Chapter 1 : Maybe Tonight
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“Hermione –” I swivel around to meet the source of the voice –“where’s your date?”
It's Harry, and he has Ginny linked through his arm. Seeing them together makes me even more depressed that I don’t have a date. It seems so surreal.
“Er – I decided to go solo. I’m not much of a fan of dancing anyway.” I assure myself more than anyone else. Watching them now, I know Harry and Ginny aren’t convinced, but decide to push the matter no further, knowing I am not one to be questioned so lengthily.
They bid me goodnight and leave me to drown in my sorrows while they dance away on the dance floor to the song they share as their favourite. I grumpily place my chin on my fist, my elbow digs into my thigh. My elbow nearly slips off the silky fabric of my dress. I stare down at it; it is a truly beautiful dress. Ginny and I had spent an entire two weeks looking for it, and when we had found this, it was as if it were made for me.
It is a long, flowing violet gown that hugs my body until it reaches my hips, and then flows down in neat tiers to the ground where sparkling heels poke through. I had bought it for Draco so he could see me wearing something that Hermione Granger didn’t usually wear. It seems now that it had gone to a waste, and that I should never have wasted so much money on something that was worthless now.
My eyes search the entire hall at the dancing couples, laughing, smiling, and some even crying with happiness. My eyes land on his and my heart gives a painful start. It’s as if a jolt of electricity ripples through my body, and causes my heart to start beating fast. This is a familiar sensation, one that I always receive when I look at Draco. My Draco.
I shake away tears and stand to my feet. I thought I could handle this, but now I know I can’t. I have to get out of here before everyone sees me cry - before I completely lose my mind over Draco. I run from the Great Hall as fast as my high-heeled shoes allow me. Heads turn to stare at this flushed girl stumbling away, but I don’t care. All I want to do is get out.
I burst through the double doors of the Entrance Hall and catch a whiff of fresh air as I race across the snow-covered grounds. It’s then that my heels dig into the snow, and I’m sent falling forward until I am lying on the ground, my face buried in the snow. That’s when I begin to cry.
But it’s not loud and uncontrollable as I expect it to be. It starts off as just a few tears, and then the sobs follow, but they are small and subtle. I lift myself up to a sitting position, my entire body now shaking from the vast coldness, and proceed to pull off my shoes. Discarding them next to me, I wrap my arms around my knees and begin to hug them.
I don’t care that my butt is freezing, and that a blizzard is due to start any minute, all I care about is my miserable life. How had it come to this after I had been so happy? As I think back now, I can’t believe how happy I had been.
His eyes are the only thing I can see through the flashes of bright lightning. They contrast with the beauty, creating beauty itself. The vast depths of blue-grey remind me of why I had fallen in love with him, and the look of love they possess remind me of why he loves me.
We are meant for each other, and if no one else can see that, they are surely blind.
He is the knight in shining armour I have been looking for my entire life, and now that I have found him, I am never going to let him go.
He is mine.
“You look beautiful.” He whispers to me as I lean in close to him.
I smile against his face as I nuzzle into his neck. “I’m soaking wet.” I say matter-of-factly, trying hard not to shiver in the pouring rain that surrounds us.
“What does it matter?” He asks softly, placing a small kiss on my cheek.
I giggle gently and wrap my arms around his neck. He is just as wet as me, but I don’t care. We will warm each other up, just like we always do.
“We should go inside. They’ll be announcing us as Head students soon.” He says, running a hand through my tangle of wet hair.
I breathe into his neck, closing my eyes and holding onto him tightly. “No, I want to stay out here.” I whisper softly into his ear, making sure my lips gently touch the lobe.
He shudders as intense pleasure fills his body. I know this will happen. It had become a habit of mine to make him want to stay with me. It worked every time.
But instead of giving in, he gives me a sharp look and takes hold of my hand. “You’re going to get a cold.” He say as he attempts to drag me back to the castle.
