Chapter 13 : Eve at the Granger's: Part Two
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Hermione ran her hand through her hair, not realizing that she was crying. “Don’t leave,” she croaked unnecessarily. But he was already down the stairs, even out of the house by now. “Don’t leave... Don’t leave...” she said, panting slightly as she rushed past the party and out into the snowing outdoors.
Draco was walking with his hands in his pockets, one hand clutching his broom, his hair disheveled by the wind and his constant fingers running through it.
“Oi! Malfoy!” she called, holding her chest. Draco didn’t turn around. “DRACO!”
“What do you want Granger?” he said testily, not turning around. Hermione ran up to him.
“I’m sorry for being a typical female and over-reacting Draco, I really am.”
“Back to first name terms? Make up your mind Granger,” he said, smirking.
“That’s beside the point. Look, we were going too fast...” she said, her tone warming.
“I know. I’ve been beyond rude to you forever; you have every right to have doubts about me. This is why it is absolutely unacceptable for me to have a Christmas dinner with your family.”
“Then, just friends?” she said in a rush, half hoping he said no.
“Just friends,” he asserted with a nod.
“But, you should at least stay for dinner. You can’t fly in this weather,” she said, indicating the heavy snow that showed signs of turning into a storm.
“Yeah, I guess,” Draco replied, scratching the back of his neck.
As they entered the house once more, Madi immediately sprang herself on Draco. “Draco! I was wondering where you were!” she said with a giggle, though she shot daggers at Hermione. Hermione resisted the temptation to stick her tongue at her.
“Sorry Mary dear, I just needed some fresh air,” he replied coldly.
Hermione snorted at her cousin’s affronted face when Draco said the wrong name. But that wasn’t stopping Madi, who grabbed his arm and took him off into the family. Hermione sighed. This would be a long night indeed.
She made her way to the bathroom where she was yet again found by Draco. “How exactly do you manage to get away from her?” Draco smirked mischievously in response. Hermione rolled her eyes. “I don’t understand, why do you do it so much?”
“Do what?” he asked.
“Court,” she said nonchalantly, though she was highly anticipating his answer.
Draco sighed. “Because she’s not your kind of girl.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” spat Hermione, clearly the conversation was going the way she intended it to be going.
“Girls like Mary –"
“Madi,” she corrected out of habit.
“Yeah, Madi. That’s what they’re made for. Flirting and what not. Girls like you are made to love. And that’s just collateral damage.”
Hermione opened her mouth and closed it all the same. Draco smiled a sad smile. “I should probably get going now; your cousin must be looking for me.” And then he swooped down and pecked Hermione on the cheek.
Hermione brought her hand to where Draco’s lips had been, and felt a nervous flip in her stomach.
“What was that?” snapped the tall one.
“What was what?” She was really getting on his nerves.
“You know,” she said, her eyes narrowed.
“No I don’t,” Draco drawled. “Please, enlighten me.”
“Forget it.” And Draco watched her walk away, hips swaying. Well thank Merlin she’s gone...
He looked on bored, as Madi went and picked up a cup filled with bright red juice. She began walking over to Hermione and Draco suddenly realized what she had been talking about. Bloody hell...
Hermione flinched badly as a cold, wet, substance dripped down her back and onto her skirt. She turned around to face her older cousin who was frowning at her. “Sorry, I tripped,” she said in a voice that wasn’t sorry at all. Hermione looked at her, eyes wide and stinging. The juice had diluted onto her clothes in a pink colour, ruining her clothes and hair. She turned to see everyone in the room who had acknowledged this exchange.
“Oh Hermione dear, come here,” said her mother, rushing towards her, a towel in hand. Hermione grabbed the towel from her and began dabbing at her clothes, her eyes to the ground so no one could see the tears.
“Well, I guess that’s the signal to change into our pajamas!” called snooty Aunt Jen, with a girly giggle. Hermione’s Uncle Bob shot her daggers, causing her to shut up.
Hermione croaked, “Yeah, I guess.” And ran off upstairs without looking back twice.
Jean made a move to follow her when Robert reckoned they should leave her alone.
“Mr. Granger, do you think it’d be okay if I went up and saw how she was?” asked Draco, though he knew that regardless of what her father’s answer may be, he was going to do it.
He opened his mouth to say otherwise, but Jean quickly said, “Yes, I think that’d be best.”
Draco nodded at the couple, and scowled at Madi as he went up.
He knocked on the door three times before saying, “Hermione, are you okay?” When no answer came he decided to enter the bedroom. She sat on the bed and had her back towards the door. Draco guessed she was crying.
“I just need a moment,” she said finally, sensing his presence, though her voice was empty. Draco couldn’t ignore the ache in her voice, and guilt was settling in. If he hadn’t kissed her cheek...
