Chapter 9 : Chapter 9-Tell Me We Belong Together
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“Lina I want to make this work.”
“I apologized doesn’t that mean anything?” he was getting frazzled.
“I don’t know, did you mean it?”
“Why apologize now? Why want this to work now?”
“Maybe I am growing up.” He said with a shrug.
I snorted, “Sure. Well when you give me a real answer I may consider whatever this situation is as more than just an inconvenience.”
Draco’s face kind of contorted and he seemed to struggle with himself for a few minutes opening and closing his mouth.
“I care about you Lina I always have.”
This caused me to let out a small chuckle, “That’s it? That’s what you think is going to save you, us, whatever this is? Something you can’t even say with a straight face?”
“I mean it Lina,” his voice was barely above a whisper.
At that point Narcissa again interrupted.
“You two best get ready for dinner your parents are coming Lina,” she gave a look between sympathy and amusement.
Once she left I got up and went to my still packed trunk and began rummaging around for something suitable to wear.
“Are you going to say anything?” he suddenly asked.
“Not at the moment.”
I said finally finding the off the shoulder red top and black knee length skirt I was looking for. I continued to rummage until I found my mid-calf black leather books and some tights before going off to the bathroom to change. I stared at myself in the mirror for a moment realizing I had all the hallmarks of having cried for ages. I quickly washed my face and got dressed having left my make-up in my trunk I went to retrieve it only to come out to Draco stark naked.
I blushed despite whatever was going on regarding him and I covered my eyes causing him to laugh.
A moment later he spoke, “I have pants on.”
“Thank merlin,” I couldn’t help but laugh myself as I went to get my make-up.
“Why wouldn’t you sleep with me?” he suddenly asked, “This little uh awkward moment reminded me that you never had actually seen me nude.”
“It was never right Draco, nothing between us was ever quite right.” I said trying to make my way to the bathroom.
“Maybe I am,” I replied shrugging and retreating into the bathroom to do my make-up.
The truth was I wouldn’t shag Draco because I thought it would connect me to him in such a way that when I finally got sick of his cheating and lying I wouldn’t be able to leave. I didn’t want him to be my first love and the guy I lost my virginity too I just didn’t think I could handle it. So instead I had hooked up with Tristan drunk after a party and then just continued from there, not romantic or one of my finer moments but it is what it is and I don’t regret it. Maybe I had been scared too since he was experienced and I wasn’t, maybe I was scared if we did sleep together he would cheat more because I wouldn’t be good enough.
I tried to shake these thoughts away as I applied my make-up.
I could tell she was lying to me which hurt because I honestly wanted to know why if she loved me and not Rhodes why she would sleep with him and not me. At least she was speaking to me without yelling or extreme amounts of sarcasm maybe this was progress. I was trying I really was but we both needed to want this we both had to be honest. Old me wanted to sneak into father’s private potions collection and put some Veritaserum in her drink later but new me knew that would do more harm than good. She didn’t trust me and I didn’t know how to fix that. I sighed as I pulled on some black slacks and a black tank which I put a grey button up over. As I was putting on my shoes she came out of the bathroom and sat down on the bed looking quite torn.
“What is it?” I asked.
She bit her freshly glossed lip slightly, “I guess I should apologize too.”
“Well if we’re going to be civil to at least fake this while I figure a lot out,” she paused and her statement kind of stung, “I should apologize for being the way I was you were right I wasn’t the ideal girlfriend.”
“No but you were different and you were unique,” I replied earnestly, “That’s what made me actually care about you.”
She sat quietly I could see her thinking hard on what to say next, “I lied Draco.”
“I know,” I said chuckling softly.
“I never slept with you because I was scared.” She said tentatively.
I sat in silence not wanting to stop her from opening up to me.
She continued cautiously, “I was scared I wouldn’t be good enough that us doing it would only push you away more. And I was scared that it would hurt me worse pushing you away more because doing that would connect us in a way I couldn’t ever shake.”
I hung my head, “I’m sorry I made you feel like that. Honestly that’s what I wanted that connection, any connection.”
“We both messed up your mum was right.”
“Oh no she got in your head too,” I laughed good ole mum working her magic everywhere.
Lina looked at me confused.
“She talked with me right after you told her about the train.”
Lina laughed, “I bet that was awkward.”
“At first yeah,” I paused, “But sometimes I think my mum knows what she’s talking about.”
“Yeah maybe she does,” and Lina smiled at me, really smiled.
I hugged her tight and instead of pushing me away she hugged me back and it was amazing.
“I have a long list of things to apologize for and make right but we better get downstairs I think that was the door.” I said.
She let go a little hesitantly and nodded.
We walked down the stairs just in time to see mum and dad greeting Lina’s parents, Kyle and Blair. Her father was an inch taller than mine a rather imposing individual with a strong build, brown hair so dark it was nearly black and piercing hazel colored eyes. Her mom was softer to look at but carried herself in such a way she just seemed frigid. Her brown eyes never portrayed any emotion and she was never seen without make-up on her ivory colored skin or with a single light brown hair out of place.
