"I still don't understand why you'd want to spent the next couple days of our holiday here by yourself Hermione." Ron said for the tenth time that morning as he forcefully shoved his trunk into the luggage compartment of the Hogwarts Express, knocking over an unknown owl cage in the process.
Shaking her head and sighing Hermione gave the same answer she had given all morning long "I've told you Ronald, I just want a little time to myself. This is the last time I'll be able to see Hogwarts at Christmas, and I want to enjoy the season. Beside I'll be seeing you in a few days, I think you can survive without me till then."
"Well I think its an excellent idea Hermione." Harry spoke up after stowing Ginny and his trunks next to Ron's and up righting a very peeved owl who was letting his protests known to all. "I would have stayed too if Mrs Weasley hadn't insisted I come to the Burrow first off."
"Yeah, mum's still a bit clingy where Harry is concerned." Ron ventured before closing the compartment door on the annoying barn owl.
"That," Harry whispered taking a few step closer to Hermione, so only she would be able to here him. "And I don't think Ginny could have handled the next few days with Ron and Lavender in the house twenty four seven."
"I think you're right." Hermione laughed softly, as right on cue Lavender popped her head of on of the train doors.
"Won-Won!" Lavender called out in a very loud voice cause everybody to look their way. "I've got us all a compartment, hurry up!"
"Coming." Ron called back his ears going slightly pink at the snickering around him. Everyone knew who wore the trousers in his and Lavenders relationship, and as much as Ron would have liked to think it was him, it wasn't.
"Have a good time Hermione." Ron said walking over to Hermione and giving her a quick bone crushing hug. "See ya in a few days."
"You too Ron." Hermione replyed returning the hug, then taking a step back as he walked turned and walked the door Lavender had previously come out of.
"Enjoy yourself these next few days," Harry chuckles as he too gave her a good bye hug. "Probably going to be more peaceful than at the Burrow. By the time you get there Ginny may have killed Lavender by then, and hexed Ron into oblivion."
"I like the sound of a double murder instead." Grinned Ginny popping in between the two.
"Easy Gin, I really don't want to become an accessory after the fact." Harry commented patting her on the shoulder. "But," he added, after seeing Ginny slowly raise one eyebrow and placing a hand on her hip. "I'd happily do anything to keep you out of Azkaban."
"Aw, thanks love." Ginny cooed, pecking Harry on the cheek. "Same here."
"But seriously Hermione," Ginny said turning to her best friend and wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "How can you leave me for three days on my own with that she-devil? I don't know why mum agreed to let her stay."
Sliding her arm around Ginny's waist and giving it a squeeze Hermione laughed before saying. "I have complete confidence that you'll be able to handle Lavender."
"I think you're right." Ginny replied, with a mischievous gleam in her eye.
"Good luck you two." Hermione said quickly, giving both Harry and Ginny one last joint hug before the trains whistle blew, running they jumped in the last remaining open door seconds before the train pulled away from the station.
Tightening her scarf more securely around her neck against the cold winter wind that was blowing, Hermione watched until the Hogwarts Express was no longer visible. All that could be seen was a few tiny puffs of steam coming through the trees. Walking back to the waiting carriages, along with the other handful of students who had seen their friends off, Hermione smiled as she managed to get one all to herself. Being a Prefect still had its advantages, also anyone who stayed behind did so to avoid being told what to so over the holidays and possibly get into a little trouble, therefore they did didn't want to sit with a Prefect, who could put a stop to that. But for once Hermione could careless what rules would no doubt be long forgotten over the next two weeks. This was her time. Sighing a happy sigh she settle back as the Thestrals started to make their way towards the castle.
Two whole days all to herself, that hadn't happened since school started. A trip to Hogsmeade a visit down the kitchen to wish the house elves a Merry Christmas and siting in front of the common room fire with a good book. Nice and quite.
"Good morning Miss Granger, just the person I was looking for." Breakfast was halfway over when Professor McGonagall stopped Hermione just inside the doors to the Great Hall.
"I wanted to go over what time you'll be leaving tomorrow night. Right before dinner correct?"
"Yes, I'll be Flooing directly to the Burrow from your office."Answered Hermione. "Thank you again for letting me use your Floo connection."
