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                                                        Ch 9
A/N : The Quote about fate and destiny is by Henry Miller… and so…on we go.

 

The next 24 hours passed quickly, and then on Sunday morning Draco and Hermione found themselves walking towards the dungeons. Professor Snape had sent a message that the antidote was ready, and they were to come at once. It was early when the owl had come a tapping at the window.


Hermione had snuggled against Draco the night before, deciding to just cut to the chase, because odds were she’d wake up all over him anyway. Draco hadn’t minded in the least, as it had turned off cold, and was a bit drafty. December had come on with a vengeance, and so they lay hugging each other close to stay warm. Granted they could have put a heating charm on the bed and blankets, but they wanted to be close, since then next day they’d be parted, or at least have their hands pulled apart. Draco had made it clear that he had no intention of breaking it off with her, whatever “it” was.


Now as they walked down the chilly corridor, holding tightly to each other’s hand, it felt like, going to the gallows, or something. They both liked being together so much, but they had to be separated. They walked through the doorway, and over to where Professor Snape, the twins, and Goyle stood. Fred and George looked a bit haggard, but no worse for wear. They grinned triumphantly, and held up the vial of antidote.

“We finally got it sorted!” George and Fred said in unison. Hermione nodded, and looked at Draco he smiled.


“We’ll then, let’s do this,” he said, and Hermione bit her lip hard to distract herself. She felt like crying for some reason. She’d grown so attached to him, no pun intended, she didn’t want them to be divided again. She felt silly being so upset. After all, there was nothing for it. They could not carry on this way. So, slowly they held out their bound hands, and waited for the inevitable.


“Do you want to do the honors sir?” Fred asked holding the vial out to Snape. He shook his head.


“It’s your potion, your antidote, and your muck up, you will apply it,” he replied tersely.


“Alright then, here we go. Cheers,” he saluted Hermione and Draco with the vial, and poured the thin blue liquid over their hands. It sat on there for a moment then began to take effect. The bond loosened, and then the potion dissolved and their hands fell apart with a small “popping” sound. Draco lifted his hand to inspect it, and she did as well. No harm had been done, and they looked at each other. A huge smile crossed Draco’s face, and Hermione looked unsure until Draco held out his arms. Hermione was in them before anyone could blink. She threw her arms around him, both arms, and ran both hands, up his back and to his shoulders.


“Much better with both hands,” she breathed, he chuckled, and leaned to whisper against her hair…


“Just you wait Gryffindor,” he hugged her to him tightly, and then pulled her back so she could catch his suggestive smirk. She giggled, and then turned to Fred and George, and pounced on them. Both of the boys widened their eyes in shock.


“We thought you’d be cross with us,” Fred said as he hugged her back.


“Yeah, we worried that you’d jinx us or something,” George chuckled.


“Jinx you? No, I want to thank you!” she turned to Goyle “Even you, you big lummox!” she hugged him as well causing the surprised Slytherin to look up at Draco in alarm, who only smirked with amusement at his friend’s discomfort. She finally released him, and rounded on Professor Snape, who held out his hand to stop her from hugging him as well, and then turned it sideways for her to shake, which she did.


“Thank you for helping them sir,” she said, offering a smile at her teacher. He once more quirked his mouth slightly, and nodded.


“Off course, I wouldn’t have left you two stuck like that forever, amusing as it has proved to be,” he smirked at that, and Hermione giggled.


“That it has been,” she replied and looked over at Draco.


“Very amusing,” Draco agreed. He turned to Professor Snape. “Thank you sir,” he nodded at him.


“Alright, now that this is done, you lot can vacate my classroom. I’d imagine you three would like to sleep,” he looked over at Fred, George, and Goyle. They all nodded. “Well, then go on, I think I will as well,” he stifled a yawn, and directed them to the door. “Try not to do anything catastrophic until after lunch at the very least,” he said dryly. Draco sniggered as they turned around and walked away


It felt strange now, not to feel the familiar weight of Hermione’s hand in his as he walked his right arm swung limply at his side. He looked over to see her left one looking much the same.as his right one. He took her hand as they walked, and she jumped a little and then a slow smiled crossed her face as she turned to look at him.


