dgfiaexchange (dgfiaexchange) wrote in dgficexchange,
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Vanished, for sunnystorms, Part 2

Vanished

For sunnystorms

Rating: PG
Possible Spoilers/Warnings: None
Author's Note: This story is an AU of sixth year with some significant changes to the timeline. Draco fixes the vanishing cabinet much earlier than in cannon, leading to the Hogwarts invasion happening only two weeks into the school year. This also causes some smaller things to change; Quidditch tryouts are delayed, Stan Shunpike isn't arrested until later, etc. Because of memory loss, some characters may seem OOC at times.
Summary: Waking up in a field in the middle of nowhere, with no memory of who they are or how they got there, Draco and Ginny must work together to return to Hogwarts and solve the mystery of what happened to them.

Part II

The next morning, after waking in the infirmary, Pomfrey gave the two of them their schedules and sent them out to return to their normal lives. Apparently, she’d heard back from her St Mungo’s friend--“A real nice fellow, he’s even worked on celebrities!”--and been told that the best cure in a case like theirs was simply to return to familiar settings and their regular schedules. So that’s what they did.

It was awkward, to say the least, stepping into the great hall at the peak of breakfast and having all heads turn towards them. Ginny’s brother, whom she’d met last night, began waving her over enthusiastically once he caught sight of her.

“I guess this is where we part ways,” Ginny said, and began to head towards the Gryffindor table.

“Wait,” Draco said, snagging her hand, “let’s meet up tonight. Just because... Well, it’d be weird, not seeing you at all today, after… And it might be good to compare notes, on how today goes, I mean. Madam Pomfrey said it might be awhile for everything to come back to us. If we work together though…”

“Yeah,” she said, “Yeah, I’d like that. I’ll send you an owl, to let you know when I can meet you.”

“Okay, great. I’ll see you later then,” and he reluctantly let her go.

She went over to the Gryffindor table and sat down with her brother and his friends. Her friends too, she supposed, even though none of them felt familiar to her at the moment. It was disconcerting, having people she viewed as strangers looking at her and recognizing her. Most of these people probably knew more about her than she knew about herself right now.

“--And until then we’ll all be helping you as much as we can,” her brother was saying.

“Right!” said a slender boy with mousy brown hair, “And the two of us’ve got a lot of classes together, Ginny, so I can help you out there.”

“And speaking of classes,” said a girl sitting across from her brother who had a great, wild mane of hair, “I took the liberty of copying my notes from last year’s classes. I included notes for each of the core classes, and Ron told me you’re in Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures, so I included those as well. It’s all color coded by subjects, but if you have any questions just ask me.”

The girl handed over a large sheaf of papers with color-coded tabs, and smiled at her expectantly.

“Oh. Thanks,” Ginny said, feeling overwhelmed and trying not to show it. “I’m sure this will be really helpful.”

Dean Thomas, a boy who’d visited her in the infirmary last night, glanced over at her and then away again. He was ignoring her it seemed, which wasn’t all that surprising after she’d slapped him last night. When he’d stopped in to visit her in the infirmary, he’d greeted her with a kiss before her memory loss could be explained. Surprised, she’d slapped him, and he’d left shortly after.

Now he was ignoring her, while everyone else was being over solicitous. Navigating today, she thought, was going to be tougher than being lost in the middle of nowhere with no clue where she was or how to get home.

* * * * *

Draco, meanwhile, was having a similarly difficult time over at the Slytherin side of the room. As he approached, the buzzing of hissed whispers died down, and calculating eyes turned towards him. He tried not to let his stride falter as he surveyed the table looking for any sign of friendship, or at least some opening where he might sit.

Finally, a boy with a build like a bulldog--and a similarly unhandsome face--caught his eye and scooted over enough to give him room to sit. Draco gave a slight nod as he sat down in the offered space; the boy looked annoyingly familiar, as did the behemoth on his right, but their names remained just out of reach.

“Draco,” a girl with short dark hair and a cute snubbed nose said, catching his attention. She was sitting across from him, and the look that she was giving him spelled trouble, though he had no clue of what sort. “What were you and that blood-traitor, Gryff-filth talking about?”

“Her? Just the usual,” he said, trying to keep it vague.

“That didn’t look usual to me,” she said, unappeased, “In fact, you two looked rather chummy. Just what happened with you--”

“Oh leave him alone, Pansy,” said a brown-haired boy in a sneering drawl. “Rumor has it he had a very rough weekend. He’s probably a little confused right now.”

The large boy sitting on the other side of the one that had made room for him gave a grunt that could have been a laugh. The bulldog-like boy seated between them was looking around in confusion. Suddenly, their names popped into Draco’s head: Crabbe and Goyle.

“And what would rumor know about it?” Draco asked, staring into the brown-haired boy’s eyes. The other looked away first, though Draco could tell that he resented it. This was not a place to show weakness. Casually, Draco grabbed a roll from the table, and taking a bite he stood up.

“Come on, Crabbe, Goyle,” he called out, and the two hulking figures he’d been sitting beside rose to follow him. “We’re getting to class early today.”

* * * * *

The day that followed was probably one of the tensest in Draco’s life. Every word he said was carefully chosen not to let on how much his memory was damaged. The boy from breakfast, Nott, was in a number of his classes, and he was always watching Draco, making snide comments and trying to get Draco to slip up. It was clear that the boy had some idea of what ailed Draco, but he doubted the full extent of it was known, and Draco wasn’t going to give Nott anymore information than he already had, not if he could help it.

The girl from breakfast, Pansy, was frosty to him the rest of the day as well. Draco had the impression that the two of them had been close, maybe even dating, but clearly he wasn’t able to just jump right into wherever he’d left off, not without know where that had been. He tried not to intentionally provoke her, but he also didn’t want to encourage her either, in case he was wrong. It made him feel like he was juggling knives, although mostly he just said as little as possible and tried to put on the same snooty airs that seemed to be the norm for his House.

