Title: She Wore a Scarlet Ribbon
Author: Queen of Serpents
Author's Note: Written for Unicorn13 for the Spring Draco/Hermione Fic Exhange.
It took me a while to get inspired to write this story, and I'm not very good at writing fluffy/happy fics. My specialty is dark and angst ones and currently I'm a depressed person (life sucks) so this was quite the challenge. I hope you enjoy it, regardless of the fact it isn't that much romantic!
Thanks to my three beta-readers, Paprika, Piper, and Bewilderment and to all five people who looked over it for me when I was stressing out over whether I met the requirements. hands out cookies to everyone
Summary: It was a game of pure silence and a challenge to get the other to speak.
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..-,.,-.. She Wore a Scarlet Ribbon ..-,.,-..
Her golden brown curls dangled free from the scarlet ribbon that confined them. Her hair was wild, bouncy, and as stubborn as her personality. As she turned to give him one last glance, her eyes flared at him in confusion and anger. This was her reaction for the simple reason that he existed and refused to speak to her. With fury, she tore away from him, her chestnut hair slapping his face as she went.
He inhaled the scent of her hair. It smelled like her and his nose sank in the smell greedily. His eyes closed momentarily to savor the after effects of their silent confrontation. His rosy cheeks burned prominently on his pale skin where her hair had attacked him.
He opened his eyes to watch her. Her robes were billowing like dark wings in the dim light in her haste to run away. To run away from the emotions that quaked silently and inwardly in the presence of the boy who wore a smirk on his face like a crown, declaring his status and his identity before her. He was a prince and she was nothing but a servant who happened to fall under the gaze of his Highness's stormy gray eyes and hold his attention.
She ran away, fearful that staying longer would cause forbidden words to make their way up her vocal chords, for actions to take place which she dared not allow to happen, and dreams to increase their torturous pleasure in the recesses of her mind.
He remained standing, a lone figure in the end of the hall. The lights flickered as the fire blew, went out, and re-lit itself again. He marveled at the emotion she caused within him. It gave him a new perspective. It created a desire deep under his navel down to the tips of his curling toes. The tingly sensations on his sensitive cheek erupted a fury of new emotions.
He still watched as she went away. Her feet slowed down until she was running no more, but walking. Walking away from him. And with each step she took, he saw her go another foot away from him, not only physically, but mentally as well. With every step, he saw another opportunity gone to waste. He saw her walking away and knew it would be the last time she would ever do so. For after this day, their last day at Hogwarts, he would never see her again.
"Filthy mudblood," he said under his breath, breaking the silence of the deserted hallway. This phrase no longer held the hidden malice, and had turned into a more intimate expression which he reserved for only her.
"Why do I care?" he whispered to himself. These silent encounters had been going on for days. He didn't know what the purpose of catching her alone in an empty hallway would do. It first began just to find her alone, weak without her two bodyguards to help her. But that was no longer the case. Even without them she was never afraid, she was as stubborn and brave as she always was, ever the Gryffindor.
And as these encounters continued, he always found her alone. Instead of insulting her or even uttering a single word, he would watch her in silence.And this silence irritated her more than his insults, more than his hurtful phrases. It irritated her, but intrigued her. And he too found this effect on her desirable. Their meetings persisted; he never knew why she didn't choose a different path to reach Gryffindor Tower. Every day she walked from the library to the Gryffindor Tower, and they always seemed to meet at the same precise minute. But he never objected and was never surprised.
Exactly when he began thinking of her differently, he wasn't sure. Exactly when he began to grow restless of the hour they would meet, he didn't know. But he looked forward to them greatly. It had grown into an addiction for him and he didn't want to face the effects of withdrawal after this last meeting.
But it was their last day at Hogwarts, and who knew if they'd ever meet again?
He was about to turn on his heel and disappear deeper into the darkness to ponder, to forget, to erase these memories of being with her in this glorious silence forever, when a flash of something red in the desolate, dim hallway meet his eyes. He looked down and saw the red ribbon that she had begun to wear in her hair at the beginning of her NEWT studies. Her mass of brown hair had always distracted her and he noticed that he liked the way she would always have to brush the hair away from her eyes.
