After seeing Black Swan recently, I wanted to use what they produced in one of my Dramiones. However, what you have before you is not that idea, but it does reference it. So, no, I am not stealing that idea and yes, this is a disclaimer.
I need your grace,
To remind me,
To find my own.
There was a grace in dancing that I’d never understood before I saw Hermione.
It’s the last week before I’m due back at Hogwarts for my sixth year. The Tuesday before, actually. I’m going back on Friday, and I’m starting my packing when my mother knocks lightly and cracks open my door.
“Draco, darling,” she starts, and I just smile over my shoulder at her so she’ll continue.
“Your father has to go out tonight, which means I’m being left dateless for the show.”
My mother goes to her ballets, her operas, her plays, and everything other thing imaginable. She loves the theatre, and I’ve been with her a few times when my father had to “go out” like this or even just a few times simply because she’d convinced me in her heat of excitement the week before the show.
This time is quite the same.
All week long, she’s been referring to this incredible beauty that would be dancing, a beauty that had never graced the stage before, a beauty that was awing thousands. People were even coming from the States to see her. I straighten as my mother says this, a jolt of excitement trilling through me.
“What show is tonight?” I ask cautiously, still facing away from her.
“The ballet.” Her dance.
“They say she’s doing Swan Lake.” A ballet that hasn’t been done in almost a century.
“Swan Lake,” I confirm, turning.
“I can hardly believe it either,” my mother says, shrugging.
“Then I will certainly have to come see it for myself,” I say, and she nearly jumps in joy.
“Get ready. We’re leaving in an hour.”
I nod, and she leaves to get ready. When the hour finally deceases, I exit my room in a full tux. It is all black save for the white shirt, and, rather than a tie, I’ve decided to humor my mother and wear a bowtie, along with tails. She beams as I meet her in the living room, dressed in an elegant black dress. It shimmers as though it were made of diamonds, and hangs from her left shoulder. It follows her figure just until about her knees where it opens up just the tiniest amount.
“How do I look?” she asks playfully.
“Beautiful,” I assure before taking her arm.
She pats my hand before I apparate, and, when we arrive at the theatre, I don’t think I’ve ever seen more people.
“Luckily, I bought tickets ahead of time,” she promises, touching her purse before pulling me along.
We enter soon enough, find our seats, and wait for the ballet to begin. A soft chatter and a delicate piano piece touches the air, and I’m almost nervous to see this beauty. And, when it begins, I think every stolen breath is anxiously awaiting the second act.
The first act begins slowly. Prince Siegfried, heir to the kingdom, is attending his birthday ball with the sole intent to choose his wife. However, it angers him that he cannot marry for love, and so he leaves the ball in a rush and escapes to the forest where he sees a flock of swans flying overhead.
My mother grabs my hand as Siegfried lifts his crossbow, and I smile to myself until I feel as though my heart has stopped beating as though I’ll never live again.
She slowly, apprehensively, carefully dances onstage, a pale woman in a white dress. The bust hugs her figure attractively before flaring out in layers of white ruffles. Her almost blonde hair is down, tumbling around her shoulders in a straight waterfall. I’m already taken by her, simply because she’s forgone the first rule of ballet.
She is, by far, one of the most beautiful and most graceful dancers I’ve ever seen.
An audible sigh is released from the audience as she smiles at Siegfried, a single blink of her brown eyes. She is Princess Odette, a woman captured by the evil sorcerer von Rothbart. His magic has turned her into a swan by day, though she remains a woman at night. The only spell is a confession of true love. Though, as Siegfried begins this confession, truly having fallen for her, von Rothbart appears, a hideous man, and Siegfried goes to kill him. Suddenly wild with fear, Odette holds onto him, relinquishes her last secret: if von Rothbart dies, she will remain a swan by day forever.
The woman looks so distraught as she touches Siegfried’s arm, silently begging him to restrain, and I almost move to go comfort her. She draws me in, and I feel as though my soul has been claimed.
And then the curtain falls, an intermission.
“Oh, she’s nearly as dangerous as Nina,” my mother sighs, “Isn’t she lovely?”
