You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Two to Tango by dracofan22

Format: Novel
Chapters: 37
Word Count: 70,038
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Narcissa, Draco, Ginny, OC
Pairings: Draco/Hermione

First Published: 02/21/2005
Last Chapter: 12/09/2009
Last Updated: 12/09/2009

Summary:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

* thank you to scabbers_weasly for the great banner* Hermione's passion is dance, but she has never told anyone about it since it isnt offered at Hogwarts, but then in her 7th year a new class is added: Ballroom and Contemporary Dance!! And who is to be her partner, but the handsome Draco Malfoy of course! Tension and emotions run high. Will love blossom from this unlikely pair? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, it takes two to tango.


Chapter 1: And it begins
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

It was a warm, muggy night in late August. Fast paced salsa music was playing on the deck behind her parents' house and Hermione could feel the beat pumping through her body. Her feet knew this music, she let them lead her. Her hips swayed and she kept her back straight, head held high, arms poised perfectly around her invisible partner. The tempo changed quickly to jazzy swing, and she relaxed her body before dipping forward into the Charleston steps. “Back, toe, touch, up, back, toe, touch, up…” she whispered the steps to herself. Her body ached, begging her to rest. She had been dancing for hours.

“Hermione, sweetie please come inside now. You need to eat, and it will be getting cold out soon.” A small woman in her mid forties poked her head out the screen door.

“Mum, I’ll be in soon, but it’s the middle of summer so I doubt I will be catching cold.” She replied.

The woman smiled softly. “Can you blame me for trying to get you in? I haven’t seen my little girl all year. Your father and I would actually like to see you before you must return to school.”

“I’ll be in soon, I promise.” This must have satisfied her, because she retreated into the house. Hermione turned back to the music which was now playing a slow ballet melody. She propped herself up onto her toes, holding onto the deck railing for support. Ballet was the dance that challenged her the most. Fox trot, tango, waltz, swing, meringue, jazz, she could do them all. But ballet…she was good, but not great. And to Hermione Granger, okay was simply unacceptable.

“Come on Hermione, you can do this.” She told herself. She prepared for a double pirouette, letting her legs move gracefully across the wooden floor. One turn, two, and then “Uh-oh” she thought. She had spun too fast and squeezed her eyes closed, bracing herself for the fall that she had experienced many times before when performing that very same error. When the ground hadn’t caught up to her, she opened her eyes to see that she was still spinning! She had done a triple pirouette, something even the best dancers in her summer dance class couldn’t do! She stopped, planting her feet firmly on the floor. The music had stopped, but none of that mattered because all she could hear was the blood rushing through her ears.

“Yes! I can’t believe I just did that!! Oh my god that was amazing.” Hermione said aloud triumphantly. She picked up her portable stereo and went inside.

“Ah, there you are pumpkin. Your mother and I were beginning to think you were never going to come back inside.”

“Hi daddy. I really need a shower so I’m gonna go upstairs now. Goodnight.” She said. Her father kissed her forehead as she started up the stairs. Hermione walked into her room and immediately removed her shoes from her sore feet. She noticed a small pile of letters on her desk. Picking them up, she recognized Harry’s messy handwriting on one, and the Hogwarts wax seal on the other. Putting them aside for later, she made her way to the bathroom, peeling her clothes off as she went. As the hot water beat down on her sore muscles she thought about the approaching school year. She was going to be in the seventh year. The Golden Trio had become somewhat of a Golden Duo. It worried Hermione that Harry and Ron had been drifting away from her. She had no other real friends. All the other girls looked at her as either a geeky bookworm, or a tom boy because of her lack or female friends. Malfoy would be his usual pain in the ass self, and even Ginny, who had been friends with Hermione last term was now to busy with her boyfriend Dean to talk about books with her. Perhaps that’s what had attracted her to dance. It was something she could do alone. No one else could tell her that she was doing it wrong because it came from the heart, and you didn’t ever get graded in dance.

Hermione had started dancing when she was eight. Her parents had signed her up for muggle dance lessons hoping it would help her develop some grace and poise. To their proud delight, she had taken a liking to it and had excelled at it, like everything else she did. When her Hogwarts letter came however, she stopped dancing except during the summer, for there was no dance class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Now clean, she stepped out of the shower, wrapping a fluffy white towel around her now curvy body. Hermione was growing into quite the beautiful young lady. She was no longer the girl that was teased for her square petite figure. Her hips widened, her breasts developed a little late, but better late than never, and she grew taller. Unfortunately her hair had yet to straighten its self out, but the frizz factor had gone down. Pulling her nightshirt over her head, she settled down on her bed to read her letters. She opened Harry’s first.

Dear Hermione,
How is your summer going? Not studying too hard I hope. I’m at the Burrow with Ron so if you need to reach me that’s where I’ll be. Have you gotten your Hogwarts letter yet? They’ve added a new class this year, ballroom and contemporary dance. Can you believe that? I’m probably going to get stuck with Millicent for a partner or something. Yuck. Hope to hear from you soon.

Harry


Hermione dropped the letter in shock, then snatched it up quickly again to reread it. There it was. “They’ve added a new class this year, ballroom and contemporary dance.” The words stared up at her. She made a quick grab for the Hogwarts letter. Ripping it open she hurriedly scanned it.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is proud to welcome you back to your seventh year of study…blah blah blah

Students are reminded that the Forbidden Forest remains off limits to all students…

Reading list for seventh year students as follows…

Attention to all students, this year we are excited to announce that we are adding a new class. All students will be required to take Ballroom and Contemporary Dance in order to meet graduation requirements. Dancing equipment will be provided. We look forward to your arrival.


Harry had been right. Hermione knew she should be happy, her one true passion was now being taught at her school, but she never told anyone that she could dance, and she had always been a bit nervous about dancing in front of others.

“Hermione, get over it. This is a good thing. It’s a chance to show everyone your not just a bookworm.” She told herself. Putting the letters aside, she shifted under the covers of her bed and turned out the light.

“This is going to be one hell of a year.” She thought silently before drifting asleep.

Chapter 2: Head Girl
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Early the next morning Hermione woke to someone sitting heavily at the foot of her bed. She opened her eyes to see who her intruder was, to find that it was only her father. He smiled warmly at her.

“I’m glad you’re up Pumpkin. I just wanted you to know how very proud of you your mother and I are of you. We know that you have been working so hard for the head girl position every year, and now that you’ve made it, well, we could not be happier for you.” He told her as she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes.

“HEAD GIRL?! Daddy what are you talking about?” She asked. He handed her the piece of paper he was holding. She noticed it was the very same letter she had read last night, only she must have skipped over part of it in her search for the bit about dance class. There it was before her: We are very pleased to inform you that you, Hermione Granger have been awarded the Head Girl position for your seventh year with us here at Hogwarts. Congratulations.

“Whoa…” That was all that she could say. Her father pulled her into a tight hug. So many thoughts and questions were spinning around in her head. She was the smartest witch in her class, and yet, by the end of this year she was going to have to decide what it was that she wanted to do with the rest of her life. And for the first time, the girl who always had an answer for everything didn’t have the slightest clue what to do.

~*~*~*~*~*~

The rest of the summer flew by. Hermione filled her days with dance practice, and her evenings with reading and studying. She wanted to be prepared; she wanted to be the best. It wasn’t as if she had a budding social life to attend to either. The one letter she had gotten from Harry turned out to be the only letter she got from Harry. She hadn’t heard from Ron or Ginny at all, and she figured that it was just as well, since she wasn’t in the mood for small talk these days. Harry and Ron had stopped including her in their deep, secretive conversations almost a year ago, and the more she tied to jump in and join the conversation, the more they would clam up. She finally decided that it was no use, and had accepted the fact that they were treating her differently now. Most likely because she was a girl.

It was the evening before September 1st, and Hermione was packing her trunk when a tapping noise on her window got her attention. She opened the window and a dark brown owl swooped in and landed on her bed.

“Hello there little guy,” Hermione cooed as she bent down to stroke it. It nipped at her fingers and she pulled back quickly. “Little girl, my mistake.” She apologized to the owl and she untied the letter from its leg and watched as it flew out the window from which it came. It was another letter from Hogwarts.

Miss Granger,
I am pleased to hear that you have been appointed Head Girl. I know that you will do a fine job. You are to meet me at the front entrance of Hogwarts on the first day of school to meet the Head Boy and receive the password to your dormitory. Have a pleasant journey.

Best regards,
Minerva McGonagall
Head of Gryffindor House


Hermione exhaled deeply. She was about finished packing when she came across her dancing shoes. She handled them gently, her fingers tracing their curves and taking note of every scoff, every tear, and every loose string. She placed her ballet slippers and her jazz shoes neatly into her trunk and securely latched it. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Hermione! Wake up before you miss the train!” Her mother shouted up the stairs. Hermione scrambled out of bed and ran to her closet. She had picked out her outfit the night before so getting dressed would be a breeze this morning. She pulled up her slim fitting jeans and reached for her red off the shoulder top. She slipped on her high heals that she wore when she danced tango, so they fit her perfectly. Luckily, one of the new spells she had perfected over the summer was one that made hair soft and shiny. She carefully pointed her wand at herself and muttered the short incantation. Before her eyes her tangled, frizzy, unmanageable hair became soft, silky curls. She didn’t bother with much make-up, just clear gloss and mascara. On her way out, she paused at her doorway and took one good last look at the room she wouldn’t see for another year. Hermione sighed as she heard her mum calling for her once more.

“I’m coming mum.” She shut her door and made her way to the car where her parents were waiting. Her father lifted her trunk into the car, and they were off to catch the Hogwarts Express for the last time.


Chapter 3: Hogwarts Express
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Be good now, we love you. Write often, and don’t forget…” Hermione cut her off.

“To feed Crookshanks, I know mum.”

“We are very proud of you Pumpkin, don’t work too hard though.” Mr. Granger said to his only daughter. She hugged them both tightly and waved goodbye as she slipped through the barrier.

The Hogwarts Express glistened in the summer sunlight. She pulled her trolley that held her trunk and Crookshanks in his cage over to the loading station and let the train’s personnel handle it from there. She looked around to try and spot Ron or Harry but it was useless. The station was packed with nervous first years and families saying goodbyes. Hermione boarded the train but wasn’t ready to take her seat quite yet. Instead she waited to see if she could find a familiar face. About five minutes before the train was scheduled to depart, she recognized a voice coming towards her.

“Ron you git hurry up before we miss the train, again.”

“Well I wouldn’t be behind if you hadn’t been such a bloody idiot and pushed my trolley into the wrong barrier.” Ron’s voice retorted.

Hermione giggled at the silliness of the two and stepped out from her somewhat concealed standing place.

“Hello boys.” She said calmly.

“Bloody hell! Is that you Hermione? Merlin you’ve changed.” Ron said, as his mouth fell open.

“Don’t swear Ronald, its not attractive.” Hermione reprimanded. “Hello, Harry.” She said, hugging him and then Ron. “Really Ron, shut your mouth. You look like a confused goldfish.”

“You look fantastic Hermione. Did you have a pleasant summer?” Harry asked trying hard not to laugh at Ron’s ‘confused goldfish’ face.

“Yes I did Harry. Thank you for asking. Now if you two will excuse me, I must be off to the Heads compartments.” She commented before turning on her heal and leaving them behind.

“Oy, Harry. Hermione looks like a… a…”

“A girl?” Harry finished.

“Yeah. Why didn’t she look like that last year?” He asked stupidly.

“Well Ron, I suppose its time you and I had a little chat about the birds and the bees…” Harry joked.

“Harry you know what I mean. Come on you git, lets go find a compartment.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Hermione found the Heads’ compartment with ease. She got comfortable and took out a book she had brought along for a bit of reading on the train. It was a muggle author, but she liked it all the same. The train departed, but halfway through ride, the Head Boy still hadn’t come into the compartment once, so she still had no idea who he was. She grew bored with her book, so she pulled out her portable music player, put on the headphones, and cranked up the volume. The song playing was one of her favorites. It was one of those songs that you can’t not dance to when you hear it. Looking around to make sure she was really alone, she got up and started dancing. No organized steps or masterful choreography just let-lose dancing. The conductor’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker.

“Attention students, we will be arriving shortly. This is the last call for those who need to change into their robes.”

Hermione turned the music of and quickly changed into her Gryffindor uniform. The train pulled into the station right on time, and she was the first one off.

“Harry!! Ron!! Over here!” Hermione jumped and waved her arm about capturing the attention of her two friends. They got into a carriage together, but the journey was anything but enjoyable. An uncomfortable silence fell on the three friends. Before the carriage had even come to a complete stop, she was out, making her way to meet Professor McGonagall as fast as her long legs would carry her.

“Ah, Miss Granger. It’s wonderful to see you again. I believe you know our Head Boy, Draco Malfoy.” McGonagall said. Hermione looked over her shoulder to see the platinum blond staring at her with an expression similar to Ron’s earlier. Malfoy regained his composure much faster though. His usual smirk had returned and he was giving her the once over. She felt his eyes on her, burning holes through her uniform.

“Got a problem Malfoy? Cuz if not I would prefer that you keep your eyes to yourself.”
She snapped.

He scowled. “Oh please Granger. Did you honestly think I was checking a filthy mudblood like you out? That’s sad.”

“Mr.Malfoy, Miss Granger is your classmate and fellow Head, so you must be civil to one another. And that is not a request.” Professor McGonagall said. “If you will follow me I will lead you to your dorms before the sorting ceremony.”

The two followed after her. Hermione walked a few paces behind Malfoy and as bad as she knew it was, she couldn’t help herself. “To his credit, he does have a great ass.” She thought. “Oh Merlin! What am I thinking? Bad, bad, bad! This is going to be torture.”

“Here we are. Miss Granger, your room is up stairs and to the left. Mr.Malfoy, up and to the right. The password is ‘honey drop’. The ceremony will begin in ten minutes and you are both expected to be there.” McGonagall said before leaving them.

They entered and went their separate ways to their rooms. Hermione opened the door and gasped at the sight before her…


Chapter 4: Professor DePalma
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The Heads’ common room was extraordinary, as Hermione had expected, but this…this was simply amazing. She hadn’t known that Dumbledore was capable of planning such a thing, but he was after all, the greatest wizard that ever lived. Hermione looked around her room drinking in every last detail. It was exactly like her room at home! Everything that she had in her room at home was here. The color, the feel, and even the dirty dance clothes from the day before were on display in front of her. Everything she was sad to leave behind was now exactly as she had left it. She entered and shut the door behind her. Walking up to her bed where Crookshanks was sleeping soundly, she sat down slowly and said a mental ‘thank you’ to Dumbledore. A loud, impatient knock on her door pulled her out of her awed state.

“Granger we need to be at the ceremony in two minutes. I’m leaving.” Draco yelled through the door.

“Alright, alright I’m coming.” She got up and pulled the door open to find Draco with his face dangerously close to the door, as if trying to catch a glimpse of what her room looked like. Seeing her he immediately straightened up and sneered.

“Coming mudblood?”

“Don’t you dare call me a mudblood you arrogant bastard! We are working together now and I demand some respect.” She stated, holding her head as high as ever as she made for the portrait hole.

“I’m glad to see that your new looks haven’t affected your ability to be an insufferable know-it-all.”

Hermione gasped. “Oh! Why you little prat! I …”

“Snobby…”

“Spoiled…”

“Filthy…”

“Rotten…”

“Disgrace…”

“GIT!!” they both yelled at the same time.

“Ahem.” Hermione and Draco turned to see Professor Dumbledore standing in their doorway. “I do believe that the Sorting has begun. I must say, I didn’t expect both of our Heads to be late, however, I must stress that we make our way as quickly as possible so we can welcome our new students.” He said.

“I am terribly sorry Professor. It won’t happen again.” Hermione apologized.

“Glad to hear it Miss Granger. Now shall we be on our way?” Dumbledore left the Head common room with the two teens close on his heals.

“Do you always have to be such a teacher’s pet?” Draco whispered into her ear as the approached the Great Hall. Hermione shook her head and shushed him. They each went to their own tables and joined their friends as Dumbledore made his way up to the Staff table. The sorting seemed to fly by, not that Hermione had been paying much attention. Soon, Dumbledore was speaking.

“Welcome students old and new, to Hogwarts. One new announcement, this year we will be adding a new course; Ballroom and Contemporary Dance, led by Professor Rebecca DePalma. She will be instructing you throughout the term, and in the spring, auditions will be held for those interested in participating in the dance recital. That is all, now, let the feast begin…” with a clap of his hands the golden platters filled with delicious food.

“Dance class, can you believe it? I’m going to make a fool of myself. Honestly, we can’t graduate unless we take it. This is bloody insane.” Ron whined, poking at his food miserably.

“Ronald, the whole point of the class is to learn how to dance in the first place. You will not be the only one who can’t dance. It will be a good learning experience for you.” Hermione told him smartly.

“You mean you can’t dance either ‘Mione?” Harry asked.

“Well, I’m alright. Nothing special though.” She replied modestly.

“Hey ‘Mione, if we can choose our partners, will you be mine? I mean, since you’re the only girl who won’t laugh at me…” Ron asked nervously.

“Well Ronald, I don’t think that we can pick our own partners, but if we can, then sure.” She replied. This seemed to make him happy because he no longer looked pale and was stuffing his face with food. Rather suddenly, Ron’s face turned red in what appeared to be anger.

“Whada yoo ant Mahfoy?” Ron said his mouth still full of food.

“Ronald, please. Don’t talk with your mouth full its dis…” Hermione started.

“…Disgusting.” A deep voice finished for her.

“What do you want Malfoy?” Hermione asked, not needing to turn to see who it was to know that it was him.

“Dumbledore want to introduce us to the new Professor.” He answered.

“Oh!” She said. “Well I’ll see you guys later I suppose. Bye!” Scrambling from her seat she eagerly followed Draco up to the staff table. “I hope she’s nice.” She thought out loud.

“Calm down Granger, all the teachers love you. Well except Snape. You’ll be fine.” Draco said, almost…nicely.

“Pleeaase Malfoy, do you really think I’m nervous? No way.” They were greeted warmly by Dumbledore and Professor DePalma.

“Professor DePalma, these are two of Hogwarts finest students. If you have any questions please feel free to ask either one of them or myself.” He said to Professor DePalma.

“Professor it’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Hermione Granger. Welcome to Hogwarts, I do hope that you will feel at home here.” Hermione said politely.

“Well it’s lovely to meet you too, Hermione. But please, call me Rebecca. ‘Professor’ just makes me feel old.” She said kindly. Hermione just nodded. She glanced over at Draco who still hadn’t said anything. She nudged him in the ribs and he put his hand forward.

“I’m Draco Malfoy. Nice to meet you Rebecca.” He said hurriedly, only to receive a sharp glare from Hermione again. He smirked. Rebecca shook his hand.

“Well we must be off. Goodnight.” Said Dumbledore as he walked off with Rebecca in close behind.

Hermione walked away leaving Draco standing alone. She went up to her room and rummaged through her closet until she found her favorite dancing outfit. It was simple grey track pants that fit her perfectly, and a red built-in bra cami. She put them on along with her ballet shoes. She put on one of the hardest songs for her to dance to. It was sensual, and required slow, fluid, movements. She wanted to challenge herself before Rebecca’s class tomorrow. As the song “What would happen if we kissed” played she twisted, turned, and moved her arms around herself. She went up on her toes, bending forward slightly, letting her right leg gracefully go back then curl up as if trying to touch her head. Normally she had a dance partner to hold her waist during this move, but this time she was alone. Her arms slowly went up to grasp her right foot, but loosing her balance she slipped and immediately found herself on the ground.

“I need some one who knows what they are doing.” She sighed.


Chapter 5: Tango
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, wake…”

“Up, I know. Stupid alarm clock.” Hermione sat up and swung her feet over the side of her bed. She let out a content sigh as she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She had had a good dream last night. In her dream, she was dancing the night away with a masked man. He had held her close, and she loved the feeling of being in his arms. She felt warm, safe, and excited. When they moved they moved together as one, not making a single mistake. She sighed again at the thought of the dream. “I wonder if I will ever find a man like that.” She wondered. Showering and dressing quickly, she shoved her dance clothes and shoes into a small duffle bag and hurried off to the Great Hall for breakfast. She had been late for breakfast and only had time for a piece of toast but she didn’t mind. She wasn’t much of a morning person.

Turning the corridor a little too quickly, she collided with someone sending her dance bag flying open and spilling its contents into the hall.

“Oh I’m so sorry I didn’t see you there. Are you o…Malfoy?” she stammered.

“Watch where your going Granger, you could have messed up my hair.” Draco snapped.

“Oh yes, that would have been terrible wouldn’t it? Now would you kindly hand over my shoe, its right by you.” She asked, still on the floor picking up her things.

“You dance Granger?” he said quizzically as he examined the jazz shoe.

“Yes I do. Where you planning on giving that back or did you want to keep it as a souvenir?”

He scowled, tossing the shoe at her before walking away. Hermione shrugged off their little encounter and went to class. All the students seemed restless and fidgety during the other classes. They were all anxiously waiting for Rebecca’s dance lesson. It was the last class of the day. Dumbledore had added a new classroom on the first floor, facing the quidditch pitch, and it was the classroom with the most windows, letting the summer sun dance on the high walls. One of the walls was covered in floor to ceiling mirrors, and another had cubbies for everyone to put their things. When Hermione arrived in the dance studio, there were already a few students looking around in awe. The studio didn’t surprise Hermione at all. The class she took in the summer was at a place that looked very similar to this. Dropping her things in a cubby she took a seat on the floor and waited for everyone else to show up.

Harry and Ron were the last to arrive. They spotted Hermione and went to sit by her.

“Hi ‘Mione.” They both said.

“Hello Harry, Ron.” She greeted them. The class stopped talking as soon as they noticed Rebecca enter.

“Hello class, I’m Rebecca as most of you know. Today we will simply be dividing into partners and learning the basic tango steps. Now, tango is one of the hardest dances to learn because it requires a certain closeness, or connection between the people dancing that some people find uncomfortable. That is why it is so important to trust your partner, and be comfortable with them. I have chosen the tango to be the first dance for you to learn because of this, and if you and your partner can get through this, then any dance that we learn in the future will be easy. Now, do any of you have any dancing experience?” Rebecca asked the class. A little less than half the class raised their hands. Much to everyone’s surprise, Draco and Hermione were two of them.

“Oh wonderful, now of the people with their hands raised, do any of you know the tango?” she asked. Most of the hands dropped. Only Hermione, Draco, and Hannah Abbot’s hands were still up. “Fantastic! Could I have my Head Boy and Girl up here please?”

“Oh crap.” Hermione thought to herself. “Please don’t make me dance with Malfoy, please don’t make me dance with Malfoy, please…” she begged silently. Slowly she got up and went over to Rebecca. She looked over at Draco and waited for him to make a nasty comment about having to dance with a muggle born, but he didn’t. In fact, Hermione couldn’t read his face at all.

“I do hope that you two can dance without music as I will need to be instructing the class as you move.” Rebecca said. Hermione and Draco nodded. Hermione found herself very nervous. The only other dance partner she had ever had was a muggle named Jason that she had known since she was four. “It’s okay Hermione. Just breathe. Pretend its Jason, not Draco. Come on, you can do this.” Hermione thought to herself.

“Ok now Draco, Hermione, please get into starting position.” They stepped closer together and Hermione gently put a shaky hand on Draco’s shoulder, and took his free hand in hers. His arm snaked around her small waist, pulling her closer to him. This caused Hermione to take a sharp breath. Draco noticed.

“Scared Granger? I wont bite you know.” He whispered in her ear. “Well, probably not.” He added with a smirk.

“I’m not afraid of you.” She replied in a firm voice looking him directly in the eye. They had never been this close before. To a bystander, it would look like the two were having an intimate moment, but no. Rebecca’s voice boomed again.

“Toes and elbows touching. This is a very close dance, you must be for it to be done properly. Draco, Hermione, on my count please.” They turned their heads away from one another giving each other a clear view of the dance floor.

“One…” Draco pressed lightly on the small of Hermione’s back making her instinctively take a step backwards.

“Two…” Another press and another step back for Hermione.

“Three…” They brought their hands up above their heads and made eye contact. Draco’s icy blue ones stared into Hermione’s honey brown ones, and something sparked. “Ok this is defiantly not Jason.” She thought.

“Four…” They shifted their feet and took a step in the opposite direction, turning away from each other again.

“Five…” Bringing their hands down, Draco wrapped his arm around Hermione’s waist again, while the other held her hand out to the left.

“Six…” Draco lifted the hand that held Hermione’s up quickly. Sensing she was about to be spun, Hermione went up on one leg. Draco spun her around quickly and with force, bringing her back to him. She gripped his shoulder tightly and waited for Rebecca’s count to lead her into her backwards pause.

“Seven…” Her leg hooked around Draco and he pulled her close until she was almost certain that there was not a part of them that was not touching. The heat between their bodies was electric.

“Eight…” Pushing away from Draco and allowing her body to fall backwards, Hermione prayed that Draco would catch her. He did. His arm grabbed her waist about five inches before she hit the ground.


Chapter 6: Don't hold back
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: Just to clear something up, I don’t dance. I wish I did but I don’t, so all the dance scenes are what I imagine in my head. If you dance and you read something that you don’t think is very real, or is incorrect with the terminology or something then I’m sorry but please don’t criticize me for it. I’m doing my best to make it as real as possible. Thanks again for reading!)

All around the studio jaws dropped. Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were dancing together, and they were good. And on top of that, neither one had tried to kill the other.

“Brilliant! That’s exactly what I wanted to see, great job you two.” Rebecca said to Draco and Hermione. They had jumped apart as soon as Draco pulled Hermione up from her backwards pause and were now sitting on opposite sides of the room. If Hermione didn’t know better, she might have guessed that he was blushing slightly.

"What was that?" Ron demanded.

"What was what?" Hermione asked innocently.

"The eye contact and the touching and the..." he made large obsene guestures with his hands. "the, the flirting stuff."

"We wern't flirting Ronald. We were dancing. We keep eye contact so we can communicate the moves better." She replied smartly.

"Well, that's not what it looked like to me Hermione. I think he's up to something. He's bad news I tell you."

"Would you please just leave it? It was nothing."

"Hmph." Ron pouted, but didn't say anymore.

“Alright, now what I would like is for all the boys to go stand to the left by the cubbies, and the girls to go over to the right by the door...except Draco and Hermione. You two will come up here with me.” She addressed the class. With some hesitation the class did as she said, unsure as to what they were about to do.

“Ok, now if you could line up from shortest to tallest please. It is easier to dance with some one who is roughly the same height.” Scowls fell on many faces when they realized that they weren’t allowed to choose their partners. The girls settled into the line much faster than the boys. The boys seemed to be arguing over who was the tallest, and a few were refusing to stand in the very front as if it was a direct insult or something. Slowly the class was paired off. It was easy to see that a majority of the class was not happy with the partners they had received. Ron had been paired with Hannah and was nervously shuffling his feet; Harry was partners with Cho and looked more uncomfortable than Hermione had ever seen him.

“Erm, Rebecca? Who am I dancing with?” Hermione asked shyly. Rebecca smiled at her.

“Draco of course! You two have a special chemistry when you dance, and that was only a step-by-step dance, I cant wait to see how you two can move when you aren’t so stiff.” She said excitedly.

“What?! I can’t dance with him! I…” Hermione began.

“Why not Hermione? You are perfectly matched. If anything, the slight dislike you have for each other will only add to the passion.” Rebecca said.

“Slight dislike’? You call six years of being tormented by him a ‘slight dislike’? And what passion? There is no passion between me and Malfoy.” She persisted.

“You and Draco are partners, end of story.” Rebecca finished.

“But…”

“End of story Hermione. Now since you two are the most experienced dancers in here, I hope you won’t mind being my examples.” Hermione looked over at Draco who had been silent this whole time for help, but she found him watching her with an amused expression playing on his face.

“Oh I suppose you think this is funny do you?” She asked.

“Actually, yes. You over-analyze things Hermione, just relax. Come on, Rebecca wants us to dance again with music this time.” He said offering his hand to her.

“You called me Hermione.”

“Yes, well I do believe it’s your name unless you changed it.”

“Well, no.” she answered shortly, taking his hand.

“Good. Then let’s dance…” He said as he spun her out into the middle of the studio. “And this time, don’t hold back.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Hermione couldn’t put her finger on it, but there was something about the way that Draco held her when they danced that felt familiar, and almost…right. She felt she could trust him even though six years of pain and mistreatment told her otherwise. Despite all that, she couldn’t shake the image of his shocking blue eyes staring into hers as they moved. He never broke eye contact with her unless he had to, but they always found her again. Even more astounding to her was that she never wanted to look away.

“Hermione, he is your dance partner and fellow classmate, nothing more. You do not have any feelings for him what so ever, just stop thinking about him like that. He is as mean and arrogant as he always was.” She told herself on her way back to their dorm after the forth day of dance practice. She was sweaty, tired, and flustered. The rest of the class was still working on the basic tango, but Rebecca had thought it would be a good idea to let Hermione and Draco try some of the other variations of it. This last dance started with Draco running his hand slowly from Hermione’s hip, down her thigh, and then grabbing the back of her knee to pull her onto him. They had to do it three times before Hermione could bring herself to let him touch her without pushing him away. It had caused a bit of a disruption to the rest of the class also because each time his hand would inch lower, boys would stop doing their own dances to whistle at them. Rebecca ended up giving Seamus detention because he wouldn’t stop. “I don’t ever remember a time when I was so embarrassed!” Hermione cried inwardly.

Also on his way to their dorm was Draco, sweaty, tired, and flustered. “I still can’t believe Hermione can dance…like that! Draco get a hold of yourself! If your father was alive he would be ashamed that you are thinking of a mudblood in that way.” He scolded himself. “But then again,” another voice in his head argued. “I never liked that horrid, cruel man anyways, so why do I care what he would have thought? Besides, Voldermort is gone so it’s not like he’s going to be able to hunt me down for just thinking it.” He thought rushing down the corridor trying to get to the Head room as quick as possible. “Merlin her skin is soft…and those legs…who’d a guessed that she had a body under her baggy uniform?”

They both reached the Head common room with the same thing on their minds. Cold shower, cold shower, cold shower, and for more than one reason.


Chapter 7: Funny, I never pictured you as a purple person...
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Honey drop!” Hermione yelled the password to the Head dormitories and rushed inside. She made her way to the bathroom discarding her clothes as she went, not pausing to think that she may not be alone. Kicking off her shoes and pulling her tank top over her head she entered the bathroom and bent to reach for the cold water tap on the shower.

“Wha…Granger?!” said a surprised voice from a few feet away. Hermione’s head snapped up and she gasped, temporarily frozen in shock. Draco was standing in his boxers not three feet away from her, clearly getting ready to shower as Hermione had been. Looking down, Hermione saw she had only her pink lace bra and dance skirt on. She desperately grabbed for something to cover herself with. Snatching the nearest piece of clothing she could find and scrambling into it, she finally looked him in the face.

“I was just going to…uh, shower but y..you um…I can go its no…” she stammered.

“N-no, I mean you shouldn’t get the bra end-RAW end, I meant raw end of the deal. I’ll just use the prefects bathroom.” Draco blushed and started gathering his clothes. “Hey have you seen my shirt…oh.” Taking a closer look at the clothing she had grabbed to cover herself earlier, she realized it was his shirt she had put on.

“I’m sorry, here I’ll just…just let me get something else to…” she began searching for a towel so she could give him his shirt back.

“No, you can keep it. It looks better on you anyways.” Draco’s eyes went wide and he clapped his hand to his mouth, obviously not meaning to say that out loud. Without another word he turned and left, closing the door behind him. Hermione stood staring at the spot where he had been standing for a minute before turning back to the shower. “Cold water, defiantly cold water…” she mumbled softly.

~*~*~ on the other side of the door….*~*~*~*

He leaned against the closed door, his heart trying to beat its way out of his chest. “You dunderhead! Why did you say that out loud?” He thought angrily. “Now she’s going to think I fancy her because I gave her my shirt. Damn…I don’t fancy her though. Do I? No. Not possible. I don’t think.” Putting on his robes he headed out of the common room and down the corridor to the Slytherin prefect bathroom. Fortunately, there was no one to walk in on him this time. He finished bathing and went back to his room.

“Honey drop” he said. The portrait swung open and soft music filled his ears. He strained them trying to hear better; following the sound he found himself in front of Hermione’s half open door. Letting his curiosity get the best of him, he peeked in and saw Hermione in baby blue boy shorts and his shirt. Ballet shoes strapped on her feet, she was struggling to keep her balance. He was about to go help steady her when he heard her speak.

“Come on Hermione, its not hard. You can do this. You need to be the best…” she was saying to herself. Letting her arms drop to her sides she flopped down on her bed, giving up for now. She still hadn’t noticed Draco standing in her doorway. Pushing her face into the nearest pillow she screamed, “I hate ballet!” But the sound was muffled.

“Funny,” Draco said, looking around the room at the lavender walls and matching bed coverings. “I never pictured you as a purple person.” Hermione jumped when he spoke.

“Draco...”

“The door was open.” She nodded in understanding. “You know, I always thought of you as a red or yellow kind of person.” He told her. She nodded again.

“Gryffindor colors.” She said in small voice. “I like purple.”

“Yes I can see that.” His hands were stuffed into his pockets and he was staring at his feet. He looked up at Hermione through his hair which was falling loosely in his face. He nervously ran his hand through his hair then said, “Hey Gra-Hermione, could I ask you something?” he asked gently. She took a deep breath before nodding her head.

“I hope I don’t regret this…” she thought as she patted the spot next to her on the bed. He hesitated, but walked over to the bed and sat down next to her, but not too close.

“I was wondering why you think you need to be the best at everything.”

She sighed again and mumbled something so quietly Draco hardly even heard it at all.

“What?” he asked.

“You. I said, you. Its people like you and your family who think that I’m dirt and don’t deserve to live, or that I’m just a waste of magical talent. I want to prove them all wrong, show them that I’m better than they will ever be. I want respect. I want people to look up to me, to be proud of me. I want to be accepted for something other than a mudblood bookworm.” When she finished her eyes were shining with tears that she was stubbornly refusing to shed.

“I am not my father Hermione. I’m not. I can’t apologize enough for hurting you these past years, but you are not dirt, and you are not a waste. If it makes you feel any better, you’ve been beating be in everything since 1st year, and most likely always will. You’re smarter, and a better dancer,” He confessed. “And my shirt really does look better on you.” He added. She couldn’t help it, she had to laugh. She looked down at the shirt she was wearing and smiled, but then blushed when she remembered how she got it in the first place.

“Draco, what are we?” Hermione asked looking into his blue eyes that for some reason weren’t cold anymore. She had been dying to know. Were they friends? Classmates? Enemies?

“I guess we’re friends…I mean, if we need to work together as Head Boy and Girl, and we are dance partners, it would be easier if we got along.” He answered slowly.

“I agree.” She nodded. “So…friends it is I guess.”


Chapter 8: Friendly pranks and answered questions
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Being friends with Draco had made dance class a bit less uncomfortable. Over the past two and a half weeks Rebecca had moved on from the tango, to the swing which meant a little less physical contact in a sexual way, and this was good news to Hermione. She was having trouble pretending she didn’t see something more than friendship in Draco’s eyes every time he held her close. She had been lying to herself, desperately trying to convince herself it was only a love for the dance, not anything for her.

She had told Ron and Harry about her new friendship with Draco, and things had not gone well, especially with Ron. They failed to see that Draco had changed, and told Hermione that it would be better if she just stayed away from him. She had screamed back, reminding them that they were in no position to tell her what her best interests were seeing as they have been too busy ignoring her for the past year. She told them to come find her when they could accept that she and Draco were friends. She didn’t expect to be hearing from them any time soon.

Late one night Hermione was sitting at one of the desks in their common room finishing up her homework for her Muggle Studies class, while Draco was stretched out on the couch in front of the warm fire. The room had been silent for quite some time, and Hermione had a feeling that Draco had fallen asleep so she said, “Hey Draco, are you alive over there?” A noise that sounded vaguely similar to “Nuhghn.” Replied. She stood up and peered over the back of the couch, and there was Draco. Sprawled out and taking up every inch of the couch. Suddenly an idea popped into her head. It was kind of mean, but the look on his face would be priceless. She crept around the couch and crouched down so she was right next to his face. She leaned in and whispered, “Dracie poo, daddy’s on his way up here and he isn’t very happy. By the way, have you seen my panties?” His eyes shot open and he frantically looked around the room.

“Wha…Pansy how’d you get in here? Why are you…?” He looked down and saw a pretty brunette shaking and rolling around on the floor laughing uncontrollably. “HERMIONE!!” he yelled.

Hermione tried to pick herself up from the ground and look at him, but the second she saw his face she hit the ground laughing again. Wiping her eyes, she finally was able to control her giggles and she crawled over to the couch. “Move over lazy buns.” She said.

“No, I’m good here, thanks.”

“Alright fine, if you won’t move over then I’ll sit on you.” She said sitting on his outstretched legs.

“Ok, you do that. Now why did you do that to me?” he asked.

“Because it was funny.” She answered.

“Oh yeah, and that is a fantastic reason to scare the living daylights out of me.” He said sarcastically. She giggled.

“Sorry, I guess I couldn’t help myself.” She said. The two were quiet for a moment before Draco broke it.

“Well Hermione, as your friend there are some things I’m going to need to know. For future reference you understand.” Draco said seriously.

“Of course.” Hermione said in an equally serious tone.

“So if you would be so kind as to answer a few questions for me…”

“Ask away.” She said stretching her legs out over his.

“Ok,” he started. He seemed to be racking his brain for good questions to ask. “Middle name?”

“Jane.”

“Birthday?”

“May 26th”

“Where did you learn to dance?”

“A muggle dance studio by my parents’ house.”

“Ticklish?”

“Yes.”

“Where?”

“Oh no Mr.Malfoy, that’s one you’ll need to find out on your own.” She said with a flirtatious smirk. “Wow, he’s rubbing off on me already.” She thought.

“Alright, fair enough. Favorite food?”

“Chocolate mousse.”

“Best friend?”

Hermione had to really think about this one. For years she had been very best friends with Ron and Harry, but now she was lucky if she even got a chance to say hello to them in between classes. It seemed that they were no longer a big part of her life. Someone else was now in their place. But could she really consider Malfoy her best friend? Not yet, she needed to know more about him first. “I don’t have one.” She said firmly.

He looked at her funny, as if there was something he was dying to ask but was holding back.

“Virgin?” he asked with his famous smirk.

“Draco!!!” she yelled slapping him on the arm.

“What? I was just wondering. Can you really blame me? I’m a seventeen year old guy.”

“That was totally uncalled for.” Hermione said her nose high in the air.

“Oh come on, you know you thought it was funny. And are you going to answer or not?”

“Yes.” She said simply.

“Yes you’re going to answer?”

“Stop playing dumb Draco. Yes I’m a virgin. You got your answer, happy now? Moving on please.”

“Ok, ok, no need to get all defensive it was only a question. Well, I think I’m done interrogating you for now.” He laughed. “Merlin she’s so cute when she’s angry.” He thought to himself.

“Alright, my turn. Where did you learn to dance?” Hermione asked with a smile. She was going to enjoy this.

Draco blushed deeply. “Uh, my mother and father wanted me to know how to dance so they could show me off at parties and such, so they made me take lessons with my younger cousin Lisa. I kinda liked it though, so I kept taking lessons even after I learned most of the ballroom dances.”

Hermione held in a giggle. The thought of Draco waltzing in the arms of a little girl struck her as very funny. “Ok, favorite food?”

“Ice cream.” He responded without hesitation.

