Pieces of My Heart -- 8/22/08
Rating: PG13 (for some adult themes)
Summary: Hermione and Draco have a not so nice break up, and realize that perhaps it wasn't meant to stay that way.
Setting: After the books, with an alternate ending.
Genre: Angsty romance.
"We're all addicted to something to take away the pain." – Boys Like Girls
Hermione Granger pulled her sweater over her head as she stretched her sore back. Unpacking. Another sigh tore from her as she pulled a box closer to her. Rummaging through it, doubting the label of 'stuff' written on the cardboard, she tossed items aside, into piles that debated where each would go. Living room, kitchen, dining room…
Moving on. It was scary, she thought to herself as she pulled her hair back from her face, the sweat sticking to her palm, which she wiped on her pants. Moving on, moving up. It was hard to tell which was which these days – perhaps she was only moving down and she had convinced herself that her spiraling was really a graceful swoon, not a death plummet.
"Hm," she muttered under her breath as she found another box. Clothes. Grunting as she straightened, she tugged the box to her new bedroom, painfully empty at the moment. Tossing the clothes onto the bed as she slumped on the edge, she mentally rearranged the house just how it would look once she was done with it.
Pausing in mid-toss, she examined the sweater a little closer. With a sick feeling in her stomach, she stared at the navy blue material for a little longer before disgustingly tossing it to the floor.
Malfoy. His name alone was enough to send her stomach into convulsions. The war had pulled them together, and reality had pulled them apart. After the adrenaline and the fear and the thought of dying every day wore off, he became a lot less appealing, she'd found. Sure, he was gorgeous. But he was obnoxious, arrogant, self-absorbed, and… catty. Merlin, did she hate him. Perhaps 'hate' was too strong.
Even now, all these months later, in a new house, in a new country, at that… it still hurt. It had been silly, a young woman's first love. Nothing to confuse with anything lasting, but, oh how she had! Dreams of grandeur of waking in his arms and growing old and children… She snorted, wiping the tears from her eyes. A new life, that's what she wanted.
The United States was a new chance. A silly sort of country, but did it matter to her? Not really. Nothing but Malfoy had held her ties in London. A new chance, she sighed to herself, nudging the sweater with her foot, almost expecting it to be alive, to jump up and try to woo her back. But Malfoy wasn't the wooing type, anyhow – he'd never tried with her. He'd taken the break up easily, almost disgustingly so. Her moving out, tears of frustration and hurt and him watching her coolly as she left his life.
"Bastard!" She yelled to no one in particular, leaving the half empty box of clothing and the dreaded sweater on the floor. Moving to the kitchen, she leaned over the sink, staring out the window, but not really seeing. What was the point of scenery when you felt like a piece of your heart, a piece that made you you, was still in another country, another time zone… and that piece didn't care, either. She bit her lip and opened the window, breathing the fresh pine air. Rural Oregon; nothing else could make her feel better. Wet weather, green, and small town… cozy. And if Hermione Granger was in the mood for anything, it was cozy. Safe and warm and wrapped in a cocoon of numbness.
It wasn't until later that night that it dawned upon her just how much she missed Malfoy. Missed his smirk, his kiss, the way he raised his eyebrow at her right before he said something terribly outrageous… Curled up in her empty bed, Draco's sweater cuddled into her arms as she cried for her lost love. Even Crookshank's broken purr couldn't help her as she tossed and turned the night away.
Pacing in the early morning hours, the sweater snugly over her head as she chewed nervously on a piece of hair. Call him? Ignore him? Burn the sweater? The brand new, barely touched phone hanging in her hand as she stared at the buttons.
Pick your poison.
Draco walked around the empty flat almost as though in a daze; this couldn't be happening. He'd known it was, of course, as she'd walked away from him with her cat in her arms and a curse on her lips. Lips that he missed… and the cat, well, the cat could die, for all he cared. He just wanted Hermione.
He hadn't known they'd be so incompatible. During the war, things had been great. They'd been close, in so many ways that he'd almost felt he was losing himself. Was that why the minute safety beckoned he grew colder? He hated to admit it, but he'd been the one doing the pushing. There was no denying it, and now he had to suffer the consequences. Taking another sip of his rum, he closed his eyes, leaning against the door frame of the empty bedroom. Empty. He sighed as he eyed the bed. Hope flared in him momentarily as he scrambled to the floor, slopping a bit of rum in the process as he groped under the bed.
Pulling his treasure to him, he found a night shirt. One of hers. Inhaling deeply, he leaned against the bed, sighing. It was one of her most unsexy outfits ever. She had always wore it when she was depressed, or cold. Or when they were fighting. Fingering the material, he brushed it across his cheek softly, his throat closing up as he choked back a sob.
How could he have let her walk away? Draco Malfoy, the possessive man who played for keeps… and he'd let the only woman he'd ever cared about walk right out of their house, and his life. How could he have done that to himself? To them?
"Dear Merlin," he mumbled under his breath. She was his joy, the reason he came home from work with a smile on his face. She was his… forever. His happily ever after. His reason. And he'd let her walk away. Perhaps she'd be happier that way, he'd rationalized. Had he ever thought of himself? Of the way it'd tear and claw at him and break him? No, he hadn't. About her, always her. She didn't need his burdens; his nightmares, his bloody hands. Wash her clean of his sins… perhaps.
The phone ringing startled him, the bit of rum that was left in his glass splashing on the white carpet as he stumbled towards it. Who the hell could be calling at such a god awful hour?
Hermione almost hung up. His breathing in her ear, his groggy and slurred 'hello?' near scaring her witless. "Hi."
Hermione swallowed hard, her hand shaking, her cheeks blushing as she felt a rush of heat burst at her embarrassment. About to hang up, she heard his choked voice: "Oh Hermione."
Unable to contain herself, a small sob escaped as she curled up tighter. "I can't stop thinking about you Draco, I can't. I can't breathe without you. It's like you took this piece of me and I can't get it back, no matter how hard I try… please give it back, please. I can't live like this."
Sobered vaguely by the call, Draco swallowed hard. "I'm sorry." He leaned his forehead against the cool wall as he whispered, "I never should've let you leave."
Crying openly now, Hermione nodded, biting her lip as she tried to get ahold of herself. This wasn't the first heart ache in the world… not by a long shot. "Can we try again? Please Draco."
Running a hand through his hair, brushing it from his eyes, a nervous habit, he nodded, swallowing hard to convince himself as well as her. "Of course, Hermione." He paused. "As many times as it takes, we'll keep trying."
A/N: Hey all. Trying to force myself to do some writing these days. I thought this turned out icky and I don't really like it, but I thought I'd put it up there for you anyways. / So. Enjoy. If you can. XD Oh, and FF messed up a bit and cut off some words and did weird things, so if some things are off, sorry 'bout that. I tried to catch most of them.