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Chapter 11: Chapter 11
. . . . . .
“We never got to finish our game of ‘let’s get to know each other better’, you know that?” Draco asked with small smirk as he stared at Hermione who slightly grinned at his comment.
“No, we haven’t. I believe we still have a few more questions left.” She said and smiled as she leaned back against one of the columns. “So, I’ll ask you a question first. What is your favorite beverage?”
Hermione slightly laughed at his answer but read his serious face and stopped. “Are you serious?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Draco asked as he bent his eyebrows at her.
“Oh, well . . . I guess that’s understandable. We are all eighteen now and it’s legal for us to consume alcoholic beverages.”
“Yeah, I used to sneak some last year.”
“Like in the school grounds?” Hermione asked with wide eyes, completely appalled. “You illegally drank firewhiskey?”
“Everybody else did.” He shrugged his shoulders as if it was nothing.
“That’s absolutely preposterous! How did you guys ever sneak it in? No, how did you even lay your hands on that drink?” She started asking questions with wide eyes.
“I think you’re up to at least fifteen questions now.”
Hermione closed her mouth and cleared her throat. “Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter whether you drank firewhiskey illegally or legally.”
“What’s your favorite beverage?” Draco asked as he stared at her.
“Butterbeer.” Hermione answered crisply as she put on her small grin. “That’s the only beverage I drink that’s even close to alcohol. Ever. I even got slightly drunk after drinking two cups.”
“You’re telling me you’ve never had a drop of firewhiskey?” It was now Draco’s turn to be shocked. “Are you crazy? H, how do you live with yourself? Do you even call yourself a witch?”
“I think you’re up to at least fifteen questions now, too.” Hermione smirked as she threw his words back at him.
“That’s beside the point! You know what? I’m going to have to take you out to have some firewhiskey. You’re insane!”
“I’ve lived perfectly fine without it.”
“That’s because you don’t have the slightest clue on how it tastes like. Once you have a sip of firewhiskey, butterbeer will be your least favorite drink.”
“Wait, did you just offer to buy me a drink?” Hermione asked as she raised an eyebrow. “Interesting.”
“Well, do you have anything against it?” He asked with a smirk. “It’ll be like two friends having a drink together.”
“Friends, huh? Yeah, okay. But, must I remind you, we can’t get out of the school grounds.”
“Are you sure? We can just sneak out.”
“We’ll get expelled. We could just simply propose the idea of a few students going out to Hogsmeade to Professor McGonagall.”
“That’s boring. Don’t you want to live a little?”
“No, I want to finish my education and get a nice job with a great wage.”
“So you would rather choose career over family?”
“Well, it depends. I want to marry early but who says I’ll meet a guy that’s perfect for me?”
“Interesting. What if you do get a good job with a great pay but then you meet this guy and you fall in love with him. You two are madly in love with each other and you two want to get married . . . but he asks you to choose your career over him because there’s no other choice. Would you give up your love for this guy or your career?”
“Well, what kind of guy would ask me to give up my career if he knows I love my job? I think it’s a bit selfish of him to make me choose over my career or marriage but it makes me selfish to choose my career over him . . .”
“Well, what is it then?”
“I would give up my career for this guy. If I loved him a lot, well, then I have no choice. Jobs, you can get whenever, but love doesn’t come around and wait for you. It comes once and you have to hold onto it. You can replace a job in a heartbeat. What about you? Family or career?’
“Family.” Draco said after a long, hard thought.
“Oh, I didn’t realize you would be the type to do that.”
“Yeah, well, my parents weren’t around at all and look how I turned out to be? I want my kids to grow up into a big, loving family.”
Hermione slightly frowned as she heard him speak. “Malfoy, there’s nothing wrong about the way you turned out. Sure, you made a few wrong mistakes but you got over that. Besides, everyone makes a mistake more than once. I can see that you’ve changed ever since the war. In fact, I believe you turned out to be a great person.” She told him with a soft, warm voice as she hesitated to put her hand on top of his. “I hope you realize that you aren’t so bad of a guy so don’t be so hard on yourself.”
Draco’s eyes widened as he stared at her. Words didn’t—no, couldn’t come out of his mouth. All he did was stare right into her warm, caring, caramel orbs and she understood what he meant to say.
