Disclaimer: I do not own any Harry Potter characters and the Harry Potter world. They all belong to JK Rowling.
"In summer, the song sings itself."
"Nanny Demelza? Why isn't Mother mad at me?" Hermione frowned at the reflection of the middle aged woman who was currently combing her hair tenderly.
The sweet smell of roses and perfume oils was bracing her senses and making her lean indulgently and contentedly to the warmth of her guardian.
Nanny Demelza had always been Hermione's confidant in this enormous mansion. Whenever she'd get hurt or be in trouble, Nanny Demelza would always see to it that she was okay. Sometimes, she would even get in trouble from Lady Petrova for slipping some food for Hermione whenever she was being punished and locked up inside her closet. Sometimes, the older lady would even stay with her just outside and reassure her that she wasn't alone so she would stop crying. In those times, she would often ask Hermione to sing with her.
Little Hermione loved to sing.
So, though still weeping, she would do it anyway. And just like magic, she'd feel alright again… and braver.
Nanny Demelza would also hold her during the times she would cry nonstop whenever she'd have nightmares in the middle of the night. She would then read her some bedtime stories, Greek Mythology was her favourite. She also got to have some extra midnight cookies. It was their little midnight secret.
Her mother had strongly forbidden the elves to give her anything after dinner. She said it would make her get used to it until she'd grow older, and it would ruin her shape… whatever that meant.
Sometimes, she couldn't really understand why her mother was too strict on her but not so with Adrian. Nanny Demelza said it was just because she was a girl, and that her mother just wanted to protect her.
But she didn't want any protection…
She just wanted her love.
"You were hurt pretty badly, my darling. I suppose she's just too worried of you to have the time to get mad," Nanny Demelza smiled reassuringly at her while she continued to brush her shiny curls carefully, making sure to place the right amount of potion to tame it. The young girl had naturally quite a frizzy hair and Lady Petrova insisted that Nanny Demelza should have a proper routine for its care every night.
"But she always gets mad at me. It's just weird that she didn't punish me a while ago," Hermione frowned, and had then gulped and looked a little scared all of a sudden. "You don't suppose she's postponing my punishment because we have visitors, do you? Maybe she's going to double my punishment after they'll go! Help me, Nanny Demelza… Please," Hermione pleaded as she jumped from her seat and abruptly hugged the older lady.
"Oh, my dear darling... It's not like that at all. Maybe she—"
"Maybe I'm not really angry at all."
Hermione's eyes bulged in fear and panic before she scampered away from her nursemaid and went dutifully towards her mother.
"H-Hello Mother," she greeted, pursing her lips in nervousness before tiptoeing to kiss her when she bent down and sat in front of the huge traditional dresser.
"Come," Lady Petrova beckoned her to sit on her lap and the little girl did so, moving as graciously and cautiously as possible.
"Yes, my lady," Nanny Demelza bowed down amiably before walking out of the room and slowly closing the door.
"Now, honey… Why don't you tell me what you did this day with your new friend? Hmm?" Petrova asked her daughter while gently stroking her hair, making her relax a bit knowing that she wasn't going to be punished.
Her mother's fingers were long and beautiful and softer…
Hermione smiled at her mother's reflection at the mirror.
She liked it when she's this way.
She liked the feeling of being close to her mother. She smelt of Jasmine oil and peppermint.
Little Hermione loved her smell.
"You're beautiful, Mother," she couldn't help but say it. It was her dream to be as beautiful as her mother.
"Now, now, Hermione. Didn't I tell you that it's rude not to answer when you're being asked?" Her mother reprimanded her while giving her waist a gentle squeeze, but never leaving her other hand on her hair.
"I'm sorry, Mother," Hermione apologised and smiled when her mother nodded and just kissed her tenderly.
These moments were very rare. She'd usually kiss her when she was in a really good mood or when she needed to.
Little Hermione would give anything for it.
"I really like my new friend, Mother," she started speaking, knowing too well not to ruin her mother's mood.
"Tell me about him. How did you two meet? What about the little flower? Did he give it to you?" Her mother uttered as she continued on stroking her hair quite speedily now. Her eyes were sparkling in excitement and elation, but somehow, Hermione found them quite scary.
"Draco's really nice. He's so much fun too and I really like him," Hermione smiled at her mother, though looking quite confused from her sudden enthusiasm.
"That's my girl!" Lady Petrova happily kissed her again and retrieved the brush which was lying on the dresser and started combing her long shiny curls. "Draco Malfoy is the only heir of the Malfoys. Do you know what that means? You just befriended the only heir of one of the richest and ancient pureblood families in the wizardry world. I want you to be really good friends with him, do you hear me?"
