A/N: To all of you who have read and commented and followed Angeline through her journey in Hogwarts, she and I would both like to thank you. Unfortunately for me, this is where the story will climax and draw to its close. This is the first fanfic that I have ever finished, and I have found that it's far harder to end a story then to give up on it, so thank you for sticking by me and reading through it all. Anyway, enough with the drivel and on with the show...
I awoke in bliss, sunlight seeping in to the astronomy tower and tickling my eyelids. I blinked and turned my head to look at Draco, still asleep beside me. His face was practically godlike, perfectly smooth and angled. He sensed my gaze and opened his beautiful, silvery eyes.
"Good morning, beautiful," he said, stroking my arm, a hand in my hair. I snuggled against it.
"Good morning, my love." I replied. The air was still around us, and the moment held for a few minutes. Then. I checked my watch. It was six fifteen. People would be waking up, somebody was bound to find us. I sat up, finding myself tangled in a mess of mine and Draco's robes. I shook them off and retrieved my own, beginning to pull them on.
"Such a shame," began Draco, "such a magnificent body covered up by such ugly clothes." I looked over at him, cocking an eyebrow. He flashed me a brilliant smile.
"Get dressed," I said, rolling my eyes. "Someone will be up any minute. If you're dressed, then we could have come up for an early look at the sunrise."
"Angeline, are you ashamed of sleeping with me?" asked Draco, a hand on his chest in mock devastation.
"Never," I said sincerely. He smiled, pulling on his vest. Such a shame, I thought, such a magnificent body covered by such ugly clothes.
I was right to have gotten us dressed when I did, as it was less than fifteen minutes before a few other students came trickling in to watch the sunrise with us. As me and Draco leaned over the railing, one of his arms over mine, an older Hufflepuff couple came and joined us a little way away. Two Gryffindor second years joined us on the other side. More and more students came as the sky turned a more intense pink, finally giving in to the sun; which came bursting over distant hills, dispelling the pink and introducing a majestic gold and blue, taking its place as the sky's crown jewel.
We did little else the whole day, we just lounged about here and there, exchanging sweet nothings. Now, I treasure that day in my memories as the best and last day I spent with Draco Malfoy.
Sometimes, in hindsight, I wonder if the actions that lead me to follow the boy who lived lost me the boy I loved.
It was dusk, and I was sitting by a window sill in one of the many unused turrets of Hogwarts. I was contemplating DA and it's abrupt end. I held a guilt in my chest for allowing the others to receive the blame while I got off scot-free. I was thinking that if Harry ever needed me for anything, I would jump to help him.
Fate has a funny way of coming back to test the words you carelessly think in your head. As I stared out into the grey, dusty sky, I suddenly saw something zoom past my window. Then another. Then another. I realised that they were students, apparently riding thin air. I saw two, wind whipped orange heads passed by me, both were screaming. They must have been riding theastrals, I had heard of them from Draco in his Care of Magical Creatures class. They were supposed to be winged horses which one could only see when they had seen death.
If Ron and Ginny Weasely were using theastrals to get out of the castle, then they were following Harry, and they were going somewhere important. Something was afoot. I knew it for certain when I heard a scream that had to be Umbridge's. Some reckless, adventurous side of me determined immediately to follow them. To help as I had said I would.
I opened the window and drew out my wand.
"Accio Nimbus Two-Thousand-and-One!" I shouted into the cold air, and in a matter of seconds my broom was waiting loyally outside the window. I jumped out, throwing myself onto it and shooting into the air, tailing them.
I was a lot more careful flying than the group was, hiding in any clouds I could find, ducking out occasionally to check that I was on the right track. As the lights of London appeared ahead, I slowed down. They were heading for the Ministry, they could only be. The Ministry meant trouble far worse than I had previously thought.
I kept a further distance from the rest as the rode in to Whitehall and found stepped in to a telephone box. I peeked in after a minute, but they had disappeared.
I leant my broom against a wall, hoping that nobody would want it, and stepped in just as they had. I closed the door behind me. Nothing happened. How had they gotten in to the Ministry then? I stared at the telephone. It was in a right state, half the numbers and letters scratched off. And then it hit me. It was a telephone. If you wanted to get in you had to dial a number. Or, a few letters. Immediately the answer was obvious. The only buttons left untouched were six, four and two.
I tapped in 62442. MAGIC. Immediately, the telephone box jerked and began its descent.
It opened into a large atrium, but I didn't spare time to look around. My cautious behavior had caused me to lose the group, I couldn't tell which way they had gone. There were many corridors leading off from this central space, and the entire room was empty, silent.
Or so I thought.
"And who is this?" asked a voice behind me. A shiver slithered down my spine, and I felt each individual hair on the back of my neck spring to attention. I turned slowly, and was faced with a man I had seen before in a dream. A man with slits for nostrils and a face a cold ivory colour. He stood by a large fountain that dominated the square, his stature proud, his back straight. Beside him crouched a man with a rodent-like face. His hair protruded out of his head in tufts, and his back was bent as if from a life spent bowing to the wills of another. A bit of light glinted off of one of his hands, which I saw was silver.
"Master, we must go." The man squeaked. "The boy is here."
"Allow the Death Eaters to have their fun with the children," the man said with a sneer. "I want only the boy. They will leave me him." He turned back to me, his expression unperturbed. "Answer my question, girl. Who are you?"
I didn't know how to answer. I knew certainly who he was. I had heard my Grandmother talk about him so many times. But how was I to tell him this.
