Chapter 6 :  Almost Kisses
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Blaise was grabbed roughly by familiar hands when trying to leave Potions, Draco leading him away from the crowd that was their classmates and into a more secluded hallway by the grip he had around Blaise's robes. The dark haired teen followed behind the blonde, taking quick glances around in hope that no one would notice their swift departure from the group before he was pushed into a dark corner slightly behind a large stone vase. He found a finger with a gold ring wrapped around it at his chest, accusingly poking him.
"What the bloody hell are you think? Writing notes to Mud-blood in class? Do you want people asking about whatís going on?" Draco's voice was whispered, and he was trying to keep it calm, but there was a hint of malice under the tone. Blaise let a smile fall over him after he relaxed a little, being nervous the moment before of Draco for a reason he hadn't been sure of.
"The classroom is neutral territory, you got your go at her, I thought I should be able to as well. And anyway, it's not like anyone is going to care. If someone asks either of us, we'll just deny it, right?" Blaise replied, trying to leave but having Draco's hand grab his shoulder and push him back, not as roughly this time.
"You're meeting her?" Draco asked, his tone changing again, this time slight surprise ringing, wrapped in a tone that was unfamiliar to Blaise's ears. Something like jealousy, but it couldn't be.
"No." Blaise lied, the word escaping his lips before he even thought about how he would answer that question, completely confused as to why he was hiding the truth from his friend. After all, this was just a stupid game, who cares if Draco knew he was meeting Hermione? All the more reason to shove it in his face later right?
Draco let a smile fall over his features, and some how Blaise realized why he had lied. He had lied to get that look from Draco, to see the boy's shoulders relax, and to see his gaze soften.
"Good." The blonde replied, taking a fast glance over his shoulder at the few stragglers that were just then exiting potions class. When they were out of sight he moved forward to Blaise, pining the other Slytherin between him and the wall with his arms, and bringing his lips teasingly close to the boy's. A kiss didn't come, but instead, a hot breath from Blaise's lips as Draco moved away from them. He brushed his cheek against the other boys to bring those lips to his ear for a whisper, his voice almost silent, but hardly mistaken as the husky, evocative tone of The Draco Malfoy, a tone Blaise had become very familiar with over the last year.
"After class, you make it up to me." The whisper said, referring to Blaise's suggested promise during class.
"And what if I don't come?" Blaise replied in an equally quiet voice, trying his best to play with Draco as much as he knew the boy was playing with him. He felt those lips tug into a smirk, them being so close to his skin.
"You wouldn't dare. You always come." Draco replied, then, as quick as Blaise had been pulled into the hallway, Draco had left him and started his way out of the dungeons, blonde head never looking back.
Blaise let himself lean on the wall he had been pinned between, finding his face overly flushed, his breathing hitched slightly more then it should be, and an unusual crawl to his skin were Draco had been touching him. Letting his hand slip through his dark hair, he let a laugh escape at himself. Whatever had come over him and Draco lately, well, he would be lying if he said he wasn't enjoying it.
Hermione had no idea what she was thinking. This was Blaise that she was talking about after all. He was Draco Malfoy's best friend. They were always together, near inseparable, and even though some would see that as a major plus, to Hermione that wasn't a good thing. So he helped her in potions, big deal. That didn't make him a good person. That did not mean it gave her a reason to go gallivanting around with him down by the lake. Just because he was gorgeous and charming and made her melt at the mere thought of him did not mean she should have anything to do with him.
Who was she kidding, that was a prefect reason to have anything to do with him.
Still, something was fishy about the boy. The whole of the last two days did not make any sense to her. The two most handsome guys in school just suddenly fighting over her like a piece of meat. It was down right appalling and made her feel like a simple object being played with, but at the same time, a part of her was thoroughly pleased to be played with, realizing that she had been longing for the attention a little to long.
She felt slightly ashamed by admitting it, but she honestly couldn't help being completely swayed by Blaise's charm. It was a plausible reason. It was different from Draco's; Blaise was different from Draco. He was cute and smart, and so far he had treated her like a human being, not simply something to be looked at. He was just, different.
But, he couldn't be that different. He was Blaise Zabini. He was Draco's best friend.
Draco's best friend!
Hermione held back a huff as she walked along the grounds of the school, still trying to contemplate if she wanted to continue the route she was going, or if she wanted to turn around, being completely pulled between her logic and her heart. She could turn back now, she could go right back to the school and back to her dorm and forget that Blaise ever asked her to spend time with him. Or she could continue following the trail down to the lake.
Hermione found herself stopped in the middle of the trail, having a few people sending her strange looks as they past, no doubt wondering what invisible barrier was keeping her from walking. She sighed, looking down to the loosely wooded area around the lake, then turning to look back at the castle, once again returning her gaze to the trees, finding her forehead frowning. She didn't even know this Blaise! All she knew about him was the fact that he was a Slytherin and Draco's best friend! So if she hardly knew anything then why on earth was she even considering going down that trail?
