Chapter 4 : "P.S. It's Raining."
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Draco was the first to wake. He opened his eyes to see the morning sunlight casting an amber glow through an oval-shaped window in her bedroom.
She looked adorable all sleepy with her hair splayed all around her. He wondered if Ron had known how lucky he was to have someone so warm lying next to him every night. She had stayed close to him and her legs were still tangled around his. The women Draco had been with liked their space, but not Hermione. She liked to be tangled. The thought actually brought a half-smile to his face.
He knew her very well, but was happy to see that there were many things yet to be discovered about her.
He lie there for a long while, enjoying her closeness and the warmth of her cozy bed. He marveled at the way she seemed to comfort him even in her sleep and wondered what a future would be like with her in her little cottage.
But then he stopped abruptly. A future? There would be no future for Scorpius, he thought sadly. And the only future he had imagined for himself was a life of sadness and emotional torture, a dismal existence. He never thought of actually being happy with someone in his life. He had thought that even if he was with someone, his depression would only drag them down into his abyss.
She had been through enough sadness in her life. It would be unfair to bring her down further into the depths.
And with that thought, he carefully slipped out of her bed and retrieved his clothing that had been strewn about the place. While he stepped through to the living areas, he loved how functional and cozy everything was in the small space. The living room was open to the woodsy kitchen and he loved her library of books that where in circle patterns against the walls. It was like living inside of a tree. He thought her magical cottage was perfect and he was sad that he wouldn’t be enjoying it with her.
Without making a sound, he lifted his cloak and checked the inside pocket to make sure the silver Malfoy ring was still there. He took it out to examine it and to his surprise, it was less painful to look at than the night before. It had not lost its precious sentimental value in the slightest, but it was much less painful.
He breathed out a long sigh, remembering Hermione’s wedding ring still on her left hand. He wondered how long it would take for her to remove it. Another week? Another year? Or perhaps never? Regardless, he understood if she never wanted to remove it from her finger.
She had heard her door creak open and then close quietly. It was enough to wake her. She moved her hand over to the warm spot where Draco had been sleeping and gasped when she realized that the sound she heard was of him leaving.
She practically jumped out of bed and peeked her head through her bedroom door and caught a glimpse of him through one of the oval windows still standing on her little porch.
She frantically threw on some clothes and ran out to him, hoping that it wasn’t too late to at least thank him for staying with her. But by the time she ran to her porch, she could no longer see him.
Instead, her eyes grew large with wonder at what he had done. All around her, vines of roses were growing and blooming before her. Soon the wooden posts of her little porch had roses growing on them and there were flowers all along her cobblestone path to the place where she and Draco had Apparated the night before.
The flowers were beautiful and fragrant and of her favorite color combination… whites, pinks, and purples of all shades. Her lovely little cottage was now sitting in the midst of an amazing rose garden.
While still standing on her porch, she went to a large pink rose that bloomed larger than her hand and took in its amazingly sweet aroma in awe that he would do such a thing for her. It seemed that in lieu of sending her flowers, he conjured them instead. A lovely and beautiful gesture before leaving, she thought.
But Draco had not left yet. He had walked the long cobblestone path and when he turned around to look at her cottage one last time to make sure the flowers were growing properly, he couldn’t help but notice that the shape of the thatched roof oddly reminded him of a Beauxbaton’s hat.
But then his breath caught as he watched her step out and discover the roses that he had conjured for her. He watched her face as it gave an expression of awe and wonder at the sight. And as she moved close to one of them and put her cute little nose to it, he watched as the corners of her mouth turned into a beautiful smile.
But then her eyes found his and for a long moment, they held their gaze.
Many things were communicated in that gaze; heartfelt sentiments fully understood by them both.
Their eyes expressed the unspeakable sadness that remained in their hearts, coupled with ocean-deep understanding, concern for the weary road ahead, and a ‘thank you’ for so many, many things. But there was something else.
There was a communication between them that was unmistakable. It was an inaudible longing and hope for their paths to cross again someday… but not yet.
Eventually, his head went down. And then he was gone.
Up until the night spent with her, Draco wondered how he would survive with nothing to live for and nothing to look forward to. Grief had ruled his mind and he could think of nothing else.
