- Draco Malfoy Ginny Weasley
- Drama Romance
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 08/16/2002Updated: 12/01/2002Words: 98,611Chapters: 18Hits: 65,644
Sea of Waking Dreams
- Story Summary:
- Draco Malfoy has seen his share of nightmares and now, as the war with Voldemort rages around him, it takes Ginny Weasley and a ragged band of orphans to teach him what true love and loyalty really are. Draco/Ginny, and a few brief instances of m/m kissing.
- Chapter Summary:
- Draco Malfoy has seen his share of nightmares and now, as the war with Voldemort rages around him, it takes Ginny Weasley and a ragged band of orphans to teach him what true love and loyalty really are. Draco/Ginny, and a few brief instances of m/m kissing.
- Author's Note:
- Dedicated to Donna and hopefully Chris in hopes of tea and crumpets. Whatever a crumpet is.
Sea of Waking Dreams
By CinnamonChapter Six
Ginny had no idea where she was going, only that she had to walk. If she stopped, the thoughts spinning around in her head would take over and she’d start screaming and wouldn’t be about to stop. She was talking to herself softly as she walked, passing a few people in the halls who called out greetings, but she didn’t reply.
It wasn’t until she was high up on the parapet that she finally stopped walking, and she sat down heavily, sheltered from the mild wind that was blowing off the ocean. She leaned against the low wall behind her and buried her face in her arms, forcing herself to breathe deeply until the nausea had passed.
“Everything’s all right,” she chanted, over and over again. She was shivering but she would not let herself cry, and the only sounds were her soft whispers and the mournful sound of the wind in the battlements.
She was still twisting the wedding ring in her fingers, memories of the last time she’d seen Hadley running through her mind. He had been catching a train, she had gone with him to the train station. He had picked her up and kissed her sweetly before telling her he loved her and running into the crowd to catch the train before it left.
And now he was dead.
Somehow, that seemed the worst part of all, or at least the easiest part to comprehend. Hadley, who had kissed her and begged her to marry him, who had messy hair like Harry Potter’s, and eyes as blue as the summer sky, was dead.
And Draco Malfoy had killed him.
She flinched as all the horrible reasons why Draco had been forced to kill her husband slammed back into her mind.
He had been a Death Eater, he had betrayed her, betrayed them all. He had used her and she had indirectly caused all those people to die. She had trusted him, and it was that trust that had resulted in the death of nearly all of the Hogwarts faculty and student body.
And she had loved him.
She didn’t even know what to feel anymore. Surely she couldn’t love someone who had used her that way. He had to have loved her too. He had told her so a thousand times.
Memories of hiding in the Forbidden Forest with the children and watching Hogwarts burn to the ground made her tighten her fist around the wedding ring so tightly that it cut into her flesh. Feeling nauseous, she leapt to her feet, running towards the wall overlooking the cliffs. The force of her forward motion was nearly enough to send her falling over the wall but she caught herself with one hand, swinging forward, her breath hissing out of her lungs with the impact. She threw the wedding ring as hard as she could, watching it spin lazily through the air, twinkle in the weak sunlight once, and disappear into the black sea below.
Only after she was sure it was gone and, still hanging over the wall and staring down at the ragged cliffs below, did Ginny finally start to cry. Large, gulping sobs shook her whole body and echoed with the crashing of the waves.
He had been worried that she intended to throw herself over the wall. Draco had searched the castle for Ginny, finally going out into the courtyard. It was an unusually mild day, but weather in Northern Scotland was always unpredictable that way, and the snow had already begun to melt. Draco had glanced quickly around the courtyard and, not seeing her, had turned to go back inside. That was when a quick movement on the parapets had caught his attention and he had looked up. Ginny was running straight at the wall, going so fast that he was sure she wasn’t going to stop.
He knew he wouldn’t get to her in time, of course, but Draco still took off running for the turret, climbing the winding staircase three steps at a time, and bursting onto the battlements.
