Do You Love Me?
A/N - This is my final chapter. It was hard to end this story but I needed to somewhere. Enjoy the final chapter of 'Angels Temptation!'
Finally, there were no more tears left for her to shed. She had been drained of feeling and all that remained was a hollow ache in her chest.
It had been four days since her and Draco had been discovered together, four days since her had told the biggest and most painful lie of her life. . .
After denying any love felt for Draco, she had felt him stiffen by her side. He had turned to look at her, his eyes devoid of emotion, before walking past the others and disappearing down Hogwarts dark corridors. Vila had left soon after, realising that she had accomplished what she had wanted from the very beginning, to spilt them apart. It was then that she had been left alone with Ron and Harry, their eyes firmly set on her.
'Then, why?' Ron asked, his eyes filled with agony. 'Why did you let him even so much as touch you? If you don't love him. . .I. . .I don't understand.'
'Ron,' her voice low, 'I just couldn't stop. I don't know what happened to me; I couldn't stop seeing him. But I…,' The words stuck in her throat for a second time. 'I don't love him.'
Afterwards, they had talked for what seemed like hours. Questions were asked and answered and with each sentence spoken, she could feel her heart breaking. She had to say no to Ron's question? Hadn't she? If she'd have admitted her true feelings, Ron and Harry would truly hate her. By denying her love for Draco, there was a way to salvage what part of their friendship that remained. Like Harry had said, it would bring shame on their House if she had allowed her and Draco's 'relationship' to continue.
I did the right thing, she told herself, sitting numbly at the end of her bed. In the end it never would have worked anyway. We would have gone our separate ways and with only a month left at Hogwarts it was better to end it sooner rather than later. She had told herself this many times in the past four days, but the more she repeated it, the more false it sounded.
Ever since that day, Draco had walked away from all of them. He hadn't acknowledged her even once. If she saw him in the corridors, he would walk resolutely past her, not offering her a single glance. It was the same in lessons, too. She had found herself occasionally staring at the back of his blond head or secretly admiring his beautiful features. It pained her to see him everyday and not be able to look into his stormy, passionate eyes. To not have him touch her, kiss her, make love to her…
Shaking away the traitorous thoughts, Hermione focused on the text book in front of her. She had to concentrate; her final exams were in less than a month, and pining for Draco Malfoy was not an option. Harry and Ron were only just starting to relax around her once again. After they had all talked and she had promised never to see Draco again, they had agreed to try and work things out. Of course, Ron was still cold to her on certain occasions and sometimes he found it hard to look at her directly.
The thought of losing Ron and Harry as friends was unbearable. They had been together for seven years now and had faced so much. With only a month left, she wanted to do everything she could to prove that their friendship was worth fighting for. Laying down on her bed, Hermione closed her puffy, red eyes.
'Forgive me Draco,' she whispered. 'I had no other choice.'
One week. That was all that was left of their time in Hogwarts. Most of the exams had been finished, with only DADA and Transfigurations left. Linking her hands together, Hermione watched as Ron and Harry competed in the last Quidditch match they would ever play at Hogwarts.
This year, they were competing for the cup against Ravenclaw. It was usually the Slytherins that played against them in the final match, but because of Draco's accident, they had lost their star player for their next few matches, causing them to fall behind in the league.
Loud cheers filled the grounds of Hogwarts as both teams played their hardest to score goals left, right and centre. As much as Hermione wanted Gryffindor to win, she just couldn't concentrate on the game. Besides, Luna was doing enough screaming to compensate for her silence. Ever since the Yule, Luna and Harry had become rather close and Hermione had the feeling that they were quickly becoming a couple.
Draco was not at the match. Hermione hadn't seen him since they took their exams together on Friday; it was as though he had vanished. Glancing around the stadium, Hermione spotted Vila standing with a group of Slytherin girls, looking as interested in the game as Hermione was. Since that day four weeks ago, Vila had been in a wretched mood almost constantly. Hermione still received death glares from the girl, but apart from that, no further action had been taken.
