Chapter 7: Gentle kisses
Friday came slowly for Hermione. She had been looking forward to it all week, but seemed to take a lifetime to get there. Now that it had arrived, she found herself nervous. She didn't know where Draco was taking her, and he had left her with nothing but a “Dress Nice.” This time, Hermione decided to dress up a bit more than last time. Unfortunately for her, she wasn't happy with any of her outfits, and it was too late to go shopping. She did what every girl in a clothing disaster does: borrow from her best friend.
"Ginny! I need you!" shouted Hermione as she walked into her house. She was frantic, but excited too.
Ginny came running to her down the stairs to her. "What's the matter Hermione? Everything okay?"
"Yes – no. Yes, as in I'm fine, but no as in I have absolutely nothing to wear!" said Hermione in a rush.
Ginny burst out laughing – Hermione looked so panicky. "You're acting like you've never been on a date before. I've seen your wardrobe Hermione, you have so many perfect things to wear!"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Well, I can't find any, so can you please show me something
Ginny shook her head, still grinning "Come on then, come have a nosey in my wardrobe instead!"
Ginny ended up picking an outfit for her. It was a silky green dress, fitted to the waist, but flowing loosely to just above her knees.
"You'd make a perfect Slytherin," teased Ginny.
After a thank you, and a quick hug, Hermione apparated back in her flat, to apply her make-up and do her hair. She looked in the mirror and was pleased with the result – she looked classy, but not overdone.
Draco arrived at exactly 8pm, just like he had said.
"You look gorgeous Granger! Green really suits you," smiled Draco, giving her a light kiss on the cheek.
"Thank you. You look nice too."
"Of course," smirked Draco. "So, are you ready?"
"Yes, where are we going?" asked Hermione. She was anxious for their evening to get started.
"You are an impatient one, aren’t you," teased Draco "You'll see very soon."
Taking her hand, Draco apparated them to just in front of the House of Commons.
"I thought we might have a little walk first, as its turning out to be a clear night?" asked Draco.
Hermione made no objections, she was happy to be spending time with him.
They walked slowly over Westminster Bridge, pausing to look down at the River Thames. They could see the London Eye from where they were standing. It was brightly lit up in the night.
"You know, all these years of living here and I've never been on that damn thing!" laughed Hermione.
"Well, that's a good thing for me then, because that's precisely where I'm taking you!"
Hermione was thrilled. As they got into the large capsule, Hermione suddenly realised they were all alone in it.
"Aren't these things usually filled with like thirty people?"
"Usually, but I booked this one for just us" smiled Draco, walking towards a basket that was set on the table in the middle.
Hermione was speechless. Draco had clearly gone to a lot of trouble for this. He pulled out a bottle of champagne and filled two glasses. The London Eye began moving. Hermione stood looking at the view, but her mind was only on Draco.
"Are you enjoying this?" asked Draco, moving to stand behind her.
"Absolutely, the view is breath taking."
"It certainly is" replied Draco softly, looking at Hermione intently.
Hermione leaned against Draco as he stood behind her, unaware of what she was doing. Draco couldn't help but put his arms around her waist. She leaned a bit more heavily, and he tightened his grip. They stood there in utter silence and bliss until the capsule reached the top.
"C'mon, there's plenty of food in here" said Draco, slowly pulling away from Hermione. Hermione suddenly felt naked without his arms around her.
"So, how long do we have in here?"
"As long as we want," he said simply."I've hired this for the whole evening".
Hermione was even more surprised. She knew this must have been very expensive, but she didn't say anything.
They ate while gazing out at the view, talking about anything and everything that came to their minds. They spent the next two hours in the capsule, most of the time sitting close together, Draco’s arm gently around Hermione.
Their night had to come to an end at some point, and Draco grudgingly walked Hermione back to her flat after several hours in the capsule. It was a cold night, as it was still December, so Hermione slipped her arm between his. Draco looked away from her and smiled. He could feel the electricity run down his spine every time she touched him.
"Draco, tonight was amazing. Thank you so much," beamed Hermione while they were standing outside her door again.
"It was my pleasure,” he replied.
There was a silence between them for a couple of seconds until Draco started talking again.
"I know this is really soon, but could I take you out again tomorrow? For lunch instead? I'm seeing my parents in the evening," he asked.
