|Reviews for A Regret to Belong|
| pstibbons chapter 29 . 6/2/2009
The point is that I love you no matter what. You can’t ask more of me than I know how to give, though, so I don’t know if I can forgive myself, but I’ll try, and maybe some day, with your love, I find the redemption that I need to forgive. I feel the weight of your world upon my shoulders, and while I admit I still find myself questioning my fate and my place in this world, I cannot picture it without you.
...while holding the letter up in one hand, she said, “SO? What does this mean?”
He put his fork down and said, “Must I slap you to make you understand?”
She said, “Get off me, you really are getting heavy. Let’s see that gut.” She pulled his shirt up. Still taut.
“I wonder how Monica’s doing?”
“I hope she’s been driven insane. She’s evil personified. She embodies all that’s bad and evil in your life. I don't want you to go there. Anyway, you already have your little pajamas on, and how cute, little pink shorts and a white t-shirt, with a little pink bow on top.”
“A bit sappy, but okay I guess.”
(That reminds me. I'll need an insulin injection after reading this fic.)
“Hermione, I need to know what you did to your stepmother today. She’s quite undone. We’ve kept her sedated most of the day, but when she comes around, she doesn’t make any sense, and she starts crying...”
He didn’t seem angry, and he wasn’t accusing.
“I won’t tell you, but I’ll show you,” she said.
“Do you want to drive your father into insanity, too? Don’t do it.”
After his shower, he cautiously went back into the lounge. Her father was holding her on the couch, rocking her back and forth, and he was crying. He was saying things like, “it’s all my fault”, and “I’m so sorry”, and “I never knew”.
(Now, that's poignant. Guess it's a smaller dose of insulin then.)
"...She fell down the stairs and she suffered a miscarriage as the result. She was five months pregnant. It was a girl.”
(Whoa. Talk about parallels. Oh wait, that is the chapter title. Still. I didnt expect this.)
If you hadn’t been able to forgive yourself, or me, you would have ended up just like her.
(So... Roger's going to end up like Monica...)
(PS: I'm still surprised, and shocked. This was far more shocking than the car accident.)
| pstibbons chapter 28 . 6/2/2009
(Draco stopped again. He could not believe the words he had read. He hit the car. He remembered that day clearly. He even remembered thinking he didn't care if that person in the car lived or died, as long as he got to Hermione in time. Heaven, help him.)
How could she love him? How could she forgive him? He would never forgive himself. Never. He had promised her he would, no matter what, but now he knew he could not.
...he already felt it was his fault, but only indirectly. He had no fathomable ideal that it was directly his fault.
..., she sat outside the bathroom door, and waited. He would have to come out eventually.
At least it was over. They could move on. She was not a fool. She knew he would not see it that way. He would think it was over, instead of just beginning.
(I'm going to get crucified for saying this, but I'm as sensitive as Ron i.e. I am an evil bastard ... it's a tragedy that Hermione's baby died, but it's a good thing that Roger's baby died.)
Draco. I love you. Please, please, come out and tell me you love me, too. I can’t forgive myself, if you don’t forgive yourself.”
He rested his cheek against her stomach, and Draco Malfoy cried. He cried anguished, relentless tears, reminiscent of the tears he cried the night he lost her, when he thought she had not met him at the park...She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and neck and cried with him.
Do not make me regret the only truthful emotion I have ever had! It’s not your right to take my love away from you! You can’t make me hate you!”
He thought that her beating him up was a hell of a way to console him.
(Clearly, he's not a Catholic.)
"I need time to process this and to think.”
“No, you need time to figure out how to run away from me!” she reasoned. “You are going to leave me, and I swear, I won’t survive you leaving me!”
She took the letter, balled it in her fist, and threw it at him. He picked it up and looked at it briefly. “Is that what you want?” she asked. “Do you want the pain and loneliness that you expressed in this goodbye letter? If that’s what you want, you can have it. I can’t induce you to forgive yourself. I can't make you stay with me, and forgive me and love me! I cannot. You have freewill, so use it however you want.
(Now, there's the Hermione we all know and love.)
“Don’t hit me again!” he said. “Especially not in the face.”
| pstibbons chapter 27 . 6/2/2009
“Why don’t you make me? Slap ME on the face. What is the matter; can you only terrorize little girls? Am I too much for you?” He approached her slowly, taunting her the entire way, and finally he saw the look on her face that he was waiting for…fear.
Monica stopped fighting. She was rooted to her spot, her expression one of horror and hurt. She was reliving Hermione’s childhood, but instead of being the inflictor of the pain, she felt the pain. She felt everything Hermione felt growing up.
