She pushed open the door of the great hall carefully; she didn't know how to act this year. So much had changed; he was a harsh person who no longer seemed to remember the Christmases they had spent together. Their eyes locked across the hall and his eyes seemed to show he was just as nervous as she was. There were a few more students staying for Christmas this year but they were in Ravenclaw and Hermione didn't seem to know any of them. Taking a deep breath she walked over and plonked herself next to Draco. They sat in an uncomfortable silence while they both ate
She broke the silence with a question. "Why?" she asked so softly that if he weren't watching her mouth out the corner of his eye, he probably wouldn't have heard it
"Why what?" he didn't let venom seep into his voice as he normally did, he didn't hate her when he was harsh but it was just a normal reaction to her.
"You promised. You promised me Malfoy" he didn't miss the teary glaze that washed over her eyes, before she scrunched them shut and whipped them with her sleeve
"Can we talk about this later?" he urged
"I suppose so" she sighed and continued eating.
Draco's arm sat uncomfortably in a sling and eating had become a little difficult. He tried to keep his poise while eating but it didn't really help. After another 5 minutes of trying to keep his dignity, he gave up and pushed the bowl away. He watched Hermione finish her meal, and with his good hand he turned and took her hand
"Come on, I want to show you something"
she didn't protest as he pulled her from the room, but when they got to the grand staircase she dropped her hand away from his
"I wont go anywhere with you until you tell me why" she said sternly
"I have to Granger, okay? Its what's expected of me. You and me, the lives we live are completely different. I'm sorry if it hurts you, but I cant stop. Every Slytherin is pure blood and has the same upbringing as me, I cant just start sprouting muggleborns are amazing and we should leave them alone. It's not how our world works. I'm sorry, i just can't change it" he looked at her hoping she would
understand, but she seemed lost in thought
"Why do you give Ron such a hard time then, his pure blood?" he smirked at this
"Because Malfoy's and Weasly's have been enemies since merlins time, it wont change anytime soon. I'm sure he would be just as harsh to me if you weren't there"
"Your families that old?"
"Yes. I told you, we are a very old wizarding family, there aren't too many older then ours" he took her hand in his "Can I show you what I wanted to show you now?"
she smiled and nodded
"I forgive you Draco. I wish it could be different"
he just looked away and began to take her up the stair cases.
They climbed staircase after staircase until they reached the seventh floor
"I haven't been up here before" she whispered afraid to upset the balance of the seventh floor
he laughed at her uncomfortableness "Granger relax, we are allowed to be here"
"I know, it's just I don't know it seems like we shouldn't be here"
"stand here" he told her pointing to a spot in front of a wall "Now think of something you want, more then anything right at this moment"
Confused by Draco's commands she slowly closed her eyes she and began thinking. What could he possibly be up to? What do I want right now? A swim that would be nice, I wonder what Draco looks like swimming, a spa would be nice, I'm over this cold weather for now, I miss the beach and swimming
As she was thinking the wall in front of her began to change into a large door, she felt Draco come up behind her and place a gentle hand on her shoulder
"Open your eyes"
she was greeted with the sight of a large old looking door, the type of door you'd see on a beach hut "What's this?" she asked Draco
"What you asked for" she looked at him sceptically and then opened the door.
As soon as she entered the room she froze. In the middle of the room was a large pool, that had ringlets of steam coming off the top suggesting it was heated, and in the corner a large ornate spa bath, of to the side was changing room, and sitting at the edge of the pool was a pair of swimmers and boardies, and underneath them was 2 large fluffy towels.
"Oh my god" Hermione whispered
"Isn't it amazing?" Draco asked enthusiastically "I found it last year, when I was looking for" he stopped midsentence realising he was about to say something that he would probably regret
"when you were looking for what?" Hermione pushed
"i… well i….. umm" Draco mumbled incoherently
"Spit it out Draco"
"I read all the muggle fiction books in the library, and I was up here one day thinking it would be nice to read more, and then a door appeared and the room was full of muggle fiction novels" she couldn't help but smile at him
"So muggle fiction isn't so bad?" she asked raising her eyebrow. He didn't reply, so she simply smirked at him "come on, lets get in"
She ran across the floor and picked up her bikini. It was a beautiful pastel green that looked like it was going to fit perfectly. Draco followed not far behind. They both entered the change room and 2 minutes later Hermione jumped into the pool, giggling as she did.
"Hurry up Draco!" Hermione urged
"I'm going as fast as I can with one hand" he sounded a little exasperated
"I don't feel sorry for you, you know? You should have listen to Hagrid" she said slightly snobby
"I know I should have, but I didn't know it was going to slash my arm, now did i?"
"You could have died" Hermione whispered
"I know, it was stupid, but its done with now, so don't lecture me"
"I wouldn't lecture you if you hurried up, and came out here" she grinned triumphantly although he couldn't even see her smiling "It's really good in the water" she mused aloud
"I'm coming out" he announced and the proudly opened the door
Hermione was momentarily speechless as she saw his upper body. It wasn't what she imagined… not that she imagined Draco Malfoy topless. He was so much more, his body was angular in the right areas and enough muscle on others, and she couldn't help the sigh
then gently escaped her lips
She noticed he was looking at her oddly and she looked away blushing
"Come on get in" she urged
he sat on the top step and let himself adjust to the temperature
"When can you get the sling off?"
