Chapter 20 : Chapter Twenty: All That You Can't Leave Behind
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Chapter Twenty: All that you can’t leave behind
Christmas and New Years passed in a blur, and the new millennium began with much the same pain as the last one ended with, no one had slept much since Christmas Eve, the holiday had passed without the normal pageantry, in fact they had barely acknowledged the holiday in their haste to find Harry. Harry hadn’t been seen in weeks, they were all devastated but Ginny in particular was inconsolable. She blamed herself for his recklessness, if she hadn’t left he would be home with her right now, but she hadn’t been able to cope with his disapproval over her leaving and had pushed him back into the field. Hermione worried for her best friend, with Harry missing Ginny was a wreck, and though Draco and Ron were doing everything they could to find Harry it was hard for them to remain hopeful when so much time had passed. Draco was out there every day searching for Harry; he had scoured every hospital in the wizarding world, and was starting on muggle hospitals as well. He had a credible lead that he might be at Our Lady of Roses Hospital in London; there was a patient there who matched his description perfectly right down to his peculiar scar, and would be leaving the next morning in hopes of finding Harry there alive. Hermione spent her days keeping her girls and Teddy, while watching over Ginny and handling the day to day operations of meals and the household so that the others could search for Harry. Ginny was a wreck, she couldn’t handle life without Harry, it got harder and harder everyday but she was holding onto the little hope she had left, and spending a large amount of time at Hermione’s home because the Burrow and Grimauld Place broke her heart. Hermione felt sure they would find him, she believed in her husband, and knew that Draco wouldn’t rest until Harry was home safe and sound.
Our Lady of Roses was only a short apparition from home, and Draco left early on the morning of January 7th, arriving at the hospital well before dawn he walked up the large front steps and opened the heavy front door, he hoped beyond hope that Harry would be there. Dressed in a nice suit and a muggle doctors coat, he had in his hands the papers to get Harry transferred into his care so he could be transferred to St. Mungo’s, and though Draco was not a doctor he was fairly convincing in his role. The nurses at the front desk didn’t think twice before escorting him up to the hospital’s ICU to see the patient. Even from the door he could tell it was Harry. His untidy mess of dark hair was the first thing that caught his attention. But he only had to look into his face and see his scar that he knew for certain that this was Harry. He was in a coma, but it was clear to Draco that it was a result of the Cruciatus curse, Harry had been tortured, and a healer at St. Mungo’s would be able to put him right in no time, while Muggle Doctors wouldn’t have had any idea what they were dealing with. He quickly spoke with the attending physicians and arranged the transfer immediately. Harry would be arriving at the wizarding hospital a few hours, and Draco would wait until he was assessed to send word to Hermione and the others. The healers at St. Mungo’s made quick work of Harry, treating him and assuring Draco that he would wake in a few days, after the potions had time to remedy the damage the curse had done to his body. He would be weak for a few weeks and would need someone to care for him, but he was expected to make a full recovery. While Harry slept Draco apparated too his home to retrieve Hermione and Ginny and take them to see Harry at the hospital while Ron and Luna watched the children.
Ginny couldn’t believe he was alive, after having though she would never see him again she was thrilled that Harry was alright. She had known that if he was found she would stay buy his side until he asked her to leave, and with her abandonment she wouldn’t blame him. Harry was still important to her, she had been a fool to ever leave, but as she sat in the hospital clasping his hand in hers she silently prayed that he still loved her somewhere deep down because she knew in her heart she didn’t want to live without him. Three days after he was admitted to St. Mungo’s life had returned to normal for everyone but Ginny. Draco had been called away to the states, Hermione was busy caring for the children, Ron and Luna were both back in school, and her family had returned to their normal lives. It was Ginny alone who sat by his bedside day in and day out. She held his hand while she waited, and slept in a chair by his bed at night. She understood her own pain so clearly over the past few months, but in her own pain she had forgotten Harry. He had been suffering when she left, and now here she was months later wondering how she hadn’t seen it before, if he would have her still she would be there until she died. She wasn’t leaving his side again. As she slept in the chair beside his bed she was awakened by a hand gently stroking her hair. Opening her eyes she looked up to find his emerald eyes staring back at her, he was a awake, finally after weeks of being missing Harry was back.
