Chapter 1 : Magnolias
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Draco is my boyfriend. I am madly in love with him and want to spend all of my time with him, in his arms, kissing him and admiring him.
There’s no way that I could possibly be in love with anybody else.
As a Slytherin, I obviously like Professor Snape. He’s pretty evil, he’s arrogant, and most importantly, he has it out for every single Gryffindor. He’s like my Draco, except a little older and a lot uglier. But this afternoons’ double Defense Against the Dark Arts’ lesson is just torture. Of course, Potter had to mouth off to him, and it seems as though he’s punishing the entire class. We’ve spent the whole class researching silent spellwork. Researching. Not even attempting it. Instead we're sitting here reading about magic that we could be doing, but aren’t.
At least my beautiful boyfriend is sitting next to me. I gaze around the room as I think of how in love with him I am. I zone out as I remember our last few minutes together in the common room. Lying next to him on the couch, his arms around me, our legs tangled. Kissing those soft lips. Running my foot up that smooth leg. Reaching up, my hands tangling in those dark, soft yet bushy curls.
I snap out of it so fast that my heart skips a beat. My hands are trembling slightly, so I place them under the table so that no one notices. Thank Merlin that Draco is actually reading and Crabbe and Goyle have fallen asleep on the desk.
I steal a glance over towards the Gryffindor table, my eyes narrowing at the sight of that stupid witch who has been haunting my dreams lately. They have to be dreams, because there is no way I would have those kinds of thoughts about her in my conscious mindset. Plus, I have Draco. I know I’m not in love with anyone else. Especially her. She’s a girl, for Merlin’s sake.
Snape excuses the class, and it’s a relief to stand up. I throw my books into my bag, and follow Draco towards the door, Crabbe and Goyle close behind me.
“Thanks a lot for that, Potter. Maybe next time, you could just keep your mouth shut,” Draco snaps at Potter. I smile slightly as the two boys stop just in front of the door, both trying to exit at the same time.
“Shut up, Malfoy,” Potter growls back.
“Nice comeback, Potter,” I say, giving my sweetest smile. He looks pretty frustrated, which makes me pretty happy.
“It’s not Harry’s fault Snape was in a particularly bad mood today,” the girl barks at Malfoy. The girl from my stupid dreams. “Come on, Harry,” she says, putting her hand on his shoulder and leading him towards the door. My stomach twists in a sudden way. Seeing her touch him feels like someone has drilled holes into my stomach, and I don’t know why.
“Oh, of course,” Draco says as Potter and the girl make their way through the door, followed by the redhead Weasley. “Listen to your little Mudblood.”
Hearing him say this, all the air has been sucked right out of my lungs. I usually love Draco’s insults, and I’ve always been a fan of him using the word Mudblood. It’s the truth, after all. Nobody likes all these Muggles mucking up our pure-blood families. I used to think they should all be thrown in Azkaban.
But when she turns around to face him, there is a sadness beneath the anger on her face. I can tell that she wants to snap back at him, because she’s tough for a girl and doesn’t take anybody’s shit. But as she stares into his eyes, meeting him head on, I can see her own eyes start to glisten. The beautiful brown orbs are so wide and so full of pain that I have to look away. That’s when I realize. Wait, beautiful? There is no way that I find her eyes beautiful. Or any other part of her for that matter. She’s an ugly, know-it-all Mudblood, and at least Draco knows it.
She storms out, almost knocking Potter over in the process of fleeing. Weasley shoots Draco a look before he follows, but Draco just laughs. I push out a laugh as well. “Oh, Draco,” I say, locking my fingers in his. “One day, she’ll realize, and she’ll leave this school for good.”
One quick peck on the cheek, and I let him lead me through the bustling corridors.
Potions class used to be durable, but now that this Slughorn person is our professor, it’s gone down in my book. He’s just so cheery. All the time. And he absolutely loves Potter, which is insane because Potter isn’t good at anything. Slughorn’s only good asset is that he loves Potter so damn much that he spends most of the lesson time near the Gryffindor table. I’m free to flirt with Draco as much as humanly possible.
