Chapter 25 : Leaving You
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Someone seized her forearm as she was striding through people. She turned to see the dark eyes and dark tan complexion. His face was grim and his eyes gleamed with concern. “You okay?” he whispered.
“I was actually looking for you,” she croaked. Her bottom lip trembled and she could feel the tears watering in her eyes.
“Here.” He slipped off his tux jacket and helped her into it. “Let’s go outside to talk more privately.”
He laced his fingers through hers and led her out the suffocating room to the outside. The icy air bit her immediately as she breathed it in and it was harsh on her lungs. She glanced at the spot where she and Draco shared a passionate moment only a couple hours ago. Her heart dropped, but she ignored the feelings pulsing through her wildly. The snow crunched behind their feet as silence loomed over them. Blaise seemed determined though. A stone bench emerged from the darkness and after he watched her take a seat, he did as well. He leaned forward with elbows resting on his knees.
The hills of snow glistened in the orange light of the Manor’s liveliness like tiny diamonds. The arctic air draped them as Hermione violently shivered. Blaise pulled out his wand and with complicated waves, he heated her up then resumed his position. Hermione sighed thankfully.
“So, what happened? I’m surprised you came looking for me.”
“Why is that?” she asked, her eyes unwavering from the snow.
“You were convinced I had something to do with the kidnapping.”
“You…seemed sad today,” she said, dodging his comment.
“I was.” He leaned back now, his eyes searching the sky. “I really like you. And I know I would never really have a chance with you anymore. I’ve lost it.”
“Why’d you do it?”
He rubbed the back of his head, contemplating. After some thinking, he answered, “The kidnapping?” He sourly chuckled. “I’m going to be honest with you. I do really like you, Hermione. I’m attracted to you. And what I’ve seen and heard what you’ve done for Draco, I want a woman like that. I need a woman like that in my life. Someone who is strong and resistant to everything falling to shit around her. But as clever as you are, you know there’s more to it…” He bit his bottom lip, lost in thought. Eventually, he found his way back from the jumbled thoughts in his mind. “I’m tired of being at the bottom of the food chain. If I could have convinced you and proven myself to you, I hoped you would leave Draco and come with me. That would have ruined not only his reputation, but his family’s too. They would have crashed and burned.”
“So, you can replace them?” she asked with a whisper.
“Yeah. That was my plan.”
“So, do you honestly really like me?”
“Yes,” he replied without any hesitation.
“That’s some twisted way to show your affection for a girl and try to win her over,” Hermione muttered.
He laughed freely, his laughter hanging in the cold air. “I guess so. But us, young Slytherins, yeah we are twisted fucks. You would be too if you had to put up with the shit we do. The war. Deatheater bull shit. You wouldn’t know or be able to ever understand. That’s why we are twisted.”
“I went through the same things you did too.” Hermione looked up from the snow and at Blaise who was now staring down at her with a grim face. “Me, Harry and Ron. I know you’ve heard of it. The search for the horocuxes. We fought the same war. We fought at the Battle of Hogwarts. The Cruciatus Curse was used on me too you know. I’ve lost friends too.” She heaved a sigh and looked down at the snow. “But I’m not twisted.”
“That’s because you’re in Gryffindor. You guys handle things differently, with nobility and honesty. Us, Slytherins are set up for failure. We are power-hungry, unethically determined and manipulative. Add bad experiences, we become worst.”
“Instead of blaming everything on your house stereotypes, you should own up to your individual wickedness,” she replied bitterly.
“Ah! I think this has finally come to the conversion of nature versus nurture. There are reasons why generations of families end up in the same house.”
“It is a duel role of nature and nurture, but some people are worst from the start whether it is nature or nurture or both. And you? You’re rotten to the core.”
“I am not rotten, Hermione. I know what I want and I will go to any lengths to achieve it. If it meant breaking you down and building you up so be it. At least, in the end I would have gotten you. Well, so I thought.”
“It was cruel,” she mumbled.
“It was, but how else was I supposed to win you over from Draco? He has such a tight grip around you. Honestly, how else would I have done it?”
Hermione bit her bottom lip, thinking. “Did you ever feel like Draco would mess things up?”
He nodded. “Yeah I guess so.”
“So, you could have waited.”
“That is a probability, something I have no control over. I am not one to sit around and wait and take chance. I take things into my own hands so I at least have some control over the outcome. And honestly, if he messed up, who’s to say you’d come to me anyway?”
“So your plan was to somewhat force me to go with you instead?”
“Force you to realize a few things, sure.”
“What am I supposed to realize?” she asked.
“That I’m better.”
Silence draped over them again as they were both consumed by their own thoughts.
After a few passing moments, Blaise asked, “What did Draco do?”
“What makes you assume that he did something?”
“Because you’re here with me.” He turned to her with a slight smug smirk on his face, knowing all too well, he hit it right on the nose.
She heaved a heavy sigh, sounding of misery. “He tells me I’m the only woman in his life, but she’s still lingering around like a dark cloud.”
“You already know then?”
“How can I not fucking know? He’s probably fucking her as we speak. He’s got a thing for her. Always have. And honestly, Hermione, I don’t think that’s ever going to change.”
