A Change of Heart

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Chapter 20 - The Closet

“Only two more days until the gala.” That was Hermione’s mantra. She’d been repeating that sentence quietly in her head all day…only two more days, only two more days. To say that she was a nervous wreck would have been an understatement. She was nervous because of the upcoming gala, but also on pins and needles, because of her fight with Draco on Tuesday.

She tried to apologize on Tuesday evening, but he wasn’t home. She went to his office Wednesday, but was told he was out of the country, for goodness sakes. Well, as least Hermione tried. No one could say that she didn’t try. She would have to wait for him to make the first move, since he seemed to be avoiding her.

Harry stopped by her office that day, and she told Harry all about Draco’s proposal ‘while she was sleeping,’ and her written reply, and he told her she was in the wrong and she needed to apologize. He told her that she took his right to propose the way he wanted to away from him. He told her if she was going to say yes, then ‘what was the big deal’ if Draco read her note.

That was when she told Harry Potter to piss off. She told Mr. Potter if he was going to take sides, he should take hers. He told her he wasn’t taking any side, but she needed to stop acting like a lunatic, and Draco needed to stop acting like an idiot, and ‘oh by the way, piss off yourself, Hermione’.

So, her friends thought she was in the wrong, and she thought so as well. What could she do about it though, if he wasn’t receptive to her apology?

Why couldn’t Draco just ask her outright to marry him? Why didn’t he confirm that he wanted to marry her when she asked him point blank if he was planning on asking her? Hermione knew why...because Harry Potter was right. Maybe Draco wanted it to be a surprise, and Hermione ruined it for him.

Hermione thought Harry Potter needed to go jump off a bridge, the stupid wanker.

As far as the Spring Fling went, everything was done. Everything was taken care of and there wasn’t one thing left to do. She had tripled checked everything, so two days before the gala all she had to do was repeat her new mantra of "Only two more days until the gala," because there was nothing else to do.

No, that wasn't true. There was one thing she could do. She could go find Draco and force him to accept her apology! She went back to his work and passed the receptionist, to go talk to Scott. Unfortunately, she was told by Draco’s new assistant, (a 50-year-old grandmother of two) that Draco had left word that he would not be back into the office for a week. She also said that his old assistant, Scott, left the company, and she had no idea where he went.

Void of anything else to do, Hermione went home, took a cardboard box and some tissue paper, and made him an enormous card, just like the one she made for her parents when she was nine. On the outside, she wrote, “I’m Sorry”, and on the inside she wrote, “I hope you ask your question to me again sometime when I’m awake. My answer will be the same. I Love You, Hermione.”

She decided to go his house, and even if he wasn't there, she would leave the card she made for him. She didn’t know if she would be able to Apparate directly in his house, or if he would have had that blocked, so she Apparated to the front door and knocked.

A house elf answered the door and told her that Mr. Draco was outside in the back garden entertaining guests, but she could come in and wait, and he would go get him. Hermione was surprised he was there, and told the little elf that she wouldn’t be staying, but she asked it to please give him the card later, after his guests left.

She turned to leave when she heard, “Where the hell are you going, Granger?” She turned around and saw Draco standing on the threshold holding her card.

She walked up to him and said humbly, “I came to apologize.”

“Yes, so I saw when I read your really large tissue and cardboard card,” he said with a crooked smile. He propped the card against the wall, leaned down and kissed her cheek, “I guess I’m sorry as well.”

“You guess?” She smiled back. “That’s good enough for me.”

“What are you really doing here? You could have had someone deliver your card,” he said, still leaning in the doorway.

“Well, it’s a pretty special card. I couldn’t trust it to just anyone,” she said back. “I’ll come back later, if you’d like, after your company leaves.”

“Oh, is that so?” he sneered, “Why don’t you join us?” He opened the door wider.

“Well,” she started, “I still have a lot to do, for the gala, that is.”

He interrupted, walked up to her, put his arms around her shoulders and started walking her into his house. “Granger, Granger, Granger, how many times have I told you, you are a terrible liar.” He put his arms around her waist and kissed her lips slowly. When he finally stopped, he put her arms around his neck, and said, “You're supposed to kiss me back, you know.” Then he bent his head back down, and kissed her again, and this time she was much more receptive. “Come on, come inside,” he said when they parted.

