Chapter 12 : Camping
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No one reviewed the last chapter, so I have no one to thank. :( If someone goes back and reviews, they'll be amazing and I'll resubmit this chapter to recognize them. S2 You guys rock.
I broke the kiss suddenly when I felt a drop of water hit my cheek. I glance up at the sky, trying to figure out if it was rain or not.
"Are you okay?" Draco asked, a look of concern plastered on his face. As if in answer to his question, the entire sky lit up white and a mere 2 seconds later, thunder sounded so loudly it shook the ground.
A huge smile spread across Draco's face. He stood up before I knew what he was doing, and hauled me to my feet a second later.
He picked up the blankets and sleeping bags and tossed them in the tent before zipping the tent up.
"Shouldn't we get in the ten-" He grabbed my hand and took off running before I could finish my sentence.
As we ran, I could feel the excitement radiating off Draco. The further we ran, the harder it rained. It started as a mere patter, occasionally splashing my face or arms. Within a minute, it was pouring and I was dripping wet.
"Shouldn't we go back?!" I shouted to Draco, though he pretended not to hear me. He was beginning to laugh and I didn't understand what could be so funny.
A minute later I saw what we were running to... A lake.
I nearly leapt for joy when I saw the lake. I knew it was fairly close to our campsite, when Hermione was preparing dinner I had done some exploring and saw water glistening between the branches as I walked through the forest.
I had never really had the chance to play in the rain. Mother had always forbade it. She didn't want me running around in the mud and water only to track it into the house. I wanted nothing more than to share this moment with Hermione.
We reached the lake no more than a minute later and I flopped onto the sand, letting go of Hermione's hand.
She lay down next to me, face towards the sky. She closed her eyes and looked the most peaceful I'd seen her in years. She was beautiful. She always had been.
We lay on the beach for a while, panting and trying to regain our breath without inhaling too much water. Finally, I stood up and reached down to her. She sensed my movement and opened her eyes; seeing my hand, she sighed and slowly reached for it.
I pulled her straight into my arms and kissed her full on the mouth. As soon as I felt her settle into the kiss, I pulled away and began running towards the water.
"DRACO!" She screamed, chasing after me.
He pulled apart from the kiss and took off running towards the water. That git.
"DRACO!" I screamed at him, running towards him.
Lighting lit up the sky, yet again, causing the whole lake to reflect the white light. It was a magnificent sight. I wanted to stop and look in awe at the scene, but before you know it, the lightning disappears.
I finally managed to catch up to Draco, using his moment to pause and look at the sky to my advantage. He was already knee-deep into the water when I reached him and I launched myself at his back.
I latched on, using my feet and managed to knock him over, causing both of us to fall into the water. I was already soak, why not add in some lake water?
He stood up, laughing and held his hand out to help me up. At the last second, he pushed me back down and splashed further into the lake, laughing like a maniac. Oh, that man was dead.
I pushed Hermione back down into the water, and took off running further in. The water was freezing, but I didn't care. I was having too much fun.
I stopped once I was up to my waist and turned around to face her, just in time for her to slam into my chest.
At this point, she didn't really knock me over, merely pushed me back a foot, but she was grasping me so tightly, she came along.
I looked down at the woman clinging to my chest and couldn't control myself any longer. I lifted her chin up so she was looking at me. I used both hands and brushed her sopping wet hair off the sides of her face. Her eyes fluttered shut and I kissed her with more passion than I knew was possible. Somehow we stumbled out of the water and I felt sand beneath my feet.
Somehow, I pulled the wand from my pocket and managed to apparate us back to the campsite. I managed to unzip the tent, and bring us inside before I pulled out two towels I had thought of to bring, in case something happened.
A towel was handed to me by Draco and it caught me off guard. How had we already made it back to the campsite? I didn't care that we were wet. I tossed the towel aside and tackled Draco to the ground, landing on top of him.
I kissed him on the jaw, working my way down his neck. A groan escaped his throat and I felt myself smile against his neck.
~*~*~*~*~* Morning ~*~*~*~*~*~
I awoke to a bird chirping somewhere nearby. I slowly opened my eyes, the sunlight seemed to be streaming in thick ribbons straight through onto my face.
I fully opened my eyes and saw Draco there next to me, staring at me and smiling.
"Now that's something I could get used to seeing when I woke up." I said, smiling to myself.
He smiled at me and we sat there in silence, taking in everything that had happened the night before. Really weighing our options and deciding what was best. Neither of us talked, and he would absentmindedly play with strands of my hair every now and then.
"Can I say something?" He asked me. I smiled.
"Say something." I replied. He looked hesitant but finally managed to find his voice.
"I love you..." Well, that caught me off guard. The smile on my face grew to an enormous size, "I love you, Hermione. I think I always have."
Hearing those words come out of Draco's mouth made me the happiest I'd ever been. I didn't know what he had meant by "always" but it clearly went beyond what I had expected.
I cuddled up next to him and he wrapped me in his arms. Everything was still damp from the previous night, but I didn't care. I was in the one place where nothing mattered, Draco's arms. I felt loved, protected, wanted, and safe.
Draco sighed and I couldn't help but know what he was feeling. Finally, something was right. We were together, and it was perfect.
We lay like that for an hour or 2, making small talk and completely avoiding the discussion of what was to happen next. Neither of us wanted that right now.
A few hours later, we had gone on a short hike and explored the forest for a bit before returning to the campsite. We made sure the fire was out, and we packed up all our stuff, apparating back to Draco's place.
