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Chapter 8 : Turning Twenty-One
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Mione!" Ginny screamed as she gave Hermione a big hug. "Happy birthday!"
"Thank you." Hermione smiled.
"Happy birthday Mione!" Luna said softly before giving embracing Hermione in a hug.
It was 3PM and Ginny and Luna were round Hermione's parent’s house.
"Can we see it?" asked Luna, pointing to a black bag where the outfit was.
"No you cannot." she said."But you will, soon."
Ginny rolled her eyes playfully. "So how are you enjoying your birthday so far?"
"Brilliant! My parents bought me a car!" she announced, her eyes gleaming with glee.
"What? You're so lucky!"
"I know and it's mainly because I'm going to be living alone."
"You're still thinking about that?" Ginny asked softly, secretly hoping that the thought had deserted her mind.
"Yes." nodded Hermione. "Ginny, if my parents can trust me to live alone. Then you should to."
"Do I have to?" she moaned childishly.
"Yes, you do." Hermione giggled.
"Now, let's get you ready, the party's at five."
Hermione went and took another shower, as Ginny advised it would be for the best as she currently smelled of tea. When she returned in the room, Ginny had emptied her make-up bag all over her bed.
"Ginny, that's a lot of make–up." she pointed out, as she dried herself up with a large towel.
"It's not that much. I used to have more, but Harry made me get rid of them as they were taking up too much space in the draws." Ginny explained.
"Oh Ginny, where is Harry?"
"He took Teddy out for lunch." she explained.
Teddy was Remus Lupin and Nyphandora Tonks' child. Lupin and Tonks were one of those who were killed in the war, making Teddy an orphan of war. He currently lived with his grandmother but he also spent a lot of time with Harry, his godfather.
"That's sweet." Luna said softly.
"Yeah, he really likes the boy. And Teddy really likes him." she smiled, looking lost in space. "Anyway, let's get on with you."
They started off with Hermione's hair. There was less of her hair to style, so they were over and done within minutes. Luna applied some light but noticeable make–up on her face, as Ginny started working on her nails. She painted it a light nude colour to match her skin. After hours, Hermione was finally ready.
Hermione picked up the black bag and she pulled out her dress.
"Oh my god!" Luna said. "That dress is–"
"Gorgeous!" Ginny finished off for her. "Put it on then!" she prompeted.
Hermione carefully placed the dress over her head as Ginny and Luna pulled it down. Once Hermione was finally wearing the dress, she looked in the mirror.
The dress was a light pale nude floor length evening dress. It was tight around the hips, before going down into a big frilly gown with ruffles. She topped off the look by wearing a satin peep–toe sling back.
"The dress alone is lovely, but it's you that makes it beautiful Hermione." Luna said.
"Thank you so much for all of this, guys! I couldn't have been ready on time without your help!" she grinned.
There was a tap on the window. It was an owl, that Hermione recognized, but she wasn't sure who it was. Ginny opened the window and the owl flew in and landed on Hermione's shoulders. Hermione carefully removed the letter from its mouth and watched as the owl flew back out.
She opened up the letter to read.
‘Here's a little something.
Sorry, it's not much.
And just like that, a little box appeared on top of the letter. Hermione picked up the delicate box and opened it. Inside it was a pearl necklace.
"Whoa!" Ginny murmured in astonishment. "Who's it from?"
"I think it's from Andrew!" she gasped.
"Andrew Russo?" Luna asked. "The man's got good taste!"
"All Italian men have good tastes." Ginny agreed almost immediately and no one bothered to question how she would know that..
"This is so sweet!"
"He's going to be here in thirty minutes, so you can thank him then." Ginny explained, winking cheekily.
"Thirty minutes? Ginny, we better get ready!" Luna yelped, pulling Ginny away.
Hermione watched as the girls quickly got showered and applied make up before getting changed. Luna wore a simply white dress that reached her thighs and black heels; she was clearly going for the girly sort of look. Ginny wore a long sleeved nude blouse and a matching long nude skirt; she was going for the classy look. They both looked absolutely stunning, in their own ways.
"Luna, we have to go now." Ginny said, waving to Hermione. "We'll see you in a couple of minutes."
