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The flash of green light flew past his ear as Ron leaped from its path. He responded to his attacker with a flash of varied colors from his trembling wand. The brawny death eater dove from his path, and Ron shortly swore under his breath in frustration. Noticing the cease in fire, he sprinted through the rotting walls of the dilapidated country estate, frantically searching for his comrades.
This had turned into a nasty raid. Ron placed a dirty hand on his nose as he felt a warm liquid trickle down his lips, then lifted his head to the shouts of screams in the distance echoing off the walls.
With the fall of Voldemort, most of his most loyal followers had been tried in court; some were executed, and some were spared. Of the few that were placed back into society, a group of still loyal followers banded together, still acting on their ancient dark ways. They attacked muggleborn wizards, plumaged houses, and left simmering dark marks over vacated premises. The auror department had a partial job of tracking the dark wizards, and taking them out. Earlier this morning, Harry, who had elevated to the department head, received a tip that one of the contingencies of death eaters had set up their main operating quarters in an abandoned farm estate property in surrey. Harry took his best team of aurors with him, which included himself, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Ernie Macmillan, and Dean Thomas.
The team had reached the estate when twilight was beginning to settle over the fields, and they disbanded to search for the convicts. Hermione wanted to check the inside of the premise quickly, for fear of an ambush. Just as the team entered the first hall, a group of five death eaters sprang upon them, firing dozens of unforgivable curses. As dust from the crumbling walls hung in the stale air blinding them, Ron had frantically searched for Hermione, and saw her battling with a bearded death eater. His fellow comrades were all engaged in combat, with various spells shooting like fireworks from their wands. Ron was suddenly jumped upon by another death eater, and quickly settled into a battle of his own. He chased the billowing black cloak through crumbling halls and sinister paintings, throwing various disarming spells into the darkened night. Suddenly, he lost sight of the death eater, and slowed to a halt to catch his breath.
Ron refocused his thoughts on the battle before him. He continued through the halls, crimson blood trickling from his nostrils, in search of his friends.
His heart leaped as he whipped around to face a disheveled Harry.
“Harry! Where are the others?”
Ron saw his chest heaving, revealing that he had just been running, or sprinted to reach him.
“I’m not sure. Ernie and Dean just captured two, and Neville and Luna are winning against the others. But we still have to find their leader, Wallace.”
The two lifted their wands as a crash echoed through the halls. After realizing it was far off, Ron whipped his nose once more and turned back to Harry.
“Where is she, Harry?”
He watched as Harry looked away for a brief moment, and faced him once more.
“She took off after Wallace.”
Ron swore under his breath again, and stared at the blood streaks on his fingertips.
“I told her not to go off alone. Doesn’t she know she could get hurt?”
“It’s Hermione, Ron. You of all people know how stubborn she is.”
“We have to find her. Now.”
Harry and Ron began turned to run down the tattered halls, following the crashes and shattering sounds that randomly exploded past them.
Ron’s mind was racing as they sped through the halls. Hermione was truly the most stubborn person that he had ever known. He would try to protect her from the dangerous and unpredictable raids, and beg her to stay near the others or himself, and not wander off alone: but Hermione would never listen to his pleas. She wanted to be just as a part of the action as the others were.
He considered their relationship to be exclusive, for the most part. They knew each had feelings for one another since the scene during the final battle, and things had just evolved from there. They were seeing each other, even though no formal question had been asked. So, Ron considered Hermione his girlfriend, and therefore felt that he had an obligation to protect her in these heated raid scenes.
The two abruptly turned to face Luna and Neville.
“Where’s Dean and Ernie?” shot Harry through forced intakes of breath.
“They’ve got four tied up outside, and under watch,” answered Luna.
Ron pushed past Harry.
“And Hermione? Is she with them?”
He watched Luna and Neville turn to face one another for a small moment, and then Neville brought his eyes to Ron.
“We don’t know. She went after the leader a while ago, and we haven’t seen her since.”
Ron placed his dirty hands on his sides after softly moaning under his breath.
“Alright everyone,” said Harry, “Wallace is the last one left, since the others are tied up outside. Let’s stay together, and go find them.”
The group of four began to walk with a quickened pace down the corridors once more, peering in empty rooms for a sign of their missing comrade. Ron focused on Luna’s blonde hair swishing side to side as if it was a pendulum as his mind raced.
What if something happened to her? He shuddered at the mere thought.
A resounding crash suddenly echoed from the floorboards underneath them. Without speaking, they fled towards the staircase, and thundered down the creaking stairs. What was waiting for them below was a vivid image from Ron’s most heinous nightmares: Hermione was dueling the head death eater alone.
Sparks of red, blue and green flew throughout the room, and protective spells shot in intensified spheres. Ron watched as Hermione ducked past the deatheater’s various curses, and flung a few of her own in his direction.
Hermione’s face was livid in concentration was she shot another spell.
Her spells narrowly missed the snarling death eater.
Ron, his wand at the ready, began to charge down the stairs in her aid. He turned suddenly when Harry grabbed his arm.
“Ron, she won't want help-“
“I don’t care Harry. She needs help, or else she could get killed.”
He nodded to Harry before he turned towards the duel. With his arm extended, he sped towards Hermione. She turned towards him for an instant, and whipped another
spell at Wallace.
“RON! I don’t need your help! I can do this by myself!” she shouted.
He ducked as a red curse shot past his ear.
“Don’t be so bloody proud Hermione! Let me help you!”
“GET BACK RON! I CAN HANDLE THIS MYSELF!”
“I’VE ALMOST GOT HIM! I CAN DO THIS….ON….MY….OWN!
Ron stood silently as he watched Hermione block the curses that shot towards them.
“Alright Hermione,” he muttered as he began to back away, knowing she couldn’t hear him.
He joined the others silently back on the stairs across the room. Ron lowered his eyes from Harry’s “I told you so” glance and turned back to the battle scene. His innards twisted in knots as the duel commenced, with even more furry than before.
“She has the upper hand, you know,” reminded Luna in her whimsical tone.
Ron grunted as he crossed his arms over his firm chest.
“If she doesn’t advance any further within the next two minutes, we’re intervening,” he spat.
Everyone stared mesmerized in sheer silence as the battle raged on. Luna, however, was right. Hermione was winning; the death eater’s spells began to lessen, and his looked visibly more tired. Hermione seemed to unstoppable, he eyes wild with confidence and rage.
The turn of events changed within a second. Suddenly, the death eater lost all looks of exhaustion, and shot a powerful curse at his enemy. Hermione was instantly thrown to the hard ground, and her wand rolled out of sight. After realizing what had just occurred, she pushed herself up to face the others in terror. Before any of the horrified aurors could react, the death eater threw them an evil smirk, and pointed his wand and a fallen Hermione.
“DORMIO PERPETUS SATIM!”
Hermione fell silently to the floor, her chestnut curls landing in tangles around her still frame.
First, I would like to apologize for not updating my other stories very often this summer. I honestly have never been this busy before. College applications and essays are taking over my life:( I know that being busy is a common excuse, but it's the truth!
So moving on to this story! I came up with this idea while on my recent vacation. While working on my essays, this idea popped right into my head, and I opened up microsoft word and wrote this chapter. This is going to be much more humorous and light hearted compared to my other stories:)
I promise that I will work on Just Decide and Trapped On Titanic's next chapters whenever I have the chance!
Please tell me what you thought.....Review! It only takes a few seconds:)
chapter image by Anna_Black at TDA :)
The miniscule seconds passed in individual increments as Hermione lay dormant on the cobblestone floor. Ron watched in slow motion as Ernie and Dean dove onto the flailing death eater, pinning him to the ground. Through blurred vision, he saw Luna, Harry, and Neville rush to the body crumpled on the ground. Then it hit him full strength.
“Hermione!” he screamed frantically as he raced to her and fell on his knees beside her.
Luna had Hermione’s head in her lap, and Harry and Neville sat in silence.
“No, Hermione. No,” Ron moaned as he squeezed her hand in his.
He whipped to Harry.
“Do you see now? This is why I never wanted to bring her here. It was too dangerous-”
Luna interrupted him.
“Hold onto your thestrals, Ron. Hermione isn’t dead,” she said mystically.
Ron lifted his gaze to Luna’s.
“What do you mean she isn’t dead!? We all just saw it happen.”
“She’s right Ron. I can feel a pulse.” Harry said as he held his fingers over her wrist.
Ron mimicked Harry, and placed his trembling hands on Hermione’s wrist. Suddenly, from beneath the cold skin, he felt the rhythmic beating of her heart.
“She isn’t dead!”
Luna wrinkled her forehead.
“I just said that.”
Ron threw a soft glare at her, and transferred Hermione’s head from her lap to his. To his right, Harry stood.
“The deatheater didn’t use the killing curse.”
Neville followed Harry.
“But it could be much worse.”
Ron moaned once again. But anger suddenly washed over him, and he stood and raced towards Dean and Ernie, who had the death eater in their firm arms. Ron stood in front of the smirking death eater, and glared into his eyes.
“What did you do to her?” he spat.
The death eater’s crooked smile raised an inch.
“What did you do to her!?” Ron spat again.
His smirk lay unfazed on his dirty face as he struggled in the arms of Dean and Ernie. He then narrowed his eyes at Ron.
“Well, isn’t that the fun part?” he croaked maliciously, “Watching her suffer while trying to guess the cure?”
Ron lunged towards him, and thrust his wand in his neck.
“Tell us now!”
The death eater flinched for a second, but his expression never changed.
“You’re just going to have to figure it out on your own,” he whispered, “I’ll die before I’ll reveal my magic to some pathetic auror to save his mudblood girlfriend.”
Ron’s eyes blazed with rage as Dean stunned the death eater into silence as he slowly dropped his wand. Dean and Ernie lowered him to the ground as they cast containment spells around his dark robes. After they finished, Ernie stood.
“Wallace will never speak, even in Azkaban, where I suspect he’ll be for a long time. His entire existence revolves alliance to the memories of Voldemort,” said Ernie.
“He’s right,” Dean said.
Ron rushed back to Hermione, and placed her head back into his lap. He looked to the others who stood around her limp body.
“I think we need to take her to St. Mungo’s, Harry,” stated Luna with her whimsical tone.
“I agree,” said Neville with a curt nod.
Harry turned to Dean and Ernie, who guarded the stunned Death Eater.
“Take him and the others to the holding cells. They’ll have their trial soon.”
“Alright, Harry.” The two disappeared with a crack as they disappeared from the room.
He turned to the others, who surrounded the limp Hermione.
“As for us, we’ll go to St. Mungos. Ron, can you apparate with Hermione?”
Ron nodded a silent yes.
And then, four loud cracks sounded, as the group departed.
There wasn’t much activity at the wizard hospital, mainly because it was late in the night, and a pale moon rested in the darkened sky.
The groups arrived at the entrance, and hustled inside. At the front desk, the secretary adjusted her glasses to the distressed group enter.
“She’s injured, and needs help,” said Harry.
The secretary gave him a frantic nod, and jumped from her seat.
“Right this way, Mr. Potter.”
She rushed out from behind her desk, and gestured for them to follow. As they raced down the hall, the secretary whipped her head around.
“I’ll take you to the private ward.”
They rushed into the elevator at the end of the hall. The secretary swiped her security card, and pushed an oval button near the top. With a slight jerk, the elevator began to slide upwards. After a few minutes, it stopped rising, the large doors opened.
Across from the elevator was a set of French double doors, which she quickly opened. The room was a reasonably good size, lined with three beds on each side. Each was accompanied with a side table, and a small lap. The room was decorated very comfortably, with warm wall paper patterns, and maroon curtains covering the large bay window on the opposite wall.
Ron, Harry, and Neville gently lowered Hermione onto one of the beds on the wall to their right, and Luna sat beside her.
“I’ll go get Chief Healer Mismick.”
They all nodded to her as she fled from the room. As Ron sat beside Hermione, the group took in their surroundings, and glanced around the room.
“What’s a healer going to do Harry?”
Harry turned to Ron.
“Hopefully tell us exactly what’s wrong with her, and what the curse means.”
He was answered with silence.
“Don’t worry Ron, I’m sure she’ll be fine,” Luna assured him.
They all lifted their heads as the doors opened. Chief Healer Mismick stood in the doorway with her team of healers. She was an older woman, maybe in her fifties, and her gray speckled hair was twisted into a bun at the nape of her neck. Her rich navy robes waved across the floor as she made her way towards them.
“Hello Harry,” she said with a smile.
“It’s good to see you Healer Mismick.”
She rushed past him and stood by Hermione’s bed. As she began to examine her, she asked concise questions.
“What happened Mr. Weasley?”
“We were caught in a nasty raid. Hermione was dueling one of the deatheaters, and he hit her with a curse that knocked her out.”
Healer Mismick raised her brow.
“And it wasn’t the killing curse?”
“No, it wasn’t.”
She sighed in confusion as she checked Hermione’s vital signs.
“I can definitely feel a pulse. She’s alive.”
She pulled out her wand.
“Alright Mr. Weasley, Ms. Lovegood, please stand back.’
Ron and Luna lifted themselves from the bed, and stood beside the others. They watched as she began to utter various spells and remedies. For the next few minutes, she seemed to strain herself, attempting everything she knew. Then she stood as turned to a healer on her team.
“Vincent, hand me that vile.”
The younger healer reached into his bag and handed a dark liquid to her. She then plucked the cap, and grabbed Hermione’s jaw as she poured a small amount down her throat. After waiting for another few minutes, she placed a hand on her forehead, and inspected her vital signs once again. After attempting more spells, she sighed as she turned to the others.
“I’ve tried everything that I know.”
Ron stepped forward.
‘You mean, you can’t wake her?” Ron questioned with a bit of despair in his voice.
Healer Mismick lifted her hands.
“This is very dark magic. I’m not familiar with any of these symptoms. It is the most peculiar thing that I’ve ever seen. She’s awake, and visibly breathing, but she isn’t waking up.”
She placed her fingers in her chin as she thought silently to herself.
“Do you remember the name of the curse?”
The four turned to one another, as they attempted to recall the words just before Hermione fell silent.
“Well, I think they first word was dormio,” answered Neville, “right?”
“Yes, it was,” replied Harry.
“There were three words. One was dormio, and I think the other started with a P,” counted Luna on her fingers.”
Healer Mismick nodded as she turned to her team.
“Tabitha, I want you and Vincent to search through the archives and look for a previous case in which a patient would have been struck with a curse that starts with dormio, and is followed by a p word. Jonathan, I want you and Roger to go into the research area, and look through all of the dark magic books and look for anything that has those words in it. Now go.”
The four healers nodded and rushed from the room as Healer Mismick turned to the group.
“I’m going to go help them look for any clues as to what this spell means.”
“Thank you so much,” said Harry.
She smiled and quickly left the room. Ron rushed to Hermione’s side as the others took seats on the beds beside them. The, silence between them was suddenly interrupted as Ginny burst through the doors.
She pushed past them to dive beside Hermione and grab her cold hands.
“What happened to her?” she shot.
“We were in the raid, and Wallace hit her with some strange dark spell. The healers are trying everything they can to wake her,” murmured Harry.
Ginny’s eyes narrowed.
“Wake her? What do you mean?”
“She is, well, asleep I guess. But she won’t wake up.”
“At least she’s still with us.”
She sat beside Harry on the bed across from Hermione, and placed her head on his shoulder.
“What do we do?” asked Ron quietly.
“We wait. All we can do is wait,” answered Harry.
Ron’s eyes began to slowly drift open as he heard the doors swing open, and watch through blurred vision as the healers entered. He noticed that most of the others had dozed off too.
“Oi, wake up. The healers are back.”
Neville and Luna opened their eyes wide in surprise, and Ginny jumped off Harry’s shoulder. They all stood as Healer Mismick halted in front of them, and crossed her fingers across her chest.
“Well, I, along with my team, have been searching resource in our archive, and I believe I have discovered the meaning of the curse that struck Ms. Granger.”
She paused to cough for a brief moment.
“What’s wrong with her?” shot Ron.
Healer Mismick eyed Ron’s worried expression and continued.
“Well, we discovered the first two words in one of our ancient dark magic books. Dormio, the first word in the curse, means sleep. And combined with perpetus, it means, well, eternal sleep.”
Everyone gasped as they threw worried expressions at one another.
“Eternal sleep?! So Hermione’s going to be half dead for the rest of her life, and ours?” Ginny cried turning to Harry, “How could you let this happen?”
“We thought she could handle it,” stated Harry silently.
Ginny moaned as she lowered herself on the bed.
“So I was right!” shouted Ron, “We should have intervened!”
“You tried to Ron, and look what happened.” Harry retorted.
“That’s because she’s so DAMN stubborn! We don’t always have to listen to what HERMIONE WANTS. I mean, I did that for SEVEN years at Hogwarts, and I think that’s a reasonable change.”
“Come on, Ron. You and I both know that Hermione would have MURDERED US if we had helped her. SHE WANTED TO DEFEAT WALLACE ON HER OWN!”
“AND THAT WORKED OUT JUST BLOODY BRILIANTLY, RIGHT HARRY? Now, she’s going to be in a HALF-DEAD for the rest of BLOODY ETERNITY-“
“Will you two just SHUT IT?!” shouted Ginny as she glared through narrowed eyes.
The two were instantly silenced as Healer Mismick stepped forward.
“Please, Harry, Ron, there is one thing I haven’t mentioned yet.”
The two crossed their arms as they awaited the news.
“I do believe that there is a cure, or rather, a way to wake Ms. Granger.”
Everyone’s expression lifted.
“What is it?” asked Luna mystically.
Healer Mismick sighed.
“There was a third word in the curse, correct?”
The group nodded.
“We came across a curse word in the archive, satim.”
“That was the third word!” shouted Neville excitedly.
“It seems that the root of all dark magic comes from the nomadic tribes that inhabited England thousands of years ago, when magic was just a mere art. They had many folklores and legends, and the word “Satim,” refers to one of their tales, called Satim’s Torpor. Within this tale, the goddess Satim, is struck by the wrath of the God Roydem after she refuses his hand. She is doomed to sleep for the rest of all eternity, like Miss Granger. But Roydem still cared for Satim, since was madly in love with her beauty, and set a way to wake her. She could awake from her slumber when the lips of the boy with whom she had first met touched hers once again. But after all of the other gods and mortals touched their lips to hers, no match was met, for Roydem remembered that in his rage over a dispute, he had killed her first, Demrion, even before Satim was cursed. So she never awoke, and they believe that she rests against the starts in the sky while she still sleeps.”
Everyone seemed utterly confused.
“What does this tribal legend have to do with Hermione?” asked Harry.
Healer Mismick lifted her hands.
“The reference to Satim in the curse that struck Ms. Granger, references that legend. It refers to the curse that Roydem set upon her.”
Ginny’s eyes began to widen.
“So that means….that they way to wake up Hermione is…is…”
Healer Mismick sighed as she finished Ginny’s sentence.
“The only way to wake Ms. Granger, is that like the goddess Satim, she has to be kissed by the very first man that kissed her.
Ron’s stomach dropped to the floor.
Well, they have quite a problem on their hands, don't they? Who kissed Hermione first?!
I promise it usually won't take this long to update. I know exactly where this story is headed:D
Please review! It only take a few little seconds! Thanks for reading!
Amazing chapter image by Anna_Black a TDA!
"I could feel it go down,
bittersweet, I could taste in my mouth.
Silver lining the could.
Oh, and I wonder what it's all about."
-The Hardest Part, Coldplay
“What?!” the group shouted in unison.
The mouths of everyone in the dimly lit room lay agape as they gawked at one other in shock. Beside them, Healer Mismick stood silently with her hands folded in front of her navy robes.
“You can’t be serious,” shot Neville beside a still Luna.
Healer Mismick sighed.
“I understand that this is a complication.”
“A very large complication.” murmured Ginny.”
Silence fell over the group once again for a few moments.
“At least there is a possible cure to wake her,” Healer Mismick reminded them, “Many are less fortunate than Miss Granger.”
“Is there anything else you can do?” pleaded Harry as Ginny clutched his arm.
Healer Mismick bowed her head.
“I’m afraid there is nothing I am able to do, Harry. No potion or spell can awake her.”
“And what happens, if we are unable to find the first person that kissed her?” asked Luna in her still whimsical tone.
“Miss Granger will remain in her current state until the lips of the first man that kissed her meet hers once again.”
Ginny released Harry’s firm forearm and lowered herself by Hermione’s limp side, taking her frigid hands between her fingers.
“What should we do Healer Mismick?”
She sighed once more and lifted her hands to speak.
“There is nothing more that I or my team can assist you in. As her closet friends, I believe it is up to you to discover who kissed her first. After all, you do know her best.”
They exchanged glances with one another as a few members of Healer Mismick’s team excused themselves to check on other patients.
“Ms. Granger will be allowed to stay here, in the private ward. I will come and do routine check-ups to make sure she is in a stable condition.”
She was answered with silence once again.
The sudden ringing of the traditional clock on the opposite wall seemed to eject the room from its trance. Healer Mismick narrowed her eyes to survey the time, and turned back to the group.
“It is very late. I suggest that you all leave for the night and get some rest. Miss. Granger will be safe here.”
Harry walked over to Healer Mismick, and shook her hand.
“Thank you so much for everything you and your team has done tonight. We’ll probably stay for a few more minutes.”
“I’ll keep watch of her. Do not worry, Harry.”
Healer Mismick held Harry’s hand comfortingly between her two wrinkled ones, and after a somber smile, turned her billowing clock to Harry as she departed from the room. After watching her figure turn from the entrance, Harry sat on the bed beside Hermione’s. Everyone, including Neville and Luna followed, except Ron.
Ron had remained silent for the remainder of Healer Mismick’s conversation, and stood staring blankly at the foot of Hermione’s bed.
“Say something, Ron,” Harry coaxed him.
He stayed as white as a stark sheet, and made no movements.
“Oh for goodness sake Ron, stop being so bloody dramatic,” snapped Ginny from Hermione’s side.
Ron’s eyes widened.
“Dramatic?! You say I’m being dramatic?! Hermione’s just laying there half-dead!”
“But there’s a way to cure her!” reminded Ginny.
“But that involves her kissing some prince-like git as if we were in some ruddy children’s fairy-tale!” he cried.
Ron huffed as he crossed his arms across his chest, and threw himself on the foot of Hermione’s bed.
“I don’t like this at all. Not one bit,” Ron hissed as he pulled his arms tighter across his chest.
“No one does, Ron. But there’s nothing else we can do,” he stated.
He was answered with silence. The group stared down at their laps as their minds raced.
“Alright, Harry, what do we do now?” asked Ginny with concerned eyes.
Harry ran a hand through his disheveled hair, and brought his eyes to the group.
“We have to find the first person who kissed Hermione.”
“It could be anyone, Harry! A random muggle neighbor when she was little, or cousin who didn’t know any better, or….”