Within a couple minutes, a knock sounded at the door. Draco looked confused, but motioned for me to follow him to the door.
When he opened it, I nearly gasped at who stood on the doorstep, both of his parents.
I took a step back in disbelief when I opened the door. There stood not only my mother, but my father as well. He was staring at Hermione, a look of utter disappointment on his face.
"Mother, father? What're you doing here? How is father here? What's going on?" I asked, my voice rising in panic.
"Your father was released early from Azkaban! Isn't that wonderful?!" My mother nearly shouted, embracing me in a tight hug. My father was still glaring over my shoulder at Hermione.
"Mother, father, this is Hermione." I said, gesturing to her, "We both had to stay home from Hawaii this weekend due to work and figured we'd do lunch today." My father was still eying her suspiciously and I could tell it was making Hermione anxious.
"Why don't we all go to lunch?" My mother asked, pulling away from me and beaming at me, then at Hermione. "It'll be fun!" My mother, always chipper when making plans.
"That would be lovely Mrs. Malfoy." Hermione said, stepping forward. "Well, where to?"
"Oh, I know just the place!" My mother said. She stepped past us and into the house, when she saw that none of us were following she turned to us. "Well, what're you doing? We can use floo powder, it's a wizard restaurant."
Within an hour, Draco and I were sitting side by side across from his parents and the "best" table in one of the fanciest restaurants I'd ever seen. Apparently his parents were regulars here and everyone knew to treat them like royalty. We'd been given the best table, in a small off-shoot so we weren't crowded around people, and overlooking the ocean. It was sunset and the colors dancing across the water were stunning.
We made small talk with his parents for a while before Draco excused himself to go to the restroom. His father said that he would join him, he wanted to talk with his son. I didn't blame him, they hadn't seen each other in years and Draco didn't exactly seem thrilled with his father returning.
I had to get away from my parents. Well, mostly my father. The looks he was shooting Hermione were making me sick, though I don't think she noticed. She was too enthralled in conversation or looking out across the ocean. I excused myself to go to the restroom, but my father said he would join me. For Merlin's sake, why wouldn't he leave me alone?
We stopped in the hallway near the restroom.
"Yes father?" I asked, I could hear the venom in my voice.
"Why did I expect nothing more from you?" He asked, no surprise there.
"To what are you referring father?" I asked, smirking. It could be any number of things. He was always disappointed in me for something. All those years of verbal abuse, I had grown used to expecting nothing less from my father.
"No warm welcome for your dear father? I was gone for 6 years Draco. It was supposed to be longer, but because they thought I had no choice in aiding
Voldemort and because of 'good behavior' I was released early. After being gone that long, I figured that you MIGHT appreciate seeing me, or at least welcome me in some way. Apparently you're too arrogant for that now huh? Now that you're an auror you think you're so special? Stopping all us 'bad' wizards huh?" He droned on and I wanted nothing more than to punch him in the face.
"Sorry to ruin your little fun father, but you deserved your punishment. I felt it was just. I don't know why you feel the need to taunt me. I never wanted what you did. To join Voldemort, to fight for him. The only reason I did was in hopes of gaining your approval. That didn't exactly work out now did it? I still didn't earn it. I got shit from you for not doing a good enough job. For not being able to kill Dumbledore. I was a bloody 16 year old. You allowed Voldemort into our house, even after seeing how much that was killing mother. You let him use us as if it were nothing. I was ashamed to be your son, and I've made something of myself." I turned to walk away, but what he said next surprised me.
"Whatever it is you're doing with that girl, stop it. We're not those kind of people. You may think it's what you want, but that's often in conflict with what's 'right'.
Stop now if you know what's good for you." He made his way to the restroom, and I went back to the table.
Draco came back to the table a few minutes later, looking distraught.
"What's wrong dear?" His mother asked, looking worried.
"Nothing... father's still himself that's for sure." He sat down next to me and gave me a weak smile. His mother sighed, and his father returned a minute later.
The rest of lunch passed by uneventfully.
~*~*~*~ 2 hours later *~*~*~*~
His parents were still with us, but we were now at his house, enjoying cups of tea. After an hour or so of this, his parents informed us they were to leave.
We walked them out, and his mother gave me a hug goodbye. I never knew I could enjoy the company of Narcissa Malfoy this much. When they left, Draco turned to me, smiling.
"I'll take you home now." He grabbed my hand and next thing I knew we had apparated back to my place.
"Your mother is lovely." I said, smiling to myself. "She even apologized for everything that happened at the manor all those years ago. She told me she would have stopped Bellatrix if she could've, but once her sister got going there was no stopping her. She's such an amazing woman to talk to. You're lucky you know?" I told him and he smiled at me. "Your father on the other hand, well, I can see why you dislike him so much. Is he always that pleasant?" I asked jokingly. Draco laughed and shook his head.
"Worse usually, if you can imagine." Draco said, looking rather distant. "I should go."
"You can stay if you want." I said, smiling at him.
"No, it'd be best if I left. Ginny said they'd return around 16:00 and it's nearly 15:40."
"Oh.. right, okay." I said, feeling disappointed that our weekend had come to an end.
He gave me a tight hug, and looked me in the eyes.
"Remember what I said this morning?" I was confused, before realizing him saying he loved me had just been this morning. I smiled and nodded. "Well, always keep that in mind. I meant it." He kissed me on the cheek and disapparated before I could ask what he meant by that. I hadn't been more confused in a long time.
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