Chapter 38 : "Tonight We Leave"
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His feet felt like it was acting on its own accord. He couldn’t comprehend why he was running. He didn’t know where he was running off to. Her horror-stricken face burned into his mind as a guilty imprint. Draco couldn’t stop his legs though. They were moving with a force as if he was drawn to something. Soon, his bones were cracking and under pressure as they were shifting and his body was slowly feeling heavy with thick hairs of fair fur. His final transformation as a tiger, he swept beyond the Manor’s walls. He ran, his soft paws hitting the ground, his sliver eyes unwavering ahead of him until he reached the top of the large hill in the middle of the rolling hills. He changed back to his human form and clenched and unclenched his hands, testing his movement. Draco closed his eyes, tipping his head up to the gem-filled skies and inhaled deeply. The air wasn’t fresh enough. It wasn’t crisp enough for his body. When his eyes finally fluttered open, he saw the sea. The gulls squawking filled his ears along with the buzzing of the bar. He could hear the waves met the shore. The floorboards of the boardwalk creaked beneath him, but he stayed to the left, ignoring the path that led to the bar house. He walked on the boardwalk, the shore slowly dying beneath it and all there was left was the dark waters. On the pole, a rope was wrapped, keeping a wooden, rundown boat from floating away. He clambered into it and released the boat from the confinement of shallow waters. With a tap of his wand, at the boat’s edge, it sent the boat skidding across the ocean. The wind swept in his face, stinging it with iciness. The salty smell of the ocean filled his sense. He kept going and going until he reached so far out, the bar was a little yellow light bobbing in the distance.
He leaned forward, cradling his head in his hands and burying his face into them. He sighed heavily, trying to unscramble the buzzing thoughts in his head.
Those two little words screamed over and over in his head. In that little boat, he realized one thing… He had to heed his mother’s words. They had to leave.
Birds of the morning chirped delicately, their chirps from the outside the only sound that filled the Manor. The Manor felt empty, it was still, it was soundless. It was a peacefulness that lingered in the air. Sunlight dipped in through the windows, caressing Hermione with its warmth. She lifted her head, unburying it from her arms as she squinted around the dining room. She had cried herself to sleep there.
“You’re still here?”
She jerked up at the breath of the voice to stare right into those sliver eyes, stormy. His face sagged and dark circles were beneath his eyes. His usual slicked back hair was ruffled and his chest was heaving up and down with every breath. He pierced her with those eyes. Her hair was tangled around her face and her eyes were red and under her eyes were swollen with pink.
She couldn’t find her voice to answer.
He sighed, slightly fidgeting. In his head, he was trying to come with an excuse, a reason, anything form of a comforting explanation of why he ran. It probably looked to her as abandonment. His legs felt weak so he quickly slid into a chair across from her.
“Hermione…” he whispered.
She shook her head in disgust. Her face scrunched up and tears swimming in her eyes.
“I—I,” he sighed heavily. “I didn’t abandon you…”
“You didn’t?” she cried shrilly, finding her voice. “Draco! You ran!” Her voice dropped. “I tell you I am pregnant and you run, run. How dare you!”
“Listen to me—”
She rose to her feet with the chair rattling behind her. “No,” she seethed.
Draco leaned forward and tightened his grip around her wrist. “Sit,” he commanded with gritted teeth. “Now.” When she didn’t, he bellowed, “FUCKING NOW, HERMIONE!”
She was trembling with anger, but with her head held high she sat, glaring at him.
“Do you know how hard it is for me?” he asked.
“Because the child’s mother is a mudblood?” she spat nastily.
Draco leaned above the table, his hand reaching for Hermione. He roughly grabbed her by cupping the back of her head and brought her into a fiery, enraged kiss. His fingers tightened around the roots of her hair, his chest rapidly heaving. He pulled away from her and she looked right into his eyes. She never saw his eyes so serious. He plotted himself back into his chair, flinging his head back and slicking back his hair with both of his hands. He grunted to the ceiling and he finally looked at her, she become still under the gaze of those eyes.
“I love you,” he said it loud and crisp. “More than anything in this fucking world.” He shook his head and chuckled humorlessly. “A baby…” Again he shook his head to himself. “I’m sorry I ran. I didn’t know what else to fucking do. What was I supposed to do? I can’t parade around like other fathers with pride.”
“Because the child is half-blood?” she snarled, baring her teeth.
“Shut the fuck up with that, Hermione. I don’t give a shit about that. It’s our baby. Our kid. Ours! You think I give a shit about the stupidity of blood purity. For Merlin’s sake, you’re not a pure blood, but I am fucking madly in love with you. That doesn’t bother me…” He shook his head. “Not the slightest bit… I ran…I ran because I cannot handle what would happen to the baby…”
She remained quiet, but he felt her questions probing him.
“I’m the fucking prince of Death Eaters with a blood crazed father who is the King of those little shits. This…our baby boy—”
“Whatever the baby is! He or she will be death of all of us. Me. You… And since you are carrying him…him too…” His voice dropped with sadness. He was becoming jittering as he began to clamp down on his nails and his leg jerking violently. Hermione never saw him this bad. “We have to leave…” he said quietly.
