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Chapter 7 : Apples
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“So what actually happened between you and Draco?” Hannah asked Pansy and the other two leaned forward in interest whilst Pansy blushed.
“Nothing,” she mumbled.
“Oh come on! You were all over him in fourth year!” Hermione laughed.
“It wasn’t anything, we were just mucking about. It was never a serious relationship or anything,” she replied but quickly changed the subject. “So Hermione, what about you and Ron?”
“Uh...what about us?” she asked; now it was her turn to blush.
“Well you two have had a thing for each other since at least third year! Then you finally get together and then BOOM, its over,” Padma exclaimed throwing her arms up to mime and explosion.
“It...it just wasn’t right. I knew what I wanted from a boy and Ron just wasn’t it, he was more like a brother and the thought of kissing my brother was just off putting,” she laughed at the final sentence.
“Well what do you want from a guy then?” Pansy asked curiously. The third fire whiskey was beginning to loosen Hermione’s tongue and the information came rolling out.
“I don’t know how I would explain it exactly, someone that’s my equal if you get what I mean. I would like someone that I could have intellectual conversations with as well as someone that loves books. I would want him to be able to argue with me otherwise things start to get boring, not fighting as such just someone that can challenge me. They have to have nice eyes and a nice smile but other than that I’m not overly fussed about looks.” She finished expressing herself.
“Neville has a nice smile,” Pansy winked
“Draco has nice eyes,” Padma added.
“I wonder if Neville’s abs improved along with his teeth,” Hannah said. The four girls looked at each other before laughing together at her rather out of the blue thought.
“What’s this then?” Neville asked curiously picking up the piece of parchment that the girls had been writing on. On it was each of the seventh year boys’ names with a grading on looks and personality.
“NO!” all four girls shouted at once but none of them moved. Hermione was the first to break the tension, jumping from the sofa and onto Neville’s back trying desperately to grab the parchment.
“No, no, no you’re not getting this back; I think I should share this with the other guys!” Neville grinned.
“Oh no you don’t!” Hermione shouted clinging on to Neville with her legs whilst one hand covered his eyes and the other made a grab for the parchment. This time she was successful and she jumped down from his back running quickly before he could grab her. She made it to the other side of the kitchen island before she noticed Neville, Draco and Blaise cornering her in.
“Nope you don’t get to see it!” she screamed running for the sofa but she was too slow as Blaise and Neville grabbed her wrists and Draco snatched the parchment from her hand.
“Neville personality a ten! I better have been better than that,” he exclaimed and ran his finger down the list. “I only got a seven! I’m such a wonderful person though!”
“I was all for putting a six for you acting like a wimp when I punched you,” Hermione laughed before tackling Draco and ripping up the parchment.
"It always comes back to the punch," he rubbed his face mockingly as if remembering the incident.
“Get over yourself and do it!” Hermione laughed at Draco’s reaction “ Lick the salt off your hand, down the shot, suck the lemon” Hermione grinned pulling his hand towards her, he sighed and nodded. She shook the salt onto his hand, poured the shot and laughed as he took a deep breath. He licked the salt off the back of his hand and was already cringing and motioned for the shot glass. Hermione gave it to him, her hand still shaking with laughter and watched his look of disgust on his face. She pushed the lemon slice into his mouth and he soon spat it out.
“Eurgh! How can muggles bare that!” he began wiping his tongue as if trying to scrape the taste from his mouth. Hermione just sat clutching her sides before he glared at her. He quickly grabbed one of the lemon slices from the kitchen counter and pushed it into her mouth. Now it was his turn to laugh at her facial reaction as she spat the lemon out but it hit him in the eye.
“Ahhh! You got lemon juice in my eye!” he shouted clutching his right eye in pain.
“Sorry!” she apologised and grabbed a wet cloth from the sink. “Let me look” she said and he cautiously moved his hands. She held his face still and dabbed his eye with the cool cloth and heard him sigh in relief. She took the time to notice that his eyes weren’t just a cold stone grey. In fact, looking at them closely she could see different shade of grey and the odd speck of pale blue. “All done,” she whispered and stepped away from him.
