A Feeling Unknown

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Chapter 3: Trouble Sleeping:

He was having trouble sleeping again. He looked at the clock and it said 4:11 am. He woke up every morning around six, so if he went to sleep right now, he could at least have two hours of sleep. Two hours of sleep was better than nothing, wasn’t it?

She was crying again. Why did she have to cry again? So what? Her mother died. She hadn’t even seen the woman for a long time, so did she even really care?

Draco felt awful having these thoughts. He knew she was heartbroken, and he knew that she cared. He had felt her pain before, so he knew it was genuine. That didn’t mean if she didn’t stop crying in one minute he wasn’t going to go out there and suffocate her with a pillow.

Instead of murder, since he would probably be arrested, and the paperwork would be hell, he got out of bed and walked to his living room. He stood in the doorway to look at her.

She was quiet now. No doubt, pretending to be asleep. He walked into the room and sat in the chair in the corner. He sighed, threw his head back and sighed again. The room was still encased in darkness, but he knew that she knew he was there, even without the ‘sighing’. Her ruse over, she turned on her back and said, “Did I wake you?”

No, he was awake. “Yes, you did,” he lied. He didn’t know why he wanted to magnify her pain. It was wrong of him. He wasn’t that much of a heartless bastard was he? “But its okay,” he added. She sat up and looked over at him.

“Why would a wizard kill my mother?” she asked.

How would he know? He wasn’t a bloody fortunate teller. He was, on the other hand, an Auror, so he said, “We’ll work hard to find that out. Not that it will bring her back.”

Hermione said, “No, nothing will bring her back.” She was quiet for many long minutes and then she stood up. She walked toward his front door. He sat upright for a moment, on guard in case she bolted, although he had to remind himself that she wasn’t his prisoner, but his guest. She pushed the curtains back from the window at the side of the door and said, “I kept making excuses as to why I couldn’t come see her. I had too much work to do, I had a symposium at the University, I had a cold, I had to do laundry. She invited me all the time. She called me all the time, and I did the same thing to her on the phone. I would talk for a moment, and then make up an excuse why I couldn’t talk and hang up. She came to see me occasionally, but not often. One time I even pretended I wasn’t home when she came.”

“Why?” he asked. That was the golden question that everyone wanted to know. That was the thing he heard Weasley and Potter speak of all the time.

“You wouldn’t understand,” she said.

“No really,” he said, crossing the room to stand beside her. He turned her around, a bit rougher than he meant to, and added, “Why did you stay away from everyone for so long? Why did you give up magic?”

“Oh, Malfoy, if anyone knows the answer to that it should be you,” she said.

“What the hell does that mean?” he asked. No! He wouldn’t let her put all of this off on him. It wasn’t his fault! He lived with enough blame. He walked over to a bench by the door where he usually sat to take off his shoes. He sat down and said, “Fine, I guess I have some insight into your reasons, but they don’t make sense to me. Why give up magic though? Why stop seeing your mum?”

She walked back over to the bookshelf where he placed the picture of him and Theo from University, and she looked at it again. “I have the same picture, you know.”

“I know. You took it.” He walked up to her and took it from her again. He didn’t want her touching it for some reason. It made him feel even guiltier. He placed it on a higher shelf.

“I’m sorry. I won’t touch it again,” she said sadly. “I miss him too, you know.”

“Sure,” he said. He knew she did. She didn’t have to tell him that. He said, “Do you still have the other picture you took that day?”

She looked confused for a moment. “What other picture?”

“Never mind,” he said. He couldn’t believe she didn’t remember the other picture. The day she gave it to him, she told him that she had three copies made, one for him, one for Theo and one for her. Maybe she didn’t keep her copy. “Go back to bed, Granger. Get some sleep. Today will be a rough day.” He added the word, ‘Please’ in his head.

He went back to bed and sat on the corner. Something made his mind wander back to the final battle of the war. Three Death Eaters cornered Granger in a hallway in the dungeons of the castle. At the time, he didn’t know who they were. He and Theo came upon them, just as one of them hexed her. Her shirt was torn down the front, and the three men were laughing.

At the time, he was confused. All he thought was, someone should help her, but he didn’t know who that someone should be. He was afraid they were going to rape her. He knew they were going to kill her. After all, she was a Mudblood, and Potter’s best friend. To kill her would be an honour for these men. To make matters worse, Theo ran off and left him. Now it was only him in the hall with them. She looked up from her place on the floor and said…

“Malfoy?” she said from the doorway of his bedroom.

He looked up. “Yes?” He was actually glad to see her standing there. He was always glad when something kept him from remembering unpleasant things.

“May I sleep in here?”

Was she kidding? He stood up and said, “Sure, I’ll go to the couch.” She took his arm. The feel of her hand on his arm both burned him and caused him to feel lightheaded. She let go just as quickly.

She said, “You don’t have to leave. You could stay. Actually, I would like you to stay. I won’t talk if you don’t want me to talk, and I won’t touch you in the least.” She sunk into his bed and pulled the covers up to her chin.

“You’re on my side,” he said.

“Oh, excuse me,” she answered. She scooted to the other side. She turned her back to him, but knew he joined her when she felt the mattress dip under his weight. She rolled back into a ball.

“No crying, okay?” he said. Again, he wasn’t sure why he was being so mean to her. It helped relay some of the sorrow he felt for her.

“I’ll try,” she said.

“You do that,” he retorted. It wasn’t long until she was breathing steadily. He turned to his side, facing her back. He arranged the covers over them both and only after he was certain she was asleep, did he pull her over to him, and put his arms around her. He kissed the top of her head.

How many times had he dreamt of holding her in his bed at night, just like this, only under other circumstances? Too many times for him to count. He was finally on the verge of sleep himself, when he felt a drop of moisture on his bare chest. He rubbed her arm and said, “Fine, you can cry if you have to cry.”

He didn’t know what else to say. He was embarrassed that she was awake, and he was embarrassed that he told her not to cry, and he was embarrassed that he couldn’t take away her pain, and most of all, he was embarrassed that he drove her away three years ago, and no one but him knew the reason why.

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