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Summary:Sometimes, what motivates someone to fight is the Darkest thing of all... Draco glared at her. “Sod off, Weasley. Open the door.” “Am I supposed to do both at the same time?” “Preferably.” Draco frowned slightly when he realised he’d easily slipped back into the pattern of flirting. “Open the door now, Weasley, before I make you.” “Believe me, I’m terrified,” she replied dryly. “If you remember, I know all of the spells you do, including the counter curses.” “I wouldn’t say all of them,” he hissed. She shrugged. “That’s not the point.” “I’m making it the frigging point!” “Manners, Draco,” she drawled. “Let me out.” he repeated, glaring at her. “No.” She sat down on the couch and pulled out a book, while Draco turned furiously to the door, hurling curses at it. He tried every spell he knew, while Ginny read, glancing up now and again from her book. Finally, he turned to her, shoulders sagging. She looked up. “Are you ready to listen now?” she murmured. He leaned against the wall and scowled at her. “No,” he muttered. “But it doesn’t seem like I have a choice.” She smiled at him, and then walked over to him. She tilted his head down to look at her- he brushed her fingers away impatiently. “You love me,” she whispered, holding his gaze. He shivered slightly, and looked over the top of her head. Red curls obstructed his view, dancing in the slight breeze. “No,” he murmured finally. “I hate you.” She pressed her lips to his gently. He did not return the kiss, just stared over her shoulder. “You love me,” she repeated. He pushed her away, and strode across to the other side of the room, back to her, arms folded. “Draco, why won’t you give me another chance?” she cried desperately. “You don’t deserve one! How am I supposed to compete against him Ginny?” He turned on her, eyes blazing. “How can I possibly compete against the saint of Hogwarts, tell me that! If you’ve got the answers to fucking everything answer that simple question!” She shook her head. “It’s not like that, Draco-” “Bullshit!” he yelled. “How is not like that? When was I anything more to you, Ginny, ever?” “How can you say that!” she replied hotly. “You know you mean so much more to me!” “Do you know anything about me, Ginevra?” he shouted furiously. “Do you know a single fucking thing?” “Of course I do!” she yelled. “Of course I bloody do!” “Oh yeah? Tell me then, Ginny! Why am I fighting against Voldemort when all of my frigging family is for him?” Tears welled in Ginny’s eyes. “For me?” she whispered. He glared at her. “I told you, I said that I’ve been on Saint Bloody Potter’s side forever! I didn’t even talk to you properly until this year! Why, Ginny? If you know so much about me, tell me why!” “I don’t know,” she murmured miserably. “Exactly!” he shouted. “And tell me, Ginny, why do I have a room separate from the rest of the boys?” “I don’t know,” she cried. “And why do I hate my father so much?” “I… don’t know.” “You don’t know a thing about me then.” He turned away from her, and Ginny miserably dashed away her tears, trying to stop the flow of salty water. He sat down heavily on the couch which conveniently had its back to her. She stared hopelessly at it for a moment. There was a terribly long silence, filled with anger and sorrow, and Ginny could see his head, resting in his hands. “Draco?” she whispered finally. He didn’t move, didn’t indicate that he’d heard- but she knew he had. “When- when you’re happy, you smile with your eyes. And- and when you’re dreaming something good, your arm goes under your head and you lie practically spread eagled on the bed.” Her voice grew a little stronger. “When you’re amused by me, your eyes lighten, and when you’re about to kiss me they go all dark. If I mention Harry or Ron or Hermione at all, you go all stiff but if I make fun of them you get this gleam in your eyes, and you bare your teeth a little.” He turned around slightly, and met her eyes and she continued, but her voice cracked a little. “When you’re thinking or dreaming about your father, your arm wraps around your belly and you curl into a ball. When you’re mad or annoyed your eyes are emotionless. When you are all defensive you start snapping and you back away a little.” He stood up and walked towards her. “How do you know that?” his voice was calm, bordering on bored even, but his eyes betrayed him. “I love you,” she whispered. “I love you so much that when I’m away from you, I feel empty. I get nightmares when I’m not in your bed. I get lonely even if I’m surrounded by people if you’re not there.” “My life is too different from yours.” “So different,” she insisted. “But not too different. I like difference. Normality is boring.” “I know. I just… I just don’t want things to be complicated in my life for once. I want to be able