Chapter 11 : Coming Home
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“Right, sorry. Too much, too soon,” he said, his voice still low and husky. “I should get going; Longbottom or that Ravenclaw must be on their way.”
All he got in response was a curt nod. Damn, he’d really messed up this time. Sighing internally, he left her compartment.
“Anything off the trolley dear?” he heard a voice say, a voice he heard only on the train.
“Yeah, one pack of Chocolate Frogs and one pumpkin pasty. Oh hello Draco,” greeted Astoria.
“Er – hi,” he replied, feeling himself go red. He didn’t know what it was about her that made him react that way. She was pretty, but there was something about her though, and Draco couldn’t put his finger on it.
“You know you don’t have to make a conversation with me if you really don’t feel like it.”
Draco’s pale face tinged pink around the cheeks, “Oh no, I’m just –"
“Chill mate, I’m totally cool if you don’t wanna talk, you’re not being rude don’t worry. Here, want a Chocolate Frog?” she asked grinning, her straight white teeth glimmering. Draco nodded his head in response, thinking he may throw up in giddiness if he opened his mouth. “Merry Christmas Malfoy,” she said, handing him the candy.
“Merry birth – ah – Christmas to you too,” he spluttered, causing the tall blonde to laugh.
“See you around,” she finished, exiting the corridor back to a compartment.
Draco continued straight into the compartment he was sharing with Zabini, Nott, Crabbe, and Goyle. Thankfully Pansy has been keeping a distance from him since their last meeting. Finding himself alone in the room, he began kicking his foot against his trunk, chanting. “Stupid, stupid, stupid! Aw, crap!...” he whimpered, his last kick on the third ‘stupid’ was too hard.
“Alright there mate?” called Blaise as he entered the compartment, his arm wrapped around a pretty, tall girl with big brown barrel curls cascading her back, who wore peacock feathers for earrings, as Crabbe and Goyle shut the door behind them.
“Yeah, who’s that?”
“That? I’m a she,” the girl snapped. Bloody Ravenclaws...
“Soph, chill,” he said, smirking, “And to answer your question Draco, this is Sophie Lorren from Ravenclaw. Seventh Year,” he added, expecting Draco to be impressed. He was not.
Draco scowled as the duo began snogging ferociously as Crabbe and Goyle looked on uncomfortable and envious.
This was going to be a long trip.
Hermione heaved her trunk as she made her way out of King’s Cross Station into Muggle London. She had already owled her parents telling them to not pick her up since it wasn’t safe for them to be seen with her these days. Using a phone booth, she hailed a cab that was driven by a woman, something that wasn’t common in London.
“Gooooooood afternoon Miss. Where do you want to go?” asked the brunette whose hair was pulled back into a messy bun. She wore one pink feather earring from her right ear, giving her the slight rebel look.
“53 Maida Vale,” she managed to reply, feeling her eyes sting.
“Okie dokie,” the driver replied, though Hermione found the phrase strange coming from her mouth since the latter was quite young; 29 years max. Hermione noticed a ring glittering on the girl’s left hand. This Muggle was happy and she, unlike Hermione, knew whom she loved.
It was only seconds after that realization when she finally broke into tears.
“Whoa there!” called the driver as she pulled over alongside a park. “You okay?” she asked with her concern filled eyes.
“No,” said Hermione quietly, shaking her head.
The girl unbuckled her seat belt and turned around to face Hermione. “Guy problems,” she stated, making the witch wonder if she really was that obvious. “Huh. I’m Lindsey. And you are...?”
“Luna,” she replied quickly saying the first name that came to mind. Better safe than sorry.
“So... What’s wrong? Don’t worry, the meter’s off; I won’t charge you for some good ol’ advice.”
And so she told her. How Draco had bullied her since they were 12, how she had nurtured feelings for Ron since they were 12, and how recently Ron was being the jerk while Draco was... different. She’d left out the part that they were all secretly witches and wizards at war; she couldn’t bear to make the story any more complicated.
“Wow, that’s so many emotions.... Well, I guess it just comes down to who you want to be with, who makes you happy, feel beautiful,” Lindsey stated simply.
“That’s the thing, I don’t know what I want – who to trust.”
“Well my Luna, I knew he was the one,” she said, flashing her ring, “Because he made me happy. He’s not the richest man in the world, hell; I have to drive six nights a week to save up for our wedding, but that is okay because on the seventh night, I can fall asleep in his arms and wake up the same way, his eyes looking down at me as if I were the most beautiful girl in the world – though I probably look like trash in the morning,” she added with a chuckle. “But you’re like 17? You have plenty of time ahead of you.”
