Chapter 3 : I'm Only Me When I'm With You
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Hermione stared down at her book, but she wasn't reading the words. Draco was reading a muggle book. Draco Malfoy. The boy who despised muggles almost as much as he despised Mudbloods and blood traitors. She shook her bushy curls in frustration, he probably only hired that book out to graffiti all over it. Yes, that made more snese, but it annoyed her more. Draco was desecrating a much treasured book, out of ignorance. How slimy could he get?
"I knew we'd find you here," She heard Harry's cheerful voice and looked up in time to see Ron roll his eyes.
"Books may not be your thing, Ronald, but do not roll your eyes when you find me here." She hugged and pushed passed him.
"Girls," She heard Ron mumble and saw his ginger hair shake from side to side. Hermione didn't say anything, just quickly wandered to the Gryffindor common room.
"We have Defense first!" Harry called up the staircase leading to the girls dormitory. It was a well known fact that boys couldn't climb the stairs to the girls dormitory, as they were jinxed to become a slide. But the girls could happily stroll into the boys dormitory, no questions asked.
Defense Against the Dark Arts used to be one of Hermione's favorite classes, until Snape became the teacher. She didn't like it the year before either, with Umbridge, but Snape just made it worse, which was suprisingly possible. He was nasty to everyone but Slytherins and made no attempt to hide his obvious hatred towards Harry. As she entered the room Hermione automatically felt someone's eyes on her and when she turned to look, she was quite shocked to find it was Draco, his steely eyes showing a hint of emotion, but what it was, she couldn't tell as it disappeared almost as soon as she looked over at him. Shaking her head, confused, she sat down between Harry and Ron, and when she looked back over at Draco, she felt relieved to see his eyes had left her.
She would catch him staring at her in several of her classes after that, and after her last class for the day, she decided to ask him about it.
"What are you playing at, Malfoy?" She hissed, after telling Harry to go on, saying she needed to ask McGonagall a questionin regard to the essay.
"What do you mean?" He asked, his grey eyes hard and shut off.
"Why are you always staring at me?" Her eyes met his as he slowly stood up. He was at least a foot taller than her, but she wasn't scared of him anymore.
"You must be delusional, Granger. I wouldn't be caught dead staring at a filthy Mudblood like you." He snapped, but she saw a flicker of regret etch into his sneer as soon as he finished talking.
"You're such a coward, Malfoy. Always worried about what others think, how about you forget about them and behave like the 16 year old you are." She snapped and quickly walked out of the room, heading straight to the library. Stupid cockroach she thought vehemently to herself. Heading up to her little room, she sat in front of an already burning fire and sighed, feeling exhausted. She spent almost every night up late with Harry, trying to figure out what the Horcruxes could be, and now there was something weird with Draco. Her eyelids grew heavy sitting there, embraced by the warmth emitted by the fire and the comfort of the chair. Just a few minutes she thought to herself and eased back into the chair, slipping back into a deep sleep.
Two hours passed when Draco slipped into the room, he didn't see Hermione there, sleeping, well and truly after sitting down and getting comfortable.
"Oh, sorry" He muttered, but when she didn't stir or say anything he frowned to himself and sneaked over to the armchair she had dragged in front of the fire. She was frowning slightly, her nose crinkled in distaste, which amused him. He had never seen her so quiet before, or so still. Despite the frown, she looked so peaceful that he thought it would be best to leave her there and read in another room, but as soon as the handle to the door had turned, making a slight dragging noise, he heard her stir and he cursed the door.
"Sorry Hermione, I was just leaving" He whispered and she looked up at him, confused.
"Malfoy?" She asked softly, her big brown eyes half closed.
"Yeah, sorry, I was just leaving." He was slowly edging towards the door, though every fibre of his being was screaming at him to stay.
"No, don't go" She mumbled and stood up, stretching. "I believe it's my turn to leave tonight. Sorry, was only meant to sleep for a few minutes." She yawned and picked up her stuff, she had completely forgotten about their fight this afternoon.
"Are you ok, Hermione?" Draco asked, extending a hand out towards her slightly wavering body.
"Mm fine, just tired is all" She smiled sleepily at him and slowly left the room, making her way carefully down the middle of the library. Draco rasied an eyebrow at her, before shrugging and began reading a new book, Hannibal Rising.
Tiny beads of snow began to fall later that night, and Draco couldn't help but shiver slightly as he watched them dance past on the wind. A fire was keeping the room toasty, but it was never as warm as the Gryffindor fire. Their fires always kept the whole dormitory warm. Hermione was staring out the window too, but was excited to see the snow. She loved it, it was fun to go out there after class and play around with Harry and Ron. Clenched in her fist tightly was a letter from Fred, that he had sent her halfway through class.
Dear Hermy, George and I wish to convey how much you have made Ron a man and for that we are indeed grateful. For such a tremendous effort, we are sending you a jinxed set of Exploding Snap, so when you use this deck, your opponent will always be the one to be exploded, regardless of anything. Play it with Won-Won and tell us how that goes. Fred and George.