“America. Belgium is good. I don’t yet. I just decided this…”
“There is war here!”
“Exactly why,” he replied coldly.
“How about everyone else?”
“Everyone else? Like who? Hermione right now the only concern for you should be keeping yourself safe. And perhaps some concern for me. For our family.”
“There will people who will die here. How about the resistance?” She immediately bit down on her bottom lip with regret.
He narrowed his eyes at her, leaning forward his arm and a balled fist laying on the table. “What resistance, Hermione?”
Hermione shook her head.
“You know there is a resistance…”
“Are you apart of it?”
“Fuck!” he roared, jumping onto his feet. “Is this why? Is this why you wanted to marry me? Part of your resistance scheme? To fuck with my heart?”
Hermione jumped onto her feet too and leaned forward to smack him right on the cheek. “How dare you…” she whispered deadly. “I would never go as far as that. I am not a heartless bitch, Draco. I wouldn’t confess or have sex or even have a baby. That was never part of a resistance plan. Everything with you, I acted from the bottom of my heart…”
He ran his thumb down his pink cheek, his eyes flashing. He moved to the other side, each step hard against the floor until he was right in front of her. She hitched her breath. She hadn’t seen an angry Draco in a long time. She was terrified. His palm settled on the table as he leaned forward, cocking his head. He was so close, so threateningly close; she felt his breath on her skin. She felt herself unable to breath.
“If you love me the way you claim to love me, you will leave with me…”
Her hand moved onto her stomach as his eyes searched her face wildly. He slowly placed his other hand on her hand and wrapped his fingers around it. His eyes glanced down at their hands, but when he looked back up to her face, his eyes were storming with a fear. She nodded once. Her voice so soft, so low it almost disappeared without being heard, “Yes. I will leave with you.”
He pulled her into a protective embrace as she laid her head on her chest and he buried his face into her shoulders, holding tightly as if he could lose her at any minute.
“What are you doing?” she asked, stepping out of the bathroom. She rubbed her dripping wet hair in the towel, gazing at Draco on the couch. He was sitting, one leg propped on the other with a quill clenched between his teeth and his fingers playing with the feather end. A book was lying on his lap. He looked at her through his lashes.
“What did you say, baby?” he asked.
“What are you doing?” She threw herself next to him, leaning next to him to have a look at the book. “You seem too concentrated.”
“Because I am.”
He sighed, placing the quill in the valley of the book’s pages. “Trying to look for a place…”
“So, we are really leaving, huh?”
He nodded, reading the book again and twirling the quill in his hand. After some silent moments, he said, “Yes… We are… In a few weeks actually. So, I don’t have much time to find us a place. It’s harder to find a place since it is out of the country.”
“In a few weeks?”
“Yes.” He placed the quill down again and turned to her. “Before you start showing… I think we shouldn’t go to America… Death Eaters plan to infiltrate there eventually. I was thinking more of Belgium…”
“Before I start showing?” she asked herself in a daze.
“Yes…” he replied, looking at her curiously. “We can’t blame it on you getting fat… Although, you have put on some weight,” he smirked.
Her lips twitched. “You jerk.”
“It’s in places I like too.”
She grinned. “As perverted as ever, Mr. Malfoy.”
“Well if I didn’t have such a good-looking wife then I wouldn’t be like this. So blame yourself.”
She laughed and shook her head lightly with amusement. She hadn’t laughed like that for days because of the worry riding her like the calamity before the storm. He patted her head affectionately as she growled at him. He only looked at her with amusement. He pulled her forward, leaving her a feathery kiss on her forehead before getting onto his feet, stretching.
“Well, I’m going into work.”
He sighed and shrugged then shot her his famous smirk. “Better late than never. Plus, they should just feel graced with my presence.”
She rolled her eyes playfully. “Conceited git.”
He grinned, “A conceited git you married and love.” He winked.
“Just leave already,” she shot playfully.
“As you wish, ma’am.” He leaned forward with a smirk, pecking her on the lips. As he was strolling out, he waved without turning and said, “See you night, love.” At the doorway he stopped suddenly. He slightly turned to her somberly with the stormy eyes. “Listen, be ready. I might randomly tell you to let’s go. Be prepared…”
But nothing could have ever prepared her for that moment as she stared at Draco’s letter in her hands already opened. A couple of weeks past and they did not speak about leaving the country again. She pretty much put it behind her, recklessly living in the present. So, when Draco’s letter said:
Tonight we leave.
She was anything, but prepared for it. She swallowed the overwhelming feeling in her throat and begged the Founders of Hogwarts that she would not vomit. It was sickening though. Her inside froze over to artic ice, stilling. The beat of her heart almost felt like it just stopped. Hands began to tremble aggressively. With a shaky hand, she brought the tip of her wand to letter and set it on fire.
A/N: What do you guys think?
And thanks everyone for R&R! It means so much to me!
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