I present the much asked for, much anticipated, and very much unexpected, second chapter of The Most Wonderful Time of Year.Enjoy!
"Come on, Granger," Draco said leaning more of his weight into her. "You can only toy with a man for so long before you either put up, or shut up. Or, " he smirked." You can simply let me take the lead and enjoy the moment."
"Has anyone ever told you just how pushy you can be, Malfoy?" Hermione asked, her fingers playing with the hair at the back of his neck.
"Oh, you have no idea just how far I can push." He chuckled darkly. "But I promise, I won't make you, if you don't want to."
Hermione sighed, and looked down over the railing of the Quidditch stands to the thick fluffy snow below. Even thicker and even fluffier thanks to a very strong cushioning charm Draco had cast.
She thought back to this morning when she'd left the Gryffindor common room, planning on having a quite breakfast and then spending the rest of the morning wrapping presents and somehow fitting them all in her trunk, before she got to the Burrow that night. Her plans had changed when upon leaving the common room she'd come face to face with a grinning Draco. He put a muffin in one hand, a coffee in her other, kissed her quickly on the lips, and asked if she was up for something a little daring. Something they could probably only get away with now, with so few students milling around over the holidays, and teachers not truly paying that much attention. If she'd known at the time his plan was to free fall off the top of the Quidditch stands with nothing but magic and snow to break their fall, she probably would have told him he was nuts. Then followed him anyway. Hermione guessed the nuts part was whats was happening right now.
"I can't beleive I'm about to say this," she said, her voice barely above a whisper, yet Draco was so close he heard every word perfectly."But I would like it if you did, take the lead, Draco."
He was taken aback to see, actually be able to see, the trust in her eyes as she looked at him. Draco already promised himself that, if given the unlikely chance, he wasn't going to screw things up in his life again. Now was the best time to start. "I promise, you won't regret it."
Hermione had a feeling he was refering to more then just right now. Before she could think on it longer, he tightened his hold on her, and leaned backwards over the edge.
She let out a shriek, tightening her grip around Draco's neck as they fell. To which he laughed and grinned at her, the cold winter air swirling around them, causing his hair to hang in front of his eyes in the most appealing way possible. Even falling, jumping, from fifty feet in the air he still looked damn sexy.
They landed with a soft thump on the cushy snow, bouncing a little before coming to a full stop. Laughter and giggles filled the air as they both look at each other, grinning.
"Merlin, I really just did that, didn't I?!" Hermione exclaimed, shocked at her own daringness as she look up to where she had just stood only seconds ago.
"See, I told you it would be fun." Draco said, watching her with amusment before leaning in to capture her lips with his own. Snaking a hand into her tangled curls he pulled her closer to him, quickly deepening the kiss.
His cold lips met hers causing Hermione's mind to go blank, yet at the same time felt like it was bursting with a million different emotions. Suprise, glee, a sense of forbiddeness and danger at kissing someone who used to be her worst enemy, passion. And the biggest one, shock.
She had spent last night mulling over what happened in Hogsmeade; the decision to spend the day together, the unexpected kiss, the walk back to the castle. Draco had said that they (as odd it sounded even to his own ears) could actually have something more between them then just being friendly towars one another. Hermione was blown away, when, Draco had taken her hand and told her he'd been thinking about her far more than he ever should, and in a way very different then he was acustomed to. She had stood there just staring at him, for once in her life not having a clue what to say, what to think, or what the right answer was. The Hermione of a few years ago would have been furious! She would have punch him in the nose hoping this time it actaully broke. Knowing in her proud Gryffindor soul that Malfoy was playing her for some sick and twisted trick he and his Slytherin pals had cooked up. But she wasn't that girl anymore, she had changed, everyone in one way or another had changed over the years. And this girl, this girl was looking for something a little unexpected to take a leap on.
So she did what she had learned to do when the answer didn't lay itself out before her ripe for the picking. She took a deep breath, and let her heart, not her 'highly logically' mind, form her words. "I believe you," Hermione said, earnning herself an oddly relieved and pleased look from Draco."And if you're game to give this, whatever 'this' may be, a try. Then so am I."
