H – hey, all? *ducks* I'M SORRY! It was supposed to be up AGES ago, but then FF decided that now would be a good time to not load, so I'm getting this up today. On a school laptop. Which I should not be using for this purpose.
I do not own Harry Potter.
This chapter is dedicated to foreva2000 who's been begging me for ages to update. I'M SORRY!
As Carmi clapped and cheered for Morgan, Riesa, and Piper, she couldn't help glancing at Draco out of the corner of her eye. If she were admitting it to herself, she was a bit shocked by how he was acting. Mina had described him as a snarky young man who lived in his father's shadow and did his best to please him. While she hadn't appreciated the name calling, Mina had admitted that she liked arguing with him. His snarky comments and quick brain provided a challenge and she had never walked away disappointed from one of their spirited debates.
And while she was looking at him, Carmi admitted to herself that he was extremely good looking. With his pale blonde hair that fell freely around his face, his long and lean muscles, and piercing stormy grey eyes, he was a gorgeous specimen of the male species. Speaking of those stormy grey eyes, Carmi found herself caught in the gaze of one Draco Malfoy. She flushed a light pink as he raised an eyebrow at her, as if saying, "See something you like?" Gathering all her resolve, Carmi raised her eyebrows right back at him, as if to say, "Well, maybe I do. What are you going to do about it?" And with that, Carmi once again turned her back to him, only to start discreetly as his hot breath tickled her ear a minute later, "Didn't Granger ever tell you, Lei? People don't turn their backs on me."
Carmi squeaked quietly as she felt herself being pulled back against a very muscular chest, and muscled arms settling around her waist.
"What are you doing?" She hissed furiously.
Draco ignored her question. He bent to whisper in her ear again. "Do you trust me?"
Carmi was struck dumb. Did he really just ask her what she thought he did?
"Le- Carmi", Draco corrected himself. "Do you trust me?" He asked urgently.
And without thinking, without being drawn into the maze that were her thoughts, Carmi answered, "Yes."
Carmi felt him smile into her hair as he almost subconsciously brushed his lips against the crown of her head. "Good. So when I say now, will you flip?"
Carmi turned her head to peer over her shoulder at him. "Why?"
He smirked. "Trust me?"
Carmi scowled, annoyed with herself for falling for that so easily. With a huff, she turned back around, and muttered a sullen, "Fine."
Draco grinned at the small, yet unexpected victory.
"…Now!" He whispered, and as Carmi pulled herself into a flip, Draco caught her body, and swung her around, turning the young gymnast's flip into a move that any professional swing dancer would use. Carmi quickly caught on to what he was doing, and the two seemed to move as fluidly as water.
Mark nodded appreciatively. He'd thought those two would dance well together. It appeared that Miss Carmichael Lei had finally found a partner worthy enough to keep up with her.
"Well done, Mr. Malfoy, Miss Lei. Miss Lei", he called back.
Carmi looked up. "It appears you have finally found yourself a partner worthy enough to keep up with you. Don't wear him out." He winked and turned back to the next pair.
Carmi's mouth was opening and closing. She looked a bit like a fish.
Morgan, Carter, and Mina found her in that same position five minutes later.
"Erm… Carmi?" Carter asked.
"Yoo-hoo?" Mina waved her hand in front of her cousin's face.
Morgan sighed. "I got this."
Her hand flashed out so fast, no one saw it coming. Carmi jumped, shaken out of her stupor. "What the hell, Morgan!" She shouted clutching her hand to her now bright red cheek.
"So what did El Marco say this time?" Morgan referred to their dance instructor on the other side of the room.
Carmi sighed. "He said, '.'"
"What?" Morgan choked.
"And then he winked." Carmi added, feeling more miserable at the mention of the last bit.
"Holy shit." Carter muttered. "You sure you weren't hallucinating?"
"Maybe about the last part, but he definitely said it."
"I'm so proud of you!" Carter screeched after a moment's silence, and flung herself at the petite beauty.
Draco looked at the three girls weirdly, and then over at Mina. She held her hands out defensively.
"Hey, don't look at me. I haven't a clue."
Morgan looked over at the confused blonde, and took pity on him.
"Here's the thing, Malfoy – may I call you Malfoy? – Mark has seen Carmi go through partner after partner –"
"After partner." Carter added.
"– and none of them have ever been able to keep up with her. She's worn them out within the first 45 minutes every time, and honestly, Mark's gotten pretty fed up of it. He can't ask Carmi to turn it down, because that isn't something you ever do, and the guys haven't been able to dial it up enough to keep up." Morgan went on as though she hadn't been interrupted. "So when Mark thinks you'll be able to keep up, you'll be able to keep up. Congratulations."
