dgfiaexchange (dgfiaexchange) wrote in dgficexchange,

Rescue Me, for Dyk3adellic Part One

Title: Rescue Me
Rating: PG13
Possible Spoilers/Warnings: It does follow canon through Book 7 (minus epilogue), and there are a few allusions to events in the books. Also, one or two swear words.
Author’s Notes: Thanks so much for the lovely prompt, recipient! I tried to stay as true to the prompt as I could, and I really enjoyed writing this fic. I hope there’s enough angst in the beginning – usually that’s not a problem for me, but this fic insisted on being funny!
Summary: Ginny Weasley has a habit of getting into trouble, and for reasons she doesn’t know, Draco Malfoy has a habit of getting her out of trouble. When Ginny finds herself desperate to spend the holidays away from her family, it seems she might just have a chance to discover those reasons for herself.


Ginny never thought she would wish to spend Christmas alone, but that was all she wanted this year. Unfortunately, she had no place to be alone in.

“You don’t actually want to be alone on Christmas, do you?” Parkinson asked, as she paused to examine her reflection in a shop window. “No one wants to be alone on Christmas. Not even me. I mean, yes, my mum and all my aunts will drive me crazy, blathering on about why I’m still single and what I mean to do with my life, but still—it’s better than being alone in my flat.”

“I can’t even be alone in my flat,” Ginny said glumly. “Since I have to be out of it by Tuesday.” Ginny sighed, looking out down Diagon Alley. The street was buzzing with people going about their Christmas shopping, just as she and Pansy were.

“But what about Looney Lovegood?” Pansy said, stepping back from the window, apparently satisfied that her dark red lipstick was perfect. “Aren’t you staying with her when you move out on Tuesday?”

“Her name is Luna, not Looney.” Ginny paused outside Quality Quidditch Supplies, eyeing the new Nimbus 2010. It was the latest broom model; it had just come out last month, and was said to rival the Firebolt for speed and precision. The well-polished handle gleamed like gold through the shop window, and Ginny gazed at it longingly. She intended to go out for the Harpies in the spring, and a new broom would help her feel a lot better about her chances—especially a quality broom like the Nimbus 2010. She was still riding her Cleansweep Seven, another hand-me-down from one of her brothers.

Ginny blinked when Pansy waved a hand in front of her face, snapping two long, black-lacquered fingers. “Earth to Weasley? So why can’t you just stay with Lovegood on Christmas Eve?”

“I’m just staying with her for those few days, after I move out.” With one last, wistful glance for the Nimbus, Ginny shoved her hands into the pockets of her gray pea coat and moved on, trailing down the street. She kicked at a small patch of sludgy snow on the curb. “She’s leaving to go on holiday Christmas Eve, and she’s subletting her place for the week. I can’t stay there.”

“Look, I can’t believe I’m saying this,” Pany said, turning off the main street, “but your family can’t be that bad. I mean, Christmas with my parents is no picnic, either—”

“You know very well that my family is not the problem,” Ginny said crossly. “It’s—” She stuttered to a halt. “Where are we going?”

Parkinson glanced back at her with a raised eyebrow. She’d just turned left to start down Knockturn Alley. “I just need to make a quick stop.”

“Down here?” Ginny peered down the narrow alley dubiously. “What are you going to get?”

Parkinson sighed. “A Christmas present for my mum.”


“No, not really.” Pansy rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on, Weasley. Just a quick stop, and then we can have lunch somewhere. My treat.”

Only the promise of a paid-for lunch persuaded Ginny to follow Parkinson down Knockturn Alley. It wasn’t that she was afraid of the place—Ginny was more than sure that she could take care of herself. But the last thing she needed was for someone to see her and go telling tales to her family about where she’d been.

Ginny had never been down Knockturn Alley, and she was somewhat distastefully curious about the shops and strange people they passed. There was a place advertising poisonous candles, a window lined with shrunken heads and skulls, and one shop with large jars filled with giant spiders. They passed Borgin & Burkes, the shop Ginny had heard about from Harry.

Harry. Ginny scowled as they passed the dodgy shop. She had gone nearly the whole past half hour without thinking about him. And without dwelling on the guilt and disappointment that accompanied every thought of him.

Parkinson glanced over her shoulder at her, noted her dark expression, and seemed to read her mind. “Why don’t you just tell your mum you don’t want him there?” she said, sounding half-exasperated, half-sympathetic. Which was downright unnerving; sympathy from Pansy Parkinson was like timidity from a hippogriff—unnatural. “Surely she would understand.”

