Chapter 1 : How dare you!
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It's funny how after she had completed her studies at Hogwarts and moved to an apartment in London, close to her office at the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic, that her circle of friends has completely changed. Before, it was mainly Harry, Ron, and Ginny but now, Hermione Granger often finds herself hanging out with great, handsome, and successful bisexual or gay wizards. For instance, the handsome blonde who's sitting in front of her, sipping on his cup of lukewarm chamomile tea, his stormy grey eyes looking at her with curiosity from behind his silky fringe. Who would have thought that Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger could be seen at a Muggle café together, having drinks while chatting? Well, anyone who knew about their short-lived but very passionate and lust driven affair in their seventh year. Oh how certain unfortunate visitors to the Heads' common room had tainted their innocent eyes at the sight of Draco eating fresh strawberries off Hermione's body. A certain Ron Weasley had to be confined to the hospital wing for a full week, raving about strawberries and blonds. But nothing beat the time Harry and Ginny caught the Head Boy and Head Girl having a game of naked Twister in the Gryffindor's bed.
An enormous breath of relief went through the ones who knew of their relationship went the two broke up but alas! They remain friends until graduation, met each other as often as they could, and dragged their other friends to a party so they could mingle and so. In fact, it was Hermione whom Draco first told that he's actually bisexual (after breaking up with her, he was straight during his school days) and she had accepted it with graciousness and a 'I knew it' nod, her brown eyes glinting evilly. It was Draco who helped her in finding a new apartment after her old flat mate had done some voyeurism on her. He had ensured that the friend of his is a nice guy, smart, decent and gay so no worries there. Frankly, Hermione found herself liking her new flat mate.
“How's our dear Blaise?”
The Slytherin's enquires of his ex-girlfriend's flat mate. Hermione puts down her cup of Earl Grey, her dark brown eyes looking at him as she only half-shrug her shoulders, not wanting to talk about the Italian's odd behavior after breaking up with his 15 month French lover, Pierré.
“Tell me, Mione, what did the bad Italian did to you? Want me to go and kick his cute, tanned ass?”
With half narrowed eyes, she chuckles slightly at Draco's baby talk, wondering how the hell does Draco Malfoy knows that Blaise Zabini's ass is tanned and cute.
“The last time you used that tone with me was on Valentine's night of our seventh year.”
“Yes, the passionate night on the blanket near the lake. Oh, what a vixen you were,” He pretends to reminiscence at the memory.
“Yeah, it was the night we broke up, your hair a mess with—”
“A bloody mark on my face, not a love bite, but a print of your hand. Why did we fight?”
“I don't even remember but it started with that annoying tone you used on me,” the brunette warns the blonde who merely chuckles, his grey eyes straying to a pretty red-head at a table nearby, whom was watching him with great interest. He winks suggestively at her, making her blush before averting his attention back to his friend who was watching the interact with amusement. Being bisexual sure has its perks for Malfoy, allowing him to flirt with either sex. Sometimes, Hermione was tempted with it but at the thought of kissing someone with breasts will make her shudder. She prefer a guy with lean and toned chest not someone with a soft bosom. Eww.
“So tell me. How is he?”
Bloody hell, how stubborn can a Slytherin be? Reluctantly, she obliged.
“He's been acting ... weird after the break up. He avoids talking to me but sometimes I catch him looking at me as if I'm some rune to be translated or an Arithmancy problem to be solved. Pierré even gave me his bad eye when we bumped into each other a fortnight ago! Looked down his haughty French nose and sneers at me! As if I have been the one goading Blaise to break up with him! I only complained about the noise they made twice!”
Draco shakes his head, amazed at how the smartest witch of their year could be so oblivious. He has to stop her before she gets on a roll of her vendetta against the gay couple.
“Hermione! Chill. Personally, I would have given you the Malfoy Death Glare if my said lover had gone backwards because of you.”
She gives him a hard look, an eyebrow raised, her cheeks slightly pink with the cold, her long brown curls tied in a simple ponytail. She folded her arms at her chest, a warning sign.
