The End of the Road.
Blaise stood with Theo outside The Three Broomsticks, waiting for Hermione to arrive. He shifted from one foot to another, looking left and right, constantly checking his watch. Theo sighed,
"You really are letting yourself in for this, Zabini, if you didn't insist on being early you wouldn't have been so nervous. Let's go to Honeydukes for ten minutes." Theo seemed to have about reached his limit with Blaise's nervousness.
"No, she'll be here."
"I know she'll be here, but not for a few minutes, she won't go if your not here instantly, Blaise." Theo realised about halfway through his speech that it was useless; Blaise wasn't even listening, but was staring at some point to their left, mouth open, eyes wide.
She had arrived.
Theo did have to admit she looked pretty, but Blaise seemed to have lost the power of speech. She was accompanied by Harry and Ron, one on each side like bodyguards. Harry seemed in a perfectly good mood, Ron, on the other hand was eyeing Blaise with every sign of deep mistrust, and as the three drew up to Blaise and Theo, he took a deep breath.
"Hermione is my best friend and I'm quite protective, if you try anything with her, I will-"
"Be quiet, Ronald," Hermione said sharply, "come on, let's go," she said to Blaise. Ron scowled after them as they left, looking highly pissed off.
"I don't trust him," Ron bit out.
Theo shrugged, "neither do I, but I trust Granger, don't you?" Harry nodded and pulled Ron off to Zonko's.
"Want to come, Nott?" Harry asked. Theo smiled,
"I do need to top up on some Befuddlement Biscuits…"
While these events were taking place, Blaise was leading Hermione through a narrow cobbled street, which ran parallel with the street where Madam Puddifoot's tea shop was on. Hermione had thought for one awful second he was going to take her there, but Blaise explained as they were walking down the cobbled street.
"Most of my family live in Italy, but my uncle liked Hogsmeade so much that he bought a cottage here. He's my favourite relative; he doesn't tell me how tall I am each time I see him, or go on about the good old days when he was at Hogwarts. He's just a nice guy."
"No relation to you then," Hermione replied cheekily.
Blaise smiled at her, "None at all."
They walked in silence for a couple more minutes, their shoulders brushing briefly occasionally.
"You look lovely," Blaise said suddenly, staring at her. Hermione smiled,
"It was all Lavender, she did my hair, make up, lent me the top-"
"I didn't say your hair and make up looked lovely; I said you did." Hermione went violently red.
"Thank you." Blaise smiled at her and quite suddenly stopped outside a green arched doorway, which had flowers trailing up it. He drew a key out of his pocket, unloaked the door and opened it for Hermione, who walked through. She gasped, they had walked straight into a garden filled with pink and yellow flowers, and a bench with two plates sitting in the middle.
"So you like it?" A voice murmured in her ear. Hermione shivered, turning round to Blaise, who was standing close behind her.
"It's beautiful, but where's the food?"
Blaise walked up to the table and drew out of his trouser pocket a small brown wicker basket, which he proceeded to enlarge.
"Right here," Hermione walked up to the table and perched herself on the end, staring into the basket. Blaise started to unloaded some picnic like items into the table, some foreign looking.
"The house elves did a lot, but I made these," Blaise pointed at some herbed breads and a pasta salad.
"You can cook?" Hermione asked.
Blaise shrugged, "I can do basic things, my mother taught me from an early age how to make the traditional family dishes, but apart from that I posses no great talent, though you really ought to try my roast dinner, has a good crispy burnt taste to it." Hermione laughed, unwrapping food and laying it on the table.
They ate dinner in relative silence, odd conversation being struck up, but usually silenced by the food. Hermione's dislike of house elf slavery did apparently not stretch to Greek salad. When they had finished Hermione began to neatly pack the plates back into the basket.
"You could just magic them into it?" Blaise said, watching her.
Hermione smiled, "Where's the fun in that?"
"Where's the fun in the muggle way?"
Hermione laughed, "Touché Mr Zabini."
Blaise left her to put the plates away, watching her every move, Hermione becoming increasingly aware of his eyes on her. Once she had finished she sat back down, placing the basket on the floor.
She plunged into conversation recklessly, "So, why did you ask me here?"
Blaise tilted his head to one side, contemplating Hermione, "Are you serious?" Hermione nodded. "I asked you out because I fancy you, Hermione."
Hermione stared, okay everything had pointed to that, but still, hearing it from him spoken so plainly, was perfect.
