Chapter 2 – Thorns

That's right everyone! I'm back! Thank you so much to everyone who favourited and followed...you are all quite simply amazing! And you wonderful people who reviewed - you are the reason that I've updated so much earlier than I'd originally planned! I couldn't resist...soo...here it is! Chapter 2! Enjoy!

Draco smirked to himself as he apparated outside Malfoy Manor. He couldn't quite grasp how he'd failed to encounter Granger (she'd never be a Weasley to him) before their teens' third year, but watching her register that he'd behaved civilly – for a Malfoy - was just as satisfying as irritating her in school. The know-it-all really did need to learn to keep her emotions under control… he would definitely remember to owl Scorpius later and find out if her daughter was nearly as entertaining as she was – much to his disappointment he'd been sorted into Ravenclaw as opposed to Slytherin, and naturally Granger's sprog shared the same house.

He stopped short in his tracks.

Was he truly reduced to stalking muggle-borns now? After getting over his initial prejudice about blood purity, Draco had found that they weren't quite as bad as he thought they were. But why was he so interested in Granger? Her reactions as she fought internal battles were amusing… perhaps that was the source of his amusement?

After facing 14 years of marriage with an emotionless airhead, watching someone display their thoughts so easily was almost refreshing. Of course, he didn't hate Astoria… but his wife was so plastic… and to be perfectly honest, their marriage was more out of convenience than love.

Love… Astoria certainly didn't care about him as she'd once again forgotten their wedding anniversary. 14 years. She'd claimed she was going out with a friend, but he knew that once again she was avoiding him.

Draco exhaled sharply.

Nothing new there.

ooooo

Hermione slammed the door before sprinting to Diagon Alley – damn her stupid work-heels! She threw open the door to the shop before checking her watch! Ten minutes! Record time for a working mum…

She glanced up to see an amused face peering down at her when she collapsed to the ground.

"Mrs Weasley?" her receptionist Charlie seemed torn between bursting out laughing and wondering why her shoes were mismatched – and on the wrong feet.

"I had – h – had to. Had to – drop – drop Rose off. Late." She gasped between breaths.

"Umm, no disrespect intended…but you're a witch."

"I know."

"Witches can do magic."

"I know."

"You are a witch who can do magic."

"I know!"

"Then why didn't you just apparate here?!"

"Damn."

ooooo

Draco sighed as he checked his watch for what must have been the millionth time in the last hour. Astoria had been gone nearly the entire day! 11 o'clock at night, and she still wasn't back – that was late for a "lunch" meet-up to say the least.

He threw back his head and downed the contents of his crystal whiskey glass, relishing the fire it sent coursing through his insides. A sudden "bang!" of the front door closing made him jump off the sofa and rush to the doorway, just in time to see Astoria shove something into her back trousers' pocket. Her hair was messed up, her blouse slightly torn and her make-up smudged.

"Astoria! What happened to you?" he exclaimed, the shock at the change from her usually immaculate appearance just registering at the back of his alcohol-addled brain.

"Um. Weather. Outside. Yeah, it's really, um, windy, Draco." She mumbled.

"Alright, but what took you so long? I thought we could spend some time together today…because…you know…"

"What's with the interrogation? I was out with a friend, husband of mine, and you have no right to question me! Now, excuse me, I am tired, and I wish to take a shower, so please move!" she pushed past him and practically ran up the stairs. As she ran, Draco spotted a – green? – rose in the back of her pocket. What?

And why was his wife behaving so defensively? He's only asked her an innocent question and she'd practically screeched at him! Draco sighed, and slowly climbed the winding marble stairs to their bedroom, but stopped when he heard Astoria speaking to someone.

"I know, darling, but I had to run… Yes, I know, but Draco would have suspected something, Salazar damn him. Yes…I had fun too… best "anniversary" ever!"

So she did remember…

"Yes, of course. Alright then…Until next time, handsome."

Draco gasped. Astoria calling someone other than him handsome? Not that she ever did lavish him with praise.

He slowly stepped forward, and peered through the crack of their bedroom door, watching numbly as his wife pulled out the definitely emerald-tinted rose from her back pocket.

Slytherin green: how fitting.

She inhaled the cloying sweetness, placed a butterfly kiss of the edge of a petal, then almost reverently placed it on her bedside table before casting a disillusionment charm on it.

"Goodnight, my love." She whispered.

Draco could only stare in horror.

A green rose – clearly symbolising love, but of a twisted nature, deviated away from its original state. And the thorns had not been removed –

At that moment it felt as though they had pierced his heart.

Soo...you like? The interesting stuff is going to start soon...and I promise, if I get at least 15 reviews more (ambitious, I know :P) I will update MUCH faster! The choice is in your hands, people!

Tris xx

P.S. If you do choose to review (PLEASE DO!) then I would appreciate it if you mentioned any part you particularly liked...so I know what to include more of :) thanks!