A/N: I was really happy to see the great responses I was getting from all of my lovely reviewers! I hope you guys enjoy this chapter :)
Hermione stood in the midst of the large crowd forming outside. Many anxious students were surrounding her as they waited for Professor McGonagall to give them permission to leave for Hogsmeade.
“Where are my Head Boy and Head Girl?” McGonagall called out. Hermione awkwardly weaved her way out of the crowd and towards the Headmistress. She caught Draco’s gaze as he walked up next to her, but she quickly diverted it.
“Now I need you two to be my other eyes. Be on the look out for any improper behavior, and ensure that the Prefects of not only your respected houses but those of other houses are properly ensuring the rules.” McGonagall finished. Both Hermione and Draco nodded.
As soon as she released them, Hermione sprinted the other way towards Harry and Ron. She was conflict over last night’s events. After Draco had left her in that state she wondered what was happening between them. Moreover, avoiding Draco meant not seeing Blaise as much. She felt so guilty about standing him up, that she couldn’t bare to see him. Hermione decided to bury herself with Harry and Ron. Neither of the Slytherin boys would approach her with them on her side. Besides, she needed some long awaited alone time with her two best friends.
“This is nice isn’t it? I mean, just the three of us. Like old times.” Hermione beamed as they walked towards Hogsmeade.
“Oh yeah, except this will be one of the few times something completely bizarre won’t happen. Or that we won’t be under Harry’s cloak.” Ron noted. Both Harry and Hermione laughed. She really had missed their company very much indeed. After a short distance, they reached the small village on the outskirts of Hogwarts.
“So where to first?” Hermione asked.
“Harry and I wanted to check out Zonko’s.” Ron piped up.
“Uh, that’s completely and utterly mundane. I’m going to go to Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop. Let’s meet up at Honeydukes? Hermione replied. Both Ron and Harry rolled their eyes, and agreed. But before they walked away, Hermione herd Ron mutter:
“Scrivenshaft’s? And she thinks we’re mundane.”
Laughing at herself, she headed the opposite direction to the small shop. She only walked a small distance before heavy snowfall began to ensue. She could hear many people running around, as the crunching of their boots grew louder. She smiled pleasantly feeling the snug warmness of her school robes. She suddenly heard the crunching of another pair of shoes and turned to face Blaise. He walked in stride with her, before she stopped.
Hermione felt a terrible stone hit her stomach. How would she explain to Blaise that she ditched him for his best friend? And on top of that, almost snogged the daylights out of him. Luckily Blaise spoke first.
“Hi.” He said quietly. He tried to hide his expression, but Hermione could tell his anger was just behind those perfect jaw bones.
“Blaise, about last night I’m so…”
“Where were you?”
Hermione breathed in sharply, and looked down at her feet.
“I had to help someone.”
“I waited for nearly an hour before I saw Filtch’s cat turn the corner, and so I left.” He replied. He didn’t have to say much; Hermione already knew the disappointment in his voice.
“I’m really sorry Blaise. I wouldn’t have missed it if it wasn’t important.” Hermione finished.
He continued looking behind her. She watched as the snow gently fell on his luscious locks, as he flipped his hair to move them away. His dazzling warm blue eyes shimmered in the illuminating softness of the pearly white frost beneath them. His lips were pink, and parted slightly. She watched his chest heave in and out for oxygen. Watching his was like watching a perfectly orchestrated ballet; each movement beautiful and graceful.
“How can I make it up to you?” Hermione replied earnestly. Blaise turned to look at her. His gaze was stern, and his eyes were emotionless. For a moment Hermione thought he was going to laugh in her face and walk away from her. But he didn’t. He remained firm on his ground, looking down at Hermione from his brilliant height.
“Meet me at Madam Puddifoot’s.” Blaise said simply.
“Isn’t that a bit, um, I don’t know… stuffy?” Hermione replied. She dreaded entering the one insufferable café were all of the obnoxiously affectionate couples would display each other’s admiration for their partners in the midst of frilly linen table cloths, and the flowery laced napkins.
Blaise looked at her for a few more moments of awkward silence, until he broke out into the greatest laughter she heard. Hermione was confused, and slightly taken back. Was he laughing at me?
“You said you wanted to make it up to me.” Blaise replied, now with a hint of humor in his voice. He was back to his jubilant, charming, intoxicatingly handsome self.
“Well… yes alright.” Hermione answered feeling defeated. She smiled at him, as he took her hand, and reeled her into his body. She could feel his hot breath on her. He smiled one more time, before he kissed her hard on her lips. It was a burning sensation on Hermione’s lips. As they parted, he winked at her.