At lunch, an owl arrived from Ginny, asking him to meet up at eight in the Astronomy tower. He quickly jotted a reply, agreeing to the time and place, and sent it back with the owl. After that, the rest of the day seemed to pass in a blur.

When eight o’clock finally rolled around, Draco put his books and his homework aside--which he had been deeply immersed in as an excuse not to socialize with his housemates--and discreetly exited the Slytherin common room. Consulting a map he’d doodled during history class, and stopping twice to ask portraits for directions, Draco made his way to the Astronomy tower.

“You’re late!” Ginny said, springing up upon his arrival.

“I’m sorry,” he said, “it took me a little longer to find this place than I thought it would.”

“Oh, that’s reasonable I guess” she said, visibly relaxing, “I’m sorry, I just jumped to conclusions. I was worried you’d changed your mind about meeting up,” She dropped to the ground again, where a couple of ugly, paisley pillows had been transfigured. “I’ve just had the most awful day!”

“Tell me about it,” he said, joining her on a pillow on the floor. “At least you weren’t stuck going to classes with a bunch of… Slytherins! I have no idea how I put up with these people for the last five years. All the snide comments, the criticizing, the constant maneuvering; it’s enough to drive you mad!”

“Well at least you didn’t have to put up with everyone being so damned over-helpful,” she said, saying the word helpful like it was some kind of curse, “I have no idea who any of these people are--and they know that!--but all they do is keep bothering me, and giving me things, and overloading me with information, when I never even asked for any of their help!”

“Oh, how awful for you.”

“You say that, but if they had been mean to me, I would have been able to be mean right back. You had it easy!”

“No I didn’t! I didn’t know who anyone was either, remember? I couldn’t just go around making enemies; what if those people are normally my friends?”

“Oh, well, when you put it like that,” she said, voice sarcastic but accompanied by a smile, “Yes, be nice and friendly with the arseholes. That’s very logical.”

“Yes well, I wasn’t exactly 'friendly' either.”

“Oh, I’d already guessed that.”

“And what exactly is that supposed to mean?” he said, giving her a slight push.

She swayed exaggeratedly with his push and bumped back into him on the rebound. “Nothing! I’m sure you can be quite friendly when you try.”

“Good, because I can be. Want to see just how 'friendly' I can be?” He asked with a mischievous expression, and waggled his eyebrows. He brought up his hands as if to tickled her.

She giggled and batted his hands away. “No, that’s all right, I’ll take your word for it. By the way, how are your memories coming along? Remember anything more today?”

“Not really,” he said, letting his hands fall back to his lap. “I recognized a few people and was able to remember their names, but that’s it. There’s a lot here that’s familiar, but without a frame of reference I can’t tell how much I remember and when I’m missing things.”

“Mmhm,” she agreed, “Same here. At least I’ve got all those ‘helpful’ people ready to point out what things are, I suppose. But it doesn’t really help me remember much. It might actually be making it worse. I mean, I know Madam Pomfrey said it would take a while, and there might be some things that we never recall, but last night I thought I was so close to getting it all back!”

“I mean, I remembered Snape and my mother… and then this morning it was like it was square one again. I’ve got this awful feeling that there’s something important I’m forgetting too! Something about the night of the attack; I keep trying to think back to that night, to remember, but it’s all a big blank. It gives me such a headache!”

“Yeah…” He didn’t know what to say to her. He agreed that that night was important, but he was also afraid to remember. Something that the headmaster had said in his office kept nagging at Draco. Something about there being a student who let the Death Eaters in… Draco thought he might know what that meant, but he desperately didn’t want to be right. Because if that were true, then it would mean that everything he thought he knew about himself was a lie.

Just then there was a quiet tinkling noise from the hallway, as of something made of glass dropping to the floor. Ginny looked up, a faint crinkle between her eyebrows and her lips parted to speak, and then the tower shook.

It shook so suddenly and violently that both Draco and Ginny were thrown to the ground. There was a terrible howling sound, growing in volume, and then a great ball of fire rushed up the stairwell.

Draco fumbled to get his wand out of his pocket, but there was no time. The ball of fire rolled over them, knocking them back. Ginny, he realized, must have gotten a shield up, because he wasn’t burned, although the heat from the fire made him break out in sweat. The fire dissipated into the night air, but the shaking continued, and then gravity started doing something funny.

“Get up!” Ginny yelled, grabbing him by the arm and trying to pull him up, almost losing her own balance. He didn’t know how she’s managed to stand by herself with the shaking, since with her help he was barely able to gain his own feet. Once standing, they began a stumbling dash for the stairs.

But whatever had caused the fireball and was continuing to cause the shaking had decimated the stairwell, leaving nothing but loose rocks and rubble before a hole where the wall and part of the stairs had been.

“Jump!” Ginny yelled in his ear.

“Are you crazy?” but even as he said it, he realized what was happening; the tower was collapsing.

Spurred by that thought, he released his stranglehold on her arm, and started down the ruined starwell, slipping through the debris. She went first, one hand on the wall the other stretched out for balance, then when she came to the gap, she pushed off and jumped.

It wasn’t as bad as he’d first thought, probably less than a meter, but the hole in the side of the tower opened out into nothing but dark sky and rooftops. He looked away, focussed on Ginny where she stood waiting for him, one hand out as if to catch him. He jumped.

On the other side, his left foot landed on an unstable rock, and he fell, slamming into Ginny and sending them both rolling down what remained of the stairwell. Rocks jabbed into his back and arms, as he tried to gain control of the roll, and then he fetched up hard against a wall on the landing.

Ginny was next to him, as dazed as he was. A trail of blood seeped from her temple, the red darker than her hair. Her eyelids fluttered, and she stirred, pushing up off of him.