Today, we’re making Amortentia. It’s very appropriate, as today is Draco’s and my anniversary. Well, one of them. We’ve broken up and gotten back together quite a few times. This is just the latest anniversary.
“I’ll go get the Ashwinder eggs,” I say, leaning in and kissing him on the cheek.
“No,” he said, leaning over the potion, stirring counter-clockwise at a very specific pace. I slowly sit down, not wanting to push the subject any farther, but he elaborates. “The eggs have to be frozen when they’re added. If they’re out of the ice box too long, they could burst into flame.” He’s still looking over the potion, a sort of dazed look in his eyes, no expression on his face.
Draco is actually very smart. I don’t know why he’s going so crazy over this “mission” the Dark Lord gave him. I mean, his family’s in a bit of trouble, and he probably thinks this can redeem them. But he’s just so smart. He doesn’t need to get mixed up into that. If he would just stay in school, he could probably get at least 9 N.E.W.T.s and end up with a really good job. Sometimes he just doesn’t think.
As he continues to hang over the potion, I realize that we aren’t as close as we used to be. I know we’ve never been THAT close, not like couples who are really in love. It’s more…superficial. Convenient. We’re dating because, well, I want to date him, and it’s handy for him. I know this. I know a lot more than I let on. Most people think I’m stupid, but that's because I let them think I’m stupid. There’s a difference between being stupid and acting stupid. I act stupid. I do well in my classes and get high marks and people still like me. Acting like you’re as smart as you are doesn’t get you far. Look at…her. She’s the smartest in our class and everyone knows it, and nobody likes her.
Well, not NOBODY…
Whoa. Well certainly not me.
I sit in silence for the rest of the class and let Draco finish the potion. It actually turns out really well when he finally fills up a vial for Slughorn. I lean over the potion and inhale the steam swirls.
Mmm. So delicious. New leather. I love the smell of a nice, new purse or pair of shoes. Pomegranate. My favorite fruit since I was a little girl. Flowers? I think it smells like magnolias. We used to have a magnolia tree in front of my house when I was younger, but it died so my dad cut it down. I don’t remember any good memories from the tree though. I wonder why this potion smells like magnolias to me…
Stumped, I turn to Draco. He vanishes the potion with a flick of his wand and heads to the door. I know he’s in one of his moods. He doesn’t look like he’s gotten much sleep, and I know not to bother him right now. I think I have something in mind that might make him cheer up.
I peep up the girls’ dormitory stairs into the common room. Empty. Thank Merlin.
Although, as it’s one o’clock in the morning, I’m not surprised that it’s empty.
Draco disappeared right after classes ended, but I expected that. He didn’t even come to dinner. I knew he would be hungry, though, so I brought him up a platter of all his favorites of the night. A large turkey breast. Creamy mashed potatoes. The warm, fluffy bread (although not so warm anymore). And enough gravy to drown in.
I lower the platter onto a table, and head towards the dark green leather couch. The one facing the common room door. I’ll be impossible to miss for anyone who walks through.
I shimmy out of the dark green silk robe that Draco bought me for Christmas last year. While it is indeed sexy, the dark green and black lace lingerie I have on underneath will do the job just a little better. I lay down across the couch, resting my arms above my head and crossing my ankles. The black, strappy heels were a nice touch.
It must be late, because I’ve dozed off and only awoke because I heard the door open. It’s Draco. Oh, Merlin. His eyes look even more sunken than they have lately, his hollow cheeks giving off a skeleton like glow from the greenish light cast by the lake over the common room.
“What time is it?” I ask, blinking, my eyes still adjusting to the light and the gaunt look of my boyfriend.
“What are you doing?” he asks, barely noticing what I’m wearing.
“I’ve been waiting for you,” I say. I realize this almost sounds like a question as it leaves my mouth.
“Why?” he asks. He’s still crossing the common room, about to reach the couch.
“I wanted to surprise you,” I say, nodding down towards my almost-nude body.
