Desire is Not Weakness

How does Draco sort out his feelings for Hermione Granger with an impending war? Students at Hogwarts are on edge, but will he be able to contain himself?

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7. Melted

Yet another dignified attempt and cowardly fail at the Dark Lord’s task this year.  I had begun to think that the old man was plotting against me; he had put Granger here to distract me.  No, I had let her distract me.

***

The corridors were packed with small first years struggling to make it to the dungeons for Potions Class.

“Draco!” I heard a voice yell.  The voice was high, obviously that of a female’s.  Hermione?  I turned to meet her face, only to be disheartened by the sight of Pansy Parkinson practically strutting towards me.

“Look.  I know that you’ve been struggling with some things, and you haven’t meant to completely ignore me.  I know you’re sorry, so ...” she teased, pulling at my tie as she bit her lip.

“Pansy, stop,” I said, my expression going cold.

“Oh, come on Draco!” she pouted, playfully, slumping her shoulders.

“No, go … Go find Blaise, I don’t want this,” I said, trying to move away from her.

“Draco, I know you don’t mean that.”

“Stop trying to read me.”

Her voice became very quiet, and she whispered to me, “I overheard father talking about a special task -”

I turned and walked away, turning back one time when she grabbed my shoulder.

“If I could go back to the day I met you, I promise I would avoid it completely,” I said, coldly.

I heard whimpering and scurrying footsteps as my eyes closed in thought.  I walked for a while, rubbing my temples, and decidedly broke into a run.  After I hit a patch of the forest that felt occupied, or previously occupied, I stopped dead in my tracks.  The spacious opening contained 4 strategically placed stumps centered around a small pit of rocks, most likely used for fire.  Kneeling near it, I picked up a small stone as winced as I noticed it was still hot.  I knew I was no longer alone, although it was rare that I was ever really “alone” those days, despite how isolated I felt. I sat on a medium sized stump, gazing around the area for a while.  What exactly I was waiting for, I’m unsure of, but I spoke as I stared as the small pit of warm rocks.

“I’ve never lit a match with the intent to start a fire.  I don’t suppose that people ever really wish to start fires, they’re all destruction.  Is there ever really a purpose?” I asked to the nothingness.

“Lately the flames have been getting out of control,” she spoke.  Turning to lay eyes on her, I saw her tear-stained face, bloodshot eyes, and a stack of books sitting on a branch adjacent to the one she currently occupied.

“What are you doing out here?” I questioned.

“Same to you,” she retorted, a calculated response.  “But, if you must know, I had a free period.

Hermione Granger taking a free period, that was definitely a lie.

“Were you crying?”

“Like you care,” she huffed.

“Was it necessary to be so condescending?”

“Was it necessary to be so sarcastic?” she mocked me.

“I was not being sarcastic, Granger,” I said in a matter-of-factly tone, grabbing a low branch to aid in my climb up her tree.  When I finally reached the point at which she was perched, I hung awkwardly for a moment.

“You don’t have to …” she said, softly.

“I want to,” I decided.  For the rest of that day, classes, work, tasks, all faded away as I watched Hermione’s calculating eyes flick up and down the pages of her books.  Eventually, the chocolate brown eyes melted into the sunset and we had melted into each other, her head resting on my shoulder until we both drifted into a senseless slumber.

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