From what Hermione could gather the rest of the events were a blur. She quickly stood up from the sofa but put her hands up as the blood rushed to her head. She dragged her feet towards the kitchen to see who was making the racket. On the opposite side of the breakfast bar Draco sat with a smirk on his face.
“Don’t! Just don’t say anything!” she groaned and collapsed onto the stool across from him. Still smirking he silently pushed a coffee mug towards her. “Thanks” she mumbled before sighing at the slightly sweet taste that she could tell was a hangover potion. It wasn’t long before her headache cleared slightly. She took a deep breath. “Okay, tell me the worst of it,”
“Well it depends what you consider bad,” he laughed, she just glared at him. “Well when we first came back you dragged me onto the sofa and started to do the Rumba, then you screamed at the top of your voice that you were a mudblood and proud and then you admitted that you always like my bad boy appearance until third year when you punched me,” he finished.
“I suppose that’s not too bad, I was expecting worse, she began to drink her coffee.
“Oh, then you kissed Longbottom,” that got his desired reaction as she spat her coffee everywhere with bug like eyes.
“WHAT?!” she couldn’t believe she had done that, of all the people she kissed the person she would see the most of.
“Then you kissed Harry,” Hermione grabbed the ledge for support as she started to topple off her chair.”Only joking about that one! But you should see your face!” he laughed and actually cracked a genuine smile. His smile wrinkled his eyes and she didn’t recognise the once cold and secretive boy.
“It’s not that funny,” she mumbled and drained the rest of her coffee. From what she could remember though, last night had actually been a lot of fun; she would have preferred it all to have happened whilst she was sober though. Well apart from the kissing Neville part she thought, she would have preferred if that hadn’t occurred at all.
“I would offer you a hug but I’m not that kind of person,” he told her and she realised he was right, she rarely saw him make contact with others apart from when he had been dancing with her.
“Why don’t you let people touch you?” she asked and tried to re-phrase the question when she heard how that sounded. He gave a teasing smile.
“Don’t worry I know what you meant,” he reassured her. “I don’t know really, I have these scars and it just brings back memories when I can feel others against them,” he whispered. Hermione looked at him carefully and slowly approached him and raised her arms to indicate what she was going to do. He looked like a deer caught in headlights. He felt like stone as Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck, standing on her tip toes.
It took Draco a few seconds to realise what she was going to do and he was unprepared. He stood rock solid as she wrapped her delicate arms around his neck and leant against him. He could feel the fabric of his shirt rub against the scars on his chest. It would have looked odd if anyone walked in on Hermione with his arms round his neck whilst he stood there with his own arms pressed against his sides. Taking a shaky breath he slowly and awkwardly wrapped his arms around her thin waist, scared he would snap her in half. He didn’t know how long it took but he slowly began to relax as Hermione rested her head on his shoulder. He couldn’t help but catch the scent of her hair, apples, it smelled of apples. Not wanting to be covered in a female smell he let go of her.
“See it didn’t kill you,” she smiled.
"I'll see you at breakfast," he smiled before hastily leave the room.
Draco sat down in the great hall opposite Blaise and began to sort out his and Hermione’s breakfast. He couldn’t help but listen in to Neville, Harry and Ron’s conversation.
“Neville I doubt she will even remember,” Harry sighed.
“But what if she does? What if she likes me? I don’t want to hurt her feelings because the feeling isn’t mutual!” Neville exclaimed and rested his head face down on the table.
“Neville, Hermione was drunk which explains her actions and she won’t remember so as long as nobody tells her it’s fine,” Ron told him calmly. Draco couldn’t resist but join in now.
“You know that is actually a good plan for you Weasley but I’m sorry to disappoint you,” he drawled.
“What do you mean Malfoy?” Ron said through gritted teeth.
“Well you are right, she doesn’t remember kissing Longbottom,” Neville let out sigh of relief muttering something that sounded like thank Merlin. “That was until I told her,” he smiled and began to butter some toast. The three Gryffindor’s heads shot up to stare at him.
“Malfoy why did you do that?” Harry asked rubbing his temples.
“Because he’s a spiteful git that’s why,” Ron glared whilst clenching his fists.
“No actually I told her because she came and asked me this morning what happened last night,” Draco sipped his orange juice.