She read that to herself and it made her smile each time she did. Those boys were a constant source of stress and amusement, especially when Umbridge was there. That woman could not take a joke if her life depended on it. Draco was in the library again, holding another book, which meant that he wasn't graffiting it at all and was actually reading muggle novels, how absurd. Draco had changed from the irate little boy in their first year to a mature man, with some seriously disgusing word choices, that made Hermione want to punch him in the face again, but she refrained. Sighing, she went and sat in bed, pulling the thick blankets over her legs and smiled at the letter again before putting it on the bench beside her bed.
Draco rested his head on his arms as he lay back in bed, mulling over his thoughts. He couldn't continue dreaming about her, his father would be disappointed in him, and would most likely tell Voldemort, which meant that they would possibly be tortured to the point of insanity. He couldn't risk that. Not after everything he had done to try keep the school safe.
He was lying in a shallow pool, the cold water lapping at his sides. He opened his eyes and as he did so, she looked at him and giggled delicately. She was wearing a sheer white dress, her skin looking pale under the silver light of the moon.
"Poor old Draco, doesn't know what to do" Her eyes were glinting as she looked over his body and she slowly got down on her hands and knees, crawling over to straddle him. "Oh Draco, please make love to me" She begged, nibbling his jaw affectionately and making him groan. She slowly nibbled up to his bottom lip and stopped, looking into his eyes. "Come find me, now!" She whispered into his ear.
The dream disappeared as he opened his eyes. Blaise snorted gently and rolled over in his sleep as Draco pulled off his pajama bottoms and replaced them with a pair of trousers on and his shoes. He didn't know where he was going but he could continuously hear over and over her single instruction, but what shocked him was that she was actually standing in front of the Great Hall, looking slightly confused.
"Draco? Uh, I was just waiting for someone" She stammered and slowly edged away from him. She couldn't help but notice how cute and sexy he looked with tussled hair and lack of shirt. Surely he must have been cold.
"Who would ask you to get out of bed on a frosty winters night at midnight?" He asked, taking at least two steps to every one of hers.
"I don't know, I just woke up and felt the urge to come here" She confessed, her head falling slightly in admission.
"Same here, do you want to wait together?" He offered and she glanced at him, uneasy.
"Why? So you have an excuse to poke fun at me when no one shows?" She asked adamantly, thrusting her chin out defensively which threw her lips out under the light. They looked so warm and promising.
"Of course not!" He exclaimed, "But I'm staing regardless because I was told to come here." He snapped and crossed his arms over his chest. They stood there for a while, in awkward silence. Hermione started fidgeting with her hair but by the time she heard the dinging fromt the clock in the distance, she let out a deep sigh and unfolded her arms. She turned and walked away without saying a word to Draco but he followed her up a staircase.
"Hermione, I think we need to talk" Draco said, swiftly cutting her off.
"About what, Malfoy?" Her face and stance became guarded, making him sigh internally. He didn't like that he made her like that, it made him furious with himself.
"About something important. Meet me at the library tomorrow night at 9." He looked at her for a moment before quickly striding off toward the Slytherin common room, leaving her unable to answer. She raised an eyebrow at his turned back suspiciously before shrugging and climbing up the Grand Staircase.
"I'm starving" Ron complained as soon as he sat down, piled his plate with dinner, th e next night. Hermione just stared at him in disgust.
"Where does all that food go? Honestly, all you ever do is eat" She snapped, while Harry came and sat down beside her.
"Lay off him, Hermione Quidditch practice was brutal today" Harry said, sitting down stiffly, he too piled his plate and began shoveling food into his mouth.
"That's not my fault, Harry. Maybe if you didn't design such complicated practices, then you wouldn't be so stiff and hungry" Hermione stood up and left the Great Hall. She hadn't meant to snap at the boys, she was just cranky because Viktor had written her another letter today, in a rather foul mood and called her most names under the sun. She didn't deserve that, it wasn't her fault she wasn't attracted to such a meathead. She began crying in her anger and so she quickly walked to the library, hoping no one would see her in such a state. Madam Pince just watched her slowly walk up to the end room, worry pinching her sharp features together.
Dearest Fred, things here have been wonderful without Umbridge's ever increasing decree's and it sure is strange not have you boys here. Ronald is being the same old boy he was when I first met him, but Harry has most definitely changed. He seems to be a lot more quiet and withdrawn. How has your wizard shop been going? Snape is now our DADA teacher, which seems a little odd, but it's been hard work in his class. Well anyway, that's all I have to report. Stay out of mischief you two. Forever yours, Hermione.
She heard the door click open and looked up in surprised to see Draco standing there, amusement dancing across his angular jaw.
"We must stop meeting like this" He said with a smile, but Hermione just looked at him suspiciously. Draco never smiled at Hermione, it was usually just a sneer.
"I was just leaving" She muttered, grabbing her things and went to walk past him. As she did, she brushed against him, looked up at him and clearly saw longing embedded in his hard eyes.
"Don't, stay. You said you would" He whispered leaning towards her. Her heart was thudding fast, but then a tear leaked out of her eye and he leant back. "What's wrong?" He asked, brushing the tear off her face with his thumb.
