If ever you're in my arms again
Draco helped Luci back to her seat before taking his own. He tapped his goblet with his finger and waited for it to be refilled magically.
Luci did the same thing with her glass, "So, explain to me one thing. Blaise told me you two were best mates, but how come he doesn't know about you and Hermione?"
"Nobody in my House knew," he replied before taking a large swig from his drink.
"I see," she said. She leaned back on her seat and crossed her legs, "I was able to ask him some questions and based from what I gathered, he's really serious with her," she said.
He braced his elbows on his knees, his goblet dangling precariously in his hand. "I know that, I can see it in the way he looked at her," he sighed.
"This is a bloody circus," she breathed out. She then plucked her glass from the table and took a sip, "And your woman is the ring leader and she doesn't even know it, it's preposterous!"
He chanced a glance at Hermione and watched her laugh with her friends, "She's worth it, Luci and a whole lot more," he said.
"I know that, but what are you planning to do?"
He let out another sigh, "Honestly? I really don't know."
She shifted closer and nudged his shoulder, "Don't look so down, I'm sure it'll come to you. You just have to find another opening, you're a Malfoy - you've got this."
He can't help but smile at her statement, "Thank you for doing this, I wouldn't have thought of asking to dance if you didn't force my arse to the dance floor."
She lifted her chin and gave him fake haughty look, "Yes, you owe big time. Forget about what I said about us being even if you get her back, I changed my mind."
He threw his head back and let out a full belly laugh.
She smiled as she took another sip from her glass, "Did you at least get to talk to her?" she asked.
"I did, I told her I missed her."
"What did she say?"
He cracked a smile, "She told me that she missed me too and had to double check if I was really standing right in front of her," he replied.
She nodded approvingly, "That's a good sign. What else did she say?"
He emptied his goblet before placing it back on the table, "We weren't able to cover much. I was about to broach the topic, but wasn't able to continue because Blaise interrupted us."
"I'm sorry about that, I should've asked him for another dance," she said with a wince.
"It's okay," he said. He then leaned back on his seat and stretched his legs, "I'll try to talk to her again, I'll look for another opening."
She turned her face to him, "You still love her that much, huh?"
"After all these years," she said with a sigh. "You really surprise me, cousin dear."
"I surprise myself too," he replied. He then moved his gaze back to Hermione, "I didn't think I was capable of love, but look where I'm at right now? Still pinning for a woman who may or may not have forgotten about me," he paused and moved his eyes back to his cousin. "She may have admitted that she missed me, but missing is different from loving. You can miss someone without still loving them, right?"
She shifted on her seat, "I really can't answer that question because I'm not her. I don't know how her mind works, sorry," she replied with a sympathetic look.
"You don't have to spare my feelings, go on," he coaxed.
She averted her gaze, "Yes, it's a possibility."
He felt his heart drop to his stomach, "What do you think I should do? Should I just walk away like I did before? She seems happy with him," he admitted grudgingly.
She wrinkled her nose at him, "Don't you dare. Just because she seemed happy standing beside Blaise doesn't mean he's the best choice for her. Assuming only makes an arse out of you, just talk to her and go from there," she said.
He hung his head, "But I'm scared to know the answer," he mumbled.
She placed her glass back to the table before reaching for his hand, "Look at me," she demanded.
He lifted his face and met her gaze, "What?"
"You've loved her for years and that has to count for something. Now, this is what you'll have to do, you'll go find her later and tell her how you feel. If she still feels the same way for you then fight for her. If she doesn't then that's the time you walk away and move on with your life, do I make myself clear?"
He seemed to mull over her before nodding, "Okay, I can do that."
"Good," she said as she pulled her hand away.
"I really don't know what I'll do without you, Luci."
She shrugged, "You'll never be without me, I consider you as a brother and as siblings, I have an obligation to kick your arse to put some sense back into your blonde head," she replied nonchalantly.
"You're my sister too," he said. He then nudged her shoulder, "Kicking is an understatement, I remember you blasting my door open," he snorted.
She rolled her eyes, "You locked yourself inside your room for 3 straight days without eating, what did you expect me to do? Watch you die?"
"You're exaggerating, Mum is just rubbing her worry worth attitude on you," he teased.
"I'll tell Aunt Cissy you said that," she chimed.
"Don't you dare!"
After an hour:
"Blaise?" Hermione whispered.
Blaise peered down at her, "Yes?"