Deciding that she wouldn't be missed if she disappeared from the sidelines, Hermione pushed her way through the cheering and clapping Gryffindors and headed back within Hogwarts walls. The halls were eerily empty as everyone was watching the game. She didn't know exactly why she had left the game, other than she wanted to be alone. She had been feeling like that a lot lately, and even though Harry and Ron were once again acting normal towards her, she just couldn't relax in anyone's company.
Even Ginny had sat her down and asked if she was alright. She had just smiled and said that she was worried about her exams. Of course, that had set everything straight and since then, everyone believed that she was fretting over her final results. Bowing her head, Hermione walked slowly, not knowing exactly were she was going.
Eventually she found herself standing outside the doors of the library. Smiling, Hermione remembered the many hours she had spent inside the large old room and how she had buried herself in books older than Dumbledore himself.
Walking into the room, Hermione looked around at the empty tables and the mass of books stacked on the high shelves. She would miss coming here. It had been a place where she could always come to get away from the world; a place she could reflect on her life. Hogwarts had been very good to her and she knew she would miss it terribly. Sighing, Hermione sat down at a nearby table.
'I'm going to miss this place,' she murmured resting her head on the table's wooden top.
'Talking to yourself again, I see.'
Jumping at the sudden intrusion into her thoughts, Hermione looked up into the face she had least expected.
'Draco!' She tried to keep her voice low and calm, but the emotions she was feeling were threatening to take over. 'What are you doing here?' She didn't know what else to say--what else was there to say, exactly? Sorry I told the biggest lie in my life; I really do love you but you know how it goes. Or, Well how about that day we got caught out in the broom closet, that really blew didn't it? No, she didn't think so.
'The same thing you're doing, I suppose,' he answered. 'Getting away from everyone else; after all we already know that Potter is going to catch the snitch. . .he always does.'
Smiling slightly, Hermione nodded in agreement. 'That's true; he's beaten you so many times I've lost count.' Seeing Draco's expression change to annoyance, she tried her best to suppress her laughter. God, she had missed him.
'Yeah, well.' He shrugged his shoulders pretending not to care. 'He may win it for the Gryffindors, but without him they would be sitting ducks.'
'That's not true! And what about you Slytherins? You didn't even make it into the final this year so you have no right to talk.' Folding his arms, Draco smirked arrogantly.
'We Slytherins don't need to win a Quidditch match to prove that we are the better House. We are smarter and more cunning than any Gryffindor could dream of becoming.'
Clenching her hands, Hermione jumped up from her seat and poked a finger in his chest. 'So Slytherins are smart, huh? Then why don't you explain to me how Vila could be so dumb that she actually admitted to Harry and Ron that she slipped me a lust potion? Slytherins are smart, ha! Not bloody likely!.'
It was then Draco's face clouded over with anger, making Hermione take a step away from him. She didn't believe what she had just said. After trying to pretend nothing had ever happened, she had to go and drag up past events.
'Well, it's needless to say that you put everything right, isn't it, Granger? You certainly wasted no time in admitting to the Weasel that you had used me for your sexual curiosity. I mean, if you were prepared to seduce me with your lingerie and garments and then call out another man's name, then I'm sure you would have no problem in using me for your personal pleasure. Do you have any idea how foolish you made me feel? Especially with that conniving bitch smirking at me for days after.'
Lowering her eyes, Hermione felt herself at a loss for words. What was she supposed to say? Whatever choice she made, it would have end up hurting someone. By saying no, she was giving him a chance to break free of her. After all, he wouldn't want to be tied to a mudblood forever. He would eventually have to marry another Pureblood, as the Malfoy's had done for centuries. By saying she didn't love him, she had given him a chance to continue with his life the way it had been before her.
'You don't understand, Draco.' Her voice was heavy with emotion and she felt a weight pulling at her heart. 'What was I supposed to say? I love you? If I had done that, you would have run for the hills. After all, you're a Malfoy. . .you would never commit yourself to someone you considered beneath you. In the end, we would have gone our separate ways. There is only a week left and you know as well as I do that we would never have contacted each other again after we left Hogwarts. By ending it now, I did us both a favour, and you know it!'
