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Chapter 14 : Turn Around
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It was dark by the time I got home. Draco wasn’t expected home for another hour or so. I had recently discovered some Wizarding cookbooks which made the whole process so much easier. Honestly, I had no idea why I hadn’t discovered this before. That just goes to show how incredibly oblivious I was. I quickly made dinner, set the table, and was in the process of cleaning the living room when I heard the front door open.
“Hi,” Draco greeted me when he walked in.
“Hi,” I said back, walking towards the dinning room.
“How are you feeling?” he asked as he sat down at the table.
I shrugged. “Alright,” I said, rubbing the small of my back. I was told it was only going to get worse. And I would have swollen ankles and after that I wouldn’t be able to see my toes! How did some witches do this so many times over? I paused, “I had a doctor’s appointment today.”
His head shot up, “And you didn’t tell me?” he demanded.
“I didn’t know you wanted to come....”
“Tor,” he sighed, “I told you I wanted to be involved in every part of our son’s life. I think doctor’s appointments fall in that category.”
I shrugged, unfazed by his pretending to care. “Whatever. I had Chay with me. Your son’s fine, in case you were wondering.”
He looked up at me tiredly. “I’m not only wondering about my son, Tor, how many times do I have to tell you? I want to know about how you’re feeling.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I rolled my eyes.
“Stop acting like an insolent child!” he snapped at me.
“I’m not,” I said simply, taking another bite of my food. I was in no mood to sit here and argue when there would be no end to it either way.
But obviously Draco didn’t take the lets-not-argue-hint. “Yes you are. You do everything you can to avoid me and keep me out of our son’s life!”
“I do not!” I cried, “I’m here living with you, am I not?”
“Physically, yes, but you’re not really here, you’re never here!” he shot back.
“Who said I fucking want to be here?” I yelled back.
“Yeah well you don’t see me begging you to stay!”
“You know very well that the reason I’m here is for our son. Don’t go and get all ‘you’re free to do whatever you want’ because you know as well as I do that’s not true!” I was fuming by this point. Did he think it was easy for me to sit here and live with this man who had shattered me to bits? Really?
“You know what? I’m fucking tired of it. I’m tired of you walking around looking sad and upset all the fucking time and whenever I try to talk to you, you give me one word answers. What the fuck am I supposed to do?” He looked at me, hard.
I paused. “You made me like this. You made it hurt so much to feel emotion because the only emotion I can feel is searing pain. I’d rather feel nothing than feel the hurt you caused me.” I said softly. I could feel tears welling up again. I would not be weak in front of him. I would not. Obviously, my hormones had other plans.
“Well I’m sorry okay. Can’t you bloody see that I’m trying to make things right?” he asked.
I didn’t reply but instead looked down at my food. I picked at it for a bit before replying. “Nothing you do can make it right,” I shook my head, “Nothing can take away the pain you caused me. Nothing can change the past.”
“Fuck,” he stood up and threw his plate across the room. I flinched as it broke into a million little pieces of ceramic, now on the floor. I simply looked at him. “I’m going out.” he said finally, apparating out of the house.
I finished eating and cleaned up the mess Draco made with my wand. I managed to get through it all, the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, all of it, before I went upstairs to my bed and broke down. I had denied myself the luxury of feeling anything at all for so long.
But I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take Draco’s longing looks towards me. I couldn’t take that everyone talked about me in hushed voices behind my back. I couldn’t take that everyone treated me like a fragile teacup. I hated everything that was happening, every single aspect of my life except for my little baby.
I stroked my now slightly rounded stomach softly, tears falling incessantly from my eyes. “What did you ever do to deserve a crap Mum like me, baby? You’re an innocent child in there, you don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve a life where Mummy and Daddy barely speak to each other and when they do, they fight. I don’t know anymore, love, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know....” I sobbed. I buried my face in my pillow, and it was soon wet and salty. I had opened up the pain I had tried so long to keep locked up inside. Like a new wound, it bled and bled and hurt.
It was dark when I woke up to the sound of footsteps thumping up the stairs. Heavy, uneven footsteps. I looked over the clock on my nightstand, it read 1:24. “Draco?” I called out.
“Yes, love?” I heard Draco’s voice slur back at me.
“Are you drunk?” I asked groggily as he entered the room. His eyes were red and his shirt was disheveled.
“Nope. I just had a few... a few drinks,” he grinned back at me. He sat down on my bed and kicked his shoes off.
