A/N: This is it!!!! The last chapter!!! Sequel is definitely going to be titled, Keeping the Moon, so keep your eyes open for it!
It's been a long journey, but I love you all for reading and reviewing! Do me one last honor and review the last chapter of The Art of Seduction
I've Got Another Confession to Make
Chapter Twenty: All Hail the Heartbreaker
I will sleep another
I don't really need to anyway
What's the point when my dreams are infected
With words you used to say
I will breathe in a moment
As long as I keep my distance
I wouldn't want to go messing anything up
So don't go worrying
It's not like I think about you constantly
So maybe I do, but that shouldn't affect
Your life anymore
I knew it the moment you walked into the door
There she was again. His female carbon copy, darting between the legs of the swarms of people littering Diagon Alley, glancing back over her shoulder at him, her bright eyes alight in fear.
"Wait!" He called, shoving between two men and dashing after her. The child shrieked and broke into a run, disappearing in a surge of witches crooning on about sales on Potions ingredients and live mice. He ignored this, his grey eyes searching the crowd desperately.
Finally, finally, after all this time, she was here. She was here and he was here and soon they'd be together again. Together with their son, and their daughter, who he had first seen in Flourish and Blott's, her mother's child through and through. He smiled despite himself and emerged through the crowd of witches, scanning the crowded street for his family.
He had the perfect reason as to why he hadn't been there, and it had broken his heart into a million pieces to have to miss the experience of welcoming his children into the world, but he was sure, no, he was positive that she would forgive him, if not soon, then eventually. He would work everyday if he had to, just to prove to her how sorry he was.
If only he could find her.
Five years. Five years had aged him. Five years had changed him. But five years could not still the swell of his heart with the mere thought of her. No, nothing could quell that sensation. He was sure of that.
Ah, there she was, ducking into another store, her fearful grey eyes fixed on him as she disappeared into the darkened store.
"Hey!" He called just as her long, blond hair followed its owner into the dark room.
He pushed his way through the crowds, knocking down an old woman, and pausing momentarily to apologize profusely and help her gather her purchases before standing and continuing with his quest.
She was right there, he could feel. He knew she was waiting, that she had waited, how could she have not? They were in love, things were going to be perfect, and things were going to work out the way they were supposed to. Just five years after they should have.
His heart began to pound ferociously in his chest. His ribs hurt from the hammering against his bones. The tissue of his muscles were clenching and unclenching, sending spasms up and down his arms and legs. In the window he spotted his carbon copy before she saw him looking at her and darted away.
"Dammit," He muttered under his breath before he finally broke through the last stragglers and nearly tripped flat on his face. Smoothing his hair back away from his face and straightening his robes, he regally opened the door, looking up at the little bell that announced his presence. He sniffed, staring down a little boy with black hair, faintly resembling Potter, before turning his gaze on the other shoppers, none of whom even seemed to care that a man who had been missing for the greater part of half a decade had just strode back into their midst.
Clearing his throat, his hands kept smoothing over his robes, wiping away beads of sweat. Nervousness was pouring over him in waves.
Now that he was here, he wasn't sure that he could do it. He couldn't find her. Could he? What would she really think if he just cornered her in a shop and claimed to not be a ghost haunting her? Or worse yet, what if she had found someone else to love?
No, she wouldn't, couldn't do that. He was sure of that.
The little girl he had trailed came out from behind a shelf, her little hands on her hips, and a look on her visage that screamed her mother. He smiled. Yes, this was definitely, his baby girl.
"Why are you following me?" She asked, her childlike voice, surprisingly mature. He didn't know how to respond. Did you just go out and tell a child that you're their father? Was that the right thing to do? Was someone else in the store going to think he was trying to kidnap her if he swooped her up in a hug and planted kisses all over her face?
"It's rude not to respond, you know!" She said, her little hands growing white with the pressure with which she was keeping them on her hips. Her pink lips even brighter as she pursed them together.
"And it's rude to talk to your elders like that, young lady," He admonished, crossing his arms over his chest.
The girl crossed her own arms and stared up at him with narrowed eyes. "You are not my father."
Wanna bet? Draco felt like replying, but only managed to smirk instead. His daughter mimicked him. Oh, it felt nice to talk to her, this little creation of his.
"Grace, who are you talking to?"
And then she appeared, like an angel in the darkness. Her hair was shorter, sleeker, and her face was tan as were her arms and legs. Her brown eyes were as sharp as ever, and when she admonished their child, he felt a tightness in his heart. Here she was. For real. This wasn't a dream. No, it couldn't be, though he had dreamt of her every night and day for five extremely long years. He felt like slapping himself, just to be sure.
"I told you young lady that you need to be nicer to people, even if you don't know them, it's just rude to act like a brat," Hermione reprimanded, juggling something in her arms, that he couldn't focus on. Here she was. His beautiful girl.
"Well, maybe if other people weren't rude to me, I wouldn't be rude back!" Grace countered, her hands back on her hips.
