Chapter 18 : Party all night; Ride all day.
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Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything Harry Potter-related.
For the last hour or so, Hermione had been trying to get in some extra studying in her room. Trying was the key word here. She could not concentrate at all with the loud music pumping through the house. After she had an extremely drunk couple burst into her room, than stagger out, she decided she had enough. She closed up her textbook and walked down to the stables to get some peace and quiet.
When she arrived, she went up to the hay loft and settled down on the cushy couches. She could still hear the music, but it was very faint.
When she had finished studying, she went back down to the main level of the barn. To her surprise, she found Malfoy waiting for her. He was obviously drunk and was having trouble keeping his balance.
"Granger," he slurred. "What are you doing here? This...this is the bathroom." He looked around. "Why are you in the bathroom?"
Hermione sighed and took his arm. "Malfoy, this isn't the bathroom, this is the stable." she explained.
"No it's not!" he said angrily.
"How many drinks did you have?" she wondered.
"I dunno. I stopped counting after 10." he giggled.
She groaned and started leading him back up to the house.
"Hey, where we going? I still have to piss." he said.
"Okay, we'll go to a bathroom. I'm just getting you back inside."
"B-But the bathroom's back there." he said, confused.
She said nothing and continued leading him inside. She found a bathroom and closed the door on him. After a few minutes, he came back out.
"You good?" she asked.
"Good. Now, let's get you to bed."
Surprisingly, he didn't protest and let her lead him up the stairs. They arrived at his room and he sat down on the bed. He grinned slyly at her.
"Are you trying to get into my bed, Granger? 'Cause I don't mind."
Her mouth dropped open and she blushed. "No, I'm not."
Malfoy lay down and she pulled the covers over him. Before she straightened up, she hesitantly kissed him on the cheek.
"Goodnight, Malfoy." she whispered.
"Love you." he mumbled as he fell asleep.
She allowed a small smile and then closed the door.
Pansy rolled her eyes at him and stepped around Draco.
"Obviously, I came for the party. Did you really think I was going to miss one thrown by Draco Malfoy himself?"
He groaned. "Who told you about it? I specifically told Blaise not to invite you."
She feigned hurt. "Ouch. Millicent owled me and asked me if I was going to your party tonight. Apparently, everyone's going. I told her I hadn't received an invitation, so she invited me herself. And, now here I am. Can I get by now please?"
Draco stepped in front of her, stopping her efforts of trying to get past him. "Millicent didn't have the right to invite you. This is my house and I say who can come and who can't. There's a reason I didn't invite you."
She pouted. "So, I came all this way for nothing? Travelled all that distance just to get turned away?" she said dramatically.
He rolled his eyes. "Oh, shut up. You apparated here."
She smirked. "Worth a shot. So, can I stay?"
"No, of course not! Leave! Now!" He pointed to the door.
She looked at the door and then back at him. "No thanks! I think I'll stay instead." she said brightly and before he could stop her, she pushed past him and walked into the party.
He sighed and followed her in. He needed to find Blaise and fast.
But, before he could find him, some six-year grabbed his arm and challenged him to a game of beer pong. Except with firewhiskey and more cups added. Draco didn't want to turn down a game of firewhiskey pong even if his crazy ex was ruining the party, so he accepted. By the end of the game, Draco was losing badly and most of the cups were empty. That six-year was scarily good at it. The game finished and Draco downed the remaining firewhiskey.
He realised he needed to piss and headed off to find a bathroom.
Draco woke up the next morning with a pounding headache and a foggy memory of last night. The last thing he remembered was heading down to the stables because he thought it was a bathroom. He wondered who had taken him back to his room. Probably Blaise. On his nightstand was a glass of liquid. Assuming it to be a cure for his hangover, he drank it and his headache went away.
He got out of bed and went to freshen up. He went downstairs and found the house to be a mess. Or at least the ballroom. Apparently, after he left and never came back, the party started to wind down. People had crashed wherever they were and the room was filled with sleeping Slytherins.
