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Chapter 6 : Confusion: Things are getting complicated
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‚We really get to be together…’ Draco had said. I sure hoped my job was over before I actually got to… be with him. I mean, kissing him was one thing, but he was a young man; he was not going to be happy to just kiss for long…
I decided to speed up things again, I couldn’t pretend I was just happy with my new relation, and prepared to just wait and see what happened. So I told Draco I wanted to spend an entire day with him, Hermione, Harry, Ginny and Ron. He looked absolutely shocked when I suggested it and was plainly struggling to disguise that.
“Alright”, he managed to say then, “why?”
I smiled at him. We were walking down to the Quidditch pitch together, where he was going to give me a spin on his broom.
“Because Hermione is my sister. And her friends are my friends. And you all mean so much to me, I don’t want to feel like you hate each other and I’m kind of in between that. I know you used to really hate each other and be enemies and all that, but you’re all on the same side now and it’s time to forget the past, don’t you think?”
“Well, what did Potter and Weasley and your sister say, when you asked them?”
“Well, they weren’t exactly enthusiastic, but they realise you all are important to me and that I would like you all to get on. And they understand that you’re on their side now.”
I made it sound as if they were convinced he had really left Voldemort’s ranks. Draco shrugged.
“Alright then. Who knows, maybe it’s fun.”
I was very happy with the way my plans seemed to work. I kind of started to feel like some sort of puppet master pulling the strings without Draco ever noticing.
That evening I sent Rosie to Julia, informing her what I was planning. I thought, maybe, if the Death Eaters heard that Draco was making an effort to get on with Harry Potter, they would realise what it meant when he was falling for a muggle girl and they would kick him out sooner.
We spent the next Saturday hillwalking in the mountains together. Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Harry were speaking to him alright, though it was plainly visible in their eyes that they loathed him. Draco wasn’t enjoying himself either. He was making an effort though, using the opportunity to try and show them he had really abandoned his old ways. He was very proud, I could see that. He didn’t ask their forgiveness for everything he had done, and he wasn’t as honest to them as he was to me. He didn’t mention how hard living with this overfather of his had been, nor how bad he felt about all the things he regretted. He just informed them that he had changed his ways and that was the only thing he offered.
Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ginny didn’t welcome him with open arms, but they acted as if they believed him and accepted being on terms of something like friendship with him because of me. It was just the right mixture of convincing rests of hatred and willingness to make a new beginning.
We had got lunch from the kitchen, and just around lunchtime the thick blanket of clouds tore open. It was really beautiful, bright rays of sunlight coming through the clouds and we were sitting there on a couple of rocks, eating sandwiches and drinking tea, watching the scenery. Hermione and Ron were sharing a cup and Harry and Ginny had their heads together over Harry’s bag searching for some biscuits. Draco and I were sitting on another rock together, and it suddenly struck me how perfect and wonderful it would have been if it had been true. If I was really eighteen and if Draco and I were really in love with each other, and we were all friends spending a day out together.
Draco noticed me looking at him.
“You alright?” he asked.
“Sure”, I said in a low voice, “I’m really glad you are making an effort to get on with them. I really appreciate it.”
He gave a short smile, one where just one corner of his mouth moved.
“Anything that makes you happy” he said and I grinned. He leant forwards and gave me a kiss and I thought that this was the first time, that Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ginny actually saw me with him.
On our way back a really cold wind came into our faces. The sky was a thick grey mass again and I got a bit high on it.
“I’ve been living in the city too long”, I explained to Draco, “it’s been ages since I felt wind on my face and rain. I love it when you feel the force of the elements.”
Just then it started raining. We started running. We were still a good bit up in the mountains and had a good long way to go, and it was sure we would never make it, but we were running down the hills anyway, laughing madly and having a great time. I could hear Ginny and Hermione shriek ahead of us and Harry and Ron shouting something, but with the wind and the rain I could not hear what it was. I didn’t pay them any attention though. Draco and I were behind them and running and skidding down the hill never letting go of each other’s hand. I saw him laughing, somehow he was laughing in a way I hadn’t seen him laugh before. He was really happy and for once didn’t seem to be overshadowed by something else. His hair was soaken and so was mine, and I knew I must look horrible, but somehow it made Draco look really well. Maybe he was thinking something similar about me, because when he caught me looking at him, his smile grew even wider and he grabbed me and kissed me there in the lashing rain. And I for the first time, really really enjoyed it. Without thinking that I was acting or that I had to be cautious because he was evil or that I was six years older than him, I just kissed him back, putting my arms around him and really just being in the moment.
“I must say”, said Ron later, when were all in dry clothes, sitting by the fire in the Gryffindor common room, “you are very convincing.”
Draco obviously wasn’t there with us.
“I have to, don’t I?” I asked and touched my hair, checking how wet it still was.
“Sure”, said Hermione and they all gave me a funny look.
“Oh Jaysis”, I said sighing. “If I end up liking him, I’ll tell you, okay?”
