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Seeing her again made his heart leap into his throat. He was so used to the strong and vibrant girl she had been. But he could see how the years had broken her and she seemed more a shell. And seeing the dark circles and how thin she was hurt. However, the Malfoy pulled his gaze away from the woman and the child for a moment and looked up at the shop. He then returned his gaze to Felicity and her daughter. [b "You know we could always get lunch first and then come back here. It would of course be my treat."] The man said quietly, a gentle undertone to his words.
Grey eyes then went to the two year old who was hidden behind her mother's legs, a softer smile slipping to his lips. [b "Well hello there. What's your name, beautiful girl?"] He asked as he made a lolli pop appear and offered it to the girl. He wanted her to know he was a friend and had no intents to hurt her or her mother.
Felicity sat, biting her lip as she heard the boy snap about Draco. He had been snapping more often lately. She flinched back, almost scared that he would actually harm her. [b “This isn't your decision, George..It's mine. She is my daughter and I have to find a way to take care of her.”] She whispered gently, trying to hide the fear from her voice.
Felicity rushed over to the bed and picked up the child, smiling faintly at George before she vanished. She appeared in the street holding the child. She was beyond worn down. She had dark circles under her eyes, her body was shaking from exhaustion. She hadn't slept or eaten in a while. She couldn't afford to do either. All of her focus was on keeping her child happy.
Her eyes shot up and locked on Draco. She swayed just a bit but kept the child close to her. [b “W-want to go in?..”] She asked quietly, rocking Rebecca gently. She gently put the two year old on the ground and took her hand, leading the little brunette child over toward the man. Rebecca stayed hidden behind Felicity's legs, shaking slightly. She was very skittish.
[#9251c1 "You know mum wouldn't mind. She loves you both and thinks of you as family. And I still have the joke shop."] The man was again trying desperately to get her to see sense. He had seen how ruined she had been after Malfoy had just dropped her and disappeared. He also believed that Draco had turned her over to the Death Eaters.
[#9251c1 "Have you forgotten what he had done to you? How could you say he isn't bad?"] His brows were raised at her defense of Draco.
The young man had set both his mother and father off and so was staring blankly ahead. He could definitely hear them. Hell, the dead and deaf would be able to hear them both. But he was not listening to them. His mind was still thinking back to Felicity. Maybe he could try and talk to her. Maybe he could explain all of this was what his parents were wanting and needed. Not him but after losing her he had had nothing left and went along with it all. All of that was the truth.
It was the tapping on the window that had gotten his attention and he went to let the owl in. His eyes scanned the note and he then looked to his parents. [b "A friend has asked me to meet with them...We can finish this later."] And before even giving his parents a chance to speak, Draco had vanished and appeared in an alleyway by the ice cream shop and had gone to wait outside the shop.
Felicity looked at the letter on the nightstand. It was simple really, all it said was 'I accept your help.' She didn't want to send it. She didn't want to accept help from others. She wanted to be able to care for her daughter on her own. [b “George...Your mother doesn't have enough money to support all of you, there is no way she could afford two more mouths to feed..I can do this on my own. He..You know he will help us..He isn't a bad guy, really he isn't.”] She slowly explained, not sure how to make him understand.
[i 'Maybe I could win him back...convince him not to marry Astoria..Wait..Felicity what are you thinking?! You can't do that...He is getting married..He doesn't want you, get over him..'] She had to scold herself.
The girl looked up at George, forcing a smile on her lips. [b “George..I can do this..We can do this..I will be fine..”] She said gently, trying to keep him happy. She bit into her lower lip, looking over at the child who fell down on the bed and huffed. [b “Want to go into town, my love?”] She asked gently. She quickly went to the table side and wrote on a different piece of paper. 'Meet me in town at the ice cream shop.' She quickly put the letter on the owl's leg and sent the owl off.
The blonde haired male couldn't believe anything he had done. He had only meant to speak with her. He had only meant to apologise and to let her know some of the truths he felt she deserved to know. But instead he had opened up to the young woman and it had gotten them both hurt. And now he bloody well could not get Felicity out of his head. It was both a blessing and a curse all in its own. However, Draco never spoke of the encounter though it was obvious to at least Blaise and his mother that he was not the same and something had changed.
Draco sat with his mother but did not seem to be paying attention to her words. Or wasn't until she slammed her hand down on the table to get his attention. "Draco, I asked if you had a date in mind for your wedding? We have been putting this off." The woman reminded him.
A hand ran through his hair and he sighed. [b "No, mother. I do not have a day in mind. I honestly had been trying to put it out of my mind until I had to think of it."] He muttered but that was all he said, earning a glare from his father.
