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Summary:Nobody knows what happens between life and death - nobody can change it. But love crosses all boundries...

Ginny was running. She didn’t know where she was heading or what for, but she knew it was terribly important and she had to get here as fast as she could. She was running in a shadowy land, with a black fog rolling around her. She could see the dark silhouette of a bridge in front of her, and a tall boy standing in front of it. As she got closer, she could see it was Draco. She didn’t know why, but something told her that it was deadly important that Draco did not cross the bridge. He took a step; she could see his hand resting on the thin rope that was there in use as a handrail.

“Draco!” she yelled. “Come back!”

He turned and looked at her, confused. A smile lit up his pale features when he recognized her but he seemed torn between crossing the bridge and going to her.

“Ginny,” he said quietly.

“Yes, it’s me!” she called desperately. “Come here!”

He turned his head and surveyed the bridge again. “There
will be no pain there, Ginny,” he said softly. “No hurt and confusion. My mother… my real mother, she’ll be there.”

“Draco, please!’ Ginny cried, tears running down her cheeks.
He shook his head, and wordlessly took another
step. “Draco!” she shouted. “Draco, I can’t come with you across that bridge!”

He was upset, she could see it. “Ginny, come on! There’s a beautiful garden on the other side, and the woman from the photograph. Come on!”

She shook her head. “I don’t see anything. Only fog.”

“Ginny, please.”

“Draco, the second prophecy! We have to help Harry! We have to stop Voldemort!”

“My mother,” he murmured.

“I’m staying here, Draco,” she called. “I can’t turn my back on this world just yet. I don’t know what’s on the other side of that bridge… Maybe it is your mother, I don’t know. But please Draco… For me?”

“You’re not coming then,” he said dully. She shook her head, and noticed her hair was losing its deep shade of red- it was quickly becoming gray.

He stood and turned away from her. Dull, colorless tears fell down her cheeks as he stared longingly at the other side. Finally, he turned back to her. “Yes Ginny. I’m coming.”
She laughed through her tears as he walked slowly back to her side. They threaded their fingers together.

“We’re going home,” she told him, smiling.

He nodded, slowly. “Home.”

Ginny woke, breathing hard and sweating. A pair of half moon glasses swam into view, followed by the rest of Albus Dumbledore’s face.

“Ah, Ms Weasley. You’re awake.”

“Draco!” she cried. “Where’s Draco?”

“It’s fine, Ms Weasley. He’s-”

“The bridge,” she yelled, tears pouring down her cheeks. “I told him not to go, but I can’t feel his hand anymore. What if he crossed? What if he crossed?”

“Ms Weasley, Madame Pomfrey is attending to him at this very moment. He’s okay.”

“He’s okay? You promise?”

“I swear it.”

Ginny sank back into the soft pillows, suddenly aware of how hot her face was and the blinding headache she had. “My head,” she groaned.

“Here, take this,” Dumbledore soothed, handing her a clear vial filled with a potion giving off a slightly acidy smell. She frowned at it for a moment, then drank it down, gagging on the sharp taste.

“I’m in the hospital wing,” she said suddenly, her headache clearing.

“Yes,” Dumbledore said softly. “I got to you as fast as I could after hearing your summons. I am sorry for putting you in such terrible danger.”

“But you had no say in it,” Ginny began, confused. “You-” she gasped as understanding hit her. “You told him about his mum so he would claim the Manor deliberately?”

Dumbledore nodded sadly. “I did.”

“You- you bastard,” she spat. “How could you do something like that? Do you know how much that hurt him?”

“I told him,” Dumbledore said slowly. “So that he would have a motive to keep the Manor. I miscalculated though- I counted on his hatred for his father and his temper, but I forgot that the very same things would make him seek out his father, and any information he could find about his mother. And that was the most dangerous thing he could do. I don’t doubt that if you hadn’t accompanied him, he would most definitely be dead by now.”

Ginny shrugged the comment away. “Sir, can I ask you a few questions?”

“By all means. An explanation is the very least you deserve.”

“Why did what Mr Malfoy was saying hurt so much? I mean, reminders of Neville always hurt but it hasn’t been that bad since the night I found out. And I mean, the thing about Harry- that wouldn’t have bothered me at all usually. I would have known he was trying to put me out. And Draco-” a few tears formed in her eyes, and she sniffed. “That would have usually motivated me to fight him harder.”