“Ginny!” he cried. She was hanging over the wall, and her crying stopped abruptly when she heard him.
“Please, Draco,” she said in choked voice. “I want to be alone.”
“I thought you were going to jump,” he said breathlessly, hovering in the doorway to the tower. He was too nervous to approach her.
She straightened, turning to him with a wry smile and wiping at her face with her sleeve. “I’m crying, Draco, not suicidal,” she replied.
“I’m sorry,” he told her.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she repeated. “Please go?”
Draco studied her face solemnly before shrugging. “If you want me to.”
He undid the clasp on his cloak and, before she could protest, hung it around her shoulders, redoing the clasp. He smiled gently at her. “It might get cold.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and left quickly, and soon Ginny was alone again, leaning against the wall, wrapped in Draco’s black cloak, the stinging ocean breeze blasting her face with sea mist.
She cried for hours, feeling as though something had torn her open, and then, as the sun went down, a sudden, gentle rain started to fall, flattening all the snow, running down Ginny’s face, and washing away her tears.
Draco went back to the north wing where Hermione was trying to continue the alphabet lesson. She looked up when he walked into the room and he could tell she was about to say something sarcastic, but Miles had seen him there too and before Hermione could say a word, he leapt to his feet and attacked Draco with a glad cry.
“Have you come to tell us another story?” he asked him happily. “Your stories have more blood and guts in them.” He grinned viciously and Draco smiled, rolling his eyes.
“Maybe later. I’m actually in the middle of teaching Keela and Lucky their ABC’s, if you’d like to help,” he said, tempting the younger boy.
Miles pursed his lips. “Will you tell me a story if I help?”
Draco nodded solemnly. “I promise.”
“Draco,” Hermione snapped. “What are you doing here?”
“Teaching us ABC’s,” Keela said brightly, relieved that Draco had come to replace Hermione, who didn’t have much patience with them.
“I was teaching you,” Hermione mumbled, getting to her feet. “Really, Draco, you don’t need to be here.”
“I didn’t ask your permission,” Draco returned mildly, sitting at the small table between Lucky and Keela.
“That’s right, he didn’t,” Lucky said with a grin. “Ginny never treats him like this when he comes to visit.” She shot Hermione a reproachful look.
Hermione wrinkled her nose in distaste. “He comes often, does he?”
Draco flashed a smug grin but didn’t reply, turning his back on her and grabbing one of the picture books he had been using before. He pushed Hermione’s pages of parchment that she had been using to make the little girls copy out letters carefully, and flipped the book open to a random page. Hermione, hands on her hips, watched with indignation. Draco, of course, too busy worrying about Ginny and trying to teach Lucky and Keela to recognize the difference between a ‘d’ and a ‘b’, ignored her. Miles joined him at the table and together, they began making up a ridiculous poem to help the girls remember the order of the letters.
Belle took Hermione’s hand, seeming to sense how out of place the older girl suddenly felt. “It’s nearly time to feed the baby,” she said, leading Hermione over to the cradle.
“Feed the baby?” Hermione cried. “I don’t know how to feed a baby.”
“Need help, do you, Hermione?” Draco drawled lazily, glancing up at her and flicking his blonde hair out of his eyes.
She scowled. “I think I can manage, thank you.”
Belle giggled, scooping up the baby and handing him to Hermione, surreptitiously adjusting her hands so she wouldn’t drop the infant when Draco wasn’t looking. “You sit there,” she said, pointing to the rocking chair Ginny always used when feeding the baby. “I’ll get the bottle, it’s heating over the fire.”
Belle showed Hermione, who had never even held a baby before, how to feed Axel. After he was fed, burped, and sleeping again, Hermione was beaming.
More than a little smug, she straddled the chair across from Draco and smirked. “Told you I could do it,” she said.
Draco didn’t even glance up from the book. “That’s a ‘T’,” he told the little girls. “And you’re not done yet if you still think you can do this all by yourself. Lucky and Keela are supposed to have baths tonight.”
