I wish I could somehow help you understand that every thought I think is about you. I am saturated in your silhouette.
-Tyler Knott Gregson
The next morning at breakfast, Harry struggled not to snap at Hermione. After a night of cryptic and hazy dreams that faded upon his wakening, the last thing Harry wanted to do was sit through one more minute of Hermione reminding Ron to visit regularly and to write. He turned his bloodshot eyes downward and determinedly spooned hot cereal into his mouth; he was going to forget what happened over the last year and spend the day with his girlfriend.
Harry felt the air change and knew that he had walked in but refused to even glance over at the blonde. Instead, he turned toward Ginny and, without any sign of the confusion he held, Harry pressed his lips possessively against hers. It felt – familiar and comfortable, but not earth shattering or particularly great. Their kisses had long since stopped providing the butterflies their relationship had begun with, but it seemed to be only on his side as Ginny rather enthusiastically engaged him and his tongue. Harry revisited the urge to pull away as her hand curled in his hair.
“Mate, it’s great you two are back together, but couldn’t you wait until tomorrow when I’m not at breakfast to suck her face?”
Ginny pulled her lips away, laughing at Ron’s complaint as she scooted closer to Harry on the bench.
Draco dropped his body heavily onto the bench, a resounding thud echoing around the eating Slytherins. He kissed her. Bloody hell, he kissed her right in front of me. The air stopped flowing to his lungs and tears pricked at his eyes. He couldn’t focus on anything but them. Morbid fascination one might call it. He knew they were together, but for some reason, he held out hope that Harry would change his mind. With a sharp intake of breath, Draco focused on shutting down his emotions.
“D,” Draco slowly focused on the deep caramel colored hand waving in front of his face, and then looked up into the slightly concerned face of Blaise Zabini, his only childhood friend. “You zoned out man. McGonagall is speaking, isn’t it, like, your job to pay attention?”
Oh, but Draco was focusing, although he supposed it wasn’t on what he should be focusing. With one final glance at the Chosen One, who now had his fingertips tucked into the back waistband of the female Weasley’s shorts, Draco focused on the words being amplified throughout the hall.
“ . . . and the school common room will be open until midnight for those in Year Six and below. For the returning Seventh Years, curfew has been extended until two a.m. The new curfew is awarded not to play wizarding chess with your housemates,” here the headmistress directed a stern look toward the Hufflepuffs before continuing. “The advanced classes will have a much larger course load than in prior years as it is felt that some of your professors may have been lacking in the execution of their study plans. Intercultural Communication will be a required class for those in Year Four and up. And we have added a series of classes pertaining to Muggles and their culture that are mandatory for every year. You will be receiving more information on those classes when timetables are passed out. Finally, Quidditch tryouts will be held next week. Team captains will post schedules and sign-up sheets in the various common rooms.” Here she consulted a piece of parchment resting neatly on the podium in front of her. “Ah yes. Classes have been postponed two weeks from yesterday due to the continued remodeling of several wings of the castle. Prefects will hold house meetings tonight promptly at 8 o’clock to discuss the regulations and expectations that your professors and I have for you during this break.” With a nod, she left the podium as the room burst into hundreds of mini conversations.
Draco slowly buttered a piece of toast, mulling over what the headmistress had said. It was nice that the curfew had been extended; he smirked, thinking of all of the things he could do with the extra hours. His smirk turned into a scowl as he thought, again, of Harry.
“Blaise, want to hit the pitch for some drills?” Draco hoped his friend would agree; fresh air would do them both some good. He’d lain awake all night, allowing him to hear his friend tossing and turning from the next bed until three when Draco had crawled into Blaise’s bed in an effort to comfort them both. It only resulted in the two of them lying awake together for the remainder of the night.
“And you’ll write us?”
“Hermione,” Ron sighed exasperatedly, “I already told you I would. Besides, you’re going to see me at Hogsmead this weekend.”
“Wow, Gin.” Harry laughed, “I think that may be the first time you’ve ever said that!”
Soon her friends had Hermione laughing; the tears filling her eyes now were from humor instead of sadness.
All too soon Ron reminded them that he had a carriage to catch in order to get to Hogsmead where he would then floo to his parent’s house.
As Hermione watched her first love roll away from Hogwart’s the tears began to fall.
“Shh, ‘Mione. It’s all right, it’ll be alright.”
Hermione relaxed in Harry’s tight embrace, thankful she had such a good friend in him.
Ginny interrupted their hug, “I’m spending the day with the girls. See you tonight Harry?”
Harry nodded and gave Ginny a brief hug and a quick kiss on the nose before following Hermione up to the library.
After hours in the library working on plans for school evets with Harry , Hermione met McGonagall outside of a blank canvas and began waiting on the late Malfoy to arrive so that they could be shown their head dorms. After several minutes of small talk, the blonde finally trudged around the corner, apologizing because he had lost track of time on the pitch. Hermione resisted, just barely, the urge to roll her eyes at his uncharacteristically dirty appearance. At least he seemed to be telling the truth as he was wearing a dirty, stained Quidditch kit.
McGonagall explained that the chambers within were belonged to them so long as they did not break any rules or endangered themselves while inside. She went on to note that these were different ones than the prior Heads’ had been granted and thus allowed them more privileges: a house elf would be provided to them for general cleaning and special requests, a kitchenette would afford the opportunity to eat within their chambers, and lastly, their rooms were customizable. All one had to do was repeat a simple word – consuetudinemn – and the items within would change color and shape to suit the room’s owner.
Hermione was delighted. She had always wanted to sleep on something other than Gryffindor red. “But professor,” she asked, “the empty portrait?”
