NOTE: I'm a Spanish speaker, so any grammatical/coherency mistake pointed out will be gladly received. If you want to be my beta, I'll be glad.
Title: Seven Days (7/7)
Pairing: HarryBlaise, DracoBlaise implied
Warnings: M/M. AU (Canon 'til the Epilogue)
Length: 4,105 words.
Time Period: Post-Hogwarts
Summary: Harry likes Blaise. Blaise likes Harry. Then, why does everything seem so complicated?
Disclaimer: Don't own any character.
Day Seven, Sunday: Blaise's joy
My head was killing me, even though I'd already taken a couple of potions to diminish the burning pain that seemed to come from the centre of it. I was tempted to call Draco to cancel tonight's affair, but I couldn't after having him babysitting me while I was going through my shameful breakdown. I was so moved by it that I decided to endure the party I wasn't so keen to have. I was thankful though Draco had opted for not making it a surprise and told me in the end, that way I wouldn't make an appearance looking as miserable as I felt.
The clock over the dresser told me its time to go already and I was still pacing around with a towel around my waist. My hair was still damp but I couldn't care less. The old ladies I was going to see today weren't a public I wanted to impress and it was my birthday, so I could look as ragged as I wanted. The navy polo I chose looked decent enough with the pants I saw as soon as I opened the closet, so I put them on in a hurry and rushed down the stairs. Even in my birthday, getting late was unacceptable.
One last look into the mirror over the chimney and I was getting the powder from my pocket. I knew I ought to feel the usual dread I always felt when having dinner with my grandparents' cousins, but I couldn't. If it weren't for this lunch, my mind would go back to Harry and I didn't feel as if I could handle that yet.
"Blaise, dear!" called a high-pitched voice to my right and I saw a group of three old ladies smiling and advancing towards me, all of them planting sonorous kisses on both cheeks. "Look at you, such a handsome boy"
I smiled politely, thinking to myself I was old enough to at least being considered a young man, but they'd never see me any older than a boy. "Thank you, Aunt Marie. You always making me blush"
Aunt Marie laughed and pushed lightly on my shoulder, a proud blush expanding on her face when the other two looked envious of the charming smile I sent her. I asked where was my Mother and they immediately started to walk towards the terrace, commenting on what an amazing job my mom had gone through with the food, the mantels, the garden. I kept smiling, wishing I could just run to Mother. These three ladies always scared me. They were all sisters, cousins of my Grandmother, and they tended to be overly touchy when competing for one's attention.
"Darling" I heard my Mother say and immediately walked faster following her voice, "Blaise, my child"
I would've rolled my eyes any other time, but I saw her so happy in the middle of glorious compliments that I only hugged her as a good son would do and smiled at the relatives surrounding her. They all started to congratulate me for my birthday, at which I responded with a polite smile and nod, my mother proudly standing next to me, one of my arms still on her waist.
I looked at her briefly when the greeting ended and she talked to me on her natural voice, that soft lulling chain of words she make sentences out of. "Blaise, darling, how have you been? You look pale, are you sleeping well? Do you need a house elf?"
I chuckled and calmed her worries. She still looked suspicious though and I knew she'd keep insisting I took one of the house elves of the mansion. "We have more than we use here" she said, "You shouldn't tire yourself with household chores. It's bad for you, look at your hands… they used to be so soft"
I pulled my hands out of hers and looked at her serious now, "Mother, please. Can we skip the fight just for today?"
"I'm only saying…"
"I know. I love you too"
She smiled resigned and pinched my cheek, calling everyone's attention and asking them to go to the dining room. Once there, we all sat; me next to my Mother at the head of the table. Since she wasn't married at the moment, she was the sole owner of the manor, hence sitting gloriously beautiful on a chair that looked more like a throne.
"Blaise" I heard one of the old ladies say after the food had arrived, "how come a handsome man like you doesn't have a nice young lady yet?"
I would've been happy that she'd acknowledged my being a man and not a boy if she weren't nagging at my personal affairs. Unfortunately, the entire table turned to me with curiosity and I finally could see who was there. There weren't many people, only the three aunts, my grandparents, my Mother, Kevin –the cousin who worked at the Ministry-, his father and his brother with his wife. I couldn't remember his name, though I think I've seen that woman somewhere else.
My Mother took my hand and looked at me a little nervous, "Blaise had some girlfriends in the past, Rose. Didn't you darling?"
"Yes, of course" I answered mechanically and could see Kevin's knowing smile from the corner of my eye. "But I haven't found the right person yet" I added a little dramatically.
