WARNING: mild suggested substance use/abuse in this chapter
Chapter Ten: Confessions of a Malfoy
When Hermione ran into his office slightly out of breath the first thing she noticed was that Draco was leaning on his desk, hands behind him, fingers tapping on the wood. The furniture had been moved, giving Hermione the impression that Draco had been pacing.
“You’re late” he stated simply as she entered the room, gesturing for Hermione to take a seat in front of his desk which she did. Draco sat on his chair behind the desk.
“I apologise. I needed to discuss something with-”
“Your two male partners” Draco interrupted. “Yes, I suspected as much when I saw them go onto the balcony together; at first, I thought that they were going there for some alone time, but then you joined them after wishing me a happy birthday.” The famous Malfoy smirk was back on his face. “After giving me a kiss” he added.
Hermione blushed slightly. “Why do you insist on calling Harry and Ron my ‘two male partners’? they are my best friends. And I only kissed you – very, very briefly on the cheek, I have to add – because the other contestants did and it would be suspicious of me not to do so.”
Hermione was a bit flustered after giving her explanation, her blush deepening slightly as she remembered Harry informing her that Ernie expected that, if necessary, she should try and get as close as possible to Draco…
“You still get worked up so easily, don’t you Granger?” Draco spoke a bit slower then usual, an actual smile appearing on his face.
Hermione looked shocked for a second before wondering aloud, “Malfoy – are you drunk?”
“It’s my birthday. I’m allowed to have a couple of drinks, aren’t I?”
Hermione shook her head slightly. “I think that you have had more then two drinks Malfoy.”
Draco seemed to sober up quickly. “No, only two – I’m not an easy drunk Granger, although most of the girls in the Hall would wish that I was.” He gave a deep laugh at his own comment as Hermione rolled her eyes. “You can’t deny that you don’t want me, Hermione” he whispered seductively.
Hermione stared at him in shock before regaining her composure, a smile appearing on her face. “You’re right” she whispered, standing up to lean over the desk so that her face was closer to his. She felt a slight mix of repulsion, joy and power when she looked at his shocked face, surprised she had this affect on him. “In fact, I have a little birthday gift for you…”
Hermione was now kneeling on the desk, her dress rising up as she edged closer and closer to Draco. She got so close that her lips came to the side of his face.
“Happy Birthday” she whispered into his right ear, placing the watch in his hand, before returning to sit on her seat as though nothing had occurred.
When she looked at him again Draco’s face was priceless.
“How did you get this?” he whispered, staring at the watch before looking at Hermione.
Hermione shrugged. “Auror privelages”.
“I was told that it was lost” he whispered, turning the watch over and then reading the writing. His face turned paler then normal.
Hermione didn’t expect that reaction. “Would you like some water Malfoy?” she asked, concern evident in her voice. Without waiting for an answer, she said a charm which caused Draco’s glass to fill itself with water. Draco took a long gulp of water and nodded his head in thanks.
“I wasn’t drunk” he informed Hermione, placing the watch on the top of his desk. “I just wanted to see whether you could ever be relaxed in my presence – sober or drunk.” He sighed and rubbed his eyes with the back of his hands. “Obviously not.”
“Malfoy – about before – I should have just given…”
Without allowing her to finish, Draco silenced her with a look which commanded attention.
“What can I do to make you more comfortable, Miss Granger?”
Hermione was shocked as he looked into her eyes, searching for an answer, mesmerising her, making her feel the need to speak the truth…
“I don’t trust you.”
“That’s not what I asked” Draco stated, noting that Hermione had looked away. He sighed then slowly stood up and removed his jacket, placing it on the back of his chair.
Hermione, hearing him move, turned to face him, her eyes going wide as he continued to remove clothing. Now his tie was placed neatly over his jacket, followed by his crisp white shirt. She realised that she was gaping at Draco’s exposed chest and looked away, slightly annoyed that she was right about his athletic body.
Draco noticed this but refused to comment on her displeasure, unlike his school self. Instead he asked, “tell me Miss Granger – what do you see?”
Slowly Hermione turned to face him, an odd grin appearing on her face. “Now that’s the response I normally get” Draco thought to himself cockily, but this feeling was short lived.
“Nothing” Hermione replied, lifting her arms in front of her face as though shielding herself from the sun’s rays. “You are so pale it is nearly blinding.”
A huge smirk, not unlike the one Draco wore previously, was now etched on her face while Draco looked gobsmacked.
Pale? Hmph. Who knew Granger had a sense of humour?
“Fine. What don’t you see?”
Hermione was genuinely puzzled at this question. What on Earth is he talking about? She wondered. Deciding not to go along with whatever Draco was playing at, Hermione stood up to leave but was prevented from going any further due to Draco’s strong grip underneath her elbow.
“Answer my question please Miss Granger.”
She turned around to look at Draco in his eyes as though questioning what he was refering to. However, unlike the previous times she had gazed into his grey orbs, she was finally able to read them clearly.
In his eyes she saw a challenge. He was challenging her to look at him.
Straightening up, without breaking eye-contact, Hermione moved away from Draco. Draco released his hold on her, causing Hermione to release a breath she had not realised that she had been holding and making her shiver slightly at the removal of his warm hand.
Taking a few steps back, now with Draco’s consent, she let her eyes wander freely over his pale torso.
