After we shared that incredible kiss, I paused to catch my breath. My heart was pounding in my chest, so fast that I thought it would explode. Hermione's cheeks had that lovely blush, and she couldn't even look me in the eye. We both resorted to just resting our foreheads against each others. And I welcomed the break. The thoughts and words in my head were all a big jumble. A coherent sentence would have been difficult just then. All I knew was that when I walked around the corner and saw her with Hollyfield; it was finally time; time to tell her. Granted, I had wanted to tell her a little more gracefully and maybe more romantically, and definitely more privately, but the timing was perfect.
She looked around, sort of casually. Something must have caught her eye. She pulled away from me, slowly.
"Draco, do you realize what you've done?" She whispered.
"There are people watching us, everywhere. There must be a dozen other students that have walked by and seen us, and all of them were staring. And I know that a good portion of them don't come to the library and walk around voluntarily." She said.
"Hermione, I don't care." I kissed her once more for emphasis. "I don't care who sees, or who knows, or who has a problem with it. And I'm sorry; I probably should have told you before I blurted it out. But I realized it a few days ago. I'm in love with you. I want to be with you."
She stopped and stared at me, not saying a word. Her eyes filled with unshed tears, and she squeezed my hand. She opened her mouth to say something, and nothing came out. Then she paused, and then she closed her mouth. She smiled at me and squeezed my hand.
"Give me a little bit to process this, alright? This is a lot to take in." She told me.
"Come and see me after dinner."
She smiled again with those tear filled eyes, knelt to pick up the books that I had dropped and after picking up her bag, left the library with a slight wave.
What had I done?
I finally understood the phrase 'heart on my sleeve'. It actually made sense. I had poured out my heart to her, and now she didn't return my feelings. She was going to let me down easy, or some other shite. Tell me how her feelings weren't the same, she thought of us as 'just friends'. So could I do it, could I continue with our arrangement, being in love with her, and having her know it? I don't know.
I went to the locker room, changed to my practice gear and grabbed my broom. I needed to exert this pent up energy. I had a bad feeling that I wouldn't be exerting it in my favorite way any longer, at least not with her.
I took a running start out onto the pitch and quickly took to the air. I chased the snitch that didn't exist. Had I missed a sign? I was sure there was something there. That she cared about me, that she had actual feelings for me. So now that I had finally told her the truth and admitted it to her, her natural reaction should have been to say it back. And she didn't. That horrible feeling in my stomach had returned tenfold. I raced back and forth along the pitch until my clothes were clinging to me, drenched in sweat. I landed and went to the locker room and took off my gear and headed for the showers. I froze as I entered. All I could think of was the last time I had been in there, when Hermione had given me that amazing blowjob. I closed my eyes and groaned. There was no way I'd be able to take a shower. Not in here, not today. I put on the clothes I had come in with, and went back to my room to clean up.
The shower did its job, but as soon as I came out of the bathroom I was hit with an overwhelming wave of scent. Hermione. The sheets smelled like her, from our previous night together. I groaned and sat down. I was done for. I loved her. I knew it. I was absolutely crazy about her. And here I was, running around like a typical love sick puppy. Mooning over her. But this wasn't what the guys did. This was what the women did. What would be next?
Dinner wasn't for another hour, but I knew I'd never be able to eat, and if I did eat I'd probably get sick. And there was that other part of me that almost wanted to just not show up. She's going to dump me. I know that. So why don't I just spare my heart? Stay in my quarters and wallow in my own misery?
I still have a half a bottle of firewhiskey in the bottom of my school trunk. I could tie a good one on. Maybe that will help me to not think about her, for a little while.
But would I be able to ever date again? Have sex with another woman again, without comparing her to Hermione? Sex with Hermione was amazing. Fantastic. Ok, Draco, you're probably being a little dramatic. But this might take a while to get over. She was going to be a difficult woman to forget. My next few girlfriends were going to hate me in the end, and probably her too. But I'm jumping the gun. It was going to be a long while before I'd even be ready to date again. A long, long while. My heart was breaking with every passing second.