I clasp onto his hand and force him to remain where he is. “I don’t care –” I trail my finger across his wet hairline –“stay with me.”
He sighs as a clap of thunder sounds in the distance, before stepping back toward me and wrapping his arms around my waist once again. I rest my chin on his broad shoulder and we sway slightly to keep warm.
I don’t ever want this night to end. In less than an hour, we will both be announced as the Head students of the school. Hogwarts is a tough crowd, and it makes me feel nauseous for an unknown reason. But as long as I have him, I am all right.
Another flash of lightning flits through the empty grounds, and I see his face light up with it. Water is dripping from every available surface on his face – even his eyelashes. And I see him smiling at me as if I am the best thing that has ever happened to him. Heck, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I feel his surprisingly warm hand on my cheek, and I meet it with my own. I clasp it in mine, and he strokes his fingers up and down my palm. The feeling is soothing, and I don’t want him to stop. It makes me feel dizzy – a good kind of dizzy.
“I love you.” I whisper to him as the light-headed feeling remains, reminding me of how much I really do love him. No one has ever made me feel this way before, and I know for certain that he is the only one that can. My love – my knight in shining armour.
He stops stroking my palm, and for a second, I think something was wrong. But then he pulls me into him and presses his nose against mine.
“I wouldn’t dream of being with any other person than you. Even if it is raining and we’re going to pay the consequences for it tomorrow, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” His breath is hot on my face, and it fills me with indescribable warmth – warmth only he can give me.
I smile softly as he presses his lips against mine. I feel a tingling sensation travel through my spine. Although it is familiar as it happens every time he kisses me, I still am not used to it. It feels so beautiful, and it makes me feel as if I can top the world.
I can do anything when I’m with him.
Merlin, how had I ever become so head over heels in love with this guy? Even after years of hatred and rivalry, who knew that in the end I would find the man of my dreams inside the body of the supposed ferret?
But I know that deep down he had always been the man I loved, although he never showed it. No one would ever understand the deep connection I felt with him when he first kissed me. No one would ever understand how on earth I had ever fallen in love with Draco Malfoy.
I am brought back into sweet reality when he slips his tongue gingerly into my mouth, and the usual lust fills my body. I press myself up against him and run my fingers through his short, wet hair. I know he loves it when I do that. It was satisfying to know I had at least some power over him, even when he does deal most of the cards.
I smile against his lips as our tongues dance together, exposed to the cold air between our mouths. He must feel it too, because he returns his tongue to his own mouth and continues to kiss me lustfully with his lips. I can’t top the feeling coursing through me right at this moment. It’s like nothing I have ever experienced before.
It seems that every time we kiss, my feelings for him grow stronger. Eventually I know that I will not be able to live without him. I find myself hoping he won't be able to live without me either.
I pull away to take a breath, and press my forehead against his for support. I don’t care that it’s wet and cold – I can’t feel anything but the lust inside of me.
I feel him smile against my face. That is something I taught him to do. Before he was with me, I had never seen him smile. I had never appreciated how handsome he is when he does. It's like something new is floating inside of him, and that is rare for anyone to see - except me.
“Look at us, all soaking wet...” he laughs softly, stroking a stray strand of wet hair off my face. “This is ridiculous.”
I plant a soft kiss on his wet lips and smile against them. “I’d battle a thousand storms to stay in this moment with you.” I say truthfully, unable to feel the shivering cold I would feel if he hadn’t been here. I know I sound corny, but I don't care; I'm speaking the truth.
He smiles and kisses me back. “You spoil me.”
“You deserve every bit of it.”
I am interrupted from my memory as the doors burst open and light floods through, illuminating the white snow of the grounds in an off-yellow colour. I watch as Draco storms out onto the grounds and makes his way toward the lake. I ground myself into the snow so he can’t see me, and wait until his back is to me until I sit up again.
He is cursing under his breath, and I can hear snippets of what he’s saying, “...bloody Pansy Parkinson... ugly kisser... forced to go with her... damn father...”
