Chapter 24 : Valentine's Day
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AN: Thanks to all who reviewed my last chapter, it makes me really happy. Please read and review!
The scare of the possibility of Hermione dying might have been over, but the stress weighing her down was not. She still had a ball in two days. It was February 12th already and she felt like she had so much to do. She was busy. Draco was in charge of making sure the prefects in charge of decorations were almost done. Hermione was in charge of food and drinks. She had ordered individual bottles from the house elves. She knew it was more work for them, and she hated that, but she refused to have drunk students on her watch. She wrote out, copied magically, and put into envelopes the slips of paper for Charades. She got a stack of large pink paper for the Paper Dance. Finally she talked with the prefects in charge of decorations about a corner with chairs in a circle for Darling I Love You.
Posters had gone up around the school a few weeks prior, informing everyone that it was casual, but with the obvious color requirement. People could, theoretically dress as nicely as they wanted to, but they did not have to. As the Head Girl, Hermione felt it was her job to find an outfit that would make the more dressed up people and the more casually dressed people feel comfortable. She ended up wearing a nice one-shouldered red shirt and a pair of black jeans with red high heels and her hair up in a messy bun. Draco chose to wear dark jeans with a red shirt, he refused to wear pink, no matter how many times Hermione argued that it might make other guys feel more comfortable in pink.
Finally the day came. Hermione had spent the entire day before inventing a spell. She needed to charm the paper so that once a couple started dancing on it, it would divide in half every minute until the couple stepped off, at which point it would disappear, so no couple could cheat. She needed the paper to understand that everyone started at the same time, all in all it was complex. She finally mastered it at about midnight, resulting in her sleeping in that Saturday until nine in the morning. When she woke up she freaked at seeing the time.
“Why didn’t you wake me up when you got up?!?” Hermione accusingly asked Draco, who was casually eating breakfast in their kitchen.
“I knew you needed the sleep.” He said simply. “There are not that many things that we need to do today. The prefects are doing the decorations, we just need to approve them, and the food and drinks are taken care of. The games are set up and you came up with a brilliant spell, so you just need to relax.” He smiled at her. At hearing how well taken care of everything was Hermione sighed. She smiled at Draco.
“Sorry.” She told him. “I just really want this to go well.” He got up and went over to her. He hugged her, squeezing her tightly. Ever since they found out that Hermione was healthy, instead of drifting farther apart they had actually become closer.
“I know you do, and it will be, just chill. Come and eat some breakfast, I made it myself.” Hermione could tell he had made it all by himself. Surveying the table she noticed what looked like shriveled up and burnt bacon, gooey and undercooked pancakes, sausage that actually looked edible and soupy eggs. She giggled.
“It is a lovely gesture, really, but I don’t think it is safe to eat that, and I would rather you not eat any more either, I can’t have you getting food poisoning right before the dance.” Draco looked hurt. “Draco, you know I care about you, but even you have to admit, this looks scary. It makes sense, why would you parents have bothered to teach a Malfoy how to cook, I doubt they even know how to cook themselves.” Draco nodded a bit, acknowledging her logic while still not forgiving the sting of the insult.
“I’ll make you a deal,” Draco looked at her, curious, “you teach me how to fly, without ever letting me fall, and I will teach you how to cook breakfast. Deal?”
“Deal”, they shook hands all formal-like, before Hermione grabbed his arm and dragged him into the kitchen.
“Since you say we have so much time today and so little to do, you get to have your first cooking lesson.” Draco looked nervous about learning to cook. “I am positive you will do great.” He looked a bit better. “Now, it seems you have already got sausage down pat, so we will skip that one. The most important part of breakfast is the pancakes, the real heart of the meal, so you will learn those first. Can you tell me what is wrong with your pancakes?” Draco surveyed his pancakes.
“No, they look like the pancakes that we have at breakfast in the great hall sometimes, they look fine.” Hermione poked one of the extra-gooey pancakes with a fork, it oozed a bit.
“That is not supposed to happen. Pancakes should be solid and sturdy, but not burned.” They spent the next hour exploring the art of pancake making, even delving a bit into the art of flipping a pancake, Draco proved to be better at that than Hermione, she always got nervous and ended up just flipping it over, but not actually tossing it in the air at all.
After the mess they made in the process of making the perfect pancake they both needed showers. Draco went first, as Hermione still had some of her regular morning things to do. It was already almost ten thirty, so she really needed to lay out her outfit, to prevent wrinkles, she needed to set up her make-up station and invite Ginny over to get ready at about four in the afternoon. She picked out her favorite shampoo, it smelled of cinnamon and spice. She grabbed her shower kit and headed down to the shower. Draco was done by then and just walking out with a towel tied around his waist. Hermione blushed.
“Hey, I steamed it up a bit, but other than that I think I took all my stuff out of there, it is all yours.” Draco smiled at her, stepping out of her way to let her into the bathroom. He admired her figure as she walked in. He may have learned to respect her, but he was still a guy, body and looks still mattered to him. He could still appreciate a good rear view. He chuckled quietly as he walked up to his room to get changed.
