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Chapter 5 : Fairy Lights and Mistletoe
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He emerged on one side of the throng, just in time to watch Potter and Weasley make their way out into the Entrance Hall looking gloomy. He merely smirked.
He was sweating copiously and slumped on the nearest chair, only to find himself sitting next to Blaise Zabini. Draco had never really got along with Blaise so well; Blaise was reserved, a 'dark horse' amongst them, and although Draco would occasionally talk to him, he never found that they were close enough to consider 'hanging out'. He hesitated, contemplating his approach, before settling with a simple observatory nod, which Blaise returned soberly. With this greeting established, the blonde haired boy allowed himself to sink low into his seat, wiping the dripping sweat from his forehead. His eyes darted between every dancer and their partner, but to no avail, as they failed to settle upon darting blue and red.
He closed his eyes, and the breeze from the open doors cooled his hot eyelids. He licked his lips absentmindedly, and rubbed his palms across his trousers; never had he sweated so much in his life! He felt unclean, rough, sweating from head to toe as if some ocean were bursting to erupt from him.
Draco eyes returned again to the dancers, and he watched as a glittering Fleur Delacour led the rather encapsulated Roger Davies out from the throng and beyond the doors into the Entrance Hall. He laughed as the Ravenclaw stumbled over his robes in an effort to keep up with Fleur in her enticing chase to the shadows, where he would no doubt have some 'fun' tonight. Draco snorted.
Girls, he thought vindictively, all they want is to cuddle up close and be downright annoying. Although it seemed Davies wasn't complaining . . .
The couple disappeared, and Draco watched as many followed suit. He spied a shock of red hair as Fred Weasley pompously escorted a giggling Angelina Johnson towards the Grounds, and they fell about laughing, dancing and whispering in one another's ears. Draco gave another, much louder snort, and resisted the urge to spit on something. Blaise gave him a contemptuous look then, but Draco did not acknowledge him, as he continued to watch couples dance, depart, share kisses and drink together, laughing. He even saw Longbottom and the Weasley girl swan past once or twice, and ultimately controlled the fist that threatened to run wild. Ludicrous, he thought with disgust.
Draco had always known that he would never be one to rely upon a woman; he was far too strong-minded to be held down. His friends questioned him of Pansy, but Pansy was, to put it fairly, an object for show. His relationship with Pansy immediately put him above the other Slytherins. He would conjure up Pansy when in need to show who was the object of affection, the leader. But otherwise, he generally avoided her. She was the most irritable, clingy and annoying person he had ever come across, and she was madly in love with him. Even these days, he minimised all situations where he needed her; he kept away from her as much as possible, claiming that he needed time with Crabbe and Goyle. Often, these times 'with Crabbe and Goyle' were spent alone in the dormitory, polishing his broom and look over the minimal photos of him and his Father. His Father. His Father didn't care about Draco. His Father was not interested in his only child. His son. Draco had not received a single letter from his Father in all his time at Hogwarts; his Mother sent him sweets, cakes and would always sign
'For my Dearest Son, Draco,
from your ever-loving Mother.'
Never Father. Draco would read bitterly through each letter his Mother sent, searching for any mention, or his name at the bottom of the letter, only to find himself throwing the parchment in scrunched up balls across the room, furious.
And then he saw it, a blue flash push through the crowd past him. The girl, looking slightly flustered, her face red and angry, sat herself on a seat at the edge of the room, lonely. He narrowed his eyes in suspicion; where was Krum?
He stood up slowly, crouching slightly, and walked a little way towards her, being careful not to be seen. Blaise looked at him incredulously. Draco ignored the boy and stalked further towards the girl, watching intently as Lavender Brown approached her. He could not hear their conversation, and cursed silently. He looked around, nervous that someone might see him crouched behind chairs near to where the Gryffindor girls sat. He contemplated his next move, telling himself to leave his hiding spot, find Crabbe and Goyle and return to the Slytherin common room.
Before he could move, a buzzing interrupted his thinking, as a dark spot circled his head. The beetle landed on his ear, and it's little feelers tickled his ear as Skeeter began to talk.
'I have just been a part of the most shocking and brilliant conversation you will hear within your time at Hogwarts.' It buzzed above the music, 'well, not really shocking, as we all knew deep down that it had to be the case.' She twitched her tiny wings excitedly, bouncing on the top of his ear.
'What is it?' Draco said irritably, glancing over at Granger. She was angry, even more red in the face as Lavender talked to her.
'Well my dear, Potter's big pal Hagrid ... is half-giant.' She said confidently.
