So far the morning of Sunday, July 14th has been beautifully in my favour. I just have one of those feelings that today is going to be a lucky day for me. I’m in a good mood, which has been a rare occurrence these past few weeks, so I’m treasuring it for however long it lasts. I finish getting ready for the day and rush downstairs to the breakfast table. As I had hoped, my father is sitting in his usual seat with the Daily Prophet held in front of his face. Blaise and Cat are whispering back and forth, occasionally glancing up at the only other two people at the table: the Weasleys. The Weasel and The Weaselette, enjoying their breakfast. I walk quickly past them, but am sure to acknowledge them as I have been doing the past week. They are still angry that Granger and I are together, which of course makes me so happy. I can’t help but add fuel to the fire by being civilized every chance I get.
“What’s up, Red Fire One and Red Fire Two,” I greet them, flicking the Weasel in the side of the head with my middle finger as I pass by. They both look up and exchange wide-eyed glances, silently making the connection that I am, once again, making fun of their hair colour. The Weasel, as expected, scrunches up his face in an angry pouting expression and returns his attention to his breakfast.
“Good morning, Malfoy,” Ginny or whoever says to me, the polite tone in her voice so obviously forced and she doesn’t even bother to look up from her plate.
“Yeah, whatever,” I respond in a dull tone. “Where’s Granger?”
“I’m right here,” Granger’s voice sounds from the doorway. I look up quickly to see her and Potter entering the room. She walks over and kisses me softly, but the kiss ends far too soon. She turns her attention to the rest of the room. “Everyone getting along in here?”
“He flicked me in the head,” Weasley grumbles bitterly.
I notice Granger’s stern and questioning expression directed toward me. I simply shrug. “If you would control your friend I wouldn’t have to do things like that.”
She tries to hide her smile by looking away from me and grabbing a biscuit from a platter on the table and sitting down in her usual spot between Potter and my father. I make my way around the table to sit across from her, taking a biscuit for myself. I sit there staring at her, slowly pulling the biscuit apart and popping pieces into my mouth. She seems to do this task much more gracefully than I do. Between bites she looks up at the newspaper next to her.
“Good morning, Mr. Malfoy,” she says, her tone a bit more warm than normal. The corner of his newspaper tips down so that he can peer over it at her.
“Good morning, Ms. Granger,” he replies politely and then returns to his reading. It’s clear that whatever conversation they had after my father went after her on the 3rd has definitely thawed the ice between them. I smile down at what is left of my biscuit in satisfaction. My mother walks into the room and takes her seat. She is unable to hide the large smile spread across her face when she looks up at me.
“Good morning,” Mum says vaguely to the room. “Draco, darling, have you remembered to write to Professor McGonagall? It was so thoughtful of her to send the basket after the funeral. It would be polite to thank her.”
“Well, I was going to do that tomorrow – which is today, because it’s already today and not tomorrow.” I pause, processing what I just said. Of course it’s already today, you idiot! The current time is always considered today and not tomorrow! I shake my head at myself. “That made sense before I said it out loud.”
“Make sure you get that letter out today, dear.”
“I will, Mother.” The only reason that I have even agreed to write a thank-you letter to McGonagall for the stupid basket is because I feel I owe her a thank-you for getting Granger and I together. Obviously the letter will be about the basket, but in my mind I know that if she hadn’t suggested to Granger that she move in here and have these sessions with my mother, then we probably never would have seen each other again. I shudder involuntarily at the thought. I look up self-consciously to see who noticed. Of course, Granger’s face is silently questioning my well-being.
I stare back at her for a long moment, realizing for the first time the reality of the situation. It is true that we may have gone our whole lives without seeing each other again. I never would have discovered my feelings for her and we wouldn’t be together. It’s truly a bizarre thought. She smiles brightly, her cheeks turning pink, as she notices my scrutiny. I laugh inwardly at how her nose crinkles up when she smiles or laughs. She is incredible. Her eyes mesmerize me – there is so much emotion hidden there that I am unable to read. The light brown colour of her eyes is speckled with a slight spark of red, giving intense warmth to them.
I can’t help but laugh at myself. In what parallel universe would I have seen myself acting and thinking this way? And not just about Granger, but anyone. It seems too out of character for me, but I can’t stop myself. Is this what happens when you fall in love with someone? You suddenly find yourself consumed by it until you’re a completely different person than you were before? That’s fucking terrifying. The idea of unconsciously becoming a new person because of someone else is terrifying. The idea of being in love is terrifying. The idea that someone could be in love with me is terrifying. I’m completely terrified and it feels amazing.
