Summary: Hermione didn't want what was best for her. She wanted Draco. She needed him. - Hermione falls in love with a married Draco.
Coupling: Hermione/Draco; slight Draco/Astoria, and Ron/Pansy
Warnings: Affair themed, language, slight sexual content.
Status - Sequel to "Curiosity." Part two of two.
Disclaimer: If I owned it, it would have been canon. The quotes are based off of those from the BBC website on "Being a Mistress". The song belongs to ıts respectıve artıst.
Too many times, I have wanted
To turn around and walk away
Knowing deep inside, you can't provide
What I need from you, anyway
Don't let his failings become cute
From the time they were in school, Draco had made sure that everyone knew his name and every detail of his wonderful, wealthy life. What people didn't know, they would wonder and wonder until the gossip just became an accepted truth. Hermione couldn't count the number of times she had been kept awake by her roommates' speculations about how he really was. They had reasoned his tough act had to be a cover and underneath he was a gentle soul. That really, no one could be as horrid as he came off. It had taken her years and years, but Hermione finally knew that deep down, under the clothes that were far too expensive and the tough guy act,
Draco Malfoy was a spoiled, selfish, conniving arse.
(Oh, if only her old roommates had known.)
It turned out that he did really think that highly of himself. Everything always had to be about him; he would never indulge in a topic that was of no interest to him. As far as he was concerned, the world did (and always would) revolve around Draco Malfoy. And he made sure that everyone always knew. Even in his sleep.
Draco Malfoy was a bloody blanket hog.
Hermione couldn't even begin to count the number of nights she had woken up to find herself uncovered. Sometimes it was several times a night as he truly was a greedy bastard and would snatch it back while she slept. (She had eventually learned that the closer she laid next to him, the less likely it would be that he would be able to take the whole thing, but that was beside the point.) She hadn't even known it possible for one person to keep such a large blanket to themselves. It figured that he, of all people, would find a bloody way.
He also slept in far too late for her liking.
Which, honestly, she couldn't fault him for wanting to stay in bed longer. These were the few mornings she imagined he didn't have to wake early since he had officially inherited his family's wealth and all the responsibilities that came with it a little over two years ago. Still, she'd mentioned it to him once, to which he had just rolled his eyes, "It's hard to fall asleep when you snore so loud." Needless to say, that had caused quite a quarrel. (Because she did not snore.)
Despite everything the war had put him through, he hadn't changed, not really. He was still the same annoying git she had known and loathed all those years ago, only minus the whole all-Muggleborns-are-inferior-and-have-no-place-in-my-Wizarding-World thing. But something between them had changed and, somehow, she couldn't find it in her to be upset about it. Because, for some strange reason, she liked that that despite everything about him that drove her insane,
She still looked forward to their weekends more than anything.
Date someone who is not in your circle of friends
Pansy was an only child and thus the sole heir to the Parkinson business and fortune. Therefore, what Pansy wanted, Pansy got, no questions asked. Her relationship with Ron had nearly changed that. After they had gone public, there had been a period where her parents continued to disinherit her, re-inherit her, only to disinherit her again. It was a cycle that repeated itself so much, that it had given even Hermione a headache. In the end, however, her parents had (grindingly, she assumed) decided that the Weasley name could help lighten any Death Eater suspicions that the Parkinsons still had from the war. And according to what Harry had told her, Ron was a pureblood, so the Parkinson name wouldn't technically be tainted. (Apparently "Mudbloods" and "Blood traitors" were no longer of equal status.)
Thus when Ron married Pansy and he was allowed access to the Parkinsons' wealth, he made sure everyone knew about the wonders of being wealthy, starting with the extravagant honeymoon Pansy's parents had paid for.
"I just had to say what I wanted and it would appear – I didn't have to get out of bed or anything! Isn't that bloody brilliant?!"
"It's called room service, darling."
