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- - - - -

“Ginny…” her name was hissed through the air and she cried out, her arms caught in the bed sheets.

“Leave me alone!” she sobbed, trying to extricate herself from the sheets. “It’s in the past now…”

The red eyes of Voldemort loomed over her and she screamed. “Let me go…for Godric’s sake, let me go!”

“Ginny!” Draco’s voice shattered the dream and she fully woke up, gasping and tears on her cheeks. “Ginny, what’s wrong?” he asked, and she heard the worry in his voice. She looked out of the window. It was still dark outside.

“Crap,” she muttered. “I spoke out loud, didn’t I?”

“Spoke?” he said incredulously. “You were screaming!”

She glared at him. “So what?”

“I want to know what’s wrong, Ginny,” he said, rolling his eyes. “People don’t scream in their sleep for no reason.”

“Nothing is wrong,” she insisted. “At least, not anymore.”

Draco eyed her doubtfully. He could tell she was telling mostly the truth, but whatever it was, she was being haunted by the memory of it. He sighed. “Are you planning to tell me what this is all about?”

She stared at him mutinously for a minute, then breathed out shakily. “Let me get dressed, ‘kay?”

“Sure,” he murmured and he watched her pull skinny jeans and a grey and white strapped t-shirt out of her bag, and retreat into the shower.

- - - - -

“What the fuck are we going to do?” Harry stormed up and down the tent, his mind racing, while Ron stared glumly into a cup of tea. “We need to get Hermione…and kill the bitch.” He glared at nothing in particular, clenching his fists as he thought of Ginny. His guilt had vanished overnight, it seemed. All he could feel was a coldhearted rage towards the girl he had used to care for, the one who had betrayed them all.

“I want to kill her,” Ron said quietly. “She used to be my sister, I want to do it.” Surprise filled Harry at that moment, and he glanced at Ron. The redheaded man didn’t look up from his cup of tea, but there was a quiet determination in his voice that Harry didn’t doubt. He gave a terse nod.

Harry flopped into the seat beside Ron at the table, and finally muttered, “I can’t believe she would do this to us.”

“We need to go speak to my mother,” Ron said firmly. “We need to tell her about Ginny and warn her.”

“Okay,” Harry said grudgingly. “But then we get back to rescuing Hermione.”

- - - - -

“Okay, so spill,” Draco was sat on the bed, watching Ginny. She swore under her breath and finished putting her earring in slowly, in no hurry to tell her story.

She flopped onto the bed next to him and swivelled to face him, legs crossed. He mirrored her.

“It’ll be easier for me to show you my memories,” she said softly, flinching as she began to remember some of her past.

She placed her fingertips lightly on his temples and the memories flooded his mind.

It was the summer between third- and fourth-year, and Ginny was at home. She had declined the opportunity to visit Romania for two weeks, and was alone in the house. A neighbour was supposed to be checking in on her twice a day, but they had been called away on urgent business and the Weasleys weren’t expecting any news for the next week.

Ginny poured herself a glass of water, sipping it as she watched the wind blowing the trees in the garden. It was sunny outside, but there was a hint of a chill; it hung in the air ominously, like a forewarning of something evil.

There was a knock at the door and she got up to answer it.

“Hello?” she opened the front door. Five hooded figures stood there, and the front one pulled her wand out. Bellatrix Lestrange smiled coldly.

“This is the one the Dark Lord wants.”

Ginny pulled her wand out and took out a Death Eater immediately with a stunner spell and hexed another’s wand hand, making him howl in pain, before the Death Eaters realised she had begun to attack. She turned and ran through the house, four Death Eaters after her.

Expelliarmus!” she cried and a Death Eater’s wand was blasted from their hand as they were flipped backwards into a stone wall, crumpling as they hit the floor.

Various shouts of “Crucio!” and “Stupefy!” came from behind her as she ran into the back garden, gasping in fear. She spun around, and picked off the two Death Eaters behind Bellatrix as they entered the garden.