“You mean muggle ice cream? You like a muggle food?” she asked completely thrown off by his answer.

“Yes I do. I find it’s very refreshing on a hot day. I’m not that against muggles you know, they can make good food.” He said coolly.

“Right, ok. So when’s you birthday?” she asked.

“December 13th”

“A winter baby, I should have guessed.” She said.

“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that your not exactly the warmest person now are you?”

He shrugged. “Point taken. Next question please. This is fun.” He said.

“Ya know, it really is.” Hermione agreed. “Are you a virgin?” she asked with a smirk on her face. She was almost positive of the answer, but she wanted to ask just for the heck of it. His expression changed to something Hermione couldn’t read.

“No comment.” Draco mumbled.

“Oh come on, I answered that question earlier even though I didn’t want to. Its only fair…” she begged.

“You’re going to laugh at me.”

“No I wont.” She assured him.

“Fine. I’m waiting for the right person, if that answers your question.” He said softly.

Hermione was doing her best to fight off giggles. “Draco Malfoy, Slytherin Sex God, the bad boy all the girls drool over, is a virgin.” She thought to herself. “Wow, I was definitely not expecting that.” She turned her head away from him so he couldn’t see the wide grin that had spread across her face.

“See?” he said throwing his hands into the air. “This is why I didn’t want to tell you. You’re laughing.”

“No I’m not, I’m smiling. There’s a difference you know, and besides, I think it’s cute.”

“Cute? You think it’s cute? You really couldn’t come up with a better adjective than ‘cute’?” he spat.

“Hey, no need to be a prat about it.” She said with a hurt tone in her voice.

“Sorry.” He mumbled.

“It’s ok, now on to the serious questions. Why are you being so nice to me all of a sudden? I thought you hated me.” She asked.

“Well, I did. Or actually, I was told that I did. My father wasn’t much of a family man. He was a bit like that muggle bloke, what’s his name? Hibbler? Helter…”

“Hitler.” Hermione helped.

“Yeah, that guy. It was drilled into my head as a child that muggleborns were bad, so that’s sort of all I knew. Plus, my father was not someone you wanted to defy when it came to taking orders. However, I’m a Malfoy, and Malfoy’s don’t take orders from anyone. I will befriend anyone I choose, and for once I made the right decision and stopped trying to make your life miserable. ” He finished.

Hermione nodded sadly. “It couldn’t have been easy for him.” She thought. “Okay, well why me? Why did you always have to pick on me?” she asked.

“You’re a strong person, I knew you would be able to handle it. And I was right too, the broken nose you gave me in the 3rd year is proof enough.” He said touching his nose at the memory. “And it bloody hurt too!” he added.

She laughed. “Well, I’m sorry, but you were and ass back then, you deserved it.”

“Don’t worry, I know I did.”

“Hey Draco? Do you think we could just start over, and forget the past?” Hermione asked.

“No.” He said quickly.

“Oh, um…okay, well just forget I said anythi…” he cut her off.

“No, because if I forget everything in the past then I wouldn’t like you half as much as I do now.” He said. Hermione looked at him shyly and blushed. That was probably the nicest thing he had ever said to her. “Actually,” she thought, “That might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.” Hanging around Ron and Harry for six years meant that Hermione wasn’t used to compliments on anything other than her brain, it was a refreshing change. For the longest time they just sat there, staring at each other, drinking the other in as if trying to figure them out by simply looking at them. Hermione was the first to break the silence.

“I think we uh, we should get to bed.” She said trying as hard as she could to tear her eyes away from his handsome face.

“Yeah, your right. I guess I’ll see you at breakfast then?”

“Yep. Don’t be late.” She said smartly.

“I wouldn’t dare keep you waiting Miss Granger.” He said sincerely before he turned and walking up the steps to his room.

She smiled slightly, “You already are Draco…” she thought sadly.


Chapter 9: Rumors
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Yes Hermione, very good, just remember to keep your head up. And Draco, remember don’t try to lift Hermione as she jumps onto you, you’ll just hurt yourself, and always keep your…SEAMUS!! NO! MARSHMELLOSIS!!!” Rebecca shouted and pointed her wand to the dance studio floor. The shiny hard wood floor transformed into large fluffy marshmallow covered floor just in time as Parvati fell to the squishy ground. “Seamus! How many times must I tell you that your legs must be shoulder width apart or else you can’t support Parvati enough as she comes down from her jump? If I have to go over safety measures with you one more time so help me…”

“Wow, Seamus really made her mad this time. How many times has he dropped Parvati now?” Draco asked.

“Six.” Hermione replied. “Please don’t ever drop me Draco, I don’t fancy getting marshmallow in my hair or on my bum.”

“Don’t worry; I’m not a klutz like Finnigan over there.” Draco said. Hermione had to agree, Draco was actually very graceful when it came to dancing, well, most of the time. Hermione placed her hand gently on his forearm to get his attention.

“I’m going to go help Parvati get that sticky mess out of her clothes, a simple cleaning spell should do the trick I think.” She started to walk across the studio, which was now back to normal.

“Smarty-pants!” he called after her. She turned and smiled then stuck her tongue out at him. He pretended to cry and she laughed, turning back to Parvati.

“So,” Parvati began, “Are you and Draco a couple now or what? I see you two together everywhere.”

“No. We just…understand each other better now. We’re friends, I think. Also, we are Head Boy and Girl so we have our duties that we must attend to together, and we’re dance partners as well.” Hermione replied.

“Oh, well in case anything changes,” She leaned in real close so only Hermione could hear, “I heard he’s great in bed.” Hermione burst into hysterical laughter, bracing herself against the wall for support. Unable to control herself, she slid down the wall, laughing her head off the whole way. She wasn’t sure what she found funnier, the idea of her and Draco sleeping together, or the fact she knew Draco was a virgin and there was no way that the rumor could be true. The entire class was staring at her now, but she didn’t care.

“Was it something I said?” Parvati asked with a very confused look on her face. This only made Hermione laugh harder.

Draco looked across the room after hearing a loud burst of laughter. Letting his eyes fall on Hermione, he saw she was in a crumpled heap on the floor, tears streaming down her cheeks. He quickly strode across the room to where she was sitting and crouched down to her eye level. “Hermione? Are you feeling alright?” he asked. She nodded enthusiastically and began to stand up with his help. “Come on, let’s go get some fresh air.” Draco let her out the back door and down the path that led to the quidditch pitch. They stopped at the nearest bench and sat down. “Now what was all that about?” he asked.

“They think we…and that you’re…and we’re gonna…” she began, trying to suppress the laughter that was bubbling up inside her. She took a few deep breaths, and started over. “Everyone thinks that you and I are a couple. And there’s a rumor floating around that your great in bed.” She said.

Draco’s face lit up and he said proudly, “Really? The girls think I’m a great shag? Brilliant, I must thank whoever started that one.” Hermione punched him in the arm. “Ouch, that hurt. What did you do that for?”

“Because Draco, Parvati thinks that we are going to sleep together.” She waited for him to laugh, or say something, anything, but he didn’t. “Uh, Draco? Did you get any of what I just said?”

“Oh, sure. Um, well we can just ignore it I guess…” he smirked, “Unless you fancy a shag Miss Granger.” She blushed deep red and Draco couldn’t tell if she was angry or very embarrassed. Either way, she got up and started for the castle. “Hey! Where are you going? Class isn’t over yet.”

“For me it is. I’m going up to the Gryffindor common room. I’ll see you at dinner I suppose.” She said walking away. She needed to have a word with one of Hogwarts most infamous gossips. She could still hear Draco’s deep voice carrying on behind her.

“In all my life I never thought I’d live to see the day that Hermione Granger skips class just because she feels like it…”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Making her way up the staircase that led to the fat lady’s portrait, she stopped to give the password.

“Hermione dear, so nice to see you! It’s been quite some time since you’ve been to visit us.” Said the fat lady.

“Yes, well I’ve been very busy. ‘Valor’” She said. The Portrait swung open and she walked into the familiar common room. “I sort of miss this place,” she thought. “And now to find Lavender…” Hermione went up to the girls dormitories, and sitting on her bed flipping through “Witch Glamour Today” magazine was Lavender. Lavender looked up and grinned at Hermione.

“Hello Hermione, have you come to ask for beauty tips again? Or are you thinking more along the lines of snogging instructions? I imagine you wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself in front of someone as experienced as Draco Malfoy.” She said rather snidely, not taking her eyes off her magazine. Hermione had once asked Lavender to help her get ready for the Yule Ball, and Lavender was never going to let her live it down, but the bit about Draco was completely uncalled for. Hermione just let it slide, this time.

“Actually, I just wanted to know exactly what people have been saying about Draco and I. And seeing as your ears seem to find their way into other people’s conversations when they shouldn’t, I figured you would be the best person to ask.” Hermione said in an irritated voice.

“Well, Hermione, you’re a bright girl aren’t you? I would suppose that you could guess people think you and Mr.Malfoy are doing more than dancing together, and the fact that you two share living accommodations is quite convenient now isn’t it? The last I heard was that the pair of you were “just friends” and everyone knows what that means…”

“Oh please do continue.” Hermione urged.

“It means that soon enough, if not already, you two will be snogging each other in the hall when no one is looking, and soon after that, you’ll be shagging like bunnies.” Lavender said matter-of-factly.

“What!? That is absurd! Draco and I are doing no such thing, and I’m appalled tha…”

“Hermione,” Lavender cut in, “You wanted to know, and I told you. Please don’t complain to me, and no offence but I am in no mood to be a part of your pity party.”

“Humph.” Was all that came out of Hermione’s mouth after that. Folding her arms across her chest she turned to leave, but Lavender called out to her.

“Hey Hermione? You don’t still have those knickers with the little pink ponies on them do you?”

Hermione felt herself blush. “Well…see, I don’t exactly…”

“One little tidbit of advice girl to girl, it doesn’t matter who the guy is, pink pony knickers are not sexy. Here,” Lavender put her magazine down and walked over to her trunk. After a moment of rummaging through it, she found what she was looking for. “Brand new from Mademoiselle Sylvaine’s Lingerie in Diagon Alley. Tags still on and everything. I think you need them more than I do.” She said handing Hermione three pairs of very small lacy underwear.

“Lavender no, I’m not going to wear those. I don’t need new knickers, you keep them, I cant…” she protested trying to give them back, but Lavender threw her hands in the air, refusing to take them back. Giving up, Hermione sighed and stuffed them into her robe pocket. “Lavender, Draco and I aren’t sleeping together, and we have no plans to, ever.”

“Well, I believe it was you whose motto was, ‘it never hurts to be prepared.’”

“Goodbye Lavender.” Hermione sighed as she left the room. As she was exiting the common room a wave of students flooded in. Among them were Ron and Harry. She smiled and waved, but all she got in return was a glare from Ron and a weak wave from Harry. A bit disappointed, but not surprised, she made her way to her own common room. “Honey drop.” She said meekly. She walked in and saw the back of a blond head on the couch. Plopping herself down on the couch next to him (a little closer than intended) she greeted him. “Hi Draco.”

“Hey ‘Mione. Where did you run off to? I was left in dance class with no partner. I must have looked like an idiot.”

“I’m sorry. I had to see someone about a rumor I heard. Did I miss anything important in class? I should go apologize to Rebecca, I hope she isn’t mad at me…” Hermione tried to get up but Draco grabbed her arm, pulling her back down. She landed even closer this time, their shoulders and thighs touching.

“Relax, I told Rebecca you were having ‘girl trouble’ and she excused it. No harm done.” He told her.

“Oh,” she said in a surprised tone. “Well, thank you then.”

“No problem. Oh, I just remembered, we have a meeting with the prefects tomorrow. I wasn’t sure if you knew or not. Hey, what’s that?” he said, tugging at the little corner of lace that was sticking out of her pocket. Hermione looked down and tried to shove it back in, but it was too late. Draco pulled it out and held it dangling from his index finger. He smirked and raised his eyebrows. “Hermione, is there a reason why you are carrying around seductive lingerie in your pockets?”


Chapter 10: We all fall down
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Hermione was blushing so badly she could feel the heat radiating off her face. You could probably fry an egg on it if you wanted to. Draco was now examining the panties closely.

“Ya know ‘Mione, call me judgmental, but I always thought you were the kind of girl who wore knickers with little pink bunnies on them.”

“Ponies…” she mumbled snatching them away from his grasp.

“What was that?” he asked.

“Nothing. In the future, I would prefer it if you didn’t touch my undergarments. Or comment on them.” She balled them up and jammed them deep into her pockets.

“You wouldn’t happen to be saving those for a special occasion would you?” He asked, a sexy smirk never leaving his face. Hermione opened her mouth to yell at him but nothing came out. Not knowing what else to do, she turned and stomped off to her room. Even at the top of the stairs she could still hear Draco chuckling in the common room, obviously very pleased with himself.

Slamming her door behind her, she threw the underwear into a corner of her room and plopped down on her bed, but something underneath her yelped and caused her to leap back up. “Oh Crookshanks! I’m sorry, I didn’t even see you.” She apologized. The cat looked at her menacingly and jumped off the bed. Checking to make sure there were no more hidden creatures in her bed, she sat down again. “That did not just happen, that did not just happen…” she told herself, hugging a pillow and rocking back in forth. “Stupid Parvati…” she mumbled.

After Hermione had slammed her door closed, Draco began to feel bad for embarrassing her so much. “Just admit it Draco,” he was thinking, “Just admit that you care for her. You’ll feel better when you stop denying it.” He sighed and walked up to his room. “Okay, well maybe I like her just a little.” Changing into clean dance clothes, he went across the hall to Hermione’s room. He was really hoping that she wouldn’t be too mad to dance with him. Rebecca had taught them a new lift after she left class, and he wanted to make sure they had it down before class Monday. He knocked softly on her door. He heard stumbling and the sound of feet being dragged lazily across the room. Hermione opened her door a crack and peered out.

“What?” she asked.

“Well, Rebecca taught us this new lift thing after you skived off class today, and I thought you might want to learn it before next class, and since we have a meeting tomorrow, and I have Quidditch practice all day Sunday I thought we could do it now.” Draco said rather quickly.

“Uh, sure. Just give me a minute to change and I’ll meet you in the common room.” Draco nodded and Hermione closed her door. She debated whether or not she should wear her dance skirt, but since Draco was going to be lifting her high in the air, she decided against it. The last thing she needed was him seeing anymore of her knickers. Instead she went with her cotton shorts and a tank top. The shorts were a little on the short side but she didn’t care, they were very comfy and easy to move in. As she bounced down the stairs she pulled her hair into a tight high ponytail. Draco saw her and he extended his hand to her. She took it and he spun her into his arms, then back out again. She couldn’t help but giggle, dancing with him always put her in a good mood even if she had been mad at him no more than five minutes ago. Letting go of her hand Draco started to explain,

“Okay, so what happens is after I spin you out I let go of your hand and you do a double spin, then your going to need to get a little bit of speed but basically you just run to me and I do the rest.” He said.

“Huh? I’m sorry, I don’t get it.” Hermione said, confused.

“Alright, here I’ll walk you through it. Come here,” she stepped closer and he grabbed her hand. “I’m going to spin you out, then let go of me and do a double turn.” He spun her once the released her and she kept spinning. “Good,” he said when she stopped. “Now just run towards me and I’m going to put both of my hands on your hips and lift you into the air. Once your up you need to balance out so you horizontal in the air.” She bit her lip and nodded, then ran to him. Putting a hand on either side of her body, Draco bend back slightly and lifted her into the air light as a feather, but Hermione leaning forward too much and they both fell to the ground with an “Oooph.”

“Sorry…” She said, looking down into his eyes.

“No problem, I didn’t think we’d actually get it on the first try anyways.” His hands were still resting at her sides. He slowly ran them up and down her back. “Are you all right?” he asked.

Hermione felt her skin tingle under his touch. “I’m the one who should be asking you that question, seeing as I landed on you quite hard.” She rolled off of him and stood up. She gave him her hand and she helped him up.

“No, no. Your real light, it didn’t hurt. Want to try it again?”

“Yes, but this time put your hands lower on my hips. You were closer to my ribs last time.” She said.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Ron, I don’t think it’s a very good idea sneaking around and spying on Hermione like this, we could just ask her if she’s dating Malfoy.” Harry whispered to his paranoid friend.

“No Harry, I don’t want to talk to her, she’ll just go all mental or something. Besides, I talked to Seamus who heard Parvati talking to Lavender who talked to Hermione herself and almost got her to confess. It has to be true, I can feel it. She’s hiding something from us…” Ron said.

“Um, Ron? We are the ones shunning her remember? She was honest with us and your face got all red and looked like it was ready to explode, then you stormed off. She has every right not to tell us what’s going on.”

“Oh I see how it is, you on her side now are you? Well you can expect a big fat I-told-you-so when it turns out I’m right.” Ron huffed.

“Whatever Ron…” Harry sighed. They traveled down the dark corridor under Harry’s invisibility cloak until they reached the Head Boy and Girl common room. To their luck, the last person to go inside had left it ajar. They eagerly pressed their ears against the slightly opened door. They knew that if Hermione was in the common room and she saw the portrait open by itself then she would know immediately that it was them under the cloak. It wasn’t long before they heard voices unmistakably Hermione and Draco’s coming from the other side.

“Just move your left hand a little lower… yes that feels better, now over a bit to the right.”

“Like this?”

“Oh that’s perfect.”

“I’m going to swing you down between my legs now.”

“Okay. Oh no! Draco no don’t touch me there I’m ticklish! You’re going to drop me!!”

“Well in that case…”

Hermione’s laughter rang out through the room and Harry and Ron exchanged dumbfounded looks. Ron mouthed “I-told-you-so” to Harry, who bowed his head and shook it in disbelief.

“I’ve heard enough. Let’s go Harry.” Ron said. The two boys turned and made their way back to their dorm, neither wanting to believe what they heard was true.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Draco!! I’m… no not there!!!” Hermione yelled. She was on the couch with Draco on top of her tickling her into oblivion.

“See? Didn’t I tell you I would find you ticklish spot? Never doubt a Malfoy.” He said smiling. Not a smirk that he was famous for, but a genuine whole hearted smile.

“You’re…impossible…” she managed to gasp out.

“I know, but that’s why you love me so much.” Draco regretted saying it the second those words slipped out of his mouth. He hadn’t meant to say that out loud.

Hermione’s heart was beating a million miles per hour. “You have feelings for him, you know you do. Stop hiding it. Would he have you pinned to the couch with his face a few inches from yours if he didn’t feel the same way? Draco Malfoy, my old enemy? I don’t like him. Stop denying it! You care for him! Take a risk for once in your life…” Hermione couldn’t get her thoughts to slow down so she could process them no matter how hard she tried. She could feel his hot breath on her face. He was getting closer. Was he? No, it was Hermione that was moving. “You want a risk? How’s this one…” she told herself. Hermione wrapped her arms around Draco’s neck and brought his lips crashing down onto hers.


Chapter 11: The Kiss
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Hermione’s lips made forceful contact with Draco’s. Draco’s kiss was like a drug that Hermione was dying to get addicted to. His body had tensed up when she kissed him, but without missing a beat he relaxed and kissed her back hungrily. “Finally.” They both thought. Draco slowly broke away from her and looked down into her warm golden brown eyes. “Hermione…” he whispered. “I want you to know that this…”

“Kiss me.” She said. “Talk later, kiss now.” He smirked and she couldn’t help but flash a matching smirk of her own. His lips met hers again in a much tender kiss this time. Their first had been wonderful, but rough and eager. This was much more slow and passionate. His kisses took her breath away. He parted her warm lips with his own and he brushed his tongue lightly across her bottom lip. Hermione opened her mouth and massaged his tongue with hers warmly welcoming it into her mouth. Needing air, she broke the kiss. Hermione turned her head and gasped for air. She had just about managed to get her heart rate back to normal when she felt Draco’s lips lightly kissing her neck and that one little spot behind her ear that made her shiver. Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck and held on for dear life. She felt his arms encircle her waist and hold on to her tightly. “Please don’t let go.” She said softly in his ear.

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” He said.

They fell asleep together right there on the couch, and that night Hermione slept better than had ever had in her whole life. She had a reoccurring dream that she was dancing the night away with her masked man. He held her close and promised to never let her go, but this time when she looked in his face, there was no mask. Draco’s smooth handsome face was smiling down at her, and then kissing her hand goodbye, he slipped away into the early first light of the morning.

Letting her eyes flutter open, she turned over to look at Draco, but she found that he had gone. Disappointed, she sat up and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Hermione looked around the common room and she saw she was completely alone. She fell back against the pillows and groaned. She heard the portrait door open, and she craned her neck to the side to see who it was. Draco walked in holding two scones and a flask of pumpkin juice. He smiled when he saw Hermione.

“Good morning. Did you have a good sleep?” Draco asked her.

“Mmm. Where were you this morning? You weren’t here when I woke up.” She said. He bent down and kissed her on the cheek.

“First I had to shower, and then I thought you would be hungry so I brought us back some breakfast. It has to be a quick breakfast though because that bloody meeting with the prefects starts in fifteen minutes.” He said briskly.

“Oh god…” Hermione whispered.

“What? What’s wrong?” Draco asked full of concern.

“You’re a morning person aren’t you? How can you possibly be this awake in the morning?”

Draco laughed at her softly and handed her a scone. She tore off a piece and popped it into her mouth. “We are going to need to talk about this sooner or later aren’t we?” She asked in a voice hardly louder than a whisper. Hermione looked down at her hands and nervously began picking at her fingernails. She felt Draco sit down beside her.

“Yes. I guess we will.”

“Draco, what would everyone think? You and me together? Bloody hell, I don’t even know what I think about us. Or rather, the hypothetical ‘us’. I mean, they all think we’re a couple already but I don’t necessarily want to prove them right. I don’t regret last night. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to be with you, I’m just saying that…bugger I don’t even know what I’m saying…” Hermione said holding her head in her hands. She looked over at Draco who looked paler than usual and had a worried expression on his face.

“Hermione, please don’t break it off before it even starts. Just give it a chance. Give us a chance.”

“Yeah? But what if it doesn’t work Draco? Then what do we do? Do we go back to the way things were before we became friends? We live together remember? You have to admit that it would be uncomfortable. And dancing. What about dancing? If we break up then we will still have to dance together and that would be…painful.”

“We’ll finish this later, but right now we have to go.” He said standing up. She nodded and left to change her clothes. In record time she was back downstairs and ready to go. They walked through the halls silently together, neither one had said a word since the common room. They reached the conference room that Dumbledore had set up for these meetings, and went inside. Almost everyone was there already except for Aryn Barker and Tim Kaiser, the Slytherin prefects who were late as usual. Draco and Hermione took their seats at the head of the table and Hermione began to speak.

“Thank you everyone for coming this morning. I know it’s early,” many people in the room groaned in agreement, “but unfortunately I do not choose the meeting times, Professor Dumbledore does so I think it would be best if we just tried to get through this quickly so we can enjoy the rest of our Saturday.” She stood up to retrieve the folder of information that Professor McGonagall had left her. She walked back over to the table, but didn’t sit down. She felt more comfortable speaking to groups of people standing up. Flipping through it she skimmed the notes and started again.

“We will need to plan a Christmas dance that will take place a week from tomorrow. Does anyone have any questions regarding that?” The Hufflepuff prefect, Anna Cordella spoke up.

“I have a question. Why didn’t we have a Halloween dance this year?”

Hermione was about to answer but Draco beat her to it. “Well, if you had paid attention during the last meeting when we covered that, then you would know that Hogwarts can only have a certain amount of dances or performances per year and this years spring dance recital is taking its place. And I believe Hermione asked about the Christmas dance, not about Halloween.” He scowled at her and she blushed and bowed her head.

“Erm…well yes Draco is right, but to stay on task, we are going to need to decide if we want it to be a formal or casual dance. All in favor of formal…?” All the girls raised their hands while the boys left theirs hanging at their sides, not wanting to have to wear uncomfortable dress robes. “Well it’s a tie, so Draco I’m going to need a ruling on this one.”

“Formal.” He said emotionlessly.

“What?! That is so unfair! Not all of us agreed.” Said Denis Creevy, the Gryffindor prefect.

“I’m sorry Denis, the Heads have the last word and most of us agreed anyways so…moving on. Could someone please inform Hagrid that we will need one dozen Christmas trees in the Great Hall no later than four o’clock next Sunday?” The Ravenclaw prefect raised her hand and nodded that she would. “Um, I don’t think there are anymore announcements for now other than these,” she passed around the paper with the new night patrol assignments on them. “We will meet again at the same time next Saturday, the day before the dance to finalize details. Professor Flitwick has offered to do decorations again so nothing to worry about there. That’s all then.”

Everyone stood and left. Hermione was about to make her way out too, when Draco caught her elbow and held her back. “Let’s talk, please? We need to sort this out.” He said. She sat down in the chair next to him and waited for him to speak. “Look Hermione, for the first time in my life I have no one holding me back. No one has committed me to doing something I don’t want to do, and I’m free to run my life the way I please and my family can’t tell me otherwise. I want to be with you Hermione. I don’t know why, but I’m happy when I’m with you, and I like that feeling. I opened myself up to you. I trust you. Please don’t do this to me.” He finished.

She looked into his eyes and she saw the sincerity in them. “How could I possibly be in a relationship with him? We’ve been friends for bit over a month, but now he wants me to be his girlfriend? That was what he was asking wasn’t it?” she thought. Sure she cared about him, and would undoubtedly be happy with him, but something was holding her back from saying yes. “I don’t know Draco… maybe, maybe I shouldn’t have kissed you the other night. I didn’t think it all the way through and now…”

“Hermione, don’t finish that sentence. Last night you told me not to let you go, and I know you don’t say things if there is no truth behind them. I’m not just going to forget about this.” Draco didn’t give her a chance to respond. He cupped her chin in his hand and pulled her to him roughly, kissing her full on the mouth much like she had done the night before.


Chapter 12: You don't mean that
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Draco kissed Hermione and it was like the long drink he had been waiting for. She sat there letting him kiss her, but not kissing back. After a minute she pulled back and said what she was dreading to say. She knew it wouldn’t make him happy, but she didn’t want to disappoint him once they were in a relationship.

“Draco I think that you like me too much. You shouldn’t like me. I wouldn’t make a good girlfriend. I have no experience and I just think it would be better if we went our separate ways and just forget this ever happened.” She tried her hardest to look at him but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

“You don’t mean that. I know you don’t,” he said. Hermione could hear the pain in his voice. “Damn it Hermione! You want this just as badly as I do, I know you do. I can see it in your eyes. Or maybe it’s the fact that you can’t look me in the face that was the dead giveaway. What are you afraid of Hermione?”

“I’m… I’m, not afraid.” She said her voice wavering.

“Oh yeah, now that was convincing.” Draco scoffed sarcastically. “Come on Hermione, I’m bloody begging you to be with me. I have pretty much lost all pride and dignity to the one person, except Potter, that I thought would never be able to bring me down. I don’t like this position of vulnerability very much to say the least, but never the less I am still a Malfoy and I’ll be damned if I don’t get what I want. And I want you.”

Hermione sat with her hands folded in her lap, her head down. She fought not to shed the tears that were threatening to fall and she thought, “Merlin, how do you say no to a speech like that?” She took a deep breath and looked up. His expression was nervous but hopeful at the same time. Her heart was screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!” but she was still the Hermione Granger who thought about everything forty time over from five different angles, and she wanted to think about it. “Draco, I… I need some time. Just to think it over, okay?”

“No.” he said simply.

“What?”

“I said no. You already have an answer and we both know it. I want to know right now. The only thing that ‘thinking it over’ would do would be giving you more time to think up even more ridiculous excuses as to why we can be together. Besides, why did you kiss me in the first place if you were planning on backing out like this? You must have some feelings for me.”

“You can’t just put me on the spot like this, I need to…”

“Yes or no Hermione?”

“But I don’t…”

Yes or no.” He said firmly.

“Yes.” She let the word slip out of her mouth knowing that after she said it there would be no way to take it back again.

“Yes?” He asked tentatively.

She cleared her throat and took a long deep breath. “Yes.” She said confidently. He smiled and pulled her into his arms.

“I’m not letting go, not even for a second.” He told her.

“I know.” She replied happily, realizing how close she came to ruining everything between them. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I was being so… weird. I think I was scared.”

“Wait, Hermione? You have had a boyfriend before right? I mean, I would hate to have to be your first, you probably don’t even know how to snog properly.” Hermione frowned and could almost feel the color draining from her face. She had only dated Victor for a few weeks, and that was long distance so it wasn’t a very physical relationship. She gave Draco a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me look and he could no longer keep a straight face. He broke out into a grin and said, “My, my, my. I never imagined that the smartest witch in Hogwarts would be this gullible. I was only teasing, Love.”

“Yeah, and if either one of us needs snogging lessons, its you.” She said playfully.

“Oh that’s it. Come here you,” he pulled her onto his lap and kissed her passionately. She wrapped her arms tightly around him and ran her fingers through the soft hair at the nape of his neck. In the middle of their passionate kiss, Hermione hopped off his lap and started for the door.

“Hey! Where do you think your going? No way are you just leaving me like that!” Draco said standing up and following her.

“My, my, my. The big, bad, Slytherin has a weakness.” She said playfully.

“Ha! You are not a weakness, just a… distraction.”

“Hmm, a distraction? Well I must be a pretty big distraction if you’re following me around like a lost puppy.” She said teasingly.

“I am not! I could ignore you if I wanted to.” He said defensively.

Hermione smirked. “I’ve got him right where I want him.” She thought. “Ha, I’d like to see you try.” She said.

“Alright, fine.” He replied aloofly. He immediately regretted accepting her challenge though. As soon as she turned around to start walking again, her hips had more of a sway to them, and she flicked her hair over her shoulder. He stayed a few paces behind her, but just far enough for it to look like they were going the same direction, but weren’t together. He had no clue where they were going, but he still followed her. Hermione suddenly dropped her wand on the ground and he could hear her mutter, “Woops.” As she bent down slowly to pick it up. Draco could tell she had done it on purpose, just to torture him. She slowly straightened up, knowing that she had just given Draco a perfectly good view of her backside. His mouth was dry and he swallowed hard, trying to fight off thoughts of Hermione. “Stay in control Draco,” he told himself. “Its no big deal, just going for a little walk is all.” A bit farther down the corridor, Draco noticed that it wasn’t only his attention that Hermione was catching. She was attracting the stares of other boys as well. It was no secret that Malfoy’s were jealous and possessive people, but Draco had finally gotten Hermione and he wasn’t willing to share any bit of her.

She had almost reached the Owlery when she felt two strong hands tighten around her waist. “Perfect timing.” She thought.

“Alright Granger, you win this time. Just stop the hip moving and the hair flicking and all the smirky flirtyness. The smirk is mine.” said a voice in her ear. She smiled. She turned around and grabbing him by the collar, she dragged him into the empty classroom she had stopped in front of. She pulled him in and shut the door behind them, then pushed him up against the closed door. She leaned in so they’re lips were almost touching.

“I knew you would crack.” She boasted.

“This time, Granger, this time.” He said. He looked down at her hands, which were placed on either side of his heart then back up at her face. “Since when did you become so… sexy minx-like?” he asked.

“Well, some one had to do it since you became such a softy.” She said smiling.

“Take that back! I have not become a softy.” He protested. He grabbed her by the shoulders and spun her around. She felt her back hit the wall, hard. Her bent down and kissed her fiercely on the mouth. He pulled away after a minute, breathing heavily. “See? I’ve still got it.” He said proudly. She giggled.

“Oh please. You’re a hopeless romantic Draco Malfoy and you know it.”


Chapter 13: Late Nights
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

That night Draco lay on his back on the common room couch, gazing down at the beautiful girl that was sleeping soundly on his chest. He rubbed her back gently in small circles as he listened to her shallow breathing. This girl, this wonderful, gorgeous, intelligent girl had more sides to her personality than an eight sided die. Each time he thought he had figured her out she would go and reveal another side of herself to him, and she never ceased to amaze him. Was it true? Had she really turned him soft? He wondered. Draco refused to admit that he had lost his edge, but whenever he was with her he was gentle, afraid that if he was too rough with her she might break. He had caused her enough pain from all the mean things he said in the past and he saw no reason to cause her any more. He stopped rubbing her back and let his hand come to a rest at the small of her back. As soon as he stopped she began to stir.

The slow, steady movement of Draco stroking her spine had coaxed her into a very tempting dreamland. Even in her deep sleep Hermione felt his hand stop, and reluctantly she pried her eyes open. She looked up and met Draco’s clear blue eyes. She smiled up at him before snuggling back down into his warm chest. She listened to his steady heart beat and felt his chest rise and fall as he breathed deeply. She was getting ready to drift back into her heavenly sleep when she heard Draco speak to her.

“Hermione we should go to sleep, it’s the middle of the night.” He said quietly.

“I am sleeping, can’t you see?” she murmured into his shoulder.

“You know what I mean. We should go to sleep in our own beds. I have a long practice tomorrow and you’re a couch hog.” He said teasingly.

“No I’m not.” She said stubbornly. “And besides, I sleep better when I’m close to you.”

“Really Hermione, we need to go…”

“Ugh fine.” She interrupted. She pushed herself off of Draco and hauled her tired body up from the couch, dragging Draco by the arm as she made her way up to her room.

“What are we doing?” he asked allowing himself to be pulled up the stairs.

“Going to bed, since you seemed so eager to get off that couch.” She answered. She pushed the door open and crawled under her bed covers. She moved over, making room for Draco who got in after her. She wrapped her arms around him and burrowed herself deep between him and the fluffy pillows. Draco pushed a few stray strands of hair from her face and kissed her on the forehead.

“G’night Love.” He whispered closing his eyes, but Hermione was already asleep.


Hermione woke up early for a Sunday. She looked down at Draco’s arm that had found its way around her waist during the night and smiled. She carefully untangled herself from his hold and tiptoed into the bathroom. Unfortunately, she had been cursed with terrible morning breath so she quickly brushed her teeth and slipped back into her room. Lowering herself to her knees, she leaned in so her face was only a few millimeters from his. “He must be sleeping well, usually he wakes up when someone gets too close.” She thought. She lightly pressed her lips to his, enjoying the tingling sensation she got each time they kissed. She was going to back away when she felt him kiss back. She giggled inwardly as he reached an arm around her neck deepening the kiss. He pulled away and smirked.

“I could get used to waking up like that every morning.” He said stretching his arms up then resting them behind his head. Hermione rolled herself on top of him and looked down at his still sleepy face.

“You know,” she said running her fingers through his messy hair. “There’s a Hogsmade trip today, and we could go… if you wanted to. Maybe go and check out the new dance shop that just opened up? Rebecca said it’s really nice.”

“Hermione, I can’t. I have Quidditch, remember? I’m sorry, how about next weekend?”

“Oh,” She said trying not to let her disappointment show. “Yeah, umm…sure next weekend. I was going to go see if the library had a new book I wanted anyways, so it’s fine.” She faked a smile. Ok, so maybe the part about the book wasn’t exactly true, and she wasn’t feeling all that ‘fine’, but she didn’t want to let him know that. “Hermione, your getting too attached already. It’s not like you can spend every waking minute with the bloke, he needs his space.” She told herself. Climbing off the bed for the second time she grabbed a change of clothes from her wardrobe and went back into the bathroom for a nice, long, hot shower. She let the hot jets of water beat down on her head and shoulders, trying to figure out what she was going to do all day. She popped the top on her shampoo bottle and vanilla honey jasmine smells filled the room, relaxing Hermione. “I guess I should work on that essay Professor Bins gave us,” she thought. “Or, maybe Rebecca would let me use the studio today.” She rinsed the foamy suds out of her hair and turned off the water taps. Using the quick-dry spell, she was dry in an instant and she dressed in her slim fitting blue jeans and grey boat neck sweater. Her hair was behaving for once in its life, and so she just left it down. Make up was unnecessary for Hermione, so her face was left free. She walked back into her room, but Draco had gone, to practice she figured. Slipping on some shoes she grabbed her dance bag and left for the Great Hall. She was hoping to catch Rebecca before she left breakfast. Fortunately for her, Rebecca was leaving just as Hermione arrived at the entrance.

“Ah, Hermione. What can I do for you today?” Rebecca asked politely.

“Um, I was actually wondering if it would be alright if I used the dance studio this afternoon if no one else is using it.”

“Oh course, you don’t even need to ask. Its all yours.” She said warmly.

“Thanks Rebecca. “ Hermione said as she turned and made her way down the corridor towards the studio. Once she got there however, she just stood in the doorway, staring at the empty room. The sunlight was pouring in from the large glass windows, and it cast a beautiful silhouette of her on the opposite wall. She looked out the great windows and could see Quidditch players the size of ants zooming around the pitch. She sighed and dropped her bag on the floor. She opened the bag and pulled out a muggle CD that her parents had brought her back from their last trip to France. It was songs by Francis Cabrel, a French musician that she had grown fond of. She didn’t speak French but the language was romantic even in the gloomiest songs. Putting the music on she listened to the lyrics, letting them carry her across the dance floor. Hermione didn’t care about the steps or the style of dancing. She didn’t care that she was not dressed for dance, or that her shoes were all wrong. She just danced, letting her feet carry her. The song played its sad melody as Hermione waltzed alone.

A hundred feet in the air, Draco watched a small figure in the studio below. He watched her as she turned and turned, then gliding as if she was weightless back and forth across room.

“Oy! Malfoy stop daydreaming and come back to earth!” One of his fellow Slytherins yelled. “Damn it Malfoy we have a match next week!” he swung his Beater’s bat at an approaching bludger, and aimed for Draco. The bludger grazed his left shoulder, guaranteeing that he would have a large bruise tomorrow.

“What in Merlin’s name was that for Brant?” Draco said rubbing his arm.

“We’re supposed to be practicing but all you’re doing is sitting there on your arse watching that filthy mudblood Granger dance. Now get back in here and find the bloody snitch!” he screamed before whizzing past Draco.

“Hermione?” he whispered to himself. He looked down again at the girl he had seen earlier. She was leaning against the wall, arms folded across her chest, staring out into space. “Maybe I should go see if she’s alright…” he thought.

“MALFOY!!!” The team was yelling for him now. “Or maybe I’ll just see her later.” He decided and flew back to the center of the pitch. The Quidditch captain, Lloyd Brant, was in the middle of a lecture.

“… So as I was saying before Malfoy decided to take a break from admiring mudbloods, we have a match against Gryffindor next Saturday so I want you all working 210% this week in practice. Well, that’s all for today. Go shower, you lot smell fouler than a band of muggles.”

Draco made a quick decent to the ground, but instead of the locker room he headed for the common room. He hurried up the stairs to the bathroom and went inside. The room still held a faint aroma of Hermione’s shampoo from earlier that morning, and Draco had to look twice to see if she was in there with him because the smell reminded him so strongly of her. He showered quickly, and dressed in khaki pants and a black sweater. Draco crossed the hall and looked into Hermione’s room, but she wasn’t there. Nor was she in the common room. He imagined she must still be in the dance studio, so walking as briskly as he could without running, he went to the dance studio. Draco couldn’t describe why it was that he needed to see her so badly, but he just knew he had to. Perhaps it was Brant's comment about her bloodline earlier. He reached the studio door and stepped in. She was playing a song that his mother used to play all the time. It was a sad song, a song about wishing for death. He doubted that she knew that’s what the singer was singing because he was pretty sure she didn’t speak French.

She was standing in the center of the room, humming the tune of the music. Draco walked up behind her and wrapped his arms protectively around her. She didn’t even turn her head to see who it was, she knew it was him. “Je L’aime a Mourir. That’s a very sad song.” He said in her ear.

“Mmm. You know it?”

