Draco, Blaise, and Grace were walking silently down a corridor on the right side of the castle.
“This is your Arithmacy class room and two doors down will be Transfiguration…” Draco stated matter-of-factly, mimicking a tour guide to a tee. Grace glanced to her twin in a way that pleaded
‘Please get me out’. Quickly, Blaise came up with an excuse.
“Er...mate, fancy a chance we stop by the statue of Godric Gryffindor? I know Grace will like that part of the castle.” Blaise said, trying to get them to a part of the castle that had more light.
Draco turned around and looked to Grace for confirmation. She nodded. He was confused to why such a girl would want to see a boring statue so close to their rival house’s common room. “Sure, just let me check this classroom for snoggers. Mind checking the one down the corridor to make it go faster?” He quickly entered a classroom to keep himself occupied; the wrenching feeling in his stomach was not helping his nerves.
Blaise nodded, the siblings both knew which one he was talking about. Walking side by side, Grace couldn’t help but like this civil version of Draco. He almost seemed normal, somewhat…charming. Merlin, what was happening? This was Draco Malfoy. He was never kind. Never nice. Never caring. Hell, she didn’t know if he had a heart. Yet, he still held an expression of inner turmoil, and it was frustrating for her to interpret it. Maybe it was the pain. Her thoughts stopped there. She froze and felt loathing ooze out of her.
Blaise opened the door and was then hit with a very distinct smell. Stepping a foot further he saw a sliver of light in the room with two very sweaty, very panting students in a very compromised position on a desk. A flash of red hair was all he needed to confirm.
“Oi! We’re busy.” Yelled the boy.
“Ron…” The girl giggled as he readjusted himself. She lifted her head to look at the two figures in the doorway. “You two want to join in?” She said seductively. With that the boy growled and started to spread kisses from her cheek down to her neck.
“THIS IS MY SISTER, YOU SLAG!” Blaise yelled to clarify how wrong her offer was. Ron stopped and looked back to see the gorgeous girl he was previously drooling over a mere hour ago. Following Weasley’s gaze, Blaise turned to look at his sister, tears forming in her eyes, cautiously backing out the doorway. Shit. He forgot that Hermione and Ron were technically dating.
“YOU BASTARD!!” She yelled and ran from the door, Blaise fast on her heels.
“W-wha? Did I say something?” Ron asked to the only other person in the room.
“Not a thing Won Won.” She whispered back, and that immediately turned him off. He retracted himself from her and started to make himself presentable again.
“Oh come on Ronnie, why can’t we continue?”
“Cause I’m not into it anymore.” He stated simply.
“Fine.” Lavender puffed, starting to re-button her blouse.
Draco stepped out of the classroom to see a flash of robes running past him, Blaise running after it with great speed. Thankfully, the man stopped for air just in time for Draco to question him.
“Oi? Was that Grace?” He asked, worry dripping in his tone.
“Er… *gasp* yea…she *gasp* has allergies *gasp* room *gasp* dust, everywhere.” Blaise choked, hoping his explanation was good enough.
“Oh. Will she be okay?”
“Yeah mate, I just need to make sure she has her medicine, I think mum placed it in my trunk. I’m going to find her.”
“Okay, I’ll finish up and meet you in the common rooms.”
With a desperate nod, Blaise dashed off in the direction Grace fled.
In the Slytherin common room…
“Bloody hell Gracie, you know how much my sides hurt from the way I was running?” Blaise drawled as he tripped over the entrance to the common room.
“Go away Blaise.” Grace whimpered, the common room now vacant of any life. She was in front of the fire, staring deeply into the flames. The pain in her side had subsided, mainly because while they were walking she had lifted the hem of her shirt so the sores could touch some air, but now the pain was back and stinging even more than before. She felt the warmth of the hot flares caress her face, a drastic change from the cold air that lingered within the dungeon walls.
“Gracie we need to talk about this.”
“My name is Hermione! And that was my boyfriend!”
“Grace, you knew it would be tough coming back-”
“Too tough, apparently…”
“Grace, listen to me.” Blaise demanded in the softest tone he could make. Grace shifted so her ear was angled in his direction, her eyes still staring into the flames.
