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What We Knew by letterstodraco

Format: Novella
Chapters: 24
Word Count: 77,483
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M), OC
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Draco/Pansy, Hermione/OC

First Published: 06/15/2008
Last Chapter: 11/12/2009
Last Updated: 11/12/2009

Summary:
Banner by the lovely LilyEvansPotter15



"You're never going to love me are you?" Draco asked coming to a heartbreaking realization.
Hermione remained silent. The pressure of the truth that weighed her down was unbearable. Tears stung her eyes as she watched him walk away from her for the last time.


Chapter 1: Coming Back
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A/N: Hey everyone! So I started this story in reponse to my writers block for the sequal to Dear Jane. Hope you like this!



“Draco, it’s absurdly hot.” Pansy Parkinson moaned without opening her eyes.

 

“I thought you were the one who wanted to come here to sun bathe P.” replied Cecilia Loff, a fellow Slytherin.

 

“Suffice it to say, I wanted a tan, not to be roasted.” Pansy still persisted.

 

“You certainly aren’t making any efforts to get yourself off the barge though.” Draco Malfoy commented.

 

“I for one want to leave. I’m sick of this heat. It’s getting to everyone’s heads. No wonder all the professors have everyone’s timetables screwed up. They can’t think straight in this smoldering weather.” Blaise Zabini noted.

 

It was supposed to be the first day back at Hogwarts. The students were in their seventh and final year at Hogwarts. However, to everyone’s great excitement, summer didn’t end as quickly as they thought. Upon return the students were informed that their timetables had serious problems with them. Everyone’s classes were sorted out of place, and those who were not affected only made a small amount; too small to actually hold a class. So the professors did the only thing they sought best fit, they cancelled all classes on the first day.

 

No one was complaining about this. Draco Malfoy and his usual Slytherin clique made their way down to the lake. This spot at the edge of the lake is where they would always hang out. It was relaxing because they all thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Most importantly it took them away from any unwanted encounters with those of other houses.

 

“So are we leaving or do you still want to soak up more sun Pansy?” Cecilia asked curtly. Cecilia Loff was a beautiful girl.

 

She was tall and slender. Her skin was already a deep caramel tone, unlike Pansy’s fair skin. She had long auburn hair that rested perfectly on her breast. Many boys in Hogwarts lusted after her, but Cecilia was very picky. She dated both Blaise and Draco, much to Pansy’s disliking. But what the boys really lusted after wasn’t just her pretty face, but her gorgeous blue eyes. Her eyes were the shade of a deep navy.

 

 Much like the deep navy blue eyes of Blaise Zabini. He had skin of a god that was a warm olive shade. It was almost as tan as Cecilia’s. His hair was the same dark shade as Pansy’s. He had messy locks upon his head that perfectly rested right above his eyes. Blaise was what we girls love to call: tall, dark, and handsome. Quidditch certainly took its toll on his body. His body was tough, toned, and completely filled out. His shoulders were broad and his torso stiff. He had a smile that positively radiated an entire room, and was intoxicatingly charming.

 

Girls fawned over him, almost as much as they did for Draco. Perhaps even more so for Blaise because as arrogant and cocky as he was, he didn’t waste his energy on always trying to one-up everyone around him. He had a quiet confidence, which he was content with. However, no one ever doubted Blaise for a moment, and many still feared him, almost as much as Draco. After all, you cannot be best friends with Draco Malfoy without having some intimidation.

 

Oh Draco, Draco, Draco. He confidently can title himself the single most wanted boy in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Every girl lusted after Draco. They all could deny it as much as they liked, but everyone knew that deep down, if Draco asked them for a little snog, they would most willingly oblige. After all, it’s not everyday that the Slytherin Prince seeks treasures outside of his lair. Draco, unlike Blaise, had magnificent golden locks upon his head. They always fell down to greet his icy steel eyes. The same piercing eyes that could render any girl. Much like Blaise, Draco being the Slytherin team’s seeker aided his already near perfect body. He was just as tall as Blaise, and just as tough and stiff. Finally, who could forget his smirk? The signature Draco Malfoy smirk. That one small facial gesture could have you begging for more, or have you wanting to hex him into oblivion. Either way, the entire Draco package could not be ignored, no matter who you were, or what house you came from.

 

“I suppose we should go. I’m in a mood for a cold shower. Care to join me Draco?” Pansy asked jokingly.

 

Pansy wasn’t exactly the most beautiful girl, and she certainly was no Cecilia. Yet, she wasn’t completely discarded into the rubbish pile. Pansy was a classic beauty, with fair porcelain skin, and jet black hair. Her plush hair landed just above her shoulders, and had its own flip at the ends, but overall it was straight. Her eyes were a majestic emerald green. She wasn’t very tall, but she was petite. Everyone knows she and Draco have been on and off for as long as they can remember. Many believe Draco only keeps her around for when he wants something. It’s not that Draco doesn’t care for her, it’s just that he doesn’t know what he wants at the moment.

 

“Perhaps, that is if you behave.” Draco replied idly, as he made his way to his feet. He and Blaise were both resting against a large tree, as the girls were floating carelessly on a wooden barge in the lake.

 

“Let’s please get some lunch. I’m starving.” Blaise said stretching his arms above his head.

 

Both girls made their way to the edge of the lake, as Draco flicked his wand to bring them ashore. As the four began gathering their belongings just above the hill two bodies could be seen walking down towards the lake.

 

“Thanks for coming with me Hermione.”Neville said.

 

“Oh of course Neville, anytime. Besides escorting you is a lot more vivid than watching Ron and Harry yell at each other while playing wizard’s chess.” Hermione finished looking up from the book she was reading.

 

“Who is that down there?” Neville asked as he squinted his eyes at the four small figures below them.

 

“I don’t know.” Hermione responded returning to her book.

 

“Do you think we should go back?” Neville retreated.

 

“They’ll learn to share. Besides, I suppose I could abuse my Head Girl privileges just this once.” Hermione smirked.

 

“Blaise.” Cecilia asked as Pansy wrapped her arms around Draco, looming in for a kiss.

 

“Yes?” Blaise responded bored.

 

“Who is that?” Cecilia pointed, as all four body turned around to look up the hill.

 

“I don’t know. She doesn’t look familiar.” Draco responded ignoring Pansy’s pleads to kiss him.

 

“Wait a minute, isn’t that… Granger?” Pansy snorted.

 

“Well this is going to be interesting.” Draco smirked.

 

Hermione and Neville made their way down to the lake. Hermione still was unaware of her surrounds as she was completely consumed in her book. Neville on the other hand was fidgeting slightly at the sight of the four Slytherins.

 

“Well look who it is.” Draco smirked. Hermione finally took her face out of her book to face everyone. The wind was blowing gently, but was enough to make Hermione’s hair flow everywhere.

 

As Hermione lifted her face, everyone stood there agape. It wasn’t that they were necessarily attracted to her, but oh how she changed over the summer. Hermione’s once bushy hair, was actually tamed now, and a lot silkier. Nevertheless her burning locks of auburn hair remained. Her skin was the same tint as Cecilia’s. She barely grew much over the summer, but she was more slender than before, and filled her curves wonderfully. But above all, she still had her captivating honey soaked eyes.

 

“What happened to you Granger?” Pansy let out. Hermione merely narrowed her eyes, but ignored her.

 

“If you are done, then I suggest we be on our way Neville.” Hermione sighed as she took Neville’s hand and began leading him towards the edge of the lake.

 

“Not so fast Granger. Let me have a good look at you.” Draco smirked. Pansy looked as though she was slapped across the face.

 

“Let’s leave Draco.” Pansy implored. There was no way she would watch Draco muse Hermione.

 

“Oh, I’m only being friendly Pansy. You know Granger, you don’t look that bad this year. Perhaps you might even be able to….”

 

“You’re foul you know that?” Hermione interrupted before Draco could continue his sentence.

 

“Come on Hermione, it’s only Malfoy. He’s not worth the breath.” Neville replied from behind her.

 

“Oh shut up Longbottom.” Cecilia sniggered.

 

“Honestly, look at her Blaise. Don’t you agree with me?” Draco patronized.

 

Hermione diverted her eyes towards Blaise only to see his eyes were already fixed onto her. He had a face of stone on, and she couldn’t determine whether he agreed, disagreed, or simply didn’t care for the matter at all. She quickly looked away, but she could feel his eyes burning into her skin.

 

“Quite frankly, I don’t care. I’m hungry, so if you want to continue this, then I’ll see you guys in the Great Hall.” Blaise replied with an extreme hint of boredom.

 

“Uh, come on Pansy. We should go get changed.” Cecilia replied looping arms with Pansy as they followed behind Blaise.

 

“He’s such a mood killer. Until next time Granger.” Draco winked, and then turned on his heel and ran up to the girls.

 

“He’s a git Hermione, don’t bother thinking about it.” Neville offered.

 

“Already forgotten.” Hermione turned to face him, as she smiled.

 

“I’m going to just rest under the tree if you don’t mind?” Hermione asked.

 

“Yeah that’s fine.” Neville smiled.

 

Yet Hermione couldn’t quite shake this encounter as quickly as she would have liked. Was Malfoy actually flirting with her? No, he was only being a prick, that’s all. Hermione reassured herself that before Malfoy would even think of making a move on her, Pansy would attempt to hex her into madness. With that thought she let out a chuckle. It was always amusing to watch Pansy’s infuriating jealousy when it came to Malfoy. Hermione merely rolled her eyes and let out a small sigh. She rested her head against the large tree trunk, as she closed her eyes and listened to the peaceful sounds of the water, the squishing of Neville’s boots, and the warm summer breeze.

 

Then, as if it had meant to creep up on Hermione, piercing deep blue eyes awakened her. She quickly opened her eyes, but there was no one there. She only saw Neville observing some strange looking plant in the water. Hermione swallowed hard, as she tried to put those eyes to rest, but they continued to come up again. It was nothing. Blaise was only looking at her because there was no one else to look at, and because Draco asked him to. That’s all.

 

“Hey Neville, I’m actually feeling a little famished. Would you mind terribly if I went up and got something to eat?” Hermione asked getting up.

 

“Oh, no it’s alright. I’ll come back in a few minutes.” Neville replied, waving good bye.

 

Hermione walked up the steep hill, and made her way to the Grand Hall, where lunch was currently being served. As she walked in, she tried her hardest not to glance across the room to the Slytherin table. She walked briskly down the hall to find Ginny Weasley sitting next to Dean Thomas.

 

“Hi guys. Do you mind if I join you?” Hermione asked seating herself across from them.

 

“No not at all.” Ginny beamed. “How are you?”

 

“Could be better, but I’m alright. Have you seen Ron or Harry?” Hermione asked because she noted their absence, and it was not like Ron to skip a meal.

 

“They should be here soon. I think Harry was saying something about booking the Quidditch pitch before any other team got the opportunity.” Ginny replied.

 

“I’m sorry girls, but Seamus is expecting to see me. He has something he wants to talk about. I’ll catch up with you later Ginny.” Dean smiled as he casually kissed her cheek.

 

Hermione smiled widely at this. She could sense the awkwardness between Ginny and Dean.

 

“So I thought you were broken up? Was I mistaken Ginerva?” Hermione teased.

 

“Yes we are broken up, and don’t call me Ginerva! You know how that annoys me to no end. It’s just, he’s so nice! I can’t possibly find the opportune moment to tell him I don’t have feelings for him anymore.” Ginny conclude. Hermione broke out into a beautiful laughter, and Ginny looked horrid.

 

“Don’t laugh at me!” Ginny said outraged. Hermione only continued to mock her good friend, when she accidentally glanced over to the Slytherin table to see Blaise’s blank stare searching her. She immediately stopped, and shifted uncomfortably.

 

“What’s wrong?” Ginny asked. Nothing got past her.

 

“Oh, um, no it’s nothing. I just remembered that… I um, that I left Neville by himself at the lake. I should perhaps go check up on him.” Hermione replied pathetically.

 

“Hermione I’m no Ron, I know when something’s up.” Ginny teased.

 

However, before Hermione could spit out another lame excuse, Ron and Harry found their way to the girls.

 

“This seasons going to be bloody brilliant you know that?” Ron said with jubilance.

 

“And why is that?” Hermione asked, desperate to leave the conversation between her and Ginny.

 

“Because we have the best team assembled. Not to mention a bunch of practices already prescheduled. We’re ahead of our game.” Harry smiled.

 

“Good, because I swear if we loose to Slytherin…” Ginny began, but Hermione took that moment to completely tune herself out of the conversation.

 

She hesitantly glanced over to the Slytherin table to see an empty seat where Blaise once sat, and now another set of piercing eyes were gracing her with their presence. She could see Draco’s face, not quite as plain as Blaise’s, but still undecipherable. She didn’t know what was going on in the world of the Slytherins. Last year they wouldn’t give her the time of day, and now the two most desirable boys in the entire school could not stop checking her out? Hermione let out a small sigh.

 

“What’s wrong with you?” Ron asked taking a bit out of his sandwich.

“Me? Oh no nothing. I guess it’s just odd you know, being here at Hogwarts without actually starting lessons. I’m just a little anxious that’s all.” Hermione replied sincerely.

 

“Of course only you would be disappointed that we couldn’t start getting homework and enduring long classes Hermione.” Ron retorted.

 

“Yes, well you know me. Anyway, I need to go. I have to finish unpacking in the Head’s Quarters. Can you believe Draco made Head Boy?” Hermione finished.

 

“As large of a git as he may be, he is very intelligent.” Ginny stated.

 

“Yes I suppose so. I’m just glad we don’t have to share a room or anything. Anyway, I’ll catch you guys later. Maybe go down to see Hagrid?” Hermione offered as she got up off her seat.

 

“Yeah that would be great. We’ll meet you outside your room around six.” Harry replied.

 

Hermione just nodded and began walking out of the Great Hall. She tried her hardest, but she couldn’t resist and took one last quick look at the Slytherin’s table. Blaise was still absent, Cecilia was absently chatting to another Slytherin, and Draco’s eyes were still following her. She caught sight of Pansy trying to regain Draco’s attention only to follow her eyes and meet Hermione. Pansy looked absolutely outraged, and Hermione quickened her pace out of the Hall.

 

“Draco! I’ve been trying to get your attention, and the entire time you were ignoring me for Granger?” Pansy yelled.

 

“Pansy, calm down. I wasn’t ignoring you. What am I supposed to do huh? You want me to pin you right here on the table for the entire school to see? Is that what you want me to do?” Draco finished in a flush.

 

“Draco I…”

 

“Whatever, I’ll see you tonight. I still need to settle into my room.” Draco finished.

 

“Draco wait.” Pansy began before Draco could get off his seat.

 

She fingered the silver badge upon Draco’s chest. It gleamed the words: HEAD BOY. The small badge was lustrous, and had emeralds encrusted into it, with a snake slithering its way around the crest.

 

“Can I visit you tonight?” She asked quietly.

 

“Yes.” Draco replied and roughly dragged himself away from Pansy.

 

Hermione was making her way down a rather crowded corridor. Just as she was about to turn a corner, she was rudely shoved by someone causing her to drop her books.

 

“Bloody hell!” Hermione bellowed, as she kneeled down to pick up her books.

 

“I didn’t think you were one for swears Granger.” A deep, husky voice responded. Hermione looked up to see who the voice belonged to.

 

“I usually don’t, it’s just that…” but she stopped half way as she realized who it was.

 

“It’s just that what?” Blaise asked, with a cocked eyebrow. Hermione was completely flabbergasted as she looked up at him, hair thrown across her face, and cheeks flushed with blood.

 

“It just slips out sometimes.” Hermione breathed out. Blaise just stood there in all his beauty with his back against the stone wall.

 

“That’s unfortunate. Did you ever notice how your face glows when you get mad?” Blaise inquired. He could sense the discomfort Hermione was feeling. She instantly grew hot, and could only imagine how flushed her cheeks were.

 

“Or how easily you embarrass?” Blaise smirked.

 

“I have to go.” Hermione replied quietly, trying to smile but failing to do so miserably. She looked at Blaise and tried her hardest to read his expression. He simply looked at her with those eyes. Hermione shifted her weight awkwardly trying not to stare at him too long.

 

“I’ll see you around Granger.” Blaise said abruptly, and washed himself into the crowd.

 

But before Hermione could even calculate what was happening, she heard yet another familiar voice beckoning her from behind.

 

“Lost are you Granger?” Draco smirked. Hermione breathed out, rolling her eyes.

 

“And here I thought you were looking for me.” Draco continued.

 

“Can you do anything other than flatter yourself Malfoy? Or is it because no one else will?” Hermione replied completely uninterested in the conversation.

 

“Don’t pretend Granger, I saw the way you were looking at me in the Great Hall.” Draco winked, edging closer to Hermione.

 

“What are you talking about? You were the one who was looking at me!” Hermione retorted.

 

“So you admit it, you were looking at me?” Draco smirked once again, continuing to close the distance between them, daring to get closer to Hermione’s face.

 

“I happened to accidentally glance in your general direction. Besides, if I were to look at the Slytherin table, it wouldn’t be for you.” Hermione replied, surprised by her odd confession.

 

“Oh come on Head Girl, if you weren’t checking me out, who could you possibly be looking at? You know what I think Granger?” Draco asked, walking back a little to circle Hermione.

 

“What is that?” Hermione asked with spite.

“I think that you and I are going to become very, very close this year. And you know what else I think? I think you secretly are going to enjoy every moment you spend with me, because I can see it in your eyes. I know what you’re thinking, and I know what you lust after. It’s the same for every girl. And I doubt Weaselbe or Saint Potter could possibly please you.” Draco finished looking quite pleased with himself.

 

“Don’t be so sure of yourself Malfoy, you never know when Pansy will come creeping up on you.” Hermione smirked back at him, as she walked into the crowd.

 

Did Granger just bloody flirt with me? Draco felt an odd feeling, but before he could think on it, he spotted what she meant. A few feet down the corridor he could see Pansy and Cecilia making their way to his direction. Realizing how much he didn’t want to deal with either of them, Draco dashed into another corridor and headed to his Head’s room.

 

“Did you just see that?” Cecilia questioned eyeing the spot where Draco once stood.

 

“See what?” Pansy asked.

 

“Draco and Granger? He was all over her?”

 

“It must have been someone else. Draco wouldn’t do that. He may not have wanted me during lunch, but he certainly wouldn’t lower himself for Granger.”

 

“Are you sure about that? As I recall, he did leave the hall after Granger left.” Cecilia finished facing Pansy.

 

“Ha, Draco wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t. Now let’s not talk about things that clearly aren’t possible.” Pansy finished gawking at a first year, and already abusing her Prefect advantages.

 

*





 

Hermione finally settled herself into bed. Her Head Girl dorm was located in the Gryffindor common room, but it was hidden behind another portrait, to the left outside of the girl’s dormitories. She lay awake thinking of her classes tomorrow. But her thoughts quickly drifted away to Draco Malfoy. He was not completely nasty to her. Quite contrary, he actually was flirting with her. Perhaps this is part of a joke, a dare. Hermione deciding she wouldn’t let Malfoy get under her skin closed her eyes and soon fell asleep.



A/N: Let me know what you think!

Chapter 2: The Restricted Section
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A/N: Hey everyone. I forgot to write it in the first chapter, so let me clear this up in case anyone was confused. HPB DID happen, along with most of DH. However, the time elapsed for both books is squished. So most of DH happened before the end of 6th year, and most of the summer.






“Blaise we shouldn’t be doing this.” Hermione moaned as Blaise’s lips crashed onto hers. Both their bodies were smashing between walls. Hermione’s legs were already wrapped around Blaise’s torso, and his hands were cradling her back.

 

“We go through this every time Hermione.” Blaise replied in a deep husky voice.

 

“Yes I know but…” Hermione began.

 

“Will you just shut up and kiss me?” Blaise interrupted, as he silenced Hermione once and for all. And then all their built up lust shattered. Hands were exploring bodies, as every inch of skin was touched. Blaise planted kisses all over Hermione’s flesh as she moaned in pleasure and tugged on his dark locks. Blaise quickly ripped off Hermione’s top, and proceeded to kiss every inch of smooth, creamy skin. Hermione’s hands found their way to Blaise’s pants, and she began undoing his belt.

 

Hermione was in pure bliss. The ruggedness of Blaise’s hands, the juicy lips licking her every curve, the heat and seduction he erected was all too much for Hermione to withstand. She found control, and thrashed his body against the opposing wall, tearing at the clothes which kept them apart. Her fingernails scraped his back. He could feel them digging into him, as he pleasured her with his fingers. Hermione could feel the coolness of blood secreting from where she bore her nails into his perfect body.

 

And then finally, Blaise moved Hermione onto a ledge. He looked at her with deep emotion in his eyes. She didn’t need to say yes, her body language said it for her. She inhaled sharply, as she anticipated for the next movement. Blaise moved forward and...

 

Hermione woke in a cold sweat. She was panting, and at a loss of breath. It happened again.

 

Hermione had this dream about two weeks ago, and it continued to haunt her at night. She couldn’t determine what was provoking it. She and Blaise rarely, if ever, communicated apart from that first encounter. Hermione hated to think that it was some subconscious desire for Blaise. Wiping the sweat off her face, she warily got out of bed, and walked into her bathroom. Hermione turned the rusty knob for the sink, and splashed the cool water on her face. Hermione shook her head, and took a good long look into the mirror in front of her.

 

“It’s only a dream. Nothing more Hermione.” She assured herself.

 

*




 

Hermione was thankful it was a beautiful Sunday morning. She held in her hands parchment, a book, a quill and ink. It was only two weeks into school, and already she received an enormous Transfiguration paper. Hermione decided she would embrace the lovely weather and finish her paper, so she made her way to the grounds. She walked for ten or so minutes until she found a vacant spot underneath a behemoth willow tree. Hermione neatly set up a small work space, and began fishing through the book, and scribbling away on her parchment. It was such a tranquil gesture to sit beneath a tree and do work, that it brought Hermione some long needed peace.

 

It was perhaps only twenty minutes later that Hermione looked up to see the sun finally hitting the willow, which acted as a prism and split the rays of light every which way around Hermione.  As she smiled to herself, she looked out and saw a small figure sitting quite a distance away, looking back at her. She couldn’t quite make out the face, so she squinted her eyes, and realized the figure was walking towards her direction. Just as the figure was etching close enough for Hermione to make out completely, a ray of light struck her so brightly that Hermione was forced to shut her eyes immediately.

 

“Do you mind?” A familiar, deep, husky voice questioned. Hermione completely disregarded the blinding light and opened her eyes only to be welcomed by Blaise.

 

“Um, no.” Hermione replied quietly. Blaise took a seat beside her, and opened up his own Transfiguration book, and began reading.

 

Hermione’s mind couldn’t sit still. She tried her hardest, but couldn’t stop herself from glancing at Blaise. Thankfully almost every time he was intently reading his book and didn’t notice. She felt completely foolish, like a little school girl with a juvenile crush. Crush? No this was not a crush, not even an infatuation; it was mere curiosity. Yes, that is what it was, curiosity. Hermione causally glanced over one more time at him. He was so peaceful, who could have believed him to be a Slytherin? Blaise in this form was calm, and gentle, at least it seemed so. He was nicer to Hermione than any other Slytherin boys. Well, yes he did laugh at times when Malfoy was so arrogantly picking on someone, but he never, in Hermione’s memory, had really hurt someone himself.

 

“You know Granger if you enjoy starring at me so much, perhaps we should have someone paint a portrait of me so you can hang it up in that fancy Head’s dorm of yours.” Blaise said with no expression in his voice.

 

Hermione was completely taken aback, and abashed. He had known she kept staring at him. Hermione was blushing profusely. She heard him clear his throat and he turned to look at her. She pretended to be completely engrossed by her blank parchment in front of her.

 

“Oh what you’re not going to look at me because I’m looking at you now?” Blaise replied again, this time with more life in his voice.

 

“I wasn’t looking at you.” Hermione lied. She had no idea where she would be going with this.

 

“Oh really?” Blaise asked with a cocked eyebrow.

 

“Yes. I was actually, looking at your paper. I wanted to know what you wrote for Zelda’s Transfiguration Theory involving potions.” Hermione finished. She couldn’t believe the utter rubbish excreting from her mouth.

 

Blaise could sense the lies he was being told, but merely smiled at Hermione.

 

“Well if you wanted to have a peek, why didn’t you just ask for a closer look?” Blaise teased. Hermione blushed again.

 

“Honestly Granger, it seems like you turn into a tomato every time I talk with you.” Blaise sniggered even more. Hermione could feel the hotness of her cheeks, and tried to imagine something that would help reduce the natural blush upon her face.

 

“I’m not blushing. I wouldn’t for you anyway. I’m just really warm that’s all. Unfortunately I can’t stay here to enjoy this little conversation. I need to go to the library for more research.” Hermione finished as she got to her feet.

 

“You know you shouldn’t run away from people that quickly.” Blaise replied bored looking back at his book.

 

“What are you talking about?” Hermione asked with a look of confusion across her face.

“Nothing.” Blaise replied in a tone that said the conversation was over.

 

Hermione didn’t know what to say in response. She searched his face for any emotion, but failed. Giving up on trying to decipher what the bloody hell he was talking about, Hermione gathered her belongings and stood there one last time before leaving.

 

“Good bye then.” Hermione said assertively. She looked back at Blaise who continued to ignore her attempts at communication. Hermione was outraged at his immature behavior, and turned on her heel to briskly walk away. She only walked about ten feet before all her frustration exploded.

 

“You could have at least had the decency to say good bye!” Hermione bellowed as she turned to face Blaise. Yet all she saw was a large willow tree basking in the sunlight. Where the bloody hell did he go?

 

“Yelling at trees Granger? I’m sure there’s a ward in St. Mungo’s that is dedicated to that stuff.” A voice mocked from behind her. To Hermione’s deepest regret, she turned to face Draco.

 

“Piss off Malfoy. I need to go.” Hermione replied completely uninterested in him. She tried to walk past him, but he only shifted himself in front of her.

 

“Oh come on Granger, you’ll have all day to go to the library. But you only have right now with me.” Draco smirked.

 

“I would rather eat a toad. As a matter of fact, I would rather eat a million toads. Not that there seems to be much of a difference.” Hermione lashed back.

 

Draco only found this amusing. He laughed throwing his head back and all his glorious golden locks moved like silk upon his head.

 

“I’m leaving.” Hermione replied with a serious tone, as she walked past Draco.

 

“Until next time Granger.” Draco called out after her. Hermione simply ignored him.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” Pansy asked as she and a group of other Slytherin girls approached Draco. Draco swung his body around to face her.

 

“Oh please Pansy, I was only having a little fun. Relax.” Draco replied bored.

 

“Well Cecilia saw you ‘having a little fun’ with her a few days ago. Honestly Draco if I didn’t know any better I would say that you actually don’t mind Granger.” Pansy spat.

 

“Oh please Pansy. You’re not my girlfriend, so who I do and don’t talk with really isn’t much of your concern is it?” Draco finished.

 

“Draco…” Pansy began, clearly hurt.

 

“I don’t have time to deal with this. I need to do some work.” Draco finished as he walked away leaving Pansy to stand abandoned only to be consoled by her fellow girlfriends.

 

“Come on Pansy, he’ll come around. He always does.” Cecilia offered.

 

“He was serious Cecilia.” Pansy replied with tears in her eyes.

 

“Pansy, you know Draco, and you know how he can be. He’s just in a posh mood, he’ll be over it by tonight, I promise you.” Cecilia smiled, as she reassured Pansy.

 

“You’re right. But in the meantime, can you keep an eye out for Granger if you happen to see her?” Pansy asked in a more venomous voice.

 

“Of course.” Cecilia smirked. Both girls laughed as they lead their group back towards the castle.

 

*




 

Hermione was walking towards the Quidditch pitch with Neville at her side.

 

“Thanks for watching us practice Hermione.” Ron smiled.

 

“Well thank you for asking nicely.” Hermione beamed back. It was nice to talk with Ron. Both Hermione and Neville made their way to the Quidditch stands, as Harry, Ron, and Ginny mounted their brooms, along with the remainder of the Gryffindor team.

 

“Thanks for keeping me company Neville.” Hermione turned to face him.

 

“Oh you’re welcome Hermione.” Neville replied sweetly. Hermione smiled at him, as she sat back and watched the boys zoom around in their brooms. The sun was almost setting in the horizon, so the entire sky was painted in shades of pink and purple.

 

Hermione was idly watching the players fly back and forth, catching, throwing, and doing their best to avoid the bludgers. As she leaned back against the benches, she looked around the pitch. There were a few students scattered here and there across the pitch. Hermione continued scanning, and then as if she had meant to wish for it, she spotted those deep blue eyes. Hermione looked at him, but he didn’t divert his gaze. She uncomfortably shifted in her bench, as she turned to look at Neville who was completely consumed by the practice. As she tried to casually glance back in his direction, she discovered that he was missing.

 

“He sure has a set of legs!” Hermione growled under her breath. He sure as hell could move fast.

 

“What was that?” Neville asked.

 

“Oh nothing. I um, have to go. Can you tell Ron I left. I forgot something back in the library, and I want to get there before it closes.” Hermione finished as she briskly walked away from Neville.

 

She ran down the stairs in hopes of being able to catch Blaise. What was his problem? He randomly gazes at her, and then disappears in the blink of an eye! Hermione just reached the end of the stairs when she spotted Blaise just in front of her.

 

“You!” Hermione called out. Blaise turned around to face her.

“Yes?” Blaise asked in a bored tone.

 

“Why were you following me?” Hermione asked.

 

“Following you? Granger, I think you’ve got your ideas messed up.” Blaise replied as he turned on his heel to walk away.

 

“Don’t walk away from me! I’m not finished. But before by the willow!”

 

“I needed to sit down. If you didn’t notice, that was the only tree around there. Unless you suggest that I have gone to sit in the Forbidden Forest?”

 

“Well… no.”

 

“So if you’re done, I need to go.”

 

“Wait!”

 

“What?”

 

“Why don’t you hate me?”

 

This question threw Blaise off. His face relaxed and he looked straight into Hermione’s eyes. She couldn’t make out what he was trying to suggest or, what he was searching for, but she didn’t look away.

 

“Blaise, what are you doing?” Cecilia’s voice broke their trance.

 

“What?” Blaise asked as he faced her.

 

“You’re lurking around the Quidditch pitch with Granger?”

 

“I’m not lurking, and I’m not with Granger. I was watching the Gryffindor team’s practice.” Blaise now completely facing Cecilia and ignoring Hermione’s presence all together.

 

“But you can’t do that! It’s cheating!” Hermione replied outraged at the real reason as to why Blaise was there.

 

“And when were Slytherins ever ones for rules?” Blaise questioned with a cocked eyebrow. Hermione stood there stupidly without any reply.

 

“Let’s go Blaise.” Cecilia said as she took Blaise’s arm. Both of them walked away leaving Hermione alone with the storm that was brewing in her mind. How dare he spy on the practice! Did he know who he was dealing with? She would surly report this to McGonagall. Yet all of those thoughts of revenge and anger were subdued by the sight in front of her. She could see Blaise arm in arm with Cecilia. Their fingers laced with the others, and she could hear their laughter and joy. It was a strange feeling deep within Hermione’s stomach. It felt like a small creature gnawing away at her insides, feasting on it. It lurched and howled as she watched Cecilia lean up to whisper something into Blaise’s ear, and in return he leaned his head down to plant a kiss upon her lips.

 

Hermione had enough of this. She briskly walked the opposite way back towards Hogwarts. She still needed to go to the library.

 

As Hermione wormed her way through shelves upon shelves of books, she couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for. She wanted a very detailed essay for her Transfiguration paper, and there was only one way she could find it. Knowing what she was about to do would completely violate all that her shining ruby encrusted badge stood for, she made her way towards the restricted section.

 

Hermione stood in front of the door which was locked, and luckily slightly hidden behind another shelf. She looked around to make sure no one was around. Hermione quietly recited a simple incantation and the lock immediately snapped open. Smiling to herself, she grabbed a book from the shelf behind her and placed it between the doors. Hermione, unaware of the body that was lurking between two bookshelves while this was happening, walked inside.

 

Draco smirked to himself as he watched Hermione’s trespassing, and breaking the rules. He was impressed at that fact that he didn’t know she had it in her.  He walked leisurely towards the restricted section. He double checked to make sure no one was around. Draco picked up the book Hermione wedged between the doors, and placed it back on the shelf, and walked in to find her.

 

It didn’t take a significantly long time to find her. She was only a little way in, standing on her toes to read the books on the top shelf.

 

“I didn’t know you had it in you to break the rules. Especially being Head Girl.” Draco teased.

 

Hermione instantly fell to her feet as she saw Draco standing before her.

 

“How did you get in here?” Hermione asked.

 

“Well you left the door quite open you see…” Draco replied.

 

“Did you leave the book there?” Hermione asked now with her voice in a panic.

 

“Why does that ma….”

 

“Answer the question! Did you leave the book there?!” Hermione bellowed as she rushed past him towards the door. She stopped in her tracks when she saw that the doors were closed, and the lights in the library were out.

 

“What’s the matter?” Draco asked thoroughly confused.

 

“The matter is you git, that the library has closed. Meaning, Madam Pince has locked up the restricted section, with us in it!” Hermione yelled.

 

“So, just say another incantation and out we’ll go.” Draco replied.

 

“But see that’s just the thing you idiot, once it is locked from the outside, you can’t open it from the inside. Meaning, we’re trapped until someone unlocks the door.” Hermione replied with the after thought of being trapped with Malfoy.






A/N: I hope you enjoyed that. Comments are welcome! :) Oh and the sequel for Dear Jane is currently being written! I have an idea where I want it to go, so I just need a few chapters to start off with, and I'll begin posting them ASAP!
 

Chapter 3: Finding A Way Out
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A/N: Sorry this took forever to update!

“So now what do you propose we do Malfoy?” Hermione questioned through gritted teeth. This was his fault entirely! His insolence trapped them in here.

 

“Well Granger, you see we’re in a library right? And I don’t know if you know this or not, but people other than yourself do come here quite often.” Draco responded with the greatest amount of sarcasm in his voice.

 

“Oh yes how could I have overlooked that. But wait, let’s see, we’re in the restricted section of the library that is forbidden to all students, including the Head Boy and Head Girl. Hm, now won’t the Headmistress be delighted when she finds out that her two leading pupils were not only trespassing, but violating about a dozen school rules all in one night? Yes, that will go out real well. Not to mention the endless torment Madam Pince will provide for intruding on her precious library. Good one Malfoy. I have suddenly become overwhelmed with confidence being trapped in here with you!” Hermione finished walking away from him, and further into the restricted section.

 

Draco stood there silent. He knew she was right, yet he wouldn’t give her that satisfaction. He also knew it was his fault they were trapped in here, but he wouldn’t let her have the upper hand in the situation. He merely followed behind her. He never had been in the restricted section before, and now that he was examining it from the inside, it was quite large. It spanned the size of a large classroom, with winding shelves, and eerie looking books that were either locked, or buried under dust. He wondered how often someone came in here to take a look at one of these books.

 

“What were you doing in here anyway?” Draco questioned Hermione. He suddenly realized the softness of his tone.

 

“It’s none of your business is it?” Hermione merely replied looking back at the shelf she was at before, searching the books once more.

 

“Fine. But how do you suppose we get out?” Draco asked leaning against the shelf’s ledge. He stood there gazing at Hermione. It was, for the most part, very dark in there. The only light visible were the small candles that loomed at the ends of the shelves, and the tip of Hermione’s wand. But Draco thought he could see Hermione perfectly. Down at the lake, as much as he wanted to seem as though he was lying, he really wasn’t. Granger wasn’t all that bad looking, Draco thought to himself. She was much better than most girls in their year, far better than Pansy. She had a collective beauty about her, one that didn’t need the accent of make-up and fancy clothing.

 

Hermione could feel his icy eyes burning into her skin. She never was this close to Malfoy, nor had she ever been abandoned with him for this long. She tried her hardest not to look his way, but her eyes couldn’t help it. They leered in his general direction, but she saw that he was looking at her hair, and quickly turned around. Why was he starring at her all the time? He was just like Blaise, a brick wall with no expression, and no words to help clear the confusing thoughts that loomed into Hermione’s mind.

 

“I don’t know. Suffice it to say, this isn’t my first time in here.” Hermione spoke turning to face Draco. The darkness of the room gave Draco a more humble look. His blonde hair was now a dark golden, and his skin no longer the color of milk, but a soft deep shade. His eyes were relaxed and warm, with the color of ocean currents, and not glaciers.

 

“And here you were lecturing me on breaking the rules?” Draco smirked. It drove Hermione insane when he smirked.

 

“I know my way around the shelves. I sometimes need more information than I can get in the library’s approved books, so I come in here for a peek. Besides, it’s not like a teacher has ever said anything about it, so I don’t see why not?” Hermione replied coyly. It was beyond her how she and Draco Malfoy were actually having a somewhat civilized conversation. The thought made her smile to herself.

 

“What are you smiling about?” Nothing got past him did it? “Is it because you’re in a room with me?” Draco questioned, smirking yet again.

 

“Actually no. It’s just…” Hermione began, but stopped. She didn’t know whether or not she should mention the civility between them. Perhaps mentioning it will snap him back to his normal self, someone whom she could deal without in their current situation.

 

“It’s just…?”

 

“It’s nothing. You know, I actually remember now Harry telling me about a secret door here somewhere. I don’t really remember much of what he said, I was too busy yelling at him for wandering in the restricted section…” Hermione finished dragging on her sentence to herself.

 

“See Granger, it isn’t always rewarding to throw your two cents into everything.” Draco finished slumping down to seat himself on the floor.

 

“Uh, witty you are. Now if you could get yourself off your lazy arse, we can begin looking for a way out.” Hermione suggested as she offered her hand for him to get himself up. To her immense surprise, he actually took it, and lifted himself up. She was taken aback by the amount of strength he possessed in his arm. He nearly knocked her down. Smiling awkwardly at him, she shifted her feet slightly.

 

“So now what?” Draco asked.

 

“Uh, I guess… just feel around?” Hermione replied looking around the room.

 

“Oh that I can do marvelously.” Draco smirked as he looked at Hermione’s body devilishly.

 

“No not like that you git!” Hermione yelled, turning her back to him. Draco laughed.

 

He watched as Hermione walked ahead of him a little gently placing her fingers on the old wood, feeling for something he did not know. The intensity of the relaxation he felt around her surprised him. He never imagined being trapped with Granger would actually be somewhat pleasant. She wasn’t as irritable as he assumed her to be.

 

“What are you doing?” Draco asked.

“I’m trying to see if the wood is hollow anywhere.” Hermione replied, continuing to glide her fingers on the dusty wood.

 

“Do you want me to do anything?” Draco asked. Hermione suddenly stopped. She could feel his eyes burning into her back. She wasn’t sure if it was because the wood had cut her finger, or because of what he said that made her stop. But what she did know was that he, Draco Malfoy, asked her if she needed help. It was hard to sallow. This same boy who has called her names, and tormented her throughout school is now being civil with her.

 

“What’s wrong?” Draco asked noticing her sudden halt.

 

“I just… cut my finger.” Hermione finally continued as she turned to face him. She couldn’t quite look him in the eye, and began looking at the hot, wet, blood oozing from the cut on her finger tip. She was so determined to be engrossed by the site that she didn’t even notice Draco walk up to her, and take her hand.

 

“What are you…” Hermione began but was cut off. Draco pulled out his wand, and muttered a small incantation. In an instant the cut sealed itself, and he wiped the blood from Hermione’s finger off.

 

Hermione had seen many things in her life, what with all the outrageous adventures she had been on, and experienced more than most people will in their entire lives, but this was something she couldn’t make out. Hermione stood there, foolishly, looking at Draco as though he had a hundred heads. She couldn’t even muster a thank you, or anything cohesive for that matter.

 

“What’s wrong with you?” Was about the only thing that Hermione could say, and she stupidly stood there as Draco laughed in her face.

 

“What do you mean what’s wrong with me?” Draco asked as he stopped laughing.

 

“You were never nice to me. Why now?” Hermione asked, realizing she no longer wanted to go around the question.

 

Draco’s smiling face suddenly turned to stone. He became rigid, and let go of her hand. Why was he being nice to her? Why should he bother being civil to Hermione? It’s not like they were going to strike up a budding friendship. What was the use?

 

“I don’t know.” Draco replied quietly. Hermione was searching his face for a better answer, but couldn’t seem to find one.

 

“So where else could we look?” Draco asked. And just like that, the conversation about Draco’s new personality ceased.

 

“Look for anything that could possibly be hollow, or if you see any pictures, check behind them.” Hermione said.

 

“Alright.”

 

Hermione and Draco split up. It was getting darker outside, and they must have missed dinner an hour ago. It was nearly ten o’clock, and still no luck of any hollow doors, or portraits. Draco was making his third round on his side of the restricted section, and decided he would go look for Hermione. As he walked past two book shelves, he found Hermione sitting on the ground. Her back was against the shelf, and there was a book open on her lap. Her eyes were closed, and Draco safely assumed she was sleeping. He walked up to her, and seated himself from across Hermione, on the opposite shelf. Leaning his head back, he shut his eyes for a few seconds, and then opened them. He looked back at her.

 

She defiantly wasn’t ugly. On the contrary, she was very quite pretty. Yet, he could never admit that outside of the safety of his mind. What would Pansy do to him? More over, what would she try to pull on Granger? Ha, Granger. She was so strange, and unpredictable. One moment she’s nice as a daisy, and then in a second she makes McGonagall look tame. Draco smiled to himself at the thought. He really did like her a lot better like this. Perhaps she wasn’t as insufferable as he thought she was, what he once thought she was. Maybe it was just the company she surrounds herself with. Saint Potter, and Weaselbe. Just the thought of them disgusted him. Granger definitely wasn’t like them. Granger, Hermione Granger. Hermione? The word sounded odd on his tongue. He felt like a child trying to pronounce a word far too complicated for him. The contortion of his tongue felt foreign. Hermione. Her-my-oh-nee.

 

Draco felt foolish, but he said her name out loud. He repeated it a few times, unaware of Hermione’s stirring body.

 

“What did you just say?” Hermione asked in a coarse voice. Draco suddenly snapped back into reality as he watched Hermione groggily wake up, and rub her eyes.

 

“I, uh… nothing.” Draco lied.

 

“I thought I just heard you say….” Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. But she merely shrugged it off.

 

“I’m sorry I fell asleep. I’ve just been so tired lately.” Hermione confessed.

 

“It’s alright. It’s not like Potter and Weasel help you much.”

 

“Don’t talk about them like that.”

 

“I’ve seen the way they beg you to proof read their essays, and help them with homework, and pretty much everything else.”

 

“Harry saved us all, it’s the least I…”

 

“Oh bullocks. It doesn’t matter what ‘Harry’ did. They should learn not to bother you like some leech stuck to your body.”

 

“Oh and you should be one to talk?”

 

“I am Head Boy aren’t I?” Draco teased.

 

Another hour, or maybe even two had passed, and they both continued talking, laughing, throwing insults at each other, but overall, enjoyed each others company.

 

“You know, you’re a lot different now Granger. I mean, it’s really different, but nice.” Draco said seriously. Hermione suddenly felt her cheeks warm up.

 

“I think we should um, go back to looking for that door now.” Hermione said getting to her feet. Draco watched her get up, and noticed how her hair followed her shoulders perfectly. He noticed her small frame, and long lean legs. Sighing to himself, he got up. As Hermione turned the corner, Draco took that as a signal for them to split up and continue looking.

 

It was only about ten minutes later, when Draco called out to Hermione.

 

“Um, Granger, I think I found something.” Draco called. Hermione rushed towards his voice. They both stood looking up at a deep crimson tapestry on the wall.

 

“Do you think it would be behind here?” Draco asked looking over to Hermione.

 

“I don’t know. Help me.” Hermione said, as she tugged at the tapestry to pull it down.

 

“Oh come on Granger, you’re a witch.” Draco replied. Hermione rolled her eyes at him, and with a swift flick of the wand, the tapestry fell to the ground. A cloud of dust blew up, and both Hermione and Draco inhaled the thick dust, and coughed loudly. Draco procured his wand, and removed the dust in front of them. As the view in front of them cleared, they both stood completely still. In front of them they could see a small wooden door. Both eyed the door greedily.

 

“You found it!” Hermione breathed out excitedly.

 

“Of course I did. And here you were doubting your confidence in me.” Draco smirked. Hermione merely rolled her eyes at him.

 

Draco reached down and opened the old rusty handle on the door, and it creaked open. They both looked in to see what might have been a tunnel, but there was no light what so ever to guide them.

 

“Well ladies first.” Draco offered.

 

“Oh, so now you take the time to be polite.” Hermione mused.

 

“I’m all for chivalry, but if something is going to kill us in there, I would rather it be you than me.” Draco replied, honestly.

 

“Lumos maxima.” Sighing to herself, Hermione made her way into the tunnel, Draco right behind her.

 

It wasn’t a particularly long tunnel, and it only took them five minutes to reach the end. Hermione cautiously pushed open the door. It led them to the inside of a broom cupboard. They began dusting themselves off.

 

“Look Granger, this is probably the only time I’ll ever be able to say this so… today, being trapped with you in the library, well… it didn’t make me want to kill myself.” Draco finished. He looked deeply into her eyes trying to get some connection between them, but Hermione only turned away.

 

“Me too.” Was all she could say. She looked at his face, and she wasn’t quite sure if her eyes deceived her or not, because it was gone in the blink of a second. Yet, she could have sworn she saw a glimmer of disappointment in Draco’s face. He nodded sternly at her, and peeked out the door to make sure the corridor was empty.

 

“Malfoy…” Hermione began.

 

“Yes?” Draco turned to face her before the parted their ways.

 

“Be careful.” Hermione replied quietly. Draco silently turned, and walked into the darkness of the corridor, and disappeared before Hermione’s eyes. 


A/N: Hey sorry it's taking me a while with updates. I'm actually on vacation so it's getting harder to get by a computer. The sequel to Dear Jane is almost ready on my computer back home, so you wont be seeing that until after the 27th. I hope you're all having a good summer! :)


Chapter 4: The Astronomy Tower
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A/N:  So sorry for the long wait, but here is chapter four!

The following weeks after the library incident with Draco seemed to be on fast forward. Hermione’s workload seemed to duplicate itself as the weeks progressed. What was even stranger to Hermione were the passing glances she and Draco would share. They would only last for a second, but it was enough to get Hermione’s mind zipping through ideas, and questions. She didn’t know what forced Draco to change his arrogant behavior. Perhaps the death of his father or the conclusion of the war? Either way, Hermione was desperate to know what the cause was for this.

 

“Hermione, could you possibly help me tonight with that Potions paper?” Ron pleaded as they made their way through a crowded corridor.

 

“Ron, you know I have class tonight in the Astronomy Tower. I can’t help you. I’m sorry.” Hermione replied.

