Unexpected Affection

 

Setting: An Alternative Seventh Year

 

Disclaimer: No, I do not own the Harry Potter Series, but I took a quiz, and it told me I would be sorted into Slytherin. Nor is the song mine: Kill – Jimmy Eat World

 

 

Golden sunlight streamed through the crimson draped windows, chasing away the dark that had infiltrated during the night. Catching the mirror inside just right, the light refracted, scattering twinkling beads of light throughout the room. The room seemed to glow with anticipation for the day to start, and in doing so, the girl in her bed stirred for the first time in hours as the rays reached her face.

 

Honey-colored eyes fluttered open, squinting against the brightness, to a beautiful Saturday morning. Hands appeared from underneath the bedsheets, stretching over the large amounts of brunette curls that were sticking out in every direction. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes and stifling a yawn with her other hand, Hermione Granger pulled the blankets around her and sat up in bed.

 

Realizing how chilled her room was, she wrapped her comforter around her bare body and went to the window. She smiled in contentment as she looked out over the grounds of Hogwarts, appreciating the blue sky and white clouds. Wanting to feel the sun’s warmth on her skin, she undid the latch on her window, pushed the panels out, and a warm breeze swept into the room, making the temperature much more bearable and ruffling the papers that were strewn across her desk. She stood there for a moment, listening to the swallows chirping and the distant sound of waves lapping the shore, before retreating back into her room to get ready for the day.

 

Dropping the bulky comforter to the floor, she slipped on a faded and rather large t-shirt and some cotton shorts before pulling open the door to her room and walking down the small hallway that lead to the Head Dormitory bathroom, a luxury she had gotten quite used to during this first week of school. Quickly locking both sets of doors to make sure the Head Boy wouldn’t interrupt her shower, she undressed and turned the hot knob all the way to the left, stream already filling up the room.

 

Twenty minutes later, she exited, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, a towel wrapped around her midriff. Once she was back in the privacy of her room, she dropped it and went over to her wardrobe to choose her outfit for the day. Within seconds, the feelings of peace and contentment that had filled her that morning were gone. Everything that she tried on simply felt like it wasn’t fitting her correctly; it was just one of those mornings. Annoyed, she threw all the unworn clothes in a pile and finally decided on her most flattering pair of jeans and a deep blue blouse. Hermione got dressed and then went over to her mirror.

 

Starring back at her was her reflection. She grimaced slightly at her hair that was already growing alarmingly frizzy and her plain features. There weren’t good enough words in the English language for her to explain how frustrated she was with her appearance, and that is why, a couple of days ago, Hermione had been forced to take desperate measures.

 

Intrigued by an ad in the magazine Ginny Weasley had been reading on the train, Hermione had read the article that had accompanied it and felt that if she didn’t order the all-inclusive beauty set it was currently offering, she would regret it for the rest of her life. Although, that did not stop her from feeling incredibly foolish that night as she owl-ordered it. It was a very Un-Hermioneish thing to do. She felt even more silly that she had waiting impatiently the whole week for it to come. And when it did finally arrive the previous evening, she felt genuinely irrational for being so giddy about it.











Grabbing the parcel next to her, she took the top off the already unwrapped package and observed the contents one by one. First came the Sleekeasy’s Hair Spray that she had used back in forth year. Applying it liberally to her hair, she could feel each strand molding into smooth, soft curls, taming down her wild locks. Then came the facemask that would leave her skin glowing, followed by a lotion that smelled of peppermint, and finally all the make-up essentials so that she would no longer have to borrow them from Ginny.

 

She silently thanked Merlin that there was a picture guide to explain how to apply the make-up, or else she would have been hopelessly lost. In the next couple of minutes, she applied espresso brown eyeliner, cream eyeshadow, mascara, cover-up, clear lipgloss, and a tart smelling perfume her mother had given her for her birthday. When she was finished, she surveyed herself closely in the mirror, jubilant at the transformation that had taken place in a matter of moments. She couldn’t imagine why she hadn’t done it sooner and couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she realized how confident she felt about her appearance for the first time in her life.

