A Feeling Unknown

Increase font | Decrease font
White BG | Black BG | Purple BG | Light Text | Dark Text | Red Text | Purple Text

Chapter 5: Numb:


She sat in a chair in the Auror’s office, and the only thing she could do was to think about the definition of the word, “Numb”. It was an adjective, obviously, but couldn’t it also be a noun? Couldn’t the word ‘numb’ replace the object in a sentence? She would describe herself as numb, (adjective) but she also felt that it more than just describe her. She felt as if it WAS her; therefore, it was a noun, or really a pronoun, replacing the noun.


She looked at Harry and Ron as they were speaking softly to each other, heads together, obviously discussing her case. She said, “Harry?” She didn’t even recognize her own voice. He walked over to her.


“What?” He placed his hand on her shoulder.


“I know that the word numb means to be unable to feel or have emotions, to be incapable or devoid of feelings, which would make it an adjective, but don’t you think it could be a pronoun, too?”


Harry looked at her as if she had two heads. He looked back at Ron as he sat on his desk. She moved to the side, looked at Ron and said, “What do you think, Ron?” He looked over at Draco’s desk, where Draco was silently trying to avoid being a part of this conversation. However, he felt all three set s of eyes on him and he looked up.


He said, “Yes, Hermione. You can consider numb a pronoun if you want to do so.”


“That’s what I thought,” she said. She stood up and went over to the door.


“Where are you going, Hermione?”


“I hardly know. I’m numb, remember?” she said. She sat back down.


Frankly, Draco thought she was beginning to lose her marbles. Harry had suggested she speak with a counselor, but she had been talking to people all day: First, the fire investigators at her house, then the Muggle police at her mother’s house, then the Muggle police at her house, then the Aurors. When he suggested she speak to a counselor, she said, “I can’t, I’m too numb to talk any more.”


Hence, her recent obsession with the word.


Draco didn’t remember her acting like this when Theo died. Of course, he didn’t see her after Theo died. No, Draco was the one that became unglued that day, and she had more right to become unhinged than he did, after all, she was engaged to the man.


That awful day so long ago.


He didn’t even remember her being this detached after what happened to her in the final battle.


Draco stood up and said, “I’m going home.” He had, had a long, hard day, he was tired, and frankly, he felt a bit numb himself, in the adjective sense.


He said, “Are you coming, Hermione?” as if it were a normal thing to ask.


“Coming where?” she asked in return.


“Home.”


Harry caught his breath. Ron stood up beside Harry. However, Hermione Granger stood up and said, “I don’t have anything to sleep in. Can I borrow something again?”


“Sure,” he said.


He took her hand. Harry took the other, essentially stopping them. “Wait. She can come home with me.”


“You’re a newlywed, Potter,” Draco reminded him.


“Ginny won’t mind,” Harry said. “In fact, she told me to bring her home. She didn’t want her to go back to her mother’s house.”


“If she would rather stay at her mum’s,” Ron started, “I’ll stay with her.”


Hermione suddenly wasn’t so numb, and a look of horror graced her face. Draco thought Weasley was a wanker, but then that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Draco said, “She doesn’t want to go back there. Anyway, must I remind you that it’s a crime scene?” He dragged Hermione out to the hall.


He whispered in her ear, “Do you want to come home with me?”


She nodded slowly.


He led her to the lobby where they went to an apparition point and then they apparated directly to Draco’s kitchen.


He moved about the kitchen, to find them something to eat. He didn’t know about her, but he was famished. She remained in the middle of the room, and he worked around her. He finally placed his hands on her shoulders and moved her to the side. He actually propped her against the wall.


He wasn’t a sentimental sort, and he had no words of comfort for anyone, but he could see to her basic needs. He placed a plate of potatoes, ham, and eggs, on the table for her, another one for him, pulled on her arms, pushed her into a chair, and said, “Eat.”


He wouldn’t coddle her. She didn’t need that. She just needed time to heal. Time healed all wounds, not coddling, or fake words of comfort, or “I’m sorry”. She just needed time. Maybe some clothes and basic necessities wouldn’t hurt either.


“If I go to the store later to get you some things, do you want to come along?” he asked. He could have worded that differently. He could have said, “do you want me to take you to the store to get some things?” but he felt if he said it like that, she would feel like he was going out of his way to help her, and he knew she didn’t need anyone to help her.


She just needed time. Remember? Then he realized that it had been three years since Theo died, and she didn’t seem completely healed from that. Goodness, she might never heal from this.


She said, “Just get me what you think I need.” She pushed her plate to the side, and stared over at the wall.


