A Day and A Night

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Chapter 8: A Book and a Kiss:

The Auror and the bookworm reached their room and began to pack all their things quickly. They were just as silent this time as they were earlier in the afternoon. She shrunk all of their things and put them in her satchel. He grabbed her satchel and placed it over his chest. He grabbed the two brooms, which he had pilfered from the janitor’s closet of the motel earlier, and they left the motel room, side by side, still running, and oddly enough, he held out his hand for her, as she did earlier for him, and just as he did earlier with her, she took it without question.

They ran hand in hand as far away from the village as they could.

When they were well out of town, Draco let go of her hand, leaned against a tree, and he started to laugh. “What the hell, Granger! I thought I was going to have to save you from an angry crowd, and you saved yourself! I didn’t even hear what spell you used.”

“It was a silent spell. It’s a suspension spell, and I also Oblivated all of their memories, but I’m not sure how well it took, being silent and all, and since there were so many of them,” she said.

He looked at her in awe. “You aren’t the princess of magic, you’re the blooming queen. Hail, Queen Hermione.” He bowed.

“Stop that.” She grinned. “I just know some handy little spells and charms, that’s all.”

He pointed toward the road where they had just come and he said, “Handy little spells and charms! There were at least twenty people back there, Granger! Why aren’t you an Auror?”

She grinned again and said, “Better question, why are you?”

“Hey!” he said, with indignation.

“I’m joking with you, I’m sure you had the situation well in hand,” she said coyly.

“I did,” he claimed. “I was going to bust in there and save you at any moment.” She pursed her lips. “I was!” He handed her a broom and added, “Well, this makes things a bit harder, because I would've liked to have left near the loch, to put us closer, but now we’ll have to leave from here.”

“Draco?” She placed the broom he handed her on the ground. “Why do you suppose the Aurors decided to make it appear that witch from the bookstore was murdered by someone in Glendora? I mean, she was murdered here. Don’t you think that’s rather like planting false evidence?”

“Not really, since the Muggle constables won’t investigate anyway, it doesn’t matter. We know the truth, and the truth really is that she probably
was killed by the same person, even if she wasn’t killed in Glendora,” he answered.

“The magical DNA I picked up in our room was sparse to non-existent, so she really might have been murdered elsewhere, and then placed in our room,” she said, thinking aloud.

“Exactly,” he said.

“I think we need to exam her bookstore,” she said suddenly.

“Granger, is this an excuse to keep from flying?” he asked.

“No,” she insisted, though it was. “I think we need to rule out that she wasn’t murdered there either, unless the Aurors have already checked it out.”

Draco thought for a moment and he said, “Well, their report isn’t completed, but I would assume they did check out the woman’s house and store, because I know I would have. We can wait and read the report.”

“But shouldn’t we check it out, too?” she said. “It won’t take us long, and we can leave right after.”

“Are you certain this has nothing to do with your fear of flying?” he asked.

“Malfoy, be reasonable,” she said. She placed her arm around his shoulder. “I’m not afraid. Do you think this looks like the face of a woman who’s afraid? I’m the Queen. The Queen isn’t afraid, Malfoy.” She smiled sweetly at him.

He gave her a dubious gaze and then said a resounding, “No.” Then he swallowed hard, and he moved away from her. He rather liked it when she was close to him. He rather liked her arm around him. He rather liked…her, and no, no, NO, this would never do. Time to up the ‘rude’ a notch or two.

“Get on your bloody broom, Granger, and get your arse in the air!” he hissed. He handed her broom to her.

A few minutes later they were side by side, on the floor in an aisle between two shelves of the woman’s bookstore, examining books by wand light.

Hermione was leaning down, looking at a book on a bottom shelf when he said, “Tell me again why we’re in this bookstore instead of in the air on the way to Glendora?” He was truly perplexed. Was she a master manipulator? Perhaps she used some sort of persuasion charm on him. He knew it wasn’t the Imperius curse, but she was using some sort of silent spell on him just as surely as she used that silent spell on those people at the pub, because there was no other way to explain why he kept giving into her every wish and whim.

Because somehow they took her car the other night, when he wanted to take his own. And now, somehow they were in the old woman’s bookstore, examining everything in sight by wandlight, when he wanted to be in the air.  Somehow, even odder still, as much as he tried to be rude and mean to her, it didn’t seem to change how he felt one iota. He was starting to fall for Hermione Granger.

He leaned against the shelf and moaned.

She was still sitting on the floor, examining the books on a lower shelf, when she heard him moan. She looked up and said, “Are you okay, Malfoy?”

“No, most definitely, I’m not okay, Princess,” he bemoaned. He moved to sit beside her. “Tell me how reading is helping you find out how the old, crazy woman died.”

“It’s not,” she admitted. She placed the book she was reading on his lap and said, “Look.” She held her wand up higher so he could see the page she was reading illuminate with light.

He read a passage or two, then picked up the book and looked at the cover. It was called,
Fables and Folktales of the Lochs. He looked at her and said, “Three women were murdered, Granger! We should be on our way to Glendora to discover what happened right now, but because of your fear of all things fast and high, you drag me here to collect evidence, and instead you’re reading a fairy tale?”

“Oh, shut up, and use your pretty blond head for thinking!” she laboured. She grabbed the book from his hand.

“You think I’m pretty?” he asked with a lazy grin.

“Malfoy, please,” she said. He knocked his shoulder into hers and raised his brows in question again. She rolled her eyes and whined, “Come on, you know you’re pretty. You said as much earlier. You know you’re pretty just as much as I know I’m smart. It’s what we are, right?”

He frowned and said, “So then, I’m only good looking, and not smart, and you’re only smart, and not good looking?”

She shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I think your statement confuses me a bit. Let’s get back to this book.”

It didn’t really confuse her, but she didn’t want to examine it. She opened the book again, but handed it to him. She pointed out the table of contents. “Look at the titles to the stories. All of the titles have to do with the people of Glendora. They mention the village, they mention the castle where we’re going, they mention the Valdes, and they mention Andre and Katrina.” Her finger ran down the page. She turned the page and then pointed to the title of the last story.

Draco read aloud, “Milo and the Maiden Fair.” He looked at Hermione and said, “So you think this is what, more of an accurate history of the place, than a book of fairy tales?”

She nodded. “Maybe the curse that keeps everyone in Glendora from speaking of their secrets doesn’t extent to writing about them as children’s fairy tales?” She pointed to the author’s name on the front cover. It was written by the witch that was killed, Violet Edgewater.

He raised his brows, but shrunk the book and placed it in the satchel, which was beside him on the floor. They might as well take it with them. He placed his legs out in front of him and crossed them at the ankles. He leaned back against the wall and watched as she got up on her knees to lean forward to reach for another book. His assessment from yesterday, that she had a nice bum, held true again today.

“Hey, Princess?” he said.

She pulled another book from the lowest shelf and turned to face him. She sat with her back against the stacks, opposite him, her legs out beside his. “Yes, Prince?”

“I’m glad we came to the bookstore. You’d make a good Auror, you know.”

She blushed a bit, and even in the dark din of the bookstore, he could see her blush and he felt another stirring of want. “So you said. I’m smart, with adequate looks.”

She opened the book in her lap and he knocked his leg into her as he said, “Hey, Granger.”

“What?” She didn’t even look up this time.

“Your looks are more than adequate,” he said. He felt like such a fool. What man in his right mind told a woman that her looks were ‘more than adequate’?

She looked him right in the eye and her mouth opened a bit as if she wanted to say something, but nothing came out. She was bemused by him. She truly was. She didn't know what to say to that statement, so she said nothing. She bit her lip and then turned back to her book.

He opened the satchel, pulled out the book of fairy tales, enlarged it again, and then turned to the last story. He began to read when he heard her say, “You’re more than a pretty face, too. You’re very smart. I’ve always thought so.”

He closed the book again and said, “Really?”

“Of course,” she answered.

“Come here, Granger,” he whispered. He placed the book on top of the satchel.

“I’m already sitting in front of you,” she whispered back.

He patted the place beside him. She moved awkwardly so that she was right beside him. She looked up at him, expectantly. He said, “I did want to kiss you earlier, when we were on the bed.”

“I wanted you to kiss me earlier,” she replied, “when we were on the bed.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Why?” she asked back, confused.

“Why did you want me to kiss you?” he clarified.

“Why did you want to kiss me?” she asked back. She looked down at her lap.

He frowned, and then made a sort of growling noise. This conversation was going nowhere fast. He should kiss her, get it over with, find out that it’s as terrible as he imagines it will be, and then he can go about his work as he planned. He turned to look at her and she was still staring downwards.

Placing a finger on her chin hesitantly, he pulled her chin up so that she was forced to stare into his eyes. The physical presence of him made her heart leap into her throat.

He wondered what it would feel like to kiss the skin on her neck, and her cheek, and her chest. His finger went from her chin and it began a solitary trek up to her cheek. It was soon joined by his other fingers. He caressed her cheek softly, and then she expelled a whispering, soft, scented breath and he was undone.

“Kiss me, Granger,” he whispered hoarsely. He bent his head toward hers. She would have to make the next move. He wasn’t sure why, but he knew that it had to be that way. She had to be the one who wanted this, or he couldn’t live with himself.

The thought of kissing Draco made her senses swirl. Heat filled her soul and she parted her lips and leaned into his touch. Why did she have to be the one that kissed him? He should make the first move - after all, he tried to kiss her earlier and he chickened out. He needed to be a man, and just kiss her. She would tell him so. “If you want a kiss, Malfoy, then you’ll have to kiss me.”

Ah, so that was the way it was. He wanted to smile, but he kept his emotions in check. “I hope you know what you’re asking for, Princess.” He leaned forward, moved his hands so that they were on her cheeks, and his mouth took hers gently, but without hesitation. Her lips parted a little, as her hands went to his shoulders, and she shifted on the floor to face him slightly. His lips moved over hers sensually, with want and feeling. Her lips were pliant under his.

He kept the kiss tame and he refrained from seeking the quench to his constant thirst, even though her hands were now on his chest, burning a hole in his shirt. He felt every raw emotion keenly, and he applied a bit more pressure, then he slid his lips from her mouth to her cheek, and then he kissed her cheeks slowly, the right one, and then the left one. He took in the scent and feel of her skin. It was more than he expected.

He pulled her over to his lap, and she came willingly, and Draco knew that Hermione never did anything that she didn’t want to do. He looked down at her. One arm was around her back, and the other touched her face. He said, “I’m fascinated with your little freckles, Princess.” He leaned down and kissed each one that he saw. She shivered in his arms.

He needed more. He wanted to see more, taste more, and have more. He wanted to plunder her mouth and body and soul until she had nothing more to give, but he knew this was not the time or place. He kissed the last freckle, the one on her chin, and with a gentleness that shocked even him, he touched her face once more, lifted his head and said, “You win again. It seems you always get your way. I kissed you instead of the other way around.”

He released her from his arms and she scrambled to her knees, and she tried to crawl back over to the other side of the aisle, but his hand clamped down on her ankle. She looked over at him, but he had his finger over his mouth. He motioned at her not to make a sound and she suddenly knew why. They were no longer alone in the bookstore.

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