“Hun?” Draco calls out from the hall. His voice sounds distant.
I can’t bring myself to reply; I’m far too flabbergasted at the picture. That leggy, skinny brunette with a skimpy little dress with her arm wrapped around Draco.
I pull the picture closer to my face, and then rub my eyes. Surely…Surely that isn’t an engagement ring.
I hear the library door swing open, and the footsteps approach me. I turn to face Draco, smiling weakly at him.
“What is it?” he asks, looking at the picture in my hand. I shrug as if I wasn’t bothered by it, and hand the picture to him.
I really shouldn’t be bothered by this…should it? I mean, we’ve been married for some time now. We have two kids. Of course he’d prefer me over her.
But of course, she does have legs practically three miles long, and her hair is perfect, and she is bloody skinny but…
“Oh, that’s Jessie Yaxley,” he says with a smile, and hands the picture back to me. I search his grey eyes for anything, but there isn’t one hint of anything unusual. I shake my head at him, and shrug my shoulders.
“You remember Marcus Flint? I invited him to the wedding? You met him. Well he’s been engaged to her for some time. I think this was actually the last time I’ve caught up with him in a while…I saw him at the wedding of course but I got to say hello and good bye because there were so many other people who wanted to visit with us.”
My muscles relax a little bit, but I can’t help but stare at the girl who looked like a super model. She would lean in as she laughed at something he said, and press into him more than what would be considered friendly. He would laugh, and wrap his arm a bit tighter around her tiny waist.
“So…so you haven’t seen them since the wedding?”
“You know, it’s a coincidence really. I saw him the other day at that Thai restaurant you like. He’s been in the states for a while or something. Marcus invited me to drinks this Saturday, and rumor is she applied for the opening at the office. Remember that old lady who used to be my secretary? Well she quit and we’ve been looking for a new one…and apparently she applied, according to Marcus,” he smiles at me again, and moves away from me. He kisses me on the cheek before completely pulling away from me, and starts walking away.
“Are they still engaged?”
“Yeah,” he replies, “I think they are. I don’t know why they don’t just get married. Look, I have work to do so I’m going to the office, I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
I purse my lips, and study him carefully. He seems casual as always, nothing unusual. Oh no, am I really thinking that there’s something suspicious about my husband? I trust him, so this is ridiculous. Like he would even consider any other woman. He loves me, and he loves his children. Even more, he changed. He may have used to cheat on his girlfriends, as did his father, but he’s changed. He changed after the war into the man I know and love.
“Of course,” I smile, but I cross my arms over my chest with a huff. I push a piece of hair out of my eyes, and watch him leave the library. Jessie Yaxley, huh? God, I can’t even imagine her as a secretary. I storm out a few minutes after he’s gone, mumbling under my breath.
“Oh, gosh, I totally just spilled this coffee all over my white shirt. Oh, I got it on you too? Let me try and clean it up taking an excessive amount of time as everyone else starts whispering as I feel you up right here in front of everybody,” I mock in a high voice under my breath while heading back to the parlor with a few books in my hands. I set the books down on the coffee table, and scowl in disgust at the picture.
I plop down on the couch, and grab a book hastily off the coffee table. I barely have the book open when I hear a soft pop. I breathe in deeply the smell of the parchment of the book, and the old dust and I feel the tension slowly slipping away from me. I drag my eyes up from the book in frustration to see Narcissa standing in the doorway with a smile.
I put my book down while suppressing a sigh and stand up. She embraces me warmly, and I offer her a seat.
“Would you like some tea or coffee perhaps, Narcissa?” I ask, motioning towards the kitchen.
“I’m fine, darling. Come over here, come talk to me,” she insists, pointing to the seat in front of her.
I stare at the beautiful blonde woman sitting in front of me. How odd it seems, how I used to believe she resented me with everything had, yet now I trust her with everything and I can say that she generally likes me.
