Chapter 1 : Impasse
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I hope you'll enjoy it and please leave a review! Also, a new chapter for Imprinted Wounds is soon coming out and "Blind"'s alternative ending has come out, for those who did not like my ending. Anyway, onto the story! Hope you like it, and don't forget to review! Please do review :D
DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter doesn't have my name printed on its front covers, so therefore is not mine, but I wouldn't mind buying out Draco...
He staggered as soon as his feet hit the plush carpet. He knew it was reckless and dangerous to Apparate whilst drunk, but he couldn’t care. Right now, all that mattered was the nearly empty bottle of Firewhiskey in his hand. His third in two hours. A distinctive, glum feeling sat at the pit of his stomach which he quickly recognised as guilt, but he couldn’t recall why he felt guilty, but the feeling lingered in him, but with a swift slurp of his drink, it was gone.
He didn’t notice the disappointed figure waiting in the shadows, watching him as he fell to the sofa and continuously tipped his drink back, refilling it when it became closely empty. He didn’t realise that the petite figure had a horrified look on her face, mingled with hurt and distress. He didn’t see her slip her wand out and turn his drink into tea.
But what he did notice was the change.
Fury spread through him quicker than he thought was possible. He knew who the perpetrator immediately was and with an angry shout, he called her name. She stepped out of the shadows.
“You!” He shouted angrily, pointing a long, spidery finger at her. “You changed my Firewhiskey! Give me my alcohol back now!” His demands remained unfulfilled and his anger just rose.
“No.” She said flatly, defiance shining around her.
“You had no right to change it! I am free to drink as I please, I don’t want this shit! Give me my alcohol!” He sounded like a petulant little child, demanding his toy back from his stern parents. Her lip curled up in disgust.
“Draco,” she started sweetly, almost derisively. “You know I have to do this for your own good, please don’t fight me. Now, let me clean you up and you can go to bed.” Her suggestions are spoken in a childish tone, as though she is addressing a five year old, it angered him of how familiar it sounded.
“Draco, you should know by now not to disobey the Dark Lord.” Her sickeningly sweet baby voice rang out amongst the dark, mocking him. “Unfortunately nephew, you must reap the consequences. Crucio…”
His screams bounced him out of the memory, and he shook his head rigorously, attempting to clear his foggy mind, to no avail.
“Draco?” She says softly, riddled with worry now.
Shakily, he forced himself into a calm and coherent manner and once more asked her, more stoically this time, to give him back his much needed drink. She frowned at him and shook her head, unwilling to let him drown in his alcohol.
Fury spreads through him quicker than spitfire, fuelled by his inebriated mind and he has her up against a wall in less than a minute, his rough hand wrapped lightly around her neck, applying just enough pressure to frighten her.
She doesn’t even flinch.
Her eyes, once full of such curiosity and brightness, were filled with reciprocating anger and zeal, but she did not speak, allowing him to vent.
“You’re a stubborn little bitch aren’t you?” He hisses at her, leaning in and breathing in her ear. She closed her eyes at the familiar touch. “A mudblood whore, so desperate…”
She glares at him angrily. “Funny, you don’t seem to mind being touched by a ‘whore’, both when she cares for you and when she pleasures you.” His lip curls upwards in an ugly smile and he releases her from his bonds.
“You’re always willing, don’t lie. I make you high, I give you a feeling you can’t get from anyone else. When we fight, you get riled up. You love it. You love me.” He states softly. She looks at him funnily.
“And you’re saying it’s not the same for you?” She asks, but she knows the answer. It’s always the same, they are always the same.
“My answer has not changed ever since I attacked you at Hogwarts.” He reminds her, a hint of a smile graces her face.
“But your feelings have.” She finishes, her smile becoming a large one. He comes close to her, his lips close to hers, his nose nearly touching her, his thunderstorm eyes staring deep into her muddy brown ones.