He picked up both their plates, neither having eaten, and he threw them in the sink. He said, “Stay here. I’ll be back.” Seriously, where did he think she would go?


To be on the safe side, he set up wards. Wards so she couldn’t leave, but since the head Auror, Harry Potter, felt she was in danger, he also set up wards so no one but him could enter.


When he returned from the store, four large shopping bags in his hands, he found her sitting on his couch, that damn picture of Theo and him in her hand. He swore he felt like throwing the damn thing out.


They were all so happy that day. That was the day that Draco Malfoy had decided he was finally going to tell her that he loved her. That was also the day that Theo Nott did tell her that he loved her, and he did it first, thus changing all of their lives forever.


Draco placed the bags on the floor, took the picture from her hands, and returned it to the shelf. Perhaps he should put a sticking charm on it. He looked at the picture again. He smiled just remembering that day.


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Act like you at least like each other,” Hermione said as she started to take the picture. Theo placed his arm around Malfoy and Malfoy placed his around Theo. Hermione took the picture, and then said, “One more. Say cheese.”


Why cheese?” Theo asked.


I don’t know,” she giggled.


They both said cheese and then they both laughed and she snapped the picture. “Now one with me and Draco,” Hermione said.


Draco felt a blush rise to his cheeks. He looked down at the ground and then back at her. He stood beside her and Theo said the same thing she had said. “Look like you at least know each other. Put your arm around her, Malfoy. Don’t you even know how to pose for a picture?”


Hermione said, “He poses in front of his mirror enough.” Draco smiled at that and gave her a playful pinch to her face. Then he put his arm around her, never having felt as happy as he had at that moment. Not in his whole, entire, pitiful life. He loved her and he felt as if this was a sign that he should tell her. She put her arm under his, around his waist, and said, “We’re ready.”


Theo said, “Say guacamole.”


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


That made both Draco and Hermione laugh, and that was when Theo took the picture. Draco turned to Hermione, and looked in her eyes, and he almost told her he loved her right then and there. Sometimes he felt that was his biggest regret, and the biggest mistake of his life. If he had just had the balls to tell her that he loved her right then, when he felt it the most, then she would have been his, not Theo’s, and perhaps Theo wouldn’t have died. It was a stretch, but it was what he truly thought. That was the reason he didn’t have the picture of Hermione and him out for others to see. It was too precious, but it was also too painful. No, that picture was for his eyes only. He had it hidden where no one would find it.


He turned back to her and then picked up the bags. He placed the first one on her lap and pulled out some knickers. He said, “I really stink at picking out undergarments. The lady at the store helped me.” She took them from him and placed them beside her on the couch.


“I guess I should be thankful they aren’t lacey, frilly things,” she said.


He smiled and then handed her a couple of bras, without a word. She looked at the size, cocked one eyebrow at him, and said, “How in the world did you know my size?”


“I’m an excellent Auror,” he said. “I investigate things, and then come to conclusions. I looked at things from all sides, formulated an educated guess, and then told the sales clerk your size. Plus, I’ve seen you naked before, remember?”


She smiled. For the first time since leaving her house, she smiled. He said, “There’s a bag with toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, and the like. The other bags have jeans, shirts, and a couple of jumpers, some nightclothes, and a black dress.”


“Are we going out to dinner?” she asked, taking out the dress and smoothing out the wrinkles.


It was for the funeral. He didn’t know if she was joking with him, or if she really hadn’t realized that. He stood up, took the dress from her hands, put the rest of the things back in the bags, and he said, “I’ll put these in the bedroom.” He went to his closet and pushed his clothes aside. He hung up the dress first. Was it insensitive of him to tease her about seeing her naked? Maybe she needed some normalcy. He knew he did. He remembered after Theo died, he would have done anything for people just to act normal around him. He would have given any amount of money if he could have talked to someone about it. If he could have just said, “Hey, it sucks, and it’s my fault,” then maybe he would have healed quicker. Hell, whom was he fooling? He still hadn’t healed. Nevertheless, maybe he would have. Perhaps if Hermione hadn’t run away after it happened, she would have been there for him, the way he was trying to be there now for her.


He wasn’t even sure she deserved his sympathy. As he hung up another jumper, he felt awful for thinking that thought. She was in more pain than he had ever been in. She felt the same thing he felt when Theo died, and now she was feeling it all over again.


She sat back on the couch, and as her numbness began to fade from her view she realized why he bought her the black dress, and she yelled to him from the other room. “I’ll need black shoes.”


He stood by his closet, a hanger in his hand, and he said, “Damn, I forgot shoes.”

<<< Previous Chapter | Table of Contents | Next Chapter >>>
~
[an error occurred while processing this directive]