Draco watched Granger attempt to hide the quivering of her bottom lip; it always did that when she was angry. But her top teeth always found her bottom lip and chewed at it subtly to try and stop the quivering. He'd seen her do it so many times in the library, after she had an argument with Weasley (he assumed, but really how hard was it to guess?). At least once a week she'd storm into the library, slam her bag down, yank her books out, and begin chewing as she ruffled through the pages. Sometimes if she was really angry, she would twist her hair up and re-do it a hundred times.
But here she was now, glaring at him with those big, brown eyes he had grown to know so well, hands on her hips, and mouth moving. "You don't know anything about me, Malfoy. Not a single thing. So just please…" she paused to take a deep breath, closing her eyes, "stop acting like you do." The last few words came so quietly and quickly from her puffy, pink lips Draco barely caught them. Hermione turned on her heel and stalked off, hair swinging slightly as she burst through the library doors.
He stood, in the middle of the charms aisle, dumfounded and angry. They had spent months meeting secretly in the library, complaining about their personal lives, studying silently next to one another, and making each other laugh after having a bad day…oh…making her laugh…if there was one sound he could hear for the rest of his life, her laugh would be that sound. There was nothing better than hearing Granger laugh. It wasn't easy and Draco loved that. He loved having to challenge himself just to see her lips curl into a smile and that infectious high-pitched laughter escape from her mouth. Just thinking about it caused the ends of his mouth to twitch, curving upwards slightly, pulling at the tense muscles in his jaw. Damn it, Granger he thought to himself, now scratching his head as if this would help him figure out what the hell to do about Granger.
So he took to walking the stacks of the library, staring aimlessly at the spines of dust coated books. Late afternoon light gleamed through the stained glass windows, illuminating his platinum blonde hair. He felt like a rock was sitting in his stomach, reminding him every second that Granger was unhappy with him. He hated this feeling. He just wanted to have her back in here with him, sitting right next to him in an arm chair by a fireplace, curling her toes as she read intently. Sometimes, he would just watch her read…her eyes that traveled a million miles a minute it seemed, soaking in the words on the page. She would curl and uncurl her toes, flipping page after page, never changing position, never getting up for a glass of water. He often teased her that she could probably sit like that for a full day and not get up once and she would giggle, sigh and say 'you're probably right' before returning to her book.
And then suddenly, an idea came to him. An absolutely brilliant idea. Draco raced to the owlery to find his eagle before pulling out some parchment and a quill. After tying the message to his eagle's leg, he sat on the window watching the large bird fly into the setting sun, a frigid breeze brushing Draco's cheeks. Now all he had to do was wait.
Christmas morning came unusually quickly, and it took a moment for Hermione to realize this was the reason for the pile of the presents lying at the end of her four poster bed. She looked around, seeing that the rest of the girls were still sleeping. It be must early…really early, as the sun was still low in the sky, its rays just starting to shimmer over the tress of the forbidden forest.
Hermione yawned, pulling back her covers and crawling to the end of her bed. She pushed back a strand of loose hair before picking up a package signed 'mum and dad'. Inside were some new historical Wizarding books, her mom's homemade cookies, and a beautiful gold key pendant. Hermione smiled to herself as she placed the delicate chain around her collarbones and clasped it into place.
The next present was from Harry, which included chocolate frogs, a framed picture of the six of them (Harry, herself, Ron, Neville, Ginny and Luna), and potions ingredients she had asked for. Ginny's present consisted of socks that would heat up on command, keeping your feet extra warm on these winter nights, a fire in a bottle that would never go out for reading, and different tea flavors. Luna had made her a Butterbeer cork necklace to 'keep away the nargles' as her loopy hand-writing stated. She couldn't help but chuckle as she set the necklace and note aside. A handful of presents remained…a hand knitted hat from Dobby, a book cleaning kit from Neville, and an assortment of sweets and a new scarf from Ron.
There was only one present left; it was wrapped in brown packaging and was unsigned. Puzzled, Hermione picked up the package, feeling the weight on her fingers. It was definitely a book, judging by the shape and weight of the package. Her plain nails picked at the packaging before ripping it off, revealing the cover. A sharp gasp escaped her lips as she realized what this was…A Witch's Journal: Sylvia Knott.
Sylvia Knott was a witch that lived back when magic was feared and witches were hunted. She managed to avoid being caught and survived in woods for three years before being hunted and killed. When she was a child she ran away from home, from a family that contemplated turning her in, to avoid being hunted. She kept this journal and buried it in the woods just like she always did while camping out, but was killed before she could move on.
As she rose from her bed to bathe, a note slipped out of the inside cover of the book.
Merry Christmas, Granger.
A smile spread throughout her lips as she rushed to bathe and get to the library before the others rose.
Hermione silently stepped into the library, looking around for Madam Pince. She was careful to avoid the squeaky floorboards as she made her way to the fireplace, hoping that he would be there. If not…she'd just have to well…wait. But luckily, as she rounded the corner, his platinum hair came into view. He met her eyes immediately, his lips trying not to smirk. "You got my present, then?" he asked, his voice still raspy.
She nodded, "How did you know I wanted it?" she asked cautiously. The question had been eating away at her the entire time she was racing to the library.
Draco let out a low chuckle. "I do pay attention, Granger. I told you that last week. And you know how I know you believe me now?"
Hermione shook her head, now trying to prevent the tears forming in her eyes from rolling down her blushing cheeks.
"Because you need proof. You need facts, evidence. You wouldn't just believe me when I told you I know you. I don't know why it's so hard for you to just believe that…but it is. I suppose it's just how your brain is…" he chuckled again, ruffling his hair. "So I did this."
A sound between a sob and a laugh escaped her throat as she stepped forward to hug Draco. He seemed shocked at first…this was the first time they made any physical contact since they started meeting in the library. Her tiny frame fitting perfectly into his pale arms as the sweet scent of honey floated into his nostrils. He squeezed back, keeping her against him for just a moment.
"I believe you." She whispered into his chest.