Chapter 10 : Stormy Waters
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Home- Explosions in the Sky (swimming scene)
Our Last Day as Children- Explosions in the sky (Draco alone & Draco and Hermione's arguement)
The cold air set in quickly, bringing the change of months on with them. November went by in a whirl, and felt Hermione’s head spinning slightly.
By the second week of December, she’d spent all of her free time with Draco. It wasn’t something she would’ve minded at all if she wasn’t currently still in exile from her fellow Gryffindors.
Harry hadn’t tried to talk to her since the last time they’d spoken, but she noticed that he’d been watching her more closely than he had before. Their eyes would meet everyone in a while in a classroom, and when she would leave the tower at night she swore she could feel his eyes on her from somewhere.
Ron had also been watching her, but Hermione didn’t take her time to think about why, or care at all.
Ginny had fazed her out completely, which hurt Hermione deeply. She hadn’t realized how hard regular days were without her friend. How dull, and uninspired.
They still passed on another sometimes in the corridors, but never locked eyes.
As far as she knew, Draco was fine with it all. He’d hated all of his housemates anyway. Some of them, he told her, still acted politely towards him out of fear.
She never told him about how Harry had kissed her again a month earlier; for fear of stirring up more conflict than the two of them had already. She knew that if she told him, there’d definitely be a fight, and she wanted neither of them hurt. At the same time, lying to Draco had been eating away at her.
The one person who Hermione had been in contact with other than her boyfriend was her mother. She’d started writing letters to her more steadily ever since the ball, venting and getting much needed advice in return.
She was currently reading a response from Jane Granger as she sat in one of the comfy armchairs by the fire. It had arrived by owl post that very morning. It read:
I’m so sorry things still aren’t back to normal for you yet, but I am happy that you’re keeping your chin up. Your Father and I are proud of you.
Anyway, tell me more about this Draco? He sounds like a fine young man. Your Dad and I want very much to meet him, which brings me to my next topic; Christmas.
It should be two weeks till by the time you get this (this sort of post tends to be very quick I’ve noticed.) and I need to know if you’re planning on coming with us to the skiing cabin. It won’t be a big Christmas, but we really would like to see you soon. If you wish, you can bring Draco along as well. As I said before, I’d really like to meet him.
Write back soon. Love,
Hermione scanned the last paragraph of the letter a few times over, just to make sure she wasn’t misreading. Her mother wanted her to bring a boy home for holiday? She wasn’t opposed to the idea at all, just shocked that she wasn’t the one who had to bring up the idea. Hermione wondered what might have made her parents give her the okay to bring Draco home. Could her mother sense that it was getting serious? Was it getting serious?
She shook her head, refolding the letter and rising to get some pen and parchment for her reply. She’d begin the letter and finish once she’d asked Draco if he wanted to come along.
She was halfway up the stairs when someone called her.
“’Mione?” A voice questioned.
Hermione turned, knowing full well who it was. Harry stood, dressed in Quidditch robes, at the bottom of the stairs.
He smiled at her, grinned rather. As if they hadn’t been in the middle of a conflict; as if they hadn’t snogged the last time they talked.
“Fancy going to the Quidditch game today?” He asked brightly. “It’s in a few minutes.”
“Shouldn’t you be down there then?”
“I mean about half an hour. You should come. The weather is nice.”
“The weather is nice?” She questioned suspiciously.
He nodded. “It should be a good game too.”
Hermione had no idea what he was up to, but she knew he couldn’t actively be a part of it if he were about to play Quidditch.
“Alright, I’ll be there.” She replied. Then, watched Harry leave the common room with another smile on his face.
She dressed herself in her warm scarlet cloak, gold scarf and black hat. Harry was definitely lying when he said the weather was nice. The flood of people in the stands was massive. The section she was heading to crowded with gold and red colored people cheering Gryffindor on already. She saw some of the team on the pitch, warming up, and gathered that some were still in the locker room.
Then she saw Harry walk out and motion for the others to return with him. His eyes scanned the stands briefly until they found hers, and he, surprisingly, blew her a kiss.
Many heads turned to scowl at her after that happened. Her face grew hot, and she fought to ignore them as best she could.
