Chapter 43 : Leaving Hogwarts
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I spun around at the sound and found myself staring at Professor McGonagall. She gave me a small smile – it seemed as if she'd been expecting me.
“Professor,” I greeted before turning back to the portrait. “Pro Tempera.”
She gave me a small smile. “I have something I would like to talk to you about.”
She motioned for me to sit down and we both did. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting this.
“It's written in runes,” I informed her, just in case she wasn't aware of it.
“Yes, Miss Granger, I know. Dumbledore wondered if you would like to translate it?”
“I'd love to!” I breathed and McGonagall seemed pleased with my answer. I smiled to myself, excited beyond belief over getting to translate the original copy. McGonagall looked saddened for a moment and as she spoke again, I could hardly believe how emotional she sounded.
“I'll write you sometime during the summer and see how the translation is coming along,” she said before she turned to walk out of there. She stopped suddenly and turned to look at me. “Oh, and I thought you'd like to know that you did excellent on your N.E.W.T's."
She gave me a nod and then she walked out and the portrait closed slowly behind her.
I let out a deep breath and looked around. Smiling to myself, I walked to the girls dormitory, had one last look around before I decided that it was enough. I loved this place and I could be in here forever just to make sure that I would remember every detail – but that would be like torture. Instead I glanced around once more before I walked out of the Gryffindor common room and headed towards the Great Hall. As I walked down all the stairs, I remembered to avoid the trick steps, something that came naturally these days. I remembered how Neville always used to forget about those and smiled to myself.
I hoped that I would come back to Hogwarts a lot in the future, and teaching here wouldn't be something that I would turn down easily. But for now, I just wanted a break from school – odd as it sounded. A break from school, but not from Hogwarts, as confusing as that might sound. I had high expectations about this summer and I hoped that it would be fantastic. I would get to work on translating he book. Hopefully, I'd get to spend a great deal of time with Draco as well. The only problem was that we hadn't made any plans. We had hardly talked about it. I just hoped that it wouldn't be long until I went to visit him.
I walked in to the Great Hall and took it all in. I remembered the first time I'd stepped in to the Great Hall and smiled at the memory – it had seemed much bigger back then. It was still huge, of course. I noticed that Draco and Blaise were already there, and Draco turned to look at me and as I came closer he grabbed my hand and pulled me down next to him quickly.
“You'll never believe what Blaise has done,” he hurried to say and my eyes widened. I glanced over at Blaise – I guess I looked quite terrified.
“You're engaged!?” I tried to keep my voice down.
Blaise rolled his eyes. “Call it whatever you like.”
“Well...” I said and couldn't keep from smiling widely. “Congratulations or something.”
Amber glanced at Blaise, who was grinning at her. She leaned forward and he pressed his lips against her when she was close enough. I had no doubt that those two would last even with Amber having two more years of school. It was so typical Blaise, wasn't it? Getting engaged at a early age. Not that I minded, I knew their love was strong and I saw nothing wrong with further commitment. But it was very typical Blaise. He was extreme in everything he did, and I guess that when it came to relationships, he wasn't any different. It was all in or nothing when it came to Blaise.
I turned my head to look at Draco, who was quite the opposite. He wasn't one to rush in to things, even though our relationship had happened very quickly. But from the time that we got together until he confessed to loving me, that had taken quite some time. I was glad it had, I was glad that we'd taken that time to really think things through and we'd only said 'I love you' when we'd been absolutely sure about it. Draco was shaking his head at Blaise, who was still claiming that it wasn't 'exactly an engagement'.
Luna sat down next to me, she didn't seem to be surprised about Blaise and Amber at all. Instead, she acted as if she had been expecting it for quite some time. She looked up as the owls flew in and smiled happily as she received the Quibbler; she opened it and begun to read at once. She seemed almost indifferent to leaving Hogwarts, although it was hard to tell with Luna. Neville and Hannah joined us as well, but they had already heard about Blaise and Amber so they didn't comment on it. Instead they acted very much as if it was just another day of school.
I laced my fingers through Draco's and saw a smile spread on his lips. He gave me a quick glance and smiled wider before he picked up his conversation with Blaise again.
When Draco had finished his breakfast, and I only had a bit of toast left, he asked me if I would go with him back up to our common room. Apparently he had left some things up here. I gave a nod and stood up, he took a hold of my hand once more as we began to walk. I was pleasantly surprised to see that people didn't gawk at us like they used to. I guess they'd gotten used to seeing us together after all these months.
Reaching our common room, Draco mumbled the password and we were let in. Draco pulled me along and as I glanced around, I noticed that he hadn't forgotten anything at all.
I couldn't very well say that I understood how he felt. Being done with school had always scared me and it definitely hadn't been something that I'd been longing for.
