Chapter 23 : Chapter 23
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. . . . . .
Hermione looked over at Draco with a smug grin as she cracked her knuckles. “Are you sure you want to do this?” She asked as she fixed her scarf and hat. “I just don’t think you’re ready for this.”
“I was born for this.” Draco told her with a small scoff as he fixed his scarf, pushing it out of his way.
“Oh, let’s not get too cocky now. I’ve been doing this my whole life.” She said as she raised an eyebrow.
“I believe I’m the champion.” He retorted back.
“Okay, fine, I guess we’ll find out right now, then.” She said and smiled as she tugged on Draco’s scarf, pulling him towards the center of the field that was covered in a thick coat of white--snow. “Okay, let’s begin our snow fight.” She told him and smiled. “And remember no magic. Simply hands.”
“Okay, but just so you know I don’t throw like a girl so the snowballs will come at you hard and I have excellent aim—“ Draco suddenly got cut off as he got hit right in the face with a pile of snow and he hated to admit it but it did hurt a bit. The snow slid of his face with his mouth still open, mid-sentence.
“You were saying?” Hermione asked with a smirk. “I’ll have you know, I grew up with two boys my entire life. I know everything I need to know.” She said and smiled as she placed her hands on her hips.
“Oh, I bet Potter and Weasley threw like girls when they played with you.” He shrugged and raised an eyebrow. “They aren’t even worth the competition.”
“I’m not going easy on you.” She said, ignoring his remark.
“I’m glad we’re on the same boat, then.” He said as he threw a snowball at Hermione, hitting her in the face as well.
Hermione screamed and felt the snow slide off her face. “Alright, that’s it! I will absolutely pulverize you!” She yelled angrily as she started to pile up snow into her hands.
“Yeah, go right ahead—if you can.” He said with a complacent grin as he threw another one at her but to his dismay, she dodged it.
And so . . . their snow fight battle began.
. . . . . .
Ginny stopped looking at the books and looked over at Blaise. “So . . . how much does the bitch know?” She asked curiously, leaning against the bookshelf lightly.”
“According to wart-head, Pansy knows everything about Granger and Draco. She knows that they’ve been together and absolutely inseparable this whole break. She knows that they’re practically dating.” Blaise informed Ginny as he stopped looking at his book. “Pansy knows what’s been happening in Hogwarts. She knows about the fight between Weaslette and Granger, Brown and Draco. She has some devoted spies.”
“Does she know anything at all about us?” Ginny asked, furrowing her eyebrows with worry.
Blaise looked over at Ginny and sighed as he nodded. “Not that I know of . . . all I know is that we have to be extra careful from now on.” He said as he looked around the library suspiciously and cautiously.
“Why are we hiding out in the library again?” She asked him once more as she looked around the empty place.
“Apparently, Pansy has another helper who always stays in the library. They always come here so that’s probably where the spy saw them together.” Blaise told her quietly as he continued to scan the place.
“Look for anyone suspicious, okay?” Blaise ordered and grabbed a random book off the bookshelf. “I’ll be in that corner, so you should go to the other side.” He told her quickly before walking off.
Ginny continued to stare at the place Blaise was just a second ago. “I guess I underestimated that girl . . .” She mumbled to herself and rolled her eyes with a sigh. She grabbed a random book off the shelf and quickly walked off to the other side. She sat down and opened the book, but kept her eyes around the place. Her eyes locked with Blaise’s and they both nodded at each other. She looked back at her book and sighed, running her fingers through her hair. Who was the one helping Pansy out other than wart-head?
. . . . . .
Hermione screamed as Draco chased her around with four snowballs, two in each hand. “Draco, you aren’t seriously going to hit me with that, are you?”
“What’s stopping me?” Draco asked as he continued to chase her.
“Well, I’m a girl!”
“That hasn’t stopped me from hitting you before with the other snowballs!” He said, increasing in his speed.
“Well—ahh!” She screamed as she fell to ground with Draco on top of her. She immediately started to laugh with him as they looked at each other. Their soft, innocent laughter filled the crisp, winter air immediately warming it up. “You didn’t have to tackle me, you know that?” She asked as she breathed heavily, her chest rising up and down rapidly.
“I thought it was pretty necessary.” He said with a shrug as he smirked down at her. “You should really prepare yourself to get hit.” He said as he lifted the snowballs.
“Not yet.” Hermione said as she twirled them around in the snow, making sure she was on top of him. She smirked and looked down at him with her rosy cheeks. “You don’t like being tied down, huh?” She teased him and smiled.
“Awh, now that was not fair.”
She smiled and let out a content sigh. “Ah, I’m tired, why don’t we go in?” She suggested with a grin.
“Agreed.” He said and they smiled at each other for a while. He felt his sharp grey eyes lock with her gorgeous honey brown eyes. He knew immediately it was a mistake but found himself becoming another victim of her eyes before he had a chance to look away.