to go out with who I want and Ron not to care.” Ginny looked down, and Hermione smiled gently at her. She remembered the incident- now she realised she didn’t want things to be simple, and there was no way they were ever going to be. “Harry was in the room of requirement when I ran in,” she told him quietly. “He hugged me and comforted me. It was as if he was Hermione or my brother. He never touched me in any other way- he’s dating Luna Lovegood, and I wouldn’t have let him anyway.” Draco looked up, startled. His eyes met hers, searching for the truth. “Why didn’t you tell me?” Her lips curved into a slight smile. “You wouldn’t let me.” “Oh.” “Yeah. Draco…” “Yes?” “The incantation to get out of the room is Colloportus.” A smile twitched at his lips, but he didn’t smile properly. “I forgot about that one.” “So I saw.” “Thank you.” “You’re welcome. You’ll be going now then?” “Yes. I suppose so.” Ginny nodded, not trusting her voice. She willed herself not to cry again. “Well,” he said hoarsely. “Draco, I really am sorry. I never meant to hurt you,” she whispered. He hesitated, and then nodded. “I know.” She bit her lip and they stared at each other for a moment. Then Ginny swore slightly and ran to him. He took her in his arms and they kissed, lips fusing together, both rejoicing in the closeness of the other again. Ginny was crying; he could taste her salty tears but he knew they were not ones of sorrow. *** Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall were in serious discussion. “Are you sure there is a warrant for his capture?” Dumbledore asked, studying the woman before him carefully. “I’m positive. The Ministry decreed him a Death Eater this morning- the problem is finding him.” “He would be at Malfoy Manor.” “Yes, obviously, Albus,” Minerva exclaimed, exasperated. “But we don’t have a search warrant and to thoroughly search that house from top to bottom- including false bottoms, and tops for that matter- would take weeks. We need to know where he is now.” “There is one other thing which needs attending to.” “What’s that?” Albus frowned. “We have to make sure that Malfoy Manor passes to Draco, and not Narcissa. I am confident that we will find Lucius but Narcissa is a worry. I love her dearly of course, her being my god-daughter but the fact is that she must not have control of the Manor. I’m not sure if she can be trusted.” “But how Albus? Lucius will stop the boy from getting it as hard as he can. And how can Draco be motivated to fight for it? From his experiences there, I don’t doubt he hates the place.” Dumbledore leaned forward, eyes sad. “There is only one way.” Minerva stared confused at him for a moment, and then she gasped at her hand flew up to her mouth. “Oh no, Albus! It is too cruel.” “He has to find out one day.” Unwillingly, Minerva’s eyes filled with tears. “But Albus… He is so young.” “I have complete faith in him.” “Oh I know you do but… Let’s face it Albus, he hasn’t exactly been an exemplary student. I mean, he does well in his studies but he’s a bully and a Slytherin!” “I would never have thought you were prejudiced, Minerva,” and despite the seriousness, Albus’s mouth twitched. “And I believe that if you had perhaps watched the young man in question, you would find out a bit more. Have you not seen him around Ginevra Weasley?” Minerva nodded and her face softened. “Of course. Of course. I don’t like it Albus- but if you see fit I suppose we must.” Albus nodded gravely. “I do. Bring him here, Minerva.” She turned to leave, but he called her back momentarily. “Oh and Minerva- do not refuse to let Ginny come. It will only make him sullen.” *** Half an hour later saw Ginny and Draco sitting before Dumbledore, looking very confused. He had just explained about Lucius’s warrant (Draco had appeared unduly gleeful at it) and had also told Draco that he wanted him to take control of the Manor. “With all due respect sir,” Draco replied mildly. “My mother can have it. I don’t like the Manor- I was planning to move out of it at the end of this year anyway.” “I understand,” Dumbledore said, picking his words carefully. “But I think you should take control of it- for the sake of your mother.” Draco’s face hardened. “I don’t give a shit about my mother,” he sneered, not bothering to control his language. “But you might,” the Headmaster answered wearily. “If you knew who she was.” Draco stiffened, and Ginny drew a breath. “What do you mean?” he asked warily. “I am going to tell you the truth about your parentage, Draco. Your mother is not Narcissa Malfoy. Your mother died at your birth.” He wisely left out the part about the prophecy. Draco stood up with such force that the chair fell over- he was breathing fast and shallowly. “You liar,” he said vehemently. “You damned liar.” “I speak the truth.” Draco shook his head. “So my life