Sometimes we discover the truth too late...
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters:
Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter
Jan 04, 2008 Updated:
Jan 14, 2008
1. Chapter 1 by LovesFantasy
2. Chapter 2 by LovesFantasy
3. Chapter 3 by LovesFantasy
Chapter 1 by LovesFantasy
I’m standing with my back to her as I fumble through the piled clothes in my wardrobe. She is still sleeping, curled up in a tight ball with all the blankets wrapped tightly around her small frame. She always steals the blankets. She never got used to the chill of the Manor, I suppose. I’ve had more than my fair share of cold and used to welcome it. She keeps me warm now and I’ve decided I like that.
It wasn’t meant to happen this way. For the longest time, she was nothing more to me than Weasel’s little sister and Potter’s biggest fan. Potter seemed to fidget every time Ginny was in his presence, like he was searching for the best way to put her off without hurting her feelings. Stupid git. It wasn’t until he lost her that he wanted her.
Damn, I can’t remember where I put what I’m looking for now. I shut the doors and turn around to see that she has shifted her position and her arms are now tossed above her head and tangled in fiery curls. Her milky white skin is too strong a contrast to the deep green of the sheets, but I like it. I sit down on the edge of the bed, trying not to disturb her as she sleeps. It amazes me that it took me so long to see her beauty. It’s been there all along – blatantly in my face, and yet I took no time to notice it. I have to now. I’ve finally learned not to waste our time.
I never saw it coming. It was far too sunny a day, and we were forced to be outside for Care of Magical Creatures. I was laughing at that half-giant oaf and plotting some little scheme to humiliate Potter and the other two with Parkinson and Zabini, when I noticed the sixth year Herbology class roaming around in the forest. I couldn’t have ignored her if I wanted to. Her tattered robes, messy hair, and dirt-smudged face stood out like a sore thumb among the delicate green of the forest.
She was wandering around, bent half over, looking from the ground to her notes and back again. It took me only a moment to realize what she was looking for, having done that project myself only last year. Suddenly, whatever terrifyingly dangerous creature the Oaf was showing off got loose and sent us all racing for the security of the forest. I found myself mere feet from the girl. Her wide eyes looked startled as she noted my presence, but it only lasted a fraction of a moment before she quickly went back to her search.
Her immediate disregard for me must have been what threw me off, rather than the way her hair seemed reflect the gold of the sun even in the shadows of the woods or the way she chewed on her plump lower-lip in concentration. Whatever it was, I cleared my throat and pointed to the bush next to me. She glanced at me and then at the plant.
“Finally!” She sighed as she added one of the berries to the bag she was carrying. “I thought I’d have to look for hours. Thank you.”
With that, she turned and left. For the first time in my life someone treated me like nothing more than another student.
Of course, I'd had run-ins with the girl before, but they had been amidst a crowd and always during a fight of some kind. It was purely the lack of anyone else around that allowed me the freedom to do something, well, something not unpleasant. After that incident, I found myself bumping into her more and more. I still maintained my distance, of course, but found my resolve for hating all things Weasley weakening. I didn’t place myself in her path or anything that brazen, but I seemed to have become hyperaware of her presence.
Once, at dinner, she smiled at me. I found out moments later it was due to a bit of sauce dribbling down my chin in a very undignified manner, but she had smiled. She had smiled at me.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one to have noticed and the wheels in Potter's head began to turn. He seemed to realize that Ginny was no longer fawning over him and he didn’t seem to like that much.
The next morning at breakfast, Potter very clumsily told her she looked pretty. Ginny gaped at him and looked down at her wrinkled robes, bed-ruffled hair, and chipped fingernail polish. She mumbled a thank you and then glanced toward my table. This time it was my turn to smile.
It wasn’t much longer before the competition began. In hindsight, I can see it wasn’t necessary. Ginny never needed fancy gifts or sonnets. I think she knew from the very beginning which of the two of us she would end up with. In the end, Potter said he’d be with her forever and I promised her nothing. At least she saw the honesty in my silence. I couldn’t very well promise her something that I can’t make damn sure I keep.
The first time she came to me, I thought I’d jump out of my skin. She stood before me in nothing more than her light cotton nightdress, shivering from the cold. It surprised me how well she fit in with the surroundings of my room. The exquisite rug imported from India, the crystal fire-globes that lit the room, the Egyptian cotton sheets that graced the four poster bed and little Ginny Weasley. It was the picture of perfection. It is even now.
She stretched and opened her lovely brown eyes. “Morning already?” she yawned.
