I don’t own Harry Potter or anything related to it.
This is a companion piece to the story Wake Unto Me, You need to read that first in order to understand everything in Stay with Me, Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it.
…Stay With Me…
She’d been crying
He could always tell when she’d been crying. It wasn’t because her eyes were puffy and red, or her because her nose was running; she was much to smart to let something like that show. No, it was the look in her eyes that gave it away; the sad haunted look of someone whose internal ghosts had wreaked havoc on their senses. That look seemed to plague her more often that year, their final year.
He brushed her hair away from her sleeping face, and let her deep even breathing soothe him. Her tears were a blessing and a curse. Though he hated the fact that she was so obviously sad, they gave him a reason to hold her, to be with her and he couldn’t hate anything that did that.
Taking a deep breath, he felt it at once. Peace. She brought him peace and he hated having to let it go; but he wasn’t fool enough to stay. He knew that a few weeks of comfort weren’t enough to erase a few years of pain. He had caused her pain, and as much as he wanted to take it back…he couldn’t. He couldn’t undo the hateful confrontations, couldn’t take back the hateful words. He’d stopped, though she barely noticed, and all he could do was hope that she could forgive him and maybe one day love him half as much as he loved her. It was a foolish dream, but he couldn’t stop himself from wishing for it. So he came every night; silently offering her his soul and every morning he would leave just as the sun rose. He would pick up his broom from under the bed, and climb out the window; making sure to lock it before he made his way to the courtyard above the dungeons and from there to his dorm, where he would start his day and patiently wait for the next night.
He saw her throughout the day, but he could never do what he longed to. He could never just walk up and talk to her about the latest essay they were assigned in Transfiguration, or the latest potion they were brewing. He couldn’t be her friend during the day, because they weren’t friends. She was Head Girl, a Gryffindor, and the untouchable friend of Harry Potter that hated him. He was a prefect, A Slytherin, and the privileged heir to the largest fortune in the wizarding world that was supposed to hate her. But he didn’t, he couldn’t hate her.
Sitting in History of Magic he would watch her and think about the simple complexity of it all. The forbidden love he couldn’t…no wouldn’t let go.
He knew she was the only one for him. She was everything she wasn’t supposed to be. She was beyond intelligent, caring to a fault, and so many other things that made him fall for her. Silently, secretly, completely he fell, until the only thing that mattered was her.
He felt himself die a little when he heard the weasel had asked her out, only to be revived to hear she had turned him down. That’s when the tears had started, along with his nightly visits.
He knew it wasn’t the wisest choice, sneaking into the girl’s dormitory, but that was the only time he had to convince her. To show her that he was more than she had gotten to see. He wanted her to see that they were meant to be together, so he risked it; and it was the sweetest torture.
Her tears were agony, but holding her was bliss.
He would talk to her sometimes; times when he couldn’t help himself. When he’d had a particularly bad day or when he just needed to hear the sound of her voice. He always made sure to whisper, he couldn’t risk her finding out who he was; she wasn’t ready.
It was during one of these whispered conversations that he realized her brilliant mind had come to the conclusion furthest from the truth. She had asked, in a voice filled with hurt and shame and self-loathing, if he came to tease and torture her. He been so shocked and so appalled at the thought that he blurted out the truth. He told her he loved her. He told her that he didn’t come in the day because she wouldn’t accept him, not vice versa.
He hadn’t meant to tell her because surely she wasn’t ready to hear it, it hadn’t been long enough. But there was no going back. True to her nature she had tried to question, to learn. But it wasn’t time yet, so he held her as she finally drifted off to sleep. As he was a light sleeper and woke whenever she moved, he would usually sleep there until the sun rose but that night he didn’t sleep. He had much to think about.
For the rest of the week he thought. He knew she was waiting for him to speak to her again, and he wished that he could. He wanted nothing more than to talk to her until the wee hours of the morning, but he couldn’t risk her finding out who he was…not yet.
After that week he made some drastic changes to his original plan. To put it simply, it wasn’t working. She doubted his intentions, she saw his patience as rejection and that was unacceptable.