Watching closely, Hermione saw Draco's expression remain emotionless. It was as though he hadn't even registered a word she had just spoken. A few seconds later, however, he flashed her his famous smirk once again before turning his heel.
'You're absolutely right, Granger. You've saved me from writing you an, 'it's been fun' note. Unlike all the other women who cling helplessly to me, you understand that I have needs to be fulfilled, and you did your job perfectly.' Not seeing the horrified expression on her face, Draco started to make his way toward the door, not even looking back at her.
'See you, Granger. . .it was fun.'
Biting down on her lip to stop threatening tears, she didn't even notice the warm blood filling her mouth.
The day that she was finally to leave Hogwarts had come. Dumbledore had set out an amazing feast in the Great Hall and in less than five hours, she would leave Hogwarts for good.
Laughing at Harry's face as Ron beat him once again at Wizards chess, Hermione felt a tug at her heart. After she received her final results, she would hopefully be joining one of the most prestigious universities in the wizarding world. Arithmancy was her strong point, and she would be studying it with some of the most advanced wizards and witches of their time. Smiling at the thought, Hermione continued watching as Harry pleaded with Ron for one more game.
The two of them were still uneasy with the Draco situation, but they were truly trying their best to work things out. Hermione knew that Ron was still upset, and she wished that she could feel the same way about him as he did her, but she knew it was cruel to give him false hope. They had all agreed to stay in contact over the holidays and meet up as soon as they could. Their friendship was something too precious to each of them to just forget about it.
Noticing a flash of blond hair across the Great Hall, Hermione observed Draco as he sat between Crabbe and Goyle. As usual, he was the one doing most of the talking, but instead of ignoring the Gryffindor table as he had been doing for the past month, he kept shooting glares at her. Looking away, Hermione forced away the dull ache in her chest.
The past few weeks had been hell without him. She had become addicted to him and wanted nothing more than to fling her arms around his neck and kiss him senseless. Realising that it was never going to happen, as he now officially hated her, Hermione stood up from the Gryffindor table and excused herself. She needed to be alone; her heart was broken enough without having to bear the thought of Draco hating her.
Finding herself out in the abandoned gardens, she clenched her fists together and started to hit out at fresh air.
'Dammit!' she screamed. 'It's not fair!'
'I thought I warned you about talking to yourself.'
Was it ever going to end?
Turning around to face him, Hermione felt her chest throb as she met his grey eyes. His robes were moving fiercely in the wind and his hair had started to fall out of place, making him look like he had on the morning she had woken up next to his warm body.
'Yeah, well.' Her voice was low. 'I seem to be going a little crazy lately.' Taking a step forward, Draco nodded.
'Yeah, I've been feeling like that, too. I guess we've both been acting a little crazy together then.'
Nodding, she felt herself taking a step towards him also.
'I. . .guess so.'
There was a long pause afterwards. The wind was harsh against the two of them and it looked as though a storm could begin at any moment. Still looking into Draco's eyes, she saw his lips part.
Her name? He never said her name! It sounded so soft coming from his lips. He pronounced it with a low husky tone in his voice,making her slightly weak at the knees.
'Do you love me?'
She couldn't hide the shock on her face to his question. Never in a million years would she have thought that Draco Malfoy would ask her such a question. What was she going to say? She couldn't lie again; it had nearly killed her saying it last time. For months, she had denied anything other than lust for him, and the moment she realised her true feelings, Vila had burst in ruining any intimacy that they had shared.
'Draco. . .please don't do this to me. I can't answer that question and you know it.'
Anger was evident on the Slytherins face as he closed the gap between them and roughly grabbed hold of her hands.
'Yes, you can answer the bloody question, Hermione! I need to know how you feel. Without the Weasel, Potter or Vila watching, I have to know.'
