Losses beyond imagining

Chapter 20

Some odd two months later, Draco was becoming frustrated with Hermione. They had spent several nights together but always in a hotel. Draco had not met her parents-in-law, the Weasleys, not that he really wanted to, nor Rose, whom he did long to meet…. He also hadn’t met her Muggle parents; Hermione seemed to protect them above everyone else…

Draco began to suspect that she just wanted to have a fling with him… Keep him out of sight, whereas he was receiving nothing but despise and hatred from his parents for being with her! It wasn’t fair…

Things came to a head one afternoon when Hermione was buttoning her crisp white blouse; they’d had a secret rendezvous in a nearby Muggle motel during a slow afternoon at work for the both of them, and were discussing when they’d meet next…

Draco suggested next Thursday, but Hermione bit her lip as she shook her head. “No, I can’t, I’m afraid…”

“Why not? Rose doesn’t have music lessons on Thursday and it’s one of our usual nights?” He asked a bit irritated.

Hermione sighed… “It’s my anniversary with Ron and I’m supposed to visit the graveyard, and the Weasleys and my parents will come over later in the day…”

“And when were you going the inform me of this?” he said a bit stern. “Am I to be kept out of everything that’s important in your life?”

“It’s just that I don’t think… It’s going to be a hard day for me… and…”

He saw right through her… For all Hermione’s talk of forgiveness and second chances, she didn’t really seem to have understood the concept…

“You don’t want to sleep with me on such a night..” Draco growled as he drew near her.

“No, no, that’s not it…” she whined, but he knew better. That was precisely it.

“There’s no point in denying it…” he whispered softly, pushing her against the wall. “It’s written all over your sorry face…”

Hermione drew a sharp breath as Draco continued his rant…

“Prim Gryffindor Princess… You were not so prim, just now… You don’t mind being with me… but people knowing about it… that’s quite another story, now isn’t it?”

His hand touched her throat, lingering there for a second, and slowly travelled down. With one harsh tug, he ripped her white blouse open again… the buttons dancing across the room…

“Very well,” he sneered. “But if I’m not to meet you on Thursday, I say we go for another round today..” He kissed her harshly before he went to cover her neck in love bites, grabbing her breasts rather fiercely, possessively one might say.

“Draco..” Hermione whispered in a weak, rather unconvincing, half-hearted protest. “It’s late… I’m wanted back at work…”

But he didn’t listen to her, and soon Hermione didn’t want to leave anymore…

Hermione’s need for secrecy and Draco’s impatience had hurt their relationship.

Hermione had visited the graveyard with Ron’s family and her own parents. Seeing his head on the tombstone—the Weasleys were far too poor to pay for portraits; something Hermione had lamented at first but was happy about now, as she wouldn’t have been able to face Ron—had been hard. She could hardly meet his eyes on the moving life-sized photo that decorated his tombstone.

From a far distance Draco peered at the gathered group. Andromeda was there, and even some Slytherin that George was dating, her parents were there and Rose, but not him… He gritted his teeth. This needed to stop. He would give her an ultimatum. Meeting each other’s parents or stopping the relationship….

Draco didn’t feel nearly as brave as his ultimatum suggested; he was far too afraid she’d leave him. But something had to give…

Hermione was trembling when he gave her the news. “Why does everything have to be so quick?” she said. “Why can’t we have some time to adjust… to all of this?”

“Because I need to know if you are even remotely serious about me!” he yelled. They were walking in the same park they had had their first date. Fortunately it was nearly deserted, as the weather wasn’t too good. The light rain fitted Draco’s mood splendidly.

“I am…” she said hesitantly . “I am…”

“It doesn’t feel like that..” Draco mumbled. “It doesn’t feel like that at all…”

“Why ever not? We spend time together… We have fun, most of the time anyway…” she replied.

“You don’t want anyone to know about us…” he said, angered at her casual response.

“I’ve already told Harry and Ginny,” she defended herself, “and George knows…”

“George is dating Medusa! That doesn’t even count… And she was at the graveyard… whereas I..” he choked on the words.

“You were there?” Hermione whispered.

“You didn’t want me to come, and Medusa… her parents have had the Dementor’s Kiss and she is allowed to be there?!”

“It was George’s decision,” she answered cowardly.

“That’s a cop-out and you know it,” he immediately responded.

Hermione had become angry too.

“What would you have me do? Tell the Weasleys? Tell my parents? Mum and Dad, I’m dating someone who hates you… who despises Muggles altogether… and his family… Well, they’re even worse…”

“You know I am trying to change,” he roared frustrated. “You know that!”

“I do know that… but how do I know if you’ve changed enough to even be friendly to them? And our parents cannot meet… They have once already, don’t you remember?”

“No..” Draco said stubbornly.

“Well, I do,” Hermione miffed. Just before her second year at Hogwarts they had met in the bookstore Flourish and Blotts. Meet wasn’t exactly the right word for it though… Lucius Malfoy had insulted them and Mr. Weasley had started a fight because of it… Her parents had been quite upset.

“And they do as well. Your father made quite an impression and…”

“My father is dead!” Draco shouted. “He is hardly going to hurt them now…”

“His portrait can still insult them! Your mother might curse…”

“My mother is not going to harm my friends…” Draco was hurt. She really did not trust them. He could not visit her house, her daughter… She was adamant not to visit his house… which was understandable but still. It seemed as if they were doomed…

Hermione became quiet. Draco fell silent too. Was this the end for them? His mind whirled with things to say, but nothing seemed right somehow…

Finally, after a long and increasingly awkward silence, he said: “My mother is slowly becoming friendly with her sister again… She wouldn’t do that if she didn’t… If she hadn’t changed her views at least somewhat..”

“And your father?” she asked tentatively.

“He shouts at her or leaves his portrait instead…”

“Great…” Hermione said, still feeling defeated. “But are you sure it isn’t simply loneliness that makes your mum reach out to Andromeda? With Bellatrix gone and her husband as well…?”

“Even so… she still does… It has to count for something, right?”

“Okay…” Hermione whispered. “I will meet your parents… but mine… I still want to put that off for a bit..”

“Sure…” Draco needed to pick his battles wisely, that much he had realized.

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