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If the Scarf Fits

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If the Scarf Fits

The snow fell softly as Hermione walked down the pathway into Hogsmeade. She was planning on meeting up with Harry and Ron at the Three Broomsticks for lunch and a butterbeer, but she was running a bit behind. She’d been catching up on some light reading at the library this morning and ended up spending more time than she anticipated lost in her precious books. Hurrying along, she inhaled deeply, the chilly December air making her sinuses tingle, the smell of pine and snow reminding her that the holidays were near.

She tucked her hands into her pockets, her gloves not doing nearly as good of a job as usual. The closer she moved toward the tiny Wizarding town, the more the wind picked up. In the distance, she could see a number of her classmates meandering through the cobblestone streets, laughing and enjoying the free Saturday away from the castle. Smiling to herself, Hermione was reminded that she too was one of them. She couldn't wait to sip on a mug of butterbeer and laugh with Harry and Ron, their only worry whether or not they were going to have a snowball fight or build a fort later that afternoon.

With the War over, there was little to worry about other than their school work and what they planned on doing in the future. They were still months away from their tests, and Hermione wasn’t overly worried, for once. Harry and Ron liked to tease her about this, badgering her for not creating revision timetables or forcing them to study in the library late into the night. She was a different person now; the War had changed her, and she liked to think it was for the better. She was more open to the changes that were happening around her, more aware of her feelings and wants.

As she entered the little village, a particularly strong gust of wind whipped up, tugging at her scarf. With her hands tucked deeply into her pockets, Hermione was unable to stop the inevitable, and as her beautiful midnight, blue scarf was ripped free of her neck, she let out a cry of frustration. Too late she darted forward, the end of the scarf just out of her reach as the wind carried it away. She ran after her beloved scarf, a gift from her parents, but her efforts were useless. The wind whirled and swirled, taking the garment with it, up and over the tiny cottages and shops until she could no longer see where it had gone.

Trudging to a stop in the deep snow, Hermione frowned, the beginnings of despair making her chest ache. She loved that scarf. Taking a few deep breaths, she decided Harry and Ron would just have to wait. Tugging her jacket tightly around her, she headed toward the direction the wind was blowing, praying that someone somewhere in Hogsmeade had found her precious scarf, and would return it to her before the day was over, and she was forced to return to the castle.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Shuffling along the snow-packed streets of Hogsmeade, Draco glared angrily at his feet. He hated how cheerful and boisterous his classmates were acting. It was as if the War had never happened, as if half their friends and family weren’t dead and buried all over the country. It was hateful. It was frustrating. It made him feel like bashing his skull into the newly renovated facade of Hogwarts standing proudly up on the hill. Despite wanting to do just that, Draco continued his stroll through the little Wizarding village, avoiding his classmates and keeping to himself entirely.  

As the wind picked up, he shook his head, causing his blonde fringe to move out of his eyes so he could see better. The snow was still falling, reminding him more of a snowglobe than real life. As he passed The Three Broomsticks, Draco scowled as he observed Potter and Weasley darting inside, both shaking their own hair free of snowflakes. It was strange to see the pair without their bushy-haired counterpart, and he found himself wondering where exactly she could be. Smirking, he decided she’d probably stayed behind to read at the library as she usually did on Saturday mornings. Not that he noticed such things. Absolutely not.

With the War behind him and his name magically cleared thanks to testimony from Potter; Draco had found himself with two options. One, return to Hogwarts and obtain his NEWTS to begin restoring the Malfoy name to its former glory, or two, stay secluded as his mother and father were doing, making themselves appear more guilty than ever before. He’d opted for the former, wanting to get out of Malfoy Manor and return to a life of normalcy. So far, he’d succeeded, going through the motions of class and studying without any difficulty.

Nevertheless, that normalcy had changed a few weeks prior, leaving him a bit of kilter. Rounding the corner near Zonko’s Joke Shop, Draco pondered on his situation as he was nearly blown backward by the force of the blustery wind. Tugging his Slytherin scarf tighter round his neck to stem off the chill, he couldn’t help but think about a certain Gryffindor girl who turned his reality upside down with only a few simple words. Of course, he was thinking of none other than Hermione Granger, the Muggleborn bane of his existence for so very long.

Oh yes, Granger had come to his aid when a few Ravenclaw prats were terrorizing him in the courtyard after lunch one day. Since that day, he’d replayed her words over and over in his head, trying to decipher their meaning, and fighting the new feelings that slowly developed in his chest. It was all rather distracting, so he was unsurprised when, without warning, he was smacked in his pale face by a rampant blue scarf! Flailing, hands coming to tear the wrapping from his line of vision, he was accosted with a familiar feminine scent.

Staring at the perfectly plain scarf he now held within his hands, Draco struggled to recall where he recognized the scent from. It was something he was used to, and yet; he suspected it was more from passing than being in this girl’s presence often enough to recognize it. Glancing about, he noticed that no one in his vicinity was searching about for a lost scarf. That meant the person was likely elsewhere in the little village. Taking a deep breath, the winter’s air making his chest burn, Draco decided he’d find whoever the scarf belonged to, if only to satisfy his rapid curiosity regarding why it smelled so familiar. Determination filling him, he took off into the more crowded area of Hogsmeade, hoping that he’d find the girl who owned the beautiful blue scarf.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Feeling overly forlorn, Hermione brushed her curls from her tear streaked cheeks, trying to pull herself together. She’d spent the better part of the afternoon searching for her beloved scarf, to no avail. Not a single soul in Hogsmeade saw the scarf, and she’d asked nearly everyone, a few people more than once. As she stood near the Shrieking Shack, she decided all was lost, and that her treasured scarf was, in fact, gone forever. She might as well return to the castle and pen a letter to her parents asking for a new one, along with an apology for being so careless. With a deep sigh, Hermione turned her sights on the snowy scenery before her, completely oblivious that she was no longer alone...

