The next morning I wake up on a couch I don’t recognize in a living room I vaguely remember. Startled I get up seeing I’m still fully dressed in my clothes from yesterday and look for a picture of someone I recognize. Upon seeing a picture of Seamus with his mum I’m relieved to discover I must be in Ireland at Seamus’s house. As if on cue I hear someone messing about in the kitchen likely making breakfast.
As I enter the kitchen I see Seamus in the process of trying to cook eggs and waffles and giggle upon seeing all the flour in his hair. “Good to see you’re awake ya drunkard now get in here and help me.” I hear sternly from him.
Glad to help I pitch in and in no time we’ve got a feast for a king on his small kitchen table. Knowing he was going to insist we talk about yesterday I decide it wise to shove my mouth full of food so that I wouldn’t have to speak. Unfortunately for me he let’s breakfast go on in silence until I’m nearly finished. “You know he’s not going to just give up, he never has and he never will. You’re something he wants Izzy and like it or not you’re going to have to talk to him.” Seamus says to me as if I were a child. Well..perhaps I was behaving like one.
I don’t respond instead I push around the piece of waffle left on my plate with my fork and avoid looking up at him. “Oh, and by the way…nice bra yesterday.” To this I look up shocked that memory had completely slipped my mind.
“Oi! I’ll have you know I don’t know how that happened! And I don’t have to talk to anyone about that, it’s my business!” I glare at Seamus to which he just laughs and begins cleaning up the plates, “Why do I have to talk to him? It’s been 6 years he just needs to get over it already!” I grumble folding my arms over my chest.
“Izzy I’m going to say this because I love you so dearly, it’s been 6 years are you over it?” Seamus asks sitting down next to me and looking directly into my eyes, “Sometimes things are stronger than you think they are, and sometimes they’re more real than you could have ever imagined. In this case you need to talk it out with him and figure out what you’re going to do.” As he finishes he gets up and goes back to the sink seemingly finished with this conversation. I take my dishes over to him and give him a peck on the cheek.
“You’re a lucky sod that I even listen to your advice. But I’ll do as you ask, but not anytime soon. I need time to think about this, as I haven’t for 6 years. Thank you Seamus for being such a good friend.” I give him a hug and apparate back to my house to find Mystique has dumped her food all over the floor. “Bloody cat!” I scold to which she hisses at me and scampers off to her perch looking out the window. “If you see Draco Malfoy make sure you warn me!” I say jokingly and heading to the bath for a shower as I could feel the liquor seeping out of my pores.
After my shower and a new change of clothes I head back out to my living room where a surprise awaits me. Theodore Nott was sitting on my couch flipping absentmindedly through the daily prophet. “ ‘Ello Theo! Beautiful day isn’t it?!” I ask putting a big smile on my face hoping I wasn’t coming off to phony and knowing I most likely was, “What brings you around these parts?” I ask sitting down in my favorite chair pulling Mystique into my lap reluctantly. She’d never cared for Nott and would often randomly attack him so it was best if I kept her away from him.
Nott quirks an inquisitive brow up and looks up at me, “You’re awfully chipper Carrow. Sorry about the other day having to cancel and all, ya know how the Minister can be sometimes, had an assignment for me at the last minute that he claimed needed to be done right that night. I didn’t get done until nearly 2am and didn’t want to wake you.” He finishes folding the paper and putting it on my coffee table.
“Oh don’t worry I managed to amuse myself!” I say trying not to grimace at the thought, “Anyways, did you have something in mind coming over here?” I saunter over to him, hoping he’d be willing to take my mind off of things like he always had.
“Actually, I came over here to talk to you about just that. I mean I know you don’t like labels and you’re a free woman to do as you please.” He begins stopping me in my tracks and placing his hands gently on top of my shoulders, “But would you maybe consider being exclusive with me, I don’t really go meet any other women. I only ever want to be with you.” He looks past me towards the wall behind my head. It was cute that he was nervous, but I had never wanted to be exclusive with him, he’d never made me feeling anything. I mean there was sexual attraction sure and he wasn’t bad in bed or anything. It’s just he’d never given me any special feelings, none of my suitors had…minus one and I wasn’t willing to give into that one.
