Bad Blood

Torn Apart

Torn Apart

And it hurts like hell, to be torn apart

And it hurts like hell, to be thrown around.

We were born to be together, torn apart, torn apart.

You stamped with a heavy tread and left your mark,

Your mark on me.

The space you used to fill is now this great black hole,

You’re out of sight but not out of my mind.

~ Bastille

Hermione stared at the letter in her hand, her other hand raking through her loose curls. Ginny was not going to let Hermione back out of this one; she would have to go, even if she didn’t feel like it. She didn’t feel like much these days. When she was not teaching or planning her lessons, she mostly just hid in her room. She knew she was being a coward, but she didn’t have the strength to deal with Draco Malfoy anymore. He won whatever sick and twisted game they were playing, and Hermione was content with being last.

She knew that she should have been stronger, that she should be strong since, but she couldn’t. Ever since she found out he was getting married there was this large black hole in her heart and she didn’t know why. Draco Malfoy has been nothing but mean to her, she didn’t know why she cared so much about him.

She remembered how she felt that day his wedding invitation had arrived. It was in the middle of breakfast in the Great Hall and she could feel his eyes on her. She carefully opened the envelope, pulling out a beautifully decorated card. She felt the blood drain away from her face and her stomach lurched as she read the invite. Hermione thought she knew what heartbreak felt like, but in truth there were many kinds of heartbreak. Her heart broke when things didn’t go right with Ron, but that was because she had lost her best friend. Her heart broke when she was told she would never have children, but that was because she lost something she could never have. The heartbreak she felt when she opened Malfoy’s wedding invitation was on a completely different scale. It felt like her heart had clawed its way out of her chest, ran down her leg and smashed on the cold stone floor of the Great Hall. She couldn’t breathe anymore and her head was spinning. Her stomach lurched and she knew she was going to be sick. Heartbreak was as much of a physical thing as it was an emotional thing. Hermione threw down the invite and practically ran from the Great Hall. Draco Malfoy broke her heart and she didn’t even know why. Why was her body reacting this way?

Hermione sighed again, setting the letter down. It was from Ron, asking if they could meet for dinner Saturday, because he wanted to talk. Hermione was unsure about what to say and was about to owl Ginny and ask if she knew what this was all about when she changed her mind. Ginny would just force her to go and hear Ron out. Maybe getting out of the castle for a bit would take her mind off Draco Malfoy and the feelings she couldn’t explain.

Perhaps that’s what she should do.

Hermione grabbed a piece of parchment and her quill before replying.

Hermione smoothed down her simple, knee length black dress before checking her hair in the window of the Snug Bar in St Albans. It was a small and cosy place with brown leather couches and plum walls. The lighting inside was dim, but Hermione could still see. It had a relaxed and comforting vibe and Hermione guessed that’s what Ron was going for. She hadn’t seen him since Ginny gave birth to Lily, and even then it was only briefly. They had a very strained relationship ever since the break-up, even though they tried to remain friends. Hermione wondered what Ron wanted to talk about and why he was suddenly so interested in seeing her again. Hermione always thought that part of the reason he worked abroad most of the time was to put some distance between them, but he’s never confirmed that.

Hermione looked at the menu before looking at the time. Ron was late, but only by a few minutes. Hermione told herself that he was probably still at the office and ordered herself a drink.

Soon a few minutes became half an hour, and half an hour became an hour. Hermione was growing restless and irritated. Ron asked her here, the least he could do was show up. Hermione had never been stood up in her life, but she didn’t like the feeling. She was about to grab her coat and pay for her drinks when a familiar figure entered the bar.

Draco Malfoy was dressed in a pair of black muggle jeans and wearing a black coat with its collar turned up. His platinum blonde hair was messy and windblown and his cheeks were flushed from the cold. If Hermione could she would have jumped underneath a table to avoid him, but it was too late.

His molten silver eyes scanned the bar and found her. He raised an eyebrow before walking over to her.

“Fancy seeing you here, Granger,” he drawled and Hermione could feel her cheeks heating up. This wasn’t a place she usually went to, and it was pretty far from the castle. She couldn’t explain to him that she had just been stood up by one of her best friends, that would be mortifying.

“I...I was just leaving,” Hermione said, taking a deep breath to keep her head clear.

“Stay,” Malfoy said a little too quickly. Hermione gave him a puzzled look before he cleared his throat. “I mean…let me buy you another drink and we can talk.”

Hermione should have said no, she should have picked up her coat, paid and apparated back to Hogwarts. She looked over his shoulder, hoping to see Astoria, but she was nowhere to be seen. He was alone. Hermione sat back down, moving over so he could slide in next to her.

“Where’s your fiancé?”

Malfoy looked confused for a second before he seemed to remember that he was engaged. “She’s out with some old friends from school, so I thought I’d go out too.”

“What made you come here?” Hermione asked, curious as to why he was so far from the castle as well.

Malfoy shrugged off his coat, reveal the black long sleeved shirt he wore underneath. It clung to his body, highlighting his lean features. He sat down next to Hermione and ordered them both a drink. Hermione was once again aware of the electricity between them, but she ignored it, moving her body slightly away from his.

“It’s a muggle place far from any magical village, and far away from the paparazzi.”

Of course, Malfoy was almost as famous as the Golden Trio. He was the heir to a considerable fortune, he was handsome and an ex Death Eater, Witch Weekly just ate him up. Ever since the announcement of his engagement, he and his fiancé were all over the news. Their wedding promised to be better than any Royal Wedding, ever.

“Why are you here, Granger? This doesn’t seem like a place you would normally frequent.”

“On the contrary, I quite enjoy this place. It’s warm and cosy,” Hermione said, thanking their waiter when their drinks came. She wasn’t going to tell him about meeting Ron here, and that he stood her up. She wasn’t in the mood to be teased about that.

The electricity between them was almost tangible, making both of them uncomfortable. Hermione wanted to lean in to him and rest her head on his shoulder. She wanted to take in his scent and all that was Draco Malfoy.

She picked up a menu again, just so that she had something to do with her hands, scanning it thoroughly before looking up at Malfoy again. His eyes met hers and for a moment, Hermione was lost in the past…

“Are you sure about this Hermione?” Malfoy asked as he stared up at the sign that read ‘The Snug Bar.’ He shifted uncomfortably in his jeans and sneakers, not used to the harsh fabric. She made him wear muggle clothes every time they went out, and they always went somewhere far from magical villages and Hogwarts. It was strange to see parts of the country untouched by the magical war going on. St Albans was one of those places that remained intact.

“Yes, you’ll love it,” Hermione said, taking his hand before pulling him inside.

She was right of course, she was always right. Malfoy did love the place with its purple walls, brown couches and wooden furniture. It was warm and cosy, and reminded him of Hermione. She blended in easily with the setting, and he could just imagine her sitting in one of the booths, her nose buried in a book and her curly hair framing her face.

“How did you find this place?” He asked her as soon as they were seated in a corner booth, away from praying eyes.

“I’m muggle born, I know muggle places,” she shrugged, picking up a menu. After a few minutes of studying it, she set it down and moved into Malfoy. He smirked as he watched her, soon his lips found hers, and they were lost in each other, in a world where no one could hurt them.

There was a bright flash of a camera and Hermione gasped, her heart beating wildly. She tore her eyes away from Malfoy, only to see a reporter high tailing it out of the bar.

Malfoy growled under his breath, grabbing his coat. “I’ll catch you later Hermione,” he said before setting off after the reporter.

Hermione sighed, dropping her head into her hands. What the hell was going on with her?

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