Then a deep voice cried out a spell, and a jet of blue light shot out of the shadows and impacted the ceiling above them. Rocks and stones came crashing down, and everything went black.

* * * * *

Waking up in the infirmary was not like waking up in a field. It wasn’t cold, for one, and for another it was a lot less painful. But it was still rather disorienting.

“You’re awake!” Madam Pomfrey came bustling over, carrying a tray with food on it. “How are you feeling?”

“Alright, I guess,” he said, sitting up. “What happened?”

“The Astronomy Tower collapsed, and you two were right in the thick of it.” It took him a moment to make sense of that, and then he remembered.

“Ginny--!”

“Is perfectly alright,” said Madam Pomfrey, pushing him back onto the bed when he’d started to rise. “At least she will be. You were both bumped about pretty good, and I’m afraid that it won’t do your amnesia much good, but you’ll both recover. She’s resting now. It seems she took the brunt of the blow, when the ceiling collapsed on you. I’ve healed you all up, but she still needs some rest.”

“But, what happened? Why did the tower collapse?”

“Well,” Pomfrey said, her mouth going thin, “It appears as though someone dropped a vial of a very volatile potion in the stairwell. It cause a rather sizable explosion.”

“Was anyone else hurt?”

“Fortunately, no. Though I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on the person who was carrying such a dangerous potion around in this school. But Hogwarts has a way of protecting and repairing herself, so no, there were no other injuries. It’s not easy to bring this old girl down.”

Then Madam Pomfrey insisted that he drink a few potions, and left him to his breakfast. If he was able to hold all that down alright, then he would be fit to leave for his classes that day. Although, he wasn’t really sure that that was what he wanted to do.

As he was finishing up his breakfast, a redheaded boy came in, and Draco recognized him as Ginny’s brother. The boy headed towards Ginny’s bed, but when he caught sight of Draco he stopped, and his eyes narrowed.

“You,” he said, sounding angry.

“Me,” Draco agreed with a raised brow.

“You’d better stay away from my sister! You might have her fooled for now, but that won’t last once she gets her memory back. And in the mean time, I’ve got my eye on you, and I’m not the only one!”

“Is that a threat? You do realize we were just attacked last night,” Draco said, starting to get angry. He doubted this guy would have had anything to do with harming Ginny, his own sister, but then again, he didn’t really know what he was capable of…

“Yeah, about that,” The redhead said, stepping closer, “You may have got Madam Pomfrey and the professors fooled, but you don’t fool me for one second, Malfoy! You’ve pulled this trick beofore--faking hurt, pretending you’re the victim--I’m on to you. If you come anywhere near my sister again, I swear I’ll curse you into oblivion!”

“As if I would hurt the only person--Look, you’re delusional! And what do you think you know about me, anyways? You don’t know what you’re talking about! You’re just an ignorant--”

“Yeah, that’s right, insult me, just like you always do! You’re a coward Malfoy, and a vicious little snot. It’s all your fault Ginny’s hurt and you’re not going to get away with--”

They were yelling now, both of them, and the commotion drew Madam Pomfrey from her office.

“Ron Weasley, what is the meaning of this!” She said, bustling over in an indignant fury that cut through their argument like steel. “Out, get out of my infirmary. You know very well that I do not tolerate that kind of behavior here. You’re lucky that I don’t assign you a detention for disturbing my patients!”

The boy left, glaring daggers over his shoulder at Draco as he did so. And then Madam Pomfrey turned her ire on him.

“As for you, if you’re well enough to get into a bellowing contest, then you’re well enough to go to class. Out with you! And try to stay out of trouble this time!”

He set aside the empty breakfast tray and collected his things, then obeyed her instructions and left, going to his first class of the day. Walking into Arithmancy, just before the class began, was awkward; there was that bushy-haired girl who’d been at meals with Ginny and her brother, and when he entered, she looked up and watched him with an inscrutable expression. He chose a seat in the back, where she’d be unable to watch him once class got started.

Some of the things that Ginny’s brother had said made him uncomfortable. He was telling the truth that he would never hurt Ginny; since he’d woken up with no memory in that field, he’d found her confidence and sassy attitude both a comfort and something of a source of attraction. Her tall, slender figure, wavy red hair, and shining brown eyes had rather compounded the appeal. And the more that he got to know her, the more he’d liked her, and as he’d said on the path to Hogwarts, he’d begun to hope that maybe once this was all over they might be able to pursue something… But things had begun to change since they’d arrived at Hogwarts.

They were clearly from different worlds, and Draco had begun to suspect that some of the assumptions that he’d made about himself might be faulty. For one, he had not been prepared for the reception he’d received from his fellow Slytherins--Actually, he hadn’t been prepared for Slytherin house at all, for that matter. And now it seemed that someone might be out to kill him or Ginny, or both of them.

What she’d said last night popped into his mind. There was something important about the night of the attack that cost them their memories. He was afraid of what remembering it might reveal about himself, but with someone out to do him harm it suddenly became rather important that he remember.

It seemed likely that the two would be connected; if someone wanted him dead, it was probably because of something he’d forgotten about from that night. But maybe he could figure out who their attacker was without remembering that night. If he was going to suspect someone, the people at the top of his list would have to be his housemates. In particular, that Theodore Nott fellow had made it clear that he was no friend of Draco’s.

As his classes that day progressed, Draco continued to be distracted and preoccupied with thoughts of who might be after him and what exactly might have happened to warrant the attention. Also his thoughts turned to Ginny, who was still resting in the infirmary. She could have died last night, both of them could have, and if he lost her then in a very real sense he would be alone here.

