Chapter 13 : "It's not what it looks like"
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“It’s not what it looks like”
Hermione nervously fixed at her top in the crooked, dusty mirror in the Weasley’s bathroom. She began to lose faith in the make-up she had taken a half an hour to do and as for her hair. Over the years she had taken some interest in her appearance it had gone from something that she couldn’t care less about to something she knew she had to do to finally sometimes enjoying getting dressed up. Especially after the war ended and she had to do a lot of press meetings with Harry and Ron. But tonight it was stressing her out and the badly lit, damp and musty surroundings of the Weasley’s bathroom were not helping.
“Get a grip” she muttered to herself “He sees you every day in your uniform” she was of course referring to Draco.
Since they kissed in professor Flitwick’s empty classroom things had been pretty normal between them since, a lot more flirting but no more kissing. So tonight she was hoping they might end up in the same situation again.
“Come on curly I’m bursting” George banged on the door impatiently
“Not curly tonight”
She emerged with teased messy straight hair, dark eye make- up with cat eye eyeliner and wearing tight dark denim skinny jeans and a simple sleeveless white shirt with an exaggerated draping frill on the collar the fell over her bare shoulders.
“Hermione!” George seemed surprised
“Save it I’ll use Ginny’s room to fix myself”
“GEORGE!” She snapped and stormed off before he could insult her, little did she know he was about to compliment her.
Hermione burst into Ginny’s room to find her sitting on her bed kissing Harry
“Oh God! I’m so sorry” She turned to walk out completely embarrassed
“I better go before your Mum catches me in here anyway” Harry kissed Ginny’s forehead and smiled to himself as he left her room.
“Wow Hermione, you look”
“Don’t Harry I’m gonna fix it don’t worry”
“I was gonna say hot, and believe me it’s hard for me to say that because you’re like my sister”
Hermione blushed bright red and smiled sheepishly as she disappeared into Ginny’s room
Draco sat anxiously at the edge if his bed. So many things could go wrong tonight. His main concern was that people wouldn’t show up because it was his house and he didn’t want Hermione’s plan to fall apart just because of him. He had spent the morning clearing away all of the house valuables to the attic and then the afternoon blocking off and locking different parts of the house that he didn’t want students venturing into, especially Harry. He had a feeling he would take full advantage of being at Malfoy Manor.
He got up from his bed and swung open the door of his tall black, very ornate wardrobe and had a look through it. Most of what hung there was black, so to be different he decided to wear the one pair of grey slacks he had and a dark navy shirt. It was a party after all.
After fixing his hair he could hear a chain of loud coughing coming from downstairs.
“The Floo worked so” he boasted to himself and made his way out of his room.
“Draco!” Hermione beamed she was on her way up the stairs to let him know that she had arrived with Harry, Ron and Ginny.
“Granger, looking good” he nodded in approval “It’s a little odd seeing you in casual clothes”
“I can’t really say the same. Do you even own a pair of jeans?”
“Don’t be silly! Of course not” he laughed “You nervous?”
“Me too” he stopped on the stair above her and looked down into her brown eyes, breathing in her intoxicating scent. He was asking her was she nervous about the party and she knew that but somehow their body language made it seem like something else.
Hermione looked back up at him, his ice blue eyes no longer hard to look straight into anymore.
“What we did last week happened right, or did I just make it up in my head?” he ran his hand through his soft blonde hair
Hermione grinned devilishly “Well I hope we sent out invites or there’ll only be five of us here”
“When did you become so sarcastic?” he asked rhetorically
“You obviously just can’t control yourself around me” she teased insincerely as she turned to go back down stairs “Honestly kissing me twice Malfoy”
As she walked away Draco skipped a step and moved himself in front of her to block her from getting passed
“Maybe I can’t” he spoke softly
Even on the step below her, he was still just a little taller than her. He placed his hands on her hips boldly
“Should we be doing this?” she asked gingerly. She wanted to but feared the consequences anyone could just walk out of the other room
“Again with the caring what others think” he groaned
“We could lose our friends over this Draco” she placed her hand on his chest, gripping his shirt a little
“I don’t know about you but it makes it a little more exciting” he pulled her closer
“I never really did like rules” she whispered before placing her lips on his kissing him softly
Draco kissed back instantly, grazing his hands from her wait up her stomach and stopping just below her chest.
Hermione pulled back unwillingly, we better go and help get the place ready before they come looking for us.
The main dining room in Malfoy manor was almost unrecognisable after Hermione, Harry, Ron, Ginny and Draco finished decorating it. It was filled with party streamers, banners and coloured lights.
“I strangely like it” Draco nodded to Hermione who was hanging the last lantern up.
