Red and Green
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
A/N: This fanfic is rewritten. DracoxHermione, with mild, breaking apart RonxHermione, and also HarryxGinny, with friendly BlaisexGinny & Blaise/Luna, and roughly civil PansyxRon.
It was another year at Hogwarts.
I had to admit, coming back for Seventh Year right after the war had me excited...even if some of us were older than the rest of the Seventh Years. McGonagall was kind enough to let some of the people from our batch continue our studies, therefore we were in the same batch as Ginny.
I sat in the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. It was dinnertime, and Professor McGonagall stood to make some announcements. I tried to listen, but Ron was chewing so loudly I couldn't even hear my own thoughts.
"For heaven's sake, Ron, do you ever stop eating?"
"What? I'm hungry," he said, his mouth full. I grimaced. Sometimes I wonder how I fell in love with this boy in the first place.
Was I really in love? I sighed. Ever since that kiss during the battle, I'd come to realize: kissing Ron did NOT produce the effect I wanted. There was no spark, no light, no bliss. Just plain drool.
But yet, Ron is Ron. If he was oblivious to me then, he still is oblivious to me now.
I smiled, though. No one said anything about us being together...he never asked. But as the chewing got louder and louder, I couldn't take it anymore.
"Bloody hell, Ron, shut UP!" I said. "I'm trying to listen, so if you can't keep your bloody teeth from chewing so bloody loudly, Merlin help me, I will hex your tongue for you!"
"Fine, Hermione, sheesh, don't get so worked up about it." I looked at Professor McGonagall with a huff.
"Attention, students!" she called over the loud chatter, and everyone fell silent.
"As you know, Christmas is in three weeks, and so, we will be holding the Christmas Ball on the 20th of December." A smattering of applause echoed through the hall, along with a few groans.
"I want to go to the Ball!" I said. "What do you think, Ron? Let's go."
"Nah, I've had enough balls in a lifetime. You go alone if you want to." I frowned.
See. I don't think he loves me back, or if I even DO love him. If you love each other, you're supposed to want to be with each other all the time, and here Ron tells me to 'go alone if I want to'. And I'm surprised to find it doesn't bother me at all.
"Ron, the only ball you've attended was the Yule Ball." He grinned.
"But," Professor McGonagall said, "there are a few rules that need to be followed. First: ALL students above 5th year are required to attend. Consider it...an opportunity to get better marks without stressing over tests."
Ron groaned. "Aww, bloody hell! I don't want to go to a ruddy ball and dance the night away with -" he looked at me and fell silent.
"Don't think I didn't catch that, Ron..."
"What did I say?"
"So you DON'T want to dance the night away with me, do you?" I asked him softly. He pondered for a moment.
"Yeah." I turned away from him, fighting the urge to scream in delight. I was starting to feel liberated at the moment.
So...this means we feel nothing for each other. Doesn't it? I bit my lip to keep from squealing.
"Second: since we've vowed to promote House unity amongst our Seventh Years due to certain events that occurred last year -" she looked at our direction, "-your date MUST be of a different House than yourself."
It was my turn to groan, but I wasn't the only person to do so.
"Great," muttered Harry. "Just great! Here is the chance to ask Ginny out, and now I'm stuck having to ask out some bloody Ravenclaw or something."
Ginny smiled softly. "Don't worry, Harry, I promise we'll have a dance...just you and me. And I promise I won't be jealous. But you have to promise you won't be jealous either. Besides...it'll just be a friendly date. No romance, no flirting. Since, after all, I'm only yours. So, promise?"
Harry grinned. "Promise." He kissed her forehead. I sighed. This is what love is supposed to look like. But me and Ron?
Nothing. Just sitting there, arguing about trivial things.
"Well," Ron said, evidently cross because of McGonagall's announcement, "I don't know a single girl outside Gryffindor, aside from Luna."
"I'm taking Luna," said Harry. "You can take Pansy, if you want."