Hermione slightly grinned and removed her hand from his. She couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed when their hands disconnected but she hid her disappointment with a smile. “I think we asked each other more than twenty questions.” She said with a small chuckle.
Draco wore a smirk and nodded. “Yes, well, I’m glad. You weren’t very fun to play with anyway.” He said as he shook his head in disapproval. “I expected more from you. Your questions were just awful and boring. And I’ll have to buy you that drink soon once we talk to Professor McGonagall about Hogsmeade.”
Hermione shot a glare at him and crossed her arms across her chest. “Okay, fine. But first, let’s just continue asking questions.”
“Okay, but this is your last chance, Granger. Try to make this one fun.” Draco taunted her and smirked even wider. “Would you rather kiss me or . . . Longbottom?”
“Neville?” Hermione asked and sighed. “Well, Neville’s dating Luna.” She said and shook her head. “But, I would . . . rather kiss you. This better stay in this tower—if I hear one thing about me saying this, you’re dead.”
“What happens in the Astronomy Tower, stays in the Astronomy Tower.” Draco said and stared at her. “So you would rather kiss me, huh?”
“Would you rather kiss me or Parkinson?”
“Well, I’ve already snogged her so I would probably have to say you.” He replied and sighed. “Hmm, would you rather kiss me or Weasley?”
Hermione rolled her eyes out of annoyance and shot daggers at him. “I would rather kiss you.” She said and groaned. “I already snogged him before.”
“So how was it?”
“I’m not telling you that.” She said with a scoff as she stared at him in disbelief. “It’s like me asking you how it was to kiss Pansy Parkinson and you don’t want to answer tha—“
“She’s good. I’ve answered so it’s your turn.”
“Ah, no. I’m not telling you.”
“You have to.”
“Fine, but like I said before, this stays here.” She said and groaned as she licked her dry lips. “Kissing Ron was a . . . interesting experience. He’s a bit messy but that was my first kiss so I wouldn’t really know—“ She knew she revealed too much. Her cheeks went bright red as she gasped. “I did not just say that . . .”
“Your first kiss was with Weasley!?” Draco roared with laughter. “It’s a shame . . . it could’ve been with me.”
“Oh, shut up.” Hermione said as she looked outside the tower.
“Okay, are you a virgin?”
She got caught off guard as she stared at him in disbelief. “Why do you want to know?” She snapped at him as she felt her whole face turn red, almost as red as the Weasley family’s hair.
“Why do you ask me questions when you already know the answer to it yourself?” Hermione asked him angrily as she chewed the inside of her cheek.
“It’s fun to see your reactions.” He said with a shrug, Hermione simply raised an eyebrow at him.
“Are you a virgin?”
“As a matter of fact, no.” He said with a smirk.
“Oh, big shocker.” Hermione replied with sarcasm dripping from her voice. “I would’ve never guessed.”
“Why are you asking me questions you already know the answers to? You’re a hypocrite, I see.”
“Whatever.” She said and sighed.
“Do you see me as a friend now?”
Hermione stared at Draco for a long time and finally opened her mouth. “You’re getting there. I’d say we’re more acquaintances now. We don’t know each other that well.”
“That’s a start.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Well, that’s good. I never got to apologize so . . .” He said and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry for everything the past six years. I know I was a pompous arse to everyone.”
“Do you mean it or are you just trying to make me see you as a friend?” Hermione teased him as she raised an eyebrow at him.
“How did you know? I’m just dying to be your friend.” He said with sarcasm.
“Apology accepted. I apologize, too, for everything I said to you and for punching you in the nose during third year. I’ve come to realize I can’t punch you since you’re a lot taller and stronger than me now.” She said and slightly grinned. “I don’t hold any grudge against you.”
“Not a single one?” Draco asked in a low voice.
“What about during the war? Aren’t you mad at me for . . . what happened at the manor?” He quietly asked as he looked outside the tower, watching the stars shine brightly.
Hermione absent-mindedly touched her forearm where she got tortured. She felt a wave of emotions hit her, a mixture of sorrow, anger, disappointment, and most of all—pain. Not just from the torture but her heart was in a lot of pain because of Ron at that time. She inhaled and exhaled deeply as she shook her head. “I buried that memory deep inside of me a long time ago. It’s locked away somewhere far away. I don’t want to remember that . . . particular event.” She said quietly. “But, I don’t blame you. You couldn’t have done anything. You were trying to save your family.” She said and looked down at her arm, still tracing up and down the scar. “Actually, you were a hero that day. You pretended not to know us and that bought us a lot of time.”