"But we're already good friends, Mother. And he's my friend not because of that. He's my friend because he's really nice to me," Hermione explained while frowning at her mother's smirking reflection at the mirror.
"No matter," her mother just shrugged. "Just stay as lovely as you are now. When you go to Beauxbatons and be under my sister's care, you'll be the most stunning woman this world will ever see. Pureblood men will practically throw their possessions and estates just to be with you. But of course, you will choose the best. I can see it now, my darling. I was never wrong. Even now, you already have a very good taste. You are this family's little angel. Your father had been an idiot for gambling almost all our possessions and letting us suffer from these endless debts. But all of these disgrace and shame will end soon because of you. You're my angel," her mother beamed and gently pushed her little girl's chin up so she could look at herself in the mirror.
"I don't understand, Mother," Hermione frowned at the reflection of the confused freckled little girl looking back at her. "Is this about my powers for being a girl again?"
"Someday, you will see. Someday you will understand the road I have prepared for you. You will look in front of the mirror and smile at your beauty. Pureblood women will envy you because their men will practically kneel in front of you. You are the hope of this family, Hermione. Someday you will see and understand…"
"It's okay, Draco. You did well," Hermione said as she patted her sagging friend's back.
Little Draco was boring holes at the back of Adrian's head while having his fists tightly closed, making his knuckles paler than the usual.
Earlier that day, Lucius Malfoy and Ansleigh Pucey decided to let their sons compete with each other to have some entertainment for a while. Besides of talking about their joint businesses, they'd also been very engrossed of comparing their sons' Quidditch skills. Ansleigh had always been proud and very impressed of his son's flying ability. He'd always believed that Adrian was the best Quidditch player of his age. Lucius, however, would have none of it. He was prepared to show his friend that his son was the best in everything; and though Draco was two years younger than Adrian, he knew that he could still beat him any time.
It was then when Lucius had an idea of letting their sons compete against each other. Just minutes later, Adrian and Draco were then hovered above the field with their brooms, looking as focused as they'd ever been; both wanting to win just to make their families proud as they watched interestingly at the sides.
Hermione wanted to cheer for her brother at first. But her mother asked her to cheer for both instead. She said it was rude to her new friend and their visitors if she did so.
The game was absolutely thrilling and enjoyable. The Pucey Family had an adequately wide field for a Quidditch pitch. When Adrian showed a great deal of interest at the game, his father was so thrilled that he had suddenly asked his subjects to send him some workers to make a good, sufficient oval-shaped playing field for him. By the end of the week, the marking lines for the central circle and mid-field, and also the hooped goal posts were done. Since then, there wasn't a day that Adrian didn't play Quidditch.
Seeing as they only had their sons as players, they decided to mix the game up a little. Adrian and Draco then acted as Centre Chasers and Keepers. The only ball in played was the Quaffle. They could score goals for themselves and could intercept the Quaffle from shooting inside their goal hoops at the same time. Since there was no Seeker, the game was properly timed by an hourglass, being guarded by Narcissa, Petrova and little Hermione.
It had almost been a draw, seeing how good the two kids were. But in the end, Adrian won with only ten points. If the Quaffle Draco had thrown hadn't been about five seconds later, he could have had made it to the overtime.
"That was a fun game, isn't it? How about we all head for the courtyard for some snacks?" Lady Petrova smiled gleefully at the group, seemingly unaware of Narcissa's worried expression on her husband's deathly glare towards his son.
"Come with me," Draco suddenly whispered at Hermione's ear while gently tugging on her hand. She noticed that he seemed distraught and a little disconcerted.
"Why?" Hermione asked but let him guide her, anyway.
"Just because, that's why," he replied haughtily while still stirring her away from their families.
Hermione just frowned and whined a little, but had then dutifully walked with him, anyway. She looked around while doing so, however, checking if they were about to be reprimanded for not following back but all that she saw was her mother's satisfied smirk.
"What are we going to do?" Hermione asked by the time they had gone nearer to the pond where they first met.
"Don't you want to play?" Draco asked her.
"I do, but we're supposed to be having snacks now. And we can play later, together with Adrian," she replied as she sat down on the stony edges of the pond and dipped her fingers near a water lily.
"I don't want him to play with us," Draco simply stated, looking quite annoyed now.
"Because he's stupid," he countered back.
"Adrian is not stupid," Hermione frowned at him.
