Chapter 9: “Jealousy games”
11 hours ago, before Astoria had somehow ended up in the same bed as Draco Malfoy, she was found pacing in her room, nervous about her date with Richard. She hadn’t gone to a date in months, and she really didn’t want to embarrass herself in front of her new friend. She looked at the mirror for the zillionth time, smoothing down her blonde hair and brushing off imaginary specks of dust from her dress.
“Coming!” Astoria said loudly before taking a deep breath and opening the door.
“Hey, I just wanted to – what’re you dressed up for?”
The smile slipped off her face. Instead of the handsome, brown-haired man she expected to greet, it was the person who had landed her in the biggest mess of her life.
“What do you want, Malfoy?” she asked, slightly annoyed. She peered over his shoulder to see if Richard was nearby. She really didn’t want him to meet Malfoy.
“You didn’t answer my question. Are you going somewhere?” he asked, stepping inside her room and looking around.
“I have a date.”
Draco snapped his head to look at her, eyebrows raised. “Really? With whom?”
Astoria closed the door behind her and faced him, crossing her arms. “None of your business,” she snapped.
“Of course it’s my business. I’m your fiancé,” he said, even though he knew it was a farce.
She rolled her eyes. “Oh please, don’t use that on me,” she said. “Didn’t you bring us here to meet people?”
“Yeah, but you never know what kind of people you might meet. What if the bloke you’re on a date with is some cauldron smuggling prick?”
Astoria’s lips twitched at that but then she frowned at him. “Are you...worried about me, Malfoy?”
“Pfft, of course not. I’m just worried that if you run off with some git, then all the blame will fall on me,” replied Draco, looking away from her.
Astoria sighed. She knew Malfoy was a self-absorbed prick. Even then, a part of her was a bit disappointed in him.
“Anyways, I’m going on a date too,” he suddenly informed her.
“With that red-headed bimbo I bet,” she muttered under her breath.
At that moment there was another knock at the door. Astoria looked from Draco to the door, trying to decide what to do.
“Bloody hell, I didn’t want him to meet you!” she blurted.
Draco looked taken aback, but then composed himself. “Right,” he said mechanically before proceeding to apparate out of her room.
Astoria stood dumbfounded. She didn’t expect him to do that. Another knock at the door brought her to her senses and she rushed to it, opening it with a smile.
“Hello - wow, you look amazing,” breathed Richard, looking her up and down.
Astoria blushed. “You don’t look bad yourself,” she said.
Richard smiled, offering her his arm. “Shall we?”
Draco hated Richard. He hated the way he made Astoria laugh so easily, he hated how he danced with her, he hated the way he looked at her – the mere thought of him almost made Draco draw out his wand and hex him.
This feeling was new. He didn’t know what it was. Jealousy? Not a chance. He could never be jealous of someone like Richard. He knew he was far better than him. Draco simply hated him because he acted like Astoria belonged to him.
Well, it’s not like she belongs to me either, he thought. But I found her first. I’m not letting some git take her away from me.
“Draco, darling, what’re you staring at?” asked the red-head before him.
“Nothing. Come on, let’s dance.”
The girl accepted readily and Draco led her to the dance floor, putting his hand on her waist and standing closer than necessary. She looked up at him, expecting to see his grey eyes fixated on her, but instead they were elsewhere. She followed his line of sight and frowned.
“Where did you learn to dance like this?” Richard asked Astoria.
“Oh, um, I had dancing lessons,” she replied. She used to hate the compulsory dancing lessons her mother had made her take when she was young.
“Well, you dance beautifully, Astoria,” commented Richard, smiling down at her.
“Thank you,” she said, glad that something she used to hate had actually paid off.
Astoria enjoyed Richard’s company. He made her laugh, he danced well, he complimented her, he was...pleasant. Even then, she felt like something was missing. She wasn’t herself around him. She hesitated when saying something sarcastic or teasing him. She hated to admit it, but someone else was more fun to be around than him. Someone like –
“Sorry, did you say something?” asked Richard.
