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-Hello, it’s blackroserei (this is like my first a/n ever) I just wanted to give you guys a heads up. Some of the upcoming chapter is a bit cheesy so beware! But sometimes I like that sort of thing, so I decided to leave it in. Enjoy and thank you for reviewing!


Apples and Trees


"I ran down to the forests edge
To see the faeries games of plight
Instead, startled they, by my human tread
And vanished into starry night

These beings of lovely, beauty told
Show lives plagued by deathly strife
Left me an apple of shining gold
And the ambrosia of sweet nectar life"

-M.E sig 1991 "Fey"


Hermione was in the Malfoy library, once more researching the significance of the number nine. She didn’t have a lot of feasible information at that point, which could aid them in trying to find out what the nine signified. Hearing footsteps approach her from behind. Hermione turned around, expecting Harry or Ron. Instead her eyes met the figure of Draco Malfoy.

They looked at each other in awkward silence for a moment before he turned back around and walked back to the door, undoubtedly to leave her to her work.

“Your father was a hypocrite!” Hermione called out after him, wanting to give him a reason to stay. She felt a desperate need to have him near her, even if they were arguing.

To her relief, he turned back around with a slim eyebrow raised. “Why is that Granger?”

She contained a pleased smile and bit her lips before answering. “He condemned muggles as slovenly, incompetent and below the race of purebloods. But as I looked for information, I noticed that the infamous library of the Malfoy’s contains many books by muggle authors. So-”

“-why are they gracing the bookshelves of Malfoy Manor?” Draco finished for her. He slid onto the wooden table and seemed relaxed, now that the tension had been transferred to another subject. “I’ve said the same thing about Pansy’s robes. I have to say that it makes little sense, so I’ll explain it in the only logic that I can.”

Hermione quirked her lips, as if to challenge him and nodded as a sign for him to keep talking.

“A chef,” he continued, laying down on the table so that he was looking at the ceiling that was enchanted to look like the night sky. “They’re good enough to cook your food but you don’t converse with them.”

“If muggles aren’t good enough to live, look at, or touch, how can their literature possibly be good enough to read?”

“I asked my father something similar to that once,” Draco said. “He told me that there were some exceptions, that the majority of mud- …muggles, are unintelligent. I didn’t understand…”

She bit her lip. “He didn’t give you a very good explanation.”

“There is no explanation in brainwashing,” Draco snapped at her, his voice getting angry. “You’re taught to think one thing and there’s nothing else to know. You don’t question it.”

“You’ve questioned it,” Hermione told him softly.

He snorted, and his voice held a strange bitterness as he spoke. “Because of you.”

“What?”

He sat up and leaned on his side, resting his head in his hand so that he look straight at her.

“You’ve challenged everything that I’ve ever been taught,” Draco explained, his eyes cold. “And since our first year, I’ve hated you for it. You’ve crushed the only world I’ve ever known.”

“The world you know is delusional,” Hermione said casting her eyes downwards.

After a few moments of heavy silence, Hermione dared a glance over at Draco. He was, strangely, running the tip of his finger over the edge of a glass, nearly filled to the brim with water that had appeared a couple of seconds before. He was looking at it as if he had something to say. But whether it was to the cup or to her, she didn’t know.

“Water,” he said softly, pushing the glass away from him. He abruptly took her hand in his larger one. He intertwined her fingers with his own and Hermione looked up, surprised with this gesture. “Water is polar- simple chemistry- with both negative and positive charges. Water is one of the strongest elements, Granger, eroding metal, clearing soil, extinguishing fire, made of opposites. Does it seem funny that we, so different, have come together now?”

“Chemistry Malfoy?” Hermione asked wryly, raising an eyebrow. “Isn’t that too muggle for you? Besides, I’ve come to help others, and you’ve come to help yourself. There’s nothing complicated about it.”

“No, it is simple,” Malfoy agreed, his eyes suddenly going hard. “But I’m getting to the reason why I hate you, Granger. So bare with me.”

“You’re against everything I stand for. You have everything that I’ve ever wanted. A purpose, a choice that I never possessed, two paths for your future while all my life, I’ve only had one.”

“And that blood.” He stopped, tracing the slight raise in her skin where the veins in her hand lay. “That dirty blood, that proved me wrong. You, Granger…you have destroyed the only world I’ve ever known, where you’re inferiority is always proven. With you it’s different. And that’s the real reason why I hate you, Granger. You’ve disproved everything that I thought I knew, taught to me by the only people who’ve ever shown me acceptance or anything close to love.”

