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Slowly, Then All at Once by helloshelby
Chapter 3 : Chapter Three.
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1

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Glancing up at the clock high on the wall Hermione let out a long sigh. She had been on patrol for an hour and a half and there had been no sign of Malfoy.

She wasn’t hoping for him to come sooner, the opposite, waiting for more time. To figure out what to say and how to act. Hermione didn’t even know anyone who had had a full conversation with him. Except maybe Professor Snape.

Her breath was bated, she was pacing up and down the corridor waving her hands at her sides. She was trying to think of what to do but everything was clouded. Then she stopped and placed her emotion, she was nervous.

This was a situation she couldn’t figure out, she didn’t know Malfoy. Everything she thought she knew flew out the window this afternoon. She couldn’t pinpoint how to act because who knew how he would.


Not being in control was terrifying, especially when who was going to be in control happened to be Draco Malfoy.


Trying to calm herself, she slowed and was breathing in and out. Deciding that she could set out a plan after seeing what this had to offer. Nothing else could be done now and things would be fine.


She had her eyes closed, her breathing slowed and her hands stopped shaking.


As her anxiety level lowered she heard a soft chuckling from the darkness. She knew who it was, and this was what she didn’t want to happen. To be caught off guard, to be vulnerable. And even worse embarrassed.


She swore under her breath, she could feel her cheeks redden as Malfoy stepped out from the shadows.


“Waiting for me, were you Granger? I am just so touched.” He said in a taunting voice with his hand raised to his chest.


“You got yourself all worked up because I didn’t come right away. I’m sure you are embarrassed I saw you had to calm yourself. It’s okay though I have seen it before.” He drawled, on still chuckling.


Well she was glad one of them was amused. She was just pissed off, she wanted to leave. But something pulled her to stay, to hear what he was going to say. Once he got off his damn high horse, if not she might just push him off it. 


She huffed and with a sneer on her face started, “Did you just come here to taunt me, Malfoy? Or do you have anything to say of importance?”


He had opened his mouth to respond but she cut him off


“And before you go on a long rant about how everything you say is so important, just save your breath. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before.” She added quite smartly.


For being so nervous about this encounter she sure was pushing her luck when it came to upsetting him.


“Just because I don’t have a problem with your blood now that doesn’t change the fact that what I say is of great importance. I am very important.” He said with a haughty tone in his voice.


Before she could stop herself, she muttered under her breath, “Yea, I’m sure you’re really important. In your own head.”


Knowing it was a mistake to say she didn’t even want to look up at him, her body tensed knowing that this could set him off like a Muggle firecracker.


Oh Merlin, why couldn’t she keep her mouth shut at a time like this?


She closed her eyes as if he would be gone when she opened them. Grimacing she opened one eye then the other, then she realized she had to look at him.


Glancing up at him, his whole demeanor had changed. Shoulders squares off and tense, eyes darken, and a sneer across his face.


 “Listen up Miss. Know It All. I actually am important and I would watch it if I were you. The person I am important to won’t care if something happen to you. He chose me over everyone, me alone.” The anger is his voice rose as he went on.


Hermione realized he was talking about Voldemort, maybe it wouldn’t be as hard as she thought to get him to talk about it. Now she knew he chose Malfoy for something, what though? 


She didn’t give a second thought to his warning to watch herself. That was laughable if it came to her being able to use magic to defend herself. Her hand was on her wand that moment, gripping it in her pocket.


Worry would overcome her however if somehow he got her wand. Malfoy was much bigger than she was, next to him she was dwarfed even more than with Ron and Harry. He was even taller than Harry was, and with Harry even on her tip toes she was still many inches shorter.


His build was strapping, whereas Harry was slighter and Ron was beefy. He could hardly try and he would be able to hurt her. If he chose to.


Subconsciously she had taken a few steps back, Malfoy snickered, it wasn’t like his laugh before, and you could tell he was still amused but now it was more sinister. He must just revel in the fact that he could frighten her.


“Scared Granger? You should be.” He began stepping towards her, which left her shuffling back.


Which was something only idiots do, she thought to herself, because there’s always a wall. And she had reached it, now she was trapped between the wall and the great form of Malfoy. He was looming over her.


“You don’t have to keep being this way to people.” She piped up.


Malfoy looked down at her inquisitively, “You lot of Gryffindors sure are fools. You are terrified yet still the mouth keeps running. Must be the Gryffindors courage at work. But really it just makes you all dunderheads.” He asserted.


The only thing she could do is huff in response.


“How dare you? That’s come from a snake in the grass. I am not afraid of you.” She pointed at his chest as she continued, “Get that through your head, plonker.”


“Oh Granger, you are going to regret saying that.” He hissed as he inched closer to her.