Draco sighed and began to make his way over to a couch where Blaise was sleeping beside some girl. He carefully prodded him awake. Blaise frowned up at him.
"Go away." he mumbled, closing his eyes. "Turn off the lights."
"That's the sun." Draco said, amused.
"I don't care. Turn it off and stop talking. You're drilling holes in my brain. Shut up."
He drifted off again and Draco stood up. Leaving Blaise, he went to get some breakfast and figure out how to get all these people out of here.
Hermione was already there, munching on toast and reading.
“‘Morning.” he said, sliding in across from her.
“’Morning.” she replied, not taking her eyes off her book.
She showed him the cover of the book and went back to reading.
Seeing she didn't want to talk, he ate his breakfast in silence.
When he got up to leave, he got an idea. "Hey, meet me at the stables in an hour. Wear your riding stuff."
She grinned and nodded.
An hour later, they were walking down to the barn together.
"So, what do you have planned?" she asked.
"A trail ride." he said, smiling.
She gestured at the snow around them. "In this?"
He rolled his eyes. "You know, we have wands and magic at our fingertips. We can just melt a path in the snow."
At the stables, they tacked up their horses and mounted. When they stepped outside, Draco melted a long path of snow that went in a large circle around the property. It was big enough that they could walk beside each other comfortably.
They set off together in comfortable silence. The only sound was the horses' hooves on the frozen dirt.
"So, how was the party last night?” Hermione asked, breaking the silence.
"Not so great." he sighed. "Pansy showed up and refused to leave."
"She did?! How'd she find out?"
"Someone we invited went and told her about it and then invited her."
Hermione looked at him. "So what did you do? What'd you say?"
"Well, I told her she couldn't stay and she had to leave. I told her I didn't want her at my party. Then, she just pushed past me. I went to find Blaise, but a six-year challenged me to firewhiskey pong and I don't remember much after that."
"Well, I think I can finish your story." she said, laughing at the memory of last night.
He looked at her, confused. "What do you mean? You didn't even come to the party. I thought you were just in your room for the entire thing."
"Well, I was, but the music got too loud for me to concentrate and a silencing spell wasn't really helping, so I went down to the stables to get some quiet. Then, you showed up, plastered out of your mind, asking me why I was in the bathroom."
Draco bent over Candor's neck, laughing. "What happened next?" he asked.
"Well, I asked you how many drinks you had and you told me you stopped counting after 10. So, I took you back to the house and took you to a bathroom -Don't worry, you went in by yourself- and then I took you upstairs to go to bed. And then-" she broke off, her cheeks going red.
Draco grinned. "Tell me. What did I do?"
"You asked me if I was trying to get into your bed and if I was, you didn't mind." she said.
He laughed. "Granger, I'm sorry."
"And then I just tucked you in and left." she finished.
"Oh, Merlin, I get weird when I'm drunk, don't I? So it was you who put me to bed. Did you also leave the hangover cure?"
She nodded. "I've never had a hangover, but I know from Fred and George that they're not fun."
He shook his head in agreement. "No, they're not. Blaise has one as well. He's probably still lying in the ballroom, complaining about the sun. Speaking of the ballroom, did you know everyone is still in there, passed out?"
"Really? How are you going to get them to leave?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I don't know. I guess you'll have to help me."
Before she could protest, he squeezed Candor into a trot and rode away.
"Malfoy!" he heard her yell. He laughed. Looking back, he saw she had pushed Amora into a canter and was gaining on him. He grinned. So she wanted to race, huh?
"Last one to the house has to take care of the drunks!" he called.
Soon, they were galloping around the large circle Draco had melted out for them. Candor was a fast horse, but Amora was just a speedy. Hermione was quickly gaining on him. Before he knew it, she was right beside him. They were neck and neck.
The house came into view and Draco urged his horse forward. He could hear Hermione doing the same beside him. But, Candor had tired, while Hermione had been pacing Amora. She pulled forward and all Draco could do was watch as she arrived at the house first. He slowed down Candor and trotted over to her.