Then again, there was no harm in at least showing up, after all, she had told him she would try. Hermione wouldn't want him to think that she didn't like him, she wouldn't want him to think that she hadn't wanted to come, because that would be a lie. Or at least, partly a lie, because it was about half of her that truly did want to continue down the road, wanted to very badly. But it was being held back by the part that was screaming to her that the whole situation was not right.
A sigh found her lips, turning the unsure frown into a determined one, then stuck her hands in the pockets of the sweater she had tossed on, before continuing forwards, her steps strong at first as if you push through an invisible wall that had been in her way. She had to at least go. She had to go to settle what the hell this was that was fluttering around in her stomach, because it surely couldn't be feelings. She hardly knew the boy. She couldn't like him. It didn't work that way.
Usually the lake was relaxing for Blaise. He would come to this little clearing in the lightly wooded area around the body of water to take time away to think or to spend some time writing. He rarely brought work, but when he did, it was always when he was writing a long essay, and any work done in this clearing by the water always ended up giving him the best marks. Every once in a while Draco would walk down here with the boy, but Draco wasn't the type who liked to spend his leisure time alone. He liked social areas, he liked to be with many people, or he liked to be doing something worthwhile when alone. For example, kissing, which could very well be labeled as one of Draco's only past times.
Blaise let a frown come over his features as he stared out onto the glassy surface of the Black Lake. He took a moment to tug on his lower lip gently, then trailing fingers down his neck and touching over the small red mark on his collarbone slightly under his shirt, a reminder of the night before, and he couldn't help but remember the urge that had found him.
Usually when they were in the midst of a game like they were their sessions became more frequent, perhaps it was a way to make up for how horrible they were being to each other in competition, but never had it been like this. That pressure, that burning that had been in his chest while Draco kissed him, it had been nothing like usual. It had been powerful. Draco had been exaggerating earlier that day. They hardly did enough things together to make him 'moan' as the blonde had so wonderfully put it, but yet that night before he had been suppressing his sounds of pleasure. In all honestly, if he would have let them out, that statement said earlier that day would have been very true.
What this meant, Blaise had no idea, perhaps he was just thinking to much into it, perhaps it had just been a while, which was true, or perhaps he was just really in need of some sort of attention at the time, considering he had been without a girlfriend for a few months. Whatever it was...
Blaise heard a twig snap behind him and he turned to look over his shoulder quickly, not being able to hide the smile that came to his features at the sight of Hermione. She stood there timidly, a fitted sweater over a tee-shirt along with a pair of jeans replacing her normal school uniform. She smiled in reply to his greeting look, letting her hand wave awkwardly as she stood there, taking a moment to brush her hair away from her eyes, only showing her smile even more.
He knew she would come. Why on earth wouldn't she? There wasn't a girl in this school who wouldn't at least show her face if invited down to the lake by him. Half of them would do it without question; the other half would do it just to prove that they weren't scared, which they were. Where Hermione fit, well, Blaise wasn't sure yet.
"I didn't know if you would come." Blaise said, lying through his teeth, but at the same time finding his chest swell slightly when seeing that smile on her face, only making the one on his features grow even more. Her awkward aura was charming, and, if he was to be so bold, he could say that he actually liked how shy she was around him. It was, alluring. For some reason he was finding himself overly glad to see her. Probably only because the game was going so well, he liked to know that she seemed so attracted to him, it only meant that he was winning.
Even though that was probably a given now.
"I said I would try." She replied, walking closer when Blaise beckoned her forward with a wave of his hand, patting the large rock he sat on to ask her to join him.
"I still wasn't sure. You don't exactly own me the pleasure of your company." He replied, keeping up his act, seeing a sheepish smile fall over her features as she sat, trying her best to hide it by fidgeting a bit, pretending to be trying to find a comfortable position.
"Why wouldn't you deserve my company?" She asked, bringing her brown eyes up to his blue ones finally, him seeing that slight bit of flush on her face and unsure if it was a blush or simply reminisce of a long, quick walk down there from the castle.
"You're smart, mature, beautiful. You shouldn't feel the need to bless a Slytherin like me with any of your time." Blaise replied, pausing slightly before 'beautiful' to show a bit of unsure in this word, trying his best to be timid with his response, so that it mirrored hers a little, all the while still trying to bluntly hint towards his intent.
"You being a Slytherin is hardly a bad thing." Hermione replied, leaning down to pick up a small flower, her delicate fingers starting to pick it apart in an idle fidget. Blaise held back a smirk, noticing this comment being a blatant contradiction to her words at their last encounter.
