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The following day Hermione did not see Malfoy until their afternoon Care of Magical Creatures class. Try as she might to get his attention, he seemed to be purposely ignoring her. She assumed he was put out over the plans she’d made with Ginny. Who knew when it came to Malfoy? He could never just come out and explain his feelings. When he was feeling anything he fell back on anger. It was extraordinarily frustrating. She also wondered if it had anything to do with what almost happened the night before. 
 

It had all been an accident of course. She hadn’t meant to trip obviously. She was quite certain she had completely imagined him leaning in as if he were going to kiss her. Draco Malfoy did not kiss people who were not purebloods. Even if blood status was out of the equation there was no way he’d be caught dead kissing her. They were mortal enemies. She thought about their time in the forest and the evenings they’d spent in the library that week. Perhaps they were not the enemies they once were. And yet she could not imagine him wanting to kiss her. 
 

She watched him from across the grounds as he worked alone with a niffler.  Hagrid had asked them to trim their nails which was no small feat. He had struggled to get his creature to submit. By the time he’d tossed his watch to it to distract it, he was sweating. He’d hung his robes over a nearby tree and she admired they was his white shirt clung to his damp skin. His hair fell into his eyes and the sun reflected off the white blonde strands. His shoulder and back muscles were well defined beneath his shirt, and she could see them tight against the fabric as he moved. She absently moistened her dry lips while she ogled him. 
 

The familiar warmth spread through her as she remembered how his body had felt against hers. The real life Malfoy from their accidental fall last night tangled with the memory of her naughty dream. She felt small beads of sweat break out on her own skin but not the kind one got from exertion. As if sensing her, he finally looked up. She blushed and to her surprise, so did he. Both of them looked away quickly. She spent the rest of their class trying not to stare at him. Little did she know he was doing the same. 
 

Finally class ended and Hagrid rounded up their nifflers. Malfoy was one of the first to head back to the castle while Hermione trailed behind the others. When she made it to the castle doors and stepped inside she was quite surprised when someone grabbed her and pulled her into an empty alcove. She was about to scream when she saw it was Malfoy standing in front of her. 
 

“What in the hell are you doing?” She scolded him. She did not appreciate being taken places against her will. Last year had left her a little overly sensitive to such things. Considering what she’d been through though, maybe it wasn’t overly sensitive at all.  
 

“Language Granger,” he smirked and she rolled her eyes. 
 

“What is it you want?” She ignored his scolding. 
 

“So you and the Weasley are having a slumber party?” He asked feigning disinterest. 
 

“I don’t know if I’d call it that, but we’re going to have some girl fun,” she shrugged and he looked thoughtful. 
 

“Nude pillow fights and sex talk?” He questioned and her cheeks flamed. 
 

“Do guys really think we do that?” She answered with a question. 
 

“No, but I think they like to imagine you do.” He shrugged it off. 
 

“Is that something you imagine?” She couldn’t resist asking. His pale cheeks flushed pink and she smirked at her win. 
 

“Maybe if the right girls are nude,” he played off his embarrassment so she changed the subject. 

 

“What did you need?” She asked again. 
 

“I told you I don’t want to meet you in the library tomorrow. I wanted to make sure that if I send you an owl that you’ll go somewhere else with me?” He asked all serious now. 
 

“Hmm, probably within reason, but I’m not going anywhere I’m not supposed to be.” She gave him a serious look. 
 

“Always obsessed with the rules,” he rolled his eyes. 
 

“I can’t help it. That’s who I am. You need to stay out of trouble too you know,” she reminded him. 
 

“Yes Granger, I know. I promise you we won’t break any rules. I just don’t want our library meetings to start lighting up the gossip board around here. I like my privacy,” he told her and she blushed. 
 

She briefly imagined what they could do with a little privacy. Then she reminded herself that there was no way that was ever going to happen. She’d never been so ruled by her hormones before. It was slightly disorienting. 
 

“Why are you blushing?” He asked suspiciously. 
 

“I’m not,” she lied.
 

“Whatever he said. Will you come?” He asked again. 
 

“Yes Malfoy, I will be there. Now I really shouldn’t keep Ginny waiting anymore.” She relented. 
 

“Thank you, why is every conversation with you such an uphill battle?” He asked her frustrated. 
 

“I could ask you the same.” She countered. 
 

“You are so irritating!” He half shouted at her. His emotions were warring within him and he’d finally had to let some of it out. Unfortunately it came out as anger. 
 

“You’re no picnic yourself,” she shot back. 
 

“I didn’t ask you to inject yourself into my life!” He roared.  
 

“Why do you have to be such an arse all the time?” She parried. 
 

He took a few steps forward forcing her to back up against the wall. She looked up into his cool grey eyes and he smirked at her. He liked the look in her eyes as he cornered her. She looked more excited than frightened. He found himself trying not to react to her physically. It was no easy task. 
 

“Because that’s who I am Granger. You should know that by now.” His voice was low and husky. He was so close she could feel his body heat, and while she was loath to admit it, she liked what it did to her. 
 

