A Change of Heart

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Chapter 9: The Mistake:

Hermione felt numb. She locked the door that adjoined their rooms with magic. Then she sat with her back against it and started to cry. She could hear Draco on the other side of the door, calling her name. She couldn’t get the picture of him and Pansy out of her mind. How could he make love to her, and then turn right around and do that with Pansy. Sex wasn’t just sex, not to Hermione. Did he even care about her at all?

He seemed genuinely shocked that he was caught in the act. Of course, he was going to be caught! He left the door between their rooms ajar, and he had called her name. She continued to rock back and forth, crying. He was still on the other side of the door, calling her name.

Draco sat on the other side of the door, with his hand on the door, calling for Hermione to please let him in the door. Pansy had already left. She did what she intended. She wanted Draco to think she was Hermione, and she wanted Hermione to think Draco knew what was happening. How did everything turn out so wrong? The look in Hermione’s eyes was one he would never forget, his entire life. He thought it was she in his bed. However, how could he possibly tell her that? She would never believe that. Not in a million years. Fate was so cruel, to give him someone like her and then to come and snatch her away again.

She had fallen asleep, curled up in a ball by the door. Hermione stood up. It was morning. She knew he had fallen asleep as well, for she heard him softly snoring. She hated Draco Malfoy. She hoped he would rot in hell. She went into the bathroom, showered, and then dressed. She would leave the hotel before he did. She didn’t want to see him. Ever. That would be difficult. She would have to see him, because of her job. She didn’t want to quit her job, not because of him. Seriously, she would never forgive him.

Draco finally woke up. The events of the evening flooded his mind. He had the best night of his life with her last night, which ended with them making love, (the best sex he had ever had). Then, it all came crashing down. He stood up and put his ear back to the door. He wondered if she was awake yet. He knew she had fallen asleep by the door. He stayed awake until he heard her tears finally cease. He went to the bathroom. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. He had never felt self-loathing before. However, he felt it now. He hated himself, probably as much as she hated him. He rubbed his hands over his face. He opened the shower curtain. He needed to wash Pansy off him. As he opened the curtain, he saw “the book” suspended magically, bounded by a gold ribbon, hanging from the showerhead. There was a note attached.

The note read:

This is your payment for our wonderful ‘date’ last night.
Thanks for everything. Thanks for showing me that sex is not
Just sex. Even if you can’t say it outright to me, I want to let
You know that I really do love you. I’ll see you in the morning.
I look forward to earning this book back, Mister!

Love, your Hermione.

p.s. You can’t beat me! I will win the war of the book. I am the champion!

Hermione was the champion. She was the best, and nothing, nothing, would ever change that. Also, she said that she loved him.

He took the book down from its magical cord. He put it to his chest, as if it was the most precious thing in the world. He knew just what to do. But, before he could execute his plan for the book, he needed to desperately clean his conscious and his soul, so he could win her heart once again. He got in the shower and turned the water on as hot as he could.

Hermione walked down the hall, toward the lobby. She intended to get in her car and drive directly back to London. Things weren’t as bad as they seemed. She had no claim over Malfoy. He could have sex with as many people as he wanted. She cringed when she thought about what she wrote on her note, which she attached to the book last night. She told him that she loved him in that note. Last night, she had entered his room after her shower, and after he was asleep. That’s when she put the book in his shower. The stupid note! She proclaimed her love for him in that stupid note! And he had sex with Pansy right after. He said sex with Pansy didn’t mean anything. And he practically declared his love for Hermione yesterday. She didn’t imagine all of that. He was a bit drunk. Maybe he didn’t mean to do anything with Pansy.

She was more confused than ever - and why was she giving him excuses? There was no excuse for what he did, was there?

All the men in her life let her down at one time or another. When she was going out with Ron, he had a fling with one of his co-workers. Like Malfoy, he told her it was just sex and didn’t mean anything.

Her father went and married that slag Bernice, and only a year after her mum died. And he wanted Hermione to deny her birthright, and pretend she was a Muggle, so not to embarrass him.

Then there was Malfoy. She had fallen so fast and so hard for him. That was her fault, not his. He had made her no promises. She laughed at the irony that they had never really even gone out on a ‘real date’.

She was going to get in her car, and leave this place immediately, and forget the last 24 hours ever happened. How in the world was she going to face him? How could she work side by side with him on the “Spring Fling”, with the knowledge of everything that had transpired between them?