“Theo, you know I adore you.” I begin, he looks disappointed and cuts me off.
“But?” He says curious.
“But, I just don’t feel as strongly about you as you do about me. I don’t want to hurt you anymore. And we have this discussion every couple weeks, we’ve been having this discussion for 6 years. I just can’t give you what you want from me. I’m sorry, and this time don’t come back for me. If you want to be friends that’s cool but I just don’t think I’m ever going to care about you like you do about me and you really truly deserve someone who can.” I say honestly, he only looks slightly hurt.
“I’ve always known it was coming. You’ve never cared about anyone but him. I knew that getting into this but I was really hoping I could change your mind. You really are one of a kind Iz. I’ll keep in touch, and I’ll always care about you and I’m always here for you if you need someone to talk to, I always have been.” He gives me a peck on the cheek and a hug before leaving.
I felt bad but not nearly as bad as I thought I would. He seemed to have taken that dose of reality quite well actually. As I turn on my television I hear a harsh knock on my door. Curious I get up quietly and take a peek out of my peephole to see who it was. If it was Malfoy I would pretend I wasn’t home. Thankfully, it’s only Seamus come to visit again and I open the door and greet my best friend with a smile. “Missed me already Finnegan?” I ask wrapping him in a big hug.
He doesn’t return the smile but returns the hug. “You’re not going to like me right now Izzy. But this is for the good of the wizarding world, you’re coming with me to Malfoy Manor. If you don’t he’s threatened to throw you in Azkaban on some charge I’m not sure even he knows is illegal or not. He wants to talk and wants to talk now and apparently on his own turf.” He takes my hand and pulls me out of my house.
“Oi! I’m not really dressed to be entertaining anyone, I’m in sweats for merlin’s sake at least let me change.” I say pulling my hand free and glaring at the Gryffindor, “And if he wants to talk so badly why doesn’t he come here? He’s the one that wants to talk..not me!”
Seamus just gives me his most serious face and I know that I have no choice so I go back in my house and put on a pair of skinny jeans, stilettos and a tight black blouse. As I exit I announce to Seamus, “If he tries anything I’m going to stab him with my shoe sound like a plan?” I finish grinning and take his hand to which he smirks at the idea of Malfoy being struck with a shoe. The familiar feeling of apparition overtakes me shortly afterwards I’m in front of the grandest entrance I’d ever seen.
The front gate was all wrought iron and gigantic with a big and elegant M in the middle. Surely nobody ever came here mistaken with the address. Looking over to Seamus for one last bought of encouragement he gives me a hug and apparates away. I take a deep breath and push the heavy gate open taking in the beauty of the front garden. With the click clack of my heels making a deafening sound on the stone beneath my feet I nervously make my way to the front door. As I reach my hand up to knock the door suddenly opens and I’m greeted by a house elf.
“Hello Miss Carrow, Master has been waiting for you. Told me to wait at the door for the woman who looked like she’d come to kill him. I think you fit the description. Right this way Miss!” I follow the timid creature inside to the grand entrance and am entranced by the beautiful marble and high ceilings. The chandelier above my head seemed to glisten and sparkle when the light would catch one of the crystals. Seeing I’d fallen behind the house elf shouts for me to follow him. As we approach a huge cherrywood door the house elf turns to me and says, “You are much prettier than Mistress was, Master always said so when he didn’t think anyone else was around while he was looking at your picture he kept with him.” With that the creature apparates out of sight and I’m left gawking at a giant door in the most beautiful and empty feeling house I’d ever been in. I knock lightly and hear a faint “Come in!” from the other side.
I push the heavy door, and my eyes have to adjust to the darkness of the room. As I make my way all the way into the room the door slams shut behind me causing me to jump. Looking around I don’t see anyone, surely I had heard someone…right? Then I see him sitting with his back to me in a high backed chair facing the fireplace. “I’ve asked you thousands of times to stop ordering me around Ferretboy. And really threatening time in Azkaban because I don’t want to talk to you…honestly you should be ashamed of yourself..really freaking mature.” I scold folding my arms over my chest tightly scowling at him. He doesn’t turn to look at me but I hear him laugh.