“That’s the thing, I may not have time left,” she mumbled quietly, her thoughts drifting to the rising Lord.
“What?” asked the Muggle, genuinely confused.
“Nothing,” dismissed Hermione. “But, you know, you must have felt something when you first met him?”
“I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to tell you that. Our story’s quite – er – different. We first met in the fifth grade. God, we hated each other. Fighting for who got to sit in the back seats on the school bus – it was brutal. Then we became more, uh, mature and were in the same class when we were 13. 13 and hormones were going crazy. It was the day after my thirteenth birthday actually when I realized I had the biggest crush on him, was too afraid to tell him though. Then we went to college, there were too many people there so we grew apart. Only when we were graduating did we truly see each other. Let’s just say puberty worked magic on him. And me too,” she added, smirking. “No acne.”
Hermione grinned at her, which the driver returned. “After that I went off to University and began dating this one guy. All brawn, no brains although he was really nice. We were out for dinner one time when he showed up. He was like “LINDSEY! HEEEEEY!” and I was like “Bloody hell...” and he kinda bear-hugged me in front of my boyfriend – who incidentally got up and left. We broke up a week after. Ben and I kept on bumping into each other, and I always tried to stay away from him, I didn’t want to have my heart broken again by the same guy. But the heart does what it does, and we fell in love. He asked me a year after that, so here we are now.”
“Just like that?” asked Hermione.
“It just happened. Don’t worry Luna, you’ll know soon enough. Holy cowballs it’s late!”
Sure enough it was 12:36 PM, they’d been talking for three hours and had missed lunch.
“Merlin I’m late, my parents must be worried sick!”
“Merlin?” giggled Lindsey, causing Hermione to blush red.
“Uh, I read a lot of fantasy...” she began.
“Sure you do kiddo. Here we are, thirty pounds dear.”
She handed the Muggle driver the money, bid good bye and watched her drive away. She then turned around to face number 53.
She was home. Finally.
“Hello Draco dear,” breathed Bellatrix, her breath hot on his ear, her mouth reeking, teeth charred and yellow.
“Draco! Oh thank Merlin you’re here!” came Narcissa Malfoy’s anxious voice as she ran towards him, thankfully prying him away from his Aunt, and hugged him. It felt good to be in his mum’s arm. Draco had gotten closer to his mother the past couple of months after Lucius Malfoy’s imprisonment and the Lestrange’s new reign on Malfoy Manor.
“How are you Mother?”
“Good, great even,” she said, and then lowered her voice so her sister couldn’t hear, “How is it coming? Did you tell Severus?”
Before he could answer, Bellatrix swept her arm around his waist and hissed softly, “Now, now, what’s all the whispering about Cissy?”
“Nothing Bella, just a mother and son exchanging words. Not like you would understand,” she replied coldly.
“You know exactly why we haven’t had kids Cissy!”
“Ah but of course, Rodolphus’ infidelity was a tragic event,” snarled Narcissa.
“Mother,” said Draco before his Aunt could reply, giving Narcissa a stern look that said enough, “I’d like dinner now, if you could so kindly present it.”
“Of course Draco dear,” she said stiffly, ignoring Bellatrix’s gaunt face that was tinged pink in fury and embarrassment, eyes bulging. Draco had to give it to his Mother, apparently she wasn’t letting her sister boss her around. “Toby!” she called. “Set the table, Draco has arrived.”
“Of course Mistress, Toby is very happy that Young Master Malfoy is home –"
“Do it now elf, faster!” sneered Bellatrix, flicking her wand, sending a curse towards the elf causing him to fall over.
Draco wanted to take out his wand and hex her right there, that agitating, ungrateful little whore. She knew that Toby was the oldest elf serving their entire family and yet she made everything be done “fast”. He doubted his Aunt had even picked up so much of a toffee wrapper in her life.
“Take your time Toby,” grunted Draco, causing Bellatrix to glare at him rather than his mum. He glared back lazily. And then his Dark Mark burned. The Dark Lord has called.
AN: I love you. Yes you, the person who just finished reading this chapter. I really do. Every time I log in and see those reviews make me feel so happy on the inside, so special. Kind of like how Hermione feels when Draco kisses her (except not that much contact physically though lol, emotionally yes) Almost 10 000 reads... 49 reviews... 41 favourite stories... Thank you for putting up with these 10 chapters. Thanks to the validators who offer advice on how to properly cite. Thank you all. This chapter isn't the greatest.. Quite the filler but maybe it's followers will be up to scratch. Thank you for staying with Hermione, Draco, and I.
The next chapter will be up soon...
- Nadia :) <3
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