“No way in hell. I’d never fall for such filth.” He coldly informs her, slurring slightly. He moves away, down the hall, disappearing into their joint room, unknowing to the tears that fell from her eyes.
“Hermione?” A soft voice calls for her, ashamed and apologetic. Her eyes bolt open and she quickly sits atop her bed. “Hermione I know you’re in there and I know you’re awake.” She cracked a melancholic smile.
Her voice husky from sleep, she replies a quiet ‘come in’, he obeys.
Taking over the spot he always stood in the guest room after an explosive argument, his head hung low and ashamed of the previous night’s occurrences. Awkwardness engulfed the room in large waves, yet neither spoke, each waiting for the other to speak. A sigh escaped Hermione’s lips as she waited expectantly. His head lifted up and they locked gazes, neither still speaking.
“Say something.” He pleaded quietly. “Anything.”
She looked at him warily. “What do you expect me to say Draco? I’m sorry for last night? I’m sorry for taking your alcohol away from you so you wouldn’t choke to death? I’m sorry for the fact that this is the fourth night in a row you’ve come home to me in that state?” She looked at him disbelievingly. “No Draco, you say something.”
The room once again became hushed as Draco thought of something to say. His mind and mouth were blank. Hermione studied his face, his cheeks hollow yet still chiselled. His skin rough with a five o’ clock shadow. He was slightly starry-eyed from the prior night’s vast alcohol intake, yet he was still tall and handsome, and not fully hers.
“I don’t know what to say,” he mumbled incoherently. Hermione heard him clearly though, and it pained her. She looked at him in a shocked state of bewilderment, and then repeated what he said.
“You don’t know what to say.” She shook her head. When it registered in her head that he was truly tongue-tied, she got out of her bed and walked over to where he was standing, near the door, his confused gaze following her.
“What are you doing?” he asked, watching her white knuckles clasping the door handle.
“Please leave my room; I need to get ready for work.” She said monotonously. Lies, they both know she doesn’t have work today.
“Shouldn’t we talk?” He asks, raising his eyebrow at her blatant false truth.
“No.” She answers blankly. He became livid by her sharp reply and in a second, she was once again up against the wall, her lovers face mere millimetres away from hers. Her eyes instantly became full of life and bright, in a twisted way, fuelled by the way he held her and the unresolved anger and hatred she felt towards him, anger for the way he kept treating her, hatred for the fact that she loved him too much. Their little twisted love-hate relationship. She felt neither fear nor concern; rather, she kept her head, staring him down with no sign of digression. She was used to this. She loved this. She hated this. She wanted this. No, she needed this.
“No, I think we’re going to talk now.” He informs her in hush tones, sounding so menacing. His grip tightened around her bare arms and there was sure to be bruises blooming there.
“Why don’t you reiterate Malfoy? You’re going to talk and I’m going to be bleeding through my ears.” She shot back. He seemed to not have heard her, too lost in his thoughts.
“I didn’t mean it,” he said suddenly, his hold on her becoming so uncomfortable she moans in pain. “I wasn’t going to come home like that. I was going to be sober and clean. I-”
“Oh please continue,” she commented sarcastically. “I don’t want to hear your ludicrous stories Malfoy! You and I both know its bullshit!” She doesn’t notice that she shouted that last bit. He looks at her oddly, and his grasp on her lessons somewhat, she still cannot budge.
“I’m not like him, I didn’t hurt anyone.” He says with conviction.
“It sounds like you’re reassuring yourself and not me. When did you figure that out huh Draco? You know what? I don’t care. Thanks for sharing your little epiphany. Is that all or would you like to imprison me in your home?”
“Our home,” he corrected automatically. She looks up at his intense eyes, shaking her head.
His pale hands return to his side, curling vehemently. Hermione now had the ability to freely move, but she stood there, listening to his breathing speed up erratically and an irate look grazes his face. Hermione scoffed. “And you claim not to be your father’s son.”