 

Her marveling was interrupted seconds later by a repetitive tapping noise that reached her ear. Turning around to see what it was, she was met face to face with a black Eagle Owl with piercing green-yellow eyes. The animal, which must have flown in through the open window, was perched upon her desk chair, its long, threatening talons grasping the wood with force. Intimidated by the owl’s ominous demeanor, Hermione tired to remember where she had seen it before. She knew it was not any of her friends’ owls, but it still looked distinctly familiar. Maybe the letter would tell her.

 

As she reached out her hand to take the parchment, it lifted its leg automatically and she untied it. She went to turn away, but its luminous eyes starred at her from its stationary position. Realizing that it wanted a reward for it service, she dug an owl treat out of her desk, and he caught it midflight in its beak as he flew out the window.

 

Curious as to what the letter contained, she sat down on the edge of her bed and unrolled it. It read:

 

 

Hermione Granger,

 

I’m not sure I even know how to write a letter like this, since I’ve never actually attempted to before. Hopefully, after trying at least six consecutive times this morning, this seventh draft will get the point I want across. I also will dare to venture that I am the last person you would ever expect to get a letter of this caliber from.

So to get on with it: I like you, Hermione Granger. Sorry to be so blunt, but I am not the type to beat around the bush, something that I have done far too long when it comes to my feelings for you. Perhaps the worst part about all this is the fact that I’ve never been able to show you how I feel before, not even given you the slightest clue over the past six years that I find you to be the most intriguing, benevolent, knowledgeable, brave, and not to mention beautiful woman I’ve ever met.

All I ask is for you to meet me in the library at ten this morning so that we can talk face to face and so that maybe I can explain myself more clearly, for surely I have bewildered you completely by this note.

Besides that, I have one last favor to ask of you. When you do meet me in the library, please reserve your judgment until after I’m done explaining everything. I say this because most people don’t have the greatest opinion of me, but I have faith that you are good-hearted and intelligent enough to overlook that. I hope to see you soon.

Yours,

 

 

            Hermione tried desperately to decipher the cursive signature at the end of the letter, but it was little more than a scribble. And that’s when she saw a line at the bottom of the page that read: If you couldn’t tell, I purposely signed my name illegibly. Mystery forms anticipation, which makes it all the more exciting, don’t you think? Also, you’re more likely to show up that way.

 

            She couldn’t decide whether she was irritated at his clever ploy or simply amused. She also couldn’t believe that the letter was real at all. Surely, nothing as exciting and romantic as this would ever happen to someone like her? It was then that she realized that her palms were sweaty and her heart was racing. Disbelief was running through her a million miles a minute, her eyes wide, rereading the letter over and over again. She began feeling light-headed and came to the conclusion that it was because she had been holding her breath the entire time.

 

            The oxygen that entered her starved lungs made her even giddier. She couldn’t believe that a boy actually liked her, that they thought she was beautiful, that she was admired rather than Lavender Brown or Parvati Patil. Completely letting go of her reserve, she let out a squeal and did a silly jig around her bedroom, an enormous grin plastered across her face. It was then that she remembered that they were supposed to meet at ten and was shocked when she looked at her bedside clock and saw that it was quarter to.

 

            She quickly glanced back at the mirror, making sure that she still looked presentable after her tizzy. Satisfied, she grabbed her wand, stuck it in the pocket of her pants, and all but ran out of her room. Walking at a fast trot down the hall, she went down the y-shaped stairs that lead from the bedrooms into the common room she shared with the Head Boy. She barely registered the fact that Draco Malfoy was dozing on the couch before climbing out of the portrait hole.

 

            Her mind was frantic as she forced herself to walk calmly down the corridor. Never before had she thought so much about the opposite sex; she was too used to being ignored by them to fancy the idea of requited feelings. One person could sum up her past relationships: Victor Krum. They had dated the rest of her fourth year after the Yule Ball, and he was everything a first boyfriend should have been. He was a gentleman, caring and charming. But she knew that when he left, their relationship would too. It had been a good run, but she had to remember that he was famous and could have whatever girl he wanted, and frankly, she needed someone who was a little less serious.