“Yes. It was my mother’s favorite song. Je L’aime a Mourir, I want to die.” He said, hugging her tighter. “Dance with me.” She turned around and brought her arms up around his neck, and his arms found their way securely around her waist. They moved slowly to the music, almost not dancing at all, but only swaying. Draco brought his lips down to her neck, leaving a trail of butterfly kisses along her jawbone and behind her ear. Hermione’s heart skipped a beat, and she pulled back slightly so that she could have better access to his lips. She pulled him in for a kiss. He kissed back furiously, caressing her mouth with his warm tongue. Hermione sighed against his mouth.

“Draco…” she tried to get his attention. “Draco.” She tried again. He pulled away, looking irritated.

“What?”

“If you’re trying to get fresh with me, you’re going to need to wait until we get to the common room.”

Draco smirked and picked Hermione up off the ground and putting her over his shoulder. “Draco! Put me down right now! I mean it!” Hermione yelled trying her best to sound serious. But despite her best efforts, she couldn’t stop from laughing. “I can walk you know.” She said.

“Yes, I know that Love, but your too slow, and we will get there faster this way.

“If you were that desperate for a snog, Malfoy, you could have just said so.” She joked.

“Oh ha-ha, very funny Granger. You just wait till we get back, you’re gonna pay for that little comment of yours.”

“Draco!! Put me down!!” She yelled lightly pounding her fists on his back trying get him to put her down, but without hurting him. He just laughed.

“Put her down now Malfoy or you will regret it.” Someone said.


Chapter 14: Harsh words and sweet seduction
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: Hey everybody! Okay, I just thought I should tell you that there won't be any big dance scenes in the next chapter or two because there are other events that need to happen. But don't worry!! They will return, I promise. )

Hermione felt herself sliding down the front of Draco’s body as he lowered her back down to the ground. Once her feet touched down, however, Draco kept his hand securely on her hip.

“Harry?” Hermione said surprised.

“Take your filthy hands off her right now Malfoy, or I promise you will regret it.” He said with gritted teeth. Hermione looked up at Draco, unsure what to say. Just then, they heard Ron’s voice and clumsy footsteps coming down the corridor.

“Hey Harry wait up! Who was that git Malfoy picking on this time? Was it that hufflepu…” he stopped short when he saw Draco with his hands on Hermione’s hips, and Harry looking like he was about ready to kill. “What’s going on here?” Ron asked his face already reddening with anger.

“Umm…” Hermione began nervously. “Draco wasn’t hurting anyone you two, we were just playing around. See,” she twirled in a circle for them. “No harm done. I’m fine.”

“Hermione, why are you down here alone? With him?” Harry asked heatedly.

Hermione racked her brain for a way to say this without them getting mad. “Come on Hermione, think! Oh this is ridiculous.” She thought. She cleared her throat then glanced at Draco. Taking his hand in hers and lacing their fingers together, she said, “Well, you see Draco and I are sort of…” she didn’t know how to finish the sentence. He hadn’t asked her formally to be his girlfriend yet, and she supposed that they could be considered ‘dating’ but she wasn’t sure. The statement didn’t need finishing though, Harry and Ron took one look at Hermione and Draco holding hands and they got it.

“No. You can’t be serious Hermione. You must be kidding.”

“Hermione…are you daft? How could you? After everything he has done to us? To you? Can’t you see he’s evil? He’s just going to use you and…”

Ron! That’s enough. Draco is not evil and he’s changed. This isn’t the same little boy that used to pick on you. He’s grown up, now why can’t you?” Hermione said firmly. She felt Draco squeeze her hand.

“Hermione, this prat’s family destroyed the only family I ever knew. How could you do this to me? I don’t know why you would sink to this scum’s level.” Harry spat bitterly before storming off, Ron at his heals.

She began to go after them, but her hand was still firmly clasped in Draco’s. “He is not scum!” she yelled after them. Draco tugged at her hand and she leaned into him, fitting perfectly into the contours of his body. “I’m sorry about them.” She said sighing morosely.

“Oh, Potty and Weasel? Don’t be. I’ve stopped paying attention to them a long time ago.” He said. Hermione shot him a ‘be nice’ look, but he ignored it. “Hey, just because I can’t be without you doesn’t mean I need to like them too.” He remarked defensively. “Look, just forget about them, you don’t need them.”

“They were my best friends, Draco, my only friends for six years. I can’t just forget about them.”

“Alright. I understand that, but do you really care about what Potty and Weasel King think about us? Come on, just don’t think about it for once.”

Hermione hugged him tightly. Unexpectedly, Draco lifted Hermione into his arms again, this time carrying her with even greater ease than before. He carried her bridal style to the Head’s portrait hole, and this time Hermione didn’t complain about being capable of walking herself, or fret about being dropped. He brought her in and sat her down on the couch, finding the spot on her neck he knew made her shiver and kissed it.

“I believe they interrupted something…” he said seductively. He was tempting, oh Merlin he was tempting. Hermione could feel herself giving in to him. She tilted her head back, making it easier for him to get to her neck. He kissed his way up to her mouth and passionately kissed her lips. Hermione responded fervently, letting her hands wander up his chest on their way up to his hair. Draco bit gently at her bottom lip and Hermione gave a small involuntary moan. He broke away and looked down at her, smirking.

“What?” she asked.

“Oh nothing, its nice to know my work is appreciated is all.” He said slyly.

“You are so…”

“Arrogant?’

“Well, yes. But so…”

“Cocky?”

“Yes, that too, but you’re really…”

“Egotistical?”

“Oh, very much so but you need to let me…”

“Self centered? Spoiled? Rude? Insufferable?”

“Really Draco just let me finish my…

“And you just hate me don’t you?” He said still smirking. Hermione gave up.

“Yes. I absolutely despise you.” His face was getting closer.

“Good.”

“Good?”

“Good.” He closed the last few centimeters between them and kissed her softly.

“Draco?”

“Mm?”

“I was going to say ‘sexy’.” Hermione giggled. He wasn’t expecting her to say that, she could tell.

“Granger, you haven’t seen anything yet.” His eyes were filled with lust and he couldn’t wipe the smirk off his face. His fingers found their way to the bottom of her shirt, gently brushing the soft skin on her stomach. He let the travel up until he reached her bellybutton. He delicately traced the tiny circle as they kissed, making her entire body tingle with desire and want. The tickling sensation was making her giggle uncontrollably.

“Erm, Hermione, it’s very difficult to have a proper snog with you while your laughing. Do you think you could stop?” he requested.

“Really Draco, is that all you think about? Snogging me? Have some fun.” She said cheerfully.

“This is fun. No, it’s not all I think about. I also think about dancing with you, falling asleep with you, spending every minute of the day with you, as well as doing certain night time activities with you…” he said seductively.

“Wow, if that hadn’t been completely brought on by your sex drive that could have been somewhat romantic.” She said humorously.

“You know nothing of my sex drive.”

“Oh is that so?”

“Yes, it is so.”

“Well, I know enough to know that when I kiss you there,” she dragged a finger across the bottom of his throat, “You start squirming.” Then she kissed the spot gently, just to prove her point. And just as she predicted, he squirmed. “And I know that you like the dominant feeling of being on top of me, but when I do this,” she rolled them over so she was lying on top of him. “You like it even more.” When she finished they both were smirking. Hermione kissed him full on the lips, enjoying the drunken feeling that was washing over her. Draco’s tongue danced with hers, making her heartbeat go so fast she wasn’t even sure if it was still beating. She felt like she was floating. Nothing was holding her back. Draco tentatively let his hand go lower down her back till he reached the back jean pocket. When she didn’t pull away he slid his hand into the pocket on her backside. Hermione boldly let her hands drift over his toned abdomen, up his chest and down his shoulders. “I think I just found a new reason to like Quidditch.” Hermione thought to her self giddily.

With one hand in her back pocket, Draco’s free hand traveled up her back under her shirt. Hermione felt it going higher and higher until, “Wait a second,” she thought. “why can’t I feel my bra straps?” She pulled up from him and looked at his smiling face. “Oh that cheeky bastard. He’s gone and stuffed his hand under my bra!” He snapped one of the straps and giggled. Yes, Draco Malfoy, giggling. She shook her head at him, trying not to laugh herself. She got off of him and made her way towards the stairs.

“Goodnight Draco.” She said in a singsong voice.

“Not without me it isn’t.” He replied.

“You were right, you are cocky.”

“Well at least I can admit it. Now, my room or yours?”

“Yours.”

“Oh goody, home field advantage.”

“Your not getting shagged tonight Draco.”

“Darn.” Draco said disappointedly. He was following Hermione closely, admiring how nice her figure was.

“Draco?” she said from a few paces ahead.

“Yes?”

“Please stop staring at my ass.” She said as if she had eyes in the back of her head. He smirked. Just to annoy her further, he reached out and pinched her on the butt. A small yelp emitted from her mouth and she reeled around to face him, but he put his hand up to stop her before she could say anything.

“Don’t even say it. 1.) As your boyfriend I have the reserved right to stare at any part of your anatomy that I please, and 2.) It’s not my fault that you have a superb backside that is very easy on the eyes.”

“Why you little perv…” she started.

“And, you didn’t seem to mind when I had a feel of it earlier.” He raised his eyebrows at her, daring her to argue that last point. She blushed scarlet in embarrassment and kept her mouth closed. He continued to smirk. “See, now that’s what I thought.” He walked up the remaining steps then looked back at Hermione. “Are you coming?” he asked. She nodded and followed him through the doorway.


Chapter 15: How the other half lives
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“So this is what his room looks like.” Hermione thought. It was the first time she had seen Draco’s room and since their rooms at Hogwarts where mirrored off the ones they had at home, Hermione was getting a little taste of Malfoy Manor. The walls were deep green, along with the heavy velvet curtains. Shiny hard wood floor was beneath her, and the silver serpent was gleaming menacingly from every piece of furniture. What else should she expect from a pure blood Slytherin family?

“Well this is…homey.” She said sarcastically.

“I know, very cozy huh?” Draco replied, matching her tone.

“So this is how the other half lives. I must admit, I never on my life thought I would find myself in your bedroom getting ready to go to bed with you.” She said, but then quickly added, “And by going to bed I mean going to sleep.” Draco stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked down at his feet.

“Yeah, well… you’re here now so…” He searched for the right words to say to get rid of the awkward silence that had settled in the room.

“Umm, I just remembered that I don’t have my pajamas. I’ll be right back.” She turned to leave.

“No, wait. Here, you can borrow something of mine.” He walked over to the dresser quickly and pulled out a pair of boxers and a shirt and held them out to her.

“Really Draco, its okay, I’m just right down the hall I can go get my own…”

“But these are right here and then you wouldn’t have to leave at all.” She looked at him funny for a moment but accepted the clothes he had given her. Draco was afraid that if he let her leave then she might not want to come back again. “It’s all the Slytherin stuff, its scaring her.” He thought.

“Well, I’m going to go change in the bathroom, I’ll be right back.” He nodded and got changed himself, just into an old pair of sweats and a tee shirt, but somehow he managed to look sexy no matter what he wore. It seemed that the same could be said for Hermione, because as soon as she stepped out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, Draco knew that’s how he wanted to remember her forever. Dressed in his shirt and his boxers, hair cascading down her shoulders in a sloppy but attractive manner as she walked toward him, preparing to go to sleep in his room, and in his bed, with him.

“Do even have the slightest idea how good you look in my clothes?” he whispered in her ear as they climbed into bed.

“Well if they look half as good as they feel, then yes.” She said snuggling into his arms, pulling the duvet cover over them. “Goodnight.” She yawned.

“Goodnight.” He said kissing her on the cheek.


The next morning, Draco’s alarm woke him up early. He rolled over and went to put his arm around Hermione, but all he got was a pillow where her body had been the night before. Confused, he sat up and looked around the room and saw the clothes he had lent her folded neatly at the end of the bed. He showered quickly and dressed in his Slytherin uniform then set off to find Hermione. He found her lying on her stomach on her bedroom floor, frantically pulling things out from under her bed.

“Good morning Love, I was going to head down to go get some breakfast, do you want to come with… okay now what in Merlin’s name are you doing Hermione?” He said.

“I can’t find my other ballroom shoe, and we are starting fox-trot today. If I show up with the wrong shoes again Rebecca will kill me.” Came her muffled voice from under the bed. Draco looked around the room and saw the missing shoe lurking under a pile of books and papers.

“Erm, I believe I may have found it.” He said pointing to the pile.

“Really? Where?” Her head popped up and looked in the direction he was pointing. “Yes! There you are you little bugger!” she grabbed it and stuffed it into her bag. “Whew, okay I can give you a proper good morning now,” She leaned forward and gave him a soft, sensual kiss on the lips. “Good morning. Sorry I wasn’t there when you woke up but if you only knew how long it takes to control the wild beast atop my head.” She said referring to her long, thick hair. “Now let’s go, I’m famished.” Draco took her hand and they had almost reached the portrait hole when Hermione stopped.

“Um, what should we do about this.” She asked, holding up her hand that was securely attached to Draco’s. He brought her hand closer to him and kissed it.

“What do you want to do? It’s okay with me if you want to tell everyone. But whatever you feel more comfortable with.” He said.

“They’re all going to hate us. I’m sure we can expect a reaction like Ron and Harry’s from each Gryffindor, and I don’t even want to think about the Slytherin’s.”

“So we keep it a secret until later or until the golden duo rats us out?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Okay, then before we leave I need to do this…” He grabbed her hips and pulled her to him roughly, kissing her hard and full on the mouth. It was one of those earth shattering kisses that leaves you rooted on the spot long after it has ended. He ran one hand up her neck and through her hair. They both pulled away breathless.

“What was that for?” Hermione asked.

“If I’m not going to be able to touch you or kiss you all day then I need something to hold me over till after classes. Or dance class at the least. That kiss should last me about five minutes until I’ll need to do it again. Three minutes if there is major separation.” He said smiling, but it was a sad smile. They had both come to love the weekends when they could stay in their common room with each other all day.

“Come on, we’ll miss breakfast.” She said. They walked together towards the Great Hall. When they reached it, they decided that Hermione would go in first and Draco would follow her a few minutes later so no one would suspect anything. She walked in and took the first empty seat she could find that was facing the Slytherin table. She was piling eggs and toast onto her plate when Draco walked in. As he passed her he winked, then took his own seat at the end of the table. They had gotten there just in time. Hermione took her first bite of toast and the Great Hall filled with owls. “Right on time.” She thought. She watched as a hawk swooped down over the Slytherin table and dropped a rather fat looking letter on Draco’s lap. She kept her eyes on him as he opened it. He scanned over the information quickly and a large unhappy scowl fell on his face. He stood up and briskly walked out of the Great Hall, letting the doors slam behind him. Concerned, Hermione brushed the crumbs off her fingertips and grabbed her bag. She let herself fall into a group of Hufflepuffs that were leaving as well so no one would see her follow him out. She looked frantically for him, knowing that something must be wrong.

“Ah, Miss Granger just the witch I wanted to see.” Said someone from behind her. She turned to face Professor Dumbledore.

“Good morning Professor. What can I do for you?” she asked politely, but she looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was in the West corridor.

“Miss Granger?”

“What? Oh I’m sorry Professor. I’m just…you know, eager to get to class on this beautiful morning.” She put on a fake smile and stared at him right between the eyes. She learned this trick when she was eight. If you’re talking to someone and you want them to think your really paying attention, then you stare at the spot between their eyes.

“Well, I would hate to keep you from your studies, so may I escort you to class? There is something of slight urgency that I would like to discus with you.”

Hermione frowned. “Oh bugger, I’m never going to find him now.” She thought. But she straitened up and said, “Oh of course Professor Dumbledore.” She picked up her book bag that she had dropped, and started to walk with him towards Seventh Year Charms for the Highly Advanced Witch or Wizard.

“Now Miss Granger, I am saddened to tell you that your classmate and Head Boy, Mr.Malfoy, will be leaving us for a short time. There are some sensitive personal matters that need addressing and unfortunately he is the only one who can do so. I know this puts you in a great state of work. I will be assigning someone to assist you with your Head duties during Mr.Malfoy’s leave, and I’m sure that something can be arranged with Professor DePalma as well.”

Hermione stopped in her tracks. Draco was going away? What was wrong? Was he going to be okay? “Uh, Professor, could I speak to Draco before he leaves? Just to clear a few things up?”

“Well, I’m afraid that is impossible. He left just a few moments ago by floo powder. If you have any questions you may ask me or any of your Professors. Ah, yes. Here we are, have a good class Miss Granger and remember, my door is always open.” And he left her standing dumbfounded by the classroom door.

~*~*~Malfoy Manor~*~*~*~*

Draco sat on a plush couch in his parents’ study, a small mean looking man with knotted gray hair and evil looking eyes sat in an armchair across from him, and to his left was the current Minister of Magic, Atticus McPark. The small man stood and retrieved a piece of paper from the coffee table and held it out to Draco. Draco did not take it, he sat there glaring daggers at it and trying to make it spontaneously catch fire without performing magic.

“Mr.Malfoy, you need to read it.” Said the Minister.

“No I don’t. I could just throw it away. In fact, yes, that’s what I’m going to do.” He stood from the couch and tried to grab the paper from the man, but he pulled it back.

“Alright, if you won’t read it, I will.” He cleared his throat and began. “The last Will and Testament of Lucius D. Malfoy. I wish to leave half of my financial and real estate endowment to my son Draco Malfoy, and the other half to my wife Narcissa Malfoy. Certain articles I have collected in my lifetime will also be left to my son Draco. Well, I’m afraid that since your mothers half cannot be received by her, it will also go to you, Draco.”

Draco sighed. “Minister, the “certain articles” that are in his will are all things of Volermort’s. I want the ministry to have them. Destroy them, examine then, I don’t care just take them and make sure they are never used again. The house elves, well, send them to Hogwarts if they want, leave the choice up to them.” Hermione would be proud of him for letting the house elves go to Hogwarts. It was becoming a popular place for freed house elves. “And this house…” He needed to think about it. This was where he grew up, and where he spent every summer, but it held bad memories. It was death eater territory, and crawling with dark magic. He didn’t want to raise a family in this place. “Tear it down. The whole thing. I want it demolished.” He said. “I’ll keep the summer house though. No one is to touch that.” The summer house was on the beach, and was his mother’s favorite. His father had given it to her to decorate as she pleased, and it was a much happier, lighter atmosphere than Malfoy Manor. After all, he was still going to need a place to live after Hogwarts.

~*~*~ Back at Hogwarts~*~*~*~

Hermione waited until Dumbledore’s back had disappeared around the corner before she tore off running towards the common room. She yelled the password and raced up the stairs. She rushed into his room first, searching for a note, for anything that gave a clue that he was okay. “Breathe Hermione, just breathe. He’s probably just fine. No need to worry.” She picked up the clothes that she had left on his bed earlier and hugged them. They still smelt like Draco. Not finding anything, she walked across the hall to her bedroom and saw a white envelope on her bed. She pounced on it and tore it open reading it frantically.
Dear Hermione,
I’m sorry I didn’t get to say a proper good bye to you, but I had to leave in a hurry as I’m sure Dumbledore explained. I have business that I need to take care of but I hope to be back soon. I don’t know when, it could be a few days or up to a week. I’ll miss you, but please don’t worry about me. I’m fine.
Love,
Draco


“At least he’s okay.” She thought. She folded the letter up and put it under her mattress for safe keeping. “I just wish I could know where he is.” Hermione looked down at her watch. “I’ve already missed the first half of charms, I might as well just wait till my second class.” She sat in the common room thinking up of excuses she could give Flitwick for missing class. She has only missed that class once or twice her entire time at Hogwarts, so convincing him would be cake.


Chapter 16: The fall of Malfoy Manor
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: VERY IMPORTANT!! I'm leaving for spring break in a couple days so I won't be able to update. I will however update like a crazy woman the second I get back so I can get caught up. I'm not stopping, I just won't have access to my computer. Have a good spring break everyone! See you in a week!)

“…and so you see Professor Flitwick, it was then when I realized that I didn’t have any feminine supplies on me and I had to rush back up to my dormitories to…”

“Please, dear girl. I do not need to hear the details. Your absence has been excused, now off you go.” Said Flitwick. Hermione smiled pleasantly at him in thanks and left for her afternoon Transfiguration class. Arriving just in time, she took an empty desk near the front and pulled out her parchment and quill, ready for note taking. The hour passed slowly, and Hermione couldn’t stop thinking about what “business” Draco had to take care of.

“Miss Granger?” Professor McGonagall was trying to get her attention.

“Hmm?”

“Class has ended. I would suggest hurrying to your next class before you are late.” She said.

“Oh! Yes, you’re right. Goodbye Professor.” Hermione jogged down the corridor towards the dance studio. She walked in while Rebecca was addressing the class.

“…the fox-trot is one of the classic ballroom dances that… Oh Hermione, glad you could join us. If you would just wait in my office please, I will be there momentarily. Now as I was saying, the fox-trot is…”

Hermione opened the door to Rebecca’s office and sat down in one of the cushy chairs. A few minutes later, Rebecca came in and sat across from her. She smiled. “Don’t worry, your not in trouble. I was thinking since you and Draco know all the ballroom dances already, it would probably be boring for you two to just go over the basics again. I love the way you two dance together. Now I know you were upset with me for pairing you with him, but I think you have something special. Anyways, what I’m getting at is that I would love for you and Draco to dance the tango at the spring recital. What do you think?”

Hermione was gradually processing what Rebecca had said. Draco, her, dance, recital, people everywhere, tango, on stage, Draco, dance… “Well, it sounds alright to me but I’ll need to talk to Draco about it and he’s…”

“Oh yes, I know. He’s gone right now. Well, do you think he would do it?”

She thought about it. Draco getting to show off on stage in front of the whole school. “Yes, I think he’d do it.” She said.

Rebecca smiled. “Oh brilliant. I can’t wait to get started with you two. Since Draco will be gone this week, your welcome to stay and dance fox-trot with us, or your free to practice tango on your own time until Draco is back.”

“I think I’ll just practice on my own, thanks.” Hermione said. She was happy. This gave her free afternoons to do whatever she pleased. She stood and left, returning to the common room. She plopped her stuff down on one of the steps and went into Draco’s room. She laid on the bed and closed her eyes, taking in his smell that she missed already. Was he really going to be gone a whole week? “This is such a bummer.” She thought. “Just when things were going great between us he has to leave.”

~*~*~ One week later at Malfoy Manor~*~*~*~*

“Where do you want these boxes Mr.Malfoy?” asked one of the moving men.

“Its just junk, put it with the stuff that’s being flooed to the muggle market.” Draco instructed. He looked around his now almost completely bare manor. He had to clear it out before the ministry would send a demolition crew to take it down. He had gotten rid of almost everything. The only thing that remained was an old china set, and the library. It had taken him all night, but he went through every book in his parents’ library and thrown out all the dark magic ones. Now he just wasn’t sure what to do with the rest.

“Hey Dawes, could you box up the books in the library and send them to the summer house please?” Draco asked.

“Sure thing boss.” Said Dawes.

Draco walked over to the fireplace and tossed in a handful of floo powder. “82 Seaside Court, Cornwall.” Draco's vision blurred as he was whizzed past dozens of fireplaces. Once it stopped, he stepped out and brushed the soot from his clothes. “Welcome home.” He told himself. He didn’t visit this house very often, but when he did he always enjoyed it. The sun was shining brightly through the large bay windows and he looked out at the crystal blue sea. Opening a few windows to let the house air out, he then went into the kitchen. As one last favor, he had asked the house elves to stock this kitchen before they left and they were more than happy to do so. Pulling a bag of crisps from the pantry he pulled the bag open and began munching on them. He went outside to the backyard. There was a large green lawn and perfectly maintained flower beds overlooking the sandy beach below. He sat down on the porch swing and thought about Hermione. He couldn’t wait to get back to her. It was killing him not being able to hold her. And he thought having to go to class would be bad, this was much worse. She was his motivation to get this moving done so he could go back to her. Two loud pops interrupted his thoughts. He looked to his left and box after box of books were appearing beside him. Getting up, he picked up one of the boxes and took it into the study. One by one, he unloaded the boxes until he had a library that could rival Hogwarts’. He checked the clock on the wall and saw that it was nearly 7:00 and he had to meet the Minister back at Malfoy Manor to give him the final ‘okay’ to tear down the house. He flooed back and was greeted by the Minister and a construction crew, wands at ready.

“Mr.Malfoy, you’re sure you want to do this? I hate to be rude, but you’re only seventeen. Are you sure you won’t want this for the future?” One of the workers said.

“I’m sure. Take it down.” Draco said. He shook hands with head of the crew and they all exited the house. Standing in the driveway, Draco watched as the crew magically dismantled the house wall by wall. He felt a glimmer of satisfaction and revenge as he watched them demolish the house his father had loved so much. He turned to the Minister and shook his hand. “Thank you Minister, but I have my studies and a girl waiting for me back at Hogwarts so if I may leave now…”

“Ah yes, Miss Granger. A fine young woman, very intelligent. But there is one more thing; I will need you to sign a few papers regarding the objects of your father’s that you gave us. Standard procedure you understand. They simply state that you are signing them over to us.”

“How did you know about Hermione?”

“Dumbledore and I talk. Now those papers?”

“Uh, right. Yes where do I sign?”

“Right there.” Draco signed his name at the bottom and shook his hand again. The Minister handed him a portkey that was to take him back to Hogwarts.

~*~*~*~Hogwarts~*~*~*~*

With Draco gone, Hermione had fallen back into her old study habits, and now she was fast asleep at the common room desk with her head in her arms and books propped open all around her. Draco’s feet landed with a soft thump on the floor. When his head stopped spinning he looked forward and his eyes fell on a small figure hunched over a pile of books and papers. He smiled, knowing it was Hermione. He approached her and bent down to look at her face. “Merlin I’ve missed her.” He thought. He scooped her into his arms gently and carried her upstairs to her bed. He tucked her legs under the covers and was about to leave her when he felt her grab his hand. He looked down at her and smiled.

“Hey.” He whispered.

“Hey.” She said sleepily. “Don’t go. I have seen you in a week.” He slipped off his shoes and got in next to her. Before he was even all the way in she was kissing him. Hermione wanted him as close to her as possible, she grabbed at his shirt trying to pull him closer. She pushed his lips open with her own and worked her tongue in. He pulled back and smirked.

“So I guess you missed me a little?”

“Only a little.” She grinned. He kissed her sensually, his fingers playing with a lock of her hair. He moaned.

“God I’ve missed this.” He murmured into her hair. She sighed contently.

“I love you Draco.” She said softly, drifting into sleep.


Chapter 17: L-O-V-E
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: Hey people! I'm back from my spring break earlier than expected, so lucky you! Your getting this sooner. I couldn't leave you hanging for an entire week now, could I? I love all of you! Thank you so much for all the reviews! Now sit back, relax, and enjoy.)

She loved him. The word love was so foreign to Draco. He almost never heard it at all while he was growing up. If his father ever heard his mother saying she loved him, he would scream and yell that Malfoy’s love no one and she was babying him. But Hermione had said it. She loved him. She knew his bad family history, she knew of his jealous tendencies, and she loved him. Salty tears stung his eyes as he fought them back. No one had ever shown him as much affection in his entire life as Hermione had in a few months. He didn’t sleep that night. For hours he just laid there staring at her like she was crazy to be in love with him. And maybe she was, he didn’t know. After all, she had done some crazy things before. “I love her, I love her, I love her…” They were the three words that haunted him that night. He was afraid to tell her, even though he knew she loved him back. “I’m not good enough for her.” He thought. “But she picked me, out of all the blokes she could have had, she picked me.” He argued with himself. He looked out the window and saw the sun just barely coming up. He felt something stir beside him.

Hermione let her eyes flicker open and she yawned. She stretched her arms up high above her head and let out a content groan. “What time is it?” she asked. Draco looked at the bedside table clock.

“5:21 AM.” He announced kissing her on the forehead.

“You’re up early.” Hermione said.

“So are you.” Draco retorted.

“Yes, but I actually slept last night. You know, I didn’t sleep well once while you were gone. I guess you’ve grown on me.” She said lightheartedly. “So, are you going to tell me what the ‘mystery business’ was about?”

“Oh, it was just family stuff. I had to read my father’s Will.” He said his face tightening at the mention of his father.

“Oh.” She said softly. She decided to try and lighten the mood. “Oh hey, guess what? Rebecca wants us to dance the tango in the spring recital! I think it will be fun, and plus, we get out of dance class with everyone else to practice. What do you think? Do you want to do it?” she asked excitedly.

“Sure. When do we start practicing? It’s not until after winter holiday right?”

“No, it’s in winter and they call it ‘spring recital’ just for the fun of it. Yeah, it’s after the holidays. Which reminds me, we have another meeting with the prefects this afternoon about the Christmas Ball.”

“Okay, well I need to talk to Dumbledore about something so I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“What? You just got back here and you’re leaving me again? I don’t think so Draco Malfoy. I demand that you stay here and snog me senseless.” Hermione pouted. Draco took one look at her with her legs folded under her and in his shirt pushing out her bottom lip and laughed at her. He bent and kissed her on the cheek.

“I’ll be back soon, I promise.” He said walking towards the door.

“But Draco, its 5:30 in the morning. Do you really need to bother him at this hour? Why don’t you just come back to bed? No offence Sweets, but you look like a train hit you.”

“Yes, it is that important. Don’t worry, I’m fine.” He said. Just before he was about to leave, he turned at tossed something at Hermione. “I almost forgot, this is for you.” She caught it and opened her palm.

“A sea shell?” She examined it carefully. “Draco, why did you get me a sea shell? Where did you get me a sea shell?” She looked up quizzically at him, but he had already gone. Placing it delicately on the nightstand, she pulled the covers back over her head, determined to sleep a few more hours to pass the time.

Draco walked down to Dumbledore’s office and racked his brain for the password. “Cockroach cluster?” he tried. Nothing happened. “Fizzing wizbees?” Still nothing. And as if someone had switched the light on, he remembered. “Bernie Bots every flavored beans,” He said. “Ear wax flavor.” He was granted access and approached the heavy oak door that separated him from Dumbledore’s office. He took a deep breath and knocked loudly.

“Come in.” Dumbledore said from the other side. Draco turned the golden doorknob and pushed the door open.

“Ah yes, Mr.Malfoy. I had a feeling I would be receiving a visit from you soon. Your parents’ affairs were all settled without trouble I trust?” He asked politely. Draco nodded. “Yes, I’m terribly sorry about their unfortunate fate. I do hope you are doing alright?” Draco nodded again.

“Professor, I had a small, erm…favor, to ask you.” He said uncomfortably.

“Of course. What can I do for you?”

“Well, as I’m sure you know, I disposed of my father’s house and I’m planning on residing in my mother’s estate from now on. I was wondering if there was any way I could have permission for myself and Miss Granger to visit there over Winter Holiday.”

Dumbledore tapped his long index finger to his chin and appeared to be pondering the idea. He adjusted the half moon glasses that were slipping from his nose and looked at Draco.

“Well Mr.Malfoy, I must say this, I am very pleased that you and Miss Granger have been able to set your differences aside and develop a nice friendship-”

“Relationship.” Draco corrected.

“Of course, excuse me. A nice relationship, however, while you are allowed to return home and even bring a fellow classmate with you, you must agree that there are certain…suspicions, that arise when two teenagers of the opposite sex spend the holidays alone together, unsupervised. Are you following what I am saying?”

“You are worried that Hermione is going to come back pregnant?” Draco said, trying not to laugh at his current situation. It seemed like he was about to receive a sex talk from the Headmaster. “Professor Dumbledore I can assure you that…”

“However true that your word may be, as Headmaster it is my duty to look out for the well being of my students. I cannot permit you to be with Miss Granger unsupervised for a long period of time. While you are very close to adulthood, and while I trust you to make the right decisions, the reality still stands that you are not yet adults.” Dumbledore finished.

“But Sir, that’s where I will be staying alone over the holidays. And I hate to point this out, but I will be turning eighteen just a few days before the break, and therefore I would be considered a legal adult. So, shouldn’t the decision be up to Hermione where she wants to spend her time? Seeing as I would be the adult to supervise, there shouldn’t be any problems should there?” Draco said keeping firm eye contact with Dumbledore. “Dim witted old bat,” Draco thought. “Let’s see you get yourself out of that one!” Dumbledore fidgeted slightly in his chair.

“I see… I suppose you are right. I must agree that the decision to stay with you would be entirely Miss Granger’s, and I presume that you will take good care of her?” Dumbledore raised his eyebrows at Draco.

“Yes Sir. Of course I will. Thank you Sir.” Draco rose from his seat and turned his back to the professor.

“Oh, and one more thing Mr.Malfoy. Please contact Miss Granger’s parents before your departure, should she choose to accompany you.” Draco nodded. He walked back to the common room with an extra spring in his step. He entered the common room and took the stairs by twos, getting him to Hermione twice as fast. When Draco was back in her room he saw that she had gone back to sleep, the shell he had given her placed carefully on the bedside table. He climbed on top of her and covered her with his body. Feeling the weight press into her, Hermione woke and looked up at Draco.

“Hello beautiful.” He said kissing her on the forehead.

“Hello.” She said groggily.

“Come on, get up.” Draco said getting off her and pulling her up by the arm. She moaned unhappily at him for making her leave her warm bed.

“What? Why? Are we going somewhere?” She asked quizzically.

“Yes, we are going somewhere. Come on Hermione. You don’t even need to get dressed.” He took her hand and walked her downstairs to the fireplace.

“Is this allowed? Draco I don’t think we are supposed to be going anywhere. We have a prefect meeting in just a few hours.”

“I know, I know. Don’t worry, we’ll be back in plenty of time. I just want to show you where we are going to be staying over winter holiday.”

“Wha…” She began. Draco cut her off.

“82 SEASIDE COURT, CORNWALL!” Draco shouted. They clung to each other as they sped past dozens of open fireplaces. Hermione pressed herself tightly to Draco. They stopped and Draco got out first, then extended his hand to Hermione. She took it and he helped her out of the soot. She brushed some lingering ash from her pajamas and then looked up.

“Whoa…”


Chapter 18: Malibu Barbie's Dream House
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: Alright people! Lend me your eyes for a minute. I need to go on a little rant about something. I do not force people to read my stories. I do not promise that its "the best fan fic ever" nor do I have "come trash my writing" written anywhere on me. PLEASE stop saying that Draco is too soft, that it's lame he's a virgin, or that my dance scenes are unrealistic. I don't know how many times I have said that I don't dance so not everything I write will be correct. I'm sorry about that but I'm doing the best I can. I think it's great that people have their own opinions of my story and it's okay if you don't like it, but don't e-mail me telling me that I suck. It just makes me want to stop writing all together. I'm not going to because I know there are people who do like it, and I enjoy writing them. One more thing, you may have noticed the rating of this story going up and down between PG-13 and R. I'm doing this because I had a little problem submitting a chapter. I'm trying to fix it so that I can stay at PG-13 because I guess not all my readers can view the story on R. I'm trying I promise! So I think that's everything, so here's the next chapter.)

The sound of crashing waves was pounding in Hermione’s ears and the sun flashed brightly in her eyes. She walked gingerly across the hardwood floor and brushed her fingers over the soft Hawaiian print couches. Draco watched with an amused grin as Hermione examined the house carefully. She pushed open the glass doors that led to the deck and smiled at the view. Draco delicately pulled her around to face him. They both were smiling at each other with goofy grins.

“Do you like it?” Draco asked wrapping his arms around her.

“Of course I do! But I’m assuming you’re not giving it to me, so why do you want me to like it?”

“Well, if you want to you can spend the winter holiday with me.” He said. “Here.” He looked at her hopefully. Her face lit up with joy, but quickly fell.

“Draco, what about my parents? I want to be able to see them over holiday. I mean, I want to spend it with you to, I love you.” She cupped his face with her hands and looked him in the eye.

“She said it again.” Draco thought. “I have to say something, I can’t let her think I don’t feel the same. Come on Draco, think, THINK!” he told himself. He looked around the house then back at Hermione.

“Well,” he said. “I suppose we will just have to have them come here for Christmas now, wont we?” Hermione smiled.

“Do you really mean that? You want to spend Christmas with my parents? My muggle parents?”

“Yes, I do.”

Hermione squealed with delight and threw her arms around Draco. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are the best boyfriend ever!” she cried.

“I know.” He said smirking.

“You know Draco, if you don’t stop smirking, your face will get stuck like that.” Hermione said smartly.

“Well then I guess I’ll just have to keep my lips occupied so they wont smirk.” He said slyly.

“Oh, and what would you suggest?” Hermione asked playing along.

“This.” He bent down and captured her soft lips in his. His strong arms lifted her off the ground and she instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist so she wouldn’t fall. He walked backwards down the hall, never letting his lips leave Hermione’s once. His soft tongue tangled with hers that had found its way into his mouth. He set her down in front of a solid oak door.

“I have one more surprise for you.” He said breaking the kiss but leaving their lips in contact. She shook her head.

“No, you didn’t have to do that. The plans for the holidays were more than enough, I don’t need to be spoiled like this.” She replied.

“But I like spoiling you. And besides, I had to do this anyways I just thought you might enjoy it as well.”

“Draco Malfoy what on earth have you done?” She said sternly. He laughed at her seriousness.

“Don’t worry Hermione, I’ve kept out of trouble, I’ve just been putting this together…” Her turned the heavy gold handle on the door and held it open for her to see. Hermione gasped.

“It’s a…a…it’s the largest, most…magnificent and beautiful, and elaborate library I have ever seen.” She said flabbergasted. (A/N: Think the library from Beauty and the Beast. Its reeeally big.)She walked in a daze to the center of the large room and stared at shelves and shelves of books. “Oh my gosh, I’m so happy right now I could just…”

“Dance?” Draco finished for her. She giggled and nodded. In three quick strides he had made it to her and he swooped her up in his arms as he walked past her. With a free hand he conjured up a fast paced waltz tune with his wand, and then he hooked an arm around her trim waist and she grabbed onto his shoulder tightly. They beamed at each other, Hermione giggling as she tried to keep up with Draco’s long strides. She pulled herself together and swallowed her laughter. She straightened her back and put more force into her arms. A mysterious glint had appeared in her eye, and it was obvious that a battle for control was beginning to stir. Draco was leading her faster, and more forcefully. Their eyes were locked on one another, neither one backing down. It was a staring contest, and a dance contest. Winner takes all. In this case, the winner gets to gloat as much as he or she pleases. Hermione pulled herself from Draco and spun twice quickly then fell back into step, not missing a beat.

“Not bad Granger, not bad at all.” He said smirking. “But you can’t beat me. I’m a Malfoy, I always win.”

“Well I’m a Granger, and I never give in or back down. Ever. So we’ll just have to see about that wont we?” She responded stubbornly. Hermione leaned in really close to Draco so their lips were almost touching. Her hot breath on his face was driving him mad. He looked down at her full, rosy lips for one second, and he stumbled slightly. Hermione grinned evilly, her tactics having had the desired effect. She moved her hand off his shoulder and down his back until she reached the top of his pants. “I’ve got him now.” She thought. She could see the sweat beads forming on his forehead and she knew he was in too good of shape for it to be from their dancing. She slipped a couple fingers under the hem of his pants and felt something hard brush against her thigh. She grinned and tried not to giggle. “Draco Jr.” was getting a little too happy from Hermione’s bold movements. She stopped dancing and Draco followed her lead, his face flushing pink from embarrassment. It was over, she had won and they both knew it.

