Ch 3 Haunted
I know you're still here.
"Ginny, listen…I can't be involved with you anymore. We've got to stop seeing each other. We can't be together."
"It's for some stupid, noble reason, isn't it?"
"It's been like…like something out of someone else's life, these last few weeks with you. But I can't…we can't…I've got things to do alone now. Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He's already used you as bait once, and that was just because you're my best friend's sister. Think how much danger you'll be in if we keep this up.. He'll know, he'll find out. He'll try to get to me through you."
"What if I don't care?"
"I care. How do you think I'd feel if this was your funeral…and it was my fault…"
Ginny rolled over in her bed, clutching her bed sheet. It wasn't even three in the morning yet and she found herself awake and tears streaming down her face. Was a dream really a dream if all you heard were voices she wondered, allowing fresh tears to slide down her cheeks. She didn't need the images, she remembered it all too well, and she wished she hadn't because it was the first time he had pushed her away for her own good, and it was before he had left her for the first time, and now she could recall all the for all the reasons why she hated Harry Potter at this moment.
But she couldn't let him go, and it was tearing her apart. She hated him and she loved him and she missed him all at the same time. She was war ridden, like some many others around her, even though she hadn't been in the war, it's after effects were all she needed. She now suffered a personal war, a conflicting one. She couldn't run away, she would be arrested and brought back. The Ministry wasn't allowing Azkaban any visitors anymore, and all of her old, and closets friends were dead or wanted.
She thought of what her mum might have done had she caught Ginny awake and crying at this hour of night. Molly had been there to comfort her only daughter in those years before the war when Ginny woke up at night screaming and crying. They would talk until she calmed down enough and then Molly would assure her that Harry and other others were fine. But Ginny didn't have that now. She didn't have her mum's home cooking to look forward to in the morning. She didn't have any real source of comfort, she couldn't wake up to her dad's corny jokes coming from the kitchen or her brothers bantering.
No, not anymore. Now she had Percy.
Ginny tried to picture what Harry looked like now. Had he grown, did he still wear glasses, was his hair still had messy as ever? She only remembered the teenager who left. She couldn't remember the man who had sent her away two years ago before the war. She just remember that he looked tired like he had already lost. Still, Ginny tried as hard as she could to picture her old friend
Accounting for all the broken promises that had been made during those last years while he, Hermione, and Ron had been away she had a tough time remembering the days of peace in their younger years. All of the laughing, the horrible classes, Quidditch. She smile in spite of herself, remembering how Hermione's hair was always so much worse than Harry's hair in the morning before she took a brush to it. Those were the days that she missed.
"This is who we are," she said to herself, wiping her face with the back of her hand before sitting up. It was final.
There was movement down stairs. Did Percy not know when to go to bed anymore, or did he really enjoy making Ginny's life a living hell. He was doing a rather good job of it. She threw on a night robe and proceeded to stalk out of the room.
The sight that she was met with at the landing of the stairs was enough to make her throw something. And she almost did. From the moment Percy turned his head to look at her, the blonde headed figure smirked up at her, stepping around her brother, his eyes cold and calculating, trying to seize her up and gauge her reaction. But Ginny could only scowl at him. He was not someone that she would have liked to have dropped by in the middle of the night.
Have a hose fall on her and call her the Wicked Witch of the East before she would ever agree to being the least bit civil to Draco Malfoy. She thought this all to him, and all he could do was smirk at her, tightening his robes around him as he did so.
"Get out," Ginny said, folding her arms.
Both her brother and Malfoy stared up at her, only Malfoy continued to stare. Percy shook his head and said, "He's come to have words. With you, Ginny," before walking off toward the basement.
Brown eyes met gray eyes.
Malfoy cocked his head and begun pulling off his dragon hide gloves, finger by finger. "He's alive, you know," he drawled, looking down at his gloves, smirking faintly. "Not exactly in the right state of mind. But alive all the same."
Ginny came so close to throwing a vase at him. "That's all you've come to talk about? Harry's well being?" She laughed coldly, despite herself. "What good does that do, Malfoy? Do you suspect that you'll also drop by and tell me when he's died, too?"
