Disclaimer – Not mine. Only the plot.
Summary – "It's because I didn't want to push you away. Granger….Hermione, I kissed you because I love you. Don't ask me how it came about—I don't know myself. But I do love you, and I don't want you to kiss me simply because of magic" – Draco Malfoy
The title came from The Calling's song, Our Lives. I listened to it while writing this…it's a inspiring song that's simply amazing, if I do say so myself.
These are the days worth living
These are the years we're given
And these are the moments
These are the times
Let's make the best out of our lives.
"You'll regret this, Granger," warned Draco, when Hermione defiantly stepped into the room. She hadn't known that this room even existed; in fact, she suspected that nobody but Draco was aware of it. She pointedly ignored his glares and glowers. The room was breath-takingly beautiful. Midnight blue roses grew in rosebushes that surrounded a crystal fountain. In the fountain, which circumference was as wide as a Hermione's dorm, silvery hydras raised their many heads and gazed at the astonished Gryffindor. Once or twice, she thought that she saw fleeting movements accompanied by tinkling laughter that reminded her of wind chimes.
It was a labyrinth designed to resemble a garden of unimaginable beauty.
"Get out," he spat rudely, pulling her out of her thoughts.
"It's not yours," she retorted, equally rude.
"Yes it is," he shot back. "It's mine," he added more quietly.
Hermione tore her eyes away from the sylph that encircled them. "What do you mean?" she asked suspiciously. As far as she knew this room wasn't listed in Hogwarts: A History, and thus, its existence was either forbidden or unknown like the Chamber of Secrets.
"Never you mind, Mudblood," Draco replied curtly. Then, he seemed to fight an internal struggle with the voices in his head. Finally, he glared at her and said, "I created it. Partly."
"Father told me about this. He told me to find the room that Salazar Slytherin created for….for Rowena. But the room was incomplete when I found it last year. Apparently, they were once in…in….you know."
Hermione smirked at Draco's inability to say the L-word. Typical male, she thought.
"But when she left him after his proposal to rid Hogwarts of Mudbloods, he left too. When I came in, it was in utter chaos. But I found some books in the library that helped me reconstruct it. Almost."
"But it's beautiful," said Hermione, as though she could never believe that beauty was something to be associated with Draco.
He scowled before answering. "Yeah, well, I didn't design it. Salazar did. I found the plans, and just…..put things where they should be."
"Of course you did," she answered with a discreet smile on her face. "Now, what may this be?" she asked herself when a cherubic babe handed her a golden arrow. "You can't be Cupid," she told the babe. "He shoots, not hands."
"Don't!" shouted Draco, and threw himself at her. They struggled with the arrow for a moment, but when Hermione pricked herself, Draco hurriedly leapt behind the bushes.
"You moron!" she screamed at Draco, and dabbed at the drop of blood on her index finger. "Get here right now!" Cupid only looked innocently at Hermione, and jabbed his thumb behind the rose bushes to indicate where Draco was. She muttered her thanks while fuming, and gave Draco's legs, that were sticking out behind him, a vicious kick.
"Ow!" he yelled, but he still wouldn't come out. "Get out of here, Granger! Or you'll regret this!"
She couldn't take it any longer. Muttering a fire spell, Hermione duly set fire to his robes. That, naturally, did the trick. Draco leapt up and beat the fire out of his robes, and found Hermione staring at him.
"Oh, no…." she said.
He realised with a shock what she had done. Cupid only threw them a bright smile, and flitted off into the darkness.
"I told you that you'll regret this!" he exploded. When her face fell, he bit his lip and took a deep breath. "Do you?" he added quietly. Hermione thought that she heard a tinge of hope in his voice.
"If there was one person that I fall in love with," she replied dryly, "it would never be a stinking ferret like you."
"I thought so." His voice sounded hollow.
"But Cupid…" her voice trailed off.
"I know. You pricked yourself, and thus, you're in love with me. You can't fight it."
"It doesn't affect you?" she questioned wonderingly. "Since you weren't hurt by his arrow?"
There was a very pregnant pause in the air before Draco's voice was heard.
"Cupid's arrow has no effect on me," he said finally. "It only affects the person whom he gives the arrow to. Even so, you would only be under the charm if you pricked yourself. I guess the Cupids wanted to change the rule about 'Falling in love on one's own accord," he laughed bitterly.
Hermione felt her cheeks burning with anger. It was true—she was falling deeply in love with him, despite telling herself that he was a 'bloodist' who called her a Mudblood at every opportunity. He bought his way into the Quidditch field, he only got good grades for Potions because Snape favoured him and...