"I'm happy I could help Miss Granger." smiled McGonagall, before adding "Between to two of us I think you made the right choice taking a few days for yourself. You'll be needing it." Then with a curt nod she turned around and headed out of the Hall.
"That was strange." Hermione couldn't help saying out loud with a puzzled expression before shrugging it off, as she continued to make her way towards the only table that was left in the Hall. Since so few student were staying, about ten if Hermione remembered correctly, McGonagall had removed all but one of the House tables. The one that remained was Hufflepuff's, placed smack in the middle of the Hall with students scattered from one end to the other.
But one particular student caught Hermione's eye as she went to sit in the middle of the table. Sitting alone, hair disheveled looking like he probably just rolled out of bed and didn't care how it looked, was Draco Malfoy. She didn't know Malfoy was staying for Christmas, and thought it odd he would. Why would he choose to stay here, being the only Slytherin left in the castle, instead of going home to see his mother for the holidays? Hermione thought about stopping to say hello but thought but decided against it, Malfoy didn't look in a particularly bad mood, but he didn't look like he wanted to bothered either as his ate breakfast and read the Daily Prophet.
Slipping her coat off and sitting it beside her Hermione began serve herself some eggs, couple of slices of bacon and big piece of french toast along with a goblet of orange juice. Today was mostly going to be spent outside either at Hogsmeade doing some last minuet shopping or perhaps wandering the grounds. So a hearty breakfast was a must for a day like today.
Halfway through her French toast Hermione glanced over at Malfoy, who looked to be just about finished and getting ready to leave. Things had certainly changed over the last few years, she mused. No one would dare call them friends, but after the War Harry, Ron and Hermione had decided to called a truce with Draco and his mother. No one wanted to deal with anymore fighting, not even the Malfoy's. Well Harry and Hermione mostly, Ron still hated Draco and made himself known whenever the topic came up, and probably always would, but he went alone with it because they made him. Anyone with two eyes could see that Draco Malfoy had indeed changed. He still ruled the school in his own way, was every girls favorite fantasy daydream when History of Magic became just too boring, played one hell of a fierce game every time he entered the Quidditch pitch, and somehow managed to retain his standing as Slytherin Prefect after everything that had happened. But what had changed was Malfoys attitude. He no longer jumped at the chance to make every Gryffindors life a living hell, and he now called both Harry and Ron by there proper last name. But the biggest difference, the one that made Hermione stop and think there just might be something human and, good in him, was that he hadn't called her Mudblood since the night Voldemort fell. Just Granger. If Malfoy could change his ways and learn a lesson after all that had happened, then maybe there really was hope for the Wizarding World after all.
"Hey Hermione!" came an overly cheer, and much too hyper, voice.
Snapping Hermione out of her thoughts was Trish Livingston. A fellow seventh year, former DA member, Ravenclaw and Hermione's partner for advanced Ancient Ruins.
"Just the wonderfulness that is this wonderful season we're in the middle of celebrating." Trish answered smiling reaching over to take an un-drunk goblet of pumpkin juice. "And that fact that Tony managed to talk his parents into letting him stay here over Christmas break while they go to Hawaii."
"Ah, I see now." Hermione couldn't help but smile back as she watched how happy Trish was. Ever since she and Tony Garret got together three months ago she'd been over the moon, and never came back. Only down side was Trish had become a very perky person and her new goal in life to try and make everyone has happy as her. On the up side, she had become an even better class partner working twice as hard, almost giving Hermione a run for her money in the workaholic department, simply because the soon homework was done the sooner she got to spend time with Tony.
"Yep!" grinned Trish pushing a strand of golden hair out of her line of sight. "So what are your plans for today? We're going to Hogsmeade and staying for dinner." she nodded towards Tony who was up at the Head table talking with Professor Flitwick.
"Same as you pretty much, Hogsmeade and shopping." Hermione replied before putting the last bit of french toast in her mouth.
"Sounds perfect!" Trish said before seeing her boyfriend making his way towards the hall doors and signaling for her to follow. "Oops gotta run, see you later!" With a quick smile she was out of her seat and across the hall fast than Hermione thought possible.