“Yes.” I can’t take my eyes off her. She looks at me and scrunches up her nose.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Like what?” I stiffen and stand up, returning to my search in the wardrobe. She is quiet for a moment and I hear the springs in the bed as she stands. Her bare feet make the smallest of taps against the stone floor where the rug doesn’t cover and I feel her behind me.
“I almost forgot what day it was. You all right?”
“Fine.” I reply stiffly as my fingers brush against the brown paper wrappings. I have found the object of my search.
“Draco.” Her tone has lowered in warning. She knows I’m lying, but I really don’t want to discuss it with her now. She wraps her arms around my waist and leans her cheek against my back. Warmth floods me. I wonder if I will ever be able to sleep in the cold again.
“Here. I got this for you.” I hand her the package and watch her eyes fill up with tears. She blinks them back.
“You didn’t have to do this, Draco.”
She pulls back the thick brown paper and lifts the lid of the box. I see her cheeks flush as she examines the mirror.
“Oh my…” She breathes. It’s elfin-forged silver and enchanted with a charm to reflect my memories of her. Naturally, she will be the only one able to see its true reflections.
Sometimes I wonder how much I’ll miss her. She always knew that Potter was her future. Anyone with a brain knew that. I knew it too. Nevertheless, having her here, only a few hours before her wedding, means so much to me. I can almost pretend it is me she is about to wed. Almost.
She watched the mirror reflect back to the day in the forest, the first night we made love, the last night we made love, and the way I watched her sleep this morning.
“It will continue to add memories and images.” I said, as she wiped the tears from her eyes before they had a chance to fall.
“Thank you, Draco. Really.”
“Well, you had better hurry. Granger will have a fit if you aren’t there on time.” My voice has gone gravelly, but I did my best to keep my expression as cool as possible. Taking a deep breath, I decide to tell her what I’ve never before been able to express. “I may not have been able to promise myself to you forever, but –"
“Shhh, I know. I’ll always feel the same.” She gave me a watery smile as she pressed her fingers to my lips.
I don’t know why I had hoped to hear the words she’ll never say. All too quickly, she was dressed and walking out of my door for what I knew would be the last time. I closed the front door behind her and walked back to my room. I pushed the door open and looked at the bed we had made love on just the night before.
The mirror was lying heavily in the rumpled sheets.
Chapter 2 by LovesFantasy
I forgot to mention that this story has three parts; welcome to part 2! :o) Hope you enjoy...
Also, an ENORMOUS thank you to Naycit for the beta!!
There is a smile on my face as I stretch and open my eyes. The bed is warm where my body has heated the sheets. Looking to my right, however, I see the rest of the bed has chilled. I see him, no longer by my side, but rummaging around in his wardrobe. I watch the muscles of his back pull taunt and the faint red lines my nails drew last night still standing out brightly against his pale skin.
He turns around and the love he feels for me is so evident in his eyes that it almost scares me. I once believed Malfoys' weren’t supposed to show emotion so readily. Point of fact, they aren’t. That’s always been Draco’s biggest failure as a Malfoy: he does. He’s far too passionate a man for his own good. Be it hate, love, lust, or revenge, he has always poured his heart and soul into his endeavors. It’s often written plainly on his face. This has always made him an easy target for people like Voldemort, Harry, and even Dumbledore.
There is something else in his stare… sadness. It takes me only a moment to remember that I am getting married today. I am going to marry someone else. Really, it surprises me that he’s bothered to continue this affair in light of the name of my fiancÚ. He and Harry have always hated one another. I think that was what hurt him more than anything else. He could have managed to understand if I married Neville or Seamus; they meant nothing to him. But Harry – that was nearly unforgivable. Nearly...
I wish I could say that I don’t know why he’s allowed me to stay a part of his life in spite of Harry. I can’t claim ignorance, though. Even though he’s tried so hard to keep it secret from me, I can see it in his eyes. It’s always in his eyes.
I stand up and walk over to him. My cheek rests against his back and I can feel him tense and relax in less than a breath. I almost wish he didn’t love me like that. At least then, this ending would be less painful for him. I had meant to keep him at arms length, but he’s got a rather addictive personality. I never meant to hurt him.
Sometimes I forget how I got so wrapped up with him in the first place. Didn’t I realize what a mistake I was making? Didn’t I see how much it could hurt my family and the ones I love if they were to find out about the Slytherin and me? Blood is thicker than water, isn’t it? I couldn’t actually have a real relationship with him, but I think – at least at the beginning – that may have been part of Draco’s allure.