There was silence for a moment, and Hermione felt oddly relieved. Swallowing the lump that had gathered in her throat, she spoke.

“Why are you telling me this now?”

Draco picked up a stray tendril of hair, holding it between his long fingers. “Because right now, all I can think about is your hair, and how it used to be. Like copper set on fire and how is was as beautiful as you are now. And it pains me because something so stunning shouldn’t be so filthy. The worst thing is, though, that no matter how much I try to convince myself that you’re below me, I can’t.”

If it had been any other day, a normal day, she would’ve reveled in his proclamation and taunted him that she was right with a smug expression on her face. Instead, her lips parted but nothing came out and the only thing that she wanted to do was either turn to flee or kiss him.

“What are you trying to tell me?” Hermione said, her voice angry when she didn’t mean it to be. She wanted to believe him, she really did, but her gut wouldn’t allow her to.

“Merlin, you are so naive!” he exclaimed incredulously. “Why can’t you just see things for what they really are and look through the farce that people put up?!.”

“I can see through them just fine,” Hermione answered coolly.

“Then why can’t you see what I’m trying to tell you?! Why must you insist on being so innocent and stupid?!”

“Now is not the time to call me names, Malfoy!” Hermione snapped at him. “Especially when you’re trying to get me to listen to your half-ass explanations!”

“If you weren’t so fucking blind Granger, I wouldn’t have to explain things to you!”

Hermione’s eyes flashed, remembering his harsh words from the night before. She snatched her bag and made a bee line to the door. His fingers encircled her forearm, preventing her from walking any further. She backed away from him until she was flush against the library wall. He followed.

“If you weren’t so blind,” Draco repeated. “You’d see that I actually like you, despite your annoying habits, your nagging, your psychotic obsession with books and the fact that you have the dirty blood that I’m supposed to hate. That I despise you and abhor you so much because you make me feel these things that I shouldn’t for someone so low. And all I can think is how dare you make me feel this way about you and not even feel the same way about me?”

For some reason, when we finally started this, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I found myself watching you while you slept and caring about whether or not you were cold, when a couple of days before, I wouldn’t have given a damn. And all I can think is how you’re going to end up with someone like Potter or Weasley and I hate the fact that you make me feel like I don’t even have a chance with you, a mudblood, when you should be begging me for it.”

“Maybe that’s not what I want,” Hermione said, meeting his gaze. “Maybe I’m tired of doing what everyone expects me to do.”

He raised an eyebrow and unconsciously ran his tongue over his bottom lip. “What is it that you want?”

“Despite your annoying habits, Draco,” she told him. He shivered as the word rolled off her tongue. “I like you too. In spite of the fact that you’re a high maintenance, arrogant, self- centered, and prejudiced prat.”

“What do you want?” Draco repeated.

She looked up at him through her long lashes. “I want you to kiss me.”

Draco could never deny a beautiful woman.



“We’re leaving tomorrow night,” Meier announced at dinner, as the house elves brought food out to the table.

Hermione dropped her fork onto her china plate and received a nasty look from the elf setting her salad in front of her.

“Um…we’ve only been here for one day,” she said, looking at the faerie incredulously.

“I know Hermione,” Meier answered sharply. “I can do math.”

“Then you can explain why you totaled the number of days here wrong,” Hermione shot back. “Seeing that you can do math.”

“Ouch,” Harry muttered under his breath, putting a forkful of lettuce in his mouth when Meier glared at him.

“It’s for your safety,” Meier said angrily, his annoyed gaze still on Harry. “May I remind you that you’re the one who needs the most protection.”

“Moving around isn’t helping!” Hermione pointed out. She was about to continue but Ron took his chance and interrupted her.

“Well where else can we go to?” he asked. “We’re out of places to go.”

“It’s what he wants!” Harry joined in, his voice frustrated. “He wants to chase us, smoke us out! Like bees. So that he can get her!” He looked pointedly at Hermione, who rolled her eyes.

“First off, bees were a bad analogy. And he probably only want me because I’d be a lure for you.”

“Dumbledore said that you had something to do with him gaining immortality,” Ferro pointed out.

“The key?” Meier suggested, his eyes widening with surprise.