Draco cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably before Hermione broke the silence. “Oh don’t be embarrassed Draco, in a way it’s kind of flattering in a really weird way. I mean, when the guy likes you so much that he gets…okay I’m not helping am I?” She chuckled. Draco swung one arm around her waist and one around her neck and kissed her with all the pent up passion he had in him. She was starting to get into it when he pulled away and whispered into her ear.

“I will get revenge for that one Granger. I don’t accept defeat well.” He said.

“Oh yes I know that. I have watched Harry beat you in Quidditch for six years.”

“You will pay for that one young lady.” He made a grab for her but she was too quick for him. She ran barefooted out the door, down the hall, through the common room, and out onto the back porch. Draco ran after her and pulled her down into the plush green grass. They tumbled in a heap of laughter and limbs. They stopped moving and lay next to each other on their backs, gazing up at the clear morning sky. Hermione sighed.

“This place is perfect. It’s like, Malibu Barbie’s Dream House or something.”

“Malibu what?” Draco asked confused.

“If someone,” Hermione poked him in the ribs. “Would pay attention in Muggle Studies, he would know that Barbie is a muggle play toy that little girls play with. She is perfect in every way and has the most ideal life, and this house looks like something from the Barbie play collection.” Hermione rolled onto her stomach and looked at Draco. “We need to get back. I have to put some normal clothes on before the meeting, I can’t very well wear this can I?” she pulled at Draco’s shirt that she was wearing. Draco smirked.

“Why not? I bet I’m not the only one who thinks you look sexy in my clothes.”

“Draco, you know why I can’t. People would know we’re together and I’m not ready to tell them yet. Besides, it would look like we just…you know.”

“Shagged?” He raised an eyebrow. Hermione blushed and nodded. "And that would be a bad thing?" She stood up and brushed the grass and dirt from her bottom then offered her hand to Draco. He took her petite hand in his big one and kissed it. "Come on, let's stay just a little longer. We could have fun here." He said with a wink. She shook her head and yanked at his hand, trying to get him to move faster.

“Hold on Hermione, you’ve got something on you, I’ll get it.” He reached out and grabbed her butt.

“Hey! That was very inappropriate.” she exclaimed. She was grinning though, so Draco didn’t think she was actually mad. They traveled back to Hogwarts together through the emerald green flames. Tumbling out of the fireplace, Hermione raced upstairs to get changed. Minutes later she came back down with a denim skirt and a black turtleneck on. She slid her feet into a pair of casual slip-ons and headed in the direction of the portrait hole.

“Are you coming?” She asked impatiently. Draco got up from the lazy chair he had been sitting in and walked over to Hermione.

“Yeah, it looks like I am doesn’t it?”

“Let’s just get this over with. Then we have to run everything by Professor McGonagall. Oh yes, and I must get that extra credit in to Professor Binns by this afternoon as well…” Hermione began going through her entire schedule. Draco tuned her out and focused in his own thoughts. He loved how she was so outgoing when she was with him, but she never wanted to change herself to fit him better. She remained Hermione Granger, bookworm, worrywart, and highly opinionated free thinker that she had always been, but Draco brought out her more sensual side. The side that ruled her tango dancing, risk taking, relationship having, unbelievably good snogger, side. He looked over at her and smiled. She was still talking a million miles per minute.

“…and I think it would be a great idea. What do you think Draco?” She looked at him expectantly.

“I… er, I think it’s a brilliant idea.” He said hoping that was the answer she wanted to hear. He watched her smile grow broader. “Yes, I got it right.” He thought. They stopped in front of the meeting room and Hermione took a deep breath and adjusted her skirt. She flicked her hair around a bit then put a smile on and walked through the doorway, Draco close on her heals.

“Good afternoon everyone, I’m sorry we’re a little late but let’s get started right away.” Hermione and Draco took their seats at the long table with all the prefects. “So… Brianna did you get the flyers for the Christmas Ball posted?” Hermione asked the Ravenclaw prefect. The girl nodded.

“Yes, I put them up last week, just like you asked.” She said.

“Good. I’m guessing everyone knows its tomorrow night then?” The whole table nodded. “Well, great. I know it’s a bit last minute this year, and I’m sorry that I fell behind in planning but due to the absence of our Head Boy, I was unable to get all the work done.” She glanced over and Draco and he reached for her hand under the table. She smiled at him and continued. “However, we are back on schedule and every thing is set for tomorrow. There is class on Monday so I would suggest going straight to bed after the Ball and not partying. I have a notice from Madam Pomfrey saying that she will not be distributing hang over potion Monday morning. If you all could pass on that message to the members of your houses, I think we can avoid some migraines. The Ball will commence at 8 o’clock and will go till midnight, but of course you are not required to stay for the entire time.” Hermione lectured.

“You will all need to have a date, as well.” Draco added, looking at Hermione as he said it. He squeezed her hand and she grinned and nodded at him. “So don’t forget to ask someone.”

“If there aren’t any questions then I think we are done here.” She concluded. Dennis Creevy spoke up.

“I have a question. Why do you always do all the work when all that lazy arse does is sit around and take credit for your work?” Dennis said angerly.

“Dennis, Draco does work very hard. We are a team, he just had other matters to take care of last week. I do not appreciate you accusations. This meeting is over.” She stood and walked briskly towards the door. She forgot that her hand was intertwined with Draco’s and she pulled him up as well, exposing their joined hands. Not stopping to look at the surprised and confused faces behind her she stomped out of the room. Once they were out, she began ranting.

“How dare he? I never let anyone take credit for my hard work! Not even you (no offence). And its not like it’s your fault that you had to leave last week, you couldn’t help it! And besides, we’re back on track so it’s not like he had any bloody thing to worry about!”

“Hermione, calm down. I think the cat is out off the bag.” Draco said.

“What are you talking about?” she asked confused. He held up their hands for her to see. She looked at them and her face went blank.

“Oh…” she said quietly. “Maybe they didn’t notice?” she suggested. He shook his head.

“Oh they noticed all right. But hey, we were planning on telling everyone tomorrow anyways right? I mean, you will go with me to the Ball wont you?” Draco asked.

“Of course I will. I would love to.”

“Then there is nothing to worry about. Right?”

“Right…” Hermione agreed, but somehow she wasn’t so sure.


Chapter 19: Hermione Exposed
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The next morning while Draco was at Quidditch practice, Hermione sat on her bed flipping through Madam Glenmore’s Dresses for all Occasions (Magical and otherwise) trying to find a dress for later that night. Her studies and her relationship with Draco had left her no time to go shopping for a dress, so now she was relying on the magazine’s promise, “We instantly deliver! If its not there in 9 seconds then your dress is on us!” to bring her a dress on time. She had almost finished looking at all the pages and was going to give up hope when something on the very last page caught her eye. Its picture was smaller than all the others, so she imagined that it must not be a very popular dress. She held the magazine closer to face to get a better look. It was a pastel pink dress that had straps about the thickness of her index finger and was tightly fitted on top like a bodice. The bottom flowed out softly and stopped at the knee. “It’s perfect!” she thought. She followed the ordering instructions and a few seconds later, a shiny silver box appeared next to her on the bed. She pulled the dress out and put a few Galleons in its place. The box then disappeared with a loud *CRACK!*. She unfolded the dress then held it up to herself and gazed at her reflection in the mirror.

“What are you waiting for dear? Put it on.” Said the mirror. Hermione jumped, startled by its voice. She unzipped the back and prayed that it would fit. The dress slid fluidly up her thighs and over her shoulders. She struggled with the zipper, but after five minutes of tugging and pulling, she was finally able to get it up. She turned and looked at herself.

“Pretty as a Princess my dear. You’ll knock him off his feet for sure.” The mirror complimented.

Hermione smiled graciously. “Thank you.” She twirled a couple times, enjoying the lightness of the dress and the flowing feeling. The soft pink matched perfectly with her skin tone, making it look a tad tanner than it actually was. She decided to wear her tango dancing shoes since they were molded to fit her feet flawlessly. She wanted to look good, but she wasn't about to sacrifice her feet just for a pair of dangerously high stiletoes.

She was just stepping out of the dress when her bedroom door swung open and Draco walked in, sweaty and flushed from practice.

“Hey ‘Mione, I’m back from pra…WHOA!” He stopped dead in his tracks and gawked at Hermione standing there in her underwear. Hermione expected him to advert his eyes and walk back out apologizing, but he didn’t. He stood there looking her over. She glared at him.

“Don’t you knock?” she spat. “I’m changing here!”

He smirked. “Yes I can see that. You’re doing a good job too, keep going.”

“OUT!” she yelled. He scampered to the door and let it shut loudly behind him. “Urg! Typical boys! Can’t even respect a person’s privacy…” she mumbled angrily. She layered on more clothing than she had planned to wear, Draco’s interruption left her feeling very exposed. Even though he was her boyfriend, she had never had a guy just stand there looking at her half nakedness. Throwing on a second sweater just for good measure, she went downstairs to the common room. She saw Draco in one of the easy chairs reading, so she took a seat on the other side of the room. Draco looked up at her and laughed.

“Are you planning on going skiing, Love? I think your wearing enough clothes for a week in Aspen.” He said teasingly. She shot a nasty look in his direction. He laughed again and stood up and walked over to where she was sitting. He sat down next to her but she turned her body away from him. He pulled her into his chest and wrapped his arms securely around her. “Oh come on Hermione, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it, it’s in my nature.”

“Hmph.” Was all that came from Hermione.

“Don’t be mad at me. Hey, if it makes you feel any better, you have the hottest body I have ever seen.” He said smirking. He pulled her closer to him and she felt his sweat on her dry cheek.

“Ew! Ew! Gross, Draco go shower, your sweating all over me, yuck!” She tried to fight her way out of his arms but he just tightened his hold.

“I’m not letting go until you say you forgive me.”

“Yuck! Yuck! Ok I forgive you, now let me go, you smell.” She exclaimed. He just chuckled at her sour expression. “Ew, now I need a shower.”

“Care to join me then?” Draco asked slyly.

“No.” she said firmly. He shrugged his shoulders and trudged up to the bathroom. After she heard the shower turn on, she giggled. As embarrassed as she was, she was comforted by the fact that Draco found her very attractive. Herself, she had never found anything about her body or her personality that was anything above average, but it was nice to know that other people did. Ten minutes later Draco came back downstairs in clean clothes, running a towel through his damp hair. He sat next to Hermione again and pulled her into his lap. She combed through his hair with her fingers and kissed him on the forehead.

“I’m so glad you stopped abusing the gel bottle.” She said.

“Yeah? And why is that?” he asked.

“I can run my fingers through it now. Not that I ever tried before, but I imagine it would be like trying to cut a piece of steak with a spoon.” She answered.

“Hey! That’s mean.”

“No.” she laughed. “That’s true.”

“I think I deserve a snog after being so brutally attacked by your insults.” Draco pouted.

“Ha! You know perfectly well that what I just said wasn’t an insult. All our conversations before this year, now those were insults. It was more like a snide comment.”

“Do you always have to be right?”

“Yes. I do.” She said smiling proudly.

“Fine then, but I’m all clean now, so does that mean I can snog you?” He asked hopefully. Hermione giggled.

“I suppose, but then I have to go get ready for the ball.”

Draco checked his watch. “Hermione, its only 1:30, we still have plenty of time.” Hermione gasped and leaped off his lap. “Oh no, what are you doing? Are you serious?” He asked.

“I can’t believe its 1:30 already! I’m so behind, I’ve got to go get ready with the other girls. I’ll meet you in front of the Great Hall at 7:30 tonight okay?” She gave him a quick peck on the lips and raced upstairs to grab her dress. She rushed back downstairs and passed a very confused Draco.

“What on earth could she possibly be doing that would take six hours?” He wondered. “Girls…” A few seconds later the portrait banged open again and Hermione ran past him.

“I forgot my shoes.” She said over her shoulder. She came down, shoes in hand and bent down to kissed him again but this time he grabbed her wrist and deepened this kiss. “Draco I *kiss* have to *kiss* go *kiss* get ready. *kiss* Bye!” He let go of her and watched the portrait slam behind her for the second time in the last minute and a half.


Hermione fought her way through a sea of excited girls, attempting to get to Ginny. She spotted flaming red hair towards the back of the room and she began to push her way through. “Hey! Ginny!” Hermione cried.

“Oy Hermione, over here. Come on…just a little bit more…there!” Ginny grabbed her hand and pulled her through the mob of girls into a small but less crowded corner. “Oh hurry up, let me see the dress!” Ginny exclaimed. Hermione pulled it out of her bag and held it up for her to see. “Oh sweet Merlin it’s gorgeous! It’s going to look absolutely fantastic on you I’m sure. Draco is going to die when he sees you.”

“Draco? How do you know about Draco and me?” Hermione asked worriedly. Ginny bit her lip.

“Half the school knows. Dennis said he saw you two holding hands at the prefect meeting and so now everyone is talking about it. A couple of Ravenclaw boys have a bet going to see if you have the guts to bring Draco as your date tonight. I’m really sorry Hermione. You know how these things are, they just slip out. It’s really hard to have secrets at Hogwarts.” Ginny put her hand on Hermione’s shoulder. “But if it helps, I think you two look cute together.” Ginny said, trying to cheer her up. “And he’s a great dancer.”

Hermione looked up at Ginny with an expression that fell somewhere between nervousness and excitement. “I love him Ginny. I do. And I told him already. He didn’t say it back but I know he loves me too. There is something that just draws me to him and I can’t fight it. I don’t want to fight it. He and I, it just feels…right in every way. He even wants me to spend Christmas with him, and he invited my parents too! I just don’t know how I can tell all this to everyone at Hogwarts so that they would understand.”

Ginny held up a curling iron. “Show them. Don’t tell them. You are going to be the most stunning girl at this ball tonight and you are going to walk in proudly, with Draco on your arm and your going to show them. Now go put your dress on and then we can start on this hair of yours.” Hermione nodded and weaved her way to the bathroom to change. After waiting nearly thirty minutes for the bathroom to be available, she finally got in and changed quickly. When she got out she was relieved to see that the crowd had died down and people where now waiting in the common room. She found Ginny already in her own dress which was a deep emerald green strapless dress.

Before Hermione could even compliment her on her dress, Ginny pointed to a chair in front of one of the large mirrors. “Sit. We have a lot of work to do with this.” She said, referring to her hair.

~*~*~ FASTFORWARD TO 7:15 PM ~*~*~*

“Ginny I’m really nervous. What is everyone going to say?” Hermione asked her friend in a shaky voice.

“Hermione, you look beautiful. You will go to this ball and have fun. You will dance until your feet can’t take it anymore. But you will not care about anything that anyone has to say about your relationship. It is none of their business anyways. Now you will march your behind out of this tower and meet your date. Got it?” Ginny said forcefully.

“Gin, has anyone ever told you that you are becoming more like your mother everyday?” Hermione asked.

“Yes, now go before your late. I’ll see you down there.”

“Thanks for everything Ginny.” Hermione hugged Ginny before she walked hurriedly to the Great Hall. She paused at the top of the staircase and looked down. Draco was standing there waiting for her. Her breath caught at the sight of him. He was looking more handsome than ever in crisp black robes, with his hair combed back neatly, but not gelled. He hadn’t spotted her yet, so she began her decent down the stairs. She was almost halfway down when he looked up. She smiled at him and his eyes went big and his jaw dropped.


Draco had been waiting for Hermione for five minutes when he glanced at the stairs for the millionth time. The first thing he saw was a pair of tango shoes and he knew instantly that it must be Hermione, because no other girl at Hogwarts would wear them to a Ball. The small feet were followed by long, smooth legs, then the hem of a light pink dress, then the toned torso, the breasts that Draco had to admit he stole glances at when Hermione wasn’t looking, and finally his favorite part. Hermione beamed at him from her spot on the stairs. Her hair was falling in soft curls around her shoulders, and the only makeup that Draco could see was her peach lip gloss that he was very temped to remove with his own lips. He was pretty sure that he stopped breathing when he first saw her legs, but now he had to remind himself to suck in oxygen or he might pass out. He had never seen her as breathtaking (literally) as long as he had known her. She reached the bottom and he made an attempt to speak.

“Y-you…I like, your…wow ohmygod.” Hermione laughed. She touched his forearm and sent a shock through his body.

“Relax Draco. And you might want to…” She cupped her hand under his chin and pushed it up. “There, now you won’t catch any flies.” He laughed nervously.

“Really Hermione, you look absolutely beautiful. I’ve never seen anyone so gorgeous.” He said earnestly. She smiled graciously.

“Thank you Mr.Malfoy. You’re looking quite dashing yourself.”

“Shall we Miss Granger?” he asked offering her his arm.

“Yes, we shall.” She looped her arm through his and they started for the entrance.


Chapter 20: The Christmas Ball
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: I debated a lot about this chapter. It’s the Christmas Ball chapter, so it seemed fitting that there would be dance scenes involved, however ballroom dancing at a school function just didn’t seem realistic to me, and I could just see the reviews now, “Why would you have them dancing tango at a school dance? No one does that anymore you dummy!”. Never fear, there is dancing, but not the kind that Draco and Hermione have been doing in the previous chapters. Also, Ron and Harry make their way back into the story. Enjoy. Oh yeah, and there will be a second part to the Christmas Ball.)


“Miss Granger! Mr. Malfoy! Wait!” Draco and Hermione turned and saw a disgruntled looking Professor McGonagall coming towards them. “Professor Dumbledore would like you to wait and enter after everyone has arrived. He says that he would like to make a small thank you speech to you two and he would like everyone to be there.” She said trying to catch her breath.

“But Professor, we have almost thirty minutes before the ball starts. What are we supposed to do until then?” Hermione asked.

“That I do not know Miss Granger. I’m sure that you will be able to come up with something to occupy yourselves. I must say, I am very proud of you both for choosing to accompany one another to the Ball this evening. You are setting a wonderful example of house unity. Now if you will excuse me.” With that, she turned on her heal and walked hurriedly to a group of Slytherin boys who were trying to sneak in Fire Whiskey under their dress robes.

“Well, now what are we supposed to do?” Hermione asked Draco.

He took her hand. “Come with me.” Draco led her around the corner and down the corridor. He stopped in front of a small door and opened it. He stepped in and pulled Hermione in after him then shut the door behind her.

“Draco where are we? Are we in a closet?”

“Sort of,” He replied. “I found this place in the third year. It’s kind of like a closet I suppose, but I always thought of it as my own little hideout.” The room was very small. It was just big enough for two people to sit comfortably.

“I can’t see anything.” Hermione said fumbling around in the darkness. Draco flicked a little switch on the wall on and a dim glow was cast around the tiny room. Hermione noticed an old easy chair that looked like it had once belonged in a house common room. Draco sat down on it then motioned for Hermione to sit on his lap. She did, and he pulled her closer so that his face was right at the nape of her neck.

You are so beautiful Hermione Granger. I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I thank Merlin that I did. You look absolutely dazzling tonight. I couldn’t breathe when I first saw you coming down those stairs.” Draco whispered softly into her ear.

“So, was I worth the wait?” She asked with a smile.

“Defiantly.”

His lips brushing lightly against her earlobe sent a tingling sensation throughout her making her body hum. She pressed her lips against his tenderly then rested her head on his shoulder. Draco licked his lips.

“Hmm, so it really does taste like peaches.” He said. Hermione chuckled quietly. “Any chance I could get another taste?” he asked slyly. Hermione laughed, but then turned very serious on him.

“Yes, but if so much as mess up one hair on my head then so help me Merlin, I will hex you into oblivion.”

“I’ll be on my best behavior, I promise.” Draco smirked. Hermione could see the lust in his eyes and she knew that he must be lying. He snaked one hand up her back and around her neck cradling it and drawing her closer to him. Their lips met softy at first, but soon became more needy and frantic. Hermione adjusted herself so she was sitting more comfortably on Draco. She moved her knees so there was one on either side of him, straddling him. He moaned into her mouth and ran a single finger down her spine, making goose bumps appear along her arms and legs. She leaned forward a little bit because the heel of her shoe was digging into the back of her thigh. Draco made a noise that sounded like a low growl. He broke the kiss.

“ ‘Mi, don’t…move…” He said breathing heavily. Hermione looked at him concerned.

“What’s wrong?” She asked. He groaned again.

“When you do that I get… I mean, just trust me. If you move like that again you may be starting something you don’t want to finish.” He looked almost in pain. Hermione realized that she had been grinding her hips into him every time she moved, and her previous self adjustment had not helped the matter.

“Oh Draco, I’m sorry. You know, I think we should just head into the Ball now before this, before we, get out of hand.” She got off of him and straightened out her dress and then turned to wipe her lip gloss off of Draco’s face. She took her hand in his and they went back to Great Hall. They could hear Dumbledore speaking as they walked in.

“And I would like to thank our Head Boy and Girl for working so hard, along with our prefects, to make this Ball a success. Mr. Draco Malfoy and Miss Hermione Granger, thank you. And to everyone else, have a wonderful evening.” Dumbledore said nonchalantly to a crowd of stunned Hogwarts students.

All eyes were on the couple that had just entered. Draco and Hermione fidgeted under all the stares. Everywhere Hermione looked she saw an angry Gryffindor or a disgusted Slytherin. It was her fears confirmed; everyone hated the idea of them being together. The room was so quite you could hear a pin drop. A Ravenclaw boy nudged his friend and said in a triumphant whisper, “You owe me three galleons!” Hermione and Draco walked through the crowd over to the table that had been reserved for them. Dozens of pairs of eyes followed their every move. Music started playing but no one could tear their eyes away. Finally, Draco had had enough. He twirled Hermione into him and bent her backwards into a deep dip. He kissed her deeply on the mouth and gasps echoed throughout the room. Pulling a very embarrassed and flushed Hermione back up to her feet, he turned to face everyone.

“There! Is that what you were all waiting to see? So we’re dating. Big deal! Now leave us the bloody hell alone before I make you!” He shouted. People started backing off and leaving to go find their friends. Hermione looked around and saw Ron in the corner standing next to Harry with clenched fists. Harry appeared to be mumbling something though gritted teeth.

“I’ll be right back.” She told Draco. She walked over to her former friends and attempted to make polite conversation.

“Hi Harry, hi Ron.” She said tentatively.

“Do you hear something Harry?” Ron asked.

“No, I don’t believe I do.” Harry answered.

“Oh come on you two! Stop acting like such children. It’s not a big deal really…” Hermione tried.

“Not a big deal?!” Ron scoffed. “Snogging our worst enemy in front of the entire school is ‘no big deal’ to you?!”

“In all fairness I wasn’t expecting him to do that.” She said defensively.

“What do you want Granger?” Harry spat. Hermione cringed at Harry’s cold tone.

“I want you two to give Draco a chance.” She said. Ron laughed but she continued. “If you would just get to know him then you would know that he’s a really sweet guy, and he’s not like his father. Honestly, do you think I would even give him the time of day if he was? You know how much I despised him when we were younger, so you should know that I wouldn’t be dating him if it wasn’t true that he has grown up. Unlike you two. Think about it. I still want us to be friends, its both of you that are being unreasonable.” With that she turned on her heal and walked away. She returned to Draco, who held a drink out to her.

“Thanks.” She said accepting it and taking a sip.

“So how did things go with Potter and Weasley?” He asked. Hermione shrugged.

“I don’t know. It’s up to them now. I’ve said what I wanted to say.” Draco took her drink from her hand and set it down on the table.

“Come on,” He said. “Let’s dance.” She put her hand in his and swayed her hips as they strutted onto the dance floor. She let herself get lost in the music. For an instant, she was back on her parent’s deck with the beat pulsing through her body. However, then she was alone, now she had a partner. Draco sandwiched his leg in between Hermione’s and he pressed his hand on her lower back, drawing her to him. This was not the dancing that Hermione was used to, but for tonight she didn’t care. She was enjoying the closeness and music and just the whole atmosphere.

“You did a brilliant job with this Ball Hermione.” Draco said in her ear.

“Well aren’t you just full of compliments tonight.” She said laughing. He had been nothing but a gentleman all night. Actually, it was starting to bug her. She loved how sweet and gentle he was with her, but sometimes she missed his bad side. She leaned in and put her lips right up to his ear.

“You know, I wouldn’t mind if the bad boy Draco made an appearance tonight…” she said lightly biting his earlobe. She knew that was the last thing he was expecting her to say, but he wasn’t complaining. He pulled her closer so she was pressed tightly up against his chest and he was moving harder against her. Grinding, if you will.


“Oy, Ron, did you know she could do that” Harry asked shocked as they watched Hermione and Draco dance.

“Huh…what? Oh, no I didn’t. But Malfoy is getting a little too touchy feely if you ask me. I don’t like how far south that hand of his is going.” Ron said.

“But she’s laughing, Ron. How can she be okay with this?”

“Merlin knows. She’s changed though. And I’m not sure if I like it.”

“Maybe we should…I don’t know, try to be civil with Malfoy?” Harry suggested.

“What!? Harry are you hearing yourself? Trust Malfoy? You must be off your rocket mate.”

“No, I don’t mean be friends with him, I just think that maybe we should apologize to Hermione. Look how happy she is. He can’t be that bad if he makes her happy. Plus we could keep a better watch on him if we were all friends again.”

“I guess your right, but I still don’t trust him. Stupid ferret…OH! Now he’s got his hand all over her arse! That’s it! I’m going over there!”

“Ron, Ron, RON!” Harry yelled, trying to hold his friend back. “Just let her be. She’s a smart girl, she’ll stop him if she wants to. We’ll talk to her about it tomorrow.” Harry said rationally.

“But Harry! He’s all…and his hands are…and that’s my, I mean, our ‘Mione! He can’t do that to her.” Ron insisted, still trying to break free of Harry’s grip.

“Ron, if you go over now, she is going to get mad and you two will end up in a row like always. I can see it now; ‘Ronald! How dare you march over here and tell me how to act! Why don’t you use some of those brains you’ve got in that red head of yours? When will you learn to trust me?’” Harry mimicked. “We will talk to her tomorrow.”

Ron grumbled unhappily. “Tomorrow…by tomorrow that damn ferret will have his hand all the way up her...”

“Enough Ron.” Harry stopped him. “Just quit while you’re ahead mate. Just quit while you’re ahead.”


Chapter 21: The Christmas Ball Part II
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(Okay, I really don't like this chapter. It's short and was hard to write for some reason, but I promised to have the next one out as soon as possible so here it is. I tried to re-do it a couple of times, but I just ended up sticking to the original because none of them were better. I don't think its a very good chapter, but hopefully you guys will think its okay. I'm writing the next one as this is being validated and its a little bit better (I think) and much longer, but anyways this is the second part of the Christmas Ball.)

“I need something to drink!” Hermione yelled to Draco over the loud music. Draco nodded and followed her off the dance floor. Hermione plopped down in a chair exhausted after nearly two hours of dancing and Draco returned to her a few minutes later with two Butterbeers in hand. Hermione reached for hers and took a long swig.

“Ahh, Butterbeer. Thanks Draco.” She said refreshed.

“No problem ‘Mi.” He replied.

“You’ve been calling me ‘Mi.” She pointed out.

“Way to spot the obvious, yeah I have been. Is that a bad thing?” He asked.

“No, it’s much better than Herms like Ron used to call me. I like you having a nickname for me. It’s… nice, except I don’t have one for you. How about Drackie?” She suggested. Draco pulled a face that obviously meant he didn’t like it. “What about ferret?”

“Oh haha, very funny.” He said sarcastically. She laughed.

“Well, I guess we’ll just have to work on one later.” ‘As Time Goes By’ by Carly Simon had started to play. Hermione’s eyes widened and she slammed her drink down. “Oh come on Draco we have to dance! I love this song. It’s the song my parents dance to all the time. Come on,” She grabbed for his hand.

“Ehh, I don’t think so. I can’t slow dance.” He protested.

“Draco Malfoy that is the biggest heap of rubbish I have ever heard. You are a fabulous dancer. Now up with you.” Draco groaned unhappily but allowed himself to be dragged to his feet and toward the other dancing couples. He fastened his arms around her waist and her arms went up around his neck. Hermione rested her head on his shoulder and inhaled deeply, taking in his scent. He smelled intoxicating, and she let herself melt into him, her body fitting perfectly into him as if they were made for each other. They swayed gently to the music, enjoying the feeling of being in each others arms.

“Okay,” Draco thought. “This isn’t so bad. I don’t know why I protested in the first place. Man, she looks so good tonight.” Letting one hand leave its place on her back, he tilted her chin up to him. “There, now I can see those beautiful eyes.” Hermione smiled. She stared into the grey-blue eyes she once thought only held coldness and evil but now gazed lovingly into her own warm brown ones. Hermione blinked, then placed a small kiss on Draco’s lips and returned her head to its previous place on his shoulder. She sighed contently.


Ron watched in disgust as his former best friend made goo-goo eyes with her despicable date, then kissed him before cuddling up to him again. The sight made him shiver with repulsion. He felt the heat rising off of his ears, which he could only assume had turned red in anger. He directed his gaze over to Harry, who, on the other side of the room had found himself a dance partner in Lavender and was now shifting back and forth awkwardly trying not to step on her feet. “Alone as usual.” Ron thought morbidly. He sighed to himself. Just then, a short girl that he recognized as a fourth year Hufflepuff, made her way uncomfortably to Ron.

“Hey Ron.” She said not taking her eyes off the ground.

“Hi.” He said in a monotonous voice. How ever much he tried he could not keep his attention off of Hermione and Draco for more than a few moments.

“Umm, hey Ron? Would you maybe like to dance with me?” The girl asked shyly. Ron looked at the girl again. She was short, almost a foot shorter than he, with wavy blond hair and brown eyes. She wasn’t unattractive, but his heart was set on one person and no one could measure up to her. Not wanting to hurt the girl, he nodded. He followed her onto the dance floor and placed his hands cautiously on her tiny waist. Her small hands just barely reached the tops of his shoulders, and he made sure that they stayed a fair distance apart. With his gazed locked on Hermione, he completely lost all sense of time. When he snapped out of it the song was over and the girl had gone. Harry walked up to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Let her go mate.” Harry said. Ron shook his head.

“He’s not right for her.” He said. Harry just shrugged and pulled on Ron’s elbow.

“Come on, let’s just leave. I’m tired.” Harry pleaded, trying every tactic to get Ron away from the sight that was very obviously making him jealous. Ron agreed, defeated.


The music picked up again and Hermione moved her hips with the beat, rendering Draco dumbfounded for a moment. Back and forth, back and forth, in a circle, back is arched, his eyes glued to the shaking hips. “Damn she’s good.” He thought before jumping in and dancing with her. Draco slid his hand slowly down Hermione’s back and let it come to a rest on her butt. He bent down and whispered into her ear. “Do you want to get out of here?” She giggled and nodded. Maybe it was all the butterbeer she had drank that night, or maybe it was just anticipation, but Hermione couldn’t stop giggling like a fool. Draco himself was looking a little wobbly.

“What do you recon was in those drinks?” She asked as they walked unsteadily out of the Great Hall. Draco leaned on Hermione for support.

“Phftt, liquid?” He said stupidly. She whacked him in the arm.

“You’re a smart ass even when you’re drunk. Damn Slytherins, they just had to spike the butterbeer didn’t they?” The two somehow made it up to their dorm without too many falls. Holding on to the wall for support, they fumbled up the stairs to Hermione’s bedroom.

“So what’d you wanna do?” Draco asked.

“I dunno, what’d you wanna do?” Hermione slurred giddily back.

“I dunno, what’d you wanna do?”

“Heehee, I dun know. What’d you wanna do?”

“You.” Draco clapped his hand over his mouth and laughed. “Did I say that out loud?”

Hermione nodded enthusiastically. She was laughing so hard she topped onto the bed, grabbing Draco on her way down and pulling him with her. Draco flipped over onto his back and pulled Hermione on top of him. They both looked at each other and giggled. Hermione dove in and attacked his lips with her own. They kissed passionately, and despite the current drunken situation, both put all the love they had for the other into the kiss. Draco reached up and caught hold of the zipper on Hermione’s dress. He pulled it down and Hermione sat up and gasped.

“What?” Draco asked with a guilty look on his face.

“Draco Malfoy I’m surprised at you!” she said. Her face twisted in thought, and then she shook her head. “Actually, no I’m not.” She laughed. She kissed him again and felt his hands pushing the straps of her dress down. She sat up again, trying to cover herself.

“Haha, its nothing I haven’t seen before ‘Mi.” He said happily, remembering when he had walked in on her changing.

“But there’s protection, and, and, location, and, umm sobriety, and and…” She rambled on counting on her fingers. She stopped and looked down at Draco shirtless and looking hopeful. “Hmm, how did his shirt get off?” She wondered. He ran a finger down her arm.

“Plleeeeeaaaassee ‘Mi?” She melted.

“Oh what the hell.” She said lowering herself onto him again. The dress came up and over her head and was discarded somewhere in the room. They turned over and Hermione could feel Draco kissing and sucking her neck. She moaned when he found “the spot” that made her feel like she was floating on a cloud. Two minutes later, Draco was still leached onto her neck.

“There. All done.” She heard him murmur. She pulled his head up and kissed him while she worked furiously with his belt. She got the clasp undone and was pushing his pants off when he stopped kissing her and rolled onto his side facing away from Hermione. She sat up and looked over his shoulder at him. His eyes where closed and his mouth was hanging open slightly.

“Draco.” She said poking his arm. “DRACO!” She tried again. She got a deep,

“Shhnnnnooooooonnnkkk.” In reply. Snoring. They were just about to have sex for the first time and he was snoring? She let out a frustrated “Arrgh!” Hermione turned over away from Draco and rested her head on the fluffy pillow. “Stupid, good for nothing boys. ‘Plleeeeaaasssee ‘Mi’” she mimicked to herself. “Please say yes to a shag so I can pass out in your face.” She imitated. Soon she slipped into a heavy, dreamless, drunken sleep only to awaken in a few hours to pounding migraine.


Chapter 22: The Morning After
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A scene from this chapter was inspired by a book I read a few years ago called Just Friends, just so no one thinks I'm taking credit if they have read the book. Now enjoy!)

The sun streaked through Hermione’s curtains and flashed painfully on Draco’s closed eyelids. He opened his eyes timidly but immediately shut them when the bright light hit them. His tongue felt like a rough piece of sandpaper. He sat up to get the glass of water on the bedside table and pain shot through his head. He moaned unhappily as he held his sore head in his palm. Prying open his eyes again and reaching over Hermione’s sleeping figure he drew the curtains closed, providing a little relief for his eyes. He looked down at Hermione. “Uh-oh.” He thought. “What did we do last night?” As much as he tried to remember (which wasn’t very much because it hurt to think) he couldn’t remember a single detail about the night after leaving the Ball. Hermione had wrapped the sheet around her middle and he couldn’t tell if she was wearing clothes. He looked up and the first thing that caught his attention was Hermione’s dress. Crumpled and hanging carelessly from the lampshade. Not far from the dress was his shirt on top of a pile of shoes, and at the end of the bed was his pants. “Oh no. Did we…?” He questioned himself. Draco heard a soft feminine moan coming from the bed. He looked up just in time to see Hermione sit up then grasp her head in pain and fall back into the pillows.

“Drraaccoo…” she whined. “It hurts.” His eyes bulged. “Oh Merlin please let her be talking about her head.” He thought worriedly. He sat back against the headboard and kissed her cheek. He heard her gasp.

“Oh my gosh! What time is it? We have class today! I can’t show up with a hangover, I’m Head Girl! My badge could be confiscated. Oooohhh my head!!”

“Umm, ‘Mi? Maybe this is a bad time to ask, but umm, did we…” Draco trailed on nervously.

Hermione thought for a moment. There were many ways she could answer that question. “Oh, you mean you don’t remember?” Draco shifted uncomfortably. “Oh it was fabulous, absolutely unforgettable. You were like an animal! The masterful way you stole all the blankets, the mighty snore like the call of a wild stallion, the sexy way you turned over like a raging hipa- hippopota- hippopotamus…” Now Hermione was laughing so hard that she rolled a little too far and fell off the bed with a loud *thump*. “Ouch.” She cried.

“Very funny Hermione. Very funny.” He said sarcastically.

“Really Draco, I wish you could have seen yourself. Mouth hanging open and snoring away, it would have been like making love to a tranquilized beluga whale.” She said while getting dressed. She had dropped the sheet and Draco noticed she still had her undergarments on. She finished dressing and began brushing her hair. “But honestly, you passed out before we could even get all out clothes off.”

“No, no, no. I did not pass out right before sex. You must not remember correctly.” He said stubbornly. She shook her head, and then regretted it because the migraine still plagued her hung over head. Wincing at the pain, she turned to face Draco.

“No, I do remember correctly. We were about to go at it when all of sudden you just stopped snogging me and rolled over, completely passed out. And believe me, I tried to wake you, but you would have none of it. Now have you seen any purple pills lying around?” She gathered her hair up and pulled it into a loose ponytail. Draco watched her do this, and as she brushed the hair off her neck he saw a very particular looking mark on her neck and he smirked evilly.

“I think I’ll just let her discover that on her own.” He thought. “Yes, they are on you bureau. I still can’t believe I did that. How much did we drink?” He responded.

“Thank you. I have no clue. Someone spiked the pitchers of butterbeer and we had about five glasses each. Here, take these.” She handed him two small purple capsules and blue tablet with a glass of water.

“What are they?” He asked.

“Two hang over potion capsules and a muggle pain reliever.” She answered, taking the same pills. They both felt better immediately. The headaches were gone and their heads were clear, but both were very hungry. As they entered the Great Hall, they saw students from all houses looking very hung over and in pain. Hermione gave Draco a hug before going to her own table. “Make sure you eat pancakes, it will help absorb the alcohol.” She said in his ear. He kissed her quickly on the lips and walked off to the Slytherin table where he was greeted with nasty glares and insulting comments. She turned and took the first available seat at Gryffindor. She looked up as she reached for a bagel and saw everyone staring at her and a few girls were pointing and giggling. “What’s their problem?” She wondered. Glancing to her left and right she saw that the seats were empty. No one had wanted to sit near her. Saddened, she went on eating her bagel alone under the scrutiny of the entire house.

“Oy! Out of my way, that’s it, keep moving!” Hermione heard a familiar voice moving towards her.

“Coming through! Hey now people, she’s not a caged animal so stop all that bloody staring!” Came another voice. She looked up and saw Harry and Ron pushing through the crowds and plopping down in the vacant seats on either side of her.

“Hi guys.” She said half heartedly.

“Hey ‘Mione. Listen Ron and I wanted to apologize for acting out like that about the whole you and Malfoy thing.” Harry said.

“But don’t think this means we like the little ferret or even like the idea of you two together, but we want to be friends with you again. We miss you Herms.” Ron added. Hermione smiled. They had finally come around and it could not have come at a better time. It seemed that she had gone from Hermione the bookworm, to Hermione the Dancer, and finally Hermione the house traitor in only a few months. She was going to need all the backup she could get when it came to dealing with angry Gryffindors and sickened Slytherins. She didn’t even want to think about any of the girls from the other houses who might be mad at her for taking Draco off the market. Envious girls were forces to be reckoned with.

“Thank you. I really missed you guys too. I’m sorry this happened. I didn’t plan on falling for Draco, but I just couldn’t help it. I’m just glad we’re mates again.” Hermione said keeping her eyes down and looking at her plate. Harry patted her on the back.

“Its okay Hermione, we don’t blame you.” Harry said.

“Yeah, we blame that foul excuse of a wiza…”

“Ron,” Hermione said in a warning tone. “If we are going to be mates again you can’t insult Draco like that anymore.” She saw Ron cringe.

“Fine.” He forced out. This made Hermione very happy. She pulled the two boys into a big hug.

“Bloody hell Hermione!! What in the name of Merlin is that on your neck?!” Ron exclaimed. Harry peered around to get a look at what Ron was pointing to in shock. He saw it and broke out laughing.

