“Hey, Accident, can you pass me that platter of food?” Ron asked me, pointing toward a plate filled with breakfast food.
I glared at him, ignoring the request. It had been more than a week since my trip to the hospital wing, and Ron had refused to refer to me as anything but ‘Accident’ ever since. Harry, seated beside me, reached forward and handed the platter to Ron.
“You’re liable to be hexed if you don’t cut that out,” he said, clearly attempting to hide the small smirk on his face.
“No, I’m not,” Ron replied, dumping the entirety of the platter onto his own plate. Hermione shot him a look of disgust, but Ron ignored her.
“Wanna bet?” I muttered under my breath. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Harry smile. The other two didn’t appear to have heard me.
“Honestly, Ronald, do you need the entire platter?” Hermione complained as Ron began shoveling food into his mouth.
Ron said something resembling the word ‘yes,’ but it was unintelligible through the eggs. Hermione rolled her eyes and went back to eating in silence.
With the lapse in conversation, my mind wandered, leading me to the same thoughts that had been troubling me over the last week.
He was clearly getting stronger, since that was the first time my scar had caused me problems since the battle at Hogwarts. But how strong was he? How imminent was the danger? I tried to clear my head, knowing that the more I questioned, the further I would spiral into fear, but I couldn’t stop wondering what was going to happen.
“Carrie?” Harry said, jolting me back into reality. I looked over at him to see that his green eyes seemed concerned. “Did you hear me? I said that we should probably get going to Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
“I guess I was just lost in thought,” I said with a nervous laugh. I could tell that Harry wasn’t buying it. “Sure, let’s go to class.”
Defense Against The Dark Arts came and went without much consequence. We continually re-studied topics from past years of school, and I barely stayed awake through class most days. As had become custom over the past week, rather than follow Ron, Hermione, and Harry up to the common room, I walked with Draco through the corridors.
“So, we never did have that second date,” Draco said as we wandered down the hallway.
“Nope, I think that was the date where I almost died,” I joked. Draco chuckled.
“I meant a date that was longer than fifteen minutes,” he smiled.
“What did you have in mind?” I asked.
He grinned. “No idea.”
“Well, there are only so many things we could do, since we can’t leave Hogwarts,” I said, racking my brain for ideas that didn’t include flying.
“Who said we weren’t allowed to leave Hogwarts?” Draco smirked.
“Hogsmeade is hardly interesting enough to risk detention,” I pointed out.
“True. What about Diagon Alley?” Draco suggested.
“That’s basically Hogsmeade in the middle of London,” I said.
“Someone’s picky,” he said, clearly trying not to smile.
“Why don’t we do something you really want to do? Have anything in mind?” I suggested.
He was quiet for a minute, seemingly lost in thought. Suddenly, his face brightened. “I’ve got it,” he grinned.
“What’s your plan?” I asked.
“It’s a secret,” he replied, a mysterious smile on his face. “But I guarantee you’ll like it.”
I frowned. “The curiosity is going to kill me,” I replied.
“Too bad. It’ll have to wait. Does Saturday evening work for you?” he asked.
“Uh… I guess?” I said hesitantly.
Draco grinned. “Great! It’s a date!” he exclaimed. He kissed me on the cheek and hurried off down the corridor. Still slightly confused, I turned and walked the other way, still wondering what exactly he had in mind. I hurried upstairs to the common room, where I found Harry, Ron, and Hermione already sitting down. Hermione was at a table near the back of the room, pulling textbooks and parchment out of her bag, while Harry and Ron relaxed on opposite ends of the couch. I plopped myself down between them.
“That was fast,” Ron commented.
“Yeah, Draco randomly got this super-secret date idea and then hurried off without telling me anything,” I replied.
“Weird,” Ron replied, clearly wanting to avoid the topic of Draco. Both he and Hermione continued to hate Draco and the fact that we were together. Harry was at least supportive, but I knew that he didn’t approve of the relationship either. I could understand that they weren’t ever going to be best friends, but I was growing annoyed that they couldn’t just respect my decisions.
Seeming to sense the tension, Harry quickly changed the topic by asking me a question about our Potions assignment. I gave him a couple pointers, but my mind was still with the problem of my best friends’ hatred of my boyfriend. Well… was he actually my boyfriend? We hadn’t quite officially said that. But either way, Hermione and Ron would have to accept it eventually. Surely they wouldn’t allow blind hatred to affect our friendship, would they?
It was then that I realized how long-term I was thinking. Using words like eventually, and worrying about my long-term friendships. I’d never consciously thought about the relationship going anywhere, but suddenly I was thinking in eventuals. My brain was thoroughly confused.
As the date grew nearer and nearer, I found myself becoming more and more anxious. I tried to get information out of Draco, but he refused to let me know anything except to meet him at six-o-clock Saturday evening in the Entrance Hall. When Saturday finally rolled around, I found myself mostly just sitting and waiting for six-o-clock. Finally, at five forty five, I couldn’t wait any longer and hurried downstairs. When I got to the bottom of the staircase, I saw that Draco was already in the Entrance Hall, waiting for me. He looked up at the clock and grinned.
“Someone was impatient,” he said.
“What are we doing?” I asked, my curiosity reaching its peak. “We’re not leaving the grounds, right?” I raised an eyebrow and eyed him suspiciously.
