Scarlet Women Chapter 20


Ginny held out a clean corner of her robe to catch the dripping rainwater. When the corner was saturated she walked over to the misshapen ball of rags in the corner.

“Here,” she said softly. “Suck on this.”

Isn’t that what got us into trouble in the first place?” a gravelly voice said from inside the ball.

“Well at least you’re conscious,” Ginny said, ignoring the crude comment.

“Wish I weren’t,” Draco said trying to sit up. He winced.

At least 3 of his ribs were broken. The cruciatis curse only went so far to curb his fathers’ anger. In the end Lucius had resorted to stomping and kicking. As Draco tried to grin at Ginny his bottom lip split along a barely healed crack. His nose was already swelled to the size of a golf ball and turning purple to match the dual black eyes he already sported. One of his feet sat at an odd angle. Ginny thought it was a sprain and had wrapped it, but she wasn’t really sure.

“Don’t say that,” she whispered. “It could have been much worse.”

“You’re right,” he said as he examined the corner of her robes. “I could have a broken neck to match my nose.”

Or your back. Or any number of other things.” Ginny said testily. “You’re lucky if you don’t have internal bleeding.”

Draco drank the water silently. When he was done Ginny tried to clean his face gently. She did the best she could do, but there wasn’t a lot of his face that was undamaged.

Ginny stiffened as she heard a door open nearby. The sound of wood on stone reverberated down what sounded like a long hallway.

“Get behind me,” Draco said, pulling himself to his feet.

“Don’t be silly,” said Ginny, gently pushing him down and pulling his cloak around him. She turned to the door and took a fighting stance.

Draco coughed and droplets of blood fell on his cloak.

Ginny jumped as a small hatch at the bottom of their chamber door opened and a large bowl of stew was pushed through on a marble tray. Two silver spoons gleamed nearby. The hatch slammed shut.

“Well, they’re not letting us starve,” said Ginny, shrugging and walking over to the tray.

Draco sat up and watched her. His father had never been one for poisons. When he was displeased it could take days for his father to work out his frustrations. Poisons were far too subtle for his father.

“I’m sure its safe,” said Draco.

Ginny placed the tray on the ground between them. She picked up a spoon and Draco watched as her eyes widened. Then she disappeared.

He started. His eyes searched the air where she was and he reached a hand out to make sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him.

She really was gone. He looked down at the platter before him. A plain brown wooden bowl sat on a slab of wood carved with the Malfoy family crest, a serpent wound around an apple. A heavy silver spoon still lay near the bowl.

Draco started. He blinked his swollen eyes and turned his head to see the spoon better. It was engraved with the Hogwarts crest.

He reached a hand out and grabbed it. He felt a tugging behind his bellybutton and felt himself spinning through space.