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External & Internal Scars by CrimsonCharmRose
Chapter 10 : Chapter 10 ~ Christmas Feelings
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1


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 Hey everyone! So sorry it has taken me so long to update. Life has been busy. 
Hope you like this next installment and of course all rights to the HP characters belong to JK Rowling. :) 


 

Chapter 10 ~ Christmas Feelings 

 

All the students bustled about and slowly made their way to the platform in order to board the train. Hermione momentarily was torn between sitting with Harry or sitting with Malfoy and Blaise, but one look at Ron made her decision very clear. Blaise lifted her trunk and stowed it in the compartment above their heads. Malfoy, meanwhile, was wrestling with Seren. After so long of being able to wander freely, she was very displeased with having to be in the carrier and made it her constant goal to get out. Hermione smiled. Malfoy’s general appearance and nature was so different than years before. It almost made it hard to believe that he had ever been so mean.

The entire trip back was filled with laughter and as Hermione giggled and shifted her clothes, she noticed that they fit her a little better. She must have gained some weight back. There was also the fact that she felt more energetic than she had in months. However, as the train slowed down, she felt a heaviness settle over her at the thought of being alone during the holidays. Only Malfoy knew and he had offered to be company to her a couple times while on break.

To her surprise, Harry didn’t try and catch her before she reached an apparating point. Turning on the spot she appeared back at her flat that had been vacant for four months. It felt stuffy and confining to her now and held many depressing memories. Hermione dropped her trunk in the hallway and then plopped down on her couch. She had been lying there about 10 minutes when there was a tapping noise from the window in her kitchen. Sluggishly she pushed herself up and went to see what it was, although she was certain that is was an owl. Sure enough, as she approached she saw an owl and recognized it as Malfoy’s. A smile crept onto her face. He really was a great friend.

The owl fluffed its wings and stuck out its leg to her while hooting bossily. Hermione giggled, his owl had a similar attitude as Malfoy himself did. She took the letter off its leg and gave it a treat. It must have thought her decent at the moment because it took the treat, nibbled it slowly, and then lazily made its way back out her window. Looking back at the letter, she flipped open the envelope and pulled out the paper,

Hermione,

So, I know you don’t have plans… Would you like to meet up somewhere tomorrow afternoon?

Hope you found your flat all in order and safe. Let me know if you want to meet up.

See you soon,

D. Malfoy

Hermione smiled. He was so sweet to her now. Malfoy was probably the greatest friend she’d had in a long time besides Harry. However, even Harry never paid her this much attention. There was always some kind of evil or dark lord to deal with and she helped him. Harry would make sure she was ok and cared for her, but not open up and be as loyal as Malfoy had been lately. Hermione summoned some paper and wrote Malfoy a quick reply telling him that she’d love to meet up tomorrow and gave him the name of a little café she knew in the area. Her spirits lifted slightly, Hermione grabbed the rest of her stuff and headed to her bed to get some sleep.

A long, restful night of sleep didn’t happen. Hermione woke up in a sweat around 3am and then again around 5am. Nightmares of Bellatrix and her parents flashed through her mind creating an ache in her chest and also causing her scars to burn in remembrance of her torture. She finally gave up trying to get back to sleep around 7:00 and decided to do some cleaning around her flat as well as a little decorating. No one would probably be visiting her for the holidays, but in case Harry miraculously showed up she wanted to have some Christmas spirit. After taking a quick shower and putting some jeans and a nice shirt on, she went through her trunk before heading out to meet Malfoy.

She had decided to walk to the café instead of apparating so she gave herself an extra 30 minutes. As usual, he was very prompt. Malfoy was sitting on one of the two benches outside the café wearing casual muggle clothing. He waved at her and she saw that he visibly relaxed when she approached. He showed her a side that she was sure very few people actually got to experience. A look of concern dropped onto his face as she stepped up to him,

“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, barely slept last night.”  