 

            Her second major experience with a boy had been with Cormac Mclaggen. That had been a catastrophe, hands down. She had barely managed to escape with her lips still attached to her face. Anyway, she had only gone out with him to make Ron jealous, a plan in which she thought had worked for a while. Half expecting him to finally admit some feelings for her, she had been sorely disappointed over the summer. Nothing had changed between them. Perhaps he was a little kinder to her these days, but she had given up hope on ever being anything more than friends.

 

            So that left her wondering who at Hogwarts would send her such a flattering letter. Picking out the only good clue from the note, she knew that it had to be someone in her year, due to the fact that they had known her for six years. Without giving it a second thought, she knew that it was neither Harry nor Ron. In Gryffindor, that left Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnegan, and Neville Longbottom. Again, without thinking about it, she crossed out the first two and then grimaced at the most logical one. Indeed, Neville was a nice guy, but if she were honest with herself, she would be most disappointed if it was him.

 

From Ravenclaw there was Michael Corner, Stephen Cornfoot, Kevin Entwhistle, Morag MacDougal, and Antony Goldstein. The only elimination she could make there would be Michael Corner, who disliked her immensely. Other than that, she didn’t know much about the others. From Hufflepuff there was Derek Burns, Wayne Hopkins, Zacharias Smith, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and Ernie Macmillan. Again, there was only one elimination to be made: Zacharias Smith. Out of all of them, Ernie seemed to be the most likely, but like she had with Neville, she knew that she would be rather upset had it been him. Of course there were the Slytherins too, but thinking that either Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, Zambini, or Malfoy had sent the letter was entirely laughable.

 

            Going through all this in her mind helped preoccupy her enough to keep her anxiety in check. Her curiosity was burning though; the suspense was entirely too much. Would she simply be dissatisfied in the end? Or would she too realize that she had feelings for her secret admirer? As she entered the doors to the library, a sense of calm set in around her; this was her home away from home. Anything that was about to happen would be over soon enough.

 

----------

 

            He watched her silhouette silently, his eyes obscured by his bangs. He could sense that she was flustered, two bright patches of red glowing in her cheeks, but there was also a small smile on her face. She barely registered his presence as she rushed out of the portrait hole. As soon as it closed behind her, Draco Malfoy sat up on the couch and ruffled his platinum blonde hair, becoming more anxious by the second.

 

            Standing up, he brushed the wrinkles out of his clothes and exited just as Hermione had done seconds before, feeling lightheaded and unsure. Making sure to keep his distance from her retreating form, he kept his pace leisurely, looking at each picture as he passed them, something he had never taken the time to do before. He found it to be an excellent way to keep him from focusing on the task at hand.

 

            A few minutes later, he arrived at the massive front doors of the library, suddenly feeling less confident than he had in his entire life. He had half a mind to turn around right then, but he forced himself to step inside, the darkness and silence of the chamber making him feel like he was being sucked into a vacuum. On a Saturday, he knew that there would be few people in the library, if any at all, which was exactly how he wanted it. He made his way through the towering shelves of books, taking the least direct route to the back of the room as possible, allowing himself time to even out his erratic breathing. And then he rounded a corner, and there she was, nestled up in her usual armchair, reading a thick textbook on Ancient Ruins.

 

Well, you’re just across the street.

Looks a mile to my feet.

I want to go to you.

 

            Knowing that this was not the time for him to chicken out, he stepped out from behind the shelf and sighed in a resigned sort of way. There was no turning back now; this was the beginning of the end. He began to walk towards her, but she gave no sign that she acknowledged his being there. Uncertain of how to gain her attention without irritating her, he waited until he was a few paces away and then cleared his throat. Hermione still did not look up, but the smile that was on her lips faded and was replaced by a frown. He could tell she was exasperated by the way her shoulders tensed up and a crease appeared in her forehead, and sure enough, when she opened her mouth to speak, her tone was full of impatience.

 

“Don’t even bother, Malfoy. I knew you were there the whole time.” She dog-eared the page and finally looked up at him expectantly. When he said nothing, she rolled her eyes. “What no snide remark? No witty comeback to my rude statement?” There was still silence. “Good. I was getting rather tired of them anyway. Too repetitive, not enough creativity.” She smiled to herself, knowing she was giving him a hard time; it was too hard to pass up. She hadn’t missed an opportunity in six years after all. But never before had he ever remained silent through it, and this unnerved her.

