After getting a stern lecture from the Healers, her leg fixed up again, and a week off of work (the potions—though disgusting as they are—work very fast), Astoria visits Draco as much as she can as his injuries from the Sectumsempra to heal, as well as his severe fever from wearing such thin clothes in the cold weather. And it's nice, Astoria thinks, or as nice as it can get when the other person ignores you.
Friendship is the wrong word for it. Astoria would even call it a stretch to name it acquaintanceship. Draco simply tolerates her; tolerates her fluffing his pillow every second, shoving food down his throat and talking to him constantly just to fill the silence that he creates, and simultaneously Astoria wonders why she's doing it. She's never really had that much of a maternal instinct, though she'll often put her friend's health before her own, but again, Draco isn't necessarily a friend, so Astoria just does everything because she wants to, because this voice in the back of her head always orders her to (You have to Astoria—just do it—you have to), and she listens.
Like now, standing beside Draco and smoothing out his blanket. He turns, left arm glued to his side (something that he always does), garbed in a t-shirt and pajama pants, and Astoria pauses, frowns, as he looks at her.
"Why are you here?" he asks, and the brunette bites her lip, not really sure herself. She replies.
"I don't want you to get lonely..."
Draco snorts, staring at the wall of his room, "Lonely…" He whispers the word as if he can't believe it, and after a pause looks at her again through the corner of his eyes.
"It's just that the whole world basically hates me and my family, and I don't know why you seem to be an exception."
Astoria frowns, "I don't think that you're a bad person."
"I just—I just do."
Draco stares at her incredulously, and then frowns, eyeing her, "You can't believe that," and with vigor, Astoria steps forward, lips pulled into a determined, thin line.
"Then give me a reason to."
And he does.
Somehow, Astoria finds him opening up. He tells her about his father, about Hogwarts and Lucius rotting in Azkaban for the rest of his life and his depressed as can be mother and about Voldemort, left arm clamped to his side and face straight through all of the retelling, something that Astoria admires. Everything seems so gruesome, and the Greengrass marvels at how Draco made it out alive, or at least with his sanity intact. And soon enough, she's sitting cross legged at the end of his bed, spilling out the details of her father and how he was an alcoholic and left the family without a trace. How her mother then drank her way into oblivion and got Alzheimer's, how her sister got so mean and angry after that, taking her anger out on Astoria, and once they got to school, other people.
Astoria talks warmly of her grandmother, the old woman now content at her home and of Daphne lightly, saying that she's working at the Daily Prophet and that's that, much to Draco's confusion. Astoria feels over dramatic, like none of this compares to anything that the Malfoy's been through. She mutters this, looking down at her lap.
"I feel so stupid," she says quietly, frowning and looking up at Draco's voice, finding his legs curled to his chest, arms wrapped around his shins.
"My problems aren't any worse than yours, really, if the amount of damage is the same."
Astoria stares at him, trying to figure the man out. "Why are you being so nice?" she asks, genuinely wondering, and Draco shrugs.
"You're the only one I've got."
Astoria's lip part in surprise, and she gulps, feeling inclined to say something, but Draco talks again before she even gets a chance to think of anything.
"—unless, of course, you come to your senses and leave."
Astoria rolls her eyes, feeling that they had something there—a moment, you could say—and that Draco just shattered it, purposely. She doesn't answer, and instead shuffles off of the bed and walks over to the man, feeling his forehead with the back of his hand. Despite her never having a maternal instinct, she's thinks she might be growing one.
"You're burning up," she murmurs, and lays a hand on his shoulder, trying to push him down, which he won't allow. Astoria glares and he glares right back.
"You need to rest," she insists, lips pressed together and eyes narrowed, and she forcefully pushes on his shoulder again, making him lie flat on the bed with wide eyes.
"Jesus," Draco says, and Astoria smirks.
"Sleep," she orders, and Draco grumbles, before turning around, his back to her as she sits in the seat next to his bed yet again.
Draco gets out of the hospital two weeks later, and since no one else is there Astoria comes as usual.
"What do you mean you don't have a flat?" she asks, the both of them standing outside of the seemingly bare warehouse, "Did you live in the Leaky Cauldron?"
"Do you live at the Manor?"
Draco laughs, and Astoria growls—"So you were homeless?"