I sat on the edge of the bed, contemplating. After a few minutes I decided to grab the bottle of whiskey. I took several swigs, then several more. A few hours later, I had drunk more than I had intended to, but enough that I felt comfortable to do what needed to do. I got myself to my feet, and very slowly made my way up the stairs to Hermione's room. Maybe when I was drunk, it would make the news easier to hear.
The portrait saw me and wrinkled its nose. I gave the password and it opened. I stumbled in, tripping on one of the rugs. I caught myself in time, but giggled at my own clumsiness. Hermione got up from the couch and put her book down. Her eyes were filled with concern.
"Draco, are you alright?" She asked, walking towards me.
"I'm fine, how are you? Oh, wait, never mind. I know how you are." I replied, starting to giggle. I guess something in her question was really amusing to me.
I walked over to her and took her hand, leading her to the couch. Although as drunk as I was, I was probably something closer to stumbling. I sat down with a plop. She sat down and looked at me.
"You're drunk." She looked at me.
"Is there any particular reason you got drunk?" She asked.
I nodded again. Did she always ask so many questions?
"Are you…upset about something?" She probed.
"You could say that." I answered.
"Is it about what happened in the library today?" Another question, and this time I couldn't help but notice that her eyes were starting to fill with tears.
I slumped forward, and rested my head in my hands. You arse, you just made it a whole lot worse.
"You regret it, don't you? Kissing me…Telling me… that you…" She stopped, and wiped the tears away. I looked at her. My heart was breaking. In the short time that I had known her, Hermione had always been so strong. Now she was almost fragile, and it caught me off guard. I wasn't drunk enough to deal with this, and the fuzz on my brain was dissipating with every passing second.
I still couldn't look at her. This was not going the way I intended. She was supposed to call things off, and I'd leave, quietly. Instead, she was being all female. I tried to smooth things over. And being half in the bag wasn't helping.
"Hermione, please. I was drinking because I got upset with myself. Hermione, I…I'm upset, and scared. And I still am. I meant what I said earlier. I love you. And I have for a while. And I almost didn't come tonight. I didn't want to hear what you have to say." I paused and finally looked at her, feeling very unsure of myself. She smiled and took my hand, and squeezed it gently. I continued.
"I don't remember ever being this scared, of losing something that I've never had. And…even if you don't feel anything for me, we can still keep up our friendship relationship and just have sex. I'm fine with that. But when I saw someone flirting with you, I just got jealous." I finished. I looked up at her, to see the tears streaming down her cheeks. I gave her a weak smile and reached a finger up to brush the tears away.
"Draco Malfoy. I'm glad you got jealous." She shook her head at me and smiled.
"You are so worried about rejection, or that I'm going to run away screaming. You're not getting off that easy. I'm afraid too. I don't think that any of our friends will approve, but I think we can make them see what we both see. Your family hates my kind. But you are willing to give up everything, to be with me? Draco, that scared the crap out of me in the library. It just caught me off guard that you love me that much that you would sacrifice your friends, family, status, and money just to be with me. It's a little overwhelming." She paused. "I've had these feelings for a while. I love you more than I can even put into words."
I pulled her into my arms and held her against my chest. I kissed the top of her head. "Tell you what. How about you just try to show me, and we'll leave it at that?"
"Deal." She grinned.
We held each other for a few minutes, enjoying the feelings of young love. Hermione was the first to break away and when she did, she stood in front of me and held out her hand. I took it with a smile and we made our way to her bedroom.
With a new found nervousness, we both started to undress each other. Each of us taking turns to remove a piece of clothing, and then taking a turn to kiss that newly naked piece of flesh. It was incredibly time consuming, but also very tortuous, and both of us were incredible turned on by the time we were both fully naked. We began to kiss as we fell backwards onto the bed, the long deep kisses that we both enjoyed.
My mouth began a path away from her mouth towards her ear, tugging on her earlobe with my teeth. Hermione groaned in response. My kisses trailed down her neck, leaving a wet trail and I stopped to reclaim her lips.
The pace began to quicken as I made my way to her breasts, sucking on each one and giving them each ample attention with my tongue. Her fingers started to run through my hair in response. One of my hands found its way to her center and parted her folds, and I found that she was already wet. My lips made their way further down, until I tasted her sweetness, making her hips buck off the bed. She moaned the entire time as I licked and sucked and lapped at her overflowing juices. I inserted one finger, and then a second and my pace got even faster, which made her moans even louder.