Bellatrix smiled, her teeth bared, and delicately aimed her wand at Ginny’s chest.

“Give it up, Weasley.”

“Never!” Ginny snarled, and flashes of light erupted between the two women.

Fear had sharpened Ginny’s senses and she remembered a spell she had picked up in the Chamber Of Secrets from Tom Riddle. She said it in her head, flicked her wand, and a black horse erupted from her wand, charging through Bellatrix’s protective shields as if they were no more than mist. It lowered its head and a gleaming horn appeared on it’s forehead. “NO!” Ginny yelled and the horn disappeared as the horse’s head connected with Bellatrix’s chest, knocking the other woman flying.

Ginny ran towards Bellatrix, picked up her wand and pointed both wands at the Death Eater. “Give up.”

“She is good, isn’t she?” Voldemort’s cold voice came from behind Ginny and she spun around, the wands aimed at him.

“Stay away from me!” she gasped.

“You will do as I say, Ginny,” Voldemort said calmly, a smile on his face as he regarded the girl in front of him. “It has been a while since we last met.”

“Tom…” she breathed, and a childish longing for the friend she had made in her first-year flashed through her.

“You have three years of information on Potter for me, I presume,” Voldemort said coldly, ignoring her reaction. “You will come with me.”

He fastened his bony hand around her wrist, and tightened his grip so her fingers relaxed and he took the wands from her hand. He apparated, still gripping her wrist tightly.

Ginny withdrew her fingers from Draco’s head, shutting off the memory, a small cry erupting from her lips. “I can’t do it…” she muttered, her eyes closed, head in her hands.

He put his arms around her, and pulled her closer to him. “You’re okay, Ginny,” he whispered. “It’s just a memory.”

She laughed shakily, then straightened up and put her hands back on his face.

Crucio!” Voldemort shrieked and unimaginable pain spread through her body, burning through her limbs as she cried out for relief. She could feel her blood boiling in her veins and whimpered as breathing was putting her in too much agony. She held her breath in an attempt to escape the pain, and the world began to blur before her eyes in what seemed like forever. Spots of colour danced across her vision and she felt herself fading away from the pain, and she smiled gratefully, still not breathing.

She could hear Death Eaters laughing in the background as she fell into a swirling void of colour.

Draco shook his head, disgust at the Death Eaters’ behaviour on his face, shock as he once again recalled the pain that had flooded her body.

“Do you want me to stop?” Ginny asked, her eyes full of concern.

“No,” he gritted his teeth. “I want to know.”

The cell was dark, cold, wet; it hurt to breathe and it was agony to cough. Twice a day, the Dark Lord would take her out of her cell, torture her until she nearly went out of her mind with the pain, then leave her crumpled on the floor. Never did she scream for relief.

The week had passed so slowly, but Ginny began to realise that she had little chance of escaping. Then, on the eighth day of her captivity, five days before her family were due back, the Dark Lord sent for her.

It physically hurt Draco to see how she had been treated. She had become acceptant of her torture, but this feeling revolted him. How could anyone accept torture as part of their life?

“Ginny Riddle,” he hissed, and she jerked her head up, exhausted but surprised.

“I don’t understand, my Lord,” she whispered, trying to keep her voice steady.

“What is it you don’t understand?” he asked coldly.

“W - why you are hurting me. Why you called me Riddle. Why I’m even here.”

“I have tested your loyalty, and you have passed. And I require you as an integral part of my plan to kill Harry Potter.”

“Yes, Tom,” she muttered, too tired from her sleepless nights to care too much about anything anymore.

Draco listened as Voldemort explained how Ginny was related to him, but nothing could conceal the absolute disgust he felt at her ordeal.

“Draco, breathe,” she murmured, withdrawing her hands from his face. “Trust me, breathing is good - I should know.”

“How could he do that to you?” Draco whispered, his voice heavy with shock.