"No way! I'll take Pansy out when I see two exact same snowflakes."
"Ron, there's no such thing as two snowflakes that are exactly the same," Ginny said.
"Exactly." I rolled my eyes.
"Who are you asking then?"
Harry's eyes scoured the Hall. "Really, the only girl left is Pansy Parkinson."
We all stared at Harry. He shrugged. "It's his choice, not mine."
"Bloody hell," said Ron, "I'm stuck with the most un-likeable girl in the century."
"Well, I don't know any other boys outside Gryffindor," I said.
"This is a problem," said Ginny, "since neither do I."
"There are a few, I guess...but they're un-likeable, like Ron said, to begin with." I said.
"My thoughts exactly." said Ginny.
"The only boy I know outside Gryffindor that is pretty likeable is-" I stopped short. Harry, Ron and Ginny had the same look on their faces. We were all thinking the exact same thing.
"Bloody hell, Hermione," said Harry, "don't tell me you'll be waiting on Malfoy."
"I don't have a choice, Harry." I looked to where Draco Malfoy was sitting, over at the Slytherin table. I was shocked to find him staring at me, then looking away when I caught him.
"Is it just me," asked Ginny, "or did I just catch Draco Malfoy staring at you?"
Damn! She caught me. Staring at her. I looked away foolishly, making it obvious that I really was staring at her.
"Well?" asked Blaise. "Who are you going to ask to the Ball?"
I shrugged. "I've no idea...I mean...the only girls I know outside Slytherin is...Granger and Weaselette."
"It's tough repeating a year, isn't it? Well, I'm taking the Weaselette, then," said Blaise. "Great chance to get Potter jealous," he joked.
"Hey, boys!" called Pansy, waving. She took a seat in front of me.
"Great," I muttered under my breath, "just the person I've been avoiding since forever." I wondered why she decided to repeat a year. Maybe to repeat with me? I shuddered.
"Did you say something, Draco?" asked Pansy.
"No, nothing." She frowned.
"This is just brilliant! I don't know anyone outside Slytherin to begin with...I just KNOW no one's going to ask me out!" she whimpered. I tried to keep myself from jeering at her.
"Don't worry about it, Pansy," I said, not very truthfully, "I know someone would."
"Well," said Blaise, getting up, "I'm off."
"Wait, where are you going?"
"To ask Weaselette."
I gaped at him. "Here? Now?"
He shrugged. "Why not? The earlier the better...I have to ask her before someone else does, or I'm date-less. You can come with me and ask Granger, now too, if you want."
Pansy gasped in shock. "You're taking the Mudblood, Draco?"
"Don't use that word!" I growled.
"Fine, the Granger girl, then?" I shrugged.
"What choice have I?" Pansy crossed her arms.
"McGonagall and her stupid rules," she muttered.
"Well, I'm not asking her now, and I don't think you should, either. At least wait a little, Blaise. The Ball is still a long time away."
Things were turning out badly. It's already December 16, and STILL no one has asked me out. Not one.
"Ginny, what are we going to do?" asked Hermione desperately. She, Ron and me were the only ones who were date-less in the entire Gryffindor Tower. A few days ago, Hermione made clear to Ron that she felt nothing for him anymore. I was sort of shocked at that.
Me, Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting in the common room, discussing the Ball. Suddenly, Ron cleared his throat.
"Ron, are you okay?"
"I, uh...Hermione...I need to talk to you."
She blinked at him innocently.
"Well," he began, running his hand ruefully through his hair, "I don't want you to be mad, okay? It's just...well...you remember, during the war?"
Hermione nodded, understanding everything already. "It's okay, Ron. Besides, unfortunately, I don't really feel much for you, either."
Ron was taken aback at that, and Harry was gaping.
"What did you say?"
Hermione shook her head. "You were going to tell me we should just be friends, weren't you?"
He looked down sheepishly. "Yeah."
