He watched her twirl with Victor Krum. He knew he shouldn't be watching but it was Christmas and she hadn't even looked his way and for some reason that made him angry. He turned away from her and continued his conversation with Pansy.
Their Christmas tradition had been postponed for a year with the announcement of the Tri Wizard Tournament, but he had still hoped that they would spend some time together. He looked over at her. She was smiling up at Krum while he spun her again. The song came to an end and she air kissed Krum and then walked over to her friends.
"Pansy listen, I need some air I'll be back soon" he gently kissed her hand and walked out the hall
She had felt his eyes on her all night. She wanted to talk to him, only for a moment. It felt somehow wrong celebrating Christmas without him, it had been 3 years after all. It felt even worse that she wasn't reading right now, not that she minded the Yule Ball, but it wasn't the Christmas she was used to.
Victor spun her one more time before the song finished. She leaned up and gave him a small air kiss.
"Victor I'm exhausted, I'm going to spend some time with Harry and Ron, you keep dancing"
He just smiled down at her and nodded vigorously
As she approached the boys she noticed their faces were very stern
"What's wrong?" she asked smiling at the boys
"Nothing!" Ron grumbled at her
"I see. Why don't you dance? Victor and I have been having such fun"
Ron mumbled under his voice something that Hermione didn't quiet catch
"What was that?"
"I said his the enemy and maybe you shouldn't be dancing with him!"
"The enemy?" Hermione almost screeched
"His from Durmstrang! His probably using you for information, and your just being suggestive in that outfit!" He yelled at her
Hermione looked at harry for help but he was watching Cho be manoeuvred around by Cedric, she knew he had heard everything but was choosing to ignore the situation. She could feel the tears in her eyes and before they could see them fall she ran from the hall
Once outside she allowed the tears to fall as she slid down the closest wall. She cried silently to herself until she felt a hard body sit down beside her and pull her into their arms. She inhaled and cried harder, she knew that smell
"Oh Draco why do they ruin everything?" she felt him shrug his shoulders and just continue rubbing her back in soothing circles while she let her tears continue to fall. After awhile however he felt her still in his arms
"Come on, you cant ruin that dress" he gently tugged her away from his body and pulled her up as he began to stand "Dance with me" he whispered
She felt the tug of a smile and whispered back "there's no music"
"I can hum if you want" he offered her his hand in the formal dancing position, she took it slowly and he gently led her around in small circles "You look beautiful"
"Thank you" she laid her head on his chest and just listen to the sound of his heartbeat as he continued his small circles
"I'm going to go apologise to Hermione" Harry whispered to Ron
"Yea okay" he slouched more in his seat, as if defying the situation
Harry rose and left the hall, looking for Hermione. He walked a little until he heard whispered voices coming from a corridor not far from where he was. He turned the corner and saw Draco Malfoy with his hands on Hermione. He was about to shout at him to let her go and then tease him with some horrible pang about how he always ran to his father, but he then re-assessed the situation, and realised Hermione was actually in no danger.
Hermione had her head resting on Malfoy's chest and he was slowly leading them in small circles. They were dancing together, Harry realised with a shock. He quickly hid behind a pillar and cautiously took small peaks from around it, so they were not aware of his presence
"Christmas wasn't the same this year" he heard Malfoy whisper
"I know, 3 years of tradition, just washed away. I could be reading to you right now" she replied
after a moments pause Malfoy spoke again"I still got something for you" Harry peaked around the corner and saw him drop her hands,
and pull out a small box from his inside pocket.
He couldn't see what it was, but Hermione's face immediately lit up when she opened it.
"It's Beautiful" he heard her whisper
"Here, give me your wrist" Harry watched him pull a small silver chain from the box and clip it around Hermione's wrist. He watched her
face turn red as Malfoy stood close to her
"I got you something also" she walked over to where she had left her clutch and pulled out a small rectangular package "I think you might like this one"
Malfoy tore off the paper and looked a the small book in his hand "The count of Monte Cristo?" he asked
Harry could hardly contain his shock, Hermione had given Malfoy muggle fiction??
"Oh Draco, you'll love it! It's about a man who gets everything taken away from him, so he gets hell bent on revenge. It's in French because it's an almost original copy and signed by Alexandre Dumas, I know you can read the language" Harry watched Malfoy's face expecting him to scoff at the gift, but to his surprise, he smiled down at Hermione
"Where did you get it?"
"Well it was mine" she whispered
"I can't possibly take this Hermione!" he announced incredibly shocked. He tried to give the book back to her
"Draco" she whispered softly "I want you to have it. Now dance with me again" Harry watched her gently take the book from his hand and placed it back with her clutch, she then took his hand again and nudged him, expecting him to lead them in circles again.
Harry knew he was missing something. How can they be friends? Were they more then friends? Why wouldn't Hermione tell him about this friendship?
"364 days, I try and hate you, but on Christmas I just can't" Malfoy whispered
"I hope you don't try to hard"
Harry watched him smirk down at her "No I don't try hard at all, dirty mudblood. I've still got to get you back for punching me last year" Harry was sure he heard sarcasm ringing through Malfoy's voice, as if it was all just one big joke
She smiled up at him "stupid ferret, you deserved it. I know you explained it all, but it still hurt"
"You know I don't want to insult you"
"Maybe one day you wont have to" she whispered hopefully
They continued their small circles until a soft jingling was heard above them. Both Hermione and Malfoy looked up and saw a small bunch of mistletoe form above their heads. Hermione blushed considerably
"It's Dumbledore's special mistletoe, it only appears when" but she couldn't keep talking, Harry watched as Malfoy's hand slowly caressed her face, and pulled her towards him. Their lips met slowly, cautiously but somehow it seemed like they both had wanted to do this for sometime. What felt like a lifetime later Malfoy took his lips away from hers.
"It's only appears when?" he whispered
After a moment she replied "When people already have feelings for each other, so people who feel nothing for each other don't have to kiss"
"Your so clever" and then he kissed her again
Harry knew he shouldn't be watching this. This was private, just for Hermione. Maybe the git wasn't what he seemed. Harry slowly backed away from the situation and returned to the hall.
Draco pulled away from Hermione once again. Already missing the tenderness of her lips upon his he whispered
"We should go back to the great hall"
"I know" she replied frowning slightly
Together, side-by-side, they walked back to the great hall, every so often bumping against each other. Once they were outside the hall
he turned to her.
"Of course" she smiled at him "Happy Christmas Draco"
"Happy Christmas Hermione"