By lunchtime, he had half convinced himself that it was all his fault that Ginny was hurt, and that the likely identity of their attacker was indeed Nott. He sat down at the Slytherin table next to a boy with dusky skin and immaculate hair who he recognized from his Arithmancy class. He wasn’t really hungry, but he made himself eat anyways, electing to grab a smoked salmon and dill sandwich, which he began nibbling on.

“Whatever you’re playing at, you’d better watch your back,” muttered the dusky boy he was sitting beside.

“What?” asked Draco, unsure he’d heard that correctly.

“I said, watch your elbow. You’re about to stick it in the soup.”

Draco glanced at his elbow, where there was indeed a carafe of soup nearby, although not really close enough to be in risk of encountering Draco’s elbow. And that hadn’t been at all what the boy had said.

“Excuse me,” the boy then stood, snagged his bag, and left, leaving draco mystified and slightly apprehensive. What was that about?

Then, Draco forgot about vague, ominous warnings as he caught sight of a flash of red across the hall. Ginny was entering the great hall, apparently released from the infirmary in time for lunch. Seeing her--awake and out of the infirmary, apparently well--his heart started to beat a little faster. She didn’t look over or see him though. Instead, she joined her brother and his two friends--the bushy-haired girl he had arithmancy with, and the speckled git with the unkempt hair.

Draco realized he was feeling a little off. Maybe it was the smoked salmon from his sandwich, maybe it was the ominous warning from a moment ago, or maybe it was the creeping sense of deja vu. All morning he’d been trying to put things together, but it was only now that suddenly everything clicked.

He was responsible for Ginny getting hurt. He was up to something, or he had been at any rate. It had been he who let the Death Eaters into the castle--that night was an empty spot in his memory, but now he remembered: the end of last year when his family had been so humiliated, the moment of glory when he found out that he would be entrusted with an important task, his mother crying, his aunt teaching him, and the anticipation that turned to anxiety at the start of term.

And like that, in a cascade of connected memories, he remembered who he was. And it didn’t change a damn thing, except to give him an excruciating headache. He’d lost what little appetite he’d had, so he tossed the last of his sandwich onto his plate and stood, intent on seeing Madam Pomfrey in the infirmary for a headache cure.

As he was leaving the great hall a familiar voice called his name, and he turned to see Ginny running after him. The queasy feeling in his gut intensified.

“Draco,” She said, catching up to him, “are you alright, you look a little ill.”

“I’m fine, just… have a headache that’s all,” He said. He couldn’t do this right now. He needed some solitude to think over what he knew. And he was afraid that he couldn’t continue this thing with Ginny, whatever it was. It wouldn’t be safe, for her or for him. “Actually, I’ve got a lot of work to do before class, so I’ve really got to get going.”

“Oh,” she said, looking baffled, “well, okay. I’ll talk to you later then, alright?”

“yeah,” he said noncommittally, and walked away from her. He felt like a heel, blowing her off like that, but he didn’t have any choice. He needed to think, and he needed to distance himself from her, for her own good.

He got a potion from Madam Pomfrey, then went to the library, where he found a secluded alcove where he could be alone. He took out a roll of blank parchment so that he could map out what he knew.

First he wrote his name: Draco Malfoy. Then he changed his mind and ripped that part of the parchment off; he didn’t want to have his name on this parchment, not if he was going to write down everything in his head. He’d have to destroy it anyway, but just in case…

Then he began again:

First, he wrote, I let the Death Eaters into the castle. Then he drew a big questionmark. He decided he really didn’t need to rehash waking up in the field with Ginny--though, on second thought, how was it that they’d ended up there? So he wrote: end up in field??? Then he left room for some blank lines, and made a bullet each for the kidnapper on the Knight Bus and the firefight in Knockturn Alley.

Those things might have been important, but he doubted it. No, what he really need to figure out was who had tried to kill him last night. Before he’d gotten his memories back, he’d focussed on Nott as his prime suspect, now he asked himself if that still held true.

It could have been Nott, he thought. Nott had always been jealous of him, coveting the influence and position that Draco held in Slytherin. In the weeks since term had started, Nott had been the least impressed of all his housemates with Draco’s appointed task, and he’d been the most skeptical of Draco’s ability to carry it off. But Nott had never before moved against him physically, just verbally. Had that changed?

He wrote Suspects, and underlined it. Then he wrote Nott’s name below it.

And then there was Blaise Zabini, who’d given him that cryptic warning at lunch. What had that been about? Zabinis had always been neutral in regard to Voldemort, and Blaise had conformed to his mother and his uncles’ lead. He found it very hard to believe that Blaise had been involved in whatever had happened Friday night, but he decided to write Zabini's name down on the suspect list anyway.

It had occurred to him before that Pansy had been jealous of his interaction with Ginny in the great hall, and that could have motivated her to act out against him. He winced at that. They hadn’t actually been dating, but there’d always been the implication that they might someday. He was sure that she was jealous of him and Ginny, if she’d noticed anything, and she probably had noticed; Pansy was a shrewd judge of human relationships and motivations. And she could be vicious when she wanted to be.

However, he was pretty sure that Pansy wasn’t the culprit. A brute force attack like that wasn’t her style; even if she’d been mad enough at him to do him physical harm, she’d have taken another route and done something more subtle and cruel.

There were other suspects of course; Slytherins in the years above and below his, and students in the other Houses. Damnit, he still didn’t have enough information to figure out who had attacked him! Then he had another thought. The method of last night’s attack had been a potion, and in the days leading up to his success with the Dark Lord’s mission Professor Snape had been hounding him to accept some assistance. Could it have been the professor?

He wrote Snape’s name on the list of suspects, followed it with a question mark, and underlined it. Then he realized that his break was up and he needed to get to class. He took the parchment he’d been writing on, looked at what he'd written (not much), and incinerated it with a quick incendio. Then he gathered the rest of his things and left the library headed for class.

