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Brain-Space
A Draco/Hermione story for my bb smilies/icon_heart.gif
~.~.~
Hermione couldn't say when she started to notice that he's changed but she did.

She was rushing to the library, Harry and Ron going to their Advance DADA class while she had her study period, when she rounded a corner and collided with a tall figure. The books in her arms fell as she stumbled back and a hand grasped her elbow, helping her to keep balance. "Careful, Granger. Wouldn't want to muck-up any pages."

Hermione's head snapped up so hard she felt the bones creek, brown eyes sharp and suspicious. Draco Malfoy stood there though he had let go of her elbow he drew his wand, reflexes from the war kicking in and Hermione leveling her own at his throat before he could raise it. A slim, pale brow rose with delicate arch at her but the muggleborn girl refused to be intimidated. "One of the Golden Trio, planning to attack someone only meaning to help in the middle of Hogwarts? I'm sure that will go over well in the papers."

Flushing Hermione lowered her own wand, though she didn't put it away. Malfoy ignored it and, with a flick of his wrist, Summoned all the books that she had dropped to stack themselves into a neat pile, rising to float before her. "Do be careful next time," he said as he put his own wand away, stepping around her and continuing down the corridor.

Turning to watch his progression Hermione put her want away, taking the books from where they were waiting. She lingered just a moment longer before rushing off again, mind pondering the newly subdue Draco Malfoy.

~.~.~

The schoolwork was piling on quickly, with the students having pretty much a year's worth of work and Hermione found the library to be filling with more and more students. Even Ron could be seen there on his own free will, when the Gryffindor common room became too noisy. She made a point of going straight there to find a table far away from the entrance, where it tended to be the nosiest with students marching in and out of it.

The brunet was working for almost an hour before someone dropped their books on the table across from her. Glancing up and expecting to see Harry, Ron or anyone else from Gryffindor she couldn't help but stare when none other than Draco Malfoy stood before her, hand resting on top of his books and the other resting on the back of the chair there. "This is the only free spot," he said by way of explanation. "Do you mind?"

Hermione's mouth opened, then closed. She blinked. The only thing stranger than Draco Malfoy sitting with her was Draco Malfoy asking if he could sit with her. From her angle she could see that he had begun to gain back some of the weight he had lost over the last year, looking less like the scared, skeletal figure she saw fleeing Hogwarts with his parents months ago.

It wasn't until the pinky on the pile of books twitched that Hermione realized she'd been sitting and staring for some time, cheeks flushing as she ducked her head back down to the books before her. "The library's open to everyone," she said, turning a page. She didn't look up as the chair was pulled back, nor when the teen sat down. It was moments of them sitting, Malfoy not moving or opening a book when she did look up.

Malfoy was watching her, grey eyes cool and calm and studying. When he caught her eye pale lips pulled into a smirk and Hermione felt her cheeks heat up even more, head ducking down once again to her books. After a moment Malfoy turned to his own books, the pair working in silence for the remainder of their free time.

~.~.~

Somehow Hermione found herself sharing her table at the library every free period with Malfoy. She would go and, less than an hour later the blond would arrive, nod to her and slip into the seat across from her. The pair would work in silence for a while until Hermione had to leave for her next period, Malfoy not looking up or acknowledging her at all.

It was months after their first sitting together, with her, Harry and Ron heading to the Great Hall when Malfoy came out of the grand double doors, sparing a glance at the two boys before focusing on her. "Granger. Might I have a word?"

Ron was instantly puffing up, opening his mouth to say who-knows what. "Of course," she said before he could get started, making the red-head sputter and Harry's gaze snap to her. Malfoy didn't seem to be expecting the easy agreement if the way he blinked was any indication but the expression soon smoothed out, blond nodding as the pair set off down the corridor. Hermione turned to mouth, 'Don't worry!' to her friends, who looked more than unconvinced but didn't follow after her, which is more than she thought she'd get.

They walked in silence for a while, going past curious 3rd-years and other chattering groups heading to lunch. When they reached a hall free of bodies, living or dead, Malfoy turned to her, grey eyes quiet and intense and piercing.

"Well, if I've learned anything from you Gryffindor's it's to be brutally honest whenever possible." Hermione only tilted her head, watching as he jaw worked. "Will you have lunch with me?"

She might have gasped, if it were entirely unexpected. Even with the thought in the back of her mind the question still made her reel. Malfoy stood stock-still before her, seemingly ready for both acceptance and rejection, back stiff.

Stepping forward Hermione reached out and took a hand in her own. Malfoy watched, gaze flickering to follow the motion but otherwise didn't react. Reaching for his other hand she took it in her free one, winding their fingers together. The long, slender digits flexed but be remained still, gaze shifting from her to their joined hands and back.

"You've changed," she murmured, looking at their hands. A year ago he would have flinched and sneered at touching her. "Ron won't believe it."

Malfoy shifted. "People do change. Well? Will you go out with me or not?"

"Oh, so it's a date now?" The words were airy but Hermione felt giddy, heart fluttering in her chest even as she fixed Malfoy - Draco - with a critical gaze. "That depends. Kiss me."

If she was expecting him to hesitate she was sorely mistaken. Gripping her hand with his right he freed the left to slide around her waist, head tilting to fit their lips together ina warm, soft melting that made her gasp. There was little more than the brushing of lips and a gentle, sucking pressure but when Draco drew back those silver-grey eyes had gone the color of slate and Hermione felt short of breath, her own cheeks flushed.

It took some moments for her to gather her wits about her but once she did she nodded. "Yes. I will go out with you - so long as it's you having lunch with us."

She set off after that, pulling the somewhat protesting Slytherin along with her. When they arrived at the Great Hall Ron and Harry were still waiting there, engrossed in conversation - not so much that they didn't notice the arrival of her and Draco, nor did they miss the joined hands.

Ron stared, color rising up from his neck as he gasped. "Wha- Malfoy? Seriously?"

Harry, on the other hand, looked thoughtfully at their joined hands, then up at Draco. There seemed to be a silent exchange between the pair (no matter their history they always seemed able to read one another, be it for bad or worse) and then Harry grinned. It was slow to come but grew quickly, a hand raising to rest on Ron's shoulder, who still seemed to be in shock. "Yeah," he said, looking at Hermione with a smile. "Come on, we were late to begin with."

It was like that, with Draco sitting stiffly between Hermione and Ginny with Harry and Ron across from them, that her new life began.

"So how do you expect to tell your parents you're dating a bloke who's aunt tortured you when you visited?"

Draco laughed as the Bat-Boogey hex from Ginny's wand hit Ron square in the face. Apparently some things can change.





 
 
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