He pulled her into a sideways hug and then gestured to the café doors. Warm, smoke scented air welcomed them and Hermione took in her surroundings. She had only been here once when she first moved to this part of London and Hermione loved it. The theme of the café was similar to a log cabin, the walls were made of varnished logs along with all tables and shelves. All the furniture was made from carved, polished wood planks and the couches, plush armchairs and foot stools were soft but a brown color to continue with the theme. In the center of the lounge area was a huge fireplace built from gray stones. Malfoy steered her to one of two armchairs on either side of a coffee table near the fireplace and then sauntered off to go get both of them coffees. Hermione settled down in her chair and couldn’t help but breath in the smell of the coffee shop and a smile touched her lips. She was staring in the fireplace when Malfoy walked up and handed her a cup. She sniffed the rim and could smell caramel. Her smile got bigger, he knew her so well now. She took a sip of the caramel latte with chocolate drizzle, this made her sigh and close her eyes.

“You want a moment to be with your coffee?” A voice with a smirk.

Hermione opened her eyes just enough to glare at him, but smiled at the same time. He bumped his cup to hers and mumbled “friends” as the cup came up to his lips. She watched him and then shifted her gaze to the fire. The flames danced on top of the logs making it seem as though they had a cooperative relationship instead of showing how much destructive power the fire actually had. It leapt around as it slowly devoured the logs and turned them into ash. This was part of the reason she loved flames. They held so much beauty and were so captivating but could cause huge destruction and were very powerful. Hermione was completely lost within the flames until someone stepped in front of her and waved a hand in her face.

“Draco? Oh, I’m sorry I was just enjoying the fire.”

He gave her a funny look she didn’t understand but then smiled a little.

“It’s ok. You looked so peaceful I didn’t want to bother you, I know how much you like flames. But… I’m her for YOU, so I prefer conversations with you rather than a one-sided discussion with myself.”
“I’m sorry. What were you thinking about while I was non-communitive and engaged in flame telepathy?”
“Ha ha. I was thinking about asking you if you wanted to celebrate Christmas together… on the Eve or day.”
“Oh.”

Hermione took a second and contemplated the idea. The more she thought about it, the more the idea sounded better than waiting for Harry to probably never show up. Was she brave enough to have him over?

“If you don’t want to, I understand.” Malfoy said to her. “I don’t have anyone and I just thought you might like spending the holiday with someone, even if it’s just a new friend like me.”

She suddenly blurted out on impulse,

“Would you like to follow the tradition my family and I used to? We would make a special Christmas snack on the Eve and then open all our gifts on Christmas day…”
“You want me to be there for both?”
“Um, yes… I think so.”
“In that case, I would be honored to spend Christmas with you and follow your tradition.”

Hermione let the air out that she had been holding. For some reason, she didn’t feel as nervous about her offer than she thought she would. This might be one of her better holiday’s than she had endured the last few years. She brought her gaze back to Malfoy and saw that he was watching her. They sat in their comfy chairs for a little longer and then got up and left. As they walked down the path Hermione was suddenly pushed slightly to the side. She looked up at Malfoy and saw he had his mischievous smirk on. He darted to the side and in one swift motion picked up a handful of snow, formed a snowball and chucked it at her. She attempted a dodge but it caught her shoulder. He smiled. Pointing at her he made the sign of zero and pointed at himself making a one.

She huffed but smiled. She’d play his game. Finally making it to a tree, she scooped as much snow towards her as she could and began making snowballs. She had a nice pile due to some wandless magic and was armed with one in each hand when she made her stand. She saw Malfoy a little way off holding two balls of snow as well. In a split second, snowballs were being pelted across the open space between them and everything was a chaotic blur of white. Half an hour later, both of them lay on the snow next to each other breathing hard and flushed. Once she had her breathing under control, Hermione punched Malfoy lightly on the arm.

Malfoy rolled over and stood up, then offered his hand to her to help her up. She took his hand and brushed the snow off her clothes. Smiling at Malfoy she then gave him a slight hug. He stiffened for a moment and then put his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. It was eerie how Malfoy was taking the place of Harry, but if she was honest with herself, Hermione really didn’t mind. There was no judgement from Malfoy. She was sure it was partially because they both had such hard pasts and had been expected to do things that were questionable. By trying to start fresh, they couldn’t exactly go around judging everyone else. Unlike Ron Weasley.

Walking side by side, Malfoy accompanied her back to the door of her flat. She gave him another small hug and then bid him goodbye as he stated that he would be by in the evening two days from then for their Christmas Eve festivities. As Hermione walked into her room and changed into her pajamas, she ended up sitting on her bed which led to her falling asleep.