George Weasley looked at Felicity as she spoke her words. He had been trying to help her but for the last few weeks she had been denying his help. And now it seemed as if she was running low on funds. He was trying to be supportive. He really was, but there was no way he wanted her around that filthy Malfoy.
[#9251c1 "You could always move into the Burrow with us. Just until you get on your feet. You can even borrow the money from me. Do you really have to go to him?"] The Weasley man asked, almost pleaded with Felicity.
Felicity looked to Draco as he began to shut down. He had been opening up to her, but she could tell that he was shutting down on her. She didn't like it. She wanted him to open up, to stay open. She couldn't tell him that though. She couldn't be weak..Not again. [b “I...I have a daughter to get to and you have a life...One I'm not a part of anymore.”] She said quietly, not looking at him. Her heart was racing.
When she felt the bag slip into her hands, she immediately began to protest but he was gone. She stared at the spot he had been. How could he have done this?...She couldn't get him off of her mind as the time went by.
Weeks later, Felicity sat in her bed in the hotel room. She had lost her job, lost her home..She sat on the bed with her head in her hands. She eyed the now near empty bag of money on the table. She had used it all to pay for them to stay in the hotel room. She watched as the child bounced on the bed, giggling quietly. [b “I..I have to see him, George...There is no other way..”] She said quietly, looking up at the red head.
Her words had hurt him more than any of the scorn from the rest of their world ever could. To him no opinions matter but hers and perhaps that of his mother. But at that moment, Draco could not and would not tell her that. He had already opened up way too much and only to have her tell him how he never gave a famn about her. What had he honestly been thinking?
The cold grey gaze never did falter nor did it leave the young woman. He could see her struggling to even find an answer for him. Which if he had to be honest he hated but it also gave him an almost smug feeling. It appeared his words happened to be getting to her just as much as her own seemed to be getting to him. And it was at that moment did the saying "All's fair in love and war" come to mind but only for the briefest of moments.
[b "It is late and I have kept you past the hour. Just remember this conversation and what I've said. You know how and where to find me."] The man said as he moved to her. And before she could object, Draco had slipped a small bag of galleons into her hands and closed them around it before he brought her hands to his lips. Once he had, the Malfoy vanished.
The woman's heart skipped a beat as she listened to his words. She had known the real him? He had lied to her, but never about how he felt. He had actually loved her. Maybe..No! She could not let herself think of him like that, not again. [b “Draco..i..”] She didn't know what to think though. She opened and closed her mouth seveal times, but nothing came out. She didn't know how to phrase the words she was thinking.
When his eyes became cold, her heart stopped. Fear began to spread through her. She had seen that look before. In Goyle...The night he had come for her, claiming it was because of Draco. He had given her the cold dead inside look.
Felicity couldn't think of what to say. He had loved her all along? Could she believe that? That he had loved her. [b “Draco..”] She looked away from the man and took a deep breath. He scared her, honestly. Him being one of them terrified her. But maybe he wasn't like them. Maybe he could convince her that he wasn't like they wanted him to be. [b “I have to get back to Rebecca...I have to get her home and in bed..”] She said quietly, much softer than she had been talking. His words had been working on her, even though she wouldn't look directly at the man.
[b "Because Fe...Felicity I have no reason to try and save my ass on anything anymore. I did what I did and have become hated for it. An outcast to say the least and am lucky if anyone pays me the time of day. I've done horrible things and now I live with them and their reminders everyday. Have I lied to you? Of course I had and that had been the stupid boy I had been. But this, this I am not lying to you about. You know me, the REAL me better than anyone. And with that you should be able to tell when I am lying to cover my ass."] There was no bite to his words but it had been enough of a slap he was sure. He NEEDED her to get it through her head that yes he had been shit but there had been some merrit in the things he had done. That he had truly never meant to cause her of all people any harm.
For a few moments Draco was silent by means of trying to regain his thoughts. Again her words were like knives cutting through his chest and his heart. His heart had been so broken for so long that he had played like he had a "frozen heart" because it was easier. And it was her words, the last of never caring that struck the man and his eyes became cold.
[b "Is that how you see it? That I never truly cared or loved you? Never would I have spent so much time with you before. Never would I have let you in or to know the REAL Draco Malfoy that NO ONE not even my 'best friends' knew. I NEVER sent Crabbe after you. That had been the Dark Lord because he KNEW I still loved you no matter how I tried to hide that."] The man said, quietly and never took his eyes from her. There he told her.