Hermione took a nice long shower. When she was done and dressed in regular clothes; it was almost noon. She decided to go to Gryffindor tower to talk to Ginny.
Meanwhile Draco went around to the prefects to make sure everything really was in order, he did not what anything to screw this dance up for Hermione, she had worked so hard on it and she had been so stressed. Once he knew everything was in order he returned to their rooms. He decided to take a nap, since the dance did not start for several hours.
Ginny was up to her elbows in Hermione’s hair. She was attempting to make it behave so that it could look casually thrown up into a messy bun, but it was fighting back. Once she mastered that Hermione helped her with her hair. They compared outfits, Ginny helped Hermione pick out her jewelry and Hermione helped Ginny pick out her shoes. All in all it was a productive four hours. They then spent the next two hours just talking, catching up. Ginny had noticed Hermione pulling away, but she had been patient. They talked about what was going on with Ginny and her boy troubles. Ginny admitted that she still had a crush on Harry.
“Well have I got news for you!” Hermione told her, grinning. “I am almost positive that Harry still has a crush on you. You should totally go for it.” They both giggled, glad to be talking about such light and fun topics, after the darkness of the past few years. Finally, since Hermione had to be in the Great Hall before everyone else, the girls got their outfits on and headed out. Hermione ran into her room quickly before heading to the Great Hall, she called for Draco. There was no answer. She saw his shoes by the portrait hole, so he had not left yet. She went to go find him. He was sleeping still, peacefully in his bed. She bent down and planted a light kiss on his forehead. His eyes flittered open. “Morning sunshine” Hermione smiled. “Time to go to the ball, you about ready?”
“Yeah,” he responded, “just give me a second. He tossed his close on and came out. Hermione performed a spell on them, smoothing them out, he put his shoes on and they left with Ginny. When they walked into the Great Hall Hermione grinned.
“It is perfect, I love it.” The decorations were exactly how she had pictured them. She was so excited. She and Draco walked around thanking all the prefects working on the decorations and telling them to go get ready. Draco went to speak with the DJ, talking to him about what type of music would be best, considering the paper dance game. Hermione went around, straightening things out, talking to the house elves, etc.
Finally the moment of truth arrived, and the rest of the school was allowed to enter the Great Hall. There were gasps. The hall was not that impressive, not like at Christmas and Halloween, but it was still pretty nice. People sat in the chairs at the tables first, as Hermione needed to address them all before the dance started.
“Hello everyone,” Hermione started out, once most students seemed to be there and settled. “Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Dance. I am pleased to see that you all followed the color requirement. There are just a few things that I want to inform you all about. There are, as you can see, a few games set up around the room. Since this dance is casual we decided games might make it more fun. In this corner,” she pointed to one corner of the room, “there will be an ongoing game of Charades. If you do not know how to play there will be someone there at all times to explain it, but basically you act things out and people have to guess what it is but you can’t talk. In this corner,” she pointed to another corner, “there will be a game I love, it is called ‘Darling I love you, won’t you please just smile?’ In this game your goal is to make the person you are talking to smile, you must use those words, but you can say whatever else you want, you just can’t touch them. And finally,” here she turned to Draco, “Draco will explain the final game.”
“The last game will take place in this corner of the dance floor, it is played in pairs, though it does not matter if you are romantic, friends or just met, the goal is to be the last pair on the floor. Each pair is given a large sheet of paper on which to dance. Every minute or so the paper will magically fold in half so that the pair has half the space on which to dance. The pair able to dance on the smallest piece of paper wins.” Draco smiled, “I know many of you are competitive, but no cheating will be tolerated, these games are just for fun, the only prize awarded to winners is the knowledge that they won. Hermione, anything else?”
“That is just about it, be safe and please have fun!” The music started then and everyone got up and went off to dance, eat, drink or play a game.
Overall the dance itself was uneventful. Some fifth years still managed to sneak in alcohol, get drunk and start puking, and there were two fights, but it was all rather trivial.
In the end Hermione was just happy it was over. She had had fun. She was terrible at charades, no one ever knew what she was trying to communicate, she had a ball at Darling I love you, she made Ginny almost hurt herself laughing and she even managed to make Harry and Ron smile at one time or another. Draco had asked her to paper dance with her. They did not win, but they were not the first out. It was a great ball and Hermione was very pleased with the way everything worked out. She and Draco left after everyone was gone and the clean up was completed. They were exhausted, they went up to Draco’s bed and collapsed, mostly still dressed. They slept until almost noon that Sunday.
AN: I know. I am soooooo sorry. I can’t apologize enough. I have been going crazy. Senior year is mental. I only found time to write now because I’m ignoring my AP Gov. homework and I’ve just finished all my college apps due in Nov. the rest aren’t due until Jan. Yay! I will try my best not to make you wait so long again, but it is a long chapter, so that’s good, right? Please review. Thanks!
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