Chapter 6 : Brooms and Birthdays
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The next week flew by with me falling into a casual pattern. I hung out with each member of my family some each day. I got to know all the individual aspects of Ash and Maggie slowly but surely. I also spent time talking about my childhood with my parents. Telling them of all the things they wished they had been able to witness.
One day while I was spending time with my parents closer to the end of the end of the third week of this new life of mine we got on the topic of Blaise and my birthday coming up. “So I’ve just been wondering a few things. The day before the part could I spend the day celebrating with the Grangers? And also what is the party going to be like? I’ve never had a big fancy party like that.”
“Of course you can sweetheart we would never dream of keeping you away from them.” My dad said to me. My mum then continued on to explain about the upcoming party.
“For the party a lot of the stuff will be traditional things. We will announce you both and then you will come out and greet everyone. You don’t have to give a speech or anything. More so people will just come up and introduce themselves to you. You’ll dance with all the guys your age at least once, including a first dance with your father and a dance with Blaise. After that it is your choice who to dance with or not to dance with. Usually it lasts till late at night the kids all hang out together while the adults all talk. Most of the other stuff is pretty normal party things. The music does tend to be the classical stuff for you guys to dance traditionally to. Blaise always complains about that but since all the adults know that kids tend to not want to classically dance all night long we tend to turn a blind eye when all the kids suddenly run off to the game room the floor above.”
I laughed at this since I could picture all the kids dancing and then sneaking away in my head. I didn’t figure Blaise for the formal dancing type so that was hard to picture. “What kind of dancing am I going to be expected to do? Will you teach me?” I asked looking to my dad.
He smiled at me and got up. He flicked his wand and suddenly music filled the room. He took one of my hands in his while his other was on my waist and my other was on his shoulder. He started leading me around the room in classic waltz steps. He kept it simple and made it really easy to follow. This was the first time dancing with my real father and it was amazing. I had a small smile on my face the whole time. I couldn’t seem to help it. I was just really happy.
After we danced they commented on how I was a natural and that I should have no worries about the party. If the guy had more dancing experience than I do then I should be able to easily follow his steps.
I also spent time every day with Blaise, Pansy, and Draco. It was fun getting to know that there are other sides that just evil to at least these three Slytherins. Blaise and I of course acted like brother and sister without thought. It was easy to play fight with him and it was highly entertaining to get a rise out of him. Pansy and I were quickly becoming very good friends and we started sharing secrets and gossip as all girls do. Draco and I were still a little closed off from one another. I was still too much of a know-it-all for him and he was still too arrogant and cocky for me.
Most days he and I tended to have a truce. We wouldn’t insult one another and we would just be acquaintances. Sometimes that truce wouldn’t hold up and we would end up throwing insults. If he commented on my friendship with Harry or the Weasleys it made me go off and on the other hand if I made any comments about his family’s actions he was the one to boil over. I soon found that I enjoyed riling him up. Most of the time I tried out different comments that might have the ability to piss him off since I wanted to steer clear of his family that wasn’t really fair game and I knew it.
So I kept making comments, usually small, I could tell that he noticed all of them though since the set of his shoulders would stiffen ever so slightly. Pansy would always cast me amused glances and Blaise would just roll his eyes. Malfoy was just as guilty of this though. It was like we were in a game of tug-of-war waiting to see who would give first. Honestly I was having fun and it seemed he enjoyed our back and forth just as much. Sometimes one of us would push too far and it would turn into a real screaming match. During those times one of us would end up storming off and I remembered why I hate him so much.
Outside of the spats between us two it was fun hanging out with the three of them. I felt like I wasn’t confined to talking to Harry and Ron at Hogwarts anymore. My entire time there has been centered on the war and those two that I now felt as though I had a piece of my life that is completely mine.
One day Blaise asked me if I wanted to go flying with them and when I said it wasn’t really my thing he just about fainted. He couldn’t imagine anyone not absolutely loving being on a broom soaring through the air.
