"I Think I'll Stay Around, Granger."

So, in a roleplay I did, Draco told Hermione he would give her the book she needed that he had the last of, if she did a favor for him: go on a date...with him.

About halfway through, he starts to feel things he didn't think possible.
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"There's a heart inside of me; lace your fingers between mine and you'll see it start to bleed."

[ -'Private Fears In Public Places', Front Porch Step ]

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1. "I Think I'll Stay Around, Granger."

She had agreed to go on this date with him to prove her point. He asked her on it because he said he wanted to fix his reputation, but he didn't think actual feelings would become a part of it.


She had let him take her hand, yet only to apparate. He had taken it and though it ended rather quickly, he had felt something. He wanted to hold it again.

And that's what he did. It was a date, right? People held hands on dates! For some reason, the next time he reached for her hand, she didn't reject him, but he thought that was most likely due to the crowded location of New York City, where two could easily be separated—magical or muggle.

But then /she/ grabbed /his/ hand inside the restaurant and squeezed it. He didn't really know how to react, but did his best to stay cool.

Maybe he hadn't been completely truthful before about his intentions. Maybe he never found her disgusting, but had convinced himself it was true. Now that he was allowing himself to be honest, and even a bit open, with her, those true feelings seemed to be coming back to him.

Hermione Granger. How to describe Hermione Granger? She was beautiful, yes, but not considered the most beautiful in the least; however, the thing was that she didn't truly try to be beautiful, but she was anyways. Witty: she would have made a wonderful Ravenclaw, but…brace. Her bravery outweighed most Gryffindors. She was a different kind of brave and the same kind all at the same time; courageous and fearless, even when scared.

Draco admired her, and if he hadn't been denying himself so much during those first years at Hogwarts until this very day, he would see it was more than admiration. He fancied her, though admiration was definitely a huge part of that.

A Muggleborn, bullied and doubted, but still the smartest and most dedicated. He didn't know how to explain it to even himself, so he wasn't going to try telling her—especially considering that this date was considered a favor. He was going to enjoy this time given with her and hope something, if even a friendship, came out of it. 

The sole problem of it all? His father. Always his father.

Draco looked up to his father, knowing he wasn't the best man, but what other male example did he have? Dumbledore? Only if he wanted the Dark Lord to kill him. His mentorships could only be at a long distance, observing stance.

Was Draco willing to defy Lucius to be with someone? Most likely not, but Draco felt he wasn't even sure himself at this point.

He looked to Hermione and instead of a smile, a smirk appeared on his face. He'd see how this went. He just had to breathe and take his time with, well...everything.

That was his life, wasn't it? Taking it one step at a time with caution. Perhaps that's why he had chosen America for their date. There wasn't anyone there—that he knew of—in a Death Eater position. It was only for a little while, anyhow. They should be fine. He'd be fine.

Secretly? He hoped Voldemort went down hard. He wanted to fix things, but for now he'd have to be discreet about it in order to keep his cover.

As he looked to Hermione, her fingers laced with his, the Slytherin decided it would be worth it to try. If he failed, at least he had tried. He wasn't sure he wanted to face any consequences, but he was curious.

He'd try his hardest and after this darkness passed, he'd try even harder. He promised himself that.

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