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What is Truth? by HermioneJadeZabini
Chapter 9 : Chapter 8: To Fly and To Dream
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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Disclaimer: You guys know the drill. Nothing recognizable is mine unless dually noted. The band The Golden Six and their songs belong completely to me however. This chapter starts on the 17th of October 2007 and ends on the 21st.

Chapter 8, To Fly and To Dream:

                                      

When we got back to the castle, I subtly handed each girl her shrunken clothes bag with their dress and accessories in it. They all grinned, and for a moment we stood there, grinning, then they all ran to their separate common rooms. I was the only girl left standing there with the guys, still grinning. They all shrugged, and separated as well.  Draco and I headed for the head’s dorm, I couldn’t stop grinning. Most the guys, I had noticed, also held clothes bags, though they had not shrunk theirs nearly as much as we had. We reached the dorm and climbed through the portrait.

I didn’t even stop to say hello, I simply ran straight for my room, closing the door behind me. I unshrunk the garment bag and hung in on the hook on the back of my bathroom door. I unzipped it and stood for a moment, appreciating the outfit I had bought. I could only hope I would look good in it. I wriggled out of my skirt and tank, slowly, so as not to wrinkle the fabric, pulling out the dress. I slipped into it, putting my hair into a bun, since it would be up for the ball, and slipping on the sandal heels. I gently unwrapped the jewelry, but then hesitated. I decided to wait with the jewelry, so I would get the full effect the night of the ball. I grinned and turned slowly to the full length mirror. I smiled and blushed a little as I saw my reflection. Though I didn’t wish to sound vain, even to myself, I couldn’t help but think that I did look pretty. I smiled and changed back, moving very carefully, very slowly, so as not to ruin my outfit. I hung it my closet and headed downstairs.

As I walked into the common room, I saw Draco laying on the couch, one foot dangling off the side. I grinned; he looked so cute sleeping like that, his hands folded upon his chest, his soft hair hanging in his face a little. Almost as though he were posed. But this is Draco Malfoy; he subconsciously adjusts so he is never in a bad light. I chuckled softly and headed for my personal study. I sat at the desk, working on a report for my godfather, until dinner. When the clock chimed that it was time to head down, I stood and stretched, rolling up the report and heading back to my room to put it in my bag. As I came out, ready to go, I noticed Draco was still sleeping. I grinned and walked over, kneeling by his head. I smoothed the hair out of his eyes softly and leaned in close to whisper in his ear, making sure it was too quiet to be heard,

“Draco?” When he didn’t wake I grinned and grabbed the pillow from beneath his head. When his head hit the sofa arm he woke, but I still hit him in the stomach with the pillow anyway, just because I wanted to. I giggled when he jumped ‘bout a mile in surprise, wild bewilderment in his eyes.

“Wha- Wazowninon?” I giggled again, tossing the pillow back on the couch and turning to the portrait. As I walked over to the exit, purposely swaying my hips a little, I called over my shoulder,

“Time for dinner Dray.” I heard him muttering something, but I didn’t stay to find out what. I was just reaching the stairs when I heard the heavy footfalls of someone running behind me. I ignored them and continued to descend the stairs, keeping my bouncy girly air. Draco caught up to me and slipped his arm around my waist, holding me still long enough to kiss my cheek. He grabbed my hand and we left for the great hall.

I grinned when I saw all the girls in groups at their respective tables, giggling and exclaiming. I knew they’d be talking about the masquerade. It was only a few days away after all. I took my usual seat between Blaise and Brandon. Draco sat across from me. Blaise was too interested in his conversation with Ginny to notice right away, but Brandon looked rather solemn. I knew Brandon well enough by now to know that he was wearing his “something is troubling me but I don’t want anyone to know what it is,” face, so I acted like nothing was up and instead mentally asked him. ‘Yo, Brandon, what’s up dude? You look like crap.’