“Oh my god! What is it? What’s there?” Hermione asked frantically feeling around her neck. Harry and Ron pulled her up by the arms and dragged her out of the Great Hall into the corridor where a large mirror was located. Hermione caught sight of it and shrieked. There, on her neck was the largest hickey she had ever seen. This however, was not your ordinary hickey by any means. Hermione now had the letters ‘DM’ imprinted into her skin.

“Aaahhh! I can’t believe this! That darn… oh my goodness when I get a hold on that little… I’m going to… OH and what are you laughing at Harry?! This is most definitely not funny! This is unbelievable.”

“No, that’s talent.” Ginny said coming up behind them. “I heard a commotion so I thought I would come see what was wrong. Damn he’s good.” She said, taking a closer look at the brand on Hermione’s neck. “And to think, that’s what he can do when he’s drunk, I can only imagine what he would…”

“Ginny!” Ron said cutting her off.

“What? I’m a hormonal teenage girl, you can’t stop me from thinking it.”

“You people are sick.” He mumbled unhappily.

“Oh man, Ginny do you have anything I could cover it with?” Hermione asked desperately. She nodded.

“I have some up in my room. If we hurry we can still make it in time for class.” Ginny said. Hermione smiled in gratitude.

“Damn it Draco!” She stopped her foot in anger, still fuming about the whole thing.

“You called?” Said a deep voice behind her. She reeled around and saw Draco leaning casually against the stone castle wall looking smug and proud of himself.

“YOU!” She pointed at him and yelled. “You did this on purpose! Do you know how much trouble I could get in for not setting a good example for my fellow Hogwarts students? I’m Head Girl! I can only imagine what would happen to my reputation if everyone saw me walking around with this…this monstrosity on my neck!”

He laughed, very amused by her over reaction. “Calm down ‘Mi, its just a little mark. I’m sure you can cover it. Here,” He walked over to her and removed his own scarf, tying it gently around her neck. “See? All better.” She was about to argue when Draco gave her a small kiss on the mouth. “See you at lunch Love. Potter you’re in my next class I believe. You coming? You too Weasel.” Draco said walking away. Harry shrugged at Ron and began to follow him down the corridor.

As they were walking, Hermione could hear Harry talking. “You know Malfoy, I never thought I would say it, but that was actually pretty bloody hilarious. How did you do that? Haha, did you see how miffed she was? I expect you’ll be getting the cold shoulder…” His voice trailed until she couldn’t hear them anymore. She turned back to Ginny.

“Come on Ginny, we have to go the same way right?”

“Yep. Hey Hermione, I know that we didn’t stay in contact much over the summer, and I feel kinda bad. You and I were really good friends, but then when Dean and I…”

“Ginny.” Hermione interrupted. “Don’t worry about it. I understand. I’m just glad we’re friends again. I missed having another girl around.” She said earnestly. Ginny smiled, relieved that Hermione was so understanding. The two girls walked towards their classes together until Ginny went left to Muggle Studies and Hermione went right to Advanced Charms. Hermione’s quill was furiously scratching out her third page of notes on Professor Flitwick’s lecture on mobility charms when Professor McGonagall knocked on the door.

“Why hello Minerva, can I help you?” Professor Flitwick asked.

“I need to borrow Miss Granger. The Head Master would like a word.” Flitwick nodded and told Hermione to gather her things. Hermione was beginning to panic. She knew it must be about the alcohol that was smuggled into the Ball. How was she going to explain that she was too busy dancing to be monitoring who and what was coming in like she was supposed to? “Oh boy, this can’t be good. Alright, just apologize the second you get in there. Maybe if I beg he won’t revoke my badge.” She thought frantically. She followed Professor McGonagall to Dumbledore’s office. They walked in and Hermione immediately began rambling.

“Oh Professor I’m so terribly sorry about the Christmas Ball! I never meant for that to happen I swear, I had no idea someone would do that! I understand that it was completely my fault for not being more attentive as to what was being brought in by my fellow student but I just assumed that…” Dumbledore put his hand up to silence her. He pointed to a comfortable looking chair in front of his desk.

“Please have a seat Miss Granger.” She sat down and folded her hands in her lap, absentmindedly picking at her fingernails out of nervousness. “I did not ask you here to punish you. I only wish to tell you that in the future, it may be wise to have individual bottles of butterbeer, instead of pitchers. Hopefully that would dissuade the smuggling in of alcohol. And I do hope it would prevent a few headaches as well.” He said. Hermione’s mouth fell open slightly.

“That’s it? No detention? No taking away my Heads badge? No probations?” She said dumbly. He smiled warmly and shook his head.

“No. I simply wanted to warn you so as we may be able to prevent this in the future. I know it was neither the fault of you or Mr. Malfoy. Surely you don’t wish to be punished do you?” He asked curiously. She vigorously shook her head ‘no’. “Then that’s all settled. Thank you for your time Miss Granger and I do apologize for taking you out of class. Good day.” She stood and left the office, making her way back to her Charms class slowly. On her way, she ran into Draco, he looked worried.

“Hey,” He said when he saw her. He ran his hand up and down her arm comfortingly. “I heard you got called to Dumbledore. I was supposed to go too but Snape wouldn’t let me out. What did the old bat say?”

“Draco, don’t talk about Professor Dumbledore that way, he is the most…”

“…Wonderful wizard in the magical world. I know, I know. Now what was it about?”

“Oh, he was just telling us to be more careful when planning the drinks next time.” She said calmly.

“That’s it?” He said disbelievingly.

“That’s it.” She assured. He shrugged it off. Checking to make sure there was no one else in the corridor, he put his arm around Hermione’s waist and pulled her into a dark corner. He kissed her lustfully with her back against the cold stone wall. He was going to remove his scarf and kiss her neck when she pushed him away.

“I don’t think so buster. I don’t need another brand on my neck. This one is more than enough thank you.” He laughed. He trailed a finger lightly over the letters and smirked. “Draco what are you doing?” She asked curiously.

“Just admiring my handiwork.” He said simply.

“I need to get back to class Draco.” She said.

“I don’t want you to go. Come skip with me! We could go to the beach! Come on, no one would find out. You could just tell Flitwick that you were with Dumbledore. He’s daft, he’d never know the difference.” Draco persuaded.

I would know Draco. I can’t do that. Winter holiday is in four days, you can just wait till then. Besides, I’m still mad at you.” She said crossing her arms. His smirk slid back into place.

“You didn’t seem very mad when you were snogging me a minute ago.” He said slyly, mimicking her by crossing his arms.

“You are so intolerable!” she hissed.

“You know it babe.” He sounded very proud of himself. She got really close and pointed her finger at his face.

“Do not call me ‘babe’. I hate that.”

“Yes, but you know you love me.” She glared at him before walking back to Flitwick’s class. She could sense Draco following her, but she ignored him. As she reached for the classroom door she heard Draco say something and then felt a spell hit her in the back.


Chapter 23: Holiday In the Sun
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The spell hit Hermione in the back and immediately she felt like she was going to vomit. She clutched her stomach with one hand and covered her mouth with the other. She turned to look at Draco who was now approaching her. She wanted to ask him what in Merlin’s name he had done to her, but she was afraid of what may happen if she were to open her mouth. He walked into the classroom, towing Hermione along behind him, her hand still firmly clamped over her mouth.

“What is going on?” A confused Professor Flitwick asked.

“Professor, I’m afraid that Hermione has become very ill. She does not look well at all, and unfortunately Madame Pomfrey has run out of pepper-up potion. While she makes more, she has suggested bed rest. It looks like Miss Granger will be unable to attend class this week. She is quite nauseated.” Draco lied coolly. Hermione’s eyes widened at his words. Flitwick looked at Hermione’s green colored face and nodded.

“Yes, yes of course. I wish you a speedy recovery Miss Granger. I will alert your other professors and I will have a student deliver you assignments to your dorm. Please child, off with you! You look like your going to be sick!” Hermione nodded and hurried out of the classroom with Draco right behind her. As soon as the door closed behind him he lifted the spell and Hermione was able to speak with worrying about regurgitating her breakfast.

“What did you do to me?!” She exclaimed.

“I just got you four more days of holiday.” He said smugly.

“I meant what in the world was that spell you put on me? I felt like I was going to be sick all over Professor Flitwick’s desk!” He shrugged it off.

“Oh that. It was just a little spell I picked up somewhere. Don’t worry though, you don’t actually throw up when you’re under it, it just makes you look convincing sick.”

“But I really did feel terrible!”

“Exactly. The best way to play sick is to be sick. Now what do you say about a little trip to the beach?” Hermione rolled her eyes at him.

“If we get caught, this is all your fault.” She said seriously. He smirked.

“Sounds good to me.” He grabbed her hand and they walked together up to their common room. Hermione started upstairs to pack when Draco pulled her back.

“What are you doing? I need to get my stuff.” She asked.

“No, there’s everything we need at the house. Let’s just go.” He said eagerly. They entered the fireplace and dropped a handful of floo powder into the green flames. In a whirl of ash and wind they appeared at the quaint house. Hermione threw open the large windows and stuck her head out, breathing in the sweet fresh air. Draco snuck up behind her and grabbed her by her waist, hoisting her over his shoulder. She shrieked with surprised and laughed. He walked out through the backyard and down the short path that led to the clean sandy beach. As Hermione realized what he was going to do, she began yelling for him to put her down. Ignoring her pleas, he proceeded to the warm, clear water and waded in up to his knees. He changed his hold on her so he was now holding her bridal style and stared into her smiling face. He grinned at her.

“Don’t you dare.” She said looking him in the eye. He smirked evilly and pretended to drop her into the water. She screamed, clinging to him. He brought her back up again. “Don’t do it Draco.” As soon as she said this he smiled one last time before dropping her, sending her splashing into the crystal blue water. She came back up, drenched and sputtering. “Oh you little prat!” She wiped the hair from her face and saw Draco doubled over in a fit of laughter. She looked behind her at the waves and smirked. She slowly backed out of the water until she was almost out completely. Draco looked at her smiling, with his back to the water. He looked at her standing there with a smirk playing on her lips, and he couldn’t figure out what she was so content about.

“Hermione what are you…” *Crash* A large wave knocked an unexpecting Draco off of his feet and sweeping him under the water. He came up sputtering, much like she had, and glared daggers at her as she laughed at him.

“Oh gee, thanks for the warning ‘Mi.” He said sarcastically. She giggled.

“Anytime Love, Anytime.” They spent the afternoon together just like that. Splashing around pretending they didn’t have a care in the world, dunking each other under the relatively calm sea water, and soaking up the last of the season’s sun rays before it turned cold. They had been lucky; in this town it was warmer that Hogwarts was this time of the year, although Draco assured her it would be chilly come Christmas (Which was only two short weeks away). Hermione walked back up to the dry beach and flopped down in the warm sand. Draco watched, amused, as she rolled around in the sand until she resembled a sugar coated doughnut. Finally, once she was covered head to toe in sand, he asked her what she was doing.

“I used to do this when I was a kid and would go on holiday with my parents.” She explained, laughing at the memory. “My mum used to get so angry at me for tracking in sand.” He reached over and brushed a little sand from her chin with his thumb. She pushed herself up until she could reach his lips with her own. He kissed her back lovingly, both savoring the moment of being there together, and also the adrenaline of possibly getting caught sneaking out of school early.

“Now you have to admit, this is better than charms class.” He said when they had pulled away.

“Much better, but I can’t believe that you actually hexed me to get me here.” She said.

“But it was a hex of love.” He said innocently, giving her the best ‘puppy eyes’ face he could muster up.

“You’re such a dork.” She said, pushing him playfully on the shoulder. “I’m going to wash up.” He nodded, and watched her head for the outside shower to rinse off all the sand she had collected. Wrapping herself in a colorful beach towel, she padded into the house, out of sight from Draco. He looked back out over the water to the setting sun. He couldn’t help but think about how perfect everything about the day had been. This was home, he could feel it. But he had a hunch that it wouldn’t feel nearly as homey and complete without Hermione in it as well. He picked himself up and rinsed off as Hermione had done before going inside to take a proper shower.

Now clean and sand free, Draco wandered into the kitchen to try and find something for dinner. Lack of food was not the problem, cooking it, however, was. One of the disadvantages of growing up with house elves to do all the cooking was that he couldn’t tell a spatula from a whisk. After careful consideration, he decided that attempting to cook dinner was just a little too risky, even for him. He found a few bunches of grapes and some cheese and crackers. He piled everything into a bowl and set it down on the table. He noticed that something was missing…Hermione. He hadn’t heard from her since she left to go clean up almost forty-five minutes ago, but he had an idea of where she might be. He grabbed the bowl and trudged down the hallway to the library. Sure enough, Hermione was wrapped in a fluffy blue bathrobe sitting sideways on the couch, her legs outstretched comfortably in front of her, and her nose stuck in a thick, heavy book. He set the bowl down on the coffee table in front of her but she didn’t look up. He lifted her legs and sat down, then placed them in his lap. She had yet to acknowledge his presence, and seemed to be highly engrossed in what she was reading.

“Is it good?” He asked her.

“Hmm?” Her eyes still glued to the pages.

“The book, is it good?” He repeated. She finished the sentence she was reading and closed the book with a satisfying snap. She looked up and smiled.

“Yes, very good. Where did you get all of these books? I think I could live in here forever.” She said in awe. Draco knew that she had been referring to living in the library, for Hermione Granger could never turn down a good book, but hearing her say that she could stay there, with him, forever, made his heart leap.

“They were just books my parents had lying around the mansion. I got rid of all the dark ones and this is what was left.” He said. She removed her legs from his lap and turned herself around so she was now sitting in his lap. She pulled him close to her, hugging him tightly, and him returning the gesture willingly.

“Can you believe we will be here in this big house all by ourselves for nearly a month? We are actually living together outside of school. It’s crazy.”

“How is it crazy?” He asked, surprised by her choice of words.

“Well, I just mean I never in my wildest dreams imagined being here with you.”

“So I’m not in your wildest dreams?” He said, raising an eyebrow.

“Hey now, I didn’t say that.” She grinned slyly at him. He looked taken aback by her forwardness, but quickly recovered. He reached into the bowl beside him and pulled out a grape. He held it up to her lips.

“Grape?” She opened her mouth slightly and he pushed it in. She giggled as she chewed and swallowed.

“What do you call that?” She asked curiously, pointing to the bowl of assorted crackers and cheeses with a bunch of grapes on top.

“Dinner?” She laughed and shook her head.

“That is not dinner. I’ll make us some real dinner, you start writing that letter to my parents inviting them to Christmas dinner.” She said getting off of his lap and going into the kitchen. Draco jumped up and followed her like a puppy follows his master.

“Me? Why do I need to owl them? They are your parents after all.” He argued trying to get himself out of it.

“You have to do it because I said so, and because my parents would be very impressed if you took the initiative to owl them yourself, inviting them to a nice, quiet Christmas dinner with there lovely daughter and her charming boyfriend.”

“But…”

“Draco your debating skills worry me. You’re not going to get out of doing it, so just shut it. Chicken or fish?”

“Chicken.” He said dejectedly.

“Exactly what I thought.” She laughed at her own joke, Draco was obviously not catching on. “Oh Draco you silly goose, it’s not that bad. Honestly, it’s only a letter to my parents. Here, I’ll help you start. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Granger, your daughter Hermione and I would like to invite you to join us for dinner to celebrate the Christmas holiday. See? Just something like that.” He sighed as he pondered over ways to sound impressive yet respectful in an ‘I swear I’m not having impure thoughts about your only daughter’ kind of way. While he wrote out the invitation, Hermione was busy preparing chicken parmesan. The smell wafted through the air and to Draco’s nostrils, making his stomach growl with hunger. She walked in holding two full plates of delicious looking food and set one of them down in front of Draco. He picked up his fork and immediately dug in.

“Hey! Slow down Draco, the food isn’t going anywhere.”

“This is really great ‘Mi. I didn’t know you could cook.”

“Yeah well, it’s not that big of a deal. So what if I can make dinner?” She shrugged it off carelessly.

“So what? Didn’t anyone ever tell you that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?” He said with his mouthful of pasta and chicken. She smiled.

“Well of course I know that, I’m friends with Ron aren’t I?”

“You never cease to amaze me ‘Mi. This dinner is brilliant, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” She said. For a moment they just sat there looking at each other, as is trying to read the other ones mind. Hermione was the first to look away. She stared at her plate for a while before she resumed eating. “I could get used to making him dinner every night.” She thought.


Chapter 24: Daddy's Girl
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: I don’t know what Hermione’s parents’ names are and I’m far to lazy to look through all the books trying to find them, so I’m just going to make them up. If you leave a message telling me that they are wrong, then no offence, but you’re wasting your time because I really don’t care and it’s not a big deal to me. So! On with the story.)


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Granger,
Your lovely daughter Hermione and I would like to invite you to join us for dinner on December 24 of this year to celebrate the Christmas holiday. If you choose to join us, the dinner will be at my estate, 82 Seaside Court, Cornwall which is easily reached by floo powder and should commence at about 6:00 o’clock in the evening. We look forward to seeing you here on Christmas,
Respectfully yours,
Draco Malfoy

P.S.- Hermione sends all her love, and could she please have the recipe for the treacle fudge?


“Graham! Oh Graham come here quickly!” Jane Granger yelled for her husband. He came into the common room drying his hands on a towel.

“What is it?” He asked, peering over his wife’s shoulder to read the letter she was holding.

“Our little baby is hosting her very first Christmas. And with a boy! I can’t believe how fast she’s grown up Graham! Soon she’ll be graduating, then getting married and having children, and then, and then…” Jane Granger had managed to send herself into a tearful hysteria. “And then she won’t need me anymore!” She cried.

“Oh darling, of course she will always need you, you’re her mother. And see? See there at the bottom? ‘can you please send the recipe for the treacle fudge’.” He comforted. “Let me get a better look at that letter.” He said, gently pulling it out of her hands while she was preoccupied drying her eyes. His forehead wrinkled in deep thought as he read it. “Draco Malfoy… hmm, I need to meet this boy. How long did you say they had been together?” He asked Jane. She shrugged her shoulders.

“I don’t know. I don’t remember Hermione ever writing us about a boyfriend.”

“And now they are living together all of a sudden? I don’t know about this…”

“I’m sure they are just spending the holiday together, Hermione is a smart girl, and she knows what she’s doing. What was it that she asked for? The treacle?”

“Yes, the treacle.” Graham said absentmindedly, still eyeing the letter like it was going to answer all of his suspicions if he stared at it long enough. Finally Jane snatched it out of his hand and attached it to the refrigerator with a photo-magnet of a three year old Hermione.

“I didn’t see anything about the boy’s parents being there, do you think they are staying there alone?”

“Oh Graham, have a little faith in your daughter. Hermione is very intelligent, talented, and she gets the best grades in her class. What more can we possibly ask of her?”

“Abstinence?” He suggested. Jane chuckled and shook her head softly at her husbands over protective antics. It didn’t surprise her though. They had only been blessed with one child, and he wanted to make sure that her life was the best it could be. Hermione was without a doubt a daddy’s girl.

~*~* Back at the “New” Malfoy Manor*~*~

The Granger’s had responded quickly to the young couple’s invitation, promising to be there at six o’clock and not a minute after. The news of them coming had finally sunk in to Hermione, and she was caught in a whirlwind of things to do in order to get ready for their arrival. Draco sat back leisurely in one of the easy chairs in the common room and watched her bustle about, running back and forth between the kitchen and the Christmas tree that Draco had conjured up. She had insisted on decorating it herself, without magic, and now she had a batch of biscuits in the oven and only half the tree done. On one of her many trips back to the kitchen, Draco grabbed her arm and pulled her into his lap.

“Draco I don’t have time for games, the biscuits, they are going to burn…” She said trying to get up again, but his arms were securely wrapped around her waist.

“Mi, your parents aren’t going to be here for a week, what’s the big hurry?”

“I need to have everything perfect. This is the first time I have done Christmas all by myself and I always thought that I would at least be married first. It came a little sooner than expected and now the tree isn’t done, the biscuits are burning and I still can’t get the treacle fudge to taste just right like the way my mum makes it.” Hermione sighed heavily.

“Look at me ‘Mi.” She did, and he took both of his hands in hers. He took a deep breathe and said what he had been holding in for nearly a month. “I love you Hermione Jane Granger. I am obsessed with you, you drive me absolutely wild. You are the only thing I can ever think about, and I don’t know how I went so many years without you in my life the way you are now. I love you for more reasons than I can possibly tell you. And if the biscuits burn I will won’t love you any less. I wanted to tell you how much I loved you on Christmas, but I think now is a better time. I love you, and I’m sorry it took me this long to say it.” Hermione’s vision was blurred and her eyes were filling with warm tears. In all her life she had never thought any man was crazy enough to fall in love with a girl like her, but yet there he was, pouring his heart out. She sniffed and held back the tears as best she could.

“I hope you don’t think I’m going to shag you now Draco.” She said with a small smile.

“Bugger. I tried.” He joked. He kissed her firmly on the mouth and she returned the kiss with just as much vigor. A funny smell drifted into the room and Hermione’s eyes shot open.

“My biscuits!” She exclaimed, jumping off of Draco and running into the kitchen. Draco laughed silently at her as she yanked the oven door open and fanned the cloud of smoke with her oven mitt. He got up and stood beside her, looking in at the ruined tray of biscuits.

“I just don’t get it,” she said, disappointed. “I can make almost anything except biscuits. I always ruin them.” He put a hand on her shoulder.

“You know, I’ve never liked biscuits much. I’m more of a pie person myself.” Hermione laughed at his lame attempt to make her feel better. She turned and hugged him.

“Thank you.” He pulled back but left his arms around her back.

“You go relax, I’ll clean up the kitchen.” He said. She gave him a funny look.

“You will clean up the kitchen or you will enchant everything to clean themselves?”

“With magic of course! Like I would ever do anything the muggle way, it’s such a waste of time.” Hermione left and Draco waved his wand around and instantly the dishes began scrubbing themselves and the towel was wiping down all the counters. Nodding in satisfaction, Draco went back into the common room to finish decorating the tree where Hermione had left off.


Upstairs, Hermione was in the bedroom she shared with Draco searching through the closets for something to wear on Christmas when it occurred to her that Draco’s birthday was tomorrow. How could she forget!? She hadn’t gotten him anything, and she really wanted it to be something that he would enjoy. The first thing she thought of was sex, she knew he would definitely like that, but she didn’t like how it seemed so planned out and obvious that she had forgotten to get him a real gift. Hermione continued looking through the closet when she came across the only dress in the entire house. It was beautiful, but far too sexy for a dinner with her parents.

“DRACO!” She called downstairs. She heard the thumping of someone coming noisily up the stairs.

“Yeah?” He poked his head in. She held up the dress and she saw him smirk.

“I can’t wear this to Christmas dinner.”

“Of course you can! You would look great in it.” He said coming into the room and standing next to her staring at the dress.

“Draco, I cannot wear a tight black halter dress with a giant slit up the side. It’s too skimpy. I don’t know who my father would kill first, me for wearing it, or you for buying it.” When Hermione mentioned her father, Draco stopped smirking. He cleared his throat.

“Eh, right. I guess you could go into Hogsmade and find a different one.”

This was great. “Now I can get him a proper gift.” She thought. She hung the dress back up and went downstairs to the fireplace.

“You’re leaving now?” He asked.

“Yes. Who knows how long it will take me to find just the right one, but I should be home in time for dinner. You can do without me till then can’t you?”

“I’ll try. But just don’t be gone too long, Merlin knows what would happen if I tried to make food for myself.” She smiled and blew him a kiss before dropping the floo powder and shouting “Hogsmade!”

~*~

Hermione stepped out at the Three Broomsticks and passed a large group of young preteen girls giggling and pointing to another group of boys who appeared to be about their same age. Seeing the girls made Hermione feel old, and suddenly she found herself pining for her childhood, and for the days when she would sit outside the ice cream shop with Harry and Ron over the summers. She would never go on another Hogsmade trip after this year, never sleep in a dorm, never eat with all her housemates during meals, or take another page of notes. After this semester, it was all over. Hogwarts was over. It almost made her feel like crying, to know that she would have to leave the place where all of her best friends and memories were made, but she was determined to finish what she came here to do. There would be plenty of time to blubber later, now she had to find a modest dress and a present for Draco.

She walked out of the pub and felt the icy cold air whip at her body. It had gotten cold at the beach house, but she had forgotten that it would be several degrees cooler in Hogsmade. She pulled her cloak tighter around herself and walked through the crowds of people doing their Christmas shopping. She entered the Quidditch Supply store and browsed for a bit before deciding on a pair of dragon’s hide seeker’s gloves. The man behind the counter asked her if she would like to have them embroidered with a name or message. She thought about it, Draco did like to put is initials on everything he thought he owned, such as her neck. She accepted his offer, and she looked around the store some more while he was in the backroom. She also picked out a practice snitch for Harry and a book of plays for Ron. The man came back, and there on the top of the gloves was DM embroidered in green thread.

“That’ll be 40 galleons and 3 sickles Miss.” Said the shop keeper. Hermione cringed at the price, she still had a dress to buy, but she paid him and convinced herself that it would be worth it. She walked out of the store rummaging through her bag and not watching where she was going. She felt herself collide with not one, but two people.

“Oh Merlin I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to…” She said looking up at the people she hit.

“Hermione?”


Chapter 25: Hogsmeade
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

(A/N: So I have recently discovered how hard it is to write a PG-13 sex scene. It is very hard. I mean, I'm not the type to get all graphic anyways, but this was a challenge. I ask that you resist the urge to tell me that it is the blandest scene of that nature you have ever read, should that be your opinion, because I am trying very hard to keep the rating at PG-13 for my readers who cannot access R rated stories. The rest of the long awaited shag will be in the next chapter, just to torture you all. (heehee, I know, I'm evil sometimes)This is also a warning to anyone who doesn't wish to read anything too passionate, although as I mentioned, it's really not that bad. I hope you all like it, and don't forget to review. Love ya!!)

“Hermione?” One of the voices asked.

“Heh, erm hi Ron…” Hermione said shoving the bag of presents behind her back.

“What are you doing here? Everyone at school is worried, you got sick and then just took off for the holidays. You really were sick weren’t you?” Harry questioned. She blushed and looked down at her feet. She laughed nervously.

“Ha, yeah, its funny you mention that actually. You see I just…um…”

“You cut school –”

“To go with Malfoy –”

“Didn’t you?” They finished together.

“Well when you lot say it you make it sound so horrible.” She said bashfully.

“This is so unlike you Herms. He is making you act all funny. He doesn’t know the real you, we do!”

“Don’t call me Herms Ronald!!” She yelled. “If you knew me you would know that I absolutely despise that nickname, and maybe this is me. Maybe I did change, but I’ve always seen change as a good thing. I was bored Ron, very bored. I was tired of being the boring, goody two shoes bookworm. I’m trying to find the other half of me, and I think I may have found it in Draco so don’t you dare say that you know me. You only know the half that you approve of.” She finished, straightening her scarf and clearing her throat. “Now I’m sorry I exploded like that, it was not fair to you. If you would please excuse me I have a dress to buy and dinner to make back home…” She stopped short. “I mean, back at Draco’s house.” She corrected. She left them there, dumbfounded, as she walked off down the icy cobblestone street.

“Well that was interesting.” Harry said.

“Yeah…” Ron squeaked. “I think she’s finally cracked mate.”

“Merlin knows… maybe it’s just a girl thing?”

“I bloody hope so. My ears are starting to hurt from all her ‘explosions’.” The two boys continued into the Quidditch supply which had been their destination before running into Hermione. “But I really did think that she like the name Herms.” Ron thought out loud.


A light snow had started to fall as she reached Sophie’s Fashionably Modest Apparel and entered. She stepped through the doorway and was engulfed in warmth radiating from a large fireplace in the back of the room. It felt like she was shopping in someone’s home, not a store. A tall, thin, kind looking woman with oval spectacles and neat graying hair approached Hermione.

“Hello there dear, is there anything I can help you find today?” She asked politely.

“Well, yes. I need a dress for Christmas dinner with my parents.” Hermione explained. The woman smiled warmly and guided her over to a rack full of dresses.

“My dear you have come to the right place. Here we have some of our most popular dress, would you like to have a look?” Hermione nodded and carefully glanced though all of them. It wasn’t that the dresses were ugly, but they all reminded her of clothes that her old great aunt Margaret used to wear. She turned to the sales lady and tried to think of the best way to tell her she wasn’t interested in any of them.

“Um, these are all very nice, but I was wondering if you maybe had anything just a little younger? You see, I think that these may be a bit too mature for me.” The smile on the woman’s face just never seemed to leave.

“Oh course, I thought you might say that. We have these, over here.” Hermione followed her over to the other side of the shop. The woman pulled out a plain black dress. It was long sleeved and went just a little past the knees in length. It was simply cut with a v-neck cut on top, and it was fitted at the bust to show off a female figure without it being too tight or clingy. Hermione nodded and took it from her, heading into the dressing room. She unzipped the back, stepped in and pulled it up, reaching behind her to zip it. She stood in front of the mirror and gazed at her reflection. “Hmm, not bad. I’m sure Draco won’t like it, it isn’t showing enough skin for his taste, but oh well. My mum will like it.” She thought, turned in a circle and checking her backside to make sure it didn’t look huge in this dress. She slipped it off and put her own clothes back on. When she came back out the sales lady was waiting with a hopeful smile on her face.

“So did you like it?”

“Yes, it’s perfect. I’ll take it, and thank you for all your help.” The woman took the dress from her and rang it up at the register. “May I use your fireplace to floo home? It is snowing awfully hard now and I would really like to avoid walking back to the Three Broomsticks.” Hermione asked.

“Oh yes, please go right ahead. Now enjoy that dress, I hope your dinner goes well, and you can tell your boyfriend to wear dark blue, it will go wonderfully with your dress.” The woman called to Hermione as she dug through her purse to find her pouch of floo powder. “How did you know Draco was meeting my parents?” She asked.

“Draco?” The woman’s smile faltered for the first time since Hermione had entered the shop.

Hermione just dismissed it, supposing that the woman had just guessed, she did look like she had children of her own. She dropped the powder into the flames and said the address clearly, and before she knew it, she was standing in the common room in front of Draco, who fortunately, was fast asleep on the couch. She snuck up stairs and hid Draco’s present under the bed. She had just clipped the tags off the dress when the familiar feeling of soft lips on her neck made her jump.

“Merlin, Draco don’t scare me like that!” She cried, turning around to put her arms around him. She breathed in his scent that she loved so much, and pulled him closer to her. He ran his fingers through her thick, silky hair with one hand and rubbed her back with the other. The combination of the two was having a very hypnotizing effect on Hermione.

“Did you find what you needed?” He asked. She came out of her trance and broke away so she could retrieve the dress. She held it up for him, waiting for him to say something.

“Well? What do you think?”

“It’s black.”

Hermione looked at the dress, then back at Draco. “Um, yes, it is. Is that bad?”

“No, I just always thought that black dresses were supposed to be sexy.” Hermione scrunched up her face at him and hung it up in the closet.

“You’re wearing dark blue by the way, it will match my outfit.” When she was clipping the tags off she had noticed that the dress had been sewn together with navy blue thread, which explained why the sales lady had recommended blue for Draco.

“You’re planning my outfit?” He asked, crossing his arms across his chest.

“Yes, I am. Unless you would like to dress yourself and stick out like a sore thumb when my parents get here.” She said, mimicking him and folding her arms as well. He backed down.

“Fine, but I’m not wearing a tie so don’t even try it.” She smiled and kissed him on the cheek.

“I’m going to go start dinner.” He nodded as she pranced past him. He shivered slightly from the cold winds that were blowing, and he cast a warming spell on the house. “Much better.” He thought.

He went downstairs, and put some music on. It was one of those songs that fits the moment perfectly. Not too slow, not too fast, not too much singing, just perfect. He walked into the kitchen as saw Hermione dancing gracefully around the kitchen with tongs poised in one hand, and a bottle of cooking wine in the other. The apron she had tied around her waist floated up into the air when she spun, and she was humming the tune softly. She stopped dancing when she reached the stovetop and poured the wine into whatever it was she was cooking. It sizzled in the pan, and she slowly moved her hips back and forth as she stirred. Draco watched all of this from the doorway. His mouth was watering, but he didn’t think it was because of the food. She wasn’t the little girl he used to tease anymore; she was the beautiful young woman ready for whatever adulthood could dish out for her.

“DRACO DINNER’S READY!” She yelled, not knowing he was only a few feet away.

“Ouch.” He said, holding his ears. She turned as gasped slightly.

“Oh sorry! I didn’t know you were right there. Dinner is ready.”

“Yes, so I heard.” She giggled as she put the contents from the pan onto the plates, which turned out to be sautéed scallops. She walked over to the table and set the plates down, then turned to take off her apron but she saw Draco only a few inches from her face. He pulled her to him by the hips and kissed her passionately. He slipped his tongue into her mouth and massaged hers with his own. Hermione, while surprised at first, had no objection. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. Draco pulled away for a moment to get some air.

“I love you so much ‘Mi.” He said breathlessly in her ear. She grabbed his face and kissed him hard again. His hands worked with the knot on her apron, undoing it easily and pulling it off, letting it slide to the floor. Hermione was the one to pull back this time.

“What about dinner?”

“I only want one thing right now.” He said kissing her neck.

“Then I guess it can wait.” She said before capturing his lips again. He walked her backwards toward the stairs. The back of her foot hit the first stair and she almost fell back, but Draco had a steady hold on her. He lifted her up enough so that she could wrap her legs around his waist while he carried her up the steps. Putting her down at the top, but not taking his lips off hers, he pushed the bedroom door open and they half walked, half stumbled into the room closing the door behind them, even though there was no one to walk in on them. Hermione’s blouse was the first thing to go. They fumbled with the tiny pearl buttons together until it was finally off, and thrown carelessly somewhere in the room.

Next was Draco’s shirt. Hermione slid her hands up his toned chest under his shirt and pulled it over his head. Hermione walked backward to the bed, and felt the edge of it hit her in the back of the knee. Draco fell on top of Hermione, squishing her between his body and the feathery mattress. He looked down at her smirking face, the lust burning deep inside the both of them.

“Okay,” She thought. “I know I didn’t like this idea before, but I love him, and he loves me, and Merlin the moment is so perfect…I can’t believe I’m about to do this.”

“She is so bloody gorgeous, I want her so badly.” He thought, feeling the pulling feeling in his groin. “I can’t believe a Malfoy has just fallen in love with a muggleborn.” Her head was spinning and she was having trouble thinking straight but she knew, as did he, that the other was all they wanted now, and forever. She worked on his belt, finally undoing its clasp and fiddling with his zipper. She arched her back so Draco could unhook her bra easier, and she felt the constraint on her breasts release, telling Hermione that he obviously had no trouble with it at all. It was pushed aside, as were his pants. It had come down to only knickers for the pair of them.

“I’m so glad I’m wearing the knickers from Lavender.” She couldn’t help thinking.

“Hey! I remember these!” Draco thought at the same time. He looked at her in the eye again, as if asking if she really wanted to go through with this. She nodded just slightly, so little that she wondered if she had even moved her head at all. He reached over her to the nightstand where his wand was. Picking it up, he pointed it at her abdomen.

Anti-pregnanto.” He whispered. Dropping the wand, he kissed her again with all the love he had in him.


Chapter 26: Happy Birthday Draco
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Oh my god, this is it. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…” Hermione thought, squeezing her eyes shut and preparing for the pain to come. “Just breathe, in and out, deep breaths, relax, don’t think about it. Think of how much you love him, yes, that’s it. I love him, I love him…” She kept repeating in her head. He took off his boxers and hooked his fingers under the tops of her underwear, except he had a little problem getting them off. Hermione had clenched her legs together, making it impossible to pull them off.

“Mi?” He said softly. She opened up one eye cautiously, then the other.

“Yeah?”

“Um…” He pointed to her legs.

“Oh, right. Sorry.” She said. Her face scrunched up like it did when she was in deep thought. Draco waited for her to relax, but that appeared to not be happening. He stroked her thigh gently with one of his hands, trying to coax them apart. Her skin burned under his touch.

“Mi?” He tried again. She relaxed a little, but still not enough. “We don’t need to do this now.” He said. As if those had been the magic words, or the reassurance that she needed, she let her body go limp and she pulled him down to her face for a kiss.

“I trust you.” She whispered against his lips. Her panties were pulled down around her ankles and she kicked them off the rest of the way. Slowly he pushed into her. At first, it just felt like she was being stretched (which basically she was) but then the sharp pains worsened and she had to bite down on her lips to keep from crying out. A small trickle of tears rolled out of her eyes and on to the overstuffed pillows. “Ouch, oh my goodness ouch!” She thought. Draco kissed her tenderly on the lips, distracting her momentarily from the pain. Very slowly the pain began to subside and pleasure took over, spreading over her entire body and making her legs tremble. They both had broken into a light sweat and their skin was sticking together slightly. Hermione was working her way up to cloud nine, and she could feel that Draco was about to be too. She arched her back and pushed her hips against his, making them both moan in unadulterated bliss. The satisfaction had ended a little sooner than either one would have liked, but hey, what can you expect from your first time? Draco collapsed onto Hermione and then rolled over so he was lying next to her. Their hearts were beating a million miles per hour, and they were breathing heavily. They lay there, not moving, not talking, for about ten minutes.

“Whoa.” Was all Draco could say. Hermione pulled the sheet around her and got out of bed, shuffling to the bathroom. A moment later Draco heard the sound of the shower being turned on and the curtain being drawn closed; fishing around in the darkness he found his boxers and slipped them back on. He was just falling asleep when Hermione padded in with damp hair and wearing his shirt. She crawled in next to him and buried her head in his chest, letting herself drift into a deep sleep. He wrapped his arms protectively around her, not sleeping himself until he knew she was already slumbering soundly. He closed his heavy eyelids, exhausted from their recent activities.


Hermione was the first to wake up the next morning. Her entire body hurt. She was sore in places she didn’t even know she was capable of being sore in. Last night had hurt… a lot. She had felt like someone was trying to tear her down the center. Yes, it had gotten better at the end, but the few minutes of joy hardly seemed worth it. She untangled herself from Draco’s grip and slipped out of the room noiselessly. She cooked him up a huge breakfast; eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, and a tall glass of pumpkin juice. Putting it all neatly on a tray, she carefully brought it upstairs and set it down on his bedside table. She pulled his gift out from under the bed and put it into a colorful gift bag. She sat next to Draco’s sleeping body and folded her legs underneath her. She put a hand on his bare chest and shook him gently.

“Wakey wakey sleepy head.” She cooed.

“Five more minutes.” He mumbled, rolling over onto his side.

“Nope. Come on birthday boy, get up. Unless you want me to chuck out your present and feed you breakfast to the birds.” This got him up. He sat up quickly and looked around the room.

“Presents? Breakfast? Where?” He smiled and kissed Hermione good morning. “I love you ‘Mi, you know that right? Last night was more than enough for me, you didn’t have to get me anything.”

“Bullocks. Of course I did, I’m your girlfriend. And besides, I wasn’t planning last night, it just happened. Here,” she grabbed the tray of food and placed it on Draco’s lap. “I made you breakfast. I thought you might be hungry since we didn’t exactly get to have dinner last night” She blushed.

“Thank you Love, it’s brilliant.” He said wrapping one arm around her shoulder and pulling her into his chest. She sighed contently and waited there as he finished his breakfast. “How are you feeling?” He asked.

“I’m sore.” She replied honestly.

“You know, they first thing you learn in Quidditch is to work your muscles when they are sore, and the more you do, the less it hurts.” He hinted slyly, nibbling on her ear. She giggled and pulled away, pushing his gift at him.