“Ah yes,” Dumbledore grew very serious. “But you see, all Malfoy’s are gifted with a little bit of wandless magic. I think Draco could easily master some with a little practice. And Lucius did a dirty trick- he used it in the form of an Emotion Enhancer. It makes any minimal regrets you might have had about Harry not being there become too much to bear- any grief over Neville enough to make you collapse, and on using it about an especial loved one- to a weaker person, Ginevra, it could have felled them.”

Ginny stared at him wide eyed. “But then how did I stun him?”

“Ginny, did you have any contact with Draco whatsoever before you fought him again?”

“Yes,” she said slowly. “My hand landed on his arm.”

“The contact between you, the link of love is so strong that just touching a part of him could give you strength enough to fight Lucius. You didn’t fight Lucius for Neville, you fought him for Draco.”

Ginny blushed. “But sir, how did you know about me fighting for Neville?”

“We managed to capture Lucius alive, thanks to you. We fed him some Veritaserum and he told of your final comment. He seemed very vengeful that a teenage girl had defeated him.”

She turned ever redder. “Where is he now?”

“In Azkaban, awaiting trial.”

Ginny nodded, satisfied. “Can I see Draco?”

“You’re not meant to be out of bed, but I suppose we could rug you up in a wheelchair of sorts and have you sit next to him. I’m afraid he’s in a deep sleep. It is possibly a coma.”

Ginny’s eyes widened. “But he will wake?”

Dumbledore grew very serious. “There is a fifty percent chance of it.”

“Only fifty?” he nodded, and she let out a soft cry. “Please take me to him.”

Dumbledore placed her gently in a chair and covered it with a rug. Ginny placed her hands under the rug, not wanting him to see them trembling. He wheeled her to the bed next to her and placed her by the side of a bed, then closed the curtains.

Ginny stared onto his pale face, trying to commit it to memory for ever and ever in case he… She stifled a sob. His chest rose and fell so shallowly- it frightened her. She held his hand, the warmth comforting her.

“Please wake up,” she whispered. “I need you here, Draco. Don’t cross the bridge- you said you’d come with me, don’t go back on your word. We beat him, Draco, together- you and I. Your dad, he can’t hurt you anymore, I promise.” She traced a thin scar on his wrist- she had never noticed it before. Nor how skinny he was. “Come on Draco. You know, the battle’s drawing nearer, I think. I don’t want it to happen soon, but there’s been all these attacks in the paper. You know we’ve been unconscious for a week? I saw a calendar, when Dumbledore wheeled me over here.”

She paused, a tear escaping her. She wasn’t used to him not answering. “I’m in a wheelchair,” she continued. “Which feels very strange but it’s very comfortable so I suppose that’s okay. If- when you wake up, lets go dancing, okay? There’s a hall in Hogsmeade, I think. It would be fun… it’s hard for us to be alone. Damn teachers.” She smiled with an effort. “I wish you’d wake up, Draco. It’s no fun talking to myself.”

She swallowed a sob. “You know they said there’s only a fifty percent chance of you waking? I don’t believe it. I saved you in that fight, damn it! It’s meant to be okay now.” She shivered. “God, you’re so still Draco. I’d rather we were still fighting, than you like this.”

“I won’t leave you, Draco, I promise. I’ll sit here until you wake up, and if you don’t…” she trailed off. “I’ll always find you,” she whispered fiercely. “Wherever you are, I’ll find you.”
Her eyes began to grow heavy, and holding his hand, she fell asleep.

***

Ginny woke in the middle of the night, still in the chair by Draco’s side. She stared, for in front of her stood the woman from the photograph: Aurora Malfoy.

“You’re- you’re Draco’s mum,” she gasped.

The woman smiled sadly at her. Yes, she replied and her voice was one of the most beautiful noises Ginny had ever heard. It was terrifying- it made her want to cover her ears and scream in fear, but it also had the gentle loveliness of a mother singing a lullaby. It was fierce and ruthless, but also beautiful, swimming over Ginny in soft, melodic waves. Ginny stared in awe at her.

I want to thank you for saving the life of my son, the woman added. He would be dead were it not for you.
Ginny nodded, unable to speak.