It felt good. Angering him to the point of oblivion. Banter was a good enough word to describe what they did. Argument was also not a good enough word. This was unadulterated anger. A truly messed up relationship neither had expected. They were too opposite to be good for each other. Too different. It only made things worse betwixt them. She said things to him that weren’t true, and he did exactly the same. They found certain topics that infuriated the other, using it against the one another. The look on Draco’s face was thrilling to her. A normal person would have run. But then again, she wasn’t normal. Not anymore.
Then he changed. His moment of fury dissipated into the air like steam. His fingers unfurled from its death grip and Hermione caught a trickle of blood dripping down his middle finger, crying red from the deep indentation his nail made. His face relaxed and he looked… normal.
Now she feared him.
To say that Draco was able to switch body language and mood like a switch was an understatement. He could do it even quicker which frightened Hermione. It meant hushed rage. A quiet explosion in the making, ready to burst at any moment. A storm was blazing in his grey eyes as his finger touched her cheek delicately, travelling slowly. He watched his finger move intently as Hermione stared at him quizzically; no doubt his finger arising unwanted feelings. Her eyes fluttered shut for a moment. His finger felt wonderful on her skin, leaving a hot trail in its wake.
“W-what are you doing?” She stumbled. He didn’t reply. “Draco?” She hated how she sounded. So vulnerable and weak. Hermione Granger was neither! A hot-headed, strong Gryffindor were among the words best used to describe her, not vulnerable or weak. Yet it was simply his touch that had her melted under his skilful fingers.
“I don’t know why you’re with me,” he murmured, barely a soft whisper in the gentle breeze. “I’m trouble.”
A hint of a smile grazes Hermione’s face. “I happen to like trouble.” She replied. The sudden change in topic and growing tension surprised her. She went with the flow.
“Even if I hurt you? If I made you cry almost every day?” He asked. She contemplated for a moment.
“Yes, even then.”
He finally looked at her, his gaze intense. Why could she see anger in the depth of his grey orbs?
“You’re crazy.” He chuckled, resuming his watchful scrutiny at his finger.
“Well I must be if I got involved with you.” He stiffened and Hermione felt his hard body against her. His finger halted in its ministrations.
When he spoke, it was harsh and cold. “I don’t understand why you don’t leave me. I can’t see why you don’t just… walk away. If I were you, I’d scarper as soon as possible.” His finger continued moving, around the base of her throat and his body slackened.
“Well it’s a good thing you’re not me then.” His fingers neared the dip of her cleavage.
“Hurt, anger… tears; so many fucking tears I made you feel ever since we met. I’m not worth it.” At this she lets out a tiny scoff. He looks at her, puzzled.
“Shouldn’t I be the judge of that?”
“Your judgement is biased and twisted. You have a stubborn way of thinking.”
“Well what else made me fall for you?” She says softly. “I know its one-sided, but despite it all, despite it all, I still love you, and I’m not leaving, I'm too selfish. I need you Draco, even though you’re more fucked than I am, you’re my comfort, and I’m not walking away from the one thing that’s kept me sane – well, half sane.” He nods at her words, drinking them in as he skilfully began removing her buttons. She knew he would never return her feelings, she knew how one-sided their relationship was, she cared for him and loved for him like a doting and faithful girlfriend, he fucked her senseless like a common whore, coming home to her blindly drunk, or beaten from pub brawls, or bleeding psychologically. Either way, she was always there, ready and willing to put up with anything he was. That’s the price she paid for love and need.
“Love is a flawed yet impeccable thing,” he mused. She silently agrees.
“It sees past imperfections yet finds the perfect way to fuck you over.” She says thoughtfully.
“You see past my imperfections? You love me for all of mine?” He asks as Hermione moves forward to let her shirt fall to the floor. He ogles at her breasts, heat and lust flaring in his eyes. She smiles wickedly.
“Yours come in abundance, I assure you. But despite what you think, in there” she nudges at his chest, “there’s a good guy, and I’m waiting for him to come into view, to come to me.”
