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The Hoax by ihootanniex3

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 35
Word Count: 149,131
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Pansy, Ginny
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Lavender

First Published: 11/28/2011
Last Chapter: 08/31/2013
Last Updated: 08/31/2013

Summary:


amazing banner by fire. @ tda

Hermione Granger wants revenge on Ron. The perfect person for her plan is Draco Malfoy. All she has to do is make him fall for her, easy as cake, right? But is it that easy to win Draco Malfoy's heart?
All Draco Malfoy wants is for Pansy Parkinson to leave him alone. The only girl who'd make that happen is none other than Hermione Granger. All he has to do is use his Malfoy charms and seduce her, right? And then she's his?


Chapter 1: Chapter 1
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 Hermione let out a sigh as she saw Ron and Lavender kissing the living dead out of each other during dinner . . . again. She looked down at her food a moment later and sighed as she pushed her plate away. “I think I may have just lost my appetite.” She muttered under her breath and looked over at her other friends for some support or agreement but instead saw them cuddling with their hands interlaced together.


 

She sighed and clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth. ‘Great, just great. All my friends are together with someone. I’m the only one without a boyfriend.’ Hermione thought to herself and looked over at Ron once more with a pained expression. She loved him; she loved her best friend but got rejected. During the war, they shared a kiss and Hermione thought it meant something to Ron because it meant the world to her . . . but she was wrong. Ron claimed that he kissed her because he was ‘in the moment’ and that the kiss mean nothing to him. But why? Out of all the girls in school why did Ron have to choose Lavender Brown? Ron should’ve chosen her, Hermione. Ron and Hermione . . . Harry and Ginny . . . they would have been perfect. They could’ve been the invincible four, all friends, paired up with each other. But that idea was thrown out the window a couple of months ago when Ron started going out with Lavender. Ugh. Life couldn’t be any more worse for Hermione Granger.

 

They all hung out with each other so she couldn’t avoid them unfortunately. Ginny was her best friend but she was Ron’s little sister so she couldn’t say everything she wanted to say about Ron to her. Not to mention the fact that Ginny was dating Harry and they told each other everything. Harry was her best friend but also Ron’s best friend and those two had a strong bond with their ‘brotherhood’. They told each other everything about anything, so if Ginny were to tell half the things Hermione told her about Ron, Harry would most likely tell Ron. She couldn’t afford losing another one of her best friends. She couldn’t just leave all of her friends at once just because of Ron. Of course not . . . if only Ron chose her.

 

It was soon to be the winter holidays and everyone was just about ready to leave school to go home. Hermione, on the other hand, decided to stay because her parents were planning on going on their eighteenth wedding anniversary and they did not want their know-it-all, bookworm daughter to ruin it. To her dismay, everyone was going to stay at school. She thought she could escape the annoying snogging sessions Ron and Lavender broke out into every five seconds but she was wrong. She’d have to spend time with them for the next two weeks. Them just sucking each other’s faces off while she just read a book.

 

“Aren’t you excited we’re all staying here for the holidays?” Ginny asked her friend with a grin.

 

“It’s great . . .” Hermione said in response, bitterly. “Why are you guys staying at Hogwarts this holiday? We always go over to your house and spend the holidays there. I mean, wouldn’t you rather stay over there then here with me? I’m not going to do anything except read and study.” She explained to Ginny, trying to persuade her stubborn friend.

 

“Oh, don’t be ridiculous Hermione. You weren’t going to come home with us this winter break so I refused to go which resulted into Harry changing his mind about going . . . and pretty much Ron followed and of course, Lavender did, too. For the past seven years, we always went to my house to spend the holidays but since you were going to stay here . . . well, it wouldn’t be the same without you.” Ginny explained and smiled. “Well, hey, I believe we can be roommates while everyone’s gone.” She told her friend with an excited grin. “I’ve been dying for sleepovers!”

 

Hermione couldn’t help but laugh at her friend. “Thank you for staying here just because of me.” She told Ginny and Harry. “But I’m pretty sure you guys and . . . Ron and Lavender will be too busy spending time with each other.” She told them with a small, disappointed smile. “But I will be spending my holiday in the library so it wouldn’t matter to me anyway.”

 

“Oh, but come on, Hermione.” Ginny begged and suddenly glared at her brother and Lavender. “You’re going to avoid us because of them, am I right?” She asked her friend, surprising Hermione with her dead on accuracy.

 

Hermione forced a small chuckle and refused at once. “What? No! Of course not! Are you mental!?” She asked her friend, a little bit too exaggeratedly. ‘Oh, gosh, she knows. I’m such a bad liar.’ She told herself with a groan.

 

“I think you’re the mental one.” Ron said to her with his arms around Lavender’s petite waist.

 

Hermione immediately shot daggers at him and clenched her jaw. “Ron, I appreciate that you shared your opinion with us but I did not ask for it so please don’t do it again.” She stared at him for a few more seconds and then turned her gaze on Ginny. “I have other important things to do anyways, Ginny. I’ll be busy with . . .  studying, reading, and maybe even with someone.” She said as she shrugged her shoulders. “Who knows?”

 

“You don’t have a boyfriend.” Ron said bluntly as he slightly laughed incredulously.

 

Harry shot his friend a warning look as he kicked Ron in the shin under the table. “Ron, just shut up.” He whispered over to his friend in a hurry.

 

Hermione furrowed her eyebrows as she glared at Ron. “And why do you say that? You’re saying it as if it’s never going to happen.” She snapped at him and shot up from her seat. “If I were you Ronald, I would just mind my own business instead of jumping into someone else’s conversation. Why don’t you just go back to snogging your girlfriend, you seem to be doing it a lot these days anyway.” She quickly left the Great hall with flaming, hot cheeks. She slowed down a bit to catch her breath. Her chest heaved up and down heavily as if she had just run a marathon.

 

She came to a complete stop in the middle of the corridor as she pressed her lips into a thin line. She felt tears threatening to spill out and abandon her. She clenched her fists hard so that her knuckles turned white. She couldn’t cry . . . not here, not now, not because of Ron. She inhaled deeply and let her fingers relax and unroll out of the fist and sighed. She held her tears back in and proceeded to walk off but a familiar voice stopped her.

 

“Hermione, are you alright?”

 

 . . . . . .


 

Draco groaned and shot a glare at Pansy. “Pansy, get your filthy hands off of me.” He snapped at her as he roughly pushed her hands away from his thigh. He was pleasantly enjoying his dinner with his best friend, Blaise until she showed up to ruin it.

 

“Why are you being so shy, Draky?” Pansy asked with her annoying, high pitched voice as she smiled at Draco.

 

Don’t. Call me that.” He said sternly as he stared at her with his cold, arctic grey eyes. “Just—just leave me alone, Pansy.”

 

Pansy slightly backed off from his cold glare, the smile getting swiped off her face in a matter of seconds. She quickly composed herself and stared at Draco. “No matter what you say or do to me—“ She stopped and slightly giggled to herself. “—I’ll always be here. The more and more you tell me to back off, actually makes me want you even more.” She explained with a smirk. “The more you tell me to leave you alone, the more I want to stay with you.”  

 

Draco frowned as he glared at her. “Look, I don’t think I got this through your thick skull, but I want you to leave me the fuck alone. I absolutely detest you! You’re merely just a bratty bitch who’s extremely dense. Why don’t you go bother some other guy for once and leave me the hell alone?” He raised his voice at her slightly.

 

Pansy slightly lowers her gaze on him and crosses her arms across her chest as she glared at him. “I’m going to pretend like I didn’t hear that because I know you don’t mean it.” She said stubbornly as she got up from her seat.

 

“Whatever, Parkinson.” He sighed in defeat as he stared at his plate of food with a groan.

 

Pansy remained standing next to Draco with a hard glare and after a few more minutes of staring, she ripped her eyes from him and quickly walked out of the Great hall without another word.

 

“I think you upset her.” Blaise Zabini, Draco’s best mate, chimed in with a taunting chuckle.

 

“Shut up.” Draco told Blaise with an unpleasant scowl and stared at his friend. “Why won’t she leave me the hell alone?”

 

“Gee, because I know the answer and I know how she feels.” Blaise said with sarcasm dripping from his voice. “What the hell are you asking me for?” He asked his friend with a what-the-hell-stare.

 

“It was a rhetorical question, you prick.” Draco retorted back and sighed as he groaned. “She’s getting even more annoying as the days go on.”

 

“I know what you mean. Just watching her makes me wants to hex myself but I can’t even fathom how bad you must feel considering the position you’re in.” Blaise said with a long sigh, feeling sympathy for his friend.

 

“I wish I could just . . . get her off my back, you know?”

 

“I completely understand. I mean, if you had a girlfriend maybe she’d back off but come on now. Draco Malfoy does not do relationships and have girlfriends. The only thing close to that in your book is a shagging partner.” Blaise said with a laugh.

 

Draco’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Girlfriend . . .?”


 

. . . . . . 


 

Hermione stopped and sighed as she turned around. “I’m fine, Ginny. I just . . . I just got a bit caught up in my emotions and it—I—uhm, I—“ She mentally slapped herself for mumbling like an idiot and especially in front of Ginny.

 

“Let’s talk about it.” Ginny said reassuringly and walked over to Hermione. They started to walk and talk through the empty corridors. “I’m sorry that my brother is an idiotic fool.” She apologized.

 

“Hey, I loved that idiotic fool once.” Hermione said weakly as she felt the tears come back to her.

 

Ginny looked over at Hermione and saw that her warm, chocolate brown eyes glisten. “You should just forget about him. He’s not worth the tears, he had his chance and he lost it. Don’t let him think he can have you whenever he pleases. You need to show him that he doesn’t get another chance.” Ginny shared with her friend sternly.

 

“How?”

 

“You should get a boyfriend!” She said as she snapped her fingers. “Then, Ron will get jealous and he’ll realize what a fool he’s been and when he asks for another chance, you can shoot him down. Don’t worry, he’ll get over it.” She reassured her friend.

 

Hermione slightly scoffed and stopped walking as she stared at Ginny’s dazzling emerald eyes. “That’s impossible, I don’t like anyone and besides, no one likes a know-it-all bookworm like me.”

 

“Who the hell are you?” Hermione raised an eyebrow at her friend.

 

“I’m Hermione Granger?”

 

“That’s all you need! Uh, hello? You’re the smartest witch of our generation! Hermione, you’re gorgeous, smart, sweet, and intelligent. Who wouldn’t like you?” Ginny asked as she grabbed her friend’s shoulders, slightly shaking her.

 

“Ron.”

