Disclaimer: My one regret in life is that I don't own HP. But when I grow up, I want to be just like J.K. Rowling :)
stands there then walks away
My god if I could only say
And if you asked me if I love him
-Taylor Swift I'd Lie
The flames from the fire light up the dull metal on the stately grandfather clock as it drones out a lengthy twelve "gongs". I wrench my eyes from the spot on the carpet that I've been staring at for half an hour. Was it really that late? Hogwarts: A History and several empty cups of hot chocolate accompany me on the plush couch in the Heads dorm as I slowly pull my legs up onto the couch and hug my knees. My sanity has gone way past the point of regretting my decision. At this point, turning back was to admit wasting three hours of my time waiting. And Hermione Granger doesn't admit defeat.
I sighed deeply and hugged myself closer, gazing off into the fire and losing myself to delicious dance of the flames. I'm not usually a person who makes irrational decisions. I like to think of myself as rather steady and level-headed. And yet how ironic it is that I'm sitting up for the whole night and probably a good portion of the morning for the most undependable unreliable prat in the real history of Hogwarts. My frustration boiled into annoyance and finally fury as the time dragged on. The fact that I finally got up, grabbed a quill and parchment, and began to write down all the major character flaws of said prat only proved what lack of sleep does to a dependable and level-headed witch. My handwriting, although neat as ever, was uncharacteristically big as I began to write.
"Draco Malfoy: The Prat of the Century", I titled the page with a self-satisfied glance.
"1. Self-centered" Anyone who had ever spent five seconds with Draco could vouch for this fact. He spent more than half of his blasted time in our shared bathroom staring at himself in the mirror. There are only so many times that a person can admire their perfection. And Draco kept on pushing that number higher and higher.
"2. Arrogant" Bragging about your perfection is also something that is limited by numbers. And also something Draco manages to do more than humanly possible
"3. undependable and unreliable" Draco had specifically told me before he left that he'd be back before midnight Well, maybe not "specifically". Perhaps in passing. . .
I groaned again at the lack of sense I was making. Not to mention the lack of sense that my actions had. Draco had warned me not wait up for him tonight, he explained that Quidditch strategy sessions could take longer than planned and he wasn't really sure when he'd be back. I realized now that his warning didn't lack reason and that I probably should have taken his advice. And I would have. Except for the fact that I was incredibly selfish. It's not enough that we live next door to each other. It's not enough that I can crawl into his bed when it's thunder storming. Or enough that he'll hold me as he silently chuckles as I tremble at every flash of lightning (so much more frightening than the noise). Or enough that he sometimes walks into the bathroom without a shirt on, not anticipating that I'd be there brushing my teeth. And it's not enough that he pretends not to notice when I stare too long before turning away and muttering something about clothing being required for a reason. And it's definitely not enough that we talk for hours into the dark on the very couch I was busy oozing onto. No. I have to have that little bit of closure at the end of every day. I have to say "Goodnight" to him.
It's so pathetic when I think about it. It's just one word. It's one word that I'm wasting my whole night and a bit of my sanity for. But it's that one word that assures me everything will be all right. I spend hours during class day dreaming about that little word. I compare each and every single "Goodnight" with its brothers. They're like little jewels. Little treasures that I keep tucked in my heart. And even if some shine brighter than others, I can't bear to loose even one. So I sit. And wait. Knowing that I may complain now, but when he finally comes back and says those words, I'll go to bed with a smile.
The portrait door slowly opens and I stuff my almost-forgotten list safely under a pile of books. My heart flutters erratically and I hope I don't look too bad in the wee hours of the morning. My attention is fixated on the door, but if I were to check as I had been for the past three hours, the grandfather clock would have told me "12:12". I can't seem to move my feet which are stuck to the ground. My breath is quick and fast and I feel like I could possibly faint. I can't seem to think of a rational thought, although thousands of them are swirling around in my head. But it doesn't matter, because nothing matters but him. And he's here. He's finally here.
Draco pushes the door fully open, and at first he doesn't notice me as he continues his stumble towards his bedroom. It seems like he is also not used to this lack of sleep and his eyes nearly glaze over before they land on me.
"Hermione" he gasps in both shock and relief. And I realize that he's been wishing that I had waited for him, no matter what he had warned me earlier. "I told you to not to…you shouldn't have to…you didn't have to…why did you?" I silently nod as he stumbles through his words until he asks me that fateful question. My eyes open very wide and I feel like I had just gotten my hand stuck in the cookie jar. What a good question, Draco, well you see, I haven't the faintest idea either. But I did have an idea, didn't I? I did know. I was just too much of a coward to admit it. I stand silent and my eyes begin to tear up with frustration. Well why do you think I waited up so late? I don't do this for just anyone, mind you. Only people that I really. People that I really and truly. Only for people that I…Oh forget it.
"We haven't said 'Goodnight' yet." I reply lamely as I slowly sit onto the couch. Draco quickly crosses the room in five steps and sits next to me.
"Is that it?" he inquires. Suddenly his silver eyes are molten and are pulling me down into its warm depths.
"No." I whisper, I'm unable to lie when he looks at me like that.
"Why then?" he asks again and I'm drowning again and I never want to surface. But I can't form words, no matter how hard my mind wills my mouth to move, I simply can't.
But Draco searches my eyes with his, and he finds what he's looking for in my scared, anticipating, and embarrassed expression. He gently lowers his face and brushes his lips against mine. Suddenly I'm alive again as I try to move closer and wrap my arms around his neck. But as soon as the feather-like kiss has started, it's over. And Draco backs away as I try to collect my senses and stop trembling.
"Goodnight Hermione" he whispers into my ear and I can't help but try to grab his neck again, securing him to me. He leaves and walks to his bedroom, stopping in the doorway to once again glance at my stricken gaze. And with a gentle click the door closes and everything is silent. My body allows me just enough time to instinctively raise a hand to my tingling lips and whisper a "Goodnight Draco" before I collapse onto the couch. I fall into a deep slumber with dreams of dark grey pools and kisses as light as falling snowflakes.