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Chapter 9: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
chapter image by sanadamaiko@TDA
AN: Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the kind reviews! Chapter dedicated to devvaitan for an especially nice review!
Draco walked across the hall to Hermione's office, then frowning, he walked back towards his own door. He had to talk to her, it was almost the end of the day. He paced like this for over two mintues until finally striding to Hermione's door and pulling it open quickly. “Granger.” Draco choked out.
“Yes Malfoy?” Hermione turned from her book shelf, her long hair spinning. Hermione looked him over- he looked really disheveled. His usually perfectly styled platimun blonde hair was stuck out in all ways and his clothes looked like he'd slept in them.”
“I'm sorry for yesterday.” Draco replied, staring at her without blinking.
Hermione's eyes flashed “Oh, don't be sorry. I forgot all about it. Now if you don't mind, I'm going out.” Hermione started to walk by him.
Draco grabbed her arm, “With who?” he asked, his eyes turning steely. He turned his body towards her and leant into her.
“Me”. Ginny Weasley popped her head into the room. “Let's go Hermione! Oh Draco, I think Harry wanted to know if you want to go out for a drink!” and with that Ginny grabbed Hermione out of Draco's grasp and dashed down the hallway with her and out the front door of the Ministry.
“Uhm... So what was that all about?” Ginny asked as the two girls apparated to a wizarding club.
“Oh... Well Draco's being very odd lately, first he'll say he wants to be friends, then he'll do something that makes me think he wants to be more than friends, then he's back to saying that we can only be friends.” Hermione said exasperately as they nodded to the club's bouncer, who let them cut the line into the club.
“Mhm... I see. Here, come with me to the loo, we look way too formal to be here. I just learnt this new spell from Madam Malkin the other day when I was in- it takes exact outfits out of my head and makes them!” Ginny gushed as she led Hermione through the dark club and into the ladies washroom. She then pulled her wand out of her pocket and began to perform the spell on Hermione. In an instant Hermione's outfit had transformed into a little black dress with a plunging neckline and her shoes had switched to a pair of small kitten heels. Ginny then changed her outfit into a white sequin dress and cute strappy heels. Ginny then tilted her head and gave Hermione a calulating look. Casting another spell towards Hermione, it sorted Hermione's hair out into a half down, half up hairdo and made her makeup a little more exaggerated. After fixing her own appearance, Ginny led them back out into the club and to the bar.
The bartender immediately came to wait on them “Hey there” he said with a wink “what can I get you two beauts?” Hermione smiled “I'll have a gin and tonic, thanks.”
Ginny then included “I'll have a vodka collins”. After receiving their drinks, the girls made their way through the mounds of people to a table. “So, I was sensing some sexual tension back there... Anything you want to tell me” Ginny asked Hermione with a grin.
“Oh Gin... I don't even know what's going on. It's like one step forward and two steps back with Draco.” Hermione sighed and rested her head on the table.
Ginny put her hand on Hermione's “Don't worry about it, these things work themselves out- he'll figure out his emotions soon enough!”
Hermione smiled at her friend and took a sip of her drink. “You're right, as per usual.”
Ginny grinned “Of course, let's dance!” she grabbed Hermione's hand and drug her out into the throng of people on the dance floor.
“Harry, do we have to go here? I thought you meant a pub or something mate.” Draco complained as he and Harry apparated outside of a very popular club.
Harry chuckled “Don't worry, I'm only looking out for you, trust me you'll want to be here” Harry nodded to the bouncer as he and Draco made their way into the dark club.
The lights were bright and flashing as Draco made his way towards a table with a drink in hand. Sitting down at the table opposite him was Harry. Taking a sip of his whiskey, Draco scanned the dance floor. His eyes eventually landing on a pair of girls only around fifteen feet away. They were quite different- one had long red hair and very pale skin, the other dark curly hair and slightly tanned skin. The brunette was dancing with a guy but the red head was only having what seemed a mild conversation with someone. There was something achingly familiar about these girls, Draco thought to himself. As the brunette turned, Draco inhaled sharply.
Hermione was having the time of her life. She was dancing with a guy she vaugely knew from Hogwarts, Terry Boot. Strangely, she didn't feel uncomfortable at all, even though the dance they were doing was quite provocative and entailed a lot of grinding and hip motions. Hermione was in the moment- and loving it. Suddenly as Terry spun her around even in her slightly blurred vision Hermione saw a flash of blonde hair and immediately knew who it was.
Terry pulled her into his chest and smiled down at her “I've really enjoyed dancing with you, want to go out sometime?”
“Oh Terry, I've had a great time! To be completely honest, I don't know where my feelings are at the moment, it wouldn't be fair on you if I agreed.” Hermione apologized.
Terry only smiled and winked good naturely “Don't worry about, if you ever change your mind, look me up” He then kissed her hand and made his way to the bar.
Hermione turned around and saw Draco staring intently at her. Taking a last gulp of his drink he stood fluidly and made his way towards her. His walk was almost an effortless glide, and Hermione felt her knees start to go weak.
“Dance with me.” Draco commanded as soon as he reached her, a slow song starting to play.
Hermione only nodded as he gracefully took her right hand in his left, and set his other hand on her waist.
“Enjoying yourself with Boot?” Draco spat.
“Yes, he's a dear friend. Are you enjoying yourself Draco?” Hermione replied mildly, looking up at him.
Draco only grunted and pulled Hermione closer to him. “You don't understand what you do to me, you really don't” Draco breathed looking intently into her eyes.
“Show me” She whispered, staring just as much into his eyes. Pushing herself farther into his arms, she then tilted her lips toward his.
Draco moved towards her lips agonizingly slowly. Millimeter by millimeter he came closer, his breath mingling with hers. As his lips came an inch from hers, he whispered “not yet” and pulled back.
Hermione sighed, and turned to walk away. Draco snapped her back towards him, he glared at her “stay” he commanded, she pushed herself a way and Draco added quietly “please Hermione.”
She let his arms wind around her again, but kept her body stiff. “Why are you being like this? Be honest with me for once.”
Draco sighed “It's complicated. I just don't trust myself around you”.
Hermione looked questioningly into his eyes. “I can't understand you.” Hermione then twisted out of Draco's arms and towards the exit. Draco watched her goes, his eyes betraying no emotion.