 

“My stupid brother isn’t the only one out there. There are so many other guys out there! All you need to do is look for the right one.”

 

“Like who? Who is there that I could date that’ll make Ron jealous and make him feel absolutely stupid for not picking me?” Hermione asked her friend.

 

“Blaise Zabini is pretty good looking.” Ginny said as she raised an eyebrow but quickly laughed. “I’m kidding. I mean he is handsome but Harry is the only guy for me, don’t worry!” She said and slightly smirked. “You should date someone like Draco Malfoy, Ron despises him and you have to admit, he’s pretty handsome.”  

 

“Draco Malfoy?” She thought about it and a smirk crawled onto her face. “I think I found a lucky candidate to be my boyfriend, Ginny.” Hermione said and stared at Ginny. “You’re brilliant! This whole plan is brilliant!”

 

“What!?” Ginny asked her friend with wide eyes as she dropped her arms to her side. “It was merely just a suggestion. No, it was a joke Hermione—“

 

“No, no, it’s perfect. It’s absolutely flawless. All I have to do is make Draco Malfoy fall in love with me, I’ll date him and Ron will regret losing me, I’ll get my revenge, and then I’ll just dump Malfoy after it! That’s perfect!”

 

“No, it’s not.”

 

“Then, you and I will have to make a plan to make it perfect.” Hermione rambled on, ignoring Ginny’s statement.

 

“You and I . . . as in together?”

 

“What else?” Hermione asked with excited eyes. “This is fantastic.”

 

“I was just kidding—“

 

“Ginny, we need to think of a plan. Let’s go to the library.” She suggested as she dashed off with Ginny slowly walking behind.


 

. . . . . .


 

Blaise immediately stopped laughing and raised an eyebrow at Draco. “You, you aren’t serious are you? I was just kidding man.” He said nervously.

 

“No, no, Blaise I think you’re onto something.” Draco said with a small smirk. “If I have a girlfriend, Pansy will surely leave me alone.”

 

“It depends on who that girlfriend is. You know, I was really just kidding—“

 

“You’re right. I need a girl that Pansy hates . . . but who?” He asked, ignoring Blaise completely. He looked around the Great hall, looking for any girl who Pansy would hate. His eyes finally landed on the perfect girl for the job. Hermione Ganger. “Granger.”

 

“What!?” Blaise yelled loudly, completely in shock at his friend’s decision. “Draco, please, it was just a harmless joke. Don’t take it—“

 

“She’s perfect, Blaise. I can make anyone fall in love with me. I assure you Granger isn't any different.” Draco said confidently and smirked even wider—if that was possible.

 

“You cannot be serious! Granger, Draco? Really?  She’s a mudblood, a Gryffindor, a complete know-it-all bookworm, a . . . a—she’s Hermione Granger!” Blaise yelled at his friend with an incredulous look on his face.

 

“I know what she is.” He said calmly and stared at his friend. “Granger is a mudblood, a Gryffindor, a complete know-it-all bookworm, she’s Hermione Granger and she’s perfect.” Draco threw his friend’s words back at him. “Everything you described her as is the perfect reason why she should be my girlfriend. Think about it, Pansy hates the girl. Once Pansy finds out I’m dating Granger, all will be well. She’ll leave me alone and I’ll be damn happy.”

 

“You’re mental.” Blaise said as he shook his head. “Okay, fine genius, tell me this. How will you make her fall in love with you? You two hate each other—detest each other. You guys have been arch-enemies the minute you two laid eyes on each other, the only thing you guys said to each other in the past seven years were nothing but insults. Why do you think she’d change her feelings about you all of a sudden?” Blaise asked his friend. “They don’t call her the smartest witch of our generation, mate, she’s a genius and not to mention curious. I’m sure she’ll jump right into conclusions when you start talking to her.”

 

Draco looked his friend for a few seconds and looked over to where Hermione was. He saw Hermione yell something at Ron Weasley and storm out of the room with Ginny chasing after her. He smirked and slightly chuckled in amusement and looked back at a stunned and astounded Weasel-King. He looked back at his friend with a cocky grin and raised an eyebrow. “Everyone in Hogwarts knows Granger got rejected by the Weasel-King. She’s heartbroken, that’s where I come in. I’ll start talking to her, become her friend, and then I’ll make my first move.”

 

“I don’t understand—“

 

“You will soon enough.” Draco said with a smirk and sighed happily. “I’m actually looking forward to the winter holidays. I mean, I was planning on staying here but I was worried I was going to be bored but now . . . I think it’s going to be fun.” He said as he stared at Blaise. “You’re smarter than I thought, mate.”

 

“Thanks! Wait.” Blaise said, his small grin disappearing into thin air. “Did you just insult me on my intelligence?”

 

“Yes, I did but that’s not important right now. We’ve got bigger things to worry about.” He said as he got up and gesturing for Blaise to stand also. “We need to make a plan and when I say ‘we’, I mean you and me.”

 

“I don’t want anything to do with this whole idiotic plan.”

 

“Too bad, you’re the one who gave me the idiotic plan in the first place, so you’re sticking to it. Now, come on then.” Draco walked out of the Great Hall with Blaise reluctantly following behind.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hello, this is my first fanfiction ever and I know I’m lacking a lot but I hope that you all like it. I hope that you will leave me some reviews/feedback :)

 

-Annie


Chapter 2: Chapter 2
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. . . . . .

 

“No, Hermione, no matter how much you say it, it won’t work.” Ginny said with a sigh. “It’s impossible, absolutely impossible to make Malfoy fall in love with you.”

 

“Don’t be silly, Ginny, nothing’s impossible.”

 

“But let’s think about this. He’s our enemy, he used to be an ex-deatheater, he’s a Slytherin—he, he’s just Draco Malfoy! No, it won’t work!” Ginny said, trying to convince her friend. “If you two started to date it would be like, what do muggles call it? World War Six?”

 

“World War Three actually.”

 

“That’s beside the point! Let’s be rational here—“

 

“Don’t be so dramatic, Ginny. If . . . we were to date, I suppose we’ll just bring house unity. I’ll be getting what I want and I’ll be bringing peace to this school. How great is that?” Hermione asked with a grin.

 

“No, that’s not great at all. Who cares about house unity at this point? We already have house unity since the war kind of solved that problem for us, Hermione!”

 

“Ginny, I have everything under control. I know what I’m doing.”

 

“No you don’t.” She muttered under her breath and looked at her friend desperately. “Okay, well, you guys have been enemies ever since you two laid eyes on each other. Hell, none of us talked to him ever since the war. It’s going to be weird if you just started to talk to him. We haven’t talked to him and he hasn’t talked to us ever since the war ended, okay? How will you make him fall in love with you?”

 

“I’ll do whatever I have to do to make him fall in love with me.” She said coolly as she leaned back in her seat with her arms crossed across her chest. She was done talking about the plan. “Please promise me you’ll keep this a secret.”

 

Ginny furrowed her eyebrows and stared at Hermione for a long hard time. She finally gave up and sighed. There was no turning back for her now, she had decided and she was quiet the stubborn one. “I promise but please just don’t get into a lot of trouble.” She said with a hopeful grin.

 

“You’re the best.” Hermione stated happily as she shot up from her seat. “I guess I’ll be busy this winter break, huh?” She asked her friend and grinned.

 

“Wait, is Draco Malfoy staying here for the holidays?” Ginny asked as she stood up, too.

 

“Well, considering his father . . .” Hermione stopped herself and pursed her lips. “I don’t think he’ll want to go back home for the holidays.” Hermione answered with her voice suddenly low and quiet—almost like a whisper.

 

“That’s right.” Ginny said under her breath and felt the awkward atmosphere around them. The Malfoys’ were all over the newspaper when the war ended and almost everybody in the Wizarding World knew about them. It was a touchy subject to talk about, considering it didn’t end well for Draco Malfoy.

 

“Let’s go back to our dorm and just get a nice rest.” Hermione suggested.

 

“That sounds very welcoming right now.” Ginny said with a grin as they started walking out of the library. “So how long is this “mission” of yours going on for? Have you decided yet?”

 

“My plan is to try to at least be friends with him by the end of winter break. That’ll give me two weeks and then after those two weeks, if I’m friends with him by then . . . I’ll make my first move.”

 

“Let’s just pray that it works.”

 

“Pray hard.”

 

“Really Hard.” Ginny sighed and stared at her friend. “I can’t believe you’re still doing this. There’s still time to turn back—“

 

“I’ve decided that I will stick to the plan and that’s final, Ginny. I’m not changing my mind so let’s just have a restful night and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” Hermione said as they reached their destination. Hermione walked up the stairs with Ginny and separated into their own rooms.

 

Hermione set her book bag down on her bed and sighed as she walked into the bathroom. She examined herself through the mirror and slightly frowned. She wasn’t exactly gorgeous, she still had freckles sprinkled across her nose and although her bushy mane tamed itself and turned into soft curls, she just wasn’t that attractive. She had a slender body, 5’6 and lean. Was she that unattractive? Was that why . . .? She suddenly imagined Ron and groaned in frustration as she shook her head, erasing her train of thoughts. She sighed and tied her hair back into a messy bun, getting ready to wash up.

 

. . . . . .

 

“What? You’re going to do what?” Blaise asked as he stared at his friend, shaking his head.

 

“Are you deaf? How many times do I have to repeat this?” Draco asked his friend with a sigh.

 

“As many times as possible until it gets through my damn head and I’m thinking this is outrageous.” Blaise stated clearly.

 

Draco snickered and rolled his eyes in annoyance. “The plan will work and I will succeed.”

 

“It’s impossible. She hates us.”

 

“Ah, you won’t know what’s impossible unless you try! Besides, nothing is impossible. Where’s your spirit?” He asked his friend with a smirk.

 

“Amuse me then, tell me your magnificent plan.” Draco raised an eyebrow at his friend’s sarcasm but brushed it off.

 

“I, Draco Malfoy, will make Hermione Granger fall in love with me. First, I will befriend her during the winter holidays and after that, we’ll be good friends. Good enough friends to start making my move on her. You understand me?”

 

“Go into more detail for me, will you?”

 

Draco rolled his steel grey eyes out of frustration and annoyance. “Look, I’m just going to start being civil with her until winter break is over. I’m going to start tomorrow and we will argue about something, then I’ll say something to throw her off and we all know she’s curious. I’m going to be on her mind all day and night, and then the next day we’ll meet again, argue about something, and boom! I’m sure, by then, we will be best of friends and then I will make my first move on her. I assure you, by then Granger will be all over me.”

 

“You should really get that brain of yours checked out at St. Mungo’s.  It’s really beginning to worry me.”

