Author's Notes: Pics of my Goth!Ginny are available at: http://www.angelfire.com/ego/ivyblossom/fiction.html Click on the 11 button under Belong. There is also a pic of Narcissa on Part 10. Thanks to a nice girl named Randilyn for letting me use her pics.
Thanks especially to lunarennui for doing a beta, missbreed and kissaki and kick Flaw and Jenn and Libertine and Rube for the talks. And particularly to Abaddon, who might hate me for writing Ginny, but loves me for my Draco. I read the reviews carefully and show them off on my site. Lots of love to all of you. Your feedback helps me a long quite a lot.
Disclaimer: I still don't own these folks. J.K. Rowling does. I'm not sure she'd want to claim them after I'm through with them, though.
Chapter Eleven - Fuck you, Harry Potter
By Ivy Blossom
To tell you the truth I prefer the worst of you
Too bad you had to have a better half
Hes not really my type, but I think you two are forever
I hate to say it, but youre perfect together
So fuck you, and your untouchable face
Fuck you for existing in the first place
And who am I that I should be dying for your touch
Who am I? I bet you cant even tell me that much.
Ginny Weasley sat in the coffee shop, her hands clutching her steaming mug, a cigarette burned nearly to the filter dangling between her fingers. She had been rather on the cantankerous side for nearly two weeks now, and her co-workers at Miss Mandy's Better Robes and Accessories had taken to sending her out for coffee straight away in the morning rather than trying to keep her withering glares away from the patrons. She grumbled. How many times, she wondered, can one STUPID fellow break my heart? How many times?
She had been in the north for a few years after she graduated from Hogwarts. Her mother always thought she would make a good teacher, and, having no particular goals of her own, she had found a pleasant day school in Leath that had advertised in the Daily Prophet . She had spent nearly two years hunched over desperate seven-year-olds, struggling over their primers, stuttering and squinting as if that might help them understand. It had been dreadfully boring. Even now, more than a year later, she still woke up smelling that sticky floor wax, milky children, rancid worms and chalk dust. It had taken two years in Leath for her to realize that she did not ever, ever, want children.
She managed to pull one last drag out of her cigarette and butted it out absently on the table, entirely missing the ashtray. She sighed out smoke, closing her eyes. She still couldn't believe it. When she had arrived London, depressed and angry and bitter from her stint in Leath, the only spot of brightness she had had been remembering Harry. Oh, it was no secret that she fancied him. She had been a bit of a twit in her first year when she had insisted on sending him a valentine which he clearly didn't appreciate, and ever since she had been tagged; Ginny Weasley, the Girl Who's In Love With the Boy Who Lived. Well, sure. That's easy enough, isn't it. But she wasn't the only one. And for God's sake, that wasnt all she was.
She pulled out a fresh pack of cigarettes from her pocket, tore off the plastic wrap, her hands only ceasing their shake when she felt that first taste of smoke in her mouth. Or is it all that I am? Here I am, twenty-two years old, chain smoking and grumbling because the boy I fell in love with when I was ten still doesnt love me. No. She thought primly. It's only chain smoking if you light the next cig off the last. I at least butt them out.
Her current bout of depression was caused by that display at Harry's party. For God's sake. When Ginny had returned from Leath, Harry had been in the denouement of a relationship with some mousy little thing (Linda? Lydia?) Seamus had introduced him too. She was just dreadful. Ginny had done her best to be pleasant on the one occasion they had met, which had been at one of those crazy parties Seamus so enjoyed throwing. Ginny had re-dyed her hair only that morning (she simply refused to walk around like a walking advertisement of her parentage, and had been dyeing it black for more than a year at that point), and bought an understated yet kicky outfit to wear. Being introduced to Harry's girlfriend had certainly put a damper on her evening and her mood, but this girl completely stole her pouty and disappointed thunder. She had been mopey and awkward, with a gin and tonic constantly attached to her hand. Ginny was fairly sure Linda was drunk before she even got to Seamus' flat, which is saying a lot, given how much everyone always drank at his parties. Even the non-alcoholic punch was spiked. Being the only two women at the party, Linda had insisted on sticking close to Ginny, but would not be entertaining, and would only woodenly accept Ginny's attempts to be charming. Within about three weeks from that party, Harry had dumped her. Ginny'd felt a revisited bout of hope.