“Just until we get to breakfast,” she nodded knowing they’d have to sit with their houses. She bit her lip. She’d eaten hundreds of meals without him during her time at Hogwarts, but the thirteen, some odd meals she’d eaten with him had spoiled her.


“Do you want to study together afterwards? We can go to the library if you want,” he asked. Her face lit up.


“Yes, I’d like that. Should we go get or things from the room first?” he shook his head.


“I’ll bet the house elves already moved them. They don’t miss a thing,” Hermione grinned.


“You’re right. Come on then,” they headed down to breakfast. Draco paused before they entered the Great Hall. He tugged Hermione over out of the doorway, and into an alcove.


“I don’t really care what students see us, but I don’t want that evil old toad getting a chance to hurt you again,” he leaned in and kissed her softly, cupping her face in both of his hands. She leaned into him, and wrapped her arms around him. After a moment they broke apart, and he smiled.


“I’ll see you after darling,” she smirked.


“Ok yours,” she said, and he chuckled.


“You mean yours?” he asked teasingly, and she nodded, took hold of his tie, and tugged him closer.
“Mine,” she replied, and kissed him again before letting him go, and walking past him into the hall leaving him to stare after her. He blinked, and shook his head to clear it before following suit.


Hermione sauntered over and dropped onto the bench between Neville, and Harry. Ginny looked up, and grinned. Hermione waved at her with her left hand, and smiled.


“Well, it worked! I got my hand back,” they all nodded their approval.


“So, what are you going to do now?” Ginny wanted to know. Hermione looked at her blankly.


“What do you mean?” she asked, and Ginny rolled her eyes.


“I mean, are you two dating, or what?” she looked at her friend’s excited face and nodded.


“Yes, we are. He said he wants to keep seeing me. I really like him,” she admitted. Harry groaned playfully.


“Aww! Come on Hermy, did it have to be Malfoy?” she smacked at his arm.


“I like him, and he likes me too. We are going to be seeing each other, so be nice to him,” Harry shrugged.


“I’ll be nice as long as he is, but if he hurts you all bets are off,” he grinned at her expression. “Oh bugger it Hermy, you are the closest thing to a sister I’ll ever have. Who else am I going to be an overprotective arse over?” she giggled.


“I know that, and speaking of that, what about you Ron? Ron? Hello? I’m having Draco’s baby,” Hermione teased trying to get his attention. Ron appeared to be off on Neptune somewhere. She leaned across Harry and poked him in the ribs


“Oi!” Ron cried coming out of his daze. Hermione grinned at him. “What?” he asked, making a show of straightening his robes.

“What on earth were you thinking so hard about Ronald?” he flushed and looked down at his plate. Hermione only just caught him mutter “nargles” she laughed and clapped her hands.


“Ron Weasley you said nargles! So, you kissed Luna, didn’t you?” she teased in a sing-songy voice. He blushed deeper.


“No, she did me,” he said quickly. Hermione smirked.


“Sorry, I didn’t catch that,” he sighed, and leaned in closer to the group.


“I said she kissed me!” he hissed. “I was all for checking out the bloody nargle things, and when we went to look at the big clump of mistletoe near Ravenclaw tower, she said they were gone from their nest, and I looked to see if I could see them, and she shrugged, and said “Oh well, just so this wasn’t a wasted trip,” then she kissed me!” Ron’s whole face was a red as his hair at this point. Ginny laughed.


“Our little Ronnie-Wonny got his first kissy-wissy,” she squeaked, standing up to tweak her brother’s cheek. He pulled away and glowered at her. Neville and Hermione
chuckled at Ron’s expression.


