Chapter 7 : Draco's Surprise
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I couldn’t help but feeling more and more depressed over the next few days. I started to feel horribly out of place. I couldn’t do magic, what was I doing in a school for witches and wizards? I had been happy enough to leave my studies that I hated behind, but at the same time I had left everything else that I had been behind as well.
I was surprised to find spending time with Draco actually helped. He maybe didn’t understand why I missed the muggle world, but he seemed to know the feeling of not owning your own life. And he just held me. It was nice. I mean, I knew what I was doing and that I had not lost my life and that I was enjoying a great life at Hogwarts, so I wasn’t all crying and desperate and suffering. But it was nice to know there was somebody there who could sense that I was not all happy, who accepted it and held me.
As I was living in my own litle room in Gryffindor Tower and as Draco was in Slytherin, we spent a lot of time together outdoors, walking. It was so cold now there weren’t many students out anymore, but we put on warm clothes and went out whenever he ould spare some time from studying. It was during those walks when I realised how very much I had come to appreciate his company. It was good to be out in the fresh air and have the wind blow the sadnesss out of my mind. But it was even better with a handsome young man at my side who had his arm around me.
And then one evening Draco did something which made me feel happier than I had felt in a long time. It was a Saturday aftenoon near the end of November. Hermione, Ron and Harry were studying for their NEWTs in the library and I presumed that Draco would be studying as well. I was playing wizard chess with Ginny which must have been extremely tedious for her, as I have never played chess in my life before and had to keep asking the chessmen what to do next.
After Ginny had won four times in a row and the chessmen refused to listen to me anymore, Ginny suggested to peep over to the library and ask them when they would be finished. So we left the common room through the portrait hole, but we hadn’t walked for two minutes when Draco appeared around one corner and smiled when he saw me.
“There you are!” he said, “I’ve been looking for you for ages!”
I found myself in his arms and started worrying I might have forgotten his birthday or something.
“Right”, said Ginny grinning, “I’ll be off then!”
“I have a surprise for you”, said Draco, looking very content with himself, “come on!”
He led me up to the seventh floor.
“Right”, he said, “I had to do a fair bit of research, but I hope I got it all right...”
“what did you get right?” aI asked smiling, but he wouldn’t tell me. He seemed very excited though, kept walking for- and backwards, while I was watching him wondering what he was up to.
Then suddenly in the wall a door appeared out of nowhere.
I looked at Draco questioningly.
“Après vous”, he smiled.
I pushed open the door curious for what was going to happen now and then I stopped dead.
“Oh”, said I.
There was a beautiful dance hall before me, huge with high arched windows on the wall opposite of me through which bright sunlight came in. Along one of the other walls there was a bar and by the huge mirrors on the other wall was a woman standing that I had never seen before. She was dressed in black with heavy makeup.
“Are you coming in or not?” she asked.
I went in slowly.
“I thought so. Come on, get changed!”
She gestured to the corner, where a folding screen stood, that I hadn’t noticed before.
I turned to Draco.
“What is this?” I asked.
“It’s the so-called Room of Requirement. It turns into a ballett studio, whenever you need one.
“You mean I can come here and dance whenever I want to?”
I didn’t know what to say.
“O, Draco!” I flung my arms around him and hugged him tighter than ever. “Thank you”, I whispered, my face buried at his shoulder, breathing in his scent.
“You’re alright”, he said softly. “I’ll pick you up in ... an hour?”
“An hour and a half.”
He left and I went behind that screen. And out of nowhere my ballett gear appeared, complete with shoes and cuffs. I quickly changed and emerged again. The woman was waiting for me.
“We’ll need music”, I thought and instantly a piano appeared with a heandsome man and a pile of sheets under his arm. He arranged his papers on the piano and started playing.
“Very well then”, said the woman, “I am Verena Malinova. Let’s warm you up!”
It was just wonderful.
After nearly eight weeks of no ballett at all I was finally again moving my body. It was harder then I remembered, but I supposed that was because I only started ballett when I was twenty-two and my eighteen-year old body had never done it. But I knew if I practised regularly my body would get used to it quickly enough, it had done so after all at the age of twenty-two. And so I was on the floor, raising my arms, bending forward to the tips of my feet and then I was up and at the bar moving my feet and arms doing pliées and all the other moves with Verena moving around me, correcting my back and my hands and then I was in the middle of the room, pirouetting and Verena was laughing, because I was never any good at pirouettes. I was covered in sweat when Draco came back.
Verena gave me a smile.
“We’ve got a lot to do, but there’s talent, and a lot of it!”
I didn’t bother change, I just grabbed my normal clothes and then Draco and I left. Behind us the door melted into the solid wall.
“Where will verena and the piano player go?” I asked.
“I don’t know”, said Draco, “I don’t know where they came from in the first place. Thats’s part of the mystery of the room. So, did you enjoy your lesson then?”
I stopped, taking his hand.
“Absolutely.” I said. “Thank you, Draco. Thank you so much. You have no idea, what it means to me that you did this for me.”
“Ah, Helena, I didn’t really do much, you know?”
I kissed him. It was a long, tender kiss, right there in the corridor.
Then I smiled t him.
“I need to have a shower. Do you want to come?”
“I meant, do you want to come to my room and wait for me while I’m having a shower, or do you want to go back to your common room or whatever and meet me later?”
“No, I’ll come.”
I let him into my room and threw my clothes on the bed. I can gladly say that this room is much tidyer than my old one in Germany was and that I could spontaneaously invite people in. But I have to admit that it was not thanks to me but to the house-elfes who tidy it. Hermione would have been so disappointed, but I got used to the comfort of having house-elfes all too quickly.