Mrs. Weasley had insisted having everyone over for a dinner as soon as the newlyweds returned from the trip. And by everyone, she had meant only Ron's friends. None of Pansy's had arrived to the Burrow. Whether because they hadn't been invited or because they had just chosen to not show, she wasn't sure. (But either way, it was for the best as Hermione was willing to bet Harry was watching her every move to see if he could figure out who her "mysterious wizard" was.)
It had been a two-week long trip that toured them across Wizarding Spain, one that seemed completely lost on Ronald, as his main concern was bragging to everyone about his new and luxurious life.
"We got fitted for a new set for robes in Madrid. Custom made! Can you imagine?" He beamed.
"They're for the party my parents are throwing in our honor tomorrow night." Pansy explained, a disgusted look on her face as she eyed some of the older furniture and decorations around her. "It's a formal event."
"They already know." Ron grinned, an arm around Pansy's shoulder. "You all are coming, right?"
"Of course." Harry grinned back. It was forced, but Ron didn't seem to notice.
"As if we have a bloody choice." Ginny mumbled.
Not one of them had been looking forward to the event. They would have to dress in some of their best robes just to meet some snooty Purebloods who probably wouldn't give them a second glance if they dropped dead in front of them. But, as the event was Ron's first official party as part of the Parkinson family, he expected all his friends and family to be there to support him. Merlin knew he was bound to have another one of his episodes and need someone to calm him down at some point in the night.
"So Hermione." Harry grinned at her in this ridiculous way that let her know he was about to say something stupid.
"I suppose you are going to bring a date?"
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Ron tense in the slightest. Hermione thought it was rather hypocritical as he was the one who had left her (not to mention found somebody else before he told her). But she bit the inside of her cheek and tried to ignore it.
"Of course not." (Ron suddenly seemed to relax a bit more again, but Pansy was glaring at him. If she weren't so sure Parkinson was going to let him have it, Hermione certainly would have.) "I'm not coming."
An awkward silence filled the room and she pretended to not notice that everyone was staring at her.
"I can't." Hermione rolled her eyes. "I'm leaving tomorrow morning."
"Leaving? To where?"
"I'm taking a vacation. Don't look at me like that, Ron – I sent my reply back to the Parkinsons. I was going to owl you to tell you, but I didn't think it was that important."
His eyes widened. "Who are you and what have you done with Hermione? Ow! Ginny!" He reached down and rubbed the spot on his leg she had kicked.
"Stop being stupid, Ron. If anyone deserves a vacation, it's Hermione."
"I'm just saying I can't remember the last time she took one. She always said she was too bloody busy with work or something."
He had a point, but Hermione wasn't about to admit that to him.
"Where are you going?" Harry asked, probably trying to shift the topic so as not to have to take sides between the two Weasleys.
"France. I haven't been since before third year."
Pansy sat up, her interest finally peaked. "You're leaving for France tomorrow morning?" She didn't wait for an answer. "That's interesting. Draco is too."
Dread filled Hermione. Pansy and Draco had been friends for years – of course she would know about his vacation. But how could she make such a stupid slip?! "Is that so?" She kept her voice calm, even.
"Yes. He said he is going to meet some clients or something like that." A smug look spread across Pansy's face that reminded Hermione of the Slytherin they were speaking of. "But he's staying there for quite a while. Two weeks, I believe."
She rolled her eyes. "You caught me, Parkinson. Malfoy and I are running off to France together." Her voice was filled with sarcasm that, quite honestly, shouldn't have been there.
"What?!" Ron was on his feet, his face red.
Hermione's eyes narrowed. He was acting awfully hypocritical considering who the newlywed wife sitting beside him was. She was about to open her mouth to tell him so, when Pansy Parkinson's laughter erupted. "Good one, Granger."
Ron looked like he was torn between yelling at Hermione and gaping at Pansy for (almost, kind of) complimenting Hermione. Ginny, recovering from her own shock, smiled before telling Ron to sit down and stop acting like a child. "They were joking." She explained.
"Yeah." Pansy's laughter died down. "Sorry, couldn't help it." She didn't look very sorry; rather, she looked like she were fighting back more laughter. "Draco's married, anyway; has been for some time now."