“Ah, yes, Miss Granger. After I depart, the two of you will decide upon an appropriate painting and it shall appear. At which time each of you will pick a password.”
Hermione listened intently as the headmistress went on to make it clear that only their closest friends were allowed in and that they were not to share the passwords with anybody. After extracting several promises to abide by the rules, the headmistress glided down the hallway leaving the two seventh years to decide upon a painting.
“An original creation by the two of us,” Draco suggested hesitantly.
Hermione beamed at him, delighted to have been supplied such a suburb idea, “Yes, fantastic.”
“I could draw it.”
They knelt in front of some parchment that Hermione supplied and began working on a depiction of a grand rose garden drenched in snow and hidden amidst a sea of thorn bushes and tall, ivy clad stone walls. After about an hour of Draco drawing – he was surprisingly good - Hermione realized they were missing something.
“We need a door keeper.”
Draco only peered at her, confusion evident on his pale face.
“Somebody to tell our passwords to . . .” She trailed off, her tone making it clear he should have known what she meant.
Draco nodded and began to sketch in a hauntingly beautiful ghost in a Victorian era dress, her hair in long black waves, and the greenest eyes Hermione had ever seen.
When he was finished coloring her lips a deep burgundy, Hermione charmed their picture onto the canvas, making the thorn bushes and her pale blue dress rustle in an unseen wind.
Quite pleased with their results, they supplied the passwords (hers was Hemmingway, his forbidden) and entered the portrait hole.
Draco heard Hermione’s sharp intake of breath and barley managed to contain his own. The common room was spectacular. A high, circular ceiling held an ornate black crystal chandelier and several oversized leather couches and matching chairs filled the room. Two wizard chess sets were positioned on either side of the room and a large black marble fireplace was nestled between two slightly curved staircases that led up to what he assumed to be their separate rooms.
To their left, an archway showed a medium sized, fully stocked kitchen with a table set for four. From the way the headmistress had spoken, Draco had expected an apartment sized fridge and maybe a bar stool. He turned to his right and followed a speechless Hermione through another archway into a small library. The walls running parallel to each other were covered floor to ceiling with books while the back wall held a small ornately carved cherry wood fireplace. The middle of the room was filled with cognac colored chairs in varying sizes. On either side of the fireplace sat a small desk filled with school supplies, presumably one for each of them. It was perfect for doing homework in or just reading a decent book late at night. He was delighted. Books were one of his favorite things and having a private library was a luxury he had too often taken for granted before moving out of his parents’ home.
Draco felt a tug on his arm and realized that Hermione was urging him out of the archway, in an attempt to reach the staircases. They trotted up the first and came to a halt in front of a plain black door. Hermione reached out to touch the handle and a gold plaque appeared reading “Head Girl” in the center of the door. They entered to together. Draco let out a low whistle; the bedroom could rival his back at the Manor.
Thick carpet covered the expanse between the cherry wood walls. A large window and window seat stood opposite them. A small table to their left, next to what he assumed to be the closet, held miniature pieces of furniture, waiting to be customized and enlarged. A note further detailing the customization process was propped on the mini four poster bed.
Still not speaking, he preceded her through a door to their left and was pleased to see that it was a bathroom - a very large, unfortunately, shared bathroom. The middle of the room held a sunken bathtub much like those in the prefects’ bathroom, above which stood another black chandelier. It was flanked by two showers, both with thick black shower curtains. Two sinks and towel racks stood on the opposite wall, flanking a rather large and extremely ornate floor length mirror. It was all very elaborate and made him wonder what the teacher dorms were like.
Surely, they haven’t rooms this nice.
“Malfoy – uhm, Draco,” Hermione interrupted his thoughts, startling him by the use of his first name. “I’m going to prepare my room and then go to bed.”
He nodded; glad she had been the one to speak first. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Good night, Mal – Draco.”
He nodded again and Hermione, with a smile, turned and went into her room, shutting the shadow colored door behind her.
After spending several hours rearranging his furniture and customizing the colors, Draco left to go down to the pitch.
He held a special place in his heart for the Hogwart’s pitch. On sleepless nights, an almost nightly occurrence since his third year, Draco would walk down to the pitch and watch the stars. He knew Hogwart’s had plenty of towers from which he could probably see them better, but he enjoyed the long walk to and from the stadium. Because Filtch had only caught him sneaking out of the castle twice, Draco considered these trips to be sanctioned by the old castle, and would spend hours laying on the Slytherin stands listening to music under the stars. During his fifth year, when Blaise’s insomnia began, he had started to join Draco on the pitch. He knew Blaise wouldn’t be joining him tonight and he was disconcerted by that. He considered stealing down to the dungeons and asking Blaise to join him; they hadn’t seen each other in months and it would be nice to catch up. As he headed that way, Draco remembered Blaise had mentioned using a dreamless sleep potion tonight. Changing his course, Draco trudged to the pitch alone.
He wandered aimlessly through the Castle when he got back, knowing his feet would eventually take him back to the dorm. He rounded a corner and collided with a very solid body. The blanket he had taken was knocked out of his hands and dropped onto the floor next to him. Standing, Draco assumed the Malfoy mask, ready to verbally assault the idiot that had the nerve to be out of bed at four in the morning. He looked at the body still lying there, only to meet the eyes he had been trying to avoid since boarding the train at King’s Cross.
“I – uh – you – uh . . .” Draco trailed off.
Harry quirked an eyebrow, amused, “The great Draco Malfoy is speechless?”
“You always make me speechless.” He immediately flushed a bright red.
He hadn’t meant to say that.
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