"He's stupid," Draco scorned while crossing his arms, as if daring her to oppose him.
"He's not stupid! Take it back!" Hermione finally stood up and faced him, looking quite irritated that he was insulting her brother.
"Oh yeah? You go to him, then! But you can't be my friend anymore if you do," Draco looked positively fuming now, although he looked a little gloomy and disturbed too.
"Why can't we all just be friends?" Hermione pouted frustratingly as she looked down, her lips seemed to tremble in agitation.
"Because I want to be your only friend. I want you to play with me, alone. That's why," Draco answered as he now caringly brushed off the single leaf that had carelessly landed on her hair.
"But it's so much better if we'll have a lot of friends, Draco," she told him while she looked at him when he awkwardly but gently held her hand.
"Aren't you happy to be friends with me? Don't you want to be friends with me?" He asked, suddenly sounding quite unsure and a little worried.
"Of course I'm happy to be your friend, Draco. But you can't just be my only friend, you know," Hermione sighed heavily, looking quite exhausted as if she was trying to say something to a deaf person.
"But I don't want you to have any other friends but me," Draco insisted stubbornly.
"Because I said so."
"Because! That's why!"
"You can't do that! And if I can't be friends with Adrian just because you said so, then I'd rather stop being friends with you! You're mean!" Hermione uttered while pointing an accusatory finger at him. She took her other hand off of him and stomped her foot while she walked away.
Draco was left sitting with the little carps again, but in some way, he didn't want to hurt them anymore.
Hermione gulped nervously while fidgeting with the hem of her nightdress as she stared at the huge antique door in front of her.
She couldn't sleep so she had to sneak out of her room and find Draco's chamber.
Their last confrontation wouldn't let her sleep at all. She knew that she wasn't the one at fault but she just felt really guilty of shouting at him and leaving him there.
She sometimes had fights with Adrian too, but they were usually over some petty things and they would often work everything out just minutes or so.
Draco's case was just too different.
It was different because… just because.
She bit her lower lip when she finally knocked three times before slowly opening the large door.
Her mother said it was very rude to just budge inside a room without knocking thrice.
The handle was inches above her head and the large door creaked eerily when she slowly opened it. "Draco? Are you asleep?" She uttered nervously while stepping inside and holding an overlarge oil lamp in contrast with her little hand.
She looked over his bed and saw that he was behind the blankets, stirring a little.
"I'm sorry for earlier," she spoke softly while ushering nearer to him and placing the oil lamp on the writing table just beside his bed.
He neither answered back nor did he get out of the blankets that he was hiding.
"I said I'm sorry, Draco. Can we be friends again? Please?" Hermione spoke again, now sitting at the edge of the huge canopy bed and smoothing the thick decorative fabric draped across the posts.
She just heard nothing but a little muffled sound.
"Draco! Come on! Please talk to me," she whined while trying to pull the large bulky blankets out of him, but he just wouldn't budge as he also tugged on the blankets so he could stay hidden.
"Dracooo!" Hermione grunted as she now stood up and placed all her strength in pulling the blankets out of him.
For seconds, both seemed to have a really great struggle of tug of war, until Hermione's hand had suddenly slipped from the rim of the blanket. She ended up howling in pain when her bottom collided brutally on the floor.
"Hermione! Are you alright?" Draco finally got out of his blankets and jumped out of the bed to make sure she was okay.
Hermione gasped when she finally looked up and saw why he wouldn't get out of the blankets.
"W-What happened to you?" She asked worriedly when he helped her stand up.
"This is nothing," he muttered as he looked down and tried to hide the bruises on his face; quite thankful for the dimmed surroundings and his pyjamas that covered all the other bruises on his back and arms. "Father will heal this tomorrow morning, anyway."
"Why won't he heal it now? You're hurt and you can't possibly sleep with that," she told him worriedly while holding his hand.
It seemed so natural for her to hold his hand.
He liked it when she did that.
"It's my punishment for losing to your stupid brother," he said, pursing his lips while looking down.
"Mr. Malfoy did this to you?" Hermione clasped a hand on her mouth, looking a little shocked that his own father would beat him.
"I'm used to it," he just shrugged as he sat on his bed. Hermione followed him and he scooted a little so she could sit next to him.
They sat still for quite some time, with their hands snugly held together.
"We're friends now again, aren't we?" Hermione suddenly said softly while she looked at him.
"I guess so," Draco answered while tightening his grip on her hand. "Are you going to stay here with me? The whole night?"
"I'm too scared to get out again. I might get caught," she replied, making him smile a little.