She smiled. "Exactly. That's why, I'm fine with it. Seriously, Ron, it's been coming on for days now, don't worry about it."
An awkward silence enveloped us. Deciding to break the tension, I spoke up.
"Well, Ron, have you decided who you're asking out?"
Hermione beamed. "That's great, Ron!"
"Well, what if she says no?"
"She won't." said Harry.
"Pssh. Yeah, right."
(End of Flashback)
I was still shocked at the event, but I forced myself to think of something else.
Harry already asked Luna, and I'm happy for him, of course, since he was able to find a date early. But me?
Nothing. Nada. Zero.
"I've no idea, Hermione." I told her, evidently as desperate as she was. We'd both gotten our dresses and shoes a bit early, but if there wasn't a single boy left that doesn't have a date, Hermione and I would be going to the Ball alone. I shuddered at the thought.
"I know! Why don't we go and take a walk right now? See if there are any other boys out there without dates?" She said.
"Hermione, that's the worst plan I've ever heard. You must be really desperate, right now, to come up with something like that." She sighed.
"How do we do this? What are we going to do?"
"I still think we should go out and look for date-less boys."
"Merlin, Hermione, no. I will not be made to look desperate in front of hundreds of people."
She stood up. "Fine, I'll go boy-hunting myself...and if I do find a date, I'm not helping you find yours." She walked out of the common room.
Seconds passed, and I was still in my stubborn mode. Finally, I got up, and ran out the common room.
I was horrified.
"Go on, Ron, just ask her," said Harry, giving me a small push to Pansy Parkinson's direction. She was talking with some other Slytherin girls, in front of the library.
"No, Harry, I can't do this. I won't do this."
"And end up being date-less for the Ball?"
"Don't let me make you choose again. Venomous Tentacula or Pansy?" Harry asked.
I didn't answer.
"Ron, say something."
Still no answer.
"I'll ask her for you, then," he said, marching off to where they stood.
"NO! Don't do it, Harry!" I said, grabbing him by the arm.
"Well?" he asked again.
"Fine, I'll do it." I said, stalking off to stand in front of Pansy.
The other girls backed away as I approached, wary.
Pansy stared at me indignantly. "And what do you want, Weasley?"
"Uh, hi, Pansy. I was, uh, just wondering...if you, well, you know, if you...if you don't want to, I'll understand, and if you already have one, it's alright with me...but, I was sort of wondering..."
"Spit it out, will you? I don't have a lot of time," she said, rolling her eyes.
"I was just wondering...wudyuwannagotodaballwihme?"
She blinked. "What the bloody hell was that? Merlin, Weasel, I've got better things to do, so if you're just going to blubber nonsense at me..."
"NO! I mean..." I took a deep breath. "Would you...want to...go...to...the...Ball...with...me?" Every word I spoke got softer and softer and her eyes grew wider and wider.
Then she burst out laughing.
"Seriously? What makes you think I'd go out with the likes of you, Weasel-bee? Oh, Merlin, that's hilarious!" she said, and the other girls burst out laughing as well.
I turned to look at Harry, with a sorry expression on his face. How humiliating.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?"
I turned to see the arrogant prat, Draco Malfoy.
"Leave me alone, Malfoy."
"Seriously, Weasley, I was going to tell her off for not accepting your offer...but if you don't want me to..." he said, backing away.
"She still doesn't have a date for the Ball, don't you, Pansy?" she turned a ugly, blotchy red.
"Damnit, Draco! We were supposed to keep that a secret!" She wailed, and some of the girls started laughing at her humiliation. Furious, she brandished her wand at him. "Fernunculus!" A jet of light whizzed toward Malfoy, but he easily deflected it, non-verbally.
This enraged her even more. "Impedimenta!" she screeched, but still, it was blocked by Draco.
"Seriously, Pansy, you have to do better than that...or better yet, why not answer the poor Weasley boy? He's been waiting an awfully long time."
She turned to me. "Fine, I'll go with you. But I demand to be picked up from the Slytherin Dungeons, got it?"
