Chapter 7 : Where Lies Blend With Reality
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“I think I made a mistake,” I blurted out, after staring into space for a good ten minutes whilst sitting in the library chewing the end of my quill. Racquel had been sitting beside me the entire time, studiously working on her Potions assignment and I had been looking back and forth between my Charms textbook and the parchment paper in front of me. That was to make it seem like I was busy doing some serious thinking—well I actually had been thinking, but not about Charms.
“You made a mistake, you say,” Racquel responded, looking up, “well I don’t see how! You haven’t even touched your parchment paper. You do realize that’s due tomorrow, right?”
I scowled, “I’m not talking about my silly Charms paper,” and shoved it back a bit, out of the way on the table.
“Wow, you’re cranky. I thought women who got laid were supposed to be the exact opposite; jubilant and ecstatic and joyful.” Her tone was dripping with sarcasm.
“Sorry, geez.” She put her quill down this time and actually looked at me. “What mistake would that be?”
“Well, first one on the agenda today,” I said, giving her equal sarcasm, “would be the ‘relationship thing’ I’ve got going with Malfoy.”
“Hunky Draco?” she smiled. “Why ever would you think that was a mistake?”
“You want a list? How come you’re being like this Racquel? You usually have my back?”
“Well you know, you haven’t exactly been a barrel of laughs since you started banging Malfoy. You’re starting to turn into a right priss. You’re all ‘Draco this’ and ‘Draco that’ and ‘Should I do this or that?’ and it’s pissing me off. Yes, you have made a mistake, you’re getting in too deep and it’s messing with our friendship and messing with your head!”
I blinked a few times. “Wow. I don’t think you’ve ever exploded at me like that before.”
“No? Well it’s about time.” She calmed down a bit and spoke in a softer voice. “Sadie, I love you sweetie, you know I do, but you told me to tell you when you were being fake and here it is. I know you told me about how he asked you to be true with him and not hide, but it’s like you’ve completely flipped and are ONLY being true with him and you’re showing a mask to the rest of the world.”
I sat back and she went back to her Potions paper. Was she right? Had I been showing the fake me to everyone else but Draco now that I’d gotten myself into this quick sand?
I thought back to that night when we’d tumbled together, baring all our secrets without actually saying anything. It was slow and passionate and at the end I actually felt a tear slide down my cheek. I’d fallen asleep in his arms and when I woke he was still there, arm wrapped around me. That morning we talked like I’d only ever talked with Racquel before. I told him things and he told me things…
I could feel him holding me close when I woke up and instead of pulling away this time, I hugged closer to him. After last night there really was no point in pulling away. I had seen another side of him completely and deep inside me I felt that I liked this side of Draco Malfoy better than any other. His smug and cruel side challenged me, but this was the more likeable side of him; and I hadn't really gotten to know someone in a long time.
“I know you’re awake,” he said again.
“No I’m not,” I mumbled, snuggling my head into the crook between his shoulder and head.
“Oh no?” I could hear the grin in his voice. Then his voice faded to a more serious tone and he said, “Tell me about your family, Sadie.”
It was a simple request and while it would feel weird telling anyone else, I didn’t get any weird feelings when I opened up my mouth to speak. There’s usually that moment where my subconscious gives me a funny feeling telling me ‘You should not tell him this’ and I close my mouth and say never mind. That never came with Draco though.
“I’m an only child. My father, Loden Morris, is the CEO of BonneChique, one of the biggest fashion and cosmetics lines in the world, both muggle and wizarding. My mother, Madalynn Corey is an actress currently touring Australia with her theatre troupe. I’m an only child. I am sometimes lucky in that fact, not having any siblings to live the life I do. But I also got lonely very fast. When I was ten my mother left my father, having had enough of his antics. A year later I started going to Hogwarts. I have been the face of BonneChique since I was twelve. My father told me I matured rather quickly and while I was actually twelve at the time, the make-up and clothes they put on me made me look in my late teens. I’m actually embarrassed by some of those photos. I don’t have a childhood past the age of twelve.
