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Chapter 16 : Collide.
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My parents had already noticed that I was acting differently. I had tried my best to act as normal as possible, but they saw right through me I feared. It's hard to act the same when you've recently been spending most of your time acting different.
I had gotten ready quickly, Greyson would be arriving soon. I asked him to arrive early so I could introduce him. He didn't seem to keen on the idea but he agreed none the less. I was waiting by a large bay window in the front of the manor when I saw him arrive. I had told my parents that I was inviting someone over a little early but I knew they thought I meant Audra or Lola.
Both of my friends were in fact coming to the party, but I knew neither of them wanted to. I would talk to them later.
I opened the door for Grey before he even got to the top step. "Hi!" I smiled, going in for a hug.
"Hello," he smiled warmly at me.
"Okay…wait here a second."
He nodded in response, knowing I was getting my parents.
I entered the too busy kitchen where my mum was trying to over see everything as my dad tried to usher her out of the room. "Mum, dad…. there is someone I want you to meet," I practically cringed.
My mother gave me a knowing look, and my father gave me a look that told me he was scared shitless. He knew I had brought home a boy.
"Well we will be happy to meet him," she smiled. The "him" confirmed my suspicions of her knowing. She elbowed her husband in the ribs when he continued looking at me as if I'd grown three new heads.
"Okay, I'll be right back," I half smiled. I turned around, practically running from the room but not before I heard my dad remark, "Isn't she too young for a boyfriend?" Even though I unfortunately knew that made him quite the hypocrite. I turned my attention to the boy staring in the foyer. "Hi, you ready?" I smiled brightly at him.
His head snapped up to me. "Ready as I'll ever be. I've never met parents before…" I replied quickly.
I took him by the hand and led him back into the ballroom. The kitchen had been taken over by the help that my father insisted on hiring. My parents both hated party planning and after the last time they had to plan the party ended with my mother in tears due to stress, my father insisted to bring outside help. My mother didn't mind too much, as long as the help wasn't house elves. I walked into the ballroom and watched my parents carefully for their expression. My dad tensed up and my mother eye Grey warily.
"Hi, I'm Greyson," he managed a smile as he held out his hand toward my father.
He took it, shaking his hand. "Draco Malfoy."
My mother smiled at the two before adding, "And I'm Hermione."
"Pleasure to meet you," he was still stiff.
An awkward silence fell before my dad spoke again, "so… you like my daughter."
Grey looked at me before smirking, "yeah…sometimes."
And for some reason my father laughed, breaking the ice. Maybe because he could see that Greyson wasn't just someone who was toying with me. You could read it in his body language, Greyson was here to stay. Also that was something my father would have said himself. Once when asked why my father fell for my mother he replied, "well…I only like her sometimes…because other times she's driving me insane. I always love her though and that's what counts."
Greyson and my father were in fact very similar, in more ways than my father knew. They both were children that had been dragged into their family's business. They both hated it. Both liked quidditch, even rooting for the same team. Their eyes were similar but my father's were more of cloudy bright blue sky and Grey's were more of a storm brewing sky. Both beautiful though. They had strong features, though different. They also carried themselves in similar fashions. They continued talking about who knows what as my mum and I left to do other little things around the house before guests were to arrive.
When the party finally began I sought out my two best friends. Making my way threw the crowd, but leaving Greyson to sit at our table. "Audra! Lola!" I called out when I caught sight of them.
They looked up and i saw Audra roll her eyes. I knew I deserved it.
"Hi, can I talk to you for a bit?" I pointed toward a room off of the ballroom.
"I guess." Audra said as they both followed me to the other room.
"If you don't want us here we can leave," Lola started.
"We were invited by her parents, Lola." Audra chided her.
"Stop!" I cried out. "Listen, I'm a bitch."
"That's an understatement," Audra spoke under her breath.
"I know I am. I'm just going through a rough time. I know that's not an excuse really. It's just dangerous to get close to people right now. I know you want an explanation to that but I can't give you one. I also know you think that it's Grey who has changed me but it's not. He's helping me get through something right now. I'm so sorry that I've been acting the way I have." I hadn't meant to rant, but this all just came out.
Lola spoke, "why can't you tell us?"
"I just can't."
"If you're in danger…"
"Stop please, when it's all said and done I'll explain the best I can. I'm just going through some stuff right now. But I really miss my best friends."
"Damnit Sophia! You really think you can treat us like that?"