“I hope you like it.” She said playing with her fingernails like she always does when she’s nervous. He opened the bag and lifted the gloves out, looking them over in awe.

“These are amazing! Dragon’s hide? Wow, these are really nice, and they even have my initials in them. I love them, thank you.” He hugged her close. “You know what would make my morning even more perfect?” Hermione raised an eyebrow at him.

“Again?” She asked tiredly. He smirked, the famous Malfoy trademark.

Moving the tray to the floor, she climbed on top of him, straddling his hips. She pulled off his shirt that she had been wearing, revealing her nakedness underneath. Lowering herself onto him, she smirked matching his own seductive smile.

~*~and they do it again~*~ (A/N: Sorry, I don’t feel like going over it again right now, but you can use you imagination can’t you?)

Draco lay on his side with Hermione pressed into him. He was playing with her tangled bed head hair, and she was staring absentmindedly up at the high ceiling. Draco had been right, and the second time was definitely better than the first. In fact, she really was less sore. She heard a faint ringing sound coming from downstairs. She turned her head to look at Draco.

“Draco is there a telephone in this house?” She asked.

“A what?” He asked, confused.

“Okay that would be a no. I think someone is calling us on the floo.” She got up and hastily put a robe on. Running down the stairs ignoring Draco’s calls to wait up, she stopped in front of the fireplace. Kneeling in front of it, she saw her mother’s face floating in the flames.

“Mum!” She yelled in surprise. “Mum what are you doing?”

“Your father and I just got connected to the floo network yesterday and we wanted to test it out.”

“Oh mum, that’s great. Um…” She looked in the direction of the stairs to see if Draco was coming. He wasn’t. She clutched the robe tighter around her. “How’s daddy?”

“Your father is just fine, but he is anxious to meet this fellow of yours. How long did you say you had been together?” Hermione thought back to around the start of school.

“Oh, a few months…” She said vaguely. Her mother nodded in understanding.

“So what have you been up to?”

“Nothing.” Hermione lied quickly.

“Hold on dear, your father would like to speak to you.” Hermione quickly straightened her hair and made sure he wouldn’t be able to tell what she had just been up to. Her mother’s face disappeared and was replaced moments later by her father’s.

“Good afternoon Pumpkin.” He said warmly.

“Hi daddy.”

“About this boy of yours, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea that-” He was cut off by Draco entering the room, shirtless and messy haired.

“Hermione did you steal my shirt again? I don’t mind going without it but I…” When Draco saw that Hermione was talking to someone he could only imagine was her father, her quickly turned and ran for a shirt and a comb.

“That was him wasn’t it?” Her father said in a displeased tone.

“Erm, yes, that was Draco.” She said. “I know that may not have been the best first impression daddy but really, Draco is a nice boy, and very intelligent. Actually, he is the only other student at Hogwarts that has the same average as me.” She said very quickly, trying to dissuade him from saying anything brash about Draco before they met properly.

“Go bring him back here. I want to speak with him.” Her father said sternly.

“Now daddy, is this really necessary? We can all make acquaintances on Christmas and get to know each other then.”

“Hermione Jane Granger I said I wanted to speak with him. Go get him now.”

She nodded and went upstairs to find Draco, now fully dressed and groomed, sitting on the edge of the bed. He looked up to see her playing with her fingernails again.

“Oh no, what are you nervous about?” He asked, picking up on her nervous habit.

“Heh, um… my father wants to talk to you.” She said looking at everything except him. He sighed and stood up, then checked to make sure the buttons on his shirt were buttoned, and that his fly was zipped.

“Might as well get it over with then.” He brushed past her and went downstairs, kneeling at the fireplace as she had. She tried to listen in from the dining room, but all she could hear was “Yes Sir.” And, “No, I would never Sir.” Awhile later he came into the dining room and sat down in a chair next to Hermione, looking paler than usual.

“Hermione?” He asked.

“Yes?” She looked at him.

“What’s a machete?”

“Oh god.” She cradled her face in her hands.


Chapter 27: Happy Christmas
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

It was now Christmas Eve, and Hermione was absolutely frantic. The turkey had been roasting in the oven for hours, but it still wasn’t done, the tree was finally fully decorated, but Hermione had awoken early to the sound of it crashing down. When she went to investigate, she saw a very guilty looking Crookshanks lingering near by. Draco had gone back for him when Hermione realized that there was no one left to feed him, and now he was stirring up trouble everywhere. To top everything off, Draco could not for the life of him find his dark blue shirt that he was supposed to wear, and was pestering Hermione every five minutes to ask if she had seen it. Finally she grabbed her wand out of her back pocket and screamed “Accio Draco’s damned blue shirt!” And it zipped into her hand from its hiding place in the back of the wardrobe. Hermione could hear Draco in the common room mumbling, “Reparo, reparo, reparo...” over and over again at the broken tree ornaments. Hermione checked the clock on the kitchen wall which read 4:52 pm. Pulling off her apron she poked her head in the common room.

“I’m going to go get cleaned up, my parents should be here in about an hour.” She said. Draco nodded, hardly interested in what she was saying. She went upstairs and stripped down, stepping into the stream of hot water pouring out of the shower head. She sighed and tipped her head back under the water, letting it massage her scalp. Scrubbing herself clean and washing her hair twice, just to make sure it was clean, she stepped out and wrapped herself in a large fluffy towel. A quick drying spell later, she was dry and dressed in her “fashionably modest” dress. She used a sleek and shiny spell on her hair, but didn’t bother with make up, since it was just her parents after all. After slipping on her high heel, she went back downstairs and saw Draco lying lazily on the couch. She rolled her eyes at him, and threw the sparkling white apron over her dress. Saying a little mental prayer to the culinary gods, she opened the oven door. “Oh thank Merlin it’s done.” She thought in relief. The turkey was done, but she only had about enough time to make one more dish. She checked to make sure Draco couldn’t see her, and then magically conjured up a large bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes and a side of seasoned green beans. Smiling in satisfaction, she set the table. She was about to fetch the treacle fudge when she heard Draco calling her from the other room.

“Hermione they’re coming!” Ripping off the apron she ran as fast as her heels would allow her to the common room. Sure enough, the fireplace was glowing, indicating they could expect visitors soon. She took his hand and laced her fingers through his and she took a long deep breath. Draco tilted her face towards him and kissed her softly on the lips, and it calmed her nerves. She had never introduced a boy to her parents before.

“Are you nervous?” She asked him. He shrugged.

“Nothing I can’t handle.” He said calmly. Hermione laughed uneasily.

“You’ve never met my father.”

“Oh yes I have. He was kind enough to remind me that if I dared make a move on you before marriage then he would personally give me a vasectomy with a machete.” He said remembering their conversation a few days ago. “I guess it’s lucky he doesn’t know what we’ve been up to.”

“Oh no. I mean you’ve never really met my father.” She was about to elaborate when they saw her parents stumbling out of the fireplace.

“Mum! Daddy!” Hermione dropped Draco’s hand and hurried over to her parents who enveloped her into a large group hug.

“Oh pumpkin we’ve missed you!”

“How has this term been going for you? Keeping those grades up I hope.”

“And still dancing? You look wonderful darling.” Her parents fired question after question at her but she put a hand up to stop them.

“Mum and dad, there is someone I would like you to meet.” She turned and grabbed Draco’s hand again. Flashing him a reassuring smile, she looked back and her parents. “This is Draco Malfoy, my boyfriend. Draco, these are my parents Jane and Graham.” Draco took Mrs. Granger’s hand and kissed it politely, to which she put a hand over her chest, very impressed by his charm. Then he extended his hand to Mr. Granger, who shook it rather firmly, more firm in fact, then Draco had been expecting.

“Hello, it’s wonderful to finally meet your acquaintance.” He said charismatically. An awkward silence followed, and Hermione jumped in, trying to fill the uncomfortable hush.

“So who would like something to drink?” She asked in an overly cheery voice.

“I’ll have a beer if you have any.” Her father said.

“Tea?” Her mother asked. She nodded.

“Right then. I’ll be right back.” She left, happy to be out of the room, but slightly worried for Draco’s sake. She took her sweet time retrieving the beer and putting the kettle on for tea. As she waited for the tea to brew, she could have sworn that she heard laughter coming from the common room. Pouring the tea into the nice china she had found in an old cabinet, she brought the drinks in on a silver tray, setting them down carefully on the coffee table. She had not been imagining things, they really were laughing. Draco was seated next to her mother, with her father looking over the both of them from behind the couch.

“What are you lot laughing about?” She asked, wedging herself next to Draco. That’s when her eye caught a glimpse of an old photo album. “No! Mum you didn’t!” She cried, tearing the photo album out of Draco’s hands and pulling it into her lap. The giggly face of a little girl smiled up at her. Hermione in the bathtub stark naked, Hermione with her finger up her nose, Hermione holding a handful of muddy worms, Hermione pulling her dress over her head, proudly displaying her Snow White underwear for all to see, Hermione as a ballerina for Halloween, Hermione in her frilly bathing suit at the beach covered in sand, Hermione at a dance recital, Hermione in front of the Hogwarts Express on her way to her first year at Hogwarts. She covered her face with her hands, embarrassed.

“Oh mum, why did you bring that retched thing?”

“Well I thought Draco might like to see some pictures of what you looked like before you left for school.”

“Mum you promised you wouldn’t bloody do anything embarrassing!” Hermione cried, distraught.

“Hermione! Don’t swear at your mother. And we are only trying to show Draco here,” Mr. Granger clamped his hand down on Draco’s shoulder tightly. Hermione saw him flinch slightly. “What your childhood was like. Unfortunately we can’t all have shiny perfect lives filled with our every want.”

“Daddy…” Hermione said in a warning tone, giving him a stern look.

“Graham, don’t make a fool of yourself in front of our hosts.” Her mother helped.

“What? I was merely mentioning…”

“So!” Hermione piped up, quickly changing the subject. “Guess what? There is a new course at Hogwarts this year! Do you remember? I think I owled you about it.”

“Oh yes dear, I do remember. You sounded a bit disappointed though. You said something about being partnered with very rude boy. What was his name? Derrick? Danny? Dr…”

“Danny, yes that was his name. Danny.” Hermione swiftly lied. “But then we switched partners and I’m with Draco now.” She said, squeezing his hand. He grinned at her, deciding the best thing would be to try and let her do most of the talking. “We make a pretty good team, don’t we Draco?”

He cleared his throat and straightened up in his seat. “Oh, yes we do. We are actually dancing the tango together in a school performance this spring.” He said. Mrs. Granger’s face lit up when he said the word ‘tango’.

“Oh tango! That’s the dance of passion and love! Oh you must let us come see it! Hermione darling I haven’t seen you dance in so long, it would be lovely.”

“Erm, well mum I don’t think you will be permitted to come. You see, since it’s at school I don’t see how you would manage transportation and such.” Hermione said, trying to find excuses for why they couldn’t come. Dancing in front of her parents always made her nervous, she was worried that she would disappoint them or make a big mistake.

“I see.” Her mum said half heartedly.

“Well perhaps after we eat Hermione and I could show you some of the moves we were working on.” Draco suggested.

“That would be so brilliant dear! I’m so glad you thought of that.” Mrs. Granger said.

“Yes, it’s not like there isn’t enough room for ballroom dancing in the middle of the common room.” Mr. Granger said snidely. Hermione stood up quickly.

“Draco I need to check on dinner. Why don’t you come help me?”

“I can help you dear.” Her mother offered.

No. I mean, thank you mum but Draco doesn’t mind lending me a hand do you Draco?” He shook his head and followed her into the kitchen. She grabbed his collar. “What is wrong with you!? Are you daft? What moves? We don’t have any moves! If you remember neither one of us has even been to dance class in almost a month because Rebecca thinks we are choreographing a tango dance! Which, by the way, the only part we seem to know well is the dramatic snog at the end. I can’t dance in front of my parents! No, I won’t do it.”

“Mi, calm down, just follow my lead.”

“Oh haha very funny pun there Draco. My dad is already being a prat about this whole living arrangement between the two of us, and no offence, but I don’t think holding me close and practically feeling me up is going to make him want to beat you to a pulp any less.”

“Would you just relax? It’s not like we haven’t danced tango a million times before, and besides, from what I gather about your parents, they will be to busy being impressed by your skill to notice anything I’m doing.” Hermione pointed her finger at his face.

“Don’t you try any funny business. I mean it, this dinner is important to me and if you pull any funny little stunts of yours then I’ll…”

“You’ll what?” He smirked.

“I won’t shag you ever again!” He gasped and took a step back.

“Fine, fine, I’ll be nothing but a proper gentleman.”

“Thank you.”

“Until they leave.” He added. She swatted him playfully in the arm and walked out into the common room.

“Well I think it’s about time for dinner. Who’s hungry?” Her parents stood and Draco extended his arm to Mrs. Granger.

“May I escort you to dinner Mrs. Granger?” He asked charmingly. She smiled and accepted his arm.

“Why of course, but please, call me Jane.” Draco pulled her chair out for her, and then after she was seated he ran around the table and pulled out Hermione’s chair for her. She smiled lovingly at him.

“Thank you.” She whispered.

“You’re welcome.” He replied just as softly. Mrs. Granger watched her daughter with a kind smile on her face. She had kept a close eye on the two all evening, and she could see how in love they were. It was the little things that she had noticed. They were always holding hands; Draco never left Hermione’s side, and the way they looked at each other so intently that you could almost see the love pouring out of one and into the other.

Hermione managed to tear her eyes away from Draco’s long enough to observe the seating arrangement that had seemed to work itself out naturally. Her father sat at one end of the table, Draco at the other, with Hermione and her mum facing each other in the middle. She looked up at her mother and smiled. Mrs. Granger gave her daughter a knowing nod of approval, and then smiled in Draco’s direction.

“Ahem.” Mr. Granger cleared his throat loudly to get everyone’s attention. “Shall we eat? This all looks amazing.”

“Yes, but first, a toast.” She raised her glass and closed her eyes for a moment, searching for the right words to say. After a minute, she thought she had it. “To loving family, good friends, warm food, warm hearts,” she looked over at Draco. “And bright futures.”

“Cheers!” They all said in unison, clinking their glasses together in a toast.


Chapter 28: Narcissa Malfoy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Hermione rounded the table, gathering the plates and stacking them on her arm as she went. Draco saw Hermione doing her little juggling act and immediately jumped up to help.

“I’ll take those dishes Love, go sit down.” He said taking the stack of plates from her. Relief flooded onto her face and she kissed him on the cheek in gratitude.

“Thank you Draco.” She sat down next to her mum on the couch and took off her heels which were killing her feet.

“Pumpkin that dinner was brilliant. It tasted exactly like your mother’s, maybe even better.” Her father complimented.

“Hey!” Mrs. Granger said defensively.

“I said maybe.” Mr. Granger said chuckling. Things had gotten much more comfortable during dinner. They all talked about various things, and Draco even managed to share a joke with Mr. Granger, which eased the tension between the two immensely. All in all things were going pretty smoothly. Draco came back in and took a seat in one of the large armchairs sighing heavily.

“Mi that was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.” He said rubbing his stomach. Hermione blushed.

“Really, it wasn’t a big deal.” She said modestly. There was silence for a moment before Mrs. Granger shouted “Oh!” and caused everyone to jump slightly.

“You two agreed to dance for us after dinner, and I’m not letting you get out of it. Up with you!” Hermione looked at Draco who gave her a “shall we?” look. Draco stood and offered his hand to Hermione, who took it. He pulled her up from her seat and led her to the spacious part of the common room. Draco flicked his wand and conjured up the song they always danced tango to. Before getting into position, Hermione turned to her parents.

“Just remember, we haven’t worked all the kinks out yet, and it’s not exactly a routine or…”

“Just dance pumpkin.” Her father said. She nodded, and turned back to Draco. She put a hand on his shoulder, and took his hand in her own. She felt his hand finding the familiar spot on her back and he pulled her to him roughly, smirking at her. She flashed a sexy smirk back, and leaned in close to his ear.

“Remember it’s my parents we are dancing for.” She reminded in a whisper.

“I know.” Pressing on her back, she stepped backwards, moving her feet in rapid snappy motions. He spun her twice with speed and force, bringing her even closer to his body each time. Pausing for a very brief second to look in each others eyes, Draco moved them into the simple tango stroll, keeping their eye contact locked. They danced alternating long, quick strides with short, sharp steps. They were light on their feet; one of the things that set them apart from the others in their class. They could keep up with the fast tempo long after others would trip and mess up. As Draco led her she kept her body rigid, except for the swaying of her hips, making her easier to lead. Putting their arms (hands clasped together) over there heads, they went into the scorpion tail. Coming out of the scorpion tail and hooking her leg around Draco, she leaned back as far as she could go placing her trust, as always, in Draco, knowing that he would never drop her. Well, not on purpose at least. Just as they had practiced many time before, Draco stopped her just a few mere inches from the ground. That was one of the things that made their dancing great, was that they both were willing to take risks.

Draco pulled Hermione up and her face was flushed from dancing, but also from moving so sensually in front of her mum and dad. Her parents clapped and smiled at the performance. Draco sat back down in the big arm chair and pulled Hermione into his lap.

“Well darling, you’ve still got all the talent and passion for dancing as you did when you left, that’s for sure. You are a wonderful dancer. And Draco, my, my, my! I had no idea you were so… swift on your feet.” Mrs. Granger complimented.

“I think I like our variation better.” Draco whispered into her ear so only she could hear. She giggled at his words, and had to use all her restraint not to turn around and kiss him passionately from the feeling of hot breath on her neck. Hermione was about to say something when the doorbell rang. She looked at Draco, puzzled, and he looked at her with the same bewilderment. There were no neighbors for miles, and the only people who knew that Hermione and Draco were staying there were from the magical world, so they would know to use the floo.

“I’ll get it.” Hermione said getting off of Draco.

“Hermione why don’t you let me…”

“No really Draco, its fine. I’ve got it. You stay and chat.” She insisted. She walked over to the front door and slowly pulled it open. He eyes widened to the size of dinner plate in surprise and confusion. There, standing before her, was the nice lady from the Hogsmeade shop where she had brought her dress. She was dressed in a neat deep bottle green pantsuit with a royal purple velvet cloak draped over her shoulders. Her cool, grey eyes shown in the dim light of the moon from behind her oval spectacles.

“Um, may I help you?” Hermione asked trying to figure out what the sales lady was doing at the front door at 10:30 on Christmas Eve.

The woman ignored her question completely and went on to compliment Hermione on her dress choice. “I really am glad you decided on that one, it hugs you so nicely.”

“I beg your pardon for sounding rude, but may I ask who you are, or what you are doing here, or how you know where I live?”

The woman looked surprised at her words, and then narrowed her eyes at Hermione. “You live here?” She asked.

“Well right now I do, I’m staying here with my boyfriend over the holidays. Would you like to come in and have some tea with us? It’s quite cold outside.”

“Oh yes dear, I thought you would never ask.” The woman stepped in and before Hermione could offer to take her cloak, she had removed it and was hanging it up in the cloak room all by herself. It confused Hermione greatly that the woman seemed to know where everything was without being told. Hermione followed the woman, who apparently knew her way to the common room, into the laughter filled room. Her mum had taken out the photo album again and Draco was in hysterics over a picture of an eight year old Hermione with a large wad of bubblegum stuck in her hair. The three looked up from the photographs and took a look at the unexpected visitor in front of them. Hermione struggled, trying to think of an appropriate introduction for the woman she did not know, but as it turned out, one was not needed. Draco’s face turned as white as a sheet as all the blood rushed out of his face.

“Hello Draco.” The woman said in a disturbingly calm, yet still caring voice.

“M-mum?”

~*~*~

Mum? MUM!? The sales woman was Draco’s mum!? Draco’s mother was alive? Sure, she had never asked, but she just assumed she had died after his father died in Azkaban. Hermione could not help but think that she missed something here, something big.

“Mum?” Draco stuttered again. Clearly Hermione was not the only one surprised by the unexpected guest appearance.

“Yes darling, Happy Christmas!” She said embracing him, but not receiving a hug back. His arms hung lifelessly at his sides. “Thought you could escape inviting me to Christmas dinner now, did you?” She said good-naturedly. Draco remained still, a shockwave of confusion and surprise rippling through him, and not in a good way. Hermione, coming out of her catatonic state, did her best to be hospitable under the circumstances.

“Would you- would you like some, um… tea. Would you like some tea?” She managed to choke out.

“Oh yes dear, some tea would be lovely. Two sugars please, and just a drop of lemon.” Hermione poured the tea with a shaky hand and tried not to rattle the china too much, but Narcissa noticed anyways.

“Please do be careful with that china child, it is a very old family heirloom.” Hermione nodded and handed over the teacup and saucer. Narcissa took a sip, then put it down and pointed at Hermione.

“Now, you must be the girl who has stolen my son’s heart.” She then leaned over to Hermione’s parents and added, “You know, they say Malfoy’s don’t have hearts, a bunch hooey if you ask me. Well, except for his father perhaps…”

Finally regaining his composure, Draco spoke up. “What are you doing here mother? Why aren’t you… you know?” Narcissa waved the question away with her hand as if it was nothing but nonsense.

“So are you Hermione’s parents? Please excuse my rudeness for not introducing myself sooner. I’m Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother.” She said, shaking their hands and taking another drink of her tea.

“How did you know my name?” Hermione asked before thinking.

“Oh now you see that is an interesting story.” She started enthusiastically. “I was working in a store in Hogmeade when this girl comes in looking for a dress for dinner with her parents. Well, we find just the right one; that dress over there, the one she has on and as I’m ringing it up she asks if she can use the floo. Now of course I say yes, and as she is leaving, I recognize the address as my own, and I know instantly that it must be my Draco that she was introducing to you. And really, I just knew I couldn’t miss this.”

“Mother, a word please?” Draco asked firmly, but it sounded more like a statement. Narcissa put down her cup and stood up, smoothing out the wrinkles in her clothing.

“Of course Draco.” She followed him into the kitchen. Closing the door behind her, she turned and looked at her son with his arms crossed and a look that could rival his late fathers’.

“What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at Mungo’s?” He asked.

“It’s been such a long time since the incident; I don’t understand why you insist I stay there.”

“One year is not ‘such a long time’ mother. And you know why I want you to stay there. What’s all this about a job in Hogsmeade? What fool hired you? You don’t have a drop of experience and have never worked a day in your life.”

“Really Draco, its Christmas. Why must you be this way? Are you still sore about that thing with your father? You know I still think counseling is a wonderful idea…”

“NO, I’m not still SORE about my father threatening the existence of half the wizarding world, and honestly mother, why must I be this way? WHY MUST I BLOODY BE THIS WAY? I must be this way because my mother was hit with the most powerful and dangerous memory charm in the books, and I must be this way because she is not capable of realizing the severity of her actions, and I must be this way because you just showed up at my house uninvited and making a fool of yourself and of me in front of the girl I love and her parents. That’s why I must be this way.” He said heatedly.

“Actually, I believe this is my house…” She said.

“No, it isn’t anymore. It was left to me, and so was everything else that would have been yours because you are so unfit for inheriting such a sum of real estate. You still haven’t answered my question of why you are here.”

“It’s Christmas. I wanted to see you. The healers said I was well enough and remembering enough to be on my own about a month ago. I took a flat above the Leaky Cauldron and got a job in Hogsmeade at a clothing store. I’m doing well Draco, you can’t be angry at me for that.”

“Why didn’t you owl me at school then? Why did you have to show up like this on Hermione’s big night? This is the first time I have met her parents. I can only hope they aren’t going to judge me according to this mishap.”

“I don’t know why I didn’t owl you. I don’t remember. I’m sorry Draco.”

“You still don’t remember what he did to you do you?”

“Who?”

“Father. He did this to you. You can’t remember because of him. He’s dead now, but this is his fault.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll go.” They were interrupted by a soft, uncertain knock on the door. Hermione tentatively poked her head in and looked at Narcissa for a brief second before speaking to Draco.

“My parents are preparing to leave. I was wondering if you could come see them off with me. They would like to say goodbye.” She said. Draco felt a large stab of guilt as he looked at her sad face.

“Please tell them to wait, I’ll be there in just a second Love.” She nodded and closed the door gently. He looked back to his mum, who was now looking sorry. “You need to stay here so we can talk, but I need to take care of this.” He walked out into the common room where Hermione stood with her parents in front of the fireplace. She hugged them tightly.

“Be good pumpkin. We love you, and we are very proud of you. Keep in touch, and don’t forget to write us about how the performance went.” Her mother said lovingly.

“Stay tough kiddo.” Her father said, playfully hitting her on the shoulder.

“We are still on for the baseball world series right daddy?” The Grangers were a big fan of muggle baseball, especially Hermione and her father.

“One hundred percent.” They hugged, and then she stepped aside so Draco could get in. He shook Mr. Granger’s hand.

“I am terribly sorry for my mother’s unexpected visit. I had no idea she was going to show up. I wish I could explain everything but…”

“No worries son. Things happen. You take good care of my baby you hear? If I hear anything bad you know what I will have to do.”

“The machete, yes sir I remember.” They smiled at each other and Mrs. Granger gave Draco a quick hug before stepping into the emerald flames.

“Happy Christmas!” Both couples said. Draco wrapped his arm around Hermione’s waist as they waved goodbye together. They disappeared, leaving Draco and Hermione alone in the room. Draco pulled her closer to him and hugged her securely.

“I’m so sorry Hermione.” He whispered into her ear.

“It’s okay. Mum and dad understood, but it would be nice if you could tell me what is going on.” She said, resting her forehead against his and looking into his eyes.

“Could we talk about it later? I still need to deal with my mum.”

“I guess. I’m going to bed.” She said looking away and starting to walk off. Draco pulled her back.

“Hey, I’ll tell you everything later, I promise. I just need to take care of this is all.”

“You could have told me about her sooner you know.” Draco sighed.

“I know, I should have. I just- I need to talk to her first.” Hermione nodded and tried to walk to the stairs but was pulled back once again, by Draco. “I love you Hermione.”

“I love you too.” She said, finally being released from his grasp and going upstairs to their room. Around the corner, a pair of eyes peered, and a pair of ears listened intently, to the scene that had just happened. They watched as Draco sunk into the couch cushions and rubbed his tired face in his hands, trying to understand what in the name of Merlin had just happened.


Chapter 29: Christmas Morning
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I'm sorry that this one took longer to get out, but I had to take the SATs and unfortunatly they are more important than this story. THE STORY IS NOT OVER! It is just on hold for a couple days. Apparently, a few people are confused but this A/N, I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear enough before. I can't thank you all enough for all of your wonderful, kind reviews, and I love each and every one of them, so thank you thank you. Also, to those who keep asking how long this story will be, the answer is I have no idea. It ends when it ends, and there will most likely be NO sequal. I repeat, NO SEQUAL. Sorry, but I have another idea for a story and I want to pursue it to see if it goes anywhere. Umm, yeah, I believe that covers everything for now. To all my loyal readers and reviewers: I LOVE YOU!! YOU ROCK now enjoy. :)

“Darling?” Narcissa called, stepping into the common room.

“Yes mother.” He said tiredly. She came over and sat next to him on the couch.

“I didn’t mean to be a bother. I just… I wanted…” She took a deep, shaky breath. “I wanted things to be the way our family never was. You didn’t get enough love in your childhood, and I blame myself.”

“Mum, it wasn’t your fault…”

“I could have stopped him when he- I could have done something.” As she began to cry silently, Draco’s face softened.

“You can’t remember anything about the war, or the way he treated you, but you remember what he did to me?”

“Of course! You’re my baby, my only son. I remember everything about you. Draco, I don’t know who that girl is, but she has made you into the man that I always hoped you would be. I was so afraid you would grow up cold, and hard hearted, I’m just so glad you found love in time. You are in love aren’t you?”

“Yes.” He said softly.

“Then I’m going to go. You are in good hands with Hermione, treat her well. Write me before graduation?” Draco nodded. He hugged his mother, and kissed her on the cheek.

“Just promise me you will keep going to your check ups at Mungo’s.” She sighed heavily.

“Fine, if it will make you happy, then I’ll go.”

“Take care mum.” She stood and went to the fireplace.

“I think I’m going to floo home, the muggle way takes far too long.” She cupped his face in her hands. “I love you son.”

“Love you mum.” As swiftly as she came, she was gone, taking with her all her craziness. Trudging upstairs, Draco went into the bedroom and started unbuttoning his shirt. He looked over at the bed and saw Hermione with her back to him sleeping soundly, her lips parted slightly in her shallow breathing. Stripping down to his boxers, he crawled into bed next to her. Feeling the bed depress from his weight, she rolled over and rested her head against his chest, snuggling into him. He pulled her closer and kissed her on the top of her head affectionately. He closed his eyes, and let the end come to a very long day.


The next morning Hermione felt something stir beside her, then she felt the absence of Draco’s warmth, and she opened her eyes lazily. She saw Draco trying to slip out of bed without waking her.

“I didn’t mean to wake you.” He said in a whisper.

“It’s okay.” She said, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. She yawned loudly and stretched. Before he could get all the way out of bed, Hermione grabbed a handful of fabric from his boxers, pulling him back. “You’re not going anywhere until you tell me what happened last night.” Draco sighed and sat back down on the bed.

“My father died, I told you that.” Hermione nodded and he continued. “But before he was sent to rot in Azkaban he destroyed my mum’s memory. Being a big supporter of Voldermort, he had the power to wipe out everything completely. She couldn’t remember anything. Who she was, where she was, and even remembering simple tasks like walking had become difficult to remember. It was like she was a baby again.” Draco paused unsure how to continue. “The only thing they could do was send her to Mungo’s, and the showed her pictures everyday, trying to get it to click. She remembers a lot more now, but there are times when she will blank out and forget what she was in the middle of talking about. She knows me now, but for months I was just the stranger who came to visit every Sunday.”

Hermione reached out and squeezed his hand. “Draco I’m sorry.”

“She can’t remember my father very well, which is probably for the better, but she thinks that she just hit her head or something like that. I can’t stand that the bloody bastard is still getting away with murder even after he died.” Draco’s face hardened and his free hand was clenching into a fist. But he looked over at Hermione who was looking at him with big sympathetic doe eyes and he softened. “I should have told you all this sooner.” She shook her head.

“No, no. This is something you had to tell me in your own time. But now I have to ask, is there a secret wife and kids in some far off place that I should know about? Any stage names or undercover careers?” Draco laughed lightly, amused at her attempt to make him feel better.

“No, that’s everything.” He kissed her gently on the mouth. “I think.” She swatted him on the back of the head. “Hey!” Arming himself with a pillow, he backed away from her. “Try that again, I dare you.” Hermione picked up a pillow and chucked it, with all her might, at Draco’s head. He moved just in time however, and he turned to look beside him where the pillow had fallen.

“Ha! Is that all you’ve- Ooph” Hermione threw another pillow at his head as he was turned around, but this time she didn’t miss.

“Now what was that you were saying Malfoy?” She asked coyly.

“That you are dead meat Granger.”

“Only if you can catch me!” She jumped off the bed and tore down the stairs, up the hallway and into the dining room. She could hear Draco close on her heels so she ran faster. Once she got to the table she went to the far side of it and watched Draco come sliding in out of breath. They locked eyes, and Draco started to mirror Hermione’s movements. She put her hands on the back of a chair, and so did he. She stepped to the right, he stepped to the right. She moved left, he moved left, neither one blinking. Hermione was unsure how she was going to get herself out of this one. There was only one way out, and right now if she made a run for it he would catch her for sure. She felt something soft and furry brush up against her leg, and out of the corner of her eye she could see a blur of orange. “Crookshanks.” She thought. “This could work…” Not breaking their eye contact, she slowly bent down and scooped him up in one hand. “Sorry about this Crookshanks, but you need to take one for the team.” Hermione sent Crookshanks flying through the air in Draco’s direction, meowing and scratching at the air all the way. Taken by surprised, Draco caught the very disgruntled cat giving Hermione a chance to run. Taking refuge behind the bushy Christmas tree, Hermione stayed as quiet as possible, listening for sounds of Draco coming her way. A minute later, there was still no sound coming from the dining room, so cautiously she stuck her head out around the tree, looking for movement.

Stepping out of her concealed hiding place, she moved away from the tree. Suddenly two strong hands grabbed her waist and picked her up, scaring the daylights out of her and causing her to scream at the top of her lungs.

“Ha! I got you!”

“PUT ME DOWN RIGHT THIS INSTANT DRACO MALFOY!!” Laughing, Draco set her down.

“That wasn’t funny. You know I don’t like being scared like that.”

“Oh Mi, you know I was just joking.”

“Yeah well, well… just open your present.” She said taking a seat on the overstuffed couch. Draco’s birthday gift had been hard enough to pick out, so she had assumed the same would be true for Christmas and asked her mum for help. The Granger family had a very old pocket watch, one of a kind that has been passed down generation by generation to the male Grangers’. Hermione being a girl, her mum suggested giving it to Draco. Hermione hoped that he would like it, since it held no magical power and wasn’t worth much in material value.

Draco found the small green box under the tree that had a tag with his name written in Hermione’s neat, loopy writing. Gently lifting the lid and pushing aside the fluffy cotton, Draco picked up the ticking ancient watch.

“Hermione this is wonderful, thank you.” He said earnestly.

“It’s a bit of a family heirloom. I know you may not have much of a use for it, but it has a sentimental tie to my family.”

“I love it, and I will take good care of it, I promise.” He leaned forward across the couch and kissed her on the forehead. She smiled at him, and to herself, mentally congratulating herself on a gift well chosen.

“You’re next.” Draco said holding his hands behind his back. “Pick one.” He told her. She thought for a moment, and then pointed to his protruding left elbow.

“That one.” She decided. He smiled, and she thought she must have chosen the right one. Sure enough, he produced a long, thin, black, velvet box and held it out to her. She took it.

“Thank you so much Draco.”

“You haven’t even opened it yet, how do you know that you’re going to like it?”

“I just know.” She said excitedly. Slowly lifting the lid, her eyes grew wide, and her smile broader. In front of her was the most dazzling necklace she had ever laid eyes on. It was perfect in its simplicity, a solid gold chain holding a matching gold heart locket that was encrusted with one ruby, and one emerald, one on either side of the heart.

“Turn in over.” Draco instructed. Awestruck, she did as he said and her eyes began to tear at the inscription on the back.

To the only Gryffindor that can tame the heart of a Slytherin, with all my undying love, Draco.” She read aloud. Delicately opening the clasp, she found a picture of her and Draco kissing on one side, and one of them dancing in the other. The smiling pictures waved up at her. “Draco it’s so beautiful! I love it so much, I love you so much…” She began to sniffle.

“No, no crying yet. There is one more thing.” He pulled his other hand out from behind his back, and grasped in his palm was another black velvet box, but this one was small and square. “Happy Christmas.”

Hermione gasped. “Oh please let those be matching earrings.” She thought frantically to herself. “I’m only seventeen! I can’t get married. Oh my god, oh Merlin no!” Her mind raced as she watched for signs that he was going to pop the question. He sat down beside her and took her hand in his, and then pushed the box toward her.

“Draco no, no the necklace is breathtaking and that alone was way too much, I don’t… I mean I only got you that… and I can’t possibly accept-”

“Take it.” He said gently. She looked uneasily at the box, then back up at Draco, box, Draco, box, Draco, box, Draco, box, Draco, box…

“Hermione if you don’t stop that then I will open it for you.” He said finally. She awkwardly reached out and took it. Easing it open, she peaked inside, and then snapped it shut again.

“Draco…”

“Hermione Jane Granger…”

“Draco I…”

“I can’t marry you.” He said. Her head jerked violently to look at him, appalled.

“What?”

“I can’t marry you right now, because we are too young and we have our whole lives and careers ahead of us, not to mention the rest of Hogwarts, but I want the entire world to know that you are mine, and mine only for the taking. I am promising, not proposing, that I will love you as long as my heart is still beating. And I promise you, that as long as I am here, I will never let anything or anyone harm you. And I promise to take care of you always, and to love you with every part of my being.” He took to box from her hands and opened it, revealing once more the gold band with a circle cut diamond in the center. It was magnificent, but not overly showy. The diamond itself was rather modest, but perfect for Hermione. He removed the ring and took her left hand, sliding the ring onto her finger.

Hermione allowed the tears to flow freely down her hot cheeks and she threw her arms around Draco’s neck. “I love you, I love you so much Draco Malfoy.” She pulled back far enough to kiss him passionately on the lips. “I will never stop.”


Chapter 30: Home
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I am soooo sorry everyone! I didn’t mean for this one to be so late, but I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and yeah, it’s been hard and I haven’t felt like writing for a while. But I’m back! I think the next one should be out… well I’m not sure but it will be fast than this one I promise. I hope I didn’t lose too many of my loyal readers during the long chapter drought. I know this one is shorter but it’s difficult to not just kill off all the characters because of my bad mood. Enjoy and please comment if you have a spare second.


Hermione stood in the middle of the large, spacious library in her tank top and soft cotton shorts. Soothing music played around her. The library had instantly become her favorite room in the house, and due to its size, she found no reason why it wouldn’t make a perfectly good dance studio as well. The light was just right, and the atmosphere with all the books made her feel comfortable and relaxed. She sat down on the shiny hardwood floor and slipped on her ballet pointes, being sure to wrap her toes first. Standing up, she stretched out her muscles well then conjured up a ballet barre for herself. Starting in first position, she coached herself.

Demi-Plie, demi-plie, grand plie. Back straight, eyes forward, concentrate.” She mentally instructed. Bringing herself back to standing first position, she shook her legs out and repositioned into second position. “Demi-Plie, demi-plie, grand plie…” By the time she had gotten to the fifth position, her legs were already beginning to ache. It had been a while since she had done any real dancing, and now it was taking its toll. This didn’t stop her though.

She took a few steps away from the barre so she wouldn’t crash into it, and then positioned herself for a couple of sautés. She turned out her feet and found her balance. She bent her knees and jumped up, pointing her toes in mid air then landing in the same position she started in. Grumbling at herself for not getting as high as she would have liked, she decided to skip the rest and move on to something she thought she could still do. She had never been particularly fabulous in this department of dance anyways, but now she was out of practice, making her even worse.

She placed one hand delicately on the barre, and raised the other out to her side. Transferring her weight to the ball of her right foot, she elegantly swept her pointed left foot forward, out to the side, then backwards in a nearly perfect battements tendus. Resisting the strong urge to repeat the move over and over again until it was perfect, she ignored the minor imperfection and turned around switching legs. She was having a bit of trouble getting her leg to turn out all the way when she swept it back. Her grip on the barre tightened and her face contorted in frustration.

A hand reached out from behind her and touched her hip bone. “You’re too up tight, relax and turn out from your hips, it will make it much easier.” Said a deep voice in her ear. She relaxed her hips and tried it again. Just as the person had said, it was much easier and her movements were much more fluid, and less forced. Satisfied with the useful advice, she turned around smiling.

“I didn’t know that you knew very much about ballet.” Hermione said.

“When I told you my parents made me take dance classes, I wasn’t kidding. They made me take everything, including ballet.” Draco said. Hermione nodded wisely. “I have been looking for you.”

“I’m in the library.”

“No really, I couldn’t tell.” He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. She gave him a look, and he gave her one right back.

“Did you need to tell me something?”

“Yes. Your sautés suck.” He had been watching her? She blushed slightly but then retorted right back.

“Yeah well tell me something I don’t know. I suspect you think you can do better?”

“Oh hardly. I’m not dressed appropriately nor am I warmed up, but I can help you.”

“Can you now?” It was a question, but she said it like a challenging statement. He nodded.