 

“Anyway, it’s not a good time for you to interrupt me. I’m meeting up with someone here, and I would rather have some privacy when that happens, thank you very much,” she said with a matter-of-fact tone.

 

            Draco felt a lump rise into his throat, words being both oppressed and urged on at the same time. He knew that he would have to say something quick; she was obviously already suspicious by his unusual silence. But as to how he was supposed to go about something as monumental as this, he had no clue. So he let go of all pretense and hesitation and dove in.

 

“Hermione…” he said in a low murmur, his voice softer than she had ever heard it before. Her name rolled off his tongue for the first time; it felt so foreign as the syllables churned around in his mouth, but he decided that he liked how it sounded.

 

Funny, how I’m nervous still.

I’ve always been the easy kill.

I guess I always will.

 

            Her slightly unfocused eyes sharpened instantly at the sound of her first name. Compared to this, nothing Malfoy had ever said had shocked her more. She felt struck dumb by his gentle tone. Unsure of what to do, she simply sat up a little straighter and placed her book down on the table next to her, looking into his icy eyes for an answer.

 

“Um, Malfoy, are you feeling okay? You do realize that you just called me Hermione, right?” She raised her eyebrows in disbelief, wondering if this was some sort of practical joke. She had never been good at reading him; he always seemed so concentrated on his inner thoughts. Before last year, she hadn’t thought that there was much to the man who was standing in front of her, but ever since Harry had told her the story of the Astronomy Tower, she had taken a keen interest in him. There had to be more to his story than what met the eye, but as to what it was, she was clueless. Hell, the only thing she knew for sure was what Professor McGonagall had explained to her at the beginning of the year when she had found out that not only was he allowed back to Hogwarts, but had also been assigned the position of Head Boy.

 

When she had questioned rather forcefully about this, the answer she had gotten in return had satisfied her very little. She was told that she was to trust him, that he had come back with the hope of being redeemed, and was now also a member of the Order of the Phoenix. When she asked for greater detail, she was denied and told that if she wanted the whole story, she would have to confront him herself.

 

Planning on approaching him as soon as possible, she found it difficult to find the right moment to do so. During this first week of school, they’d had barely any alone time. The only time at which they were secluded from everyone else was at night in their dormitory, but during this time Hermione also found it hard to bring up the topic at hand. For on the first night back, Draco made it clear that he no longer wished for them to treat each other with animosity. From the moment they had entered their living quarters, he had made the request for them to be civil to each other this year, and then he proceeded to strike up a conversation with her. Hermione had been so confused that by the time she went to bed that night, she had forgotten to ask for his story.

 

His graciousness continued on throughout the week, never faltering except for the occasional sarcastic remark or insult, both of which Hermione knew was only a product of habit. She enjoyed the lack of bickering so much, that she dared not to approach the taboo topic incase it sparked their old hostility. So she left it untouched, brewing in the back of her mind until this moment.

 

“Yeah,” he said hesitantly. “Yes, I know what I called you. Although that may be the only thing I am sure of at the moment.” He ran his hand through his hair, trying to calm himself down. “Hermione, it was me who wrote you the letter.”

 

Hermione froze for a second time. If saying her name had caused her shock, there were no words to explain the feeling of incredulity that swam through her veins. She simply could not understand the concept. It was impossible. Draco Malfoy was the last person on earth she would have guessed as the sender. How could he have feelings for her when they had been bitter enemies for their whole lives? It was so preposterous that she decided it had to be a joke.

 

“Ha-ha, Malfoy. You got me. I hope your little joke was amusing to you. Wanted to get my hopes up and then laugh as they got crushed? Hilarious,” she spat bitterly, any good feelings she had developed for him in the past couple of days vanishing completely. Draco winced at this and realized that he well deserved this reaction. He would just have to convince her then.

 

“As much as I’m sure you’d love to believe that this was all a prank, I’m afraid to say that it’s not. I like you, Hermione,” he stated seriously, looking into her eyes with sincerity.

