Chapter 6 : Snake Meat
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A chill wound through the air and to her surprise underneath her skirt. Her heels clicked against the hard pavement, as she cautiously slipped toward the corner. It didn’t surprise her that it would be a cold evening that she would so cold a snake. However what had surprised her was the outfit Harry had forced her to wear. Double black, not only was it morbid but a horrid fashion statement. It would have been safer to go with the black dress she wanted. However Harry had been quite angry when she suggested the dress. Her black dress reached her ankles in layer and slightly puffy way. Her blouse was simple with a color and short sleeves. It laced at the top to cut off a cleavage view, to her content. However, in the bottom right hand corner a small pink heart blossomed from the stem of a thorny rose. The heart-flower rose from the side seem waist to her mid-back.
She closed her eyes as she reached the very corner of the sidewalk. The wind whistle through the trees above and she felt her loose hair whip around her face. Harry had suggested she straighten it. Her crisp reply had been that it would make it look like she wanted to be there. He had kept quiet after that. Her ears support heavy black hearts. Harry had quickly transfigured her bland silver-ball earrings into them. Her face was bare of make-up. Her neck sported no gems. She was a plain sight, almost horrid. One might have seen her at a cemetery wish her sister farewell. As she tilted on her heels, she felt like she was doing just that. ‘Goodbye Hermione…’ Harry’s words echoed through her head. It had been such a dead statement. It was as if it would be his final goodbye to her. She knew it wouldn’t but it sure felt that way.
Something as cold as slipped around her shoulder. The air beside her ear grew deathly cold. The great cold snake had spotted the poor innocent little rabbit.
“You look beautiful tonight, Virginia,” his voice echoed through her ears. She let the half-terrified sigh escape and opened her eyes. Slowly and carefully the hand on her shoulder caused her to turn so that she was made to face him. The icy blue eyes stared at her with a kind of scrutiny they’d never held before. She found herself shaking from something other than the cold weather. Was he considering her? Was he judging if she was worth the time? What was he thinking?
To her surprise a smile spread across Draco Malfoy’s face, it was not a happy smile, not like the one Ron would give her. It held a sort of secrecy to it; it drew her into a place she didn’t want to be. It made her uncomfortable and Draco knew so.
“All Black?” His icy voice drew the smile into the more accustomed sneer. “Gives the impression you believe something dieing by this date.” He raised an eyebrow into a sarcastic suspicion.
“Think you have figured me out, do you?” Hermione said with what she hoped was as much sarcasm as his face held. His smile returned for a moment and made Hermione look down at her feet. She didn’t want to look at the face and be taken to a place that tempted her entire being. Draco, however, wouldn’t stand for this. His hand lifted off her shoulder and a finger curled under her chin bringing it upward so that she had no choice but to look into those eyes.
“No wand either…” His smiled widened making Hermione’s heart beat a little faster. “You don’t see me as a threat. You should.”
An unwanted shiver ran through Hermione’s back. She was at his mercy. She was being weak. Control was being shifted from the poor rabbit to the hungry snake. She hated it: being vulnerable.
“Let’s stop the charades, Malfoy-“
“Please, Virginia, call me Draco.” His voice cut her off before she couldn’t even finish her thought. It angered her more than his words did.
“And do I have any choice in what you call me!” she shouted the words; remembering all the years of misery he had caused. Far too many times, he got away with his abuse; She wouldn’t stand for anymore, especially since…
Hermione froze while Draco simply smiled at her. He’d already realized it. They were to marry and there was nothing either of them could do about it. He was smiling to try and make the best of it. Did he hate this idea too?
“Of course you do. What shall I call you?” There was a gentleman in him that Hermione did not expect to see. A cold and calculating gentleman, but a gentleman all the same. She swallowed and felt his hand beneath her chin. She hardly took note of it.
“Call me Hermione.” Dignity; she said it with dignity. It was her name and she was going to keep it. Draco leaned in close, his mouth by her ear once again.
“As you wish, Hermione.” It was followed by more unwanted shivers and a breathless sigh. He pulled away without missing a beat. As smooth and classy as a billionaire he held out his forearm. Without thinking she took it. A second later she wished she hadn’t. Not only had she accepted the unspoken request for the date to begin but she had also put herself up to another place she didn’t want to be. A placed that realized what kind of muscles Draco had.
He started walking away from the corner and further down the adjacent road as the burrow. The silence should have been uncomfortable but strangely it wasn’t. More odd than that was, however, that Draco never looked at Hermione as they walked. As they moved further and further away from safety, Hermione felt like she was making a very stupid choice. Ron’s glare and Harry’s question kept dancing through her head.
“Do you have feelings for Ron?” Harry sat down as he said it. Right next to her so she couldn’t back out. Did she have feelings for him? She wasn’t sure anymore.
“Harry, that’s not a simple question.” She was backing out. Her simple statement was her complicate getaway and Harry wasn’t stupid.
“But Hermione, it’s a simple answer.” Harry was always a quick thinker.
The troublesome couple had traversed off the road and into a far scarier place: the woods. Hermione stopped walking once she realized it and removed her hand from Draco’s forearm. He turned back toward her with a sneer.
“Scared of me now? No need, I can promise you my intentions are honorable.” Her heart raced with the stress on certain words. She closed her eyes for but a second, a second too long. He moved a step closer to her and lifted her head with one hand and placing other on the very back of her neck. As she gasped at the sudden shock, he leaned his head next to hers.
“Don’t open your eyes,” he whispered into her ear closing his own eyes for a moment. Hermione found herself in a new place altogether. Some boundary that had always been there was now gone. It left her in a world that she didn’t know. However she felt safe, as if some force was guiding her through the unknown world.
“You’re so cold,” her whisper was not meant to hurt, nor was it said that way. It was simple, an observation, and a question.
“Give me a chance, Hermione,” his voice, for a second, was begging. She was frozen there for a second. It felt as if a great ice storm had glued her motionless. Had he really just said that? Was he the one who need help and not her? What did it mean? It had to be a trick. Was it a trick? Her brain moved as fast as she wished her body would. She wished her body to run away from the scene and… She wanted to run into the safe warm arms of Ron.
She sat there thinking for a long time. Harry was right after all. It was a simple answer.
“You ask me, Harry, if I have feelings for Ron. That question however means nothing. The real question to ask is if he has feelings for me.” Harry was unprepared for her argument.
Ron… Ron had never offered her his arms to run to. Now here was somebody else begging her to run into their arms. Maybe they were colder and not as welcoming but they were there.
“Okay,” she said breathlessly. She could hear his heart. It beat in time with hers, and strangely enough it was fast and wild. Was he as nervous as she? Was the cool and calm exterior just an act? On the same beat they both opened their eyes. Then the magic moment was over. Draco had taken a step back. His expression had gone back to that odd sort of smile. Hermione lowed her head, her checks burning. Without a word they continued walking through the woods side by side.
Heh...I totally set that up for a kiss...Sorry guys. Anyways I hoped you liked it, this was a hard scene to write. I hope I didn't disappoint anyone in it. I'm so scared that any out of characterness will anger you all.
Before I depart I do have to say thank you all. Out of 50 reads i got two reviews! That made me so happy. I'm used to one review for 200 reads, so that really makes my day. I have written two additional chapters so instead of 8 there are 10...so this is two of ten. Cool huh? Also, Draco and Hermione's date is not yet over...Thanks everyone for reading and thanks to everyone who reviews!
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