Hermione waved at the girls and said goodbye before they apparated out. She paced around the room impatiently, anxiously removing pieces of lint from her old clothes to calm her down. She had never been nervous before, and yet here she was, acting as though it was her wedding day. In all honesty, she was just excited to see Andrew. She was getting butterflies at the thought of seeing Andrew again. There was a knock at the front door. Throwing away the box of biscuits she was about to open, she ran to the door, trying hard not to fall in her heels and dress. Checking the hallway mirror one last time and taking a deep breath, she opened the door.
Hello." Draco smiled as he bought out a red rose from behind his back.
"What are you doing here?" she didn’t bother hiding her shock.
"I'm your date for the evening." he explained, seemingly unfazed.
"What happened to Andrew?" she asked, raising her eyebrows suspiciously.
"Andrew decided to swap you for Astoria."
"It's pretty long, so I'll tell you on the way there." he sighed and waved his hand dismissively.
Draco moved out of the way, revealing a big white carriage led by two white horses.
"You carriage awaits m'lady." he said mockingly, extending his arm.
Hermione didn't know what to do, but after cautious deliberation, she took his arm as he led them towards the carriage.
"Okay, explain to me what the hell is going on?" she asked, as they took their seats opposite each other.
"Astoria left me last night." he murmured softly, still not taking aback.
He saw the way Hermione’s face dropped, full of guilt.
"I'm sorry–" she began.
"Don't be. I'm happy that she finally left."
"Err... okay then, but what does this have to do with Andrew?"
"I saw him this morning with Astoria." he said. "He seemed really cozy with her. When I tried to talk to him, he said a lot of crazy shit. One of them was that he was swapping dates. He'll take Astoria and that I can have you."
"He really said that?" she prompted skeptically.
"Yes. Astoria probably had him under some sort of spell, to make me jealous." he shrugged coolly.
Hermione leant back on her seat, she couldn't believe her ears. "Are you sure you're not making this up?"
He looked at her. His eyes glued to hers. He seemed so serious. "I'm not."
There was no reason for him to be lying, Hermione thought. She should have expected it. She knew from Italy that Andrew wasn't the sort of guy to settle for one girl, he was the type of guy to be with a different girl each night.
"I see you got my gift." Draco said.
"My gift." he said once again, pointing to her pearl necklace.
"You sent me this?" she asked softly.
"It's your birthday; I had to get you something."
"I thought it was from Andrew."
"Why? You can't imagine someone like me sending you something like that?" He looked hurt.
Hermione thought carefully before answering truthfully. "Well... yeah."
He laughed. He had a sexy laugh, Hermione thought. A deep sexy one. Oh god. What am I thinking? It's Draco Malfoy!
"I assure you, I'm not the same Draco I was."
"I know." she said.
Draco smiled. He had good smile, a lovely smile, a smile that could make anyone's day better. How had she not noticed this before?
It was then that Hermione realized that she had been staring at him. She cleared her throat.
"Can't the muggles see us?" she asked, looking out the window.
"No. They can't see anything." he said.
Draco watched as Hermione moved uneasily in her seat. Was she scared of flying?
"Don't you like flying?"
"No. I never liked it in Hogwarts, and I don't like it now." she muttered.
"Don't worry," he said as he saw that they were near their destination. "We're nearly there."
Hermione let out a breath that she didn't know she was holding in.
"You look beautiful, by the way." he smiled.
Hermione glared at him, she wasn’t used to his compliments. "Thank you."
The crowd went wild as couples stepped out of their carriages. Flashes went off as many photographers and reporters tried to capture the movement.
Out came Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas each with one of the Patil twins. Neville came along with his girlfriend Hannah Abbot, he was dressed in black and so was Hannah. George came out with Angelina, who looked stunning in a short blue dress. Bill and Fleur came out with their two daughters, Victoire and Dominique, whose light red hair were in buns. Fleur wore a knee length strapless red dress. Blaise and Pansy came out, both looking smart in dark blue.
Many other ex Hogwart's students stepped out. All dressed to impress in bright elegant suits or dresses. A carriage came; Astoria Greengrass stepped out with Andrew Russo. The crowd gasped, obviously shocked as to why Astoria wasn't with Draco, but instead with rising Quidditch star, Andrew. Astoria wore a one–shouldered scarlet gown, as she rocked the red carpet with ease.
Another carriage, and out stepped Luna Lovegood and her boyfriend, Rolf Scamander. Luna looked smart as she walked down the red carpet in her short white dress. The carriage behind them pulled up and Ron Weasley came out hand in hand with a tall blonde haired beauty who was dressed in a short tight black dress and killer heels. Ron walked down the red carpet with his hand tucked in his pocket, not even daring to touch his date.
