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Hermione held the owl post in her hand and frowned. A myriad of memories flooded her mind at the sight of the distinct flourishing handwriting that spelled out her name.
Draco Malfoy pulled her into a passionate embrace. Draco whispered into her ear for her to meet him by the lake. She’d waited for over two hours for him, but he never appeared. The next week had been filled with an endless shift between her worrying about him to her berating herself for even letting the ferret confuse her into thinking he’d been attracted to her.
Hermione stared down at the parchment that had been inadvertently crumbled in her fist while she’d escaped to the past. She frowned at it. She had every right to just throw the blasted thing into the fireplace and watch it burn to ashes. Unfortunately, something was holding her back. She unwrinkled the parchment and opened it. She read the letter quickly, then read it again.
I’m sorry I disappeared. I can explain everything. Meet me at the Leaky Cauldron at seven tonight.
Even with reading it through three times, she still couldn’t believe it. Draco Malfoy had contacted her after a year of silence. Anger coursed through her. Two could play at that game.
Grabbing a quill, she quickly scribbled a note to him saying she’d meet him. She attached it to the leg of her owl and sent him away. Draco Malfoy would be waiting for a very long time before Hermione saw it fit to meet him anywhere. She crossed her arms in front of her and huffed as she stalked to her bedroom and slammed the door behind her.
Seven o’clock came and went. Hermione paced in her bedroom. Eight o’clock passed with her still pacing. Nine o’clock came, and Hermione got sick of her pacing. She stormed into her sitting room, grabbed a book, and flounced onto the sofa. She cracked the book open and stared at the writing. The words could have been written in a different language for all that Hermione absorbed.
“Stupid man. Why is it that I’m the one who stood him up, yet I can get no peace?”
At that moment there was a loud knock at her door. Hermione looked at it in fear. Could it be? Could Draco be on the other side of her door? Please, please, don’t let it be him!
She rose slowly. It seemed to take forever to get to the door. Every footfall seemed to be weighed down. She struggled, but finally held the doorknob in her hand. She paused before throwing caution to the wind and opening the door. There he was, in all his ferrety splendor. His grey eyes pierced her to the core.
“Don’t slam the door in my face, Hermione,” he demanded.
Hermione frowned. “Why shouldn’t I, Draco?” she said through gritted teeth.
“You had every right to stand me up.” His hand flew to the door. “Please, I can explain everything.”
“Who says I want to hear it? Shouldn’t this so called explanation have been given a year ago?”
Draco looked to the ground. “That would have been the preferable course, yes. I was unable to, love.”
Hermione straightened and glared at him. “Do not ever presume to call me love, you no-good waste of a Malfoy.”
Draco smirked at her. “I always love it when you get haughty, Granger.”
Hermione made to slam the door, but Draco’s hand stopped her. “Look, Granger, just let me talk. I’ll tell you my side of the story, then you can decide whether I call you love or not.”
Hermione growled at him, but stepped aside. He swept past her in a show that would rival his father’s entrances. Hermione felt a pang within her as the smell of his cologne filled her nostrils. He smelled so incredibly sexy. She banished such thoughts. She was angry with this blonde god that had just re-entered her life.
Draco turned, and all the coyness left his face. “I was accosted by my father ten minutes before I was to meet you. He found out about us, Hermione. He wouldn’t let me meet you.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “And it took you a year to come up with that? For goodness sake, Draco, where’s all that Slytherin guile I keep hearing about? Surely, you can come up with something better than that!”
“He punished me by banishing me to his castle in Romania. I was unable to leave the home for all of this time. I couldn’t contact anyone. My father felt that being banished would help me to forget you.” Draco grabbed Hermione by her shoulders. “He was wrong… incredibly wrong. He was enraged when he visited me yesterday. He’s disowned me, Hermione. He says that if I love a Mudblood, there’s no place in the Malfoy family for me.”
Hermione saw the truth in his eyes. She gasped as the realization of what he’d just lost hit her. “Draco, you can’t do this.”
“Hermione, I love you. I don’t care about the Malfoy money, or the Malfoy status, or the sodding Malfoy name! I have had a hidden account at Gringotts since I came of age. I have enough money in it to live happily for a long time. Do you know what would make me happy, Hermione?”
Hermione looked into Draco’s eyes. She felt herself being drawn into them. He always had a way of mesmerizing her. She tried to shake her head, but it barely moved.
“If you would tell me that you love me and will never leave me.”
“You’re the one who left me.”
“I will never leave you again if you’ll only say you want me to stay.”
Hermione’s breath became ragged. “Yes,” she whispered. “I want you to stay. I never want you to leave.”
Draco smiled. He pulled her to him. “I thought you’d never ask, Granger,” he said smugly before his lips came down onto hers. Hermione’s heart soared as she felt herself falling into a place where she’d longed to be for what seemed to be an eternity.
Prompt by LuciannaMalfoy: Hermione gets an owl/floo call from someone who stood her up a year ago. What does she do? Can be either SS, LM, DM, or HP. No RW please!
Thanks to Maggie for the name of this fic and her help at the end. Thanks, Lisa, for looking this over.
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The Patronus skin was created especially for The Petulant Poetess by TarahFae.