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The Serpent by NoxTonks
Chapter 8: Letters
I wrote Harry a short letter the next day, basically retelling the events of the café and how I’m okay and everything. It’s actually really hard to write a one sided letter, knowing the person you’re sending it to can’t send you one back. I found myself frowning at the half a page of writing I’d managed to scamper together and sighed. I quickly scribbled down a hello to Ginny and the other Weasleys, mainly to make it look like more, before I paused.
Should I write a letter to Ron?
I pondered for a while; after all he hadn’t bothered to write me one. Was that a valid excuse? Oh god was I looking for excuses? I sighed once more, shaking my head as I fought with the swirling thoughts and emotions in my head.
I peeked over at Draco who casually folded up his letter to Harry and stuck it into an envelope. I watched his slender fingers pick up the envelope delicately before bringing it up to his lips, his tongue flicking out to lick along the edge…..
I was suddenly wondering what it would feel like to have those hands touch my skin like he was touching that envelope, to have his tongue-
Oh god do not go there!
I snapped my face away before he could see the bright flush making its way across my cheeks and focused back on my letter. I stared at the parchment for a long time, trying to figure out what I wanted to say to Ron (because I had to say something otherwise it would look like I was ignoring him or something) while trying not to think about Draco.
In the end I scribbled down a little paragraph for Ron, basically repeating what I’d said to Harry but with a few more ‘I miss you’s, though I still steered away from the L word. I folded up my letter and slid it into and envelope just as Draco had done, but probably with less grace, and handed it to him with a slight smile.
He returned my smile with a half one of his own and plucked it neatly from my hand before standing up and striding away. I sighed, I seemed to be doing a lot of that today, and waited until he came back a few minutes later, letterless and smiling.
“Happy?” He asked, an easy smile stretched across beautiful face. I almost gasped aloud as I saw those grey eyes twinkle with laughter, I mean god did he look gorgeous. His whole face seemed to light up, making him look more god than human.
I realised I must have been gaping at him like a fool so I quickly pulled myself together.
“Yeah, you?” I asked, demonstrating my brilliant wit and conversational skills.
He laughed at me, shaking his head slightly. “Yeah, I’m happy.”
And then he flashed me a brilliant smile which almost took my breath away and I was once again rendered speechless. He appeared to be laughing at this.
“So, what do you want to do now?” He asked, casually walking over to sit beside me at the dining table once more. He gazed at me, his grey eyes smouldering as he smiled.
Someone’s in a good mood. Hmmmm….
“We could go swimming?” I asked, almost crossing my fingers.
His smile faltered slightly. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, anything that involves staying inside?”
I snorted. “You’re so boring! We might as well play scrabble!”
“Do not diss my scrabble skills.” Draco said, staring at me with such a serious expression that I couldn’t help but laugh. He cracked a smile then. “We could always play strip poker?”
“Ha! In your dreams Malfoy!” I rolled my eyes at him and stood up, heading over towards the sofas with Draco following suit.
“Count on it.” He teased, winking at me before making a point of checking out my ass. I laughed at him, swinging my hips a little more while walking and receiving a wolf whistle in response.
We both collapsed onto the couch giggling and I immediately swung my legs over his as if we’d been friends for years. Neither of us said anything to this, we only shared a shy glance before we turned to watch the fire together. After a few minutes Draco cautiously placed a hand on my knee, moving so slowly it was as if he was giving me time to tell him to stop. I glanced up at him to see he was looking at me, a question in his eyes. I smiled, my eyes telling him it was okay before turning back to the fire.
His hand actually felt really nice on my knee, warm and comforting and….right. There was no awkwardness like I thought there would be, in fact there was no feeling except a happy contempt. Well, that was a lie; there was something else. Something I couldn’t quite place. It felt good anyway and in light of the war I had learnt not to question good feelings lest you ruin them with silly thoughts of reason.
I glanced over at him to find him staring at me, a curious expression alight on his face.
“What?” I asked, suddenly self-conscious. I lifted my hand to twirl my hair around my fingers; a nervous habit I hadn’t done in years. What was he doing to me?
“Nothing.” Draco turned away only to glance back at me, his lips parted slightly, his expression unreadable.
We sat in silence for a while before finally he asked:
“Do you ever wonder what things would have been like if The Dark Lord hadn’t been born?” His question threw me a little and I found myself frowning as I pondered the question.
