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Chapter 23 : What Perfection Looked Like
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Chapter 23. What Perfection Looked Like
«You ready, love?»
No, I wasn't ready. Not even remotely. But I nodded anyway – a quick one, barely noticeable.
Draco pointed his wand at my last remaining bags, and when they vanished into thin air, I knew they'd magically appear at his apartment along with the others.
My eyes swept my small, beloved apartment for the umpteenth time, I'd been doing it for the last hours while packing. Well, truthfully, Draco had been the one packing, I was busy... sweeping.
«He's going to be fine, you know.» I hadn't heard his steps, but I felt how Draco's arms were wrapping around my waist.
«Yes. I know.»
And with a sigh I leaned my back against his strong chest, my brain sore from the vast amount of time I'd spent thinking and worrying about Martin. I sighed heavily and wanted to take another peek into the bedroom, where he lay on the bed sleeping. He'd be like that until we left the apartment, but leaving was easier said than done.
I had no idea how much I actually loved this place. Well, you know what they say; you never know how much you love something until you lose it. Or something along those lines.
«I just...» I began, interrupting my own heavy sighing. «I just wonder, you know.»
«Yes, and his family, all those altered memories...» With my hand on top of Draco's, I pulled him closer. «It just seems so strange. I've known them for a long time now, and all of a sudden... It's gone.»
«Is there anything I can do?»
«No, you've done enough.»
All of a sudden, I was struck by an electric sense of panic. My palms began sweating, my pulse quickened and this time it wasn't because of Draco's prescense. Him holding me was surprisingly aggravating. The feeling completely knocked the wind out of me.
I had to get away.
«I-I have to go.»
«Alright, let me just-»
«No. I have to go right away.»
And so I did. I pushed away from Draco, spun around and didn't even have any idea of where I'd end up until I got there. So when my feet hit the ground I took a quick glance around, and the realisation of where I was brought a bitter-sweet smile on my lips.
I was in the middle of the garden Draco had taken me to a while back, the place we'd had the picnic. This time the leaves on the trees had turned a beautiful variety of orange and red, painted according to the season.
The reminder of Draco got me thinking...
Why was I suddenly so mad at him? It had come over me like poison, and spread just as quickly. The venom was out of my system now, though, and I was regretting how I'd left him behind.
These pregnancy hormones was fucking up my emotional balance. It was getting dangerously annoying.
I was just a moment away from returning to the apartment and apologize, when I heard a loud noise and Draco appeared out of thin air right in front of me.
«Oh, Draco! I'm so sorry about the-»
«It's okay,» he smiled as he walked over to me, and I sighed with relief.
Understanding, funny and hot as lava – how had I gotten this lucky? I must have done something amazing in a previous life.
«In case I forgot to tell you,» I began, and snuggled into his arms, feeling my edgy hormones calm down, «I love you.»
After throwing my heart into a frenzy with one of his knee-buckling smiles, he sent me to another realm with the touch of his lips. I wondered if his kisses would someday stop catch me off guard with their sweet passion, but I sincerely doubted it.
Our foreheads were now resting against each other as we breathed slowly, heavily, trying to stabilize ourselves after the heat of the kiss. A cool autumn breeze cut through my skin, and I shivered. Draco noticed and quickly began rubbing my arms and back, warming me up. Little did he know that his touch warmed me up other places as well...
But even though my head was clouded because of the touch of Draco, I couldn't help thinking about something.
«Yeah, you're cold, right? Want my coat?»
I shook my head, but thanked him for offering. Draco obviously didn't care whether I accepted his coat or not, he'd already taken it off and was now placing it carefully on my shoulders.
«Thanks,» I smiled up at him. His hands were still positioned on my shoulders, rubbing them tenderly. «Ehm... I need to ask you something.»
«It's about me being pregnan-»
«I've got some questions about that too.»
«You do? Okay, you go first.»
«Ehm, are you... Are you sure?»
«That I really am...?» I asked, and he quickly nodded, seeming a bit nervous. «Yes. One hundred percent.»
«A-And how do you... Ehm, feel about that?»
I bit my lip, trying to hide the smile that was trying to force its way onto my face. Draco looked so nervous, and seeing him care this much had reminded me of why I'd fallen for him in the first place.
