Chapter 14 : Risky Revelations
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The weight of her realization struck her. She, Hermione Jean Granger, had kissed Draco Malfoy.
And she had liked it.
Still clinging to denial, Hermione looked up at Malfoy.
“You….you weren’t wearing this mask before...” Hermione stated, her voice shaking.
“Obviously Granger, but after that highly amusing student caused all the masks to swap, I ended up with this one. Surely you ended up with a different mask too.” He said, slightly confused.
“Oh! Of course!” Hermione said, her voice off pitch, “Sorry, I guess I forgot…”
Malfoy didn’t buy her cover up, “What is it? What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing!” she said quickly. She opened her bag and threw the mask inside, hoping it would disappear along with the night’s events. She couldn’t believe what had just happened, nor did she ever want to.
“Come on,” she said, closing her bag, “we need a plan and fast.”
Malfoy eyed her suspiciously before slowing shifting his gaze to the dazzling star.
“That tree is about 30m (100 ft) tall…” Malfoy started, calculating something in his head.
Hermione barely noticed his words. The feeling of Malfoy’s lips on hers had left a warm, slow burning sensation that Hermione was trying desperately to shake. Her mind churned with thoughts and memories that made Hermione feel ill. Why had Malfoy’s kiss left such an impression? Did she really like it?
No! A voice shouted in Hermione’s head, you couldn’t have liked it!
But you did, another voice argued in her head.
Did not! Answered the first voice outraged.
Did too! If you didn’t then why are you still thinking about it!
I…and to that, Hermione conceded. She had liked the kiss and for the life of her she couldn’t figure out why.
She thought she’d loved Ron, but she couldn’t have, never more than a brother at least. He must have kissed her a hundred times before they ended things, and even all of those kisses put together couldn’t muster enough passion to hold a candle to the passion she and Malfoy had shared.
It’s because we hate each other, Hermione thought, in an attempt to justify it.
But, I don’t hate him, not anymore. She thought again, puzzled and confused to such an extent she barely heard Malfoy talk.
“I reckon I can do a levitation spell that high.” Malfoy concluded, looking expectantly at Hermione.
“What?” Hermione said, snapping out of her thoughts.
“I’ll levitate you up the backside of the tree and you can grab the star.
Then we’ll sneak out of here,” Malfoy stated, pleased with his plan.
“You’re going to levitate me 30 meters in the air?? Are you mental?” Hermione asked him in a furious panic, “One wrong move, Malfoy, and I’m as good as dead!”
Malfoy chuckled darkly, “Come on, Granger, don’t you trust me?”
Hermione froze. Trust. Did she trust him? If she said ‘yes’ then everything she felt from their kiss would be real, would mean something. If she said no, then the friendship she had begun to feel towards him would disappear. Whatever she decided, something would change.
“Come on, let’s get this over with,” Hermione said, tiptoeing up the grand staircase. The guards were preoccupied with guarding the door to the outside, and the rest of the guests were listening to Viktor’s speech. The timing was just right.
Hermione led Malfoy to the back of the tree. She quickly stuffed her beaded bag down her sock, doing the same with her wand, and turned to face Malfoy. He already had his wand out and his eyes were scanning her face. He knew something was off, but luckily for Hermione, said nothing.
“Now,” Hermione said looking Malfoy directly in the eye and ignoring the way her heart skipped when she met his sharp, grey eyes, “I’m going to let you do this, but I swear if you drop me…” she trailed off hoping her message was clear.
“You’ll turn me into a ferret?” Malfoy suggested raising an eyebrow.
Hermione had to bite her lip to keep from bursting out laughing.
“Exactly,” she responded attempting seriousness.
Hermione took a deep breath and turned to face the tree. I can do this she told herself; it’s not that high.
"Don't worry, Granger. You really can trust me," Malfoy whispered.
Hermione's deep breath caught in her throat. Her focus quickly regained as she heard Malfoy mutter the spell before her feet left the ground. She steadied her breathing and refused to look down, knowing she would lose all confidence if she did.
The star grew closer and closer. Hermione dragged her hands along the prickly branches as she approached. Ok, Hermione, it’s right there, just grab it she demanded of herself. Hermione extended her hands towards star, feeling it’s cool metal in her fingers. With one yank the star came free from the tree, and Hermione cradled it in her hands. Yes! She thought excitedly, preparing for the descent when suddenly Hermione began to fall, fast, the ground rushing closer and closer. Without even thinking, Hermione grabbed the sharp tree branches and clung onto them fiercely, the star almost falling out of her grasp.
Hermione looked down in anger at Malfoy. She was about to scream something when she noticed two figures on either side of him, one of them, it appeared, was holding his wand. Hermione squinted but couldn’t make out their faces.
Without warning, Hermione was suddenly relevitated and was being directed towards the ground.
Panic beginning to set in, Hermione fumbled for her wand. Unable to get a hold of it, Hermione collapsed on the ground defenseless.
Angry and frightened, Hermione leapt to her feet and stood directly at the wand point of someone she hoped she would never see again.
Pansy Parkinson smirked, driving her wand into Hermione’s shoulder.
“Nice to see you, Granger” she drawled, her eyes full of triumph.