"What do you like about me?"
"I like your stubbornness, your smile, your Gryffindor pride, the way you walk, the way in which you just don't care what the others think and the way you punch Draco Malfoy." Hermione smiled.
"You pay that much attention to me?" she asked in disbelief. Blaise nodded,
"You're beautiful." Hermione was blushing harder than she ever had.
"How did you know it was me who punched Malfoy?"
"Who else would it have been?" Hermione laughed, he had a point.
"I'll try not to make a habit out of it, but I'm sure it'll happen again at some point; he really just makes me want to hit him with his every word."
"Do you like me, Hermione?" Blaise asked.
Hermione bowed her head, "At first I wasn't sure, I was just focused on the book, but then it turned to more, when you looked up from you book in Ancient Runes I just blanked for a minute. And now, I, I do like you. A lot."
"Would you mind if I kissed you then?" Blaise asked, looking her dead in the eye.
"I wouldn't mind at all," Hermione replied breathlessly. And with that, Blaise leaned over the table and closed the space between them. An inch before their lips met Blaise stopped.
"Can I have my book back yet?" he murmured, Hermione's eyes fluttered closed.
"You can borrow it." And their lips met. A gentle kiss, which turned into something deeper; emotions running wild.
They pulled back, gasping for air and smiled. In the end the book wasn't the most important thing.
A/N: To clear up a few things:
Yes, clearly this will be 8 chapters, but I really can't stretch it any more- so this IS the last chapter. I go on holiday on eugh… Tuesday of next week (a week this coming Tuesday, not two days,) so unless I get a plot for a sequel devised before then, you'll have to wait out that week, but I do hope to get at least one chapter written before I go, crosses fingers
You may have noticed a change in my writing style (but probably not,) I went to the hairdressers yesterday and got a fringe for the first time in my life. I should have got one earlier, so this will of course affecting my writing, nods solemnly (please note in America a fringe, for some utterly stupid reason is known as "bangs," yanks, honestly.)
Hermione being size 10- That's about an American size 6 or 8- I'm British and so is our Hermione.
The Reference to the "I have a Dream" speech- Who ever said Martin Luther King was a muggle? ;)
The Sudden Appearance of Theo Nott- He's always been there, as has Blaise- Both quiet in public, but companions.
To all you Hr/B lovers (like me) - "Oh that was such a brill fic, there's not nearly enough Hr/B out there" ahem, go to my Author's page ;)
Reviews- Flattered beyond recognition and thank you sooo much for adding me to your favourite author or fics page, or in some cases both, you guys are wonderful, I write for you and you only. We all know an author craves recognition.
The fic in general- It started out as a simple plan- Blaise steals Hermione's book, Hermione tries to steel back and they end up going out. Simple? Yeah, that's what I thought. However Draco Malfoy, Theodore Nott and Ginny Weasley were never actually plotted in until I was writing it, or fairly near writing them. I want to do a sequel, if only for closure on Theo, Ginny and Draco. With perhaps a bit of Seamus- you've gotta love that Irishman.
I have been wanting to do a novel length fic for a while- but didn't think I had the courage or commitment- and I still don't think I do for a 20 chapter fic, but I'm proud of this, and I want to round it all off with a sequel; which I don't really have any idea about, apart from I want to definitely see more of Draco and Theo and perhaps some more Slytherin's.
The credit for Theo must be given to SkoosiePants, the famous and if not THE most famous Hr/B writer out there, who, when I mentioned to her I was considering writing him in spurred me on. She really tipped the balance for me, as I was wobbling in just having Draco talking to Blaise, which would have not been suitable for him, but I was at the same time slightly scared about writing in a new character so late. Theo is now one of my favourite characters, so thank you Skoosie. However we haven't seen very much of him, but I have him developing in my head as a character to watch in the sequel.
Thanks must also be given to Lucia (dimedici, Lucia de'Medici are just two of her other pseudonyms.) She has inspired me to write a fic with myself in conversation with Blaise, as we discuss how to go about the sequel. She did something similar to this on her live journal, and I think it'll be quite amusing, while perhaps providing some plot bunnies. Look out for it in my author's page in the next few days.
And now I must go, because this author's note is literally half the length of the chapter and because the England vs N.Ireland football game is about to start and I know we all want to see England in the World Cup once again ;)
(Oh yes, visit my LJ, friend me, comment, read sneak peaks from the sequel and see how my writing is coming along, I can be found at