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Chapter 5 : Chapter Five
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Hermione giggled and leaned back against some cushions, feeling more relaxed than she had all week. She and Draco had been sitting in the Room of Requirement for over an hour now, and for all that she wanted him to prove that she had been right about him all along, he seemed to be perfectly pleasant. She stopped laughing and looked thoughtfully at him. Draco in turn looked at the one cushion that was invisible in the huge pile of them and wondered what she was doing.
Hermione pushed her hair out of her eyes and sat up slightly straighter. ‘’Why are you doing this?’’
‘’Doing what?’’ Draco asked, perfectly aware of what she meant.
‘’Being nice to me. You have been consistently awful to me, so I want to know why you’re being so nice now, why you’re making me like you.’’ Hermione looked at him, knowing that she wasn’t going to like what she heard but refusing to remain blind.
‘’Suspicious little thing, aren’t you?’’ Draco raised an eyebrow.
‘’Don’t patronize me, just answer the question.’’ Hermione pulled herself onto her knees, her relaxed feelings gone. ‘’Why are you being so nice? It isn’t like you!’’
‘’You don’t know me, so I don’t think you’re in the position where you can say what I’m like.’’ Draco kept his voice as level as possible but the tension behind it was apparent.
‘’I know how you’ve treated me.’’
‘’And it didn’t occur to you that I can be pleasant when I want to be? I do have friends, in case that had escape your notice.’’
‘’But…’’ Hermione stopped herself before she spoke.
‘’But what?’’ Draco’s voice was pointed, daring her to say what she had been going to say. Hermione squared her shoulders: he wasn’t going to intimidate her.
‘’But they don’t seem like real friends. They just pander to you, and do whatever you want them to do.’’
‘’Oh, and what do your friends do? Pick arguments with you? So by picking an argument with me, are you actually trying to tell me that you like me?’’ Draco quashed the sudden fantasy he had of Hermione blushing and telling him that she really liked him, as more than a friend.
Hermione glared at him. ‘’They don’t pick arguments, they just call me on something if they don’t think its right. None of us blindly follow the others – that isn’t friendship!’’
‘’Go on then Gryffindor Girl, tell me what friendship is.’’ Draco fell back onto the cushions he had been sitting on and smirked at her. ‘’Spout off your sentimental drivel about caring for people, and looking out for them and loving them.’’
‘’Well, what’s friendship if it isn’t that?’’ Hermione looked incredulously at him, wondering if he was being serious. ‘’You can’t honestly say that you don’t care for your friends!’’
‘’I can. They’re just people who hover on the periphery of my life, making things easier for me.’’ Draco put his hands behind his head.
‘’Those aren’t friends!’’ Hermione held her hand to her forehead, trying to stop herself shrieking something she would regret. She breathed in deeply. ‘’You know what?’’
‘’What? You feel sorry for me?’’ Draco propped himself up on his elbow. ‘’Don’t bother. I’m perfectly happy with my life.’’
Hermione looked at him, his blonde hair falling down over his grey eyes and had to close her eyes so that she could concentrate. ‘’You don’t regret the fact that you are essentially friendless – that you only have groupies?’’
‘’Why would I care? It suits me just fine.’’
‘’Well I feel sorry for you, whether you like it or not. And you still haven’t answered me why you’re being nice to me.’’
‘’I thought I’d managed to get you away from that,’’ Draco sighed.
‘’No such luck.’’ Hermione half-smiled.
‘’This does not leave this room, you understand?’’
‘’Of course.’’ Hermione rolled her eyes, her heart pounding in dread anticipation.
‘’I feel like shit for doing this to you.’’
‘’That’s it?’’ Hermione’s voice sounded distinctly unimpressed and Draco’s shoulders slumped.
‘’You’re determined to get your pound of flesh, aren’t you? Let me remind you that right now I should be in my common room being praised for managing to get to one of the Gryffindors. Instead, I’m in here, trying to talk to you and be pleasant because I feel bad about what happened, and because I don’t know if I’ll be able to solve this problem!’’ Draco had pulled himself upright, and Hermione absent-mindedly admired the line of his body. ‘’But, you know, if you don’t want me to do this, I’ll just get back to my house, shall I?’’
‘’So, you want to get to know me as some kind of penance for what happened?’’
‘’In the most basic form, yes. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why. Just accept it.’’
‘’Fine.’’ Hermione slumped backwards. ‘’Last time I try and bring that up.’’
‘’Good.’’ Draco stared sullenly at the ceiling. Hermione turned her head and looked at him.
‘’Do you really have no idea whatsoever?’’
Draco stared in her general vicinity in complete disbelief. ‘’You think this is some kind of joke? That I’ve known all along but I’m actually playing some kind of game?’’
‘’I was hoping that was the case.’’ Hermione’s voice was small.