“Why would she speak to you? She doesn’t even like you! You probably just couldn’t resist causing more trouble,” Ron spat out.
“Actually if you two had been better friends recently you would have noticed that she has been sitting next to me at meal times, she sits with me in the majority of classes, we are partners in nearly every class together and you two never talk to her! That is why she spoke to me,” Draco glared back at the two, his voice was beginning to rise.
“We do speak to her! She sits next to us every meal time like usual and in class it’s just because Harry and I partner up that’s she stuck with you. It’s not like she would enjoy it!” Ron was beginning to stand up and shout.
“Weasley you don’t want to draw attention to yourself so shut up and sit back down. Draco isn’t the only one that has noticed you two leaving Hermione out and from what I can see she actually likes sitting with Draco and talking to him,” Blaise finally voiced his opinion after listening to the opinion. Nobody else said anything after that until Blaise sniffed the air in front of him.”Does anybody else smell apples?” at that point Draco looked away as if Blaise wouldn’t sniff him if he wasn’t looking.
Fifteen minutes later Hermione walked towards the great hall alone which left her to think over the morning. Draco had been tense when she hugged him but eventually when he relaxed she moulded into him. His cologne clung to his t shirt which a slight spice Hermione had remembered when she had slyly inhaled the scent from his shoulder. She smiled at his awkwardness and entered the great hall, taking a seat next to Draco. Across from her Harry, Ron, Neville and Blaise all watched her but she ignored them and looked down at her plate.
"What's this?" she asked staring at the plate of food in front of her.
" Your breakfast, eat up," Draco said and tucked into his own breakfast. Hermione stared at the two slices of toast with scrambled eggs and the bowl of chopped up apples and grapes next to it.
"I told you yesterday, I don't eat like this," she told him stubbornly.
"And I told you yesterday that you were underweight, not fat," he replied after swallowing the chunk of apple he was eating.
"I'm not eating it, I will have a few grapes but that is all I will agree to," she crossed her arms in front of her chest.
"Hermione you will eat all of that, you need some meat on your bones,"
" No, I won't eat it,"
"yes you will," he glared.
"No I won’t," she glared back.
"Eat the damn toast Granger," he growled looking at her intently. She growled back before nibbling on the toast.
"Back to Granger now is it?" she asked.
"Only when you don't do as your told," he said
" I don't have to do everything you say,"
"We'll see about that," he smirked. She slowly made her way through her toast and pushed her plate away but Draco growled at her again so she was forced to eat the scramble eggs before she began picking her way through the fruit bowl. He had finished long ago but sat watching her eat every last bite.
“You could be studying right now not watching ,eat," she said in a mater-of-fact voice.
" Pffft studying is boring," he scoffed.
" Draco you need to study its important!" she scolded.
"Fine you can make sure I study if you let me decide what you eat," he smirked at the look on her face.
" fine! But I hate tomatoes," she scowled.
"Duly noted," he told her.
Hermione left him to study in his free period after telling him she had to see Miss McGonagall. She walked through the corridors remembering the day on the train. Draco had risked many lives but he was actually turning out to be a good friend, even if he could be over confident and slightly pushy. She thought of Medusa and felt sorrow, she had been so caught up in herself she had spent barley any time with her snake. She made a vow to take her outside this evening.
"Unity," Hermione said and made her way up the stone steps into the head mistresses office. She didn't appear to be there so Hermione sat down and looked around the room at the portraits. Many smiled at her all though others, presumably Slytherin head teachers glared at her and one of them was Snape. She glared back at him not wanting to be the first to break the eye contact. Her eyes were beginning to water when he finally spoke,
"Miss Granger, I am a portrait therefore I do not need to blink." she turned away from him and waited in silence.
"Sorry I am late Miss Granger, the Paisley sisters were about to prank three first years. Honestly they could give the Weasley Twins a run for their money," Miss McGonagall smiled, walking into the room with a flushed face. "Now then this year I would like the seventh years to fundraise for a Wizarding War charity. There are many people out there that have been affected by the war and it is the seventh years’ job to help. You can all decide on the charity together and how you will fundraise."
" Miss McGonagall that sounds wonderfully, is it possible for the charity to be-
"No miss granger S.P.E.W is not an option," she smiled.