Seconds later another carriage pulled. Harry Potter stepped out looking extremely smart in a dark blue suit, as he helped his girlfriend out of the carriage. Ginny Weasley looked beautiful as she walked down the red carpet. Cameras flashed, reporters yelled, fans screamed, as they all knew the birthday girl was going to arrive next.
A big white carriage pulled up. In a matter of seconds, the carriage was surrounded by men dressed in white, In order to stop the crowd from getting any closer to the birthday girl. The door opened and out stepped Draco Malfoy, dressed in a white shirt and black suit. The press went crazy and began to yell as they all wondered what Draco Malfoy was doing in Hermione's Granger's carriage.
Draco extended out his arm and a petite arm took it. The crowd lost it as they watched a beautiful Hermione Granger step out of the carriage. They watched as the couple walked down the red carpet and posed for pictures.
"Hermione, Draco! OVER HERE!"
"Draco why aren't you with Astoria?"
"Miss Granger, Happy Birthday!"
"Are you both together now?"
Hermione just smiled at the reporters. She didn't have to answer their questions, it was her birthday. She was glad that they weren't allowed in. Draco had suddenly appeared next to her. He wrapped his hands around her waist as more pictures were taken.
"What are you doing?" she asked through gritted teeth.
"I'm playing my part." he smirked down at her. "Play along."
The cameras hadn't stopped flashing once.
"Now, hold on to my arm." Draco whispered.
Hermione did as she was told as they walked into the big hall. She paled, raising a hand to cover her beating heart as she took in the scene in front of her.
"Wow." she said taking in the view.
There were screaming swarms of children running through the huge hall as balloons drifted around aimlessly on the floor. A stack of unopened presents stood in the corner of the room, wrapped in smooth shiny wrapping paper.
A silk bow had been carefully tied around each parcel. Loud music was blaring through the speakers that stood in every corner. And to top it off there was a huge chandelier that hung in the middle of the room, as guest danced under it.
Hermione had to give it to Ginny; she did a great job.
"I think we're meant to be sat over there." Draco pointed to a table near the front, where Luna was frantically waving.
They walked over, and took a seat where their names were. Hermione was sat in between Draco and Harry.
"You look absolutely beautiful Mione." Harry whispered to her.
Hermione blushed. "Thank you."
"I hope you don't mind me asking, but what are you doing with Malfoy?"
"He's my date." she explained to Harry.
Harry looked confused, but he simply nodded and went off to find his girlfriend. Hermione looked to her left to see Draco starring at the table where Astoria sat.
"I don't think you're all that happy with her being here." Hermione muttered.
"I don't mind her being here. But him," he was now starring at Andrew. "I mind."
"What have you got against Andrew?"
"Don't tell me you’re sticking up for him?" he asked, glaring at her. "After he stood you up?"
"He didn't stood me up." Hermione explained.
"If I hadn't stepped in, you would have been date less at your own birthday."
"I wouldn't have minded. I like being date less."
"Don't we all?" he drawled.
Hermione saw that he no longer looked happy, but like he didn't want to be here at all. She felt sorry for him. Seeing your ex look happy with someone else isn't exactly what you want. Speaking of exes...
Her eyes searched the hall for a familiar red hair. When she finally found him, she saw that he was with a beautiful blonde. She felt betrayed, even though she had said she was over him, he still had no right to bring a date to her birthday. Especially when they had only broken up less than a month ago.
"Are you okay Granger?"
Hermione turned around to see Draco with a drink in his hand.
"Yeah." she nodded. He must have left and got the drink from the bar when she was staring at her ex.
"Here, have this. Apparently it's meant to make you feel happier." he said as he placed the drink in front of her.
"Is it vodka?"
Draco smiled at her. "No, it's not. I checked."
She took one giant gulp and drank it all in one go. It tasted almost refreshing.
Ginny was now back in her seat. "Hermione, how are you enjoying your party so far?" she asked.
"It's brilliant Ginny! You did a great job!"
"And I hope you don't mind, but we had to make a few changes for the seating plan, as you can see." she pointed to where Andrew sat, across the hall, with Astoria.
"Oh that's fine." Ginny said. "You can explain to me the details later." Ginny said before joining her boyfriend back on the dance floor.