She stuck her tongue out at him. "Loser." she teased. "Have fun getting the drunks out. I'm going to relax in the tub."
He grinned as he thought of Hermione in the tub. "Have fun." he said.
"I will." she tossed over her shoulder as she led Amora back to the stable.
Hermione went back to the house and ran herself a bath, like she said she would. As she soaked in the swimming-pool sized tub, she laughed as she thought of Malfoy doing the job she had narrowly avoided. She wondered how he was getting everyone out.
After she finished her bath and had gotten dressed on sweatpants and an old t-shirt, she went downstairs to find out how he was doing.
As she stood on the staircase, she watched him drag some boy by the arms out to the foyer. Curious, she followed him. He opened the door and dragged the boy out onto the driveway, where there were already several sleeping Slytherins and a few she couldn't make out.
"Malfoy!" she cried.
He turned around. "Granger!" he said in reply.
"You can't just throw them out onto the street!"
"Technically, it's my driveway, not the street, so I'm not throwing them out onto the street."
"That's not the point! It's freezing out there! They'll freeze to death." she exclaimed.
"Granger, relax. They're not going to freeze. I'm keeping the area they're in nice and warm, okay? I may be mean at times, but I'm not heartless."
She calmed down and took a step down. "Okay, good." she looked at the ground and then into his eyes. "And you're not mean, Malfoy. I know you may seem mean at school, but you're not." she said quietly, smiling at him.
He smiled back. "Thank you. But, shush. They might hear you."
She grinned. "Well, we don't want to ruin your tough guy reputation, now do we?"
"No, we don't. Hey, while you're here, why don't you help me with this?"
She shook her head, smiling and turned to go back upstairs. "Sorry, you're on your own."
She heard him groan behind her and giggled. "Get Blaise to help you." she called.
"I can't. He's passed out in the driveway." he called back.
Laughing, she headed back up the stairs. When she got back to her room, she was pleasantly surprised to find Crookshanks sitting on her bed, purring. She sat down next to him and began stroking the cat.
"Hello, boy. I haven't seen you in ages. Been exploring the house?" she murmured to the cat.
He purred in response.
A while later, Malfoy appeared at her door, panting.
"Okay, they're all outside. Hopefully they wake up soon and apparate home." he said.
"Good, but what are you going to do about Pansy when she wakes up? You know she's not going to leave quietly, especially with me here." she said.
He grinned. "I already thought of that. I put her outside of the gates so she can't get back in."
She frowned. "Wait, if you have those gates, how did she get in last night?"
"I temporarily removed the protection spells for the people who were actually invited." he explained. "And there was a lot of them." he added tiredly.
She laughed. "Why didn't you just levitate them all out?" she suggested. "It would've taken a lot less time and you wouldn't be as tired as you are now."
Malfoy stared at her for a minute and then leaned his head on her doorframe. "I didn't think of that." he admitted.
She laughed. "Weren't you just reminding me a few hours ago that we can do magic?"
"Shut up." he grinned. "Well, I'm off to the library to try and get some peace and quiet before Blaise wakes up."
He left and Hermione walked over to the window. She stared down at the stables. Suddenly, she got an idea. It was risky, but worth a shot. After changing, she ran down to the stables. She was going to ride Bellator.
Draco was sitting in the library, reading when Blaise entered. He put down his book as Blaise walked to the chair across from him and flopped down in it, glaring at Draco.
"So, take a wild guess as to where I woke up just now."
"In your fucking driveway with about 5 different girls passed out on top of me."
"Had a wild night then?" Draco asked in between laughs.
Blaise just glared at him.
"I thought you'd appreciate it. It's not like you could get that while you were awake." Draco said, grinning.
"Fuck you, Malfoy." Blaise stood up and walked out of the library.
"And turn off the lights. Merlin, are you actually trying to kill me? My head is pounding right now." He said as he was leaving.
"Go talk to Granger. She'll give you a cure."
"You know where she is?" he asked.
"Last I saw her, she was in her room, but she might not be there now. Check her usual spots."
