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Chapter 7: A Job Well Done
A Job Well Done!
Hermione’s heart was pounding as she walked through the crowded Great Hall. She had spent the last hour getting herself ready for the end result of the Head boy and Head girl elections. All the votes were in and it was D-day.
She linked Neville’s arm as the eight candidates approached the bronze owl lectern where Professor McGonagall stood. She was so nervous and felt like she looked overly done up for the event. She thought they would just wear their Uniforms but Daphne Greengrass insisted on making it an evening event in which they could all dress up nicely and have a party after. Daphne reckoned she had it in the bag, even after the entire student body applauding Hermione the day they were chosen. She had been pushing for herself and Blaise to be elected as the golden couple, Study partners, prefects, Hogwarts hottest couple, so Head boy and girl would be the cherry on the cake for her. As they stood behind Professor Mc Gonagall who began to speak about the importance of this role and its traditions, Hermione suddenly felt everyone’s eyes on her. She was shaking with nerves and was no longer linking Neville to be nice, it was stopping her from running out of the Great Hall
“Relax Hermione you’re shaking” he whispered to her
“Do I look Ok?” she began fixing her dress
“You look lovely, just relax”
She had spent the day before planning what she was going to wear with Ginny’s help. She wanted something that looked smart and sophisticated but flirty and young at the same time. So she decided on this little black dress that Ginny had. It was a satin dress, fitted at her bust with a halter neck tie, it then dropped loosely under her bust and it stopped just above her knew and had a layer of black toll peeping out the bottom of it. She wore a pair of purple peep toe heels and left her hair down with a few curls pulled back with a purple star shaped clip. For a change she wore dark smokey eye make-up and a soft pink lipstick as opposed to her bare minimum look she normally went for. It was a big change to how she normally dressed and she wasn’t sure tonight was the right night to do it, however, to everyone else she looked beautiful she just didn’t know it.
“Ok now for the moment you have all been waiting for” Professor Mc Gonagall smiled over her shoulder at the eager, nervous students behind her.
“This year’s Head boy will be” she paused for a moment
Hermione took Neville’s hand and squeezed it tightly, feeling confident it was going to be him
The hall erupted with cheers and chants in Neville’s name. Neville froze of the spot unable to speak in shock
“It’s you Neville, go get your badge” Hermione prompted and pushed him on his way over to Professor Slughorn who would awarding the badges
“Quiet down everybody” Mc Gonagall requested and to her surprise everyone quickly took their seats, eager to find out who had won head girl.
Hermione looked down the line at the others standing beside her as Neville shook the hands of the other boys who had been running for Head boy. Daphne was now looking very nervous, her plan wasn’t working out. She was sure Blaise had it in the bag.
“Now, the girl who will be taking the position alongside Neville will be” she slowly opened the envelope to read the name. She began smiling from ear to ear her face creasing up from all her wrinkles
“Miss Hermione Granger” she announced sounding elated
The student’s cheers matched the ones for Neville who rushed to hug Hermione was just standing there in disbelief. She hadn’t really been paying too much attention over the last two weeks as to who was the favourite to win so she was truly shocked. She received her badge feeling extremely proud of herself. She looked into the mass crowd of students who were cheering and clapping for her and Neville but the only two faces she could pick out were Harry’s and Ron’s who were both cheering hysterically. Then to her surprise Draco Malfoy’s face caught her attention. He was clapping and nodding his head in approval but she quickly forgot about it when the crowd started yelling
“SPEECH, SPEECH, SPEECH!”
After all the speeches and thank you’s were made and a marvellous feast. The tables magically disappeared from the room, with the exception of a few with drinks and desserts on them, and music filled the Great Hall and the ceiling was lit up with fireworks and thousands upon thousands of starts which flashed different colours.
Everyone began to mix in with each other, dancing, singing along and chatting. Hermione couldn’t help but laugh to see Daphne sulking in the corner with Blaise as this whole party was her idea to celebrate something she thought she was going to win.
“So much for Daphne’s big party” Neville joked to Hermione
“I know, hey I never got to say congratulations”
“Same to you, I can’t wait to get stuck in and make this year the best it’s going to be”
“With you two running the show of course it is” Seamus chirped from behind them.
“I can’t believe it’s our last year here” Ron added as he handed Harry a glass of pumpkin juice.