Only to have it brutally dashed again when Harry started seeing that Susan character a few months later. Ginny had been almost certain she had been getting somewhere with Harry at that point; they had had dinner together a couple of times, swapped stories; Ginny had been funny, warm, friendly, stable. At least, she attempted to project the impression of stability; but she wouldn't even vouch for it herself at this point. She went home from those evenings feeling almost triumphant. But she did, after all, go home. There was always that nagging fact.
Susan had waltzed into Ginny's universe like a thief, like royalty, like some long lost school chum whom she was supposed to welcome with open arms. Like a distant relation. Like a sister. Makes me want to puke. It wasn't just that Ginny kept not getting Harry that made her feel so sick over the whole thing, though that was a big part of it. The rest was the way that people looked at her so sadly. The Lost Love Interest, the Girl Who Never Had a Shot. It was humiliating, and yet, she couldn't seem to get off this roller coaster. Where Harry had a lightning bolt on his head, Ginny felt as if she had a storm cloud perpetually over hers. And when Harry was occupied, in love, his eyes trained on someone else, the cloud fell down around her ears, making it difficult to see. It stuck its fingers into her eyeballs and prickled her brain, closed her ears, isolated her in her torment. No matter how far she strayed from that puppy-dog-friendly little ten-year-old who had looked blissfully up at him the first time she had seen him, Harry Potter could still reach into her, tie her heart up with a velvet ribbon, and tug it out with one lopsided grin.
It wasnt as though she had sat still waiting for him. No, no. Not even at Hogwarts. Harry had his reputation to live up to, and Ginny had hers to run from. She had decided to buck the Weasley trend and be introspective, mysterious. She had bought her first batch of make up in her fourth year on a Hogsmeade trip. Black eyeliner, a pale foundation, mascara. A glossy red lipstick. She wore black shift dresses with silver details under her robes. When she walked, her silver pendants clanged together. With what remained of some Christmas money from Fred and George, she bought herself a pair of black platform Mary Janes. In her sixth year she bought a black corset. She wore it sometimes, with a long, shimmery red skirt that poked out the bottom of her robes, on days when she started to feel normal, when she felt like a nine-year-old hanging around the Burrow. The corset made her feel like someone other than the youngest Weasley. Her mother had found it lying on top of her trunk when she was packing to go back to school the following year and had given her a look.
She didnt know whether she was wearing the corset that particular evening or not, but when she remembered it, she invariably was. She had been walking out along the edges of the forest, lost in her own thoughts. Harry again, of course. He had been flirting with Cho from the Gryffindor table at dinner, she had seen it. Just one more year of this, she had thought. It was the beginning of October, and it would, doubtless, be a long year. She winced and tried to hold back her tears. I hate him. I hate him I hate him I hate him I hate him. She walked past a Quidditch practice, but didnt notice which team it was. She didnt care. She passed Hagrids hut, the Herbology garden, into a neglected field where the forest loomed large and black. She peered ahead into a small, ancient pasturage filled with tall, dying grass. She ran her arms out, brushing the palms of her hands through it, making a rustling noise. When she reached the edge of the pasturage, it was nearly dark. It was later than she had realized. She sighed, wrapped her arms around her ribcage, and turned around.
She had almost screamed when she saw someone, roughly fifteen feet down the path, and she abruptly stopped short. She peered into the growing gloom. It was Malfoy, in his Quidditch robes, his broom in one hand. He looked at her jauntily, walking the remaining few feet between them.
"I was sent to fetch you," he said curtly, hauling his broom over his shoulder. "Hooch thought you might be lost. Or something. Not that I want to get in the way of another daring, brave Gryffindor adventure, but it was this or detention."
