Chapter 6 : You're Beautiful
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“Granger, what the fuck?” A voice sneered from behind, causing her to sit up abruptly. She rubbed her sleepy eyes to see Draco slouching carelessly against her bed post, a questioning eye brow raised with an amused smirk playing along his lips. Hermione opened and closed her mouth in an attempt to answer his question, yet failed miserably, only succeeding in looking like a goldfish and making an utter fool out of herself.
“Malfoy, how did you get in here?” She finally managed to ask.
“Well you see, I have these two things called legs, so I got them into gear, climbed a few stairs, opened a few doors and wham! Here I am.” Hermione frowned at him, she hated being mocked.
“Jerk.” She huffed. He laughed and looked into her deep eyes. He’d never realised it before, but to some extent Granger was quite beautiful. Her skin was flawless, her eyes indulging, he was sure he could stare into them forever if she’d let him. Her lips were plump and pink and her cute button nose was decorated in a scatter of freckles.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She asked, scrunching up her forehead.
“You’re beautiful.” He said simply. She snorted and raised both eyebrows at him.
“Piss off, Draco Malfoy.” She laughed.
“Fine, meet me in the Library?” He asked before adding, “And take a wash, you’ve still got the bed smell on you, not nice.”
Once the dead slytherin had left her alone in the dorm, she moved to the bathroom where she took a quick shower, letting the soothing water wash away the annoyance and embarrassment previously built from her unexpected encounter with Draco. Draco, since when had she called him that? It’s always been Granger and Malfoy, always. However last night she was sure that he had called her Hermione too, maybe dying had changed Draco Malfoy for the better.
After wrestling with her untamed hair and pulling on her robes, Hermione folded arms and ducked out of the portrait of the fat lady.
“Running a bit late today aren’t we, Hermione?” She sung. Hermione turned to see the fat lady holding up a wine glass, attempting to repeat an experiment carried out in Hermione’s third year.
“Free period this morning, so I’m going to the library to study.” Hermione lied. The fat lady smiled and nodded before returning to screeching at the glass.
Hermione had considered going straight to the library, just as Draco had asked her, however from him apparently watching her sleep and listening to her talk in her sleep, she decided that she could make him wait longer than he actually needed to. Turning on her heel to the direction of the main hall, she smiled to herself as she imagined the irritated expression that would surely to be found on Draco’s face.
Walking down the isle separating the Slytherin table from the Gryffindor, Hermione saw Ron wave hopelessly, motioning for her to join them. When she reached them, she smiled and they shared their usual “morning” greetings. Grabbing a bowl and pouring herself some Golden Cauldrons, they launched themselves into a conversation regarding the potions essay that was due in for the following day. As usual, Hermione had to write little pointers down on a piece of napkin for Ron.
“Wait, what does that say?” He asked his mouth full of bacon.
“Bezeor, Ron.” Hermione sighed. Did that boy ever pay attention in potions? Thinking about it, she rephrased the question in her mind, did that boy ever pay any attention in any class they had?!
“I’ve got a free period this morning which I’m going to spend in the library, I’ll take out a book for you, okay?”
“Okay.” He groaned, obviously hoping Hermione was going to tell him then and there, in simple terms, what a bezoer was. After another ten minutes of none stop chatter, Hermione decided that she had left Draco waiting long enough. She shoved her bowl away from her and swung her legs over the bench, she said her goodbyes, waved and walked briskly in the direction of the library.
“Take your freaking time, Granger!” Draco exclaimed, rolling his eyes. He walked over to her with his hands shoved in his pockets. Hermione couldn’t help but smirk at the annoyance that his facial expression showed.
“Sorry! I completely lost track of time.” She smiled at him sweetly.
“Come on, into the corner.” He tilted his head in the direction of the desired corner and made his way over, she followed him curiously.
“You know, that sounds suspicious, I heard that if a ghost rapes you, you could still get pregnant. Personally I don’t see how that’s possible, I mean what would you give birth to? A ghost baby? It just makes no sense, and-”
“You’re babbling, Hermione.” Draco noted, “And also getting funny looks. People can’t see me. I’m dead.”
“Right, right, you’re dead.” She whispered, smiling briefly at those she caught staring.
Hermione sat herself down on a rather unstable looking chair, she was sure that if she was only a stone or two heavier, it would give way under her weight. She leaned back, ignoring the worrying creak the chair made, and searched the room with her eyes to see if anyone was in hearing distance before opening her mouth to Draco.
“So, what do you want me here for?” She enquired.
“What we were talking about last night. I can’t stay forever in this world, nobody but you can hear or see me as far as I know and, no offence, that’s going to drive me insane. I’ve accepted that I’m dead, but why can’t I move on?” Hermione nodded, showing that she understood Draco’s situation. After a few minutes silence, he added, “Now, you’re suppose to suggest something intelligent for us to do.”
