A/N - This is my first try at D/Hr. Please review, and let me know what you think. Thank you!
A Night in the Tower
‘So, how was it?’ Hermione asked with intense interest while sitting in the Gryffindor Common Room near dusk.
‘How was what?’
‘Your observing last night?’
‘Horrible. Padma just kept going on and on. I swear, I never knew someone could talk so long about nothing’ Harry answered with a noticeable sigh following.
Professor Sinistra set an observing project on the motion of the planets in the night sky, and it required a full night’s observing. Harry finished his observing the night before, and it could not have ended sooner than three in the morning. Tonight, it was Hermione’s turn, so she was pumping Harry for answers, which in his sleep deprived state, was probably not a good idea.
‘So did you find all the planets, or was there any that I should look out for?’ she asked again, leaning forward in her chair. Students were here and there in the amber lit room, working on various homework projects or assignments. Being the middle of November, assignments were coming to their due dates, so the usual last minute scramble was on for many.
‘Look Hermione, it was alright. I found everything, and got it done. I just wished I could have observed with someone who didn’t have to tell me every little detail about everything. I swear, after hearing all that stuff about Michael Corner, I’ll never look at that guy the same way’ Harry remarked, shuddering, and looking back to his Charms homework.
Hermione gave a sigh, and looked over to Ron, who had fallen asleep on the chair opposite from her, on the other side of a small wooden table that stood before the crackling stone framed hearth. Hermione took a piece of scrap parchment from her notes, balled it up, and lobbed it at Ron’s head. It hit him in the chin, but it had its effect, and woke him up.
‘Wha-, what . . . I’m awake, I’m awake’ he voiced groggily, reaching over his head and stretching. ‘Is Harry back yet from observing?’ he asked, his eyes closed and not noticing Harry right next to him. Hermione sighed, her annoyance clearing making its presence.
‘For Merlin’s sake Ron, Harry’s right next to you! How could you still be thinking it was yesterday?’ she questioned. Ron opened his eyes fully, and looked at Harry, who waved happily back.
‘Oh, sorry mate. So that means it’s your night tonight?’ he asked, looking at Hermione with an obtuse smile.
‘Yes Ron, I’m observing’ she responded, trying to keep her head level. Too many times she thought Ron was growing up, and maybe, just maybe maturing into a man she could really love, and he’d do something dim-witted like this.
‘Do you know who you’re doing it with?’ Harry asked, breaking Hermione out of her negative thoughts of Ron.
‘No, no clue. I’ll find out soon enough. I think I’ll go now to get an early start.’ She did plan on getting there early, but she also wanted to get out of the Common Room before Ron could realize he had homework that was not even started, and would ask for her help. She had a hard time saying no to helping Harry and Ron, but she hated it when they’d ask for help, and they hadn’t even started what they’re asking for help on. Of course, this was the case even tonight.
‘Leaving now! It’s not sunset for another hour! Plus . . . I hoped you could help me with my Charms essay’ Ron divulged. Hermione stood up, sighing in frustration, but keeping it hidden from Ron, and looked at him as he tried to give a sad look.
‘I need to go observe Ron, I can’t help you tonight. Why didn’t you ask me last night?’ Ron looked away for a moment in thought, and Hermione smiled inwardly knowing he had no viable answer.
‘Look, don’t worry Ron, I’ll help you. Have fun observing; just hope you have a good partner, and one that won’t talk your ear off’ Harry put in. Ron looked at Hermione, still looking hopeful she’d stay, but Hermione smiled at Harry’s solution.
‘Thanks Harry’ she responded. Ron still looked upset, but sighed, and went for his book bag.
‘Yeah, hopefully it’s not Malfoy’ he added, pulling out his Charms text.
‘Let’s hope not. Good luck with the essays.’ She quickly made her way to her dormitory, and got her heavier cloak since it was cool in the November night, as well as her astronomy charts. She came back down, and was glad to see Ron still reading over his charms book, taking notes for his essay.
‘I’ll see you tomorrow morning at breakfast’ she quipped from just next to the portrait hole, while Harry waved and Ron looked up and gave a placid smile. Hermione gave a smile and left—starting her way to the Astronomy Tower.
