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Chapter 14 : Confrontations
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What the bloody hell is she thinking? He thought to himself. This was not the Hermione he knew and loved, his Hermione would not be so dumb to fall so easily, and so willingly, into the arms of evil. That is just what Draco Malfoy still was to him, regardless of how he tried to recreate himself after his father’s demise. Ron and Harry had always seen through his act and now he was devastated to see Hermione no longer could. She loathed Draco as much as he and Harry what had changed?
Draco could hardly keep his hands of Hermione, but he had noticed now that they were inside that she had apparently cut her hand. It was bleeding steadily; the rain must have been washing it away when they were outside.
“Mione,” he said softly pulling away from her. Ron cringed when he heard Draco use her pet name and almost vomited.
“You’re bleeding,” he said taking her hand into his and holding it up for her to see. It was then that Draco looked around the flat and noticed it was slightly messy; very unlike Hermione.
“Oh,” she said vaguely pulling her hand away from his gentle grasp and walking down the hall towards the loo. Something was off about her but Draco knew it had to have been the recent events.
He walked to the fireplace and bent down to pick up one of the shattered frames which still harbored a tattered picture in it. Resentment slightly washed over him as he stared at a smiling Harry in the picture. He had one arm around Ginny and the other around Hermione, Ron was to her left. He hated seeing them all laughing and smiling at each other then up at him, it almost seemed they were mocking him; even Hermione. He knew it was her past and quickly pushed the anger out of his mind tossing the broken frame and picture carelessly back to the floor. When he stood to walk to the bathroom he made sure to step on the picture very pitilessly, a feeling of satisfaction washing over him as he heard the glass crunch beneath his shoes.
“You ok Mione,” he called to her as he proceeded down the hall.
Ron seethed with rage and disgust for the sinister man in his old flat. He had watched him step on the picture intentionally and it took everything in him not to run in and rip his head off. He wanted to beat the guts out of Draco but he was still in to much shock to move from the outside hall of the flat. He knew that if Hermione had seen him step on that picture she would have had a fit, or would she?
“Mi,” Draco said as he entered her dimly lit bathroom. She was hunched over the sink, hand bandaged but apparently very upset and sobbing.
“I don’t know what I am doing,” she whispered with a shaken voice.
Draco moved closer to her, gripped her shoulders from behind tenderly and slowly turned her around to face him. He caressed one of her wet cheeks with the back of his hand, wiping away the tears that had fallen.
“Mi, none of this is your fault,” he said to her sympathetically. She tried to look away but he gripped her chin now and forced her eyes to make contact with his, just as she had earlier with him.
“You’re hurt and you’re angry. You have every right to feel everything you feel right now.” He said justifying her emotions to her.
“I still love him,” she cried and he could see the pain in her eyes. Her admittance to still loving Ron pierced his heart harshly and he had the sudden urge to shove her hard away from him, but he knew that she was simply lost in all of this. Lost in Ron returning home and lost in whatever it was she was feeling for him.
“I can never take that love away from you,” he said and it killed him to do so, “but I don’t want to,” he finished.
Ron had finally come out of the initial shock of seeing them together and carrying on the way they were and was now standing silently in the bedroom listening to the their conversation in the adjoining bathroom.
“I don’t want to lose him all over again,” she sobbed,” but I am not willing to give you up. I don’t want to Draco.”
“You don’t have to Mi. I am not going anywhere and I know this all has to be tremendously confusing for you but I can not lie and say that I am not scared,” he said calmly.
“Scared?” She questioned her eyes widening as the tears suddenly stopped, “Why are you scared?”
He leaned in closer to her now and kissed her neck gently. Ron was now peering around the corner and balling his fists in heated anger.
“Because I do not want to lose you,” Draco whispered to her, his breath warm and seductive on her neck. She closed her eyes and moaned, she loved that he wanted her and that even more he did not want to lose what they had started.
“Please don’t let me slip away Draco,” she requested, “Please don’t let me fall into his arms and get hurt and betrayed all over again.”
“Never my love,” he whispered more hungrily now as he again looked into her brown eyes.
“OH COME OF IT!” Ron shouted as he tore towards the bathroom. Draco and Hermione both jumped in shock at the sound of his bellowed voice.
“MALFOY GET YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF HER!” Ron growled, taking out his wand.
Before the men could kill one another Hermione threw herself in between them. Pained and angry she looked at Ron.
“Go home Ron,” she said with concern.
“WHAT!” he hollered at her.
“Don’t you yell at her,” Draco hissed from behind Hermione, eyes glaring at Ron with warning.
She attempted to walk Ron out of the archway to the bathroom but he kindly shoved her aside, immediately regretting it as he had. Draco had his wand out and was ready but again Hermione intervened.
“NO!” She said in a very loud and very stern voice.
“Mione, what on earth is going on here,” Ron said with inquisitive eyes.
“Nothing, nothing that concerns you Ron,” she said harshly. He could tell she was still very angry with him.
“Nothing you say? Lies, Hermione don’t lie to me,” he said.
She walked so close to him putting her face so close to his that Draco recoiled with envy.
“I Ron do not lie that is your master craft remember,” she said with a angry sneer.
“You have changed Hermione,” he said sadly and with those words disapparated.
Before she could feel the wave of guilt wash over her Draco spun her around and pulled her into a kiss. She pulled away, tears streaming down her face.
“Let me take you away,” he offered sincerely.
“What?” She asked confused
“Let me take you away,” he repeated, “We can retreat at my manor. No strings attached, merely just for you to get away. I will even leave you alone if you request it. I hardly even stay there anymore as I usually stay here in London. I will tell all my servants and house elves that what ever you wish shall be presented to you.”
Hermione did not know if it was the anger and resentment from all that had happened this evening but she accepted his offer. She packed hastily and left her flat in disarray, not really caring that she had.
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