“Ah, yes, that would make sense.” She stuttered.
“So, um, maybe you need to go back to the place of death?” She offered. Draco studied her face for a while and then considered going back to his home, where his killer would be sitting proudly in his sinful throne, smiling over the dead body of an innocent slaughtered muggle.
“I can’t go back there, not alone.”
Draco’s words flicked a switch inside of Hermione; she noticed that he sounded afraid.
“Draco,” She said softly, “where did it happen?” Hermione felt bad asking him this, but she genuinely believed that for him to move on, which he insisted he wanted to do, that he needed to return to the place that he passed.
“My house, in front of numerous witnesses,” he bowed his head to hide the hurting expression that had conquered his facial features, “including my parents, my mother.” His voice had quietened, which didn’t go unnoticed by Hermione, she reached out, took his hand in hers and stroked the back of his pale hand with her thumb.
To Draco’s surprise, he found Hermione’s touch soothing, almost relaxing. At that moment he was glad that, if anyone, she was the one that could see him. He could trust her. He looked up to meet her tearful gaze, Draco had not even told Hermione how he had died, yet she already appeared sorrowful.
“Hermione, I’ve been counting on all the wrong things to make life feel alright, an-”
“Shh,” She interrupted, a tear escaped from the corner of her eye, creating a little stream down her cheek. Draco extended his subtly toned arm and brushed away the tear with his forefinger, she smiled weakly at him, “Draco, you come from a family with evil connections, yet you’ve chosen good over evil, you can’t have it all. You’re stuck in the middle.” Hermione didn’t know where these words had come from, but she truly believed in them.
A shiver travelled down his spine as Hermione spoke. How had Draco gone all these years hating her? She was beautiful, wise, and intelligent. In Draco’s eyes, she was pure perfection. They continued to stare into each others eyes until Draco was finally able to speak.
“Hermione?” He asked tenderly.
“If you don’t stop me now, I’m going to kiss you.”
Hermione did nothing to defend herself from the blonde boy who was slowly leaning across the table, leaning closer to her until she could smell his sweet vanilla aftershave. Seconds later, his face was only centimetres away from hers; she could feel her heart racing as he continued to move closer. He stopped just as their lips were about to touch.
“I’m scared, Hermione.” He breathed. Hermione could feel his warm breathe on her face, she closed her eyes and whispered, “It’s going to be okay.”
An explosion of pleasure erupted inside of Hermione as Draco’s lips collided with her own. Despite her urges to pull him closer and deepen the kiss, she knew it had to be over soon, he was a ghost, invisible to the rest of the occupants of the library, but at this very moment in time, to Hermione, the occupants of the library were invisible. To her, it was just herself and Draco, alone in the library, where they were free to be together.
Draco broke away from the kiss only moments after he started it. He could have happily carried on, he wanted to, but he knew he couldn’t. He was a ghost, and Hermione wasn’t. Whatever both of them wanted to happen, couldn’t, and that was a fact.
Another tear slid down Hermione’s cheek, Draco held her face in his hands, gently caressing her cheek. She looked up to see that his eyes were also dampened. Why did he have to be a ghost? She asked herself. He was so perfect for her, and he still looked alive. How she wanted to lean over and kiss him again, but she knew she couldn’t.
“This is so messed up.” She whispered.
The two sat in silence for the rest of Hermiones free period, mulling over their own individual thoughts. Hermione expected the silence between them to be awkward, but it wasn’t. If anything, she found it quite peaceful; Draco’s presence soothed her and vanquished any possible worries she had.
“Hermione!” She heard someone call. She snapped her head up, mirroring Draco’s. It was Ron, bounding up to her wearing a huge smile, “I thought I’d find you here! Have you got that book yet?” He asked. Hermione looked up at him, confused.
“Yeah, you know the one you were talking about at breakfast, about the beezle... beezle? It was beezle right?”
“Breakfast?” Draco hissed at her, “Lost track of time my arse.” He laughed. Hermione ignored his comment however smiled all the same.
“Bezeor, Ron.. a bezoer.” She corrected her carrot-top friend, who let out an extended “ah” of realisation. Draco snorted and Hermione kicked him under the table, “I completely forgot, sorry Ron, come one, let’s go and find it now.”
Draco’s eyes followed Ron and Hermione walk around the corner of a bookcase and disappear. He considered following them, but he knew he’d be a distraction to Hermione, so instead he caught sight of Crabbe and decided it would be a laugh to try and haunt him. He stood up, and stalked off in the direction of his best friend.
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