Chapter 17 : Flesh Memory
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Over the next several weeks Draco and Hermione became an inseparable pair. Their friendship grew by leaps and bounds. Hermione got Draco a large basket of candy for Easter, since it’s his favorite holiday, which he naturally shared with her.
Slowly though, the undertone of their relationship began to change. Hermione would find herself sitting in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room with Ron, Harry and Ginny, talking about what she and Draco had been up to, only to find that some things sounded less innocent and purely friend-zone when explained to others.
“Hermione, that sounds an awful lot like a date.” Ginny said one evening.
Hermione looked puzzled, “How so?”
“Well, I don’t know about Ron and Harry, but I don’t have one on one dinners in the kitchens with just any old friend, especially as a surprise, with your favorite foods.”
Harry and Ron nodded their agreements.
“But I think he just wanted to have fun, using the privileged knowledge from the letters. He remembered that I said I like hot cocoa with pickles, so that was the appetizer. Then we had berries, since he had said he would always prefer raspberries, but I prefer strawberries. We had sweet pancakes, since he has such a sweet tooth. Then we had oreos and pie for dessert, since I made him an oreo convert and he prefers pie to cake. It was just a bunch of fun, not really date like.” Hermione explained.
“Well,” Harry paused in thought, “what did you talk about over dinner?”
“Following with the theme, we mostly talked about the stuff we learned in the letters. WE talked about muggle books, flying, we argued about favorite spells and potions, things like that.”
“I don’t know, sounds pretty date like to me.” Ron added in his thoughts.
Hermione threw up her hands, “Whatever, it was fun, regardless of what you call it. How are you guys doing with your pen-pals, figured them out yet?”
Harry answered first, “I’m nearly positive who mine is now, but I’ll wait until it’s confirmed. But I don’t expect I’ll be disappointed. She’s a lot different on paper though, so I’m glad I got the chance to know her better this way.”
“I’m not sure at all. I think she’s a Slytherin, but since I don’t really know any of them, I can’t compare characteristics. I figure I’ll just wait until McGonagall tells us who they are, I’m not worried. We get along really well, I just don’t know who they are. Can’t be too bad though, right?” Ron gave a shrug.
Ginny shook her head at her brother’s attitude. “Well, I want to know who my pen-pal is. I’m not sure either, but unlike my lazy brother I’m really curious and hope McGonagall tells us soon. I really think I like this guys. I just hope he’s someone I can get along with in real life, you know?”
Hermione nodded, “I’m sure it’ll be fine. But do you really think you like this guy, as in, like-like, just from letters?”
Ginny grinned, “yeah, I do. He’s really funny and sweet in the letters. We just seem to connect. Didn’t you get that from Draco when you still were just writing letters?”
“I guess so. I’m happy for you.”
“Ha! You just admitted, you like him, as in like-like!” Ginny jumped up and punched the air, doing a little victory dance.
Hermione blushed, “Ginny…”
“Yeah?” Ginny said, smirking.
Hermione couldn’t get that conversation out of her head though, and went around for the next week in a daze, finally noticing all the things about her friendship with Draco that would look weird if it was Harry or Ron.
While Hermione was having her epiphany, Professor McGonagall finally announced when the pen-pal pairs would be revealed.
“Attention students,” McGonagall stood, following dinner one night. “As end of year exams are quickly approaching, the pen-pal program for the year will be wrapping up. Tomorrow evening we will have a feast in celebration of the program, during which I will announce all of the pairings. The room will be set up as a collection of many round tables, so you certainly won’t sit according to house. After the big reveal please feel free to rearrange to sit with you pen-pal and get to know them in person. That is all.”
The hall broke out into cheers at this. Everyone was excited to know who they had been communicating with.
Despite it only being a feast and not a ball, a decent number of students still dressed more formally that next night at dinner, hoping to impress their pen-pals. Those few pairs who already knew who their pen-pals were, sat together at the round tables, while the other students sat mostly by house, with the anticipation that they would move eventually.