“But you still got tortured because of my aun—“
“I don’t blame you.” She said and slightly grinned as she looked back at him. “Just forget about it. I’ve forgotten about it and I think it’s time you do, too.” She told him but watched as he remained silent, staring out into the sky. “Don’t blame yourself. You would’ve died that day if you defied her. I’m glad you didn’t because then, you wouldn’t be here. I would’ve never been able to find out what kind of person you really are and I’m grateful I learned the truth about you.” She said reassuringly.
“Could I . . . see your arm?” Draco asked as he slightly pointed at her arm. Hermione simply nodded and lifted her arm up for him. He lightly coiled his fingers around her small wrist and rolled up her sleeves. He saw a small scar on her arm and slowly traced it. Hermione sucked in her breath quietly as she felt his cold fingers trace along her scar. She had never really shown anyone her scar. Everyone knew she had the scar but she never let anyone touch it. Draco furrowed his eyebrows as he stopped tracing his fingers along her scar and sighed. “It hurts a lot, doesn’t it?”
“It doesn’t anymore.”
“No, I mean, getting hit by the Cruciatus spell . . .”
“Yeah, but how would you know the pain?”
“I got hit by it at least three times a day.” He whispered. “I screwed up so much; I’m surprised Voldermort didn’t kill me.”
Hermione’s jaw dropped as she stared at him. “He hurt you?”
“I don’t like talking about it. It brings back bad memories that I don’t want to remember.” He said as he slowly unrolled her sleeves, gently placing it back beside her sides.
“I understand.” She said quickly and nodded. “I take it back, I do consider you as a friend—not an acquaintance.” She flashed him a small grin.
A smirk crawled onto his lips. “I knew you couldn’t resist.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I have this attraction that makes people want to be friends with me. It was only a matter of time before you got captivated by my sexiness.”
“Oh sure.” She said as she shook her head with a small grin. “You know, it’s quite peaceful up here. When no one’s around . . .”
“How about this? Why don’t we come up here every night and just talk and relax?” She suggested.
“I see you’ve fallen for me already.” He said with a smirk and received a smack on the arm from her. He slightly smirked and nodded. “Sure, it sounds good. It’s a date.”
“Great.” She said with a grin. “Oh, and by the way, I didn’t suggest that because I’ve fallen for you. I did it to merely help you since you’re in love with me.”
“Oh, is that what you think?” Draco asked with a frown. “No, see, you like me.”
“No, other way around.” She corrected him with a smug grin.
“No, you like me. Not the other way around.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Yes, I’m right.”
“No, I’m right.”
And so their little bickering session started up again . . .
. . . . . .
“Well, this is nice.” Ginny said as they walked around the school with their hands intertwined together.
“It is.” Harry said as he flashed his girlfriend a grin. “It’s quite peaceful, isn’t it?”
“I agree.” She stated and they stopped in front of the big Astronomy tower. “Do you want to go up?” She asked with wide eyes. “I love stargazing up there.”
“Anything you want, love.” He said with a sweet grin as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder, walking towards the tower. Ginny grinned as she followed Harry up the stairs to the top of the tower.
“I’m glad we found this secret passageway.” She stated excitedly. After a few minutes of climbing the stairs, Ginny reached the top with Harry behind her. Ginny finished laughing about what Harry said and stepped into the room when she suddenly saw two shadows near the window. She gasped and her eyes widened. “Oh, Harry, I guess this tower is occupied right now.” She said as she turned around to take Harry back when she suddenly realized something. “Wait a second.”
“What is it?” Harry asked as he raised an eyebrow at her, looking quizzically at his girlfriend.
Ginny slowly turned back around and realized who the two were. “Her---“ She stopped herself once she looked over at Harry. She couldn’t let Hermione be caught up her with Draco Malfoy by Harry. “Let’s go back.” She told Harry quickly as she started to push him down the stairs.
“What? Why? Who’s up there?” Harry asked as walked down the stairs.
