A/N: And here's the final Chapter. Enjoy!
Hermione looked at her reflection in the full length mirror in her room, pleased with the outcome of the outfit that she picked out. Correction: the outfit that Ginny picked out. Since Draco had mentioned that they would be outside most of the evening, she didn't even bother picking out a dress. Instead, Ginny pulled out her most form fitting jeans and a slightly oversized dark purple sweater. She pulled half her hair up and left the rest of her curly hair to cascade down her back. She wore little diamond studded earrings. Ginny wanted to apply makeup to her but knowing how much the redhead loved to apply the stuff, Hermione agreed only if she could do it herself. Foundation, some eyeshadow, mascara, and lip gloss was all she ever really used, and even that was rarely. She dabbed on some her favorite scent, lavender and vanilla, on her wrists and neck and deemed herself worthy.
She glanced at the watch around her wrist and saw that she had only five minutes until Draco was due to arrive. She was glad she was able to kick Ginny out only a few minutes prior.. she needed these extra few minutes to calm her nerves. She had been on dates before and but this one felt different. She already knew there was some sort of chemistry between them, the kisses they shared a week before hinted to that. How much chemistry is what had her nervous. She nibbled her lip then stopped, not wanting to wear out the lip gloss before he even arrived.
She gathered her coat and scarf and made her way to the living room. She picked a book from her bookshelf and made herself comfortable on the couch, making herself read instead of looking at the clock.
Ten minutes passed and Draco was officially five minutes late. She nervously thought that maybe he changed his mind at the last second. She glanced at the fireplace, wishing it to roar to life and have him emerge from it. She was about to get up and check the floo for any possible issues, when there was a knock on her door.
She glanced at it curiously, wondering who it could be. She was pleasantly surprised to find Draco on the other side of it.
"Did you know," he said, a hint of a smile on his face, "That your building doesn't have lifts? And if one needed to get to your door, they'd have to climb four sets of stairs? Making them," he glanced at his watch and winced, "Five minutes late?"
Hermione smiled, trying not to laugh, "Yes, I am aware. Though most people who come to visit me use the floo."
"I was planning on that, but, our mode of transportation is parked outside your building and I wanted to make sure everything was ready before coming up here. Oh, these are for you."
She didn't realize that he had had his hand behind his back, hiding a bouquet of light purple roses. He handed them to her and she smiled at them.
"Come in while I put these in water. It'll only take a moment," she said, as she brought the flowers to her nose and sniffed them. She really did love roses.
He followed her in and looked around as she set about getting a vase and filling it with water. He decided that the place was most definitely Hermione's, with three sets of bookshelves in the main living room, all filled with books. There was a cream colored couch with a coffee table in front of it, with a few more books on top of that. He noticed that her coat and scarf were on the couch and picked them up for her.
She emerged from the small kitchen, flowers now in a simple glass vase, and she set them in the middle of her dining table, casting a simple stasis charm to keep them from wilting. She smiled at him as she walked over and kissed his cheek, "Thanks for the roses. They're beautiful."
His voice caught in his throat and he had to clear it before saying, "You're welcome. Are you ready to go?"
She nodded and he opened her jacket for her, helping her slip inside of it. She buttoned up and before she had a chance to reach for her scarf, he had slipped it around her neck and fastened it so that it would keep her warm.
After they left her flat, he offered her his elbow and she held on to it lightly as they made their way down the stairs, curious about what their mode of transportation was going to be.
When he pushed the entrance doors open to leave the building he saw the smile form on her face.
"A horse drawn carriage ride?" she asked surprised, looking at him.
He nodded, "Yup. I rented it for the whole evening."
The driver of the carriage was waiting for them and opened the small door so they could step inside. Draco helped Hermione in first before climbing in after her. There was a long seat, big enough to fit two or three people, with a thick blanket on top.
"It's a muggle carriage, so it's not charmed to keep the cold out," Draco explained quietly as he removed the blanket from the seat and sat down. Hermione sat next to him. "Now, I could just charm it myself, but what fun would that be?" he asked, a hint of a smirk on his lips.