“Surely she would not,” Ginny said vehemently. Harry had spent practically every Christmas with them since he was fifteen, and he didn’t really have anywhere else to go, either. Truthfully, Ginny would not have wanted to force him out of the Burrow on Christmas, no matter how badly things had ended between them. She was not that cruel. Still, it would have been nice to get some understanding from her family, instead of feeling like they all thought the break-up was her fault.

Which it sort of was.

“Harry is like a son to my mother,” Ginny said darkly. She shot a glare at a seedy-looking wizard who was leering at them as they passed, and he turned away. “And on top of that, I’m pretty sure she’s…disappointed in me. For not making things work with him.”

“Well, that’s rubbish,” Parkinson said. “I suppose it will be pretty awful for you.” She stopped suddenly, turning to face Ginny. “But you can’t really want to be alone on Christmas, Weasley.” She sighed, tossing her head, her perfectly combed, dark bob of hair bouncing. “I mean, I know some people who have to spend Christmas alone, and who would give anything not to.” She paused. “And some people who don’t have to spend it alone, but behaved like great prats and are now regretting their childish behavior because they are going to be alone.”

“What?” Ginny blinked, confused.

“Never mind.” Parkinson jerked her head to the right. “Are you coming in?”

Ginny glanced aside, puzzled. They had stopped beside what Ginny thought was a bare wall, but she realized now that there was a tiny shop crammed in between two larger shops here. She peered through the grimy window into the shop inside. All she could see were various vials and jars lining a few shelves, unlabeled and filled with murky substances. “I’ll wait out here, thanks.”

Parkinson looked a bit dubious at this response. “Are you sure? Look, I know you’re a nutty brave hero and all, but a young woman standing out by herself on Knockturn Alley isn’t really—”

“Parkinson!” Ginny cut in, exasperated. “I’ll be fine. You said you would be quick, didn’t you? Anyway, that place looks quite cramped. The two of us would barely fit in there, with the shopkeeper and all your bags. And you forget,” she added, “I’m a Weasley.”

“I could hardly forget that,” Pansy said dryly. “That pea coat has certainly seen better days, and your awful hair is like a tomato—”

“Exactly my point,” Ginny said through gritted teeth. “The hair makes me rather unmistakable. And seeing as this shop is obviously selling illegal potions and substances, the shop owner wouldn’t be too keen to have me in there, don’t you think? I do have a father and two brothers in the Ministry, and my father is directly involved in rooting out dark artifacts—”

“Ah, right,” Parkinson conceded. “Well, I’ll be just a minute. I’m sure you’ll be all right.” And without any more concern, Parkinson disappeared into the shop.

Ginny blew out another long sigh, watching her breath mist the air in front of her face. She yanked her snug beanie down over her ears and leaned back against the shop wall, crossing her arms over her chest. Her stomach rumbled and she scowled, hoping Parkinson would hurry up.

“Aren’t you a pretty one? Fancy a pretty gem, pretty lady?”

Ginny looked around sharply. The seedy man she’d glared at earlier had come up beside her. He was dressed in a dark, oversized coat in far worse a state than Ginny’s coat was, and his lined face was unshaven. In his gloved hands he held an array of necklaces sitting in a shoddy piece of cloth.

“What do you say?” the man prodded her. He smiled an eerie smile, and Ginny saw several of his teeth were missing. “A little Christmas present for yourself? Special price,” he added. He took a step towards Ginny, practically trapping her against the wall. “Maybe this one?” he said, picking out a necklace seemingly at random. He held it up close to Ginny’s face. The large red gem hanging from the end of the gold pendant swung inches from her nose.

Ginny was abruptly and chillingly reminded of the cursed necklace Katie Bell had mistakenly received fifth year, the one that had put her in a coma for six months—with a single touch. A necklace that had been purchased here, in Knockturn Alley. This man was probably just trying to make some money by selling these knock-offs, but now that a more sinister possibility had occurred to her, Ginny couldn’t shake it. She mustered her fiercest scowl and stood her ground. “No,” she said firmly. “Now back off, or I’ll hex you into next year.”

The man dropped his dodgy smile. But he did not back away, nor did he drop the necklace, still swinging inches from Ginny’s face. “Sure you don’t want one?” he asked, and this time, there was a dangerous note underlying his words.

