Chapter 1 : The Day They Said Goodbye
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He sighed and for the hundredth time that night, resisted the urge to run up to her and hold her tightly in his arms as he had done for the past three years. The way she looked, her fragile body shivering in the cold, and her eyes glassy from the restrained drops, almost made him reconsider.
In a way, she made him smile. She was trying so hard not to show weakness, even in a time like this. It was something he had always admired about her.
"I have to."
The moon created a spotlight for them as they stood on the bank of the lake. She remembered everything about this place; it was only right to end their love here, in the place where it had all started.
She pulled her thin sweater closer to her body just so she could have something to do with her hands. He, pulled out a cigarette package and shook out two slim cancer sticks as she had once called them. She didn't scold him this time, choosing instead to take one and put it in her mouth.
He offered her his lighter and she attempted to turn it on, but her hands, now visibly shaking, kept on fumbling with the child proof on it. She looked up as he carefully turned it on for her. She lit her cigarette, and not saying thank you, merely took a long drag.
Her male counterpart did the same and a comfortable silence filled the space between the two as they looked out at the lake. It was ironic how this was the end. The last time they were here, there had been silence as well. But that was because they had been a bit too busy to speak.
That, seemed far fetched now that they were like this. Was it only three years ago that they learned they had loved each other?
"You don't have to," she said quietly, breaking the silent spell. She tapped the ashes from her cigarette, and watched the smoldering ember fade.
He turned to look at her, his attention diverted from the full moon in the sky for a moment. His beauty almost took her breath away once more. She wondered how on earth he had ever chosen to love someone like this, before miserably taking a final drag and throwing her cigarette on the ground.
Why had she given him away? He was the only man she ever loved - the only man she was ever going to love. Her heart broke at the sight of him so sad, she hadn't meant to hurt him.
She never wanted to do anything like that.
For a moment, he looked like he was going to take it back. Her back those harsh words and never leave her. But could he ever forgive her for what she had done? She sank, as the realization that he never would, came.
He looked away from her before he spoke, repeating her thoughts. "Yes, I do."
She swallowed loudly, refusing to let him see just how much he meant to her - just how much this pained her. Weakness was a power you gave to someone over you. Her father had specifically instructed both her and her younger sister to never show it. It would be a disgrace to them all.
Yet, all she wanted to do was curl up and cry. Hiding her emotions had always been something she had control over.
He made the worse come out in her - he made her want to cry.
"I'm... I'm sorry."
Those words were harder to say than anything she had ever had to say. They made her feel naked in front of a crowd. She didn't apologize easily. Nobody had ever given her reason to.
Nobody but him.
He must know that when she did apologize, it was for real. Would this be enough for him to look at her lovingly once more?
She watched him throw his cigarette to the ground and crush on it with his foot with more force than was necessary. He looked up at her again, and her heart broke even more as a hardened look appeared on his angelic face.
He looked awkward with nothing to do with his hands, thus was the reason he pulled out his lighter and started to turn it on and off. All she wanted him to do was answer. Was it that difficult?
"Sorry's not good enough."
"Look at me," she whispered softly, taking three small steps to reach him. She was dwarfed by his height, something that she had always adored. She felt like he could always protect her. Not now - those thoughts were the last thing on her mind. "Look at me."
He still wouldn't. He hadn't taken his eyes off of the lighter since he pulled it out. The flame disappearing constantly reminded her of their relationship. Their romance had been intense; so why had he stopped caring for her? Why had she--
"I can't," he said softly, still refusing to look up at the girl who had just broken his heart.
"Look at me!" she screamed in frustration, reaching up to grab his chin and force his gray eyes to look into her own blue ones. She searched them frantically, trying to read him. "I. Love. You," she said, sounding more angry than she had meant to. She did mean it though, right?
She loved him with all her heart. Couldn't he see that?
He cringed at her touch, and quickly took a couple of steps back, releasing her hold on him. The broken look on his face, had been replaced with an angry one, matching her temper.
"Then why did I just see you with Blaise?" he accused, and out of instinct, her eyes dropped to stare at the ground once more. "You two are impossible you know that? His WIFE loves him, and I loved you. How could you do this to me? HOW?"
She had to do something, anything. She felt trapped in a corner, and she hated it. She didn't want to yell, but her temper was always short. Ever since, ever since...
"You didn't seem to care that much when you SLEPT with his wife right? Oh, I know what you did. You thought you hid it from me so well. But I found out! I found out!"
It was his turn to be ashamed. He couldn't think of anything else to say. But he did. He had to. "It was a mistake..."
A look of pure hatred finally started to show on her face, making her seem much more dangerous than she usually looked. "It was YOU that broke MY heart first. Don't yell at me for doing what you did!"
"BUT I ONLY DID IT ONCE," he roared, and he immediately regretted it.
She shrank back in fear. He wanted to reach out and stroke her hair, and tell her everything was going to be alright. But everything wasn't going to be alright.
No matter how scared she felt, she braved it. She seemed to realize that she had shown fear in the face of the enemy as she probably saw him now. She stood tall and stared at him.
"So that's how you feel? Do you know how you feel right now? It hurts a lot, right? I FELT LIKE THAT FOR SIX MONTHS. You never seemed to love me anymore. Then you run into HER arms instead of mine. YOU drove me to this. This is all YOUR fault."
It was his turn to flinch. He knew he deserved this. Everything she was saying was true.
"Ducky...," he said softly, but his pet name for her was not going to work. Not this time.
"Don't," she said, looking up at the moon to give her an excuse not to look at him.
"Pansy was a mistake. It's you I love. I will never make any more stupid mistakes again. just please, please forgive me."
He sounded sincere, and she thought it was ridiculous that the tables had turned. Now he was the one asking her for forgiveness, not the other way around.