I’m curious as to why he’s saying these things. But I don’t go over to him as I remember I’m mad at him. I don’t think I can ever trust him again.
He suddenly turns. “Hermione?” He asks, a confused look on his face.
I gulp as I see his open shirt, and the taut stomach that is exposed to the fresh air. His muscles are rippling. His hair is a mess, and there is lipstick smudged over his lips and his cheek. I can tell what he has been doing, yet it doesn’t make me hate him less. What’s gotten into me?
“Draco,” I acknowledge him coldly, rising to my feet and brushing the snow off from my dress.
His eyes linger on mine until they search over my body. I hear him inhale sharply as he stares at my hips and the way the dress hugs them, just the way he likes it. I shake my head. How could I have ever done all this for a boy? I had never let myself sink so low.
I realise now how much of a fool I had been.
Draco laughs softly. “We’re in such a mess.”
I glare at him, standing a few feet away from him. “Really? I hadn’t noticed you were covered in lipstick – lipstick that isn’t mine.”
Draco stares at me. “That’s not fair, Hermione,” he says quietly. “And I didn’t mean that. I meant us...” he trails off when he can’t find the right word, but I understand him.
I sigh. “And whose fault is that? You leave me on the night before the ball to run off with some pug-faced slut.” I try not to let my anger get to me so much, but it proves to be hard.
Draco rubs his eye with the base of his palm. "You don't know the real reason.” He says solemnly.
I fold my arms across my chest. “Uh-huh,” I murmur doubtfully. “The only thing you want me to know is where I stand with you. And I guess I’m right back where I started with you. You may as well just start calling me Mudblood again. I never used to care.”
He shakes his head. “I would never dream of calling you that again.”
I snort bitterly. I don’t have to say anything to let him know how I feel. He sighs. “Please, Hermione, I love you.”
I raise an arm and point a shaky finger at him, my anger reaching boiling point. “Don’t you dare tell me that after what you did! You just as good as dumped me for that pig! I can’t believe you think that by saying that you’ll fix everything!” I realise I don’t want to shout. I want to tell him I love him back, because that’s the truth, but it hurts too much. I may as well drive him away now while I still can.
“Hermione, I was forced to go to the ball with that slut.”
“Don’t give me those lies.” I say shakily, shocked that he would dare lie to my face.
He steps forward and takes my hands in his. I try to pull away, but he grips them tightly so I can’t. “I’m not lying,” he assures me softly, his voice cracking. “My father wanted me to go with her because she’s rich and he was hoping I would fall for her - get over my obsession with you. But he was stupid to think that I’d ever do that anyway.” He’s telling the truth.
I sniff, and my anger slowly starts to ebb away. And it was all for nothing. “But you went with her anyway.” I have to express what I feel.
Draco sighs again. “I was scared of my father, but now I don’t care. Seeing you alone in the Great Hall tonight made me realise just how madly in love with you I am. I'm not letting my father ruin that for me.”
It’s all hard to take in. What if he’s lying? He’s a good actor. I can’t tell for sure because I feel like I don’t know him anymore. I still feel betrayed, even though he assured me he didn’t go with Pansy because he wanted to.
But all my thoughts are forced from my head when he takes the remaining steps toward me and presses his lips against mine. I gasp at the immediate feeling of warmth that fills my body, and that’s when I know he’s not lying. I know for sure, because that’s what happens when you love someone. You just know.
I wrap my arms around him, and he seems surprised. He pulls back, and questions my sudden change of heart. “You’re willing to forgive me that easily?”
I gaze into his blue-grey eyes just as the forecasted blizzard begins, whipping cold snowflakes around us. One lands on his cheek, and I brush it away with my hand. I then press my lips against his, and invite the lustful feeling that is sure to follow. He kisses me back and I run a hand through his hair.
I pull back and whisper to the man I so desperately love, “I’ll do anything for you.”