Hermione laughed as he spread the blanket across both their laps. It was a chilly night and Hermione didn't have her gloves, so she stuck her hands under the blanket as well. Draco saw and reached over to grab one of her hands and intertwined his fingers with hers.
"Sorry, my hands were cold," he said, not looking sorry in the slightest.
Hermione blushed slightly, "Mine too, I forgot my gloves back at the flat. I thought they were in my coat pocket but I must have been mistaken."
Draco grinned at her, "No, they were. I just took them out and hid them behind one of your couch cushions."
Hermione opened her mouth in surprise, "Why did you do that?"
He squeezed her hand gently, rubbing his thumb along hers, "So I could have an excuse to hold your hand and keep them warm myself."
She blushed again about to say he still could have held her hand even with gloves on, but then he lifted her hand and kissed it, making her blush more, before turning it over to sniff lightly at her wrist, "Lavender? and… is that vanilla?" he asked curiously.
She nodded as his thumb ran absently across her wrist, hoping he wouldn't feel her pulse quicken at his touch. He intertwined their fingers again and placed them on his lap, tugging her even closer to him so that their hips touched. She looked around and realized that the carriage had already started moving.
"So where are we going?" she asked as they passed by buildings and people walking on the sidewalk.
"You'll see," he said smirking.
"Not even a hint?" she asked.
He sighed dramatically, "It involves food. Now, no more questions."
He a finger to her lips and glared at her, "Shh."
She wondered what he would have done if she bit his finger. Or kissed it. Or perhaps licked it. No, that would be a bad idea, because that would give him the idea that would it ok to bite, kiss, and lick her. Would that be such a bad thing though? A chill ran up her spine as she thought about it and she hoped he figured it was because of the chilly night air. He removed his finger and took a knitted hat out of his pocket, placing it on her head. She looked at him curiously and he shrugged, "You looked cold." She smiled at him and realized that his hat smelled like him, like a mixture of cedar and spice.
He was never getting his hat back.
They sat in silence, just holding hands and watching the city pass them. The carriage finally stopped in front of a large park. The driver hopped down from his seat and opened the door for them. Draco stepped down first then held Hermione's hand as she followed him. Never letting go of her, he looked at the driver, "We'll meet you back here in about two hours."
The driver nodded his head, "Yes sir, Mr. Malfoy."
Draco tugged on Hermione's hand so she could follow him into the park.
"I thought you said we were going to get food?" she asked him curiously, noting that were no places to eat anywhere near them.
He gave her a knowing smirk, "We are. This looks like a good spot."
They were on a grassy, slightly frosted hill. Hermione looked at him curiously.
"Close your eyes," he said.
Hermione glared at him, but ended up complying. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze before letting go. She heard what she could only assume was him ruffling through his pockets then mutter something under his breath. Another minute more and he finally said, "Ok, you can open them now."
She opened them and gasped slightly. She expected Draco to take her to some fancy, high end restaurant, not a picnic at the park. That's exactly what he did though and was instantly glad he did. There was a soft blanket in front of her, with a basket in the middle. He had already taken out a bottle of wine, two wine glasses, and a couple of plates.
She looked at him with mild surprise and a grin on her face.
"I take it this is alright? I debated taking you to a restaurant, but figured this would be more… private," he said, taking her hand again and pulling her towards the blanket.
"It's perfect," she said, sitting down next to him.
He picked up the two wine glasses, handing them both to her. He poured the bubbly, light colored liquid into each one, then took one glass for himself.
"To… second chances?" he said, raising his glass to hers.
She nodded, "I can toast to that. To second chances."
They clinked their glasses together then took a sip. The bubbles tickled her nose but she didn't care.
Draco dug into the basket, which she suspected had an undetectable extension charm on it, seeing as how his whole arm was almost all the way in there.
"So I'm not very good at making dinners or that sort of thing, so I hope this is ok."
He pulled out two croissants, each stuffed with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocados. She laughed as she took her sandwich from him.
"This is perfect," she said, seeing that he was waiting for her say something.
He smiled, "I figured I'd go with something I knew for sure you'd like."
"You can never go wrong with a B.L.A.T.," she said, taking a bite of her sandwich.
Draco decided to store that information for later as he ate his sandwich.
