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8 days. 8 whole days had passed. Where in the Merlin was he! Hermione threw her book down frustrated on the seat next to her. After their encounter outside in the rain Draco had disappeared off the face of the earth. It was really bugging Hermione Granger. Standing up she grabbed her books and walked out of the library heading towards the Heads common room, but froze when she saw Dumbledore ahead of her in the hall. Should she ask? No, no Dumbledore would think it was suspicious…

Her legs didn’t listen to her head though and moved towards Dumbledore, finally catching up and tapping him on the shoulder. “Uhh…excuse me, Sir, can I have a moment?”

“Ms. Granger this is a very nice surprise; how is the dance coming? Three weeks away I can hardly believe time has passed so quickly!” Dumbledore looked down at Hermione as she fought for the right words, a battle circling in her eyes.

“Actually, sir, that why I was coming to talk to you! Malfoy hasn’t come to the last prefect meeting and I was just wondering if you had any idea where he has been. He’s my partner is Potions as well and he hasn’t been to class.” Hermione rubbed her fingers together nervously waiting for his response.

Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled as he stood and examined Hermione. “He was called home,” he finally said. “Family emergency, I’m sorry you weren’t told. He should be back tonight or tomorrow morning. Mr. Malfoy was supposed to inform you before he left, I don’t see why he didn’t.”

Hermione lowered her eyes ashamed; maybe she had actually hurt his feelings. All he did was stand up for her and help her out of an awkward situation. Why did she have to get so protective? It didn’t make sense; how is it he could make her so angry in such a small amount of time? The only difference lately is she was feelings more and more ashamed of herself when she took out her anger on him. Thoughts continued to swirl around her head until she heard Dumbledore’s voice in the back of her mind.

“Ms. Granger, is everything alright? Would you like to have a talk?” Dumbledore’s face set into a concerned frown; as he put his hand on her shoulder. “We could speak privately in my office.”

Hermione shook her head and forced a smile. “I’m fine, sir, just tired I suppose from all the dance planning and classes. Thank you anyways.” As she turned to walk away Hermione realized Dumbledore hadn’t released her shoulder.

“Ms. Granger, are you sure everything is alright? I haven’t seen you with the usual crowd lately.”

Hermione flinched at the blunt mention of Harry, Ron, and Ginny, but still forced a smile. “Yes, sir, everything is fine. Must be going though, I have a lot of work to get done.” Hurrying away Hermione didn’t see Dumbledore frown, nor did she see McGonagall come up, but more especially she didn’t hear Dumbledore and McGonagall’s hushed whispered in the middle of the hall.

Everything was different then Hermione had thought her last year would be like; never would she had thought she would be more comfortable talking with Draco Malfoy then her three best friends. Shaking her head to relieve the thought she looked back down at her potions homework; Draco being gone had left her doing a lot more work than usual and it was driving her mad. Snape, oddly, had been very understanding and gave her extra time on her work; why he was being so understanding was still a mystery to Hermione, along with the rest of the class.

Rubbing her eyes Hermione froze as the door to the common room opened quietly; it was late and it could only be one of two people: Dumbledore, wanting to have that talk or…or it was Draco back from his family emergency. Quickly she switched off the light and sat down on the couch, looking towards the door. If it was Dumbledore she wanted to avoid that talk.

“Bloody hell,” said a familiar voice as they stumbled into the room. “How is it I still trip on that blasted step!”

Hermione smiled and quickly switched on the light. “Hello, Malfoy,” she said, but quickly Draco turned away mumbling obvious inappropriate words.

“Granger, do you ever sleep? It’s one in the morning! Can’t a person get a moment alone? Oh, I forget I don’t know you at all, right, so maybe I just don’t know that you enjoy sneaking up on people at one in the morning!” His voice was rough and something else, nervous maybe? Draco Malfoy was nervous to see Hermione…but why?

“Malfoy, I tried to find you all week to apologize for getting upset, but you disappeared. Dumbledore told me you were suppose to tell me you were leaving. Is everything ok at home?” She was rambling, she knew that, but she had to ramble to stop from being curious why Draco was turned away from her. She had really done it this time; she just kept pushing everyone away!