Hours later, and still Draco was unable to find the owner of the scarf. He’d trudged up and down every available street and alleyway, even going so far as asking a few of his classmates if they knew who it belonged to. The few people keen enough to answer his inquiry were of no help. No one remembered seeing someone with this scarf, or even anyone who was searching for a missing garment. So with cold feet and a disheartened feeling, Draco found himself heading toward the fence near the Shrieking Shack, a place he’d found solace in the past. As he approached, he was surprised to find he was no longer alone, for a single figure stood against the fence already.

“Granger?”

Her face fell upon hearing her name, hair whipping in the breeze as she turned quickly to see who’d stumbled upon her. Standing in front of her, with a questioning look upon his pale face, was Draco Malfoy. Once upon a time Hermione might have reached for her wand inside her coat pocket, but those days were over. Instead, she wiped frantically at her damp cheeks, hoping he’d not noticed. “Draco? What brings you out this way?”

Clearing his throat, Draco took a step forward, suddenly feeling shy. “I...um...I always come out here when I need a quiet place to think.” Looking back at Hermione, he was surprised to find she didn't appear uneasy at his presence, or annoyed as she used to back before the War took hold of their lives. “What about you,” he started to ask before noticing she had tear stains on her wind-flushed cheeks. Face falling slightly, he took a few more steps towards her. “Were you crying?”

Sniffling, she shook her head, wanting to say no. Unfortunately, she was still rather upset, and found herself crying all over again. “I’m sorry,” she gushed, turning her face to wipe her wet eyes on her coat. “I don’t mean to cry. It’s just that I’ve lost something precious to me, a gift from my parents. I’ve looked all over Hogsmeade for it today, and it’s nowhere to be found!” Feeling utterly ridiculous, she threw her hands into the air, deciding she didn’t care if Draco saw her a crying mess.

Mouth slightly agape, Draco stood staring as Hermione fell to pieces. He waited patiently for her to calm down, and sure enough; she did a few minutes later. Ever the Pureblooded gentleman he’d been raised to be, he removed a handkerchief from the inside of his jacket and extended it to Hermione. She took it without question, which he found quite odd, but said nothing on the matter. As she dried her tears, Draco took in her appearance, realizing that something was missing from her attire. Brow furrowing, he was surprised to find her neck bare when she normally wore a scarf.

And that’s when it hit him, Hermione always wore a scarf! When she wasn’t wearing her bloody crimson and gold Gryffindor scarf, she was known to wear a blue scarf! A blue scarf identical to the one he now held within his coat pocket. “Granger,” he began, sliding a hand into his pocket and taking hold of the soft fabric. “You said you were missing something, what would that be?”

Meeting his questioning stare, Hermione sniffled. “My scarf. It blew away on the wind earlier, and I can’t find it anywhere.” She was about to add that she was giving up and going to head back to the castle when he withdrew his hand from his coat, something beautiful and blue grasped between his fingers. He held his hand out toward her, a gasp leaving her lips as she realized what it was. “My scarf! You’ve found it!” Closing the space between them, she barreled into his body, nearly knocking him over as she wrapped him in a firm hug.

Startled, Draco stood there awkwardly as Hermione hugged him furiously around the middle, her small frame warm and comforting despite the chill from the wintry wind. Slowly, he lowered his arms until he was hugging her in return, something fluttering in his chest. After a quiet moment  where he realized he was enjoying the feel of Hermione Granger in his arms, Draco took a small step back, but only far enough so he could see her face as he said, “ Your scarf, Granger? Let’s see; if the scarf fits, it’s yours.”

Then, taking the scarf, he wrapped it securely around her neck, biting back a grin as her face lit up with happiness. As her hands came up to run over the soft, blue fabric of the scarf, Draco hummed with approval. “Hmmm, it appears to be a perfect fit.”

“Thank you, Draco,” she murmured, voice soft with affection. Inside, Hermione was all aflutter, emotions raging some sort of battle. Her thoughts were brought to a few weeks ago when she’d stepped to Draco’s defense. Since that day, he’d become Draco instead of Malfoy, and she’d decided that maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t nearly as bad as she previously thought. After all, he’d clearly spent the entire day looking for the owner of a seemingly random scarf. So, taking hold of her Gryffindor courage, Hermione reached down and took Draco’s hands within her own.

Glancing quickly at their hands, Draco found himself nearly speechless. “You’re welcome, Granger,” he managed after a moment. It was obvious she felt something toward him, and he had to admit; he felt the same exact way. His family be damned; he was falling for Hermione Granger, and he had no intention of messing this up. As the wind picked up once more, Hermione and Draco stood together, their gloved hands intertwined. Draco dropped his head to rest against Hermione’s forehead, his usual smirk gracing his features.

She smiled up at him slowly, her chocolate-colored eyes warming considerably as they met icy grey. A true smile of his own formed upon his lips, replacing the smirk and making his eyes light up. Holding her breath, Hermione stood completely still as he shifted slightly, placing his lips over hers in a tentative kiss. She sighed with contentment, feeling him relax as she kissed him in return, the wind causing their scarves to flutter about their necks. There would be time later to figure out the details, but for now, she was going to enjoy this perfect little moment of happiness.