The Sugar Quill
Author: Megan  Story: I'm No Juliet  Chapter: I'm No Juliet
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I'm No Juliet DISCLAIMER: J.K.Rowling owns the characters of this story, and I'm not making any money on it.

I'm No Juliet

I hate summers. Tough to believe, I know. I've been told so many a time by my friends at Hogwarts. Yet I've been hating summers for almost five years, ever since I met Harry and found out about his horrible Muggle family. Privet Drive is a prison, make no mistake about it. It is Harry's private Azkaban, and, because of that, it's mine, too.

But this summer is worse, so much worse than all the others put together. Not just because of Harry, who's at the end of his tether and barely speaking in monosyllables. No. This summer I... have my own feelings to contend with. Because I've fallen in love. There, I've said it! Wouldn't Malfoy be all smug if he heard me admitting it. I can almost see him, throwing his head back in that regal way of his, looking at me with cool, aquiline eyes as if to say 'But of course you're in love with me, dear girl!' I swear, sometimes I dream of clawing that proud face and swatting it like I would a pesky fly. Then again, other times...

I wish I could put my thoughts down on parchment. Perhaps that would help me see everything more clearly. But I don't keep a diary, for obvious reasons. And even if I did, I'd lack the words to describe what's happening inside me. Human language is sadly inadequate, and Gobbledegook, while uniquely equipped to communicate rational thinking (especially as pertaining to finance and commerce), has virtually no way of expressing feelings. Elfish... now that I could use, but unfortunately, they've never developed an alphabet. I'm not familiar with Mermish, not being particularly fond of water. Merpeople are reputedly romantic, though, so who knows? But since I've never heard of water-proof parchments (and if there's one thing I've become an expert in, it's parchments!), I don't think they have a writing system, either.

Would you listen to me rambling? I know, I know, I'm merely trying to avoid the real issue here. Which is that I miss my boyfriend something awful, and there's no way I can see him until summer's over. Boyfriend. It doesn't seem quite the right word to describe our relationship. I suppose Dobby would call him my... well, I know in my head what he'd call him, but I've never been able to make those Elfish sounds. It's all in my mind, though. I have a most remarkable memory, so I should know. And no, I'm not lacking in modesty. Ask any person and they'll tell you just how many names I can store in it. Anyway, back to my boyfriend. No, my lover. No, wait. That's it. My mate. Huh! Wouldn't Harry be shocked if he ever found out I've been thinking like that about a Malfoy! Not that Harry has any say in my relationships. No one does. Least of all the Annoying Git. Can you believe it? The feather-brained idiot had the gall to lecture me on my choice of boyfriends. Mates. Whatever! As if I gave a hoot about his opinion. Just because he's a Weasley, it doesn't give him the right to interfere in my life. MY life. I do not acknowledge anyone's right to rule it.

Except that they do. All of them: Harry, the Order, the Death Eaters. The wizarding world is at war, and that puts a gulf between my mate and me. I've been fighting hard not to allow prejudice to come between us. Our families may hate each other, but that's their business, not ours. Still, we have a duty to them, so we must stand on opposite sides of the coming madness. Oh, why can't people just learn to get along?! Why can't they be as wise as the two of us? Not that we didn't have our differences at first. He used to say terrible things about the people in my life, and worst of all about Harry. I tried to be understanding, to tell myself that it was because he was raised as a Malfoy. But I'm afraid my temper is rather short, so I ended up scratching his eyes a time or two. It got better after a while, though. Once he started listening to me and paying more attention, he realized how much my family cares about me. It's not that his doesn't take care of him, far from it. He always gets the best of everything. But they've never showered him with affection, the way I'm used to. What can I say, I'm a lucky girl!

It's getting dark outside. This is my favorite time of day, when the sun gets all dressed up in Gryffindor colors (he clucks disdainfully whenever I say this). If I were at Hogwarts, I'd be sneaking with him outside the castle right about now. We'd be going for a fly, and then we'd find some shadowy place at the edge of the forest and snuggle. Maybe if I close my eyes I can bring back the memory of him nibbling on my neck, cooing sweet nothings in my ear. Oh yeah... that's so good... lower... hooooh. I'm telling you, once you get used to that kind of thing, forced abstinence hits you rather hard. I wonder what Harry would think if he knew what I'm dreaming about right now. He's such a prim and proper gentleman, it'd probably boggle his mind. Honestly, people can be so... repressed. I've never understood them, though I pride myself on being a keen observer of human nature.

Now Malfoy, on the other hand, I've always known just what goes on behind those cool, gray eyes of his. He's very proud of his position in the world, and even more so of his impeccable lineage. It used to ruffle my feathers whenever he strutted about as if he owned the castle. But underneath it all, he has a warm heart and a fierce, unwavering determination to protect those he cares about. No matter how hard he's been trying to hide it, I've seen through him right from the start. If it hadn't been for my loyalty to Harry, we'd have gotten together much sooner. But this year, something enormous happened: Malfoy saved my life. No one is aware of this, and thank goodness for that. I can't even imagine what his family would do to him if they ever found out. But I wish that I could tell Harry. He knows that I was injured, of course, but he has no idea how I managed to escape. I think that if he did, he'd approve of my choice. I may not allow him to have a say in it, but I really, really, really want his approval.

Ah, there he is now, with a letter in his hand. At least that means he's not as gloomy as usual. Whenever he writes to his friends, he perks up just a bit. Well, then, time for me to stop day-dreaming and get ready to travel. He's probably gonna ask me to go to the Burrow, where the rest of my family is at the moment. On the plus side, that means getting extra treats from Ron, and the most delicious cake crumbs from Ginny. On the minus, it also means having to put up with the Annoying Git. Oh well, it'll only be for a few hours. I can handle a few hours. It was much worse last summer, when we had to share a room in Grimmauld Place. Can you believe he tried to come on to me? As if! You'd think that at least now that he knows I have a mate, he'd stop pestering me. Yeah, right. We had barely boarded the train back from Hogwarts, my heart still full of my lover's parting pecks, when the Git actually suggested, in that maddening twitter of his, that I find myself someone better. And then he gave me a sly, suggestive look. Pig!

"Hedwig, take this to Ron, and then come right back. I need you to go to Hermione afterwards."

Yep, just as I thought. I'm going to the Burrow. Too far from the Malfoy Manor to have a decent chance of flying into my beloved Hannibal. And not a chance of us ever being sent to the same address, what with our families being on opposite sides of this stupid war. Oh, well, we'll see each other again at Hogwarts, unless Draco gets sent to Durmstrang next year. In which case, Hannibal and I will have to figure something out. One thing's for sure: I'm not gonna kill myself over it. After all, us owls are much wiser than humans. Just ask anyone!

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