"So, tell me something about you that no one else knows," Hermione said, taking a sip of her wine.
Draco scrunched his face in thought, "Hm, something no one knows about me. Well, as I said before, I'm no good at making dinners, but I do make some pretty spectacular waffles. Maybe one day I can make them for you." He gave her a wicked grin.
Oh boy. She gulped down the rest of her wine and held her glass out for more. Draco chuckled, pouring her another glass full.
"Ok, your turn," he said, filling up his own wine glass.
"Hm," she said, "I really don't know. I'm pretty much the same as I was in school. I read a lot, probably too much. I work, also too much. My social life consists of mainly Harry and Ginny and sometimes Ron. I'm not a fan of quidditch, but I'll endure it for my friends. I'm scared of heights and hate flying."
"Hate flying?" Draco asked, surprised, "I don't know anyone who's actually hated flying."
Hermione shrugged, "I only learned enough to pass the class during first year. Never really flew on a broom since. The only other times I've flown have been on thestrals, a hippogryph, and a dragon."
Draco's mouth dropped open, "Thestrals, a hippogriff, and a dragon? And this is something that other people know about?"
Hermione laughed nervously, "Well, Harry and Ron were around for all of those things, so I didn't think it would count as something that 'no one else knew about'."
"I think I might actually be a little scared when you do think of something that no one knows," he said, chuckling and shaking his head.
"I assure you, that's probably the extent of exciting things I've done. Well, except for all of seventh year, but I really don't want to talk about that right now," she said, drinking more of her wine. "Oh! I just thought of something. When I was a child, I wanted to grow up to work at the supermarket."
Draco grinned at her, "Why the supermarket?"
"Because, well… now don't laugh, but I thought that all the money in the register was my pay and I would be able to take all of it home at the end of the night."
Draco laughed, "That's… I don't know. Adorable." He said reaching over to move a strand of her hair that had gotten loose and tucked it behind her ear.
Hermione blushed, never having been called adorable before, and took the last bite of her sandwich.
Noticing that both of their sandwiches were gone, Draco reached into the basket and pulled out a bowl of chocolate covered strawberries and saw Hermione's eyes light up. She reached hand over to take one when he moved the container out of her reach, "Uh uh. I'm pretty sure the rule to chocolate covered strawberries is that they get fed to you."
Hermione rolled her eyes, "There's no such rule."
Draco shrugged, "There is today." He took a strawberry and leaned closer to her, holding it near her mouth, "Come on Granger, take a bite."
She sighed and glared at him, though he knew there was no heat behind it. She took a dainty bite, not wanting to actually bite him, though it would serve him right.
"See, that wasn't so bad," he said, taking his thumb and wiping a tiny piece of chocolate from her lip. He licked his finger that had the piece of chocolate and wiggled his eyebrows at her.
Shaking her head, she stole the rest of the strawberry from him and popped it in her mouth, causing him to frown. "You're no fun," he said with a fake pout.
Hermione reach around him and took a strawberry from the container and put it to his lips, "Your turn."
He locked eyes with her and she could see some heat behind them, causing her to gulp. His hand gripped her wrist lightly as he took the offered strawberry. Not letting go of her wrist, he brought it to his mouth where he kissed and nibbled it, "This tastes much better," he said.
Her breath hitched and her stomach fluttered as she reached for her wine glass and drank the contents in one quick motion.
He chuckled at her. "Am I unnerving you, Granger?" he asked teasingly.
"Not unnerved, more like flustered," she admitted. She handed him her wine glass.
"I think I'm cutting you off, actually," he said, taking the wine glass and putting it back in the basket. "I don't need you sloshed for our next activity."
"Oh?" she asked curiously, "And what exactly is our next activity?"
He gave her a steely glare as he started gathering their plates, one that used to make her cringe but now only made her giggle. "Fine, fine. I won't ask."
His glare turned back into a smirk as he finished putting all their stuff away. He handed the basket to her so he could fold the blanket and place it inside as well. He looked around before shrinking the basket and putting it in his pocket.
He reached for her hand and she took his without hesitation, while he led her to the next part of their date.
"An outdoor ice skating rink?" Hermione asked amazed as they walked towards the makeshift one that the park always set up in the winter time.