Blaise checked her room and the dining room. She wasn't there. He knew she wasn't in the library. That left the stables. He squinted and groaned as he walked outside, facing the sun. When he got down the stables, he looked around the barn. She wasn't there. He walked over to the riding ring.
"Merlin's beard." he whispered as he stared in shock at the sight in front of him.
Without thinking, he ran back up to the house and burst into the library. Draco looked up in surprise.
"It's Granger." he said.
Seeing Blaise's face, Draco bolted out of his seat and ran down to the stables, leaving Blaise behind.
Hermione let herself carefully into Bellator's stall. The horse glanced at her curiously, but did nothing. She tied him up in his stall and carefully tacked him up. Still, nothing. Even when she led him out to the ring and got on, he did nothing. They walked a few laps without a problem. Hermione began to feel more comfortable on him and started to grin. He was letting her ride him! He trusted her!
Carefully, she squeezed him into a trot. He let out a small buck. She tried again. A bigger buck. She tried to circle him, but he wouldn't turn. She tried one last time and he bucked once more. Frustrated, she tapped him with her crop. Big mistake. He reared and then bolted around the arena. She clung onto his neck, hanging on for dear life. He kicked out and she lost her grip, falling to the ground. Bellator ran to the other side of the arena and stood there, panting.
She sat up, testing her limbs, seeing if she had broken anything. Her only injury was a cut on her arm. She sat on the ground for a few minutes longer to fully recover. Before she could stand, Malfoy and Blaise rushed into the arena. Blaise walked over to Bellator while Malfoy kneeled over Hermione.
"Are you ok?" he asked.
She nodded. "I just cut my arm a bit, but I'm fine."
She started to stand up, but he stopped her.
"Malfoy, I'm fine." she repeated.
"Granger, you just fell off a galloping horse. You're not fine."
She rolled her eyes, but obliged, staying on the ground.
"Let me see your arm."
She held out her arm and he examined it carefully. He gently turned the arm side to side to look at the cut.
"I think you'll be fine. I can get on of the house elves to heal it later." he said.
"So, what were you doing, riding Bellator, of all horses?" he asked curiously.
She shrugged, brushing dirt off her jodhpurs.
"This is going to sound stupid, but ever since you told me no one could ride him, but your dad, I wanted to try myself. I've been gaining his trust and I thought I had enough of it to try riding him today."
"Well, obviously, you didn't." he said.
She snorted. "You think?"
He laughed. "I think you're okay to stand up and walk now."
Malfoy helped her up and she looked around the ring.
"Where did he go?" she asked.
"Blaise is untacking him."
They walked up to the house together. Malfoy insisted she hold onto him, ignoring her protests. Once they got inside, he summoned a house elf, who quickly healed her cut. The house elf also checked for a concussion and found she had a mild concussion.
When she left, Hermione turned to Malfoy.
"I didn't know you had house elf doctors." she exclaimed.
"What's a doctor?" he asked.
"Sorry, house elf Healers. A doctor is a Healer for muggles." she explained.
"Oh. And, they're not Healers, just naturally talented in basic Healing. Very handy."
She nodded. In spite of Malfoy's protests, she got up and started walking. He caught up to her.
"Granger, I have to watch you. You heard what the house elf said. You have a mild concussion and need to be under observation for 24 hours."
"Can I at least take shower?" she asked sarcastically.
Malfoy sighed. They entered her room and he sat on her bed to wait for her. While he was waiting, he ordered a house elf to bring them dinner and summoned his bed from his room. He shrunk it down a bit and placed it next to Hermione's bed.
She emerged from the bathroom in her pyjamas, drying off her hair. Spotting the extra bed, she frowned. "What's this?"
"You have to be under constant observation." Malfoy told her.
She sighed. Their dinner arrived and they ate on their beds, talking. After dinner, they turned out the lights and crawled into their beds.
"Good night, Granger."
"Good night, Malfoy."
Like, I said, not very exciting. But, I hoped you liked it all the same. Thank you for reading and remember to review. See you next chapter!
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