“You shouldn’t have,” he says shortly. He’s about to pass the couch.
“Draco,” I say, standing up in a rush. “I brought you dinner, I know you missed it today.”
“I’m not hungry,” he says, passing me without even looking at me when he speaks.
“Draco!” I practically shout, but he doesn’t stop. Not until I hurry after him and grab his arm. He quickly turns towards me, his eyes boring into mine. They’re still just as grey as always, but not shining like they usually do. He used to have a sparkle in his eye, almost like silver. Now, just flatness. No life.
“What!?” he snaps. I’m almost afraid, but I know he’s just been overworked lately.
“I stayed up because I know how hard you’ve been working lately. I want to help relieve you of your stress,” I say. I give him a seductive smile as I wrap my arms around his neck. When he doesn’t move, I lower my face to his neck, breath in his scent. Piney, just like always. His skin is so smooth, I could kiss it all day. But before I can place my lips to him, he breaks free of my arms.
“I’m tired, Parkinson,” he says, turning back and heading towards the boys’ dormitory stairs.
“Draco, we haven’t slept together in weeks!” I hiss at him. I drop the innocent provider act quickly. “I feel like you won’t even touch me anymore!”
“I’m just not in the mood.”
That’s it. That’s all he says. He doesn’t even turn around to look me in the eye. I have to stare at the back of his head and imagine what his expression is like.
I pick up the plate of food I’ve brought him and hurl it with all my might at the stairs, but it’s too late. He’s already gone. It’s not like it mattered, the plate didn’t go very far. I grab my robe and clumsily wrap it around my now shivering body, not even bothering to tie it correctly. I step over the mushy mess of food that the house elves will have to clean up and head for the girls’ dormitories. I don’t even make it to the stairs before I break down.
I spend the first half of the next day’s History of Magic lesson sneaking glances at Draco, hoping that I would catch him looking at me. I don’t, but I still can’t stop thinking about him. He missed breakfast this morning, and hasn’t said a word to me since we’ve sat down. I have a feeling that last night’s disaster won’t be disregarded. He’s just biding his time.
Unable to spend a moment longer thinking about it, I ask Professor Binns to go see Madam Pomfrey. It's not a complete lie. Thinking about where my relationship has gone actually does make me sick.
I exit the classroom, breathing in the suddenly fresher air in the hallway, and as I start to walk, I notice her in front of me. She has her bag over her shoulder, so this must be a free period for her, because Merlin knows she would never skip a lesson.
She’s just bobbing along, completely unaware that anyone is even behind her. If I just sped up a little, I could easily catch up to her. But I wouldn’t even know what to say. Instead, I try to make as little noise as possible. But I’m finding it hard to concentrate.
Her hair really is as frizzy and bushy as people make it out to be. People in this school tend to exaggerate most of the time, since so little goes on, but man, that is some unruly hair. I just don’t get how she doesn’t…care. She doesn’t even attempt to tame it. She just goes on her merry way. Bobbing along, bobbing along in front of me. Her big hair bouncing up and down like a little girl. Her elbows swinging out with each step. Her gray, pleated skirt bouncing along with her. I wonder what she would look like with something tighter on. Especially from this angle. I tilt my head to the side, curious, as I follow her. I bet she has a really nice body, to be honest. I bet she hides it under that huge sweater and huge skirt and only the very luckiest get to see it. Wait…luckiest? Why am I thinking about her body? Am I sweating?
A loud clank jerks me out of my sick visions of her. A vial of hers has dropped out of her bag and fallen onto the floor, making a loud echo throughout the otherwise completely empty corridor. Oh no! She’s stopped. She’s going to turn around and pick it up and for some reason my feet won’t stop moving. I’m moving towards her. Not stopping.
Time seems to have slowed down for the entire universe, except for me. While it’s taking her years to turn around I’m heading towards her at what I imagine is the speed of light. I’m five feet away from her. I wish I could stop these damned feet! Four. Am I going to collide with her? Three. What is my stupid body thinking? Two. You can’t be serious.
