Hermione let Draco lead her from the Hall and out into the grounds. It was a lovely evening and he led her to a little bench. He didn't ask her to sit, just pulling her down next to him before turning to her.
"You know I can't be lying to you, Hermione. This connection thing doesn't work like that," his voice was gentle with no accusation.
"I showed you how I feel, I can't pretend so you know it's true."
"So why the hesitation?"
"I had to come to the dance with Anthony, we discussed all that. I wanted to come with you," Hermione wanted to show him right now how much he meant to her but as usual she was struggling with expressing herself. "You can feel my emotions so why are you questioning me?"
Draco's eyes scanned her face. "I can feel that you like me..."
"Like you? Is that all you feel from me? That I like you?" Hermione asked incredulously.
"No...I know you have deep feelings for me...but I always feel a hesitation, like you're holding something back," Draco put his hand on her cheek and she felt her whole body react to this little, simple gesture. "I showed you exactly how I was feeling, no holds barred."
"I know but I'm having trouble believing that you could feel like that about me!" Hermione felt her emotions escalating and tried to get a grip. "Look at you! You're lusted after by every female you come within a 50 mile radius of and for good reason. We've hated each other for six years! This, all this now is totally unbelievable!"
Draco took her hands and sighed. "Yes, why would I like you? I mean clever, funny, caring, beautiful...why on earth would I like all that? And I don't care if there are hundreds of girls after me...I'm only connected to one."
Hermione finally let herself believe. She sat and stared at him letting his words sink in and she let herself believe. She knew he hadn't been pretending, he couldn't do that but she had felt so shocked by everything.
"I've liked you for ages," Hermione confessed awkwardly.
"Liked?" Draco asked.
Hermione blushed. "I've had a...crush on you since we came back. Way before the whole house unity thing..."
Draco was smiling but he looked surprised. "Really? I didn't know, I thought you still hated me."
Hermione shook her head. "Blaise knew and then Ginny..."
"Oh," Draco said still sounding surprised. "And is it still just a crush?"
Hermione didn't hesitate. "No."
"I want to feel you," Draco said and they both laughed quietly at the double entendre. "No hesitation this time, Hermione. Not now."
She nodded and he wrapped her in his arms, his eyes locking to hers. The switch flicked again and Hermione's senses began to sing and the warm, heat spread as she let Draco's emotions take her again. This time it was more intense and she knew she was letting her own emotions flow to him freely. It was becoming red hot and she was beginning to melt as her breathing increased, her heart thumping, every part of her alive and tingling. And the waves kept coming, washing over her, making her sigh. She heard Draco murmur in her ear but she could no longer process any thoughts because she was existing now on pure sensation. She was no longer aware of her surroundings, she felt like she was floating in a cloud, surrounded by the increasingly white hot heat.
And then suddenly she was back on the bench and Draco was still next to her, just inches away. He was staring at her, his face flushed.
"Wow," he whispered.
"Did you read me loud and clear that time?" Hermione asked with humour.
"Yes, loud and clear," Draco grinned back at her now. "You had chicken pie for dinner."
Hermione laughed. "I don't think it works quite like that!"
"So did you read me loud and clear?" Draco asked and she nodded. "Do I have to bother to say it?" He grinned cheekily at her and she hit his arm.
"You're not supposed to ask! You're just supposed to say it!"
"I can't now, the moments gone." Draco chuckled. Hermione hit him again but she loved that he wasn't being all ridiculously romantic. It wouldn't have suited them somehow. She stared at him for a moment but only for a moment because her hesitance had gone. She leant in closer to him and whispered in his ear.
"Let's see if we can connect on another level..."
She saw Draco's eyes open wide in surprise at her words but she continued to lean in and placed her lips on his. Connection complete.
It was three years since they had left Hogwarts. Hermione was completing her report on her latest project for the Ministry. She had got a position straight from school and was, not surprisingly doing well. She loved her work and she liked her colleagues. Even now, she sometimes missed Hogwarts but she was happy and content.
It had been a bumpy ride, Harry and Ron hadn't been able to accept her relationship with Draco and Ron had only just started speaking to her again. Ginny had been a big help, having to break the news of her relationship with Blaise to everyone as well. Harry had accepted this better than Hermione thought he would perhaps because he and his new girlfriend were now engaged and he was happy.
Hermione realized her mind was wondering and tried to concentrate on finishing the end of her report when suddenly it happened.
I found Mrs Birgleford to be confused and unable to...fancy taking me out tonight then?...
Hermione's pen despite still being in her hand jumped into action and wrote the final part of the sentence itself. She groaned because it had taken her almost all afternoon to complete this report and she'd asked Draco a hundred times not to do this. They could sort of tune in to each other, even at a distance away and if one of them was holding a pen, they could control it and send messages. Amusing at first and useful sometimes but frustrating when Hermione was at work. It was one of the many developments that their connection had created as it had continued to intensify. Their relationship seemed to feed it and sometimes Hermione felt like it controlled them rather than the other way round. She took her wand and deleted the last few words on the page and then she smiled despite herself. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote her reply.