has been a lie then. MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE!” “Please listen to me-” Dumbledore began. “The hell I will!” he yelled. “Shut the hell up and leave me alone!” Draco stormed out of the room and Ginny, only giving the Headmaster a worried glance ran out after him. *** Ginny found Draco in the Room of Requirement, shivering uncontrollably. He stared at her with blank eyes. “Don’t look at me like that Draco, please don’t,” she whimpered. “Narcissa’s not my mother,” he said in a horrible flat voice. “I don’t know who my mother is.” “Maybe you should write to her,” Ginny whispered. Anger flared in his eyes and she welcomed it; anything was better than the dull, expressionless Draco. “The hell I will,” he spat. “I’m going over there right bleedin’ now!” She glared at him. “Don’t be an idiot Draco! If your father’s there, he’ll kill you!” “Like hell!” he yelled. “I’m going over there to find out who my mum is!” He used the word ‘mum’ unthinkingly, and Ginny felt rage rear an ugly head inside her. She couldn’t even imagine what growing up with a cold, emotionless woman in replacement for a mother could be like. How dare Lucius Malfoy have kept it from his son? While she had been thinking, Draco had hastily pulled on a cloak and grabbed his wand. When she looked back at him, he was about to Floo. “Half a second,” she said suddenly, pulling on her cloak and gripping her wand. “Shall we Floo together or one at a time?” He shook his head. “No. You’re not coming.” “Shut up. You’re going to need back up,” Ginny snapped tersely. “I said no.” She looked at him. “Draco, what can he do to me? It’s two against one. He can hurt us but not defeat us.” Draco met her eye and she saw fear there. A shudder went through her, chilling her to the bone. “How many times has he hit you, Draco?” she whispered, suddenly understanding. “Broken your bones, even? How many times?” Tears welled in her eyes. “Not now, Ginny. Afterwards, I promise I’ll tell you everything then. But now we have to…” he didn’t finish his sentence; he didn’t need to. He grabbed a handful of Floo powder and taking Ginny’s hand stepped into the fire. They yelled ‘Malfoy Manor’ unanimously. They clung to each other, spinning round and round. Her hair blew into his eyes- he could smell her scent and it comforted him for a second. Then they were pushed out into a silent and empty room. Draco let go of her hand and stepped out. Ginny stared at the ornate carpeting, beautiful furniture and ornaments with wide eyes. She had no doubt that if the entire contents of this room were sold it would buy her entire house thrice over. “Father!” Draco’s shout echoed and in a matter of seconds Narcissa Malfoy glided into the room. Ginny surveyed the woman in quiet awe. She felt acutely aware of her shabby outfit, untidy hair and chewed nails beside the tall elegant woman. “Draco,” Narcissa said silkily. “What a… surprise, for sure. But who’s this you’ve brought?” Ginny stepped forward and glowered at the woman, defiance all over her ashy face. Narcissa’s lip curled. “Is that a Weasley?” Ginny nodded coldly. A sneer transformed Narcissa’s beautiful face. “Oh, I see. It’s the Weasley. What bad company you’ve sunk to, Draco.” “Where’s my father?” Draco demanded quietly, his voice cold and clipped. “He’s at a… meeting, if you know what I mean.” “Then I shall need the key to his study.” “There’s only one key, surely you know that. And your father keeps it constantly with him.” “Pity, I hoped to avoid a bother, but I’ll have to break in.” Narcissa glared at him. “I forbid you from it.” “And I don’t give a shit to what you forbid me from.” “How dare you speak to me- your own mother- like that!” Ginny winced. “I would never speak to my mother like that!” yelled Draco. Narcissa opened her mouth and then shut it. She sank down on a chair and put her head in her hands. It was a strange scene; the tall, angry boy towering above the somehow frail looking black haired woman. Ginny felt she didn’t belong- it was a painting that she was not meant to be in. Finally, Narcissa spoke. “I shall have to alert your father, you know.” “I don’t care,” Draco replied icily. “First, however, I am going to go downstairs and make myself a coffee, using the new expensive magical maker that takes about half an hour. Then I’m going to finish the job I was going; sorting the photographs. Actually, Lucius will be back in about half an hour so I may as well just wait for him to arrive.” She stood and drifted out of the room. “In fact,” she called back dreamily. “I think I’ve forgotten all about your arriving.” Draco and Ginny stared at each other. Then, Draco grabbed her hand and led her out of the room by another door, shouting “This way!” They ran along countless passages, often past portraits of elder Malfoy’s who glared and muttered. Finally, the