The next morning they woke up late. It was 11 o’clock by the time that Hermione had tidied the apartment. Draco’s bloodied towel was in the bin and his invisibility cloak that he had used to sneak into her apartment the night before was now folded on the couch. He now sat in some neat track pants and a black polo shirt at her small table drinking the cup of tea she had made him. It seemed that those liquids and creams from the medical cabinet were actually of the magical kind because there was no way that his wound could have healed as quickly and as much as it did last night from muggle medicines.
She had also gotten up extra early to go to his suite to gather him some clothes for him to change into and any other little things that he needed which was how he got his clean clothes that he wore now. They now sat in a neat suitcase on the floor by the door. She now sat opposite him at her tiny table and drank her tea in silence. Nothing had been said between them this morning except how his coffee was to be made and what clothing he wanted. It was an uncomfortable silence. She had to break this silence.
“Well, I’m going to go for a shower before lunch and then . . . I don’t know.” He didn’t even look at her all he did was nod his head and continue drinking his coffee and reading the Daily Prophet. She gave up with the non-existent conversation and went and showered. Her pyjamas were stained with blood so she simply took them off and tossed them in the dirty washing basket in the bathroom. It seemed that she should stop caring about her clothing because these days, they were always dirty or stained in one way or another. Whether from training at the Department or from once sworn enemies turning up on your doorstep bleeding to death! She slipped under the hot water and began to wash the blood and grime off of her body once again. She was half way through washing her hair when the door buzzer rang. ‘Damn!’ She rinsed her quickly and stepped out of the shower for her towel which she wrapped around herself. She would look terrible to answer the door like this. Wet sopping hair halfway down her back and a very short white towel that didn’t leave much to the imagination. She ran to her room to get her night robe to put over top just in case the person at the door happened to be a door to door pervert – not that you had them regularly! She walked briskly out to the living area where Draco stood very still looking at the door which buzzed again.
“Where do I go?” he whispered. She looked at him strangely.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m not supposed to be here, what if that were someone looking for me?” She then remembered how much trouble he was in.
“Get your invisibility cloak and hide in the bathroom.” she whispered back. He ran to his cloak and then rushed to the bathroom as she headed for the door which buzzed a third time. “Yes, yes. I’m coming!” She reached the door and opened it to see Professor Lawry standing there.
“Hello Hermione, dear. I came to see if you were alright because you weren’t there this morning.” The anger and fear boiled inside of Hermione as she stared at the woman in front of her who seemed so nice but was really working for Voldemort. So two-faced! She should turn her in now! But she couldn’t because she wasn’t meant to know anything about Draco’s situation!
“Hello Professor, ummm . . . please, come in.” She knew she was taking a risk here but she had to appear normal and polite. The professor whisked straight past her and into her living area, immediately taking in everything that was there.
“Do you have visitors? Am I intruding?” she asked politely. ‘YES!’ Hermione thought to herself.
“No, not at all. I have no visitors.” Hermione answered putting on her sweetest student-to-teacher voice that she had used on McGonagall all the time.
“Oh, I assumed because you have two tea cups out, still one with tea in it!” Hermione looked straight at the table where Draco had left his tea when he had run into the bathroom to hide. She had to stay calm. She had to pretend Draco wasn’t here. She looked around the room for anything else she might have used against her. Her eyes fell on the suitcase as she was building a plausible explanation for everything in her mind.
“I . . . I had visitors last night, I’m just so forgetful, forgot to clean up. I . . . got some rather bad news, really.” Time to put this excuse to the test. “My mother is in a muggle hospital, she’s . . . sick. I’ve just finished packing, as you can see-” she gestured to the suitcase which sat closed on the floor, “I was just having a shower and about to leave when you got here.” She smiled sweetly hoping that the story would be believed. There was silence for a few moments and Hermione believed that the old witch was not taking the story seriously. But after a few moments the smile was returned and she continued on with the conversation.
“I’m so sorry to hear that dear, are you leaving today?” she said in a supposedly sympathetic tone.
“Ah, yes . . . yes I am.”
“Suppose you won’t be back for at least two or three days. Oh well, I’m sure you’ll catch up.” Hermione’s heart sunk as she realised that she was going to have to miss a few days of classes for this petty lie . . . all to save Malfoy’s ass!
“Professor, did Malfoy happen to show up to class today?” Hermione decided to play stupid and see what she had to say.
“I suppose you should be the first to know Miss Granger.” said the professor in a saddened tone, “Mr Malfoy is wanted by the ministry for we believe that he has ties with the Dark Lord and has been a part of a group of some Death Eaters torturing muggles in the south. So, no . . . he hasn’t been back to classes and if he does have the nerve to come back he will be captured and sent to the ministry immediately!” ‘What a liar!’ Hermione thought to herself. How could she? Just a straight out lie and now he’ll be in more trouble. The professor must have noticed the emotion and shock that came across Hermione’s face.
“You haven’t seen him lately, have you Miss Granger? Because if you have, you can just tell me and the Auror’s will go get him, dear. Nothing to be worried about!” she asked in a sympathetic tone, her head bowing a little to look Hermione in the eyes.