Hermione was in school and Draco Malfoy just called her a Mudblood for the first time. She cried and realized that she did not even belong in the magical world. She did not belong anywhere.
She cried all night long, in that cold, dark, tent. She was more alone than she had ever been, even with Harry there.
Two days before the ceremony, she received a letter. They were in Egypt. They wouldn't be back in time. He sent her his regrets. Hermione started to cry.
The pain was too much for the woman. Her mind was not strong enough to withstand the ache and sorrow. Hermione always thought Monica was stronger than she was, because she inflicted the pain on Hermione, but now Hermione knew she herself was the strong one, for she survived the pain. Monica, however, would not be so lucky. She would not be able to survive the pain she meted out on a child. She would not be strong enough.
(Wow - now that's powerful. I hadn't thought in terms of mental strength before. On the other hand, Monica's getting a compressed dosage of rejection and angst.)
“I made her relive every single ounce of tortured she made me live through,” she said without regret.
(I liked the 'without regret' bit best)
Her baby, stillborn. Dead. Because of him. He was now the one in shock. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. He said, “Murderer.” His fist smashed the glass of the mirror, shattering it, and cutting his fist to ribbons. He removed her letter from his pocket, and started to read.
| pstibbons chapter 26 . 6/2/2009
Draco was a very good liar, usually. He had never tested his ability with her, so he was not sure she would buy it. This was one instant when he wished for a dumb girlfriend...
“How did it get in your pants pocket?” she asked.
Boy, she was good.
“I wrote that letter because sometimes I miss writing to you under the cover of anonymity. I miss the closeness we had, and I miss being able to tell you things, like my fears and my troubles,” he admitted.
He told her all she had to do was sit and look pretty, so how hard could that be? She was slightly offended, when he added, “Of course, looking pretty was never your forte.” He was joking, she sneered, and he smirked.
“I can’t believe you did that to her,” she laughed. “It was so great!” She could not contain herself. “If Roger hadn’t been there, I might have had time to revel in the glory of seeing her a pile of red hives and puss. It was ingenious, simple, but effective.”
Hermione was shaking. The poor little thing was defenseless against that mean ‘witch’, just as Hermione was as a child. Why was this happening again? Why wasn’t anyone there to protect this child?
“No, but do you really want to feel guilty over something that isn’t even your fault?
,..when your heart catches up with your brain, you let me know, until then, I’ll do what I think is best, and I think it’s best to strangle Monica.”
Draco said, “If I come back here and that woman isn’t at least turned into a rat or something, I will be ashamed of you.”
| pstibbons chapter 25 . 6/2/2009
He continued to rant about her and Draco’s relationship. Same old Roger. Was this why he wanted to speak to her? To berate and belittle her. He did not want closure, as she did. He wanted to rehash all the unpleasant things of the past, and she was allowing it to happen, and felt helpless to stop it.
Damn Granger, is your courage alluding you again’,
(alluding - eluding)
With stealth that would make his father proud, he ducked back to the foyer, and with his wand pointed right at her, said a spell.
Hermione sat by and said nothing for the longest time. She finally said, “Roger, I am sorry if I hurt you, but you know you aren’t blameless in the demise of our marriage. I thought we could pass through this world with at least respect for each other, but I was wrong. I’m sorry, but I cannot ever see you again. Goodbye.” She stood to leave and he took her arm.
Your happiness wasn’t my responsibility.
Draco opened the double doors, wand at the ready, just as Hermione Granger slapped Roger Davies across the face. Both men stood by in shock. Draco also felt awe.
The last thing he wanted was for her to feel guilty. He wished he could take all the blame from her.
(Ah. That's the trouble with wishes. They can come true.)
“I once had a pimple, right here,” he pointed to his forehead, “and I ignored it for about a week, and then one day, I woke up, and it was gone!” he joked.
She put her hand on his cheek and said, “Ah, poor Draco, born without any intelligence. At least you are very pretty.”
“That’s the spirit!” he said. “Make fun of me, belittle me, call me names, and you will feel better in no time. I know it always worked that way for me.”
| pstibbons chapter 24 . 6/2/2009
“What’s an intervention?” Ron asked. Draco wanted to know as well.
Harry gave a chuckle and said, “Yes, we could take you to a MA meeting. Malfoy’s Anonymous.” She laughed as well.
“What’s an intervention?” Ron asked again.
Hermione stood up and said, “Hello, my name is Hermione, and I’m in love with a Malfoy.”