“Are you sure?” Hermione asked, glancing at the two little girls skeptically.
Lucky nodded solemnly. “It’s true,” she said.
“Ginny said we stink at breakfast,” Keela giggled.
“Surely you can bathe yourself,” Hermione suggested. After all, she hadn’t been around children much, and even when she did come to help Ginny out sometimes, usually that required watching some of the children while Ginny bathed, fed, cleaned, comforted, groomed, and disciplined the others.
“We can’t. Last time Ginny tried to let me, I forgot to turn the bathtub water off and water went everywhere.” Keela shrugged. “Now Ginny says I can’t ever have a bath unless she’s there to make sure I don’t cause another flood.”
Iniko snickered from the next table, where he was trying to do some math. “I remember that,” he said. “She’s right. Ginny will be mad if she has a bath without proper sup-er-vis-ion.” He sounded the last word out carefully.
Draco looked up at her finally, his face very solemn. “So you see? You must bathe them. They stink; they’ll drown alone, and Ginny says.”
Hermione scowled furiously, snatching the book out of his hand and tossing it aside. “All right then,” she snapped. “Let’s get on with it then. Where’s the bath?”
Giggling, Lucky and Keela ran from the room, obviously finding Hermione very amusing, and Draco smirked as Hermione stalked after them.
The afternoon turned into evening, Hermione continuously trying to outdo Draco, much to the amusement of all the children. Draco told them all a particularly gruesome bedtime story about a mad dragon who had flown about the countryside devouring maidens whose descriptions all seemed suspiciously to resemble Hermione. With the children tucked safely in bed, Hermione, exhausted, had followed Draco out of the room and into the hall.
“You’re quite good with children,” Hermione said grudgingly.
He shot her a surprised look. “Was that a compliment?” His voice was heavy with sarcasm.
She shot him a dark look, but they walked down the hall together in nearly companionable silence. “Watching the children is exhausting,” she said finally. “I don’t know how Ginny does it all the time.” She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. “Did you find her earlier? I know you went searching for her.”
“Yeah, I did,” he replied.
Hermione stopped and turned to face him, her hands on her hips. “Draco, it wasn’t you who made her cry, was it?”
Scowling, Draco snapped, “What do you think?” He stalked off down the hall and Hermione hurried to catch up with him.
“Well, I would have thought that nothing was beyond you,” she replied honestly. “I mean, you don’t come off as the nicest sort. But then I watched you with the children today and, really, I don’t think you could be that gentle with anyone if you are the monster I thought you were.”
“Watch it, Granger, you’re liable to make my head swell up with all these compliments,” Draco drawled sarcastically.
She ignored him. “Do you know what was wrong with her?”
“It’s her business, not yours.” They had reached Draco’s bedroom door by now, and they paused there.
Hermione crossed her arms over her chest. “So not only do you suddenly play with children,” she said scathingly, “You keep secrets as well?”
Annoyed, Draco opened his door, saying over his shoulder, “I’d think, Granger, if you’re so interested in the secrets I keep, the ones that would concern you the most have nothing to do with Ginny. I’d ask Potter about them, if I were you.” He smiled viciously. “That is, if the prat ever wakes up.” He slammed the door in her face.
Draco couldn’t sleep. He was worried about Ginny, which he didn’t like to admit. Denying it, however, would not make it go away.
He had gone by her room a few hours before, just to make sure she had gotten back all right, but she hadn’t, and he had the uneasy feeling that if he should go up to his favourite, lonely spot on the battlements, he wouldn’t be alone. Ginny, he knew, was probably still up there, crying. He wondered, almost desperately, if there was really anything he could do about it.
He could hear the strange, warm rain falling outside his window, casting an unusual hush over the castle. That was the thing about Northern Scotland, he had found. The weather was odd and subject to change without warning.
There was a soft knock at the door that Draco would have dismissed as his imagination if it had it not come again. Wary, he opened his door.