* * * * *

It was after dinner that Ginny realized for certain that Draco was avoiding her. Earlier, she’d sent him another owl to try and set up a meeting that evening. At first she’d thought he was taking his time replying to her, or maybe something had intercepted the owl, so she’d decided to try and catch him at dinner. And then he’d practically fled the room after catching sight of her.

“Draco!” she called, but he disappeared around the corner, not even glancing back at her. That jerk, she thought as she came to a stop in the entrance hall, there was no way he hadn’t heard her. He had ignored her on purpose!

“Ginny,” her brother said, a little out of breath. He still had a roll clutched in one hand, having decided to follow her rather than finish his meal. “You shouldn’t run off alone like that. Was that Malfoy? How many times have I told you that guy’s a jerk. It’s only a matter of times before her shows his true colors.”

“Yeah,” she said, not at all in the mood for more of her brother’s anti-Draco campaign that he’d been on all day, even if at the moment she agreed with him about Malfoy. “I’ll take that under consideration. Look, why don’t you go back and finish your dinner. I’m not in any danger at the moment.”

“Not in any danger? Ginny, did you forget what happened just last night?” As they were speaking, her brother's friends Harry and Hermione had followed them out to the entrance hall.

“Yeah,” agreed Harry, “It’s really not safe for you to go about by yourself until we figure out who’s targeting you. Why don't we all just go back to the common room together?”

“You guys go ahead,” Ginny said, “I’m going to go do my homework in the library--”

“We’ll come with you,” said Ron.

“No!” Ginny said, finally coming to an end of her patience. “Stop smothering me, Ron! I’m going to the library--by myself--It’s a public area; nothing’s going to happen there. Just give me some space for once!”

She turned and marched off, hearing her brother spluttering protests behind her. If he tried to follow her, he’d regret it. She may have forgotten a few things, but she still remembered her curses.

“Just let her go, Ron” she heard Hermione say, and then it sounded like an argument may have erupted between the two, but she didn’t stick around to listen to it.

At the library, she found a table in an open spot where she’d have a good view of anyone approaching, whether an attacker or her meddlesome brother. There was already a blonde girl sitting at the table with her head in a book, but she didn’t seem to mind when Ginny sat down and began taking out her books and parchment. She hadn’t been lying about needing to do homework.

“Hello, Ginny” said the blonde vaguely, glancing up.

“Er, hello,” Ginny said, worrying that she was going to have another awkward conversation with someone who recognized her but not the other way around. Although, looking closely, the wide blue eyes did stir something in Ginny’s memory.

“Oh, you don’t recognize me, do you. I heard that something happened to your memory. But don’t worry, I’m used to people acting like they don’t know who I am. Actually, it might be refreshing to talk to someone who really doesn’t remember me. So, how was your day?”

Ginny, who’d was thoroughly sick at this point of people who kept expecting her to know things she didn’t, was refreshed by this girl’s attitude.

“Actually,” she said, “It was rather awful.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Want to talk about it?”

Normally, Ginny wouldn’t have even considered discussing this sort of thing with a near-stranger, but this girl’s attitude was so refreshing, and the more she looked at her, the more familiar she was. So, she ended up telling her all about what a smothering prat her brother was being, and how Draco, her only solid friend right now, had decided to blow her off.

“Well, maybe he had a good reason for it.”

“A good reason? What kind of reason could excuse leaving me alone when someone's apparently out to gut us?”

“Well that’s just it,” the girl, who’s name Ginny remembered at some point during their conversation was Luna, “maybe he found something out, or remembered something, and thinks that he’s protecting you. I’m not saying he’s right, if that’s the case, but it could be what he’s thinking. You’d have to ask him to find out.”

“I can’t very well ask him if he won’t talk to me! If he remembered something, then he should share it with me, especially if it’s about what happened to us!”

“He might be afraid of what you’ll think. I’m sure your brother’s told you that you two didn’t really get along before all of this. Maybe he’s scared you’ll hate him.”

She scoffed, and was about to refute that when she paused. All day, she’d been remembering more, little pieces here and there, but up until now she’d been unable to put the pieces together. For all of her brother’s rants on what an annoying and evil person Draco was, she’s been unable to fully believe him, but at Luna’s matter of fact words… something sort of clicked in her mind.

“Ginny? Has a Wrackspurt gotten your thoughts?”

“No, but… Luna, Draco and I really didn’t like each other, did we?”

“Well, you did hit him with one of your Bat-Bogey hexes last year.”

“That’s right!” she said, the memory of that night coming back to her, “And he was helping Umbridge! That prat--wait, you don’t think…”

“That he was involved in Friday night’s attack? It does seem likely, but then again, most people don’t put much stock in my beliefs.”

And suddenly her theory on why Draco was avoiding made a lot more sense. She’d been angry at him before, but now she was furious.

“All this time I thought he was just a victim like me! But he wasn’t at all, was he? I mean, what are the odds that his side turned on him--that obnoxious git! This whole time he was deceiving me!”

“Well, if he’d lost his memory too, then he couldn’t have known--”

“Doesn’t matter,” she said, too furious to give him any benefit of the doubt.

She was so worked up that she could barely focus on her homework. She spent only another half hour at the library before going back to the Gryffindor tower. There, she went up to her dorm so she wouldn’t have to put up with her brothers or Harry and Hermione. Eventually, she was able to calm down enough to sleep.

* * * * *

The next morning, she went with Ron and the others down to breakfast. She was heading towards the Gryffindor table with them when she spotted him at the Slytherin table. While she’d cooled down somewhat overnight, seeing him made those feelings of betrayal come rushing back. before she could think better of it, she had marched over to him.

“Malfoy!” She said from behind him with her hands on her hips. “I thought you should know, I remembered something last night.”

"Oh?" He said in a nasty, sneering voice that immediately set her hackles up.

