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Draco has nightmares several times in the night. Hermione stirs, hearing his moans and feeling him thrash next to her. She places her warm hand on his cheek, drenched in sweat, and softly speaks to him, telling him everything will be fine.
He wakes up a few times, finding Hermione’s brown eyes staring into his, calming the fear bubbling out of him. The dementors, his father’s death, they were all just a dream.

Draco rouses awake when the sunlight shines through the thin sheet of a curtain and lands on his face. The images of azkaban’s dark corridors fade in his mind. He turns over to meet Hermione’s back. He fingers her soft brown curls falling on his pillow in waves. In his memory, they were always rough and frizzy things, but up close, he can make out the delicate twists and loops of her hair. She smells like chai tea and new parchment. She always had. He used to laugh about it. She even smelled like a know-it-all. He breathed in the soft aroma now, bringing himself back to a simpler day when they were still children. 

Draco wraps his arms around Hermione, rustling his face in her soft curls. She moves her back against his chest and wrap her arms around his, intertwining their fingers. 

“Mmm, Draco.” She whispers. 

“Good morning.” He says. 

“Morning,” Hermione’s eyes shoot open. “Harry!” 

“Excuse me?” 

Hermione sits up quickly. “Harry’s visiting today! Shit, I totally forgot. Harry and Ron are coming this morning.” 

Draco leans on one elbow, trying to pull Hermione back down. “So, you’re parents can just tell them…” 

“That I’m sleeping over at my good friend Draco’s house!” 

“Shit!” Draco says, sitting up in his bed. 

“I have to go,” Hermione jumps out of bed and begins collecting her clothing and books from around Draco’s room. 

“Hermione,” Draco swings his legs over the bed and stands up. “Just slow down.” 

“They could be coming any time now.” She throws her sweater over her arm. 

“It’s just past sunrise, they won’t be coming yet. Calm down.” He grabs Hermione 
around the waist and holds her back from collecting her stuff. 

Hermione’s eyes slowly travel up Draco’s chest, covered in a red t-shirt. The sweat from his nightmares has dried. She follows the line of his body up to his neck and chin, where light blonde stubble is beginning to sprout. Her eyes waver on his pale lips before finally rising to his silver eyes. She is suddenly very aware of his hands on her waist, though she was fine with it all last night. “Ron’ll kill you if he finds out.” 

“He won’t find out.” Draco says with a smile. 

Draco’s eyes fall onto Hermione’s plump rosy lips, only for a second, before focusing back on her brown eyes. His grip tightens around her waist and he begins leaning down, tilting his head to face Hermione’s. 

“I really have to go,” Hermione says one last time, stepping out of Draco’s grasp. “I’ll see you later.” With that, she apperates home with the bundle of belongings in her arms. 

Draco is left alone, grasping at the air where Hermione was moments ago. His eyes are half shut and he is leaned down awkwardly to Hermione’s height. He stumbles forward into nothing and swears under her breath. 

Hermione walks to her own bed and drops her clothes on it. She goes to the bathroom to have a shower quickly. She is about to undress and takes hold of the black t-shirt. She is still wearing Draco’s clothes. She looks at herself in the bathroom mirror. Her hair is messed up and flying out in all directions. Her breasts are hardly contained by his t-shirt that hangs down to her mid-thigh, making her look stumpy. 

“God, he must think I’m a train wreck.” She says to herself. She pulls off the clothes neatly and folds them on the counter, rubbing her fingers on the soft green silk. 

“Forget about him,” Hermione says, shaking her head. “I’m just a bookworm to him, just Granger.”

Draco lies on his bed, staring at the ceiling. She said she would come back later. He could wait until later. He didn’t need her there. 

Snape knocks loudly on Draco’s door and waits for an answer this time. 

“Come in.” 

Snape pushes the door open slowly and sees Draco lying on his bed alone, looking at him. “Miss Granger is gone then?” 

Draco sighs loudly and turns back to the ceiling. 

“Did something happen?” Snape asks. 

“No, Potter and Weasley are coming to visit. She forgot until this morning and rushed off.” 

“Ah, the boyfriend is back then?” 

Draco sits up quickly, “What?” 

“Isn’t Miss Granger dating the Weasley?” 

“She is?” Draco’s eyes widen. 

“I don’t know, I always assumed so.” Snape’s eyes meet Draco’s and narrow a little. “Didn’t you ask?” 

“No, I just thought…she didn’t mention anything.” Draco runs his hand through his 
platinum hair, “Damn.” Draco throws on a pair of jeans quickly and heads out the door, still wearing his red t-shirt from the night before. 