“Take your position.” She did and he placed his hands on either side of her hips. “Okay, now when you’re jumping into the air, don’t wait until you are mid-air to point your toes. Use them as part of your propulsion and you will get higher. Don’t forget to really put some leg muscle into it. You have strong legs, use them. I’m going to support you and you just do your thing, okay?”

“Alright.” She jumped into the air, using as much of her strength as she could without over exerting herself, and once she was in the air Draco held her there.

“Draco you are making me lose my balance. Set me down.” She was starting to wiggle.

“Are your toes pointed?” He asked, still holding her up.

“Yes. Now if you would kindly set me down…”

“No, they are not. I can see them, and it looks to me like they are just flopping.”

“Uuurrgh.” Hermione let out a strained, frustrated noise and forced her feet into perfect points.

“That’s my girl.” He set her down and she was looking at him oddly. “What? If I didn’t make you do it right then you were never going to get it.” She rolled her eyes at him.

“Yes oh mighty teacher.” She said monotonously.

“I’ll just leave you to your ballet then.” He kissed her on the cheek. As he turned to leave, he leaned in close to her ear. “By the way, I love those shorts on you.” Hermione felt a pinch on her behind and she gasped, pretending to be offended. He smirked and winked at her before disappearing through the heavy library door. She shook her head and smiled to herself at Draco’s antics, then lifted her chin and got back to her exercises.


Two hours later, Hermione had shed her tank top, leaving only her sports bra and shorts on, and had beads of sweat forming rapidly on her back and stomach. She had switched from ballet to jazzy swing, and then from swing to her present salsa dance. She decided that today was a day for dance. Falling back into her old routine she changed dance styles every forty minutes. It felt good to hear her heart beating in sync with the fast rhythm as her feet moved to the music they knew so well, and her hips swayed in perfect motion to the pumping sound. This place, whatever it was, whether it was the house she was standing in or the frame of mind she was in when she danced, it felt good, it felt solid, and it felt like home. The home she never wanted to leave.

The music stopped and she figured now would be a good time to take a break. Wiping the damp hair off her forehead, she sauntered into the kitchen humming the tune of “La Bamba”. She opened the refrigerator door and grabbed a bottle of water. Shutting the door with her hip, she popped open the bottle and took a long drink. Draco, who was sitting at the counter writing out Quidditch plays, put down his quill and watched her with a very bemused expression on his face.

“La ba ba ba ba bamba, hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm… LA BAMBA!” She danced her way over to the pantry and pulled out a box of crackers. Using it as a shaker, she shook it up and down to the beat in her head before setting it down and opening it, stuffing a few in her mouth.

“Well, somebody’s in a good mood today.” He said.

“Mmm hmm.” She replied, her mouth full but still eating more crackers.

“What brought on this natural high?” he asked. “Or have you found the fire whiskey closet?” She stuck out her cracker-covered tongue at him. She put down the cracker that was en route to her mouth, and looked at him with a serious expression.

“I’ve missed dancing Draco. I don’t know how I got so off track, or how I could forget how happy it makes me, but when I started dancing this morning, I felt just like I did last summer before my life became so chaotic.”

“So, before you started seeing me you were happy?”

“No! I didn’t mean it like that! I just meant that last summer I spent every free second on that back porch dancing until my feet were bleeding, but I could never feel the pain because I felt so free and cheerful. At Hogwarts, there is so many other things going on, especially being head girl and all. I am happy with you. How could I not be?” She walked across the kitchen and stood behind him with her hands on his shoulders and her face right by his ear. “You know I love you, don’t you?”

Draco shrugged. Hermione gasped and withdrew her hands. “I feel like all of a sudden I need to compete against the other love of your life for your attention and affection.” He said coldly.

“Oh come on Draco, how can you actually say that? It’s ridiculous, really.”

“Is it?” he asked, standing up from his stool and turning around to face her.

“You are blowing this way out of proportion. Nothing is going to come between you and me. We have survived harsh ridicule from classmates, nasty comments from close friends, humiliating introductions to parents, and it would be bloody stupid to think that my hobby would in any way shape or form stop the way I feel about you. Get a grip Draco.” They stood there staring at each other in heated silence for quite some time before one spoke up.

“Have I ever told you how sexy you look when you’re angry?” Draco asked. Hermione burst out laughing and pointed her finger at him.

“I am in no mood to shag you right now Malfoy. You got jealous over dancing and threw a little temper tantrum like a two year old and now all you can think about is getting me into bed?” He advanced toward her, reaching out and touching her hip. His hand stuck slightly from the sweat on her body.

“Well I never said we had to do it in bed.” He slyly suggested, his eyes flashing to the counter tops before fixing themselves back on her face. She thought for a moment. She had to admit to herself that there was something appealing and thrilling about having a wild, passionate shag in a place other than the traditional bedroom, but maybe there was a way to twist this in her favor.

“Alright Draco, I will have you right here, right now on this very counter,” His eyes widened in delight and she could tell he was already imagining it. “If,” His eyes narrowed upon hearing the condition. “If you stop procrastinating and practice our tango dance for the performance. It’s getting closer and we really need to…”

“Shut it before you ruin the mood. I’ll do it.” He kissed her feverishly and placed his hands under her bottom and lifting her onto the counter top.


Chapter 31: Kicking and Screaming
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Fasten your seatbelts boys and girls, things are about to get a little bit bumpy.

“You’re holding me wrong.”

“I am not!”

“Yes you are. Your hand is too high on my back.”

“It’s fine.”

“You should be starting on your left foot, not your right.”

“That is my left foot.”

“Well it looks like your right. Sorry. But maybe you should bring it in a bit so I don’t stomp on it when I turn in.”

“It’s fine.

“Are you sure? Because to me it looks a bit off…”

“BLOODY HELL HERMIONE!!!”

“What? I was only correcting your position…”

“My bloody position is bloody fine and if you don’t bloody leave me bloody alone I swear on Merlin I will bloody quit this bloody performance!!”

“You just swore six times in one sentence.”

“I DON’T BLOODY CARE!!”

“WELL MAYBE YOU BLOODY SHOULD BECAUSE IT IS IN FOUR DAYS AND I CAN’T BLOODY DO IT MYSELF!!”


It was there seventh fight in three days. Ever since they had left the beach house and returned to Hogwarts petty fights had been popping up everywhere. And now, once again, they were in a bitter rage at one another. In the dance studio, now with a good five paces between them, they engaged in verbal battle at a dance practice gone bad. Last night they fought because Draco refused to help Hermione unpack, insisting that the house elves would take care of everything. In a flash Hermione was reeling off about house elf rights and in the end they both stomped off to their separate bedrooms and spent the night away from each other for the first time in months. Presently, they both secretly wondered if the other even truly cared at all.

“WELL THEN MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T BLOODY DO IT AT ALL!!”

“We wouldn’t even have this problem if you would just take the advice I give you!!”

“Oh, you mean like the advice you took last night when I told to let the house elves do their jobs?!”

“House elves have feelings too Draco!! They have rights!”

“Yeah! Just like I have the right to ignore you right now!”

“That is so typical! Running away from your problems like a scaredy cat! Nothing gets solved that way Draco! Why can’t you just listen to me…”

“Listen to you!? Why the hell would I do that? All you ever do is bloody blow my ears out with all of your nonsense screaming!”

“IT’S NOT NONSENSE!!”

“I don’t give a flying rat’s arse what it is! I’m sick of listening to it!”

“Then why don’t you just leave?!” Hermione screamed, pointing to the open doorway. Her eyes set on his stone face, her own cheeks ablaze from all the yelling they had done. She challenged him to do anything, staring him down with the nastiest glare she could muster up, and with her anger, this was not proving difficult. Without saying a word, he briskly strode out the door and into the busy corridor.

She blinked, in shock of what had just happened. She wasn’t expecting him to actually leave, she just wanted him to realize she was really angry and apologize. Or something like that anyways. She stood motionless and silent for a minute, debating over whether or not she should go after him. But wasn’t that his job? Wasn’t he supposed to be chasing after her, and begging her to listen to his reasoning? It seemed like it should be that way to Hermione, but instead she did nothing. She didn’t go after him. Nor did she stand proud with her nose in the air and wait for him to appear and beg her pardon. No, instead she stood numbly in the dance studio with her eyes set on where Draco’s body had been standing not five minutes ago. She looked down at her left hand where the ring he gave her sat gleaming on her ring finger. Her eyes began to tear as she tipped her hand from side to side so that the brilliant diamond could catch the light, increasing its beauty even more.

How could something so perfect and so full of love go so terribly wrong in just a few days? Hermione wondered. What could she have possibly done to ruin things between her and Draco? Did he regret their time together? Was it the sex? Was it her compassion towards house elves? Hermione went through every potential problem she could have caused, but nothing seemed to make sense to her. A soft knock interrupted her thoughts.

“Hermione?” Hermione turned and saw Rebecca leaning in the doorway with her arms folded across her chest. “Is everything alright? I heard yelling and then I just saw Draco storming down the halls. Did you two have a fight?”

Sucking up her tears and refusing to let them fall in front of anyone, she addressed Rebecca. “Oh no, it was simply a little misunderstanding was all. It’s quite a detailed dance, it can wear on your patience sometimes. Everything is brilliant. Really smashing.” Hermione nervously shifted her eyes from the door to her bag that was resting on the floor. Striding over to it, she snatched it up. “Please excuse me for just…” She brushed past Rebecca and sped off down the corridor towards the only place she could seek solstice. The only place she could be alone to think and to calm down. The library.


Hermione darted and wove her way past row after row of high book shelves. Once she was a safe distance away from all of the other studying students, she let the tears fall freely down her hot cheeks. She was certain that no one could hear or see her where she was, but she kept whizzing by aisle after aisle, unable to stop her legs from moving. Eventually, she knew she would have to stop. The aisles were getting narrower, and the walls were closing in. Soon, she will reach the very back of the library. Soon she will have to stop running. Soon, but not now.


~*~

Draco paced furiously back and forth in the Heads’ common room. Anger surged through him. Anger towards Hermione, and towards himself. Who is she to think she can tell me how to dance? I probably know better than her anyway. She is always so demanding, can’t stand it when people don’t do something her way, pushy, know-it-all… Draco thought. Can’t leave well enough alone, perfectionist to be put simply. Temperamental, determined… He thought some more. Hard working... beautiful, very beautiful. Intelligent, and in love. In love me? Would she still be after the last few days of fighting? Why had he done that? He wondered. Why had he gotten so angry? Something was eating him but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Enraged at himself for behaving so rudely and for being unable to understand himself, he turned to the stone wall and punched it with all his might. Roaring out in pain (it was a solid stone wall, very painful) and swearing openly, he cradled his scraped up hand. This was not good.


~*~

She had gone as far as she could, and now she had to stop. Stopping meant that she would have to think, and that wasn’t something she wanted to do. Throwing herself into the corner, she felt the hard impact of her body slamming into walls. Sliding down the wall and bringing her knees up to her chest, she let out the loud, choking sob that had been trying to escape since the fight started. Taking a deep, shuttering breath, she breathed in the musty smell around her. Everything is falling apart… She thought. Why can’t I make this work? What am I doing wrong? Is it me he’s angry with or is he just in a bad mood? Questions pounded through her brain, showing no mercy and no signs of slowing down. Does he hate me? Was he using me for sex? Is this all a joke for him? Can I really keep doing this? Is it worth it? Her head ached, her body was exhausted from practicing all day, her homework was not done, and now the girl that could never fall, and the girl that vowed to never let a man drag her to her knees was in a heap on the library floor crying her eyes out. Later she would figure out that her body just couldn’t handle the mental and physical stress, but for now, she just wanted to escape to a place where she couldn’t be bothered. Tucking her head into the nook between where the two walls join, she let her eyelids close and she fell into a light, dreamless, but by no means good, sleep.


~*~

Draco sat on the couch in the common room, waiting for Hermione to come back so they could work out the problem (once they figured out what it was) and then have passionate make up sex. With his head resting in his palm, he kept his eyes locked on the portrait hole, waiting for her familiar figure to come walking through it any moment. Her figure, however, never came. For hours he worried, only getting up twice to pace back and forth in front of the dying fire. By three AM he couldn’t take it anymore, and decided to go out and look for her, curfew be damned. He was a Head and could smooth talk his way out of anything. He roamed the empty, dark eerie halls hoping that she was just out for a night time stroll to the kitchens, but somehow he knew that wasn’t the case.

He checked the kitchens, but they were empty, even the house elves were in bed at this hour. His next guess was the library, but when he got there he saw that it was locked.

“Alohomora.” He said, pointing his wand at the door. He tried the knob again but it still wouldn’t budge and he swore under his breath. He continued on his way checking all the halls on that floor as well as passing by the Gryffindor common room. He has thought that maybe she would go to her friends if she was upset, but he was wrong. After searching fruitlessly for over an hour, his body was begging for rest. He convinced himself that she had most likely gone back to their common room while he was out looking for her. In fact, she was probably fast asleep in her bed right now. Trudging back to his room, he poked his head into Hermione’s bedroom. To his great disappointment, her bed remained empty and perfectly made, and he knew that she had never come back as he had hoped.


Chapter 32: Bruises
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Yes, it’s short. Yes, it’s kind of boring. Yes, it’s not very happy, but I’m not in the mood to write so this was the best I could come up with. Hopefully the next one will be better and longer. I don’t know when it will be out, but don’t worry about the story ending, because I will tell you when it does. Also, thanks a lot to Delia Grace for giving me the web address to the site with all that information on it, it’s a great resource and I appreciate it.


Hermione awoke with a start in an anything but gentle manner. Her body was alert, but she kept her eyes squeezed shut. Her muscles tensed up and she desperately racked her brain for any information about her surroundings. She recalled the fall out with Draco, then running into the library. Tentatively opening her eyes, they slowly adjusted to the dark of the room. She could make out fuzzy outlines of bookshelves and the shadowy aisles that led back to the main part of the library. Fumbling around for her wand, she found it in her back pocket and pulled it out. “Lumos.” She whispered. A small pool of soft light glowed in front of her. She got up uneasily, her body stiff and cramped from sleeping in a tight ball form against the wall of the library. She gathered her bag and slung it over her sore shoulder. She was still tired, as sleeping as she did rarely produces quality slumber. She weaved her way back down the aisles to the librarian’s desk. It was vacant, which was not a surprise. Above it hung a large clock, its hands pointed to fifteen minutes before five. The library opened at six o’clock every morning, but Hermione couldn’t allow anyone to see her in the condition she was in, plus she was dying for some real sleep. She hadn’t seen her own reflection since yesterday but she imagined she looked quite distressed. Her hair was frizzy and tangled, her clothes wrinkled and tear stained, and she had puffy dark circles under her eyes.

After trying with no avail to open the library door with “Alohomora”, she decided that going threw the high window that led to the open corridor was her best bet. She pushed one of the tables under the window, and the piled a couple of thick books on top of that. She climbed up to the top of her structure, then pushed the window open and dropped her book bag out first. She stuck one leg out, then the other so that she was leaning out the window with half her body in, and the other half out. Just as she was about to slowly make her way down the high stone wall, she heard the click-clack of heals coming down the corridor. She knew she wouldn’t have the time or the strength to pull herself back in, so she pushed herself out the window and landed painfully on her knees with a sickening crash. Pain shot up through her legs, but not wanting to be caught, she scrambled up to her feet and snatched her book bag before hurrying off down the corridor. She knew that whoever it was that was coming must have heard the sound of her crashing, so she hid in the shadows of the nearest statue.

The shiny heels of Minerva McGonagall clicked past her in a frenzy to find the cause of loud noises. Once the click-clacking could no longer be heard, Hermione ducked out from her hiding place and dumbly felt her way in the dark up to the head common room. It was early morning now, and both students and staff would be awakening soon, so despite the tremendous soreness in her legs, she pressed on up to her bedroom. Inside, she dropped her bag carelessly to the floor, and sat down on the edge of her bed to inspect her legs. Her skin stung as she ran her fingers over the swollen, purple bruises that had already begun to form with a feather-like touch. It hurt when she bent or extended her legs, this was not good for her dancing. I am so foolish. She thought. To fall on my knees like that was probably the worst thing I could do. Not bothering to undress, she cautiously slid her legs under her soft sheets and fell asleep the moment her tired face hit the pillow.



Draco had given up on sleeping by the time pink light streamed in through his curtains. All his searching for Hermione last night had been proved pointless, as he could not find her. He had no idea where she could be, or whether or not she was okay. He felt the guilt weighing heavily on his shoulders because he knew the reason she was so upset was because of him. Why couldn’t he control his temper? He hadn’t felt this out of control since… Draco looked over at the calendar hanging above him desk and it hit him like a ton of bricks. It had been exactly one year and three days since his father’s death. It wasn’t a sad affair, but he thought back to the weeks after he found out. When the ministry told him of his father’s death, Draco had gone a bit mad with power. He felt free, he had all of a sudden gained his own independence, and the idea of being able to do what ever he pleased without his father over ruling him was a glorious thought. However, as much as he celebrated, he also fumed in anger over the damage his father had done before he was finally put to rest. No, they were not happy times, and now, a year later, he still held the resentful emotions inside, and they were having quite a negative affect on his love life.

He threw the covers off of himself and swung his legs over the edge of his bed, sitting up quickly. I will find her. I have to. He thought.


Hermione turned in her sleep, some of the blankets falling away in the process. She lay on her stomach, the side of her smooth face pressed into the pillow and one of her legs dangling off the bed. Her hair spilled wildly down over her shoulder and her upper back, and her soft snores could be heard coming from her motionless figure. Logically, her bedroom was the first place Draco looked, just to see if she had come in after he went to bed. Fortunately for him, his search started and ended in the same place. He opened her door and stepped in, scanning the room. His eyes settled on the occupied bed and he immediately relaxed. Thank Merlin, she’s sleeping. He walked noiselessly across the floor to the bed where her leg was hanging off. As gently as he could without waking her, he lifted the blankets and tucked her leg back under, but as he was doing so, he saw large, painful looking purple bruises covering her legs (particularly around the shins and knees, but some on the back of her thighs as well). What on Earth happened to her? I swear if I find out who did this to her I will…

Draco’s angry and curious thoughts where interrupted by a soft moan from Hermione, that appeared to be in discomfort. He stood back and watched her rearrange herself, turning over onto her back and kicking off the blankets he had just covered her with. Draco’s jaw hit the floor when he saw her knees. Worse than any of the bruises, it literally looked like someone had taken a beater’s bat to her knees. They were dark and discolored, with some spots of dried blood on them. He hadn’t wanted to wake her, but this was too much. He had to know what caused all of the injuries.

Lightly shaking her shoulder, he whispered “Hermione.” There was no reply, so he tried a little louder. “Hermione.” She shifted in her bed and then cracked her eyes open. She stared lazily at him for a minute, taking her time to register who it was that was hovering above her. Once she realized it was Draco, her eyes shot all the way open.

“Draco… what are you doing here?” She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and sat up. He sat down next to her on the bed and caressed her cheek caringly.

“Hermione what happened to you? Did somebody hurt you because if they did just tell me who and I swear to Merlin I will kill them.” He said. Remembering their row, she raised her chin defiantly and moved her face away from his touch.

“Why would you care? I probably shouldn’t talk, I would hate to, ‘blow your bloody ears out.’” She said coldly. He sighed and dropped his head.

“Look, I didn’t mean it okay? We were in the middle of an argument, it just slipped out. I’ve got a lot on my mind right now.”

“Yeah, and I guess I’m not one of those things.”

“Would you give it a rest already? I’m trying to make things better, not worse.” He said.

“What do you want?” Hermione asked impatiently.

“You.” He replied simply. Hermione rolled her eyes. “I want to know what happened to your legs.”

“I fell.”

“Where?”

“Out the library window.”

“What? You’re too good to use the door now?”

“It was locked you arrogant smartass.”

“Why didn’t you just wait until the library opened?”

“Because I didn’t want to.” She answered shortly.

“So you… fell out of the library window?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.” He stood up and the bent down and scooped her up in his arms. She shrieked and demanded to be put back down.

“Draco what in Merlin’s name are you doing? Put me down this instant! I don’t want to go anywhere with you!” She tried to wiggle out of his arms, but he held onto her tighter.

“First of all, I’m taking you to Madame Pomfrey to get your legs healed, second of all, I will not put you down because it is more than likely that you are incapable of walking very well on your own, and thirdly, you do want to go anywhere with me because you are still wearing your ring.” Draco said matter-of-factly.

Hermione didn’t say anything the rest of the way to the hospital wing.


Chapter 33: The Perfect Man
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Ok everybody, I finally got back to a normal length chapter, so that should make you happy, and for the most part, I’m pretty pleased with it. It’s not my best, but I think it’s better than the past couple of chapters. One important bit of information: I made up birthdays for Draco and Hermione (as you should already know) because… I don’t know, I didn’t feel like checking their real ones. Now, I know it will contradict the other chapters, but from here on out I’m going to use the birthdays given to them by J.K.R. It will make things easier in the future and also people will stop telling me that I got them wrong. (I KNEW THAT!) So I hope that wasn’t too confusing for anybody, if it was then e-mail me or message me and I will try to explain it better. Now, without further blabbering, here is chapter 33.


~*FLASHBACK*~


It was the summer Hermione found out she was witch, just a few weeks before her Hogwarts letter came. She was sprawled out on her bedroom floor next to her best friend, a muggle, named Sandy. The two young girls were awake way past bedtime eating the junky, sugary goodies that Sandy had smuggled into the Dentist’s home. They had just reached the age that most girls start day dreaming about boys at, and boys had been the main topic of discussion that night.

“Hermione, do you think we’ll ever get married?” Sandy asked, tossing a piece of popcorn in the air and catching it in her mouth. Hermione shrugged.

“You probably will, you’re really pretty.” Hermione said. She glanced at Sandy who’s perfectly straight dirty blond hair fell nicely to about her shoulders, complimenting her elegant features. “But me, I don’t think so. I’m ‘the beaver’ remember?” Hermione said sadly. “The beaver” was what the boys at school had dubbed her.

“But if you could, would you?” Sandy pressed.

“I don’t know. I want to do stuff, not just be a mum my whole life.”

“What kind of stuff? You mean like driving all by yourself and going to bed when ever you want to?”

“No, like important stuff, things that will help people.”

“Oh. Well, what would your perfect boy be like?” Sandy asked. Hermione thought for a couple minutes before answering.

“He wouldn’t be a boy, he would be a man. He would be nice, and he would be handsome. He would take me places like to dances or a picnic in the park. He would be very smart, and like to read like me. Maybe we could read to each other sometime, and if I got hurt, or a tummy ache, he would take care of me like my daddy takes care of my mum.”

“Wow, he sounds great.”

“Yes, but he isn’t real. Besides, boys just don’t like me.” She said with a sigh. Sandy placed her hand on Hermione’s shoulder.

“You’ll find him Hermione, and you’ll just know it’s him. Everyone has somebody they are meant to be with. At least that’s what my sister says, and she’s sixteen, so she knows everything.”

“Maybe.” Hermione said, but in her head she really doubted Sandy was right.

~*END OF FLASHBACK*~



The memory swirled in Hermione’s mind as Draco carried her to the hospital wing. She had never seen Sandy again, as they had gone their separate ways when Hermione’s life changed dramatically two weeks after their little sleepover. However she still clung to the fond memory, more to remember Sandy than anything else, but now she thought back on what she had said. He would be a man… The way Draco handled all of his father’s affairs calmly and maturely, with an air of professionalism came to mind. He would be handsome… Draco was undeniably handsome, and easily one of the most sought after blokes at Hogwarts. He would take me places like to dances or a picnic in the park… She recalled dancing the night away with him at the last ball, and falling asleep with him in a hammock at midday at the beach estate. He would be very smart… Of course Draco was smart, he was Hermione’s only intellectual threat in the entire school. And lastly, He would take care of me… He held her in his arms as if she was as light as a feather, down the twisting corridors to the hospital wing.

Draco continued to carry her looking rather pleased with himself, but concerned at the same time. Pushing the doors open with his foot, he carried her over to the nearest bed and gently laid her down on it just as Madam Pomfrey came bustling in.

“Oh my goodness! It’s not even breakfast time yet and already students are hurting themselves! What on earth happened to you child?” She asked while preparing a potion for Hermione.

“I fell down some stairs. The lights were out, and I couldn’t see very well.” Hermione lied.

“Well you must be more careful next time dear, you sure did a number on these legs of yours. Here, drink this. It will take away the pain and swelling.” She handed her a goblet of bubbling yellow liquid. Hermione did her best to drink it all, despite its disgusting taste as Madam Pomfrey wrapped a bandage around each knee.

“You might feel a bit stiff but they should be all better by tomorrow, and don’t venture into unlighted areas!” Madam Pomfrey yelled after Hermione, who was walking out the door with Draco right behind her. “Kids these days…” she mumbled.


As they walked back up to their common room, Hermione stumbled slightly and Draco instinctively grabbed her by the waist to steady her. She moved away from him and regained her balance then started walking again.

“I don’t need your help.” She said coldly.

“Hermione, I said I was sorry…”

“No, you didn’t say you were sorry. You said you were trying to make things better, but there was no apology in your statement.” She interrupted.

“Fine. I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry I stormed out of the studio, I’m sorry I yelled, I’m sorry I can’t be bloody perfect, and I’m sorry you’re too damn stubborn to see that at least I’m trying to be.” He said heatedly. “I know I’ve been difficult lately,” He stared her right in the eyes. “But I’m starting to see that it’s not just me. Why are you pulling away from me Hermione? What are you afraid of?” Tears fought ferociously to pour out of her tired eyes, but she did her best to hold them back.

“I’m not afraid.”

“Yes, you say that, but why is it that this is the third time I have had to fight to keep you? I’m getting tired of trying to convince you that I love you. If you don’t know that by now then maybe this is not worth it like I thought it was.” His sharp words dripped with truth, no matter how much she tried to contradict them.

“Is it?” She said in a barely audible whisper.

“Is what it?”

“Worth it. Is it worth it?”

“Yes you are.” He replied softly. His face softened and he moved closer to hug her, but she dodged him.

“I’m sorry. I need to… just think about something.” She rushed past him back up to the Head’s room. Turning his back to her fleeing body, he walked in the opposite direction towards the Great Hall for breakfast.


Up in her room, she advanced to her desk and opened the bottom drawer and lifted up a stack of heavy parchment. Underneath all of the jumbled paper there was a cream colored official-looking envelope. Withdrawing it from its hiding place, she pulled out the contents. She had already opened it before, and she knew what it contained, but ever since its arrival two days ago she had been taking it out whenever she was alone, just to look at it and to think.

Dear Miss Hermione Jane Granger,
It is with great pride that we warmly welcome you to join our prestigious establishment here at Cairo School of Highly Advanced Witchcraft and Wizardry for the Intellectually Sophisticated in Egypt after you have completed your studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please keep in mind that it is an honor to be accepted into our institution and only four out of ten (4/10) wizards are accepted. Congratulations on your tremendous achievement, and we look forward to seeing you next fall. Your portkey ticket and list of departure sights are enclosed.

Sincerely,
Marcus Flambeaus
Headmaster and Western Magical Theory and Development Professor



This was everything she had ever wanted. Professor McGonagall had approached her in her fifth year about attending CSHAWWIS, and had encouraged her to consider applying after Hogwarts. With an education from Cairo, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone you want to be because no employer would ever turn down credentials like that. She had always known she wanted to continue her education after Hogwarts if she could, but she never imagined she would actually be accepted into Cairo, after all, the odds were four out of ten. However discouraging the odds may have been, they were in her favor. She was thrilled when she received the letter, but now she had to choose between staying with the man she loved, or taking an opportunity of a lifetime. Hell, the opportunity of fifty lifetimes. Hermione wanted more than just a boring desk job at the Ministry, and as compelling as pursuing a career as an Auror was, it was for Harry and Ron, not her. But… she has something with Draco that she may never find with any other man; magical or muggle, and she cant ask him to wait for her. Three years of intense studying and work would not allow any time for social interaction outside the class room or field work.

Sighing heavily, she slipped the letter back into the envelope and shoved it under the papers. Changing her clothes and quickly brushing her hair, she then went to breakfast. She was late, but she had just enough time before classes for a quick bite. Looking up at the Slytherin table she saw Draco sitting on the end, staring intently at his food. Taking a bite of her toast with jam she thought of how bad her little run-off must have looked to him. She hadn’t meant to have such bad timing, but how was she supposed to tell him she couldn’t marry him right after school because she had even more school and on a different continent? Does this mean I’m taking it? She asked herself. I’m really going to leave him? She shook her head. I can’t do that. I love him too much to let him go. She took a swig of pumpkin juice. But should I really throw away my dreams for a guy? She munched on a piece of bacon. But this isn’t just any guy. Plus he’s already met mum and dad. How am I going to tell them I just up and left him in the dust to pursue my career? She shoved the last of the toast in her mouth. Arg! There I go assuming I’m taking it again. I have time don’t I? I mean, it’s only spring… so no hurry right? Right. I think. Hermione checked her watch and saw she had five minutes to get to class. Crap. She thought, grabbing her book bag and hurrying out of the hall.

“Miss Granger.” Some one called from behind. She turned and came face to face with a beaming Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall. The smiles on both of their faces told Hermione that they must have found out about Cairo.

“Yes Professors?”

“We would just like to congratulate you on your acceptance to Cairo School of Highly Advanced Witchcraft and Wizardry for the Intellectually Sophisticated, I can not think of one more deserving of this honor, and I know you will make us here at Hogwarts very proud.” Professor McGonagall gushed.

“Well, thank you but I –”

“Yes, and if you need anything or have any concerns, just ask me. I am good friends with the headmaster there, and I would love to help.”

“Thanks Professor but I really don’t know if I’m to take it.” Hermione said. There smiles fell and were replaced with looks of concern.

“Well,” Dumbledore cleared his throat. “The decision is yours of course, however, you know what you would be giving up don’t you?”

“Yes I do Professor, but if you’ll excuse me I’m going to be late for class, and it wouldn’t look good for the head girl to be late. Excuse me.” Hermione quickly turned around and speed walked down the corridor. Until…

“Hermione!” Some one was calling for her again. Reluctantly, she looked toward the person.

“Oh, hi Rebecca. I was actually just on my way to class and I’m going to be late if I don’t-”

“Hermione, if I don’t see you and Draco in that studio at least an hour everyday until the performance I’m pulling you from the program, got it? I don’t care what is going on between you two, use the emotion and get this dance down. I don’t care what it takes. Do you understand?” Hermione nodded. “I’m sorry to be like this, but I have a show to run and if my stars aren’t ready then I need to have time to replace you. Now get to class and I will see you later. Two o’clock! Don’t be late!” Hermione waved over her shoulder as she ran around the corner. Slipping into her Advanced Arithmancy class as quiet as possible, she sat down in the first available seat. She was in luck, or so she thought, because Professor Vector had her back turned to the class as she had come in.

“Miss Granger, you are late. I want an excused slip or its five points from Gryffindor.” Professor Vector said, not turning around from the board.

“I uh… don’t have one Professor.” She said.

“Well then Miss Granger, I’m afraid you just lost your house some points.”

Hermione sighed. Some of her classmates sniggered at her. She was the only Gryffindor in the class, the rest were Ravenclaws and two Hufflepuffs. It was odd not knowing anyone the first couple weeks, but she learned to deal with it since she usually kept to herself in class anyways, unless it was to answer a question.

It was lucky for her that the rest of her classes passed quickly and uneventfully, because she was doing her best to save her energy for dance practice later. At lunch she sent a note to Draco telling him about their scheduled practice with Rebecca, and he just nodded to her across the room. In the changing rooms attached to the studio, Hermione changed into her shorts and tank top, with her tango shoes securely strapped to her feet. As she was coming out, she saw Draco and Rebecca talking in the corner. She went up to them and Rebecca stopped talking. She stood there with her hands on her hips, staring at the two young dancers.

“Well, let’s do this then.”


Chapter 34: Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Tango
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“And five, six, seven, eight, ONE, two, THREE, four… Hermione keep that head up! Your feet will do as they are told, stop looking at them. Draco lower that hand! Yes, that’s better, thank you.”

Rebecca walked around the room with her eyes glued to them scrutinizing their every move. One hour had quickly turned into two, and then three, and now both Draco and Hermione had sweat rolling down their backs and their muscles were tired, but still strong. Rebecca knew this, she knew just how hard to push them. They had a little more left in them for the day, and she wanted every ounce of energy they had.

“If you push yourself to your limit everyday, it never gets easier, but you get stronger. You become better, faster, more articulate and you learn to not make mistakes, Hermione that’s too much weight on your heels.” Hermione shifted the weight off of her heels and on to the balls of her feet where it was supposed to be. “I know you’re tired, but we are not finished yet. I expect you to get better and better the harder and longer we practice. Do not start to slack off. I don’t care how well you did or didn’t sleep last night, or if you classes were stressful today. At the end of this hour you will probably hate me, but you two have missed every class since the beginning of winter. You were supposed to practice on your own, and I can tell you didn’t. Not enough anyways.”

“Rebecca we just didn’t have the time-” Hermione began.

“I don’t want you to talk, I want you to listen and dance.” She said sternly. “I can make you the best dancer you can be, but I need you to work with me and listen to me.” Rebecca circled them like a hungry shark. “On my count please.” Draco and Hermione stopped the rock step they had been doing, and reset themselves. “Heads up. You are looking no where but straight ahead of you. Keep your faces away from each other. Put that power into your arms, we are not limp spaghetti, we have muscle. I don’t want any slip ups this time. You are my most advanced dancers, you should know all of this by now.” Hermione chose a spot on the wall and stared at it, as did Draco. Hermione and Draco hadn’t spoken to each other at all during practice, but that was mostly because Rebecca was drilling them so hard.

“El Paseo! (the stroll) and ONE, two, THREE, four, ONE, two, THREE, four. La Caza! (the chase)…” Rebecca called out orders, or more like barked them, and the pair did the best they could do to keep up with her instructions until finally at seven o’clock when Hermione broke away from Draco and flopped down on the floor.

“No, I’m done. I’m sweating like a pig, I can feel my pulse in my toes, and if we hurry we can still catch the end of dinner. Rebecca, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Hermione said, exhausted from four hours of hard core practice from ‘Drill Sergeant Rebecca’. Picking herself up off the floor, she made her way to the door, pulling off her shoes as she went. Just as she was about to leave, Rebecca called her back.

“Don’t worry, I’m not making you stay any longer, I just wanted you to know, I think Cairo is a great idea. You should definitely take it.” Rebecca said, smiling. Sweet Merlin, how did everybody find out about that? Hermione wondered. She nodded to Rebecca and left the studio. It wasn’t until she was almost all the way down the corridor when she realized there were footsteps behind her. She twisted her neck to see who it was, too tired to actually put effort into turning around all the way. It was Draco, catching up to her with his long strides. He caught up to her and they walked side by side down the wide corridor.

“So…” Draco started.

“So…” Hermione repeated.

“What is this Cairo thing everyone is talking about? Are you going there on holiday?” He asked.

“Umm,” Hermione tried to think of a way to stall so she wouldn’t have to tell him. At least not right now. “No, I’m not going there on holiday. You know what, why don’t we talk about this later?” she suggested hopefully. Draco just shrugged nonchalantly and kept on walking.


~*~*~


One week passed, and then two. For Draco and Hermione, everything was a routine, run like a well oiled machine. Get up, eat breakfast, go to classes, have lunch, more classes, dance practice until seven, dinner, then quiet time in the common room until bed at ten. Even the time spent in the common room was routine. Draco would complain about being too stuffed to move from all the food he ate at dinner, and Hermione would pretend not to hear him while she finished whatever homework she had. Once she was done with homework, she would write up notes for the next prefect meeting, and then review the dance moves (on paper, of course). While she was doing all this, Draco would fall asleep on the couch for ten minutes, and then wake up with enough time to finish one more chapter in his book of Quidditch plays. Before going up to bed, Hermione would kiss Draco on the cheek and say good night, and then retire to her own bed alone.

They both hated the uncomfortably predictable schedule that had somehow wormed its way into their lives, yet it was all they could seem to handle for the time being. Hermione still wore her ring, and Draco still wished Hermione would go to bed with him every night. They rarely spoke, unless it was to discuss the choreography of their dance or to say good night, and it seemed that both parties had accepted the fact that they were becoming boring, workaholics. However, that didn’t mean they liked that fact.

When the performance is over… Hermione told herself. When it’s over, it wont be like this.

Sweet Merlin, how much longer does it have to be like this? Draco asked himself. I cant take much more of this! I haven’t gotten shagged in… He tried to count the days. Well, too long!


It was Saturday evening; the big show would be exactly one week from today on the 19th of February. Rebecca had shown no mercy in practice today, and Hermione was soaking her sore muscles in the bathtub. She rested her head back on the rolled up towel she was using as a bath pillow, and closed her eyes letting her mind slip away. She thought of Draco’s touch, trying to remember what if felt like to be touched by him in a non-dancing way. The way he used to before her letter came and she clammed up, before he got unbearably grouchy. She tried to picture his lips on hers, and every detail of the last time they had made love to each other.

She laid in the warm bath until all of her bubbles had popped and the water started to cool. Slowly standing up, she carefully stepped out and wrapped a large fluffy towel around her body. She reached for the door leading into her room, but she discovered a tiny problem. Her door was locked from the outside, and her wand was in her robes which were, unfortunately, in her room. Turning around, she looked at Draco’s door and chewed her bottom lip. Wishing there was another way, but knowing that there wasn’t, she advanced to his door and quietly turned the doorknob. Tentatively she stuck her head around the door and saw Draco asleep soundly in his bed. She slipped through the door and closed it gently behind her, not wanting to wake him. It would be a little difficult to explain why she was standing in front of his bed dripping wet wearing nothing but a towel. I must be very… She tiptoed across his floor towards the door leading out to the hallway, but didn’t see Draco’s broom lying inconspicuously on the ground. She tripped on the now obtrusive object, and crashed to the floor. Quiet. Jumping up as quickly as she could and clutching her bath towel to her body to keep it from slipping, she tried to leave, but as she reached for the handle, the lights flew on.

“Hermione?” Draco asked, very confused. Maybe she’s here for a shag… He thought hopefully. “What are you doing?”

“Uhhh… my door, it was locked, so I had to use yours but then I fell.” She said a little louder than necessary.

“That’s okay. Are you alright?” He asked.

“Oh I’m fine! I’ll just be going now…”

“Hermione.”

She turned back towards him. “Yes?” He stared at her intently for a moment.

“Stay.”

“But I’m not dressed and I’m soaking w…” She protested.

“Just stay.” He insisted. She looked at him for a minute, wishing she could read his mind. Without saying a word she walked over to his dresser and pulled out one of his shirts. She slipped it over her head, and dropped the towel letting it fall to the ground. Crawling under the covers that Draco was holding up for her, Hermione settled herself onto her side, away from Draco. He pulled her closer so that their contours fit together perfectly and they could both feel the electric heat between their bodies, despite Hermione’s dampness. Hermione turned around to her other side so that she could look at him.

“I’m sorry.” She whispered. His hand reached out from under the blanket and cupped her chin, drawing her face closer. Draco pressed his lips against hers tenderly. All their love and compassion was poured into that kiss, every bit of their souls. Hermione knew then that there was no way she could leave this man, not for the world. It was their new beginning, a chance to do everything over again. The flood gates were open and the emotions had come rushing through, not that either one minded. As their clothes fell away, they gave all of themselves to the darkness that surrounded them, and to each other.


