Chapter Five: The Great Escape - Part Two
All through the film Hermione remains aware of Malfoy sat a few chairs away from her.
The toe of his shoe gleams in the reflected light of the screen as his foot traces a lazy arc in time with the swell of Elmer Bernstein's score.
When Hilts faces off with Von Luger; when Von Luger's mouth makes its little downward curve of dissatisfaction, she sees Malfoy sit forward in her peripheral vision. Hermione can't help it: her eyes trace the silvery edge of him - eyelash and cheekbone and pointed chin.
She's irritated, but can't quite put a finger on why. After all, while it might have been Harry who initially, inexplicably, invited Theo to join them (and to Hermione's surprise she finds that she thinks of him as Theo now instead of Nott), she has no one but herself to blame for Pansy's presence, and look how that turned out.
And if Malfoy's best friends are all here, how can she protest his being invited? Hermione feels a whisper of guilt when she thinks of Professor McGonagall's insistence on seating everyone at communal tables; of her emphatic pronouncement of the importance of forgiveness, of moving forward.
But there's just something about Malfoy that has always got under her skin, and has since they were children. She knows that Harry feels the same way, and almost finds herself sneaking a glance back to him to see whether he's as rattled by Malfoy's presence as she is, before her gaze snags on one of the armchairs that, in spite of Ginny's unexpectedly prodigious skill with cleaning charms, is still on its side.
Harry, Hermione remembers, is likely to be otherwise occupied, and she wonders whether the reason for her discomfort is a result of his sudden entente very much cordiale with Pansy. Theo and Ginny both seem completely unsurprised to find that the two of them maybe don't hate one another as much as they've always claimed to, and Hermione spends a few uneasy minutes considering the possibility that she might be jealous.
Then Steve McQueen jumps his motorbike over the fence and there's a collective intake of breath from those who haven't seen the film before.
"But I didn't think muggle motorbikes could -"
"Could what?" Harry's voice holds a teasing softness, and Hermione can imagine the look on his face, affection with an edge to it, and she isn't jealous, because him being happy has always made her happy.
She can hear that happiness in his voice now, in his laugh and then the yelp that he gives as Pansy growls "Shut up Potter." Hermione look over her shoulder at them then, just in time to see Harry catch hold of Pansy's wrists and pull her, unprotesting, into a kiss. Something about the scene just clicks, and Hermione finds herself smiling. Theo catches her eye and nods slightly, his fingers combing through Daphne's hair where her head rests on his shoulder, blue eyes reflecting the screen.
Turning back to watch the last, devastating act of the film, Hermione chances the barest glance at Malfoy and is shocked to find him watching her. He doesn't move when their eyes meet, and she isn't sure what to make of the expression in his opaque grey eyes. For a long moment she's trapped, unable to look away from him, and then there's a crack of gunfire from the film and Malfoy visibly jumps, gaze skittering away towards the screen, and Hermione can breathe again.
When the credits roll he rises from his chair without a word, crossing to stand by the still-blank wall and throwing a glare at Pansy. She rolls her eyes, but the door reappears, and Malfoy wrenches it open and marches through.
He doesn't look back.
A/N: I am currently on a New Year's trip with some friends - both internet and a wealth of group activities are conspiring against updates, but I am hoping to have another short chapter up later today. Most of the films from here on will be holiday favourites rather than specifically Christmas films...Thank you for continuing to follow along :)