The name turns heads, and, as I glance down at the program in my hand, I can’t help but blink.
ATTN: Should you feel endangered at any point during this ballet, please leave.
I show it to my mother, the large print across the top of the program, and she nods. Nina, the last girl to play the White and Black Swan before they stopped the show. This showing is a controversy, and all are fearful. Nina, who let the Black Swan consume her until it killed her, until she fell from the last act, a bloody wound to her abdomen and a death of dance.
The curtain lifts after a half hour to Siegfried returning to the castle, distraught. My mother leans forward, and I feel as though everyone around me does the same. Suddenly, von Rothbart enters, and I gasp. My mother grabs my arm, shocked. The same woman follows von Rothbart, now disguised in black. She is Odile, von Rothbart’s daughter, the Black Swan. Siegfried, thinking it is Odette, dances with her, and then proclaims that he will take her as his wife only to glance down at his people and see the real Odette staring back at him.
The woman in black, this beauty, is seductive and dangerous as she dances across the floor. Her grace is enticing, her movements enthralling. I am nearly drawn to my feet and down the aisle as she smiles down at Odette, evil and beautiful.
And when this beauty falls in the final act to her death, every breath is held, every hand still. The ballet ends, and the hall is silent.
“Please,” I feel myself whisper, and, suddenly, the curtains close, a shudder.
I look to my mother, curious. She shrugs, turning her eyes back to the curtains. A spotlight appears, and, from the left, this delicate and graceful beauty steps out, smiling brilliantly. She stops not even halfway and gives a little curtsey, causing the entire audience to erupt in crazed applause. I jump to my feet as does everyone around me, and the curtains lift again to reveal the rest of the cast.
I am in love.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so entranced by someone you’ve never met,” my mother laughs afterward when we’re outside, waiting to see her.
“Mother,” I nearly laugh, “Did you see her? She is the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on.”
“Draco, there she is!” my mother exclaims in a hushed whisper, grabbing my arm.
I instantly look, and a smile lights up my face. She is wearing a gorgeous dress, strapless with a deep silver layer that flows down her torso only to split and flare to reveal a soft black under-layer. She greets people as she flitters through the crowd, thanking them and welcoming them. And then, she stops, and her eyes are wide.
My heart stops.
I move away from my mother without really knowing what I’m doing, and someone touches Hermione’s arm, trying to regain her attention.
“I’m sorry, I’ll be right back,” she murmurs softly to the man before she steps away from them and stops in front of me.
“You,” I stutter, “You were beautiful.”
“What are you doing here?’ she demands, eyes narrowed.
“I’m with my mother. She loves to attend the theatre. I went with her because everyone has been speaking of this graceful beauty, this astonishing woman that has captured the hearts of thousands. I wanted to see for myself, and it was well worth it. You were magnificent. Hermione,” I pause to scoop up her hand, “I won’t ask for forgiveness, but simply know that I will never see you the same again. I will adore you for you are beyond words.”
She blinks, the tiniest pink blush creeping onto her cheeks.
“Thank you, Draco. If you’ll excuse me,” she trails off, stepping back.
“I’ll see you in school."
She just smiles, and I quickly kiss her hand before she drops her gaze, amazed, and walks away.
“Who was that? Did you know her?” my mother demands when I return to her.
“Just a girl from school,” I mumble before leading her away, and, everytime I am consumed by my darkest moments, I simply think of that one exchange, and my heart beats faster.
Listened to “The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens while writing this. I actually really like this. I like how delicate and soft it is. Maybe you disagree, but I’m a fan of it.
I’ve taken on a stupidly large idea that I’ve dubbed The Snow Patrol Project. This is part six of thirteen.
Some odd amount of months ago, I made my boyfriend a mixtape of only Snow Patrol songs, those only that reminded me of him, and so I’m taking those thirteen songs and turning them into oneshots that feature only three pairings: Harry/Ginny, Draco/Hermione, and Sirius/Lily. Yes. I know. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.
So. If you’re reading this now, look out for the next one: The Planets Bend Between Us. It’s a Harry/Ginny. And I hope anyone who reads this goes on to read the other twelve!