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Chapter 7 : La Mequerade Pt I
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 22|
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Foreground- Grizzly Bear (Draco's dream)
Bookends- Simon and Garfunkel (Hermione at the mirror/walking downstairs.)
Cinderella's Waltz-Prokofiev (Ball overture)
Habanera- Bizet (no singing; Partner change dance)
Harry&Hermione- Nicholas Hooper ( Harry scene)
A Vase crashed next to him. Falling from its perch on the wall and cracking around his crouched body. In the Manor tonight, he was a sitting duck; waiting to be fired at by the hunter.
Another crash, this time a mirror, spread shards of glass around him and now he
He sprinted quickly through the rows and rows of pillars and statues, not even knowing who his enemy was. His breathing was sharp and labored, threatening to give out on him if he paused for even a moment
More breakage came from behind him, and he attempted to pick up speed. Down the hallway he was on was an open door, either holding danger or refuge. He took the chance, slipping into its depths and collapsing onto the nearest wall.
His skin felt hot to the touch, but was chilled with the sheen of sweat across his brow. He’d managed to get a cut to his cheek from falling glass, but was otherwise unharmed.
The room stayed dark, as he never lit his wand, and he continued to catch his breath. Inhaling and exhaling, he felt more and more at peace with every passing moment. Complete and total silence enveloped him for what seemed like hours; until whispers started.
“Draco. Draco Lucius….” They said. He panicked. Lifting himself from the floor and brandishing his wand in front of him. He felt his breath quicken again.
“Who’s there?” He called out, the sound of his own voice startling him. “Show yourself!”
Instantly, a hazy light filled the space, and he saw that he’d made his way into the old music room. A piano sat beside him, dusty and black, while a bookshelf of music books kept it company.
In the room before him, stood another mirror; bigger and more ornate than any other. He walked to it slowly, examining the frame. It held the shadows again, speaking to him softly. He lifted his hand to the glass, letting it hover just shy of touching the surface. It looked like a seeing witch’s crystal ball, full of wisps and tumbling smokes, but more chaotic; like an ocean.
One by one, he let each finger fall closer to the glass. And the second the first one hit, the face of his Father appeared again.
They stared at each other, neither saying anything. Draco wasn’t afraid this time, he could speak.
“What do you want from me?” He asked the man.
He continued to stare out from the glass. “I want you back home son. Come home.”
“Why? After all you’ve done to me? You’re nothing of a father! I have no home to come back to!” he yelled, almost loud enough to shatter Lucius’ cage.
“I have something you want. What you need.”
“I need nothing from you. Nothing! Do you hear me?!” As he yelled, Lucius’ image faded further and further. “Where are you going?! You coward! Come back here and face me like the man you never were!” He pounded his fists on the glass, flabbergasted when he saw it did not break. “Come back!” he screamed, continuing to beat the mirror.
Eventually the shadows began to form themselves into a new figure. Minutes later, despite the pounding, Draco looked into the face of his Mother.
He stared in awe; and silence.
Then, seconds later, all the glass shattered.
Draco woke with a scream, writhing in pain. He clutched his arm to his side, trying to stop the flow of blood, forgetting about the dull pain in his head. His sheets were quickly staining, so he wrapped his arm and headed to the bathroom with his wand.
Standing over the sink, he inspected the wound. It was deep, but not terrible. Although it was definitely making him loose blood. He gripped his wand with his good hand, and whispered a healing spell over it, wincing at the pain. He cried out, when his shaking hand caused the wand move. It was still as angry as when he started after the spell was done. The scar was now puffed up and red, landing in a straight line down his left forearm.
Hermione sat at the Gryffindor table Saturday morning, eating her food with extreme slowness. She’d promised Ginny that she’d begin getting ready for the ball with her right after breakfast, but she didn’t think then that the process was going to take all day. Ginny had planned for numerous time consuming beauty treatments that she simply didn’t think she needed.
Harry sat next to her, absorbed in his eggs and toast. He’d been awfully quiet the whole breakfast.