When the man froze from her question, she thought she knew the answer. [b “Of course..”] She whispered, beginning to walk away from him. Then he began to speak. He denied it. Denied that he sent his best friend after his ex-girlfriend. But then again, would he ever actually admit it? If he had done it, he would have denied it until the end. She knew that. Hell, she knew him.. Better than anyone did. Better than even he did. Though she never thought he was capable of actually doing some of the things she thought he had done. Like this with Crabbe.
Not only did he deny the fact that he did it, he denied ever forgetting about her. Did she believe that? No.. The girl closed her eyes and tried to breath, tried to stop crying. He didn’t deserve any more of her tears! [b “How do I know you aren’t lying to save your own ass?..” ] She asked,
How could the girl ever truly trust this man again? The man who knew the best and worst about her. .And used them both against her. She remembered Crabbe saying many times that he was doing it because of Draco. She had always assumed that it had meant he had sent him after her. It had really meant that Draco had stepped out of line and this was his punishment. [b “If you didn’t send him after me.. Then who did? Why me? I’m sure there were plenty people he could use to torture you with.. Why would he chose me? It wasn’t like you ever actually loved me..”] She said quietly, biting into her lip harder than before. It was starting to bleed but it didn’t bother her at all.
Draco had been young and a damned idiot when he had made the choice. He had made it as a teen boy, not as a man in love. Would he do it over? Some of it yes and some of it no. If he could have done it over, the man would have explained it to Felicity. Told her that he still loved her with everything he was but that he needed to do it to keep her out of it. Would it still hurt? Of course it would but at least then she would know it had NOT been that she was not good enough. Always had she been perfect. He had been the fuck up.
Silence was between them for a moment before she spoke her words. All of them hit him like a ton of bricks. It felt as if ice were coursing through his veins. Never had he known anything about Crabbe and his going after the girl. And he was frozen with his shock and his anger. Anger at Crabbe, not at her.
Slowly a hand came up and ran through blonde hair as he shook his head. He was finally able to come out of the shock after many moments of silence. [b "No, I never had sent Vincent after you. I never knew he even got his hands on you. When I broke up with you after my last letter.. I was broken and had dived into the tasks I was given. I turned my mind to everything else to try and get you off my mind.. If the Dark Lord figured I did not care I thought you would be safe..."] His voice was so broken as were his eyes as he looked at her, silently pleading she at least believed him in that. For none of his words had been a lie.
Felicity could tell that her revoking his ability to use her nickname hurt him. It read in his expression. He could hide his feelings from many people, but he never could from her. She wanted to apologize, but she didn't. He didn't deserve it. He didn't deserve any kindness that she wanted to give him. The woman had extremely mixed feelings. She wanted to see his smile. Hear his sweet laugh, but she also wanted him to suffer for what he had done to her.
When he finally looked at her, she almost got lost in his piercing grey gaze. She shivered inwardly and took a deep breath. His explanation began. It confused her, honestly. He said he did it to protect her..but she ended up being hurt worse than any could have imagined. She bit into her lower lip as she listened, making sure not to interrupt him even though she wanted to. She wanted to scream that it didn't matter. That she should have been more important than any consequences.. But she wasn't.
[b “You did this to protect me..You dropped me..Make me feel like I wasn't good enough for you.. To protect me.”] She asked, though even in her tone she didn't believe him. She didn't want to believe him. [b “One more question and then you are free to leave.”] She said quietly. Her mind screamed out, don't do it! Don't ask it! You don't want to know! [b “Did you send him after me?.. Did you send Crabbe after me after you stopped writing? Was that how you wanted to get back at me?”] She asked, unable to stop the tears from forming in her eyes. Great! Here comes the water works...
The words that Felicity spoke stung and were a knife being driven into his heart. Or what was left of it after everything that had happened. But again, he should have expected the anger and the heart. He had ripped both their hearts out and shattered them both. Her more so because she never knew what was coming. And he had.
A hand came up and ran through blonde hair as he slowly looked up and piercing grey eyes fell upon the girl. If he was going to talk to her, the man had to face her. She deserved that and so much more. It took him a moment as he could not help his wandering eyes and he quickly had to snap them back to meet hers. His own eyes reflected emotions that he tried so hard to hide from the world. And yet she always made him show them.
[b "Fe...Felicity you had never been a game to me. You were the reason I stopped with whole playboy thing. When I met you I was trying to meet the expectations of others because no one saw me...No one until you. I loved you all the time..And it was because I loved you that I did what I did. I thought if I broke all ties you would be safe. And I also did it to keep my family safe. But never a day went by where I didn't at least think of you and hope the best for you."] Draco explained, trying to keep his voice from breaking. He had owed her the explanation for so long.
