Chapter 1 : And he shall appear
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Chapter one: And he shall appear.
“Mione, come on you promised” Ron whined, literally whined like some little first year, he’s twenty five for Merlin’s sake. As always I keep my thoughts to myself.
“Ron I know but I have to turn all this paper work in for tomorrow morning, I’m sorry I can’t. I know I promised we’d go out for our anniversary but I really can’t leave now.” I knew it was partly my fault but really how was I to know that Mrs. Woolberry’s daughter would choose today of all days to have a baby and how could I say no when I’d already promised to give her the day off when it happened.
“Well can’t you finished it tomorrow or turn it in a bit late?” I could see by his reddening ears that he was getting annoyed.
“I can’t I’ve already told you there are rumors that old Krabgrass is finally going into retirement I could get promoted if I play my cards right, I can’t afford to fall behind now.” I left the paper work I had been working on and moved to wrap my arms around his waist as he leaned against the edge of my desk.
“I promise I’ll make it up to you.” I whispered into his ear letting my lips run along his jaw, he relaxed slightly, leaning into my touch until our lips touched.
“You like to tease me don’t you?” He growled against my lips.
“Just a bit” I laughed pulling away.”I’m really sorry Ron.”
“I know, I know, I just wish that…”he cut of shaking his head, red hair falling into blue eyes.
“What?” I asked feeling guilty at his disappointed tone.
“Nothing forget it, I’m going home I’ll see you tomorrow.” He gave me a quick peck on the cheek before heading for the lifts.
I stared sadly at his retreating back before turning back to the pile of work on my desk. I couldn’t help but feel remorse for breaking yet another promise, even thought I sometimes found it beyond frustrating that he wasn’t more supportive of my work. Why couldn’t he be more flexible, I had put off accepting this job for a year when he got his first field assignment accepting a low paying transfer to France just so we could be together like he wanted? Was rescheduling a dinner date really that difficult?
“Oi! What are you still doing here? Weren’t you going to have dinner with Ron?” I looked up startled, to find Susan Bones starring down at me hands on her hips a disapproving look on her face.
“Yes, but Mrs. Woodberry’s daughter went into labor last night so she couldn’t make it today and there’s no one else to finish all this work.” I shrugged ignoring her gaze not needing more guilt pushed down my throat.
“Oh, how did Ron take it?” Susan asked sympathetically, falling into the seat in front of my desk.
“Well he wasn’t thrilled. How about you, what are you still doing here I thought you had a date?” I asked taking in her purple dress, high heels and curled hair.
“Got stood up…again” she answered unenthusiastically.
“By Robert? But he seemed so nice.”
“Yeah, apparently I wasn’t nice enough, but whatever it’s not the first time it’s happened and it sure as hell won’t be the last. Would you like some help?”She added eyeing the tall stack of files I still had to finish.
“No, I can take care of it you should go home and get some rest” I answered resisting the urge to accept her help.
“If I go home to my empty flat right now, I might just drown myself in the bathtub, anyway if we hurry maybe you and Ron can still catch a late dinner.”
Waving away my protests she took up a file and a quill.
“You’re a saint Susan” I smiled glad to have her help.
“Yeah I should be canonized any time next week.” We both laughed.
Susan is really a great girl, I have no idea why we didn’t talk more while at school, although having some psychopathic dark lord trying to murder your best friend doesn’t leave much time for socializing when you’re trying to stop him. In the two years we’ve been working together we’ve become close, she’s incredibly funny and smart I’ve asked her many times how it is that she didn’t get into Ravenclaw, according to her it was her inability to say “no” and her incredible sense of humor, she laughs when I say it was more likely because of her heart of gold.
“Finally!” we both exclaimed as I close the last file an hour and a half later.
“And just in time, if I hurry we can still make dinner.” I add happily, grabbing my purse and coat and imagining the look on Ron’s face when he sees me, I follow Susan to the lifts.
“Did you hear who is back in town?” Susan asked as we waited for the lift.
“No haven’t been out much lately.” The racket of the lift fills the semi-dark and empty hallway.
“I was chatting with Phillips from international affairs the other day, apparently the Malfoy’s are back in the country.”
felt my heart stop, the rest of Susan’s chit chat drowned by the sound of rushing blood along my ears as my heart pick up its pace.
“The Malfoy’s?” I sincerely hope the question came out casual and not as shrill as it sounded to me.
“Yeah, you remember how they move to Germany, I think after old Lucius kicked the bucket? Well there back, according to Phillips Draco was over at magical transportation the other day arranging for an international connection to the floo network; apparently their moving back into their old mansion.”
I was frozen in place memories avalanching in my mind, feelings I had tried to forget, to rid myself off for years, now returning as fresh as they had been that day on the astronomy tower and above it all the anger, at him for his lies and games, at me for having fallen into them.
