Chapter 35 : Explanation
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I opened my eyes and glanced at my alarm clock. Nine o'clock. I rolled over and thought of the night before, my elation for Ginny and my confusion and anger at Malfoy.
Malfoy proposed. I still can't believe it. Why would he want to do something as crazy or stupid as that? Was it a test of his charm? Because he needed it or was it because he really feels something for me? The thought of him being in love with me was odd, but not as odd as it being some elaborate prank. You can't stay in bed all day trying to figure him out. Get up and do your usual routine.
After the usual cleaning and breakfast routine, I headed to my study to do some reading. I was so engrossed in my book that I didn't notice the owl at my window until it gave a shrill hoot which startled me greatly. After opening the window and letting it in, I saw it was the owl of my Wolfy Wizard. Just the person I wished to hear from and comfort me in my time of confusion.
I read it eagerly before my senses caught up with what I was reading:
Hermione, my butterfly
The time has come for you to know the truth about everything, something I have been fearful to tell you since the moment I knew who you were. But I can hide it no longer. Hermione, I am your Wolfy Wizard and I am in love with you, but I know you don't feel the same way after I proposed to you last night. Please keep reading this, I will tell you the truth about everything if you will only give me the chance.
My mind was reeling and I was in shock as I realised what this meant. My dream wizard is Draco Malfoy? It cannot be possible! This must be some sick joke, a trick, a lie. He couldn't be, he just couldn't.
I read on, my mind barely understanding what it was taking in about Ginny and Harry, about Krum and about being the Wolfy Wizard.
He did not deny what he had done, that he had separated Harry from Ginny. But what struck me most was his reason; that what he had done was to protect Harry. That he cared for him as a friend and hadn't wanted him to be with a girl who wasn't going to be true to him. But he admitted that if what I told him was right, then he was wrong and he was sorry to cause pain to both of them.
Draco Malfoy admitted he was wrong, unbelievable.
When it came to Krum and Malfoy, I was at a crossroads of what to believe. That Krum should have lied and done that to his own team seemed downright terrible and unlikely, but that Draco would lie about this when he had been so open about everything else in the letter didn't seem right either. Draco had been completely honest about everything else in the letter; that he had kept the letter away from Harry on purpose, that he was being pressured to claim his inheritance, that he was the Wolfy Wizard, why would he lie now?
I have loved you for a long time Hermione, I just didn't realise it until now. I hope you can forgive me the pain I have caused you, Harry and Ginny. I only acted as I thought was best, and wish only for your health and happiness.
I had to read and re-read it again to take in all the information.
He’s lying! He hasn’t changed; he is still an arrogant jerk! Part of me screamed, longing to believe that, to make everything easy and the way it was before, but my logical side took over.
Evaluate the situation and find the solution, like you always do. Has Viktor proved himself honest? The kind of man who always does what is good for others? And has Draco proved that he is a different man now? That he cares for the wellbeing of others, even ones with less power or status than him?
The answer to both was right in front of me. Krum had cried poverty, yet could afford to pay for our dinners out which weren’t exactly cheap and could afford to wear expensive robes (something which had escaped my notice until now). His appearance and his story didn’t match.
Draco, however, had proven to be someone of integrity. He had not once in the past 4 years called me "mud blood". I could not ignore the difference in the way he treated his elves, kindly and considerately, with time off and pay and all before the legislation was even drafted. There was also the way he was with Teddy. I had never seen him get mad or heard him raise his voice at him.
And then there was the Draco I knew and the Wolfy wizard. The Wolfy wizard was intelligent. Draco is intelligent, and I'd be a fool to deny that. The Wolfy wizard was charming and witty. Draco can be quick-witted and charming if he feels it is to his advantage. Both of them could dance quite well and, I blushed as I thought it, were both very good kissers.
Only a few people know I was the butterfly, but he and I were the only ones that knew we wrote back and forth. I didn't even tell Ginny I was owling the Wolfy wizard.
I felt sick, shocked and confused. That Krum could lie so boldly seemed unfathomable, but besides what he told me, I had no way of knowing what was happening in Bulgaria or any way to confirm or deny his story.
And I couldn't deny the feelings I had for the Wolfy wizard, feelings of respect, trust, affection, attraction and dare I say romance. I also couldn't ignore how even from our first meeting he seemed to respect my intelligence and continued to want to know me as a person instead of just a quick fling, that he kept treating me with utmost respect even though he knew who I was the second time we met. If Draco was truly my Wolfy wizard, then he must have changed, for why else would he have kissed me?
I felt so stupid that I had let my past judgements cloud my logic and my ability to see what was right in front of me, that I had given myself over to old feelings instead of re-evaluating the situation and acting accordingly. I had let my past attraction to Krum and my longstanding dislike of Draco see them as they were, not as they are.
I have made an error in judgement, and must blame no-one but myself for that.
That I should regret turning down Draco's offer of marriage was impossible, I was still too wounded from our past to forgive him or forget it. But I did regret accusing him of being so cruel to Krum without proof. I was also regretting the loss of my Wolfy wizard, who I could turn to in my time of need.
It seems so strange that I could fall for one and not the other when they are both the same. It was an idea I had yet to fully reconcile in my head, and one I dwelt on for the rest the day and the night until I fell into an unsteady sleep.
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