One-shot. The war has finally ended, but there are still entanglements to work out, especially between Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters:
Mar 30, 2006 Updated:
Mar 31, 2006
1. Deny by Black Alnair
“…everything seems to be in order.” Harry paused and gave his audience, the remaining members of the Order, a half-hearted smile. “Well, as much as it can be, considering the circumstances.”
A soft murmur filled the room. There was an underlying excitement in it but it was overwhelmingly suppressed by a deep-seated weariness.
Everyone had thought the war would come quick and hard and end the same way. No one really thought it would last that long. But war turned out to be a trickster. A cruel, deviant one that played his game for four long years.
Yet, for Draco Malfoy, who had turned spy after Snape had been revealed a traitor, the darkness of those years had been a salve for his troubled soul. He became a fierce fighter, if not believer. He shifted his eyes from Potter’s tired face – they were all tired – to the equally inattentive redhead across from him. She was not looking at him but by the crinkle on her brow, he knew she was thinking of him.
“We’ve rounded up a majority of the Death Eaters,” Harry was saying.
“With the help of Malfoy,” Bill interjected. He knew about the unlikely pair sitting before him, their feet barely touching beneath the table. And he also knew about his parents’ disapproval but Bill was the not the rebel in the family for nothing.
Ron grumbled an agreement. He didn’t know. And if he did, he probably wouldn’t have given the blond his grudging appreciation.
Draco merely nodded in acknowledgment.
“…captured so far. But sources tell us many of them have fled to Italy, a few to Eastern Europe. The Italian Ministry has requested our help.”
“Well, Harry, I would be happy to go,” Hagrid said, shifting uncomfortably in his too-small seat.
“I know you would, but you can’t, not with that leg,” Harry said gently. He scratched the back of his head. “Just think about it.” – he was addressing everyone now – “I know we thought Voldemort’s death would be the end. But we’re not quite there…yet.”
The meeting over, everyone dispersed. There was still much work to be done.
“Draco,” Ginny gently admonished even as she draped her arms around his neck.
He pushed her back against the door.
“I know, we have to gather up my merry little friends.” He nuzzled her neck. “But just a few minutes.”
“Who do you think they will send to Italy?” Ginny asked idly as she unbuttoned Draco’s shirt.
Draco smirked but pulled back to let her complete her task. “I don’t know. Does it matter? Maybe the Patil twins, Longbottom?” Most of the older members of the Order had died to protect the younger generation. After all, it hadn’t been their war but then again, it hadn’t been anyone’s.
“Hmm, it’ll be a wild goose chase.”
“Someone has to do it,” he said, before he pushed aside the cup of her bra.
Ginny arched into him and grabbed onto his flaxen locks.
“I love you,” he breathed as his lips met hers.
She went stiff in his arms and Draco pulled back, letting out a huff of frustration. He wasn’t touching her anymore.
“Stop saying that.”
“Why? I mean it.” He turned from her to button his shirt.
“Draco,” she sighed. “Let’s not make this complicated.”
He whirled around. “You mean, let’s not make this real.”
She threw her hands up in the air. “What do you mean, let’s not make this real? What do you think I’ve been doing these past few months since my parents found out about us?”
“Hiding,” he breathed.
“I’m still with you,” she sniffed. “I could be with Harry.”
It was the wrong thing to say. It was true. But still, the moment those words left her mouth, she tilted her head down in shame.
Draco let out a bitter laugh. “Yeah, you could.”
Ginny sighed. “Let’s not be like this. You know I care about you.” She walked over and wrapped her arms around him. He thought about struggling but sagged against her instead. “I just need time.”
Time for what? he had wanted to ask. But he feared her answer. “Can’t you just say it?” he said instead, because for all his bravado during the war, in front of the Death Eaters, in front of the Ministry, in front of the rest of the Order, he needed reassurance. He needed to know that there was something more once the war was over, that there was reason to want an end.
Ginny let her arms drop and Draco felt the cold air wrap around him instead.
“Why must we always argue about this? Isn’t it enough that I defy my parents for you, that I deny Harry for you, that I’m here for you?”
Silence. It was her answer. No, it wasn't enough.
“Look, the war’s nearly done and then everything will be normal, as it should be.” She gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I’ll probably be busy all day tomorrow. They need me at St. Mungo’s.”
He wanted to tell her that he needed her too. But she had already turned and slipped out of the door.
He stood in the dark by himself. He could hear people on the other side of the door, moving about. But he was trapped. In himself. In the concept of him and her. In the war. While everyone else would move on, he would be stagnant, waiting for Ginny to end her denial. She was not defying her parents or choosing him over Harry. She was buying her time. But for what, he wasn't sure.
Yes, the war had been a salve for Draco Malfoy. It let him pretend that he was a hero too and that what he did mattered. It let him pretend that there had to be something pure and true in all that contrasting darkness.
Of course, now he realized that Ginny hadn’t been the one in denial. It had been him. He nodded his head slowly before reaching for the door knob. He was sure of that at least.
The next day, he volunteered for Italy.
A/N: I like to look at this as a way of getting my angst out. The next chapter (6) of Common Cure is just not angsty enough for me. Had to remedy that somehow without killing anyone...yet. =)
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