"Please, Draco. I need to feel you inside of me." She told me.
I pulled my face away from her core, and looked up at her.
I quickly slid up her body and entered her. I started a slow pace, pulling out almost all the way, and then stopping. And then after a few seconds I would slam into her fast. Her orgasm was almost instantaneous. After her body stopped convulsing, I relaxed into a slower rhythm. Her hands wrapped around my neck and pulled me in close for a deep kiss, while her ankles wrapped around my hips helping to drive me in deeper.
I could feel my orgasm getting close now, and I looked at her face. Her nose was starting to twitch. I started to pump faster, bringing myself even closer to the edge. I looked into her eyes, and that was all it took. My body imploded, rockets exploded. I was over the edge, and she was very close behind. I collapsed next to her, incredibly out of breath.
"Hermione, I love you."
She turned her head and smiled at me.
"I love you, Draco." She giggled. "Who would think that six years ago, we would end up like this? We hated each other. Bitter enemies. House rivals. Both of us at the top of the class, fighting for that top spot. And now, here we are. Bed partners, who fell in love."
I laughed with her, the drunk haze from earlier almost completely gone.
"I would have never believed it. I have little doubt that my friends will suspect I'm under the Imperius. My family probably will too, when we tell them."
She laughed again. "I didn't think of that. Ron and Harry will think the exact same thing. How about we just leave school in the middle of the night?" She curled her body up against mine in a delicious way, and I was half tempted to agree with her.
"I've got a plan."
I quickly told her, and she agreed. We had few choices available to us. Several owls later, we were both finally satisfied with the results.
The next morning, everyone received their owl post. And those who had a subscription to the Daily Prophet were shocked by the front page story. The headline read 'Forbidden Friendship Melts Even the Iciest Hearts.' The bi line was a Charles Malfoy, virtually unheard of. Especially considering he was the child of an illegitimate Malfoy.
Everyone read the story word for word. Some even read it twice.
'I'm sitting here with Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger. I think that almost every wizard and witch in Britain knows who they both are. Both very smart students, top of the class and always have excellent marks. The relationship that the two of them share could be called hated enemies, until just recently. And this is what they would both like to share with the wizarding world.'
Charles- This first question goes to either one of you. Or maybe both of you. Is either of you under Imperius?
Both- Absolutely not.
Charles- And neither of you has taken polyjuice? Or maybe a love potion?
Hermione- No. (Draco rolled his eyes.)
Charles- So what is it that you would like to tell the wizarding world?
Draco- We want to tell everyone the truth. We both know that people are going to fill in the blanks their own way. Jump to conclusions and whatnot. We want to clear the air.
Hermione- There are a lot of people in both of our lives; people that will be hurt, confused, even angry. We're hoping that this will ease things a bit.
Draco- And we have no doubt be some people who will think they should have been told privately, or in their own owl. We both decided that it would be easier to hear this way, with everyone else at the same time. Well, I guess it depends on who reads the paper first thing.
Hermione- We want everyone to know, that we are in love. Both of us, with each other.
Draco- It wasn't something we planned, it just happened. We're both still trying to take it in ourselves. But it happened. It isn't a phase, we're not going to wake up tomorrow and say 'That was a big mistake'. I swear, there was no potion or spell casting involved, by either of us, or a third party.
Charles- This is a pretty big public proclamation. Love, eh? At your age? Would either of you like to explain how this happened?
Hermione- I'll answer that. Some things, from our early relationship are just too private. For both of us. What I do feel comfortable saying, is that we had no intention of this happening. But it did.
Draco- To say that we've been enemies is too loose of a term. We were constantly battling for the top spot in our year. I wouldn't call us enemies, but we weren't exactly friends either. I think secretly, deep down we can both say that there was a mutual admiration for each other.
Hermione- Mutual admiration, I like that. But I know myself, being able to be friends with Draco was practically forbidden. We are both in different houses and the attitude at Hogwarts is that you can't mix things. At least among the student body. My friends in the house all looked down at the Slytherin house particularly.
