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Chapter 15

Hermione had just finished dinner in the Great Hall and wondered when Malfoy would return. He had gone to see his father, Lucius Malfoy, in Malfoy Manor, to ask him about Rosemary and Pansy.

It was the last Sunday before Christmas, the Great Hall was beautifully decorated, glittering Christmas trees were floating in the air.

Hermione walked to the entrance gate of the castle and as soon as she got there she saw the silhouette of the blond-haired DADA professor. She was glad to see him again though she tried to fight off the feeling, forcing herself to think it was just mere curiosity.

’What did your father say? Is Pansy your sister?’ She asked impatiently.

’Good evening to you, too, Professor Granger,’ Malfoy frowned and swept the snow off his cape and hair.

’Oh come on, Malfoy, don’t pretend to be the champion of good manners,’ she rolled her eyes. ’Tell me what he said otherwise curiosity will kill me.’

Malfoy sighed and looked around. There was no one in sight.

’My father was involved romantically with Rosemary for a short while… He even gave her the ring, the Malfoy family ring. But then he fell in love with my mum, Narcissa, and Rosemary started dating someone else, too. It was one year before Pansy’s birth. Then my dad wanted to get the ring back, that’s why he visited her in the hospital. But when he arrived, Rosemary had already been dead. He looked around, didn’t see anyone, so he got the ring off her finger… He still feels bad about it but he knew that later he would not have a chance. And he didn’t want to get into trouble, he wanted to hurry home, to my mum who was expecting a baby… Me.’

’And then? After getting the ring back? What did he do?’

’Nothing. He called the nurse.’

There was some silence.

’Do you believe him?’ Hermione bit her lower lip.

’I do. I know what his face is like when he’s lying. Now he told me the truth, I’m sure.’

’So Pansy can’t be your sister.’

’She can’t, thanks Merlin,’ Malfoy looked relieved.

’Did you ask him about Voldemort? Did Lucius happen to see him there, in St Mungo’s?’

’I asked him but he didn’t know anything about the Dark Lord’s girlfriends. He didn’t even know Voldemort had ever been in love.’

Hermione was disappointed. She had expected to get some useful information from Lucius Malfoy. She had a strange theory but some pieces of the murder puzzle were still missing.

OOOOO

 

Hermione found a folded piece of parchment between the door and its frame when she got to her room. She unfolded the paper impatiently and forgot to breathe during reading it.

Dear Hermione,

Could you drink a cup of gurdy-root tea and come into my room tonight? I have something to give you.

Jasper

OOOOO

Hermione knocked at the door and Jasper answered it immediately. He was wearing his black hoodie and blue jeans, his blond locks were tied back now and he was unshaven. The perfect mannequin look was gone, the bad boy of Texas was standing in front of Hermione. His smile was boyish yet seductive, his mysterious charm was beyond tempting.

’I’m  so glad you’re here,’ his eyes swept over Hermione, her curves, her red off-the-shoulder top and tight jeans. ’You know, I wasn’t sure that you would come…’

’Because of the attack in the rose garden?’ Hermione asked and was surprised to see that Jasper’s eyes were green now.

He nodded.

’You have every right to think I’m a dangerous, bloodthirsty vampire and…’

’Let’s not talk about it,’ Hermione interrupted him. ’It was not your fault, I’m not angry with you at all…’ The dancing flames of the fireplace were glittering in her eyes.

’But I’d like to apologize, I feel so bad about it…’

’Okay, apology accepted,’ Hermione sighed impatiently and had a quick glance at the mistletoe decoration over the vampire’s head. ’I drank a cup of gurdy-root tea twenty minutes ago so I have about ninety minutes left… We have about ninety minutes… to talk,’ she finished the sentence stammering, embarrassed. It was not talking that she wanted to do with Jasper.

He knew it well, he felt it, he could read Hermione’s emotions like a book.

’Yes, we need to hurry a bit. Uhm… I have a small gift for you… A Christmas present,’ he said and gave her a giftwrapped box.

’But I haven’t bought anything for you…’ Hermione felt ashamed while unwrapping the present.

’It’s okay… Let’s not call it a Christmas gift but… my way to say sorry for all the troubles I’ve caused.’

Hermione opened the box and saw a silver pendant necklace with the Cullen crest symbol. She knew it was the Cullen family crest because Jasper had it on his leather cuff bracelet.

’It’s beautiful,’ she said enchanted.

Jasper took the jewel out of the box, gently pushed Hermione’s hair to the side and put the necklace on her.

’The lion represents strength, the hand stands for faith and sincerity, the trefoil symbolizes perpetuality,’ he explained and his hand trembled a bit when touched the girl’s delicate skin. He couldn’t smell her blood because of the gurdy-root tea but seeing her beautiful neck and shoulders made him feel hungry. He couldn’t decide what he wanted more, to make love to her or to bite her.

He pulled himself together and went on.

’There’s something else you need to know about this necklace. If someone loves you, it makes you feel it. It starts burning your skin.’

’So you don’t feel anything for me,’ Hermione whispered with a disappointed face. ’It’s not burning my skin at all.’

’It works only between humans or between vampires,’ Jasper said. ’But I bet,’ his hands encircled Hermione’s waist and drew her closer, ’that you know it without the necklace that I am attracted to you… I’m falling for you… More than I’d like to.’

Hermione felt his green eyes penetrated her soul. Her knees went week as she saw his lips coming closer to hers. Her lids closed with anticipation, desperately wanting to feel the sweet smoothness of Jasper’s kiss. But he took his time, teasing her to no end.

When his lips finally touched hers, brushing his mouth only against her lower lip, Hermione was afraid he could hear the drumming of her heartbeat.

Jasper kept the kiss tender and soft, he seemed to stay calm and collected. Hermione tilted her head, expecting his full lips to close over hers fervently, expecting his tongue to meet hers in sweet caress, but instead of that, his mouth lingered toward her neck, planting kisses onto her collar bone. A loose tendril of his hair brushed Hermione’s skin, she moaned in lust.

Desire started to pulse in Hermione’s veins. Every kiss gave her goose bumps, she clung to him trembling, her body cried out for more.

When she felt Jasper biting the sensitive spot on her neck gently, she lost all her self control and unzipped his black hoodie impatiently, just to find no more clothes underneath. She slid her hands up his chest, running her fingers over his scars.

She felt him stiffen and a second later he grabbed her hands to stop her.

’Don’t…’ He gasped. ’You’re turning me on.’

Hermione didn’t understand why it was a problem.

’That’s exactly what I want… We are grown-up people,’ she reacted a bit upset. ’Don’t worry about me. Please, don’t stop what you’ve started,’ she begged.

’We shouldn’t go that far…’ He gulped, gazing at the necklace on Hermione. It reminded him so much of Alice that it hurt. He pulled away from Hermione slowly.

’Oh, why do you have to be so… cold?’ She couldn’t hide her disappointment.

’Vampires are cold,’ he looked in her eyes sadly.

’You know what I meant… Why don’t you let emotions overwhelm you? Why don’t you let yourself feel what I feel?’

There was some silence, then Jasper sighed.

’Because I’m still in love with Alice.’ He confessed quietly, looking miserable.

Hermione was speechless. She didn’t know what to do, whether to be angry with that handsome vampire or feel sorry for him.

She opened her mouth to say something but then she decided not to.

’Well, thank you for the gift. Good night, Jasper,’ she said finally, gracefully, pretending to be able to handle the situation, and then she stormed out of the room devastated.

End of Chapter 15

 
 

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