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Summary- You know, perhaps I should have taken you to see Sleeping Beauty...

“Urgh. Where am I?” I ask groggily, my head hurts, pounding with the rhythm of my hearts palpitations; but it heavy, as though it’s been filled with lead whilst I was asleep. It now rattled around inside my skull causing more noise to the already constant din.


Slowly, I dare to open my eyes, against the harsh glare of the sun and the sharp artificial light, flickering slightly, above my head.

“You know, perhaps I should have taken you to see Sleeping Beauty- judging by how you’ve been for the past two days.” A wry voice, I recognise and love, hast the hint of a smirk, and the combining tones of both humour and relief. “But all I’m going to say is that I’m glad that it wasn’t for a hundred years, even if it did seem like it at times.”

The bearer of the voice has moved, has taken my hand in his, and is holding it lovingly to his lips. “I’m so sorry.” I croak out. My throat is sore also, and grates as I speak. Sensing this, he pours me a glass of cool water and presses it to my parted lips. His free hand caresses my clammy face and hair tenderly.

“Don’t be silly, you don’t have anything to be sorry about.” I push myself up so I’m sitting looking at him. He looks older, more worn, tired, stressed and then his gaze meets mine and I realise why.

“You’re blaming yourself aren’t you?” I whisper, he doesn’t answer but I know that look well enough. I know it and he knows that I know.

“Why shouldn’t I be Hermione?”

“Because you didn’t know!”

“But I gave you the dress.”

“Oh so now what are you going to do wrap me up in cotton wool?” I demanded and instantly wishing I hadn’t I went lightheaded and Draco noticed the slight change.

“Please, please Hermione don’t over-do yourself, we’ve only just been able to get you back to the land of the living.”

“What happened exactly? They didn’t tell me much.” I explain frowning trying to remember just what they told me, but it was a blur and nothing had made any real sense.

“The dress I gave you was poisoned with something called Poena quod nex. Do you know what it is?” He asked me gently, and I nodded.

“Yeah, I know what it is. Rare and unforgiving.”

“Putting it mildly.”

“Were you poisoned as well?” I’m searching his face for an answer but it’s blank, not even his eyes are telling me anything, no clue as to what happened whilst I was verging on the fine line between life and death.

“Very, very slightly. But I hadn’t realised, I was so worried about you.”

“I can’t remember much but I can remember asking for you.”

“They told me.”

“Were you worried?”

“Terrified for you, what kind of a question is that anyway?” I smile and a small giggle escapes me and he hugs me tightly to him.

“A silly one.” I answer his question.

“For a silly woman, you have no idea just how horrible it was waiting for any news.”

“Oh I think I do Draco, ten days before Christmas... I had no idea where you were, whether or not you were alive, dying or dead, I just had to wait, and pray that you were going to be alright.” He smiled gently, and took my hand in both of his again.

“Just promise that you’re never going to do that to me again.”

“So long as you do the same, and that you’ll never do what you did to me again.”

“Call it even?” He asked almost hopefully, the first true smile making its way onto his face, and into his eyes. The effect was devastating, all the tension was released and I could relax my clenched heart as I saw this.

“Call it even.” I told him pressing my forehead to his and brushing my nose against his.

“I’ll always love you Hermione.”

“I’d be worried if you didn’t Draco.”

“Why?” I laughed as though I couldn’t answer that, pulling away from him I listed off the reasons on my fingers.

“Hmmm, Ginny, Harry, Ron, George, Charlie, Bill, Molly, Arthur, my Father, my Mother, Astoria, Daphne,  can I borrow your fingers?” I asked holding his hands up. “Thank you, now where was I? Your Mother, your Father, Blaise- because he loves the fact I’m the only person who can wind you up more than him, and don’t forget Teddy.”

“OK, ok, you’ve made your point.” He sighed in resignation, and looked at me. “Now please, get some rest.”

“Only if you promise to do the same, you look shattered.”

“Fine, you win.”

“I always do...” I told him snuggling deeper into the bed and almost instantly falling asleep, but not before I felt his soft lips press against my forehead and his footsteps leaving the room.

Well guess what my romantic brain’s back!!! Yes I know, no more angst for a long time I should think. It’s been it conquered and then decided to retreat with its victory!

Anyways, I really hope that you enjoyed this chapter. I enjoyed writing it and I’m just starting 47 as I put this into the queue. So it might be a little while until 47 comes out I’m afraid as I have a fair amount of school work on at the moment and I’m trying to find the right balance between writing and work. Which has meant staying up quite late at night if I’m honest with you.

Thank you- as ever- has to go to each and every one of you who has taken the time out to review. Each and every comment does mean an awful lot to me because you’ve taken the time to tell me what you thought. As I ever I do always answer them because I love getting them and you do deserve answers to your queries or speculations.

Ruth

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