"And Hermione could never do that." Ginny added. (Hermione knew she was only trying to help, but she couldn't help but feel the slightest bit offended. Who was she to say what Hermione could and couldn't do?) "Besides, it's Malfoy." The redheaded witch wrinkled her nose. "Hermione's too smart for that. Tell him, Harry."
Harry's face was pale and he was staring at Hermione, shock still in his eyes. And there was no doubt in her mind, he knew.
Please, her eyes pleaded to him. Don't say it. Please.
"Yeah." He mumbled, his voice not convincing at all. "She is."
But it was enough for Ron. He sighed and sat back down, though still not completely calm. Fortunately, it was then that Mr. Weasley came in to tell them that Mrs. Weasley had finished dinner.
Hermione pleaded to Merlin that the topic would not come back up.
There are no two ways about this; you are enabling a man to cheat
After leaving the Burrow Hermione apparated to her office in the Ministry. She had turned in her notice for a vacation and had been working harder to get ahead for over a month now, but she wanted to collect a few things to take with her. She was sure that she would have some free time (especially in the mornings when she woke before Draco) that she could use to make sure she didn't get too behind. Once she was sure she had everything, she apparated back to her flat.
Harry was sitting in her living room, waiting for her.
She pretended to be surprised. "Harry? What are you doing here? Did you need something?" She put her pile of work down on the table.
He was already on his feet and in front of her. "Malfoy?!" His voice was hard, angry and Hermione nearly flinched. The last time Harry had spoken to her like that was third year when Professor McGonagall had taken his Firebolt away and even then she was sure most of it was because of Ron's urging him on.
"You're not still on about that, are you?" She asked, trying to play it off. "I wasn't serious."
"You might not have been, but it makes sense. The secrecy, the expensive presents, the trip to France." He listed. "But what I don't understand is why Malfoy? After all those things he said when we were at Hogwarts?"
She had always had a hard time lying to Harry. He was her best friend. "It's…complicated."
"Hermione, you have to end it."
Any guilt she felt before immediately faded. Her eyes narrowed and she glared up at him. "Now wait on moment, Harry Potter. What makes you think that you have the right to dictate who I can and can't see?"
He was ashamed, she could tell, for the slightest of moments, but he quickly shook it off. "He's married, Hermione." His voice was soft. "You, of anyone, should know what that would do to her."
"It was arranged. They aren't in love. It's completely different." She couldn't – wouldn't – tell him about Astoria and Blaise. It wasn't her story to tell. "It's complicated." She said, even though it felt like the millionth time.
"No, it isn't! He's married and he's cheating on her with you. He's only using you!"
It was on the tip of her tongue to ask if he thought that when Ron had cheated on her with Pansy, but she bit it back. He was Harry and was only trying to do what he thought was right. "I know." She answered.
He stared at her, surprised. "You do?"
"Of course I do. I've known from the start."
He continued to stare at her, but didn't ask her why she was doing it. She briefly wondered if he thought he already knew the answer or just didn't want to know. She was willing to bet it was the first. Finally, he shook his head. "You love him."
"No." It didn't even sound convincing to her.
And Harry certainly didn't believe her, that much was obvious. "You're not thinking like yourself!"
"You don't know what I'm thinking."
"Then why don't you tell me?"
"Because it's none of your business." She knew she shouldn't have said it, but he needed to stop. He was being bloody ridiculous.
"You're my best friend, Hermione, of course it's my business if you're going to get hurt."
"I'm not going to get hurt."
"Yes, you are." He took a deep breath and was silent, probably picking his words. "Okay, let's pretend he wasn't an arse to you throughout Hogwarts and that I – for some bloody insane reason – understand why you want to be with him. He's still a Malfoy, he's going to need an heir. Who do you think he's going to pick when that time comes? Are you really going to just stand by while he has a child with Greengrass?"
(She desperately wanted to tell him to shut up, but Hermione couldn't get her body to respond.)
