Chapter 7 : Forget it all
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He opened his mouth to speak, but found that his throat was parched and that he couldn’t find any words to say to Hermione.
Licking his lips, he tried again, “Hermione, I...”
But he soon stopped as he saw the expression on Hermione’s face change.
The look on her face was one of shock, she couldn’t quite believe that she, Hermione Granger, was standing here with Draco Malfoy and that they both wanted to talk to each other, presumably about what had happened an hour or so ago.
She bit her lips and ran her hand through her hair as she felt her tummy clench with nerves and her face heat up as she blushed.
She paused, and looked at Draco and tried to imagine what he was feeling. Did he like her and was he there to tell her so? Or was he merely there just to shatter her heart like glass when he told her that he didn’t know what he was thinking when he kissed her and that it was all one big mistake?
She hadn’t realised before how heartbroken she’d be if he were to say that, but now as she blinked away the tear that threatened to appear, she knew that she liked Draco enough to want to try out a friendship and possibly more with him.
She could feel herself getting confused again, and her hands were clenching at her sides. Hermione took a step back so she was once again in the sanctuary of her own room and looked around whilst she thought about what to do.
She wasn’t ready for Draco to dismiss her as a mudblood.
She didn’t want him to hate her anymore, but she was afraid that he did and that all this time he had been playing with her heart and with her emotions.
Her breath was beginning to get a bit shaky, and although she knew that she had no tears left to cry, she didn’t want Malfoy to see her in this way.
Gingerly, she reached out her hand and pushed the door closed, although not before witnessing the look of hurt upon Malfoy’s face as he saw the door come swinging towards him.
For a few moments, Hermione stood in the middle of the floor in shock at what she had just done. She hadn’t even given him the chance to speak.
However, she gently lowered herself to the ground and sighed before beginning to pull at the threads in the carpet in frustration.
Before long, there came a short rap on the door.
When Hermione didn’t get up and answer the third rap on the door, it soon became an insistent banging that was accompanied by a voice saying, “Hermione, open up!”
With some difficulty, Hermione unravelled her legs and rose to her feet, stomping over to the door and opening it with a firm hand.
Draco was still standing outside, but now looking more flushed and frustrated than before. This time when he opened his mouth he wasn’t stuck for words as they streamed out his mouth in an angry torrent, “What were you thinking slamming the door in my face? What have I done to offend you, you didn’t even give me chance to explain why I was here!” he exclaimed, waving his hands out to emphasise his words.
Hermione took a step back, stunned and unable to form a sentence. “Well... I, you see I thought...”
“You thought what Hermione?” said Draco. “What could you think and feel so strongly about that it would prevent yourself from allowing me to talk to you?”
“I think you’ll find that it’s more what you think and feel so strongly about that affected me rather than what I think,” snapped Hermione.
“Yes, well...what?” Draco cried.
“I’m a muggleborn,” muttered Hermione, so quietly that Draco had to strain to hear what she had said.
“You think that I care?”
Hermione sighed and felt tears pricking in her eyes as she said, “Draco, I’m just the dirt on your shoe; we could and would never work.”
Draco slammed his fist fiercely against the wall and made Hermione jump a little in surprise at his gesture.
“You don’t get it, do you?” he said to her.
When Hermione said nothing, her expression remaining stony, he continued, “You think that everything I said to you was a lie? I’m guessing that you still think I’m Draco pureblood Malfoy, up on his high horse without a care for anyone but himself,” his words were streaming out now, his irritation was as plain as day. “You know what Granger? You get off your high horse, okay? I’m trying; god knows I’m trying as hard as I can to turn my life around and erase the past, but the past is the past and what I said and did years ago I cannot change, but I can apologise Granger and I can try to form a friendship between you and I, can I not?”
Now that he had finished his speech, he dropped his eyes to the floor and Hermione could not determine what he was thinking.
Draco looked up briefly at her through his eyelashes, and his eyes searched her face for any kind of emotion. They settled on the tear that was falling down Hermione’s cheek, apparently she still had tears left to cry, it just took the right person to unleash them.
His hand reached out very deliberately and with a tender touch his thumb brushed the tear aside.
The look of confusion was clearly evident on Hermione’s face as his whipped his hand back to his side, deploring himself for being so forward.
“I... sorry,” he murmured, his watchful eyes returning to the carpet.