"I have some books I brought with me. I haven't read them yet. Mother said I should bring them with me and so I can read them and report to her when we go back home. She said I shouldn't waste my time playing too much," Draco told her. "We can read them together," he added while he tried to smile at her, until he realised it hurt a little to stretch his lips that way.
"I just remembered," Hermione suddenly said as she jumped out of the bed.
Draco felt a little twinge of loneliness when he felt her hand slip out.
"We always keep some healing potions inside each room," she told him as she scrambled for something in the room's cupboard.
"You can't heal me. Father will get mad if he sees that my bruises are gone," Draco warned her as he went nearer and crouched down next to her.
"We have some salves too rather than the potions. It can at least lessen the pain," she proposed and took a vial with ointment inside. "Are these your only bruises?" She asked when she tried to touch Draco's face but thought better of it when he flinched a little.
"Yes, it is," he lied.
"Come on, then. I'm going to—" Hermione stopped when he suddenly cringed again when she touched his arm. "I thought so," she just nodded knowingly.
Minutes later, Draco found himself feeling sticky with salves but sighing comfortably with his front on the bed; the aching on his back had somehow subsided. The minty feel of the ointment felt good that he couldn't help but sigh and smile a little.
"Will you stay with me?" He asked while squeezing her tiny hand gently.
Hermione beamed at him and nodded.
"Promise?" Draco murmured, looking like a sluggish puppy on his naptime.
"Pinky swear," Hermione beamed as she held her smallest finger towards him.
Draco just stared at it curiously, making her giggle a little.
"I do a lot of pinky swears with Adrian." She spoke softly and then scooted nearer to whisper at him; "Our secret friends taught us about it."
"Who are your secret friends?" He frowned, looking quite hurt that she had some 'secret' friends with Adrian.
"On some weekends, Father brings us to this park. It's a really fun place. Adrian and I have a lot of friends in there, although he said they're not really like us and they don't have any magic so we need to keep it pure secret to Mother that we're playing with them. Father said they're called muggles. They're really fun, you know. Father said that the park is very special because it's the reason why he gets to be with his little angel now. I'm his little angel, you know. I don't know what he means about the park though, but it makes me very happy, anyway," Hermione explained to him merrily.
"Father said that muggles are useless. He said they're a nuisance to our world because they're the reasons why we have mudbloods now. They are very filthy, you know," Draco told her, now looking disgusted with his face slightly scrunched up.
"But they're pretty nice. We have a lot of fun, you know. And they taught us this—"
"Don't talk to them anymore. They're not worth your time. They are inferior beings," he simply said in a flat tone, as if his sentence was the end of that topic.
"Why are you so mean?"
"Why are you so…?" Draco stopped for a while when he realized that all he wanted to say was… was… well… he just wanted her to stay with him, that's all.
There was a long pause, until Hermione sighed and stood up.
"Wait!" Draco suddenly uttered and had almost toppled down while struggling to stand up and stop her from walking away. "You said you won't go."
"We didn't do the pinky swear, so I still can," she just shrugged.
"What is a pinky swear, anyway?" He whined while scratching his head in irritation.
"Well, it's when two people interlock their pinkies together, and then, a person makes an unbreakable promise to the other. If a pinky promise is broken, then a person can't make any more pinky promises forever, until they can make it all up to the person they made the pinky promise with," Hermione smiled, not noticing Draco's furrowed brows.
"Okay then," he nodded, though still looking unsure.
"Pinky swear!" Hermione beamed at him again and held her little finger in the air.
Albeit uncertain and hesitant, Draco entwined his pinky with hers, anyway.
"I promise I'll stay with Draco this whole night," Hermione nodded.
Draco suddenly decided he liked pinky swears.
It was a quiet morning and the sun decided to share its beams into the pond, making the water shine and swirl like crystals and twinkling stars…
Little Hermione thought it was pretty.
But she couldn't help but cry.
It had been the best two weeks of her life and she never really thought it would actually end.
Hermione and Draco had been too inseparable that it was almost impossible that they'd only been friends for a very short time. It was even as if they'd been together since birth.
Every day, they would play with Adrian at the gardens and just about everywhere. Draco decided that the older bloke wasn't really bad. He was actually pretty fun too. Though, sometimes, he still couldn't help but get jealous of his close relationship with Hermione. Draco would even throw a tantrum and ruin some of their activities once he would realise she was getting closer to Adrian rather than him.
But Hermione would always scold him for being so mean again, so then he would have to behave or he wouldn't be able to play with her.
