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Chapter 20: Mistakes
A huge thanks to my reviewers for the last chapter: dracos lover, TheSortingHat, C'est moi, Krupickaj, MsJacksonMalfoyMellark, Slytherin_Seeker_Forever, MiSTY_VoLPe, SenBullok, Ravenclaw77, and of course, the two most amazing reviewers ever: We Are Padfoot and Prongs and MadiMalfoy. All of you guys rock and you're what keep me going.
Another HUGE thanks to my beta reader, MadiMalfoy for helping me with the whole editing process. You're amazing.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the wonderful world my characters live in, all that is part of the brilliant mind of our personal queen, JK Rowling. I don't own Beauty and the Beast either, that credit goes to either Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve or Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont
Being in touch with my brain to the point where I could think of hundreds of things at once was something I’d always been fond of… until now. The moment Draco’s lips met mine caused my brain to completely lose control, and it was as if something snapped. All I could think of or focus on was Draco. Pictures of Draco flashed through my mind and everything he’d said to me throughout our years at school echoed in my head.
My first instinct was to pull away from him, this wasn’t just anyone I was kissing… it was Draco Malfoy! I resisted, however, and my eyelids fluttered shut. There was another internal snap and I felt myself completely give into the kiss, leaning against him as my hands found the back of his neck.
Snap out of it! You’re kissing Draco Malfoy! My mind began yelling at me but I ignored the little voice. You’ll regret this. It said. Will not. I responded as butterflies seemed to take residence in my stomach.
My brain kicked into overdrive, trying to show me all that I had hated about Malfoy. Visions of him calling me mudblood flooded my mind and I pushed them away. Realizing that this was the Slytherin Prince kissing me, the Gryffindor know-it-all. I nearly laughed out loud as I pictured the look on Pansy Parkinson’s face if she were to be here right now watching.
His hand found my waist and he pulled me tighter against him, causing my heart to skip a beat and the butterflies to go insane in my stomach. His other hand found the back of my head where it entwined in my hair, causing a groan to escape my lips before I could help myself.
Draco smiled against my lips, causing the butterflies to go absolutely insane. He pulled away, leaving me wanting nothing more than to pull him back for another kiss, but after opening my eyes and seeing his face, my hands fell off his neck.
His eyebrows were pulled together in confusion and he appeared to be in pain.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered, pulling farther back and shaking his head.
How had I allowed this to happen? Adding feelings on her side into this whole mess of a complication she and I were already dealing with did absolutely nothing but cause pain. The exact thing I was trying to avoid.
My heart constricted painfully and I realized it wasn’t just me feeling that way, but her. I reached out to her but she scrambled backwards, shaking her head. She looked up at me, her eyes wide and glistening with what I realized with a jolt were the beginning of tears.
“I’m an idiot.” She whispered, standing up and brushing herself off before shaking her head and turning away from me.
“No you aren’t. I am,” I said, pushing myself to a standing position.
She turned to me, her eyes lit with what I assumed was anger.
“Oh, so that’s how it is, is it?” she said, catching me off guard. “Kissing the mudblood was clearly a mistake!” she said, now seething. Who knew Granger had such a temper?
“That’s not what I mean.” I said, trying to remain calm. Though, if this was the chance to ruin everything romantic between us to further protect her, I should just seize the moment… right? “Okay, maybe it is.”
Her nostrils flared. “Fantastic. And to think, I allowed you to kiss me.”
“I did not kiss you, Granger. You clearly came on to me.” I said, smirking despite the pain in my chest that I knew was both she and I, despite the composure she was trying so desperate to cling to.
“Oh, of course. Draco Malfoy is so bloody perfect, he never comes on to anyone, they always flock to him.” She spat out and turned on her heel, walking towards the tree trunk where Crookshanks came running out from behind, running straight to her.
She scooped him up and reached into the bag, quickly retrieving the carrier and enlarging it before putting it back into the bag.
I’d just put Crookshanks into the carrier and placed it in the bag before casting a silencing charm on the bag in case he meowed. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, trying to let go of all the anger I felt towards Malfoy at the moment, though it wasn’t easy.
How could I have been so stupid? Of course Malfoy didn’t like me. He never would. I thought I’d been so careful and yet I’d pretty much thrown my heart at him the first chance I got. Never again.