"That's it," Hermione said, pulling her by the arm away. Draco felt like fainting. "When we get home, you're not getting any dessert and going straight to bed!"
"But that's not fair!"
"I swear, you're more and more like your father everyday," Hermione said, turning and pulling the struggling Grace with her. Draco could have smiled, he was so happy with being compared to his daughter.
"It was all his fault! Don't blame me!" Grace wined pointing to Draco.
And then she stopped, having turned in mid-sentence to see just who was the subject of her daughter's temper tantrum. Her face turned ashen and her eyes widened in shock. Grace looked between her mother and unknown long-lost father with interest.
Draco took a step closer and could see the tears swimming through Hermione's eyes. He reached out and cupped her face in his hands, smiling crookedly at her, wiping away tears as they fell. Her bottom lip trembled and he could see she was trying to keep it from her mouth, from working it between her teeth.
"Draco?" She whispered. He felt like his heart could burst, hearing his name leave her lips, just as though she had kept it in for as long as she could, and the whisper with which it left her lips was her dying breath.
So he did the one thing to make her his, and give her the breath she needed to live. He swooped in to her and pulled her lean body flush against his, and covered her lips with his own.
She moaned into his kiss, but didn't respond in any other way. Her lips were stoic against his, but that didn't matter. It was as though they had never spent time apart from one another. It was like the first time his lips had touched hers, the same rush of emotion, the swell of her heart's internal happiness, only now, she didn't throw herself into it. Perhaps it was he that was different, more desperate, seducing her heart back into a catatonic state of adoration.
I can honestly say that I never, ever, ever felt this way. Your lips, your eyelashes, your skin, these are the parts of your body that cause my comatose to begin.
Draco felt like crying with happiness. He didn't care who was here. Who would see him crying. He was here, where he belonged, kissing the woman he had loved for what felt like forever. How could things possibly be worse?
Then she pushed him away, hard. Her hand left a burning sensation on his skin despite the fact that robes were blocking skin-to-skin contact. He licked his lips, tasting her on his lips still even as she raised a shocked hand to her mouth and touched herself, speechless.
It was Grace who broke the silence.
"How dare you kiss my mummy!" She cried, coming forward and punching Draco straight in the crotch, sending him doubled over in pain. Hermione gasped and yanked Grace back and away.
"Gracie! We do not hit people! You know better than that!" Hermione reprimanded. She placed a hand on Draco's shoulder and bent slightly to try to meet his eye. "Draco, are you alright?"
"I'll live," He wheezed, grinning at her through his blond fringe. "Though, I can't promise any future Malfoy's."
Hermione's face turned even, if possible, more ashen and she nearly dropped the load in her arms. Draco turned his attention to the bundle and squinted in confusion.
"Who's kid are you watching? Looks like a Weasley," He observed, standing straight.
"Draco, you were gone," Hermione said in explanation.
"And now I'm back," He countered, holding his arms out as if in proof. "So go give back whichever Weasel that is and let's get going," He swept her up in her arms and whispered seductively, "It's been a long time and you're still as sexy as ever, Mione. I don't think you quite realize what you're doing to me."
"I can guess," Hermione stated, shoving away from him, a look of indignation on her features. "We need to talk."
"Can't we do that later?" Draco asked, pouting slightly. Hermione narrowed her eyes, "You haven't changed a bit, have you?"
Draco grinned, "But you don't love me any less, do you?"
Hermione didn't respond. She merely turned on her heel and marched over to a redhead, dragging Grace behind her. Draco watched as the woman, who turned out to be Ginny Weasley, quite possibly Potter, took the bundle and Grace's hand with a guarded look his way. Raising an eyebrow, Draco sighed and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"Come on," Hermione said, rushing out of the store, with her head bowed. "Let's go before he sees us."
"Before who sees you?" Draco asked, jogging to keep up with her.
Hermione turned suddenly into a darkened alley, pulling him by the neck of his robes after her.
"A bit kinky, don't you think? With all the people walking by, anyone could see us," Draco whispered, advancing on her. "I like this new side of you."
"Shove it," Hermione said, turning away and walking several paces ahead to keep out of arms reach. "Where the hell have you been?"
She asked so sullenly, so woefully, that Draco felt the exact pressure he had been carrying for years return tenfold. He would give anything to take that back. To have been smarter, wiser and known that he would be kept from her back then, when he was young and stupid enough to impregnate her in first place.
"I'll tell you, one day, love, but for now, I just want to be with you," Draco said, coming towards her to kiss her.
"Stop," Hermione said, raising a hand and pressing it to his chest, keeping him the allotted three feet from her that allowed her to keep a clear mind. "I want answers, and I want them now."
"I can't tell you, Hermione," Draco said, raising his hands into the air. "I just can't. You're going to have to trust me when I say that I want to so bad, but things are safe right now. I'll tell you, I promise, when I take you and our children and go back to the manor."
"We can't go with you; Grace and I live already in a home."
"What about our son? Where is he? You haven't mentioned him at all in this conversation," Draco asked, crossing his arms over his chest.