“Not… your… thing…? How?! Flying is absolutely amazing. You obviously just haven’t been doing it right. Come on! You are coming with us to fly and you are going to enjoy it.” Blaise grabbed my hand and dragged me outside with him. I was dragging behind him a little because even though I do know how to fly it really hasn’t ever been my thing. I have always been very timid with it and so never really understood how people could have the confidence to go speeding around on a thin broomstick.
Pansy and Draco were both waiting for Blaise by the shed where all of our outdoor items are held. “Hey Blaise talk you into flying then?” Pansy asked once we got close enough to the pair of them.
“More like dragged me out here. I told him it wasn’t really my thing and that is apparently not a suitable response.” I let my eyes turn toward my brother who was now grabbing brooms from the shed. Pansy and Draco adopted the same look that Blaise had when he heard my response so I guess I wouldn’t be getting any sympathy from either one of them. “Oh, don’t look at me like that. It isn’t a crime to not love flying.”
“Flying is so freeing. How can you not love the sensation of soaring through open air?” Draco asked.
I studied him for a second before replying. “I just never really got into it.” Just after I finished speaking a broom was shoved in front of my face.
“Well you are going to get into it now. Get on that broom ‘Mione.” Blaise was looking at me with the most serious expression since he first explained to me about his actions. I took the broom slowly and studied it.
“When was the last time you rode?” Pansy asked quietly.
“I don’t remember exactly. A couple years ago I guess.” I stated without taking my eyes off of the broom. I always had wished I had Harry’s ease of riding. He always seemed to enjoy it so much.
“Uhm, how about you ride double with someone else first then?” Blaise said.
“Because these brooms aren’t like the ones from school, they are really fast and I don’t want you falling off of one.” I looked up at him and heaved a sigh. I guess that made some sense.
“Fine. Am I riding with you then?”
Blaise looked sheepish for a minute; he passed a quick look at Draco who nodded at him, before he cleared his throat and made his reply. “Well Pansy and I both found out that we tend to suck at flying when we have to compensate for an extra person on the broom. I mess up the steering and she ends up over compensating for the extra weight and ends up going up and down like one of those mad muggle rollercoaster rides. Draco is actually the strongest rider. So it’d be best if you would ride with him.”
I bit my lip and looked around at the three of them. Blaise looked as though he was scared I would start yelling at him. Pansy looked as though this was all highly amusing. And Draco looked bored.
“Come on Hermione I won’t drop you. That would do horrible things for my reputation with the female population. They all want a guy they can ride on a broom with.” He was holding his broom loosely at his side in one hand with a carefully blank look on his face except the tiniest lift of the corners of his mouth. He was looking right at me as though daring me to argue.
I took a deep breath steeling myself for whatever was about to take place. “Alright, let’s do this then.”
They all look mildly surprised that I didn’t put up some big fight but they all quickly caught on. Pansy and Blaise quickly swung their legs over the brooms they held and kicked off to where they hovered about five feet above my head. Draco was sitting on his broom that was floating inches above the ground. He cocked his head at me and gave me a look. “Coming?”
I strode over to where he was sitting on his broom. I swung my leg over it and settled myself on the broom behind him. I let my hands rest on my legs. I didn’t want to wrap my arms around him like I would someone else. He allowed us to float another couple feet higher. As we continued to gather height he decided to speak again. “Are you planning on holding on?”
“I think I’ll be fine.” I stated it wasn’t hard to balance at the moment. My legs were currently keeping me steady. Draco seemed to shrug and I looked to where I had last seen Pansy and Blaise. They had flown further away and were swooping amongst the taller trees trying to catch each other.
By the time I refocused on where I was at Draco had taken us even higher to where we were as high as the tallest trees and the roof of Zabini manor. We were further away from Pansy and Blaise and I was just about to ask what he was going to make us do now when he gave me one last option.
“Last chance to hold on Hermione,” He stated quietly turning his head to the side to look at me out of the corner of his eye. I looked back at him but left my hands and arms where they were. “Alright, if you’re sure.”
I gave him one nod of my head and all of a sudden my stomach gave a lurch he had went into a sharp turn and then a small dive. My arms at the very first sudden movement flew forward and wrapped themselves around his waist. Once we stopped then sudden moves and sat hovering again I could feel the laughter rumbling through his body. “I gave you the chance to hold on.”