 

“Blaise, I’m serious.”

 

“Are you?” Blaise questioned as he raised an eyebrow. “Look, I know you want Pansy to leave you alone but must you have to go this far?”

 

“Yes.” Draco said and got up from his seat and sighed.

 

“But, think it over. The war has ended, mate. And none of us has exchanged any words with each other ever since then. I mean, they all probably still hate us.”

 

“I know but I’m going to get through that.”

 

“You’ll go to extreme measures for that girl?”

 

“Anything to get her to—“

 

“Fall in love with you and make Pansy back off. Yes, okay, I get it.” Blaise sighed in defeat; there was no turning back for Draco. A stubborn one, he was.

 

“Glad you’re finally getting with the program. Now, that we are done discussing I’m going to go sleep now.” He stated and started to walk towards the boys’ dormitory stairs. “Oh, and Blaise.” He started as he turned around. “This is a secret between you and me, okay? So if word gets around about this, I will come straight to you and hex you to oblivion.” He warned his friend with cold, ominous grey marbles.

 

“You have my word, mate.” He breathed out as he leaned back on the couch, completely exasperated from the talk.

 

“You are indeed a good friend, Zabini.” Malfoy said with a cheeky grin as he walked off, leaving his worried friend.

 

“He’s mental. The war obviously did something to him. Sure, he changed for the greater good because of the war but . . . he’s mental now.” Blaise began to mutter other nonsense under his breath as he stared off into space. “Mental . . .” He mumbled with a frown as he shook his head in utter disappointment.

 

. . . . . .

 

The next morning, Hermione was seen sitting on the couch of the Gryffindor common room reading a book. She had a nice blanket over her with the fire flaming hot in the fireplace. She chewed on her bottom lip with her eyebrows closely knit together, she was focusing hard. She suddenly heard footsteps descending down the stairs from the left side of her, the boys’ dormitory. She ripped her eyes off the pages of her book and lifted her head.

 

“Good morning.” He yawned as he stretched his arms.

 

“Good morning, Harry.” Hermione chimed happily as she stared at him. She slightly laughed at his usual messy raven colored hair.

 

Harry curiously stared at Hermione and immediately shot his hand up, trying to smooth his hair down but it stood still. He sighed and gave it a rest as he dropped his hands to his sides. “What are you reading at this early of an hour?” He asked as he took a seat next to Hermione. “It’s only six thirty . . . in the morning.”

 

“I’m just reading Hogwarts, A History like usual. But that’s not the real question.” Hermione said as she raised an eyebrow at her friend anxiously. “What are you doing up so early?”

 

“I just couldn’t sleep, that’s all. Ron was snoring incredibly loud! It’s ridiculous how late he gets in every night.” Harry blurted out and his eyes widened as he furrowed his eyebrows. He pressed his lips into a thin line and fixed his glasses. “You weren’t supposed to hear that.” He laughed nervously as he stared at Hermione.

 

Hermione bit back her words as she clenched her jaw. It took a lot of effort trying not to care about the guy who broke her heart. “Oh?” She asked as she acted as casual as she could. She bookmarked her page and closed it. “And why is that?”

 

“Well, I . . . I’m not sure if I should tell you or not—“

 

“Just calm down.” Hermione laughed and shook her head. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Ron’s doing out so late.” She said slightly bitterly.

 

“Look, Hermione, I’m sorry for bringing him up. I know you aren’t . . . well, comfortable with him right now?” Harry tried to apologize.

 

“It’s okay, I’m over it.” Hermione lied as she kept her head high. She spoke so sternly that it surprised Harry how strong she was about it, but she was only trying to convince herself. “I was just upset about a stupid little heartbreak. I’m over it and I’m planning on moving forward.” She told Harry but mostly telling herself.

 

“Oh really?” He asked with a small grin. “Well, I’m glad you are. I was afraid my two best friends would become enemies over a . . .”

 

“Misunderstanding.” Hermione finished for him and flashed him a grin. “It’s okay because you won’t have to worry about that.” She lied and immediately felt guilty about it. She was lying to her best friend and she was getting away with it, that’s what made her feel even worse about herself.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“You welcome.” She said and quickly got up as she stretched. “Well, I’m going to take a shower so I’ll meet you at breakfast?”

 

“Of course.” Harry said with a grin and watched as Hermione quickly left towards the stairs.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione frowned as she stared at Ron and Liberty, then at Harry and Ginny, and then Malfoy, and then back again with the cycle. She hadn’t touched her food at all since she got there and wasn’t planning on it either. She felt the guilt already eating her alive but she couldn’t just quit, right? She was just getting started. She groaned in frustration as she buried her face into her hands.

 

“Are you feeling alright, Mione?”

 

Hermione immediately shot her head back up and lowered her hands. She realized Ron asked her and let out a small laugh. “Oh, I’m fine. I’m just a bit tired, that’s all.” She said as casually as possible.

 

“You seem to be really stressed out, though.” Lavender said in a fake, sympathetic voice.

 

Hermione glared at Lavender and quickly rolled her eyes as she shook her head. “I was up studying for the Potions test today.” She replied with a phony grin.

 

Lavender rolled her eyes annoyingly and scoffed. “Of course you’d study since you can’t get a single guy to take interest in you.” She muttered under her breath but loud enough for Hermione to hear.

 

Hermione bit back her tongue as she tried to remain calm. She grazed her tongue across her teeth as she held her words.

 

“We have a Potions test today?” Ron asked with wide eyes.

 

“Oh, that’s right . . .” Harry said as he scratched his head, exchanging confused glances with Ron.

 

“You guys are hopeless idiots.” Ginny said with a groan as she rolled her eyes. “You guys both should have just taken that job offer as an Auror instead of coming back here for education. It’s not like it’ll get you both anywhere.”

 

“Ouch, that hurt.” Harry and Ron managed to say in unison as she glared at the fiery redhead.

 

“It’s true, isn’t it?” She retorted back with a smirk.

 

“Won-Won, it’s not true. You’re smart and you will get a wonderful job after you graduate from Hogwarts.” Lavender told him in a sweet whisper as she hooked their fingers together. Ron smiled at her while Hermione and Ginny scowled. Harry wasn’t sure how to react so he just stared at Lavender and Ron with a shocked expression.

 

Ginny looked at Harry and shook her head. “I’m not going to feed you lies. I’ll say something like that when you deserve it.” She informed him and watched as Harry sighed a bit.

 

Hermione slightly chuckled and stared at Ginny. “Don’t you think you’re being a bit harsh to your boyfriend?”

 

“Of course not, I’m acting like this because he’s my boyfriend.” Ginny said matter-of-factly. “Now, enough about that, why are you staring at all of us constantly?”

 

“You noticed?”

 

“Anyone with a brain noticed . . . that’s why those three idiotic people sitting with us haven’t noticed anything.” Ginny said as she shook her head.

 

“Well, if it’s just you, I won’t worry because you actually know my plan.” Hermione said as she let out a sigh of relief.

 

“What’s bothering you? You were so excited for the plan yesterday night.”

 

“I’m just . . . thinking.”

 

“Yeah, thinking rather hard.” Ginny commented and stared at Hermione. “What’s on your mind?”

 

“I—uhm, nothing.” Hermione said after a while and slightly grinned. “I’m just wondering how I should approach Malfoy.”

 

“Well, lucky for you, we have Potions with Malfoy. That’s a perfect opportunity, isn’t it?” Ginny asked with a grin.

 

“I guess so.” Hermione cautiously took a glance as Malfoy and Zabini sitting together. She sighed and looked down at her food, then pushed it away. “Ron, do you want it?” She asked deliberately, knowing Ron would hands down agree.

 

“Mmm, yessh.” Ron asked cheerfully with food in his mouth as he took the plate over to his side. Hermione frowned at Ron’s disgusting eating habits. She thought once Lavender started dating him, she’d do something about it, but it seemed like she encouraged him to eat more. She wasn’t very hungry anymore.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco took a seat next to Blaise the next morning with a frown.

 

“What happened to you?” Blaise asked with a small chuckle.

 

Draco shot a glare at his friend and groaned. “Don’t even—just shut up.” He said as he held back his tongue from yelling at his friend.

 

“Rough morning?” Draco merely gave a slight nod and said nothing. Blaise pressed his lips into a thin line as he felt a bit awkward at the silent atmosphere. “So, what are you planning to do today? Isn’t it Day One of your mission?”

 

“Yes.” Draco said thought his teeth. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”

 

“Oh . . . well, we have Potions today with Gryffindor so you can talk to her then?”

 

“Sure.” Draco managed to say and stared at the toast for a long time.

 

“Okay, then.” Blaise said as he finally gave up on making a conversation. He sighed and turned to his food.

 

Just then, the whole Great Hall became silent once Professor McGonagall, the new headmistress of Hogwarts, went up to the front. All it took was just the clear of her throat and she had every student’s attention. “I would like to make a few announcements.” She said in a stern yet calm voice.”I would like to inform you that your winter holiday starts next week on Monday so students who are leaving for home should start preparing for that. Those of you who are staying at Hogwarts should also get packed up because the professors and I have decided to carry out a new plan. Do not forget that we have our last Quidditch match before the winter holidays. Thank you.” She finished with a small grin and walked off.

 

Hermione’s eyes widened as she stared at Ginny, Ron, and Harry. “Quidditch game?” She muttered under her breath and looked at them. “Who are the two teams playing?”

 

“For the Quidditch game?” Ron asked and received a quick nod from Hermione. “Why, Gryffindor against Slytherin of course. A good last game.” He said with a grin.

 

Hermione smirked and stared at Ginny. “Interesting.” She said as she thought of a plan.

 

Ginny frowned and sighed. “What are you planning to do?’

 

“Nothing.” Hermione said an innocent smile as she shrugged.

 

 On the other side of the Great Hall, Draco and Blaise exchanged glances with each other as the headmistress stepped off the platform.

 

“We have a game coming up, don’t we?” Draco asked with a sigh.

 

“You’re the captain, of course we do.” Blaise stated. “Wait, shouldn’t you know that? You’ve been talking about this game ever since our last one. Since we’re going against Gryffindor, you’ve been dying to pulverize them like we did to Ravenclaw.”

 

“Oh, shit. I forgot.” Draco said with another sigh as he rubbed the side of his face with one hand. “I’ve been so caught up with the Pansy business—“

 

“Hey, you’re okay, you have me.”

 

“That’s what worries me.” Draco muttered under his breath, but not soft enough because he received a glare from Blaise.

