Draco breathed in deeply. “Maybe this was a mistake.”
I raised my eyebrows. “What? Being my friend, being exposed for who you truly are in front of me, telling me about your dark past? You can’t be mad at me.”
His eyes were the same dark, angry gray they were the first day I met him. “You don’t understand.”
I scoffed. The sheet was now resting under my folded arms. “Apparently.”
His face went stone cold. “You couldn’t run from the Dark Lord. You couldn’t not join him. Once you’re down on his list, you’re on it forever. He never forgot you. He didn’t let you fight for what was right,” he lashed. “You think it was easy? You think I enjoyed torturing those people? I’ve seen and done things that you wouldn’t even imagine was possible. I’ve seen and done things so horrible, that you would break down and want to die yourself. You don’t know anything about what I went through.
“Get mad at me all you want, but realize that I didn’t chose this life. I didn’t chose to be a wizard. I didn’t chose to be born into my family. I didn’t chose to be set up with connections to the darkest wizard of all time from when I was first conceived. I was born the way I am, and I had no say in any of it.”
I was silently watching him try and calm himself.
“I had no say in anything I did my whole childhood. It was always, ‘Draco, you must do this’, or ‘Draco, you must learn that’, and ‘Draco, you must be friends with them’. Juliette, it’s like you think I wanted to do those things to those people. I know I’m not the most respected person, and that I have done wrong, but that hurts that you would think of me as a bad wizard, only doing things to harm people.” He stopped to breath. “I’m sorry if what you saw in your nightmare upset you. But understand that I am never doing anything like I did if I have the choice.”
I was so...embarrassed. Thank God it was dark, because my cheeks were burning red. What was I thinking? Saying he had wanted to torture people. Can I ever stop myself from saying stupid things? That notorious “throat lump” grew faster than light as I lay there, wishing to take back that moment.
It was the most awkward silence I’ve ever had in my entire life. For minutes, and I’m not exaggerating, for minutes we were silent, him glaring at me, and me not daring to meet his eyes. I groaned into my pillow.
“I’m sorry...” I mumbled, trying not to cry.
I heard him shuffling around the room until he found the light switch and flipped it on. While he was walking, I quickly wiped my damp eyes.
He nodded and sat down on the bed with his back against the wall. “Do you want to...talk about it?”
I couldn’t hold back a small grin. Asking someone if they wanted to talk about something was probably not near the top of his everyday things.
He, however, wasn’t amused. “I’m serious, Juliette. Because if you’re honestly and truly scared, I can wipe your memory, and never come back...”
“No!” I cried. I remembered my sleeping parents and clapped my hand over my mouth. “No. I’m sorry. I don’t want you to leave. Honestly, I don’t. And I am truly sorry. Really, I am. It’s just...you can’t expect me to be so cool with things like this so quickly...”
He nodded. “I didn’t expect you to. That wasn’t the way I wanted you to find out. I was actually surprised when you didn’t freak out and want to leave.”
“I don’t think I could if I wanted to,” I said, shrugging. “I’d be too interested.”
“And that happens to all of us,” he said, sending a miniscule smile my way. I took that as a relatively good omen.
“Hey. Were you planning on telling me?” I asked suddenly. It took him off guard.
“Uh... Eventually...” he mumbled. “I thought it was a bit too early... I mean, I didn’t even know if I’d see you again after the holiday.”
I grinned. “Now you have to.”
He grinned and shook his head. “I know...”
“I really am sorry, Draco,” I said again. “You’re right. I have no idea what it’s like to have to do those things...”
He shrugged. “It’s something that no one should ever go through. No matter how horrible they are.”
It was silent again, but this time, it was a calm silent. It was still awkward, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t bad.
He then started to explain, completely changing the topic to reduce the stress and my embarrassment, the types of dragons that are in the world.
“Hey. Are you up for an adventure?” he asked, after going over the Hungarian Horntail, the most dangerous dragon breed. Apparently that Potter guy had to take an egg from one of them in this tournament he promised to tell me more about.
I was about to say yes, for anything Draco had to show me was probably amazing (twss), but then I realized the time. “It’s 4:31 in the morning!”
“All the more reason to get up!” he whispered with excitement.
I groaned and threw the white comforter over my head. I felt his warm body lie down next to mine over the blankets. His breathing was steady and calming, and I could feel my eyes starting to droop again. That is, until he took the covers off of my head. I opened one eye slowly to see him smirking at me with bright, beaming eyes.