"Yeah, 'Oh'," she said mocking him. "Did you think you could fool me? Or did you think that when I remembered, I would really be naive enough not to see what kind of game you're playing."

"Really, Weasley, you shouldn't ask me whether I think you're stupid. The answer to that should be quite apparent."

"Who's the stupid one, Malfoy!? The whole shook is on to you! It's only a matter of time before you're found out and expelled. If you think you can get away with what you've done--!"

"Ten points from Gryffindor for causing a ruckus!" Cut in a whip-crack voice. Professor Snape had appeared and was striding toward them, his expression thunderous.

"Unless you want a detention as well, Miss Weasley, I'd suggest you settle down and have your breakfast."

She made a wordless growl and spun on her heal. Blind to her her brother's righteous expression, or the concerned and admiring looks that Hermione and Harry were sending her respectively, she fled the hall.

* * * * *

She skipped class that morning, too angry and worked-up to sit still. Instead, she decided to go back to where it all began. She didn't remember the details of Friday night, but she had the fuzzy notion that something had taken place in the room of requirement.

She went to the seventh floor corridor and began pacing, thinking hard on what it was that she wanted. In a broader sense, she had no idea what she wanted, her thoughts were in much too thorough a disarray for that, but for right now what she desperately needed was more answers.

What happened the night of the attack? How had she and Draco ended up in that field?

After her third pass, a door appeared where before there had been none. She entered into a room cluttered with shelves overflowing with all the broken and discarded accoutrements of student life.

The room was quiet, but not silent, and as she poked around, she heard some whistling and buzzing. Looking for the source of a particularly annoying vibrating whine, she pulled open a drawer in an off kilter set of drawers, and found a clearly broken sneak-o-scope that kept spinning and whistling. She put it back and kept looking.

It was actually kind of relaxing, poking through all of this old junk, and it went a long way towards cooling her off. After a while, she even began having some fun with it.

Then, finally, she found what she was looking for. There was an area that looked even more broken and disorderly that the rest of the room, as if a disturbance of some kind had happened recently. There were scorch marks on the floor.

This was it; this was where it happened. What had happened though? She looked around, trying to find something familiar, something that made sense. there were a spattering of small scorch marks on the floor, and then one big one in the shape of a half-circle. What could have made that shape?

The nearby curios and furniture had suffered as well, there was a cabinet with scorch-marks on it, a wig with a tiara on a bust which looked like it had half-caught on fire, and on the floor next to a broken beater’s bat was a wire cage that had been half-melted. Clearly some sort of fight or duel had happened here.

Just then there was a noise behind her, something falling to the floor in a clatter. She whipped around just in time to take a stunner to the face.

* * * * *

Draco felt awful after the fight in the great hall. He went to his potions class with a heavy heart. Professor Slughorn was an amiable enough fellow, and Draco didn’t have any difficulty with potion brewing, even though only half of his mind was on the assigned task. The rest of his thoughts were preoccupied with thoughts of Ginny and with their unknown enemy.

He felt horrid for the things he'd said to her in the great hall. It had been easy though, falling into old patterns of unkindness, and hopefully, if it had been believable, then their unknown assailant might now leave her alone. But it also meant that she bated him now.

Unfortunately not everyone in class was as adept at potions as he was, and even with, presumably, their full attention on the task, someone managed to make a catastrophic brewing error. A loud BANG startled Draco from his dark thoughts, and he looked up to see Crabbe dancing around, batting at his arm where his sleeve had caught on fire.

Slughorn pushed through a group of startled students to put the fire out with a quick swish of his wand. Then the flames on Crabbe's cauldron were doused by a nearby student, as Slughorn sent the injured Slytherin to the infirmary.

Once things calmed down, Draco finished his potion, bottled it and left it on Slughorn’s desk for grading. The rest of the students were finishing their potions as well, and packing up for their next classes.

With Crabbe gone, there was only Goyle to accompany him to his next class, leaving Draco feeling even more alone and exposed then he’d been feeling before. They had Transfiguration class next, and as Draco sat down and got his quill out he began to think that it was odd that Crabbe wasn’t back yet. Normally Madam Pomfrey would have a minor burn like that fixed up in a matter of minutes.

Actually, the more he thought about it, the more uncomfortable he became. True, neither Crabbe nor Goyle were really adept enough at potions making to deserve to be in the advanced class, but it was rather unusual for one of them to actually make a potion explode, especially one as innocuous as the one they’d been working on today. Had the accident perhaps been staged?

If so, then where was Crabbe now?

Draco was at this point rather worried. He raised his hand, and when Professor McGonagall, who’d been about to begin her lecture, looked up she arched her brows and called upon him.

“Yes, Mister Malfoy?”

“I’m sorry, Professor, but my head is killing me. May I go see Madam Pomfrey?”

“If you must,” she said.

He picked up his belongings and hurried from the room. He didn’t have to fake the pinched expression that he wore, though it was caused by worry rather than pain. When he left the classroom he began heading in the direction of the medical wing. It was the best place to start, he figured, and if he didn’t find Crabbe there then he’d look in their dormitory (after all, the oaf may have just decided to skip classes today--maybe he was worrying over nothing).

But as he neared the infirmary another idea began to nag at him. He veered from his path and followed his intuition to the seventh floor. There was something about this place… This was the place where Potter and his cohort had held those secret meetings last year. But there was something else, he felt, only it was just out of his mind’s reach…

He began pacing, having made the decision to check the secret room, if just to rule it out. Although he doubted Crabbe even knew about this room. But Ginny certainly did…

On his third pass a door appeared. He opened it and entered into a room of crowded shelves and piles of oddments and rubbage. It was too crowded to tell just how large the room was, which meant a quick perusal was out of the question. He stepped inside anyways, and began looking down aisles. There was something familiar about this room, something important.

