She found herself staring into those seemingly endless gray orbs that were Draco's eyes. And then he was inching closer, closer, until their lips were just millimeters away. It was happening, this was happening, and then...she suddenly broke away. She stood up hastily, and, after taking one last glance at his eyes, which were now filled with confusion and hurt, she turned and ran.
The door slammed shut behind Hermione, and Draco was left with himself and his confusion and hurt. He had always hated that feeling of being alone with nothing but his emotions.
The truth was, he wasn't even mad at Hermione. He was hurt. They had gotten so close to finally coming together, but it seemed like the Gryffindor bookworm just couldn't hold on. And it really hurt him to think about.
Was he that bad that she had to go and run away just when they got close? He remembered what Blaise had said the night before--that he was that bad to her. And it stung like a thousand bee stings.
And if he was honest, he had started to develop feelings for the know-it-all over the last year or so. She was brilliant, brave, confident, proud (sometimes annoyingly so), beautiful, but most of all, passionate and kind. And that was exactly what he had written on the paper McGonagall had given him. That was all he wanted in a woman. Now he realized that Hermione fit that description perfectly.
The first time he realized his feelings for her was the first time he'd met her. She had opened the door to his compartment, where he was sitting with Crabbe and Goyle. "Have any of you seen a toad? A boy name Neville's lost one."
Draco had been speechless. She was quite pretty, even though she had bushy hair and large front teeth, and she seemed nice. The problem was...she didn't seem like she'd been in Slytherin, and his parents had strictly forbidden friendships with non-Slytherin classmates.
Well, maybe he was wrong. Hopefully he was wrong. "No, we haven't," he said, trying not to sound unkind but not too friendly either. Hermione had shrugged and turned to leave. "Wait," Draco had called. "What's your name?"
"Hermione Granger. And yours?"
"Draco. Draco Malfoy." She had smiled, showing her large front teeth, but it was a pretty smile that had left Draco speechless once more. Then she had turned and shut the door.
But Draco and Hermione had never continued what seemed like a potentially good friendship. This was because Draco had found out that she hung out with "Potty and Weasel," and he'd found out that she was a Muggleborn, or as he used to say, Mudblood.
But he had changed, and Hermione now knew that. That information didn't seem to have done anything to change how Hermione saw him, though. She had just run away from him. He wished more than anything at that moment that she would come back, hug him, even let him kiss her like he had been about to. He sighed and left the Room to go take a shower.
Hermione was confused. VERY confused. She had just been about to kiss DRACO BLOODY MALFOY, and then she chickened out. It was odd, he had been very kind, comforting her, and she had wanted to kiss him...But she felt guilty. He had mocked Harry and Ron and many of her other friends. But then again, he had obviously changed. UGH, it was all so CONFUSING. She was supposed to be the brightest witch of her age, but she couldn't even figure this out!
She wasn't watching where she was going, so she bumped into someone. She looked up and saw Ginny.
"Hey, 'Mione! I was just looking for you! How'd it go?" Ginny exclaimed ecstatically. Hermione made a nervous face and took Ginny's hand.
"Come on, let's go back to our common room. We need to have a girl talk." They speedwalked in silence all the way to their common room. Once there, Hermione sat Ginny down and took a deep breath.
"Okay, so what happened?" Ginny arched her brow.
"Well, let's just say that I really hurt his feelings with some stuff I said before when we kinda sorta had a screaming match."
"Oh no, what did you say?"
"Some, um, Death Eater-related things." Ginny facepalmed.
"I know, I know!" Hermione said. "Anyway, he was crying. Yes, Ginny, Draco Malfoy, crying. In the Room of Requirement. So I went up to him and kind of patted his back."
"Ooh!" Ginny squealed.
"Be quiet, Ginny! Anyway, I did that, and then he stood up and asked why I was there. And I apologized and said that I was just sick of being treated like a Mudblood." She stopped.
"And?" Ginny coaxed.
"And then he said that blood status didn't matter to him anymore." Ginny's expression was one of shock.
"He really has changed," she marveled. Hermione nodded.
"Then I felt really guilty and started crying, so he came over and hugged me, and then I looked up into his eyes--and--and he tried to--to--"
"To what?" Ginny said eagerly.
"He tried to kiss me."
"WHAT?" Ginny shouted.
"Ginny!" Hermione hissed.
"But Hermione, that's amazing! So what did you do?"
"I ran away," Hermione admitted, trying to avoid eye contact.
"You WHAT?" Ginny yelled. Hermione shushed her again.
"I just got nervous! I've never really kissed anyone. I mean, no offense, but kissing Ron wasn't very...romantic."
"Yes, well that makes perfect sense," Ginny agreed. "But still! You shouldn't have--"
Suddenly the "Potters" door burst open, and out came Harry and Ron.
"What's going on?" Harry asked.
"We heard yelling," Ron panted.
"Oh, hi, guys," Hermione said nervously.
"Er--is something wrong?" Harry said.
"Oh--erm--no," Hermione lied.
"'Mione, you know we can tell when you're lying. We're not gits," Ron said, rolling his eyes.
"Um...maybe not Harry..." Ginny joked. Ron glared at her.
"Anyway..." Harry interrupted. "What happened?"
"Well--" Ginny began.
"No, don't!" Hermione warned.
"Hermione, we know there's something you're not telling us," Harry said.
"Just tell them," Ginny whispered.
"Fine. I--I almost kissed Draco," Hermione mumbled.
"WHAT? YOU DID WHAT?" Ron bellowed.
"I almost kissed Draco!"
"Since when do you refer to him as DRACO?" Harry said, making a face.
"Guys, he's changed!" Hermione insisted.
"OH, REALLY! HERMIONE, HE'S A BLOODY PRAT. A BLOODY DEATH EATER," Ron reminded her, his face reddening.
"WAS a Death Eater. But he's different now. Blood status and all don't matter to him anymore. He comforted me!" Hermione said.
"You kissed him?" Harry said incredulously.
"Almost kissed him," Hermione muttered. There was silence. Then--
"I'm going to find that git, and I'm going to give him a piece of me!" Ron ran out the door before Hermione could stop him. She gave Harry a pleading look, but he ignored her and followed after Ron. Hermione knew that before the day ended, all of Hogwarts would know that she and Draco Malfoy had almost kissed.