I’ve always done what I was told to do; at least on the surface, I portrayed the perfect daughter. He was my dirty little secret, just as I was his. I learned so much from Fred and George about sneaking around and creatively getting what I wanted. Not to mention, Draco and I were such a far-fetched idea that no one ever once suspected.
Harry began his attempts to woo me, much to the pleasure and excitement of my family, around the middle of my fifth year. Draco and I had been sneaking into empty classrooms and closets for over a year by that time.
Still, how could I refuse Harry’s charm, right? He was Harry Potter, the boy who lived and defeated the Dark Lord. I had loved him since the tender age of eleven.
Suddenly, I was thrust into the spotlight with my brother and Hermione. Harry allowed me into his secret world of danger and excitement and it really was quite thrilling.
Ron caught us once. In the Astronomy Tower that first year I was with Harry. I should have taken that as a sign and ended the twisted affair. Ron had pounced Draco, demanding the release of his sister. He looked so betrayed when I explained I was there of my own free will. I had not promised myself to either Harry or Draco at that time and Ron spent the rest of the year trying to convince me that Harry was the better choice. Of course I already knew that, but his talk made me want to stay stubborn and cling to Draco all the harder. I am thankful, and always will be, that Ron kept my affair with Draco a secret. Of course, he also believed I ended it.
Draco was a steady distraction during the swirling activities of war, so I hadn’t ended it. He was still at Hogwarts during his seventh year and without my brother, Harry, or Hermione’s watchful eyes, I was able to spend more time with him. I could go to him and the world would slip away for a while. We would talk for hours about the decisions we’d both made. He still did horrible things to my friends and I to his, but in the dark of night we would repent those mistakes as best we could.
It was so easy, even once the war was over. He was handsome, charming and charismatic, and he taught me things that made me blush. He was completely addictive.
I didn’t intend for him to fall in love with me. Certainly not! I had always believed that the Malfoy clan was beyond that sort of emotion. That had been part of his appeal. We could have our fun, educate each other, and stay detached. However, Draco robbed me of that illusion – as I’ve mentioned.
Then there was the day I became engaged.
Harry had taken me to Hogsmeade for the day. It was like any other normal date for the two of us until he handed me a Firewhisky. Resting in bottom of the crystal goblet was a beautiful ruby ring. I looked up at him and his nervous emerald eyes waited eagerly for my response. I had never felt so alive.
At first I told myself that now there was a commitment with Harry, it was time to leave Draco to his own. When I didn’t answer Draco’s owls, however, he came to me.
He walked into the little book store I was working in and demanded to speak with me. I acquiesced to his demands and took my lunch an hour early. When we got outside he asked me if the papers were true. I told him they were, for the most part. Yes, Harry and I were engaged. His lips were tight, but all he did was nod once.
“You’ll be at the Manor tomorrow night, usual time?” he asked in his demanding voice.
I looked at him in surprise for a moment. I had expected him to be so angry that he’d agree to cut it off. Some part of me was not ready to let him go either, I suppose. I nodded once and he left. No questions, no fury – nothing.
I knew he was hurt. I did have moments where I would wonder what a future with Draco would be like. It just wasn’t realistic and that was all there was to it. Watching him walk away from me that day, I realized that I had made the right choice in agreeing to marry Harry, but was thankful that I didn’t have to let go of Draco just yet.
I suppose —in some ways— I loved him too.
I blink at the man standing in front of me, pulling myself from the depths of memory. He hands me a heavy, brown-paper package. It feels like the weight of the world has been handed to me. The choices I’ve made suddenly seem so real.
“You didn’t have to do this, Draco.” I feel guilty for still being here. I shouldn’t have come. I should have stopped coming to him years ago. Pulling up the lid of the box, light hits the silver and glass of a mirror. As I look at it, my image swirls and it starts to play back images of times Draco and I have spent together. My heart beats rapidly as I watch the night I lost my virginity. It feels like ice water has been flushed through my veins.
I watch the image of the two of us making love just last night. Everything I planned to tell him faded from my memory with each tender kiss I watch. It’s over. All the games, all the pretending, have to stop.
“It will continue to add memories and images,” he tells me. I look at him and brush the tears from my eyes. All I can think of is that if I were able to look in this mirror whenever I wanted and see images of what he thinks of me, the things he would do to me, I would never—
I couldn’t keep this. It would be torture to us both. He had to know it was done. I wish somebody could tell me how to tell someone that you don’t love them?
“Thank you, Draco. Really.” I tried to smile, though I doubted it was convincing.