“Think about it Grace. You’ve done so much already by keeping our family safe. You should take this opportunity for people to see the real you. Hermione Granger was-was just a name. Grace Zabini was the life and soul of that girl, and she did many things to make sure that didn’t die out. Weasley is a prat, I’ve known that since first year, but you came into this knowing the sacrifices you had to make. I’ve known ever since he’s had his eye on you in sixth year that he really fancied about you. He probably freaked out with you leaving, so imagine the pain he went through…” Grace’s tears started to make a reappearance, leaving soft trails down the side of her face.
“Come on, Grace, the bastard probably went through what you’re going through now…”
Grace glared daggers at her brother, how could he say this?
“Look” Blaise pinched the bridge of his nose, “I’m not on Weasley’s side in this. I loathe him. I just want you to place yourself in his shoes for a minute. You saw how Malfoy reacted when I came back, that’s probably how Weasley was for a while.” Grace cringed at the memory of Draco’s yelling. “Yeah, he was a total bastard for practically shagging a girl and a complete git and idiot for doing it in a classroom, but don’t get worked up because he is with another girl.”
Blaise was right. Grace really had been gone too long; she should have been expecting this, just not the almost shagging part, of course.
Sighing, Grace spoke in between tears, “I really am not mad because he found someone else…just…” She didn’t know if she crying about Ron or the pain anymore. Sighing, “I just wanted so much that he would see that I have the same personality as Hermione…that maybe he would like me f-for the real me…”
“Grace” Blaise walked over to his sobbing sister and conjured a box of tissues out of a tie he found on the couch. “If you want the Weasel so bad, give him a chance to see the real you… he doesn’t know you…” Grace softened at Blaise’s touch when he wrapped an arm around her comfortingly. “If he tries to shag you though, he’s dead.” Blaise ended in determination. No one was going to touch his sister.
“I sort of don’t want him to see the real me anymore… not after he’s touched that-that slag.” Grace cried into her brother’s shoulder. Then the common room door opened and Draco stepped in.
Draco stepped in the common room expecting to see Blaise, but he concluded the presence of two people when he saw his best mate lift someone onto the couch. Walking over to get a better view, he saw Grace, her eyes puffed with tears and holding a tissue to wipe the mess away.
“Hey are you okay?” Draco asked with genuine concern, the nausea in his stomach quickly dissipating.
Blaise was impressed, never had he seen his best friend act so kindly within a span of a few hours.
“She’s just getting over her allergies.” He said in a snap, remembering his excuse for earlier.
Grace composed herself as best as she could, subconsciously leaning on a pillow so the sores could have pressure, “Mum’s medicine was absolutely dreadful. Never did I think rotten eggs and jelly beans could be in the same flavor palette.”
Grace and Blaise’s eyes grew wide when they heard laugher in their ears. Draco laughed. Was he really laughing? Draco Malfoy didn’t laugh. Blaise had never heard him laugh since he was nine. Grace, never.
“Well I’m glad you still seem spirited.” Draco said as he calmly sat next to the girl. “I just took two hundred points from Gryffindor when I caught Weasley and Brown snogging outside their portrait.”
Blaise immediately stiffened when he heard ‘Weasely’, knowing too well that his sister was going to start crying again. But she didn’t. She laughed. Blaise’s head snapped to watch his sister’s giggles turn into full-blown laughter. She was smiling.
Draco seemed pleased with making the ill girl laugh; there was something about it that made him forget his earlier recollections. He didn’t know what it was but he couldn’t resist smiling.
Grace’s laughter stopped when she realized Blaise’s expression of shock and Draco’s smile.
“Oh.” She giggled again. “Stupid Gryffindors.” She ended with a cheesy smile, which only made Draco’s grow wider.
“Geez Grace, I thought you were going to have a ‘coughing fit’ again.” Blaise said, emphasizing the phrase ‘coughing fit’, which Grace immediately knew referred to her state of crying earlier.
She scowled. “Come on Blaise. Have a little fun.” She then grabbed the pillow she was leaning on and threw it at his head, hitting him right in it’s designated target.