Chapter 1 : Exit Wounds
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The horizon was beautifully striped in gaudy colors in every hue. The setting sun perched above the golden sea like a ball of fire, clouds rippling out from its center domination of the sky in bold streaks of scarlet. A breeze carrying the scent of salt and sand swept across his damp skin, offering some relief from the nearly unrelenting humid heat of a London summer. It was a perfect day. A day that suppose to filled with happiness, laughter, and magic. He almost snorted a day of happiness and magic his ass. It was practically taking everything he had not to fall into his famous scowl that he has been wearing too much these past few years and smack some of the unknown guests who were happy and full of laughter. He shouldn't be here, he thought for the millionth time since his arrival. Draco hasn't gone near anything that reminded him Hogwarts or her since the night that Pansy officially divided him out her life.
He didn’t allow any pictures of his Hogwarts days to be kept up in the house. He didn’t attend any of the social events that he was invited to though he supposed those invites were more out of social obligation then actual want. In some circles he was still considered a blood traitor. He just happened to marry up.
But this event was different. Millie had begged him to come and refused to take no for an answer. She was one of the few that had actually wanted him.
His eyes swept over the crowd and he put forth his best smile as Millie’s eyes met his and she came bounding over with Flint in tow.
He had to admit that she looked pretty and the fact that she was practically radiating happiness didn't hurt either. He never thought that Millicent would be able to look that happy or that peaceful. It just went to show how much things could change in five years.
"I'm glad you guys could come." She was looking at him with an affectionate and warm smile. Her eyes were lit with happiness and she honestly seemed happy that he was there.
Draco's barely there smile transformed into a crooked grin, "Congratulations." Draco said honestly as Millie pulled him into a hug before pulling back to give him a quick once over.
"Thank you." Flint mumbled with a slight pink twinge to his cheeks as Millie laced her arms through his, giving him a kiss on the cheek.
"I wasn't sure if you'd show up," She confessed, as she fiddled with her wedding dress.
"It's an important day for you, Millie, for both of you" Draco reminded her with a gentle smile, "Besides, if I didn’t show you would have tracked me down and killed me."
Millie laughed, shrugging in agreement, as she waved to someone over her shoulder.
"Well go on Mr. and Mrs. Flint you have guests to greet and thank." He said waving his hand in the direction opposite of him, rolling his eyes at Millie’s apologetic smile. "Get out of here." He added with a smile to take the sting of his words.
"We will catch up later, so don't skip out." Millie warned as she dragged the oversized Flint over to a plump red headed woman. "Or else." Well there was the Millie he knew and sometimes loved.
"Mathis Zabini! Put it down right now! " It was the sound of that sweet voice from his dreams that's caused his head to whip around so fast he was certain he got whiplash and the rest of the world to just slipped away as he stared at her. He never thought he would hear that voice again.
There she was, just as beautiful as ever. Her black hair still shimmered and was just as long as he remembered it. He wonders if it still smells like lemons and honey. Her breathtaking cornflower-blue eyes were sparkling with a mild fury as she grabbed a young boy with tuffs of black hair and chocolate colored eyes, who at that very moment was trying his hardest to put something in a little girl who was quietly reading some picture books, hair.
The little boy turned defiant eyes up at her and pouted. "No fair! I almost had her Mom!" he whined and wincing as Pansy turned on her patented "death glare."
He didn’t blame the kid…that look was lethal.
"I warned you on the way here! Now drop that worm and march your little butt back over to the table!" She turned her back on her son completely missing as he dropped the worm, scowling as the little girl narrowed her green eyes and stuck her tongue out at him. He moved to retaliate but Pansy’s stern voice stopped him cold.
"Nuh uh," she told the boy with the cutest dimples in the world as he looked at her innocently. "Sit. No more playing for you." Pansy said in exasperation as she blew the hair out of her face.
She turned suddenly as if someone had called her name. That's when he saw him. Blaise Zabini. He walked forward and her eyes lit up in a way that they never did for him. In Blaise's arms was a toddler, who could be no more than two years old. The little girl let out a squeal of Mommy and launched herself at Pansy who caught her with a laugh, and a giant smile. He has never seen her smile like that. She kissed the girls cheek and placed her down of the ground.
"We don't want to wrinkle that dress. We have to take pictures for Aunt Daphne and the new baby."
The boy named Mathis, who he now knew had Blaise's eyes moved off the bench with mumbled protests to join his sister and mother by the apple tree for a picture.
Their daughter was beautiful. Their son was too.
He watched as the little girl who he now knew was named Violet twirl in her pretty white flowers girl dress, before taking her mother and older brothers hand and smiling at her father with the sweetest smile he's even seen. She had her father's hair, her mothers cute button nose, and Pansy’s green eyes.
Looking at her, he saw so much of Pansy from the stubborn scowl as Mathis tugged on her hair to the delighted laugh as he chased her round the apple tree. Looking at Mathis, he saw Pansy’s nose but 's crooked grin and his recklessness attitude as he leaped and swung from the tree branches in chase of his shrieking little sister, earning a warning shout from Pansy
He wiped the corner of his eyes with the back of his hand, God looking at them hurt. For a brief second he wished that Mathis had his eyes and Violet was looking at him when she called for her Daddy to come save her. He wished that it were he, holding Pansy in his arms and holding her stomach where their baby grew as they watched their children play.
Instead, it was Blaise. That should have been him. Pansy should have been his wife. That should been his children. He should have been happy. If he was honest, he had his chance long and never realized all that he had taken for granted. All that he had with Pansy before she found what she was missing in the arms of another man.
Still they envy gnawed at him as he watched the happy little family undetected in the shadows.
That could have been him.
"There you are. I’ve been looking for you.” He turned his gaze immediately to his grinning wife. She was standing in the middle of the yard, her hands on her hips looking at him expectantly.
There’s a coy smile dancing on her lips as she maneuvers herself into his arms.
"I'm glad you came with me." Astoria whispered in his ear, before laying her head on his shoulder; the ghost of another women standing between them.
Inwardly he can’t help but wince at her happiness.
Astoria is absolutely beautiful inside and out. Her vivid smile, her chocolate eyes both gleamed with joy, curiosity and a love of life. She was like a breath of fresh air blowing through the stale atmosphere of his life. Her natural affection for him had touched him beyond what he can measure. She wormed her way into his heart, into his emotions before he even realized it.
She was a fresh, as innocent as dawn. She cares for him, believes in him despite everyone’s protests.
So why is it that all he can think about is another black haired beauty dressed in sapphire blue across the room. Another woman with eyes that are as bright and as blue as a summer sky, a button nose, pouty lips, a determined chin, and a stubborn expression that showed what a willful, independent little minx she was. Pansy was still the most tempting thing he had ever seen in his life and that’s the problem.
Astoria is everything he has ever wanted in a wife. But Astoria wasn’t her and out of all his misdeeds that was his greatest regret.
Astoria deserved more then a sliver of his heart, but another raven witch named after a flower had taken the pieces many years before.
Draco Malfoy always loved what he couldn’t have.