~Gee, thanks Mi, that’s so great to hear.~

‘Oh, you know what I meant.’

~Yea, I do. It’s nothing, really, I’m fine.~ I snorted into my soup and looked at him. A few of our friends looked at us weird, then realized we were talking in our heads and went back to their own conversations and dinners. Most of them had gotten used to the idea that the three of us could hear each others thoughts.

‘Yea, sure, and I didn’t cry when Lassie died.’

~What?~

‘Nothing, nevermind. The point is you look like somebody just killed your pet. What’s going on?’

~It’s nothing really. I just wish I had gotten to Taylor first. Before Pothead had.~ I rolled me eyes.

‘You realize she only said yes because she figured it would tick me and Draco off most if she went with him. She knows we have almost no problem accepting you and her together, but the fact that my once-best-friend is dating the girl who hates my guts is a loathsome idea, and she knows it.’ He looked slightly happier as he dug into his plate with renewed energy. I smiled and turned back to my plate as well, adding a bit more mashed potatoes. Blaise decided to chime in at the right moment, practically screaming.

*What’s Up Mione!?* I jumped about a mile and glared at him. He chuckled. “Oh, c’mon, you have to admit, it was funny.”

“Oh yes, because the potatoes now sitting in my lap feel just great!” I hissed vehemently.  Draco looked away from his conversation with Jacob and Victor. Blaise and Brandon were both chuckling. The longer I glared, the more pronounced their laughter became in the din of voices. Soon they were laughing outright. I rolled my eyes, stood, and used my wand to clean off my skirt, floating the potatoes right into Blaise’s lap. He stopped laughing immediately. I chuckled as I continued to eat. He scowled and cleaned himself off. Draco smirked, but this time I could see the difference.

I had begun to notice things about him I would never have noticed before. He smirked in different ways for different reasons. The smirk towards Potter and Weasley was pure “I am better than you, so get over it.” But this smirk, this was just one of those cute sideways smiles of his that I had come to love. He caught me staring. I blushed and went back to my food.

Dinner was over soon enough and some people decided to sit around and mingle. I, however, was tired and had had enough of the noisy chatter. I stood, Draco following suit. He picked up my bag, slinging it over his shoulder, and followed me out. I had learned to stop protesting when he decided to carry my things. I simply couldn’t reason with him over it.

 I sighed as soon as we cleared the entrance doors, the noise instantly quieter. I slowed my pace and he smiled, slipping an arm around me. I blushed, though I was still unsure what to call our relationship. It wasn’t like we were dating, but it was definitely getting close. Though I rather disliked having to admit it, I was beginning to feel more than friendship for Draco, which was dangerous. First, it was Malfoy; how could I simply forget the past? Second, he was engaged; I’d rather not deal with the wife once they are married. I sighed and let it go, leaning into him a bit as we walked. No matter how I hated it, I craved his presence, his attention. It took me a few minutes, but I finally realized we were headed, not for the stairs, but for the great doors.

“Draco? Where are we going?”

“I have a surprise for you.” He led me out to the quidditch pitch, walking into the boy’s locker room. I stopped short outside. “Oh, c’mon, no one is around,” He laughed, pulling me inside with him. He went over to a locker and pulled open the door. Inside were his nimbus 2001 and a brand new looking broom. It looked a lot like Harry’s firebolt, only newer. He reached inside, grabbing both. He turned to me and tossed the other broom to me. I was right, it was a brand new firebolt. “Sorry I didn’t wrap it, it only just came in today, and I was too excited to wrap it. Ready?” After a few seconds of staring at him it clicked. He wanted to take me flying. Now.

