Chapter 8 :  Swaying Judgment
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Draco wasn't sure what to make of his friend recently. It was not like the boy to steal glances and flirt openly when they were in the midst of a game. Usually Blaise was just as discreet as Draco about their playing, but it seemed this time was different. Perhaps it was just a different strategy, Draco could understand considering it was Hermione they were fighting to keep the attention of. But it seemed that maybe it was also more then that.
Whatever it was, Draco didn't like it. The way his friend was acting towards that Mud-blood made him sick to his stomach, and made him want to literally rip the girly smile off of Hermione's face just so she couldn't send it in Blaise's direction anymore. They were acting like a couple of puppies, feeding off each other naivety, only Blaise was not that naive. He was playing a role, that perhaps he got a little to deep into.
And Draco, being the charming gentleman he was, would save the boy from certainly losing himself in the character. After all, Draco knew he had to stop it. It just, wasn't right. But he couldn't simply end the game. Blaise would never let him hear the end of it if he merely backed out. No, Draco had to win as soon as possible, end the game in the only way he could.
Leading him here, looking out for Hermione so he could catch her before she went to her next class. It was Charms on the fourth floor. He knew this because the Gryffindors had it with the Ravenclaws, and he would escort numerous ones of his girlfriends to the class when he was going out with the odd Ravenclaw girl. Of course, Hermione would not be making it to this class like the rest of the students that were passing him. Draco had to convince her otherwise.
Hermione had seen him waiting long before he had seen her. Smooth and dark, sitting languidly on the sill of one of the schools many stained glass windows. He was ghostly gorgeous, an unattainable beauty, not like Blaise. Blaise was gorgeous but in a real, touchable way. She let her mind wander to the dark haired boy, his strong jaw, straight nose, prefect lips, and eyes so blue they should be illegal. He was real though, there wasn't anything so amazingly gorgeous about him that made him impossible to obtain. Not like Draco. Draco was like a painting, real to look at, to gape at, amazingly detailed, meticulously thought out and drawn just right, but when attempted to be felt you were greeted by the shell that was his canvas, the paint covering it being his angelic allusion.
She hadn't realized that she had been staring, but once she did the girl turned her eyes away quickly, only in hope that his artistically master gaze hadn't spotted her stare. But she felt him looking at her, his eyes burning her skin and causing a flush to fall over her features as a result. She hadn't been alone with him since the day before, before Blaise, and before the harsh words in potions class, and even though now his gaze was much like it had been the last time she had been alone with him, it was now also tainted with something else, a malice that made her uneasy as she walked.
"Granger." Her name caught her attention, and she cursed to herself. She had had the smallest hope that maybe she would be able to get by without him speaking to her.
"I need to get to class Draco." She said, surprised she had used his first name, as well as startled that she had stopped to let him catch up with her in the now empty hall. She was already running late, it was no doubt that classes had already picked up. She scowled herself, forcing movement away from him, but he was already following.
"Since when are you and Blaise snogging?" Draco asked bluntly, causing the girl to laugh slightly.
"We are not snogging." She retorted, as if that was the most absurd thing she had heard, but she got a cruel laugh from him in reply.
"Really? So you must call that bit of suck face earlier today just a friendly hello? I'd like to see what you do with Golden-boy and Weasel-bee then." he said, causing a blush of embarrassment and frustration to cross her face. She choose to ignore his hurtful names and intended assumption about her two friends, and stayed on topic, as hard as it was.
"Today was the first time." She admitted, her words now less then the confidence tone of before. She had stopped to face him though, to show that she still held her ground against his rude comments.
"It's still snogging, first time or not Hermione." Draco said, a laugh on his tone. The girl rolled her eyes in her fluster, cheeks red from humiliation and annoyance as she then continued walking, trying to escape him. She knew he was still following her, and that annoyed her even more.
"Are you trying to make me jealous?" Draco asked suddenly from behind her, breaking the silence that they had been in as the girl was trying to quickly walk away from the boy. She stopped immediately after this question, turning around to stare at him in pure bewilderment.
"What?" she asked, completely confused, and he rolled his eyes, shaking his head slightly.
"Of course not, you're just trying to get rid of me. Do you really think that snogging my best friend is going to get me to lay off?" he asked, and again Hermione was speechless. Her mouth opened and then closed, trying to find words, but all that escaped her were sounds of complete shock. What on earth was he getting at, like she ever liked him in the first place, like she was playing a game with him?
He was the one playing games!
