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Chapter 13 : Chapter thirteen
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Two weeks remained of their time in France and their presentation was to take place in a week. Hermione began to furiously go over notes and would practice the presentation several times a day, reminding Draco so much of the schoolgirl he remembered.
“Hermione, relax,” He told her one day as they sat in the library, he reading the Daily Prophet and Hermione pacing up and down in front of him, muttering her parts in the presentation. “You seem awfully high-strung lately,” he remarked over the top of his newspaper.
“High-strung? You think I’m high-strung?” she said shrilly, turning to face him, her eyes spitting fire. “We’ve got a bloody important presentation in under a week and here you sit reading some stupid article by Rita Skeeter,”
“Actually, it’s by Lavender Brown. I think you remember her and I think you know that she’s worse than Rita Skeeter,” Draco remarked lightly and returned to the article. Hermione glowered darkly at him before sighing deeply and plopping next to him in the armchair, squeezing him into an uncomfortable corner.
“Hermione!” he said indignantly.
“Oh shut up, Draco,” Hermione said and peered down at the newspaper in his hands. “Writing rumours about Harry, is she…what’s this? Allegedly, Mr Harry Potter has been seen toying with several young witches at a recent social gathering held by the Minister… what a load of rubbish. Why are you reading about Harry anyway?”
“I’m not.” Draco said disdainfully, “I was reading about the recent Goblin strike at Gringotts. What’s so interesting about Potter and his love-life anyway?”
“I need a break,” Hermione announced, ignoring his jibe at Harry.
“What do you want to do?”
Hermione thought about it for a moment before jumping up and staring at Draco, an avid expression upon her features. Draco looked on apprehensively; he had a feeling that she was about to declare something he wasn’t going to like.
“Right! We’re going to go to the Louvre art gallery. We’ve been here for a month but we haven’t seen any muggle sites,” she beamed.
“No way. I am not going into muggle Paris. Absolutely not.” He refused and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Pleeeease Draco? For me?” she pleaded, her eyes large and beseeching. He glared half-heartedly at her before giving in to those pleading eyes and sighing, “Fine,” he huffed and left to change.
Half an hour later they were taking a taxi to the Louvre art gallery, Draco muttering incoherently under his breath whilst Hermione stared out of the window at the many familiar sights. They passed the Eiffel Tower and she vowed to herself that she would take Draco there before they left for England. Finally they reached the gallery and Hermione dragged Draco in, promising not to stay for too long.
Surprisingly at the end of that little visit, it was Hermione who was dragging Draco out. He had been so mesmerized by the many paintings and structures that he had forgotten all about being in a muggle place. Although neither the paintings nor the sculptures moved, he was so captivated by the delicate intricacy of everything. He would lean forwards so that his nose was almost touching the canvas and he would stare unblinkingly at it before closing his eyes, as if burning an imprint of it in his mind and then moving onto the next one.
Hermione smiled every time he did this. His reaction to the paintings had surprised yet charmed her; she had once come with her cousin, Jack to the Louvre and he had spent the entirety of the visit mumbling about how bored he was and instead of looking at the paintings, he kept on gawking at the many young French girls that had been on a field trip there. Draco’s reaction was much more enchanting.
“Where next?” Hermione asked once they were out of the gallery and were walking by the river Seine.
“Home?” Draco asked hopefully.
“Nope, we are not going home yet, it’s only two in the afternoon,”
Draco groaned and Hermione swatted him on the arm, “Can we go for lunch? I’m hungry,” Draco asked. Hermione did not look all that pleased about the idea but agreed to go with him to a restaurant. She stared at the menu in distaste as she read Escargot- snail. Once they had finished lunch, they went back to touring muggle Paris and Hermione insisted on taking Draco to Disneyland.
“Why on earth are you dragging me to a children’s theme park?” he questioned distastefully.
“Oh come on, it’s fun!” Hermione smiled and pulled him to a kids’ roundabout. Despite the fact that they were 21 and they were riding several children’s rides, they managed to have fun, until Draco mentioned the roller coasters.
“What are those large things on towers that everyone’s going on? And why in Merlin’s name are they screaming so much?” he asked curiously, an amused expression upon his face.
“That’s a roller-coaster. Do you want to go on one?” Hermione grinned.
Draco looked at her as if she were mad. “Risk my life by going on one of these stupid muggle contraptions? Thanks but no thanks, I prefer brooms.” But despite his many protests, Hermione dragged him on one and she beamed at him as they slowly ascended to a point on the ride where they were seconds away from a terrific plummet. Draco looked queasy and showed signs of wanting to throw up. The roller coaster plunged downwards and several people screamed and Draco groaned and clutched at his stomach where Hermione only laughed with glee at Draco’s unsettled stomach and because of the fact that she was riding a muggle roller coaster with none other than Draco Malfoy. Now this was something she never would’ve imagined in her wildest dreams.
“Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous!” Draco was still exclaiming even after they had gotten back to the chateau due to Draco’s misbehaving stomach. Hermione was still laughing heartily at his reaction and he shot her glare. “Do you find it funny?”
“As a matter of fact, I do.” She said in between peals of laughter. Draco was about to retort when pain flashed across his face, he clutched at his stomach and hastily made for the bathroom. Hermione continued to chuckle until her laughter had died down before going to change into comfy pyjama bottoms and a tank top and going back to the library to review some notes she had made on what she was going to say at the presentation. That had been exactly what she needed to get rid of her anxiety and put her in a relaxed mood in order to get her back in vigorous revision mode.
By the time Draco was feeling better he had found her nestled in the library in his big, comfortable reading chair by the fireplace, her legs curled beneath her and twirling her hair round her finger. There were a large bundle of notes in her lap and as always, she was biting her lips as she read them. She looked up as he came in, smiled slightly before returning to her notes.
He smiled back lightly but only to himself before it slowly slipped off his smooth features and he settled himself into a chair and began to write a few things he was going to say, but his mind was focused somewhere else. Never before had he thought that he would spend a day mingling with muggles and that he would actually enjoy it. But being around Hermione Granger made him think very differently to how he had previously thought. He couldn’t believe that he had gone to a muggle art gallery and a children’s theme park and had enjoyed it immensely. Okay, maybe not the roller coaster ride but he had enjoyed everything else. More importantly however, he had enjoyed these things with Hermione Granger. Hermione Granger used to be the one girl at Hogwarts he could not tolerate, the one that he had loathed with a passion and now he was going head-over-heels lusting after her because she made him breathless and drunk with pleasure all with the simplest of kisses. Even being close to her made his mind go blank and he couldn’t form coherent thoughts. She was the one that made him feel this way and made him act like this.
“Something wrong?” Hermione asked softly, her voice breaking through his thoughts and he looked up at her with hazy eyes. The light in the library was going quickly and the only source of light was from the flames dancing in the fireplace and the faint moonlight trickling weakly through the window. She looked so pretty sat in the dark, half of her face and creamy shoulders bathed in faint moonlight and the other half hidden in the shadows.
“No, just a bit tired,” he replied and returned to his letter but he could feel her eyes on him. When he was no longer aware of her eyes on him, he returned to drowning in pleasant thoughts of her and her kisses. Minutes seemed to pass by like hours and Draco soon found himself nodding off. He was jerked awake by an irritant tapping at the window. On opening his eyes, he saw Hermione opening a letter with Potter’s snowy owl on her arm. He glared slightly at the owl before turning to watch Hermione read Potter’s stupid letter. Her expression turned from happiness to slightly miserable within a couple of seconds. What was in that damn letter?
Hermione gently unfolded the letter, sat back down in her chair and read:
We’re missing you here, every one of us. How is your trip going so far? What’s Malfoy been like? I just thought I’d write and wish you good luck for your presentation this Saturday. Can you believe it? You only have two weeks left. That means only two more weeks left of Draco Malfoy. I bet you’re happy. There’s something weird with Ron however; every time Malfoy’s name is mentioned he starts muttering darkly under his breath and he goes livid when you and Malfoy are mentioned in the same conversation. I know he hates Malfoy’s guts but this is peculiar behaviour, even for him. Anyway, no need to trouble you. Everyone says Hi. Reply when you can. Missing you dearly.
Before, Hermione’s eyes would’ve combed the last sentence searching for some hidden confession of love, but now her eyes remained rooted to one sentence; only two more weeks left of Draco Malfoy. At first six weeks had seemed like an eternity but now two weeks was not that long and she found herself wishing that she had more time to spend with Draco alone where they would not be stared at or pointed at or talked about simply for being on good terms. She didn’t realize that she was unconsciously rubbing his name with her thumb as she read the letter.
“Something wrong?” she heard Draco asked anxiously. Her head snapped up and she replied noncommittally, “No, nothing,” before returning to the letter. Why did such a good day have to be ruined with such a measly letter? And what was going on with Ron? She knew he was the jealous type but this was a step too far. Lost in thought of presentations, Ron, Harry and Draco she left the library for her room, where a long deep slumber awaited her.
Music: Hearts burst into fire – Bullet For My Valentine
A/N: Disneyland? Draco Malfoy on a roller coaster? I’m hearing the shouts of disbelief in the distance. I don’t know, this was just a fun chapter to write because somehow it humanizes Draco and I just wondered how Draco would react where he had to do some muggle activities. Please go read my story with Dani called Audeamus under the penname scarletenchantressa and check out my new Rose/Scorpius called Defiance. Thanks! Reviews are appreciated.
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