"We both know he won't leave her. No matter what he does with you, he's always going to pick her. Malfoy won't even give you a second thought. Are you really okay with him never really being yours? With only having part of him and having to sit on the bloody sidelines the rest of the time? Hermione, is that really the kind of relationship you want? To be someone's second choice?"
She opened her mouth but no words came out. She desperately wanted to defend whatever it was that she had with Draco – to defend Draco – to tell Harry that it didn't matter and she was happy with it like this. She wanted to prove him wrong. She needed to.
Harry hadn't said anything she hadn't already known. She had long accepted everything. But, somehow, hearing it from him, made it seem completely different. As if everything with Draco had been a dream – a sick, twisted, but yet wonderful dream – and Harry's words had woken her up. She wanted to be angry with him for it, but she couldn't. He was only trying to what he thought was best for her.
She felt Harry's arms wrap around her and pull her closer to him. Instinctively, she put her head on his shoulder. It was only then that she noticed that her eyes were burning and the tears that were streaming from them. When had she started crying?
She pulled back and wiped her face with the palm of her hand. "How did you get to be so clever?"
Harry gave her a soft grin. "I am best friends with the brightest witch our age. Some of it was bound to rub off on me at some point." They laughed for a moment, before he gave her a sad smile. "I'm sorry." He mumbled. Hermione wasn't sure whether he meant it or not, but didn't particularly care at the moment. "You know that I just want what's best for you, right?"
"I know. Thank you, Harry."
(But Hermione didn't want what was best for her. She wanted Draco. She needed him.)
End it too soon
It took Harry another hour (and a promise that she would end it before Draco left in the morning for France alone and without) her to leave. The moment he was gone, she immediately sought the toilet to wash up – her face was horribly red and her eyes puffy. She spent the next half hour unpacking her bag and putting off the inevitable (which, normally, she hated but couldn't help in this instance). However, once that was finished, she sought out a quill and piece of parchment, because she could only stall for so long without changing her mind.
(It would be the first time she owled him. He had been the one to owl her every time; she was never to respond. Draco resided with three others and there was always the slight chance they might get curious as to who was writing to him.)
Need to talk.
It was only three words, but it was all that was necessary. She didn't see any reason to sign the note; she highly doubted that anyone else would be owling him at this hour. After a quick Portus she slipped her silver charm bracelet and the parchment into an envelope and scribbled his name at the top. She apparated to the post the moment it closed, but the elderly woman behind the counter took one look at Hermione – who had to look terrible if it was any reflection on how she felt – and took the letter. (Normally such pity would infuriate her, but she was too grateful to mind.) Once it was sent, she apparated back to her flat.
Half an hour passed.
Hermione was seated on her couch, holding a mug (she hadn't actually drank any of the tea, but rather, used it as something to keep her hands busy), when she heard Draco's feet hit the ground behind her. Taking a deep breath, she mustered her Gryffindor courage, put the mug down, and left the comfort of the couch to face him.
He was dressed in a simple (at least it was simple for him) set of robes. His hair was slightly wet and clingy to his head, indicating he must have just gotten out of the shower. He was comfortable, casual, how he was always around her. (Had it really been a year ago that she had even imagined seeing him so relaxed? Had they really come this far?) All of which paled in comparison when she spotted the bracelet he clutched so hard that it turned his knuckles white. His face was sober, but his eyes danced with anger, confusion, hurt.
He knew what she was going to do.
She had been fully prepared to tell him that she couldn't do this anymore. She couldn't stand on the side while he went home to Astoria every night. Couldn't share him anymore because she needed him, completely or not at all. She just couldn't do it anymore.
"Harry knows." Her mouth betrayed her, because she couldn't bear to put that burden on him. He had never promised her anything, she had known that from the very start. He had made it clear from the beginning that he was her means to an end, just as he was supposed to be for her. It wasn't her fault that she had broken the rules. "Harry knows." Two words, but they were a good enough excuse. That was all she needed, an excuse.
