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'So I hid myself away in my bedroom or walked and walked and walked until I was truly as alone as I felt.'
I closed my eyes and forced myself to clear my mind. Feeling that familiar pull in my middle, I felt my body constrict and twist, a rushing sound filling my ears, as I left my family for possibly the final time.
'Ron and I are just friends, George.' ...Pehaps that's all we were ever meant to be.'
'I felt myself begin to drift off to sleep, thinking about how good it felt to be home.'
'Why do you keep looking over at Malfoy, Hermione? And why is he shooting daggers at you?'
'I wanted it to be free. I needed it to be free. I needed all of that rage to be gone and so I directed it at the person standing in front of me. At Malfoy.'
He looked down at me and then commented with a smile, ‘Hermione, girl you are wasted.’
I grinned up at him. ‘I know. Isn’t it great.’
'He’s gone. You can stop hiding now. Or do you intend to leave me to all the work alone?’
'He reached out his hand and put it to the back of my aching head and touched it very gently. I was completely frozen; I wasn’t even sure that I was breathing anymore. Malfoy had never touched me before.'
'Well I just wanted to say thank you, again, for what you did last night. I wanted to say thank you for helping me.'
'I was still having nightmares about the battle, only now they were interspersed with a new nightmare.'
'Because whenever I look at you, I see the same thing haunting you that's haunting me. And I can't help but think that out of everyone, you might understand.'
'I turned around to face him, knowing that it was finally time to take a chance.'
'Something had changed between us. It was small at first. So small that I didn't even notice it.'
'Friends,' I said, testing the word. It seemed altogether too intimate and somehow not intimate enough.'
'Fine, today, here and now,' I challenged. 'We'll see who makes the best potion.'
'I’d thought that spark that people apparently felt when they touched someone was a myth. Just some made up thing that authors would put into books to describe that moment where two characters connect, but it was there. I felt it.'
‘You know what that’s not even what matters, actions speak louder than words Malfoy,’ I said rather stubbornly not willing to back down. ‘And your actions said it all.’
'How could it be him? He didn’t even like me. And I certainly didn’t like him. How could he be the one to make me feel this way?
‘Stop pretending, Hermione.’ He stepped even closer to me, forcing me to tilt my head back to meet his gaze as he towered over me. I wanted to step back, but my legs felt like lead, gluing me to the ground, freezing me in place. ‘Stop pretending that you can’t feel it. Feel this,’ he said, indicating between the two of us.'
‘Just meet me tonight,’ he asked, his voice low and insistent. ‘Please. We need to talk.’
'I could see from the line of his shoulders, from the tension within him that he was ready for a fight, perhaps even looking for one.'
'Whether it was his requirement or mine, the room had provided us with the perfect setting for a romantic first date.'
'Draco was looking at me expectantly, in nervous anticipation. Gently I peeled back the silver ribbon from the black box and nervously lift the lid. I was rendered utterly speechless when I looked inside.'
'Yet their reactions had proven that I had been right to keep things just between us. They'd only known about for two minutes and Draco and I were arguing.'
'I tried not to let the whispers and stares get to me. But it wasn’t easy.'
'Draco had let me see a side of him that no one else had. He had been kind, thoughtful and sweet. He had changed. He swore to me that he had changed. I believed that he had changed. Yet as I drifted off to sleep, I began to doubt everything.'
‘Because they’ve taken everything else. They don’t get to take that too.’
‘I have nothing to hide,’ Draco finally said.
The list was compelling. It was there in black and white. It was obvious what I should do; what the logical solution was.
'It made my heart hurt to think that we wouldn’t finish Hogwarts together. That I would graduate on my own without my friends by my side.'
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