He was the most beautiful thing Ginny had ever seen. He was an angel, with his hair like a halo. He was a martyred saint, standing in crucifixion pose against the wall. He was an invitation to sin, elegant limbs bared, and a shining beacon of purity, unmarked porcelain skin.
Well, almost unmarked.
With the late afternoon sunlight slanting through the high, barred window like it was, you couldn't even see the restraints that held him to the wall. Restraints that were entirely unnecessary, with him in his... lessened state. But there were certain symbols. Certain rituals to be observed.
The candelabra made a hollow, solid sound as she set it down carefully on the table.
His head came up, hair brushing tangled and unkempt against his neck. "Who's there?" he demanded.
She smiled, and set her wand on the table next to the candelabra. "Just me, Draco," she said, soothing him with his name like you would a skittish animal.
"Who?" he repeated.
She said nothing, concentrating on the fastenings of her robe - that filthy garment, how she hated it, how she longed to rip it from her skin, but that wouldn't do at all, so she worked the hooks carefully, opening them all before slipping the rough fabric off her shoulders, letting it slither down her body. Her skin prickled, puckered into gooseflesh in the cold air of the cell. She stepped out of the robe, bent to pick it up, folded it carefully to sit on the table with the other things.
And now she was left in her shift, her hidden decadence, silken under the rough cloth of the robe. It was difficult to keep it hidden, even harder to wash the bloodstains out of the fabric, but it was worth it, more than, for the feeling.
She smoothed the material down over her thighs as she - finally, anticipation curling against her tongue - approached him across the small room. He tossed his head, turned this way and that, not given much movement by his restraints.
"I can't see," he said.
"You're blindfolded," she told him gently, but he flinched anyway, because she was so close, closer than he expected, and she smiled. "Here, let me." As if he had a choice, as if he could do anything to stop her hands sliding cool from his temples, through his hair along the bunched fabric to find the knot.
She almost held her breath as she stepped back and tossed the fabric aside; she could always find it again, and for now she wanted to watch his face. Watch lashes flutter against cheeks as he took an uncertain breath, then opened his eyes in a flash, the gaze bursting wild before it settled on her. She felt a thrill that never diminished, no matter how many times.
"Ginny?" He said her name like it was remembered from a deep sleep, as though he couldn't believe it, as though he'd known it all along. Then he frowned. "Are you here to rescue me?"
He asked that every time. Sometimes she let him believe it. She'd try to release him. She'd be jubilant - Oh Draco, thank God we've found you - or serious - No time to waste; got to get you out - or sad, or sad. She'd fall upon his neck, sobbing. Draco, what have they done to you?
What had they done to him? She pressed close to him, curled her fingers around his shoulders until she found the raised ridges of scars. Her breath hitched, and gooseflesh fanned under her palms. She felt her own skin echo it, faintly under silk.
The scars shouldn't be there, of course, but Ginny's healing ability had never been that good.
"I can't rescue you," she whispered, and stretched her hands out along his bare arms, pushing her palms along his skin, over elbows and forearms, to the wrists and the cold iron that encircled. She'd try to release him, but fail. She couldn't undo these chains, couldn't let him go. Just couldn't.
"What's wrong?" he asked. That was always an option, along with "Where am I?", "What's happening?", and even "Let me fucking out" when she'd slipped up.
But today he was gentle, he was curling around the pinned horizontal axis of his torso, around her.
How dare he. How fucking dare he ask her, breathe her name and have that concern in his eyes.
Ginny stepped back, tossed her hair and said the words to start the unravelling. "It's just us, Draco. Just us." Fast and hard, today. She had no patience with his fucking fragility. She had no time for stripping him slowly.
Draco's head jerked back, and she knew it was leaking back, the fringes of memories of the darkest days, worse than defeat, the deaths, the deaths, the deaths... Harry, Hermione, Ginny's brothers one by one. She wondered who came first when the parade played out in Draco's head. Whose lost face made his shoulders twitch like that.
No lingering today, though other times she would draw it out. Do whatever it took. Anything to keep those voices at bay.
She hadn't brought a knife today. Couldn't smuggle it down. No blood, then, but she had the candles, wax that coagulated barely paler than his skin. And the wand, of course. If she had to. If she must. If there was no other way than through words and the impotent surge in her blood. Magic hadn't helped her then; tasted bitter now. There was no one to not forgive the curses now, if that's what had to be done. Not the third and final, of course, not that; never that until she was finished with him. She'd never be finished with him. But there was enough within the others to serve. Enough pain, more than enough. Or she could make him beg, make him tell her, make him anything, make him...
She'd even given him a tattoo once. Not by magic, but with her own hands, taking her time to prick the ink perfectly beneath that exquisite pale skin. It wasn't right that it should be so pristine, so unmarked.
He was marked now, over his shoulder blade where his wings weren't. No angel he, for all he resembled one, a suffering martyr. He could not fly. They would never be free.
"G", the tattoo read, soft and curving over muscle and bone. G for Ginny?
G for gone, like they all were now.
G for genesis, for beginning again, for something that couldn't be done. It hadn't ended yet. She wasn't finished.
She traced the ink with her fingertips, tasted his scars, ran her eyes over the strained lines of his limbs as he took heaving breaths, remembering.
And when she finally took him inside her - somehow she managed it, there was always a way - he shuddered; she exalted. His forgetfulness tore apart at the seams, flying away with every pulse of their joining. She watched his eyes, and could see every detail he recalled. The world crumbling, entrapment, the daysweeksmonths behind him and her. And her. She held the key, his key; she held him, held him responsible, and she would never let him go.
The air in the cell was chill on cold sweat. Ginny fastened the hooks of her robe with serene hands.
Draco sagged against his restraints, hair falling in his eyes. "Why do you keep me here?" he grated.
He asked that every time.
Ginny wiped his damp brow with a tender hand. "Silly boy," she murmured. "There's nowhere else to go."
She took up the candelabra and her wand from the table. With a flick of her wrist and a few words, his memory was wiped clean. A fresh start.
She closed the door quietly behind her.
Eden by dee
All stories are works of fan-fiction by Dee. "Fan-fiction" means that she does not own any of the core creative concepts and characters, but she does heap adulation, appreciation and awe upon those people who do hold the intellectual property rights to those concepts and characters. Further, any instances of real people are fictional, and the author does not wish to suggest any truth should be attached to the actions, emotions and words attributed to them in these fictional stories.