“I guess I've just gotten so used to being here every year, you know?” he said and looked at me. That I could understand. “And now, I'm supposed to get a job.” He didn't sound too excited about the idea. “Who would want to hire a former Death-”
“Draco,” I interrupted and he silenced. I couldn't believe what he was saying. He was an outstanding wizard, he got good grades. His change towards the end of the war had saved him from Azkaban, surely people would take that in to consideration when he tried to get a job? “This is nonsense. You're brilliant at everything you do, I'm sure other people will see that.”
“You really think that, or are you just trying to make me feel better?” he attempted to joke, but the joke fell flat. “I hope you're right.”
Draco turned his head to look at me and I smiled. He returned the smile and closed the gap between us. He pressed his lips gently against mine twice and then I eased back.
“I'm going to miss this,” I sighed and put hand on his. “We've been around each other constantly and now we're going to live miles away from each other. It's going to be such a huge change and I-” I trailed off and sighed. “I'm going to miss having you around all the time.”
Draco chuckled lightly and captured my lips once more, I returned the kiss fiercely and felt Draco sigh. He pulled away somewhat, only to trail kissed down my neck. He paused by my ear. “I plan on being around a lot, though,” he said huskily.
“Yeah?” I breathed as his mouth pressed against my jaw.
“Count on it,” he said and then his lips found mine again and my eyes fluttered closed as we kissed. We broke apart as we heard the portrait open. With a groan, Draco fell back on the bed. I heard Blaise's laugh before he'd entered our room.
“You had a snog party and I wasn't invited?” Blaise shook his head, trying to look hurt. “You guys should probably get a move on, we don't wanna miss the train back to London, now do we?"
Draco's very mature response was to throw a pillow at Blaise, who left the room with a chuckle.
Draco and I was just in the middle of talking about the time that we got detention together in first year as the train came to a stop. We all glanced around at each other, none of us wanted to get off the train and go back home to our families, not really. With a sigh, Amber stood up first. In a way she was the lucky one here, she got to go back next year. If only she would see it that way and stop complaining about being so young.
“You ready to go?” Draco nudged me and I shook my head no, but got up anyway. We got ready to leave but patiently waited for people to get off the train so that we wouldn't have to push our way out through the crowded place. Once most people were gone, we took our stuff and got off the train. I noticed that Draco was searching for his parents. He seemed to have found them because he sent off a smile. I knew that mine wouldn't be here, they'd be on the other side of the barrier.
We moved out of the way as more students came off the train. Amber had run up to her parents and hugged them, but Blaise stayed with us.
Draco leaned down and pressed his lips against mine, I pressed myself against his chest and he pulled me closer yet. It was pleasantly surprising to feel those butterflies in my stomach flutter even after all those months. I didn't really care if anyone saw us, they weren't important. My hands made their way to his neck and I ran my fingers through his hair. He broke the kiss to breathe and I gave a small sigh which amused him. I gave him one small quick kiss before I glanced over his shoulder to see that his parents were trying their best to avoid looking our way. Draco followed my glance and we both laughed at the fact that both of them were blushing slightly.
“I should probably go,” Draco said after a few seconds and looked back at me. I nodded and bit my lower lip. Draco pulled me in for another hug and I closed my eyes and inhaled. Draco's arms slowly let me go and I sighed. I should probably get going as well. “See you soon, Hermione.”
I smiled a bit as he turned and began to make his way to his parents. I stared at his back, until I noticed that Narcissa was waving at me. I waved back and even got a small nod from Lucius. I nodded back. As Draco reached his parents, Narcissa hugged him tight. I picked up my luggage and then I made my way to my own parents.
Sunlight hit my face as I opened my eyes, I blinked several times to get used to it. The night had been brutally hot, so I untangled the covers from my body quickly. There was something about today, I remembered. Something that caused my stomach to tighten in excitement, only I couldn't remember what it was. I blinked a few more times and tried to wake myself up and get my brain to work. I rolled over in my bed and that's when I spotted the picture of Draco and I that had been taken last Christmas. I sat up straight and a huge smile spread across my face – of course, Draco was coming over today.
I hadn't seen him since we left Hogwarts, and mind you that was two weeks ago. Those two weeks had been enough to convince me that life after Hogwarts would be living hell. I had been bored out of my mind, I had almost finished translating the book – and when I was done with that, I wouldn't have anything to do. Hopefully, Draco would be there to keep me occupied. That, and the fact that Blaise was coming back to England in just a week, made me feel a bit better. I hoped that the summer would turn out to be a lot more fun with those two around.
I made my way to the shower and nearly ran over Crookshanks in my hurry to get there. I mumbled an apology to her but she seemed to ignore me completely. Shaking my head at her, I continued towards the bathroom.
Once I was clean and dressed, I made my way downstairs. I could smell pancakes and sure enough, when I walked in to the kitchen I found that my mother had made me breakfast. I groaned as I heard a laugh coming from the garden and I understood that my aunt was here. But, not even that could make my mood falter today. I ate the pancakes quickly and then I served myself a glass of milk and headed outside. Crookshanks followed me and meowed, I bent down and picked her up.
“Draco is coming today,” I whispered to her excitedly and she blinked twice. I was willing to bet that she understood me.