“And you’re willing to wait a long time?”
“Yes.” She answers without a doubt. He pauses, looking at her in surprise.
“I’ve actually fucked you over haven’t I?” He questions in awe. She smiles at him.
“In a way, yes, but it just makes me love you for it.” She responds. He looks at her oddly, but then bows his head.
“Would you be able to live with me if I told you I didn’t reciprocate your feelings?” He asked tentatively, not meeting her eye. She fell into a state of silence, with no answer to his question. She thought about his question, could she be happy? Was this how she wanted her life to be? Catering and loving a man who didn’t love her back? Living in a one-sided relationship? Her immediate answer was no.
But then she thought about Draco and the man that he is when he’s not in a drunken stupor. Quite a gentleman, a rough lover at times but a tender romantic mostly, he was definitely excellent in that region. He treated her respectfully when he was sober, had intelligent conversations with her and wasn’t as mental as Hermione had thought. He had been there for her, been the right type of comfort neither Harry nor Ron could’ve provided. He chased away her nightmares, cuddling up with her and whispering sweet nothings as she fell into a deep sleep. She too helped him out of his nightmares and was always there to pick up the psychological and physical pieces. Their relationship wasn’t based on want, it was based on need. He needed her. She needed him. They needed each other.
“Yes. Yes I would still be able to live with you. You don’t understand love Draco; it’s not a switch, which you can flick off and on. My love is… it’s…” She struggled for words. How was she going to explain to him love when he’s never felt it? “I never chose to fall for you. I never wanted this. You were the last man I’d expect to be in a relationship with. But you did things… things that were so sweet and tender that made me worry you put a spell on me. I hate how cheesy this sounds but Draco I honestly can’t live without you. Who else would I talk to? Who else would I make love to? Who else would stop me from going insane from the nightmares? You suffered just as much as I did, if not worse. We’re poles apart yet so alike, and yet you still find a way to drive me completely up the wall. You have a drinking problem you deny, you call me such evil words, and you’re rough and barely home! And when you do come home, you’re either drunk or bloody.
“You fight with me all the god damn time and nearly always leave me in tears. You always leave me wondering whether I should drop all of this and leave, but I know I can’t and I know you know I can’t either. I know I can’t even move a fraction out of that door because I’ll always come back. I need you like an alcoholic needs a good drink. You understand me in a way I don’t expect others too. You, of all people, are my fucking salvation and I hate it. I hate it. But the very fact that I love you is stopping me from walking out of that door. Even though last night, when you attacked me, it wasn’t the first time. Even though you don’t love me but I love you. Even though you still call me mudblood when you’re drunk in spite of not sharing a single pure-blooded ideology anymore. Even though I know you need me just as much as I need you. I hate that I love you Draco.”
He stood there for a moment, stunned by her words. He never openly spoke so much about his feelings, and she barely told him hers, so Draco didn’t know exactly what Hermione thought, he knew she loved him. He knew that she cared for him more than she should; he knew she shouldn’t be putting up with him and her rational mind was at a constant war with her emotional heart. However this, all of this was so new to him! It didn’t even register in his head that he called her mudblood. He didn’t even know that she knew how desperate he was for her, how needy he was for her touch, her scent, and her soothing words. And the worst of all, he detested knowing that she had thoughts of leaving running around in her head often. For once, he actually thought of the implications of her leaving, walking out of that door and never returning. It made him angry instantly. He didn’t want her to leave him! He loathed the idea of her loving someone else that wasn’t him, caring for another man. She belonged to him and him only!
Suddenly, he wished he never asked her why she didn’t leave. Heavy and new feelings were blossoming inside him, making him feel squirmy and uncomfortable. Was it guilt? Was he feeling guilty because he never knew or understood what Hermione had to put up because of him? Did he finally understand the emotional misery he was putting his lover through? Or maybe it was dread. Dread of the thought that Hermione wanted to leave, but couldn’t. Could dread be filling him because he knew he was undeserving of Hermione’s love and was close to losing it? He hated these feelings immediately, and wished them away.