 

            Hermione was taken aback. Never before had she seen emotion in his icy demeanor, yet there it was, as clear as day. He was showing her his vulnerability, putting himself out there just for her, and she hoped that she could trust him to be genuine. There was something in the way he was looking at her that made her want to believe him, believe that somehow he was changed.

 

            And suddenly the atmosphere was different. Maybe it was because she had finally accepted that it indeed was him that sent her the letter. Or maybe it was because he took the last few steps toward the chair across from her and sat down, their proximity closer than ever. Whatever it was, she looked at the man in front of her and finally realized that he was an entirely different person from last year. She now understood why Professor McGonagall had told her to trust him; it was hard not to when he was acting like this. Her throat constricted, she barely managed to whisper the words that confirmed that she believed him.

 

“Why? After all this time?”

 

Could it be that everything goes around by chance?

Or only one way that was always meant to be?

You kill me; you always know the perfect thing to say.

I know what I should do, but I just can’t walk away.

 

            Draco let out a deep breath that he realized he had been holding in. She believed him; the hard part was over. Now the only obstacle he had yet to face was to explain why. That was easy enough; he would just have to tell her the whole story, something he had mastered from telling it countless times to the Order. He just hoped that she could handle the truth and accept it.

 

            He opened his mouth to begin the lengthy story, but suddenly realized what had been nagging at him since he had seen her. Her appearance had changed; it wasn’t drastic, but he noticed that she was wearing makeup and her hair had been tamed into soft curls. He had always found her beautiful in a natural sort of way, but he realized that the changes made her more confident in herself, something he found even more appealing than physical beauty. He couldn’t help but wonder why more boys at their school hadn’t chased after her. But he quickly realized that they were intimidated by her intelligence, something he had never personally experienced since he was similar in intellect. So without thinking of the question she had asked of him, he spoke.

 

“You’re so beautiful. Breathtakingly so,” Draco whispered in a daze, a small smile flickering to his face.

 

            Hermione, mistaking his smile for a smirk, grew angry. Was the only reason that he liked her because of her physical beauty? She couldn’t believe it. Hadn’t she already had to deal with Cormac Mclaggen and his hormonal tendencies? There was no way she would ever put up with that kind of situation ever again. At the same time, she was mad at herself; she had been so convinced that Malfoy had changed, that he wasn’t the same shallow, arrogant prick she had known all these years. Obviously, that had been too much to hope for. And then she grew even more furious at herself for realizing that his statement upset her; she had liked viewing him in this new light. Overwhelmed, hopelessness hit her like a ton of bricks.

 

“YOU ONLY LIKE ME FOR MY LOOKS?!” Hermione leapt to her feet, her hands on her hips. Draco shrank back in his seat, frightened by her sudden outburst and the fire blazing in her eyes. It took him for a moment to realize that she had taken his compliment as an insult.

 

“No, no, no. You’ve got it all wrong. Please seat down, Hermione,” he pleaded, pacifying her rage. “I’ll explain myself, I promise. Just calm down.” She continued to look at him, knowing that she had indeed jumped to conclusions. Guilt washed over her as she awkwardly sat back down in her seat. She couldn’t help her reaction; this was all too unexpected.

 

“I swear that I was going to answer your question. But as I was about to, I looked at you and couldn’t help but to tell you that I think you are beautiful. It just came out at the wrong time.”

 

I can picture your face well from the bar in my hotel.

I wish I’d go to you.

I pick up, put down the phone, like your favorite song goes,

“It’s just like being alone.”

 

            Hermione looked up at him with a small smile on her lips, her cheeks a bright red. Her stomach was all scrambled up; she couldn’t believe that Draco Malfoy was giving her butterflies. After all the years of being enemies, it was hard to believe that he could have such strong feelings for her, yet if she were to be completely honest with herself, she would have to admit that it was hard not to have feelings back for him. She didn’t speak, but her smile grew more profound, giving Draco the courage to go on.

 

“Well, I suppose now would be a good time for me to start explaining myself, huh? Well, it’s a bit of a long story, and I haven’t told it to anyone else, so bear with me.” He took a deep breath. “I think I’ve liked you ever since I first met you. During our first year here I think I saw that you are very much my equal. You and I challenged each other, both of us similar in intelligence and knowledge. We were also alike in other ways too: stubborn, bold, and witty. You stand up for yourself and throw back insults without even thinking about it. And you didn’t throw yourself at me like all the other girls did; you were a challenge, a mystery. You made me think, and I loved that.”