“I didn’t think you’d care honestly, Granger, so I just left. You didn’t seem like you wanted to see me. My house was fine; it was a normal week at my house.” His voice still was nervous and he still was facing away from her.

“You mean your home?” Hermione walked slowly towards him.

“What?” He asked moving uncomfortably away from her, he must have known she was coming nearer.

“You called it your house; not your home…usually people say home…?” Hermione reached forward slowly touching his shoulder. “Is everything ok…if you’re that mad and you can’t even look at me then fine, but if something is wrong I can help.”

Draco sucked in a breath and let it out slowly, finally just letting himself go and turning around. Hermione flinched when she saw it; his face was bruised and swollen and when he went to shrug she could tell he was in pain. “Don’t look so terrified, Granger. It’s not a big deal. I came in here to do a concealment charm before tomorrow morning.”

“Not a big deal,” she screeched, “did you get a huge knock in the head? Oh, silly question! Look at you! This is the second time! Draco you are going to sit down and let me help you and as I do it you are going to tell me what the Merlin happened to you!” When she finished even Hermione was shocked at herself; she had just screamed at Draco Malfoy and he, well he took it and didn’t say a word back. Just stared back at her. Finally he walked slowly over to the couch and sat down; looking back over at her. Hermione shook her head to make sure she wasn’t imaginating it; and then followed him over.
“Be careful with my shoulder; it’s a little sore,” was all he said; as Hermione pulled out her wand and called out to Dobby.

“Dobby, please can you get me ice and as many bandages as you can. Also, grab my charm book and get any ingredients needed for a concealment charm; it shouldn’t be hard…just everyday materials.” Hermione turned back to him and went to touch his shirt, but paused. “Uhh…could you please take off your shirt?”

Draco smirked, but nodded his head. Moving little by little he reached up and pulled his shirt over his head. Hermione could tell it caused a massive amount of pain, and so made a reminded in her head to check his ribs as well. His chest was bruised in a few pronounced places as though steel balls were thrown at his chest at full speed. “Granger, be careful, ok?” Draco wasn’t being catty, but paranoid. He must have been in a lot of pain.

Hermione nodded and took the supplies from Dobby when he came back. “Ok, Draco,” she said applying some pain reliever on his shoulder and ribs; trying her hardest not to stare at the ripples on his stomach, “tell me what happened. Who did this? Why did they do this? Physically hurting someone is never the answer.”

Draco laughed out loud, but stopped as he grabbed his ribs and felt the pain shoot up and down his face. “You’ve never met my father,” he said. “I did something without his permission and showed him up; he got angry at that fact.”

“Your father?,” she asked shocked. “How could a father do this to his son!” Hermione applied the bandages around his ribs and looked up at him. “I mean, nothing you can do should deserve this.”

Draco’s face softened slightly at her naïve-ness and shook his head. “He just was upset that I did something not even he had thought of- don’t worry about me, Granger, I can take care of myself.”

Hermione grunted at that and started to work on his shoulder; applying the pain reliever. “Draco, what did you show him up on?”
He shrugged. “It’s not important really; it wasn’t anything big really. Has anything been going on here when I was gone?”

Hermione knew he had changed the subject, but let it slide because of how open he had been with her moments before. “ You missed one prefect meeting, nothing huge; oh, and Snape has given me extra time with homework because you were gone. He’s been overly nice lately to me, I don’t see why.”

Draco smiled at her and watched as her hands moved up and down his shoulder covering it with a bandage. “Thank you , Hermione…”

Hermione looked up shocked at the sound of her name, not realizing that they were face to face only inches apart. She looked down at his lips and back up to his eyes; his eyes were serious, almost scared, as she examined them and before she knew it, she had done it. She, Hermione Granger, had kissed Draco Malfoy.

P.S. Write reviews I love them and it makes me wantto write more. Hope you enjoyed the's a big one with a HUGE step in their relationship. But its been coming...couldn't u tell?

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