Someone came on over all the noise, announcing the start of the match. Hermione clapped with all the rest as the Gryffindors came out of seemingly nowhere, flying in a V formation. The players took their positions and awaited the other team to follow.
It just occurred to Hermione that she didn’t know who Gryffindor was playing today. She looked across the field to see the colors of the opposing team. All the fans were dressed in silver and green. Her stomach dropped.
Harry had asked her to the game today so that she’d be seen supporting him, not Draco.
As the voice announced the Slytherin team, she uttered thousands of curses at him in her head. This was low. Low, low, low.
She saw Draco fly up over everyone else, but not before she saw him look her over as she sat dressed in Gryffindor colors. His face was blank from what she could see.
The people around her seemed to catch onto Harry’s brilliant plan somewhere around the first Slytherin goal, when Hermione cheered for them. She began to hear more whispering hover around her in-between all the action. She tried her hardest to focus on the match, but ended up leaving about halfway through. Filled with anger and chilled to the bone.
That night, Hermione sat on her bed, weaving her long hair into a simple braid. The other girls sat up gossiping and giggling, but all Hermione wanted to do was go to sleep. She’d seen Harry after the match, and he’d tried to wave at her; but she scowled at him disgustedly and walked away. His little stunt had left her in quite the bad mood.
She was just about to crawl under the covers and lay her head when a voice interrupted her.
“Hermione? Could, could we ask you something?”
Hermione swore in her head some more. It was Padma talking. She hadn’t heard her trilling tone of voice since the night of the ball.
She rolled over on her side. A group of girls were gathered, a few feet away from where she laid, looking at her with anticipating eyes. Padma was smiling evilly.
“What would that be Padma?”
The group giggled again. Hermione rolled her eyes, annoyed; in doing so, she landed on Ginny; who was sitting on her bed, not talking to anyone.
“We just wanted to ask you about Malfoy. Oh, excuse me, ‘Draco.’”
Hermione could’ve hit her, but she stayed where she was. “What about him?”
“How far exactly have you gone with him?”
“Why in Merlin’s name is that your business?!” Hermione replied, growing angrier.
“Aha! I knew it! You have had sex with him! Pansy was right!”
“She said he brags about it all the time in the Slytherin commons! A bit embarrassing I guess but at least you know you’re not terrible…”
“Shut up Padma!” Ginny exploded from her corner. “If anyone’s the whore in here, it’s you! I heard you gave it up to Blaise the night of the ball!”
A collective gasp went around the room, and all eyes turned to Padma.
“I only kissed him Weasley! Get your facts straight!”
“How about you practice what you preach! Leave Hermione alone! What she does with her boyfriend is none of your goddamn right to know.” With that she shut her curtains, leaving Padma thunderstruck.
A smile settled on Hermione’s face, and she shut her curtains as well. Leaving the image of Padma’s expression to replay in her mind as she fell asleep.
Draco sat on the couch in the dungeon, feet propped up on the coffee table with a firewhiskey in hand. The boys and girls around him were a good ten feet away, which was desirable. There were some couples huddled away together in far corners or small chairs, and it made him miss Hermione.
He’d seen her at the Quidditch match earlier that day, sporting Gryffindor colors.
It’s just for the public. He kept telling himself. Otherwise she would’ve come cheering for me. He wasn’t sure about it, but at least it was one reason. He saw her cheering for both of them, but couldn’t decide which one she’d pick over the other.
A ripple of fresh laughter broke out among the group and Draco scowled. Taking the bottle of firewhiskey up to his dorm.
There were a few cries of protest, but he ignored them without effort; swigging as he walked along.
Hermione had begun to grow suspicious of his drinking habit over the past month. When they were alone, she’d sometimes smell it on his breath. Or find a flask he’d stashed in his schoolbag. He’d managed to get her to think that the flask was filled with sleeping potion, and that he only drank occasionally; and it’d been working well like that so far.
His arm had healed up nicely over the weeks; now only a slightly raised flesh colored line ran down his arm. It caused him pain occasionally however, when he woke up from dreams.
They were becoming more repetitive now, featuring Hermione and his mother dying before his eyes. In a way, it was easier to fall asleep, because he now knew what to expect.