I couldn’t really be mad at him since he did give me the chance and a subtle warning that he would do something like that and it did feel kind of like a rollercoaster and I adore those. Instead of screaming at him I poked him in the side. He yelped and jerked away from my hand yanking us sideways taking the broom with us. With the sudden turn from him jerking us sideways my arms were re-wrapped tightly around him.
“Don’t do that! It tickles.” I could tell he had his teeth clenched as he said this to me as though he were admitting that Gryffindor was the best house or something. I felt a wicked grin on my face when I processed the words that he really said.
“Really? You’re ticklish?” I allowed my arms to loosen from his waist and I poked him in the stomach. It didn’t cause the same reaction as his side but I did realize that he was one hundred percent all muscle. Since I didn’t get the reaction I was looking for I quickly, before he could realize my intent poked both of his sides simultaneously.
He yelped again and sat bolt upright on the broom, causing his back to crash against my front. My arms went back around him to hold myself steady while I leaned my head against his back and tried to contain my laughter. This time I was sure that he was the one who could feel the vibration of my amusement.
Blaise and Pansy flew over when they heard Draco yelp. They both had curious and cautious looks on their faces. “What happened? Hermione are you okay? We heard a yelp.”
I rolled my eyes as I assured him I was fine. “Yes Blaise I am perfectly alright. It was Draco here that yelped.” I could feel more than hear the growl that rolled through his body. Now both of their expressions were more confused than ever. My smile widened, “I found out where he is ticklish at.”
Pansy’s expression brightened and she looked at me in awe. “Where?!” I had just opened my mouth to reply when Draco whipped his head around to glare at me.
“Don’t say anything.” He then dropped his voice and barely whispered the last word. “Please?”
“Sorry Pansy you’ll have to find out yourself. I’m having too much fun with the information at the moment.” Pansy looked disappointed and Draco looked only slightly relieved. Pansy flew away again now that she knew nothing exciting was really happening but Blaise was still looking at me.
“Blaise I’m fine. Go fly. Your best friend would never let your sister fall even if I plan on tickling him.” I gave him a wide smile and he just shook his head at me muttering something I think had to do with how I should have been in Slytherin. He soon followed in Pansy’s path and flew off.
“Why did you freak out so badly?” I asked Draco.
“I didn’t exactly know I was ticklish there, or at all. And on top of that I wasn’t expecting you to poke me while we are on a broom now did I?”
“How can you not know you’re ticklish?” I was completely lost at the idea of him not knowing.
“Well the people who are usually close enough to find out aren’t exactly focusing on finding out where I’m ticklish at are they? Mostly the people in that position are women who seem to be more inclined to touch me elsewhere than poke my sides.” His words were harsh as though he would rather drop the subject of me knowing something that no one else does.
“Oh, yes. I’ve heard the stories. Girls at Hogwarts really do like to talk about you. From what I’ve overheard you just love to have girls run their hands over your chest while they climb up your body. But honestly I never do tend to believe the bathroom girls, half the time they make up stories about sleeping with some guy so they have one up on someone else. I doubt some of the girls have even spoken to you let alone slept with you.” I expected a look of horror on his face just as the last time when I mentioned the stories the girls tell. But instead there was a look of contemplation painted across his face.
“Huh. Suddenly it makes a lot more sense as to why every single girl does that now.”
As soon as the meaning of his words hit me I cracked up laughing. I couldn’t help it. No matter what comeback I had expected from him it wasn’t that.
The rest of that day was spent showing me the fine nuances of riding a broom. After a half hour or so of riding with Draco they all helped me make sure I was comfortable on my own. I quickly became very comfortable riding and was swooping around the grounds with the rest of them.
By the end of that day I knew exactly why Ron, Ginny, Harry, and all the other Weasleys adore flying. It is as Draco said completely freeing. I had no idea why I waited so long to learn to love it. I may not be as skilled as Harry. I wouldn’t be able to pull off some crazy tricks without lots of practice but now I know that I would never pass up a chance to fly again.