Just then he realized that he wasn’t the only one in the room either. There, kneeling next to a cupboard was the hulking back of Vincent Crabbe. Behind him a black-clad form was sprawled on the floor, her red hair like a spill of blood.

“Ginny!” Draco called out, drawing his wand. “What did you do to her, Crabbe?”

Ginny didn’t stir, but Crabbe stood and spun to face him. His lumpy features pulled into a scowl.

“I knew you’d come for your little blood-traitor girlfriend,” said Crabbe, “Did you think that I didn’t notice the way that you looked at her after she blasted you with that nasty booger hex last year? Just like in third year, when you started mooning after Granger after she slapped you. You’re a real twist, you know that?”

“Mooning after Granger?” Draco was thrown by the unexpected accusation, “You’ve got to be kidding me. The only thing I ever wanted with that mudblood was to get her kicked out of school.”

“Don’t play dumb with me, Malfoy! You always treated me n’ Greg like we was idiots, but you’re the idiot! Getting mixed up with trash like her. You’ve forgotten who you were--or maybe you were never who I thought you were. My dad always told me to stick close to you, that you’d do right by me. But you’ve always been a little whiny prick. And now, I’m going to show you which one of us is better once and for all.”

“Don’t be stupid, Vince!” said Draco, but he knew right away that those were the wrong words. Crabbe's scowl twisted into a look of fierce anger, a look that Draco had never seen the other boy direct at him before.

“I’m not going to let you ruin our master’s hard work! All of my hard work! You’re not the only one who made Friday night’s raid happen. But no one’s ever going to know that; all their going to see is that the little Weasley here found you out. She confronted you in the room where it all happened! You killed her, but she didn’t go without a fight, and in the end, you both lay dead and cold. How sad.”

* * * * *

She was dreaming, she knew that, but it felt more real than a dream.

She was in the room of requirement, in its scrapyard incarnation, and she wasn’t alone. Draco was with her. As happens in dreams sometimes, she felt like she knew what was going to happen just before it happened.

“You’re a fool, Weasley, if you think this is going to end well for you,” Draco said. For some reason his hands were tied in front of him with what looked to be his Slytherin tie. A lump was forming on his head.

“If you untie me now, I’ll spare you,” he was saying, but she was ignoring him. Instead, she was looking around desperately. pacing around looking for something. A way out… THUMP! A loud noise from the room’s entrance startled her and sent her running back to the front of the room where Draco was tied up. He was still slumped on a trunk though, where she’d left him.

THUMP! The noise came again, from the door, she could tell this time. Someone was trying to get in. She swore under her breath and went over to Draco. She waved her wand, undoing the leg-locking jinx that held him in place, and gestured that he should get up.

“Get up,” she said, and when he didn’t comply, she grabbed him by the shoulder and hauled him up. She pushed him ahead of her and jabbed her wand into his back. “Tell me how they got into the school! I know they came in through here; how did you do it? Tell me, or I’ll set my bat-boogies on you!”

“Calm down!” He said, a note of fear entering his voice, “It’s this way, alright?”

He began leading her deeper into the room while she kept her wand aimed at his back. The thumping on the door continued. It sounded like they were blasting it with curses now; It wouldn’t hold much longer.

He led her to a cupboard and stopped.

“This is it?” She asked.

Just then, there came an explosion from the front of the room. They were in! She grabbed Draco and spun him around so that she was shielded behind him. There was the thumping of running feet, then a blast of green light shot down the aisle, missing them by half a meter. Draco shrieked, and tried to dodge, but she held him in place.

“Stop!” he yelled, “You’ll hit me!”

Two figures came towards them, a woman with dark hair and a twisted grin and squat, hunchbacked man.

“It’s Malfoy’s brat!” The woman said.

“Wasn’t he supposed to be garding the cupboard?” said the man.

“You betray us!?” the woman shrieked, bring up her wand.

“Wait, sister. His hands, look,” He said, gesturing towards Draco’s tied hands with his own wand.

“That’s right,” said Ginny, “Don’t come any closer, or I’ll blast the two of you to pieces! And don't shoot, or you'll hit Malfoy!”

The woman gave a shriek of laughter, her brother wheezing along with her. Chuckling, they advanced on Ginny and her hostage. Ginny threw up a shield, but at the same time Draco rammed his elbow into her, having somehow gotten his hands free.

Simultaneously, the two Death Eaters shot off curses. Two jets of light shot towards Draco and Ginny. The beams impacted with her half-formed shield and exploded! She felt herself lift into the air and fly backwards, crashing through the doors of the cupboard behind her.

Everything went dark.

* * * * *

She woke up, laying on the floor of the room of requirement in front of the same cabinet that she and Draco had crashed through in her dream. There were voices arguing loudly right behind her. She recognized them; one was Draco, the other--she looked up--the other was one of his lackeys, either Crabbe or Goyle.

“Don’t be stupid, Vince!” Draco was saying.

“I’m not going to let you ruin our master’s hard work! All of my hard work! You’re not the only one who made Friday night’s raid happen. But no one’s ever going to know that…”

Ginny had heard enough. She felt around in her pocket for her wand, but it was missing. Looking around, she noticed their was a broken beater’s bat right in front of her head. Carefully, she stood up, picked up the bat and turned around.

She caught Draco’s eye. he couldn’t have missed her standing, but he didn’t say anything, instead he casually slid his eyes back to Vince and began some smart arsed remark. She took aim and, with all her might, swung the bat at Vince’s head.

The bat impacted with a tremendous CRACK, and Vince dropped like a stone. She stood over his prone body with the broken beater’s bat in her hand, breathing heavily.

“I told you so,” she said, between pants.

“What?”

“About the Knight Bus. It just occurred to me I never rubbed it in your face. I told you that was a bad idea, and then look what happened. You’re full of bad ideas, Malfoy.”

