1. As Told by Me by Pipperstorms
You have already, of course, heard one of their many stories. Heard it from him, or heard it from her, in every gratifying detail. Or at least you think you have. For now, it is my turn to tell a tale. I, who grew up with him, and I, who noticed her before he was bright enough to do so. That’s right; I, Blaise Zabini, will be your host tonight. It’s my turn to tell you the story of Draco Malfoy and Ginny Weasley, because frankly, their story has never been told like this before.
Draco Malfoy was first and foremost, an arse. He always has been, and I doubt very much, that he will ever change. Honestly, I do believe it was bred into him from a very young age. And since that very young age, he and I have been mates.
I have always been content to stand alongside, or hide somewhere in the shadows, with little or no notice. While he, well… Draco is quite the opposite. He’s loud, pompous, and often vulgar; not caring what type of attention he gets, so long as he is getting attention.
To be fair, it’s probably not his fault. He did grow up in a home with very self-absorbed parents, who only took notice of him when it was convenient to do so. As he got older, they began to ignore him less, but not in a way he would have preferred. Actually, Draco quite wishes they had simply continued to ignore him. But no, Lucius and Narcissa began to pay attention to their previously ignored offspring because they both wished to live vicariously through him. Needless to say, they weren’t the best of parents.
But I digress, because this is not a story about Draco Malfoy in a singular sense. No, this is a tale about him and another, him, and one very beautiful other. This other goes by the name of Ginevra Molly Weasley. Ginny, as she insists on being called, couldn’t be anymore different then Draco, yet in many ways, she is also the same. One who knew her could never say that she was particularly fierce, and she is at times quite vulgar, stringing together curse words in ways I never thought possible. And yet, she’s delicate, refined, and kind. Basically, Ginny is everything Draco doesn’t deserve.
I first began paying attention to the smallest of the Weasleys in my third year of schooling. She was still fairly tiny then, hardly coming up to my shoulder. She was in the library, her school robes obviously hand-me-downs, and her hair tied back in a French twist. Sure I thought she was pretty, as pretty as a thirteen year old boy can find a twelve-year-old girl. I had never seen hair quite that color before, and I believe that alone is why I went over to her. She had been struggling to get books down from the top shelf, and had been failing miserably. So, being the dashing, chivalrous, young man that I was, I offered to assist her.
At first she had just gaped at me, her mouth open in a perfect “o” shape, and her amber eyes wide. I grinned at her, misinterpreting her shock for awe and admiration. That allusion was shattered the second she began to laugh. It wasn’t a pretty laugh, like I thought should have come from a body as small as her. Oh no, it was loud, and frankly embarrassing.
“Did you just say, ‘May I assist you fair Lady?’” She cackled, dropping all the books she had been holding, and nearly let herself fall to the floor as well. Needless to say, we were kicked out of the library that night. But a bond hand been formed. She continued to laugh at me for what I thought was fantastic use of language, and I helped her with her homework. It was mindlessly easy to talk to her.
Somehow it always slipped my mind to tell my oldest mate Draco about my new found friend. So years later, when I was Head Boy, and she, a sixth year cramming for midterm brake, Draco nearly wet himself when, still little, Ginny Weasley came over to our table in the library, and took the seat closest to me.
“I’m so tired,” she had groaned, laying her head upon my shoulder.
Draco, amazingly, said nothing, but I saw the way he watched her as she vented to me. I saw the metallic glitter in his eyes as he let himself become transfixed by the sound of her voice. I had known then that he wanted her. And that he wouldn’t stop until he had had her.
But something about her must have been different. Normally, Draco would have just gone in for the kill, bedding the poor girl and then leave her before morning, always wondering what she had done wrong, but never speaking to her again. I didn’t want my sweet little Ginny to become just another one of Draco Malfoy’s conquests. No, she was too good for a one night stand, even if she had had them with at least three men by that point, Finnegan, Boot, and yes, even myself. We had of course decided that, while it was fun, it was a one time deal.
I had every intention of warning him to stay away from her, but he never even tried. Something had changed him. I don’t know what, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t ask. He didn’t go after her, but rather eased his way into meetings with her, myself always there acting as moderator and often conductor of conversation.
However, the next event changed all of our lives. The War had begun. I had already spent enough time talking with Ginny to know which side of the war I planned to be on. Her voice and reasoning had convinced me easily that it was wrong to follow in the footsteps of so many other Slytherins before me. Frighteningly enough, her words had convinced Draco Malfoy as well.
He showed up at my house one night after our final year at Hogwarts, beaten and bloodied. He explained to me that he had just spoken with his father, had renounced the evil that he had been raised to embrace. Draco had just barely made it out of that meeting with his life. I knew I had to get him some help, so I Flooed the only person I could think of.
Ginny had been in a panic when we had reached her home just out side of Ottery St. Catchpole. She had already alerted her mother, who was waiting in the small front room for us. Draco didn’t even make it to the couch before he lost consciousness.
I had never seen Ginny so scared in her life as she clung to me, while her mother worked to patch up the Death Eater’s son.
“He’s going to be alright isn’t he?” she whispered, her eyes shinning with what could have been tears. Her mother had heard her though, and given an answer I couldn’t have known.
“Of course dear,” she smiled tightly, “he’ll just need some rest and some fattening up of course.” And then the woman had gone back to work, diligently providing care for a boy who’s family had disowned him; a family that despised her own. I had never respected anyone as much as I did her that night.
That night, sitting on a cushy chair in the Weasley’s sitting room, I learned several things:
First and foremost, that Draco’s emotions for Ginny Weasley were not entirely unrequited. Her eyes danced the whole night, as she took over for her mother, wiping Draco’s brow with a cold cloth, trying to bring down the fever he had accumulated most likely during our journey to the Burrow.
Second, I realized that somewhere along the way, Draco Malfoy had grown up. He had changed from the arrogant, attention seeking, boy he had once been. He was undoubtedly still an arse, but even that had subdued some.
During the night, in his fevered haze, Draco had tossed and turned, lost in all sorts of nightmares. One in particular frightened those of us around him, and he had this one almost every hour.
“No!” he would moan, shaking and thrashing at demons that could only be seen behind his closed lids, “No, it’s me you want! Don’t hurt her! Please!”
He didn’t remember any of these dreams in the morning, but there is no doubt in my mind which ‘her’ he had been referring to.
After that night, things changed. Draco and Ginny began spending more and more time together, more time without the need for my presence. I was not offended; on the contrary, their absence gave me the opportunity to acquaint myself with another female temporarily residing at the Burrow. One with the bluest eyes I have ever seen, however, that angel belongs in another story altogether.
They battled alongside of each other as well, often deflecting curses or taking hexes for the other. It wasn’t perfect; they fought with one another and insulted each other incessantly, but I don’t think either one of them could have loved any other way. That’s what it was, I realized. Ginny was more than just a conquest for Draco. He had fallen for her that very first day in the library. And Ginny, if she hadn’t fallen for him before, was irreversibly enamored with him the night we came to her for help.
However, I believe I was the only one to notice any of these happening. Because on the night of the final battle, when Draco got down on one knee, still covered in filth and his own blood, to propose to her, she too was still a mess, I was the only one not surprised. I was even less surprised when she jumped at him, knocking him into the mud in the pouring rain. I just turned, a smile on my face, to the beautiful blonde at my right.
“See,” she whispered to me, her eyes clouded with their normal mystery, “even a war story can end happily ever after.”