She can feel his eyelashes fluttering against her cheek. The hand that was cupping her cheek has moved to her hair, his fingers loosely entwining themselves there – not enough to hurt, but enough to say you're real, this is real. Her own fingers push through his hair, just below his ears.

He can feel her nose against his cheek. He takes his other hand – the one not in her hair – and places it on her right cheek, pulling her closer towards him, if that's possible.

Her bear is squashed between them, but they don't seem to notice, or if they do they just don't care.

She tastes like strawberries.

He tastes like peppermint.

Somehow they work together, though neither of them can say how, or why.

They don't know who moves away first, just that they don't want them to. When they finally break, Hermione wants to reach straight back out and kiss him again.

She wants to kiss him again and again and again, until kissing Draco Malfoy is the only thing she can remember how to do.

Malfoy smiles, his eyes closed. He takes a breath. He's scared to open his eyes, in case he's just made the entire thing up – in case it was just an elaborate dream. Finally, he does.

And she doesn't disappear.

She doesn't disintegrate.

She's there. In his hands. Smiling shyly at him, her cheeks flushed, her lips red.

He exhales.

"You don't know how long I've wanted to do that."

She laughs, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I might."

"Then why the fuck did we take so long?"

She laughs again, faking a frown. "Don't be so crude, Malfoy."

"I'll be as crude as I want to be," he smirks, brushing some of her curls out of her eyes. "Fuck, fuck, fuck fuck fu-"

He can't complete his last one, as Hermione has pressed her lips against his once again. He feels his eyes close, feels every muscle in his body relax. He smiles into the kiss, and he feels her doing the same.

When they pull apart, she revels in his glowing cheeks and sparkling eyes.

He grins at her. "Merlin, Granger, if that's my punishment for swearing then I might start doing it all the time."

"That's not my name," she murmurs without thinking, running her fingers through the short hairs at the nape of his neck.

"I know."

"So why do you still call me it?"

"Because as far as I'm aware, I'm the only one who calls you that." He thinks for a second. "To your face at least. If I called you Hermione, it would just be another voice in the crowd, drowned out by Potty-"


"- and the Weasel-"


"- so I know that if I call you Granger," he smirks as he says it. "It means you'll focus on me. It means I'm the loudest because I'm different."

"But everyone calls you Malfoy."

"So you call me Draco."

"I don't think that's fair," she frowns. "If I'm using your name you should use mine. And it's not like we're going to be saying it in front of people, are we? In our lessons and in the corridor you will still be Malfoy. But I don't see why in this room, where no one can hear us, we have to go by this silly rule you've created."

He thinks for a moment, then nods. "You're right. From hence forth, you shall be known as Hermione."

Her heart flutters as he says it. She wants him to keep saying it over and over and over, like jammed tape or a broken record.

He smiles at her, and she smiles back, her entire body feeling like it's about to burst into flames. He leans towards her again, then frowns over her shoulder. It's half past 4.

"I should probably…" She mumbles, unlatching her arms from around him, once again remembering he's shirtless when her fingertips brush against his bare shoulders.

"Probably best," he agrees, sitting up on the bed and stretching. She sits up and swings her legs over the side of the bed.

"See you in a bit." They both stand, and Malfoy watches her go to the door. Just before she touches the handle, she spins around towards him, flinging her arms back around his neck and kissing him with a heart full of joy.

He wraps his arms around her waist, pulling her towards him and never wanting to let her go. When she's happy with that parting kiss, he holds her close, pressing his face into the crook of her neck (which is awkward when you're a foot taller than them).

"Goodnight, Hermione."

"Goodnight, Draco."

She slips out of the room and back to her bedroom, and it only really hits her when she's gotten herself tucked in.

I kissed Draco Malfoy. And he kissed me back. And he admitted that he's wanted to do it for a long time.

She falls asleep with a smile, and the dreams of Bellatrix's curses don't return.

Instead she dreams of Malfoy, laying next to her on a beach, where he turns to her and says:

If you could be anywhere, would you be there with me?

And, of course, she says yes.