"You too." Hermione called, though doubted Trish heard her. Standing up Hermione grabbed her dark blue coat and put it one as she walked out the Hall doors, noticing that Malfoy had already left, and continued on to Hogwarts main gates.
"Mornin' Hermione!" Hagrid greeted once she got close enough to hear him.
"Morning Hagrid." Hermione smiled "What are you doing?"
"Jus' clearing up the path to Hogsmeade, after the heavy snow fall we got last night no one can get through. I take it that's where you're heading?" He asked as he went back to shoveling the snow with the biggest shovel Hermione had even seen. She would have bet a Hippogriff could have fit on it.
"I was," She answered slightly put out at all the snow blocking her way. "But I see now that's not going to happen too soon."
''Nonsense! I'll have this done with in the hour and you, along with everyone else, can be on ya way." Hagrid said as he send a giant shovel full of snow flying in the opposite direction.
"I'll just take a walk around until then. See you later Hagrid." with a wave Hermione left Hagrid at the gate and headed towards the now frozen lake.
It was a perfect winter morning. The snow had yet to be disturbed shinning brightly in the morning sun like millions of diamonds, birds were chirping and everything felt so alive and fresh. Even if all the trees were lacking their leafs. Walking over to a fallen down tree that had long sense been rolled closer to the lake and become the best place to gaze at the water, Hermione pilled out her wand and siphoning off the snow on one area of the tree and then the ground below it. Folding her legs under her Hermione sat down on the ground and lead back against the tree. Before putter he wand away she flick it and a warm blue flame appeared before her in a glass jar. Setting the jar to there left Hermione retrieved from her pocket a shrunken book no bigger than the palm of her hand. With a tap of her wand it grew to its proper size, which was quit thick and already over halfway finished, before sliding her wand done the leg of her tall boot. Opening the book and pulling the flame a bit closer, Hermione settle down to wait.
If she hadn't bee so engrossed in her book, Hermione would have heard the soft crunching of snow behind her which told of an unlikely person heading her way. She also would have felt someone standing over her looking down to see what she was reading. But she did not, so when the person spoke Hermione jumped and the book flew out of her hands.
"Gone With the Wind, interesting choice. I would have thought you'd already read that Granger."
Whipping her head around Hermione saw, to her surprise, Malfoy standing over her with a bemused smirk, coat collar turned up and both hands shoved deep into his pockets.
"Merlin Malfoy! What are you trying to do, give me a heart attack?" She snapped placing a hand over her heart and trying to steady her breath.
"Far from it Granger I assure you." Draco said walking around the tree trunk and leaning over to pick up the book that was lying open a couple of feet from where she sat.
"Wait a second," Hermione said raising a hand, finally getting her head back together as she watched Draco thumbing through her book. "You've read Gone With the Wind?"
"Yes," He answered pausing to look at her. "Why do you sound so surprised?" Draco asked giving of his famous smirks.
"It's Muggle." Hermione stated. "I wouldn't think any Malfoy, least of all you, would want to read something written by a Muggle."
"A classic is still a classic Granger." Draco answered returning his attention back to the book for a few moments before looking at her again. "You'd be shocked to see how many Muggle books my mother has in her privet library. And yes, I have read them all."
Handing Hermione back her book, who at the moment was at a lose for words, Draco sat down at the far end of the tree trunk.
"That's the page you were on," He nodded, causing Hermione to look down at the book in her lap more closely. "Before you screamed like a girl and jumped like a Blastedend Skrewt attacked you."
"Mmhp." Hermione pouted, as she placed a marker on the page and closed the book. "You snuck up on me out of the blue. And would you expect me to scream like? I am a girl incase you hadn't noticed."
"Believe me Granger I have noticed you're a girl." Draco chuckled, letting the breeze blow his hair over his eyes so he was looking through him as he answered.
Feeling her cheeks start to blush slightly Hermione reached out to grab the blue flame, letting her own hair fall down as to hide part of her face. Since being brought out of the world of suave gentlemen and plantation daughters with seventeen and a half inch waists, she had started to notice just how cold it was sitting on the frozen ground. Perhaps this hadn't been such a brilliant idea.
"So Malfoy," Hermione said after a couple minuets of silence nursing the warm glass in between her hands. "What are you doing down here?