“Granger...” he began. “Don’t do this. She’s not worth it.” He moved towards her bed, but she curled away and pulled the sheets over her head. He couldn’t stand seeing her so frail and weak like how he’d once saw her when she was moaning outside the Slytherin common room.
“I know,” though her voice didn’t seem sure at all. “Your pajamas are in the bag over by the stool...” Her voice trailed off, as if wanting to say more but not being able to.
Draco slowly lowered himself beside her, and put his arm around the lump that lay under the cover. “But you’re my pajama twin,” he started nervously, trying to make her feel a bit better.
Hermione squirmed underneath, trying to break away from his strong, firm arm. “Just go,” she choked out. But Draco knew better than to go. He always told Narcissa to go too, and she always left him alone to get over it. But in reality Draco wanted her to stay. Go away always meant stay. And he was going to stay with her, he owed her that much at least.
He pulled the covers off of her, and pulled them on again, though this time he was under them too. Draco continued to hold her tightly, until she finally relented and put her head on his chest, right above his heart that was beating furiously against his ribcage. He pulled her even closer. She put both arms around his neck and began crying again, her tears falling on his shirt. And though twelve year old Draco would have been running as fast as he possibly could in the other direction if he found himself in this situation.
This Draco stayed right there because he wanted to.
Draco turned to look at Hermione who was wearing the same thing he was, her hair back to its normal bushiness after she had showered. Hermione looked away quickly, clearly still embarrassed at the fact that she had blubbered all over Draco Malfoy.
“That’s what friends are for,” he had told her.
Friends. Friends. She really didn’t want to be friends. She was friends with Harry, but Draco was different. It took a lot to talk herself out of it. She couldn’t fall for him. And didn’t he say that girls like him were made to love? And that love was collateral damage.
And it was. Her incident with Ron was enough proof of that, and even though she was feeling drawn to Draco, he wasn’t safe. He couldn’t be trusted.
The duo went down the stairs to find the entire Granger clan in their – exotic pajamas. Jean Granger was sporting her Betty Boop light up pajamas, while the brothers Robert and Bob Granger wore matching onesies that were plastered with Santa Clauses. It gave them the over-grown baby look. Even little Quinn wore a snowflakes on her flannel one piece. Aunt Jen wore a bathrobe, clearly not joining the family in the tradition. Eva followed suit. Madi, however, wore a thin green tank top and very short red cotton shorts and a Santa hat.
“Draco!” she called, rushing towards him, arms open when she saw him. Hermione inched away awkwardly.
“Get away from me,” he sneered, walking away and going towards Hermione.
Madi turned her attention to her cousin. “What are you wearing Hermione?”
Madi rolled her eyes. “And why, are they the same as his?” she said, giving a pointed look at Draco.
“Because we bought them together,” replied Draco through gritted teeth. “Now excuse us.” He snaked his arm around her waist and walked closer to where the real party was.
After dinner and some dessert, everyone was getting tired. Hermione yawned and dropped her head on Draco’s shoulder and then brought it up again, realizing what she’d done. Draco rolled his eyes, and placed her head on his shoulder again.
“Merry Christmas Malfoy.”
“Merry Christmas Granger,” he said, stifling a yawn himself. He took the yawn as the cue for him to get going. “I’ll be on my way.” He then got up and thanked Mister and Misses Granger for a wonderful evening.
“I’ve never had dinner like a family before. Thank you.”
Jean Granger leaned towards him and hugged him, Draco taken aback at the gesture. He felt blood rush to his cheeks. “It was our pleasure dear.”
Robert then shook his hand heartily and said, “You’re welcome back whenever. See him to the door Hermione?”
Hermione nodded. Draco then shot a pained smile at Eva, a scowl at Madi, and patted little Quinn’s head who was asleep in Bob’s arms, which he shook afterwards. “You’re a good lad.”
“Thank you sir,” he replied with a grin.
“Ready Hermione,” he said, grabbing his broom, causing a certain someone to snort. “Got a problem Madi?”
“No, I just never thought you were the caretaker type,” she said, eyeing the broom. Clearly she thought he used the broom to sweep.
“Ha, that’s funny. I never knew you could think with that thick skull of yours. Let’s go Hermione,” he added.
They walked out the house, the snow dying down. Draco turned to Hermione. “Thank you. I’ve never had dinner like that with –"
“You don’t need to say anything,” she whispered. “I know.”
“Goodbye, then,” he said.
“Goodbye it is.”
They both stood like that for ages until Draco finally wrapped his arms around her, his nose nuzzled in her hair, taking her smell in.
And then he flew off.
AN: Thanks for reading! Leave a review, they make me write faster :D I thrive on them.
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- Nadia <3
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