She walks with tiny steps, as if each one is a great effort. Lately, it had been because of this, but when she was younger, it was so her father didn't hear her sneaking past his room. He would become enrage of any time she tired to sneak, as if it was a heinous crime against him. She never understood why one would get so angry, until she realised that it was only ever when her mother and her sister, Daphne, were out—which were rare occasions.
It was as if they new what he did to her; but if they did, why didn't they stop it? Why didn't they save her?
Despite this, she sees herself as lucky—it never happened often, and she can pass off as an ordinary girl. But her father's sick pleasures regularly emerged to haunt her; asking Draco to hurt her, watching her blood splatter on the floor ... Blaise. They were all a reflection of him, and she hates it more than anything.
Though, at the same time, she cherishes it.
She remembers a time when Draco wasn't so angry, just as one remembers a time when innocence was prominent. She misses it, though she's glad she's aware. She knows that every little movement, every little tick, could turn his ecstatic, romantic mood into something foul and hated; yet, she does nothing to prevent these reminders, these 'triggers'.
She likes marvelling at how long he'll last with her.
''You look so ill, my love.''
His deep voice rumbles her out of her thoughts of Draco, and she grabs her fork, poking at her food to seem preoccupied.
''I feel fine,’’ she lies, the sight of food causing bile to rise up in her throat.
''As long as you're sure,'' he answers softly, stretching out across the table and stroking her cheek with the back of his hand.
She tilts her head, breathing in deep the smell of him—coffee and spice, reminders of their time together in his little cafe in Hogsmeade. They are memories that reunite them now, yet ones that also draw them apart.
Affairs are funny things like that.
''I had a fight with Draco before,'' she says suddenly.
Blaise crocks one, brown eyebrow, chocolate eyes scrutinizing her. So different from the cold pits of grey she is used to.
''Oh yeah?'' he asks, encouraging her to talk.
''Yep,'' she responds, closing the conversation. Astoria shoves a forkful of food in her mouth, instantly regretting it. She tries her best not to follow her reflexes and spit it right back out.
She watches Blaise as he looks around instinctively, paranoid and uncomfortable. A couple had stood, chairs scraping as they got out to make their way out of the restaurant. Blaise sighs, slouching, as if exhausted.
Astoria wipes a tear from her eye.
Once upon a time, her and Blaise never had to be paranoid. She remembered it clearly, the very date and time he asked her out in third grade. The deep grumbling of his voice, and the way she had just wanted to fall into him when she had said yes.
She wonders if she is a freak for remembering everything, from standing on the Grand Staircase, to the way she was walking to third year Potions when he had stopped her. She wonders if he remembers that day at all.
When she had said yes, he had taken her to Hogsmeade the next day. When she had said yes, he had taken her hand and kissed it. When she had said yes, two days later, she was lying in a bed of silk, curled into his chest.
He had been afraid to touch her. He had been afraid that she wanted to do it.
But Astoria was only young, and barely knew what it was yet. She only had a vague idea gathered from her sister and her crude friends when they talked about boys. She remembered how jealous and how much they quizzed her about Blaise when they found out.
It seems funny to think back on it now, but for four years dating, her and Blaise never had sex. They touched each other, danced around the edges, but Astoria was always scared. Some nights, she would remember her father, and run from the room, burning with embarrassment.
She was so tainted. Spoiled, like off milk. Ruined like satin in water.
She was a nothing.
Pulling herself together one afternoon, she contacted Blaise, telling him it was over. Well and truly over. It broke her heart, but she had no choice—he was young, in the prime of his life, and she should not be holding him back like she was.
Two days later, and God knows how, she was dressed in satin underwear, clawing her long crimson nails down Draco Malfoy’s back.
In those early days, all they did was fuck. On the dining table, kitchen bench, closet, couch, bed, veranda, floor, changing rooms of the Robe Shop in Diagon. Just the mere thought causes Astoria to flinch.
Why had she done it? Why Draco over Blaise, who loved and respected her?
She knew why. She knew it even before Daphne had said the words, stading at Astoria’s door as she packed her bags, ready to move out with ‘The Man of Her Dreams’.
“Draco Malfoy is like father.”
Still, to this day, Astoria can feel the goosebumps rise on her arms. She remembers Daphne’s look—a mixture of sadness and confusion. They knew why Astoria hadn’t changed her mind about him—why she wanted to ‘be with him forever’. Why she thought Draco Malfoy was the perfect boyfriend.
She was addicted to men like that.
Now, she was stuck. She knew if she broke up with him, he would hurt her. Some days, she even wondered if he would let her live or not. In her own seclusion, she had created a cave to escape from him. And with this, she had run to Blaise.
Astoria placed her fork down, resting her face in her hands. She looked across at Blaise, and they shared one another a toothy grin.
Draco had never hurt her for cheating on him. He was smart enough to realize it would be hypocritical, considering he was banging Pansy Parkinson every two days. So, why were they still together? They didn’t love each other—in fact, they barely tolerated one another.
It didn’t take long to find the answer—Astoria was addicted to the treatment, and she was the only girl who could tolerate Draco’s queer fantasies and horrid attitude. They were the perfect match.
“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.” Astoria looks up. Blaise is avoiding her eyes, poking his food with the tip of his fork. “But you need to leave Draco.”
She stares, horrified. He looks up and he can read the shock on her face, the utter disgust and terror. He makes to reach out and touch her, but he is stopped by two hands, pinning his shoulders against the back of the wooden restaurant chair.
He wants to jump up and curse Malfoy to oblivion. But he is too lost in Astoria’s terrified eyes.
“Malfoy, let’s go.”
A girl is talking. Her voice is so familiar to Blaise, almost grating. He watches as Astoria’s eyes narrow.
Draco releases him and Blaise turns, confronted by the sudden appearance of Hermione Granger. He remembers Malfoy insulting her at every moment in their Hogwarts years—what on earth would make him change his mind?
Astoria makes to stand, but she is left looking like a fool. Malfoy turns, walking away with Granger tightly clutching his arm.
Heads turn in the restaurant as Astoria slides back down into her seat, her forehead lightly glistened in sweat.
She smiles. “My life could not be any sweeter.”
Blaise just laughs, pouring another glass of wine. “One day, we will get married and our life will be the sweetest of honeys.”
She takes the glass off him, tilting her head to the side. She already knows this. She tastes him on her lips every night in her dreams—and it isn’t honey. It is something nicer, sweeter, more tender.
It is the breathtaking taste of love.
Authors Note: Please review guys :) It’s been so long since my last update and I need the support haha. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this story so far, I enjoy writing this novel far too much and Im glad you appreciate it so xx
Write a Review Leather and Lace: Chapter Four: Astoria Greengrass