"Are you sure about this?" As soon as the words leave my mouth, I immediately know it is a mistake as I feel Draco stiffen. The warmth in his eyes of only a moment ago vanishes, replaced with the aloof Malfoy mask I know all too well from earlier years. Oh, this is bad. Its appearance only signifies one thing – that he is deeply hurt, for he will never hesitate to show his anger. It is one of the emotions he labels as safe, for it is also one he is familiar with experiencing in regards to me. I can't blame him, since I am guilty of the exact same problem though I understand the rationale behind it. It is more comfortable to just revert to the feelings our many years of rivalry bring up rather than pushing ourselves into new unchartered territory to face and explore the new emotions the other inexplicably causes now.
The only difference is that I'm hopeless at hiding my emotions – even Hermione tells me my face is like an open book (and I reckon she knows best, considering how many she's read) – which I can't decide if it is a good or bad thing. For one, it allows our arguments to be settled much faster, since Draco is nothing but observant and he'll stop his tirade at once when he sees that I'm hurt, no matter how angry he is, which gives us a chance to hash out the misunderstandings which have cropped up. I don't fancy the idea of being quite so transparent to everyone, though. The sight of Draco packing his luggage shakes me out of my musings. The fact that he seems to have momentarily forgotten that he can get the job done much faster with just a flick of his wand clues me in to how agitated he is – Draco detests manual labour, to quote him, "Why do it Muggle style when we can do it with magic? We're called wizards for a reason, after all."
He whirls around abruptly. "Since you think so little of me, I don't see why I should continue to stay here and continue…this." He seems unable to bring himself to bring himself to say the word 'relationship', but nevertheless, it hangs between us like a cloud. I glimpse a flicker of unguarded emotion, and the pain I see makes my breath catch. Before I manage to call out and ask him what he means, he disappears with a 'pop', leaving me alone in our bedroom torn between regret that I have caused him that much pain, however unintentionally, and irritation that he just went off without giving me a chance to explain. But then again, he wouldn't be Draco otherwise. He may be impulsive, quick-tempered, and insecure (though he would never admit it), but I wouldn't have him any other way.
I mull over my words, trying to see it the way he would have, and I'm tempted to bang my head against the wall when I realise how he has probably interpreted them. How he thinks I can possibly feel that way now, I have no idea, but it's true that I've never told him directly that I know he's changed, that I trust him and I love him. I simply take it as that he knows I do, given my actions, well so it turns out he apparently doesn't. Perhaps I should have known better, since I do know how insecure he is. It's easy for me to just abandon him after all – I hate that it's true, but practically everyone will jump at the chance to go out with the 'Saviour of the Wizarding World'. He doesn't see what I do, that I don't want people to be with me for that reason, because of my fame and reputation. I want them to be with me for me – a feat many would find hard to accomplish, and what better person would there be to be able to do that than my childhood nemesis? I guess this shows that it's time to spell everything out to Draco clearly.
It's probably the worst argument we've ever had. My suspicions are confirmed in the morning when I wake up alone in bed. Draco always comes back, even if he is sullen and cold and doesn't cuddle with me like usual. I note that he didn't pack all of his luggage and wonder if this is a sign that he isn't leaving for good. He could have just missed them in his haste though - and it doesn't help to know that he can simply Accio them from wherever he is. I wait till the afternoon before I go to find Blaise. If there's anyone who knows where Draco is, it's him. I technically know where Draco is - in one of those Muggle pubs he strangely favours, probably because there're no nasty whispers about him going around - but I need Blaise to know which one. He and Draco have been close friends for ages, though it wasn't that obvious in Hogwarts, and Draco knows better than to go off like that without letting at least one person know of his whereabouts. It ensures that he'll have someone to bail him out of trouble if there's a need.
I know better than to think Blaise will simply tell me where Draco is, though, despite the fact that we're relatively close now too. Slytherins are notoriously close-mouthed, besides, if he broke Draco's trust so easily, Draco wouldn't be able to trust him fully again. So I decide to help him out by arming myself with a bottle of Veritaserum. It's a thoroughly Slytherin method, but what can i say? I wasalmost sorted into that house after all. I watch Blaise's eyes widen in confusion, then understanding, and after I get my answer, he nods as if to wish me luck. I nod back. Soon, I'm standing behind Draco who is nursing a mug of Firewhisky and wondering how I should announce my presence. The problem is taken out of my hands though, as he turns around. Unthinkingly, I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. "I used Veritaserum on Blaise." He curses, and I seize him by the arm and Apparate us both back home before he decides to vanish again.
I cast a Sobriety spell on him, for my sake as much as his - I know he'll give me hell if he can't remember everything clearly afterwards. I take his hands in mine, trusting that he'll at least hear me out even if he decides to disappear again later. I look straight into his eyes, trusting my instincts to allow what I want to tell him to come out naturally. I'm not eloquent like he is, but I decided earlier that preparing a speech will make it sound too rehearsed and possibly not as sincere. I am not disappointed, as the words flow out smoothly. "Draco. I love how you wrinkle your brow when you're concentrating or when you're trying to figure something out. Yes, just like that," I add, as he unconsciously carries out the exact motion I was describing.
"I love that you don't press me to take Dreamless Sleep Potion, even though I often wake you in the night screaming from my nightmares, and nevertheless, you still insist on us sleeping together and even comfort me when I wake. I love how you toss and turn in your sleep, even if in the process you often tug the blankets off me. I love that you run your hands through your hair when you're frustrated – I know you hate it because it messes it up, but you picked it up from me and I feel like a part of me is with you when I see you doing it. I love how you come running whenever you hear me trip on the carpet in the morning, even though you're never in time to catch me and I laugh at your expression each time. In short, I love every single thing about you simply because I love you. And Iknow you've changed. The reason I was so hesitant to publicize our relationship is not because I don't want my name to be associated with yours, but because I don't want you to be unhappy. You know how the reporters would love to report about you corrupting me or that you have me under a love potion or spell. Those accusations aren't exactly pleasant, and you know we'll probably get loads of Howlers from the public too. It won't be easy to bear, and I simply want to give you a choice. But I want you to know that I will support you no matter what. I'll be proud to be able to tell everyone that you're my boyfriend. "
He says nothing, but I see the shine in his eyes and know that I've done the right thing. He leans in, tugging me into a passionate kiss, and when we finally break apart, gasping, he breathes softly into my ear, "I feel the same.".