Thank you all for the wonderful support! As we're heading to the close, I can't help but be more excited! I've had this chapter thought up before any other part of the story evolved as it has. I hope you all enjoy this next part immensely! Please, enjoy! :) Gorgeous banner by Saranghae at TDA! :)
The week before exams was extremely hectic for everyone. Students were studying like there was no tomorrow, their stress levels elevating greatly. The professors also grew stressed as their students continuously asked questions when they were panicked, and as they graded final papers and so on and so forth. Ginny and Draco seemed to be even more so due to the final decisions they had to make about everything, and the extra owls they were getting in the mornings with letters from invited guests. As they dealt with that, and the other professors dealt with the students and preparation for the exam, McGonagall dealt with the absence of Bolton.
“What do you mean he’s gone?” McGonagall asked sharply as she stood from her desk and walked over to Draco.
“One of the students came to my classroom and told me. I went to go look in his classroom, as well as his office, and there’s no trace of him. There’s nothing of his to be found,” Draco responded.
“He has to be around here somewhere. I didn’t give him the opportunity to leave his position.” McGonagall paused as she began to think. Her lips pursed as her nostrils flared in annoyance. She then looked back to Draco. “You’re absolutely positive that he’s gone?”
“I checked thoroughly, Headmistress. There is no sign of Bolton Lewin anywhere in this castle.”
“Off you go, Mr. Malfoy. Go back to your classroom and begin your lesson.”
“What about Lewin’s class?” Draco asked.
“I will be taking it over,” she said as she began leading their way to the door. “I suggest you get back to your classroom now, Mr. Malfoy.”
There still had been no sign or word of Bolton, and they had no way of getting in touch with him. McGonagall’s mood seemed to uplift slightly once the exams began and the students couldn’t ask her any more questions about the class or Bolton.
Finally, the exams finished, and the end of year feast was in progress. There seemed to be more kinds of food than usual. Everyone filled their plates at least a couple times and were talking merrily amongst each other. Not only were the students chattering excitedly, but the staff was too. Discussing their summer plans, Ginny and Draco’s wedding, and many other subjects.
It wasn’t until the end when McGonagall clinked her fork against her glass goblet for everyone’s attention. She stood from her chair and smiled tightly. “I wanted to congratulate you all on have a wonderful year at Hogwarts. Those who are experiencing their final year, I wish you the best of luck in the future. I know you all will do brilliantly in anything you set your mind too! And for the first year students, I hope you had a wonderful first year here!
“I wish you all to have a wonderful, good night, along with a wonderful, safe summer! I look forward to seeing all of you next year! Now, off to bed!”
Once she sat back down, the students began talking excitedly again as they moved from their tables and out the Great Hall. As they were filing out, the staff began to make their way out too. It wasn’t until Draco and Ginny stood that Ginny went over to McGonagall and asked, “We haven’t received confirmation your attendance at the wedding. You are coming, aren’t you?”
McGonagall looked up at Ginny with a slight smile. “I wouldn’t miss it, Miss Weasley.”
“Great!” Ginny exclaimed as she hugged McGonagall. “See you in a couple days then.”
“Good night, Miss Weasley, Mr. Malfoy,” McGonagall responded as she nodded her head to each of them.
Draco and Ginny then made their way to Draco’s room. When they reached it, Ginny went straight for the bed and lied down. Closing her eyes slowly, she began to relax.
“Are you feeling alright?” Draco questioned as he took off his robes and packed them into the suitcase that was lying opened on the floor.
“Just tired,” she answered softly.
He closed the suitcase and stacked it on top of all the others. Moving to the edge of the bed, he kissed her head. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay at your Mum and Dad’s tonight? We’re not on duty for getting the students on the train.”
“Yes,” she said as she opened an eye to look at him, “I’m sure I don’t want to go. I want to spend the last night with you here before we’re married. I won’t get to see you long tomorrow at all, so the next time I’ll see you is when I’m walking down the aisle.”
“Alright,” he said with a slight smile.