“A few drinks?” I repeated, “I think you’ve had more than a few.”
“Don’t be mad love,” he smiled, laying down so his head was in my lap. He looked up at me the same way a small child looks at fireworks in fascination.
“Draco...” I said tiredly.
I simply shook my head.
“You’re so beautiful, Tor, you know that? You’re the most beautiful witch I’ve ever seen. You are so beautiful you must be an angel,” he said contentedly, reaching up and pushing a lock of hair out of my face.
“Draco, you’re drunk.”
“No,” he shook his head, “You’re so pretty. And I love your voice. It’s so sweet. And your laugh, sounds like the happiest sound on earth. I love you, Astoria, so much,” he sighed, snuggling happily against me.
“You don’t know what you’re saying, Draco,” I replied. But I let him sleep there, on my bed with me because he was drunk. And because he had looked at me like a lost puppy. Besides, the way he looked completely at peace laying there made it so I didn’t have the heart to make him go to his bed.
I stroked his hair softly as he soon fell asleep. I turned the light off with my wand before letting myself drift off to sleep also. Just for a little while, we were a family again, despite the circumstances.
When I woke up the next morning, Draco was still asleep on top of me, his arms wrapped around my waist. I couldn’t help but smile at the goofy expression on his face - he was obviously someplace far off, living a happy dream. I let him sleep for a while longer, enjoying the peace of the moment.
“Ah fuck,” were the first words he said when he woke up. He lifted himself off at me and looked confused, “What happened?”
“You came home drunk last night,” I explained.
“Aw... shit... I’m sorry... I dunno what I said but I’m sorry....” he looked pained.
“It’s okay.” I guess deep inside I had hoped the words he had said were true, but of course they weren’t. He didn’t remember all of it. “You didn’t say anything mean.” I added.
“Oh. That’s reassuring,” he rolled his eyes.
I let out a small laugh. He gave me another apologetic smile before heading towards the bathroom. “Draco?” I called after him, thinking back to the fight we had last night. He had a point, I had to admit. It wasn’t right of me to exclude him from our son’s appointments.
“Yeah?” he reentered the room, massaging his head.
“I got new pictures of little Scoripius yesterday, if you want to see....” I offered.
“Of course I do, Tor!” his face lit up. I summoned the pictures that were so delicately kept away in my envelope.
He studied the pictures intently as I explained the different parts of the scan to him. “Our son is perfect,” he said finally.
I nodded in agreement. “And... er.. Draco... I was planning on painting the nursery today, and I was wondering if you were free to help?” I gave him a little smile, just for good measure.
He nodded eagerly, “Of course I’d like to help!” he grinned.
I dunno where this nice Tor had come from, but she really wasn’t all that bad.
I groaned as I sat down in the middle of the room, to avoid touching the wet walls. We picked a soft green color for the nursery. Sure, it would have taken a total of 30 seconds to paint it all by magic, but I wanted the satisfaction of creating this nursery by myself.
I let out a little laugh at the sight of Draco, painting away at the other side of the room. He had a determined expression on his face, as if painting the walls were the most difficult task he had ever encountered.
“What?” He cocked an eyebrow at me.
“You have paint on your hair,” I told him. It was true, his blonde hair now had a light dusting of baby green flicked over the top. “And er... your nose. And some on your cheek.” I informed him matter of factly.
“Yeah? Well you have some.....” he studied me for a second. Then he dipped his finger in the bucket of paint and took a menacing step towards me.
“Oh, don’t you dare!” I exclaimed when I realized what he was about to do. He took two swift steps towards me and I shrieked, looking for an escape. There was paint and other painting supplies all around me, and no way to get out. “Draco!” I shrieked as his finger touched my cheek.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the smaller brush I had been using to paint the edges of the room. I reached for it. Draco’s eyes grew wide when he saw it. “No!” he cried.
“Yesss,” I grinned, waving the paint brush like a wand.
“Don’t do it, I’m warning you!”
“Or whattt?” I asked innocently, batting my eyebrows.
“Or this!” he launched himself at me, all ten fingers on my torso, tickling me. I was vaguely aware of how close he was to me, how I could see the fine lines of his smile.
“Draco!” I called out in dismay, laughing, “No fair!”
“Says who?” he laughed, continuing to tickle me.
“Says mee! Stoppp!” I whined, giggling.
“Then you have to say it,” he grinned.
