Chapter Fifteen - Diving Practice & Surprising Circumstances
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and the wizarding world are the sole property of J.K. Rowling. I own nothing except my own ideas, and make no profit. No copyright infringement is intended.
Hermione looked at herself in the mirror, tugging on her scarlet scarf as she wondered if it was too late to feign some incurable disease. She had regretted giving in to Draco's pestering as soon as the words had passed her lips, but she could hardly back out now. It wasn't as though she was a coward, she tried to reason with herself. She just couldn't fly. As much as it looked fun, whizzing through the air at breakneck speeds, it made her feel slightly sick. How could a tiny stick of wood support a whole human being? It was insane. It was illogical. And Hermione did not do illogical. She had to try to fly though, or Draco would never let her hear the end of it. Curses.
Giving her scarf one last tug (hey, there was always the chance that she could strangle herself and not have to go), Hermione put on a mask of composure and made her way down the staircase, on her way to meet Draco on the Quidditch pitch.
Draco stroked his FeatherLight 2000 affectionately as he waited impatiently for Hermione to come down to the pitch. Honestly, she'd looked as if she was about to have a heart attack when he'd mentioned flying lessons last night. Really, he had just been curious. How could the witch who excelled in everything be scared of flying? Also, there had been that little niggling thought in the back of his mind that if he hadn't asked her to do something, anything, then they'd never really see each other again. He supposed they were friends now, but you could never really be certain with someone like Hermione. Shaking his head, he finally noticed the small, scarlet clad figure that was making it's way down to the pitch. Finally.
He waved at her with his broom, and watched as she approached him. Draco chuckled, not missing the way she wrung her hands together nervously.
Hermione cleared her throat as she approached him, glancing at the broom he held in his hands. It looked smooth, sleek, and very, very, dangerous. To her, at least.
'You know,' she said, quickly, looking for an escape route. 'I mean, I really wouldn't mind if you went off by yourself, I could just watch, it might be good for me, actually, you know, and-'
Draco's brow creased. 'You really don't want to do this, do you?'
Hermione looked up hopefully. 'Well, no, not really.'
Draco shrugged, eyes slightly calculating. 'No, I get it, if you're too scared...'
Hermione narrowed her eyes. 'I'm not scared.'
'Why won't you let me teach you then?'
Hermione floundered for a response. 'I... don't know.'
Draco rolled his eyes, swinging one leg over his broom. 'Look, flying is one of the best things in the wizarding world.' He gestured to the space in front of him. 'Just sit here and you won't even have to do anything. Plus, if we crash, the new model has cushioning charms built in.'
Hermione screwed up her nose, looking from Draco to the distant castle to Draco again. Sighing, and knowing that she was put in Gryffindor for a reason, Hermione climbed on the broom in front of Draco, flushing slightly at the close contact. She rolled her eyes. 'And why, again, couldn't I have my own broom?'
Draco chuckled. 'You really would have gotten on a broom by yourself?'
Hermione sniffed. 'Oh, just teach me how to fly already.'
Draco became more business like. 'Ok, place your hands midway up the shaft of the broom, and place your feet on the ground lightly, ready to kick off.'
Hermione bit her lip, gripping the broomstick tightly. She could feel it vibrating slightly under her hands. Hermione placed her feet on the ground sturdily as she felt Draco's arms snake around her waist. She was warm now, anyway.
'A bit further up.' said Draco, repositioning her hands, and resting his on top of her's. 'I'll keep my hands here, in case you need help steering.'
Hermione nodded, and increased her grip on the broomstick. 'Gotcha.'
'Now, on the count of three, kick off from the ground. I'll help, but we have to do it simultaneously.'
Hermione nodded again, nerves clawing at her stomach.
'Ok. 3... 2...'
Hermione closed her eyes, rigid with tension. Draco increased the pressure on her waist.
Hermione kicked off the ground hard, and barely contained a scream as they rocketed from the ground, wind whipping past them. 'Ok.' shouted Draco into her ear. 'We're fine, see? Now pull up lightly on the broom to stop.'
Hermione gritted her teeth, and yanked up sharply on the broom. She felt Draco push down on the handle to compensate for her forceful movements. Miraculously, they stopped.
Hermione shivered, keeping her eyes tightly closed. They were going to die... They were going to die... They were going to-
Draco laughed. 'Awesome. That was the hard part, anyway. Just don't look down, I suppose.'
'Easy for you to say.' spat Hermione through gritted teeth, knuckles white from clenching her hands so hard around the broom.