She was in the car park, looking for her car, when she spotted Draco Malfoy leaning up against the hood of her car. He didn’t look angry. He didn’t look sad. If anything, Hermione would classify his look as “apathetic”. She came up to him and looked closely at his face. She looked in his cold, grey eyes. He had no expression, so she tried to have no expression. He didn’t say a word, so she remained quiet as well. She walked around to the driver’s side, and opened the door. He came up behind her and slammed it shut. She turned to face him, but still didn’t say a word. She turned back around and opened the door the second time. He again put both hands on the window, and slammed it shut. After the third try, and the third slam, she turned to face him with narrow eyes. She withdrew her wand, but he was quicker. He disarmed her. He took her wand, and put it in his pocket.

Hermione was very upset now, but tried to remain cool and collected. She walked over to the passenger side, and tried to open that door. He came up behind her and picked her up by the waist, and deposited her a few steps away. Then, he opened the door, on the passenger side, and he slipped in and sat down. Where did he think he was going?

She opened that door, but he pulled it shut. This was getting old. She opened it one more time; she was going to pull him out of her car by his hair. This time, he grabbed her arm and wouldn’t let go. She slipped out of his grasp, and he grabbed the closest thing he could, which was the hem of her skirt. He then pulled the door shut, locked it, and the whole time her skirt was stuck in the door. He smirked. She hated his smirk.

Let her try to get away now, he thought. She was smarter than he was, though. He always underestimated her. She took her coat off, unzipped her skirt, and shimmed out of the damn thing, and left it hanging out of the car door. She just had on her knickers, stocking, and blouse. He looked at her, and said, “Are you serious?” She gave him a rude hand gestured, and picked her coat back up and slipped it over her shoulders, and buttoned it all the way down, to cover her body.

He sat in her car, contemplating his next move. She was smart, he would give her that. He lifted his head to look at her, and she was sitting on the hood of the car. Her back was to him. She looked defeated. He opened the car door, and slowly walked around to her. He handed her the skirt.

He sat on the car hood next to her. Should he say all the things he wanted to say? Would she be receptive, and listen? He was going to take the chance.

“Hermione?” he said.

She turned to look at him.

“Please forgive me. I was an idiot. I really didn’t know it was she. I had just made love to you, not sex, made love, and I was in a dead sleep, and she crawled into my bed, and when I woke up, the first thing I thought was that it was you. She didn’t speak the whole time. It all happened so fast. I even called out your name. I swear, I thought it was you.”

She walked away from him, and got in her car. She threw the skirt in the backseat. She just sat there. So did Draco. He sat on the hood, and didn’t turn around once to look at her. He didn’t know what to do. He was knocked out of his stupor, when she honked the horn. He jumped off the hood and whipped around to look at her. She leaned over and opened the passenger side door. He didn’t smile, even though he wanted to. Just because she was going to let him in her car, didn’t mean she forgave him. He walked around to the car and slipped in.

She started the engine, then turned to him, and said, “Put on your seatbelt.”

He did. She backed out of the space, and started down the road. He kept sneaking peeks at her. They had been in the car about ten minutes, when she said, “Now you need to listen to me, because I listened to you. I really do believe you. I do. But, that doesn’t mean everything is okay between us. I need some time to think about things. We need to get along, because of our professional relationship, but as far as our personal relationship goes, well, we’ll just have to see.”

She suddenly pulled to the side of the road, and stopped the car. “We didn’t even start this dating thing out normal. We started all backwards. We felt things too fast and too extreme. We need to slow down. Go about things at a normal pace. Figure out what we really feel for each other. If you can agree to that, we can start over fresh.”

She was amazing. He really thought she was amazing. She wasn’t going to torture him. She accepted what he said, and forgave him. The thing was, though, he didn’t want to start back at the beginning. He already knew what he wanted out of this relationship. But, it was a little thing in which to concede.

“I want us to have something real, Hermione. I won’t compromise what I feel for you, but I’m willing to do what you ask for now,” he said. She nodded.

“Let’s get back. I have a lot of work to do, and I’m sure you do as well,” she said, as she started the car.

“Hermione, if we’re going to start this relationship anew, then may I ask you out on a date for tonight?” he asked, tentatively.

She smiled slightly and said, “I don’t sleep with men on the first date.”

“That’s all right. That’s what Pansy’s for,” he joked. She glared at him. Okay, too soon to make jokes about the whole thing. “Remember, you said you liked my irritating sense of humour,” he reminded her.

She fumed for a moment, but then said, “I’ve decided I don’t like your sense of humour, not one bit. Furthermore, I would like to accept your offer for a date, Mr. Malfoy, but I’ll tell you something, I’m not a cheap date. You better be prepared to do something pretty spectacular.”

Oh, he had something special planned indeed.