"Same as you I'd wage, killing time until the path to Hogsmeade is clear." Draco answered nodding his head in the direction of the gates. "Probably done by now." He continued pulling his sleeve back to look at his watch. "It's been over an hour."
"It has?" Hermione asked, shocked to hear so much time had passed. She had only planned to read for about twenty minuets. "I'd better get going then."
Standing up and dusting of some snow, Hermione retrieved her wand from her boot and shrunk her book so it could once again fit into her coat pocket. After vanishing the blue flame she notice that Malfoy hadn't taken his eyes off her once, the really odd thing was she wasn't sure whether she found it immensely creepy, or kind of nice.
"Are you planning on sitting there all day freezing your arse off, or are you going to Hogsmeade?" Hermione asked, shaking all thoughts of what she'd previously been thinking out of her head.
"As nice as it is to hear you care so much about what happens to my arse," replied Draco standing up and smirking a full on smirk, causing Hermione to roll her eyes. " I think I'll be heading to Hogsmeade."
"Alight then, come on." said Hermione smiling as she turned and started to walk up the slight hill.
Pausing for only a moment, Draco followed her and with a few long strides was walking beside Hermione. "So are we actually walking there together?"
"I don't see why not," answered Hermione who glanced at him. "Unless you'd prefer not to. If so, I can call you a few insulting names and be on my way. It's your choice."
When did Granger get so cheeky? Draco thought to himself, before answering her in the most nonchalant voice he could master. "No need to go doing that Granger. And it isn't a totally bad idea. You're not meeting up with anyone in the village?"
Hermione shook her head as they both walked through the gates and noticed that, true to his word, Hagrid had ever inch of snow cleared from the path. She had a sneaking suspicion that a certain pink umbrella might have leant a hand.
"This is kind of weird." commented Draco once they were half way towards the small village."
"What?" Hermione asked pulling out her gloves and putting them on.
"You. Me. Walking to Hogsmeade together. I guess times really have changed huh?"
"Yes they have indeed." Hermione chuckled thinking just how furious Ron would be if he could see her right now. " Tis' the season after all." Then after seeing his puzzled expression, she explained. "You know, 'peace on earth, good with towards men'?"
"Ah," said Draco nodding his head in agreement. "So if this was say March, this," pausing to wave a hand between them. "Would probably not be happening."
"Most definitely." Hermione grinned and then came to a complete stop. "Oh, it's so beautiful."
They had just enter the high street of the village and Hermione had started to pay more attention as to where she was, as apposed to where she was walking. The sight before he literally took her breath away.
The entire village looked like something from a Christmas card. People were walking here and there, arms laden with packages, smile on their faces as the past one another wishing each other a Happy Holidays. Every shop window was sparkling with lights and holidays displays, from the tall stack of chocolate Santa's at Honeydukes that were dancing about, to Gladrags Wizardwear with the most beautiful holidays robes to be had. Every door had a wreath hanging on it, and carolers could be heard singing in the background. But the most impressive sight of all, was the tall Christmas tree which stood in the center of Hogsmeade, decorated perfectly with a glowing star on top.
Were Draco along, he probably wouldn't have paused to take in the sights around him but when Hermione stopped so did he. And he wasn't sorry he did. Noticing Hermione joy-filled expression, look for all the world to him like a kid in a candy store, he had an entirely crazy idea.
"Since we're both going solo today," suggested Draco, not believing the words that were about to leave his mouth and sincerely hoping he would not live to regret them. "Why don't we, do whatever it is we're doing, together?"
Haven since redirected her attention to Malfoy, not bothering to hide how shocked she was, Hermione pandered his words for a moment before responding. "Well," she started, with a tone Draco couldn't quite place. "I don't know where this sudden 'nice' side of yours has come from, but I think I'll take my chances and say why not." Hermione hated to admit it, but the thought of spending the day in Hogsmeade with Malfoy was starting to put her in an even better mood. Besides, she did have to admit it to anyone.
"Blame it on the holidays Granger." retorted Draco with something that was a cross between a smirk and a smile.
"Alright what was it you were going to do today?" asked Hermione once they started walking again, past Zonkos were boughts of laughter could be heard as the door swung open. "I need to finish up a bit of last minuet shopping."