The shock that registered on Draco’s face made the girl smirk by just a bit. Sure, she was furious at him. But oh god how she had missed him. At one point in her life, he had been everything to her. He was the only reason she had been alive. He saved her from herself. During her at the manor where she had been kept after she had been kidnapped, the only thing that kept her going were the thoughts of when times were better. When she was happy with Draco. Those times were long gone now. She had to remember that. He left her. He dropped her like she was nothing, because to him.. She was nothing. Or so she thought.
The old nickname he had given her sliced through her. Fel…Only Draco was allowed to use that name for her. Otherwise, she hated it. She remembered when it first came about. The girl was a horrible klutz. During her years at school, every time she would fall the students would pick on. [b [i “Fel just fell!”] ] When Draco used it though, it was a term of endearment. She began to get used to it. Especially when he would sneak up behind her and whisper it in her ear. She shivered at the though. [b [i ‘Stop it! Those times are over! We are over!’] ] She scolded herself mentally.
She didn’t really know how to reply to his words. Thank you.. As if that was enough. [b “Don’t call me that.. You lost all rights to that when you disappeared.”] She settled for. The coldness in her tone scared her. She hadn’t sounded like that since.. Well since she had been in the dungeons. She tried to keep herself busy for the rest of the night, but her eyes kept wandering back to Draco… The love of her life. Sure, the flame was dead now.. But once it had shined oh so bright..
Once her shift was over, Felicity sat on the bench outside. Though it was only a few minutes, the girl felt like she had waited for hours. She let her head fall to her hands. [b [i ‘What am I doing here?... Why am I opening this can of worms all over again? DIdn’t I suffer enough the first time?.. Am I just this stupid?..”] ] She thought to herself just before she heard his voice.
Like a coward, he wasn’t even looking at her. The man was looking to the ground. She wished that he would look at her though. She longed for those beautiful grey eyes to pierce hers once more.. But she wasn’t so lucky.. His words confused her. Where else would he begin?.. The beginning, duh! [b “Why?... Just tell me why you claimed to love me if you were just going to leave?.. To drop me as if I was nothing to you?.. Did I ever mean anything to you, or was it all a game? You promised me the world, Draco Malfoy. Instead, you exploded my world..”] ] God she had been holding that in for years! Did she really even want the answers?.. Did she want him to tell her that she wasn’t good enough for him? That he never loved her? That she was just a toy to her?.. A toy he shared with his best friend once the war began?.. The question she wanted to ask most, she refused to let slip out though. Was he who sent Crabbe after her?.. Was he the reason she spent a year locked in the dungeon?... Was he why she had Rebecca?.. No.. She could never ask him that. She didn’t want to know the answer..
The Malfoy sat upon the stool and shook the last of his whiskey over the ice as grey orbs were locked upon Felicity. It appeared after all this time his eyes were still in love with her just as his heart was. The girl seemed to be avoiding giving him an answer to his question and Draco almost thought that she had ignored him. Hell if she did the man couldn't fault her. He had been a dick and she didn't need to give him the time of day. He knew he wouldn't even if he was her. So when she spoke, Draco found himself blinking and shocked.
[b "Fel, thank you."] The only words that managed to slip his thin lips. He had not been able to stop the old nickname from rolling of his tongue. The man honestly felt a little lighter knowing that he would get a chance to at least explain. Though as soon as he realized what he had done, Draco thought of what a mess everything could become. What the hell had possessed him to ask the favour?
Drink after drink he had. He was hoping it would clear his head as Blaise had disappeared and came back with a stupid grin on his face. With a raised brow and a shake of his head, Draco left a tip on the counter for Felicity. A rather gernerous one too. He didn't do it as charity but by means of a start to TRY and make ammends of sorts. And it was after Blaise had one more drink did the pair of pasr Slyrherins leave. They had some time to kill before he would come back to meet Felicity for the talk that he had asked for.
Hours ticked by murderously slow as grey eyes locked to the long minute hand that slowly moved around the clock. Mentally he was trying to prepare something to say. Trying to prepare a long overdue explanation but each version sounded like shit. The closer the time came, the more nervous he got. His heart all but thundered within his chest and his hands were sweaty and would not stop.
Finally the time came and the blonde male with the smolderinf grey gaze disapparated and appeared outside of the pub. It was late enough that not many were around and he didn't have to worry about being caught. Draco ran a hand through his hair, eyes becoming locked upon the French beauty as he had expected for her to bail out. But to her credit she had stayed. And with that his head bowed and eyes became glued to the ground.
[b "I owe you so many explanations.. it is difficult where to begin. So tell me where you want it from and I will tell you the truth. No games or lies."]
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