I notice Granger nodding toward the doorway, raising her eyebrows at me. Suddenly she stands up and I understand that she expects me to follow her. I get up and follow her upstairs. She closes the door to my bedroom and stands there staring at it for a long moment before turning around to face me. She then begins to pace back and forth across the floor as I watch her curiously.
“You’re going to burn a hole in the floor,” I mutter, watching her feet shuffle back and forth repeatedly over the carpet.
“Look, I think it’s important that you know something,” she begins, finally stopping to stand still and look at me. “I made plans with Ron, just the two of us, to spend the day together on Wednesday. We both have the day off of work and I promised him we would do something together.”
My jaw clenches tightly at the news, but I don’t respond. I simply stare at her blankly until she decides to continue.
“I know that you two still have conflict between you, which is why I wanted you to hear about this from me instead of someone else.”
I pinch the bridge of my nose in frustration. “The two of you are spending the entire day together? Just the two of you alone?”
“I’m hoping that if I can show him that we’re still friends that maybe he will come around and be a little more supportive of us. It’s really important to me that Ron and I can continue to be friends after everything that we’ve been through. This will give us a chance to talk about things and hopefully work it out.”
“You know that he still has feelings for you and you’re going to spend the entire bloody day alone together?” I’m starting to get very frustrated. What is this intense feeling burning inside of me?
“You’re not jealous, are you?” She raises her eyebrows at me. Oh. Jealousy. That’s it.
“Jealous that you’re going to spend the entire day with another guy who not only has feelings for you, but hates the idea of you and I being together more than he simply hates me!? Why would I be jealous of that!?”
“You don’t have to get upset.”
“I don’t!? You know how I feel about him!”
“I know. And I know how he feels about you. I wish that the two of you could put the past behind you. I mean, is it really necessary to hold a grudge that is based on nothing?”
“Based on nothing!? Are you fucking with me!?”
Right before the fight is about to go to the next level, I stop. Her eyes are wide with innocence as she stares back at me. I take a deep breath, allowing the fight to simmer down, and simply stand there in brutal silence. I force myself to look up at her, slowly walking toward her. She walks backward away from me and I continue to walk toward her until her back is against the wall behind her. My breathing is slow and deep. It seems as though she has stopped breathing all together. I feel my heart racing faster and faster the more my mind processes the scent of her skin and how close her body is.
Trapped between my body and the wall, she awkwardly pulls at the buttons on my shirt. I laugh slightly at her unsteady hands and pull my arms out of the sleeves. The shirt falls to the floor and is forgotten. She lets out a surprised laugh as I pick her up suddenly and hold her against me. Without hesitation, she wraps her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist.
I allow my gaze to drift slowly over to the bed, my heart stopping for a moment. My attention returns to her as I feel her kiss the base of my neck. She is so beautiful and warm – and she is mine. We lock eyes with intensity as I carry her over toward the bed and set her down upon it gently. I release her and hover over her for a moment, admiring the sight of her. Unable to resist, I lean down and press my lips to hers. She accepts me openly and pulls me down on top of her. My smitten heart gives a tiny leap of excitement and heat and emotion surge through me.
She pulls back to look at me, studying my face. I can’t help but smile uncomfortably at the blatant observation. I hold her face – warm and smooth against my skin – in my hands. I watch her eyes move as she scans over my face, waiting patiently until she is satisfied. Finally a wide grin spreads across her face and she laughs softly, pulling me back down into another kiss. We struggle awkwardly out of our clothes while attempting to leave our kiss unbroken. We shift our bodies further onto the bed. We laugh openly at the awkward movements and struggles as we both try to figure out what the hell we’re doing. All of the scenes in books I’ve read always make these moments seem to graceful. I suppose it doesn’t work that way in reality. We don’t naturally know where the other person is going to move and our limbs end up bumping into each other or getting tangled. All we can do is laugh.
I try not to allow myself to panic at the enormity of the situation. If I panic I may talk myself out of this and I would most likely regret that. Who the hell am I kidding? Of course I would regret that! I just need to relax. I take a deep, cleansing breath. My mind calms itself immediately when I look down at the smile on her face. She can tell that I’m nervous and she reaches up and brushes my hair out of my face. I lean down and kiss her – there’s no turning back now.