Silence fell between them and Draco moved off of the bed and to the drink cart, pouring himself a glass of water. He then sat down and began reading the paper. Ginny closed her eye again and tried to get back to sleep, but a nagging feeling wouldn’t go away.
Turning onto her side, she propped herself up on her elbow and asked, “Are you having second thoughts?”
“What?” Draco asked, his head turning to look at her.
“Are you having second thoughts about getting married? I mean, it’s understandable,” she said softly. “Things happened so quickly and this is something that no one expected – you and I together.”
“Stop it,” he said sharply. “Don’t start that. I’m not having any second thoughts, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks.”
She was about to say something when Draco shot across her, “Go to sleep, Ginny. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Her eyebrows furrowed and she turned over, her back to him. She grabbed the covers and pulled them around her, hugging them tightly. Closing her eyes gently, she began let the darkness surround her, trying to fall asleep. It wasn’t until a few minutes when she felt the bed shift, her Draco’s fingers trailing up and down her arm, and is warm breath again her ear that she fully relaxed and fell asleep.
The next morning, Draco was sitting at the table in in his room, reading the paper. As he sat there waiting for Ginny to wake up, his thoughts began to overtake him, taking him back to the night he went to see Bolton after Bevan Tannatt’s true identity was revealed.
“I know you know everything by now. I saw Shacklebolt make his way towards here. What happens from here? Are you going to go back on everything?”
“You had my word from the beginning. I’m not going to ruin all of the work you’ve done. I’ll be leaving as soon as possible, and you won’t hear from me again,” Bolton answered, walking away from Draco and the door.
“Are you sure about that? I see the way you’ve been looking at her – the way you’ve been longing for her,” Draco spat out as he moved inside and closed the door.
“I’m not going to compromise her happiness. Not now,” he responded. Turning around to look at Draco, his features showing he was upset, he said, “The only one you’d have to worry about is Hermione.”
“What does Hermione have to do with anything?”
“She knows,” Bolton answered simply.
Draco looked at him flabbergasted. After a moment, he got control of himself and asked, “How the hell does she know? Why’d you go and tell her? Of course she’s going to tell her best friend that you’re still around – if she hasn’t already!”
“Hermione figured it out soon after the conference. I had nothing to do with it. And she gave me her word that she wasn’t going to say anything. You and Ginny will get married on the fifteenth of June, as you plan, and then start your family…,” Bolton said with a lump in his throat. He turned away from Draco again as a heaviness weighed on his body, his eyes stinging from the moisture that had begun building up.
“If it doesn’t…so help me Merlin…,” Draco said, a slight growl in his throat.
Draco came back to reality when he heard the chair move next to him. He blinked a couple times before looking at her, a small smile on his face. “Good morning, sleepy.”
“G’Morning,” she replied as she yawned and stretched. When she was done stretching, she brought her knees to her chest and rested her head on them as she looked at Draco. “What were you thinking?”
“Hmmm?” he asked, looking up from his paper, setting it down again.
“What were you thinking of?” she questioned.
He smiled at her, and, as his thoughts whirred around the memory of his and Bolton’s talk, answered, “Just tomorrow.” She smiled back, Draco cutting across her before she could say anything. “We better be going. The more time we spend together, the more luck we lose out on.”
“Oh, rubbish,” she responded as her eyes sparkled.
“Now, Miss Weasley, are you trying to tell me you don’t believe in luck?”
“Oh, I definitely believe in luck. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be considered the luckiest girl in the world!” she exclaimed before she kissed him.
Kissing her back, a slight smile formed on his lips. After a few moments, he pulled away and brushed a strand of hair away from her face. He then brushed his thumb along the bottom of her lip and softly said, “I think it’s time to get you to your mother’s. Don’t want to be like Nearly Headless Nick when I meet you at the altar.”
“Never thought you’d be saying that to any girl, Mr. Malfoy,” she responded with a slight smirk.
“And on that note, we’re off,” he said as he took her hand, and pulled her with him as he stood from his chair quickly and to the fireplace. Grabbing a handful of floo powder, he shouted, “The Burrow!”
Once they were done spinning, their feet slammed against the grate, Ginny stumbled forward, Draco catching her arm as she was about to lose her footing. She looked back at him with a smile.