 

“We have Quidditch practice today so you should stay out of trouble today in your classes because we can’t afford you, the captain, to get detention again.” Blaise said bitterly as he still frowned at his friend’s comment about him.

 

Draco shot him a glare and scowled. “You say it like I get detention all the time.”

 

“Are we seriously going to go there? Of course you do! Every single time you open your damn mouth, you get a detention.” He told his friend with a frown. “Try not to open your mouth, Captain and get to class on time.” He said as he patted Draco on the shoulder, standing up. “I gotta go.”

 

“Just leave mother.” Draco muttered as he frowned at his food. He looked across the room and stared at Hermione. “Wait . . . we’re going up against Gryffindor? That’s . . . brilliant.” He said with a smirk as he looked over at Hermione Granger.

 

 . . . . . .


Chapter 3: Chapter 3
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione walked into Potions class and quickly sat down in the back which was very unlikely of her. She quickly set her things down and looked over at Harry and Ron.

 

“Hermione, why are you sitting there?” Harry asked while Ron made his way over to the empty seat next to Hermione.

 

“No!” Hermione yelled as she pushed Ron off the seat. “I’m . . . saving it for Ginny.” Hermione stated as she got up, grabbing Ginny away from Harry. She quickly pushed her friend down on the seat and sat down, looking flustered.

 

Ginny shook her head as she stifled a laugh. “You’re over-reacting.” She whispered over to her friend.

 

“I just, I just need some assistance . . . that’s all.” She said and stared at Ron and Harry. “Go sit over there.” She ordered as she pointed to the table all the way across the room from them.

 

“Uhm . . . o-kay?” Ron frowned as he furrowed his eyebrows, slowly walking off with Harry. “What the bloody hell is going on with Hermione?” His voice slowly trained off as he walked farther away from Hermione and Ginny.

 

“You really need help.” Ginny stated and shook her head.

 

“I, I just don’t know how to talk to him. That’s all.” Hermione stated defensively. “I mean, let’s be honest here. I—we haven’t talked to each other ever since the war. I mean, we awkwardly greeted each other a few times but that was it. How am I supposed to just randomly go up to him and start talking?”

 

“I was talking about Ron but Malfoy is a problem as well.” She stated with an eyebrow raised. “I told you it was a bad idea to start this whole plan. But you have me, so don’t you worry.” Ginny said with a grin.

 

“You are a life saver.” Hermione said with a relieved sigh.

 

“Right, so how about this? All you have to do is just—“

 

“Yes, class, look at the board and find your Potions partner, I will give you two minutes, starting now.” Professor Slughorn walked in with his voice suddenly filling the room as he whipped his wand, names appearing on the front board for everyone to see. He calmly walked over to the front.

 

“Yeah, just talk to him.” Ginny quickly said as she looked at the board. She suddenly groaned and frowned. “Professor Slughorn, which Weasley is with Zabini?” She asked anxiously.

 

“That would you be you, Ms. Weasley.” Slughorn answered with a kind grin.

 

“Oh . . .” Ginny sighed and looked at her friend. “Great, this is just . . . great.” She said with sarcasm dripping from her voice as she frowned. “Well, I guess I have to go now.”

 

“Wait, but could you just give me one little tip—“

 

“I’ll tell you more during lunch. Besides, you might not have a chance to talk to him considering we’re stuck with partners.” Ginny said matter-of-factly. “Don’t freak out.”

 

“Yeah, I won’t . . .” Hermione reassured herself and looked up at the board. Her eyes finally found her name but it quickly widened as she stared at Ginny. “Ma . . . Malfoy’s my partner?”

 

Ginny furrowed her eyebrows and looked behind her to see her friend’s name beside Malfoy’s. She pressed her lips together and raised both eyebrows. “Okay, uhm, that wasn’t supposed to happen.”

 

“Okay, now I’m freaking out.” Hermione told her friend with wide eyes.

 

“Don’t worry, he’s not even here!” Ginny said with a grin.

 

“Ah, it’s so nice of you to join us, Mr. Malfoy.” Professor Slughorn said with a frown as he stared at the teenage boy.

 

Hermione glared at her friend and frowned. “Just go sit down, you keep on jinxing everything.” She said and sighed as she took a quick seat back down.

 

“Have a wonderful talk.” Ginny teased her friend with a cheeky grin and grabbed an empty seat elsewhere.

 

Draco smirked and looked over at his professor. “What are we doing now, Professor?”

 

“Mr. Malfoy, please look for your name and sit with your partner.”

 

Draco frowned as he raised an eyebrow at the board. Just then, Blaise came and slightly pushed Draco. “What the hell, mate? I thought we agreed you wouldn’t come in late.”

 

“No, you merely suggested I shouldn’t come in late anymore, I decided to ignore that suggestion.” Draco said with a smirk. “Are you my partner?”

 

“No, and it serves you right because you’re partners with Granger.” Blaise told him with a smirk.

 

“What?” Draco asked with wide eyes. “Who’s your bloody partner, then?”

 

“Weasley.” He muttered under his breath with a groan.

 

“She-Weasel?” Draco raised an eyebrow at his friend and let out a snicker as his friend nodded. “Have a nice time, mate.”

 

“Yes, I will. But I hope you have a nice time talking to Granger, I know you’ll enjoy it.” Blaise retorted back with a smirk. Draco frowned as he sneered. “Go sit down.” Draco said roughly as he pushed a laughing Blaise away from him. He immediately spotted Hermione in the back and sighed. ‘Alright, keep it cool. Act natural, don’t make a fool out of your—wait. What the bloody hell is wrong with me? Why am I concerned about what Granger thinks? No, Draco, do whatever the hell you want.’ He stopped his train of thoughts and shook his head slightly. ‘Just talk to her because the plan must work.’ He finally agreed to himself and walked over to her.

 

“Granger.”

 

“Malfoy.”

 

Draco sat down awkwardly and looked straight. Hermione stole a glance of him and immediately let her eyes go to the front. They both knew it was going to be a hard class today.

 

“We will be brewing something very challenging today. We will be making the Amortentia potion. Would anyone like to tell me what that is?” Slughorn asked with a grin as he stared at all his students.

 

Hermione’s hand immediately shot up. Draco slightly flinched at her sudden movement and slightly leaned back away from her. ‘Boy, some things just never change. She’s still a know-it-all.’ Draco thought to himself bitterly and frowned.

 

“It’s the most powerful love potion of all . . .” Hermione finished explaining and slightly grinned.

 

Draco sneered as he shook his head.

 

Professor Slughorn flicked his wand toward the board and the ingredients to the potion came up. “I will give you three hours to make it, starting now.” He told them and immediately students started to get up, grabbing their cauldrons and all of their ingredients.

 

Hermione stood up and stared at Malfoy. “I guess I’ll be getting all the ingredients?”

 

“Oh, I should do something, too.” Draco stated with his arms crossed across his chest, leaning back against his chair. “But, I’m sure you can handle yourself, eh, Granger? You are the smartest witch of our generation so you won’t need any assistance getting ingredients. I’ll stay right here.” He said with a smirk.

 

Hermione immediately frowned and scowled as she quickly walked over to where the ingredients were. She took her wand out and pointed it at a cauldron and soon, it floated up and started to fly over to Draco. She quickly dropped her wand, the cauldron dropping gently on the table in front of him. She rolled her chocolate brown eyes with annoyance and turned back around and to bump into Ron. “Oh, sorry.” She said and quickly straightened herself out.

 

“It’s okay.” Ron said with a grin. “Who’s your partner?”

 

“Malfoy. Who’s yours?”

 

“Harry.” Ron answered after a few minutes of silence. “Well, I’m sure he won’t do anything to you.” He reassured her with a small grin.

 

“Yeah.” She said awkwardly and scratched her head. “I’m just . . . we should get back to our project. We only have three hours to brew this.” She said with a small grin and walked past him, grabbing all the things she needed. She then saw Blaise Zabini next to her, examining her. She furrowed her eyebrows and turned to face him. “Is there something on my face, why are you staring at me?”

 

“Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize I was.” Blaise apologized as he quickly turned away.

 

“Are you sure?” Hermione asked with a weird look.

 

“Positive.” Blaise said a she shrugged her off, quickly grabbing all the ingredients he needed.

 

“Okay.” Hermione frowned and walked back to her table to see Malfoy staring at her. “Do you Slytherins not know it’s rude to stare?” She asked as she set all the things down on the table.

 

“No.” Draco answered her as he raised both eyebrows, standing up. “Let’s just get this over with.”

 

“Right.”

 

“Tell me when you need me.” Draco said as he sat back down, going back into his same position. “Actually, don’t bother me at all.”

 

“We’re obviously paired up for a reason.”

 

“Oh, really? I didn’t notice, thank you for telling me.” Draco mumbled over to her with his eyes still closed.

 

“Malfoy, you’re taking part of this!”

 

“No, I’m not.”

 

“Yes, you are.” Hermione glared at him for a long minute but realized he wasn’t going to open his eyes. She gave up with a sigh and immediately started making the potion. “You are hopeless.” She muttered under her breath.

 

After two hours of brewing the potion by herself, Hermione kicked Malfoy’s chair. “Malfoy, this is a partner activity, like I said before. Believe me, I'd rather do all of this by myself and get my grade but since you're getting the same grade as me, you should do something.” She stated with a deeper frown. “At least do something!” She yelled at him angrily.

 

“Alright, fine. I’ll stir it.” Draco said with a sigh as he stood back up. “I just thought since you’re a know-it-all you’d want to work by yourself. I know how much you hate it when . . . people get in your way when doing these silly activities.”

 

“And what is that supposed to mean?” Hermione snapped at him as she shot daggers.

 

“I’m saying you’re a bossy know-it-all. I guess some things never change.”

 

Hermione let out a small scoff. “Well, you’re an insufferable jerk. You haven’t changed the least bit ever since the war!” She retorted back.

 

Draco’s face hardened as he pressed his lips together into a thin line. He remained quiet as he started to stir the potion as it said on the board. Hermione bit the inside of her cheek as she regretted what she said. Her plan wasn’t going as planned. She sighed and licked her dry lips.

 

Draco finished stirring and turned to Hermione. “The potion’s finished.” He told her as he took a seat.

 

“Ah, Mr. Malfoy and Ms. Granger, I see you have finished. Let’s see how it is.” Professor Slughorn walked over to them with a delighted grin. He examined the potion and nodded. “It looks about right but . . . would you, Mr. Malfoy please step up and tell me what you smell?”