Hermione raised an eyebrow. “How do you know about the key?”

“I’m a faerie, Hermione,” Meier said, letting out a small laugh. “We all know about the key.”

“I don’t think that’s what Dumbledore meant,” Hermione pressed, spreading her napkin over her lap. Something fluttered from the fabric onto her knee and she picked it up, keeping it low so that the others couldn’t see it over the table.

With slightly trembling fingers, she unfolded the small piece of paper. Once she had smoothed it out, she faintly recognized the loopy, elegant handwriting.

Meet me at the bottom of the staircase.

10


As the others began to argue about whether she had to do with the mirror or not, she looked at Draco, who was sitting across from her. He gave her a small smirk before returning to his dinner.

“You have something that he wants,” Meier said.

“That’s obvious,” Ron grumbled under is breath.

Ferro ignored him. “You obviously know something about the Mirror or he needs you for something.”

At this point, Hermione fiddled with the beautiful pendant around her neck that Asriel had given her the other night. She watched as Meier’s eyes followed the fluid motion of her wrist to where her fingers were wrapped around the stone.

“Where’d you get that?” he asked the table going quiet at how serious his tone of voice was.

“Asriel,” Hermione answered, her voice soft. “He said that it was for me.”

“No faerie has been able to wear it,” Ferro told her, leaning over so that he could take the pendant in his hand. “Touch it yes, but wearing it is another matter. The last person to wear it was-”

“-Hermione,” Meier finished, his eyes as hard as stone.

She rolled her eyes. “Can we stop having this conversation now?”

Meier shrugged, although he was glaring at her as he did so. The salads then disappeared from the table and were replaced by plates of smoked salmon

“By the way,” asked Ron, who already had some fish in his mouth. “Who’s house are we going to next?”

“Mine,” Ferro answered simply.



At ten that night, Hermione stealthily made her way down the staircase, the candles along the walls lighting the way for her. She had to be careful not to stir any of the portraits from their sleep or else they would wake up the whole house. She froze, though, when she heard a door open.

Grumbling followed the creaking of the hinges and was followed by cursing when that person ran into something. Hermione quickly recognized the voice as Ron’s and closed her eyes as she mentally grimaced. Her stomach dropped to her knees when she realized that he was heading to her room and she held her breath as he knocked on the door. He frowned and tried the handle. Knowing him, he’d alert the whole house to the fact that she wasn’t in her room so she spoke up.

“I’m here, Ron.”

Hermione sat down on the stone steps and waited for him to approach her. She heard his footsteps before he sat beside her. She glanced over at him but turned red when she realized that Ron had no shirt on.

“Where’s your shirt?” she asked, her cheeks still flushed.

“You’ve seen me without a shirt on before, Hermione,” Ron pointed out, leaning back on the cold marble.

She threw him another look and noticed that his chest was muscular and chiseled. Just like Ma-

“Are you alright?” he asked, looking over at her. “You seemed…”

“Upset?” Hermione suggested. She rubbed the goose bumps on her arms. “I know.”

“I just wanted to see how you were,” Ron continued. “You don’t tell me much anymore and…it worries me.”

Hermione felt a pang of guilt and turned her head to give him a warm smile. “I’m sorry. This whole mission has just drained me. I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I’d be. But if you’re worried about us growing apart, don’t be. I’ll tell you everything…just give me time.”

“I just wanted to tell you…” He paused, chewing his lower lip. “I just wanted to say good night. I don’t want to see you look so exhausted in the morning.”

“Goodnight Ron,” she said, letting out a silent breath that she hadn’t known she’s been holding. The conversation could’ve gone on for much more time if he had pressed her about telling him everything. “I think I’ll sit out for a little bit.”

She listened as Ron got up. He laid his hand on her shoulder before he went back to his room. It was only when she heard the door close and the lock click, that she made her way down the rest of the staircase. Hermione reached the bottom and realized with a sinking feeling, as she looked around her, that it was completely dark and she had forgotten her wand.

She mentally scolded herself and was about to go upstairs to get it when long fingers roughly pulled her back against a hard chest. Her scream would’ve rang through the manor if it hadn’t been for the hand covering her mouth.

“It’s me,” said a familiar voice from the body pressed against her.

Sighing with annoyance and relief, Hermione pulled away and spun around to face him. “Did you have to scare me like that?”

