Chapter 8 : The Crush, Part 2
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Not all parts of wedding planning was bad, I had decided. Especially not this part, the menu-tasting part. No, this part I was quite enjoying. Of course it helped that it was only the wedding planner, Draco, Daphne and me here, but still. I loved food, as we have obviously already determined.
“This one’s too spicy,” Daphne said, making a face as she put some round shaped food in her mouth. (I had given up trying to learn all these fancy names. Food was food, after all!)
Draco nodded in agreement.
“This one’s good though,” Draco commented, taking a second piece of a small square light brown colored food item.
I nodded in agreement. I was about to try another small whitish item, but as soon as I brought it close to my face, a wave of nausea came over me. I got up and ran over to where the chef was standing.
“Bathroom?” I asked frantically when he pointed to an unmarked white door down at the end of the hall. I ran and pushed the door open, just in time as all the contents of the different foods I had just eaten came gushing out. Lovely.
I felt a pair of unfamiliar hands gently grab my hair and rub my back. Draco?
“Thanks,” I said sheepishly when I was finished and washed up, “I’m sorry you had to see that...” More points for Astoria on the you’re-never-gonna-get-this-guy scale. Woohoo!
“Don’t worry about it. We’re doing this together, remember?” he said kindly. His blue eyes looked straight into mine, almost as if in that moment we had an odd sort of connection.
“Right,” I agreed, half smiling, half still embarrassed by the scene that had just passed.
“What do you do for fun?” Draco asked me later as we walked along in the shopping village. He had his arm slug around my shoulders and I fit in the crook of his arm nicely. (We were in public, after all) Daphne had conveniently had some ‘friends to meet’ and had left us after the food tasting.
I shrugged. “The usual?”
“The usual? You mean go out and get smashed and that stuff?” he laughed.
“No,” I made a face, “I don’t usually get smashed...errr...” This was awkward. I knew he was thinking the same thing I was thinking, of that night. “I like to dance?” I offered, “I’m not like... trained or anything. But I like you know, going out, dancing with my friends at a club or something. And no, I don’t only have to be drunk to enjoy myself,” I stuck my tongue out at him.
“Dancing? Hmmm. I know a place we could go.... tonight.... if you want?” he asked.
I raised an eyebrow, “You are aware of the fact that I can’t drink, yes?”
He chuckled, “Yes. We can dance and not drink. I’ll pick you up around 9?”
I nodded, “Sounds good. I’ll see you then!”
White sparkly top thing or green dress. White or green. Top or dress. Argh, I could not decide. This was becoming a kind of pattern. I could never pick what to wear when I was with Draco. I settled on the green dress. It was a dark, forest green colored strapless dress. It was made out of a shiny, silky material that made it look almost two colors in the light. It fell down to my mid-thigh. Okay, maybe it was shorter than mid-thigh. Quite a bit shorter. Don’t judge me!
Daphne walked into my room as I was putting my hair up in a high ponytail, a small poof at the top to give it more volume. She let out a small whistle. “Draco’s a lucky man,” she smiled, fixing a stray lock of hair.
“Does it look okay?” I frowned, “It’s not too..... skanky, is it?”
She shook her head, “He’s your fiance. He deserves to feel a little... uncomfortable,” she winked.
“Haha. Yeah, because in a couple weeks I’ll be walking around knocking everything in my path with my tummy. Might as well wear this stuff while I can,” I said.
I quickly applied a light layer of foundation, a bit of eyeliner and mascara and a touch of lipgloss. I looked pretty good, if I might say so myself.
The doorbell rang promptly at 9:00. “I’ll get it!” Daphne said excitedly.
I could hear them talking downstairs, his low voice carrying all the way up to my room. God damn, that voice was so sexy. Urgh.
“You look nice,” he greeted me when I reached where he and Daph stood. Nice? The way he was oggling at me suggested something more along the lines of ‘you look damn good.’
“Thanks,” I replied, “Not bad yourself.” Not bad? Not bad? He looked so insanely attractive that I wanted to lay one on him right there. But I didn’t... because, you know, that’s inappropriate.
