As The Librarian Sleeps

Muttering an unintelligible string of words, Hermione Granger stretched her arms in front of her and groaned. Her hope of relieving some of the tension which had accumulated throughout the hours she'd spent poured over books was rather futile; her spine felt as though it had moulded to fit the shape of the hard wooden chair that she was sitting on. Glancing hazily around the library, she realised that she was alone save for Madam Pince who was snoring faintly at her desk and a fellow seventh year – a Slytherin. His name was Theodore Nott. Though his father had been a rather renowned Death Eater, he himself had adamantly refused to receive the dark mark, disassociating himself from the Death Eaters. He had thus alienated himself from his fellow Slytherins

Hermione had always been rather curious about the lanky Slytherin, noticing over the years that he'd frequented the library at a velocity which almost matched her own. Subtly glancing in his direction again; a smile played across her lips at the sight of him diligently copying notes from a thick Ancient Runes textbook, one that she knew they hadn't covered yet - she'd taken the book out herself a week earlier. He really was rather attractive, she thought. Not in the aristocratically, obviously beautiful way of Draco Malfoy and Blaise Zabini, nor in the dashing yet jovial way of Harry and Ron. He had an air of quiet studiousness about him – geeky almost. The thick, dark hair which fell messily around his thin face caused an almost startling reaction within Hermione as she realised that she wanted nothing more than to bury her fingers within the strands. However, it wasn't merely his hair that caught her attention. In Hermione's opinion, he possessed the most beautiful pair of dark brown eyes that she'd ever seen in her life. Each glimpse that she'd caught of them over the seven years she'd attended Hogwarts, had further cemented her view that in comparison to his eyes, her own were boring and mud coloured. Once, she'd caught eyes with him and she'd blushed so deeply that he'd asked her if she was alright ... she'd been mortified.

The insinuation that she had a crush on him was an insult to her intelligence. Hermione liked to believe that she merely observed Theodore Nott in a romantic fashion.

Currently, she was surreptitiously observing the way in which his long fingers were wrapped around his hideously expensive quill. He had beautiful hands. She'd noticed this a few weeks earlier when he'd handed her a book that she couldn't quite reach from the top shelf. As he'd passed the book to her, she'd noticed how delicious he smelled – soap and old books. The scent made her slightly weak at the knees and she'd been thankful that she hadn't buckled in his presence. If he were keenly observant, he ought to have thought of her as extremely peculiar. Yawning slightly, Hermione removed her outer robes and loosened her tie. Though they were in the depths of winter, the library was a virtual inferno as the perpetually lit grand fireplace roared hotter than any warming charm could.

The deadly concoction of heat and fatigue was affecting Hermione, as before she realised her chin was resting on her hand as she twirled a curl of chestnut hair and gazed absently towards the tall boy. Not one to act like this under normal circumstances, Hermione was slightly startled at her own behaviour but found that she couldn't bring herself to care entirely. Her conclusion being that as she'd spent the past six years on a virtual suicide mission, now that the danger was behind her – why shouldn't she act like a normal teenage girl for once.

"Was there anything I could help you with Granger?" Queried a startlingly deep voice.

Snapping out her daze and blushing slightly, Hermione glanced up to see the amused face of Theodore Nott looking over to her, eyebrow raised and quill set down upon the desk in front of him.

"P-Pardon?" She stuttered, finding herself at an unusual loss for words.

"Well, I'd noticed that you've been looking over here with rather an intent look upon your face for a while now. I thought it only polite to ask if there were something I could help you with." He remarked, flashing a disarmingly striking smile towards her.

"Oh. No, I must have been day dreaming I suppose." She replied, averting her gaze from the beautiful dark orbs that appeared to be sparkling at her.

"Of course ... day dreaming. Well considering it's getting rather late, if you're intent upon continuing to day dream, wouldn't it be more prudent for you to get yourself to bed and have a proper dream?" He asked, shooting her a wink.

Hermione flushed a deep burgundy at the mere mention of dreaming coming from his lips. As coincidentally, her dreams the night before had consisted of herself and Theodore Nott in a rather filthy situation, enough to drive even the most strictly abstinent of people to submitting to their carnal desires.

"Yes. I suppose it would be. However, I'm not tired." She said, stifling a yawn.

"Your body appears to be in disagreement with you Granger."He laughed, shaking his head at her.

"Well, perhaps my qualifications are more important to me than something as menial as sleep. Not that it's really any of your concern. I may just want to stay in the library." She shot back snootily; cursing the blush that she knew continued to stain her cheeks.

"I'm sure you do." He smirked, returning to his work and leaving her to stare after him oddly.

"And what exactly is that supposed to mean Nott?" She demanded, narrowing her eyes at him.

"Oh nothing, I've just noticed that you're always in the library when I am." He answered, barely lifting his head from his book to reply to her. Abashed, Hermione squeaked with indignation.

"My library schedule has absolutely nothing to do with you Nott. My reasons for being in the library are purely academically based." She huffed, glaring at him.

"Keep telling yourself that sweetheart." He winked, earning himself a rather deadly glare.

"How dare you. You have some nerve Theodore Nott." She said, folding her arms. Theodore laughed genuinely, his face transforming as the dimples in his cheeks deepened.

