Chapter 5 : You Don't Know What Love Is
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“I-” He couldn’t form a single sentence. His mind raced and he was beginning to sweat. Hermione took a deep breath. What she had only wanted to be a brief meeting to get an answer had turned into a wrong-in-more-ways-than-six dilemma. It has to stop… NOW. How do I always manage to get so sidetracked? Show him no mercy Mione, you cant let this scum mess with you mind.
“I don’t believe we are on a first name basis Malfoy, and I also don’t believe it is appropriate for you to go around snogging girls who have boyfriends.” WHAT?! Why did I just say that?!?! I don’t have a boyfriend! Bad mouth, bad, bad mouth!
“Unhand me now, or else I will force you to.”
“Mudblood, you could hurt me if you tr-” Hermione brought her knee up to his crotch with all of her strength, and he was cut off mid-sentence, gasping for air and moaning. With a small push he fell to the floor, and Hermione stepped quickly over his body and hurried out the door. She frantically traveled up to the Gryffindor dorms, and as she rushed through the portrait hole, she marched up to Ron who was sitting on the couch, staring aimlessly at the roaring fire.
“Get up.” She demanded. He looked up at her, thoroughly confused.
“Hermione are you okay?”
“Get. Up.” She said again. Tentatively, he stood up and faced her.
“Mione you aren’t mad at me or anything, are you?” Hermione didn’t bother to answer him. Instead, she threw a hand around the back of his neck and pulled him down into a rushed, furious kiss. Pulling back a moment later, and breathing heavily, she looked Ron up and down. He looked paralyzed, and had a look of fright on his face.
“Date me.” She said firmly. It wasn’t even a question, but more of an order.
“Be my boyfriend. Please?” She clarified, though the situation was still rather vague.
“You want me to… date you?” He asked, forming his very first successful sentence since she waltzed in. Hermione frowned and she began to panic. Did he not like her? If not, then what was she going to do? How would she talk her way out of this one?
“You mean, you… don’t like me?” She asked.
“What? No! I do! I just thought you were joking or… or… Merlin Hermione I don’t know!” He pulled her into a tight hug. “This is so great!”
“…yeah.” Hermione said weakly.
“Have you liked me for as long as I have liked you? How did you know? I thought you would never notice me, honestly.”
“Uh-huh.” She replied, trying to care about what he was saying. He looked at her with a very stern expression.
“You are serious about this aren’t you?”
“Yes, of course I am. I want this.” She forced herself to say, although her heart was screaming “NO!” It almost hurt more to lie to herself than it did to lie to Ron. Never on her life had she ever anticipated using him, but then again, she had also never anticipated being in such a predicament as she was.
“Well, I’m going to retire to my dorm now, Ron. Good night.” She went up on her tip toes and kissed him quickly on his cheek, and then hurried up the stairs to her room. When she got there, the other girls were busy changing for bed as well, and didn’t bother to turn a sleepy head in her direction. As she sunk down beneath her sheets, she tried to relax, but her body stayed on full alert. Merlin what have I gotten myself into? I feel something for Arrogant-son-of-a-death-eater-Malfoy so in panic I turn to… Ron? This isn’t right. I should just apologize to him right now and hope he forgives me for playing with his emotions like that. It wouldn’t be fair to lead him on and let him think I really care about him romantically. I would be making myself no better than a Malfoy. But he was so happy… She thought, her brain and her heart in turmoil. How could I crush him by checking him the next day?
Hermione wasn’t the only one not sleeping that night. Deep down in the dark dungeons, Draco Malfoy cursed himself repeatedly for being so soft and foolish as he cast a numbing spell on his rather bruised…*ahem* magic stick. Never had a Malfoy behaved this way, and he was sure that his grandfathers were turning over in their graves at the very idea that their only hope to continue the Malfoy line was dancing around a little muggle born witch, utterly infatuated beyond control. A Malfoy gets, what a Malfoy wants, but when Malfoy wants a Mudblood, things go haywire. The way she smelled, the way she moved, the way that one little lock of hair always fell into her eyes when she was hunched over a book, the way her eyes flashed dangerously when she was angry, and the way she kissed him… he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about her. She was always in his mind, bending and breaking all the dark and evil ideas his family had been pushing upon him for years. But now the object of his desire had… a boyfriend? What? When had this happened? Surely she must be pulling his leg, for there was no one good enough for her, no one that could even begin to compare to her level of intelligence, except for him. It must be the Weasel, Pothead is too wrapped up in his own life to be apart of anyone else’s. Damn that blood traitor for all he’s worth… not that he was ever worth much anyways.