They drove the rest of the way home in silence. Hermione pulled her car into her driveway. She looked over at Draco, and said, “I’m taking the day off, but I’ll have my assistant schedule a meeting with you for Monday, and I’ll give you the final details for the gala.”

“Fine, fine,” he answered, “that takes care of the professional side. Now, for the personal side, I’ll pick you up here tonight at 7:52, okay?” he said, getting out of her car. Her brows knitted together in confusion when she thought, ‘7:52’?

She got out of the car as well, and said, just to be difficult, “Can we make it 7:48, instead?”

He laughed and said, “You have to be in control of everything, don’t you. I’ll see you at 7:48.” He leaned over and kissed her cheek. She started in her house, and turned back to look at him. He had not yet Apparated away. She dropped her purse and satchel, and ran up to him and threw her arms around him. She hugged him close. He put his arms around her as well, in shock.

She whispered in his ear, “If you have sex with Pansy Parkinson again, I’ll cut off your testicles and stuff them up your arse.” She leaned away from him and smiled sweetly. He watched her enter her house, and looked down at his trousers. She scared him sometimes. She really did.

Hermione entered her back door and started toward her living room. She was shocked beyond belief at what greeted her. The room was filled with hundreds, or possibly thousands, of daisies. They filled the room with their sweet fragrance. She could barely walk through a path. She walked up to one and twirled it in her fingers. She went up her stairs, and was greeted with more and more daisies. She walked in her bedroom, where there were no daisies, not even one. In here, however, on the middle of her bed, wrapped in a big read bow, was “Hogwarts, a History”. She slipped off the bow, and opened the front cover. An envelope fell out. She opened the envelope, and a piece of paper flew out. It flew around her head, like a butterfly. It finally landed on her knee. She opened the paper, and on it were the words: “I love you.” She grinned so large that she thought her face might crack. She fell back on her bed, opened the book again and started reading. He loved her! She might just keep the damn book after all.

Around 5:00 pm, Hermione decided she should get ready for her date. She had been reading her book (that’s what she now felt it was…her book), for seven hours straight. She closed the book, and had almost made it to her shower, when there was a knock on her door. She ran downstairs, and her dad was standing on the threshold. She opened the door for him. He saw all the flowers and asked, “What’s going on with all the daisies?”

“Don’t ask. What are you doing here?” she asked back.

“I’ve been trying to get a hold of your since yesterday,” her father explained. “I really need a big favour from you. I need you to come over tonight, and have dinner with Bernice and me. She has been under some assumption that I’m ashamed of her, and she thinks I don’t want you two to have anything to do with each other.”

Hermione couldn’t believe what he was asking. He didn’t want them to have anything to do with each other! "Did you tell her you were ashamed of me, not her?” Hermione said with disdain.

“Sweetheart, I’m not ashamed of you. It’s just the whole magic thing is a lot to take, you know,” he said. “Please, do this for your dear old dad.”

“I have a date tonight,” she said truthfully.

“You can bring him along. I’ll see you at 7:00. I have to run. Bernice will be so pleased,” her father said, hugging her. As he was leaving, he grabbed a handful of the flowers and said, “I’ll just give her a few of these.” Damn him for giving her flowers to that woman!

She didn’t want to cancel her date, and she would never in a million years ask Draco to go to her dad’s house with her. There was no choice however, he was her dad. She would have to cancel.

She decided to send a message. She didn’t want to tell him in person. She sent a message by her owl, Aries. She kept the message short and sweet. “Sorry, have to reschedule. Have to go to my dad’s tonight.”

She got in the shower, and while she was standing under the steamy water, with soap all over, suddenly her shower curtain was pulled back, and there was Draco Malfoy in the flesh. She wiped her eyes, and tried to cover her body.

“GET OUT OF HERE!” she yelled.

“Oh shove it, Granger. I’ve had my lips on most of your bits, so it’s not that big of a deal for me to see them. Why did you cancel?” Draco asked.

Hermione was still trying to cover herself. She reached for her towel, and turned off the water. She wrapped her soapy body in her towel, and asked, “How did you get in here?”

“The same way I got in here this morning to deliver the flowers and the book,” he said dramatically.

“Which was how?” she asked again.

“I’m doing the asking around here!” he demanded. “Why are you canceling our date? If you’re still angry, just tell me outright.”

“You‘re an idiot! If I was still angry, you’d know. My dad twisted my arm and made me feel all guilty. I told him I had a date, but all he said was, bring him along. I’m sorry. We can reschedule for tomorrow.” She shut the shower curtain, threw the towel on the floor, and turned on the water.

