Summary: Draco receives a late-night phone call that brings back old ghosts and past heartaches.
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor "Lips of an Angel" – those delightful concepts belong to J.K. Rowling, WB and Hinder. The only thing my broke college ass is earning is interest in the bank account.
A/N: Am currently working on a Draco/Hermione story and was suffering a bit of a lull. This came out of nowhere within my bouts of writer's block. It is not a songfic, but is heavily inspired by "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder. I know this concept's been beat to hell, but I couldn't resist. The song's a little older now, but never fails to leave an impact whenever I hear it. I suggest you give it a listen if you haven't already.
March 3, 2004
Draco shifted slightly in the bed, dead set on not waking his bedmate. He looked over at her, her light golden hair reflecting the soft light from the moon. She kept it straight and slick, the ends cascading over her naked shoulder blades.
She was a pretty girl; there was no denying it. His father had been delighted when Draco had announced their engagement – probably the happiest Draco had ever seen the man. It almost killed him inside, knowing that the man grinning widely in front of him had destroyed the best thing to ever happen to him, and only now was he proudest of his son.
But Draco had been raised to weather the storm and uphold traditions for the family. Sacrifices were an everyday ordeal.
His mother had been happy for him as well, but Draco could not hold any contempt in his heart for the woman since she'd only expressed her congratulations after pulling him to the side to question whether the betrothal was what he really wanted.
He was a convincing liar.
The preparations had begun immediately and quickly, Astoria wanting a spring wedding. There was only so much time to prepare for such an event and she'd insisted upon spending every waking moment on it – he had agreed easily, never really taking an interest in the entire affair and therefore not concerned over the particulars.
The wedding was now only a month and a half away.
Suddenly a feeling of utter dread and fury settled over him, leaving him feeling cramped and claustrophobic in the massive bedroom. The black silk sheets covering him now left him stifled and hot, the warm air too constricting, the king size bed too small to fit his lithe frame and his fiancé's petite body.
His heart pumped madly, increasing his adrenaline, leaving him hyper-sensitive to the feel of blood rushing in his ears and the sweat on his body, when suddenly a flash of light across the room caught his attention.
It was on silent and therefore made no noise, but the flashing light might as well have been a beacon, causing the room to sporadically light up, calling him home.
He stealthily escaped the confines of his bed and padded across the room on the lush carpet, very careful to not wake his fiancée.
As handy as the little devices may be, he had still been reluctant in having one. They were a recent invention, taking cue from the devices Muggles call 'cell phones'. He had to hand it to the Weasley twins, for it was an impressive bit of magic. Powered by a variation of the Protean Charm, it acted like a real Muggle cell phone whenever someone needed to reach you, complete with noises, lights and vibration.
Very few people knew the number to his mobile, for he used it mostly for work, but he had a sneaking suspicion who it was calling him now.
He drew in a deep breath and closed his eyes when he picked up the device and found that his suspicions were correct.
"Hang on," he muttered quietly upon answering, making his way to the balcony to take the call outside and away from unwelcome ears, asleep as they may be.
The cool March air greeted him upon stepping on the landing and he welcomed its chill. "Hi," he said after shutting the door.
"Draco," her soft, angelic voice greeted him. He'd heard his name from her lips many times before and had come to learn to easily distinguish every emotion she was feeling, knowing every inflection. He heard tears and his heart broke. Again.
"Honey, what's wrong?" he asked with a whisper, unable to make his voice any louder from the lump in his throat. "Why are you crying? Is everything okay?"
A stupid question, really. The ever-present pit at the bottom of his stomach told him that nothing was okay, nor would it ever be.
"Nothing," she started, her breath hitching. "I'm sorry I called. I don't know why."
He heard the soft whimper in her voice and closed his eyes, clearly picturing the tears rolling down her sweet face.
"Hermione, love, tell me what's wrong."
"I just…" He could imagine her shrugging one shoulder in pause. "I had a dream. About you. It was horrible; I woke up crying."
A horrid pang entered his heart. "What happened?"
"Is she there?"
"She's in the other room, love. She's not here … with us." It was a terrible thing to say, but he felt the need to assure her, his Hermione, that the blonde woman sleeping in his bed was inconsequential in that moment.
A deep sigh entered his ear. "It never happened." His eyebrows quirked in confusion and she elaborated as if she knew the expression on his face. "All of it, between you and me. It never happened." A pause. "I woke up terrified, worried that everything between us was just a figment of my imagination, like if I moved too quickly then you would disappear."
Fresh sobs erupted from her throat and the sound tore through him. "It happened, love." He sighed. "All of it. Every perfect moment that we were together was real."
"And the imperfect moments?" she asked.
He smiled. "Those were my favorites."