She bit her lip. "He's suspected there was someone for some time now. Today, Parkinson mentioned that you were going to France after I said I was. He put it all together. He's cleverer than we gave him credit for."
It was a perfect set up for him to insult Harry, but he didn't. Nor did he glare, snap, or yell at her for slipping so easily. Draco just nodded, as if it wasn't that big of a surprise after all. As if he had already accepted it. "I see."
"I'm not going with you tomorrow." She said even though they both already knew. "I'm not going to see you anymore."
She wasn't sure if she was expecting him to fight her, to try to convince her to keep coming, but he just nodded again. "Alright." She wasn't his to fight for. He wasn't hers to want him to. They had been dancing a thin line for far too long. One that she was on the verge of crossing; one wasn't fair for her to expect for him cross with her. "Here." He took a step closer to her and held the bracelet up.
Hermione shook her head. "No, it's yours."
"No, it isn't." He took her and pressed it into her palm.
A sad smile tugged at her lips as she glanced down at the silver in her hand. Without stopping to think of the consequences, she took another step forward, closing the space between them. Her lips brushed against his for the slightest of seconds. He leaned back into her before she could back away. Her hands rested against his chest and his arms wrapped around her waist. The kiss was soft, gentle, unlike the many others they had shared over their time together. Something stirred in her.
Nothing had changed, yet everything had.
She wasn't sure which one of them broke away first, but when they did, he let go of her and took a step back. (She pushed back the feeling that part of her had just been ripped away). "Goodbye, Hermione." It was the first time he had called her by her name.
He apparated with a soft pop and Hermione fell to the ground with a soft thud. Tears she hadn't realized she still had burned in her eyes and it suddenly felt as if she would never be whole again.
The time you spend together will be limited
Hermione had always been the busy type of person – she absolutely loathed not having something to do. Most of her friends chalked up her behavior to her belief that there was always so much more she could do, that she couldn't just leave a job unfinished. And while that a large reason as to why, it wasn't the only one. Hermione hated idle thoughts. When she allowed herself to be unfocused, her mind would wander, and thoughts she would rather avoid were free to cloud her mind. (It was probably how she had been able to ignore all the signs that her and Ronald's relationship was in trouble.)
The next morning, Hermione refused to think about how she was supposed to be in France.
About how she was supposed to be with Draco.
So she put all her focus and energy into her work.
She gathered the pile of work that had not moved from its spot on her table and apparated to the Ministry and locked herself in her office. (No one had dared to interrupt her, much less approach her long enough to find out why she was not out enjoying her vacation.) She worked straight through lunch and stayed late into the night. When she finally did return home, she read proposals as she had a quick dinner, and took notes at her desk until she fell asleep.
The cycle followed her for weeks.
Each day felt as if it would never end, yet somehow all her days blurred together into one giant haze that she didn't care to make out. Her entire being felt numb, as if there was a part of her that had gone away – been snatched right out of her very fingers with no hope of rescue.
She refused any invitations with her friends and a rift grew between them. Circles formed underneath her eyes. She lost weight. So little of her time was spent outside her office or her flat that her skin got paler and her hair bushier from lack of effort. But she was Hermione Granger and Hermione Granger let no such things get in the way of her work, and the cycle continued and the idle thoughts were kept at bay.
But every now and then they would sneak up on her – when she was in the shower or when her eyes were so sore from reading, she had no choice but to take a break – and her mind would be free to wander. She would remember where she could be, what she could be doing, who she could be with instead. She would remember the last kiss, the final words, the look in his eyes before he apparated away, and the tears would burn in her eyes.
It had been different when things had ended with Ron. She had poured her heart and soul into their relationship – he had been the only love she had known. With him, it had felt as if her world was ending. She had been so ignorant to of something that had been right in front of her, she hadn't known what to do when it happened (and Hermione never not know what to do). Ron's betrayal had felt like a slap in the face.