As he was getting into bed, he heard the soft whooshing of a paper airplane enter the room, and looked up to see a note from Hermione. It landed on his chest as he laid under the covers, and he fumbled with the opening of it, as he was currently intoxicated. He was pretty sure it read;
Meet me in the Common Room tomorrow night. I have something important to ask you.
Draco sighed, wishing that now was tomorrow night. He was spoiled, and hated waiting for things. He also hated surprises. Rolling over, he hoped that what Granger had to ask him was something simple, something he didn’t have to think over right in front of her. He also hated making quick decisions.
He looked at the note again. This was the first time, that he could recall, Hermione had signed off with the word ‘love’. It left him feeling a bit sick. He didn’t think he would mind falling in love with Granger, but the prospect of it was daunting. It seemed so final to him, falling in love. What do people in love do once they’re in it? Nothing different than people who aren’t, he gathered. Apart from sex, but people tended to do that regardless of whether they’re in love or not.
Draco rolled over, placing the letter on his nightstand and taking one last sip of drink before falling quickly into sleep.
Hermione sat in the library the next afternoon, working on a Charms assignment in the quiet. It was almost dinnertime, something that she was very grateful for, because she’d get to see if Draco wanted to come spend Christmas with her family. She wanted him to say yes and be excited about it, because she found herself wanting to share more and more of her life with him. Strangely, she felt only slightly unease about that; in a good way.
Her pen moved quickly across the paper, and as she was finishing up, she heard voices coming from behind a bookshelf.
“She practically confessed outright the last time I spoke to her. I could see it in her eyes that she was lying about him.”
Hermione identified the voice of Padma, and was instantly angry.
“Are you sure? Ha! That’s gold! Although, why Draco would waste his time with someone of her looks is beyond me. She doesn’t really keep herself up does she? Ah well, at least he’s getting something out of it.”
She placed the other voice as Pansy, and winced as the two girls cackled evilly.
“I agree. He’d be much better off with someone prettier. Let’s hope that the kids they have look like him.”
“He’d never have children with her! His bloodline would end, then he’d be stuck with her, a child and shame on his family name. I bet they split before the end of term.”
The two girls laughed again and their voices got further and further from where Hermione was. Out of all the hurtful things she’d overheard, this one cut her the deepest. That, or it was just one too many. Either way, she quickly packed up her things and left early for the common room; holding back the tears that weren’t already streaming down her cheeks.
Hermione stood in the shoulder height water of the giant washtub in the prefects bathroom, wallowing in the bubbles as if they were her worries. She’d been in the warm water for at least half an hour, and had washed her hair twice now; she didn’t know what she was waiting for, but she knew she didn’t want to go back to the common room yet.
Unwillingly, she began to think of all the things she’d overheard over the past few days. Remembering how they grew steadily meaner and more cutthroat. The Slytherin girls were jealous and disgusted; The Gryffindors as a whole were ashamed and betrayed.
Tears rolled down her face, and gave way to shaking sobs. Kissing Harry had confused her greatly. She knew in her heart she wanted to be with Draco, and no one else, but if she was with Harry she wouldn’t be hurting so much.
No. She told herself. You’d only be wanting for Draco, so that wouldn’t fix anything.
She leaned her arms on the side of the tub and cried with her head in her hands.
It must’ve been a while that she sat there, because the torched that lit the room began to die and the moon was now the only source of light. She continued to cry and thought that she could’ve done so for hours, before a giant splash of water roused her.
“Who’s there!?” She called, trying to cover herself with the bubbles. “Show yourself!”
In another second, she felt a pinch at the bottom of her ankle and screamed, thrashing about the water.
“Whoa, whoa! Calm down Hermione! It’s me!”
Hermione stopped and looked to the figure in front of her. Draco stood, coming a little more out of the water than she did, stark naked before her. He was laughing with his eyes closed. She couldn’t see past the middle of his waist, but his arms and chest were very much exposed. The moonlight coming in from a large window on the left illuminating his form.
The sight left her a little bit breathless.
