Well, a lot of you asked for a sequel, so here’s part 2! I’ve posted around 2/3 of it here, and the rest is on my ff.net page (I’ve given you the link at the end). Let me know what you think.
P.S. I’ve decided to name this series “The Light Inside”
P.P.S. Credit goes to my friend Richa for helping me with the idea of the cave.
Astoria shook her head as she glimpsed the back of Daphne’s very improper (by Pureblood standards at least) dress and mussed golden hair vanish with a crack. The Greengrasses had family problems in addition to the brutal war, but the sisters had taken different approaches to coping. Astoria bottled it up with a strong façade, and Daphne chose to release her anxiety in other ways. Coping or not, Astoria feared Daphne was slowly becoming a lost cause.
Still, she had more enjoyable matters to focus on, rather than her sister’s recklessness. Tonight, she was going to see Draco, who had been more caring and sensitive than she could have ever expected. Astoria thought back to their first date, at the Three Broomsticks. She had enjoyed that night.
“You don’t drink,” he’d observed, as she ordered a Butterbeer. She’d spared him a cursory glance, wondering where he was going with the observation.
“Bad memories, then?”
She had hung her head in shame. Her father, Arran Greengrass, had become a severe alcoholic shortly after the war. While she had seen the not-so-subtle signs that the man she had once respected and admired was losing his mind, she had chosen to ignore them. But his explosions of anger had become more and more frequent, often spouting unadulterated venom through his words, and Astoria feared ridicule from other respectable families, in addition to her own worries. Alcohol had since become a taboo for the Greengrass sisters, but she was loathe to admit the dysfunctional family that she belonged to – no self respecting Pureblood would want to.
“Hey,” he had whispered softly, “It’s okay. I’d hate to date a girl with a bad liver.”
And although she had made a face at the terrible joke, Astoria had felt a warmth blossom from her chest as she took in that small symbol of acceptance.
Draco remembered that night well, most importantly because he remembered falling for Astoria’s willful character properly.
It had been five months since that night, and they had taken turns on choosing their next date. This time, it was Draco’s turn. Though his face maintained the impassive Malfoy visage, he was, truth be told, slightly nervous – he had been planning to take her to this place for a while.
Although they had been seeing each other for some time, they had yet to let down their walls. The residual torment of Draco’s Death Eater life was obviously known to Astoria. But he knew that Astoria was not without her own share of troubles. Too often had he noticed the look of a lost little girl in her eyes. He did not want to push her to reveal what she would keep hidden, but at the same time he also wanted her to know that he could be trusted.
And so he had decided to show her the one place nobody else had ever seen in his life, the one hideaway that had been a safe haven for him all these years, the one comfort that had never left him during his time as the Dark Lord’s slave.
A crack alerted him to Astoria’s presence behind him. He turned to look at her, a single glance at her luminous face, those soulful sapphire eyes full of weathered wisdom; and his heart began to swell with an emotion he could not identify. In the short time they had been seeing each other, he had identified something in her that completed him, something that made his broken life whole. He knew then that he would not regret his decision to share this piece of his heart with her.
“So you wanted to show me something?” Astoria tried not to let her voice crack as she met his storm colored eyes that carried so much passion and intensity, and the crooked smile that made her heart skip a beat. There was something about Draco that made her feel as if she belonged somewhere finally, that relief that you felt after you saw the finish line at the end of a marathon. And her life had been a marathon, she supposed, running away from one horrible reality to another.
He took her by the arm, not unkindly, and apparated. Astoria felt the familiar squeezing effect, and then they were there and she opened her eyes.
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