Draco nodded, "Yes. Do you know how to skate?"
Hermione nodded, "I do, though it's been years. I'll probably be a little rusty." She glanced up at him, "Do you?"
Draco scoffed, "Of course. My mother loves skating and usually sets up a smaller size rink in our backyard."
They walked over to where the skate rentals were and after a quick, as well as stealthy, cleansing spell, they put them on.
Hermione wobbled on her way over to the rink, "I'm afraid I may not be as stable as I used to be on these things."
Draco held her hand and helped her towards the entrance, "It's easy, Granger. It's one of those things that never leaves you, like riding a horse, or a broom. Here, watch."
He stepped easily onto the ice and made a quick lap around the rink, weaving in and out of the other skaters with ease. Hermione's mouth dropped open when he stopped effortlessly in front of her, back at the entrance.
"See, easy," he said, grinning at her.
She glared at him. "Show off," she mumbled as she took a tentative step onto the ice. Draco was right behind her incase she fell, but thankfully she was able to keep upright upon first entering. She was a few feet away from where she started when she started to wobble. Draco, still right behind her, caught her before her bottom hit the ice.
"Maybe a slow paced practice lap is required for you to get your bearings, hm?" he asked, pulling her upright.
She sighed in frustration though nodded, "I think that's best. I know once I get the hang of these again I'll be fine."
Draco stood in front of her and took both of her hands in his. He started started to skate backwards and pulled her gently as she skated forward. She wobbled a few times, but nothing she couldn't stop before falling. About halfway through the lap, she was already showing signs of improvement and Draco moved to skate next to her, only holding one of her hands.
"I think I'm getting the hang of it!" she said excitedly as she turned to smile to at him. Unfortunately, this caused her to lose her concentration and she fell, taking Draco down with her.
"Ow," she said, rubbing her backside then glanced at Draco, "Sorry about that."
Draco chuckled and shook his head, "It's alright. Just don't get distracted by my good looks next time, ok?"
She rolled her eyes as he stood up and took both her hands to pull her up to full height.
"I just got excited about finally skating normally. It had nothing to do with your good looks," she sniffed indignantly.
He grinned, "So, you think I'm good looking, huh?"
Hermione snorted a chuckle and shook her head, "I won't answer that or else your ego will get so inflated that it just might break the ice we're skating on."
"So that's a yes then?" he said, still grinning. He was quite enjoying making her squirm.
She led out an exaggerated sigh, "Yes, alright fine." She eyed him up and down, "You look good, Malfoy."
He smiled at her and skated towards the edge of the rink, stopping them both and pulling her close, "I think you look good too, Granger."
A blush rose on her cheeks and she averted her eyes from his. "I don't think I'm going to be able to make it till midnight," she mumbled.
He gave her a curious look, "What do you mean?"
She brought her eyes back to his and sighed, "To kiss you. I wanted to wait until midnight, as per tradition, but you're making it awfully difficult. We still have," she glanced at her watch and groaned, "Two and a half hours." She rested her forehead on his chest, sighing again.
He waited a few second before putting a finger under her chin and lifting her face. He came within inches of hers and said softly, "Do we really have to wait until midnight?"
She shook her head.
Not giving her a chance to back out, he closed the gap and kissed her softly, gently. The spark was still there. He was briefly afraid that that feeling wouldn't be there if he kissed her again and he relished in the fact that he was incorrect for once. Their kiss was soft and sweet, with just enough lips and clash of tongues to keep the heat at bay. He broke the kiss and nipped and teased along her jaw, nuzzling her scarf aside to kiss behind her ear. He inhaled and moaned against her skin, giving her goosebumps. "Your scent is here too," he said, his voice muffled into her scarf.
She chuckled softly, using her hands to gently move his face back to hers, where she gave him a soft, chaste kiss. "Let's skate," she said.
He smiled and nodded, taking her hand again.
They skated around the rink for another hour. Hermione was finally able to skate without issue and even let go of Draco's hand to prove it. They raced, and Draco won by a few strides, but she was able to skate with one leg straight out behind her while he wobbled and nearly fell. They talked and dragged one another to the side to sneak kisses. It wasn't until Hermione's teeth were chattering and her lips were almost blue when Draco said that they needed to get back to the carriage.