“You’re here!” Hermione exclaimed as she peeked around the corner.
“Right on time as I promised,” Draco replied, a small smile trying to come onto his face.
Ginny grinned and hugged Hermione, her bigger stomach noticeable. She then pulled away, “Is Mum in the kitchen?”
“In the yard, actually, tending to the chickens.”
“Alright, I’m going to go see her. See you tomorrow, Draco,” Ginny said as she turned to him, and kissed him. “I love you.”
“Love you too. Have a good time,” he responded as he kissed her back. She then left, Hermione starting to follow behind her before Draco caught her attention, “Hermione? Do you have a moment?”
“Sure,” Hermione answered after moment, her voice soft. She turned and looked at Draco, her eyes hardly meeting his.
He looked at her intensely, but instead of saying what he really wanted, he said, “Take care of her, will you?”
“Don’t worry,” she smiled timidly.
Without responding, Draco grabbed a handful of floo powder, shouted his destination and was enveloped in the green flames. Once he was gone, a dreading feeling came over her. “What am I supposed to do…?”
Later that night, Ginny was lying in her bed, staring at the ceiling as she thought about how her day was going to go tomorrow. She closed her eyes and smiled as she imagined herself at the altar with Ginny, everything turning out as it had for Hermione and Ron’s. Drowsiness came over her, and her images became a dream.
A soft melody filled the air, signaling for Hermione and Fleur to start walking down the aisle. Fleur went first, her Veela beauty mesmerizing all the wizards that watched her fluid movements. When she was about to reach the altar, Hermione began walking down, stopping herself from taking her hurried steps. As she was about to step to the altar, Ginny handed Victoire her small white basket filled with red roses.
As she watched her throw the petals down, Ginny came into the view of the doorway and looked at the altar to see Hermione, Fleur, Charlie, and Ron. Once her eyes roamed over them, her eyes landed on Draco, his black robes fitting him perfectly. A sparkle coming to her eye as her lips formed into a large grin.
As soon as Victoire was standing behind Fleur, the wedding march started and everyone stood from their chairs, their attention turning back to Ginny. She began walking down the aisle, her eyes continuing to gaze at Draco. When he saw her, a rare smile came to his face.
Catching a glimpse of the aisle, she could see that the rose petals that Victoire had thrown down were turning into calla lily petals. She abruptly stopped walking and looked behind her to see the petals behind her weren’t roses anymore. As she turned back around, she noticed everyone’s dresses and robes weren’t brightly colored in celebration, but were black in gloom.
Looking more closely, she could see tears running down people’s faces as they looked at her. Not knowing what was going on, she turned her attention back to where Draco stood, but there in his place was Harry. Her lips parted, her jaw dropping in shock.
“H-Harry?” she whispered, moving towards the aisle once more.
“Ginny!” Draco’s voice exclaimed in anguish.
She looked around, her feet still shuffling forward, not being able to stop them. Before she could find Draco, she was standing next to Harry.
“Ginny! Ginny! Ginny, wake up!”
She woke up with a start, sweat running down her forehead as her eyes tried to focus on something. A pair of warm, gentle hands cupped the sides of her face, a comforting voice filling her ears.
“It’s okay, darling. It was just a dream – only a dream,” a soothing voice said.
“M-Mum?” Ginny questioned puzzled.
“Right here,” Mrs. Weasley answered gently, taking Ginny into her arms, her hand running through her hair. Before either one of them said anything else, Ginny began sobbing into Mrs. Weasley’s shoulder.
After a while, Ginny’s sobs finally stopped and Mrs. Weasley moved away from her. Wiping away the tearstains that were on Ginny’s face, Mrs. Weasley said, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Ginny whispered.
“I brought you some water,” Mrs. Weasley said as she reached over to the table to grab the glass. She handed it to Ginny and watched her. “Do you want to talk about it?” Ginny shook her head and Mrs. Weasley sighed gently. “Now, you’re absolutely sure tomorrow’s the right thing to do?”