“Wish I could say the same, Pansy, but it would seem like you’re in my way” Hermione answered, hoping to stall Pansy long enough to come up with some sort of plan. If I can just get my wand! She thought desperately, feeling the long, wooden savior pressing up against her leg, tucked safely in her other sock.
Hermione slowly attempted to reach down inconspicuously. Her eyes glanced towards Malfoy, who was at the mercy of Blaise. Blaise looked uncomfortable holding a wand at his best friend, but nevertheless, it was clear that if the need arose, Blaise would not hesitate to stop his friend by force, in an act of true Slytherin fashion.
Pansy noticed Hermione’s sudden movement. “Not so fast, Granger” she said, driving her wand deeper into Hermione’s shoulder.
Hermione froze, her gaze returning to Pansy. “What do you want,
Parkinson? Let us go” Hermione growled.
Pansy’s eyebrows rose in false shock, “What do I want? I think you know exactly what I want, Granger.”
Hermione looked at the star in her arms. It was the last thing she wanted to give up, it would be impossible to “win” this little project without it. Yet, if she didn’t, she was sure Pansy would take it by force, which would result in Hermione’s capture.
With a final scowl, Hermione handed the star to Pansy.
Pansy snatched the star with a wide and gloating smile. Blaise lowered his wand and moved towards Pansy.
“Great work Pans, now where are we off to?” a voice said cheerily, a voice that did not belong to Blaise.
Hermione spun around to see Malfoy gleaming at Pansy.
Pansy looked confused, “What do you mean, Draco? I don’t understand.”
“You’re not seriously going to leave me with the mudblood are you?” He asked, his voice incredulous, “You have no idea how long I’ve been looking for an escape! I don’t even give a damn about this bloody project anymore, I just need to get away from her!”
Pansy’s eyes softened and she gave a sad smile, “Oh Draco, I can only imagine how awful it must be!” she said, her voice soothing.
Draco moved towards Pansy, ignoring the death glare Hermione was shooting him. “Even more awful when I imagine that I could have been with you” he said, reaching for her hand an interlocking his fingers with hers.
Pansy responded by turning and kissing him full on the lips. “I missed you, Draco,” she whispered, as she pulled away, “you haven’t been like this in years!”
Hermione scolded the ribbon of jealousy that coursed through her veins. Her anger at his betrayal took over her emotions. Why was he doing this? she thought angrily. This isn't right.
Draco looked down at his feet in shame, “I know” he whispered sadly, “it took me a trip with a mudblood to realize how special you are. I hope you can forgive me…” he finished, reconnecting with Pansy’s eyes.
“Of course” she whispered, stroking his face. “Blaise,” she called, leaning over Malfoy’s shoulder. In this moment, Malfoy gave Hermione a hard and meaningful stare and pointed discreetly at his sock.
Hermione looked at him puzzled and he pointed again, more forcefully, his eyes boring into hers.
Her wand. It was in her sock. Malfoy was planning a take down.
Quickly and quietly, Hermione slid her wand out of her sock and moved her hand behind her back, waiting for Malfoy’s signal.
Blaise, who had been ignoring Pansy and Malfoy’s heartwarming reunion, looked up at Pansy.
“We’re taking Draco with us, “ she said, her arms wrapped tightly around Malfoy’s torso.
Blaise nodded in agreement and handed Malfoy his wand. “Thanks, mate” Malfoy said in response.
The three then turned their gazes on Hermione.
“I guess this is it,” Malfoy said, nodding his head at Hermione, a fake smirk resting on his face.
“I guess so,” Hermione answered, gripping her wand.
A moment of silence passed, hanging peacefully in the air before it was broken by the sound of two harsh voices ringing out simultaneously.
“Stupefy!” Malfoy and Hermione cried, their wands point at Blaise and Pansy respectively.
The startled pair fell to the ground unconscious.
Hermione looked up at Malfoy. “We have to go, now.” She said, hearing the startled cries of guests and the rushing boots of guards.
“Agreed,” Malfoy said, picking up the star from Pansy’s limp hands.
The pair rushed towards the outdoors, to the awaiting apparation platform. The two door guards intercepted them.
Panicked, Hermione and Malfoy froze. The guards began to walk towards them, closing any chance of escape.
Damn it! Hermione thought we were so close!
Just as the guards were about to reach them, a booming voice rang out from the entrance of the great hall.
“Stupefy! Stupefy!” the voice cried, as each guard fell lifelessly to the floor. Hermione looked over to see the tall figure of Viktor Krum at the front of the pack of horrified guests, is wand outstretched guiltily.
“Go!” he yelled to Hermione and Malfoy, who didn’t need to be told twice. The pair sprinted full speed towards the empty doorway.
“Nice charade you had going there, even I believed you for a minute,” Hermione said to Malfoy as they closed in on the platform.
Malfoy strained a small smile. He landed on the platform and grabbed Hermione’s hand.
“I told you you could trust me,” he said before pulling Hermione into apparation.
The twisting sensation engulfed her body, feeling particularly strong around her heart.
A/N: Hey guys! I just wanted to apologize for my super long break. I was having a lot of personal issues and couldn't find the words for this chapter. I hope you like what I've created and thanks so much for sticking with me. Love you all!