Chapter Eighteen – Skylar
Nearly two weeks, that felt like several years, later and I was still on non – speaking terms with Draco. And I didn’t even know why. Which proved that it was completely and utterly ludicrous.
“I have to talk to him.” I muttered under my breath, “I have to. Oh, but what would I say?” I was pacing now, slowly, around the room, “Should I tell him how I feel or…or…oh, I don’t know!” I sank onto my bed feeling utterly defeated.
I glanced up to see Hermione standing in the doorway.
She smiled, “We’ve gotta go now. We’ll be late for Potions.”
I nodded absentmindedly and reached for my satchel.
As we were heading out the door, Hermione gave me a sideways glance, “Are you okay?” she asked, “You…it just seems like something’s bothering you.”
I smiled weakly, “It’s nothing. Don’t worry. Mental breakdown of the day is all.”
She frowned uncertainly, “Well, if you’re sure…”
I nodded firmly, “I am. Trust me.”
Hermione nodded and began walking. I paused a moment, mentally shook myself, and then followed her.
All throughout Potions I couldn’t help but constantly glance over at Draco. Once or twice he caught my gaze and sent me a faint smile or a mouthed hello. Each time he did so, I blushed a bit and looked away. But deep down I knew that I had to speak with him.
After class I made the decision.
“Library.” I whispered as I passed him by, “Now.” And then I hurried off.
I stood in the back corner of the library, waiting. I shuffled around and rocked back and forth on my feet, wondering he’d really come. It was at least ten minutes before he did.
“Hi there.” He said.
“I’m so sorry.” I said spreading my hands wide.
Draco smirked, “What’s this? No hello?”
I ignored him, “I overreacted. I know I did and I am so, so sorry.”
He smiled, “It’s ok. I don’t care. And besides, you’re impossible to stay mad at.”
Ignoring that as well, I motored on, “I completely understand where you’re coming from. You’re worried and I respect that.”
He nodded, “Thank you.”
I took a deep breath, “Ok. Done.”
Draco tilted his head, studying me intently, “Does this mean I get to hug you now?”
I laughed, raked one hand through my hair on reflex and nodded. He walked briskly forward and pulled me into his arms. It felt good. So very good. And incredibly normal and natural. But then he moved away.
“I take it you’re still going though?” he asked me, hands on my face, eyes studying me as if exploring my face for the very first time.
I nodded, “It’s the last high school dance of my life. I’m not missing it.” I paused and chewed my lip, focusing my gaze so that it bore into his eyes, “And…you?”
He stiffened slightly, “Pansy asked me.”
I scrutinized him, “I see.”
We were then silent for several minutes before I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable.
“I…umm,” I cleared my throat, my gaze dropping and rising, unsure as to whether I could meet his eyes with my own, “I should go.” The words were a whisper. I pulled back and, snatching up my satchel, turned away from him.
I heard Draco sigh, “Right.”
I looked back over my shoulder and forced a smile onto my face, “I’ll see you.”
He smiled and nodded. And then I left.
Friday evening came, and with it, the dance. I looked into the full-length bathroom mirror in front of me. The dress I’d found complemented me perfectly, a halter neck, the snowy white colour blending well with my blonde hair, loose and tumbling down my back, and blue eyes. And the dark jewel that hung at my throat. It all seemed to fit.
I tilted my face from left to right, as if I was looking for blemishes in my sharp, polished exterior. Looking for anything that might reveal the sorrows that lingered on the inside.
I exited the common room with a sigh. What was more disappointing than going to a dance alone? Away from the one person you’d want to be with? Sure enough, the corridor was empty of all people. My friends had gone ahead of me and so I made my way to the hall alone. Even before I reached the doorway I could hear the music. Beautiful, calm and soothing. I smiled despite myself. Then I turned a corner and found myself staring at the one person I had not counted on being here.
Draco Malfoy stood two or so steps down from where I was. He was in dress robes, a smile playing gleefully across his lips and a single red rose in hand.
He came towards me and wrapped himself around me, “You. Are. Stunningly beautiful.” He whispered.
I smiled, “And you’re a liar.” But secretly I did feel a little bit beautiful. I mean, everyone deserves that one night. Then I frowned, “I thought you were going with Pansy?”
He shook his head, “I said she asked me. I never said I agreed.”
“So…you were never gonna go with her?”