“Calm down Ron,” Harry shot.
Even with the frantic tone in Ron’s voice, everyone knew that what he said was the truth. They did have an endless list of people to consider, and the fact that Hermione wasn’t speaking at the moment, would prove to be a problem.
“Wait a minute,” Harry murmured, as his eyes narrowed.
“What is it Harry?” Luna cooed.
Harry’s face lit instantly up, and he opened his mouth.
“It was Krum! Viktor Krum! It has to be!”
Everyone, with the exception of Ron, seemed to lift in spirits.
“They were partners at the Yule ball!” Neville added excitedly.
“Am I right Ginny? He was her first, er,” he glanced at Ron, “first acquaintance.”
“Well, I know they snogged for sure.”
Ron moaned from the end of the bed, causing Ginny to roll her eyes angrily at her brother once again, and throw her hands in the air.
“Oh come on, Ron. You had to know they kissed.”
He lowered his eyes to the floor, and suddenly became interested with the bedspread.
“I figured they did….I guess.”
Ginny looked at Harry.
“Harry, I know she kissed Krum,” she paused to throw another glare at Ron after he stifled another sound from his throat, “but we don’t know if he was the first man to kiss her. We just can’t be sure. And besides, you know that he recently became engaged to the French Minister’s daughter, and I don’t think he’ll think it’s appropriate to kiss his ex Hermione Granger while planning his wedding.”
Harry seemed dejected, and knew that his wife was indeed right. They could only ask Viktor to come only if they knew for certain that it was him. He lifted his head as he heard healers shuffle by the room. He turned back to see Luna and Neville rising from their seats.
“Harry, I don’t think Neville and I can be of much help. We weren’t as close to Hermione as you were, you see, and don’t have the slightest idea of who she snogged first.”
“We’ll be back to visit tomorrow. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do.”
“Thank you both. You were great tonight. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
Luna and Neville said their goodbyes and gave their hugs, and proceeded to leave the ward hand in hand to head home. The three remaining watched their figures disappear, and returned to their silence.
“We should head home too, Harry,” Ginny murmured to her husband, “We can come back early in the morning,” she rubbed his shoulder, “You need some rest.”
She turned to her brother.
“You too Ron. You need sleep.”
He remained motionless.
“Ron,” Harry stated as he stood and grabbed his friend’s arm, “Ron you should head home.”
“We’ll be back tomorrow, bright and early,” soothed Ginny.”
After they each took one last glance at their fallen friend, the three turned and departed from the dim room.
Sleep was beckoning at Harry’s weighted eyelids as he held the front door open for Ginny to pass through, into the unlit house. He heard the rhythmic creak of her padded footsteps on the wooden stairs slowly fade into the rafters, while he muttered the incantations to lock the house for the night. Before ascending the stairs, he paused, grabbing onto the banister, and sighed.
When he turned the knob to enter the master bedroom, his ears caught the sound of Ginny preparing herself for bed behind the door of the bathroom, and he paced to the closet to do the same.
“Harry, did you lock the doors?” shouted Ginny from behind the pallid door, as Harry threw on his night clothes.
“Yeah, I did,” he responded, thrusting his arm through the sleeve of his cotton nightshirt.
After he finished, Harry opened the door, finding Ginny beginning to crawl beneath the crimson duvet comforters. He removed his circular glasses from the bridge of his noise, and buried his lower half into the bed just has Ginny had.
The two sat propped up, backs leaning against the fabric headboard, reminiscing of the days wronged events.
“So it’s not Krum?” Harry stated as he turned his head a fraction to Ginny.
She shrugged her shoulders after a sigh, repositioning her scarlet hair.
“I didn’t say it wasn’t possible, but I just can’t be sure. I mean, we can’t call him all the way to London, away from his fiancé and professional quidditch team unless we are completely confident. And honestly, I just don’t know.”
Harry nodded beside her, commencing another prolonged silence.
“There’s nothing else we can do tonight, Harry. We need sleep,” she said lovingly as she rubbed his shoulder.
Harry returned her soft smile.
“You’re right, Ginny.”
After pecking her on the lips, he threw a hand over to his side table, and dimmed the lamp, sending the room into darkness.
“Goodnight, Ginny. I love you.”
“Love you too, Harry.”
Harry held his wife’s warm hand for a few moments, but was instantly overtaken with a deep sleep.
The truth about Harry was that he slept through almost anything. He was notorious for staying under through the windiest, hailing thunderstorms, the thundering of Ron’s snores, the incessant pecking of a ministry owl against his bay window, and even his wife’s occasional continual reciting of the entire roster of the Chudley Cannons during her occasional sleep talks; all of it.
But that night, Harry discovered something new that penetrated his deep slumber: Ginny jumping out of her sleep, and yelling her lung’s full capacity.
“BLOODY HELL! HARRY WAKE UP! WAKE UP HARRY!”
His eyelids fluttered for a small increment, but refused to open.
“What, Ginny?” he croaked.
“COME ON HARRY! WAKE UP!”
This time Harry’s exhausted narrowed eyes glanced at the clock on the wall, which read 2:12 AM.
“What the…” he muttered under his breath.
The next thing he felt was Ginny’s prized goose down feather pillow colliding with his face.
“WILL YOU GET UP ALREADY!”
Harry rolled over to see Ginny, standing on her knees, with her pillow raised above her head preparing to fire once again.
“Alright! I’m awake, I’m awake,” he muttered groggily as his hand flew to his face to protect himself, “What is it?”
The giddy expression on her face told Harry that she was thrilled about something.
“I really don’t know how I remembered this, Harry I really don’t. It just came back to me in my dream, and I can’t believe I forgot about this!” she shot excitedly.
“And what would that be?”
“I can’t believe I just remembered this now, but I’m thrilled I did! Anyways, during your second year, and my first, while you and Ron were off doing who knows what between classes, Lavender Brown and Pavarti Patil, along with some of the other girls in the common room were sharing all their secrets about kissing. I mean, I’m sure neither of them had kissed before, since they were so gossipy and annoying….”
Harry crossed his elbows as his back pressed against the headboard, and narrowed his eyes.
“You woke me up at 2:15 in the morning to divulge secret frilly girl talk to me from second year?” he commented.
Through the darkness, he saw her eyes playfully narrow as she threatened to reach for the pillow once again.
“Be patient Harry, I’m getting there. Anyways, Hermione and I were there too. We didn’t really say anything, considering we weren’t big fans of theirs. The whole talk stopped because of dinner, I remember. Oh, this is the part, Harry! After dinner, Hermione and I walked back to the common room together. On the way back, Hermione told me that she had never kissed anyone before. And I said that I hadn’t either. She was a bit embarrassed because Pavarti and Lavendar made it seem as if it was normal for every girl that that time to have snogged at least five boys. Don’t you see Harry?!” she shouted excitedly.
Harry narrowed his eyes as he attempted to digest the entire memory that Ginny had just shared.
“Harry, Hermione told me during second year that she hadn’t kissed anyone yet! And she wasn’t with anyone for the rest of second year, or third, until fourth year, during the Triwizard Tournament, when she met…..”
Harry shot up.
He understood know.
“It has to be Krum, Harry! Everything fits!” Ginny shouted again.
Harry grinned in the darkness.
“Ginny, you’re bloody brilliant!” he yelled as he flew across the bed and wrapped his arms around her.
“Thanks, Harry,” she said while smiling.
They hugged and chatted about their excitement for a few moments, each thrilled about Ginny’s discovery.
“So what do we do now?” Ginny asked.
“We’ll tell the others in the morning, and get Krum here. Tomorrow, he’ll kiss her, and Hermione will be back with us!”
“That sounds great,” she responded, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to fall back asleep. I’m too excited!”
Harry and Ginny repositioned themselves underneath the covers; he wrapped his arms around Ginny, and she nuzzled her face into his chest.
“I’ll see you in the morning Harry. Good night again. Love you.”
“Night Ginny. Love you more.”
Silence took over the room once again, as Harry began to drift off back into his deep slumber. Then Ginny’s whisper broke through the stillness.
“I didn’t hit you too hard with the pillow, right? You know how I get when I’m excited.”
Harry smiled to himself.
“I think I’ll recover.”
The next morning at St. Mungo’s, Ginny and Harry could barely contain their fervid excitement about their epiphany the previous night. After retelling it to Ron, Luna, and Neville, each had the same look of chagrin on their faces that resembled Harry’s the first time he heard Ginny’s tale.
“And this relates because…” Ron shot as he attempted to sort it out.
Ginny gave a sigh of frustration as she crossed her arms against her chest.
“It relates, you tosspot, because that means Hermione didn’t kiss anyone before second year. And she wasn’t with anyone during third year, or fourth, until Viktor Krum. It has to be him!”
Ron seemed a bit relieved but showed signs of agitation that he would have to witness Krum snog Hermione.
“That’s mighty brilliant thinking, Ginny!” exclaimed Neville.
“Thanks Neville,” she said as he embraced her.
Everyone glanced at Hermione, who still lay in her still state.
“So, what’s the plan Harry?” asked Ron.
Harry crossed his arms and held his stubble chin in his fingertips.
“Now that I think about it, I think it would be best if we go talk to him in person. After all, that would be a very strange request from an owl, not to mention he’s probably busy.”
He turned to Luna.
“Luna, can you owl my secretary, and tell her to send a message to Krum? I want him to know that we’re coming.”
“Of course, Harry,” she chirped.
“I’ll go with her,” followed Neville, as the two disapparated with a crack.
Ginny stepped forward.
“I’ve interviewed the Bulgarian National team for my section of the daily prophet a few times, Harry. They’ll probably be practicing right now.”
“So, you’ll take us to the stadium?”
“Yes.” She turned to Ron, “Are you coming with us?”
He looked up from his position on Hermione’s bed.
“As much as I would love to reunite with the Bulgarian bonbon, I think I’ll stay here with Hermione,” he shot sarcastically.
Ginny rolled her eyes.
“Fine then. We’ll see you later.”
“Bye Ron,” said Harry as Ginny grabbed his forearm, and snapped from the room with a crack.
Ginny and Harry landed in the Bulgarian national stadium with a thud. Ginny straightened out her shirt, and Harry began to survey their surroundings.
The had landed in one of the private boxes that lined the chrome stadium, which was covered in crimson banners, autographed posters, and was filled with exquisite furniture.
“Ginny, we can’t just land in a private box!”
She shot him a smug look.
“Harry, relax. I’m a reporter, and have clearance. The players come here after games to get interviewed.”
“Oh,” he muttered.
They walked over to the massive windows that ran from the ceiling to the maroon carpeted floors, and looked out over the massive stadium. High above the pitch, the players in practice uniforms dove gracefully on their gleaming brooms.
Ginny slid open the glass door, and was followed by Harry onto the balcony. She then held up one of her arms, and began waving at the mass of players.
“It’s a closed practice Ginny!” Harry shot as he grabbed her arm.
“Harry, please. You’re the head of the auror department, and a high ranking ministry official. Not to mention that you saved the world from sheer destruction and chaos. He can make time for you.”
Harry shugged in agreement, and to his surprise, watched as one of the figures broke away from the group, and began to fly toward them
“See? There’s Krum now.”
She was right; Harry could now just make out his muscular profile. He had reached them within a half a minute, and slowly touched his boots down and slid off his custom mahogany broom. Viktor smiled as he extended a hand to Harry.
“Harry Potter,” he drawled in his thick Bulgarian accent, “It ez good to see you vonce again.”
“And you as well,” Harry smiled as he shook his firm grip, “I think the last time was Bill and Fleur’s wedding, right?”
“I think so.”
Viktor turned to Ginny.
“Ah, Ginny Potter. It ez so nice to see you.” He stated as he shook her hand too.
“Hi Viktor, the season’s going well I see?”
“Very vell. So far we have not dropped a single match yet this season, even though it is still early.”
After they finished their greetings, Viktor spoke.
“I just received your owl a few minutes ago. Urgent business I see. How can I help you?”
Harry and Ginny exchanged glances before Harry addressed his question.
“Well, last night, my team of aurors and I were hunting a group of death eaters who have been responsible for the attacks against muggleborns. We got caught in a nasty raid.”
Viktor’s eyes widened.
“Did you catch all of them?”
“As a matter of fact, we did.”
“Oh, that is good. You are unstoppable, Harry.”
“Yes, it was great to catch them, but we had an incident happen.”
Harry paused to steal another glance at Ginny.
“Hermione was hit with a powerful dark curse.”
Viktor’s mouth dropped a little, as he seemed upset over the news of Hermione’s fate. After all, he had been very attached to her for some time, and considered her a friend.
“Vell, is she alright?” he shot.
“She’s alive, Viktor, and we’re very lucky for that. But the curse…put her into an, an….eternal sleep.”
“Eternal sleep?” Viktor answered with a bit of sorrow,” Is there no way to vake her?”
Harry cleared his throat.
“Well Viktor, that’s the reason why we’re here. We need your help with that.”
“Anything, Harry. I’ll do anything to help her.”
After staring into Viktor’s pleading face, he sighed and continued.
“There is a way to wake her, Viktor. She has to be kissed by the very first man who kissed her.”
Viktor’s expression vanished from his face, and his cheeks flushed red, as he suddenly became interested with his broom before glancing at Harry once again.
“And you think that I vas the one to kiss Hermione?”
Ginny stepped forward.
“Yes, we’re pretty sure.”
Viktor sighed deeply.
“My fiancé would not be pleased with me.”
“It’s just one kiss, Viktor. Just one quick kiss. Just come to London with us right now, kiss her, and then you can go right back home,’ Ginny pleaded.
“I will do anything you help you and Hermione.”
“Thank you so much Viktor,” responded Harry, “Can we leave now?”
“Yes, right away,” Viktor said as the three grabbed each other’s arms, and disapparated from the private box.
They landed in front of the private ward, almost colliding with one of the healers, who gave a small yelp when Viktor almost knocked her petite frame onto the floor.
“I am very sorry madame,” Viktor shot as he helped balance the lady on her feet.
For a moment, her eyes narrowed to scold her assailant, but as soon as she met his face, her eyes widened in shock.
“Oh, Mr. Krum! Please forgive me,” she stated with the demeanor of a giddy child on Christmas morning.
“Do not worry Madame, it vas nothing,” he attested.
After another smile she continued on her way through the hall, and beside him, Harry caught Ginny smirking.
When the trio traversed into the private ward, their eyes caught Healer Mismick, Ron, Luna, and Neville all waiting patiently around Hermione. At the sight of Viktor Krum, each stood, filling the room with anticipation.
“Hallo everyone,” he greeted with a smile.
After shaking Neville and Luna’s hands, he reached Healer Mismick.
“I must say, I am impressed you all were able to discover him so quickly,” she said before she shook Krum’s hand, “It is so very nice to meet you Mr. Krum.”
“You too, Healer Mismick,” answered Krum with another grin.
Viktor caught Ron’s eye as he slowly paced over to the group. Ron awkwardly glanced at the floor before hesitantly extending a hand.
“Um, hi Viktor. Thanks for coming,” he half muttered.
Viktor seemed unphased by Ron’s demeanor, and gladly shook his hand.
“Anything to help my friends.”
His eyes soon found Hermione’s limp frame on the bed to his right.
“Oh, Hermione,” he stated with a twinge of despair as he walked over to her bedside, as the others followed.
“So, she is sleeping?”
“Indeed she is. I’ve never seen anything like it my life, I can assure that,” answered Healer Mismick.
Viktor coughed as he turned to the group.
“So, what exactly do I ‘ave to do?”
Healer Mismick wrung her hands.
“All you have to do is kiss her on the lips, Mr. Krum, and the cure will lift.”
“Alright,” he stated, as a small moan escaped Ron’s throat.
After setting down his broom on the other bed beside him, he almost seemed to be preparing himself, but then suddenly stood up.
“All of you ‘ave to promise that what happened ‘ere will remain in this room. If this gets out to the Daily Prophet, and my fiancé find out, she will not be pleased. And that is an understatement.”
Harry stepped forward.
“Nothing leaves this room Krum. These are all my top aurors, and my wife and I trust everyone; nothing will leave this room.”
“Thank you,” he turned to Hermione, “Vell, here it goes.”
They all held their breath as Viktor bent his tall, muscular body over Hermione, and slowly brought his face to her frigid lips. After a brief pause, his collided with Hermione’s. He kept upon hers for a few moments, and slowly stood from his position as everyone fled to Hermione’s side.
Silence fell over the room as everyone circled around Hermione, waiting for her eyelids to flutter open. Through the open window, the rays of sunlight brought a soft breeze that drifted the curtains from their stillness against the wall. As each second passed, each heart sunk a fraction. After a few minutes of utter silence, Hermione had still not opened her eyes.
“What’s going on? Why isn’t she waking up?” cried Ron as he clutched her hand.
Ginny began rubbing Hermione’s fingers, almost as if the friction would bring her to life.
“Hermione, can you hear me?” whispered Harry into her ear, “Hermione, please wake up.”
Viktor stood from the bed.
“Did I do something incorrectly? Should I kiss her again?”
“I don’t think that’s necessary,” snapped Ron under his breath.
Healer Mismick leaned over Hermione, and began to check her vital signs. After examining Hermione for a few minutes, she released a sorrow filled sigh.
“She is still asleep.”
“What?” sounded the cries of the group.
Ginny frantically glanced at Healer Mismick.
“I, I don’t understand. Why isn’t it working?”
Healer Mismick sighed heavily as she folded her arms over her chest.
“I’m afraid it isn’t working, Mrs. Potter, because Mr. Krum wasn’t her first. It appears that someone else kissed Ms. Granger, before Mr. Krum.”
On the opposite side of the bed, Neville almost caught Ron before he fell to the floor.
It's not Viktor Krum! Well, who could it be? *wink, wink*:P
*Just a side note, J.K Rowling said in an interview that Ginny became a quidditch correspondent for the daily prophet. I'm staying with her in this one.
And as for the next chapter, a certain blonde Slytherin finally turns up:D
This may be my last story update before the queue closure next week. For Trapped on Titanic readers, i'm done with the next chapter, and ready to post it! But I don't think it will be updated before everything closes down:( So, I guess this is my Christmas chapter!
I wanted to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas! I love you all so much, and you have helped make this year beyond amazing:D All of your support and reviews motivate me to do what I love most, writing. All of you, Ardeel, Caley, Jakeyboyxxx, fourmusketeers, no1harrypotterfan, Gerrand, Isannah, whataboutregulus, horsebabe, beforethestorm, amunet, couldyoureallynow, rainbowsocks, alex11215, ivyblack, Syltherin, Alonia187, foreverpirate, Empreal Evadine, whisper in the wind, patchorjm, spaz, clarevampress, JamesandLillyxxx, Harmonyblue, lilylover, appreciative reader, kitiju, stace dragoness 101, Mrs, Felton, Ms Radelyn, mikalily, vixen, Sarita Malfoy, Happy, Just some reader, SaritaMalfoy, Weasleygirl03, Rawr123, Jia, ravenclawfreak, dawn, jadeicfire, crystalblue, Emc, Alonia, Ellu just to name a few, are amazing! So if you're traveling or not, be safe!
And a new Trapped on Titanic chapter should start off the new year. *Eekk, i'm graduating next year!! How strange;P*
Thank you all so much again! And have a Merry Christmas and New Year!
As for this one, leave a review! It only takes a few seconds:)
Sorry for the long wait...trimesters are not fun:( Finals again! Here's chapter 4 of The Very First Kiss....
"And I have filled this void with things unreal,
all the while my character it steals."
Roll Away Your Stone, Mumford and Sons
Amazing chapter image by Anna_Black at TDA!
Blaise Zabini twisted his custom, intricately engraved silver watch between his fingers as the tiny second hand scurried through its laps around the gleaming sapphires. Slowly, he lifted his piercing emerald eyes to survey the beams of sun that began to warm his rather sizeable corporate office. Behind his mahogany desk, through the glass windows that reached from the base of the floor to the high ceiling, the gleaming sun painted its morning tapestry across the Thames. As his gold rings began to tap against the morning’s daily prophet, he sighed impatiently under his breath as his secretary stepped through one of the double doors.
“Good morning, Mr. Zabini.”
“Hi Alana,” he grunted, in a weak attempt to hide his frustration.
The thin brunette noticed his demeanor as she placed a stack of files in front of Blaise.
“Please tell me he’s in his office. Or even in this building,” Blaise shot.
Alana coughed as she pulled a string of her wavy hair behind her ear.
“Um…no. He isn’t. But we both know it’s a little early for him,” she said, shaking her head with a small chuckle.
Blaise moaned angrily as he stood from his leather chair.
“I know that. But just this morning, this one little morning, he needed to be here on time. He knows how important this bloody merger is!”
Alana’s eyes followed Blaise as he paced to the sitting area opposite the pair.
“Do you want me to go get him?” Alana asked.
Blaise shook his head.
“No,” he sighed, “I’ll go.”
She handed him his coat.
“Thanks. I’ll be back,” he mumbled as he stepped through the door.
He reached the manor nestled in the emerald pines within a few moments after his apparition. Surveying the exterior, Blaise failed to notice any movement behind the giant glass windows. He shook his head as the gravel drive crunched beneath his Italian loafers before he reached the massive wooden door. After peering through the small opening between the wooden slats, he pounded his fist in four short but assertive knocks. Blaise shifted his weight as he placed his hands in the pockets of his suit, waiting for a reply.
The sound of the unlocking deadbolt clunked from inside the manor, and after a few seconds, the door was opened. Blaise found himself facing the butler of the estate, who warmly smiled.
“Good Morning Mr. Zabini.”
“Hi, Martin. Where is he?” he asked impatiently.
The older man cleared his throat.
“He’s still in bed. A very late night, as always.
At this, Blaise sighed.
“Of course it was.”
Martin ushered Blaise inside as the massive door closed.
“Shall I go wake him for you?”
“Thanks Martin, but I think he deserves a bit of a rude awakening,” Blaise responded with a trademark Sytherin smirk.
Draco Malfoy yawned as he stretched his bare, toned arms over his head. Through the nearby bay window, the morning sun projected beams of light across the enormous master bedroom. After re-positioning the emerald silk sheets upon his chest, Draco threw his arms behind his head, and smiled to himself. He reached his right hand to prod the empty space beside him, realizing that the source of last night’s enjoyment had already departed earlier in the morning. His fingers grasped a wrinkled piece of parchment that had been delicately placed on the pillow beside him, and on it, a scribbled address with a small heart beside the woman’s name.
With the smile still stretched across his face, Draco grinned as he complimented himself on last night, as well as how fantastic his life was playing out at this very moment. He was only twenty two years old, and was already heading one of the largest and most successful investing corporations in the wizarding world. He and his best mate, Blaise Zabini were co-presidents, and together, their dazzling looks and handsome demeanors had secured a powerful place in the lives of all businesses, firms, and daily dealings throughout the world. On top of the wealth, fame, and success, he was one of the most eligible and sought after bachelors throughout the wizarding community. He could, in other words, have any woman he wanted.
