Chapter 26 : Healing
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“Well…” Laura echoed.
Their spirits whispered in his head; light and darkness falling around them. She was loosing her grip on his consciousness, but she felt he had healed some in the time she spent their. Moments passed and she broke the silence saying, “I’m sorry about nearly killing you.”
He dismissed it as if facing death had wizened him. “I am sorry about manipulating you, but I’m not sorry about seducing you.”
They both smiled at their raw apologies.
He read her thoughts and knew it was likely she’d be expelled for this. He mayn’t see her before she left or ever again for that matter. “We would have made a great team,” Draco told her once more. He felt her spirit waver and knew her hold on his mind was lax.
“Yeah, we would have,” Laura’s shimmering spirit agreed. “Goodbye, Draco.”
“Goodbye Laura,” Draco replied, reaching out to touch her, but she had faded away. Somehow, he had a premonition it wouldn’t be the last he’d see of her.
Laura broke the healing trance only to find that he was still unconscious, but she knew he’d heal soon enough. Before returning to her own hospital bed, she curled next to Draco finding comfort in the warmth of his body next to hers. As she lay next to him, she contemplated everything that had taken place that year.
Her father, Harry, Draco’s father, Draco… The abuse wrought on her person and the abuse she inflicted on others… Her conspiring and Draco’s plotting… Harry’s selflessness and belief in her… Her failed classes and no doubt eventual expulsion… Nothing mattered anymore. Before Pomfrey returned to check up on her patients, she kissed Draco on his left temple whispering her final, “Goodbye,” before going back to her own cot.
Ron and Hermione walked back to Gryffindor Tower together that night. Harry and Ginny were still in the hospital wing and no doubt they would be later getting back. They entered through the portrait hole and walked straight into Ron’s room automatically. Hermione hadn’t noticed she had followed him there out of habit until after he close and locked the door behind them. They stood in his room, barely centimetres apart from one another even though his room wasn’t cluttered.
Hermione shook off her nervousness to the best of her ability and sat on the end of his bed saying, “I know Malfoy wasn’t behind the whole thing, but I can’t help feeling glad he’s incapacitated.”
He nodded in agreement, sitting next to her saying, “He deserves it for everything he’s done to you. I would have done it myself if I could.”
“Don’t say that Ron, you’d be in Harry’s predicament if you had,” she warned, sliding her hand next to his in hopes he’d take it up in his.
“Good point.” He wanted to kiss her, but took up her hand instead.
There was silence between them for a few moments before Ron asked, “You think you’ll be able to get some sleep now?” Did she have to leave? He never wanted to be parted from her, especially tonight after what had happened.
Hermione nodded, causing a few stray hairs to fall into her face. Ron reached to brush them away from her eyes and his hand lingered there, caressing the side of her face. The only good sleep she had for months was the last time she had stayed over. Even though the invader was gone, she wanted to feel that safe again and she couldn’t feel like that alone. “Would you mind if I- if I stayed here tonight?”
“You mean with me?” Ron nearly choked on the words.
“Er—yes,” was all she could muster.
“Of course you can.” Ron didn’t even try to repress his glee.
“Thanks,” Hermione calmly replied.
Ignoring the warning signals going off in his head, he leaned closer to her and allowed his lips to meet hers. She enthusiastically responded to the meeting of their lips, throwing caution to the wind knowing that with him, she was safe.
When he broke away in order to catch his breath, he desperately wanted to whisper in her ear how much he cared about her, but he couldn’t muster up the courage to do so.
She intently searched his eyes for intention, but realized he wouldn’t do anything because he didn’t want to take advantage of her, especially since she was still sleep-deprived. She appreciated that, but was also angry that the only time either of them had courage to do anything was when it was a bad time.
They still sat there; unwavering for a long time before Ron took up her hand once again, pulling her to her feet. He led her around to the side of his bed, straightening the covers as she lay down underneath them. As he walked away from the bed, she whispered, “Where are you going?”
He turned around at this seeing her beckoning eyes, concerned that he would leave. “Nowhere,” he replied hoarsely, returning to her side. He reclined next to her above the sheets and kissed her cheek
She smiled and let her head rest next to his shoulder. Her eyes closed and blessed sleep found her.
Ron allowed himself one last look at her before he too fell asleep, the happiest lad in all of Hogwarts.
A/N: I guess there was some confusion about whether Draco forced Laura to, um you know, or not, well, he did. She was confused. She thought he was cute, but she didn’t want to… She had her father pressuring her to get under Draco’s skin per-se and that was one of the things he suggested. I’ll probably explore this more in the sequel… if there’s an audience for a sequel.
Draco used Ginny again?? When was that? Hmm…
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Special thanks to Alli-Baby: your kind words mean so much to me! Death-Eater: cool name!! Druissilla: yay Buffy name! As always to Bumpersticker: because you rock! Luza: thanks for your review!
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