Draco as well, was awestruck at the sight of his girlfriend when he stopped chuckling. Her hair hung wet across her shoulders, and the bubbles that were beginning to dissolve covered just above her chest. Her brown eyes were the only warm thing in the whole room.
He cleared his throat before he spoke. He hadn’t thought about the fact that she would also be naked under the water. The prospect both excited and terrified him.
“Draco.” She replied. Her heart was beating at an abnormally fast pace. She had no idea what to do from here.
“I, um… how are you?”
“I’m… good. W-what about you?”
“I’m fine.” He said, trying desperately to gain some control of himself. He shook his head, then spoke again. “How about we, um..”
“Yeah, let’s do that.” Silently they turned away from one another and got out of the water. Hermione pulled on her bra and underwear and Draco slipped into boxers. The air was dreadfully cold in the absence of a fire, so they settled back into the lukewarm water together.
“Better.” Hermione said. Draco nodded, swimming to her.
He circled his arms around her exposed torso, then rested his chin on her head.
“Why were you crying?” he asked. “Did something happen?”
“Well, yes and no.” She sniffled. “I overheard Pansy and Padma in the library.”
Hermione felt Draco stiffen. “Pansy’s been pushing my limits lately. I never said any of that for the record.”
“I knew you didn’t, and wouldn’t.” Hermione said. “Pansy’s just spreading fires.”
“It really pisses me off. As if I would tell her about my sex life.”
Hermione chuckled awkwardly, given their current position. Draco pulled away from her, and laced their hands together. Their arms floated on top of the water.
“So, I know you have to ask me something, but I can I ask you something first?”
Hermione snapped back, suddenly remembering the question she had to pose.
“Sure, that’s fine.”
“Okay.” Draco said, a smile gracing his handsome features. “The winter holiday is coming up soon.” Hermione nodded.
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Really? Well what did you want to ask?”
She cleared her throat, and looked Draco in the eyes. “My, mother wrote me the other day. She knows about us, by the way.”
He nodded, beginning to look wary.
“She, she and my Dad invited us to spend the holidays with them at our skiing cabin.”
Draco, to her surprise, actually looked a little afraid. “You want me, to meet your Parents?”
“Yes… they really want to meet you too.” She added quickly. “And that way we could spend the holiday together part of the time.”
Draco nodded, now looking a little sick. “Your parents?”
“Yes!” She replied getting a little anxious. “Don’t answer right now. What did you want to ask me?”
He gained a little of his color back before answering. “I wanted to see if you wanted to rent a place together, somewhere warm.”
The thought of a warm Christmas alone with Draco made Hermione smile a bit.
“Yeah; I know of some Wizarding villages in California, some in Australia….”
“You want to go out of the country?”
“Yeah.” He smiled. “I thought you might like the change of weather.”
“I wouldn’t mind it.” She smiled back. It faded however, when she thought of how much she missed her family.
Draco took notice. “But, we could always spend the summer alone.”
Hermione met his eyes, he looked a little less nervous. “You mean it? You want to meet my family?”
“Yeah, yeah; it might be interesting. Living around muggles for two weeks.” He gave her a half smile. “And I like skiing.”
Hermione grinned and hugged him, getting excited. “Oh It’ll be so much fun Draco! I promise! My Mom’s a great cook! And the village we stay in has a New Year’s carnival, and ice skating….”
Draco smiled listening to Hermione go on. He wasn’t dreading the trip per say, just the infamous ‘man to man’ chat he’d probably have to endure.
“We’ll have fun.” He said, rising out of the water some. “Merlin, it’s cold in here. I’ll light the torches.” He padded over to where his wand laid, and murmured a charm to light them. The water now sparkled and glowed before them.
He gently glided back into the water. Diving underneath the bubbles so it was impossible to see him.
Hermione got a little nervous. “This isn’t funny Draco!” She called out. “Come out now!” She began to walk to the steps that lead out of the water, but before she could get to them, she felt fingers tickling her ribcage.
“Stop!” She cried, giggling obscenely. “Draco!”
He rose out of the water them, but did not cease his movements. He smiled at Hermione’s girlish laughter.
She broke away from him then, swimming to a place where the bubbles had gone. She beckoned him forward playfully.