I was glad that the whole, “you’re totes gonna kill my family and friends” thing was over and forgotten. (Maybe not forgotten, but saved for another day.) Because I really love this Draco a lot more.
“You’re not a morning person, I can see,” he said.
“How could you tell?” I said, turning away.
He shifted closer to me. “Come on, Juliette, you’ll be amazed.”
I groaned dramatically to make him understand I was still weary about this, but I reluctantly climbed out of bead.
“Smashing!” he exclaimed as I walked to my closet.
“What to wear... What to wear...” I mumbled going through my clothes. I didn’t know what Draco had in mind, so I called him in.
“What should you wear?” he asked, his smirk playing on his lips.
“Yes, Draco, what should I wear? And keep it down! If I get caught sneaking out with a boy at this hour...” I said uneasily.
He snorted. “A simple memory charm would do the trick.”
I looked at him with my eyes in slits. “Draco!” I whisper-screamed. “You are not using magic on my family!”
He looked like he regretted it. “I’m sorry. But hurry up so we can apparate!” he said, sounding a excited. “And just wear normal clothes. But bring a jacket, this time. A real one. Because as much as I think the gentleman should give the cold female his jacket, I was turning purple while walking home. That grey one is the only one I packed.”
I grinned and pushed him out and closed the door. “It’s on the desk chair.”
My fingers traced the clothes hanging on the racks until I gave up and grabbed a black and white baseball tee and dark blue skinny jeans. Simple and easy.
I changed quickly, gave my red curls, which were more wavy and calm today, a quick finger comb, and put a bit of mascara on. Good enough for me.
When I returned, I saw Draco sitting on my bed with my cellphone in his hands, looking quite amused, but scared at the same time. Especially when I received a text message, which made the phone vibrate and Draco throw it up in the air.
Who sends a text this early?
“What is that thing?” he hissed, his eyes wide with fear.
I picked it up from the floor and smiled, holding it out. “A cellphone. See? Flip it open like this and you call people.”
“It’s a telephone?” he asked, bewildered.
I nodded and stuffed it in my pocket.
“But why did it just... shake?” he asked, his face still showed shock.
I couldn’t help but laugh while I grabbed my woolen yellow jacket and put it on. “Someone sent me a message. It’s like getting a letter, but you type it on your phone and it will go to someone else’s phone. Pretty nifty, huh?”
He nodded and got up. “Wow. You muggles managed to survive quite nicely without magic.”
“Thank you, sir,” I said, rolling my eyes as he held out his left arm again, and put his right around me.
I grabbed it and silently wished that he would hold on to me tighter, for the thing that would happen in a couple seconds was less than pleasurable. Draco seemed to read my face, though, because he tightened his grip on my waist, but not so it was painful.
“You ready?” he whispered in my ear. I could tell he was smirking again. Boy loves to smirk.
I nodded slowly and shut my eyes tightly, tightening my grip on him even more. He chuckled, and then we were off. I don’t know how he did it, how he managed to transport himself and me to a completely random place.
Trying to put the odd sensation out of my head, I thought about him. I thought about what I dreamt, and what he said in response. It made me, as a normal human being, just feel so...average. There was so much competition in my world, thinking that we’re the ones on top, when really, we’re not. At all.
“Juliette?” he asked, and I realized we were on the ground in a totally new place. I opened my eyes, and saw him staring down at me, confusion spread all over my face. “Are you sick?”
“Surprisingly, no,” I laughed. “I didn’t concentrate on it. Though it was very hard not to.”
He laughed. “What could you have possibly thought about while apparating?”
You. “I don’t know. This whole... situation.”
“I’m a situation now, hmm?” he asked.
I was instantly reminded of guidos, but tried to keep my laughter inside. If Draco couldn’t believe a text message, he certainly wouldn’t understand a tan guy from New Jersey walking around with no shirt on, pointing at his abs. “No, just how there’s a whole other world out there. And us muggles didn’t even suspect it.”
He nodded with The Smirk- he uses it enough for it to have its own name- and led me along the gravel path that I just noticed was there.
We were in a dark green and brown field, with patches of melting snow, a hill rising on our right, and a small path just wide enough for two people to walk on. The sun was just beginning to rise, and I wished I had brought my camera along with us. It was just so beautiful and picture worthy with the way the pinky orange colors crept up from the horizon and blended with the fog. I also wanted a picture of Draco. He just seemed so photogenic with his sharp features, pale skin, and gorgeous eyes. He could be the first wizard model in the muggle world. He’d get a kick out of that, for sure.
“Do you like it?” he asked after we had started walking.
