Happy Traditions, bean120001! Title: We Still Have Tonight Author:tattooedsappho Gift For:bean120001 Pairing(s): Hermione/Blaise Summary: It's the night before Hogwarts graduation and Hermione is visiting the library for the last time when she runs into someone unexpected. Rating: PG-13 Warnings: Minor spoilers if you haven't read book 7 yet. That's about it.
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Hermione walked through the stacks in the far corner of the library, grateful that the final battle had spared at least some of the castle that began as a school and turned into a home for her. Running her fingers absentmindedly along the spines of the books, she closed her eyes and breathed deep, inhaling the smell of the library; books and parchment ripened with age and some covered in dust created a smell unique to the Hogwarts library, a smell that brought memories of hours of revision as well as hours of searching for answers to the many mysteries she encountered as one of Harry Potter's closest friends. She was so caught up in her memories that she didn't open her eyes until it was too late and she stumbled over the legs of someone reclining against the stacks and reading a book.
"Oh! I'm so sorry, I didn't think anyone else would be in here."
"It's okay. I didn't think anyone else would be in here either. Although, now that I think on it, I should have assumed you would be here. You practically lived in this place the past seven years." Blaise stood and smiled as he held out a hand to help Hermione up.
"Thank you. I'm Hermione Granger, are you Lee Jordan's older brother?"
"Oh, I forgot to take the glamour off, didn't I? Finite Incantatem."
"Blaise? I thought you left with the rest of the Slytherins."
"I did. But a few of us did come back with Slughorn. Of course, I figured I would be better received as a brother or cousin of Lee Jordan than as a Slytherin. McGonagall knows, she said we could stay and graduate tomorrow with the rest of our class."
"Thats wonderful!" Hermione pulled Blaise into a hug before she realized what exactly she was doing.
"If I had known I would have gotten this warm a reception I wouldn't have bothered with the glamour."
Hermione blushed fiercely.
"Oh, its not a bad thing. But you better not let the wea...er...Ron see you doing that."
"Are you kidding me? This is a library. I could have a threesome with Filch and Umbridge in here and he would never find out."
"Kinky," Blaise smirked.
"Not that I would. Just, this is a library and he's Ron. I have better chances avoiding him here than in a girls bathroom."
"Is that what you are doing?"
"Are you avoiding Ron?" Blaise returned his book to it's shelf and turned to look at Hermione, waiting for her answer.
"I – I suppose. I just wanted some time alone. To think, to say goodbye to this place. He's off with the rest of the Gryffindors celebrating, or at least trying to celebrate, the end of Hogwarts."
"You don't feel like celebrating?"
"I'm happy to graduate but I'm going to miss this place. My parents...they want me to go to university and I'm not sure I want to."
"Muggle school. After Comp – where I would be if I wasn't in Hogwarts – Muggles continue their education at Universities. At least some do, people consider Uni. Graduates to be better than those that just stopped their education after Comp."
Blaise looked at her strangely for a moment.
"You? Not want more schooling? Did you get hit on the head during the battle or something?"
Hermione breathed a sigh of relief as she chuckled, it hadn't been very long ago that Blaise was another Muggle bashing Slytherin.
"I don't want to leave the Wizarding World to do so and they want me to."
A heavy silence fell over the pair, the air in the library seemed to grow stale and Hermione couldn't help but bite her lower lip.
"You shouldn't have to leave."
"I know, this is my home no – what did you just say?"
"I said you shouldn't have to leave. I know I was a right prat at times but mud...er...Muggle born or not you're still an ace witch. You shouldn't have to leave just to please your parents, its not fair."
"I get the feeling I don't know you as well as I thought I did."
"Obviously. You're a Gryffindor, I'm a Slytherin. Did you honestly expect to really know anything about me?"
"But what abou -"
"Go along to get along. Don't tell me you never picked up on the fact that I never initiated anything between our houses."
"Now that you mention it...no."
"And that is why I'm in Slytherin and you're in Gryffindor." Blaise smirked.
"We still have tonight."