Ginny sniffed. "Well. I was just heading back anyway." She rubbed her face and saw that her mascara was running down her cheeks. Lovely. She moved stiffly to walk past him, but he stepped in front of her.
"Hes hardly worth all those tears, Weasley." Ginny stopped and rolled her eyes. Oh, of course. She thought. Everyone knows what upsets me. Everyone knows Im tragically, hopelessly in love with The Boy Who Lived. Even Malfoy. I am so fucking pathetic.
"Dont call me that. My name is Ginny. Ginny, got it?" She was yelling, her fists flailing in the air. She had been angry to start with, and now Malfoy was blocking her path and subsuming her into a family name that made her feel even less distinct than she normally did. She tried to get past him, but he kept dodging left, right, not letting her go, watching her anger mount, smirking. She growled, stopped dead in front of him, and wrapped her arms across her chest. "What the hell do you want, Malfoy? Got tired of harassing the wonder boy and my brother? Feeling some sadistic need to taunt defenceless girls?"
He chuckled. "Everyone needs a hobby. And I never get tired of harassing the wonder boy and his pet weasel. Theyre just not here at the moment. You are." He looked at her, completely unphased by her anger.
Ginny was rarely looked at. Though, her rather unorthodox attire had garnered her some degree of attention at first. But now, after two years, even her dramatic gowns and variously-coloured hair went relatively unnoticed. There were no rumours of crushes on her, no awkward stares, no love notes passed onto her desk. She floated in the background, present only as an observer, not a participant. Teachers rarely called on her in class. When she decided to draw her curtains around her bed and skip dinner, her absence was rarely noted. She was invited everywhere, but her entrance was never remarkable. She retreated, unwilling to even attempt to become popular like her brothers. Ron, of course, had to do nothing to become the centre of attention; he had the ear of the amazing Harry Potter. If Harry himself wasnt there, everyone turned to Ron. Ron wasnt even all that interesting. At least the twins were funny. Percy was smart, and Charlie had his dragons. Bill was a financial genius. Ginny had nothing. She was the only girl, but who cared? She wasnt particularly pretty, or smart. She wrote dark poetry that no one ever read, and she was considering piercing her nose. That made her pretty much like every other girl in her dorm. So now, with Malfoy looking at her like an exhibit, like a an object he had found hidden in a drawer, like a painting in a gallery, all watercolours and transparencies.
Malfoy was still looking at her. It made her nervous.
"What?" She insisted testily.
"Your hair. Is green."
"Its blue." She wrapped her cloak around herself. It was getting rather cold, and she hadnt brought much with her that would keep her warm. She stomped her feet.
"Youre wearing a lot of makeup."
Ginny sighed. "So?" There was a lengthy pause, during which Ginny felt rather than saw Malfoys eyes on her. She was looking distractedly toward the school.
"Its not helping you get his attention, is it." He said matter-of-factly. In retrospect, Ginny realized that Malfoy was, at that precise moment, swooping in for the kill. She hadnt noticed it at the time. With every word he was inching closer to her, and by the time he said this, she could feel his breath on her face. For some reason, this hadnt struck her as odd. She was hemmed in by him, she was cold, she was helpless, and yet she felt that she was controlling the conversation. The next series of events occurred for some inane and inexplicable reason that would boggle her brain for months, no, years, afterward. In retrospect, Ginny was certain that leaning forward and kissing Malfoy just then was actually his idea, but at the time, and for some time afterwards, she had been certain that it was entirely hers.
It had been a rather nice kiss, too. At first she did it just because she could. He was right there in front of her face, after all, refusing to budge an inch. She had thought, just as she was leaning toward him, that he would pull back, shocked, appalled, and she would say, "Well. Dont tell me I dont know how to get someones attention. Now screw off."
But it didnt happen that way. No indeed. At first he hardly moved at all. He allowed her to kiss him, and opened his mouth at her insistence, letting her stick her tongue rather inexpertly into his mouth. Just when she was about to pull away and blush, he began to kiss her back.
