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A/N: Like I promised, very short updates between chapters! Just a quick little note for the Blase/Hermione lovers, this chapter might change your view on how much you like certain characters. I will just leave it at that, and let you guys read this beautiful chapter!


Hermione painfully woke up the next morning from her couch. She remembered the events of last night, and groaned out loud. Would Harry and Ron still be furious at her? She slowly began seating herself on the couch. The behemoth windows in her room were snowy white. The first traces of winter were finally beginning to show with the season’s first frost.

*

Hermione made her way to the Gryffindor’s table in the Great Hall. She was anxious to sit next to her best friends, but she hesitantly slid into a seat next to Harry.

“Hi.” Hermione said quietly grabbing a piece of toast.

“Good morning.” Harry replied cheerfully. It seemed all was well. Hermione smiled at Ron who smiled back and continued reading the report on last night’s Quidditch game.

It was quiet among them and Hermione could sense the mild tension between them. She sighed and ate her breakfast in complete silence. She glanced over at the Slytherin table, where she caught Blaise’s eyes. He smiled at her, but she only half returned it. Blaise questioningly raised his eyebrows, and Hermione merely shrugged. She set her toast down, and took a final sip of her juice.

“I’m going to go. I have to talk with Professor Vector about something. I’ll see you guys later.” Hermione finished, not waiting for a reply. She casually strolled out of the Great Hall.

She continued walking down the corridor, until she turned a corner and stopped. She leaned against the cold stone, and closed her eyes. A few moments later, as though she was expecting it, she felt Blaise’s presence emerge. A small smile crept up on her lips, as she continued to keep her eyes sealed.

“I hope it’s me you’re waiting for.” Blaise smiled as he stood in front of her. Hermione’s smile only widened further.

“And who else would I be waiting for?” Hermione teased. She still didn’t bother opening her eyes.

“No one, because I’d be enraged with jealousy if I knew that.” Blaise smirked as he walked closer to Hermione.

“Look at me.” He whispered.

Hermione slowly opened her eyes. She met his warm deep blue eyes. His nose slightly gracing her own. She could feel the soft warm breath from his mouth on her supple cheeks. She could feel his lips quivering, only a mere breath away.

“Someone might come.” Hermione whispered. This only seemed to light a fire within Blaise’s eyes. He smiled widely.

“There’s no one now.” Blaise finished, crashing his lips onto hers. He could feel her body tense, but then give way and melt into his arms. Her fingers found their way into his messy hair. He loved the way she tugged on it, demanding control. He fiercely shoved her against the rough stones. Hermione wanted nothing more than to continue, but she couldn’t allow this to happen. Regretting it, even before she moved, she pushed Blaise’s beautiful body away from her. Both were panting loudly. Blaise looked thoroughly confused.

“I’m beginning to think you don’t like me very much Granger.” Blaise confessed with a hint of frustration.

“It’s not that. Believe me, it’s not that. I just don’t want to do it like this. I don’t want someone to walk in on us, or a teacher even. It wouldn’t be right. I’m not like that.” Hermione finished.

“Alright, I get it. So we’ll do it your way.” Blaise smiled. Hermione was overcome with excitement, and hugged him. He embraced her so warmly, Hermione felt like she was melting into his body. Then suddenly a grave thought crept into her mind.

“Blaise, isn’t this odd? I mean, you and me?” Hermione blurted.

“Are you ashamed of me?” Blaise asked. She couldn’t make out the expression of his stone face. She hoped she hadn’t offended him.

“No I’m not ashamed of you! Of course not; how could you possibly insinuate that? It’s just I find this all too strange. It’s so sudden, so impromptu, it’s just hard to wrap around my mind, that’s all.” Hermione replied.

“Then answer my question; you never answered it the other day.” Blaise continued.

“And what question would that be?” Hermione asked. She watched as Blaise, for the first time, relax his face and looked fearful. Fearful in a way of not hearing what he wanted.

“I won’t lie to you Hermione, I’ve had my eye on you for a while now. I’ll explain it to you, but not now. It’s not the time, nor the place. Meet me tonight. Down in the dungeons, I’ll be waiting outside for you.” Blaise finished. The corridor was suddenly filling with students making their way to their first classes of the day.

“Alright, tonight then after dinner?” Hermione confirmed. Blaise nodded, and with the slightest squeeze of her hand, he walked away.

Hermione turned on her heel, and walked the other way towards her Advanced Arithmancy class. She entered the classroom to find that Luna already seated herself. Hermione took the seat next to her.

“Hi Luna.” Hermione greeted.

“Hello there Hermione.” Luna smiled.

“Good morning children! Let us begin!” Professor Vector beamed. Hermione took a quick scan of the room, and noticed that Draco was absent.

“Luna, have you seen Dra- I mean, Malfoy?” Hermione questioned.

“No I haven’t. Why?” Luna asked.

“Girls please open your notebooks.” Professor Vector scolded mildly.

“Sorry Professor.” Hermione blushed. As Professor Vector continued to lecture more about the complexities of numbers, and secret encodings, Hermione found her mind drifting off to the empty seat beside her.