“He is our master, Draco, and he must do what he sees fit. He returned me to the Weasley household in time, and they never knew.” She sounded mechanical, as if she was saying something she had been ordered to say.

“Ginny, that isn’t how you feel,” he said.

“That’s true,” she whispered, and then let the tears fall. “I - I dream about it…I can still feel the flames when he set my clothes and hair on fire…”

“That wasn’t in the memory…!” Draco exclaimed.

“I didn’t show you all of it, Draco,” she sighed. “Some things no one else should go through.”

“Some things you shouldn’t keep hidden away.”

She cried until she had no more tears left in his arms.

- - - - -

“Sit down, Mrs Weasley,” Harry said quietly, and pulled out a chair for her. Mr Weasley stood behind her, their faces worried.

“What is it, Harry?” Mrs Weasley asked. “Where’s Hermione?”

Harry ignored her last question. “It’s about Ginny.”

Mrs Weasley’s face fell. “She’s not…?”

“No! No, no,” Harry exclaimed. “She’s perfectly alive…” he glared at the floor, as if resenting this fact. The stab of rage was poorly concealed, and he noticed Ron’s parents sharing a glance of confusion.

“Then what is it, dear?” Mrs Weasley looked perplexed. “Where is she?”

“She…is at Malfoy Manor.”

“What?” Mr Weasley asked, shock written all over his face. “Is she okay? Did they hurt her? Where is she? Did you get her out?”

“Dad!” Ron shut him up. “She’s fine. Totally fine.” Ron too looked annoyed at this fact.

“I don’t understand,” Mrs Weasley pursed her lips. “Ginny is fine, but she’s at Malfoy Manor.”

“Ginny…is a Death Eater.”

There was a long silence in the kitchen, then Mrs Weasley sighed. “I knew it.”

Ron and Harry shared a look of surprise, then Harry prompted her, “Well? How did you know?”

“We never told anybody, boys,” Mr Weasley said, his eyes sad. “But your sister, Ron, is not your sister after all.”

“What the - ”

Harry nudged Ron in the ribs before he could start swearing, then asked, “Whose child is she then?”

Mr Weasley took a deep breath, his knuckles white where he clutched the chair, and said quickly, “Ginny is related to You-Know-Who.”

“What the fu - ”

“You didn’t think to tell us?” Ron elbowed Harry to keep him from swearing, and asked his question in a shaking voice.

“She is his second-cousin, through her father. We took her in on Dumbledore’s orders. It is in her genes, I suppose, to fight on his side,” Mrs Weasley seemed resigned to her adopted daughter’s choice. “We failed as parents.”

“Boys, it’s a long story,” Mr Weasley gestured to the seats, a sad look upon his face. “We’ll tell you about it now, if you have the time?” The boys nodded.

Arthur touched the still little body. He felt no disgust for the dead baby, only sadness that threatened to suffocate him. It was another little girl. The second since Ron was born. His two year old son had no idea about the still-births; neither did any of the other boys. Maybe that was how it was meant to be. Maybe he and Molly couldn’t have a daughter.

The fire crackled emerald green and Dumbledore appeared there, holding a small bundle of rags in one arm, brushing soot off his robes with the other. “Good day, Arthur,” the older man said, then noticed the darkness outside. “Or should I say, good night.”

Arthur stared at him mutely, his arms tightening protectively around the white little body he cradled in his arms. Dumbledore sighed. “I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Arthur,” he said sadly. “And I’m also sorry that I must be the one to do this to you.”

He held out the bundle of blankets to Arthur. In the warm cocoon, a baby girl stared up at them with startling green eyes, which she blinked as Arthur approached. “Whose is she?” he asked.

“She’s a Riddle,” Dumbledore said softly. “Ginevra Cassandra Riddle, one year old. The Dark Lord’s second cousin. Her mother and father are dead. It’s pure luck that we got to her before the Dark Lord’s followers did.”