I nodded, surprised she changed her mind that quickly. I had no time to ask her though, because she turned away from me to fire more spells at Draco. I walked toward Harry.
"I take it she said yes?"
"Yup." He was grinning.
"You reckon Malfoy will get out of it?"
I looked at him.
I was walking outside, when I overheard two girls talking. I turned around to see Ginny running after Hermione.
"OI! Wait up!" she called, panting. I followed them, planning to eavesdrop.
"I take it you're coming with me to boy-hunt?"
"What does it look like?" she panted, gasping for breath.
This was it! This was my chance to ask Ginny to the dance. Feigning as if I had not heard anything, I approached them. Hermione tensed a little at my appearance, and I saw her instinctively draw out her wand.
"What do you want, Zabini?" Ginny asked sharply.
"Easy, Weasley, I just want to talk."
She looked at Hermione, who was glaring at me.
"You go on, Hermione, I'll be fine." She gave me one last blaring look, and stomped off.
"What is it you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Well," I started, "I was, sort of wondering...do you already have a date for the Ball?"
She looked at me incredulously. "Are you asking me to the Ball?"
"Oh, no, I'm not, Ginny, I'm asking you if you have gum underneath your shoes."
"Merlin, Blaise, you don't have to be so insensitive."
I shrugged. "What choice have I?" She wrinkled her nose. Then she grinned.
She looked smug.
"You don't have a date."
"That's why I'm asking you, aren't I?"
"I'm shocked. The amazing Blaise Zabini date-less for the the Christmas Ball?"
"Will you just answer the stupid question?"
That was the wrong thing to say. She looked enraged.
"Oh, so what? I'm just some last resort for you? Think you're too good for me that I have to answer your stupid question? Well, let me tell you, then, Blaise Zabini," she said, pointing her wand at my nose, "I don't need a date for the stupid dance. I don't need you."
I grinned at her. "Really now? You're just as date-less as I am."
She shook her head. "Fair point." she said, lowering her wand, but still keeping it intact.
"I'm not saying I like it...but fine."
"What did you say?" she rolled her eyes.
"Are you deaf? I said 'Fine.' Merlin," she muttered, walking off quickly.
I just stalked off from Ginny and Blaise to head to the library, when I heard a shrill screech rent the air.
I ran off to where the voice sounded from. To my surprise, I found Pansy Parkinson duelling none other than Draco Malfoy.
"OI! Put me down!" called Draco, as Pansy's spell sent him flying into the air.
"You deserve that for the humiliation you've put me through!" she screamed, walking off. The other Slytherin girls scampered hurriedly away, afraid Pansy might do the same thing to them. I looked up at Malfoy, who was floating helplessly.
"What happened?" I asked him.
"I'll tell you if you put me down," he said warily.
I sighed. "Accio Draco Malfoy."
He zoomed toward me, causing me to topple over. He too, fell to the ground.
"Damnit, Malfoy," I muttered. He got up, and extended a hand toward me.
"I don't need your help to get up," I said, trying to get up.
"Alright...just trying to be a gentleman." He shrugged, but did not walk away.
"Okay...I got you down. Now will you please tell me what happened?"
He walked, motioning for me to follow him. We sat down on a ledge overlooking the Black Lake.
"Do you want the short version or the long one?"
"The short one."
"Your Ron asked Pansy out the the dance...naturally, she jeered at him. I pitied the poor boy and told her off. She got mad at me for spilling she did not have a date."
I blinked at him.
"Wow. Is she that prone to overreacting?"
"Yes. She is." I stared at him.
"Shouldn't you be getting up to leave now?"
He looked at me, confused.
"Why would I do that?"
"Wait, wait, wait," I said. "You pitied him? Are you serious? And what happened to 'Mudblood' and all your other infamous insults? What happened to 'I can't stand another minute with you'?"