"Can we go back? I'm not feeling well," she lied.
He furrowed his brows and stopped swaying with the music, "You do look rather pale, are you dizzy?" he asked.
She nodded; "Can we go back to the table please?"
"Of course, let's go," he replied and ushered her out of the dance floor.
Upon reaching the table, she instantly tapped Ginny's back, "Gin, can you come with me for a sec?" she asked.
"Of course, is everything alright?" Ginny asked as she stood up.
"Just the powder room," she replied.
"Aren't you going to sit first, Mione? You really look faint," Blaise while eyeing her with concern.
"What do you mean she's feeling faint?" Ginny asked.
"She told me while we're dancing."
"Don't worry about me, I will be okay in a few minutes. I just really need to go to the powder room," she interjected even before Ginny can start asking questions again.
Ginny hooked her arm around hers, "I'll take care of her," she said.
"Okay," Blaise replied.
"Come here, Zabini and sit with us," Harry said.
"I'll be back before you know it," she said with a small smile.
Blaise nodded at her before sitting on the chair that Ginny vacated.
Ginny tugged on her hand, "Let's go," she said.
She nodded, "Yeah," she replied.
Ginny steered them along the crowd, "So, now that we're alone, tell me what's really wrong?" she asked lowly.
"Whatever gave you an idea that there's something wrong?"
Ginny pushed the double doors open, "You were dying to get rid of your date," she rolled her eyes.
She cringed, "That obvious?"
Ginny chuckled, "Don't worry about it, Blaise can be thick if he wants to."
She stopped walking and turned to face Ginny, "Draco, he's here," she blurted out.
Ginny pulled her hand away and folded her arms on top of her chest, "I'm aware. I saw you dancing together."
She checked where they are and when she realized that they're near the Rose Garden, she quickly steered Ginny towards that direction.
"Where on earth are you taking me?"
"Walls have ears," she replied.
She led Ginny towards the stone bench and made a quick scan of the area. Once she's sure that they're the only ones there, she let her facade down and started pacing. "He told me he missed me and it had been hell being without me."
Ginny moved towards the bench and sat down, "And?" she asked, her voice tinged with curiosity.
She threw her hands up in frustration, "We weren't able to finish our conversation because Blaise popped out of nowhere!"
Ginny snatched her arm and gestured for her to sit down, "What did you tell him after he told you he missed you?" she asked.
She placed her hands on her lap and hung her head to hide the tears that's welling in her eyes, "I told him the truth..." she mumbled.
"And what truth are we talking about?"
"That I missed him too and then I started crying like a loon," she sniffed.
"Oh sweetheart," Ginny said as she wrapped her arm around her shoulders.
She turned her face to the side and buried her face into Ginny's neck, "I'm not supposed to feel this way anymore," she lamented.
Ginny leaned her head on top of hers, "It's a normal reaction, love. It's the first time you've seen him after four years, of course you'll feel that way," she cooed.
She shook her head, "No, it's not. Why does he have to be here? Why does he have say those things to me when he's the one who left?" she cried.
Ginny stopped rubbing her arm, "What is this really about?"
She sniffed as she started to pull away, "What do you mean?" she asked tearfully.
Ginny wiped her cheeks and tucked some loose curls behind her ear, "Why are you so upset? I thought you wanted to see him? You've searched for him for years, did you not?"
Fresh batch of tears welled in her eyes, "I-" she clamped her lips shut when words evaded her.
"Do you still love him?"
She averted her gaze, "I can't hurt Blaise," she whispered.
Ginny shook her head, "I'm not talking about him, I'm asking about Draco - do you still love him?"
"Does it still matter?"
"Stop avoiding the question and just answer me," Ginny said sternly.
Her chest tightened with the intensity of the feelings she still has for him. She felt her lower lip wobble as the truth escaped her mouth. "I do, so much that I can't breathe."
"Then tell him that."
She shook her head vehemently, "I already told you, I can't hurt Blaise. He just told me that he has feelings for me, I just can't throw that away because Draco told me he missed me - that's not how it works."
"I completely get your point, but don't you think it would hurt more if he finds out that you only chose him by default and not because you feel the same way about him?"
"Draco is not even asking me back, Gin," she reminded her friend. She then lowered her eyes on the ground, "And besides, why would he want me back - he has Luci," she replied while fumbling with her fingers.
"About that, who is she?"
"I don't know, I didn't ask him."