"Living things till the last minuet Granger," Draco scolded with amusement. "I would have thought you knew better. As for me, all I planned on doing was wandering around probably ending up at the Hogs Head for a drink."
Wrinkling her nose at him Hermione said. "I'll have you know I've been very busy, what with Prefect duty and all the homework the professors gave us for over break. I had to do most of my gift buying through mail order and I've never much cared for that. I suppose you're all finished then, by your smug tone."
"Yep." said Draco. "Where in the name of Merlin are you going?" He had stared to notice all the twist and turns she's been taking and he, had been blindly following.
They were in the older section of the village, and by older that simple meant the shops were smaller and the snow was piled high under all the windows and around the doors because the alleys weren't wide as the ones closer to the high street.
"I'm going here." answered Hermione, coming to a stop in front of a window that read Beyond Looks, Books.
"I never even knew this was here, and I've been down ever street in Hogsmeade." Draco relied taking a better look at the tiny shop. It was small yes, but it also had a certain kind of charm her just couldn't quite put his finger on. Once you saw it you wanted to go in, see what treasures it might hold.
"Come on." Hermione called pulling the door open, a tiny bell sounded as she did, just waiting long enough for Draco to grab the door she held. Then she was out of sight.
"What a surprise." Draco said to himself sarcastically, once he too entered the shop. "Hermione Granger in a book store."
"Aren't you done yet? My feet are bloody killing me." Draco complained. Yes, he was acting childish. And no, he didn't really care just then. The only reason he'd made it this far was because they had saved Quality Quidditch Supplies as the last stop, he'd had the proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel' guiding him for the last four hours. Right now he was leaning against a display of new bounce proof Quaffles, shopping bags by his feet, waiting for Hermione to finishes with her purchases. He himself had just bought a new pair of top of the line Quidditch gloves and a broom maintenance kit.
"Oh honestly, stop being such a big baby." Hermione scolded, not bothering to look back from where she stood at the counter. She had ordered a custom made captains whistle for Harry, and was waiting while the girl wrapped it. It had cost her a good several gallons but she didn't care. Harry deserved it. He'd been so ecstatic about being appointed Captain of the Gryffindor team at the start of term, taking every practice and team meeting far too seriously. Almost to the point of annoying. The golden whistle hung on a scarlet cord and Hermione had, had each side engraved. One side read Gryffindor, while the other read H.P. on it along with a tiny Snitch. She had also gotten Ginny the new biography on Hestia Jones, To the Holy Heads and Back Again.
"There you are miss." The girl said handing Hermione a small box that was wrap entirely in gold paper and toped with a red bow. "Have a Merry Christmas."
"Thank you. Merry Christmas." Hermione said taking the box and putting it in another bag she was carrying. "Are you ready?" she asked walking back to Draco, picking up the shopping bags that were hers.
"I've been ready for over an hour Granger." sighed Draco, leaning over to retrieve the last three bags that were his. "Ladies first." He gestured as he held open the door.
"Why thank you. It's nice to see chivalry isn't dead." Hermione teased, as he stepped out of the store beside her.
"Well if there happens to be a puddle of water in your path you're on your own." commented Draco dryly.
"The Three Broomsticks?" Hermione asked, laughing at how Draco's face light up merely at the words. He had started to get snarky after the third shop, once they hit the eighth he was hopeless. Not that, that had stopped his own spending mind you. He bough nearly as much as she had, probably more. And as far as Hermione could tell, no matter how much he complained, Draco was enjoying him self."
"Finally!" He shouted, drawing the attention of passersby. "I though I'd never see the place. Lead on."
Snow had started to fall again just before Hermione and Draco got to the pub. Leaning her full weight on the door Hermione pushed it open and the familiar smells and sounds greeted her. Only now did she realize just how exhausted she too, was. Stomping her boots on the mat and shaking the snow from her coat and hair Hermione weaved her way through the crowd of people until she saw a free both towards the back.
"This place is more crowded then when it's a full Hogwarts weekend." Draco commented mirroring Hermione actions of sliding her bags into the booth and taking off her coat before sitting down.