"Seriously, Granger...you're overthinking my cruelty. I may have been mean to you, Potter, and Weasley, but I'm not that insensitive."
"Right. Joining Voldemort, killing off Dumbledore. Right. Not cruel at all."
He winced at what I said, and stood quickly. He looked at me coldly.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I wasn't thinking."
"No. If that's how you feel, I'm sorry I even bothered with you." He walked away without a glance.
I cursed myself silently for acting that way.
Damn it, Hermione! Why did you have to be so mean to him? There he is, warming up to you, and you just shatter it with your sharp tongue.
I sighed. I stood up and ran after him.
What she said drilled its way into my brain. It wouldn't leave me alone.
"Hey! I'm sorry!" I turned to see Hermione running after me. I stopped walking.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say those things." I took a step closer to her. She smelled of cinnamon and chocolate, and it was...intoxicating.
Snap out of it, Draco! Remember what she is! What she always will be.
It didn't matter to me anymore whether she was a Muggleborn. She's proved that she was far better than any Pureblood I've ever met.
"Do you know why I joined Voldemort? Do you, Granger?"
She shook her head, looking down.
"He threatened to kill my mother. My mother. My mother wasn't bad at all, she's not what you think she is. You think my father is evil. You're right. But my mother? No. I love my mother, and I would do anything to keep her safe. That is why I joined Voldemort."
"I never liked it, that's true. But I had no choice."
She didn't speak. She just looked up curiously at me, and I saw something I've never seen before.
Her eyes were the most beautiful shade of chocolate.
Her hair was an amazing shade of brown, curled nicely to frame her heart-shaped face.
A handful of freckles was spattered across the bridge of her nose.
Her skin looked soft, like silk.
She must have noticed how I was looking at her, though, because a light pink appeared over her cheeks, making her look even prettier.
She looked away. "I think I should go now."
No. Tell her to stay. Ask her to the Ball.
But something kept me rooted to the spot, and I watched as she walked away from me. I sighed.
Damn it, Draco! Why didn't you ask the effing girl to the Ball?
Suddenly, an idea struck me like lightning. The idea was so simple, so beautiful...all it needed was to get her to say, "yes."
Damnit, I thought. In that little moment, where I stood so closely to him, I'd noticed things I've failed to see before.
There was something in his steel grey eyes...affection? Curiosity? Amazement?
And his platinum blond hair...soft and silky, fringed across his eyes.
He smelled like apples and mint...a scent so...invigorating.
The way he looked at me was so intense...my blush hadn't faded away yet. I touched my cheeks...they were warm. The irrational part of me was fighting with the rational part...I could just imagine the argument.
Remember, Hermione...he's Malfoy. You can't feel anything for him.
But he looks like he's in -
Don't say it! You don't believe that!
-in love with you too!
Damn...now you've done it.
It's not my fault I'm falling in love with him.
Yes it is. It's entirely your fault. This is Malfoy we're talking about. Slick git, remember?
"No." I muttered to myself. I dismissed the thought.
It was almost dark when I arrived at the Gryffindor common room to find Ginny and Harry arguing.
"And now I'm going to break that promise!" Harry looked at me angrily.
"And you!" He pointed at me accusingly. "You should never have left her alone with him! Now she's going to the Ball with Blaise Zabini!"
"Yes, you heard him right. I'm going with Blaise."
Harry looked as if he had suffered a mortal wound.
"Sure, I'd promised not to be jealous. But that was when Blaise Zabini didn't ask my girlfriend out to the Ball!" he snapped angrily, but regretted it when Ginny recoiled.
"Ginny..." he said, his tone softening. "I'm just worried for you. This is Blaise Zabini we're talking about. I don't trust him enough with you."
"I can take care of myself, Harry."
A knock came to the common room door. I heard the Fat Lady say, "Why, I don't think you're a Gryffindor, my boy!"
"I'm not," said a familiar voice, a voice that sent butterflies down my stomach.
"Well, what do you want then?"