“Have you ordered a mask yet Harry? Ginny and I are getting ours this afternoon; I could pick yours if you’d like.” She said, attempting to wake him up a little.
“I got one ‘Mione, thanks though.” He responded, sipping his pumpkin juice and avoiding her eyes.
Hermione shrugged, wondering still what could be bothering him, and went on eating.
Her eyes wandered around the room, looking for Draco at the Slytherin table, but he was nowhere to be seen. She suppressed a wave of worry, telling herself he was just tired from the night before, as she was. But, unlike him, she was obligated to show up for breakfast.
She glanced at Harry again, who was playing with the sugar and serving spoon, and laughed.
“What?” He asked, torn away from his game.
“What’s got you so shy this morning? Nervous about our date tonight?” She teased, nudging him playfully.
He smiled. “Well, how couldn’t I be nervous? You’re bound to be better looking out of the two of us; I’m under a lot of pressure here.”
Hermione laughed again, louder this time, attracting the attention of Ron. He locked eyes with her for a brief second, then went back to talking with Padma. Hermione had been wondering why they’d been spending so much time together, as they’d never been really friendly before the past week or so. Curiosity getting the better of her, she turned to Ginny for her opinion.
“Hey, Gin.” She asked Ginny sitting next to her. She turned, smiling warmly at Hermione.
“You finished eating yet Hermione?”
“No, um, I was just wondering… have you noticed Ron spending a lot of time around Padma lately?”
Ginny nodded slowly, her face creasing in thought. “Yeah, I have. I’d been meaning to ask him, but whenever I talk with him, we always get on something else. Why? You think he’s going to dump Lavender?”
Hermione shook her head. “Not, exactly. Something just doesn’t seem right about it; you know?”
“Not completely, but I know your gut is usually right in the end. So, I guess we just keep a close eye.”
“Yeah…” Hermione echoed. “A close eye.”
There was a moment’s pause. “So, you ready to head back upstairs?”
Hermione was sitting on her bed, while Ginny placed her wand in her hair, transforming her hair into long waves that ran halfway down her back. She was rather inpatient, as she’d been sitting there for at least half an hour, and because she had a facial mask currently applied to her skin, so she couldn’t ask Ginny how much longer she had left.
Ginny had been fussing over her like Mrs. Weasley would have done. Micromanaging every last detail of Hermione’s ‘final touches.’ Now, they had about two hours until the ball, and she barely had any time for herself.
“Just a few more curls Hermione, then we’ve got to do your nails.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ginny…”
“Shhh! You’ll mess up your mask!”
Not happy, Hermione surrendered anyway, until the final curl was finished. As soon as Ginny said the word, she leapt from her seat and to the bathroom. Gently using a cloth to wipe her face, her friend followed soon after.
“So? What do you think?”
Hermione looked herself over, deciding that her skin did possess a slight glow.
“It looks great Gin.”
Ginny smiled at her in the mirror. Her red hair shining brightly in the lighting. “You’re gorgeous ‘Mione.”
Hermione looked at her toothbrush, blushing slightly. “Thanks.” She said, shyly.
They stayed like that for a minute longer, then Ginny tugged her back into the bedroom. “Now, we have to fix your make-up.”
“I thought we agreed to no make-up.” She sighed, sitting on the bed anyway while Ginny tugged a few tubes and compacts from a small brown bag. “Where did you even get this stuff? A muggle store?”
“I begged my Mum.” She answered, smiling. “This will be a whole lot easier if you just let me do it.”
Hermione sighed. “Just tell me what you’re doing when you do it.”
Ginny grinned, launching into explanations while Hermione sat and listened.
A few minutes later, when her face was ‘finished’, Padma flounced over; wearing a black lace slip and her hair in a tight chignon bun.
“Hermione!” She drawled. “You look lovely.”
Hermione smiled weakly, trying to focus on the life currently in the room. All her roommates doing hair and make-up on their beds or in the bathroom, and the room was filled with laughter and chatter. It was like the back stage of a ballet.