Harry and Ginny’s wedding announcement came the same day he was to implement his new plan. He came early and when he left, he left something behind. He couldn’t risk talking to her too much, she was a smart witch and would eventually place something; a phrase, a slip-of-the-tongue, something, so he left her a note and a gift. It was a gift as beautiful and delicate as she was.
He smiled as he remembered the notes she started leaving him. Ever the independent one, she steadfastly claimed that she was a grown witch and quite capable of making her own decisions about whether she was ready for a relationship. That was another thing he loved about her. She generally didn’t need people to tell her how to live. Some girls couldn’t tie their shoes without consulting twelve other girls first, but not his Hermione. She knew what she wanted and she never wavered from it. He would make sure he told her that too, but later. Right now – as independent as she was – she needed to trust him to know she wasn’t ready. The look she gave him was proof enough of that.
No matter how many times he told himself that she couldn’t know he was her lover, and that she was just reacting to the past, he couldn’t stop the twinge of pain he felt as he remembered the glare she had sent his way when Parkinson had hit her bag with a self-shredding hex. He hadn’t known about it, and therefore couldn’t stop her, but hermione blamed him. He could see her lip curl in disgust, and his heart clenched. Had she looked she would have seen the pain in his eyes, but as it were, she turned her attentions to levitating her books and restraining Boy-Blunder and Weasel King; never noticing the turmoil she left behind.
He tried to make it up to her, knew she was grateful for the bag but he couldn’t rid his mind’s eye of her expression and so he waited. But he knew he was running out of time.
Summer was fast approaching and with it the end of his nightly jaunts. He stuck to his original plan, but he was torn. He didn’t know if she was ready. He didn’t know if he’d done enough. He didn’t know if she would still want to be with him, once she knew who he was.
It was with a heavy heart that he gave her the ring. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would love her forever, the question was…would she be willing to love him. He would spend his entire life making it worth her while if she would try.
As soon as she walked into the hall he spotted it. It looked marvelous on her, just as he knew it would, but it meant his time was up. She had put her faith in him and he would deliver.
Like everything he did, he stood with casual grace and elegance, his head held high and face devoid of emotion as he made his way to the other side of the hall. A few people followed his progress, but as yet he hadn’t done anything to garner most of their attention. That would change soon.
As he made his way over he could see those two buffoons she called friends grilling her about the ring. He smiled as she shrugged, just imagining what the question must have been.
All too soon he was there. He walked with calm determination, until he was standing behind her. Potter sneered as he asked “are you lost?” and Weasleby told him “the ferrets eat on the other side of the room.” But he wasn’t there for them and so just ignored their pettiness. He supposed he would have to get use to them anyway, unless he could convince her to get new friends.
“When’d you get engaged, Granger?” he asked as calmly as he was able with his stomach caught in his throat.
“Why do you care?” she retorted, looking at him like he’d taken leave of his senses.
He briefly thought that if it were happening to anyone else it would have been beyond funny. But it wasn’t happening to anyone else, it was happening to him and he couldn’t have laughed then if he’d been imperious’d. He shrugged with as much nonchalance as he could muster before looking her straight in the eyes and saying, “I was just wondering if you were sure, that you’re ready I mean.”
“Of course I’m read–” she stopped, her every emotion visible and he watched her mind work as she realized the implications of that statement.
He smiled to himself every time he thought of that day in the Great hall, four years ago.
He looked down to his wife lying on the bed next to him.
She’d been crying.
He could always tell when she’d been crying, but he didn’t fault her, he’d been crying too; but they were tears of happiness so they were allowed.
He smiled down to the infant sleeping contently on his chest. He hadn’t been in their lives more than a few hours but he was wound so closely around his heart, he was shocked that the lad hadn’t always been there.
“He’s going to want feeding soon.” His wife whispered, her brown eyes filled with love and tenderness as she watched her husband and son.
“Demanding little bugger.” He kissed the top of his son’s fuzzy blonde head, before handing him to her with a smile.
“He takes after his father.” She murmured. “If I recall he’s fairly demanding too, and stubborn…But I love him”
“He loves you too.” He whispered back.
He still held his wife every night, but Draco couldn’t help but think that it was so much better, loving her in the light.