pair stood outside a solid oak door. Ginny reached a tentative hand out and immediately got a burnt hand. She blew on it; swearing under her breath. Draco however seemed very pleased. “Typical,” he snorted. “Invents a charm that no one can break through and then teaches the charm and counter curse to me.” Again he muttered the incantation that opened his door and with a soft click the door swung open. Draco rushed through the door, Ginny following. He turned to her. “Right,” he said, breathless. “You sort through that filing cabinet and I’ll do this one.” She nodded and knelt down in front of the cabinet he had pointed out. “And Ginny?” She turned back to him. “Yeah?” “If you find anything incriminating, copy it.” She noticed weariness in his eyes, and wondered what it would be like to know you have to betray your own father. Not like he ever was much of a father, she reminded herself. “Are you sure?” His eyes hardened. “Positive.” She nodded, giving him a warm smile. Then turning back around she pulled open the draw and began shuffling through the files. Whenever she found a file marked ‘confidential’ (often there was an imprint of the Dark Mark on it too- it made her shudder) she whispered “Repaté,” and placed the duplicate in a bag Draco had found. The ‘Repaté’ spell was very popular among the Hogwarts students. It created a copy of any sort of paper, including cardboard and sometimes a thin layer of wood, without harming the original. It was used for researching, projects and (most commonly) plagiarism. It was now common for teachers to test and see if the ‘Repaté’ spell had been used when marking. Ginny was in the last draw of her cabinet when she heard a slight mutter from Draco. She couldn’t distinguish what he had said, but when she looked over at him, the expression on his face told her everything. She walked to his side and looked at the folder he held. It was labeled simply: Draconis. “I hate my name,” he mumbled absent mindedly. Ginny studied the plain manila folder almost fearfully. “Are you going to open it?” she murmured. He nodded and with a slightly shaky hand opened the folder. The first page was a thick sheet of parchment with carefully sketched ink lines. A name leapt out at her: Draconis Malfoy. She surveyed it confused for a moment and then understanding hit her. It was a family tree. And the line that led off to Draco’s name had two names above it. One was predictably ‘Lucius Malfoy’, and the other was ‘Aurora Malfoy, neé Lestrange.’ Draco took a deep shuddering breath and turned the page. There was his birth certificate, and again, the name “Aurora” on the dotted line with ‘Paternal Mother’ written in bold letters before it. He turned the page and there lay a photo. With trembling fingers, he slipped it out and laid the folder on a desk, where Ginny made a duplicate, knowing Draco would want to keep the original photo. Then she looked at the photo that Draco was handling with such reverence. Aurora Malfoy was without a doubt the most beautiful woman Ginny had ever seen. She had long blonde hair and a slender, tall figure. She looked (as Ginny had once heard somewhere) like a female Draco Malfoy. In fact the only thing the two differed in were the feminine features and the eyes. Aurora had warm, forget-me-not blue eyes. Her smile was somewhat melancholy, and she gave Ginny the impression of someone who had forgotten to be happy. There was a slight bulge in her stomach, and her hands rested on it. Ginny looked at Draco and her heart almost broke. She had never seen him looking so alone. He finally wrenched his eyes away from the photo and looked weakly at Ginny. “Oh God Draco,” she whispered. Her hands fluttered nervously and she picked up the folder, sifting through it to give her hands something to do, her eyes something to look at beside the lost looking boy beside her. “I’m going to find my mother,” he said slowly. Ginny shook her head and a tear slid down her cheek. “No,” she whispered, and hating herself all the time she handed him a sheet of paper. It was Aurora Malfoy’s death certificate. Draco took it and scanned it. “Reason for death,” he read out hoarsely. “Childbirth.” He stared at it for a moment longer and then slipped it back into the folder. “She didn’t die of childbirth,” came the cold voice of Lucius. “I lied about that. There was no Gypsy fortune teller, boy. Your mother made the prophecy- she was a Seer. She died from the strain of it.” “You lied to me,” Draco hissed. “All these years have been a lie!” Lucius yawned. “Get over it. Now I’m afraid I’m going to have to kill you both. And I hate to disappoint, but I’m not going to do that cliché thing of telling you all my plans.” “There’s no need,” Ginny spoke up angrily. “We already know them.” Draco groaned. “Bad idea,” he muttered out of the corner of