As she walked through the empty hallways and the sunlight waned through the windows, the walls of Hogwarts dimmed into a chromatic scale of blues and sapphires.
Hermione began to slow her walk to the Tower, knowingly making the telescopes wait for her arrival, and found herself leaning into a window, and looking out at the calm and perpetual sight that fell before her.
The deep amethyst of the evening sky made its presence felt as she looked out over the Black lake. Jets of fiery red and majestic yellow streaked across the vast expanse, and as she inhaled the cool November air, the sunset sky infused into her soul.
She let her mind blank, and simply looked out over the ocean of colours. It was moments like this that Hermione reflected, and wondered why she didn’t stop to enjoy such a simple pleasure as the sunset sky. It seemed she always had to have a purpose for some act, a purpose to be going somewhere or doing some thing. Her mind was always calculating and formulating her next task, or her next plan of action.
It was one part of her that she liked and disliked at the same time. It made her great at her classes, and at many other things, but it robbed her of the more simple things in life, like sitting down and enjoying the company of a friend, or going for a walk by herself around the grounds.
She always found ways of justifying it though; reasoning why she did not have time for such things. Always too much work to be done, and not enough time to put to impractical things. Even now, her reason was screaming at her to run to the Astronomy Tower, in order to find Mercury before it set.
Her head fell, and her chin rested on her chest as she sighed in frustration. She was always too much of a rationalist. No matter how much she might encourage herself, her logic always won. She gave one last look at the fire and ice sky, and continued her way towards the Tower though the dark corridors, lighting her wand tip to help her.
Reaching the stairwell to the Tower after a few minutes of quiet walking, she began climbing up. It was as she climbed she again began to wonder who her observing partner was. She disliked not knowing, and would have very much desired to have picked her partner.
Her mind began to move into pessimism, thinking the Professor might have paired her with lower graded students. She was known to do that with some upper-year projects, and she started to think the night might be worse than she thought.
She stopped herself suddenly in the confined and slightly claustrophobic stone stairwell, and leaned against the inner wall, closing her eyes.
She needed to think positively about this night. Regardless of who her observing partner would be, whether good or bad, she should try and do a good job, but also enjoy looking at the night sky. She rarely saw it from her dormitory, since her bed was farthest from the window.
Giving another deep breath, she mustered herself to push out the negative thoughts, and continued on. She did not even know who was up there, so it made no sense to her to be upset.
Reaching the heavy wooden door to the final staircase, she looked at the old and tarnished doorknob, and reached out with her free hand. She turned it, and opened the door, moving her wand upwards to see the ascending stairwell, which seemed to lead to the heavens.
Starting upwards, her steps sounded down the empty stairwell she just ascended. The air opened, and the smell of cool November filled her head. She came to the top of the tower, and the dark blue ceiling of the sky was dotted with the beginnings of starlight.
Hermione looked to the sunset, and found the dying breaths of colour fading on the horizon. She sighed at the colour, and looked around the top of the tower. She found her telescope standing next to the edge of the tower, pointing out towards the East Mountains. Next to that, another telescope was set up, and a tall black robed student was sorting through a book bag.
She smiled, and started to approach, when the student stood up, and she saw his blonde hair. She stopped suddenly, and her shoes scuffled on the stone. The student turned around, and Hermione’s pessimism made a triumphant return to her mind.
‘Hello Mudblood’ Malfoy sneered, grinning at her. Hermione sighed in a mixture of anger and resentment, and frowned at Draco.
‘You’re my observing partner?’ she asked disbelievingly. Malfoy put down his notes, and took a step forward. Hermione stood her ground, and Draco laughed.
‘I guess I am Granger. Believe me, I hate it as much as you. Well, actually’ he added, turning back to his telescope, ‘I probably hate it more. I’ll have to burn all my clothes after being around you for so long.’ He looked over and smirked again, and Hermione sighed angrily. She walked to her telescope, and threw her book bag down on the stone floor.
Perhaps I can get through the night with no talking, and it won’t be too bad she thought to herself as she set up her charts and began to ready her telescope. She looked up at the deep blue sky, and found some stars she already knew, and some reference stars to find the planets.