The day before the big party I flooed to the home I grew up in and had a happy reunion with my adopted parents. I arrived around ten in the morning and we talked all about the Zabini’s home and how they are, the similarities between us. We also talked about how my appearance has changed. We cooked a small lunch and ate it while we watched movies and continued catching up. I told them all about my flying adventures and about the party that will be the next day. We talked about any and everything. It felt amazing to be around them again. It was the best day I have ever spent with them since we were all free of every burden on our backs.
We went out for dinner that night and had a traditional muggle celebration of my birthday before I flooed back home. As wonderful as it was to spend the day with the people who raised me it was also an amazing feeling entering back into the Zabini Manor house that I now called home. I fit in here so perfectly it is constantly a surprise. It is a whole new side of my life that I never dreamed of and tomorrow the two sides would be meeting at the most epic birthday party ever.
Waking up on the day of my birthday was interesting to say the least. The last thing I was expecting was to have not only Maggie and Ash jumping on me but Pansy jumping on me as well screaming their birthday wishes at me. “Ah! Why is everyone jumping on me? Go attack Blaise!” I tried to turn away from the three demons disrupting my sleep.
“Blaise always gets mad when we wake him up so we chose to wake you up instead.” Ash spoke with a giant smile. I couldn’t help but smile back at him he is so adorable. In a few years he will be a heartbreaker.
“He doesn’t like it huh? Well if I’m going to be awake so is he and so is Draco! Come on guys. Let’s go wake up the two sleepy heads.” I smiled at the way Maggie and Ash lit up at the suggestion and turned to look at Pansy.
“Exactly what I would have done. How did I know that you would think the same?” We both nodded and headed out to wake up the guys.
We got to Blaise’s room first and I slowly opened the door. He was laying on his back spread over the whole bed. His blanket was thrown all over the place it was really hard not to laugh at the picture he presented. I shook my head to keep my composure before motioning the other three to each corner of his bed. I held up one finger, then two, then three. On three we all jumped onto the corner of his bed we stood by and bounced on the bed.
Blaise jerked awake with a yell. His eyes flew open and his face looked startled. When he noticed it was us he groaned and flopped back down on. “It’s my birthday. Don’t I at least get to sleep in?”
“But it’s the first birthday you get to spend with your little sister Blaise.” I taunted him. His eyes flew open again and he reached up grabbed me and pulled me down with him so he had me wrapped in his arms.
“Yes it is. And I’m so glad I get to! So do we need to go wake up Draco now?” He asked the trouble making light back in his eyes.
We all gave a chorus of yeses before we made our way down to the next door. It was much the same thing as entering Blaise’s room. We all crept in as quietly as we could but this time Pansy and I were lagging behind the others just a bit. Draco was spread out on the bed in a similar kind of fashion as Blaise was but where Blaise was wearing a shirt Draco was not. The covers had slipped down to his waist we could see his entire chest and I guess that is one thing that the girls of Hogwarts were not exaggerating about.
I turned my head towards Pansy and saw a similar look on her face. I mouthed the words ‘Oh my god!’ at her and all she could do was nod her head. She obviously agrees with me and doesn’t get to see the sight of him shirtless all too often since she looked back to get her fill. I let my eyes float over his bared skin once more before Blaise bounded onto the bed.
“Get out of my bed Blaise you know I don’t swing that way.” Draco said in the calmest of voices without opening his eyes.
“Aww you take the fun out of everything. How did you know?” Blaise pouted at having been found out.
“I heard all of you when you were next door. It wasn’t that hard to guess I was the next stop.”
“Damn logic!” Pansy burst out and we all cracked up. Draco was sitting up now while Blaise was still lounging on his bed.
“Hey Blaise? Happy Birthday.” Draco waited for him to smile at the comment before he proceeded to push him off of the bed. “Didn’t I tell you to get out of my bed?”
Blaise had a disgruntled look on his face as he was sprawled on the floor. I was laughing lightly as I went over to help him up. I held out my hand to grab his and pull but instead of helping him up he pulled me to the ground. I yelled in surprise as I rolled off of him and onto the floor beside him. I was laughing at the whole situation when Maggie and Ash piled on top of us screaming ‘happy birthday’.