There were now several couples dancing around the dance floor, including Harry and Ginny, and Luna and Rolf.
"Shall we dance?" Draco asked suddenly.
"If you want."
"I want." he smiled.
"Okay, but I warn you. I'm not going to be able to move very well in this dress."
"I'll take my chances."
They walked over to the middle of the dance floor, just as a slow song started to play. Hermione cursed the DJ.
"Just follow my lead." Draco said, with a mischievous gleam in his eye.
He gently placed his hand on Hermione's hips and Hermione placed her hand on his shoulder.
"Why are you so darn tall?" she muttered.
"Runs in my family." he said. "Same as blonde hair and dashing good looks."
"You know, most people changed for the better after the war. But not you, you just got vainer and vainer."
"Vainer? Is that even a word Granger?" he asked, an eyebrow raised.
"It is in my dictionary."
"You need a new dictionary. Maybe I'll get you one for Christmas."
Hermione couldn't help but chuckle. Couples had stopped dancing around them as they watched the brightest witch of her age slow dance with an ex death eater.
"Glad I can make you laugh." Draco smiled at himself.
"Don't get so cocky, I'm easy to impress."
"Easy job for me then."
They had been so caught up in each other that they hardly noticed that they had been joined on the dance floor by two more couples. Andrew and Astoria, and Ron and his blonde friend.
"Draco, you're a really lovely guy when you're trying to make your ex jealous." Hermione said.
"First, I'm not trying to make Astoria jealous and second, that maybe the first time you've ever called me by my first name." he said.
"First of all Draco we both know that's what you’re trying to do, and secon–."
"There it is again!" he interrupted.
"Stop trying to change the subject." She hissed in a low voice.
"Relax Granger." he looked down at her. "Let's just dance for now."
They swayed and dance to the music for what seemed like hours. Until Hermione complained that her shoes were killing her.
"Women," he said, once they were back at their seats. "Why do they were high heels and complain about it later?"
"Because they're beautiful!" Hermione said.
"So are plain flats."
"Yes they are. But you wouldn't wear that to a night out, would you?"
"Because they say that you're scared. If you wear heels, it shows that you're confident and not afraid to try something new, that you're a risk taker. Someone who's not afraid of anything."
"Really? You get all that from shoes?"
"And magazines, of course." she added.
Hermione smacked him on the arm. "Don't underestimate the female knowledge." she said
"I didn't." he said, rubbing his arm. "God woman!"
Hermione caught the eye of Astoria Greengrass, who was sitting across the hall on a table with Blaise, Pansy, Theodore and her sister Daphne. Andrew had probably gone off to the bar, she thought.
Astoria was scowling at her.
"Astoria looks mad." Hermione told Draco.
"So does Weasel." He said pointing to where an annoyed Ron stood awkwardly dancing with his blonde lady friend.
"Want to give them something to really be mad about?" Draco smirked deviously.
"What do you mean?" Hermione turned her attention to him.
"Give me a kiss on the cheek!"
"Just do it. It's not like it's on the lips." he said.
Hermione rolled her eyes before giving Draco a quick but sensual kiss on the cheek. She saw Astoria's eyes lit up in anger at the corner of her eye. She saw Ron's face turn red before leaving the dance floor, with his friend trailing behind.
"That was cruel." she said.
"But they both deserved it."
Hermione had to agree.
There was a spotlight on the stage and Ginny Weasley appeared on the stage.
"Hello. How's everyone enjoying the party?" There was a loud cheer. "That's good! Now we all know why we're here! To celebrate a very special lady."
A spotlight appeared on Hermione, causing her to sink down onto her chair in shyness. There was another loud cheer.
"Hermione, I've known you since we were young. You're not only my best friend, but you're my sister! I always wished I had an older sister, and that's what you've been to me!" Ginny raised her glass. "I raise a toast not just to your lucky day, but also to our friendship. I'm glad to have found someone like you whom I can call a true friend. Happy Birthday dear Mione."
There was a round of applause and a few cheers from the back. Ginny walked back to the table and Hermione gave her a big hug. Dean, Seamus and the Patil twins walked on stage. They gave a long sweet speech about Hermione before Neville and Luna walked on.
"On your special day, I would like to make a toast. It goes not just to the real friend you are, but also to another year filled with fine times, magical adventures and great memories!" Luna finished off. "We love you Hermione!" They chorused.