"And, maybe I want to bless you with some of my time." She added after taking in a deep breath, keeping her eyes on the flower while she said it. Blaise let an eyebrow raise, completely surprised by the bluntness of this comment, and couldn't help but let his lips curl slightly, opening them to perhaps speak, but finding himself unable to think of words. Since when did a girl leave him speechless? After all, he had had girls come up to him and flat out say that they wanted to shag him, so why had this comment been so affecting?
After he hadn't replied she turned her gaze back to him, and then let out a bit of a laugh, Blaise seeing her cheeks redden again, this time knowing for sure that it was a blush, and finding himself getting slightly flushed as well.
"I don't need a tutor." He said after a long silence, one that was surprisingly comfortable. He heard her laugh again, his heart jumping to his throat at her wonderful melodic chuckle.
"You were fishing for something then." Hermione accused, letting her eyes return to the flower she held, her hair falling over her face slightly as she lowered her head the smallest bit.
Blaise gave a coy smile to confirm that accusation, then, after a moment, found himself daring to move closer to her. She watched him plainly as he inched closer, but doing nothing to stop it. Their hips touched, and he felt her muscles tighten slightly, and she didn't move to stop him. He lifted a hand and stroked her chestnut locks away from the side of her face, brushing it so that it hung over her opposite shoulder, revealing her slender neck to himself. She had closed her eyes as he grazed a hand over the fair, tender skin, and because he was now so close, he felt her shiver ever so slightly, even though it was hardly noticeable.
"What do you want from me?" Hermione asked after a moment, in which Blaise had taken his hand and placed it on her child to turn her head to face his, finding himself wanting to see the brown of her eyes, wanting to see that intriguing power that he had been drawn into before. He paused, finding a confusing in her eyes, and taking a moment to try and find an answer to that question.
"I don't want anything from you Granger. I just want you." He replied, watching her eyes fall shut as he stroked his hand over her cheek. She let out a breath, a breath that was sweet on his lips, which were amazingly close to hers now.
"How do I know that this is real?" She asked in a whisper after a moment that Blaise had hovered close to her face, watching the forest that was her amazingly long lashes, counting the small, almost invisible freckled that lined under her eyes. He never knew she had freckles.
"You don't. All you can do is trust yourself." He replied, bringing his nose to brush against hers, flicking his eyes slightly when he had felt her hand on his shoulder, brought there to keep herself from falling over as she leaned into him. He brushed her hair from her face again, it being blow away from behind her ear because of a small breeze.
He could almost hear her heart racing, feeling it against his chest because they were so close. He let a hand fall from her neck and down her back, holding around her waist after the hand had roamed. Blaise found himself wanting to kiss her badly as they sat there, their lips merely hairs apart, but he couldn't. Draco would have his neck if he broke the rules, and deep down, he wanted to win fairly. But he wanted to so bad, he could feel something urging him to move forward, and he could tell that she wanted him to as well, only making this urge harder to fight off.
Suddenly he flinched, the sound of the castle's clock chime shocking him, echoing over the ground, signally three o'clock, and the end of classes. Blaise swore under his breath as he pulled away from her; suddenly realize who he was suppose to be with, and cursing his blonde haired friend.
Hermione had opened her eyes, finding Blaise's lips not there when she had finally taken it into her own hands to move in for a kiss. She had a frown on her features as she looked at him, searching for an explanation to his suddenly movement away.
"I'm sorry, I have to go. I'm supposed to be somewhere." Blaise said, trying his best to show exactly how sorry he was. She forced a smile on her lips, even though her eyes showed her disappointment obviously.
"It's alright." She said, and he offered his own smile, a thank you for her understanding. He then got up, grabbed his bag and moved to leave, feeling heavy with guilt for leaving her, and feeling very annoyed that he hadn't gotten to kiss the girl.
Why had he wanted to so badly anyway? It was just Hermione.
Hermione's walk back to the castle was heavy with regret, confusion and disappointment. Regret for even going down to the lake in the first place, confusion for what had happened while there, and disappointment for what obviously didn't happen. Why she was so disappointed was beyond her, because in all honesty, she didn't want a relationship, whether it be with Blaise, Draco, or Ron. She was not ready. And a kiss? Well that would have just made things a hell of a lot more complicated.
But, it seemed that even without that kiss things were more complicated anyway. Perhaps it was just the fact that they were both thinking about it, they were both going to. Sometimes humans were very strange beings. All the chemical and emotional reactions going off in their heads without the person even knowing. It was completely inconvenient.
Hermione sighed as she walked. She could hardly ignore that fact that, even though she told herself she didn't want a relationship, it was obvious that her body was just not listening to her. She had wanted that kiss badly, she had when down there with her own two feet, and now that she thought about it, she had been expecting exactly what had happened.
Only, she was hoping she would still be there now, not ditched. He probably had to meet his girlfriend, or whatever play thing he was fooling around with for the moment. She was sure that a boy like him wouldn't be single even if he looked it. There had to be someone that he kept around. After all, he was a boy. And he was a Slytherin.