Well. The boy could kiss. Ginny could feel the reverberations of that kiss travel a slow line from her mouth, down her spine, through her legs and into the soles of her feet, which she could not guarantee did not leave the ground and float in a rosy, warm cloud for the duration. Being kissed by Malfoy ("MALFOY?!" Penelope Masters, one of Ginnys incredulous roommates, had shrieked, throwing her Transfiguration textbook, open, on to her head, as if this would protect her from Ginnys confession) was to being groped by Colin Creevey in the Astronomy tower what being drowned in a monsoon was to recognizing the chemical composition of water.
He finished off the kiss with a flourish. Ginnys eyes were shut, she was overwhelmed. This wasnt her first kiss, but she wished that it had been. When she did open her eyes again, she noted the wry and rather derisive look on Malfoys face.
"Youre wearing too much make up. You look like a whore," he said. He turned, and walked away.
To say that she had been utterly humiliated by this event was to drastically understate the intensity of her feelings. What had she been thinking? For about a week or two afterwards, she had been distracted from her constant, burning love for Harry Potter by the deep-seated lust she had developed for Malfoy, which, to be honest, had rather disgusted her. He was an absolute prick, after all. He made rude comments to her brother about their mum and dad, which annoyed her, but not nearly as much as it annoyed Ron, who had to be restrained by Harry and Hermione. Malfoy walked around as though he owned the place, smug, disdainful, haughty. Ginny was almost certain she had seen Malfoy prod one of the chasers on the Slytherin Quidditch team to send a Bludger at Harrys head during a game. When Harry had fallen off his broom that November and had to be carted off to the hospital wing, she was sure she had seen Malfoy sneer. To his credit, however, he said nothing at all about her pathetic attempt to kiss him. No one ever teased her about it, no one ever mentioned it. As far as Ginny knew, he never told a single person, leaving the two of them (and Penelope) the only people at Hogwarts who had any knowledge of the event. She was grateful for this, though it did remind her that, even at her most scandalous, she was hardly rumour-worthy.
During those rather heart-wrenching and desperate two weeks, she had noticed a few things. Sitting unnoticed at the Gryffindor table at dinner, she saw that many girls, from all houses, were gazing affectionately at Harry. This wasnt news. She had stared each of them down in turn before, with a look in her eye that said Mine. Do you hear me? Mine. But what surprised her, then, was how many girls, from all houses, were gazing rather affectionately and mournfully at Malfoy.
Well, nice girls are suckers for bad boys, arent they. It was then that Ginny realized that it was highly unlikely that she was the only girl at Hogwarts whos feet had lifted off the ground in a passionate Malfoy liplock. Oh, sure, he had been seen about with Pansy Parkinson, but even Ginny could see that he wasnt particularly interested in her. Other than that, there had been no rumours of Malfoys romantic dalliances. No gifts prominently displayed, no girls strutting around with a too-big cloak wrapped around them, the Malfoy crest prominently displayed. There were, however, many doe eyes, sad, weepy glances, hopeful, flirty smiles, and angry, lustful, bitter snarls being made in the direction of the Slytherin table, and it had not taken Ginny long to pack up her eyes and get out of the over-populated pool.
She had noticed, however, that Dracos own eyes were normally trained on one target, and one target only, just as hers were. Harry. She had been defensive about it then, certain that he was watching for a moment of weakness, sizing up his enemy, plotting his next strike. Like You Know Who, she had thought. He never stops thinking of ways to hurt Harry, to humiliate him, to torture him. Nasty, horrible boy. Yugh. In retrospect, however, she belatedly recognized the the nature of those looks Draco had been shooting at Harry. She puffed anxiously on her cigarette, glancing at her Muggle watch (a gift from her father. "Its Dig-it-TAL!" He had exclaimed.) and sighed. The waitress smiled sweetly at her, holding a coffee pot questioningly. Ginny nodded, and the waitress refilled her cup.