Ginny brought the glass away from her lips and looked at Mrs. Weasley. Her brows furrowed and she answered, “If I wasn’t sure, Mum, do you think I would go through all this? I’m absolutely positive…. My dream had n-nothing to do with tomorrow.”
Looking hard at Ginny, Mrs. Weasley nodded and then smiled. She stood from Ginny’s bed and kissed the top of her head. “Get some sleep. Tomorrow’s going to be a long day.”
As the door closed, Ginny lied back down. Pulling the covers to her chin, gripping onto them, she whispered, “It was just a dream.”
The next afternoon, Ginny was in a spare bedroom of the Malfoy Manor getting ready. Looking in the mirror, she frowned as she saw the circles that had formed under her eyes from the lack of sleep last night. She let out a sigh and started to see what she could do in getting rid of them.
“Come in,” she said as a knock came to the door. Seeing Hermione’s reflection in the mirror, Ginny smiled. “You look gorgeous! I’m so glad you’re here! Do you know how to get rid of -,” Ginny then paused when she saw the look on Hermione’s face. “What’s wrong, Hermione?”
Hermione bit on her lip slightly, her hands wringing together, and her watery eyes not meeting Ginny’s. Her brows furrowed as she looked at her shoes, the clench in her stomach increasing while the seconds passed by.
“What is it, Hermione? Tell me,” Ginny prodded.
“I don’t know how to tell you this…,” Hermione whispered.
“Tell me what?”
Before Hermione could respond, another knock came to the door and Narcissa walked in. “Draco wanted me to come check on you. How are you and my grandchild doing?” she asked, ignoring Hermione completely.
“I’m fine, Narcissa,” Ginny answered exasperatedly as she warily looked away from Hermione.
“Wonderful! Oh, look at those bags. Let me help you with those. I have just the trick!” Narcissa exclaimed, leading Ginny to the seat in front of the vanity mirror.
“Narcissa, I really can’t,” Ginny replied, as she turned to look at Hermione.
“Go on,” Hermione mouthed to Ginny before she slipped out quietly.
Ginny turned back around to look into the mirror. Expecting to see the circles still under her eyes, she was surprised to see that it looked like they never existed. “How did you?”
“Family secret,” Narcissa replied. “Time to get you in that wedding dress.”
A half hour had passed, and Ginny, Hermione, Fleur, and Victoire were in the tent that was set up off to the side of the tent all the guests were sitting in. Fleur was talking to Victoire, reinforcing how she was supposed to walk down the aisle and throw the petals.
As the two were distracted, Hermione took the moment to approach Ginny again. “Ginny?”
“What were you going to tell me earlier?” Ginny questioned without waiting.
Again, before Hermione could answer her, the music started and Fleur had begun making her way down the aisle, her dark green dress flowing with her movements perfectly. Ginny tried to urge Hermione to tell her. Hermione shook her head and began making her way down the aisle. Ginny’s brows furrowed as she tried to think of all the things that Hermione could want to tell her.
“It can’t be too bad,” Ginny reassured herself in a hushed whisper. “If it were, she would make sure to tell me.”
Feeling slightly more optimistic, Ginny put a smile on her face. She walked to Victoire and bent down, kissing her cheek before whispering, “It’s your turn now, sweetheart. Meet you there in a moment.”
Victoire started to make her way down the aisle excitedly. Ginny stood in the mouth of the tent, looking into the side of the other conspicuously to look at everyone. Her eyes reached Draco’s and she smiled, not being able to help herself. She then placed her hand on her stomach and felt a small kick, her grin widening.
Even more excited to make her way down the aisle to Draco, Ginny grabbed her bouquet and waited for the wedding march to start. As she waited, her thoughts wrapped around the idea of her, Draco, and their baby in their brand new house.
“Ginny,” someone said softly as the wedding march started.
Her body went rigid, and her face lost all color as she recognized the voice. Turning around slowly, she looked up from her bouquet to see Harry. Her eyes began to water as her stomach plunged, and her heart pounded as it rose into her throat.
The wedding march started playing again, and Ginny didn’t move. Harry stepped toward her and she stepped backward, dropping the bouquet, and letting out a slight scream. Harry stepped back away from her immediately, his eyes closing tightly as his head leaned back in anguish.
