Chapter 6 : Love is a Battlefield
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“Ginny!”, she heard the explosion before she heard her name being called from outside her door. The coin she had from the DA was shaking uncontrollably on her desk, as well as a few others around the room. She grabbed her wand from next to and practically jumped out of bed, still in pajama pants and a tank top. Whatever had just happened, she was sure there was no time.
Her brother came crashing into her room, “They’re in the castle, lots of them”, she didn’t need to be told who “they” were. She nodded and a few other girls from the DA of her year scrambled beside her all in their sleepwear, but their wands were out and ready. He nodded to all of them and they headed for the common room, bumping into the males and older girls like Hermione and Lavender on their way out.
“Where are they?” Ron seemed to have taken point and Hermione was right behind him.
“Astronomy tower, and fourth floor”, Hermione held the coin up to her ear. Ron’s eyes went wide that was much too close to the Ravenclaw common room. He said nothing after that just sprinted out into the hallway the fat lady barely had time to swing out of his way. The group of seven or so followed them out, wands drawn.
He didn’t know. He didn’t know what they wanted to use it for. He just fixed it, repaired it. That’s all he did that’s all they told him. He watched as the door swung open and they all just walked through his aunt grabbing him by the elbow and bringing him with her up… and up the stairs. There he was Albus Dumbledore. Draco wanted to scream at the man to run, but his aunt was at his elbow, he was trapped.
“Go on Draco”, she whispered, “Kill him”. Draco’s eyes flew wide. He couldn’t…
“I” he stammered.
“You can do it”, he felt cold fingers on his arm, Pansy had joined them. “He’s wandless it’ll be easy”, she whispered in his other ear. Draco’s wand was in his hand, but he couldn’t seem to raise it.
Dumbledore looked at him through his half moon spectacles, just as if he would any other night.
“Good evening Mister Malfoy, Miss Parkinson, Bellatrix”, he sighed, “I am afraid I do not know your peers”.
“Shut up you old fool”, Bellatrix hissed at him. Pansy let out a sound that could only be described as a sinister laugh beside her and she was joined by most of the death eaters. Draco looked fearfully at the old man who was his mentor and teacher. His wand still didn’t raise.
“Choices are a strange thing aren’t they Mister Malfoy”, Dumbledore smiled sadly. “They shape so much of who we are, wouldn’t you agree?”
Draco didn’t have time to respond, before anyone could move Snape burst through the door.
“Severus please”, the old man looked weaker than Draco had ever seen him.
Nothing else was said then, Severus pointed his wand at the Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore.
“Stupify”, Luna sent and then ducked behind a statue as curses bounced off of it, the deatheaters were coming down from the tower now, the whole group of them and flooding the stairs as they made their way to what Luna could only guess was the main entrance.
“Kill them”, Bellatrix flicked her wand at the gathering students who had overturned tables and desks and were throwing curses over them. Most were the DA a few were just unlucky Ravenclaws caught returning to their common rooms late.
“Get down”, a shout came from across the way and Harry sprinted out from the tower as well, he sent a curse over his friends head towards the fleeing deatheaters.
Luna heard another voice coming up the stairs, “Bombarda” a piece of the railing exploding knocking deatheaters back and some toppling over. She smiled the rest of the DA had come afterall.
Momentarily trapped between the students on the fourth floor and the others coming from up the stairs the Deatheaters had no choice, but to find cover and fight their way down slowly.
Spells flew past Draco’s head as he ducked under a statue, his mind couldn’t catch up with his feelings, or was it the other way around, they practically dragged him down the stairs of the astronomy tower and he tripped over himself nearly the entire way, he recoiled from Snape as the man tried to urge him on. That’s when he darted away from them.
It wasn’t until he heard voices that his brain started functioning and the shock wore off.
“Stupify… Protego”, Draco swore up and down, he knew that voice. Without thinking he rushed from behind the statue, and to his horror, Ginny was in an all-out duel with his mad aunt.
“Avada…” before the rest of the spell could form on his aunt’s lips he rushed forward, his wand in front of him. The curse shot out before he could say the words, and his aunt fell to the ground limp. He was now face to face with Ginny. She was bruised, but alive. He thanked god for what small miracles he could get.
Ginny starred at Draco, he had saved her life. Before they had much time to think about it however a curse flew past Draco, aimed straight for Ginny she brought up a protection charm with a flick of her wrist and glared past Draco.