He shook his head again, “Nope.”
I shoved my face into my hands, “Oh, I’ve been such an idiot. I completely misinterpreted this.”
Draco laughed and stroked my cheek, “And that’s what I love about you.”
I smiled, blushing.
“Are you ready for this?” Draco asked, slate grey eyes soulful and full of longing.
My breath caught as I stared at him, “I thought -”
He shook his head, “I’m ready if you are. All you have to do is say yes.”
I closed my eyes for a moment, letting this sink in. He was ready. At last, we could be free from the secrets and the worry and, well, everything that had been holding us down. It was like a great weight was about to be lifted from me.
And so I said, with more feeling than ever, “Finally.”
He smiled at me, that soft smile that is almost invisible on his lips, leaned forward and placed a kiss on my cheek. And so, with a deep breath, we began our descent.
The doors opened, as they did for every other person, and we entered. The gasps and whispers were amounting to nothing I could have previously imagined. Everyone was staring. And I mean everyone. Even the teachers. Obviously no one had ever seen history in the making before.
Together we made our way through the gawking crowds to my friends, the girl population of whom were waving like lunatics.
“I can’t believe you actually did it!” Vicky squeaked,
“Whoa,” Ron said, “Don’t tell me that you actually knew about this?” Vicky, Gin and Hermione all nodded and rolled their eyes. It was as if they’d been practicing, “And you didn’t try to stop them? What is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with us?” Hermione asked quizzically, “Sky’s practically your sister and you’re telling us you can’t even try and be happy for her?”
“He’s a Slytherin git, Hermione.” Ron spat, “The same git who’s called you ‘mudblood’ for four years in a row.”
“People change, Ron.” I cut in, “Can’t you accept that and move on?”
Ron looked at me as if I was a loony, “What? You have got to be kidding me! He’s a bloody Slytherin, Sky! How can you not see how wrong this is?”
I tightened my grip on Draco’s arm, “Draco and I are perfectly happy together, alright? We don’t need you to tell us what to do.”
Ron rolled his eyes angrily, “’We’” He mocked, “If it’s ‘we’ why isn’t he defending the relationship too, huh?”
“It’s because I’m worried that if I even open mouth for
one second you’ll punch the living daylights out of me.” Draco growled.
Ron shut up but his face was red with anger.
Ginny grinned, “Problem solved.” She said, “Now can we please get back to the party aspect of this party?” And so, once again, it was the girls who eased the tension.
Six party dances, two slow – dances and a kiss or two later I felt full exhilarated and more than a little loved. At least, I did, until Harry came over and pulled me aside.
“Why?” He asked.
I frowned, “Why what?”
“Why would you do this?” He asked, exasperated, “He’s the enemy, Sky. For all I know he could’ve somehow compelled you to tell him all about our plans!”
“Compelled me?” I scoffed. “Not only is that impossible but it is also very improbable.”
“Don’t change the subject.” He growled.
“I’m not!” I cried, “And even if he could, he wouldn’t! He’d never do that to me! Ever! And I’d never betray you!”
“What if he’d performed an Unforgivable?” Harry cried, “What then?”
“He wouldn’t!” I practically shrieked, “For Merlin’s sake! I knew that Ron wouldn’t take it well; I knew he’d be uncooperative. But you? I thought I knew you well enough that you wouldn’t act like this! For crying out loud, you. Are. My guy – best – friend!”
“I’m also the one who’s fighting against the person that Malfoy’s working for! Or do you not get that?”
“I get it.” I said, my voice dropping, “What I don’t get is your attitude! And how would you know if he’s working with Voldemort?”
“It makes absolutely perfect sense, that’s how!” Harry exclaimed, “He’s a bloody Malfoy! A Slytherin! He doesn’t like me. He doesn’t like muggle borns and he most certainly doesn’t. Like. You.”
I sucked in breath and I knew the tears were going to fall. But before they could, I turned and ran from the hall.
When I entered the Room, tears streaming down my face, I was surprised to see it had changed from the last time I’d been here. Instead of showing me the almost – bedroom, there was now a room, a vast, vast room, filled with piles upon piles of junk and clutter and really old things as far as the eye could see. I sniffled and rubbed my eyes and then began to make my way through the endless piles of stuff.