For the first time, he couldn’t call his father to come buy him what he wanted. He couldn’t say, “Father, I am smitten for Hermione Granger. Buy her for me.” His father would most likely hex the living daylights out of him before personally disposing of the body himself. No, he couldn’t go to his father. Should it have been any other girl (which he wished to death that it could have been) he would have whisked her away from her current boy toy and wooed her with his Malfoy charm. But, alas, it was Granger, who as he had discovered numerous painful times already, was completely unaffected by said charm.
What to do… what to do… He pondered restlessly. When no ideas came to him, he finally decided on temporary action. Go to sleep Draco, you mustn’t have those hideous bags under your eyes tomorrow morning. You have a reputation to uphold.
The next morning, Ron bounded down the stairs from the boy’s dormitories and waited anxiously for Hermione to come down from hers as well. He hadn’t told anyone about the two of them yet, and he was waiting to surprise them all when he kissed her good morning in the common room. The common room steadily began to fill with sleepy student preparing to go to breakfast, but Hermione had still not come down. Perhaps she is still sleeping, Ron thought. Although it is very unlike her to over sleep on a school day. He paced around the couch, wondering what could possibly be keeping her. If she didn’t come down soon, everyone would leave and his hopeful plans would be spoiled.
Just go! She reached for the door handle. No wait! Skip breakfast, stay up here until its time to go to class. Her hand withdrew. Stop being a chicken Hermione! Just do it. She reached out again. But what if he tries to snog you again? She snatched her hand away, as if the door knob was on fire. You can’t hide in here forever, and if you don’t go to breakfast they will only send Ginny up here to look for you. She grabbed at the handle and yanked the door open, forcing herself to step out into the hallway. She eyed the stairwell nervously. For Merlin’s sake Hermione, suck it up! She yelled at herself inwardly. Slowly descending the stairs, she entered the common room, which was buzzing with early morning clamor and students rushing to finish last minute homework assignments.
No sooner had her foot stepped off the final stair, Ron was at her side taking her hand in his. He tugged her to the center of the room and yelled.
“Oy! Everybody!” The clatter died down and all heads turned to face him.
Hermione’s eyes widened in panic. Oh Ron, what on earth are you doing?! She pulled at his hand, trying to move him towards the portrait hole so they could proceed to breakfast. She was unsuccessful. The small crowd looked at them expectantly. Ron pulled Hermione to him and kissed her full on the mouth. Her eyes flew open to as wide as they could go, and her free arm waved around in shock. A few whistles emitted from the boys, and sighs of exasperation followed by, “Well it’s about time…” from the girls.
Ron’s big mouth moved sloppily and wetly over her own, in what she presumed he thought was a “passionate kiss”. His slimy tongue tried to probe its way into her mouth, but Hermione kept her lips sealed and her jaw set, allowing no foreign objects in. He pulled away (much to Hermione’s relief) and looked at her, thoroughly confused as to why she was resisting him.
“Ron, everyone’s watching… don’t you think that this sort of thing should be kept private?” She whispered, as the common room members resumed what they had originally started.
“Oh… right. Well I guess we can wait.” He said, obviously not agreeing. “I just want to show you off. You know, now that you’re mine.”
Hermione was slightly taken aback at his words. She hadn’t expected him to think of her as an object of possession. “I am not a toy Ronald! I do not belong to you, or to anyone!” She stated clearly and firmly. He blushed and his ears immediately tinged pink.
