Chapter 4 : What in the name of Merlin?
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When Hermione’s break turned up she looked outside and saw the sun was beating down with an intensity that meant she didn’t need her cloak, so she made her way over to the corner table where Draco sat.
“Hi,” Hermione murmured. Draco looked up at the woman standing in front of his table twisting her fingers.
“Hi. You ready?” Draco asked quietly as he looked at the defeated figure of the woman. She nodded mutely and then turned towards the door. Draco stood up quickly and followed the witch who was walking quickly away from him. When he reached the door he looked left and right quickly before spotting the witch he was seeking running in the direction of shrieking shack and he ran after her.
“Hey! HEY!” Draco yelled as he chased her. The witch didn’t look back she simply ran up and up the hill by the shrieking shack until she finally got there and stopped, resting her hands on the fence. “What the hell was that?” Draco cursed, not in the slightest out of breath. Hermione whipped around and faced him defiance flashing in her eyes before it was gone and she stood there gawping at Draco, seemingly unaware she was doing so.
Hermione stared at Draco; from his head to his toes the guy was hot. His ever present white blonde hair was falling in his eyes and had a casual messy look to it, his grey eyes were liquid silver and at the minute a mixture of anger and amusement resided inside them. In her visual exploration, her eyes travelled down his face, noting how the sharp, pointy features of his childhood had strengthened and matured. His jaw had widened since she’d last seen him making him look like less of the coward that she knew he could be, his straight nose was perfectly straight despite her breaking it in third year, and his lips were full but not too much so. She found herself lost in the grey eyes of the man which once upon a time had regarded her with disgust and cold hatred but were now alight with curiosity, something akin to lust, and were like silver lava as he smiled a handsome smile. The man looked good enough to eat.
Tearing her eyes away from Draco’s face her eyes trailed down his body, noting the strong shoulders and the evidence of a strong, hard chest and thin waist. Quidditch had been good to him in more ways than it had been to Harry, only Hermione couldn’t look at Harry the way she was looking at Draco, he was like her brother, it wasn’t right.
As Hermione stood there Draco took a notice of the fact she was mentally stripping him and he smirked his signature Malfoy smirk before finding himself doing the same while she was unawares. As he admired her he noticed the womanly curves she had that had certainly not been there when he last saw her on the battlefield. He’d already noticed that she had a decent sized arse, and the fitted top she was wearing left little to his imagination at the size of her breasts, while the way her hair was pulled up emphasised the slender neck she had, and made Draco want to kiss the soft skin he saw there while wrapping his hands around that tiny waist of hers. He had a feeling that his long fingers would probably meet at her back if he held her like that. His brain unexpectedly started calling up mental images and coupled with her piercingly hot gaze, Draco started feeling unexplainably hot for the woman in front of him.
“Shit,” Draco cursed under his breath as he stuffed his hands in his front pockets. His body was starting to react like he was a 16 year old boy, abstinence had not been good to him, and these reactions were unacceptable. Draco cleared his throat instead and when Hermione’s eyes caught his she closed her mouth.
“Sorry,” Hermione muttered. Her eyes then dropped to the floor and she turned her back on Draco.
“Are you okay?” Draco questioned.
“Not really,” Hermione whispered.
“It was Cody wasn’t it?” Draco asked as he walked up and leant on the fence next to Hermione.
“No,” Hermione answered shortly.
“So what is it?” Draco was trying to be patient but his famously short patience was running out.
“It’s Hermione Gr…Gran… Hermione Gran,” Hermione was stammering, she couldn’t get her mouth around her last name, she was trying to force it out but as she got close to completing it she felt a wave of despair creep up and threaten to drown her out, and her hands clamped down tightly on the fence, forgetting the fact that one edge was barbed. In fact she didn’t even feel the pain.
Draco gasped as he looked at the girl, she was slowly hunching over and then he saw where her hands were pressed and he started forwards towards her.
“Granger, let go,” Hermione froze for a few seconds and then she let out a loud sob that pierced the air like nothing Draco had heard since the war, and as she cried she let go and dropped to the floor. On the floor, she pressed her ruined hands to her face and shook violently. “Merlin, Granger. What the hell?” Draco muttered and he carefully got to his knees in front of her. “Granger?”