I walked outside and found my parents and my aunt sitting in the sun. “Good morning!”
“Look who has woken,” Dad said and my mother mumbled 'about time...'. I rolled my eyes at both of them and had a seat. Crookshanks settled down in my lap and fell asleep purring.
“Hello,” I said to Kristy who gave me a nod. Despite our talk after Grandma's death, things hadn't changed drastically. We still found each other just as annoying as before, but I think that she understood me better these days. “How are things?”
“Okay, I guess,” she replied casually. “And with you?"
That was about as much we spoke to each other the next hour and a half. Mum and Kristy had gotten closer after Grandma's death, and so Kristy had been coming around more often then before. I guess that was a good thing for Mum. They'd been close growing up, but when I was born – their relationship had taken a turn for the worse. I was really glad that they were getting along fine these days.
I followed Mum in to the kitchen when she was going to make some more coffee for herself and Kristy. I was bored enough to count the seconds until Draco was supposed to get here. I sighed and looked at my Mum, she looked really healthy compared to the last time I had seen her, which had been right after Grandma had died. We had avoided talking about Grandma since I got home, but I had to bring it up sooner or later.
“Mum,” I begun. “Can we go to Grandma's grave someday? I haven't been there since the funeral.”
She turned around and smiled. “Of course. Maybe Draco would like to go with you?”
“I think he would,” I replied and then I raised my eyebrows. “Why are you smiling?”
“I was starting to get worried,” she shook her head. “You haven't mentioned Grandma in a while, and I began to think that you weren't grieving properly."
“I'm fine,” I said and I actually meant it. Her choice of words made me grin. Grieving properly. Was there a way to grieve properly? I shook my head at her words.
Crookshanks hurried past me and I furrowed my eyebrows at her and followed her. She was running towards the door with her tail in the air and meowing loudly. Just as I was about to pick her up, the doorbell rang and I shrieked in surprise. I hurried to open the door and I found Draco standing there looking amused and somewhat bewildered at the same time. He'd cut his hair, I noticed. It wasn't that big of a change and it looked very good.
“Were you waiting by the door?” He chuckled at my confused face but then I understood what he meant – I had opened the door just seconds after he had rang the bell. I blushed a bit, not quite sure what to say. Crookshanks was stroking against his legs and I shook my head at the smart cat. I then remembered that Draco was standing right there and I nearly knocked him down as I jumped up in his arms. He laughed out loud and hugged me tight. “I've missed you, too.”
I shut him up by pressing my lips to his. He let out a surprised moan before he eagerly kissed me back. I ran my fingers through his hair when we parted and he grinned. “Do you like it?”
“I do,” I said and repeated my actions. I felt the urge to make a complete mess of his hair, but I stopped myself in time. “I love it, actually.”
“Good,” Draco gave me quick kiss. “Would you mind helping me with those?”
I stared at this things. He was only going to spend two weeks here, but he had packed enough for two months. I shook my head and laughed, but helped him with them nonetheless. He greeted my parents before we carried his things up to my room. He began to unpack as soon as everything was there. I complained and told him that he could to that later, but he insisted on unpacking first. Once he was pretty much done, he turned to me.
“Look what I brought,” he grinned widely as he held up two small things. I looked at him and furrowed my eyebrows. He waved his wand over them and I quickly realized that it was two shrunken brooms. I had no idea when or where we'd be using those, but I was happy about it nonetheless.
“You didn't!” I laughed and clapped my hands in excitement. I hadn't been on a broom since the Quidditch game and I found that I missed it a lot. He leaned the two brooms against the wall and then he threw himself on my bed and pulled me down. “How's your summer been so far?”
“Awfully boring. Yours?” Draco was stroking my arm as he spoke. I cuddled up to him.
“Same,” I sighed and tilted my head up. I met his grey eyes and we just looked at each other for a while. Draco leaned down to capture my lips and my eyes fluttered closed.
I could feel his smile against my lips and I let my hand grasp his hair to pull him even closer to me. Under my other hand I could feel his heartbeat. As Draco told me that he loved me, I realized that life after Hogwarts might not be so bad after all.
“I love you, too,” I said and beamed up at Draco.
I also realized that this was the beginning; the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life.
Also, for the stuff that wasn't cleared up in this chapter:
Harry is thinking about proposing to Ginny, and Ron is happily together with Lavender. He's getting better with every day.
To Hermione, Draco and Blaise(and Amber, too) for being completely amazing characters to write. I'm gonna miss writing Blaisey the most, I think, haha.
To all of you readers and reviewers: You've been more than amazing, and each review mean so much to me. Thank you for sticking to the story for so long and for just being awesome. I love you all :')
That's it, I think... I still can't believe it. I really hope that you enjoyed this chapter, and that you've enjoyed this whole story. Thank you all. And, please, leave a review? :) Thanks, Cathy.
I know I have many unanswered reviews atm, but I'm going to try to answer them all soon. For all of you who has asked about a sequal, that is VERY unlikely, I'm afraid.]