Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 30

AN: Thank you for all the support! It is deeply appreciated!

"I know it was stupid to expect Percy to help us, but even at his worst I never thought he would be callous enough to turn his back on his family..." Ginevra deflated. "What am I saying? Of course he'd turn his back on his family in order to further his career."

Draco gave her a sympathetic smile. "You were hoping he was a better person."

Ginevra crumpled onto the sofa. "I was hoping he would act like someone who cared not only for his family but also for the citizens he promised to protect. I suppose that was, to use his own words, 'irrational.'"

Draco sat down beside her. "I wouldn't call your beliefs irrational, but I do believe your faith in him was misplaced."

"Apparently," Ginevra sighed.

Draco rubbed her shoulder.

"Perhaps the most troubling thing about all of this is that, unless someone runs against him, he will be our next Minister of Magic," Ginevra replied.

Draco blanched. "Indeed."

"We're going to have a Minister of Magic who cares far more about covering his arse than he does about defending others."

"It would appear that way."

"I still can't believe it." Ginevra bowed her head. "I never should have gone to see him. Seeing him only upset me."

"No, you needed help, and you hoped he cared enough for you to offer assistance."

"Pretty stupid looking back, huh?"

"No," there was a fire in Draco's eyes. "People in office are supposed to care about protecting others. They are supposed to watch out for their constituents and act in their best interest. Their time should be dedicated to public service, not covering up scandals."

Ginevra's expression lightened. "Is that a campaign speech?"

Draco swallowed.

"If it is the beginning of a campaign speech, it's a pretty good one."

"Someone needs to tell the people what they need to hear. We need decisive leaders who are capable of solving problems. The Wizarding World needs." Draco groaned and buried his face into his hands. "Now I sound like my father."

Ginevra replied, "No, if you sounded like Lucius you would be blackmailing someone into changing the election results so you'd become the Minister of Magic without so much as declaring your candidacy."

Draco raised his head. "True."

Ginevra massaged his back.

"The Ministry is useless," Draco continued. "The Wizarding World will either have to fight these amnesiac aurors on their own, or hope the issue becomes too big to ignore."

She pressed into his back harder. "Then maybe it's time for us to fight back."

"We have been fighting back."

"Have we?"

Draco raised an eyebrow. "Yes, we have been fighting back the aurors. If we hadn't fought back then there would be nothing left of this house."

"I don't mean have we physically fought back. The answer to that question is an obvious yes," Ginevra replied. "I mean, are we using all of our resources, or are we allowing Percy to put our lives at risk because we're too busy moping to take action?"

"What would you have us do?"

"We could beat Percy at his own game and take away his power."

Draco blinked

Ginevra removed her hands from his back. "I know about your political ambitions."

"No," Draco snapped. "I have no intention of running for public office."

"Why not?"

"Because I would be running against Percy. If I run then I would be putting you between your family and me."

"You don't think I'm already wedged between you and my family?"

"This will be different."

"How?"

Draco threw up his arms. "It just is."

Ginevra asked in a soft voice, "What is this really about?"

"What do you mean, 'what is this really about?'"

"Why are you afraid to become Minister of Magic?"

"I'm not afraid of becoming the Minister of Magic."

"Then why not run?"

Draco gulped.

Ginevra continued, "We've spoken at length about your Wizarding communication system. It's brilliant! The Wizarding World needs something like the muggle internet, but it won't gain traction unless it receives government backing."

"We need to update our communication systems," Draco replied. "We're falling behind the muggle world at an alarming rate. If we don't find a more efficient method of communication soon then witches and wizards will decide to live as muggles because it is more convenient."

"Exactly," Ginevra answered. "Wizarding Britain needs this system."

"Yes, it does."

"Then why are you not running for office on the platform that such a system is not only possible, but that it is necessary?"

"Because I'm afraid of what they'll say about me," Draco argued.

Ginevra folded her hands on her lap.

"We've both lived through some nasty elections. They've been rocked by scandal after scandal until it's impossible to determine what the issues even are."

"Then run a clean campaign."

"It doesn't matter how fair I am. Percy will drudge up my history as a Death Eater, he will expose every mistake I've made, and then he will mock you."

"I don't care what he says about you or me."

"Perhaps you should."

Ginevra closed her mouth.

"Look love," Draco's lip quivered. "I know what it cost you to marry me. Your family's rejection stings you even today. Everyone thought you were mad for marrying me, and I'm sure some people still question the wisdom of that decision. I can't subject you to such scrutiny, not again."

"First of all," Ginevra took his hands. "I gave up on my family the day they used their influence to halt Ron's extradition. Second of all, I have become quite good at ignoring the idiots around me."

"What about Orion? How will he react to the accusations and insults being flung our way?"

"He will learn to ignore them the same way our other children learned to ignore their Grandma Weasley."

"Rita Skeeter is harder to ignore than your mother."

"She's also easier to blackmail than Mum is."

He gave her a half smile. "True."

She squeezed his hands. "If you want the absolute truth, I'm surprised it has taken you this long to consider a political career."

"You are?" Draco asked.

Ginevra nodded. "From the day you began courting me, I knew you had a future in politics. How could you not? You are from a high class pureblood family, and you have a deep desire to help others. Sure, you were happy running your corporations, but you've spoken about handing everything over to Carina and Antlia on numerous occasions. You're ready to move on and fulfill other dreams."

"Fine, let's imagine," he stuck up his finger, "and we're only imagining, that I am interested in a political career."

"Okay."

"We need to honestly look at my baggage, the first and foremost I was a Death Eater."

"You were eighteen when you took the mark, and there's ample evidence that you were coerced into doing so."

"I was not coerced into holding pureblood supremacist views."

"You were a teenager spouting off what the adults around you were stating."

"I was a git."

"You act as if nobody knows these tidbits, and that everyone has forgotten how far you've gone to reform your ways."

"I was accused of killing Harry Potter."

"Falsely."

"It still happened."

"You were also the person who funded the international efforts to administer the lycanthropy cure. Nobody has forgotten that."

Draco relaxed. "True."

Ginevra leaned in closer. "I know all your skeletons. There's nothing Percy or the press can throw our way that I'm not aware of."

"No," Draco replied. "Sometimes I feel as if you know me better than I know myself."

"Then you need not worry about how the children and I would fare during a political campaign. Your children know you as well, and they will disregard any attack on your character," Ginevra promised.

"I suppose so," Draco mused.

"Listen," Ginevra concluded. "I do not want you to feel pressured into running for an office you take no interest in holding. All I'm saying is that I should not be the deciding factor in whether or not you run."

"You," Draco rubbed his thumb along her hands. "You would really support me running for Minister of Magic?"

Ginevra kissed him on the cheek. "I already do."

Draco released her. His lips curled up. "Hogwarts has been attacked, and Percy has ignored them as well."

"He has," Ginevra replied.

"I'd imagine that Neville isn't too keen on having a Minister of Magic who ignores the needs of the school so blatantly."

"No, he is not."

There was a spark in his eyes. "If I could immediately procure an endorsement from Hogwarts, then my candidacy would already have some legitimacy."

Ginevra smiled. "Now you're thinking like a Malfoy."

"Indeed," Draco stood up. "I need to write a letter."

"Yes," Ginevra answered. "You do."

Draco brushed his lips against hers. "Thank you for helping me get my head out of my arse long enough to see what's in front of me."

Ginevra replied. "That's what I'm here for."

Draco kissed her forehead before strolling out of the room.

Ginevra took a deep breath, praying she had pointed him in the right direction.