“Draco, I am not sure…”

“Don’t worry, we’ll start out slow. You can ride on my broom with me the first few times.” He smiled gently, putting the firebolt back in his locker. “The firebolt is for you, by the way. A gift.” Before I could respond he had grabbed my hand, pulling me close and gently pressing his lips to mine. He grinned and towed me out to the quidditch pitch. He mounted his broom then motioned for me to get on with him. Like a scared little kid I shook my head, pulling back slightly. He rolled his eyes and floated closer, grabbing me by the waist and pulling me onto the broom. I shook my head, hopped off, and climbed on in back of him. At least this way I could hold onto him. I wrapped my arms tightly around his waist and shut my eyes tight. “Ready?” I nodded reluctantly. I felt my feet slowly leave the ground.

Suddenly I could feel the wind whipping my hair and I felt lighter than air. It was the most wonderful feeling. “Open your eyes dear, everything looks wonderful.” I slowly opened my eyes and gasped out loud. It was beautiful. We were flying very high up, and that scared me, but otherwise it looked beautiful. We were flying in circles over the castle and ground. I looked out in the distance towards the mountains. I felt free, and wild, and spontaneous. I leaned forward, resting my head on Dray’s shoulder. I blushed a little as I noticed how intimate we really were on the broom, but I didn’t mind.

I sighed happily and held onto my strong quidditch hero, watching the world fly by as he began taking me out over the towers. He flew lower as we passed Gryffindor tower, slowing down enough that some of my friends came running to the window, waving excitedly. I grinned and waved back with one hand. Neville seemed utterly amazed to see me on a broom.

“Wow Hermione! You’re so brave!” I blushed at the small compliment, yelling,

“Thanks Neville!” As Draco grinned and began speeding away. We circled the tower once more before shooting off towards the forest. I smiled and pointed out the Threstrals when we passed over a clearing full of them. I was sad and curious all at once to see them, and to find out Draco could see them as well.

I grinned as I saw the place where Aragog and his ‘children’ once lived, the place now destroyed. The dangerous creatures were sent to other forests, so that they couldn’t harm the students. After a while we began descending, right next to the black lake. As soon as my feet touched the ground, I hopped off, only to find my legs felt like jelly. Draco caught me as I staggered backwards. He held me against his chest for a moment.

“Yea, it can take a few times to get used to the transition back and forth between air and land.” I could hear the slight smirk in his voice, a blush creeping over my face. I nodded and stood upright, turning to face him.

“Thank you. That was wonderful. So, now what?”

“Well, it’s not too late, do you want to go in or do you want to try for yourself first?” I bit my lip. Luckily for me, a cool breeze swept through, raising goose bumps on my arm and making me shiver unconsciously. He smiled and removed his cloak, wrapping it around me. “Let’s go in, you’re freezing. We can continue another night. We have plenty of time.” I smiled shyly as we walked in, I wrapped in his cloak with one of his arms slung across my shoulder. We stopped long enough for him to put his broom away before continuing on to the castle. As curfew was in ten minutes, we didn’t meet very many people, and those we did we kindly reminded them of the curfew. We made it back to the common room just in time to grab our head robes and start the patrols. As helped me back out of the portrait, Ginny came rushing down the hall.

“Hermione! I saw you! You looked great on a broom! Did you have fun?” She grinned, excited for me. I nodded.

“Oh Ginny, it was like nothing else I have ever felt. Sure, I was scared of the height, but it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be!” Ginny grinned again and hugged me. Draco laughed.

“Come along ladies, we have some patrolling to do,” Ginny and I nodded. Draco gently grabbed my hand and led the way as we started patrolling the corridors, the three of us talking in low whispers of all things having to do with flying. By the end of the night I had a basic knowledge of brooms and techniques and just about everything else. I had picked the perfect two people to teach me to fly, it turns out. As we headed back to the head’s dorm after we finished the patrols, Ginny heading towards Gryffindor, our conversation turned to the forth coming ball.

“Only, I don’t think we should call it a Masquerade Ball, you know? It just sounds, well, boring. Why not call it the Halloween Masquerade Gala? It’s more interesting and more appropriate,” Draco thought for a moment, considering the idea, then nodded.