“I just hope people show up” she fretted, but just as she got down from the chair there was a crack from the fire and green smoke swirled into the room to reveal Neville standing there with a rather large barrel labelled BUTTERBEER in his hands with three bottles of fire whiskey sitting on top of it
“I hope this is enough” he chuckled as Ron and Harry cheered and rushed over to help him
“They’re never emptying bottles from my Nan’s pub”
“Have I told you how much I like you lately” Ron patted him on the back
The party eventually filled up with seventh years, some sixth years and Ron was convinced the two girls talking to Seamus were from fifth year, why else would they be talking to him they wouldn’t know any better well at least that was his logic on the situation.
A large group of Gryffindors were the first to arrive followed by a mixed group of Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs and the eventually the Slytherins including Pansy Parkinson. Even Hermione had to admit that she looked stunning tonight. Her jet black hair and porcelain skin were set off beautifully by her blood red lipstick to match her red shift dress. Even Draco give her a second look when she came in, and then a third because she was wearing red, which was not a Pansy Parkinson colour.
Hermione was trying to spend as much time with Ron as possible. It was her mission to leave the party with both of them having forgotten why they were mad at each other in the first place. It was going so far so good with them, Ron had taken it upon himself to take charge of the music that was being played and Hermione was doing an awful job helping him pick songs everyone would enjoy but the main thing was they were laughing having fun.
Ginny was keeping a watchful eye on Harry, who had promised Hermione he wouldn’t go looking for any clues as to where Draco’s parents might be. He had promised to be a normal seventeen year old Hogwarts student at a party and to drink too much and dance stupidly. A part of him wanted to tear through every room and see what he could find, but tonight was for Hermione and a promise was a promise. With Ginny on his arm he was easily distracted from anything on his mind.
Draco was hanging closely by a fire whiskey bottle. He was arguing with himself as to whether he should have a drink or not. He just had this gut feeling something would go horrible wrong if he did but watching everyone else loosening up and having a good time made him feel like he was being boring and sulky.
“I can’t believe you haven’t even said hello to me since I’ve been back”
A raspy voice accompanied by a dainty hand placed on his hip from behind him could only be one person
“I didn’t think you’d want to speak to me” he turned to face Pansy, who was clearly a little tipsy. She never could hold her drink.
“Honestly I didn’t and still don’t know if I want to” she looked sombrely at the floor
“I’m trying this thing where I’m not a complete prick” he took her hand kindly in his
“Pansy look at me” he said softly
She looked up at him, she was biting her lower lip and her eyes were a little bloodshot. He wasn’t sure if that was from drinking or whether she was going to cry
“For what it’s worth I’m sorry for being a dickhead to you, you didn’t deserve it”
“Thank you” she smiled pulling her hand back from him “That means a lot”
She leaned over to him and kissed him on the cheek and stayed a longer than what would be considered a friendly peck and also leaving a red lipstick smear on it.
“Maybe I do need a drink” he murmured to himself.
“Looks like they’ve kissed and made up”
Ron nodded towards Pansy and Draco and nudged Hermione, but Hermione had already seen him take her hand in his and her kissing his cheek was the icing on the cake, in fact a lot of people did and all assumed what Ron had.
“I can’t believe he asked you to go with him! Like I know you’s are study partners and have been getting along”,
He rolled his eyes at the thoughts of them getting along
“But it’s not like you are friends with him right?” he looked over at Hermione
“Hermione?” he waved his hand if front of her face as she was staring ahead in a daze
“Em, no” she snapped out of it “No definitely not friends” she fluttered her eyelashes, a sure sign she was feeling upset and uncomfortable “I’m going to get a drink, want one?”
“No I’m fine thanks” Ron was oblivious to her being upset
“Back in a few” she hopped down from the table she had been sitting on and headed straight for the bathroom, and much to her dismay had to pass Draco on her way.
“Enjoy the rest of the party Draco” Pansy smiled as she walked away from Draco.
As she walked away, Hermione caught his attention in the corner of his eye. She was walking fast with her head down, arms crossed and a sulky look on her face. Draco knew this look. He used to be the cause of this look. He glanced down at Ron who was laughing with Neville, if she had of had a fight with him he would have been looking sour too.
And then it hit him, she must have misunderstood what happened with Pansy. He quickly ran after her.
“Hermione” he knocked on the bathroom door lightly after a few minutes of her being there
“Can a girl not use the bathroom in peace” she opened the door a little
“I thought you were crying”
“Crying?” she came out. She decided when she got to the bathroom she wasn’t going to let herself be upset over this. They were barely friends, why should she be upset if he kisses someone else, they had only kissed three times and one didn’t even really count, right?
“Why would I be crying?”