They both felt their heart beat faster by the second. Hermione closed her eyes shut as Draco leaned upward, his hand cupping her cheek. He was only a millimeter away but he suddenly fell back down. Hermione began to laugh as she rolled off of him, lying beside him. She had stuffed snow into his face before he could kiss her. She looked up at him and continued to laugh. “I guess I win, then.” She told him and got up, brushing off the snow from her clothes.
Draco quickly pushed the snow off his face and glared at Hermione as he shook his head.
“Let’s go in.” She told him as she started to walk back to the castle.
Draco licked his dry lips and got up slowly, brushing off the snow from his clothes. He fixed his scarf before he started to head back to the castle. He finally got inside the castle and saw Hermione waiting for him.
Hermione grinned from ear to ear and reached over for his scarf, grabbing it and pulling him close to her. She looked into his eyes and planted a small peck on his lips before letting him go and walking off with a smile on her face. “Are you going to stand there all day?” She asked as she continued to walk off.
Draco slightly cracked a grin as he started to walk over to Hermione. “What’s the plan?”
“Shower first and then how about we meet up in your room?” She asked him with a sly grin, looking up at him with a twinkle in her eye.
“Why?” Draco asked as he put on a confused look on his face.
“You’ll find out soon. See you in a little bit.” She told him with a wink before disappearing into the dorm room.
. . . . . .
“This is what we’re doing in my bedroom?” Draco asked, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms across his chest.
“Well, what did you think we were going to do?” Hermione asked him with a laugh as she jumped onto his bed, immediately making herself comfortable. She flipped over onto her stomach and looked over at him. “Join me?”
“Why are we looking at books?” Draco asked with a restless sigh as he walked over reluctantly, lying down next to Hermione on his stomach.
“I want to show you something.” She said as she let him look at the book. “Last time, at the book store, I saw this and I thought it’d be nice if we read it together.” She told him innocently as she looked down at the book.
“Fairytales?” Draco asked, looking over at Hermione with an are-you-serious look.
“Not just any fairytale stories.” She said excitedly as she opened up the book. “It’s the muggle fairytales.”
“I guess . . . that’s interesting.”
“Could you at least act enthusiastic about this?” Hermione asked him with a deep frown, glaring at him.
“Oh, fairytales! I absolutely love reading them! I do it all the time when I’m alone.” He amused Hermione as he overly exaggerated gaining a laugh from Hermione.
“Let’s just say this is a small date.” Hermione told him with a small grin and looked down at the book. “I haven’t read these fairytales in a long time . . . you’re technically doing me a favor and bringing my childhood back. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited for something.” She told him and looked over at him. “Would you do the honor of reading the first story?”
Draco kept his eyes locked on hers but finally cracked, sighing as he rolled his eyes. “You win, I can’t get out of this.” He said with a small grin and looked at the book. “Cinderella.” He read the title and looked over at Hermione. “You ready?” He received an eager nod and lightly chuckled. He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him as he started to read the book.
. . . . . .
Hours had passed and the sun had gone to sleep and yet, Ginny and Blaise we’re still in the library. They had no luck whatsoever in finding the mysterious spy. Ginny let out an angry sigh and tossed a book onto the big pile of other books that she had skimmed through the whole day. She got up and gathered all the books, walking towards the bookshelf. She shoved the books back onto the shelves carelessly, fuming with anger.
“What did the books ever do to you?”
“Blaise, we’ve been here the whole day and we didn’t find anyone!” Ginny angrily whispered to him, although she wanted to yell at him, she was still in the library so it wasn’t an option. “Are you positive there’s someone in here that we should be looking for?”
“That’s what wart-head told me—“
“Yes, I know that! But, is there a possibility that she could be lying to you? I mean, after all . . .” She sighed and looked around the place cautiously. “She’s working for Parkinson.”
“I’m positive there’s someone in here, there has to be.” Blaise told her confidently and sighed, rubbing the back of his neck and stretching. “How about we get some rest and start this search again tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow afternoon.” Ginny told him as she rolled her eyes. “I have to wrap Christmas presents and you should do the same.” She suggested and pressed her lips into a thin line. “Let’s get out of here. I’ve read enough books for a lifetime.” She said with a disgusted sigh.
“I promise you, we’ll find someone tomorrow.” Blaise told him as he walked out of the library with Ginny.
“Hurry up! I’m absolutely starving because of you . . . making me skip lunch.” She frowned as she placed her hands on her stomach. She glared at Blaise as she smacked his arm. “That’s for making me starve this whole day.” She told him angrily as she started to walk fast towards the Great Hall.
“Look, I apologize—“
“Talk to me after I have some food in my stomach. I can’t guarantee you’ll be in one piece if you talk to me now.” She warned him before she stepped into the Great Hall.
. . . . . .
“Okay, this is the last story in the book so why don’t we read together for this one?” She asked him with a giggle as she flipped the page. “Beauty and the Beast.”
“I-I think I’ve heard of this one.” Draco said, furrowing his eyebrows. “I believe my mother told me this story when I was young.”