“He’s growing up so fast,” Harry mock sobbed and clasped hold of Ginny’s hand, making Ginny giggle, and reply.


“First Hermione and Neville, and now Ron, pretty soon we’ll be all alone in this big drafty castle. Oh Harry, hold me!” she crumpled up her face, and she mock-cried, clinging to Harry’s hand. He was shaking with silent laughter.


“Stow it you two!” he growled, making them both laugh out loud, and then looked over at Hermione. “You gonna start on me too?” she held up her hands in defense.


“I won’t, on principle if nothing else,” he looked confused.


“What do you mean?” she shrugged.


“Well, I won’t start on you if you won’t start on me, ok?” he grimaced.


“Just tell me all you did was snog,” he said wearily. She crossed her arms.

 

“Of course that’s all we did! What kind of girl do you think I am?” he winced.


“You are a normal girl, hell, I never thought in a million years that Luna would do that, and she’s way beyond in the normal department!” he said defensively. “I just meant, in that situation a lot of girls would take advantage of it,” she nodded.


“Well, lucky for me, I’m not most girls,” he nodded. “So are you two a couple now?” he looked at his friends pleadingly.


“I don’t know! I guess she wants to be, but I mean… I’ve never been…I suck at this!” he sighed. “I like her, she’s smart, and she’s really unusual, and she’s not giggly, and stupid like some other girls are. She cares about what’s going on, and wants to help,” they all nodded, and then Ginny said…


“Well, then brother of mine…ask her out! We have a Hogsmeade trip before the holidays. Ask her to go with you!” he looked nervous.


“Should I?” all his friends nodded in agreement. He looked over at Luna who was tucking into an apple tart, and turning the pages of one of her school books. “Should I do it now, or wait?” all of his friends including Neville replied “now” impatiently, so he got up, and swallowing hard made his way over to the Ravenclaw table.


The Gryffindors watched as Ron walked up to Luna, and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and smiled up at him. He smiled back, he started to talk and looked to be stammering a bit, and then she giggled and said something that made him grin from ear to ear. He nodded, and then he touched her hand and leaned in close to her said something else that made her blush a little, and she replied. He smiled, and stepped back giving a little wave before turning to go back to his table.


“Well?” Harry prompted. Ron grinned bigger.

 

“She wants to go with me!” he said happily.


“Duh, we knew that! What did she say?” he looked away.


“I got nervous, and started stammering, and she did what she always does, you know, read into what I was trying to say? Anyway, she said she’d love to go with me, and I told her I had been thinking about the other night a lot, and so has she,” he shrugged. “I guess I made an impression,” Hermione smiled.


“Good for you Ron,” she said heartily.


“Yeah, well done mate!” Harry said slapping his friend on the back.


“Now, I just have to go on this date, and make it a good one. Help!” he cried sitting down, and putting his head in his hands. “The ball was a nightmare!”


“You just have to pay attention to her. Talk, walk around, buy her a butterbeer, stuff like that. Do what you normally do, just include her,” Ginny offered.


“Luna will have fun no matter what you do,” Harry said encouragingly. “That’s the good thing about her. She’d be happy crawling around through the dirt looking for periwinkle sand gnomes,” Ginny giggled. Ron looked annoyed, and Ginny calmed him by saying…


“What Harry means is she is an easy girl to please. You two should just take a walk through the streets. It’s supposed to be snowing by then, that could be kinda romantic you know,” she hinted. Hermione nodded in agreement.


“You could offer to let her kip under your cloak with you if she gets cold,” Hermione offered, and Ron looked at her in shock.


“I can’t believe you of all people are encouraging me to put the moves on Luna!” Ron said, and Hermione rolled her eyes.


“She’s the one trying to put the moves on you! She wants you to do stuff like that, trust me,” Ron shrugged.