Draco's jaw dropped.
'You know what this means?' she continued, practically squealing, 'that he, henceforth, has become a danger to students, and he will fall. We can take Harry Potter right down with him.'
Draco was speechless. As Rita had said, it wasn't shocking come to think; that oaf was grossly over-sized without explanation. Until now.
And, with Potter out the way for being in coherts with a potentially dangerous creature, with him would go Weasley, which left Granger the only remains of the Golden Trio.
'Go.' Draco whispered, 'Write the story. Get back to me later and we'll see how it goes.' And without another word she flew from his shoulder and away from the Great Hall.
He glanced over to see Granger slumped in her chair, her face wet and her expression pityful. Draco couldn't restrain the ache in his chest as he watched the tears flow from her eyes. He approached, his thighs screaming from this amount of time crouching, and watched her cry. This was his moment.
He straightened up full height, and adopted the strut he had so well sculpted over the years. He strolled over, leaned on a nearby chair and asked simply, 'Waiting for something, Granger?'
Confidence dripped off his tongue and he smirked as she looked up at him, scowling.
'What do you want Malfoy?' She hissed, her body immediatly tensing at the sight of him. His smile widened.
'Well, Granger,' he said slyly, 'it seems that you are just waiting for a boy to approach you. I mean, you are very conveniently placed.' He nodded towards the ceiling where mistletoe was growing and blooming above her head, drawing a tense silence between them.
Granger glanced from the mistletoe to him, looking furious.
'This is the last thing I need right now, Malfoy.' She spat vindictivily, 'Now take your stupid taunts and leave before I hex you.'
'Oh, no taunting.' He smiled, drawing closer to her, 'I'm completely serious.'
'Just go away Malfoy!' She shrieked, standing up and drawing her wand with such speed that Draco hardly had time to blink.
He chuckled, raising his hands in surrender and took a single step forward, so they were about a metre apart. 'I'm only trying to cheer you up Granger, you seem sad. Did Weaselby try to hurt you? Beg for money from you to buy himself a meagre drink? Or did Krum maybe reject you?'
He dodged her curse just in time. It rebounded off the table behind and hit an unsuspecting Longbottom, who promptly erupted in great boils all over his face.
Draco turned back to Hermione. 'Well, someone's tetchy. Don't take it out on Longbottom, Granger.'
She took one step closer so they were mere inches apart.
'Get out.' She whispered, her voice brimming hot with anger. Her lips trembled with fury, and Draco could not help but stare at them. He licked his own, and without thinking stepped in and kissed her.
His lips moved hungrily over hers, and he tilted her chin upwards so that she could better reach. They melted together, and she responded, her body sinking in to his. There seemed to be a wave of electricity between them, and Draco knew she had felt it too because she gave a little gasp. The urge to touch her now was not even an urge anymore: it was a need, responding and uniting the energy between them. Their bodies exploded together, creating a single circuit of energy flowing through two bodies. Her lips were soft and luscious, and Draco devoured them. Her scent was a drug and he breathed deeply, hoping to trap it in his lungs forever.
Draco was suddenly very aware of the light around them, the twinkling lights. He lifted Hermione slightly off the floor, her arms around his neck, and set her down in the dark, away from unwanted eyes. Just as her feet touched the ground she opened her eyes.
And he looked into her eyes.
His blood froze.
'A Mudblood.' He whispered, choking on his own words. His whole body shuddered and he pushed her away. His body was paralysed with shock, and she seemed the same, stumbling backwards away from him.
What had he been thinking? Hermione? He snarled and turned quickly, speeding out into the corridor, not daring to glance at her again. He felt sick to his stomach as he sped through the Entrance Hall, down the stairway into the cool dungeons. He ripped of his tie, sweating so much the clothing stuck to him.
Draco, you fool, he screamed inside his head, and he found himself sprinting to the Slytherin Common Room.
'Salazar!' He gasped when he reached the wall leading to the small passageway to the common room. He ran inside, finding it empty as the younger students were all in bed. He sprinted down the stairs, turned right and burst through a thick oaken door into the bathroom.
One look in the mirror saw him white as a sheet, his eyes wide, his skin shiny with copious amounts of sweat.
'Hell.' He cursed quietly, and splashed his face with cold water. His skin sighed with relief as the cool water soaked him, and he was able to steady his breathing a little. He sank to the bathroom floor, and found hot tears streaming down his face.
'No!' He yelled, wiping his face angrily. He slammed his fists hard onto the marble floor, and began to sob.
Not a Mudblood, he though desperately. Not. Hermione. Granger.
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