‘’No. I have absolutely no idea.’’
‘’Oh.’’ Hermione gazed at him, wondering what else she could possibly say.
‘’In fact, I may as well be honest.’’ Hermione’s eyes widened, wondering what he was going to say, because it couldn’t possibly be good. ‘’I borrowed Dumbledore’s pensieve and tried to go back and look at what I did. My memories are incomplete. I can look at the ingredients I used, and I know I put water in first, but other than that, there is no recollection at all.’’
Hermione opened her mouth, but words seemed to dry in her throat. Draco listened anxiously to the silence emanating from her general area. Finally, she licked her lips, closed her mouth and tried again. ‘’You…you…have….’’
‘’So this is why you want to ‘get to know me’? Because it’s the only way anyone is ever going to be able to from now on?’’
‘’We’ll still find something – it’s just going to take a little longer!’’
‘’You don’t know that!’’ Hermione’s speech was erratic, disturbed as it was by deep, shuddering breaths in as she tried not to cry.
‘’I do! Come on, logically, we can do it!’’
‘’Don’t you dare talk to me about logic! Logic isn’t helping me now is it? Logic doesn’t help you live life when you’re invisible! Logic doesn’t make you normal! No, I need a potion for that – and you’ve forgotten how to make it!’’ Hermione gave up her valiant efforts to hold back her tears and sobbed. ‘’You know what, I never used to cry that much – congratulations, you’ve made me cry. The other Slytherins will be so proud of you! Go on, go back and gloat with them!’’
Draco stood up, and Hermione dissolved into more tears, burying her head in her hands and feeling the hot tears run down her wrists. She heard Draco’s footsteps across the room and cried even harder – so he was just going to leave? She was wiping the heels of her hands across her face, trying to stem the relentless flood of tears when she felt an arm slide around her shoulders.
‘’What are you doing?’’
‘’I’m not going back to gloat with the Slytherins.’’ Draco’s voice came next to her ear, the soft puffs of air on her cheeks. ‘’You may be completely infuriating, but it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t mean to do this, and I’m not going to leave you alone while we sort this out.’’
‘’I can’t remember the potion but we are going to find a remedy for it. I promise.’’ Draco’s voice was so emphatic that Hermione couldn’t help but feel a slight loosening on the tension around her heart.
Draco tightened his arm around her small shoulders and felt her quake slightly as she cried. He rubbed her arm, not entirely familiar with what to do when girls cried. Normally he was the one making them cry. Eventually, Hermione breathed in as deeply as she could through her nose and straightened her back. Draco felt the small movement as she turned to look at him. ‘’Thank you.’’ Her voice was curiously formal.
‘’Are you ok now?’’
‘’No. But I’m not crying,’’ Hermione smiled slightly.
Draco was suddenly more aware of the fact that he still had his arm around her, that their faces were facing each other and that there was one thing he could do very well to make girls feel good.
Hermione looked up into Draco’s eyes and thanked whatever deity there was that she was sitting down because her knees would have given way underneath her if she had been standing. ‘’What’s going on?’’ she whispered, and then wondered why it had seemed right to whisper.
Draco just shrugged and brought his face closer to hers. Their noses were touching now, and they were sharing the same air. Hermione watched Draco’s eyes dilate, and thought about how soft his lips looked.
Draco in turn wished that he could see the girl that was in his thoughts more than anything, wished that he could see the gentle smile that he was sure was on her lips, the sparkle that was in her eye, the hair that would be resting gently on her shoulders, the blush that would be on her cheeks. Without even thinking about what he was doing, he moved his hand from her arm to her cheek, gently directing her towards him, knowing that what he was doing was right , was what needed to be done.
Their lips touched, not moving against each other at all, just resting there, revelling in the sensations that were caused. They didn’t need to move yet – they both knew what was going to happen, they needed the second of calm before they toppled over the brink.
And then they were falling, clutching at each other, lips moving almost luxuriously against each other, fingers stroking faces, hands entwining in hair, tongues exploring, eyelashes fluttering against skin. Draco was still holding Hermione’s face, able to feel the small stud of her earring behind his finger, the warmth of her neck beneath his other hand, as he tasted her sweet mouth over and over, unable to even think about pulling away.
Hermione in turn had laced her fingers around his neck, her eyes dreamily shut, sure that this was the most blissful thing that had ever happened to. And Draco, as he kissed her was sure that he could almost see her, that she was becoming more real beneath his ministrations.
AN: there, I hope that lived up to expectations! You know, the kookiest thing happened while I was writing this – I had my ipod on shuffle and just as I was writing the kiss scene ‘How to Save a Life’ by the Fray came on, which has to be the most perfect song for kissing to ever, so I decided I had to get that bit written while the song was still on…quite a mad dash lol. So, leave me a review – it makes me so happy! Thanks everyone! Petitesorciere xxx
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