"What's it to you?" She snapped and then left the room, she heard him sigh and then soft footfalls behind her.
"Regardless or whats happened in the past, Hermione, I don't like to see anyone cry over nothing" He said after catching up to her. She turned to look at him, but his defenses were back up which made her sigh again.
"Draco, you used to love trying to make me cry at any chance you got. Why the sudden shift in moods?" It was almost as soon as those words left her mouth that everything she thought she knew about Draco had changed. His soft, warm lips came crashing down on hers, catching her off guard. They were only there for a moment, but in that brief moment Hermione felt something she hadn't felt before and it struck something within her. Maybe Draco wasn't the boy she had always despised, maybe he was exactly the opposite of what he put out. "What was that?" She asked softly, her body remaining close to his.
"Just trying to make you feel better" He smiled down at her but they were interrupted by a cough. Looking down, they saw Harry and Ron standing there, flabberghasted and disgusted.
"Keep your hands off her, Malfoy." Ron snarled.
"What's it to you, Weasley?" Draco retorted, and their hands quickly went to their wands.
"Oh honestly" Hermione huffed and ran out of the library. Was there really no one she could see without the boys acting like a couple of angry dogs. She needed to find a new place and soon, else the boys would continue to ruin everything for her.
"They really do care, you know" The Fat Lady said as Hermione whispered the password.
"Well if they could do it in a less annoying way, I'd be thankful." She replied and stepped through the hole.
It was almost ten minutes after Hermione had left, that the boys trudged through the portrait hole. Hermione was sitting in front of the fire, writing up the two foot essay Snape wanted by Monday.
"Why Hermione? Out of all the slimy gits you could of snogged, why did it have to be him?" Ron snapped at her harshly.
"Keep your voice down, Ronald" Hermione hushed as a few curious heads turned towards them.
"He's a Malfoy Hermione!" Ron whispered angrily but Hermione just rolled her eyes.
"You're so caught up in this rivalry between Draco and Harry that it's fogging up your view of the world." Hermione whispered back, feeling like she could just reach across and slap Ron.
"Do you remember what he did to Harry on the train? Broke his nose, Hermione" Ron's voice was getting louder again and Harry had to sit him down.
"I'm not an idiot, Ronald. I clearly remember that night. But who I see is my business, not yours" She stood up and ran to the girls dormitory.
"She's right, Ron. She's smart enough to trust whoever she likes." Harry muttered to Ron before heading to the boys dormitory.
"Obviously not if she's snogging that slimy git." Ron replied, following Harry up the stairs.
The next morning greeted Harry and Hermione to a glacial wind that almost knocked the breath out of them as they sat down beside the lake.
"He does mean well, 'Mione" Harry said, grabbing her hand and smiling at her.
"Well if he could stop behaving like a baboon then maybe I wouldn't be so angry at him." She retorted and then sighed. "Sorry, Ronald has just irritated me so much. He's behaving like I've made a deal with the Devil."
"But look at things from his perspective. You're living in the library and then he walks in on Draco kissing you. It's not particularly easy for him to see."
"And me having to sit there and watch him snog Lavander is? He's just bitter because I'm making friends outside of us." Hermione's brown eyes scanned the frozen surface of the lake.
"No one likes watching him snog Lavander. It's one thing I could of gone without seeing." Harry laughed, brightening the mood slightly.
"Ron has always sulked when things didn't go his way. Do you remember when your name was pulled out of the cup in our fourth year? He basically ignored you until you almost died. He's a selfish git." She looked back at Harry and squeezed his hand. "I didn't expect Draco to kiss me last night. Viktor sent me another letter, and it was rather nasty, so I went to the library to take my mind off things. I replied to Fred and George's letter and was just sitting there when Draco came in. It was his hour and a half in the library, so as I went to leave I kind of cried a little in front of him. He wiped the tears away and then as I went to leave, he followed me and then kissed me. It was abrupt and it made me see that Draco isn't the boy we know. He's just scared."
"You got that out of a two second kiss?" Harry smiled at her and she just laughed. They sat there a while, Hermione's head on Harry's shoulder before Harry started speaking again. "Look, 'Mione, I can't tell you who you can and can't see. But be careful with Draco. I still don't trust him, and he'll have to do something selfless for me to believe he's different. If you do happen to see the Dark Mark on his arm, then promise me that you won't go near him. We love you, 'Mione. Be careful," Harry stood up and kissed her on her forehead before trekking it back through the snow towards the castle.
"Leave me alone, Draco" Hermione muttered as she poured over the essay due for Transfiguration.
"Look, about last night..." He started but as soon as she looked up he stopped speaking.
"Malfoy, I'm serious. I have a three foot essay due tomorrow. Last night never happened, I get it." She looked back down and began writing but he didn't leave.
"That's not what I was going to say. Look, for a few weeks now, I've been having these dreams about you and they are quite absurd. Last night, I did what I've wanted to do since they began. I can't quite explain it, but just know that I never want to hurt you again."
*Everthing recognizable belongs to J.K Rowling. Lyrics to I'm Only Me When I'm With You by Taylor Swift
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