Ginny let out a puff of air as she stood up from the bench, "Why don't we let this sit for awhile and talk about this after a couple of days. You're still in shock right now and there are a lot of unanswered questions that needs to be answered first before you decide."
She nodded, "I think you're right," she agreed. She then lifted her hands and began drying her face, "Do you think they're looking for us?"
"Blaise might, you saw how worried he looked when we left."
She can't help but chuckle, "He's not that bad."
"I didn't say he was, he's just a little bit clingy for my taste," Ginny said with a small smile.
"I've noticed that too," she replied. She then stood up from her perch, "Sorry for breaking down like that and thank you for always being there to listen," she said sincerely.
Ginny pinched her cheek playfully, "Stop apologizing and stopped thanking me, that's what sister's are for."
"I know, but still - thank you."
Ginny let her hand drop, "Whatever," she mumbled. "Let's?" she asked while gesturing towards the empty hall.
She straightened her dress, "About that, can I stay here for a bit? I still need a little time to pull myself together, I don't want to worry anyone with my puffy eyes," she said sheepishly.
"Are you sure you'll be alright?" Ginny asked.
"Yes, I'll be okay. And if you see Blaise, please tell him that I'll be back in a couple of minutes."
"Okay, but don't stay out too long, it's too cold to be out here."
"Promise, I'll be back before you know it."
"I'll see you in a few, love," Ginny said before walking away.
She waited until Ginny was out of sight before she waved her hand around her body, casting a wandless warming charm. She then pointed towards her feet and casted a snow repelling spell on her stilettos, "Off we go then," she said before walking towards the oth
Blaise stood frozen in the corner, still not believing what he just witnessed and heard. Hermione and Draco had a past and apparently she still feels the same way for his friend. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes to calm himself, "This is not happening, it was a mistake," he whispered hoarsely. He opened his eyes and tried walking, but his body refused to cooperate with him. He shifted closer to the wall and slowly lowered himself on the floor, not caring about ruining his trousers. He pulled his knees to his chest and buried his face into his palms, "Why didn't you see it? You're so stupid - you should've seen the signs, argh!" he groaned in frustration.
"Hey love, where's Hermione?" Harry asked as soon as he saw his wife.
Ginny stopped right in front of him, "She took a walk, where's Blaise?"
He furrowed his brows with confusion, "Didn't you see him? He followed you 5 minutes after you left," he replied.
Her eyes grew big like saucers, "What do you mean he followed us? We didn't see him anywhere!"
"Just what I said, why? What did you talk about?"
"We talked about - oh my Merlin!" she gasped in horror. She grabbed his arm and squeezed it tightly, "Do you think he - Harry!"
Realization dawned on him, "You were talking about Malfoy, aren't you?"
She nodded her head, "We were."
He let out a sigh as he pulled her to his chest, "Let's just hope he didn't hear your conversation, he cares for her, you know."
She buried her face into the crook of his neck, "We should've mentioned something to him, he has the right to know about these things."
He planted a kiss on her head, "It was not our secret to tell, love."
"They're all caught in a tangled web, I hope nobody ends up being hurt - they all deserve to be happy."
"They'll figure it out."
"I hope so."
"Luci, is it okay if I go out for a short walk?" Draco asked.
Luci turned to face him and smiled, "It's okay, you go on ahead, I have Daphne here."
He moved his eyes towards his former Housemate, "Thanks for keeping her company Daph, .I'll be quick," he said with a smile.
Daphne waved her hand dismissively, "It's okay, Draco, take your time," she replied.
Draco nodded, "I'll be back," he said before turning around and walking towards the double doors. As soon as his foot touched the corridor, he let out the breath he seemed to be holding. He summoned his winter cloak and casted a snow repelling charm on his shoes without thinking and began making his way towards the main entrance. He walked along the snowy pavement with no destination in mind. He was almost halfway towards the Black Lake when he saw a familiar figure standing on the same spot - their spot to be exact. "Hermione," he breathed out.
"Argh!" Hermione groaned loudly before burying her face into her palms.
He picked up his pace and quickly made his way towards her, "Hermione? Is everything okay?" he asked just as he reached her.
She turned and her eyes widen with surprise when she realized it was him. "D - draco? What are you doing here?" she asked.
He looked at her for a minute before he began unfastening his cloak, "You should wear this, it's freezing out here," he said.
"No, I'm okay - I have a warming spell on me," she replied. She then folded her arms on top of her chest, "You didn't answer my question, why are you here?"