I quickly checked there were no halfwritten reporst to Julia on my desk, but all was clear.
“Right”, I said, “make yourself at home. I won’t be long.”
Draco looked around, taking in my desk, my bed and my wardrobe. I opened the door to my little bathroom and disappeared.
Ah, it was so nice. My body felt nice and warm after the ballett I could feel my musles and now the water was washing me clean and I felt thoroughly happy.
I closed my eyes and let the water pour over me.
He had given me back a bit of myself. He was the one who was supposed to hate muggles and everything connected to the muggle world. But he was the one who seemed to understand me best, in all my muggle entirety. I found it very hard to believe that all he did was scheme. After all, not everything I did was scheme. I did all I did because I wanted to achieve him leaving the dark side, but I wasn’t lying. Not all the time anyway. When I was spending time with him, when I was laughing with him I wasn’t lying. When I was kissing him, I had to admit I wasn’t lying anymore. I kissed him because I liked him. And he? Did he do all that he did for me because he was lying? Or because he liked me?
I started washing my hair.
The way he looked at me... not only today, but so often... he couldn’t be lying. And that kiss there earlier... I was very sure he really did like me. But why was that so important to me? If he really did like me, then I was going to hurt him. Because whatever I tried to make myself believe, I was not honest with him.
I turned on the water again to rinse my hair.
I maybe wasn’t lying, but I definitely wasn’t honest. I made him believe I was six years younger, ah, seven now, than I was, that I was an ordinary muggle girl that liked him, when it had all been plotted out and I had been brought into his world for the one reason only, to make him fall in love with me so he would be thrown out by the Death eaters and out of the life he had known.
I knew how horrible that was. Because I had lost my own life. But I had chosen to, people I trusted hadn’t lied to me. What was I doing to him? I had to tell him!
I pushed the door open and flung a towel around my hair. Tying my dressing gown closed I ran over into my bedroom, dripping, and found Draco sitting on my bed, hesitantly playing my guitar.
He looked absolutely innocent with his black trousers, grey tee-shirt and his whiteblond hair.
“Helena!” he said looking up and then started smiling. “You look lovely.”
I ran over to the bed and sat down beside him.
“Draco!” I said and then I realised I couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t because of the bloody spell McGonagall had put on me.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, putting the guitar aside.
I was searching for words. I knew I couldn’t tell him, but still I thought there surely was a way to confess to him, to be honest with him, even though Iwas ruining all of McGonagall’s plan.
He must have seen my struggles on my face because he touched my cheek and said,
“Please, Helena, what is it? You look frightening.”
“Draco”, I said, grabbing his hands and throwing caution to the winds, “I know you haven’t left the dark side.”
“What?” He stared at me shocked and made as if to rise, but I held tight to his hands and pulled him back onto the bed.
“I know you haven’t really left the dark side, and I know you have been lying to me. And I have been lying to you as well and I hate it, because I really care about you. Whatever you may one day find out, this is the truth, I do care about you. And I have a feeling you do care about me as well, even though you keep telling your Death Eater friends that you’re only seeing me because it backs up the lies you’ve been telling everyone about leaving Voldemort. No, please, let me finish. Draco, what you did for me today was the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done for me and I wish we both could be absolutely honest with each other. I... I really like being with you and I don’t want any lies to be there between you and me. I am... incredibly happy with you. And if you’re happy with me, too, then why do you need to keep lying? Can’t you leave Voldemort? And really come to our side?”
Draco looked at me with an expression on his face that was very hard to read. I suddenly felt I had committed a HUGE mistake and I hid my face behind my hands.
“Helena”, Draco said softly, “I AM happy with you. I’m happier with you than I’ve ever been with anybody else in my entire life.”
He gently pulled my hands away from my face. His grey eyes were staring into mine and I found it very hard to breathe.
“I am not asking you to tell me when you lied to me. And whatever you may one day find out about me, let me tell you my truth: I cannot leave Voldemort. He would kill me. I am telling them I am with you to back up my lies, so they won’t kill me. Because being with a muggle girl is treachery. But I haven’t got a choice. You’re the most magical person I have ever met, even though you’re a muggle. I love you. And that is the truth.”
I was so unhappy! I could have cried. I threw my arms around him and kissed him, and he kissed me back fiercely.
“Draco”, I whispered at his ear, “if it wasn’t for the Death Eaters killing you, would you leave?”
“Of course I would”, he said, sounding hoarse. He was kissing my shoulders. Without really noticing what I was doing I climbed onto his lap.
“If I had met you under different circumstances”, I said, pulling his tee-shirt over his head and throwing it away, “I would still feel for you. My feelings are true.”
It was the truth.
I placed my hands upon his smooth skin and felt the muscles move underneath it. He pushed the dressing gown of my shoulders and covered my skin in kisses. I felt horrible. If he ever found out I had been cast to make him fall for me it would kill him. Or he would kill me. But I was honest with what I was saying, I didn’t feel this because I was supposed to feel it, but because I liked him. I knew it was wrong to do what we were about to do. How could I be so ruthless? This boy was in love with me!
We had moved and I was on top of him now, kissing every inch of him. I knew that I should be more responsible and stop, but I was desperate, I didn’t want to be responsible and there, in his arms, I felt like I was giving over control of what happened. I felt like I was nothing more than a girl in the arms of her lover. I needed that feeling.
I really did like him. Maybe I even loved him.
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