 

Hermione stared at Malfoy but he decided to ignore her. She slightly scooted closer to Malfoy and jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow. Draco groaned and glared at Hermione. He rolled his eyes out of annoyance and got up. He leaned over the potion as he studied Professor Slughorn. “I smell . . . vanilla and old books . . . and also . . .” Draco furrowed his eyebrows as he concentrated. “. . . old parchment and ink.” He finished and stayed confused for a few moments as he blinked, trying to process everything. He quickly pulled away as he slightly shook his head.

 

“Excellent! Excellent, indeed! How about you, Ms. Granger?” Slughorn pressed eagerly.

 

Hermione slightly leaned in and slightly furrowed her eyebrows. “I smell peppermint, pine, and . . . and . . . rain?” She asked as she furrowed her eyes even more in confusion. She immediately stepped back after pondering for a few more minutes. “I, uh . . . yes.”

 

“Excellent, my dear. You two have exceeded my expectations, this is perfect. You may be excused to leave for the remainder of class. Excellent work.” Professor Slughorn exclaimed happily and walked off.

 

Hermione quickly grabbed her things and walked out of the classroom with Malfoy. She furrowed her eyebrows and sighed. “Rain?” She muttered to herself at the outrageous smell.

 

“What are you muttering to yourself about, Granger?” Draco asked as he raised an eyebrow at her.

 

“Nothing.” She immediately answered and sighed as she suddenly reminded herself of her plan. “I mean . . . I was just thinking about the smell that I had smelt with the Amortentia.”

 

“Oh . . .” Draco said and racked his brain on what to think about. He was such a smooth talker but when it came to Granger, his mind drew a blank. It was possibly because all he had ever said to her were insults so he couldn’t think of any compliments to say. She did look a lot prettier than last year . . . but he couldn’t say that. He quickly snapped out of his scary thoughts of Granger being pretty and stared at her. “Well, I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.”

 

“And why is that?”

 

“Because it’s not like you’ll actually find the love of your life. No one would want to marry a ---“

 

“Mudblood? Is that what you were going to say?” Hermione snapped at him as she frowned.

 

“No, I was actually going to say know-it-all bookworm.” Draco said as he raised an eyebrow at her, completely shocking Hermione.

 

She stared at him wide eyed as she chewed on her bottom lip, thinking hard. ‘Did I hear correctly? Did he just . . . not call me a mudblood?’ “I’m sorry, what?” She asked after a few minutes.

 

“I don’t like to repeat things twice so if I were you, I’d pay attention next time.” Malfoy said going back to his cold-self. He mentally slapped himself for saying that, he was going on the right track with the whole blood status thing but then he screwed it up by saying that. Great, right when his plan was going great!

 

“Next time? And why do you think we’ll be talking again?” Hermione asked curiously as she raised an eyebrow at him.

 

Draco slightly furrowed his eyebrows and slightly smirked. It was working . . . “Figure it out, genius. We don’t call you the smartest witch of our generation for nothing, you know. There’s a reason behind it.” He said matter-of-factly and smirked at her as he walked off.

 

Hermione stood there in the empty corridors with a stunned face. “What just happened?” She asked herself, completely confused. Then, the whole scene replayed inside her head.

 

“Because it’s not like you’ll actually find the love of your life. No one would want to marry a ---“

 

“Mudblood? Is that what you were going to say?” Hermione snapped at him as she frowned.

 

“No, I was actually going to say know-it-all bookworm.” Draco said as he raised an eyebrow at her, completely shocking Hermione.

 

Why was he being so . . . nice to her all of a sudden? She had expected him to call her mudblood but he didn’t. Being called a know-it-all bookworm wasn’t nice but it was better than being called a mudblood. She bit her bottom lip as she furrowed her eyebrows. She pressed her lips together as she started to slowly make her way towards the library, still thinking hard about Draco Malfoy. She couldn’t believe he was on her mind. What was going on?

 

. . . . . .

 

Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews! You guys are truly the best and it made be very happy xD I think this will be the last one in a while since it's getting near Christmas and all but I will be writing more of my stories. I hope everyone has a safe and cheerful Christmas :) Happy holidays <3 (let’s all hope it snows for us wherever we are and get out of school :O)

 

P.S I changed the rating to Mature because I thought just to be safe and they might throw a few or a lot (depending on each person) curse words.


Chapter 4: Chapter 4
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. . . . . .

 

Draco Malfoy sat down next to Blaise with a smirk. “I’m on her mind right now.”

 

“How are you so sure?” Zabini asked as he looked over at Hermione and back to his friend.

 

“It was easy. I didn’t call her a mudblood.”

 

“That was it? One word and she’s all over you?”

 

“I told you she was easy.” He said with a smirk as he let out a relieved sigh. “I am going to be Pansy-free in no time.”

 

“Yeah, don’t get too comfortable because she’s coming right now.” Blaise said with a slight scoff as he started to eat his food.

 

Draco sighed and cursed under his breath once Pansy sat down next to him.

 

“Well, don’t you look happy?” She said with a grin as she stared at Draco.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“I was wondering if you wanted to come home with me for the holidays . . .” Pansy suggested as she placed a hand on Draco’s tone arm.

 

Draco put on a fake grin and stared at Pansy. “I’d rather get attacked by a Hippogriff than go home with you for the holidays.”

 

Pansy immediately frowned and crossed her arms across her chest. “Why? It’ll be a lot more fun at my place than here at this old school.”

 

“No, staying here at this old school will be much more fun that going home with you. I’ll feel a lot safer with you far, far away from me.”

 

“Fine, then. I guess I’ll just stay here, too.” Pansy stood her ground as she slightly glared at Draco.

 

“Do whatever you want because I’m going to be busy.”

 

“And why is that?”

 

“My, Pansy your curiosity is beginning to worry me. You’re starting to remind me of Granger.” He teased Pansy with a smirk.

 

Don’t compare me to that mudblood.” Pansy said with a glare.

 

“Then don’t talk to me anymore.” Draco told her sternly and broke out into a taunting smile. “We can’t always get what we want. I want you to leave me alone and you want me to stop comparing you with Granger. I guess we’ll just have to live with it, then. Oh, and don’t call her a mudblood.”

 

“Why? You say it all the time, why can’t I?”

 

“I don’t use that word anymore.” Draco replied back as he raised his eyebrows.

 

“And when did you stop using it?” Pansy scowled as she rolled her eyes annoyingly at him.

 

“Hmm, let me think . . . since about right now. Don’t use that word in front of me and do not call Granger that. She may be a muggle born but she’s a better witch than you’ll ever be so if I were you . . . I’d stop insulting her and start practicing because you really need all the help you can get.”

 

“Ugh, whatever!” Pansy yelled with annoyance as she stood up. “You are so annoying.”

 

“My thoughts exactly.”

 

Pansy clenched her jaw as she rolled her fingers into a fist. “Ugh!” She yelled with frustration and glared over at Hermione’s way as she quickly left the Great Hall.

 

“Wow that was some show.” Blaise commented with both eyebrows raised.

 

“Someone had to say it.” He told his friend matter-of-factly.

 

“No, I meant you called Granger a . . . you know what yesterday and now you’ve decided not to call her that anymore?”

 

“There’s a first for everything, right?” Blaise raised his eyebrow at his friend.

 

“It’s not too late to get that brain checked of yours. I promise I’ll pay for the bills. I just want you to be . . . okay again.”

 

“Oh shut up.” Blaise chuckled at his friend and patted Draco’s shoulder.

 

“So, what’s your next plan?”

 

“Well, we have Astronomy with them so we’ll just have to wait until night comes. Until then, I am going to enjoy my Pansy-free moment.” Draco stated with an almost small grin but it turned into a smirk. Typical Draco Malfoy.

 

“But aren’t you going to create a plan?” Blaise asked with a confused look.

 

“That’s a waste of time. Look, all I have to do to Granger is be unexpected, say nice things to her and she’ll be mine in no time. I have nothing to worry about since Granger is the easiest girl to use.”

 

“Don’t come crying to me when you realize you should’ve formulated a plan because all I’ll say is ‘I told you so.’”

 

“Well, don’t count on saying those words because I won’t come to you for help. Besides, Malfoys don’t cry.”

 

“You and your family pride.” Blaise muttered under his breath as he shook his head.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Why do you think he didn’t call me a mudblood?” Hermione asked her friend anxiously after telling her the whole story between them.

 

“Well, maybe . . . he’s changed for the better.” Ginny suggested with a small grin.

 

“No, something’s up. There’s no way he’d change.” She said immediately jumping to conclusions. “He’s up to something. It’s just not likely of him to act that way. It’s strange and, and—“

 

“The war changed everyone, Mione, so it’s only logical that Malfoy changed, too. Especially him since he didn’t even want to be on Voldermort’s side. And considering what happened to his parents.” Hermione stared at her friend with a confused look.

 

“Wow, I really have to give it to Malfoy. Draco Malfoy got you feeling stupid and confused! You’re left speechless because of him—wow, you know what? We should give him a prize. It’s not every day Hermione Granger is left speechless and stumped on something.” Ginny teased her friend with a grin.

 

“What are you girls talking about over there?” Harry interjected eagerly.

 

Hermione shot a glare at Ginny and looked over at Harry. “People.”

 

“Boys, men, dudes, whatever you two want to refer yourselves as.” Ginny said as she waved them off.

 

“Boys? Hermione, you’re talking about boys?” Lavender asked with wide, shocked eyes.

 

“It’s none of your concern.” She replied through her teeth as she glared at the blonde. “It’s nothing, guys.”

 

“Who were you guys talking about?” Ron asked as he slightly cleared his throat uncomfortably, waiting for Hermione’s answer.

 

“A guy.” Hermione simply stated and kept her mouth shut. “I’d love to stay and chat some more, but I’m going to head to the library to . . . sort things out, study . . . or something.” She said as she fluidly got up with all her things. She flashed them a small grin before leaving them deserted.

 

“You have fun on that studying.” Ginny yelled after her friend who just groaned in return. She laughed at their small secret and received weird glances from the trio. “What?” She snapped at them as she immediately frowned.

 

“Won-Won, let’s go back to the your dorm and . . . talk.” Lavender said in her sweet-song voice as she winked at him, getting up.

 

“Sounds good to me.” Ron said with a goofy grin as he followed Lavender. Soon enough, Harry and Ginny were sitting alone at the table.

 

“Were you guys talking about Draco Malfoy?” Harry suddenly asked Ginny curiously.

 

“What?” Ginny asked with wide eyes. “Who gave you that silly idea?”

 

“I heard you two talking and I only caught one name, Draco Malfoy. Why were you two talking about him?”

