Chapter 11 : Omnia Vincit Amor
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Chapter 11. Omnia Vincit Amor
It just wasn't possible.
Actually, it was impossible.
But then how come he felt it?
Why the hell did he feel it every bloody time he was with her, thinking about her, dreaming about her?
And why did it have to be her?
Draco was sitting on the edge of his bed, head in his hands, breathing heavily and feeling his insides burn. Not the burning of anger, no; it's the sort of hurt caused only by self hatred. But he didn't really hate what he was doing that much when he thought about it, and that made him despise himself even more. If that was possible.
«I'm exactly like him... » he mumbled to himself, and felt so helpless he could punch something.
She was going to be married. In only a few months she would be somebody's wife - a Mrs. Something. Mrs. Martin St.Muggleton.
How could he, Draco, of all people be doing this? When he knew so well that nobody was the winner in these situations, that it was comepletely unethical, and that he'd promised himself to both never feel this way again and to never do what he did.
Memories of that fateful day came seeping through to his conciousness. And even though he knew it'd hurt as if someone had physically stabbed him with a knife, he let the memories come to him.
He let himself remember.
--Two Years Earlier--
Draco was standing by the bed, overlooking the mess on top of it with a wide grin. He spun around at the sound of a key being turned in the lock on the floor below him, and then ran down the stairs in a hurry.
The front door opened and a small blond haired woman walked in, her eyes red from crying. But Draco was too excited to notice it, and took the woman in his arms, grinning.
«I have something to show you!» he exclaimed and started dragging her up the stairs by her hand, not seeing how the woman's eyes suddenly filled with new tears.
Once in the bedroom, Draco let go of her hand and picked up a random object from the mess on the bed.
«I kind of went overboard, and I know we said we'd talk about it first, but look how adorable this is!» Draco's blue eyes twinkled, and he handed a small teddy bear to the woman. «I understand that you were having your doubts, but,» Draco picked up a tiny version of a broomstick, «I really think we can do this, I believe we're ready! And I actually think it's pretty amazing, and-»
«Draco... » The woman interrupted him and put the teddy bear back on the bed, then dried away a tear. Draco finally noticed her red-rimmed eyes and froze. «We have to talk.» Her voice broke, and she sat down on a chair, wanting to be as far away from that bed as possible.
«Pansy?» Draco dropped the baby-broom and stepped towards her, but she held up her hand in order for him to stop.
«I won't be able to say this if you're too close... » she said hoarsely and drew a ragged breath.
«Pansy, if this is about the baby toys, I-I can return them! I just saw this one teddy bear and I sort of went crazy wi-»
«It's not about the toys, Draco.» Pansy finally looked up at Draco, tears streaming down her face like a river, eyes haunted by a pain Draco had never seen before. «It's me.»
«Pansy, you're scaring me here... What's wrong? Has something happened? Are you sick? Did I do something? I'm sorry if I did someth-»
«Draco! Would you just listen for once?» Pansy tried to raise her voice, but her words only came out in croaked whispers. Draco nodded and sat down on the edge of the bed, facing Pansy.
«I've been seeing someone,» she choked on the last word, but continued, «someone else.»
«What?» All air left Draco's body. He wouldn't believe it – he couldn't. This could not be happening? Not now that they'd just bought a house, not now that they were starting a family. Not after two years of struggling to become a different man than his father, and finally managed it...
«Blaise and I have bee-»
«Blaise?» Draco suddenly smiled. This was obviously a joke on Pansy's part. «Haha, okay, you got me, Pan. Is Blaise in on this too? Is he hiding in here somewhere? I know I got you bad last week with the fake spider in your sandwich, but this was a really bad -» he stopped talking when Pansy buried her face in her hands and started sobbing, «- joke...»
For several seconds all they did was sit. Pansy with her face hidden, violent sobs threatening to push her off her chair, and Draco frozen, his expression hard and distant.
«I-I wanted to tell you sooner.» Her words were muffled by her hands and her ever-flowing tears. «There just never were a right ti-time.»
«How long?» He was surprised at how strong his voice sounded, considering how hollow and weak he was feeling.
«We didn't plan it, it just sort of ha-happened, and-»
«How long, Pansy?!» Draco got up from his seat and started pacing back and forth, his hands clenched into fists. «How long have you and my best friend been rolling around behind my back? A month? Three, four, five? How long?!»