“Draco, you have guests, I don’t want to impose,” she waned.

“No, they’re anxious to get to know you better,” he said sweetly, taking her hand, and leading her outside to the veranda. She was shocked when she saw Draco’s mother and father sitting around a table on the veranda. They both looked older than she remembered, and his father looked like prison had not been kind to him, but on the whole, they were still extremely good-looking, but intimidating looking, figures.

Hermione forgot to breathe for a moment when she saw Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. Her breath felt hitched in her throat. Draco, who by this time was squeezing her hand tightly, leaned into her, and whispered in her ear, “Time to pluck up that Gryffindor courage,” and he kissed her cheek.

Lucius stood from his chair when she entered the veranda. He took the hand that Draco had just released, and put it in his, and brought it to his lips. He kissed her hand, and then still holding it tight, said, “So nice to see you again, Miss Granger, you remember my wife?” Hermione nodded her head curtly to them both, and then sat down in the chair Draco had pulled out for her. When Lucius let go of her hand, she grasped it tightly with her other hand, and started to wring them together slowly. This was awkward, to say the least.

Mrs. Malfoy said, “It’s quite a surprise to see you. Draco told us you wouldn’t be able to join us today. I’m please that you were able to make it. Draco told us you two were getting serious, but we were starting to think he was making the whole thing up. We'd been hearing rumours for weeks that you were dating, but since he had neither confirmed nor denied the stories, we didn’t know what to believe.” Narcissus smiled sweetly, and Hermione smiled back.

Hermione said, “I’m so happy to get reacquainted with both of you as well.” Suddenly, a house elf brought out another place setting for Hermione and a second later, food magically appeared in front of all of them.

Draco leaned over during lunch and said, “Do you like the centerpiece?” The center of the table had a large crystal vase, and had a lovely arrangement of yellow and white daisies. “I picked them out just for you.”

“How did you know I’d come and even see them?” She leaned over and said back to him, adding in low tones, "Your mother said you mentioned that I wasn't going to be able to make it to lunch."

“No, I just told them that on the off chance that you wouldn't come, but in the end,  I knew you'd come. I told you, I know you better than you know yourself.” He grinned and reached over to rest his hand on her knee, where it stayed during the remainder of lunch.

After lunch the group went into Draco’s living room for some wine. Lucius sat next to Hermione on one of the couches, and Draco sat next to his mother on the other. “I’m sorry that my wife and I can’t attend the spring gala. Draco tells us you’ve done a wonderful job with everything this year. We don’t socialize as much as we used to, but I’ll be sending a large donation,” Mr. Malfoy said to Hermione.

Hermione said thank you, and then looked at Draco, with a ‘what the hell’ look. His parents were being nice, and pleasant, and normal…to her, a mudblood. It was all too surreal.

After another hour of normal conversations and a pleasant all around experience, the older couple excused themselves, and told Hermione and Draco goodbye. As soon as they left, Hermione looked at Draco, and said, “That was weird.”

“Why was that weird?” Draco didn’t understand. He thought his parents had been more than cordial.

“They were so nice,” she explained.

“Well, I told them to leave their ‘I hate mudbloods’ t-shirts at home,” Draco said sarcastically.

The thought of his parents in ‘I hate mudbloods’ t-shirts made her giggle. That and the two glasses of wine she had. He was amused by her sudden outburst of giggles, and tickled her slightly under her right rib. She smacked his arm away.

“So, you told them about us?” Hermione asked.

“What gave you that impression? You’re so thick sometimes,” he said with a smirk.

“I’m glad I came here today,” she told him.

“Like I said, I knew you would,” he responded.

“How? How did you really know that I would come?”

“I Owled your office earlier to ask you to come here and they said you left, so I figured you left to find me. I Owled my office and my assistant said that you'd just been there. It was only a matter of time before you came here. The power of deduction. I have a brain inside my beautiful blonde head, you know.” He pinched her again.

“Liar,” she said, flinching.