He looked up at the faraway silhouette of her body, picked it up, and held the red ribbon tight in his hands. Then, without thinking, he ran after her.
The sound of his feet landing hard echoed in the hallway and into her ears. She furrowed her brows, tucked her hair behind her ear and turned around to see who was behind her. She knew it could only be him, but she was unsure--he had never followed her before. Her heartbeat quickened as she turned. When she saw him approaching her fast, her hands crept up to her heart and began rubbing it, hoping to slow down her heartbeats and the adrenaline that rushed into her veins.
He stopped less than a foot away from her. His breathing was coming quickly now, but it wasn't due to the short jog he took to catch up with her. It was because he, too, was experiencing a rush of heat inside him that created jolts up and down his spine. He saw her face light up in anticipation, and the jolts became almost painful.
He opened his mouth, unsure of whether he should speak. Their silence was a game, and if he initiated the conversation, he would lose. It was an unspoken rule.
Instead of speaking, he brought up the red ribbon, and she took it from his hands. She waited for him to speak, but he didn't. Disappointed, she leaned back against wall after tying her hair back up, scrutinizing him and wondering. She wanted to convey her thanks, but did not know how, hating this game he started. But as much as she wanted to end it, she didn't want to be the one to lose. If either one of them had to speak, it would be him.
He turned to walk away, not uttering a single word, for he didn't want to be the one to lose, either. He didn't want to be the one to lose in his own game--although his mind was screaming at him to do something.
But he was a coward.
He was a foolish coward who was smitten by a mudblood and didn't want to accept it.
But this was his game. The game of silence. A game of testing one another's patience. How long could both of them last without speaking? Both were stubborn, both were determined. But would one of them finally crack?
She grabbed his hand and forced him to turn around. It was their last day and one of them had to speak first. She was determined to make him.
As he turned, looking at her, he noticed that her face was hidden partially by his shadow and her hair. She took two small steps towards him and traced the outline of his lips. Looking up and locking her eyes with his, she licked her lips, noticing that his eyes were darkening. Without hesitating a second more, she went onto her tiptoes, and boldly kissed him lightly on the lips, her fingers slipping to tangle themselves in the silkiness of his silver hair.
If this wouldn't get him to speak, she didn't know what would.
She blushed when she parted. Her actions surprised him, but they also surprised her. She looked up at him, waiting for him to yell at her for kissing his Highness's lips. After all, she was Muggleborn, wasn't she? Surely this action would get him fired up; a Muggleborn kissing the lips of a Pureblood.
When she saw the confusion in his eyes; however, she knew she failed in accomplishing what she intended to do. Neither of them would win, it seemed. No one would be the one to talk first.
She sighed heavily and took a few steps back, averting her eyes so she wouldn't see his face. This time there would be nothing that would make her look back at him. Her fantasies would take a rampage turn that night; her mind would not leave her alone. She could feel his lips still warm against her own.
Did she do that just to make him speak, just to get him to lose, or was it something else? Did she begin to fancy her enemy?
As she shook her head and tried to end her conflicting thoughts, she began to walk away.
No, it wasn't true. She didn't fancy him. She couldn't.
He took her hand, stopping her. He wanted her to turn around, to look at him, to talk to him.
But she didn't want to.
He made her turn, by forcibly spinning her around and she she spun, her hair dangled free from the ribbon again. He grabbed it as it floated momentarily in the air and stuffed it in his pocket in one swift motion. He grabbed her shoulders, and his grip on her was not harsh, but gentle as he walked her towards the wall. The torch was by her face this time and he could see her fearful face, her eyes shut tight. Her lips were parted, and her chest heaving.
His fingers traced her mouth, and ran over her jaw. Prickly sensations rippled through her body and her heart was racing. She wanted to tell him to stop now. She wanted to tell him not to kiss her because if he did, she wouldn't be accountable for her actions later on. She wouldn't be able to stop herself from falling.
But she couldn't speak, and neither did he and when his lips descended upon hers, she had fallen deeply.