“Shall we go?” he asked, reaching out his hand for mine.
“Sure, bye Daph!”
“Bye you two, have fun!” she winked at me. I made a face back before taking Draco’s hand. We apparated to the center of Wizarding London, which was upscale and not where I usually hung out.
“Come on, this way,” he led me towards The Scene, a posh nightclub. When we got inside, the music was already blaring and the party mood already in full swing.
“I’m going to warn you now, I’m no good at this dancing business...” he said sheepishly.
I shook my head, “Nonsense. Everyone can dance!”
“No, no,” he shook his head, “I really can’t dance.”
I made a face at him. “Fine, I’ll help you, okay?” I assured him. I took his hand and led him to the center of the floor, where there were bodies packed tightly together, all swaying to the music. The song was one I vaguely recognized, with a slow, pulsing beat.
“Put your hands on my waist,” I instructed at him, so our bodies were facing the same way, my back lightly touching his chest. I swayed my hips to the beat, letting the music seep into me. I loved this feeling, of just the two of us and the music, pulsing through our veins.
He tightened his hold on my hips, pulling me closer so our bodies were completely touching now. I smirked; he was now mirroring my motions perfectly, our bodies swaying in perfect unison.
I could feel his heart beating against me and our closeness was making me breath hard. Our bodies were meshed together as one, moving to the beat. I reached back and wrapped my arms around his neck, bringing him closer yet to me. He leaned down and nuzzled his head next to mine, his lips lightly brushing against my neck.
We stayed like this for a while, all parts of our bodies touching completely as if we were one entity moving to the music. I shuddered slightly when I felt his lips pressed up against my neck. I leaned my head over to one side, allowing him easier access. His lips were on my neck, my collarbone, back up to my chin, leaving a trail of fire behind him.
He turned me around, so our chests were together, both beating hard. He leaned down and brought his lips onto mine, hard. His lips meshed into mine and I let out a small moan. His tongue traced my bottom lip and I complied, deepening the kiss. His hands were roaming freely up and down my back, both of us now burning intensely with an unknown passion.
“Astoria,” he murmured in my ear. My name, he was calling my name! His hands were growing more forceful, more needy. He broke away from the kiss, leaning into my neck once more. “Let’s go somewhere,” he whispered in my ear.
And suddenly, I realized what we were really doing. Not again, I would not make the same pathetic mistake again. He didn’t want me, he just wanted someone to sleep with. I would not fool myself into believing he felt anything for me again. “I... I can’t...” I pulled away and started walking towards the door.
“What? Astoria!” he called, grabbing my arm tightly before I was completely out of reach.
“I can’t do this. Sorry, Draco,” I shook my arm away, walked out the door and to the nearest empty alley. I apparated to the only place I could think of, Chay’s house.
“Chay?” I said as I apparated into her room.
Oh bloody hell, she was half dressed, straddling that same cousin of Draco’s. He did not look happy to be interrupted.
“Err... sorry, I’ll leave.”
“No, no, it’s alright, what’s wrong?” she asked, reaching for her recently discarded shirt.
I gave the half-naked man an apologetic look (trust me, this is not easy given the fact that he is, half-naked). He quickly dressed and apparated away before I sat down on her bed with a huge sigh.
“Tell me already or I might as well go back to shagging that bloke,” Chay said, sitting down beside me.
“I almost slept with Draco again,” I said bluntly, putting my head in my hands and looking down at the floor.
“And this is a bad thing because.......”
I sighed. “Chay, you know why. Because I’m in love with him. Because if we actually slept together again I would delude myself into thinking he has feelings for me, which he doesn’t and then everything would just end up as a big pile of complicated shit again.”
“Tori, have you every stopped to think about the fact that maybe he really does like you?”
“No. He doesn’t like me. He tolerates me because of the baby,” I shook my head.
Now Chay was the one who sighed. “You’re so stubborn, you know that? Try to think about it from his perspective.”
“What, he wants to get some?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“No. Maybe he actually wants some semblance of a relationship with you.”
“He doesn’t. I assure you.”