She knows how to hook me. The sunlight coming in through the window glows on her skin. Her skin couldn’t possibly be smoother. I lay on my back next to her waiting for my breathing to steady. Granger is laying on her side next to me, her head resting on my chest. She suddenly laughs softly to herself.
“What?” I ask immediately, feeling suddenly self-conscious.
“Nothing – I just – I can hear your heart beating. It makes me happy.”
I laugh, mostly out of relief that that’s all it was. She kisses my chest, right over my heart, and then rests her head again. She traces lazy shapes on my stomach with her index finger.
“I feel like I’m dreaming – in which case, don’t wake me up,” she mutters against my skin.
“You’re not dreaming,” I assure her, assuring myself in the process.
“In which case, don’t let me fall asleep.” She stops tracing along my belly and allows her hand to still. I can feel her yawn lightly. I squeeze her tightly in my arms. She lifts her head, resting her chin on my chest, and looks up at me. “Does this mean you’re not mad at me anymore?”
“I’m not mad at you, Ace. I shouldn’t have gotten so upset. He’s been your friend far longer than I’ve been anything but vile to you. I may not be pleased by the idea of the two of you spending the entire day alone together, but I could never ask you to give up your friendship with anyone for me. I doubt that would bode well for me in the long run.”
“I don’t want you to be upset or uncomfortable with this. Your feelings are equally as important.”
“You want to maintain your friendship and you already promised him you would go. So go. I’ll be fine. Of course, that does mean that you’re leaving me here alone with Potter all day. You’re going to have to make that up to me, especially if I can make it the entire day without strangling him.”
“Oh, come off it.” She swats at my chest playfully. “You can pretend that you still hate Harry all you want, but I see right through you. Besides, won’t Cat be here? I’m sure that she can rebuff any sort of risk for casualties.”
After a few very long moments, we decide to get up and get dressed. My legs are shaky when I stand. My stomach is flipping wildly. For some reason I feel almost as if I’m more nervous and terrified now than I was before we’d slept together. What the hell is happening to me? Is this what the start to a panic attack feels like? I try desperately to look nonchalant as I pull my clothes back on, inwardly questioning every choice I’ve ever made in life. Was this the right thing to do? It was way too soon, wasn’t it? What if she regrets this later and it ruins everything. I’ve heard that women sometimes do that. I feel like such an idiot. I had to know that she wasn’t the time of girl to just jump into bed straight away. Alright, stop! I’m being ridiculous. I’m overthinking this. She seems fine.
Fully dressed, she stands up straight and uses her hands to pat her hair back into place. She walks over to me, pushes herself up on her tiptoes, and plants a light kiss to my lips. I have only seconds to process the contact before she pulls away and scurries out of the room. I float out of my room and all the way downstairs with my brain seemingly barely attached to the rest of me.
I’m trying not to overthink all of this and overwhelm myself with all of these questions. However, part of me can’t resist. All of the other relationships that I just jumped into bed straight away in eventually had a very dramatic ending. I can’t tolerate the thought of things going in that direction with Granger. She’s definitely not like any of the other women that I’ve dated. I shouldn’t have treated her like one. Although technically she didn’t seem hesitant or uncertain before or after.
I’m sure that Granger is already talking the entire situation out with the Weaselette right now trying to decide if it was the right decision, how she feels, and where she should go from here. I resist the powerful urge to eavesdrop on that conversation. Maybe I need to talk to someone, too? If she can go and hash out the whole thing to make herself feel better, why can’t I? The only problem is, who the hell is there for me to talk to about this? There’s no way I can tell Blaise. He wouldn’t take this seriously for even a second. Cat doesn’t really seem like the type of person who would be particularly helpful to me in this situation either. I sigh heavily as I realize the only option left.
I must be losing my mind. There has to be someone else I can talk to about this, anyone else. Please? No? Okay, fine. I stand and stare blankly at the door in front of me, looking for any excuse to talk myself out of this. After searching my brain for any alternative person to talk to and any reason why I shouldn’t need someone to talk to at all and coming up with nothing – I push the door open and step inside the room. I’m immediately met by curious eyes. It’s now or never. I need peace of mind and there is nowhere else to get the answers that I require. Just swallow your pride, and the embarrassment that is sure to come, and go in there. I walk further into the room, taking a deep breath, and prepare to begin what is possibly the most awkward conversation of my life.
“Mum? Dad? Can we talk?”
Oh, Merlin, kill me now.