Her confusion had yet to settle in, so as she stood there, searching for a way to react to what he was saying, she simply watched him move forward to her. Unable to do anything else, she recoiled herself slightly by bring her shoulders up and moving her chin down to cover her neck as he had moved to touch it. She caught a frown on his sharp, beautiful features, then his lips spoke again.
"What are you doing to me?" This was like a slap in the face to the girl, and she let her mouth drop open before shoving his chest to get him a little away from her and turning to storm off again. Of course, she didn't get far before she flailed around to face him once more, her face now red with rage, and then the rage all fell out of her mouth.
"What am I doing? What the hell are you doing Draco Malfoy? You're suddenly following me around like a love-struck puppy, telling me that you fancy me, playing games with me. And then you have the nerve to blame it on me? I kissed Blaise because he was real to me, he fancies me, not you. You just don't want your best friend snogging with a dirty Mud-blood!" her yells echoed in the empty hall, biting at Draco's skin and stinging his ears with their poisonous tone. She looked livid, staring at him with dagger sharp eyes, her small chest moving up and down with her hard heavy breathes, before she let out a huff and turned away from him again, stomping forcefully away from him.
"Hermione, wait." Draco called after her, setting off at a bit of sprint to catch of with her, grabbing her wrist to stop her. She turned around quickly again, yanking her wrist from his grasp.
"Don't touch me." She spat, but was surprised to see when Draco recoiled his hands and put them up in surrender, showing that he had meant no harm by the grab. There was a silence as she looked at him, almost pathetic with that nervous look on his face, no doubt fearing that perhaps she would hex his pointed nose off his face if he made a move to touch her again.
"Please. Give me another chance Hermione. Let me prove to you that my feels are untainted. I'm not trying to play games, I just-, it's all I know." Draco's words seemed honest, but yet, Hermione's mind was screaming at her to turn around and continue to class. She sighed, torn for a moment, but then she thought over his words again, and realized something.
He had said please.
"I-, I can't-, I have to go to class." She said, her voice no longer loud and livid, but shy as she turned back away from him and tried to escape once again, only having him follow and cut in front of her.
"Skip with me. I know you can afford one class. You're probably not even going to be doing a lot in Charms anyway, maybe even just copying notes, and I know you've probably already read ahead a chapter in your spell book. If anyone is able to make up for a missed class, it's you." Draco said, trying his best at shameless flattery, something he was very used to doing to get what he wanted, after all, all girls like flattery. He saw her decision being swayed with his words, a hopeful expression falling over his face as her eyes softened, her mouth taking in a deep breath as she prepared to disobey herself.
"Will you leave me alone after this?" she asked, and Draco replied automatically.
"I'll do whatever you want me to." He said, and she lowered her gaze, then sighed.
"If we get caught I'm telling them that you kidnapped me." She said, making a grin spread on the boys face as she turned around, starting to walk, no doubt expected him to walk with her. He obliged, taking a few steps by her side before trying to snake his arm around her waist. He caught a grin on her face, one that she was trying to hold back as she shoved him away, shaking her head slightly, despite the laugh that was hiding in her brown eyes. He accepted this denial, knowing it wasn't really rejection, after all, he was still walking with her.
"Where are we going to go?" She asked finally, finding their walking growing the slightest bit awkward, as the halls were silent and dead, a strange aura falling over the two. It was almost as if the earth had stopped turning, the dread of the world's end loaming over the school, filling everyones gut, because Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were walking silently down the hall with each other. It should be put in the record books. It was probably the longest the two of them had went without bickering.
Draco sent a small smirk her way, and she couldn't help but shy away ever so slightly, bringing her brown eyes down to the floor for a moment, not being able to stand his silver stare, or the different tone of the curl on his lips. She was unfamiliar with this smirk, it was not his usually taunting grin, one that showed his evil, twisted plans in his stormy eyes, revealed in the very corners of his lips. This one was, charming, and it must be the one that the Slytherin girls saw often.
"I don't know, wherever you want." He replied. The boy then moved closer to her, grabbing the strap of the heavy bag she carried to reveal her of the burden. It wouldn't be so heavy if it wasn't filled with books from the library that she had taken a few days before, the ones that he had spilt on the floor during their unpleasant run in.
"Merlin, do you have a dragon in here?" he asked in a sarcastic tone, a blush finding Hermione's face as she turned to try and snatch her bag back, but he pulled it away so that she couldn't reach it.