When Hermione woke up, she had full energy. She had actually slept completely through the night from the moment her head had touched the pillow until her alarm going off at 8:00am. Clumsily rolling herself out of bed and into the bathroom, Hermione took a hot shower then proceeded to the kitchen to make herself some fruit and a bagel. Afterwards, the decorations around her flat doubled and became much neater in expectation of the visitor that was confirmed to come in two days.

 



DPV…

The two days in between their coffee meeting and Christmas Eve went by super slow for Draco. Hanging out with Blaise had been the only distraction for a few hours on one of the days. He felt excited and nervous as well as grateful that he would be spending the holiday with someone. It meant that neither he nor Hermione would be alone. Draco spent the morning of Christmas Eve finishing his present for her and hoped that she would like it. He had picked a clear bottle that was flat like a flask and had shrunk it down to the size of his thumb along with everlasting flame dancing inside. The chain he had put it on was multiple strands of twisted silver and shimmered softly. He put it inside a little box and then wrapped it. When the clock finally showed 4pm, he grabbed his stuff, tucked the gift in his pocket and apparated to the little coffee café where they had met. Draco picked up her favorite drink and then began walking to her place. He saw her door and as he raised his hand to knock, he took a deep breath. Suddenly he had an odd feeling in his stomach, but he ignored it as the door opened to a face with a slight smile.

“Hi”
“You brought coffee?”
“Yeah, thought you might like it. Although it’s decaf so you won’t be up too late.”
“Aren’t you thoughtful.” She said smiling a little bigger. “Come on in.”

Draco walked in and noticed that she had put decorations up and there was a strong smell of oranges and cinnamon in the air. It smelled amazing and he took a deep breath. He finally noticed that she was watching him and looked uneasy.

“Everything ok?”
“Um, yeah. Just unsure how to go about Christmas on my own… and last year wasn’t the greatest.”

Draco saw tears fill her eyes.

“It reminds me of them… and how I didn’t really see them or have a chance to talk to them for a couple years. I miss them. I think it would be easier if they were dead, because knowing they hate me is worse.”

Draco’s heart sank.

“I want to say ‘it’s okay’ but I know that doesn’t help. I’m sorry Hermione.”
“I know.” She whispered.

They soon went about making a meal and Draco watched Hermione bustle about the kitchen. He had never really observed anyone so confident making food by hand and he caught himself watching her more than he actually helped out. She scolded him multiple times but somehow they managed to prepare the traditional Eve snack that Hermione had told him her family used to make and eat together. It was homemade cinnamon biscuits and apple slices with a homemade creamy-brown sugar dip. That was paired up with a nice cup of warm cocoa. Once everything was ready, Draco was dragged over to a shiny black rectangle and pushed on her couch. For a second, Draco noticed a grin on Hermione’s face. He then watched as Hermione picked up an object with buttons on surface, pointed it at the shiny black box and pushed a button. The black box lite up and then images similar to wizard photos began to flash across the screen. There was also the sound of voices coming out of the box. He was intrigued.

He was only brought out of his reverie by the giggling sound from the girl next to him. He quickly straightened his expression and looked at her,

“What is this? Is this what muggles call a ‘tele’?”
“Yes,” She said smiling. “Didn’t know you kept up with muggle stuff.”
“Well…” He could feel the color rise up to his cheeks a bit. “I may have been curious a few times.”

An incredulous expression crossed Hermione’s face and an odd smile came onto it. Draco looked back to the TV and began to recognize the muggle story of “A Christmas Carol.” He was partially transfixed by the images and people on the screen. It reminded him of wizard photos that told a story for 2 hours. As they both continued to sit on the couch and watch was he was informed was a “movie,” Hermione had curled her feet underneath of her and in doing so had moved closer to him. A little after she shifted position, Draco felt her head hit his shoulder lightly and he looked to see that she had fallen asleep. He had no desire to wake her because he figured she had not been sleeping well, again. Watching her face, he noticed that this was one of the rare times her face was completely at ease and relaxed.