“Fine, whatever. But think about how much it must have hurt to be rejected like that.”
“I think you should go and apologize to him.”
She nodded, “Apologize. Because whether you like it or not, you two have to work together.”
I frowned. She was right. Why was she always right?
“Fine. I’ll go apologize,” I said, getting up off the bed, “Fuck my life,” I added before apparating out.
I ended up apparating into the sitting room of the Malfoy Manor, where Narcissa was sitting in an arm chair, reading a book.
“Astoria, dear, can I help you?” she asked, peering at me over the top of her reading glasses.
“Err..I was wondering if Draco came home yet?” I asked, rubbing my arm sheepishly.
She nodded, “He’s in his room. Binxy will show you the way,” she said, pointing to the little house elf.
“Follow me, Miss,” she said in a small voice, leading the way down a long and dark corridor.
“Thanks,” I told her, smiling.
“This is Master Draco’s room,” she proclaimed, giving me a small bow before sauntering off back down the hallway.
I knocked on the door. “Who is it?” came his voice from the other side.
“Err... it’s me, Astoria,” I said quietly.
“Astoria, what are you doing here?” he asked, sitting up as the door opened. His voice was harsher than usual. I didn’t blame him.
“I came to... apologize?” I said finally.
He didn’t reply. His face was hard and blank.
“Draco, I really am sorry,” I gushed, “It’s just.... it was the heat of the moment and everything and I didn’t stop to think of what we were doing. It’s not right....”
“Why? Why isn’t it right, Astoria. We’re fucking engaged, so what’s the problem with being intimate with each other?” he shot back.
“But... we’re not really engaged.....you don’t feel that way about me,” I said finally. Tears were welling up again. Bloody. Freaking. Hormones.
“And how do you know that?” he asked harshly.
“Because you don’t even know me!”
“We’ve spent the larger part of the past few weeks together, how can you say I don’t know you?”
“You don’t....” my voice trailed off.
“Why is it wrong, Tor?” his voice changed tone, “Why is it wrong if we try to have a real relationship?”
“Because it’ll complicate things, that’s why!” I said, my voice thick with tears.
“Oh and Mummy and Daddy being ‘just friends’ will make life bloody easier on our son, huh? That’s fucked up.”
“No, I didn’t mean that. It’s just.... the thing we have going, it’s comfortable, it’s working,” I sighed.
“Really, is it now? And what ‘thing’ do we have going on, may I ask?”
“You know... friends.....”
“You call what we do being friends?”
“Yes! It’s all pretend!” I cried.
“Well sorry for trying to make this relationship something more, okay? Why are you always resisting me?”
“I’m not resisting you, Draco!”
“Yes, yes you are! I tried to be close to you tonight, to be something more, but you just ran away!”
“Draco, you won’t understand!”
“Then explain to me, because I’m trying fucking hard to understand you!”
“Because if we sleep together again, I’ll think you return my feelings,” I said finally, my body wracking with sobs.
“Return you’re feelings?” he replied.
“Yes. My feelings. For you. I’ve had feelings for you since I was a little girl, Draco.” And there it is. Bloody hell. Bloody fucking hell, he hates me now.
“What.... really?” he blinked.
“Yes. But you never really paid any attention to me...That’s okay, with a sister like Daphne, I wouldn’t pay any attention to me either...”
And before I could process what was happening, Draco was up off the bed and suddenly his lips crashed against mine, hard. His lips moved viciously and mine responded with just as much passion. Before I realized what we were doing, that is. “Draco...” I pulled away, “What was that?”
“I like you, Astoria,” he said finally, giving me a grin. Ugh screw him and his godly looks.
“No.... you really don’t....” I mumbled.
“Don’t bloody tell me how I do or don’t feel, alright?” he said, looking at me fiercely. I was ready to melt in a giant pile of love-mush right there.
“Draco... if you really knew the crazy, insane person I was, you wouldn’t say that,” I shook my head.
“I already know who you are, Astoria. That day we went on that mountain top, in the dark? That’s the day I found out who you really are,” he said firmly.
