The Other Side of the Curtain

Hermione ducked behind the curtain, grateful that no one else was back there. She had been trying to hide from McLaggen all evening, and finally she had managed to escape him and his hands that were like the tentacles of the giant squid.

She sighed to herself as she stared out through the flimsy gauze of the curtain.

…and then she saw him.

He strode into the room, imperious as ever, letting every person in the room know that, yes, he had every right to be there.

She couldn't help but stare as his signature black robes billowed behind him as he walked across the room, his eyes scanning relentlessly into every corner of the room, obviously trying to find someone. She then watched as he grabbed Harry's attention, spoke to him briefly, and then stalked across the room to where she was hidden.

She waited breathlessly, and watched as he strode to the curtain and then suddenly turned his back to it. But then she heard…

"I didn't think you'd show, Miss Granger. Especially without Mr. Weasley."

Though his voice was barely audible, she could hear the sneer in his tone. She ignored it and quickly moved over so that she stood just behind him, her back to him, and the diaphanous pale gold fabric was suddenly all that was separating them.

She bit her lip, and then softly said, "Yes, well…Ron and I are not involved, and never will be."

Hermione made sure to put the emphasis on the future tense, and she heard him take a step back, and suddenly their shoulders were touching, the curtain the only between them. She could feel the tension in his shoulders ease as she leaned back into him slightly.

Dear Merlin…it had been too long.

She let out a sigh, and he responded with, "Good to know, Miss Granger. No Weasley is worth the trouble."

She felt slightly affronted at that, but said nothing for a moment, simply enjoying the limited contact that they had.

What she would give to be closer, to be as close as they had been only five months ago.

Had it truly been that long? Had it truly been five, long, grueling months of feeling absolutely and completely alone? Yes, it had. Oh, one could argue that she wasn't alone, that she had Harry and Ron, but they weren't Severus. They simply weren't Severus.

He gave her a comfort that she had only ever been able to receive from him.

But now they were reduced to finding comfort in the mere touch of shoulders through curtains.

And it wasn't enough.

Hermione dropped her left hand to her side and brushed her fingers against the cloth, hoping he could feel the movement.

He responded, and she smiled. She could feel his right hand through the material, their fingers brushing against one another, the touch bittersweet as neither could truly feel the other's skin, something that they both longed for.

She let out another sigh, and her smile turned to a look of pain.

"Severus…" she breathed, but then the stillness was broken by the sound of a scuffle near the door.

Too soon for her to react, he quickly reached around the curtain, blindly, and let his fingers caress her wrist, before striding across the floor to the sound.

Apparently, Malfoy had tried to gatecrash the party…but because of what Hermione knew, she had a feeling that it was more than that.

Her wrist now tingled with the sensation of feeling his fingers against her skin once more. The last time the two of them had touched had been almost exactly five months before, and the memory was burned into her mind.

What she would give to have it happen again…but it most likely wouldn't.

She turned and watched him as he swept out of the room, Draco following in his wake.

His robes billowed behind him.

From the other side of the curtain, she watched…

…and ached.


THE END

A.N. - I made the background for this story first before I even had any idea what the story was going to be about...see it at DeviantArt on my page! Just do a search on the title of the story, and you'll find my collection of all of my story backgrounds! Hope you enjoyed it!