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Chapter 9 : The Invitation
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I didn’t feel great about lying to Hermione. I hadn’t told her about my feelings for Draco. I didn’t feel great about lying to Draco either. I dreaded the moment, and I was sure, that at some stage the moment WOULD come, that I would have to tell him who I really was. I also felt uneasy with him sometimes, when I was certain he was still lying to me. I didn’t trust him, but was convinced he still hadn’t left the dark side. And I felt bad about sometimes looking for traits in his features where I could see his father. Like that arrogant smile he sometimes smiled when he moved just one corner of his mouth. I think that was the worst because that made me wonder why I was so intrigued by that man, when I was dating his son AND he wanted to kill me, leaving me feel very bad about myself.
The days went by and I spent a lot of time dancing with Verena. Oh, I loved and enjoyed it so much. One time Draco came and watched me and he seemed to be able to feel the magic of the music and the movements as well. He had an impression on his face that made my heart open up to him even more. We made love later in my room.
“You are the best things that has ever happened to me”, he whispered covering my throat in kisses. “You have changed my life.”
I ran my fingers through his hair, feeling guilty.
“You love me too much, Draco”, I whispered, “I am scared I am going to hurt you.”
“How would you hurt me?”
“I don’t know.”
I hated myself.
A few days later Rosie appeared at my window with an official looking letter tied to her leg. It tuned out to be the official invitation to the Annual Christmas Dinner for all the Ministry of Magic Employees, and it said “Miss Helena Granger and Guest”. I smiled to myself. Obviously I was going to take Draco. Professor McGonagall had told me that Voldemort had some supporters even inside the ministry. I hoped they would be there as well and see Draco and me. And hopefully they would realise that Draco was NOT faking his relation with me and they would kick him out finally! And then I really hoped McGonagall and the Order were able to protect him thoroughly. I bit my lip. If Draco wasn’t supporting Voldemort anymore we would have achieved our goal and there would be no need for me to keep up my pretence any longer. I couldn’t see how I was going to explain to Draco who I really was. But I didn’t worry about it for too long, because I was too happy. The thought that Draco might really soon have left Voldemort for good filled my heart with great joy.
Hermione and I went to Hogsmeade and spent a good part of my first pay on the most beautiful dress ever. It was not orange and it wasn’t brown. It was somewhere in between, the rusty colour of leaves in autums when the sun shines upon them. It went wonderfully with my hair, bringing out the faint red that it had naturally more.
And a few days before term was over Draco and I stepped into McGonagalls fireplace and travelled to the Ministry for Magic.
The Dinner was in a beautiful hall on the fifth floor in the Department of International Magical Co-operation. I was a bit intimidated when we entered the hall. So many witches and wizards! Fully qualified. Working in high positions. And what was I doing here? I felt very out of place. Everybody seemed to know everybody. People were standing in little groups, holding drinks talking to each other. Then I spotted a woman with shocking pink hair and I pulled Draco with me through the room to say hello to Tonks.
“Helena! How good to see you again! How are you?”
“I’m great, how are you?”
“I’m very well. Hello Draco.”
She glared at him and I realised why she liked to be called by her family name.
“I haven’t seen you in ages.” she said. “I heard you two have got together. I have to admit I was very surprised by that. After everything that happened I thought your loyalty was with the other side.”
Draco looked a bit uncomfortable.
“I have changed”, he said slowly, “I hope it’s not too late.”
She looked at him.
“What did your father say to that decision? And your mum, my dear aunt?”
I was surprised, I hadn’t known they were related.
“I haven’t spoken to them about it. You know what they’re like. But I can think for myself. And I’m of age, I don’t need their approval.”
“Well, I’m glad about your decision anyway. It’s very brave of you to have come tonight. You can find out about your parents opinion right away, I’ve seen them somewhere over there.” She indicated a direction with her chin. I froze. I hadn’t realised his father would be here. That wasn’t a problem, there were loads of Aurors and members of the Order here he didn’t mean any harm to me tonight. I just hadn’t realised I was going to see him again tonight. Draco looked as if he hadn’t realised that neither. He didn’t look particularly happy .
then Remus Lupin joined us with a drink for Tonks. He did not put Draco into another uneasy conversation. Instead him and Tonks explained to us who all the people were. That gave me the opportunity to openly scan the room for Draco’s father. Tonks entertained us with a bit of gossip about several of the other guests and Draco and I laughed about her funny stories. Then Mr. and Mrs Weasley appeared. Mrs Weasley beamed at me.
“Helena!” she said. “It’s nice to see you again. How are you?”
“I’m very well, thank you.”
“And you look just beautiful!”
“Thank you”, I said and Mr. Weasley asked me:
“Did you buy that dress in a muggle shop?”
“No, I bought it in Diagon Alley.” I answered thinking that that was a very weird question to ask me. Mr Weasley looked disappointed.
“So you didn’t use muggle money? You didn’t ride an escapator?”
“No, not this time. I have used them before though.”
