Chapter 4 : IV
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"The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart."
The elaborate ballroom dazzled with hundreds of tiny white glistening lights and candles. It honestly made the quests feel as if they had stepped out of London and into a famous palace in France. The reception was held at an old mansion on the outskirts of London, and it definitely was high up on the romance factor. The walls and ceilings where painted with ancient murals of British and European history. Chandlers hung gracefully from the ceiling, sparkling in their entire crystal splendor. Each quest table was also decorated to the nines, and each one was softly lit by a three piece candelabra.
The party was well underway when Draco silently arrived. He avoided the crowds and hung around in the more solitary rose gardens, waiting for the moment when he could catch Hermione alone. He had a good view of the ballroom’s veranda and figured at some point she would need a break from it all. He knew she wasn’t one for big parties, and was almost sure the wedding and huge reception was planned by her mother and Mrs. Weasly. Every now and then he would catch a glimpse of her in her flowing white gown. She was more beautiful then he had remembered. His heart ached every time he seen her smile, on the arm of her new husband. He had never particularly cared for Ron or Harry for that matter. But he really didn’t like Ron mostly because he knew Hermione and he had been Hogwarts sweethearts. He didn’t even know what he was going to say to her. He had not thought about that before he left his mother and father earlier today. He was in shock. He knew they had been engaged and that bothered him, but he had always convinced himself she would never go through with it; that there would be a way he could get her back before this happened. But with his mother hiding every ounce of news about the entire wedding from him, it was impossible. He wanted to stop the wedding but what was he going to do? Tell her not to marry Ron but remind her that he couldn’t be with her either? Where would they have gone, if he had done it his father would be out for blood? Was he just supposed to ruin her life all over again because he was selfish? And just as he started second guessing himself for even being outside her reception, there she was.
Hermione couldn’t take it anymore. She needed a breather. All the smiling and well wishes were breaking her down. This was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, and she felt like she had just become a prisoner. She loved Ron, she really did but all this was too much. She just wanted a small private wedding, but that was out of the question. She loved Ron but wondered if she would ever stop being in love with Draco. He hurt her, tossed their love away like it was nothing to him. Why did she love some one so much that did not feel the same? She looked back at the ballroom. She found Ron with her eyes; he would give her the world if she asked. He would never abandon her, he was perfect in every way; so why was she so damn sad? She had convinced herself that eventually she would slowly forget more and more about Draco, and let Ron in more and more. It would just take time.
She turned back around and walked further into the garden, as far out of site from the ballroom as she could. All she needed was a few minutes to recollect her sanity. She sat down on an old stone bench and took the white rose out of her hair that had been tightly pinned in all day. She starred at it for a long time, running her fingers over it and admiring how soft its petals were.
“Hermione,” Draco softly said.
Her rose fell the ground as she stood and spun around, in shock at the figure that stood now before her. He didn’t say anything else; he was waiting for her reaction and alarm to subside.
“Draco,” she asked in disbelief, her voice quivering. Her eyes filled with tears almost immediately. He only nodded in assurance that it was him and gave her a warm smile. She out stretched her hand to his face and gently touched his cheek, here eyes searching to meet his, for so many answers. She gasped after feeling his skin on her hand and pulled it away, putting it over her chest and backing away shaking her head in disbelief.
“I am so very sorry,” he said, not moving in order to respect the distance she had put between them. She was still shaking her head but now tears were streaming down her face.
“Why now,” she managed to ask, holding back her emotions as best she could.
“I had to see you,” he answered.
“After all this time you wait till now, after I am married to see me?” she questioned and he could hear the pain in her voice.
“It took everything in me not to stop it,” he admitted.
She shot him a glare, he was there and he let her go through with it. Her pain was turning to anger. Five years of nothing and then when she makes the ultimate move to force herself to have to move on from him and then he comes back around.
“I prayed every night for you to return to me, and you wait till now?” she asked angrily. “You wait till I can make no choice?”
“Not here not now,” he pleaded. He moved close to her now, so close that she could feel his breath on her neck as he bent down to whisper in her ear. Her heart was about to pound out of her chest.
“Meet me,” he whispered and as he did so he touched her arm, which flashed a place in her mind.
“When,” she asked in anticipation, the anger slipping away with his breath so close to her neck.
“Tonight,” he answered.
“But tonight is my wedding night,” she said out loud.
“That’s right it is,” Ron sternly said from behind them. Both Hermione and Draco stepped back from one another. She made eye contact with Ron then turned away from them both in shame.
“What in the bloody hell are you doing here?” Ron demanded.
“Offering my best wishes of course,” Draco said with a sinister smile and with a loud CRACK he was gone.
“You have got to be bloody kidding me Hermione,” Ron said with a frustrated tone. She still could not bring herself to look at him.
“What the hell are you thinking? Our family and friends only a few hundred feet away?” he asked, his blood boiling.
“I didn’t know he was here,” she answered between a muffled cry.
“Look at me,” he demanded. Slowly she turned and looked at him with sorrowful eyes.
“What does this mean?” he asked.
She shook her head, how was she supposed to answer that. On the night of her wedding the man she was supposed to love for the rest of her life had caught her practically embracing the ex she was still horribly in love with.
“It means nothing,” she finally said; a lie.
Ron could have kept asking questions but eventually some of the wedding crowd started pouring out into the garden.
“Wipe your tears, we can discuss this later,” he said turning his back to her and stalking off.
A/N: And the plot thickens. Please review!
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