But the entire episode with Hermione had given him something else to think about. For awhile, he justified not seeking her out and not attempting a relationship with her.
On one hand, he thought of how wonderful it felt to hold someone so close with that kind of emotional connection, but then he thought he would only bring her down with his depression. But ultimately, there was fear.
He feared that if he got close and loved her, that Death would take her from him… just like Scorpius. And he wasn’t sure if he could take such agony twice in one life. Could a heart be ripped out a second time? He never wanted to risk such a thing again. It would be far too painful.
Fear of loss gripped him tight and had seemingly decided a lonely future for him.
A week later, he found himself staring at her unopened sympathy letter. He thought he had tossed it into the fire with everyone else’s, but yet here he was running his fingers across her name once more. Dare he open and read her words? It probably said nothing of value. It probably just said, ‘Sorry for your loss,’ like all the others. He went back and forth pondering if he should read it. What if brought him to tears again? He fought tears every day… fought the rain he caused.
But curiosity got the best of him and he carefully opened it one late evening, wondering…
“There are no words that can express to you the depth of sorrow that I feel for you concerning Scorpius. I cannot imagine losing a child, but I do know what it feels like to grieve and suffer immensely. Regretfully, I do not know how to get over such loss nor do I believe it is even possible, but I can say that somehow hope endures. It might be hope for something miniscule, like hoping for a better day than the last or hoping for better weather on a rain-drenched day. But hope does exist somehow through all your hurt and grief, even if seemingly non-existent. Hope somehow ribbons its way through your life and it remains. My hope today is that you feel it soon and learn to breathe through the pain as I have learned to do.”
~ Hermione Weasley
Draco read her words and imagined her sweet voice saying them. He thought of her sincerity and honesty in her attempt to help him even before he showed up at her house wanting the ring. He easily decided that he would keep her letter and not toss it into the fire like he had done with all the others.
He thought of hope. It had endured through everything, hadn’t it? Draco knew it did because when he left her days ago, he had hoped that their paths would cross again.
But why had he hoped for such a thing? He knew getting close only to lose her in the end was merely setting himself up for future heart-wrenching. He needed to guard his heart and not put it through the misery that would be inevitable. He wasn’t up for it.
He couldn’t commit to future pain. He wouldn’t.
Another lonely week went by and Draco found himself with pen and parchment, trying to put his feelings to words. He intended to write her a letter explaining how much her comforting touch had helped him. Yes, there were times of rain, but it wasn’t constant and it wasn’t a downpour either. He was sorry that his emotions overwhelmed him in front of her. She had her own problems and grief to bear and he didn’t mean to add to her hurt to the point of destroying Ron’s portrait. And lastly, he wanted to explain why he wouldn’t be seeing her again.
But every time he wrote a few sentences, he would crumple the page, toss it aside, and start again. He was getting frustrated and decided for a simpler letter… one that just said he couldn’t see her again. But he struggled because even though logic told him it was best for them both, it was not what he wanted. He started again, writing the words, “I’m sorry,” but then scribbled them out furiously, tossing out that one as well. It wasn’t like him to be so indecisive.
He must’ve had a dozen or so crumbled parchment lying on the floor. He was about to start again, when a familiar tapping sound of an owl on his window stopped him.
As soon as he had the post in hand, he recognized her handwriting and frantically opened it. His eyes scanned the page hoping that she wanted to see him again.
But hope wasn’t logical, was it?
He felt the hint of a flutter in his chest when he read her simple message asking him to meet her at the cottage should he have the time to do so. But his heart sunk with sorrow for her when he read the postscript.
“P.S. It’s raining.”
He understood full well what that meant. She was going through a rough time once more and was actually asking him to help her through it. Oh, how he wanted to be there for her… to hold her through the rain.
It took him no time at all to arrive on her cobblestone path. He took note of the rain… pouring but steady as he walked through her garden of soaked roses up to her porch.
He was about to knock on the door, when he noticed something to his left… a shadow of a figure sitting on her porch swing. He did a double-take and realized that it was her sitting there unmoving.
