Chapter 4: Avoiding The Issue
She hadn’t been to the Owlery in three days. And it was beginning to get to her.
Hermione Granger couldn’t explain exactly why she was so afraid, yet so excited by the idea of going up there. However, at the current moment her fear overpowered her enthusiasm. They had almost kissed, shared something so intimate, something she should never share with someone like him. Not only did the prospect terrify her, it intrigued her too. He was a diverse human being, not the one dimensional moron she used to think him as. He could feel emotions just like she could, he had feelings that were there to be hurt, and by the look of him they had been. Just like hers. They were both fighting for the ones they loved, their well being was the most important thing, no matter how many bad things they had done in the past. This was now. The present. Not past.
She had been taking refuge in the Library for the past three days, as the Owlery was no longer safe like she had originally thought. Nothing made her feel safer than being surrounded by her favourite books, ‘Hogwart’s A History’ being her existing focus, even if she had read it a hundred times over. Harry had popped in to see her a few times, after she has apologised for her recent behaviour towards him. He had said it was fine and the subject wasn’t brought up again. So now she read chapter 8 of her book, hardly taking in any words as her concentration was transfixed on the overwhelming feeling of being watched. It wasn’t the first time she had felt it, but it was most certainly the strongest time. Hermione didn’t dare look up from the page, didn’t dare confirm her theory on who it was that had been watching her for the past three days. But it seemed that today he wasn’t just going to watch, he obviously wanted answers and today was the day. She noted what a short amount of time he had managed to wait.
“Granger,” Draco had had enough. He had been left freezing and hopeless in the Owlery three nights ago, and he wanted to know why. He had been looking forward to hearing about Slughorn’s party, but was left to brood in his own misery. She just left him there. He supposed he understood why she had done it, after all they had nearly kissed and it was against everything they had ever known. But he had to know what was going on in her head, it was driving him crazy not knowing. He knew he should have been concentrating on his mission, but without her reassurance he couldn’t concentrate on anything. He was sure his brain would explode if he saw her in his minds eye again, the images of her covered in blood were haunting his every blinking moment. He was scared to close his eyes.
“What is it, Malfoy?” she wasn’t sure how she was going to deal with this, with him. She couldn’t tell him half the things running around her head, that would only lead to further disaster. After a pause he came closer and sat on a chair across from her, she was thankful no one could see them, as she had picked a secluded spot.
“You’re avoiding me,” he tried to capture her eyes with his, but she fixed her gaze on the page in front of her.
“Shouldn’t you be the one doing the avoiding?” she slowly looked up to meet his stare. She couldn’t even begin to try and work out all the emotions on his face, there were too many to count on both hands. She stood up and made her way to the bookshelf by their table, tracing her finger across the books until she found where the book belonged and slid it back into its place.
She spun round to see Draco’s face suddenly inches from her own, his body even closer. She felt her breath hitch in her chest and struggle to work its way up her throat. He was so close she could count the almost invisible freckles on his face, she had never noticed them before and couldn’t help but let a tiny smile cross her lips at how charming they were.
“Look, Granger. I don’t know what this is, but I can’t concentrate. I can’t even close my eyes without you being there,” he watched her as she lifted her gaze from his cheeks to his eyes, she looked slightly happy, something he thought very strange.
“I-I didn’t know what to do,” she replied to his question and he took a few seconds to realise what she meant. She looked up at him, he was gazing intensely at her, his grey eyes shining in what little light came from the small lamp on the nearby table. Hermione glanced down from his entrancing eyes and studied his pink lips, they looked soft and she fought the urge to test the softness with her own lips. Looking back up into his eyes, it was like he had read her mind. He kissed her.
It was link nothing Hermione had ever felt, she thought getting the grades she wanted would be the best feeling she ever experienced. She had been wrong. It felt like a million fireworks were going off in her stomach, crashing into her organs every second, each organ feeling better than the last. A tingling sensation ran from her lips down to her toes, going through every bone. A shiver flowed down her back. It ended far too quickly, and Draco rested his forehead on hers, searching her eyes to check he’d done the right thing. At first she thought he had, but he was still Malfoy, and she was still Harry Potter’s best friend.
“No. I-I can’t-you can’t- we can’t do this. You’re…you, and I’m me. I have to go,” she pushed past him hurriedly and left the Library. Draco watched after her, he knew he’d done the right thing, she’d wanted it to happen.
* * *
Hermione sat across from her two best friends in the Three Broomsticks, she felt compassion for once. Like everything was back to normal, well as normal as it could be. She smiled and watched Harry and Ron, their faces began to drop and Harry slipped down in his chair, she could guess why.
“Slughorn?” her smile broadened as Harry nodded while looking over her shoulder.
“He’s talking to Zabini,” Ron mumbled, shooting a glare in their general direction. Hermione took a sip of her butterbeer, her eyes still on Harry as he sat bolt upright in his chair with a scowl on his face. Something over her shoulder had riled him. She spun in her seat to see Draco standing there, he had been staring ahead but his gaze dropped to hers when he noticed she was there. His face became slowly lit with a tiny smile she was sure she could only see, and she wondered what he possibly had to smile about. After a moment he twisted on his heel and strode briskfully out of the public house.