“I’m sorry Mione, I just meant that now that we’re dating…”
“Right… dating… you and me… us…”
“Are you okay Hermione?”
Hermione snapped her head up to look at him. “Oh, um yes, I think I need to have something to eat. I’m feeling a bit… faint.” She said. And by faint, I mean distant. Distant because I shouldn’t be doing this. He nodded and reclaimed her hand. Together they walked down to the Great Hall for their first meal of the day. Upon entering, they received glances and nods of approval from the Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor tables, and glares of nauseating disgust from the Slytherins.
She took a seat opposite of Ron and facing the Slytherin table. She slowly consumed a bowl of fruit and a slice of toast before meeting the harsh glare that had been unapologetically staring her down since she stepped foot in the Great Hall. Brown eyes met blue ones in a silent war.
Unblinking, they stared each other down, daring the other to blink or turn away. For three minutes neither one took their eyes off the other for even the smallest fraction of a second. It wasn’t until Ron waved a hand in front of Hermione’s face did she lose her concentration. She blinked rapidly a few times, and then looked over to Ron.
“What?” She asked, slightly disgruntled that he had gotten in the way of her business.
“Touchy, touchy honeybun, I just asked you if you were going to go to Hogsmeade with me.” He said sweetly.
Hermione winced at the horrid nickname he was using for her. “Oh, sure.” She answered monotonously. She looked away from him again, and back to Malfoy. He nodded to the direction of the door, and she got the message.
“Hey Ron, I need to use the loo before class begins, so I will see you later.”
“But we don’t have any classes together! You have all advanced classes! I’m not going to see you till lunch.” He protested.
“I’ll see you at lunch then.” She gave him a small smile and left the hall hurriedly. I most definitely should not be doing this… She turned the corner, and then another, and found herself in her least favorite spot in Hogwarts: the Trophy Room.
Shutting the door behind her, she immediately felt lips on her own. Unlike Ron’s kiss, it wasn’t sloppy or drooly, it was soft and sensuous, yet passionate and needy. Only one person could kiss like that. She knew it was him, and even though she knew it was wrong, she kissed him back with hunger. When his tongue pushed into her mouth, she didn’t fight it off like she did with Ron, she welcomed it with her own and moaned softly at the luxurious feeling of being with him.
He began to pull away, for air she supposed, but she pulled him back in, her arms unwilling to release their secure grip around his neck. Seeing her persistence, he didn’t hesitate to dive back in and connect his lips with hers once more. Finally, minutes later when Hermione found herself backed up against a wall and they were both out of breath, they pulled away simultaneously and took a hard look at each other’s flushed faces.
“You are killing me Hermione.” He whispered, touching his forehead to hers. When she didn’t say anything, he continued. “I know you are only with him to make me jealous. It’s working too. Leave him and be with me.” Hermione shrunk from his touch and slithered away from his arms reach at his words. “You don’t care about him, I know you don’t.”
Hermione was unsure what to say, so she thought it best just to stay quiet. She couldn’t deny something that was so blatantly true.
“What can he offer that I can’t?” He asked, with a tone that was obviously mocking the Weasley family finances. She thought for a moment.
“Love.” She said. “He can give me love.”
“What good is it if you can’t return it Hermione? What good is it if you feel for someone else?” He demanded. She just shook her head and became utterly fascinated with the stone floor. I knew it was a mistake to come here, why can’t I stay away from him? A smart girl like me should not be falling for all of Malfoy’s ploys to win me over.
In one large step he had reached her, and taking her head in his hands, he forced his mouth down over her own. This time, she did not kiss back. As he worked his lips on hers, she wondered what his sudden snog would lead to. If she knew him even the least bit, she knew that everything he did served a purpose. Especially when he was on the hunt for something he desired. He pulled back roughly and bore his eyes deep into hers.
“If that wasn’t love, then I don’t know what is.” He said, referring to the kiss he had given her. Hermione returned his gaze sadly.
“Exactly Malfoy, you don’t know what love is.” She turned from him and walked out the door. He made no effort to stop her, because as always, Hermione Granger was right.
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