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Hermione’s heart was doing a little dance in her chest and there was nothing that she could do to make it stop. She had had confidence back at the mansion, but now that she was standing in the home of Isis, that horrible woman, things were beginning to feel a bit daunting. The Manor was just about the size of Ara’s, maybe even more. They were all escorted to the main dining hall where everyone had already begun the celebration. They were told by a servant to stand afar off for a moment and wait until they were introduced.

By now Hermione was feeling self-conscious as she heard the servant say in a loud voice Ara’s name. She walked out graciously and applause followed for countless seconds. This is so ridiculous… Hermione thought. The idea of introducing people like as if they were on display was a sickening thing to her, and she watched with somewhat of a sorrowful expression on her face as Narcissa walked out like Ara did when her name had been called.

“Nervous?” Draco asked her. Hermione looked up at him and felt his tighten on hers.

“Actually, I’m a tad repulsed, but saying that I’m nervous is good too.”

“Don’t worry,” He laughed. “You’ll be fine, especially because you look amazing in that dress.”

Hermione couldn’t stop herself from blushing, but was happy that the slight bit of rouge she had applied to her cheeks didn’t reveal it. Soon hers and Draco’s names were being called and they reluctantly walked forward. When they reached the inside of the dining hall everyone was giving a huge applause. Hermione was surprised that she recognized and remembered the women whom she had met at the meeting. She saw standing in the front The High Society of Women’s director, Ms. Rothmoore, with a beaming smile. Hermione was giving one back of course, but could feel it falter when she realized that Isis was standing directly beside her.

Hermione couldn’t help but look up at Draco to see what his reaction was like. She had assumed he hadn’t seen his ex-fiancée in two years –from the time that they had broken up –and half-expected to see his face light up, even if he didn’t want it to. It would’ve been a reaction he wouldn’t have been able to control. Isis was someone that he had actually loved and had planned on marrying for real. There had been something there, and was bound to be something still there even if he had told her no. Yet, when Hermione caught Draco’s gaze for that split second, like as if he knew that she was looking at him, he smiled at her. It wasn’t much, no, but Hermione hadn’t needed his words to tell her that Isis was the furthest thing from his heart.

“Oh, Draco, how lovely it is to see you again.” Isis said with a sparkle in her eyes. She went to give him what looked like was going to be a hug, when she stopped and glanced over at Hermione, who had been giving her a death glare the moment she saw her. “And, Miss Granger, don’t you look ravishing.” She added with contempt in her voice. “You got your dress from Madame Bourgeois’, didn’t you?”

Following that comment came a few snickers from the women who were standing next to her. It was supposed to hurt, Hermione supposed, like as if Madame Bourgeois’ wasn’t posh or ritzy enough. Luckily for her, she didn’t care, and simply replied,

“As a matter of fact I did. Not surprised that you’d recognize it though since your dress was on the rack right next to it.”

This wasn’t true, of course, but none of the other women knew that, and they began to snicker and giggle as Isis’ cheeks turned a beautiful shade of pink. Before she was able to respond, Ms. Rothmoore broke in.

“Wherever the dress was bought, you look fantastic, Miss Granger. Mr. Malfoy, you are a lucky young man.”

“I know that I am.” He replied, and gave a loving glance at Hermione. She knew that it was only for show, whether for Ms. Rothmoore or Isis or both, she didn’t know, but couldn’t help the small flutter in her heart when he did.

“Well, enough small talk.” Ms. Rothmoore said and then turned to the crowd. “This is a celebration! More music! And where are those dashing servants with the food trays?”

That was Draco and Hermione’s cue to get themselves away from Isis as fast as they could and blend in with the rest of the crowd. Soon enough they were on the other side of the dining hall, speaking to various people who were congratulating them on their engagement and Hermione’s acceptance into The High Society of Women. “And to know that you’re not…well, pure, and to still make an impression on Ms. Rothmoore is quite astounding.” Someone said, and Draco immediately changed the topic seeing how badly Hermione wanted to retort.

