Through the Chimney

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Part IV –

That morning at the breakfast table, shortly after Ivy went to school, Hermione sat back and thought of the Owl she had just sent to Malfoy. He wouldn’t be happy, but that couldn’t be helped.

It was getting trickier to see Malfoy each time he came to see Ivy. Hermione tried to remain indifferent to the man, but it was difficult. He was tall, and she had to admit that he had very broad shoulders and a nice form. His grey eyes were most unusual, and they were usually full of mischief and delight. They often sparred back and forth, but it was always in good fun and she had come to enjoy their interactions.

When he played with Ivy, read to her, or even merely just talked to her, Hermione would often find herself studying the man. She had to admit, if only to herself, that she liked what she saw. Often she had to try NOT to stare at him. Her pulse often raced when he entered the room. His mere physical presence caused her to feel uneasy and uncomfortable, which made her want to curse the man!

She was attracted to Draco Malfoy! How did that happen?

And now this evening he was suddenly standing on her front stoop, knocking at her door, with the letter she had written to him clutched tightly in his hands. For a brief moment, she thought she might not let him in, but she was no one’s coward, and she wasn’t afraid of Draco Malfoy (or her feelings for the man!) of that she was certain!

Opening the door slowly, she peered around the solid oak panels and after a clipped acknowledgment from Draco of, “Greetings, Granger,” the man walked into her home but then he did something even stranger. Without warning, Draco took her hand in his. She found his fingers warm and strong against hers. A shiver of desire went through her, causing her breath to hitch and her pulse to pause, and then jump. Her nerves nearly shattered when he retained her hand in his, and brought it up to his mouth to kiss her fingertips lightly.

“And may I wish you a happy, early Christmas. May I also say what a pleasure?” he concluded. Her fingers slid from his easily, though her eyes remained on his the entire time.

“For whom?” she countered, moving aside so he could enter her home. She placed the hand that was just in his to the back of her neck – a frisson of warmth gathered there from his mere presence. For that reason, and that reason alone, she almost pushed him back out the door.

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