“No, no, it’s nothing,” Astoria replied, trying to imperceptibly peer over Richard’s shoulder to get a better look.
What in the bloody hell is he doing here? she asked herself. She gasped when she saw him stepping much too close to the girl and then making eye contact with her. That bloody prick! He’s just doing this to annoy me! Well, two can play this game.
“Who’re you looking at, Draco?” asked the red-head.
Draco forced his eyes away and looked down at her. Aw shite, I forgot her name. Was it Lisa or Laina or Laura? “Oh, no one,” he replied. “Would you like to eat something?”
She nodded, and Draco chose a table that had a clear view of the dance floor. He took a menu from the waiter and peered over it to look at the couple he was vehemently cursing inside his head.
“I think I’ll just have a salad. How about you?” asked the red-head.
Draco wasn’t paying attention. His eyes were glaring at Astoria who now had her arms around Richard’s neck and her body pressed quite tightly to his. Richard’s hands had slipped dangerously low on her back, but she didn’t seem to care about them. As they swayed to the music, Astoria’s eyes met with Draco’s. She raised an eyebrow challengingly.
Draco smirked at her. So, she wants to compete with me, does she? I’ll show her.
“Draco? Are you listening to me?”
“Of course, my dear. I was just spellbound by your eyes. They’re absolutely beautiful,” said Draco, plastering a smile on his face.
The girl seemed happy with his answer. “Why, thank you. You’re so -”
“And your lips,” interrupted Draco, leaning closer to her, “are just too distracting.”
“Um, I -”
He laid a hand on her cheek and pressed his lips to hers.
Astoria looked at the scene before her dubiously. He kissed her? He bloody kissed her! All that just to annoy me? she thought. She couldn’t believe his nerve. Why did he play with the hearts of girls like that?
Are you more annoyed with the fact that he’s leading a girl on, or the fact that he didn’t kiss you? a small voice asked in her head.
Astoria pushed that thought away. How absurd! Why would she want Draco Malfoy to kiss her?
Richard tilted his head towards her ear and whispered, “Why don’t we take this to a more private place?”
Astoria panicked. That wasn’t part of her plan. She looked towards Draco but he was still smooching with the red-head so he wouldn’t be any help.
“Um, I don’t know. We just met today,” she replied.
“I really like you, Astoria. I just want to -”
“May I borrow the lady for a dance?” a loud voice interrupted.
Astoria almost sighed in relief seeing Draco standing beside her. Before Richard could say anything, she slipped out of his arms and took Draco’s hand. She almost felt sad for Richard who looked very disappointed, before realising that it was just because he couldn’t get to sleep with her.
“I think someone owes me a thank-you,” Draco interrupted her musings.
“For what? Interrupting my date?” retorted Astoria. She knew she should thank him, but she was too proud to do it.
“You know you weren’t enjoying yourself. You almost jumped into my arms to get away from him,” pointed out Draco.
Draco suddenly spun her once and then brought her crashing against his chest. “- too,” he finished for her, smirking.
Astoria pushed him back and marched away from him. “I’ve had enough of this,” she hissed.
He followed her, matching her stride easily with his long legs. “Enough of what?” he asked.
“Your teasing, your games, your attitude – it’s – it’s driving me insane!” she cried. She had reached her room and stomped inside, almost slamming the door on his face but he stopped it with his foot.
“Oh, please, don’t act all high and mighty with me. You’re just like me!” he retorted, as he stepped inside.
Astoria gasped indignantly. “I am nothing like you, Malfoy.”
Draco stepped closer to her, looking down at her with steely grey eyes. “Yes, you are. Don’t tell me you put on that show over there because you actually liked that git?”
“Well, why did you lead that girl on?” she asked him back, looking at his eyes demandingly. “You couldn’t have done it just to annoy me, did you? Were you jealous, Malfoy?”
He leaned so close towards her, their noses were almost touching. “I dare you to say that again, Greengrass.”
Astoria remained unfazed. She held his gaze as she whispered, “I think you got jealous -”
She didn’t know what happened next. One moment she was glaring at Malfoy, and the next, she was kissing him.