his mouth. “My father doesn’t appreciate bravado.” “I don’t give a damn,” Ginny whispered hotly. “Unwise, Ginevra, unwise,” smiled Lucius. Ginny truly hated this man, she realised. There were very few people who commanded her hatred- of course she disliked many people intensely but actually hate? Such a strong emotion- she didn’t like to use the word lightly. At the beginning of the year it had been three people she hated; now it was only two. “We’re going now,” Draco remarked casually, as if hoping to get away without a fight. Lucius laughed coldly. “No, you’re not. Laedo V-” “Expelliarmus!” Ginny cried, interrupting. Lucius immediately folded his arms and (tucking his wand under one arm) let the spell drive him back a few meters. After that, the spells rained thick upon them. Lucius did not attempt to kill them, and Ginny had a horrible thought that he wanted to take them- alive- to Lord Voldemort. Draco looked pale; a couple of times his father had caught him with the Cruciatus Curse and though Ginny always knocked Lucius immediately so Draco only had a few seconds of the pain, it was enough to make him stumble a bit more and his spells lose a bit of their strength. Some five minutes after the battle had commenced, Draco wearily slipped into Ginny’s mind. Ginny, I’m going to get into his mind, try and hurt him that way. No! It’s too dangerous, Draco, you’ll- But he was already gone. Ginny watched in fear, trying to distract Lucius with a well aimed Bat Bogey Hex (he managed to avoid it) while Draco concentrated. Suddenly, she saw horror flutter across Lucius’s face and then it contorted in pain- and she knew Draco had got it. Ginny had never seen anyone actively work mind force to hurt someone before; but she felt it, and the cruelty of it still frightened her, even though she knew Lucius deserved it. Then Lucius managed to perform one last spell, even with the pain. “STUPEFY MORTIS!” He roared, and Draco crumpled, ashy white, to the floor. “No!” Ginny screamed. “You- you bastard!” Lucius laughed triumphantly. “I have you now, Ginevra Weasley. You can’t get away.” Ginny glared at him. “I’ve beaten you twice before- I can do it again!” Lucius laughed again. “But never alone,” his hands waved wildly in the air, emphasizing his point. “This time, Potter’s not here.” Ginny felt a wave of defeat and loneliness wash over her. He was right. Harry wasn’t here. She was all alone… Alone… she dropped her wand as the truth hit her. What could she do against him, alone as she was? A name sprung to mind, and a word formed in her mouth. “Neville,” she gasped, barely able to speak. “Ah, but Longbottom’s not here to save you either, remember? He’s dead.” Ginny fell to her knees, as the dull ache of grief that rested constantly in her abdomen accumulated and spread through her body like fire. “No, please no,” she whimpered. “Draco, help me.” Lucius Malfoy stalked closer and closer, a truly evil glint in his eyes. “Yes Draco wake up,” he simpered, mimicking her. “Stupid child. My son is barely alive. Too many violent spells, and I used my own modified stunning spell too- you must have noticed. He will die very soon.” It was the final straw. Ginny swayed slightly then fell to the ground, eyes filled with tears. She moaned, and Lucius kicked her wand away, and then kicked her hard in the ribs, sending a piercing pain through her. He faked a kick at her head and laughed when she flung her hand up to protect herself. But suddenly, she felt warmth rush through her. Her hand had landed on Draco’s wrist- it was warm. Faintly, Ginny could feel a pulse. She drew a deep breath and slid her hand down to where his wand lay lightly on his palm. Feeling a rush of love and warmth and strength, she tottered to her feet, clutching Draco’s wand and faced a bewildered looking Lucius Malfoy. “I’m a big girl now,” Ginny whispered, swaying slightly. “And I can beat you all by myself.” She brought the wand up to his neck. “This, is for Neville, because it’s your fault he’s dead.” These things are nobody’s whole fault. Draco’s statement echoed in her mind, but she shook it out of her head. “Stupefy!” she yelled, curling her lip. Lucius Malfoy collapsed; he hadn’t been quick enough. Ginny ran to Draco, tears pouring down her cheeks. She clasped his hand and sank to her knees beside him. “Wake up,” she whispered, again and again. “Wake up.” His eyes fluttered open for a moment and he smiled at her. “Ginny,” he mumbled. “Love you.” “Oh I love you, I love you,” Ginny cried as he once more lapsed into unconsciousness. Ginny was growing weak. She wanted nothing more than to lie down and sleep forever, with Draco. She started slipping into the black faint she wanted so badly; but first she managed one angry thought. Dumbledore, I need you here NOW!

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