Part 2 - As If You Have a Choice
Ginny fully suspected she was going mad.
She looked at the picture of her with her children and was horrified by the stray thought that they weren't really her children. Not her children as they were supposed to be. She felt horribly guilty for those thoughts. Harry had noticed her mood in the last few weeks too. He kept asking her if she was all right. For some reason his concern annoyed her.
She did not understand it. Ginny loved Harry. She had loved him since she was a little girl. She did not know anything else.
As she looked at the two boys and one girl with her in the snap, she was struck by the random thought that they were supposed to be three girls and one boy. Two redheads, two blondes, all devious.
Ginny set the photograph in her hands down abruptly. She had everything she had ever wanted. Why was she suddenly not happy with it? Something was wrong with her. Perhaps she should see a healer? No, she needed her friends. Hermione was out because, while Ginny dearly loved her sister-in-law, Hermione was not objective when it came to Harry or Ron.
No, she needed Dean Thomas, Michael Corner or Luna Scamander.
Ginny grabbed her cloak and left the house. It always amused people that two of her dearest friends were her two ex boyfriends. Ginny could not help that. She had been raised to never throw anything away if it could be helped.
She apparated to the alley near the Ministry, hoping Luna was in her office and not out and about with Rolf. She had mentioned something about investigating, of all things, a jabberwocky sighting in Reading last week.
She needed to see Luna, though. Dean was in Italy currently. He was always being called abroad on art commissions. Thank goodness Seamus kept the gallery running. Michael was to rational to listen properly. Ginny adored her friend, but he was practical and far too Ravenclaw. This thing going on with her had a distinct air of whimsical fuckery to it that only Luna would properly understand.
Ginny hurried into the lift. It was lunch time, so people were in and out. Perhaps she should try to pop in on Harry. Give him a smile since she had been all frowns lately. She barely paid attention as more people squished into the lift. She was too distracted.
It was not until someone's knuckles brushed the backs of hers that Ginny looked around. And I can barely look at you, but every single time I do, I know we'll make it anywhere away from here.
She sucked in air sharply through her nose when she saw who was standing right next to her, pressed far too close to her, in the now-crowded lift - Draco Malfoy. And he had the strangest look on his face as he peered down at her. It was soft. She did not think she had ever seen such a soft look on his sharp features before. Oh, but you have.
He leaned towards her slightly, and Ginny panicked. She was pretty sure he was about to kiss her. That could not happen. Ever.Oh, but it has.
Thankfully the lift doors dinged as they opened on the floor holding Luna's office. Ginny shoved through the crush almost forcefully to escape that mesmerising silvery gray stare. She turned, breathing heavily, to watch the lift doors close. He had leaned to the side slightly to see her. His eyes looked bewildered now instead of smoldering. As if he, too, had no idea what had just happened.
Ginny turned to run to Luna's office.
As she spun, there was a person there with her arms full of scrolls and parchments. Ginny smacked into her quite hard. Pages and paper when flying everywhere. It was like and explosion of parchment.
It would have been comical if Ginny was not so mortified. She had not sworn like that since she'd had her first son. Little ears and all.
The young woman she'd nearly ran over was on her hands and knees gathering paper as she giggled.
"I'm so terribly sorry," Ginny said as she crouched to help.
"It's quite fine. You seem to be in a bit of a hurry. Don't let me keep you."
Ginny did not move until all the scrolls and pages were gathered and she had helped the tiny woman to her feet. Ginny smiled. Her thick glasses were askew and her light brown hair was coming out of the messy bun it was in. She looked a bit wild. It made Ginny smile.
"Really. Apologies, Miss... um..."
"Spinner. Chloe Spinner."
Chloe Spinner somehow managed to unearth an arm to produce a hand for Ginny to shake.
"You played chaser for the Holyhead Harpies. I thought you looked familiar."
"You're old enough to know that?" Ginny said, smiling. She looked fresh out of Hogwarts.
"I'm older than I look," the woman said with a cryptic smile. "Listen, can I help you find something?"
"I was just heading to Luna Scamander's office. I'm familiar with the lay of the land around here, but thank you for your help, Miss Spinner."
"Anytime. I'm always happy to help."
Grinny's brows furrowed after the young woman had turned to leave. That was odd. Or perhaps she was going mad and thinking normal things were odd just because of her odd dreams and that damned song that seemed to be on a near-constant loop in her head.
She hurried to Luna's office.
Draco made his way back to his office in a daze. He was not entirely certain what had just come over him. He'd very nearly kissed Harry Scarhead Potter's wife in the lift. He had not suffered such poor impulse control since he was eighteen years old.
The truly frightening part was that it felt like deja vu - like he had done it before. Lost of times, but specifically that moment - the crowded lift, neither of them talking, a subtle brush of hands, a look, and then a kiss. He had been there before.
But how could he have been?
Draco locked himself in his office and riffled through his cabinets until he found the bottle of Ogden's Old that his friend Blaise had given her from Christmas last year. He looked around for a glass or something. All he saw was his chipped Weird Sisters mug that had the remnants of his morning tea in it. Draco grabbed that and dumped the rest of the liquid in the potted plant Astoria had placed in his windowsill. He poured five fingers of the firewhisky and downed it. Then he poured five more and began pacing the length his rather small office.