"No, it's just, my books. And I don't care what you have to say, I like reading, it broadens the mind." She replied timidly, but her words getting sharp as she finished. Her reading was a tender subject between the two of them, considering Draco had went out of his way over the years to poke fun at how often you could find her in a book. She tried again at retrieving her bag, but he moved once more, another curl coming to his lips as she gave up when she realized he was not letting her have her bag back.
"I hardly think you're mind needs 'broadening' Hermione." Draco teased, and she frowned at him, giving him a bit of a shove as he chuckled quietly (if it had been any louder it would have been bordering intoxicating), although she could tell this was not his crude teasing. This was playful, delicate, flirtatious, and she couldn't help but smile the slightest bit as well as she realized this.
"It's not a bad thing. To be honest, I like people who read. Blaise is big on the reading thing. I'm not much of one, I don't have the attention span." Draco stated, and Hermione laughed to herself.
"Obviously." She replied, getting a look from Draco that showed his offence, but he tried his best to rub it off as he continued what he was saying.
"I have to argue about these Muggle writers though. I hardly think that anything they have to write about is better then what a wizard has to write about." He finished, opening her bag and pulling out one of the book as he did so. He opened it, as if to start reading from the middle of the story, and Hermione couldn't help but let out a bit of a giggle, snagging the hardcover from his slender fingers, as if to save it from his bias opinion on it.
"Have you even read anything by a Muggle author?" she asked, and got a shrug in reply.
"I didn't think so. The thing about Muggle authors is that fiction is a major part of their technique. With wizards it's about facts, how do you do this, how do you get here, how do you protect yourself against this, what happened two thousand years ago, and what does that mean for us now. Muggles like to write about things that they don't often experience, things of wonder and amazement, magically things."
"Magical. And why would I want to read about 'magical things'? That is fact for me Hermione." He said with a bit of a tease, and the girl rolled her eyes.
"You would want to if you were a Muggle, Draco. Things are so boring without magic, it's no wonder that even though they think we aren't real they think us up anyway. Along with that, Muggle authors always have something meaningful to say. Their stories hold a lesson, they can teach you to be a better person, treat people better, and be more humble. - (Hermione paused for a moment,) Actually, now that I think of it, it makes sense that you haven't read anything by a Muggle Author." She explained, holding the book to her chest as he walked slightly in front of her, both of them strolling idly now as they talked. It was long since past that Hermione's class had started, and yet, she didn't care.
"That was uncalled for Granger." Draco said, making a grin break out on the girls face at her poke at him. She let out a bit of a laugh, followed by a sigh as the conversation fell silent again.
"I like it better when you call me Hermione." She commented after a moment, noticing that she had caused the boy to stop in his tracks. She stopped also, to see if his pause had been out of offence, but when she looked at his eyes they were shining slightly, the corner of his lip turned up ever so slightly.
Their hour together was as long as they had gone actually getting along. In fact, Hermione had to say that it was probably the first time she had actually had a lengthy conversation with the boy that did not include her wanting to hex him into a ferret like in fourth year. There was something about him now. He was being polite, charming, and if Hermione dare say so, appealing. They spent their hour talking about books, and even though it wasn't something of common knowledge to Draco, Hermione took much interest in telling him about the stories that she particularly enjoyed, and he showed just as much interest in learning about the books.
She found herself letting her guard down, and that was probably her biggest mistake, because you see, when it comes to Draco Malfoy you always have to keep your guard up. He has the patience that most boys rarely have, he is willing to wait forever for that smallest crack in someone's defenses, and he has a way of slowly but surely wearing it down. Perhaps Hermione should have realized how he was wooing her, but she didn't, because maybe she didn't want to.
The bell chimed to tell the hour, cutting off their conversation, in which was taking place in a deserted corridor. Most of the current classes were on the upper floors, or the grounds, giving them privacy from spying eyes that might start questioning why the two were together.
"I should go now." Hermione said after a moment, offering a small smile as Draco nodded slightly. She turn to pack up her books, Draco helping her, and she couldnít help but smile again at his etiquette.
"Draco, I -." She paused with her hand on the book he passed her, unsure at what she was getting at from these words, and finding herself breathless as his silver eyes moved up to her when she uttered his name. His name was still rather foreign on her lips, but then again, it was simple to call this boy Draco. Malfoy was the one that shot Muggle-born comments to her in the hall and cause her to want to zap the smirk right off his face. This was a different boy all together.
"Thank you, for being so civil." She finished, and before she knew it she was leaning into him, her lips finding the silk of his cheek in a sweet kiss of gratitude. When she pulled away Hermione saw that she had left the Slytherin speechless, his prefect thin lips opened the slightest bit in shock at her motion, and his expression made her cheeks turn a vibrate red.
