Chapter 12 : Guilty.
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I hardly slept at all the night I had dinner with Ron. When Draco woke up on the Sunday morning, I pretended to be asleep. I was such a coward. I was worried that if he looked into my eyes he would instantly know. He'd know of my...betrayal...and want nothing more to do with me. On the other hand, my moral side was encouraging me to tell him.
When I realised that I could not hide in bed any longer, I dressed myself and tiptoed down stairs. Draco was sat in the kitchen, eating cereal and reading the paper. He looked up and smiled when he saw me.
"Good morning beautiful," he said. "Coffee's on the counter, how was your evening?"
I hurried past him to get a mug. "Fine thank you," I said stiffly.
Draco chuckled and put his arms around my waist. "You sound hungover...do you need a potion?"
I winced and put the mug back. "No," I snapped. He stepped away from me. "I need to go and see Ginny," I told him and then hurried past him and into the living room to the fire.
He came into the room after me, a perplexed expression on his wonderful face. "Hermione, what's going on? Is everything okay?"
I nodded without looking at him and then stepped into the flames and floo'd myself to Godrics Hollow.
Though it was now eleven in the morning, Ginny was still in her dressing gown. It strained over her now large baby bump. She didn't have long to go now until the due date.
"Hermione?" she said surprised. "What are you doing here?"
"Hi Hermione," said Harry, coming in from the direction of the kitchen. He was dressed and looked to be heading out. "Is everything okay?"
I feigned brightness. "Yes," I said. "Absolutely fine, just thought I'd pop in."
Harry nodded and smiled, while Ginny looked suspicious. "Well, I'm about to leave. I need to go to Diagon Alley."
Harry kissed Ginny and hugged me goodbye and then left via the front door. As soon as the door clicked shut, Ginny was on her feet and pointing towards the kitchen. I walked in that direction and then silently prepared us both some coffee.
"So," said Ginny finally. "Why are you really here?"
I gulped. "I had dinner with Ron last night." Ginny raised an eyebrow. "Draco said that it would be good to accept his offer because then I could tell him once and for all how I felt."
Ginny nodded. "Draco has a point, did it work?"
"I thought it did at first," I whispered. "I told him that I needed him to realise that Draco and I were in love and he seemed to accept that."
"So what's the problem Hermione?" she asked.
I sighed. "The dinner went on and I had a really nice time. Ron was funny, respectful and seemed like his old self. We had some wine and we talked about all sorts of things. However, when we were leaving something changed. Ron kissed me...and I kissed him back. When I finally saw sense, it was too late. The deed was done. Ron said that it was his plan all along to just make me comfortable so he could show me that he knew I still had feelings for him."
By this point, tears were running down my cheeks. I put my head in my hands, disgusted with myself.
"Do you have feelings for him Hermione?" Ginny asked, worried.
My head shot up. "No!" I exclaimed. "Of course I don't! I hate Ron even more now then I did when I arrived at dinner. I know I can't put full blame on him, but I just don't know what to do now."
Ginny looked thoughtful. "Well, I must admit; it wasn't very clever of you Hermione." I felt awful. "However, have you spoken to Draco yet?"
"That's the worst part!" I said. "I don't know if I should tell him or not. I could barely look at him this morning and I'm sure he knows that something is wrong."
"Maybe you're best not telling him Hermione," Ginny said quietly. I looked at her curiously. "It was a clear mistake and you're obviously never going to do it again. After all, it was just a kiss and it really didn't mean anything. As long as you know where you stand in your relationships, then there is no use in upsetting your marriage."
I nodded. "You're right Ginny. Thanks."
Draco definately knew something was wrong. In the week that followed, things were quiet around the house. I tried to be myself, but my secret was eating me away from the inside. A few times, Draco had tried to make me feel better; it made me feel worse. HIs kindness did not help me. It just made me feel more icky.
Even people at work had noticed my bleak mood and had begun giving me filing work to do. I guessed they thought I was to depressed looking to deal with any real cases. Draco was as trying as ever and he never stopped.
One Wednesday, two weeks after my dinner with Ron, Draco burst into my office; a grin on his face.
"Hermione!" he cried. "You'll never believe it!"
I smiled brightly in a forced way. "What Draco?" I asked, rising from my chair.
"Kingsley just came to see me, and I've been promoted," he told me excitedly.
He came around the desk and hugged me tightly. I hugged him back.
"I'm so proud of you Draco," I told him earnestly, "What is it you'll be doing?"