Her back was pushing against the wall, he was inches from her and he lowered his face down to hers.


“Are you still not afraid? Your rapid breathing is saying something else. Now on to what I wanted to talk about.” Malfoy continued.


Hermione inched slowly to pull out her wand, but his hand caught her arm. And he yanked her wand from her grip.


“You are really making me mad, what do you think I can see your arm moving? Don’t be a daft bint.” He said with a smirk on his face.


Anger boiled inside Hermione, that stupid ferret. She felt as though she couldn’t breathe, she had to get away from him and get some air. To think before she did something she would regret.


She pushed against him,”Get away from me, and let me have my personal space now.” She stomped her foot with frustration.


“You are so different from the other girls, Granger.” He leaned into her and whispered in her ear, she could feel the smirk on his face, “All of them beg me to come closer and closer, there is no personal space left.”


She let out a gasp and he had pulled back to see the look of disgust on her face. He was proud he had rattled the virtuous Granger, his smirk was wide and amusement was written all over his face.


Hermione step forward, raising her arm and slapping him across the face with all the strength she could muster. But unlike in third year Malfoy wasn’t too shocked to move, he grabbed her arm harshly.


Pushing her back until her head hit into the wall with quite force. He grabbed her other arm, now holding both firmly at her sides. She tried to wiggle free but she could hardly move with his strength holding her.


“You don't know what I'm capable of, you don't know what I've done!” He declared.


He was shaking with fury, she could feel his hands trembling against her wrists.


“Now I hope you keep your damn mouth shut while I’m fucking speaking.” He barked harshly. “Who did you tell about what happen earlier?” He demanded.


She was frozen, and the grip on her wrists tighten.


“Tell me now!” He growled.


“I.. I didn’t tell anyone about it.” She stuttered, cringing away from him. His stare was dark, and made her think of what Harry told her. Of what it was like to look evil in the eye.


“Don’t lie to me.” He roared. “I know you told Potter, I know he loved knowing how weak I am now. Just say it”


She shook her head over and over again, pleading that she didn’t tell anyone.


Malfoy seemed to calm down, but then he started to get paranoid.


“Why didn’t you tell anyone? It’s not like we are friends, you don’t care. No one cares, I could be killed and no one would care.” He just started rattling on and on.


Hermione could hear his voice trembling, there was that little boy again. Scared, needing help.


“My own father said if I die serving the Dark Lord then I will die proudly. And I would deserve for it for not being able to defend myself.”


He released her wrists, running his fingers through his hair. He tried to slow his breathing. She should have run as fast as she could. Screamed for someone to help her.


But she didn’t, she waited for him to start again. She had to hear what he had to say. Maybe if he realized he could divulge information to her without her running away, he could then talk to Dumbledore.


She caught herself in that thought. Who had she been thinking of? Surely not Draco Malfoy, especially trusting her.


“You should leave now, Granger. No doubt the morons are up waiting to make sure the big bad Death Eater didn’t get you.” Malfoy said, the coolness in his voice had returned.


Her eyes widen with shock as he pulled up his sleeve, “Yes, I am a Death Eater. What did you expect? Now you can report that to Potter.”


Some of her strength was coming back to her, she straighten up and looked him straight in the eye. “I’m not planning on telling Harry or anyone else anything about you. Despite what you think I’m not out to get you.” She stated plainly.


She turned leaving him behind but after a few steps she turned back to him, “And just because you think you know all there is to me, doesn’t mean you are right. No one is.”


“What are you talking about, Granger? You are the golden girl.” Malfoy whispered.


It was her turn to get mad now, she had held it in for too long.


“No one knows me, no one can like me. They like versions of me I have spun for them, versions they have construed in their minds. The parts that are easy. Everyone walks away it becomes hard. So I walk away first.” She shrieked.


The look of shock on his face was as apparent as the tears that streamed down her cheeks.


She hadn’t even realized she had started crying, she wiped her eyes quickly. Turn to leave but before doing so said simply.


“Now you have something to tell people. Have a nice night, Draco.” She added softly.


She walked away slowly, her footsteps heavy, echoing in the great corridors of the ancient castle.


That was the first time she had ever called him by his first name. She had said it before however, when she would tell her parents of her time at the castle. She told them of a boy that teased her, and they didn’t permit the use of surnames for a person.


She could remember going home to summer holiday first year and telling her mother about him.


Her response was typical, he teased her because he liked her. And for a bit she believed that could be it. Maybe she liked him too, things could be different if she just tried to be nice to him.


But then Mother saw him in the shops at Diagon Alley and said that boy is just cruel. He needs someone to guide him and obviously his parents are doing an awful job.


Her mom knew she had liked him, she sat her down for a talk. About how girls could never change boys or fix them. The boys needed to do it for themselves.

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