It was George's turn. "Hermione, you're like a little sister to me, it's a real shame that you aren't because I wouldn't mind trading you for the one I've got." There was a reluctant laughter. "I'm joking Ginny, by the way. I can see your vein from over here. So, Hermione, let's raise a toast and celebrate your life as the kind, humble and generous younger sister, you've been!"
Another round of applause.
Hermione's parents walked on stage, they gave a long emotional speech with many oohs and ahhs. Then it was Harry's turn.
"I'll keep this short and sweet as I see that many of you have been eyeing the cake. Hermione, I count myself lucky that I have had the privilege of knowing you since we were young. You have thought me many things in life. Like there are more important things in life than books and cleverness, like friendship and bravery." Everyone awed. "I don't think we'd all be alive without your help! And like Ron said, we wouldn't last a day without you. So, let's raise a glass to celebrate the brightest witch of her age! Hermione Granger!" Loud cheers and applause filled the large hall.
After all the speeches were over, Hermione felt incredibly happy and emotional. She was overwhelmed with all kind of emotions.
"Are you okay?" Draco asked a teary Hermione.
"Yes, I am." she replied, rubbing away the tears.
"Good, I've got a speech myself."
Hermione watched as Draco walked up to the stage and grabbed the microphone and waited as he had everyone's attention.
"Firstly, I would like to say thank you all for coming tonight to celebrate my girlfriend Hermione's twenty–first birthday, hope you are all having a good time." There were loud gasps as people murmured to each other in confusion.
Hermione's jaw dropped at the mention of the word 'girlfriend', what was he playing at?
"I would like to raise my glass and propose a toast for who Hermione really is," he was now looking at her. "Hermione is a woman who looks at life positively in spite of the struggles and obstacles she faces, someone who strongly believes in true love and practices what she believes, a woman who's not afraid to be who she wants."
The hall was silent as he continued. "Hermione loves her friends, more than anything, she likes a good cup of tea at midnight, she likes to be right about everything and she loves bothering me affectionately. So on this day, on her birthday, Hermione, I, as your boyfriend, just want to know how happy I am to have you. You are a wonderful, beautiful person, and you make a real shining difference in every life you touch.
"Thank you for being you Hermione and I wish you health and happiness. I love you, Hermione, and happy birthday. Cheers."
Everyone awed and cheered as Draco walked off the stage. Hermione had stood up and met him halfway, and pulled him to the corner, where no one could hear them.
"What the fuck was that?" she hissed.
"A speech, you're welcome." he seemed ignorant to what he had just said.
"You called me your girlfriend."
"I know." he smirked.
"Did you see Weasley's face when I did? He was practically seething.”
Hermione searched and found Ron and his lady friend arguing near the bar.
"But still! People will actually think we're dating now!"
"That’s the general idea?" he smirked.
"Are you against the idea?”
"Yes I am! It's preposterous! You're only doing it because you want to make Astoria jealous!"
Hermione couldn’t figure out why he was doing this. Was this some kind of a cruel joke he was playing at? If so then it certainly wasn’t funny. She hadn’t expected him to say that lie in front of everyone, it was just simply mean.
Draco took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair before continuing on. "I can't let people know that Astoria left me."
" Why not?"
It would be bad publicity for my company. I’ve been with Astoria for years, we seem like the perfect couple to everyone. It wouldn’t do the Malfoy name any good if it got out that I’m single. It’s a tradition for them to be married by the age of twenty–two."
Hermione listened carefully; it made a lot of sense to her.
“If I ruin the tradition, it’ll break my mother’s heart!”
“Hermione, just listen to me,” he sighed and ran a hand through his hair, as if trying to think of a way to phrase what he was going to say next. “I know I was terrible to you back at Hogwarts and I always tried to get you and your friends in trouble, but you have to understand, that I had absolutely no choice.” He was practically pleading her now. “I just had to protect my family.”
Hermione heaved a sigh and stared at the man in front of him.
"So out of all the girls in the wizarding world, you choose me?"
"Well, pretending to date you makes more sense." he shrugged.
"And how, may I ask, is that?"
"The press already thinks we're dating. Might as well say it's true."
“Do you expect me to marry you?” she stared at him.
“No no no! There’s no need for that!” he said quickly, as if it was the most ridiculous thing she could have said. “Just give it a few weeks, Hermione!”
