Chapter 11 : Am I Magical?
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“Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” she asked softly, wrapped in a fluffy blanket with a monogrammed ‘M’ on the corner.
“There’s nothing wrong,” I replied, looking forward, wondering if my eyes were an unattractive puffy red or if they were just a normal sort of red. I hoped they were just normal.
“You were cry--”
“No, I wasn’t,” I snapped. “I had something in my eyes. That’s all, Granger.”
“What’s wrong?” she goaded.
I stood up and smirked at her as best as I could while suppressing the lump forming in my throat. Nobody had ever seemed so concerned with my welfare, and it was touching, but I wasn’t about to break down like a 13 year old girl who has just found that her best friend just kissed her all time crush who clearly knew that the first girl always liked said boy, and now the girl’s best friend and her crush are going out, and she has to act like everything is fine until something or someone will set her off, and she’ll start crying and sobbing about how much she loves him, and...yes...I might need to stop watching dramas and soap operas. I think they’re starting to affect me...
“Nothing. I’m just being my old despicably mean self. That’s all, Granger.” I strode away from her, and I was almost in the safety of my bedroom when she spoke again.
“Draco, please. I want to help.” I turned around, and she’s standing there, swaddled in this huge towel, her hair still dripping a little bit. Her brown eyes are staring at me, as if she’s trying to make me out. Did she just call me ‘Draco’? I start to feel that fuzzy feeling inside, the same one I felt that one night I got lost in her eyes in that run-down little motel. Was it only a few days ago that we were still there? It seems so long ago.
“You’re three years too late, Granger.” I watch as the hopeful look on her face falters a little bit, and I step over into the threshold of my room, and shut the door purposefully.
I stay awake, staring at the ceiling that’s enchanted to look like the stars. It’s silly, but stars are some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. So far away, and yet they’re burning so brightly. Sometimes, you can feel like you’re close enough to touch them, and you can pretend to squish them between your fingers. That’s always fun too. That always entertained Crabbe and Goyle. They were mindless oafs, though, so I’m not surprised. They never wanted to learn what each constellation was, but they enjoyed pretending to squish stars and being all surprised when they showed up again. It went a little like this...
“Hey, look at that star! What will I do with it? I will squish it!” Says Crabbe.
“You can’t squish a star!” Protests Goyle.
“I can too! Look!” Crabbe will demonstrate a very slow and arduous squishing motion of a star.
“You’re not squishing anything,” Goyle decides.
“I am too! Now, look, if I open my fingers, it’s not squished anymore!”
“Wow...” Goyle says in awe.
“I know. It’s because I’m magical,” Crabbe boasts.
“Wow! Do you think I’ll be able to do that too? Am I magical?” Goyle asks, his eyes sparkling with adoration and veneration at Crabbe.
I know. An eye roll is in order. Really, Goyle, if you weren’t magical, would you have a wooden stick that performs spells? Would you be on flying broomsticks? That was usually around when I would get annoyed of their dim-witted banter, and either yelled at them to shut up or just left them to their own devices.
In the distance, I hear Granger clattering around with the pots and pans that I never personally used. Truth is, I don’t actually really know how to cook. I used to have one of the Malfoy Manor elves cook for me, but he hates me, and after Granger passed that law that any house elves who didn’t like their employment could leave and be placed under Ministry care, I was left with no house elves. So, I have a bunch of food sitting in the cold box (I don’t know what Muggles call it. I never had to go near it, you know.) that just has never been touched.
I close my eyes, trying to forget the image of my father sitting there in the chair, looking as wasted and tired on the outside as I feel on the inside.
“Morning,” Granger said with a small smile. “There’s something on the counter for you.”
I yawned, rubbing my eyes. I looked over at the counter where there was a large container and a rolled piece of parchment on top of it. Rolling the parchment open, I laughed a little despite myself. On the inside was a very poorly made drawing of a sun, one stick figure (his hand raised in a wave to apparently nobody), very spiky grass that looked like it ought to be spearing the stick figures feet with every step, and a lopsided tree. At the very top, the scrawled writing said, “I’m sorry. Feel better.” I smiled a little before lifting the cover of the container. Inside was a chocolate cake with frosting that also said, “Feel Better!” with a misshapen sun almost falling off the side.
“You did this?” I asked, leaning against the counter and surveying the brown-haired girl.
“Well, yes,” she said with the slightest smile.
I sat down beside her, and she took a sip of her coffee. “So, it’s my turn, I believe,” I said with a smirk.
“What is?” she asked, looking alarmed. She pulled her coffee closer to her as if I was going to steal it at any moment.
“Calm down, Granger. I’m not some coffee monster out to drink any coffee you make.”
She loosened considerably. “I just--I can’t go without coffee in the morning. It makes me cranky.” She shrugged nonchalantly.
“God, Granger, you’re weird,” I said bluntly. She sent me a hurt look, and I quickly moved on. “My question is why are you being so nice?”
She paused, tapping her slender fingers against the side of the cup rhythmically. Finally she sighed, and said, “I always thought you didn’t care about anyone. I thought you wouldn’t have any emotions.”
“Cold-hearted asshole, right?” I added quietly.
She remained silent, looking afraid to answer me. “Yesterday, when you were crying, it made me realize that maybe you weren’t that bad. I...I really hope you weren’t crying over something stupid, and that it was worth all the time it took to bake that cake,” she said, laughing a little bit.
“How long did it take you?”
“Forever. You do know that you have no pre-made mixes, and so I had to go make everything from scratch? Malfoy, you should know that I only do that for my family when they have birthdays or something.”
“Ahh, so it’s like I’m part of the family, eh?” I jibed. Her face darkened a little when I said it. I reached forward to pat her hand, but thought better of it. She might punch me in the face, and I really didn’t want to look any worse than I already did. There were no beauty charms to make my face look absolutely flawless anymore now that I couldn’t use magic. I mean, I look great most of the time, but just a little bit of charm work can make me look like a Greek Adonis. And really, what girl doesn’t love an Adonis?
“Don’t worry, Granger. I’m just joking.” I felt a twinge of regret. I might be the most attractive Adonis to ever grace the earth, but it’d be nice to have a family again. A real family.
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by Elle Winters