“No one that we know but they were snogging.” Ginny lied and sighed. “Let’s just go back to the common room, alright?” She asked as they reached the bottom of the stairs. “I need to go to the bathroom so you go head on over there. I’ll meet you there.” She said quickly as she pushed Harry away.
“Uh, all right, Ginny.” Harry said with a confused look but he didn’t bother to argue. He simply sighed and walked off.
Ginny, who pretended to walk towards the bathroom, stopped and poked her head over the wall. She made sure Harry was gone and raced up the stairs. “Hermione!” She yelled as she reached the steps, her chest heaving up and down.
Hermione and Draco stepped out of the dark and stared at Ginny. “It was you . . .?” Hermione whispered and quickly looked alarmed, thinking Harry was there, too. “We’re done with the tower, you can use it now.” She quickly said.
“This isn’t some bathroom, we aren’t taking turns using it.” Ginny said and shook her head. “What are you two doing up here . . .?” She questioned as she raised an eyebrow at Malfoy.
“We were just talking.” Hermione said and stared at Ginny. “Is Harry . . .?”
“No, do you think I’m crazy?! We were going to stay up here but I saw you and quickly chased Harry down the stairs. I sent him back to our common room. I told him I’d be in the bathroom so we need to talk quickly.” She answered and crossed her arms across the chest. “I thought you two would be in the dorm, what happened?” She asked as she waited for an answer.
Draco looked the other way, looking uninterested in the conversation. Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes. “Well, you left and then Zabini left in a hurry to wherever he went . . . and then, Lavender came and complained about Ron and I told her off. I got mad because she kept blaming me for her problems and so, Malfoy told me he’d take me somewhere to take my mind off things and he brought me here.” Hermione told her friend as she nodded. “That’s it.”
“That’s it?” Ginny asked disappointedly, completely disenchanted with the conversation. “Nothing interesting happened?”
“Well, we’re friends now.” Hermione announced with a small grin.
“That’s a start.” Ginny mumbled and frowned. She had hoped Hermione would say something like, they were now dating or they had just kissed each other, but instead they just became friends. “Well, you two have fun, then.” She said and started to stalk off.
“Okay.” Hermione said and pressed her lips into a thin line. “Why did she look so disappointed?” She asked Draco after Ginny left.
“She probably wanted you to say something like . . . you hexed me or we were here because you wanted to push me off this tower, somewhere along those lines, perhaps.” He shrugged and brushed it off.
“Where do you suppose your friend ran off to?” Hermione asked Draco after a while, almost as if she had been considering doing the following things Draco had said to her.
“He probably has a secret girlfriend or something.” He replied and burst out laughing as he shook his head. “No, that’s not possible.” He said, continuing to shake his head. “He doesn’t do girlfriends.”
“We’re Slytherins. We, Slytherins, rarely have ‘girlfriends’, more like a shagging partner.” He said with a smirk.
“Oh, so that’s what you like?” Hermione asked as she raised an eyebrow. “You prefer a shagging partner rather than a girlfriend.”
“Well, yes. It’s a clean break up.”
“You are so inconsiderate. How do you think the girls you toy with feel?” Hermione asked with a glare as she stared at him.
“Those girls are idiots to be attracted by me.”
Hermione made a face at him and shook her head. “I worry that you won’t get married in the future. You said you wanted a big, loving family? Well, let me tell you something. You can’t get a big, loving family if the only relationships you have are just shagging partners.”
“That’s why I’m waiting for a worthy woman to be my girlfriend.”
“I won’t be surprised if you end up single for the rest of your life.”
“Don’t jump into conclusions, Granger.”
“Why not? It’s true. You’ve never had a real girlfriend before, am I right?”
Draco looked out the window as he bent his brows, thinking hard. He shook his head and looked back at Hermione. “You’re correct.”
“And you think you can get a girlfriend when everyone is aware of your reputation?”
“I’ll just have to find the right girl to be my girlfriend. Granger, it’s quite easy. I can get a girlfriend easily.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Why do you doubt my skills?”
“What skills?!” Hermione asked him as she crossed her arms across her chest.
“My romantic, flirting skills.”
“I don’t doubt those skills. I doubt your long relationship skills, but wait! You never had one before.”
