Chapter 9 : The First Mistake
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Disclaimer: I own nothing from the Harry Potter universe. Amazing chapter image by !batman @ TDA.
“Kiss me like you used to, Draco?”
I nearly fall backward, so filled with horror am I. Muggles have used the phrase “stuck between a rock and a hard place.” I believe that that line applies perfectly well to this situation: stuck between forcibly stealing my wand back and kissing Pansy Parkinson.
If I am to be honest, I will say that forcing her to give it back is much more appealing than kissing her. But I was taught to be a gentleman to the ladies of my House and to the guests of the Manor.
“I doubt that Lucian would appreciate that gesture, Mrs. Soon-to-be-a-Bole,” I snap at her. I do not have any other cards to play.
Pansy tsks and flicks her hair. “That is no way to talk to a lady, Draco,” she says, wagging a finger in my face.
I am very tempted to break the thing off – she would certainly deserve it, for everything wrong she has done over the years.
“Oh, but my dear Pansy, you are not a lady,” I reply, taunting her. My stalling and excuses will run out very shortly.
“Really, Drakey?” she says. She smiles a wicked smile and unfolds herself, standing smoothly, barefoot on the thick carpet. Her feet, pale beneath the hem of her long, black dress, nimbly propel her toward me. Finding a handhold on my tie, she drags my face down so that it is closer to her level. She tilts her head slightly to the side and her cool breath breaks in soft rivulets over my face. “What am I?” she whispers, voice silky and tone like honey.
I cannot help myself. I say the first thing that enters my mind. After all, she is standing in front of me in a dress that has a bodice like a corset and an impossible neckline that dives nearly to the bottom of her ribcage – a giant V right over her sternum. Just a moment ago, she practically bribed me to kiss her.
“You, Pansy,” I murmur, sweet as I am able to manage without snarling, “you are a whore.”
I think it is needless to say it, but I earned a slap for my quip. I rub my stinging cheek.
“Good old Draco,” Pansy says snidely. “You can always count on him to come up with the most original insults.”
I give her a crooked smile through the pain. There will definitely be a handprint-shaped red mark across the side of my face for a few days. I have been branded.
She still has me by the tie, and unfortunately, I cannot jerk away from her without ruining whatever chance I have left at retrieving my wand from her deceiving clutches. She seems to read the thoughts in my eyes.
“Now, Draco, I do believe that you owe me for that nasty remark of yours,” Pansy says, closing her eyes. She moves a little closer to me and sniffs – there is, at most, half an inch between us. She leans back, opens her eyes, and exhales, Madame Pudifoot’s “Bella Dolce” perfume washing over my face along with her spearmint breath. “You always smell so good, sweetie,” she whispers, seemingly innocent eyes staring up at me from under thick, dark lashes.
I know that she is far from innocent.
Taking a shuddering breath, I realize that I should have realized sooner that I have no way out of this. With another breath, I know that she will, no matter how cruel she seems, give me my wand back when we are through here. One more, and I realize that “Bella Dolce” smells like the holiday sugar cookies that Inky likes to bake.
“What would you have me do?” I ask, my voice shaking. I am reluctant to even hear her speak the words.
But her eyes search mine, and all she says is “kiss me.”
Simply “kiss me.”
Nothing else. No other demands.
She is so much simpler than she used to be.
And so I do it. I kiss her. And I forget who I am.
But I remember how it used to be. How we used to be. How it always has been.
Her lips are soft, so soft. Pink rose petals could not be as pleasant. Her arms go around my shoulders, fingers lace themselves together behind my neck. My hands wrap around her small waist and pull her closer; my fingers play in her rich, dark hair. She is so close that I can feel her breath hitch in her chest, and I know she stands on the tips of her toes to reach my mouth. Her body presses itself against mine, maneuvering me until we are lying on the couch, legs and arms tangled in an unintelligible mess.
I run a string of flutter-kisses down her throat, to the line of her bare collarbone.
A door opens somewhere in the distance, but I am too preoccupied to care.
There is that huge V in the neckline of her gown, barely covering enough skin to be considered decent. I run two fingers down it, and Pansy lets out an involuntary giggle. Her hands are at my hips, attempting, I think, to ease down my trousers. And, as ashamed as I am to admit it, she might have succeeded if she hadn’t been stopped.
“Draco Malfoy, if she isn’t off you in two seconds, I will personally see that you are locked in the basement for three months without female attention. Which includes Inky.”
Pansy, of course, hits the floor before one second goes by.
“Astoria,” I gasp, astonished at her wrathful expression. Maybe not too astonished, but astonished nonetheless. Her wine red dress seems to bring out the flames burning in her blue eyes and flushed cheeks. She stands between her open doorway and the end of the sofa that I am still lying on, her fists clenched and chest heaving. Her gaze turns from me to Pansy, a storm roiling in the depths of her eyes.
Pansy glares back defiantly.
“I ought to kill you myself for what you just did to him,” Astoria snarls.
Pansy smirks. “A little fun never hurt anyone,” she counters, standing. “Besides, we had a deal, didn’t we, Drakey?” Straightening her skirt, Pansy holds out my wand.
Sure that I am positively leering, I snatch it away from her. Sitting up, I point my wand at Pansy. “What did you do to me?” I ask.
“Just a little love potion smeared on the lips, Drakey,” Pansy says, smiling primly. “Absolutely harmless.”
“Harmless?” Astoria cries. “Maybe to you, but if you used what I think you used – ”
Pansy studies her nails and nods, rolling her eyes a bit, as if she is listening to old news. “Amortentia.”
Before I can react, Astoria has me by the hand and is pulling me off the couch and to her room. With surprising force, she slams the heavy door behind us. Even through the thick hardwood I can hear Pansy’s laughter.
“What?” I ask Astoria, who has sat down on her bed, wide-eyed and staring blankly at the floor. “What is wrong now?”
Astoria shakes her head, closes her eyes. “It’s the Amortentia, Draco,” she says. Opening her eyes, she takes a deep breath and glances away before focusing on me. “The moment it touched your tongue – the moment you tasted it – you became addicted to the potion, and to her. You will see very soon.”
I was afraid, once, that Astoria was going to die. I was frightened that Mother was going to scheme against us. I was terrified that I was going to have to kiss Pansy Parkinson to get my wand back.
I am absolutely petrified at this.
Swallowing hard, I ask the questions that need to be asked as methodically and unfeelingly as I can. “How long until I am desperate?”
“All the books say one week – a week and a half if you are strong.”
“How long will it last if it is not cured?”
And of course, the last question: “How do you cure it?”
Astoria looks away from me, to the floor. I walk to her side, lift up her chin with one of my fingers. “Tori?”
Her gaze snaps to mine abruptly. “There is no cure.”
I feel my eyes widen to the size of galleons. I was right to be petrified.
“You are addicted for life.”
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