«Well...» I began, and decided to scare him a little bit. I mean, hey, I was still the fiery Gryffindor I'd always been. «It screws up all my plans, it's going to be a great bother, and I'm frightened to death...»
«Oh.» Draco dropped his gaze to the ground, the fear of history repeating itself etched onto his face, and I knew I quickly had to tell him the truth.
«But that being said..-» He looked up, and I freed my grin from its cage, and I feared it would rip my face in half. «-..I'm ecstatic. And nothing would make me happier than being bothered by you and our baby for every day of the rest of my lif-»
«Are you trying to give me a heart attack?! Is that it? You evil, little minx.»
«Maybe I do! You blond, annoying ferret.»
«Is this about the time where we kiss and make up?» Draco put his hand on my cheek and pulled me closer, this caused me to choke on my own breath. «Or do I have to insult you some more?»
I didn't have to answer.
And this time, when our lips danced passionately to an inner rythm, I wasn't worrying. The nagging thought of me having forced him into being a parent had vanquished, and I knew I'd never worry about that again. This man was a father already.
When we broke apart, Draco began chuckling to himself.
«I have to show you something now that we're here. But I have to warn you, it's pretty corny.»
With a suspicious look, I cocked my head to the side.
«Is this another surprise?»
«You could call it that, yes.»
I groaned loudly.
«Fine. But I'm not walking far. And I'm not closing my eyes this time.»
«That's fine,» he chuckled.
He took my hand, holding it carefully as if it were made of porcelain. I gave it a squeeze, reminding him that even though I was pregnant, I wasn't that fragile. It made him smile, and I knew he got it.
Actually, after this reassurance, he stepped all the way to the other end of the scale. With a grin he looked down at me, a mischievous glimmer in his blue eyes.
«Want me to carry you?»
«No, thank you,» I said, rolling my eyes. «I'm perfectly capable of walki-»
As expected, he didn't listen.
So up I went, being swept off my feet and into his arms, cradled against his chest like an infant. I couldn't contain a gleeful laugh as he stepped up the pace, walking quite briskly through the endless, orange garden.
«Are you all right?» he asked, slowing down a bit so he could focus on studying my face. «I'm not hurting little Draco Jr. am I?»
«I would rather eat Hagrid's old gym socks, than let you name our child Draco Jr., just so you know.»
Draco stopped suddenly in his tracks and stared down at me. His arms were tensing around my body, and I thought he was going to drop me down to the ground. But he kept quite still.
«Say that again.»
«Hagrid's old gym socks?» Confusion was clear in my voice.
«No.» He blinked before continuing, «you said 'our child'.»
«Draco Malfoy, if you're freaking out on me now, I am going to curse you so bad you'll neve-»
«Relax!» he interrupted me, and began walking again. Slower this time. «Blimey, aren't we hormonal.»
With a pop, my mouth fell open. It took me only a second to suddenly become exceedingly angry and annoyed at the man holding me so tightly, and I quickly started wriggling furiously to get out of his grip.
«Let. Me. Down!» I growled through clenched teeth, and when he did, I waltzed away. Well, at least I tried to waltz away... I didn't get very far because, of course, my stomach reacted badly to the sudden movements and threatened to empty itself right then and there. So I was forced to stop. Draco noticed the dramatic change, and ran to me with his hands flitting helplessly about my hunched figure.
«You know, I-I didn't.. I just, you know. I-I'm sorry!» he was rambling, and I didn't even attempt to try and make sense of it. I was focused solely upon not spraying him with my sick. And that was enough for now. «I-I just loved how you said it, that's all. It was so wonderful to hea-»
«I don't feel too good,» I interrupted, and felt myself swaying from side to side. Draco's strong arms were wrapped around me at the second I uttered those words, and his very touch made me feel better. It was strange, really. I sincerely felt like a wave of calm rushed over me, and settled in my stomach.
«Better?» Draco whispered against my skin, and when I nodded, he gently spun me around so I was facing him. I was feeling light-headed now, but that wasn't because of the pregnancy. That was all him. «You sure you're okay?»
«Yes. It's over now. I'm fine.»