 

“But when I went home that Christmas, everything changed. My father had found out that I had taken a liking to you and called me into his study for a lecture. He told me that I was forbidden to befriend you. You were a Gryffindor, a Muggleborn, and you were friends with Harry Potter, all things he considered to be in the worse taste. So instead he told me to treat you with disdain, contempt, and hate, for if I didn’t, I would be fraternizing with the enemy. And that’s where it all began; he brainwashed me into thinking that his logic was sound, so I followed his orders precisely.”

 

“It wouldn’t be long though until I realized that my feelings for you wouldn’t disappear so easily. The more I found out about you, the more I was around you, the harder it was to torment you. I wanted to tell you how I felt, but I knew that could never happen. My father made sure of that.” Draco took a deep breath.

 

Oh God, please don’t tell me this has been in vain.

I need answers for what all the waiting I’ve done means.

You kill me; you’ve got some nerve but can’t face your mistakes.

I know what I should do, but I just can’t turn away.

 

“You might be wondering why I listened to my father rather than doing as I wished. It’s rather simple. You see, my father didn’t care for me in the least bit. There were many times in which he threatened to have me killed if I displeased him. Being the young boy that I was at the time, I could not imagine anything worse than dying, so I stayed obedient to him. At the same time though, I decided to start dropping subtle hints. They were barely noticeable so that no one could realize what I was doing, but I hoped that somehow you would see through it. I guess I didn’t make them evident enough.”

 

“At first, I started calling you names to get your attention, knowing that you’d end up talking to me in the end. It was the only way I could converse with you and get to know you. Following that, I criticized every guy that you were ever close to because I was jealous. I knew that someday any one of them could steal your heart, and there would be nothing that I could do about it.” A sad smile had formed on his lips. “And when you punched me in third year, I know that I deserved that. It was just another stupid ploy of mine to get your attention, and I’m sorry for that. You do have a rather good punch though; my jaw was swollen for days.” He chuckled and Hermione giggled under her breath.

 

“But then my father wound up in Azkaban. No longer did he have any hold on me. And I enjoyed that freedom…for the few days I had it. I was so close to telling you how I felt at the end of fifth year, but I never got the chance. My world was turned upside-down all over again. As you know, due to my father disgracing Lord Voldemort, the Dark Lord decided to inflict punishment upon me. He gave me the task of killing Dumbledore, something I had no intention of doing. I half-assed my attempts all year, hoping that if I didn’t achieve my goal, I would be let off the hook. But I was wrong about that also. When Voldemort realized I wasn’t putting all my efforts into plotting the murder, he raised the stakes by keeping my mother captive. It was a rotten card to play; he knew that my mother was the only person in my life who truly loved me. So I had no choice but to fix the Vanishing Cabinet and bring the Death Eaters into the school. And when it came time, just like I always knew, I wasn’t able to kill Dumbledore. Instead, Snape did it for me, and out of fear, I fled with him into the night. I didn’t know what else to do.”

 

“It was until three weeks later that I was able to escape from where I was being held. I didn’t know what else to do, so I apperated to Hogsmade and walked up to the school from there. I was of course ambushed at the gates by the aurors standing on guard, but once they were able to force a truth serum down me, they were able to know that I did regret my actions. From there, Professor McGonagall offered me a place to stay at the castle, the offer to join the Order of the Phoenix, and the position of Head Boy.”

 

“So as you can imagine, I’ve had quite a bit of time to think over the summer. I’m not going to lie; you were on my mind a lot. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had nothing to hold me back any longer. All that remained was figuring out how to tell you. I wanted to confront you face to face, but I chickened out slightly and sent you that owl first. It’s just not easy putting myself out here like this, you know? But I do want you to know that I do really like you, Hermione, and I wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble if I didn’t.” His heart felt lighter as relief soared through him. He had said what he needed to say; his story was out in the open now. He felt his cheeks tinge pink as he met her astonished gaze. Somehow he knew that she no longer felt any animosity towards him anymore.