“She’s not quite ready yet Padma, come back later.” Ginny said, using a small brush to paint a light red stain on Hermione’s mouth.
“Oh, well, I was just coming to ask how she was. And, to ask about her and Harry.”
“What about him?” Hermione asked, terse.
“Nothing major, just your… status, so to say.” She said, leaning up against the bedpost.
“We’re not together, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“No? Oh, well then, my mistake.” And with that, she flounced off again.
Ginny shook her head, looking annoyed, and finished off Hermione’s lips and cheeks.
“Okay, you’re done.” She said with a happy air and handed her a mirror.
Hermione locked eyes with herself, happy that she didn’t look like a different person altogether.
“Alright,” Ginny said. “I’ll give you a break now. Let’s do my hair!”
An hour and a half later, Hermione stood in front of the full length mirror in her slip and stockings. Ginny was next to her, wearing the gown she’d made. It was an elegant, Greek Goddess style gown in a warm gold tone. The bodice was gold lace, only half exposed because of the draping sweep of fabric from her middle to her shoulder. The skirts pooled slightly at her feet, but not enough to drag.
“Hermione, just put the dress on. Everyone’s already heading downstairs!” Ginny said, urgently.
Hermione had been standing there, looking at the dress for minutes as her nerves overcame her. She was usually adequately confident, but tonight was a different story.
She thought about Draco, how he wasn’t the one waiting for her downstairs, how he wasn’t going to be able to dance with her like she wanted him to. When she pictured herself at the ball, she always saw Draco beside her; not Harry, although she loved him dearly. Now that she thought about it, was that fair to him?
“I don’t know Ginny… maybe I just shouldn’t go.”
Ginny exhaled sharply, and thrust the gown into her friends hands. “I didn’t spend almost three hours on you just to watch you decide to sit and read a book! Now, get in the gown!”
Hermione swallowed, pulling the garment over her head. “Help me button it?”
Ginny obliged, quickly fastening them. Then, she took Hermione’s long hair, and twisted it into a bundle on her head, and adding some white cream roses.
“There, now, you are officially ready.”
She looked at herself, breathing deeply. “I feel ready.” She smiled, fastening her mask behind her curly bun. “Let’s go.”
Harry watched Hermione descend the stairs in awe, and the look in his eyes made Hermione even more nervous. She felt like a princess, but a very clumsy awkward one. He was waiting at the landing for her, holding his hands in front of his body. As she got closer, she could see his fingers held a small flower.
He stood next to Dean, and was wearing black dress robes and a gray tie to match her dress. His mask was black and fairly plain. His hair was messy as usual, but Hermione didn’t mind. He’d look foreign to her otherwise.
“Hi Harry.” She said, stopping in front of him. He smiled at her softly, and swallowed.
“You look, your dress….. Let’s just say you definitely win the prize over me.”
“Stop Harry, you look handsome. Doesn’t he Gin?”
“You do Harry! I’m glad you went with the matte shoes.” She responded, her hand entwined with Dean’s. “Do you want to walk down together, or…?”
“You two go on ahead.” Harry said, watching them go a minute later. When they left, he turned back to her. “I, um, got you this.” He held up the flower for her inspection.
It was even more beautiful up close. A cream colored rose like the ones she already wore, but with gold glitter resting lightly upon the petals. “It’s lovely, thank you. Here, let’s trade.” She moved to pick one of the rose from her head, but Harry stopped her.
“Let me.” Carefully, he pulled one from her curls and pinned it to his chest, then put the gold rose in its place. “There.” He met her eyes, looking a little nervous. His feelings made their way to Hermione, who suddenly felt the need to be around more people.
She stuck out her arm. “Shall we?” She said in a silly tone of voice.
“We shall.” Harry said, smiling and taking her arm. Together, they walked out to the ball.
Hermione walked into the Ballroom with baited breath. Even though it had just started, the dancing was already in full swing. Girls in pretty dresses were swirling everywhere, alongside boys in black. The walls were lined with tall wiry bare trees, with small candles dangling from their edges. The lighting was purple toned, however, casting everything with dark spooky shadows. A chamber band sat on a stage some ways away from all the dancing, playing a fast paced waltz.