The reality of the situation finally sunk in when he mentioned it was going to be their last year and now she was in charge of making it the best. Hermione began feeling a little pressured
“I’m just going to get some air” she handed her cup to Ron
“Want one of us to come?” he offered
“No, no I’m fine just need a few minutes”
She made her way to the courtyard. Several students were out there and congratulated her as she passed them, but most got the impression she wanted to be alone. Hermione sat on a little bench under a large oak tree and took a deep breath and closed her eyes to let everything sink in.
“You really don’t like celebrations do you?” a familiar voice called out
“Malfoy?” she asked unable to see where he was
Draco came out from behind her and walked round in front of her
“Like I said before, shouldn’t you be celebrating?”
“Probably, shouldn’t you be consoling your friends?”
“I don’t like crowds, or parties for that matter”
“Really, you always did strike me as a party kinda guy”
“Maybe with some hard liquor and less children” he sounded obnoxious, he knew it himself
“So what are you doing lurking out here?” she asked trying to not let an awkward silence fall
“Like I said I don’t like parties, why are you?”
“I just needed a moment”
“Everything” she sighed
“You don’t sound like someone who just got elected Head girl”
“I was fine until I realised I’m in charge of making this the best year at Hogwarts because it’s our last”
“You know what I think would make it better?” He brushed his finger through his blonde hair and sat beside her “More alcohol, well at the weekends anyway”
Hermione rolled her eyes and stood up “What a positive attitude Malfoy”
“Maybe you could use a drink, you might lighten up”
“You’re so annoying! Why am I even talking to you?”
He spread out his arms as if to present himself and smirked up at her “Well most women can’t resist me, and I can’t see why you should be any different”
“You’re so full of shit Malfoy”
“Then why are you still here Granger”
She shot him a look that could kill and stormed off infuriated he had yet again got the last witty remark in. She was almost back inside when she stopped and turned back to shout at him
“Our potions experiment better be ready for tomorrow Malfoy or I will hex you!” and then she continued on. When she got inside she slapped her hand to her forehead
“Potions experiment Hermione really?” she asked aloud dissatisfied with her final comeback “Good one”
Draco laughed as she walked back inside knowing he had got one up on her. This was starting to become a fun game for him, they’d have a serious conversation for two minutes then kill each other for the rest.
“You’ll be hanging round with them next” Blaise strolled out from another entrance to the courtyard “Mudblood, and now she’s our head girl! At least Longbottom comes from a decent family”
“Here we go” Draco sighed to himself
“Touching that little fight was, nowhere near your best work”
“I have to get along with her if I wanted to tear her down I could, in about two seconds”
“The Malfoy I know would have protested to have his partner changed! Theodor couldn’t stand that girl he was with so he’s now with Thomas. It’s not set in stone you know”
“You want to know why I never changed?”
“Because she’s the only one who matches my level of intelligence and neither of us like each other so we keep our boundaries, I didn’t want some annoying partner that actually wanted to work alongside me”
“That didn’t look like either of you were keeping boundaries”
“It’s not like we’re involved like you and Daphne, because Merlin knows if she hadn’t been paired with you she’d still be all over me” Draco stood up, with his fists clenched and his lip almost curled into a snarl with temper
“What has that got to do with anything, and you wish Daphne was all over you”
“Not particularly, Fair enough she comes from a good family but she’s a big tramp! And it didn’t really have anything to do with it I just want you to piss off and leave me alone”
“She’s not a tramp, don’t you dare speak about her like that”
“Ask her what happened at the party Nott had before school”
“STOP IT!” Daphne came charging out from the doorway of the courtyard neither of them had noticed her standing there
“Ah so you’re here to tell him are you”
“It doesn’t matter to me it was before we were together I don’t care about any of it Daph” Blaise reached out his hand and took hers
“Awh how sweet, Enjoy my sloppy seconds” Draco went to walk off but stopped when he heard Blaise whisper
“Did you sleep with him?”
“Oh yes we did” he walked backwards to face them smiling his usual sinister smile “She knew which room I was staying in and waited there in my bed naked, candles and all”
“Shut up Draco! Yes we had sex but it doesn’t mean anything now, I’m with Blaise”
Draco winked and returned to walking towards the door smiling as he heard Blaise and Daphne begin to argue with one another
Professor Slughorn’s seventh year potions class winced as Seamus Finnegan’s potion exploded in his face for the third time, nerves really did get the better of him in that class and he’d always manage to blow something up. He shook his head in disappointment for himself and continuously apologised to his study partner as they took their seats.