"You have no idea how beautiful you are when you're angry, do you?" He asked, his eyes sparkling as he fixed his gaze upon her startled face.

"Excuse me?" She asked, shock marring her features.

"Yeah, you know – when you're mad. Your eyes flash, you get this incredibly passionate look on your face and I swear your hair gets more unruly, as though it's as angry as you are." He spluttered, eyes widening as it dawned upon him what he'd just said.

"D-did you just, personify my hair?" She asked. A look of complete and utter bewilderment crossing her face.

Theodore began to laugh.

"I tell you how unbelievably attractive I find you and the first thing you think to ask is why I'm personifying your features? Miss Granger, you certainly are one of a kind aren't you." Hermione had the good grace to blush.

"Oh my. I – oh dear, I reacted rather badly there didn't I?" She asked, seemingly recovering from her shocked stupor. Theodore nodded.

"Yes, I suppose it's my own fault really. I mean, it's not as though I've ever spoken to you ... at all really. I'm just the quiet boy from your rival house. How were you ever to guess that I harboured such an attraction towards you? You weren't I suppose, I've just gone and thrown my feelings in your face without a second thought as to what your reaction would be, selfish of me really. I supp-"

"Oh would you just shut up." Hermione interrupted, quirking an eyebrow at Theodore's rambling.

"Sorry." He said, rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment.

"Don't apologise, I just can't deal with rambling, especially in a place such as the library." Hermione replied, shooting a nervous glance towards Madam Pince who let out a loud snore.

"Oh. Okay then." He replied, tugging at his shirt sleeve nervously.

"So you think I'm attractive?" Hermione asked, a smile threatening to overtake her face.

"I think you're bloody beautiful." Theodore answered, stepping closer to her.

"And it doesn't matter to you that I'm a Mudblood?" She asked, grimacing as she said out loud the insult that haunted her.

"Don't. Don't ever call yourself that, not in front of me. You're better than a racist nickname created by narrow minded bigots." He snarled, his eyebrows furrowing as he stood inches from her. Shaking his head at her, he stepped back and ran a hand raggedly through his hair.

"I'm sorry."

"You're apologising for insulting yourself?" He asked incredulously, letting out a short bark of laughter.

"I – yes I suppose I am." She said, a small smile quirking at the corner of her lips. "What can I say; you've thoroughly overturned my theory that all Slytherins are the same. I have a right to be confused."

"You mean to say that you didn't realise that we're not all racist arseholes?" He teased, smirking at her.

"I did. I mean, I had a feeling you weren't but how was I to know for sure. You Slytherins treat us Gryffindors with such contempt that it's hard not to think that you all hate us equally."

"That's a fair assumption to make, I've seen the way Draco treats you. It's inexcusable." He sighed; his dark eyes searching her face with an intensity that made Hermione catch her breath.

"It is a fair assumption but it isn't a very accurate one, is it?" She said, biting her lip. "Now, a moment ago you were telling me that you think I'm beautiful. I neglected to respond with the fact that I find you equally attractive and have for quite a while now." She stated, blushing as his eyes widened comically.

"You do?"

"Of course I do you idiot, why do you think you caught me staring at you?" She laughed, glancing at the floor nervously. A finger hooking under her chin caused her eyes to shoot up.

"Can I kiss you?" Theodore asked, a stammer evident in his voice as though he were attempting to appear collected.

"Of course you can." Hermione replied, rolling her eyes as she stepped closer to him, grasping his surprisingly broad shoulders as he bent down, cupped her face in his hands and kissed her.

Hermione's mind went blank as his lips covered her own, her heart felt as though it were about to beat right out of her chest. The feeling of complete and utter satisfaction which filled her was something which she hadn't anticipated; she felt whole. The few fumbling kisses that she'd experienced with Victor Krum in the past were nothing compared to the way in which Theodore Nott was kissing her right that instant.

As they pulled apart, Theodore brushed a stray curl from Hermione's forehead before kissing it absentmindedly.

"I've been waiting a hell of a long time to do that Granger." He admitted, smiling wryly at her.

"I wish you'd done it before now, honestly Theodore." She grinned.

"It's Theo to you."

"Well then, stop calling me Granger. The name is Hermione."

"Deal, how about we call it a night for studying and go find an empty spot on the astronomy tower?"

"How about we go to the room of requirements instead? The Astronomy Tower is so cliché and I don't fancy running into Ron and Lavender."

"The room of what?"

"I'll show you."

"Alright, though be aware that I'm rather sceptical of you now Hermione."

"Noted ... Theo." Hermione grinned as they packed up their things.

"Let's go then beautiful." Theodore smirked, holding out his hand to her as he led her out of the library, thanking his lucky stars that he'd decided to go to the library that night instead of sneaking into Hogsmeade with his friends.

A/N: If you're reading this, thankyou for reading the first fanfiction that I've managed to churn out in a year. I have no excuse other than that it has been my final year of University and obviously I've been snowed under with work. Anybody who has been waiting on the next chapter of 'Hermione's Journey' and has given up on me, if you're still interested ... the next chapter is currently underway.

Thankyou for reading, please Read & Review to let me know what you think of my work.


Miss Penny Lockhart