Chapter 4 : The Opportunity
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But, it was those clicky pens that seemed to enable me to pass the time without getting completely bored. Click. Click. Click. Clickity click click click. It nearly drove my friend Racquel up the wall on the days we wrote our essays together in the common room. And she never hesitated to tell me exactly what was on her mind, and right now—
“SADIE! The clicking! Please cease and desist!” Racquel was holding her Astronomy textbook up threateningly. I smiled a little and set the pen down. “Geez, what’s with you? This essay should be a breeze for you.”
“Yeah well, I’m otherwise occupied,” I replied, staring down at my own textbook and pieces of paper. There were little doodles scribbled on the sides of the paper that I had done subconsciously as my mind worked on, not more pressing matters, but more interesting to say the least.
“And have you done anything lately about Mr. Otherwise Occupied?” Racquel asked, nibbling on the end of her quill. She was a mind reader.
“Not in the last 24 hours, no.” It had been exactly that since my little encounter with Malfoy, and ever since he had been the only thing on my mind. It was irritating really. Normally a guy didn’t drive me to distraction. Some sadistic part of me hoped that I was driving him to distraction as well, as payment for the effects he was having on me. I highly doubted it though because Draco didn’t seem like the kind of guy who got overly distracted. I wasn’t really that kind of person either, but he was so enigmatic that it was contagious and intoxicating. I felt like an amateur at this stuff and that in itself was annoying.
“Why haven’t you done anything?” Racquel continued. “From what you told me the other night you should want to jump his bones without delay; and yet you delay. What’s munching at you?”
“Why don’t you figure it out,” I challenged, looking at her with mild annoyance. She was used to it and would probably guess the answer right away though.
“I would guess that you’re afraid,” she said.
It hit me point blank between the eyes, “Wha—what?!?! I’m afraid? Of what? Malfoy isn’t intimidating in the least. I can handle myself.”
“Screw Malfoy, I wasn’t talking about him. I was talking about you. You are afraid that this little escapade of yours will bring you face-to-face with everything that you’ve avoided for the past three years.”
My eyebrows rose. “For instance?”
“For instance your father and the way he treats you. For instance the fact you retract any sort of human feeling when with a man. I know you don’t want to get hurt because of what happened with Alec. You let yourself fall hard for him because you knew he was exactly the kind of guy your father didn’t like. Draco is the same, except ten times worse. He’s not the obvious womanizer, he’s more subtle than that and it’s scaring the hell out of you.”
I let the words sink in. It was all true, but I didn’t want to admit it. Racquel knew that better than anyone else. I didn’t say anything.
“You know what I think you should do?” Racquel asked. I inclined my head to let her know I was listening. “I think you should find a short skirt, a pair of high heels, and a sexy top and see exactly what kind of opportunities you can make for yourself with Mr. Otherwise Occupied. 10 galleons says he’s hovering around the Room of Requirement waiting for you.”
I froze, “But how—?” I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence because she got up suddenly and crossed the room with her textbook, heading in the direction of Hermione Granger.
The Room of Requirement, I thought. How did Racquel know that? I gathered up my things and ran up the stairs to my dorm. At the moment I didn’t care how she knew, just hoped that she was right. The thought of being with him again made me giddy and it was so unnatural but I couldn’t stop it. Not yet at least.
I changed into one of the designer frilled skirts I’d taken from a summer shoot, a night black top that hugged my curves and slipped into a pair of killer stiletto heels that sparkled. I shook out my hair, applied a little lip gloss, and left the dorm room. I swept through the common room without so much as a backwards glance to see if anyone was staring. I was used to it anyways. People stared because I would turn up in their fashion magazine ads. I was a commodity and my father knew it well, so he abused it expertly. I was used to it, despite how I really hated the whole ordeal.
Down the corridors I flew, my heels clicking on the marble floors at an alarmingly fast rate. I slowed down when I came to the corner that rounded on the Room of Requirement. I turned the corner, my heart racing, hoping to see him standing there.
Except he wasn’t.
No one was there.
The corridor was empty!
I made a little sound of disgust and continued towards the empty wall that I knew held the door to the Room of Requirement. It was just a wall. My hand flew up to my hair and I almost wanted to rip a chunk out at the roots. I was so frustrated and it probably showed on my face.
I waited for three minutes and no one came. I took my heels off and shifted with more discomfort as my feet touched the cold floor. “I’m going to kill Racquel,” I grumbled and headed off, back toward Gryffindor Tower.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t kick your ass and then never speak to you again!” I hissed at Racquel upon my return to Gryffindor tower.
“What?” She looked confused.
“‘10 galleons says he’s hovering around the Room of Requirement waiting for you.’ Bullshit! You owe me 10 galleons and an explanation because he sure as shit wasn’t there ‘waiting for me’.”
Racquel’s frown deepened, the crease in her forehead displaying apparent confusion. “I don’t understand. He was standing there when I came up earlier. I was sure he looked like he was waiting for someone. I—I’m sorry Sadie, I didn’t think…I mean I thought he would be there.” She looked utterly distressed at my anger and the fact that she had been wrong. It wasn’t easy to remain upset at her when she looked so distraught.
“Ugh, how can I stay mad at you?!” I wasn’t angry anymore, just aggravated. “You’re forgiven, but next time I might not take your advice so easily.”
Racquel smiled, “I understand. Are you okay?”
“Well my ego has pretty much been doused with a bucket of cold water, and the effort I went to look nice for Draco wasted, and I was really looking forward to seeing him, but otherwise I’m great.”
“That sucks. Guess the opportunity didn’t go as well as you’d hoped. I apologize again. Maybe don’t go on informants next time because they all seem to be unreliable.”
“And by ‘all’ you mean ‘I’ seem to be unreliable.”