“That I win.”
“Fine, fineeeee, you win,” I rolled my eyes, laughing for what felt like the first time in months.
We both paused there for a minute, his body hovering close to mine. I could feel his warm breath tickling my face. I could hear his heart beating fast.
“I’m so sorry,” he said again, his gray eyes open and honest. I didn’t know what to make of it, so I didn’t reply, “I never meant for you to get hurt. I meant it when I said I love you.” I closed my eyes and leaned in further, our lips meeting. I wasn’t thinking, I was just feeling. And what I was feeling was love for this man who had ruined me.
“You’re confused?” Andre said, thoroughly unimpressed. It was the next morning, and I had gone to my Mum and Dads for breakfast. We had eaten and Mum had sent Andre and I upstairs while she cleaned.
I nodded, leaning into him and closing my eyes. “I’m confused,” I repeated.
“What’s there to be confused about? The asshole’s a fucking cheater who doesn’t deserve you,” he said bluntly. Oh Andre, you always were one to oversimplify. I wish my emotions would accept his simple explanation.
“I knoww... but I dunno,” I sighed. Things were never ‘simple’ or ‘easy’ with me, they were always ‘fucked up.’
“You’re not making any sense here,” he informed me. Thanks, I really needed that.
“I know. It’s like. I hate him for hurting me. And I know he’ll do it again. I know he’s not good for me and all that, but I dunno. He said he didn’t mean it. He said he loves me....” I trailed off.
“He said that?”
I nodded against him. “Yeah... on the day of the wedding actually. But I ignored it... but then yesterday, we were together, laughing and playing... and... we kissed-”
“You kissed him, again? Torrrr,” Andre groaned.
“What! Don’t blame me. We were both just happy and content and it felt... right,” I explained.
“Tor... he hurt you...” Andre said again.
“I know that! But I’m so fucking tired of being upset. I want to feel, I want to be happy again!” I exclaimed.
“You’ll be happy when you’re holding your son in your arms,” Andre said reasonably.
“But that’s not all. C’mon, Andre. I’ve loved him for so long. And he claims Melanie came on him... and I dunno what to do,” I sighed.
“Melanie?” he asked.
“Yeah. I told you this before. Melanie something or other is the other person he was with...” I flinched at her name. I hated her. I hated her sophisticated personality, I hated her flawless looks, I hated it all.
“Melanie.... with short darkish reddish hair?”
I nodded. How many other Melanie’s were there out there with red hair?
“What? Andre, do you know her?” I asked, turning to face him.
He nodded slowly. “She.... she went to Beauxbatons.... and she was basically the class slag.” he explained.
That explained a lot, but that did not excuse the fact that Draco was with her.
“And.... basically... she had... attachment issues...”
“Attachment issues?” I replied, confused, “What kind of issues?”
“Like... after some guy dumped her, she went psycho-mad and stalked him and threatened to jump off our Astronomy Tower unless he took her back....”
My eyes grew wide. Suddenly, the desperate I-love-Draco Melanie that had come to me all those weeks ago made sense. “Wait,” a wave of realization suddenly hit me, “Is Melanie the same psycho ex you told me about earlier?”
He nodded sheepishly, “The very same.”
“What did she do to you?”
He shrugged, “She was really alright at first. She was sweet and nice, not to mention very, very fit.” I made a face at him, “But after we broke up, she followed me around for a solid couple of months. She went around telling people she loved me and that I was a heartbreaker and how she would die if I really left her. She tried to blackmail me and everything but I wouldn’t have it.” he shook his head. I wondered vaguely if she had also done this to Draco.
“So what are you saying?”
“I’m saying that if this really the same Melanie, that she probably pulled something on him and that you should give him another chance....” he said grudgingly. Another chance? It all made sense now, how he claimed that Melanie had forced him into it all. Of course.
But before I could reply, a wave of dizziness came over me. It felt like I was about to fall over, but my stomach felt odd as well. The scene before me blurred, and I blinked hard trying to correct it. “I don’t feel too good...”
“Tor? What’s wrong? What are you feeling?” Andre asked me, his brows creased with concern.
I must have fainted then, because I remember only brief snippets of what happened after that - panicked voices, Daphne’s screams, Andre lifting me up and apparating somewhere. Then, everything went completely black.
A/N: I know I'm horrible. Hehehe. Please leave me a little message with theories and thoughts on this chapter! Again, thank you so so so much for reading!
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