“Well, you had better hurry. Granger will have a fit if you aren’t there on time.” His voice had gotten low and rough. I was waiting for him to either cry or toss me to the bed. “I may not have been able to promise myself to you forever, but –“
No! No! My head was screaming. He was not about to tell me he loved me after seven years of telling me no such thing. I couldn’t break his heart if I heard the words out loud. I slammed my finger against his lips and shushed him. The hurt in his eyes was so great I couldn’t help but say something to pacify him.
“Shhh, I know. I’ll always feel the same.” I could see the longing still in his eyes so I turned and gathered my clothes.
“You’re right, I better hurry.” I dashed into the bathroom and slammed the door. Leaning against it, I let myself cry for a moment. I may not love him, I may not be able to leave my family and devote my life to him, but I did care. I really do care.
I dressed quickly and didn’t bother putting on makeup or anything. My bridesmaids would do that later. All I could think of at the time was getting out of there as fast as I could.
It took me a moment to meet his eyes when he walked me to the front door. I clutched my bag tightly to my chest and looked at him.
“I’ll never forget you, Draco. I’ll never forget this time we’ve shared. Really, I won’t.” I leaned up and placed a kiss against his cheek. “Goodbye, Draco.”
I turned before he could say anything further and hurried down the stone path to the gate. I just wanted to leave as quickly as I could, before he tried to stop me or I lost my resolve. The tears were pooling in my eyes and I didn’t bother to blink them back this time. Let them fall; I did this to myself, after all. I did this to him. I had to end it and I felt guilty for the pain I’ve caused us both. My throat was tight as I looked back at the Manor one last time before Apparating. If Draco had any doubts about what today meant for us, he wouldn’t any longer –
I'd left the mirror lying heavily in the rumpled sheets.
Chapter 3 by LovesFantasy
Here's the last part of Through What Looking Glass...
Another huge thanks goes out to Naycit for the beta!! :o)
They’re practically smothering me! The Weasley brothers take turns fixing my robes, trying to force my hair flat and then ruffling it back up, and offering me advice on how to treat their beloved sister. As if I don’t already know.
Despite the poking and prodding, I can’t seem to stop smiling. Today is the happiest day of my life! Not only do I get to marry the most amazing witch I’ve ever known in the first place I ever felt was home, but I gain an enormous family as well. For a man who has spent so much of his life without one, it’s the greatest wedding gift one could ask for.
George and Percy keep whispering hints about how to proceed with the wedding night. Hermione has been lecturing me for weeks about it and even gave me a book. I don’t have the heart to tell them to shut it. Besides, it’s fun to watch them get flustered when I remind them it’s their sister they’re preparing me for. I’m sure we can make it through our first night together without their help.
Mr. Weasley knocks on the door and tells us it’s time to go. It’s time! My palms are sweaty and my mouth’s gone dry. I was calmer the night I had to face Voldemort – and that night I thought I was going to die!
Walking to my designated spot, I think back to the first time I saw her on the platform nine and three quarters. She was just a freckle-faced little girl clutching her mum’s hand and watching her brothers climbing on the train. I had no way of knowing then what she would become to me. Her whole family has since become my own.
I almost lost her once. I don’t know who the bloke was, but in the end, she chose me. There were times when I wondered if she… but no. Ginny would never… She and I have been destined, I suppose. I wonder if there was a Prophecy for us as well.
The castle doors open and she steps into the sun. Fifty Veela couldn’t pull my eyes from her now. She’s clutching her father’s arm and smiling radiantly. The purpose for my life is suddenly clear; it was never ridding the world of the Dark Lord. It has always been to love her.
She reaches me and my heart nearly leaps from my chest. I can barely concentrate on the exchange of vows as I work to memorize the way she looks right now. We promise to love one another for eternity. I think it’s the easiest question I’ve ever had to answer.
“Mr. and Mrs. Harry Potter!”
The festivities begin immediately. George planned a spectacular fireworks display, reminiscent of the Umbridge days and in honor of Fred. Ginny and Percy seem particularly touched by this.
We cut the cake and pose for photographs. I marvel at the way she scoops up her niece, the way she spins to put an empty goblet on a passing tray, and the way her fingers brush crumbs off the front of Ron’s dress robes. Even in these mundane and ordinary movements, she moves with grace.
“Ginny, love, I want to show you something,” I whisper in her ear. Her eyes flash at mine as she looks up at me with a familiar smirk. She’d developed that sometime in her fifth or sixth year. I suspect it’s a spin off of Fred and George’s we’re-up-to-no-good grins.