After a couple minutes of blind and seemingly endless wandering I came across a used, but comfortable looking, couch. I flung myself onto it and buried my face into the cushions. Then I began sobbing.
I had been there no longer than three minutes at the most when I felt a warm hand begin to rub my back.
“Shh, shh. It’s ok. It’s all going to be fine.” Draco whispered, holding my trembling shoulders.
I turned my body to face him, “How?” I mumbled, “How is any of this ever going to be ok? Harry’s like a brother to me, a brother. And now, because of all this, he hates me.” I choked on a sob, “He hates me. And there’s nothing I can do to make it right. Nothing.” I sobbed again, bending my head and muttering nothing over and over as I pulled my knees to my chest.
Draco gathered me into his arms, strong and comforting, “Hey, hey. It’s ok.” He held me to him, my head on chest, and rocked me back and forth, “He doesn’t hate you. He doesn’t. He’s just hurt. He’ll come round. I promise.”
I snivelled, “You think so?”
“Hey,” he smiled and tilted my chin up with a finger, “look at me. I know so.”
I pressed my face into my hands, “Oh, I don’t know.” I moaned, “Maybe you were right before. Maybe this was an awful plan after all. I mean, Harry and Ron hate me…and your friends. Oh God,” I shook my head in disbelief, “I’m surprised you’re still alive.”
“Look at me.” He said, taking my face in his hands, “Look at me.” He smiled, “I was wrong. So utterly wrong.” He brushed a strand of hair out of my eye, tucking it behind my left ear, “I shouldn’t care what they think of me. Of us. And I don’t, okay? I don’t. And, to prove it to you, you’re having breakfast with us tomorrow. The entirety of Slytherin house.”
I shook my head, “No. Uh – uh. No. I can’t.”
“Yes, you can.” Draco smiled at me, holding my gaze, “You can and you will and you’ll be completely and utterly fine, okay?” I nodded slowly and he exhaled in relief, “Okay. Good.” We sat there awkwardly for a little while, but it was a little while too long.
I crashed my mouth down onto his, drinking him in, exploring every inch of his mouth like it was that first time all over again. I could tell he was surprised at first, pleasantly I hoped, but he did kiss me back, slowly at first but it gradually turned into something more and more passionate. His lips left my mouth and moved downwards to kiss my neck, then he moved his hands from my cheeks and allowed them to rest on my waist. Holding me there, he lifted me up and off of the couch.
“What are you doing?” I asked, a little dazed from the sudden turn of events.
Draco took one of my hands in his own and twirled me around in a large circle, “We are going to have our own party.” He twirled me again and we both laughed, mischief glinting in his stony eyes, “No, come on.” He said, suddenly mock – serious, “You have to do it right.”
I raised an eyebrow playfully, “You know how to dance? I had no idea.”
Draco rolled his eyes, “Fourth year.” He smiled, “It was compulsory, remember?”
I nodded, almost as if to myself, “How could I forget?” I glanced up at him, “You were terrible.” I joked.
He looked at me, “Oh really?”
I nodded again, trying to control my laughter, “Yep. Absolutely awful.”
“Hmm,” he said, “We’ll see.” I laughed at him and he shook his head, “Ok, come on. One hand on my shoulder.” I did so, biting my lip, “Good.” He smiled at me, “And here we go.” We began to do a sort of waltz around the room, quite badly I should add.
“What are we doing?” I laughed, “We’re not any good at this and, besides, we have no music.”
Draco spun in a circle before bringing me so close we were practically nose-to-nose, “Then we’ll make some.” He whispered, hot breath on my ear. And then he began to hum.
It was a pretty tune, but not one I recognised. He slipped both arms around me and instead of waltzing we were now simply rocking. Back and forth, round and round. I linked my hands behind his head, playing with the soft tufts of hair at the nape of his neck, and rested my head on his chest, letting him rock me to and fro to the tune of his song and the beat of his heart.
“What are you singing?” I whispered, keeping my voice as quiet as I could as it felt incredibly wrong in the silence.
He let out a short, almost embarrassed, breathy cough, “My…mother used to sing this to me. I can’t quite remember the words but I’ve never forgotten the melody.”
I gave a small smile, “It’s beautiful.”
He nodded, almost in a daze, “Yes.” He whispered, sadness tinting his voice, “Yes, I suppose it is.”