“Why is You-Know-Who interested in a baby girl?” Arthur drank in her appearance, including the red hair that framed her face. It was the wrong shade of red for a Weasley; it was a beautiful dark red with streaks of bright red, easily distinguishable from the trademark Weasley ginger.

“Her parents, Korin and Sikliana, have been his servants for years. This baby has been taken to Death Eater meetings since the day she was born. The Dark Lord has a special interest in her; her magical powers showed themselves when she was two weeks old.”

Despite his gathering depression, Arthur still felt shocked as he took in that piece of information. “Two WEEKS? Normal children - You-Know-Who included - don’t normally reveal themselves to be magical until they’re at least eight years old - ten is the normal!”

“Arthur.” Dumbledore’s voice pulled him out of his state of awe and back into the future. “I know this might seem insensitive, but I must ask you to take in this child. People will hunt her down, but they will never find her here.” His blue eyes bored into Arthur’s and he found himself nodding.

“Thank you, my friend. I shall take care of your sons’ memories, modify them so that they remember the birth of their new sister. Oh, and Arthur,” Dumbledore placed the young Ginny on the coffee table, where she lay almost as still as the dead baby in Arthur’s arms. “I truly am sorry for your loss.”

The old wizard disappeared in a flash of green flames. Arthur placed the dead child on the table beside the one-year-old with the glittering green eyes. “Those will have to go, if you’re staying with us,” he muttered to her, and pointed his wand at them. As the green eyes faded into a less recognisable brown, Ginny Riddle was no more. In her place was Ginny Weasley, the newest member of the family.

“Shit…” Harry muttered, memories of the Chamber of Secrets flooding his mind, and he only vaguely registered Mrs Weasley crying. “He had her from an early stage…her first year at Hogwarts…”

Ron looked bemused for a moment, then gasped, “The Chamber of Secrets! He had contact with her ever since she was eleven…”

- - - - -

Ginny had cleaned herself up, spent forever on her hair and make-up, but eventually she had to leave her bedroom and face Draco. She was embarrassed about earlier, crying on his shoulder, and hoped he’d forget it.

“Are you okay?” he asked, leaning against the wall outside her room.

No such luck. “I’m fine,” she said, carefully averting her eyes from him.

He laughed. “You don’t have to be embarrassed, Ginny. I saw those memories, remember? You had plenty to cry about.”

“How are Theo, Blaise and Damien going to take the news about…us?” she asked, changing the subject.

“Probably going to curse me to hell,” Draco chuckled, then slung his arm around her waist, “but seeing as I’m going to hell anyway…” he kissed her softly.

She kissed him back for a while, then pulled away, leaning her head on his shoulder. “You aren’t one of the jealous types?” she asked.

“I might be,” he gave her a small smile.

“Then be prepared…I don’t think those three will give up that easily,” she laughed and took his hand, pulling him towards the dining room.

- - - - -

The tent felt even colder than usual after they left the Burrow. There was no Hermione to cast the pretty blue flames they used to keep warm, and it was only the middle of February. Huddled in cloaks, Harry and Ron sat at the dining table, thinking in silence.

Time was ticking past slowly, as Harry thought of Hermione. He remembered her pretty brown eyes that held so much knowledge, her hands with little paper cuts from the books she read, her boring dress sense that he loved. Maybe that was why he had never gone for Ginny until sixth-year; she was too conscious of her appearance. She had always had careful make-up, impeccable taste and beautiful clothes that always looked good on her.

He knew looks could be deceiving; he never really realised how deceiving they really were.

- - - - -

“A party?” she repeated, horrified.

It had been nearly a month since she and Draco had become an item, and they were still together. He stood by and helped her get through the sessions in which she tortured Hermione for information, which always left her drained and exhausted, while she was his confidant - he told her everything, while she kept him from sinking into depression with her gentle teasing and sunny laugh, distracting him from stressing over his fraught relationship with his parents and her safety as a Death Eater.

Draco laughed at the expression on her face, as did the other three boys. They had yet to tell Theo, Blaise and Damien that they were a couple, and as a result, Draco could tell from their thoughts they were all planning on being Ginny’s escort to the party.