She opened up her finder chart, and found Mercury her first planet to look for. She stood back from her telescope, and began to look around the sky near the now dormant sunset for the tiny planet.
‘I wish you wouldn’t look at me like that’ Draco commented, still finishing up his setting up. Hermione looked over at Draco, and found him standing up, and facing her.
‘I was looking for Mercury Malfoy. Believe me, your direction is the last I want to stare at’ Hermione quipped, turning and continuing her search. She found the small sparkling dot near the horizon, just above the Black Lake, and walked back to her telescope, and occupied the eyepiece, beginning her search.
‘Justify it as you want Granger. That’s Venus though Mudblood’ Draco claimed. Hermione took a deep breath to keep her from getting angry, and she looked out at the sky again, and her sky chart. Surprising, she found it was Venus she was looking at. She looked back to Draco, and he was looking around the sky for a moment, then returned to his telescope. She thought for a moment to thank him, but stopped herself. It was Draco; he didn’t deserve a thanks.
She readjusted her scope, and found Mercury slightly lower in the sky. She marked its position on her sky chart, and then moved to back to Venus. The project required observing each planet every half an hour, until its path across the night sky could be determined.
‘Find it Mudblood?’ Draco asked, putting the emphasis on the last word. She marked down Venus, and turned away from her telescope and towards Draco, who was marking a planet on his sheet.
‘Yes I did. Do you have to call me “Mudblood”? It’s very annoying’ she admitted. She realized Draco would not make her night easy, but she thought she could at least try to make it work on some level.
Draco leaned back in his small wooden chair, and smirked even more. ‘I don’t know Mudblood, that’s what you are. Perhaps I can call you “dirt-blood”? Would that be better?’ he asked, chuckling a little. Hermione sighed, and smiled when a memory popped in her head.
‘Alright Draco, you call me whatever you want. I’ll just start calling you the “little white ferret”’ she proposed with a smile. Draco’s smirk wiped away from his face, and his silver eyes looked evilly at Hermione. He allowed his chair to fall forwards, and he leaned towards his telescope.
‘Fine Granger, I’ll stop for tonight’ he conceded, looking through his telescope again. Hermione grinned at her victory, and moved onto Mars.
Hermione marked down Mars’ position on her sky chart, and decided to prod Draco a bit more. She had one victory over him now, and perhaps being by himself, she could bring him down a few pegs.
‘Why do you hate Muggleborns?’ she asked, glancing over at him.
‘Because I do Granger. Purebloods have to protect our heritage from you Muggleborns. We have the history, the past; you Muggleborns are imitators. You are disease on the magical world, tainting our bloodline and destroying our way of life’ he explained.
‘How do you get we’re imitators and a disease? We’re just as magical as you are.’
‘No you're not, you never will be Granger. Purebloods are meant to be wizards; you Muggleborns are accidents, things that shouldn’t be . . . sometimes I wish we still practiced Muggle burning’ he admitted. Hermione was disgusted by this, and scoffed his comments.
‘How could you want to burn Muggleborns? I can’t believe you’d hate us that much’ she said. Draco stayed quiet for a while, and Hermione sighed; getting back to her sky chart.
Quietness filled the tower top, as Hermione allowed the unanswered question to hang in the air. A few minutes past, and just as Hermione began her search for Neptune, Draco gave a noticeable sigh, and looked up from his telescope.
‘Most Muggleborns I do hate that much’ he answered finally. Hermione looked over, and found he was wearing an odd expression. It was not the usual cocky pride and arrogance, but rather a calm and somewhat subdued expression. Hermione looked back at her sky chart, and thought of his wording.
‘Most Muggleborns?’ she inquired. Draco did not respond, but continued to work on his sky chart as if she did not speak. Hermione quirked her brow in curiosity, but continued with her chart.
Draco was acting odd tonight. Perhaps it was because no one else was there, but it was out of character for him to be accommodating, and stop calling her “Mudblood”. That was his favourite name for her whenever in front of Crabbe or Goyle.
Hermione didn’t mind the odd behaviour though. It was a welcome change for tonight, and she was happy he was not making it as difficult as he could probably make it.
