A/N – This is the first of four open ended collections I will begin posting over the next few weeks. The collections will feature small snippet style chapters, all from different universes. Some of these chapters could quite possibly feature (in some form or another) in longer stories at later points. But right now, I either don't have a story for them, I don't have a complete story idea for them, or the story I envision them in isn't even close to been wrote.
Any ideas are welcome, although I can't guarantee using them or even writing them any time soon. Apart from a couple of stories which have my main focus (At the minute COTD, and a longer war based drama) I just have to write what's in my head at the time. I'm also interested to hear which collection pieces people are eager to read more about.
Since the collections are ongoing, there will be no publishing schedule. I write these collection pieces when something enters my head, or I'm looking for something short and sweet and consult my notebooks. As such, after I've published the first few chapters in this collection there might be months in between updates. But whenever I write a new collection piece for this story, I'll get it published as quickly as possible.
This collection is for my school based stories. All stories in this collection are based around Hogwarts, although all vary in universe. This first story – Apology – is set in the canon universe, in third year the day after Hermione hits Draco.
Hermione Granger awoke knowing exactly what she had to do, even if it was something she wasn't looking forward to doing. Whether she liked it or not, she had to go and apologize to Draco Malfoy. The previous evening she'd hit the blond Slytherin when she and her friends had found him gloating alongside his friends over the upcoming execution of the Hippogriff, Buckbeak. And whether he deserved the smack or not, it was still wrong of her to have lashed out and hit him. She was better than that, and she knew apologising to him was the only way to alleviate her conscience.
Heading down to the common room, she found her best friend, Harry Potter sitting staring into the empty fireplace. Hermione had to wonder if he'd been there all night, thinking about what could have been if his godfather, Sirius Black, hadn't had to go on the run again. After spending the year thinking that Sirius was out to get him, the truth had emerged the previous evening following a showdown with the wizard who had truly betrayed Harry's parents, Peter Pettigrew. However, thanks to Pettigrew escaping shortly after the truth was revealed, Harry was once again all alone, his chance of having a family slipping through his fingers once again.
"Are you okay?" Hermione asked as she perched on the seat next to her best friend.
"I guess," Harry replied quietly as he turned to face Hermione. "Do you fancy going to see Ron after breakfast?"
Their other best friend, Ron Weasley, was in the hospital wing, recovering from a broken leg he'd gotten the previous night. However, with magic he would likely be alright later on in the day and chances were he'd be discharged before the end of the day.
"I would, but there's something else I have to do first," Hermione answered with a sigh.
"What?" Harry asked, wondering what could be more important than Ron.
"I have to go and apologise to Malfoy," Hermione said.
"Why?" Harry looked at Hermione as though she was crazy to even consider apologising to the blond boy they all detested. "He deserved that smack you gave him."
"Even if he did, it doesn't make it right," Hermione argued. "Violence is never the answer."
"Maybe it is with the likes of him," Harry muttered.
"You don't believe that," Hermione stated. "Anyway, the point is, I'm going to apologise. Chances are he'll throw it back in my face, but at least I'll know I've done the right thing."
"Rather you than me," Harry said as the pair got to their feet and headed towards the door so they could head down to breakfast.
Over breakfast, Hermione contemplated what she was going to say to Malfoy, and more importantly how she was going to get him alone to speak to him. She knew it wasn't wise to mention the previous evening in front of his friends, even though a couple of them had witnessed the incident, but she wasn't sure if she would be able to catch him on his own.
Luckily for Hermione, she didn't have to worry about how to get Draco away from his friends. When the Slytherins turned up for breakfast their blond leader was nowhere to be seen, and when Harry and Hermione deliberately left the Great Hall behind them, they heard the group discussing the fact Draco was in the library and had warned them all to leave him alone.
"Is this really a good idea?" Harry asked Hermione as the pair stopped outside of the library. "Should you really be approaching Malfoy if he won't even talk to his friends?"
"Now is the perfect time," Hermione insisted. "It's not like I want to apologise in front of all his friends. Getting him alone is the best option."
"Do you want me to hang around?" Harry questioned. "I could lurk in the shadows in case you need me."
Hermione smiled at Harry as she gently refused his offer. "I'll be fine. Besides, I can handle Malfoy. The worst he'll do is throw some insults around, and it's not as if he hasn't used the worst one before now."