…He was a goner by then. Lost in the feel of her lips. He never wanted to part. He didn't want the day to be their last in school. He wanted this moment to be suspended his space, for time to be broken and the both of them here together finally doing something that they had inwardly wanted to do for so long.
His lips moved softly against hers, dulling her senses and making her mind speed off into the blissful land of just his kisses and the feel of his body against his her. He pulled back slightly, just so that his lips was touching hers and he mouthed a simple phrase, "Filthy Mudblood," against her lips.
She snapped her head back immediately, and her eyes opened. Her eyebrows were knit together in indignation and she was angered by his words. How dare he? The nerve of him!
But she didn't say those words aloud even as his cool grey eyes stared into hers, daring her to speak. She didn't because she didn't want to lose and she knew that he didn't mean it in the malacious way he usually said it.
She was still hurt, but covered up her feeling by raising her chin high and daring him to speak.
But they were both silent. They were too stubborn for their own good. They would never admit defeat and they would never admit that they liked each other outwardly. He began to meet her because he fancied her and she continued to met him and play the game. But the game would never end. Neither of them wanted to lose.
It was their last day at Hogwarts, and there was still no progress. Just two kisses and each with the same ulterior motive: to get the other one to lose.
He took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it softly. She shivered pleasurably and a smile touched the corners of her mouth. Their eyes were locked, dark with passion yet still daring, conveying the same underlining message.
She smirked at him, stealing his trademark expression, and began walking away from him. She didn't run, and she didn't want to get away from him this time.
When she found that he did not follow her, she turned around and with the use of her index finger, gestured him to follow her.
There were still 13 hours left until Hogwarts Express would arrive and during those hours, she was determined to win.
However, instead of following her, his feet remained firmly planted on the ground. He wanted to follow her, he truly did, but he was afraid that just one moment longer of being in her presence would falter his resolve and he didn't want to risk it.
After all, he was a coward.
A foolish coward who did not want to lose no matter what the cost was.
Even if it meant losing her… and even his own voice.
They met again the next morning. She to retrieve her lost scarlet ribbon, and he to finally get her to speak, to declare himself as the victor. There was but one more hour left until the train would arrive and their stay at Hogwarts would come to an end.
She checked the time on the clock. It was exactly 12 hours since she was with him the night before. Those visits would cease and the silent game would be left at a tie, remaining incomplete.
She didn't like to leave things undone, however, and decided that she would be able to make the short trip there, find the ribbon, and come back just in time to leave for the train with everyone else.
She threw her cloak over her shoulders and left, ignoring the calls from her dorm-mates and her friends. Her feet blindly led her to the same place she always went to and her heart was beating fast when she reached the desolate hallway that would always remain dark whether it was day or night.
She saw the ribbon, boldly flashing red in the darkness and began walking towards it, almost running. It was dangling in the middle of the hallway, suspended in the air and she didn't notice the peculiarity of it.
She was just about to snatch it, when her feet stopped moving and she finally registered that a pale hand, covered in part by thick, black sleeves, was holding up the ribbon. She was panting, and willing her heart to stop beating as she stared up into the gray eyes that possessed the hand that had her ribbon.
His face was gentle and soft. And after a few more moments of silence and he approached her slowly. She remained still and when she was able to hear his heartbeats, fast yet steady, she closed her eyes and allowed the feeling of his presence being so close wash over her.
His hands pulled up her hair, and tied it tightly with the scarlet ribbon, tucking loose strands into it. Her eyes were still shut tight, and she held her breath, unsure of what his actions meant.
His fingers left her hair and then trailed down her cheek down to her jaw, causing goosebumps to ripple against her skin in their wake. He touched her lips, wondered how her voice sounded for he didn't hear her speak in so long a time. He was beginning to grow restless by then. He needed to hear her voice just one more time before he left Hogwarts forever.
He wished he could speak first so that she would too, but he couldn't.
And this time it wasn't because of their game of silence. It wasn't because he didn't want to lose, and it wasn't because he was a coward.