“I know that’s what you want people to think.” She didn’t back down. 
 

“You have no idea what I think,” he was looking down at her only inches away now. He placed his hands flat on the wall on either side of her head. 
 

“I’m learning,” was all she could say. 
 

“Maybe, so tomorrow night then?” His mint scented breath tickled her eyelashes. Their outbursts seemed forgotten now, and she felt half sedated by his hot breath against her face. 
 

“Yes I should think so,” she answered primly and he lowered his arms, but didn’t back away. “May I go now?” She prompted. 
 

“Oh right, enjoy your nude pillow fight,” he smirked and stepped away. 
 

********************************
 

Later that night Hermione and Ginny found themselves surrounded by tons of snacks and about a million issues of Witch Weekly and a few other girly magazines. They were discussing new hair and makeup spells when Hermione came across a silly article in one of the issues. How to Know if He’s Into You, it read across the tops of the page and Hermione looked at it interested. Some wizard model was smiling and making sexy eyes at her, and every time she looked down he made a kissy face. 
 

“What’s that you’ve got?” Ginny asked curiously and Hermione scrambled to flip the page. 
 

“Nothing,” she insisted embarrassed, but Ginny wouldn’t be fooled. She snatched the magazine out of her hand and flipped back to the article Hermione had been reading. 
 

“Hermione don’t you know if someone likes you?” Ginny laughed. “You used to date Ron.” 
 

“We never really dated. We only kissed a few times,” she shifted uncomfortably on her bed. 
 

“Are you wondering if Ron still likes you? I can ask Harry.” She asked her friend. 
 

“No,” she said a little to quickly. Ginny raised her eyebrows and Hermione backpedaled. “Ron and I don’t have any chemistry Ginny. I love you, but Ron and I aren’t going to work.” 
 

“Well is there someone else you’re interested in?” The redhead asked curiously and Hermione felt her skin get hot. Ginny on the other hand seemed encouraged by her reaction. 
 

“No Ginny, it’s nothing like that,” she tried unsuccessfully to play it off. 
 

“You’re lying,” Ginny gave her a knowing look and she sighed. Ginny was like a dog with a bone. 
 

“Okay, say there is someone, how would you feel about it?” She asked seriously. “What if it was someone you didn’t like?” 

 

“I think who you date is your business same as anyone. I also don’t see how I wouldn’t like them. You have a wonderful judge of character Hermione,” Ginny told her truthfully and she almost laughed at the absurdity of what she was saying. “If I didn’t like them, I’m sure I could get used to whoever it was.”

 

Hermione considered what she was saying. It was highly unlikely that she’d ever warm up the idea of her being in a relationship with Draco Malfoy. No one would ever get used to the insanity that was sure to bring about. The thought made her sad, but then again it shouldn’t. 
 

Where had the idea of a relationship with Malfoy even come from. They weren’t even friends, let alone more than that. She doubted that they ever would be. Then again she was almost certain she’d seen a want to look in his eyes last night and earlier that evening. She was most likely deluding herself though. 
 

“Maybe Ginny, but I don’t think Harry and Ron would be so accepting,” she gave her a sad smile and Ginny wrapped her arm around her. 
 

“Harry is a lot more sensitive than you’d think. Ron is an idiot, but I’m sure he wouldn’t begrudge you happiness. He’s the one out there slagging it around everywhere,” she comforted her older friend and Hermione smiled. 
 

“Ginny?” She said curiously. 
 

“Hmm?” The girl asked grabbing a licorice whip and taking a bite. 
 

“Do you ever dirty dreams about Harry?” She blurted and Ginny coughed around her mouthful of licorice. Hermione handed her a glass of water and patter her back until she settled. 
 

“Where did that come from? Are you having dirty dreams about this mystery guy?” She asked excitedly. 
 

“I asked you first,” Hermione said indigently. 
 

“Fine, yes I have naughty dreams. Sometimes I tell Harry about them and we make my dreams come true,” Ginny blushed and giggled. It was easy to see how smitten she was with her boyfriend. Be that as it may, Hermione was shocked to hear this about Harry. 

 

“That’s my best friend you’re talking about,” Hermione reminded her and she laughed. 
 

“Sorry, you’re the one who asked.” She shrugged. 

 

“Fair enough,” Hermione let it go, but Ginny wasn’t ready for that yet. 
 

“So did you have a naughty dream?” Ginny was vibrating with excitement. 
 

“Just one, but I woke up in the middle of it,” Hermione said vaguely. 
 

 

 “Spill Hermione,” Ginny crossed her arms across her chest stubbornly. 
 

Very reluctantly Hermione told her all about her dream about Malfoy. She refused to tell Ginny who the subject of her dream was, but she did tell her everything else. She smirked to herself remembering what Malfoy said about sex talk. They were doing exactly what he’d said minus any naked pillow fights. When she finished her story Ginny looked shocked. 
 

“That’s juicy Hermione. I think you really like whoever this is.” Ginny told her excitedly. 
 