I let my eyes wander up to his face and, to my surprise, I saw tears running in a thin line down one cheek. I reached up and brushed some away with my fingertips.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, my brow creasing with worry.
He looked at me, “Ah…umm.” He brushed the rest away with a hand, “Ah…nothing. It’s nothing.”
I tilted my head, “Hey,” I said, placing my hands on either side of his face, “It’s ok. You don’t have to be so strong all the time.” Draco glanced away, but I’d already seen the tears glistening in his eyes, threatening to free – fall. I gathered him in my arms, “Shh,” I whispered slowly, “It’s ok.” The ironic thing was, not twenty minutes ago, it had been him comforting me.
Draco pulled back and turned away from me, rubbing his eyes, “I’m sorry.” He said, sinking onto the couch, “I guess we’re both feeling a little vulnerable this evening.”
I smiled sympathetically and sat down next to him, “We all have our down days.” I said giving his shoulder a light squeeze.
He turned to face me again and suddenly it was as if I was seeing someone else entirely. Someone more vulnerable, more open, more…human. He placed one hand on my face, caressing my cheek with his thumb. He tilted his head and smiled weakly.
“I don’t deserve this.” He whispered sadly, “I don’t deserve you.”
I searched his eyes, “What are you saying?” I said, holding his hands that were now resting on my face, “Of course you do. Of course you deserve me.”
He shook his head, “No I don’t.” his eyes flitted around from the floor to my face and finally stopping to stare deeply into my eyes, “But I love you. And I suppose that’s what counts.”
I pressed my lips to his, tears glistening behind my eyelids, “I love you to.” I said, itching to be closer to him, “I do.”
He smiled sadly, “I know.” I frowned. He nodded, as if he understood my confusion, “I was awake that night, when you confessed all your thoughts and feelings right there, in the hospital wing, without ever knowing if you’d get an answer.” He tilted his face, studying me, “And now you have.”
I jerked back a millimetre, covering my mouth with my hands to suppress the gasp bubbling up in my throat, “Why didn’t you say something earlier?”
He took my face in his hands, brushed hair from my eyes and gazed into them. I thought I could feel him looking into my soul, “I don’t know.” He said, “It never felt like the right time.”
“And now is?” I asked.
Draco moved forwards and planted a lingering kiss on my forehead, “Yes. Now is.”
I returned to the girls dorm late.
“Where’ve you been?” Vicky exclaimed, engulfing me in a bear hug, “We thought you’d gone and died.”
“No, we didn’t.” Ginny said, “It was nothing like that.”
I smiled, something I hadn’t been able to stop doing since the moment Draco and I had shared in the Room, “Well, Vick’s been known to exaggerate.” She huffed, “It doesn’t matter anyway. I’m fine.”
Hermione shot me a curious glance, “What happened to you?” she asked, “Where did you go?”
I sighed, “Long story short, Harry yelled, I ran, Draco followed, we danced, kissed, confessed our undying love for one another, etcetera, etcetera.”
For a minute there was only stunned silence, then the three of them burst into excited squeals and lots of jumping. Laughing, I joined in.
“What was it like?” Ginny asked, “Was it wonderful? Romantic?”
I nodded, “Romantic sure. But, in truth, it was actually kind of sad.” They frowned at me, “What I mean is, he said he didn’t deserve me but he loved me anyway.”
A chorus of aw’s went up around the room. I smiled and went into the bathroom to change. When I emerged again I was no longer the pure whit princess I had been. I was now back to being Skylar Anderson: regular girl in purple and white checked pyjamas.
“Oh, and before I forget,” I said, whilst pulling the bedcovers over me, “I won’t be eating with you guys tomorrow.”
Hermione frowned, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, that Draco invited me to sit with him for breakfast.” I explained.
“You? Sit with Slytherin?” Ginny said, “Don’t you think that’s a tad bit risky?”
I nodded, “Yes, I do. But Draco will take care of me. Promise. I’ll be back in one piece.”
The three of them shared a glance.
“If that’s really what you want,” Vicky said finally, “then we’re right behind you. Best friends honour.”
I smiled, “Thank you.” And then, with a quick mutter of nox, the lights went out and my mind was laid at rest with thoughts and images of Draco, comforting me and lulling me to sleep.
Hi!!!!! So this is my latest chapter. i'm sorry if you guys found it a bit too mushy or whatever. anyway, hope you liked it!! please review!!
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