‘My father is a hard, cruel man. In a sense you remind me of him, but he is much less forgiving than you seem to be. He doesn’t care that I have school or friends or a life outside of the company. He seems to think that as his daughter I am at his beck and call.”
“What about your mother?” Draco asked in a soft voice, running his fingers over my bare back absent-mindedly. It was comforting.
“Ah yes, Madalynn Corey is a gem all on her own. She’s an actress, and has probably had that role her entire life. I’ve never seen a genuine smile on her face, never heard a genuine laugh. Most of her lines are recycled from plays and roles she’s been in. I guess I kind of look like her. Even though I’ve lived with my father alone since I was ten, I have more of her personality than I’d like. I really don’t want either of my parents personalities but if I had to choose between being harsh, cruel, money driven and fake, I’d probably chose fake. It seems the lesser of two evils.”
“At least you have that choice,” he said quietly. I propped myself up at that point, elbow on the bed and hand under my head to give me support. I wanted to look at him as he told me this for some reason. He didn’t stop talking as I readjusted myself. He didn’t have to tell me their names; I already knew who his parents were, and he knew it too. “My father is the strict, cruel type. He’s cruel and sinister and unforgiving. I absolutely hate living with him. But at the same time I respect him because he’s my father. Without him I would have nothing.”
“I’ve never thought of it like that,” I admitted. “I’ve been under his thumb for far too long to see it any other way I guess. When I turn 17 I’m expecting a great weight to be lifted from me.”
The corners of his mouth tipped up into the slightest smile. “I don’t think it works like that. I wish it were like that though. I think I’ll always be in my father’s shadow.”
“You don’t have to be,” I commented, just saying it as the first thing that came to my mind.
His right hand came up and brushed back my wave of brown curls that had fallen over my shoulder. Then his hand traced the line of my shoulder down to my elbow and then back again. “You’re right. I don’t have to be. Right now though, I’m afraid that if I go against that grain, I’ll die.”
He was being completely serious. I knew that times were dangerous and that while my father had no issues with the things happening, a lot of others did. My father was a powerful man, but he stayed mostly in muggle business and didn’t dabble in the dark arts. He wasn’t interested in world domination, he just wanted more money.
I wasn’t usually this passionate about things because I tried not to let things get to me, but somehow I managed to say something pretty reasonable and wise. “We all might die, Draco, but usually we have the choices that lead us away from death far before the actual moment. It just takes a perceptive person to see them.”
He was quiet for a moment. Then he did something I did not expect. He leaned up and kissed me, dragging me down on top again. When he’d finished kissing me, and believe me this was no little peck on the mouth, he looked up at me and said, “You say the strangest things sometimes. But in these strange times they are all quite true.”
I smiled wide. “Is that a compliment?”
He put his head on the back of my neck then and brought me close to his lips and said, “Absolutely,” before kissing me deeply again.
I realized sometime later that we hadn’t talked about his mother at all, but I felt sure that we would get to that eventually.
When we left the Room of Requirement it was dark again, having spent the entire day in there, reveling in each other’s company. When we had to move separate ways to our own common rooms he clung to me. It was so cute that he didn’t want to let me go. He pushed me up against the cold stone walls of a dark corridor and we had a nice snogging session before he pried himself off of me to go to the Slytherin Common Room. I likewise headed toward Gryffindor.
When I walked through the door there were very few people there. I saw the Trio (Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley) huddled in the corner speaking in hushed tones but I just rolled my eyes and started climbing the stairs towards my dorm.
Racquel was inside, sitting on her bed. Our other dorm mates were there as well so instead of speaking in the room we settled into the attached bathroom, sitting in the bathtub end to end. I spilled my guts and Racquel was quite in shock. She hadn't thought this could ever happen; and quite frankly, neither had I.
