Grace was completely frozen in place as the rest of the room cleared out. This Draco was frightening her. His temper was now directed towards her, and she became reminded of the man who had tortured her and her friends for several years, the man who took the risks to do his duty, the man who was twisted in more ways than one. The man she had once despised.
Once the initial chaos died down, Draco drawled with that familiar bitter tone, “What are you doing here?” It was directly towards Blaise. “I’ve been needing to talk to Grace.”
“We both need to talk to you, actually.” The Italian brother responded. Having more experience with the man, Blaise mustered enough courage first.
“Oh do you really?” The blonde said sarcastically. “I’ve been waiting two whole days to discuss something and now the both of you need to talk to me?” His grin was starting to become more and more demonic. “Tell me what’s more damn important than Weasley hurting your sister! Tell me! WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT?!” As he said those words, the flames in the fireplace began to grow exceedingly.
“Mate, you have to calm down first. What we need to say won’t do any good if you’re even more angry than needed.”
“Blaise, maybe we should do this some other time.” Grace finally spoke.
Her brother shook his head, “No, the sooner the better.” Blaise motioned his head towards the seething man across from him. It was clear that the rage inside of Draco was increasing and the veins on his arms and neck started to become prominent. You could practically feel his heart pulsating in the room.
The smaller twin of the two took this as an opportunity to calm Draco down. Grace effortlessly put the book down beside her and walked towards the Slytherin. She placed her small hands around his face, forcing him to look at her. “Draco, please…calm down.” She wanted to stay there forever. The softness in his eyes was only shown to her and her alone. She could feel his breath escape from his lips and his warmth wash over her very senses. This was the man she had grown to adore. “Ron didn’t do anything to me. Now please, hear what we have to say.”
As if it was a switch, Draco took one look at her and stopped all enraged motions. Her soft hands holding his face were all he needed to feel at peace. It was sudden, the turn from fury to love, but he took it. Slowly, Draco sat down in a nearby chair, while Grace joined her brother across the room. It seemed now the Slytherin was sober enough to listen.
Blaise took a deep breath. “We want to give our condolences.”
Draco’s face blanched. “What?”
“We heard about your mum…” Neither Grace nor Blaise could make direct eye contact with him.
The Slytherin prince shot out of his chair, “My mother?!”
“Only Grace and I know about it, but you have to understand that you can’t go through this alone-”
“YOU TOOK MY FOLDER?!” Draco yelled into the room. Making all noise, including breathing, stop for a good few minutes.
The Zabinis shamefully nodded. “We only wanted to help-”
“HOW DARE YOU DEFY MY FAMILY!” He took a couple deep breaths, “We bribed you. We made you swear an oath. How could you do that?”
Grace repeated, “We only wanted to -”
“You only wanted to help?! You thought I couldn’t do this alone?!” He was starting to become hysterical. “Well I have been! This whole fucking year I’ve been going through it! It was my choice to keep her death private, MY CHOICE! And you worthless shites didn’t think twice about it.” Draco spat, “You had my faith and my trust. What else do you want to take away from me?!”
The twins hitched the breath they had been taking and Grace began to tremble. “It’s my fault.”
Draco halted and gazed at the Italian with that same emotionless expression. His face struck her as the exact one that hurt her several times in the past. Grace had passed into dangerous territory, and only love could get her out of it.
“I told Blaise that you didn’t want your file. It was my idea to go get it.”
“I was scared for you.” Tears began to form in her eyes, “And…and I wanted to make sure you weren’t hiding anything from me.”
Draco walked up to the two and grabbed the green file out of Blaise’s hands, “There are more secrets to my family that don’t concern you.” He glared at Grace with fierce hatred and threw the folder into the fire. The man then began to leave for the door, preparing for the long lecture he was going to give himself later. Blaise quickly took the file from the fire and hid it under his robes.
“DRACO!” Grace cried as the man stepped closer to the portrait. He froze. “I really…honestly…fully care for you…a lot. The thought of you getting hurt frightens me out of my wits. I…we…never had any intentions for you to react this way. Please try to see that what we did was out of love…”
Her brother stiffly nodded his head. Did his sister just spill out her feelings for him?
Draco had turned around, staring at Grace’s small form. He was angry, yes, but they challenged his words for a set reason, and a good one at that. Still, pride won over and that same hateful glare bore into her very soul. The door knocked.
The knocking echoed into the surprised silence within the common room. Draco rigidly turned to answer it.
“Malfoy!” A tall Hufflepuff stood outside the portrait. “I just wanted to bring this over. Thanks for letting me borrow your cloak.” She handed him the article.