“I agree, besides, I know how men, or, well, boys think and there was a lot of joking around about the Yule Ball in fourth year.” I smirked.

“You males, I swear- What are we going to do with you?” I teased him, gently punching his shoulder. He pretended to be wounded, making me laugh.

“Oh! Ow! It hurts so bad! Mione! How could you!?” I giggled and he laughed, standing up off the floor. We continued on our way, still laughing. We reached the portrait to our dorm, still laughing. He helped me through after murmuring the password and we sat down on the loveseat in front of the roaring fire. We finally stopped laughing and managed to continue talking about last minute adjustments to the gala.

After taking out my master copy of all the signs and posters and using the mirror spell to change them all at once to say gala instead of ball we were pretty much finished with all preparations. All that was left was to actually attend the dance. I felt my heart leap in both excitement and nervousness at the thought. I put the master copies back and was going to head to bed when he called me back over.

“Hermione, I thought we’d quick make another appointment.” I frowned in confusion. “Flying?” Oh, right. I smiled and sat back down next to him. “So, I was thinking that maybe Monday after lunch, or perhaps earlier, after breakfast even? What do you think?’ I paused to think for a moment, thinking what I might already have had already planned.

“Yea, that’s sounds fine, I can’t think of anything to conflict. Works for me, but let’s make it after lunch, it won’t be so cold then,” I grinned and he chuckled, nodding. I stood to leave. He stood as well, pulling me back against him. He buried his face in my hair and murmured,

“You look beautiful with your hair windblown like that.” I blushed and tried to pull away, but he wouldn’t let me.

“Draco?”

“Mhm?”

“Can I go?” He let go, and I saw he was blushing.

“My apologies, that was incredibly rude of me. It won’t happen again.” With that he turned, walked around the loveseat and went to his room without looking back. For some reason his rebuff stung a bit. I bit my lip, frowning, and went to my own room. I took a quick shower and changed into a one of my cotton nightdresses. I didn’t have many nightdresses, mostly cotton pants and tanks, but I loved the dresses. They were comfortable and made me feel like I was in some romance novel or something. I lay on my bed, starring at the ceiling, wondering what was going through Draco’s mind, wondering what my feelings were for my once enemy. I found myself wondering if him and I’d ever be more than friends, wondering how he could change so fast, wondering how he really felt about me.

I didn’t realize I had fallen asleep until I awoke, the sun glittering off the bathroom floor and into my room. I sat up and walked to the bathroom. It must have been pretty early; the sun was barely visible through the bathroom window. I shrugged and got into the shower. After I finished I put on jeans and a baby tee. It wasn’t until after I was ready to leave that I glanced at the clock. It was six in the morning. I groaned and lay down on my bed. I stared up at the ceiling for a moment, wondering why I woke so early. That’s when my dream came back to me.

<flashback to dream>

I was standing in the shadow of the trees, watching a handsome man ride by on a horse. I had been sure he hadn’t seen me. I had moved to call out to him, but the feeling of my outfit stopped me. I looked down to find myself dressed in an outfit made almost entirely of feathers. I look around, trying to figure out what’s going on. I am standing in a dense forest, sunlight streaming through tiny gaps in the treetops. I spot the horseman again, he seems to be searching. I suddenly feel as though it would be bad for him to find me. I hide in the shadows again, watching him call my name and search for me. He turns suddenly and I see his face. My gasp alerts Fenrir Greyback to exactly where I am standing. He turns his horse towards me, I turn away and make a mad dash, but I can hear him gaining as the horse gallops towards me. He got close and made a fierce lunge for me.

<End flashback>

I shuddered. I hope I wasn’t becoming like that old fraud Trelawney, seeing death at every turn. I sat back up and decided to go for a walk. As I headed for the doors, it was disconcerting; the fact that I had recognized the woods we had been in as the woods surrounding Malfoy Manor.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Time break: Starts on October 19th~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sighed happily as I clung to Draco. Something about having him near me made me not so afraid of what we were doing. All too soon he began descending back into the Quidditch field. As I hopped off, so did he. He went to the locker room and I followed. He got there before I did and came back out, holding the broom he had gotten me.

