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Saturday came quickly. Draco awoke early in the morning but remained in his warm bed, trying not to analyse the squirming sensations in his stomach or imagine horrendous situations in which the presentation could go wrong. With a heavy sigh, he got out of bed, grabbed a pile of notes and slowly made his way downstairs where he planned on revising them. 
 
He was surprised to find Hermione fast asleep on the couch in the drawing room, a mug of coffee on the table beside her and a book entitled ‘Sense And Sensibility’ lying face down next to the mug. His desire getting the better of him, he ran his hand gently along her bare arm and found that it was icily cold. Taking off his robe, he draped it over her but she awoke with a start at this sudden change. 

“Huh? Draco, why are you in my room?” she asked, disorientated. Deciding to have a little fun with her as to ease his troubled feelings, Draco bent down on his knee in front of her and took her hand in his and kissed it in a very suave manner.

“But don’t you remember? You said last night was the most magical night of your life,” he said in a pretend hurt voice whilst trying his best not to burst out laughing at Hermione’s look of utter shock and horror. 

 
Looking like Ron trapped in a roomful of spiders, Hermione jerked her hand away and stammered, “We didn’t…we didn’t do anything…did we?” she looked frantically around, anyplace but directly at Draco. Surely it must’ve been only a dream. Slowly, she realized that they were not in her room, or even Draco’s for that matter, but in the drawing room, where she had come this morning after a night of tossing and turning in her bed. Her eyes then fixated on a manically smirking Draco Malfoy, down on one knee in front of her and looking thoroughly pleased with himself. 


“Malfoy! You’re such a prat!” she barked angrily and pulled on his robe as he rolled on the floor, shaking in laughter. She stormed out of the drawing room and once his laughter had died down, Draco followed her to the kitchen where she already begun to make herself another cup of coffee. Before she could set it in her hands and raise it to her lips, Draco had grabbed it and was sipping happily. 

 
“Hey! That’s mine!” she said indignantly. Draco shrugged and observed how good she looked in his robe, indeed looking as if she had been up to something with him last night. The thought of it made Draco smirk. Hermione made herself another cup of coffee and sipped it, peeking at Draco over the top of her mug, observing his well-defined chest. Simply staring at him like that, half-naked made her want him in ways she desperately wanted to ignore. 


Shaking her head and staring out of the kitchen window at the courtyard she said, “So, today’s the presentation…” 
 

“Hmmm,” was the sensuous reply she got from Draco. Why on earth was he making things so difficult? She wanted to forget how he made her feel and that provocative noise did nothing to help her forget. It simply reminder her of his kisses and the sounds that he had skilfully let escape her mouth. 

“Nervous?” she asked, glancing at him. 

“Slightly,” he shrugged. She smiled wryly at him before grabbing her mug of coffee and moving back into the drawing room to go over some final notes. 

*

Their presentation was to take place at the magical section of the Sorbonne University at two in the afternoon. Hermione arrived there via Floo Powder before Draco and she waited for him to follow suit. A few seconds wait and then he came through the fireplace, elegant as ever but being slightly too tall, the top of his platinum locks brushed against the top of the fireplace and her managed to get some soot on his hair. It contrasted starkly against the white of his hair. 

“You’ve got some soot on your hair,” she smiled lightly. 

Draco ran his hand through his hair as to try and rid his hair of any soot. “Did I get it all off?” he asked. Hermione shook her head and said, “Come here,” she raised her hand and gently ran it through his hair. It reminded her of the time they had kissed after the Theatre trip and how she had ran her hands through his hair and simply could not get enough of it. But it also reminded her of when she had been a young girl and she’d used to sneak to her parent’s room and take out her mother’s silky wedding dress and wrap herself around in it feeling the silky-smooth material all around her. Draco’s hair felt very much like that. She was stirred out of her thoughts and muses when she felt his warm breath on her neck. 

“Is it gone?” 

Mentally shaking herself, she said, “Yes,” and retracted her hand from his hair. They stood staring at each other for a few seconds before she shook her head and averted her gaze. She eased her nerves by speaking to a couple of wizarding lecturers at the university. Breathing deeply, she wished she had Jasper to talk to, but his and Gabriella’s presentation was taking place in Versailles tomorrow and they were not allowed to appear at each other’s presentations. Draco on the other hand was relieving his anxiety by pacing up and down, running his hand through his hair several times. 

They needn’t have worried though. The Presentation went fantastically well. Both Hermione and Draco were calm and cool, talking of their experiences in France and the new knowledge they had gained and how the conference had broadened their understanding about magical medicinal manners in foreign countries and how they had cherished the experience. They were completely in sync with each other, sharing the spotlight equally. It was rather enthralling to watch; when one stopped the other began, their sentences and ideas flowed seamlessly from one topic to the next. It was obvious that they had rehearsed hard for today, but their ease with each other went beyond mere practice. They were a perfect compliment to each other. 


When the question and answer session was concluded, both heaved a sigh of relief and Hermione broke out into a smile. She wanted to rush over to Draco and give him a big, congratulatory hug or something of the sort. But in an instant all sorts of people were around him, showering him with praise for a job well done. He recognized many of them from the lavish soirees, Lucius used to throw when they were still on the A-list of the wizarding world. Suddenly catching sight of a tall, gruff-looking wizard approaching, he waited for the wizard to advance on him. He instantly recognized him; it was Pegasus Maximilian, an influential old wizard. He used to be close friends with Lucius but had distanced himself from the Malfoys after Lucius had been thrown into Azkaban. 


