Chapter 5 : We're Only Human
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We’re only human
“May everyone live,
May everyone die,
Hello, my love,
And, my love, goodbye!” (Leonard Cohen)
What can you tell a woman to stop her from being a woman? What can you tell a human to prevent him from being… just a human? If a little emotion, so-called love, decides to break through all our barriers, how can we not give in? Murderers or saints, we’re all alike when it comes to destiny. It’s not like we wanted this, nor did we foresee it, but this is how the cliché works. Somehow my eyes met yours, and we knew there was no turning back. Oh, to have been blind at that moment, to have felt nothing, to have been... something other than Human.
The summer seemed to me like winter. My soul felt so constricted I thought it might simply become nothingness… My guardian angel was probably looking at TV commercials; it would have been more useful than to guard a soulless body. The days passed me by with no reason, and the coldness of my room buried me so gently…. It seemed like it was always night. Or at least that’s how dark my room was those days, when the heavy curtains fought the sun…
It rained all day. Long, dark clouds haunted the skies of London, pouring water over the grey streets, heightening the hearts of the people. In the evening, shades of grey and black molded into the heavy atmosphere, and an unusual cold fell upon the alley as she walked. The periphery of London was muddy and dirty, scattered with puddles, and there was an unfamiliar air of abandonment over the pavements. There was so much water that the sewers were unable to drain it all, so the walkers avoided the street now, leaving her alone with her sorrows and plans. In the cold evening, the fresh, piercing air filled her nostrils with a familiar scent. The streets of London looked empty, deserted and dead. Her black coat was soaked, and she stood hidden behind the coffee shop. One or two people crossed the street. Her eyes were focused.
Her hair was wet. She didn’t care. In fact, the whole world seemed to have stopped moving so she could accomplish her purpose. So she could aim. In a deadly silence, she sneaked with ghostly moves behind an abandoned store and waited, holding her breath, being careful not to make a sound. Carefully twisting behind the dusty walls, she listened to the piercing sound of a broken clock that broke a deafening silence, and the hollow footsteps of the occasional person walking by.
Across the street and under her wolfish sight, there was a ruined factory, whose tower seemed to stretch and pierce the sky like the cross from the Orthodox Cathedral. Trying her best to ignore the similarity, she carefully reached into her stockings, her wet, frozen fingers touching the warm flesh of her thigh, and took out a small gun. Perfect, imperceptible, silent gun. Deadly.
Were we always like this? At the hand of our destiny? Couldn’t we control ourselves? Push aside all we felt, and act as we desired? We’re just fools with emotions, bound never to surpass our limits. Or maybe, we’re really God’s greatest creation, and our emotions are the things that save us from ourselves. The ones that make this world just the way it is, flawed and magical, and not some sort of ever-repeating story.
His blonde hair locks appeared just around the corner. He stood leaning on a street lamp, with his back turned to her. He was the only one waiting at the bus station. Watching him resting calmly on the scattered pieces of pavement, with his eyes glancing in the direction of the never-coming bus, she could hear her heartbeats speeding again to the rhythm of wild horses. Beads of cold sweat sent chills down her back. Her lips were almost purple, the icy air leaving bruises on them. She loaded the gun with unbearable guilt: she had to do it.
The wind blew through his damp hair. She felt drained. She had to do it.
Her moves were rushed now, and, searching for something reliable in her mind, she only found despair. She felt the strong determination quickly fading, leaving an empty space that was soon filled by panic that she just couldn’t ignore any longer. He was there, just behind the corner, and she was here, waiting to put an end to all this.
The water leaked onto her skin, and she felt the gun slipping from her hand. So peacefully he stood, his profile so beautiful. It would take her mere seconds to strike him down, lifeless. Then he would just lie there and she would finally be free…
Would she really?
Don’t get involved! Her poor mind desperately screamed, and for the first time in a long while, she didn’t want to listen. This was just a mission like every other… A matter of life and death, just like any other. They had prepared her to do this for two years, and after that she did her job, for three long years. She was a Feldon and nothing more. She had a duty. Closing her eyes, she just froze, Redfire’s impassible face showing right before her eyes. This was what she was, that was what they asked of her. No more, no less. She raised her gun again.