After they had returned their skates and were wearing their own shoes once again, Draco bought them each a cup of hot cocoa, complete with marshmallows and whipped cream on top. Hermione wrapped her cold hands around the cup, and sipped the hot beverage, letting the warmth seep into her.
She hadn't noticed that she had a faint smile on her face that never left ever since they kissed. Draco had, however, and vowed to himself that he would keep that smile there for the remainder of the night.
As they reached the carriage and climbed back in and under the blanket, Hermione rested her head on Draco's shoulder and let out a soft yawn.
"Hey, no falling asleep yet," he said, putting his arm around her shoulder and squeezing softly.
"I won't, I promise," she said. She lifted her head to look at him, "So what's next on the agenda?"
He mockingly glared at her again, "No questions, remember?"
"You've already surprised me with a carriage ride, a picnic dinner at the park, and ice skating. And there's still more?" she asked breathlessly.
He nodded, "Of course. Malfoy's take pride in planning out all aspects of the date, up to the very end. Never a dull moment to be had."
She laughed and rested her head back onto his shoulder while he rested his cheek on the top of her head.
"You know, this is going to be impossible to top on our next date," she said simply.
Draco lifted a brow in surprise, "So there's going to be a next time, huh?"
She nodded, "I think so, do you?"
He moved her face to kiss her again, a bit more heat behind it this time, "Yes. I do believe there will be."
They were kissing again, more feverishly than the last. Draco picked up Hermione and placed her sideways on his lap. She ran her hands through his soft hair while his arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her close. If it wasn't for the fact that they were outside, in public, and in the cold night air, he would have stripped off her jacket and scarf and tasted her all over. For now, he drunk in her lips and jaw and neck, and that tiny spot behind her ear that made her sigh contentedly.
The carriage stopped and the driver had to clear his throat a few times to get their attention. Hermione blushed and scrambled off Draco's lap, while he just smiled.
"Sir, your last stop for the evening," said the driver.
"Thanks, Paul. We'll be fine from here. You have a great New Year," said Draco after he and Hermione vacated the carriage and he paid the man.
The driver tipped his hat to two of them as they walked off.
Hermione took in her surroundings and finally realized where they were. "The Leaky Cauldron?" she asked.
Draco nodded, "Yes, but don't worry. We're only going through to get to Diagon Alley."
Her hand still in his, they made their way through the loud and crowded pub, towards the back. A few people called out to Draco, who he waved in greeting, but kept going, tugging Hermione along.
The entrance to Diagon Alley was open, as it always was during New Years, so that those too drunk to hit the right combination could still access it.
Draco looked at the time, "Ok, we have a little less than an hour until midnight. I was thinking of letting you run amuck in Flourish and Botts until it was time before we went to our last and final stop."
Hermione smiled, "I like that plan. Although…"
"Although?" Draco said, arching a brow.
"Well, George and Angelina… Weasley, that is, did invite me to their New Year's Eve party months ago. I completely forgot about it until Harry reminded me yesterday. Anyways, we could always stop by there for a little bit… if you wanted?"
He looked at her, his eyes softening, "You'd be ok with that? With your friends seeing us… together?"
Hermione nodded, squeezing his hand, "Yes. Harry already knows about this anyways, and said that if we wanted to come that we'd be welcome."
"Even me?" he asked, resting his forehead to hers.
"Even you, Draco."
He kissed her again, soft and slow. "Ok, let's go see your friends. But remember, we need to be out of there at least five minutes before midnight."
She smiled brilliantly at him and nodded, pulling him along towards George and Angelina's flat that was located above their joke shop.
Draco was nervous about entering the party, but Hermione kept a firm grip in his hand the whole time, never letting him go, and even kissed his cheek a few times as well. She was not embarrassed to be with him and his heart warmed at the thought. Harry came over and gave Hermione a hug and offered a hand to Malfoy. Surprised, Malfoy took it and shook Harry's hand, finally thanking the man who kept him and his family out of Azkaban. He realized that Harry must have told everyone about him and Hermione's date, seeing as how everyone there didn't seem nearly surprised as he thought they would. Maybe her friends weren't all that bad after all. He did get a few suspicious glances, but no death threats or hexes were thrown at him, so he called it a win.
