He ran as fast as his feet could take him and managed to reach the Lake in less than five minutes. He stopped a few feet away from her to catch his breath. He knitted his brows when he noticed her tiny shoulders shaking, "Is she crying?" he thought. He felt a pang of discomfort crawled through his skin, a clear indication that he's really not used to dealing with crying girls. He took a deep breath before announcing his presence, "Don't you think it's dangerous to wander alone at this hour?" he asked softly, trying his best not to startle her.
Hermione's body turned rigid upon hearing his voice, but she didn't respond.
He walked towards her, his concern going up to knots with her silence, "Hermione? Are you alright? What happened?"
She acknowledged his presence by wiping her cheeks, but still, she kept silent.
He flinched when he got a good look at her. Her whole face was red and splotchy, a sure sign that she's been crying for awhile. His felt his hackles rise into full gear, his mind coming up with different scenarios that might have caused her distress. He opened his mouth to speak but she beat him to it.
"I'm fine, just a little bit stressed out that's all."
He pulled his wand out of his pocket and pointed towards the snowy ground, "Tergio" he whispered. He then kneeled before her, his hands reaching for hers. "I'll ignore your answer and ask you again, what's going on? Is it Weaselby? Did he upset you?" he asked.
She didn't pull her hands away but she averted her gaze.
"Or is Pothead? Did he say something to you?"
She still didn't answer him.
His frustration seems to hit the roof with her indifference. "Why in Merlin's beard is she acting this way? Did he do something to upset her? He can't remember doing anything, he was a complete gentleman all night!" he thought.
"It's just too much to handle..." she mumbled, her voice raspy from crying.
Throwing all caution to the wind, he yanked her into his arms and hugged her tightly.
Her shoulders shook as gut retching sobs escaped her lips.
"Hush love - don't cry, I'm here" he whispered as he ran his hand soothingly along her back.
She snuggled closer, burying her face into his chest, clasping her robes with her fists.
He felt his gut twist with every sob that escaped her lips, "Tell me what's wrong...we'll fix it - I promise" he said though gritted his teeth. "What can possibly happen in a span of 10 minutes? We were having a good time for Merlin's sake!" he thought.
She cried some more but after a few minutes, she started to hush. She slowly pulled her face away from his chest and saw his tearstained robes, "I - I soaked your shirt, I'm sorry" she said between sniffles.
He brushed aside the stray curls covering her blotchy face, "You silly girl, we have wands, don't worry about it."
Her cheeks flushed even brighter, "Yeah, you're right. I - err - I think you should go back, Pansy might be looking for you" she pulled away to put some distance between them. "I'm sorry you had to witness that, I didn't mean for anyone to see that."
He let his arms drop to his side, "What do you mean by that? Why would Pansy look for me?"
She averted her gaze as she clumsily wiped her cheeks, "Because she's your girlfriend and your date, why else?" she replied as she swallowed the bitter taste in her mouth.
He looked flabbergasted as he sat on his haunches, "Hold on one bloody minute - Did you just say that Pansy, as in Pansy Parkinson is my girlfriend?"
"Don't deny her Draco, that's not very nice"
He blinked a few times before bursting into fits of laughter.
She shifted her gaze back to him, her eyes narrowed into slits. She then folded her arms on top of her chest, her annoyance mounting at his absurd reaction, "Stop laughing at me, it's not funny. Just go back to the dance and leave me alone."
He wiped at his eyes, his shoulders still shaking with remnants of his laughter. "I'm not laughing at you; I'm laughing at the ludicrous thing you just said. I'm sorry to disappoint you Princess, but Pansy is not my girlfriend, she's not even my date. That ship has long sailed and I have no plans of going back - ever," he emphasized the last word. He then folded his arms on top of his chest, his mind replaying the look on Pansy's face when Theo asked her to dance, "And besides, she has her eyes set on someone else, just like I."
Hermione felt her body go rigid for the second time, "He sure knows how to piss on someone's parade" she thought bitterly. She lowered her feet on the ground and hastily made her way towards the edge of the frozen waters. She almost felt elated when he corrected her about Pansy, but then he had to open his mouth again and admitted to her that he's practically in love with some other witch, a really insensitive bugger - that's what he is. She rubbed her arms, "Good for you, at least one of us is happy" she said after a few minutes of silence.
He stood up from his perch and made his way towards her, "But I don't think she'll ever see me the same way..."
"And now he can't stop talking," she thought. She kept her eyes forward, trying her best to ignore how close he seems to be, "Well, you can't say that for sure unless she told you."
He didn't respond, he just placed his hands on her shoulders and gently turned her around.
She felt her heart jerk against her ribcage, "What are you doing?"
He moved his hands towards her neck, tilting her face up to his, "You think I should ask her?"
She averted her gaze, "Y - you should" she forced herself to say.
He shifted closer, his body almost touching hers. "Hermione, look at me."
Her mind is screaming at her to push him away, but her body ignored her brain's order, making her meet his eyes reluctantly. "What?" she found herself asking.
He stared into her eyes for a second before wordlessly lowering his face to hers, tasting her lips for the first time.
Draco's eyes closed on its own accord upon contact, "Merlin, her lips are so soft!" he thought. He pulled her face closer and started moving his own, silently asking her to return his kisses.
She unfolded her arms and rested her open palms on his chest, a soft moan of delight rumbling at back of her throat.
Jubilation surged into his system when he felt her lips move, "Finally!" he thought. He tore his hands away from her face and boldly wrapped it around her waist, making her gasp in surprise. He took advantage of her shock and skilfully slipped his tongue into her mouth, turning their kiss deeper and more passionate.
Her hands slipped around his neck, standing on the tips of her toes to get a better angle.
He let out an approving groan with her actions. He turned his face to the other direction, catching her tongue between his lips, latching on it, like his life depended on it.
"Oh my god, Draco Malfoy is sucking my tongue!" Hermione thought. She tightened her hold around his neck, pulling their chest flush against each other. Her mind seemed to short circuit with the proximity, making all her unsavory thoughts burst into dust.
After what seemed like eternity, he broke their kiss to let them catch their breaths. He didn't pull away though; he just rested his forehead on hers.
Slowly, her eyes opened and found him staring at her. She pulled her face a fraction and licked her lips nervously, "Err -"
He un-wrapped his arms around her waist and moved it back to her face, cupping her flushed cheeks."Did I go too far?"
She licked her lips again, "N - no" she replied.
He cracked a smile before pulling her into his chest, hugging her tightly. He buried his face into the crook of her neck, "Merlin, I've wanted to do that for quite some time now" he admitted.
She rested her cheek on his chest as she bit her bottom lip hard to keep herself from grinning. She snaked her arms around his waist, "Me too," she said shyly.
"Thank Merlin!" Draco said. He then moved his hand to her neck and gently titled her face to his, "The girl I'm talking about, the one that caught my attention - do you want to know who she is?"
She stiffened in his arms, her eyes narrowing into tiny slits.
He wanted to laugh at her reaction but he decided to stuff it down. He tightened his hold on her waist, "Do you want to know who she is?" he repeated, his eyes never leaving hers.
"What are you playing at?" she asked as she tore her face away from his hand, anger and hurt swirling in her eyes.
"Circe! I can't believe she still doesn't know whom I'm talking about!" he thought.
"Let me go!" she hissed she pulled her arms away from his waist.
"No" he replied. He then pushed his face closer, making sure that their eye to eye before he spoke again. "Hermione, you are that girl. You are the one who caught my attention and -" he paused to lick his lips. "And I think - I think I'm falling in love with you."