She had run into Susan in this very coffee shop, in fact. Just two tables over they had sat, a few months ago now, drinking very strong, very black coffee, while Susan cried and mourned the loss of Harry. Ginny had been sympathetic. Normally, when girlfriends came to her for this kind of post-breakup tête-à-tête, her response was to rant about what a flaming jerk Bob/Tom/Nigel/whoever had been. And women normally took great comfort in that conversation. ("Yes. Youre right. I can do better than that." "Oh, hell, of course you can, Tina/Joan/Sarah/whoever. A monkey on a unicycle could do better than him. In fact, a monkey on a unicycle would BE better than that.") But what Ginny learned from this conversation with Susan was that Harry was very, very good at breaking up with his girlfriends. Susan would not blame him, would hear no words against him at all. She couldnt even bring herself to fault him.
"Its hard for him to commit, you know, with his parents dead and all, and with all this war and such on his mind. He just he doesnt want to hurt me, you know?" Ginny nodded dumbly. Harry Potter. King of the easy let down. "I wish well, I wish hed let me try. Im tougher than I look you know, I can take it. But I guess you have to respect it when someone doesnt think theyre able. Dont you." Ginny reached out and rubbed Susans arm, watching another tear dribble down her cheek. Inwardly, Ginny shook her head. Fuck you, Harry Potter. Cant you just be an asshole some of the time?
And she had been elated. Harry was single again. Ginny knew he was unlikely to jump into something right off, of course. She was a friend, she could stop in, chat, discuss. Sure. And she, like Susan, had a hard time faulting him. She had visited his flat when Ron was out. He had made her tea and sat lounged haplessly in an armchair. Ginny had worn a denim skirt she had made herself from a pair of raggedy old jeans, its hems spouting white threads, and a thick black sweater, cut low at the throat, patterned in delicate silver. She wore the corset underneath.
"You know," Harry had said, "about Draco, dont you?"
Ginny looked at him. "About him? Sure. He was a Death Eater, wasnt he? Didnt he try to kill you? What else is there to know?"
Harry sighed. He ran his hands through his hair, his elbows on his knees, looking down at the floor. "I saw him last week. I think its time to forgive him." They both sat silent for a while.
"Harry." She said finally. "Youre not God, you know. You dont have to forgive everyone. Its not your job. Especially not people who do the sorts of things Malfoy does."
"Its just not that simple, Ginny." His voice was cold. "What if he I mean, you should see him, Ginny. You should see how destroyed his is. He apologised, you know. I didnt even know what to say."
"Well, he should apologise, for Gods sake. You almost died, Harry." She leaned back against the couch.
"So did he."
"He knew what he was doing." Ginny crossed her arms over her chest.
"Yeah. I guess so." Harry sat back, hands clasped loosely on his knees. They were lovely hands, large, strong, powerful, always clean and free from the marks of the kinds of work he had done. They were not the hands of a man who had killed anyone. They were not the hands of someone who should feel compelled to forgive those who betray him, those who were born to betray him. The hands of a trusting soul who never, ever, intended to hurt anyone. Ginny could imagine Susan, sitting perhaps just where she was, a cup of tea sitting untouched on the table in front of her getting increasingly cold. She would have seen this conflicted look on his face, clasped in his gentle hands, anguish, betrayal, sadness, forgiveness. He was somewhere else now, not here, not sitting in this room with Ginny, nor with Susan. Ginny could feel it.
So she hadnt been expecting what happened next. Not at all. She wouldnt have conjured this scenario in her wildest dreams. She had arrived at Harry and Rons place with her brothers, and, thankfully, there hadnt been a single introduction to a girlfriend. Nope. No girls there hanging off Harrys arm, grinning like the universe was hers. The universe was thankfully still single.