Ginny stood there, wrapped in his cloak that was so big on her that it dragged on the ground, and dripped with rain. “Are you sleeping?” she asked.
She smiled a little, though her eyes were still dark with pain. “Oh. Well, if you’re not busy, do you want to come for a walk with me?”
“Now?” he asked, startled. “It’s the middle of the night and it’s raining. Besides, you said you wanted to be alone.”
She looked wistful now. “I did. But being alone is terribly lonely. And I like the rain.”
Draco glanced out his window doubtfully. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather come in here and sit by the fire? Dry off a little?”
Her shoulders slumped. “If you don’t want to come and walk with me, that’s all right.” She turned to go.
“No, no, wait,” he said quickly. “I’ll come with you. I love the rain,” he lied. He hated rain. It ruined his clothing, made his hair frizz up, destroyed Quidditch conditions, and was just generally an inconvenience. There was a fragileness around Ginny though, that would not let him watch her walk away. After all, her pain was partially his fault.
He followed her into the hall quickly, closing his door behind him and shoving his hands into his pockets. They walked in silence for a while until they stepped into the courtyard.
The rain was so warm that it had washed away most of the snow and had caused a cool mist to rise up off the waves of the ocean and drift over the castle. Ginny turned her face up to the rain as they walked out of the castle, and Draco watched her, smiling a little. It was such a Ginny thing to do, really. Trying to catch raindrops on her tongue.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
She looked at him and shrugged. “I have to be.”
“But are you? It’s all right if you’re not, I mean, no one would fault you for it.”
“Do you want me to tell you that I hate him and that life is terrible and I want to die?” she said in a strange, calm tone.
“Don’t you? Hate him, I mean.”
“Not really. The only person in the world I know well enough to hate is myself, and I do. For falling for him, for trusting him, for believing that anyone would want to marry me. But no, I don’t hate him. I wonder if I had gotten the chance to do the same thing, to befriend someone on the dark side and use them to get information to help Dumbledore, would I have done it? Probably. Everyone in this war is fighting it because they believe their side is right. Hadley just did what he had to do to ensure that the right side, at least in his eyes, won.”
“You’re a lot more forgiving than I could ever be,” Draco shrugged. They had instinctively started making their way towards the tower that would lead up to the parapet. “I know I hate him for what he did. It wasn’t fair to you.”
“I was a fool to have fallen for it.” They had reached the tower now and Ginny went first, leading the way up the stairs. Draco followed, and at the top, the view that met them nearly took his breath away. That was another strange thing he had noticed since his friendship with Ginny had begun. Simply things like mists rising above the black sea and hovering over the crashing waves beneath a dark violet sky while a light, warm rain fell in the middle of winter somehow seemed more magical. Almost worth having the rain soak his shirt, making it cling to his chest, sending rivers of water down his pants and soaking them as well, and his hair being soaked and sticking to his face in wet tangles. Almost.
A sudden gust of wind hit them as they leaned over the parapet wall, and it made a mournful, echoing cry as it ran through the hollows and stone molding of the towers.
“It sounds like the cry of a banshee,” Ginny said wistfully. “Do you know the story of the banshee?”
He did, but he shook his head anyway.
“She screams in the night just before someone dies.”
Draco scoffed. “Self-fulfilling prophecy, if you ask me,” he said. “You hear a cry like a banshee, you’re nervous, you’re going about your daily life, you hear something crash. Assuming it’s death coming to get you, you jump in fright, slipping and falling down the stairs, cracking your head open. Of course ignorant people would say it was the banshee that did it.”
“Could be true, I guess. But then,” she shot him a look and a sad, wistful smile, “nobody asked you, did they?”
Draco laughed quietly and then silence fell over them as they both got lost in their own thoughts, battling inner demons and somehow feeling stronger and more able to do so just by standing there together in the rain. They stood that way all through the night, until the sun rose and burned away the mists that had danced above the waves. The rain finally stopped but neither of them moved to go back inside, content just to stand together on the lonely battlement and lose themselves in their thoughts.
