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 They continued to draw closer when all of a sudden – BANG.



There was a banging on the door. “Hermione?” came Ron’s timid voice. “Hermy, please open the door. I’m willing to talk to you”.

Hermione moved her eyes from their focused position on Draco’s lips up to his eyes. Both pairs of eyes widened in horror of what had almost just happened. Hermione jumped back as Draco turned his head. “Erm, you should probably go get that. I’ll be up in our room if you need me.” Draco said as he gathered himself and started to make his way up the stairs.

Hermione nodded and closed her eyes for a brief minute. She definitely needed some alone time to figure out her thoughts. Taking a deep breath, she got up off the floor and moved towards the main door. Ron continued to shout “HERMIONE?”

Hermione opened the door on a red-faced Ron, his hand up, ready to strike the side of the wall again. Leela gave Hermione a sad look, and a shrug. “It’s alright Leela, he can come in,” Hermione said as she led Ron into the common room.

“Well, this is quite a place you got here, isn’t it?” Ron said sheepishly as he looked around at the grand living quarters. Hermione rolled her eyes. She wasn’t quite over her anger yet. If there was one thing she was good at, it was remembering her emotions. She had held on to her mystery boy for this long, hadn’t she? “Cut the crap Ronald, I’m really not in the mood for your BS”.

Ron looked at her for a minute, then leaped on her and gave her a big hug. “Hermione, I’m so sorry. I know, I’ve been a git. I don’t trust Malfoy, and I don’t like that he’s getting so close to you. However, you do hold the brains in this trio. Obviously if you are able to trust the ferret, you have to have some reason.” Hermione stared at him. “Did you come up with this epiphany on your own Ronald? And his name is Draco. Or Malfoy. Not ferret.”

Ron rolled his eyes, “Fine. Malfoy. And no, if you must know Malfoy knocked some sense into me after you left. That combined with Ginny’s threats of hexing me into oblivion were enough for me”.

Hermione looked up, “Draco? He talked to you?”

“More like called me a moron and defended you violently, but yes. It seems like part of him has been changed by your friendship.” Ron quickly muttered under his breath , “Let me reaffirm that this still does not mean that I trust him”. Hermione giggled. “Oh Ron, it’s so good to have you back!” She gave him a big hug back and led him over to a couch. “Let’s catch up!” She exclaimed with a smile.

From upstairs Draco watched with mixed emotions. He was glad to see that that spark that was missing from Hermione the past couple of weeks was back with full energy, however, this meant that he had to prove himself a worthy friend to Ron in order to retain his friendship with Hermione. He also did not like the way Ron’s hand remained on Hermione’s back as they talked and laughed. He mentally slapped himself, why did he care so much? It wasn’t like he had any right to her. It was getting harder and harder for him to remind himself of this fact, as well as bring back memories of the girl from years previous. He needed to find her, and fast, before this thing – whatever it was- with Hermione got out of control. He couldn’t deceive that promise he made to that girl so many years ago, for all he knew she was still waiting on her prince charming to come and find her.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~

It was about 4 hours later when Ron finally left. Hermione lay back on the couch finally content with the way life was heading. “Happy now?” Draco said as he came down the stairs, watching her. “Mhmmm” Hermione nodded.

 Draco smiled, “I’m glad,” he said as he lay sat down in the corner of the couch not occupied by Hermione. They stared at each other in a moment of awkward silence. “So….”.

“So…” Hermione concurred, as memories of what almost happened came flooding back to her. “Draco, I honestly don’t know what to do. On one hand, we both have other people in our lives that we are waiting on”

“But on the other hand,” Draco continued, “We keep having moments like…”

“Like earlier.” Hermione summed it up.

“Yeah,” Draco sighed.

Hermione could feel the heat from where Draco’s arm was close to touching her leg, and she quickly sat up into an upright position. Pulling her legs into her, and wrapping her arms around her legs, Hermione stared at the fireplace in front of her, seeking solace in the flames. Draco’s eyes moved with hers, and he too looked towards the fire dancing in merriment as he ran his hand through his hair. He sighed and looked at Hermione, “I think we should give our friendship one more shot. I really don’t want to lose what are beginning to have, and I don’t want to ruin it by starting something that would have to end when we find who we have been waiting for all of these years.”

Hermione looked into his normally icy blue eyes that had been softened into the color of the sea by the fire playing in his eyes. She was silent, and then nodded. “Alright, one more shot for our friendship”.

Silence once again filled the air, but more comfortable this time, both of them reassured by the fact that they could keep their promises to their loved ones and continue to enjoy each other’s company. Hermione got up and moved towards the window, looking up at the sky. “I’ve always found the stars so beautiful. I love the nighttime sky” Hermione said as she leaned against the window pane. Draco murmured in agreement.

“Hey Draco, what day is it?”

Draco looked up, surprised by the question. “Umm….November 18th..why?”