 

“No, I’m sorry. Maybe next time. Well, I’ll see you at dinner though?” Ron asked before turning into his classroom.

 

“Yes.” Hermione smiled back.

 

Hermione made her way down the corridor. She had a free period, and desperately wanted to soak in some of the early October sun before it was too chilly to sit outside at all. Yet, to her great disappointment, another thought loomed in her mind. Would she possibly see Blaise again? It was so foolish for her to even think about, but it drove Hermione insane. Did both Draco and Blaise plot against her to mess with her mind? Was that it? She wouldn’t put it past them. Hermione’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted as she was pulled into a classroom.

 

“Is there something going on between you and Draco?” Pansy questioned. Standing behind her was Cecilia. The pair never leave each other do they, Hermione thought.

 

“What are you talking about?” Hermione asked in a bored tone.

“You heard me Granger. Don’t act dumb. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. So has Cecilia. So either you tell us the truth, or we’ll force it out of you.” Pansy threatened.

 

“Ha, the prospect of what you are trying to insinuate is just ludicrous.” Hermione laughed. This was hysterical. How could Pansy possibly believe that she and Draco had something between them? It was comical, childish, and completely untrue. Yes, it was false.

 

“Look, I may not be as smart as you are, but I do have eyes. Tell her what you saw Ce.” Pansy said turning to face her friend.

 

“Well, the other day, Draco had skipped dinner, and curiously enough, so had you. I didn’t think of it as much, but then I overheard Weasley, the younger one, say that she saw you sneaking into your Head’s portrait. Oddly enough, Blaise had told me he found Draco sleeping in the common room the next morning. When he asked Draco what happened to him, Draco merely said he was out late on ‘Head duties’ or something of the sort.” Cecilia finished.

 

“It’s nice to know how inquisitive you are. Really it’s enlightening. I mean, you can give Rita Skeeter a run for her money. But now if you two are done with this charming confrontation, I need to study.” Hermione mused as she walked past them and towards the door.

 

“This isn’t over Granger. Don’t think for a moment that from now on, I won’t be watching like a hawk.” Pansy replied in a very serious tone.

 

“Fine by me. But clearly he hasn’t been paying much attention to you, or else why would you go insane over a simple conversation?” Hermione smirked and walked out the door to leave Pansy there outraged and scandalized.

 

Hermione laughed at the confrontation. They were silly girls, so naïve, and stupid! Hermione pitied Pansy really. She knew how desperately Pansy clung onto Draco. For as long as she could remember, when it came to Draco Malfoy, there was always a Pansy Parkinson. Shaking the thoughts from her head, she suddenly heard her name.

 

“Grang..er Hermione!” a deep voice called. Hermione swung her body around surprised by who it was the voice belonged to.

 

“Hi.” Blaise said quickly as he approached Hermione.

 

“Hi?” Hermione replied a little abashed. Blaise was sporting a casual white shirt, with the cuffs of his sleeves rolled up. His collar was a mess, with a few buttons undone to expose a very creamy chest. His silver and emerald silk tie hung loosely around his neck. His black trousers slouched slightly, only to meet his black leather shoes. His outfit was so casual, yet so chic, it made Hermione feel slightly awkward in his company.

 

Blaise’s hair was a mess upon his head, and she could see small beads of sweat at his temples. He was a little out of breath, and a little flushed. Yet, this was not a bad thing. The rosy cheeks gave him a child-like face that brought a smile to Hermione’s lips.

 

“Are you alright?” Hermione asked.

“Oh yes. I just got back from Quidditch practice.” Blaise replied smiling.

 

Well yes, that would explain the intoxicating aroma of his cologne circling Hermione’s nose.

 

“Yes, well I wanted to know what time we were meeting tonight?” Blaise asked.

 

Meeting? What meeting? Hermione’s mind suddenly drew a blank. She didn’t remember scheduling anything with him. Hell, she didn’t even talk with him!

 

“Meeting…?” Hermione began.

 

“Yes, you know tonight, the Astronomy Tower? We have class?” Blaise smirked.

 

Hermione’s cheeks instantly grew hot red. She felt embarrassed for even having those thoughts. Why would she assume he was talking about a meeting on an intimate level? Ha, Hermione you sure are a funny one.

 

“I’m sorry, I completely went blank for a moment. Uh, we’re meeting at nine.” Hermione tried her hardest not to show her face.

 

“Thanks. Oh and Granger… I mean Hermione, you have something on your cheeks.” Blaise smiled widely, flashing his glorious pearly white teeth, as he washed himself into the crowd.

 

You. Are. An. Idiot. Hermione Jane Granger. Hermione felt even more ashamed of her outrageous cheeks. Curse them! Swearing silently all the way outside, Hermione found a nice bench to seat herself in, and attempted to study for her Ancient Runes class.

 

*

 

“But Harry you were going to be my partner!” Hermione complained.

 

“Hermione I know. I’m really really sorry. It’s just I need to talk with McGonagall. I scheduled an appointment before I found out about the Astronomy project.” Harry pleaded, as he took a sip of his pumpkin juice.

 

“Harry, please you know I never ask you for anything! Can’t you reschedule?” Hermione pleaded.

 

“I’m really sorry. I really am Hermione. I’m sure you can find someone else to work with.” Harry replied.

 

“Yeah, it won’t be that bad ‘Mione.” Ron piped in.

 

“You don’t know the people in our class. With my luck, Cormac McLaggen will ask me to be his partner.” Hermione growled.

 

She and Harry were always partners for their Astronomy class. Yet tonight she would have to find someone else. There would be no chance in hell she would work with Lavender.

 

“Please don’t be mad Hermione.” Harry pleaded.

“I’m not mad. Anyway, I need to go. I have to go back to my dormitory to pick up a few things, and head for the Astronomy Tower. I’ll see you guys later.” Hermione finished getting herself off the table.

 

“Good luck.” Harry said.

 

As Hermione climbed the stairs to the tower she began wondering who she could possibly work with. Going through all the names she realized there probably was not one person in there, excluding Harry, she could stand. Sighing to herself, she made her way out of the door to find the rest of her class already setting up telescopes.

 

“Good evening Professor.” Hermione greeted.

 

“Good evening Ms. Granger. Now everyone, please listen. I would like you all to break up into pairs, and find a telescope. We are going to be looking for Aurora’s Constellations, like we discussed in class the other day.” Professor Sinistra concluded.

 

As the rest of the students shifted their bodies to join their regular partners, Hermione heavily sighed and proceeded to find Cormac McLaggen.

 

“Uh, do you want to be partners?” A very familiar, deep husky voice questioned. Hermione smiled, promising herself not to blush, turned around to face Blaise.

 

“Yes.” Hermione said with a pleading look in her eyes. She smiled gratefully at him as she saw McLaggen’s body halt, and walk the other way.

 

“Well I didn’t want you to be paired up with him.” Blaise smiled as she walked over to his telescope that was already set up.

 

“Thank you. But where’s Malfoy? I thought you two were usually partners.” Hermione replied seating herself on the small stool across from where Blaise sat.

 

“Well yes we generally are. I don’t know where he is actually. But I guess we should just get started then?” Blaise offered. Hermione nodded, and rolled open her notes she took on Aurora’s Constellations. It was only five minutes into the class when the door swung open.

 

“Well it’s nice of you to join us Mr. Malfoy.” Professor Sinistra noted.

 

“I’m very sorry Professor, I was with Professor Sulghorn. He signed this for me.” Draco replied.

 

“Very well then. You can work with Mr. McLaggen here.” Professor Sinistra pointed. Draco searched the open tower for Blaise. His heart suddenly sank. He stood there watching Blaise with… Granger? He was sitting there, working with her with such ease. They were laughing, joking about something. What was it? It drove Draco mad being left out. He felt harassed by the both of them. Blaise his best friend, and Granger his… What the bloody hell was she?

 

Draco suddenly felt a dragon within his stomach breathing fire, searing at his throat. Watching them drove him insane. Why wouldn’t they include him? Why wouldn’t she laugh with me? Why with Blaise? Blaise suddenly turned around as though he heard Draco say his name in his thoughts, and locked eyes with him. Blaise could see the venom in Draco’s crystal eyes. He tried to offer an apologetic look, but it didn’t work. Draco merely walked over to McLaggen, and loathed their company, and happiness.

 

“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked as she looked at Blaise’s concerned face. He simply shook the look off and smiled at her.

 

“No, it’s nothing.” Blaise lied. He didn’t need her to be involved with his and Draco’s petty fights. Smiling back, he ushered them to finish their work. It was about half and hour later when Professor Sinistra spoke.

 

“Alright class, I think we should all head out now. It’s almost ten. Please gather all your belongings, and close your telescopes. Once you’ve placed all your materials into the classroom, you may go to your dormitories.” Professor Sinistra finished, as everyone began packaging their stools, and telescopes.

 

Once everyone finished cleaning up, everyone headed down the spiral staircase to the classroom to drop off their telescopes and hand in their Constellations.

 

“How could you leave me mate? For Granger?” Draco asked.

 

“I’m sorry Draco, you weren’t there. And besides I would have rather worked with Granger than McLaggen.” Blaise replied.

 

“Okay so I understood why you worked with her, but what was all that flirting and…”

 

“Flirting? I was being nice Draco. I know the term is foreign to you, and so seeing it in action may have misguided you.”

 

“What would Cecilia say?”

 

“You need to calm down mate. I was her partner, nothing more. Honestly.” Blaise replied truthfully. Or somewhat truthfully.

 

“Um, Blaise?” Hermione interjected. She slowly approached Draco and Blaise, knowing she was walking onto very dangerous territory. Especially considering her and Draco haven’t spoken a word to each other since the library incident. Luckily for her, Draco took that moment to walk away from the both of them and made his way to the door. The classroom was completely deserted with the exception of Hermione and Blaise. And of course Draco peering in through the ajar door.

 

“Yes?” Blaise smiled.

 

“I just wanted to say thank you. I mean, for being my partner. Being a good partner. And, just that I really appreciated it.” Hermione smiled.

 

The dragon within Draco was stirring again. His eyes flashed of fire, as he watched the scene unfold.

 

“You’re welcome. Besides, you’re much more intelligent than McLaggen, believe me.” Blaise teased.

 

The dragon was screaming, eating away the flesh in Draco’s stomach. He could taste the venom in his mouth.

 

“Yes well, thanks.” Hermione smiled sweetly, as she hesitantly at first moved her arms. And then realizing that there wasn’t such a large threat, she wrapped them around Blaise’s masculine body. She hugged him in a friendly gesture. Yes Hermione, only in a friend-like way.

 

Blaise was slightly taken by surprise, but he welcomed her hug, and squeezed her back. He was able to breath in the aroma of her sweet scent. The tangled incense of vanilla, and cherry blossoms filled his nose with a rich flavor. He felt the softness of her supple hair caress his cheeks. This felt more rewarding than any hug or kiss he received from Cecilia, or anyone for that matter.

 

The dragon was pleading to break free from the bones that caged him within Draco’s fleshy cage. The rage that boiled in his veins was enough to want to break Blaise’s face right there. It killed Draco to even look at them. He couldn’t stand it, or else he would release his fury from within his raging stomach. Seeing them together made Draco want to hex everything around him, burn the school to the ground, and tear every limb off of Blaise’s body.

 

Hermione broke their embrace first, and smiled at Blaise.

 

“Well, good night.” She said sweetly.

 

“Do you want me to walk you to your Common Room?” Blaise offered.

 

“I think I can handle myself. But thank you.” Hermione smiled one more time before leaving the classroom.

 

Draco turned around and walked away before Hermione reached the door. The rage that filled his body surprised even him. Draco wasn’t sure if it was jealousy, or pure contempt, but he needed to rest. The memory of them embracing each other was sure to haunt him into the night, and Draco wasn’t sure how well his fleshy cage could withstand that fury.

A/N: I'm so sorry guys for the really long wait. I just got back from London, and I'm updating this as quickly as I can. I really appreiciated all of your comments you have left me. I promise I'll reply to each one as soon as I can. :)

Chapter 5: The Secret Halloween
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A/N: Enjoy!

The following weeks after Hermione’s Astronomy assignment with Blaise had been particularly boring. She was receiving immense amounts of homework from all of her teachers, especially Advanced Arithmancy. Surprising, yet luckily both her and Draco were taking the class, and he had helped her on a few occasions. It was all really unforeseen. Draco was nothing less of a perfect gentleman lately. Yes of course, he was arrogant as ever, but it wasn’t sickening or annoying at all. She found him to be quite charming when he wasn’t wasting his time trying to be a stuck up prick.

 

“Hermione! Hermione wait up!” Ginny called as Hermione stepped inside of her Head’s dormitory.

 

“Hey Gin what’s up?” Hermione asked as both girls walked into the mini common room within her dormitory.

 

“This is a beautiful room! You are so lucky you get all this. Private room, private bath, it’s wonderful.” Ginny complimented as she plopped herself on the plush sofa.

“Oh well, I rarely have time to really enjoy it. I have so much work.” Hermione complained plopping down next to her.

 

“That’s perfect then!” Ginny exclaimed.

 

“What are you talking about?” Hermione asked.

 

“Well you see, tomorrow night is Halloween. And rumor has it there is supposed to be this large Halloween party in the Room of Requirement. It’s 6th and 7th year only. And the best part is, you need a costume to enter. It starts around nine thirty, right after dinner. Both Harry and Ron are going, and so am I. This would be perfect for you to take some time off.”

 

“Ginny! You can’t have a party! It’s completely against the rules! I need to report this to McGonagall.”

 

“Oh Hermione don’t! When have you been one to care about bending the rules a little? Besides, if you tell we’ll all get in trouble, and it will come back to me. So please, even if you don’t want to come, don’t tell McGonagall.”

 

“Fine. But I don’t see myself coming.”

 

“Hermione! Honestly, you need to relax a little, and unwind. It will be fun. Please?” Ginny pleaded.

 

“Alright. But I don’t even have a costume! What are you going as?” Hermione asked.

 

“Gwenog Jones from Holyhead Harpies.” Ginny smiled.

 

“Yes, well if I am going to this gathering tomorrow, then I suggest you head out Gin. I have a lot of work to finish tonight. Not to mention assemble a costume by tomorrow night.”

 

“Let me know if you need any help.”  Ginny offered as she walked out of the portrait hole.

 

*

 

It was about an hour before the secret Halloween party. Hermione left dinner early to somehow create a suitable outfit to wear tonight. As she looked around her room, she had absolutely no idea as to what she was going to do with herself. Hermione scanned her room, and suddenly her eyes landed on the beautiful drapes that covered her stained glass windows. They were made of ermine, and silk. They were a canvas of colors, blending perfectly in with the other. The vividness of the fabric attracted Hermione’s eye, and she smiled. She knew what she would do. Walking over to the curtains, she began her work.

 

The party was already in full swing by ten o’clock. The entire 6th year was there, along with the 7th years as well. Bright fabrics and characters of every kind walked around. There was music playing in the background, and drinks to serve all around.

 

Hermione hesitantly walked towards Room of Requirement. Making sure no one was around, she approached the stone wall. It only took a few moments, and then in the blink of an eye, a great wooden door appeared before her. Hermione pushed open the door and stepped into the room, where she was instantly greeted by music. She tried looking for familiar faces, but there were so many people there, especially in masks and costumes, that it was hard to be certain.

 

“Hermione?” Neville approached her.

 

“Neville! Hi!” Hermione beamed glad to see a familiar face.

 

“Wow, Hermione you look gorgeous! What are you supposed to be anyway?” Neville asked.

 

“Oh a butterfly!” Hermione replied lifting her hands up.

 

Hermione had expertly stitched her gown together. The front of the gown dipped just low enough, before she revealed anything unnecessary. The back of her dress was cut low, and showed off most of her back. But it was weaved with a magnificent black velvet ribbon that slithered down her spine. The gown was long enough to gently brush the floor. The excess sides of her dress were looped around her wrists, so whenever Hermione lifted her arms, the sides of her dress would too, and in effect, make them look like the wings of a butterfly. Her hair was loosely clipped back, but still kept down.

 

“Neville have you seen Ginny?” Hermione asked.

 

“Yeah, I think I saw her just over there.” Neville pointed out near a large bar.

 

“Thanks. I’ll see you around.” Hermione replied.

 

She fished her way around the crowd. Then a very strong arm grabbed her by the arm, and pulled her out of the crowd and near the bar.

 

“Well, well, well look who showed up.” Draco smirked.

 

“What are you doing here?” Hermione asked.

 

“It’s a party Granger. What do you expect?” Draco smirked.

 

“You allowed this!”

 

“Actually, I’m hosting this.” Draco smirked again, taking a sip of his drink.

 

“Firewhiskey Granger?” Draco offered.

 

“We can’t have drinks here!”

 

“Relax, relax. Its only fizzing pop.” Draco teased. He observed her. She looked beautiful tonight. The ceiling was bewitched to look like the night sky, and a full moon was cast. Hermione looked marvelous in that gown.

 

“You look good Granger.” Draco complemented.

 

Hermione suddenly felt very shy, and blushed. This was all too strange. Now there was a complimenting Draco? It was all too much to take in.

 

“Thank you. And you don’t look too bad yourself. Let me guess, you’re a… snake?” Hermione smirked.

 

“You better watch that mouth Granger. It might just get you into a lot of trouble.” Draco teased, as he moved in closer to Hermione.

 

“Oh is that so?” Hermione mused.

 

“Draco!”

 

Suddenly Hermione jerked, and stepped back. Pansy’s body approached both of them. Pansy flashed Hermione a dirty look before turning to face Draco.

 

“Can I talk with you?” Pansy asked, grabbing Draco’s arm.

 

“What is it?” Draco asked.

 

“In private?” Pansy motioned her head towards Hermione.

 

“Whatever you want to say you can either say it now, or forget it. I have to make sure this party runs smoothly.” Draco finished drinking his pop.

 

“Fine. I would greatly appreciate it if you could stop talking with her. You don’t need to stress a friendly gesture longer than necessary.” Pansy spat.

 

“Pansy, you really need to lay off.” Draco replied in a serious tone.

 

“Draco, you expect me to stand here and just…”

 

“Look Pansy, I am so tired of your insecurities. I have told you time and time again, nothing is happening. If you can’t trust me, then how do you ever expect us to have a relationship? If you can’t trust me, then I don’t even want to be your friend.”

 

“But… that’s not what I…”

 

“Leave Pansy.” Draco replied concluding the conversation. Tears filled Pansy’s eyes, as she ran away from both Hermione and Draco.

 

“That was a little harsh.” Hermione commented.

 

“Are you feeling sorry for her?” Draco smirked. Hermione didn’t really care what happened with Pansy, but she couldn’t help but slightly feel sorry for her.

 

“You could have been nicer.” Hermione simply remarked.

 

“But then I wouldn’t be Draco Malfoy would I?” Draco commented. Hermione merely rolled her eyes, and continued to stare at Draco. He looked magnificent tonight. An emerald snake slithered up his body, as Draco was covered in all black. His golden hair flipped to one side, and perfectly combed.

 

“So where’s Blaise?” Hermione asked casually.

 

Draco couldn’t believe what he was hearing. She was in his company, but she asked for Blaise? Why couldn’t she be satisfied being with him? Why couldn’t he satisfy her? Draco felt a sick twisted knot in his throat. His dragon awoke, digging its claws into his flesh once more. The jealousy within Draco raged, but he had to keep his composure in front of her.

 

“I don’t know. Probably shagging Cecilia in some room.” Draco replied simply. That would set her straight. Blaise has a girlfriend. Granger wouldn’t go for that.

 

“Right well, I’ll see you around. I need to look for Ginny. Bye.” Hermione replied as she walked away from Draco. A heavy stone fell into Hermione’s heart. Blaise was dating Cecilia. Well why should that matter to you Hermione? It’s not as if he would be dating you, or even considers it. Ha! Hermione was so foolish sometimes. It made her laugh out loud. Just then she heard a scream. She turned to see Ginny fuming at Harry.

 

“WHY WERE YOU SNOGGING LAVENDER BROWN!?” Ginny demanded.

 

“It’s not me Ginny! I mean, yes it is me! But I’m not Harry! It’s me Ron!” Harry pleaded.

 

“Don’t even try to fool me Harry James Potter!” Ginny screamed. Just then Ron walked over to the both of them.

 

“What’s going on?” Ron asked.

 

“Well it seems that your ‘best mate’ can’t keep his tongue in his mouth, and was snogging your girlfriend!” Ginny yelled.

 

“But Ginny, I’m actually Harry. Ron went as me for Halloween, and I went as Ron.” The real Harry replied.

 

“Wait, so you’re Harry? And you’re Ron?” Ginny asked confused.

 

“Yes.” They both replied in unison.

 

“Bloody hell.”

 

“Here Gin, let me prove it to you.” The real Harry replied, moving in to kiss Ginny.

 

“Get off me! You maybe the real Harry, but you still look like Ron, and you have a better chance of seeing Merlin than kissing me looking like that!” Ginny fumed, walking away.

 

Hermione was laughing at the entire situation. She threw her head back, and as she turned, she spotted Blaise talking to a few other Slytherin boys. Hermione instantly adjusted her dress, and quietly walked over to him.

 

“Yes, well I was telling Father I needed new padding for my chaser’s uniform.” Blaise remarked.

 

“Hi.” Hermione said quietly feeling very odd being surrounded by a majority of the Slytherin Quidditch team.

 

“Excuse us.” Blaise replied to his group as he took Hermione’s shoulder and moved them away from the group. Many of the boys smirked, and laughed as Blaise walked away.

 

“Don’t mind them. They’re jerks.” Blaise smirked.

 

“Oh, I know.” Hermione smiled.

 

“You look beautiful.” Blaise complimented. Hermione beamed at Blaise. He made it so easy to smile. Actually he made it impossible not to smile in his company.

 

“Well you look very dashing.” Hermione replied. “Who are you supposed to be? The Silver Phantom?” Hermione asked.

 

“Actually yes. And let me guess you’re a…”

 

“Butterfly.” Hermione answered for him.

 

In the distance, Draco was watching intently on their conversation. He wished he could hear what they were saying. He couldn’t watch this anymore. He couldn’t watch Granger be within ten feet of Blaise. And if Draco knew Blaise, which he did quite well, he knew that Blaise was probably laying on the compliments.

 

“So what were you talking about to them?”

 

“My new Quidditch uniform. I couldn’t fit into my old one. You know, due to the old uniform unable to contain my rippling muscles.” Blaise smirked. Hermione broke out into laughter.

 

“Don’t laugh at me Granger. Here feel for yourself.” Blaise challenged sticking his chest out for Hermione’s soft hands to grace.

 

Hermione looked at his costume. The top of his shirt was torn a little, so she could perfectly make out a perfect chest. Hermione hesitantly lifted her hand, and gently traced his muscles with her fingers, lingering on a little longer than she would have liked. Swallowing hard, she withdrew her hand. Blaise looked down at her, and smiled sweetly.

 

“Let’s go get a drink?” Blaise offered. Hermione smiled. As if the moment couldn’t get any better, Blaise offered his hand, and Hermione graciously placed her hand into his strong grip, as he led her to the bar.

 

Draco watched the entire scene. The second Hermione’s flesh touched his, Draco’s heart felt as though it was going to burst in any moment. The fizzy pop in his throat wasn’t enough. He needed something stronger, something that would ease the searing pain cutting at his throat. He couldn’t watch it anymore. He did the only thing he could do, and walked out of the party. If he continued to watch Blaise allow Hermione to caress her fingers on his flesh, Draco would have ripped the skin off of Blaise in that instant.

 

“Two butter beers please.” Blaise ordered.

 

“Oh um, Blaise I don’t mean to end this short but, I really need to head back. I have an early Arthimancy class. I mean it’s difficult enough to comprehend with a full night of sleep, let alone a late night.” Hermione replied.

 

“It’s alright. No worries. At least let me walk you to your dormitory. You wouldn’t last time, but I’m not taking no for an answer.” Blaise smiled widely at her. How could she possibly say no to him?

 

“Of course.” Hermione replied.

 

They both left the party together. It was very quite in the halls, and the clicks of Hermione’s heels were not helping. She leaned on Blaise and removed her shoes, allowing her to walk faster without making noise. What bothered Hermione even more was why Blaise was bringing her back. It was very chivalrous, but what about Cecilia? The one question she was burning to ask Blaise had remained safely behind her lips, but in one instant, much like word vomit, she splurged it out.

 

“Are you and Cecilia together?” Hermione blurted.

 

Blaise remained silent for a moment, and gave her an odd look. Hermione merely shrugged her shoulders, and he let out a small laugh.

 

“No we’re not. Contrary to popular belief.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Um… yes?”

 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just, Malfoy told me earlier you two were you know, dating.”

 

“That’s strange. But no we’re not dating. Not really. It’s nothing exclusive.”

 

“Oh I see.”

 

The rest of the walk remained silent, but it was pleasant. It was always pleasant around Blaise. He had an aura surrounding him that made anyone feel at ease in his presence. They soon after approached the Gryffindor’s dormitory.

 

“So I guess this is good night then. I had a really nice time.” Hermione remarked. The corridor was completely consumed by the darkness of the night, with the exception of two wand tips illuminated.

 

“So did I.” Blaise replied. Hermione tensely shifted her weight, and looked at her feet. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to expect. Smiling softly, she turned around.

 

“Hermione…” Blaise called out. Hermione quickly spun herself around. Blaise grabbed her hand, and slowly pulled her arm to bring her closer to his body. Smiling sweetly, he pulled her in even closer, and leaned his head down to plant a simple kiss on her lips. Hermione was completely surprised by this gesture, but she couldn’t say she didn’t enjoy it, because oh she did. Blaise smirked, and leaned into her ear and whispered.

 

“I couldn’t forget that now could I?” And he sweetly kissed her ear, and walked away. Hermione’s heart was racing. It wasn’t necessarily a very romantic kiss, but the simplicity, and the sweetness of it made it even better. Completely consumed by the tingling sensation of Blaise’s lips on her own, Hermione placed her fingers on her lips, and smiled. She turned around to continue walking.

 

“Granger.” A hoarse voice called next to her. Hermione jumped, and almost screamed.

 

“Malfoy?!” Hermione whispered in a hysteric voice.

 

“Yes.”

 

“You nearly gave me a heart attack! What are you doing sulking around dark corners for?”

 

“I need to talk to you.”

 

“Well can’t it wait until the morning? It’s really late…”

 

“No it can’t. Because I might kill myself if I don’t talk to you right now, tonight.”

 

Draco moved up closer so now Hermione could see his face a bit more clearly.

 

“Uh, okay. Alright. Where do you want to…” But before Hermione could even finish her sentence, she was being dragged by the arm through winding corridors, and led outside of the grounds, into a courtyard.

 

“Malfoy are you insane? If someone sees us…”

 

“Let them! I don’t care! This is more important.”

 

“What has gotten into you?”

 

“Did you enjoy that kiss Blaise gave you?”

 

“I… uh… what kind of question is that?”

 

“A simple one.”

 

“I don’t need to discuss that with you. And if that’s why you brought me here then I’m leaving.”

 

“No. Don’t go…” The intensity of Draco’s voice scared Hermione more than she had been in a long time. The prospect of being caught outside didn’t even matter. She watched as Draco walked over to one of the stone benches. Hermione remained planted in her position. She was too scared to move, for it could break the fragile glass ground they were walking on.

 

“It so conflicting. I don’t think you can even understand it. I can’t even understand it. I mean, I thought with everything at peace now, it would make it easier. But then, Father’s disease, it couldn’t be stopped. That night, I never had seen Mother mourn the way she did. I couldn’t say anything; I was now the man of the house. It killed me to see that happen. It was all supposed to be okay. But then I remembered Hogwarts, and it was like… there is still happiness out there. Now even Hogwarts is painful for me. I don’t get it. I don’t know why I don’t hate you. I should hate you, and it tares my mind up with this internal conflict of being nice to you, and hating you.

 

“And you stand there in front of me, with that look of apprehension, and confusion as if you’ve never found anything strange with our relationship this year. Damn it! It makes no sense to me! I want to hate you so much, and what’s worse, you give me no reason to! Make me hate you Granger! Make me loath your good ways like I used to! I’m going through this metamorphosis, and it’s killing me on the inside. How can you easily stand there and still not look down on me? How can you forgive me for what I’ve done to you, what I’ve done to everyone? I killed…”

 

But Draco could not continue. His words were sticking to his tongue, refusing to come out. His throat was hard, and he tried his hardest not to show how vulnerable he felt in that moment. Confessing his innermost conflictions and emotions to Hermione was harder than anything he had ever done. Hermione didn’t know what to do. She stood there in complete shock, remorse, sympathy, love, and admiration for Draco. She gently walked over to where he was sitting, and kneeled down on her knees. She searched his face for an expression, but was unable to see anything as his golden locks billowed down to cover his face.

 

She gently lifted his face with her hands, so he could face her. Draco looked at her, as she gave him a look of deep concern, and understanding. The moon was shinning brightly within her beautiful honey glazed eyes. Then Draco whispered so lightly, Hermione got shivers all throughout her body.

 

“Hate me. Please hate me.”

 

Hermione took her hand, and gracefully traced his jaw, and his cheeks.

 

“I can’t. That’s not who you are.”

 

Draco couldn’t sit here anymore. He pleaded with the Gods to have his heart stop beating. The pain that cut at his soul, wouldn’t mend. No matter how many sweet words Hermione gave him.

 

“Draco, please… that’s not you.”

 

Something about her saying his name for the first time ever sent shivers down Draco’s spine. He needed to leave. He couldn’t stand being near Hermione anymore. Her presence was too much to take in, especially after tonight’s events.

 

“I need to go.” Draco abruptly said, standing up.

“But don’t you want to talk?” Hermione asked in complete shock of Draco’s quick recovery. She too stood up to face him.

 

“No.”

 

And with that Draco walked off into the darkness leaving Hermione standing by herself reminiscing about what he just told her.

A/N: Sorry for the long wait. School's started and I have so much work already. Hopefully I'll be able to write as soon as I get some free time. Please review and tell me if you liked it! :)

Chapter 6: Hard Times
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A/N: SO sorry this took forever to update. College applications seriously has taken away all of my life. Not to mention my 7482974 AP classes. But nonetheless, here is the next chapter! :)


Hermione awoke next morning with a pounding headache. The sun was much too bright. She shielded her eyes from the blinding light, as she groggily walked over to her bathroom. The events of last night had continued to play in her head. She was elated at Blaise’s bold move, yet confused by Draco’s confession. What had it all meant? He asked her to hate him, but why? Why was he so determined to behave as he used to rather than embrace his new personality? Hermione splashed a handful of cold water from the stone basin’s sink, and began preparing for a first period Advanced Arithmancy class.

*

Hermione was walking briskly through the halls, trying to cut through the large crowds of students. Frustrated at herself for missing breakfast, she hungrily shoved past a swarm of first years.

“Hey Hermione! Wait up!” a voice beckoned from behind her. Hermione turned around to see that it was Blaise.

“Hi.” Hermione greeted as they continued to walk together.

“Where are you heading?”

“Advanced Arithmancy.”

“Well that’s a fun way to begin your day isn’t it?” Blaise smirked.

“Yes I know.” Hermione joked.

“Anyway, I don’t want to make you late. I just wanted to know… would you possibly want to help me with Transfiguration today? By the willow?” Blaise asked.

“Uh, yes of course. I’ll meet you there at six thirty.” Hermione smiled.

“It’s a date then.” Blaise beamed as Hermione turned the corner and walked into her Advanced Arithmancy class. She could spot Draco’s golden locks already seated. Making her way down the isle, she took a seat in the desk next to him.

“Hi.” Hermione said quietly. Draco turned to face her. He visibly looked better than he had last night. Now that she recalled, he looked quite silver and pale. The bags under his eyes were deep, and his pupils were a dark gray rather than their normal silvery blue tint.

“Hey.” Draco replied hoarsely.

“How are you feeling?” Hermione inquired.

“I’m fine?” Draco replied.

“Draco, if you want to talk about last night…” Hermione offered in a hush.

“What are you talking about?” Draco asked in a bored tone, no longer looking at her, but starring blankly toward front of the room. He pretended to be immensely consumed by the enormity of numbers that covered Professor Vector’s chalkboard. Hermione had on a confused expression. How could he possibly forget last night?

“Last night, at the grounds… you were...”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Granger.” Draco replied sternly.

“Why are you avoiding talking to me about it?” Hermione was angered now. She wanted to know why he had confessed to her something so grave, so emotional, and then refused to explain his reasoning.

Draco opened his mouth, but closed it again. He wasn’t sure how to explain what he was going through to Hermione. His metamorphosis was harder than he assumed. He opened his mouth to explain himself, but just then Luna seated herself next to Hermione.

“Hello there Hermione.” Luna welcomed in a sing-song voice. Hermione blinked as though to be snapped back into reality. She was once more Hermione Granger, he was Draco Malfoy. And in being these two characters, talking, or even glancing towards one another was not an option.

“Hi Luna.” Hermione replied gravely, forcing a crooked smile. Luna leaned in to whisper to Hermione, but it was quite audible to those surrounding them.

“Why are you sitting next to him?” Luna questioned.

“That’s a good question Luna. I don’t know. It seemed like a good idea, but I guess I was wrong. Perhaps we should move.” Hermione said. She didn’t exactly whisper it, but the hatred Draco felt in her voice felt as though a knife was slitting his throat.

“Oh, I don’t think he’ll bother us.” Luna replied softly. Throughout the entire class Hermione remained stern and continued to look forward. She could feel Draco’s wandering gaze search her, but she would not give in.

Draco felt horrible, torn, and awful for making her feel that way. Of course he had remembered last night’s events. How could he not? But it was too much to talk about it to Hermione again, especially after she saw him at his most vulnerable point. He hated even more that he was getting exactly what he pleaded her for. He loathed the fact that she was starting to hate him once more, because of his request. And what he despised the most was that she would never know the reasoning behind his request. At this thought Draco’s heart clenched, and his breath was caught in his throat. What he needed now was an escape. He needed to find Pansy.

It was as though she were reading his mind. She finally turned to face him, and he felt a stone his stomach. The guilt he would feel for what he would be doing later today would be too great for him to handle. He looked at her hurt face, and turned back to his parchment, hating himself for the mess he created.

*
Draco walked quietly as he slid into the Slytherin’s common room. He found Pansy perched on a leather sofa, reading her Potions book.

“Pansy?” Draco called. His voice was raspy, and broken.

“Draco?” Pansy replied surprised.

“I need you.” Draco wanted this to be over as quickly as possible. He wanted to forget already. Pansy searched his face. She knew he was doing it for his own reasons, not out of love for her. She hated the feeling, but she obliged. She took his hand as he led them back into his Head’s dorm.

Pansy loved the Head common room. It was draped in velvets, silks, ermines, and chiffons. The room was a bright emerald, with silver weaved into the corners of the stone, and masonry. Slytherin emblems were hung, and plastered everywhere. The grand fireplace held photo frames of smiling friends, and of happier times. Pansy looked at one of her and Draco from first year. Smiling gravely to herself, she allowed Draco to pull her into his embrace onto the couch. He didn’t bother bringing her up to his bed.

Draco didn’t feel sorry for hurting Pansy the way he did. In fact, he didn’t even know how much it did hurt her. The gentle looks she gave him, how easily she let herself go, to him, was evidence enough for Draco to determine that conclusion. He didn’t love Pansy, and what they were doing wasn’t out of love, or even lust. They had never ‘made love’, nor had Draco ever intended to. No, this was only an escape. An escape from the world, from Granger. He planted kisses on Pansy’s soft fair skin, as she smiled and moaned into his hair. She loved the sweet smell of it.

Pansy remorsefully pulled Draco’s face up so she could look into his eyes. He stopped what he was doing and looked back at her.

“I love you Draco.”

Draco didn’t respond right away.

“I love you too.”

And then Draco continued pealing off layers of clothing. When Pansy was sure he wasn’t looking, because he never did look at her when they did this, she let silent tears roll onto her cheeks, and fall onto her small breasts. She knew that no matter how many times they did this, no matter how many times they will do this, that Draco would never say he loved her. He would never say he meant that he loved her. He would never make love to her.

*

As Hermione heard the loud banging of the grand clock tower, she safely assumed it was six thirty. She grabbed her Transfiguration notebook, and textbook. She wasn’t sure why, but she spent a little more time with her hair before she left. Luckily, it managed to tame itself this year. Hermione grabbed the fluffy red wool scarf Mrs. Weasley had sewn for her two holidays back. She wrapped the scarf around her neck, as she pulled on her midnight black trench coat. Slipping into comfortable knee-length suede boots, Hermione quickly stormed out of her room. She didn’t want to keep Blaise waiting.

As she stepped outside, the crisp late November air welcomed her cheeks and nose. They turned rouge, which made Hermione squint her nose. The coolness of the air surrounded her, and she hugged her books closer to her chest. As she walked she made out many happy faces strolling in the wonderfully cool atmosphere. The sun was beginning to set, and she wondered how long they would have before the sky completely turned black. Hermione continued walking, and then she spotted Blaise already sitting underneath the willow. He had cleared a spot for them to sit on, and there was a small blanket placed underneath.

“Well there you are. I thought you were going to bail on me. You’re late.” Blaise teased. Hermione felt herself blush even more. She silently cursed her cheeks. She bent down, and seated herself next to him.

“I’m sorry. Alright then, where shall we start?” Hermione questioned as she opened her notebook, and textbook. She was flipping through pages, and scanning her notes. Blaise watched her with admiration.

“Hermione?” he called. Hermione looked up from her books and met his eyes. His normally deep blue eyes were a very light shade of sapphire. He looked beautiful Hermione thought. He was smiling at her, a sweet sincere smile. His auburn locks, much like her own, where dancing with the wind, but somehow always found a way to land perfectly on top of his head. They looked so supple; Hermione wished she could run her finger through them. She made out how luscious his lips looked. They were soft, but flushed with blood from the cold.

“Yes?” Hermione replied realizing how long she was watching him.

“Did you really think I asked you to help me study?” Blaise teased as he leaned against the trunk of the willow.

It never occurred to Hermione that perhaps Blaise wanted to just talk with her. But why her? Why not someone else, someone prettier, someone like Cecilia?

“Uh…”

“Your silence already answered for you.” Blaise replied. It almost came out in a harsh tone, but before Hermione could think on it, he spoke again.

“Look, despite what you might think of me, or my house, it’s not like that. I like you Hermione. Plain as day, I like you. You intrigue me, the way you blush all the time. See like now.” Blaise smiled as he watched Hermione slowly morph into a tomato.

“This is so embarrassing.” Hermione said quietly, as she looked down. She closed her eyes. Oh how she wished she could melt into the ground right now. But then suddenly she felt a warm hand behind her. She looked up, and found Blaise looking at her. And then, he broke out into the loudest laughter. She loved the way he laughed. It was a like a child’s laughter, melodic and innocent.

“Are you laughing at me?” Hermione asked outraged.

“No Hermione I’m not. I find you so amusing that’s all. Honestly though, I do enjoy being with you.” Blaise finished in seriousness. Hermione found herself suddenly feeling warmer, as though she were tossed into a sauna.

“Well so do I.” Hermione smiled. She was beaming inside. It felt like there was a circus within her body, or as if she had eaten a mouthful of dandelions.

Blaise began edging closer to her, closing the distance in between them. This time, Hermione was prepared for whatever the outcome may be. Her eyes lingered on his lips for quite some time, wanting to feel the sensation of them again. Blaise dared to get closer, and then as quickly as Hermione blinked, she found those plump, juicy lips on hers. Kissing Blaise was falling into nirvana. She could smell the musky scent of his cologne tousled with the November air. All she wanted to do was continue kissing Blaise, but she knew this would be an outrageous scene to witness. With all her will power, she gently placed her hands on his chest, and pulled herself away. Blaise looked at her with confusion in his eyes.

“Have I done something wrong?” He asked her.

“No, Blaise it’s not you. It’s just… I don’t want it to happen this way. I don’t want everyone to assume things about us.” Hermione finished not knowing what she really meant by it.

“What do you think they would assume?” Blaise asked with a cocked eyebrow.

“That we are… together?” Hermione felt slightly abashed for saying it. How could a Slytherin and a Gryffindor be?

“And are we?” Blaise asked.

“I don’t know. You tell me.” Hermione asked. Her heart was racing. She didn’t want to face the let down of Blaise laughing in her face, telling her she was a fool to believe that he would ever really like her. But still, a part of her hoped that perhaps he was truthful in saying he wasn’t like the rest of his house. Perhaps Blaise changed; perhaps he wasn’t even like that. She wished he would answer her!

Yet, before Blaise could open his mouth, there were voices coming from behind them. Blaise motioned for Hermione to stay silent. By this time the sun already had dipped into the horizon, and they were enveloped in darkness. Hermione could make out sobs from a girl.

“He doesn’t even love me! Doesn’t even like me!”

“Obviously he does though! He comes back to you!”

“He only comes back because he needs to be comforted, not because he wants me.”

Hermione could now tell it was Pansy and Cecilia. She looks at Blaise who gives a ‘well this happens daily’ look.

“Perhaps we should go?” Hermione whispered.

“Why?” Blaise asked.

“I feel like we’re intruding.”

Pansy began speaking again.

“Why doesn’t Draco love me? I mean, look at the way he watches Granger! What could he possibly see in the mudblood?” Pansy now spoke with anger.

“He doesn’t like her Pansy, I assure you that.”

Blaise looked disgusted.

“Perhaps we should go. Come on.” Blaise stood up, and picked up Hermione’s notebooks. He took her hand, and helped her to her feet.

“I don’t think so Cecilia. I know Draco. He likes Granger, I can see it in his eyes.” Pansy said. Hermione has wished she hadn’t heard. The pain in Pansy’s voice was enough evidence for Hermione to know that she wasn’t joking, or jealous, or over thinking the situation. Blaise was already ahead of her and she was sure he didn’t hear it. When he offered her his hand, she smiled gratefully and walked with him back to the castle.

*

“Hermione! Hermione wait up!” Harry called out after her. Hermione turned around before she walked into alternate portrait hole into her Head’s dorm.

“Oh hey Harry, Ron.” Hermione greeted. She allowed them to walk in first and then followed after.

“Sorry to intrude.” Harry apologized.

“Bloody hell is this a nice room.” Ron admired.

“Ha, thanks Ron, and no you’re not intruding. What’s up?” Hermione asked as she seated herself in her soft leather couch.

“Well actually we came here to talk to you about something.” Harry began, as he sat in a chair and Ron beside Hermione on the couch.

“What is it?” Hermione asked.

“Well… you see we’ve been hearing some things, and have seen some things.” Harry began.

“Right…” Hermione followed.

“And well, we wanted to set the record straight, know what’s really going on.” Ron finished.

“Okay then?” Hermione replied confused.

“You see Hermione word is, you and Blaise Zabini are becoming quite the close friends. Ginny said she saw you conversing with Malfoy at the Halloween party, but before she could say anything to you she had that entire mix up with Ron and me. And well then she said she caught you leaving the party with Zabini. What’s going on?” Harry finished.

Hermione had been expecting this conversation to come eventually. She still didn’t know what to say to him. Hermione knew she should tell them the truth; it was impossible to lie to Harry while looking into his emerald cut eyes. She took a deep breath before beginning.

“Here’s the story. Draco and I…”

“Draco?” Ron questioned rudely.

“Uh, yeah. You see, he’s been different lately.” Hermione started, thinking of how to properly steer the conversation.

“Different? I don’t think people like Malfoy change Hermione.” Harry said as-a-matter-of-factly.

“Not necessarily different, but being able to experience other behaviors.” Hermione explained.

“Hermione I have no idea what you are trying to say.” Ron blurted.

“Right, okay. See Draco isn’t who he seems to be. It’s not who he was, is. It’s hard to explain. I can’t really say much about it.”

“Can’t say anything because you don’t know, or because you promised him you wouldn’t tell us? For God’s sake Hermione we’re your best friends.” Harry hissed.

“No Harry it’s not like that!”

“Then tell me how it’s like between you and ‘Draco’” Harry growled.

“He’s not the same arrogant prat we’ve known for years that’s all. He’s seen the errors of what he’s done and he’s remorseful for having to do them.” Hermione finished. She felt terrible for defending Draco when it jeopardized her own friendship.

“And what about Zabini?” Ron piped up.

“Blaise… he… to tell you the truth, I have no idea what’s going on with him.” Hermione admitted.

“He’s always ogling you. Watching you, stalking you would be more appropriate.” Ron finished.

“Blaise and I are friends.” Hermione finished. She knew this would probably do it.

“Friends! Hermione he’s a Slytherin!” Harry bellowed.

“Can’t you let old prejudices go?” Hermione implored.

“Hermione, a Slytherin.” Harry replied.

“Harry I know! But you have to trust me!” Hermione pleaded.

“Hermione I know, but you need to understand…” Harry began getting to his feet.

“Understand what exactly?” Hermione questioned getting on her feet as well.

“Understand that these are Slytherin boys you’re lusting after.” Ron finished for Harry. Hermione turned to him and looked scandalized.

“What is this? An intervention of who I can and cannot befriend?” Hermione asked outraged.

“Hermione we’re only trying to look after you that’s all. Please understand.” Harry finished calming his voice.

“No Harry, you need to understand. You trust me do you not? You trusted me with you life before, or do you not remember that night at Xenophilious Lovegood’s house? You trusted me with your life at Godric’s Hollow. You trusted me not to say anything as I endured the Cruciatus Curse for the both of you! Now you need to understand! Understand why I’m furious!

“You can trust me with your lives but you cannot trust my judgment on who I befriend? I thought I knew you two better than that, but perhaps I was mistaken.” Hermione finished, feeling more hurt than she ever thought possible. She could feel the burning of her tears building up.

“Hermione it’s not that we don’t trust you. We don’t trust them.” Ron replied quietly, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“I know, but please, don’t patronize me and accuse me of not knowing what I am getting myself into, because I know what I’m getting into, believe me.” Hermione finished.

“Alright Hermione. We trust you. We’ll be behind you with whatever you choose, but just remember this, whatever you think you may know, may just as well be a lie.” Harry finished as he nudged Ron by the arm and the two boys strolled out of her dorm, leaving Hermione to be with herself and her tears.


A/N: I hope you loved it! I promise the next updates will NEVER take this long to update.



Chapter 7: The White Tomb
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


A/N: Like I promised, very short updates between chapters! Just a quick little note for the Blase/Hermione lovers, this chapter might change your view on how much you like certain characters. I will just leave it at that, and let you guys read this beautiful chapter!


Hermione painfully woke up the next morning from her couch. She remembered the events of last night, and groaned out loud. Would Harry and Ron still be furious at her? She slowly began seating herself on the couch. The behemoth windows in her room were snowy white. The first traces of winter were finally beginning to show with the season’s first frost.