The blonde gave out a hardened smile, “My pleasure Danea.” The woman then swiftly pecked his cheek and headed off.
When Draco turned around, Grace appeared to be completely shattered. Her dark eyes were drained of all emotion and the brilliant color of her hair faded. She simply lost it. “What I just said…was the truth. I believe you at least deserve that.” Silently, the woman walked up her dorms without a word.
“Ron hold still!”
“Mr. Weasley, must you resist so much?”
“Yes! It stings!” Ron hissed as the mediwitch dabbed the remains of his open wounds.
“You’ve been through worse, mate.” Harry added.
Madam Pompfrey cleaned the final injury and added more gauze as a finishing touch. “You should be very proud Mr. Weasley, that was your final round. By tomorrow night you should be up and running again.” She left with her cart to tend to other students.
Ron threw his head back on the pillow, “Why did I have to suffer over the weekend? If it happened over the week at least I could’ve missed classes!”
Ginny directly placed her face in front of her brother’s view, “Stop being a wuss.”
Ron stuck out his tongue in a playful defense, soon Ginny followed.
“Come on you two,” Harry said as he sensed a row about to begin. “You need sleep, Ron. Rest up.”
“No I don’t! I’ve been stuck in a sodding bed for two days!” The redhead dramatically lifted his head and slammed it back down. “Why can’t I just confront Grace now?”
“WHAT?!” His best friend practically yelled.
“Ronald!” Ginny chimed.
The man in the bed looked at his friends in disappointment, “We’ve pin-pointed every detail and proven every logical explanation. The answer is clear!”
“Ron it’s too soon. You can’t just expect her to believe such an idea! What if she isn’t who you think she is? This won’t bring Hermione back.” Ginny exclaimed, giving a guilty look towards the other two Gryffindors. So maybe she was starting to like this Slytherin…she didn’t want to ruin her chances as a friend right now.
“Gin is right. It’s just a theory, nothing more.” Harry supported. He sat down at his friend’s side. “If it’s wrong, you’re setting yourself up for more pain. We don’t want to see you go through that.”
Ron sat up, “I’m not wrong.”
“Just trust us Ron, we want what’s the best for you.”
Draco was left in the common room with a hard, unreadable look on his face. Grace was toying with him. It was clear she was. The blonde’s frustration made the fireplace magically inflame. She used something as unknown to him as love for an excuse. He had demanded his privacy, but yet she overstepped her boundaries. Still, was it possible that what she said was true? Then why? He never asked to be cared for. He never asked to be loved. Yet, Draco knew deep down he wanted to be. He wanted someone to save him. The man stopped in front of the flames. This girl was making him insane.
Finally he accepted the truth. He was terrible at this. Malfoys weren’t made to ogle over others. Others were to ogle over him. Even his parents didn’t have a formal modern relationship. They were simply arranged to be together by the prestigious traditions of pureblood families. Draco kicked the hearth with a large foot. He just simply wasn’t made to do this, but yet, he wanted so much to feel again. The flames grew large enough to singe the very ends of his platinum hair. He was never going to do this right.
As his eyes closed, flashes of images began to refill his mind.
Draco ran down the path in a race to meet his mother. “Mum! Mum!” His tiny legs stampeded their way through the elegant corridors of Malfoy Manor. “In here darling!” He heard her voice say from the vanity closet. The toddler opened the door with a mighty push and ran into his mother’s arms. “Ooh! Got you!” She said as he began to squirm out of her grasp. Draco giggled and his mother set him on the dresser. Then the woman started to brush the exquisite hair she was well known for. “Mum?” “Yes, Draco.” “What’s love?” His mother stopped. Setting the brush down, she took her only son back into her arms. “Love is what makes you smile when you are tired.” She gave him a brilliant smile. “Mum?” “Yes dear?” “Are you tired?” The woman holding him laughed with a joyful heart, “Yes, Draco.”
The toddler then slid down his mother’s lap and dashed to the door across the hall. The small blonde halted in front of a magnificent antique desk and looked up. Soon enough a much larger blonde peered over the side to view his visitor. “Father?” “Yes, Draco.” He said sternly. The child gulped, “Are you tired?” His father’s eyes became wide with speculation. “What makes you ask such a question?” “Well mummy says that loves is what makes you smile when you’re tired. I wanted to make you smile.” The boy blurted. Draco’s father sat back and rubbed a hand over his gloved palms. “Love is power, son.”
Draco opened his eyes. Love is power. And he knew exactly who had the power in this relationship.