Hermione paced around her room thinking. Something had to be said or done. She could not just pretend that she didn’t know that he knew. She knew he knew, and he needed to know that she knew that he knew that she’s dying. Wow, Hermione was confusing herself. She sat down on the edge of her bed, thinking.
She still could not decide whether she was angry or not at Malfoy. Well, in truth she was mad at him. She just was not sure yet how mad. She didn’t think that it was a horrible deed, him telling Emily, or even being nice to her because he knew she was dying. But not telling her that he knew made her a bit upset and she was positive illness would make her even more angry. But for the most part she was shocked. Hermione smiled. She was kind of pleased. He’d known she was dying so he’d acted nicer. That was considerate, something she had previously thought impossible for him. Maybe there was still hope for Damien.
Hermione devised a plan to confront Draco Malfoy. It was not the most creative plan, nor was it the most subtle way to approach the problem, but Hermione was confident that it would get the job done. She went to bed, mentally preparing herself for the inevitable events that would come with the rising of the sun.
“Good morning Granger. I see that you are up early. I am normally able to slip out and down to the kitchens before you get up and come down.” Hermione was surprised to see Malfoy sitting on the couch of their common room the next morning.
“I always thought that you were still sleeping when I came down every morning and found the room empty.” Hermione said in disbelief. “Are you really trying to tell me that you’ve been up and gone already every morning?” Draco chuckled, smiling a genuine smile.
“Yes, sorry to burst your bubble Granger, but I am a bit of a morning person sometimes.” At that Hermione smiled too.
“Well,” thinking that there was no time like the present, “I needed to talk to you anyways, if you have a minute.” Draco stayed sat and nodded to indicate that she could go on. Hermione took a seat in a chair opposite him. “Well, there is something that I think you need to know, since we live together and see each other every day.” Draco’s eyes went wide and Hermione smiled, knowing what he thought she was trying to tell him.
“I think I already know, if that makes it any easier.” She shook her head.
“You could not possibly know, there is no way.” She knew what it sounded like, that was her plan. It was then Draco’s turn to shake his head.
“I do. You left your Diagnose Your Own Magical Maladies book open when you went outside one time. I saw it and had to see what you were looking up. It was then that I realized that those were all symptoms that you had and that you must have one of the diseases listed there.” Hermione nodded, her plan had worked perfectly.
“Oh, I didn’t know that that was how you knew. Thanks for telling me. But I already know that you know that. That’s what I was trying to tell you.” He looked confused.
“What were you trying to tell me?” Hermione sighed.
“”I found out that you know that I am ill. I was trying to tell you that I know you know I’m sick.” She sighed again. “Did that make any more sense?” He nodded.
“How did you find out?” He asked. “That I knew.”
“Well,” Hermione said, spinning a web of lies. “For one, you’ve been acting a lot nicer to me lately. Secondly, you look kind of mad at yourself whenever you make a comment that would have been inappropriate to say to a dying person. And lastly, I heard from a friend, who heard from her friend, who heard a girl muttering about it to herself while in the loo.” Draco looked a little dazed, but generally on the same page as Hermione.
“Who was the girl in the loo?” He obviously deduced that that girl was the Emily of the story.
“I would tell you if I could, but the sources don’t matter to girls, so we never bother to remember. I haven’t got a clue.” He looked a little disappointed but seemed to accept her explanation.
“Well since you know that I know,” Draco said, “I would be willing to help you with the things you have left of what I must assume is some sort of list that you want to do before…” an awkward pause filled the air, “I’m not sure what type of things are on your list, but I’m sure I could help.” Hermione had to make a split second decision. Either she could be angry at him and reject his niceties, or she could suck it up and finally accept some help. She opted for the latter, thankfully.
“Help would be great. I want to become an animagus, write a book, learn German, and learn to play the piano, among others. Can you help with any of those?” Draco smiled and they began to make plans on when to do different things. Hermione smiled, thinking about how similar Draco was becoming to Damien, even if it was just because he knew she was dying.
“Why are you smiling at me?” Draco asked sharply, reminding her that he was still Malfoy.
“Nothing, I was just thinking of something and happened to smile while I was looking at you.” He turned back to their list and schedule.
While Malfoy had been helping Hermione become an animagus and learn to play piano and learn to speak German, Damien was eagerly awaiting Christmas eve. It occurred to him that he should probably buy Emily a present, or presents. But what should he get her? He never really bought Christmas presents. Mostly his parents bought it and put his name on it. He decided that Hermione could stand to give back for all that he was helping her to do.
