Written for the round 2 challenge 1: Leather and Librarians - drabble must take place in a library and be 100-499 words.
Draco took a deep breath of the thick, dusty scent of the Hogwarts library. To him it smelled like freedom. Crabbe and Goyle would no more darken the doorway here than they would leap off the top of the Quidditch commentator tower, and he could count on Pansy not showing up anywhere near books. Here, for a few precious hours, Draco had a respite from the shadows of the Dark Lord and his mission.
But if he was being honest, part of the allure of the library was a certain Gryffindor who practically lived there. Sometimes the weasel and the Chosen One showed up, too, pelting one another with Chocolate Frog wrappers like baboons drunk on Firewhisky while Hermione tried to work. But soon they’d get bored and decide annoying her was more fun, and inevitably she’d lose her temper.
“Stop it!” she’d finally scream in frustration, and Madam Pince would scurry towards them, her features contorted in rage at the noise. If Hermione was lucky, only Weasley and Potter would be punted from the library for being prats, but it was just as likely that she would have to leave, too.
Tonight was one of those nights, and as Draco watched her go accompanied by her two brain-dead friends (he could sympathize), disappointment settled on him. In the library, there was a temporary, silent cease fire between her and Draco, and he admitted that between poring over arcane spells that might free his parents, his gaze drifted to her, curled over a book, a subtle half-smile on her face. Sometimes, he pretended she knew he was watching her, even that her smile was for him.
Now that she was gone, the library’s silence became oppressive. Draco sighed deeply. Almost without realizing it, he wandered towards her empty table and the book she’d left behind.
He picked it up and ran a finger over its leather binding, then sniffed it curiously. It was still warm from where she’d held it close to her body, and the subtle fragrance of her perfume, a blend of cinnamon and rose, clung to it. Gently, he stroked the cover, the soft feel of leather mimicking the texture of bare human skin. He wondered what she’d been reading, but the spine was too worn from age to read. Draco flipped the book open to the title page, and immediately a note penned in tiny handwriting slipped out.
This ink is charmed to disappear in twenty minutes, just like the others I’ve left, but if you do find it, finally, (the word was underlined twice in what he thought was a rather impertinent manner) I’m in the Transfiguration classroom until 10:00.
Yes, I’ve seen you watching me. I find I rather like it.
Draco stared at the note. His first thought was his father would kill him.
But as he walked briskly towards McGonagall’s classroom, grinning like a lunatic, his second thought was he really didn’t care.