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Past the Passageway by Lirie Halliwell
Thanks Jess for her kind reviews and betaing.
Tapestry by Lirie Halliwell
Past the Passageway
It is entirely too dangerous to be contemplating this, he thought to himself, stalking the dark corridors as if they were his cage and he was an irate lion. And it was late. He felt the waning moon explicitly in his boiling blood, coursing the night in a silent stealthy creep that would astound the best of thieves. It was too late to enter the chambers inconspicuously and yet it was too early to creep in uninvited.
There was a harsh flick in the air and the door at the end of the hall opened. Something sprang inside his chest and he unconsciously stepped into the shadows, where his form was obscured by the darkness. She walked out, paused for a moment, as if sniffing the air for lurking predators, and after finding nothing suspicious, headed down the lightless corridor.
It had been too cold for her to be traipsing the space barefoot, but on she treaded, the light patter of her feet unheard in the silence. And there he was, following diligently that image of bravery and folly and white and red and vivid. He cursed himself as his heart leapt at that thought.
Painfully vivid she was against the dullness of his life, the grey of his sheets.
She walked briskly, purposefully. For a moment he could feel the sharp sensation of hope that tore his heart in two as she turned the curve into the direction of a secret passageway towards the dungeons. But the feeling was crushed instantly as she passed the concealing tapestry, not even sparing it a mere glance, and walked into one of the deserted classrooms.
The door closed behind her and just as he was about to join her there and inquire her about the nightly stroll in a maddeningly charming way that would most definitely lead to some physically elevating sensations, he heard a male voice. He halted immediately, his chest constricting so tightly he lost all ability to breathe for a second. There was someone in there with her; someone she came out here, in that hour of the night, to meet. His stomach lurched.
The voices were muffled, but he could hear some displeased intonations in the conversation, and despite his better judgment that kept screaming at him to get out of there and forget she had ever happened upon his path, he found himself walking towards the door and straining to hear.
“Stop hissing, Theo, I owe you nothing.”
It was her. That was her voice, but – oh, Merlin – it was so harsh, so hateful. That wasn’t the voice he’d grown accustomed to, grown addicted to. It didn’t trickle down his skin like warm trails of water, but shot through him like a warrior’s spear.
“A—are you joking? I—Ginny, no, I can’t understand. What is going on? I thought we—”
He felt his jaws clench as the unmistakable drone of Theodore Nott resounded through his mind. A Slytherin. Somehow the thought that he, himself, wasn’t the only Slytherin that fell for her red charms wasn’t consoling in the least.
“You thought wrong,” she replied cuttingly. After a moment silence, she spoke again. “Look, Theo… I never said I was looking for what you can give me. I’m not. I thought you understood .” Silence again, and then, “You obviously didn’t, so I think… well, don’t owl me anymore, alright?”
The other Slytherin didn’t say a word for a long while and Draco could only imagine the cold and crass thoughts passing through the boy’s mind. They were passing through his mind as well.
He heard a movement behind the door and moved to conceal himself again in case one of them was leaving, but a crash and a loud thudding sound rooted him to his spot. He could see it clearly in his mind – she was pushed against a wall - this wall in between them, right there – and he knew he would’ve done the same thing. This thought struck him hard and he found himself leaning his forehead onto the wall, knowing she was just a stone away, trapped by another.
“You don’t get to tell me when this is over, wench. You are my dirty secret and dirty secrets don’t get a say in the matter.”
“I may be a dirty secret, Theo, but I’m definitely not yours,” she spoke almost too gently for him to hear, and a moment later he slammed her against the wall and stepped away because she had said something to him that Draco couldn’t decipher.
“It’s true what they say,” Theodore spoke again, his voice dark and loathing. “You are the Dark Lord’s whore.”
Split seconds later, Theodore was storming down the corridor away from the classroom and away from Draco and Ginny, both leaning against the same cold stone wall on its opposite sides.
Draco heard a soft sigh behind the wall puffing into the air just as another one escaped his own lips, and she moved to leave. Pressed against the wall, Draco watched her as she almost brushed him on her way in the opposite direction from Theodore. He stared at her retreating back balefully, wishing all the curses and plagues upon the head of that vivid girl, hating, glaring and scowling.
And then she slipped behind the ancient tapestry that faithfully hid the secret entrance, and his heart leapt. Not sparing it another thought, he took off after her, catching her by the hand right before she left the dark alcove and slamming her hard against the wall.
He was glaring at her, his face set in a sneer and hate blazing his eyes. He barely saw her in the darkness, but his sight was never sufficient enough to capture her wholly anyway. The air around her tasted of indifference and nonchalance, while her chest against his was beating enticingly. She tried to move, just a little shift, and found herself being crushed further by the enraged Slytherin. So she stopped, and just stared at him.
“I know what you’re thinking,” she whispered suddenly, and Draco was surprised to discover just how close her lips were to his. Pushing that notion down, he kept her gaze.
“And what is it?”
“I won’t leave you,” she said simply, her voice so small and true that he almost caught vertigo from his heights. “Just don’t fall in love with me and I won’t leave you.”
What was that shuttering within him? Or was it more of a crushing sensation? In any case, it was rooted in his chest and it was formidable.
“And what if it’s already too late?” he found himself uttering, his voice strained and pained and his eyes prickling.
She looked at him sadly and tried to move again, this time allowed to withdraw her hand and stroke his cheek. “I have nothing to promise, Draco. Not a soul, not a heart… and the body… it’s already been yours. What could you ever want from me?”
“That is none of your concern,” he whispered back, tipping his mouth closer to hers to steal her breaths, her doubts, her protests. “I get what I want and that is all that matters.”
She sighed into him as he covered her lips with his, taking and possessing whatever it was that made him come back like a lost cub to the only lodging he dwelt at more than once. Something tickled at the back of his mind though and he leaned away, staring at the starry gaze of her brown eyes.
“One question, though. Theodore—“
“—Is over. I don’t want to talk about it,” she interrupted him firmly, shaking her head slightly.
“Trust me, neither do I,” he assured her lightly, feeling his own stomach churn at the mere thought. “But I know him. He wouldn’t have left you alone if it was his decision. And yet… he walked away.”
He deemed to see her hasten to hide a smile when she rested her head onto his chest. She heaved a small sigh and held tighter onto his robes, breathing in the dizzying scent of his oriental bathing oils.
“I told him you were behind the door, and if anyone’s, I was your secret, first and foremost.”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.