“Why the heck am I involved in their lover's fight? Why am I blamed for Blaise going backwards? Whatever that means!”
The blonde lets out a sigh. “Hermione, Blaise is ... in love with you.”
The brunette lets out a very unladylike snort which changes to a sarcastic laugh, short but meaningful. “Newsflash! Blaise Zabini is gay and if you didn't noticed back in seventh year, I'm a female! With breasts and estrogen; no testosterone, please.”
She just can't believe the blonde's idiotic words. How could a gay guy be in love with her? She shakes her head, the brown curls on her shoulders bouncing with life.
Both of them couldn't remember the last time she had called him by his surname, insisting that it reminds her of Lucius Malfoy.
“Being gay doesn't mean it’s permanent! It's not like he had a sex change or something. Trust me, Hermione. He came to me about 3 or 4 months ago, all worried about this warm and fuzzy feeling he's experiencing every time he gets near you. Haven't you ever heard that for every gay guy there's a girl out there that could make him straight again? You're the girl for Blaise.”
Hermione could feel the familiar sensation of tears prickling at the corner of her eyes. She closed them for awhile, not eager for the drops of salty liquid to fall in front of him. How dare he claim that he had fell in love with her after living in the same apartment for the past three years! How dare he have those intimate feelings for her when she, Hermione Granger, had to keep reminding herself that Blaise Zabini was out of the limits no matter how great he is or how much she wants him for the first two years they lived together. She reopens her eyes.
“Why? Is it purely physical or what? Why now!”
“I don't know.”
“What do you know!”
She cries out in her half anger half frustration. Without realizing it, she had slammed her hand on the table, making the two cups on the table spilling some of its contents yet the two occupants paid no heed to the liquid on the table.
“What I know is that he's in love with you and you can't change that, Hermione Granger.”
The witch just stared at him, her thoughts running amok in her mind. By the wizard's tone, she knew that she had angered him with her rudeness but with the small smile on his face as he gets up told her that he took nothing to his heart.
He puts a hand on her shoulder and place a chaste kiss on her forehead. He whispers into her ear, “He's just confused. He's been gay ever since he could remember. Give him a chance.”
“Give him a chance, my Gryffindor ass,” Hermione Granger muttered under her breath as she weaves her way through a busy crowd of one of London many streets. Her apartment was situated in the muggle area of London, near the King's Cross Station where for seven straight years she had departed to Hogwarts from. The tall building was red in color with a black rooftop, a quite well cared apartment complex compared to her previous one. Her apartment was on the second floor, the door with a shiny golden numeral 9.
Her hand shook slightly with her agitation as she inserts the key while muttering the counter-spell for the security ward they have put up. The door bounced against the wall as she pushed it open, her heart beating wildly against her chest as her brown eyes scanned the tidy living room with the blue couch in front of the medium-sized fireplace, portraits of Blaise's family and friends lines up with pictures of the Golden Trio. Ron waved to her from the picture of their Graduation Day, his free hand pushing Draco away from the picture Hermione.
A sound from the kitchen told her that the Italian was in the there, most probably fixing up a sandwich or something. Her footsteps echoed as she makes her way to the kitchen, her hands clenched tightly. At her entrance, Blaise merely looks up from the mug which he was stirring its contents with a teaspoon. He didn't miss the reddish quality of her cheeks or the way her eyes seems to burn.
Without warning and with an amount of strength that none of them knew the Gryffindor had, Hermione pushed the taller wizard against the wall, his head hitting it with a painful thud. Her hands were clenching the collar of his shirt. Her brown eyes blazed into his pair of dark blue eyes.
"How dare you!" she hissed. His chiseled face looks at her with bewilderment, a lock of his curly black hair falling over his forehead. It took Hermione every inch of her will power not to sweep it away with her fingers.
“Who the bloody hell do you think you are?”
“I'm Blaise Zabini.”
A hard look told him that that wasn't the best answer.
“What are you talking about?”