“What am I lying about now?” he inquired.

“You fired Scott.” She folded her arms.

“First, no I didn’t, he quit, to move on to bigger and better things. Second, I never once said I didn’t lie. It’s one of my best qualities,” Draco said bemused.

He started kissing her face, nibbling on her lips. He opened her mouth, and pressed his tongue inside. It felt good to hold her again, kiss her again. He started walking backwards, still kissing her, until they were in front of a closet, directly off his entryway. He opened the door of the closet, and while still kissing, nibbling, licking, he walked with her into the closet and shut the door. It was pitch black inside.

She pulled away slightly and said is a husky voice, “Why are we in a closet?”

“Because someone might see us kissing.” He kissed her more.

“Who's here in your house that might see us? Your elves?” she inquired. She had her hands on his chest.

“Fine,” he conceded. “It’s always been a fantasy of mine to snog your brains out in a closet. Okay?” He started raining little kisses down her throat, to the hollow between her breast, and his hands were doing the most fantastic things to her lower body.

She said in his ear, right after she bit his earlobe, “What kind of fantasy is that?”

He started to unbutton her blouse, and he put one hand on the underside of her breast, lifting the weight in his palm. He slipped the tips of his fingers inside the cup, and kissed her collarbone. Then, he managed to say, “At Hogwarts, there were plenty of times I wanted to grab your hand, pull you into an abandoned broom closet, and have my way with you.”

She laughed, and said, “You’re an idiot.” Then she moaned. What in the world was he doing to her?

“I’ve been told that very thing at least ten times a day since I’ve started dating you,” he said in response to her idiot comment. He pulled her skirt up so it was bunched at her waist, and he slipped his hand in the back of her knickers, and pressed her hard against his throbbing ache.

“Shall we leave the closet now?” she said between moans. His hands were rubbing the inside of her thighs, her shirt was completely unbuttoned, and he had pushed the material of her bra to the side, so his mouth would have access to one of her rosy-ripe nipples.

“Must…live out…my…fantasy,” he managed to say, while still exploring her body with his mouth.

She pushed his shirt off his shoulders and kissed his neck, chest, and nipples. She ran her hands up and down his spine. She reached inside his waistband, and drew her hand back and forth against his stomach. He flinched. He was either a little ticklish, or very aroused.

“Draco?” she said, and then kissed his chest.

“What?” he answered, and then kissed her stomach. He was down on his knees. How did he have room?

“We could take this upstairs and be more comfortable,” she suggested.

He suddenly stood up and said, “If this is one of your cruel, evil jokes, then I’ll curse you, so help me, I will.” She laughed, pulled down her skirt, and reached for the closet handle. It wouldn’t move.

“Did you lock the door?” she asked, leaning in and kissing his neck.

“No silly, try the handle.” He kissed her neck in return.

“I did, it won’t budge,” she replied. He moved her so he was by the door, for the closet was that small, and he tried the handle and found that she was right - it wouldn’t move.

He turned back to her. “Use your wand,” he suggested, kissing her right breast through the silky material of her bra.

“Where do you suppose I have my wand hidden, silly? It’s in my purse, in your living room.” She leaned down and kissed his chest again. “Use yours.”

“Hermione, to paraphrase an old joke that you yourself used, that’s not a wand in my pocket. I don’t have my wand with me,” he said, and then he sucked on her nipple.

“You had better be kidding, because you’re killing me, and I think if we try to have sex in this closet, it will go as badly as the sex we tried to have in the shower,” she said, putting her hands in his hair and moaning slightly.

He stood back up suddenly, realizing the gravity of the situation and harped, “Well, isn’t that just grand!” He turned and tried the handle again. He jiggled it back and forth. “Damn it all to hell!” He knew they wouldn’t be able to Apparate either, not without their wands.

“Draco, are you playing around, or are we really locked in this stupid closet?” She was no longer aroused.

“Don’t get snippy with me, I’ll get us out,” he responded, putting his hand through his hair.

“Don’t tell me not to get snippy!” she said snidely. “It’s your fault we’re locked in here.”