The feast was delicious, but most students hardly noticed, as they waited impatiently for the Headmistress to make her announcement. Finally, the food vanished from the tables and McGonagall rose.
“Dessert will be served once everyone has had a chance to find out their pen-pal and move to sit together if they so choose. I will begin reading out the pairs. So that I can still be heard, please remain seated until all the names have been read aloud before moving.”
Everyone started wiggling in their seats as McGonagall began reading her list. The most notable pairs were Seamus with Hannah Abbott, Parvati Patil with Justin Finch-Fletchly, Denis Creevey with Astoria Greengrass, Zacharias Smith with Millicent Bulstrode (Hermione secretly thought that, as the two most repugnant people in the castle, the two deserved each other), and then McGonagall got around the Hermione’s friends.
“Harry Potter went through the program with the pen-pal of Luna Lovegood, Ronald Weasley went through the program with the pen-pal of Pansy Parkinson, Ginny Weasley went through the program with the pen-pal of Blaise Zabini.” Hermione and the group at her table drowned out the rest of the names, as all of their friend group had been said already. Hermione turned towards Draco beside her.
“That was interesting. Has Pansy said anything to you about her pen-pal, because I know Ron had no clue who he was with. Ginny either actually.”
“Yeah, she said she didn’t really care, other than worrying that they would be thrown off by her being a Slytherin. She seemed to get on with them pretty well. I think it will work out. And I’m pretty sure Blaise was well and enamored with his mystery girl, so I really wouldn’t worry about him and the weaslette.” He smiled at Hermione, glad that their two groups were integrated even more than he thought. He’d been contemplating ways to get the two groups to interact more, since he figured Hermione was going to be a pretty permanent fixture in his life going forward.
“Good, I’m glad.”
McGonagall finished reading the names and everyone started moving around. Draco and Hermione stayed were they were and let all the other come to them. It was an interesting group, that was for sure. Luna looked a bit out of place, but she certainly didn’t seem to care. Harry looked over at Hermione and grinned, nodding. Clearly he had expected Luna to be his pen-pal, and Hermione was happy for him.
Dessert was served any everyone dug in with a renewed gusto while chatting with their pen-pals. The Great Hall was a sight to be seen. All around there were groups with people from different houses, all seeming to get along really well. It was a truly united group of students that returned to their dorms that night.
The reveal of the pairings had produced quite a few new couples, including Ginny and Blaise, who wasted no time in starting to date. But more than that, it created innumerable friendships, which forced different groups to interact, creating even more friendships. It had clearly been a resounding success.
At the secret urging of Blaise, who had talked about it with Ginny, Draco finally asked Hermione if she would be interested in going with him to the next Hogsmeade trip. Hermione gladly accepted. Not much really changed in their relationship once they finally started dating, proving that Hermione’s friends had been correct, they really had been practically dating before.
They still fought like grims and kneazles sometimes, but that was almost half the fun. Dating meant you got more fun from making up after a fight, which Draco mercilessly took advantage of.
“Hermione, can I ask you a question?” They were sitting against a tree by the lake one afternoon, just relaxing. Ginny and Blaise were off somewhere snogging, and surprisingly enough, Ron and Pansy weren’t much better. Once they’d gotten over the shock they had found that they really worked well together. Harry and Luna were much more discreet, generally wandering off together to look for flitterputs and other creatures, returning hours later with twigs in their hair. But considering what Luna usually did when alone, it wasn’t entirely clear if things of a salacious actually occurred to cause the twigs.
“You just did, but you can certainly ask another.” Hermione tilted her head to look over at him.
“Would you rather be able to read minds or tell the future? And what is your oldest possession?” Draco said with a wide grin.
Hermione laughed. “This again? I thought we were done with these now that we aren’t writing anymore letters.”
Draco just smiled. “I’ll never be done getting to know you.”
Hermione blushed, but answered. “I’d rather read minds. I think Trelawney has put me off of anything related to Divination. And I have a music box that was my grandmother’s when she was a little girl. You?