Ginny refused to be intimidated. “I said, back off.” She turned her head away from the necklace and gave the man a hard shove at the same time. He stumbled back off the curb, a few of the necklaces falling from his hands to the ground.

“Oi!” he cried indignantly. Ginny didn’t wait to hear anymore. She turned and took two steps down the street, heading for the door to the tiny little potions shop Pansy had gone into.

“Hey!” Suddenly, the man grabbed her from behind, his fingers closing around her upper arm in a rough grip. “Where do you think you’re going? Weasley?

Any surprise Ginny might have felt when the man said her name was lost in her instinctive response. She didn’t even bother going for her wand, tucked away inside her coat. Instead, she wrenched free of the man’s grip and brought her arm up sharply. Her elbow smashed into the man’s jaw with a satisfying thud.

Then three things happened simultaneously. The man let out a pained yelp and swore viciously. Ginny turned to see the damage she’d done. And someone nearby said, “There you are, Bessie!”

Ginny blinked and glanced around, confused. She stared dumbly as Draco Malfoy, of all people, hurriedly crossed the street towards her. To her surprise—and dismay—he joined her, taking her arm in his and beaming down at her with a smiling expression that she found downright disturbing on Malfoy’s face.

“I was looking everywhere for you,” he said with false pleasantry.

Bessie?” Ginny hissed under her breath.

“Oi!” The leering man spit into his hand. Ginny turned back to him, startled; she’d practically forgotten he was there. A dab of blood stained his mouth where Ginny had broken the skin of his lip. “You hit me, you bloody bint! You’ll pay for that one, I—” As the man reached into his coat, likely for his wand, he looked up. When he saw Malfoy, his face went pale and his eyes as round as hen’s eggs.

Malfoy said coolly, “What did you call my friend Bessie?”

Ginny ground her teeth at the name and moved her foot around inconspicuously. Then she deliberately stepped on Malfoy’s foot. She felt him wince, but his expression remained the same as he stared down the man.

“Malfoy,” the man spluttered. Malfoy’s eyes narrowed dangerously and the man hastily amended, “I mean, Mr. Malfoy—I didn’t—she—your friend?” His gaze swung from Malfoy to Ginny, and his uncertain expression hardened into a glare. “But—she’s a Weasley!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Malfoy snapped. “Not every person with red hair is a Weasley!”

“No—well—of course not—but I thought—”

“Let me put it this way,” Malfoy said. His voice was dangerously low. “Would I be in the company of a Weasley?”

“Well, no—of course not—” Now the man just looked confused. He looked between the two of them again, and his indignant expression returned. “But—she hit me! And I just asked if she’d like a necklace—”

“Well, if it’s just a necklace,” Malfoy said smoothly, reaching down for one of the necklaces that had fallen to the ground, “then maybe I’ll buy one for her.”

“No!” The man scrambled to snatch all the necklaces off the ground before Malfoy could touched them. “It’s just—you wouldn’t be wanting any of these,” he spluttered. “Not you, Mr. Malfoy. These are cheap pieces, not worth much—” He straightened, but not all the way, keeping to a crouched position, a sort of half-bow. “Need to be going now—Mr. Malfoy—”

He turned and fled.

As soon as he was out of earshot, Ginny said, “Bessie?” She stomped towards Malfoy. “What am I, a cow?”

“You said it,” Malfoy said, smirking, “not me.”

“What do you think you’re doing, Malfoy?” Ginny snapped. She folded her arms across her chest.

“Saving you, apparently,” he shot back. He muttered something under his breath, too softly for Ginny to hear, but she thought it sounded like, Again.

“Saving me?” Ginny scoffed. “Don’t you think you’re exaggerating a little? I had it handled, Malfoy.”

“Oh, really?” Malfoy rolled his eyes. “Of course you did. Never mind that man was about to hex you—”

“I would’ve hexed him first!”

“—but those necklaces he was trying to sell to you were probably cursed,” he finished. “That man’s known for selling cursed objects, and seeing as he knew you were a Weasley, it was probably his intention all along.”

“What nice friends you have, Malfoy,” Ginny said sarcastically.

Malfoy scowled. “We’re not friends. I just know who he is, is all.” His gray eyes narrowed as he looked down at her. Ginny hated that he could look down at her at all. She wasn’t terribly short, and could look most men in the eye. She could look Harry in the eye. But Malfoy was tall, nearly a good head taller than her.