The two of them eventually figured out that this party was a test for both of them, and their tester was Isis. So Draco and Hermione decided that the best thing for the two of them was to stay together at all times. “We’ll be a crutch for each other.” Hermione said, and he agreed, not really protesting as she thought he would. Now after almost two hours, they were sitting down, each with a glass of champagne in their hand, laughing with each other, and, surprisingly, having a good time.

Draco finished off his glass and stood up. He turned to Hermione and smiled with an outstretched hand.

“Come on,”

“Where are we going?”

“We,” He said as he took her hand. “Are going to dance,”

“Mal- Draco, no, I don’t dance.” Hermione replied quickly with a bit of horror in her eyes, and then slightly blushed. “…I don’t know how.”

At that he laughed, and pulled her out of her seat despite her softly murmured protests.

“Well, no one knows how to dance unless they actually do it.”

Hermione was groaning on the inside as she was led out onto the middle of the dance floor. She honestly hated dancing. She always thought that she looked like a fool when she did, and usually stayed seated no matter how many times she was prodded to go out and join the fun.

“Alright, your other hand please?” Draco asked in a very gentlemanly manner. Hermione couldn’t help but laugh slightly and give it over. He placed her hands on the back of his neck and could soon feel his own hands holding her waist. “You don’t have to move much.” He whispered to her, and she nodded, amazed that her feet were going at their own accord. Draco grinned and looked positively amused.

“You know, for someone who was on edge earlier this morning, you’re in quite the good mood.” Hermione told him. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

“Could be the two and a half glasses of champagne I had. Or…-”


“Or because…” Draco cleared his throat and swallowed. He sighed and looked as if he was internally battling what he wanted to say. Instead of speaking further, Hermione felt his hands slowly travel from her waist and up the sides of her body. They were warm, she noted, and felt her voice catch in her throat as his hands caressed her shoulders, slid down her arms and held onto her hands which happened to be resting on his shoulders.

They had stopped dancing. In fact everything had stopped moving. Hermione could see and feel nothing except Draco and couldn’t remember ever feeling so vulnerable. Her heart skipped several beats and her eyes closed when one of his hands brushed gently across her cheek. An instant flashback came to her mind for that was what she had done to him back in their suite. Hermione hadn’t needed a warning as to what would happen next, but was surprised that Draco would do it in front of everyone.

His kiss was gentle, and sweet, accompanied by the closing of the small space in between them. After what seemed like several seconds, gentle and sweet was replaced by loving and passionate and all Hermione wanted to do was ditch the stupid party and go back to the suite.


Draco could feel Hermione’s fingers playing with the ends of his hair, and he began to wonder how pissed his aunt would be if he disapparated with Hermione back to their suite. She’d probably be furious, but would he care? All he cared about right now was turning their public display into a private one. Just as he had a good grip on Hermione’s waist and was about to apparate out of the room, did a voice break the two of them apart.

“Alright, enough of the show,” Ara said in her usual demanding tone. Draco and Hermione’s lips parted and they stared into each other’s eyes. Their surroundings, which had temporarily dissolved, had come back into view and phrases such as, “Aw, how sweet,” and “Isn’t that romantic?” were scrawled onto everyone’s faces.

The couple, however, was hardly paying attention to anyone. Neither of them had let the other go though they were sure Ara was growing impatient. As if they cared…

“As much as this will kill you, Draco, but your fiancée has to meet with the other members.”

Hermione sighed and allowed her hands to fall down to her side. She glanced at Ara and then back to Draco whose eyes had a hunger in them. He nodded, but wanted to say something before his aunt took her away. But how would he put it? More importantly would she agree? He decided that he’d better say it no matter what apprehensions he had, but Hermione beat him to the punch and asked,

“Can we leave after this?”

A smile slowly spread across Draco’s face, and said that they could. As he watched her follow Ara at a small distance, he prayed to Merlin that they’d be able to finish what was started on the dance floor.