“I’ll see you in half an hour!” Blaise called behind him. Hermione smiled to herself. As she turned, she spotted Draco leaning against a wall of a shop starring at her blankly.
Hermione quickly looked down at her shoes. For some reason, they seemed incredibly interesting at the moment. When she finally was able to tear her eyes away from the snow sodden shoes, she found Draco walking away from her. She sped up her pace, and called out to him.
“Wait! Malfoy! Come back!” Hermione called out. Many passer bys gave her odd looks as she smiled half heartedly at them. She finally ran up to catch up with him.
“Why are you…”
“So we’re on last name terms now?” Draco replied angrily.
“Last names? You’ve never called me Hermione!” Hermione replied. She was outraged. He stopped at looked at her. He could almost see the steam billowing from her head. She was fuming inside with anger. He knew it was about to erupt any moment. Then suddenly, images of Hermione and Blaise holding hands, and kissing in the snow gave his stomach acids reason to burn him inside. The mere thought of them together brought a foul taste into his mouth.
“Leave me alone Granger.” Draco spat. He was rough in his tone. That is how he has to be. And then he saw it. All traces of anger were relished from her face, as sadness took form. She was hurt, and he knew it. What was worse, he was causing her pain.
“That’s not what you were saying last night.” Hermione whispered in a dangerously low tone. Draco felt foolish. He could never have the upper hand in Hermione’s heart. He licked his lips, and ran a hand through his hair. It was soft and moist. He looked Hermione straight in the eyes.
“I’m sorry.” Draco replied. For a moment Hermione thought her ears were deceiving her. But then he said it again.
Hermione knew he meant it. She watched him walk away from her; this time she didn’t bother stopping him. She turned around and made her way into Honeydukes. She realized Harry and Ron would be waiting for her.
“Hermione where are you going?” Ron asked as Hermione was walking towards the door.
“Oh Ron, I need to get some new dress robes. It shouldn’t take too long. But if you get tired of waiting, you can just head back to the castle.” Hermione lied. She felt awful for doing so. She didn’t need to, but it would be a lot easier than dealing with their reactions if she told them she was meeting Blaise.
“Do you want us to come with you?” Harry asked as he fought his way through the crowd. She knew she couldn’t lie to Harry. He would easily see through her pathetic cover up.
“No it’s alright. I don’t want you to be bothered.” Hermione replied, trying to avoid Harry’s gaze. He narrowed his eyes at her. She caught his eyes examining her. For a flicker of a moment she realized that he understood, and with the faintest nod, he ushered Ron to come with him to buy more sweets. Reminding herself to thank Harry later, she gratefully walked out of the door.
Hermione knew she probably was running late, as she quickened her pace towards the frilly little cafe. It was decorated in a powdery blue, with lavender table cloths, and puffy pink napkins. There were flowers everywhere, with a strong smell of sweetness circulating throughout the entire café. As she opened the door, a small bell above her head rang, as many couples sitting in the front looked at her, and then turned back to their business. Hermione scanned the room until she found Blaise sitting farthest in the back. Hermione laughed as she saw how uncomfortable he looked sitting in the table that was clearly too small. She walked over to him.
“Hey stranger.” Hermione whispered coolly as she took her seat opposite Blaise. He smiled wickedly at her.
“I almost thought you wouldn’t show up.” He smirked. Hermione’s smile faltered a bit, but she regained her composure. She rolled her eyes, and smirked at him.
“I wouldn’t do that to you.” Hermione replied simply.
“Right, well would you like some tea?” Blaise asked.
“Actually, I brought you something. It’s sort of my apology gift.” Hermione confessed as she revealed a green box, with a large brown ribbon tightly secured around it that met at the top with a bow. There was a golden tag on the side that blazoned the words: HONEYDUKES.
“You’re buying my forgiveness now? I thought Gryffindors were brave.” Blaise teased. Hermione gave him a scolding look.
“Well if you don’t want it, then I should perhaps give it to my other boyfriend.” The words slipped out before Hermione knew what she was saying. The color completely vanished from her face.
“What did you just say?” Blaise asked apprehensively.
“I… uh. I didn’t mean it. It just came out wrong…” Hermione struggled.
“No. I liked it.” Blaise finished for her. He was smiling ear to ear. A wave of relief flashed her face, as she smiled sweetly. Hermione felt Blaise’s hand on hers, as she looked down at the big green box between them.