Draco doesn't answer, averting his eyes, and Astoria scoffs. His head snaps up and he glares, spitting out harshly, "I'll be fine on my own."
Astoria snorts, "Obviously not, dumbass," and grabs his arm, Disapparating them both to her flat with a soft crack.
"You're staying here," she says, letting go and leaving him in the living room as she makes her way to the kitchen. She pulls out a kettle from the cabinet and uses her wand to fill it with water. As it warms on the stove, Astoria turns around, finding Draco sitting at the island with a stern frown.
"I'm not staying," he says, and Astoria leans against the counter, arms crossed.
"Well you can't go back to the Manor. Your mother can't even look after herself."
"Don't talk about—"
Astoria cuts him off, rolling on, "You said it yourself."
Draco pauses, lips pulled in a thin line and then talks again, "I don't need to be taken care of."
The kettle whistles, and as Astoria pours some water in a mug, she answers, "I know. But you need to be looked after—"
"I'm not a child!"
Astoria whips around, water falling out of her cup, "—you nearly killed yourself Draco! You committed suicide, and I'm not letting that happen again!"
Draco glares, "And why do you fucking care so much?" his voice escalates, "Why shouldn't I just bloody die—!"
Astoria growls and drops the mug, paying no heed to the shattered glass, and strides over, gripping Draco's collar and pulling him forward, so close their noses are centimeters apart. The two former Slytherins stare at each other, as if daring the other to talk. Astoria shakes, with anger or some other emotion, she doesn't know. And guessing by the spark in Draco's eyes he's in a rush of adrenaline as well.
"Don't say that," Astoria mutters, voice strong and low at the same time, "Just—I'm giving you a chance Draco. Something no one else will bother to give. You can either take it or go off and kill yourself. And," Astoria continues, the tip of her wand pressing against Draco's neck, "if you really want to die, I can just do it myself."
Draco sneers, eyes narrowed, "You wouldn't."
"Of course I would. All it takes is a little green light."
Draco's doesn't answer, and relief swoops through Astoria, though she doesn't let it show.
She pushes him and back then turns, crouching down, and points her wand at the shattered glass, muttering "Repairo." The shards come together and repair themselves, and Astoria catches the mug in her hand. She swipes a towel from the counter after setting the mug down, and just as she's about to wipe up the water, Draco's suddenly there, taking the towel from her hands.
"I'll get it," he says gently, and does so. He rises, and Astoria stays where she is. They stare at each other for the brunette doesn't know how long, and something… happens. An agreement passes between them, almost, and the corners of Astoria's lips quirk.
"You're sleeping on the couch."
There's something weird about finding one of the (supposedly) most cold, stoic, mean student in your entire former house with bedhead. Astoria nearly laughs, but deciding this isn't the best morning to get the silent treatment, passes it off as a cough. Draco sits at the island awkwardly, constantly looking around the tan kitchen, as if not knowing what to do with himself, and she snorts and walks in, stretching innocently.
"Oh, hey Draco!" she greets, dragging out the 'hey', and he looks at her, nodding stiffly. Astoria smirks slyly and pours herself a cup of coffee, hair pulled in a braid swinging as she slides to the island.
"Morning," she says, sipping some coffee, and Draco eyes her suspiciously.
"What are you doing?"
Astoria shrugs nonchalantly, "Just trying to strike up a conversation; you?"
"I'm leaving," he states promptly, causing Astoria to raise an eyebrow. Draco continues.
"Just beacause I'm sleeping here doesn't mean I'll… hang out with you. I won't even be staying here that long. I'll go and get a room at the Leaky Cauldron, or something."
"Well," Astoria starts exaggeratingly, "good luck with that. Most of Hogsmeade was damaged in the war, and lots of people are staying there, in case you haven't noticed Mr. I-Live-In-Alleys." This is actually why Astoria's flat is in Muggle London, but even if Hogsmeade were intact, she'd still be living here, she figures. Muggles fascinate her, much to her sister's annoyance. Not that Astoria honestly cares about Daphne's opinion. "—so you won't be living there. And as stated before you can't go to the Malfoy Manor. So it's either here or at a hotel or you get your own flat—which you can't, because you have no money."
"My father's vault is completely full."
"Your fathers vault was emptied out after he was sent to… after the war," Astoria says, cautious of mentioning Lucius's stay at Azkaban, not knowing how Draco is about it.