Where could Draco be? She felt a pang of guilt. Perhaps he is absent on my behalf? At this thought Hermione smiled to herself, why would he ever be upset on her behalf? It was a foolish thought. This was after all Draco Malfoy. Even if he was more polite, that didn’t change his core attitude. Yet, Hermione knew something was strange about him being absent from class. Trying to focus on the task at hand, Hermione pushed thoughts of Draco out.

*

“So where are you heading now Gin?” Hermione asked as both girls walked around in the Gryffindor Common room.

“Potions. Kill me.” Ginny moaned. Hermione smiled, as Ginny rolled her eyes at her.

“Well I have free period, so I think I will take a nap. I’ll see you later Gin.” Hermione replied as she walked up to her own portrait. It was of a beautiful woman, draped in the most gorgeous gown Hermione had ever seen. She was a slender woman, with fair skin, and auburn hair. Her eyes were piercing blue, like Draco’s, much to Hermione’s great demise.

“Brittle knots.” Hermione whispered. The woman smiled as the door creaked open.

Hermione walked into her room. It was quite cold from the frost still falling outside. She walked over to the fireplace and with a quick flick of her wand, a glorious fire erupted. She dropped all her books onto the mahogany coffee table in the middle, as she slumped into the couches. Suddenly, her eyes diverted to the window. On the ledge, there was a small package awaiting her. Hermione excitedly walked over to the package, and ripped open the letter’s envelope that was enclosed.

Thinking of you dearly.

All my love,
Your father

Hermione could feel the warmness of the gift her father sent her. She carefully opened the box to reveal a gorgeous bouquet of calla lilies, Hermione’s favorite. They were beautiful. They were far too beautiful to be concealed in a stone cell. Hermione quickly grabbed her trench coat, and slipped into her boots. She grabbed the bouquet, and headed outside. The sun had dipped into the horizon hours ago, and the sky was dark. Yet the illuminating light from winter’s first snow fall was sufficient enough for Hermione to walk around without using the light from her wand. It cascaded onto Hermione’s now rosy cheeks, and plump lips. The small sprinkles of snow were slowly planting themselves onto her hair, almost as to enhance its beauty. Hermione continued walking at a quick pace until she finally reached it. She inhaled sharply, as though the coldness of the air would choke her. She gradually approached it, her heart beating immensely. This was the
first time she visited it, after the burial service last year.

Hermione felt frightened as she neared Dumbledore’s tomb. It stood there illuminating, shining brightly from the snow. The smooth marble was now blanketed by a small sheet of snow. Hermione gently placed the calla lilies on top of his tomb. Tears were lining her lids, as she felt that any moment they would break free and cascade down her face. She let out a shuddering breath, as the coldness of the air licked the tears off her cheeks. Closing her eyes, she heard a sob, one that was not hers. She opened them quickly, and walked around the tomb. The snow crunching beneath her boots would have been a give away if it were a predator. Hermione quickly stopped in her path, and gently touched the tomb for support.

“Oh… oh my, um Draco… I didn’t know you were here.” Hermione said with a coarse tone. The air stole her voice, as she looked away from Draco.

He was sitting on a small boulder beside the tomb. His was skin almost the same pale lifeless color of the snow. His eyes were red, and his body shaking. Hermione examined him further, and then it suddenly rushed over Hermione where he had been all day. He was here, grieving to Dumbledore. He was trying to repay for what he did, trying for some small amount of atonement.

“Draco…” Hermione called, her voice still cracking. He looked up at her. His eyes were painted with red. His once piercing blue eyes were gray, and misty. She slowly walked over to him. He looked awful, less human than she ever imagined. Hermione kneeled down to face him.

“You need to go inside.” Hermione pleaded. He still didn’t respond. He only continued to look at her. His eyes were pleading for her to help him, to save him. She placed her hand on his. The warmth from Hermione’s hand made Draco shiver. He was not expecting such warmth from her, but he continued looking into her eyes.

“You’re ice cold. You’ll freeze yourself to death. Please.” Hermione implored. She wouldn’t let him become an ice sculpture.

“What does it matter?” His voice was so low and thin, that if Hermione had not seen his lips move, she would have sworn he hadn’t said anything at all.

“It matters to me.” Hermione replied breathlessly as the billowing air from her mouth kissed Draco’s nose.

“It’s my fault. Everything is.” Draco confessed, steering his eyes away from Hermione’s to the tomb behind her. She slowly turned her head, and understood.

“Draco, Dumbledore’s death was not your fault. You heard Harry and what he said. You didn’t…” Hermione was cut short.

“So perhaps it wasn’t Dumbledore, but what about Bill Weasley? If it wasn’t for me, those Death Eaters would have never come in that night, Fenrir Greyback would have never…” Draco stopped. It was too much for him. Hermione could see the small stream of tears forming on his face, which she knew were there long before she arrived.

“You couldn’t do anything Draco; it’s not your fault.” Hermione soothed him, as she caressed his icy hands with hers.