“Stay here. I need to go use the bathroom for a second.” Blaise said, kissing Hermione’s hand. He got up and walked away. Hermione observed the room. Their table was the farthest back, and away from most of the snooty couples kissing, and smothering each other with ‘No I love you more’. Hermione laughed at their stupidity. She was so intent on watching the amusing scene in front of her that she hadn’t even realized that the seat opposite her was occupied.
“Oh Blaise you’re back.” Hermione beamed. Her smile quickly vanished from her face.
“What are you doing here?”
“You’re suddenly sorry to see me?” Draco asked. He was smirking at her.
“Blaise will be back any moment.” Hermione replied bored, but Draco could sense the anxiety in her voice.
“I’ll be long gone before then.” Draco coolly replied. To Hermione’s great surprise, she felt a leg slowly creeping up her own. She could feel Draco’s shoe as it slithered up her own leg. Hermione quickly slapped it.
“Stop this. If Blaise sees…” Hermione began.
“Haven’t I already told you Granger he won’t.” Draco replied calmly, as he took Hermione’s hand.
“You really need to learn to stop talking.” Draco said firmly. Hermione’s mouth snapped shut. She felt scandalized for being treated like a marionette. She was even more frustrated with herself for being allowed to be treated that way.
“Draco, we can’t do this.” Hermione said very calmly.
“And why not? I hate the way he looks at you. The way he’s always calling on you, asking you to meet him here and there. You know what I had to listen to last night? How ‘terribly hurt’ he was when you didn’t meet with him last night. I wanted to tell him the truth, but I figured you wouldn’t like me very much after that.” Draco finished. His face was edging closer to Hermione’s.
“But Blaise, he’s your…”
“I don’t care. Every time he looks at you, I want to jinx him into blindness.” Draco finished with a firm hatred in his voice. Hermione was unsure whether she should say anything or not. But before she could respond, she felt the familiar sensation of cool mint on her lips. She could taste the wonderfulness of Draco. His tender flesh on her own sent chills down her spine. She moaned slightly into his mouth, and then realized what they were doing. Yet, before she could protest, Draco pulled off, and walked away through the darkness of the side doors. Hermione looked harassed, and desperately scanned the room to see if anyone had seen what just occurred. To her greatest relief everyone was consumed in their own affairs.
She quickly rubbed her lips, as she made out Blaise’s body coming from the side of the corner. She smiled at him as he sat down opposite her.
“Now, let me see what’s inside this marvelous box.” Blaise smirked. He gently tugged on the ribbon to release it. He ripped off the wrapping paper, and opened the golden box. Inside were assorted sweets, and goods. A small bit of Honeydukes inside a golden package. Blaise removed one of the flaming red lollipops from the box, and saw that inside the lollipop were the words, I’m Sorry engraved. He looked up at Hermione who merely shrugged.
“Let’s go.” Blaise said.
“But I thought you wanted to come here?” Hermione asked confused.
“Yes, and now I want to leave.” Blaise said urgently, as he shoved the box into his bag of new robes, and took Hermione by the arm.
“Why?” Hermione asked as he shoved past the small tables.
“Because the things I’m thinking of doing to you just wouldn’t be appropriate for this small shop to handle.” Blaise smirked.
Once outside, the snow was falling harder. Blaise quickly whipped Hermione through the crowd, until he finally turned a sharp corner that she did not recognize. He dropped his bags, and before Hermione knew what was happening his arms were around her. She exhaled sharply. The touch of Blaise was something she would never get used to. She could smell the musky cologne combined with the moistness of the snow.
His soft lips crashed down onto hers, reeling her into him. He was so unlike Draco in all ways Hermione thought as she kissed him back. His lips were soft, and plush; whereas Draco’s were rough and cold. Yet, kissing Blaise was gentle and caressing; no matter how rough he tried to make it. With Draco it was raw, and passionate. With Draco, his emotions were almost tangible.
Blaise pulled himself off, only to rest his head onto Hermione’s. She felt the coolness of his breath on her face.
“Tell me, what are you thinking about?” Blaise asked.
“You.” Hermione lied.
She slowly moved in to kiss him again. For her, this was right. Blaise was right, he was ideal, he was the better choice. Still, as the darkness engulfed them in their private corner, she couldn’t help but think of Draco’s striking crystal eyes, and the minty taste of his lips.
A/N: Let me know what you think! I still don't know who I like better between Blaise and Draco. I just don't understand why I couldn't have both ;)