Chapter 46 : Happily NEVER After
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“What is this about?”
He jerked up at her voice. He turned his head only toward her and snarled, “What do you think?”
Hermione was beyond puzzled. She could not believe that Draco was actually asking for a divorce. “A…a…divorce…is that what you want?”
He fully turned towards her with arms crossed and leaned against the desk. “Granger…”
“I’m not Granger…”
“At least not yet…”
She narrowed her eyes and nodded. “Yes, at least not yet.”
“We both know it was an act,” he snarled with disgusted hurt. “Everything.”
“I—I—” There was a volcano rising in her, ready to pour its lava into her veins. She was begin to shake with fury. The word “act” haunted her mind tauntingly. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She had honestly believed there were truth to his words of love and affectionate. “I— MERLIN! Fine! A divorce it is then!” she shouted.
“Why are you getting so fucking mad at me?” he barked.
“Because you are a dick, Draco Malfoy! A dick!”
“And you’re a bitch!” he bellowed right back.
“Don’t you worry, Malfoy. You don’t have to worry me anymore! I will get this in by as soon as possible!” She stormed out, slamming the door behind her deafeningly.
“Hermione, you have to be kidding me! I thought you two were in love!” shouted Ginny, utterly confused like Hermione.
Both Ginny and Hermione were sitting in the front steps of the Burrow. The hills grassy-brownish hills rolled in the distance as its hills touched the bright blue sky. Sunlight was shining potently with all its happy might. The chilly breeze swept through them as Hermione wrapped herself more tightly in her cream sweater cardigan. Hermione buried her face into her hands, slowly breathing in and out to calm the nerves that were going mad.
“I thought so too, Ginny,” whispered Hermione. She looked up, looking into the distance. “But apparently it was all an act on his part. Merlin, he had me fooled.”
“He had me fooled too,” replied Ginny sadly, looking off to the distance with Hermione. She rested her head on her balled fist. “He was a good, actor, wasn’t he?”
“I suppose so if he had clever Hermione Granger fooled,” Hermione muttered.
Ginny snorted, “Like I said he fooled me too. I just saw him with you only a few times and it just seemed like his feeling were real, you know? Just genuine. I find this so hard to believe.”
“I do too, Ginny. I do too…”
Ginny peered at her friend. “You don’t think it was a big misunderstanding? Maybe something happened along the way that you two didn’t quite grasp?”
“What misunderstanding?” asked Hermione indignantly. “Oh, ‘I love you but don’t be silly that doesn’t mean I love you like a significant other.’ Oh, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you but that means just like friends.’ Oh, yes, Ginny, I just misunderstood.”
“I’m not talking about the words of lovers!”
“He flat out lied to me, Ginny. There is no misunderstanding! He admitted it was all an act.”
Ginny sighed, looking back out into the distance. “I mean about the divorce, Hermione. Maybe it was a misunderstanding about the divorce.”
“I’m sure it was no misunderstanding about that, either. You didn’t hear the way he spoke to me. He was so cold.”
Again Ginny sighed, leaning back on the porch. “I find it so hard for him to abruptly be so cold to you, you know? He was so…gentle and…and caring. Like the day he showed up on Grimmauld Place. There looked like there was so much concern in his eyes and every time your name was mention, his eyes would light up. Like you can see how much he loves you…or loved you. Or more like so we thought?”
Hermione sniffed, beaning over to cross her arms on her knees and buried her face into the dark hole, between her arms and body. “Ginny!” cried Hermione, sniffing violently. “I think I’ve cried enough for the last two days!”
Ginny rubbed Hermione’s back soothingly. “I know. I’m sorry. I won’t mention him again…”
“I just can’t believe how much of a good actor he was. What a fake!”
Footsteps were heard behind them as both girls snapped back to view the intruder of their conversion. It was both Harry and Ron.
“’Mione,” whispered Ron. “I’m sorry. I feel like it’s my fault you’re hurting…”
“Don’t be silly,” she forcefully laughed through the tears. “It’s not your fault!”
“Hermione,” Harry said seriously. “Malfoy is going to pay for hurting you.”
Again, she emptily laughed as were rosy cheeks were stained with tears. “You’re being silly too, Harry. It’s my fault. I should have been clever enough to detect a lie blatantly staring at me in the face!” She buried her face again, wailing with her shoulders shaking violently.
A presence was beside her on the left, now occupying space. An arm wrapped around her comfortingly and she knew the familiar smell of Ron’s hair that was just a memory long ago when she first smelled Amortentia. She buried her face now into Ron’s chest, silently crying as he held her.
“What—what are you doing here?”