*

Hermione made her way to the Gryffindor’s table in the Great Hall. She was anxious to sit next to her best friends, but she hesitantly slid into a seat next to Harry.

“Hi.” Hermione said quietly grabbing a piece of toast.

“Good morning.” Harry replied cheerfully. It seemed all was well. Hermione smiled at Ron who smiled back and continued reading the report on last night’s Quidditch game.

It was quiet among them and Hermione could sense the mild tension between them. She sighed and ate her breakfast in complete silence. She glanced over at the Slytherin table, where she caught Blaise’s eyes. He smiled at her, but she only half returned it. Blaise questioningly raised his eyebrows, and Hermione merely shrugged. She set her toast down, and took a final sip of her juice.

“I’m going to go. I have to talk with Professor Vector about something. I’ll see you guys later.” Hermione finished, not waiting for a reply. She casually strolled out of the Great Hall.

She continued walking down the corridor, until she turned a corner and stopped. She leaned against the cold stone, and closed her eyes. A few moments later, as though she was expecting it, she felt Blaise’s presence emerge. A small smile crept up on her lips, as she continued to keep her eyes sealed.

“I hope it’s me you’re waiting for.” Blaise smiled as he stood in front of her. Hermione’s smile only widened further.

“And who else would I be waiting for?” Hermione teased. She still didn’t bother opening her eyes.

“No one, because I’d be enraged with jealousy if I knew that.” Blaise smirked as he walked closer to Hermione.

“Look at me.” He whispered.

Hermione slowly opened her eyes. She met his warm deep blue eyes. His nose slightly gracing her own. She could feel the soft warm breath from his mouth on her supple cheeks. She could feel his lips quivering, only a mere breath away.

“Someone might come.” Hermione whispered. This only seemed to light a fire within Blaise’s eyes. He smiled widely.

“There’s no one now.” Blaise finished, crashing his lips onto hers. He could feel her body tense, but then give way and melt into his arms. Her fingers found their way into his messy hair. He loved the way she tugged on it, demanding control. He fiercely shoved her against the rough stones. Hermione wanted nothing more than to continue, but she couldn’t allow this to happen. Regretting it, even before she moved, she pushed Blaise’s beautiful body away from her. Both were panting loudly. Blaise looked thoroughly confused.

“I’m beginning to think you don’t like me very much Granger.” Blaise confessed with a hint of frustration.

“It’s not that. Believe me, it’s not that. I just don’t want to do it like this. I don’t want someone to walk in on us, or a teacher even. It wouldn’t be right. I’m not like that.” Hermione finished.

“Alright, I get it. So we’ll do it your way.” Blaise smiled. Hermione was overcome with excitement, and hugged him. He embraced her so warmly, Hermione felt like she was melting into his body. Then suddenly a grave thought crept into her mind.

“Blaise, isn’t this odd? I mean, you and me?” Hermione blurted.

“Are you ashamed of me?” Blaise asked. She couldn’t make out the expression of his stone face. She hoped she hadn’t offended him.

“No I’m not ashamed of you! Of course not; how could you possibly insinuate that? It’s just I find this all too strange. It’s so sudden, so impromptu, it’s just hard to wrap around my mind, that’s all.” Hermione replied.

“Then answer my question; you never answered it the other day.” Blaise continued.

“And what question would that be?” Hermione asked. She watched as Blaise, for the first time, relax his face and looked fearful. Fearful in a way of not hearing what he wanted.

“I won’t lie to you Hermione, I’ve had my eye on you for a while now. I’ll explain it to you, but not now. It’s not the time, nor the place. Meet me tonight. Down in the dungeons, I’ll be waiting outside for you.” Blaise finished. The corridor was suddenly filling with students making their way to their first classes of the day.

“Alright, tonight then after dinner?” Hermione confirmed. Blaise nodded, and with the slightest squeeze of her hand, he walked away.

Hermione turned on her heel, and walked the other way towards her Advanced Arithmancy class. She entered the classroom to find that Luna already seated herself. Hermione took the seat next to her.

“Hi Luna.” Hermione greeted.

“Hello there Hermione.” Luna smiled.

“Good morning children! Let us begin!” Professor Vector beamed. Hermione took a quick scan of the room, and noticed that Draco was absent.

“Luna, have you seen Dra- I mean, Malfoy?” Hermione questioned.

“No I haven’t. Why?” Luna asked.

“Girls please open your notebooks.” Professor Vector scolded mildly.

“Sorry Professor.” Hermione blushed. As Professor Vector continued to lecture more about the complexities of numbers, and secret encodings, Hermione found her mind drifting off to the empty seat beside her.

Where could Draco be? She felt a pang of guilt. Perhaps he is absent on my behalf? At this thought Hermione smiled to herself, why would he ever be upset on her behalf? It was a foolish thought. This was after all Draco Malfoy. Even if he was more polite, that didn’t change his core attitude. Yet, Hermione knew something was strange about him being absent from class. Trying to focus on the task at hand, Hermione pushed thoughts of Draco out.

*

“So where are you heading now Gin?” Hermione asked as both girls walked around in the Gryffindor Common room.

“Potions. Kill me.” Ginny moaned. Hermione smiled, as Ginny rolled her eyes at her.

“Well I have free period, so I think I will take a nap. I’ll see you later Gin.” Hermione replied as she walked up to her own portrait. It was of a beautiful woman, draped in the most gorgeous gown Hermione had ever seen. She was a slender woman, with fair skin, and auburn hair. Her eyes were piercing blue, like Draco’s, much to Hermione’s great demise.

“Brittle knots.” Hermione whispered. The woman smiled as the door creaked open.

Hermione walked into her room. It was quite cold from the frost still falling outside. She walked over to the fireplace and with a quick flick of her wand, a glorious fire erupted. She dropped all her books onto the mahogany coffee table in the middle, as she slumped into the couches. Suddenly, her eyes diverted to the window. On the ledge, there was a small package awaiting her. Hermione excitedly walked over to the package, and ripped open the letter’s envelope that was enclosed.

Thinking of you dearly.

All my love,
Your father

Hermione could feel the warmness of the gift her father sent her. She carefully opened the box to reveal a gorgeous bouquet of calla lilies, Hermione’s favorite. They were beautiful. They were far too beautiful to be concealed in a stone cell. Hermione quickly grabbed her trench coat, and slipped into her boots. She grabbed the bouquet, and headed outside. The sun had dipped into the horizon hours ago, and the sky was dark. Yet the illuminating light from winter’s first snow fall was sufficient enough for Hermione to walk around without using the light from her wand. It cascaded onto Hermione’s now rosy cheeks, and plump lips. The small sprinkles of snow were slowly planting themselves onto her hair, almost as to enhance its beauty. Hermione continued walking at a quick pace until she finally reached it. She inhaled sharply, as though the coldness of the air would choke her. She gradually approached it, her heart beating immensely. This was the
first time she visited it, after the burial service last year.

Hermione felt frightened as she neared Dumbledore’s tomb. It stood there illuminating, shining brightly from the snow. The smooth marble was now blanketed by a small sheet of snow. Hermione gently placed the calla lilies on top of his tomb. Tears were lining her lids, as she felt that any moment they would break free and cascade down her face. She let out a shuddering breath, as the coldness of the air licked the tears off her cheeks. Closing her eyes, she heard a sob, one that was not hers. She opened them quickly, and walked around the tomb. The snow crunching beneath her boots would have been a give away if it were a predator. Hermione quickly stopped in her path, and gently touched the tomb for support.

“Oh… oh my, um Draco… I didn’t know you were here.” Hermione said with a coarse tone. The air stole her voice, as she looked away from Draco.

He was sitting on a small boulder beside the tomb. His was skin almost the same pale lifeless color of the snow. His eyes were red, and his body shaking. Hermione examined him further, and then it suddenly rushed over Hermione where he had been all day. He was here, grieving to Dumbledore. He was trying to repay for what he did, trying for some small amount of atonement.

“Draco…” Hermione called, her voice still cracking. He looked up at her. His eyes were painted with red. His once piercing blue eyes were gray, and misty. She slowly walked over to him. He looked awful, less human than she ever imagined. Hermione kneeled down to face him.

“You need to go inside.” Hermione pleaded. He still didn’t respond. He only continued to look at her. His eyes were pleading for her to help him, to save him. She placed her hand on his. The warmth from Hermione’s hand made Draco shiver. He was not expecting such warmth from her, but he continued looking into her eyes.

“You’re ice cold. You’ll freeze yourself to death. Please.” Hermione implored. She wouldn’t let him become an ice sculpture.

“What does it matter?” His voice was so low and thin, that if Hermione had not seen his lips move, she would have sworn he hadn’t said anything at all.

“It matters to me.” Hermione replied breathlessly as the billowing air from her mouth kissed Draco’s nose.

“It’s my fault. Everything is.” Draco confessed, steering his eyes away from Hermione’s to the tomb behind her. She slowly turned her head, and understood.

“Draco, Dumbledore’s death was not your fault. You heard Harry and what he said. You didn’t…” Hermione was cut short.

“So perhaps it wasn’t Dumbledore, but what about Bill Weasley? If it wasn’t for me, those Death Eaters would have never come in that night, Fenrir Greyback would have never…” Draco stopped. It was too much for him. Hermione could see the small stream of tears forming on his face, which she knew were there long before she arrived.

“You couldn’t do anything Draco; it’s not your fault.” Hermione soothed him, as she caressed his icy hands with hers.

“How can you say that after what I have done to you?” Draco asked looking into her eyes once more. She looked confused, so he continued.

“That night, at my Manor… when they brought you home… me… they asked me to identify you. I couldn’t, I didn’t want to but I had to. And then, my wretched aunt she…” Draco’s voice went hoarse, and he couldn’t let anything else come out. Hermione had heard enough. She didn’t care for any of this, only to get Draco safe and warm.

“Draco, I need you to come with me. You have to get warmed up. Please, we can talk when we’re inside.” Hermione said, getting to her feet. Draco looked up to her, and finally gave in. He slowly tried to get to his feet, but his knees gave in and he almost fell. Hermione quickly moved to catch him, but he caught himself. She took his hand to lead him back into the castle. Yet Draco’s hand continued to linger onto the white tomb for a moment.

In that moment he felt a warm sensation running through his body, and it had nothing to do with Hermione’s soft hand in his. He sensed his former Headmaster’s presence, and smiled for the first time calmly. He was at peace with his guilt, because somehow he knew that he had been forgiven.

He allowed Hermione to guide him into the deserted castle. It was most likely late for there was no one in the corridors. She walked him through hall after endless hall. He didn’t recognize the routes, but trusted her direction. Finally they stopped in front of a portrait of a very regal looking man, one with sparkling electric green eyes, and golden hair. He smiled at Hermione as she whispered something Draco could not hear very well, and the portrait swung open. She led him inside, and he soon found himself in her Head’s dorm. She seated Draco onto her couch, and flicked her wand towards the fire place where warm flames erupted.

“Come here.” Hermione said, as she took his hand once more, and led him towards the fire. She seated herself on the floor, onto the softness of the carpet beneath her. Draco reciprocated her movement.

“You should warm up now.” Hermione said quietly. She stopped looking at him, and was concentrating on shedding the layers she was wearing. Draco continued to look at her absently. The feeling was returning to his hands, and legs, his fingers, and face.

“Are you warmer?” Hermione asked looking at Draco once more. He nodded faintly. She smiled, and got to her feet. The clock chimed on top of the mantle, and an immense thought of disappointment filled her. She completely forgot her date with Blaise. Hermione sighed to herself, remembering that this was more important.

“Thank you.” Draco whispered. She turned to look at him standing behind her.

“Yes, well I didn’t want you to freeze to death.” Hermione replied.

He continued to search her face. It was soft, and warm. Draco could smell the saccharine scent of orchids and lilies. Her eyes were twinkling from the dancing flames in the fire. Her hair was slightly damp from the snow. Her cheeks were partially flushed, and her lips plush with color. Draco moved very slowly, making sure not to miss a step and move too quickly. It was like a predator waiting to attack it’s prey. However, Draco was not interested in hunting at all. He had other intentions in mind, more sensual, more intimate, more gentle. Hermione watched as his body edged closer to her own. She slowly walked backwards, until her legs hit the table behind her. She let out a shuddering breath as she could feel the warmth of Draco’s body surrounding her.

Hermione felt his hands first. The tough, coarse hands smoothly landed on her wrists. They slowly made their way up her arms, and rested gracefully on her shoulders. Hermione’s eyes followed their every move, as if it were a ballet. She saw as Draco licked his bottom lip with his tongue. She was waiting for it to happen, longing for it to happen. He blinked at her, but did not smile. He didn’t need to show expression, Hermione could tell by looking into his eyes. Then finally, she felt the roughness of his large hands move. She felt his fingers creep up her neck, and curl their way behind her, right underneath her hair. She breathed in, not wanting to wait for it any longer. She took her hands, and quickly ran them up his chest, and she felt his entire body stiffen. She grabbed onto the collar of his coat, and tugged him towards her roughly, and demandingly. Draco finally smirked, and felt his lips push themselves onto hers. He could taste the sweet peppermint tea lingering in her breath. He could feel the softness of her tongue, the rich taste of her saliva. 

Kissing Hermione was like eating a forbidden fruit; delicious, juicy, and exotic. He felt her fingers release his collar, and worm their way into his golden locks. She pulled his hair so hard, Draco was startled by the intensity of her strength. Finally regaining his composure, he grabbed her waist, and directed her towards a wall. He slammed her body hard against the masonry, as he left her lips for the smooth, milky skin along her neck. He could hear her moan in ecstasy. He felt as though he would die, as she screamed his name. It sounded so nice coming from her voice.

Draco came back up. He was looking right into her eyes, and he could see the longing in them. He could see what she wanted, and why she wanted it. He shivered as he felt a slender finger trace his jaw. She was leaning in to him once more, but he pushed off of her. He looked at her with the deepest regret. Then, before Hermione knew what was happening, he walked out of the room.

Once outside, Draco cursed himself for his actions. She would never love him. He scolded himself for even believing it. He didn’t believe he had any more tears to shed, but it seemed that his body had just enough to mourn for Hermione that night. 

A/N: I personally am torn between Blaise and Draco. What about you guys?

Chapter 8: A Trip to Hogsmeade
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A/N: I was really happy to see the great responses I was getting from all of my lovely reviewers! I hope you guys enjoy this chapter :)

Hermione stood in the midst of the large crowd forming outside. Many anxious students were surrounding her as they waited for Professor McGonagall to give them permission to leave for Hogsmeade.

“Where are my Head Boy and Head Girl?” McGonagall called out. Hermione awkwardly weaved her way out of the crowd and towards the Headmistress. She caught Draco’s gaze as he walked up next to her, but she quickly diverted it.

“Now I need you two to be my other eyes. Be on the look out for any improper behavior, and ensure that the Prefects of not only your respected houses but those of other houses are properly ensuring the rules.” McGonagall finished. Both Hermione and Draco nodded.

As soon as she released them, Hermione sprinted the other way towards Harry and Ron. She was conflict over last night’s events. After Draco had left her in that state she wondered what was happening between them. Moreover, avoiding Draco meant not seeing Blaise as much. She felt so guilty about standing him up, that she couldn’t bare to see him. Hermione decided to bury herself with Harry and Ron. Neither of the Slytherin boys would approach her with them on her side. Besides, she needed some long awaited alone time with her two best friends.

“This is nice isn’t it? I mean, just the three of us. Like old times.” Hermione beamed as they walked towards Hogsmeade.

“Oh yeah, except this will be one of the few times something completely bizarre won’t happen. Or that we won’t be under Harry’s cloak.” Ron noted. Both Harry and Hermione laughed. She really had missed their company very much indeed. After a short distance, they reached the small village on the outskirts of Hogwarts.

“So where to first?” Hermione asked.

“Harry and I wanted to check out Zonko’s.” Ron piped up.

“Uh, that’s completely and utterly mundane. I’m going to go to Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop. Let’s meet up at Honeydukes? Hermione replied. Both Ron and Harry rolled their eyes, and agreed. But before they walked away, Hermione herd Ron mutter:

“Scrivenshaft’s? And she thinks we’re mundane.”

Laughing at herself, she headed the opposite direction to the small shop. She only walked a small distance before heavy snowfall began to ensue. She could hear many people running around, as the crunching of their boots grew louder. She smiled pleasantly feeling the snug warmness of her school robes. She suddenly heard the crunching of another pair of shoes and turned to face Blaise. He walked in stride with her, before she stopped.

Hermione felt a terrible stone hit her stomach. How would she explain to Blaise that she ditched him for his best friend? And on top of that, almost snogged the daylights out of him. Luckily Blaise spoke first.

“Hi.” He said quietly. He tried to hide his expression, but Hermione could tell his anger was just behind those perfect jaw bones.

“Blaise, about last night I’m so…”

“Where were you?”

Hermione breathed in sharply, and looked down at her feet.

“I had to help someone.”

“I waited for nearly an hour before I saw Filtch’s cat turn the corner, and so I left.” He replied. He didn’t have to say much; Hermione already knew the disappointment in his voice.

“I’m really sorry Blaise. I wouldn’t have missed it if it wasn’t important.” Hermione finished.

He continued looking behind her. She watched as the snow gently fell on his luscious locks, as he flipped his hair to move them away. His dazzling warm blue eyes shimmered in the illuminating softness of the pearly white frost beneath them. His lips were pink, and parted slightly. She watched his chest heave in and out for oxygen. Watching his was like watching a perfectly orchestrated ballet; each movement beautiful and graceful.

“How can I make it up to you?” Hermione replied earnestly. Blaise turned to look at her. His gaze was stern, and his eyes were emotionless. For a moment Hermione thought he was going to laugh in her face and walk away from her. But he didn’t. He remained firm on his ground, looking down at Hermione from his brilliant height.

“Meet me at Madam Puddifoot’s.” Blaise said simply.

“Isn’t that a bit, um, I don’t know… stuffy?” Hermione replied. She dreaded entering the one insufferable café were all of the obnoxiously affectionate couples would display each other’s admiration for their partners in the midst of frilly linen table cloths, and the flowery laced napkins.

Blaise looked at her for a few more moments of awkward silence, until he broke out into the greatest laughter she heard. Hermione was confused, and slightly taken back. Was he laughing at me?

“You said you wanted to make it up to me.” Blaise replied, now with a hint of humor in his voice. He was back to his jubilant, charming, intoxicatingly handsome self.

“Well… yes alright.” Hermione answered feeling defeated. She smiled at him, as he took her hand, and reeled her into his body. She could feel his hot breath on her. He smiled one more time, before he kissed her hard on her lips. It was a burning sensation on Hermione’s lips. As they parted, he winked at her.

“I’ll see you in half an hour!” Blaise called behind him. Hermione smiled to herself. As she turned, she spotted Draco leaning against a wall of a shop starring at her blankly.

Hermione quickly looked down at her shoes. For some reason, they seemed incredibly interesting at the moment. When she finally was able to tear her eyes away from the snow sodden shoes, she found Draco walking away from her. She sped up her pace, and called out to him.

“Wait! Malfoy! Come back!” Hermione called out. Many passer bys gave her odd looks as she smiled half heartedly at them. She finally ran up to catch up with him.

“Why are you…”

“So we’re on last name terms now?” Draco replied angrily.

“Last names? You’ve never called me Hermione!” Hermione replied. She was outraged. He stopped at looked at her. He could almost see the steam billowing from her head. She was fuming inside with anger. He knew it was about to erupt any moment. Then suddenly, images of Hermione and Blaise holding hands, and kissing in the snow gave his stomach acids reason to burn him inside. The mere thought of them together brought a foul taste into his mouth.

“Leave me alone Granger.” Draco spat. He was rough in his tone. That is how he has to be. And then he saw it. All traces of anger were relished from her face, as sadness took form. She was hurt, and he knew it. What was worse, he was causing her pain.

“That’s not what you were saying last night.” Hermione whispered in a dangerously low tone. Draco felt foolish. He could never have the upper hand in Hermione’s heart. He licked his lips, and ran a hand through his hair. It was soft and moist. He looked Hermione straight in the eyes.

“I’m sorry.” Draco replied. For a moment Hermione thought her ears were deceiving her. But then he said it again.

“I’m sorry.”

Hermione knew he meant it. She watched him walk away from her; this time she didn’t bother stopping him. She turned around and made her way into Honeydukes. She realized Harry and Ron would be waiting for her.

*

“Hermione where are you going?” Ron asked as Hermione was walking towards the door.

“Oh Ron, I need to get some new dress robes. It shouldn’t take too long. But if you get tired of waiting, you can just head back to the castle.” Hermione lied. She felt awful for doing so. She didn’t need to, but it would be a lot easier than dealing with their reactions if she told them she was meeting Blaise.

“Do you want us to come with you?” Harry asked as he fought his way through the crowd. She knew she couldn’t lie to Harry. He would easily see through her pathetic cover up.

“No it’s alright. I don’t want you to be bothered.” Hermione replied, trying to avoid Harry’s gaze. He narrowed his eyes at her. She caught his eyes examining her. For a flicker of a moment she realized that he understood, and with the faintest nod, he ushered Ron to come with him to buy more sweets. Reminding herself to thank Harry later, she gratefully walked out of the door.

Hermione knew she probably was running late, as she quickened her pace towards the frilly little cafe. It was decorated in a powdery blue, with lavender table cloths, and puffy pink napkins. There were flowers everywhere, with a strong smell of sweetness circulating throughout the entire café. As she opened the door, a small bell above her head rang, as many couples sitting in the front looked at her, and then turned back to their business. Hermione scanned the room until she found Blaise sitting farthest in the back. Hermione laughed as she saw how uncomfortable he looked sitting in the table that was clearly too small. She walked over to him.

“Hey stranger.” Hermione whispered coolly as she took her seat opposite Blaise. He smiled wickedly at her.

“I almost thought you wouldn’t show up.” He smirked. Hermione’s smile faltered a bit, but she regained her composure. She rolled her eyes, and smirked at him.

“I wouldn’t do that to you.” Hermione replied simply.

“Right, well would you like some tea?” Blaise asked.

“Actually, I brought you something. It’s sort of my apology gift.” Hermione confessed as she revealed a green box, with a large brown ribbon tightly secured around it that met at the top with a bow. There was a golden tag on the side that blazoned the words: HONEYDUKES.

“You’re buying my forgiveness now? I thought Gryffindors were brave.” Blaise teased. Hermione gave him a scolding look.

“Well if you don’t want it, then I should perhaps give it to my other boyfriend.” The words slipped out before Hermione knew what she was saying. The color completely vanished from her face.

“What did you just say?” Blaise asked apprehensively.

“I… uh. I didn’t mean it. It just came out wrong…” Hermione struggled.

“No. I liked it.” Blaise finished for her. He was smiling ear to ear. A wave of relief flashed her face, as she smiled sweetly. Hermione felt Blaise’s hand on hers, as she looked down at the big green box between them.

“Stay here. I need to go use the bathroom for a second.” Blaise said, kissing Hermione’s hand. He got up and walked away. Hermione observed the room. Their table was the farthest back, and away from most of the snooty couples kissing, and smothering each other with ‘No I love you more’. Hermione laughed at their stupidity. She was so intent on watching the amusing scene in front of her that she hadn’t even realized that the seat opposite her was occupied.

“Oh Blaise you’re back.” Hermione beamed. Her smile quickly vanished from her face.

“What are you doing here?”

“You’re suddenly sorry to see me?” Draco asked. He was smirking at her.

“Blaise will be back any moment.” Hermione replied bored, but Draco could sense the anxiety in her voice.

“I’ll be long gone before then.” Draco coolly replied. To Hermione’s great surprise, she felt a leg slowly creeping up her own. She could feel Draco’s shoe as it slithered up her own leg. Hermione quickly slapped it.

“Stop this. If Blaise sees…” Hermione began.

“Haven’t I already told you Granger he won’t.” Draco replied calmly, as he took Hermione’s hand.

“Someone will…”

“You really need to learn to stop talking.” Draco said firmly. Hermione’s mouth snapped shut. She felt scandalized for being treated like a marionette. She was even more frustrated with herself for being allowed to be treated that way.

“Draco, we can’t do this.” Hermione said very calmly.

“And why not? I hate the way he looks at you. The way he’s always calling on you, asking you to meet him here and there. You know what I had to listen to last night? How ‘terribly hurt’ he was when you didn’t meet with him last night. I wanted to tell him the truth, but I figured you wouldn’t like me very much after that.” Draco finished. His face was edging closer to Hermione’s.

“But Blaise, he’s your…”

“I don’t care. Every time he looks at you, I want to jinx him into blindness.” Draco finished with a firm hatred in his voice. Hermione was unsure whether she should say anything or not. But before she could respond, she felt the familiar sensation of cool mint on her lips. She could taste the wonderfulness of Draco. His tender flesh on her own sent chills down her spine. She moaned slightly into his mouth, and then realized what they were doing. Yet, before she could protest, Draco pulled off, and walked away through the darkness of the side doors. Hermione looked harassed, and desperately scanned the room to see if anyone had seen what just occurred. To her greatest relief everyone was consumed in their own affairs.

She quickly rubbed her lips, as she made out Blaise’s body coming from the side of the corner. She smiled at him as he sat down opposite her.

“Now, let me see what’s inside this marvelous box.” Blaise smirked. He gently tugged on the ribbon to release it. He ripped off the wrapping paper, and opened the golden box. Inside were assorted sweets, and goods. A small bit of Honeydukes inside a golden package. Blaise removed one of the flaming red lollipops from the box, and saw that inside the lollipop were the words, I’m Sorry engraved. He looked up at Hermione who merely shrugged.

“Let’s go.” Blaise said.

“But I thought you wanted to come here?” Hermione asked confused.

“Yes, and now I want to leave.” Blaise said urgently, as he shoved the box into his bag of new robes, and took Hermione by the arm.

“Why?” Hermione asked as he shoved past the small tables.

“Because the things I’m thinking of doing to you just wouldn’t be appropriate for this small shop to handle.” Blaise smirked.

Once outside, the snow was falling harder. Blaise quickly whipped Hermione through the crowd, until he finally turned a sharp corner that she did not recognize. He dropped his bags, and before Hermione knew what was happening his arms were around her. She exhaled sharply. The touch of Blaise was something she would never get used to. She could smell the musky cologne combined with the moistness of the snow.

His soft lips crashed down onto hers, reeling her into him. He was so unlike Draco in all ways Hermione thought as she kissed him back. His lips were soft, and plush; whereas Draco’s were rough and cold. Yet, kissing Blaise was gentle and caressing; no matter how rough he tried to make it. With Draco it was raw, and passionate. With Draco, his emotions were almost tangible.
Blaise pulled himself off, only to rest his head onto Hermione’s. She felt the coolness of his breath on her face.

“Tell me, what are you thinking about?” Blaise asked.

“You.” Hermione lied.

She slowly moved in to kiss him again. For her, this was right. Blaise was right, he was ideal, he was the better choice. Still, as the darkness engulfed them in their private corner, she couldn’t help but think of Draco’s striking crystal eyes, and the minty taste of his lips. 

A/N: Let me know what you think!  I still don't know who I like better between Blaise and Draco. I just don't understand why I couldn't have both ;)

Chapter 9: An Early Present
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A/N: Hey loves! Sorry I couldn't get this chapter to you sooner. It's been waiting forever to finally get posted. What with the queue closure and all. :) I hope everyone had a great holiday and happy new years! Sorry this isn't a particularly long chapter. I needed a filler for the next one.


As the weeks went by, almost every student in Hogwarts was anticipating the upcoming holiday break. Well, everyone that is, except for Hermione.

“You’re going to be gone for the entire break?” Hermione whined.

“Yes. I told you I’m not thrilled either but my parents have some important trip they want to take me on. They say it’s all got to do with ‘my vibrant future’. Or some other rubbish along those lines.” Blaise moaned as he walked in unison with Hermione out of the library.

“And what do you suppose I do the entire time you’re gone?” Hermione playfully asked.

“You knit don’t you? Why don’t you knit me up some knickers I can wear…” Blaise began but was slapped across the head with one of Hermione’s textbooks.

“You’re a prat.” Hermione hissed as she quickened her pace away from Blaise.

“Oh, it’s not like you’re really upset!” Blaise called after her. She turned her head to give him a scolding look when she suddenly bumped into someone.

“Ouch!” Hermione let out.

“You should watch where you’re going Granger.” Draco fumed. Blaise quickly ran up to the both of them. He wormed his arm around Hermione’s body and pulled her closer to him.

“Hey mate.” Blaise smiled. Draco wanted to vomit as he watched Blaise slither his arm around Hermione’s body, his body. Draco gave him a stern look.

“What the bloody hell is your problem?” Blaise asked.

“Nothing.” Draco replied coldly as he shoved past them. Blaise merely shrugged to Hermione and bent lower to plant an apologetic kiss upon her lips. Draco watched from the corner of his eye before turning the corridor. He wanted nothing more than to murder Blaise right there. He wouldn’t even need his wand; he would do it cold heartedly with his bare hands. His beautiful icicle eyes turned storm grey with rage. Before the rage could consume him, he walked away.

“Oh alright then! Send me a postcard?” Hermione asked as she and Blaise walked hand in hand.

“I will.” Blaise smiled.

“So here we are; your Head’s dorm.” Blaise shrugged.

“I’m really going to miss you Blaise.” Hermione confessed as he wrapped her into a tight hug.

“I know. How will you function without me?” Blaise commented teasingly. Hermione nudged him away.

“I’m only joking! But honestly, I’m going to miss you like crazy.” Blaise smiled.

Hermione stood there in the dimness taking in all that was Blaise. His beautiful dark locks were so luscious that she wanted nothing more than to run her fingers through them. His olive skin was glittering in the candlelight. She gazed into his ocean blue eyes and felt her knees tremble. A strange feeling overcame Hermione; one that was very un-Hermione like. She sleekly smirked.

“Do you want to come in? We could spend a little more time together?” Hermione suggested.

“Yeah, I would like that.” Blaise replied. She led him by the hand into her dorm.

It was as if she was in the body of a complete stranger. Hermione was always slightly awkward in intimate moments. Yet as she walked into her dormitory, she was completely calm. Peeling off her school robes, she turned to Blaise.

“This is magnificent.” Blaise breathed as he looked up to the ceiling where nothing but smooth twinkling glass lay.

“I’m glad you like it.” Hermione smiled as she walked over to him. She gently pressed her lips onto his. As she recited a simple incantation silently, a great fire erupted in the fireplace. She took Blaise’s hand and led him towards it.

In that moment Hermione could see nothing but Blaise. His warm navy blue eyes melting her honey ones. She gently bent down to sit on the floor that was covered with a grand carpet as soft as cashmere. Hermione could feel her breathing quicken as she lured Blaise in closer to her; somehow the warmth of the fire was not enough for her. She needed Blaise’s body to mold into her. Her mind didn’t once flutter to Draco, or to what the consequences of this night could have.

He was the first to move. He cupped her chin into his warm supple hands. Hermione let out of a moan of ecstasy into his mouth. The very distinct taste of Blaise was something she could never get used to. It was a catalyst that propelled her to move forward, faster and harder. She instantly grabbed his shirt and pressed him closer to her body. The clothes between them were making Hermione impatient. Her frustration with them drove Hermione to be even more rugged. She slammed Blaise’s body onto the carpet and straddled him. She began tearing off his shirt, ignoring the little snowdrop buttons sprinkling everywhere. Her lips found the olive skin. She licked every inch of his creamy neck and back up to his jaw line. The heat from the friction between his body and hers made Hermione’s milky skin glisten.

Blaise obliging, began undoing Hermione’s blouse with a little more patience than she had. Hermione made her way to the skirt wrapped around her waist. Once again frustration began boiling into her as the zipper was stuck.

“Uh Blaise help me get this bloody thing off!” Hermione fumed. Blaise gently pulled Hermione on top his lap as she sat up. His hands grabbed her own.

“Hermione. Hermione look at me! Wait!” Blaise called.

“What!?” Hermione bellowed.

“What are you doing?” Blaise asked. Hermione’s panting eased down a bit.

“I… I don’t know.” Hermione finished. She was so sure only a moment ago precisely what she wanted to do to him.

“Look I understand you have urges, believe me Hermione so do I. More than you can possibly imagine. Sometimes I just don’t want to let go of you but I know I have to.” Blaise stated. Hermione sat there unaware of what she should say. Blaise continued.

“You don’t need to do this if you don’t want to. I’m not forcing you or even suggesting it to you. I won’t ever do anything that’s uncomfortable with you.” Blaise finished. His sincerity made Hermione think twice about her decision. To her greatest regret she thought of Draco in that one moment. She thought of how if it was Draco, she would never have to think twice on it; it would be automatic, natural even. The thought passed as quickly as it came. She smiled sincerely at Blaise and kissed him with such intensity that she could feel herself shake.

“I want you Blaise. More than anything.” Hermione simply put. He never questioned her after that. This time Blaise was on top of her.

She smiled knowing that Blaise would soon be hers entirely. Consumed by the thought Hermione quickly grabbed a chunk of his hair and reeled him into her. This time her skirt came off smoothly. As the final layers of each of their clothing were taken off it was well into the night. Hermione looked out into the stars from the ceiling thinking about how perfect this night is. She could feel every bare inch of Blaise and it was more than nirvana. She closed her eyes before she felt a small sting of pain as she stiffened her body and then soon relaxed. After a couple of times, the pain eased and was replaced by the most exotic feeling in the world.

She looked into Blaise’s eyes and saw it there. He didn’t need to say it, but she knew it was there. It was as if his eyes were sketched just for Hermione to read. And yet just when she thought the moment couldn’t be any more heavenly he said it:

“I love you.”

*
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with us Hermione? I know Mum will want to see you. Besides, I don’t think Gin really likes being the only girl at home on the holidays.” Ron shrugged.

“Ginny has Harry. I think she’ll be fine.” Hermione responded as she helped Ron put his trunks onto the dazzling scarlet train.

“Yeah, but she won’t have every moment with Harry.” Ron continued.

“Ron, are you sure you’re not going to be the lonely one?” Hermione asked smiling. Ron blushed slightly.

“It’s just weird not having you around so much you know? I feel like we’re not even friends anymore.” Ron confessed. Hermione could tell he had vowed to keep this to himself, yet it could no longer be denied. Hermione took Ron’s hand and caressed it soothingly.

“Ron, you will always be my best friend. There will never be anything in this world that I could care for, or cherish more than you. Just remember that. I know I haven’t been able to be there all the time, but I swear Ron I still love you, more than anything.” Hermione finished. She felt guilty for abandoning Ron lately.

“I know. I’m going to miss you that’s all. Well Happy Christmas.” Ron sighed. He hugged Hermione one last time before making his way into the train.

“I hope you can save some of that love for me.” She heard a smooth cool voice call from behind her. Smirking to herself she turned around to find Blaise in a sleek black wool coat and perfectly tailored pants in charcoal.

“It depends.” Hermione teased. Blaise glided forward. It always seemed that no matter what, his motions were always so fluid and synchronized.

“Depends on what?” Blaise questioned as he stepped even closer.

“How badly you want it.”

“If you would like me to prove it again I still have a couple of minutes before the train leaves.” Blaise smirked. Hermione chuckled as she nudged him. He took her arms and embraced her into a tight hug.

“I will miss you. Especially the smell of your hair.” Blaise breathed in the sweetest aroma of orchids and lilies.

“You should go.” Hermione said as she pulled away from him. Good-byes were most definitely not her strong points. The roar of the steam engine startled her a bit. Blaise kissed her partially chapped lips one last time before he left. He smiled sweetly and stepped onto the train. Stupidly waving good-bye, Hermione turned her back and made her way into the castle.

The merry atmosphere did nothing to help her feel better. Although the castle was decorated in its usual festive garlands and such Hermione found nothing jolly or happy about it. Not only was Blaise gone, but so was Harry, Ron, and Ginny. Both Neville and Luna were going to Neville’s house for the holidays.

“Well it’s me myself and I for the next two weeks I guess.” Hermione admitted to no one in particular.

“Didn’t I tell you that there’s probably a ward in St. Mungo’s about people who talk to themselves?” She heard an icy voice call from behind her. The rude remark didn’t even bother her so much. She knew exactly who the voice belonged to and for some unknown reason, it excited her. Perhaps she wouldn’t be so alone for this break.

“You’re real funny.” Hermione retorted as she turned to face Draco.

“I’m surprised you didn’t go with Saint Potter or Weasel.” Draco commented idly as he walked up to her.

“Snapped back into your normal self have you?” Hermione asked coldly. If he was going to pretend he didn’t change, why should she?

Draco’s face changed slightly; he knew she was right. Why was he acting like a prat? There was barely anyone in the castle to watch how he behaved, not that it mattered much anyway.

“I’m sorry.” He replied quietly. Hermione rolled her eyes and continued walking. He followed behind.

“You know, I don’t know why you bother putting up a fake pretense for me.” She commented.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Draco replied.

“You’re doing it right now! There’s no one here Draco, just be yourself and stop trying to show me the twelve different faces of you, and just talk to me! Honestly who are you trying to impress or convince?” Hermione finished walking away from him.

Draco watched her walk away yet he didn’t say anything for a couple of minutes. It wasn’t until she was already half way down the corridor that he spoke.

“You’re right.” He mumbled. Hermione turned around.

“What did you say?”

Draco paused for a couple of seconds before he said it again.

“You’re right. I don’t know why I put up a mask in front of you. You of all people.” Draco finished more as if he was addressing himself rather than Hermione.

“What do you…” Hermione began because she didn’t quite understand.

“I’ll explain, just not tonight.” Draco stated.

“Tomorrow.” Hermione declared more than questioned.

“Tomorrow.” Draco complied and walked the opposite way. Hermione stood perfectly still unaware of the deal she got herself into. Finally maybe after all these years she would know the true story behind Draco’s steel mask. It frightened her to discover the truth, yet the idea thrilled her inside.

Thinking of everything that could be explained to her, and all the questions finally being answered. Yet no matter how excited she was, a part of her still clung onto the mystery that was Draco. And a strong part of her, much too strong for her to ever admit to herself, wanted the mystery to stay. She curiously enjoyed the unsolvable puzzle, the winding maze that kept morphing when you got too close to the golden prize in the center. Pressing all thoughts of Draco out, she walked back into her dorm and fell asleep to the beautiful memories of Blaise from the night before.


A/N: Was it horrible? Good? Plain? Let me know!

Chapter 10: What I Never Knew
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A/N: Hey lovely readers! I wanted to say thank you for everyone who reviewed last chapter and a big thank you to all the new reviewers who liked my story as well. Now on with the story! Oh, and just to warn you, all my TEAM DRACO people out there will love this. Sorry TEAM BLAISE. :)





It was a mere four days before Christmas and the heavy snowfalls already began to ensue. Hermione woke up from the fever of the winds bustling against her window. Groggily waking up, she turned to her clock, 8 o’clock. Who in their right mind wakes up at 8 in the morning during the holidays?

Sighing to herself, she walked to her bathroom to prepare for the day.

*
Hermione walked somberly into the Great Hall. It was almost entirely empty with the except of a few students who stayed behind, like herself. She spotted Draco sitting amidst a small group of Slytherins, all of whom she was sure were younger than him. She couldn’t help but laugh when Draco annoyingly nodded his head every now and then to show he was indeed listening to their useless ramblings.

He quickly spotted Hermione across the Hall. Thank God he thought. He made slight eye contact with her. Hermione acknowledged by a simple nod. Draco brusquely stood up without even the slightest good bye to his “companions” and walked out of the Great Hall. About a minute or so, Hermione followed. As she turned the corner, a rough cold hand grabbed her arm.

“You could have just said hello.” Hermione replied eying Draco’s tight hold on her.

“Let’s go down to the Lake.” Draco responded as though Hermione hadn’t spoken a single word.

“It’s a bit cold don’t you think?” Hermione continued as she pointed her face towards the storm outside.

“You act as though you know no magic at all.” Draco joked as he took her outside.

“Draco wait! Fine if you want to go to the lake alright! Just let me go back and get a coat or something! You might care about freezing to death, but I do. I’ll meet you there in twenty minutes.” Hermione said as she freed her arm and walked back towards her dorm. There was no way she would let him freeze her to death!

After Hermione felt sufficiently warm, she made her way down to the Lake. She immediately spotted Draco. He was impossible to miss. His golden hair shimmered in the lightness of the snow. His jet black coat stood out like a needle in the frosty whiteness around him. But what threw Hermione off her nerves was just how clearly she could see his eyes. She always thought they were rather unique, yet right now for some reason they glowed. She inhaled sharply and made sure it wasn’t the frigid air that was making her see things. No, his eyes, his beautiful icicle eyes glowed in the presence of snow. It was as though the coldness and ice were a part of him. The frozen mist radiated his skin and made him seem inhumanely beautiful.

Slowly trying to ingest all that was Draco, Hermione continued to walk towards him. The coldness was biting into her skin, and it wasn’t even fifteen minutes of her waiting outside. Yet, the coldness seemed to disappear as she got closer to Draco.

“Nice affect.” Hermione complimented as she approached him.

“Like I said, you act as though you’ve never known how do to magic.” Draco smirked. It made Hermione’s feet melt into the snow. Oh how clever of Draco to cast a warming charm around the area.

“So, how did you sleep last night?” Hermione asked casually as to start up conversation. Draco raised an eyebrow.

“Wonderfully.” He replied.

“Right. Well, what did you have to tell me” Hermione figured she might as well straight to it; what’s the point of beating around the bush?

Draco seemed to freeze for a moment, unable to figure out where he should begin. Closing his eyes for a moment, he looked deep in concentration.

“I’m sorry.” He figured this was a good start.

“For?” Hermione asked genuinely confused. He opened his eyes and turned to face her.

“For everything. Every single moment I put you in misery. It was always ‘part of the plan’ or some stupid covering I used. I never wanted to say it, never. Why would I say that, to you. But, it was the only way out, the only option I sought. Stupidly of course. It was always a premature decision on my behalf. Why should I ever have to think things through when others can do it for me?” Draco ended with hatred etched into his face.

Hermione stood there gravely confused. What was he talking about?

“Draco, I’m not quite sure I understand…”

“Don’t you? Don’t you see what all this means? All those years never meant anything! It was all a hoax, an impenetrable fog to confuse everyone! Oh God can’t you see!? I never meant to call you a Mudblood, it was just so appropriate for hiding. It was the perfect cover. No one would suspect it, that I Draco Malfoy, son of one of the oldest and purest wizarding families in all of history could possibly fall for a bushy haired, know it all, Muggle born. It was Merope Gaunt all over again wasn’t it?

“I never hated you Granger, never. It killed me inside to say those names to you, to watch you in pain. And that day, third year when you punched me, it was the first time I felt you. You have absolutely no idea what that did to me. I couldn’t even feel the pain; all I could sense was the tingling of your skin on mine. It’s always been this way. Always.”

Hermione stood immobile. All these years it was nothing but a lie, a cover up so that no one would suspect him. Draco Malfoy, the coldest person she’s ever known, was nothing but a lie.

“Draco I…” Hermione croaked but nothing came out. What do you say in a time like this?

“Please don’t hate me. You should, believe me, I would rather you hate me so it would be that much easier to forget you, but I couldn’t stand the idea of not knowing what you’re thinking.” Draco lightened his tone. He still kept his distance from her, knowing if he got too close, his emotions would take over.

“I don’t hate you, you know that.” Hermione replied quietly. “This is just a lot to take in.”

He nodded in agreement. She looked past him onto the glistening lake. It was so easy yesterday, Blaise was hers and Draco a mere extra in the background of the picture. Yet now Draco seemed impossible to ignore. His golden locks were wrestling with the wind, casting shadows upon his face. Hermione was unable to form a single coherent sentence. Her mind was scrambling with all this new information. Draco however interrupted her thoughts.

“Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still the cold hearted person I was, I am. I haven’t changed Granger just because I’m relaying these secrets to you. I am still the selfish person I have always been. It would be in your best interests if you didn’t stay near me.” Draco replied hinting a familiar iciness in his voice.

“I don’t believe that.” Hermione whispered.

“And why not?” Draco egged on.

“Because, you have changed. I don’t… I don’t think you really are as selfish and cruel as you make yourself out to be. I just don’t believe that anymore.” Hermione finished. She was completely unaware if this was all a trap or not, but she waited for him to respond.

“Then you’re more naïve than I would have assumed.” Draco finished walking away from her. The warming charm immediately wore off as he walked away. Hermione was quickly enveloped in the bitter coldness of the winter storm and Draco’s harsh words. She just simply wouldn’t believe that Draco really didn’t change. She could sense it in his eyes and the way he spoke.

No, Draco had changed, very much. She was sure of it.

*

“Hey Granger!” Draco called out.

Hermione quickly turned around.

“Yes?” She asked.

“What are you doing?” Draco questioned. Not realizing what his point was Hermione confusingly replied.

“I’m going to the library?”

“Do you want to do something fun?” Draco asked with a signature smirk plastered onto his perfect face.

“Fun? The library is…”

“Please spare me the lecture. I need your help and your going to willingly oblige.” Draco pursued as he took Hermione by the arm and her towards his Head’s Dorm.

“Where are you taking me?” Hermione questioned. She didn’t particularly enjoy being dragged across the castle.

“Icicles.” Draco said to a beautiful painting of a woman. She smiled sweetly at him and swung open. Hermione quickly put two and two together; hello Draco’s bedroom.

“Why am I here?” Hermione asked. She took in his living quarters and they were simply breathtaking. The entire room was covered in liquid silver and emerald green. Gemstones of former Slytherin prodigies were embellished into the finery of the common room. Turning her body around she could see that he too had a glass ceiling from which snow was now accumulated.

“I need you to help me with something.” Draco continued smirking.

“And what would that be?” Hermione asked looking at Draco. She had absolutely no idea what was happening.

“Are you in the mood for decorating a Christmas tree?’ Draco asked with a cocked eyebrow.

Was he serious? Hermione looked bewildered but when his face did not change, she realized that he was not joking.

“Um, yeah sure.” Hermione replied. This was beyond anything her wildest imagination would have stirred. Draco seemed very pleased with himself.

“Alright then, let’s begin.” He walked over to the massive Christmas tree that was in the center of the beautiful common room. He whipped his wand out from his back pocket.

“What are you doing?” Hermione asked eyeing his wand.

“Decorating.” Draco replied pointing his wand at a small glass ornament and whisking it towards the tree where it gently rested. Hermione walked up to him and grabbed his hand.

“If you’re going to decorate you should do it the conventional way.” She replied taking his wand.

“And what’s the conventional way?’ Draco asked.

“By hand of course.” Hermione beamed as she took out another glass ornament and placed it on one of the tree’s branches.

Draco looked flabbergasted.

*

After several hours and a few scratches later, both Hermione and Draco sat on the floor of the common room marveling at the tree before them.

“It’s rather beautiful, don’t you think?” Hermione asked gazing up at the tree.