“Wow.” Hermione said. “It’s so… lovely.”
Harry laughed at her expression. “It does look pretty good in here, downright creepy.” He said, inclining his head toward the carved pumpkins that sat on all the tables.
Hermione smiled, watching all the dancing people go by and looking for a good place to jump in. Harry was doing the same, and before she knew it, pulled her gently into a first position, spinning her easily into the crowd. They started in on the first steps, and, as Hermione looked down, she saw that a layer of fog was hovering over the floor, swelling upward as they began to dance.
She laughed. “Very smooth.”
“I do what I can.”
They danced then, talking and laughing the whole way through. Also, Hermione watched for any signs of Draco.
“To be honest, I’m a little worried about tonight.” Said Harry about halfway through the song.
She looked up at him with a questioning smile. “How come?”
He shrugged before spinning her out and in again. “I just don’t really know what to expect.”
“What’s to expect, it’s a dance!” She laughed. “It’s about fun! Loosen up Harry.”
He smiled down at her and nodded. “I’ll try.”
They danced and talked a while more until the song came to a close, and they clapped along with the rest.
“You want to eat something?” Harry asked. Hermione nodded.
“I’ll go get a table. Did you happen to see Ginny and Dean while we were dancing?”
Harry shook his head. “I’ll see if I can find them though.” Then he parted into the sea of people, who were getting ready to dance to the next song.
Hermione walked over to the dozens of tables, picking a rather large one in the middle. Sitting, she adjusted her skirts and put her chin in her hands. She hadn’t seen a glimpse of Draco while she was dancing. Granted, he was in a mask, but she thought she would’ve been able to spot him by his hair.
“Hermione!” Came Ginny from behind her, sitting as well. “How are you? This ball is amazing! Did you see the fog?”
She laughed. “Yes Ginny, I saw the fog.”
“I couldn’t have done it better myself! Well, on second thought...”
The girls laughed again, just as the boys came back with food and drink. Harry took the seat next to Hermione, handing her a glass of red liquid.
“What’s that?” She asked, sniffing. “It smells weird.”
“The punch they’re serving. It tastes pretty good.” He said, sipping some, then offering it again.
Hermione shook her head and grabbed a few grapes off the plate. Ginny brought up more conversation about the ball and who was wearing what, so Hermione listened actively while the boys did the same. They talked and listened for a good while, until they were rudely interrupted.
“Hermione! Harry! Dean!” Gushed Padma, walking up to them in her black lace gown. “You all look great! How’s the punch?”
Silence ensued for a few moments, until Dean spoke up.
“That’s great!” Padma said, plastering on a great fake smile. “Hermione! Have you danced yet? You really should dance.”
“Harry and I have danced once, and we were about to again.” She said, taking Harry’s arm from the table.
“What? Oh, yes; we were about to, um, dance.”
“Oh Harry, you’re so bashful.” Padma trilled. “Well, don’t let me get in your way!” And with that, she flounced away again, pausing a moment to look back at Harry again.
Hermione sighed relief. “What will it take for me to get rid of her?”
“Graduation.” Harry said with a sarcastic smile.
Hermione rolled her eyes as she took her arm. “Coming you two?” She asked Ginny and Dean.
“We’ll be along.” Ginny answered, and Hermione took that for a bow out cue.
They joined in the rest of whatever song was being performed, then, as it ended, Hermione noticed the Habanera was about to begin.
“Oh! This is my favorite dance!” She rejoiced. Harry smiled, backing away from her into the boys’ line. The Habanera was traditionally a partner switching dance, so the girls and boys started off separate from each other. Hermione faced Harry with an eager smile as the music started.
She walked toward him slowly, taking flowing steps, and raising her hand when they were close again. She saw him smile at her as they started to spin slowly, hands not touching, and wink at her as she switched partners. Now she was spinning with a fair haired boy with green eyes. He grinned, and looked like her was about to introduce himself, but then she had to switch again. Next there was a raven haired boy, who looked bored out of his mind. This time, they took a closed position; Hermione’s hand on his shoulder and his on her back. They moved for a few measures, then he spun her, and she landed against a different body.
