A huge thanks to Lou for being my one and only reviewer for the last chapter. This chapter is dedicated to you. :)
I sat in the Astronomy Tower. It was nearing midnight and I was growing nervous that she wouldn't show.
"Draco?" I heard from behind me, and my heart stopped beating in my chest.
I still couldn't believe I was going to meet Draco. And it ended up not being Draco, what consequences that would entail.
I stepped into the tower and saw Draco sitting down and looking across the grounds. I almost wanted to just stand there and stare.
He had never looked so peaceful. Or, not that I had ever seen.
"Draco?" I said, my voice quiet and shaky.
He turned to me, clearly shocked. He hadn't thought I would actually show up.
I hadn't actually expected her to come. I nearly pinched myself to make sure this wasn't a dream. That she was actually here.
"What kind of sick joke is this?" She asked me, she looked scared and tentative. She didn't know that I was being sincere... That I did want what I had said in the letter.
I stood and took a step towards her, she took a step back.
I didn't know what kind of joke this was.. He looked so sincere but why was he doing this? There had to be a motive...
"Hermione..." he trailed off, looking unsure. Wait... He just called me Hermione, not Granger...
"What did you call me??" I asked in a whisper, barely able to get that out.
"Hermione. That's your name. I'm sick of calling you by your last name. I'm tired of keeping up with this facade. It's not who I want to be. I might die this year, and no I can't tell you why that is. At least, not yet. This is getting to be ridiculous. My father has always told me to be mean to mud bloods and half-bloods. Sure, at first, it was no big deal. But the more I did it, the more I hated myself for it. Especially towards you. I've hated myself time and time again for what I've done to you and others. I can't handle it any more. I'm sorry. I want to start over. I want to end this. Even if it means keeping it a secret from the rest of the school, at least for now. Even if it means us keeping up the facade in front of others. I just need your forgiveness. I can't keep going like this...I'm sorry..." he trailed off and I found myself speechless.
I had no idea what I was supposed to say. The Slytherin Prince was apologizing... To me, a mud blood.
"Draco... I don't know what to say..." I started. I honestly didn't. His face remained calm but I could tell from his eyes, he was hurting inside. "I don't know if I can just forgive you that easily. You've done so much to hurt me in the past, you called me a
Mud blood. Yet here we are, in our 6th year and you're ardently sorry? I find it all a little hard to believe and I just don't quite know what to think." I didn't know what else to say. There was so much anger for this boy yet somewhere deep inside a longing to be close to him. I knew that I liked, possibly loved this tormented boy, but our fate wasn't for me to decide.
"I know it's all hard to believe. I find myself in a daze half the time now. I've had a bit of a reality check lately and for all I know I'll be dead before the year is through. But because of that, I've had a chance to really look at my life. To sort out my priorities and right my wrongs. Starting with you. The wrong I've always felt worst about. The one I've wanted to fix since it started. I've always admired your strength. Your spirit, your willingness to stand up for what you believe in and not let others influence you. You're far stronger than I'll ever be. I've liked you since day one, Hermione. And though I've had a funny way of showing it, you at least have the right to know. I know someone like you could never care for someone as heartless and cruel as me, but wouldn't that be a sight? A true beauty and the beast tale. I just wanted to apologize and leave it at that. At least knowing that you know I mean it and that I'm sorry will keep me stronger in the months to come. Again, I'm sorry. I'll just go now..." He began to walk away and I felt myself reaching for him through the tears that I hadn't even noticed form.
I turned to walk away, not wanting her to see the tears forming in my eyes. I felt something holding me back, in the most literal sense.
Hermione was holding my wrist.
I turned away from her and tried to pull away.
"No. Wait." She whispered, I could hear the confusion and hurt in her voice. My throat constricted and I vowed not to cry in front of her.
I slowly turned to face her and saw a tear slide down her cheek. Before I realized what I was doing, I reached down and brushed it away with the back of my hand. She winced, and though I hadn't struck her, I realized it's what she must have thought I was going to do. Something inside me broke at that moment and I felt a tear escape from my eye, making its way down my face.
I went to wipe it away, but not before she reached up to wipe it away with her hand, a slight smile turning the corner of her lips.
"You're forgiven.. Mostly anyway. I don't know if I can completely forgive you. Some wounds run too deep. But I like you and respect you too much to not forgive you . You've pushed me all these years to make myself better. To prove I'm more than my blood status. I have you to thank for that, and for some reason that's caused me to care for you in a way I didn't know possible." I stopped myself before I let my words run away from me. I looked to the floor, but not before I felt his hand under my chin, slowly lifting my head so I had to look at him.