Life and death. The two halves of one’s existence. We fear death, but we rarely cherish life. We seek glory, but we are as fragile as feathers in the wind. We foresee greatness, but all we truly are is dust in the wind. There’s only one thing that keeps us truly in the history books: the love from our souls.
He just stood there, his eyes raised to the sky. The taste of his lips still lingered on hers and she unconsciously bit her lower lip. She was so cold… The gun in her hand needed to be fired; she felt its roaring in her veins, as powerful as a force of nature. But her body needed his to feel alive…
She trembled, the weight of the world suffocating her heart. A sense of desperation crept over her again. Why did she have to do this to him? Why to him, of all the men in the world? She was nothing more than a woman!
Thunder shook the air and she dropped her gun, shaking, feeling it burning her skin. She couldn’t do it. She instinctively kneeled behind the shelves of the store. Someone was passing by. The wind howled, making strange noises, but for only for a few minutes. And it stopped just before the sunset. She could hear the sound of a bus, and tried to distinguish its noises. It stopped for a few minutes, and then the engine roared again, finally leaving. She listened with a sense of desolation, until she could hear no more, and one single tear found its way down her left cheek. Resignedly, she stood up and prepared to leave, putting her weapon back into place.
Stepping on nothingness, walking with heavy steps and an air of abandonment , she went out into the dark street and resigned to leaning on the same street lamp on which he had leaned his body mere minutes ago, the lamp now lighted; she pretended that it still held his scent. He was gone now…
His voice was hoarse but it made her turn around, thunder-struck. Eyes locked on his, the air stuck in between. His expression was hard to define... While she watched him bewildered, his emotions seemed to be locked in his grey eyes. Startled by him, but spellbound, she stepped up to him. He looked like he meant to talk to her, at least hold her and whisper in her ear. She expected a punishment for running like she did at the Ball…
Instead his lips came crashing down on hers.
A silent scream shook her chest and a teardrop fell onto his coat, while her arms shook. Nothing else mattered but the warmth of his body and her desperate need for him.
She met him on a rainy day, knowing that it was supposed to be him. The rain flowed between them and they just looked at each other. The world stopped, and nothing else mattered. They did not smile like ordinary lovers; they didn’t speak to show their feelings. They just knew. And that was when the rain started to pour more heavily.
Draco took her hood from her head and looked at her like he had never seen her before. Then, slowly, deliberately, his long, pale fingers traced her cheek and she succumbed to his touch, longing for him like she always had. They were not Hermione and Draco, nor Devon and Delirya, they were just humans. That’s what brought them to this in the first place. Lovers in the middle of a rainy street. They were at the hand of destiny, and somehow those two people knew that this was their first and final embrace. But it didn’t matter anymore. Listening to the sound of the rain, they both held their eyes closed for a moment, bound by that emotion called human feelings. They were toy soldiers, but now they were also lovers.
“Hold me tight,” he whispered while Hermione listened to him, enchanted by the faint scent of his skin.
His lips pleaded unconsciously, his fingers in her hair.
Draco took her to the Manor, which was the only thing that she noticed. In a state of dizzying euphoria, she vaguely registered what was really happening. She was losing her integrity maybe, but she couldn’t care less. For once in her life, soaked and happy, she didn’t care about anything but her own needs and desires. And being selfish felt liberating… She couldn’t do anything but watch him in utter admiration, her heart thrilled by every little gesture he made, although she, in the trance she was, couldn’t tell well what he was really doing. All she knew and all that mattered was that he was there with her, so close. She smiled like a little girl; she could raise her hand and touch him and he was not just an illusion; she could kiss him and he would let her. She hadn’t felt greater happiness than this in her life; she was prepared to throw herself completely at the mercy of his hands. It was a “love you before the sunrise, kill you before the sunset” scenario, but for now, it was night, close to midnight…
The room was covered in semi-darkness and he meant to light some candles when her arm stopped him. Far away, she could hear the thunder, and lightning soon flared across the sky from west to east, cutting it into small pieces that, later, lay shattered in the darkness.
Her dreams were coming true and she knew it. The rain was washing away her sins, and his hands healed her wounds. Everything she had dreamt about him since her fourth year was finally being fulfilled by him. She had given up hoping long ago, but here he was, removing her doubts. And it felt right. All the candles were blown out…
After watching her for several minutes as she stood in the window frame with an angelic smile on her face and a tear running down her cheek, a tear of which she was oblivious, he stepped forward, his step unheard, but acknowledged. His silver eyes, two drops of rain, revealed a determined character. And he was determined to take her into his senses.