“What are you doing here, anyway?” he snapped. “Down Knockturn Alley? Lost, are you?”

“No.” Ginny returned his glare with one of her own. “What are you doing here?”

“Christmas shopping,” Malfoy said dismissively. “I mean it, Weasley. What are you doing here?”

“You know, I didn’t ask you to save me!” Ginny flared, ignoring his question. Ever since Malfoy had crossed the street towards her, her ire had begun to rise. The very sight of him brought on a confused rush of feelings—frustration, gratitude, anger, and—worse of all—a terrible doubt. The doubt that she didn’t know this person at all, this person she had loathed for five years, from the day she met him in Flourish and Blott’s until—

Until. Until sixth year. When he’d made the very strange habit of saving her.

Malfoy looked stunned, and… maybe even a little hurt? But only for a moment, and then a trademark sneer came over his face. “And I never wanted to save you,” he snapped, “but you don’t know how to stay out of trouble, do you, Weasley?”

“You—” Ginny began angrily, but she never got to finish that particular remark. For just then, Parkinson finally emerged from the little potions shop, and when she saw Ginny and Malfoy, a huge, devious smile crept over her face.

“Well!” she exclaimed, coming up behind Draco. He looked around in surprise, but before he, or Ginny, could say anything, Parkinson slung an arm around Draco’s waist and the other around Ginny’s shoulders, bringing them both in on either side of her. Malfoy looked as indignant and dismayed as Ginny felt.

“If it isn’t my two favorite people, here together!” Pansy’s impish grin widened. Her grip around Ginny tightened as she brought the two of them in even closer. For a moment, Ginny’s nose was nearly squashed right into Malfoy’s chest. But then Malfoy wriggled away, stumbling a little as he broke free from Pansy.

“Weasley is one of your two favorite people?” he muttered incredulously. “I thought you were just gym pals, or something stupid like that.”

“Running pals,” Ginny and Pansy corrected him simultaneously. It was true. That was how Ginny had become friends—of a sort—with Parkinson to begin with. When she’d moved into a flat only a street down from Parkinson, the two had discovered, one early Saturday morning, that they shared the same route, a nice path through the nearby park. Parkinson had insisted that Ginny find someplace else to run, and Ginny had balked at that. Before the two of them knew it, they were racing—and by the end of the race, laughing themselves silly about it, as Parkinson had pulled a muscle and Ginny was ready to hurl. Now they ran together most mornings, and sometimes had breakfast together afterwards. It was only in the past month that Pansy had begun to invite Ginny to do other things, like today’s shopping, with her.

“Whatever,” Malfoy said with a scowl. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his black coat. For some reason, he’d lost his aggressive air as soon as Pansy joined them. That in itself wasn’t strange, Ginny thought, seeing as he and Pansy were friends. But he seemed almost uncomfortable now, being here with the both of them.

“Did you get what you needed?” Ginny asked dryly. “And what was it, anyway?”

“Oh,” Pansy said happily. She patted the pocket of her cape coat, which was bulging a little now. “Just a little pick-me up.”

“Pick-me up?” Draco asked suspiciously. His eyes alighted on her pocket, and then he glanced at the potions shop over his shoulder. “Oh,” he said with understanding. “Pixie dust?”

“Pixie dust?” Ginny echoed in confusion.

Malfoy looked at her, his gray eyes amused. “It’s not actually pixie dust, Weasley,” he said in an overly conspiratorial whisper.

“I’m not stupid, Malfoy,” she shot back.

“Could’ve fooled me,” he coughed.

“Look at you two,” Parkinson said. She was practically beaming, and the warm smile looked as out of place on her face as it had on Malfoy’s, when he’d pretended to be friends with Ginny just a moment ago. “Getting along. Which is perfect, because I’ve just had an idea.”

“What idea?” Ginny asked warily.

Parkinson’s dark eyes widened innocently. “Well,” she said, “you, Ginny, were looking for some place away to spend Christmas. Away from your family, I mean. And it just so happens that Draco here is going to be all alone at his place for Christmas.” She turned a flat gaze on Malfoy. “Because he’s a git.”

“I am not—” Malfoy began hotly, but then he stopped, looking confused. “Wait. You’re not actually suggesting—”

“You think I should spend Christmas with Malfoy?” Ginny demanded in disbelief. “Are you mental?”

“My thoughts exactly,” Malfoy said in a strangled voice.