“Yes, a party,” Theo confirmed, smiling. “As in the ones you have to dress up for.”

“Oh.” She was subdued. “What do I wear?”

Damien laughed, as did Blaise, who was looking at Ginny appraisingly. “You wear whatever you feel like, sweetie,” Damien grinned. “But people will judge you.”

Ginny was silent, staring at her lap with vacant eyes. Draco reached out to her mind, and she barely acknowledged him as she thought.

Oh, shit, she thought. This is just my luck. A party. A PARTY. Like I don’t have enough to deal with in the Potter case, I have to get involved in the stupid upper-class politics thing.

Draco snorted with laughter, getting a strange look from the other boys.

Don’t laugh! she complained. It actually isn’t funny. I have nothing to wear…!

No panicking, he instructed her. We have loads of old clothes you can borrow.

You think I should wear old clothes? she asked, doubtful.

Not that kind of old clothes, he sighed inwardly at the picture of dirty overalls in her head. My mother has some last season gowns that would fit you perfectly.

Great, she moaned. I’m the same size as Draco Malfoy’s mum.

“So, Ginny,” Damien said nervously, having lost some of the cocky attitude. “You got an escort to the party?”

She gave him a sweet smile. “Actually, Draco’s agreed to show me the ropes this time, so I’ll be fine, thanks. But it’s really nice of you to offer.”

He smiled proudly, unsure of whether to be annoyed Draco had beaten him to it or happy she’d complimented him.

“Stupid upper-class politics,” she muttered under her breath. “Why’s it so damn complicated?” Her words were heard by the Slytherin boys who thought she was hilarious.

Sorry about them. Draco was looking at her from across the table, his blue eyes staring into her purple ones.

Look, don’t worry about it, ‘kay? she said absentmindedly, still panicking about what she was going to wear.

She could see him rolling his eyes. For Merlin’s sake, woman, he groaned silently. Leave the clothes to me.

That’ll be the day, she retorted. I am not letting you choose my clothes. End of.

- - - - -

She screamed for release, the agony crushing her thoughts for dignity and silence, encouraging the thoughts of desperation, and above all, the wish for death.

“Tell me, mudblood!” Bellatrix hissed, and the cruciatus curse hit her again. Hermione shrieked in agony. “Where is Potter?”

“I don’t know…not anymore…” she breathed, cowering on the floor of her cell.

“Aunt Bella…” the cold voice that Hermione remembered from six years at Hogwarts echoed across the dungeons.

“Draco,” Bellatrix acknowledged, then turned her wand on Hermione again. “I will only ask so many times, mudblood, then you will truly feel pain…”

Hermione gasped, feeling blood run from her nose, wondering vaguely how anything could be more painful.

“Bellatrix.” Hermione knew that voice too, and it evoked such a powerful anger in her, she managed to pull herself to her feet, gripping the bars tightly.

“You!” she hissed, as she did every time Ginny came down to the dungeons, nearly everyday.

Ginny looked at Hermione in disgust. “Good Godric, mudblood,” she smirked. “And I used to think you could look no worse.”

Draco laughed.

“Weasley!” Bellatrix growled. “I’m interrogating the prisoner!”

“Wrong, Bella,” Ginny said easily. “One, I’m not a Weasley, and two, you aren’t interrogating her. I am.”

Bellatrix swelled in rage. “How very dare you!”

“The Dark Lord put me in control of the Potter case, did he not?” Ginny asked, an eyebrow raised. “Then therefore, I will interrogate the mudblood. And you know as well as I that you should not speak to the Dark Lord’s second-cousin like that.”

Hermione gave a quiet gasp, as Bellatrix reluctantly bowed to Ginny and left the dungeons, her eyes flashing furiously.

The torch light in the dungeons glittered in Ginny’s eyes as she leant towards the bars of Hermione’s cell. “Do you have a problem about my connections to the Dark Lord?” she hissed.