I closed my mouth and the answer seemed to be enough for some. We continued eating, Mother trying to catch my eye while everyone talked about work and family. I felt as if I was the only one without experience to pour into the conversation and I could see Mother's longing when Kevin's brother revealed his wife was pregnant. My three aunts let out some squeals of delight that made me almost choke on my food.
I started to feel depressed again, especially after Mother gave me a sad knowing smile. She was, in a way, accepting she'd never have grandchildren and letting me know she was fine with it, but it hurt me to see her sad eyes trying to seem alright. And then I remembered the reason she wouldn't be a grandmother. How well that worked! Me opening my legs to a man who wouldn't even send an owl after fucking me through the bed? Such a good son she had. A good idiot of a son.
"Dear, are you okay?" Mother asked. I guess my gloom line of thinking must have reflected on my face, since she seemed concerned.
Aunt Marie seemed concerned too. "Oh, Blaise, you have the expression of a heart broken girl. You're very nice and still young, you're time will come, boy"
I guessed Aunt Marie thought I was depressed because I didn't have a wife and a soon-to-be kid, but that wasn't the reason. At least, it wasn't till she mentioned it, since I felt worse now. I smiled at both of them and only Mother seemed to notice I was really feeling awful. I was trying to make up my mind between being mad or just sad at Aunt Marie for reminding me of my situation, that I did had my heart broken.
"What is it?" whispered Mother in a conspiratory tone, taking me out of my musings. When I shook my head, she insists, "Tell me"
"Later" I mouthed because I saw Aunt Fran leaning towards us to try to catch our conversation. She must've been trying to get a hand up over Aunt Marie on the family gossip.
I sighed at my family antiques and cursed for once there were almost no relatives my age. Most of them were generations old and, other than Kevin, they were either married or widowed, which made us the outcasts. I stole a glance at him and he appeared to be drowning his uneasiness on wine. When our eyes met I smiled at him, pitying him when Aunt Rose leaned over his ear and started talking animatedly about his unborn nephew or niece.
The annoying desire to flee and hide on my room was growing on my stomach and I stood up as soon as the elves picked the empty dished. Everyone turned to me at once.
"I'm sorry. I'm feeling a little queasy today" Mother's smile faded, so I caressed her head. "I promise I'll come during the week" I told her and kissed her cheek. Then, to the rest of the complaining table, I gave my best smile and thanked them for coming.
On my way out, I kissed my Grandmother's cheek and promised I'll go visit some weekend, since I haven't been at Tuscany for almost three years now. Kevin nodded in my direction and I left towards the chimney. I could hear Aunt Marie saying something about being convinced I had a girl hidden somewhere and was probably going to her now. I laughed quietly as I entered the green flames. Having a girl, right, if only she knew.
* * *
The short nap I'd taken had left me sticky and sweaty, and my hair was a horrible mess over my head. I glanced at the clock and decided against going out to buy something to wear tonight. There was neither the time nor the right mood to go shopping. So I got inside the walking closet and started throwing things over the bed. Even with my gloomy mood, I wanted to look good tonight. I wanted to think that if Harry could see me, he'd regret leaving me to have the worst day and a half of my life, without even a letter of apology.
I was acting like a girl and I knew it. But I didn't want to pretend it didn't sting because, well, it did. Other than Draco, no one had ever left me. And I wasn't sure if what I felt for Draco was as strong as what I felt for Harry. As much as I'd thought Draco was the love of my life, I always knew our thing was temporary for him so, when he broke up with me, it hurt but I was prepared for it. I didn't expect Harry to be like that. We didn't even start dating before he abandoned me!
I growled at my stupidity and threw some robes to the floor, not caring if they got all wrinkly and dusty. With long strides I got to my bed and sorted through the clothes. All of them seemed the same, dark coloured robes, slim cut, tighter around the waist of hips, material silky enough to make them have that wave I'd always loved on my teacher's robes. I sighed and decided to wear a burgundy robe, wavy enough, tighter were it needed to be but mostly hanging off my body with a smooth movement.
Standing in front of the mirror, it seemed to approve of my choice of clothing and sent me to retrieve a hairbrush. After getting my hair in order, I put on my shoes, got my things and left.
On the other side of the chimney I wasn't even out of the flames when a pair of warm arms hugged me. All the yelling and cheering didn't let me understand what he said in my ear, but going for Draco's face I could tell it was something along the lines of 'Happy Birthday'. Then, those arms left me and I saw his face retreat and another pair of arms hugging me, this time female arms, a skin that smelled like Pansy's. Soon, I was lost in the greetings, the people and the music. The toast left an empty glass of wine on my hand that was soon refilled and my other hand was pulled by someone, dragging me to the dance floor.
The laughter and smiles and old faces made me almost happy. My mind got dizzy and distracted and I actually started to enjoy my birthday.