She opened her eyes after a long period of silence. She was almost certain that he would talk to her by now, but he didn't and she was growing weary of the game. By then she didn't have anything to loose. After all there was only another 45 minutes left before she would leave Hogwarts forever and after that, she would probably never see him again. So if she talked to him, and lost, it wouldn't matter because he would never be able to taunt her about it.
"Draco, just talk to me," she whispered to him, tiredly. He stared at her and smiled, smiled genuinely. But he didn't say a single word back to her. She furrowed her eyebrows and glared at him. "Oh, stop this already, Malfoy! I spoke to you. Game's over. You won, and I lost. You happy now?"
He sighed, a long, drawn out sigh and took out a sheet of parchment and a quill. He walked over to the wall and put the paper on it, and began to write. She remained standing where she was, tapping her foot on the floor in impatience.
He finally finished writing and handed her the note. She stared at him angrily and then read it. But when she finished the short note, the paper fluttered to the floor and she felt a salty tear make its path down her cheek.
"I can't speak anymore, Hermione. I lost my voice."
"Wh-what are you talking about, Malfoy?" she asked him, grabbing onto the front of his shirt. "What do you mean you lost your voice?"
He didn't look at her despite her many attempts to meet his gaze. His gray eyes were fixed onto the note on the floor. When she received no reply from him, she went back to pick it up, turning it around and looking at the back.
It read: "Silencio Immortalis."
And those words said it all.
In order for him to never lose to her, he drank the potion that would never make him speak again, that would keep him in silence forever.
"Are you crazy?" she hissed at him, throwing the note at his face. "Stupid! Mad! You do know there is probably no cure for this?"
He nodded his head and she shook hers repeatedly. "I still can't believe you," she told him. Her voice was low, a deathly whisper. He walked towards her and eased her into his arms. "You truly are a coward," she said while holding on to him and crying into his chest.
She didn't know why she was crying about the loss of his voice. She didn't know why she even cared.
It was his fault for wanting to win so much that he decided to drink the potion that would make sure he would never lose to her. Did winning mean that much to him that he was willing to never speak again?
She raked her mind, thinking over spells and potions. There had to be counter-potion for this. She was determined to make sure he would speak again. She stepped back from him, ready to make a quick dash to the library, to look up spells and potions, but just as she was slipping away from his embrace, he took her hand and held her back.
"Draco, let go of me. We need to find a cure," she told him, trying to shrug away from his tight grip.
He held up her chin and forced her eyes to lock with his. They were an intense gray, the types that were able to convey the thoughts and feelings of the person. She was able to read them, read his expression. And she knew what he was telling her. He was telling her that it was not necessary, for he heard her voice and that was all he needed. He was telling her to find the cure some other time, but for now to just stay with him and be quiet. He wanted them to lose themselves in their silence for the short time they were here together.
She understood the message clearly and for the moment decided to agree with him. She allowed herself to melt into the comfort of his arms. And as she turned her head up to lock her gaze with his, she realized what the reason was for what they were doing. Deep down, they both knew that winning the game wasn't why they came back to see each other time and time again.
It was just an excuse.
Just as the scarlet ribbon was their excuse to see each other again, and how their game of silence was the excuse to continue with their encounters without having to justify them.
Winning wasn't their only reason for continuing their silent encounters. It was something deeper than that, something a lot more complicated. But they didn't need to speak to each other for them to know what it was. Him drinking the Silencio Immortalis potion and never being able to speak again unless finding the counter-potion didn't matter because she was able to read his expressions anyway.
And even after finding the cure and not leaving for the Express to go their separate ways, talking was a rare thing among them. Because by now, they could tell what the other person thought by just looking into each other's eyes. For eyes revealed everything, from hate, to passion, and to the most beautiful thing that did not need words to express it: love.
…Words were not necessary when actions convey it all.
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Name/Pen Name: Unicorn13
LJ Username: Unicorn13
Are you over 18: No.
Rating(s) you're willing to write: G, PG, PG-13
Rating(s) of the fic you want: PG-13 or PG
One tone/mood you want your gift to include: light, romantic
One element/theme/item you want your gift to include: a plot twist
One common cliche you don't your gift to include: overly Romantic!Draco (stay as canon as possible, please)