No words were needed.
He laid her on his bed and kissed her shoulders tenderly, and this surprised her. In her imagination their encounters had always been brutal and lustful, nothing like the tender embrace she was experiencing now. But he was discovering her inch by inch, making her tremble and possessing her like only a Malfoy could… Yes, he could make her feel a woman, he was the only one who could.
Her dress fell… He held her hungrily in his arms, his heart pumping with a wild, unsteady rhythm close to her right breast. She could feel him melting inside with an unbearable desire and chased from her mind all the thoughts that it was Delirya who was making him react like this. Everything he did was mind-blowing and unpredictable: one moment he was kissing her belly, and the next moment he was kissing the center of her palm, while their bodies entwined. She felt her soul was ready to go out of her weak skin and fly up to the roof, where it could watch them in complete awe. It was a dance of souls so beautiful, she blamed herself for not knowing how to react to his heavenly embrace.
But it was something about the way he made love to her. Slowly, like a waltz rhythm, passionate, like the sea waves that touch an empty beach, lovingly, like a mother holding her child to her breast. She was trembling so violently she was afraid she might collapse, dead, in his arms afterwards. But this thought only made her more exuberant, and she raised herself from the silk sheets to embrace his neck and capture his burning lips in a deep kiss while her body touched his, skin on skin, every inch.
It was now that she finally understood: she had never sinned by wanting him. Those beautiful nightmares were not there to make her feel guilty, nor to blame her for a dream that could never come true. Those dreams were her soul revealed. Now, under the mask of Delirya LeFay, she could finally reveal who she really was, a simple woman in a man’s bed. His bed.
She registered his touches like angel’s kisses, the emotions he stirred in her were unimaginably powerful, and they controlled her every move. Easily, step by step, she prepared herself to be one with him, both in body and spirit.
First he searched… uncovered her body with the care of an artist, revealing his work of art. He touched her like he wanted to go deeper than her skin, with a controlled fever burning in the hot mercury of his eyes. It was his eyes that she watched while she traced his chest with her trembling fingers; it was his eyes that she craved, and now those eyes were looking passionately down at her. Leaving a trail of wet kisses from her neck to her chest, he seemed eager to find, to explore, and she felt like the mask of Delirya fell down in order to let Hermione be loved. There was something in his eagerness that surprised her even more: he touched intensely, kissed feverishly, his hands were roaming everywhere, searching, discovering. It was like he was trying to discover something more than her body, it was like… he wanted to touch her soul. And she let him, let him bring her soul to the edge, were she was no longer able to control herself, and she allowed her senses to be invaded by his scent, daring to ask from him as much as she was giving. She was finally about to make Draco Malfoy her own.
No clothes, no thinking, oh why, Hermione, have you let yourself get dragged into this? Will you see the sun shining again tomorrow, will you live to remember this night? Will you… kill him before sunset? This thought made her cling to him desperately, for her mouth to feel his breath, and then they were one, Draco shuddering and falling into her. He made her open her eyes and kissed her tears while making love to her passionately. The scent of his body filled her completely and she easily moaned, with her eyes alive with extraordinary happiness, until she collapsed and saw again those stars, but this times in his eyes, when he escaped a weak groan escaped from his lips and then held onto her for dear life.
And then… then he did what no other man had done for her before: first he kissed her forehead, then her lips, sweetly, delicately, almost lovingly, but she not dared to see things in this way. Then he made love to her again and she thought she’d die right there from the happiness, to be claimed once more by the man she for so many years had considered to be a heart-breaking illusion. And she took him again and again into her senses… It was so good to feel… to be a human. To be saved from herself by another human being.
And it was in those moments when she finally took a decision.
A/N: I’d like to say that this is it: they lived happily ever after. But this chapter was the just the beginning of what’s about to come, my dears… This is where the real actions begins, so I hope you enjoy!
Once again a huge thanks to uptowngirlinlove for making me this gorgeous chapter image and to Aevylonya, my patient beta. And to all of you who are reading and reviewing this.
There’s a lot more to come...
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