“I love the rains. Rains are so romantic” Hermione chimed in.
“Yups” Draco nodded, gluing his eyes to Hermione. She looked really pretty with the black top and the leopard print skirt she was wearing. They were walking on the street. It was 10:00 at night and Draco was walking Hermione to her house (Hermione’s version) or he was stalling for more time with Hermione (Draco’s version). It was their third date together and they had simply gone for a movie and a dinner after that.
“You know what the most fantastic thing about rains is?” Draco added jovially.
“Sludge” Draco replied grinning “Just stomp down a puddle and the way the mud and water flies all over is amazing” He jumped on some and sure enough there was more slush splashing around everywhere.
Hermione rolled her eyes and voiced aloud “Boys. Huh”
“What?” Draco asked innocently.
“Nothing. If you’ll look up from the sludge Malfoy then you’ll realise how romantic the rains really are” Hermione continued her musings while Draco also continued hopping around in various puddles. Finally when his jeans below his knees was completely soaked and grimy, Hermione pulled him by his hand and made to walk him on the road again while giving a usual lecture about creating dirt all over to which a joking Draco remarked “Common Hermione, its soil and water only. Not slime after all. I wonder what would be the scene with it!”
“Hmm.…Malfoy in the past 3 days you’ve learnt a lot about me. Wouldn’t you tell me something about yourself?” Hermione said slowly. Draco was mildly surprised by this as he had not thought that Hermione would remotely be interested in his life but this was Granger after all meaning she had to know everything in this whole wide world.
“Well, ok. Name-Draco Malfoy. Age-twenty three. Home-London. Current status- single and waiting” Draco recited while smiling.
“Very funny. I mean seriously Malfoy” Hermione huffed. “I mean about yourself and about your family?”
Draco didn’t respond for a complete minute which made Hermione look at him in concern, for the bright smile on his face was replaced by a gloomy look. “Hey, whats wrong?” Hermione spoke softly “You can tell me”
Draco closed his eyes and started to walk again holding Hermione’s hand, to which she didn’t protest as by the looks of it, he needed comfort. She grasped his big hand more tightly with her small one and gave it a tiny squeeze, in a way telling him that he could tell her what was bothering him without hesitation and she is there to listen.
Finally Draco spoke in a very hushed voice “Mom used to love me very much. It still feels that she is here with me. Although it has been six years I last saw her, she lay so peacefully in the casket which was to be buried down and all I could do was nothing but let her go. I still miss her” he finished chokingly. Hermione’s grip on his hand tightened but this didn’t help, Draco still looked broken and sad. ‘Why did I ever bring this topic?’ Hermione snapped at herself mentally.
She then proceeded to do something which she never would have even imagined in her most wildest dream. Right then and there Hermione Granger hugged Draco Malfoy. Draco hugged her back tightly. Very tightly. Hermione put her hands around his waist and spoke words of comfort in his ear. Draco mutely nodded, clinging to her as if his life depended on it. Finally after some-time, they broke apart and Draco was looking much better now. They carried on walking, still holding hands.
“My father….” Draco started to say but Hermione felt somewhat uncertain but when he didn’t stop, she thought it would be best for him to let it out. So she just nodded and he continued “My father is great. He has given me everything, right from the most expensive cars to clothes, to watches, shoes, mansions. In short, everything. But in the midst of providing me all these material comforts, he forgot one very important thing which towers over everything I own and that is Love. I understand he is a busy man but how can he be so busy as not to love his only son? I seek lots of fatherly love from him and I am patiently waiting for that one fine day when he will realise his priorities, I guess I’ll be the happiest person that day” Draco finished.
The duo didn’t say a word for a long time. Hermione’s mind worked to absorb this new information and Draco’s continued to ponder. At last, the silence was broken by Hermione “and you? What about you?”
Draco looked up at her and said in a more energetic voice now “Me? Well, I’ve all the time in the world. Fast Cars, bikes, sports….anything with an edge. More dangerous, more fun.”
Hermione stopped walking, looked him in the eye and said softly “Why do you love danger Malfoy?”
Draco held her gaze and replied “Maybe I want to see how far I can push myself and even if I go some place far, there is no-one who will miss me”
Hermione lowered her gaze, the intensity in his eyes too much for her to handle. They continued walking in silence. At last they reached her house.
“So will you come for a movie tomorrow also? At what time should I pick my majesty?” Draco asked smiling.
“No Malfoy” Hermione replied quietly.
The smile on his face faltered. Nevertheless, making a brave attempt to mask his emotions, he eventually asked “Why?”
“I am going home tomorrow. I was here for studies but now its three days past vacations. Everyone is waiting for me at home” she said looking at the floor.
“Yeah, I forgot that you have a real family” Draco said calmly, although his insides were churning with frustration and sadness. The mere thought of not seeing Hermione anymore was excruciating.
“My train leaves from Central Station, tomorrow at 10:00 in the morning. If you want, you could……” Hermione started but Draco cut her off “No Hermione. I won’t come to the station, I hate goodbyes” he said, emotions evident in his voice.
“Wouldn’t you ask when would I return? Where am I going?” Hermione told the floor.
Draco shrugged before replying “There is no need Hermione. Tomorrow I am also going back to London”
“But I’ll be back next year again and I am sure we will definitely meet again” Draco said, sounding cheery. Hermione looked up, into his eyes which seemed to be betraying rest of his demeanor. There was endless sadness etched in them.
“So off you go Hermione. You have a train to catch and its late at night” Draco spoke, still sounding merry, signaling for Hermione to move towards the gate. Not commenting on his false happy tone, Hermione opened the gate and walked towards her front-door.
She gripped the doorknob and before disappearing inside, turned around and spoke softly “Draco”
Draco looked up startled, Hermione Granger saying his first name was like the eight wonder of the world but the girl never tired enough to surprise him.
“Yes” he said slowly.
“Take care Draco ‘cause this time if you go some place far away, there is some-one who will really miss you. Miss you very much. Bye” Hermione voiced quietly and without so much as a further glance back at Draco, swiftly disappeared behind the door closing it with a dull thud, for she needed to hide her tears which were shamelessly cascading down her cheeks.
Draco just stood outside the gate for another minute before his mind finally registered the harsh reality that this was his last seeing Hermione Granger for a very long time.
Turning around, he too started walking aimlessly. After sensing that he was alone, he closed his eyes and hot tears started spilling from his eyes as well. He didn’t stop himself, for the sadness in him also needed a vent.