“Maybe you can try again tomorrow Mr Finnegan” Slughorn offered waving the thick smoke out of his face “Ok Miss Granger and Mr Malfoy, you can go next”
Draco looked over his shoulder at Hermione and nodded at her. They made their way to the top of the classroom. Hermione opened out her notes and Draco began laying out their ingredients.
“In your own time Miss Granger” Slughorn could see she was nervous about presenting, but Draco seemed pretty confident about brewing the potion.
Hermione gave a brief introduction to their potion, what it does, what ingredients are used etc. then she slowly began to call out the instructions as Draco carried them out. As she was calling them out, she watched him as he carefully cut and chopped the various ingredients and how delicately he handled everything, as if he was dealing with fine china or flimsy tissue paper. The look of concentration on his face was intense. She could get a real sense of how much he enjoyed doing this and remembered that she had once heard he wanted to be a potions master.
It took about twenty minutes to get through the notes and brew the potion into its orange paste like state
“Finally, we will demonstrate how the potion solidifies on the skins and diminishes, or in some cases completely gets rid of scars”
“Oh how very exciting” Professor Slughorn was beside himself with excitement that this had been going so well.
Hermione looked at Draco nervously and called him over to her by waving her hand towards herself
“Are we demonstrating on you?” she whispered to him
“Well I don’t mind, it will involve me losing my shirt, I bet you’d like that Granger” he smirked as he whispered back
“Ugh you’re such a pig! I have one that won’t involve exposing myself” she rolled up the sleeve of her uniform jumper and shirt, then placed her wand on her forearm about four inches up from her wrist and dragged it backwards towards her elbow to reveal a scar that had remained red from the day she got it, she was ashamed of it, the one Bellatrix gave her in Malfoy Manor. Mudblood! It was clear as day.
“Oh my” Professor Slughorn gasped. Several students began to whisper or gasp in shock.
She looked towards Harry and Ron who looked at her sympathetically, they knew how much she hated it, how much it got her down. Harry smiled at her knowing she would finally be rid of it.
Draco couldn’t look her in the eye. He witnessed her getting it and her screams rang in his ears as if she was screaming right there in front of him in that class. He cleared his throat as a flicker of nervousness rippled through him as he lifted the stirrer out of the cauldron and spread it across the scar gently.
“We’ll have to wait about ten to fifteen minutes for it to take effect, notice how the paste goes into a jelly like state as it cools”
No one said a word for the next fifteen minutes. There was a dead, awkward silence hanging in the air. Even Slughorn kept quiet.
“I’d say it’s as good as it’s going to get” she suggested to Draco, he was still unable to look at her in the face. He nodded in approval and Hermione began to pull back the orange jelly from her forearm to reveal a smooth, scar free arm! Everyone gasped in astonishment that it had actually worked and to Hermione’s and Draco’s surprise began to clap. They both looked at one another and smiled for a job well done.
Class was finally over and everyone poured out of the classroom with a feeling of relief that making their potions presentation was finally over. Hermione looked back over her shoulder at Draco who was packing away his cauldron and books. She wanted to thank him for making her idea possible but changed her mind when Ron suggested the three of them went for some hot chocolate together, that and she didn’t feel like he deserved it after how he spoke to her the last two days!
Draco watched Hermione leave the classroom with Ron and Harry and felt like he should say something nice about their assignment together but Blaise was sitting at the back of the classroom waiting for him
“Excuse me if I’m using this wrong, but there was something a little ironic about you being the one to get rid of her mudblood branding, don’t you think?”