- thanks for that...it was a great way to finish my 5 page report...
Her pen moved again, still in her hand but totally of its own accord.
- oops! Sorry about that. So was that a yes or a no?
- of course it was a yes! Now get lost and let me finish up here.
- nice way to talk to the love of your life! Get lost!
- you know I don't mean it. Anyway, let's go somewhere quiet, I want to talk to you.
- Oh? What about?
Hermione put her pen down so that Draco couldn't quiz her any further about later. She needed their discussion to be face to face.
She was a bit late and the restaurant was crowded. She scanned the tables for Draco and spotted him towards the back. She made her way over and he greeted her with his devastating smile which she still wasn't immune to.
"You're late." His voice held no accusation and he continued to smile.
"I know, sorry. Let's order straight away."
The waitress came over and bestowed a huge smile on Draco. Hermione just ignored her, she had grown used to Draco's constant female attention and it didn't bother her. She knew he was only interested in her and would only ever be interested in her. They studied the menu and Hermione tried to decide between the Chicken and Pork.
"I'd like the pate to start please and the Swordfish main," Draco ordered his meal and the waitress went to turn to Hermione but Draco continued speaking. "Hermione would like the mushrooms to start followed by the Chinese Pork."
The waitress stared at him startled for a moment before writing the order down and leaving. Hermione kept her giggle in until she'd gone.
"You're so horrible to them when you do that and they must think I'm a total doormat!"
Draco smirked wickedly and sipped his drink. "It's fun."
"Anyway how did you know I wanted the Pork? I hadn't made my mind up between that and the Chicken," Hermione asked. Draco was now so in tune with Hermione's emotions that he could feel her decisions as she made them. It wasn't mind reading, it was feeling reading but it was a constant source of amusement for him.
"I know, I made your mind up on that for you," Draco said with a shrug.
"Huh! Maybe you are becoming a control freak!" Hermione huffed at him.
"So what was it you wanted to talk to me about? I'm intrigued." Draco asked.
Hermione bit her lip in her usual fashion and looked around trying to assess if she should say anything now or wait until after the meal. She decided afterwards would be the best decision. Draco pulled a face at having to wait but didn't ask her again until dessert had been taken away.
"Okay. Now, I need to know now," he said impatiently.
"I've got something to tell you..." Hermione took a deep breath and Draco frowned at her.
"You're really nervous...and scared..." he read her across the table and she moved backwards as if this would stop him. "I noticed it yesterday too but I thought it was about your report."
"Stop guessing and stop reading me!" Hermione said. "You're making me worse."
"What's the matter?" Draco looked concerned now and he leant closer.
"Nothing...at least I hope you don't think it's something bad...there is no easy way to say it so I'll just come out with it..." Hermione stuttered.
"You're rambling, get on with it," Draco said, he then realised this sounded harsh and added. "It's me, Hermione. You know you can tell me anything."
"I know," she smiled, just a little smile before continuing. "How would you feel about a small, quick trip up the aisle?"
Draco's mouth dropped open and his eyes almost popped out of his head. Just then the waitress appeared and asked if they needed anything else. Draco shooed her away rudely.
"Are you proposing to me?" he asked.
Hermione shrugged. "Yes...I mean...I am but...that's not it..."
"What the hell more can there possibly be?" Draco asked, still looking totally in shock.
"Well, we may need to be quick because...I'm pregnant." Hermione bit her lip again and watched his reaction through narrowed eyes. She saw him turn a whole new shade of white and then he leant back against the chair, running his hands through his hair. When he didn't speak she prompted him. "Draco? I'm sorry, I know it's a shock. Believe me you are no more shocked than I was. And it's not the right time...I know that but...well I was hoping that we could..."
"Shut up." Draco interrupted her rudely and she snapped her mouth shut and stared at him. "Shut up, Hermione Granger..." he paused and then a familiar little smile played at the corner of his mouth, "or should I say soon to be Hermione Malfoy?" He grinned widely now and she grinned back.
"It's okay then?"
He winked at her before grabbing her across the table. "Come over here and I'll show you just how okay it is."
There it is! Over! I debated about how to finish this as I really hate epilogues, I feel like they always turn out sappy and overly romantic with everyone out of character. But I haven't done one before and someone said they hated the way I ended my stories so I thought I'd give it a go. Not sure I'm 100% happy with it but I think it's okay. Hope you really enjoyed this story, I wasn't sure it was going to hold everyone's attention as much as my others but I am quite pleased with how it turned out. Anyway as always let me know what you think by reviewing. Thanks for all the great comments and I'll be back soon with story number 5. xxx