“So what should I do?” she asked meekly.
“You came looking for me for a reason and I think we both know why.”
Hermione didn’t speak a word.
“My proposal is still up in the air,” Blaise smirked.
“Draco, I just want one Christmas present. One last Christmas present. Kiss me. And if you kiss me, by Merlin, Draco, I won’t give up you,” Astoria whispered. “And if you refuse, I’ll let…go…sniff.”
“Astoria,” Draco breathed. “Please, don’t cry. Alright. Alright.”
“So, will you?” she asked weakly. “Kiss me…”
“Astoria …okay…" Draco's eyes hardened and she widened her eyes at the storminess of his eyes. With the same sweet voice, “Enough. I can’t kiss you. Just give up already.”
“How—how can you say it so sweet?” she wailed.
“Astoria, I’m trying to be nice to you,” he said his tone rising with annoyance. “Please do not make me lose my temper especially when you just interrupted a moment between me and my fiancée.”
“Why do you love her? WHAT DOES SHE HAVE THAT I DON’T?” she roared with her eyes overwhelming with tears. “I want to be her! Caring, kind, brave! But that’s not me!”
Draco was taken back, he never experienced Astoria snap. “Calm down,” he growled. “Astoria, I don’t need to explain anything to you. On top of that, you wouldn’t be able to ever understand why I love her.”
“…so you do admit it? You love her. Well, she isn’t going to ever be able to love you,” she snapped.
Draco's lips moved into a thin line. “What would make you say something like?”
“Because she is the Golden Girl and you’re a Deatheater. Both of you are from completely different worlds. Different values. And you proved to her over the years that you’re a dick. She is more likely to choose someone like Blaise. Blaise may be vain, but he isn’t angry or distant or cold and he's totally opposite of you.”
Draco was now shaking with anger now. “Don’t you ever mention that fucker again.”
“Oh,” she purred with a smirk. “Did I hit a soft spot? Well, Draco, hopefully Hermione doesn’t have any doubts about you because she might turn to Blaise.”
Draco’s eyes flashed threatening. Anger was inside him rumbling like a vicious storm, seeping into his body as he shook violently. “Astoria, we are done. Forever. I cheated on you with Hermione. Now, you didn’t just read it the paper. You’re hearing it from me personally. I—cheated—on—you! I never liked you. You were a cover-up for my true love for Hermione.”
Astoria’s bottom lip was trembling as tears welted in her eyes. She was shivering and her knees gave in. She fell to the ground, burying her face in her hands and letting out incoherent sobs. Draco watched her coldly and did not feel the need to even comfort her. His feelings for her were truly gone, replaced by his love for Hermione. He was officially done with her. He wheeled around and left the library in search of Hermione.
In the grand ball room, his eyes searched for the golden brown hair, the slightly tan skin and the beautiful dress she fitted into so well. No one resembled her though.
“Draco, Happy Christmas.”
Draco turned to find Pansy with a wide grin on her face, holding a champagne-filled flute glass. “Christmas,” he mumbled.
“You know you are supposed to put ‘Merry’ or ‘Happy’ in front of Christmas. But with you? I think it’s safe to assume none of those words are fitting your description of Christmas right now,” she smirked.
“Yeah, yeah. Guess you know me all too well. But I’m a little busy right now.”
“With? Looking for someone?” she purred. “I guess I can only hope it was me you were looking for.”
“That’s only your hope. Have you seen Grang—Hermione?” he asked.
“I saw her and Blaise leave not too long ago. I believe I saw them go outside. I haven’t seen them return.”
Draco’s jaw tightened and nodded. He jogged through the crowd, pushing people over and to the ground and zipped out the door. Outside, he saw two figures walking toward him. As they came into the light, it was Hermione and Blaise. She looked up from the snow and into Draco’s eyes.
“The fuck is going on here?” he growled, his eyes darting between the two.
“Just talking,” Hermione replied stiffly.
“I told you to stay away from him,” Draco snapped, going toward Hermione.
Blaise stepped in front of her, shielding her from Draco’s grasps. “You can’t tell her what to do anymore, Draco. She’s free from you.”
“Wha—what do you mean?” he stuttered.
Blaise stepped aside and Hermione tucked a curl behind her ear, refusing to look at Draco. “I accepted Blaise’s proposal… I’m going to leave you Draco and go with him.”
Draco’s heart shattered into a trillion pieces.
A/N: Okay, please put out your torches and stow away your pitch forks. AND don’t hate me. =/
I know there will be TONS of questions popping up that I might not be able to answer b/c I don’t want to give anything away. >=X Just please be patient (not sure if I would be able to since I am an impatient person, probably will update VERY VERY soon!) BUT other than that please review, I LOVE LOVE hearing your thoughts ^___^
P.S.- My story is in the top ten of this month! I squealed when I saw that. BUT I have to thank all of you who take your time to read this. You’re all so beautiful! Okay, happy tears time! =’) <- not a joke I really do cry when I’m happy (like when I saw that) b/c I feel an overwhelming of joy that I can’t handle. Thank you all <3 XOXO
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