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Draco glared at Ron and vice versa.

“ What do you think you’re doing? “ Ron began.

Draco raised his chin. “ What’s it to you? “

“ Don’t give me that look. You know very well… Hermione isn’t for you! “

He raised an eyebrow. “ We’re not a couple, we’re just friends. “

“ It’s everybody’s cliché! For everybody in denial! “ Ron hissed. He stood with his fists clenched at his sides and his jaw hardened as he stood still.

“ If you’re done with your speech, I’d like to go after her now, “ he said dryly. He started to move.

Ron looked away, with a frown. “ Malfoy, she’s been hurt already… “ his voice trailed off, not knowing what to say anymore. It was true, and Draco knew it.

Draco stopped in his tracks. “ It’s not like I’m hurting her or anything, “ he replied with a frown. “ Do you think I’m alive right now just to hurt people? “

“ I’m just saying you might, “ Ron said looking at Draco straight in the eye. Ron saw a faint glimmer of green in Draco’s grey eyes. Ron sighed, exasperated.

Draco’s jaw tightened. “ We’ll talk about this some other time, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go after Hermione before she does something drastic. “

“ You’re on a first name basis now? “ Ron’s eyes widened slightly.

Draco smiled smugly. “ Sorry, old chap, things just progressed. “

Draco quickly left, but Ron went after him. As he walked away, he heard Ron’s voice shout;

“ Don’t-! “

Draco looked at Ron as he walked backwards and raised two fingers to say he knew what he was talking about and he quickly walked for the next corner.

He suddenly felt odd and alone. Ron’s words hit him. “ That’s hitting below the belt, Weasley, “ he muttered. He had felt that this time, the bastard had gone too far. What? Ron didn’t think he was mature enough or something? “ It’s not like I hurt everyone who comes my way! “ he added as an afterthought.

A lot of people were walking in the streets now, since it was a Sunday, after all. Up ahead, he saw her walking alone in the crowd, hugging herself, as if everyone and everything suddenly seemed too cold for her to handle.

“ Granger! “ he called out.

She didn’t look back, instead she continued walking.

“ Hey! Granger! “

He frowned and tried to keep up with her pace. A lot of people bumped into him. “ Sorry, “ he said. “ Coming through! “

“ Granger! “

Was the girl deaf? His chest was starting to hurt. He saw her walk towards a quieter section of the district. She was walking towards a park. She walked past the trees and was now walking towards a bridge-

“ Hermione! “ he finally called out, exasperated.

She stopped in her tracks. His hand reached out for her shoulder. “ Please-? “ His hand spun her around and he saw the expression on her face. It looked tired and worn-out. And she was trying her best not to cry.

“ I, “ he started.

“ I believe you heard what Ron said back at the bookshop? “ she began.

He nodded. “ It doesn’t mean- “

“ It meant everything! “ she said in a tight voice. “ It was… it meant everything! “

Draco looked at her and bowed his head a little. “Granger, just because Weasley exchanged a few words with you, bitter words at that, it doesn’t mean like everything was meant to hurt you- “

“ He meant it, you know it! Everything about Harry, and me, just everything! “ she said with trembling hands. “ I’m so sorry he was so mean to you… that was an awful, awful thing to say! “

He sighed and gave a tiny smile. “ It’s true, Granger. I almost killed all of you and I can’t change that and Weasley told you that he’d have Potter any day over me for you, well that’s correct, I suppose. You loved Potter, maybe Weasley was just- “

“ Oh cut the crap, Malfoy! Can’t you just be your mean old self! Start hurting me, like what you did for seven years at school! “ she burst out angrily.

His shoulders dropped a little. “ Granger, like I told you, I’ve changed. And I’m not out to hurt anyone, not even you. I’ve retired from that area-perhaps Weasley was just defending Potter- “

Hermione looked at him. She leaned against the brick barrier as they stood on the bridge. “ I can’t…I’m sorry, I’m hurting you because of Ron. I didn’t mean to… it’s just that… I wanted a break from everything, I wanted to try something new- “

“ I’m your ticket, “ he interrupted. “ Smile will you? I’ve never seen you this low since that time you got intoxicated- “

She smiled a little.

“ That’s my girl, “ he said as he pinched her cheek like a man would do to an adorable five year old.

Thunder roared in the distance. And suddenly the rain poured on them, the size of pebbles. He took of his coat and stood over Hermione with it.

‘ Wanna go somewhere warm? “ he asked over the rain.

She nodded.

“ We’d better make a run for it! “

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They took refuge inside a quiet café and she shivered as she sat down a chair. He shook his coat off. A portly looking man approached them.