Even after the scenes changed to a list of names and titles, Draco just let Hermione sleep. He had shifted and now her head was laying on his chest. The feelings inside him that he had been ignoring came to the surface again and he felt an odd sensation in his stomach. He began to analyze everything since he had returned to Hogwarts.

Draco had an immense feeling of caring about her. He had felt so free and lost after the war when he began to let himself relax and be the person he always wanted to be. With his father no longer hovering over him and manipulating every move, he had really started to “feel” what he had always buried. He had always admired Hermione, and even Harry, but his father had pushed hate and prejudice. When Draco had returned to Hogwarts, his thoughts and emotions were much clearer even though he had to constantly take the looks and remarks from everyone else. Hermione had never treated him badly. She had given him as much attitude as he deserved and it was to keep herself “safe.” There were only a few times she had completely lost it, one being when she had punched him in third year and then when they had gotten into the fight a few months ago that landed them in detention.

He knew that both of them had dreaded the forced time to be around each other, but for him it had turned into some of the best hours of his day. His stomach made a swooping feeling as he recalled the last month of detentions and study dates with Hermione. The heart in his chest beat faster and there was a tightening in his stomach as well. He cared about her more than anyone else. As he analyzed how he felt, he realized that it was more than just a brotherly love. He had started to fall in love with her. He knew that she probably had no idea and it was unlikely she reciprocated his feelings. Draco looked back at her sleeping form laying on his chest and thought that maybe if he stayed close and could bide his time things could change.

After a little longer of staying on the couch, Draco shifted and picked up Hermione. He cared her to her room, laid her down on the bed, and covered her with a blanket that was folded at the foot of the bed. Just as he finished pulling the blanket up to her shoulder, Hermione shifted and her hand brushed his. An electric shock ran through him and he just stared at her. Had he really fallen for her this hard? He would do anything for her to keep her safe. It always made his day to see her smile, especially when he knew that he had helped put the smile there. The hope inside him leap about for a moment and then he gathered his emotions. He had to be patient. Making sure that she was settled, Draco walked back out to the living room and charmed Hermione’s couch to stretch into more of a bed. He searched a bit for another blanket before laying down and attempting to sleep. This had not been their arrangement for him to stay over, but he didn’t want to leave while she was asleep. And to be honest with himself, he didn’t feel like leaving in general. His last thoughts, falling asleep, were of how peaceful Hermione had looked in his arms.

 



HPV…

Hermione woke up confused. She blinked. She was in her bed yet she distinctly remembered being on the couch watching the movie last night. There was no memory of getting to her room or… What had happened to Draco? She quickly rolled out of bed and raced into her living room. As she rounded the corner she barely saved herself from tripping and falling onto the couch which was bigger than it was supposed to be. Sprawled across the middle lay Malfoy’s sleeping form. He was on his stomach and was also shirtless. Hermione tried not to stare but couldn’t help but noticed that he was quite fit and good looking. A small smile formed on her lips. Not wanting to wake him, she tiptoed around the enlarged couch and into her kitchen. She set about making coffee and breakfast as quietly as possible.

Occasionally as she was cutting or rinsing ingredients, she would look over to the couch. He was a deep enough sleeper that he hadn’t budged since she started preparing the food. However, that changed as soon as the aroma’s from the scrambled eggs and coffee wafted through the apartment and reached his nostrils. Hermione was pouring two small glasses of orange juice when she heard a groan. Malfoy was sitting up and stretching. In doing so, the blanket he was wrapped in fell lower revealing his bare torso. He either didn’t care or was unaware of her watching him because he made no move to cover himself. Hermione could feel herself blushing and quickly busied herself with serving the food she’d made. She hoped that he would put a shirt on to eat. To Hermione’s relief, the next time she turned around he had a shirt and was shrinking the couch back to its original size.

“Whatever you made smells amazing! Anything you need me to do?” He said as he walked up behind her.

“Um… You could grab silverware and also butter for the biscuits. Second drawer from the fridge.”
“Sure thing.”

They sat down to breakfast and Hermione listened as Malfoy chatted animatedly about how fascinating many of the muggle items were that she had recently introduced him to. Then they both talked about how they had slept. For the first time in a very long time, Hermione had not only slept all the way through the night, but she had also not had any nightmares at all. It seemed that it was connected to Malfoy being here and unconsciously she must have felt safe enough last night that her mind was at ease. When Hermione had finished her last bite and was sipping her coffee, Malfoy collected the dishes and took care of them. After that was done, his persona changed and he became somewhat giddy.