“ …and I’m sure that a lot of people were more than glad to see the back of them when they left, Merlin only knows what’ll happen now that they’re back.” Susan’s words filtered once more into my mind and I took a deep breath to calm myself as the lift opened into the atrium.
“Well I’ll see you tomorrow.” She waved before disapparating, unaware of the chaos she left behind.
I was having a hard time breathing, I leaned against the smooth stone wall of the atrium trying to take deep calming breaths, but they came out short and fast. I slid down the wall onto the floor, head bent and my hair falling forward covering my face. It all rushed back that far away day fresh on my mind as if he had only just left the astronomy tower.
I remember the pain racking through my body, my bones turning into dust on the floor of Malfoy manor and I remember his silver eyes watching it all happen. Words I could barely comprehend over my own screams reverberating from the shadowed walls.
I hadn’t realized I was crying, until I ran my hands across my face and felt the moisture covering my cheeks. I take a shuddering breath, feeling shocked at the tears I should not be shedding. Pushing away terrible memories I stand up wiping my face with the sleeve of my coat I apparete away.
“What are you doing here? I thought you were working until later.” Ron asked when he saw me appear in his living room, he was laying on the couch a butterbeer in his hand and the wireless spewing the results of a quidditch game.
“I finished earlier with Susan’s help. What do you say if we catch a late dinner?” I asked leaning down for a quick kiss, needing to clear my mind of unwelcome thoughts.
“But we missed our reservation; I doubt will be able to get a table now.” He answered returning my kiss as he sat up.
“Well, then will go somewhere else, I think I read something in the Daily prophet about a new place in Diagon alley.” I needed normality, needed to know that my life won’t disappear, that his return won’t change anything for me.
“Right, I think Audrey mentioned something about it the other day it sounded pretty good. Let’s go.” Ron smiled, kissing me again, “I’m glad you could make it.”
“So am I, let me just go change, I’ll be back in ten minutes and we can go, yeah?” I apparete to my own flat taking a second to recollect myself, I then throw my purse on my bed; change into a black dress I bought for the occasion. I pull the mess of curls that is my hair up, pinning it with a silver brooch a few rebellious curls slipping along the side. A swipe of eye shadow and some blush to finish off, I empty my money bag and wand onto a smaller black and silver hand bag slip into a pair of black pumps and with another deep breath I apparete back to Ron’s.
“Took you long enough.” Ron grumbles finishing of his butterbeer. I give him a playful slap as he wraps his arm at my waist. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you, there’s not much I can do with so little time” I answer as he begins to nuzzle my neck, “But if we don’t leave now we’ll never make it on time.”
“Fine, but you’re the one missing it.” He growls through a smile.
The place is beautiful, with small candle lit tables outside and fairies floating on the bushes surrounding them. All the tables outside seem full as is the inside but we’re lucky enough to catch one of the last tables. The floors are made of dark wood and the walls a deep burgundy color with silver and gold accents. One of the walls is completely cover in green foliage with water trickling gently down the leaves that disappears before touching the floor.
“It’s beautiful” I tell Ron as he pulls my chair back for me to sit.
“It’s not bad.”He shrugs, taking a menu offered by the waiter, “Food looks good.” He adds and I laugh, happy that being with him dissipates the anxiety Susan’s words had caused me.
Half way through the meal I notice he’s beginning to become nervous, he’s fiddling with his fork and giving me quick glances from below his bangs, but just as I’m about to ask him what’s wrong a glint of blond hair catches my eye, I look up from my wine glass only to choke on the sip I had just taken as a very familiar pair of silver eyes stares back at me. He turns away before I can be sure if he saw me as well.
“What’s wrong, you ok?” Ron asks handing me his glass of water so I can take a sip; I take it shaking my head to indicate that I’m fine.
“Are you sure? You’re looking a bit pale.”
“I’m fine, I- I just need to go to the bathroom I’ll be right back.” I tell him standing up and hurrying for the bathroom.
Locking the door of the small bathroom, I hurry to the tap splashing cold water on my face several times, when I’m sure I won’t faint or throw up I dry my face with a hand towel and look at the image facing me in the mirror, Ron’s right I look pale even more now that I washed away my makeup.
It couldn’t be it just couldn’t be him. Not here not today. But I know that no matter how many times I deny it, it won’t make it go away because I know those eyes they’ve haunted my dreams for years now there is no mistaking them, he’s here.
After a few more minutes of pulling myself together, I fix my makeup, pinch my cheeks to give them a bit of color and head back, as soon as I step out of the bathroom I knock into hard into someone the faint scent of peppermint reaches my nose as I fall back onto my arse, I lay on the floor eyes shut tight, I know that scent.
A deep chuckle sounds and I feel a shiver run down my spine, but I refuse to open my eyes hoping he’ll just disappear. I knew he’d seem.
“Still stubborn I see.” My eyes snap open and I see him, just as tall, just as blond and probably even more handsome then I remember.