Chapter 6: To gather lilies
Hermione had a skip in her step when she went to work the next morning. She felt much happier and lighter than she had in a long time. As she entered her office, she was greeted with a vase of beautiful flowers on her desk. It contained roses, lilies, orchids, and tulips. There was a little white card attached.
I’ve no idea what your favourite flower is, so here's a selection.
Thanks for turning up last night.
Hermione couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the morning. She wanted to see Draco immediately, but had to resist as she was still confused about the whole situation, and didn't want to give him the wrong idea. She needed to talk with Ginny desperately.
Harry came in to see Hermione later on during the day "Hermione, Gin was wondering whether you want to come over for dinner tonight? I'm going out with Teddy, so you two have the house to yourselves."
"I'd love to! Perfect timing, I need to chat with her!" replied Hermione.
"About those flowers I bet! So, who's the lucky guy?" asked Harry, happy to see that Hermione looked thrilled when he mentioned the flowers.
She blushed a deep scarlet "Erm, I'll tell you another time Harry". She was unsure of how Harry would react, and wanted to tell him privately. Obviously, after discussing the whole thing with Ginny first.
Harry shook his head but laughed "You women and your secrets!"
Once lunch was over, Hermione decided enough time had passed for it to seem ok to see Draco. But before she had left the office, Ron entered with a pile of paperwork. He snorted when he saw the flowers.
"Sending flowers to yourself?" he asked.
Hermione rolled her eyes. She couldn't understand why Ron was being such a jerk. "Sure Ron, whatever you say" was her reply. She couldn't be bothered to have another argument with him.
"Just leave the papers on my table" she said, and she walked out of her office, leaving Ron behind. Although one of the reasons Hermione went on the date with Draco was to get Ron pissed off, she had since decided that she didn’t want him to know about it at all. It had never occurred to her that she might actually see Draco in a different light after their date. She didn’t want Ron to get involved and ruin everything.
Once Ron was sure Hermione had left the department, he walked over to the flowers and read the card attached. He frowned, Who's M? He could only think of one person: Cormac McLaggen. A surge of jealousy shot through him. Ever since the Christmas party, Ron hadn't stopped thinking about Hermione, and how gorgeous she had been. He had also heard so many comments about her, and realized just how much he was missing. Ron had always been attracted to Hermione, but he had never thought of her as sexy until the night of the Christmas party. Suddenly, everything Lavender did seemed cheap. Hermione had real class.
Hermione knocked on Draco's door.
"Come in!" came the cheerful response.
Draco's face lit up as he saw Hermione open the door and walk in.
"Guessing you got my flowers?" he asked.
"Yes, and thank you for them, they're beautiful." replied a smiling Hermione. "They are causing me quite some trouble though."
"Oh? Why’s that?"
"Well, I've already had a couple of people ask me who they're from, and each time I've had to tell them to bugger off. In politer terms of course" laughed Hermione.
"Of course" grinned Draco. "Erm, why is it you're hiding who it's from?" he continued, his face dropping slightly as he realised Hermione obviously didn't want anyone knowing.
Hermione immediately realised that Draco thought she was embarrassed, and tried to reassure him. "Malfoy, it's not that I'm ashamed or anything, it's just I think it'll be quite a shock to everyone. I mean, even I'm not completely sure what's happened! However, the main reason is that I haven't spoken to Ginny or Harry yet. I want them to hear it from me first, not from office gossip."
"Ok, I can understand that. But after they know, is it alright if people know that we're... friends?"
Hermione nodded, beaming. "Thank you for being so understanding, Draco."
"Draco?" he grinned. He loved the way his name sounded when Hermione said it.
"Oh! Well... that's new!" laughed Hermione, her cheeks turned a pale pink. "Well, we are... friends now, so it's only natural I guess?"
"I nearly forgot,” said Draco. “Are you free on Friday?" He was calm on the outside, but he silently begged for it to be a yes. Hermione took her time to respond. She enjoyed seeing the puppy dog look on his face that he was trying desperately to hide.
"Yeah, I'm free then" she grinned.
"Wonderful. I'll pick you up at 8. Would it be ok if I picked you up from your flat?" he asked, hesitating slightly.
"Yeah, that's fine, I'll add you to my Floo network. I better get back – thank you again for the flowers, I love them!" said Hermione, as she made her way out. "Oh, and my favourite are lilies!"
Hermione was nervous about her dinner with Ginny. She wasn't sure how she would take it. Although Hermione and Draco were using the blanket term "friends", Hermione knew that Draco meant something more, and she was starting to feel something too.
"Well, Harry told me you got flowers from some one! Was it from Cormac? Apologising?" asked Ginny.
"No Gin, this is what I need to talk to you about."
Ginny grinned "I love a good goss! Spill!"
Hermione took a deep breath. "The flowers were from Malfoy."
Ginny's face dropped "What? Why?"
"He took me out to dinner last night, and today he got me flowers."
Ginny was speechless, so Hermione continued. After she had told Ginny everything, she was relieved. She felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
"Wow... just wow. I can't believe Malfoy actually has true feelings. But are you sure he was being genuine Mione? I mean, I don't want you to get hurt."
"I know Gin, I've been thinking the same thing, but I can't help but just believe every word he said to me. His emotions were just so real, so raw."
"Ok, well, I guess there's something I should tell you then" said Ginny "When we got back to your flat from the party, Malfoy was the one who tucked you into bed Mione. And I don't mean just dropped you into bed. He really, gently tucked you in. He removed your shoes... he even moved your hair out of your face. I was really shocked to see it."
Hermione was surprised "Why didn't you tell me earlier Gin?"
"I dunno... I guess I didn't understand what it meant, but now I do... it seems like Malfoy really does like you! And you know what? I'm so happy for you!" squealed Ginny, giving her a big hug.