"We do, don't we?" Hermione smiled then pulled out her wand, whispered a few words, conjured a large squishy pouffe and reclined into it motioning for Blaise to join her. "Come on, like you said we still have tonight."
Blaise tilted his head as if in thought before smiling and joining Hermione on the pouffe.
"So I'm here. Now what?"
"Now we talk. Just like we were before, except more comfortably."
"Indulge me then, tell me what your graduation would be like if you were at – Comp you called it?"
Hermione looked questioningly at him for a moment.
"I'm serious. All I've ever heard about Muggles has been filtered through the Malfoy lens. Tell me what its really like out there."
"They have robes, and funny hats called mortar boards with little tassels that hang off of them. All the students wear them and the teachers – professors – wear the ones they got from University. The Headmaster gives a speech and then the Valedictorian – the student with the highest grades – gives a speech too. The class president gives a speech as well, the students all vote for who they think should speak for them earlier in the year and that person is called the president. Then they call everyone's name and you go up and shake hands with the Headmaster and get a diploma. Sometimes they get guest speakers to come and talk to the graduates and the onlookers as well but not all the time."
"Seems like a lot of talking."
"It is. I went to my cousin's graduation a few summers ago and it was almost as boring as History of Magic."
"You think History of Magic is boring?"
"Not the subject as much as how it's presented. Professor Binns could bore a ghost to death."
Blaise started laughing and Hermione joined in, the realization of what she said making her companions giggles even more infectious. They laughed, pushing each other to laugh longer and harder through their own chuckles, for what seemed like hours before gasping for breath and trying to regain control. Reaching over, Blaise brushed a stray hair out of Hermione's face and tucked it behind her ear; his hand lingered over her cheek and Hermione captured it with her own, tilting her head into his caress and looking into his eyes.
"We can have our own celebration, right here." Blaise whispered as he moved closer to Hermione on the pouffe.
"You said yourself he'd never find out about anything that went on here." Trailing his fingers down Hermione's neck, Blaise caused her to tilt her head and arch into his touch with a whimper. Closing her eyes, Hermione shook her head and tried to regain control of her body.
"Not some Slytherin game?"
"I don't play games like this, I prefer not to mix business with pleasure and believe me, this is nothing but pleasure." Blaise pulled Hermine's hand to his lips, placing a chaste hiss upon her knuckles. "We can go back to talking about graduation if you want." Turning her hand over, he hissed her palm and then her wrist. "Or we could stop talking." Leaning close, he bent his lips to Hermione's ear and whispered softly, "It's up to you."
Hermione turned to reply and their lips met, completely destroying any semblance of resistance that might have been forming in her mind. Pulling Blaise on top of her, she let him explore her mouth as her fingers explored his back; lips and tongues danced and dueled as the pair sank deeper into the pouffe and each other. As Blaise moved to kiss his way down Hermione's neck she pulled out her wand and cast a few spells to ensure their privacy before banishing their clothing and pulling his mouth back to hers. Skin to skin, they spent the night in their own private celebration; bringing each other to the edge of ecstacy and back, burning the memory of their last night at Hogwarts into their very souls. As they came together in the end, sweaty and tired and blissful and wonderful and everything all at one and over again, their eyes met and Hermione found Blaise's finger upon her lips.
"Don't say it, don't say anything. We don't know what tomorrow will hold but I want to hold you tonight."
Hermione smiled and tucked her head onto Blaise's shoulder, drifting off to sleep in his arms and feeling perfectly safe and content for the first time in a very long time.
Minerva McGonagall stood at a podium, behind her conjured chairs were filled with Professors – two left empty in honor of the fallen Headmasters. The grounds had been cleaned by volunteers so that the Great Hall could remain a place of peace for the time being, graduation for the Hogwarts class of 1998 would take place by the lake. Chairs had been set up for the families and friends of the graduates and the front section remained available for the 7th years who were gathering in the Entrance Hall.
The great door opened and the students began their walk down to where the ceremony would take place. As when they first arrived at Hogwarts, they walked two by two without house distinction. Each was clothed in a black robe with the Hogwarts crest, their heads crowned with the standard student hats and a tie of blue, green, black and gold around their necks. Hermione received some strange looks from Harry and Ron, who were walking just ahead of her, when she made sure that it was Blaise who was walking beside her.