Pansy looked feral as she starred daggers at Ginny, Draco turned placing himself between the two women.
“You”, Pansy raged and another spell meant for Ginny flew from her wand Draco blocked it before it reached Ginny’s protection charm. He took steps back his eyes not leaving Pansy as he moved closer to Ginny so he could protect her better, but the feiry red head rushed past him and three jets of light streamed from her wand. Pansy blocked the first two and smirked as the third came nowhere near here.
It didn’t take Draco long to realize the first two were simply a distraction, it was Ginny who was smirking when Pansy realized where the third spell had gone, she looked up at the statue that was now hovering over her head. It swooped her once and she ducked it. With fear she scrambled over the ruined staircase as it flew after her screaming.
Draco came up to Ginny’s side blocking a stupefy that was meant for her or him, he couldn’t tell at this point as she continued her reign of terror with the charmed statue. The deatheaters were fleeing along the staircase now, the DA pushed back into Hallways and out the main door, Draco watched Harry give chase. Ginny’s statue smashed to pieces against a door, and spells stopped flying.
The battle was over. He turned to Ginny, both of them breathing heavily from exhaustion and adrenaline. When Dumbledore spoke to him of choices he had assumed the one not to kill him, but Dumbledore was never that selfish, never that vein. He had made his choice. He chose to protect Ginny, that made him a traitor, he attacked his own, and that made him a threat.
She said nothing just pulled him into a crushing kiss, she entwined her fingers with his. Nearly everyone in the hall was now staring at him. It was time for Draco Malfoy to the face the music.
“You slimy”, Harry’s wand was out and pointed at Draco. When Ginny stepped in front of him to defend him he pushed past her.
“It’s alright”, he whispered to her dropped her hand. “I didn’t know till it was too late, not that it matters”, he sighed. What defense did he really have? He knew what he was doing was for some sinister purpose.
“You’re right it doesn’t, You let them in here! He’d still be alive”, Harry hissed.
Ginny stepped back from him. Her eyes wide, there was rage there and something else that made Draco want to shove Harry’s wand under his throat and tell him to do it.
“You…” she stumbled back away towards Harry, tripping over herself Draco jerked forward as if to catch her, but it was Harry’s outstretched arm that grabbed her. “I trusted…” she couldn’t seem to make a sentence. He had saved her life and was the reason she nearly lost it at the same time. “How could you?” She turned to run, but it was Hermione who caught her and pulled her into her grasp. Ginny’s eyes were on the ground, still stunned. She couldn’t look at him right now. She couldn’t see the face of the boy she loved and the man that just led to the death of her headmaster.
Harry’s face was masked with rage, and his wand was still pointed at Draco, his shifted his gaze to Ginny, “Him?” He spat, “How could you?”
It was Ron’s turn to realize what he had finally missed all this time. “You fucking ferret, that’s my sister”, now his wand was also trained on Draco.
Draco could have laughed, he had just let deatheaters into the school ultimately ending Dumbledore’s life and Ron was mad because Draco may have been intimate with his sister.
“Ron”, Luna’s small voice was behind him and she placed her hand on his arm, he lowered his wand, still fuming, but at least he wasn’t about to curse Draco, yet. “He saved her life”, the way she changed her voice to sooth Ron’s temper was something Ginny had seen no girl do before. She was the last person Draco expected to defend him. He had hoped Ginny would have said something, but now he knew he was being delusional, there was no forgiveness for what he had just done. He watched as her emotions mixed between rage and sorrow, he had hurt her beyond repair this time.
“How?” his voice was hurt and he looked to his sister.
“It was the ball”, Ginny said in a quiet voice, “I never meant…” Hermione still had her arm around her and Ginny promised herself she wouldn’t cry, but her voice was shaking. “I’m so sorry”, she whispered.
“People could have died today because of him!”, It was Harry’s rage that fueled the fire of the rest of the students, he had still not lowered his wand.
“It’s not like she knew Harry!” Hermione countered.
“No it was all him!” Ron’s wand rose up with accusation.
Draco dropped his on the ground. “Then I surrender myself to the mercy of the Order”, he held his hands up to show he meant it.
Ginny’s eyes darted up for the first time and another bit of shock hit her. Draco Malfoy had just surrendered. He looked back to her. She knew he was begging her to forgive him, but her look turned cold. “I don’t want to see him”, she spoke mostly to Hermione, but Draco didn’t miss her words and something wrenched in his heart as he felt it break.