“Do you mean it?” Hermione asked.
Draco didn’t respond, but Hermione noticed the brief nod of his head. It wasn’t enough; she needed to hear him say it.
“Draco, do you mean it?” she asked again.
“Yes,” he said, his voice catching slightly. “I knew as soon as you left my apartment I had been a fool to let you go. I wanted to find you straight away and apologise, but I thought you hated me.”
Hermione’s lips parted ever so slightly in mere shock, “Why would I hate you?”
“Because... I’m a Malfoy.”
She shook her head. “I don’t care about your name, I care about whom you are, I care about your heart, and I care about whether you are good. You are good Draco, and believe me when I say that because I mean it.”
“You do?” he said.
There was a definite hopefulness to his voice that made Hermione look at him differently. It was a side to Draco she had not come across yet, he was almost vulnerable in that moment which convinced Hermione all the more that he was a changed man and there were many sides to Draco she had not come across yet, sides however that she wanted to know. She wanted to know all of Draco in that one moment.
“Of course,” she said, “I’m Hermione Granger and I don’t lie about things such as this. I promise.”
Draco smiled at her then, making her heart soar higher than she thought possible. She felt invincible as she smiled back at him and stepped away from the door, signalling that he should come in.
As Draco walked past her, the skin of his arm lightly brushed hers causing sparks to fly up her arm and her skin to feel all tingly.
When she had shut the door, she turned round to find Draco leaning against one of the columns of her four poster bed, his arms folded and his grey eyes resting on her.
She shifted; suddenly feeling self conscious and her hand automatically went to rest on her left arm, masking her scar from the world.
Draco’s eyes followed her movement and they rested were her hand was currently residing.
Hermione inwardly cringed, unsure whether she was ready for anyone to see the scar, especially Draco. She had normally concealed the scar under her Hogwarts robes or long sleeved tops, but in this heat that simply wasn’t possible yet she still found herself wishing that she had put on a jumper.
When she looked up, Draco was standing in front of her with a look in his face and eyes that she couldn’t place but she found herself drawn to look into the stormy darkness of his eyes. Neither of them broke eye contact as Draco slowly reached out his hand to Hermione, gently prising her hand away from her arm.
She was so fixated upon looking at Draco, at drinking all of him with a hungry thirst, that she did not stop him when she felt his warm hand against her wrist, nor did she look away when he began to lift her arm slowly closer to him.
After a short pause, Draco’s eyes gradually left Hermione’s and flicked down to her wrist, reading the letters engraved onto her skin. ‘Mudblood.’
His eyes flicked back up to Hermione’s, although the look he held in them was unintelligible and Hermione yearned to know what he was thinking.
Swiftly realising that she had let Draco Malfoy look into the deepest part of her soul and a part that had lain buried for a long time, she quickly snatched back her arm.
“No.” Draco said.
Hermione sucked in her breath at the word, evidently surprised.
Again, Draco reached out for her arm, although this time Hermione drew it back behind her body.
“Please,” he whispered.
With a look of sadness in her eyes, Hermione cautiously moved her arm back into Draco’s grip, his skin gently tickling her arm.
Hermione looked on as Draco brought up his other arm from his side and calmly began to trace the lettering on Hermione’s skin, causing her to flinch back for a moment in shock at what he was doing.
Draco stopped and looked at her, clearly asking for permission to continue. After an almost imperceptible nod of Hermione’s head, he continued.
When he reached the final ‘d’, he looked up at Hermione again.
“You’re not,” he said.
“Not what?” Hermione murmured, unable to look away from his raging grey eyes.
“A...mudblood. You’re not,” he repeated. “You’re beautiful.”
And then, he gently lowered his head and softly pressed his lips to her scarred skin. Hermione took a sharp intake a breath, no one had ever done that before yet she was glad that Draco had. For the first time, she didn’t feel ashamed of it.
“Draco,” she breathed. “You...”
Draco mistook her uncertainty as simmering anger and quickly dropped her arm, returning his own rigidly back to his side with haste. “I’m sorry,” he said. “That was out of line Hermione, forgive me.”
Wanting to make Draco understand what she was feeling, wanting him to appreciate her continuous inner turmoil, she reached out her hand and placed it in Draco’s, carefully moving his hand so it was resting over her scar.
