Ginny looked up as the bell above the café door rattled, forcing herself to take a deep breath as the man she was waiting for walked inside. She recognized him the moment she saw him, memories of the man being pointed out in photographs flashing through her head, and that was the instant where the depth of what she was facing finally hit her. The man made his way through the crowded café and approached the table, taking off his jacket and slinging it across the back of the chair before smiling at the waitress that walked up as he sat down. Ginny's hands curled around the edge of the table as the waitress walked away and she studied the man for a moment, giving in to her need to state the obvious. “So you are Draco.”
The man laughed slightly as the waitress returned, setting his cup of coffee in front of him, then nodded as she walked away. “And you are Ginevra.”
“Ginny,” she corrected quickly, swallowing hard. “Everyone calls me Ginny.”
Draco reached towards his cup slowly. “When he talks about you, he calls you Ginevra.”
Ginny let her eyes briefly close as a wave of hurt washed over her, then opened them again to find Draco staring at her. “He talks about me?”
“About you, about James,” Draco said, bringing the cup to his lips and taking a small sip. “He never used to, but once he found out that I knew, he's started to mention things here and there.”
Ginny forced herself to take another deep breath, watching as Draco set the cup down and reached for a packet of sugar. “How did you find out then?”
“Luna,” Draco said softly, pouring the contents of the packet into his drink and stirring it. “I ran into her when she was pregnant with James and offered up my congratulations, inquired about the father. I almost walked straight into a lamppost when she said it was Harry. She explained the situation to me.”
“My son is nearly three years old,” Ginny choked out. “How long has this been going on?”
Draco glanced around the café and sighed heavily. “I'm not sure this is an appropriate place for that part of this conversation.”
“You're sleeping with my husband,” Ginny said pointedly. “I can't believe you have the nerve to think about appropriateness.”
Draco sat back in his chair and ran his hands over his face, sighing. “It's happened on and off since we were teenagers,” he admitted quietly. “To be completely honest, it's never mattered if either of us was involved with someone else. It's happened anyway. I need him in a way that I don't expect you to understand. Or maybe you would. I imagine that it's not that unlike the way you need him.”
“This has been happening the entire time he's known me?” Draco nodded and Ginny stared at him for several moments. “So my entire life with him has been a lie, then? Is that what you're saying?”
“No,” Draco said, shaking his head vigorously. “No, not in the slightest. He and I could never have the life that you two have built together. It would never work, and we've always known that. He is with you because he wants to be, and he wants to be because he loves you. There is no lie about that.”
“Then what does he need you for?” Ginny asked bitterly.
“I assume he needs me for the same reason I need him.” Draco paused and sipped at his coffee again. “I can't explain to you why we keep doing this. I can't even explain it to myself. I've ruined enough relationships of my own over Harry, I don't want to ruin his too.”
“Well, it's a little too late for that,” Ginny declared, staring straight at Draco. “You're already ruining my marriage.”
“It doesn't have to ruin your marriage.”
“What was I supposed to do then? Pretend I don't know?”
Draco sighed and pushed his cup away from the edge of the table. “So you told him that you know then?”
“No,” Ginny said softly, slumping down in her chair. “What am I supposed to do? Say 'oh, and by the way, I know you're cheating on me' in the middle of dinner? No, I have to figure out how to bring it up first.”
Draco sighed again. “Look, Ginny...”
“I want you to stay away from my husband,” Ginny said firmly. “I want you to stay away from him and leave us alone.”
“I can't do that,” Draco replied, shaking his head when Ginny started to protest. “No, Ginny, I can't do that. And I think you'd find if you put the same ultimatum to Harry that he couldn't do it either.”
Ginny pushed her chair back and stood, reaching for her wallet and throwing some money down on the table. “Excuse me, I can't stay here and listen to this anymore.”
“Ginny,” Draco started, standing up and tossing money of his own onto the table, grabbing his jacket and following as Ginny pushed her way out of the café. “Ginny, wait!”
Ginny shook her head and walked straight into someone, looking up only to find Harry's concerned eyes staring back at her. “Oh, well isn't this just motherfucking perfect.”
“Ginny,” Harry began, only for Ginny to push him away.
“Don't fucking touch me,” Ginny spat out, quickly running off and blending in with the crowd on the sidewalk.
“She knows,” Draco said quickly, approaching Harry and staring off after Ginny. “I don't know how she knows, but she knows.”
“Luna told her,” Harry said softly, putting his hands in his pockets and heading off in the direction Ginny had gone. “She told me when I came home to find her watching James instead of Ginny.”
Draco fell into step next to him, sighing heavily. “I thought you said she was going to keep her mouth shut about it.”
“I did,” Harry said, weaving his way through the crowd, his eyes searching for Ginny. “She said she felt like she had to for James. I can't really blame her for that.”
Harry sighed impatiently when they reached a crosswalk, wanting to dart through traffic but thinking better of it. “Fuck, we have to end this.”
Draco's eyes widened in surprise. “End it?” he stuttered.
“I can't lose them, Draco,” Harry said, pushing his way through the crowd the moment the cars slowed to a stop.
Draco struggled to keep up but eventually found himself walking alongside Harry again. “Harry.”
“No, Draco,” Harry said, stopping and turning toward him. “It's time. Luna's right, you know. I've got to think about my son and he needs his daddy more than I need you.”
“I told Astoria after I found out Ginny knew. I thought this was finally going to be out in the open.” Draco stumbled as someone bumped into him, grabbing onto Harry's elbow to steady himself. “Because we can't end it, Harry. We've tried to end it before. It's never worked.”
“You told Astoria?” Harry exclaimed, looking up to find Ginny staring at them from a little further down the sidewalk. “Ginny!”
Ginny kept her eyes on Draco as Harry made his way to her, closing them once Harry wrapped his arms around her, murmuring apologies. “Harry.”
“I'm sorry, love,” Harry whispered, holding Ginny as close as he could. “I never meant for you to find out like this.”
“You never meant for me to find out at all,” Ginny said, opening her eyes to see Draco staring at her. “I don't understand. He tried to explain it but I just...”
Harry brushed his lips along Ginny's temple. “There's nothing to understand. I fucked up and I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.”
“No you're not,” Ginny said, shaking her head. “You don't do something for this long and be sorry for doing it. I just don't understand.”
"I can't explain it," Harry admitted. "I don't understand it either. But I am sorry because I know I've hurt you. I'm sorry about that."
Ginny took a deep breath. “I think we should go home and talk about this. The three of us.”
“I don't think James is going to understand, love,” Harry said, a small smile on his face.
“Not James,” Ginny said softly. “Him. And maybe whoever this Astoria you were talking about is too.”
Harry glanced back towards Draco. “Astoria is his girlfriend. At least she was. I'm not sure how she's handled the news.”
“I hate how much I need you,” Ginny whispered. “I've always sworn to myself that if anyone cheats on me I'm gone, and now here I am wanting to reach some sort of compromise so you can keep doing it.”
Harry blinked rapidly, his mouth open in shock. “Excuse me?”
“Seeing you two together like that, it's just...” Ginny trailed off and glanced up at Harry. “I'm not having this conversation in the middle of a sidewalk. So you go get Draco, have him round up Astoria, I'll cook dinner, and we'll figure this all out.”
Harry watched as Ginny pulled away from him and walked away, his eyes following Ginny's every move as she headed back in the direction of the café. Draco approached him carefully, finally dragging Harry's gaze away, and Harry slung an arm around his shoulders. “I'm confused and I think I'm possibly more in love with her than ever. But you're apparently having dinner at our place tonight and you're supposed to bring Astoria with you.”