"Fine do we have a deadline at all?" Hermione asked.
"No but any event you would like to hold would probably be best just before Christmas. I know you will want to study so you may go, that was all I had to say," she began to look through the parchments on her desk.
" Thank you professor," she smiled and made her way to the door before stopping. "Miss McGonagall I forgot to ask. Draco has been requested by the ministry to be at Malfoy Manor on Saturday so that they can search it but he has no way to get there unless you allow him," she explained, noticing that. Snape was paying attention now.
"I don't know Miss Granger, I shouldn't make allowances,"
"But if he doesn't go he could have the manor taken from him," Hermione pleaded. The head mistress looked over her glasses at her whilst thinking.
"Very well," she sighed. "But he is not to go alone, as head girl you can accompany him. You may use the floo network from my office at nine o’clock,"
"Thank you Professor!" Hermione smiled before leaving to start studying.
Draco flicked through his Genealogy book slowly. He didn't know how many countless spells and potions he had read about to trace ancestors. There was only one problem they all needed the blood from Draco’s parents. Not much help when he didn't even know where they were. He wondered if they had gone abroad or stayed in the United Kingdom. Abroad would be a more likely option as it would be less likely for Aurors to find them. Draco wished he would be the ones to find them. He wished he would be the one to turn them in. He wished he would be the one to get them sent to Azkaban. He wished....he wished he wasn't alone. No Direct family left and only two close friends. Pansy and Blaise had always been there for him but lately Hermione seemed to be taking that job. He had let her hug him and for once he felt safe. The last time he had a hug like that was from his mother before the war. " Don't worry I'll be here for you," she had said but now where was she?
The day past by slowly for both Hermione and Draco. They didn't have Genealogy, Potions or Defence Against the Dark Arts today and they were the only subjects that they were thoroughly enjoying. Well that's what Draco thought, Hermione on the other hand refused to say that she wasn't enjoying ALL her subjects. She did enjoy them she was just learning more and doing more in the other three subjects. Everybody had been duelling in defence against the dark arts. In potions they made something new every day and in Genealogy...well she and Draco did very little, they spent the majority of the time watching the clouds go by.
Luckily for Hermione Draco wasn't exaggerating her meal portions at dinner. This evening he had put a plate of salad, chicken breast and bread in front of her," she ate it all and smiled realising that Draco must have sat and picked out all the tomatoes from the salad. It was after dinner that evening that Hermione called the meeting. Neville had spoken to her in potions and everything seemed fine with them. She wondered if he even remembered that they had kissed. They had grown close and his friendship wasn't something she wanted to risk. All the seventh years gathered around the fire with hot chocolates which were to die for that Blaise had made. It even had the mini marshmallows she loved so much and small biscuits to dip in to the hot liquid. Hermione began to explain to them all what Miss McGonagall had told her and ideas for fundraising were soon flying around the room.
"How about a tournament that people can pay to enter?"
"We could organise a trip somewhere that people pay to go on,"
"A sponsored swim in the black lake,"
"No I can't swim how about a sponsored broomstick race instead?"
"We should have one of those balls but base it around a movie like James Bond or Something," everybody went silent and looked at Draco. "What? Is it that bad an idea?"
"No it's... brilliant actually. I'm more surprised by the fact that you've watched a muggle film," Hermione said still in shock.
"Yeah we were under the impression that you were a muggle hating git," Ron spat out.
"On Merlin it was only a suggestion. Who's seen a James bond movie?" Draco asked. Everybody raised their hands .
"You two as well?" Harry asked pansy and Blaise both nodded silently.
"Well I thought we could have a casino or something. The men can come in suits and the woman can come in dresses. We can have different betting games around the great hall for people to win prizes," Draco explained and looked at the shocked faces around him.
"I think it's a brilliant idea," Neville finally said in the silence," Who agrees?" he was answered with a mixture of "yes" and nods.
"Great so a James bond casino night," Hermione grinned "Now we need to know who the money is going to," nobody had any suggestions. "Well I was thinking....we could give the money to the Crutiatus ward in St Mungos. Lots of people suffered from the curse at the hands of death eaters and not all have recovered. It's a cause close to some of our hearts," Hermione gave Neville a timid smile. She was met with cheers and agreement but Neville remained silent.