“Yeah it is.” Draco replied looking straight at her. The glowing candle light illuminated Hermione beautifully he thought. The calm, serene aroma she gave off was intoxicating.

“So tell me about your life.” Hermione asked idly as she casually looked back at Draco.

“What do you want to know?” He asked leaning back against the couch.

“What was it like growing up as a Malfoy?” She looked at Draco and could see his body stiffen a bit. His jaw clenched but it released as soon as she spotted it.

“Probably nothing like how you grew up that’s for sure. No fairy tales or make believe. No, not when you’re a Malfoy. It’s only facts and status, or at least that’s what father always said. He wasn’t particularly loving, yet I can’t say he was as horrid as they make him to be. He did what he had to do for his family you know? Can you really blame a man for being desperate enough to murder for the sake of his wife and child?” Draco paused.

Hermione never considered this before. She nodded in agreement.

“But then what would life be without a little corruption right? I guess the whole high in power title got to father’s head. Not that I minded because I was absolutely at the top of my game. Good grades, great clothes, an immeasurable amount of wealth, girls at my disposal, and so so much more. But it wasn’t until the Dark Lord’s real return that it all went downhill for me.” Draco paused again. His last sentence was etched with bitterness that Hermione detected. She was so engrossed into his story, she had to remind herself to breathe.

“He came to father for me. We all knew it was to punish father for his mistake in the Hall of Prophecies. No one ever dared to say it aloud, but we all knew. I was more than ready to step up to the plate. I was so naïve. The reality only donned on me when I realized he didn’t want me to succeed. No he didn’t think I would, he just wanted me to die trying. It was all part of the punishment. You know even then, even during his height, I never once wanted to hurt you. It was all so strange. I wanted to serve, to please the Dark Lord, to be branded by him. It was a sick obsession. Yet throughout all of it, I never wanted you to be hurt, never.” Draco stopped for a moment to observe Hermione.

She looked completely in shock and unable to comprehend anything other than Draco in that moment.

“Are you alright?” Draco asked. He hesitated to move his hand on hers but the thought killed itself before he allowed it to continue. He reminded himself it was better if he didn’t. He reminded himself of his mistake before.

“Yes, I’m fine.” Hermione barely spoke the words. “Please, continue.”

Nodding, Draco continued his story.

“It was near to impossible to fix those cabinets. Impossible. But somehow I managed. That night is so clear and vivid in my mind I don’t think I will ever be rid of the shame I felt for it.” Draco looked down. Hermione knew where this was headed; she knew that he was about to reveal to her what Harry never did; he would tell her exactly what happened that night on the tower during Dumbledore’s death.

“He was defenseless, alone, and crippled. It was the perfect opportunity but I couldn’t do it. I don’t know why; I just couldn’t. He was at my mercy; just one flick and it would all be done. I wasn’t born a murderer and I think that mental fight drove me insane. Dumbledore, he, offered to help me; to protect me and my family. I wanted to accept it so badly. Every sane fiber within me told me to accept, yet I didn’t know how. But then it all happened so quickly. The others made their way upstairs and I lost the will to give in. Snape came and finished the job, clean and fast and got me out of there. The look in Dumbledore’s eyes that shined life for the last time haunted me for months, months. The death always felt like it was on my hands. It killed me, you have no idea.” Draco finished softly.

Hermione didn’t even think; she instinctively moved over to Draco and embraced him. Her sudden affection took Draco by surprise but he accepted her. They remained in that position for hours, possibly days. Hermione didn’t want to let go of him. She pulled away a little only to see his wonderful features better. She traced his jaw with her fingers gingerly. She looked into his eyes, those beautiful silver icicle eyes. And then, she wasn’t sure why it happened or what caused her to remember it, but the image of a smiling Blaise crept into her mind. Turning harshly away from Draco she stood up quite suddenly. Draco looked at her with intense curiosity.

“What’s wrong?” Draco asked.

“I have to go.” Hermione replied rushing to leave his presence before she crumbled into her bulging urges. Draco grabbed a hold of her elbow.

“Why?” Draco demanded.

She just looked into his face. He examined her and then the small twinkling in her eyes gave her away.

“It’s Blaise isn’t it?” Draco asked harshly. His tone was filled with the same hatred he expressed before.

“I have to go.” Hermione responded quietly and stormed out of the room. She could not get sucked into Draco again.

Draco was left alone with his raging thoughts. She was in the presence of him, yet she thought of Blaise! What was wrong with him? Could he do nothing to get her to like him? Draco punched the wall next to him with all his strength. The impact shredded Draco’s skin and revealed shimmering crimson blood. Thankful for something to get his mind off of Hermione and Blaise, Draco tended to his wound. He needed to clear his mind of all things Hermione, just for this one night.


A/N: Well, did you like it? :)

Chapter 11: Christmas Eve
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A/N: Hello once again! I hope you all enjoyed the last chapter. Once again, my TEAM DRACO lovers will, hopefully, like this chapter.





The looming Christmas day that was before Hermione made her feel slightly anxious spending it completely alone this year. What drove her to stay in Hogwarts completely bewildered her. Sure her parents were away in Turkey for business, but she was more than welcome at the Burrow. A little alone time was what she was hoping to accomplish, yet with Malfoy always a step away, it was getting close to impossible to have a moment alone time.

Hermione didn’t know why Draco made it so hard to stay committed to Blaise. Oh sweet, beautiful, innocent Blaise Hermione thought. She felt awful for even contemplating infidelity. Yet Draco was addicting. Whether it was his silver eyes or the glossy locks upon his head, she did not know. Perhaps it was his husky voice, much too similar to that of Blaise’s.  Everything of Draco’s reminded Hermione of Blaise and just how different they were. He was the coolness, whereas Blaise was the warmth. Draco’s eyes a cool silver, Blaise’s a warm ocean, Draco’s coarse skin, Blaise’s soft, Draco’s rough and passionate lips, Blaise’s plump and sensual. The comparison was never ending but Hermione knew she wanted Blaise, or did she?

She quickly headed outside of the castle; Draco would be waiting for her. He invited her to Hogsmeade for dinner. It took her forever to decide what she should wear, not that it should have mattered; it was only a dinner with Draco. Yet she fussed over her clothes for over an hour. A part of her - a part she loathed most severely - wanted, longed for Draco to accept her, even if it was as juvenile as the clothes she wore.

Finally Hermione felt satisfied with an emerald silk v-neck top and sleek black slacks that were tucked into her boots. Not even fussing with her hair, she slightly combed it and didn’t even bother with make up. Running outside she spotted Draco waiting
for her. He was breathtakingly gorgeous in his cashmere designer coat, black pants, and slicked hair. He greeted her with a faint smile.

“Ready?” He asked.

“Yes.” Hermione smiled walking along side Draco. The walk to Hogsmeade was particularly silent, not that both of them minded.

When the finally reached the Three Broomsticks Draco politely held the door open for Hermione to walk in. Finding a comfortable stop in the back, away from the immediate crowd they settled in. Hermione slipped out of her coat and seated herself in front of Draco. He eyed her hungrily. Her luscious auburn hair was loosely flowing down to her shoulders. Her eyes twinkled in the candlelight as her rosy cheeks from the coldness began wearing down. His eyes followed her down her neck to the smooth exposed skin on her chest. Damn you he cursed as he spotted the dress she was wearing. She was wearing his colors. You could almost see the snake within Draco’s eyes flash up as he watched her.

“So, were you waiting long for me?” Hermione asked noticing Draco’s odd stare.

“It was worth it; you look beautiful.” Draco complimented making eye contact.

His beautiful crystal eyes were blinding to Hermione; she could barely keep her cool looking into them. She was the first to look away. It wasn’t long until they fluttered back to his. His stare was unmoving. But she could see his eyes dilating, growing larger and larger, almost until they were large orbs of glazed crystals. They oddly reminded her of Dobby’s great eyes.

“What are you thinking about?” Draco asked huskily. He slightly shifted in his seat. Hermione was at a loss of coherent words.

“Dobby.” She let out pathetically. Only Blaise was allowed to make her flabbergasted, she simply could not stand being this breathless in front of Draco.

“Dobby? My house elf? Well that’s a boost to my ego when my date would rather sit and think about my house elf than me.” Draco proclaimed as he leaned back against his seat smirking.

“No, I didn’t mean that I was thinking of him it just…” Hermione began unintelligibly but soon quit realizing she would only make it seem worse.

Draco laughed out loud and Hermione merely blushed.

“It’s not as though you need to increase your ego the rate you’re going at.” Hermione whispered under her breath, or so she tried to. This made Draco grin enormously.

“Would you like anything dears?” Madame Rosmerta asked merrily as she walked over to Draco and Hermione. She spotted Draco who looked uncomfortable suddenly. She vehemently looked at him with glaring eyes. This gesture did not pass Hermione.

“It is only on behalf of Dumbledore’s final wishes that I allow you to come into my pub.” She spat venomously. She turned to Hermione and asked her politely if she would like anything. Hermione ordered two butterbeers and bid Rosmerta a thank you.

“She still hasn’t forgiven me for using the Imperious Curse on her.” Draco replied plainly. Hermione couldn’t quite blame Rosmerta for being mad at Draco; she would have been too if she found out she was being used as a puppet to commit foul crimes.

“Can you really blame her?” Hermione asked.

“No.” Draco replied. They sat there in silence for a while. When their butterbeers came, the only sound that ensued was the gulping of their throats.

“Tell me about you.” Draco asked abruptly. Hermione looked at him as she put down her butterbeer.

“About me? What do you want to know?” Hermione asked curiously.

“Tell me anything. I think it’s safe to say I really don’t know much about you.” Draco smirked. Hermione rolled her eyes and thought; what do you tell an enemy of almost seven years?

“Um…”

“Why did you stay?” Draco interrupted. It was clear that this was a raging question in his mind.

“Stay?”

“You know, at Hogwarts during the holidays. I would have figured you would have gone home, or at least left with Potter and Weasel.” 

“I wanted some time alone.” Hermione replied quietly.

“Alone? Why would you want to be alone, especially on Christmas?” Draco asked baffled.

“Because people can get overwhelming.”

“Be glad you have people who can overwhelm you. It means they care.” Draco replied bitterly. She saw his fist clench on the table. She reached a hand out to touch his. The electric shock that pulsated between both of them was almost tangible. He gingerly loosened his grip and turned his hand to hold Hermione’s. They sat there looking from their entwined hands to each other’s eyes.

“I care.” Hermione whispered, her voice barely audible. He gently traced the creasing in her palms and watched her with deep eyes. Hermione’s features were indescribable to him. She was plain, ordinary but to him she was magnificent. He loved her auburn hair and the way they curled down to her shoulders. He loved her little button nose that always turned pink in the cold. He loved the wrinkles on her nose when she smiled, and the way her mouth creased at the edges. But more than anything, he loved her twinkling honey dewed eyes. He sighed heavily.

“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked. He didn’t want to say it. This small, or rather large, anchor in his heart that kept weighing him down, his “best friends“, Blaise.

“Nothing.” Draco lied. “Let’s get out of here.” He stood up and took Hermione by the hand. Paying for their butterbeers Draco held open the door for Hermione out into the bitter coldness of the season. All of Hogsmeade was decorated in lights and shimmering festivities of Christmas.

He entwined his large fingers with Hermione’s petite ones. She smiled at him as they walked through Hogsmeade admiring the atmosphere. He could feel Hermione shivering next to him. Already regretting what he was about to do, he reeled Hermione to a corner away from the public.

“What are you doing?” Hermione asked as she breathed out cool air.

“Keeping you warm.” Draco replied huskily as he crashed his lips onto hers.

Hermione forgot everything. Her knees shook and she almost felt dizzy. Regaining her composure, she grabbed onto Draco as if her life depended on him. She could feel his ragged breathing on her. Hermione’s fingers dug into his tough back, and up his neck. Her flesh on his drove Draco mad. His arms snaked their way around her waist and he pushed her roughly onto the side of the wall, the toughness of the bricks scratching her back. Draco needed to be in control; she was driving him insane with her hands massaging his neck. He grabbed a hold of her wrists and put them above her head. Now that he finally had her pinned he left her lips for her jaw, and down to her neck. Hermione moaned so loudly it startled Draco. She could feel him hardening beneath his pants, and the way he brushed himself on top of her made Hermione feel a rush of ecstasy surge throughout her body. She whimpered his name out and Draco’s lips obligingly founds hers once more.

Kissing Draco was so natural to Hermione it almost scared her. It was as though it was always meant to be Draco holding her and tasting her. Oh God he tastes amazing she thought. He slowed down his pace and now was sensually nipping at her skin, until he reached her lips.

“This feels so good.” Draco breathed against Hermione’s lips.

“Mhm.” Hermione whispered back as she closed her eyes. She felt Draco’s hands rub down her shoulders to her hands. He intertwined his fingers with hers, as his head rested against hers.

“This moment is perfect.” Draco commented deeply.

“Let’s go back inside.” Hermione replied. It was strange; sometimes being with Draco didn’t remind her of Blaise at all, as though Blaise never existed. But then, there were times where the guilt from her actions ate her inside. Yet tonight she had eyes only for Draco. Silencing the protesting voice in her head telling her this was all wrong and that she should be disgusted with herself for infidelity, she took Draco’s hand and led him back to the castle.

*

“Do you know what time it is?” Hermione asked after Draco and she finally were comfortable in her Head’s dorm.

“Nearly midnight.” Draco replied.

“You might see Santa Claus.” Hermione teased as she slumped into the couch next to Draco.

“That sounds like magic.” Draco smirked, wrapping his arm around Hermione.

“Magic? Who would have thought?” Hermione joked as she rested her head on Draco’s chest.

This was all wrong, yet it felt amazingly right. Blaise was her everything; he was hers. Draco was a stranger, an outsider who decided to conveniently be adoring. Thinking furiously Hermione ran through her head all the reasons to hate and love Blaise, she did the same for Draco. And even though she knew who she wanted to win, it always surprised her that…

“What are you thinking about?” Draco asked as Hermione lifted her head to look at him. He smiled slightly, as he traced a finger around her jaw and down her neck, until he suddenly stopped. His eyes locked onto the spot that his finger had rested. Hermione glanced at him.

“What’s wrong?” Hermione asked.

“Where did you get this?” Draco asked as he continued to observe the small scar at the nape of Hermione’s neck. Sense suddenly slammed into Hermione as she clasped her hand towards her neck. She completely forgot. There was no point in concealing it now; Draco already got an eye full.
“It was just a small injury I got a while ago.” Hermione replied.

“That’s a lie.” Draco replied gravely. Hermione could feel her breathing quicken.

“Draco I didn’t say anything before because I didn’t want to upset you.” Hermione replied quickly.

“It’s from that night isn’t it? From my aunt’s knife?” Draco whispered. Hermione merely looked down. She didn’t need to answer, he already knew. He was there to witness the entire scene.

“This is where she cut you isn’t it? Right here, to spill your blood.” Draco commented almost crudely.

Hermione stayed silent, still unsure if she should comment on anything or not.

“Hermione I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused you.” Draco said so quietly Hermione wasn’t sure if he had said it at all.

“You just called me Hermione.” she replied.

“I know.” Draco said. They both remained quiet for a moment.

“But I do mean it. Hermione, I never meant to cause you any harm. That night watching you being tortured for answers you did not have… you don’t know what it did to me. I could hear Weasley calling your name stupidly as if screaming at you would have protected you. I couldn’t even watch Hermione. God your screams, they ate me away for nights. Whenever I closed my eyes I would see your pained face and hear your screams. It killed me to see you in pain, it always has. Second year, when you were petrified, I wasn’t sure what these feelings all meant but it destroyed me to see you lying in that hospital bed. Obviously I couldn’t express my real feelings and so I did what I had to do to conceal my feelings, I walked around gloating about your condition. I disgusted myself.”

Hermione leaned over to him and kissed him gently on the lips. It wasn’t a long kiss, or rough like the others, it was just… natural. Because once again being with Draco, and listening to him talk was natural. It was completely ordinary and perfectly sound to Hermione. Nothing about this moment was odd or strange. Somehow Draco always made things fit together even if they shouldn’t.

It wasn’t until late into the night, way late into the night, that Hermione uncoiled herself from Draco’s arms and placed a blanket around him. It wasn’t until then that she realized it was early Christmas morning. She stood in front of Draco watching his peaceful breathing as his chest rose and fell. It wasn’t until that moment that he said her name in his sleep that made Hermione realize that she might be completely and inevitably in love with him.




A/N: I hope you liked it! Review and let me know. Now, I would never really get into my personal life on here (thats what I have a journal for), but I just wanted to let you know that my next update might be a little longer because currently I am in the midst of midterm exams. And because many of my colleges, including (crosses fingers) Columbia, requires mid-year grades, these exams really count. But I promise I will try to update as frequently as possible!

Sorry for this immensely long note! I love you all though! :)

Chapter 12: The Coldest Christmas
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A/N: So this chapter, in my personal opinion, will either make some people love me, and others might possibly hate me. (I'm sorry! It couldn't just be all cupcakes and roses!) But anyway, I will let you be the one who decides. Enjoy!





When Hermione woke from her sleep in the morning, she was greeted by the fluffy balls of snow covering her windows. She quickly sprinted up from her bed when she remembered that it was Christmas morning. She rushed down the stairs to find that her tree already bore many brightly wrapped presents underneath her tree. She noted the absence of Draco on her couch but just assumed he must have left sometime in the night and headed back to his own room. She bent down and picked up the first gift, this one was from Harry. As she unwrapped it, she found a small box that contained a crystal ball, a stand, and a small note:

Dear Hermione,

Happy Christmas! It’s really a shame you couldn’t be here with us but I wanted to make sure you didn’t feel left out. If you don’t know what to do with your gift, don’t worry, it’s nothing off of Trelwany. Just squeeze it a little and you will see. We all miss you and can’t wait to see you soon.

Love Harry.


She took the crystal ball in her hand and held it there for a few minutes. Then instantly a dazzling shade of cerulean light glowed and a fog was emitted. As the fog cleared she could see different happy memories of her, Harry, and Ron. It was almost like watching a little film. She gently placed that on her table with the stand. The next gift was from Ron. He too wrote her a small letter:

Dear Hermione,

I know Mum could have done a better job, but I just wanted to try my skills. I hope you like it, even though I know you’ll probably never wear it in public. Happy Christmas!

Love Ron.


Enclosed in his box was a disheveled looking sweater that was clearly poorly knitted, however it was endearing to Hermione that Ron tried to actually knit for her. She even laughed out a little when she noticed that the odd pattern in the middle was actually his futile attempts at patterning an ’H’. She then found a package from her parents that bore numerous trinkets and gifts from their travels in Turkey. She also received a brand new version of Hogwarts, A History that now glossed the names of Harry, Ron, and Hermione about their countless contributions to the school Compliments of Ginny.

She found another box that looked far more lavished than all the others. Hermione touched the soft velvet and unwrapped the silk ribbon upon it. As she opened the box there was a small piece of parchment on top that read:

Dear Hermione,

Oh God I miss you. I miss your laugh, your eyes, your little button nose, your scent. Anyway, I hope you’re not having a miserable time without me. I have a lot to tell you. I’ll be seeing you soon. I love you. Happy Christmas.

Yours always, Blaise.


As she removed the parchment she found the most beautiful bracelet neatly placed inside a silk pillow. It was gold with antiquated charms. She gingerly picked it up and observed them. There was a glittering snake completely encrusted in diamonds with emeralds for eyes. She spotted the Slytherin emblem on another little charm. It too was lavished with what Hermione safely assumed to be expensive gems. On another was a tiny pocket watch that still worked. There were shoes, locks, keys, and treasure chests. Finally Hermione found a ruby encrusted heart. She could easily tell that this was the newest addition to the bracelet. She gently unhooked it and opened it up. On either side of the tiny locket was a picture of her and then a picture of Blaise.

Hermione’s thoughts were running wild. This was clearly an antique. She saw different names engraved onto each of the tiny charms. She spotted Blaise’s mother’s name on it as well. Then it donned upon Hermione that this was a family bracelet passed down from generation to generation. A little scared but extremely excited she slipped the heavy bracelet on. As Hermione started getting up, she spotted a final box. It was a tiny one wrapped in a simple cotton cloth.

She opened the box to find a small corked bottle filled with a rosy liquid. Squeezed on the side of the box was a note.

Dear  Grang, erm Hermione,

Your smell is intoxicating. This will probably be the death of me.

Draco


She uncorked the small glass bottle and she could smell an enchanting mix of roses, blossoms, and lavenders. She smiled to herself; it seemed that Draco Malfoy actually made her perfume.

*

“Omf!” Hermione mumbled as she was so rudely pelted with a snow ball.

“Real mature Draco!” Hermione called out before Draco even relinquished his hide out.

“How did you know it was me?” Draco asked coming out from behind a corner.

“Who else would it be?” Hermione asked as she dried herself off with her wand.

Draco smiled as he walked up to her.

“Happy Christmas.” he replied. Hermione smiled.

“Happy Christmas.” Hermione replied by hugging him. She held her place a little longer than she should have, but Draco didn’t mind at all. Hermione always smelled breathtaking.

“Thank you for your gift. It was… beautiful.”

“Your welcome. I had to convince Slughorn to let me borrow some ingredients from his cupboard. It took a while to brew, but I was glad it worked out.”

“I wanted to give you this. It’s really nothing much, I barely had time to think of something that would possibly go up against your own gift.” Hermione commented softly as she handed Draco a small wrapped gift. He took it with a smile.

“Ha, Quidditch gloves. Thank you.” Draco smirked.

“They’re not just Qudditch gloves. They’re this new type that supposedly helps with some sort of protection. I didn’t really know much, but the store clerk went berserk when I asked him about it so I figured you would know what to do with them.” Hermione shrugged.

“Actually, yes I do know what to do with them. Thank you, it’s a lovely gift.” Draco replied hugging Hermione.

“Well it’s nothing as great as yours.” Hermione blushed.

“It was nothing.”

“So what are you doing today?” Hermione asked.

“I wasn’t quite sure yet why?”

“Fancy doing a little bit of ice-skating?” Hermione suggested.

“I would love to.”

“Meet me at the lake then in ten minutes?”

“I’ll be there.”

*

Hermione reached the lake before Draco. It was completely covered in thick ice. It strangely reminded her of Draco’s grey eyes. As she strapped on her ice skates she heard the crunching of the snow behind her. She could make out Draco’s body coming towards her.

“Well look who finally decided to come.” Hermione teased as she stood up on her skates.

“You can’t rush perfection Hermione.” Draco retorted as he slumped down to put on his skates.

Perfection indeed thought Hermione as she watched him. His skin was as light as the snow, glowing beautiful in the sunlight. He was the most angelic human being she had ever laid eyes upon. His golden hair caught rays of sunlight that almost glittered his beautiful face. It was strange to believe that this was the same person whom she loathed and despised all those years. He was so calm, gentle, compassionate that it drove Hermione insane.

“If you’re done ogling at me, then I suggest we make our way onto the ice.” Draco smirked. Hermione suddenly snapped back into reality. Blushing profusely he took her hand and led her to the ice.

And before she could stop the image from looming into her mind, she was suddenly lashed by the memories of all the times Blaise would make her blush immensely just by saying a mere hello. Happily, Draco shook her of her thoughts.

“Have you ever skated before?” Draco asked as the casually did a large circle, still holding hands.

“Yes a lot actually.” Hermione replied.

“Tell me more, about you. When you were younger, what were you like?” Draco inquired. It was so innocent that it made Hermione beam inside for some reason.

“Uh, well… I don’t really know what to say. My parents are dentists so I’ve always had pretty good teeth. With the exception of that one mishap a couple of years ago.” Hermione finished glaring at Draco.

His grin widened as he broke out into a booming laughter.

“I’m sorry.” Draco apologized still fashioning a huge grin plastered across his face. Hermione merely rolled her eyes.

“Tell me more.” Draco urged.

“Well, the day I got my Hogwarts letter my parents thought it was a horrible joke someone tried to push on me, but I believed it. I always had these outbursts of magic fume out at times when I was little. It helped explain so much. My parents never believed it; they told me not to get my hopes up and that it was just one cruel joke. You should have seen the looks on their faces when Dumbledore actually came to talk to them about Hogwarts.” Hermione smiled.

Draco loved the way she smiled. To him, it was a chain reaction; he would see her smile and he would have to smile back. It was beautiful, just like she was. It was hard being this close to Hermione and to not just pull her into his arms and kiss her endlessly.

“So tell me Draco, what was it like living in the most famous house in all of magical England?” Hermione smirked.

“Malfoy Manor? It’s huge, where do you want me to begin?” Draco asked.

“I always wanted to see it. I mean, I never really wanted to be confronted by your family, or you for that matter. But I remember hearing about it a little while back and I was just so curious to see it.” Hermione confessed.

“I’ll take you there sometime.” Draco offered.

“You don’t need to do that.” Hermione said.

“I’d like to. Besides, it would be a good change for you from going to the Weasley’s all the time.” Draco replied.

“I happen to like it at the Burrow.” Hermione replied in defense of Ron. Draco smirked and rolled his eyes at her.

“Whatever you say.” Draco commented. Hermione was suddenly angry at Draco. How dare he talk about Ron like that in front of her! She went to remove her hand from his grip.

However she accidentally tugged a little too hard, causing her to lose her balance. Instinctively she grabbed onto to Draco’s sleeve. Draco unprepared for the sudden pull fell too. Hermione’s body hit the ice first. She felt searing pain rush through her entire body. Luckily for her, Draco’s years of being seeker paid off as he reflexively put his arms out so as not to throw his entire body weight on Hermione.

“Are you alright?” Draco asked in a frantic voice.

“Ow. Yeah I think so. I just can’t get up right away.” Hermione whispered. The pain rippling through her head was unbearable.

Draco remained hovering above her. His harsh, rugged breathing was billowing onto her face. He casually pushed the hair that fell onto Hermione’s face behind her ears. He traced her face with his finger. She closed her eyes under his touch. Then without even thinking, because to him, being with Hermione was natural, he leaned down and kissed her. He loved the way she tasted. He sucked on her lower lip until she granted his tongue passage into her mouth. He left her lips for her skin by her neck. It drove him insane when he smelt the perfume he made for her.

“Um, er Draco?” Hermione said.

“Yes?” Draco replied still pressing his lips against hers.

“This is lovely and all, but my ass is frozen and my head is throbbing.” Hermione confessed.

“Oh right.” Draco snapped back into reality as he helped Hermione up. He scooped her up with one arm, and kept the other steady on her head.

“Thanks.” Hermione said as she got to her feet.

“Why don’t I help you get back to the ground in one piece.” Draco smirked. Hermione have him a scalding look which he dismissed by winking back.

He helped her get her skates off and put on her boots.

“Are you sure your head’s alright? You had quite a fall there. Do you want to go make sure with Madame Pompfry?” Draco suggested.

“No I think I’ll be alright. As long as I don’t have any sudden falls again, I should manage.” Hermione smiled.

“So what do you want to do now?” Draco asked once they were finally done.

“I have an idea.” Hermione smiled as she took Draco by the hand and led him back to the castle.

As Hermione led Draco through the empty corridors, Draco began wondering where they were going until she abruptly stopped. She turned around with a devious smirk that impressed even him. He was slightly surprised and concerned about her grinning face.

“Close your eyes.” Hermione demanded.

“Close my eyes? What for?” Draco asked raising his eyebrow.

“Fine if you won’t, then I’ll just have to blind fold you.” Hermione said unwrapping her scarf and closing Draco’s eyes with it.

“Is this really necessary?” Draco asked as she finished covering his eyes.

“It is completely necessary.” Hermione finished and continued leading him to her destination.

After walking a little farther, Hermione and Draco began ascending the Astronomy Tower. She held the door open for him where they were both welcomed by the soft crunchy snow beneath their shoes.

“You’re going to push me off a cliff aren’t you?” Draco said gravely. Hermione bursted out laughing.

“No you fool I’m not going to kill you!” Hermione replied jokingly. She summoned a ladder which she helped Draco climb.

“Hermione, you’re going to kill me aren’t you?” Draco replied almost convinced. Hermione continued to smirk without replying to him. She cast a couple of spells and then finally turned to Draco who looked positively petrified. She helped him sit down next to her.

“Alright, take off the blind fold.” Hermione replied. Draco quickly pealed off the scarf. For a moment he was speechless. He was sitting atop the roof of the Astronomy Tower. Below him he could see the entirety of Hogwarts, along with Hogsmeade and the beautiful rolling mountains and forests surrounding the school. He looked up and saw the snow cascading beside him, yet he felt nothing. It was almost an invisible bubble shielding them both from the cold and the snow. He turned to look at Hermione who was beaming at him.

“I figured we could talk… with an owl’s eye view.” Hermione replied blushing slightly.

“This is magnificent.” Draco replied slightly squeezing her hand.

They both leaned on their backs and slept next to each other looking at the grey sky and the snow that would never touch their warm flesh. They reminisced about previous years at Hogwarts and anything else that came to mind. It was a perfect escape. Hermione’s heart was so content with resting peacefully next to Draco. She could see the calm breathing of his chest inhaling and exhaling. The moment was perfect; she didn’t need to talk to him, she could just feel his presence and it was enough. Being this intimate with Draco flashed a whole new picture into Hermione’s head. For less than a second she had a vivid image of her and Draco together, holding hands, showing everyone their union. She saw herself visiting his Manor, walking in the gardens together. She saw herself making love to him every night because he was the one she was meant to be with. He sought her out, he chose her, and she willingly melted into his arms, his beautiful, perfect arms. It was as if his body was meant to fit into hers perfectly.

But then the crashing waves of reality ensued and Hermione was whipped back into reality which was that Blaise was her boyfriend, and that it was Blaise who truly should hold her heart. Almost as if on cue, she felt Draco’s hand slide its way into her own. She looked down at their entwined fingers and sighed; this was completely wrong. He was rubbing his thumb on her wrists until he felt the cold metal of the bracelet prick his skin. He pulled her hand up and rolled down her sleeve a bit. Hermione wasn’t quite sure why, but her heart suddenly raced as her breathing quickened.

Draco curiously examined the bracelet. He suddenly felt something that he had not for quite some time, a familiar burning sensation in the pit of his stomach. It was his dragon awakening from what it hoped to be an eternal slumber. Fire erupted in his insides as he venomously eyed the bracelet.

“Who gave this to you?” He asked calmly, even though he already knew the answer. Hermione slightly afraid to answer looked at Draco and began speaking.

“Um, Blaise did. For a Christmas gift.” She replied.

“You do know what this is right?” Draco asked almost with sarcasm in his voice.

“It’s a bracelet.” Hermione replied simply.

“Ha, it’s not just a bracelet, it’s a family heirloom. It has been passed down his family for centuries. The most prominent women in his family’s life have added a small token of themselves onto this bracelet. He told me his mother was saving it for his future wi…” Draco cut himself off. The burning reality was far too painful for him to imagine, let alone speak of.

“I’m sure he was just trying to send a meaningful gift.” Hermione commented trying to persuade Draco of his thoughts, although she knew her efforts were futile.

“Hermione, I’ve told you more about myself than anyone has ever known…” Draco began. He looked directly into her eyes. His stormy icicles pierced right through Hermione like daggers. But she did not look away; he made it impossible. He took both her hands into his and continued.

“I can’t really comment on behalf of Blaise, but I can on myself… I think you know by now my feelings about you. I won’t hide it anymore. And I get it if you’re not ready, I do, and I don’t mind waiting. I’m very patient when it comes to important matters; you of all people should know. Hermione I will wait until the sun stops rising in the morning and setting in the evening, I swear I will. But I need to know that you’re not only in it half heartedly. I need to know you’re waiting for me as well, only for me…”

“What are you asking me to do?” Hermione whispered. The color was long gone from her once beautifully flushed skin. Her eyes were hollow as they burned from looking into Draco’s.

“Choose.” Draco put simply.

“Choose…?”

“Is it me or is it Blaise.” Draco replied firmly.

Hermione’s mind raced. The inevitable decision was finally having to be made. She knew it would come, yet Draco’s assertiveness took her off balance. She began thinking frantically, but nothing made sense. Blaise, Draco, Blaise, Draco, Draco, Blaise, Draco, Blaise… No matter how many times the mantra replayed itself she never found an exit. It was a spiraling circle that had no definite answer. How was she to choose between the two pieces that made her whole?

Her eyes lined with tears. The stinging of the salty waters made Hermione blink, allowing her tears to fall onto Draco’s skin. He felt as though her tears would burn right through his flesh.

“Hermione…”

“I… I choose Blaise.”




Don't be too hard on me! :(

Chapter 13: The Return
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A/N: Hey loves. I'm sorry about last chapter's ah, disagreements. Although I must say you guys produced some of the funniest reviews when you're angry.  Anyway seeing as a lot of you are all Draco, you still might continue to hate me for another couple of chapters. Enjoy nonethless! :)







Hermione sat alone in the cold dreariness of the day. The grey clouds loomed in the sky, ominous of the bad weather. She waited for the scarlet Hogwarts Express to zoom in and deliver her the friends she so desperately needed. She had spent the remainder of the holiday break alone, including New Year’s. She had not conversed with Draco after the incident on the Astronomy Tower. He seemed, according to Hermione’s observation, to be avoiding her at all costs.

If she were to enter for dinner, he would immediately storm out of the Great Hall, should they pass each other in the corridors, Draco would enter a classroom, and should they ever happen to brush the others shoulder… well luckily it hadn’t come to that. However, none of these bothered Hermione, not as much as how Draco’s scalding looks hurt her. She could see the anger, rage, and sadness locked into his eyes. She tried to talk with him, but gave up when he slammed the door in her face. After that, he stopped coming out of his room.

The guilt anchored itself onto her chest so as to feel this heavy weight bringing her down. She could barely breathe at the mere thought of him.

Oh for fucks sake Hermione get a grip!

She snapped herself back into reality as she saw her salvation, her savior come closer. She could make out the billowing smoke arising from the steam engine. For the first time in a while, she felt excited. And then in a flash, it disappeared. How would she face Blaise in the midst of knowing of her infidelity? Would he be able to tell there was something different about her, something shockingly terrifying? Hermione brushed away her thoughts as the train was closer now, and almost coming to a stop. Rising from her snow sodden bench, she went up to the doors.

A swarm of students spilled out as the doors were pulled open. Many happy merry faces smiled at her, while some had the look of despair and homesickness. Hermione sifted her way through the crowd to find someone, anyone whom she recognized. Then finally she heard her name called.

“Hermione! Hermione over here!” Harry beamed. She turned around to see Harry’s twinkling emerald green eyes beckoning her to greet him. A large smile spread across her face as she ran into Harry’s open arms.

“Oh God I’ve missed you so much! You have no idea!” Hermione said muffled underneath Harry’s chest.

“We’ve missed you too Hermione! All we could talk about is how miserable you must have been here all alone.” Harry replied releasing their embrace.

“Oh well, I wasn’t too lonely…” Hermione trailed off deciding she didn’t want to further elaborate on her acquaintance with a certain Slytherin. Just then she spotted Ron and Ginny walking over to her and Harry. She was quickly suffocated by Ron’s monstrous bear hug. Ginny and Hermione exchanged kisses.

“Hermione let’s go.” Harry said. She was still waiting for one other person, one very significant person. She had not seen him come off the train and hoped that she did not miss him. But just then, to her greatest excitement she heard someone call out her name.

“Hermione.” A deep husky from behind her made her smile from ear to ear. She felt tiny butterflies flutter inside her chest. She turned around to face Blaise. It didn’t quite hit her until that very moment just how much she missed him. He scooped her into his large muscular arms. She felt oddly at home in his embrace.

“I missed you.” Hermione breathed out as she looked up at him.

“You have no idea.” Blaise replied. In one fluid motion he cupped her chin and kissed her so longingly and hungrily that it almost made Hermione lose her balance. She crept up onto her toes to kiss him back just as ferociously and greedily. She knew she was probably drawing much attention and that the gossip would be buzzing around school before long, but she didn’t care. All she needed right now was Blaise.

Finally letting go of each other he took her hand and they both walked back to the castle.

“So how has it been without me?” Blaise asked.

“Wonderful actually. I barely noticed you were gone.” Hermione joked as she grinned at him. Blaise pretended to be hurt as he took his free arm and clutched his heart.

“I must say I am a little hurt by your words. And here I thought you would have missed me so much that you would allow me to shag you senseless tonight.” Blaise smirked. Hermione narrowed her eyes at him, but then broke out into a laughter.

“That’s only if you behave Zabini.” Hermione winked.

“I’ll be a perfect gentleman.” Blaise promised as he smiled and gave Hermione yet another sweet kiss on her lips.

“So what did you do this entire time without anyone? Did you find any other boys distract you from me?” Blaise teased. Hermione hoped he hadn’t noticed her body tense and her face suddenly turn serious.

Images of her and Draco flashed through her eyes and for one panicked moment she felt as though he could see them too. But she quickly destroyed those thoughts and rolled her eyes at him. With a forced smile she said, “Please Blaise, you’re the only one I thought about.”

He seemed immensely satisfied with that answer. It’s not as if he had expected another answer. And then out of the blue, Hermione stopped walking and took his face in both hands. She moved it down and kissed him again. It was sweet, loving, and tasteful. She savored the saccharine scent of Blaise mingled with the winter air. She gently broke off as she looked into his eyes.

“Thank you.” Hermione whispered.

“For what?” Blaise asked.

“For everything.” Hermione finished. She continued looking into his deep navy blue eyes. He smiled at her and they continued walking into the castle.

“Well I’m going to go get unpacked. Will I see you this evening?” He asked.

“After dinner, I want you to come back with me.” Hermione replied. He looked at her and saw what she meant. He bent down and kissed her forehead.

“Tonight then.”

And with that they both parted their ways.

*

“Did you have a nice break?” Hermione asked as she ate a piece of bread.

“Ron got attacked by one of the garden gnomes. Of course it was nice!” Ginny smirked. Ron merely grunted. Hermione smiled as her eyes swept over the Slytherin table. She caught Blaise’s warm eyes wink at her.

And then, to her greatest regret she saw him. His starling crystal eyes pierced her. She was flushed with heat and shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She tired to look away, yet she could still feel his eyes burning through her skin. She glanced back up at his direction only to see him frustratingly get out of his chair and walk out of the great hall.

“Hey guys I think I’m going to go head off to bed. I’ll see you in class tomorrow.” Hermione faked a yawn as she too got out of her seat.

“Good night.” Both Ron and Harry said.

Hermione tried to walk out of the Great Hall nonchalantly but as soon as she reached the doors she immediately quickened her pace. Just as she was about to round the corner, she heard her voice.

“Uh, I missed you.” Pansy moaned.

“I know. I missed you too.” Draco replied. She could hear the puckering of lips on flesh. Hermione remained plastered to the ground listening to them.

“Draco I honestly don’t know why you didn’t come home with me. We could have had an amazing time together.” Pansy teased.

“I wish. I missed the way you taste.” Draco continued.

What was happening? Hermione felt betrayed and hurt by Draco, yet she didn’t know why. After all it was she who rejected him, she who told him Blaise had her heart, she who mercilessly led him on, only to shoot him down in the end. Yet why did she stand here right now, feeling a burn lash through her chest. A fiery pit erupting within her. She should be happy Draco was with Pansy, and now she could be with Blaise. Yet listening to their sounds of pleasure burned something in Hermione’s throat. It burned like no firewhiskey ever would. And then she felt a strong hand clasp her arm. She turned around to find Blaise’s smirking face.

“You know Hermione, you don’t need to listen to their dirty little deeds. We can do some of our own.” Blaise winked. She tried to smile, yet the sounds of Draco and Pansy were ringing through her ears. She needed an escape, she needed to remove herself from this body and overcome the strange swelling in her chest.

She leaned up and kissed Blaise on the lips with so much ferocity that it took Blaise slightly off balance until he composed himself and brought Hermione’s body closer to him. She broke off their intense embrace first.

“Let’s go back to my room. I want you to be with me tonight.” Hermione replied. And as soon as the words come out, she knew she meant them. Whatever odd jealousy she might have felt with Draco was nothing in comparison to the intensity she felt for Blaise. Taking her hand in his, both he and Hermione made their way back to her room.

Draco’s eyes flashed red as he heard Hermione suggest that they go back to her room. Fucking Blaise is all he thought. And then another, even worse, thought of Hermione doing exactly that - fucking Blaise - came into mind and he pushed Pansy off of him in disgust. He didn’t want her. He didn’t want anything to do with her. He was a Malfoy and he did not beg for his rewards. And he was certainly not up to taking Blaise’s sloppy seconds. Yet, a part of him, and a very large part indeed knew he was full of complete bullshit. He knew just how much his body longed, craved, needed Hermione. Giving Pansy one long look, she took it as her cue to leave.

Draco walked back alone, thinking of what Blaise and Hermione would be doing right now. The thought of him kissing her, stroking her, touching her drove him insane with rage. The pure fury burning through his veins was enough to set a forest on fire.  He could only imagine Blaise slowing stripping away her clothes, needing to be closer to her. An old friend within his stomach awoke with nothing but pure hatred etched into its eyes; the dragon that once slept peacefully was now reawakened. His fists clenched together until his knuckles turned white at the thought of Hermione moaning Blaise’s name instead of his. Draco needed to sleep, now. He knew that if he allowed these thoughts to continue to linger, he would be unable to control his desire to rip Blaise’s heart out right then and there.

*

Hermione woke in the midst of the night. A sudden uneasiness caused her stomach acids to churn leaving a foul taste in her mouth. She turned to see Blaise fast asleep. He looked so peaceful asleep, almost like an innocent child. She smiled looking at him thinking of how happy he truly made her feel. But then, this strange and mysterious feeling gnawed at her, it ate her away. The strangest feeling of guilt consumed her. She looked out of her window to see the sparkling stars, which then quickly converted to crystal eyes, his crystal eyes. She could see his silver gray icicle like irises glowing from the outside, boring into her and watching her sleep next to Blaise.

It was the strangest feeling, but she knew that Draco too was awake at this very moment, thinking of her as well. Why couldn’t she get Draco out of her mind? She didn’t like him, no that was not it. Draco just… intrigued her, that was all. Or was it? He certainly had changed within the short amount of time between the war that erupted in the middle of their 6th year and the beginning of their 7th. He confessed to her feelings she knew he would never dare expose before. He was a changed person and it intrigued Hermione. This is why she kept coming back to him, to discover more. It was purely scientific. And if it was scientific, the chemistry between them couldn’t possibly factor into the equation right?

Hermione let out a moan of frustration. This isn’t how it should have been! It was simple, Blaise perused her, Blaise liked her, Blaise asked her out. Draco shouldn’t be in the picture. Yet Hermione found it harder and harder to erase him. She frustratingly slumped back onto the bed hitting Blaise roughly by accident. He groaned a little but didn’t open his eyes.

“I didn’t know you wanted to get rough Granger.” Blaise groaned with an extremely husky voice.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hit you.” Hermione replied cuddling up to him. Blaise smiled, still with eyes closed.

“I forgive you.” He replied and took Hermione into his arms. This is how they both fell back asleep, and this is how they found themselves in the morning.








So I've been having some bad writer's block. : It's extremely frustrating. Hopefully it will break soon. Help me, help you, by giving me some feedback!

Chapter 14: Quidditch Countdown
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I just wanted to firstly thank you all for help and suggestions for my writer's block. I have actually written up the next few chapters for the story, so updates will be pretty frequent. :) I'm sorry the last chapter took a while to get. It queue was just very long and I was having problems with valedation. Nevertheless, here is chapter fourteen!





The next day, by breakfast, the whole school was buzzing about the upcoming Quidditch match between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Normally this particular match would have been scheduled early September, however by the request of the Ravenclaws, Gryffindor would play Slytherin early January.  The match was still three days away yet everyone was making clear which side they would be rooting for in the match. There were already several fights Hermione had to break up between rivals. Hermione just wouldn’t get Quidditch.

“Hey stranger.” Blaise smirked as he sneaked up behind Hermione as she made her way to Ancient Runes. She turned around and allowed him to kiss her on her forehead.

“Did you know I have already reprimanded two kids who have been taking bets illegally, four selling derogatory slogans and buttons, and about a dozen different fights to break up with such colorful vocabulary!” Hermione replied sarcastically. Blaise merely grinned.

“Well its good to know people are getting into it. I wonder who you will be rooting for.” Blaise looked down.

“Um…” Hermione began. She wasn’t quite sure who she should root for. Couldn’t she just wish both teams all the best of luck? Well that thought quickly escaped her; she knew both Blaise and Harry would have preferred it if she rooted for neither than both. But how could she possibly choose?

“Let me make it easier for you, here.” Blaise said as he wrapped his own Slytherin scarf around her neck. It amazed him how good she looked in his colors. “That looks just about perfect.”

“Uh, Blaise how do you think it would look if I went up to all my Gryffindor pals looking like this? And besides, I still don’t know who I’m rooting for.” Hermione replied slowly pealing off the scarf. Blaise’s expression dropped a little.

“Well, pick me. I mean really, how would it look if the Captain of the Slytherin team‘s girlfriend rooted for the opposite side? ” He smiled weakly. She smiled back and held his hand.

“Well how would it look if I choose root for the opposite side rather than my own house, which of whom contains my two best friends since first year?” Hermione pressed. Blaise’s expression completely dropped. Hermione squeezed his hand and continued.

“Look Blaise, I know you want me to root for you, and believe me I will. I just have to root for my own team too you know. They have been my team up until now. And besides, this could even be a bit fun.” Hermione winked with a smirk.

“How could it possibly be fun watching my girlfriend wanting me to fail?” Blaise asked raising an eyebrow.

“Well, lets put it this way shall we? I propose a small bet; if Slytherin wins, you can do whatever you want with me. But if Gryffindor wins…” Hermione whispered edging closer to Blaise’s ear, “You’re all mine.” Hermione finished by kissing his ear slightly.

Blaise looked confunded.

He finally regained his composure and began to speak.

“You’re going to regret you ever made that bet.”

*

“Now does everyone remember our strategy? I’ll be damned if either of you slip and mess this match up for Gryffindor.” Harry said boldly as the Gryffindors huddled around the Common Room that night. Hermione decided to join her fellow classmates. It was then that she remembered just how much she missed sitting in the Common Room with everyone, being a part of Gryffindor.

“I think we all got it Harry.” Ginny replied smiling widely. “Slytherin has no chance.”

And with that they all cheered. Hermione knew how hard Harry worked this year to win the Qudditch cup. If they beat Slytherin now, Slytherin would be kicked out of the running, allowing an almost clear victory for Gryffindor. But Hermione still felt a little bad at the thought of Blaise losing. She knew that he too worked extremely hard in having his team be victorious.

“So its all settled then, we win, Slytherin loses, and we’re one step closer to the cup!” Ron exclaimed. Once again, all the students cheered. Hermione piped into their excitement.