But now, he approached Draco and extended his hand. Draco politely shook it. “Well done, Draco. A splendid job indeed,” he praised. “I must confess, when I heard you would be coming with Miss Granger, a muggle-born witch, I was concerned that Healer Connors had made a grievous error,” His eyes narrowed as he spoke, a serious expression colouring his features darkly. Draco held his breath; he knew wizards and witches all over England put a lot of credibility in Mr. Maximlian’s opinion. The older wizard’s mouth curled upwards in a smile and he placed his hand on Draco’s shoulder. “But I see now that I was the on in error. Your mother ought to be proud of you,” he placed his arm about Draco’s shoulder as Draco heaved a sigh of relief. “Come with me. There are some people I’d like you to meet,” 
 

Hermione watched him intently as this event unfolded from her vantage point across the room. He made people notice him but not in the ‘Oh, I’m a superior Malfoy and you should bow down before me’ way which Hermione had grown accustomed to during their years at Hogwarts. She watched him make his way around the room, mingling with everyone and charming the robes off his audience. He was having the same effect on Hermione. She couldn’t take her eyes off him; his essence filled the rather huge room. 

 
She was pulled away from gazing at him when she felt a light tap on her shoulder. She turned round to find professor McGonogal stood behind her, beaming, as Hermione had never seen her before. 

“Professor!” she exclaimed in surprise, “What are you doing here?” 

“I came to watch your presentation of course,” McGonogal replied smartly, “And what a presentation it was. You were brilliant, Hermione.” 
 
Hermione smiled slightly, “Thank you professor, but Draco also contributed a lot to the presentation as well.” McGonogal looked slightly taken aback at Hermione’s words, but her surprise was quickly replaced with a smile. “Congratulations anyway. I’ll just go have a little chat with Mr. Malfoy about this wonderful presentation of yours,” and she bustled away to Draco. 

Once Draco had finished talking to just about everyone in the room, he looked up at last and he found Hermione intently spying on him. Their eyes locked and a jolt of electricity seemed to pass through both of their bodies, the room and everyone else seemingly frozen in time. All they could hear was the beating of their hearts, deafening to the pair them. A small smile curled Hermione’s lips upwards and she stared at him warmly. 

Realizing that someone was talking to her, Hermione turned round to see Professor McGonogal once more. Breaking eye contact with Draco, she turned to look at her former head-of-house. “Yes professor?” she asked politely.

“I know that everyone intends to have dinner now, but I feel that you and Mr Malfoy deserve a much more satisfying reward than dinner with a bunch of old wizards talking nonsense,” 

Hermione grinned at the professor’s suggestion and almost suddenly Draco was at her side. “What did McGonogal want?” he asked, loosening his collar a little. 

“She said that we should forget about dinner with these old coots and celebrate in a more enjoyable way. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty good idea,” 

“I couldn’t agree more,” Draco laughed and pretty soon they were back in the Manor. Draco began to head straight for the kitchen, quite suddenly remembering that he had not had anything since that cup of coffee in the morning, but Hermione pulled him back and raced up the stairs with him. 
 

“Come on, get changed. I know the perfect place to go, but it’s muggle so don’t wear your robes” she cried happily. Draco was still feeling impulsive after the presentation and did not put an argument. He went into his room, changed into black jeans, a grey shirt and a leather jacket. They were going to the muggle side but he didn’t feel comfortable going anywhere without his wand. He placed it in his inside jacket pocket and checked his hair was immaculate in the mirror before waiting outside Hermione’s door. 

 
“Are you ready?” he called to her. 

“Wait a minute,” she called back. He could tell by her muffled voice that she was slipping out of her robes and changing into muggle attire. He tried to stop his mind from wandering what it must be like to be a fly on her room wall at the moment but failed dismally. 

“Why are we going to muggle Paris? Haven’t you seen enough muggle things on all your trips with your family? Why don’t we just go get a bite to eat in Abeille Ruelle?”

“Trust me, you won’t be disappointed,” was her reply. He waited, pacing up and down in front of her door, still hyped-up from their stellar performance when he heard the door click open and he turned round. He had to remember to suck in breath and he placed his hands on the banister behind him to steady himself. 

Instead of choosing an outfit like the conservative skirt and top she had worn on their trip to the Louvre, Hermione had decided to try something a bit different. Her hair was swept up in a clip with a few tendrils hanging down, revealing her long, slender neck. She had put on some more make-up, not a lot, but enough to make her hazel eyes somehow brighter and framed in long, dark lashes, and make her lips shine when they caught the light. But the dress was the killer. She was wearing a little, shimmering red dress, which fit close to her body, not too tight but curving to every delectable inch of her. It had elegant, loose sleeves made of a light, flimsy, translucent material. The neckline rested a little below the base of her neck and it was short with the hem of the dress only extending to the middle of her thigh, showing off those incredible legs he had first spied on the train. 

 “Wow,” was all that would escape his mouth. 
 

Instead of being embarrassed however, Hermione smiled coyly but confidently. “Well, I guess that means we’re ready to leave…” They went down and she opened the doors, holding it open for Draco. As Draco passed through the doorway, she smiled again, “You might want to try closing your mouth a bit Draco. The muggles will be wondering what you’re gawking at.” 

 She knew she was in for a night to remember.

 

*

Music: Time is running out - Muse
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