“ Something to drink? “ he asked holding a menu.

She grinned and sneezed. “ Hot cocoa, please. “ And she sneezed again.

Draco laughed. “ Bless you. I’ll have the same. “

" Bless you? " Hermione laughed. " You actually say that now? "

" What gives? It's just a muggle expression, right? "

Hermione looked at his face, and saw drips of water coming from his blonde, messed up hair. He had never looked that natural… and she thought it was pretty cute. His shirt clung to his chest…”Stop it, Hermione! “ she told herself. But her eyes kept falling back to his face…somehow, it looked so vulnerable. He looked so vulnerable.

Draco saw Hermione’s eyes looking outside of the window, where the rain had gone worse. Her long lashes looked very nice against her eyes and her wet hair. He had never noticed before that she had beautiful eyes…dark brown with specks of lighter brown in them. Her breathing came out like steam as she exhaled. Her cheeks were pink against the rest of her skin, and she had little freckles on her nose. He almost laughed. But he kept to himself.

“ The rain’s kinda nice,“ she began.

He nodded. “ Sure and I just had to get my Ferragamos wet. “

Hermione laughed. “ Oh, those are just leather shoes! “

“ Hey, “ Draco began. “ These are the first designer shoes I ever got as soon as I got successful in the muggle world! “ Draco wiggled his shoes under the table.

She smiled just as the cocoa was served. “ Finally! I’m freezing to the bone already! “ And seconds later. “ Ow! Hot! Hot! “ She was fanning her tongue with one hand to no avail.

He laughed and handed her a glass of water.

“ I think… I just burned my tongue, “ she said, teary eyed.

“ Yes, most likely. “ He smiled. “ Impatient, Granger. “ He blew over his cocoa and took a sip.

Outside, the rain pitter-pattered steadily, coupled with a few flashes of lighting and bolts of thunder. Time ticked by.

They listened to the rain dropping down on the roofs; they listened to the tires screeching outside, listened to shouts and laughter by children playing in the rain, they listened to each other’s breathing. Their hands touched accidentally, and it felt like there was an electric charge between them. They sat there and gazed at each other, locked in some invisible embrace. Only they could feel it.

Draco put his hand over hers. “ Do you mind? “ he asked breaking the silence.


~

Harry held her hand. It had been a few days after their fight. “ Do you mind, Hermione? I’d like to feel you, even for just awhile?”

~


She shook her head. “ No, not at all.“ Of course i don't mind. We're just friends, right? Oh god, what am I saying? This is crazy! He's holding my hand, and I said I didn't mind?

Something in his eyes changed. It grew softer. His face moved towards the light and Hermione saw flecks of green in his grey eyes. She bit her lower lip. “ Why… “ she thought. “ This is stupid! He’s gone! Let it go! “ But seeing the specks of green was a little bit too much.

“ Are you okay? “ he asked. His hand was lifted off of hers.

She nodded. Pretend it’s all fine, she told herself. Nothing's wrong. Just friends, just friends..this isn't someone you're dating...you're just friends and you know it. He knows it...

“ Hermione, “ Draco began.

She nodded.

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Minutes later, they were walking down the street heading for Draco’s car. As Draco drove for his house, Hermione’s hand was on his hand as he held the gear. It seemed like it would take forever, but, they arrived, and it was still raining hard.Wind slapped against the windows like someone in rage, but it seemed far away to his ears, and to hers.

Draco held her hand as they walked up to his bedroom, still in their wet clothes. She stood in the center of the bedroom as Draco stood in front of her.

“ I, “ he started. His words were lost. His palms were beginning to sweat. What was wrong with him? It’s not like he’d never done it before! But...this was a whole new story…He kissed her forehead and she smelled like the rain and peaches.

Hermione said nothing. But her heart was pounding terribly. She did not remember being undressed by him, but she remembered his hands, and how they touched her softly, terribly, and she knew that she was caught up, and that it was too late to turn back.

To Draco, everything seemed to be in slow motion. She was some fragile person to him, in need of extreme, careful treatment. He no longer knew how they got on the bed, only that he was with her, and that was all that mattered.

As he kissed Hermione for the first time on her lips, Draco knew that his control had shattered, and that he was lost.

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TBC…*gasp!* a love scene in the making? Oh what will i think of next?!!! Love it? Hate it? See? I didn't fail you! Now you'll want more! evil laughter Leave a review? Also, thanks to all those who reviewed for the previous chapter. I uploaded fast didn't i? ^_^ oh yeah, Ron here is a bit overprotective (duh) to appeal to my story's plot. please tell your buddies about this story?

Disclaimer: Ferragamo ain’t mine!

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