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My Dear Friends,

I planned this chapter to be the last one but I cannot complete it during the weekend. So I thought I would post the first half of the chapter and you can read it until I finish writing the other half of it. It means this is the penultimate chapter and Chapter 21 will be the last one, hope you don’t mind.

Have a good read!

Hugs xxx

silvergreen

 

Chapter 20

 

On Wednesday Dumbledore asked Malfoy and Hermione to buy some souvenirs in Hogsmeade for the French hosts of the Olympiad, so the duo spent the afternoon shopping.

 

They bought some postcards of the Castle and the Hogwarts Express, magical sweets such as chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, Jelly Slugs, quills made of sugar, Toothflossing Stringmints, Droobles Best Blowing Gum, exploding bonbons from Honeydukes and Nose-Biting Teacups and Fanged Frisbees from Zonko’s Joke Shop.

 

Now they were heading for the castle, tired and exhausted, with the paper bags full of gifts in their hands.

 

’Look, what a beautiful sunset,’ Hermione stopped suddenly.

 

’Yeah… Beautiful,’ Malfoy said quietly but watched Hermione instead of the sun.

 

Since the London trip he had been sure. He knew she was the one for him. Granger or not, he needed her, he wanted her, he couldn’t think anything else but her. He was grateful to the Headmaster for asking them to go shopping together. He had missed the girl so much, he missed the feeling to be with her, to be close to her.

 

Hermione was watching the sunset, unaware of the fact Malfoy was gazing at her. Seemingly unaware. But she felt, every cell in her body felt, making her heart beat faster, that the blond Slytherin’s eyes were on her and not on the landscape.

 

She had expected to be with Malfoy, too. To look into the blue of his eyes, to smell his aftershave, to watch that blond lock falling across his forehead… She was angry with herself for it but she couldn’t help. Every time she recalled the London trip, the moments his leg brushed hers on the train, his warm hand touched hers or when he held her so tight on the Knight Bus, she still shuddered with pleasure though she desperately wanted to push these memories in the back of her mind.

 

’I’m too lonely,’ she thought bitterly. ’I’m so lonely that my hormones would get me to jump into bed with anyone who wears pants… Even with Malfoy.’

 

Before the London trip she craved only for her penpal’s touch and kiss but now Draco Malfoy was mainly on her mind. It scared her.

 

They continued their walk slowly, in silence, one of them wondering how to express his feelings, the other trying to suppress them.

 

When they got back to the castle the other students had finished dinner and were spending the evening in the common rooms. The corridors were deserted, Malfoy and Hermione walked to the Portrait of the Fat Lady.

 

’What about… What about going out for a drink on Saturday? In Hogsmeade?’ Malfoy asked a bit embarrassed, his voice hoarse.

 

’With… you?’ Hermione asked equally embarrassed.

 

Malfoy stood too close to her, she should have taken a step back but was too paralysed to do so.

 

’Yes. With me.’ He moved even closer, almost closing the gap between them.

 

’Okay…’ Hermione gasped. Her mind went so blank she would have said okay to everything now.

 

’Outside Honeydukes. 3 p.m.’ Malfoy whispered, his lips almost touching hers. The girl felt his sweet breath on her cheek.

 

Hermione nodded and closed her eyes expecting the kiss.

 

’Good night, Granger,’ she heard instead and saw the tall, blond guy disappear in the corridor when she opened her eyes.

 

She felt awful even hours later, tossing and turning in her bed, her head full of questions she couldn’t find the answers to. ’Firstly: did Malfoy want to kiss me? He leaned so close… But he might have done it because he wanted me to hear his whisper… Oh, I behaved so foolishly… Why the hell did I close my eyes? Now he knows I expected a kiss… Damn. Secondly: supposing he wanted to kiss me… Why? Why did he want to kiss me? He’s been acting really friendly lately, even flirting a bit at times but can it be more than an attempt to be civil because of the cooperation in the contest? Is it possible that he really fancies me… That he’s attracted to me? He said he wanted to be my friend, not my boyfriend. Thirdly:  supposing he wanted to kiss me and I was not imagining it, then why the hell didn’t he do that? Why didn’t he kiss me?’

 

She sighed and sat up in bed watching a silver ray of moonlight coming through the window.

 

’And the most important question of all,’ she continued her train of thought, ’Why did I want him to kiss me? I can’t be falling for him. No way. He’s handsome and nice to me now but he’s still Malfoy. Why do I think of him all the time? Why do I keep forgetting about my penpal?’

 

Her gaze shifted to the diary on the nightstand and realised she hadn’t checked it that day. She quickly opened the book.

 

Do you still want to meet me? There’s a small rose garden near the lake of the castle. I’ll be there with Bubble, my owl. 4 pm, Saturday. Hope you can make it.

 

Hermione jotted down the answer with slightly trembling hand.

 

Okay.

 

It was the second date she said okay to that evening. She wondered which one she was expecting more.

 

OOOOO

 

Draco Malfoy read Hermione’s reply in his diary and smiled.

 

The longing to kiss her was still burning his soul and body. Gosh, how much he had craved to place his lips on hers that evening…. But he didn’t want to ruin his little plan. ’On Saturday… It will turn out who she will choose. Her ex-enemy or the mysterious penpal.’ He stared out of the window into the night. ’She would have let me kiss her some hours ago…. That’s definitely a good sign. But the greatest challenge is to come on Saturday.’

 

He drew a deep breath, smelling the fresh spring air filled with the sweet scent of flowers. He knew winning Hermione Granger’s heart was harder than winning the Olympiad.

 

End of Chapter 20

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