«A year... » Pansy whispered and looked up, her face red, her eyes swollen.
«A year,» he muttered, his breathing turning shallow. «A whole fucking year.»
«I'm so sorry, Dra-»
«Don't you dare,» Draco hissed as he shot her a deadly glare. «Don't you dare apologize to me like it was just a mistake. Just a one-time thing. This went on for a whole bloody year!»
Pansy looked away, her eyes falling on the stack of toys and baby-clothes on the bed. Sobs threatened to emerge again, but she swallowed them, knowing that they wouldn't help the situation. Her crying would only make this worse.
«We bought this house just a few weeks ago.» Draco had stopped pacing, and was now leaning his forehead against the wall at the far end of the room. «Why did you do that if you were with him?»
«I had broken it off with him because it wasn't fair to you. I didn't want to do it anymore, but then, » she closed her eyes and prayed for strength to be able to say this, «then I found out I was pregnant.»
«You mean that... That this baby, the child you're carrying, is not even mine?» Draco's voice was now vibrating with both disgust and complete devastation. «Is that what you're saying?»
«Yes and n-no.» Pansy now opened her eyes and stared at Draco's back. I'm saying that I had no idea... I didn't know wh-who was the father...»
Draco squeezed his eyes shut and tried to force his lower lip to stop quivering as he pressed his forehead harder against the wall. His hands were curled up into fists by his slightly shaking shoulders, focusing all his energy into keeping tears from falling down his face. An overwhelming sadness ripped through his chest, and he wanted to howl like a wounded animal, rip this entire room apart, this whole bloody house.
«That's why, » Pansy continued, only in whispers, «I decided not to be pregnant anymore.»
«What?» Draco was suddenly furious, and with a violent push he threw himself away from the wall. «But you didn't know whose it was? It could have been mine! That could have been my son or my daughter! Why did you kill my child?!» Draco strode to the chair where Pansy was sitting, put a trembling hand on each side of her head and locked his blue eyes with her green ones.
«Answer me,» he demanded in a deadly whisper. «Why did you murder what might very well have been my baby?»
«I didn't murder anything! The foetus wasn't even a month old, it was nowhere near a baby yet! It was a comepletely safe and painless procedure - it didn't feel anything!» Pansy was firing up as well, pushed past Draco and running to her dresser. «And I'm okay, by the way.»
«How could you do this Pansy?» Draco ran after her, craving an answer.
«I can't be a mother, Draco!» She put a suitcase on top of the mess on the bed, opened it and started throwing her clothes into it. «I'm not cut out to take care of a child, and I knew it as soon as I found out. I mean, how could I?!» She was sobbing again, but continued putting all her belongings into the suitcase. «I'm not even able to take care of myself, or my relationship with you, or-»
«Why are you doing that?» Draco interrupted. «Why are you packing? Are you leaving me?» He was staring as Pansy's suitcase continued filling up. And even though all he wanted to do was to stop her hands from throwing things into it, he instead dug his fingernails into his palms. The pain was a distraction he welcomed.
Feeling this helpless made him so mad he could break something. And Blaise's jaw was the first thing that came to mind, but the idea slipped away from him as he heard Pansy's voice again.
«I'm staying with my mother until we sell the house, and then -»
«You are leaving me!» He backed away from her. «And save your lies for someone who believes in them. I know you're going to Blaise.» He swallowed hard. «I guess the two of you made up now that me and my baby are out of your way.»
«Yes, I'm leaving you for Blaise, and yes, we've made up now that I've finally figured out what I want.»
«Not you, Draco.» Pansy turned to look at Draco's stiff body. «I don't love you anymore.»
«It's that easy? You don't love me anymore. And you figure that out now after a year of doing Blaise behind my sodding back?» Draco felt his words choking him. «You should have known right then and there that you stopped loving me.»
«I know. But -»
«Do you love him?» he interrupted, and cleared his throat to get rid of the lump dislodged in there.
«So you are really saying you love him more than me. Is it because he can give you more than I can? He's a better man?» Draco was grinding his teeth, making absolute sure that the pain didn't seep through to his voice.
«I love him more, yes, but it's got nothing to do with him being able to give me more than you. And it isn't because he's better than you are either, because that would be downright impossible -»
«Stop flattering me. It won't get you anywhere.»