He let his arms drop to his side as he shifted closer, "I was getting some air and then I saw you standing here alone," he explained. "How about you? What are you doing here all alone?"
She smiled at him weakly, "The same thing, I guess."
"No time to waste, here we go," he thought. He squared his shoulders and cleared his throat, "We need to talk," he said.
"Talk? About what?"
"Talk about us."
"There's no us," she softly said. She then turned her back on him and fixed her eyes on the frozen waters, "Things had been over between us years ago, I don't understand why you want to talk about it," she added, bitterness seeping from her voice.
He forced back the retort that's at the tip of his tongue, knowing full well that playing the blame game won't help win her back. He gritted his teeth and took a deep calming breath before speaking again. "We'll never be over and you know it, not as long as we're both breathing."
Her whole body stiffened at his words, "Why are you saying that and why after four long years?"
"I'm not doing this with you unless you turn around."
"What difference would it make? Last time I checked, you didn't want me to face you while you say things to me," she said defiantly.
"Why are you acting like that? We were okay a few minutes ago."
She abruptly faced him, her eyes burning with something akin to anger. She stalked towards him and stood right at his face, "Why. Did. You. Come. Back?" she asked, emphasizing each word with a jab of a finger.
Before he can control himself, he felt the thick rubber of his patience snap. "Do you want an honest answer or will you be too scared to hear it?" he said acerbically. Hurt and remorse flashed through her ambers eyes, making him regret his words instantly. They've always been like this; letting their temper get ahead of them, always aiming for where they both know would hurt best. He balled his fists together, "Calm down, you promised yourself that you won't let history repeat itself - don't let the past fuck the present," he said to himself.
She wrapped herself around her body, as if bracing herself for another blow. "I - I just want the truth."
"You, I came back because of you."
Hermione felt her heart flutter wildly inside her chest, but she didn't let it show. She studied his face for a few seconds before letting out loud snort, "Do you expect me to believe that? Come on, Dray - you bloody left me and told me clearly that you're giving up, have you already forgotten that?"
His body turned rigid, his whole face turning into an alarming shade of red. "I didn't forget, not for one second. Yes, I left you, but that doesn't mean I was less broken that you were. I didn't want to bring this up, but you're forcing my hand to do so. You left me too, remember? You were the one who gave up on us first, so don't pretend that everything that happened in the past is all on me."
She felt like she's just been slapped with the reality of his words. Her vision started to blur with incoming tears so she took another step back. The urge to flee was strong, but before she could follow her instinct, she felt a hard yank and soft lips pressing on her own. She planted her hands on his chest to push him away, but he was too strong. She tried biting his lip, but he wasn't deterred and just kept kissing her senseless. After a few seconds of futile struggle, she felt her body give and let her heart take over.
Bliss, it's the only word that can describe the emotion that Draco is feeling. When Hermione started egging him further by bringing up their unsavory past, he saw red. He knew he shouldn't have said those things to her, but he couldn't hold off any longer. It was obvious that she was not sparing his feelings, so why should he? It was childish and utterly wrong at so many levels, but he couldn't hold in it any longer. He was torn between strangling or kissing her, she was so fired up and beautiful - hence, the second option. He lifted his hands and cupped her tiny face, keeping her in place. Once he's sure that she won't leave, he playfully nipped her tongue before pulling a fraction. "I love you, I always have and always will. Please, Mi, let's stop hurting each other," he pleaded, his voice hoarse with emotion.
Hesitantly, she lifted her hands and wrapped it around his wrist, "Leaving you was the biggest mistake of my life, I'm sorry...so sorry," she admitted tearfully.
He wrapped his arms around her and rested his forehead on top of hers, "It was mine too, I shouldn't have let you, I'm sorry too," he replied just as a lone tear trailed down his cheek.
Her shoulders shook with the barrage of sobs that started wracking her chest, "All those years we've wasted, I'm just - I'm really sorry," she choked out.
He pulled his face a fraction, his eyes never hers, "Tell me you still love me, tell me that I'm not too late and there's still a chance for us," he said, his voice tinged with desperation.
Fresh batch of tears clouded her eyes, "I love you, I never stopped - not even for one second."
A wave of pure joy and relief wash over him, "Thank Merlin!" he thought happily. He hugged her tighter and buried his face into her familiar curls, "I'm not letting you go, Mi - not this time and not ever," he vowed solemnly.