Draco scowls, "That was my family's money!"
"Which," Astoria starts, holding a hand up as if it'll calm the Malfoy down—which it doesn't, "you or your mother can get anytime you choose. But that wouldn't even help you with the whole place to live thing because you still don't have any Muggle money!" Astoria smiles, acting as if this is the most obvious thing in the world, and then watches Draco frown before looking at her again.
"Then how do you live here?"
Astoria takes another swig of coffee before answering. "I work part-time at this amusement park about an hour out of London—it's closed down for season, now. Though I've got enough in savings for the winter..."
Astoria frowns, and then snaps herself out of her savings-stupor, "Oh—an amusement park; it's got huge rides and games and fireworks; really good food, too," Astoria smiles, "You should come with me sometime. It's fun."
"No thank you," Draco answers sarcastically, and Astoria rolls her eyes at him for the umpteenth time.
"Anyways," she says, staring at her coffee and finding none of it, "we're going shopping; I'm off today. You need clothes and I have Muggle money and know how to use it."
Draco frowns, crossing his arms, "I can use Muggle money."
"Oh yeah?" Astoria looks around and snatches a lone note from the island, holding it up, one eyebrow cocked, and asks, "How much is this worth?"
Draco rolls his eyes, "I'm not playing stupid guessing games—"
"How much is it worth, Draco?" she repeats, and the man grumbles, then stares at the note for a few seconds.
"Its… it's a… a five, right?"
"No," Astoria says triumphantly, "It's a twenty."
Draco scowls, ignores her, and Astoria cheekily informs him, "I'm gonna go freshen up, and then we'll shop, okay?"
She grins and walks into her room.
With her hands in her dark pea coat, pink scarf wrapped around her neck, and tan hat complete with ear flaps, strings, and cat ears atop her brunette waves, Astoria jovially walks down a sidewalk of London, about ten minutes from her flat with a grumbling Draco at her side. She takes hold of his wrist and turns into a shop, feeling him slump immediately at the warmth. Hastily, she hurries the both of them over to the men's section and helps Draco find a thick coat.
"How about this?" she asks, holding up a brown leather jacket by the hanger innocently. Draco glares and she shrugs, setting it back on the rack while muttering, "Just trying to make a suggestion…"
"Here," Draco says, and Astoria turns around, finding him holding out a black trench coat that seems to stop at the thigh. She cocks her head, looking at the coat, then at Draco, and then at the coat again.
"That's a bit formal, don't you think?"
She sees Draco gulp, a blush spreading against his pale cheeks as he mutters, "I like formal…," and she softens, smiling lightly and taking the coat from his hands. She feels around the inside of the collar, finds the tag, mouth dropping at the price.
"This is forty pounds!"
She looks up at Draco, who flusters uncharacteristically, "Is—is that expensive?"
"Kind of, yeah," Astoria answers, but then looks at how thin Draco's sweater is, and decides he needs some regular clothes too. The rest can be bought at a wizarding shop with the Malfoy's money, no matter how much Astoria despises wizarding clothes—it's all just not her thing—she also figures that this month's rent can be pushed to next month.
"But… it's okay."
"Are you sure?"
Astoria looks up from the cloak, finds Draco staring at her worriedly, and bites her lip, quickly looking away and pushing the coat in his hands like some stupid little schoolgirl. Attempting to get some of her toughness or what have you back, she passes him, elbowing his side during the process.
"'Course I am. Just wear it."
After shopping at five different stores (Draco is just so damn picky) till about three, he's got two new sweaters, one cardigan, one pair of jeans, and a few normal t-shirts as well—all of which wasn't cheap, Astoria thinks bitterly. But, as she glances at him from the corner of her eye, he's warm at least, in that damn forty pound coat of his. He's also carrying the shopping bags, which Astoria feels is the rightful punishment as they're pretty heavy. Her stomach sounds as they cross the street, and the Auror turns to Draco, who's looking at all of the lights strung against trees and Christmas decorations like a little kid. It's cute.
"Let's get something to eat," she suggests, and Draco looks at her, nodding silently in agreement.
They go to a restaurant, and Astoria scrapes up the rest of the money she has to order them a pizza, the act giving Draco a guilty look. Astoria sips her soda and frowns, "What?"