She could still remember the softness of his lips on her own, still remember the twinkle in his eyes, the way they had looked almost silver in the light. She couldn’t get the thought of him out of her head, she just wanted to talk to him, sit with him, but she couldn’t. Just thinking about it was wrong, he was a Malfoy. They weren’t even capable of any feelings, they were bad people who cared about no one but themselves. Draco wasn’t like that. He did have feelings, she could see them. And he did care about other people, she had always known he cared for his mother more than anyone.
“Erm, Hermione,” she jumped out of her thoughts at the sound of Ron’s voice. She snapped her head up to look at him and he pointed to his top lip, she touched her own top lip to feel something wet and frothy. She quickly wiped it away and felt her cheeks begin to burn as they evidently turned red.
A few minutes later, once their glasses butterbeer were empty, the three of them made their way back to school, slowly following behind Katie Bell and Angelina Johnson. The two girls were arguing loudly about something, while Angelina was attempting to pull a parcel from Katie’s grasp.
“Katie, there could be anything inside that box, it’s not sa-” her yell was cut short as Katie floated up into the air, her arms were stretched out sideways and her mouth had fallen open. “Katie!” Angelina rushed forward to stand beneath her best friend.
“Angelina, stand back!” Harry ran ahead and pulled Angelina backwards firmly, she fought against him but he was too strong. Hermione and Ron hurried to help and Hermione tried to sooth Angelina while Harry and Ron examined Katie from below.
“I’ll get help,” Ron stumbled down the path towards Hogwarts.
“Look at this parcel,” Harry bent down to pick it up.
“No, Harry! Don’t touch it, you don’t know what it is,” Hermione called out, stopping Harry just before he went to pick up the emerald necklace hanging from the brown paper.
“Everyone get back!” Hagrid’s voice rang out from down the path and he appeared round the corner, Ron in close pursuit. Hagrid threw Harry back with a brush of his arm, and he stood with Ron, watching as Katie dropped into the half giant’s arms. Hagrid trotted away through the trees back to school, the four students followed behind. The sound of Angelina’s cries being the only noise.
* * *
Draco sank to the floor of the bathroom, his whole body shaking with every wrenching sob. He couldn’t do it, he couldn’t complete his mission. He just couldn’t do it. Nothing seemed to help him get through it, his father certainly didn’t, and Snape was trying. Draco wished he wouldn’t. He desperately missed his mother, she hadn’t written in two months, and he needed to know she was alright. But he knew his father wasn’t going to let her write until he had finished his mission. What if he didn’t finish it, he may never get to see her again. The thought racked his body even more.
He had never meant to hurt the Gryffindor Quidditch girl, he hadn’t wanted to get her to deliver the package. He would have done it himself if he could. But he couldn’t, he had to get Rosmerta to give it to the girl. Her name was Bell if he remembered correctly. He had wanted, if he wasn’t able to do it, to get Crabbe or Goyle to deliver the package. He hadn’t wanted anyone to get hurt except his target, Bell had been a fatal set-back, and
he hoped she would be alright.
“Draco, is that you?” Moaning Myrtles voice rang out from one of the cubicles and Draco glanced towards them.
“Yeah…I’m over here,” he propped himself up with his back against the wall and his knees up sturdily in front of him.
“Draco? What’s wrong?” she shot out of the toilet and floated in front of him, a look of concern on her already saddened face.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he wiped his face with the back of his hand, a blank stare on his colourless face.
“Draco, you can talk to me, you know you can. I can help, I under-”
“No, you don’t understand. You’re dead!” he snapped at her, clenching his fists with anger.
“Fine! It’s not like I have feelings or anything, I am dead after all,” she chocked back her tears and flew away, back down her toilet and into the U bend. Her wails still audible. Draco sighed, he hadn’t meant to upset her either. He seemed to be cocking up everything
lately, and knew exactly who to blame.
Granger, he blamed her. She had to run off like that, why couldn’t she face up to things, instead of running away. She was smart, she knew running away wasn’t going to get rid of the problem. He was the problem, he didn’t want to be a problem. He wanted to be a help, help her through everything, be by her side. But he couldn’t, of course he couldn’t, he had to be mad to think otherwise. He was a Malfoy, part of the family every wizard and witch wants to be a part of. HA! More like part of the family everyone hates. He was sure most people had him or his father at the top of their hate list.
But his mother, she was another story, no one really knew Narcissa Malfoy, they knew Lucius Malfoy’s wife. If they got to know his mother they’d know she was nothing like his father, the only thing she was guilty of was loving him and his father so much. Too much perhaps. And the only mistake she’d ever made in life was marrying Lucius Malfoy, Draco knew she could do better. She’d had the choice to become a Malfoy, which she took. Draco himself hadn’t had that choice, if he could go back in time he would make sure his parents never met, because then all problems in his life would cease to exist. He would cease to exist.
He, like his mother, was known as Malfoy, not Draco. Draco was an entirely different person to Malfoy. Draco had feelings, he cared for other people. He liked Hermione Granger. If that didn’t prove Draco was different to Malfoy, nothing did.
A/N: Hey hey! I hope you're liking it so far :D I'm soo sorry about all the stupid commas, I even read through it several times to get rid of some but they're still everywhere! Grrr. The next chapters should be better I hope. Don't forget to R&R. Cheers xoxo