But it had been completely different with Draco. It had been a one-time thing that had lasted far too long. She had picked her moments and hadn't allowed herself to open to him at the very start. With him, there had been no hope for happy endings, because she had known from the very start wouldn't last – couldn't last. But somehow, it felt as if she had been offered the whole blood world on a silver platter, only to have it snatched away at the last minute. And she couldn't complain, because it had never really been hers to take.
With Draco, Hermione had found life after Ron.
And there was life after Draco; she had known that from the very start.
(Even though she needed to see him again like water. Like air. She needed him. He was under her skin, in her blood. In her heart. Because, in all honesty, there was no real life for her after Draco.)
It is better to look back on something that has always been good for both of you
Her legs were tangled in his, his arms wrapped around her. Every bit of her was twisted with him. He was in her, on her, all over her. It was hard for even her to know where one of them began and the other ended. In that moment, it didn't matter, because they were the same.
He rolled them over so that he was above her, his arms balancing his weight on either side of her head. She didn't have a chance to protest because his lips found her neck and she suddenly couldn't remember why she could have been upset. She moved their legs that hers could wrap around his waist. Her fingers curled into the skin of his back, preparing for the impact that she knew was coming. He pulled away from her neck and his eyes met hers. Her breath hitched, because he never made eye contact – he hated it. Suddenly everything was different, because it had never felt this…intimate before.
He adjusted his position. His eyes finally breaking their gaze when he leaned his head beside hers. His breath tickled her ear and his lips hovered over it. "I love you, Hermione."
And with one swift movement, she felt him thrust into her.
Hermione awoke with a jerk, her breath hard. She could feel the beads of sweat trickling down her face. Her heart pounded as if it were trying to escape her chest; her fingers grasped the front of her nightdress in a failed attempt to calm it. Tears swelled behind her eyes and she clutched them shut, because she would not cry again.
It was the third time in the past week the dream had come to her. Nearly a month had passed since her last encounter with Draco, but it was still impossible for her to find peace, even in her dreams.
She let several moments pass and allowed for her heart calm and her breathing soften.
Her effort, however, was in vain. Just as she had calmed, a tapping came to her window causing her to jump up again. It took her a moment to notice the owl outside that was trying to get her attention. A frown tugged at her lips and she realized it was nearly three in the morning. Who could possibly be trying to get a hold of her at this hour?
(In the back of her mind, she knew who she wanted it to be, but didn't dare to think it.)
Tossing her covers aside, she crawled off her head and to the window. The owl wasted no time and flew in only to drop a small bundle in front of her, and flew out (quite possibly to return to sleep). The moment she picked up the package, her breath hitched and Hermione nearly dropped it again.
She could never forget that handwriting.
But what more could he possibly have to say?
Part of her was screaming to toss it that moment. She had to be strong. She would not – could not – let herself do this. It was done. There was nothing more they could possibly have together. Nothing more he could possibly have to say to her that she needed to hear. It was done. They were done.
She dropped the parcel into the trash bin.
She didn't even make it to her bed before she turned back and picked it up.
(When had she gotten to be this indecisive? She had always known when it was time to quit before. She had always known what was best and what needed to be done. How had this happened? When had she become this girl? What had he done to her?)
Inside was a small piece of parchment with a date and a time. Behind it sat a single white rose. (White – purity – how vastly inappropriate. It figures Draco's smartass would that color.)
Hermione stared at the parchment. It had only been a month ago she had told him that Harry knew and that that she would not be seeing him again. He couldn't have forgotten. He couldn't possibly be asking her to do this again? Because she couldn't bear to stand on the sidelines of his life. Not now. Not anymore. He had to know what he meant to her, what it would do to her.
Rage built in the pit of her stomach.
How dare he try to put her through this again. She was Hermione bloody Granger! She was a bloody person, one with feelings, desires, needs – none of which he could satisfy because he was married. He had no right to expect her to come running back to him. She was not some play thing he could just pick up when he got bored. He could not do this to her. She wouldn't let him!