He hated this revelation. It burdened him. He needed to forget. He had to erase his mind of this encounter.
But how could he? He was fond of Hermione, and did enjoy her company and love. He loved the knowledge that she’d be there when he went home. This admission ruined everything! He was thinking now! Analysing their relationship, something which he never did. Could he picture marrying Hermione and settling down with her? Having cute little babies with curly blonde hair, his eyes and her intellect? Could he imagine waving them off on the Hogwarts platform, with his arm wrapped around her? Could he grow old with her and still love her nonetheless?
Absolutely. He could see himself doing all of that with her. He would love to marry her and conceive a baby with her and watch them grow older with her and grow old with her. He could imagine loving her. He could get clean with her, confront his issues and bury them for her. He could do so much for her, he realised that this is what he wanted, to be with her forever, making sure no-one else claimed her as their mate but keep her as his. She was right, he did need her. He needed her more than she’d ever realise. But did this mean he loved her? He had no idea, and he wished not to know the answer now, rather to make love to this beautiful creature locked in his arms.
He kissed her chastely. Once, twice, thrice. He moved away to calculate the look on her face. Flushed cheeks, closed eyes and lifted head. She was angelic, so lust-worthy and willing. He pressed his lips upon hers once more, but this time she refused to let him stop. The kiss deepened as Hermione’s arms went around his neck, pushing him closer and Draco probed at her luscious cherry red lips, begging for entry. She let him in happily, and his slippery snake of a tongue slid right in, caressing her needy mouth with his seductive tongue. She whimpered as his hands roamed around her upper chest and she could feel the smirk growing on his lips.
Deciding he was donning too many clothes, her nimble fingers began unbuttoning his shirt, slowly and salaciously. He groaned in his mouth and hitched her up higher on the wall, her legs enfolding themselves around his waist. The deep kiss grew hotter, need and lust stimulating them. His lips fell to the base of her neck, languidly making their way up to her ear, biting and sucking on the lobe, making Hermione involuntarily groan. He carried her to the bed, where he continued to ravish her with her back to the soft bed, all previous conversation forgotten.
Draco Malfoy watched his girlfriend of a year sleeping beside him. Her corkscrew curls lying haphazardly around her, her eyes closed and her cute, pert lips red and swollen from his attack, a thin white sheet wrapped around her feminine body, she looked like the epitome of a godsend. Truthfully, Draco didn’t know what he did to deserve such a gift. Looking back on his life, all he did was mistake after mistake after mistake. Nevertheless, he took a moment to thank whatever deity was up there for the beauty he had the privilege of calling his. He stroked her cheek softly, wishing her to sleep through his touches. This was heaven.
He sighed softly. He couldn’t believe realisation hit him so late into their relationship. He couldn’t fathom enough excuses for his poor conduct towards her these past couple of months. Things had gone heavily wrong after the death of his parents, he became the sordid mess Hermione had put up with, and he didn’t even know it. Even after dying, his parents had still screwed his life over, and this just made his hatred for them grow even more. Everything they did to him, the stupid ideologies they fed him, the poor childhood, it still affected him at the age of twenty, and he hated it, more than he hated himself.
He shook his head lightly and mentally berated himself. It was being caught up in the past that ruined his relationship with Hermione in the first place. ‘Well not any longer,’ he thought with conviction. ‘It all ends today, including my behaviour towards Hermione.’ He couldn’t blame his parents for how he turned up. True, they played an important role in it, but they were now dead, and Draco was a free man. There were no more viable excuses for his disgusting conduct, it was all him. And he was going to change it all now.
Fluttering eyes awoke him from his thoughts, and he looked down at the sleepy woman beside him. She rubbed her eyes and crawled closer to him.