 

“We were not talking about Draco Malfoy.” Ginny laughed as she waved her hand in the air, dismissing the topic. “Look, it was nothing. We were just . . . rating the guys in school.”

 

“Okay . . .” Harry said after a while, still unconvinced.

 

Ginny let out another small laugh and looked the other way with a frown as she furrowed her eyebrows. “Damn . . .” She cursed under her breath and looked back at Harry. “You know, I think we should follow suit. Everyone’s gone . . . how about we walk outside for a little stroll?” She suggested as she got up, smiling at her boyfriend.

 

“That’s an offer I’m always willing to take.” Harry said with a boyish grin and got up. They walked out of the Great hall hand in hand.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione glared at the parchment as she scribbled down more notes vigorously. Her eyebrows were knit closely together and she was chewing on her pink, plump bottom lips. She groaned in frustration as she grabbed the parchment and scrunched it into a ball. She tossed it aside with the pile of other abandoned rolled up parchment balls. “Why is it so hard to make a stupid plan?” She muttered to herself as she buried her face into her hands in frustration.

 

“What plan?” Someone suddenly asked in a curious tone.

 

“I’m making a plan for something very important and I can’t screw it up or—“ Hermione immediately stopped herself and shot her head up to see Draco Malfoy smirking down on her. She mentally slapped herself for her small slip up and quickly grabbed all the paper balls towards her and put her arms around it, guarding it as if her life depended on it—which it did. She had been trying to create a written down plan on how to talk to Malfoy during Astronomy class but failed miserably every time.

 

“What are you . . . hiding there?” Malfoy asked as he reached for it slowly.

 

Hermione immediately slapped his hand away from her paper balls. “It’s not for you to touch.” She snapped at him.

 

“Granger, you sure seem secretive. It’s making me more curious to what you were planning. You did say it was something very, very important and if you screwed it up—I think something bad would happen.” He mocked her as he took a seat next to her. “Let me help you.”

 

“Over my dead body.” She muttered to herself as she rolled her chocolate brown eyes. “I don’t need your help.”

 

“I think you can use a little bit of help.” Draco claimed matter-of-factly as he shook his head as if agreeing with what he said.

 

“No, I don’t.” Hermione said and looked outside the window, avoiding Malfoy but suddenly saw people in green riding on their broomstick around the Quidditch field. She immediately smirked as she slowly tuned back to Malfoy.

 

“You do need help.”

 

“Do you really have time to be pestering me like this? I mean, we do have a Quidditch game coming up and frankly, your team has a lot of practice to do before going against us.” Hermione smirked as she watched Draco’s face harden.

 

“Are you saying Slytherin is bad at Quidditch?” Draco asked incredulously and scoffed as Hermione nodded. “I’ll have you know—“

 

“I don’t care.” Hermione cut him off with a small grin. “Instead of wasting time trying to convince me your team is good, I would go out there and practice with my teammates if I were you.” She pointed to the window where the Slytherin Quidditch team was waiting for their Captain’s arrival.

 

He furrowed his eyebrows and looked outside the window and his eyes grew wide. “Shit. There’s practice.” Draco mumbled under his breath and let out a frustrated sigh.

 

“You should hurry.” Hermione said with a smirk. “We don’t want the Captain late for his practice, right? If there’s no Captain, there’s no practice.”

 

Draco groaned and quickly got up. “I’m not letting you off for insulting my team and I’ll make sure we beat your lousy team.” He spat at her as he quickly left the library in anger. He wasn’t mad that he forgot about his Quidditch practice—well not that mad. He was mostly mad that Granger saw his team and humiliated him. It was so on. He walked off with a determined look on his face.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Oh, why do you look so happy?” Ginny asked her friend a she met her in the corridors.

 

“Everything is going perfectly as planned.” She said with a wide grin.

 

“What happened?”

 

“I made up a great solution. During Astronomy, I’m going to talk to him about his Quidditch team.”

 

“But what does that have to do with the plan?”

 

“Well, if I’m able to badmouth his team then he’ll get mad and insult our team. Then, I’ll get mad and then we’ll start fighting about who’s team is better! Then, we’re going to make a bet because I will propose that bet and . . . after that, it’ll be perfect. We’ll keep bickering and talking and before you know it, we’re going to be great friends!”

 

“Oh, hey . . . that’s actually a bad of a plan.” Ginny said as she stared at her friend.


 

“I just have to make it work and it will.” Hermione said with a determined gaze in her eyes. “Oh, and I have a favor to ask you. Malfoy is great friends with Zabini . . . so I was hoping if you could talk to him a bit.”

 

“Why the hell would I do that?” Ginny asked with a disbelieving laugh.

 

“Well, if you can start talking to him, you can find out things about Malfoy and that’ll help a lot. Please?” Hermione gave Ginny her best puppy dog eyes and smiled as Ginny gave in.

 

“I’ll do it, just stop looking at me like that!” Ginny yelled at her friend with a groan. “I’ll do it, okay? I’ll try to get a few things out of him but you owe me.”

 

“You’re the best.” Hermione sang in a sweet song voice and shook her head. “This is an ingenious plan.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“What the hell, mate? I told you practice was after lunch, why were you late?” Blaise questioned during their five minute break.

 

“I got . . . caught up in a few things.”

 

“I had them do drills until you came. Damn, I make a great captain. If it weren’t for me, you’d be a dead man . . . and I'd be the captain.”

 

“Yes and for the billionth time, thank you for your kind act.” Malfoy said as he rolled his eyes.

 

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me! I saved your ass back there.”

 

“And again, thank you.”

 

“I don’t like your sarcasm.”

 

“And I don’t like you right now.” Malfoy snapped at his friend.

 

“Let me guess, you met Granger, got caught up in the little plan of yours, lost track of time, she said something to make you remember and that little something was practice, and then you came here.”

 

“Were you there in the library, too?” Malfoy asked with wide eyes at his dead on accuracy.

 

“No, I happened to look up at the window and saw you two in the library with her pointing at our direction. Look—“

 

“Blaise, I have to ask you to do something for me.”

 

“What is it? You rarely use my first name, Draco.” Blaise mocked his friend but kept a straight face.

 

Draco slightly frowned at Blaise but shook his head. “Look, I need you to get close with She-Weasel.”

 

“Why the hell would I do that? That’s suicide and frankly, I want to live for a very long time.”

 

“I need you to do it for me. You two worked on the project together in Potions, you guys seemed alright.”

 

“She almost threw a hex at me! Damn woman has a bad temper!” Blaise yelled incredulously.

 

“Well, you’re going to deal with it because I’m not taking no for an answer and until I hear a yes from you, I’m going to keep pestering you.” Draco said sternly.

 

“Why do you want me to do that?”

 

“She’s Granger’s best friend, I just want you to talk to her a few times . . . get a few things out of her about Granger? Does it make sense now or should I spell it out for you? It’s pretty straight-forward, mate.”

 

Blaise glared at Malfoy and scowled. He let out a sigh and rubbed the back of his neck. “Man, I’m going to regret this, but . . . fine. Alright, I’ll do it.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“This one sounded sincere.” Blaise commented and laughed with Draco as they slightly punched each other’s arms.

 

“Talk to her during Astronomy, perfect time to be civil.” Draco commanded and sighed. “Now that that’s over,” Draco looked back over to his team. “BACK TO PRACTICE!” He yelled as he mounted on his broomstick, flying up into the sky with other people following his lead.

 

Blaise let out a small chuckle and mounted on his broomstick. “Why did I agree?” He asked himself after a few minutes of thinking. “Damn, worst mistake ever.” He furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head. “Befriending She-Weasel seemed okay from down there but now . . . not so much. I’m so screwed.” He sighed and flew up with the rest of the team in sorrow.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione smiled at Ginny as they made their way to Astronomy. During dinner, Hermione decided not to talk about Malfoy or Zabini until it was just the two of them. Ron and Harry were already getting suspicious so she decided to be discreet about everything . . . for now.  “Since Blaise Zabini is in that class . . . you’ll talk to him for me, right?”

 

“Unfortunately, yes I am.” Ginny groaned and sighed.

 

“You’re the best!” Hermione said happily as they arrived at the top of the tower. “Alright, so I’m going to have to sit next to Malfoy and then I’m going to start making him mad—“

 

“Granger.”

 

Hermione stopped and stared at Ginny with a confused look on her face. “Is he . . . right behind me?” She asked her friend with a sigh.

 

“Yes and this is my cue to leave.” Ginny said as she flashed her friend a smile. “I’ll be over there and if you need me—don’t call me, you’ve got it all covered. I’ll be too busy talking to a certain someone.” She quickly left and took a seat in the back. “Zabini. Come here for a second, I need to ask you a few questions on the Potions project?” She cursed under her breath for not thinking beforehand on how she’d start talking to him. Fortunately for her, Zabini obliged and sat next to her.

 

“I had to ask you about that, too.” Zabini said casually as he stared at Ginny.

 

Hermione slightly turned around and face Malfoy. “Malfoy.” She greeted him politely with a fake grin and immediately turned as she sat down.

 

Malfoy frowned and quickly followed, sitting next to her. “I don’t really appreciate you looking down on my team like that.”

 

“Are we still on that subject?” Hermione asked with a smirk as she innocently stared at Draco.

 

“Yes, we are. We’re going to keep talking about it until I hear you say that my team is better than yours.”

 

“And when have you ever cared about my opinion about anything?” Hermione asked curiously as she crossed her arms across her chest. “I thought I was a bossy know it all bookworm wearing a skirt. I didn’t know you actually cared about what I had to say.”

 

“I don’t.” Draco snapped at her and sighed as he cursed under his breath. “Look, what I’m trying to say is—“

 

“Alright, class. Get in your seats, class has begun.” Professor Sinistra walked in as she closed the doors with her wand.

 

“Next time, Malfoy.” Hermione told him and slightly smirked as she turned towards Professor Sinistra. “Don’t you have to go sit with your other Slytherins?”

 

“No.”

 

“Are you sure? Must I remind you, you’re sitting next to a Gryffindor and to make things worse, a mudblood?”

 

“I don’t care what others think about me.”

 

“Really?” She questioned him with a curious expression. She sighed in defeat as he nodded. “You’re a very confusing yet interesting person, you know that?”

 

“Well, then I’m glad you find me intriguing. Promise me you won’t stare at me the whole time.” Draco teased Hermione with a smirk. “You know what? Why don’t you take a picture, it’ll last longer.” He whispered over at her with a bigger smirk.

 

Hermione rolled her chocolate orbs but couldn’t help but grin slightly. “Get off your high horse. I’m not interested in you.”