With all the frustration (all the confusion, all the pain, and all the bloody things he made her feel) she threw the rose against the wall. It slid down and fell to the wall, quite possibly broke. She tore the parchment in half again and again until it was nothing more than shreds, and tossed it into the bin. She clutched her eyes shut and crawled into bed, trying to ignore the feeling that she had just made the biggest mistake of her life.
Don't get emotionally involved
Hermione wondered if Draco sent her the portkey so far ahead of its activation date so that she would have plenty of time to double guess herself. It wouldn't have surprised her in the slightest. The bastard had always been the manipulative type.
She had torn the parchment with the exact date and time, and then tossed it away so that she could never look back at it again. Unfortunately, she had a rather perceptive memory and it was drilled into her mind. For the briefest of moments, she had considered tossing the portkey, but once it was in the palms of her hand (he must have enchanted it because it did not break or wilt), she found that she couldn't. Instead, she had locked it in the bottom of a dresser drawer.
Nearly a month had passed since then. She continued to pour herself into her work, to avoid anything that would allow her mind to wonder and the idle thoughts to enter. Some days it worked, and she wouldn't think of the portkey whose activation date was quickly approaching. Some days she could get by being so numb that she felt nothing. But most days her eye would catch something – the dresser drawer, a brown owl, a bloody scrap of parchment – and she would remember.
Most days she would need it – need him – so much that she couldn't sleep, think, breath.
It shouldn't have been so infuriatingly hard, because she knew the answer. She knew that she couldn't go back to him. Because he was married; because he couldn't leave Astoria. He would always pick her first, would never give Hermione another thought if he had the choice. Because while Hermione needed Draco, Draco needed Astoria. His life – his family – depended on it. And if there was one thing he would always be loyal to, it was his family. Hermione was too smart to think otherwise.
But still, she wanted to go. Wanted to see what more he could possibly have to say to her. What more they could possibly have. But more than anything, Hermione wanted to see Draco.
Which was exactly how she ended up, sitting on her bed, the rose in hand.
She would go, but only briefly just so that she could see him one last time. Make sure that he was alright and everything was well. Besides, she was curious. It had been very clear the last time that they were done. It was probable that he had another reason for wanting to see her. And Hermione wanted to know why.
(But mostly, she wanted to see him. Needed to see him.)
Vaguely, she heard her clock strike on the hour before she felt the tug of the portkey activating. Only moments later, did she land on her feet (she had grown quite accustomed to traveling by portkeys) in the middle of a parlor. It was the same one that she had landed in the first time he had sent for her. Her brows slightly furred together in confusion; usually a portkey would land her elsewhere.
Draco moved from his spot in front of the fire place. (Hermione's heart skipped a beat. It had been so long since she had last seen him that she forgot what his presence could do to her.) "You came." He stood in front of her, his usual smirk never once leaving his lips.
He ignored her comment. "I didn't think you would." His fingers brushed a strand of her hair out of her face.
She couldn't help but roll her eyes and took the slightest of steps back. "Are we really going through this again?"
He scowled. "Obviously so, since you feel the need to ruin the mood again."
Only then that Hermione remembered the date. It had been exactly one year ago that they had willingly met in this very parlor.
Her breath hitched. She couldn't be here; couldn't do this. She needed to leave; needed to get away from him.
She shook her head and took another step back. "This was a mistake. I should go."
Draco grabbed her arm before she could apparate away. "No, don't."
Hermione could feel his gaze on her, but wouldn't meet his eye. "We can't do this. Harry knows." It suddenly sounded like such a pitiful reason.
"Potter thinks it's over. He'll never know."
He was right. She had told Harry she had ended it. He would believe that it would stay that way. She shook her head. "Maybe so, but I can't do this."
"Why the hell not?" His fingers tightened around her. It wasn't hard enough to hurt her, but enough so that it would ensure that she couldn't get away.
"Astoria." It was a much better reason. "You're married, Draco." She finally looked up at him and it was him that couldn't meet her gaze.