"No, I don't. I'm not expecting you to be my best friends again instantly. It's something that I'm probably going to need to work on…but I miss you and I just want you to know I haven't been acting this way to hurt you, the opposite actually."
"We don't need your protection."
"I'm giving it anyway. Just please…"
"Okay," Lola said shrugging. "If she says she's not doing on purpose then I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt. She changed fast, maybe she can change back just as fast."
"I'm going to try!"
"Fine. We'll play it by ear. But starting tonight…no more bitchy Sophia."
"You got it!" I smiled, not believing how great they both were. I had expected them to walk away from me. Pulling them, somewhat reluctantly, into a hug.
We were able to go back to the party where I split my time between them and Greyson. And actually… I had a good time.
The day was finally over and it ended on good terms. I had managed to survive tonight's party as well as the introduction of of Greyson to my parents. Also I had my friends back. I felt better than I had in a long time. Maybe these different parts of my world colliding was something I could handle, maybe I could stop walking on eggshells.
Greyson seemed to have had a decent time as well. My parents liked him which, contrary to what he said, I knew was a big reason for anxiety. He had been happy and loving when we said goodnight before he left. He hadn't even seemed to care that people were around when he kissed me goodbye. Definitely improving.
I sighed happily as I unzipped the back of my gold colored dress, letting it fall and pool around my feet. I hung the garmet up in my closet, but as I walked out of the large room something caught my eye.
A deep scarlet colored envelope lay resting on my pillow. Curiosity took over as I walked cautiously toward my bed. When I got closer I could make out my name written in black ink, in a flowing hand. Sophia. I reached down to retrieve the letter, acting as though it might bite me. In all honesty it could, or it could be a well dressed howler for all I knew. One thing was for cetian, it hadn't been brought by an owl. No, it had most definitely been left by someone. Someone had been in my room, someone had broken into my private quarters while the festivities were going on downstairs. There were so many guest, it could have been anyone. My answer as to whom it was that left the letter was answered when I flipped the envelope over.
In the black wax was a large cursive C.
"Something troubling you?" I questioned Greyson with amusement. He was so far out of his element here and it was plainly obvious. He didn't answer, instead he continued to look at something over my shoulder and to the left. Finally I gave up and turned around, but saw nothing that could be the captor of his attention. "Grey?"
"Oh. What?" He mumbled, his eyes still not coming to rest on my face yet.
"Hey there?" I raised an eyebrow at him as I watched him crink his neck to the side to look around me, following something that I didn't see. His brows scrunched and lips frowning. "What's wrong?"
He snapped back into reality, I watched as his pupils dilated back to focus on the object closer to him, me. "Nothing," he attempted a carefree smile. "I just thought I saw something, but it was nothing."
"Positive." The music changed to a slow christmas ballad, "Would you care to dance?" He smiled at me.
Trying to forget about whatever it was that bothered him, I agreed. Taking his hand and allowing him to guide me to the dance floor as couples around us did the same.
Out of the envelope fell a card and two photographs. The first picture was of my parents, dancing at tonight's party. They looked as happy and in love as two young teenagers. I watched the picture replay the same motions. Them dancing to some slow paced song, my mother smiling up at my father before he placed a soft but meaningful kiss on her lips. The second was of Audra, Lola, and I hugging. I could see the large smile on the face of Lola and watched as a small one crept over Audra's as well. Over and over I watched them, the two pictures bringing up happy memories of tonight.
It would have been a great gift if it wasn't the sender that it was. He had taken the photos tonight. He was here long enough to do that as well as leave this note on my pillow. My head shot up quickly, had he even left? I scanned the room but I saw no sign of anyone else. He was long gone, and a good thing too.
Firstly may I say, you looked ravishing tonight. Though I can't say I'm not a little disappointed. The home of two Ministry workers and still something as simple as a polyjuice potion was all it took for me to breech security. There was no challenge... and you know how I love a challenge.
When I first discovered that you were a Malfoy my interest was peaked, but a Malfoy who was also the daughter of a member of The Golden Trio? Now that caused my greatest surprise. It delights me to know that you're working for me, despite everything that your parents have done to do the opposite. I just want to make sure you know what is at stake if the light hits you again.
Ps. I never fully welcomed you to my team. So Sophia Malfoy, welcome to The Dark.
HI there lovelies! Okay the next chapter is the one that really is going to change some things. The next chapter will add another layer to this story that ties into The Thief. It's bringing back some characters and adding some new information on current ones. I'm excited!
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