Chapter 6 : VI
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"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
Hermione waited in the room of requirement silently. On so many different occasions this room had been a large part of her life. It held so many memories, both good and bad. She remembered the DA, and how proud she was to be a part of it. She reminisced with a smile on her face about her friends; some gave their lives in the belief of good magic. She remembered then how she felt when she thought Harry had died, when Hagrid carried him into the great hall, limp in his arms. Her world had stopped in that very moment. She then remembered the elation of realizing he had been faking, and the day he defeated the dark lord for good. The first time she kissed Ron, had been in this room. She looked down at the glistening ring on her finger; he really did love her a lot.
She closed her eyes and breathed in a sigh deeply. Professor McGonagall had allowed her to use this room tonight. She was thankful for that; Minerva had always supported her when she was seeing Draco. Not a lot of people had, but McGonagall was much like Dumbledore; she had a very understanding and wise heart. She understood that seeing Draco was dangerous but understood even more that Draco himself was anything but; especially when it came to Hermione. When she opened her eyes again the room had changed. It was warmly lit by a large fireplace, the bleak stone walls were now colored with red and gold tapestries, the room must have remembered she was alumni to Gryffindor, but near the fireplace was a velvet green and silver armchair. It had a cozy feel to it, just what Hermione needed to calm her nerves. She had not been waiting long, but it felt like a decade. And then suddenly he entered the room.
Her heart immediately started to pound in her chest. Her eyes started to swell with tears; it was something she just simply could not control. Neither moved at first; waiting for the door to close and conceal it’s self. When the large stone grinded into its locked position silence fell upon them. It only took a split second before they ran into one another’s arms. Everything else in the world just seemed to fall away. There was no Ron, no Malfoy’s or danger. There were no prying eyes, no disapproving looks; it was merely Draco and Hermione. Years had taken a toll on both of them but in this one single moment they could with stand anything that was thrown at them. Both had waited so long for this moment, and both cherished it.
“You can not know how much I have missed you my love,” he said kissing her lavender scented chestnut hair.
“I think I have a good idea, if it was anything as grueling as much as I have missed you.” She cried.
“Shh,” he tried to soothe her from crying, but his own voice was shaking with emotion now, and as hard as he had tried to hold the tears it was impossible. Here with her right now, just them he didn’t have to be strong.
“I love you,” she said looking up at him. He went to shake his head but she reached up and gently touched his face with her soft hand.
“No, I don’t care,” she said, “I may not see you ever again and I will never allow myself to miss the chance to tell you I love you.”
“But Ron,” he stated with slight jealousy in his tone.
She could only shake her head. Ron didn’t matter right now, she could explain to him later.
“All I need to know is you love me, you never stopped and you will continue to love me,” she whispered tearfully.
“You know I could never stop,” he said.
“Then why did you leave, why Draco, why?” she cried. He wiped the tears from her wet face.
“I had to, you know why,” he answered half honestly.
“I don’t believe you,” she said pulling away from him.
“There are reasons you need not know my love, but they are good ones you have to believe that,” he pleaded in forgiveness. She only shook her head.
“You said you loved me, and love me still,” she said, “If I never see you again I wish one request from you tonight.”
“Anything,” he suggested moving close to her again.
“Be honest with me Draco,” she requested. He closed his eyes. He knew she would choose death in order to love him, but he hated lying to her.
“I am a Malfoy,” he stated, “You know I have a duty to serve my family and our business.”
“Malfoy is but a name and a mask you claim to honor but only hide behind,” she said hotly. He could tell she was getting ever angrier with him as he tried to dance around the truth.
“And Ron?” he played off her words, “Can you tell me this engagement is but some masquerade to prove to the world you have moved on? That you are happy and content with your life?”
“Don’t you dare turn this on me,” she spat.
“I do not wish to argue, I am just saying,” he paused to move a bit of stray hair from her face, “We both wear masks we can not seem to escape.”
And she knew he was right. Yes Ron had helped her overcome her sadness of losing Draco and what they had. She did love him but there is a huge difference with loving some one and being in love with them.
“I love him,” she started to explain, the words cut through his heart like a hot dagger, “But I am not in love with him.”
“You can not love me,” he said trying to discourage her feelings for him.
“I wish that were so easy,” she said solemnly. “But even I have come to realize we can not control who the heart loves.”
She was right, as hard as he had tried to move on from her; he never could.
“I don’t adore you with just my heart, but my soul.” She said. “I have always believed the heart is merely an organ of the body and when the body dies so to does the heart, but our souls live on forever; and mine will eternally love you.”
“Oh Mione,” he said pulling her back into a tight embrace.
“I have tried not to love you, but I simply can’t stop” she whispered.
“I know what you mean,” he agreed.
“What do we do?” she asked.
“Be very careful, you can not tell anyone you have seen me,” he kindly ordered.
“Not a soul,” she smiled. “But when will I see you again? I do not think I can take another five years.”
“I couldn’t endure that either,” he said. “We have to be careful. I need to figure some things out.”
“I should tell Ron,” she suggested.
“No, not yet; you have to understand not one person can know you have seen me tonight.” He said protectively.
“But Professor McGonagall,” she whispered.
“Well I was sure you had to tell her in order for us to meet here, but no one else Mione. You have to trust me on this and please do not ask why.” He said. She nodded her head in agreement.
“I have stayed to long as it is, I must go.” He said.
Her eyes filled with tears as soon as the words came out of his mouth. She did not know when she would see him again, or if she would. There was something dangerous about his pleading for her to stay mum about things. But all she could do was trust and respect his request, and leave it to fate to bring him back to her.
“I will be in touch,” he said kissing her forehead. He ached to kiss her lips but knew it was inappropriate since technically she was still engaged to Ron. She grabbed his arm before he could leave.
“I will not allow you to disappear so easily this time,” she threatened in a sweet voice. “I know enough of your family to understand what it would cost you if they found out.”
His heart sank, she knew all along.
“I can not send you to that fate,” he said.
“It is not your fate to choose,” she stated with a smile.
“Fate is not to be tempted,” he played.
“You never gave me the chance to tempt it,” she smiled. He returned the smiled; ran the back of his hand gently down her tear stained cheek and with his other hand allowed his wand to tap the door. It understood his request and heaved open. They both slipped into the corridor and as soon as she turned around to glance once more at him, he was gone.
A/N: Hope you like the chapter. Gonna try and get another up tomorrow. I have company coming in town on the 22nd so it will be hard to update till they leave, but the idea's keep flowing - always! So always check back! Thanks so much for all the great reviews so far!
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