Draco ground his face into his hands, and groaned in exasperation. ‘’Go on then Granger. You tell me what I’m supposed to try now!’’
‘’Something different would be the obvious answer, seeing as nothing you’ve tried so far has worked.’’ Hermione glared at him and picked up the cauldron full of their latest attempt and threw it into the drain.
‘’And where would you like me to start? I mean, there are only about a million options.’’ Draco said sarcastically, and poked his wand at a left over leaf.
‘’Well, if you hadn’t been so stupid, then we wouldn’t be in this position, would we?’’ Hermione walked around the desk and stood in front of Draco.
‘’I didn’t mean for this to happen!’’
‘’What did you think would happen if you threw a cauldron of potion over me?’’ Hermione folded her arms and stared coldly at him.
‘’I didn’t do it on purpose.’’ Draco lifted his head from his arms and looked at where he hoped she was.
‘’Of course you did. Don’t try and act all innocent now.’’ Hermione began gathering a new batch of ingredients together, hoping that they would have the right mix this time.
‘’No, I didn’t.’’ Draco spoke slowly and frostily.
‘’So it was an accident?’’ The tone of Hermione’s voice told him exactly what she thought of that idea.
‘’You just happened to be carrying a cauldron of faulty potion, and just happened to trip when you were standing next to me?’’
‘’What’s so difficult to believe about that?’’ Draco’s eyes were wide, clearly not understanding precisely what the problem was. Hermione mused that she could happily rip each and every single hair out of his sleek head.
‘’You expect me to believe that you, Draco Malfoy, who has consistently bullied me for our entire school career, tipped a potion over me by complete accident? That it was just coincidence that it happened to be such a horrible potion? Do you honestly think I’m that stupid?’’
‘’You think I did this on purpose?’’ Draco looked so utterly shocked that it was all Hermione could do not to laugh.
‘’And the knut drops.’’ She clapped slowly, enjoying the expression on Draco’s face. ‘’Oh, come on Malfoy, who do you think you’re fooling?’’
‘’I didn’t do this on purpose.’’ Draco turned back to the cauldron. ‘’You can believe what you want, but I know that I didn’t do it maliciously.’’
‘’So why did you do it?’’
‘’Honestly?’’ Draco looked around the room. ‘’Where are you?’’
‘’Standing in front of you. Why?’’
‘’I want to make sure I’m looking at you.’’
Hermione bit her lip to stop a snort escaping her mouth. ‘’Is this to show that you’re being sincere?’’
‘’You have a real problem with me, don’t you Granger? Fine, forget it, I’m not that bothered,’’ he spat.
‘’No, you’ve started now. Come on, let’s do this properly.’’ Hermione reached forward and gently grasped his chin, adjusting the angle of his face. Draco pulled back in shock.
‘’What are you doing?’’
‘’Oh, just making sure that you’re looking sincerely into my eyes.’’ Hermione’s voice was so facetious that Draco couldn’t help smiling slightly. Her warm fingers tugged slightly at his chin, stroking the pale skin until he was looking in the right direction. She paused for a second, marvelling at how smooth his face was and then quickly pulled her hand away.
Draco didn’t dare move his eyes from where they had been directed. His skin was tingling slightly, and he could still feel Hermione’s small fingers on his face. He gazed intently at the one spot, almost wishing that he could see Hermione, even just an outline of her.
For the first time in the whole disastrous episode, Hermione was slightly relieved that she was invisible – at least this way no one was able to see the crimson blush that was spreading across her cheeks. And yet, she didn’t dare look away from the grey eyes that were riveted on hers. Any thoughts she might have entertained of leaving the classroom, letting Draco pour out his fake excuses to thin air vanished.
Draco realised that he needed to say something, anything. He cleared his throat and opened his mouth, wondering what exactly he was planning to say and why his brain hadn’t had any input in it. ‘’I…I didn’t mean to spill that potion over you. It sounds…it sounds so bloody stupid, but I was tired and I wasn’t focusing and now for some reason that completely escapes me, I am actually sorry.’’
Hermione gazed back into eyes that suddenly seemed completely foreign to her. She had known Draco since they were eleven, and now, for the first time, he appeared to be exhibiting some form of emotion that went beyond spite. And without even realising what she was doing, a small smile curved her lips – a genuine one that let her forget that this was Malfoy – the twitchy little ferret, and let her see Draco – someone she didn’t know, and was all the more enchanting for it – like a book that she hadn’t read. She raised her fingers to her lips, feeling the smile on them in consternation.
Draco swallowed. ‘’Any feedback would be good.’’
‘’Sorry. I forget that people can’t see me.’’ Hermione closed her eyes and shook her head slightly, but the smile didn’t leave her. ‘’Thank you. Apology accepted.’’ She moved around to the other side of the desk so that she was standing next to Draco. ‘’Shall we…’’
‘’Carry on? Yes.’’ Draco nodded his head firmly, hoping to distance himself from whatever had just happened. And yet…his skin was still tingling – a ghost of her touch lingering on his skin.