“It’s too bad we can’t have the pitch before the game! Slytherin got the last spot before the match.” Demelza moaned. Everyone nodded in agreement. Since there were only three days left, Slytherin would be allowed the pitch tomorrow. Unable to practice the day before, due to a new set of rules imposed by Madame Hooch, they were, disappointingly, not granted the right to practice in the pitch.

“Actually guys, I have a small surprise for you.” Hermione began. Everyone turned around to look at her.

“Well considering that I do want Gryffindor to win and slightly abusing my Head powers with my brilliant ability in persuasion… I was able to convince Madame Hooch to allow you use the pitch for an hour the day before the match.” Hermione finished.

It was Ron who got to her first.

She was completely trampled upon by numerous students, but was still shielded by Ron’s tight embrace. He muffled something against her robes that sounded like, ‘Hermione I love you’ but she wasn’t quite sure. She was elated that everyone was happy about her small gift, but seeing as that she couldn’t breath anymore, she really needed their bodies off of her.

“Ron! Ron I can’t breathe!” Hermione mumbled. Ron pulled himself off her, as the others pealed themselves too.

“Hermione, I honestly don’t know what to say. Thank you.” Harry replied.

“See, and here you thought I knew nothing about Quidditch.” Hermione smiled. Everyone laughed casually.

“Well it’s a good thing we know that you’re definitely rooting for Gryffindor.” Seamus said unaware of the rippling wave of tension that suddenly tensed everyone’s bodies.

“What are you…” Hermione began suddenly feeling rather angry.

“Hermione will you sleep in Gryffindor Tower tomorrow?” Ginny cut in. “It’s only good luck if all Gryffindors sleep here. You know, united?”

Hermione decided she would rather ignore Seamus’ remark rather than address it and cause a fight. She smiled and told Ginny she would come back the following night.

*

“I’m going to hex you into oblivion!” A small first year Slytherin boy roared. It was then that the other first year, unsurprisingly a Gryffindor, lunged at him. The two boys were rolling around punching, kicking, and hitting any amount of skin they could reach.

Hermione rolled her eyes as she walked up to the two dueling boys.

“Ten points from Slytherin!”
“Ten points from Gryffindor!”

Hermione looked up as she heard someone else deduct points at the same moment. She hadn’t seen him since Blaise returned, and it bothered her that he was standing in front of her. His crystal grey eyes searched her face. They hadn’t talked in weeks, hadn’t even acknowledged each other. Yet here they stood facing one other.

“Break it up you two before I report you to the Headmisstress.” Hermione replied weakly, losing her authoritative voice. Her eyes went back onto Draco who was now glaring at her as he briskly walked away from the scene. The crowd began to disintegrate as Hermione ran towards Draco’s direction.

“Malfoy! Malfoy will you please stop avoiding me! Omf!” Hermione squeaked as Draco abruptly stopped and forced Hermione to collide right into him. His body tensed immediately at her touch. She saw his jaw clench as he gave her a stern look.

“Sorry.” Hermione replied quietly.

“What do you want?” Draco asked coldly. It was clear that he did not want to converse with her.

“Uh, hi.” Hermione replied slightly breathlessly. She had wanted him to talk with her, and now that he was, she barely knew what to say. It seemed evident enough to Draco and he walked away from her. She quickly grabbed his hand.

“Draco wait.” Hermione called. He looked down at her hand and then back up to her face.

“DON’T call me Draco.” He replied in the most vehemently whispered voice Hermione ever heard. She tried to look in his eyes to see if there was any emotion other than pure hatred, and to her greatest misery, there was not. Nothing but coldness and anger outlined his chiseled face. His crystal eyes etched with venom, wanting nothing more than Hermione to let go of him. He shook off her hand and walked away.

Hermione didn’t know why but she felt the odd sensation of tears brim her lids.

*

“Hey mate you ready for this practice?” Blaise asked Draco as he patted him on his back. Draco irritably muffled something.

“I guess I’ll take that as a yes. Anyway guys, I’m confident we’ll win against Gryffindor. There’s no way they’ve got a chance, not with Draco being Seeker.” Blaise announced and all the Slytherin boys cheered.

Draco didn’t even bother to sound enthusiastic about practice let alone the match. To him, Quidditch was insignificant in comparison to everything else happening around him. He hastily changed into his Quidditch uniform.

“You alright?” Blaise came up to Draco. God he loathed him, Draco thought. But wanting to keep the calm within him, he decided he would at least be civil to Blaise. This way maybe he would leave him alone.

“Yeah I’m fine. Just a little sidetracked.” Draco managed to smile weakly. Surely this would be the death of him. This was a sufficient enough answer for Blaise as he started smiling at Draco.

“Great! It’ll be like old times mate! I feel like we haven’t really, you know, been too close this year? I mean, I don’t mean to get all Hufflepuff on you but you’re one of my best mates and well, I think I’m to blame for the distance. What with Hermione…” Blaise continued his monologue but Draco already had stopped listening when he said Hermione’s name. The anger rose inside of him again like a bright fire ready to erupt out of him in any moment. How could he even possibly consider befriending Blaise after she chose him. After a couple of nods to reassure Blaise that he was listening Blaise finally concluded his speech.

“Yup, no worries.” Draco replied half heartedly. Blaise looked enthralled.

The group of tall, muscular, and slightly intimidating Slytherin boys made their way out to the Quidditch pitch. Many students either looked impressed, cheered, booed, or were simply agitated. The first year Slytherin boys admired their elders with such an awe that you could see the gleam in their eyes, unable to wait until they could play on the team.

As they continued walking onto the pitch, there were already many spectators in the stands.

“Well isn’t this bloody brilliant?” one of the tallest boys on the team said pointing his head in the direction of all the viewers.

“They want a show boys, so let’s give them one shall we?” Blaise grinned. He never could get enough of the limelight. That is, when it came to Quidditch.

Draco merely groaned to himself as he stood behind the rest of the team.

And there she was, standing before him and his entire team. Her auburn locks catching rays of sunlight as they glimmered on her head. Her twinkling honey eyes were as big as orbs scanning the premises. Draco stopped walking as he caught sight of her. His eyes traveled from Blaise to Hermione. He felt his fury bubbling up again, but tried to remain calm.

“Hermione! Hermione!” Blaise called out. She whipped around letting her hair tumble around her face. It was a particularly windy day, much too windy for Draco’s preference.

“Blaise!” Hermione smiled as he bent down to capture her lips onto his. Draco looked up at the three goal posts. He would not watch them for fear of killing Blaise right on the spot.

“What are you doing here?” Blaise asked as he finally let go. They both walked towards the pitch.

“Well the Headmisstress asked me to keep a look out of the people who would be watching you guys today. She doesn’t want anymore fights. And you know, me being Head Girl…” Hermione trailed off. Blaise grinned.

“Draco’s here too you know.” He replied simply holding is broom in one hand, and keeping the other on the small of Hermione’s back.

“Yeah, but I think he’s going to be a bit busy concentrating on the practice and not petty fights little first years get into. That would be my job.” Hermione rolled her eyes. “Whatever, at least I can cheer for you now.” She smiled.

This time it was Blaise who rolled his eyes.

“I would prefer it if you would cheer me on in the real game.” Blaise persisted as they came to a stop.

“You know I will be.” Hermione replied.

“Then promise me you’ll wear this?” Blaise removed his scarf and handed it to Hermione.

“You want me to be murdered don’t you?” Hermione said gravely as she took the scarf. Blaise smirked as he kissed her forehead.

“I love you.” He smiled.

“Come on Blaise! We’re losing time.” A teammate called as he mounted his broom,  kicked off, and zoomed into the air. The other members reciprocated his movement.

“I should go. Stay and watch, please?” Blaise asked with an endearing expression.

“Only because I have to.” Hermione teased as he kissed her. She smiled at him and watched him walk away. She hadn’t even realized Draco walking right next to her. He caught her eye as he slowly passed. Their eyes locked and as quick as lightning she saw that his anger had subsided. The wind howled again, blowing Hermione’s hair in front of her face. Draco inhaled her scent, her perfume, his perfume. He went rigid and tense. The frustration and fury returned. He kicked off the ground and rose into the air, glad to be directly out of the way of her aroma.

But it was glued to him. He could still smell it. His own words repeated inside of his head:

Your smell is intoxicating. This will probably be the death of me.

He idly looked through the stands and caught her making her way to the front of the seats. She took out a book. How typical, he thought. She began reading. He remained immobile on his broom, arms crossed and staring blankly at her. She didn’t need to look up, she already knew his eyes would be fixed onto her. This was surely going to be the longest hour of her life.

“Oi, Malfoy! At least make it look like you’re interested in the practice!” Blaise called out smirking towards Draco’s direction. He looked at Draco, and slowly followed his gaze which landed directly and solely onto Hermione.

Blaise’s smirk faltered.

He looked back onto Draco’s face where he caught his eye. They looked at each other for a moment. Draco gave a slight nod. Blaise smiled and zoomed away.

Yet, that was not the last time during the practice that Blaise caught Draco gazing off at Hermione. And it severely bothered him why that was so.





Hm is this trouble I detect? What was that Blaise, you detect foul play? Well, you'll just have to sit back and wait until the next chapter to see where this leads to! But let me know your thoughts on the situation!

Chapter 15: The Bet
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A/N: Hello lovelies! I'm apologizing in advance in case this chapter takes a while to get out. I just looked at the queue and it is 9 days long! So I'm very sorry for the long delay. But I have submitted this chapter as soon as I can in hopes that you guys will get it quickly. If that's not the case, then once again sorry!

Oh and just a quick little thought, I was showing my friend this story and she turns to me and says, "this story is so similar to Katy Perry's song 'Thinking of You'."

Cause when I'm with him, I am thinking of you
And what you would do if you were the one who was spending the night
Oh I wish that I was looking into your eyes
Hm, interesting.

Anyway, on to the story! :)





“Ron eat up.” Hermione never thought she would have to utter those words. “You need brain food to help you concentrate today.”

Ron looked down at his plate of eggs, bacon, toast, and pancakes without the slightest bit of interest.

“I know Hermione, I’m just a little anxious that’s all.” Ron replied.

“Don’t get nervous on me now Ron. We know we’re going to kick their ass right?” Harry replied.

“Yeah, I know that much.” Ron laughed.

The entire Great Hall was decorate for today’s major Quidditch match. One half covered in the deepest crimson and gold banners waving everywhere. The Gryffindor crest imbibed in the middle with a roaring lion, ready to tackle and destroy its prey. While the other half was decorated in emerald green and silver silks. The Slytherin crest too was weaved onto its banners, the sly serpent eyeing all those who think they could out smart it.

There were many students from other houses who also fashioned accessories in support of Gryffindor or Slytherin. Harry glanced at the clock, it was nearly time.

“Come on guys. We need to go to the players tents.” Harry commented. Everyone rose from their seats. The Slytherins began cheering as their own team started to finish up their breakfast.

Hermione got up as well. She gave Ron, Harry, and Ginny each an encouraging hug before they left.

“Hey Hermione, want to get seats?” Neville asked. Nodding in agreement, both her and Neville made their way to the stands.

As Hermione and Neville made their way towards the Quidditch pitch, she heard Blaise’s voice booming words of encouragement through the silver and green tent.

“Uh Neville, I’ll meet up with you in a minute. I forgot, I have to go give something to Ron really quickly.” Hermione replied. Neville nodded and Hermione made her way to the Slytherin Quidditch team’s tent.

Nervously she peaked into the tent to see the boys either sitting, stretching, or just relaxing before the game.

“Blaise?” Hermione called. All eyes focused on her. But luckily for her, Blaise was the first one to respond.

“Hey.” He said as he walked over to her, outside the tent. “What’s up? What are you doing here?” He asked.

“I didn’t really get to see you this morning, and well I wanted to wish you good luck.” Hermione smiled.

“Oh thanks. I didn’t think you were going to support me today.” Blaise replied looking down. Obviously something was bothering him.

“Why would you think that?” Hermione asked searching his face.

“You’re not wearing it.” Blaise answered.

She could tell he was angry. He had wanted her to support him so badly, but to him it seemed like she could care less. Didn’t she know how much her support meant to him?

“You know I couldn’t wear a Slytherin scarf in the middle of a Gryffindor stand. But it doesn’t mean I’m not supporting you. I’m just doing it a bit more subtly.”

“Thanks, but subtle isn’t really my thing.” Blaise said coldly.

Hermione looked as though she had been slapped. She was extremely hurt. And then, before she even let herself feel the pain, it turned into anger.

“I was supporting you.” Hermione said vehemently, as she pointed to her head. He heard the tingling of her bracelet, the one he gave her, as she moved her hand.

Wrapped snuggly in her hair were two silk scarves entwined with one another and twisted around her head into a headband. One fashioned stripes with silver and green, while the other was gold and crimson. Slytherin and Gryffindor. She gave him one last scalding look before turning on him.

Blaise felt a large lump in his throat. The waves of guilt emanating from his body were almost tangible. He felt horrible.

“Blaise they’re calling us.” A teammate called from inside the tent. Sure enough, he could hear the Headmistress calling Gryffindor team to fly out onto to the field. Trying to shake the heaviness of his thoughts, he took his broom and walked up to the opening on the bottom where he flew up with the rest of his teammates as their team was called.

Hermione weaved through the roaring crowd to find Neville. He found the perfect seats at the front of the stand.

“They’ve all gone a little mad haven‘t they?” Neville yelled as he tried to project his voice. Hermione nodded in agreement. She looked around. The stands were shaking with excitement. Student had players names painted across their foreheads, others had their faces painted in the colors of their team, there were innumerable amounts of banners, streamers, and decorations of all sorts. The stands were a sea of silver and green clashing with gold and crimson.

“Oh my god he’s adorable!” Parvati yelped at the same time as Lavender. Hermione rolled her eyes. Obviously there were some people here who were more in it for the boys than the game.

“Who do you suppose is gonna win?” Seamus asked who was right beside Hermione. She turned to face him.

“Uh, I’m not sure. I saw Slytherin practice the other day and they were pretty good but I think we have a fair chance as well. Although…” Hermione continued unaware that around her the noise had increasingly died down.

“Uh Hermione?” She turned around to see Lavender pointing out towards the pitch. She turned only to see Blaise hovering right next to the stand, and the rest of the players suspended in midair, scattered around the pitch looking bewildered.

“Blaise what the fuck are you doing?” Someone called out.

“Just was a minute!” Blaise roared back. He turned to Hermione. “I’m sorry. I was being completely unfair to you before. I shouldn’t have said you didn’t want to support me. I was being selfish and didn’t see it from your side.”

Hermione stood there as though she had been confunded. Blaise smiled and continued.

“So to make up for it, and because I want to… give me your headband.” He finished stretching out his hand.

“My what?” Hermione replied.

“Your headband.” He said again.

Hermione’s brain decided to work again. She started to unravel the two silk scarves. She started handing him the green and silver stripped one when he stopped her.

“No, the other one.” He said pointing to the gold and crimson silk. Hermione truly felt as though she were slapped across the face.

Blaise smirked and spoke.

“You support me, I support you right?” Hermione could hear Lavender and Parvati ‘aw’ behind her. She gulped.

“Right.” Hermione let out as she tied the silk around his wrist. He was about to fly off when she called him. “Wait! You forgot something.”

And without caring who was watching, Hermione kissed him right on the lips.

“Good luck.” She smiled. He beamed at her and zoomed away.

“Well, I guess we can let the match begin now.” Madame Hooch replied as she blew her whistle and threw the quaffle in the air.

*

“I can’t believe this.” Blaise said.

“Why?” Hermione egged on. She grinned widely at him.

“You know why.” he groaned.

“Do you have to be a sore loser?” Hermione teased.

“Yes.” Blaise replied stubbornly. Hermione rolled her eyes at him.

“Well I won, fair and square. So, I think its time that I collect my reward.” Hermione whispered into Blaise’s ear as she slithered her hand into his. Blaise’s heartbeat began racing.

It was a mere hour after Gryffindor sought victory in the game. Hermione, with much effort, dragged Blaise out of his gloomy state in the Slytherin common room. She was bringing him back to her Head’s dorm.

“I’m too depressed to even think straight Hermione.” Blaise replied unenthusiastically.

“Then let me cheer you up.” Hermione winked leading Blaise. He sighed heavily and let go of her arm.

“Hermione you can’t just expect me to be perfectly alright right after I just lost a huge game.” Blaise commented slightly harshly.

“I just wanted to make you feel better.” Hermione defended. She was confused; didn’t he want this?

“Yeah well sometimes having sex doesn’t make everything okay.” Blaise said loudly.

“Excuse me?!” Hermione roared. She looked positively livid. The expression in her eyes was wild.

A couple of people walking by looked at the couple and scurried away. Little did both of them know that amongst the crowd was Cecilia.

“Well that is what you were going to do weren’t you?” Blaise asked. She never knew how cruel he could be.

“No. I thought I was bringing you back so we could…” Hermione lowered her voice down to a whisper. “…be together.”

Blaise’s cold, hard expression did not change. He looked at Hermione who’s eyes were now glossed with liquid brimming her lids. Hurt and pain was etched into her face, yet it did not change him.

“I can’t. I can’t deal with this right now.” Blaise said.

“Fine! Go whine and complain and mope around all day because of a bloody loss! Clearly that’s your number one priority.” Hermione screamed as she stormed off.

Upon hearing this Cecilia smirked and immediately rushed back to find Pansy.

Hermione hadn’t the faintest clue as to where she was going. Her feet were guiding her through the corridors. Letting the tears flow completely now, her vision was blurred. She felt a thickness roll down her throat. How could Blaise be so ignorant, cruel even, of her feelings? Blaise, one of the sweetest, nicest people she had met. He was the perfect boyfriend, the perfect gentleman. Hermione began ascending the stairs of the Astronomy Tower. She wasn’t sure why, but this seemed to be the right place to go at the moment.

*
“Pansy! Pansy, guess what!” Cecilia smiled.

“What?” Pansy asked.

“Granger and Blaise just got into a huge fight.” She smirked. Pansy was suddenly keen with interest.

Draco stopped listening after that. He walked out of the common room to find Hermione. It had been weeks since they last talked, but that did not matter now. Perhaps with Blaise out of the picture… but Draco didn’t glee on the prospect for too long, in fear of having his hopes run high. Yet, he couldn’t help it. This was a small opening door for him, a small opportunity. He knew he had to hurry to her, before Blaise did. He quickened his pace. Finally he reached the portrait of her dorm.

“Is she in there?” He asked urgently.

The portrait of the beautiful woman looked at Draco and nodded her head in a ‘no’. Growling Draco frantically tried to think of where she might be.

The library? No. Too many people; she would have wanted to be alone.
Outside? No not that either.

Then it hit Draco. His eyes flashed a brilliant shade of victory as he ran towards the Astronomy Tower. Racing up the stairs two at a time, he was nearly out of breath as he got to the top of the tower and busted through the doors. He found her looking up at the sky on the opposite side of the Tower. He could tell she was clearly freezing by the way her body quivered. He shrugged out of his robes and quietly walked up behind her. For a brief second he didn’t know if he should approach her, but the thought left him. He placed the robes around her shoulders. He heard her breath hitch in surprise. She turned to face him.

He looked at her devastated face. Her tears were frozen down her cheeks. Her eyes were red and puffed around the edges. Her face was visibly paler than it normally was. She was distraught. Draco slowly moved forward. If there was one thing he was certain of, it was that he was going to murder Blaise tonight, with his bare hands. He would rip him limb from limb until every foul piece of him was discarded from this world. But all of his macabre thoughts were hushed as Hermione sniffed.

Draco reached out a hand to touch Hermione’s face. She watched as he slowly moved his hand to her cheek. His touch did it. Hermione crumbled into his arms, and Draco longingly embraced her.

“I missed you so much Hermione.” Draco breathed out rapidly.

“Me too.” Hermione whispered. He grabbed her shoulders and had her face him. He looked right into her eyes.

“What did he do to you?” Draco asked trying very hard to control his anger. Hermione looked away from him. She didn’t know where to begin. It was not as though Blaise had done some atrocious crime, yet she could not deny that his words hurt her.

“It was just a fight.” Hermione tried to pass off this excuse.

“Bullshit.” Draco replied. He dropped his hands down to his sides. He looked at Hermione who’s face was turned to look out onto the grounds stretched before them.

“Don’t go looking into it more than it is.” Hermione replied firmly. Draco couldn’t believe she was defending him.

“I don’t get you.” He said coldly.

“What is there to get Draco? What did you think this would have led to?” Hermione asked rather forcefully. She didn’t know where this anger and aggression was coming from. She wasn’t mad with Draco, so then why were these frustrating emotions always surfacing in his presence?

Draco looked at her seethingly.

“Fuck you Granger.” He said. As soon as the words slipped past his lips, he knew he didn’t mean them, and so did Hermione.

They remained silent just looking out into the horizon. The stars were glowing on this clear, cloudless sky.

“Why are you here?” Hermione asked finally. Draco turned to face her.

He took a step closer. He was a mere inches away from her body. She could feel the cold billowing breath slither on her cheek. Hermione knew he was piercing her skin with his eyes, she could feel them anywhere.

“I think you know why.” Draco whispered. Hermione knew what was to follow, yet she willingly went into the trap. She slowly turned to face Draco.

When he kissed her, it didn’t feel horrible, in fact, it felt quite amazing. Hermione did not protest nor did she feel guilt. No, this was different. Hermione was completely in sync with this. Draco pulled back slightly. He lingered himself close to her and softened the hard expression that was on his face a moment ago.

“Reconsider.” Draco said simply. Yet, there was a strange feeling of desperation mixed with longing in his voice. Hermione looked into his eyes; they were large crystal orbs with striking icicle irises. They were clearly glossed with tears, Hermione knew, that would not shed.

And then he did something that he had never done before in his life… beg.

“Please.” Draco pleaded. Hermione couldn’t bare to witness his agony. She knew this fight with Blaise was faulty on both ends. Hermione’s stubbornness and Blaise’s melancholy mood did nothing to help the situation. She couldn’t give up on Blaise this easily. After all, it had only been one fight; their first fight in fact.

He had said he loved her.

“I… I can’t just give up on everything…” Hermione began but before she could finish Draco gruffly turned around and headed out.

“Draco wait!” Hermione called out.

“What?”

“I’m scared… because I think I’m in lo…”

“Don’t! Don’t say it.” Draco replied painstakingly. He looked excruciatingly hurt.

“But you already know that’s how I feel.” Hermione replied.

“No I don’t. But if you say it out loud then it would be official, and I wouldn’t be able to live knowing that.”

With one final pained look, he walked through the door leaving Hermione alone in the cold once more. He wouldn’t be able to listen to Hermione finally confess that she too loved Blaise. No, he would not be able to take it at all. Perhaps he should have let her finish, but he knew that the following words would have been for Blaise, not for him. Feeling more miserable than he ever had, he sulkily walked back to his room.

Hermione watched him leave her. She stood there feeling slightly flabbergasted.

She couldn’t believe that she almost told Draco that she loved him.




I know, what a major moment for Hermione right? Well I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter.

I also wanted to know if any of you have Twitter? This way I can let you know quickly if the backlog is really long without having to wait for the chapter to be validated to tell you guys. Just an easier way to let you guys know what's going on in the story! If you are interested, let me know!

Until next chapter!

Chapter 16: Hermione's Savior
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A/N: I would just like to quickly say that this chapter has a scene that is a little disturbing. I know most of you just click the 'ok' button if you are 17+ but I just wanted to give you a heads up that there is a scene that has a senstive issue. Now with that said, on to the story!

**I'm so so so sorry about the false update. I just had to edit the name of my other fan fiction: Of All the FLOWERS. I wrote in 'roses' because at the time that was the original title, which I changed after. Sorry for this nonesense update, but I'm already submitting the next chapter! Please don't hate me too much. But if you want something to read, go check the other story out. It will be a good read while you wait for this one to update. Once again, super super super sorry! :(




Hermione still had not talked to Blaise. The silence was excruciatingly intolerable. She promised herself that she would not burst out crying at the sight of him when she saw him in Astronomy that night. Yet as he walked in and looked into her eyes Hermione felt the immense lump in her throat. She couldn’t recognize him anymore. He no longer had his beautiful childlike smile, or his endearing laugh. He no longer joked and grinned. He sat perfectly still and serious as he gazed at Hermione. She barely even noticed Cormac McLaggen blabbering on about being partners.

And then Draco walked in. It was his presence that made Hermione seriously choke back the tears. Draco, imperfect in almost everyway. His mistakes burned deep within Hermione’s flesh. She could almost feel the scar on her neck prickling. She followed him as he took his seat in the middle. She sighed heavily. Why couldn’t she just overlook her situation with Blaise? Maybe she was scared of being alone. But that couldn’t be right. She was scared of being with Draco. What would that look like? Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger? Was she really afraid to show her feelings for Draco or was it that she just didn’t like him?

No, she definitely felt something for him.

Her eyes caught his for a moment, before she swiftly redirected them to Blaise. His eyes were already focused on her as he watched her switch her gaze. She looked at him imploringly as to say, ‘please talk to me.’

Blaise softened his expression a little. It seemed, for a fraction of a second, that he was about to get up. That is, until Harry came and sat beside Hermione.

“Hermione?” Harry’s soothing calm voice spoke.

“Hi.” Hermione whispered.

“Are you okay? I heard about the uh, argument.” Harry said. Hermione turned to face him. There was something about Harry’s sparkling green eyes in that moment that made Hermione want to breakdown. She quickly hugged him as he held her in his arms. She muffled inaudible whimpers into his shoulder.

“Harry I don’t know what I did! I’ve never really felt this way about someone before and it just hurts to not have him talk to me. I wanted to tell you but it happened last night, and I was just really upset. And the worst thing is that I don’t even know if we’re still together or not!” Hermione recited at top speed.

Harry soothed her as he stroked her hair. He gave a scalding look in Blaise’s direction who was watching Harry hold Hermione in his arms.

“Blaise will no longer have any limbs to worry about next time in Quidditch.” Harry threatened.

“Harry…” Hermione began.

“I know I know. It’s just, I knew something like this would have happened. I mean, I didn’t set you out to fail. I mean really Blaise surprised me with the way he acted with you before. This sudden relapse, I just don’t get it either.” Harry finished as Hermione let go of him.

“I don’t know if I should go talk to him.” Hermione said as she longingly looked at Blaise who was now working with a Ravenclaw girl.

“Maybe let him have some time to cool off. Perhaps once the heat is blown off, he’ll realize what was really bothering him.” Harry suggested. He noticed the look in Hermione’s face as he, technically, suggested she do nothing.

“Hermione,” he began, “he will come back to you.”

And after that she did not question Harry. She did not doubt him either, because she knew, somehow, that Harry was right.

“Thank you.” Hermione smiled slightly as she squeezed Harry’s hand.

“You’re welcome.” He replied. “So are we actually supposed to be doing something?”

He just realized that they were actually in class. They looked at each other, and broke out into a loud laughter. It felt so nice to laugh for Hermione.

“Mr. Potter, Miss Granger please quiet down. I doubt that you are finished with your star maps and I suggest that you apply your attention to them at the moment.” Professor Sinsitra scolded.

“Sorry Professor.” Hermione apologized slightly blushing. She looked at Harry who grinned.

“So I’m assuming you’re probably not going to Hogsmeade with Blaise then?” Harry asked as he began taking out his materials.

“Uh, well I didn’t really even think about that.” Hermione replied truthfully.

“How about you come with me? Ron’ll be there, along with Ginny, Neville, and Luna. It’ll be a fun get away.” Harry offered.

“I would love to. I’ll come by the Gryffindor common room tomorrow morning then? We could all have breakfast together.” Hermione suggested.

“Yeah that’s brilliant.” Harry smiled. They both began their work.

Hermione didn’t once think of crying in Harry’s presence. Even though she occasionally caught the awkward glances of both Draco and Blaise. She was, for the most part, happy for the rest of the night, because she realized one tremendous factor that somehow she overlooked:

She would always have Harry and Ron, and they would always be there for her unconditionally.

*

“Did you see the look on Eloise’s face when she thought I actually liked her!” Ron joked as he, Harry, and Neville laughed. Hermione, Luna, and Ginny looked at each as they rolled their eyes.

“You leave Eloise alone Ronald. She’s a really sweet girl on the inside!” Ginny yelled.

“I bet she is.” Ron sniggered. Ginny slapped him.

They all walked into the Three Broom Sticks laughing.

“Why don’t you ladies go find us a table, and we’ll go get us some butterbeers?” Harry suggested. Hermione nodded as she, Luna, and Ginny weaved their way through the stuffed pub. Hermione faintly heard Harry say, ‘Ron I said all of the ladies.’ She couldn’t help but laugh.

They returned with six butterbeers. Hermione tried to pay Harry back who bought the drinks for everyone, but he refused to accept her money. Hermione felt extremely at ease in their company. She barely even thought about Blaise or Draco.

“Hermione did I ever tell you about the time that Harry had to give Ron a bath?” Ginny laughed. Hermione nearly choked on her butterbeer.

“Excuse me? When was this?” Hermione eagerly asked.

“Gin! You said you wouldn’t tell anyone!” Ron protested.

“Oh Ron, how could I possibly keep something this juicy from everyone?” Ginny teased as she began retelling the story. Hermione was so engrossed into their conversation, she barely noticed the group of laughing Slytherins come in.

“Hahaha, oh that story is priceless.” Hermione laughed as she looked at Harry and Ron slump into their chairs. She quickly adjusted her head, and then she saw him.

He was sitting in the center of the group. She wasn’t sure if he was bored, uninterested, angry, or just indifferent. Blaise quickly glanced at Hermione and returned to his drink. Cecilia was sitting next to him, whispering into his ear. He looked at Hermione with hard eyes.

Hermione looked away. She tried to pretend his presence with Cecilia didn’t bother her. But she couldn’t deny the complete anguish she felt inside.

“The bloody nerve of that git!” Hermione herd Ginny spit. Hermione looked back as she saw Cecilia lean up to kiss Blaise on the cheek. Tears threatened to escape her eyes.

“Hermione lets just leave.” Harry suggested.

“No, no. Stay all of you. I just need some air.” Hermione replied as she took her coat and began gathering her mittens and purse.

“Hermione honestly, we’ll go to…” Ron started.

“No really finish your drinks. I’ll just be back.” Hermione reassured as she smiled faintly and walked out of the pub.

The moment she stopped outside she let out a shattering sob. Choking back the tears, she began walking. Hermione had no idea where her legs were guiding her, but she did not protest. All she could think about was Blaise. What had she done wrong? Clearly this was all blown out of proportion right?

Then an extremely terrifying thought came to her mind. What if she left Blaise and went to Draco? Perhaps this was supposed to happen, perhaps she was meant for Draco. No but that wasn’t right at all. If she were meant for Draco, she wouldn’t have these nagging feelings drawing her back to Blaise.

“God I hate you!” Hermione yelled out to no one in particular.

It was then that she realized just how far she had ended up walking. She looked around, yet the cheery atmosphere of Hogsmeade was no longer around her. She noticed the Hog’s Head a little way up the left path. But Hermione had taken the right path, and she did not recognize this area. She began walking back when she heard another pair of feet walking behind her.

She could make out the silhouette of a rather lopsided looking man. He was bulky and heavy on his feet. His crooked smile revealed pasty looking teeth. His black eyes were sparkling in the moon as more than just curiosity were etched into them.

“Are you lost?” He called out in a gruff tone.

“Uh, no. No thank you.” Hermione breathed out as she turned around to start walking.

“What’s a lovely girl like you doing so far up here?” He asked. She heard his footsteps edging closer. Hermione clenched her hand onto her wand. She ignored his question as she wanted nothing more than to just get out from there.

She could hear the crunching of the snow beneath his boots come faster. Hermione quickly grabbed her wand as she spun around.

Stu-” Hermione began.

Expelliarmus!” The man bellowed. Hermione’s wand flew up as he caught it. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you to answer when someone is talking to you?”

Hermione was suddenly overcome with fear. She couldn’t channel magic without her wand. She felt completely naked and more vulnerable than ever before. She knew that there was no point in running; he would only cast a body binding curse on her.

He approached her, and now she could completely make out his features. Long oily black hair, much like that of Snape. His bulky figure towered over Hermione as she cowered beneath him. His smile was greedy and hungry. He searched her with beady eyes that held nothing but lust and sinful intentions.

“What do you want?” Hermione asked. His grin merely widened.

“Just to talk to you. You know that you are quite the beautiful girl? I wonder, do you have a boyfriend?” He asked as he extended a finger to brush the hair from Hermione’s face behind her ear.

Nothing but utter disgust surged through her body.

“Yes.” Hermione replied. “Actually we’re meeting at the Hog’s Head. So I really should be on my way, or else he’ll come looking for me.”

This only made the man laugh. He brushed back her hair, and bent down to whisper into her ear.

“By which time, I shall be long gone.” He kissed her ear lobe. The vile sensation of his lips made Hermione shiver.

It was now or never.

She quickly dashed away from him. Her efforts were futile.

Stupefy!

The spell hit her at the hollow of her knees. She collapsed onto the frozen ground. Tears began running down her cheeks as she felt hopelessness wash over her. Hermione struggled to get to her feet. She looked back and found him walking over to her.

She began running. And once again was hit with another stunning spell. This time she crashed down harder. She let out a scream of pain. Hermione rolled onto her back as she saw him looking down upon her.

“Now that was not so nice. I was going to be gentle on you. But you had to go run now didn’t you?” He replied crouching down beside her.

“Get the fuck away from me.” Hermione commanded with nothing but venom in her voice. She did not want to seem weak. “My friends will come looking for me. Harry will kill you.” She said almost cynically. At this he smirked revealing his pasty teeth.

“Like I said, by which time I will have been long gone, and your screams will be nothing but silent protests inaudible to anyone but yourself.” He replied. Hermione opened her mouth to scream for help.

Silencio!” He yelled as Hermione’s voice was suddenly gone.

She tried one more feeble attempt to escape. She kicked him as hard as she could in the knees and tried to get away. He fell back slightly, but she only made it about three feet before he tackled her to the ground.

His rough, heavy body pained her as he lifted himself up.

“You’re going to fucking regret you ever did that.” He replied for the first time with anger.

He attacked her first with his lips. He tried to kiss her face. She thrashed beneath him. It was no use, he could easily over power her. He grabbed her wrists and held them above her head. Hermione screamed, in futile. No one would hear her screams.

She felt his rough dry lips move down her neck. She felt his free hand wander its way to her thighs. She could hear him breathing heavily from lust. Hermione felt vile inside.  His arm felt his way up as he tried to take apart her coat. The frigid air didn’t even bother Hermione. She could only feel the sinful hands exploring her unlawfully. He began ripping apart the bottom of her shirt. She felt the explosion of tears pour out of her eyes blurring his scarred face. The pure foul act made Hermione want to die.

And then, all she saw was red.

She didn’t hear him coming, she couldn’t see him. But she knew he was there. She wiped her face as she made out his murderous expression.

His blonde hair whipped violently in the winter air, his hand clutching his wand, his crystal eyes had nothing but murder in them.

“I am going to kill you.” he said in such a controlled fury that Hermione was frightened to move.

She unsteadily made it to her feet. She watched as Draco walked over to the now disarmed predator. The man was hunched down at Draco’s mercy, wandless and defenseless.

“Please…” He begged.

“Shut up! Crucio!” Draco said as he watched the man wither in pain below his feet.

“Draco! Draco stop!” Hermione pleaded. She ran up to him and broke his connection. The livid look in his eyes humbled Hermione slightly. “You can’t do this.”

“He violated you Hermione. I’m going to fucking kill him for even looking at you.” Draco replied with such passionate contempt for the man that even his will power was boiling over to the edge.

“Killing him won’t accomplish anything.” Hermione rationed.

“Yes it will. Cruicio!” Draco screamed. His anger was a sight to behold. He could not control it, and nor did he want to. He was going to murder this man for the egregious things he did to her, planned on doing to her.

Hermione grabbed his arm. The man now lay unconscious. Draco’s breathing was ravenous and ragged. She took his hand into her own. She looked into his eyes trying to find the Draco she knew. Hermione knew that he would come to his senses. She just needed to break though to him. His eyes locked with Hermione’s. They were overcome with grief; not for the man, but for her.

“I’m sorry. He hurt you, and I wanted nothing but his dead body. Hermione stop me before I kill him.” Draco replied looking down at the  body. Hermione embraced Draco.

“It’s alright. I’m alright.” She reassured.

“I love you.” Draco said.

“I know.” Hermione replied.

“Come with me. Let’s leave Hogwarts Hermione. What is here for us anyway? What lessons could we possibly learn after all we’ve been through? There is nothing for us here.” Draco implored. The longing returned to his eyes. It broke Hermione’s heart.

“Draco I can’t. This is my home.” Hermione said.

But he didn’t care. He moved closer to Hermione and kissed her. Her bruised lips felt rough on Draco’s. She wanted nothing more than to melt into his arms. His cool minty taste lingered on her breath.

She couldn’t do this. She pushed him off and looked at his handsome face.

“Hermione I don’t get you! Do you not feel anything for me at all?” Draco asked. He didn’t want to believe it, yet a voice inside of his mind told him not to get his hopes high.

“Of course not! Draco, of course I care about you! More than you could possibly imagine.” Hermione defended.

“Then what is it? Why won’t you just give into this? Is it Blaise?” Draco questioned.

“I… I don’t know! Yes, Blaise is a part of it. But I, I just can’t!” Hermione confessed. How could she assure Draco something, when she herself had no idea?

“I should have given up on you. But I can’t and I’m slowly going insane.” Draco said. He looked down at the ground. He picked up Hermione’s wand from the snow. Brushing if off, he handed it to her.

“I can’t keep fighting for you. Not until you fight for me.” Draco said finally.

Hermione didn’t want to, but her brain sent signals to her legs to walk away. She didn’t even bother adjusting her ripped, disheveled look. Tears were frozen in place, but her eyes were bloodshot. Her hair was a mess on top of her head. She was bruised up on the sides of her neck, and he left arm was thundering in pain from her collisions with the ground. She walked back toward the Three Broom Sticks.

“I’ll go look in Honeydukes and see if she went there.” Neville said as he, Luna, Ron, Harry, and Ginny all walked out of the pub.

“Hermione!” Ginny screamed as she saw Hermione’s bruised body limp towards them.

“Hermione what happened to you?” Ron asked observing her wounds. Before she could respond, the weakness in her knees gave out, and she collapsed. Both Ron and Harry dived in and caught her before she hit the ground.

“I… I was attacked.” Hermione breathlessly replied. All of them exchanged looks.

“Who did this to you?” Harry asked with complete venom in his voice.

It was then that Blaise, Cecilia, Pansy, and a few other Slytherins came out of the pub.

“Move out of the way Potter!” one of the boys yelled. Blaise looked at them, and found Hermione in Ron’s arms.

He dropped the glass bottle that shattered into a million tiny pieces of rain droplets.

“What happened?” Blaise asked suddenly in fear.

“She was attacked.” Ginny replied quietly.

Blaise was overcome with emotion.

“Hermione… I… who did this?” He asked.

“Not now. I can’t talk about this.” Hermione replied, the tears swelling in her eyes again. The pain was throbbing throughout her body.

“Can I?” Blaise asked Hermione. She nodded as Blaise took Hermione off of Ron, and held her in his arms.

“I am so so sorry. This is all my fault.” Blaise started.

“No its not. Not at all. Blaise, I need to lay down.” Hermione replied. She wanted nothing more than to sleep in her room.

“Yes, yes anything.” Blaise replied.

“Harry, Ron? The man is still out there. He’s lying unconscious. He’s on the path right of Hog’s Head.” Hermione said.

“Do you need us?” They asked in unison.

“No I’m fine.” Hermione replied.

As Blaise carried Hermione back to the castle, she slowly fell into a slumber. She was only slightly awake when she heard him talk again.

“Hermione, I love you. And I promise I will never leave you again.”

And with that she fell asleep in his protective arms, but her dreams were haunted by Draco that night.




And there you have it! I also have a quick side note:
*If you guys enjoy this story, I am also concurrently writing a Scorpius/Rose story called Of All the Flowers. Its a cute romance comedy that I think many of you will like. Here's a little preview:

Scorpius Malfoy


“So you two know who you’re taking to the Ball?” Ashford asked us. Albus told him and me again that he was likely to ask Arianna.

“What about you?” Albus asked. He shrugged.

“I wanted to ask Rose.” He said. I looked at him with daggers in my eyes. I felt my fists clench automatically. He wanted my Rose? He was a dead man.

“You wanted to ask Rosie? What happened?” Albus asked. He wasn’t so keen on killing Ashford.

Maybe there was hope.

“Yeah but I just found out that Lysander already asked her. And she said yes.” Ashford shrugged.

Or maybe I was just meant to live in misery.

Go check it out if you liked it! Once again its called: Of All the Flowers. :)

Chapter 17: Draco's Disappearnce
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A/N: Hello once again. I don't have much to say other than here is the new chapter! Read, review, and enjoy!






Hermione woke the following morning with a pounding headache. The sun was too bright, and her ears were ringing. She felt awful and she was sure the way she looked reflected it. Rubbing her eyes to adjust to the influx of sunlight, she sat up on her bed. She blinked a couple of times and looked around. She noticed that her robes and clothes were folded onto a chair nearby. Her shoes beneath the chair. Hermione was dressed in her pajamas.

Hermione got out of her bed and made her way downstairs. As she approached the couch in the middle of the room, she spotted Blaise sleeping. Hermione smiled slightly. Not wanting to wake him up, she turned back to head upstairs.

“Hermione?” Blaise croaked. His voice was heavy and tired. She walked up to the couch and sat beside his resting body on the couch.

“You should sleep.” Hermione replied. Nodding his head, he opened his eyes and sat up.

“It’s fine. How are you feeling?” He asked.

“I’m alright. Just a little sore.” Hermione replied.

“Hermione I’m sorry.” Blaise said looking down.

“Blaise I told you last night, this wasn’t your fault.” Hermione said as she took his hand.

“No, not just that. I’m sorry for everything. The way I’ve been behaving lately, the selfishness, the childish fight I got us into. I’m sorry for all of that. I don’t know what had gotten into me.” Blaise commented.

“Blaise its alright. You were just really upset over the match. That’s all.” Hermione stated.

“No, but I don’t think that’s it.” Blaise trailed off. Hermione could tell he wanted to say something but was calculating how to go about it.

“What is it Blaise? Just say it.”

“This is going to sound completely ridiculous and utterly ludicrous but…” Blaise began.

“Oh just say it!” Hermione pleaded.

“Is there something going on between you and Draco?” Blaise concluded.

Hermione’s face went pale. He knew. But how could that have happened? Unless someone saw her and Draco before and then told him.

“How… how do you…” Hermione started.

“I know I know! I sound completely crazy right? But its just that, the day when we went out to practice, Draco kept looking at you. And it wasn’t just a glance, it was like he was, almost pleading for you to look back at him. Hermione I know I’m just probably being completely insane, but just tell me the truth.” Blaise finished.

He didn’t know.

“Blaise, there is nothing going on between me and Draco. Nothing at all.” Hermione lied. A horrible guilty sensation hit her in the pit of her stomach.

“Are you sure?” Blaise asked.

Hermione took his face into both her hands. She looked right into his eyes and kissed him.

“Yes.”

It was then that Hermione concluded that whatever feelings she had for Draco would come to an end. She could not, and would not risk her relationship with Blaise. He loved her so much, and she knew that deep down, she loved him too. She would tell Draco to leave her alone. It was Blaise who was meant to have her, and it was Blaise with whom she would stay.

*

“Hey Hermione.” Harry said as she took a seat beside him in the Great Hall.

“Hi, have either of you seen Dra- uh, Malfoy?” Hermione asked. She looked around the Hall hoping he would be here. She wasn’t able to spot him anywhere in the school all morning.

“No we haven’t. But that’s besides the point what happened to you last night Hermione? We told Professor McGonagall; she’ll probably be wanting to see you sometime today.” Ron answered.

Yet Hermione wasn’t really paying attention. Her eyes were still scanning the Slytherin table.

“Hermione? Hello? What’s going on?” Harry asked waving his hands in front of a completely starry eyed looking Hermione. She snapped back.

“Are you sure neither of you have seen him?” Hermione pushed.

“Who Malfoy? No we just said we didn’t. Why are you so keen on looking for him?” Harry replied.

“I just, uh, I really need to talk to him about something McGonagall wanted us to do. And seeing as its rather important, I really should go find him.” Hermione began to get off from the bench when a brilliant idea flashed in her head. She turned to look at Harry who was looking quite dumbfounded.

“Harry, do you still have your Marauders Map?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah I do.” Harry replied.

“Can I use it?” Hermione asked rather forcefully.

“Uh…”

“Please Harry, this is important!”

“Alright, alright. Accio Marauders Map!” Harry summoned. In a matter of seconds a spare bit of parchment zoomed through the Great Hall and landed right in front of Hermione who caught it.

“Thank you!” Hermione yelped as she kissed Harry on the cheek and ran out of the Great Hall. She rounded an empty corridor and took out her wand.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” Hermione recanted as she tapped the blank parchment.

The parchment transformed before her eyes. Blobs of tiny feet were scurrying everywhere. She scanned the map very carefully so as not to miss him. She first checked his Head’s dorm, yet he was not there. She looked in the Slytherin common rooms, he was not their either. Hermione was beginning to get a bit impatient. She looked the map over twice, only to find that he was no where to be seen. How could this be? He couldn’t just be disappearing in and out of the castle.

“Of course!” Hermione nearly slapped herself across the head. The one place in Hogwarts that is unplottable. The one place that will be hidden if the person needs it to be. Hermione ran up to the seventh floor, all the while thinking of a way to get the Room of Requirement to open for her.

She ran past the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy and found the empty stone wall. Catching her breath, she thought three times.

I need to see Draco Malfoy.
I need to see Draco Malfoy.
I need to see Draco Malfoy.


She opened her eyes, only to be disappointed. That’s alright, she just needed to rephrase her request.

I need a place to talk to Draco Malfoy.

She opened her eyes to face, yet again, the stone wall.

“Oh come on!” Hermione roared. Fine, one more time!

I desperately need a way to talk to Draco Malfoy.

This time, when she opened her eyes, she was welcomed by a grand door forming before her eyes. She quickly opened the door and ran in. However she stopped in her tracks. There was something wrong. The room was quite small, with a large window looking out onto the grounds. There was a small wooden table in the center of the room, with a candlestick on it. Laying flat on the table was a blank piece of parchment, along with a quill and an ink bottle. It all made clear sense when she looked out the window and noticed a small brown barn owl perched onto the ledge. The room had no intentions of actually showing her Draco. No, it merely provided her with the tools to communicate with him. Frustrated, yet desperate to talk with him, Hermione walked towards the table. She dipped the tip of the quill into the ink and began writing.

Draco where are you? I need to talk to you. It’s important. Meet me tonight right outside of the Room of Requirement at 10 o’clock. Be there.

Hermione.