After almost half an hour of silence, the sky was speckled with millions of stars, and the Milky Way shone brightly across the vast expanse of the heavens. Her observations of Mercury finished—since it had set already—she moved back to Venus, started again. Draco shuffled something, and let out a swear that echoed loudly in the quietness of the night.
‘What?’ Hermione asked, looking over to find his telescope on an odd angle, facing the horizon more than the sky.
‘Nothing Granger’ he spat, looking through his finder charts. Hermione figured his problem, and stood up. Earlier in the night, she would have thought she was insane for doing this, but she walked over, and tried to help.
‘What were you looking at?’ she asked levelly. Draco looked up and almost fell backwards, seeing that she was not on the other side of the tower.
‘I don’t need your help Granger’ he maintained. She glanced down at his sky chart, and found Neptune was not filled in.
‘Neptune? It’s here’ she explained, showing her sky chart, and where Neptune was. Draco looked for a moment, and then adjusted his telescope. He started writing down on his sky chart, and Hermione walked back to her station—her footsteps sounding in the hollowness.
‘Thanks’ Draco muttered as she took her seat, and Hermione found herself smiling at his comment. She would have never believed she would actively try to help Draco, let alone that Draco would thank her for it. She was surprised tonight was not a full moon, with all the oddness going on in the tower.
Hermione continued on with her observing, but found herself thinking of Malfoy. He was acting strange, but could it be because of her? Perhaps it was because she was a Muggleborn like he stated; but he said he hated most Muggleborns, not all of them.
She sighed, and tried to focus on her task at hand. She liked this Draco more than the usual one. He didn’t seem arrogant, or stupid with his pride, but rather calmed, and even a bit jumpy. For an instant, Hermione thought it was even a little cute how he was acting, but scrubbed it from her mind instantly.
This is Draco for Merlin’s sake! she yelled in her head. She couldn’t lie to herself, Draco was the closest thing to a rebel in Hogwarts. She knew every girl, at least at some level, wanted a man who was a rebel on some level. Someone who is always level headed and never takes risks isn’t an exciting person, while the rebel was an exciting person.
Even as a rebel though, Draco wasn’t much of one. He was more a wimp than a strong, determined, and rebellious guy. But there were some aspects that Hermione found attractive in him, and she could not lie to herself to admit they existed.
Draco was always secretive, and even tonight, he was showing that very clearly. Seeing him alone tonight, she found her thoughts towards him changing. He was actually being quiet, and speaking what was more than likely his real thoughts, rather than those he’d say to his friends to impress them.
Giving her head a shake, Hermione tried again to focus on her work. Why she would start finding Draco attractive was beyond her rational mind, and she continued to work, trying to forget Draco was there.
As she worked however, she found her head looking over more than a few times. Perhaps it was her lack of sleep that was playing with her mind, or the cool air, or even the night. It was a beautiful night, and the clouds that hung around the sunset long passed over the horizon, and left the sky clear in its entirety.
Moving her telescope, she glanced at Draco, and fumbled with the stand. The telescope fell off its hinges, and Hermione tried desperately to catch it. She was able to grab it before it hit the stone floor, but she was at an odd angle, trying to keep herself from falling with the telescope on top of her. She sighed, and looked up; a shiver running up her spine and into her finger tips.
Draco had come over to help her, and was offering his hand. Hermione hesitated for a moment, but looked into Draco’s face, and was surprised to find him looking almost worried, with his silver eyes examining her, and his eye brows lifted slightly. Hermione accepted his hand, and he help her stand up, lifting the telescope with Hermione with his other hand.
She exhaled as she gained her footing, and when Draco let go, she almost fell back again. Draco hastily grabbed around her waist with a firm grip, and helped her back to standing. Once she was back up, Draco took hold of the heavy telescope, and placed it back on its mount. He was taller than Hermione by a good six inches, so he had the extra weight and reach to balance the telescope better than her.
‘Thanks’ Hermione said quietly, brushing her bushy hair out of her face. Draco stood back, and gave her a small smile, and went back to his telescope. The smile, being tiny in both its size and length of existence, made Hermione feel funny, like she had butterflies in her stomach.