Snape leans on the doorframe watching Draco walk down the street, clenching his fists. He sighs, “That boy is way over his head.” He turns back inside and closes the door. 

Draco walks down the street and towards Hermione’s house like he had done for the past week. He stops on the corner and looks down the street. “What am I doing?” He says to himself. “I’m walking in plain daylight down the very muggle street Potter and Weasel will be walking down shortly. Have I lost my mind?” he thinks. 

He turns quickly and walks down a secluded alley way that leads to the back of Hermione’s house. He shuffles quietly between their bushes and their picket fence, casting a camouflaging spell on himself. He sits on the ground behind the tall, bushy junipers and positions himself so he can see the side entrance of her house between the spaces in the fence. 

From there he can also see Hermione’s window. She just entered her room wearing a fluffy bath robe and holding something in her hands. “She can’t be dating the weasel.” he thinks, “She would have told me. She wouldn’t have slept in my bed.” Draco watches Hermione brush out her wet hair. A lump forms in his throat as his thoughts twist. “What if it meant nothing? I was distraught, I was beyond distraught and she was just taking care of me. I asked her to stay - begged her. I’m just Malfoy to her, just a broken version of my former arrogant self. I have to stop thinking about her.” He shakes his head and knows he should get up, that he should leave her be, but at that moment, Hermione stands up. She picks up the thing she had been holding before and walks over to her bed. Draco recognizes his green pajama bottoms as Hermione’s fingers traced over the silk. 

Suddenly, Harry and Ron walk down the path to the side door and knock on the door. Draco sees Hermione’s father let the two boys in. Hermione is still sitting on her bed in her bathrobe. She brings Draco’s clothes to her chest and hugged them tightly before falling back on her bed. There is a knock on her bedroom door and Hermione sits up quickly, shoving the pajamas under her pillow. She answers the door and Harry hugs her tightly. Ron hugs her next. Draco can see Ron’s eyes staring down at Hermione’s housecoat. Hermione pushes the two boys out of her room then closes the curtains. 

Ten minutes later, the trio walks out the side door. Hermione is wearing the pair of shorts she had worn the first time Draco saw her. He watches her walk away with a smile on his face, watching her legs move quickly to keep up with the two boys. Her shorts are simple and khaki, but magnificent. The fabric moves with each step. It rubs against the back of her upper thighs in time with the swaying of her hips and her goergous, round- 

Draco smacks himself. He stands up slowly. He has to follow them. He has to know what’s going on. 

Draco slinks through the bushes and trees, following Hermione’s bouncing brown curls out of town, heading away from Hermione’s circle. They follow the highway then turn off onto a dirt road. Draco slinks behind trees, just close enough to see the group. He follows the dirt road through the trees until the trio stops in front of a lake. Draco finds a comfortable spot in the trees, close enough to hear the conversation. 

“Do you remember last time at this lake, Hermione?” Harry asks. 

“When Ron nearly swallowed a tadpole.” Hermione laughs. 

“We promised not to speak of it.” Ron’s cheeks turn red. 

Harry clapped his hand on Ron’s back. “It’s nice though, I’ve needed time to unwind before the war starts.” 

“Yeah.” Hermione agreed. 

Ron began taking off his shirt. “I’m sorry you haven’t been able to come to the burrow,” Ron said. “You must be terribly bored here.” 

Hermione smiled. “No, it’s been good for me to stay here. I want to spend as much time with mom and dad as I can before they leave.” 

Draco’s brows furrowed at the statement. 

Harry already had his shirt off and was standing on the beach, testing the water. “Are you two coming?” 

“Is it cold?” Hermione asked. 

“No, it’s really nice.” Harry was standing in the water now, turning back to look at Ron and Hermione. 

Draco glared at Ron, whose naked chest was inches from Hermione. She placed her bag down and took off her shirt to reveal a blue bikini top. Draco’s eyes grew hazy with lust as they focused on Hermione’s perfect, modest form. She was well covered by her bathing suit, which only set off Draco’s instincts more. Her stomach was not quite flat, but her muscles were well defined under the flesh ad her legs were strong and sturdy. He watched her slip out of her shorts slowly until he realized Ron was watching her with the same animalistic look in his eyes. 

Draco ground his teeth behind the tree. The weasel was ogling Hermione. She didn’t say a word to him, she just smiled at him patiently as she took sunscreen out from her bag and began rubbing it on her arms. She didn’t even tell Ron to stop. Draco’s face was turning red. 

“Come on, you don’t need that.” Ron said. “Let’s get into the lake.” 

He wanted Hermione to be dripping wet, didn’t he. The blood traitor would love that. 

“You should put some on too, Ronald. You’re going to burn worse than last night’s dinner.” 