Trembling at the intensity at the moment, Hermione felt her head swimming with the pressure she felt she was under. Everything that had happened since she had started lusting for Draco flashed through her head. The kiss under the tree, how he had injured himself in Quidditch, the way they argued. . .and made love. There was only one answer to his question, and she had to tell him before her heart finally broke.
'Yes, Draco. . .I love you.'
She had never felt more free in her life than at that moment. No matter if he ran away or laughed in her face; she didn't care anymore. . .the truth had been told.
His response to her confession was a strange one. At first he just continued to hold her in his death grip, not making any attempt to release her. When he finally did, he caught her face between his hands and brushed a kiss lightly against her lips, but she could sense how much he was restraining himself. Slowly pulling away he brushed a stray strand of hair from her face.
'God, Hermione. Do you have any idea what you have done to me?'
She could have asked him the same question! What exactly did he think she had been doing for all those weeks after they had first made love? Pulling away from his embrace, she shook her head in confusion.
'I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say, Draco. What is it that you want, exactly?'
As Draco ran a hand through his tussled hair, Hermione could tell he was struggling with his words.
'Hell, I don't know, Hermione. Since I'm a Malfoy, you'd think I'd want to shag a few women before finally settling down and marrying a virgin who will help me spawn heirs.'
Unamused by his sarcastic rant, Hermione listened while he quoted some of the things said by her in the library.
'And, of course, I would never want to commit myself to someone who I considered beneath me would I? So I'm not exactly sure, Hermione. What is it that I want?'
She started to open her mouth so she could tell him he wanted a good kick up the arse but he obviously wasn't finished yet.
'Maybe it's possible that I want to actually be with a woman who doesn't treat me like I'm going to be her meal ticket through life if she gets the chance to shag me. Maybe I want a woman who is smart, strong and independent.' His voice was starting to get lower with each word that passed from his lips. 'Maybe I want you.'
Shocked by what he was saying, Hermione considered pinching Draco to see if this really was the arrogant Slytherin Prince standing before her. After all those years of fighting and arguing, how could she ever have expected that things would end up this way? That she would end up falling for someone whom she had despised for years. How thin the line between love and hate truly was!
Stepping closer into Draco's warm body, she couldn't help but allow her arms to wrap around his firm torso.
'Yes,' she murmured into his chest. 'I want you too.'
It was then that he lowered his lips down to her own and captured them in a heart-melting kiss. Feeling her knees grow slightly weak, Hermione clung to him even more for support, which caused the kiss to deepen even more. The moment would have continued to be a blissful one if only they hadn't been interrupted by a loud, angry voice.
'Just what the hell are you doing!?'
Jumping apart from their passionate embrace, Hermione let her eyes settle on Ron's furious face. Closing her eyes in anguish, Hermione prayed that it was all just a nightmare and Ron would be gone when she opened up her eyes once again. However, that was not going to be the case. Seeing that he was still standing in front, of her Hermione linked her hands together, her eyes never leaving his.
'Ron,' she began. 'Please don't hate me for this, but I can't lie to you or myself, any more than I already have.' Letting her hold slip from Draco's hand, she took a few steps toward Ron. 'I'm so sorry you had to find out this way, Ron, but I can't pretend anymore. No matter how much I value our friendship, I need to have something more.' Seeing that Ron's expression had not changed, Hermione let out an exasperated sigh. 'Please try and understand Ron. . .I love him!'
That certainly did the trick. Ron looked as though he was about to have a heart attack while Draco moved slowly to her side and took hold of her hand firmly. Feeling him squeeze her hand encouragingly, Hermione couldn't help but smile. It was going to be hard for the two of them, especially Draco. The act of taking her hand had most likely been alien to him. He was not used to loving or being loved, his family was rich but not in love.
'You love him?' Ron repeated it slowly as though he was trying to process her words. 'But. . .you said that you didn't. That it was just lust. You promised you would never see him again, Hermione! He's corrupted you. He's trying to turn you against us! It must be a plan conjured up by him and his father; after all Draco is going to be a Death Eater, just like Lucius!'