Before either one of them could say anything, Draco was in the tent, Fred, George, Ron, Hermione, and Charlie following suit. Draco’s features darkened as he looked at Harry, his hand on the small of Ginny’s back. Hermione put on a small timid smile, her eyes watering slightly, as the rest of them looked at Harry in surprise.
“What kind of sick joke is this?” George questioned.
Silence filled the air, no one being able to say anything. Harry ignored George’s question and continued to look at Ginny.
After a minute, Ginny swallowed the lump in her throat, and asked shakily, “W-Who are y-you?”
“It’s me, Ginny,” he responded gently.
“No…Harry died five years ago….”
Harry shook his head. “I didn’t. It was staged.”
Ginny shook her head as her eyes watered. The churn in her stomach didn’t have anything to do with the baby now. She blinked the few tears that threatened to cross the brim of her eyes. Without thinking, she turned around, rushed through the space between Ron and Charlie, and ran inside the Manor.
“Look what you’ve done,” Draco said darkly, pure hatred burning through his eyes at Harry.
He walked out of the tent and went after Ginny. Finally reaching the room Ginny was in earlier, he knocked on the door softly before entering. Looking towards the vanity, he saw her sitting there, her face in her hands. As he walked over, he mentally cursed Harry, and ran his hand up and down Ginny’s back in comfort as he knelt down. She jumped and looked at Draco. Before he could say anything, she moved into his arms, wrapping hers around him tightly.
“What’s going on, Draco?” she sobbed. “This is just like my dream.”
“What dream?” he questioned gently, trying to keep the anger that was bubbling inside him from coming out.
Outside in the tent, everyone was talking to Harry, asking him questions, wondering what was going on. Eventually, Ginny and Draco came back into the tent. A mix between anger and sadness filled her as she saw her family, including Mr. and Mrs. Weasley who had come in, talking with Harry.
“Why now? After all this time, why would you come back now?” Ginny questioned, startling everyone.
“I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve wanted to come back, but there was never a right time. I thought I could do it, and I was determined to. But then, Hermione found out after the conference, and I just couldn’t take it.”
“You knew? You knew and didn’t care to tell me?!” Ginny questioned, her expression becoming stony as she glared at Hermione.
The tears that had been brimming in Hermione’s eyes fell as she shook her head. “I did care, Ginny. I-I was trying to tell you before the wedding. I – I…,” she continued before Harry shot across her.
“You can’t blame Hermione. I made her swear she wouldn’t tell anyone.”
“You’re supposed to be my best friend! How long have you known? How long have you known, Hermione!?” Ginny yelled, Hermione shaking her head quickly as her tears continued.
“Since the end of February,” Hermione whispered softly.
“Are you kidding me?!” she exclaimed. Suddenly she paused as she looked at Harry.
“W-wait a minute…. You said after the conference….”
“Yes,” Harry answered.
“H-How did you know? H-How could Hermione have found out…?” She suddenly started shaking her head furiously as her brows furrowed and eyes watered. “No…no, that can’t be. I would’ve known if I were speaking with you, and if I were with you for a whole year….”
“Not if I wanted to keep it a secret, and stay in disguise from everyone,” Harry answered.
“Did all of you know?! Did you know all know he was back?!” she suddenly screamed.
“Look at me, Ginny,” Harry said as he stepped toward her, his hands reaching to cup her face.
Draco stepped in front of her, looking at Harry harshly. “Don’t you dare touch her. Not now, not after everything you’ve done.”
“’After everything’? What do you mean?” Ginny asked as her chest heaved up and down in anger. He looked back at her, his expression a mixture of guilt and pain. Her chin quivered before she clenched her jaw shut. “You knew from the very beginning. Since the day we walked into McGonagall’s office. And that’s what you confronted about at the conference. You knew how much I was hurting! You saw me every day, and you knew how I loved him.
“And then you say you want to be there for me…that you want me to let you…,” she started but paused as she tried to regain her composure.
Before she had the chance to, Harry hurriedly said, “ Don’t blame him, Ginny. None of this is his fault. I asked him to do it.”