They recommenced with their activities, but there was something in the air that neither of them could quite grasp, something that was causing their eyes to flutter towards each other (something far more satisfying for Hermione), something that was making their hearts beat faster, something that was making their movements seem more exaggerated, more defined.
After what seemed like a lifetime, they were peering into the cauldron at a vivid green, bubbling mix.
‘’Do you think this one will work?’’ Hermione asked, her voice low.
‘’I have a good feeling,’’ Draco nodded, looking at the potion. ‘’I guess there’s only one way to find out. Here, give me your hand.’’
Hermione stared at him, and hesitantly extended her arm, placing her wrist into Draco’s open palm. He gently closed his fingers around it, feeling the smooth skin of her wrist, the soft brush of a dusting of hair, the tiny, delicate bones. Using his other hand to draw a ladleful of the potion, he smoothed a little over her arm.
Hermione stared down at her arm, not looking for effects of the potion, but at the way that his large, elegant fingers curled around her wrist, looking as though they were holding onto nothing, at the same time linking her to him. Draco shook his head. ‘’Doesn’t look like anything’s happening.’’
Oh, something’s happening, Hermione thought, biting her lip to stop the words escaping. And then something did happen. Her skin began to tingle, gently at first but building in intensity until it was scorching her. She pulled her wrist out of Draco’s hand and rubbed it furiously.
‘’What’s wrong? What did I do?’’ Draco asked, preparing himself for another onslaught.
‘’Nothing,’’ Hermione grimaced. ‘’The potion is burning me.’’
‘’Shit,’’ Draco swore, and reached out for her wrist again, grabbing it with an unerring accuracy. ‘’Here, we’ll get it under a tap.’’
He pulled her over to the sink and poured water over her wrist, washing away the potion. He didn’t stop until the warm flesh had turned cold beneath the constant stream of water and Hermione’s breathing was no longer pained. Picking up a cloth, he patted her arm dry, focusing entirely on what he couldn’t see.
He was suddenly painfully aware of Hermione standing right next to him, so close that the hairs on his arm were almost standing up. He could smell her perfume and hear the way her clothes brushed against her bare skin, and before he was even aware of it, his mouth was dry.
He let go of her arm, and smiled weakly, hating himself. He was a Malfoy – Malfoys didn’t get weak-kneed or dry-lipped or nervous, especially not around a member of the opposite sex. ‘’Better?’’
‘’Much. Well, if I wasn’t invisible.’’
‘’We’ll find something. I know we will.’’
Hermione nodded silently.
‘’Are you going to say anything?’’ Draco asked, wondering if she had left the room already, but then, he would have felt it, wouldn’t he?
‘’Sorry, I forget people can’t see me…I nodded.’’ Hermione half laughed, and Draco tried to smile, not knowing what he was doing, not knowing if he was liking what he was doing, but not wanting to stop.
‘’I’ll just have to be more aware.’’
‘’And listen for the sound of my nodding?’’ she asked sceptically. ‘’I’ll just have to tell you if I do something like that.’’
‘’Or tell me when you’re about to do it, and I’ll do this.’’ And, thankfully, Draco knew where he stood again, knew what he had to do. Ignoring the butterflies plaguing his stomach, he stretched out his hand confidently, and took Hermione’s wrist again. But his fingers didn’t close around it, but trailed up the slim arm, across the warm shoulder, over her collarbones, up her neck and onto her jaw. The other hand swiftly joined, on the other side of her face. Hermione stood, almost paralysed as she felt the warmth of Draco’s hands lingering on her, pressing lightly against her soft cheeks. She closed her eyes in silent bliss. ‘’Now if you nod, I’ll know.’’ Draco’s voice was hushed and silky against her ears, taking on a texture that she wanted to wrap herself in.
‘’I don’t think this is an awfully practical position for making potions in,’’ she murmured, even as her hands were sliding around Draco’s chest and resting lightly on his back.
‘’Very good for other things though.’’ Draco leaned closer and closer, his hot breath hitting her lips, his hands softly pulling her towards him.
Hermione closed her eyes, pushed her body closer towards Draco Malfoy, one of her worst enemies, and knew that she wanted nothing more than for him to kiss her senseless. And just as Draco’s lips were about to meet hers, Professor Slughorn pushed open the door and stepped in.
‘’Everything alright in here?’’
Hermione stepped back promptly. ‘’Fine. Everything’s fine.’’ She turned away from Draco, her eyebrows furrowed, whispering to herself. ‘’What just happened?’’
AN: Well, it would have been too easy to have them just kiss straight away! There's a really pretty box underneath this. Type what you thought of the story into the box, and press submit, and you will magically make an author very happy lol. Thanks everyone! petitesorciere xxx
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