“STOP IT!” Hermione screamed suddenly. Draco fell over onto his arse. “Don’t call me that, it’s over, they’re gone, I’m not a…I’m not,” Hermione was shaking hard now as she gasped through her fingers. Draco was staring aghast as he looked at the girl in front of him. What the hell had happened to the know-it-all, opinionated, bossy and bushy haired Hermione Granger he knew from school? Hermione was now muttering incoherently under her breath and shaking too hard to even stand so Draco sighed with trepidation and stood up before crouching and then picking her up bridal style so he could carry her back to the inn.
Draco ignored the strange glances that were cast his way as he travelled back carrying Hermione, she was exceptionally light, but she was short and slender so it wasn’t surprising.
“Pans!” Draco called. Instead of Pansy, Blaise looked up and gasped.
“She tried to tell me who she was but couldn’t say it. I finished her sentence like an idiot and she froze and started pressing her hands on this spiky fence so I told her to stop, but old habits die hard and I called her by her last name like a twat,” Draco cursed in a low voice. Blaise levelled a look into Draco’s eyes and sighed heavily.
“Follow me,” Blaise said and he turned to another witch behind the bar. “Keep an eye on things for a few minutes.” The young witch nodded and Blaise started walking towards the offices at the back. Draco shifted Hermione in his arms and followed Blaise up to the private living quarters out the back and up the stairs to Hermione’s bedroom.
“Put her on the bed Draco,” Blaise murmured.
“Well where else am I going to put her?” Draco said sarcastically. He was starting to feel Hermione’s weight now he’d been carrying her for a while and he was getting snappy.
“No need to be sarcastic bro,” Blaise snickered as he watched Draco laid Hermione on her bed gently, but as he tried to let her go, Hermione stopped murmuring and her eyes fixed on Draco as he tried to let her go.
“No,” Hermione croaked.
“No?” Draco questioned as his eyes fixed on her now brown eyes, Blaise had undone the glamour charm as Draco had lain her down.
“Stay,” Hermione whispered. Draco looked into her face thoroughly shocked.
“You want me to stay?” Draco asked with his shock evident in his face. Hermione nodded, and Draco looked at Blaise. Blaise saw the look of utter shock on Draco’s face and he doubled over into silent laughter. Draco looked at Hermione, staring deep into her brown eyes and noticing just how dull and dead they looked and his mind was made up. He’d made the mistake of staying away and in the background not lending an ounce of help once before and he was never going to make that mistake again no matter what he had to do.
He then sat down on the covers next to Hermione and she adjusted herself so her head was resting on his thighs. Calling upon some of the things he knew his mother found relaxing, Draco touched Hermione’s hair and with gentle hands proceeded to undo her plait, the plait that had thickened considerably as Blaise undid the glamour charm. Once her plait was undone, Draco proceeded to remove the elastic bobble she’d used to tie her hair up and then he ran his fingers through the wild bushy mane of honey brown hair. On closer inspection he realised that the bushy hair he had always thought was simply just frizzy was actually just a mane of tight curls. Hermione moved her head and let out a quiet sound of satisfaction as Draco’s fingers ran through her hair and Draco shifted uncomfortably as her head brushed him in a very sensitive place.
“Draco!” Blaise hissed. Draco looked up at his mate who was staring flabbergasted at his best friend. Draco shrugged his shoulders as he looked at Blaise.
“What am I supposed to do?” Draco whispered. Blaise fished around inside his robe pocket and took out another one of those vials.
“Here. Keep her calm for now, this is her next dosage of her calming draught, she can have that when her wand buzzes next and not before. As long as you’re careful with what you talk about you should have no problems keeping her calm. I think sleeping would also be a good idea because she hasn’t been sleeping well,” Blaise murmured quietly in Draco’s ear as he walked past him, noticing that Hermione was asleep as he did so.
“Dude, can I have a book or something?” Draco questioned.
“I’m sure Hermione has every book you could ever think of hidden in that bag of hers on the desk,”
“You want me to go through a woman’s handbag to find entertainment. Are you mental?” Draco queried raising a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. Blaise just shrugged his shoulders as he walked towards the door.
“Summon something, you don’t necessarily have to go through her handbag, and I doubt you would find anything even if you did, she has like a bottomless extension charm on there or something mad,” Blaise smirked. Draco scowled as Blaise left the room and shut the door.
Hoping for the best Draco raised his wand and concentrated on what he wanted.
“Accio Othello,” Draco summoned. Waiting for a few seconds Draco then saw the book worm its way out of Hermione’s handbag and fly over to him where he caught it with seeker’s precision. Othello was the book he had taken to after hearing about a magic story written by a muggle called Shakespeare from his mother after his father died. Unfortunately when Draco had read a midsummer night’s dream, he was quite disappointed and his mother had found a book he might have preferred to read. In fact Draco was shocked that Hermione had that particular book inside her bag, he was sure she only read the great big dusty volumes found in a secluded section of the library. He had seen her at it, lugging books that were almost as wide her waist down to a table in the library.