Ginny didn’t want to get out of bed. She hadn’t gotten there until just after dawn, and she had only slept for a few hours. The morning was slipping away and she was so exhausted that she didn’t even wonder, until long past breakfast time, why Belle had not come to wake her.
She rolled out of bed, her eyes stinging from the tears she had cried the day before.
She was sick to death of crying.
Getting dressed took a sincere effort, but she managed it, leaving her room and hurrying into the children’s room across the hall. It was empty.
Worried now, she hurried down the hall to the schoolroom. She could hear excited chattering even before she opened the door.
The room was in chaos, and Draco and Lucky were apparently the cause. They were standing in the center of a tight knot of children, and Lucky was clutching a wand in her fist.
“What are you doing?” Ginny asked, frowning.
“Draco’s teaching Lucky magic,” Belle whispered reverently. None of the children were old enough to start learning magic, if they even possessed the predisposition, and they all revered it.
“Is he?” she asked, glancing at him nervously.
He smiled reassuringly. “Watch,” he commanded. “Show her what you learned, Lucky.”
Lucky was beaming as she carefully raised the wand. Her face tightened with concentration, and she carefully waved the wand.
Instantly, Iniko started laughing, laughing so hard that tears rolled down his face.
Draco threaded his way through the children, all who were watching Iniko laugh and giggling. “It’s happiness,” he said with a lopsided grin that was completely sincere and so un-Draco-sex-god-ish that Ginny had to smile back. “It’s a lesser emotion and easier to handle, so I taught her how to focus all the power into the wand. It doesn’t work the same way as we use it, it’s more of a symbolic thing for her. Her magic doesn’t need a focus point, I just thought it would help her at first.”
Ginny watched Iniko laughing and she shook her head in awe. “A lesser emotion?” she breathed. “How is happiness a lesser emotion? It’s the most perfect emotion of all.”
He shrugged. “It’s less intense than terror, love, rage, or hate, and also safer to practice on the other children.”
“So will her power stop just going off randomly now?” Ginny asked, as the burst of happiness wore off and Iniko was able to catch his breath.
“It’ll be off and on, I think,” Draco said. “She’s doing quite well, we’ve been practicing all morning.”
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
He shrugged. “Thought you were tired.”
“This is my responsibility, not yours.”
He couldn’t meet her eyes suddenly, and before Ginny could ask why, Lucky waved her wand again, and Miles started to cry. Draco winced. “We tried sadness first,” he explained, hurrying back into the group of children.
Ginny couldn’t help but laugh as Draco tried to calm Miles down while simultaneously trying to remind Lucky how to end the channeling process. The other children were laughing and Draco was looking flustered, which she’d never seen him do before.
Miles finally stopped crying, looking very sullen. “You said she wasn’t going to do that anymore!” he cried.
Lucky smiled mischievously. “It was an accident.”
Ginny somehow doubted that and, before Miles could exact any revenge, she announced brightly, “I think today would be a perfect day to go on a field trip!”
“A field trip?” Miles asked, already distracted.
“To the courtyard,” Ginny said smoothly. “I believe we can skip lessons today. It rained last night and the snow is perfect for snowmen, and I think it would be a wonderful idea to go out and play.”
Her idea was met with enthusiasm and all the children ran to get their cloaks and mittens. Draco was smirking. “A field trip?” he asked.
She shrugged with a tired smile. “If I have to spend today in this room trying to teach them more letters,” she confessed, “I’ll go mad.”
His smile gentled. “Fair enough. Want me to come?”
“You want to come and play in the snow?” she asked incredulously.
Draco looked a little sheepish. “It’s…nice, being around people who are more concerned with snowmen than wars.”
She smiled gently this time and nodded. “All right. Of course I want you to come.”
Lucky, who seemed to have gained new levels of confidence since Draco had taught her the simple trick of focusing her magic into a wand, sauntered over. She was smirking, and it was nearly a mirror image of Draco’s trademark smile. She was twirling the wand, and Ginny wondered if Draco had taught her that as well. “Now I’m a wizard,” she told Ginny.