 

“I never said you were, I simply—“

 

“—implied it.” Hermione finished for him with a grin. “Malfoy, I hope you don’t get any wrong ideas just because we’re talking a little bit.”

 

“My thoughts exactly. I hope you don’t get the wrong idea.” He quickly said as he stared at her.

 

“I won’t.” Hermione stated firmly as they stared at each other intently. Hermione was the first one to look away. She slightly cleared her throat as she immediately took out her parchment and quill for class. Draco continued to linger on for a bit more and soon turned his head to the front of the class. He sighed and looked over to see Blaise and Ginny talking to each other from the other side of the room. At least something was going right.

 

. . . . . .

 

On the other side of the room, Ginny and Blaise continued to argue with each other.

 

“Why did you call me over here?” Blaise asked her with a glare.

 

“Why did you agree? You said you had to ask me about something!” Ginny retorted back angrily.

 

“Alright, anyone with a brain knows that we don’t like each other and that we actually don’t want to talk to each other right now.” Blaise stated and sighed. “I’ll tell you the truth.”

 

“Really?” Ginny asked as she raised an eyebrow. “If you tell me, I’ll tell you the truth.” She bargained.

 

“I’m only talking to you because . . .  this is going to sound crazy but I’m only talking to you because Draco asked me to.” Blaise blurted out with a sigh. “Damn, you can’t tell anyone that because I will be a dead man.”

 

“Wait, why would Malfoy want you to talk to me?”

 

“He has this crazy plan to make Granger fall in love with him. Why? Because he wants Parkinson to leave him alone.”

 

“Oh . . . so let me guess. He asked you to talk to me so you could get some information off of Hermione from me?” Ginny asked as she crossed her arms across her arms with a scoff.

 

“Yeah, how did you know?”

 

“Because Hermione has a crazy plan to make Malfoy fall in love with her. She also asked me to talk to you so that I could get some information off of Malfoy from you.” Ginny explained and shook her head. “Well, I guess great minds do think alike.” She said and sighed.

 

“Are you serious?”

 

“I wish I wasn’t.”

 

“Damn . . . did you give Granger that idea?”

 

“Yes but it was unintentionally. It was a joke and she took it the wrong way and formulated this crazy plan.” Ginny said and examined Blaise. “I’m guessing you gave him the plan, too?”

 

“Unintentionally.”

 

“Right . . . well, I promised Hermione I wouldn’t tell anyone and I’m sure you promised as well. We broke the promise so I think we can agree to keep this a secret between you and me.” Ginny said with a small smirk. “I have a feeling that we are going to be great friends, Zabini. Don’t you think?”

 

“I couldn’t agree more, Weasley.” Zabini smirked and shook his head. “I never thought I’d live to see the day where I’d agree with you on something.”

 

“End of the world, isn’t it?” Ginny asked and slightly grinned. “This is a perfect chance for us to manipulate our friends. Well, not manipulate but come on! We can pull it off. We are going to help the two fall in love with each other. The sooner they get their plan done, the sooner we’re left alone.”

 

“That’s perfect. We can use them for our own benefits but we’d be helping them at the same time? That’s bloody brilliant.” Zabini said with a smirk and stared at Ginny. “This is going to be fun.”

 

“It will.” Ginny agreed and grinned.

 

 . . . . . .

 

Once class was finally dismissed Hermione quickly grabbed all of her belongings. She stuffed them all in her bag and got up from her seat as students started running out the door.

 

“Granger, I need to talk to you.” Malfoy stated as he stood up, fixing his tie and robe.

 

“If you’re still on the whole ‘whose team is better’, then I’m not interested.” Hermione told him with a small mocking laugh as she walked towards the door. She sighed as she heard Malfoy’s footsteps following behind her. She slightly turned her head and glared at Malfoy. She groaned and started to walk a bit faster but to her dismay, a few long strides and Malfoy was walking beside her. She glared at him once more and saw Malfoy smirking at her. She walked a bit faster and heard his footsteps still following. “Ugh! What do you possibly want?” She yelled as she turned around and gasped. She was only a few centimeters away from Draco Malfoy’s face.

 

“Woah.” Draco quickly wrapped an arm around her small, petite waist and pulled her back up. His eyes widened as well as Hermione’s. Why did he just do that? He quickly cleared his throat and dropped her without hesitation. “You should really watch where you’re going.”

 

“Ouch!” Hermione rubbed her hip as she glared at him. She sighed and got up furiously. “Must I remind you, you are the one who is following me?”

 

“Me? Follow you?” Draco asked with an incredulous stare. “No, I’m heading towards the Great hall to eat dinner.” He quickly said.

 

“We already had dinner.” Hermione stated as she rolled her eyes.

 

“Oh . . . that’s right.” Draco mumbled under his breath. “Well, what I meant to say is that—“

 

“—you were following me, right?” Hermione cut him off with a small grin.

 

“You really need to stop cutting me off or—“

 

“Or what? What will you do to me now that I’ve cut you off?” Hermione laughed incredulously.

 

“I’ll make you regret it.” Malfoy said through his teeth.

 

“Are you threatening me, Malfoy?”

 

“Maybe I am.” Draco said as he brushed her off.

 

“How mature of you.”

 

“You’re the one who keeps cutting me off!” Draco snapped at her.

 

“Alright, I’ll stop cutting you off. Would you like an apology as well?” Hermione teased Malfoy.

 

“Ha-ha, very funny Granger. Let’s see who gets the last laugh.”

 

“Me.” Granger said a she laughed at his face. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be going now and don’t worry. I’ll keep it a secret that you follow me.”

 

“I was not following you. Believe it or not, I was going back to my own dorm.” He retorted back angrily.

 

“I thought you were going to go eat dinner.” Hermione teased him and shook her head. “Oh my god.” She gasped and stared at Malfoy.

 

“What?”

 

“Do you like me?” She asked with a mocking grin.

 

“Are you mental? Why would I like you?” Malfoy yelled at her with a bewildered look.

 

“No need to get offensive.” Hermione chuckled and stared at him. “I’ll keep your crush on me a secret as well.” She said as she slightly patted his shoulder.”Goodnight, Malfoy.” She said with a smirk as she walked off.

 

Draco Malfoy stood in the empty corridor completely bewildered. Did Granger just humiliate him? Yes. Did Granger just leave him absolutely speechless? Yes. Did he let Granger win this round? Yes. Draco scoffed and slightly chuckled as he smirked. “This has become an interesting game. Alright, then, Granger . . . you win this round.” Draco muttered under his breath and smirked as he started to walk off. ‘I can’t believe she beat me. I guess I really underestimated Granger. She’s quite a challenge, but I like challenges. The real game starts now.’ Draco thought to himself and shook his head in disbelief. “Granger . . .” He sighed and smirked once again.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione ran into the Gryffindor common room and slammed the door shut. She breathed heavily with her cheeks flushed. She closed her eyes as she tried to remain calm. Why did she act like that? Where did she even get her confidence from? They almost snogged. She opened her eyes to see Ron, Harry, and Ginny staring at her. “Hello.”

 

“What was that all about?” Harry asked curiously as he kept his eyes on her.

 

“Oh, you know.” She said and scratched her head as she pressed her lips together.

 

“No, we don’t know.” Ron said as he continued to stare at her.

 

“Well, I ran over here because I’m tired.” Hermione lied as she straightened her hair a bit.

 

“You looked like you were running away from something . . . or someone.” Ginny said with a teasing smirk.

 

“No, I was not.” Hermione snapped at her and sighed. “It was nothing.” She told them with a frown. “I’m going to go up now.” She announced and quickly walked up the stairs.

 

Ron, Harry, and Ginny all exchanged glances with each other until they heard the door slam upstairs.

 

“I think something happened.” Ron stated after a while.

 

“Yeah.” Harry agreed as the two boys nodded their heads in agreement.

 

“I’m going to go up and see what happened.” Ginny said and kissed her boyfriend goodnight.

 

“Mate! That’s my sister you’re snogging right now.” Ron said as he frowned, covering his eyes in disgust.

 

Ginny smiled through the kiss and pulled away. “Goodnight.” She whispered at him and threw a pillow at her brother. “Oh, suck it up, Ronald. I don’t say anything when you snog Lavender.”

 

“Yes, but she’s my girlfriend. Harry’s my best friend and you’re my little sister.”

 

“Yes, well Harry is still my boyfriend and I am Harry’s girlfriend.” Ginny said and threw another pillow at Ron. “Goodnight.”

 

“Goodnight, Ginny.” Harry said with a goofy grin. Ron nodded and frowned at Harry. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t snog my little sister in front of me. I’m still not happy about you two together.”

 

“Alright, mate, won’t happen again. We’ll just snog elsewhere.” Harry stated as he got up.

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ron asked as he stood up.

 

“I’m tired.” Harry yawned and stretched. “I’m going to go up now.  Goodnight.” He said as he walked up the stairs, leaving a frustrated Ron.

 

“Goodnight.” Ron said with a frown and soon followed suit, going up.

 

. . . . . .

 

Thank you all so much for all the wonderful reviews! :) You are all great and all the reviews really encourage me to write more, so thank you all so much <3

-Annie


Chapter 5: Chapter 5
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. . . . . .

 

“Do you think I was a bit harsh last night?” Hermione asked her friend curiously as she took small glances at the Slytherin table, looking at Malfoy. She kept looking back and forth from Malfoy to Ginny.

 

“I’m sure Malfoy is forming a plan to humiliate you right now. He’s not the type to back down over some insult. He’s a stubborn ass but that’s what makes him . . . him.” Ginny explained with a small chuckle.

 

“Gee, that makes me feel a lot better. Now, Malfoy is planning to humiliate me, great!” Hermione said with fake happiness as she clasped her hands together. “I can’t wait.”

 

“Oh, come off it. I was just giving you an example. Malfoy is probably fine.” Ginny told her with a small grin.

 

“Yeah . . . how did your talk with Zabini go?” Hermione eagerly asked as she stared her friend down.

 

“Well, uhm . . . I wasn’t able to bring Malfoy up yet. I’m still working on that, first I just want to look friendly, you know?” Ginny asked as she looked away from Hermione, taking a liking at her plate.

 

“Oh . . . okay.” Hermione said as she slightly furrowed her eyebrows at her friend looking at her plate. “Do you like the plate or something? Why are you staring at it?”

 

“No reason.” Ginny dismissed it quickly and took a bite out of her toast.

 

“Right.” Hermione slightly puffed her cheeks and looked over at her friends with a small grin. “Do you guys need something? Why are you all staring at me like that?” She questioned Harry and Ron nervously.