“You’re awake.” Fighting back her tears and controlling her voice she barely stammered out the words “we all thought you were dead. Merlin Harry you scared us.”
“Don’t apologize, this was all my fault. If I hadn’t …” pulling her to him and silencing her with a kiss before the words could come from her lips, pulling away he managed a weak smile before beginning to talk again.
“Ginny Weasley, none of what happened to me is your fault. You are the only thing that kept me alive while I was out there; the thought that if I could get home, if I could just make it out of there I would come to you myself and bring you home. I can’t live without you Ginny. I need you.”
“Well I’m here and I’m not going anywhere Harry. I’m sorry I ever did.” Breaking down in tears Ginny curled up in the bed beside him, kissing his cheek and holding him close and dozing off by his side. For the first time in months they were together, and everything seemed alright in the world again.
“Draco, this is ridiculous, we aren’t leaving.”
“Hermione I don’t have any other choice, it’s only for a year tops, the company needs me and I can’t bear to be away from you and the girls for that long. Please Mione don’t make me leave my family behind to save my family’s business.”
“Draco…” Hermione knew she couldn’t argue with Draco’s logic. She knew the business needed him to help get it back on its feet, and the main office was located in the US. But she had lived in London her entire life, other than that trip seventh year she had never been to the states, let alone imagined moving her family there. Their lives were in London, their family, their friends, their home, and everyone they knew. But Hermione knew that Draco needed her, and the company needed him; her decision was made before she had even said one word. She would follow her husband to the ends of the earth to keep their family intact and to her that’s exactly what it seemed like. Leaving her world behind and moving to a strange new place. “It’s not that I’m saying I won’t go. I’m just telling you I don’t’ want to. I have friends here, your parents are here, and we have a home here. I’ll go with you; I don’t like it, but I have no desire to separate our family.” With Hermione’s agreement the matter was settled. The Malfoys would be leaving for the United States in just a few short days. Now it was up to Hermione and Draco to let their families and friends know that they were leaving. Hermione knew the hardest thing to do would be telling Ginny that she was leaving, her best friend had been through so much in the past year and her best friend leaving right now was probably not the best thing for her. Harry was still recovering, and Ginny was still coping with the consequences of leaving him for those few months. She still blamed herself and Harry didn’t want to hear it so Hermione was the only person she could confide in. Likewise Hermione’s mother in law had come to depend on her daughter in law for many things. Narcissa’s health was failing again and without Hermione and Draco there to care for her Hermione was worried that Lucius would be unable to care for his wife adequately. There was so much that worried her as she began packing up her family’s home for the long trip. Draco had told his parents the previous day and Hermione would be telling Ginny this afternoon when she came to visit. Hermione couldn’t quite figure out how she was going to break the news to her friend. Since there was so little time Hermione was using magic to pack the girls rooms when Ginny arrived. She had noticed all the boxes and was really curious as to what Hermione was doing. “Mione? What’s going on? Why are you packing?”
“Well Gin, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Draco’s job needs him back in the states, and since we have Gray now I can’t really let him go by himself. I need him, his daughter needs him, and he needs to be a part of her life. We’re going to the states for about a year or so. I know this isn’t the best time to leave you but…”
”Mione, shh… Don’t worry about me. I’m doing fine. Harry is getting better every day and we’re alright believe it or not. He forgave me a long time ago for leaving, and we’re working things out Mi. You need to be with your family, I know how important it is for family to be there for one another. Please don’t worry about us. We will write you all the time.” The two best friends hugged, and spent the rest of the evening together talking about the things that they will miss about having one another so close. They would be leaving in a few days and Hermione was surer than ever that she would miss London terribly, but she knew that Draco needed her and that she was making the right choices.
When they bid their family and friends goodbye at the airport three days later it was with many tears on everyone’s part. No one wanted to leave, or to see the Malfoy’s leave them but they had to remind themselves it was only for a year and before they knew it things would be back to normal and they would be back in their homes. Harry and Ginny would be keeping their house up for them while they were gone, and Ginny promised to use international floo once a month, and write often. Things would be different, but life was like that, nothing was certain and things were always changing.