“We’ll see,” he took a few more bites of food, and then stood up. “I’m going to go take my broom, and practice a bit. You two gonna join me?” he looked up at Ginny and Harry. They looked at each other and nodded. “How about you Neville?” he shook his head.


“It’s really cold out, I’m going to go sit by the fire and study a bit,” Ron shrugged.


“Suit yourself,” he looked over at Hermione


“Do you want to come and watch? I know you don’t, but I want to ask anyway,” Ron said to her. She shook her head.


“As fun as that sounds, I’m going…” they all interrupted her.


“To the library,” they all chorused, and Hermione smiled.


“To meet Draco at the library, so I’ll see you later,” Ginny looked at Hermione and winked.


“Steer clear of the restricted section,” she teased. Hermione giggled, Harry and Ron groaned, and they got up to go grab their brooms from Gryffindor tower.


Hermione looked over at the Slytherin table, and Draco was using his right hand, and eating with gusto. A small smile flickered across her face. It was going to be an adjustment, but it was nice to have the use of both of her hands. She was sure he felt the same, and it had been so wonderful to be held in his arms, well both of them anyway.

 

 

Draco was sitting by Pansy, and eating like it was his last meal. He was very happy to have his hand back. His friends watched him in amusement. Blaise finally caught him in between bites, and got his attention.


“So, you are still going to be seeing Granger right?” he looked up and nodded.


“I know I really shouldn’t, but I don’t want to stop being with her. She’s brilliant, you all know that,” they all nodded.


“We know Draco. I like her. Before I got to know her a bit, I assumed she thought she was better than everyone, but she doesn’t. She’s nice, and I hope you guys stay together. You make a cute couple.” Daphne said, and Pansy nodded in agreement.


“She’s not so bad. You could do worse,” she teased, poking him in the ribs.


“All I’m concerned about is my parents. They may be upset, but I’m going to stand firm. I like Hermione, a lot. And I’ll fight for her if need be,” Blaise smiled at his friend.


“Here, here! ‘Bout time you stood up your dad mate!” Blaise knew his parents well enough to know that he’d be the obstacle, and not Narcissa.


He finished up his breakfast, and then felt her eyes on him. He looked up, and met her gaze, and smirked. She swallowed hard and smiled back at him. He inclined his head toward the door asking if she was ready. She nodded, and stood up. He did the same, and waved at his friends.


“See you guys later,” they all waved as he walked away.


They met in the doorway and walked down the corridor, and up the stairs. The library was pretty quiet. A few of the tables were occupied, but many of the students were cozied up in their common rooms studying rather than in the stuffy, dusty library. After locating a couple of helpful books they found a vacant table, and sat down.


“So, what do we do first?” Draco asked her. She pondered a minute, and then said…


“Let’s do Ancient Runes, please. I doubt you’ll be able to talk Dumbledore into letting you switch.” He shrugged.


“I’ll ask anyway. The worst he can say is no,” she smiled.


“Well, just in case, I want to keep studying this with you at the very least,” he preened a bit, and slid his chair closer to her.


“Who I am I to deny you my superior translation skills,” she rolled her eyes.


“My intellectual savior, Sir Brags-a-lot,” he chuckled, and bowed.


“At your service my Lady Know-it-All,” she preened a bit herself, and then giggled earning them a glare from Madame Pince.


After studying for a while, they grew tired of whispering, and Madame Pince was getting on their nerves. Draco suggested they return to the Room of Requirement to study in peace, and Hermione agreed.


When they entered the room this time all it held was a desk, a few shelves of books, things to take notes with, and a sofa over near the fireplace. Hermione smiled, magic was such a wonderful thing. Draco caught it as he sat down at the desk, and tugged her over to sit in the chair opposite him.


“I hope it’s me that’s making you smile like that,” he said, and she tilted her head slightly.


“You are part of it. I was just thinking how much I love magic. If I had been born a normal muggle, I’d have never met you, or any of my friends. I wonder sometimes if everything happens for a reason,” he nodded. “Do you believe in fate or destiny?” he shrugged.