“Do you really want to play this game?” He chuckled. “You can’t outswim me.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Draco smirked, stroking towards her effortlessly.
She waited until he was just in reach of her to jump out of the water and run into the bathrooms, laughing the whole way.
“Cheater!” He called after her. Pulling himself out to follow her. He got his wand again and said a drying spell to dry his underwear, then pulled on the sweatpants he’d been wearing. He held his wand in front of him as he walked to where Hermione had disappeared.
He lingered at the door a moment, then jumped into the girl’s bathroom.
“Got you!” He said, brandishing his wand nonthreateningly at Hermione’s figure.
She was standing before a mirror. Braiding and unbraiding her hair, tears had made their way into her eyes.
Draco dropped his wand on a chair and walked towards her slowly, coming to her and wrapping his arms around her. They were both facing the mirror.
Hermione, he could tell, was looking at herself scathingly.
“Pansy and Padma said you needed someone prettier than me.” She whispered.
Draco closed his eyes and sighed. He really hated the pair of them.
“Maybe I should cut my hair.” She motioned, making it look shorter.
“No. If it was that length, we’d be twins.” He said, gesturing to his long blond mane. “I need to cut my hair however.”
Hermione chuckled softly. Draco picked her up and placed her on the countertop. Her legs wrapped around his middle.
“You are, so beautiful.” He said softly, tucking a curl behind her ear. “Don’t do anything at all.”
Hermione smiled sadly, looking into Draco’s eyes before kissing him softly. Draco smiled into her for a moment before deepening the kiss. Hermione’s arms laced around his neck and she pulled him closer to her, running her fingers through his hair. He touched her back, which was still cold and wet, making her moan quietly.
Draco was stirred, picking her up and taking her to the common room without breaking the kiss. They made their way to a couch, and settled, then Hermione kissed him again.
After a few minutes they stopped. Draco got them blankets, lit a fire and gave Hermione a shirt. When they were still again, she pulled his swollen lips back to her own, thinking the whole time how lucky she was to have him.
Sometime later, Hermione had placed herself comfortably on Draco’s warm chest as he ran his fingers through her hair. She melted into him, watching his movement in silence. As he went on about something she was half listening to; she was quite tired.
Then, suddenly she noticed something that hadn’t been there before. Draco had a thin scar running the length of his forearm.
“Draco?” She asked. “What happened to your arm?”
“Hmm?” he replied.
“What happened to your arm?” She repeated, slower this time.
He paused a moment. “Nothing important.”
“Draco, really.” She said, concerned. She sat up. “What, happened.”
“Hermione, I said, nothing important. It was an accident.”
“The thing that cut my arm!”
Hermione rose, and went to sit on another couch.
“What really happened? If it’s not a big deal then tell me.”
Draco sighed, closing his eyes and laying down again. “I was drinking…”
“Draco…” Hermione began, but he cut her off.
“Why is it so horrible for me to be drinking!? Everyone does!”
“Not everyone is on medication Draco Malfoy! Do you know how that could affect your dreams?”
“I know it makes them go away!” He yelled. Hermione stared at him, and Draco knew he’d said the wrong thing.
“There’s firewhiskey in that flask I saw, isn’t there?”
Draco nodded, defeated. “I don’t take the two together alright!” He lied. “I’m careful about it.”
“There’s no way to be careful about something like that.” She reprimanded. “Promise me you’ll stop.”
“Granger, you’re being difficult.”
“I’m watching out for you; now promise me.”
“It’s not that big of a deal Hermione…”
“Draco…” She said, coming closer to him. Her eyes were tearing up again. “Promise me.”
He was shocked. He didn’t know it mattered this much to her that he drank. “Why, why does it matter?” He asked softly.
“Let’s not talk about it.” She said shaking her head. “I’m going to sleep.” She curled back into him as if nothing had happened.
Draco was dumbfounded, but pulled the covers over them nonetheless, and went back to playing with her hair.
A/N: Hey everyone! I hope you liked this chapter! It's one of my favorites so far :) Sadly, there are only five left in this story! Which is strange, because I'll have two complete ones under my belt. However, I might make a sequel to it, or just make it longer because the story line itself will not be completed the the end of this story. Please leave me a review if you wish!
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