Draco- My house shouldn't be singled out, love. It isn't very often that the houses mix, for any reason. Unless it's a Quidditch match. Then everyone typically cheers for the house they don't dislike. But if, for example I was to offer tutoring, the only students that would accept would be Slytherin. Ravenclaws never tutor from other houses. And Hufflepuff tend to stick to themselves as well.
Charles- So your classmates would think there might be coerced? Or an ulterior motive?
Both – Definitely.
Hermione - And it's not just our fellow classmates. My parents are not of the wizarding world. I'm a muggleborn witch. Draco has grown up thinking that people like me are not worthy of our magic. That we should all be killed.
Draco- It's all rubbish. Hermione is honestly the smartest witch I have ever met. Her intelligence is beyond anyone I have ever met. She's funny and beautiful and very generous. But my family is all pure blooded, practically magical royalty. My family dates back to those earliest found with magical blood. And it is practically written into the family credo. Muggleborns and squibs should be destroyed; even erased from the wizarding world.
Charles- Do you share your families' views and opinion?
Draco- (Sigh) I used to. But in my defense, it's what I was raised to believe. I can't think of a single event from my childhood where it wasn't mentioned. From birthday parties to weddings and even funerals. I wasn't raised to think anything else. And when Hermione and I started our relationship, I still believed it. It only took me a few days to realize that my family and their views were so wrong. She helped me to see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with people who are muggle born. Who cares if their parents aren't magical? I don't.
Hermione- It goes the same way for me though. Because of my friends and classmates, I always had this view of the Slytherin. That they are all maniacal, devious and underhanded. And don't ever trust one. And I did one better than that.
Charles- How do you think your families; your friends will deal with this?
Hermione- My family will accept it. They trust me. And they will see how happy he makes me. My friends on the other hand will be less accepting. They will think it's a trick. Or that I'm being coerced. I want to tell all of them, right now that it couldn't be farther from the truth. I love this wizard. He is so much more than they think. He is proud and giving and challenges my intellect. We have wonderful conversation, which matters to me. I would hope that my friends who have a problem with him will at least give him a chance. Trust my judgment. Try to see all the wonderful qualities that I see. Yes, he's annoying at times and a prat at other times. And he's conceited and snarky. But there is so much more to him and it just makes his other traits more endearing.
Draco- Snarky? Really?
Hermione- (rolls eyes) I have no idea where I possibly came up with that.
Draco (smiling, reaches over to squeeze her hand) - That's probably a good adjective to describe me.
Charles- Draco, would you like to answer? How will your family and friends deal with this?
Draco- Hostility, anger. I'm sure that there will be a howler or two in my immediate future. Maybe even a threat of being disowned. But I would like to ask that same thing that Hermione did. Give her a chance. Trust my judgment. I promise that you will see more than just an annoying know it all. She has an amazing heart and is truly my best friend.
Charles- So if it comes down to it, and your family or friends forbids you from pursuing your friendship?
Hermione- I don't care. If you can't even try to accept him, we're done. Permanently. I completely understand what I'm doing. And if certain people want to look at it that I'm choosing him over them? Yes, that would be correct. Grow up, please.
Draco- At this point in my life, I really don't care. I have finally found someone who accepts me for me, who loves me for me. She could care less about my last name, or my lineage. Or the money that my family has. She is the one I will chose, in any battle. Accept that or we can part ways. There is no negotiation.
'Thank you so much to both of you. And dare I say you make an amazing couple. I hope that this article brings you both what you are looking for.'
The article had mixed results. At the Malfoy house there was one Malfoy who was pacing in front of the fireplace at a furious pace. He actually appeared to be talking to himself, angrily. The other Malfoy was rereading the article, dabbing her eyes with her silk handkerchief. A smile crossed her face and she rose, walking towards her husband. She put a hand on his arm as he stopped pacing.
"Sweetheart, please stop this. I really think we need to do as he asks. Please can you do that?" Narcissa asked.
Lucius scowled. He met eyes with his wife and his scowl softened after a bit. "Alright. I will try. I can't say I'm happy about it. I was ready to arrange his marriage." He sighed and leaned down to kiss his wife.
"But my dear, you get to convince your sister."
At the burrows, two red heads leaned over the same paper. She sighed. He reread it, wondering if there was some kind of secret hidden 'death eater' message.
