Day 76

When he woke up, Draco wanted to die. He'd felt the same every consecutive Tuesday to which he had awakened, but normally he just went to the hospital wing, when he knew Madam Pomfrey would be there, and asked for a cure. Not today. Today's Tuesday was going to be different from every single Tuesday that had passed before it.

The day Draco had woken up not-dead, he and Ginny had made a list, a schedule of what the first repeated Tuesday had been like for each of them, and then they did the same thing for as many of the following Tuesdays as they could remember. It had been hard. Every day had been virtually the same, and in the beginning, Draco hadn’t wanted to remember anything about the loop. He’d spent so many days wasting time away in his room, and distinguishing those days from more active ones had been difficult. Together, he and Ginny had worked out the differences and similarities between each Tuesday—which days Draco had gone to the hospital wing for headache potions, which days Ginny had had to carry her cauldron of ruined potion to Snape’s office, etc—and had constructed several carefully planned schedules for them to enact, in the hopes that one of them would make the time loop disappear.

They didn’t know if it would work, but they had to try something. They could no longer sit around and let madness consume them, could no longer let life pass them by. They couldn’t allow it. This Tuesday marked their eighth try, their eighth plan, eighth schedule, but they hadn’t lost hope.

Draco rolled out of bed and grabbed the first set of robes he put his hands on, and then went down to breakfast. He smirked at Ginny where she sat at the Gryffindor table, and she nodded back grimly.

Before he could take a bite of the food he had gathered on his plate, rogue eggs landed on his bacon and more fell into his hair. He glared at the first-years who had thrown the food, but shoveled down his breakfast while he had time. By the time he'd arrived at Transfiguration, his headache had dulled. Draco took his seat next to Goyle before McGonagall could instruct him to, and at the end of the class he had an infinitesimal nose, but Goyle had something even worse—if he ever found it.

Charms went as Draco had expected. Flitwick's laughing fit right off the chair was old news by now (to Draco, anyway), and once the tiny teacher had climbed back onto his stool, class continued as normal. And having researched Jumping Beans more times than he could count by now (though never before feeling motivated enough to actually finish the assignment), Draco spent his study break writing his essay in silence, which was just the way both he and Zabini liked it.

In a dungeon corridor on his way to Potions, he and Ginny regarded each other. She had been the one in the beginning who had been cautious with her future, going to her classes day after day and behaving as if every day was not a recycled Tuesday, while he had wiled the days away doing nothing at all. This could only work—hypothetically speaking; they had absolutely no idea if it would work at all—if they worked together, if both of them took their life and the consequences of their actions seriously.

They nodded in acknowledgment, careful not to let Ginny's toxic potion spill. Class passed and that's all Draco could say about it. It was the most uneventful part of his day, besides Ron Weasley's glare boring into the side of Draco's head. Ron remembered more and more of each Tuesday as the days passed, but he wasn't quite “in” the time loop, like Draco and Ginny were. There were others like him, students who remembered parts of past Tuesdays, even though they shouldn't, but he only knew that from asking Lovegood about the orange auras again. No one had remembered enough to be noticeable.

After his classes, Draco returned to the Slytherin common room to start some homework before dinner. He wondered how Ginny's day had been, if anything eventful had happened. His heart beat more quickly as he tried to imagine this idea succeeding. What would they do if they woke up tomorrow and it was no longer Tuesday? What would happen to them? Would she still let him snog her? Would they continue to take walks around the lake?

He tried not to think about the future though because he didn’t want to lose hope if this schedule failed. If he longed for the future and it never arrived, what would stop the madness from coming back? They had to take things one day at a time. They could think about Wednesday when Tuesday ended.

After dinner, he met Ginny at the entrance to the Come and Go room. When they entered, the room had changed. Gone was the table of food and the chairs in front of the fire. The walls had stretched to accommodate a four-poster bed hung in rich velvet curtains of gold, and covered with a thick brown duvet. Two desks with accompanying chairs sat against opposite walls in the part of the room to the right of the door. Ginny's ears burned red as she put her bag down next to one desk, and Draco couldn't keep the smirk off his face as he took his seat at the other. His heart hammered in his chest and he knew that the bed was at the forefront of both of their minds as they tried to complete some homework.

They didn't dare lock eyes, but once they did, their homework sat abandoned on the desks as they retreated to the bed, their bodies already entwined before they hit the mattress. Draco's lips discovered the softness and taste of the skin of her neck, and only her insistent hands could pull him away. She placed kisses on the tip of his nose, his cheeks, his chin, and then kissed a trail along his jaw. Their breathing was heavy and their bodies were warm with heat and color. Draco had never liked freckles or red hair more.

“I wasn't saying no,” Weasley said suddenly, as he fiddled with the buttons closing her robes.

“Yes, I see that,” he replied glibly, growing frustrated with himself as his fingers shook too much to actually release any of the buttons.

“No, no,” she said sitting up. “I mean... the day you killed yourself.”

A shiver traveled down Draco's spine. He didn't want to be reminded of that day.

“I wasn't rejecting you.”

“You didn't say yes either,” he replied bitterly.

“I didn't think you were serious. I thought you'd found out how I felt and were making fun of me. I didn't think you would actually let go or I would have done something. Acted faster.”

“How you felt about me?” Draco asked, looking into her brown eyes with what he hoped was enough power to force out the truth. This was one time he wished he were more skilled at Legilimency instead of Occlumency.

“Never mind,” she said. She started to get out of bed, but Draco stopped her with a hand on her arm.

“Wait until tomorrow. We can talk about everything, then.”

She looked into his eyes, probing him with her own. He didn't know what she was looking for or what she had found, but he knew that she understood what he was saying.

Tomorrow. Everything depended on tomorrow. If tomorrow was Wednesday, they could move forward with what they had, whatever it actually was. But if it was Tuesday again, they might as well stop while they were ahead. They couldn't afford to let the relationship sour. They were the only people they had in the world, at least until the time loop brought the rest of the world into it, or the time loop faded away. Who knew how long that would take?

“Tomorrow,” she agreed.

Draco pulled back the blankets on the bed and removed his shoes, while she successfully unbuttoned her robe and then turned to do his.

“Does this feel familiar?” she asked with a smile. He smirked back at her, remembering how she had ripped his robe off him after the toxic anti-aging potion had ruined it.

They climbed into the bed, Ginny snuggling up close to Draco's side. He reached for her hand and held it, wondering what the next day would bring. He promised whatever kind of deity was listening that he would change his ways—not too much, of course. He would make sure that his life wasn't redundant, and for some reason, he felt that Ginevra Weasley was the cure for his boredom.

They drifted off to sleep, their fingers tightly entwined.
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