“What am I supposed to be looking for?” she asked.
Draco smirked in response.
Beginning her examination, Hermione noticed a faint scar visible beneath his collarbone, but it could have easily of been a birthmark… no other scars seemed to mark his skin. However, she did notice how toned his stomach was, seeing definition of abs and a fair snail trail running from underneath his belly button to…
Where did that thought come from? She scolded herself for gawking and pushed such thoughts aside. Hermione would be damned if she did not figure out what he was refering to. It was a puzzle. And she liked puzzles – right?
Draco was patiently waiting for her to finish the examination of his body, although a dozen possible remarks about her blush whilst doing her observation coursed through his mind. Like what you see, Granger?
“Malfoy, there is nothing here!” she said, finally admitting defeat and feeling very agitated.
Why did he insist on removing his shirt and asking her to look at him. Ego boost? He did not need it…
“Exactly my point, Granger” Draco said with a smile.
Hermione’s face flushed with anger. “You are a strange man Malfoy. Is this a joke to you? Because if it is then I do not find it the least bit-”
“Did you notice that there is no Dark Mark on my arm?” Draco asked Hermione, causing her jaw to drop. “Or were you too busy perving on me?”
He couldn’t help it. He really couldn’t.
Hermione scowled at him. “Why is it, Malfoy, that you went through so much effort to remove your jacket, shirt and tie, when you could have just rolled up your sleeve to prove your point?”
He didn’t expect that.
“Because – ahem – it is fun watching you become nervous…”
“But you brought me here in order to ask me how you could make me feel more comfortable around you…” exasperated, she made a move to leave again, but a thought stopped her. “I thought that you were a Death Eater. Sixth year. Dumbledore…”
Draco had put on his shirt and started doing up his buttons but stopped. “Never assume anything with me, Miss Granger.” His fingers started moving swiftly again doing up his buttons and putting on his tie as he sat down. “Please sit, Miss Granger.” Hermione did as requested, moving her chair closer to his desk, her curiosity overwhelming.
Draco was silent for a while, staring out his enchanted window. Today there was a thunderstorm and Hermione believed, from the look in his eyes, that Draco was having a inner battle.
“It would be so easy to lie, Miss Granger” Draco started slowly, not looking at her. “That is what I have been taught to do my entire life: lie, bully, cheat, hurt… but I was also never offered the opportunity to decide my future.”
Draco finally looked at Hermione, and she was shocked by the emotion in his eye which was something she had never seen in him before. Guilt.
“As you know, my father was a Death Eater and I, a pureblood and heir to the Malfoy fortune, was expected to follow family tradition. To prove my loyalty to my family’s Master – the Dark Lord” (he spat the words). “My first task was to allow Death Eater entry into Hogwarts then, if that was successful, kill Dumbledore. If I succeeded then I would join the ranks of Death Eater and be forced to do more terrible tasks.”
Hermione noticed that Draco had started to tremble and resisted the urge to hold his hand. “I felt I had no choice. I was told to either kill Dumbledore or I would be killed. I was threatened with Death – my own…” his voice cracked and, this time, Hermione did grasp his hand. He didn’t seem to notice. “Granger, you know me. I would always put myself first. I never intended to follow anyone- to be beneath anyone… so I left. After Snape killed Dumbledore, I realised that I had a third option. It was either kill, be killed, or run. I chose the last option.”
Draco shook his head slightly and continued in a bored drone. “Obviously I got captured and suffered the consequences. However, the Dark Lord decided not to murder me but to use me as an incentive for my parents to continue doing his wishes…”
Draco’s eyes opened wide as he focused on Hermione, as though realising that she had been listening the whole time. Withdrawing his hand from hers, regaining his composure and donning his professional appearance, Draco dismissed Hermione. “But that story will have to wait for another time. I do believe that we will be sorely missed by the other contestants if we do not make an appearance downstairs soon, so Miss O’Connell, shall we go?”
Hermione realised with a start just how quickly Draco had put on his jacket and was at the door, about to open it. Quickly, she joined him and pushed the door so that it remained closed.
Looking at her confused, his face turned to that of surprise when she pulled him into a tight hug, moving so close that he could feel her every curve pressed upon his toned muscle.
“I’m sorry” she whispered into his chest, before looking up at him. He noticed the tears in her eyes and automatically wiped one away with his finger as it made a trail down her cheek. His finger lingered on her face and, realising their position, Hermione broke their contact, blushing.
“After you” Draco said politely, opening the door. Hermione exited the room faster then he had expected.
As she started ascending the stairs to the theatre, Hermione stopped and looked back at him. “To avoid suspicion, we shouldn’t enter the Hall together – is that okay?”
She looked so innocent as she asked him that, her voice so soft as though afraid that he might break if she spoke any louder. For once, she forgot her friends advice, allowing her sympathy and kindness to take over completely. Draco nodded in agreement, and watched as she disappeared from view.
“Thanks Hermione” he whispered to her retreating figure. He entered the Hall five minutes after Hermione, greeted by a swarm of tipsy girls asking where he had been. But the girls soon forgot their questions upon seeing his smile…
Draco did not notice the person, who had followed him upstairs, enter the room.
A/N: Sorry for the long wait between updates – life has been flat out! I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter. Will try and get next one up by the end of the year lol. Have to type it up… Peace xo