“Okay, fine. What about you? Have you ever had a boyfriend before? You seem to know loads about subject.” Draco retorted back as he crossed his arms across his chest, challenging her.
“I’ve actually had a boyfriend before.” She stated with an angry glare.
“Weasley doesn’t count.” He glared at her hard.
“I’m not talking about him.” She said with a smirk.
“Wait, you’re serious?” He asked with complete shock as his eyes widened. “Who?”
“It was Viktor Krum during fourth year.” She said casually and smirked. “It might be surprising to you, but guys actually found me attractive.”
“Oh, really? I never realized.” He said and shook his head. “He broke up with you, didn’t he?”
“No, I broke it up, thank you very much.”
“You dumped Krum?”
“Yes and I’m not telling you why.” She snapped at him and stared at him. “A relationship with someone isn’t some fun game.”
“Oh, yes, thank you for the advice. You’re just so experienced in that department.” He said sarcastically as he frowned at her.
“You’re just mad I had a boyfriend before.”
“No, I’m surprised. I mean, who would date you?” He asked, obviously picking a fight with her.
“What’s wrong with me?” She asked him with a glare.
“I’d rather not tell you. It might hurt your pride, maybe even lower your confidence.” He said with a smirk.
“Thanks for caring, but I think I can handle myself. Tell me.” She said with a death glare. If looks could kill . . . Draco Malfoy would no longer exist in the world.
“Well, for instance, you’re hair is a big mane, but don’t worry. Your hair is very nice now.” He received a dagger from Hermione as she continued to glare at him. “You’re an insufferable know-it-all and you’re way too uptight.”
“UPTIGHT?! I AM NOT UPTIGHT!” She yelled angrily and shut her mouth immediately as she calmed herself down. “I mean, I can be fun. I can be crazy and chill.” She said quickly.
“I don’t think you can.”
“Okay, fine, you know what?! Let’s make a bet.”
“A bet.” She stated and stared at him. “I think you can’t get a girlfriend and you think I can’t be fun or chill. So let’s see who can prove each other wrong. If I can be fun or chill or—or crazy, then I win and if you get a girlfriend, you win.”
“Okay, what does the winner get?”
“The winner gets . . .” Her voice trailed off as she slightly chewed on her bottom lip.
“The winner gets a kiss from the loser. I like that. I like the bet.”
“What?! No, if we make it like that, there’s no difference between the winner and loser.”
“Actually, there is. The winner gets a kiss from the loser.”
“No, that’s absurd! We both don’t want to kiss each other. It’s a punishment for both of us.”
“I thought you said you were going to be crazy or chill or fun. You’re off to a pretty shaky start.”
Before Hermione could do anything, her pride got the best of her. “All right, fine! The winner gets a kiss from the loser.” She said with determination. “The bet ends in two weeks.”
“And you’ll win the bet if I admit that you’re a fun person. It’s a challenge for me to get a girlfriend since there aren’t many girls here. We both have an advantage and a challenge.” He said as he bored his piercing, steel-grey eyes into her sharp, caramel eyes.
“That sounds excellent.” She told him fiercely as she looked at him intently.
“It sounds good to me, too.” He said and stuck out his hand. Hermione reluctantly shook his hand. The bet was on. “This is getting fun—and not because of you. You’re still too uptight.” He said and stared at Hermione. “Well then, friend, let’s get going to our dorm.” He said as he hooked an arm around Hermione’s neck, pulling her close to him in a friendly manner.
“You’re going to lose.”
“Oh, do you want me to kiss you that badly?”
“No, that’s not what I meant.” Hermione said quickly and sighed as she groaned. “Just shut up you prick.” She said as they descended down the stairs.
Hello, there lovelies :) Thank you all so much for all the wonderful support! It makes me very happy. <3 You guys are the best. &&it really encourages me to continue writing and I’m glad that I’m able to share this with all of you. Thank you for all the wonderful feedback on the latest chapters. Haha x] They had their serious moment with each other and that means that they took a giant leap into their friendship. :) Soon, very soon, in exactly two chapters! THE DRAMIONE ACTION YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR WILL HAPPEN! Whoot whoot! Party time ~~ But until then, the story won’t be that fun. Lol But I’ll still appreciate each and every review you all leave me~ :D Thank you and I’ll be sure to update as soon as possible.