She reached up her own free hand so that it was resting on the side of his face, her thumb gently brushing the top of his sharp cheekbones. She could feel Draco shaking slightly under her grip and his cheeks were turning slightly warmer at her touch, causing her to flush. She felt her stomach flip with nerves at the way she was making him feel.
Although they were hardly intimate with each other, even touching him made her tremble and caused fireworks to erupt inside her. She felt closer to him in that moment than she had to any other man, even Ron, who she had had a short lived relationship with after Hogwarts.
Their eyes were locked and they were drinking in each other, with a slight tenderness and pleasure.
Draco’s eyes travelled down to Hermione’s lips where they rested a moment before returning his gaze to Hermione’s eyes.
Neither of them remembered leaning in to each other, but Hermione felt Draco’s lips brush against hers. Draco drew back slightly, looking at Hermione for her warrant to continue.
She leaned in and pressed her lips to his in response, giving Draco the signal that she was happy to allow whatever the next few moments brought.
He needed no further approval as he deepened their kiss, his hand gently rubbing the skin on Hermione’s left arm as she wrapped her arms around his neck and tangled her hands in his hair, drawing him closer to her.
The kiss was perfect, it was not as passionate as their first kiss but there was a sort of urgency to it that caused Hermione’s whole body to fill with pleasure at the feeling of Draco’s lips on hers.
After a few minutes they broke apart, lips swollen but forming a grin that they were unable to suppress. Draco leaned in and rested his forehead on Hermione’s so that the tips of their noses were touching. They wrapped their arms around each other and stood for a moment in blissful peace and silence.
Draco was the first to break the silence. “What now?” he said.
Hermione kissed the tip of his nose and then placed a soft kiss on his lips, pulling away before Draco had the chance to deepen it. “I’m not sure,” she whispered.
They gently and unwillingly pulled away from each other as Draco said, “Do you like me, Hermione?”
“I like you enough to know I don’t want to lose this,” she whispered, signalling between them.
“Me too. Come here,” he said, holding out his arms to Hermione.
She gladly eased herself back into his embrace, and smiled as she felt his hands wrap around her.
“Let’s just see how things go, okay?” Draco said. “Just take things day by day, as they come.”
Hermione nodded, “I’d like that.”
Simultaneously, they moved to look at each other and Draco leaned down to kiss her.
When they broke apart he said something that surprised Hermione. “Thank you,” he began, before Hermione pressed a finger to his lips, silencing him for a moment.
“Why?” she asked.
“I- cannot even begin to say how I feel when you’re with me, Hermione.” He looked abashed, and cast his eyes to the floor.
Hermione could see his long eye lashes from this angle, and through his thin eyelids to his veins that were coursing with blood. ‘With life,’ she thought.
Draco cleared his throat and continued, “I know I can’t fix the past, but I want so desperately to start again, I want to learn to love,” he blushed at this comment, the pink tinge lingering on his pale skin, “I want to be strong, new, different,” he paused before murmuring the last word, “better.”
When he fell silent, Hermione spoke. “You’re strong, Draco. You’re different and brave.”
Draco snorted to himself.
“You are,” she continued, “You didn’t give Harry, Ron and me in when we arrived at Malfoy Manor even though you knew it was us... And I think,” she drew a short, shuddering breath, “I know, that without you we would be dead.”
They were so close that Hermione felt Draco’s heart beat quicken at her words, she could feel it pulsing through his chest, and she felt as though hers was threatening to burst. Draco looked so innocent in that moment that she couldn’t help but wrap her arms around his shoulders. She took one hand and using her index finger, pushed up his chin so that their eye line was level.
“Listen to me,” she said. “Forget it all.”
And that’s what Draco did, pressing his lips to hers, his hands buried in her hair. He felt suddenly light headed as their lips moved in sync, his tongue lightly caressing hers.
In that moment, that moment of pure oblivion, he did as she had said.
He forgot it all.
A/N: A fast update to make up for the shorter chapter last time. I hope you liked the chapter, I really enjoyed writing it, and although it was very serious I hope I portrayed a sort of happiness through it. Don’t worry, the jokier Draco and Hermione with be back very shortly!
After recommending FawkesFelicis’ story last time, I’ve decided that at the end of each chapter I write that I’m going to include a story that I currently love. So, this time the story is by author icingonmycake and it’s called Explosion!
Please leave a review; I love to get a response from my readers! Until next time!
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