“Hello,” she mumbled.
“Hi.” He replied lamely.
“What were you thinking about?” She asked quietly, still flushed from post-coital slumber. Ever the intuitive one, even in her sleep she knew when something troubled him.
“How did you know I was thinking about something?” He asked lightly.
“I could practically hear the cogs in your brain working, it woke me up.” She replied, looking up at him. His finger rubbed her shoulder.
“I was thinking about what you said… I was thinking about us.” He told her softly. Understanding and puzzlement clouded her eyes.
“And what about us?” She asked.
“I realised you were wrong,” at this she chuckled. “What?” He said self-consciously.
“Nothing, it’s just… I thought I was pretty spot-on about our relationship.”
“You were wrong about me.” He answered complacently. She looks up and her mouth forms a quaint ‘O’.
“I was?” She questioned.
“Yes. Didn’t you notice that every time I told you I didn’t love you, I was drunk or really pissed?” She thought over the few times he said it, and realised he was right. Although he never outright confessed his love for her, he never denied his love for her in a correct state of mind.
“But you asked me if I would leave if you didn’t…?” She trailed off pathetically, looking at him with round eyes.
“It was simply a question; I wanted to know what you would do.” He replied as if it was the obvious thing in the world. He let her contemplate for a while, before she began talking again.
"So what does this mean?” She asked confusedly.
“Come on now Granger, you are the brightest witch of our age. You tell me.” He said playfully.
She shook her head. “No,” she said firmly. “I want to hear it out of your mouth. I said my piece last night, now it’s your turn.”
He exhaled deeply, lazily drawing random shapes on her bare arm. “You know I’m not good with words.”
She raised an eyebrow at him. “You’ll do fine.”
He took a deep breath in. “You were right. Everything you said to me, all of it was right, apart from the ‘I don’t love you’ part. I don’t think you stressed enough how much I need you Hermione. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be mentally in pieces. I’d literally be in St. Mungo’s right now, slowly dying away. You can’t see how angry it would make me if you did leave me, I can’t bear the thought of you loving someone other than me. In my eyes you can’t leave, you can’t love another human being; you belong with me and me only. I know what I do and I know that my apologies aren’t ever enough; I know that I say that next time I’ll control myself, I won’t hurt you, I won’t leave you in tears, and I know each time I let you down.” She looks down, nodding as he spoke. He tilted her head up with his hand and notices the unshed tears creeping up in her eyes. “But it won’t happen again. This time it’s not an empty promise, I mean it. I’m not going to hurt you any longer. I’m going to sober up and act like the boyfriend you deserve. I want you to know Hermione that I’d never intentionally hurt you; I’m always off my rocker when I’m drinking, but it all ends now. I’m going to make you happy and prove that you choosing not to leave was the best decision you’ve ever made. It’s all over now. I’m back, the good guy in here” he pointed to his chest with her hand, “is coming out. He’s coming to you.” The whole time she remained quiet, his words sinking into her. When it became clear that he was finished, she cleared her throat.
"I hope you prove me wrong." She mumbled into his chest. “But you still haven’t said the three words I want to hear.” Colour drains from his pale face and she notices. “Can you say it?”
He huffs. “Of course I can say it.” He snaps. “Even if I don’t though, you know it’s still true.” He points out, she shakes her head.
“I want to hear you say it.” She told him adamantly, gazing into his eyes.
He struggles. “I… I can’t. Listen Hermione, I grew up learning that showing emotion was a sign of weakness. My own mother wasn’t allowed to display affection because it was ‘disapproving behaviour’. I grew up never hearing or saying those words. I’m genuinely surprised that I know how to feel at all. I know today I vowed to make some big changes in myself and in our relationship... but what I guess I’m trying to say is –” She silenced him with a soft kiss on his lips.
“One thing at a time?”
He nods at her words. “One thing at a time.”
A/N 11/08/2012: Minor alterations added and few things modified.