He heard her soft giggle and pictured the sweet smile gracing her face, hating that he was unable to hold her.
"I'm sorry, Draco. I shouldn't have called. Especially with…" she trailed off and he knew what she meant to say: especially with my wedding tomorrow. It was the reason he hadn't been able to sleep.
"Where is he?"
"At Harry and Ginny's. Molly insisted on the bride and groom being separated twenty-four hours preceding the event. Tradition, she said."
"He's a fool," he said simply. He wouldn't have let her out of his sight for a minute before their wedding.
"Molly's hard to argue with."
"You're worth it."
She paused, absorbing his words before speaking again, the wretched truth leaving her lips, "I guess we never really moved on, huh?"
"I guess not."
A pregnant pause overwhelmed his senses as he pondered the quiet revelation. It had been a little less than two years since he'd ended it with the girl on the other line. They'd been together for less time than that, but it hardly mattered. The moment he'd first held her hand, he knew that he didn't want to be anywhere else but beside her for the rest of his life and couldn't believe his luck when she revealed the same.
The only thing tainting their entire relationship, besides the undeniable wrath of Ronald Weasley, had been his parents and their unwavering ideals. Tradition, honor and respect had been the staple of their lineage for as long as anyone could remember, and Lucius would rather rot in hell than see his only son deny those ideals. He'd demanded one day that he either end it with Hermione or suffer disinheritance and be completely cut off from his family.
Had it only been about Hermione's lineage, he probably would have. But it went deeper than that.
He had been raised into a certain life and it was his duty to uphold those traditions. He couldn't abandon his family, who were so defeated by the war. His parents, especially his mother, would have been ostracized and made to suffer intense scrutiny from the public for decades following the end of the war. He couldn't let his mother, the woman who'd raised him with love and understanding, suffer such a horrible fate when he had the ability to dig them out of the ground.
So he ended it. Hermione, his sweet, beautiful Hermione had told him through tears that she understood. They had barely spoken since, the only information about her learned through articles in the Daily Prophet.
"Tell me something, Draco. Anything."
Unable to deny her request, he allowed this last brief moment of weakness and spoke the first thing that came to his mind before she was to forever become a Weasley. "Some days I think I can still smell you on my shirts and can't bear the thought of that fading," he said softly. "I have a drawer full of shirts that smell like you and can't bring myself to wash them. Other days, I swear your taste is so fresh in my memory that it's like I just kissed your lips, only to realize that's impossible. Your sweet lips haven't touched mine in two years."
"Draco," she whimpered.
"God, honey, I wish she was you sometimes," he revealed, his form hunched over as he braced his left hand against the terrace railing. "I wish she was you so fucking much that it hurts every goddamn day."
"I know, Draco. I know. Me too."
"Trust me, love. I want nothing more than to gather you in my arms for all eternity and kiss those sweet lips. You have no idea how much I dream about it, the chance to kiss the lips of my angel."
"I know," she whispered, her tears constricting her voice. "I know, my love. I want the same thing."
His eyes squeezed tight, trying to suppress the rare tears forming in his eyes. "Does he treat you alright?" He had to ask – for his own bloody sanity.
"Yes." She sighed and he could practically hear her roll her eyes. "He's a good man, Draco. Just because he isn't you doesn't mean he won't make me happy."
Draco sighed and rested his elbows on the railing. "Good. I- I'm sorry about this, love."
"I know, Draco. I'm sorry too."
"I should go." Another pang entered his heart. He didn't want to say goodbye.
"Okay. I-" she paused, unsure. But then her Gryffindor courage carried her further and she whispered her confession. "I love you."
His merciful heart started beating again. "I love you too, honey," he said softly without guilt. "Get some sleep, okay? I want you to look perfect for tomorrow."
"Okay," she breathed. "Good night."
"Sweet dreams, love."
He shut his phone with a small click and breathed a deep sigh before turning around and quietly entering his bedroom, softly closing the door so as to not make any noise. Only vaguely aware he was of the chill he felt from standing outside in nothing but boxer shorts for an extended amount of time.
Softly, he padded back towards the bed, depositing his mobile back onto his desk along the way, and climbed under the silk sheets.
"Draco?" Astoria whispered sleepily. "What wer- you're freezing!"
"Just nipped outside for some fresh air, that's all," Draco assured his fiancée.
"Everything okay?" she said as she grabbed his hand and wrapped his chilly arm around her waist.
"Everything's fine," he whispered, tucking her against his body. "Go back to sleep."
Astoria thought she felt something wet against the back of her head, but sleep stole her before she could give it any more thought.
A/N2: My first published Dramione! Thoughts?
A/N3: I know she's brunette in the last film, but I'd always pictured Astoria as blonde.