It was a great start to the morning and the awesomeness of the day didn’t stop there. We had a giant breakfast waiting for us when we finally made it downstairs. It was a fun family moment that included Draco and Pansy.
And then at about noon Ginny arrived. Pansy, Draco, Blaise, and I were all hanging out in the living room. She came to get ready with us since that was typical girl tradition. She came and gave me a huge hug before handing me a bag tied with a bow. I smiled over at her and started to open it before she stopped me.
“Uh, you may not want to open that here. Wait till later okay?”
I looked at her curiously but kept the bag closed while the other three let out protests. Apparently they were all insanely curious and wanted to see what was in the bag. Now I was getting curious and couldn’t help but take a peek of my own. When I looked in the corner of the bag what I saw made me blush scarlet. There were small scraps of black lace with a book on top called ‘The Art of Seduction’. I crushed the bag to my chest afraid that someone would somehow see what it contains. “Ginny!” I threw a glare at her.
Ginny started laughing, “You can thank me later.” She even winked at me! I could feel more blood rushing to my face as Blaise, Draco, Pansy became focused on me and the bag I held in my hands.
“’Mione, what’s in the bag?” Blaise asked me. He started to move toward me as though to grab the bag from me. I could feel my eyes grow wide. I couldn’t imagine how completely embarrassing it would be to have my brother find out what Ginny got me. I held the bag and took off running.
I ran up to the second floor and went to disappear in one of the rooms off the game room I didn’t see anyone behind me when I turned to check. As I turned to continue my path a pop sounded right in front of me and standing in my way was Draco Malfoy. I strangled the scream that almost flew out of my mouth. “Apparating! Why the hell didn’t I think about that?”
He smirked at me, grabbed my arm and pulled me into the room I was going to hide in. “So what’s in the bag?”
“Nothing that would interest you, just a book.” I answered hoping he wouldn’t push it. It was partially the truth anyway. He narrowed his eyes at me and started forward. I kept his pace but I was backing away from him. After a few paces my back hit the wall. I made a split second decision to save my own skin. “Gotta go! Bye Draco!” I apparated away to my room where Pansy and Ginny were both waiting.
“Did they see it?” Ginny asked me right away.
“No but it was a close call. Draco cornered me, luckily I apparated away before he could get the bag.” I breathed my own sigh of relief as Ginny did the same.
“So what is it you didn’t want them to see?” Pansy asked excitedly.
I held out the bag to her and let her open it. When she took out the book she was having a hard time not laughing. But when she took out the lingerie she was looking at in with jealous eyes. There was a black lacy bra, a black lace nightie, and the underwear with a garter belt and thigh highs.
“Ginny that is way too much. It all looks really expensive.”
“It is some really good lingerie. But I’ve been helping out Fred and George in the shop which is still booming so I’ve got a bit of my own money. I still expect you to wear it. But if it is used on my brother please leave out the details!” I was about to smack her until I saw the smile on her face and I couldn’t help letting a laugh escape.
“Ugh! No one in their right mind would ever believe I would own something like this let alone wear it!” I flopped myself onto my bed.
“True. This is all the more reason to wear it under your gorgeous dress tonight!” Pansy commented and I couldn’t help the little rush of excitement that ran through me.
It took us a while to finally get ourselves out of the giggly girl phase and move into the get ourselves beautiful phase. But soon we were all doing each other’s hair, make-up, and enjoying every second of it. All too quickly the reality came back to me and I realized that I would soon be introducing myself into a world that I was never a part of. Would I fit in? Would they accept me? Suddenly my stomach was full of butterflies. When the door opened to admit my mum I was getting really jumpy. But one look at the sincere smile on her face calmed me instantly. I was ready to face everyone out there as Hermione Zabini.
A/N: I hope you guys liked the chapter! Please let me know what you think about it! Reviews are always amazing to read! I love getting the feedback from them! So anything you want to let me know! Please do so!! :) I love you all for reading and I'm sorry for putting off the party for one more chapter! I'm hoping it will be worth the wait :D Thank you guys for reading and please keep doing so. :) ~LD16
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