Chapter 25 : Don't Tread on Crisalide
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Hermione’s heart sank to the floor as her chest heaved in uncontrollable sobs. She crawled in bed next to Draco. “No matter where you are I belong with you.” As she rested her head on his warm chest, sheer hope enveloped her as she felt a solitary heartbeat and later another. She took his hand. “Draco, that note isn’t from me. Someone played a cruel trick on us,” she whispered between kisses. “Draco, please wake up.” She stroked his hair. “I love you.” As she kissed him again, tears streamed from her eyes. His took only infrequent shallow breaths. “My dragon.” She kissed his unresponsive eyelids delicately as she wept. “I can’t lose you.” She sobbed against his chest as she heard his breathing slow even more. “Please don’t leave me. I love you,” she said as she lightly shook him but to no avail. Then she remembered a passage she had read about veelas. With their dying breath, a veela will protect their mate. Draco had made that promise to her. Recently, she lost faith in him; now, she regained it in spades.
For once in her life, she listened to her heart and not her head. She ran downstairs to the library and stood in front of the case. There, she saw the necklace he had given her. “Forever yours, my Dragon,” she whispered as opened the case and grabbed the necklace. She screamed as at least a dozen Contego flies stung her relentlessly on her back and legs as she bolted upstairs. Excruciating pain tore through her with each sting causing her to crumple at the top of the stairs. “Draco, help me,” she cried out. The Contego flies stung her more. “I believe in you.” She clutched the necklace in silent prayer as the venom coursed through her veins.
“Claudeo,” Draco commanded breathlessly, dragging himself from his room, using his cane to stand. Fatigued, he collapsed at the top of the stairs next to her, his head resting on the railing. With the last remnants of his strength, he agonizingly pulled her into his lap, avoiding her gaze. “Tinkey,” he said between labored breaths, “get the antidote.”
“Look at me,” she said tearfully, brushing back his hair, trying to get him to face her. “I want to bond with you.”
He cradled her in his arms but his embrace weakened with each breath he haggardly took. “But your letter,” he reasoned.
“I didn’t send that letter or the gifts. Someone has played a cruel joke on us,” she explained.
“Even so, you said that you could never have complete faith in me. Because of that, you’ll never achieve complete bliss in a bond. I can’t do that to you.” He buried his faced in her hair. “For the first time in my life, I’m acting unselfishly.” She felt the moisture of his tears against her neck. “Don’t pity me just let me do so.” He shuttered a moment. “I’m so sorry I forced you the other morning. Please forgive me.”
Realization of that morning hit her like a ton of bricks. “My sweet dragon, those were passion scratches. You didn’t hurt me.” Despite the pain of stings, she held him tightly. “Because of our past and certain opinions that I once listened to, I thought I would never completely trust you but I do now.” She tearfully kissed his face. “I love you.” He kept his eyes closed as he turned away. “You should forgive me for I had doubted whether or not you had changed.”
“There is a darkness that is a definite part of me that I can’t deny. I can’t and I won’t change who I am even for you.” He still squirmed from her gaze.
“That darkness is a small part of you and I accept it. The world is no longer black and white,” she said as she maneuvered to meet his eyes. “You’re in control of that darkness and you manipulate it to accomplish good that no one else can because of who you are.” She caressed his cheek. “I admire who you are.” She nuzzled against him. “You’ve seen the wild and crazy side of me that I have been too timid to let anyone see. You give me confidence. You are my match in so many ways. I love you so much.” She buried her face against his shoulder as she held him tightly. “Despite everything that’s against us, isn’t being together worth it?” He gasped what she feared to be his final breath as she wiped the tears from his cheeks. “Draco, let me in.”
Slowly, he turned his head, meeting her gaze. His normally cynical grey eyes smiled at her with tenderness and purity. This Draco, who died years prior when his childhood ended, now lived, solely belonging to her. “Crisalide,” he hesitantly whispered, “I love you.” Then his tearful, catlike eyes reflected his veela side. As she stared into his eyes, she felt the warmth of a summer day combined with childhood Christmas mornings flood directly into her. He glowed with that warmth as well. They held each other in a tight hug.
Tinkey popped in next to her and handed her a small vial that she gulped down, instantaneously feeling better. The pain of the stings subsided as he held her in a loving caress. Though some of the light returned to his eyes, he seemed exhausted. “You worked all through the day and through the morning, didn’t you?” He nodded.
“Would you?” The necklace symbolized his family and him, Draco’s way of showing his love and his veela side showing possession. Its return crushed him. “I promise never to take it off.” He grinned. “I love you. Your soul is a part of me now. Puro, it describes your love.” She kissed him deeply, tenderly. They helped each other to the bed in agonizing steps.
She laid next him on the bed, both recuperating. “Revus and Gangley mentioned a bet. Did you make a bet with them regarding me?”
“The three of us were talking and I blurted out that I wanted you. To make the long story short, to save face, it turned into a bet.” She glared at him. “Very soon after our research sessions started, I cancelled the bet and settled with them.” He hugged her. “Forgive me,” he spoke softly.
“You’re forgiven.” She kissed him. “I have some things I have to take care of. In the meantime, you need to rest because we are going to have an eventful rest of the week playing hooky.”
He nodded with a look of intoxicated delight. “Where are we going,” he asked groggily.
She love nipped his neck, “Nowhere.”
He smiled. “You’re naughty.”
“Only for you,” she caressed his chest. “I’ll be back this afternoon.” As she left, she asked Tinkey to ensure that Draco rested.
Hermione along with Fearclaw stormed to the Slytherin common room. Bianca joined her there, as requested. Pansy sat in the middle of the common room tutoring some students. “Pansy, how do you like my necklace?” Hermione caressed as Pansy stared in astonishment and anger. “Jealousy doesn’t become you.”
“Those trinkets mean nothing,” Pansy countered. “Draco’s interest in you won’t last long. You’re just another notch on his wand.”
“Pansy you’re desperate,” Hermione replied coolly. “When you thought he was to marry Bianca, you panicked and tried to poison her with mushrooms, knowing her allergies because of herbology class. At the party, you sneaked something on her plate that had mushrooms as an ingredient and no one noticed since your pure-blood brethren surrounded her.” Hermione looked toward Bianca whose eyes widened.
“When Draco and I dated, you sent the Darkling after me. It was supposed to hone in on the white rose. Little did you know that the band only gave purple ones. When I thought back to it, only the purple rose granted access to their trailer. With that failed attempt, you almost killed Pierre.”
She then aimed her wand at Pansy. “All along you used love potion, to make Revus your pet. At first just as a way to get information so, you could make your way to Draco. Revus, per chance, told you about the failed bet which you used to put doubt in my head.” Sensing the rage and possibly vengeful feelings, she felt, Fearclaw gently forced her to lower her wand.
“Then you stole the gifts Draco gave me and wrote a break up letter.” Then she stood toe to toe with Pansy and looked her dead in the eye. “Don’t you ever threaten my lover or any of my friends. Understand this, you will never come between Draco and me. We love each other.” Hermione turned to leave with Bianca. “By the way, you may want to think about how you’re going to apologize for almost killing the members of two of the most powerful wizard families around.” Angrily, Hermione aimed her wand at Pansy once more. Fearclaw shook her head and made her lower it. “Fine!” She turned and punched Pansy with a right hook.
Bianca hugged Hermione when they left. “Thank you. I’m glad we’re friends. I suspected something but being new, I didn’t want to accuse her. You are clever. No wonder Draco loves you so much.”
Hermione went home to get her new wardrobe and informed her parents that she and Draco would be away for the rest of the week. Then she went to Malfoy Manor. She tiptoed into Draco’s bedroom where he slept peacefully. She lowered the covers and straddled his hips. As he started to awaken, her lips met his in a fiery kiss that fully aroused him. When he opened his eyes, he grinned mischievously as he undid her Gryffindor tie and then unzipped her intern robes. “Perfect,” he whispered as he untied her black lace teddy.
“Oh,” she exclaimed as he tantalized just the right spot, “and all yours.”
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