Despite that it's winter break, James is still in love with the idea to practice Quidditch. In fact, he drags me and Albus to enter the British Junior Quidditch League. The try-out was tiring I can literally feel my energy seeping out through my pores. I tried for the Chaser position, because that is my position in the Slytherin Quidditch team. James and Albus are both Seeker for their own respectives House. The Coach said he'd inform the result next week. I wanted to kill him when I heard what he said. The try-out was 7 hours long and we still couldn't know who was picked. I'm mentally and physically exhausted.
We decide to wander around London for awhile before we go back home. As we walk, I told both Potter boys everything about the night I show Draco the letter. I don't know who shows more anger towards Draco; James or Albus. I feel grateful that they want to hear me out. I'm so frustrated. I want to tell them how I hate Draco at the moment I want nothing but to kill him.
"Foul, evil, git," James mutters under his breath. "Don't worry, Lyra. If he did anything to hurt you anymore, we'd be more than glad to kill him."
"I think everyone who knew your mother would," Albus adds. I smile and circle my arms on their shoulders, unexpectedly kiss both of their cheeks.
"What's that for?" both ask simultaneously. I grin sheepishly.
"I don't know. I think that's an impulse reaction because you two have been a really good friend."
Both boys then grin and lean to kiss each of my cheeks. I can feel myself getting hotter in the face. I had never been kissed before. Well, except for my Mum. James laughs at my reaction and I slap the back of his head in a friendly manner. Albus is quick enough to get away from me. He's about 50 feet away from me.
"Hey, Malfoy!" Albus says. He grabs an apple from his bag and tosses in the air for a few times. "Do you think that you can hit the apple with a rock from where you are right now when it floats?"
I smirk smugly at him. I take the nearest rock from me and toss it in a manner like Albus does. "Of course, Potter. I'm more than able to do that."
James whistles at my comeback. "Look out, Al. I bet she's gonna throw it at your nose instead of the apple, brother."
"Throw it, Potter," I says.
Albus smirks back at me and throws the apple into the air. I only have one second to aim my rock before I throw it straight at the apple. It feels like the rock flies in a slow motion as I watch it hits the apple, pushing the apple further behind Albus. The apple's still flying when a hand catches it effortlessly. I feel my gut clenches in a knot. Only a really good Keeper or Seeker can ever catch an object flying that fast. I only know four people who could do that, one is the least person I want to meet right now. I bite my lip as I lower my eyes from the apple to the person who catches it.
It's Draco Malfoy.
"Damn, girl," he says. "You throw really good for someone who has Hermione Granger's blood in her veins. I have to say, I'm impressed."
I clench my jaw tightly. I notice James and Albus have moved to be my human-shield, stepping in front of me. Draco is wearing a set of Muggle clothes; jeans and sweater. The hood's drapped over his blonde head, perhaps to cover his abnormally shiny hair. I catch a slim figure standing next to him, a woman. That can't be Jackie Williams. I know Jackie, I've seen her lots of times at the Honorary Ball that's held by the Ministry every time Harry celebrated his birthday. This woman isn't Jackie. That's Pansy Zabini, formerly Parkinson. She is around my height, probably. Her hair is really dark I think I can see my reflection in it. Her eyes are brown like Mum's, and her lips are plump and red. She's beautiful, but not in a way Mum or Ginny are. Mum and Ginny look friendly, and this woman, she looks intimidating in a royal kind of way. Like Draco did.
"Do you know that I originally auditioned for the position of Chaser when I was at Hogwarts?" Draco says, snapping me back to reality. He's a small bite of the apple and chews it slowly. "It was only because Marcus Flint didn't have a Seeker that I finally became a Seeker. I actually wanted to be a Chaser. I have a pretty good aim."
"That explains how she could hit that apple," Albus blurts out. I nudge his ribs roughly.
"What do you want now?" I say daringly. "I thought you made clear it last night you didn't want me at all." Draco frowns. He's about to say something when Pansy interrupts.
"You said that, Draco?" she says. Draco rolls his eyes.
"I didn't really say that." The former Slytherin glares at him.
"That was cruel. Even for you."
"Parkinson, shut it," Draco said, annoys. Pansy smacks his shoulder.
"It's Zabini, now," she says.
"You'll always be Parkinson to me." Pansy stucks her tongue out at him. Apparently she realises that I'm staring at her. She smiles apologetically at me and gives out her hand.
"Hello, my name is Pansy Zabini," she says, probably assuming that I didn't know her. I recall Ginny once said how Pansy was a sorry excuse for a girl. I dont't know if it's only to me, but Pansy seems to be a really nice woman.
"I know who you are," I say flat. "I'm Lyra, by the way," I say. She nods.
"Yes, I know you. Draco's has told me about you. " I bite my lip and glance briefly at Draco. I'm more than disappointed that he avoids my eyes. It's good that James and Albus sort of yell out their names.
"My name is James Potter," my dearest best friend says.
"I'm Albus Potter," the second son of Harry Potter says. Pansy looks like she's forcing herself not to cringe at Harry's name.
"Yes, I can see the resemblance between you three," Pansy says. "You two look just like Potter, though there's a bit of Ginny Potter in you."
"Well, in case you missed to notice that, she's our mother," James says, rude to the core.
"I'm lucky enough to be invited to their wedding," Pansy says defensively. I catches Draco is half-smiling and half-frowning. That's enough to drive my attention back to him.
"You haven't answered my question," I say. "What do you want?"
He looks taken aback by my question. "I just had my practice and I heard that you were trying for the Chaser position of the Junior League. I thought I would meet you here."