He just needed to think.
The problem was that Draco could not think straight. He was confused. He had not been this torn since he was sixteen years old and faced with a certain seemingly impossible task.
Draco had no idea what was wrong with him or why this was happening now, so he sure as hell did not know how to fix it or make it go away. He took a long drink of his firewhisky and looked at his notes from the meeting with Bandersnatch last week. He had not been able to part with them.Val and Emmy
Draco finished off his drink and poured some more.
Two redheaded girls with gray eyes that played Quidditch, a seeker and a chaser. A little blonde girl with a stare that rivaled Narcissa Malfoy's basilisk stare and a little Slytherin prince who rivaled both his parents in rebellious and mischievous behavior.Valkerie - spelled wrong on purpose - and Ember. Druella and Caspar. Three girls, one boy. One set twins.
Draco snarled and threw the three times empty mug across the office. Thank Merlin it had an unbreakable charm on it. It just bounced then lay still on the unattractive gray carpet of his office floor.
He stared at it for a long time feeling just as cold and solitary as the mug. Not even the warmth of the alcohol flowing in his veins seemed to warm him.
Luna was at lunch, much to Ginny's disappointment, but her assistant Allegra told Ginny to wait in Luna's office because she would be returning shortly. Ginny knew that Allegra could tell she was upset.
The door opened and Luna entered with Michael. They were both laughing. Ginny watched their body language with interest. She had never voiced this opinion, but she had always felt there was something unrealized with Michael Corner and Luna. Sure, he had been one of the ones who picked on Luna in school, but Ginny suspected that there had been no malice behind it. He had picked on her a bit too before they had started going out.
She also suspected that was why neither Luna nor Michael ever acted upon their obvious chemistry. He was Ginny's friend and her ex. Not that Ginny did not like Luna's husband Rolf, she did, but he was just... there. He was a nice enough fellow, but Ginny had always been under the impression that Luna needed someone that had a bit more spunk to them.
Michael had never married and never had a girlfriend for more than a few months. And a lot of times he saw or hung out with Luna more than his lady of the moment. He was friendly enough, but Ginny could now see something else behind his eyes when he looked at Luna. He was godfather to both Luna's sons.
And what in the hell was wrong with her? Not only was she subconsciously trying to break up her own marriage, but now her best friend's as well?
"Gin?" Michael questioned, being the first to notice her.
Luna turned. "Are you all right?"
"No, I'm sorry... I... should not have come. I'll just go."
Luna pointed at the chair across from her desk. "Sit."
"I'll leave you two ladies to your obviously desperately-needed girlspeak," Michael said before he leaned down and kissed Luna's cheek.
If she had blinked, Ginny might have missed the wistful look Michael gave Luna before nodding at them and leaving.
"What's wrong?" Luna asked after closing the door behind him.
"I think I'm going insane, Luna."
"What makes you suspect such a thing? I know nargles steal loads of things, but I don't think they can steal someone's sanity."
Ginny smiled. Luna blaming nargles actually soothed her a bit.
"I'm having odd dreams about the past. I dream a memory and it changes slightly. It turns out not to be as I recalled it. And sometimes I feel like I'm not supposed to be where I am, that I should be someplace else, doing other things."
"Well, Father does need a new editor for the Quibbler."
"That's not what I meant."
How could Ginny possibly tell her best friend that she suspected her children weren't really hers and that she was living someone else's life?
"What did you mean then?"
"Swear to me you won't say anything, Luna."
"I swear it. Anything between us today is only between us. I would never betray you. You were my first friend at Hogwarts."
Ginny smiled sadly. Yes, she knew this, and maybe that's why Luna had never acted on her feelings towards Michael. That made Ginny feel immense guilt. What if Luna's unwavering loyalty to her had ruined Luna's chance at happiness. Not that she was not happy now, but what if it was not supposed to be like this? What if Ginny had said to Luna that it was all right for her to pursue Michael? What then? Would Michael now be the father to her boys instead of godfather?
"What if I made a mistake," Ginny swallowed nervously, not really believing she was saying the words out loud. "By marrying Harry?"
Ginny waited for the anger and accusations. Luna was Harry's friend just as much as she was Ginny's, and Luna had loyalty to rival any Hufflepuff's.
"Why do you think that, Gin?" Luna asked calmly.
Ginny looked at her friend in shock.
"You thought I would condemn you for such thoughts? We are friends, Ginny. What sort of a friend would I be to become angry over thoughts? Sure, I am not pleased, but you are in obvious distress, and that is my first concern. Tell me more. Let me try to help you."
Ginny sighed in relief at having someone to talk about this with finally. She'd had it pressing on her for weeks.
"I don't want to disrupt your day."
"Nonsense," Luna said. "I only had lunch with Michael planned today. The rest of my afternoon was busy work which can certainly be put off until tomorrow."
"Thank you, Luna. You're a good friend." And you deserve better than me.
"Not at all," Luna replied. "Right then. Let's start at the beginning. So... if you are not married to Harry, who are you married to? Or are you married at all? Or has this even entered the picture? Can I even ask this question yet?"
Ginny shifted uncomfortably. How was she supposed to say out loud that she was beginning to suspect that she was supposed to be married to Draco Malfoy, whose family had kidnapped and held Luna to use against her father?