He immediately wished he hadn't asked. The look on her face was enough of an answer. Tears gathered in her eyes, but did not fall, and her lower lips trembled harshly until she drew it into her mouth and chewed it between her teeth.
"He didn't survive birth, Draco," She finally spewed, a single tear tracing down her face. "He was stillborn. You would have known that, had you been there."
And again, the anger surfaced, masking the pain and hurt. She felt like slapping him, and did, once and then twice for good measure.
"I know I deserved that," Draco said, working his jaw from side to side. "I know I did, and I wish that I had been there. But Hermione, I couldn't come-"
"For reasons that you have yet to disclose and yet you expect me to come on bended knee with my daughter back into your arms like everything is OK? You expect me to come back to your manor and marry you and make love to you every night like the past five years haven't happened?!"
"OK," Draco said, raising one hand into the air, anger sweeping into his body like a tornado. "She's our daughter and yes-"
"No! She's my daughter! She's mine! If you want to lay claim to her, then you should have been there! You should have found a way! You can't claim someone you don't know, Malfoy!"
"Oh, are we back to last names again, are we?" Draco yelled, advancing on her and pinning her against the brick wall. "Well, Granger, what do you want from me?"
"My name isn't Granger," Hermione said silkily, looking up at him through thick, dark lashes. Her words pierced his heart, just as she had meant for them to.
"What are you on about?" Draco asked, as in shock he took a step back and away from her. He felt like he had been hit with a wall of bricks.
In response, Hermione help up her left hand, where gracing her ring finger was a modest diamond wedding band.
"No- Hermione, you didn't. You should have known I'd come back, that I was going to find you," He whispered, stepping farther and farther away her.
"How could I?" Hermione whispered back, all anger suddenly absent from her. "You didn't write or anything. I had no way to even know that you were alive, Draco."
"You married Weasley didn't you?" Draco sneered.
"Don't talk about him that way!" Hermione bellowed, advancing. "He has been nothing but good to me, and to Grace. He adores her!"
"Well, I'm so pleased that my fiancé found it in her heart to forget about me and move on!"
Hermione scoffed. "Move on? How could I move on? I dream of you every night." She raised a hand to his face and traced his sunken cheeks, his heavily lidded eyes. He leaned into the touch and she raised her other hand as well, cradling him in her arms. "I still love you so bad it hurts every time he touches me. I think it's you calling my name in the street. I hear your voice still and whenever I open my eyes fast enough, I swear I can see you, sleeping next to me, staring at me, waiting for me to notice you."
Draco suppressed the intense need to kiss her. But he needn't have worried. For the next thing he knew, Hermione had pressed her body flush against him and was kissing him as though she had never kissed him before. Passionately and so seductively, he felt his knees buckle.
Falling back against the wall, he deepened their kiss, nearly crying in relief when she returned it, running her hands repeatedly through his long locks and wrapping her legs about his waist.
It was as though they had never been absent from one another.
The need to be close was palpable. Had anyone been there to witness it, they themselves would have tugged at their collars and cleared their throats as if trying to pretend the sight before them were not happening.
Hermione groaned deeply into his mouth as their tongues brushed one another's. Her heart began to pound in her chest and through a complete air-headed moment so unlike her, she found herself clawing at his robes, buttons flying every which way as he fell to the ground and brought her down on top of him.
He returned a groan to her, rolling over on top of her, sending shivers up and down her spine as he lifted her shirt over her head, kissing every inch of exposed flesh he could before he was pulled back up to her mouth and every other thought was lost.
"Draco," Hermione whispered, pulling his head back by grabbing a fistful of his hair.
"What?" He asked huskily, his eyes searching her face.
"I want you, I want you so bad."
And just like that they went flying over the boundary of what was acceptable. Hermione tumbled into the territory of adulteress and Draco, her lover, and neither seemed to care.
When he entered her, she felt the all familiar warmth flare up inside her. How she had slept with Ron, after this? After this passion? And the emotion that she still harbored for Draco Malfoy… It was unbelievable, the way he made her fall right back into her teenaged shoes, crying for him and clutching him desperately to her. Tears leaked from her eyes, as he kissed her and ran his fingers lightly over her skin. It didn't matter where they were, or the fact that her husband was most likely searching for her at that very moment. It actually made it more exciting, the very notion that she could be caught.
This great and yet terrible beauty that had taken over her mind, body and soul, was a complete art, she decided as he captured her lips and spilled his seed into her.
The art of seduction…
I'll let you get the
best of me
Because there's nothing else that I do well
I'll be the giver and you'll be the taker
I guess that's how this one's gonna go I'll be the giver and you'll be the taker
You've got me down on my knees and I proclaim
All hail the heartbreaker
A/N: Well that's it! I hope you liked it! I'm not sure when the sequel will be out, but it won't be long. At least I hope not. The lyrics are by The Spill Canvas, titled All Hail the Heartbreaker.
Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed! And let's all do it together now! One last time, for old time's sake. :
♥ I've Got Another Confession to Make