Draco said nothing and went to leave the classroom
“Wait” Blaise called after him “What’s wrong with us Draco? All we’ve done since we’ve gotten back is fight, we’re like an old married couple”
“I don’t know, but you’re right all we do is fight”
“You’re not the Malfoy I remember”
“Good, I don’t want to be him”
Blaise shook his head in disapproval “Why the hell not, we were a good team”
“Maybe we’ve outgrown each other, out grown who we used to be”
“I’m still me, you’ve changed man with your holier than thou attitude, pretending to be some sort of good person”
“I won’t argue I have changed, maybe you should too, and maybe you should grow up” Draco snapped this was the last thing he needed, another argument
“Whatever Draco” Blaise began to walk away from him down the corridor “But don’t forget you were corrupt and you can’t escape that part of you, keep this act up all you want it won’t last”
Draco clenched his hand tightly around his wand he wanted to do nothing more than throw a hex at him, even a fist would do but he knew he’d be out of Hogwarts quicker than he could say Merlin’s beard. So he loosened his grip and walked the other way down the corridor pushing angrily through some third years in his way.
There was no way he was going to his next class. He was far too angry! He made his way out of the castle and down to the lake to clear his head .He had a study session that evening with Hermione which he knew he couldn’t miss as they’d missed the last few, and going in there angry would be disastrous.
Hermione checked her watch again, he was late, and he was never late. She just wanted to thank him and then go back to normal, well as normal as they could be towards each other. Eventually he strolled into the library and threw his bag in the floor beside his seat and sat down. Hermione didn’t look up till he had his books on the table and open.
“Thank you” she mumbled
Draco looked up at her not knowing what she meant for a moment, then he realised she meant the assignment going so well.
“Same here” a shiver ran down his spine when he thought of the awful screams from the day she got that scar. They remained in silence for the rest of their study session till they got up to leave
“I saw you and Blaise arguing earlier, I wasn’t ease dropping or anything, I went back to thank you and I heard him say something about you being the one to remove my branding” she clenched her jaw in temper, she thought she was passed being called a mudblood. Evidently not!
“I hope you’s weren’t arguing because you’re my study partner, I don’t want to be the cause of any arguments” Hermione had thought she didn’t care all that much about Draco’s friends, but when she heard him argue back to Blaise that it was time he grew up, her opinion changed slightly. She still didn’t like him she no longer hated him.
“Don’t think to highly of yourself Granger, Blaise was going to find some reason to argue with me one way or another because I’m no longer causing havoc at Hogwarts and that doesn’t suit him, you were just the easy option for him”
“Well good, as long as it’s not on my head, and you were right maybe he should grow up”
“I thought you said you weren’t ease dropping?”
“I wasn’t! When you hear your name in a conversation you’re not involved in you listen”
“Not me, of all people I didn’t think you cared what other people thought!”
“I do not!”
Draco smirked at her, “Clearly you do”
“Well you’re the one who said we’re alike, so therefore you must care too”
“Ha I finally caught you out!”
“You wish Granger!”
“I so did!” Hermione laughed, pleased with herself
“You just admitted you care what other people think, indirectly, but you did” he laughed
“I didn’t..” she thought back to what she said “Damn it!”
“Ha! Oh Granger! Don’t play with fire you’ll only get burned”
“What could I do to prove it to you?” she walked round and stood in front of him “I don’t like this label!”
“Well think of something out of your comfort zone that would get people talking”
“I don’t want to look like an idiot either, and if I’m going to this so should you!”
“There’s nothing I could do that would shock people”
“Hmmm” she began walking alongside him again
“Except maybe be seen with you”
“What? We’re always seen together”
“Not as study partners, together” he really put emphasis on the word
“Like as a couple?”
“Something like that”
“No way” she shrieked “Are you crazy! Why would you even suggest that?”
“I’m looking for a reason to piss Blaise off, and I don’t care what people think”
“No, that’s just wrong on so many levels”
“And there you go caring about what people think”
“It’s not just anyone, it would crush Ron, and really piss off Harry”
“Hmmm, I win again Goodnight Granger” Draco went to turn down another corridor for the Slytherin dorms
“Wait, I’ll do it!”
“Wait for me here tomorrow before breakfast” he walked away from her smirking. This was really going to piss off and confuse Blaise.
Hermione walked back wondering why this annoyed her so much, but she had a point to prove now. Tomorrow was going to be interesting!
So Draco is pushing boundaries with Blaise and Hermione. He’s completely unaware of the impact that it’s going to have on everyone involved! And what is Hermione doing? And how will she explain this one to Harry and Ron? Harry might be a little more understanding than Ron, but there’s not betting on that one!
Thanks for all the reviews so far! You’ve all been too nice!