“Your turn,” He said simply. It was Monday, the day of my second flying lesson.  We had been out here since lunch and the sun was just beginning to sink low in the sky. With trembling fingers I took a hold of the broom, mounting it slowly. “Good,” he mounted his again, “Now very gently kick off the ground. Most of the flying is really done with the mind in a way. The broom will begin to know you and listen to your lightest touch. Now go ahead, urge it upward, just a little.” I nodded and willed myself off the ground, kicking off ever so gently.

I nearly fell right off when I realized I was slowly leaving the earth. I floated upward about 15 feet before I began feeling any real panic. I urged the broom to stop and just hold its position as I gripped the handle, pulling back slightly. Surprisingly, it came to a gentle halt, hovering in midair. Draco flew up next to me grinning. I smiled back hesitantly

. “Great job! Now, let’s move. Follow me,” He started off slowly towards the forest, I leaned forward a little bit. As we flew out, we went higher, and ever so slowly gained speed. By the time we were halfway over the forest, we were flying so fast that the ground below the trees raced by. When I noticed how fast I was going, at first I was frightened, but then Draco called back, asking if I was having fun, and I grinned, all my fears forgotten.

I discovered that flying was one of the most exhilarating, fun, wild, crazy, and enjoyable activities. We raced over top of the trees. He started pulling loops and dives. I watched him carefully, observing where he put his hands and where he appeared to apply pressure. He pulled up alongside me, grinned, and went in for a dive. Imagine his surprise when I matched him. He started pulling loops and I was right there next to him for each one. He pulled level and sat, hovering in midair for a moment. I pulled up next to him. “What was that?” He asked incredulously. I grinned.

“It looked like fun, so I wanted to try, did I do alright?” He nodded, laughing now.

“C’mon, the sun has almost hit the horizon, I want to show you something before it gets dark,” He shot off towards the mountains. I followed, laughing as the wind blew my hair everywhere. After a while he stopped and descended onto a small grassy hilltop that rose out of the edge of the forest. I realized we couldn’t even see the castle anymore. There was a blanket and food laid out waiting for us. I grinned and hugged him tightly. We sat down and watched the sunset while snacking on the food that he had prepared. As we sat, eating and watching the skies, we talked a little.

“So, what are your hopes and dreams for the future?” He asked me, biting into a red juicy apple. I took a sip of my cider and thought for a moment.

“Well, One day I’d like to be either a healer or an auror. I love the idea of helping people, but sitting in St. Mungo’s all day would bore me, I want adventure. Oh, I know what you must be thinking; wasn’t the war adventure enough for me? I suppose it was, but in a way, I want to be able to fight all the dark wizards left, I sorta have a vendetta against them. To be able to protect all the new generations from succumbing to the dark side, to prevent another great war, well…That is about as good of a future that I can dream of,” He smiled.

“You’re strong Mione, and brave. I figured you’d choose something like that. It suits you perfectly. The job of auror I mean,” He grinned at my blush.

“Thanks,” I murmured, ducking my head, “What about you?” I looked up at him through my lashes. It seemed to take him a while to think as he sat there chewing on his apple.

“Well, I know this is going to sound…Odd, coming from me, but I had rather hoped to become an auror as well.” I smiled. I could easily see him as a dark wizard catcher, though his family was known to be some of the ones who had been within Voldemort’s closest confidents.

“I can see you as an auror, truly I can. You’d be good at it. You’d know their behavior, having forcibly lived around them for so long,” He looked at me in relief and gratitude.