Draco had been nursing a stupid secret crush on Hermione ever since she had taken the initiative to break his nose. He was a prat back then and he could still remember her exact words of him being a “foul, loathsome, evil, little cockroach”. Draco knew he had been an utter dick to everyone back at Hogwarts and he had spent last year making up with those he had teased to distraction, while locking himself in his office and making note of what the company was doing and how he would get out of it. His father had no idea of Draco’s plans to pass the company onto the next worthy candidate, and he was sure that his father would be turning in his Azkaban grave at the fact. Draco shook away his distracted thoughts and opened the book to the page he had left it at and found a very pretty bookmark there. Gently moving the bookmark out of the way Draco began to read, making sure to replace the bookmark when he turned the page.
Hermione woke up almost 4 hours later and looked up at Draco who was lost in the book he was reading.
“Malfoy?” Hermione questioned.
“The one and only darling,” Draco smiled. He was allowed to tease her innocently wasn’t he?
“What are you doing here? Moreover what in Merlin’s name am I doing with my head in your lap?” Hermione asked slowly, although she didn’t move.
“Well you see. We went on a walk, and you shut down I guess, so I carried you back and put you in your bed when I went to leave you grabbed me and told me to stay, so I sat down and you put your head in my lap. I borrowed Othello by the way, you don’t mind do you, it’s just you were sleeping so I didn’t want to wake you,” Draco murmured apologetically. Now was not the time to talk about saying sorry for the Mudblood comments and being a total arse to her. Surely that apology would bring back memories of her muggle parents which would not go down well.
“You helped me?” Hermione gasped as she sat up quickly.
“Um yeah, did you expect me to leave you there? Oh and I healed your hands, what the fuck have you being doing?” Draco spluttered, before he closed his mouth and put a lid on it. Hermione looked at Draco shocked for a few seconds and then at her hands which were clear of anything except the soft lines in her hands.
“What do you mean? Hermione questioned as she scooted the other side of the bed and leant against the headboard from him.
“Never mind,” Draco murmured. Hermione just looked at Draco and then shrugged before her eyes dropped to the loose thread in her bed covers, which was lucky for him because at that moment he forgot every prim and proper ruling on hiding his emotions he had ever been taught by his father and his mouth dropped open.
Since when had know-it-all Granger ever, ever just shrugged in response to a never mind. Draco was bracing himself for pleading and cajoling to reveal what he had said and then braced himself for the ensuing panic attack, but none came.
“H-How do you feel?” Draco stammered, recovering his composure quickly and trying to cover up his shock even if she took no notice of it.
Hermione looked up from the loose grey thread and stared at Draco without really seeing him.
“What?” She muttered, having lost track of his question as soon as she looked up.
“How do you feel?” Draco repeated calmly. As Hermione was looking directly at Draco when he asked her the question she felt emotion zoom across her face at the fact there was no sneer or drawl to his tone, and no smirk on his face. But almost as soon as she tried to grab onto the foreign emotion it was gone. The only emotions Hermione knew now were pain, sorrow and anger. As of yet she was yet to experience a full onslaught of anger, but she could sense it brewing even though she was practically senseless. Draco’s expectant gaze jogged Hermione from her thoughts and she frowned.
“What did you just ask me?” Hermione repeated. This time shock flitted across Draco’s face.
“You’re not deaf are you?” Draco asked sounding worried and Hermione gasped.
“What… No… No I can hear you… I can… I can hear you,” Hermione whispered quickly and Draco instantly saw he had said the wrong thing but the frown that had appeared, the slight glistening to her eyes and the teeth appearing on the bottom lip she had been biting.
“Hermione,” Draco called as he watched her eyes flicker around the room as her teeth started to pierce her lower lip. “Hermione,” Draco called again, louder this time as blood started to pool around her teeth. “Hermione STOP!” Draco bellowed. The girl in question jumped about a foot and finally fixed her eyes on Draco as her mouth dropped open in total shock.
“Why are you shouting?” Hermione whispered.
