Chapter 27 : A Taste of Home
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To my fabulous reviewers, Sarah Stone and LupinsMistress, you guys are the fuel that keep me going. I love you with all my heart. Thank you.
Disclaimer: As usual, I do not own Harry Potter and I'm not JK Rowling. I also do not own Beauty and the Beast, that story belongs to either Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve or Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont.
He took my hand and I tried to ignore how warm the simple touch could make me feel. I’d held hands before, sure, but this was different somehow. When he began to pull me towards the bathroom I felt myself become confused. Are we going on a date in the bathroom?
“Of course not,” Draco answered with a laugh and I realized that I had spoken out loud. “What would we do in the bathroom?”
“I can think of a couple things,” I said before I could stop myself. I could see him stiffen and turn around, the two of us stopped directly in front of the bathroom door. I couldn’t hide my embarrassment and I was expecting the worst in response.
“Hermione…” he began and I felt my heart cease its beating. “I don’t want you to think that I’m that sort of person- I- Merlin, Hermione. I care about you and I don’t want you thinking that I would take advantage of you-” I cut him off, not wanting to have this talk right now.
“No, it’s not that. I’m not quite sure why I said that. Really… I’m sorry,” I muttered. His hands found their way to either side of my face, cupping my face entirely between them.
“Hermione. There’s nothing to apologize for, okay? I just wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding.”
I nodded but couldn’t seem to say anything. Staring up into his storm grey eyes left me speechless and the fact that his face was mere inches from mine didn’t help matters. If I leaned up even an inch or so, I would be kissing him. He cleared his throat and slowly took his hands off my cheeks.
“Well then,” he said, grabbing my hand lightly once more. “Shall we?”
“Of course,” I said slowly, trying my best to hide the disappointment in my voice.
After he opened the door, we stepped into the bathroom and over to the bare part of the wall to the left. “What are you-”I went to ask but he raised his hand.
“I’ll show you,” he said with a smile, pulling out his wand.
He began counting something before placing the tip of his wand on a seemingly random tile on the wall. The wall literally began melting away before disappearing in a wisp of smoke, revealing a corridor. It appeared to be lit with torches lining both sides, but I couldn’t see how far it went due to it curving down and to the right not too far from where we stood.
“After you,” he said with a grin.
“Why do I feel like this is a page straight out of a horror novel?” I asked and he gave a loud, barking laugh- something I’d never heard from him before. It was such a pure, genuine sound.
“I swear on my life, I am not going to harm you and neither will this tunnel,” he said softly and I could tell from his tone that he was being truthful. I’d become quite good at picking up on truths when it came to him, and in such a short time.
I didn’t bother looking at him as I took a deep breath and stepped into the hallway. I felt him beside me and the bright light began to fade. As I looked behind me while we walked downwards, I watched the wall close up. It suddenly became very hard to breathe.
“Are you okay?” he asked cautiously, sounding concerned.
“I’m fine,” I said quietly. “I’ve just had some umm… predicaments involving tight spaces.”
Draco laughed, “Something else involving Potter and Weasley, I’m sure.”
“Some, yes. Though others were Fourth Year. Trying to date a famous Quidditch player during a majorly publicized tournament was no easy feat.”
“I can only imagine,” he said rather stiffly. “Well, lucky for you then, this is a quick walk.”
He picked up his pace a bit, tugging me along and I felt myself beginning to calm down. The light from the torches was warm and it went dancing around on the floor and up the walls.
It was like any other hallway, though without windows or doors and the floors were a deep, dark brown wood while the walls were an off-white color with black silhouettes of various trees. The combination of the light and colors gave the appearance of walking through the woods at sunset.
Hermione was quiet as we walked towards the library and I didn’t want to push her, knowing she was probably nervous. It still came as a shock to me that she had barely been here a few days.
We had nearly reached the end of the hallway and I stopped walking, snapping my fingers. A loud crack seemed to answer a few seconds later, echoing down the hallway and Dinki stood before us.
“Dinki!” Hermione cried, a huge smile now on her face. Leave it to the House Elf to cheer her up.
The elf gave a small smile and curtsied, “Hello, miss!”
“How are you?” Hermione asked, looking ecstatic. Dinki’s eyes went wide as they flicked towards mine, clearly unsure of what to do.
“It’s fine, Dinki. You can answer her,” I prodded as Hermione shot me a look. I knew how adamant she was about Elf rights, but she still had no idea what the logistics were behind owning them and what they wanted. I just hope that someday at least Dinki would be okay with talking to Hermione and me regularly.
“I-I’m okay, miss. We is all a bit scared with that nasty man out there,” she said with a shudder. “We are all worried these days, miss. We is needing him gone- Harry Potter can do this. He must!” I froze and looked at Hermione, concerned about how she would react to hearing his name.
Her face had fallen some, but she caught herself immediately and beamed down at the elf, “Well, I can assure you, I have absolute faith that he will stop Vol-”
“Stop!” I whispered urgently, shaking my head. “Please, they’re talking about making that name a trigger. If you say it, he’ll know that you’re not afraid of him.”