"I'd like that" replied Hermione, blushing slightly.
Draco lightly touched Hermione's hair, pushing a strand behind her ear "Could I give you a kiss goodnight?" he whispered.
Hermione nodded her head, finding it hard to form words.
Draco smiled. He leaned in and met her lips lightly, pulling her softly towards him. Before she had a chance to respond, the kiss was over, and she was left wanting more. Draco chuckled lightly, gave her a quick kiss on her cheek and said goodnight.
Hermione walked into her flat in a daze. She felt so many emotions at the same time. Confusion, elation, fear, joy and mainly, desire. The kiss had only lasted a couple of seconds, but had stirred in her something she hadn't felt in years. She was worried that things had suddenly moved too fast, but she couldn’t stop herself from being happy.
Draco decided to walk back instead of apparate that evening. He wanted the cold breeze to cool him down. His heart was pounding in his chest, and all he could think about was Hermione and her soft, full lips. He had had to fight the urge to press her hard against the wall and kiss her passionately. He wanted things to go slowly between them, as he was worried that Hermione would run away from him if he pressured her in any way.
As Hermione got ready for bed, she received an Owl from Ginny.
I want to know everything!
Come see me tomorrow morning.
Hermione grinned. She and Ginny shared everything together, and she desperately needed to talk with her about what had happened.
The next morning, Hermione popped over to Ginny's quickly, and told her everything that had happened. Including the kiss. But in the light of day, Hermione was afraid of what had happened between them.
"Gin, what am I doing? None of this makes sense."
"What do you mean Mione?"
"I mean, none of this is logical. He's a Pureblood, I'm Muggle-born. He was a Death Eater, I'm a third of the Golden Trio. We hated each other at school. How is this even happening? Sometimes I feel like I'm just living in a dream, and just waiting to wake up."
"Hermione, love never makes sense. That's the whole point of it. Love isn't logical. It's never black and white."
Hermione let out a laugh. "Gin, why are you talking about love? I don't love him! And he certainly doesn't love me!"
Ginny smiled to herself. Her and Harry had decided to keep what Draco said between them. They thought it only fair that Draco be the one who told Hermione. They couldn't explain why, but they had started to trust him.
"Ok, all I'm saying is... liking somebody doesn't have to make sense. Now stop thinking so much about it! Just do whatever comes naturally for you."
Hermione smiled. Ginny always knew how to make her feel better.
"Right, well I better go back and change. Malfoy told me to be casual today. He keeps the dates secrets, it’s so frustrating not to know what to wear!" laughed Hermione.
When Hermione left, Ginny was still thinking about her. She hadn't seen her looking so happy in such a long time. She didn't care that it was Draco who was bringing such happiness to Hermione, she was just glad that she finally had some.
Hermione spent a long time trying to figure out what to wear again. She opted for her faded blue jeans and a smart black top.
Draco arrived at noon to pick Hermione up.
"So, where are you taking me to today?" asked Hermione.
"Well, I thought we'd grab some lunch and then, play some crazy golf!"
Hermione burst out laughing "You've got to be kidding right?"
"Nope, not at all. I'm well aware of the fact that you're amazing at everything other than sports," grinned Draco.
"And what better way to impress me than by taking me golfing?" asked Hermione, amused at how ridiculous it all sounded.
"Exactly. Now come on, I haven't got all day" replied Draco impatiently, but smiling all the same.
By the time they made it to the 4th hole, Hermione was more than a little bit flustered. She couldn't get into the swing of things, and Draco was laughing at her most of the time.
"Granger, I've offered to help you thousands of times! Turn the Gryffindor pride down a notch, and let me!" he said.
Hermione sighed. "Fine, just don't knock me with your ever expanding head!"
Draco laughed, and walked towards Hermione. He stood behind her and put his arms around her, holding on to hers. This was exactly as Draco had planned – he wanted any excuse to be near her. Hermione could feel the sparks between them as he touched her, and she had a longing to be kissed again.
"You're hair smells lovely," stated Draco, lightly brushing his cheek against hers.