Before I know it, I’m reaching down to pick up her stupid vial. Who carries around their own vials anyway!? Oh no, she’s turned around.
It’s funny. It took her about twenty years to turn around and about .0567425 of a second to bend over and smack her head against mine as I also bend down.
“OW!” she shouts. She straightens up, rubbing her forehead. Her eyes widen in surprise when her eyes focus in on my face. I can feel my cheeks burning, and try not to imagine how red they are.
Her eyes narrow and she opens her mouth, no doubt about to question why I went out of my way to help her.
“Here,” I say, thrusting the vial into her hand, trying my hardest to ignore the shock through my fingers as they brush against her skin. “You should be more careful, Granger.” I shoot her my best glare.
She makes a “hmph” noise and spins on the spot, storming off in the direction she was originally headed. As she turns, her hair fans out all around her, in all its bushy glory, and almost whips me in the face. A shock hits me and I stare blankly after her.
Her hair smells like magnolias.
My knees almost buckle as I duck into the nearest bathroom. I’m not shaking uncontrollably and my throat is so dry that I can barely swallow. I turn on the cold water and quickly splash my face with it, hoping it will jolt me back to reality. When I look into the mirror, I notice that my lower lip is bleeding. I’d been biting it and I hadn’t even noticed.
How could her hair smell like that?
I refuse to believe that the Amortentia smelled like magnolias to me just because her hair did. It was some freaky coincidence. I’d never even smelled her hair before!
I quickly exit the bathroom and rush towards the hospital wing. If I thought I’d needed to lie down before, it was nothing compared to how I feel now.
Ahh, this is how it should be.
It’s strange. It must be the winter holiday, because I’m at Malfoy Manor. I don’t even remember leaving Hogwarts, but here I am, lying on Draco’s bed, wrapped up in his arms.
“I’ve missed this,” I say, as I lean down and kiss him.
“I’ve missed you,” he says, tucking a lock of hair behind my ear. When he kisses me back, I remember why I’m with him. We have something that just can’t be described. I don’t remember ever being so happy in my entire life.
I push myself up onto my arms and swing my feet off the bed. His room is the same as it always was, since I started visiting over summer vacations our fourth year. Big, dark, wooden bed on one side, complete with dark green satin sheets. Black dresser on the other. A simple mirror hanging above it. A green, cushiony chair tucked into the corner next to the giant bookcase, stacked with leather-bound volumes that I’ve never even heard of. “I’ll be right back, I say, seductively.
Draco nods and spreads out on the bed, crossing his arms behind his head. He looks much healthier now. This break has done him some good.
I exit his room and step into the bathroom. Same as always. Dark marble, simple, pristine. As I look into the mirror to fix my hair, though, I gasp.
My hair is a flaming red color, same length and style as always, but definitely not mine. I don’t remember dying my hair, and if I did, it would not be this color.
I splash some water on my face and dry off with a towel, taking extra care to rub my eyes. I must be seeing things.
But I let out a little yelp when I look back into the mirror. I’m not even me anymore. Instead, I see the stupid blood-traitor Weasley boy looking back at me. I bring my hands up to my face. Run my fingers across the freckles now splattered across my cheeks. Touch my new, long nose. Ruffle my hair that is now shortened into a shaggy mess. This is not me!
As I start to panic, my feet start to carry me away. No! What am I doing? Why are my feet carrying me back into Draco’s bedroom? It seems that I can’t stop them even though I try.
When I enter the room, it still looks the same, except it’s not Draco sprawled across the bed. It’s her.
My breath is starting to come out in short bursts. My heart is beating 90 miles per hour and my hands are trembling so much it’s a wonder that I can still walk.
But here I am, still walking, right towards her even though my brain is screaming to stop. This can’t be real.
She smiles at me as I crawl onto the bed. A lovely smile. I know it’s not fake because it reaches her eyes and I can see them crinkle in the corners. It suits her. I’ve never seen her smile like this. Probably because I’m always insulting her when I see her.
