Chapter 11

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*Draco's POV*

As I resurfaced from the slightly unpleasant experience of Apparation, I felt the hot sun on my face. I was stood outside a quaint stone cottage on a beach, overlooking sparkling turquoise waters. I guessed by the style of the house that Potter had let Weasley choose where they lived as it wasn't particularly masculine. I smirked slightly in memory of old grudges before remembering the task in hand and feeling my stomach drop. I marched determinedly up to the duck egg blue front door and banged the black door knock against the firm wood of the door. After I stepped back, I counted five seconds before the door was opened by Potter. On seeing me, his eyes narrowed and his face screwed up in anger.

"You!" He spat, venom rolling off his tongue, "What the hell do you think you're doing here, Malfoy?"

"I need to talk to Hermione," I mumbled at the floor, feeling the glare of his eyes on my head.

"Hell will freeze before I let you anywhere near Hermione. Do you realise how much you hurt her and now you suddenly turn up demanding to talk to her? You're pathetic."

"Harry, what's going on? Who's there?" Came a heart wrenchingly familiar voice from down the corridor. It was so filled with the innocence and tenderness that made me fall for her.

"Hermione..." Harry started, swivelling to face his best friend.

"Draco?" She said, coming up behind him.

"Hermione, you should go back inside."

"DON'T tell me what to do, Harry Potter!" She suddenly roared, making both Potter and I leap out of our skins.

"YOU get inside, Draco and I need to talk." She snarled at him, though I noticed the hurt in her voice as she said my name. Harry just nodded quickly and awkwardly shuffled back into his cottage.

"Well?" She asked expectantly, turning on me.

"I came to apologise..." I began, unsure of how to start.

"I bloody well hope so." She said ferociously.

"Hermione, I should never have left you that day. I was stupid and a bit stressed, what with my mother being in hospital. For two weeks after that, that event, shall we say, I sat in that same street of muggle shops, hoping that you would come back. I didn't know how to find you until I remembered you climbing into one of those fireplaces at the Ministry. I knew you'd be with Potter..." Here she glared at me again, regaining her stony face that had slipped slightly during my speech.

"But I love you Hermione, I really do and I would never forgive myself if I was a cause for your unhappiness. I mean, if..."

"Shut up Draco!" She said, snapping me out of my reverie.

"What?" But my question was answered as I caught sight of her smirk and she pressed her lips up onto mine, wrapping her hands around my neck. I don't know quite how long we stood there kissing, but after a while, Hermione pulled back and untangled her fingers from my hair.

"Come with me," she said, taking my hand and dragging me down the path away from Potter's house.

"Where are we going?" I asked but she just giggled and placed her hands around my waist before apparating us both.

*Hermione's POV*

We arrived in Diagon Alley and I continued dragging Draco down the cobblestoned street, disregarding the swirling crowd of journalists and cameramen. We turned a corner and headed down a street where there were fewer shops and reached the housing area. I pulled him to a stop in front of a large, three storey building with two large sash windows either side of the heavy black door. It was made of rendered brick that had been painted a most wonderful turquoise blue and had overflowing flower pots in front of each window.

"What's this?" Draco asked, clearly confused as to my intentions here.

"This," I stated grandly, "is my new house, and yours also if you wish it to be. I haven't quite finished unpacking yet, so I could do with a hand."

I grinned at his incredulous expression and shoved him playfully.

"So what do you think?" I asked nervously, wondering if I'd been too forward.

"Hermione, it's amazing!"

"So you'll move in?"

"Of course!" Delighted with his acceptance, I jumped into his arms, wrapped my legs around his waist and kissed him with a passion I doubt he knew I had in me. In that moment, I thought nothing could ever take away my euphoria in having Draco as my own. How very wrong I was.

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