"My name is Angeline Wint," I told him, my voice surprisingly calm.
"I am afraid, Angeline, that I have never heard of you." His face twisted into a cruel smile.
"Perhaps," I began in parseltongue, "you have heard of my Grandmother?"
He laughed, a loud bark of insane laughter. "Behold, Wormtail! She speaks Parseltongue! How did you gain such a gift?"
"I inherited it from my Grandfather." I said, solemnly.
"Ha! Your Grandfather must be of a great descent. Your Grandmother is a lucky woman." He kept the civilities going so naturally, but the whole time I could see his hand at his wand, waiting for the right moment to send me to my doom.
"She was." I agreed. "She loved the man very much, but love broke her. I'm sure he always loved her. I'm sure with some part of his fractured soul, he always will."
"And who is the wonderful lady who so foolishly gave her heart to one who would break it?" he asked in a sincere voice.
"She was known between us as Batty Betty, and she died mourning her Riddle." The words echoed off the stone floors and the ceilings. They hung in the air and the man's face contorted.
"Out, Wormtail," he said to the rat-faced man.
"Out!" he bellowed, and the man scurried away.
"You knew my Betty?"
"Yes," I said, trying to read his eyes, but his expression had returned to the blank palette it had always been.
"How is she?"
The air was still. Silent. He perked up suddenly as if he remembered something else.
"She had a daughter, Merope. How is she?"
"Well. She has a daughter now. She grieves for a father she lost. She doesn't realise he lives, though not the same man that he was."
The man looked down at me, I thought I saw pity on his face for a fleeting moment. "And this daughter of hers, does she grieve as well?" My heart quickened. Moment of truth time after all.
"And why not?"
"Because she can't grieve for a man she is talking to."
"Angeline, are you my granddaughter.?"
"Master, Master! It is time! The boy has the prophecy!" Voldemort's head perked up, and he whipped out his wand, pointing it at me.
"You look so like her, you know? But Angeline, that daughter..."
"She will continue grieving for the father she lost."
And then he was gone, and I was left alone in the atrium. My whole body was convulsing as I realised that I had just met him, my grandfather. It broke my heart to watch him sweep out, his cruel face gone in an instant. That was the monster Betty had loved. I never wanted to see him again. I never wanted to have to tell my mother that that man was her father. I would never tell anybody. I wanted no ties to him.
I could not help Harry. Nothing could help Harry. The man had no heart, no compassion. There was nothing I could do, no way I could be helpful. So I left, my mind numbed, back to Hogwarts.
I stayed up late in the common room, hugging my knees to my chest and trying to forget that night. I was still shaking, but less so. At some late time, Draco entered.
"Angeline!" he said, surprised as he saw me on the floor.
"Draco..." I choked, and then, finally, I began to cry. He ran to my side, gathering me up in his arms, stroking my hair, wiping the tears as they came. When finally they stilled, Draco looked at me, hard. His face went red as he stared, as if he was trying to memorise my entire body.
"Draco, what is it?"
"The call, Angeline. I have been called to service by a very powerful man."
"Angeline, I can't see you any more. Every single person I love is in danger now, simply because I love them. I would do anything for you. That will be my greatest weakness." He said it so calmly, as if he had thought it all through. It was fact. There was nothing either one of us could do.
I shook my head. No. No, No, NO! "Y-you can't..."
"I have to,"
"You DON'T!" I roared, shoving him away from me and getting to my feet. "You can stay with me. You can love me."
"I can't, Angeline. I love you. Please believe me when I say I will never love another girl as much as I love you."
"Then how can you leave me?"
"Please, don't make this harder. The year is over tomorrow. Go home. Beauxbatons takes new girls for NEWTs. You'll like it there. Continue your wizarding training. Forget all about me. A war is coming Angeline. I don't want you here when it strikes."
"We'll fight the war together!" I yelled, delirious. He couldn't be leaving me. He couldn't just be giving up!
"Because I'm on the wrong side, the dangerous side. If we win, I don't want you to see the man I will be, and if we lose, they'll take you from me. I can't let that happen." He looked so forlorn, beaten. It was over. There was nothing I could do. I let the tears flow again, releasing loud sobs of agony as my heart began to tear at itself, ripping itself to shreds. Draco stood and slowly advanced. I didn't move. He took my chin and tipped it up. He brought his lips to mine. I pulled his face in as we kissed. The world melted into nothingness as we shared it. It was the seal of finality, the last bomb to my hollow chest. We kissed for the pain, for the loss, for love.
At some point, the heat and pressure of his lips were gone from mine, and he left. I fell to the floor, and let insanity wash over me, tugging me down into a deep depression. I wailed and wept like a sailor's wife staring at a storm. I hardly had the energy to pull myself up off the floor, pack my things and head home, where I curled up on the bed and stayed.
I went to Beauxbatons. I completed all my NEWTs. I am now a muggle attaché in the Ministry of Magic. Every day I wake, get dressed, and go to work. I haven't see Draco Malfoy since that night, but I pine for him every day.
At some point, I learnt to pick up the pieces of my heart and stick them back together to make it roughly whole. But there is no way to fill the cracks. There was once a scared boy, who dragged his pregnant love to a hospital and begged them to take her. I ruined her, he had said. Their history was doomed to be repeated by two young Slytherins some while later. Draco Malfoy ruined me, but somewhere in my heart, these words remain.
Love is something well worth finding. Nothing lasts, but you must treasure it for the time that it lives, and never resent it when it perishes.
I love you, Draco Malfoy.