"Would you stop me if I kissed you right now?" he asked quietly, barely more than a whisper. I shook my head, hardly aware I was doing so before his lips brushed mine.
Suddenly, I realized where I was and what I was doing and pulled back. My head was shaking back and forth, involuntarily as I began backing away.
I ran out of the Astronomy Tower, heading straight back for the Gryffindor common room. I couldn't believe what had just happened and what I had realized... I was in love with Draco Malfoy.
I stood in the Astronomy Tower, still in shock at what had just happened. I had kissed Hermione Granger. And even though it was the briefest of kisses and I she had run away afterwards, it was far bigger than that.
It proved that something could change. That there was hope. It also made me realize how much I cared for her. I was in love with Hermione Granger.
I wandered around the castle and before I knew it was in the dungeons standing at the entrance to the Slytherin common room.
I made my way inside to find a slip of paper on my pillow. I read through it and my spirits were lifted immediately. I wouldn't be sleeping tonight.
I had written him a letter when I returned to the dormitory, I then made my way down to the kitchen and asked a house elf to take it to his room. I felt like I was misusing the poor elf, but he was more than happy to do it.
I had kept the letter simple. Not going into too much detail but getting my point across.
I’m sorry I ran out on you like that. I’m not quite sure what to think at the moment. As I said, you’re somewhat forgiven… I just need to sort some things out. Consider this a partial truce. I suppose we’ll have to keep this all a secret though. That’s your permission to continue to be rude to me in the hallways and around the school, but if we’re ever alone again, I expect it to be on friendly terms. That’s what we are now suppose, friends…
I hoped that I hadn’t been too forward but I didn’t want to include anything about the kiss… I wanted to pretend that it hadn’t happened. Though I knew that couldn’t last forever. Besides, I didn’t want to forge the kiss… Merlin this was a mess. How had things changed so quickly?
I read and reread Hermione’s letter what must’ve been a dozen times. My smile grew with each time I read it. It wasn’t exactly her confessing her love for me, but it certainly was a start. I sighed and flopped onto my bed. A squeal sounded and I jumped off, realizing I had landed on a person… Pansy.
“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing Pansy?”
“Miss me?” She asked, her voice muffled by the covers. I ripped the covers off my bed to see Pansy there, dressed in lingerie.
“Get out. Now.” I hissed at her and she pouted.
“Who’s the letter from Draco?” She asked. So she hadn’t read it. “The crack from the house elf woke me and I saw the letter. I went to reach for it but I heard you opening the door so I decided against it. Who’s it from?” She asked as if it were her business.
“None of your god damn business. Now, get the HELL out of my bed.” I was trying my hardest not to yell, I didn’t want my roommates to be woken up.
“Why are you so mean to me?” She asked, pouting again. As if I cared.
“You’re showing up, practically naked in my bed, and asking what’s wrong with me?”
“I’m not practically naked.” She argued, looking genuinely confused.
“Pansy. Out. Now.” I said, pointing to the door.
“You really don’t want to start that.”
“Why are you acting like a bloody 5 year old Pansy? We aren’t together. I’ve never slept with you before and I don’t plan on starting now. I don’t like you that way. You need to end this pathetic little plea for attention. I don’t care how much my father wants this, I don’t. Get out now before I get mad.”
“Who is she?” Pansy asked, catching me off guard.
“Who. Is. She?” She repeated, slowly this time as if I were stupid.
“No one. Just a girl… Nothing’s going to happen between us. Don’t worry. Nothing to report back to my father, don’t you worry.” Her mouth fell open and she looked like she was going to say something. “Don’t bother Pansy, I’m not stupid. I know you tell my father what I’m up to at school. He wouldn’t trust Crabbe or Goyle with that, you’re the only one who’s smart enough. But you know what’s funny? You don’t even know what I do. You have no idea what I’m doing 90% of the time and I have no idea why you do it. Did he promise me as the prize? Did he promise you’d be able to marry me? Is that what this is about?”
“God, Draco. Think you have me all figured out, don’t you? I’m leaving.” She stood up and stormed from the room, leaving the door wide open and walking away without a backwards glance.
I was going to have to be careful with that one.
Let me know what you guys think and where you think it should go. :) I want some opinions because I have several ideas. Thank you all!! :)