We manage to sneak off with nothing more than a wink from Percy. He’d loosened up so much after Fred’s untimely death. Sometimes I wondered if he feels like he has to make up for the time he was away, or maybe he feels responsible for his brother’s premature death and is trying to compensate for it.
“Where are you taking me?” she asks with a slight undertone of fear as I lead her down the dungeon tunnels. Her palms are sweaty. Maybe she thinks I’m looking for a place to consummate the vows we’ve just exchanged and she’s nervous.
“You’ll see.” I chuckle.
Perhaps I shouldn’t do this now, but I can’t think of a better opportunity. I want to share this with her. My wife. I want to know what she wants, so I can give it to her. Does she want children? How many? A big house in the country or a small house in London? I don’t really know; we never talked about it.
We enter an empty classroom. I pull her to my side and point at the mirror that’s standing in the corner. Tears sprang into her eyes as the door closed behind us and now they start sliding down her cheeks as I explain how I found this mirror so many years ago. I try not to be mesmerized by the cottage I see, or the horde of children surrounding us. George and Angelina, Percy and Audrey, Bill and Fleur, Charlie, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were also squished up together with us. It looks like a family photo.
“Harry, I’m not sure… I mean, I know what I want.” She fidgets for a moment with the ring I’ve so recently placed on her finger. “I already have it, right?”
I lean down and brush my lips against hers. “Of course, Ginny. Stand here.” I pull her gently to the center and step behind her. She gasps and her hand covers her mouth. Does she see what I see?
“Oh my goodness!” she cries out. Tears are coursing down her face faster now. I’m crying now too. It feels so good to experience such happiness.
“What do you see?” I ask her gently, running my fingers along the curve of her neck.
She’s silent for a long moment, pulling herself together and wiping her eyes. “Two children, a boy and a girl. My handsome and wonderful husband standing behind me and a lovely home tucked away in the hills. It’s enormous. Oh Harry, I don’t really need that much…” She chokes back more tears and I turn her to face me.
“You can have anything you want. I want to give it all to you and make you the happiest woman in the world.”
“I am happy, Harry. I am happy.” She rests her head against my chest and I rub her back. I let her cry because I know how she feels. My heart is overflowing with joy too.
When she’s regained her composure, she suggests that we go back to the party. Looking over my shoulder, I see our children wave goodbye to me from the mirror. I can’t wait to see them face to face.
When we walked into the room, empty except for a large gilded mirror, the tears began. Haven’t I dealt with mirrors enough for one day? Why must I be reminded of my earlier actions now?
He starts describing his parents and seeing them behind him in the mirror long ago. “…your heart’s greatest desires…” he says.
“Harry, I’m not sure. I mean, I know what I want.” I spin the ring he so recently placed on my finger and pray he doesn’t ask me to look. “I already have it, right?”
He kisses me quickly and moves me to the center of the mirror. I don’t want to look, but I have an overwhelming sense of curiosity. Slowly, I raise my eyes.
There I stand, in modest robes rather than my wedding attire. Two children are running around in circles behind me. They are the perfect compilation of the best attributes their father and I have to offer. My husband – I gasp, choking back a sob. His long, powerful fingers are folded over the small bump of my belly. He’s smiling at me through the glass.
“Oh my goodness,” I cry. I’m trying not to lose it completely. Harry, behind me, is crying as well; he can’t see this can he?
“What do you see?”
No. He can’t. Thank Merlin for small miracles. I take a deep breath and describe the scene, in as little detail as I can get away with. I leave out the black gate with the elegant ‘M’ lock, the luscious gardens behind the Manor, the color of my children’s hair and eyes. I don’t mention the hands wrapped around the curve of my belly belong not to the man behind me now, but the man I left behind this morning.
“You can have anything you want. I want to give it all to you and make you the happiest woman in the world,” he tells me. He can’t give me this. I didn’t want this! I’ve been destined to marry Harry since the fateful day Ron became Harry’s first friend. My fate was sealed when Harry refused Draco’s friendship. I got the better man, right? The hero rather than the coward.
“I am happy, Harry. I am happy.” Desperately I remind myself of all the reasons I am here with Harry, and all the reasons of why Draco and I could never be.
Slowly, I calm myself down. “We should go back to our guests, Harry.” He nods and takes my hand.
Looking over my shoulder, I see the children I will never have waving goodbye to me from the other side of the looking glass.
... I hope you've enjoyed the story, even if it didn't end they way you may have wanted it to.
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