A/N: Ok, sorry my dear readers. I know you deserve better than to be kept waiting for so long. Unfortunately, the next chapter will take as long since I am busy with my master’s thesis at the moment (and will be for at least another four weeks). I promise you, though, to update more frequently after I finish my thesis. And my chapters hopefully will be longer, too.
I hope you’ll forgive me and bear with me!
Chapter 14 – Confusion
For some milliseconds Hermione didn’t know what was going on – one moment they were arguing … the next he was kissing her. She couldn’t deny that she had daydreamt about it for quite some time but she never imagined that he could have an interest, too.
While her mind was still interpreting the whole situation, she suddenly realized that she was fervently kissing him back. It was the perfect kiss. After the first crashing of lips was over, his lips started to dance about hers. They were soft – oh so soft. Her hands found their way in his hair which felt silky and cool. She recognized his smell … old leather, peppermint and the smell of grass. It was as if she smelled a freshly brewed Amortentia Potion.
She moaned as he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her even closer which in turn encouraged him to deepen the kiss and let her fall into oblivious bliss. Suddenly, though, a tiny cough could be heard. One of the houseelves stood near them, obviously embarrassed to disturb.
“I is sorry, Master Draco, but Misses asks me what’s the noise and I is looking and not hearing any noise. Does you know about the noise?”
Draco looked at the elf, harder than Hermione thought necessary, and answered “Well, yes, it must have been us but now it’s ok. If you could leave us alone now …!” And with a look at Hermione he added “Please?!” The houseelf disappeared with a plop.
Meanwhile Hermione’s mind was racing. Was this right? Should she go along with it? He was, after all, Draco Malfoy. And she just awoke from a coma. Surely she shouldn’t rush thinks. She needed time. Time to think this over and it wouldn’t do to try this in the manor.
As Draco turned around to look at her, he knew something was off. She could see that in his face. “I … I am sorry, Draco. I need time and space to think about this.” That, obviously, wasn’t the reaction he had hoped for. “I … I’d like to go visit my parents. Would you mind taking me there? I can’t apparate right in their house or garden because of the security charms and I … well, I wouldn’t like to walk the street there alone.”
“Nor would I let you.” His face had darkened considerately at her mentioning to get away. “Alright, I’ll take you there.”
Hermione was relieved that he didn’t object. “Ok, I’ll just get my things …”
“What? Wait … I am sorry, Hermione, I shouldn’t have kissed you, I know that. Can’t we just forget about it? There’s no need for you to leave the manor and live at your parents place. Really, I’ll behave, I promise.” He looked as if he was close to a panic attack.
“If you’d just let me finish my sentence? … I’ll just get my things for tonight and it would be kind of you if you could feed Crooks later tonight? I just need a little time, Draco. I only intend to sleep over at my parents place this night.” She chuckled. “You know, before the … crash … I’d have taken a good long bus ride. Somehow that always calmed me when I was upset or agitated. My mum once told me that she even did that with me when I was only five or six years old. If all else failed she and I would take the bus to the city and back and by the time we got home, I would be ok. When Ronald suggested I should take the bus that night, it showed how well he knew me. I could have just apparated and all this wouldn’t have happened but I was so angry, I knew if I went home like that we would have another big fight. So I took the bus … and now he doesn’t even want to talk to me. However, I don’t think a bus ride would calm me down anymore.”
Draco considered her words while she was getting her things. He had always wondered why she had taken the bus that night. More imported, though, he wondered whether Hermione really only wanted to think about everything. Sure, she had more than one thing to think about. He knew he couldn’t even begin to understand what she had to process. In only a short time, after all, her whole life had changed. There was he himself but there was more –Ronald Weasley, living at the manor with the Malfoy family of all people, losing her independence … it was quite a lot, he had to admit. Damn, why couldn’t he have waited longer? He hadn’t planned to be so … direct. Now he’d have to wait for her reaction.
As he heard Hermione coming down the stairs, Draco turned. The suitcase she levitated in front of her was rather large.
“Are you sure you’ll just stay overnight? That suitcase looks more like you’re going on a two-month trip.” He raised an eyebrow at her.
“Yes, I am quite sure.” She huffed. “If you’re ready?”
Draco held out his arm and led her out of the manor – then he apparated them to Hermione’s parents’ home.
“I guess my mom will want me to stay for breakfast at least. Maybe you want to come, too? She’s rather fond of you as I noticed.” Hermione grinned at him. Surely that had to be a good sign?
“Ok, I’ll be her at around 9.30?” She nodded and he watched her as she went to her parents’ door. As she disappeared inside the house he went back home.
A/N: And me again. So, what do you think? To which conclusion should Hermione come?