She reaches her arms and pulls me closer by my shoulders. Feeling her touch me makes my already racing heart beat even faster. This is for a different reason, though. I’m not nervous anymore because I’ve found myself in someone else’s body. I’m nervous because this is the first time I’ve ever been this close to her.
“Come here,” she breathes. I wouldn’t have been able to hear it if I hadn’t been so close. She reaches up and touches my hair, bringing a lock forward. It’s long, black, silky. I look down to my hands and see that they’re mine. It seems as though I’m back in my own body, although I still have no control over it, because as my brain tells it to get up and run, my hands come forward and wrap around her small waist. I let her pull me onto the bed.
She lies down completely as I hover above her. As I strain my back, trying to get away, my right leg covers hers, tangling itself up in her. While I focus my thoughts on getting up, I start leaning down.
With no warning, I lean down and kiss her. My body goes limp as I stop fighting with it. Her lips are so soft that I could actually die. And at this point, I wouldn’t even mind. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. Waiting for her to realize. It should be me.
I bring my head up, ready to look into those brown eyes. The thought of it could make me cry.
But when I open my eyes, I see gray staring back at me. Gray eyes. And all of a sudden, I’m next to Draco. I feel my eyebrows furrow in confusion. A look of surprise comes across his face, then he says, “It’s not me you want.”
Then, it’s gone. My body jolts me awake so quick that my heart starts beating fast again. Where am I? It’s really dark and really quiet.
Then I realize. I’m lying in my bed in the Slytherin girls’ dormitory. I was never in the Malfoy Manor. It was all a dream.
I sit up, open the hangings around the bed, and get out of bed. I reach over to a table and fill up a cup with water from a pitcher that never seems to be empty. Thank Merlin for house elves.
I realize that I’m sweating. Pretty badly. As I sit back down on my bed, I can’t see much, but I can feel the damp spots where I was lying.
The thought comes that since it was all a dream, that I’ve never actually laid with her. At first, I’m a little disappointed. It felt good to feel her body beneath my hands, to have her breath on my face as she spoke, to smell sweet magnolias. But then, I’m thankful. I could never actually be with her. Not only is she my sworn enemy at school, but she’s a girl. I don’t even know why I’m having these thoughts about her. I’m a girl and I have a boyfriend that I love and shouldn’t even be interested in girls.
No, I’m definitely not interested in her. Not even attracted to her. And I’m definitely not in love with her.
Fifteen minutes later, I find myself sneaking into the boys’ dormitory. That dream shook me, and I needed reassurance that I knew who I was. I was a normal girl who acted like one.
The sixth year boys’ dormitory is just as quiet as the girls’ was. Although, it is four o’clock in the morning, so I wouldn’t expect otherwise. I tiptoe over to Draco’s bed, and ease the hangings open.
“Draco,” I whisper into the darkness, but he doesn’t answer. I pull back some of the covers anyway, and start to slip my body in.
“Draco, wake up,” I say, and this time I hear a groan.
He slowly turns over and I see the confused look in his groggy eyes. “What are you doing here?” comes his raspy voice.
“I had a bad dream,” I lie. It wasn’t all bad, but it still scared me. “I don’t want to sleep alone.”
“Mmm,” is all he manages to say. I lie down and turn towards him. I need him to kiss me. To remind me of what I love. I reach my arm out and wrap is around his waist, but he just turns away from me, his back closing me out. “Don’t touch me.”
I don’t reply. I lie in silence for a few moments before I hear his light snoring commence. I’m flat on my back, arms pressed to my sides, just staring at the ceiling.
What has my life come to? I’m having wild thoughts about a girl and now my boyfriend won’t even touch me. It’s a confused feeling, really, as I start to silently cry. I insist to myself that I’m sad because he doesn’t seem interested in me, but there’s a tiny, tiny voice in the back of my head that tells me that’s not why I’m crying. Did I even want him to touch me? Am I really here because I love my boyfriend, or am I here to convince myself that I should love my boyfriend? My last thought before I fall asleep, soft tears streaming down my face, is maybe, just maybe, I’ve known the answer for a long time.