I take the seat in front of her, and cross my legs. I stare at her intently, waiting for her to speak, but she doesn’t for a few moments. “Well?” she asks, “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
“Who’s to say something’s wrong?” I laugh but it’s shaky, and I know very well that she can tell the moment a lie crosses my lips. She smiles at me, and shakes her head slowly.
“Darling, you very well know I can tell when something’s wrong, and when you’re lying. I decided I haven’t seen you in far too long, so I figured I would pop in for a visit. I could tell immediately upon my arrival something isn’t quite right. For one, you aren’t gushing about Adeline or Sapphire. Two, I know,” she says matter-of-factly- while picking up a book and reading the cover, “That you despise this author. There is no way in hell you would pick up one of his books unless you were fuming, taking care of you children, or mentally incapable of realizing what you were doing.”
“I don’t really want to talk about it, Narcissa.”
“So there is something!” she declares in triumphant. I shake my head in anger at first, but a giggle escapes.
“No, there’s really not, I’m just being ridiculous,” I start. I can feel her soft blue eyes observing me intently, and I look up to find that kind, nurturing, motherly smile playing her lips. Even though she looks so kind and sweet, with that caring attitude she’s breaking down my walls of secrecy with a sledgehammer. My resistance is dissolving quickly, and I’m starting to squirm under pressure. “Oh fine!” I exclaim. “There’s this picture I found, it’s on the table, if you’d like to see, and he just...I don’t know, to be quite candid. She just bothers me, rubbing up on him like that.”
She leans forward to grab the picture carefully off the table and observes it while pursing her lips in a tight, thin line.
“Oh, this is Jessie Yaxley,” she says quietly.
“That’s what he said, yes. But—“
“I wouldn’t worry about it, honey. Really, don’t. Trust me on this one,” she says, standing up.
“Are you going somewhere?”
“Yes, oh yes, I…I—I’m late for an appointment. I need to get those bloody pills refilled.”
I stand up, still in a bit of a puzzle that she’s leaving so soon, but I hug her before she leaves.
Adeline and Sapphire are up from their nap in less than two hours after Narcissa leaves. Draco comes home while I’m lying on the floor playing peek-a-boo with them, as I have for the past two and a half hours.
“Hey baby,” he says when he walks into the nursery.
“Hi,” I say, while continuing the game. They’re both erupting in fits of giggles, so absorbed that they don’t even notice their Daddy.
“Having fun?” he asks with a smile. He throws his jacket over the back of the rocker, and sits on the floor beside me. I nod, but at that point they had both realized he was there. He picks Sapphire up first, and places her on one leg, and then picks Adeline up and places her on the other leg. They’re both cooing and slobbering everywhere in delight, and I hold a teddy bear up. They completely disregard me.
I look at the clock, and take this as my cue to leave. “I’ve fed and changed them. All they need is to be put to bed,” I say, while leaving. “I’ll be in the shower!”
After drying and dressing after my shower, I notice the house is completely silent. Sapphire and Adeline must already be asleep. I creep downstairs in searc of Draco, and come to a halt in front of the parlor.
“You stay away from her, Draco Lucius Malfoy, she’s a tramp if I’ve ever seen one!”
I press my ear to the door after hearing Narcissa.
“You’re ridiculous, Mother! I love Hermione!”
“Just because a man loves his wife doesn’t mean lust isn’t acted upon!” she hisses. “Your father loved me and God knows how many other women he was with!”
I listen carefully to their footsteps to ensure I won’t be caught. I hold my breath and make absolutely no noise what-so-ever.
“I am not, Lucius! I won’t cheat on my wife!”
“Well, I don’t doubt you! But she’s dirty and slimy. She got knocked up her seventh year and the only way she got out of it was her father paid for her—“
“Mother, that is enough! I’m going to have to ask you to leave!”
Author’s Notes: Special thanks to Caitlin, ScorpiusRose17, and Misty_Volpe for all the extra supportive reviews! Hugs to you all, and thanks for reading!