Chapter 8 : Chapter Eight
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Draco tipped the contents of the cauldron away and moved back to their desk. He sighed and then smiled. ‘’Come here you.’’ He held out an arm, only to feel it knock hard against Hermione’s cheek. ‘’Oh shit! Sorry!’’
But Hermione was already snuggling under his arm and resting her head on his shoulder. ‘’It’s alright. I’m not exactly easy to see.’’
‘’We will find this Hermione. I know we will.’’
‘’I’m not in any hurry.’’ Hermione closed her eyes and slid a hand around his waist. ‘’The sooner we find the solution, the sooner we have to make a decision about the way we feel about each other. So, no, this isn’t perfect, but it does have its benefits.’’
Draco rubbed her arm, and kissed the top of her head, breathing in deeply. How was he meant to explain that he hated the thought of ever having to let her go, of not being able to spend so much time with her. She had said, perfectly honestly, that a relationship between a Slytherin and a Gryffindor was never going to work, and he couldn’t see of anyway to make their two houses accept it. So, did this mean that when they finally managed to turn her visible again, just when he could see the beauty that had been there all along, that he would have to calmly open his arms and let her walk straight back into their old animosity?
Hermione closed her eyes, letting the already familiar scent of Draco wash over her. When she was with him she felt more real than she ever had while she was visible. Never the prettiest girl in her class, she had never thought that she would feel this way. She had always thought that she would have had to settle for a version of Neville Longbottom: sweet enough, but certainly no Prince Charming. And now, against every sane thought in her head, she was falling deeper and deeper into a doomed romance. Because it was doomed. How on earth could they possibly keep up any pretence at a relationship given the hatred between their two houses? And that was assuming that Draco even wanted to go out with her once she was visible, once the cloak of mystery shrouding their encounters was gone.
She nestled closer to him and sighed. ‘’Shall we start again?’’
‘’Let’s have a break. We’ve been working for a while now, which probably isn’t helping.’’ Draco walked her over to one of the walls and slid down to the floor, pulling her with him. He slumped against it and Hermione stretched out on the cold tiles, her head in his lap. Draco smiled at the light weight of her head in his lap and gently skimmed his hand around until he felt the silkiness of her hair. Stroking gently, he wished he could see her. In his mind’s eye, he could see her smiling softly up at him, her chocolate-coloured eyes filled with mutual adoration. But the image was flickering and uncertain, and he longed for the clarity of true sight.
‘’Don’t look so sad.’’ Hermione’s hand reached up and smoothed the skin of his cheek. ‘’There’s nothing to be sad about right now.’’
‘’It’s just bad thoughts.’’ Draco twisted his fingers in her hair.
‘’I’ll make them go away.’’ Hermione’s head left his lap, and Draco could feel her breath on his cheek, the gentle rub of her small nose against his cheek and then the velvety pout of her lips brushing against his mouth.
‘’You’re very good at that,’’ Draco murmured, sliding a hand around her neck and under the heavy mass of her hair.
‘’It’s a gift,’’ Hermione whispered into his mouth and then lost herself in sensations that were familiar and yet utterly new every time they kissed.
Pansy gently pushed open the door to the dungeon classroom and inhaled sharply. Draco was lounging against a wall, his eyes closed, his mouth moving languidly. One arm was holding something invisible to him while the other hand stroked what appeared to be thin air. The corners of Pansy’s mouth turned down viciously. Draco was kissing that Mudblood slut.
Pulling out her wand, she whispered the spell and a shimmering glow danced across the scene in front of her and then spun itself into a small ball. Snatching the ball out of midair, she thrust it deep into her pocket and flounced out of the dungeon, her mind whirring furiously. The door slammed shut behind her and Draco and Hermione jumped apart.
‘’I could have sworn that was shut.’’ Hermione looked at the door which was now slightly ajar.
‘’It was probably just a breeze.’’ Draco looked at his watch and sighed. ‘’Much as I’m enjoying this, we need to go to dinner.’’
‘’Ok then.’’ Hermione rose to her feet and watched appreciatively as Draco stretched, his shirt rising slightly. ‘’Do you want to leave first, or shall I?’’
‘’Ladies first.’’ Draco smiled as he smelt her perfume as she came to kiss him lightly on the lips. Her hands rested briefly on his shoulders, and Draco held onto her slim hips. Gently taking her hands off his shoulders, he squeezed them and looked at where he knew she was standing.
Hermione smiled as Draco gazed intently at her right eyebrow. Reaching up she kissed him again and resisted the urge to cuddle into his chest and never let him go. With one final deep breath so that she could take the scent of his cologne with her, she was gone, small feet pattering up the corridor.
Draco smoothed out the creases in his uniform, his mind made up. When they made Hermione visible, he would persuade her to stay with him. Whatever it took, whatever he had to say, no matter who he had to stop talking to, he would find a way to make their relationship to work. He had to. He knew that now; there was no way he could carry on without the effortless intimacy that had sprung up between Hermione and him. He needed it. And much as it pained the principles that he had been brought up with, he knew that it was more important to try and make Hermione feel as lucky as he did than it was to spend his life mocking her.