"Next week" he sighed exasperated
"I could take it off now if you want? It's all healed, your getting it off next week cause the teachers don't work Christmas week"
he smiled over at her, "You could take it off for me?"
she smiled and swam to the side of the pool and pulled herself out of the water. Draco watched as water droplets rolled down her body. And what a body it was. Smooth, shapely perfect.
His mouth went dry as she bent over to retrieve her wand from her pile of clothes. Her arse, was the best thing he had ever seen.
"Here give me your arm" she slowly began to unwrap the bandages that were surrounding his arm and shoulder. When she was done she looked at his arm for a moment before tapping it with her wand. When nothing happened she smiled happily at him and put her wand back from where she got it
"What was the wand for?"
"Just in case they put a spell on it that disallowed you to move, even without the sling" she ran back to the pool and gracefully dived in when she resurfaced she smiled over at him "Come on!"
He slowly went down the steps allowing his body to enjoy the heat sensation
"I'm going to study this room, I want to know what it is" he heard her say from across the pool.
"Hey Granger, make an oath with me, that this is our secret. Study it and all, but its only ours, I wont tell anyone, you wont tell anyone"
"Sure oath and all" she smiled and turned away
"Granger I meant a wizard oath, you know I like the idea of this being ours"
she took his pinkie in her own "Draco I pinkie swear that this will remain our secret"
"What's a pinkie swear?"
"What we just did"
"That was silly! There was no magic, no seriousness"
"Draco magic isn't everything, I've made a promise, and I never break a promise" she looked at him seriously for a moment then turned away, but she was acting suspiciously.
Before he knew what she was doing she quickly turned towards him and splashed him right in the face. the water dripped down his face, from his hair and it was mixing with his gel. His hair began to fall on his face and became all ruffled. He took a deep breath and went under water. When he resurfaced his hair was sticking to his face, it was a look Hermione wasn't accustomed too, he looked completely dishevelled and natural
"I like your hair like that, you should wear it without gel more, you look nicer" he smirked over at her
"Careful Granger that almost sounded like a compliment"
"It almost was" she smirked back
they swam together in the pool for an hour before Hermione just wanted to relax. She walked up the steps and put out her towel and lay on it. A small shiver past through her, I wish it was a little warmer in here, she thought to herself, not a moment later the air temperature was suddenly comfortable.
Draco followed her lead and got out of the pool and lay on his towel. The following hours were used to talk about all things, from classes, to Christmas gifts, to what they did outside school. After awhile the pair had fallen into a comfortable silence just staring at the ceiling, lost in their own thoughts.
Hermione began to get up on his right and he turned to look at her, confused.
"Where are you going?"
"Wait here" and then she was walking towards her pile of clothes. She dropped down beside it and began going through the pockets
looking for something. When she returned, she was holding a small box "here I got this for you"
he opened the box and inside was a very intricate gold watch. The armband of the watch was a dragon which was biting it's own tail to stay closed; the watch itself was set in the middle of the dragons stomach. He looked over at her with surprised eyes
"Put it on" she urged, he gently took it out of the box and looked at how to open the dragons mouth
"Rook, this is Draco, you are his now, let him put you on" the dragons eyes blinked and it released it's tail. The dragon then wrapped itself around Draco's wrist until it was a perfect fit and then bit down on his tail again to close.
"Its beautiful, I've never seen anything like it" he whispered
"Oh I found it at hogsmead, it seemed to remind me of you, I couldn't say no"
"But I've been so horrible to you this year" he continued to whisper disbelieving she had given him such an amazing gift
"I know, but we spend Christmas together and your more like you on Christmas, I don't know, I just got it for you" she smiled at him and continued "his name is Rook, and he will only follow your orders now, the watch face doesn't just show you the time, but also what
classes you have and how long till your next one"
he just nodded and moved closer to her. When they were almost touching he turned and pulled her into a hug. Her face was squashed against his skin, but for some reason she didn't mind "Hermione, it's amazing. Thank you"
After another minute he let her go and stood up "Dinner time?" he asked holding his hand out to her. She accepted it and he gently pulled her up.
20 minutes later saw them together, side by side, walking through the castle, every so often bumping against each other. They ate dinner together comfortably, every couple of seconds Draco would look at his new watch, it truly was amazing.
He leaned over and whispered in Hermione's ear "I've chosen the book I want you to read this year" she just looked up and smirked
"Better be good"
once they finished dinner they made their way to the library where they found there spot and sat.
"Okay so where is this book?"
"Here" he handed her a wrapped parcel, she looked up at him surprised "Open it" he urged just as she had earlier
she gently unwrapped the parcel and when she was done she felt tears coming to her eyes
"Where did you get this?" she asked voice cracking slightly
"I found it in muggle London, last year"
"But it's a first edition!" he just smiled
"I'm glad you like it"
"Like it?! Like it? Draco I love it!"
She threw her arms around his neck and planted a small kiss on his cheek. she held him for a few more moments and then began to feel him laughing against her
She sat back and looked at him "what's so funny?"
"You could start reading it, and you know enjoying it"
Hermione blushed a little and pulled the book into her lap. she opened the first page and ran her fingers along the title
"The picture of Dorian Gray" and then she began to read her first edition copy aloud
10 minutes before curfew she closed the book. Draco's eyes as usual snapped open and he stood and offered her his hand. Once outside the library he turned to her and gave her a small kiss on her cheek
"Thank you. I had fun today"
She blushed slightly and pulled him into a hug
"So did I"
"Till next year"
"Happy Christmas Draco"
"Happy Christmas Hermione"