A/N: Written at the request of JF. Sickly romantic, I warn you! Not very original in my opinion, but I kind of like it. :)

My first DMHG. I love this pairing!

Part1/2

The Music of the Night

I watch her silently, sharply as she moves through the dance floor gracefully, her eyes shining with a joy I could never be a part of.

She looks absolutely ravishing, in form-fitting gowns made of the finest wine colored silks and satins that hugged her every sensual curve, ribbons trailing behind her every elegant sway, the many sequins dancing in the lights. No jewels adorn her but she didn't need such artificial splendor; the warmth of her gaze and beauty of her smile could outmatch any priceless diamond in Africa. Unlike the many ladies at the ball, she wears none of those thick mask ladies often don; only a pale rogue on her lips and cheeks is more than efficient to emphasize her natural loveliness.

She is dancing with a man I know that she did not even remotely like, only giving the rancid man the pleasure of leading her on the floor as a gesture of common courtesy.

When I see the awful man's hand dip lower behind her back, I know that it was my time to intervene. I step out from behind the shadows of the pillar where I have been observing her carefully and head out to where she is. I tap the man she is with and ask for a small dance with her.

He stares at me strangely, sizing me up, trying to figure out who I am. I'm eternally grateful for the theme of the ball, which is a masquerade, and most of the guests were wearing masks of different shapes, sizes, and styles. I myself wear a mask of the deepest black, which go from the top of my brow to the tip of my nose. Only visible on my face are my thin lips and grey eyes of steel.

I can see that she is delighted at my interruption and she looks at the other man, telling him it was all right. The man doesn't seem too happy about it, but acquiesces.

I take her in my arms and feel as if this night was the night I had been dreaming of, ever since I had first laid eyes on her. I smile at her gently as I lead her to the middle of the crowd, wanting each and every person in the room to know that I was dancing with the most gorgeous lady of the ball.

She returns my smile with equal if not greater fervor as she places a hand on my shoulder, and the other on my hand. I grasp at her slim waist, pulling her closer. To my surprise, she cuddles as close as her full skirts would permit, letting me breathe in the scent that has been clouding my mind for so long.

"Thank you," she silently whispers while we sway gently to the music.

I lean down on her, my lips tantalizingly close to the skin of her ear. "Whatever for?" I whisper back and I can feel the tremors that overtook her body when she felt my breath on her skin.

"For…for saving me from that man," she says breathlessly. "I couldn't stand another minute in his presence."

I laugh softly, emitting another violent quiver from her supple body. I know that she is not a person likely to say something horrible about another, but she too, has her limits and is very frank about her feelings.

"Well, then, I guess you could call me your hero," I breathed.

"My…hero," she agrees.

The music changes from the waltz to slow sinful tunes lovers often hear in the midst of abandon. She removes her hand from mine and places it around my neck. I instantly wrap my arms around her waist, pulling her even closer.

We sway gently, each step in accordance to the haunting melody the orchestra delivered. Every couple in the room seems entranced to the music as well.

But I do not care about the others. It was all her and me in the room, our eyes locked together, each trying to burrow deep with the souls of the other. Her chocolate eyes searches mine and I gaze back, giving her a look of such intensity that if she were butter, she would have melted in my arms already. She leans in to my embrace, her head cradling on my chest, feeling the erratic beating of my heart at her proximity. I dip my head down to her silky chestnut tresses, the scent of the purest lavender attacking my senses almost immediately.

"Who are you?" she sighs.

"No one you need to know," I murmur, feeling a twinge of guilt at my deception.

She removes her head from my breast. I feel slightly disappointed at the loss of contact but she stares at me gently. She cups my cheek in her soft hands and I lean in to her caress.

"Please, I want to know who you are," she pleads.

I sigh, removing her hand from my face. I kiss the centre of her palm.

"At another time and place, you will know who I am. As of tonight, please just let me have this moment with you without any obstructions."

"What obstructions?"

"I fear that if you know who I am, this magical night will end more quickly than I had anticipated and you will be nothing more than a wonderful memory," I confess. "You look so enchanting this evening that I feel so worthless compared to you. I…I just had to have even just one dance with you."

"Then you must be someone I generally dislike, then?" she inquires tightly. My breath caught at my throat.

"I might be someone you hate," I tread carefully.

"No," she says, leaning back to me. I let out an air of relief. "I might dislike people, but I don't hate them. Hate is too strong, it's too destructive, that's why I never hate. But if you are a person I dislike, please, just let me have an instant with you without any enmity between us. You're someone who's capable of making me feel special this night, and even if in the morning I might be having a shouting match with you without knowing who you are, at least, permit me this moment of peace."

My heart constricts at her goodness, at her willingness to believe that he was not one she would condemn for what he did to her in the past. I suddenly realize that my feelings for her escalated to the proverbial point of no return, past the stage where I could only look at her from afar and say that she is just pretty, that's it. Now, I cannot look at her and say how beautiful she is inside and out, that she belongs to me and only me.