“No,” Hermione whispered. “But Ginny, I don’t understand why…”

“What is it, mudblood?”

“Why you hate me so much.”

Ginny laughed. “Do you have no pride?” she hissed, malice in her eyes. “I was tortured by the Dark Lord himself for a week when I was thirteen. I stood my ordeal in silence, never once crying out for help. But you, filthy mudblood, have the audacity to believe that you can be as good as an eternity of magic and better than someone whose blood is the very essence of magic!”

Her face was twisted in fury as she continued, “Yet when we have you here, enduring the pain that we have all withstood before, we soon find out what you are made of… muggle.”

Hermione was speechless and slid down the bars to the floor. “I’m so sorry, Ginny…” she breathed. “I’m sorry you had to endure that.”

“You think I want your pity?” Ginny cried. “That’s why I hated Gryffindor…they believed us Slytherins to be cowards, yet here I stand, risking my life for my beliefs. They believed us to be liars, yet here I stand, fighting for my right to tell the truth. All those years, I endured them belittling my true house, my true nature, unable to speak up, while Potter cowardly hid behind Dumbledore, Sirius Black, his parents…and yet I am forever doomed to be a weak coward.”

Draco had stood by Ginny as she spoke, and he put his arms around her waist as she finished, brushing a lock of red and black hair from her face. Ginny leant her head back against his chest, whispered a few words that only he could hear.

Hermione watched their display of affection. All she could think of at first was that Ginny and Draco were a couple, that Ginny was truly a Slytherin, that Ginny truly hated her.

Then as a shadow fell against Draco’s hair as he whispered back to the girl in his arms, Hermione remembered the black-haired boy she had been separated from. She closed her eyes and saw only his green ones staring back at her.

- - - - -

“Am I doing okay, Draco?” Ginny whispered as she settled into his arms, after screaming at the mudblood.

“You’re fine, Ginny,” he breathed in her ear. “She’s scared of you.”

“I don’t want to kill her, Draco,” Ginny’s voice was almost inaudible, but he could still hear the tremor of fear.

“See if she speaks without using torture, first,” he whispered.

“Mudblood!” Ginny said authoritatively, stepping out of Draco’s embrace. “What is Potter’s plan to defeat the Dark Lord?”

Hermione looked up, broken from her daydreams of Harry. She smiled slightly. “You thought I would be that easy?” she bowed her head, waiting for the first curse to hit her.

“No, but that’s what Potter thought, I think,” Ginny’s voice was full of mocking.

“Get out of my head!” Hermione shrieked, realising that Ginny was looking through her memories; specifically, the memory of the first time she and Harry had made love.

“What will the Weasleys think, Hermione?” Ginny said quietly, a sly smile on her face. “Hurting Ron like that…”

“Shut up!” Hermione shouted, her mind racing as she tried to remember Harry’s descriptions of Occlumency. This was worse than the usual torture, much worse. She could feel Ginny in her head, poking at her memories and ridiculing her emotions, and it disgusted her.

“You know as well as I do, Hermione, that you’ve lost,” Ginny was right up against the bars now, a smirk on her pretty face. “Why not just spare yourself the pain?”

“I won’t let Harry down!”

“You mean the boy who slept with you and has pretended nothing has happened since? Who won’t even tell his best friend about you? Who hasn’t attempted to rescue you? Who was using you to get over me?” Ginny’s voice was just a hiss, but in the silent dungeons, it was easily heard over Hermione’s panicked breathing.

Despite everything, Hermione managed a tiny smile. “When I get you alone, Ginny, I swear, you will regret the day you were born.”

Ginny and Draco’s laughter echoed through the dungeons, combining with Hermione’s screams.

I felt guilty about not updating this story for so long, so I combined Chapter Thirteen and Fourteen for you to make an extra long chappie! I hope you enjoyed it and please review :D

Next chapter will be called 'Threats and Parties'. Fun stuff, eh?

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