“I don’t know, aren’t they the same thing?” she gave him a thoughtful look.


“I read once that destiny is what you are supposed to do in this life, and fate is what kicks you in the arse, and makes you do it,” he sniggered.


“I guess I do, to some degree, I mean what are the odds that I would be walking down the hallway between Crabbe and Goyle, and that silly balloon thing would fall just right, and land just right, and stick us to each other. You know the potion could have stuck you to Crabbe, Goyle, Finnegan, or even Weasel Dum himself, but for whatever reason it fell on me, it stuck you to me. You can’t call that merely a happenstance, it had to be that way,” Hermione smiled a little smile, and blushed.


“I was an awfully big coincidence wasn’t it?” he nodded.


“The question is do you believe? In your mind of facts and reason, can you believe in something fanciful as that?” she smiled, and squeezed his hand.
 

“I want to. I want to believe that this isn’t a dream, or something. I’ve always been drawn to you, even when I was mad at you, there was always something pulling me, but I chose to ignore it. And I don’t even know what made me say the things I did that first day, it just all spilled out. Like I wanted to come clean with you about everything, I really can’t lie to you,” he smirked.


“I can’t either, weird, isn’t it? That’s what I was thinking when started spilling my guts about the Yule ball. I just couldn’t make myself shut up,” he smirked, and looked away.


“You really thought I was flawless?” he nodded without meeting her eyes.


“That Bulgarian idiot was the luckiest man at the ball that night. I wanted to hit him when he walked in looking so smug,” Hermione giggled, and then sobered a bit.


“I wish sometimes that I wasn’t a muggle-born,” Draco looked surprised.


“Why?” he asked her uncertainly. She looked up at him, and shrugged.


“If I’d been a pureblood, or even a half-blood, you may have noticed me sooner,” he touched her hand, and stroked his finger down the center making her shiver. “And also, I’d have grown up knowing more about the world I live in now. Maybe I would know how to fly, and maybe I wouldn’t have to work so hard to prove I belong here, that I fit somewhere in this world,” she hated how her voice was cracking, and he pulled her closer to him, and cupped her face in his hands, and leaned in close touching their foreheads together.


“You fit me Hermione. Screw the world, and their opinions. When I called you the yin to my yang I wasn’t kidding. Well, I was kidding a little, but I meant that you, and I’m trying very hard not to come off sounding like a sentimental ponce,” Hermione giggled. “You are something I’ve been missing, and I didn’t have a clue I was missing it. It took something forcing me to be around you all the time to realize it. You’ve been pulling me too, but I answered it by insulting you, instead of acting on what I really feel,” she smiled at him.


“What did you feel?” he leaned in, and gently slanted his mouth over hers. She gasped, and he took advantage, and slid his tongue into her mouth coaxing hers into dueling with his. Her eyes drifted closed, and she let her hands slide up his shoulders, and then tangling them into his hair pulling him closer, and making him kiss her deeper. Her mind was torn between stopping, and well, not, her hormones were raging, and her heart felt like it was about to take flight it was pounding so hard.


Draco tasted, and teased her lips, and stroked her jawline with his thumb. Her face tilted up to meet his mouth more fully, and he let it caress further down the side of her neck. The tiniest whimper escaped her, and he nearly came unglued. He broke the kiss, and leaned back against her forehead, trying desperately to get a grip. Her eyes opened and they bored into his, blazing, and hungry. He swallowed hard, and sighed.


“That falls a little shy of what I’ve felt, but you get the point yeah?” he asked, his breathing as ragged as hers. She bit her lip, and nodded, her hands descending from his hair, and sliding down his neck, and leaning in to brush her lips over his again, like he’d kissed her the first time it was the very lightest possible touch there could be, and yet it caused his own hormones to scream like a banshee inside him. He pulled her closer, and kissed her back, a little less intensely this time, and then let it simmer down to a couple of soft, gentle pecks. Merlin knew he wanted to continue, but he didn’t want to push too far.