“Hey Granger!” Hermione’s head whipped around. She’d been reading Sherlock Holmes. She looked at Malfoy expectantly. “Since I’ve been helping you this week with all these different things that you want to do, would you mind helping me with something that I need to do before Christmas eve?” Hermione looked skeptical.
“What is it that you need to do?” He smiled.
“I have a female friend that I am going to be spending Christmas eve and day with and I suddenly realized that it would probably be nice if I had a present for her.” Hermione’s eyes went wide. She would have to get him a gift too then. “I was planning on sneaking down to Hogsmeade to look for something for her, but then I realized that I have no idea what I would buy for her. And since I’ve been helping you and you are a girl and would know, I figured you would know what a girl your age would like.” Hermione agreed to go with him, planning on going off on her own at one point to buy a gift for Damien. They planned to go the next day. It was the twenty second, so the next day would be the day before Christmas Eve, perfect timing.
“Granger!!!” Hermione woke to the sweet sound of Draco’s voice, shouting from the other side of her door. “If you are not dressed and downstairs in ten minutes I’m coming in there!” Hermione scrambled from some clothing and her purse with all her money in it. She got her coat, scarf, and other things necessary for walking around in the snow. She then did her hair and make-up. Finally she grabbed some boots and went down to the common room to meet up with early-bird Draco.
“I’m here, I’m here.” She said as she rushed down the stairs. He was sitting on the couch, reading the latest copy of the Daily Prophet. He stood up when she reached the bottom of the stairs and they began to leave the dorm. They did not talk much on their way to Hogsmeade, other than warn each other if they heard a professor coming down the halls. When they reached Hogsmeade Hermione took charge. Draco had no idea what he was looking for, so he just had to trust Hermione to find him a good gift.
It was a little odd for Hermione, shopping for something for Draco to give to her. She felt weird, shopping for herself in a way. But at least she knew that she would like whatever it was that he ended up getting for her. She took him to a jewelry store, knowing that as much as she liked books and quills, that was not how Draco saw Emily. She needed a gift that both the Emily he knew and she herself would really like.
“Jewelry is never a bad idea with women.” Hermione told him. “Almost any woman enjoys getting more jewelry, even if she never ends up wearing a particular piece, just having makes them feel better, almost superior.” Draco looked amused by this. “But they only really like it if it is a good piece of jewelry. It has to be their color, style, good quality, and not tacky.” Amusement turned to an expression that showed that he was slightly overwhelmed by all the requirements of jewelry. “Describe this girl’s features as best as you can remember them. This will help determine what her color pallet is.” Hermione was shocked that Draco had taken the time to memorize her features so perfectly. At least, the features that Emily had. He knew her hair color, eye color, skin color, height, body type, everything. He obviously like Emily more than Hermione herself had realized.
Hermione never liked lying. She avoided it when possible. But she felt that it was best for herself to fib a little with Draco. If she wanted to be able to wear the jewelry when she was not Emily, it had to fit her color pallet. So she lied. She told him the colors that she herself looked best in. He sounded pleased and accepted them without question. He took a tray and began making selections, saying that once he had chosen a bunch, they would go through them together to find the right one. His selections were quite good, especially considering that he had told her how his mother usually did his shopping for him.
“These are actually very beautiful choices,” she told him once he had made all of his selections, “you have done quite well.”
“Is your color pallet at all like hers?” He asked her, looking at her oddly.
“Yes, very much alike”, again with the lying, but Hermione felt it was necessary.
“Good” he said, picking up the first necklace, “you can be the model then, to see which one is best.” Hermione laughed at modeling for her own jewelry, but agreed all the same. It took them about an hour to decide, but decide they did. Draco looked at her with a little bit of awe in his eyes, once she even heard him whisper ‘wow’ under his breath. She guessed that he had just never seen her wearing such nice things. Probably because the necklaces were all out of her price range. But none of them were too much for Draco, he even commented that he felt they were a bit cheap, so he bought their two favorites to make himself feel better.
Hermione managed to convince him to go wait for her in the Three Broomsticks while she went to get a last minute gift for her father. He left and she went to a men’s’ accessories store. There she found slightly expensive, but extremely fragrant cologne that she liked. It was a great scent and she thought that Draco would like it. She had it gift wrapped and left the store. She then went to meet up with Draco for drinks before heading back to school.
AN: I am so sorry. I know it’s been forever and I apologize. I am a horrible author, to abuse my readers so. I read a new review the other day and I felt inspired to finish this chapter. It has been about 1,000 words long for a while now, but I wanted to get it a bit farther before putting it up. Now it’s 2,000 words, so I guess that will have to do. I hope you all had a happy/merry Chrismahanaquanzica, or however that is spelled, a happy holidays and a happy New Year!
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