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To Melt a Heart by brunettelily
Chapter 6 : Dream Birds
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 12


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Chapter 6 (Dream Birds)


She walked through a crowded street, examining unmemorable window fronts.  A man sauntered along beside her, his arm around her waist.  The man was eerily familiar yet she could not tell who he was.  Suddenly, a display caught her eye, and she moved to get a better look and found a beautiful bird in a simple cage.  The bird’s feathers reminded her of a muggle caramel latte and its deep brown eyes shown bright with intelligence.  When the bird ruffled its feathers, she noticed that the door to the cage was open.  It could easily fly out and be free, but instead it chose to stay and dazzle visitors of the small shop.

Hermione awoke from her dream quite calm and content (as most good dreams leave you), but puzzled by the Happily-Caged Bird.  What animal wouldn’t take the chance to be free of restraints?  The only ones that she could think of were some dogs.  This was a riddle that she was determined to solve. But the solving would have to wait until it wasn’t 2 o’clock in the morning.

***

Down in the house-elves’ quarters, Draco was also dreaming.

He, too, was walking through a crowded street with an unknown woman at his side.  They paused to examine a store window in which a magnificent macaw was struggling to break free of its weak cage.  A loud sound startled him as a streak of white light flew toward the cage.  Draco watched in awe as the spell destroyed the bars and skimmed the tip of the bird’s wing, causing it to shriek in pain.  The bird was free, yet it looked unsure about leaving its well-known habitat.  From his side, he heard the woman calling softly to the macaw, urging it to leave the comfortable numbness of its cage.  As the beautiful bird tried out his wings, Draco awoke.

The shuffle of house-elves had pulled him from the fantasy.  He groaned and ran a pale hand through his hair.  A glance at his silver watch showed the time to be five in the morning.  Knowing that he’d be in for hell if he slithered to his room before his mother came for him, Draco laid down his head in hopes of falling back to sleep.

***

Once again, breakfast was brought by a house-elf.  As Hermione contemplated the meal, her stomach clenched from lack of food, and she realized that she would have to eat soon or else she would pass out.  Hesitantly, she lifted the fork with a piece of sausage to her lips.  Before she could take a proper bite, there was a knock at her door.  Expecting Mistress Malfoy, she called, “Come in.”  The door was pushed open with great force to reveal none other than her enemy’s form.  “What are you doing here?  Come to make fun of my blood again?”

“No, Mudblood.”  The second word was a whisper.  “My mother has asked me to apologize,” he spat. 

“Get on with it, then.”

“I’m… I’m… sorry for calling you that inappropriate name and being inhospitable.  It reflected poorly on my family, and I hope you do not hold them accountable for my mistakes.”  His voice was purely formal and there was not a hint of remorse in his statement.

“Um… thank you,” she stuttered.  Feeling awkward, she said, “Would you like to join me for breakfast?”

His cold gray eyes looked surprised, but the set of his mouth was irritated.  “Why would I do that?” he responded with venom, and stormed out of the room, slamming the door hard. 

His abrupt exit awoke thoughts in Hermione’s brain.  Wow.  Draco Malfoy apologized.  To me.  That’s a new one, even if his mother did make him. Wow.

Her stomach grumbled, reminding her of her awaiting breakfast.
 
 


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