Woo!! why hello there my lovely readers, I do hope you enjoy this chapter.
A huge thanks to all my reviewers from the previous chapter, MiSTY_VoLPe, slytherinbadgirl, jazzy4ver, Harmonia, and Madamoiselle Malfoy. You all deserve an awesome something. Though I'm not sure what. Thoughts? ;p
Another huge thanks to my personal friend, miss Bella_Bug for betaing this chapter and helping me figure out all the little things. :P You rock love.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or these brilliant characters, they all belong to the mind of the one and only JK Rowling. I don't own Beauty and the Beast either, though as previously stated, don't know who the original author is. They're brilliant all the same.
I sunk to the floor, unable to move. I held the letters in my hand, unwilling to drop them from my grasp. They were the only contact I had with anyone outside of this horrid place. My only glimmer of hope in this seemingly desolate nightmare. To add to it, the only person it seemed I would have any… decent? conversations with would be Malfoy himself and here I was stuck in this room. This bloody perfect room.
I wasn’t one to get angry, but I was growing more and more aggravated by the second. Why couldn’t anyone tell me anything? If someone could just tell me why there hadn’t been any other volunteers or why I wasn’t allowed to be with Harry or the Weasleys, it wouldn’t bother me so much. It was becoming more and more infuriating.
I’m stuck in this house with a load of Death Eaters, quite possibly Voldemort himself, and that little ferret Draco Malfoy, along with his oh-so-loving family of pure-bloods. Draco Malfoy, the boy responsible for Dumbledore’s death.
More tears escaped my eyes as I thought about our fallen Headmaster. I didn’t even want to think about where Hogwarts was headed now. It made me almost glad that I wasn’t returning…almost.
I cried. I cried for what I’d had to do this morning, for where I was stuck now, for the thought of possibly never seeing my parents again, for the uncertainty of my next few months, for all those young Hogwarts students receiving their acceptance letters at the worst possible time, for Dumbledore, and for everything in general. I’d been crying too much today, I had to be strong. I took a shaky breath and made my way around the room.
I finally stopped at the book shelf, feeling my breath catch as I did so. I had expected a shelf full of Muggle-hating books, books written by wizards, for wizards, pureblood pride, and the like. Instead, the shelf was filled with classic Muggle books. I saw several of Shakespeare’s works, some Dickens stories, a few Austen novels, and several others. I was in awe.
I sat down on the chair, admiring my new room. The room I wanted so desperately to hate, but seeing this book shelf had pushed me over the edge. I loved it. I curled up in a ball, putting my head on the large pillow. I sighed to myself and shut my eyes, wanting to rest for a little while as I attempted to calm my nerves.
“Granger.” I heard in the back of my mind, odd. Malfoy was usually very absent from my dreams. “Granger.” He said again, annoying me slightly. Get out, damn you. Someone touched my arm and I slowly opened my eyes. Malfoy was standing over me, looking concerned.
“Bloody hell, Malfoy!” I shouted and he covered my mouth with his hand. I swatted it away with my own and glared at him. “What?!”
“Please, no need to shout. I came to see if you had any questions, and to explain a few things.” His eyes found mine once more and I wanted nothing more than to back away from him. Why was he being so kind? I felt like something was extremely wrong here.
“Well, first off, why are you being so nice to me? It’s really throwing me off. All those years of name-calling and constant ridicule…why now?” I hadn’t realized how hurt I’d been by all of it, not until now. I could hear the pain in my own voice.
“Granger, I’m sorry. I know you may not believe me, but I am. I’m sorry for the way I acted all those years we were in school together. I’m sorry for creating far more pain than you deserved. To be honest, I was jealous." Jealous. Ha. I felt my eyes narrow and myself becoming more and more hesitant.
"I was scared and I had orders. I was jealous of you making your own friends and being so talented, without being a pureblood. All my friends are people my father forced on me at a young age. I was never allowed to make my own friends." Huh... I'd never really thought of that. I’d always just assumed that was what he’d wanted, that he was okay with his friends and such.
"I was scared of my father. That he would hurt me more than he already does,” he paused and upon my questioning look added, “a story for another time.” He took a deep breath before continuing, “I was scared that I would be shunned. Something I couldn’t take. Not because I cared what my father thought, but because I didn’t want to be away from my mother. I was scared for my family. Because of Voldemort and who my family is. Not only am I a Malfoy, I’m also related to the Black’s. Not exactly the best wizarding families to be related to when faced with Muggle-borns." My mind was racing at this point, how I'd never even considered these things, I'd never understand. I was supposed to be the brilliant one.
"Then there’s you, completely changing my idea of Muggle-borns without even realizing it. I’d been taught to hate all of you. It was engrained into me. Then I meet you and you completely change all that. You made me want to question my father and get to the bottom of it, and it frustrated me. I was in the wrong and I see that now. I really am sorry.” He stopped and looked at me, pain etched into every one of his features.
“I had no idea… I always assumed it had just been you disliking me for absolutely no reason. Me, the brilliant one, the observant one, never realizing what’s right in front of me. I’m so sorry.” I was too in shock to say much more. I couldn’t even begin to understand the situation I was in, let alone his situation.
All those years, I’d been so ignorant. I still couldn’t bring myself to forgive him. “I’m also sorry I can’t exactly forgive you… at least, not yet. Some wounds don’t heal that quickly. Some wounds run too deep.” He nodded and looked away from me, in understanding but also something more.
“Anything else?” He asked. His voice more distant now. I could tell he was upset.
“Are you the only one I have for company?” I asked, somewhat tentatively.
“For now, yes. I’m sorry for that as well. I’ll try to do my best to be here whenever you need some company. And when you want to be alone, that’s more than okay as well.” He stood up and stretched his arms above his head; I tried my best to not look… I couldn’t even fathom everything that was going on or the new thoughts for this boy, I loved Ron.
“Oh! I almost forgot!” he snapped his fingers and less than a second later a crack sounded and a house elf stood a few feet from us. My jaw dropped and I felt myself grow angry instantly.
“Pleasure to meet you, Miss. Granger.” The elf curtsied, “My name is Dinkie miss, Master Draco has told me of your situation. I’m here to bring you anything you need.” She stood up and gave me a quick smile. Her huge blue eyes glowing and twinkling, she was clearly excited to be here.
“Umm, pleasure to meet you too, Dinkie.” I said, smiling at her, “It’ll be nice to have some female company.” I couldn’t be mean to this creature, it wasn’t her fault she was here. Malfoy on the other hand, I would have a word with.
“She already knows not to tell anyone of your presence. The other house elves have no idea. The only other person who knows, is my mother. Simply snap your fingers and she’ll appear.” I gave him a look, wanting to ask him how they were treated. “You may go now Dinkie.” He said and with a crack she was gone.
He looked me in the eyes, “I know, I know, but I’m paying her… I’m paying all of them.” He said, turning and walking away from me before adding over his shoulder, “If you ever need me, call her and tell her to get me. I’ll be back later.”
How he’d known that I would request pay for her, and fair treatment, I’d never know.
I sat there, unable to say another word. Malfoy had surprised me in so many ways and I’d been here for mere hours… I was in for it.
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