“Like it? This place is so awesome!” I exclaimed.
“Just wait. It gets better,” he said, subconsciously placing a hand on the small of my back and letting me go first where the path became almost covered with snow.
Draco was right. He had never been more right in the time we had known each other. The path started to take us up the hill, and after trudging for what seemed like hours, while it was of course only five minutes at most, we were standing on what I realized to be a cliff. Below us, the dark blue ocean crashed roughly on large, sharp looking rocks and the sun was finally a full orb over the horizon. The cool breeze took my breath away for a moment; it was if I was standing on top of the world. Draco pulled me closer and I was glad he did. His body warmed mine, and his delicious aftershave/mint smell had the faintest hint of blueberries for whatever reason. My hair blew furiously in the wind, but I didn’t care about how bad it would certainly look when the wind died down. This moment was one of the best I’d had in my life. It was so peaceful and real. Plus the kid standing next to me was a total stud/wizard. Who smelled freaking great.
“Do you want to sit?” he asked. I turned to him to give him a questioning look, but melted when I saw him smile like that. “I got us breakfast. I thought it was the least I could do for waking you up so early.”
Right. I had forgotten about that. “I like breakfast,” I sighed, and plopped down.
He followed suit and pulled out a very expensive looking black leather wallet. Was there some drive through wizard dining thing up here or something?
“Uh...” I started, thoroughly confused as to why he needed to pay.
He just smiled and didn’t take his eyes off the wallet. He reached in, and I almost screamed when his arm went all the way down. It was like the wallet was a large bag.
“What...?” I mumbled.
He pulled out two small packages and juice boxes that looked very much like the ones Brooke’s had on sale yesterday. He then pulled out a camera. And then a blanket. A freaking blanket! How deep is that damn wallet?!
“Draco, I know you’re a wizard and all, and it’s mad cool, but how the hell did you do that?!” I asked after a long silence.
He had been arranging our meal, but stopped and started laughing. “Enchantments that make the depth of something a lot bigger than it normal would be. You see, I didn’t want to carry around a bag. That would seem so..”
“Un-Draco-Malfoy-ish,” I finished and he nodded.
“Exactly,” he grinned. “I’ve got a reputation to keep up with.”
“What? Being a pureblood rich and powerful wizard?” I asked with a giggle. “Hate to break it to you, Malfoy, but I think your reputation just died in a well when you enjoyed a conversation with me.”
He looked around and shrugged. “Maybe I want to change my reputation, Jules” he said, nonchalantly. Sparks shot through my body when he called me Jules, and I could feel a blush starting to come. “I mean, you know what I used to be like. I’m afraid that what you saw in your dream is what people actually think of me. I used to be a mean coward, Juliette.”
Draco Malfoy should get the “Most Improved Young Wizard” award for his new social abilities.
“I know that what I saw this morning was nothing close to the truth. You may have been immature during school, but you’re really trying to change. If they knew the Draco I know, they would see that you’re trying so hard,” I said softly.
“I am! But that’s what no one wants to understand. My family, my friends, other kids at Hogwarts who were scared of me,” he cried, dramatically slamming the juice box on to the ground. He let out a defeated groan. “How do you open these things?!”
I chuckled and grabbed it from off the damp grass, and waited until his eyes were locked on to the box to show him that the straw went through the silver hole. “Just pop it through like that.”
He smiled and grabbed mine, obviously wanting to do it himself and show his macho-ness. I watched him as he punctured the small silver hole, and did a dance, until he squeezed it too hard and juice squirted out onto his again, crisp white Oxford shirt.
“Good job,” I laughed, taking a sip of mine. Apple juice. Smart kid.
He mocked me and made a face and took his wand out of his pocket. He aimed it at the stain and magically, it was gone.
“I thought you had to speak to do spells,” I said. Each time he had done magic in front of me so far, he hadn’t said a word.
“I do. But I do them in my head,” he said with The Smirk. “I’m old enough to know how to do these things. I’ll never pass my N.E.W.T.s if I couldn’t do nonverbal spells.”
I didn’t even ask what a N.E.W.T. was. For some reason, I was sure that I would get some long answer about stuff I didn’t understand. “Well, congratulations, Draco.”
“Why thank you, Juliette.”
For the rest of the morning, we ate our breakfast, which turned out to be the best breakfast burritos I’d ever had, and talked about different spells and my family. I told him about my parent’s divorce, my step family, and my real family, while he told me about his favorite hexes and charms and school. I also learned that he, along with many others, decided to retake the school year from last year, which was taken mostly by the war. He also took his camera and started snapping away, much to my protest.