Draco dealt with business in his own way. He could make any deal look desirable, and any investment worth looking at with his charm. Of course, things were much different with female clients. It seemed that whenever he was finished dealing business with them, things just always seemed to work out. Blaise wasn’t always pleased with how Draco did his business, but overlooked it, because the deals kept on bringing in more and more money for his company. Quite pleased with himself, Draco stretched one last time, and pulled the covered up further on his chest.
“I’m such a lucky bastard,” he murmured with a smirk.
Before he could react, one of the double doors was thrown open. Standing fuming in the doorway, was none other than Blaise himself.
“What the hell are you still doing in bed?” Blaise shouted as he grabbed a beaded cushion of a nearby couch and launched it at Draco’s head.
Draco deflected it with his arm, just as Blaise threw another pillow at him. In retaliation, Draco tossed his pillow in Blaise’s direction.
“Ok, ok truce! I’m awake,” Draco snapped.
Blaise stood over the bed beside him.
“You didn’t forget about the merger today, did you?”
Draco stretched as he stood from his bed, waving his hand as he tied a robe around his waist.
“Of course not Blaise. I was just on my way.”
Blaise narrowed his gaze humorously.
“Sure you were.”
Draco sarcastically placed his hand across his heart.
“Do you doubt your best mate and business partner? I’m extremely hurt. Really, I am. Just look at me.”
“Oh stop with the dramatics,” Blaise responded.
He paused, surveying the room.
“You have no idea.”
A grimace appeared on Blaise’s face.
“Alright, alright, no details…Will you see her again?”
Blaise shook his head in response.
“One of these days, you need to find a girl that can stay longer than a few nights.”
“You sound like my mother.”
“Well, maybe she’s right.”
Draco walked into his master closet and began to put on his suit, still carrying out his conversation with Blaise.
“Come on. I’m only twenty-two. I’ve barely lived yet.”
Blaise crossed his arms over his chest.
“You know that our mothers were both married at that age. Or at least in a serious relationship.”
Draco smirked as he walked out from the closet, still straightening his collar and his cuff-links.
“Ah, making a statement for Astoria, are we?”
Blaise’s cheeks flushed.
“We’ve been together for a year and a half. I consider that a serious relationship.”
The smirk never left Draco’s face.
“Well, I guess you can.”
Blaise glanced at his timepiece.
“Of course you can. Anything longer than a year is serious. Everyone knows that.”
From behind the door, he heard Draco stifle a laugh.
“Everyone, really. Or did you happen to make that one up on the spot?”
“Come on. You’re one to talk. The longest relationship you’ve had since Hogwarts was that sixth month fling with the Austrailian minister’s niece. And I hardly would consider that a romantic, emotionally invested relationship.”
“Believe me, Blaise. It was very romantic….”
“I said no details, remember?”
He eyed Draco as he emerged from the closet, fully dressed.
“Sorry, forgot. Some things are never meant to be said. Especially for your delicate ears. Alright, I’m ready. Let’s go.”
Draco ushered Blaise from his room as he closed the door behind him. When the pair began to descend the stairs, Martin was waiting for them.
“I see you found Mr. Malfoy, Mr. Zabini.”
Blaise threw a smirk in Draco’s direction.
He waited as Martin handed Draco his coat.
“Good luck with the merger.”
‘Thanks, Martin,” Draco responded.
As he pulled his coat over his shoulders, following Blaise into the morning air, he smiled.
“I don’t think I’m going to need it. I can just feel it.”
Before he turned in place to apparate, Blaise grinned after rolling his eyes.
The office was bustling with fervid activity when the pair reached the top level after an elevator ride. Blaise and Draco warmly greeted their staff as they proceeded down the painting lined hall to their offices.
“Lovely day, isn’t it Blaise,” Draco remarked, as he glanced at the morning sun over the Thames through the windows, “I feel a successful merger coming on.”
Blaise re-tightened his cufflinks as he followed Draco into his office.
“I hope you’re right.”
Draco strode over to his large desk, and threw his black coat on the nearby sofa.
“Am I ever wrong?” Draco replied with a smirk.
Blaise brought his hand to his freshly shaven chin.
“Hmm, let’s see…”
Draco held up a hand as he leaned against the front of his desk.
“Rhetorical question Blaise, rhetorical question.”
Before Blaise could retort, Alana entered through the door.
“Good morning, Mr. Malfoy.”
“Same to you, Alana.”
Blaise rolled his eyes as his secretary blushed at Draco’s crooked smile.
“The firm is going to be here anytime during the next ten minutes. You two should probably head to the conference room.”
“Thanks Alana,” Blaise responded before he turned to Draco, “Are you ready?”
Draco crossed his arms against his toned chest.
“I was born for this, Blaise.”
The two proceeded to follow Alana out of the office. As Draco walked beside Blaise, he chuckled.
“Blaise, stop fidgeting with your suit. You look dashing.”
He watched Blaise throw him a narrow eyed look.
“If I don’t look good and feel good, then I don’t perform well. It’s just the way it is.”
Draco placed a hand on his best mate’s shoulder.
“We’ll be fine. They need this deal more than we do.”
When they reached the conference room, Alana entered before them, and quickly re-appeared, her face reddened with worry.
“The whole firm is already there! Apparently they’ve been waiting for ten minutes!”
Panic pulsed through Blaise’s veins as he turned to Draco.
“We’re only three minutes late. Now we’re already walking in tardy. Dammit,” Blaise spat in a whisper.
Draco fixed his collar and ran a hand through his blond white hair.
“Not to worry Blaise. They need this deal and they know it. Let’s go.”
The two entered the room, and were faced with a dozen executives from the small firm staring directly at them. Blaise stepped beside Draco to give his introductions.
“Gentlemen, Ladies of the Stockwood firm, I would personally like to welcome you all to the corporate offices of Malfoy & Zabini. Sorry for our brief absence. We had a small piece of business to attend you,” he glared at Draco from the corner of his eye, “Thank you so much for coming.”
The CEO, an older gentlemen with broad shoulders and black rimmed spectacles repositioned himself in his chair before greeting the two.
“I’ve looked forward to meeting you both, Mr. Zabini and Mr. Malfoy.”
The conversation stalled for a moment as Blaise and Draco lowered themselves into identical leather chairs beside each other.
“Should we get straight to the business, Mr. Stockwood?” Draco asked as he laced his fingers after placing his elbows on the mahogany table, “After all, you are a very busy man.”
Mr. Stockwood eyed Draco as he leaned back into his chair.
“I happen to be, Mr. Malfoy, despite the smaller size of my company. I take great pride in the success that is a result of our work, coming from a firm that I built myself from the ground up twenty-eight years ago.”
“If I may, Mr. Stockwood, what brings you to us, then?”
Mr. Stockwood coughed into his gold rings before replying.
“Even though my company is extremely successful for its size, it does have its limitations. We don’t have the marketing staff, the funds, or the connections that a company of your size has. I feel, in a way, that we are being held from reaching our true potential.”
“You’re very right, sir,” answered Blaise, “By merging with our company, your firm can double its investments and its cliental. The options are limitless.”
“I’m sure they are.”
To Blaise’s left, Draco brought his hands together.
“Excellent. Mr. Stockwood, you’ve made an intelligent and very wise decision,” Draco announced as he motioned for Alana.
“Our secretary has the contract right here. In just a few minutes, we can make this union official.”
Just as Draco reached for the papers compiling the contract, Mr. Stockwood spoke.
“Not so fast, Mr. Malfoy. I do have my concerns.”
Blaise dropped his bottom jaw a fraction, and to his left, Draco was genuinely taken back, which rarely happened.
“Excuse me, sir?”
Behind his spectacles, his eyes narrowed.
“Mr. Malfoy, your networking of enterprises is no doubt successful. But my main concern is for my company. I created it with my own hands, fed it with my own finances, and spent countless hours building my staff and cliental. This firm is very close to my heart.”
Mr. Stockwood interrupted.
“…and I don’t want to see it be thrown alongside carelessly among other smaller companies to be exploited and forgotten.”
Blaise attempted to join the rebuttal.
“Mr. Stockwood, your concerns are quite valid, but very unlikely. True, we have merged with others in the past, but neither are thrown aside or placed lower on any list, I can assure you.”
Mr. Stockwood contemplated his words for a moment, before leaning forward on the table.
“I’m not a naïve small businessman, “he brought his gaze to Draco, “Your company has a reputation, and I’m sure you know of it. Even though you are very successful, you are too straight forward, somewhat arrogant, even ruthless, I don’t want the name of my company tarnished.”
Draco leaned back into his chair, attempting to formulate a response to Mr. Stockwood’s direct statement. To his right, Blaise placed his jaw into his hand, eyeing his business partner. Before he could respond, a new voice chimed from beside Mr. Stockwood.
“Please forgive my father’s directness. All he means is that despite our success in the global market, our company is a family business, with friendly connections. We are a simple, humble firm, and have no desire to be exploited, no matter the possible rewards.”
Blaise and Draco eyed the woman who had just spoken. She was young, maybe around the same age as them. Her thin frame was covered in a pin-stripe blazer jacket, and her pencil skirt stopped above her knees to reveal tone, slender legs. The woman’s intense blue eyes bore into theirs, which rested above high cheek bones, and champagne colored lips. Her dirty-blond hair was pulled into a tight bun that rested in the nape of her neck.
Draco coughed into his hand before flashing his piercing grey pupils into hers. He straightened himself further in his seat, and put a small smile on his face.
“He is forgiven, Ms…”
Draco waited for her name.
“Celine. Celine Stockwood,” she responded with a small fraction of a grin.
“As I was saying, he is forgiven, Ms. Celine. His concerns are quite valid, but I can assure you all that you, as our highest grossing merger, will be taken care of with expert hands. We don’t take these deals lightly, and only make these unions with those who we trust with all sincerity. As for our reputation, yes, measures must be taken to compete in this global market, but you can’t believe every word you hear about our endeavors. Every action taken is for good measure,” Draco replied, his eyes never leaving Celine’s intense gaze.
“That’s very assuring, don’t you think father?” she proposed as she turned to her father.
Mr. Stockwood cleared his throat.
“It is. But if you don’t mind, I would prefer if we made our final decisions after a private discussion. I’m afraid we can’t stay much longer, but we will make our decision about the merger privately, and send you our answer as soon as possible.”
Mr. Stockwood stood from his seat.
“Thank you for your time.”
“No, thank you sir. We’ll be anticipating your response,” Draco replied, finally breaking his stare with Celine.
Blaise and Draco shook hands with each member as they stood from their seats and exited into the hall. After a few minutes, Mr. Stockwood and Celine remained.
“I apologize for sounding to forward, Mr. Zabini, Mr. Malfoy,” He stated as he firmly grasped each of their hands.
“Your concerns were very valid and respectable sir. This is a big decision for your company as your family. We look forward to the prospect of doing business with you in the future, Mr. Stockwood.”
“Thank you for coming,” replied Draco.
Mr. Stockwood exited the room as he was summoned by one of his board members, leaving Celine along with Alana, Draco and Blaise.
“Your achievements are admirable, Mr. Zabini. I hope to be conducting business with you soon,” she stated after shaking his hand.
“Thank you Ms. Stockwood.”
As she turned to Draco, Blaise watched her out of the corner of his eye as he took the contract from Alana.
Draco put a devilish smirk on his face as Celine approached him, holding out her hand.
“So the rumors are true. You are as handsome as you are ruthless, Mr. Malfoy.”
He chuckled as he grasped her manicured hand.
“Please, call me Draco. And you are as stunning are you are intimidating, Ms. Stockwood.”
“Alright Draco, and I prefer Celine to the formal title that belongs to my mother.”
“A modern woman. Very impressive,” he answered with another smirk.
“I’m sorry about my father. He’s a bit old fashioned.”
He waved his hands.
“He shouldn’t worry for a second. His company will be in good hands.
Celine suddenly rested a delicate hand on his arm and brought her dark lips to his ear.
“Here’s my card. I’m staying at the Meurice Belle, suite 519. Come by at ten, and we can discuss our possible business partnership with further detail.”
Draco smirked as she released his shoulder and brought her eyes back to his.
“I won’t be a second late, and I look forward to our very interesting conversation.”
After one last grin, Celine turned and left the room to join her father. After the room was emptied, Draco glanced at the business card in his hands, with the scribbled hotel name and room number beneath Celine’s full printed name.
Blaise shook his head as he snatched the card from Draco.
“You’re unbelievable, you know that?”
“I’m innocent, Blaise. She came to me.”
Blaise rolled his eyes as he thrust the card back in Draco’s hand.
“Just finish the deal, and make sure you’re actually in this office on time tomorrow.”
Draco smirked as he eyed Blaise.
“Trust me. We’ll have a lot to talk about.”
A brass clock chimed its high pitched melody as the morning sun cast its beams into the hotel suite 519 from the glass windows that faced the city. On the King bed beside the window, Draco Malfoy rubbed his eyes as he surveyed his surroundings. The ornate room was decorated with golden vases and silverware, and various articles of clothing littered the marble floor. Most noticeable was the slender woman asleep beside him, whose blond waves were sprayed like a lion’s mane across her silk pillow.
Draco swore under his breath as he noticed the time. After throwing off the bedspread, he jumped around the suite, snatching his clothes, and quickly throwing them on. On the bed, Celine stirred.
“Are you leaving so soon, Draco?” she muttered through a soft morning voice.
After buttoning the last section of his shirt, he raced to the bed, and planted a soft kiss on her lips.
“I have to go to work. But thanks for the wonderful evening,” he replied with a smirk.
“I’ll talk to my father. Don’t worry about anything,” she answered with a smile.
Draco walked to the entrance and grasped the door handle.
Noticing that she had already fallen back to sleep on the bed, he stepped outside and continued down the hall. After an impatient elevator ride, and racing through the lobby, he glanced at his silver watch.
“Blaise is going to kill me,” he muttered under his breath as he sped through the doors.
When he reached his building, Draco pushed his way to the elevator, and sped down the hall to Blaise’s office. After pausing to fix his hair and suit in a window nearby, Draco strode through the door. Blaise was alone, leaning over papers at his desk.
“Well, good morning sunshine,” Blaise smirked, “Talk about a walk of shame. So, how’d it go?”
“We had a very interesting conversation.”
“Someone’s a little jealous,” Draco teased as he leaned against one of the glass windows that overlooked the river.
Blaise seemed to ignore the comment as he picked up a stack of papers in his hand.
“As your wise best mate, I would pass judgment, but do you know what this is?”
Draco shook his head as he attempted to read the print in Blaise’s hand.
“It’s the signed contract from the Stockwood firm. They just sent it over a few minutes ago. They agreed to the merger.”
Draco chuckled out loud as he grabbed the papers from Blaise and read over the signatures.
“I can’t believe it. She must have convinced her father to go ahead with the signing.”
His mood elevated even further, Draco walked over to the sitting area and sprawled out on one of the maroon leather couches.
Suddenly, Blaise sat up in his chair.
“Have you read the morning Daily Prophet yet?
Draco scoffed as he placed his hands behind his head.
“And when would I have had time to read the prophet this morning, Blaise? As you noticed, I was a little busy.”
Blaise ignored his remark, and picked up the prophet in his hands.
“You’re not going to believe this, but it’s all over the front page. Everyone’s been talking about this.”
Draco sat up from the couch and leaned against one of the side rests, eyeing Blaise.
“What is it?”
Blaise cleared his throat.
“Apparently Potter led an auror raid against that band of loyalist death eaters who’ve been leading attacks at some country estate last night.”
“There’s nothing special about Potter defeating evil as he usually does,” responded Draco, looking rather bored and uninterested.
Blaise held up a hand.
“Just listen. They captured four of the five, and the leader was left. Apparently he hit Granger with some dark curse.”
Draco sat up straighter in his seat.
“Granger was hit?”
“Yeah. She was knocked unconscious and they took her to St. Mungos, where she is now. They couldn’t wake her for a while, because they didn’t know what hit her. Then, the head healer found out what curse it was. Dormio Perpetus Satim.”
Draco threw up his hands.
“Can you speak English please? I’ve never heard of that curse before in my life.”
“That’s because it’s extremely rare. Anyways, they found out that they curse put her in an eternal sleep.”
Draco’s eyes widened.
“Eternal sleep? Can’t Granger just use her intelligent brains to wake herself up?”
Blaise shook his head.
“She’s in an eternal sleep. And listen to this. The only way to wake Granger is she has to be kissed by the very first man who kissed her. Apparently everyone’s worried, because she’s still asleep. There’s even rumors that Vitkor Krum, you know, she went to the Yule Ball with him fourth year, already tried to kiss her, but it didn’t work. Now personally, I thought it would be Weasley that did it, because he was obviously madly in love with her for all seven years, but I guess it isn’t him.”
“Potter and Weasley want everyone that was in our year to go to the hospital and talk to them, and see if any of us know anything about who kissed her first. This is unbelievable! It’s like some damn child’s fairytale.”
Blaise continued when Draco didn’t say anything in response.
“They want everyone, even Slytherins to go meet with them! Can you believe that? They actually think we would know who kissed Granger first. This is ridiculous.”
On the sofa, Draco turned white. While he continued to read, Blaise failed to notice the profane comment that Draco muttered to himself.
Hmmm.....Apparently Draco has a little secret that even Blaise doesn't know about. I wonder what that could be? :D
Thank you all for your patience! Again, my senior year has been crazy. To the max. I had so much fun writing this chapter. Along the way, I found myself smiling while I wrote:) I hope you all enjoyed it! Oh, and the rating had to be raised to mature, due to Draco Malfoy's lifestyle:)
By the way, does anyone listen to the band Mumford and Sons?? I'm listening to them all the time right now, and even used one of their songs in the quote. Check them out if you're looking for good music:)
Keep your eyes open for new updates for Trapped on Titanic and Just Decide too:)
Please review! It only takes a few little seconds!
Until next time,
Hi everyone! Finally a speedier update...I smiled so much writing this chapter, and I hope you do too :)
"Why won't you answer me? The silence is slowly killing me."
-Misery, Maroon 5
Another amazing image by Anna_Black @ TDA :)
“This is ridiculous.”
Harry rubbed his heavy eyelids with his fingers before glancing over at Ginny, who sat frowning on the starch hospital bed beside a lifeless Hermione.
“What, Ginny?” Harry mumbled as he prodded a snoring Ron.
Ginny rolled her eyes.
“I was saying that this whole situation is ridiculous. For almost a week now, we’ve been questioning everyone from our year, and no one knows a bloody thing about Hermione’s first kiss. Nobody.”
“We have to keep trying.”
Ginny groaned as she fell backwards onto the bed.
“Is Ron still sleeping?”
Harry threw a glance to his left.
“Yeah. He stayed up most of the night though. Neville and Luna left a few hours ago.”
Ginny groaned as her hand flew to her face.
“I can’t think of anything! Anyone or anything! I’ve gone through every single guy that Hermione would have possibly the slightest interest in, and no one knows anything. I know Hermione would have told me about her first kiss.”
“Don’t beat yourself up about it, Ginny. We’re doing everything we can.”
Ron began to stir beside Harry, and stretched as his yawn broke the silence in the room.
“Ginny, you’re so loud. It’s too early.”
“Stuff it Ron,” Ginny shot from her position on the bed, “I’m very stressed at the moment.”
Ron sat up beside Harry.
“Well, so am I,” he retorted.
Ginny left Harry and Ron sprawled on the opposite beds as she reached for the stack of yellowed parchment on the table beside her. Grabbing a quill, she flipped through the pages and marked a tiny check by a number of the names.
“We’ve gone through almost everyone in our year. Some have sent letters, and others have stopped by for a few moments.”
“Who hasn’t responded yet?” asked Ron.
Ginny’s dainty fingertips grasped the corners of the parchment, and quickly turned over each page.
“There’s a few stragglers in each house, no one we really knew. And of course, there’s the Slytherins.”
Ron released a grumble from his throat.
“Some of them have sent an owl, very short, expressing their condolences with no information, but that’s expected.”
“Well they’d better at least give us an answer, after we saved all of their….”
Ron was interrupted by the creaking sounds of the opening doors. The three turned to face the entrance to the private wards, revealing Healer Mismick with a tray of steaming tea.
“Good morning,” she greeted them as she handed each a warm cup.
“How are you, Healer Mismick?” Harry asked before the tea reached his lips.
“I’m alright,” she said almost somberly, after stealing a glance at Hermione.
She walked to Hermione and pressed a hand to her cool forehead, and checked her vital signs.
“She’s still with us,” Healer Mismick turned to face Ginny, Harry and Ron.
“Have you discovered anything at all?”
They lowered her heads.
“…No,” Ginny softly answered.
Healer Mismick sighed as she stood in front of the threesome.
“I wish you all the best of luck, and I know you will find the cure.”
“I almost forgot. There is a young lady from your year at Hogwarts waiting in the lobby for your questions. I’ll send her up.”
They watched Healer Mismick depart through the French doors before beginning their conversation.
“I wonder who it is,” murmured Ginny before yawning.
After a few minutes of lounging, they heard the sound of heals tapping the hardwood from outside the doors. They watched the brass handle turn, leaving Lavender Brown standing in the doorframe.
Harry could have sworn Ron suppressed a moan.
“Hi, Lavender,” Harry greeted her with a bit of surprise as he stood up,” Thanks for coming.”
She smiled, tossing her hair over her shoulder before accepting Harry’s hand.
“It’s nothing at all. My boyfriend is actually a healer, and he told me about the awful thing that happened to poor Hermione. It’s so upsetting.”
Harry caught Ginny rolling her eyes as Lavender moved to Ron.
“Hi, Ron,” she stated with a forced cheery demeanor.
“Thanks for coming, Lavender,” He mumbled as he quickly shook her hand.
They watched as Lavender’s eyes lit up as she approached Ginny.
“Oh, little Ginny Weasley! It’s been way too long.”
Ginny threw Harry an “It hasn’t been long enough grimace” before accepting Lavender’s hug. Harry and Ron stifled laughter with their hands as Lavender pulled Ginny tight to her chest.
“Way too long,” Ginny responded with a forced smile.
Lavender’s eyes caught Hermione’s still figure laying beside them
“Oh, Hermione. She looks downright dreadful.”
“She’s sleeping, Lavender,” Ginny shot.
Lavender’s lips pouted before facing them again.
“You all should make sure to moisturize her face as often as you can. Her pores are looking a little large.”
Sensing the award tension, she continued.
“I’m really sorry, but I don’t know anything about who would’ve kissed Hermione. I was sure it was Viktor Krum that took her lip virginity from her, but I guess that wasn’t right.”
Lavender eyed Ron.