Draco had stood, waiting patiently, mentally beating himself up for ever being stupid enough to let his emotions guide him. Where had it gotten him? Standing in the snow waiting for Hermione bloody Granger, to give him the let down he was usually on the delivering end of. Oh the the crule irony of life. Someone was laughing at him right now, and enjoying every second of it.
Or maybe not.
Had he really heard her correctly? He didn't know what else to say, what do you do when the unbelievable happens? You snog the girl standing in front of you senseless, thats what.
And that's what he was doing again now.
Reluctantly, Hermione put a hand on Draco's chest and slowly pushed him back. Panting slightly from lack of air and the intensity of his kiss. Merlin, he could kiss like none other. She couldn't help but compare him to the few boys she'd briefly dated, and frankly, there was no comparison. Draco Malfoy was in a league entirely his own.
"We should probably go," Draco finally said, after several minuets passed with them both just staring at each other."Wouldn't want me to freeze my arse off after all." Quoting back her own words from yesterday, as he stood. "Or yours, for that matter." He smirked helping her up and brushing the snow from her hair.
Hermione just wrinkled her nose at him and stuck out her tongue, all the while smiling. She took one last look up at the stands before taking the arm Draco offered her and walking out of the pitch.
"What time do you leave tonight?" Draco ask, leading them past the frozen lake.
"Eight o'clock," Hermione replied. "I still have to finished my Christmas wrapping, seeing as somebody had other other plans for me this morning."
"Which you enjoyed far more than wrapping I'd wager, admit it." He tease.
"I'll admit, that was the most exciting thing I have done in quite awhile.'' Hermione smiled. "But I still have to wrap all the presents I bought yesterday, and return a few books to the library."
Draco groaned at the mention of the library. Even during holidays Granger still had to cram her head full of knowledge. "Don't you just wrap gifts with magic, that way you have time to do other thing." He hinted suggestively.
"I'll have you know I happen to quite enjoy wrapping the muggle way," Hermione said, choosing to ignore the last part of his sentance. "It's very relaxing."
"I'll take your word for it." Draco mused, trying to think if he ever wrapped a gift by hand in his life. Nope, not a one. "After all the relaxing, do you have anything else in mind for today?" He asked, trying to sound nonchalant.
"Not really," Hermione answered, raising an eyebrow at him and they climbed the stone steps and entered the castle. Only then, feeling the warmth surround her did she realize just how cold she was.
Feeling Hermione shiver beside him, he lead her over to the massive fireplace that was opposite the doors to the Great Hall. Pulling her to sit next to him on the long plush bench which sat in front of the fire. Draco paused, looking at the flickering flames before saying. "Would you like to have dinner with me, somewhere away from prying eyes, where was can have some time together before you go?"
Hermione nervously bit her bottom lip at his suddenly serious tone. "Where? McGonagall doesn't let anyone leave the Castle after dark, not even Prefects."
"The Room of Requirements," Draco answered, a slow smile starting to creep along face. "The perfect place to go when you don't want anyone to find you. What do you say?"
"I'd love to." Hermione said, also smiling. She didn't have to think twice. The thought of spending more time with him before she'd be gone for two weeks wasn't something she was going to pass up. Plus, she didn't yet want to think about how she was going to explain all this to Harry, Ron and Ginny. No, that wasn't going to be fun at all. "When?"
"How about five? Gives you pletly of time to wrap and visit the library, probably the elves too," He smirked knowingly, to which she blushed a little. "And me time to, well, work my magic as it were."
"Draco Malfoy, you truly are an unpredictable fellow." Hermione said, not bothering to hide just how happy she was right then.
"Hermione Granger, you have no idea."
There it is! I hope you liked it as much as I love writing it. As you know I wasn't planning on turing this into anything more than what it was, but nearly every review I've gotten has asked for more, and the writing bug bite me to do just that. You inspired me to turn this into a prequel of sorts for Let the Game Begin. I would like to ask that if you haven't yet read LtGB, please do so, it starts at graduation and then become a post-Hogwarts Dramione story. As for this, I'll be writing one more chapter and then that'll be it. Let me know your thoughts and what you'd like to see happen. Reviews are much loved and always welcomed. :)
p.s. a chapter image will be coming in the next week or so, so check back for that. :)