Draco lifted his bowed head to stare right into the wide dark eyes of Blaise who was clearly surprised at seeing Draco at his doorstep. Draco gulped down the choking feeling in his throat as he blinked rapidly to keep the tears at bay. He shrugged hopelessly at Blaise.
“Don’t tell me you’re not with her anymore…”
Draco licked his lips and bowed his hand again, shaking it.
Blaise heaved a heavy sigh. “You fucked up, huh? I let you have her and then you lose her. You are an idiot!”
Draco said nothing.
“She came by the other day.”
At this, Draco perked up, looking at Blaise hopelessly for any information on her.
Blaise nodded. “For some fucking reason, she vouched for me which is why I am not arrested. You, of course, did not bother with me because we aren’t fucking friends anymore, right?”
Draco shrugged, bowing his head in shame again.
“Well, at least it isn’t my fault this time, right? I mean that you lost her… But I never officially apologize to you for the fuck up shit I did… I gave you both a hard time.”
Draco vaguely shook his head as if he was dismissing the past. “It’s okay,” he murmured.
“I suppose you need a friend now… Which is why you’re here.”
Draco nodded without saying a word.
He looked up into Blaise’s eyes. “It was all an act. Right after the war, I kid you not, a few minutes when everything was said and done, I overheard her talking to Potter that she wants a divorce. And not only that…the minute she sees the Weasley, they kiss.” Draco waved his hand in the air. “Like I didn’t fucking exist to her.”
“Ouch… But you sure about that? I can’t see Hermione doing that to you… The way she spoke about you on Christmas. She seemed like she was in love with you, madly in love.”
“Well, she was a bloody good actress.”
“And why would she act to me though? What purpose?” he asked seriously.
“I don’t know!” cried Draco. “I’m…I’m just desperate…right now. I don’t want to lose her.”
“Then don’t,” said Blaise simply.
“But it’s what she wants,” stressed Draco.
“Did she say she wanted that? Like to your face?”
“You’re really asking fucking stupid questions. First off, as I said and do not make me repeat this again, she-told-Potter-that-SHE-wanted-a-divorce! And she acted like she wanted the divorce. She called me a dick and told me not to worry, because she will get a divorce as soon as possible!”
“Why would she tell you not to worry?”
Draco turned to face Astoria. Her blonde hair was tied back into a wavy ponytail with a few strands falling out playfully, but purposely. Her green eyes twinkled like he never seen before. “I will repeat,” she said with a smirk, “Why would she tell you not to worry? That’s a bit weird, don’t you think?”
Astoria leaned forward with a smug smirk. “I bet you are wishing now you didn’t let me go.”
“I don’t wish that at all,” replied Draco. “I just don’t want my wife to leave me!”
“Why don’t you tell her how you feel?”
“I am trying to respect her wishes!” cried Draco. “I don’t want to force her to be with me!” At this point, Draco broke down. He leaned on the door frame with an outstretched arm and bowed his head. His shoulder shook violently and it felt like all the air was ripped out of him.
“Everything seems settled…” The Ministry worker, Benjamin Logan, had round glasses at the edge of his nose and almost looked like he was going to past away right on the cherry wood desk. “Mr. Malfoy had this sign long ago…”
“Yes since October…” replied Hermione stiffly.
“Yes and you were married in January. How strange…”
“Seems like he had planned it long ago.”
“That it does seem, but be thankful. You do not need a husband like Mr. Malfoy.”
Hermione snarled, “Mr. Malfoy and I might be divorcing, but he is still a good man.”
Mr. Logan nodded thoughtfully. “And you a good woman. It is a shame. Well, Mrs. Malfoy, you are about to be Miss Granger again. Are you sure you want this? As well as he?”
Hermione sighed sadly, but said nothing.
“I presume you your silence is to just get this over with.”
“So, you signed everything, perfect…” He took out a stamp and hammered down on the papers. “You now, Miss Granger are magically unbind from Mr. Draco Malfoy. You are officially divorce and a free woman…”
Hermione took her first breath of a free woman and it was not pleasant.
Draco was sitting on the steps of the back porch with his mother, in taking the chilly air that refreshed his senses. He stared out into the garden as he had a beautiful pink flower in his hands. He was plucking the petals slowly from the bud of the flower. It was silence until a snowy owl’s wings flapped, landing on Draco’s knee. There was an envelope in its beak. Draco carefully took as his mother watched on. He opened it with shaky hands,
The divorce is finalized. You are a free man.
“What is it, Draco, honey?” asked Narcissa with sad eyes. “Don’t tell me…”
Draco stood up, walking away from his mother with his hand over his mouth, ready to sob. He was not a free man. No his heart was chained down by the unbearable pain.
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