«I'm telling you the truth, Draco, but whether you believe it or not is up to you.» She threw a last pair of socks into her suitcase before she stopped, and stood very still. «The reason why I'm choosing Blaise, why I chose Blaise today, is that I finally realised that he's my other half. I can't live without him. And no matter how much I've loved you, how much I want to love you, and how much I tried to forget Blaise when I broke it off with him – I just never felt for you what I feel for him. And for that I am sorry.»
Draco sat back down on the bed, feeling so helpless he just wanted to curl up underneath the covers and vanish.
«The heart wants what the heart wants. And this time it didn't go in your favour. Although I bet that one day it will, because you've grown up to be this fantastic man, Draco, and I'm honoured that I got to see you become that man.» Pansy's voice was strained, tears were falling. And after taking a breath she closed her suitcase and walked across the room to the door.
«But why?» Draco croaked, this time not caring if she heard his heart breaking. It didn't matter now anyway. «Was there something I could have done to prevent it? Did I not love you enough?»
She looked back at Draco, her suitcase in one hand, the door knob in the other, one step away from leaving. «Haven't you heard a word I've been saying? This was not your fault, Draco. You didn't do anything wrong, and you loved me plenty enough.»
«Then what made you do it?» he whispered, the life in his blue eyes now vanished. And he knew it wouldn't return, he could feel it. And quite frankly, he didn't give a damn.
«I don't know...» Pansy opened the door and started taking the step that would lead her out of the room, out of his life, but then suddenly turned to answer him. «I guess...» She feast her eyes one last time on Draco, noticing how the gleam in those glorious eyes were vanished. She felt a stab in her heart as she continued. «No one can resist love," she drew a breath before delivering the final blow, "in the end, that's all that matters; love. And love conquers all."
And she left.
He had to get out of this room. It was too quiet, and the stuff on the bed were taunting him, reminding him of what had been. Or more like, what would never happen.
«I have to get out of here,» he muttered to himself, drying away a tear that had fallen as Pansy had stepped out the door. With a quiet sniffle, he grabbed his gym bag, emptied his drawers into it, and feeling a piercing pain cut through him every time he caught a glimpse of Pansy's empty ones.
He then got his wand and his broom before running out of the house, feeling like his feet were too slow - as if he were trying to sprint through mud. When he finally made it out in the street, he came to a halt.
Where would he go?
He had no family who would take him in. He wasn't even speaking to his father. Ever since Draco had stood up to Malfoy Senior, and refused to raise another army of Death Eaters, his father had completely written him off. His last words to Draco were, «leave this house, for you are no longer my son – you are an impostor. An enemy.»
Draco now decided he'd go to the first place that popped into his mind, and he closed his eyes – trying to calm down his raving thoughts, and for a moment just listen to the silence.
Then it hit him.
He turned his heel, the sudden suffocated feeling pressed against his ribs and made him tighten his hold on his belongings. And then he was there. He took in all the noises, the busy feel, all the people rushing past him, and he nodded to himself – this was the right place. With confident steps he walked over to the front desk, his pain well hidden behind a hard mask.
The receptionist looked up at him, a polite and rehersed smile on her lips.
«Welcome to the Ministry of Magic, how may I help you?»
Draco's memories after this were blurred, and he pushed himself from the edge of his bed, pacing aimlessly about the room.
How could he be doing this to another man's wife-to-be? Hadn't he learned anything from his own experiences?
How he despised himself...
Draco was standing in front of the mirror in his bathroom, self-loathing painted across his face - but even though his insides were writhing in disgust, his eyes were twinkling with life again. And it was all because of her.
He turned to look at his tattooed back in the reflection in the mirror, and stared at the words.
«Omnia Vincit Amor,» he read aloud, remembering Pansy's last words to him with such clarity that it felt like she was standing beside him, whispering the words into his ear.
Maybe she was right?
Because even though he knew so well that what he was feeling for that annoying brown-eyed woman was wrong on every level, he just couldn't help himself.
So maybe the words on his back were actually a universal, undeniable truth – not just a phrase that had been haunting him for two years now?
No one can resist love, she had said first, it being almost an explanation in itself.
So maybe... Just maybe it was really true that
love conquers all.
- - - - - -
Yes, I know, this is a very different chapter – not as light and funny as the previous ones, but Draco's past isn't light or funny... So maybe you now know why he is the way he is.
And yes, I did cry while writing this. How could I not?
And I know it's short, but I found this chapter extremely difficult to write, and I need your reviews and feedback now more than ever. So tell me what you think. Please.
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