“Because you’re bleeding,” Draco said simply and he moved closer to her with his wand raised gently, but she flinched away. Draco cringed back to his corner and dropped his wand in defeat and raised his hands. “I was not going to hurt you,” Draco whispered. Hermione’s eyes searched Draco’s handsome face and she saw a sincere look of hurt and apologies, but there was a tiny spot of hope hidden amongst those molten silver eyes.
“What were you going to do?” Hermione asked after several moments in which she did not notice the blood dripping from her lip and onto her chin. Draco shuddered as he looked at Hermione, although his shudder was not strong enough to be seen. She looked pale and gaunt, her eyes were dead and her thick curly hair was a man around her face as she asked her question with blood dripping from her lower lip.
“I was going to heal your lip,” Draco whispered. Just then sudden awareness flashed across Hermione’s face and she raised her hand to her lip and saw that her hand came away covered in red liquid.
“Oh,” Hermione said inadequately, but then her eyes flashed and she narrowed her dead eyes. “Does my dirty blood disgust you that much Malfoy?” Hermione then hissed. Draco blinked, taken aback by the sudden turn of events.
“What? Where did that come from?” Draco gasped.
“Well I believe you were the one to first call me a mudblood. So Malfoy are you disgusted?” Hermione’s voice was as high and as hissy as a snake and Draco shivered.
“I am sorry. Truly, from the bottom of my unworthy, cowardly heart I am sorry for calling you that. Maybe one day I will explain the ins and outs of why I acted the way I did towards you. For now I just need you to know that I am not disgusted with you or your blood, nor am I ashamed to be sat here with you. I am truly sorry for how I was, but I’m different than I was then,” Draco murmured softly. As he spoke of his non-existent disgust for her blood he conjured some tissue and lightly wiped away the blood that had fallen on her chin, before he froze and relaxed back as the tissue disappeared. Hermione’s gaze was like fire, it was hot and it held hatred so deep and disgusting that Draco flinched away from her.
How dare he touch me, how dare he even think…
“Can I heal you please, you’re ruining the Zabini’s linen,” Draco drawled. His instant reaction to her hate being to hide himself behind his sneering façade, life was easier if people didn’t know he had emotions. Hermione smirked to herself as she saw the familiar Draco Malfoy. This one she could handle. The new Malfoy was an entire new being to her. So familiar in looks but yet so different. Hermione suddenly felt her anger intensify and swell, but as quickly as it came it was gone, replaced by a dull blank look and shakes that seemed to intensify by the second. “HERMIONE!” Draco bellowed and Hermione jumped and blinked and she found herself staring at him. She was still shaking she clapped her hands to her mouth and looked at Draco with a scared look in her eyes.
As Draco looked at Hermione he felt like someone had just punched him in the gut and tears sprang to his eyes. He had only ever seen her this scared once before and he’d made a promise that he would never make her as scared as then, but this was worse and he once again concluded that he never wanted to see any woman look that scared ever again in his life, much less Hermione. So quickly without giving her time to protest he lowered her hands gently with his right hand and then raised the other one holding his wand and murmured a healing incantation as he directed his wand at her lips.
Hermione cringed back into the headboard as she registered Draco’s lighting fast movement of his wand to her face, but no sooner had she cringed away and shuddered she felt a warmth pass over her lips and then when she ran her tongue out over them she felt only smooth skin, nothing more, nothing less.
“There you go,” Draco smirked, obviously proud of himself. Hermione couldn’t find it in herself to say thank you. Not because she wasn’t grateful, but because she found she was incapable of opening her mouth due to the strength of the shakes that were rocking through her small body.
Draco started looking around hopefully for something that would help ease the shakes and just as he did he heard a buzzing sound and he turned to see Hermione’s wand vibrating as hard as she was next to her vial of calming draught. Draco dived at the calming draught and uncorked it before he bellowed her name to get her attention and handed her the vial.
Hermione took a hold of the vial like a lifeline and she raised it to her lips and let the sweet liquid run down her throat and as it hit her stomach she felt it spread stillness and calm through her body and mind. Hermione then looked up and as if she had only just seen Malfoy for the first time, launched herself off the bed, grabbed her wand and pointed it at him.
“What in the name of Merlin are you doing with here Malfoy?” Hermione sneered and Draco ran a hand through his hair, mussing it even more as he sighed deeply.
“Shit,” Draco groaned, he was about to have the same conversation he had just had, with the Hermione Granger that he remembered from Hogwarts.
Author’s note -
So I know there hasn’t been much Dramione romance, but I don’t want to rush into it and leave you guys thinking well how the hell did they get to here. Please leave me some reviews and let me know what you think of the story so far.
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