“Oh, come on!” Parkinson actually stomped her foot, the pointed heel of her stiletto boot clacking against the street. “Draco, you were only just whinging to me the other day about how you were going to be all alone on Christmas—even though it’s all your own fault—”

“I wasn’t whinging,” Malfoy protested. His pale cheeks had gone pink. Ginny had to admit that she rather enjoyed seeing him so flustered.

“—and you, Weasley, have been moping all day about your break-up with Potter, and how you were going to have to spend Christmas with him at your hovel—”

“The Burrow is not a hovel,” Ginny snapped. She crossed her arms across her chest, scowling. “And I haven’t been moping about Harry!”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Pansy rolled her eyes. “I suppose you haven’t been, since you broke up with him. But you have been moping about having to spend Christmas with him.”

Draco had gone very still. Only his eyes moved, switching between Pansy and Ginny, his gaze like that of a hawk. “You broke up with Potter?” he said slowly.

Ginny shrugged uncomfortably. “Yes. So?” She found the intensity of his stare rather unsettling. “Did you want to gloat? Oh, go ahead then, you prat. Get it out of the way.”

Malfoy sneered and opened his mouth, probably to do just that, but before he could get a word out, Pansy interrupted. “Oh, enough of that, you two. If you can’t be civil to each other, then there’s no point in you spending Christmas together.”

“There’s no point in us spending Christmas together,” Malfoy said in exasperation, “because we don’t want to! All right, Pansy? Leave it alone already!”

“So you’d rather spend Christmas alone,” Pansy said crossly, “than with Ginny?”

“I’ve said so, haven’t I?” Malfoy glared at her, and then at Ginny, as though for good measure. “Look, I don’t care about spending Christmas alone. I’m perfectly fine being alone! And now I’m running late, thanks to you,” he shot accusingly at Ginny, “so good riddance to the both of you.”

He Apparated on the spot, vanishing with a pop!

“Well!” Pansy huffed. “That was even ruder than usual for Draco. What did you say to him?”

“Me!” Ginny protested. “Nothing! I was just here minding my own business when he turned up, calling me Bessie, of all things—”

“What?” Pansy looked confused, and rightly so, Ginny supposed, since she was leaving out huge holes from her story.

“Nothing,” Ginny muttered. She sighed, rubbing her temples, wishing she could just forget that she’d ever run into Malfoy to begin with. That niggling sense of doubt wouldn’t go away now. She felt a little unsteady. When Pansy had hugged the two of them and brought Ginny’s face within an inch of Malfoy, she’d caught the brief, heavenly scent of him, of his coat and his cologne and of—well—him. That scent immediately transported her back in time, nearly two years ago, during her sixth year at Hogwarts—the hellish year, as she liked to call it. The year Voldemort had been in charge.

Ginny breathed in deeply now and shut her eyes, remembering. Remembering the last time she’d been so close to Malfoy that she’d breathed in that scent. She remembered hiding behind a tapestry, enclosed in the dark, the cold stone wall at her back and Malfoy pressed against her front, one hand over her mouth and the other clutching her shoulder. He’d been so close, then, that when she’d closed her eyes and prayed they would not be found, her lashes had brushed against his shirt—


Ginny’s eyes flew open. “What?” she said, startled.

“Are you all right?” Pansy frowned at her. “You looked—I don’t know. Are you feeling all right?”

“Fine.” Ginny heaved a long breath. “Look, can we go? Only I seem to remember you promising me a lunch.”

Pansy rolled her eyes. “You are such a peasant, Weasley,” she said, turning and flouncing down the block, her shopping bags bouncing in her hands. Ginny followed after her, distracted. Thinking about Malfoy.

* * *

Ginny barely managed two quick knocks on the door, her arms were so laden with Christmas presents. She shifted uncomfortably in the cold, wishing someone would come let her in quickly. As the package on top of the pile in her arms began to slip off, Ginny swore, trying to reach around for it. Just then, of course, the door swung open.

“Now, now,” a familiar voice said. “Language, Ginny.”

“Just help me, you prat,” Ginny snapped. She couldn’t actually see George around the mountain of presents, but she recognized his voice.

“Sure thing.” Vaguely, she saw him reach down to pick up the fallen present, and then he took three more from her arms, before stepping back into the house. Ginny followed him with a sigh of relief, quickly setting down the other two presents in her arms, leaving only the two large bags she carried in either hand.

