Your Dearest Heart's Desire Will Come to Play
Hermione Granger knew this world very well; it was the world she spent ten out of twelve months a year in. It reminded her of Hogwarts. Funny how five years made a place a home more than the house that she'd spent the first eleven years of her life in. It was strange how much her life had changed since Harry Potter and Ron Weasley had come into her life. She'd been threatened by trolls, had to solve puzzles, been petrified, used time travel, been attacked by dementors, been held as a hostage by merpeople for an internationally famous athlete to save, and she'd been nearly killed on numerous occasions...and she'd always managed to make straight-O's in everything. The wizarding world was her home. Harry, Ron, Dumbledore's Army and Gryffindor House were her family. Life-and-death situations, for some reason, always seemed to bring people together.
Her parents had stopped to chat with a falconer and Hermione continued on. Her eyes wandered down the shops lining the cobblestone main road, smiling softly. She loved this little village, it reminded her of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade except it didn't have any of the interesting shops that the two places held.
Her parents had been taking her to the renaissance village, Belle Haven, since she was five. There were several little shops that sold medieval wares and all the workers wore the outfits of people of the time period...not dissimilar to what modern day wizards wore. She felt a sharp pang in her chest as she thought of Hogwarts, she missed it. "Miss, you want your fortune read?" a softly accented voice called.
Hermione frowned and gazed at a purple tent with golden stars and crescent moons decorating it. The tent was opened and Hermione saw a pretty woman dressed in a flowing dress of red and purple silk, a necklace with a leather pouch adorned her neck. A matching scarf was wrapped around her head but loose tendrils of her blond hair fell around her face and large silver hoop earrings dangled from her earlobes. Before the woman was a crystal ball and a pack of tarot cards. Hermione rolled her eyes; she had had enough with Divination and Professor Trelawney during her third year. "No, thank you," Hermione declined politely.
"Oh, a non-believer, have we?" the woman chided. "I can make a believer out of you."
Hermione sighed. "How much money are you after there?" she asked with a quirk of her brow. There was something...strangely familiar about this woman but Hermione couldn't place it.
The fortune teller smiled softly. "Nothing at all, miss," the woman murmured. "I said I'll make a believer of you and I shall. Come, sit." She gestured to the pouf across from her on the other side of the small table. Hermione rolled her eyes and slumped onto the pouf, this was way too much like Divination class for her liking but the woman was adamant.
"Fine," Hermione sighed.
"Give me your hand," the woman requested. Her fingers trailed over Hermione's hand and Hermione shivered as a jolt went through her. Who is this woman? Hermione wondered. "Your life line is very long, you've been through a lot of rough times and there will be many more." Well, duh, Hermione thought. Of course, Voldemort's risen...it's a given... Hermione thought. "Your love line is...very odd."
"Very odd?" Hermione asked, examining her palm and the woman nodded.
"You are in love--" the woman stated.
"I most certainly am not," Hermione stated vehemently and the woman's blonde brow shot up.
"You have not admitted it to yourself," the woman murmured. Her eyes met Hermione's and Hermione felt herself being drawn into their pale depths.
She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again.
"Don't you dare call Hagrid pathetic, you foul - you evil--"
"Hermione!" said Ron weakly and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back.
"Get off, Ron!"
Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, thoroughly bewildered.
"C'mon," Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons.
After classes ended for the day, Hermione retreated to the library to finish her homework, a lot easier than studying in the noisy common room. "That wasn't nice what you did earlier," a voice snarked.
Hermione looked up from her book and noticed that Malfoy had entered the library. "It wasn't nice what you did either," she replied, her brown eyes cold. She gathered her books and started to leave.
"You're not going anywhere, Granger," Draco growled.
"Oh?" She cocked her head. "And how are you planning on stopping me, Malfoy?" He shoved her and she stumbled back against the table, her books falling from her arms. She glared at Draco and made a move to pick up the fallen books. Draco Malfoy grabbed her chin, keeping her still and his lips descended on hers. She gasped in surprise and his tongue swept into her mouth. He's kissing me? she thought in amazement. My first kiss is from Draco Malfoy? Warmth spread over her body and Draco finally pulled away, leaving both parties momentarily breathless. Hermione jerked back, bumping her hip hard against the table and muttering a soft curse.
Hermione's lips were swollen from his ardent kiss and she stared at him in shock. His stormy gray eyes met her confused brown ones. "Knew that was a good way to get you to shut up," Malfoy stated, licking his lips. "Just remember these three...little...words...Hermione," he closed the distance between them.
Hermione's heart thudded loudly against her ribcage, trying to back further away and falling into the chair. He smirked and she was afraid that he'd try to kiss her again or--or profess his love? "'I was first,'" he continued. "No matter what, I will always be your first." He turned and left the library, Hermione staring after him. What just happened? she wondered, confused.
Hermione gasped as she came back. "What did you just do?" she demanded.
The woman nodded. "I see," she murmured. "You want a wish."
"A...wish? Are you batty?" Hermione asked. "Wishes aren't real."
"Wishes are real if you believe in them enough, Hermione," the woman stated.
"How did you--?" she stammered and the woman smiled.
"Your dearest heart's desire will come to play...but remember there's always a price to pay," the woman stated, opening a leather pouch on her necklace. She poured some silvery substance into her hand and blew it to Hermione.