Draco’s face was hard and she knew that he had heard her and Ron’s conversation. Instead of confronting her about it like she had expected, he wrapped his fingers around her wrist and led her through the large dining room and into a huge kitchen. Strangely, there was absolutely no one in the kitchen and she looked at the space curiously as they walked through.

He slowly pushed open the door with one hand and rested the other one on the small of her back to lead her outside. As they moved through the doorway, Hermione’s eyes widened and her breath momentarily caught in her throat.

They were standing in a magnificent, gargantuan garden filled with weaving path ways lined with hedges, flowering trees, and flowers colored with vivid hues that she had never seen before in her life. She could see now, that this was where the house elves decided to spend their time at night for many were sitting down on the flagstone paths and looking up at the velvety sky, studded with bright stars.

Smiling at her stunned reaction, Draco once more took her hand and led her down a path to their right until they were in the precise spot that he wanted. Again, Hermione looked around and she was speechless with the beauty of it.

Magnolia and Cherry Blossom trees were positioned to make a circle which the path led into. She looked up and noticed that their pink and white blossoms made up a stunning canopy, which allowed slivers of moonlight to permeate through and hit the ground.. The soft dirt was littered with fallen flowers.

“Beautiful,” Hermione said breathlessly, looking at a cherry blossom petal that landed on her open palm with an amazed smile.

A soft breeze went through and began a steady rainfall of flowers from over head.

“My mother’s,” Draco said, motioning for her to sit down.

She did and was surprised when a silver bowl, filled to the brim with large scarlet colored apples appeared in front of her. Taking one in her hand, Hermione bit into it, enjoying the sweet flesh and nectar that landed on her tongue. She turned her amber eyes on him as a signal to continue.

He sat down in front of her, taking an apple for himself. Draco looked at the fruit for a moment, before taking a large bite. As he finished, he resumed his story.

“She planted flowers,” he said, nostalgia glazing his eyes. “Well she liked to watch. Purebloods aren’t supposed to get their hands dirty. But she came up with the design for the garden because she hated what it looked like before. Apparently, my grandfather used to use this space for blasting practice.”

“Blasting practice on what?” Hermione asked.

“Let’s just say that sometimes muggles would go missing and never found.”

Hermione shivered with disgust and looked around, thinking of how something so beautiful was used for purposes so horrid.

“Anyway, she had the house elves plant everything. My mother placed charms on the plants so that they wouldn’t die, unless you want them to. She could never stand to see things die.”

“I’ve seen your mother once,” Hermione said softly, biting her bottom lip. “She’s beautiful.”

Draco scowled. “On the outside yes, but after years of constant pampering, she became very vain and somewhat self absorbed. My father wasn’t always around because he constantly catered to Voldemort, but it worked out. We weren‘t the perfect happy family, like some think.”

“You weren’t happy here?” she asked, her voice so incredulous that he knew she was trying not to be sarcastic. “In a place as beautiful as this?”

“Money can’t buy everything, you know.”

Hermione raised an eyebrow. “This is a shocker, coming from you.”

“I liked to be alone a lot,” he answered, giving her a small grin and ignoring her comment. “And nothing was enough to please my father. I’ve spent my whole life trying to please him and I keep coming up short of his Pureblood standards.”

“This certainly isn’t helping,” Hermione joked, motioning to the two of them.

“I’ve already sinned in his eyes by thinking of you,” Draco said, leaning in so that she could see the sincerity in his eyes. “Why not go the whole way?”

Hermione blushed and was thankful that he couldn’t see it in the darkness. He took her hand in his own and flipped it over so that her palm was up. He lightly traced patterns with his long fingers over her skin, traveling up and down her arm. She shuddered and closed her eyes. He felt her shiver and looked up. “What about you?”

“What about me?” Hermione asked, opening her eyes to look at him.

“Your parents…your childhood.”

“My child hood was nice. My parents met in college, when they were training to become dentists, at twenty. A year later, even though they hadn’t finished school, they married. Five years later, I was born.”

“Are your parents in love?” he asked, watching her face intently.

“Oh yes, very much so,” Hermione said, nodding. “My father was actually going to leave school to become an author but my mother persuaded him to finish. It was him who really got me into reading.” She played with a plant that sprang from the dirt beside her foot. “When I was five, he gave me a very old copy of The Lord of the Rings. It wasn’t until I was seven, in primary school, when I could actually begin to read it. It fascinated me though, this other world where the impossible happened. It gave me an escape from everyday life. It was through that master piece that I became infatuated with the thought of magic and other worlds.”