Firewhiskey and butterbeer were passed around and everyone was feeling quite cheerful. Party hats were being passed around when it was close to midnight, which reminded the two that they needed to be somewhere else. They bade their goodbyes, with much protest from others. Hermione promised that she'd see them all again soon, though probably not tonight.
When they were finally able to leave the building, Draco raced through the streets to the location he was set on. Finally seeing the candy shop, he slowed down and looked around, smiling.
"Where are we?" asked Hermione, breathlessly.
"Stand right…. here," he said, placing her in what seemed like a random cobblestone, just a few feet away from the candy store. She raised an eyebrow at him.
"This is where that damned charmed mistletoe got us and we had our first kiss," he explained.
Her smiled softened as she pulled him towards her, "You remembered the exact spot?"
"Yes. I'm even tempted to engrave the stone here with our initials, just to make sure we'll always know where this first started."
"And.. what exactly did it start?" she asked quietly, curiously.
He leaned forward, hearing the countdown begin off in the distance, "I'm not sure. But I'd like to find out. If that's ok with you?"
She nodded, her hands going to the base of his neck, playing with the tips of his soft, blonde hair.
His hand were at her waist, pulling her close
He leaned in closer to her.
She lifted her lips up to his.
He kissed her and she kissed him. It started out slow, but as the fireworks sparked overhead, it became heated. Lips crashing into lips, tongues invading, licking, teasing. She nipped his bottom lip and he groaned, trying to pull her even more into him. Not able to, he kissed along her jaw, working at the scarf and tossing it aside. He kissed and nipped and licked down her neck and behind her ear. She didn't care that they were in public as she was letting out tiny, soft moans. She just wished he would do more of whatever it was that he was doing. She arched her neck, giving him better access and he kissed along her collarbone, to the underside of her other ear and along her jaw, back to her lips.
They kissed more, only stopping every so often to take a few deep breaths before going right back at it again. They didn't stop until the fireworks did and by then, their jackets were askew and their scarves were thrown on the floor. Her hair had become undone and his looked liked he'd stuck a finger in an electrical socket. She giggled at the thought and used her fingers to help tame it down before finding her discarded hair clip on the floor and pinning hers back up.
They fixed their jackets and pocketed their scarves, both too warm to put them back on.
He leaned down and kissed her again, softly, and whispered, "Happy New Year, Hermione."
"Happy New Year, Draco."
Hand in hand, they walked down Diagon Alley, through the Leaky Cauldron, and down the few blocks to her building.
They could have apparated, or used the floo at the pub, but they were both deliberately trying to stretch out the night as much as they could.
They took their time climbing the stairs, stopping every now and again to kiss quickly, heatedly.
When they got to her door, she unlocked it and opened it, but didn't step inside. Instead, she turned to face him, wrapping her arms around his middle, and lifting her face to his, giving him a soft, teasing kiss.
"Are you going to be rude and not ask me in for a cup of tea, Granger?" he asked silkily.
"Do you even want tea?" she asked, chuckling.
He shook his head, "No."
"Then, why would I ask you in for tea if you don't want any," she said mockingly.
He kissed her hard, letting her know exactly what he wanted. She pulled back and smiled sweetly, "Draco, it's only the first date."
"Technically second, if you count Christmas Eve," he said hopefully.
She smiled and shook her head, giving him a quick, chaste kiss, before stepping backwards into her flat,
"Good night, Draco," she said in a sing-song voice.
"Good night, Hermione," he said, as she closed the door. He very nearly groaned.
He stood there for a moment, just staring at the closed door. She drove him mad and he loved it. Shaking his head and exhaling, he was about to turn around when he heard her door.
Surprised, he looked at it, just as a hand grabbed him by the front of his coat and yanked him inside, slamming the door behind him.
The waffles he made the next morning really were pretty damn spectacular.
The End! I do hope you enjoyed this sequel! Stay tuned for more stories that I have in the works with our favorite couple.
Happy New Year everyone!