"Maybe.... we, were the mistake," she said, turning back to look at him.
He didn't look as broken as she had expected him to be. Instead, he was pulling out more cigarettes, another, which she took quite gratefully.
After another moment, he spoke. "Yeah."
Her eyes blinked at him in confusion, what was he saying? Was he agreeing with her words? The words she had only said because she needed to say something. Yet, the longer she contemplated about it, she realized that maybe she was right. Maybe she had said something right for the first time that night.
"I loved you once, but that changed. We've changed. We've been fighting more and more. Love's not supposed to hurt like this," he said quietly and she merely nodded. "I don't know why. I will always love you, you know that, but never as I once did."
"Maybe we're just not meant to be," she finally said, blowing out smoking and watching it float around her.
He smiled sadly, and she watched out of the corner of her eye as he pulled out a small, velvet box from his pocket with his free hand. He put it into her hand.
Curious, she opened the box slowly and inside, lying on the black velvet, was a diamond ring as she had never seen before. It was gorgeous... She couldn't help but pull it out and put it on her finger to examine. It was a perfect fit. But why did he have a ring... the only logical explanation would be... but had he really? That just made the whole situation more bitter sweet.
"Perfect fit," he noted and stared at the ring on her finger.
He didn't know why he had shown her the ring, but it felt only ideal. "I stole one of your ringers last month to get it fitted."
"You were... you were...." she could barely get the words out of her mouth.
"Ask you to marry me?"
"Tonight," and another sad smile filled his handsome face as he remembered walking into the apartment they shared together.
He had been excited and had planned this night for weeks. Their relationship had been a bit rocky for the past couple of months, and he thought marriage would help fix their problem. It was his grandmother's ring, an ancient family heirloom. But instead of the romantic plans he had thought would happen, he had walked into their room to see her, with his best friend.
Somehow, this just stirred something inside of her, and the tears she had been holding back started to fall down her face. She threw her second cigarette to the ground and threw her arms around him, burying her face in his chest. He wrapped his arms around her, and patted her back while she sobbed into his shirt.
"Shh... shh," he cooed softly, as he held onto her like his life depended on it. "I won't let you go."
He carried her to their apartment an hour later. She had fallen asleep while crying and he hadn't let go. He placed her on their bed and put a blanket over her sleeping figure. Armed with a pillow and a blanket of his own, he went to find his bed on the couch.
When he woke, she was gone. All her stuff was gone too. The only thing that told anyone that someone else had been there, was the note left on the bed. It was scented, and it reminded him of her.
There was only one word on the folded parchment.
After a year of refusing to look at each other, she stood beside him.
Even though they hadn't spoke for twelve months, she had spent each and every night crying herself to sleep with his picture in her hand. It had been a shock indeed when she saw him sitting once more at their dining table, holding hands with her younger sister.
When he had seen her, he had immediately excused himself and her sister had told her, her eyes shining brightly. She apologized over and over again to her for taking her ex boyfriend.
Her reason was that she had fallen in love. She had to forgive her, she knew falling in love with him was impossible to back out of.
It seemed ironic that they were standing together at the altar.
The only thing difference was that she was wearing a pink dress, as opposed to the vision of white she had been planning to wear. He looked smart and handsome as ever in his black dress robes.
Fate was cruel.
They wanted to punish her for cheating on him. She was destined to become his sister. It wasn't fair.
He hadn't even said anything to her since they had announced their engagement.
She saw the ring on her sister's finger. The huge, diamond one that he had showed her that night. The one he said, he was going to propose to her with.
As the music started, and her sister walked down the aisle looking very much like a happy bride, she saw a smile appear on his face as he waited to be handed his bride. When the minister asked the wedding guests if anyone had anything against the marriage, it was all she could do to not yell out.
She smiled brightly, masking the pain deep inside of her, looking like a maid of honor should. The smile that had appeared on his face, never left as they spent the night together.
She had danced with many people, all of her school friends had come to support the wedding. She sat down in the corner after a while, getting sick and tired of pretending she was happy. Everyone was coming up to her and telling her what a lucky girl her sister was for marrying someone like that.
They should have been coming up to her and telling her what a lucky girl SHE was for marrying him. That was when she felt a tap on her shoulder.
She looked up quickly, but looked down as she realized it was him. What did he want? Shouldn't he be posing for pictures or whatever?
"Will you honor me a dance?" he asked her, holding out his hand.
She accepted it - whether it was because it would look odd if she rejected a dance from her sister's new husband, or whether it was to get a chance to hold him one last time - she didn't know.
She knew it was only a formality, that they were dancing. He had seen him charm her mother into a dance, her grandmothers... so why could she hear his heart speed up as he twirled her around?
"I'm sorry," he whispered into her ear and she looked up to see him almost in tears.
He had worn that expression only once, that night so long ago.
"Yeah... me too," she replied quietly, as she heard the dance come to an end.
"Forgive me Daphne," he asked her, holding onto her tightly, like he would never let go. And she didn't want him to.
"I... I do." She forced herself to release herself from his arms. "Thank you for the dance Mr. Malfoy, I hope you and my sister, the Mrs. Malfoy, have a lovely life together."
She walked out the doors, only letting herself look back once. He was with Astoria again, and they were both smiling happily.
It looked like her forgiveness had lifted a burden off of him, for he actually looked happy.
Good. That was what she wanted him to be.
Even if he couldn't be happy with her - all she wanted was for him to be happy with someone else.
She closed her eyes, and leaned against the cold brick wall outside.
She needed to move on.
She needed to forget.
But how could she?
He was, after all, the only man she ever loved - the only man she was ever going to love. And for the hundredth time that night, she wished she had never said those things to him.
That she had never told Draco Malfoy to leave her life on the day they had said goodbye.