She had been mingling happily with some rather good-looking Quidditch players when it happened. She had been facing the door, and saw it open, saw him walk in, all cockily assured and suave, scanning the room as if looking for alternative exits through which to drag the bodies of his victims. She knew her jaw had dropped. She also knew that he had seen her jaw drop. What on earth was he doing here? Was this Harrys charity work? Forgive the traitor? Invite him over? Let him pick shrimp from the shrimp ring, drink the punch Seamus had been steadily spiking since he got here? She shook her head. There was a part of Harrys brain that was definitely two sizes too small. In that spot where healthy mistrust lives. The room grew painfully quiet.
She saw Harry turn, and smile. He walked over to Malfoy, and spoke with him while he removed his coat and pushed it into the closet with a superior smirk on his face, casually placing a bottle of wine on the table. He said something in a scornful tone that Ginny couldnt quite hear, but sounded like: "I expect you're the only one whos prepared to live in this tenement, Potter." Harry, however, was grinning. He draped his arm on Dracos shoulder, and put his hand on his neck, oddly toying with Dracos hair. Oh no. She watched Dracos eyebrow go up as he looked at Harry incredulously. Harry grinned even wider, and then, parting his lips, he leaned forward, as if it were the most natural, normal, expected thing in the world, and kissed him.
Ginny had a great view of this dramatic kiss, too, if one could call an unobstructed view of the most devastating event of ones short life great. She watched, aghast. Draco himself looked a little shocked at first, and for a moment Ginny thought perhaps Harry had just brought Draco here to humiliate him. She would have cheered, but then she saw Dracos hand very gently and almost inconspicuously rest against Harrys hip in a way that made it clear to her, at least, that this was no first kiss, no prank, no wonderful, planned revenge. Not that she could picture Harry trying something like that anyway, but at that point Ginny was grasping for any, ANY, other explanation. Oh. My. God. From this vantage point, she could even see that there were tongues involved in that kiss, and that it looked practiced, familiar, and comfortable. For Harry, at least. She heard a glass drop, and realized that it had been hers. Her hand was still clutched around its absent shape. She didnt even hear Hermione clear her throat and speak, loudly, to her. It was then that the rest of the room started speaking again, thrown back into the land of the living and breathing. Ginny was nowhere close.
She slurped at her coffee, and lit another cigarette. She was still recovering from the shock, nearly two weeks later. Not that she had a problem with folks being gay. Well, no. Hell, her best friend was gay. Sometimes she seriously wondered what she was doing trying to land men in the first place. But, that aside, Harry Potter was not supposed to be gay. He was supposed to be gloriously straight, a paragon of manhood, the hero of the story, the one girls swoon over and men long to be. Harry Potter was supposed to marry a nice girl and the nice girl was supposed to have his babies. He was supposed to come home from battling evil to a home cooked meal and then head into the back garden to put together the new swing set for little Harry and Harriet. He was supposed to be irreproachable. He was a man of the missionary position, a loving, gentle, bashful man who would never cheat on his wife, or so much as look at another woman. He would die the day after his wifes timely death of old age, without whom he could not live. On his deathbed, he would tell his children that he had loved their mother above all else, and now the mantle had passed to them to fight evil. The audience cries, the curtain goes down. Thats how it was supposed to go.
There were a series of things that Harry Potter was certainly not supposed to be: at the top of that list were: a cross-dresser; a clown of any variety; a criminal of any stripe (up to and including child molester, rapist, embezzler, and so forth); a woman; a Muggle; gay. And the very last thing he was supposed to do was have a sordid affair with a man who had been bent on killing him since he was eleven years old. Ginny choked. If only she had known that the way to Harrys heart was to hate him. I could have done that, she thought.
Granted, her insistence that Harry was not supposed to be gay could be coming from the fact that she pictured herself in the perfect Harry Potter scenario. Looking at herself now (nose, tongue, and nipples pierced; working in retail; hating children; chain smoker; terrible cook), she realized that she didnt particularly fit into her own desired mould either. And then there was her little caffeine addition. She finished off her coffee and ground her cigarette into the ashtray, then gathering up her stuff and paying for her coffee. Harry Potter wasnt supposed to be gay. And Harry Potters mate wasnt supposed to be a goth Weasley, either. Reality is a bitch.
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