"… Thank you?" Draco questioned haltingly. "But wait. Why were you so upset, then?" He addressed Carmi as he said this.
Carmi shifted uncomfortably. She looked anywhere but at Draco.
"Hem, hem." She coughed.
"What the fuck was that?" Draco looked at her, then Mina. "Was it just me or was that a total Umbridge moment right there?"
Mina looked up from rubbing her hand unconsciously. "What? Oh, yes. Totally an Umbridge moment." She agreed absentmindedly.
Carmi sighed. "I was so miserable because of it, because… I don't know! I've been dancing by myself for so long now, that when Mark complimented us on our dancing, I felt like he only thought it was good because of you. It's stupid, I know!" She raised her voice when she saw Draco open his mouth. "Let's move on from it, and never think or speak of it again!"
Luck was on Carmi's side that day, because Draco shut his mouth and agreed.
Hermione glared upwards. "I thought I told you not to call me that anymore."
Blaise ignored her. "Can we talk?"
Mina sighed. She'd been dreading this ever since Mark had dismissed the class, and her Veela had walked beside her on the way home. Now he had cornered her in the darkened kitchen, and he wanted to talk. Of course he wanted to talk – what else would he want to do? Pin her up against the wall and kiss her?
'No! Bad thoughts, Mina! Bad!' She scolded herself fiercely.
"No. I don't think we can. I'm tired. I'm heading up to bed."
Blaise grabbed her arm as she attempted to walk out of the kitchen.
"Hermione. Please. All I want-"
"What?" Mina shouted. "What do you want? You want to talk? Fine! We'll talk! Let's talk about the little flash of emotion I showed you. You curious about what it was? It was love! Bet your Death Eater self hasn't ever felt that before, huh? Let's talk about how I love you, and the only reason you chose me was because your Veela needed me so you wouldn't die! Let's talk about why I was so upset is because I've been in love with you since we had that stupid project in fifth year!" Mina cried, her voice cracking on the word 'stupid'. "There! We talked. Now let me go to bed." She wrenched her arm out of his grasp, and ran up the stairs without another word.
Mina stumbled though the door of her and Carmi's room, and threw herself onto her bed, sobs shaking her tiny frame. Carmi got up from her bed, and walked over to Mina. She knelt beside her cousin, and rested her hand on her back.
"It will work itself out in the end, Mina."
"How!" Mina screamed hoarsely. "How will it all work out! I said awful things down there! Awful! I regret it - all of it! I shouldn't have said anything! I should have let him talk! He wanted to talk, why didn't I let him? I've gone and ruined everything!" She curled herself into a small ball, her body erupting into spasms from the force.
Carmi stood up and quietly left the room. She looked up and saw a pained Blaise standing there. She put a finger to her lips, and waved him further down the hall.
"You heard, then?" She asked in a hushed tone.
Blaise nodded his consent. "Let me go in to her." He pleaded.
Carmi shook her head. "Now really's not a good time, Blaise. Let her have the night. You'll see her in the morning."
"Carmi." Blaise's voice cracked. "Please."
Carmi paused, then relented. "Alright. Blaise?"
The boy looked back at her.
"Don't hurt her. She's so fragile."
Blaise cracked the door to Mina's room open, then eased his way inside gingerly.
"What do you want, Carmi?" A dull, hollow voice asked.
Blaise winced at the sound, and how dead his mate's emotions were. She hadn't bothered with the shield.
"It's not Carmi." He said quietly.
Mina shot up off the bed to stand beside it. The two stared at one another for a long, long moment of time. The next thing either knew, she was in his arms hugging him tightly, and being embraced just as fiercely back.
"I'm sorry." She whispered into his chest. "I'm so, so sorry."
He kissed the top of her head. "I know. I know." He swayed them, back and forth, side to side.
"Please stay tonight. I don't want you to leave."
Which is how Blaise found himself laying on the bed with Mina. She rested her head on his chest. He folded her into his arms, clutching on as though she was the only thing keeping him grounded.
"I love you", he whispered quietly but fiercely.
Her only response was to clench onto his shirt tighter, and bury her head further into his chest.
Before the two fell asleep, Blaise heard Mina whisper quietly. "I know you do."
Well, there's the end my lovelies! Who liked it?
Sorry for the long delay. Reviews are accepted. Even if they are just to scream at me for the long delay.