Past The Middle Of A Fairy Tale

She stood at the door to their meeting place, ignoring the cobwebs and dust that had settled on it since before the Christmas holidays, when he had charmed them on to hide any traces. They had both insisted that no one know, even though after each and every moment they spent together, they had gradually gotten the urge to scream that they were an item from the Astronomy Tower. Clichéd, yes, but true. And then they would become afraid, and hesitate to leave the quiet classroom where they were safe and together. She knew she felt that way, but the shade of his ever-changing eyes proved his reluctant feelings for her.

It surprised her how well she knew his face now. She could draw his face as perfectly as if she had a life-size photograph or the boy himself to model after in front of her. She knew every contour, every line, the soft laugh lines that would appear by his eyes when he smirked and his unusually girlish vanity which would show when she mussed up his hair. She especially loved the warmth in his eyes when he looked at her, and the smile that reached their cool grey depths only for her and her alone.

She knew that if they were ever found out, their families would probably end up fighting somewhere or another, only that it was somewhat unfair. He had his parents, while she had six brothers and two parents, too. Of course, with the enormous amounts of house elves whom he hired (he had gotten hit with an Unforgivable Curse when he had inadvertently let one go at six years old) they would greatly outnumber her family. She could not help but smile at the thought of her fierce but loving mother charging with a shopping list and her wand at the elegant Narcissa Malfoy. It was a comical scene, indeed.

“A Galleon for your thoughts?” a soft voice came from behind as warm arms circled her waist and a head nestled against her cheek. She smiled despite the discomfort of what she had come here to do.

“Are my thoughts worth that much?” she replied quietly, knowing what he would answer with as she detangled his arms to face him.

“Yes,” he answered simply, deciding to hug her closer to him for warmth. It was winter now, and the snowflakes could be seen from the windows inside the classroom. Contrary to what others thought, the room was kept clean due to the house elves who saw fit to keep each and every room spick and span even if they were unused. His smile turned into a mischievous smirk. “And Draco Malfoy always pays top dollar.”

“The best for the best, you mean?” she answered dolefully, her mind weighed down with the decision she had to make today. It must have shown on her face.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, a concerned expression now plastered on his face. It was hard to believe cold, drawling Draco Malfoy could ever be this kind, but she had seen it for herself. Not that he was some poor little rich boy who was oppressed – he had detested Muggle-borns until Hermione had saved him recently from a Death Eater’s initiation by hitting sense into him with some well-chosen words and fists. He was still at odds with Harry, but they were civil to each other now, and of course, there was his famed riches, arrogance and sarcasm. Gaping flaws that she loved, though his riches didn’t matter. Occasionally, she let the poor, money-minded part of her take over. Today was not the day for these, though. She had a more important purpose.

“Nothing.” she wanted to glorify in this feeling of safety and bliss for just a little while more. Just one more embrace before she had to do what she needed to. Just once more would be enough, she decided. “Nothing at all.”

“You’re lying,” he murmured, looking into her eyes piercingly. “Tell me the truth.” He was serious now, his hands in a tight grips around her, almost afraid that she would leave. As though he knew.

“We have to end it,” she whispered sorrowfully, her eyes beginning to wet as she stared up dolefully at him. She tried to hold back the salty ache in her cinnamon eyes, but failed miserably. The tears ran trails down her cheeks. “Colin…­Colin knows. He saw us.”

“I don’t care,” he said resolutely, staring into her eyes. “To hell with all of them.”

“He’s going to tell Harry if I don’t…­if we don’t end this,” she stammered, her words turning incoherent as she finally sobbed, the tears running in endless rivulets down her cheeks. “And then Ron’s going to come murder you or something, together with all the Weasley clan.”

“They could send the entire Ministry after me, together with the Death Eaters,” he smirked in a cheerful way that did not seem to overshadow the fear that was echoed in Ginny’s eyes. “Who are already after me, anyway. I won’t give a bloody hoot. Don’t say that, please.” The pleading note in his voice was becoming more and more evident.

“They’ll kill you,” she whispered like Trelawney in one of her trances, as though having a premonition. “They really will.”

“I told you. I don’ t care,” he whispered. He was holding her in a vice-like grip now, and she did not seem to mind. It had all begun with Arithmancy, which she had needed tutoring in. McGonagall had insisted that inter-house relations was more important, and assigned him to her despite all objections. “I love you.” Her head jerked up in shock, and she gazed into his eyes in surprise. He had never said it, though she knew it in her heart.

“Don’t leave,” he said in a muffled tone, his head still buried in her hair. “We could hide, Obliviate Creevey or something…”

“It’s too late,” she responded, the tears beginning to flow again. She could feel herself sinking into painful sobs. “Too late for us.”

“We’ll go public,” he announced abruptly, tipping her chin to meet his eyes. “I’ll take on all of your brothers. Your parents too, if necessary.”

“It won’t be enough,” she said pessimistically, biting her lip. “Love just isn’t enough.”

“It will be,” he whispered softly, hugging her to him. “It is, for us.”

“You know, this is a drastic change from the Draco Malfoy who first called me Harry’s new girlfriend in Flourish and Blott’s,” she smiled, nestling her head in the hollow between his shoulder and neck. “What happened to the twitchy little ferret we all knew?”

“Well, he was saved from his stupid ideals and accidentally fell in love,” he grinned wickedly. “Nice fairytale, don’t you think?”

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