'That's enough!' Draco released her hand and moved forward so that he was facing Ron with only a few steps between them. 'I won't allow you to make such repulsive accusations against me. I am not and never will be a Death Eater. That was the path my father chose, but I will not follow him.' Draco shook his head. 'I've seen what effects it had on him; what it did to my family. . .my mother. He lives in constant fear of what his lord will do to him if he fails. I will not allow myself to be controlled that way, not by anyone.'
Hermione saw the shock on Ron's face and she had to admit that she was feeling the same way, too. Draco had never told her anything about his feelings toward his Death Eater father. She had always presumed that he loyal to his father's wishes. That he followed Voldemort just as the rest of the Malfoys had before him. She didn't know that he was so opposed to the idea of becoming a follower of Voldemort, but then again, she had never really asked him, had she?
'You're lying,' Ron said, uncertainty edging his voice. 'You're a Malfoy; you were born and bred to serve Voldemort. It's public knowledge in the wizarding world how corrupt you all are.' Seeing Draco's face darken, Hermione prepared herself to break up a looming fight.
'Watch your mouth, Weasley,' Draco warned. 'I may be a Malfoy, but I'm sure as hell not a brainless Death Eater. And I don't care how much you, Vila, or Potter plot to try and stop me and Hermione, because I'll fight you every step of the way.'
Hermione could actually feel her heart start to melt in her chest. It was the first time he had truly shown any genuine care toward her. He was still a bastard, but he was her bastard and he was prepared to fight for what they had. She knew that it was going to be hard and painful along the way, but what relationship worth fighting for wasn't? She loved her friends dearly but they couldn't give her what she needed. She hadn't planned on falling in love with Draco, and for a long time it had been lust. Though somehow it had grown, and she wasn't sure at exactly what point things had started to change between the two of them, but it had happened, quick and brutally.
Stepping between the two, Hermione looked up at the faces she loved. Ron seemed to have calmed down, taking in what Draco had just said. Draco was staring at Ron, refusing to back down.
'I don't want this to change our friendship, Ron,' she said. 'In the perfect world, I wish that you could accept how I feel about Draco. I love the both of you so much, and it breaks my heart to think that I'm going to end up losing you because of this.' Blinking back tears, she took hold of Ron's limp hand gently. 'Please don't hate me.'
'I don't hate you.'
The voice came from past Ron's shoulder, making all three of them turn to see who it was.
Seeing Harry's face added to the anguish Hermione was feeling. She didn't know what he was trying to say but if it was going to be cruel then she wouldn't be able to handle it. Her heart had been tortured enough already.
'Hermione,' Harry let his green eyes sweep over the three of them. 'I'm so sorry.'
'Huh?' Obviously, Draco had been expecting anything other than that, Hermione thought, still unsure of what Harry was talking about.
'I mean. . .' he hung his head. 'I didn't know that you were feeling this way; that you. . .well that you loved Draco. You told us it was just about lust, that you felt nothing for him. I didn't realise you were trying to protect us and that you were hurting yourself in the process. I'm sorry that. . .that we weren't there for you.' Catching her eyes with his, Hermione saw him smile. 'Because you've always been there for us.'
The next thing she remembered was running into Harry's arms and burying her face against his shoulder. She felt his shirt become damp from her tears, and the soft pressure of Ron's comforting touch on her shoulder.
'I still can't believe it,' Ron said quietly to Harry. 'I mean the two of them. . .together; it would have been an impossible pairing a year ago.'
'Yeah, I know,' Harry agreed. 'I'm still finding it hard to get my head around but. . .well, they're happy together, you know. That's all that counts at the end of the day right?'
Nodding his head, Ron picked up his luggage.
'I guess so.'
Watching Ron's gloomy expression, he put a hand on his best friend's shoulder.
'Are you going to be okay?'