"No, Weasley, no," replied Malfoy, choosing to lean against a wall. "I suspect that I'll drop by the day before I have order to have the dementors suck his soul right out of his body," he paused, smirking up at her. "How does that sound?"
Now she threw the vase, cursing. "Rot in hell, Malfoy."
"Thanks, but no," sneered the man, stepping over the broken vase to where she stood. Towering a good head over her, he stared down. "I trust you know Potter is already rotting in hell. Shame you can't see for yourself."
Ginny, whom had the overwhelming feeling to scream in frustration, narrowed her eyes. "What do you want," she demanded.
She knew Malfoy. He never came by, and when he did, it was only because he wanted something. Information, as if he expected her to have it. There had been timed when she did have the information that he was looking for, and then were times when she didn't.
But Malfoy just tutted and turned away, kicking the broken vase shards. They way in which he was walking lead Ginny to believe that he was thinking, and she had to wonder if that was even possible. She didn't know Malfoy's to think before talking, let alone think before making moves in a war.
"He shoved you away, didn't he?" Said the blonde slowly, back still turned. "How does it make you feel to know that to save you, to keep you from harm he matched himself up with ol' Terry Boot? Oh, sorry, didn't he tell you? No? Pity. You see, while you were off in Ireland, he was here, with Boot. Now, they were something to watch in their early days at Azkaban. Granted, Boot arrived two years later. We placed him in front of Potter and watched them as they tried to keep each other sane. Watched them yell at each other over the screams of others, listening to their promises that they would get out."
Malfoy paused, looking at the pictures on the walls, and smirked to himself before turning to face Ginny who had turned her head. "He never once mentioned you, you know. Never once asked about you. However, Boot stopped talking, stopped responding, and when Potter learned that we found you and brought you home, he stopped responding, too, and then he asked about you. He wanted to know if you were still alive. Tell me, Weasley, do you think that Potter forgot about you?"
Ginny began her retreat back up the stairs, biting down on her lower lip as he did so. She wouldn't believe that for a moment that Harry could have forgotten about her. She could believe everything else, but not that, and she laughed at herself. Laughed for ever having stood there, listening to Malfoy talk, listening to him pull at her and twist her in ways that no one else could. She laughed for letting him toy with her like that. She was stronger then how she had allowed herself to seem just then. And she laughed for believing Malfoy.
She laughed and she cried silently but would not let him see her. When he called up to her she stopped.
"This isn't a fairytale, Weasley," he said coldly. "It's never been."
With a flushed, tear stained face she turned to him and smiled sadly. "He's more than you will see, Malfoy. He's more than you say," she said, loud enough for him to hear before continuing her ascent up the staircase. Atop the stairs and back in her room she fell to the floor and let the tears spill.
In her heart Ginny knew that Harry would never forget.
Tonks was sleeping when it happened. She had been snuggled up warmly next to Remus with her share of the blankets wrapped securely around her. Either some ungodly person hated her, never mind the Death Eaters, so much that they had to go and send one of the loudest barn owls that insisted on rapping at the window until it was let inside. Too bad the poor thing didn't know that Tonks wasn't exactly the best middle of the night person. She tended to chase things around in the dark.
Too bad for Tonks the barn owl wasn't one for making midnight runs. They spent a good ten minutes chasing each other around before Remus finally woke up and managed to get the owl away from Tonks and to get Tonks to sit down, but not before she snatched up the scroll of parchment the dratted thing had come to deliver. She gave it a nasty look before sitting Indian style on the bed.
Then she actually took the time to look at the bird.
"I haven't see that one before," she commented, pointing to the owl which was surely giving her a death glare. "It's not one of ours, Remus," she added.
This wasn't easy for them. They were in hiding. The two of them would be risking a lot if they just let the bird go, and they figured that they couldn't. What good could they possibly do in they were carted off to Azkaban?
But Tonks chose to look at the parchment instead, and when she did she cocked her head, and tugged on Remus' shirt.
"Oi, look at this. There's a way. I need time. Remus, it's not Luna's writing, and it's not Ginny's."
"Well, it's not Oliver's or Roger's either," commented the old werewolf sitting down next to the former Auror. "And we can't afford to go through the list. It's not one of your sources, is it?"