It was Christmas Eve, and in spite of all her moping, as Parkinson had put it, Ginny was here, at the Burrow. She’d moved out of her flat three days ago, as she’d agreed, and left Luna’s early this morning, just as the subletter was turning up. She had nowhere else to go now.

Well. There was one place. But she was not going there. She didn’t think she was really invited, anyway.

As Ginny carefully dropped the two gift bags, everyone else came to greet her. She heard cries of “Ginny!” and one small cry of “Aunt Ginny!” from Victoire. Ginny looked up and found most of the family—and a few others—crowding into the foyer. Bill and Fleur, with Victoire in her arms, Hermione, Percy and his girlfriend Audrey, her mum, Angelina Johnson, whom George was dating, Ron and—

Ginny’s stomach sank. And there he was. Harry. At the very back of the crowd, only just coming in to join everyone else. He appeared to be in discussion with Ginny’s father about something, and hadn’t seen her yet, though he had to know she was there, as everyone else had shouted her name.

Ginny suddenly felt sick. Her palms felt sweaty, even though her fingers were numb with cold, and she felt dazed, almost dizzy. Then Harry looked up finally, and his eyes met hers.

The hurt in his gaze was too much.

“Erm—” Ginny looked away, breaking eye contact with Harry. She surveyed the crowd of people before her, all of whom eyed her expectantly, with broad smiles on their faces. “Actually, I—have to go.”

“What?” Ron said, looking dumbfounded.

“But you just got ’ere!” Fleur protested.

Hermione looked at her knowingly.

“I know, I’m sorry,” Ginny said hastily. She cast her mind around for an excuse. “I, er, wanted to bring everyone’s presents by—”

“But, Ginny, you can’t go! It’s Christmas Eve!” her mother exclaimed. Her face was creased with disappointment, and Ginny ignored the twinge of guilt that cropped up inside her. “We’re all going to have dinner, and listen to Celestina Warbeck’s radio program—”

“Maybe I’ll skip out too,” George muttered under his breath.

“I know, Mum, I’m sorry,” Ginny said in a rush. “But, erm, I’ve—I’ve been invited to spend Christmas somewhere else. And I would’ve turned him down—”

“Him?” Ron said sharply. “Him? Him who?”

“A friend,” Ginny said, glaring at Ron. “And I would have turned him down, but if I don’t go, he’ll be spending Christmas alone.”

“Well,” Molly Weasley said. She frowned, looking at Ginny with concern, but then she seemed to force a smile. “Well, in that case, of course you should go, Ginny dear. Though we’ll all miss having you here. But you will be here for lunch tomorrow, won’t you?”

“Erm—I hope so,” Ginny said vaguely. “I’ll—I’ll try.” Before anyone else could protest, she said, “Well, I should be off, then. I’m running late.”

She turned and twisted the door knob. As she stepped out into the cold and the darkness, she heard Ron call after her, “Hang on! Him who?

Ginny ignored him, shutting the door behind her. Then she turned on the spot, Apparating away.

She hadn’t actually meant to go to Malfoy’s. Still, she had nowhere else to go, and she wanted to Apparate and leave before anyone could stop her.

And with Malfoy Manor on her mind, that was where she’d ended up.

She stood outside the black iron-wrought gates, uncertain and a little annoyed with herself for coming here. She really didn’t want to spend Christmas with Malfoy; it was little better than spending Christmas with Harry. But she had nowhere else to go, except back to the Burrow—and…

And. Ginny bit her lip. And she hadn’t yet been able to get rid of that niggling doubt. It had taken her months to get rid of it at the end of sixth year, and now, after seeing Malfoy again, after he’d saved her again, it proved just as persistent. As though she needed to understand why he had helped her. Why he helped her, every single time.

She blew out a long breath. This was ridiculous. Who cared why Malfoy had helped her? It didn’t negate every other terrible thing he’d ever done, and he was still an evil git who despised her and her family. That she was even entertaining the idea of spending Christmas with him was laughable. She turned to go, stuffing her hands into the pockets of her coat.

A sharp pain stabbed at her fingers. Ginny inhaled sharply and immediately drew her hands out of her pockets, holding them up to squint at them in the darkness.

Apparently, her lack of commitment to coming to Malfoy Manor had manifested itself in a mild case of Splinching. For on both of her hands, every single finger was missing its fingernail.

Ginny whimpered, staring at the raw, shriveled skin where nails should have been. Before she could stop herself, she opened her mouth and shrieked at the gate,

“Malfoy! Let me in!”

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