"Liar," Pansy says in a sing-song tone. "He wanted to talk to you, Lyra."
"I never said that," Draco denies. "I said I wanted to meet her."
Pansy shrugs. "Semantics."
"No, that is not!" Pansy rolls her eyes.
"I told you he is," James whispers to his brother. Albus sniggers. I eye Draco and it looks like he's nothing to say anymore. He scowls and takes something from his pocket. A letter.
My mum's letter.
"Pansy found this when she visited this morning. It seems that I've lost a bit of my Chaser skills and I missed the fireplace. So, I thought I should give this back to you," he says. He hands me the letter and I stupidly stare at it for a few seconds.
"I thought I'd lost this forever," I whisper.
"Um, listen, Lyra," Draco says nervously. "About what you told me. I think I'm gonna consider it."
"What?" I exclaim. "Consider it? You have a week since the first time I told you about it to consider, Draco. How long exactly do you need?"
He sighs tiredly. "Lyra, listen to me before you start talking. Let's try it for a few days and see if it works out. This is the only way. You have to understand it."
"Understand?" I say, my voice getting louder and my tone was higher. "Ihave to understand you? I have lost my mother, Draco Malfoy.I lost the only and the last member of my family. And you expect me to understand you?God, how selfish you can be!"
"It's not like that," Draco says hurriedly. "I just want to see this. I never say that I don't."
"Really?" I scoff. "Because I recall you meant it yesterday and the day before that."
Draco groans and it surprises me. "Merlin, Lyra, you never listen to what I say, do you?" he says. "I said I want to consider this. That means I want to do...what ever this is called. What I meant was, before we go straight forward for blood test or anything, I want us to work things out between us."
I cock an eye brow. "I'm sorry, but I don't speak in riddles," I say.
"Fuck, Draco. You may be the most eloquent person I've ever met. But when you're talking about something big, you honestly suck at that," Pansy comments dryly. Draco glares at her.
"Thank you very much, Parkinson," he says briskly. Pansy shrugs.
"Lyra, can I talk to you?" Pansy say. I frown but nod nevertheless.
We walk a few feet away from Draco and the Potter boys. I'm surprised when Pansy hugs me so suddenly. She hugs me so tightly, as if I was her long lost child. I feel my shoulders wet with hot liquid; Pansy's tears. I become wondering why is she crying.
"You don't know how glad am I to see you, Lyra," Pansy says. "You may look like Draco, but I can see your mother a lot in you."
"You...you knew my mother?" I stutter. What I mean actually was, 'you were friends with Hermione Granger, the person you hated the most after Harry Poter?' Ginny always says so, whenever she sees Pansy on the news. But, it turns out that I cannot say something that harsh.
"Of course I knew your mother," Pansy laughs. "Who didn't know Hermione Granger? Every human being in the wizarding world knew her."
"No, I mean..." I bite my lip nervously. "I mean, you were friends with her?"
The smile from Pansy's face is gone. She sighs heavily. "Hermione Granger was probably my only girl friend in this whole world. She was the first one to look through all the prejudices and helped me out of my despair when we came back to Hogwarts. She wanted to be my friends. Like, really good friend. I didn't have much friends after the War. She was, excluding Draco and Blaise, my only friend in this whole wide world. I was so devastated when she left. I didn't have anyone to talk to. When she left, I felt really alone. Despite having Blaise and Draco by my side, I felt completely alone. With Hermione gone, people started to mock us again. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't mad at Hermione. I was. I was really mad at her. I thought she was abandoning us. I thought she didn't care about us anymore."
She sucks in her breath, probably holding back the tears in her eyes. "She sent me a letter three years ago. She said she was sorry that she left me. She told me about you. But, I was so mad at her I didn't reply her. If I knew she was going to die, I would reply her letter. In fact, I would come there and help her."
She starts to play with the necklace around her neck, something that I didn't notice before. Now that I look at it closely, I realise it's the same necklace Mum always wore. I keep it under my bed ever since Mum died. There's a writing read HP on the locket. I first thought that it was Harry's initial, and I remember I once hoped that Harry was my father. But, now that I've heard Pansy's story, I know what HPmeans.
"I think no one was as devastated as Draco," Pansy whispers. "He became so silent every single day of our miserable Hogwarts year. He barely came to the Hall to eat. He didn't snap back at anyone who mocked him when he always found it interesting to snap back at them. You didn't see him, Lyra. He was so screwed. He barely slept and when he did, he always muttered Hermione's name. He kept being like that even after we graduated. So, I was more than surprised when he came to my house one day, asking Blaise whether he wanted to come to the Tornadoes try-out. Years later, I found out that Draco changed back into his normal-self after he found old pictures of him and Hermione. I guess, it was only your mother who could bring back life to him."
"Yeah, Mum did that a lot to people," I mumble. "I wish she was here."
"That makes the two of us, Lyra," Pansy jokes. I smile at her attempt to cheer up the mood. We both glance at Draco, who stares blankly at an old ice-skating studio.
"Draco wants nothing that to believe that you really are his daughter," Pansy says. "He just needs time to adapt with that idea. And also, he's trying to find a way for you to be publicly known as his daughter. You know how Rita Skeeter would love to write about him."
I grimace. "I know. She's an old, sick, cow."
Pansy laughs. She pulls me again into another round of hug and this time, I hug her back. "I'm so happy that we finally meet."
"Me too," I say. "I need you to tell me all about Draco. I found it hard to understand him than to understand a fifth year potion."
She smiles. "Lyra, trust me. Once you get to know that git, understanding Draco Malfoy is the easiest thing to do in the world after breathing."
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