Tonks shook her head. "They haven't written in since two weeks ago. Oh, look, we get to keep the ruddy owl!" She narrowed her eyes on the bird.
The two of them sat in silence. It was agreed. While they should have immediately informed the others of the letter, they weren't ready to have a swarm of people in one huddled house at this late hour. However, it wasn't until Tonks had begun to whine about needing her sleep did they eventually turn the lights back out, and Remus put a silencing charm on the owl. They already had to meet the Delacour sisters, or at least Tonks had to, there would be no way for Remus to go out in public and not be recognized strictly based on his appearance.
Gabrielle Delacour, barely out of school, looked around the streets of Diagon Alley and wrinkled her nose. So much for the lovely scenery. She bowed her head and gazed at the table every time a man or boy would grin at her. Oh, the bad, bad part about being in London. The majority of the wizarding community didn't seemed too accustomed to having Veela's present, even if the only traces of Veela in her blood were small, they still had effect. Okay, so traces wasn't exactly the best way to put it.
She wasn't going to be in London long. Just long enough to take care of business and make sure that things went as smoothly as they possibly could. She had several things to take care of back home. After all, she was sure that her mother couldn't possibly handle having two twin girls and a pesky former reporter crammed in their house. Merlin forbid that they begun to cause a ruckus.
The girl was just about to get up when a hand was placed on her shoulder. With a startled gasp and a small jump Gabrielle narrowed her eyes and placed a hand over her chest.
Her sister, Fleur just laughed a little.
"Salut, ça va?" the woman said, fighting off a laugh before taking a seat across from her sister.
Gabrielle managed a small smile. "Ça va," she replied happily
They sat around, not looking at each other, but out the window to the streets. To them, it seemed strange. A world, different from what they knew and at the same time it was exactly like the very world that they knew. They could watch people talk and wonder what it was that they were talking about, and in that moment they became witness to many peoples happy times. They could smile and wave at the people who waved at them, but weren't entirely sure that they meant the wave or the smile.
One of them, very clearly, still lived in France, a whole world away. Contact for her was hard, she didn't enjoy floo, fire calls, and wasn't entirely keen on sending owls all the way to London just to get a letter to her sister. The other, well, lived in London, her husband dead, all but three in-laws were dead for that matter.
Still, their timely, and pleasant silence was rather interrupted in a very untimely and unpleasant manner when a lady with short blonde hair proceeded to sit down next to them.
"Hey-!" Fleur started before the woman so casually patted her on the shoulder and winked. "Oh, you are horrible."
"Salut, Tonks," Gabrielle said quietly.
"Can we please not do the French thing. You're both over your accents well enough, and you'll get me caught. Somehow," Tonks said pleasantly enough, folding her hands on the table top. Reaching into a pocket she pulled out a scroll of parchment and placed it on the table. "It's a note. Flew in last night, unfortunately. Read it, it's none of our hand writings, we've checked this morning. And it's none of mine. What do you make of it?"
Fleur was the first to pick up the note and read it. Her eyebrows raised at the words she saw and how exactly how they came together. She shook her head and handed it over to Gabrielle who gave a quiet "Oooh" and let her fingers trace over the words carefully. When she looked up she smiled.
"You should have shown this to Luna," She said, restraining her French accent which was a very clear undertone. "She probably could have gathered more information from it than me. But this is good."
Tonks rolled her eyes and pulled back the note. "So, what can you get from it?"
"Well, being that I'm no Seer for one, I can tell you that whoever wrote this was in a hurry or very mad. Or both, actually. Isn't Luna supposed to be here?"
"No. She had a thing. You know, work. The thing people do to earn money around here."
Gabrielle stared. "Yes, so. The person was in a hurry and clearly wanted to get this message out as fast as possible. It could be that this person really does have some actual information. But what exactly is meant by there's a way, you would need Luna to look at for." She paused to look at her sister. "Fleur, do you have a job?"
"Oui," came the reply of the older sister who looked sullen at the thought.
Tonks look like she wanted to weep. The French! And they were sisters. "For Merlin's sake. You lot only got worser over the years. Blood worse!" She laughed hysterically. "I'm going to go find Luna. And stuff. You - you just talk. All French like. Right. Bye."