“Hermione, can I ask you something?” she looked up at him, and nodded, still at a loss.
“Before we kissed the other day, had you kissed anyone else?” he hoped she’d say no.


“Well, Viktor kissed my hand, and my cheek, after the ball you know, but on the lips, no,” she said breathlessly. “Why?”


“I was just curious, you um, you’re very good at uh, at that,” he stammered. She smiled, and touched his face.


“So are you,” she said softly. “So, did you kiss anyone before the other day?” he smiled.


“It was the very same night, and much the same way. I kissed Pansy’s hand, and she kissed me on the cheek before she went to bed, so no not on the lips either,” he admitted.


“Fate?” Hermione asked him.


“Has to be,” he replied, and pulled her into his arms holding her there. As much as Hermione liked kissing him, she liked him just holding her best of all. She’d grown to love the steady sound of his heartbeat, the gentle rise and fall of his chest, and the amusing hitch in his breathing when she moved wrong. Finally she leaned up, and looked at him.


“So are we going to study, or what?” he smiled.


“I am studying, let’s see Potions, you, my darling, are my own personal Draught of Peace,” she smiled, thought a moment before replying…


“Ancient Runes, Perthro, meaning fate, or something remembered,” she traced the cup-like rune into his shoulder with her finger. He smiled.


“Transfiguration, you turn me into an animal every time you look at me,” she giggled, as she made a growling noise and nipped at her neck.


“Charms, you have many,” she said dreamily, and he smirked, and touched her face.


“As do you, hmm, Defense Against the Dark Arts, umm, there’s no such thing as dark when you are around, so you are my defense against the dark arts,” she blushed.


“Awww! Herbology…um, you’ve really grown on me?” he laughed.


“Good one! Let’s see, History of Magic,” he had to think about this one for a moment. “September 1st 1991 I saw Hermione Granger for the first time, and the rest is history,” he said finally. She laughed, and he did too.


“Arithmancy, you and I together, it just adds up,” she replied smartly, and he shook his head, in disbelief. Still chuckling, he replied…


“And Divination?” she smiled, and said…


“When I look in to my future,” he interrupted her by putting his finger to her lips…


“I see you,” he said, gazing deeply into her eyes She stared as he removed his finger, and a slow smiled crossed her face, and she sighed and repeated his words.


“I see you too,” and they met each other halfway, capturing one another’s lips in a searing kiss that shook them to their very souls. Time stood still in the Room of Requirement, and for a while they stayed I each other’s arms, forgetting that outside that magical room there was a real world, obstacles to overcome, and battles to be fought. But in that time they had each other, and for the moment it was all they needed.

The End…For the Moment


A/N: Ok, let me go ahead and say it…I’m sorry! I’ve been wanting to finish this and get it up for days, but my body had other ideas. My head had been pounding something chronic, and every time I look at my computer screen for longer than five minutes it pounds harder. Plus, well to put it mildly I feel like I’ve been pitched from the Astronomy Tower, landed on the Whomping Willow, and been flung into the middle of a centaur stampede. Stupid Flu! But I press on. This is only the first half of my little tale. I thought that was a good place to end the first half. The second half will begin being posted just as soon as this chapter gets validated. It will be another Novella, and it will be called, “And Nothing, Us Shall Part” I’m planning on about nine more chapters, but we shall see when we get there. It will continue right where this one leaves off, and it will be a tad more serious, but not too much, I like the humor and fun this one had, so it will continue. Thanks for sticking with me so far, and please come back to read the second half, you won’t be sorry!  Oh and please review this chapter, I know some of it may be a little bit sappy, especially the last part there, but ah well, I’m a big romantic sap sometimes. Or, I could always blame it on the Nyquil!  Peace out!
 

 

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