"Hermione has always had a good head on her shoulders. Stop trying to find something that isn't there." Molly said.
"I agree with you. She is a very smart young lady. But Draco Malfoy? I had always hoped that she and R…" Arthur started.
"Well it obviously just isn't meant to be." Molly interrupted him. "Hermione will always be here. And hopefully Ron, Harry and Ginny will be adult enough to listen to what she's saying."
The scene around the rest of the wizarding world was about the same. Most of the women cried, some of the men groaned. And there were still some who were afraid that they were both being cursed. But in each one of them, they heard and understand the wisdom of these two people in love. They might not agree with it. But they all understood.
The most mixed results of all were at Hogwarts. A good portion of the females in the Great Hall sniffled, or even cried. Some of the males laughed, some groaned. But the most intense reactions were at the Gryffindor and Slytherin tables. Pansy Parkinson looked ashen. Millicent Bulstrode put her head in her hands. Crabbe and Goyle didn't have much of a reaction at all. Blaise Zabini looked anything but pleased.
At the Gryffindor table, it was a similar story. Neville Longbottom looked ill. Ginny Weasley read the article twice. She frowned the first time, and broke into a smile after reading it the second time. The youngest Weasley glanced at her boyfriend, and then her brother to see what their reaction would be.
Ron looked as if he was having a stroke. His eyes were as wide as she had ever seen. It almost looked as if he was holding his breath, judging by the color of his skin. His gaze was straight ahead, looking at some invisible thing. Harry was a little different. The look on his face was that of frustration. He looked up at his best friend and grew concerned.
"Ron. Stop." Harry told him.
"But…but…she…" Ron sputtered. Harry cut him off.
"I read the article too, Ron. And I'm not happy about it either. But she's made it clear that if we want her to stay in our lives; we need to try to accept Malfoy."
Ron's gaze and facial expression didn't change.
Harry tried again. "Ron, I don't care what you do. Hate him if you want. But I will be giving him a chance. Hermione's a smart witch. And I'm not going to lose my friendship with her because of my feelings towards him."
It took Ron a few minutes to calm down enough to speak in something that resembled a coherent sentence.
"He's a Malfoy. It's not right." Ron finally spat.
"Yes, he is a Malfoy. But it's that kind of bigotry that made her think that this was the only choice she had. Obviously she and Draco have moved past this kind of thinking. I don't know about you, but I'm going to do as they both ask."
"Harry!" Ron practically shouted.
"Ron, enough. I value her friendship more than that." Harry said, considering the matter closed.
The two students who were on everyone's mind, decided that a grand entrance was probably the best.
Breakfast was almost over when the door to the Great Hall finally opened and they walked in, hand in hand. The usual chatter stopped, and every eye followed them. They walked towards the teachers table, and then at the last minute, they both stopped. They faced each other, and their lips met for a soft kiss. They both turned towards their respective tables with a smile on their faces. Draco sat in his usual spot. Hermione sat down across from Harry and Ron. No one spoke. After a few tense seconds, Ginny Weasley stood up, and started to applaud. She was joined by another, and another. In only a matter of seconds, all of the Great Hall was standing, showing their support. Ron wasn't exactly happy. The same could probably be said for Pansy. But they reluctantly joined the rest of the school in accepting their relationship.
AN:Holy crap. It's done. I truly, truly apologize for the long waits in between chapters. To say that my life could be a reality show is a bit of an understatement. But this story is finished. Done. When I had them fall in love, (which was inevitable) I didn't see this story going anywhere other than the typical ' they get married, they have kids' with a bunch of angst in between. I didn't want it to turn into that. Or a story where Harry and Ron, or even Lucius try to split them up. Not that I don't enjoy those stories, but I didn't want to do it to this one.
I ended it the way I always wanted to. Everyone is at least trying to accept things. Ron isn't having a fit, Harry's not trying to convince her otherwise, his parents aren't trying to kidnap him and have his memory erased. :) I just wanted to take a stab at a story where their relationship isn't a huge deal. I really think I did that. I hope everyone is pleased.
Lastly, thanks for sticking with me. The reviews and PMs that begged for another chapter were never ignored. I hope that this last one was worth the wait. :) And there will be more from me in the future. Hugs to all of you!