"I'm so relieved Gin! I thought you would hate me after what I told you! I mean... it's Draco Malfoy we're talking about!"
"I know... it is kinda weird. But everyone can change Mione."
"Yeah. I think Ron is the best example of that" said Hermione sadly. She told Ginny about how he had been behaving to her recently.
"That git! Well, even more reason for you to date Malfoy, he'll be furious!" laughed Ginny.
"Gin! I'm not dating Malfoy! We're just getting to know each other!" replied Hermione.
"Getting to know who?" came Harry's voice from the entrance hall.
Hermione turned pale. Ginny quickly whispered to her that it'll be fine, and that she'd tell Harry later on in the night. Hermione went back home, relieved that Ginny was so supportive. She felt so lucky to have her as a best friend. She just hoped Harry would be as understanding when Ginny tells him.
Hermione got an owl from Ginny later on in the night.
Harry went ballistic. Threatened to castrate Malfoy.
He's calmed down though, so don't worry.
He wants to speak with you, so just be prepared for
some sort of a lecture from him tomorrow.
But he's ok about it now, I promise!
Hermione was worried and relieved at the same time. She knew Ginny must have worked hard to persuade him that things would be ok. She wasn't looking forward to work tomorrow.
The next day, as Hermione entered her office, she was met with another vase of flowers. This time they were full of lilies, each one a different colour. A note was attached again.
Forgot to ask you what your favourite colour is.
Maybe you can pop by later and let me know?
Love, M x
Hermione couldn't help but smile to herself all morning. Draco really did seem like a gentlemen, and true to his word, treated women well. Hermione had nearly forgotten that there was a reason she was dreading coming into work today, but that reason entered her office soon enough.
"Hermione, we need to talk" said Harry, sitting down in one of her chairs, looking at the vase of flowers. Hermione sat down next to him.
"Ginny told me everything. And I can't help but say, I'm disappointed" continued Harry. Before Hermione could answer, he cut her off "Let me finish Mione. I just want to tell you that although I'm not happy that you've suddenly got this interest in Malfoy, it doesn't mean I don't want you to be happy. Because I do. And I can see that the last two days, you have been a lot happier than I have seen for months. So, what I'm trying to say is, just be careful Mione. If you trust him, then I'll trust him too."
Hermione gave Harry a huge hug "You have no idea how relieved I am Harry! And I really do believe Malfoy is being genuine. I really do!"
"Ok Mione, I'll trust your judgement. But if he does anything to hurt you, I swear I'll..." but before he could finish his sentence, Ron walked in.
"Oh, alright Harry?" said Ron. He just looked at Hermione, placed some folders on her desk, gave the vase of flowers a filthy look, and walked out again.
Harry sighed "And that is the biggest reason why I'm not killing Malfoy right now. If Ron can change that much, then perhaps Malfoy can as well".
Before lunch, Hermione went to see Draco.
"Hey you" she said, entering his office.
"Hi, so have you come to tell me how lovely the lilies are?" grinned Draco.
Hermione laughed. "Yes you idiot!"
"So, what's you're favourite colour then?" he continued
"Erm, it would have to be orange. But it doesn't mean I like orange lilies only, I really don't mind any colour flowers!"
"Orange? Well, that explains a lot of things" teased Draco.
"Shut up!" laughed Hermione.
"So, Potter came to see me earlier"
"Really? What did he say?" asked Hermione, worried something nasty had been exchanged.
"Just that he'd kill me if I were to hurt you at all." laughed Draco.
"Oh gosh... was he really mad?"
"Well, he was at first. He sorta accused me of just playing with your head, but I think he believed what I told him, and he's alright again, I guess."
"What is it you said to him?" asked Hermione, very curious to know.
"None of your business Granger" smirked Draco.
"Malfoy! Tell me!" pleaded Hermione.
"No." grinned Draco "Anyway, I'm sure he'll tell Ginny, and Ginny will tell you. But you're not hearing it from me. Not right now anyway."
Hermione's curiosity only increased, and she begged as much as she could, but he wouldn't give her an answer.
"If you come out for lunch with me now, I might tell you a tiny bit of it" teased Draco.
The bait was caught, Hermione happily went along to lunch with him. Unfortunately for her, even long after lunch was over, Draco still didn't tell her anything.
"I'm a Slytherin darling, this is what we do" he laughed. Hermione play punched him and rolled her eyes. Typical!
"You were nice to Hermione, weren't you love?" asked Ginny to Harry when he got home that evening.
"Yes of course. Obviously I told her I didn't approve. But she really does look very happy Ginny. Are you sure they aren't dating now?"
Ginny shook her head "Nope, Hermione says she's giving him a chance and getting to know him better, but it seems like it could be something more, and pretty quick too."
"I really can't believe this is happening Gin. First Ron and Hermione break up, and now frigging Draco Malfoy is after our very own Hermione. Malfoy, the guy we hated all throughout our school years. The guy hated half-bloods, let alone Muggle borns for crying out loud!"
Ginny put her arm around him "I know it's a lot to take in, but we've all changed during the last five years. All of us. The last two years have been shit for Hermione, and if this gives her a tiny bit of pleasure, then I'm gonna support her in any way possible."
"You're right, love. As always" he said, kissing her gently on her forehead.
There was a few minutes silence between them before Harry began speaking again.
"I wasn't sure if I should tell you this Gin, but I think I will. After all, I can never keep anything from you."
"What is it?"
"Promise me you won't tell Mione"
"Why, what is it Harry?"
"Malfoy told me today that... he's falling in love with Hermione."
AN: A big thank you to my beta, VeniceLily for going through this chapter for me.
Hope you all liked the chapter, and let me know what you think! xx
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