“And you are all positive that it wasn’t him?” She thrust a finger in Ron’s direction, which in turn caused Ron’s cheeks to turn the hue of his hair.
“No, we’re definitely sure about that,” Harry retorted, eyeing a still crimson Ron.
Ginny stepped forward.
“Do you remember anything? Gossip? Rumors? People talking?”
Lavender thoughtfully stared at the ceiling.
“No, which really surprises me. I remember all the juicy gossip from our Hogwarts years. But nothing on Hermione’s first kiss, unfortunately.”
She glanced at her sparkling watch.
“Well, I’ve got to meet my boyfriend in a few minutes, so I should go. But I just wanted to tell you all in person that I don’t know anything.”
Ginny and Ron chose Harry with their eyes to escort her out.
“Thanks for stopping by and telling us, Lavender,” Harry stated as he began to usher her out of the room.
Lavender stopped in the doorway.
“Good luck finding this mystery man,” Lavender grinned before exciting.
After watched her leave, Harry returned to the others, and sunk into the bed beside Hermione, before eyeing Ron.
“Well, that was a bit awkward.”
Ron shook his head.
“That’s the understatement of the day,” He mumbled.
Ginny rolled her eyes directly before she fell back onto the bed. The three sat in silence, listing to the ticking of the grandfather clock, the calls of the healer’s voiced on the floors beneath them, and the rumbling of the muggle automobiles outside the open window.
“You know Ron,” Ginny stated, “This would be a whole lot easier if you had just grown some balls and asked Hermione to the Yule Ball.”
Ron narrowed his eyes on the opposite bed.
“Shut it, Ginny.”
Draco Malfoy eyed Blaise as he flipped through the stack of documents that were strewn over his mahogany desk. The morning sun was streaming brightly through the giant glass windows behind him, projecting vertical stripes on the walls behind Draco.
“Talk about a good week. An impressive Merger, and a raise in stock to dazzle the stockholders.”
“Definitely a good week, Blaise,” Draco responded.
Blaise brought his hands together as he leaned into his leather chair.
“I could almost go on holiday right now. Your villa in south France for the weekend?” Blaise chuckled.
Draco held up his hands.
“As much as I love the girls down there, I promised my mother I’d spend some time with her this weekend.”
“Quite the mummy’s boy, aren’t we?”
Draco narrowed his eyes playfully.
“Don’t give me that, Blaise. You are one just as much as I am.”
Blaise lifted his eyes as his secretary entered his office.
“Hi, Alana,” he greeted her.
“Good morning, Mr. Zabini, Mr. Malfoy.” She smiled, taking a seat beside Draco across from Blaise.
“How does the schedule look today?” Draco asked.
Alana tucked a strip of her chestnut hair behind her ear, and began to recite from her pad.
“Not a very busy day. You both have a quick meeting at 1:00, and after that, the day is open to what you prefer.”
“Wonderful,” Blaise stated as he pulled his hands behind his head,” The perfect day.”
Alana smiled at her bosses before standing from her seat.
“I’m off to file your papers. I’ll be back soon.”
Just as she was about to leave, she turned, pausing before the two of them.
“This isn’t exactly on the schedule, but there’s been a lot of talk concerning Hermione Granger’s well being. Harry Potter and the aurors from his department are asking wizards and witches from their year to stop and give any information, or lack of, that they know. You were both in their year at Hogwarts, right?”
Blaise gave a short grunt.
“Yes, we were.”
Draco went rigid, twisting his rings in his lap. For the last week, he had pushed that particular subject out of his mind, but Alana’s point dredged up his repressed thoughts.
“Are you going to talk to Potter, Draco?” Blaise questioned.
Draco didn’t hear Blaise as his mind raced.
“Sorry…um…I don’t know yet.”
Blaise cocked his eyebrow in a questioning look.
“I was just thinking about sending them a nice, Malfoy & Zabini fruit basket, or floral arrangement. I don’t have time to go talk to Potter about Granger’s love life. I mean, why on earth would a Slytherin know who kissed Granger first? We weren’t on speaking terms, let alone exchanging girlish gossip,” Blaise stated.
“Yeah, why would we know anything?,” Draco mumbled.
“Alright, I’ll have one send right away.”
“Thanks Alana,” Blaise stated before her figure departed through the door.
Blaise turned to Draco.
“Are you feeling alright?”
Draco cleared his throat as he shook his head.
“Sorry. I’m fine. I just didn’t sleep well last night.”
Blaise stood from his seat.
“How about lunch?”
“Actually, my friend, I’m having lunch with my mother.’
Blaise narrowed his brow.
“Ditching you best mate for your mother? What a shame.”
Draco sarcastically brought a hand to his heart.
“It kills me Blaise, to choose her over you. But really, it’s me, not you.”
“Tell her I said hello. I should finish this anyway.”
Draco saluted Blaise before grabbing his coat.
“I’m off then. See you later.”
“Have fun,” Blaise shouted as Draco exited through the door.
Draco’s stomach lurched as he landed on the gravel drive in front of his mother’s manor, or rather, his childhood home. As he made his way to the front door, he noticed the wide array of flowers and bushes that scattered the landscape. His mother had truly tried to lighten the mood of the place a bit.
He visited his mother on a regular basis, like any loving, affectionate son would do. Once a week he would meet her for lunch, and some weekends he would stay overnight to keep her company. His father had died a few years after the war, leaving his widow alone in the massive country estate. Draco had watched his father slowly deteriorate while Voldemort strengthened his reign during the war, placing the head quarters within the walls of his own home, imprisoning his family. The aura of arrogance surrounding Lucius Malfoy during Draco’s childhood had vanished, leaving only a ghost of what his father had been. His gleaming blonde locks had lost their gleam, leaving a stringy mane and a receding hairline; seemingly permanent black shadows took hold under his lifeless eyes, and his once muscular frame began to thin. The disgrace he felt from disappointing Voldemort destroyed him, and in the end, ultimately led to his death. Lucius was overcome with a sickness two years after the Dark Lord had fallen dead, and the healers described to Draco and his mother “A man who had lost his will to live.” He took his final breath a day later.
Draco was neither upset nor thrilled with his father’s death. There were pleasant moments he shared as a boy with him, but he mostly saw his father as a cold, leading figure of his household. Most of his grief was for his mother, who was left alone without a husband. But Narcissa shared most of the same emotions as her son, feeling almost liberated from the man who had such a tight grip over his family. His mother remained in his manor, and Draco eventually earned enough to purchase an estate for himself.
These thoughts ran through Draco’s mind as he reached the front door. Before he could lift his knuckles to knock, a figure appeared through the opening door.
“Good morning, Mr. Malfoy,” greeted the smiling housekeeper in the doorway.
“Hi, Nina,” Draco greeted the older woman as he stepped through. He rather liked the gentle woman his mother had chosen to run her estate after his father’s death. Narcissa no longer wished for house elves, and with the passing Magical Creature Emancipation Act, her feelings were solidified by law. Nina was a squib, the only non-magic child born to pure-blood parents. Narcissa was more than pleased when she offered herself as the primary housekeeper, and secretly enjoyed the company of another human inside the empty rooms of the manor.
“Your mother is waiting on the veranda.”
Draco followed his mother’s housekeeper through the winding halls, the elegant sitting rooms, and the four dining areas until they reached two French doors which led onto the veranda. Draco allowed Nina to open the doors for him, and he stepped out into the soft summer breezes that twisted through the sprawling gardens below. His mother was waiting for him, sitting elegantly in one of the chairs seated by a freshly set table. She wore an emerald beaded dress, which covered her arms, and matched the shade of her eyes. Her platinum blonde hair cascaded in waves down her back and covered the sides of her chest. When she caught sight of him, her crimson lips caved into a warm smile.
“My son finally made room for his mother during his busy week,” Narcissa greeted him as she stood, and made her way over to Draco.
“Hi, mother,” Draco stifled out as she took his cheeks in her polished hands, and kissed his forehead. Draco then wrapped his arms around her.
“I had Nina make your favorite treats today, and they look wonderful.”
He followed her to the table, which was covered in freshly made pastries and steaming tea. Narcissa watched him grab every possible item in his reach.
“How was business this week? I read about the merger with the Stockwood firm.”
Draco quickly swallowed half of his roll.
“It was a great week. The merger was an impressive feat. Blaise almost wet himself when we got the filing papers.”
Narcissa chuckly behind her hand.
“Oh, Blaise. How is he? I met with Mrs. Greengrass the other day, and she told me Astoria and Blaise are inseparable.”
Draco placed his teacup down on the table.
“Blaise is typical Blaise. He’s living life like any twenty-something would. And if you ask me he’s pretty smitten with Astoria. But I think she’s a stuck up cow.”
Narcissa’s eyes widened.
“Draco Malfoy! No she is not! She’s a lovely, respectable girl.”
“She practically followed my every move during fourth year, and cried in the bathroom for hours when I asked Pansy to the Yule Ball instead. I have legitimate reasons for my opinions.”
Narcissa laughed at her son again.
“Blaise told me about Celine. She seems like your type.”
Draco rolled his eyes.
“And when did Blaise tell you this?”
“He may have mentioned it when I stopped by to arrange this lunch meeting the other day. So? Have you contacted her again?”
Draco shook his head.
“Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time with her. But she’s one of those girls you meet once, and then usually don’t talk to again.”
Narcissa seemed genuinely disappointed as she turned to face the gardens.
“When are you going to settle down, Draco?”
Draco leaned back into his chair.
“Mother, I haven’t even reached twenty-five yet. I’ve got plenty of time.”
“I want you to be happy. And this living high, bedding different girls on a daily basis isn’t how you find someone to marry.”
“I am happy mother. I’m in charge of the most powerful corporation in the Wizarding World. A time will come for that.”
Narcissa didn’t respond to her son as she continued to face the swirling hues of the flowers below her, and let the warm breezes twirl the ends of her twisting blonde locks. Draco watched her twist her ancient wedding band on her ring finger, which she still wore.
“Did you hear what happened to the Granger girl?”
Draco felt his insides knot tightly.
She shook her head.
“It’s awful. I can’t imagine what her family and those close to her must be going through.”
Draco had a feeling that his mother was picturing himself in the same position.
“A curse like that is created to cause more than physical pain.”
She brought her eyes to her son.
“I read as well as heard that Harry Potter has requested wizards and witches from their year at Hogwarts to go to St. Mungos and give them any information, or lack of any.”
Draco suddenly became interested with his golden rings, feeling his mother’s stare burning into his cheeks.
“Well?” she firmly asked.
“Well what?” Draco replied.
“Have you gone and talked to Potter?”
Draco cleared his throat.
“Blaise and I were going to send them a fruit basket from our company to show we don’t feel good about the situation.”
Draco’s eyed widened as his mother’s eyes narrowed, and her face suddenly tightened.
“A fruit basket? Draco Abraxas Malfoy, a fruit basket is all you send when they asked something better of you? ”
Draco rolled his eyes.
“How would Blaise and I know who kissed bloody Granger?!”
Narcissa narrowed her brow even further.
“May I remind you, Draco, that without the sacrifices that that boy and Hermione Granger made, neither of us would be sitting here today.”
He suddenly became cold.
“And may I also remind you, that he saved your life.”
Draco lowered his head to the floor.
“You are forever in his debt, Draco, as am I. The least you can do is give him what he asked for, even if it involves telling him you know nothing.”
Draco had no response to this as he brought his eyes to face his mother. Sensing he had no way out, he threw up his hands in frustration.
“Ok, Fine! I’ll go talk to Potter. I’ll set aside my appointments in the morning and go to St. Mungo’s tomorrow.”
Narcissa flashed a small smirk as she shook her head.
“No, you’ll go talk to him right now.”
Draco widened his eyes in bewilderment.
“Yes, right now. I’m finished eating, and my tea’s gone cold anyway. And besides, I need to meet the ladies in the next half-hour. We’re planning an event for later this month.”
“You’re just as stubborn as I am, mother.”
“Well, where do you think you get it from?” Narcissa turned. “Nina, we’re finished here.”
Draco moaned as his mother stood from her seat and motioned for him to follow her into the manor, through the rooms, and to the front door.
When they reached the main foyer, Narcissa crossed her arms over her chest, and smirked triumphantly at her son.
“Go on, you’ve seen enough of me today.”
Draco sighed as he kissed his mother on the cheek and began to turn for the door.
“You know I’d rather be engaged to that prissy Astoria, forced into a loveless, painful, agonizing marriage than do this, right?”
Narcissa continued to grin at her son as she began to elegantly wave a polished hand, watching him exit through the door, and disapparate with a loud crack.
When Harry had gone for a quick lunch break to bring food back to Ginny and Ron, he didn’t expect to come back to the ward and find both livid with ferocious anger. He almost wished he had stayed out for a little longer.
“Can you believe the arrogance of those stuck up, little tosspots?!” Ginny huffed by the window, her arms crossed over her heaving chest.
Ron’s eyes were narrowed angrily as he sat his hands folded on Hermione’s bed.
“The both of them are downright, filthy leeches!” Ron spat in Ginny’s direction.
Harry glanced at his wife and best mate.
“What the bloody hell are you two going on about?!” Harry yelled over their shouts.
Ginny turned on her heels and sped past Harry. He whipped around to see Ginny holding a large, decorated fruit basket, with golden ribbons streaming down the handle, and various assortments of colored fruits hanging over the side.
“What’s so wrong with an innocent assortment of fruit? Those apples look really tasty,” Harry asked, pointing toward a gleaming, scarlet apple.
Ginny’s brow narrowed so severely that Harry could barely make out her pupils.
“What so wrong with this innocent fruit basket Harry, is that it’s from Malfoy and Zabini, or rather, their Company,” Ginny spat with a disgusted tone, “Just look at this.”
Ginny thrust a card into his hand. Its gold coloring matched the ribbon, and on the front was an image of Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, both smirking next to their company emblem. He lifted the cover to see an automated message quilled inside.
From Malfoy & Zabini Enterprises.Sorry.
Harry felt his temperature rise.
“Those weasels! They can’t even take time out of their bloody day to write a decent card.”
“I can’t believe they have the nerve to show-boat their wealth by sending this fruit basket when out friend is stuck in an eternal sleep? Did they forget everything you all did for them? You saved Malfoy’s bloody arse twice!”
Ron shook his head.
“The next time I see that ferret, I’ll pummel him,” Ron spat again.
The three turned a around when a sudden knock rapped at the door. An older healer peered through the opening.
“I hope I’m not interrupting anything, but there’s someone from your year who is here to visit you.”
The three exchanged looks and composed themselves with quick smiles.
“Thank you. You can send them in.”
They anxiously watched the door as the healer disappeared, and the silhouette of a new figure appeared in the entry way.
In an instant the color fled Ron’s face, and Harry’s draw dropped a fraction. To his right, Ginny’s lips suddenly tightened.
“Oh…my…bloody…” Ginny shot as Draco Malfoy stood smirking in the doorway.
“Well, Potter. It looks like we have a date.”
The three eyed Draco Malfoy breathlessly as he glanced around the room, before leading against the door frame. His smirk stayed constant as he surveyed the fuming three in front of him.
“You’ve got some nerve showing up here, Malfoy,” Harry shot.
Draco pretended to be shocked.
“But you asked for everyone in your year to pay you all a visit, so here I am,” he arrogantly stated.
“You and Blaise are nothing by cocky, imbeciles. How dare you send over a lousy fruit basket with a message you couldn’t even take five seconds to write,” Ginny snapped.
Draco brought a hand to his heart.
“Why hello Weaslette. Wait, but you’re Mrs. Potter now, right? Not too friendly today, are we?”
Harry clenched Ginny’s arm before she charged toward Malfoy.
“And the older weasel. Still as dim as a troll. Just as I expected.”
Harry and Ginny both grabbed onto Ron’s arms before he could reach for his wand.
“Shut your dirty trap, Malfoy,” Ron spat with a venomous tone.
Harry stepped forward.
“Alright Malfoy, you’ve given your daily dose of insults. What are you doing here? We asked for people to help us save Hermione, and I guarantee you didn’t come here to do that at all.”
For the first time, Draco saw Hermione. It startled him to see her so still and lifeless, as if her spirit had been drained from her body. Her skin looked frigid and pale, and her chestnut curls had lost their usual spring. He half expected Granger to jump up and defend her friends, but she remained still and silent.
Harry eyed Draco curiously.
“That’s right, you stupid, heartless git. Hermione is in trouble. She was cursed by one of your old kind now she’s stuck in an eternal sleep until we find the bloody person who kissed her first.”
The words of “Your kind” stung for a few moments. But he covered his emotion in front of his nemisis.
“So it wasn’t Krum then? I’m genuinely surprised. It sounds like your little goody-two shoes Granger got around. And I mean really got around and got busy if you didn’t even know about it.”
Ron snarled before lunging at Malfoy. Before he reached him, Harry and Ginny restrained him again.
“You little, rotten ferret! Don’t you dare talk about Hermione like that!”
“But the beauty of this situation is, that Granger can’t defend herself, so I can say whatever the hell I want.”
Draco paused as Ron pushed against Harry and his sister.
“And wait a minute, it wasn’t you who kissed her first, Weasley? That’s a surprise. You know if you had just put one on her before Krum, you lovely people wouldn’t be in this unfortunate situation.”
Harry was enraged, and he had enough. He flew towards Malfoy.
“THAT’S ENOUGH! GET OUT OF HERE, MALFOY!” Harry shouted with a snarl.
“But I just got here. And I just getting started,” he snapped.
Harry was unaffected.
“The ONLY REASON you came here was to ANTAGONIZE us and ENTERTAIN yourself. You DON’T want to HELP US SAVE HERMIONE AT ALL. Your OLD BLOODY DEATHEATER PALS have potentially RUINED her LIFE as well AS OURS. YOU UNGRATEFUL COWARD.
“DON’T YOU DARE CALL ME A COWARD POTTER!” Draco shouted.
“Where DO WE EVEN BEGIN?” Ron shouted, “First, there was your ROTTEN, COWARD OF A FATHER-“
Malfoy lunched toward Ron.
“HOW DARE YOU BRING UP MY FATHER-“
“GET OUT MALFOY!” Ron and Harry bellowed.
Draco’s blood was boiling past his normal anger point. His insides were twisting with malice and anger, and his hands were clenched as his side. He was so overcome with hatred towards the three, that he let slip a comment that he had sworn to himself that he would never say.
“WELL WHAT IF I TOLD YOU I KNOW WHO BLOODY KISSED GRANGER FIRST?!?”
The room, which had just been overcome with piercing shouts and screams, fell silent.
*Gasp!* Draco cracked! And he tried so hard to keep it in...I wonder how Ron, Harry and Ginny will react ;) Thanks for reading! Your wonderful feedback keeps me writing! Haha if you noticed the quote was from the song Misery, by Maroon 5, whenever I hear that song, it just makes me think of this story.
Please Review! It only takes a few tiny little seconds :D
Until next time,
Hello everyone! Here's chapter 6 :) I hope you like it!
another amazing image by Anna Black @ TDA :)
"Everyone has a secret, but can they keep it? Oh no, they can't."
-Secret, Maroon 5
The silence lasted for a few brief moments, before it was quickly broken.
“What?!” Ron, Harry and Ginny shouted.
Draco couldn’t believe he let those words slip from his mouth. He remained mute, lips parted, scolding himself inside for cracking in front the lot of them. Even though it was released due to his utter frustration and contempt towards the three, it was information that he hadn’t planned on sharing.
“You can’t be serious, Malfoy,” Ron spat through tight lips.
Ginny turned to her brother.
“Ron, he isn’t serious. It’s Malfoy,” she threw him a murderous look; “He’s just trying to antagonize us like always.”
Draco, still drowning in disbelief, opened his mouth to retort, but no response followed.
“Alright, I think it’s past your time to leave,” Harry finally announced, and began to motion to the door.
Still remaining silent, Draco lowered his arms from his chest and glanced towards the exit.
Ron seemed to compose himself, and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Harry’s right. Get out, Malfoy,” He spat with a slight smirk.
Draco pursed his lips as his eyes narrowed. After thinking he should just leave, and avoid the discussion, Weasley’s thinking that he has triumphed set him off once again.
“Now wait just a minute,” Draco shot, holding up his hands.
“What now,” Harry sighed, “I thought we made it clear that you were finished.”
Draco didn’t like that comment one bit. He crossed his arms over his firm chest, and began to slowly walk around the room.
“First of all,” he held up a single ringed finger,” None of you have the right to silence me, since I happen to be one of the most powerful men in the wizarding world.”
Ginny stood fuming beside her brother.
“Second, you people are in quite a predicament, aren’t you? Your best friend lays stuck in an eternal sleep over there, and she hasn’t woken up yet. You all know the cure, but can’t seem to find out who kissed her fist. Now, here I come, telling you that I have an idea of who kissed your precious little Granger first, and send me out. True, it’s me, yes, but I’m the only person who has said anything the least bit helpful to you.”
Ron, Ginny and Harry glanced at one another, surprised at Draco’s logical rebuttal.
“But tell me this, Malfoy,” Ginny stated as she narrowed her gaze,” How the hell would you know who kissed Hermione first?”
“A reasonable argument, little Weaslette. Very reasonable. I have my sources.”
“Oh, like what?”
“You’d be surprised,” Draco retorted.
Ron threw up his hands.
“This is ridiculous! Malfoy is the last person on this entire planet that would know anything about Hermione.”
“No, wait a second, if the last person in the world had no idea, and they left, THEN Malfoy would know.”
“Well, if it isn’t another dim-witted retort from the male ginger.”
Ginny threw herself between her brother and Draco once again.
“Will all of you please shut it!”
Ginny huffed under her breath.
“Obviously, Malfoy has no idea who kissed Hermione first. Use your bloody brains. There’s no way he would know. Don’t make me remind you for the millionth time: IT’S MALFOY.”
Harry and Ron seemed to calm for a moment, thinking on Ginny’s statement.
This time Harry stepped forward.
“Alright, Malfoy. We get it. What a funny joke. It’s hilarious. Sorry I’m not laughing though, I’m just not in the mood at the present moment.”
He watched for Draco to interrupt, and continued when no response came.
“You’ve just had your time to relive the past and tease us about Hermione. Now seriously, get out of here.”
Draco was taken aback by the sheer firmness in Harry’s tone. Even after participating in these immature fights during his Hogwarts years, Harry had never intimidated him as much as he did at the current moment. He had matured; he saved the world from certain ruin and chaos, secured a head position at the ministry, and in doing so, had earned the respect of the entire wizarding community.
Even though Draco has attained a greater degree of financial success than Harry, he lacked the reputation, following, and respect that Harry commanded when he entered a room. Harry’s comment had instilled this notion in his mind.
“So, you would kick me out, even if I knew information to save Granger?” Draco prodded, his tone almost dropping to Harry’s.
Harry sighed as he shook his head.