“Not in so many words, but yeah, that’s the idea.” Her wide and goofy smile melted my bad feelings and I felt okay again.
Aside from the wasted trip down the Room of Requirement, and the fact that Draco hadn’t actually been there and I’d gotten my hopes up that he would be there and we’d have more of that electrifying connection, I was going to be okay. I still wanted to get Draco out from under my skin however, and that would take a little more careful planning. Tonight’s spur-of-the-moment decision hadn’t been one of my best ideas. Maybe premeditated plans would be better for this sort of thing. I didn’t want to get too emotional about these things, which is exactly what had just happened. That wasn’t good, and that must be avoided in the future. No more late-night runs to the Room of Requirement without previous knowledge that Draco would be there. I wanted him out of my head and thinking about him this much wasn’t helping any.
Irritability followed me around like the plague for the next couple of days. I didn’t find another “opportunity” like that night run down to the Room of Requirement due to extensive amounts of homework we were being given. I was hiding in the common room so much I started to feel like a bear beginning hibernation early. There wasn’t even snow on the ground and I was starting to forget what the sun looked like. Well, maybe that was an exaggeration, but sometimes I am a little dramatic, if not all the time.
I was sitting in the library, my head deep in my astronomy textbook, looking at star charts I knew off by heart, and yet my heart was not into what I was looking at. “Blah blah blah,” I muttered to myself. I slammed the book shut and looked up to find myself staring into a pair of steel-gray eyes.
He had his head tilted and was glaring at me strangely. “What?” I asked defensively.
His eyebrows rose and he shook his head, indicating ‘nothing’.
“I don’t believe you,” I replied leaning across the table towards Draco.
“And I don’t really care what you do or don’t believe,” he answered in a low voice.
“What do you want Malfoy?”
He leaned back and crossed his arms across his chest. He stared at me for about a minute before he answered. “Just you.”
The air left my lungs. I had anticipated the answer but when he said it I was still taken aback. And what confused me even more was the fact I had no comeback for that comment.
My silence made Draco smirk. He stood up and walked around to where I was sitting. He was standing right next to me. He brushed the back of his hand against my cheek. I didn’t move. His hand was cold and his skin was rough, but his touch still sent shivers down my spine. And Draco seemed to know exactly the effect he had on me because his smug expression just got smugger. “Just you,” he repeated, “but just not yet.”
His hand left my face and he left me sitting there altogether.
His words sank in and I had this deep sinking feeling in my stomach at the same time. Damn him! He was going to torture me slowly, and that was the exact opposite of what I wanted. I wanted this over and done with. He wasn’t going to let me. Damn!
I gathered my stuff together quickly and took off in the direction he had gone. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to catch him, but I was certainly going to try. I didn’t think he’d stay in the library so I exited, looked left and right. I saw someone’s cloak disappear behind a corner to my right and started after them immediately. I didn’t know if it was Malfoy, but the hunch was enough to get me to follow.
I rounded the corner and saw the person, with blonde hair, moving along at a quick pace. Rather than call out, because there were several people in the same corridor, I just continued to follow. I followed him up a few flights of stairs as well, and we ended outside of the Room of Requirement. Alone.
“This habit you have a following me, Morris, is really starting to piss me off.” He turned to face me and crossed his arms across his chest, a stance I was beginning to think he liked very much. He thought it intimidated. He was trying to intimidate the wrong person right now though. I was unshakable.
“Yeah well, this habit you have of leaving me in a lurch every so often is starting to piss me off, okay Malfoy. So how about we get this out in the open right now? No more of this ‘just not yet’ crap.” I crossed my arms in front of my chest to mirror him, hopefully indicating that I meant business.
He took the hint. “You think you’re so slick, don’t you Morris?”
“Oh I know I’m ‘slick’, Malfoy, but let’s cut the crap. Dancing around the issue isn’t going to make it go away.” I took a few steps closer to him until we were about two feet apart from one another. “I’m smart. Probably smarter than you are, but I think we’ve both figured out where this is going.”
He looked bored. “You mean where you want this to go.”
I took another step closer. “Bite me Malfoy. You’re so full of shit, and you know it. Why not just quit this façade and fess up?”
“Fess up to what, exactly?” he smirked.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “So you’re going to make me say it? Am I just a game to you, Malfoy?”
His smiled grew. “Now let me ask you a question, Sadie. Am I just a game to you?”
So he had caught on. Lucky for me, I didn’t need to do any of the heavy lifting now. Explaining to guys that they were just for fun and that I wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship was really tedious. I smiled. “No, Draco, you’re not a game. You’re a disease; a bug that’s crawled underneath my skin somehow that I would really love to just exterminate. This is the solution.”
His arms uncrossed and he closed the final distance between us in a matter of seconds. He didn’t touch me, just leaned very close and started whispering in my ear. “You think one time will be enough for you Morris? Like a disease, I can be infectious. And this solution you’ve come up with, this remedy, it could become addictive. Drugs are addictive you know?”
“I’m aware, Malfoy,” I replied, putting my finger on his chest and moving him back a few steps. “I’m aware of exactly what I’m doing. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here. I’m not a simpleton, Draco. Far from it, in fact.”
He gave me the first genuine smile I’d ever seen on his face. I knew the exact thought that ran through his head at that very moment. ‘A worthy opponent.’ He had better believe it. He stepped aside then and the door to the Room of Requirement appeared. “Won’t you step inside then?”
He said it in a question out of courtesy, as if he didn’t know the answer, but I knew he expected me to enter the room. I wanted to go through that door too. Because what lay behind that door was the answer to all my problems. And my recent wants and desires. And I expected to find exactly that when the door shut behind me.
A/N: And you'll have to wait for the next chapter to find out what goes down. Please leave a short review! Thanks a million :D ~K
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