She let the ink quickly dry as she folded the paper and sealed it with the wax from the candlestick. Attaching the letter to the small fluffy owl, she pet its head as she watched it slice through the sky. Hopefully he would get it and come.

*

“I will be expecting a twelve inch paper by Thursday on the elements of the transfiguration we achieved today. It must include theory, execution, and precautions of an incorrect incantation or incomplete transfiguration.” Professor McGonagall assigned.

There were numerous audible groans of displeasure. They were dismissed from the class. Hermione was gathering her books when McGonagall called her over.

“Miss Granger, a word please.” Her stern voice called.

She exchanged looks with Harry as he walked out of the classroom. Hermione walked up to McGonagall’s desk.

“Yes Professor?” Hermione asked.

“I was recently informed of an incident that occurred during one of our Hogsmeade trips?” McGonagall questioned.

“Uh, yes.” Hermione answered.

“Please Miss Granger, could you recall the events of that night for me? I know it is not a memory you would wish to revisit, but I must know as much information as I can possibly get of the night. Both Mr. Weasley and Mr. Potter have told me of their recollections.” McGonagall stated.

Hermione took a deep breath. She really just wanted to forget the entire ordeal all together. Finally assuming she had her facts straight, she retold the story for McGonagall. However, she left out Draco’s part.

“I managed to summon my wand. I don’t know how, but Harry told me that in times of deep desperation, he was able to perform magic he had no idea he possessed. I’m guessing it must have been that.” Hermione concluded.

“I see. Miss Granger, I know this must be a trying time for you, but I must know. There was no actual, ah, -”

“No Professor. He, he didn’t get that far.” Hermione answered for her.

“Right of course. I am very sorry this had to happen to you Hermione. If there is anything you need, please feel free to come to me. I will be doubling the security around Hogsmeade I assure you. And as soon as we catch the wretched man who did this to you, I promise he will be punished to the extremity of the law.” Professor McGonagall assured.

“Professor, with all do respect, I would rather just put this all behind me. I have no desire to attend a court hearing or any of those formalities. I would much rather just forget it all happened in the first place.” Hermione replied truthfully.

“Hermione dear, this man cannot just run free. Who knows how many other girls he might pry on?” Professor McGonagall retorted.

“I understand that. Then catch him if you must, but please, I want to stay out of it.” Hermione requested.

“Very well. I did after all ask you if there was anything I could do. Now I suggest you be on your way to your next class. I shall let Horace know that you were having a word with me.” McGonagall concluded. Hermione stood there. She was struggling between leaving and staying.

“Yes? What is it?” McGonagall asked sensing something was bothering Hermione.

“Uh, its just that… Professor do you know where Malfoy is? I’ve been trying to find him all morning but couldn’t spot him anywhere. Its nearly time to set up another Prefect’s meeting and there were just a few topics I needed to discuss with him before hand.” Hermione replied smoothly. She knew that McGonagall would know where he was.

“I’m sorry, but you will have to conduct this meeting on your own I’m afraid Miss Granger.” Professor McGonagall replied shortly.

“How come?” Hermione pressed.

“Mr. Malfoy has requested a temporary leave for personal matters he had to attend to at home.” McGonagall replied diplomatically.

“What happened? Why did he leave?” Hermione asked a little too eagerly.

“I’m sorry Miss Granger I am not at liberty to divulge that information. If Mr. Malfoy wishes you to know, I am sure he will tell you. As for now, you should be on your way to Potions.” Professor McGonagall instructed. Hermione bade her a goodbye and walked out of the classroom with a storm of thoughts.

So Draco has left. It couldn’t possibly be because of her could it? No. Something must have happened. But why wouldn’t he tell her he was leaving? If it was about her, then he wouldn’t tell her. But it wasn’t about her! What if it was? She couldn’t stop going through reasons for his absence. Hermione reached the Dungeons and opened the door to enter the Potions classroom.

“Ah Miss Granger I just received word from Minerva that you were held back with her. No worries, no worries! You can easily just join along with a group and borrow someone’s notes!” Professor Slughorn merrily said. Hermione half heartedly smiled and joined Harry, Dean, and Hannah. She glanced over at Blaise who was smirking at her. She waved and seated herself next to Harry.

“How was the talk?” Harry asked as he twirled his wand around the bubbling cauldron.

“Dreadful. She meant well, I know she did. It was just hard to talk about nonetheless.” Hermione replied. Harry gave her a comforting smile.

“Harry could I?” Hermione asked taking his notebook.

“Uh, if I were you, I would take Hannah’s.” Harry stated truthfully. Hermione smiled as Hannah handed her notebook.

They were shortly dismissed. Hermione waited behind with Blaise. They both had a free period before their Arithmancy class.

“Hey.” Blaise took her hand as he kissed her forehead.

“Hi.” Hermione responded. They both walked out together.

“So what did McGonagall want?” Blaise asked as they made their way to a bench.

“She wanted to talk about what happened last night.” Hermione replied.

“Right. What did happen last night?” Blaise asked.

“Blaise, I’d really rather not talk about it. I had to retell the story already to McGonagall and I just don’t want to revisit the memories. I’m sorry.” Hermione said firmly.

“Its alright. I get it.” Blaise replied squeezing her hand.

This is what she liked most about Blaise. He let her be. He didn’t pry or investigate. He just let things be and if she wanted to tell him, she would come around to do so. Hermione smiled and kissed Blaise sweetly on the lips. She stopped and lingered to look into his warm midnight blue eyes.

“I’ve missed you.” Hermione replied.

“I know. Its my fault, and I apologize.” Blaise said.

“No its not. I love you.” Hermione commented.

Blaise smiled widely and replied, “I love you too.”

Hermione rested on Blaise’s shoulder as her wrapped his arm around her body. It was so serene just being able to be with Blaise again. Hermione couldn’t understand why she left Blaise in the first place. How could any girl leave this? He provided comfort, protection, adoration, love, happiness, security. What had Draco offered her? Swirls of never ending confusing thoughts. She wanted to be with Blaise, and this absence of Draco was just what she needed to clear her mind.

“Blaise, could you do me a favor? Could you just tell all the Slytherin prefects that there is a meeting next week on Tuesday?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah sure. I’m sure Draco will remind us on Monday.” Blaise replied. Hermione lifted herself from Blaise’s chest and looked at him.

“Didn’t you know?” She asked.

“Know what?” Blaise returned.

“Draco’s gone. He left Hogwarts for some personal family issue.” Hermione said.

“What? No I didn’t know that. I should probably go write to him, see if everything’s alright.” Blaise said starting to get up.

“No I don’t think that’s such a good idea. I think at this time, its best if he was left alone.” Hermione replied.

“Hermione, Draco’s been alone his entire life. Right now what he needs is a friend, whether he realizes it or not.” Blaise stated. “I’ll see you later alright? I love you.” And with that Blaise  gave Hermione a quick farewell kiss and made his way to the Owlry.

*

Hermione trudged back up to her room. It had indeed been a trying day for her. As Hermione reached her bed, she collapsed right onto the fluffy warm bed sheets. She was so tired and sore she barely wanted to change out of her clothes. Groaning rather loudly Hermione managed to get herself around on the bed and kick off her shoes. Surely changing could wait.

Just then a small tapping sound ensued from on of the small windows in her room. Hermione looked up to see the shadow of a small owl perched onto the ledge. She got up and opened the window to allow the tiny bird to swoop in. It dropped the letter onto Hermione’s floor and swooshed right out. Apparently, whoever wrote to her didn’t want a reply. She bent down and retrieved the letter. She tore open the wax seal.

Hermione

I’m sure by the time you get this, you will have already known that I’m not in Hogwarts. Don’t write to me. I will come back when the time is right. And tell Blaise to quit pestering me with owls, it won’t do any good. Take care of yourself.

Draco


This was good Hermione told herself. He was gone, did not want to talk with her, and she was with Blaise. It was all perfect. Yet she couldn’t get rid of a small sinking feeling inside of her. This feeling she wanted to cage away and forget. She wanted to trap it inside and lock it away forever. She didn’t want to think about how she still did miss Draco, a lot. She didn’t want to think about how whenever she kissed Blaise it wasn’t the way she kissed Draco.

“Hermione stop this!” She screamed at herself. Blaise did, does make her happy! She would do this, if not for herself, than for Blaise. She loved him too much to ever hurt him again.

*

Hermione walked to class the next day slightly hoping she would and wouldn’t see Draco. Taking a deep breath Hermione walked into her Transfiguration class. He wasn’t there. Relieved and disappointed Hermione took her usual seat next to Luna.

The day dragged on and Hermione found herself that night alone. She told Blaise she needed to be alone tonight and he left her to her thoughts. Almost always they brought her back to Draco. She was so wrapped up in her decision. She couldn’t help but wonder, had she made a mistake? Should she really have chosen Draco? He could make her happy, she knew that.

Hermione wasn’t sure what really made her pick Blaise over Draco. They both loved her, yes but why was it that she chose Blaise? She knew she must have made the wrong choice. If she had chosen the right person, she would have never doubted herself this much. If she was with Draco right now, Hermione was almost positive that she wouldn’t have been having doubts about Blaise.

Hermione moaned loudly. She needed some sleep. This whole mess was too much for her to keep thinking about. It was settled. She picked and now she just needed to deal with the consequences. Grumpily, Hermione walked upstairs and plopped down on her bed. She went to bed that night in hope of eliminating all thoughts of Draco for a blissful dreamless night.





 And there you have it. Not the most exciting chapter but we did find out a few important key points. For one, we know why Blaise was being such an ass for the past few chapters. Oh and and of course that Draco has left. :(

Sorry girls. But Draco can't be gone forever... or can he? You'll just have to wait and see!

On another note, I actually started writing a lot of the sequal for this story. It's pretty interesting so far. I think you'll enjoy it. So that can only mean one thing, this story will be coming to a close shortly! Don't worry, you still have plenty or more chapters to go. But still, I know excatly how all of this will end!

Okay enough of me! Hope you liked it :)

Chapter 18: Happy Valentine's Day
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


(Hermione’s Dress!)

A/N: Sorry for the tremendously long wait! But to compensate, this chapter is a bit longer than the previous ones. Oh and I included a picture of Hermione's dress so you guys have a visual when I describe it. Alright, onto the story!





“Please Hermione! Just hear us out!” Lavender pleaded. Hermione rolled her eyes as she continued washing her hands.

“Hermione come on! Everyone really wants this!” Parvati added. Sighing heavily Hermione turned off the faucet and wiped her hands. She turned around to face the two girls.

“Fine let me hear it.” Hermione said. Both girls giggled happily.

“Okay well Rosmerta is having a Valentine’s day dinner party at her pub on the fourteenth.” Lavender told.

“Right.” Hermione commented knowing there was more.

“So we were wondering if you could convince McGonagall to let us go. She won’t listen to us like she would with you.” Parvati replied.

“No. No no no. I’m not going to propose this.” Hermione said sternly. “Now if you’ll excuse me.”

“Hermione please! Everyone really wants this! We have signatures and everything! We’ve never done anything special for Valentine’s day. It would be nice don’t you think?” Lavender asked. It wasn’t as though she didn’t want to have a party. Sure she would love to. But it was always easy handing off the responsibility of the task to someone else. Hermione knew that if she agreed to this, the responsibility would fall onto her. Not that she wasn’t up for it, she was just slightly irritated at the thought of doing someone else’s work.

“Look its not that I wouldn’t like a party to relax. Believe me I would. It’s just as Head Girl McGonagall will place it as my responsibility. And frankly, right now I don’t need any more on my plate.” Hermione said.

“You won’t need to! We’ll take care of everything!” Parvati piped in.

“Yeah. Yeah! We’ll arrange flyers, and getting the word out. Rosmerta just needs to know if we’re coming so she can prepare. Um, and anything else we’ll do!” Lavender offered.

Hermione thought about this for a moment. A Valentine’s day party would certainly take away the guessing for what she and Blaise were going to do.

“Alright fine. I’ll talk to McGonagall. I can’t promise anything but I’ll see.” Hermione watched the two girls squeal in excitement. “But should she say yes, you two are responsible for everything. I want nothing to do with this alright?”

“Yes of course!” Both replied in unison.

“Alright fine. Just one last thing. Who is able to go?” Hermione asked.

“I think it should be strictly 6th and 7th years. This way we’ll all be old enough to stay out late and McGonagall won’t have to worry about the younger children and neither will we.” Lavender suggested.

“Fine. As long as you two stop bothering me about this.” Hermione replied as she walked out of the girl’s bathroom.

She strode down to her next class. She was having a Prefects meeting this afternoon and would present the idea to them. Obviously the Prefects wouldn’t say no to the proposal. She was sure she could convince McGonagall with the Prefects word behind hers; that wasn’t the problem. The only thing that bothered her was that she wasn’t really sure she wanted a Valentine’s day dinner. Wouldn’t it make things that much more awkward for everyone? Well at least she didn’t have to worry about who she was going to bring with her, that is, if she went at all.

Hermione met up with Harry and Ron.

“So are you going to be at the Prefects meeting tonight Ron?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah why?” Ron replied.

“Well Lavender and Parvati wanted me to propose the idea of going to Rosmerta’s Valentine’s dinner party. Would you be willing to vouch for it?” Hermione asked, even though she knew the answer.

“Yeah! That sounds awesome.” Ron said smiling.

“Only problem is Ron, it’ll be like the Yule Ball all over again. Who are you going to ask?” Harry teased. Hermione merely sighed and anticipated the quarrel about to come.

“Well I could always bring… erm, maybe perhaps… oh bloody hell!” Ron swore. Harry merely laughed.

“Well you’ll have plenty of time to think about who you’ll be bringing. And if could suggest, why not bring someone neutral who you wouldn’t have to worry about emotionally, you know as a friend? I think you should ask Hannah. She would love to go with you, plus she wouldn’t think of it as a date or anything. Just something sweet. Besides, she’s not a bore at all.” Hermione shrugged.

“Yeah? Alright, I’ll go ask Hannah after we get the okay from McGonagall.” Ron said.

“Good.” Hermione finished as they all walked into Herbology.

*

“Can everyone please take a seat?” Hermione ordered. The shuffling of feet quieted as everyone sat down. “Alright let’s just get started shall we?”

“Where’s Draco?” Pansy asked.

“I don’t know. McGonagall said he had some personal matters to attend to and won’t be here for a little while. But that’s besides the point. First of all its time for a rotation in rounds.” Hermione ran down the list of pairs who would be doing rounds together along with their new time slots.

After a half an hour of complaining and unsatisfactory results from these new pairs Hermione finally approached the topic of the Valentine’s dinner.

“Right there’s just one more thing. It was brought to my attention that there will be a Valentine’s Day dinner party at Rosmerta’s pub. Before I propose this to McGonagall, I would like a show of hands for all those here in favor of it.” Hermione said.

Unsurprisingly almost all of the hands went up.

“Okay then since that’s settled, this meeting is adjourned. You may all leave.” Hermione finished. Everyone stood up and began heading out with a happy note of a dinner party in the horizon.

“It wasn’t that bad.” Ron noted. Hermione rolled her eyes.

“Easy for you to say.” Hermione joked as she gathered her schoolbag. “I’ll see you at breakfast tomorrow. I still have to ask McGonagall.”

Hermione and Ron bade their goodbyes as Blaise approached Hermione.

“Hey love.” He said as he kissed her sweetly on the lips. Hermione smiled.

“Hello.” Hermione replied. Blaise took Hermione’s bag for her as they walked out.

“So this Valentine’s Day dinner party huh? Do you know who you’re going with?” Blaise teased.

“No I’m not sure. There just doesn’t seem to be any more good guys available.” Hermione sighed. Blaise looked dumbfounded. “Joking love, joking.” Hermione smiled.

“Good you were scaring me there for a second.” Blaise laughed as he put his arm around her waist.

“Hey listen, I need to head over to see McGonagall. I have to actually get her approval for this god forsaken dinner. Did I mention its very formal? I was listening to Lavender and Parvati talking earlier, and they were discussing which gowns to buy.” Hermione stressed the importance of the formal wear.

“But I thought you would like to dress up?” Blaise asked a little confused.

“I would! It’s just, so unnecessary! Right before exams too!” Hermione huffed. Blaise stopped and took her shoulders.

“You’ve been working too hard. This is going to be perfect for you Hermione. Enjoy it alright? Don’t make me make you like something.” Blaise threatened. Hermione smiled and kissed him hard on the lips.

“This is why I have you around.” Hermione replied. She took her bag from Blaise, bade him a goodnight and walked up to the gargoyle leading up to the Headmisstress’s room.

“Come in.” McGonagall said quietly.

Hermione walked in making sure not to disturb any of the ornaments that sat on multiple desks.

“I’m so sorry to disturb you Professor, it’s just I would like to run by the Prefects schedules.” Hermione said.

“Oh yes. Alright let’s hear them.” McGonagall replied.

Hermione ran through the list along with some other issues the meeting discussed.

“Oh and lastly, I was asked that I propose this. There has been word of a Valentine’s Day dinner party at Rosemerta’s Pub on Valentine’s Day. I would like to know if you would approve of this. All the prefects have consented, in addition to many other students. It would be 6th and 7th years only.” Hermione finished.

“Oh I don’t think that would be such a good idea. What if something were to happen to a student? After all, you are a prime example of what could go wrong.” McGonagall commented.

“I understand that, but I doubt that would happen again. I went wandering off on my own. I don’t think that will happen. Most certainly not after it happened once. People will be more cautious. I promise you.” Hermione refuted.

“Well, if you think it is safe enough, then fine. I permit this party to 6th and 7th years only.” Professor McGonagall consented. Hermione smiled and thanked her. She made her way back to her dormitory. She was thinking of how to properly tell everyone that she received the okay from McGonagall. There were going to be some very happy people tomorrow.

*

It seemed that when Hermione walked into the Great Hall the following morning, the entire hall stopped breathing. That is, the girls did at least. Word had spread that last night Hermione went and asked McGonagall about the dinner party, and it was only a matter of minutes before they found out what the decision was. Hermione nervously walked down as a hundreds of eyes peered at her.

Sighing very loudly she stopped half way.

“She said yes!” Hermione declared. She could her Lavender and Parvati squeal the loudest. And to her greatest irritation they both came up and hugged her.

“Oh Hermione we knew you could do it!” Parvati yelped.

“Anything to help. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m starving.” Hermione replied unenthusiastically. She squeezed her way through the two girls.
 
“Alright but don’t start pigging out. You have a dress to fit into.” Lavender said over her back. Hermione stopped and watched the two chattering best friends leave the hall. Girls were completely insane.

“Everyone’s gone mental they have. It’s only a stupid party. Nothing to get worked about.” Hermione commented as she grabbed some toast floating by her.

“Yeah well it will be a nice treat before exams so I can see why everyone’s so excited.” Harry noted. Hermione merely shrugged.

*

The following weeks went by with much anticipation of the upcoming dinner party. It was established that the event be black tie. All boys must attend in their most sophisticated attire, while girls must dress in gowns. Hermione growled at this when Professor McGonagall encouraged the idea.

What was even more irritating was the unnerving atmosphere that seemed to have gripped Hogwarts. Harry was right, it was the Yule Ball all over again. Boys were nervous about asking which girls, while the girls were eagerly anticipating the beautiful golden rose.

“That stupid, horrid, bloody golden rose.” Hermione swore as she walked past Lavender and Parvati.

It was their idea that all 6th and 7th year boys hand out a golden rose to the girl whom they wished to ask. As if this wasn’t going to be bad enough asking them verbally, now the guys had to somehow creatively incorporate their godforsaken golden rose into it as well.

Hermione hadn’t really seen Blaise for nearly an entire week. She was too wrapped up in this dinner party to see him. His free time was completely taken up by Quidditch.

“I hate this. I really do.” Ron moped as he sat down for dinner.

“Aw is wittle Ronny bunny upset because he hasn’t gotten a date?” Ginny teased.

“Oh shut up will you?” Ron scolded.

“Calm down mate. I’m sure you’ll find someone. Hey Hermione.” Harry smiled. Hermione took a seat down next to him devoured the food in front of her.

“Well someone’s a bit hungry.” Ron commented.

“I’ve barely had time to do anything with all of this party nonsense, homework, and studying for exams.” Hermione replied between mouthfuls.

“Well you just eat up. You’ve been working yourself to the brim. Perhaps just take a day off. I doubt any of the Professors would mind. I mean look at sodding Malfoy who decided a little bit of responsibility was too much for him to take so he takes off weeks! I swear…” Ginny continued but Hermione stopped listening.

It had been weeks since she last thought of Draco. It was odd thinking about him again. She didn’t feel that same sinking emotion she normally did. Perhaps this was her moving on. Yes, the burning weights weren’t pressing down on her. She felt good.

“…but whatever. So I’m guessing Blaise hasn’t asked you yet?” Ginny asked. Hermione tuned back in.

“What? Oh yeah, no he hasn’t.” Hermione answered.

“Well if he doesn’t I will.” Ron said. Hermione smiled.

“Didn’t you ask Hannah?” Hermione asked.

“Someone already got to her.” Ron slumped.

“Well what about Luna?” Ginny suggested.

“Neville beat me to it.” Ron slumped even further.

“There’s always, uh…” Hermione began.

“Yeah exactly.” Ron said sinking even lower. Hermione smiled apologetically.

In that moment a small owl swooped in and dropped a single golden rose onto Hermione’s lap. She took the rose, which had a tag on it that read:

Will

That was weird.

“Who’s Will?” Ginny asked. But before Hermione could answer, another owl swooped in and dropped yet another rose. This one had the card that read:

You

This continued until Hermione was drowned by golden flowers. Finally the end product read, with all of the cards put together:

Will You Do Me The Honor Of Accompanying Me To The Valentine’s Day Dinner Party At Rosmerta’s Pub ? Love Blaise. PS Say Yes.

Hermione looked over to the Slytherin table to see Blaise smirking at her with an expression that read almost like, ‘well what is it?’ Hermione smiled as she looked down at the bouquet of golden roses.

“Yes.” Hermione replied. In an instant the bouquet disappeared and in its place was a rather large and probably the most beautiful rose Hermione ever laid eyes on. The golden sheen shimmered off the candlelight. Hermione looked over to Blaise who blew her a kiss.

In that moment, it seemed that every girl in the Great Hall was extremely envious of Hermione Granger.

*

It was the night before the Valentine’s Day and in the Gryffindor Tower there was a girls only party held in the common room. All the boys were kicked out to either the library or the Great Hall. However, it wasn’t only the Gryffindor boys who were unceremoniously kicked out of their rooms, there were Ravenclaws, Hufflpuffs, and Slytherins too. They all moped around while the girls were busy at work in their common rooms.

“Alright girls let’s see your gowns!” Lavender called out. All the girls were lined up with large brown bags covering beautiful gowns underneath them. Hermione rolled her eyes as she sat on the couches reading. It was  because of Ginny she was here in the first place. She had absolutely no interest in this whatsoever.

“Hermione where is your dress?” Parvati asked.

“I don’t have one.” Hermione replied calmly.

There was a universal gasp that rippled through the room.

“What do you mean you don’t have one?” Lavender sounded frantic.

“Just that. I don’t have one. Yet that is. I owled my mother a few days ago to send me one. She’s rather good with muggle fashion. It should be arriving soon I suppose.” Hermione said half heartedly.

“Well you’re cutting it rather short aren’t you? How will you know how to do your make up? Or perhaps what shoes to wear? Accessories? Purses?” Lavender droned on.

“Oh give it a rest Lavender! Hermione’s smart enough to figure out how to get ready without you. This is ridiculous. I’m out.” Ginny replied as she took Hermione by the arm and left.

“Thanks Gin.” Hermione smiled.

“They were really getting on my nerves. It’s so stupid!” Ginny commented. Both girls laughed about the idiocy taken place in the common room as they headed back to Hermione’s dorm to sit and have a good conversation.

*

The morning of the Valentine’s Day there was a somber air that filled the halls. When they walked into the Great Hall it was festive in little red hearts, pink sweets and candies lined the tables, even the professors were in a love stricken mood. Hermione, Harry, and Ron walked down to the Gryffindor table together.

“Happy Valentine’s day Ginny.” Harry said as he walked up to her and gave her a quick kiss. Ron looked away. She smiled widely. Hermione looked around for Blaise but he was no where to be seen. She shrugged and sat down.

“So Ron did you find someone to take?” Hermione asked.

“Unfortunately.” Ron said grumpily.

“Lavender more than offered to go with him.” Ginny snickered. Hermione laughed as Ron stuffed his mouth with toast.

Luckily for the students, Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday for them. No classes meant that the girls had ample amounts of time to prepare for tonight.

“Hey Gin are you coming to my room to get ready? I wouldn’t want you stuck with them.” Hermione pointed at the group of giggling girls.

“Thank you. I’ll be there around 5:30?” Ginny said. Hermione nodded. She pardoned herself from the group and walked back to her room. When she walked in she found a rather large brown box in the middle of her coffee table, and two smaller brown boxes beside it.

Hermione rushed over to the boxes where she found a note attached.

Dear Hermione,

I hope this dress is suitable for the occasion. I’m sure you’ll dazzle. Be sure to take plenty of pictures for us! We’re missing you dearly.

Love, your mother.

Hermione smiled and instantly tore open the large box. The dress was folded neatly inside the box which was lined with cushioned silk. She gingerly spread apart the soft tissue inside that covered the dress. When she took the gown out and held it before her, she could not help but gasp. It was gorgeous.

It was the shade of rare pearls. The gown itself was long, and slender. Form fitting for her body. The front opened up to a sexy yet sophisticated v-neck scoop. The cut in the back allowed more of the dress to follow her as she walked. The back was completely open. The dress looked as though it had mermaid scales lining the entire thing. Hermione instantly loved it. She gently placed the dress across a large armchair and went to open the other two boxes. One was filled with accessories for her hair and a small clutch. It also contained earrings, a few delicate bracelets, and a necklace. The other box had Hermione’s shoes in it.

She couldn’t help but actually feel slightly excited for tonight.

*

Ginny came over to Hermione’s dormitory around 5:30 that afternoon. Both girls were already feeling slightly giddy about the party.

“You know what Gin?” Hermione asked as she walked down to greet her.

“What is that Hermione?” Ginny replied hanging her gown on a hook.

“I’m actually pretty excited for this. I’m getting into it.” Hermione admitted.

“Want to know something? So am I!” Ginny declared. Both girls laughed and headed upstairs to work on their hair.

While Hermione tried to figure out how to do her hair, Ginny took a quick shower. Ginny walked out with her hair already dried and a silk robe covering her body.

“Oh Ginny I don’t know what to do!” Hermione confessed as she threw down her comb.

“What are you talking about?” Ginny asked as she took the slip that was laying on Hermione’s bed and slipped into it.

“My hair! You’re hair is silky and straight and perfect! You could do anything and it will look amazing! I just happen to have a nest on top of mine!” Hermione confessed.

“Here let me do it.” Ginny said as she took the comb from Hermione’s hand.

About an hour later, both girls were completely done doing their hair. Ginny left her hair down, only slightly clipping some of it back. Hermione too kept her hair down, but somehow Ginny (bless her), managed to make it completely straight with only loose curls on the bottom. They clipped one side of her hair back, and let the rest fall loosely on her left side.

Both girls then began to work on their makeup. Hermione didn’t fuss over this too much. Some elegant eyeliner with a dab of eye shadow to bring out her eyes. She applied a fair amount of blush, although she barely needed it considering how red she got around Blaise. The thought of Blaise made Hermione smile. She knew he would look tremendously handsome, and could not help but think just how lucky she was going to be tonight. With a few last minute touches, Hermione put on a neutral pink shade of lipstick. Perfect. She looked simple, chic, yet beautiful. Hermione threw her lipstick and a few other contents such as money into her clutch.

Ginny came out of the bathroom looking equally stunning. Hermione felt her face drop.

“Ginny you look gorgeous! I look like a mountain troll next to you.” Hermione commented sadly.

“What are you talking about! You look amazing. Now come on we need to get our dresses and shoes on! Or else we’ll be late and the carriages will have already left.” Ginny said as she went downstairs to change into her gown.

Hermione sighed and took out her beautiful dress from the box. She slipped into it with ease. It fit her perfectly. Thank you mum Hermione thought. She went over to strap on her beautiful Louboutins that her mother provided for her. She walked over to the mirror. Doubt began washing its ugly waves over her. She was all of a sudden scared to leave her room. Hermione didn’t know why but she felt anxious to go, she didn’t know what everyone would say. But what did it matter right?

Just then Ginny walked in wearing a champagne colored silk gown. She stopped at the sight of Hermione.

“Oh… oh my god. Hermione, you look gorgeous.” Ginny said rather breathlessly. Hermione whipped around.

“Yeah? Are you sure? You’re not just saying that right? I wasn’t too sure about the dress. I didn’t know if I filled it out right.” Hermione went on.

“No no, Hermione you look stunning. I don’t know how Blaise will keep his hands to himself tonight.” Ginny smirked as she took her clutch.

“Thank you. And Ginny, you best watch out for what happens nears Harry’s pants tonight, especially the way you look.” Hermione teased as she too grabbed her clutch.

Ginny blushed profusely.

*

Hermione and Ginny were one of the last girls to leave the castle, so naturally they were the last ones to arrive. Once the carriage finally stopped in front of Rosmerta’s the two girls exited.

“I’m a little anxious to walk in.” Hermione admitted.

“Yeah me too.” Ginny replied. Both took a deep breath, held each other’s hand and stepped in.

The entire pub was transformed. There were crimson curtains lining the windows of the pub which was clearly expanded to accommodate all the people. Elegant tables were set up for couples of four. There was a live band playing soft romantic melodies for all the young couples. Hermione and Ginny looked at each other and smiled. This was going to be fun after all.

“Oh my god! Is that Hermione Granger?” Someone yelled across the room. The irritating voice belonged to none other than Pansy Parkinson. Hermione shrugged it off as she spotted Blaise.

He began walking over to her, until he stopped dead in his tracks. He didn’t care that everyone in the room was looking at them. Well, they for sure were not looking at him. All he could think about was just how gorgeous she looked at that moment. She smiled and walked up to him because his feet were glued to the spot.

“Hi.” Hermione said as she approached him.

“You look… your dress it’s… you… fuck.” Blaise replied breathlessly. Hermione smiled widely. She crept up on her heels and kissed him on his cheek.

“Thank you. You look very very handsome yourself.” Hermione complimented. Blaise smiled at this.

He was taken out of his reverie as he took Hermione by her arm and led her back to a table. She smiled at the glancing faces she passed. He sat her down on a chair while he sat opposite her.

“Here I wanted to give you this.” Blaise said thrusting a small red box into her hands. Hermione looked from him to the small box.

“What’s this?” Hermione asked.

“Happy Valentine’s Day.” Blaise replied.

“I can’t accept this. You didn’t have to.” Hermione said.

“I wanted to. Now will you please open it so I can distract myself from wanting to rip you out of that dress and fucking you on this table?” Blaise said rather urgently. Hermione smirked.

“Am I making you restless Blaise?” She inquired. She put her hand on his thigh. “Perhaps we should find a more quiet place?” Hermione teased.

As she got closer to his face, she continued dragging her hand up his pants until she felt his strong hand stop hers. He looked positively mortified.

“Please. Stop. Hermione. Or else I won’t be able to get up.” Blaise pleaded as he looked down at his bulging pants. Hermione burst out laughing.

She undid the bow on the little red box Blaise gave her. She opened the velvet box to reveal a stunning silver necklace. There was a small rose encrusted in red rubies - for Gryffindor, and a green stem - for Slytherin. She looked up at Blaise speechlessly.

“This looks extremely expensive Blaise.” Hermione began but he put a finger to her lips.

“Don’t say anything. Just wear it.” Blaise said as he took out the necklace and placed it around Hermione’s neck. It was a perfect fit. She smiled as she kissed him.

“I love you.” She whispered softly.

“I love you too.” He replied.

“Excuse me miss, would you mind if we took a picture of you? And then one with your date?” A man inquired. Hermione knew there was going to be someone roaming around taking pictures so she consented. After taking a few shots of her, she took two pictures with Blaise. The man thanked her and moved onto Ginny and Harry.

“So would you like to dance my love?” Blaise asked as he wrapped his arm around her waist.

“Why I would love to.” Hermione replied.

Blaise led her out to the dance floor. They slowly swayed back and forth. Hermione rested her head on Blaise’s shoulder. He pulled her closer to his body. She sighed heavily as she inhaled his cologne. Blaise was perfect, well as close to perfect as you could get. Hermione grabbed onto Blaise even closer. She heard him whisper I love you into her ear. She pulled away and looked him in the eyes. Hermione smiled and kissed him so ferociously Blaise was taken off balance. He smirked and pulled her closer. The kiss simmered down as Hermione broke it off for some oxygen. Blaise took her hand and kissed it.

“I’ll be right back.” Blaise said.

“Where are you going?” Hermione asked.

“I just have to go to the bathroom. I’ll bring us back something to drink.” Blaise replied as he kissed Hermione on the head.

Hermione smiled and idly walked around the pub. She spotted Ginny and Harry dancing. She found Ron who was sitting at the bar while Lavender babbled on about something. This made Hermione laugh. She was about to go save Ron from his torture before she heard her name being called. Hermione turned around to see a girl she wasn’t quite familiar with.

“Hermione?” She replied.

“Yes?” Hermione answered.

“I need your help.” The girl replied. She scanned the room so as to make sure no one was watching them. Hermione didn’t realize this.

“Yeah sure. What’s wrong?” Hermione asked.

“I want to go back to the castle. Could you please help me find a carriage? I know you’re Head Girl and they said you would be able to help me.” The girl said.

“I think they’re just outside. How about I just walk you to one.” Hermione offered. The girl gratefully accepted and they both walked out. The night was chilly as Hermione stepped outside without a coat. She looked around yet there didn’t seem to be a carriage. Hermione finally spotted one at the side of the pub.

Both she and the girl walked up to it. Hermione knocked on the door of the carriage. When it opened, she was taken aback. She first saw his golden blonde hair. Hermione turned around to look at the girl but she had already left. Hermione looked back to see Draco making his way out of the carriage. He was dressed in his finest dress robes as he emerged from the darkness of the carriage and into the light of the street lamps. His silver blue eyes were glassy orbs looking right into Hermione’s eyes.

“You’re back.” Hermione whispered. Draco remained silent. “When did you get back? Why did you leave?” Hermione asked.

Draco took a step closer to Hermione. She was still glued to the spot. He looked away from her eyes and took in her entire figure. Fuck. That’s all the thought. She looked inhumanely beautiful. He took her hand and pulled her into the shadows so as to be away from the main road. Draco smiled slightly. He took a step closer and kissed her. It wasn’t rough like they normally kissed. No, he was extremely gentle with her this time. He wanted to savor the taste, the moment. It was Hermione who found herself being sucked into it, and it was Hermione who began to get more restless. She needed more of Draco and pulled him in harder. She was demanding and roughly ran her tongue across his lips. She pulled his body closer to hers. Her lips were red and plump from the friction between his.

Draco pulled her off.

“Hermione stop!” Draco yelled. Hermione stopped herself.

“What are you doing?” Draco asked.

“I…” Hermione began.

“You look beautiful.” Draco commented. Hermione felt the same familiar sinking feeling when she was around Draco.

“Thank you. Draco…” Hermione began.

“Shh.” Draco replied by placing a finger on her lips. “I’ve missed you.”

“I know.” Hermione said.

“So I’m guessing you haven’t reconsidered?” Draco asked, even though he already knew the answer.

Hermione remained silent. She couldn’t look him in the eyes. He smiled slightly, a reaction Hermione was not expecting. She looked at him questioningly.

“I guess I’ll see you around Hermione.” He replied. She watched him walk away.

Hermione walked back towards the pub. She kept looking behind her almost as if wanting Draco to come back to her. He never did. She walked in and was immediately swarmed by a crowd.

“Oh my god! Hermione where were you!” Ginny yelled as she wrapped her arms around Hermione. “We were all so scared.”

It hadn’t occurred to Hermione that she had left for quite some time.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make everyone on edge. I just had to help someone find a carriage that wanted to get back to the castle.” Hermione replied.

She spotted Blaise and wormed her way through the crowd. He hugged her tightly.

“Hermione you’re freezing.” He commented.

“Am I?” She hadn’t noticed.

“Yeah. Here do you want my coat?” Blaise offered. Always so chivalrous.

“No I’m fine. Let’s go dance?” Hermione replied trying to fill her mind with thoughts other than Draco. Blaise smiled and agreed.

The rest of the night went flawless and everyone was drunk off of the atmosphere. Hermione played it cool and was actually happy being with Blaise. Yet when she was alone in bed that night, all she could think about was Draco’s body somewhere in the same castle.

The thought of him being back brought back a new wave of thoughts and emotions; none in Blaise’s favor.





Draco's back girlies! I couldn't keep him out of the story for that long, only a chapter and a half. :) Tell me your thoughts on this chapter.

Chapter 19: Pansy Victorious
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A/N: To say sorry for the delay simply wouldn't be enough. I was out of town for a week and so I wasn't able to access the computer. I'm so so so sorry for the extremely long wait you lovely people have patiently endured.

Here's the next chapter. I promise they will return to their more frequent updates and that the story is only getting started.




Hermione found herself that morning walking early towards her first class of the day. Her thoughts were still running wild from Draco. He haunted her dreams at night.

“Don’t leave me.” She pleaded, begged. He looked at with a strange expression. “Please.” He smiled at her.

She ran towards him with her arms stretched out. But she couldn’t grasp him. He was still smiling, arms wide open to catch her, yet she never reached him. She ran faster and faster, but he still remained quite a distance away from her. She gave up knowing it would be useless. Her eyes were blurry from the tears which were now freely falling down her cheeks.

“Come back.” She whimpered. He voice cracked and she fell to her knees. “Come back!” She tried to scream out again.

But he could not hear her. He kept moving further and further until he could no longer be seen. She screamed out for him. She looked around. There was nothing but darkness and solitude.


Hermione broke out of her reverie as she felt a warm hand on her shoulder. Her heart leapt only slightly. She knew it wasn’t him but nonetheless she hoped. It wasn’t of course. It was Blaise’s warm face looking down at her. She smiled weakly.

“Good morning.” He greeted. Hermione smiled and replied.

“Good morning Blaise.”

“Learning anything exciting in class today?” He asked leaning against the stone wall.

“Nothing in particular.” Hermione replied.

“Perfect.” Blaise said as he took a hold of Hermione’s hand and began leading her away from her class.

“Blaise where are you taking me? I’m going to be late!” Hermione protested.

“Oh don’t worry about classes. If we’re back in time, you might still be able to attend the noon classes.” Blaise replied unphased

“Blaise what are you talking about? Let go of me!” Hermione said forcefully. She tried with her greatest strength and pulled her wrist out of his grip.

“I’m sorry. I should have explained. I’m taking you away.” Blaise said. As if this explanation was any better than dragging her away.

“What? Blaise don’t be foolish. I have class. And so do you! I can’t just go.” Hermione replied.

“Look I understand bending the rules isn’t really your thing. But you just have to trust me Hermione. Can you do that?” Blaise asked her. Hermione crossed her arms.

“Of course I trust you Blaise. But that is entirely different from missing all my classes!” Hermione refuted. They could all hear the chiming of the clock tower’s bell. Class had already begun, without Hermione and Blaise.

“Hermione let’s just go please?” Blaise pleaded.

“I’m late.” Hermione replied firmly.

“Hermione come on! You’re already late, what’s the point of going? You’ll just end up getting a detention.” Blaise noted.

“Blaise why is it so important to you that I come with you? Where would we be going anyway?” Hermione asked.

“I’ll explain when we get there!” Blaise replied with a little force in his tone. “So are you coming or not?”

Hermione stood there and thought for a moment. Clearly whatever Blaise had in mind was something of importance or else he wouldn’t be going crazy this particular moment. Then again, he could just be needing a day of rest, and wanted to drag Hermione along. Blaise wouldn’t do that Hermione and you know it. She sighed as she looked back at him. He raised one eyebrow. Sighing heavily, so as to make sure her disapproval was known, she walked towards him and stretched out her hand. Like a small child, Blaise smiled widely. He took her hand and they walked down near the Black Lake.

Awaiting for them was a broomstick which was resting against a large tree near the bank of the water. Hermione did not like where this was going.

“Blaise what…” Hermione started.

“Sh. Here just sit behind me and hold on tight.” Blaise said. Hermione hesitantly mounted the broom after Blaise did. He smirked a bit as he felt Hermione’s arms suffocate his torso. He didn’t mind, but her nails were beginning to dig into his sides.

“You might want to retract those claws of yours Hermione or else I’m going to start bleeding.” Blaise commented. Hermione just noticed how tense she was before they even kicked off the ground.

“Oh sorry.” Hermione replied and took her nails out of Blaise but her firm grip remained.

“Alright are you ready?” Blaise warned.

“I suppose so.” Hermione replied weakly. Flying was most definitely not her thing. In a swift motion, Blaise kicked off the ground and in a flash they were zooming through the air. The clouds were hanging low enough that and Blaise sliced through them.

Hermione, if possible, tightened her grip on Blaise. She peeked down. They were going higher and higher. Was it really necessary to be this high up? But Hermione didn’t dare speak for fear of losing concentration in wrapping her arms around Blaise, slipping, falling, and dying. She reminded herself that she had flown on a dragon before. If she could have done that, then clearly she could have flown on a broomstick with her boyfriend. It’s not like Blaise would have really let her fall. And if. for some mistake on her behalf, she were to fall, he would zoom down and catch her. He was after all Slytherin team Capitan. They don’t just hand out those titles to anyone right? Hermione closed her eyes shut. She could feel the cool breeze whip across her face as they whirled through the air.

Hermione was so caught up in her fear that she didn’t even realize that Blaise had landed and she was standing on ground.

“Hermione love? It’s over.” Blaise teased as he pulled his broomstick from underneath her. Hermione carefully opened her eyes. She let out a sigh of relief as she felt the beautiful, flat, immobile ground beneath her.

“Was that really necessary?” Hermione asked placing one hand on her hip. Blaise laughed at her.

“Unless you wanted to hike all the way up here, then yes it was.” Blaise pointed behind Hermione. She turned around.

It was only now she noticed where she was stand. The were near the edge of a cliff. There was plush grass surrounding them everywhere. The trees were still bare, with the exception of the pine trees surrounding them. Hermione looked out and she could see the mountains in the background looking majestic. Below her she saw the river gently flowing upstream. She turned around to find Blaise sitting on a picnic blanket smirking back at her.

“What is this…” Hermione started.

“I just thought you would have liked to relax with me.” Blaise smiled back. He patted down a spot for Hermione to sit on. She walked over and seated herself beside him. She cupped his face in her hands and kissed him.

“You do too much for me.” Hermione replied lying against Blaise’s chest.

“I don’t do nearly enough.” He stated.

“Of course you do. I wish you wouldn’t burden yourself so much.” Hermione said.

“It’s not a burden. Not in the least bit. Besides I owe it to you.” Blaise replied.

“Owe it to me? How so?” Hermione asked.

“I’ve behaved badly. I want to make it up to you as much as I can.” Blaise said.

“Blaise I said I’ve forgiven you.” Hermione replied looking at him wondering what had gripped him. “What’s bothering you?”

Hermione searched his face. This wasn’t the Blaise she grew to knew, this wasn’t her Blaise. He seemed distant and unsure of himself. Blaise was never unsure. He was confident, cocky, and self-satisfied. What drove him to this doubting figure who was holding her?

“It’s really foolish. You already told me the answer. It’s just me being weird as usual.” Blaise commented.

“Blaise talk to me. What is it?” Hermione said taking his hand. He smiled and looked into her eyes.

“I heard Draco came back last night.” Blaise began. Hermione involuntarily stopped  breathing. “I know I’m crazy for bringing up that stupid story again right? I’m just being honest with you here when I tell you this Hermione. I don’t know why, but I just get these thoughts in my head that you’re going to snap into reality one day and just leave me… for him. I’m just so scared of losing you so I’m haunted by these silly thoughts day in and day out.”

Hermione put a finger to his lips before he could say any more. She captured his lips onto hers. She couldn’t hear any more. She couldn’t lie to Blaise about her disturbingly growing desires for Draco and she sure as hell couldn’t stand listening to sweet, darling Blaise confess his inner most fears and knowing how true they really were. She broke the kiss and hugged him. She held him close to her body. She felt his pain and his doubt. Blaise did not deserve this. He needed someone who would be true to him, the way he was with her. He deserved someone who would want him irrevocably. He deserved someone who wasn’t as weak as she felt that moment.

“I’m going crazy aren’t I?” Blaise asked. Hermione swallowed hard.

“You are completely sane.” Hermione replied. She did not pull away. She could not look him in the eyes. She loved him too much to have him wonder why she would be feeling very distant inside.

“I love you Hermione.” Blaise said.

“I love you too Blaise.” Hermione replied. This wasn’t a lie. She did love Blaise, she was sure she loved Blaise.

For the remainder of the morning, and much of the afternoon Hermione and Blaise stayed on top of their get away. They talked about a score of topics until they finally ran out of things to talk about and just remained silent. The sky was darkening up.

“I think we should head back now. Potter and Weasley might start a search party in your absence.” Blaise joked. Hermione rolled her eyes at him. She helped Blaise pack up the few contents he brought with him. She mounted the broom one more time and held onto Blaise. They zipped through the night sky and shortly landed back where they had left.

“Hermione I’m sorry but I really should go talk with Professor Slughorn. He’ll be the first to poke his nose as to where I was today. Especially since he knows we’re dating, and that we both weren’t there.” Blaise said.

“Well if you never kidnapped me in the first place…” Hermione began.

“Kidnapped? I was under the impression you came because you wanted to.” Blaise replied.

“Yes well now we have to use up energy trying to get our teachers to believe whatever stories we come up with.” Hermione said.

“Did you enjoy yourself today?” Blaise asked. Hermione’s lips curled into a smile.

“Every minute.” She replied as she kissed Blaise. He smiled back.

“Good luck.” Her said over his shoulder as he walked towards the castle.

“You too!” Hermione called out. She laughed as she began her stroll back up to the castle in the opposite way.

How was she going to explain her mysterious absence from all of her classes? Well, she could still at least attend Astronomy. Trying to come up with some sort of plausible excuse she barely noticed the scene before her. It wasn’t until she heard his voice that she was brought back into reality.

“Of course Pansy.” Draco replied. Hermione looked at Pansy. Her face was heavenly. She had never seen Pansy look that happy or giddy in years, if ever. Her eyes were twinkling in the light. She had the same look Hermione had whenever she was around Draco. She was completely cast over by his spell.

“Thank you Draco. I’ve missed you, you know? Between you disappearing and Blaise always with Granger I haven’t had anyone decent to talk with in weeks.” Pansy confessed.

“I’m sorry. Cecilia too busy finding her latest prey?” Draco mused. Pansy laughed and nodded in agreement.