Harry said, “Hello, Hermione, how long have you been a Malfoholic?”
Harry asked, “When was your last Malfoy, Hermione?”
“Last night,” she sniggered.
“I know, and it’s time for you to have real love in your life. Take it easy on him when you tell him, and call me if you need me.” He kissed her cheek, walked over to Draco and offered his hand.
Why was love so hard? He never imagined it like this. He thought it would be all nice, sweet, and making love all the time. Not heartache, sadness, and pain. He wished he could still write to Hermione, the way he used to. Maybe he could.
To my son,
...I am afraid of living a life without grace. I am afraid of living a life without love. Nevertheless, most of all, I am afraid of living a life knowing that you may never forgive me.
Wherever you are, know that you were truly loved in your short life, and will be forever, and for all time.
(okay, maybe the implications of the accident are finally hitting me.)
(It also looks like - judging by the final paragraph - one of the problems with writing letters is that the named recipient might actually read them.)
| pstibbons chapter 23 . 6/2/2009
Oh. All is revealed. Can't say it was too tragic. Really, that was it?
Hermione looked over at Draco, back to her friends, and said, “You all think I have to be under the Imperius to be happy?” She shook her head in disbelief.
She said, “No matter what, I will tell you my story as well, after I tell them, and maybe not tonight, but no matter what, you have to promise me that you won’t lay blame, and you will forgive. Promise me that, or I will leave here right now, and take my story to the grave.”
I’ve already forgiven you, and for me to carry on, you will have to forgive yourself, or else we have no hope for a future together.”
"Don’t preach to us about Hermione, Malfoy. The fact that we were ignorant to her pain will be our regret to abide, not yours.”
"I can’t believe you all thought I was under a spell. Yes, Hermione is happy, it must be a spell!” she said, sarcastically. “Must I be unhappy for my loved ones to be happy?”
“So what, Harry! My childhood wasn’t idyllic. I happened to know that neither was yours! Do you really think I would want to compare the two? Because I think yours was ten times worse!” Hermione said sternly.
“What? Your childhood had to be worse than mine for you to confide in me? What does that say about me? When I told you I was forced to sleep in a cupboard, wear hand-me-down clothes, eat table scraps, and do all the chores, that meant I was a selfish git for sharing with you?”
“No, but…” she started.
“But nothing! I’m not Roger! ... You didn’t have to hide with us."
“I never thought I would say this, but I am so ashamed of you!... You’ve hidden your fears and cried you last tears, behind closed doors and with a closed heart! I won’t allow it any longer! You won’t suffer any longer! You’ve suffered enough all these years! If you don’t enjoy the suffering, then let it end, right here, right now!”
She hit him with her closed fists, against his chest, neck, and face. It hurt, and he winced in pain, turned his face, but he didn’t stop her or defend himself. He took her indignation and pain, because it was time someone else felt it, instead of her.
Roger braked before he slammed into his wife. As if everything from that moment was in slow motion, he saw a black jaguar hit the front fender of his blue car, sending his wife careening around in circles. He looked at the black car and knew one thing for certain, the driver was someone they both knew. It was Draco Malfoy. The personalized license plate stood out as well, as it said, “MALFOY”. He turned back to look at his wife’s car, and as he ran out of the driver’s seat of the grey sedan, he saw the small blue car go off the road and down into a ditch.
She rocked back and forth, sang it a song, and stroked its little black curls on its head.
| pstibbons chapter 22 . 6/2/2009
“You’re the only sick monster here and I should have done this a long time ago!” Hermione shouted. She pointed her wand at Monica and said the first curse that came into her mind. Streaks of white and red lights emitted from her wand, as her stepmother fell backwards, completely off the porch, where she landed in the mud, knocked out cold.
“Well, you made such a fuss spouting the laurels of eating peanuts in the kitchen, so I thought I would see what was so great about it,” he said, popping another peanut in his mouth.
“Let me see your gut hanging out.”
He lifted his shirt, but his stomach remained taut and tight. “Sorry, I’m trying hard,” he said.
| pstibbons chapter 21 . 6/2/2009
So... she was driving, and the car crashed?
| pstibbons chapter 20 . 6/2/2009
“First of all, just because I was raised the proper way, and we ate in the correct room growing up, doesn’t mean I am pretentious! Just because I haven’t had bloody peanuts at the kitchen table, with a bottle of beer, and my gut hanging out of my dirty white t-shirt doesn’t mean I’m pretentious!”