Draco pauses, looks down at the floor as if saying what he's about to say is very hard, "You're just buying me all of these… things."
Astoria shrugs, trying to mask her being flattered at his concern—something she wasn't expecting. "It's stuff you need, right? Besides," she adds, "you're going to pay me back anyways."
"But I don't have Muggle—"
Astoria cuts him off, "We're roomies now—roommates. And roommates share rent."
"You see, Draco," Astoria says, placing her hands on the table as if it'll further prove her point, "there is this little thing called a job. And when you successfully do this said job, then you get paid with money, which you can then use to pay for bills, food, clothing, etcetera."
"You mean a Muggle job?" Draco exclaims, and Astoria fervently leans over the table, smacking him upside the head as people stare.
"Would you shut up!" she whispers hurriedly, "You're causing a scene!"
Draco scowls and leans in closer, lowering his voice, "What do you mean a Muggle job? I know nothing about the Muggle world!"
Astoria rolls her eyes, "That's why I'm going to teach you some stuff when we get that home! It's rather simple, anyways."
"How do you expect me to learn about Muggles in one night—I don't even know what that thing you use to make coffee is!"
"It's a coffeemaker, Draco," Astoria says. She catches the waiter bringing their food, and tells him to promptly shut up. Once the waiter sets the food down at the table, Astoria smirks, giving Draco a mocking look with her eyebrows raised.
"And this is pizza, Draco," which makes him scowl. She puts a slice on her plate, and just when she's about to eat she catches the manager come out. Hurriedly, Astoria leans over the table again and pulls Draco close by the collar.
He gasps, and then glares, "What are you—"
"Kiss me—its couple's night or some shit. If we look like we're dating we get half off—" And Astoria's hands curl around the back of Draco's neck, and his cup the sides of her face. Their lips crash together and there's a pause when the manager looks at them and then goes along his merry way. They should be pulling away now, but instead Draco growls and pushes forward, and Astoria gasps into the kiss. His tongue swipes along her bottom lip, and holy hell—
Astoria quickly retracts, back slamming into her seat. Draco hastily does the same, and the brunette woman gulps, suddenly interested in the ivory table cloth.
"Good pizza, eh?" –also, remind me to never come here on a Saturday again.
Though the inquiry is silent, Draco nods, and Astoria has a sneaking suspicion that he isn't agreeing with her about the food.
"That never happened."
Astoria pulls her hat back on and frowns, glancing at Draco from the corner of her eye as he walks by her side; they just left the restaurant, and silently created a pact to never go again.
"Well," she starts, "It was the least you could do to repay me for the food and clothes. Besides, it was a pretty good snog."
"What snog?" Draco asks, and Astoria rolls her eyes. They fall into a comfortable silence, cars and taxis and double-decker buses (top decks covered in snow) whizzing past them. Astoria pauses, ceases in walking, and Draco stops, looking back at her confusedly. Astoria's lips part and she looks at him, as if she can't believe her eyes.
"Have you ever had a friend, Draco?"
She sees Draco open his mouth, and then close it, and then open it again. "What kind of question is that?"
Astoria stares at the ground, at the snow pushed to the sides of the sidewalk, and starts talking, to herself more than anything. "You haven't had a friend, have you?" She murmurs, and thinks of those two goons whose names she can't remember, of Pansy Parkinson—that bitch—and realizes that Draco hasn't ever had an actual friend, someone to care for him; and Astoria's thoughts fly to Neville, of how he cares about her, and she wants to care for Draco like that too.
Astoria's head snaps up, and she smiles, much to Draco's confusion. She walks back up to him, nearly skipping, and laces her arm with his. Draco awkwardly walks along with her.
"I think I'll be your friend," Astoria says, breaths coming out in visible puffs. She looks at him, "Would you like that?" and Draco pauses. She watches him, as he seems to silently contemplate. He doesn't answer, just tugs her harder so they're closer than ever, and Astoria takes it as a yes.
"That snog was the start of a beautiful friendship, I think."
"I haven't a lick of what you're talking about."
Astoria grins, and pats his arm, a shopping bag hanging from her elbow as Draco carries the other. "Of course you don't."
"Okay," Astoria starts, sitting down in front of the couch in the living room, garbed in pajamas. Draco sits on the other side of the coffee table (which is in between them), wearing the same type of clothes as well. She pulls out a few pounds, laying them across the counter in order of amount, from least to greatest. Draco frowns down at them.