They stood shaking hands with my parents, the women exchanging air kisses and from my outsider view on the stairs it all looked so awkward, so coerced, so fake. I really understand Lina’s views on this society at that moment.
“Daughter!” her mother cried and it dripped with something distasteful though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, “You look lovely.”
Her father gave her a slightly warmer greeting he actually smiled and hugged her.
“You two look fantastic together,” Blair smiled and nodded approvingly.
Lina looked a little ill and I knew this was going to be a long dinner.
I was surprised when my mother had nothing negative to say at all but then again we were in front of people. Narcissa led the way to the dining room where house elves were setting food down. Lucius let my father sit at the head of the table and he sat to his right with Narcissa. My mother sat to his left and I sat next to her with Draco to my other side.
I filled my salad bowl with Caesar salad then put a small piece of roast chicken, a scoop of au gratin potatoes, and a serving of garlic roasted broccoli on my plate. My mother eyed my plate and then nodded approvingly as she had taken the exact same portions. Good thing I wasn’t self-conscious or anything because my mother would have made me into an anorexic long ago.
“Is that all you’re gonna eat?” Draco whispered.
“Until she leaves yeah.”
He made a face as he piled food on his plate and I wanted to laugh but that wouldn’t have been appropriate.
I sat quietly knowing I was not to say a word unless spoken to the parents were discussing the upcoming engagement announcement and I just smiled.
Just as dinner was winding down my father raised his glass, “I would like to propose a toast to this excellent idea Lucius, to a marriage that will unite our two powerful families, and to our children may they always be as happy as they are now.”
If only my father knew technically he had just cursed me. We weren’t on any level of happy yet. But he was trying so there was that. I also loved how Draco had gone from a candidate for marriage to my fiancé just because we sat at this table together talk about taking something a little far. However since I hadn’t rejected the idea and I had decided not to call it off I could see why my parents were moving forward and I was okay with it. Progress was progress and I knew if I didn’t go along with this I would lose what could be my only chance for real happiness. So unless it started to just not feel right I was engaged to Draco.
Lucius raised his glass, “Here, here Kyle. Now I would like to present my son with this Malfoy family heirloom for him to give to your lovely daughter.”
Lucius handed Draco a ring box which he opened to reveal a stunning platinum ring with a large square emerald in the middle which was surrounded by small diamonds.
“That was my mother’s so not the oldest heirloom but one none the less.” Lucius said and Draco shook his hand to thank him.
I knew Narcissa had the true family ring; a large princess cut diamond set on yellow gold with two smaller diamonds set to each side, which was fine by me that huge stone looked far better on her hand.
I smiled and thanked Lucius briefly knowing if I spoke too much my mother would get agitated. I was hoping they were not going to draw this night out but to my chagrin Narcissa announced that we would retire to the sitting room briefly before dessert was served. Draco took my hand and I let him as everyone was intently watching and he slipped the ring on my left ring finger and then gave me a kiss on the cheek.
“Marry me?” he whispered sounding amused.
I just smiled at him and kind of chuckled.
We both smiled for our families before going off to the sitting room. Where the adults continued to drink as per usual and Draco and I just sat next to each other his arm over my shoulders watching, waiting to see who would make a fool of themselves first.
“I hope those house elves get their shit together quickly,” Draco said, “I really don’t want a repeat of last year’s Christmas party.”
“Ohhh you mean where your father got so drunk he transfigured all the house elves into live reindeer because he thought they made better decorations?” I whispered.
“Although a fair point no I meant when your mum got so drunk she wanted to be nostalgic and reminisce so she had my mum break out the photo albums,” he paused, “Oh the scars that will never heal inside my mind.”
I chuckled slightly, “Yeah very true.”
As if our prayers were answered about ten minutes later a small female house elf announced dessert and after the adults left the room Draco and I each took a hearty swig of fire whiskey before following.
We walked into the dining room in time to hear my mother.
“They will have beautiful children together.”
I nearly gagged. My mother gave me her fake smile as I took my seat and put a slice of cheesecake on my plate.
“Lina dear you and Draco do want children right?” Narcissa slurred a little.
“Oh yes of course at least a son,” I smiled and checked my mother’s face out of the corner of my eye to know I had given the right response she gave a small smile.
I put a bite of cheesecake in my mouth so no one would ask me anymore questions. I kept taking small but quick bites but it seemed the adults had absorbed into their own conversation and I was safe for now.
I was holding my breath for this night to end. I wanted my parents to leave but I also didn’t. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be left alone with Draco again. However as soon as dessert was over us ‘children’ were dismissed and I knew they were going to talk about wedding business and what not without us which was fine. I tried to follow Draco as slowly as possible to prolong the inevitable.
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