Chapter 35: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Wow, the story is almost over. Only about two or three chapters left! I’ve decided that I am going to do a sequel, but it is going to be a long one-shot. I know that if I tried to do more than that, I would just run out of ideas and end up ruining the story. I want to thank everyone who has reviewed on this story. Even if I didn’t reply to it (hey, give me a break there were a lot!) I still appreciate every last one of them, so THANK YOU!! You guys are great, really. *Tear* I promised myself I wouldn’t cry… No, but I honestly loved writing this story, and I even got a couple ideas for a new one in the process of writing this one, so thanks for keeping me going. Okay, and now for what you all are here for… Chapter 35.


The next morning Hermione woke to find herself more comfortable and well rested than she had been in weeks. She also found that she was naked, and partially wrapped around Draco. She smiled when she remembered why. She sat up and stretched her arms high above her head, almost forgetting she had nothing on.

“Now that’s what I like to see first thing in the morning.” Draco said smirking from his position next to her. He was staring unashamed at her exposed chest.

“Be quiet Ferret.” She replied teasingly.

“Hey! No need for name calling.” He said, kissing her bare shoulder.

She wrapped the sheet around her middle and shuffled down the narrow hallway into her room.

“Come back with my blanket Granger!” He called after her.

“Not a chance Malfoy!” She yelled back, a wide smile on her face.

Something looked out of place, but she wasn’t sure what. She opened up her dresser and pulled out some clean clothes to wear. Sliding on a pair of jeans, and then pulling a deep purple cardigan over her head, she started to walk towards the bathroom to brush her teeth. That’s when she noticed it. The chair from her vanity had been jammed under the doorknob of the bathroom door, which meant that…

DRACO MALFOY!!!!” She screamed.


Draco smirked as he heard her yell his name. She must have found the chair. He thought slyly. Took her long enough. He was buttoning up his shirt when she busted into the room armed with a pillow.

You” *Whack*

Bloody” *Whack*

Did” *Whack*

That” *Whack*

On” *Whack*

Purpose!!” *Whack*

“Nope, I did it by mistake.” He said sarcastically. Haha, oh I love it when she’s angry.

“Oh!! Why you… you… despicable… m-mean, conniving… nghuh… SLYTHERIN!!” She struggled to get the right words out through her anger.

“There’s a reason why I’m in that house babe.” He said kissing her on the cheek.

“I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU, DON’T CALL ME BABE!!” She screamed. Her face was as red as a tomato.

“It must have slipped my mind.” He said casually as he combed his hair.

“Errrgh!! You are so… argh!” She turned on her heel and stomped down the hallway to her own room.

“I love you too babe!” He called after her, knowing that would make her even madder.

“Oh now that is it!” She ran back towards him and leaped, tackling him and causing them both to land with an “ooph” on his bed.

“Hermione, if you wanted to have another go you could have just said so.” He raised his eyebrows at her.

“I h-” She was cut off by Draco’s lips colliding with her own. “Mmmmh…” She moaned softly and settled into the kiss, pulling Draco closer to her. After a minute or two he pulled away so that his face was just an inch away from hers.

“I love you.” He said.

“I love you too.” She replied. They smiled lovingly to each other, enjoying the marvelous feeling of the others embrace.

~*~


“Draco!” Hermione called, frantically gathering her notes for the prefect meeting that started in three minutes. “Draco!” She called again. Where was he? He hadn’t gone out the portrait hole, she would have seen him. He couldn’t still be sleeping, it was one o’clock in the afternoon, plus she had seen him get dressed this morning. “Draco we are going to be late! Get down here now!”

“I’m getting some parchment, I’ll meet you there!” He yelled from upstairs. Sighing, she hurried out the portrait hole and rushed down the staircases to the conference room where she was to meet the prefects.

“Hello everybody. I’m sorry we are running a bit behind today, but let’s get started…” She said breathlessly.

“She was probably too busy shagging the Head Boy to be on time.” Dennis Creevy whispered to the girl next to him, who giggled. While most Gryffindors had forgiven Hermione for dating a Slytherin, some others still marked her as a traitor.

“What was that Mr. Creevy?” She asked politely.

“Nothing.” He mumbled.

“Oh, well then you won’t mind me taking five points from Gryffindor for speaking badly of a Head student and another five for withholding information now, will you?” She said in a sticky sweet voice.

“What?! You can’t take points away from your own house! You’re acting like a damned Slytherin!” He exclaimed, jumping from his seat. Her smile instantly fell at his words, despite the fact it was fake in the first place.

“Mr. Creevy, you have ten seconds to calm yourself and take your seat before I refer you to Dumbledore.” She stated maturely.

“Fine.” He grumbled, sitting back down.

“Now, there has been some debate over whether or not to have a Valentine’s Day Ball or not, due to what happened at the Christmas Ball with the butterbeer. Should we vote to have one, it would be for all the years, not just 4th years and up. We would need to start immediately, and most likely be working all through tomorrow. Let’s not forget that some of us are participating in the dance performance being organized by Professor De Palma, better known as Rebecca. For those who are, myself and Mr. Malfoy included, will need Wednesday and Thursday for rehearsal.”

“Where is Draco, anyways?” The Ravenclaw prefect asked. Just as she asked, Draco came in, looking rather grave. He came in silently and took a seat next to Hermione.

“What are we talking about?” He asked quietly.

“We were just discussing the matter of whether or not to have a Valentine’s Ball.” She filled him in. “So, if you all would like to put in the extra effort and time to make this happen, you have our support, but remember that after the ball, there would be the performance, and then the end of the year tests, and finally graduation for some of us. It is all going to come up very fast.” She finished her little lecture, and gave them a moment to think.

“All those in favor of having a Valentine’s Ball, raise your hands.” Draco said. Both Hufflepuffs and one Ravenclaw raised their hands. “All against?” The remaining five raised their hands. “Alright, there will be no Valentine’s Ball this year. Granger, unless there is something else you need to add, I think we are done here.”

“I-”

“Great. See you all later.” Draco rose from his seat rather quickly and walked out the door. Hermione, confused, went after him.

“Hey, slow down Draco!” She grabbed his arm and turned him to look at her. “What’s eating you?”

“You could have at least told me before I went and made a fool of myself by giving you that ring.” He said bitterly, with a hint of pain in his voice.

“What? What are you talking about?” She searched his eyes with her own, trying to make sense of what he was saying. He held up a thick cream colored envelope.

“I needed some parchment and this fell out. Were you even planning on telling me?”

Hermione covered her face with her hands. When she took them away she saw Draco still standing there, waiting for answers. “Draco I swear on Merlin’s name I didn’t even find out that I got in until a couple weeks ago, and I wasn’t even sure if I should take it or not.”

“Why in the bloody hell wouldn’t you take it?” He asked. She held up her left hand for him to see. Her ring sparkled in the bright afternoon sun. His face fell. “You are not giving this up because of me. You can’t.”

She shook her head at him. “It’s too late; I’ve already decided I’m not going.”

“What? When did you decide this?”

“Last night.” She answered plainly.

“You’re going. You can’t pass this up, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. No one deserves it more than you Hermione.”

“Could we… could we just talk about this later? It’s too soon to even worry about it.” She said. She could feel her stress level increasing.

“Sure.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and guided her towards the Great Hall for lunch. Once they were there they parted ways and went to their own tables. Hermione spotted Harry, Ron, and Ginny sitting in their usual seats. Taking the vacant one next to Ginny, Hermione began to pile some food onto her plate.

“Hi Hermione. How’ve you been?” Ginny asked.

“I’m okay, thanks Gin. How are you guys?”

“Eour ihne.”

“Swallow your food Ron.” Hermione instructed.

“We’re fine.” He tried again. There was a short silence, until Hermione spoke up again.

“So, you guys know that highly advanced wizardry school I applied to in fifth year?” They all stopped eating and looked at her. “Well, I got in.”

“Wow! That’s great Herms!”

“We knew you’d get in for sure!”

“They would be daft not to take you.”

“Smartest witch at Hogwarts…”

“In London…”

“In Britain…”

“In…”

“Hey! You guys, thanks, but I’m not even sure if I’m going to take it.” She took a large bite of her turkey sandwich. Three mouths hung open and three sets of eyes bulged in surprise.

“Hermione Jane Granger…” Ginny started.

“If you don’t take that offer…” Harry continued.

“I will…” Ron went on.

“Clomp you on the head with a kneazle.” Ginny finished.

“But please Hermione, tell me it’s not because of…” Harry began.

Malfoy.” Ron said with disgust.

“Would you three cut that out? It’s becoming rather annoying. And no, it wouldn’t be entirely because of Draco…”

“What do you mean ‘entirely’? You would actually give up your dream to stay with him?” Ginny asked. “That is soooo romantic!” She said in a daze. “But,” she snapped out of it when she saw the looks the boys were giving her. “But it’s wrong, very wrong. You can’t let it go.”

“I can’t let him go either.” Hermione said sadly.

“Well maybe- ” Harry started to suggest an idea, but Ginny held her hand up to stop him.

“I’ll handle this one Harry.” She turned to Hermione. “Hermione, why don’t we go up to my room to talk?” Hermione nodded and followed her out. They made the familiar journey up the moving staircases and down the long corridors until they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady.

“Password?” She asked.

“Loyalty.” Ginny stated. The portrait swung open and they stepped into the place that had been their home for six years.

“I’ve really missed this place you know.” Hermione said. “I mean, the Head’s room is magnificent, but this,” She looked around the room. “This is home. So much happened here, I’m truly going to miss it when I leave.” Tears started to form in her eyes, but unlike with Draco, she didn’t try to hide them from Ginny. She let them flow freely. “Oh Gin, what am I going to do? I’m so scared to leave this place, I’m scared to leave Draco now that we are finally okay again, and all of you. I just don’t know. What if I go to Cairo and I fail, then I have lost Draco and my chance to get a great job? What if I stay but Draco and I don’t last and I’ve given up my only chance to excel?”

Ginny hugged Hermione and pulled her down to sit on one of the couches. It was still lunch time so there was no one in the common room besides them. “Shhh… It’s going to be okay.” Ginny smoothed her hair back and held her by the shoulders so that she could look Hermione in the eye as she talked.

“First of all, these tears will not help any, so suck it up. This is not the strong willed Hermione that I know.” Hermione laughed and wiped her cheeks. “Good. Now second of all, you are the most intelligent person in Hogwarts. You are going to be Valedictorian remember? There is no way that you could fail at Cairo, not even if you tried, and you will excel no matter where you go. Third of all, if Draco doesn’t want you back once you are finished and are making a name for yourself, then it wasn’t meant to be anyways. Plus, you don’t need to be scared about leaving all of us, because we will always be right here for you, just an apparation away. We aren’t going anywhere, and you know Harry, he’s the-boy-that-just-wont-die.” Both girls laughed at Ginny’s last joke. “And Ron,” She continued. “Well, I’ll keep ol’ Ronnikins in line for you.”

Hermione nodded and did her best to smile at her best friend. “We would never let you do the wrong thing Hermione, and if you think we are going to let you brush this off, then you my friend are sorely mistaken.” The two girls hugged for a long time. Finally, Hermione pulled away and took a deep breath.

“I can do this.” She said. Ginny nodded.

“Yes you can, but first,” Ginny grabbed Hermione’s hand. “You’re going to dance.”


Chapter 36: Two to Tango
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

This is the second to last chapter, I'm working on the final one as we speak. I tried and I tried, and I rewrote this chapter about ten times (no kidding) but I'm still not pleased with the big dance scene. What a wonderful time to get writer's block huh? I knew what I wanted, but I just couldn't get it into words. This chapter is sad at the end, and I almost cried while writing it, but I hope you enjoy it despite its morose ending. Please review if you have a spare moment.

The week went by so quickly that Hermione actually considered using her timeturner to go back and practice a little bit more, but she was not one to meddle with the course of time when all she had was a case of stage fright. Draco had been doing his best to comfort her, since he appeared calm and cool with no nervousness at all.

“Mi, just relax. We have done this one hundred times before; you could do these steps in your sleep if you had to. You will be fantastic, don’t worry.”

“Draco I feel sick. I can’t do this. I think I need to see Madame Pomfrey.”

“No, you need to stay here. We are the last act, so why don’t you try to enjoy the show?” He suggested. Hermione shook her head with vigor.

“No. Stage… to big, too many people, lights are bright, too bright, fall, trip, mess up, embarrassment!” She clapped her hands over her mouth and started to back up, towards the back exit.

“Oh no you don’t!” Draco grabbed her arm and pushed her into a chair. “You stay here, I’m going to get you some water.” She nodded. Hermione looked down and smoothed out a wrinkle in her dress. It was the same dress she had worn to the Christmas Ball, but she had put her hair up this time so that it would stay out of the way. It looked nice, pulled back into a neat bun. Slow deep breaths Hermione, slow deep breaths. She coached herself. Draco returned and handed her a cup of water. She took a tiny sip of it and then set it down on the table next to her.

Rebecca was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to keep everyone organized and on cue. She stopped by Draco and Hermione on her way to the stage.

“Are you two warmed up?” She asked frantically.

“Yes.” They both replied at the same time.

“Good. Now have either of you seen a purple ballet shoe? Susan Bones has lost hers and she’s up next.”

The couple shook their heads, and Rebecca scurried off to help someone else.

“I don’t know if I can-”

“Hermione, yes you can. Deep breaths, in and out, in and out. Do you need to squeeze my hand?”

“Draco, I’m nervous, not in labor.” Hermione snapped.

“Sorry.”

“Malfoy and Granger! Five minutes!” Rebecca read off her clipboard.

Breath, just breathe, you’re okay. You can do this. You’ve done all sorts of little dance recitals before, this should be cake. But then again, I was like, seven then, and that was ballet. I suck at ballet. Why do I keep practicing that stupid dance anyways? It’s not like I actually need to for anything. Easy, easy as pie. Pie, pie sounds kinda good. Yeah, I’m sort of hungry now that I think about it… Wait! No I’m not. If I eat I will surely vomit. No pie. Pie is bad. So is cake.

“THREE MINUTES!!”

Oh Merlin, is it too late to back out? I don’t want to do this anymore. No fun, no fun at all. Hermione frantically tried to think of a way to get out of it. I could pretend to be injured… YES! That would work! I’ve twisted my ankle a bit, or, better yet, my knees are hurting again.

“Hermione?” Draco said, trying to get her attention.

“Yes?”

“It’s time. Let’s go.”

“No, Draco I can’t.” Draco looked her in the eyes, and she really did look panicked. “I am meant for reading, and studying, and getting good grades. Not for this.”

“Hermione Granger, you have a gift. You are a bloody brilliant dancer, and we would not be doing this right now if it wasn’t a good idea. Just keep your eyes on me the entire time, okay? I’m the only one in the room, you can’t see anything but me. I need you Hermione. It takes two to tango, I can’t do this alone.” He squeezed her hands for reassurance. “So what’ll it be?”

She thought for a moment, wanting very much to say “no” but knowing that she would still have to do it anyways. She reluctantly nodded her head ever so slightly. Draco smirked and snaked his arm around her waist. “That’s what I was hoping for.” He pulled her to him roughly and kissed her passionately on the lips. “Let’s go knock their bloody socks off eh?”

She smiled.

“Okay.”

“Hermione! Draco! What are you doing?! Get on that stage now!!” Rebecca yelled.

They walked onto the stage and took their positions. Through the thin curtain, her silhouette could be seen. In the audience, Ginny poked Ron in the shoulder and whispered excitedly, “Look! There she is!” Ron sneered at Ginny’s words.

“I’m not daft. I can see. I do have eyes you know.” He spat.

“Oh I know you have eyes, it’s the lack of a brain that concerns me. What’s your problem?” She retorted.

“Nothing I just…”

“Put a cork in it you two! It’s about to start.” Harry interrupted.

Hermione stood on one end of the stage, with Draco at the other. She stood tall, with her chin raised high in the air and her back to him, with one hand behind her as if to say, “Stay away”, and the other hand resting dramatically on her forehead. The music started to play and the curtain was lifted. The audience could see only Hermione first, with her “keep away from me” pose, in front of a glowing background of red. Draco walked (more like sauntered) from his place in the corner of the stage over to Hermione. He grabbed the hand that was sticking out behind her and spun her around so that she was now in his arms. Hermione fit her body into Draco’s, keeping their upper bodies close like they had practiced. They were so close their noses were touching and they could feel each other’s hot breath on their faces. Pressing his forehead to hers, Draco ran a hand slowly down Hermione’s side, feeling her curves and the textured fabric of her peach colored dress. He continued to move it south, past her hips and her thigh until it reached the nook behind her knee. He pulled her up onto him, causing her other leg to extend behind her in perfect form. She pushed herself off of him, and waited for him to snap her back to him. He immediately did, rather sharply, and they did the fast, fancy footwork that made Rebecca swoon with delight every time she watched them dance. Turning her head away from Draco, she waited for his signal to start walking. The hand on her lower back pressed into her lightly, and she started going backwards. They alternated long steps with short ones.

“Slow, quick, quick, slow, quick, quick.” Hermione could hear Draco softly saying the steps to himself. They moved into the tango box step, listening to the rhythm of the music. Snapping their heads to look at each other, they formed a perfect scorpion tail with their hands. They stared into each others eye, and truly believed that for that moment, they really were the only people in the room. Bringing the hands down back into regular position, they went into the rock step, holding on to each other and rocking back and forth taking baby steps.

“Wow. She’s so brilliant up there.” Ginny said in awe as she watched the couple. “They really are right for each other.”

“Foul! That was a foul! Did you see where his hands were?!” Ron hissed.

“Mate, it’s Ballroom Dancing, not Quidditch.” Harry pointed out.

“But he –”

“Nope. That’s just how it’s done Ron.”

“Oooh look at me! I’m a poncy blond, bouncing ferret that thinks he can dance! Watch me put my hands all over a girl I don’t deserve!” Ron mimicked, crossing his arms across his chest and slouching deeper into his seat.

“Shhhhhh!!!” A girl from behind him chastised. He pulled a face, but kept quiet, much to the satisfaction of Harry and Ginny. Back on stage, Hermione and Draco could feel the loud, fast music pulsing through their bodies. It had become near impossible for them to feel the difference between their own heart beats and the thumping beat of the music. Hermione wrapped her leg around Draco and snapped her head to the left, looking away from him. She pulled herself closer to Draco, and then pushed him away, and just as they had practiced so any times before, Draco audaciously led Hermione into her backwards pause. She allowed herself to go back until she was a few mere inches above the floor. Right before Draco was about to pull her up, she felt a sudden looseness in her hair. The clip securing her long, soft curls had come undone and she felt her hair graze the ground. Draco brought her back up, and her thick hair cascaded beautifully down her back, shining for all to see. A few oohs and ahhs came from the audience as they mistook the accident for something planned. Knowing better than to stop and put it back up, Hermione pressed on with their dance. If anything, the slight malfunction only added to the wild and passionate look of the dance.

Standing up straight again, Hermione placed one hand on her hip, and one palm flat on Draco’s chest. She stared him down with her large honey eyes as she pushed gently and marched him backwards, dramatically kicking up her heels as she went to keep in tempo with the beat. Removing her hand from his chest with his own, he rapidly turned her twice, and then swept her back into his arms in the traditional position. They zigzagged across the dance floor, pivoting their feet to change directions. Stopping the zigzag step, and going back to the classic tango stroll, they moved around the stage one last time, and then did a couple of quick forward rock turns. The bright lights shined hotly down on them, and Hermione was glad it was almost over. She just hoped that Rebecca wouldn’t forget to do her part.

From her place off stage, Rebecca pointed her wand at Hermione and Draco and waited for her cue. As the dancers glided past her, Hermione quickly glanced at Rebecca.

“Now.” She said in a hurried whisper.

“Wingardium Leviosa.” Rebecca said, casting the spell on Hermione and Draco. As they danced, they slowly began to float upward. Very cautiously, so as not to drop them, she drew circles in the air with her wand so that they rotated as the danced above the stage. Cheers and applause came from the spectators below as Draco dipped Hermione backward one last time, this time not as deep, seeing as his lips had found hers. Whistles and cat calls echoed off the walls of the Great Hall. They were gradually lowered back down, and they separated once their feet touched the ground. Taking his hand in hers, Hermione stepped up to the end of the stage and took a bow, Draco right beside her. The curtain closed, the music stopped, and the loud hum of students exiting the great hall filled the air. Screams of “Congratulations” and “You were wonderful” overtook the backstage area, as friends of the performers rushed in with flowers and open arms.

Draco lifted Hermione up in his arms and swung her around. “You were brilliant Hermione,” He said. “I’m so glad you didn’t flake out on me.”

“Draco?” Hermione started.

“Yes Love?”

“I know this is supposed to be the celebration part of all this, but I think that its time we talked. You know, about that thing?” She said morosely. “We need to get it over with.” Draco bowed his head for a moment, even though he knew it would eventually be time to face their little dilemma. He nodded and took her hand, leading her safely through the thick crowd back up to the Heads common room. As they walked away, Hermione thought she could hear Rebecca calling them back, but she continued on anyways.

They sat on the couch together, squeezing each others hands. They both knew what was coming, but no amount of preparation would ever be able to ready them for the pain and heart break that was about to ensue. Draco waited for Hermione to begin, since it was her acceptance that threw a rather large roadblock on their path to happiness. However, when the words just wouldn’t come, and he could see that she was struggling trying to get them out, he did his best to help her.

“You’ve made a decision, haven’t you?” He asked tentatively. She nodded and looked up at him. Her face appeared quite pale, the rosy flush from the dancing having drained out of her face minutes ago. He knew the answer, what her decision was, but there was still a need to voice it out loud, for them both to hear, and for them both to know that it was over.

“I’m… I have to, I – I mean I’m going to…” She took a deep, shaky breath. “I’m taking the offer.” She forced the words out of her mouth and heavy tears spilled out of her eyes. Draco squeezed his eyes shut and turned his head away, but Hermione didn’t see the distraught expression that plagued his face because she had allowed her own sobs to bubble up in her throat and escape from her mouth. She buried her head in the alcove between his neck and shoulder and clung to him with all her might, letting the heart wrenching pain of losing your first love rip through her. Draco’s silent tears fell along with Hermione’s, dampening her hair.

“I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry Draco.” She whispered into his shoulder. He said nothing, but just held her tighter. “I didn’t know that I would get in. I didn’t know that we would last. I didn’t know that I would fall so deeply in love with you, or that I would feel like dying when I told you I was leaving. I- ” She paused to catch her breath which was quickly running out like it often does when one is hysterical. “I just didn’t know.”

“Shhh… I know, it’s alright.” He rubbed her back in small circles.

“I love you so much Draco. I will never love anyone the same way that I love you.” As another tear made its way down his cheek, Draco pulled Hermione back from him just enough so that he could lower his lips onto hers.

When he pulled away, he tilted her chin up so she was looking him in the eyes. “I know you need to do this for yourself Hermione, but never forget that no matter where you are, no matter how much space separates us, I could never stop loving you. You have been the brightest thing to ever walk into my life, and I consider myself to be the luckiest bastard in the world just to have spent the time that I have with you.” Draco said sincerely. Hermione sniffled, and then nodded. She was not happy with what she had done, but she knew that it was for the best. Her best.


Chapter 37: Graduation
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“Ladies and gentleman, it is with great honor and pride that I introduce to you to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Valedictorian for the graduating class of 1998, Miss Hermione Granger.” Dumbledore announced. Stepping down from the podium, he gave a smile and a small nod to Hermione, waiting for her to make her speech.

She was frozen in her seat, trying to slow down time by simply not moving at all. This was it; she was finally going to lead all her classmates into the real world. However, there was a part of her that just wanted to burst into tears and run back to her dorm. The only problem with that was that her room had just been locked up not an hour ago. All her bags were packed and awaiting loading at the train station. It was Saturday, the day of Graduation, and all the other students were preparing to leave on the train. The graduates would join them for there very last train ride on the Hogwarts Express after the ceremony.

“Miss Granger?” Professor McGonagall urged. Hermione nodded, and gradually stood up and walked up to the podium. She gripped the sides of it so tightly that her knuckles began to turn white. For a moment she just stared out over the sea of students. They all sat in perfect rows, wearing matching black robes and the funny witches’ hats they hadn’t been required to wear since the very first day of school. Some looked nervous, some looked excited, and others bored. She saw faces she knew, faces she didn’t, and faces she wished she could forget. Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, she began her speech.

“Friends, family, faculty, and my fellow classmates, today we take our first steps into the real world. We leave Hogwarts changed peoples, for we are not the same children that walked through though those large double doors seven years ago. We are adults, ready to take on whatever this world has to offer us, armed with the knowledge that we have acquired here over the years. Take a good look around you,” She paused and watched her classmates turn their heads to glance at the campus. “It doesn’t look so scary anymore does it?” A few people shook their heads in compliance. “Tears have been shed, blood spilled, friends made,” Harry and Ron smiled at her. “Essays written, books read, homework ignored, games played, detentions served, hearts both mended and broken,” She made brief eye contact with Draco. “All inside these castle walls. For most of us this was our second home, but for some of us, our first.” Harry flashed her an encouraging smile. “The people we have sat beside in classes and in dormitories will never be forgotten, because these are the people we shared our childhoods with, and the ones that helped shape us so that we could become who we are today. Our Professors that sit behind me have so graciously given years of their lives to hoping that we will not take what they have taught us for granted. They have passed down all their knowledge, and now it is up to us to make good use of it.” She paused again, but then continued in the strongest voice she could muster.

“We have proved to ourselves and to everyone else that we, the class of 1998, are true survivors. We all lived past the second rise and fall of Voldermort, thanks in large part to a certain Mr. Harry Potter, and in my heart I truly believe that if we can prevail over an evil such as that, then we can do anything. This class, these people I am looking at right now, they are strong. They do not give up, and they will do great things. Some of you will join the Ministry of Magic. Some, like myself, will continue your education through Advanced Magic Schools, while others who have found love here at Hogwarts are ready to settle down and begin a family of your own. Perhaps your children will come here one day. Whatever path we choose, whatever road we travel, we will take with us all of the memorable experiences from Hogwarts, and that is something no one can ever take away from us. Congratulations class of 1998, together, we made it.”

Hermione watched as smiles broke out on the faces of the people in front of her. They gave her a hearty applause, and Ron and Harry even stood up to cheer for her. Upon seeing them act so silly she gave her first genuine smile of that day. From the family and friend section of the audience the Weasleys could be seen clapping and cheering louder than the other families as the stood beaming with pride towards their young graduates. Beside them were the Grangers, waving enthusiastically at their daughter and flashing her a thumbs up. Looking back at the students, she noticed that they were all standing.

“Ready when you are Mione!” Ron shouted up to her. She touched her hat and smiled. Taking it off of her head she then tossed it as high as she could up into the air. Everyone else followed suit, and the air became filled with woops and hollers of excited students as dozens of small black hats rained back down on them. Turning around to face the professors behind her she was slightly surprised when she was met with bright smiles. Well, except from Snape of course.

“Miss Granger, you did beautifully.” Dumbledore complimented.

“Thank you Professor.”

“Oh please, call me Albus. I am no longer your Professor you know.” He said with a small smile. She shook his hand, and then he stepped aside so she could have a word with Professor McGonagall. Hermione dug around in her robe pocket, and then pulled out her timetuner.

“I think it is time I return this to you,” She placed it in Minerva’s hand. “But there are not enough ‘thank you’s in the world to express how grateful I am for everything you did for me.” Hermione said graciously.

“Hermione, the pleasure was all mine. It isn’t often that we get a student so dedicated to learning like you are, and when they do come around I like to do what I can. I wish you only the best of luck.” They exchanged a brief hug, and Hermione proceeded to shake hands with the remaining teachers. Including Snape. Stepping down from the stage, she was immediately tackled to the ground by Harry and Ron.

“We did it Herms! It’s over!! Yes! I’m free! I’mmm frreeeee!!!!” Ron exclaimed, rolling around in the grass.

“You did great Mione, your speech was brilliant.” Harry said.

“Thanks Harry.” She gave him a hug before running off to greet her parents.

“Daddy!”

“Pumpkin!” Hermione threw herself into her father’s arms. “Oh Pumpkin we are so proud of you. Valedictorian? Why didn’t you tell us?” He asked.

“I wanted it to be a surprise.”

“Well we certainly were surprised, weren’t we darling?” Her mum said.

“Hi mum.” She gave her mother a hug.

“Hello sweetie. Why don’t you go celebrate with your friends? We have all been invited to the Burrow for an early dinner tonight, and I was going to go speak to Molly about bringing a dessert.”

“Okay, I’ll see you guys later then!” Hermione yelled over her shoulder as she ran to catch up with her friends as the walked to the train station. While she ran, she saw Draco helping his mum into a carriage. Her heart felt like it was breaking all over again at the sight of him (not that it had even healed yet) She was so caught up in watching him that she didn’t look where she was running, and she tripped over a rock. Letting out a surprised yelp, she fell face first into the ground. Draco turned at the sound of someone screaming and saw Hermione lying on the ground. He immediately started to break away from his mum to go help her, but she pulled him back, shaking her head at him. He watched as her friends swarmed around her, helping her up and asking her if she was alright. Looking away he kissed his mother on the cheek and said good bye to her, then headed off to the train.

~*~

Hermione sat in the train compartment, watching the scenery zoom by as the Hogwarts Express sped off towards London. She wondered if she made the right choice by avoiding Draco the last week. They had both agreed the night after the dance that it would only be more painful to leave each other if they stayed together for the last week of Hogwarts. So, instead Hermione immersed herself in work and studying. And when she could no longer study for any test at Hogwarts, she studied for her classes at Cairo. When she didn’t have her nose in a thick volume, she was writing her Valedictorian speech. At night she walked through the empty halls, sometimes stopping to chat with one of the portraits, just so she could spend some time with the castle that she liked so much.

“Can you believe this is the last time we will ever ride this train?” Harry asked interrupting her thoughts.

“Yup, isn’t it great?” Ron said, stretching his arms behind his head.

“Not everyone wants to leave as badly as you do Ronald.” Hermione pointed out.

“Yeah, and not everyone is obsessed with school as you are.” He retorted

“Oh please Ron Weasley. Why do always have to be such a…” Hermione and Ron started yet another one of their pointless fights, and Harry just watched with an amused expression on his face.

“Some things will never change.” He said to himself.



An hour later the train rolled into the station and students poured from their compartments, claiming luggage and searching for friends to say their final good byes to. The trio exited the train and dragged their heavy trunks along the platform.

“I’m definitely not going to miss this part of Hogwarts.” Harry said as they stopped to rest.

“Yeah, I don’t think I will either.” Hermione admitted. They looked over at Ron who was sitting on top of his trunk rubbing his stomach.

“When’s lunch?” He asked.

“Ronald, we had a huge breakfast before Graduation this morning. How can you be hungry?” Hermione asked.

“Because it was breakfast, that’s how. Now its lunch and I’m hungry.” He said.

“Mate, I’m sure your mum will make us something when we get to the Burrow.” Harry pointed out.

“Well while you two talk about lunch, I’m off to say good bye to our friends. You know, the people we might not be seeing for a few years.” Hermione said before going up to all her old dorm mates.

“Lavender!” Hermione called.

“Eeee! Hermione!” Lavender pulled Hermione into a tight hug. “I’m going to miss you soooooo much!” She squealed. Uh huh, sure you are. Hermione thought.

“Well I just wanted to say good bye, and good luck.” Hermione said kindly.

“Oh that is so nice of – PARVATI! Girl I know you’re not leaving without hugging m first!” Lavender took off to embrace Parvati, leaving Hermione. She shrugged it off and started searching for other people to say good bye to, but the station was emptying out faster than she had expected. I guess it’s… over. She thought sadly. Making her way back to Ron and Harry and grabbing hold of her trunk, she walked through the barrier 9 ¾ for the last time. Ron and Harry stood on the other side waiting for her. She approached them with a weak smile on her lips.

“Let’s go home.” Ron said. Harry and Hermione nodded in unison and in a blink of an eye they apparated to the Burrow together.

~*~

“Mum! They’re home!” Ginny Weasley ran from the window and into the kitchen where her mother was putting the finishing touches on a large “Congratulations H/H/R” cake. “Mum, they just popped into the garden.” She repeated.

“Oh goodness, where on Earth are your brothers?” Her question was answered with a loud, earthshaking *BANG* as two identical faces peaked into the kitchen, both thoroughly covered in ash.

“You,”

“Called?”

The twins gave their mum a toothy grin. “Yes I did, the kids are home, and get that dirt off your faces, you look ridiculous. You were not raised in a barn.” They gave her a stiff salute and then marched upstairs.

“Ginerva please go tell the Grangers that they are home.” She asked. Ginny skipped out of the kitchen and into the common room where the Grangers were having tea and talking to Bill and Charlie about all of their many adventures with dragons and goblins.

“Excuse me everyone, but Harry, Hermione, and Ron are home. I think mum wants us to surprise them in the kitchen or something.” Ginny announced. The four stood and followed Ginny into the kitchen, where Molly had decorated the entire room in gold and red. The large cake was in the center of the table, surrounded by a plethora of other tasty foods, and the Grangers had brought along some strange muggle decorations called ‘balloons’ that were somehow floating in the air without magic. The families stood quietly in the kitchen and listened to the trio come in through the front door.

“Where is everybody?” Hermione asked.

“Probably in the backyard or something. I’m getting myself something to eat if anyone wants to join me.” Ron said, heading for the kitchen.

“Sure. I could use a snack.” Harry agreed, following Hermione and Ron. Ron pushed the swinging door open and –
“CONGRATULATIONS!!” They all yelled. Hermione jumped back and put a hand over her heart, but she smiled when she saw all the people she loved standing in front of her with proud smiles on their faces. Well, all but one.



~*~


Draco sat in the Three Broomsticks across from his mother. She was taking him out, her treat.

“So tell me, how does it feel to finally have graduated?” His mum asked, trying to make polite conversation with Draco who had been on the quiet side all evening. He shrugged nonchalantly and took another swig of butterbeer. He was trying to picture what this night would have felt like if he was celebrating it with Hermione instead. Narcissa could easily read the distraught expression on her son’s face. She placed an aging hand over his.

“Darling, you had to let her go. She loved you with all her heart, I could tell, but it would have killed her to spend her life wondering what her life could have been like if she hadn’t turned it down. You need to let go now. Don’t make yourself hurt more than necessary.” She said gently. “I don’t like seeing you upset like this.” Gulping down the last of his drink and slamming down the glass, he withdrew his hand from his mother’s touch.

“Can we get out of here?” He asked with a stone face. Narcissa sighed and looked down at the table for a second. Glancing back up at Draco, she nodded.

“Yes, let’s go.”


~*~


Harry, Hermione, and Ron sat in the common room of the Burrow in front of a crackling fire. It was very late into the night, and the others had long since gone to bed or gone home. Hermione was sipping on tea, while Harry trimmed his Firebolt , and Ron finished his sixth piece of cake. Harry put down his broom, and looked up at his friends.

“So, what now?” He asked them. Ron stopped eating and Hermione lowered her tea cup.

“Well, tomorrow I leave for Cairo.” She said.

“What? Why so early Hermione? I thought we would be spending the summer all together?” Ron questioned, surprised by her answer. She shook her head.

“There is so much I need to do before classes start in the fall. I need to find a part time job, I need to find a flat, I need to meet with my teachers and figure out which classes to take-” She was interrupted by a snort of laughter from Harry.

“You know you’re going to try and take all of them ‘Mione. Don’t you remember our third year? Bloody hilarious watching you fall asleep in your porridge every morning.” He said humorously.

She continued on, ignoring his comments. “And I would like to get to know the area a bit, maybe make a few friends.”

“What do you call us? Chopped liver?” Ron demanded, his ears turning pink.

“No, you two are my best mates in the whole world, but I need to get to know the people there.” She explained.

“So what time do you need to leave tomorrow?” Harry asked.

“They are expecting me to arrive by floo at noon.”

“But that’s only in,” Ron checked the large clock above the couch. “Ten hours.” She bowed her head.

“I know. My parents sent all my things over earlier today. So everything is ready for me, all they need is… me.” She said softly. Harry and Ron got up from their own seats and pulled Hermione into a group hug. They stayed like that for a while until they heard a sniffle coming from the direction of the stairs. They looked up and saw Ginny perched on the steps crying.

“Gin…” Hermione started. Ginny got up from her spot on the steps and ran over to Hermione, hugging her tight.

“I can’t believe you’re leaving us. Not so soon. Couldn’t you stay just for another week?” She asked, almost begging. “Please? You’re my sister Hermione, I won’t see you again for so long.”

“I have to Ginny, and we can still owl back and forth while you are at Hogwarts. I will do my best to come home at Christmas also.” She did her best to comfort her.

“I know you have to do this, but, well I’ve never been good at good byes.” She sniffled again and wiped her tears. Ron nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

“You should have seen her the summer she was dating Dean and he went away with his family for a week.”

“Oh shove it Ronald.” She retorted, hitting him on the shoulder. Hermione and Harry laughed as they watched the two red heads battle it out. I sure am going to miss them. She thought.


At 11:55 AM the next morning, Hermione stood in front of the Weasleys fireplace saying her final good byes. Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Granger were already in tears, and Ron and Harry both looked a bit stiff, as if trying not to show too much emotion. Ginny, who had used up all her tears last night, was quizzing Hermione to make sure she didn’t forget anything.

“Well, I should best be on my way now.” She said to the group of people in front of her. “Bye Daddy,” Her father squeezed her tightly, before passing her off to her mum. “Mum, please stop crying. I’m going to be just fine.”

“Oh Molly I just don’t know how you do it. How can you possibly let your children go?” She cried while hugging Hermione a little too firmly for Hermione’s liking.

“Mum,” She choked out. “I can’t breathe.”

“Oh I’m sorry dear. You take care, and if you don’t like it then you come straight home understand? And don’t let them be mean to you, and…”

“Mum, everything will be alright.” She reassured her, slightly exasperated from repeating herself. Letting go of her mum and giving a hug to Molly and Arthur, she lastly turned to Harry and Ron.

“So…” Ron said.

“You’re leaving.” Harry stated. She nodded and stared at the ground. Suddenly she felt two bodies colliding with her own as the boys pulled her to them.

“We love you Hermione.” Harry said.

“Yeah, and if anyone gives you trouble just tell us and we will kick their sorry a –”

“Ronald…” Molly said in a warning tone.

Hermione giggled. “I love you guys too, and don’t worry, I promise to stay in touch. And Ginny,” She pointed a finger at her friend. “You keep a sharp eye on these two for me while I’m away. If they get in trouble I want to know about it.” Ginny laughed and promised. Hermione tossed a handful of floo powder into the flames and stepped in. No turning back now. She though. She gave one last wave to the teary faces in front of her.

“The Cairo School of Highly Advanced Witchcraft and Wizardry for the Intellectually Sophisticated, Egypt!” She said clearly.

In a flash, she was gone.


The End


A/N: *UPDATE 12/3/09* I know, I've been MIA for... well... years... please don't hurt me. What am I doing now? Why was I gone? Why am I back? I can answer those questions in my new blog, open to everyone. They won't let me link it, but it's katboze.blogspot [dot cee oh em] if you catch my drift :) Hey! Read this! No! Come back here, you can’t leave yet. First things first, I know that Harry, Ron, and Hermione may not have their apparation licenses yet, but I’m the author of this story and I say they do. Second, yes, this is the last chapter of Two to Tango. HOWEVER, there is a SEQUEL (Titled, "One Fine Day" out now, so go read it!!) So I guess this is good bye, but only for about a week or two. I LOVE ALL OF MY READERS! Especially all of you have stuck with me since I started this way back a couple months ago (has it really been that long?!) Well I think that’s all I have to say, except PLEASE REVIEW! Muah!! Kisses for everybody!!

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com