“NO! No, I haven’t. But if I do . . . I’ll let you know immediately . . . can’t have him running around torturing muggles . . .” Time to get her out of here! She was breaking this story down too quickly “I’m sorry professor but I really have to get going. My train leaves soon, and I can’t afford to miss it!” The professors face came back to its hardened form as she knew she was going to get nowhere with this girl now.
“Very well dear, I’ll see you back at the department later in the week. Don’t be too long away. You’re struggling with your weaknesses now, and we don’t want to increase them by missing too much training. Goodbye!” and with that she simply walked out the door. ‘Weaknesses? Wench!’ Hermione rushed to close it and lock it behind her and then leaned against it for a moment until she remembered that she had to let Draco know of what happened just now.
She crept into the bathroom but he was nowhere to be seen. ‘Must still have the cloak on!’ she thought to herself.
“Draco, you can come out now.” but still there was no movement or noise. “Draco?” she started to walk around the bathroom with her hands out stretched and thought about how stupid she might look from his point of view. The floor was wet with puddles of water from her shower. Suddenly she felt something brush against her hair as she walked by the shower curtain “Draco, if you’re playing, it’s not funny!”
“I think it is!” came a voice from her right. She whipped around but there was still nothing to be seen. She reached out her hands to touch the unseen but still, there was nothing.
“Draco, it’s not! Now come out!” she practically yelled.
“No this is more fun.” said his voice now on her left. She turned around once again to try and catch him but his voice now came from her right again. “Nope! Too slow, got to be faster!” he laughed at her. She looked so funny from his point of view. The gown was coming undone and he could see the plain, short white towel that only just covered her. Her long legs were smooth and lean and uncovered by the towel. She looked practically edible. His ideas of Hermione had changed since he had started training with her. She was no longer the dirty Mudblood teenage girl from his school years but a well defined young woman who knew what she wanted and how to get it. He admired her for that. But it wasn’t just admiration for her that burned inside him. The other was a deeper feeling than that. Whenever he looked at her he couldn’t help a feeling of absolute . . . desire. Her long legs, her smooth stomach, her luscious lips and smooth hair. All he ever wanted to do was touch her or be around her in some way but he knew it was futile because she would never return the feeling even if he weren’t too proud to admit it. While he was off in his own world she had gotten close enough to feel the soft fabric of the cloak and had ripped it off of him.
But the sudden pulling off of the cloak was too fast and scared him ever so slightly that he slipped. He tried to grab her to steady himself but it was useless because they both went down on the slippery tiles – he on top of her. She smacked her head on the tiles and she yelped in pain and grasped her head and screwed up her eyes. And as he came down on top of her his side smacked on the tiles and reopened his wound and yelled out in pain. They both lay there grasping their pains when he started laughing. He couldn’t help it but it just seemed so funny. She turned her head to look at him where he lay against her, body to body, and glared at him.
“What, may I ask, is so funny about this situation?!?” she stated still grasping the back of her head in pain. He was so close. His left arm was under him, grasping his side and the other wrapped around her waist tightly from when he had grabbed her to try and stop his fall. They were lying in a cold puddle of water on her bathroom floor and as she had noticed before – so close. Close enough to . . . ‘no . . . don’t think that!’
“Everything. Just . . . the . . . look on your face! So funny!” and yet he continued to laugh like he had never laughed before but she continued to stare at him without any hint of a smile on her face.
“How is it, in such serious times like these you can be so relaxed? All of England is looking for you and yet you want to play games!”
“You need to relax a little I think!” he said to her face which was so close, close enough to . . . ‘no’ “I know! I reckon we should go out tonight and let you relax a little, huh?”
“I thought you said you can’t be seen! Anyway, I don’t think that you and I should, well . . . you know . . . go out together.” she stuttered, trying to finish her sentence properly. He smiled a little at her bashfulness.
“It’s not a date, so don’t panic! And we won’t get seen by anyone where were going! Trust me.” She still didn’t look convinced. “I’ll even make a few . . . modifications to my appearance just to be safe.” He quirked his eyebrows a little and from the look on her face he had won.
“Where are we going?” she asked tepidly, still not looking him fully in the eyes. He removed his hand from her waist and brought it up to her chin. He lifted her face so she was looking directly at him instead. ‘She’s so beautiful . . .’
“You’ll . . . ummm . . .” He wanted to kiss her lips so badly now but he knew it would be wrong. She wouldn’t trust him anymore than she did already.
“Draco . . . what?” she queried, a smile playing on her face but she couldn’t help the fluttering feeling that was playing in her stomach from his intimate touch and gesture. He was incredibly close, she should just give into the urges, give in and . . .
“You’ll see when we get there.” he finished his sentence. He had to get out of this rather intimate position before he did something that they both might regret later. “Now, can you help me up? My side is killing me.” Her urges were slashed by his sudden wanting to get away. He let go of her chin and ceased all touching completely as he tried to get himself up. She decided to get up and help him because it looked as though his wound had opened again from the red that now stained her white tile floor. Tonight awaited and she would accept whatever came her way.
Authors Note: So, Hermione is really starting to look at Malfoy in a different light – who would have thought? =)
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