Hermione couldn’t get his words out of her mind all morning. She had been dazed through her earlier classes, but had made it through them without issues. It wasn’t until Potions class that disaster struck.
Her head snapped up and for the first time in her school career, she had no idea what it was that she was being asked.
The class snickered, Ron included, she noticed as she asked, “ Could you repeat the question, please?”
“I was merely taking the roll, Miss Granger,” Professor Slughorn said, frazzled.
She was mortified, and felt her face go as red as the inside of her robes. She buried her head in her text book and didn’t lift it up until class was over. As soon as class was dismissed, she rushed out the room. She made it to the adjoining corridor where she could finally be alone. Very few knew that this corridor existed. She slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor. She buried her head in her hands and let the tears fall. What was happening to her? She had always been so on top of her studies, the student that all teachers were proud to have in their class. Not to mention being Head Girl. She was supposed to be setting an example for the younger students, and now all she was doing was setting an example of what not to do.
She felt a hand touch her shoulder and she glanced up out of the corner of her left eye and stifled a groan. Why? She asked herself. Why was this always happening to her? What had she done to make all this happen.
“Are you alright? I didn‘t know what to think when I saw you bolt out of the classroom,” Draco’s voice asked her. She couldn’t tell if he was asking out of pity, or because he cared. At that moment, she didn’t know which would be worse.
She stared at him. “What do you think? That I make a habit of making exits like that? Besides, why is it any of your business anyway?”
He gave her that smile that she just couldn’t quite understand.
“Sometimes it’s nice to have someone that understands.”
For some reason, his saying that just made her angry. After all, wasn’t it his fault this had happened in the first place? If he hadn’t said what he’d said that morning, she wouldn’t have been thinking about it and none of this would have ever happened. She was quickly deciding that she hated men. They caused nothing but trouble.
She wiped her eyes and stood up and grabbed her things. Not giving Draco a second look, she rushed off in the direction of her next class.
Slytherins and Gryffindors didn’t have any other classes the rest of the afternoon, so seeing her there was out of the question.
Apparently she was avoiding everyone and stayed out of the Great Hall for dinner that night, so it wasn’t until all of the students had gone off to their common rooms and then to their dormitories, that Draco was about to head to the common room to retire for the evening. Lately, Hermione had buried herself in books, trying to make up for what she had neglected earlier in the year.
Tonight was no different as Draco was seated at the desk across the room, trying to get his own work done, though he couldn’t seem to concentrate. The nagging thought in the back of his mind told him that he was wrong, but he wouldn’t listen. He chalked it up to all of the studying that he had done earlier in the year. That and all of the movies that he had watched.
The evening turned into night, but neither of them made a move to head to their rooms. Hermione only sighed, as though she realized just how much work she did in fact have to do. No way did she want to have a repeat of class earlier that day.
Draco walked over the bookshelf that was against the wall and happened to look over in her direction when she pushed her hair out of her eyes and continued reading through her huge textbook.
Hermione was submerged in the book and seemed oblivious to his staring at her.
How come it had taken him so long to notice her?
he wondered. Like a girl.
Had he really been that consumed by his anger, his hatred so strong, his family obligations and fears of what would happen if he didn’t act the way that he was excepted to act, that he allowed it to cause all this?
Suddenly, without warning, Hermione closed the book with a snap, causing Draco to jump.
“Why are you always staring at me?” she asked. “Every time I look up, you are always looking at me. Have I grown another head or something? Are you biting back a remark that you can‘t resist saying?”
“No. I just couldn’t -”
“You just can’t help spying on me, can you? That’s what all this is about, isn’t?”
“You look so content,” he told her. “I just can’t help it.”
“Well, stop it, alright? It’s creeping me out.”
He didn’t stop, however. He moved closer to her, and crouched down on the floor next to her desk and stared into her eyes.
She rolled them. “What do you want now
He cupped her chin in his palm and brought his lips to hers.
She resisted at first, pulling way, but slowly allowed her resistance to fade.
“Don’t fight me, Hermione. Please,” he asked huskily against her ear.
She closed her eyes and allowed herself to forget everything, except for the feel of his lips against hers.
He kissed a trail from her lips to her ear, causing her to suck in her breath.
He began to nibble on her earlobe, causing her stomach to flutter. No one had ever made her feel that way. Not even Ron.
She banished the thought. Now was not
the time or place to think about him