"Neville? Are you okay?" Harry asked him. Neville rose from his seat slowly and crossed the room to stand in front of Hermione. Oh god he’s finally going to say what he thinks about last night. That’s it, it’s all over he’s never going to speak to me again. He pulled her to her feet and wrapped her in a hug.
"Thank you so much," he whispered into her hair.
"So you don't hate me?" she smiled.
"how the hell could I hate you Hermione?"
"Well after what I did last night...." she trailed off
" Hermione you had drunk eight bottles of fire whiskey and countless tequila shots. You didn't even know what you were doing. Anyway it's not like it meant anything. But this fundraising means a lot to me," he rested his chin on her head.
"I just wanted to help your parents," she smiled.
They all stayed awake for another couple of hours drawing out layouts and researching muggle poker. After their third round of delicious hot chocolate they all began to drift up to their rooms. She looked at the corner by her book shelf and saw medusa curled up. She mentally hit herself remembering she was supposed to take her out this evening.
"How are you enjoying it here so far medusa?" she asked. The snake opened a sleepy eye and flicked her tongue.
"It's nice, I've managed to get out and hunt throughout the day without being seen. " she hissed.
"That's good, I was thinking we could go down to the lake sometime or to see Hagrid in his home, well it's a hut." she smiled. Home she thought. Damn it Draco was allowed to go to his home this weekend and she hadn't told him. She jumped out of bed and crept out of her room towards the boys’ dormitory. She knocked quietly before someone opened the door.
"Hey Hermione, what's up?" Harry asked her with a yawn
“I was just wondering if I could speak to Draco I forgot to tell him something earlier,"
" oh uhh, okay. Malfoy!" he called.
“So how are you?” Harry asked.
“Good thank you,” she replied.
“Look Hermione, about us ignor-
“You can go now Potter,” Malfoy walking towards the door as he pulled a t shirt over his head. Harry nodded and walked back to his bed next to Ron who sat glaring at Ron. Seriously is that all he does? Hermione thought. Draco wore a pair of green linen pyjama bottoms and a fitted black t shirt that clung to his chest. His hair was messed up even more as he ran his hand through it leaning against the door frame.
"What's up?" he asked.
" Not here, downstairs," she said and walked down to the common room. She did not want to see Harry and Ron’s reactions if he heard that she was going to Malfoy manor with him. She turned and leaned against the sofa.
" Right so now can you tell me? I need sleep to make me look good," he smirked. She rolled her eyes at him and a smile played on her lips. She was wearing a cropped white t-shirt that stopped just above her belly button and he could see several pale scars against her skin. Her red pyjama bottoms hung low on her hips but it was what was on her feet that caught his attention."What are they?!" he laughed.
"My bunny slippers!" she said defensively with her hands on her hips. "Now do you want to know what I have to tell you or not?" he stopped laughing and nodded. "Well I spoke to Miss McGonagall and she said if you go to her office at nine o'clock on Saturday you can floo to Malfoy manor," she smiled swinging her legs as she sat on the back of the sofa.
"Really?! Thank Merlin for that!”he grinned.
" But there's a catch," she said and watched his grin fall.
"Eurgh I knew there would be something. What do I have to do? Clean the great hall? Sort the potion ingredients?" he asked.
"Nope even worse!" she told him and he groaned.
"Right what is it then?" he asked with his face in his hands. She walked over and stood in front of him.
"You have to take me with you " she whispered. He lifted his head from his hands and saw Hermione grinning at him. He chuckled before returning the smile.
From the portrait Salazar Slytherin stood watching them, the cogs in his mind turning.
Hello! So I hope you all enjoyed this chapter finally Harry is beginning to notice something! Next chapter Draco and Hermione along with Medusa are off to Malfoy Manor with the aurors but is it going to go as smoothly as they all hope? Another Secret is going to be revealed and then after this chapter there is going to be lots more Genealogy! Are you all going to find out who Hermiones mothers biological/adoptive parents are?! you'll have to keep reading the next few chapters to find out :D
Thank you again for reading :)
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