Do not be afraid, child.

“I- I’m sorry,” Ginny suddenly whispered, tears clouding her eyes. “Dumbledore says there’s only a fifty percent chance of him living. I was too late.”

Never, the woman told her fiercely. He will live!

Ginny managed a tiny smile, as the woman glided over to Draco. Ginny watched, sucking a breath in, as Aurora leant forward and gently kissed her son’s forehead. Draco’s eyes flickered for a moment, and then opened fully as Aurora took a step back.

“Mother,” he smiled, not seeming at all surprised. Aurora nodded, and tears fell down her cheeks. Draco caught sight of Ginny. “Gin,” he said, sounding confused. “I thought you said you weren’t crossing…?”

“I didn’t,” Ginny replied, hardly daring to speak in front of the ethereal presence. “You didn’t- she’s on our side.”

“You’re not… dead?” he asked, hope gathering in his eyes, as he sat up slightly, looking with wonder at his mother.

I am, she said sadly. I cannot change that. I have been tied to this earth for so long, crying for you. Watching over you. I have never been able to rest. And when you met Ginevra... her gaze flickered to the red-haired girl and then back to Draco. …I was terrified. I was sure that the prophecy would come true… That you would die.

“Mother,” he said softly. “The prophecy is true, isn’t it?”

Aurora nodded, and Ginny’s eyes filled with tears. Gently, the woman reached out and with a cool finger wiped them away. Do not cry, Ginevra. I come bringing joyous news.

Light suddenly flared out from the woman- Ginny had to shield her eyes with a hand but Draco stared unblinkingly at her. By finding out about me, and having your life saved by a true love the prophecy has been broken. I lift the curse you have lived under- never let it be said again that you will die if you love! The prophecy is broken and I-

The light spun around and it seemed to the young adults watching that Aurora Malfoy broke into a thousand atoms. She was gone, and both Ginny and Draco wept and laughed with joy and sorrow.

The light began to fade. The last spark was just drifting towards the floor when they heard Aurora’s voice resounding around them in a beautiful, melancholy whisper.

I am free.

***

They sat in silence for a moment and then Ginny looked over at Draco. His shoulders were shaking as he silently let out all the tears that had been bottled within him for so many years. She stood up and shakily took the step that was between them, sliding under the covers and snuggling into his embrace. They held each other, and fell asleep.

***

She woke to find Draco watching her. He smiled at her, and she let out a long shudder.

“It was true,” she murmured. “I was so afraid that last night had been a dream… It was true!”

He laughed softly. “Yes, it was true.”

“Thank God! Don’t you ever go into a coma again, you hear me,” she whispered, suddenly fierce.

“Okay,” he smiled, mouth twitching in a wry grin.

“Shit, I was so afraid,” she whispered, and he grew serious. He closed his arms around her again and she clung to him, head fitting neatly under his chin, like it always did. “We don’t have to live under the shadow of that damn prophecy anymore,” she reminded him slowly.

“No,” he whispered, a thrill rushing over him. “Thank you, Ginny.”

She didn’t ask what for- she knew. A few tears escaped her eyes, but he pretended he hadn’t seen them; that she was grateful for. She always seemed to be crying around him.
Madame Pomfrey bustled over to them and Ginny groaned inwardly, not wanting to be asked to switch back to her own bed. She shrank a little more closer to Draco and his arm lay across her stomach protectively. She focused her best friendly yet firm stare upon the matron, who stared completely amazed at the pair for a moment, then smiled.

“Mr Malfoy, you’re awake!” she exclaimed.

“So it would seem,” he replied dryly.

“That’s wonderful- you gave us all a scare. I’m afraid, Ms Weasley that you’re going to have to-’’

“If you don’t mind, Madame Pomfrey,” Ginny interrupted. “Draco almost died, I completely freaked out and we also recently had a very emotional get together. I think I have perfect rights to remain in his bed for as long as I want, seeing as it doesn’t seem to be doing him any harm.”
Madame Pomfrey, slightly astonished at Ginny’s openness, hesitated for a moment and then nodded, drawing the curtains around the bed and leaving them. Ginny smiled up at Draco, and he kissed her gently. They both stared at each other, unable to believe that the other was still here. The only noise that broke the quiet was the ticking of a clock somewhere and the nurse’s brisk footsteps. Ginny reached a hand up and absent mindedly pushed away some of the locks falling into his eyes, and he caught her hand and held it.

