Draco apperated into his bedroom just before dawn, the taste of Hermione still on his lips. There was already someone knocking on his door. They were tapping quietly, and whispering his name, almost inaudibly through the thick door.
Draco quickly threw his traveling cloak and dirty shoes onto a nearby chair, stripped down to his boxers and undershirt as if he had just woken up, and went to answer the door. On the other side of the wood was his mother, hunched over, as if she had been whispering into the key hole.
Draco tried to seem drowsy and bored, rather than giddy, as he stepped aside to let his mother in.
“What?” He asked in a growl.
“I wanted to tell you early, as I don’t know when he’ll be arriving, that we’re going to be entertaining certain guests for a while.” The woman was still whispering.
“For how long?”
“I’m not sure. A long time, I think.”
“A few dozen, give or take. They’ll be coming and going. But He’ll be here.”
Draco sat on the edge of his bed and rubbed his forehead with his hands.
“I beg you, Draco, be careful.” His mother crouched at his side, still whispering.
“What do I have to be careful about?” Draco said, putting on his best sneer.
“Nothing, Darling,” Narcissa’s eyes traveled to his dirty clothes and shoes lying on the hardwood floor, “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“I should hope not.” Draco’s voice ended with a bite, but his eyes had softened, pleading with his mother.
“I’ll leave you to get ready for breakfast.” His mother stood. “We’ll be having cocktails tonight in the ballroom. I’ll send one of the elves up shortly to press your robes.”
“Alright,” Draco said, “I’ll be down for breakfast in a bit.”
Narcissa paused for a moment, then to both of their surprise, she leaned up and kissed her son on the cheek, whipping the still sweaty hair from his eyes. Then, she quickly turned and fled out of his room.
Draco quickly grabbed his silk robe, then checked his watch to see the hand still at “happy” before going to take a shower.
The shrill voice carried around the dance floor, and through the crowd of men standing, all the way to the back wall, where Draco was leaning like a teenager on the back wall of a high school. One hand was in the pocket of his dress robes, while the other was flicking his pocket watch opened and closed. He tried to ignore her, but she came over anyway.
“I was hoping to see you here, Draco. It’s good to know you’re not out working for once.” Pansy smiled and pulled the neckline of her black dress down a little.
“I am working.” Draco turned away from her, like he was waiting for something.
“For him, right now?” Pansy was enthralled, rather than upset.
Draco was more discouraged.
“You’ve grown up, Draco. You’re such a man.” Pansy slid her hand up Draco’s chest.
Draco grabbed her wrist. “I’m busy.”
“Perhaps later then,” pansy smiled and leaned in to kiss Draco on his still scowling lips. “I know you haven’t forgotten me.”
Draco pushed her away, snarling. Though, if it was toward Pansy or his own physical reactions, he wasn’t sure.
He skulked out of the ball room, into an empty corridor where he could loiter in peace. He pulled out the pocket watch again, to see where Hermione’s arrow was. But things had changed. Beside Hermione’s large, golden watch hand was a new, smaller one, so that the pair looked like a real set of watch hands. Draco panicked for a second, thinking it was now a normal watch. Only, as Hermione’s hand still pointed at ‘happy,’ the smaller hand was pointed at ‘danger’.
Draco checked back at his watch every few minutes, hoping that once some of the blood had drained, he would go back to only Hermione, but it didn’t. He spent the rest of the night in a foul mood, confused. After having several drinks and going back to his room, Draco pulled out an old school album, and stared at a picture in second year where Hermione was in the background, talking to Harry and totally unaware of the camera. Yet still, as he forced his whole body to ache for her, the watch still had two hands. He couldn’t understand what it could mean.