Draco chuckled. 'Want to do a dive?' he said, nudging the broom slightly lower with his knee.
'You know, a dive, where you speed towards the ground and-'
'I know what a dive is.' snapped Hermione, shivering in the frigid air. 'I just don't think it's a very good idea.'
'We have to come down sometime.'
Hermione frowned. 'No, really, I'm quite fine up here, I mean, it's not all bad.'
Draco chuckled again, nudging the broomstick lower again, and grinning as Hermione held the broom in a death grip.
'Come on, all you have to do is tilt the broom really slowly down until you're on the ground. Piece of cake.'
'No, I don't think so...'
Draco tightened his grip on her hands. 'Hermione, do you really think I'd let you hurt yourself?'
'I wouldn't. I promise. Plus, remember the cushioning charms?'
Hermione took a deep breath, she could do this. 'Fine. Just tell me what to do. And if I die, I'll kill you.'
'Ok. Just tilt the handle down and breathe, for Merlin's sake.'
Hermione ignored his comment, and ever so slowly tilted the handle down. The effect was instantaneous, the broom rocketing to the ground with surprising speed. Hermione gasped, panicking. He hadn't told her how to stop! The sky was blurring past her now, the ground rushing up to meet them. Draco's arms tightened around her waist she could faintly hear him shouting something at her. Hermione braced herself for the impact, they were metres from the ground...
...only to crash, head first, but without feeling the impact. Hermione rolled over, bouncing like a ball over the pitch. The sky and ground swirled, then righted itself as she landed with a thump. Hermione gasped, opening her eyes, to stare straight into the grey eyes of Draco, who was gasping for breath. Hermione held his face in her hands in concern.
'Draco, are you okay!?'
That concern instantly vanished as she realised he was only out of breath from laughing.
'Cushioning charms, remember?' he said, grinning, hair tousled.
Hermione narrowed her eyes at him. 'You did that on purpose?'
Draco looked up at her innocently. 'Well, you trust me now, don't you?'
Draco shrugged. 'Well, if you could get off me, I could explain myself better.'
Hermione blushed, and scrambled off him, standing up straight and folding her arms.
Draco stood too, dusting off his robes. 'I just needed you to trust me.' he said, looking at her earnestly.
Hermione rolled her eyes, biting her lip to keep from smiling. 'Sure. But I really don't think I'll be going flying again any time soon.'
Draco looked at her in horror. 'But you were doing really well!' He stepped closer to her. 'I really want to teach you, Hermione.'
Hermione shrugged uncomfortably. She looked at Draco, tousled hair, slightly spattered with mud, grey eyes pleading, and felt a jolt of something indescribable shoot through her. 'It's really just not for me I think. I just prefer books and hot chocolate to death defying sports.'
Draco grinned suddenly, eyes lighting up. 'Death defying. That's a new one.'
Hermione chuckled, then moved forward a tiny bit. 'When did you turn so nice? I mean... I don't even know what I mean, actually.'
Draco's face was grave. 'Since I got to know you.'
Hermione shuffled her feet, embarrassed. As cliché as it sounded, she couldn't make sense of her emotions and she had the strongest desire to... kiss him. Hermione almost gasped aloud as she had that thought. Friends, she told herself firmly, they were just friends, no need to make it awkward...
'Erm, Hermione?' said Draco, waving a hand in front of her face.
Hermione looked up at him again, indecision scrawled across her face. Fuck it, she said to herself, and in one decisive movement, grabbed his face in her hands and pulled it down to her's.
And they were kissing again, and it was passionate, and it was wonderful, and it was everything Hermione had ever dreamed of...
Until Draco grabbed her forearms and pulled away slightly, mouth hanging open. 'Hermione?'
Hermione blushed a deep crimson. What on earth had she done? 'I, erm... it was just... a slip of the face...' she said, giggling nervously and looking anywhere but Draco.
'Do you... I mean... I had no idea.'
'No... I just...'
'Not that I mind, I mean...'
Hermione chuckled, suddenly unembarrassed.'I really, really, honestly, like you Draco. And I think... well, we should just see what happens.'
Draco stared at her intensely for a moment. 'I like you too, Hermione.'
And then his lips crashed down on her's again.
A/N: Well, that was unexpected. Even for me :) Sorry for the BIG delay, but I was painting my room and had to pack away the computer for a bit. Thankyou, as always, for all the reviews, they mean so much. Sadly, I think this fic might only have about one or two more chapters. You know, so they can tell H & G. You didn't think I'd skip out on that, did you? So, be excited. Was Hermione too forceful? Tell me what you think. Thankyou!
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