He turned to face her, kissed her very hard on her swollen, red lips, and said, “Why must you always place blame? Now shut up and let me think.” He turned back around, and started buttoning his shirt.

“Draco Malfoy!” Hermione hissed, “don’t tell me to shut up. I can talk if I want to talk!” She pushed in front of him, and tried the handle again; all the while she was straightening her clothing.

“It won’t open.” He leaned his head over her shoulder and said in her ear.

“I know!” she said.

“I have an idea,” Draco said, “why don’t you write the door a note, and maybe it’ll open then. You’re good at notes.”

She whipped around, grabbed his shoulders and said, “Why don’t you wait until it’s asleep, and ask it to open then?” Then she pushed him, but they were in such a small space, that he only moved a bit.

He grabbed her shoulders and said, “Will you please just shut up a moment so I can think?”

Hermione seethed, “You need me to be quiet to think? Why? It’s pretty empty up there.” She pointed to his head. “You should be able to think and listen at the same time.”

“Granger! Seriously, I am getting claustrophobic!” He moved her behind him and tried the door handle again.

“Then you shouldn’t have accosted me, and dragged me to a closet,” Hermione shouted, reaching around him and trying the door handle herself.

He faced her, put his hands on her shoulders and said, “Get us out of here! Please! Save me! I don't think I can breath in here!”

“What do you want me to do?” she asked. Then she thought of something, “Call one of your house elves, they can get us out.”

“Don’t you think it’s too crowded in here already?” he squeaked.

She hit his forehead with the flat on her palm. “Think for just a minute, please,” she requested.

Of course, the elf could Apparate outside the closet, and then let them out. He really didn’t think of that. Hermione Granger was a genius! He kissed her hard on the lips again and then called one of his elves, and it appeared outside the door.

“Where are you, Master Malfoy?” the little elf asked.

“We’re locked in this closet. Listen Mimi; try to get this door open. Use magic if you have to, and if you still can’t get it, then go upstairs and get my wand and pass it to me under the door.” He leaned down to talk through the crack. While he was leaning down, Hermione pinched his bum.

He turned around fast and seethed, “Now is not the time or place!”

She rolled her eyes, but since it was so dark in the closet he didn’t see. “It’s just since I know we aren’t going to be locked in here forever, and that freedom is imminent, I suddenly think it’s kind of exhilarating being in here,” she explained.

Draco pulled her to him, kissed her languidly on her lips, and said, “Your good girl act is just that, an act isn’t it, you tart,” and he kissed her again. The elf decided at that moment to open the door. Draco patted the elf’s head, in thanks, and started running with Hermione’s hand in his, toward the stairs.

“Miss Granger received an Owl while you were in the closet,” the elf said. Hermione pulled her hand out of Draco’s grasp, and reached down for the note.

She opened it, turned to Draco and said, “I have to get back to work. I'm sorry, Draco, but it’s sort of urgent. It's about the gala.”

“NOOOO!” he whined and stomped his foot like a five year old.

She pulled him to her, kissed his mouth and said, “Only a two more days, and then I'll be completely at your disposal.”

Draco pulled her up against his body again. “Don’t leave me again, all hot and bothered and hard as a rock. Please, appease me,” he begged and started kissing her again. He ran his hands up and down her body. She pushed him away slightly.

“Draco, it’s really important, I have to go,” she implored and ran and got her purse, and glanced back at him again.

He did look slightly bothered as he stated, “Only you would get us locked in a closet.”

She laughed and kissed his cheek, then reached down and felt his hard manhood. “Sorry, Malfoy, but you locked us in the closet. I’ll see you both tonight, okay?” she said, and then she winked.

He pulled her hand from his groin, winced for a moment, and said, “Not tonight. I won’t wait until tonight! Directly after work, promise me!” He pulled her by her arm, and kissed her again. “After work; promise me you’ll see me after work.”

“I promise,” she said, and she meant it. She Disapparated away, but she didn’t go back to work, however. The Owl was sent by an employee at Flourish and Blotts. She had ordered something earlier that day, and they had just received it, and she was going to go pick it up. It was something she wanted to give to Draco on the night of the gala.

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