Hermione started laughing and couldn't stop. She said, “I would pay to see that! Oh lord, does your gut even hang out of your t-shirt? Do you own a dirty t-shirt? See, the fact that you equate eating at the kitchen table with a bottle of beer, a fat belly, and a dirty t-shirt is what makes you pretentious, not the fact that you were raised to eat in the dining room."
| pstibbons chapter 19 . 6/2/2009
This is not a review.
| pstibbons chapter 18 . 6/2/2009
Davies, an arsonist?
| pstibbons chapter 17 . 6/2/2009
He wasn’t raised to hurt women. However, he was raised to hate Mudbloods, so really, was one sin worse than the other was?
He heard her weeping. Why did she have to cry so much? It truly was unhealthy. As soon as he had that thought, he realized how wrong he was. It was probably very healthy to cry. It was good for her. How did she put it earlier? She needed to ‘purge her soul’. It was for purely selfish reasons that Draco wished she wouldn’t cry. It was because with each and every single tear that escaped her eyes, a hole appeared in his heart, and each hole threatened to consume said heart, until it decayed into nothingness. He hurt for her. He didn’t like that. He didn’t like having feelings like empathy. It went against how he was raised.
She had played that night over in her head so many times, like little reels of tape with different scenarios, wondering if she could have changed things, and if she even wanted to.
| pstibbons chapter 16 . 6/2/2009
It takes a big person to forgive someone like Draco Malfoy. If I’m not proud of you for all your other accomplishments, which I admit I am, I’m at least proud of you for that.”
Martin, you aren’t telling me that you are a wizard, are you?”
Mum caught me reading it, found out it belonged to you, and from that point on, she knew about you. Even though I was 22 years old, she beat me with a wooden spoon. She hit me so hard that the spoon cracked in two. I still have a scar on my back.”
Hermione saw him, let go of Martin’s hand, and ran into Draco’s arms. She greeted him like a long lost love. She threw her arms around him and hugged him tighter than he had ever been hugged before. This pleased him to no end.
“I’m not a dog, Granger. You can’t just tell me to stay, and I stay,” he said.
“How about ‘roll over’?” she asked, smiling.
“The only command I might recognize is ‘beg’ and then only in bed, and regarding sex,” he said.
“People can change for the better! I’ve changed for the better! You see that, don’t you? You’ve helped me change!” He walked up to her and grabbed her shoulders. He shook her as he continued. “Why can’t he give me a chance? I’m giving all of them a chance. Hell, after the way they’ve all treated you all these years, I should hex them to oblivion! It’s what they expect from me, anyway!”
| pstibbons chapter 15 . 6/2/2009
“Your middle names are both Evil and Vindictive?” she asked.
“Yes, Evil after my dear old dad, and Vindictive after darling mother,” he said.
Draco thought that even though Richard Granger finally stood up to his wife, it was too little, too late. The psychological scars on Hermione would never heal, and that was more Richard Granger’s fault, than his wife’s fault.
As if reading his mind, Michael said, “My mother has agreed to be civil. She’ll no longer treat Hermione as an outsider, I promise. She knows she’s liable to lose her whole family if she does.”
Draco didn’t buy it for one second. Monica and ‘civil’ simply did not mix.
“Dad, I think what Draco’s trying to say, or rather sing, quite loudly, and off tune, is that I prefer to spend the rest of my holiday with him.”
“I’m not sure you are the epitome of morals, Dad, seeing how you had an affair with a twenty- year-old girl, while you were married. Did you ever tell you wife that my mother didn’t know you were married? You never told Monica that did you?” Hermione leaned over her father and said to Monica, “My mother didn’t know he was married until after the summer was over, when he was telling her goodbye. I wanted you to know who was culpable, and who wasn’t.”
“For once, Monica, you’re right. Who cares at this point? You’ve already vilified me to your community, your friends, your family, I’m sure no one can think less of me than they already do.”
I fell in love with him while I was still married to Roger. I guess like father, like daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Monica turned to Richard and said, “Are you going to let that man threaten me and talk to me like that at my own house.”
Richard stood up, said, “Yes,” and he walked away, upset.
“Don’t ever, and I mean, ever, let Monica poison that little girl’s childhood. Don’t let her alone with her, don’t let her talk to her, don’t let her influence her. Please. Second, love that little girl as if she’s your own; treat her with love and respect, and most of all, kindness. You said your biggest regret is that you didn’t protect me growing up. I will absolve you of all your ‘so called’ sins, if you promise me to protect her, like you never protected me.”
Perhaps she did come to meet him that fateful day, but the question remained, why didn’t they meet?