She slowly returned to her telescope, and readjusted her telescope, getting back to her work. It didn’t work that well though, as shivers continued to radiate through her core.
She couldn’t be falling for Draco, could she? It must be the night she reasoned to herself, trying to focus on the task at hand.
She started back, and thought she was back to herself. Checking her watch, she saw it was almost two in the morning. She still had at least three more points to reference for each planet, which meant another two hours. She moved the telescope back, and started her next round of observation. After getting through a few planets, Draco cleared his throat, and Hermione’s attention was taken away from her work once again.
‘Yes?’ she asked.
‘Tell me Granger, has Jupiter moved a lot since we started?’ he asked.
‘Jupiter isn’t above the horizon this time of year’ she pointed out. Draco looked back at his finder chart, and he began to flip through his various sheets.
‘No, I saw it. It hasn’t moved very much, but it’s there’ he commented, still shifting through his sheets. Hermione left her telescope, and walked over with her finder sheet. She gave her sheet to him, and he stopped, taking it, and examining it closely. Hermione knelt down to show him, just in case.
‘See, Jupiter is over here, on the other side of the solar system, so we can’t see it’ she explained. Draco moved his telescope, and lined it up with a sparkling dot in the sky.
‘No Granger, this is Jupiter’ he said, motioning Hermione to look. She moved over, and looked through the eye piece, finding not a planet, but a star in the center of the image. She leaned back, and looked at Draco, whose eyes were actually looking at the rest of her and not her face.
‘That’s not Jupiter, that’s a star named Capella. Again, Jupiter isn’t above the horizon.’ She picked up her finder sheet, and stood as Draco sighed. She turned to leave, when Draco spoke again.
‘Why are you helping me Granger?’ he asked, looking up at her with his star filled silver eyes. Hermione’s hands tingled with the gaze, and she looked away momentarily before answering.
‘Because you needed help. You haven’t been very nice to me Draco, but that doesn’t mean I have to be mean to you too’ Hermione remarked. She turned before Draco to retort a response, and went back to her telescope. She wanted Draco to think about what she said before answering with a snide remark, and inwardly hoped he would give a better answer than an insult.
Some time passed, and Hermione and Draco continued their observing in quietness. It seemed Draco was having less trouble now that he realized Jupiter was not in the sky.
Hermione’s fatigue was starting to take its effects as three o’clock in the morning came, and very slowly passed. The night was still quiet, with the exception of the wind rustling through the Forbidden Forest a little ways away. Hermione bundled up with her cloak, and she was alright for staying warm. The knobs and dials on her telescope were ice cold however, and her hands became cold very quickly as she moved her telescope to her last round of observing. She was imagining herself falling onto her warm bed in her dormitory, and falling asleep in comfort—which was a deep contrast to her cold surroundings, and the harsh bitter wind that snapped against her face, and numbed her fingertips.
Moving the telescope again, she looked over and found Draco continuing with his observing. He was also wrapped in his black cloak, moving the telescope quietly. Hermione noticed how he periodically looked over at her, and would snap his head back to his telescope when she was looking. She smiled, and continued on with her observing. She was eager to get finished, and get inside, but she was also eager to hear Draco’s response to her last comment.
Getting a last look at Pluto, and writing down its position, she closed her book, and stood up; her cold clothing brushing up against her skin, causing her to shiver all over.
‘All done Granger?’ Draco asked, looking over.
‘Yes, I am. And you Malfoy?’ she asked, putting emphasis on his last name. She called him Draco before, and wondered if Draco would actually stop with the last name business.
‘I’m done as well’ he stated, getting up, having his books already packed up. Hermione wondered if he finished earlier, and just stayed to wait for her. He approached her, his cloak still keeping him warm, and she hastily reached for her book bag. She picked it up, and of course, all her papers came flying out of the open pocket that she neglected to close.
She sighed in anger, and began to pick up her sheets before they could fly away. Draco put down his bag, and removed his cloak to help. They gathered a pile of sheets each, and Hermione stood, putting hers in the bag, and Draco came closer, giving his pile.
‘Thank you’ she said shakily. He smiled, and looked back at his bag.