Mr. Weasley started to ask me a lot of questions and Mrs Weasley talked to Tonks. I had noticed before Mrs. Weasley had seemed too have to keep herself from scratching the eyes out of Draco’s face. I remembered Draco had poisoned Ron once and I could understand her feelings. So Draco was left standing there listening to all the questions Mr. Weasley couldn’t wait to hear answered. He looked as if he suffered a bit.
“And when you went to Germany you were on an aeroplane?” Mr. Weasley asked me hopefully.
“That’s right”, I said and then I saw him. Tall, dressed in black shining robes and carrying a walking stick in his right hand Dracos father slowly walked through the room deep in conversation with a wizard I didn’t know and a witch who had to be Draco’s mother. She had the same whiteblond hair as her husband and her son.
Draco apparantly had seen them too.
“I’ll get us drinks”, he hissed, “what do you want?”
“Erm, a glass of wine?”
Lucius Malfoy had his arm around his wife and listened attentively to every word she said. She must have been retelling a funny event and I was surprised to see him start laughing. It looked so... normal. If I hadn’t met him before I would have thought he might be a nice person.
His eyes were just as disturbingly blue as I remembered them. He was very handsome when he laughed. He had very sensual lips. How could I be thinking this?
“And how do they get them into the air?”
I tore my eyes away from Luscious Malfoy and looked at Mr. Weasley confused. I couldn’t remember what we had been talking about. Mrs Weasley laughed.
“Give that poor girl a break, Arthur”, she said, “Helena isn’t interested in aeroplanes.”
“Ah well”, said Mr. Weasley looking disappointed, “do you know where you’ll be sitting during dinner, Helena?”
“No, not yet.”
Over his shoulder I could see the tiny wizard leave Mr. and Mrs Malfoy. They were talking to each other now.
“There are ususally tables for eight people”, explained Mrs Weasley, “and there’s a plan stating where you’re seated. We haven’t checked yet either. Well, it shouldn’t be much longer. We’ll go and check. If you want to stay here, I will check where you are seated as well.”
I really shouldn’t be standing here eyeing MY BOYFRIEND’S father!
“Thank you, Mrs. Weasley.”
A boyfriend that I had been told to date! Whom I would never have met or be interested in if it hadn’t been all faked.
Mr. and Mrs Weasley left and I turned to Tonks and Lupin. I didn’t hear a single word of what they were saying.
He still was my boyfriend now. He really was. I had made him myself by allowing myself to like him and to sleep with him. I couldn’t pretend it was all fake anymore.
Following an impulse I apologised to them and went over to the Malfoys.
He had his back to me and didn’t see me coming.
“Good evening”, I said.
He turned around then his evil smile spreaded across his face. I remembered that smile well, the smile that clearly said: “You are so deep below me; it amuses me how you are so simple you aren’t even aware of it!”
“Helena”, he said. “What a pleasure to see you again!”
And he actually kissed my hand. Well he didn’t kiss my hand, he kissed the air above it, but he held my hand in his gloved hand for a moment and smiled at me, looking just as menacing as he had in The Three Broomsticks.
“I believe you haven’t met my wife Narcissa”, he turned to the blond woman next to him.
“Narcissa, this charming young lady is Draco’s girlfriend Helena Granger.”
Mrs. Malfoy looked at me as if I was a particularly nasty slug or something and then turned to her husband.
“Excuse me Lucius, I have spotted Nora Gordon over there. I haven’t spoken to her in ages.”
And without looking at me again she left.
Lucius looked at me.
“Well, Helena, I must say you look absolutely stunning!”
I couldn’t believe what I heard. Was he actually being polite?
“Thank you”, I said dignified giving him a smile that clearly said: “I know exactly what I am worth.” though I didn’t feel quite as confident.
“How are you enjoying your first Ministry Dinner? I expect you have brought my disgrace of a son?”
“No, I haven’t. I have brought the kind young man that is your son.”
He looked disgusted. Then he raised his eyebrows.
“Do you remember what I promised you when we met the last time?”
“I do. I can’t pretend I’m particularly happy about it though.”
“Then you know what to do, don’t you?” he said slowly, every syllable a threat. “Stay away from my son.”
I looked around at all the people around me talking. Nobody paid us any attention.
“Here is an alternative”, I said, looking at him again, “why don’t you give up on your Nazi ideas and get to know me instead. Then you can find out that I’m actually a very kind person, you can like me and we can all live happily together.”
He looked as if he couldn’t believe that much stupidity.
“I think I’ll have to do without the pleasure of getting to know you”, he hissed barely audible, “stay away from my son or I will kill you.”
“Well”, I said, “that would be a bad setback in our relation, wouldn’t it?”
He stared at me for a moment. His eyes were wide and I realised I had really provoked him.
“You and I have no relation, Helena Maia Granger”, he said, accentuating avery word, his voice trembling with rage, “nor will we ever!”
Then he turned around and stormed off.
I stared at him disappearing. I was too surprised to do anything else. How come he knew my middle name? And what exactly had set him off like that? I knew we had no relation, I had been joking, trying to piss him off. I would never have expected a reaction like that.
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