* * *
"Are you having a good time?" asked Draco over the music.
I nodded as he took the glass from my hand and grinned. I pouted but didn't mind as long as the music kept going and my mind stayed busy with something. Draco had introduced me to Astoria and I realized that, even though they've been engaged for almost half a year now, I've never met her before. And I liked her, as I'd let Draco know. He had smiled a weird smile, but she was so charming and gorgeous that I was soon chatting animatedly with her before she pulled us both, Draco and I, to the dance floor.
So, here we were, Astoria dancing between us, her neat ponytail loosening on top of her head. Draco watched her dazzled before looking at me, softening his eyes and caressing me lightly when she let us got closer. I didn't know if she knew about our past relationship, but if she did, she didn't care. She'd told me she knew we were good friends and she didn't want her marrying Draco to change that. "Nothing should change", she said and I smiled. Such a smart girl for being a couple of years younger than us.
A shiver ran down my spine when I felt a couple of fingers poking my shoulder and a soft murmur running through the people around me. I turned around in that direction, only to find myself face to face to none other than Harry Potter. I was shocked for a moment before every feeling of the past two days came crashing down on me, making me turn angry at Draco.
"He didn't invite me, Blaise" said Harry, touching my shoulder. I jerked away and looked at him.
"It's Zabini, Potter"
He sighed deeply and seemed to look at Draco for backup when I felt the blond getting closer to my back.
"Can we talk?" asked Harry and I raised an eyebrow, remembering the last time he asked me to talk.
"We talked on Friday and got us nowhere. So no, I don't think so. You're ruining my party" I declared with a cold voice, crossing my arms and frowning at him. I realized I crossed my arms whenever I was mad and wondered if it was to stop myself from strangling him.
He seemed to remember Friday night and a flash of hurt crossed his eyes. I wasn't entirely sure since his messy black hair obscured his face a little. And the low lights weren't helping. I thanked that the people around us had stopped peaking.
"Please" he muttered, but I couldn't hear him. Blood was pumping on my ears and I was going to tell him to fuck off when Draco touched my arm gently and whispered something on my ear. Surprised, I turned to him and found Astoria smiling slyly behind him, urging me to go with her raised eyebrows. So it was her who'd invited the Gryffindor. From Draco's apologetic smile, I could guess she knew the story and decided to act on the facts Draco gave her. Even when I narrowed my eyes at them both, I felt a little grateful.
Back to Harry, I only looked at him and walked towards the balcony. It was big enough so that nobody would listen to our conversation even if it turned into a fight. Plus, I could push him out the edge if he got too annoying.
"Blaise" he called when we reached the edge. I put my hands over the stone banister to keep them from crossing over my chest. I'd rather not look at him even though he was standing so close I felt my personal space being invaded.
"I'm an idiot" he said and I huffed with a bitter smile. Of course you are, I thought, a major idiot. But I said nothing. "I'm sorry for listening to the gossip that was going around at the office, I should have known better than that" he murmured and I rolled my eyes.
"Is this what this is about?" I asked him while turning, staring at him with the coldest eyes I could, "Do you think I'm still mad about that? Think again"
He flinched at my voice but I didn't feel any sympathy. I've felt like trash the last couple of days and he seemed to be doing incredibly well, even showed up here to tell me he's an idiot. As if I didn't know that already. The buzzing on my ears was growing and I found myself unable to look at his face, feeling rage taking over my limbs.
"I know…" Harry started but stopped. That seemed to be a habit of his. "I know you were mad I left yesterday" at my rolling of eyes, he touched my arm but I jerked away once again, glaring at him. He frowned sad. "I'm sorry about that too. I like you, you're such a nice person and I'd like to be your friend"
I couldn't believe it. He wants to be my friend. I felt my anger dissipate as my spirits, so full of energy fuelled by ire before, were replaced by a hollow emptiness. I felt incredibly sad and had to support myself on the banister once again, this time a pain cutting through my chest so sharp that he must have noticed. At once, his expression changed to one of worry and he rushed through the words.
"No, no! I didn't mean… I…" and he touched me. I closed my eyes as he cupped my face, despair closing around my throat. I should be furious, insanely mad, but I wasn't. I only felt desolation. Only felt his soft words spoken directly over my lips, his closeness somehow soothing instead of alarming. "I loved what we did" he added and I opened my eyes. He frowned.
"But yesterday morning, when I woke up and saw you there, sleeping next to me… the night before, even after falling asleep, I was scared. When we woke up, I panicked" he confessed. I couldn't find the strength to be angry again yet, so I just stood there, his hand soothing on my cheek, his face near mine, my eyes cold boring into his lively ones. "I fled because I wasn't sure if it was right… I didn't want to handle it"
"So you left" I whispered, finding that my voice didn't sound like me, so detached that it scared me.