Did she think this was over? He opened the shower curtain again, and she said, “What now?”

“If I was invited to come along, then come along I shall. What time?” he inquired with his hands on his hips.

Were they seriously having this conversation right now? She really thought he had a very thin grip on reality. She took her showerhead down from its holder, and pointed it directly at him, and sprayed him with water. He put his hands in front of him, which only caused the water to splash all over the room.

“Damn Granger, turn that thing off!” He stepped into the shower to grab the showerhead from her. They were both soaking wet. He turned off the water, and turned to face her. She had the shower curtain around her form, and just the look of him, soaking wet, still completely in his clothes, standing in her shower, made her laugh for all it was worth. She couldn’t stop laughing. The more she laughed the funnier he looked, because he was becoming angrier.

There’s a point where a person cannot become any wetter than they were, but Draco Malfoy did not worry that point. He turned the water back on and pointed the showerhead right at Hermione’s face. She dropped the curtain from around her and tried to block the water, in a feeble attempt. He dropped the hose and tried to get out of the shower, but he slipped on the wet floor and ended up on his back. On her floor. In the water. All he could think was - Help him please. He was sure that his pride had drowned!

She turned the water off again, and looked down at him. “Are you hurt?”

“I’m perfectly fine,” he said, lying on his back, in the middle of her bathroom, in a puddle of water. He crossed his arms over his chest, in an attempt to look dignified, which only made him look more ridiculous. Hermione had the gull to shut the shower curtain, and continue her shower.

He was mortified. He had never been this humiliated, and that included the time he was turned into a ferret. She finished her shower, and stepped over him. She looked down at him before she left the room, laughed again, and said, “Be a dear, Draco, and clean up this mess before you leave.”

When she came out of her bedroom, dried and dressed, she thought Malfoy had left. Her bathroom was put right, at least. She turned to walk down the stairs, and he appeared out of nowhere and pushed her up against the wall.

“Granger,” he said with a menacing tone.

“Malfoy,” she answered.

“I’m coming with you, tonight,” he stated.

“Are you, now?” she teased.

“I dried your bathroom,” he said, leaning closer.

“I saw that. Thank you.” She smiled.

He leaned even closer and put his cheek next to hers. He said in her ear, “Did you like your flowers?”

“Very much,” she whispered back.

He kissed her neck. A small, feathery, light kiss. “Did you like your book?” He licked her pulse point.

“It was okay,” she answered, grasping his upper arms for support.

His hand slid down her body. It rested on the rib cage, near her breast. He was still kissing her neck and jaw.

“Malfoy?” she said, though it was hard to speak.

“Yes?” he said through his kisses.

“This isn’t exactly what I would call taking things slow,” she said, as her knees faltered. He reached around her, to keep her upright.

He looked at her and said, “Did I agree to take it slow? I don’t recall signing off on those terms.” He put his hand on her breast, and started to touch it softly, back and forth.

“You’re killing me, you know that, right?” she said, closing her eyes. He kissed her long on the mouth.

“I hope it won’t be a painful death,” he said, as he released her. She had to literally shake her head, to come back to her senses. He grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s go to your dad’s house. Where is it?”

She grabbed him back, and instead of answering, she Apparated them directly in front of her dad’s back door.

He hit her arm so hard with his open hand that she cried out. “I will say this only one more time! DON’T APPARATE WITH ME ANYWHERE EVER AGAIN!”

Hermione wrinkled her nose at Malfoy, and said, “You’re such a big baby.”
She walked in the door, and said, “Dad, I’m here.”

Dinner was a nightmare. Bernice was a nightmare. She flirted with Draco all night. She insulted Hermione every chance she got, and she put Hermione’s father down every other second. He could do nothing right, apparently. Hermione had enough! At one point, she walked into the downstairs bathroom, put a silencing charm on the door, and screamed at the top of her lungs. When she stepped out of the bathroom, Draco was there. She fell into his arms. He said, “She just pinched my bum. I really think you should hex her, Granger. Defend my honour.”

She looked up at him, thinking he would be smiling at the joke he just made, but he looked serious. “We could modify her memory,” he suggested. “She’s a right piece of work.” Hermione laughed at him.

“Let’s just tell my dad goodbye and get out of here,” Hermione suggested, and that was what they did.

They had to leave by the front door. Hermione went to take Malfoy’s arm, but he ran away from her. “I don’t trust you. You want to Apparate somewhere with me,” he whined. She laughed at him. He was such an idiot sometimes. It occurred to her that she thought that about him frequently, but it wasn’t without merit.