‘You know, there are a few Muggleborns I tolerate’ he claimed, picking up his cloak.
‘Oh really?’ Hermione asked, as her feet began to tingle. Draco wrapped his cloak around his shoulders, and nodded.
‘Oh yes. They’re the lucky few.’ Hermione laughed as the tingling died away quickly.
‘”The lucky few?” Oh, and who is on this prestigious list’ she asked. Draco took a step forward, and the tingles in Hermione’s feet came back tenfold, as his eyes looked at hers with a strange and penetrating look.
‘Well, it’s not really a list. There’s only one name on it anyways’ he professed, taking another step. Hermione stayed in place, and the tingles began to craw up towards her chest, and her spine shivered—not from the cold—but from Draco and his close presence.
‘Only one name?’ Hermione replied, her voice quivering as Draco came closer, and his hands came to the side of Hermione’s elbows. Hermione visibly shivered at this, and her heart began to pound at the touch of Draco’s long fingered, and firm hands.
‘Yours Hermione’ he admitted softly, as he took another step, and closed the gap even further. One of his hands moved down to her waist, and wrapped around her back, as the other moved up her arm, and to her cheek. His hand was cold, but was warmer than her cheek, and she looked up at Draco—her heart about ready to leap out of her chest.
It was the side of Draco she wanted to see, and was seeing. It was a side that wasn’t arrogant, or spiteful—rather a calm, and even caring Draco. It was something she thought could never exist in something that looked and acted so cold, yet here it was.
His hand moved back down her arm, and Hermione looked up at him and took a deep breath. ‘Me?’
Draco answered by drastically moving down, and planting a kiss on Hermione’s lips. Hermione was so overcome by the drastic move, her voice squeaked, and Draco hastily retracted. He moved back just enough to read Hermione’s odd expression, and just as he turned to leave, Hermione—a passion running through her core that she thought could never exist—let go of her rational side, threw her arms around Draco’s neck, and pushed herself deeply against Draco’s frame.
Draco was surprised by the move, but accepted it in full. Hermione lashed her lips against his, and deepened the kiss just as it began. Letting out a torrential wave of lust and passion, she ran her hands across his tall and strong shoulders, and down his muscular back. He pushed against her waist, and moved his hands slowly up her sides, making her unleash more pent up fire on him.
They continued their fiery exchange, until the sound of a door opened, and a voice sounded in the silence that stopped their explosion of passion.
‘HERMIONE!’ Harry yelled, coming up the rest of the stairs, and pointing his wand at Draco. ‘You get back you filth! Hermione, are you alright?’
‘Oh Harry! What are you doing?’ Hermione asked angrily. Harry still had his wand trained on Draco, and he looked lost in what he should do.
‘I came to see if you were done. Are you hurt, are you alright?’ he asked rapidly, taking his free hand, and turning her around as if she was a lost child. She irritably shook his hand away, and looked at Draco, who had picked up his book bag, and his cloak.
‘I’m fine Harry. Draco, Draco don’t go!’ she begged, as Draco looked to the stairwell.
‘Yeah, don’t go Malfoy. We’re going right to the Headmaster’s Office’ Harry asserted. Hermione gave an annoyed sigh, and forced Harry’s wand away from Draco.
‘Harry, he wasn’t attacking me; we were kissing each other! Draco, no, don’t go!’ she explain, as Draco started down the stairwell.
‘Sorry Granger, Potter here ruined it’ he stated, leaving the tower top, and closing the door behind him. Hermione turned on the spot, and slapped Harry hard in the arm.
‘Hermione!’ he said, grabbing his arm.
‘Thanks a lot Harry!’ she shouted, running down the stairwell, and trying to catch up to Draco. Harry looked around the tower top, and sighed.
What was that all about? he thought, as he slowly descended the steps, and made his way back to Gryffindor Tower.
Forunately, as he walked through the empty corridors, he neglected to notice a bushy haired Gryffindor girl and a tall, silver haired Slytherin in a darkened corner, continuing their heated exchange.
A/N - Again folks, it's my first try at D/Hr, so please review, and let me know your thoughts. Thanks!