Hermione shook her head to herself in surprise, and took a quick glance at her watch, which read 11:45 pm. “I turn 17 in 15 minutes.” (A/N: I know, her birthday is actually September 19th, but go along with it for the story’s sake).

Draco’s eyes widened. He leaped off of the couch. “Why didn’t you say so earlier!?! C’mon let’s go!”

Hermione shook her head in bewilderment, “Go where?” Draco simply took her hand and started running out of the entrance, and all Hermione could do was stumble behind, laughing. “Draco, what are you doing? Let go! It’s not that big of a deal!”

“Of course it is! You’re turning into a legal adult, what could be more of a big deal?”

Students raised their eyebrows as their Head Boy and Girl ran passed laughing and sprinting as fast as they could. Draco finally stopped, and Hermione crashed into him as they came to a standstill in front of the painting that led to the kitchens.

“Oh no. Draco this is really unnecessary” Draco shushed her as he tickled the pear and made his way into the kitchens. He spotted the nearest house elf ran up to her. Hermione sat down on a table in defeat. She could see Draco wildly whispering to the house elf and the house elf nodding excitedly, as if it were Christmas come early.

Draco disappeared behind a massive refrigerator door and reappeared with a gorgeous pink cake decorated with whipped cream and strawberries.

Hermione raised her eyebrows in delight “Strawberries are my favorite!”

Draco laughed, “Yeah, I noticed the constant midnight snacking on strawberries and whipped cream.” Hermione blushed. “Draco, this is really very sweet but I have to tell you, I don’t-“

The clock started chiming, indicating the start of the next day with the twelve strokes of midnight. Suddenly they were surrounded by house elves singing Happy Birthday in their squeaky voices and Hermione started giggling. “Thank you all very much” she said as they finished up their rendition of the popular song.

Draco grabbed a fork and picked up a huge bite of cake with it. “Open wide!” But Hermione held off his hand. “Draco, as I was saying, this is really sweet, but I don’t eat cake. I will however take a strawberry” Hermione finished as a she popped a strawberry in her mouth. She began chatting with the surrounding house elves as Draco stared at her, dumbfounded, the fork still in hand. “What did you just say?”

Hermione gave him a slightly confused look, “That I don’t eat cake? I’m sorry, it’s just this thing…from when I was younger. I kind of vowed to give up cake. Stupid little girl stuff”.

Draco’s mind was reeling, this was too much of a coincidence. It couldn’t be…could it? That’s it, he had to find out once and for all. “Hermione….” He reached for her arm.

At that very moment, Ginny, Harry, Ron, Luna and Neville burst through the kitchen doors. “Hermione! There you are. Happy Birthday! We tried to sneak into your common room through the prefect door, but apparently it doesn’t open that way. Then we talked to Leela, and she guessed that Draco brought you here. It was strange, she seemed really excited. She even called you Papa once Draco. Who knows? Anyways, Happy Birthday again! Wow you’re finally legal!” Ginny, as usual, was the leader of the conversation. Draco was about to blend back into the shadows when Harry came up to him and gave him a pat on the back. “Thanks for doing this for Hermione’s birthday mate. You do know that she doesn’t eat cake though?”

Draco nodded, “Yeah, I just found out.” The rest of the hour passed in a blur. Draco didn’t have a chance to talk to Hermione alone with all of her friends surrounding them, and thoughts of cake kept swirling in his head. Finally, after walking into the Head Common room, Draco and Hermione said goodbye to the group as they walked through the adjoining prefect door.

Draco finally moved towards Hermione, determined to talk about this once and for all. However, she looked so tired. He softened and told himself that he had to talk about it with her tomorrow. Hermione and Draco headed up towards their room, thoroughly exhausted from the day’s activities.

~*~*~*~

Draco awoke to the sound of rustling beside him on the bed. Hermione was sitting there tugging on the clasp of her necklace, which had managed to get snagged on a loose thread of the pillow. “Oh – Goodmorning Draco. Sorry I didn’t mean to wake you. This danged clasp just decided to go and get stuck on this stupid thread that appeared out of nowhere.”

Draco chuckled, “Here let me help you with that” He said as he got up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Oh would you? Thank you. I was getting so frustrated with this thing.”

Draco fiddled with the clasp, finally pulling it free from the pillow. As he did the necklace managed to open and fall onto the bed. “My bad,” Draco said as he went to grab it. Slowly, he held it up. The snake glittered in the sunlight now pouring into the room. Draco’s mind went numb.

The brown curls. She was muggleborn. No cake. The nighttime sky. The snake. The childhood boy she was waiting for. Him.

He stared at Hermione. “Draco what is it?”

Silently he reached beneath his shirt and pulled out his necklace. Her eyes widened. He took the snake pendant and, holding his breath, moved it towards the snack imprint on his necklace as Hermione’s gasp rang throughout the room.

Of course, it fit perfectly. 

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