"Even so, I don't like leaving you at his mercy," Harry said with a sigh.
"We're in the library, Harry," Hermione laughed. "It's not like we're all alone somewhere deserted. I'm telling you, this will take two minutes. I'll apologise, he'll hurl an insult or two and we'll go our separate ways. You go and visit Ron, and if I'm right, I'll join you within ten minutes."
Harry looked sceptical, but he agreed to let Hermione handle Draco alone. Hermione waited until her best friend had started to head off to the hospital wing, before she pushed open the library doors and entered her favourite place in Hogwarts. Madam Pince was sitting at the front desk and she gave Hermione a friendly smile as the Gryffindor headed deeper into the library in search of the blond Slytherin.
Hermione found Draco sitting at the back of the library. He was settled in one of the beanbag chairs in the very back corner, and although he had a book in his hands, Hermione didn't think he was reading. He looked to be in a world of his own, and in the couple of minutes it took for Hermione to build up the nerve to approach him, he didn't once turn the page or even move his eyes along the lines.
When Hermione stepped out from behind the shelves, Draco didn't immediately look up. It wasn't until she stood right in front of him and her shadow fell over his book that he moved. When he looked up, he was already frowning, but when he spotted who was standing in front of him, his face twisted into a mask of pure hatred as he elegantly rose to his feet.
"What do you want Granger?" He spat as he slammed his book closed and shoved it onto a nearby shelf without even bothering to see if that was where it belonged.
"I want to apologise," Hermione said, refusing to flinch at the bitter tone the blond was taking with her.
"What for? Existing?" Draco sneered.
"No, for hitting you yesterday," Hermione replied. "It was totally uncalled for, and I'm sorry."
"And you expect me to accept your apology when you called me a cockroach, and then hit me?" Draco questioned with a snort. "I don't think so."
"I can't force you to accept the apology, but it doesn't change the fact I'm making it," Hermione said calmly. Inside she was bubbling with fury, there was just something about Draco that made her blood boil whenever she was near him.
"Fine, you've said your piece now you can leave," Draco snapped, waving his hand dismissively.
"You're an arsehole, do you know that?" Hermione retorted, unable to help herself. "You've been nothing but foul to me since we met, and yet I've still sought you out to apologise. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered."
"Nobody forced you to come and find me, Granger," Draco said as he took a step closer to Hermione. On principal, Hermione refused to move back and soon the pair were standing so close they were almost touching.
"I was doing the right thing, Malfoy. Something you know nothing about."
Draco laughed once as he shook his head. "You know nothing about me, Granger."
"Really?" Hermione replied with an amused smirk. "I know you're a brat who thinks he's something special. Well you're not, you're just the same as anyone else."
"And you're just an annoying know-it-all," Draco hissed back.
"Git," Hermione shot back. She was incredibly aware of just how close Draco was to her and more disturbingly, she was becoming aware of just how attractive he was up close.
When Draco's grey eyes flashed with anger, Hermione braced herself for the next insult. She was betting any money he would turn to the tried and trusted 'mudblood'. However, his next move came completely out of the blue. Instead of hurling an insult her way, he closed the tiny gap between them and pressed his lips against hers.
Hermione was so stunned, she stood there frozen as Draco's soft lips pressed against hers. It was only when her lips began to move with the blond's, that her eyes slid shut. For a few seconds, Hermione's brain was clouded by the sensation of Draco's lips on hers, but slowly it began to clear and panic set in when she realised she was kissing her arch enemy. She was kissing the boy who thought she was less than him, just because her parents happened to be muggles. And what was worse, was that she was liking the kiss.
Just as panic began to set in for Hermione, Draco abruptly ended their kiss, and when she opened her eyes, Hermione found herself looking into Draco's stunned face. Before she could say anything, Draco's normal mask of indifference slipped back into place and he took a few steps away from her. Giving her one final look, which she couldn't read, he turned and strode quickly out of the library.
Hermione's fingers moved up and pressed against her lips as she watched the blond disappear out of sight. Maybe Draco was right, she didn't know him after all. Because the Draco Malfoy she thought she knew would never have kissed her. Maybe there was more to the blond Slytherin than met the eye. Whatever the case was, she was confused. All she'd wanted to do was apologise, now all she could think about was that kiss and why it had happened. Maybe one day she would get an answer, but for now it would remain a mystery as to why Draco had kissed her.