Ron started to speak and Hermione simple hissed, "Remember what the Headmistress said." Shrugging his shoulders he continued walking with Harry, unwilling to become involved in what he was sure was simply Hermione's newest cause.
Peeves flew ahead of the graduates setting off Weasley fireworks, the crowd - McGonagall included – was so relieved that there even was a graduation that they joined in with his whoops and shouts as the 7th years passed them by and took their places at the front of the assembly.
"Silence please, ladies and gentlemen, we are about to begin." McGonagall said as the last student took his seat. The crowd quited and Peeves, in a rare gesture of respect, tilted his cap to the Headmistress and floated over to take his place silently with the rest of the castle ghosts.
"We gather today to honour our graduates and, sadly, to remember those who fell in the Final Battle that would have been graduating as well. Let their courage and sacrifice echo in your minds and hearts as we embark on the journey to rebuild Hogwarts and the rest of the Wizarding world as a place of compassion, fairness and justice for all magical creatures." After waving her hand to indicate the chairs at the front of the assembly, empty in remembrance of the fallen she bowed her head to observe a moment of silence before continuing her speech. "The past seven years have been important years for all of us, but for you graduates they were the years where you built the foundations for the rest of your lives. Never forget what you have learned her; in your common rooms, on the Quidditch Pitch or in the classroom. Know that Hogwarts will always be open to you in times of joy as well as times of pain, it is only by standing together that we will be able to keep our world on the path we fought so hard to secure mere days ago. Now as I call your name please come forward."
McGonagall called the students forward in alphabetical order. Upon reaching the podium each student relinquished their student hat and sat once again under the sorting hat; instead of revealing which house the student belonged to the hat supplied McGonagall with the appropriate conditioning word to use in her transfiguration spell upon the student hat. Once the spell was complete, each student was given a unique hat – symbolizing the end of their school days and the unique memories they would bring with them into the larger world. After donning their new hat, the students proceeded to shake hards, or in some cases embrace, the teaching staff. McGonagall, Flitwick, Slughorn, Sprout, Vector, Sinistra, Hooch, Pomfrey, Pince, Binns and Trelawney smiled proudly as they wished the graduates luck and bid their official farewell to the students who had been in their care for the past seven years.
Once all the graduates were seated again, McGonagall waved her wand and the chairs at the front of the assembly were transfigured into a small granite pyramid. Each of the names of the fallen 7th years was engraved in their house color on three sides, the fourth side was filled with the Hogwarts Crest.
"Graduates, our world is yours for the shaping. We welcome you and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors." McGonagall stepped away from the podium and began to applaud, followed by the rest of the staff and then the entire crowd. Some shot coloured sparks from the ends of their wands as all in attendance made their way to the tents where a reception catered by Kreacher and the rest of the House Elves awaited them.
"Not exactly a Comp graduation, was it?" Blaise asked as he walked with Hermione and her parents over to the buffet table.
"No, definitely not. I think I like this much more. Mum, Dad, this is Blaise," Hermione introduced him to her parents as they got their plates and began piling them with food.
"Nice to meet you Blaise," Mr. Granger responded as his wife nodded, her mouth full with a bite of roll she had just taken.
"Let's go sit with Harry and the Weasleys." Blaise shot Hermione a questioning look but she simply smiled and nodded as if to suggest that there wasn't anything to worry about.
"Blaise, its wonderful to see that Miss Parkinson wasn't speaking for the entirety of Slytherin house. Thank you. Please, find a seat and make yourself comfortable." Mrs. Weasley said as she enveloped him in a hug. The rest of the Weasleys took their cue and murmured their agreement with their matriarch's comments as Blaise sat down between Charlie and Hermione, with Ron on her other side.
"To the graduates, may your minds stay sharp, may your hearts stay true and may your spirits find peace in all that you do." Mr. Weasley toasted, raising his glass in a salute which was echoed by the rest of the table.