“I would listen to you if you truly wanted to help Hermione, because I would do anything to help her. But you obviously don’t seeing the spectacle you just threw a few minutes ago.”
Draco remained silent for a few moments after Harry’s statement.
“Fair enough, Potter. It’s too bad your arrogance prevents you from listening to someone who may just be better than you.”
Ron narrowed his eyes.
“How dare you even accuse Harry of arrogance, when your own cockiness could drown the entire planet!”
Harry glanced at Ron.
“Ron, don’t give him the attention he wants.”
He turned back to a smirking Draco.
“I’m not going to ask you again. Get out now.”
Draco sensed that his time had expired, and any further jabs would seem stale and forced. He held up his hands in surrender.
“Alright, Potter. I can’t even bear to stand in this room a minute longer.”
Draco bathed in each murderous glance of the three surrounding him before slowly making his way to the door.
“It’s truly unfortunate that your jealousy makes me an unreliable source.”
Draco turned, smiling to himself when he heard Harry silence Ron another time. He took one last look at the lifeless Hermione, and began to exit through the door.
“Wait a minute.”
Draco, startled by the calmness of the female voice that called him, turned to see Ron and Harry staring incredulously at Ginny.
“Yes Mrs. Potter?”
Ginny threw a “just let me talk” glance in the direction of Ron and Harry, and stepped forward.
“So, you seem surprisingly sure that you know some information about Hermione, don’t you? I apologize for my abrasiveness earlier. If you are so confident that you know something, then go on. Spit it out. I’m listening.”
“He doesn’t know anything—“
Ginny cut him off.
“--- we’re all listening. Right Harry? Right Ron?”
The two seemed to visibly swallow an entire hippogriff before giving reluctant nods in Ginny’s direction.
Ginny threw a confident a smile on her face.
“Go on, Malfoy.”
Draco froze. He didn’t want to get this far. The only reason he had stayed as to tease them, not to give any information. His inner pride conflicted with his reputation. The thought of not giving them anything after bragging for ten minutes tasted bitter on his tongue, but he also despised the idea of telling them anything he knew.
“Thanks for the nice intro, but if I did know something, I wouldn’t want to tell you anything now, seeing how you just treated me during our little shouting match, which I won by the way.”
Ron gave an angry sigh.
“See, I told you! He doesn't know a bloody thing! He’s only trying to test our limits. And let me tell you, I’m extremely close to mine.”
Ginny seemed genuinely disappointed before the malice began to show within her eyes again.
“You bastard. You venomous, contemptuous, arrogant bastard. If you don’t remove your arse from my sight, then I’ll make it so you won’t have one to worry about anymore.”
Draco knew that he had pushed himself too far. It was time for his exit, before he blurted anything else dangerous in front of them.
“I’m going. I can’t suffer through this any longer,” he muttered as he turned for a second time to leave the room, before Ron muttered a barely audible comment.
“He’s even worse than his low life of a father…”
Even though he wasn’t aware, Ron has crossed Draco’s invisible line, a line that most he encountered never crossed. Harry had gotten awfully close during his Hogwarts years, but never went too far. His father was a subject that we would not tolerate. His father had already been scorned earlier, but being compared to him was comparable to mixing fire with oil.
Draco turned violently on his heels, his eyes burning with rage.
“Well, Weasley, wouldn’t you faint like a little girl if I told you that I KISSED GRANGER FIRST?!!!??”
The color vanished from Ron’s cheeks, leaving him white as a sheet, as Harry and Ginny’s mouths fell to the floor. Draco’s complexion wasn’t too different from Ron’s.
“….no….whhaaa??....no….no way…that’s…that’s impossible…bloody impossible,” Ron managed to choke out of his pinched lips.
Harry touched his fingertips to his temple.
“What did you just say?”
Dread was pooling in the bottom of Draco’s stomach, as he cursed himself once again for exploding. For the first time today, he didn’t know how to save himself from this.
“…nothing…errr…nothing at all…” He almost whispered in response.
“What do you mean NOTHING? You just announced to the universe that you KISSED HERMIONE,” Ginny frantically shouted.
Draco’s panicked eyes jumped from a shocked Ginny, to a frozen Harry, to an extremely pale Ron.
“Oh come on…that’s ridiculous…That’s not…not…what I meant…OH DAMMIT!” Draco cried in frustration as he turned his back on the three, placing his hands on his sides, and attempted to fix this situation.
“Everyone just calm down,” Harry reasoned,” And Malfoy, explain yourself.”
Draco took a deep breath, before facing them again.
“It was hypothetical. A completely hypothetical statement.”
Ginny stared at him.
“Hypothetical? That you kissed Hermione?”
Draco brought his hand to his face, slowly figuring out his retort.
This just confused them even more.
Draco shook his head as he began to pace the room.
“Let’s just say, hypothetically, that I kissed Granger first,” he began.
Ron looked sick.
“Even if you knew it was me, the leader of all evil Slytherins who kissed your precious Granger, would you allow that? Or would you rather her lie there than even consider that.”
Harry silenced him.
“How is this relevant?!”
“Because what if I did kiss her first? Then what would you do about that?”
Ginny shook her head.
“Give me one good reason why Hermione would have kissed you first. Or even at all. Because honestly, right now, I really can’t.”
“Maybe you didn’t know Hermione as well as you thought, did you?”
“Hermione is my best friend, and I know that she would never have gone near you alone even if she was protected with every charm ever created!”
“Maybe she did, and decided not to tell you!”
Draco was digging himself deeper into a hole. But his frustration prevented him from screening his comments first.
“I thought this was hypothetical?!”
“Maybe it is, or maybe it isn’t? Wouldn’t that bother you?”
Ginny cried out in frustration.
“I’VE HAD IT! Let’s just solve this right now,” Ginny pointed to Hermione, “We’ll figure out if this is hypothetical or not. Go kiss Hermione, Malfoy.”
Draco’s eyes widened. This was the last thing he had expected.
Ginny walked over to Hermione, and thrust a finger in her direction.
“Well if you are so sure of yourself, then do it! Kiss her!”
“…but…but this is…hypothetical…” Draco murmured to himself.
“Just do it, Malfoy!” Harry shouted.
Draco glanced from a smirking Ginny, to an angry Harry, to a still stark white Ron. He took a deep breath, and calmed himself.
Ginny crossed her arms.
“No?! Is someone not telling the truth, and just antagonizing us like I thought?”
Draco threw her a disgusted look.
“No! Because I won’t kiss Granger on demand like some obedient little poodle! I won’t do it!”
Harry stepped in.
“So, did you kiss her at Hogwarts, or not!”
“Maybe I did, Potter!”
Harry didn’t respond at first, and shot him a dark glare.
“I don’t believe you, Malfoy. I never could. I don’t trust you. You are still the same shady git, with the same reputation that you had back at Hogwarts. The war changed most people, but apparently not you. Not one bit. Even if you did in fact kiss Hermione, I still wouldn’t believe you.”
Draco was thoroughly silenced. For some reason, his comments stung deeper than he thought.
“I don’t believe you either. You disgust me, Malfoy,” Ginny stammered. She looked almost close to tears.
For the first time, Ron spoke up.
“Hermione would never have kissed you. She despised you for treating her like garbage, even though she probably deserved the chance to attend a school like Hogwarts more than you ever did.”
Draco narrowed his eyes in anger, but gave no response. These comments were secretly tearing up his insides, and damaging him more than they could ever know.
Through the door behind them, a troubled looking Healer Mismick shuffled through the doors.
“What on earth is going on in here?”
Harry, Ron and Ginny exchanged glances before glaring at Draco.
“You can hear the shouting from the lobby!”
Harry cleared his throat before facing her.
“I’m terribly sorry for the noise. We just had a little disagreement.”
His glare traveled to Draco.
“Our guest was just on his way out.”
Draco narrowed his gaze, after tightening his lips.
“As a matter of fact, I was.”
He shot a poisonous look at Harry before finally exiting through the door. Draco sped across the hall and flung himself into the elevator, before violently jabbing one of the buttons.
After feeling the compartment shutter and begin its descent, he threw his head against the wall and sighed.
Ginny watched Harry pull his pajama top over his head from her position under the crimson duvet cover. She buried her toes into the soft down, and placed her elbows on top of the throw as she lifted her back against the pillow.
“Harry, you sent the owl to my mother about Saturday dinner, right?”
Harry nodded as he crawled into bed beside her.
“Yeah, I sent it when we got home.”
Harry, exhausted from the day’s events, immediately lay down under the covers, and rested his head on his pillow, closing his eyes.
“Can you get the lights, Ginny? Or do you need them on?”
Ginny shook her head softly as she flicked her wand that rested on the table beside her. In an instant, the room fell dark.
Ginny remained sitting up on her side of the bed and Harry opened his eyes on his pillow. He knew that she was worried, and this prevented him from falling asleep.
“What’s the matter?”
Harry watched her chest heave with another sigh before she closed her eyes, tilting her head towards the ceiling.
“I’ve just been thinking, Harry. That’s all.”
Harry turned over to face her.
He saw her give a signature pout in the darkness.
Harry groaned as he hit his head against his pillow.
“That’s not a comforting statement, Ginny.”
Ginny shook her head.
“I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it’s just…it’s just…I don’t understand why he would come all the way over to St. Mungo’s and throw a massive fit if he didn’t know anything.”
Harry sat up straighter on his side.
“What are you saying?”
‘What if he did kiss her first, Harry?”
Nausea spread through Harry in an instant.
“That’s ridiculous, Ginny.”
“It is, isn’t it? But why would he admit to us that he would know anything? Or even that he kissed her? He seemed just as startled as we did when he admitted it.”
Harry shook his head.
“But they hated each other. He despised him, and she hated Malfoy for how he treated her. He called her a mudblood, made fun of her teeth, her hair, and her parents! Why would she even go near him?”
“I can’t explain any of that, Harry. I’m just thinking about what I saw today.”
Harry rested his chin in his hand.
“Hermione was always with us, Ginny. Always. When would she have snuck off with Malfoy alone?”
“Maybe he’s right. Maybe she didn’t tell us.”
“This is…this is insane, Ginny. Hermione would never have kissed Malfoy. Period. That’s a symbol of love, intimacy and affection! She never felt any of that about Malfoy. I know it.”
Ginny stayed silent for a few moments.
“He wouldn’t have even given a hypothetical statement like that Harry, if he couldn’t back it up. We know him to well Harry. He knows something we don’t, and he tried to wield it against us today.”
Harry considered this while she continued.
“And he didn’t kiss Hermione. Harry, if he was only teasing, he would have planted one on her dramatically to get at Ron.”
Harry didn’t respond.
“He may be telling the truth, Harry, whether we like it or not.”
The two fell silent, contemplating Ginny’s new hypothesis. Harry rubbed his eyes as Ginny ran a hand through her hair.
“I don’t understand it at all. I don’t know why she would ever kiss him. It kills me to think that she kissed that greasy ferret just as much as you. But we can’t let this go, Harry. It’s the only lead we have at all.”
“As much as it murders me, you’re right, Ginny.”
They listened to the clock chime from the kitchen downstairs.
“But how to we figure out for sure if he actually did kiss her, Harry?”
Ginny stared at her husband, waiting for a response. She watched him cross and uncross his arms, and sigh under his breath.
After a few minutes he turned to her, his eyes narrowed in thought.
“I think I know how.”
Well there's chapter 6! Haha I know I say this a lot, but I LOVED writing this one. Hmm what is on Harry's mind? ;) Just a little sneek peek! In the next chapter, we may finally discover the mystery behind Hermione's first kiss ;D
Ok, first, I have to thank you all so much for your AMAZING feedback! It's insane! And it makes me smile so big, and open microsoft word up to write for you all :) Seriously, I love you all! Thank you so much!
*Sigh...this chapter should have been up about a week earlier, but it was rejected for a very strange reason which i've never had a problem with before:/ Sorry about the extra wait! I wish all of you could have read this sooner.
I used another Maroon 5 song for the quote, but I love them, and it fits pretty well, doesn't it?;) Also, if you are looking for an amazing read, you have to try Atonement by Ian McEwan. (A movie came out a few years ago) It is the most moving and beautifully written love story i've read in a while. I highly recommend it! And another side note, have I mentioned my obsession with Alex Pettyfer?? I guess i'm going through a phase...he's just so handsome :)
Anyways, thank you all so so so much for supporting this story like you have!
Please review! It only takes a few little seconds! :)
Until chapter 7,
Hello readers! sigh again...this chapter should have been up at least two weeks ago. I'll explain at the end, but I think this chapter is worth the wait;)
"Regrets and mistakes, they are memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?"
-Someone Like You, Adele
Draco felt Blaise’s stare as he entered the presidential office at the highest floor of the Malfoy and Zabini Enterprises building the following morning. Considering that he was a little later than usual, he anticipated a moody Blaise.
He didn’t look at Blaise as he fell into the leather chair across his desk, and crossed his hands in his lap.
“You’re late, Draco.”
Draco rolled his silver eyes as he gave an exaggerated sigh.
“Haven’t you already figured out that I prefer to arrive fashionably late?”
Blaise wasn’t amused.
“I know that. But today you’re almost three hours late. That’s pushing it.”
Draco glanced at the clock.
“Well, it is later than usual, isn’t it?” he muttered with a shrug.
Blaise shook his head.
“We have a very full schedule today, and you already missed a morning briefing.”
“Those aren’t incredibly important.”
Blaise was growing more agitated by the second.
“I’m your best mate, Draco. But I also happen to be your business partner, and I have to hold you accountable.”
“Why were you late?”
Draco let out a legitimate sigh and he sunk a fraction lower in his seat.
“I wasn’t feeling well.”
Blaise rolled his eyes.
“Well that’s original. I heard that one last week.”
Draco ran his fingers through his platinum hair as he gazed out through the windows at the morning sun on the Thames. Blaise followed his gaze, and began to eye Draco curiously. Draco’s sarcasm did seem a bit flat today, now that he mentioned it.
No response came.
Draco whipped his head in Blaise’s direction.
“Sorry,” Draco mumbled under his breath.
“And there’s also the matter of yesterday.”
Draco’s ashen gaze met Blaise’s.
“What about yesterday?”
Blaise brought his fingertips together over the bridge of his nose.
“Well, you never came back to work after you lunch date with your mother.”
Draco ran his fingers over his eyelids.
“We had a long talk.”
Blaise raised an eyebrow.
“One that lasted five hours?? That seems unlikely, even for your mother. And besides, my mother said she went to a function with all of the ladies yesterday and told me she spoke with Narcissa.”
Draco sighed again and tightened his eyelids.
“So, where were you really?”
There was a minute of silence where Draco began to fidget in his chair, and ran his hand over his forehead. Blaise watched his antics through a narrow gaze, and attempted to figure out what was off about his mate.
Suddenly, Draco stood and reached for his coat.
“Look Blaise. You know what this company means to me. Something came up and I don’t need a lecture from you about attendance.”
Blaise’s brow narrowed in confusion as Draco grabbed his briefcase and began to turn towards the door.
“I’m taking a sick day. I’m not feeling well.”
Blaise stood from his seat.
But he had already turned and exited through the glass door.
Draco jabbed the blinking lobby button in the gold elevator after he sped inside. Grateful for its emptiness, he let out an angry groan.
“Damn you, Granger.”
It was her fault anyway. If she hadn’t gone and gotten herself cursed at the bloody raid, then none of this would be happening.
When the doors opened, Draco walked through the threshold out into the bustling lobby.
“Good morning, Mr. Malfoy,” greeted Mr. Kingsworth as he made his way into the elevator.
“Morning,” Draco quickly responded as they passed.
Draco paused as he reached the front entrance. He didn’t know where to go. The last place he wanted to be was sitting alone in his empty manor in the middle of the day. And after what happened at his little appearance at St. Mungo’s yesterday, he couldn’t face his mother.
He was familiar with the chain of high end bars and clubs that his crowd circulated through, but at the moment, he just wanted to be left alone. Draco pressed his mind. After a few moments, he decided on a destination: The Leaky Cauldron. Draco hadn’t been there in years, and figured it would be relatively empty at this time of day. Having decided where he was headed, Draco pushed his way to the entrance.
When Draco stood in front of the Leaky Cauldron, he couldn’t believe how little the décor had changed; it was just as he remembered it on his first trip to Diagon Alley. Even though his father would never step foot inside, he remembered surveying the entrance while his father conducted business with another wizard. On one occasion, his mother had taken him through the pub on his way to have his robes tailored. The same weathered cobblestone covered the exterior, and charcoal black shutters covered the tiny windows. Above the narrow door, a rickety sign displaying the Pub’s name swung swiftly with the breezes. After clearing his throat, he lifted a gloved hand to turn the brass handle.
He stepped inside the dimly lit pub, and removed his ebony leather gloved from his finger tips as he surveyed the space. There were only a few wizards and witches scattered about, with a few men sitting on barstools, and a few others around tables reading the Daily Prophet, or chatting with their company. The place truly hadn’t changed at all.
Draco made his way to the bar, and removed his wool coat as he sat down. He felt a bit out of place in his suit, and sensed multiple gazes in his direction. Most were wearing simpleton clothes, while he wore Italian leather loafers, an imported tailored suit, solid silver cufflinks, and platinum rings on his fingers. Draco noticed the bartender was different than Tom, the owner who had served customers in his younger years. He was an older man, maybe in his fifties, and had a small spec of a smile under his weathered face. When he reached Draco, his eyes widened a fraction.
“Mr. Malfoy? I’m surprised to see you in here. You aren’t a frequent customer.”
Normally, Draco would have snot some snide remark in his direction, but instead gave him a modest answer.
“I’m always one for surprises. I thought I’d change it up today.”
The man nodded.
“What can I get for you, sir?”
Draco brought his fingers to his chin.
“Whatever the standard thing is around here. I’m in the mood for anything.”
“I’ll come up with something.”
Draco watched the man leave before he lowered his eyes and began twisting his serpent ring around his finger.
He knew Blaise was probably furious at the moment, but he couldn’t care less. The last place he ever wanted to be was stuck inside that office. This whole Granger situation was messing with his mind. Draco didn’t feel like himself; he was confused, frustrated, and tormented at the same time.
Draco nodded a short thanks before taking a sip of the concoction in front of him. He winced at the strength of it as he put it down. In all honesty, he wasn’t even in the mood to drink. Draco placed his head in his hands, and let his mind race on its own.
“Draco Malfoy? This is the last place I’d expect to find you.”
Draco turned in the direction of the voice, and realized that his suspicions were correct. Standing beside him was a young, slender woman laced with seductive curves. She had exotic tan skin and jet black waving hair which twisted down her back. A tight crimson dress clung to her svelte frame, and plunged low enough to reveal a small amount of cleavage.
It was Lucia Magdelina, an acquaintance of his who had also on a few occasions shared his bed. They had met at a Benefit Fuction, and seeing her brother was a chairman of an important corporation they had been introduced. They had hooked up a few times, but Draco never had wanted an exclusive relationship with her.
“Well, Lucia, I could say the same thing about you.”
She lowered herself into one of the barstools beside him.
“What brings you here, Draco?” she asked through dark red lips.
He ran a hand through his hair.
“I took a day off today, and decided to try a place I hadn’t been to in a while. This place hasn’t changed a bit.”
“No it hasn’t.”
“And you, Lucia?” He questioned.
She flipped her hair with a free hand.
“I just met a friend here for a few minutes. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and she was in town.”
“How are you these days?” Lucia asked as she crossed her slender legs.
Draco leaned onto his elbows.
“I’ve been great. Business has been good. And yourself?”
He watched Lucia roll her brown eyes.
“My brother is a workaholic. He never stops. Sometimes he can be too intense. But things are going well for us too.”
“What are you doing later today?”
“Nothing at the moment. Anything but work.”
Lucia leaned forward.
“My day is also open,” she said with a smile.
Draco felt her hand on his firm thigh.
“Since we are both free, why don’t we go to my place, or yours, and find some way to entertain ourselves?” she asked with a smirk.
Her touch startled him, seeing that he hadn’t been concentrating on her much anyway. Usually, he would have immediately offered his manor, and she would be his source of enjoyment for the night. But something seemed to be holding him back now. Draco took her hand and lifted it from his leg.
“As much as I enjoy your company, Lucia, I have to decline.”
Her expression dropped.
“What do you mean you have to decline, Draco?”
Draco, sensing her anger tried to shift as far away from her as possible.
“I’m really not feeling well. That’s why I left work early.”
He watched her lips pout in his direction.
“Come on, Draco. We always have a great time.”
“And I’m not denying that. But right now, I’m not up to it.”
This was the first time he could ever remember turning down a beautiful girl like Lucia. She was offering pleasure for the evening, and he was rejecting her advances.
Lucia placed both hands on his arms and leaned inward.
“Oh please, Draco. Remember how much fun we had last time?....”
In an instant, Draco pushed her off, and held his hands up in front of him.
“Please, Lucia. I said no.”
Her expression went from shocked to agitated.
“No?! What the hell is wrong with you, Draco?” she spat in a whisper.
“I told you. I’m not feeling well. No.”
Lucia’s eyes narrowed.
“No one ever turns me down. I’ve never been so insulted in my entire life!”
Draco’s eyes narrowed.
“Maybe this is a good start for you. Now you can find a man who can stay with you longer than night….”
Lucia sprang from her chair, wrapped her polished fingers around Draco’s drink and threw it in his face. In an instant, Draco’s upper half was soaking wet.
“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?!”
Everyone in the pub was staring at him now, as Lucia snatched her purse and glowered at him through narrowed eyebrows.
“You bastard. If you ever think I’ll sleep with you again, then you’re downright wrong.”
Lucia turned quickly on her heels and speed out the door. With a slam, Draco felt the foundation shake a fraction. To his left, the bartender had reached him.
“Are you alright, Mr. Malfoy?”
Draco sighed, angrily brushing at the stain on his chest, and grabbed at his wet hair.
“I really don’t think so.”
The last time Harry Potter had been to Hogwarts, he had been fighting a battle to save the entire world. He didn’t take the train in, since he had been given clearance to apparate on the grounds beside the lake. For a moment he felt the joy that each school year had brought when his feet had landed on the damp ground.
Harry had been met and escorted inside by a new professor who he didn’t recognize. They had a bland but polite conversation, and he was obviously hiding his excitement in meeting the savior of the wizarding world. Harry was led past the Great Hall, down multiple corridors, and even up a few flights of stairs until they reached the entrance to Dumbledore’s old office, which now belonged to Professor McGonagall. He thanked the professor and watched his silhouette disappear as he turned a corner at the end of the hall.
He remembered all of the visits he made to this office over his six years as he pulled McGonagall’s letter from his pocket. In her reply, she had mentioned the password which would take him upward.
“Lemon Buttercups,” he firmly stated.