"They're moving me to the Department of Mysteries," he said. Draco had always wanted to work there. "I start on Monday, so I have until then to finish up anything up here and pack my office."
"You're moving?" I asked stupidly.
"Of course," he said. "Why? WIll you miss me?"
I bowed my head. "Of course," I mumbled.
That evening, we invited the Weasley's, Potter's, Narcissa and a few of Draco's friends over to celebrate his acheivement in promotion. Everyone was really pleased for him and this created everyone to have a wonderful time. A few times in the evening, Ginny caught my eye and would give me a look that told me: I wasn't trying hard enough.
Unfortunately, inviting the Weasley's meant that Ron came to. The idea of having him in my house made my stomach turn. Draco sensed my change in emotion when I saw Ron and from then on; kept close to my side. I appreciated Draco's efforts, but I knew that I could not go on like this.
Quite late into the evening, Ron sauntered over to where Draco and I were stood together. He had a look of triumph on his face as he drew nearer.
"Congratulations Malfoy," he said with false enthusiasm. "I guess now you're moving offices, it means you can't keep a close eye on your wife."
Draco's head jerked. "What's that supposed to mean Weasley?"
Ron grinned maliciously. "Oh nothing," he said. "Just that it might not be the best idea. Isn't that right, Hermione?"
As Ron moved away, Draco turned to look at me. "What is going on Hermione?" he hissed. "Is he referring to something truthful? Is this to do with why you've been so bloody distant from me these past couple of weeks?"
"Draco," I said quietly, reaching up to stroke his face. "We can talk later."
Everyone left soon after that. I wasn't sure if that was from convienience or from the hard look that Draco now had on his face. I was worried he knew before I had a chance to explain. Ginny threw me an apologetic look as she and Harry left.
"What's going on Hermione?" he asked, once we were alone.
I was silent for a moment.
"Hermione! I'm going crazy over here, you have to explain to me."
"Okay!" I whispered. I sighed. "When I went out for dinner with Ron..." I began.
"What did he do to you?" Draco growled instantly, coming towards me and placing his hands on my shoulders. "I'll kill him."
"He kissed me."
Draco's hands tightened and he closed his eyes. "That bastard."
I was touched that Draco was still blaming him and was not yet mad at me. I was honoured at the trust and respect he had for me.
"When I get my hands on him..." he hissed.
"No Draco, it's no use." I told him.
"Why?" he insisted, his eyes boring into mine.
"Because," I said. "I kissed him back."
Draco's hands dropped from my shoulders like he'd been electrocuted and he stepped away from me. "What?" he gasped.
I shook my head, unable to say it again. "I can't Draco," I mumbled. "It was a mistake, an accident..."
Draco turned away from me. "Two weeks Hermione..."
"I know," I whispered.
"TWO WEEKS!" he shouted. "You could have told me at any time, but instead you left me to worry that something awful was happening to you. I knew you were in distress Hermione, you wouldn't let me help you."
"Draco..." I said, taking a step towards him.
"Do you love him Hermione?" Draco asked, his voice cracking.
I shook my head vigorously. "Of course not Draco, how could you think that? It was a mix of comfort, familiarity and alcohol."
Draco looked stung. "Don't blame alcohol Hermione, unless you've forgotton how we began?"
"Draco please, you have to forgive me." I sobbed. "It was just one kiss."
"Just a kiss?" he asked outraged. "If I had kissed an old lover, do you think you could have forgiven me easily? Or would you be stood here, as I am now, wondering where you stand in your relationship? Weasley left you Hermione and I made you feel better. However, now he's back; how do I know if you've remembered how much of a wonderful person he was to you? How do I know if you really don't love him Hermione?"
"Draco!" I cried, as he made a move towards the front door. I grabbed his arm. "It's you! It's always been you! I love you more than anything in the whole world! Ron is just a boy that I used to know and love. We live together, we're married! We're going to have a family some day!"
Draco shook my arm off. "It's nothing you can't have with Weasley."
"Don't go Draco," I begged.
"I have to Hermione. I don't know where I stand right now. Until you truley figure out what you want and where you stand; I need to get away from here."
"Where will you go Draco?" I whispered, head bent low with my eyes closed.
"I'm going to my mothers," he told me.
I felt him leave the room and then I heard the front door slam.
"Please," I whispered to myself.
My hands went up to my hair and then I dragged them over my tear stained face.
Draco was gone and I didn't know if he was going to come back to me. I had ruined everything.
Ron had ruined everything.
I was alone in my beautiful, overly large house.
Ron was going to pay.
And I was going to get my husband back.
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