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"I'M MY OWN STONE AROUND MY NECK""BE MY BREATH, THERE'S NOTHING I WOULDN'T GIVE"

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"I'M MY OWN STONE AROUND MY NECK"
"
BE MY BREATH, THERE'S NOTHING I WOULDN'T GIVE"

CHAPTER TWELVE

   "Why do you hate me so much?"

   To say that the question took Anabelle by surprise was no exaggeration. She furrowed her eyebrows, shuffling in his arms to look at the boy. "Are you serious?" she scoffed, sitting up but being careful to keep the sheet clasped to her chest. The girl could already see the cliché forming on his lips: I've already seen you naked, what are you trying to hide. "We are literally in bed, naked, right after having sex, and you're asking me why I hate you?"

   It was early morning, around five or six am, the sun had undoubtedly begun to rise though neither would know. They were in the Room of Requirement again, though currently, it was not in the form of the Room of Hidden Things. No, currently it was in the form of a small and simple room. Shades of white, silver, light blue emblazoned the room, it seemed to have a natural morning sunlight, though there were no windows. There wasn't much of anything, actually. A four-poster, king-sized bed was in the middle of the room, though it could have been much smaller as the two had not moved from each other the entire night, their limbs entwined in a mess as they slept ... and other things. A small table with a candle that had burned for hours without getting smaller and two glasses of water atop it was placed some way off. Their clothes were also scattered over the floor, the dark fabrics conflicting with the pastel scheme of the room.

   "Is there a better time you'd prefer I ask?" laughed Draco, his hand moving to run his fingers through the blond hair that Anabelle had tugged at, running her fingers through, not all too long ago.

   "I don't hate you," she said, falling back onto the mattress, lying on her side, his hands immediately finding their place on her arm where he drew intricate patterns. "I just thought I did."

   The boy furrowed his eyebrows and laughed. "What does that mean?"

   Anabelle shrugged. "I thought I hated everything about you up until like a month ago," she said. "You're arrogant, and you bully people, and you use names like Mudblood and blood-traitor, and you discriminate people based on how much money they have, and you treat half-breeds like Hagrid and Lupin like shit – you pretty much treat everyone around you like shit," she gave him a cheeky smile as the boy narrowed his eyes. "And you were dating Pansy, whom I hate, and therefore I hated you by association -"

   "We were never dating, for the record," Draco interrupted. "I don't even know why she thought that. I hooked up with her once and suddenly she's hanging onto me all the time."

   "See," said Anabelle. "A prime example of how you treat people like shit. You let her practically fall in love with you when you did not reciprocate those feelings what so ever, and you thrived in the attention – don't deny it," she pressed, for the boy had opened his mouth in protest. "And then when you realised that she was annoying you completely ditched her. And she sobbed for weeks apparently, not that I feel sorry for her, she's worse than you, but that doesn't mean it's okay..." she drifted off, moving her hand to tuck away a stray hair that had fallen across his forehead. The boy's hair was much longer than she doubted it had ever been; another sign of the toll of the task entrusted upon them. It wasn't long, no, but longer so that she could comfortably comb her fingers through it.

   "And then there's the fact that you take every opportunity to taunt Potter, and Weasley, and Granger. You know, the reason I never liked Granger was because she reminded me quite a lot of you." Draco opened his mouth as if to say something, but the girl didn't let him. "You both have this aura of contempt and being somehow above others. And I hate that. And you treat those three so unfairly for really no reason at all, and yes, I know that they do it right back, I clearly remember you being turned to a ferret, but if you just stopped, I'm sure they would too.

   "You're just such a stereotypical Slytherin. You're entitled, self-centred, rather cruel, to be honest, and not to mention the fact that you're a Death Eater ... see, these are the reasons I thought I hated you. Because I hate all those things about you."

   Draco rolled onto his back, exhaling a long breath. "Well, that's great." He went to sit up, evidently hurt, but he paused when Anabelle spoke again.

   "But I guess somewhere between endless fights and the hours being spent up here, just the two of us, I came to realise that that wasn't who you really were. Not really. The best time to get to know someone properly is when they're vulnerable, and doing this, we're both definitely vulnerable," the girl spoke, her voice so genuine that Draco doubted he had ever heard someone speak to him in such a tone. "All those things that I hate about you, they're just a mask you put on. A mask you've had on for so long, I think even you yourself have forgotten what your face really looks like. You've been acting the way that you've been expected to act. As much as you may deny it, you wanted to make your parents proud, especially your father, because he never seems quite satisfied with what you do..."

   As the words left her lips, Draco came to realise that she wasn't only talking about him anymore, but of herself as well.

   "And you've acted the way you've been conditioned to act, never realising it was wrong, but now, when push comes to shove, you've begun to realise that this isn't what you really want. And spending all this time together, even though we may have hated it, this mask has maybe begun to crumble slightly, revealing tiny flecks of your true face, and that face I don't hate. That face I could never hate. So, no, I don't hate you."

   For nearly an entire minute, Draco lay frozen on the mattress next to her, processing her words. Then, very unexpectedly for Anabelle, a wide grin appeared on his face, suddenly making him look not-so-exhausted. In a quick movement, he was hovering above her as he kissed her. Passionately, gently, lustfully, cravingly.

  "That's good," he grinned once he'd pulled away. "Because I'm pretty much in love with you."

   The girl barely had time to react before he kissed her once more. Just as he had before though there was something more transparent about this, something so emotionally hungry. He deepened the kiss, but then Anabelle seemed to gain control of her body and she pushed him away, just enough for them to be able to comfortably look at each other's faces. "Wha -"

   "I love you too." Draco stared at her, his eyes wide, mouth open, hair dishevelled. Then a smile, wider, realer, happier than the one before it appeared on his face, and he kissed her for the third time, this time her hands finding their way to the back of his neck as she pulled him impossibly close.

   That morning, they remained in bed for a few hours more, only rising when the clock had already hit nine. They had so many things to do, so much to get done, so much to worry about; but that morning, none of those things were on their minds. Two people, two such lonely people, had finally found companionship. As Anabelle watched their hands, fingers entwined, she had to admit that Sally-Anne had been right; the dark mocha of her skin contrasted so wonderfully against the pale porcelain of his. They were like night and day; polar opposites yet so dependent on each other, for there was no dark without light and no light without dark.

   Surely, it was meant to be.

---

whaaatt amm I doooiing wiith myy liiifee?

fuck I need to start working on the sequel soon if I want to be able to continue with these daily updates

aaaahhh

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