This boy had dark hair as well, swept carefully around his mask, a sharp green. He nodded her a curt hello, then stepped away from her as they resumed the first step together.
His hand was touching hers as they spun, warm and strong, and his eyes were bright with concentration. Completing the spin, he took her hand, and she faced the opposite direction and she ‘lead’ him forward. Looking around, she saw Harry dancing with a pretty blond girl, who seemed to be making him laugh. She ignored them, spotting Ron with Lavender, trying to get the steps down.
When she spun back to her partner, she noticed his gaze was more intense on her. They moved together in a slow flamenco step, and Hermione twirled her wrists and hips with ease. Then, the music clapped as he did, leading her backward with his steps.
Hermione smiled, enjoying herself immensely, and that caused the boy to smirk as well.
Then, regrettably, Harry came back, still smiling from whatever his previous partner had said. They stayed quiet, simply dancing. Harry was still a good dancer, but not quite as desirable as her last partner.
Hermione looked around for him over the heads of the people near her, but he was nowhere she could see.
“Looking for someone?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, my last partner. I, forgot to ask his name.” Hermione said, avoiding Harry’s eyes. She had a strange feeling about that boy.
They went back into the first step as the song ended in a fierce crescendo, and everyone clapped once again.
“Do you mind if I go get some more punch?” Harry asked. She shook her head no, and went around looking for her partner again.
Collapsing in her seat a while later, Hermione sighed.
“What’s wrong ‘Mione?” Ginny asked.
“Nothing really, I just can’t find this person I danced with earlier. I wanted to ask his name.”
Ginny shrugged sympathetically. “Sorry.” And turned back to Dean. Hermione smiled, not really blaming her for her lack of interest, and rested her head in her hands.
Harry came back a minute later, with another glass of punch. “Hello.” He said, sitting.
“How much longer are you going to be drinking that stuff?” Ginny asked, laughing as he gulped it.
“Until it quits making me thirsty.” He smiled in response, then hiccupped.
Hermione laughed, glancing at the clock. It was almost eleven now, but they still had a good two hours left in the dance.
Conversation started up again, and Hermione lost herself in the laughter and music, until she felt a hand tap her shoulder. Turning, she looked into the face of her mystery partner.
“It’s you!” She exclaimed, delighted. “I looked for you a little while after the song finished, where did you go?”
Instead of answering her question, he said. “I’m sorry I was hard to find. Would you like to dance again?” He asked, holding out a hand.
Hermione wanted to say yes on the spot, but made herself glance at Harry for an okay.
He was simply staring at the masked boy with loathing. “Sure, I’m getting a bit tired anyways.” He said, drinking more punch.
And with that, she was swept off her feet and back to the floor.
When he held her close to the center of the dance floor, the music had yet to start. So, they stood, hand on shoulder, until it did.
The stage went dark, and a spotlight shone on a single cello player, adding to the ethereal mood of the room. The boy smiled, pulling her closer. She smiled as well, ready to see what he would surprise her with next.
The music started, and the boy lead her backward in three steady steps then spun her around. His steps were careful and soft, as was his hold on her.
“So, what’s your name?” She asked him.
“You don’t know?” He responded.
Hermione stared at him. “We’ve just met.”
“Haven’t we?” He raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you remember these steps?”
She thought for a moment, looking into his eyes. She noticed now, they were the same blue grey as… “Draco?” She exclaimed, remembering they were currently dancing the La Transe.
He nodded, smirking at her. They moved into one of the close contact steps, and he kissed her cheek.
“I never would have pictured you with dark hair.” She laughed.
“You look amazing.” He whispered. “I’m glad you didn’t let me see the dress.”
She smiled. “I thought it would be better to surprise you.”
“You were right.” He paused, moving into another step. “So, where’s Potter?”
“Probably drinking the punch still.”