"If you're going to get a Muggle job, you've got to know Muggle money. This," she holds up a one pound note, "is one pound, alright?—pretty small amount, about four Sickles." Astoria sets the note away, describes the others, and then holds up a twenty pound one, "This is twenty pounds, which is about four Galleons."
Draco purses his lips and suddenly stands up. Astoria worriedly rises as well and follows him as he makes his way to the front door.
"Draco! What the hell was—"
He whips around, and Astoria stumbles back. "This is bloody ridiculous," he snarls, and Astoria rolls her eyes.
"Well damn, I thought—"
"I am not getting a fucking Muggle job! This whole thing," he gestures between the two of them, "is insane! We barely know each other!"
"I'm hurt, Draco," Astoria says sarcastically, "I really felt that—"
"I'm leaving," Draco mutters, hand on the doorknob, and, but before Astoria can ask anything, he's is out the door and down the hallway. Astoria's chest heaves and she pauses, before running out.
"Wait! Come on, Draco! You—you're still in your jammies!"
But when she drops her hand from her mouth, Draco isn't there to ignore her or roll his eyes or give a snippy, sarcastic comment, and Astoria dashes inside of the flat, pulls on her coat, hat, scarf, and trainers, and Disapparates, not exactly sure of where to go.
Astoria pants and stumbles, crisp, cold, ten-at-night wind whipping around her. She finds herself in Diagon Alley with snowflakes twirling away in the air and walks worriedly, slush from the ground soaking the ends of her sweatpants, in a desperate search for an asshole that doesn't deserve the attempt. She walks around aimlessly, passes Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes (and then remembers it just reopened, and then remembers the owner, and then remembers the owner's dead twin). Her heart clenches with sympathy, and she pauses near the joke shop, but, with more pressing matters at hand, she treks past it and into a slushy alleyway.
She doesn't know why she turned in here, and acutely wonders if someone sneaked some Felix Felicis into her soda from earlier, for she hears choked sobs, and her stomach flips. She walks down the alley cautiously, shadows increasing as she goes deeper and deeper, and eventually, she sees a pale blonde head of hair. Astoria smirks and knowing better, doesn't tackle him in a hug like she so desperately wants to. Instead, she walks over and sits beside the Malfoy on the curb. He continues to cry even with her right there beside him, and Astoria's chest warms—she thinks he trusts her.
Honestly, she doesn't know why this whole crying fit is so spontaneous, but she wraps her arm around Draco's shoulder, forcing him to turn, and circles her arms completely around his middle, her nose buried in his hair. Her eyes flutter close as he shivers and burrows himself closer to her, almost childishly. Astoria rubs his back, lips pulled into a wolfish grin.
"Are you on your period?"
Draco calms and snorts, pulling back, but Astoria growls and keeps him close, not wanting him to get a fever again. Surprisingly, he doesn't resist. And they sit there, in that dirty alley, for Lord knows how long, but somehow, they've switched places, with Astoria leaning against him. Though, her arms are still possessively looped tightly around his waist.
"I'm your friend, okay? You… you can tell me stuff." Astoria chirps suddenly, and she feels Draco nod against her head.
"Okay," she replies. And then, he tells her stuff. And in a few parts he cries. And that's okay.
A/N: As I said before, there will be chapters after the chapters with lyrics, just so we can tie any loose ends connected to those lyrics. I feel that and I'd give up forever to touch you, cause I know that you feel me somehow, means that they can relate to each other; that these two people are in a desperate attempt to find each other, because they're the only ones who understand the other's problems Or at least, that's my interpretation. Also, I know that Astoria was the one that comforted Draco, but fret not, Draco will have his turn soon.
The lyrics up next are you're the closest to Heaven that I'll ever be, and I don't want to go home right now. Those two chapters will be in Draco's POV, so stay tuned! Speaking of point of views, they'll alternate between these two. I hope this chapter wasn't as boring as I think it was. Have some shoujo-manga-esque romance!
Before I go, I'm just going to say that Draco's mood swings will only get worse from here on out. And no, he's not on his period. Or pregnant.
Anyways, I love you! Thanks for reading!
PS: I'm sorry this sucked so much and was boring as hell and really romantic-comedy-ish and just overall terrible.