Ginny was running through a dark, damp tunnel, hair brushing her cheeks as she kept her gaze on the ground, watching every step carefully. She could hear the footsteps behind her, closer and closer, along with the faintest rustle of cloth against wet stone like bats’ wings. Her neck tingled strangely, and she knew why, but she just couldn’t think while she was running. She couldn’t turn around, she didn’t want to see—
She sat up in bed, staring around her dark bedroom blankly.
“Gin, you alright?” Harry’s voice was muffled and scratchy, like it always was when he woke in the middle of the night.
“Fine,” she said, furrowing her brow and trying to remember what it was she’d been running from. Nothing but a frustrating blank in her memory, where the dream was slipping away from her like storm clouds.
“Then go back to sleep,” Harry mumbled, patting near her thigh as he drifted back off himself.
Ginny knew that the dream would await her if she did, so she pulled her knees to her chest, careful not to disturb Harry’s blankets - more than a dozen years of sharing a bed, and he still pulled the blankets protectively around him as though she would steal them from him, leave him shivering and alone - and stared at the window. The night was dark, and she could see a smattering of stars that she could still recall the names for.
Harry let out a soft snore, and Ginny saw a flicker of movement outside her window. It was hard to be sure but...
That was a hand. A thin, near-skeletal one, one that reminded her vaguely of a Dementor, especially with the ragged bit of sleeve she could see.
She gasped, fumbling on her side table for her wand as the hand scrabbled at the window before managing to push it open. She held her wand out with a shaking hand when the figure eased in, and she froze.
She knew the intruder. She recognized the pointed features, gaunt and terrible, and the pale hair. The eyes, though...
She didn’t remember his eyes being so....
“Ginny,” he whispered, and she dropped the wand, staring at him. She couldn’t look away. He moved closer, and she thought vaguely that she should wake Harry, only...
Only she didn’t want that, at all.
She knew what she wanted, and it was all in Draco Malfoy’s eyes. She didn’t look away, even as she tilted her head, pulled her hair to the side and offered her neck up, docile as a lamb off to slaughter.
Ginny didn’t have to explain the twin scabs on her neck to Harry, as he didn’t notice them. He never stirred, not even when Draco lowered himself onto the bed, not when Ginny gasped when Draco’s fangs plunged into her neck, not when Draco let out that satiated, pleased sigh when he pulled away.
In the harsh light of day - which was even harsher than normal, Ginny thought, waving her wand idly to draw the shades - the whole idea seemed ridiculous. Draco Malfoy, a vampire? Draco Malfoy, haunting her dreams?
Draco Malfoy, slowly transforming her into an immortal creature of the night?
Surrounded by food and kids and the domestic business that filled her off-season days, it felt more like a dream than anything else. A fantastical, crazed dream brought on by tedium.
Except that she still had those marks on her neck.
Three nights later, Draco appeared at her window again.
The intervening nights, Ginny had been restless, dreaming of terrible, wonderful things - red-stained dresses, endless nights and hypnotizing grey eyes - and wandering out of bed to gaze out the window at the night.
She couldn’t get enough of the nighttime sky, and laughed remembering how she’d hated astronomy lessons back at school.
In the daytime, hiding behind large sunglasses when she took the kids out to play to hide both the circles under her eyes and to shield her sensitive eyes from the bright English light, the thoughts frightened her. She still remembered the last time she’d felt like that, a lifetime ago when she’d been innocent.
But when the light seeped from the sky leaving only the comforting darkness, she forgot her worries, her fears, and only thought of him.
Draco picked his way across the room - she’d left the window open tonight, as she had for the past three nights - Ginny couldn’t take her eyes from his, which seemed to glow from intensity.
“Why me?” she managed as he wrapped his arms around her and enveloped her in black robes and skeletal limbs.
Draco whispered something, voice strange around his fangs. Ginny wasn’t quite sure what she’d heard; it was either, “Your hair,” or “You’re here.”
It didn’t really matter so much, once he bit into her and she suddenly felt more complete, more alive than ever.
Harry slept on, oblivious.
The next few days felt even more dream-like. She floated through them, detached. It didn’t even feel like a betrayal that no one noticed that she was...
Turning into something else entirely.
She remembered those strange, enigmatic days when she’d been a child seduced by something so much stronger and powerful, and afterwards wondering how and why and didn’t anyone care?
Now, she kissed her children, and they don’t notice that she lingered over them, entranced by the fragile sound of their heartbeats. She smiled at her husband, and he didn’t realize that she was staring at him through an odd, wonderful fog, dense as the night. She spoke to friends, lied to her mother, laughed with her brothers, but no one noticed that she was...
If it weren’t exactly what she wanted - she could feel her new life filling her, even as her old one extinguished - it would be enough to send her back to that lonely, grasping phase of her youth.
The final visit from Draco was the same as every other visit, until he laid his lips on her neck.
She tensed, waiting for the pain, waiting for the release, but he pulled away, and she realized it was a kiss, not a prelude to a death.
“Ginny,” he said. “This is it.”
“I know,” she replied, arching her neck more, and was irrationally afraid the longing in her voice will wake Harry, who was sleeping like the dead. (It was easy, so easy, to slip the Sleeping Draught into his water.)
“Do you know why I chose you?”
He knew she didn’t. “Does it matter?”
“It means everything,” he said. The gauntness of his features, the contrast of his black robes with his pale hair, even the redness of his lips against his pale skin all become him, more than mortal life had. He looked as though he were born for this fate, as though it had been waiting for him all those years while he grew and learned and made a family of his own to carry on the legacy.
“Then tell me.”
“After I... became this, so much changed,” Draco said. Ginny squirmed, trying to get closer to him, to feel his cool flesh on her own heated skin. “And I thought about a lot of things, and when I thought about all I’d been through, I kept thinking of you.”
“Of course,” Ginny said, trying to lick at his throat. Even without a heartbeat it was... enticing.
“Listen to me!”
To Ginny’s surprise, she jerked up, met his avid grey eyes and paid attention.
“I thought of you, Ginny.” Draco’s voice was strangely flat. “I thought of what my father did to you, what you did to me, how you stood up when I couldn’t.” He twisted his skeletal fingers into her red hair, and his words took on life, fierce and emphatic. “I thought of how delectable the color your hair is, how beautiful your skin would be as pale as mine, how perfect you are for me.”
Ginny tilted her head. The words seemed to pierce through the fog, and set a strange fire burning within her.
“Will you join me? Forever?”
Harry never spoke of what she’d been through; most of the times she thought he’d forgotten as soon as his own glory faded. She loved her children, but this...
She could live forever. She could spend eternity learning who Draco was, why she beguiled him so. She could become the creature in the night, and she would never fear herself again.
“Yes,” she breathed, and the smile dawning on Draco’s corpse-pale features was beautiful, jagged, possessive.
The bite didn’t hurt this time. Ginny barely felt anything at all.
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