What was he expecting her to do, play along?
"Malfoy, this is a stupid idea, I won't partake."
"Please Hermione." he looked needy. "Please. All I need is one favour from you, and you can go back to hating me as much as you like. Give me one chance, please."
In all the years that Hermione had known Draco, he had never looked more vulnerable than he did at that moment. She felt sympathetic for him. She liked to think that she had grown to know the man almost like a close friend, and she would always be there for her friends, no matter what it was that she had to do.
She’s the kind of easy–going girl, willing to risk everything and just go for it. She puts everything on the line and does it. No buts, no questions, just do it – that’s her motto. But what is he asking her to do? Forget about her own life and try to help him? She didn’t think he realized what a big deal it was! It’s not exactly something you announce in a party filled with gossiping gossipers.
After all, she was looking to get back at a certain red head. And if dating the enemy would do just that, then well, what’s there to lose?
"Ok..." she said before she could stop herself.
She wasn’t sure why she had just said that. But she was all about second chances.
"Oh thank you!” he said with a massive grin. “You won't regret pretending to date me!"
"I already do." she muttered.
He took her hand in his and they walked back to their seat.
Harry was the first to speak. "So, girlfriend uh?"
Hermione looked around the table; everyone seemed to be suddenly interested in nothing else but the couple. Hermione nodded.
"And when did this relationship begin?" Ginny asked, eyeing the couple suspiciously.
"It's been a secret." Draco answered before Hermione had the chance to.
"Really? So the press was right, this whole time?" asked Luna.
"Yeah, we had to lie a lot though; we didn't want to give them the benefit of doubt."
Harry was starring at Hermione, obviously confused. Hermione didn’t blame her. A minute ago, she had been single now she’s suddenly dating her childhood nemesis.
"Hermione, want to dance?" Harry asked her. "If that's okay with your boyfriend, of course."
Draco simply nodded.
"So, Malfoy uh?" Harry asked once they were on the dance floor.
"Yeah, it came as a shock to me too." she said.
"I hope you're not just doing this to spite Ron."
"No I'm not. And quite frankly I don't give a damn what Ronald thinks." she hissed.
"Okay. I'm sorry for bringing that up Hermione. It's your birthday. We should be having fun."
When the music turned upbeat, Harry started to show off his terrible dance moves.
"Harry please, you're embarrassing yourself!" she laughed.
"Careful Harry." said Neville, who had suddenly appeared beside Hermione. "Hermione, care to dance?"
"So you're really dating Malfoy then?" he asked after a while of dancing.
"It seems so.”
"You two are the most unusual couple here tonight." he stated.
Hermione chuckled, and searched for a suitable reply. "I guess we are."
After she had danced with Neville, Dean, Seamus and even George, she walked back to her seat, where Draco was sitting alone.
"You must be tired." he said.
"I am." she sighed.
"Well you don't have time to rest. You have to give a speech in a few minutes before cutting the cake."
"Speech? I had completely forgotten about that! What am I meant to say?"
"Just thank everyone for coming here," he said. "And don't forget to mention your boyfriend."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Where's Ginny and Luna?" she asked him.
"They're dancing." he pointed to the dance floor. "With their dates. Unlike me." he pouted.
"You want to dance again, Malfoy? Why didn't you say so? Tell you what, after my speech, we'll dance. Now if you excuse me, I have to give my speech."
Hermione stood up and walked up to the stage. She had barely reached the microphone before people had started to cheer and applaud. She started to blush.
"Er, thank you all for coming here tonight." she began. "Hagrid, Professor McGonagall, The Weasleys, my parents, my friends – which is all of you. I also want to thank Ginny and Luna for making my birthday a brilliant success. I want to thank my best friends, the friends that I have known since day one. Harry Potter." A spotlight appeared on Harry, and a loud cheer followed. "And Ronald Weasley." and another loud cheer, but not as loud as Harry's.
"I know today is a day to celebrate my birthday. But I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for all of you. None of us would be here. I have you all to thank that I reached this age. So thank you all very much!" Hermione was just about to turn around and walk off when she caught a quick glimpse of Draco amidst the crowd that was now cheering and applauding.
"Oh and before I go. I want to thank someone very important to... my... my heart." she stammered nervously. How was she supposed to go with this? "My boyfriend, Draco Malfoy.”
Expectedly, there were gasps.