Hermione was pulled out of her deep thought when a hand grabbed her shoulder. She shook slightly, turning to see the vibrate hair of Ginny, her delicate hand on Hermione's shoulder and a wide, playful smile on her face. Harry was behind her; they were no doubt out together for a while, away from Ron and her.
"Hermione, do you have some pinecones in your ears or something? We must have called your name a dozen times." Ginny said, taking her hand off the girls shoulder and starting to walk with her, Harry following behind them ever so slightly.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I was just thinking." Hermione replied, sticking her hands in her pockets before hearing Ginny give a very exaggerated reaction to this comment. She brought her lips into a circle and made a sound that represented a child making fun of girl of her age who had a crush.
"Oooh. You wouldn't happen to be thinking about the two pests that you mentions yesterday would you?" The red head asked, and Hermione widened her eyes, realizing who Ginny had just said that in front of, and then coming to the very grave conclusion that she would soon be bombarded with questions from Harry.
3. 2. 1.
"Pests? Who? Is this about Draco? Because I'll go zap him if you want me to." Harry said suddenly, and Hermione had to resist from slapping her hand over her eyes in agitation.
"Sort of." Hermione said, trying her best to wean the boy into what she would eventually have to tell him, but she had forgotten about Ginny at that time, and soon realized how stupid it was to have forgotten the girl.
"Try completely. Blaise and Draco were all over her yesterday, and I mean serious flirtage." Ginny explained excitedly as she walked backwards to face the boy, Hermione's eyes growing wide in horror as she saw Harry's also extend.
"Ginny!" Hermione said, letting her mouth gap slightly, but having the reaction brushed off.
"You would have had to tell him eventually." Ginny replied, letting her hand wave slightly, taking no more notice to Hermione annoyance then you would to a feather landing on your shoulder.
"Hermione! Why didn't you tell me?" Harry asked after a moment, and Hermione let her eyes roll.
"I didn't think it was important." She replied, having Harry caught for words for a moment before.
"Not important! This is like, end of the bloody world important! Draco is probably up to something, I mean, he would not flirt with you unless he had a reason." Harry said, his words growing absentminded as he turned to thinking, no doubt trying to figure out the evil scheme the blonde Slytherin had planned. He had very little time to think though, because a dainty hand had come up to smack him flat across the head soon after his words, causing him to recoil slightly.
"And it can't just be that she's gorgeous and Draco Malfoy just so happened to have noticed finally huh? News flash, it wasn't just Draco either Harry! Blaise was flirting too, so that rules out your theory! Don't be such a guy!" Ginny said in a very stern voice, the conversation growing from light to very heavy for a moment as she stood over the boy she had a serious crush on and slapped him into shape. Immediately after she was finished speaking she turned around to walk with Hermione again.
"Anyway, forget him. What happened that's making you 'think' so deeply?" Ginny asked, waving her hand at Harry as she had before over Hermione annoyance. The busy haired girl gave sigh, knowing there was no point in fighting the fiery haired teen, then let her shoulder drop slightly.
"Fine, but neither of you let this get to Ron or anyone else! Swear!" Hermione demanded, and both Ginny and Harry, who had caught up with the two girls and was currently tending to his head, nodded quickly in agreement.
"Well, to make a long story short, Blaise asked me in Potions to come see him. I did, we talked, and..." Hermione paused, no knowing how to put it, but was cut off when Ginny gave a gasp, slapping her small hand over her pink lips.
"You snogged!" She near shrieked, drawing the attention of some nearby students who were strolling the grounds like them. Hermione gave her a dark look after shushing her.
"No!" she corrected, seeing the look of horror fade from Harry's face as well as the utter glee from Ginny's.
"We almost did." Hermione added, and Ginny's face lit up again.
"I feel so stupid though. I real feel like he was just playing with me." The chestnut haired teen let her head drop ever so slightly in a bit of shame, seriously questioning the encounter now that she had been thinking about it for so long. He probably had no intention to kiss her at all. He was probably just teasing.
"Well you know what you need to do?" Ginny said after a moment, catching Hermione's attention. Ginny rolled her eye's, obviously annoyed that she had to explain to her friend what the red head seemed to think all girls should know.
"You need to find him tomorrow and show him what he missed." Ginny explained, that mischievous smirk falling over her features as it always did when she was talking about doing something bold and Slytherinish, letting her eyebrow raise suggestively as she watched a embarrassed grin fall over Hermione.
A/N: wow guys, I have to say that the reviews for this story are off the charts! you guys make me feel so great every time a chapter is validated and I see that everyone left me wonderful reviews.
almost 2000 reads so far, that's AMAZING! this story is doing so much better then I thought it would, and I have all my faithful readers to thanks, so ...
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