Harry seemed to feel the same, since he made a painful grimace. I knew my stare was piercing through his skull and he had to lower his eyes. I stood there even when his hand left my face. I felt all my energy back at once, filling my blood with a mixture of ire and hope. Because I wanted to believe him.
"I want to be more than your friend, Blaise"
I knew I should be more careful than this, but the small amount of anger I still had evaporated. A smile threatened to lighten my face, but I fought against it. I dug inside my head, trying to come up with excuses, to tell him I was still mad at his behaviour, at how horrible he'd made me feel. At the mess he'd made of my head. But it'll be all a lie, since I wasn't feeling ashamed or mad at the moment. I didn't mind. The past didn't matter to me anymore, and yet my pride didn't let me lean and kiss him as my whole self was screaming for me to do.
"I need someone stable, Potter" I muttered, convincing myself as I uttered the words. "A reliable person. I can't have you like me one day and leaving me the other, it won't work"
Harry smiled. "You won't find someone as reliable as me" he said, but I found that hard to believe. "Go ask my friends, I'm as loyal as a Gryffindor could be. I'll support you even in your most wicked ideas and help you through the roughest times. I just… you're the only one that makes me lose my balance"
I couldn't help it. I laughed. It was a long lively laughter, and Harry seemed happy with it. I looked at him over my chuckles and shook my head, feeling him getting closer. With a hand to his chest, I stopped him and stared at his green eyes, as serious as I could be after such a cheeky phrase.
"First, you improve your flirting skills"
This time, Harry was the one laughing. I smiled at the sound, feeling stupid by accepting things so easily, no further conditions, no further explanations. And I told a part of myself, I didn't want them. This made me happy now, being with him on the balcony, laughing as the chilly breeze danced over our robes. I liked the way he was looking at me, with soft eyes and care. The way he used to look at me at work, before I dragged him to my bed.
Harry leaned, but I avoided his lips. "Second" I said, serious, "you either like me or not. I won't tolerate another one of your bipolar episodes".
He nodded solemnly and I let a smile spread slowly on my face. "Third", I started, but his mouth was over mine now, and I was too slow to stop him. As it was, I don't want to.
"You tell me the rules later" he said in a hushed tone before going back to the kiss, which I appreciated more than giving out rules of behaviour. He kissed with desperation, as if he'd been waiting for it for years. And I know I'm as eager as him, I've been thinking about kissing him as much as I was cursing his name. We stopped to gasp for air and he looked at me with a smug smile. Just then, I noticed he had me on a possessive hug, his hands securely trapping my waist near his body.
"Potter" I started once I'd caught my breath, but he interrupted again.
"Do you want to go out with me? On a proper date?" he asked, blushing fiercely but looking firmly at me, his green eyes darker than usual. I raised an eyebrow and chuckled lightly at his odd direct way of asking me out. Maybe not that odd, but the first time someone had ever asked me to go out in this fashion.
"I'll think about it" was my answer, but his smugness returned since he knew I was going to go out with him. Hell, I knew I was going to, but I'd rather let him have at least 1% of doubt.
A couple of seconds passed when we just stayed there, close but not pressed against each other. We were only touching were his hands pressed over my back, the warm fingers soothing me. Then, he leaned over but I met him halfway, kissing him as if my life depended on it. I wished with all my heart he wasn't playing again, that he really meant everything he said. I could live with what I had right now, a make up kiss on the chilly night, but I knew I wouldn't be happy with that for too long. I was seriously in love with the Gryffindor and wanted to be reciprocated. But those were worries I pushed to the back of my head as his lips moved against mine and his hands pressed my body against his. I was going to make him fall for me.
We flinched and got away as if an electric shock had pushed us apart. I looked to my right, feeling somehow guilty under Theo's stare. He was grinning, a big wolf grin that I could barely see due to the light darkening his features. Some steps behind him, I could see Draco's smiling face turning away from us. I smiled.
"Keep your private party for later. The guests are waiting for you, Millicent and his husband just arrived"
I nodded and he went back in. Harry looked at me with resignation, but he still had that small smile that echoed my own. With a happy sigh, I advanced towards the salon, Harry by my side, glancing at me with that playful smile still on his handsome face. Then, I jumped in shock and surprise. His fingers had searched for my right hand and intertwined our fingers. When I turned to him, he was looking to the front, a smug satisfied smile on his face.
I grinned as we got inside the crowd.
Feedback will be appreciated
Chapter Summary: Blaise has a family lunch for his birthday and ends up fleeing from it. Later, at Draco's party for him, he finally gets his happy ending.
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009