“And I know a lot of you don't even like him." She stated. There were a few murmurs of agreement, some nodding feverishly. "We all say that we've moved on from the war, but none of us truly have. Why do you all still hold a grudge against those who were once against us?
"If I can learn to forgive and er–love an ex death eater, then isn't that enough that we should move on? I admit that I'm with someone who’s made all the wrong decisions, but he's just someone who just wanted a second chance. And I gave him that second chance.” The hall was now silent. “So quite frankly I don’t care what you all have to say about this.” she continued, “I honestly don’t!” That part was true.
As she walked off the stage, she saw that Draco had stood up and was now walking towards her.
"Thank you." he whispered into her ears as he hugged her.
"You owe me." she whispered back.
When they let go, everyone had started applauding once again. Hermione had expected them to boo and start throwing their meals at Hermione and start calling her a traitor, but she received the exact opposite of that. Draco took Hermione's hand in his, as they walked over to where the cake was. The cake was a large red velvet cake, and much to Hermione's dismay, there was a childhood picture of her, engraved on it. She was grinning foolishly and had a huge badge on that read ‘birthday girl’, the picture was of when she was five.
"I'm going to kill Ginny for that picture." she muttered.
"Cut the bloody cake already!" someone shouted from the back, most likely George.
Draco handed Hermione a small knife, and with a large smile across her face, she cut the cake.
"You are now officially twenty–one." he said.
"So the past nineteen hours doesn't count?" she asked.
"You don't age until you cut the cake!" he said in a know–it–all voice.
"Really? That's stupid."
"Yeah, it is." he said, causing Hermione to laugh. "Now, how about that dance, you promised?"
"You don't forget a thing, do you?"
"I try not to." he smirked.
Hermione pulled him on to the empty dance floor. A slow song started to play and all eyes were on them as he placed his hands on her hips and she, on his shoulders.
"So Malfoy, how are we going to make this work?" Hermione asked, as they swayed to the music.
"Given, the speech you just gave. I think it shows that we're past the early stages of boyfriend and girlfriend."
"What? We've only started to pretend to date for thirty minutes."
"You made it seem like we've been together for months."
"But we haven't." she stated desperately.
"I know. Which is why I suggest you move in with me."
She stopped dancing, she couldn’t believe her ears. "Move in? Are you joking?" He was asking a little more than she had hoped for.
"No." he stared at her, with a serious look in his eyes. "You're going to be followed by reporters more and more now. If you move in with me, you'll be safe."
"Malfoy, are you kidding me? It's bad enough that I have to pretend to date you, but I won't move in with you!"
"Why not? I've got an extra bedroom, so we don't have to share the same bed."
Hermione blushed. "It's n–not that." she spluttered.
"Then what is it?"
"It's just seems... so wrong."
"It shouldn't. Hermione, you said it yourself, people change. I'm not the death eater I was."
"Then do this for me."
Hermione didn't know what to do. Everything was happening so fast. An hour ago she was this twenty–one year girl old celebrating her birthday, now she's this twenty–one year old witch pretending to date an ex–death eater and might possibly be living with him.
"Okay Malfoy." she watched him release a breath. "I'll move in with you."
He grinned down at her.
"But if this is going to work out, then we're going to do it my way."
"Oh yes." she smiled at him.
"People are starring, let's seal the deal." he said.
And before Hermione could recollect herself, Draco lifted her chin, their noses almost touching. She could feel the warmth of his breath brushing the top of her lip. She stared right into his hardened grey eyes as he pushed his lips down onto hers. The kiss was like none other and although it only lasted a few seconds, it was magical. His lips smiled against Hermione's, then he pulled away from the kiss, their forehead's leaning against each others.
The kiss was pure lust; it was a show for the viewers. And they did not disappoint as a familiar red hair had stormed out of the hall with his blonde friend and an Italian Quidditch player was trying to calm down his angry date.
How the hell was this meant to work?
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or the brilliant characters you recognize! They belong to the amazing JK Rowling!
This is by far, the longest chapter so far! Again, I should point out that most of the chapters up to chapter eight or nine were all written within one week when I first started off writing fanfictions. They aren't good and I'm not proud of it. But for me to re-write it all, wouldjust take longer and I can't be bothered to go through that process again. The later chapters do get better - in terms of plot, grammer and flow.
Don't forget to drop a comment to tell me what you think. And Just so you know, this is just the beginning of the major plot.
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