Harry looked disgusted.
“Ah, Helena, you really think that could happen? You really think you might like him some day?”
“Well, I do like him, but I don’t think I’m in any real danger of falling for him. I mean I am …” Because of that spell I couldn’t say it. “I mean I’m older than him. You know. It’s not realistic that I’ll fall in love with him. But if I do, I’ll let you know, so there’s no need to give me these suspicious looks and to worry about me, okay?”
“It won’t be much longer anyway”, said Ron confidentally, “then he’s done for, and you’re free.”
I received a letter from Julia the next day, thanking me for the good work I was doing and later that day was summoned to Profesor McGonagall’s office again. She informed me that Julia had indeed had us observed and that the information that Draco Malfoy was spending his leisure time with Harry Potter and a muggle girl had been fed to the Death Eaters and to Voldemort.
So now we were waiting. It was a bit unnerving, McGonagall didn’t summon me again over the next few days and that meant she hadn’t got any news. I could hardly ask Draco if the Death Eaters were angry at him or if they had actually reacted in any way at all, because officially I believed he didn’t see them anymore.
So we just had to go on as before. I spent my time with Draco, talking, laughing, sometimes playing the guitar and singing to him, he took me walking to the hills and showed me all his places in and around the castle. We entered November and were still spending as much time as possible outdoors, whenever he wasn’t studying. It would have been a really nice time, if it had been real he would have been the sweetest boyfriend any eighteen years old could have hoped for. I arranged for us to spend more time with Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny, and though they never mentioned the horcruxes or anything else that was going on to him, they invented some stories about what plans the Order might have, knowing he was bound to pass them on to the dark side. They were acting as if they didn’t really know much about what was really going on in the Order, so it wouldn’t be suspicious, if none of the information they fed Draco turned out to be true. It did work though and made us all spend a lot of time together, making Draco believe we were all believing he was absolutely on our side now.
I really enjoyed watching my first Quidditch match ever, Slytherin versus Hufflepuff, jumping around between all the Gryffindors being the only one cheering for Slytherin. But I have to admit, I was imperssed with Draco’s flying. He was like a green comet shooting around. He had gone much much slower when he took me along on his broom. I hadn’t liked it too much, but I could see now he had been really thoughtful and slowly with me. Slytherin won and I ran down to the pitch. I was really happy for Draco and wanted to give him my congratulations. But I was also aware that the whole school was watching and that this was the perfect opportunity to show them all that Draco Malfoy’s girlfriend was a muggle girl. He gave me a wide happy smile and a long kiss and after that I noticed disgusted looks by both Slytherins and Gryffindors. I didn’t care though. I wondered if somebody from Slytherin would confront him now and if anything was going to happen.
A week later I turned twenty-four. Of course nobody knew that and I couldn’t tell anyone. But Hermione got me a beautiful top which I tried on immediately. It was dark green and lacy, but not in a cheap weird way. It rather looked like something from the first decades of the twentieth century. It showed a lot of skin as well and again didn’t look cheap but elegant. I looked rather skinny in it, which I loved because I’ve never looked skinny.
And then I found out why nothing was happening, why we got no news from the Death Eaters. Julia sent me an owl, telling me that Draco had informed Voldemort that he was seeing me because he thought it was the perfect disguise. And apparantly they had all agreed he could spy perfectly on Harry now and use me as a device to convince everybody he had indeed abandoned his old ways and to make them all trust him.
I don’t know why we hadn’t expected this. It was a quite simple explanation. But I now didn’t know what to believe at all anymore. Was I lying to Draco or was he lying to me? Did he know I was lying? Was I the puppet master or was he?
At the end of November it started snowing. There was another Hogsmeade day scheduled and Hermione, Ron, Harry, Ginny and I went together. Even though we now knew how Draco wriggled his way out of the Death Eaters’ accusations we decided to stick to this tactic, hoping the Death Eaters would eventually be suspicious.
It was another beautiful day. Hogsmead looked so beautiful with snow glistening on all the roofs and everybody was in an early Christmas mood. Even Harry, Ron and Draco seemed to be getting on. Only I was a bit sad and didn’t say much while they strolled through all the shops.
When we were sitting in the Three Broomsticks later Draco bent over to me and whispered, “Are you alright? You seem awfully quiet today.”
“I’m okay, just... thinking.”
I gave him a small smile.
“I really enjoy being here in Hogwarts. I get to see a lot of Hermione, I get to see magic, I have a great job, and I met you...” I took his hand into mine.
“It’s just... I still feel a bit lost. I have my guitar but that’s the only thing that’s mine. Everything else is part of YOUR world, and I’m watching it from the outside. Trying to keep up with it. But I have nothing from my old life.”
“What do you miss most?”
Oooh, I missed a lot.... but mostly probably...
“My dance classes.”
He gave me a reassuring smile, eyes shining and making him look incredibly handsome.
“Don’t worry”, he said.
And I, easy prey to beauty, didn’t.
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