“I would rather tell the future. There are some questions I’d love to know the answer to before decided whether or not to ask them. But only if the future can be changed. And I have a book that’s been in the Malfoy family for hundreds of years. It is self-updating with the family history. It passes down whenever a new heir is born, so it technically belongs to me. Your turn to ask the question.”
They continued on with the questions well into the evening.
The end of the years passed in a blur for all the seventh years. They hoped they’d done well, but they could hardly remember taking them, with the rush of graduation preparation.
Whether they wanted it to or not, graduation day finally arrived. As the whole school had expected, Hermione was Valedictorian. She spent the whole day of graduation rushing around to make sure everyone was where they needed to be and everything would go smoothly. She was told to relax on more than one occasion, but everyone was grateful for her mothering.
Thanks in no small part to her mothering, the seventh years’ graduation ceremony went off without a hitch. Hermione and Draco had written a speech together, as Head Boy and Girl, and spoke in a fashion reminiscent of the Weasley twins, alternating every few sentences. They spoke of the amazing progress towards true inter-house unity that had been made that year. They spoke of the pumpkin carving contest, the Valentine’s Day festivities, the pen-pal program, and all of the wonderful accomplishments of the graduating class. There were more than a few damp eyes by the end when they took their seats.
“I present to all parents, teachers, students and guests, the Hogwarts graduating class.” The Headmistress stepped down from the stage to the tumultuous applause of the audience as the graduates tossed their hats in the air. The hats had been charmed to turn into fireworks when tossed, so there was quite the colorful display.
Draco, Hermione, and all their friends gathered out on the Quidditch pitch for a last picnic before they were scheduled to leave the school on the train for the last time. Sitting amongst all their friends, Draco turned to Hermione.
“Hermione, can I ask you a question?” This had become so typical that no one even stopped their own conversations and Hermione just grinned at Draco.
“You just did, but you may certainly ask another.” Hermione gave her standard reply.
Rather than ask a question right away though, Draco pulled something out of his pocket. It was a snitch. He let it loose, smiling at Hermione and saying ‘catch’. After all the times flying with Draco, it was almost instinct for Hermione to reach up and snatch the snitch out of the air. But this time, as she closed her fist around it and pulled it down to her lap, she heard a ‘click’ and felt the snitch move.
Looking down she gasped. The snitch lay open in her palm, a gleaming diamond ring sitting inside of the golden ball. She looked back up at Draco.
“Would you rather marry me, or not?” Draco smiled at her nervously.
Clutching the snitch, and ring, tightly in her hand, Hermione threw her arms around Draco, hugging him.
“I would definitely rather marry you!” She kissed him, hearing the others finally realize what was going on and start clapping and cat-calling.
When she finally pulled away Draco picked up the ring and slipped in on her finger.
“Draco, how did you do that though? I’ve never heard of snitches opening when you catch them.”
Draco grinned at her. “This is the first snitch you ever caught. All the other times we used a standard snitch from the Quidditch closet. But that first time, I used a brand new one. So it remembers your hand from when you caught it, and opens only for you now.”
“But how?” Hermione still looked puzzled.
Draco lifted her hand to his lips, pressing a kiss in to her palm.
“Snitches have flesh memory.”
AN: It’s finally done! It’s been a million years, or several at least. I’m sorry if the ending seems a bit rushed. I really don’t ship Dramione anymore, so it was hard to write, but I really wanted to give anyone who is still looking out for this fic some closure. There will, obviously, be no sequel. I hope you’ve liked it and I’m sorry it was such a long journey. Hopefully it was a decent enough ending.
From the very beginning I knew that the snitch was going to be used for the proposal, as that is clearly where I got the title. I’m not really sure why, but the idea of a flesh memory for an object really intrigued me, so I was determined to use it in a story. And here it is.
Please leave me a review and let me know what you think. I’d appreciate it. You guys have been the best of readers!
Credits for this chapter go to:
-Ivory Ollivander : for the ‘read minds v. know future’ question.
-Evoltenshi: for the ‘oldest possession’ question.
Thanks for the inspiration!
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