“I thought you might have mistaken what was going on between Pansy and I”
“No that was pretty clear” she was trying not to sound jealous, mostly for her own sake
“That I was apologising to her for being so horrible, and the kiss was her way of accepting it”
Hermione looked up at him, maybe she did jump to conclusions, but then again he still had lipstick on his cheek.
“Ok well maybe I was mistaken, but what would it really matter it’s not like we’re a thing or anything. Like it was just kissing wasn’t it”
Draco faced changed to an angry scorn. His eyes became cold and his lips taut as he clenched his jaw in irritation
“You’re joking right?” he snapped
“Why are you so mad?” Hermione raised her hands in a subconscious defence
“Just kissing? Do you know how hard it was for me to accept that I like you, it goes against everything that I was brought up to believe and to hear you say it wasn’t really anything” Draco turned his head and looked away as if he was so disgusted that he could no longer stand to look at her
“Draco I, I didn’t know” Hermione stuttered she was speechless that he was so annoyed
“FORGET IT” He stormed off and disappeared up the stairs.
Hearing him say that he liked her suddenly made her realise that she liked him too, it wasn’t just a game and the seriousness of them being together finally hit home. Being civil to one another was such a big deal to her no longer than only two month previous.
“Maybe I am selfish” she thought aloud to herself
She went to follow after him and apologise, but something told her to give him a few minutes. She sat on the stairs, on the step she had kissed him on earlier that day to be exact when Pansy pushed furiously through the double doors of the dining room where the party was being currently contained in. She was followed by a sobbing Daphne who was holding her cheek.
“Pansy wait please” she choked
“I don’t even want to speak to you honestly what made you think I was going to even look at you let alone forgive you I thought the slap made that pretty obvious”
“I thought because you came back that”
“That what? I’d just pretend like nothing happened? I bet Blaise doesn’t even know”
“He does, Draco told him”
Hermione moved back and over ever so slightly so neither of them would see her sitting there. She couldn’t stand up now and leave she had already heard too much.
“Why did you come back then?”
“I’m beginning to wonder myself” she answered sharply
“I know you still love Draco, I can tell, whether you like me right now or not right now I still know you inside out”
“I’m not back for him” she spoke softer this time
“Oh come on Pans everyone knows that’s why you’re back, you should know he’s really different now he’s even somewhat nice to Granger”
“Don’t pretend you know me! I made you who you are you’d be nothing without me and the sad thing is Draco wouldn’t even know who you were if it wasn’t for me I suppose I have myself to blame for what you two done to me it’s my own fault for befriending a conniving little bitch like you and I know you’re just using Blaise to try and make him jealous I heard all about that before I even stepped foot back In Hogwarts how desperate you are to get close to him”
Hermione’s heart was racing. What was she getting herself into? Here was two girls fighting over the person she just realised she liked. Two girls who clearly liked him too, but she knew something they didn’t, that no one did, he liked her back.
Hermione sat a little while longer on the stairs. She still wasn’t brave enough to go up and face Draco and was a little surprised that he hadn’t come back out yet, it had been a good while she had thought.
The party was slowly getting louder, more drunken and had made its way past the large double doors of the dining room to the Hall where she was sitting, the Kitchen and the master living room. She smiled to herself as she watched her peers blowing off steam and having a good time, being normal and not the victims of a brutal war.
“Draco are you alright?”
Blaise who was standing at the end of the stairs with some Ravenclaw Quidditch players looked straight up past Hermione. Draco was standing at the top of the stairs, his eyes were red and puffy and his cheeks looked like there were streaked with tears. Hermione covered her mouth in shock and became instantly emotional, had she made him cry?
“Draco?” she managed to get out but he ran down the stairs without even looking at her and headed straight for Harry who had just walked through the dining room doors to the hall
“Here Potter is this what you wanted?” He shoved a letter into his chest and walked away letting it fall before Harry even had a chance to take a hold of it.
Everyone stood in silence and watched as Draco ran back up the stairs and disappeared down the hallway. Hermione jumped when he slammed his door. She looked back down at Harry who was reading through the letter quickly.
All of a sudden he bolted up the stairs and down towards Draco’s room. The whispers started around the room, the rose to talking and eventually everyone was back to having normal conversations again and that party continued. Seeing Draco shout at Harry was a normal occurrence not so long ago. Everyone was slightly desensitised to the situation.
Hermione froze on the spot, what was she supposed to do? He was clearly upset by what was in the letter but she didn’t feel like she could go down and speak to him as Harry had gone and Blaise wasn’t far behind him.
Eventually Blaise appeared back at the top of the stairs. He raised his wand to his neck to amplify his voice
“All right everyone party’s over! That’s it go home everyone”
With another flick of his wand he managed to cut the music and bring up the full lights. He looked down at Hermione
“Well don’t just stand there Granger, it’s your party get them out” he flicked his wand again and all the windows flew open letting the cold October air flood in.