 

“So,” she mused, “since we are in the mood for sharing secrets, shall I tell you one of mine?” At this, she leaned forward in her chair and placed her hand on Draco’s, which was lying on the armrest. Draco flinched slightly at her unanticipated touch and was too shocked to say anything, so he nodded instead.

 

“In first year, I was rather intrigued by you also. Like you said, I believed us to be a lot alike. And I’m not going to lie; I’ve always found you attractive. But then you came back from that Christmas, and I knew that any hope that I’d had for us becoming friends was gone. You were suddenly this arrogant, crude snob, and I wanted nothing to do with you. But the truth is, when we would come back to school every year, I would search you out, hoping to find that you had changed, that there was some decency in you after all. But there never was. I hated you so much with all your rude remarks and idiot tendencies. They still hurt me to this day.”

 

So go on, love; leave while there’s still hope for escape.

Got to take what you can these days.

There’s so much ahead, so much regret.

I know what you want to say.

I know it, but can’t help feeling differently.

I loved you, and I should have said it,

But tell me, just what has it ever meant?

 

            Draco was silent. Feelings of shame overwhelmed him; he couldn’t believe that he had wounded her so deeply. Surely this was the end. She would never forgive him for what he had done. Then he felt anger well up inside of him at both himself and his father. If only his father had been more understanding, if only he had done what he had wanted to do all along, then he wouldn’t have lost the only thing he cared about. He had to forget about her; that would be the only way to make the pain go away, for as long as he remembered her smile, her wit, her intelligence, the raw pain of rejection would never diminish. As though electrified, he stood up from his chair suddenly and turned to leave, but Hermione’s hand griped his tightly still and refused to let go.

 

“But Draco, I really…” Hermione was cut off by Draco’s finger pressing into her lips. He gave a muffled snort of disbelief as he shook his head and rolled his eyes. He uncovered her mouth slowly.

 

“I don’t need to hear anything more. I understand that what I did in the past is unable to be fixed. I just thought that somehow you might have been able to understand, but I see now that it was too much to ask for. I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you. I promise this won’t happen again.” Once again, he attempted to turn to leave, trying to slip his hand out of her grasp, but she just griped tighter.

 

I can’t help it, baby, this is who I am.

Sorry, but I can’t just go turn off how I feel.

You kill me; you build me up, but just to watch me break.

I know what I should do, but I just can’t walk away.

 

            With a force that he didn’t expect, Hermione stood up from her seat and pulled him back to face her. His eyes that had been focused on the floor, snapped up to meet hers with curiosity forming in them. With another pull, she brought him closer to her, so that their bodies were almost touching, and she realized that he was towering over her by a good eight inches. Wishing to keep him near, she stood on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing his face closer to her level. Draco could only stare at her in wonder, speculating what could have brought on such bold actions. He then decided it didn’t matter. She wanted him close; that’s what counted.

 

            He couldn’t help himself as he leaned down and captured her mouth with his own. Both of their eyes slid shut, and Draco’s arms wound themselves around her delicate frame. His lips were soft yet possessive, a mixture of passion, yearning, and care. Hermione melted under his touch, unaware that anything she would have once deemed so wrong could feel so right. Any doubts that she had felt until now were instantly washed away. Simply by the way he was holding her, she knew that everything he had said was absolute truth.

 

At the same time, Draco was filled with awe. Kissing Hermione was better than anything he could have imagined. Her plush lips were tender against his own, and the way her fingers were caressing his neck sent shivers down his spine. He couldn’t believe that this was happening; he had to make sure it was real. So he opened his eyes just in time to see Hermione doing the same. He could feel her smiling against his lips. He pressed his forehead against hers and starred into her chocolate eyes.

 

“Draco? Don’t you want to know what I was going to say before you so rudely interrupted me?” Hermione asked, her face lit up in happiness. Her arms were still wrapped around him tightly.

 

“Alright. Enlighten me as to what you were going to say, Hermione,” whispered Draco, feeling more content than he had in his entire life.

 

“I like you too.”

Track This Story:    Feed

JOIN HARRY POTTER FANFICTION


Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.

Register Today!