With a deep inhale of the crisp air, I locked eyes with him. I know I've said a million times that I love that man, but I could still not wrap my mind around the whole extent of it. It was too massive to be described with mere words. And 'love' just...it didn't seem enough to explain the fierce intensity of what I felt for him
I remember to have read somewhere that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand, and the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow.
Now, I found myself wishing that I had over a thousand words for my love for him, but all that came to mind was the way he was holding me right this moment.
And there were no words for that.
I smiled up at him, love definitely radiating out of my eyes.
«And what if it's a girl?»
«What do you mean?»
«Would you want me to name her Hermione Jr.? No, you wouldn't.» My grin widened. «She's her own person, not a little me, or a little you, she-»
«I bet you it's a he.»
With squinted eyes I pulled away from him only to give him a look that was meant to say 'you really wanna go up against me?'.
«I'll take that bet, baby-Daddy. And I'll win it too.»
Draco certainly enjoyed my new nickname for him, and scooped me into his arms once again. An excited scream escaped my lips as he caught me off guard, and I threw my arms around his neck before giving him a quick kiss.
«Let's make it interesting.» While beginning to walk towards a cluster of trees, he continued our conversation as if nothing had happened. «Winner decides the name.»
«On one condition,» I held up my index finger to show how important this one condition was, «no Draco, or Hermione Jr.. Deal?»
«Deal.» He was smiling so dreamily now that I felt my very eyes drool at the sight of it. «Should we kiss on it?»
And we did. The sensation of his lips against mine sent a warm wave through me, and the sensation made me whimper.
Suddenly, he came to a halt and broke the kiss simultaneously.
We were right in the middle of the cluster of trees, their branches braided together, forming a roof of orange and red leaves, reminding me of how the sky would look at dawn.
«It's beautiful,» I gasped.
«That's not all.» With slow and gentle movements, he lowered me to the ground, but still held my hand in a tight grasp. «Come over here.»
Draco lead me to the gigantic tree that was located in the very middle, and this seeming to be the tree that all the other smaller trees supported themselves on. And when we walked over to the other side of it, I noticed something carved in the rough bark:
«You did this?» I whispered, and touched the contours of the roughly carved letters. They didn't seem very fresh, though. Like it had been there for a while.
«Remember that picnic?»
«I wanted to show you then, but I didn't have the guts.»
I dragged my eyes away from the heart-warming words in front of me, and turned to take in the man that was standing beside me. He wasn't looking at the tree, and he smiled when our eyes met.
«I knew I loved you from the very beginning, Brownie. Ever since that first dance, even though I didn't realise it myself at first.» His breath made smoke in the air. It was getting late. Cold. «I just want you to know that.»
My voice was failing me. It didn't function at all. Words were being formed by my tongue, but my throat wouldn't cooperate. I suppose I had too much air in my lungs now that Draco was so near me, and all that came out of me were some strange and inappropriate panting noises.
I took a look at the carvings in the tree more before leaning into him, nesting within his arms. I never wanted to leave. Residing in them forever would be too short of a time, and I had to tell him this. I wanted to say everything I was feeling, but words seemed so bleak in comparison to the mindblowing feelings I harboured for him.
Amazingly enough, my lack of an answer didn't bother him in the slightest. Instead he put his muscular arms closer around me, securing me in his tight embrace, and kissed the top of my head.
«Words can't even describe what I feel for you, Draco Malfoy,» I whispered truthfully, my voice muffled seeing as I had my face pressed against his warm chest.
This time, he was the one who didn't answer. The thing he did, though, was pull away and look me directly in the eyes. After giving me a gentle smile, his eyes traced down my neck, chest, and all the way to my belly. Whilst crouching down, he placed both his hands on either side of my waist, and sat like that for a moment before pressing his lips to my stomach. I could feel the warmth of his kiss through the fabric of my shirt, and I swear I felt something flitter around in there, something that had nothing to do with butterflies.
And when I saw the love in Draco's eyes, I knew that this...
... this was what perfection looked like.
Ahhh... This is basically a chapter to just wrap things up. Nothing exciting really happens, but I still loved writing it.
I can't believe that the next chapter will be the last one! Can you??
I love you guys for reading, and I hope you'll let me know if you like this or not by leaving me a little review :)
All my love,
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