“Ok, so I know we didn’t really discuss getting presents for each other… but I have one for you. Would you like to open our gifts together?”
“I would like that.” She said.

Two piles of presents had appeared at some point and the first thing Hermione noticed was just how much smaller hers was this year. The first item she picked up was a box of sweets from Honyedukes that came from Hagrid. Secondly was a large box from Mrs. Weasley that held an assortment of pot pies, fudge and the usual knitted sweater. This year hers was a lovely royal purple with gold trim that hung off her shoulders slightly. As Hermione ran her fingers over the soft material, she wondered if Mrs. Weasley knew that she was no longer welcomed by her children and Harry. Malfoy had gotten sweets from a relative and fireworks and instant darkness powder from Blaise. There was one last item in Hermione’s pile. It was a letter and she knew the handwriting. Opening it, she held her breath,

Hermione,

I hope you are well and enjoy some time with your family for the holidays. Mrs. Weasley asked about you and I just told her you had other plans. I didn’t say anything about our situation.

Happy Christmas.

Harry

Tears slipped down her face and a couple dropped onto the paper in front of her. A hand came into sight and folded the paper as it was slid out from her hands.

“Hermione, what’s wrong?”
“Go ahead and read it, I don’t mind.”

Hermione lifted her head and watched as he picked up the letter and his eyes slowly scanned the words. He frowned. Then to her surprise, he took her hands and spoke softly,

“You never told him about your parents?”

She shook her head.

“He’s not happy with you, but he cared enough to write you and wish you well. He also let you know that he didn’t turn Mrs. Weasley against you. That says something, it says he still cares but he needs his distance.”
“I just feel like this is confirmation that I have no one… but you.”
“Well I know it hurts, but you have me and I’m going to stick around.”

She smiled at him before remembering her gift for him. Blocking her other feelings, she raced into her room and then brought out the wrapped package she had spent so much time contemplating. Hermione really hoped he would like it and not think it too simple. Walking up to him with it held behind her back, she slowly let her breath out.

“I know it’s simple, but I hope you like it.”

Then she handed it over. At the same time, he pulled out a tiny square package from his jacket pocket and handed it to her saying,

“Likewise.”

She took the gift from his hands and began to unwrap it. Meanwhile, Malfoy was unceremoniously ripping the paper off his. Hermione looked at the little rectangle box and raised the lid. Her breath caught in her throat. Inside was a tiny bottle on a chain with a flame in the bottle. She could tell it was real and lifted it gently to examine it closer. She felt stunned by the time and effort he had obviously put into this. She smiled.

“Draco, this is beautiful! You made this for me?”

Again, he gave her a look she didn’t understand as he smiled and nodded.

“I know you like fire, but I also wanted to give you something unique.”
“It’s amazing, thank you.”

She slipped the chain over her head and maneuvered it so that is was hanging gently around her neck. Holding the little bottle in her hand she could feel a slight warm from it. Tearing her attention away she looked at Malfoy who had just turned over the frame in which the series of pictures were held. His jaw dropped open as he looked at the photos. The first on the left was just a normal picture of them sitting next to each other and occasionally glancing around. On the right side of the three was both of them trying to get a serious look on their faces but both of them had failed spectacularly. Lastly and in the middle was a photo similar to the one she had kept for herself. He was looking at her with a small smile as she was looking at the camera, then she nudged him and he turned his gaze to smile into the camera.

Hermione suddenly realized just how raw the pictures were in an emotional way and wondered if she had pushed the boundaries of their friendship by giving this to him. She didn’t want to lose him. Then Malfoy abruptly looked back at her.

“Wow, this is amazing. No one has ever done anything like this for me before.”
“I just wanted to let you have some reminders of the fun time we had. A reminder of being my friend.”
“It means a lot to me Hermione.” 

He went back to staring at the photos and Hermione noticed that his gaze lingered the most on the middle photo.