“Would you have come otherwise Bella?” at my most cherished nickname I soften, only Simone had ever called me Bella, and the nickname made me miss her.
Softly I ask, “Why would you call me that?, I’ve never told you to call me that.” I walk over towards him and take a seat in the most uncomfortable leather couch I’d ever sat on. “You should really get some more comfortable furniture in here, this place reminds me of a funeral home.” I say taking in the regalness of the room.
“It’s my study it’s not meant to be comfortable. And I won’t call you that if you don’t want me to.” He turns to me finally and our eyes instantly lock.
“No, it’s fine. What did you bring me here for?” I begin playing with the bottom of my shirt breaking the eye contact I’d had with him. At this I feel his hand under my chin forcing me to look at him.
“You’ve always been hot and cold with me Bella, why is that?” I can’t take the sincereness in his eyes, in his touch.
I take a drink of the water he’d placed on the table for me and I see him smile, and I was only slightly suspicious.
“I’ve never really trusted you to not hurt me. I keep my guard up around you because I know you’ll hurt me again. I fight myself over the feelings I have for you.” Shocked by my honesty I look suspiciously at the water on the table beside me. “Did you spike my drink?”
He simply smirks and sits back in his chair staring back into the fire. “Why did you leave Izzy?”
I try to swallow the words I can feel coming up. “Because you broke my heart when I saw you with her. Because I was scared of what would become of us because of who we were or who we were associated with. Because I hated you for how much I loved you, how much you’d made me give a damn about you.”
Appalled at myself and angry with him for tricking me, I get up from the chair and throw the glass of water right over his head, “YOU BLOODY COWARD! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TRICK ME INTO DRINKING VERISATERUM! I WAS GOING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT ALL OF THIS ON MY OWN TIME!” seething I clench my fists and glare at him, to which he calmly replies.
“Isabella, I don’t have time to play these games with you. I know you’re angry with me and I still hate it when you are which is why I’m trying to fix this. I’m sorry I hurt you and I was only giving her a hug because she looked like she needed one that day, I didn’t think anything of it. You were the one that told me to not be such a jackass to everyone else. I went to find you afterwards and I had no idea where you were. I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD IZZY FOR 2 YEARS, I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” he was angry now throwing his chair backwards as he got up to face me. I could see the rage in eyes and the incredible hurt.
“WELL, THAT WASN’T MY INTENTION!” I scream getting right in his face, “WHY DOES EVERY DISCUSSION WE HAVE END IN A SCREAMING MATCH WITH YOU!?” poking him in the chest not taking my eyes from his searching for some truth.
Before I could protest I was once again in a compromising position only this time I didn’t think I’d have my best friend to stop me. It wasn’t my fault he still tasted so good and felt so good pressed up against me. And it most definitely wasn’t my fault that I loved the way he touched me and craved it like an addict. I’d lost complete control of this situation and I couldn’t tell if I wanted control anymore. It had been so long since I’d had him and I’d missed him more than I wanted to. It felt so good to finally feel something again, to no longer be numb.
After several hours of enjoying each other on every surface possible in his study we were lying panting on the softest rug I’d ever felt. My head on his chest, arm draped casually over this stomach. He was holding me tight to him as if at any moment I’d become just another dream. We didn’t speak for the longest time, each of us in our own thoughts. I was the first to break the comfortable silence, “I should probably get going.” I make to get up and am pulled roughly back, smiling I kiss his chest lightly and trace circles on his stomach. “I really do have other things to do today, ya know.” I say seductively looking up and into his eyes. “Oh and can you please take this bloody thing off?” I put my hand in his face showing him the ring.
He laughs lightly and pulls my face up to kiss me lightly on the lips. “Not just yet I can’t and you’re not going anywhere, not right now.” He’s almost pleading with me and I can see the sadness in his eyes. Once again I was pulled into this uncertain relationship with him, would my life ever be easy when it came to Draco Malfoy? He kisses me again and after twenty minutes of making out I hear a woman shouting something out in the hall……Was I being lied to?