“What now?” I asked him, and he looked up, his eyes distant.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what’re we supposed to do with your little friend?” I asked, pointing to Dolohov.
“Oh… right.” He said, leaning over Dolohov, whose eyes were wide. “Make him forget, I suppose?”
“I assume I’ll do it?” I said quietly, not wanting to but knowing that I would be able to do it. I took a deep breath and pulled Narcissa’s wand from the bag, pointing it at him.
I could almost feel the memories escape his head as I pulled them away, like a sponge soaking up excess water from a counter top. His eyes glazed over and rolled into the back of his head.
“Now what?” I asked again, and Draco contemplated it for a moment.
“Well, I say we apparate back to the Manor. The Death Eaters are all supposed to be meeting back there later tonight and we can make it look as if he’d been splinched. He’ll wake up and think he’d merely bled a lot and passed out from being splinched,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
“Lead the way.” I said, offering my arm despite every nerve in my body screaming against it.
“Not so fast, Granger.” He said, smirking.
“What is it now, Malfoy?” I hissed, not realizing that I was even capable of sounding so angry. I tried to not smile when his eyebrows shot up, looking impressed.
“Well, seeing as we’re going to be walking through the front door, it’d be best if you didn’t look like you.”
Right. The Polyjuice potion had worn off. “Oh. Of course.”
I reached into the back once more and found the flask, taking it out and taking another sip before shuddering. Within thirty seconds, I was back to looking like Narcissa Malfoy.
“Can we go now?” I asked impatiently; he held out his arm to me while also bending down so he was holding onto Dolohov’s sleeve.
“With pleasure,” he said passively.
I took his arm and closed my eyes as the familiar sensation of apparating took over. A few seconds later, my feet hit solid ground and I opened my eyes. We were standing on the long drive that led to the Manor and Malfoy was placing Dolohov off to the side.
A moan escaped Dolohov’s lips and I realized Malfoy must have just injured him to make it look like he was splinched. I winced involuntarily before Malfoy turned around to face me.
“Ready?” he asked and I nodded, not in the mood to talk to him at the moment.
He glanced at my outfit and walked towards me, wiping something off of my back. I glared at him and he held up his hands in surrender.
“Just wiping off some dirt,” she said and offered his arm. I sighed and wrapped mine through his, allowing him to lead me back to the Manor.
We walked through the front doors and I let out a sigh of relief when I saw that there were no people wandering about, allowing Malfoy and I to make our way back to my room right away.
He glanced both ways down the hallway as we approached where the entrance to my room was and as we slipped into my room, I couldn’t be happier.
I immediately slid my arm out of his and opened the bag, pulling Crookshanks out and opening the cage. He purred and stretched out before sniffing the air and running off to explore.
Narcissa was sitting on the couch when we walked in and she smiled upon seeing the two of us. She set down the book she had been reading and stood up. Then , she cocked her head upon getting a good look at us both.
“What happened?” She asked, sounding concerned.
“I’ll explain everything later. For now, let’s leave Hermione be.” Draco said stiffly from beside me. I heard the door open then click shut, and I knew without looking that he had left.
I gave Narcissa a small smile and began walking towards the bag I’d originally brought and pulled out my sweatshirt and a pair of jeans before I felt a hand on my shoulder.
I turned around to find myself face to face with Narcissa Malfoy.
“I’ll never get used to being face to face with myself,” she said jokingly and I couldn’t help but smile. “What’s wrong, Hermione?” She asked, her voice cautious.
“Can we talk about it later?” I asked, my voice threatening to crack on me.
“Of course. I better go change anyway… I have a big dinner to host tonight.”
“The Death Eaters?” I asked and she nodded.
“Wish me luck,” she muttered as she gave me a hug and pulled back, smiling at me before making her way from the room.
Crookshanks meowed from behind me and I smiled at him, making my way over to the bags to retrieve his food and water dishes, wondering all the while how I’d messed up so badly. Told you so. The little voice said in the back of my head.
Well hello! A huge thanks to all of you who have stuck with me this long and who are still reading my story. Want to make me a happy author? LEAVE A REVIEW AND YOUR NAME WILL BE UP THERE IN THE NEXT CHAPTER! :P