Although it was still early, Hermione went straight into her bed when she got back. She lay there, staring at the ceiling and smiling. Draco had given her another kiss goodbye, very similar to last nights. It wasn't enough though, she wanted more even while Draco seemed to be holding back. Hermione grinned deviously to herself, maybe she should take the kissing into her own hands.
As Draco made his way to his parents’ house, he mentally went over what he was going to say when he told them about Hermione. Although he knew they weren't actually in a relationship he wanted to make sure his parents knew from the start what his intentions were. He knew his mother would be happy about it, but he wasn't sure about his father. They had always had a slightly strained relationship, and Lucius was very disappointed when his relationship with Astoria had ended.
He walked over to his mother, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. He nodded curtly to his father, who seemed to ignore him and continued reading his newspaper. They were already at the dining table, about to have their dinner.
"You're late," came the welcome from behind the newspaper.
“Yes darling, you are quite late. Has work been keeping you in?" The gentle voice of his mother almost covered for Lucius’ comment. Narcissa was a beautiful woman, who had changed considerably the past five years. She had realised that everything she and her husband had done in the past was completely wrong, and she had worked very hard to make sure everyone knew that.
"Sorry, but I was just out with a friend, and lost track of the time."
"A female friend, dear?" asked Narcissa eagerly, placing her hand on Draco's arm.
He nodded, saying: “I actually want to talk to you about her."
Lucius folded his newspaper and threw it on the empty chair next to him. "I only want to hear this if that woman is Astoria,” he said with a frown.
"Father, why are you so obsessed with me being with Astoria? Just because you are friends with her father doesn't mean we’re compatible."
"So it's not her. You can keep your mouth shut at the table then," came the curt reply from Lucius.
"Lucius, don't be so silly. Draco, I want to hear all about her," interrupted Narcissa, giving Draco's hand a small squeeze. Draco had never understood his parents’ relationship. It was obvious to Draco that they loved each other immensely, but they didn't show it in the usual ways. In fact, Lucius adored his wife, and he loved Draco very much, but he always found it hard to show him.
Draco hesitated. His father was already in a bad mood, and he hadn't even heard who the woman was yet.
"She is just a friend for now, and I've decided to tell you about her early on as I intend to date her. If she will have me, that is."
Lucius snorted and took a swig of what looked like wine. "She would be a fool not to want a Malfoy!"
Draco took a deep breath. "It's Hermione Granger."
Lucius nearly sprayed his wine all over the table in his surprise. Narcissa tried not to laugh at him.
"Granger? The mud-blood? The know it all?" shouted Lucius, once he was able to breathe.
"Don't call her that! And yes, the cleverest witch of our time is what you meant, I'm sure father" replied Draco.
"Didn't I tell you? As soon as I saw those pictures in the newspaper, I knew there was trouble brewing!" exclaimed Lucius to his wife.
"Please, calm yourself Lucius.” Said Narcissa. Then, turning to her son: “How did this happen? And, why?"
"I'm not sure mother. I've liked her for a long time I guess, but only realised it recently."
"And does she return your feelings?"
"I think she does, but I'm not positive. After all, I am still known as a Death Eater" replied Draco bitterly, giving a cold look to Lucius.
There was silence at the table for a while. Narcissa finally broke it.
"Well, I'm happy for you, if you are happy. I'm glad that you don't still have those prejudices that your father obviously can't seem to get rid of," said Narcissa, giving her a husband a disappointed look.
"Thank you mother." replied Draco, giving her a small kiss on her hand. "Father, say something. I know you're just dying to tell me how much of a regret I am to you. Go ahead, I'm ready for it."
Lucius was looking very calm. "I'm sorry Draco, but I can't see the attraction at all. You used to hate her during school, in case you’ve forgotten. If you say you like her, then there is nothing I can do to reign in your feelings."
Draco was shocked. "That's all you have to say?"
"No, there is plenty more I want to say, but I'm afraid if your mother kicks me one more time under the table, I will have a fractured tibia".
AN: So here it is, hope you guys liked it, and let me know what you think! I know the story is unfortunatly becoming quite OOC, but that's just where it's heading sorry!
Another big thank you to my beta VeniceLily, who did another great job on this chapter.
Also I'd like to credit my boyfriend! Draco's London Eye date was actually based on my boyfriends surprise date for me on our anniversary a couple of years ago! Lovely isnt he!