After around twenty minutes almost everyone had left and Harry finally appeared back from Draco’s room. He ran straight past Hermione and Ginny who were standing together at the end of the stairs and went directly for the Floo and with a poof he was gone.
Ginny looked over at Hermione nervously, it was unlike Harry not to explain what was happening or to just disappear without saying where he was going.
“Go” Hermione nodded to Ginny, who was already about to run for the Floo.
Hermione took her chance and ran up the stairs for Draco’s room while no one was watching.
“Draco” she whispered opening his bedroom door slowly
He was sitting on the edge of his bed gripping the black satin throw tightly in his fists. He had clearly been crying and his face was white as a ghost.
He got up from the bed and began pacing the floor. He ran his hand through his hair gripping it a little in frustration
“Draco please, I’m worried”
He looked Hermione straight in the face to see if she was being sincere or not, after what she said earlier he wasn’t sure where he stood. He could see the compassion in her eyes, if she didn’t care she wouldn’t still be there
“Did Harry leave?” he managed to say
“Yes, do you know where he went?”
“The ministry, my father” he took a deep breath and looked up to the ceiling to stop the tears running down his face “He’s dead”
Hermione’s face dropped in shock. She darted straight for him and wrapped her arms around him hugging him tightly into her body. Draco stood stiffly for a moment but when he felt the tears streaming down his face he wrapped his arms around her, resting her head on his chest. Hermione could feel his hands trembling and that he was trying to stop his shoulders from shaking from crying.
Hermione eventually got him to sit on his bed she could feel his body getting weak from the shock. She didn’t ask any questions in fact she didn’t even speak. She was just there curled up beside him on his bed, and even though he was now holding her and stroking her hair it was just what he needed he couldn’t face to be alone. He had been alone for most of his life. She was just resting her head on his shoulder when someone knocked the door.
“Draco, can I come in?”
No one answered her back. Draco was completely numb his bed could have been on fire and he probably would have just sat there. Hermione knew who it was but she was hoping she would just leave if no one answered, sadly that wasn’t going to happen.
“Are you ok? You looked upset and I’m going now I just wanted so see…” Pansy had pushed the door open to come in but was caught speechless when she seen Draco holding Hermione in his arms.
“You’re joking right” she laughed in disbelief
“Just go Pansy” Draco managed to say, his voice raspy and dry
You could see Pansy was clearly upset but she didn’t say anything else she just turned and left. In her head she was hoping it was all just a bad dream.
“I’ll be back in a second” Hermione went to follow her out, she had to tell Pansy what happened so Draco didn’t have to deal with his father’s death and then stick about being with her too.
“Don’t Hermione” he called after her but she had chosen to ignore him
“Pansy wait! Please”
“I don’t know what I just saw but it was wrong on so many levels”
“It’s not what it looks like”
“Enlighten me then Granger because it looked pretty damn clear to me”
“Lucius is dead”
“His father is dead so you try and jump into bed with him, even I didn’t think you were that desperate mud blood”
“I’m being a friend” Hermione scowled
“You know what Pansy? You’re a bitch a class A. bitch and I hope to God Karma is real because someday you’ll get what’s coming to you because you deserve every bit of cruelty that’s coming your way”
She turned and walked back down the hallway to Draco’s room and slammed the door, leaving Pansy standing there speechless. Hermione had never stood up to Pansy before, ever, and she never cursed either. Pansy had been called a bitch countless times before, but something about that hurt deep. She came to realise later it was the sincerity of her words.
Draco looked up at Hermione when she came back in. He wanted to smile he was proud of her for finally standing up for herself, she knew how to do it but it was rare that she did. She was so strong probably one of the strongest people he knew, but there was something when it came to Pansy and her posse that made Hermione crumble in insecurities. He couldn’t smile his face was blank instead he held out his arm for her to come back and sit with him, and she did after locking the door that was. Eventually they fell asleep in each other’s arms. It was a restless sleep for Draco he drifted in and out but every time he woke up and seen she was still there beside him he didn’t feel so alone. He felt safe.
Ok so poor Draco! I don’t think he has absorbed what has happened yet! And I’m secretly glad Pansy is back everyone loves a good bitch in a story! But what no one knows is, why is she back? Did she come back for Draco? Or has she other motives?
Hermione came off a little shallow in this chapter and a few others I don’t mean for her to seem shallow. I just think that even though she is always so strong, the magnificent JKR captured that little bit of self-doubt and insecurity in her which is why every girl in the world loves Hermione. She’s this kick ass witch but deep down she’s just like the rest of us right?
Anyways….Thanks once more to all the people who have taken the time to read and review my story!
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