“Really? Then, why don’t you tell me what it’s about?” Hermione raised an eyebrow, waiting for an answer.
“Well, it’s about Belle and a beast, who is in fact a prince, falling in love. He’s mean, angry, impatient, and rude while Belle is this gorgeous, intelligent, and polite girl. She ends up having to stay with him in order to save her sick father and as time goes on, she changes him . . . and they fall in love.” Draco told her as he looked at her intently.
“Wow, you know your stuff, huh.”
“He gets stabbed at the end and well, true love breaks anything, including his curse, so he turns back into a human. And I guess, I should say this since we repeated it several times in the other stories. They lived happily ever after.”
A warm smile spread across Hermione’s face, lighting up the whole room. “Thank you for that wonderful story.” She said as she closed the book, tossing it off the bed. “So . . . what were you thinking about when I told you that I’d come in here?” She asked him.
“Me?” Draco asked and rubbed the back of his neck, completely embarrassed. “I, uh, I thought we were just going . . . talk.” He told her nervously.
Hermione let out a laugh and looked at him. “Just talk?” She asked him and watched him nod his head. “Oh, and now the great Draco Malfoy is stuttering and speechless.” She teased him and smiled. “Wow, I seemed to have changed you, huh?”
“Well, love makes a man do crazy things . . .” Draco said and immediately shut his mouth, his eyes widening. He quickly got up and stretched. “Wow, you know, I’m getting hungry. I believe it’s time for dinner and wow, it’s getting late. Y, you should go—“
Hermione’s heart stopped beating for a second as a blush bloomed across her face. “I’m sorry, come again?”
“I just love reading with you, we should do it again. But, I think we should go and eat dinner—“
Hermione got up and walked over to him, crossing her arms across her chest. “No, tell me again. What makes a man do crazy things?” She continued to push him as she started to poke him.
“Hermione! Stop it.” Draco quickly ran out of the room and cursed under his breath. He mentally slapped himself for saying that out loud. He couldn’t believe he just told her he loved her—well indirectly, but still . . .
“Draco, come back!” Hermione yelled after him as she chased him across the empty corridors. She stopped running and caught her breath. She looked down at her shoe and smirked. “It worked last time . . . it better work it again.” She quickly took off her shoe and threw it at Draco, hitting him right in the head. She jumped with joy and ran over to him, grabbing her shoes. She put them on and looked at Draco. “Just say it again, and then I won’t ever ask you to do anything again.”
“No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Draco said as he avoided eye contact with her, rubbing the back of his head where she had hit him. “Keep your damn shoes where it belongs, stop throwing it at people.” He complained, trying to change the subject.
“Okay, I’ll stop.” She told him as she grabbed his hands, looking at him with big eyes. “I’m not going to stop bothering you until you repeat it again.”
“I said I loved reading with you.” He told her and cleared his throat, looking away.
Hermione smirked in content and looked at him. “Alright, fine, you don’t have to tell me. But, I expect to hear from you later.” She told him and intertwined their fingers together. “Let’s go eat dinner.”
“Gladly.” Draco let out a relieved sigh as he let out a big breath. He had to be extra cautious about when he said in front of her from now on.
. . . . . .
The petite girl heard a soft tap on her window. She looked over and furrowed her eyebrows to see an unfamiliar owl. She slowly got up and walked over to the window, opening it up to let the owl in. She examined the dark brown owl with strange blue eyes. She bit her bottom lip as she cautiously took the letter that it was holding. She looked at the envelope and saw that it had her name on it along with the sender’s. Her eyes widened as she looked at it. She looked around the room to make sure no one was in there. She quickly walked over to her bed and sat down, ripping the envelope open. She took out the letter and scanned it vigorously. She finished the letter and put it down. A small smirk crawled across her face and placed itself on her lips. She looked at the letter once more and let out a small laugh. “She wants my help?” She asked herself and walked over to the desk, getting out parchment and a quill. She quickly scribbled down one word and sent it off with the owl before she could change her mind. She watched the owl fly away and closed the window in content. The only thing she had written on her parchment was a simple word, ‘yes’.
. . . . . .
She looked inside the Great Hall to see Hermione, Draco, Ginny, and Blaise all laughing together as they ate dinner. She allowed a smirk to stitch itself upon her lips as she looked at them. “Let’s see who gets the last laugh.” She said quietly and suddenly heard footsteps behind her. She quickly hid behind the door and made sure she was hidden.
I hope you guys liked this chapter. I’ve been having a writer’s block for a while, so this isn’t my best work, but please bear with me. I’ll try to work up some magic and make the next chapter fantastic. As always, I really appreciate all the wonderful feedback I’m getting from them and I’m always encouraged to continue writing. Please drop a comment below and if you have any questions, please post it on my author’s page. Thanks.
(Beauty and The Beast credits go to Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve [original writer of the fairy tale] and Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beautmont [revised work of the story that is well known today] )
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