And he was very exceptional. Her eyes lingered a little longer on the way his white blond hair brushed against the top of his collar. He was resting his hand on a marble bench by the fountain, his fingers deftly playing with his wand. Occasionally, it would drop, but Draco always managed to catch it before it hit the ground. How could she not see how graceful he was?
Behind him, a full crystal moon hung serenely in the black velvet backdrop. She realised that he could be good-looking when he wasn't busy sneering or spitting insults at her and her friends. And those grey eyes were gazing at her with something that hinted of concern.
"You said that if there was one person that you would fall in love with," he repeated her words, "it'd never be me."
He sat down on the marble bench and gestured at her to do the same.
"So, Granger," he continued carefully. "Do you feel any different? Now?"
She sank onto the cold marble, but she could feel the warmth radiating off his presence.
Warmth? She asked herself. From a Slytherin? Maybe I am going crazy…..
"Nothing has changed," she answered in a strained voice. "Nothing at all."
He could have looked overjoyed, but he didn't. Instead, he just said, "Good. We should go. Thank Lucifer for the faulty arrow…. I guess even Cupids make mistakes." His tone was void of emotion.
"Yeah," she echoed, equally empty. She told herself that he hadn't grown taller since last year. She insisted that he was being civil with her simply because he was forced to. She reminded herself that she could never love someone like him, someone who once served Umbridge.
She lied like a champion.
"Just….one thing." Draco's hand didn't turn the doorknob. "Do you really think that I'm a stinking ferret nobody could ever like?"
Her response was a kiss. It was a virgin kiss for the both of them; of course, Draco had kissed Pansy before, but not that way. And Hermione never let Viktor Krum kiss her on the lips. If the kiss was a living creature, she would be described as nervous, but excruciatingly sweet. Draco was rather tall, but they fitted so perfectly in each other's arms that it seemed as though nothing could be awkward. Her hair fell back behind her, while his locks drooped into her eyes, soft and caressing on her face. She found it hard to breathe; she didn't know whether it was pure bliss or sheer forbiddance. Draco seemed to be putting everything in to kissing her one last time, before she went to one of the teachers for an antidote. In fact, he was putting everything into the kiss. It ignited something inside her, but she didn't know what. All she did know was that the moon was above them, the hydras were playing in the water, and that she was kissing Draco Malfoy in the garden-room. It was Draco, whose lips was locked with hers, and if there was such thing as a perfect moment, then this was definitely one.
It seemed terrible when he pulled away. When she opened her eyes, she found him staring at her in anguish, and the resigned look on his face was chilling.
"We can't do this," he mouthed the dreaded words. "It's not right."
Hermione felt her eyes stinging, but she would never admit them to be tears. "Why not?" she asked quietly.
He still hadn't let go of her hand. "The thing is, Hermione," he said slowly, "you can tell everyone that you've kissed Malfoy because of Cupid's arrow. You can blame it on that cherub who caused this. But I can't. That's the difference between the both of us. I kissed you…although I could have pushed you away."
She looked up at him.
"It's because I didn't want to push you away. Granger….Hermione, I kissed you because I love you. Don't ask me how it came about—I don't know myself. But I do love you, and I don't want you to kiss me simply because of magic."
Tears fell from her eyes. She couldn't answer. Even if hopes were shattered, she thought, I know it wouldn't matter. Because I have found the perfect moment. I don't know if it would still be perfect after Madam Pomfrey has dealt with this. I don't even know if I'd remember any of this later. But I do know that the difference between Draco and I is that he loves me, even if Cupid didn't exist.
"Maybe we can continue this one day….if you're still willing to kiss me when the magic wears off, that is." he finished, and opened the door for her.
Cupid smiled from his seat among the clouds. It was the first time he had ever seen the fair-haired boy acting civil with someone who wore the robes of a Gryffindor. Long ago, Salazar had appointed him to make Rowena his worshipful partner, but the woman never had a chance to step into the room. Now, a new story was weaving itself before Cupid's eyes. He had played his part, and the days hereafter would unveil new revelations. Cupid almost felt regretful. The girl wouldn't remember the kiss after today, but the boy would. Perhaps there was a chance for them to fall in love again? And when that happened, Cupid hoped that it would take place under a crystal moon with the laughter of nymphs in the background.
A/n: Please tell me what you think; I'd love to hear your thoughts, whether they're just two words or two hundred sentences.