In front of him, the wall began to slide to allow his access, and he stepped on the twisting staircase that would take up upward. When he reached the entrance, Harry stepped forward to gaze into the office. Little had changed since he stood here a few years ago, and had repaired his broken phoenix wand with the Elder wand. The sorting hat still slept on his shelf, the portraits were scattered over the walls, and the pensive stood dormant to his right. From the back of the office, he heard the shuffling of feet before Professor McGonagall emerged.
“Harry Potter,” she welcomed with a warm smile as she walked toward him with extended arms.
“Good morning, Professor,” he returned with a grin.
She placed her arms on his shoulders, and flashed him a smile.
“It is good to see you. It has been too long.”
“It’s good to see you too, Professor.”
Professor McGonagall gave him another smile before turning to usher him to her desk.
“When I received your owl I was most saddened with the state of Ms. Granger,” she added before opening one of the top draws to pull out Harry’s letter.
“I’ve never heard of this curse before. It is foreign to me,” she told him.
“It’s extremely rare. There are only a few recorded cases in history.”
She gave him a somber smile.
“I’m sure you’ve tried everything, haven’t you.”
“Everything we can think of. But we need answers, answers we don’t have. I figured that this place might be able to give us some.”
Professor McGonagall’s face lit up.
“That reminds me. I requested Sir Gimsley to be present in one of the portraits in my office just like you asked. He should be here any moment.”
“Thank you professor. This may not work, but it’s worth a try.”
She motioned for Harry to follow her to a large painting of a churning river to her right. Just as they arrived, from the left of the frame, a knight riding a horse came into view. He wore golden armor upon his white stallion, and was decorated with various cloth and weapons.
“It is I, Sir Gimsley at your service, Headmistress,” he announced with a bow.
“Thank you for your time, Sir Gimsley,” McGonagall thanked as she brought Harry beside her,” I brought you here today because a former student of mine, Harry Potter, is in need of your services to save his friend.”
Sir Gimsley faced Harry, and bowed once again.
“Harry Potter, I owe my life to you,” he stated, “I am at your command.”
Harry smiled as he faced the knight.
“Don’t mention it.”
One the knight finished his bow, he began to speak.
“How can my services save you friend, Mr. Potter?”
Harry cleared his throat.
“Sir Gimsley, I need you to round up all the portraits and paintings within Hogwarts, and ask them if anyone ever witnessed Hermione Granger being intimate with a boy during our time at Hogwarts. It’s a shot in the dark, I know, but we might as well try.”
The knight nodded.
“She was your best lady friend, am I correct?”
“Yes. I need you to report back here if you discover any information from the others.”
He watched Sir Gimsley mount his horse, and tighten on the reins before saluting.
“Right away, Mr. Potter.”
Harry watched him turn on his heels, and ride out of the peaceful river scene. He soon felt the Professor’s hand upon his shoulder.
“A thoughtful idea. Now we must wait.”
Harry sat across from McGonagall at her desk, and placed his head on one of his hands. He watched the giant brass clock across from him for a while, before shutting his eyelids. He had to face the fact that this probably was going to yield no information, seeing that any situation would have occurred years ago, and some paintings might not even remember that far back. And, if Malfoy did snog her, he wouldn’t have done it with an audience.
Over the next hour, he heard Professor McGonagall nervously shuffle around her office, sending out owls and explaining Harry’s presence to various headmasters on the walls. He almost drifted off again before he heard a voice sounding from the portrait.
“Mr. Potter, are you there?” shouted Sir Gimsley.
“Professor!” Harry called as McGonagall rushed over to the painting.
Harry shot up from his seat, acknowledged Sir Gimsley patiently waiting upon his horse.
“Have you found anything?” Harry asked.
He felt his heart plummet as Sir Gimsley shook his head.
“No one remembers Ms. Granger snogging any boy during your younger years. Some remember her walking alone with either you or Mr. Weasley, but no one else.”
Harry composed himself before facing Sir Gimsley.
“Thank you for trying-“
“But wait!” Sir Gimsley interrupted.
Harry’s eyes widened in surprise.
“There is an old portrait by the name of Marcus Willabee who sits at the end of the main first floor corridor. He says he doesn’t remember ever seeing Ms. Granger being intimate with any boy, but he mentioned a peculiar conversation in which he believes Ms. Granger was involved in during the year where Sirius Black infiltrated Hogwarts. It may be of some interest to you.”
Harry felt his heart shutter at the mention of his late Godfather.
“What else did he say?”
The knight shook his head.
“He isn’t much for talking. Willabee said he would only mention further details to you in person.”
Harry nodded to Mcgonagall.
“I’ll go speak with him.”
He turned to Gimsley.
“Thank you so much for your efforts, Sir Gimsley.”
“It was an honor, sir,” he said with a bow.
Since McGonagall was meeting with an official from the Ministry in a few minutes, Harry went alone to the first floor corridor. After walking down several flights of stairs, and down various hallways, he began walking past the Great Hall, and to the location of Marcus Willabee’s portrait around the corner.
His portrait was a decent sized frame that hung in the middle of one of the cobblestone walls beside a few others. He was a plump older man with shoulder-length white hair, and wore a red hat to cover his bald spot. Willabee seemed to be sitting in a cushioned chair, and was snoring on his arm while he slept.
“Are you Marcus Willabee, sir?” Harry hesitantly asked.
He watched the portrait’s eyes flutter open as he stretched.
“Indeed I am. And to whom am I speaking? You interrupted my nap,” he muttered irritably.
“My name his Harry Potter. And I have a few questions for you.”
Willabee’s eyes widened at his name and he seemed to observe every inch of Harry.
“By God. You are the infamous Harry Potter.”
‘Yes, I am. Can I please ask you some questions?”
Willabee still seemed a bit agitated to be woken from his nap, and repositioned himself in his chair.
“I suppose you may.”
Harry cleared his throat.
“Sir Gimsley told me that you remembered a conversation that you think Hermione Granger was in during the year when Sirius Black came into the school, which was our third year. Isn’t that right?”
Willabee rolled his eyes.
“Gimsley, the old buffoon. I told him it was probably nothing. And my memory of it is very foggy.”
Harry held up his hands.
“That’s fine, sir. Can you please tell me everything you remember?”
He watched Willabee angrily huff before fussing with his hat to re-cover his balding crown.
“Alright. But I make no promises.”
Harry nodded, urging him to go forward. Willabee cleared his throat a few times before continuing.
“I vaguely remember that it was the year in which that murder Sirius Black broke into the school, because you see, I was terrified that I would end up sliced like the fat Lady for months. It was any regular afternoon, and the students were eating their lunch in the Great Hall like always. I was trying to sleep, you see, but the noise is always a nuisance. Those bloody children yell and shout like a pack of howling wolves, and it was impossible to get any sleep around here. I put in a word with the former headmaster to lower the noise level but…”
Harry cleared his throat.
“Do you mind if we stay on topic, Mr. Willabee?”
Willabee halted mid-sentence, visibly annoyed that Harry had interrupted him.
“Do you want to hear this, or not?”
“I do. I’m listening.”
Willabee coughed before continuing.
“Anyway, it was any ordinary day, and I was trying to take my nap like always, when I heard shouting from around the corner. It was quite loud and aggressive, and I recall recognizing Ms. Granger’s voice. She had talked with me on occasion, you see, about various subjects after meals. I had never heard her this angry before. She was yelling something about a hippogriff, you see. It was after a few moments that I realized that she was arguing with a male student. He was shouting just as loud as she was. It was a nightmare. I tried yelling at them to hush up, but of course they couldn’t hear me. I was about to yell again, when suddenly the screaming stopped. I feared something had happened to one of them, but they began to talk after a few moments, but this time they were hushed. Then they left. It was as if nothing had happened.”
Harry sat deep in thought.
“Did you see what the boy looked like?”
Willabee shook his head.
“No I didn’t see him. But I do remember that during the course of their argument, it was mentioned that he was in Slytherin.”
Harry felt his stomach drop. His mind began to race quickly. Willabee didn’t seem to notice.
“That’s all I remember. Is that all? I would like to get back to my nap now.”
Harry shook his head, shaking himself from his thoughts.
“…Sorry. Thank you for your time, Mr. Willabee.”
“Good day,” he mumbled before closing his eyes.
Harry stared at the snoring portrait for a few minutes, before turning on his heels; he walked in a daze, attempting to make it back to McGonagall’s office.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered under his breath.
When Draco arrived back at his manor, he had had given his coat and blazer to Martin, before heading up to his study to dry out by a crackling fire. When he reached the study, he yanked off his tie, and unbuttoned the top of his white oxford shirt, after throwing the silk tie on the ground. He sped over to the warm fire, and leaned over it, shaking out his hair.
“That damn Lucia. Ruined my bloody jacket.”
Draco breathed deeply over the flames, in an attempt to calm himself. He felt he was losing his mind, and this the racing thoughts in his mind were causing his temple to ache. He stood over the fireplace for a few minutes, before turning and lowering himself onto the edge of a cushioned arm chair. Draco sighed deeply as he placed his head in his hands.
It was killing him. The very thought of it. How could he have let this happen? How the hell did it happen in the first place? He had assumed that he would forget it ever happened, and never tell a single soul. The truth was burning inside of him, shredding his insides.
He had kissed Granger first.
Draco had trouble even thinking the full sentence. It was murder, acknowledging the fact. It had been an accident in a rage of emotions. The kiss happened so fast, that he didn’t even realize what he was doing.
It had happened in third year, after he convinced his father to go after that oaf Hagrid’s bloody Hippogriff. Draco had felt her burning eyes upon him in their classes, and across the Hall during meals. She was hurt and furious. Even recalling the memory sent blades through his chest. But before he could stop himself, the memory of the kiss took over his mind…
During one afternoon meal, Draco glanced over to the Gryffindor table, grinning when he saw the three members of the golden trio, each upset, and barely eating their food. They were obviously upset about the recent death sentence of Buckbeak the hippogriff, which was mainly due to his father. Potter looked troubled, twirling his fork, and resting his chin in his hands. Weasley on the other hand, was stuffing a chicken leg into his mouth, but his eyes were still somber. Granger startled him. She didn’t look that upset, but instead, she seemed furious. Her eyes were burning with rage, and she was staring in his direction with a murderous gaze. Granger looked as if she was going to kill someone.
Suddenly, she shot up from her seat, quickly grabbed her belongings, and began to speed out of the Great Hall. Draco anticipated Harry and Ron to follow. Instead, the two glanced in Hermione’s direction, and after recognizing how upset she really was, brought their eyes back to their meal, probably deciding it was best to give her some space.
Draco felt a smirk spread across his cheeks. Granger would be alone, and she was utterly pissed off. She was in a perfect state for him to antagonize her.
“I’ll see you both in charms,” Draco muttered to Crabbe and Goyle before confidently stalking down the aisle and out of the wide entrance to the Great Hall.
Draco saw her storming down the hall. With a devious grin, he followed her with a quick pace. Since he was much taller than her, and had a longer stride, he was gaining on her fast.
“Granger? What’s got your wand in a knot?” He shot as he approached her.
She halted in her tracks, and balled her fists before spinning on Draco.
“Shut it, Malfoy. You don’t want to mess with me today.”
Draco crossed his arms behind his back, and began to circle her.
‘And why not? Are you in a bit of a foul mood?”
He watched her blood boil beneath her skin. She was obviously attempting to restrain herself.
“As a matter of fact, I am, which means you should stay clear of me before I turn you into a warty toad.”
“I’d love to see that.”
Hermione narrowed her brow.
“Stick around, maybe you will.” She threatened.
Draco smirked before shuffling around her once again.
“So tell me, Granger. What is bothering you on this lovely morning?.”
She curled her lip.
“As a matter of fact, you are,” she snapped.
Draco mockingly brought a hand to his face.
“Me? But why?”
“Because it is all your bloody fault, you tosspot! You are the reason why Buckbeak has been sentenced to death!”
“Oh come now, Granger, I was protecting the school from a dangerous animal that stupid oaf brought in.”
Hermione seemed to have snapped.
“Don’t you DARE talk about Hagrid like that!”
“You can’t tell me what I can and cannot SAY!”
Hermione cried out in frustration.
“You had to exaggerate your arm like a little cry baby after YOU charged Buckbeak like a moron! Then your awful, no good of a father lied and said buckbeak WAS DANGEROUS? He is a HARMLESS hippogriff! Now Hagrid is upset and now a harmless, helpless creature has to die because of your pompous ARSE!
Draco narrowed his gaze at Hermione, who was almost panting after her rant.
“Watch you language, mudblood. And watch what you call my father,” he shot with a poisonous tone.
“DON’T CALL ME THAT!” she yelled.
“I CAN CALL YOU WHATEVER I WANT!” He screamed in return.
Hermione shouted in anger.
“Go away Malfoy! LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Draco stepped closer.
“Well, I have some NEWS for you, Granger! This isn’t your BLOODY corridor, and I’ll leave when I WANT to!” he screamed.
“GO AWAY MALFOY!” she shouted even louder as she closed her eyes in frustration,
“I’M GOING TO STAY HERE AS LONG AS I WANT! YOU CAN’T ORDER ME AROUND LIKE YOU DO TO WEASELBEAT!”
He had hit a nerve. Hermione’s cheeks turned red as her eyes burned.
“DON’T YOU DARE INSULT RON!
Draco glowered above her.
“POTTYHEAD ISN’T HERE TO SAVE YOU THIS TIME, ISN’T HE?”
“FOR YOUR INFORMATION, I CAN HANDLE MYSELF! AND STOP INSULTING HARRY AND RON!” she screamed.
Draco towered over her, and snarled into her murderous eyes.
“YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!”
She accepted his challenged with her stare.
“YOU ROTTEN, EVIL SLYTHERIN BRAT!”
“YOU BUSHY HAIRED, FRECKLED, BOOKWORM!”
“YOU POMPOUS, NO-GOOD TROLL!”
“YOU SHOW-OFF, KNOW IT ALL, TEACHER’S PET!”
“SPOILED, DADDY’S BOY!”
“STUPID, MUGGLE-BORN TRASH!”
“ARROGANT, SELFISH, PRAT!’
“RUDE, IMMATURE TOSSPOT!”
Suddenly, Draco grabbed Hermione by the shoulders, and pushed her against the nearby stone wall. Her eyes were wide in fear, but before she could react, Draco threw his lips upon hers.
At first she remained rigid in confusion, but after a few moments, loosed her pursed mouth, and responded to his kiss. Draco’s lips were surprisingly soft for such harsh words, and she shuddered as their lips danced together. His mind was blank; he had no idea what he was doing, why he did it, or why he didn’t stop. For once, Hermione’s mind had stopped analyzing, and thinking about every detail. She went along with him, and she had no idea why.
Just as quickly as it had happened, Draco pushed her off. Hermione grunted at the force of his push.
They stood staring at each other in utter silence. Their eyes were locked in some sort of trance, and each was attempting to understand what had just happened. Hermione head Draco’s chest heaving as his eyes bore into hers, and she felt her heart fluttering under her robes.
After remaining like this for a few minutes, Hermione shook her head as her eyes widened, attempting to shake off her thoughts.
“Well, that was interesting…” she muttered to herself.
Draco remained rigid, as the realization of what he had just done spread through his veins.
“….Interesting,” he mumbled under his breath.
Hermione stared past him at the stone wall opposite her, while bringing a few fingertips to her lips.
“That was my very first kiss,” she said in a hushed whisper.
Her words circulated through his body like ice.
“Me too,” he somewhat responded.
After a few moments like this once again, Hermione suddenly shook her head in an attempt to compose herself.
“You better not tell anyone about this, Malfoy,” she shot.
Draco was startled at the harshness of her tone. He then narrowed his eyes in response.
“You listen, Granger. If anyone finds out about this, things are going to get nasty.”
She wasn’t startled.
“Tell me this, Malfoy. Do you plan on having children?”
Draco’s eyes widened.
“Well then. If you tell anyone about what just happened, don’t count on reproducing in the future.”
He pursed his lips, partially in fear, because she was probably capable of doing that.
“I won’t say anything. Nothing happened. Forget about it.”
Hermione seemed to accept this.
“Me either. Not a word.”
He glanced at her one last time before turning on his heels, and sped back to his dormitory. Hermione watched him disappear for a few moments, before turning and beginning her walk to her own common room. She shook her head, attempting to move on from the previous moment.
Before Draco rounded the corner, he whipped his head one last time in her direction, but Granger was gone…
Draco stared intensely into the fire as the memory faded back into his mind. He sighed as he lowered his head into his hands.
‘What the hell am I going to do now…..”
Yayy! Now we finally know how the first kiss happened:) Thoughts?? Hmm Draco has some very big decisions to make...will he kiss Hermione? or will his Malfoy pride get in the way?
So as for the chapter taking forever to get up, i've been just as frustrated as you are. Like I said earlier, this should have been up at least two weeks ago. As you all know, this wonderful site experienced some problems, which delayed things. And maybe I was being paranoid, but I didn't know if this chapter was safe in the queue or not. At the risk of losing this entire story, I decided to delete the chapter from the queue. The bad news was was I went on vacation the same day, and the queue was still closed for submissions. When it re-opened, I was gone and computerless:( It's probably good that I went on vacation when I did, b/c I was so frustrated for you all. I just wanted you to read it the moment I wrote it, and it's taking much longer than I wanted. So I am very sorry about the long wait:(
Anyways, this should hopefully be up soon! I love all of you, and your support for this story is beyond SPECTACULAR. I'm blown away by your support and feedback!
Please review! It only takes a few, tiny, microscopic seconds:)
Until chapter 8,
"And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know. The weakness I feel I must finally show."
Awake My Soul, Mumford and Sons
Ginny Potter threw herself into a wooden chair, which happened to sit around the Potter’s circular breakfast table. Too sleepy to change into day clothing, Ginny kept her pink chenille robe wrapped around her slender frame. After glancing at the nearby grandfather clock, she brought a polished hand to her mouth to cover a decent sized yawn.
The truth of the matter was that Ginny would have rather stayed in bed for a few more hours. Unfortunately, Harry had given her strict instructions to meet him in the kitchen at 8:00 AM. Ginny was also to contact Ron, Neville, and Luna and tell them to also join the Potter’s for breakfast that morning. After returning at some ungodly hour last night, Harry had told his wife that a meeting about Hermione’s condition was needed right away in the morning. Harry, however, had a quick meeting to attend, and requested for everyone to be waiting for him when he returned.
Ginny really didn’t have a single clue about what this “meeting” would entail. She knew that Harry did visit Hogwarts last evening, in an attempt to find any clues about Hermione’s condition. It was a truly brilliant plant he had conducted in his head; the whole idea of asking the portraits is they had seen anything suspicious over the years. She had been weary of the idea at first, but eventually realized how genius it had been. He must’ve not found anything too drastically thrilling, because he would have told her that night.
She stood up from her seat, and placed a pot of ginger tea on the stove to hand everyone when they eventually arrived; this particular crowd wasn’t keen on timing. Ginny reached for the cupboard above the sink, and pulled out a few patterned mugs, lining them each on the countertop. After a few minutes, Ginny grabbed her favorite lavender mug, and reached for the hot teapot. She swore under her breath when her fingertips touched the boiling side, and immediately reached for a hand towel to grab the handle. To her frustration, the doorbell sounded from the other end of the house.
“Coming! You can let yourself in!” she shouted as she re-positioned the tea pot on the stove, and placed her mug back on the counter. Ginny made sure her robe was pulled tight across her waist as she hurried across the tiled floor of her kitchen and across the wooden flooring to the front entrance. With one turn of the handle, she opened the door to find her brother standing outside.
“Hi, Ron,” She stated as he walked across the threshold.
Ron looked as if he had climbed out of bed a few moments before arriving; his hair was messy, his eyes baggy, and his clothing didn’t seem to quite match.
Ginny narrowed her eyes as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“Well hello Ginny, how are you on this lovely morning?” Ginny sarcastically shot in his direction.
“Come on, Gin. I was getting around to it. How are you?”
Ginny began to walk towards the kitchen, with Ron following her.
“I’m wishing I was still in bed at the moment,” She said as she reached the stove, “Do you want some tea?”
Ron nodded as he took a seat at the table.
Ginny continued to fill his cup with tea.
“But why did Harry want us here so early? He knows I’ve never been a morning bloke.”
Ginny shrugged as she placed his mug in front of him, and lowered herself into a seat across from him.
“I don’t know, he wouldn’t say.”
“Do you think he found anything at Hogwarts?”
Ginny leaned back into her chair.
“I really don’t know, Ron. He came back so late, or I guess you could say early, and went straight to bed. He did seem a little frazzled, so maybe.”
Ron shook his head.
“I just don’t see Hermione kissing anyone else.
Ginny suddenly lowered her gaze into her tea mug as she took a sip.
“I don’t know, Ron. I’m not sure about anything anymore.”
Ginny looked up as the door bell sounded once again.
“Just let yourselves in!” She shouted.
“Why didn’t you say that to me?”
Ginny’s gaze narrowed again.
“I did yell it, you tosspot. You’re probably just too deaf to hear it.”
Before Ron could retort, Neville and Luna entered into the kitchen.
“Hi, guys,” Ginny welcomed as they each grabbed a seat around the table.
“It’s a bit early, isn’t it?” Neville said as he took of his coat.
“That’s the understatement of the day.”
Luna smiled brightly at Ginny as she held out a small basket.
“I baked you some muffins from the plums from my garden. I hope you do enjoy them,” Luna cooed in her whimsical voice.
Ginny thanked Luna as she grabbed the gift. Her brow raised as Neville began to shake his head quickly with a grimace, alluding that the muffins weren’t very suitable to eat.
“So, what’s with the meeting?”
Ginny shook her head.
The four sat in silence for a few minutes before suddenly hearing the front door open. In a few moments, an intense looking Harry appeared in the kitchen.
“Hi, everyone. Thanks for coming.”
“This better be good, mate. It’s too bloody early for me.”
Harry glanced at his friend.
“Trust me, you all will want to hear this.”
Harry pulled over a chair, and lowered himself into a seat beside Ginny.
“I wanted you all to come here, because I have a new hint in the Hermione situation.”
Everyone’s eyes seemed to brighten as Harry began to speak.
“Yesterday I decided to go to Hogwarts to see if I could discover any clues or hints to what…what exactly happened with Hermione. I asked the portraits if they remembered Hermione being…er…intimate with anyone.”
“Did they know anything?” Ginny interjected.
Harry shook his head.
“No, none of them remembered anything.”
Everyone seemed to release a collective sigh.
“But there was one portrait named Marcus Willabee, and he remembered a strange situation that Hermione was involved in during our third year. She had come out of the great hall after one meal, and was yelling at a boy about Buckbeak. They were shouting, and then suddenly stopped. And after a minute, he didn’t remember hearing anything else.”
The group seemed confused.
“And how is this related to Hermione’s first kiss?” Neville asked.
Harry leaned forward.
‘Well, the first thing is that Hermione was alone with a boy. The second thing is that something happened to change their argument.”
