve been to hell and back, and I’ll be DAMNED if you ruin this!” Ginny screamed, her tears no longer coming.
Without waiting for either of them to answer, Ginny turned and walked back to the house quickly. She went through the kitchen and straight to the fireplace. Taking a handful of floo powder, she threw it down as she yelled the destination of her fireplace in her office. Draco tried to stop her, but the green flames enveloped around her and spiraled her to her destination.
Draco went back into the kitchen, expected eyes came upon him, and he shook his head. “I couldn’t get her before she was gone, I’m sorry. I should go after her though. Thank you for the dinner, and support. See you later.”
He then walked back to the fireplace, and grabbed a handful of floo powder. Before he was about to shout out his destination, Hermione hurried towards him.
“Draco, wait, please wait!” she pleaded. He looked at her shocked, and she continued, “Please tell Ginny we’re sorry….”
Looking at her skeptically, he asked, “What happened out there?”
“R-Ron said some awful things. He didn’t mean them though, honest he didn’t,” she said hurriedly.
“Granger, what did he say?” Draco questioned as his teeth clenched together.
Hermione shook her head as she began to back away from him. Draco glared at her before throwing the floo powder down.
As soon as his feet hit the grate of Ginny’s fireplace, he went up to her bedroom quickly. When he pushed the door open, he saw Ginny curled up in her bed, the sheets over her. He walked over quietly as he sat down on the bed and started rubbing her back.
“Ginny, love, what’s wrong?” he asked softly.
She didn’t say anything, and just continued sobbing. She turned away from him. He shook his head slightly as he thought about what Ron could have said to her. He then took off his shoes and lied down next to her, wrapping an arm around her, his hand running up and down her arm to soothe her.
“It’s okay, Ginny. Whatever Ron said wasn’t supposed to be for you. He’s angry at me, not you.”
“You didn’t hear what he said,” she whispered softly.
“What’d he say?” he asked.
She didn’t answer for a few minutes, but when she did, she sniffed a couple times and whispered, “He said it’d be better if I were dead…like Harry….”
As soon as the words were out of her mouth, the blood boiled in Draco’s body. Ginny then began to sob again, and Draco cursed softly under his breath as he continued to soothe her.
Another half hour passed and Ginny’s crying lulled her to sleep. Draco moved off of the bed slowly so he wouldn’t disturb her. He then put on his shoes again, walked to the fireplace, and flooed back to the burrow.
“Where is he?” Draco questioned as he charged into the kitchen. Everyone was still sitting there. They looked up at him curiously. “Where’s Ron?”
“What’s wrong, Draco?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
“Where is he?” he asked again, ignoring Mrs. Weasley.
“I’m afraid he and Hermione left to go home, dear,” Mrs. Weasley answered softly.
Draco then moved out of the kitchen towards the fireplace again when Charlie stopped him. “What’s going on, Draco?”
“Your git of a brother told Ginny that he’d rather see her dead,” Draco growled. “If you’ll allow me to go take care of him, I’d greatly appreciate it.”
“He did what?” Charlie questioned. Draco didn’t answer, and Charlie interrupted his movements again. “Draco, let my family and I take care of it. You should be with Ginny right now.”
Draco scowled but nodded his head before he flooed back to Ginny’s office. When he landed there, he went back to his room and climbed into bed with Ginny, wrapping his arms around her to comfort her.
“When is everyone going to realize that you’ve been through enough…?” he questioned softly as he kissed her head.