Draco was usually a very stubborn kid and he always got what he wanted.
But somehow, he liked it when Hermione would scold him.
It made him feel that one way or another, someone cared for him too.
And Hermione was his best friend, and perhaps, his only friend. His friendship with Adrian was just a little show so he could be with Hermione, no matter how fun he could be sometimes.
Draco and Hermione would do everything together. Even at formal meals, they'd often have their own secret stares and smiles. Hermione would playfully get a food and Draco would get the same one and double them, just so she could giggle softly at his amusing antic.
Sometimes, he would sneak inside her room at night just to give her cookies. She liked to eat cookies but was forbidden to have some so she was always happy whenever he'd bring some for her. They would then read together, or just draw and paint together. He most especially loved it when she would read him some stories. He would fall asleep on her lap but she wouldn't really mind.
One time, they even had a role-play where Hermione was the bride and he was the groom. Adrian was the one who got them married. It was a sideline role and Draco thought it suited him.
They'd laugh hand in hand together and play hide and seek at the huge mansion and at the large garden whenever the moon was bright.
He especially liked it when she'd hold his hand.
She had very soft and warm hands.
She liked it when he'd take her on his back for a piggyback ride.
He would run around the gardens with her laughing on his back while she pretended to fly.
They also got to play under the rain and promised each other that they'd do that again even if they'd get older.
Sometimes, they'd count the stars and though he would often end up frustrated and annoyed for not being able to count them all, he'd do it again the next night anyway… because he got to do it with Hermione.
Every day was bright and idyllic because that meant he got to see Hermione and play with her again.
Every night was fun too, because he got to sneak inside her room and read stories with her.
The garden was their playground, the dining room was their candy store, the rain was their little shower, the moon was their chandelier, the stars were their jewels, the cupboards were their hiding places, and the grass was their carpet…
He was the prince and she was the princess, with the little carps as their minions.
Everything in this summer was the world to them.
And they had each other to enjoy it.
"Please don't cry, Mione. I promise you, we'll still see each other again," her best friend told her softly while brushing off the fat tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Promise me we'll still play under the rain even if we're already older and boring. Promise me you'll still let me ride on your back even if I get heavier. Promise me you'll always be my prince. Promise me we'll always be together, Draco," she sniffed while leaning into him. "Even if I'll have a different school, please promise me you won't forget about me."
"I promise, Mione. We'll always be together. We'll write each other long letters everyday. You're my only princess," he nodded, looking as if he was going to cry; but decided he should be strong for the both of them. He didn't want his princess to think he was a weakling, did he?
"Pinky swear?" She asked him.
"Pinky swear," he smiled while interlacing his finger with hers, intending to keep his promise forever.
Hermione smiled at him… her big brown eyes looking up at him with so much innocence and beauty that he suddenly couldn't help but bend forward and press his lips into hers.
It was a very chaste kiss, but still…a kiss.
He had never done that before and he suddenly felt his heart racing to an impossible speed.
It was a confusing feeling, but it left him elated, in some way.
"I-I guess I should go," he stammered when he stood up and felt he suddenly had wobbly knees now too.
Hermione blinked twice before pursing her lips and frantically nodding. Her tears-stricken cheeks were looking redder and her big brown shiny eyes were rounder and bigger, too.
"Bye, princess," he whispered while wiping one last tear from her cheek before walking away.
Draco closed his eyes and fists tightly as he continued walking, trying his hardest to ignore the lump that was forming on his throat.
It actually hurt to stop it when he knew that Hermione was crying alone beside the pond, but he needed to be strong for her.
He bravely swallowed the painful lump on his throat, looked back one last time and smiled at the crying girl, willing her to smile back at him.
When she did, he nodded and held his pinky in the air, signifying that he intended to keep his promise.
She did the same and they stared at each other for a while before he finally walked away.
When Draco was finally home, his hand had all of a sudden moved to touch his lips. The feel of Hermione's soft ones still lingered there… seemingly tingling his senses and making his heart skip a beat.
That was when Draco Malfoy knew, he just had his first kiss… with his first love.
A/N: I listened to Taylor Swift's "Mary's Song" while working on this one so I guess it's the theme song of this chapter. It's such a beautiful song and I guess everyone agrees. I suddenly want to be young again and see my first childhood proclaimed boyfriend. Haha.
Also, I want to say I'm sorry for quite a late update. I've been pretty busy lately with my muggle adult life. But hey, this chapter is a little longer than the usual, right? :D And I love this story so much so I'm giving my spare time into it as much as I can. :)
God bless you all!