His fingers let go of her and his hand moved away. In the back of her mind, she knew she should take the chance to leave; it might be sometime before she had another chance. But she couldn't tear her eyes from him.
"Doesn't matter." He mumbled.
How could he say that?! "It does."
"I don't love her."
"But you can't leave her." Without even thinking about it, Hermione reached up and brushed her fingers against his cheek. "I understand. I don't expect you to." His eyes shot to hers. "But I can't just sit and watch you with her." He knew she was right; he didn't have to say it, she knew him well enough to know that much. "I need to go."
But if there was one thing she could always count on with him, it was that Draco Malfoy was incredibly selfish. "No." He grabbed both her arms this time.
"Draco." It was stupid of her to call him that now, but she wasn't sure she could go back to being just Malfoy, because he wasn't just a Malfoy anymore. Not to her at least.
"Stay." If he had been anyone else, she would have thought his eyes were begging her.
She couldn't look at him again. "I can't." The words didn't feel nearly as strong anymore.
"You can." Draco's lips captured hers and she couldn't help but respond. It had been so long since she had last kissed him. When they broke apart, she was panting slightly. "Stay." His voice was a cross between a demand and what almost sounded like a plead.
"I can't." Even Hermione didn't believe her words. She hated him for having this effect on her. "It's not right."
And then Draco mumbled three words that she never thought he would say. Never thought he could say. Not to her, at least. He bowed his head as he said them, clearly embarrassed. And he spoke so softly that if she hadn't seen his lips move, she wouldn't have even been sure he said them.
"I need you."
Hermione forgot how to breathe.
"Stay." He mumbled. It must have been the tenth time he had said it since she had arrived. She finally noticed the dark circles that had formed under his eyes, that he had lost weight, that this one month had affected him the way it had her.
She took a deep breath, because all of a sudden, she couldn't deny him.
You have me.
"Alright." But she couldn't admit that. Not out loud, at least. (But, somehow, she was sure he knew.)
It didn't matter that he was married, that he couldn't leave his wife for her. It didn't matter that their meetings would have to continue to be short and far apart; that she would quite possibly see him with Astoria far more than she could actually see him. Every detail, ever reason for why this was wrong – for her to leave and never return – seemed obsolete. By leaving, she wouldn't only be destroying herself, she would be destroying him.
Draco needed Hermione, the way she needed him.
And suddenly, that was enough
And don't fall in love
Do you know? It doesn't change
The way I feel 'bout you, at the end of the day
'Cause I know that all I want is what you got
All I Want - Ahn Trio
Note: This part ended up being much longer than I expected. Sorry. I feel like it didn't come out as good as I wanted also. (But I really did love the break up scene. It felt like one of my best scenes, but I may just be biased? Let me know?) I hope you guys didn't mind the Harry and Hermione friendship scenes. They were my original HP ship until I found DHr, so I couldn't help but sneak it in. I have an idea/plot for a sequel, but I probably won't write it because I can slowly feel my English slipping, even with a week of being here.
Edıt: (I am usıng a Turkısh keyboard, so please excuse any mıstakes.) Sorry ıf I made anyone thınk there was another chapter to thıs, but I had some news that I thought I needed to share.
Fırst, before I forget agaın, thıs fıc was ınspıred off of a routıne from So You Thınk You Can Dance about the story of a mıstress. It ıs a contemporary pıece performed by Brandon and Kayla to All I Want by Ahn Trıo, the song quoted above. You should defınıtely check ıt out, I have the lınk posted on my profıle page.
Second, I have started wrıtıng the sequel to thıs. I am not sure whether or not ıt wıll be completed and ıf ıt ıs, ıt wıll take a very long tıme to post. I am very busy ın Turkey, but I am goıng ınsane not beıng able to wrıte. I have taken to wrıtıng parts on my phone when I am on the tren or mıdıbüs or somethıng. I am goıng to try my hardest and fınısh ıt, but I can not make any promıses rıght now. Even then, my Englısh ıs slıppıng so ıt may not be as good as Curıosıty and Need.
Review, please. =]