“What else is new?” Pansy rolled her eyes. She smirked at Draco who in turn smiled. “You know you were my one source of communication. I don’t really like anyone else.” Pansy confessed.

“Well that’s not hard to believe. You make everyone kiss the ground you walk on.” Draco snorted.

Hermione contorted her face. He never acted this way around her. It was always seriousness and confessions. He was only this carefree when Blaise went away for Christmas. After that, he never let his guard down around her.

“I do not Draco.” Pansy flirted as she playfully hit Draco’s chest. He looked at her with a sarcastic expression.

“Right. Of course not Pansy. You are nothing but sweet pumpkin pasties.” Draco smirked. She giggled loudly.

Hermione wasn’t sure why but her insides felt sick. It wasn’t something she was used to. This hot pressure of an invisible weight bearing down on her was completely foreign. She felt an new form of anger bubble inside her. It was an anger she wasn’t used to. No, this was not entirely anger. It was something else. Something she swore she would never feel. Something she never felt because she never had a reason to. Until now.

“I’m glad you’re beginning to see it my way.” Pansy smiled. She looked quite pretty when she smiled. People never really noticed it because she was always gawking at someone or busy being disgusted by everyone around her.

“Well listen Pans I’m sorry I have to leave you so quickly but I have an Astronomy class. I’d rather not be late for my first day back.” Draco shrugged. Pansy’s expression dropped a little but she nodded.

“I know. You’ve changed a lot since you’ve come back. I’m not saying its bad, it’s just different. Well I’ll see you at breakfast?” Pansy asked.

“Yeah of course.” Draco smiled as he leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. They said their goodbyes and parted ways.

It was now that Hermione’s body decided it would be prudent to move. She slowly began walking the same direction Draco was walking. She tried her hardest to keep her distance. Although once they actually reached the corridor stretching to the tower it was hard to silence the clicks of Hermione’s shoes. Draco turned around and smiled.

“Hello Hermione.” He said in a neutral tone. He waited until Hermione was next to him.

“Hi.” Hermione replied not sure what to say.

“I didn’t see you today in class.” Draco noted.

“Yeah I was out with Blaise.” Hermione said.

“I see.” Draco replied. They both walked up in silence. Hermione’s ears were screaming. She felt as though they would explode from the silence.

The finally reached the door leading out. Hermione swung it open and found Harry seated next to Cormac. She rudely pushed past him and seated herself next to Harry. It hadn’t even occurred to her that both she, Blaise and Draco would be sharing this class.

“Hermione where have you been all day!” Harry asked. But Hermione’s attention was focused behind him.

She watched Draco go up to Blaise and give him a pat on his shoulders. Both boys stood and greeted each other. They were laughing and joking in no time. It was as if Hermione never even existed. They were Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini once more. The two princes redeemed their rightful places after a temporary leave.

“Hello Hermione?” Harry waved a hand in front of Hermione’s dazed eyes. She blinked twice and looked back at his quizzical face.

“Oh sorry. What did you say?” Hermione asked her attention half focused.

“I said where were you today?” Harry repeated.

“Oh I was out with Blaise. We had a few things to discuss.” Hermione said smoothly. Harry could know the truth.

“You ditched all your classes so you could just talk? That seems very un-Hermione-like of you.” Harry said with skepticism.

“I didn’t ditch all of them. I’m here aren’t I?” Hermione replied cheekily.

“That’s not what I meant. All I’m saying is, you’ve been a little funny lately. What’s gotten into you?” Harry asked.

Could she tell him? Could she tell him that she was torn between the two boys who were laughing without a care only a few feet away? She knew she could confide in Harry, but would he have enough will power to stop himself from murdering Draco? Would he even understand her enough to listen to her? Probably not. How could she tell him that she had been lying to both him and Ron for nearly four months? That she lied to Blaise. She was too weak to tell him.

“I’m just stressed Harry. You know how I get during exam season.” Hermione replied half heartedly. She knew he wouldn’t buy this, but Harry swallowed. He wouldn’t bother her, at least not for tonight.

The following hour was torturous for her. She watched as Blaise and Draco were carefree, enjoying life like nothing was wrong, while she sat there calculating what she was to do and what was going on. When Professor Sinistra dismissed the class Hermione was the first to bolt of there. She was half way down the stairs until she heard her name being called. Blaise.

“Hey I’m really tired. I just want to go to bed.” Hermione said.

“Yeah no I figured. I just wanted to walk with you.” Blaise replied innocently. Hermione felt sick trying to brush him off. Once again, he always proved her to be the foul player.

“Sure.” Hermione smiled. Hermione tried hard but she couldn’t hold it in any longer. The burning question was threatening to escape her lips and she was a little afraid to know the answer, yet she asked it anyway.

“So you and Draco looked like you two are back to the old ways.” Hermione commented coolly.

“Yeah we were. It was really nice to just talk to him again you know? I’ve been missing my best mate. I guess I’ve just been so wrapped up in you I sort of pushed him away. But that doesn’t matter because the old Draco’s back. I supposed this little break was good for him you know? Everything’s back to the way it was.” Blaise said sounding very jubilant.

“That sounds great.” Hermione tried to sound enthusiastic about the situation for Blaise’s sake.

“Yeah it really is. I mean, even he and Pansy got back together! It’s only…” Blaise began.

“Wait he what?” Hermione asked or rather screamed.

“Yeah he just told me. It’s about time too. Those two always kiss and make up. It just took them longer this time. I was wondering what was taking him so long. But whatever, it doesn’t matter. They’re back together.” Blaise shrugged. He stifled a yawn.

“Oh that sounds, um, lovely.” Hermione whispered to herself. They finally reached her portrait hole.

“Good night love.” Blaise said as he gently kissed her lips. Hermione smiled and said her farewells.

She collapsed on her bed from the exhaustion of the day. The cruel feeling of jealousy crept up into her body again as she thought about Draco and Pansy. A foul taste lingered in her mouth. That night when she dreamed about Draco, he seemed farther than she had ever thought him to be. Except this time, he did not stretch out his hands to catch her. He let her fall into the never ending darkness of the unknown.





Hm, now that the tables are turned and it Hermione's turn to feel the jealousy bug. ;)
What do you guys make of Draco and Pansy? Hermione and Blaise? Let me know!

Chapter 20: Green and Silver Envy
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A/N: Hello girlies! As you noticed in the previous chapter a change in tides has happened. What once was a love triangle, has now changed into a love square. (As one of my reviews so cleverly put it!) But I just sit tight because in the next few chapters this square will turn into a pentagon. ;) Onto the drama!

Side note: So sorry again for the incredibly long wait! The queue closed just before I could submit this!




Hermione walked into the Great Hall yawning. She found Harry and Ron in their regular seats and she strode over to them. She smiled and everyone said good morning. Hermione seated herself next to Ron and grabbed a piece of toast and some fruit.

“They’re disgusting. It was about time those two got back together.” Ginny noted. Hermione followed her eyes to see Draco and Pansy merrily chatting away. A small burning feeling erupted in Hermione’s stomach. She subdued it and returned to her toast.

She tried very hard to not look up and be scorned with the images of Pansy and Draco feeding each other. Yet her own self control seemed to abandon her at this time. She grew tired of diverting her eyes. Making an excuse from breakfast, Hermione quickly stormed out of the Great Hall, unaware of the pair of eyes that quickly watched her leave.

Damn you Draco Malfoy, damn you to hell! Hermione thought.
She was never this confused in her life. She couldn’t just be developing feelings for him because Pansy was with him now. Or perhaps that was exactly the reason. Maybe him being with Pansy was just the catalyst she needed to push her to getting Draco back. Getting Draco back? He was never yours in the first place!

“Besides, you have a boyfriend. Forgot that small little detail Hermione?” She said to herself out loud. A few second year students stopped to look at her. “What are you looking at? Ten points from whatever house you’re in. Now move!”

They scurried away as quickly as their little feet could take them.

Hermione seemed to have an extra boost of energy today because she was doing exceptionally well in everything. More so than usual. There was an extra push that drove her. An extra blonde push. Hermione walked into Transfiguration spotting Draco already seated. She walked up to the front and took her usual seat next to Luna.

“Hello Hermione.” Luna said dreamily. Hermione half smiled keeping her focus on Draco. He didn’t seem to notice her presence at all.

“Hi Draco.” Hermione said quietly. He turned around to face her.

“Oh hello Hermione.” He replied sweetly. He smiled and turned back to the front of the classroom.

“Are you okay?” Hermione asked. She still didn’t know why he was acting like this.

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” Draco replied.

“Its just, you seem…” Hermione began but was cut off by Professor McGonagall’s entrance.

“Everyone take your books out. We are going to review for your N.E.W.T.s” Professor McGonagall said.

The rest of the class went by uneventfully as Hermione and Luna both successfully performed all of their incantations. Hermione occasionally glanced over to see Draco working diligently with Cecilia. He looked a lot happier than she had seen him for a while, and she knew why. It was because Draco was done chasing after her. He was done trying to make her love him back. He had finally accepted that she wasn’t going to leave Blaise for him, and so he moved on. Hermione didn’t know why it hurt her but it did. She was now free to be with Blaise without Draco intervening. Yet why wasn’t she satisfied? The last thing she wanted was Draco trailing after her but she almost craved for him to notice her.

She knew she sounded absolutely despicable. She hated the girls who were like this, and now she had become one of them. She couldn’t be satisfied with just Blaise beside her. She needed Draco just as much. But it wasn’t fair to Blaise at all. She should be content with her decision in sticking with Blaise. After all, she had told herself numerous times over and over again, Blaise was the most amazing human being on the earth. He treated her like she was royalty and worshiped her. And yet, she still found herself wanting Draco to return to her.

“Pansy’s completely enthralled that you asked her out again. She was so heartbroken you know, when you two broke up.” Cecilia said. Hermione hated to eavesdrop but she couldn’t help it; they were all sitting so close.

“Yeah I know. I’m not entirely sure why I broke up with her in the first place. But it feels nice to be back with Pansy. It feels very, normal.” Draco replied.

“I know. I feel like we’ve all been separated this year. I mean Blaise barely hangs around us anymore because he’s dating Granger. Every free moment he has, he spends with her. You’re never in the common room because you have your fancy Head’s Room. I just miss us.” Cecilia confessed.

“I know. It was always the four of us. We should get together tonight. All of us, in the common room after hours. You always enjoyed those late nights.” Draco smirked.

“Well that was because Blaise was single and willing. I doubt he’ll be up for doing our old deeds now that he’s with one of the saints.” Cecilia commented spitefully.

“Ce she’s in this class.” Draco whispered.

“I don’t care! Blaise was mine. Out of no where she comes in and swoops him away. What is up with that? He’s a Slytherin, he doesn’t belong to a Gryffindor.” Cecilia said hatefully as she glared at the back of Hermione’s head.

Hermione tried very hard to sit still and seem consumed in her reading. She didn’t want to let them know she could hear perfectly what they were saying.

“Cecilia they’re good together. Just let it go. I have.” Draco commented. He too looked at Hermione.

Hermione felt a rippling sensation emanate throughout her body. He had indirectly told her it was over. Anything possible between them two was finished. Distinguished like a candle flame.

“You don’t know what it feels like to see them together Draco. You couldn’t understand.” Cecilia said ruefully.

“I think I have an idea.” Draco mumbled more to himself.

“What was that?” Cecilia asked.

“Nothing. But listen, tonight in the common room. I’ll get Blaise to come.” Draco promised.

Class ended and Hermione was the first to walk out of the classroom. She didn’t linger long enough to have Cecilia throw her glaring looks, or for Draco to display more of his new behavior. She stifled back a tear as she quickly cut through the crowds to go to the girl’s bathroom. She was walking so fast she kept bumping into so many students she didn’t even recognize Blaise standing before her.

“Hermione! Hey! Wait, are you, are you crying?” Blaise asked seriously as he grabbed her hand to turn her around. She looked into his face with glossy tears running down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry, I have to go.” Hermione said quickly as she ran away from him.

“Hermione wait!” Blaise called after her. He tried to run after her but he heard his name being called.

“Blaise! Blaise!” Draco called out. Blaise turned around. “Hey mate, what are you doing tonight?”

“Uh nothing why?” Blaise asked, his focus still on Hermione.

“Slytherin common room tonight. Like old times.” Draco joked.

“Yeah, um okay.” Blaise said unresponsively. Draco could sense that his mind was distracted.

“What’s wrong mate?” Draco asked.

“Do you know what’s wrong with Hermione? I know she has Transfiguration with you.” Blaise asked.

“She seemed fine in class why?” Draco asked.

“I just saw her crying. She wouldn’t even stop to talk to me. I don’t know what’s been going on with her lately. It’s like she’s constantly thinking about something else.” Blaise confessed. Draco kept his facial features completely calm.

“I don’t what’s going on man. I’m sorry.” Draco said.

“Well thanks anyway. I’m going to go try to find her.” Blaise said before turning around.

Draco made sure not to let this get to him. He tried to block out Hermione’s crying face but he kept returning to that night on the Astronomy Tower right after she and Blaise had broken up. It tore him inside to know that she might be crying because of him. A part of him strongly wanted to go find her, but another part told him to turn around and walk away. This was for his own good, as well as hers. He couldn’t continue to catch her when she insistently kept falling. Draco held back his strong urge and pulled his legs in the opposite direction, trying to forget the image of a crying Hermione.

*

Hermione remained in the girl’s bathroom for such a long time she didn’t even notice that it was almost time for lunch. She sighed. She would have to go out eventually and face everyone’s questions. But she still remained glued to the seat. Hermione heard the door creak open. Great.

“Hermione?” Ginny’s voice called out. Hermione wanted to be alone, but she couldn’t avoid everyone forever.

“I’m over here.” She replied quietly.

Ginny turned the corner and found Hermione sitting all the way in the back on a small green bench that was against the wall. Hermione looked up. Her eyes were itchy and red. She had stopped crying a while ago. She just needed to be alone and think.

“Oh Hermione.” Ginny let out. She slowly walked over and sat down beside her. “What’s happening?”

“I don’t know.” Hermione replied softly.

“Look I know you don’t really want to talk. And I completely respect that. When you want to, I’m here to listen.” Ginny offered.

“Thanks Gin.” Hermione replied.

“But unfortunately Harry isn’t quite as understanding as I am. He’s waiting for you outside. He had me look all over the castle for you. Apparently Blaise asked him if he knew what was wrong, and Harry went berserk on him. Muttering something about ‘bloody Slytherins’ or something of the sort. I don’t know, but he said if you don’t come out, he’ll come in.” Ginny replied shrugging.

“Ha, alright tell him I’m coming.” Hermione smiled a little. Ginny smiled back and rose to her feet.

Both girls walked outside to find Harry pacing outside the door. Ginny whispered an ‘I warned you’ into Hermione‘s ear. Hermione smiled as Harry grabbed her by the shoulders.

“Hermione! You had me worried sick! What’s going on? I swear I’ll kill Blaise if he so even had anything to do with this!” Harry replied frantically.

“Right we’ll I’m going to leave my psychotic boyfriend in your hands. I’ll see you two later.” Ginny replied walking off to lunch.

“Harry let go of me. But I do want to talk. So let’s go sit outside somewhere. The weather’s nice.” Hermione replied as she took Harry to sit outside.

Hermione decided that she had to tell someone about this internal battle that was raging. She knew she could have gone to tell Ginny who would have been great for moral support, but she just wasn’t Harry. Hermione found a nice bench for them to sit on, away from the open. She took a deep breath and began.

“So before I tell you anything, you have to swear to me Harry you will listen with an open mind. Please don’t interrupt me before I’m finished. It’s really hard for me to confess all of this, especially to you.” Hermione said.

“Alright I’ll try my best.” Harry replied.

“Right so, it all begins when…” Hermione started.

She told Harry everything. Anything from first talking to Draco, to cheating on Blaise, to her on going struggle between both of them. When Hermione was finished Harry just sat there in silence.

“Please say something.” Hermione pleaded. She hated knowing that he would probably judge her because of this.

“I don’t know what to say. I never suspected you and Malfoy. It’s a little hard to digest Hermione.” Draco replied. She understood that and let him take it all in.

“Do you hate me?” Hermione asked. She was so scared of what he would say.

“Hate you? No, no Hermione I would never hate you. Surprise and shocked yes. But hate no.” Harry replied taking her hand.

“I just don’t know what to do! I hate myself for wanting Draco when I know I have Blaise. But even if I try to pursue Draco I can’t because I love Blaise as well! Its all so confusing to me.” Hermione confessed.

“I can understand but Hermione you can’t keep going around with Malfoy. You still have a relationship to focus on. Blaise is worried about you Hermione. You haven’t been acting the same for a while now. Even Ron and I noticed it but he never said anything because I knew sooner or later you would come around to telling me.” Harry replied.

“So what do I do?” Hermione asked.

“You forget Malfoy and move on. It will be hard I know but you just have to do it. For yourself and for Blaise. He really likes you Hermione. I can tell.” Harry noted.

“I know. I know he does, and that’s what makes this even worse is how well he treats me and how crappy I treat him. But Harry I hate the way Draco and Pansy are together. It’s a constant slap in the face of what could have been.” Hermione said.

“What could have been? Would you two really have paraded your relationship around like they do? I don’t think people would be so open to that.” Harry stated.

“I know. I mean we wouldn’t be like that obviously, but still it would have been a relationship nonetheless. Seeing them together just makes it that much harder.” Hermione said.

“I’m really sorry you had to go through this. For all its worth, I don’t think either of them are worthy of you.” Harry replied.

“I don’t think I’m worthy of either of them. But that’s just how we’re always going to see it.” Hermione said.

They remained there for a few more minutes in a comfortable silence. Harry was the first to stand up.

“Come on. We can’t hide here forever. We do have classes to go to. Even though we already missed most of them.” He said jokingly. Hermione smiled and took Harry’s outstretched hand.

“Thank you.” She said smiling at him. He squeezed her hand.

“You know I’m here for you. Through the worst.” He said. She knew it was true.

They walked back to the castle. Hermione felt a lot lighter. She felt an enormous weight being lifted from her shoulders. Harry told her he had to find Ginny and he bade her a goodbye. Hermione walked through the castle. It was nearly the end of her final class before a late night Astronomy class.

Deciding she should just go back to her room and then go straight to dinner, Hermione lazily walked back. She heard the bells chime signaling the end of the final class. Students began to pour out of the classrooms. She continued walking until she spotted them a few feet in front of her holding hands. Pansy was whispering something into Draco’s ear who was now grinning widely. He moved her to the side of the corridor and kissed her firmly on the lips. Hermione didn’t want to, but she continued watching. She forced herself to keep her eyes open and watch what could have been hers.

And then a impulsive and completely irrational idea came into her mind. She rummaged though her bag and took out a small piece of crumpled parchment. She walked closer to Draco and Pansy who were still making out on the side of the corridor. She stopped a few feet away from them.

“Malfoy.” Hermione said. When they did not break off, she repeated herself. This time with more authority. “Malfoy!”

Draco turned his face to look at Hermione. His lips were pink and plush. Hermione diverted her eyes from them. She looked over to see Pansy glaring at her.

“What do you want Granger?” Pansy spat. Hermione ignored her and looked solely on Draco.

“McGonagall wants to see us.” Hermione said simply.

“What? Why?” Draco asked now pealing himself off Pansy. Hermione held up the parchment.

“I don’t know. I was just given this by a student.” Hermione said casually. She kept the fake note up and then stowed it back into her bag. Draco nodded.

“I’m sorry but I suppose we’ll have to finish this later. I’ll see you tonight.” He said as he quickly kissed her goodbye. Pansy nodded. With one final scolding look at Hermione, she walked off the opposite way.

Draco and Hermione began walking towards the Headmistress’s office. Hermione subtly looked over her shoulder. There was no one behind them. She quickly took Draco’s arm and pulled him into the vacant classroom next to them. Once they were submerged into the darkness of the classroom, Hermione grabbed Draco by the neck and pulled him into a ferocious kiss.

She pulled his body closer to hers. She hadn’t realized how much she craved him. Hermione shuddered out a breath. She wouldn’t give him an opportunity to stop her. She ran her fingers through his hair and tugged his head closer to hers. She could feel his hands barely touching her waist. Hermione could not withstand the distance between their bodies any longer. She jumped onto him, forcing Draco to hold Hermione up. With a more comfortable disposition, Hermione attacked Draco’s mouth. She was positively ravenous. She had no idea where this ferocity emerged from, but she enjoyed it. Very much. She felt Draco’s body hit hard against the wall of the classroom. She smiled a little and tugged on his lower lip. She felt him move again. This time he placed her onto a desk. Hermione pulled him closer to her.

But Draco pulled away.

“Hermione…” He said struggling to get Hermione’s pulling arms off.

“No come back.” She replied raggedly as she kissed him a few more times.

“No Hermione. Mm…” Draco was interrupted by Hermione’s lips once more. He seized her hands into his own. “Stop this!” He said in such a controlled whisper Hermione froze.

She looked back into his angry eyes. Hermione was overcome with fear as she looked into them. She looked at his heaving chest. He let her hands go and turned away from her.

“What… what are you doing?” He asked turning back around to face her.

“I… I don’t know.” Hermione confessed. He looked at her.

“You don’t know? What do you mean ‘you don‘t know‘?” He said. His anger was obvious but he tried to control it.

“Draco please.” Hermione said. He looked to the side. He couldn’t face her.

“Why are you doing this?” He asked, still not looking her in the eye.

Hermione swallowed. She had no idea. Did she do it out of jealousy? Of course seeing Pansy and him together brought out a side of her she didn’t know she possessed but it wasn’t just jealousy. Hermione thought she knew what it was. It was what was lying underneath everything. The real reason for her emotional state, the real reason for her distance from Blaise, the real reason for her pull towards Draco.

“Draco I want you.” Hermione confessed. Draco turned around. His face was hard to read. He gazed at her with a soft expression. His previous sternness and rigidity left. His body was relaxed and welcoming.

“No you don’t.” He replied simply.

“Yes, yes I do. Draco I’ve figured out why I kept coming back to you. I want you.” Hermione said more confidently. He smiled at her and licked his lips.

“You don’t want me Hermione.” He said confidently.

“Draco I do! Isn’t this what you’ve been wanting to hear from me? I’m confessing myself! I’m admitting to my mistake!“ Hermione said animatedly. His smile was even wider now. His eyes were soft and calm.

“Hermione, you and I both know that if were back on top of that tower again, you would have chosen him.” Draco said.

“No I wouldn’t.” Hermione replied.

“Yes you would.” Draco said firmly.

Hermione did not argue after this. She couldn’t admit it to herself but she knew that Draco was right. He was always right. She vowed to herself that she would not cry. She bit her trembling lip and choked back the tears.

“Doesn’t this count for anything?” Hermione asked as she felt her voice crack and throat go heavy. It was a suffocating feeling within her.

Draco walked over to her and put his arms around her shoulders. He lifted her chin up to look into her eyes. He could see the evident tears awaiting to fall and he could see her attempt at restraining them to do so.

“Of course it does.” He said pulling her into a hug. Hermione shuddered and blinked. The effort was futile as she felt a cool tear slide down her cheek and soak itself into Draco’s robes. The others followed suit and began spilling down, each one soaking itself into his robes.

“Then why do I feel like I’m in the same place?” Hermione managed to get out through her thick tears. The room was a blur of black around her. She could barely make Draco out as he blended into the background.

“I think you know why Hermione.” He said. He pulled her out of the hug and looked into her eyes. She could see his warm crystal grey eyes looking back at her.

She knew what he meant. He wanted her to utter those three words he had said to her. He wanted to hear her say them so he knew that she was his only. But he also knew how much it scared her to say them and that she probably wouldn’t.

“Draco can’t we…” Hermione began.

“No.” He said firmly. It was now that Hermione heard the hurt and pain in his voice. She couldn’t look into his eyes, she couldn’t look into the mess she created. He stepped away from her.

“Take this.” He said as he handed her a small piece of parchment that was folded. Hermione looked at him and looked down. She unfolded and read:

And you can tell me that you're sorry
But I don't believe you baby
Like I did before
You're not sorry


Hermione looked up to see Draco standing at the door. She didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t accept that this was finally goodbye. He looked at her and had a sad smile on his lips.

“When you say it, I’ll drop everything. When you say it, I’m yours.”

He turned and walked out, leaving Hermione alone in the dark.



Just a quick note, Draco's "note" to Hermione is actually courtesy of Taylor Swift. They're clipped from her song 'You're Not Sorry'. If you do go check it out, I suggest to get the CSI remix.

I'm not a big Taylor Swift fan but I think the remixed version of this song is really good! :)

Chapter 21: The Witch's Hunt
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A/N: Hello! So to make up for the extremely long wait of the last chapter, I'm going to update and give you the next chapter as an early treat! Hope you enjoy it!




To say that the next few months passed uneventfully wouldn’t be entirely true. After Hermione and Draco’s little encounter in the classroom that night they have been on civil terms with one another. Barely talking if it was not necessary. Hermione began focusing more on her NEWT exams that were quickly approaching. Along with her upcoming exams she was handed new responsibilities by Headmistresses McGonagall for their graduation.

Hermione also found a new growing love and attraction for Blaise after her final goodbye with Draco. She was more passionate with him. She allowed him to explore her like she had never done before, and she enjoyed it. Hermione found herself sleeping with Blaise more frequently than before as well. About two to three times a week. Completely unlike before where they would only have sex about once every two weeks or so.

Blaise never suspected infidelity on Hermione’s behalf after her new attitude towards him. He was completely in tune and content with his relationship with Hermione. He didn’t question her new attitude, but just accepted it as it was. That was one aspect Hermione adored above all in Blaise, he never pried or dug into things. He let them be, because he trusted her indefinitely.

Draco, surprisingly, for the most part was very satisfied with his relationship with Pansy.

It was the end of April and the seventh year students were swamped with study material. Although they were happy about the little amount of homework they were receiving, it was because of their little days until their exams. Obviously no one was ready. Well that is except Hermione of course.

“I told you that you should have been studying since the beginning of the year. Not a week before the exams! How are you possibly going to retain all that information?” Hermione asked looking over her book to see Ron and Harry scribbling notes all over their parchment.

“Hermione we’re not all saintly like you alright? Harry and I are irresponsible. You should know not to except much from us.” Ron replied bluntly. Hermione had to give it to him; at least he was being truthful.

“Right well I’m off. I have a meeting with Blaise.” Hermione said getting up from her position.

“Have fun.” Harry smiled. Hermione walked out of the Common Room and toward the grounds outside where they decided to meet.

“Excuse me? Hermione Granger?” A small voice called from behind her. She turned around to see a small first year boy behind her.

“Yes?” Hermione smiled.

“The Headmistress wanted me to give this to you.” He said handing her the rolled parchment.

“Thank you.” Hermione said politely and the boy scampered off.

She unrolled it and began reading:

Miss Granger,

I would like to see you in my office immediately. There is an important matter to discuss. Thank you.

McGonagall

PS. I prefer strawberry jam over marmalade.


Hermione was unsure what this could be about. She changed her direction and headed back toward the giant gargoyle. She had absolutely no idea what this could be about. Perhaps it was about her NEWTs? She really did not know.

“Strawberry jam.” Hermione said. The gargoyle stepped aside to reveal a spiraling staircase. She stepped on the stone until it reached the top.

Hermione knocked gently on the door which creaked open. When she walked into the office she already found Draco sitting in one of the chairs facing McGonagall’s desk. She noticed McGonagall was not there. She looked over to Draco.

“What’s this about?” Hermione asked sitting in the chair next to him.

“I have no idea. Some kid handed me a paper telling me to come here.” Draco shrugged. Hermione nodded. They sat in silence for a few minutes. Draco went to open his mouth but at the same time McGonagall stepped in.

“I’m so sorry to keep you waiting. I just had to go over to the Owlry very quickly.” McGonagall said as she took her seat across from them.

“Its alright Professor.” Hermione said quickly. McGonagall smiled.

“Right. Let’s get straight down to business shall we?” She began.

Both Hermione and Draco nodded.

“So, tell me. What do you two know about the Witch’s Hunt?” McGonagall asked. Both Hermione and Draco’s eyes widened and their mouths were agape. They looked at each other and back at McGonagall who’s mouth curled into a smile.

*

“Hey where were you today?” Blaise asked Hermione as he quickly kissed her on the lips.

“I’m sorry Blaise I was on my way until McGonagall asked me to see her in her office.” Hermione said as they walked towards the Great Hall together for dinner.

“Its fine, don’t worry about it. What did she want anyway?” Blaise asked.

“You’ll find out soon enough.” Hermione said vaguely.

“What do you mean?” Blaise asked.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll catch you after dinner okay? Bye!” Hermione said quickly as she walked over to the Gryffindor Table. Blaise was still confused but decided to ignore it and walked over to the Slytherin Table where he sat next to Draco.

After dinner was complete McGonagall stood and began talking.

“Excuse me if you would please quiet down I have a very important announcement I would like to share.” McGonagall said. The room instantly quieted down. Hermione glanced over to Draco who nodded.

“Thank you. Now I know for many of your exams are approaching. OWLs, NEWTs, and end of the year exams. However, I would firstly like to say that after due consideration, all end of the year exams have been canceled.”

There was an eruption in applause, but it quickly died down as McGonagall began speaking again.

“However, OWLs and NEWTs are still in place. Since both exams will be administered next week I see no reason to cancel them. Now the reason behind this is something rather exciting I believe. However rather than listen to me, I am calling up our Head Girl and Head Boy to come up and explain to you all what will be happening very shortly.” Professor McGonagall finished. Both Hermione and Draco stood up at once and headed for the front of the Hall.

There was a small wave of chatting about what was going on. Hermione looked at Ron and Harry who seemed very much confused. She smiled at them reassuringly.

“Do you want to begin or shall I?” Draco whispered to her as they approached the front.

“I’ll start.” Hermione said. Draco nodded. The entire hall died down.

“Erm, hello. As Professor McGonagall said, exams have been canceled and for a very exciting reason. Are you all familiar with something known as the Witch’s Hunt?” Hermione asked. A few audible notes of recognition were heard.

“Well for those of you who don’t the Witch’s Hunt is, for most, a hunt for treasure. It has been said that witches and wizards since the beginning of time, all the way back to Merlin, have been administering the Hunt. Obviously the rules have been changed quite a bit, but the essential idea has not. For school purposes there will be two champions, a girl and a boy.” Hermione looked over to Draco. He cleared his throat and began speaking.

“The Witch’s Hunt has been circulating throughout wizarding schools for centuries, much like the Triwizard Tournament. However, rather than there being three contestants from different schools, the Hunt is for one school only. This year, Hogwarts has been chosen after nearly half a century. The entire school will be allowed to participate because it is a Hunt for treasure. However, this hunt is not for faint of heart so if you wish to withdraw from it, please do so by informing either myself, Hermione, or one of your respective Head of House.” Draco said.

“Should you wish to be in the Hunt, you will automatically be registered so long as you do not take your name off the list. The essential rules of the Hunt are as follows: as with every hunt for treasure, there are naturally pirates who will be trying to thwart your riches away from you. There will be seven students who will be selected a very unique position in the game. They are the Hunters. Each Hunter’s objective is to either find the treasure on their own, or steal it from someone else. They are set in the Hunt to prevent or slow down the process of the other player’s progress to the gold. The Hunter’s will be chosen at random the night before the Hunt begins. You cannot object to this position. Once you’re chosen, you must fulfill the requirements of the task.” Hermione finished.

“So you’re all probably wondering how you can defend yourself against these Hunters? A simple shield charm will suffice. However, if you are Hunting someone or simply trying to get ahead of others in the game, there will be only one spell that will eliminate other players. Saying Defitae will eliminate another player from the Hunt. All eliminated players will be instantly apparated to a ship. At the end of the game, once our champions have been selected, there is a traditional party that takes place on the ship with the participants of the game.” Draco said.

The entire Great Hall was silenced by the introduction of this new game.

“So any questions?” Hermione asked. When no one said anything Professor McGonagall began going over the finer details. Both Hermione and Draco walked over to their respective tables.

“How could you not tell us about the Witch’s Hunt!” Ron whispered as Hermione took her seat next to Harry.

“I’m sorry but I only just found out. I couldn’t tell anyone. But now you know. Exciting isn’t it?” Hermione said smiling.

“Not really. I hope its not like the Triwizard Tournament. I really don’t need to relive that experience.” Harry commented.

“It’ll be loads different than the Tournament. When does the actual Hunt take place?” Ron asked.

“In about two weeks. We have exams all next week. The weekend to rest and then I believe the Hunt will start on a Friday night into Saturday morning. The Hunters will be chosen Friday morning.” Hermione said.

“Who chooses?” Harry asked.

“I’m not sure. I know McGonagall had this compass in her hand. I think it guides her to the students who are going to be selected.” Hermione said.

“This is so exciting!” Ron exclaimed.

“Yes but we have exams before. So if you’ll excuse me I’m going back to my room to study.” Hermione said as she took some of the salad in her bowl and walked out of the Great Hall.

*

“The Witch’s Hunt. I can’t believe we’re going to be in it.” Blaise said as he leaned back against the back of the stone bench.

“Yes yes, it’s all wonderful.” Hermione replied shortly as she continued to read her textbook in front of her.

“You better watch your back in the game. Just because you’re my girlfriend doesn’t mean I won’t push you out of the way to get my treasure.” Blaise said smirking.

“Yes that’s lovely.” Hermione said. Blaise sighed and closed her textbook. Hermione looked scandalous.

“You have to relax love. Stop killing yourself.” He replied smirking.

“You need to stop being so uncaring about NEWTs! They determine a large portion of our futures!” Hermione said trying to reopen her book. Blaise kept his hand firmly over the book.

“Speaking of futures, Hermione I want to have a talk about you and me.” Blaise said seriously. His previous jubilant tone was gone.

“Yeah okay. What’s up?” Hermione asked facing him.

“So I know you plan on becoming a Healer after Hogwarts. You’re going to be training in St. Mungo’s correct?” Blaise asked her. Hermione nodded.

“Yeah I’m going to have to take courses through the Healer program they offer but essentially that is the idea.” Hermione replied. She could tell where this was going. He wanted to know where their relationship would stand after Hogwarts. Would they just say goodbye and part ways? Could they last after Hogwarts? Surely his pureblood family would disapprove of Hermione. Or maybe they would embrace her with loving arms.

“That sounds lovely. I’m sure you’ll be magnificent.” He said sweetly.

“Blaise what is this about?” Hermione asked bluntly wanting to get to the point.

“Well I wanted to know, would you consider possibly continuing this relationship after Hogwarts or would graduation be the final time I get to see the lovely Hermione Granger?” Blaise asked smiling a little but Hermione knew there was sadness in his voice. She could see it in his eyes.

“Blaise we’ll stay together as long as we want. Hogwarts or no Hogwarts, we can make it work.” Hermione said taking his hand. She did believe that she could be happy with Blaise.

“So you would want to stay together after Hogwarts?” Blaise asked.

“If the situation was ideal, then yes I would.” Hermione replied truthfully.

“I hoped you wouldn’t of said that.”  Blaise replied gravely as he looked down at his hands. He moved away from Hermione and looked out onto the horizon. Hermione looked from his back out to the sky.

“What do you mean? You would not want to be with me?” Hermione asked.

“Quite the opposite. I would very strongly want to be with you. Hermione you are my present and future.” Blaise said without looking at Hermione. She did not understand. He sensed this and continued.

“So you remember how I had to go with my parents during Christmas holiday on some vacation? Well that vacation was actually to Italy. My father knows the Italian Minister of Magic there very well. We went to their parties and their gatherings. He has a younger son, Leonardo, who is our age. I became well acquainted with him you see. He was telling me that in a few years he would become Minister of Magic. Because the Italians choose their Ministers through lineage. They pass down the title, much like a monarchy.

“Like I was saying, I became well acquainted with him, Leonardo. He told me that he loved my attitude as did his father. Hermione, what I’m trying to tell you is that they both offered me a tremendous opportunity. They told me that as soon as my Hogwarts education was completed that I should go back to Italy and help Leonardo prepare for his duties in office. It would give me an amazing position to be in. I would skip all the trivial steps and get straight to the top. The only thing that stopped me from saying yes in that instant was you.” Blaise confessed.

Hermione remained silent. The sun had already dipped into the horizon and the castle was lit up by candles and flames on torches. She did not know how to take in Blaise’s words.

“Blaise, you’ve known all this time?” Hermione began.

“I know. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you much earlier. I just wasn’t sure how to handle it. Besides, it was right after my stupid suspicions of you and Draco. I thought in that moment that maybe you and I were just some school fling and perhaps it would simmer down near the end. But Hermione I’ve come to see that you’re not just some fling. You mean more to me than anything I’ve come to possess or admire.” Blaise said looking at Hermione.

“Blaise this would be a wonderful opportunity for you.” Hermione said more to herself.

“But I would be leaving you.” Blaise replied slipping his hand into hers.

“For an amazing career.” Hermione said.

“You said you would have stayed with me.” Blaise said quietly.

Hermione knew that if she asked him no to go, he wouldn’t. But they both knew that Hermione would not plead for him to stay. It would be from her own love and wanting of his success in life that she would tell him to grasp the opportunity at hand. She would encourage him to take the deal even though it would destroy any possible future they had together.

It didn’t need to be said, but they both knew that from this moment on, their time together was slowly cutting down.




Ah a really quick but IMPORTANT note: I just finished this story! Its crazy! I really can't believe its over. So expect only three or so more chapters after this one :)

And yes, to answer that buzzing question in everyone's mind, I know EXACTLY who Hermione is ultimately going to end up with! But that's all you'll get out of me!