Ginny stoked her hair. “A witch, yes, of course you are,” she said. “But witches have rules. They can never use their magic on their friends. If you want to be a witch, you’ve got to obey that rule, all right?”
Nodding solemnly, Lucky wandered away again, and Ginny glanced up at Draco, tucking some hair behind her ear. “You gave her your wand?” she asked.
“Gave her Snape’s,” he said shortly, with a little shrug. “I don’t need it any longer, after all.”
“You’re doing a good thing for her,” Ginny told him quietly. “Teaching her to use her power. Snape probably wouldn’t mind.”
The children were ready and Ginny took Axel to Madam Pomfrey to watch while she took the other children outside. Then she led them out to the courtyard. The young wizards were practicing curses at one end of the courtyard so Ginny warned the children to stay away from them. It was a warm day, the snow was quickly melting away, so they hurriedly started building snowmen, laughing and giggling. Draco stood on the sidelines, watching with a strangely wistful look on his face, until Ginny forced him to help. He’d never built a snowman before, so Ginny taught him how.
As winter slowly turned to spring, the castle began preparing for the upcoming siege. Supplies were stockpiled, defense charms were laid around the castle, and scouts were positioned in the cliffs around the castle to keep watch in all directions for the approaching army. Training of the young witches and wizards was stepped up, and everyone was tense and nervous. Everyone except for Ginny, the children, and Draco. They went about their lives oblivious to everything except lessons and bedtime stories.
Draco spent nearly every day with the children, teaching Lucky how to control more and more intense emotions, until she could call up hate and love at will, channel it into whoever she chose, and strange things stopped happening randomly whenever she was around. Ginny was relieved, it meant people would stop suddenly shouting at each other in the middle of lessons, and Miles would stop trying to snog Belle. Well, hopefully.
As for Draco, he didn’t really know why he kept going to the north wing, even after Lucky had control over her power. He always told himself it was because he wanted to watch over her and make sure she didn’t lose control of it, but he was also aware of another desire, which was to spend as much time as possible with Ginny and the children. They made him laugh, which was something he never thought he’d do again. And besides, it was remarkably refreshing to be around a girl who did not start panting and swooning every time he smirked. Ginny just smirked right back.
Friendship, especially untainted by sexual undertones, was a new thing to Draco, and he was finding it incredibly soothing. Knowing there was someone who’d listen to anything he said, and not expect to be paid for the privilege soothed him, until the only time he spent the nights walking on the battlements was when Ginny was with him. They would talk until dawn, about everything, and Draco never felt lonely and haunted enough to walk there alone because he could not sleep.
It was a healing time for them both, and by the time spring had finally chased the winter cold away, Draco couldn’t even remember what it had been like not to be friends with Ginny.
The war intruded on them near the end of April, when Dumbledore suddenly appeared in the doorway to the children’s dormitory while Ginny had been helping Keela get dressed.
“Miss Weasley,” he said with a smile at the children. “I would like to speak with Miss Arlington, if you wouldn’t mind bringing her to my office after you are finished here? You may tell Madam Pomfrey to come and watch the others, I do not know how long this will take.”
Frowning a little with curiosity, Ginny nodded. “Yes sir, I’ll bring her down in a minute,” she said, and Dumbledore left.
The children began asking a thousand questions but Ginny had no answers, and she helped them all dress and comb their hair before herding them to the lessons room and getting their workbooks out. Then she took Lucky by the hand and led her from the room.
“Why does he want to talk to me?” Lucky asked nervously. “I’ve been good, he’s not going to send me away, is he?”
“Of course not,” Ginny replied. “Besides, you know I wouldn’t let him.”
Lucky smiled, though she still looked worried, and Ginny stopped at the hospital wing and told Pomfrey where she was going, asking her to watch the other children.