He chuckled. “Of course not. I just wanted to meet you here to keep you guessing.” I shot him a glare and he winked at me, clearly enjoying my annoyance. “C’mon just a few more curious moments,” he said as he took me by the hand. We walked back up the many flights of stairs that I’d just walked down. When we exited the staircase on the seventh floor, I began to put the pieces together.
“The Room of Requirement?” I asked. Draco simply gave me another secretive smile. “But wasn’t it destroyed last year?” I asked.
“Apparently not,” he replied simply as we reached the blank wall that hid the door to the Room of Requirement. He paced in front of it three times and a door materialized on the wall. This door was smaller than either the one for the DA room or the room where everything was hidden. Draco opened the door and allowed me to enter before him.
The door entered into a small room- probably the smallest I’d seen the Room of Requirement turn into. Off to the left, there was a small kitchen. I could smell something cooking on the stove, and it smelled delicious. Just in front of the door, there was a small table set for two with a candle in the middle. The only other thing in the room was a fireplace crackling on the right-hand wall. Aside from a light above the kitchen area, the rest of the room was lit only by the fireplace and by various candles, giving it a romantic lighting.
“I thought I’d cook for you,” Draco said. I stopped admiring the room and stared at him.
“You can cook?” I asked, surprised that there would even be any reason for him to have cooked in his huge mansion growing up.
“Well… yeah, I actually kinda enjoy it,” he said, walking over to the kitchen and rolling up his sleeves. I followed him over and saw that the amazing-smelling thing was a chicken that he’d been grilling. There was another pot on the stove, which I saw had pasta in it. Still amazed, I watched as Draco grabbed a colander that had appeared on the counter and took it and the pasta over to the sink, where he drained the pasta.
“You’re not using magic to cook?” I asked, realizing that he was doing everything the muggle way.
“That’s cheating,” he smiled as he divided the pasta onto two plates. “It’s more fun to do it the muggle way.” He then took the chicken off the stove and onto the pasta and then poured a sauce over each plate. He picked them both up and carried them over to the table. He looked back over at me and his happy face fell.
“Is everything OK, Carrie?” he asked. I realized that I’d been staring at him, my mouth gaping open. “You hate it, don’t you? I thought it might be too cheesy,” Draco said nervously.
“Hate it?” I repeated, recovering from my shock. “Draco, it’s perfect.” Draco’s face split into a grin.
“Really? You like it?” he asked.
“Of course I do!” I replied, walking over to the table and taking a seat. “I’m impressed.”
“I’m glad you like it,” Draco smiled and sat down in the other chair.
“You just keep surprising me, Malfoy,” I laughed.
“Let’s not return to calling me by my last name,” he replied with a little smile.
“Gladly,” I replied, picking up my fork and knife and digging into the pasta and chicken in front of me. “This looks delicious.”
“Hopefully it actually is delicious,” Draco laughed.
I took a bite. “It is,” I concluded, surprised at how tasty the food was. “So when did you learn how to cook?”
“When I was little, actually,” Draco replied. “I used to sneak into the kitchen to see how the house elves cooked. It’s my little secret talent. You may or may not be the only person who knows about it.”
I smiled, flattered that I was the one person he wanted to share that little part of his life with. The rest of the meal went on with very little conversation, because we were both thoroughly enjoying the meal. Afterward, we sat and talked and talked, the conversation flowing perfectly without any awkward silences. I finally looked up at a clock that had appeared on the wall and saw that it was nearly nine.
“Oh wow, we’ve been here for a really long time. We’ll probably get in trouble if we’re out in the corridors much later,” I said. Draco looked up at the clock too and his eyebrows shot up.
“You’re probably right,” he replied sadly as we both stood from the table. We stood near the door, and I could tell that he wished we could stay for longer as much as I wanted to.
“Draco, tonight was perfect,” I said. He raised an eyebrow and scoffed, clearly thinking that his dinner wasn’t good enough to be considered perfect. “I’m not kidding!” I said. “It was really sweet and thoughtful and I really loved it.” I looked up into his grey eyes and for once couldn’t quite read them.
And then, without another word, we leaned into each other and our lips met. I don’t think either one of us really initiated it or thought about it; it just felt right. I wrapped my arms around him and his hand softly brushed my face. The kiss was soft and sweet and perfect.
“That was so worth seven years of pestering,” Draco said softly when we pulled apart.
We both burst out laughing and I rested my head on his shoulder, enjoying every second of our embrace. “Do we have to go?” I asked.
“Unfortunately,” he replied, kissing the top of my head. I sighed and we released each other.
Quietly, we slipped out the door of the Room of Requirement. As we separated to head back to our common rooms, I noticed that Draco was struggling to control the smile that was spread across his face. I knew that I too was smiling like an idiot, but as I made my way back to the Gryffindor Common Room, I couldn’t care less. I was incredibly happy and no one, not even Harry, Ron, and Hermione combined could bring me down.
I hope y'all enjoyed chapter 8 of The Secret Lightning Scar! Sorry it took so long to get this out! I got really caught up in my reading challenges and was also kinda stuck on where to take this chapter. The next chapter should be up in a couple weeks, because I do know where it's going from here.
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