 



DPV…

He couldn’t pull his gaze away. The pictures that Hermione had captured were priceless to him. She had managed to catch three distinct and perfect moments between them. The center picture in the series was his favorite and almost made him a little self-conscious. Did he really look at her with such genuine emotion? If he had had any doubts last night about falling for her, this was proof that he had. He knew that if/when Blaise saw this that Blaise would guess how he felt about Hermione but in the instant, he didn’t care. Draco knew that Hermione had no idea just how much this gift meant to him. It was literally the perfect gift. This was now his most prized possession besides his wand. He suddenly realized he had been staring at the pictures for a long time and snapped his head around to look back at Hermione. He saw her hand stroking the necklace and she watched him with a face have torn with worry, half with curiosity.

“Thank you” he said to her.

She smiled back at him. This was the best Christmas he could ever have imagined.

A little after noon and a small snack, they went shopping for supplies and then proceeded to follow the recipes that would allow them to make more food than either of them could eat for the next few days, but it was traditional. A ham, mash potatoes, assorted veggies, sugared sweet potatoes, and a few other smaller side delicacies. Draco also completely surprised Hermione by scraping together ingredients while she went and showered and made an apple pie. She was dressed in a simple but classy black dress and had twisted both sides of her hair back away from her face.

“You look great. Guess I should go change into something a little nicer.”

Luckily when he traveled, Draco always kept a nice outfit with him in case he needed it. He changed quickly and then stepped out of the bathroom to see Hermione setting the table. To his confusion, he saw that there were three place settings.

“Uh, are we expecting someone?”
“Mhmm…”

Was all he got in reply. Hermione went to check on the food and he poured himself a small glass of wine. Three sips later there was a knock on the door. Hermione shouted to “come in” from the kitchen before he could even get up the leaning against the couch. The door opened and in stepped none other than Blaise Zabini. Blaise waved enthusiastically at him and then walked over and gave Hermione a hug in which he spun her around. She laughed and Draco just shook his head.

“So, did Blaise invite himself or did you?”
“Ouch, you think I have no manners and would just invite myself?” Blaise replied, mockingly clutching his chest in pain.
“I invited him. I thought you might like to have him around for Christmas and I guess I consider him a friend too.”

Malfoy smiled while Blaise grinned in a childlike manner,

“Awe, you consider me your friend! I’m honored.” 

Hermione just rolled her eyes and went back to setting the food on the table. Blaise rushed to help her and Draco himself followed in his footsteps. They all sat down and went about trying to eat the huge meal without choking because they were all laughing so hard for the majority of the meal. Draco noticed a few times that his friend Blaise was eyeing the necklace hanging around Hermione’s neck in plain view. His friend looked as if he was on the verge of asking a question, but never did. When they had eaten as much food as they could and then sat just talking, Draco got up and gathered all the left over dishes. He took them into the kitchen, washed them and took out the pie he had made. Before he entered the dining area again, he stopped and listened to the murmur of their voices,

“So Granger, how are you?”
“I’m doing well. I thought this holiday would be horrible, but its turning out to be pretty amazing. Malfoy is such a good friend.”

Draco’s heart leapt and dropped at the same time. She at least saw how much he cared, but probably not the way he wanted. He was a “good friend.” He reminded himself that she had no idea and had dealt with a lot so he had to be whatever she needed him to be.

“He’s a really good guy, not many people see that in him.”
“I know. He’s my best friend.”
“Draco give you that necklace?”
“Yes, isn’t it amazing. I still can’t believe he put so much effort into it.”
“I can guess why… but that’s his explanation to share.”

There was a silence and Draco almost entered the room, but then he heard Hermione speak again.

“I just hope I don’t ask too much of him. I know I should be stronger than I am. I need to be better. He needs someone too.”

Draco couldn’t believe it. She still wanted to be the caregiver and support. She still couldn’t see that she needed someone and with everything she’d been through, she was allowed to take a step back. Luckily Blaise spoke again,

“Hey, you both have been through some tough shit and honestly, you need support and to let yourself heal. But I also think that your friendship with Draco IS helping him. I haven’t seen him so at ease in a very long time, if ever.”
“Thank you Blaise.”
“Anytime love.”