Hermione slid into the empty seat reserved for her and tugged Ron’s sleeve to let him know that she was there. He mumbled something incomprehensible through his mouthful of food and waved a fork.
‘’Charming as ever Ronald.’’ But Hermione was smiling as she poured herself pumpkin juice, her mind full of the most delicious sensations and memories. She saw Draco saunter into the hall and lounge in his seat, picking at his food, not paying attention to anything around him.
Which is perhaps why he was so slow to react to Pansy standing up and striding into the centre of the hall. And why he only realised what was happening as Pansy cleared her throat, getting the attention of everyone in the room.
‘’I can’t even find the words to describe how disgusted I am with the disgrace of the Slytherin House at the hands of Draco Malfoy.’’ Her nostrils flared triumphantly as she glared at him, happy to have the attention of everyone in the room. ‘’So I’m going to show you what he’s done.’’
Dumbledore stood up but before he could say anything, Pansy had pulled the glowing ball out of her pocket and thrown into the floor. The spell she had cast early had made a recording of the scene in the dungeons, and was now enlarging it to immense proportions. Hermione’s eyes widened in horror as she saw the scene before her. She looked over at the Slytherin table, and saw her feelings mirrored on Draco’s face. Not horror at what they had been doing, but horror at the fact that something that had been so pure and wonderful was now being sullied.
Hermione turned and looked anxiously at Harry and Ron. Much like everyone else in the hall, they had been laughing to see Draco apparently kissing air, but slowly the pieces clicked into place: Draco’s hands holding onto something, the soft moans, the fact that Hermione was working with Draco and was invisible…
Ron turned to her seat, his eyes wide. ‘’Is that you?’’
‘’Ron, I really don’t want to have this conversation in front of everyone else…’’ Hermione began, but Pansy had seen Ron talking to the empty seat and was striding towards her.
‘’Yes, it’s her! That little bitch has been screwing around with Draco!’’
‘’Don’t speak to her like that!’’ Ron jumped to his feet, but Pansy was dodging round him and bellowing at Hermione.
‘’How dare you! What gives you the right?’’ She tried to find more words but failed, her face turning a magnificent shade of puce. ‘’Oh for Merlin’s sake…’’ Hermione reached for her wand but Pansy had already reached around her and seized a jug of pumpkin juice. Before Hermione could cast a spell to protect herself, the juice was cascading over her, soaking into her hair in a sticky mess.
She turned to Pansy in fury and stuck out her wand arm, and then gasped in shock. Her arm was visible! Looking down at herself, she saw her robes materialise. She turned to Harry and Ron, completely forgetting about Pansy, who was gaping like a fish, shocked at what she had managed to do.
They laughed with her and hugged her, ignoring the tacky juice.
‘’It’s great to have you back!’’
Draco stood up and moved swiftly across the hall. Hermione saw him and realised what a mess she must be – tangled hair, stained robes. Hardly the most romantic picture in the world. He wouldn’t find it difficult to end it now.
Draco saw her face fall and felt his heart sink. Why was she unhappy? She was just as beautiful as he had imagined; her hair wet, her cheeks flushed. And the sadness in her eyes was so heart-rending that Draco wanted nothing more than to go and gather her up in his arms and never let her go.
She opened her mouth to speak but Pansy was already clutching onto his elbow possessively and glaring at Hermione. ‘’Look at her Draco, she’s nothing! A pathetic dirty little Mudblood, like you’ve said a million times.’’
Draco opened her mouth to speak but Hermione’s eyes were those of a dove that had been stabbed and with a quiet dignity she disentangled herself from her friends and moved towards the exit of the hall.
Draco shook Pansy off his arm. ‘’What the hell did you do that for?’’ He tried to run after Hermione but Harry and Ron were stepping in front of him, telling him that he had done enough, not to even think about trying it.
Draco stepped back. What had just happened couldn’t have been further from what he had envisaged in all his fantasies, and now that the one girl that he had ever wanted had been cured by something as ridiculously simple as pumpkin juice, something that wasn’t at all logical, she was just going to walk away from him, and all of his hopes were going with her. He glared at Pansy. ‘’You think you’ve stopped me? Dream on. You’ve just made it easier for me to find her.’’
And storming past the gaping Slytherins, brushing Potter and Weasley off contemptuously, he ran out of the hall, looking desperately for Hermione.
AN: Hello lovely readers! Please accept my most humble apologies for the appallingly long wait, I’ve been rushed off my feet with uni work which unfortunately has to take priority. So I hope you enjoyed it, one more chapter to go…Please do review, simply because it will make me feel happy and remind me that I need to write the next chapter! Love as always…Petitesorciere xxx
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