If it was at all possible, I love her even more at this second. I love her so much that I feel as if my heart would burst from the sudden onslaught of emotions. Now that I have her in my arms again, I feel as if everything in my life has fallen into place, as if she is the missing piece in the puzzle of my existence, as if she is the concrete that reinforces my walls, making me stronger, and yet has the power to weaken me as well.

"Will…will you step with me outside?" I ask. She nods and I take her to one of the gardens, stopping at a spot where a large clump of rose bushes obstructed us from the view of prying others. From where we stand, we could still hear faint traces of the composition now being played.

"What did you want to talk to me about?" she asks. There was a chill hanging in the air and I remove my cloak to place it on her shoulders.

"Thank you," she smiles at me while I fasten the frogs.

"It's a bit windy here," I reply. She sits down on the stone bench and repeats her question.

"I…honestly don't know." I run a hand through my black-dyed hair to help hide my identity from her. "I suppose I wanted to have time alone with you, that's all."

"I feel…I feel as if I've known you before," she admits, touching the velvet petal of a rose beside her.

"Yes?" I encourage her to go further.

"You seem kind of familiar, like a friend I had lost at one time or another."

"Maybe I am someone you lost," I answer, giving little hints as to who I am.

Her face tightens. "No, I have never lost anyone."

"Oh?"

"Let's stop this depressing conversation and focus more on other matters. What do you do for a living?"

I have to laugh at her quick wit. Realizing that I am not about to say directly who I am, she thought that if I gave other bits about myself, she would instantly recognize me.

"I do a bit of freelancing, here and there. But I do have large farms and such on my estate," I reply cryptically, amused at the frustration in her eyes when I refuse to reveal more.

"You have an estate?"

"Yes, it's somewhere in Europe, that much I can tell you. I breed horses there."

Her interest perked up. She has affection for animals, especially horses. If I recall correctly, she is a brilliant equestrienne, though her riding skills were pretty much kept in the dark while we were at school.

"You like horses?"

"Very much so. I have twenty imported horses, but my favorite one is this stallion I call Darkness. He's very temperamental but once you got him to calm down, he's a real thing of wonder."

"I used to have a white Arabian named Lily. She died last year due to an infection."

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't be. She was getting on in her years, so I suppose she needed the rest, only it's eternal."

I simply nod, not knowing what to say next.

"Have you ever fallen in love?" she questions and I am surprised by it. "Been in love so deep, so drugging, that when that person leaves you, you feel as if your whole world is shattered into bits and you lose all purpose in life?"

"I don't know…."

"Well, I have. He was my world; he was everything I had ever dreamed of. I loved him so purely it was a sin. But he never did love me back, so he left me. Maybe he's happy somewhere with another person, and even if he did hurt me, I wish him all the happiness. After all, he did give me a nice memory to live by."

The tears in my eyes threaten to flow but I blink back furiously, not letting any emotion showing from my face but a sympathetic expression at her plight.

God, what have I done?

"He must be the stupidest person on earth," I mumble finally. "For leaving such one as you. If I were you, I would be cursing him to hell, not wishing him happiness!"

I want her to be angry, curse the man who had dared to leave her…though I know that I deserve more than anger to what I done to her. Hell, if she wants to at the moment, she could kill me and I would die without any regrets.

"I could never do that." She shakes her head.

I try to stem my own rage at her inability to even feel rage.

The music from the ball changes, this time, it was a sweet aria.

I stretch my hand out to her.

"Will you give me the pleasure of another dance?"

She stands up but doesn't accept my hand. I suddenly fear that she was going to leave. But instead, she comes closer to me and wraps her arms around my neck. I smile beatifically and pull her nearer.

Slowly, she pulls away and stares back to my eyes. I gulp inconspicuously at her contemplation.

She closes her eyes and leans forward to my face. I instantly recognize her intentions for I also lean to her, our lips touching hesitantly but surely.

The first touch was like a bolt of electricity though my veins. Her lips were soft and pliant against mine. I deepen the kiss, trailing my tongue on her bottom lip, asking for entrance to her sweet warmth and she grants me permission. I delve in, trying to drink in the very essence of her.

Under the witness of the full moon, I know that at this very moment, I could die in peace in her arms, in this way.

When I am just staring to get my knees support me enough lest I fall she breaks the kiss. I groan at the loss of contact but she embraces me tightly and it lessens my distress.

"Thank you for a magical night," she whispers in my ear.

"Not a problem. I enjoyed it."

"I must go now."

"Now? Why?"

"I have something I need to do."

"I understand."

"I knew you would. Thank you again."

I simply nod and pry away her arms. I give her a kiss on the cheek, my lips lingering on the soft skin as I breathe in her scent for what I know would be the last.

"Good-bye," I say.

"Just one question," she says, and I stop.

"What is it?"

"Why did you leave me, Draco?"