“Come here. We can walk to a pub around the corner, and get something to drink. I think I need a drink,” she said. He walked beside her, but still far enough away, in case she was lying.

Several blocks away, they finally reached the pub, but it wasn’t as Hermione remembered. She frowned and said, “Maybe we should go somewhere else.”

“No, this place looks nice,” he said.

“I don’t think we should go in there,” she said slowly.

“Come on.” He grabbed her hand and went inside.

Hermione knew immediately what type of bar this had become. Draco, however, seemed completely oblivious, which amused her to no end. He took her to a table and sat down. A waiter in tight jeans and no shirt came up and said, “Hi, beautiful. What can I get you to drink?” Hermione tried to hide her snicker.

The man was talking to Draco. Draco, however, had yet to notice. Hermione finally said, “We’ll have two beers, please.”

Draco leaned toward her and said, “How presumptuous, to call you ‘beautiful’ right in front of me.” She smiled and nodded in agreement.

The waiter brought their drinks, which Hermione paid for, and Draco finally said, “There certainly are a lot of chaps in here. You might be the only female.”

“You don’t say,” Hermione answered indolently. She took a long swig of beer. If he didn’t notice soon, she was going to bust a gut laughing.

A very good-looking man came up and sat down next to them. He smiled at Draco and said, “What’s your name, sweetheart?” Draco’s eyes became wide and he looked over at Hermione, who was hiding a grin behind her hand. The man put his hand on Draco’s knee.

Hermione said to Draco, “Don’t be so shy.” Then she turned to the good-looking man and said, “My brother has just recently come out, and he’s never been to one of these bars before. That’s why I’m here for support. His name is Derek.” Draco kicked her under the table. It was worth the pain she felt in her shin. The man sidled closer, and put his arm around Draco.

“Listen to sis, and don’t be shy, Derek,” the man said. “Everyone has a hard time, when they first come out.”

“What the hell!” Draco said loudly. “What is ‘coming out’, Granger?” he yelled at her. She was laughing so hard now that her head was on the table.

The man stood up and grabbed Draco by the hand. “Let’s dance, darling,” the man said. Hermione looked up and laughed so hard that the top of her head hurt.

Draco was in the man’s arms and looked about ready to curse the whole room. He pushed the man away, and started toward the table. Hermione was wiping the tears from her eyes. Before he could reach the table, another man came up to Draco and whispered something in his ear. Draco looked at the man in shock, and pulled out his wand. This wasn’t funny anymore. Hermione rushed up to him, grab his wand, put it in her purse, and ran out of the place, still holding his hand.

When they reached the sidewalk, Hermione fell against the building, laughing hysterically. “DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT BLOKE SAID TO ME?” he yelled at her. “DO YOU THINK THIS IS BLOODY FUNNY?”

She shook her head yes. She started running down the street, and he ran after her. He caught her and turned her around. He was going to give her a thorough thrashing, but when he turned her around, the moonlight was dancing off her skin, and it appeared almost translucent. Her eyes were dancing in delight, from her laughter. She looked so pretty. He wanted to yell at her, but hell, if he could give her just a little bit of joy, even if he had to suffer terrible humiliation, then he would do it for her. He just realized this was one of the things people did for the people that they loved. If he had to suffer in a gay bar to bring her joy, he would.

He put her hand in his and they walked on down the street.

“What did that man say to you?” she asked shyly.

“Something about my pretty lips, but I can’t say anymore,” he said, as his face turned red.

“You do have pretty lips,” she agreed, “In fact, your whole face is pretty. You were the most popular man in that whole bar. They all wanted to take you home.” She was trying to give him words of encouragement, but it made him quiver a bit.

“You are truly evil sometimes,” he said to her. Then he smiled and said, “I like that in a person.”

She put her head on his shoulder and announced, “I’m so tired. I need to go home to bed. Take me home.” He Apparated her directly to her house.

“I don’t know what you keep complaining about; side-along Apparition isn’t that bad,” she said with a yawn.

“Go to bed, Granger. I’ll see you tomorrow. We’ll talk about the Gala and reschedule our date.” He kissed her lips sweetly. She started up her stairs.

She turned around and said, “Are you going home?”

He laughed and said, “I think I’ll check out that bar again. That first fellow was awfully good looking.” He waved at her and shut the door. He walked down her sidewalk, and turned to look at her house. He shook his head, and said, “She is pure evil, that one. I’ll have to keep on my toes with her.” He walked away, whistling.

She looked down at him, from her bedroom window. He was whistling. Stupid wanker. She smiled and fell on her bed. The book was still there. She opened it and decided she wasn’t that tired. She could read another chapter or two.

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