“I suppose another Dark Lord would have taken his place,” I looked up to see Draco frowning at me, confused, and explained. “There are always going to be wizards out there who lust for power Draco, it’s human nature. There are some of us who are naturally competitive who want to be the leaders, the best and then there are some of us who are naturally submissive, the ones who want to follow the best and be a part of something, but not the cause. So there are always going to be wizards who want to be the most powerful, there are always going to be Tom Riddles. I mean look at us now: no Voldemort but the Death Eaters have risen again with a new leader. It’s a constant cycle and all we can do is keep fighting for the thing that is right.”
“But what about us? Who do you think we would have grown up to be without him?” Draco asked after a few minutes of thinking about my answer. I shrugged, turning back towards the fire.
“Maybe Harry would have his parents, maybe he would’ve grown up without a scar; maybe the three of us wouldn’t have met on the train and would never have become friends; maybe Harry would have been put in Slytherin with you and maybe you would have never learnt to think about others. Maybe I would have gone through Hogwarts without making friends and maybe our lost friends would all be alive and well. But then again maybe none of us would have been born, but one thing is for certain. We would never have grown up to be the people we are today.” I answered him while staring into the flames, watching them dance and wondering who I’d be if I wasn’t one third of the Golden Trio….who would I be?
“Maybe I would never have learnt that muggle borns are equal, if not better than pure bloods.” I looked back at him then and met his sad grey eyes. We stared at each other for a long time, neither of us speaking, both of us trying to read the thoughts of the other. I broke away first to look back at the fire, unable to make sense of the swirling emotions he’d evoked in me with his gaze.
But then again when has a teenage girl ever been able to make sense of her emotions?
“Will you pass me a book please?” I asked, turning to glance back at Draco. He smiled and nodded, pulling out his wand to levitate a hefty looking brown one towards me. I plucked it neatly out of the air and smiled. He’d brought me The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde. I thanked him and immediately flicked to The Nightingale and the Rose.
“You really like him huh?” Draco commentated while squeezing my knee slightly. I laughed, kicking him away before answering.
“I like a lot of authors and a lot of books, Oscar Wilde just happens to have a particular soft spot in my heart along with the great wizard William Shakespeare and the fabulously gifted Bram Stoker. Did you know he wrote Dracula after he fell in love with a vampire on his travels to Transylvania?”
“He fell in love with a vampire?” Draco balked in disgust, his face twisting as if he’d attempted to eat a fresh lemon. “I thought they were all bald and ugly!”
I laughed at his expression and shook my head. “No, there are varying stages. A young vampire will look remarkably human, usually extremely beautiful according to the books I’ve read, though after about a thousand years their skin becomes extremely pale and some do suffer from hair loss. I also heard that their fangs become more prominent with age. But regardless Bram Stoker fell in love with a young female vampire, Adriana I think her name was, though she left him to be with another vampire after about a year. Understandable actually considering that vampires live for approximately five thousand years where as the human lifespan is only approximately eighty years.” Draco was looking at me as if I’d just told him the sun was pink. “What?”
“Wouldn’t the vampire, like, suck his blood?” He asked, baring his teeth like fangs.
“I vant to suck your blood!” I put on my best Transylvanian accent while Draco chuckled. “I suppose she did suck his blood, or she went around sucking someone else’s blood.”
“Vampire slut!” Draco’s eyes widened comically and he held his hand to his mouth in mock horror, I couldn’t help but laugh at him hysterically. He grinned and slapped my calf.
“Are you laughing at me Granger!?”
“No sir!” I choked out with tears in my eyes and a stream of giggles erupting from my throat.
“You will rue the day Granger!” Draco proceeded to tickle me while I screamed and thrashed at him on the sofa. I couldn’t stop the mad giggles as tears streamed down my face and I squealed, begging for mercy.
“Stop! Please! I’m sorry!” I managed to blurt out in between fits of laughter.
“Oh okay, you’re lucky I’m so merciful!” The tickling ceased and I suddenly found myself gazing into Draco’s eyes. I was lying on the sofa while he was twisted above me, his hands still hovering at my waist. We stared at each other and I was very aware of the weight of his leg again mine. I flushed slightly, wondering if he was going to kiss me and if I wanted him to kiss me.
Draco pulled away with an easy smile that I was sure was only there for show. He offered a hand and pulled me up off the sofa and I smiled at him politely before bending to pick up the book which had tumbled to the floor. We both acted as if we hadn’t just been frolicking on the sofa, if we even were ‘frolicking’. Oh god.
“Want some lunch?” He asked casually. I told him I did.
We spent the rest of the day as if we were just two normal friends and I found myself enjoying my time with him more and more as our days in hiding turned to weeks.
(A/N I don’t own Dracula or The Happy Prince and Other Stories, all rights belong to their owners. Hope you’re enjoying the story so far and keep leaving me reviews I love hearing what you think!)