“I'm talking about this ... this ... warm and fuzzy feeling you're experiencing whenever you get near me!” she spats out while one of her finger pokes his lean and toned chest. She had let go of his collar moments before. The dark Slytherin paled visibly in front of her but his voice was calm and his manner steady as he makes a simple statement.
“Draco told you then.”
“Is it true or is it just some prank you sneaky Slytherins decided to play on me?”
“Why would we do that?”
“Because if it’s true, it is bloody wrong! You can't have intimate feelings for me!”
His eyes flashed dangerously at her words. In a swift fluid movement he changed their position, it was now Hermione who was pushed up against the wall, Blaise's hands holding her shoulders tightly. It was his eyes now which bore into hers.
“Why? Because I'm gay? Or is it because I'm Draco's best friend? Is that against your ‘holier than thou’ Gryffindor ways?” his voice shook slightly with his anger. Her brown eyes slowly filled with tears as they look at each other.
“Why now? Why couldn't you fall for me a year ago? Why after all this emotional torture I went through?”
Tears slid down her cheeks and at the sight of them Blaise's anger diminish slightly and he loosen his grip on her shoulders. He raised a hand to wipe away the tears but she pushed him away.
“You don't know what I went through for 2 years, living with you, sharing the same bathroom with you, having meals together in here while hiding all of those emotions from you! You don't know the time I had to go to the Burrow just to cry to Ginny when you brought Pierré home for the first time and I had to pretend that I was happy for you in public!”
Blaise looks down at the crying witch, her hands hitting his chest in her anger and grief. Her eyes were closed, as if not wanting more tears to fall. Her body, petite compared to his own was shaking and this prompted him to gather her into his arms, wanting to be a comforting presence to her although he's the reason she's in this condition. The tears formed a wet patch on his shirt but he paid no heed to it. She suddenly yanks away from his embrace, shaking her head.
“I hate you, Zabini!”
And with that she turned on her heels to leave the kitchen but something stopped her. A hand had wrapped itself around her wrist halting her movements. She turns her head around, looking at Blaise with teary eyes. His face was solemn.
“Too bad cos' I'm in love with you, Granger.”
“Let me go!”
“Just please ... sit and listen to me, Hermione,” he pleads with his blue eyes, enchanting her just like the first time they met when Draco had introduced them as future flat mates.
Hermione finally agreed, knowing that the wizard could stop her from leaving the apartment with his strength or a well placed freezing charm. Letting out a sigh, she raised a hand and wiped away her own tears and prepared herself to listen to him by taking a deep breath with the purpose to steady herself. Blaise runs a hand through his hair before opening his mouth.
“It’s not as easy as you think it’s for me. I've been gay since I was 16 and I'm in love with a girl. My world turned upside down when I started having this feeling for you. That's when my relationship with Pierré started to get shaky. Most the time we were arguing was because Pierré is jealous of you.”
“What? You were fighting because of me?” Blaise nods.
“I never knew.” Hermione remains silent, her face sober, not looking at him. In fact, both of them didn't say a word, silence between them until –
“I'm sorry,” she said quietly.
“It's not your fault that I'm in love with you,” Blaise puts a hand under Hermione's chin, making her look into his eyes, making him realized once again how beautiful was her eyes were, a dark chocolate color, like melted chocolate. His thumb lay on her bottom lip, gently tracing the outline. “It's just that ... you're such a wonderful person, so beautiful whether inside or out. Every time that you smile, every time that you laugh or whenever I get near you, it makes me realized that I love you, Hermione Granger.”
Slowly, he leans in closer to her face, grazing her full lips with his own, gently claiming them into a slow kiss, wanting to pour all of his feelings for her into it. His hand cupped her cheek, tracing a design on the smoothness when she responded to him. The kiss became much more intense, his tongue swooping on her lip, begging entrance. She granted it, surprising herself when she lets out a small moan as his tongue starts entwining with hers. The kiss, in one word, told the other how they felt, love.The two breaks apart, their eyes looking at each other, their chest heaving slightly. Hermione leans in towards Blaise's ear.
“I love you too, Blaise Zabini.”