Ron jumped into the conversation.
“And just who was the guy?” he shot with some agitation.
Harry tightened his lips as he threw a quick glance in Ginny’s direction.
“Willabee remembered the boy mentioning that he was…he was a Slytherin.”
In an instant, Ron jumped upright, and threw his hands into the air.
“No way, Harry. I know exactly where you’re going with this. And no bloody way.”
“Ron, we have to look at the facts.”
“The facts?! It’s an unreliable testimony from a grouchy portrait!”
Ginny decided to aid her husband.
“Ron, even though all of us despise Draco, it’s beginning to become clear that he may have been Hermione’s first kiss.”
Ron rolled his eyes.
“Listen to yourselves! Why on earth with Malfoy kiss Hermione? They hated each other!”
“That’s what we all thought too, Ron. But it’s impossible to know. This story could be a very critical step in the right direction.”
Ron flew up from his seat, and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Harry, no. There is no way in this entire planet that I am letting that git get within three feet of Hermione.”
“We have to at least try, Ron,” Harry reminded.
“No, Absolutely not.”
“Ronald Weasley-“ Ginny Began with narrowed eyes.
“Were you not there in the hospital room the other day with Malfoy came in and shouted at us? He was joking, trying to get a reaction out of us.”
“That’s what I thought too, until I thought about it. Why would he even show up in the first place? And why would he even suggest it?”
Ron huffed, crossing his arms as he narrowed his eyes. To his right, Ginny sighed.
“Ron, what if is somehow is Malfoy? We have to save Hermione. That’s why we’re here. I miss my friend, and I want her back, even if it means letting Malfoy snog her for a few seconds.”
He seemed to let Ginny’s words sink in for a few moments.
“But it’s Malfoy….” He muttered softly.
“I know, Ron. I honestly can’t believe it either. But it’s worth a try.”
Ron shook his head as he looked at his friend, allowing the group to sit in utter silence for a few moments.
“So let’s say that…that Malfoy did…was…intimate with her. Just how are you going to get him to help us after he went completely mental in the hospital the other day?”
“Yes, Harry. How are you going to manage that?” Luna cooed as she gazed at his spectacles.
Harry paused, glancing at each of his friends.
“Well, I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but for Hermione’s sake, the conversation may have to start with an apology.”
“You’re damn right it does. After how he treated us the other day.”
Harry threw his wife a look of surprise at the intensity of her tone and language.
“I don’t mean from him. I mean an apology from us.”
The following morning at Malfoy and Zabini Enterprises, Draco Malfoy sat glumly at his desk as his work began to pile in front of him. While his head rested in the hand of one arm, he twiddled a pen between his fingers with the other.
He had never been so frustrated and confused in his entire life. The whole “Granger in eternal peril” situation left him agitated and annoyed. It seemed he would never forgive his mother for forcing him to visit the trio. It was distracting him from work, as well as his love life. Whatever form of a “love life” he had anyway. Tossing his pen on his desk, he picked up a stack of papers, and began the attempt to sort through them.
Draco didn’t look up when Blaise walked in.
“This is too much work, Blaise,” Draco stated as Blaise leaned over his desk.
“Come on, it isn’t that awful,” Blaise comforted as he rolled his eyes.
“Then I guess it isn’t a good time to give you these briefing documents,” Blaise said as he placed another stack in front of Draco.
Draco shot him a poisonous glare as he snatched the papers from Blaise.
“No, not really.”
Blaise shook his head playfully as he turned to leave. Before exciting into the hall, he paused.
“Are you sure you’re alright, mate?” Blaise questioned.
Draco sighed as he nodded.
Blaise chewed in his lower lip for a few seconds, and then stepped outside of his office. Draco watched him leave before leaning back into his chair, and running his hands through his silvery blonde hair.
“Will someone please explain why the bloody hell this is happening to me?” Draco snapped as he yelled at the ceiling.
For the next few hours, Draco continued to work at a slow, leisurely pace while his mind raced. He didn’t know what to do. There was no way he would waltz right into St. Mungo’s and put on Granger. No bloody way. Call it Malfoy, or even Slytherin pride, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. And what if everyone in the wizarding world found out that he had kissed Granger? The thought made him shudder. But then, his mother’s voice inside his head reminded him of everything that Granger and her trio had done to save them during the war. What was he to do?
He looked up as their secretary, Alana, entered his office.
“How can I help you, Alana?” Draco asked, still reclined into his chair.
She gave him an uneasy smile.
‘What is it?” He asked with a more serious demeanor.
Alana cleared her throat.
“You have a visitor.”
Draco shook his head.
“There’s nothing about a meeting on my schedule.”
“This wasn’t on the schedule.”
“Well, who is it?” he asked impatiently.
Alana glanced behind her.
“It’s Harry Potter.”
Draco’s insides twisted.
“What does he want?”
“He wants a word with you.”
Draco grabbed his chin with a free hand, while staring intensely at his secretary.
“Alright, send him in.”
Dammit. Potter was here to continue their shouting match within his own office. His palms became suddenly sweaty as the doorknob turned. Potter stood in the doorway, dressed in his usual casual attire, which seemed out of place inside the corporation. Draco watched him take a few steps toward him before he halted.
“What are you doing here Potter?” he snapped across the room.
Harry seemed uneasy as well, but was masking it better than Draco was.
“We need to talk, Malfoy. Now,” Harry shot.
“Don’t get so fussy, Potter.”
It looked as it Harry was about to retaliate, but he seemed to stop himself.
“I’m not here to cause a fight or play games with you, Malfoy. I’m here for Hermione.”
The sound of her name caused him to fidget in his chair.
“What do you want?”
“I just want to have a word with you, one on one.”
It seemed to Draco that Potter seemed genuine in his request. Draco slowly stood from his seat, but stayed behind his desk.
“I never expected to see you inside my own office, Potter. Think of the irony in that.”
“Trust me, I’m trying not to,” Harry shot.
The two didn’t speak for a few moments, and continued to stare the other down.
“Look Malfoy, we need to finish our conversation.”
“I thought we did.”
“No, we didn’t. And you know it.”
Draco tilted his head.
“If I can remember correctly, you kicked me out.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed.
“And I remember correctly, you barged in and began a screaming match with my friends and my wife, which forced me to invoke the policy of throwing you out.”
“You didn’t come to help; you came to hurt. And that is something I won’t tolerate. But in your tirade you seemed to unknowingly divulge some secret from your past, which brings me here today.”
“I never said anything!”
“Oh, come on, Malfoy, you implied a good amount of things!”
“Get off your sacred broom, Potter. I would never tell you anything that I didn’t want you to know,” Draco snarled.
Harry suddenly held up his hands
“Stop, just stop. You’re missing the point.”
Draco crossed his arms over his chest.
“And what point is that?”
“The point is that you may have implied some things that could be of help to Hermione.”
Harry’s tone seemed to soften a bit as he continued.
“Look Malfoy, I didn’t come here to start another argument with you. I…I came to apologize for how we treated you.”
Draco’s eyes narrowed in confusion as his mouth dropped a fraction.
“Don’t get me wrong, Potter, your apology is quite satisfying, but why the hell are you apologizing to me?”
“Because we didn’t believe you, and came to our own conclusions based on the past. You said that you may have…have kissed Hermione….”
“I never said that, it was hypothetical-“ Draco interrupted.
“Let me finish,” Harry shot, “Whatever you said, or were trying to say, we didn’t believe you, and we didn’t give you a fair chance to speak and help us.”
Malfoy pursed his lips as he studied Harry, still in awe of what he just heard.
“And what convinced you that what I said may have been true?” he asked, wondering why Potter would believe that he would have had something to do with snogging Granger.
Harry looked past Draco and out through the window.
“I went to Hogwarts and asked the portraits to give me any information they had about Hermione being intimate with anyone at Hogwarts.”
Draco froze. Harry seemed to notice Draco’s change in demeanor, which caused him to continue.
“No one had seen Hermione doing anything except walking with either Ron or myself, but there was one portrait who told me a story that caught my attention. He mentioned an argument that he overhead Hermione and a Slytherin involved in during third year, which happened to be about a hippogriff. I don’t think anyone else would have a go at Hermione about Buckbeak, considering you caused him to be sentenced to death in the first place.”
“In case you didn’t notice, Potter, Granger and I were never on civil terms. Especially about that bloody beast.”
Harry seemed to ignore Draco’s comment.
“I wasn’t moved by his story until the end, where he told me that the argument suddenly stopped for a few minutes, and then you both left. Doesn’t that seem a bit strange to you?”
Draco’s body went rigid as the memory of their kiss slid through his memory. There must have been a portrait who had overheard their…conversation. And all this time he thought it was his private secret. For the first time since Potter entered his office, Draco was speechless.
“Look, I don’t know what happened between you and Hermione, and quite frankly, I really don’t have any desire to. Set aside your arrogance and pride just for a few minutes, and please help us save Hermione. She doesn’t deserve to be cursed like this; you are the only on that can save her from an eternity of sleep. You’ll never have to speak to any of us again, I promise. Please, Malfoy.”
Draco was at a loss of words. Potter had uncovered his secret, his secret that he had planned to take to his grave. His entire reputation was on the line.
“Malfoy, please. You know it’s the right thing to do.”
Harry’s last line penetrated his insides. All this time, he knew the right answer, but he had avoided coming to that conclusion. But now was the time to decide. Draco thought of his mother, about the wars, about Hogwarts, and about Granger herself.
“Alright,” he softly stated.
Harry looked at him with a small look of surprise.
“You’re doing the right thing, Malfoy.”
Draco couldn’t seem to face Harry directly.
“When?” he muttered.
Harry began to step towards the door.
“Now. It won’t take very long at all. You’ll be back quickly.”
Draco nodded as he grabbed his jacket, and stepped in front of Harry before opening the door.
“Look, Potter. I don’t want anyone to know about this. My name better not be mentioned in the Prophet,”
“No one has to know.”
The two stepped into the hall, and stood silently outside his door. Just as they began to turn, a voice sounded from down the hall.
“Draco, where the bloody hell are you going?” Blaise shouted as he made his way towards them.
Blaise’s gaze went from annoyance to shock as he caught sight of Harry.
“Potter? What are you doing here?”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Potter smirk a tiny fraction.
“Malfoy is needed for some personal business. He’ll be back soon.”
Blaise seemed very puzzled.
“What? Why would you have personal business with Potter?”
Draco narrowed his eyes, unable to resist teasing his friend. He figured Blaise would eventually find out anyway.
“I’m just off to St. Mungo’s to wake up Granger. You may have to finish that paperwork for me.”
Draco turned on his heal as a small smirk formed on his face. Potter followed behind him as the pair began to walk to the lifts.
“Wait….you’re off to what….St.Mungo’s to…to…wake…Granger? What?” Blaise shouted in confusion.
Draco silently waited to Blaise to fully understand. As soon as it sunk in, Blaise began to yell.
“Wait…WHAT? No! HOW IS THAT….DRACO MALFOY TURN YOUR BLOODY ARSE AROUND THIS INSTANT!”
Draco turned around for a second.
“Sorry, Blaise, I’m on a bit of a tight schedule.”
He watched Blaise leap into his office, snatch his jacket and hurry after them down the hall.
“Alana! Cancel all my appointments for the rest of the afternoon!” Blaise shouted as he reached Draco and Harry.
“What?” The thin secretary shouted in confusion, “Where are you two going!?”
When Blaise reached Draco’s side, he turned in disbelief.
“Now this is something that I won’t believe until I see.”
Draco finally made a decison...a good one I think! Wow, we're coming to the end of this story, everyone! I've had such an amazing time writing this. The plan is 2 more chapters, with a possible epilogue.
Again, thanks so much for all of your awesome support! I love you all. Even though Harry Potter is done, it will live forever :) To quote Kat30, "May Harry Potter be continued."
I'm sure you've noticed that this site has been experiencing some problems recently:( (It makes me very sad). But the moderators are amazing and they keep this site working! Just in case the site is down, find me on the forums (my name is the same with a few numbers at the end) for info.
Thank you so much for reading! You are all amazing!
Please review! It only takes a few little seconds:)
Until chapter 9,
"You drive me crazy, I just can't sleep."
-(You Drive Me) Crazy, Brittney Spears
Draco and Blaise trailed behind Harry as they entered St. Mungo’s through the reception hall.
“Good Afternoon, Mr. Potter,” chirped the secretary from behind the desk.
Harry paused to speak.
“Could you please send Healer Mismick to the private ward? We need her,” Harry asked.
“Of course, I’ll send her there straight away.”
Before they could continue, Malfoy halted.
“Potter, what did I tell you about broadcasting this to the entire world?” he snapped.
Harry turned on his heel.
“She’s our Healer, Malfoy,” Harry spat before turning around.
Malfoy made some mocking gesture with his face as they reached the lifts. Quietly, they stepped inside, and Harry punched the button which would take them upwards. With a slight jolt, the lift began to climb its shaft. Draco and Blaise leaned against the wall, while Harry stood close to the entrance, anxious to leave the confined area in which he was stuck with two former enemies.
After a few minutes, the lift halted, and Harry quickly stepped from the entrance. Draco followed, but before he could follow Harry further down the hall, Blaise grabbed his shoulder and yanked him around.
“Draco, will you please explain what exactly is going on here?”
Draco grunted as he looked at his friend.
Blaise threw up his arms.
“Yes, quite complicated actually,” Draco muttered.
Blaise was growing more agitated by the second.
“Wait a damn minute. So you’re telling me that you kissed Granger first?? What?”
“Maybe, yes,” he half mumbled.
“Are we talking about the same Granger? The one you despised and constantly insulted?!” Blaise shouted.
Blaise’s eyes widened in shock.
“But…but when did this happen?”
“Third year…it was sort of….an….accident.”
“Alright, and accident in which you just happened to put one on Granger!” Blaise shouted again.
From down the hall, Harry intervened.
“Are you two finished with your little spat yet?” Harry shot.
Draco glanced at Blaise, whose eyes were still bulging in shock.
“Don’t test me, Potter. I can leave as quickly as I came,” Draco snapped before looking at Blaise.
“Will you PLEASE explain what happened? This secret encounter which you never seemed to share with me, your best mate??!” Blaise yelled with an exasperated sigh.
Draco held up a hand.
“Look, Blaise, I don’t want to get into this right now. I just want to get this over with as soon as I can.”
He turned from his friend and continued making his way in Potter’s direction.
“Alright, fine! But after this you owe me an explanation,” Blaise shot as he hurried to Draco’s side.
When they reached Harry, Draco’s stomach began to turn. Now, he wasn’t so sure that he was capable of doing this. A part of him was glad that Blaise was with him, so he could have some form of an ally in case things went sour. After the three reached the entrance to the private ward, they stopped.
“Listen, Malfoy. I want you to do this without causing a massive scene like last time,” Harry shot in his direction.
“You don’t have any authority to boss me around, Potter. And remember, last time-“
“Alright, you get my point. Just go in,” Harry angrily sighed as he turned the handle, and opened the doors.
When Draco surveyed the ward, his eyes narrowed at the amount of people in the room. He figured it would only be Potter and Granger, but he was mistaken. He spotted Weasley and his annoying sister, the strange Lovegood girl, and Longbottom staring silently in his direction. An older healer was also bent over the still sleeping Granger, and was surrounded by a few other healers. Before he could continue, he turned his head in Harry’s direction.
“Potter, you promised me that no one would find out. What are all these bloody people doing here?” Draco shot under his breath.
Harry rolled his eyes.
“We’re her friends, Malfoy.”
Malfoy threw him an “I could have figured that out myself” glare as Harry stepped in front of him.
“Well, alright, everyone,” Harry announced, “Let’s get this over with.”
Ginny, followed by a hesitant Ron slowly made their way to Harry.
“Harry, how on earth did you manage to bring him here?” Ginny asked in a hushed whisper.
“It’s the right thing to do, and he didn’t have a choice,” Harry quietly responded.
“And the apology…?” Ginny continued.
“As bitter as it tasted, it worked.”
Neville and Luna stared at Draco with a form of shock, as Ron looked at Harry, his face white and clammy.
“So…he really did…I mean it’s him?” Ron softly moaned.
Harry responded with a silent nod.
“Potter, in case you weren’t aware, it’s rude to keep your guests, especially your guests who are here unwillingly, waiting at the door.”
Harry glared at Draco as Ron stepped forward.
“Listen, Malfoy,” Ron spat, “You’re going to get this done fast, and leave.”
Ginny and Harry casted worried looks in Ron’s direction, fearful of another outburst like last time.
“Trust me, Weasley, I have every intent to,” Draco snapped.
From behind them, Healer Mismick came to their sides.
“Is this the man who is responsible?” She asked.
“Yes,” Harry nodded.
“Well, Mr. Potter, I’m glad that you managed to solve this little mystery.”
She looked at Draco.
“Mr. Malfoy? As in Head of Malfoy and Zabini Enterprises?”
“Yes,” he grunted.
She looked over his shoulder.
“And you are?”
“Blaise Zabini, also of Malfoy and Zabini Enterprises,” Blaise half muttered, still in shock about the entire situation.
“Well, Mr. Potter, it seems that Ms. Granger kept in the company of celebrities.”
“No, she most certainly did not.”
Healer Mismick raised an eyebrow.
“Whatever do you mean?”
“I mean, that whatever happened was an accident….and it shouldn’t have happened.”
Healer Mismick nodded unconvincingly.
“Well, shall we wake Ms. Granger, now?” Healer Mismick asked.
Draco became suddenly nervous as Healer Mismick ushered him to the bed where Granger was still laying.
“Now, everyone wait just a bloody minute,” Draco announced, halting in the middle of the room as he raised his hands.
“I’m not having a story time where I share what happened. It was…it was an accident, and a mistake that should never have happened.”
“Here we go,” Ron muttered under his breath as he rolled his eyes.
“Your friend Granger can explain if she wants but you’re not hearing anything from me. It was in the past, and after this, I’m never thinking about it again.”
“Some of us would like an explanation…” Blaise mumbled behind him.
“Not now, Blaise!” Draco retorted.
“If you’re done giving your election speech, please hurry up,” Ginny shot in Draco’s direction.
After glaring at Ginny, he began to turn, but suddenly stopped.
“And for the record, Granger and I…we were never...never an item, and I want to make that very clear,” Draco snapped.
“Get on with it, Malfoy!” Harry half shouted.
“So pushy, Potter,” Draco shot as he began to walk over to the bed, where Healer Mismick was standing over Granger herself.
This was it; it was the moment he had begged would never happen. The thought of even thinking about what he was about to do made him want to vomit. Why did he have to put himself in this situation in the first place?
“And can I just say-“ He began.
“NO!” Everyone in the room shouted in unison.
Draco sighed as he began to walk once again. His entire body seemed to be uneasy as he finally reached Granger. Her appearance startled him a bit. She was lying almost lifeless on the hospital bed, her skin pale and cold. Her hands were draped over the comforter, seemingly grey. The golden chestnut curls which usually bounced happily on her shoulders were strewn over the pillow, and seemed to have lost their spring. He expected her to jump up, and start engaging in another battle with him, and it was strange that she still hadn’t yet.
He had always despised Granger, and he knew that. But it still was surprisingly strange to see her so helpless and vulnerable. In essence, he held Granger’s life in his hands. Draco lowered himself onto the bed beside her, and glanced at Healer Mismick.
“Just on the lips, dear,” She comforted with a warm smile.
Behind him, the others began to gather closer, but kept their distance.
“Alright,” Draco mumbled through a sigh.
Seconds seemed to past like years as Draco bent his head, and slowly brought his face to Granger’s. He felt his heart accelerate with each inch, and his palms became sweaty beneath him. When he was a few breaths from her face, Draco paused, surveying her closed eyes, which ended in gracefully eyelashes. Draco sighed as he finally placed his lips upon her cold ones.
Draco went rigid at first, but seemed to forget. He was startled by the way that her lips fit perfectly into his own. His mind raced with the memory of their first kiss, and it surprisingly felt similar. It was the same range of emotions, and the same feelings. Draco wasn’t sure why, but he felt her lips grow warmer with each moment.
Suddenly realizing where he was, Draco released his lips from hers, but remained bent over her lifeless body. He didn’t seem to be angry anymore; he was somewhat anxious, wondering if she would wake.
Behind him, Draco heard Weasley moaning to himself as he continued to survey Granger.
“Did it work?” Ginny stated breathlessly from the end of the bed.
Healer Mismick placed a hand on Hermione’s wrist.
‘I…I don’t know. She still seems cold.”
Draco continued to stare at Granger, hanging on every breath that he released. His eyes began to narrow as her skin seemed brighter, and her tiny freckles became more prominent. From beneath him, he was startled as her chest began to slowly rise and fall; Granger was waking up. Draco stared into her closed eyes, waiting for them to open. Soon, her eyelids began to tremble. Before he could react Hermione began to slowly open her closed eyelids. Draco first saw the whites of her eyes, then the deep brown pupils. She seemed to squint blankly into the room as she lifted a hand from her side. Everyone watched silently as she brought her fingertips to her lips, running her pads over the small ridges that were now a healthy pink color. After a few moments, she suddenly began to focus on the man bent over her. Hermione’s eyes narrowed even further.
“Malfoy?” Hermione silently whispered, the first words to escape her lips in weeks.
In one fluid motion, Hermione lifted a hand and slapped him hard in the face.
“OUCH!” Draco shouted as he jumped back in a sitting up position, “WHAT the hell is WRONG with you, Granger?!”
“Get off of me, Malfoy! What do you think you’re doing!?” Hermione shouted and she pushed herself into the headboard.
Draco leaped from her bed, and silently stood beside the bed.
“Where am I? What’s going on?” Hermione yelled in panic.
Harry, Ron and Ginny rushed to Hermione.
“Harry, where am I?” Hermione asked again as Ginny grabbed her shoulder, and Ron sat beside her, “And what is Malfoy doing?!
Harry glanced at Malfoy, then Blaise, then Healer Mismick.
“Harry Potter, you tell me where I am this instant!” Hermione shouted again.
“Hermione, calm down, everything is fine,” Ginny comforted.
“Ginny, will someone please tell me what’s going on?” Hermione pleaded, “And please tell me why on earth is Malfoy here!”
Harry seemed to swallow something larger than saliva as he began to talk to Hermione.
“Hermione, do you remember the raid we conducted in the abandoned farm estate in Surrey? Where we went after the deatheater Wallace and his followers?”
Hermione’s eyes narrowed in thought as she nodded.
“Yes, yes I do.”
“Well, we fought for a little bit, and captured most of the followers, except the leader, Wallace.”
“I know. I helped Dean bind one.”
“Do you remember that you went after Wallace? On your own?”
“Yes, I do.”
“And do you also remember dueling him?”
“Yes, I was winning.”
Ron jumped in.
“I tried to help you, Hermione, but you wouldn’t let me.”