"It's only a couple of days until Christmas." Hermione replied as Draco folded his dark wool coat over the back of his seat. It was the first she'd really noticed what he was wearing all day, and she has to admit he looked damn good. But in a simple, sort of carefree way. He wore a black ribbed turtle neck jumper over fitted black trousers with, what looked to be very expensive black Italian leather shoes. No doubt with a water proof charm placed on them otherwise they'd certainly be ruined after a day walking through the snow.
"What can I get for you today?" Asked the waitress, who had three full order tabs floating around her.
"I'll have a Butterbeer please, and could you put a little ginger in it?" Hermione ordered with a friendly smile.
"No problem." The waitress replyed with a smile of her own. "And for you sir?"
"Butterbeer with a shot of Firewhisky in it." Said Draco earning himself a raised eyebrow from Hermione which he choose to ignore.
"Alright, anything to eat?"
"I'll also have a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin." added Hermione.
"Make that two." Draco spoke up before the waitress rushed off to another waiting table.
A comfortable silence hung in the air for a few minuets as the both looked around the bustling pub. Hermione wasn't sure about being the first to speak but she'd been wondering something for the past few hours and now seems a good a time as any to ask.
"I've been curious about something." Hermione started somewhat hesitantly. "And if it's too personal, or if you just don't want to answer me, that's fine.
"What is it?" Draco asked cautiously, leaning back against his seat.
"Why are you stay at Hogwarts over the holidays instead of going home? Especially since so few students are stay, and you're the only Slytherin left?"
Hermione sat perfectly still as she watched Draco for his reaction to her question. He was quiet for a few seconds as his steel grey eyes looked directly into Hermione's golden brown.
The waitress came just then with there drinks and food, slightly annoying Hermione for her ill timing. Nodding their thank you's, she took a sip of her Butterbeer and was surprised when Draco started to talk.
"I just didn't feel like dealing with it." he said in an unfeeling voice. Then seeing the confused look on Hermione face, Draco explained.
"The fake facade my father puts on trying to win his was back into the social standing of the community. Purebloods' don't have much a of problem with him because of the whole 'stand united no matter who much we may hate one another' thing. But with the Ministry that's a different story." sighing a frustrated sigh Draco asked. "You've seen all the articles in the Prophet about how 'generous' he's been with his money lately?"
Hermione nodded. "There was one just the other day about him donating to Saint Mungos."
"Exactly. My father is trying to buy his way back in with the people he turned against. I don't want any part of it." Reaching out for his untouched drink Draco took a few sips.
"I can understand why you don't want to go through all that." Hermione agreed. "It's complete rubbish to think he can right all his wrongs by throwing money around."
"That's my father for you." Draco said bitterly.
"But what about your mother?" ventured Hermione, not knowing who far she could go down this path. Soon or latter Draco would change the subject, it was just a matter of when.
"What about her?" He asked looking slightly confused.
"Well I can understand about your father, but what I don't understand in why you wouldn't want to spent Christmas with your mother." Hermione explained, as she started to nibble at her muffin.
"She knew why I wanted to stay and thought it would be for the best if I did." Draco said, then added with a slight frown. "But I could tell she would have preferred to have me home. I was actually thing about flooing home for Christmas dinner and then coming back."
"I think that's an excellent idea." Beamed Hermione. "There isn't a mother in the world who wouldn't love that."
"Sucker for a happy ending aren't you Granger."
"Pretty much." she nodded smiling.
"Mind if I ask you something now?" Draco asked, clearly putting an end to further talk about him and his dysfunctional family.
"Go for it." Hermione said
"What happened with you and Weasley?" he asked looking serious.
Well, that hadn't been what she was expecting.
"A year ago you two were the 'it' couple in the wizarding world." Draco went on. "The great romance that bloomed during the War, and now you're single and he's back that annoying Brown girl."
Tracing the rim of her glass, Hermione pondered for a second the answer she would give. Draco had been totally honest with her, as far as she could tell, she owed him the same for the openness he'd shown.
"Things just....." Hermione paused for a moment to find the right word. "Fizzled."
"Fizzled?" Draco scoffed. "You can come up with something better than that."
"That's what it was!" Hermione defended, laughing at how ridiculous it sounded. " We were everything you just said but then things started to change, we were arguing more -"
"Now there's a shocker." Draco interjected.