Harry cursed. It would have been better if Draco fought. He saw the way he looked at Ginny. Bloody hell he loves her, was his thought before the Order apparated onto the stairs just below them.
Lupin was badly bruised, “We chased them into the dark forest and most of them managed to escape” he reported to no one in particular as he eyed the showdown between the students.
“Malfoy’s surrendered”, Harry said with strain.
“He saved Ginny’s life”, Luna spoke, “and attacked the deatheaters.” Draco was again wondering why she bothered to defend him.
“He bloody let them in the first place”, Ron shot at her a bit harshly that made her cringe away from him.
“Dumbledore…” Harry began. Lupin put a hand on his shoulder.
“We know, Harry.” He eyed Draco, “We accept your surrender and you will come with us, for questioning, and then we’ll decide what’s to be done with you”, Draco said nothing only nodded.
“Give this to Ginny”, Draco threw his wand towards Luna. He’d rather she have it then the order. Lupin and another member led him down the stairs, each one had a hand on his shoulder and their firm grip, Draco knew he would get no pity here.
Ginny had left with Hermione heading towards the Gryffindor common room, when the rest of them caught up. Ron wouldn’t even look at her, Luna seemed to be trying to console him, she watched as Order members rounded up the faculty, and the school to organize in the great hall, students were roused from their beds the ones who had been injured were treated, luckily nothing was too serious. A particularly nasty man had caught Cho Chang in a Crucio and she had blacked out. That seemed to be the worst case.
Harry cast a few glances her way a mix between anger and shock. Her parents and her brothers had shown up with the order of course and were filled in. Most of them were keeping a distance from her. Her mother however ran to take her daughter into her arms, making soothing noises. “Dad” she whispered when her father did the same, “I’m so sorry… “ She fell into his arms and he kissed the top of her head.
“It’s alright love”, he patted her hair, “It’s over now”.
She wished his words were true. That it could be over, that the pain Draco made her feel was because she hated him, but she didn’t, she couldn’t. The Order had taken him away and a part of her still feared for his safety and another part of her was grateful he had saved her life.
“I’ll kill him”, Ron whispered.
“That him, just saved your sisters life probably more than once tonight”, Luna tried to reason. “She knew what she was doing getting into this”. Ron turned on her then.
“What do you mean getting into this?” his gaze turned feral, “You knew?!” it wasn’t a question. Luna looked at the ground, “You didn’t tell me?” he barked.
“It wasn’t my place”, tears were threatening, “she needed to talk to someone.”
“He was a bloody deatheater!” every word broke Luna’s heart, as she shrunk away from him. “You let him and her.”
“Yes”, Luna found her own voice, “and without it, she’d be dead!” Luna shrieked at him. Ron looked shocked, Luna was never one to yell. Without another word she stormed off towards the group of Ravenclaws that were heading down the stairs.
He wanted to go after her, but he was sure he would only make matters worse. He didn’t really wish to speak to anyone at the moment, well maybe besides throttling Draco, but that wasn’t speaking anyway. He stormed off away he needed to clear his head, get some air.
“Breath”, Hermione reminded Harry, as she placed a hand on his shoulder. He turned towards her and immediately took her into his arms, holding onto her. Both let tears spill as they stood there.
“I know you hate him Harry, but…” he silenced her with a kiss.
“I know”, he sighed, “He surrendered himself, for her, because even if he fought, he’d be hurting her more and more, and he didn’t run, that takes more courage than I thought him capable of”.
“Do you think she actually saved him?” Hermione looked to where Ginny was sobbing with her parents.
“I don’t know”, Harry admitted, “It’s the orders problem now.”
“Harry”, Hermione frowned, “Would you have?”
“I wanted to, for a moment” he admitted, “but we’re not them, and that’s what makes us different”, Hermione smiled at him and kissed him lightly.
“I love you Harry Potter”, she whispered, he barely thought he heard it.
“I love you too Mione”, he made soothing strokes down her hair as she buried her head into his chest. He wanted to hate Ginny. A deatheater, how could she be so stupid? But as she looked up to her sobbing his heart just went out to her and he wanted to comfort the girl who had been a sister to him all these years. How could he hate her for seeing the good in someone and how could he hate her now seeing her in so much pain. Damnit, was his first thought. She loved him too. He sighed and with an arm still around Hermione led her down the great hall.
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