"I want to speak to Hermione Granger."
Harry and Ginny looked at me. I got up to open the door.
I was surprised to find Malfoy standing outside the common room door.
"What do you want Malfoy?" he glanced at Harry and Ginny. They were both looking nervously at us.
"Can I talk to you...privately?"
I looked at Harry and Ginny. "I'll see you guys later."
I closed the door behind me.
"I, um...forgot to ask you something."
"Ask away, then."
He took my hand and led me to the Astronomy Tower. The last time I'd been in the Astronomy Tower was when I told Harry he didn't have to go alone on his journey looking for Horcruxes. That felt like a lifetime ago. The two sides of me were arguing again, but I didn't listen to either of them. Instead, I listened to what my heart was saying, and right now, I was starting feel amazing. Draco's hand tightened around mine and I was surprised by the gesture, but even more surprised to find I didn't mind. The stars were twinkling brightly in the black sky. It was a magnificent sight to see.
"What are we doing here?" He drew out his wand. It slashed across the night sky. One by one, the stars arranged themselves in the sky to form a message.
Hermione Granger, will you go to the Ball with me?
It was beautiful. I looked at him, and I saw a boy, asking a girl out to a Ball, hoping for a yes.
And that's what I gave him.
"Yes. Yes, I'll go with you."
He gave me a radiant smile, and I just wanted to hug him.
"Bloody hell, Harry...I can't do this!"
"You can, Ron. Go on. I'll come with you."
We stood in front of the common room of Slytherin.
Great. The day I was dreading arrived. Time to pick Pansy up.
I knocked. A shrill voice echoed through the door.
"Who the ruddy hell is it?"
I paled. I wanted to make a run for it.
"No, Ron! Say something!" said Harry, pushing me toward the door. He backed off as footsteps resounded inside. I suppose this is something I should be doing alone.
The door opened, and I was surprised by what I saw.
She was...well...pretty. Her short black hair was curled, her bangs in front of her face. Ironically enough, she was wearing a floaty, scarlet one-strap dress with dark heels. A small tiara was placed carelessly amongst her locks, but it looked really good.
"What are you staring at, Weasley?"
"Can't we be more civilized than this, Pansy? Just for tonight?"
She sighed, all hostility washed out. "You're right."
"What?" I asked, surprised.
"I said, you're right...Ronald. Sorry about that."
I gazed at her with incredulity and astonishment.
Okay. Not at all what I expected.
It was the day of the Ball. Harry insisted he bring me to Blaise, along with Luna. I adjusted my dress as I went down to the common room. I was wearing a blue dress with spaghetti straps and big bow at my waist. It flowed freely down to my knees. My shoes were plain black, with a double strap at the thong part. My hair was curled at the front.
"Merlin's beard, Ginny. You're so beautiful."
"Thanks." I blushed.
"Let's go, shall we?" he said, extending his arm. I took it, and we headed for Ravenclaw Tower to pick up Luna.
"Hello, guys." greeted Luna, already making her way to the Great Hall. "Sorry, Harry, I didn't know you were going to pick me up." Her hair flowed down her waist in ringlets, sunflowers dangling from her ears. She was wearing a bright yellow sundress, the sort you know you aren't supposed to wear at a formal event. Then again, Luna was Luna.
"Hey, Luna. You look nice." I told her.
"You look pretty too, Ginny." she smiled at me.
The three of us turned around. Blaise Zabini was standing behind us, looking very handsome. Not as handsome as Harry, though.
"Hello, Ginny, Harry and..." he trailed off. "I don't believe we'd met." He looked down at Luna. She smiled up at him.
"Oh, I'm Luna Lovegood...nice to meet you."
"Blaise Zabini. Nice to meet you too."
"Oh!" exclaimed Luna, "are you the Blaise Zabini, the one who's friends with Malfoy?"
"Yes, that's me."
We spotted Ron and Pansy talking. "Harry, look."
Harry turned, and he gasped.