“From that day on, strange things started to happen, although they began small. Once, when I was eight, I levitated all of my furniture in my room.”

“Wow,” Draco said.

Hermione shrugged. “Almost four years later, Professor McGonagall came to tell us about Hogwarts.”

The two lapsed into silence, both watching the blossoms fall off of the trees and dance to the ground. Hermione was itching to ask him if he had heard her and Ron’s conversation but as always, Draco beat her to it.

“Was Weasley hitting on you earlier?” he asked, trying to sound nonchalant. She could tell that he had to mask the anger in his voice, though.

“No,” Hermione said, rolling her eyes. “So don’t even ask me if there‘s something going on between us.”

“How can someone not think that something’s going on between you two?” Draco countered.

She picked up another apple. “ I hoped that there’d be something between us at one point, but that feeling’s gone. He has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to be with me.”

“Are you that blind?” he asked, his eyebrows raised. “It’s obvious to anyone with two brain cells that Weasley is infatuated with you.”

“I don’t think so,” she said, shaking her head and giving him a grin. “We’re friends, Draco, nothing more. Besides, I agreed to come out here with you, didn’t I? That must mean something.”

Hermione sighed and laid back, looking up at the awning of brilliant flowers. He laid down beside but propped himself up on one elbow so that he could study her face.

“Didn’t this all happen a little too quickly?” she asked, her fingers toying with the fabric of her tee shirt.

“What do you mean?” the blonde questioned. His mercury eyes held an emotion that she couldn’t place.

“We weren’t even friends first, if you think about it. You come out and tell me that you like me, despite the fact that we’re enemies and then kiss me. I tell you the same. It’s all happened very fast.”

“I had to make up for lost time,” Draco answered. His long fingers played with the tendrils of hair that rested on the soft dirt ground. He wished that he could take a picture of her, so beautiful and serene.

“It’s just odd,” Hermione elaborated, shivering as he massaged her scalp. “We really had no basis to even begin with.”

“Basis? I think that the fact that I like you very much and you like me very much is a pretty good basis.”

Hermione shrugged. “Usually people who date are friends first. They get to know each other.”

“Well we aren’t those usual people are we?” Draco questioned, his eyes boring down into hers. “And believe it or not, I do know a lot about you, just like you do me. Your habits, your favorite book, what you do after class…It’s our job as enemies to know as much as we can about the other; it’s a war tactic.”

“You’re right,” Hermione told him softly, turning on her side so that she faced him directly. “We aren’t normal are we?”

“No, love,” Draco said, standing up to his full height. “We aren’t” He brushed some dirt from the back of his pants. When Hermione looked up, he was holding out his hand to her. She took it and Draco pulled her to her feet.

They walked back into the garden, joining the House Elves in watching the night sky. Draco wrapped along arm around her shoulders and pulled her against his hard chest.

“I never figured you to be a romantic,” Hermione said softly.

“I’m not. But I figured since this is the first ‘date’, I might as well try.”

She let out a laugh at his blunt comment. “I’m not really into cheesy stuff anyway. You’re lucky. Most girls are.”

“Ever wonder why I like you, Granger?” he asked, smirking as he used her last name. “Because you aren’t most girls. You have an opinion, a mind, and you aren’t bloody afraid to stand up to me and you certainly didn’t give a damn that I was, by far, the best looking guy in school.”

Hermione rolled her eyes with a grin at his arrogance. “Hmm, I sure.”

They laid like that outside, falling asleep until the sun rose over Malfoy Manor. Hermione woke up as the light hit her eyes and glanced around, seeing that Draco was still there with her. He’d hogged the blanket that she’d conjured for them. He awoke, as if sensing that she was looking at him. She grinned at him but that quickly fell when she heard a voice behind her.

“Well Ms. Granger and Mr. Malfoy. Is such behavior appropriate?”

Both turned to see a smirking Meier standing above them.

Oh bugger.



ANOTHER A.N!
As all of you probably know, Lord of the Rings is a trilogy by J.R.R Tolkein. I also have suggested reading. Tithe by Holly Black is one of my favorite books of all time- its where I got my inspirations of the faeries and creatures in my fanfic. If you like this story, nothing will please you more than her book.

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