"And," Continued Hermione pretending she hadn't been interrupted. "We knew we had two choices. Stay together and risk destroying an almost ten year friendship, or break things off before anyone got hurt.In the end it was mutual decision."
"So now Weasley's moved on," Draco ventured to point out. "Or back, to Brown. And you are focusing on the future and as always working in school.
"Pretty much." Hermione agreed popping the last piece of pumpkin muffin into her mouth. Draco had finished his while she was talking.
"Between the two, I'd say you make the better choice." Draco continued, giving his opinion whether it was asked for or not. "Brown has to be one of the most annoying girls I have ever met. More so than Pansy even."
Snorting her agreement Hermione added. "Be thankful you don't have to share a common room and dorm with her."
"Believe me, I am." picking up the check the waitress had left on the table, Draco reaching in to his pocket and pull out the right amount of coins. "The one's on me." he said placing the money on the table. Then putting his hand up to stop the protest that was already forming on Hermione lips. "For one in your life Granger, don't argue."
"Alright fine." Hermione surrendered, sliding out of the booth and putting her coat back on. "But," she added "I'll get the next one."
After collecting their packages and shopping bags, Hermione and Draco made their way through the sea of people to the door and out into the still lightly falling snow.
"I think we'd better head back." Hermione said in a worried voice, as they both stopped next to the village Christmas tree. Looking up at the sky she saw that it had turned significantly darker, it would probably snow all through the night again and she didn't want to be walking all the way back to the castle in a storm.
I think you're right." Draco casually commented, also looking up at the sky. "But first....."
Draco grabbed Hermione by the arm and before she could ask what he was doing, pulled her close to him and kissed her.
Right in the middle of Hogsmeade, Draco Malfoy was kissing Hermione Granger and he didn't care who saw him. People did see them, oh yes, but the villagers merely thought it was just another young couple in love, enjoying the romance the holidays brought.
It wasn't an overly passionate kiss, it wasn't rough or demanding, it was gentle and soft, and testing. Testing to see if Hermione would push him away and hex him into next week, testing to see if maybe they had a spark.
Hermione was caught off guard in a way she'd never been before. When Draco lips first touch her's she was stunned, she didn't move at first and couldn't form one thought in her head to save her life. But then she began to feel, and what she felt was million fireworks going off inside her. And she kisses Draco back, just as he was kissing her. Never before had she been kissed like this, never before had she felt like she was floating of air with the only other person in the world.
Draco broke the kiss after only a few seconds.
"Why did you do that?" Hermione finally asked after she started to breath again.
"Because I wanted to." was the simple answer Draco gave. His eyes searching her's trying to guess what she was going to say next.
"And do you always act on what you want to do?" she questioned softly looking his straight in the eye.
"I haven't had the privilege of doing so in a very long time." Draco said, looking over her shoulder at something in the distance that was beyond sight to anyone except himself . "But." he continued, looking back at her."I plan on making up for lost time. How about you?"
Tucking a strand of hair nervously behind her ear, Hermione made up her made in that split second. If she had learned one thing from the War, it was to savor every moment life gives you and enjoy the little surprises along the way, because you never know how long it's going to last.
"I have rarely ever done anything without thinking it through each step of the way." started Hermione slowly reaching out and taking Draco's cold hand in her own." And I think," she paused. "That it's about time I did. So if you're game, what the hell, I am too."
"Without a doubt," Draco said grinning, taking a small step forward so he could feel her breath on his face. " That is the wises thing I have ever heard you say." Taking his free hand and curling a finger under her chin tipping her head up, Draco leaned down and kissed Hermione again. This time much deeper.
The weather was long forgotten as the snow fell heavier, and heavier over the village. After all, a little snow was nothing a couple of wizards couldn't handle. When they got around to it.
Well, what did you think? Like the way our two favorite love birds bonded over butterbeer and muffins? What about the kiss? PLEASE leave a review, in only takes a few seconds in that cute little box at the bottom, and let me know your thoughts because I loving hearing your feedback. This is my Christmas gift to all of you, my loyal reads who have stuck by me through long chapter gaps and my never being able to still to a deadline. But you still keep coming back, reading my work and supporting me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :)