I’m back! Here I am with another chapter after a ridiculously long wait, which I apologize profusely for. I hope that this slakes your thirst, my lovely vampire lovers.
The Perfect Imperfection of Draco Malfoy
I didn’t want to touch him. I didn’t want to be near him, but I had to save him both for my and Hermione’s sakes.
So when I grabbed Potter and transformed, I took a quiet pleasure in his discomfort. I read his thoughts as I made contact with him, but decided not to make the poor bloke faint, as that wouldn’t help the situation. He was already deadweight in his terrified condition, the pansy.
Hermione…Hermione, why? Why you? You’ve suffered enough in your life to have it prolonged and darkened like this. All alone. You’re never coming back, Hermione. I’ll never see the real you again.
This infuriated me to no end. He had no right to assume that Hermione’s life had been darkened so horribly. She had me. Just because she didn’t have this little ray of scar-faced sunshine in her life that didn’t mean she was in the depths of despair. Hermione Granger was not as alone as he thought she was. I felt as all this anger coursed through me and made his trip up to the trapdoor that much more uncomfortable. Dodging the vines of the Devil’s Snare was more difficult when I was angry though, so I tried to calm myself down. Concentrating solely on finding the door, I ignored Potter.
But he wasn’t done.
Glimpses of his visions with Dementors flashed through my mind, distracting me as they blurred by, reality and memories muddling together. My conscience was being dragged in by intense curiosity and I was loosing myself. Potter had never been a good Occulmens. Even though, and I’m not trying to sound proud here but it’s true, I could probably break through even the Dark Lord’s Legilimens defenses if I were to touch him.
Now dodging the ensnaring tendrils of his thoughts and fear were my top priority as I struggled to break free when I couldn’t concentrate solely on doing it. I felt myself going down even before the vine gripped me.
Thankfully, Hermione was right there…for my sake or Potter’s though?
Easily, she ripped away the Devil’s Snare and tore it to bits, making the plant groan with pain. Her eyes shone and her teeth gleamed in the near darkness. Even for our eyes, with the exceptional night vision we had, it was almost absolute. The Devil’s Snare seemed to reject or absorb any trace of light, which was it’s main enemy.
“Draco, we have to stay down here,” softly called Hermione from a few feet away. “There’s no way I’m risking it all for the sunlight now.”
I growled; my anger and frustration were getting the better of me. I knew Potter couldn’t hear me anyways, since we were in our cloaked forms so when I said, “I know, Granger. It’s harder for me than for you, though. You haven’t got an idiotic buffoon on your back,” he didn’t hear me.
I could feel her hurt and confusion. I just couldn’t take anymore of Potter’s mistrustfulness, negativity, and general pissy attitude. My biting remarks had made absolutely no sense together, but she got the hint and took hold of Harry around his waist so that I wouldn’t hear his thoughts anymore. But as soon as she tightened her grip around him, he started to shake violently; I heard his heart rate accelerate and beat erratically in his chest like a rabbit’s. He was even worse off in his best friend’s arms than his worst enemy’s.
“What’s wrong with him?” shrieked Hermione. “Why is he doing this?”
“Give him back to me before he falls, Hermione!” I shouted at her, grabbing Potter by the scruff of the neck. She had gone into shock, not knowing how to hold him and not crush or drop him.
I swooped up past the last few branches of Devil’s Snare and kicked up the trapdoor. Lucky for me, it cast a shadow in exactly the right spot to block the sunlight from touching me, but it was still way too bright for my eyes. I threw him quite unceremoniously into the tower and grabbed the hatch down, letting him deal with his own emotions.
Hermione and I said naught a word and we headed back to the “flying keys” chamber, as they had called it. I wasn’t sure whether or not to tell her about what Potter had been thinking after his violent attack. I didn’t know if she could face the truth.
Her best friend in the world, the one she had risked life and limb for as a human, exposure and obliteration as a beast, and losing his friendship for, didn’t want her around him.
I ran my hand distractedly along the wall with the fields by the greenhouses. The multiple species of flowers had always fascinated me. Like people, each flower in a species shared the same looks, similar scents and likings, but each was individual. Each flower had it’s own beautiful qualities, it’s own perfect imperfections if you will. Every human has a perfect imperfection of their own.
Mine was my intelligence. I acknowledged the fact that I was very smart, but it wasn’t always a good thing to be a know-it-all. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Harry’s was his drive to save the less fortunate; his hero complex. There was never a time where he didn’t stop to help someone in need around him. Many times, this got him in a lot of trouble, sometimes life-threatening.
Then there was Draco. I hadn’t quite chosen his yet. There was no one that shone over another, an imperfection that made him perfect. For example, he was being an ass by ignoring me and not explaining why Harry had reacted to my touch the way he had, even though he knew that I knew that he knew what had been going on through his mind.
And yet, there was also his narcissism. Even now, he was using his fingers to comb through his hair meticulously. He would never be able to see his reflection again, but that didn’t stop him from making his appearance above average.
Shall I continue?
“You don’t have to skulk around like that,” I said bitingly to his shadowed figure on the other side of the room. “You know I can hear you.”
“I’m not skulking around,” he snapped back. “I’m looking for the next room’s door. Would you rather me stomp around like a child having a temper tantrum like you are?”
Unfortunately, he knew just how to pique my curiosity to his advantage. Sighing heavily, I ignored his last comment and said, “Have you found it before?”
I could almost hear him roll his eyes. Another imperfection: his arrogance. “Yes, why else would I know for sure that there was a door to be found?”
I decided to ignore his attitude and help him, curious as well. Then I remembered what had been behind that door, and hoped to all the gods in heaven that the troll had been released after the Stone had been destroyed.
“What did you find behind this door the last time, Draco?” I called, walking towards the sound of his footsteps.
“I was never able to open the door. I think that there must have been a different key to this door than the one we used to get out.”
I let the artificial sunlight wash over me, and imagined that it was warming me like the real sun. I hadn’t felt it for so long. What with the last two weeks being what they were and before that I had been getting to the office at five o’clock every morning and leaving well after ten each night. The only time I saw the sun was through the charmed windows in the Ministry corridors.
My eyes drank in the Hogwarts grounds around me, every pillar a new scene. It had been a few hours, at least, since Harry had left. The sun was near to the top of the sky. I didn’t think that we’d be able to hear anything of the school above us, and thought the same for the enchanted rock. But maybe it was a distant memory, aided by my super-hearing, which clued me in to the bells between classes, and finally, the dinner bell.
I gulped as my stomach did a flip flop. I hadn’t noticed, but being around humans had greatly increased my thirst. Perhaps it was my love for Harry and Draco’s respect to his promise not to hurt him that had kept him alive during our encounter. I don’t know what I would do around anyone but Harry, Ron or Ginny right now.
I felt the tension increase in the room as I heard Draco’s stomach growl as well.
“Do you still happen to have those wine bottles, Hermione?” he asked, coming closer from where he had been.
I felt behind my back and grabbed my bag. Sitting down against the wall nearest to me, I reached into it and grabbed a handful of glass. Cursing as I saw that I had a deep cut in one palm, I took my hand out of it as soon as possible. Draco rushed over at my hiss of pain and took my hand in his. His cold skin felt wonderful against my cut. Astonishingly, it didn’t look like there was any blood oozing out of it. It was simply a deep cut.
“Are you alright," he asked as he came over to me. I nodded, and he gave a slight one in return. "Is the other bottle alright?” he asked as he lightly traced the line of the cut.
“I’m not sure,” I replied, reaching my other hand in much more carefully. I felt the cool and slightly crusty neck of another bottle. “Yes, here it is.”
“Good,” Draco said. “Drink some; I’ll take care of this.”
I uncorked the bottle with my teeth and spat it into my lap, taking a swig. All the while I did this, I watched him. He worked extremely quickly; his hands would have been a blur to any mortal eyes. Ripping off the bottom of his t-shirt, he made a makeshift bandage that he wrapped around my hand. Just like he had before, he tied it tight, but not too tight. Carefully, he opened my bag and dumped out the contents. The few underclothes I had brought to change into and the entire inside of the bag were ripped and bloodstained.
Draco cleared his throat and took the underclothes and handed them to me. I took them from him and put them between me and the wall, my cheeks almost blushing from the huge embarrassment. I was surprised that I saw the same on him. I had half expected him to crack some inappropriate joke, or even dance around, pretending to wear them.
Instead, he stood and used the tattered bag to grab up all the glass and left the remaining self-filling wine bottle to stand alone. Taking the trash with him, he quickly walked away from me.
What was up with Malfoy?
Why had I felt so embarrassed touching her underclothes? I had of many women before me, no doubt about that, but I had never been so uncomfortable like I was around her. I knew for certain that I was not “batting for the other team”.
I didn’t know how to react when I saw her bra and panties. Of course, I had a wisecrack ready as soon as I saw them fall out of the bag; but the sight of them covered in blood and ruined turned my stomach. I needed to get away from her, to think for a while.
I think the sight of them so mangled and blood-stained had been the real problem, not the fact of what they were. Seeing something like that, something of hers that had been perfect and unharmed so ruined, had unnerved and sickened me. It was showing me the exact replica of her own innocence that had been ripped away from her by that foul git. If there had ever been a time to tell her who had changed her into what she was, it was then. I missed my opportune moment.
And yet, whenever I look at her, I can’t bring myself to tell her. It would crush her to know what had happened to her, why she had been in so much pain. I don’t want to extinguish that brilliant light behind her eyes, replacing it with the wasting dullness that I had seen in so many gazes. No, I wouldn’t tell her until I was absolutely sure she was ready to hear it, and that it didn’t matter as much anymore. We had eternity, why rush things?
I stopped suddenly, both my train of thought and my body. Eternity? Was I really looking forward to spending the rest of my days, figuratively, with someone I had loathed so much?
I fear I’m beginning to more than tolerate her. I fear that I’m beginning to like her around. Crave her company and her conversation and…and love her.