She warned me not to get my heart too involved, but at that point I knew it was already too late for that. My heart was entwined with Draco’s, more intimately than words could describe. I wasn’t in love with him; far from it because I still barely knew him, but there was a connection there that could not be explained.
During the next day I’d received some dark glares from Draco, but the more I looked the more I realized they weren’t ‘dark’ glares; they were just intense stares from a distance. I would give him a faintly neutral smile in return. I wanted to smile outright, but then everyone would know.
And that right there is when I turned into a fake, I realized. I was too busy trying to hide the relationship from people that I’d turned my back completely on who I really was. I didn’t like that thought at all. I hated the idea of being like my mother even if it’s the personality I’d prefer if I had to choose. I didn’t want to be cruel and mean and not care about anyone but myself. But in reality, that is exactly what I had done. It’s what I had done all year because of how little I could take with my father. But I hadn't even asked Racquel about her family. How selfish was I?
“Racquel, you’re right,” I said, hearing her scratching at her Potions paper again. “I am being really self-centered and I’m sorry. Can you forgive me?”
“Not yet,” she said automatically, not looking up from her paper. “You have to do a little making up for that before I will forgive you.”
“How?” I asked quietly, wondering what she might have in mind.
“That’s it?” I gaped at her.
She shook her head, “And you cannot mention Draco Malfoy once!”
I blinked. At one time in my life this would have been totally easy because Draco had never been an issue. But now…
“I am going to turn you back into the old Sadie who is as tough as nails and won’t take crap from anybody. This week you’ve been slacking and it’s ruining things for me.”
“Yes for me! You are going to get over yourself and Mr. Malfoy and hang out with your girl tonight. We’re going to dish about boys, do our nails, pamper ourselves, and forget about homework, your parents and all that jazz. If, and only if, after that you’ve been sufficiently transformed back into the Sadie I know and love, I’ll forgive you. Deal?”
How was I to refuse? “Deal, of course. I realize now that I need a pressure treatment to my attitude and you’re the only person who knows the real me the best,” and that was so true because I hadn't been with Draco for a week yet, “so I am up for this.”
Raquel held out her pinky finger to me and I laughed. We’d done this the first day we met, naïve and eleven years old, pinky-swearing to be best friends for life. I held up my own pinky and linked it with hers.
After the pinky-swear was complete she winked at me and went back to her Potions paper. I looked at her for a few moments, her blonde hair spilling over her shoulder, brushing the table beside the parchment paper. She was careful not to get any ink in it. She was such a good friend and in the past few weeks I had lost sight of that.
I wanted to find the old Sadie again. I didn’t know all of who she was and that was the part I had shared with Draco, but in reality, Racquel knew me the best. She had known me the best for five years and even on our first day it had felt like we’d known each other for years. All of a sudden I was excited for spending the night gabbing with Racquel. We hadn't done that in a long time, not since we’d started scheming against Draco. While Racquel had that mischievous side to her, wanting to know what came next with the game of ensnaring the next guy, that had ended the minute I’d slept with him the second time.
I could see it at that point when telling her what I’d done that things had changed and I didn’t want that to come between us. Yes I was in some kind of relationship with Draco and it no longer interested her the way our game with him had, but she was still my best friend and I’d hoped our friendship would withstand this whatever I had with Draco. I still wanted her support in my problems.
But, and I do know this, despite what people may think, I know that to receive this support I had to give some in return. So tonight would be all about Racquel, and I wouldn’t waver that resolve for a second. She deserved twice as much as she gave me because I dealt out a lot of shit that she helped with.
On that note, I shoved Draco Malfoy from my mind and pulled my Charms textbook and parchment back towards me. Maybe this was exactly the remedy I needed in order to actually accomplish something this year. As much as I couldn’t get Draco off my mind, perhaps I needed to try harder right now to sort out the other parts of my life that I’d fallen short on, like my friendship with Racquel. Draco could wait until tomorrow. Tonight, Racquel had her best friend back. And with any luck, my best friend would be able to find me again. I’d lost her somewhere along the way and I needed her again.
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