"You're right," he said, running his hand through his hair. "I'm sorry about that. And about everything. I've been wrong about a lot recently."

"Yeah," she said, "You have been. But thanks for coming to save me."

"Looks like you didn't really need my help,though."

"I did."

"Look, about this morning," he said, unable to look her in the face, "I didn't mean any of what I said. I think you're brilliant. These last couple of days... if you hadn't been there... would you be my girlfriend?"

"What!? You're asking me that now?" She said, gesturing with the bat she was still holding to Crabbe's prone body.

"Oh, yeah. We'd better get him to the infirmary, and tell the headmaster what happened. But still, what do you say?"

"Draco, there's so much between us... you've been such a prat to my brother and my friends--you let the Death Eaters into Hogwarts!"

"I know, but I've changed. These past few days... what I saw out there with you... and even before that; I never meant for any of this to happen. Yes, at first I thought I was doing the right thing--The way I'd been raised, my family!--But, things were happening that I never intended--"

"But you did it! I like you, Draco, but I--"

Draco did something rash then; he grabbed Ginny by the sides of her face and he kissed her, full on the mouth. It hadn't worked so well for Dean Thomas, but Draco had heard the words "I like you" and that was enough for him. If she wouldn't listen to his words, then this was his last chance to change her mind. If only she'd give him a chance...

It wasn't a rough kiss by any means, but it was solid, and sure. Her lips parted under his, and he took the opportunity to sneak his tongue into her mouth, questioningly, and then deepening the kiss at her encouragement.

Reluctantly, he broke the kiss, giving one last gentle press of his lips to hers before releasing her.

"We have a lot to work out," he said, voice barely above a whisper, "but if you'll have me, I want to make things work. I'm not the same person I was before I got lost with you. I don't know who I'll be tomorrow, or what will happen, but I think I might be falling in love with you, Ginger. Can you honestly say you feel nothing for me?"

Her tongue darted out to lick her lower lip, which was pink from the kiss.

"Alright," she said, "lets give this thing a try. But first I think we need to take care of this mess."

They put a stunner on Crabbe, just to be sure he’d stay out, then they levitated him to the hospital wing. There, after hearing an edited version of their story, Madam Pomfrey sent for Dumbledore. The headmaster arrived, and invited the two of them up to his office to give a full accounting of events.

“So your memories have returned in their entirety, then?”

“I believe so,” said Ginny, after telling him what she had remembered of Friday’s attack while she’d been unconscious. “What’s going to happen to Draco and Crabbe now?”

She and Draco were seated side by side in front of the headmaster’s desk. At some point during the retelling, one of them had grabbed the other’s hand, and they now sat next to one another with their hands clasped.

“Well, I’m afraid that Mister Crabbe’s crimes are rather serious. Kidnapping a fellow student, and threatening their life and the life of another… I don’t have much choice but to expel Mister Crabbe. As for our Mister Malfoy here…”

Draco tensed next to Ginny, and she tightened her grip around his hand.

“Well I’m afraid that the only evidence that we have of his crimes is your testimony, Miss Weasley, and while I have no doubt as to your honesty, any punishment we pursued against Mister Malfoy would likely be contested by his mother,” the headmaster said with twinkling eyes, “After all, you did just suffer not one, but two serious head injuries. It’s well known that your memory has not been entirely trustworthy of late.”

“That being said, I will not be administering any punishment against you, Mister Malfoy. However, the crimes that you are accused of are very serious indeed. For the remained of the school year you will be under very close watch from myself and the rest of the staff. Is that understood?”

“Yes sir,” said Draco, not really believing his luck. And then something occurred to him.

“Headmaster, during the attack, what were the whereabouts of Professor Snape?”

“The Professor? Why, he was in the Dungeon, ensuring the safety of Slytherin House. Why do you ask?”

“I see,” said Draco, looking a little uncomfortable, “Well, it’s just that… Snape is a friend of my father’s. The week before the attack, the Professor was very interested in helping me out. I thought maybe he might have been involved in something else that night, that’s all.”

“Ah, well, thank you for that Mister Malfoy. I will look into it.”

Their conversation wrapped up, and they were sent off. Due that mornings events and the debriefing with Dumbledore, they’d missed lunch, so they decided to go to the kitchens together to grab a bite to eat.

Dumbledore had excused them from classes for the rest of the day, counseling them to spend at least some of the time studying, so they took their time. When they finished, they decided to take a walk around the grounds and get to know one another better.

On their way back in, they bumped into Ron, who seemed somewhat frantic--he’d probably been looking for her, Ginny thought. He took one look at the two of them and his expression crumpled in misery.

“No!” he whined.

“Actually, yes,” Ginny said, “sorry, Ron.”

Then, slipping her arm through Draco’s, she marched him away before Ron could rally himself into a rant.

“Oh,” said Draco, with a sly look at Ginny as she led him away, “This is going to be fun!”

Prompt

Briefly describe what you'd like to receive in your fic: Far from home, Draco and Ginny wake up with no memory of their family background. (So they still remember basic things like the fact that they're wizards etc., just not who they are exactly). They recognize each other but have no idea what relation they are to each other
The tone/mood of the fic: Up to the writer, though I do love humor mixed in with some gravity
An element/line of dialogue/object you would specifically like in your fic:.
Preferred rating of the fic you want: Any
More canon, or more AU? Canon (w/o the epilogue)
Deal Breakers (anything you don't want?): OOC-ness, non-con, Draco and Ginny being in a relationship with each other prior to the memory loss.
Are you willing to receive art instead of a fic? Yes if needed, but I'd prefer a fic for this prompt.
If yes, what kind of artwork would you like to receive? Any
Is there anything you specifically don't want? Not that I can think of
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