“Draco!” I cried, after he took another close up of me.
He just laughed and started running away, which of course, made me run after him. In the distance, I could see him stop abruptly, his eyes going wide with fear and happiness. He whipped around and motioned me to be quiet, and turned back around, not even blinking.
“Dra-” I started in a whisper, but instantly stopped when I saw what he was staring at. I tried to take in deep breaths, but all I could do was throw myself at him and try to hide myself in his coat. Which sadly, didn’t have the same depth as his stupid wallet.
He pulled me closer to him, but turned me around so I could face it. “I’m not going to let you get hurt,” he whispered in my ear. “Just open your eyes and look at it. She’s beautiful.”
I slowly opened my eyes, just enough to see it lying on the ground 100 feet away. A dragon. A long, black, scaly, sleeping dragon, with green spikes on its back and long black claws. Its wings were huge, a bit lighter than it’s jet black body, but still, a site to see. Now I really wished I brought my camera.
“Isn’t she great?” he asked, his voice full of wonder. A dragon for Draco. Of course. “Now this is what I wanted you to see.”
I nodded and took the camera from his hands. “Can I?” He smiled and stepped away so I could get a better shot. “No, you stay right there! Keep holding on. I don’t want to be taking a picture of her and being alone when she wakes up!”
“You want me to hold on to you,” he asked, The Smirk starting to form.
Duh. “Draco! Please?” I cried, giving him a pouty face.
He rolled his eyes and stepped back, putting his arm around my waist, holding it tight. I smiled and took a picture. And then one of him, which he was highly for, making a ‘creepy sexy’ face.
“Oh!” I almost yelled, glancing at my phone. Draco clapped his hand over my mouth so I wouldn’t wake the dragon, he now wanted to name Olga.
“You’ll wake Olga,” he said into my ear.
“I have to go!” I said back. “It’s 7:45!”
He nodded, showing he understood, and we started for the path.
Every time we apparated, there would be a crack of noise. I fell on the ground again, not distracting myself from the suction as I should have. Draco chuckled and pulled me up.
“I promise, you get used to it,” he laughed, looking around my empty bedroom as I stumbled over to my closet to hang my coat up. Thankfully he remembered it was still early in the morning and needed to be quiet. “You hardly have anything in here... Except for books and these long, skinny, flat square things.”
“A record?” I asked, not knowing if he had ever seen one.
It was true. Looking around my room, you’d be bored. The floor was white, the bed was white, the walls were the lightest possible purple you could imagine, and it was neat and organized with the essentials: desk (also white), book cases (do you even have to guess?), and T.V.).
“A record? The black circle thing?” he asked.
I nodded and pointed to the record player that sat neatly on a small shelf with piles of records around it.
“Your room is nice,” he smiled. “I like it.”
“It’s boring,” I mumbled. Truthfully, I liked it just the way it was. Anything too crazy about it would make me uncomfortable. My hair is wild enough as it is, not to mention the crazy colored clothes I wear, and the wizard kid standing at the bookshelf.
“It suits you,” he pointed. He’s too smart.
He took his eyes away from the book he was staring at, (Catcher in the Rye), and shook his head. “No, of course not. It balances things. Your hair is crazy, in a good way, your clothes are brighter than anything I’ve seen in a while, and you have so many books and records that it all looks nice. Plus, I just popped into your life,” he said with an award winning smile.
Kid knows how to charm a girl.
I rolled my eyes and lay down on my bed, still trying to get over the lightheadedness I was currently going through. I kicked my shoes off, which Draco so kindly, observing my obsession with neatness, put them in the closet in I assume was where my shoes normally go. My eyes started to droop with a sudden exhaustion I had assumed would soon come, and Draco put the white, down comforter over me.
“This morning was amazing,” I mumbled into my pillow. “Thanks, Draco.”
He gently brushed the stray hair off of my face, and while doing so, it made me realize that he really wasn’t what everyone thought he was. He was...gentle...?
“Go to sleep. It’s Christmas Eve,” he said, ignoring my thank you.
“What about you?” I asked, trying to keep my eyes open to look at him. All I managed to see though, was a head of blond hair and pale skin.
“I don’t like to sleep,” he muttered. As he stroked my hair again, we both heard the sound of footsteps in my mom and step dad’s room down the hall. “Goodbye, Juliette. I’ll see you later.”
Before I could even say goodbye, he had left with a crack, and I drifted off to sleep.
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