"Merlin. Ron?" he said, walking toward them. Pansy smiled.
Everyone looked shocked at the friendly advance.
"Pansy? Are you alright?" said Blaise, trying to feel her temperature. She smacked his hand away.
"Yes, Blaise, I'm perfectly fine."
Ron looked up at him. "Yeah, Zabini, she's fine. We just decided that this night, we'd be better off being civil."
"Well, then this calls for a toast!" said Harry. Pansy and Ron were carrying three glasses of Butterbeer each. They handed one to each of us.
"To House Unity and Lifelong Friendships!" said Harry. We all laughed.
"Hey," said Luna, "Has anyone seen Hermione and Draco?" We were silent.
Finally, Blaise spoke. "I'll be outside, looking for them." He left us then, but came back at once, saying, "just spotted them! Apparently, they didn't want to attend with so much people around. They're outside."
The night was spent in laughter. Pansy wasn't too bad, considering, and she and I caught along right away. Harry whispered that he didn't like having Blaise around, initially, but as the night wore on I started suspecting I was being replaced by Blaise in Harry's heart.
I knew we were getting better around each other, and he and Harry were on the right track to being great friends.
"Hey, Ginny," Harry whispered, "I think Blaise was a pretty good choice...aside from me of course."
I laughed. "Blaise is just a friend. You know I love you, right?"
He turned to look at me. "Do I ever doubt you?" He held out his hand.
"May I have the dance I promised you, m'lady?" I smiled, and took it, letting him take me away to the dance floor.
It was the day of the Ball. I tugged nervously at my tie, waiting at the foot of the stairs leading to the Great Hall for Hermione. Blaise came running out of the Hall, stopping beside me.
"Well, where's your beautiful date?" He laughed as I blushed.
My mind wandered to the past few days. They were like little revelations to me. We were partnered for Advanced Potions two days after she said 'yes,' and I couldn't stop myself from gazing at her. She was...compelling.
I was staring at her. Everytime she dropped an ingredient into the cauldron, she bit her bottom lip, as if something were going to go wrong.
I didn't answer. I was too busy staring at the blush that so frequently appeared on her cheeks when she caught me staring.
One of her fingers reached up to curl a lock of hair. She was looking at me impatiently, a spark of amusement and annoyance in her eyes.
She blushed furiously.
"Stop staring at me and tell me what's next!"
I grinned sheepishly, turning back to the book. "Yeah...right...sorry..."
Hours Later, in the library...
"Hey," I said. Startled, she dropped the book she was reading.
"Damnit, Draco, don't do that, would you?" she muttered, reaching down to pick it up. I made to pick it up too, and, accidentally, her hand touched mine.
She looked up and stared into my eyes for the longest second.
There was something, something there, hidden deep within her chocolate eyes.
Once again, she blushed. Hastily, she snatched her book from me and continued reading.
(End of Flashback)
"Hey, Draco," said Blaise, nudging me out of my thoughts.
"What?" He pointed to the top of the stairs.
I looked up. There, walking down, was the one girl I had been waiting for.
She was beautiful. Her free-flowing, light green (how ironic), strapless dress reached her knees. It had a small bow that hugged her waist. She stepped daintily down, her black heels adorned with rhinestones at the ankle strap. Her hair was curled exquisitely, wisps framing her face. She smiled timidly at me, a rosy blush coming over her cheeks once again.
"Merlin, Hermione...you look beautiful." Her cheeks reddened. "Behind me, Blaise was grinning smugly. He cleared his throat, partly to remind me he was there.
"Right. Sorry," I said, and he laughed.
"We should get going then," I told Hermione.
"I agree." We walked away from Blaise, and I heard him yell, "Hall's packed tonight! Don't get trampled on!"
Hermione laughed, but stopped abruptly when she saw the crowd. There was barely enough space to pass through without getting stampeded.
"Merlin...too many people," she muttered.