Then she went to Dumbledore’s office. The door was open and she stepped inside. Draco and Hermione were there as well, and Draco smiled reassuringly at her. Ginny was still nervous.
“Take a seat,” Dumbledore said gently, gesturing to the remaining chair. Ginny slid into it and pulled Lucky onto her lap. “Draco has told us that Lucky has learned to control her power,” he began. “Is that true?”
Ginny nodded slowly. “Yes.”
“He gave me a wand,” Lucky told him.
“Excellent. I knew he would be able to help you, Lucky. That is why I sent the most able wizard to tutor you in magic.” Dumbledore was smiling brightly, but Ginny frowned.
“Sent him?” she asked. “You sent him to help her?”
Dumbledore glanced at Draco. “You didn’t tell her your reason for visiting the north wing?” he asked, surprised.
Draco was scowling. “Ginny,” he said, ignoring Dumbledore. “It’s not what it sounds like.”
“That’s why you started visiting the children? Oh, Draco, I thought…” she trailed off, shaking her head. She looked like she was going to cry.
“Surely we can talk about this later.” Hermione’s face was pinched and she was watching Lucky with a strange sort of predatory hunger.
“Yes, there are more important things. Ginny, as you know, Harry Potter was injured in a Dementor attack some months ago. I believe that, using Lucky’s power, we may be able to reach him,” Dumbledore explained.
Ginny’s eyes were very narrow and she tightened her arms around Lucky. “Which is why you sent Draco to teach her to control it,” she said tightly.
“Ginny –” Draco began.
“That doesn’t matter!” Hermione shouted. “We might be able to heal him, Ginny! We might be able to bring him back!”
“It matters to me,” Ginny growled. She was furious that she had let someone else use her, especially after what Hadley had done.
“That is why I sent Draco, yes,” Dumbledore said serenely. “But that certainly isn’t why he stayed. But that is of secondary importance. Lucky possesses the power to channel emotion, which originates in the soul, and I believe if she channels this power into Harry, whose soul is still connected to his body, we may be able to reach him. The form it would take, I believe, is much the same as the other channeling Lucky has done.
“Whomever she channels will go into Harry’s subconscious, where his soul now resides, unable or unwilling to return to the physical world. They will begin reenacting an emotional scene, and the one who is sent into Harry’s mind must break the spell, so that they are inside Harry’s subconscious but able to talk of things other than emotional memories. Then they will be able to talk to him, lead him back to this world. The most powerful emotions are love and hate, so we will send someone who feels that towards him the most strongly.”
“Fine,” Ginny said coldly. “Send Hermione after him, and then win your bloody war so I can take Lucky and the other children and walk away from this. All war is about is using people for The Greater Good, and I hate it.” She was getting rather emotional and not making much sense, and Draco just stared furiously at the wall, gritting his teeth. He knew he should have told her his original reason for visiting the north wing so often.
“I am afraid that is not possible,” Dumbledore said, very gently. “We cannot send Hermione after him.”
Hermione squealed in outrage. “Why not?” she snapped.
“Because Draco’s hatred for him burns hotter than your love.”
There was a stunned silence, and then Draco started cursing. “I won’t do it,” he growled, stalking from the room and slamming the door behind him.
“Surely sending someone who hates him after him isn’t the best way to go,” Hermione argued.
“It is his best chance,” Dumbledore said simply.
Deciding to focus on getting Harry well rather than why Draco’s hatred should be stronger than her love, Hermione nodded slowly and then turned to Ginny. Her voice was gentler than it had been before as she tried to persuade Ginny to help them. “Surely you can talk him into it,” she pleaded. “You two are very close, he’ll listen to you.”
Ginny growled. “What do I care if Harry ever wakes?” she said petulantly.
“He is our strongest wizard,” Dumbledore reminded her. “The faster we wake him, the faster this war will be over.”
Standing up and holding Lucky, Ginny snapped, “I’ll talk to him then, but never again. I’m sick of being used for The Greater Good.” She stalked from the room much the same way Draco had, and slammed the door behind her.