Finally, Ginny spoke. “How are you feeling?”

“Sore,” he told her honestly. “I ache all over. But surprisingly fine, apart from that.”

“And… your mum?” she prodded tentatively.

He paused. “Confused,” he answered truthfully. “A little sad. But okay.”

She nodded, knowing that he didn’t want to say
anymore. “You scared me,” she told him for the second time. He nodded. “Did you dream about the bridge too?”

He smiled. “Yeah. You were there- I had to pick between you and my mother.”

“Why’d you pick me?”

“Because… because I never got the chance to know my mother. To love her. And I know I would love her if I got the chance, but I love you now, and I always will. It hurts to leave her, but it would hurt a thousand times worse to leave you.”

She pressed her face into his shirt, not wanting him to see the tears. “You ignored me,” she said, voice muffled. “You burnt all my letters, and when I came into your room you
were mean.”

He hesitated, choosing his words carefully. “I was really angry at you. I was angry at myself too, I guess. I believed every single thing I said to you, Ginny, I swear it. It hurt you but it hurt me more.”

“I know,” she said softly. “That’s what frightened me.”

***

It was a week since Draco had woken, and Sunday morning found Ginevra sitting in a chair by his bed, chatting away. He was sitting up bright eyed, and though he winced when he moved he was otherwise the same as usual.

“They’re not letting me out for another three days,” he complained to Ginny. “I’m so bored. I’ve read all the books you brought- they were brilliant, by the way- except for one, but I’m nearly finished that and Parkinson plays chess with me occasionally but apart from that…” He paused and winked at her. “I’m all alone!” he wailed melodramatically.

Ginny laughed. “Shut up, you moaning old sod. I wish I was in your place. Apparently a near death experience isn’t enough to warrant you out of homework. Plus Dumbledore is now giving me private lessons seeing as I can hardly be expected to practice on my own, so I’m being forced to work hard. I’ve been thinking, Draco,” she continued, serious now. “We haven’t been working nearly hard enough. I mean, it was pure luck that we got away from your father. We need to take up those restricted section passes and start studying, and we need to work harder. We’re getting our Apparation passes next week.”

He groaned. “More work, Gods. I’m getting enough what with NEWTS coming up, even with the so called ‘negotiating’ Dumbledore did at the beginning of the year. If only we had time to become Animagis,” he added thoughtfully. “Then we could really fight.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “Or if…” Ginny stared at him for a moment, mouth opening and shutting. “Draco,” she whispered in awe finally. “You’re brilliant. I have to go to the library!”

She jumped up and ran out of the room, in a style similar to Hermione Granger. “Mad,” Draco muttered under his breath, reaching for his book. “Completely batty.”

***

Ginny did not return until that evening, with a satchel full of books and cheeks flushed with excitement. Pansy was engaged with him in a game of chess, but when she saw Ginny she began to wryly pack up while Draco raised an eyebrow at her excitement. Pansy walked past Ginny, nodding slightly and Ginny sat in her chair, laughing with glee.

“I’ve got it, Draco!” she exclaimed. “I’ve asked Dumbledore to come here directly… look, here he is!”

A highly amused Albus Dumbledore was sweeping across the floor to them. He had been spending a lot of time with Draco, for somehow the old headmaster had known Aurora Malfoy well and Draco had finally acquired some respect for him.

“What’s going on, Ginny?” Draco asked when Dumbledore had pulled up a seat.

“I have found,” she announced triumphantly. “A spell that the Death Eaters know and can use perfectly well, but they will not be able to use this to their advantage in a battle like we can!”

Draco stared at her for a moment, then smiled gently. “Have you been sleeping well, Ginny?” he asked kindly. “Only you seem to be in the middle of a dream.”

She brushed his comment aside with an impatient wave of her hand. “Headmaster, I know it will work! It has to- we’ve been watching examples of it all our life- I’ve seen two examples of it in the last term!”

Dumbledore was curious. “Please elaborate, Ms Weasley.”