It’s such a relief to get out of that stuffy common room. Slytherin has just lost to Gryffindor in the first Quidditch match of the season, and Draco is nowhere to be found. To say I’m not in the happiest of moods is an understatement.
I find myself wandering around the seventh floor. I don’t know why, it just happens to be where my feet took me.
As I roam aimlessly down one random corridor, I see a commotion ahead. I stick to the shadows against one of the walls and I slow my pace down, eager to see what’s going on.
First, Lavender Brown bursts out of one of the classrooms, giggling uncontrollably like the young school girl that she is. I see her run back towards the entrance to the Gryffindor common room.
Next, the Weasley boy practically fall out of the room, a flock of small, yellow canaries zooming around his head. They seem to be attacking him, and he swats at them maniacally as he chases after Lavender.
Strange, I think to myself. I thought he was with her. The nerdy, bushy-haired one, that I still refuse to think of by name.
But then, she emerges from the classroom. She doesn’t notice me, and I hear a great sob escape from her mouth as she ducks into a bathroom a little further down the corridor.
As I make my way towards the bathroom, I feel like I’m trapped in my dream again. My feet are moving without my permission, but I know this isn’t a dream. This is real and I’m actually about to follow her.
I open the door as silently as I can, and hear her crying in one of the stalls. I don’t make a sound as I inch my way over to the sinks, not a clue as to what to do next.
That’s when I hear the stall door open and she steps out. I quickly turn and start the faucet in the sink, dousing my hands in freezing water with hopes to bring me back into reality. I dry my hands off on my robes as I turn towards her.
I’ll be honest, she looks like hell. Her eyes are very puffy and bright red. Her nose is stuffy but she can’t stop sniffling. And her hair. While it’s normally never in a calm state, it’s sticking out in more directions that usual.
“Go ahead,” she says, sniffling more. “Say what you will.”
She meets my eyes and then looks down, as if she’s ashamed. Her eyelashes are still shiny with tears. Draco breaks my heart all the time, but seeing her like this, I feel like my heart’s actually being sawed in two. It physically hurts to look directly at her.
I reach into the pocket of my robes and pull out a wad of tissues. As I myself have been crying just about anywhere lately, I’ve started to carry around my own back up supply. I hold it out for her.
She stares up into my eyes, her own filled with sadness. A rush of thousands of words that I want to say to her takes over my brain. I feel like if I open my mouth, I’m going to stutter because one person can’t possibly say that many things at once. I try to clear my head because I can feel my own eyes welling up with tears.
When I finally do speak, it catches both myself and her by surprise. My voice is barely a whisper. “He’s just a boy.”
Her eyes widen in confusion, unable to comprehend what was happening. I, too, don’t really understand. I look deep into her eyes, and neither of us break the connection. I know she was expecting me to insult her, harass her, maybe even attack her. But at this moment, I just can’t. It’s usually easy for me to be cruel to her. It’s the easiest way of hiding my feelings. But seeing her like this, in this state, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I may be hard on the outside, but when it comes down to it, I’m just like her. Just a girl who wants someone who doesn’t want her back.
Her mouth is opening and closing, like she’s searching for something to say, but I look away. I turn and leave the bathroom before she can find her voice.
As I stroll away from the bathroom, a slight smile crosses my face. Like I said, I’m not a stupid girl. I know that I’m in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want me, and to be honest, I’m not so sure I want him anymore. I’m not sure what I want anymore. I know that nothing will ever happen between me and her. Between me and Hermione. I’m sure I’ll go back to bullying her. It’s just something that Slytherins and Gryffindors do. We’ll never speak of what just happened. She’ll never bring it up as she insults my intelligence and I mock her blood status. But I do know that I’ll always remember that moment. And I hope, for my sake, that she will too.
a/n: Hope you guys enjoyed it! I obviously don't own any of the characters, locations, classes. Nothing of it, really, except the plot. I also know that that isn't the exact way that Lavender, Ron, and Hermione left the empty classroom after the Quidditch match, but it fit in better with what happens after :)