Why on earth had she done that? Was she completely insane? This was only Draco Malfoy after all. Now he was probably going to go out and tell everyone that he needed a rabies shot or something ridiculous like that because a Mud-blood had kiss him. Why did she have to be so stupid? The Gryffindor tried her best at a laugh to make the situation lighter before pulling the book from his fingers and trying her best to put it in her bag, but she was fumbling awkwardly because she was trembling so badly.
Finally as she got her book in her bag she gave a nervous smile before turning quickly to try to escape, but his hand had come to her arm, a strong but gentle grasp on her elbow that caused her to stop and look back at him in confusion. He pulled her back to him softly, the tug being more of a lead as her feet replied by moving closer, even though her mind was screaming at her to just go, run.
But his silver gaze had her locked, rooted to the spot, so frozen that she could do nothing but watch that gaze as his tender touch moved to her neck, couldn't even refuse as he lead her mouth to his and pressed his lips on her in the gentlest manner. She didn't kiss back, being too shocked that she wasn't running, or that she wasn't doing anything to flee at that matter, and the stillness of her shock caused him to part from her after his butterfly kiss, linger close as he spoke.
"I'm sorry for what I've done to you. Can you ever forgive me?" His voice was honest, a whisper hot on her lips as he left a moment before kissing her again. During his words her hand had come up to pull on his wrist, but as his lips found her again the hand fell limp in it's attempts to pull him away from her. She kissed back this time, a surprise to herself, and she couldn't help but notice his hand tighten the slights bit on her neck as she finally reacted.
She had never been this close to him. His hand had found around her waist and had pulled her so that the entry length of their bodies where touching. Hermione's bag fell from her shoulder, the sound of it hitting the floor sounding distance, like through a long tunnel, and she then lifted her arms to come around his neck, to possibly bring herself closer as they kissed, his lips warm and moist on her as his hands delicate and passionate as they held her. He asked permission and she replied almost instantly, parting her lips and tasting him, bitter sweet, spicy on her tongue as she grazed over his. She heard a sound escape her, of content and pleasure, and in reply he tightened his grip around her waist to bring her even closer.
And suddenly she realized how touchable he was. He was not some holy form for her to bask at his beauty, his unattainably. He was here, he was real, and he was tangible. And she could touch him, feeling the amazing of his silk hair, his warm skin, and the beat of his heart through his neck on her palm. She could taste him and hear his breathing. He was not a painting of 2-D proportions. He was alive, he was real. The moment engulfed her, his subtle spicy scent, his touch, and the warmth of his form on hers, and she found a shiver pass over her, like being trapped under the surface of a cold lake. Her breath was taken from her and her body had a strange feel, so hot that it was cold, or perhaps the other way around.
His flaxen hair tickled at her cheeks as he tilted his head down slightly, obviously not caring that it had strayed out into his vision during their heat. She had to part for a breath for a moment, realizing how long she had went without air when a throb came to her head when a breath was finally taken in. But she was distracted from the sudden pain, him taking her moment of breathing to kiss the corners of her lips, her jaw, her neck, all the more tender.
And then it hit her like someone had smacked her across the face with a bag of bricks. She almost had to suck in another startled breath at the shock, realizing that it was a certain blonde Slytherin that currently had his lips on her neck. She took in a silent gasp, then peeled his hands away from her and snagged up her bag, hurrying away so she didn't go back.
"I have to go." She called after herself to the boy, her voice tainted with the regret for what she had just let happen, and the fear of what was to come of this. She had just let Draco Malfoy kiss her into submission.
And what scared her the most as she hurried away from the beautiful blonde haired boy who had just left a horribly noticeable mark on her collar bone, was that she had liked it.
A/N: O.O my reads just jumped from just over 3000 to now over 4000!!!! THAT IS AMAZING!!!
Man, I love you guys so much. I came on a few days after this was validated and i like 10 new reviews! it was amazing. YOu don't even understand how happy that makes me. So, to show you how wonderful that made me feel, you get two chapters updated in a row! no waiting two weeks for me to add a chapter to another story!! :D
now you just have to wait for Validation lol.
After this chapter, I'm just sure how many I will be able to get out before the queue closer on the 17th. I'm going to be so busy with the movie and the book coming out, along with the fact that pretty well all my friends have birthdays in the next week :P
But I promise I will try my best. because my readers are the BEST!!!
SkinandBones_ aka Danielle
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