"Let's not go in, then," I said tugging at her hand. We started walking, headed nowhere. All we were doing was enjoying each other's company. It was getting late, and we ended up just outside, underneath the starry night sky. We just kept talking and laughing...getting to know each other better. The moon shone brightly, and fireflies were beginning to appear.
"Yeah?" She looked up at me, looking slightly embarrassed.
"It was...well...I'm sort of..." She stuttered. She took a deep breath to calm herself. "Right. Draco, I'm...well...I don't regret going with you to the Ball."
"What?" I said, shocked at her little revelation.
"I don't regret going with you to the Ball."
We sat there, an awkward silence threatening to envelope us. Finally, I spoke.
"I don't regret asking you to the Ball. Best decision I've made in my life, in my opinion." I grinned. But then, a more pressing question entered my head, and before I could stop myself from asking it, I just blurted it out.
"Are you and Weasley together?"
She looked rather shocked.
"Why?" I didn't respond.
"No...no we're not." I sighed, relieved.
"Why do you ask?"
I didn't want to answer her.
"Are you planning to answer me or not, because of you're going to be all mysterious and everything..." she said crossly, making to stand up.
"NO! Don't leave!" I shouted, grabbing her wrist.
"Then answer my question."
All I want is the truth, Malfoy.
I stood, looking at him angrily, wishing I could sufficiently hate him, but I couldn't bring myself to.
I see the way you look at me.
I see the way you are around me.
Just tell me the truth.
He stammered. "I...well...I was...I just..."
I could feel my expression soften. His arrogant, confident facade faded, revealing, deep down, a young boy who can't find the right words to say.
I sat back down. Carefully, I touched his hand. His fingers grasped mine.
And there was something there that I'd never felt before.
He breathed deeply. Finally, he burst into speech.
"I have no idea what's going on with me. I don't understand anything. You...you...everything you do...everything you say...everything you are...you're just...amazing, Hermione. I...well, maybe you won't believe me when I say it, but...I think I'm falling for you."
"Well," I said, blushing, "maybe you won't believe me when I say...I think I'm falling for you, too."
He smiled a shockingly lovely smile. It was the most sincere, most beautiful smile I've ever seen.
"Oh, right, I'd forgotten something," I said, partly to break the tension. I reached into my pocket and pulled out his present. It was wrapped in a small, emerald green box with a scarlet ribbon tying it together.
"Hey, Draco, did you notice the Christmas colors?"
"What d'you mean?"
"Red and green. Notice anything?"
I laughed at the invented term. "No, silly...they're Gryffindor and Slytherin."
He looked at me, apparently realizing something. "And they look beautiful together."
"Exactly." I looked down. "Aren't you going to open the present?"
He smiled, and untied the ribbon.
He took out his present from the box. I got him a small charm. A dragon, wrapped around a silver heart. He smiled. I took it from his hand.
"See the dragon? That's you. See the heart?" I smiled. "That's me. And that, too, is yours."
Soon, snowflakes started to fall. We both looked up at the sky, to see a shooting star blaze across the sky.
"Where is my present?" I asked, looking around for it.
"This...is your Christmas present."
His fingers brushed the snowflakes from my cheek, and leaned down.
It was beautiful. His lips were soft and warm, and he kissed me gently, sweetly. He held me close, his grip firm and caring. I felt dizzy, and my heart was beating rapidly.
He whispered, "Merry Christmas."
A/N: This was rewritten, since someone pointed out another mistake. Thanks abunch! I hope this version is much better.
Oh, and for the spells I used, to those who don't know what they do, here:
Fernunculus - makes huge ugly boils appear on the victim
Excelsiosempra - Sends victim or object high into the air, countercurse is Accio.
If this fic reaches at least 10 really good reviews, I'm going to post a New Year's sequel for it! Though I have no idea what the plotline should be...any suggestions?
Once again, thanks a bunch, and Merry Christmas!
A/N: This was rewritten (again!) and edited.