Chapter Fourteen
The Magic of Love

Draco found Hermione perched upon one of the new fountains in the garden. He sat down next to her, glancing ever so slightly at her.

After a moment's silence, Hermione spoke. "It's not true, you know?" She looked at Draco.

He looked back at her questioningly. "What's not true? Love?"

Hermione nodded. "Tell me. What is love? I'm the one who brought up the whole 'I-hate-Valentine's-Day' thing, and I end up falling in love!" Draco stood and studied the garden. A faint trace of music made its way to them. Draco extended his hand to Hermione, who looked at it, then Draco, with a strange, confused look on her face.

"Dance with me." Hermione looked taken aback, but she cautiously took Draco's hand anyway. He pulled her close, yet she pulled back.

"You know," Draco began, "I know why we both hated Valentine's Day so much." Hermione gave him a curious look, urging him to continue.

"You see, we were both missing something. Do you know what that something was?" Hermione shook her head.

"Love."

"But like I said," Hermione interrupted, "TRUE love doesn't exist. It's all really a state of mind where someone is attracted to another because of looks, personality, wealth, etcetera, and they are so blinded that they think this lust is what love is."

"That may be what your mind says, but is it what your heart is saying?" A tear escaped Hermione's eyes as the reality of it sunk in.

Draco held her face and used his thumb to wipe away her tear. "Hermione, tell me. What's so scary about us loving each other?"

"Draco, I'm scared of what everybody will think." Hermione whispered. He held her against him as she sobbed.

"Like Ron and Pansy?" Draco asked. Hermione pushed him away.

"Especially Ron and Pansy! Draco, don't you understand? We just can't be together...." Hermione trailed off, turning away from him, hugging herself and crying freely.

Draco turned her around and, in one swift motion, captured Hermione's lips in a breathtaking kiss. As they parted, Draco rested his forehead against Hermione as he waited for her response.

"Why me? Why you? Why us?" She whispered as a tear made its way slowly down her cheek. Draco grinned as he brushed it away.

"Let's just say that love works its magic is mysterious ways." He choked out. Hermione took his

hands in her own and smiled. She looked into his eyes and answered.

"I like that." She grinned back at him, their grins turning into shy smiles full of love.

"By the way," Draco raised an eyebrow, "true love DOES exist." He smirked playfully.

Hermione rolled her eyes. She elevated herself on her tiptoes and gave Draco a quick kiss.

"No need to remind me."

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--THE--END--

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