“How do you-” she started to ask but stopped, realizing how stupid the question was. “Oh.”
“You really think he will stop him, miss?” Dinki asked hopefully.
“I really do,” Hermione said, her tone clearly backing that up. She began to tear up though and I wanted to change the subject quickly, hoping to keep her happy tonight.
“Dinki,” I started and she looked up at me. “Is anyone in there?”
She shook her head, “No sir. There is no one.”
“Excellent!” I said, turning Hermione to face me. “Are you ready?” I asked her, unable to stop myself from smiling.
She nodded, her brown eyes wide. “I- I think so?” she said, letting out a small, nervous laugh.
“Dinki, you may go now,” I said to the elf and she nodded, disappearing with a crack.
I turned back to Hermione, “Okay. Plug your ears and close your eyes.” She narrowed her eyes in question but slowly closed them the remainder of the way and covered her ears. I watched to make sure she was going to keep them shut when she started humming a tune that I didn’t recognize. I concentrated for a few moments before turning to face the wall.
I pulled a small knife from my pocket and cut the palm of my hand, a shallow, small cut, and placed it on the wall, whispering, “Rose”. The wall melted away and I smiled to myself. It was perfect.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and I slowly opened my eyes, not knowing if it was time or not. Draco stood before me and reached down to grab my hands, gently pulling them away from my ears.
“Look,” he said, gesturing with a nod towards the wall.
I couldn’t help but gasp as I turned around. The wall was gone and instead, there was a large room. Not just a room, but a library. I stepped forward and put my hand out, half expecting it to be a picture or a window to some foreign place. My hand, however, didn’t stop as I stepped into the room. I quickly turned around, facing Draco as I felt tears form in my eyes.
“Go ahead and look around,” he said, smiling down at me. “If it’s opened from where we just came through it locks the other entrance and is totally soundproof. We’re totally alone and completely safe,” he said with a gentle smile and it was all the permission I needed.
I nearly tripped over myself trying to see everything at once. It was almost an exact replica of the library at Hogwarts, save for a few details, including the thousands of candles that covered nearly every surface.
Another difference was the color scheme. The ceiling was a deep, rich blue with scattered twinkling lights that looked like stars. I thought I could even make out a few constellations. Then there were the walls that looked like the sunset and the floor looked to be the bright blue color of the afternoon sky.
“How did- how-” I tried asking him how he’d managed to do all this when he laughed softly.
“Well, it’s a rather crazy story, I suppose, what do you say we sit down and have some dinner and I’ll tell you?” His smile was brilliant.
I nodded and he gestured for me to follow him around the corner of the nearest bookshelf where a table stood. It was simple, a dark wood with a few candles in the center. Aside from the candles, the only other objects that sat on the table were a place setting on either side.
He pulled out a chair and waited for me to sit down before he sat himself in the chair across from me. This really was beginning to feel like a date and it was in my favorite place in the world.
“Are you hungry?” He asked with a smirk. He’s up to something.
I nodded despite being somewhat hesitant, “Starved.”
“Excellent! Close your eyes and think of something that sounds absolutely delicious. Anything,” he said, sounding quite excited.
I closed my eyes and began thinking of a chicken dish that my mother loves to make. It had always been one of my favorites. She always served it with fresh rolls and broccoli and the thought of it was so strong I could almost smell it. After a few seconds I began feeling ridiculous and opened my eyes to say something when I looked down and gasped.
My plate was now filled with everything I had just imagined.
She let out a noise I could only describe as a squeal of delight. “Does it work for the cup too?” she asked, her eyes nearly sparkling with what I imagined was excitement.
“Of course!” I said, trying to keep myself from smiling like a crazy person. She closed her eyes and nearly immediately I smelled coffee. Her eyes fluttered open and she clapped her hands over her mouth.
“How does it work?” she asked as she began lifting up the plate and then the cup as if some sort of switch would be beneath them.
“Magic,” I said with a wink.
“Har har har,” she joked. “But really?”
“Honestly, I wish that I could tell you,” I said sadly. “These have belonged to my family for generations. No one knows how exactly they work and no one can replicate it, but they’ve never ceased to worked.”
She picked up her silverware and placed her napkin in her lap before slowly cutting a piece of chicken and taking a bite. Her eyes grew wide and she let out a soft moan. “Oh my.”
“Good, huh?” I asked and her face grew red.
“You have no idea,” she answered, closing her eyes.
“Why don’t you make me a plate?” I asked, holding my plate out to her and she obeyed. A few seconds later, I had my own plate of steaming hot chicken and broccoli with two rolls on the side.
I filled my own glass with lemonade- one of my favorite drinks before raising my glass, “Cheers!” I said and she looked up, still chewing.
She nodded, before clearing her throat. “To fantastic meals!”
“To spending time in the reinvented Hogwarts library!” she laughed and clinked her glass against mine.
“Now that I’ll drink to,” she said and took a swig of her coffee.
“Okay, so I suppose it’s story time?”
Sorry it's been so long! GAH! Anyways, let me know what you think? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I will give you cupcakes and sugar and tea and whatever else you like. :P
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