Chapter 22: Sabotage
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A/N: I can't even begin to apologize for this incredibly and unacceptable long delay. My chapter was rejected, but it was my fault. However, I hope you guys don't hate me and continue reading!


~~~~~~~~~~~

NEWT exams were finally over for seventh year students. It was a cool Wednesday morning and most sixth years were just finishing up their final OWLs.

“I’m sick of this Pansy. I want Blaise.” Cecilia said as she sat next to her in the Common Room.

“Keep your voice down. If anything were to happen to the little Gryffindor Princess then all the blame would rest on your shoulders.” Pansy said unaffiliated as she turned the page of her magazine. Cecilia rolled her eyes. She took Pansy’s magazine out of her hands.

“Come on Pansy. This is second nature to us.” Cecilia replied. Pansy looked annoyed.

“This is entirely your problem Ce, not mine. I have Draco.” Pansy said taking her magazine from Cecilia’s hands.

“And what makes you so sure she won’t lure Draco away from you?” Cecilia asked. Pansy froze.

“He won’t.” Pansy said more to herself.

“Pansy you know she’s a threat as long as she’s still here.” Cecilia said. Pansy tried to ignore her words but still they lingered in her mind longer than she would have liked.

“What do you want to do?” Pansy asked.

“This Hunt came at the perfect time.” Cecilia smirked. Pansy kept her facial features more relaxed. If they were going to get rid of Granger, then they were going to have to devise a plan, quickly.

*

It was Friday night and all the students were being pilled into the Great Hall by their Prefects. Ron, Harry, and Hermione all walked in together.

“Have either of you seen Dra- Malfoy? We were supposed to help with all of this but I can’t just instruct the Prefects by myself.” Hermione said trying to look around the Slytherin tables. She spotted Cecilia and Blaise both present but there were no signs of Draco or Pansy.

“Sorry Hermione I haven’t seen him since NEWTs.” Ron replied. Harry too shrugged.

“But speaking of missing people, have you guys seen Ginny? I hadn’t seen her all day.” Harry just suddenly realized. The doors behind them shut hard and there were many screams of surprise.

The entire Great Hall was extinguished of light. Only two pillars were ablaze in the front where Professor McGonagall stood.

“Good evening. The Hunt traditionally begins promptly at 9:00 pm. There are only five more minutes. Now before you all begin, I would like to share a few tips with you. You must firstly find a golden key in order to open the treasure you find. Without the key, your treasure is useless. Do no lose yourselves in this Hunt. I don’t just mean physically but emotionally as well. Also there are many other obstacles other than the Hunters you must watch out for. Oh and of course, the Hunters were chosen. Avoid them at all costs because they will thwart anything you have. The Hunt changes people. The people to your left and right may not be the same people once you leave this room. Now for the Hunters, they are as follows: Pansy Parkinson, Gregory Goyle, Seamus Finnegan, Cormac McLaggen, Draco Malfoy, Hannah Abbot, and finally Ginny Weasley.”

Hermione, Harry, and Ron all turned to face each other.

“Did you know… that Ginny…” Harry began looking towards Hermione.

“I had no idea. You don’t find out until the compass chooses.” Hermione finished. A scary thought of having to finish Ginny off in order to win the Hunt made Hermione’s skin curl.

“I only have a minute left so I would just finally like to say, good luck!” Professor McGonagall said. A second later a loud ringing of the clock tower meant that it was finally nine o’clock. The entire Great Hall went dark. An eerie silence filled the room. There was a low wind that blew through. Hermione turned around to face the door. She felt a warm hand on her shoulder. She quickly turned around.

“Blaise you gave me a heart attack.” Hermione breathed out. He smiled.

“Sorry about that. So what are we supposed to be doing now?” He asked.

“I have no idea.” Hermione said. She tried to look over the hundreds of students but she couldn’t see anything.

Then it happened. It was first a small movement of the ground. A few were knocked off their feet, but for the most part everyone was stable. Then the ground roared again. This time there was a large wave that rippled through the stone floors. There were screams everywhere. The ground began tearing up and opening. It was sucking in as many people as it could. Hermione felt Harry’s hand tug hers as everyone fled to the now opening doors of the Great Hall.

“Blaise!” Hermione screamed out. She could barely make out his figure and where he was. She hoped he got out. But she couldn’t stop now. Harry had a firm grip on her arm and Ron was right behind her.

Hermione turned around one more time to see a dark hole in the middle of the Great Hall sucking up many of the students. As soon as they penetrated the tip of the darkness, there was a bright blue light and the disappeared. They were the first ones out of the Hunt. They didn’t stop running until the reached the grounds. Harry let go of Hermione’s arm. They all stopped to catch their breath.

“What the bloody hell.” Ron said between breaths. Hermione was the first one to notice the behemoth maze before them. It reminded her so much of the one Harry had to complete as his Third Task.

“Do you think we have to go in there?” Harry asked.

“I think we do.” Hermione said. She noticed some other people around her looked extremely confused, while others quickly rushed into the maze. This seemed to snap Ron back into reality.

“Come on guys! This is after all a hunt! We have to go get that treasure before all these sods do!” Ron said running towards the maze. Hermione and Harry both exchanged looks and followed.

As they walked through the opening of the maze they were presented with a fork already. Should they go left or should the go right?

“What if we split up?” Hermione suggested.

“No!” Both of them said at the same time.

“Look we can get things done quicker if we do. I can handle myself.” Hermione said.

“Hermione we’re not splitting…” But Harry was cut off. The giant maze which, like the Triwizard Tournament one, suddenly began moving. It closed off the distance that was between where Ron and Harry stood and Hermione who was now on the opposite side of the large bush wall.

“Hermione! Can you hear me?” Ron screamed.

“Yes!” She yelled back.

“Harry how are we going to get to her?” Ron asked. Harry shrugged his shoulders.

“Look Ron, you two just go and find the treasure. Maybe we’ll meet up somewhere. Come on, this is a hunt. You want to win right?” Hermione said.

“Alright fine.” Ron agreed.

The three of them then parted ways. Hermione continued walking alone. She had her wand lit and ready for anything that could potentially attack her. Every now and then she would find a student wandering aimlessly throughout the maze. They would exchange glances and the continue on their way. Hermione saw no need to actually get rid of them. Although, they did decrease her chances of winning…

Then Hermione saw a bright flash of yellow light. She looked up in the sky where there were small fireworks which quickly dissolved. One of the treasures was found. Hermione’s competitive side was becoming more dominant as she raggedly tore through the maze searching for the treasure or at least the key. She was tired and exhausted. Hermione needed to rest her feet. Her mind was dizzy with all these never ending turns. It seemed that just as she was getting closer, the maze would reform itself. Hermione slouched down. She leaned against the rough branches of the bush wall behind her. She closed her eyes and rested for a minute. When she opened them, something gleaming caught her eye.

Hermione looked around. There was no one there. She began crawling over the small shrubs near the other side of the maze wall. As she got closer, she saw it: gold. Hermione’s eyes flashed, it was the key. She quickly reached down to get it. Only there was another hand tugging it away from her. She couldn’t see the person - they were on the other side of the wall. A quick gust of wind howled and the maze reformed. Hermione now stood in front of the person she was fighting with. Draco.

Defitae!” Draco yelled.

Protego!” Hermione too screamed. The purple jet of light bounced off of Hermione’s shield charm.

“I got to it first!” Hermione screamed.

“Finders keepers Granger.” Draco replied smirking.

“Let go of it Draco!” Hermione yelled as she finally yanked it out of Draco’s clutches. She looked back at him. He looked livid. She didn’t know what to do, other than run, but was stopped as she felt the coolness of his wand hit the back of her neck.

“Don’t you dare.” Draco whispered. Hermione slowly turned around.

“Stop being foolish Draco.” Hermione said.

“Right because that’s me, foolish Draco Malfoy. Never knowing anything. Always making an ass out of myself when it comes to you.” Draco replied disgustingly.

“I didn’t mean it like that.” Hermione replied quietly.

“No of course you didn’t Hermione. Why would you? I mean nothing to you anyway right? So what difference does it make if you took a key out of my hand? Wouldn’t be the most valuable thing you’ve taken from me.” Draco replied.

“It was your decision to leave!” Hermione screamed back.

“Because you never chose me!” Draco screamed back.

“What? I never chose you? How dare you!” Hermione slapped Draco across the face. “I came after you. I begged you, pleaded for you! God even after you were with Pansy!” Hermione confessed.

“All out of guilt Hermione. Tell me one of those actions was our of pure simple love and I’ll believe you. Look me in the eye and tell me you didn’t do all those things out of jealousy or guilt.” Draco dared. He stepped closer to her.

“Draco…” Hermione whispered as she felt his hand touch her cheek.

“Just tell me Hermione. Just say it.” He whispered. Hermione closed her eyes.

“I…” Hermione began.

“Yes.” Draco responded eagerly.

“Lo…”

“Get away from him!” Hermione and Draco both turned around to see a livid Pansy. Her chest was heaving. “Defitae!

Pansy aimed her wand directly at Hermione. But the spell never hit her. Draco stepped in front. Hermione felt his warm protective arms around hers for a minute and then they were nothing but blue light. The look on Pansy’s face was murderous.

“That was supposed to be YOU!” She screamed. Pansy had completely abandoned her wand and lunged right at Hermione. Both girls were knocked to the ground. Hermione managed to get her wand and whisper Protego. Pansy was deflected off Hermione and thrown back.

“What the hell is wrong with you!” Hermione screamed.

“Draco’s mine! Just leave him alone!” Pansy screamed getting to her feet. Her wand was now in her hand once more.

“I’m not with Draco.” Hermione replied trying to stay calm.

“Oh please, don’t act so innocent and pure! God at least own up to your actions. I know all your secrets Granger. I’m sure Blaise would love to know them too.” Pansy replied cynically.

“What do you know?” Hermione asked paling. Pansy had a wicked smile play on her lips.

“You think you are so virtuous, like the Great Hermione Granger could do no wrong. Everyone else might see you as the perfect little princess, but I know you’re nothing but a lying, two-faced bitch.” Pansy screamed.

“Shut up!” Hermione bellowed back. She didn’t want to hear anymore of this.

“Why? Scared someone might over hear us? Is that what it is? Scared Blaise might hear that I know about you and Draco?” Pansy replied.

“You don’t know anything.” Hermione said pathetically. How could Pansy have found out about her and Draco? She must have been lying.

“Oh but I do. I caught you two red handed.” Pansy replied with venom in her voice. Hermione didn’t say anything.

“If I recall correctly, you two were in the alley beside Rosemerta’s Pub weren’t you? The night he got back? What a whore. Blaise was right inside.” Pansy said.

“Fuck you Pansy.” Hermione said, her voice shaking. Pansy’s eyes flashed red.

Defitae!” Pansy screamed.

Three things happened at once. As soon as Pansy screamed out the curse, Hermione’s shield charm blocked the spell. From behind Pansy, a third voice too yelled Defitae and Pansy’s body had a bright blue aura around it until it vanished. Hermione turned around to see her savior, but was met with Blaise’s royal blue eyes.

“Blaise.” Hermione said as she walked over to him. He took a step back.

“What was she talking about?” He asked lowering his wand. Hermione didn’t know what to say.

“I…” She began.

“Hermione, just tell me it wasn’t true and I’ll believe you. Tell me she was lying and I won’t question it.” Blaise replied realizing his fears were coming true.

“Blaise, let me explain…” Hermione started.

“No! Explain what? That you’ve lied to my face countless times that I’ve told you about my fears of losing you? All this time you were just seeing Draco behind my back?” Blaise yelled. It pained Hermione to see him like this. She couldn’t get any words out to explain to him how she chose him over Draco.

“Blaise please! Let me talk!” Hermione pleaded. He looked away from her. He would not meet her eyes. Hermione looked behind him. She made out the small silhouette of someone’s wand approaching.

“Watch out! Defitae!” Hermione screamed but she was too late. Her spell hit the other person’s body, but their spell had already hit Blaise. Two bright blue lights emerged where the two bodies were. Hermione suddenly felt herself being whipped across the maze and zooming out of the game. She closed her eyes, and when her feet touched the ground she collapsed.

“Hermione are you alright!” Harry yelled as he walked over to her. She was lying down on the ground.

“Ow, yeah I think I’m alright. Where are we?” Hermione asked.

“Champions room. You got the treasure!” Harry replied happily. Hermione nodded her head.

“No all I have is the key.” Hermione replied.

“Then you must have been the last person standing. You won by default! Hermione this is excellent!” Harry said elated. But Hermione couldn’t feel any happiness.

“Harry stop.” Hermione began. He looked at her troubled face as she stood up.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

“Harry he knows.” Hermione said, the tears rushing to her face.

“Who knows? What are you talking about?” Harry asked.

“Blaise, he knows about Draco and me.” Hermione said. But before Harry could reply Professor McGonagall walked into the small wooden room.

“Congratulations! I’m so very proud of you both! Now come out! The school is awaiting their champions. Everyone has already had time to freshen up before the feast and celebrations. Your rooms are just down these stairs.” McGonagall replied.

As they walked down the wooden stairs, Harry asked Hermione to repeat what had happened. She told him about Pansy, and how Blaise overheard everything.

“Look just get changed Hermione and we’ll figure this out alright?” Harry replied hugging her. Hermione agreed and she walked into her room.

*

After a few minutes, Hermione emerged from her room wearing a simple white frock. She was clean and pacing back and forth. How would she explain herself to Blaise? Obviously she had to tell him the truth. She couldn’t lie to him anymore. He deserved to know. That bloody Pansy. If only she learned to keep her mouth shut. Hermione’s blood began to boil. Never had she hated anyone this much, not even Draco. Hermione wanted to put her and Draco behind her, and just continue being with Blaise. Yet Pansy managed to destroy all of that for her. Blaise wouldn’t forgive her once he found out how long this had been going on for. How could he? His suspicions rooted all the way back to after Christmas break. She had no idea what she was going to do.

“Hermione are you alright?” Harry asked walking out of his room. Hermione shook her head.

“I can’t go outside. I can’t face him Harry, I just can’t do it.” Hermione said. She felt the tears running to her eyes. She didn’t want to cry but the situation was not ideal in the least bit.

“You can’t hide forever Hermione. It won’t be that bad. Ron and I will be behind you.” Harry assured as he took her hand and they both walked out.

Once they were outside, they could make out many people socializing and chatting away in their nice outfits and sipping on butterbeers and pumpkin juice. Hermione didn’t want anyone to see her, or call out her name. Professor McGonagall spotted them and waved for them to come down.

“Ah here they are, our two wonderful champions!” She declared loudly. Everyone turned around and clapped for Hermione and Harry. Harry squeezed her hand. Hermione leaned into Harry and whispered into his ear.

“What do I do? Should I look for Blaise?” Hermione asked.

“Go talk to him before anyone else does. Let him listen to your story.” Harry replied. Hermione nodded and pushed her way through the forming crowd around her.

She walked around the ship idly for a little while, but she could not make out Blaise anywhere. She found a smirking Cecilia. The sight of her made Hermione fume up. She knew that both her and Pansy were having the time of their lives because of Hermione. She couldn’t stand it. She would never understand how people found pleasure in others pain. Hermione turned the corner. It was the door right before the kitchens. She began walking but stopped when she heard voices.

“Is it true Draco?” Blaise asked. Hermione heard Draco’s silence.

“Yes.” Draco said quietly. Hermione felt her heart sink deeper into her chest.

“Get the fuck out of my face.” Blaise said angrily.

“Blaise listen to me. It wasn’t just a fling. You don’t know how I feel about her.” Draco confessed.

“I don’t fucking care. She was my girlfriend and was out of bounds. You took it there Draco. I blame no one but you for starting it.” Blaise said.

“Blaise just listen to…” Draco started but was silenced when Blaise’s fist hit his face. Hermione gasped. She turned the corner to see Draco crouching down, covering his face which was now bleeding.

“Blaise what have you done?” Hermione asked looking at Draco’s pained face.

“You are in no position to ask me what I’ve done.” Blaise said as he bristly walked past Hermione. She wanted to follow him, but couldn’t. She quickly mended Draco’s bleeding nose.

“Thank you.” He responded.

“Are you alright?” Hermione asked as she got him to his feet.

“Yeah. I should go try and talk with him.” Draco replied.

“No. He’ll just hit you again. I’m the one who has to talk with him.” Hermione said. She turned around and set out to find Blaise.

“Hermione…” Draco called out. She turned around to face him.

“Yes?” She asked.

“He knows now.” Draco said quietly. Hermione knew where he wanted this to go. He wanted her to make amends with Blaise, and then maybe they could finally be together now that Blaise knew. Didn’t he know if only it were that simple, she would have done it ages ago?

“I can’t. Not now. I have to fix this with Blaise.” Hermione replied.

“Only I would be foolish enough to keep coming back to you, after you’ve repeatedly broken my heart.” Draco commented.

“I’m sorry.” Hermione said quietly. She didn’t know what else to say. She wanted nothing more than to be with Draco, but it just had to wait for the time being. With one final sad look, she walked away.

Hermione found Blaise sitting alone by the small bar area on the ship. She sat next to him, but he only turned away from her.

“You can hate me all you want but don’t pretend like you don’t care.” Hermione said. He turned around to look at her.

“What do you want?” Blaise asked taking some more of his drink.

“You shouldn’t be drinking Fire whiskey.” Hermione scolded.

“Why? What are you going to do about it?” Blaise challenged.

“I’m Head Girl. You could get into a lot of trouble if I report you.” Hermione noted.

“I dare you.” Blaise replied. He returned to his drink. Hermione couldn’t sit next to him anymore. She slowly got up and walked away.

It was her fault that the person sitting next to her was cold and distant. She created him. She couldn’t talk to Blaise this way. She’d wait for him to sober up and let his mind clear out. He would listen to her eventually. He had to. That night, even after she received the treasure chest filled with sparkling jewels and galleons, Hermione couldn’t quite rest. Her thoughts drifted back to Blaise and Draco.

On one hand, perhaps she could harness this opportunity for her and Draco. But on the other, she couldn’t quite abandon Blaise just yet. She needed to make up her mind. Yet it seemed to Hermione that she would always have this life long struggle between Blaise and Draco, both slowly destroying her, and never quite making her completely happy.

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A/N: Ah only two more to go! Once again I'm SO SO SO sorry for this delay. There was nothing I could really do once I submitted the chapter :( But I want to get out the next two chapters really quickly!

I already started writing a lot for the sequel, Gravity, and well let's just say its full of 'I really want to slap her in the face' moments ;)
Love you guys!

Chapter 23: Spiraling Downward
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A/N: Only one more chapter to go! I hope this one reaches you all faster than the last one. Once again, read and enjoy!

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Hermione took a bite out of her toast. It had been nearly a week since she last spoke with Blaise on the ship after the Hunt. She didn’t even speak with Draco for the past few days either. Hermione absently looked over to the Slytherin table to find Blaise once again, absent from his usual seat. Draco sat idly in his seat, unaware of his surroundings. Pansy and Cecilia sat huddled together on the other end of the table farthest from Draco.

Hermione closed her eyes and tried to think calmly about the mess she had created. She destroyed Draco and Blaise’s friendship. She ruined Pansy and Draco’s relationship. She completely demolished her own relationship with Blaise.

And for what?

She still wasn’t with Draco. She certainly wasn’t happily with Blaise. Everyone was miserable, and it was all because of her. Why did she toy with everyone’s emotions? Blaise was the world to her, and yet she couldn’t find that to be enough. Why did she need to seek out Draco? Why couldn’t she just say no?

“Hermione don’t do it.” Harry whispered. She turned to face him.

“Do what?” She asked.

“Beat yourself up. I can see it in your eyes.” Harry looking right at her.

“I don’t even feel alive Harry.” Hermione whispered. She was right though. In class she barely paid attention. She completely let go of her appearance. She was sure her hair was disheveled, her eyes puffy, her face a mess. Yet somehow none of this seemed to matter. Nothing anymore really mattered.

“You can’t just mope around Hermione. You’re not Moaning Murtle. You can move on with your life.” Harry responded.

“And how do you suppose I go about that Harry?” Hermione sharply replied. As soon as she said it she regretted it. She shut her eyes and let out a deep breath.

“I’m sorry. I’m just…” Hermione began.

“I know Hermione, I know.” Harry replied reassuringly as he placed his hand on hers.

“It was so perfect before and now I just…” Hermione started but stopped half way.

The rest of her breakfast went by quietly. It was Sunday and she had an entire day to relax. Hermione quickly excused herself from the table and walked outside. The day was beautiful and warm. Hermione noticed the flowers and trees blooming with life as spring was in full awakening. She walked down to the gardens, past Hagrid’s hut and moved toward the Lake. It was serene and quiet; just the way she liked it. Hermione found a quiet spot near the lake to rest against. She plopped down under a tree and closed her eyes. The smell of fresh water and the cool breeze through her hair was intoxicating.

It was perfect until Hermione could hear a girl’s giggles not too far away from where she was sitting. She opened her eyes only to hear more giggles ensuing from the nearby forest. Hermione got up to see what was happening behind the trees. As she approached the front of the forest she could make out the silhouettes of three bodies. As she neared them she saw him perfectly.

“Blaise?” Hermione called out. The two girls stopped giggling as Blaise’s smirk faltered when he faced Hermione.

“What are you doing here?” He asked sharply. He avoided locking eyes with Hermione.

“I should be asking you the same thing.” Hermione replied authoritatively as she glanced at the two girls who were arm in arm with Blaise.

“We were just leaving.” Blaise said pushing past Hermione.

“Blaise you’re drinking.” Hermione replied noticing the bottle in his hands. He turned around to look at Hermione.

“And?” He asked.

“And you know its forbidden to drink alcohol in school!” Hermione a little louder. Blaise merely laughed as he heard Hermione.

“I don’t need you to recite the rule book for me Granger.” Blaise replied. His look changed from humor to pain as he said Hermione’s last name. Hermione looked at him with the same expression. Her eyes glossed with tears as she faced him.

“Blaise can we please talk?” Hermione whispered. Blaise contemplated speaking with Hermione for a minute. He turned around to the two girls who were still clutching onto him.

“I’ll meet up with you two later.” Blaise replied casually as they both nodded and walked off.

“This isn’t you Blaise.” Hermione said with a stressed voice.

“You don’t know me.” Blaise replied quickly taking a sip of his Fire Whiskey.

“I do know you. You’re not this person in front of me. The Blaise I know…” Hermione began.

“The Blaise you knew was a foolish, naïve, ignorant…” Blaise started.

“…sweet, loving, wonderful person! This cold, indifferent person in front of me isn’t you Blaise!” Hermione protested.

“You didn’t even know me before we met. This is me Hermione! Whatever you changed in me is dead. I’m back to who I was, who I should have been. I’m Blaise fucking Zabini!” Blaise yelled out.

“I know why you’re doing this. Blaise I can do nothing more than tell you I’m sorry.” Hermione said softly as she walked closer to him. He backed away a few feet.

“You think this is about you? This has nothing to do with you! You know, you think Pansy and Ce are conceited arrogant people but take a good look at yourself Hermione! Last time I checked, you were the one fooling around with someone’s best friend. You were the liar.” Blaise replied disgusted.

“Blaise I don’t know what to tell you.” Hermione replied defeated.

“You don’t need to say anything.” Blaise said. Hermione felt the tears flow freely from her eyes.

“Please…” Hermione pleaded.

“Just stay out of my life.” Blaise said firmly as he turned his back on Hermione and walked towards the castle.

*

Hermione found herself late that night sitting atop the Astronomy Tower starring out at the illuminating lights that cast themselves from the stars above. She liked the quietness engulfing her. It allowed her to clear her mind. It allowed her to think.

Blaise’s words from earlier this morning still were ringing through her mind. ‘Just stay out of my life.’ His voice heavy and angry. Yet it wasn’t that simple. She couldn’t just stay out of Blaise’s life. He meant more to her than she previously believed. It was only now that she could see just how much he had meant to her. Hermione closed her eyes and tried to block out all thoughts of Blaise.

“Do you mind?” Hermione heard a deep voice from behind her. She turned around. Draco.

His golden hair was billowing in the wind. She couldn’t see his face properly, but she could make out his icicle eyes. Hermione nodded silently as he seated himself beside Hermione and leaned against the wall she was near. They were quiet for sometime. Hermione could feel the warmth of his body as she felt his arm rest beside her own. It was only a few moments before she felt Draco’s hand entwine with her own. All thoughts of Blaise melted from her mind. She rested her head against his shoulder as they both stared out onto the fields.

“You honestly can tell me you don’t want this?” Draco asked softly. Hermione was silent for a moment as she thought.

“I do want this Draco.” Hermione replied. She shifted her position slightly as Draco wrapped his arm around her.

“But you’re thinking of him.” Draco stated. Hermione didn’t refute this. She knew that Draco knew that Blaise was still in the back of her mind.

“He was a big part of my life. I can’t just forget that.” Hermione replied. Draco was silent. He didn’t want to talk about Blaise anymore. He was sick of hearing Blaise’s name.

“Let’s just not talk about this.” Draco said. Another few moments passed before Draco stood up. He took a deep breath and turned to Hermione before saying, “I can’t do this.”

He straightened his posture and looked down at Hermione. She was a little confused.

“I’m done chasing you Hermione. I’m exhausted.” Draco wearily as he gave her a final look. He examined her gaze.

“You’re never going to love me are you?” Draco asked coming to a heartbreaking realization.

Hermione remained silent. The pressure of the truth that weighed her down was unbearable. Tears stung her eyes as she watched him walk away from her for the last time. Hermione wasn’t sure what to do. Should she run after Draco? Should she run after him. She couldn’t process the thought quickly enough but she got to her feet and opened the door. She ran down the spiraling stairs calling out Draco’s name, yet no response was heard.

Hermione felt as though a giant weight had been placed down on her. Sinking her lower and lower as she continued to descend the stairs with no hope of reaching Draco. She ran down to the corridor, which was empty. Hermione felt the hot tears burn down her face as she sank to the floor. The silence was filled by the echoing of her own sobs.

“Get up Granger.” Hermione heard a demanding voice call. Hermione looked up to find Cecilia towering above her. Hermione’s big honey eyes, now glossed with frozen tears, looked back at her unforgiving gaze. “I said, get up.” Cecilia repeated herself.

“What do you want?” Hermione’s cracked voice asked. Cecilia rolled her eyes as she crossed her arms.

“I just wanted to let you know, that if you think you have a shot with Blaise again, you’re really wrong. You might as well give up now and go hook up with Weasel. Blaise is no longer yours to take.” Cecilia said coldly.

“What are you talking about?” Hermione glared at her. Cecilia smirked as she tossed her sandy blonde hair to the side to reveal a rather ravenous looking bruise on the side of her neck.

“That’s how Blaise likes to leave his mark.” Cecilia smiled bitter-sweetly.

“You’re nothing but a slut Cecilia.” Hermione replied. Cecilia’s smile faded.

“Stay away from Blaise. He’s no longer your Slytherin to take. Never was, never will be.” Cecilia concluded as she walked away from Hermione. The clicking of her stilettos could be heard as she cat walked down the corridor.

Something new inside Hermione began raging and she couldn’t quite understand what this new burning sensation within her chest was. But she was sure it felt a lot like a passionate desire to win. She was determined to beat Cecilia and Pansy at their own games. She wouldn’t be told what to do. She was Hermione Granger and she was not giving up without a war.

*

The sight Hermione was welcomed by the following morning was nothing she expected. Everyone around her was silent as she walked up to the Gryffindor table. Hermione found it a bit odd and asked what the deal was. Ginny subtly pointed her head towards the Slytherin table only to find Cecilia hand in hand with Blaise and Draco in a conversation with Pansy. Cecilia was telling the truth: they have returned to their rightful positions.

Hermione looked away hurt but she didn’t know why. After all, this was her work of art. It was her fault. Even with Blaise gone, she still had Draco waiting for her. Now she ruined it with him as well. She wanted to escape. She needed something to get her out of her mind. She wanted to jump off a building, scream profanities, run until her legs fall off, swim until she drowned; anything. Hermione barely ate any breakfast before she quickly excused herself from the table and made her way towards her first classes for this early Friday morning.

*

Hermione could hear quick scampering feet running around. It was a curiously late hour to be running around in the corridors this late at night. She quietly followed the sounds which eventually led her to the all too familiar Room of Requirement. Of course, yet another Slytherin party probably was commencing. Hermione rolled her eyes. She could practically smell the Fire Whiskey from the door. She sighed loudly and began walking towards the slightly ajar door and peeked in. The room was alive with not only Slytherins, but Ravenclaws, and a few Hufflepuffs as well. She watched as everyone carelessly danced, socialized, and just had plain fun. Suddenly the need to stop the party became less attractive to Hermione as she now began contemplating how she could get inside without everyone freaking out.

Hermione slowly opened the door and subtly walked inside. She adjusted her skirt and tugged on the white button down shirt. The room was a scene from a movie perhaps with the girls prancing around, as the boys lusted behind them. Hermione smiled. No one noticed her just yet. She walked over to a small table which had plenty of alcohol ready for anyone who could handle it. Hermione gingerly took the small bottle and held it up to her lips. She had, of course, tasted Fire Whiskey in the past but that was merely a sip. But now, the cool liquid was searing down her throat as she drank. She looked around. Tears began to sting her eyes as she remembered Blaise. Everyone’s blurry faces reminded her of him. And of Draco. She took another large gulp.

Hermione wasn’t quite sure how many empty little bottles lay on the floor scattered around her but she didn’t care. She was feeling carefree and happy. She danced around with everyone. Once people began to realize Hermione would not go and tell the Headmisstress right away of their illegal gathering, they all loosened up to her. Hermione felt herself slowly being slipped away into another world. She felt as though for these few minutes, for this evening, she was in someone else’s life. She was an entirely new person.

“Ahem, Hermione is it?” A deep voice from behind her called. Hermione whipped around, her wavy hair sashayed behind her.

“Yes?” Hermione inquired. She recognized the face but couldn’t remember anything about the boy standing in front of her.

“I didn’t know you were one for parties.” He smirked. Hermione rolled her eyes and turned her back to him.

“You don’t know a lot about me.” Hermione said as she walked away from him. The boy stood there, intrigued, as he followed Hermione back to the couch she seated herself in.

“Then why don’t you tell me?” He asked as he too sat beside her. Hermione let out a small laugh as she took a sip of her drink.

“Who are you?” Hermione asked. The corners of his mouth curled into a smile as he stretched out his hand.

“Alexander Stone. But I’m better know as Lex.” Lex replied waiting for Hermione to shake his hand. She looked down at his hand amused and shook it, just for the sake of it. He took her hand and brought it up to his lips. He gently kissed the back of her hand as he looked into her amused eyes.

“And what house are you from Mr. Suave? Let me guess, you’re a Slytherin?” Hermione asked almost mockingly. Lex smirked.

“I heard you enjoyed Slytherins.” He raised his eyebrows as he leaned back on the couch and took a sip of his drink. Hermione wasn’t sure if she should feel insulted, angry, or indifferent.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Hermione asked roughly.

“Nothing Hermione. I’m only saying people have seen you around with Blaise and Draco. Now all you need is to be seen with me and you’ll be the envy of every girl in the entire school.” Lex smirked.

“And why would I want to be with you?” Hermione asked teasingly.

“Because I’m the third most desirable guy in Slytherin.” Lex grinned.

“I’ve already had the two best. Why go for you? What could you possibly offer me?” Hermione asked playfully as she felt Lex’s body get closer to hers. His face was a mere inches away.

“Third times a charm.” Lex winked as he leaned in and kissed Hermione on the lips. At first she wanted to draw back. But then a strange, unfamiliar voice in the back of her mind began to protest and tell her to sit put. She wanted an escape, and she found one.

If was now Hermione who was ravenously kissing Lex back. She could taste the cool Fire Whiskey on his tongue and it felt nice against her lips. Hermione pushed him harder on the back of the couch as she straddled either side of his lap. She began tearing away at his shirt. It was too constricting. She felt his hands travel up her body. She should have felt disgust at the flesh, but she didn’t. Hermione didn’t recoil. She was plummeting downward, and she was determined to go all the way. She felt Lex’s rough hands travel down her sides of her legs, only to continue back up underneath her skirt. She moaned a little but would not give him the pleasure of knowing he was in control. Hermione’s hands went to reach for his belt when she felt herself being picked up from behind.

She turned around to face Blaise’s enraged glare. His look was positively murderous.

“Go wait for me by the door.” Blaise demanded in a collected voice. It was evident the rage he felt boiling within him.

“Blaise I was just…” Hermione began.

“GO!” Blaise roared. At this point the entire party had come to a pause to witness Blaise heaving. Hermione did not want to undermine Blaise again and proceeded to walk to the door.

“What the bloody hell are you doing mate?” Lex asked as he stood up to face Blaise. Blaise turned his attention to him.

“Don’t fucking touch her again. Don’t go near her again. Do you understand? Or I will disembody every limb on your pathetic excuse of a human body.” Blaise replied through gritted teeth. Lex could do nothing but laugh at this.

“Sorry if I’m a little confused, but I don’t think I understand. You let Draco have his fun with the Gryffindor Princess. He got to do all sorts of nasty things to her. Now you’re denying her to us?” Lex replied smirking. Blaise had lost any last shred of self-control he had within him. He did not even bother to think as his fist collided with the side of Lex’s face. He was knocked over to the side with a slightly bleeding nose. Lex went to grab for his wand, but Hermione was too quick for him. She shot a body binding curse from across the room.

“You’re not going to get away with this Mudblood!” Lex screamed across the room. Blaise had already walked up to Hermione.

“You really think McGonagall is going to believe your word over hers? You’re even stupider than you look Stone.” Blaise replied as he took Hermione out of the door and into the warm spring night.

Hermione’s body binding curse had lifted as Lex seated himself on the couch swearing to himself. From the darker corners of the room Cecilia emerged and sat beside him.

“You had one simple task to do. And you couldn’t even humiliate the Mudblood.” Cecilia replied angrily.

“Shut up Loff.” Lex replied dabbing at his bruised nose.

“Lex he’s out there with her. And you know what’s going to happen? She’s going to play the victim card and he’ll go back to her.” Cecilia replied with sorrow in her voice.

“Look it’s not my problem alright Ce. I feel bad for you, I do. But there’s nothing you can do about it anymore so just stop trying these sabotage plans. What if Blaise found out it was you who was behind all this anyway?” Lex asked.

“I would murder you if you ever told him.” Cecilia replied in a curt voice.

“Not me. I’m just saying. People get real curious about juicy things like this. Just stop with everything before it catches up to you.” Lex replied.

*

“Blaise I’m perfectly fine walking back by myself.” Hermione replied.

“Have you even looked at yourself? Your clothes are disheveled, your hair is a mess, your eyes are red, and you can barely keep yourself balanced.” Blaise noted as he walked in unison with Hermione.

“I thought you didn’t care about me. I thought you wanted me out of your life.” Hermione replied.

“Doesn’t mean I don’t care.” Blaise replied quietly. As much as she didn’t want them to come, Hermione felt the tears swell up in her eyes again.

“I’m sorry.” Hermione said quietly.

“Stop. I need to talk to you.” Blaise said.

“Okay but not here. Filtch’s cat just turned the corner. Let’s go this way. My room is right down that corridor.” Hermione replied seeing the small tabby cat meowing feverishly.

When both of them were in the safety of Hermione’s Head dorm they felt more at ease. Hermione stumbled over her own two feet as Blaise caught her, but she shrugged him off. She staggered over to the couches near the fireplace and seated herself down on them. Blaise sat beside her as he watched Hermione take her shoes off. She leaned her body on the back couch and closed her eyes. It was the only thing she knew that would stop her from crying again.

“Hermione…” Blaise whispered softly. Her eyes shot open at the mention of her name through his lips.

“Yes?” Hermione replied softly.

“I can’t be mad at you any more.” Blaise said defeated. Hermione was not expecting this reaction from him at all. She turned her head to face him.

“What are you talking about?” Hermione asked quietly.

“I can’t be mad at you anymore. I’m tired of not talking to you. I’m tired of seeing you cry. I… I just want it all to end. I’m sick of it.” Blaise confessed. Hermione remained silent.

“What are you trying to say?” Hermione asked.

“I just can’t not talk to you anymore. I miss you Hermione.” Blaise finally said. He looked down and let out a deep breath. Hermione diverted her eyes from his face. Could her ears be playing a trick on her? Could the Fire Whiskey be creating a hallucination before her eyes? Was this really Blaise telling her he wanted her back after all she had done to him?

“Are you saying you want me back?” Hermione asked as she gingerly placed her hand on top of his. Blaise smiled at her touch and looked up to face her. His gorgeous childlike smile made Hermione’s heart melt.

“We both know that can’t happen.” Blaise said simply. Hermione’s face looked crestfallen.

“Right…” Hermione replied as she looked away.

“You don’t love me Hermione.” Blaise stated. He didn’t sound angry or hurt. He only said it as if it were just another fact in the world.

“Blaise don’t say that. I do love you!” Hermione protested because she knew that she did in fact love Blaise. The feelings she had for him were true. He did nothing but smile back at her. He took another great sigh, and began talking again.

“I knew you about you and Draco. Before Pansy screamed it out that night in the maze.” Blaise confessed as he removed his hand from Hermione’s. Hermione felt her face grow pale.

“How… when…” Hermione stuttered.

“It was during Christmas time in Madame Puddifoot’s. I had left to go to the bathroom. I actually came back before you saw me. I saw Draco lean in and kiss you. I tried to swallow the image. I couldn’t possibly imagine you would do that to me. I loved you so much that I just forgot about it. But I knew that probably wouldn’t have been the last time. I just thought to myself that if I kept a blind eye to it, maybe I could forget it. I tried everything to keep your interest solely on me, and yet I couldn’t even do that.” Blaise finished slightly laughing.

Hermione smiled but she felt her heart breaking. Truly breaking. Blaise knew about her and Draco the entire time yet he never showed it. He never stopped being the perfect gentleman he was. He stood by her side the entire time.

“Blaise, I just want you to know that even when I was with Draco I thought about you constantly and the pain I would have inflicted on you and it killed me inside.” Hermione confessed. He smiled.

“I know. I knew you would be feeling guilty and I suppose a selfish part of me wanted you to feel the guilt. I suppose, this just shows its not me you were meant to be with. But of course, we all knew that all along.” Blaise shrugged.

“What do you mean?” Hermione asked.

“Oh come on Hermione. It was never me you were meant to be with. Why do you think you kept going back to Draco? Why do you think you went crazy with jealousy when him and Pansy got back together? I saw it in your eyes, your posture, your voice when I told you that night before Astronomy class. It was so obvious.” Blaise smiled slightly at this point. Hermione remained silent. She didn’t know what she could possibly tell Blaise.

“But what about you and Cecilia?” Hermione asked. This was something she never understood. “She came to me the other day and told me to stay away from you.”

“Cecilia and I used to be something in the past but I’m over it. I had you and I guess she could never forgive you for ’taking me away’ from her. I really don’t know though. I suppose she was more than elated when we broke up because she was the first to come find me. I don’t have feelings for her if that’s what you’re asking me.” Blaise squeezed Hermione’s hand reassuringly.

“So what now?” Hermione asked.

“Well, school is over in a week from today. I’ll be off to Italy for the job position at the Ministry there…” Blaise started.

“You took the job?” Hermione interrupted.

“Yeah. I just recently owled the Ministry there to let them know.” Blaise said.

“Wait but I thought you sent the owl after we had that talk? A while back?” Hermione asked a little confused.

“No. I held it off in the slight chance that maybe you would somehow have a crazy epiphany and realize that you wanted to be with me. High hopes right?” Blaise said smiling. Hermione looked down. Never had she seen someone give up so much for just her. She felt ashamed to be in Blaise’s presence.

“How you were sorted into Slytherin, I will never know.” Hermione whispered.

“Don’t get me wrong. It’s only because of you that I’ve changed as much as I have.” Blaise smirked now. Hermione couldn’t help but smile.

They remained silent for a few moments just taking in each other’s company for a little while.

“What do I do about Draco?” Hermione asked.

“I think you know what he wants to hear Hermione. I think you’ve waited long enough to say it.” Blaise stated. She knew he was right. Because Blaise was always right.

“Thank you. For everything.” Hermione replied. Before Blaise could respond Hermione took him into her arms and embraced him. She didn’t let him go, even though he asked her to. She eventually felt the Fire Whiskey taking its course and could feel her eyelids closing down on her. Before she knew it, she was slowly drifting into sleep.

“I love you Hermione.” Blaise whispered in her ear after he knew she was asleep.

She remained in his arms one last night. They both fell asleep holding each other, knowing this was the last time they probably ever will.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well there you have it Team Blaise! Sorry darlings, but everyone knows it was always supposed to be Draco and Hermione 4ever. But then again, this is ME, so even the Team Draco lovers aren't quite in the safe yet. ;) I'm keeping you hanging until the next (and final) chapter!

Oh and you'll be happy to know I'm well into the sequel for this story! Its certainly something I don't think many of you will expect, but I'm sure you'll all love the drama! See you all next chapter :)


Chapter 24: Finally Parting Ways
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A/N: Here it is: the final chapter. Okay girls, take in a deep breath... and go!

**UPDATE: Hello darlings! Scroll to the bottom for a super major incredibly important update about the sequal!!!!!**





Hermione was sorely mistaken when she thought that this final week would be the perfect time to speak to Draco. After her long talk with Blaise, and his implied blessing for her to be with Draco, she had yet to find a single moment where she could talk to him and tell him. Hermione had never felt this ready to do anything. She wanted to just scream it from the highest tower. She wanted to tell Draco Abraxas Malfoy that she, Hermione Jean Granger, loved him.

Yet the final few days proved to be impossible to find Draco. Professor McGonagall had busied both of them with numerous tasks in preparation for their parting ceremony. Hermione was selected to prepare a speech for their entire class. Draco had been put in charge of organizing the Prefects and getting them ready for the occasion. It seemed that any free moment they could spare, Draco was completely occupied by Pansy, much to Hermione’s despair.

Their graduation day was quickly approaching them and Hermione became so flustered with responsibilities that she barely had time for herself. She quickly found herself practically living in McGonagall’s room either reviewing her speech with the Headmisstress or discussing plans pertaining to wardrobe to anything dealing with getting the muggle parents to the school.

“I am so worn out. I’ve never been this mentally exhausted.” Hermione confessed as she collapsed onto the couch. Harry and Ron both smiled.

“Oh come on Hermione. We thought being the first in our class was what you wanted.” Ron smirked.

“You’re not funny Ronald. Not at all.” Hermione moaned from beneath a pillow.

“Here let me make you feel a little better.” Rom replied. Then doing something completely un-Ronlike, he took her feet and began expertly massaging her soles. Hermione looked up.

“What are you doing?” Hermione asked trying to repress her smile.

“I figured this was a good enough thank you for all these years you’ve let me copy your notes or homework.” Ron shrugged. Hermione hit him over the head with a pillow as all three of them began laughing.

*

The morning before their graduation, the entire Great Hall was buzzing during breakfast. Students were chirping with excitement of their departure from the great and ancient school. Many were close to tears with sorrow, others were finally glad to be leaving. Hermione looked around for Draco that morning. She was determined to tell him that morning, yet he was no where to be found. She even approached Blaise to ask him if he had seen Draco this morning. To her disappointment he had not seen him. And according to Blaise, neither had Pansy. At this Hermione felt a little better. The thought of Pansy giving Draco a farewell kiss on the lower portions of his body was one she would rather not have to think about.

“Sad isn’t it?” Ginny asked as Hermione finally gave up and seated herself in the position between Harry and Ron as she had been for the past seven years.
“What is?” Harry asked.

“To know that this will be the last time ever you will be able to sit like this. I mean, you three have been through so much with this school and its teachers. I just don’t know how you’ll be dealing with everything after.” Ginny commented.

All three of them sat in silence to think about this for a moment. It never occurred to them the magnitude of their departure. They never doubted that they would stick together after Hogwarts, but they seemed to have forgotten to put into account what they would be leaving behind.

Just as Hermione began contemplating this thought, she saw him. Draco entered the Great Hall with his golden hair slicked back. His tailored pants could be seen beneath his cloak. She followed him with her eyes as he approached Blaise. Hermione quickly excused herself as she noticed him abruptly walk towards the doors once more. She practically ran out of the doors after him.

“Draco! Draco wait!” Hermione called out. He whipped around. She ran to catch up to him.

“What?” Draco asked quickly.

“I have to talk to you. I’ve been trying to get  a moment with you ever since last week and I never could. I have something I’ve been needing to tell you for a while now.” Hermione smiled.

“I’m sorry Hermione. I really need to go find Pansy. Its quite urgent. Find me after tonight’s ceremony. You can tell me then.” Draco replied quickly as he turned on his heel and walked away from Hermione. Hermione stood speechless as she watched Draco walk away from her.

Fear suddenly started to swoop within her. What if Draco truly did move on? What if he did stop feeling for her because she wouldn’t return his? Strange thoughts and gloomy emotions began to fill Hermione with hopelessness. She suddenly felt a warm hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t worry. He still loves you Hermione.” Blaise’s deep husky voice comforted. Hermione turned around to face him. His warm smile was plastered across his handsome face. Hermione moved in closer to hug him.

“Are you sure?” Hermione asked childishly.

“Who couldn’t fall in love with you?” Blaise replied. Hermione dug herself deeper into his safety.

“Blaise…”

“Come on. You have to start getting ready. I need to get the rest of the Slytherin Prefects ready to welcome the parents when they start arriving.” Blaise said. Hermione nodded as she strode upstairs into her own Head’s dorm to prepare for this evening.

*

That evening the Great Hall was a flood of blue and silver, gold and crimson, yellow and brown, green and silver. All the students sat with their respective houses. The entire Hall was lit by thousands of magnificent floating chandeliers with frozen candles. Proud parents were smiling from ear to ear as they began discussing when their little one used to blow up their rose bushes when they were six! Hermione was sitting on stage with the rest of her professors, including McGonagall. Draco was seated right beside her and she wanted nothing more than to turn to him and let him know what she was bursting to say. Yet she knew that this was not the moment. She glanced over to him. He was sitting very cordial and poised. She glanced down by Slytherin where she could make out Blaise’s beaming face towards her in the front row. She could see Pansy’s less than cheery face next to him. She looked to Draco who was still looking out onto the crowd.

Professor McGonagall had finally began her speech where everyone listened intently. After she was done, she turned around to face Hermione.

“Thank you everyone. I would now like to call upon our Head Girl and first in class, to say a few words reflecting these past seven years. If you could all please hold a round of applause for Ms. Hermione Granger!” Professor McGonagall called. Hermione smiled and stood up with a small piece of crumpled parchment in her right hand. She noticed Harry, Ron, Neville, and Blaise all standing while applauding her. She could make out Mrs. Weasley and Ginny in the background cheering beside her parents.

“Ahem, thank you everyone so much. To say that these last few years have been a bit of a challenge would be quite an understatement don’t you think? Little did we all know of the great danger and darkness that was laid out on our paths as we entered Hogwarts as innocent and curious little first years. Oh how we grew to hate those little first years, always somehow managing to get in the way. Then there came our Hogwarts routine. Most of which included a lot of slacking off during our free periods, and quite a bit of rushing when it came to Potions homework. I know what its been like for all of you, through the tireless nights of practicing the proper ‘swish and flick’ motion of your wand for Charms. I know about the bruised and broken bones you’ve incurred from a rough Quidditch match. I know about the sore ears when handing in a late library book to Madame Pince. Although, I’ve personally never had that problem. But what this all comes down to is that we’ve been through all of this together. We’ve defeated the darkness which threatened our happiness. We’ve emerged from the dark and into the light. We’ve grieved for our lost love ones, and have found solace in those who still remain.

“We’re still here today to pass on our story, to pass on our legacy. Each and every one of you has your name down in the history books for centuries to come. We will be forever known as the heroes of one of the greatest wars the wizarding world has ever known. And although we may have hurt a few people along the way, and even though we may have been cruel and thoughtless at times of other people, love has always shown us back onto the right path. Your friends and the love they have for you will always steer you into the right path. They will guide you. They will be your safe haven. For me, I consider it a great deal of fate that first year on the Hogwarts Express I was able to befriend Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley. And throughout the years they both have protected and guided me in our journey. I hope each and every one of you have found your own Ron and Harry. If you have, consider yourself the lucky ones. To know love is the greatest knowledge in the world. And once again, I was blessed enough to have known it twice.

“Don’t ever be afraid of words. Fear of a word is only fear of the thing itself, as Professor Dumbledore had once told me. Say what you really feel. Don’t lock your true emotions and thoughts up. Great witches and wizards weren’t the ones who obeyed the rule books; they were the ones spoke up when they were told to stay silent. So please, whatever you do in the future, remember to stay true to who you are. Remember to always keep your friends close to your heart. Your dreams and ambitions can prevail with just  a little hard work and sweat. Congratulations to you all.” Hermione concluded.

There was an uproar in applause as everyone rose to their feet to cheer. Hermione smiled wildly as she returned to her seat beside Draco. He was grinning ear to ear. She smiled back at him. As they continued to face the cheering crowd, Draco leaned in to her ear.

“Good job Granger.” He winked as he continued to smirk. Hermione smiled. She felt her heart doing cartwheels. It was nearly time to tell Draco and Hermione could barely contain the large smile spreading across her face.

In the following moments the entire Hall was littered with shimmering glitter which erupted in four different colors as it rained down upon everyone. They had graduated. After seven long years of endless work, they finally made it to the end. Hermione ran off stage to find Ron and Harry. They were both waiting for her at the bottom. When she reached the bottom they both engulfed her into the tightest hug. Hermione felt cool tears slid down her face. It was such a bittersweet moment she couldn’t contain her battling emotions of sorrow and happiness.

“Oh Hermione dear that was a beautiful speech! We are all so proud of you!” Mrs. Weasley approached as she took Hermione into a swooping hug.

“Thank you very much Mrs. Weasley!” Hermione cheered.

“My little baby’s all grown up!” Mrs. Granger declared as she took Hermione into a warm embrace. Mr. Granger was right behind her holding onto her shoulder.

“We’re very proud of you darling.” Mr. Granger said as she kissed Hermione’s forehead.

“Hermione!” Blaise called out from behind the crowd. Hermione turned around to see Blaise quickly approaching her.

“Hi Blaise.” Hermione smiled.

“You were brilliant. You looked stunning.” Blaise said breathlessly as he took her into a hug.

“Oh Blaise, I want you to meet someone. Blaise this is my mom, Jane.” Hermione introduced.

“Hello darling.” Mrs. Granger replied sweetly.

“And this is my dad, Luke.” Hermione stated.

“Nice to meet you son.”  Mr. Granger said as she shook hands with Blaise.

“Nice to meet you as well sir.” Blaise replied formerly.

“Can I talk to you alone for a moment?” Blaise asked. Hermione looked over to her parents who both nodded. Blaise took Hermione by the hand and led her outside by the Great Foyer.

“I wanted a little quieter setting.” Blaise smiled.

“What is it?” Hermione asked.

“I wanted to formally say goodbye. I know that you’ll be really busy with training for the Healer program and what with me shipping off to Italy I didn’t know if I would ever get this chance. Hermione I wanted to tell you that you were, and always will be my first love. I never really knew who I wanted to be before you. And well, I don’t want you to be mad at yourself anymore. I don’t want you to feel guilty anymore. I want you to stop carrying this burden on your shoulders. I just wanted to let you know, one last time, that… I love you Hermione Jean Granger.” Blaise said as he leaned down and kissed Hermione on the lips a final time. She closed her eyes.

“Blaise…” Hermione started.

“No. Don’t say a word. I want to remember you exactly how you look right now. Simple, elegant, yet stunningly beautiful. Good luck Hermione.” Blaise finished with one swooping look. He took in her eyes, and turned away. It was the last time, Hermione knew, that she would gaze into those royal deep blue eyes.

She began feeling a sadness she never knew she possessed. Hermione didn’t know if it was better never to see Blaise again. She was too confused and upset to cry. She didn’t think she had enough tears left in her dry eyes. Hermione sighed. She had to return to the Great Hall and say goodbye to the rest of her friends. She looked over to the mirror that was beside in the middle of the stained glass. Her gown was long and reached to the bottom of the ground. It was navy blue and reminded her too much of Blaise’s eyes. Her hair was kept elegantly down. She only had on small amounts of make-up for she knew she would probably run her mascara. As she began gathering her dress to walk back inside, Hermione heard faint footsteps across the Foyer towards the Entrance Hall.

She looked around to see golden hair shimmering in the sunlight.

“Draco?” Hermione called out. He turned around and faced Hermione. His crystal eyes were piercing her.

“Yes?” He asked huskily.

“Were you just going to leave without saying goodbye?” Hermione asked as she felt her throat choke up again. She slowly walked closer towards him.

“Its better not to linger on to things. Its less painful that way.” Draco responded.

“I have to tell you something.” Hermione said quietly. She felt as though her heart would pump right out of her chest.

“Hermione its fine. I forgive you. I’m not mad with you. I never really was. Its alright.” Draco replied turning on his heel.

“No Draco! Wait, you need to listen to me!” Hermione pleaded as he continued walking towards the doors.

“Hermione please, this way is just easier for the both of us.” Draco called out, his voice cracking a bit. He didn’t want to show the weaker side he was truly feeling.

“I have to tell you this! Please stop!” Hermione called.

“Hermione I told you…” Draco said.

“I LOVE YOU!” Hermione screamed. Draco stopped dead in his tracks. Hermione finally caught up with him. His back was still facing her. She looked down and took his hand.

“I love you Draco Abraxas Malfoy. I have for the longest time and I was too scared to admit it to you, but I am madly and hopelessly in love with you.” Hermione finished. She looked up to his face. Draco slowly turned around to look down at Hermione. His face was not what she had hoped it would be. Rather than relief and happiness, she saw strain and grief.

“I wish you hadn’t said that. Not now.” Draco replied unable to look Hermione in the eye.

“Why? Draco look at me! What is it?” Hermione asked desperately. She took his face into her hands to make him look right into her eyes.

“I’m leaving for America… tonight.” Draco replied. Hermione felt her body turn cold. She felt her hands go limp and drop to her sides. Her heart must have stopped beating for she could no longer feel it thump against her chest.

“You’re… to… but…” Hermione tried to form coherent words, sentences, but it all failed.

“I’m sorry.” Draco replied gravely. He looked down at Hermione’s face.

“But I love you.” Hermione didn’t know what else to say. She didn’t know what to do. Draco leaned in and gently placed a kiss on her lips. It wasn’t long and it wasn’t romantic. He just needed to taste the sweetness of her lips one last time.

“Goodbye Hermione.” Draco said. He turned on his heel and exited.

Hermione watched him as he walked out of the door and out of her life.








The end. Wow I can't believe this story has been worked on for over a year! So I just want to say a few things: first of all, thank you thank you thank you all so much. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to all of your reviews. This story would have been nothing without your words of encouragement.

Secondly, I want to personally and most gratefully thank those of you who have been here since chapter one all that time ago. You know who you are.

Thirdly, I'm a little bit overwhelmed at the moment what with college already starting which gets in the way of the sequel. I've already started writing as you know, but I'm not too sure if I would be able to finish, or when I would. And I don't want to start posting it without promising you guys that I will finish it. And at this point, I can't really make that promise. So I think perhaps I might just create a very long one-shot. But if I do get the sequel up, (keep your fingers crossed for it because I am!) I will take down the one-shot and pretend it never happened. :)

Wow, and that's it. I hope you guys enjoyed everything and I'll see you all when the sequel is up. Look for it: Gravity.
xoxo

**UPDATE: Here's the skinny girlies; I've finally decided a time for this sequal to be written and posted! I know you've all been longing for this since the summer and I sincerely apologize for not being able to update any sooner. However, college has overwhelmed me with incredible amounts of work.

BUT! don't be discouraged because as I promised there WILL be a sequal sooner than I anticipated. My Thanksgiving break is coming up in roughly two weeks. I plan on doing tons of writing then, so most likely Gravity will be written and posted around that time. Excited? Good! :) See you lovelies then!**

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