Draco knowingly smiled. “It’s good punch.” She spun under his arm, and he winced.
“What’s wrong?” She asked worriedly.
“Nothing, my, arm’s just been sore for a while; that’s all.”
She turned away warily, feeling his hands settle on her waist. “I feel like you’re keeping something from me.”
He turned back to her, staring. “Do you really want to do this now?”
Sighing, she answered. “No, but that doesn’t mean I’m done.”
He nodded, dismissing her. “Are you staying with me tonight?”
“In the Common Room.” She smiled, earning one from him as well.
Draco chuckled. “Don’t look now, but Potter’s watching from the punch bowl.”
He spun her so she could see, and Hermione felt her face fall. Harry stood at the food table, watching them with a look of intense envy that she could feel from where she was.
Draco turned her back again. “Don’t worry about him now; It’s us.”
She shook her head, knowing he was right; and refocused herself in the moment.
They danced through three more songs in ecstasy. Draco paraded her around the floor in the way that only he could, making her feel weightless. Nothing and no one could have taken her off cloud nine.
When the third song ended, Draco bowed and kissed her hand. “Find me right before the doors close, and we’ll dance again.”
Hermione nodded. “Are you leaving?”
“No, but I think I’m making your date jealous.” He said, gesturing to Harry’s retreating back.
He was walking through the crowd and out the doors at a fast pace, not bothering to look behind him.
Hermione hurriedly kissed Draco. “I’ll see you in a bit.” She said, departing to find Harry.
He stood just outside the ballroom doors, next to the giant window, staring. He shoulders were slumped forward as if he were carrying something heavy on them, and he didn’t turn to look at her, even when she was just a few feet away.
Hermione ventured to him carefully, not sure what to expect from him. “Harry?” She asked softly.
He didn’t stir.
“Look, I’m, sorry I danced so long with him. I didn’t mean for it to upset you, if it has?”
Still, he said nothing.
“Harry, please talk to me. What’s going on?”
The air went silent after that, but he drew in a breath to speak. “Well, damn; you’re talking like you don’t know.”
“I don’t know Harry! I need you to talk to me!”
“About what!? How you ditched me, and now I’m supposed to tell you why I’m pissed off? Seems pretty obvious to me.”
“I didn’t ditch you….”
“Define ‘ditch’ for me then. “When someone gets left by somebody else, right? I think that’s what happened here.”
Hermione took a few steps closer, and was overpowered by the scent of alcohol.
“Harry… how much punch did you drink?”
“A lot.” He hiccupped, still fuming. “What’s it matter to you, ditcher?”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Harry, you’re drunk. You need to go back to the common room.”
“Drunk or not, I’m still angry!” He yelled, hitting his fist on the wall. Hermione began to get nervous.
“Calm down Harry.” She said. “We’ll just get you some water and you can sleep this off.”
“You can’t sleep off pain Hermione!. You just can’t.”
Hermione shook her head, flabbergasted. “What on Earth are you on about?”
“You!” He cried, taking her by the arms. “You’re everywhere I look, you’ve been there for so long and now you’re everywhere!” his speech was becoming more slurred.
“Harry, let go of me.”
He ignored her. “All I want is for you to be happy Hermione. I love you, you know that?”
“Well, yes of course….”
“But not with anyone else! Not with Viktor, or Ron or that Mystery man you were cozying up to! Nobody.” He looked into her eyes now, strangely intense for one so drunk. “Do you love me, ‘Mione?” He asked her, his voice hushed now.
She didn’t answer, for fear of what he was going to do next. “Harry, we need to get you to the common room.”
“Answer me.” He demanded.
Moments passed in silence, and she didn’t respond. “Harry… I…”
He silenced her then, putting a gentle hand to her face, and kissing her bewildered mouth.
A/N: MWAHAHAH!!!!! (by that I mean, PLEASE don't be mad! It was nessesary, and you'll see why.) I really hope you liked this chapter! Please leave a review! It would mean the world to me :) I'm going to begin writing the second part soon, and hopefully you don't start an angry mob after you've read it :)
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