Looking up, Ron was about to answer when he saw a tall figure with a shot of jet black hair approaching them. Ron recognised the person as Ruby Eaglefire. She was probably one of the sexiest and most sought after women Hogwarts had ever known. Her skills in the bedroom had been widely bragged about, although few had actually found out for themselves. This girl was not easy, which added to her sexual mystery. Ron swallowed when he noticed that she was looking at him directly as she sashayed her way toward him, her hips moving rhythmically as her robes flowed around her.
Watching as Harry moved away from the two of them to go and speak with his new lover Luna, Ron felt himself get hot with nervousness and arousal. Stopping in front of him, Ruby ran her exotic eyes over his body.
'You're Ronald Weasley, aren't you?' she asked, her voice low and seductive. Swallowing, Ron nodded, not trusting his voice to behave itself.
'I've seen you around Hogwarts from time to time,' she continued. 'I've always wanted to get to know you, but you know how things are when you're in the Slytherin house. It's so hard to find a man that doesn't drone on about his precious heritage, but I hear you're different, for a Pureblood.' Smiling sexily at him, she moved closer bringing, her lips to his ear.
'You know, I think red hair can be so sexy on a man. It shows style and character. And also passion.' Tossing her long silky hair, Ruby gave him another seductive smile. 'And I'm hoping that I will be able to get to know the man behind the passionate exterior.'
By now, Ron was tempted to run away from the forward girl. Never would he have thought that someone like Ruby Eaglefire would have even noticed a guy like him. Seeing the sensual promise in the girl's eyes, Ron knew he was way out of his league. But it was then that something clicked inside of him. Why would she be out of his league? Here she was, propositioning him, and he was about to turn her away. Inwardly laughing at his stupidity, Ron smiled in return at Ruby.
'Well, I may have to hold you to that. . .'
As Harry embraced Luna in a farewell hug, he heard flirtatious laughter come from were he had left Ron standing. What he saw made his eyes bug out. Ruby Eaglefire was running a finely manicured hand seductively down Ron's arm. No way was Ron about to score with Ruby Eaglefire! It just wasn't possible! Though it seemed, by the way Ron was leading her away, that it was very possible indeed.
The sun was just beginning to rise when Draco finally collapsed on top of her satisfied body. No matter how many times they made love, she never grew tired of it. They had been together for almost two years now and their relationship had become stronger and passionate with each day that had passed.
After Draco's father had disinherited him from the Malfoy fortune, Draco had started to work in the Ministry and was quickly becoming one of their most valued workers. With his recent promotions, Hermione had no doubt that he would soon be on the board. She, too, was finding her way in the world; her name had become quite popular to many famous professors of Arithmancy and she was being offered many jobs in helping them to teach the subject to advanced pupils.
Wrapping her arms around Draco's spent body, she felt his lips lightly kiss the hollow of her neck, sending shivers down her spine. Slowly pulling out of her, Draco kept her in his arms as he continued to lay soft adoring kisses on her face and neck. Sighing, Hermione realised that there were no words to express how much she loved this man lying beside her.
When Draco had finally said those three words to her, she had covered him with adoring kisses before pulling him into the bedroom for a night of pure ecstasy. Smiling at the memory, Hermione responded to his lips and started to place kisses of her own on his amazing body.
She was always thinking of ways to show him her love and vice-versa. Victoria Secret lingerie was one of Draco's favourite ways of expressing his love, and he had definitely paid her back for the panties he had ripped all those years ago. They had faced so much together in the past two years. So many arguments, tears, and sadness had been faced but the end result had truly been worth it. Now, hopefully the future seemed to only hold love, adoration, and happiness.
Smiling, Hermione realised how amazing it was that two people who were so different could find the happiness they had in each other. She had never been one to believe in destiny or soul mates; she was far too logical for anything like that, but moments like these truly made her wonder.
Their future was still uncertain, but Hermione knew that their love was not.
Looking deep into her lover's breathtaking eyes, Hermione found herself saying the words she never got tired of.
'I love you, Draco.'
A/N: The End