“Hermione, Get over here!” Harry yelled from the lake. 

“Boys,” Hermione mumbled to herself, rubbing the sunscreen on her exposed stomach. 

“Right, that’s enough.” Ron grabbed Hermione around the waist and hosted her into the air, dragging her to the lake. 

Hermione dropped her sunscreen, “Ron, stop. Put me down.” She laughed a little. 

Draco’s fists clenched and his face twisted into a sneer. He nearly walked from his hiding place in the woods, but turned instead and stomped back to town. 

“Ron, put me down right now!” Hermione said. 

“Relax, I’m not going to throw you in.” Ron laughed. 

Hermione continued to squirm against Ron’s exposed white chest. “Ronald!” 

“You’d better put her down.” Harry said. 

Ron let go of Hermione who was now standing in a foot and a half of water. 

“What’s your problem, Hermione? I wasn’t going to throw you in.” 

“I just don’t feel comfortable with you grabbing me.” Hermione said, trying to walk away. 

Harry blocked her. “You were fine about it last summer.” 

“That’s different. Things are different now. “ Hermione was beginning to turn red. 

“Who is he?” Harry asked. 


“You wouldn’t get upset unless there was someone. Are you dating him?” 

“No-we, I mean, I” Hermione stuttered. 

“You’re not with Krum again, are you?” Ron said with disgust. 

“No, don’t be ridiculous.” Hermione waved him off. 

“Then who is he?” Ron persisted. 

“He’s no one, I don’t even know if we’re anything. If we’ll ever be…” 

“Is it Neville?” Harry guessed. 

“Of course not,” Hermione stifled a laugh. 

“Well, then who is it?” Ron asked. 

“He’s just a boy in my town. We’re not even together I told you, it’s really nothing.” 
Hermione began to blush again. 

“A muggle!” Ron said, surprised. 

“Can we meet him?” Harry asked. 

“Of course not.” Hermione put her hands on her hips. “I’ve told you, there’s nothing 
even going on.” 

“They why are you blushing?” Ron asked. 

He nudged Hermione and she fell into the water. She sat on the sandy bottom with 
her wet curls sticking to her face. 

“Ronald!” She yelled, splashing water into the red head’s face. 

“Hey,” He laughed, pushing water back at her. 

A water fight breaks out as the three of them laugh and splash in the lake. 

Hermione hugs Harry and Ron as they leave, promising them she will see them in a few short weeks. They wave good bye as they head to a secluded place to disapperate. Hermione closes the door behind them quickly and runs into the kitchen.
She grabs a container of leftovers and throws a few homemade cookies into a bag. It was nearly four o’clock and she had stayed with her friends far later than she expected. Draco probably hadn’t left his room all day and if Snape fed him anything, it probably wasn’t very good. She grabs Draco’s pajamas and says good bye to her mother and runs out the door, stopping only to fix her hair in the hall mirror.
She arrives quickly at Snape’s small house. She stops outside the door to catch her breath and straighten her shirt before knocking loudly. Snape opens the door and his mouth opens a little. 

“Miss Granger, I wasn’t expecting to see you back here.” 

Hermione smiles, “Well, I said I’d be back. Is Draco in his room?” 

Snape pauses for a moment, then turns around. “Draco!” He yells, “You better come out here.” 

Draco opens his door a crack, and his eyes narrow into slits. Snape takes it as a cue to head to his own room for a while. Draco slinks out of his room and covers the ground between himself and Hermione quickly. 

He stops a few paces from her and stuffs his hands in his pockets, “What do you 

She takes one step closer to him and hands him the pajamas and the food. “I thought you might not have eaten much.” 

Draco rolls his eyes, but takes the items, “What is this, Granger? Some sort of an apology?” 

“Look, I’m sorry I was so long. Ron was just-“ 

“I’ll bet he was!” Draco shouts. 

Hermione’s hand moves to Draco’s face, touching his swollen red eyes. “You’re 
upset again. Was it more nightmares?” 

Draco swats Hermione’s hand away and growls. 

“I’m sorry, I should have stayed longer. I should have come back sooner.” 

“You should have bloody well told me!” 

Hermione’s eyebrows furrow. “Told you about what?” 

“I’m not one of your little Gryffindor boys you can tease and use then move on to the 
next one.” 

“Draco, what are you talking about?” 

“Don’t call me that, you slut!” Draco yelled. 

Before his mouth even shut and the words registered in his brain, Hermione’s hand collides with his face and she disapperates. Draco is left leaning against the wall, with his pajamas and her food lying around his feet. His hand is clasped to the red welt on his face as he replays the last minutes in his mind again and again.

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