Hermione’s eyes widened as she glanced at Ron.
“Oh, Ron, I just wanted to beat him myself.”
Harry glanced at his friends before continuing.
“Hermione, when you were dueling, Wallace disarmed you, and you fell to the ground”
Hermione’s bottom lip dropped a fraction.
“Yes, I remember.”
“Well, Wallace hit you with a curse. A rather dark curse.”
Hermione glanced around the room once again, before suddenly placing her hands on her chest.
“I…I…what happened Harry?” Hermione asked in fear, “He…he didn’t kill me?”
Harry shook his head.
“No, thankfully he didn’t. But he did curse you.”
Hermione’s eyes widened once again.
“Well, what curse was it?”
“Dormio perpetus satim.”
Hermione was silent.
“I don’t know that curse.”
“We didn’t either, until Healer Mismick investigated for us.”
He waited for Hermione to ask another question, before continuing.
“The curse refers to an ancient tribal tale, called Satim’s Torpor. To sum up the story, the goddess Satim is cursed by the God Roydem after she refuses his hand. The curse sent Satim into an eternal sleep, which lasts forever of course. And the only way to wake Satim was a kiss from the very first person who kissed her.”
Hermione shook her head.
“I’ve never heard of that particular legend.”
Harry bit his bottom lip, feeling a bit apprehensive.
“Well, the curse that you were hit with put you in an eternal sleep.”
Hermione jumped backwards.
“What??! Eternal Sleep?”
“How long have I been…asleep?”
Harry threw a glance at Ron.
“Maybe a little over a month.”
“A month?!” Hermione shouted as she brought a hand to her forehead, “I’ve been sleeping for a month?”
Ron held up his hands.
“Don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything.”
Hermione’s breaths began to quick, and she became more frantic.
“Well, didn’t you say it was an eternal sleep? How did you wake me up?”
Draco couldn’t help smirking to himself; her face was going to be priceless.
“Like the legend,” Harry began, “The only way to wake you was for you to be kissed by the very first man that kissed you.”
Hermione seemed to digest everything Harry said for a few moments. A minute or so passed when Hermione was obviously deep in thought. Suddenly, she glanced frantically around the room, and landed at Draco.
“But that means….Oh, no!” Hermione yelled before she covered her mouth with both hands.
Draco crossed his arms over his chest menacingly.
“That’s right, Granger. You are forever in my debt.”
Hermione’s expression was of complete horror as she looked at her friends.
“I…I…I don’t know what to say,” Hermione whispered as she shook her head, “I mean, it happened to long ago, and it was an accident…I’m so sorry.”
Harry sighed as he glanced at his friends.
“No, we’re sorry that we couldn’t wake you sooner. We just didn’t know who kissed you first. To be honest, we all thought it was Krum, and when it wasn’t, we were a bit lost.”
They all watched as Hermione sat silent again. But in an instant, Hermione jumped off the bed, and exploded in front of Draco.
“This is YOUR FAULT!”
Draco jumped backwards, surprised at her outburst.
“WHAT? How is this MY fault?”
Hermione let out an exaggerated sigh as she thrust a finger at him.
“You were the one who KISSED me FIRST!”
Draco’s eyes narrowed in retaliation.
“ME? You were basically begging for it.”
Hermione let out a horrified noise.
“Begging for it? BEGGING FOR IT?! You were the one who shoved me into the wall and kissed me!”
“I think your memory is a bit cloudy, Granger.”
“It most certainly IS NOT!” Hermione screamed.
“All because of you, my friends didn’t know how to save me. You stole my first kiss from me, Malfoy! A kiss that I should have been giddy about, and a kiss that would make me run straight to Ginny and tell her. You pigheaded ARSE!”
Draco paused, and for a split second, believed she was right. Before he could respond, Hermione turned to her friends.
“Did others know what happened?”
“It was in the prophet,” Ron muttered, a tiny bit fearful of her tone.
Hermione began to continue their argument.
“What is WRONG with YOU?”
Draco’s face twisted in confusion.
“Well, let’s see, you knew all along that you were my first kiss, and you waited out for weeks to do anything? YOU POMPOUS GIT!”
Draco opened his mouth, but for the second time today, was utterly speechless.
“I really Don’t KNOW what goes through that ARROGANT head of yours, MALFOY!”
Hermione began to charge him, hand raised in another slap, before Ginny grabbed her arms.
“Hermione! Calm down!”
“Will someone give me my wand!” Hermione shouted.
“Hermione, no!” Ron yelled as he also wrestled with her arms.
Draco backed up, and stood closer to Blaise.
“You better be more gracious to me, Granger! Whether you like it or not, I just saved your BLOODY LIFE!”
Hermione stopped trashing, and became silent.
“He did, Hermione.” Harry stated beside her.
Hermione sighed as she glanced at each of her friends. After placing one of her curls behind her ear, she continued with a much calmer tone.
“You’re right, Harry.”
“Thank you, Malfoy.” Hermione stated, the words seemingly bitter on her tongue.
From behind all of them, Blaise shook his head as he rubbed his check with a hand.
“I really can’t believe any of this…”Blaise mumbled.
Draco threw a small devilish smirk at Hermione before walking to Blaise’s side.
“Well, this really has been lovely, but I’ve had enough of you all for the time being. Granger, your outburst was quite entertaining.”
Draco turned on his heels, and motioned Blaise to follow. As the two departed from the room, the group of friends watched silently as their figures disappeared through the double doors. Draco ushered Blaise into the lift, and punched the button which would take them to ground level.
“Blaise, my work here is finished. How about lunch?” Draco asked with a grin.
Blaise’s expression of utter confusion and shock hadn’t changed since they had left their offices earlier today. He lifted a hand, preparing to speak, but suddenly went mute.
“You know what? I’m not even going to ask,” Blaise sighed.
Draco smiled as he leaned his head against the back wall.
“That’s probably for the best.”
As the two listened to the sound of the lift sliding down its shaft, it was Blaise who spoke for the first time in minutes.
“Damn, Granger has some lungs on her.”
“She sure does.”
Hello Everyone! The first kiss finally happened :) Yay! What did you all think?? I loved writing this. So, as the chapters go, there is one more left...but I may add an epilogue b/c I have an idea swirling in my head:)
Ok, I also have to thank you guys for being amazingly awesome! Your feedback has been incredible, and it motivates me to write, which is something I love to do:) To anyone and everyone who has read this story from the beginning, to just read this for the first time today, thank you so much for your support! I LOVE you all!
Please review! It only takes a few tiny tiny little seconds:)
Until Chapter 10,
"And my heart told my head, let love grow."
-Winter Winds, Mumford & Sons
Draco Malfoy let out a noise of relief as he placed the last stack of paperwork in the finished pile behind his desk.
“A colossal waste of time,” Draco mumbled as he placed his hands behind his head, and leaned backwards.
He glanced around the large office, surveying its tidiness, and even watched a few boats chug along the Thames.
Ever since the “Granger” issue had been resolved, he was in a much better state of mind. After she had woken up, Potter had kept his word, and the Prophet only mentioned an “Unidentified Man” who came to her rescue. He hadn’t seen any of them since their last, rather loud encounter, and Draco was satisfied with that. Draco had read that Granger had gone right back to work, and the world seemed to go back to normal.
Draco still visited his mother for lunch frequently, but never told her about his heroic moment. He was completely fine with none of his friends knowing, except Blaise of course, and that’s the way he wanted to keep things. When his mother prodded in the subject, he would quickly avoid anything related.
Blaise seemed to drop the issue, but would occasionally show signs of wanting to know more about his “accident” with Hermione. Draco knew Blaise was dying to know details, but knew better than to push the subject. Blaise was preparing himself in the act of proposing to Astoria, and that was where most of the energy that would’ve going into chiding Draco about the incident went.
As predicted, Blaise’s hinting of a proposal sent his mother on more discussions of marriage, and finding the proper lady. She had been partially successful, or at least Draco thought she had been, of halting the late night tirades with loose women. Draco hadn’t been physically with a woman in weeks, and for some reason, he was fine with that. For the time being, he was done with the Lucia Magdelinas visiting.
Draco’s job had become his priority, which was the right choice. He began paying close attention to their smaller merging partners, like the Stockwood firm, and enjoyed it. Fortunately, he hadn’t seen Celine since their last meeting. As for his tardiness, Draco began making sure he was in the office on time, which made Blaise a very happy businessman.
His thoughts were disrupted as Blaise entered his office.
“Astoria and I are going to grab some lunch. Would you care to join us?”
Draco shook his head.
“I think I’ll stay here and command the fort. Besides, Astoria wants to have a flirty lunch date with you, not me.”
Blaise shot him a playful glare before leaving.
“Alright, then. I just thought I should ask. I’ll see you later.”
Draco watched Blaise turn and exit into the hallway, before he returned to his resting position in his seat.
He stayed like this for a while, eyes fixed on the ceiling. Every so often he would close his eyes, or clear his throat, but he was relaxed and content.
Draco leaned forward and caught Alana standing by the door.
“There’s someone here to see you.”
“Let me guess, this isn’t on the schedule?”
“No, not on the schedule.”
“Alright, send them in.”
Draco half-expected Potter to step through the doors and greet him once again, so he braced himself. To his surprise, however, it wasn’t Potter who grabbed the handle and stepped into his office.
It was Hermione Granger.
He tensed as Hermione closed the door behind her and slowly made her way over to his desk.
“I’m fascinated to know what brings you to my office, Granger,” Draco shot in an attempt to cover his uneasiness.
Hermione seemed to ignore his comment, and gestured to the seat across from him.
“May I sit here?”
Draco gave her a curt nod, giving Hermione permission to lower herself into the chair. Once situated, Hermione began to look around the office, in an attempt to avoid his gaze.
“I never realized you were speechless in my presence,” Draco shot as he laced his fingers together.
Hermione narrowed her brow for a few seconds, before she sighed. Draco watched her cross and uncross her legs, as well as place her hair behind her ears.
“Look, Malfoy. When you came by last time, I didn’t get a proper chance to express my gratitude for what you did.”
“Well, whose fault was that?” Draco chided.
After another look, Hermione continued.
“When you…when I woke up and you were leaning over me, I was startled. It was only my natural instincts to slap you, really.”
“Sure,” Draco nodded while bringing a hand to rub his cheek; that slap had stung for a while.
“And this wasn’t your fault, it was just a misunderstanding. I guess I just didn’t believe what happened third year myself, and that’s why I didn’t tell anyone. Who would’ve guessed that I would be hit with a curse like that?”
“But I do think you should have helped sooner, Malfoy,” Hermione added, her tone dropping.
Draco watched her through his grey pupils.
“Maybe,” He shortly responded.
“But I can see why you would feel conflicted."
“And when I charged you, I was still in shock.”
“Right,” Draco sarcastically shot.
Hermione lifted her hands with a sigh.
“What I’m trying to say is that after what you did to save me, you didn’t deserve to be treated the way I treated you.”
She paused, and swallowed.
“I guess you could say that…say that I’m…I’m sorry.”
Draco had never been more surprised in his lifetime. Here, Granger had shown up in his office, taking full responsibility for their quarrel.
“Look, I know I said it before, but thank you for saving my life, Malfoy,” Hermione stated as she sat upright in the chair.
Draco pursed his lips as he surveyed Hermione.
“You’re welcome,” Draco softly muttered.
Hermione began to stand.
“Well, then, I guess I’m about finished here.”
When she stood over her chair, she suddenly crossed her arms over her chest.
“But for the record, Malfoy, I still think you’re a pompous prat, with an excessive amount of arrogance. You’re irritating, annoying, and malicious. Not to mention you lack the manners of a proper gentlemen.”
Draco couldn’t help but smirking at the last part of her statement.
“And just how do I lack the manners of a proper gentlemen, Granger?”
Her brow narrowed.
“Just combine all of your previous actions from the past twenty-two years, and you’ll figure it out.”
Hermione turned on her heel, and began to walk towards the door.
“Now, wait just a minute, Granger.” Draco shot as he stood from his desk.
Hermione slowly turned.
“What?” she sighed.
Draco walked around his desk, and began talking with his hands.
“Since I did save your life, which you did just mention, doesn’t that mean that you are in my debt?”
He watched the color drain from Hermione’s face a bit, before she quickly clutched her arms to her chest.
“Possibly,” Hermione shot, “It depends on the request.”
“Oh, yes it does.”
“Well, let’s start with this…How about you meet me for dinner?”
Hermione’s bottom lip fell as she stared through a confused gaze.
“Dinner? With you?”
“That’s right, with me. You are in my debt, and that would be a great place to start.”
She paused, eyes narrowing.
“And just why would I even consider meeting you for dinner?”
Draco gave a devious chuckle under his breath.
“Besides the life debt you owe me? Well, you claimed that I, what was it? Lacked the manners of a gentlemen? How about we test that theory?”
Hermione’s eyes were still narrowed.
“How would you suggest we do that?”
“It could go something like this; we go to dinner, and if you have a single doubt about my manners, or lack thereof during the meal, then you may leave. Only then can you qualify your statement about my gentlemen status. It’s quite simple.”
Hermione brought her lips together, and continued to study Draco through a narrowed brow.
“No. Absolutely not.”
Draco’s brow raised with a smirk.
“Granger is a coward.”
Hermione huffed angrily.
“This is out of the question.”
“I can’t believe you would treat your savior like this.”
Obviously tortured, Hermione closed her eyes and let out a frustrated sigh.
She gave Draco a nod.
“7:00 pm tonight?” Draco asked.
Hermione cocked her head.
“Well, I guess I don’t have a choice, right? Since I do owe you my life?” Hermione responded.
“Very true, Granger.”
Hermione kept her stare on his face for a few more moments, before she cleared her throat and turned to leave.
“Well, I have to go,” she blankly stated.
Hermione threw him one last look before she turned, and made her way over to the handle, right before she opened the door, she snapped around.
“And Malfoy, you better not show up late. I can’t stand that,” Hermione shot.
Hermione then disappeared behind the large door, with her footsteps echoing down the hall. Draco watched her leave, and then began to walk back to his desk.
Before he sat down, Draco grinned to himself.
Hermione was livid. She was downright furious as she sat angrily across from Draco at the lavishly set dinner table that evening at dinner. Hermione had unwillingly gone with him after he had somehow provoked her into accepting this challenge. To be quite honest, she half-expected that he wouldn’t even turn up at her flat to escort her to dinner, and leave her dressed to the nine, waiting in humiliation. However, Malfoy did manage to appear at her front door, and even with a few sparse moments to spare.
He had greeted her politely, the way a multi-millionaire business man would a client; after all, Hermione knew it was an act to prove her wrong for condemning his manners. There was an underlying arrogance to his tone, and she occasionally would catch him throwing her a devilish smirk; his only purpose here was to win this battle. She in turn only responded with grunts, or mutters under her breath whenever speaking was absolutely necessary.
Malfoy had escorted her to one of the most exquisite restaurants in London, which was situated on the highest floor of a magnificent skyscraper, and surrounded by gleaming glass windows. The lift ride upwards was awkward and silent, seeing that Hermione had turned away from him to stare out at the impressive buildings that lined shimmering Thames as they ascended. When the pair had reached the top floor, Hermione was left speechless at the elegance and minimalist beauty of the décor inside the restaurant as they were escorted to their seats. They had been seated in a private bay window which was situated with the closest proximity to the river. Hermione had reluctantly taken her seat, and attempted to flash the hostess a look of despair while Draco slowly lowered himself into his chair. After they had been left alone, Hermione crossed her arms tightly across her chest, and stared menacingly out the floor to ceiling glass windows.
“Well, Granger, are you impressed?” Draco drawled while leaning back into the velvet chair.
She flashed him a look of annoyance, as well as a quick eye-roll before taking her position back at the window. Draco shook his head with a smirk as he continued to pester her.
“This just happens to be the finest restaurant in London,” he stated with overbearing confidence.
Hermione threw another glare in his direction.
“I’m sure it is,” she snapped, again diverting her attention to the window.
The two sat in silence for the next set of minutes, before a burly waiter appeared at the edge of their table.
“Good evening, Mr. Malfoy, and guest,” the man greeted with a smile, “May I start you off with any drinks?”
“We’ll have a bottle of pino, Phillipe, thank you.”
Hermione turned to narrowed brow to Draco.
“I don’t drink pino,” she shot in his direction.
Draco graciously nodded, his grin still visible across his face.
“Merlot, then. Thank you Phillipe.”
The server gave him a gracious nod, before turning at leaving the alcove, leaving the two alone once again.
“Come now, Granger. Don’t take your bitterness out on the pino.”
Hermione didn’t even remove her face from the window this time. Instead, she visibly narrowed her stare and sighed angrily. With this, Draco leaned onto his elbows.
“What’s got your wand in a knot, then? I just happened to notice that you seem rather irritable this evening.”
She threw a nasty look in his direction.
“Leave me alone, Malfoy,” Hermione hissed in his direction.
Draco chuckled as he toyed with his platinum cufflinks.
“Tell me this, then. If I hadn’t taken you here tonight, what exactly would you be missed out on? A play date with your feline?”
Hermione pursed her lips as anger surged through her veins like poison.
“For your information, as one of the senior aurors, I have a great deal of business to attend to outside of work,” she snapped in retaliation.
She narrowed her eyes.
“And don’t you dare insult my cat,” she seethed.
Draco held up his hands in surrender.
“Alright, I won’t go there.”
He continued on.
“What dull work has to be done outside of the ministry, then?”
“I can’t tell you that,” Hermione snapped.
She stared at him incredulously.
“It’s confidential ministry information.”
Draco smirked gleefully.
“Of course, how foolish of me to bring it up. I only asked in comparison, because I finish my work in the office. It’s mainly managing mergers, surveying the company earnings, and paperwork and such. You know, business, then pleasure in the evening.”
“How interesting,” Hermione shot sarcastically.
Both seemingly more agitated, they both turned away from each other, and waited in silence for their drinks to arrive. After a few long minutes, Phillipe returned with a bottle of crimson wine. He took each of their glasses, and filled the crystal up to the brim with liquid.
“Is there anything else you need, Draco?” He warmly asked.
Draco shook her head.
“We’re fine for now.”
The waiter nodded and departed, obviously anxious to returned to another table and complete an order. Before either could taste their drink, Hermione turned and flashed him an intense glare.
“So you and the waiter are on a first name basis? How did that come to be, may I ask?” Hermione shot in his direction.
For the first time this evening, Draco narrowed his eyes at her.
“In case you haven’t noticed Granger, I happen to be a very prominent figure in business throughout the wizarding world. Some would even go as far as to call me a celebrity. I bring many clients here to conduct business.”
“And would any of these clients happen to be females?” she daringly shot.
For a brief moment, his eyes seemed to widen a fraction.
“In case you weren’t aware, women are becoming more prevalent in the business world, which is a spirit of feminism that I believe you approve of. Therefore, yes, some of my clients are females.”
With a quick turn of her head, Hermione scowled and took her glance away from him.
“You disgusting, filthy pig,” she hissed, pulling her arms tighter over her chest.
Draco raised a challenging eyebrow.
“And what brings you to that conclusion, Granger? We’ve barely said two civil sentences to each other recently.”
Hermione whipped around in her seat, her eyes burning with frustration.
“What brings me to that conclusion, Malfoy, is your rather tainted reputation. Everyone knows you have a long string of girls following you in public. Not to mention it’s common knowledge that you use tactics other than discussion to persuade your female clients to make deals with you,” she snapped.
Draco, taken a bit aback, tightened his lips and narrowed his eyes in her direction.
“Those are all rumors, Granger. You shouldn’t be daft enough to believe them,” he hissed.
Hermione rolled her eyes.
“Oh, I’m sure they’re all rumors.”
“And what makes you think they’re right?” Malfoy asked devilishly.
Hermione turned to him, preparing a comeback.
“You’re Malfoy, the same Malfoy. I’m sure you were the same way back at school. And besides…there’s stories in the prophet.”
“That’s terrible reasoning.”
“No one asked your opinion.”
“Come on, try again, Granger. Why do you believe all of those nasty speculations?”
She face him tentatively, but still gave him a hard stare.
“Well…I mean, it’s perfectly logical. You are a…typical, fairly successful business man who…who…”she mumbled.
“What else?” Draco tempted, leaning forward, waiting for the right answer.
“…I assume many brainless, ditzy women could…could potentially find you…slightly handsome,” Hermione managed, biting her lip before snapping her head towards the window.
Draco smiled, content with himself.
Hermione watched him smirk gleefully, and felt her stomach turn over. This was the dinner from hell, and she couldn’t tolerate this anymore. With a sudden move, she stood from her seat, and gathered her jacket.
“Malfoy, I’m leaving. As much as I’ve enjoyed this nauseating conversation, I think I’ve had enough.”
She watched his eyes widen at her tone as she rounded the table.
“Now hold on just a minute, Granger.”
Hermione stopped, sighing as she turned.
“Once again, thank you for saving my life. I did what you asked, and now I’m leaving.”
Draco smirked, leaning back into his seat.
“I honestly can’t take another minute of this. Goodbye, Malfoy,” Hermione announced with finality in her voice.
Hermione turned on her heal, and began weaving through the elegantly dressed tables towards the entrance. After almost colliding into an elderly couple, and knocking over a full tray of food, she finally reached the door. As she thrust one of her arms into the sleeve of her coat, she heard a voice behind her.
“Slow down, Granger.”
Hermione turned with horror to see Malfoy strutting towards her, holding her clutch bag in one of his hands.
“You forgot this,” he muttered, thrusting the beaded bag in her direction.
She took it quickly, and with a nod, reached for the door handle.
“And Granger!” Malfoy shouted with a bit of arrogance in his voice.
Hermione sighed angrily as she snapped her head backwards.
“Were my manners satisfactory?” he asked with a smirk.
Hermione bit her lip as her fingers laced the door.
“Somewhat,” she replied before thrusting the door open, and stepping out.
She saw Draco chuckle to himself as he turned and began the walk back to his table.
How are all of you? I miss you all! I just finished up my last final research paper for college, and I'm so excited to be free for Christmas break that I raced to my computer and posted this chapter, which i've been working on for you all :) Wow, I can't believe there is only one chapter left in this story...but I can't wait for the end.
So I know some of you must be confused about how this chapter ended...but just you wait and see ;) I promise you will all love the ending! Thoughts?? Questions??
I wanted to thank all of you for your patience, and for your kind words of encouragement for my first college semester. It went great! I have a good amount of time off here, so I will most definitely be writing for you all :D Just a heads up, there's a really short one shot about petunia and lily's relationship that i'll post here soon. Keep an eye out for it! Oh, and everyone please listen to Adele's "Best for Last! It's my new favorite song :)
Thank you readers, for always being there. Even though my life is hectic, I will never forget you or my stories!
I wish every single one of you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Years!
With love, and until the final chapter,