He didn’t know how it happened, nor did he want to know. It could’ve been the dress. She looked beyond amazing in it, that he could admit to himself. But was there something else that made him see Hermione in a different light? Draco wasn’t sure and began to wander around the mansion so that he could think. He needed to think, because as of right now he felt a tad lightheaded, had an uneasiness in the pit of his stomach, and had the taste of cherry wine on the tip of his tongue –remnants of an alcoholic beverage Hermione had been drinking and not him.

Draco sighed and found his way to a balcony he had been to, many times before. Now that he was alone and away from people like his mother, his aunt, and all the phonies who were enjoying the party elsewhere, he decided that he could come clean.

The idea of Hermione was bothering him. She was making him nervous in ways that he didn’t understand and it was driving him mad. Draco loved the way her skin felt when he held her hand. He loved the fact that when she smiled it made him do the same. She was argumentative, but hell, so was he, and on occasion Draco would provoke her just for a small row because it amused him just that much. And tonight, to use Hermione’s word, they were each other’s crutch, a support against the people at the party they’d rather not be around. He had asked her to dance, because he had secretly known how much she hated to do so. But what Draco hadn’t counted on was enjoying Hermione’s passive nature and the feel of her hands on the back of his neck.

It reminded him of when they were in the suite and Hermione had kissed him after learning what he had done for her mother. Because of that, Draco couldn’t hide his feelings of that moment anymore. He caressed her cheek as he wished he had done that night and then kissed her. He meant for it to be quick –a small fix just to remove all of the excess energy she had left him with that night. After that, he figured that he’d be fine, but it wasn’t like that at all. Draco couldn’t pull himself away. He had honestly forgotten where he was and wanted to leave with her.

“I should’ve left with her.” Draco muttered angrily, because now he wanted proof. He had to have proof to get rid of the confusion he had. Kissing Hermione like that earlier in their little web of deceit would’ve meant nothing. It would’ve just been a show for Ara and anyone else who was looking on. But now…now Draco honestly had no idea, because after almost two weeks of pretending to love her, he was having difficulties discerning his lies from truth.

“Grew tired of the party, Draco?”

Draco bit his bottom lip to stop himself from scowling. He didn’t bother to turn around. He knew who was speaking and slowly walking up behind him. He wasn’t surprised either, because she was probably sent by his dear old aunt in order to test him.

“What are you doing here, Isis?” He asked her.

“I should be asking you that question.” Isis responded as she stood next to him. “As I recall this is my mansion. I can come and go as I please. You on the other hand, are merely a guest.”

“You know what? You’re right. I think I’ll go and be with the other guests. So, if you'll excuse me-”

“Do you really love her?”

It was a sudden question to ask, like as if she had been dying to ask it from the moment she saw him, but it was also a coincidence, because that was the same question Draco had been asking himself not too long ago. And that’s when it dawned on him –the perfect way to help him solve his little dilemma. He smirked at the thought of it and then decided that he ought to do it now while they were alone.

“Isis…” He said slowly. “What would you do if I asked to kiss you?”

“I’d welcome it, of course.” She replied with a sparkle in her eyes. Isis wrapped her arms around his neck, and Draco placed his on her waist. A second later their lips were pressed against each other’s and they were replicating what had happened in the dining hall among everyone. But one thing was different, and Draco pulled away from her with a smile on his face.

“How was that?” Isis asked him with a soft giggle. He threw in a laugh of his own and said,

“Amazing, and do you want to know why?”

“I think I already know why, but enlighten me anyway.”

Draco’s smile widened and he said in a soft whisper, “Because I felt nothing,”

Isis’ face fell, while Draco’s was glowing. He let her go and began to walk away from her, never feeling so sure about anything in his life.

author's note:wow, i can honestly say that i've had a wave of inspiration hitting me for the past two days -so much that the next chapter is already halfway written!! :) sadly, it makes me realize that this fic is indefinitely coming to a close and only has two chapters left :(

but, as for right now, thinking about the end is just depressing lol. hope that you liked this chapter, and plz leave a review!

-WP :)

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