Dumbledore turned to Hermione with a rueful smile. “It appears Draco has had an influence on that girl,” he said. Hermione was still in shock. She’d never seen Ginny angry before.
It was nighttime when Ginny finally went searching for Draco, intending to slap him across the face, order him to save Harry, and then forget he ever existed. After everything with Hadley, she was not in the mood to listen to anyone explain why they had lied to her and pretended to like her because it made their job easier.
He was on the parapets, leaning over the wall and watching the crashing waves with a pensive look on his face when she reached the tower, her hands on her hips and her eyes flashing. It was windy and her hair whipped around her as she advanced on him, her fury gaining fire with every step. Before she got the chance to speak, Draco spoke without even looking up at her.
“Thought you hated me,” he said.
Her eyes narrowed dangerously. “Don’t even bother with that ‘poor me, I’m so misunderstood’ shit,” she growled.
He finally looked up, his trademark smirk on his lips, his eyes dark and cold. “Whatever. What are you doing up here? I thought you’d be in your room moping or something, trying to forget you were ever my friend.”
“Apparently I wasn’t,” she snapped. “But that’s not what I came here to talk about.” She purposely ignored the flash of what could only be hurt in his eyes and continued. “You will help Harry. After all, you didn’t use me to make Lucky trust you enough so that she would allow you to teach her to control her magic just to lose everything now. That’s all I have to say to you, Draco.” She turned to walk away, and Draco didn’t reply until she was just about to step into the tower.
“I’ll do it,” he said. “On one condition.”
She turned around warily. “What’s that?”
His smirk was gone, now replaced with an oddly wistful, lopsided smile. “You understand that though I came to the north wing on Dumbledore’s orders, I stayed for you.” He ran a hand through his hair, looking frustrated. “I’ve never had a friend who wasn’t chosen by my father and therefore obligated to do what I said. Maybe I’m not very good at this whole friendship thing, but I know that you’re the only person who sees me as more than just a shaggable prat. I don’t want to lose that.”
Ginny leaned against the tower, her arms crossed over her chest, as she waited for him to continue. When he didn’t, she said, “Go on.”
He scowled. “What more do you want from me?”
“You haven’t even apologized to me,” she said.
“Apologized?” he sounded scandalized.
She rolled her eyes. “You’re new at this friendship thing and, given that you’re a Malfoy, you probably haven’t ever had to apologize for anything in your life, so I’ll explain this one to you. An apology is when you say you’re sorry for doing something wrong.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong!”
She lifted her eyebrows and shrugged. “All right then, we have nothing more to discuss.” She turned to go.
“Ginny!” Draco called. “Ginny, wait. I’m…sorry.”
She glanced at him over her shoulder and smiled a little. “All right. I forgive you.”
Restraining the urge to scowl and ask exactly what he was being forgiven for, Draco decided to just focus on the fact that he had been forgiven, and forget to wonder what he had done. “So you’re not mad anymore?”
Ginny hugged him. “No, I’m not,” she said. Draco stood stiffly, his eyes widened, even after she stepped back. He couldn’t remember the last time anyone had ever hugged him. “So you’ll help Harry?”
He nodded. “Though the stupid prat doesn’t deserve it,” he growled.
Ginny bit her lip, reaching up and smoothing back his hair that the wind had blown wildly around him. “Why do you hate him so much?” she asked.
“He likes to think he’s a hero, but he’s no better than the rest of us,” Draco said, turning away. “He’s just a mortal like everyone else but doesn’t see it. He thinks he’s better than normal people. He’s not, he’s just a stupid boy with a scar on his forehead.”
Ginny smiled at him, even as she rolled her eyes and tucked her arm through his, pulling him into the tower and out of the wind. “I’m sensing some jealousy, Draco,” she teased, her fury at him forgotten as they made their way down the stairs. Draco didn’t reply, and Ginny didn’t think anything of it.