“How can you say that after what I have done to you?” Draco asked looking into her eyes once more. She looked confused, so he continued.

“That night, at my Manor… when they brought you home… me… they asked me to identify you. I couldn’t, I didn’t want to but I had to. And then, my wretched aunt she…” Draco’s voice went hoarse, and he couldn’t let anything else come out. Hermione had heard enough. She didn’t care for any of this, only to get Draco safe and warm.

“Draco, I need you to come with me. You have to get warmed up. Please, we can talk when we’re inside.” Hermione said, getting to her feet. Draco looked up to her, and finally gave in. He slowly tried to get to his feet, but his knees gave in and he almost fell. Hermione quickly moved to catch him, but he caught himself. She took his hand to lead him back into the castle. Yet Draco’s hand continued to linger onto the white tomb for a moment.

In that moment he felt a warm sensation running through his body, and it had nothing to do with Hermione’s soft hand in his. He sensed his former Headmaster’s presence, and smiled for the first time calmly. He was at peace with his guilt, because somehow he knew that he had been forgiven.

He allowed Hermione to guide him into the deserted castle. It was most likely late for there was no one in the corridors. She walked him through hall after endless hall. He didn’t recognize the routes, but trusted her direction. Finally they stopped in front of a portrait of a very regal looking man, one with sparkling electric green eyes, and golden hair. He smiled at Hermione as she whispered something Draco could not hear very well, and the portrait swung open. She led him inside, and he soon found himself in her Head’s dorm. She seated Draco onto her couch, and flicked her wand towards the fire place where warm flames erupted.

“Come here.” Hermione said, as she took his hand once more, and led him towards the fire. She seated herself on the floor, onto the softness of the carpet beneath her. Draco reciprocated her movement.

“You should warm up now.” Hermione said quietly. She stopped looking at him, and was concentrating on shedding the layers she was wearing. Draco continued to look at her absently. The feeling was returning to his hands, and legs, his fingers, and face.

“Are you warmer?” Hermione asked looking at Draco once more. He nodded faintly. She smiled, and got to her feet. The clock chimed on top of the mantle, and an immense thought of disappointment filled her. She completely forgot her date with Blaise. Hermione sighed to herself, remembering that this was more important.

“Thank you.” Draco whispered. She turned to look at him standing behind her.

“Yes, well I didn’t want you to freeze to death.” Hermione replied.

He continued to search her face. It was soft, and warm. Draco could smell the saccharine scent of orchids and lilies. Her eyes were twinkling from the dancing flames in the fire. Her hair was slightly damp from the snow. Her cheeks were partially flushed, and her lips plush with color. Draco moved very slowly, making sure not to miss a step and move too quickly. It was like a predator waiting to attack it’s prey. However, Draco was not interested in hunting at all. He had other intentions in mind, more sensual, more intimate, more gentle. Hermione watched as his body edged closer to her own. She slowly walked backwards, until her legs hit the table behind her. She let out a shuddering breath as she could feel the warmth of Draco’s body surrounding her.

Hermione felt his hands first. The tough, coarse hands smoothly landed on her wrists. They slowly made their way up her arms, and rested gracefully on her shoulders. Hermione’s eyes followed their every move, as if it were a ballet. She saw as Draco licked his bottom lip with his tongue. She was waiting for it to happen, longing for it to happen. He blinked at her, but did not smile. He didn’t need to show expression, Hermione could tell by looking into his eyes. Then finally, she felt the roughness of his large hands move. She felt his fingers creep up her neck, and curl their way behind her, right underneath her hair. She breathed in, not wanting to wait for it any longer. She took her hands, and quickly ran them up his chest, and she felt his entire body stiffen. She grabbed onto the collar of his coat, and tugged him towards her roughly, and demandingly. Draco finally smirked, and felt his lips push themselves onto hers. He could taste the sweet peppermint tea lingering in her breath. He could feel the softness of her tongue, the rich taste of her saliva. 

Kissing Hermione was like eating a forbidden fruit; delicious, juicy, and exotic. He felt her fingers release his collar, and worm their way into his golden locks. She pulled his hair so hard, Draco was startled by the intensity of her strength. Finally regaining his composure, he grabbed her waist, and directed her towards a wall. He slammed her body hard against the masonry, as he left her lips for the smooth, milky skin along her neck. He could hear her moan in ecstasy. He felt as though he would die, as she screamed his name. It sounded so nice coming from her voice.

Draco came back up. He was looking right into her eyes, and he could see the longing in them. He could see what she wanted, and why she wanted it. He shivered as he felt a slender finger trace his jaw. She was leaning in to him once more, but he pushed off of her. He looked at her with the deepest regret. Then, before Hermione knew what was happening, he walked out of the room.

Once outside, Draco cursed himself for his actions. She would never love him. He scolded himself for even believing it. He didn’t believe he had any more tears to shed, but it seemed that his body had just enough to mourn for Hermione that night. 

A/N: I personally am torn between Blaise and Draco. What about you guys?

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