“I don’t think he’s interested in me that way. We’ve only talked a few times. We aren’t really even friends,” Hermione said with disappointment coloring her voice. 

“Well maybe you need to get friendly. You’ll never know unless you go for it. Just ask him if he’s interested,” Ginny said confidently. 
 

“Those are bold words from someone who spent years hiding from Harry,” Hermione cocked her head to the side and gave Ginny a scathing look. 
 

“Well you aren’t wrong, but eventually I learned to relax and Harry and I became friends. I would have went for it, but he went for it first,” she shrugged and Hermione sighed. She wished Malfoy was as easy as Harry. 
 

Harry was like a simple hundred piece puzzle. Malfoy was a Rubik’s cube. He had so many faces and emotions it was hard to figure him out. She wondered if she’d ever be able read him. Hermione was pondering this when an owl tapped on her window. She opened it excitedly while Ginny watched from the bed. The owl had a small note in its beak and she took it. The tawny owl flew away and she went back to Ginny on the bed. 
 

“Who’s it from?” Ginny asked curiously. 
 

“I’m not sure,” Hermione lied unfolding the small slip of paper. 
 

In familiar loopy script is read: Room of Requirement at six-only if you want to.


Hermione smiled to herself. It was such a Malfoy thing to write. He couldn’t invite her like he wanted her to come. He had to be standoffish about it. Her heart fluttered nervously. She hadn’t been to the Room of Requirement since the night of the war. She hadn’t known if it would still work. Apparently it did. 
 

“It’s from him isn’t it?” Ginny asked excitedly. 
 

“Yes,” Hermione answered with her cheeks flaming. 
 

“Well I think that settles that. He’s definitely into you.” Ginny laughed and Hermione looked at her as if she had gone mad. 
 

“How on Earth do you get that from this note?” Hermione asked. 
 

“Well he’s obviously asking you on a date,” Ginny urged and Hermione’s mouth fell open. 
 

Draco Malfoy was not asking her on a date.  He would never. He only wanted to talk like they normally did. To the best of her knowledge Malfoy had never dated anyone. He’d said so himself. Pansy was only convenient. Still she was more nervous now than she’d ever been. Even though she was sure Malfoy would never ask her on a date, part of her felt like Ginny wasn’t wrong. 
 

“You really think so?” Hermione asked her friend softly. 
 

“It sure sounds like it. I’m sure he’s not as bad as you’re making out. No one you care about could be all bad,” Ginny reassured her and she felt cheered a bit. 
 

She’d been telling herself for the last few weeks that exact same thing. Surely she wouldn’t be the only one to ever see it. Malfoy had to have some good in him. He was smart and incredibly witty. Not to mention he was more than a little bit attractive. Maybe he was asking her on a date. Maybe she just wanted him to be. Either way she was more nervous than ever. She was also more than a little excited. She thought about his lips being so close to hers not once, but twice. Perhaps she was not imagining him wanting to kiss her after all. She smiled up at her friend. 
 

“You’re right Ginny,” she told her. “About all of it. If it is a date I won’t be the one who has to go for it either.”

 

“Well don’t be reenacting any dreams on the first date,” Ginny joked and Hermione forced a laugh. She was positive that wasn’t going to happen. 
 

“No worries,” she reassured Ginny and the redhead smiled. 
 

“If things get serious you’ll tell me?” Ginny looked concerned. “I only want to look out for you.” 
 

“I promise Ginny,” she told her and she meant it. The idea of getting serious with Malfoy was so absurd she was sure she’d never have to tell Ginny a thing. 
 

“It’s late, we should get some sleep,” Ginny told her pushing the magazines to the floor and stretching out on Hermione’s queen-sized bed. It was after midnight and Hermione yawned. She stretched out beside her friend and turned off the bedroom lamps.  Ginny fell asleep quickly, but Hermione lay awake. She couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of going on date with Malfoy
 

She wanted to toss and turn, but she didn’t want to wake Ginny. It was nearly one in the morning, and even though there was no class tomorrow Ginny had quidditch practice and needed her sleep. Little did she know she wasn’t the only one having trouble sleeping. 
 

Down in the Slytherin dungeons Malfoy lay among his black sheets unable to sleep either. He hadn’t been so restless since Granger made it her mission to speak to him everyday. He’d been getting used to their chats in the library. Without having one tonight he felt restless. She was like a soothing balm to his mind. He was jealous of Ginny Weasley. He just wanted to rest. He remembered how well his relaxation methods had worked the night before and found his hands wandering his body once more. Only this time he didn’t try not to picture Granger. He imagined her tangled in his sheets underneath him with her rose colored lips parted in ecstasy. It was glorious, and he found his release quickly. He yawned, finally capable of sleep, and rolled onto his side. His last thought was of his meeting with Granger the following night. He refused to call it a date, but he found himself wanting to impress her. His last thought before he fell asleep was that he hoped he made her happy. 


Author’s Note: I know I was late on the update for the latest chapter so I am sorry about that. I appreciate all of you that continue to read. I hope you’re all enjoying it. I always welcome feedback so please tell me what you think :)

 


 

 

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