CHAPTER THREE - Correspondence

Draco mentally kicked himself over and over again that night. First, he’d gotten himself all tongue-tied and nervous when she was in his arms, then he proceeded to prove to her how much of a git he was by dropping her on her arse and acting like one too. To top it all off he’d smirked at her when he’d realized how his words had stung her. The idea that they had been so powerful had amused him but he’d never meant to react that way. What more of an idiot could he be?

He didn’t know what made him more upset, that Ginny would probably never look at him again let alone ever date him, or that she was a Weasley, a Muggle-lover, and though it shouldn’t matter what she thought of him, it was the only thing he was thinking about all night.

Well, not the only thing …. He at least had the game. That didn’t make him feel much better. “That’s right Draco, very healthy of you to cling to the false world you’ve created when your real life is downright depressing.”

***

Day after day the letters came. Even while working through a busy 7th year, Draco had really come to rely on them every morning. Studying for NEWTS, Quidditch practices, and trying not to look conspicuous while watching Ginny Weasley was hard work, but Vaina’s letters kept him from hitting his head against the dungeon walls every night.

At first, every letter began the same way. Some fluffy, flirty beginning between their characters helping the story move along (apparently Vaina and Bleddri finally met and snogged and had quite a bit to talk about) and then a postscript that was just for the authors.

She’d started it and he’d replied in his own sarcastic voice rather than Bleddri’s sugary sweet politeness. He figured if it didn’t scare her away at least he could be honest with someone in his life and be the ‘real’ Draco that he never let anyone else see.

His reply hadn’t scared her; In fact, her next postscript had been longer and just as sassy. Soon their postscripts all but took over their correspondence, being several pages long. Obviously having just a piece of parchment in front of them made it easier for both of them to just be themselves.

***

Vaina shared with him a lot of her frustrations and fears and asked him deeper questions than anyone had before. He was shocked one day when she asked him what he was most afraid of. He’d had to think about it, wondering if he actually wanted to tell her the truth. He didn’t want to sound like a whiner. But, he decided that since she was presumably honest with him he would be too.

He told her about the time he was accidentally locked inside his wardrobe at home. He was eight at the time and the wardrobe had locked from the outside. He had screamed his head off in the dark enclosed space for two hours until a house elf had found him. After that he’d hated confined spaces, not ideal when you live in a dungeon (a fact he hadn’t added to the letter) , but it was more than just claustrophobia … he was afraid of being alone. “Explain that when you’re nearly eighteen years old,” he wrote.

She said what scared her most was losing control over herself. She didn’t go into details, but just said that one time several years ago she had come very close to losing control and it very nearly killed her, and several other people as well. Since then she’d been very afraid to trust anyone or anything. “Not a very good trait to have when you’re in my Hogwart’s house.” And that was all she’d ever said about that, though it got Draco’s mind working. Slytherins as a rule never trusted anyone, so Draco didn’t quite understand why it was a bad thing to be cautious about trust, but he chalked it up to her not being one, and never gave into his mounting curiosity about what house she actually did belong in.

***

They really had become friends. He never really said too much about his family, but eventually he trusted her enough to tell her about this virtually nonexistent relationship with his father, and that though he loved his mother dearly, until last year he’d decided that he couldn’t respect her for staying with such a prat of a husband. He’d never told that to anyone and after writing it he’d wondered if this was what it was like having a ‘real’ friend. One who spoke to you because they wanted to, they liked you, and not because they were latching on to your name, money, or power.

She had complaints about her family too. She admitted to having a pretty happy childhood and home life, however, having several (she never said how many) older siblings that were all over protective proved tiring, even to her good nature.

She’d made him laugh out loud the day she told him about making her brother break out in green spots all over his body after he refused to stop badgering her about her nonexistent boyfriends. He was always bugging her about it, and it was ‘obvious’ he had a friend he wanted her to date, but she told Draco that she just wasn’t interested in ‘him’ anymore. She loved making her brother suffer. It was ‘mad fun!’

As his best friend, (that’s what he’d started calling her in his head) he’d even braved telling her about his crush on Ginny. Without using names or going into details, he’d told her about this girl who he’d met in his second year who he thought about in almost every waking moment. He admitted that he didn’t know a lot about her but that was all he really wanted to do. He wanted to know what made her happy. He wanted to make her happy. But he knew that she would never return his feelings so it was pretty much hopeless and it made him feel wretched. Vaina was 100% supportive. She gave good advice and pep talks. She’d even suggested that she could talk to the girl and gauge her reaction, but then admitted that it probably wasn’t the best of her ideas. They would have to admit that they had stopped doing the ‘story’ bit of the game and had simply continued with the group letters in character. Their private letters were now entirely for them and in character in nothing but name. They couldn’t exactly tell each other who they really were, (she’d said her brother had tried already and ended up receiving a humorous warning from Dumbledore) and it proved her point, she’d love to help him but there really wasn’t any way to do so.

He thanked her, but decided that unrequited love, no matter how unpleasant, was better than the love of his life knowing about his feelings and stomping on his heart. She said she didn’t agree, but let it go.

In return for his trust in her she shared bits of her own love life with him. Though she stood by her assertion that she wasn’t on the lookout for a boyfriend, she did say that was probably due to the fact that the guy she was enamored with, the one she sought to find with her eyes whenever she was out of class, wouldn’t have given her the time of day. She was in the same boat as he was. Unrequited love sucked!

Draco, not having much experience in the whole ‘girls’ feelings thing didn’t’ know what to say. Snogging them (something he was pretty good at) was certainly different from knowing how their heads worked. So, he pretty much played down the importance of dating anyway. When would they have time to write to each other then?

***

Since Christmas was coming up, she bemoaned her family’s sweater issues and wondered in a letter what would happen during the holiday in regards to the game. She said she didn’t have house elves and wasn’t sure how it would work. He wasn’t sure either, but admitted that he would miss talking to her if they had to stop for two whole weeks. He told her what he’d been thinking for a while, that she’d become the best friend he’d never had before. She realized that it was true, this guy on the other end of the parchment had become her best friend too.

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