This was his signal, Draco made a couple sounds in the kitchen and then step out hovering three plates with vanilla ice cream and apple pie on them. Hermione’s face was slightly flushed and Blaise had a twinkle in his eye. He knew he shouldn’t stare, but Draco just wanted to look at Hermione. He set the plates down and took his seat across from Hermione. He picked up his wineglass and raised it,

“Happy Christmas! I’m glad I could share it with my two amazing friends.”
“Cheers!!!” Blaise almost yelled.
“Cheers” Hermione said softly.

Once they had finished dessert, they played a couple games of exploding snap before Blaise said he should get going. Blaise gave Hermione another huge hug and said that he required her presence at his place on New Years if she was willing. She nodded and then left to go change, leaving Draco with Blaise. Both walked to the door and Blaise turned to him,

“So… that gift to Granger… that’s not small trinket.”
“She’s a good friend and it was something I knew she’d like.”
“Uh huh… that’s a load of crap! You made that for her because you fancy her mate. She may be to broken to see it, but I do. I know you and you’ve fallen for her hard.”

Draco just stared intently at the door knob. He hated that Blaise knew him so well.

“Don’t say anything to her. I don’t want her to be driven away. I’ll be anything she needs me to be and if that means I am just a friend to her, then so be it.”
“Damn, you’ve got it bad.”

Pause.

“I know, I know. But I’m also the only one she trusts, so her needs come first.”
“Good luck.” He said with a smirk.

Draco punched him slightly then they pulled each other in for a man hug. They bid each other good night and Draco made his way back to the couch where he took a seat. He wasn’t sure if he was supposed to leave tonight or what she had planned. He could hear water from the sink in the bathroom, so he pulled out the framed photos from Hermione. She was so beautiful and there was a slight sparkle to her eyes in the photos, but especially the middle one. He hoped that she felt about him the way he did one day. He was so intensely focusing on the pictures that when Hermione came back in the room he didn’t even notice at first.

“Hey” Pulled him from his trance-like state.
“Oh hey, I didn’t hear you. I know its late, did you want me to get going?”

He watched her face cloud over a little. She was leaning against the wall next to the TV and was wearing the purple Weasley sweater with a pair of black leggings. Her hands twisted together in a knot and she half nodded.

“I’m sorry, did you have to be somewhere? I didn’t mean to make you stay.”

Draco stood up.

“No apologies. You didn’t make me stay, I wanted to. I don’t have anywhere to be; I just didn’t want to intrude on you! If you want me to stay I will.”
“Would you?”
“Yes.”

She ran over to him and he folded her up in his arms. She mumbled into his chest,

“I don’t want to be alone, please stay.”
“Always.”

Draco sat down on the couch and watched as Hermione went to a shelf and took a large book off of it. He wondered what kind of book she wanted to sit and read with him. To his surprise, when she sat down and opened it, it was a photo album. They were all muggle photos so they didn’t move, but they still just say just as much. After looking at a couple pictures he realized who the occupants were. They were of Hermione and her parents. She slowly looked through them and he watched her eyes fill with tears. She pointed to one,

“This is my favorite picture of them.”

He looked at a different picture a couple below her finger and pointed himself.

“I like this one.” He said hoping to get her to smile.

It worked. She laughed slightly and nudged him while trying to frown. The photo displayed a little girl with large front teeth, bushy hair who was dressed in a muggle version of a witch. She wore black robes with a tall, black, pointy hat complete with her holding a spell book.

“That was before I found out I was a witch. I always wanted to be the witch because they had books and would study potions and spells, princesses just sat around and waited to be rescued.”

At her words, Draco burst out laughing. Only she would think of a princess as weak and admire the witch because of the books and studious nature of spells. This brightened her mood and as they continued to look through the pictures, Hermione smiled more than cried now. After about a half an hour, Draco found himself looking through the pictures by himself. Hermione had fallen asleep in his arms again. He gut tightened. This made things so much harder for him and his feelings. He let her sleep as he finished looking through the photos and then once more, he shifted to pick up her sleeping form and tucked her in her own bed. Back in the living room, he enlarged the couch and put on the sweat pants he had with him. He went over to the shelf where Hermione had gotten the photo book from, put it back and scanned the books until he found one to read until he fell asleep. 

 



 


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External & Internal Scars : Chapter 10 ~ Christmas Feelings

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