He wanted to go to her and ask if she was okay, but when he stepped close it was easy to see why she was so sad on this day.
She looked up at him with sorrow in her eyes as she slowly lifted her left hand where her wedding ring once bound her to Ron.
She was showing him that she finally took it off. She finally did it and it had brought the rain. There was no lightning this time, just the rain.
Draco’s eyes expressed his understanding as he took her hand and kissed it as if to kiss her pain away… or at least dull it a little. He then moved in to sit beside her on her swing and with a long arm tucked behind her, she melted into him as he held her tight, rocking them both back and forth.
With his free hand, he moved his fingers to touch the tips of hers, wondering if she would accept his hand.
There was a hesitation at first, but then she laced her fingers with his and marveled at how natural it felt.
She then felt his temple nuzzle into her hair as he got more comfortable with her.
The rain softened and actually became soothing as the two swung on her little porch swing. They sat together until the rain was no more and the swing eventually came to a halt.
She was the first to stand and he followed her lead. Facing him, she took hold of both his hands and the two stared into each other’s eyes. Slowly she took the necessary steps backward to the front door and led him into her cottage. As they walked, their eyes remained locked. Backward were her steps through her living room, passed the books, and into her bedroom.
They were not overly-emotional or distraught. Both had clear heads and chose to have open hearts. They were not confused and they didn’t question or have any reserves about what they were doing. They were adults with a long history that hoped for a future together. They were now emotionally connected by the depths of their tragedies.
They needed no words to communicate what they wanted. It was clear that she wanted him and he wanted her. It was clear that they wanted to now be physically connected and share the emotion they desperately wanted to experience with each other… the emotion of love and the immeasurable comfort that came with it.
When she reached her comfy bed, she climbed in and stood on her knees while he remained standing in front of her.
He watched as she removed her blouse and then proceeded to help him remove his dress shirt and then his undershirt.
She was so beautiful to him. He had noticed her long, long ago, but had denied any feelings for her for many reasons. But that was a different time and wisdom came with age. And as with tragedy, so many things no longer mattered. The importance of things had been rearranged. And now he was here… with her.
He ran feather-light fingertips up the sides of her arms until he reached her neck. Their eyes still held and then he kissed her lightly on the lips… soft and lingering.
Oh, how she loved how he lingered as if savoring the moment. It had her senses on edge with anticipation, but at the same time had her bones melting.
With one continuous, but slow movement he climbed into her bed, still kissing her and nearly hovering over her until he carefully placed his body weight onto her.
He was in no rush with his pace. He wanted to give her his best and make her feel beautiful and desirable and was sensitive to the fact that the last person she made love to was her husband. If she wanted to stop, he would understand and respect her boundaries.
But with her hands and her movements, she comforted and encouraged him, showing how much she cared and wanted him to keep going.
His lips never left hers. He kept kissing her as she helped guide him. It was not a mere mindless act of throwing themselves at each other. Rather, it was a thoughtful and meaningful experience done with great care, a true connection.
Their love making slowly built and built as did their lengthy kiss until they could think of nothing but the pleasure they were feeling… a sweet blissful escape from their pain and all the burdens of the day forgotten.
With her mind completely surrendered to him and her senses, she moaned her pleasure against his lips. And when Hermione squeezed him tight to her and proceeded to bury her tongue to deepen their kiss, she rendered him breathless at her display of passion toward him, sending him over the edge.
After catching his breath, he gave her one last lingering kiss as he settled in next to her. She crossed a leg over his, wanting to be tangled with him close beside her and he was happy to oblige, loving her warmth and closeness.
Hermione had to stop herself from running her hands continuously over his skin. She loved the feel of him next to her and truly marveled at just who he was. They could not have predicted this night. Only in their grief had it ever been possible.
And he couldn’t help but be mesmerized by her as feelings of a hope and a future with her wrapped around his heart. He could do this. He could do this every day with her. Having her in his life gave him purpose and something to live for.
After a few more kisses and caresses, soon they both fell into a deep and peaceful sleep, looking forward to the next morning when they woke... still tangled together.
Many thanks to those that have encouraged me along this journey so far. Thanks so much for your kind words.
One final chapter has been written... poor Rose.
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