“Do you remember,” Ginny said breathlessly. “The lesson you taught me my Patronus?” Both men nodded. “Then you remember how I was in a foul mood with Harry. Did you notice how it growled at him and almost attacked him?” Draco still looked puzzled, but Dumbledore drew a deep breath, understanding twinkling in his eyes.

“Of course,” he whispered. “Continue.”

“In Draco and my last meeting, Draco used his Patronus. He was annoyed at me at the time, so it hissed and almost charged at me. Sir, I believe that if we slightly modify the Patronus charm, they could be used to help defeat the Death Eaters.”

Draco sucked in a breath. “But are you sure that a spell can be modified?”

She nodded, a smile twitching at her mouth. “I know it. Spells are often made- but only one other person besides me knows how to modify them. It was he who taught me.”

Draco got the feeling that she was deliberately holding out on them. “Who was that?” he asked suspiciously.

She grinned. “Your father.”

He glared at her.

“Don’t look at me like that,” she chided. “He used the spell on
you, and then he actually told me about it. He was an incredibly intelligent man, but he underestimated his opponents. He underestimated the damage it would do to Voldemort’s forces if I grasped the idea of modifying a spell. He used a modified stunning spell on you- one that is much more dangerous; the incantation is ‘stupefy mortis’- mortis is ‘death’ in Latin, so just the one added word with the right flick of the wand made it a hell of a lot more dangerous. What we need to do with the Patronus is find a couple of words with enough significance in it, a certain traditional sense in it, and also a word that holds a lot of power in it. Lucius Malfoy’s worked so well because both stupefy and mortum are very powerful words, and you can trace them to an original meaning. We can’t just make up a word.”

She took a deep breath. “We need words that will make two things happen- one being to make the Patronus last longer and be more solid, and the second one is that the Patronus will have a will of its own and conviction to fight, but still be on our side. We need a Patronus form that will not be cowardly- even a mouse must use its strengths to fight.

“Harry’s stag is fantastic; so is your Thestral. My wolf will be perfect for attacking and a stallion like Ron’s can do a hell of a lot of damage with its hooves.”

“What about Granger’s otter? What can an otter do?” interrupted Draco.

Ginny smiled- it was her trump card. “There are other races of magical beings out there,” she told them. “Ones that do not respect wizards. Centaurs scorn horses, certainly, but a Patronus is noble and free and brave- perhaps the centaurs could be induced to fight using a Patronus. As for the otter- it took Harry hours to get down to the Mermen. But an otter…”

“Could do it in moments, particularly a magical one,” finished Draco, eyes gleaming. “It would be like having a whole other army. One with added magical strengths- and a Patronus can’t die.”

“Exactly!” Ginny laughed.

Dumbledore stared at Ginny, for once at a loss for words. “Ms Weasley,” he breathed finally. “It’s brilliant. Have you any idea for what the words could be yet?”

Ginny nodded. “I thought fortitude would be a good one, because it means both courage as well as ‘moral bravery’, so they would see what is right and wrong. And then valiturus, which is also strength but as well as that it’s-”

“Power,” interrupted Draco. “So that they’d last for a long time.”

Ginny nodded. “Well,” said Dumbledore. “I will start working on it straight away. Unless you, Ms Weasley would like to…”

She shook her head. “It’s too strong a magic for me, sir. I’m
quite content just to be ‘the brains’ behind the operation.” She laughed.

Draco smiled. “Well done, Ginny. It’s a brilliant idea.”

She blushed. “The word brilliant has been used more times in the past day in connection to me then in my whole life,” she murmured.

“Ginevra, have you eaten anything all day?” Dumbledore asked gently.

She shook her head. “Not since breakfast. I’ve been to busy to be hungry.” Her stomach emitted a low growl. Dumbledore laughed.

“I advise you to go downstairs to dinner then, as I will. It is about to begin.” Draco smiled and nodded at her.

“Bye Ginny,” he said.

“Bye Draco.” Dumbledore had very wisely made his way out of the Hospital Wing, so Ginny leaned forward and kissed him, hands resting at the back of his neck carefully.

She stood up and smiled wickedly at him. “The nerve of us,” she called over her shoulder as she left. “Kissing in the hospital wing!”

A/N: Someone very wise once said 'GIVE ME REVIEWS!!!'

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