I didn’t know how to reply. Instead, he gently urged his lips back on mine again. I complied, wrapping my arms around his neck, one of my hands in his luscious blonde locks, the other running up and down his back. His hands held my face gently, caressing my cheeks with his thumbs as he kissed me.
“Tori,” he said, pulling away from me, gazing down at me with his startling eyes.
“We don’t have to do it tonight. We could just sit and talk?” he offered.
I nodded, “That sounds good. I’m sorry.... it’s just....”
“You don’t have to explain anything,” he replied, taking my hand and leading me back down on the bed.
He sat down on the bed, pulling me down so I was nestled in the crook of his arm. I didn’t mind. Nope, I did not mind this one teeny tiny bit. I took the hand that wasn’t wrapped around my shoulders in my hand.
“Tell me about yourself,” he said, resting his head against mine.
“I feel like we’re awkward 5th years on their first date,” I giggled.
“So? We’re also having a kid together, that makes this beyond awkward,” he replied.
“True. I dunno where to start. Give me something to work with here!”
“Hmm. What’s your favorite memory?”
I thought for a moment. “Probably when I was around 8 and Daph was 11. We spent a whole summer away, at my Mum’s old family beach house. It was wonderful; we were away from everyone else. The cottage we stayed in was right on the beach and we could see the waves on the shore from the castle windows. Daph and I used to play in the sand all day, and we honestly did not have a single care in the world. My mum and dad were happy and we were all laughing together. It was wonderful,” I sighed, “Your turn!”
He scrunched his eyebrows in concentration. “This is going to sound horrible,” he started, making a face, “But probably after I first told my father I had joined the Death Eaters and that He had given me a special task. As much as I hated it, it was the only time I can remember my father looking at me and being truly and honestly proud of me.”
“Oh Draco, that’s not horrible. You’re just the same as any other kid, you just wanted Daddy to be proud of you. That’s alright,” I said, pressing my lips gently to his cheek.
“Thanks,” he replied, giving me a small smile, “Your turn to ask a question.”
“Um. If you could have any special ability, what would it be?” I asked, giggling at how ridiculously juvenile I was.
“I would..... see into the future. Like, be a seer I guess. So I could know when shit’s gonna go down so I can prevent it,” he said.
“Hmm. That’s good,” I nodded, “I would be invisible,” I said simply.
“And why is that?”
“So I can fulfill my lifelong dream of being a ninja?” I said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
He chuckled at me, mildly amused.
“What. Don’t judge me!” I said, fake pouting.
“You are indeed a crazy one,” he nodded.
“I never claimed to be sane,” I shrugged, “Anyways, your turn to ask a question!”
“Err... Why did you start liking me as a kid?”
I froze. “That’s not allowed.” I frowned.
“You said I could ask anything,” he shrugged.
“I did not!” I protested.
“Well then tell me anyways.”
“I dunno really. It’s not like you’re attractive in the least. You don’t happen to have a way with words at all. You’re incredibly stupid. So basically, I don’t know why I was attracted to you,” I joked.
“Really, is that so?” he grinned back at me.
“Yes. Honestly, I dunno what I ever saw in you! Your turn!” I teased.
“I think you have nice lips,” he said solemnly.
I raised my eyebrows. “Seriously. All you have to say is I have nice lips?”
“Yes. And a really, really loud voice?” he added.
I punched him on the arm gently. “You’re a git.”
“And you’re mad. What does that make us?”
“Dunno,” I shrugged. I let out a yawn. It was actually a quite large yawn. I hadn’t realized how sleepy I was.
“You’re falling asleep,” he noted.
“No, I’m not!” I protested, “That yawn just came out of nowhere and attacked me,” I said, shaking my head.
He smiled, amused. “You can sleep here,” he offered.
I smiled at the idea. Sleeping in his bed? Actually sleeping with his arms around me? It didn’t sound bad, not one bit.
“Maybe,” I replied, moving in closer to him so my face was resting in his neck. I breathed in his scent, which was now oddly soothing. I let myself drift off to sleep, for once completely content with being fully clothed in bed with the man I had crushed on for forever.
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