“You’re the only one to get it,” He murmured, leaning over and hugging me gently. I blushed again. He pulled back and we continued to talk; about anything and everything. Too soon it was time to head back. We hopped on our brooms and flew back to the castle. I couldn’t wait to tell Ginny all about it. When we reached the castle he put all our stuff away before offering his arm to me. “May I escort you back to your room Milady?” I giggled and nodded, placing my hand in the crook of his elbow. He grinned, placing his hand over mine and leading me towards the castle.

We walked in companionable silence. All too soon we had gotten to our rooms, cleaned up, gone on patrol, and it was time to turn in for the night. He bid me goodnight at my door, kissing my cheek gently, before flouncing down the stairs and up his own to his room, disappearing behind that intricately carved door, the name plaque shining in the firelight. I sighed and went to my own room, changing and falling back on the bed. Soon after that, I was consumed by the darkness, dreams washing over me.

I awoke the next morning in a cold sweat. I had had the same dream again; Fenrir Greyback attempting to kill me. I went through my day shakily, jumpy, and introverted. Draco and everybody couldn’t understand what was wrong. I kept putting it off, acting like they were delusional. I couldn’t tell them about my dream, they’d take it to McGonagall, I was sure of it. By lunch I had calmed down slightly, I wasn’t nearly as jumpy. I sat down in my usual seat in between Blaise and Brandon, Draco across from me, Ginny next to Blaise though she should, by general understood rules, be sitting at the Gryffindor table. Immediately Blaise and Brandon were in my head with such force I had no chance to instill a stronger occlumency against them.

*Hermione, what’s up with you today?*

~Yea, sweetheart, you’re jumpier than a turkey at thanksgiving.~

‘It’s nothing guys, really. I’m fine.’

*We don’t believe you.*

‘Well you’re going to have to, because I am not saying anything.

~C’mon Mione dear, just tell us. What good can it do holding it in like this?~

*Yea, seriously, we just want to help.*

‘But you can’t! And that’s the point! You can’t help, so why bother?’

*Because you’re our sister and it hurts us seeing you so freaked out. Does this have anything to do with the war? You dreamt about it a lot this summer, always waking up screaming or in a cold sweat. I know it still plagues you Meeny Mione. We were both worried all summer but we didn’t want to say something and upset you, but if it’s still bothering you…*

~If you’re still having nightmares, maybe you just need to talk about it. The war was hard on all of us Mione. Please tell us. Is that what this is about?~ I looked at my brothers, fixing them in a glare.

Now listen to me, both of you. Though I am grateful for the concern, what bothers me is not your problem. No, it has nothing to do with the war, but nor does it have anything to do with you. I just want you two to drop it and leave me be.’

~Mione, we aren’t the only ones worried. Draco has been asking us to look into it, see if we can’t get you to open up a bit. HE was worried he did something wrong. Ginny too, is worried.~

*Yea, you got everybody freaking out. Even some of the teachers have asked already what’s going on.*

‘It’s alright, really, I’ll take care of it, I promise. If it’s not better by Wednesday night, then I’ll tell you. I promise. This seemed to pacify them. We finished our meals before Ginny, Blaise, Brandon, Draco and I all  ran off to classes. Late that night, after homework and patrols, I knew Draco would want to talk, ask what is wrong, but I didn’t want to discuss the dream, so I made excuses and went to bed early. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my eyes next to discover I had made it through the night without the nightmare. I had, instead, dreamed of flying with Draco all night. I smiled and hurried off to greet the new day, glad, for once this year, for the distraction of the classes. Maybe I’d forget that nightmare.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know that that last part was very hurried and cramped, but do not worry, it comes up again later. What do you think of all the Dray and Mione bonding? I’m having fun writing the bits and pieces. I hope you like the flying bits. There’ll be more eventually. Coming up next, how will the dance turn out? Where is the Pansy/Hermione confrontation everybody is looking for? What is this strange dream plaguing Hermione? Are Draco and Hermione destined to be, or are there other deals in the making? Stay tuned for another episode of What Is Truth? And find out the answer to all of these questions and more, lol. :D:D

 

~KittyKiss

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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