“To do what?” she asked after a short silence.
Draco’s brows furrowed as he looked intensely at Ginny. He reached to grab her hand, but she pulled it away violently. “Ginny, please….”
“Then answer me, Draco! What did he ask you to do?” A long pause followed her question and she hit him in the shoulder. “Tell me!”
He swallowed the lump in his throat, and looked at her as he answered thickly, “He asked me to help you move on from him, and to make you f-fall in love with me.”
“How dare you,” she said vehemently. He reached for her, but she slapped his hand away. “Don’t touch me!”
As he was about to say something, she shook her head and Apparated. Draco turned to Harry quickly, his hands balled into fists at his sides. The anger that was boiling in Draco’s body continued, but in a deathly whisper, said, “I knew it was too good to be true.”
Before Harry could say anything to Draco, he walked out of the tent and into the one where all the guests were waiting. He ran a hand through his hair and walked up the aisle to where he had previously been standing. Looking out in to the audience, he announced, “The wedding is canceled. I’m sorry for the short notice, and any inconvenience.”
Murmuring started, and Draco walked out of the tent, his parents following behind. They walked into Malfoy Manor, not saying anything to any of the Weasley’s or anyone else.
Later that evening, everyone was sitting around the long table at the Burrow. The place was eerily quiet, something that rarely happened with everyone there. They continued to eat dinner quietly, no one saying a word.
Charlie came down the stairs and entered the kitchen. He rubbed the back of his neck and shook his head as everyone looked up at him. He then took his seat in between Bill and Percy. As he sat down, Harry stood and started to walk out of the kitchen.
“Do you think that’s such a good idea?” Charlie asked, a harsh tone underneath his question.
“I’m done hurting her,” he answered simply before walking up the stairs.
As he reached the landing of Ginny’s room, he opened the door and walked in slowly. He closed the door softly, and sat on her bed. Reaching out and touching her shoulder, he said softly, “I can’t excuse my behavior, or diminish the hurt I caused you and everyone else. I’m sorry for everything. In the beginning, I thought it was the best thing, and it just continued. Then I began working for the Ministry, and –.”
“I don’t want to hear any bloody excuses, Harry,” Ginny shot across him as she turned over to face him. “Why wouldn’t you just tell me? Why would you have Malfoy do what you should have been? None of this would’ve ever happened if it weren’t for you.”
“I can’t go back and things, Ginny. If I could, I would. Don’t you understand I love you?”
“You love me?” she shot, a tone of disgust in her voice. “If you loved me, you would’ve NEVER done that to me. You would’ve NEVER asked another man to fall in love with me. NEVER would you have asked him to make me fall in love with him!”
“I did all of that because I love you! I read all the papers, and I was there for every conference you ever had. I asked him to do it so you could get on with your life! So you could go back to living your life instead of drinking it away!”
“Don’t you dare!” she shouted. “Don’t you dare bring that up! That started because of you! Because I lost you! Because I couldn’t bear living a second without you! How dare you try to make excuses for something you did.”
“I’m sorry, alright!? Is that what you want to hear?”
“I don’t want to hear anything from y -,” she started before he kissed her suddenly.
His lips ran roughly against hers in anger. Without thinking, she started kissing him back, her hands reaching up to the back of his hair. As her hands started running through it, she came to her senses and pulled away quickly, slapping him across the face.
“I may still love you, Harry Potter, but it’s because of you that I’m someone different. And because of you, I fell in love with another man, and am now carrying his child. Now, how do you feel about that? What do you have to say about that?”
“It doesn’t matter, Ginny. I love you, and that’s not going to stop. I don’t think you know how torturous it was being away from you. I missed you so much, and there wasn’t a day I didn’t think of you, or long for you.”
A few minutes passed, and when she didn’t say anything, he stood from the bed. He reached the door and opened it. As he was about to step out, she said, “It couldn’t have been too bad if you were able to ignore me for years.”
He walked out of the room, closing the door behind him. Ginny turned onto her side, her arms wrapping around her small bulging stomach. As she did, she felt a few kicks and began to cry.