 

“Hermione, I heard from Neville that you and Malfoy sat next to each other yesterday night during Astronomy.” Ron stated as he slightly glared over at Malfoy.

 

“Oh, that’s right. Why were you sitting with him?” Harry asked curiously as he stared at Hermione.

 

Hermione slightly gulped and pressed her lips into a straight line. “Uhm . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Is she staring at me?” Malfoy asked with a smirk as he continued to eat his breakfast.

 

“Yes, she’s looking back and forth from you to She-Weasel. Did something happen last night? You looked a bit upset when you came in last night.” Blaise said as he stared at his friend, waiting for an answer.

 

“Granger has an attitude and she has a lot of confidence . . .” Draco said quietly as he took a sip of his pumpkin juice. “I’m going to crush her and that big confidence of hers until she’s left with nothing but insecurity.” He stated with a smirk as he stared at Granger speaking with her friends.

 

“That seems really harsh.” Blaise said after a while.

 

“So did you talk to She-Weasel?” Draco asked, completely ignoring his friend’s comment.

 

“Uhm, no . . . not yet. I’m working on it. She has a bad temper so I’m planning on befriending her first before bringing Granger up.” Blaise stated.

 

“Okay, good.” Draco replied and suddenly felt someone’s hand on his thigh. He turned his head over to Pansy with a scowl. “What do you want?”

 

“You know, I heard something so funny last night. I heard you and Granger were getting close last night after Astronomy class.” Pansy stated with a soft giggle as she stared at Draco.

 

“Who told you that?”

 

“I’m not the only who knows, you know. There’s a rumor flying around that you and Granger are . . . dating. Everyone knows about it.” Pansy said with disgust as she pulled her hand back from his thigh. “You didn’t seem to deny anything, is it true, then?”

 

Draco smirked and stared at Blaise, Granger, then at Pansy. “Maybe I am dating her, maybe I’m not.”

 

. . . . . .

 

Lavender looked at Ron and then at Hermione, immediately throwing daggers at her. “You must be over Won-Won then, seeing you’ve already found yourself another guy to drool over.” She stated with venom dripping from her voice.

 

“Excuse me?” Hermione asked with a small laugh. “You think I like Malfoy?” She asked with another incredulous laugh. “Malfoy sat down next to me because there were no more seats available so against his own will, he sat with me. All we did was fight so don’t get any wrong ideas.” She said and let her eyes pierce into Lavender’s blue orbs.

 

“Are you sure? There’s a rumor flying around that you and Draco Malfoy are dating.” Lavender said with a smirk.

 

Hermione opened her mouth to protest when a shriek cut her off. All heads turned over to Pansy and Draco.

 

“You’re dating that mudblood?! It’s true?!” Pansy yelled with outrage as she stood up from her seat, glaring at Draco.

 

Draco looked around the room to see everyone looking at them. He suddenly locked eyes with Hermione and a smirk started to crawl its way onto his lips. “Yes, I’m dating Hermione Granger.” He stated, announcing it to the whole room as he stood up. “Oh, and Pansy, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t call my girlfriend a you-know-what. I thought we had this talk earlier.” Whispers and gasps filled the whole room as every student pointed and stared.  Hermione Granger stared at Malfoy with wide, shocked eyes and her jaw dropped wide open. Malfoy winked at her as he started to walk towards her. She felt a blush bloom across her face as everyone stared at her. She turned around and saw the shocked faces on Ron, Harry, and Lavender’s face. “Guys, he’s joking. It’s not true.” She told her whole Gryffindor table with a nervous chuckle. Suddenly, she felt a tug on her arm and turned around.

 

“We should get going, right love?” Malfoy asked her with a smirk as he stared at her, pulling her up.

 

Hermione glared at him as she got pulled up. “What are you trying to pull, Malfoy? It’s not very funny.” She told him sternly in a whisper.

 

“I’m laughing.” Draco said and grabbed her backpack, swinging it around his shoulder and winking at Hermione one last time before pulling her out of the Great Hall.

 

Hermione immediately protested as she tried to pull away from his grip but realized he was too strong for her. “Draco Malfoy! You let me go right this instance!” She yelled as her voice echoed throughout the whole room. “We’re not dating!” She yelled before Malfoy pulled her out into the corridor, away from the Great Hall.

 

Draco continued to pull her far away from the Great Hall but they could still here thousands of voices talking in outrage. Hermione continued to protest and finally grabbed for her wand. “Draco Malfoy! Let me go this instant!” She said sternly as she pointed the wand at him.

 

Draco looked behind him to see a wand pointed at him. He scoffed and without any warning, grabbed Hermione’s wand out of her hand. “I’m your boyfriend. You shouldn’t go around pointing your wand at me.”

 

“What are you trying to do? Us dating? That’s ridiculous!” Hermione yelled at him in disbelief. “It’s not funny.”

 

“I think it’s absolutely hysterical.” Draco stated as he let out a taunting laugh. “I guess I have the last laugh in this, huh?”

 

Hermione suddenly recalled back to yesterday’s encounter and scowled. “You are such an ignorant, pompous arse.” She accused as she started to hit him anywhere she could reach. “This is not funny!”

 

“Oh, but it is.” Malfoy said as he grabbed her wrist, stopping her from hitting him. “Ah, but Granger, you should know this. You promised to keep it a secret, didn’t you?” He said as he leaned in with a smirk. “I have a secret crush on you, remember?” He whispered at her and leaned back with his signature Malfoy smirk.

 

Hermione glared at him and stomped on his foot angrily, making him let go of her. She waited patiently as Draco yelped in pain. “Give me back my backpack and my wand.” She ordered angrily.

 

“Damn woman.” Draco muttered under his breath as he stood up straight. “No.” He said as he started to walk off with both her belongings.

 

“Draco Malfoy!” She yelled as she started to run after him. She realized he was already too far away to catch up to. She looked around the place and finally sighed. She took off her shoe and chucked it at Malfoy, hitting him right on the back of his head. She smirked and quickly ran over to him.

 

Draco rubbed his head and glared at Hermione. “You have great aim. You should try out for the Quidditch team. Gryffindor could really use a person like you; they need all the help they can get anyway.”

 

“Oh, shut up and give me my things.”

 

“I refuse.” Draco said as he stared at down at her with a glare.

 

“You’ve already humiliated me in front of the whole school!” Hermione yelled and felt the anger rise in her. “Give me my damn wand and backpack back!”

 

Draco smirked as he raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t know the goody-two-shoes spoke with such profanity. I never thought I’d live to see the day Granger use a curse word in a sentence.” He mocked her and scowled. “I would give it to you if you were actually being nice to me.”

 

“And why would I be nice to you?” Hermione asked with a scoff as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“Well, if you want your wand and backpack back . . .” He trailed off as he stared at her with one eyebrow raised.

 

Hermione chewed on her bottom lip as she glared at him. She dropped her arms down to her sides and sighed. “Malfoy . . .” She started and then quickly kicked him in the shin. “You’re an insufferable jerk.” She quickly retrieved her wand and backpack from him. She started to run off when she suddenly turned around, grabbing her shoe and quickly dashing off far away from him.

 

Draco groaned in pain and looked down in his hand. “Damn.” He cursed under his breath, for Granger’s wand was in his hand . . . which meant Granger had his. Malfoy mentally slapped himself and licked his dry lips. He looked towards where Granger disappeared to and sighed. “Lovely . . .” He mumbled with a frown and proceeded to walk to the Slytherins Common room.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco entered the dungeon and quickly sat down on the couch with a sigh. He stared at the fire in front of him with a blank expression.

 

“Well, well, well, looks like you made your way back here in one piece. I thought Potter and Weasley tore you into pieces by now. Congratulations mate!” Blaise Zabini teased his friend with a chuckle as he sat down next to Draco. He immediately realized Malfoy didn’t react to his statement, no scowl or smirk. Something was definitely not right. “Did something happen?”

 

Draco sighed as he held up his hand with a wand on his palm. Zabini raised an eyebrow at his friend with a what-the-hell-does-a-wand-have-to-do-with-this? He sighed and looked down at Malfoy’s hand to see an unfamiliar wand. “Oh . . .” He sighed and looked up at his friend. “Whose wand is this?”

 

“Granger’s.” Draco spat out with anger and closed his fingers in to make a fist, holding onto the wand. “She has my wand.”

 

“How the hell did that happen!?”

 

“She doesn’t know she took my wand instead of hers . . . or at least I don’t think.” Draco explained and frowned. “You’d think since she’s called the smartest witch of our generation, she’d know the difference between her wand and mine!”

 

Zabini stared at his friend for a while and immediately burst out laughing. Draco immediately shot daggers at his friend and scowled. “What the hell are you laughing about?” Draco asked his friend with a glare.

 

“It’s just . . .” Blaise forced himself to calm down but couldn’t help but to let a few more laughs escape his lips. “You got your wand stolen by Granger. How in the world did you let her take it?”

 

“She kicked me in the shin, I was obviously busy.”

 

“Enough with the excuses! Just look on the bright side of this whole situation.” Blaise told him and cracked a small smirk. “You can use this chance as an advantage.”

 

Draco furrowed his eyebrows and slowly let a smirk replace his frown as he realized what Blaise was talking about. “You are brilliant. No, I’m brilliant for thinking of a plan but you get credit for helping me realize it.”

 

“A simple thank you would’ve been nice.” Blaise said with a straight face.

 

“No, that’s not necessary. I acknowledged your presence here, isn’t that enough?” Draco asked but meant it as a statement. He quickly stood up with a wide smirk. “I’ll be off now.” He started to walk towards the door.

 

“Where are you going? You just got here? Pansy has been crying up in her room ever since you left with Granger! She needs some comfort!” Blaise yelled. “She’s asking for you and she won’t stop complaining until you’re there!”

 

Draco stopped in front of the door and turned around. “She’ll get over it like she always does but if she’s bothering you, shut her up yourself.” He told his friend and walked out before Blaise could even open his mouth.

 

“Selfish bastard.” Blaise commented under his breath as he sneered.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione walked into the Gryffindor common room with a groan as she muttered curses and other rude things that people shouldn’t say to others. She threw her bag down on the ground and furrowed her eyebrows as she let out a small frustrated yell. She didn’t realize she had an audience and looked over at the couch to see Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lavender sitting there. “Didn’t see you there.” She said awkwardly as she slowly picked up her bag, slinging it over her shoulder.

 

“What happened during breakfast?” Harry asked her with his arms crossed.

 

Hermione made her way towards the couch and sat down slowly. “Before we get into anything, I just want you guys to know Malfoy was just putting on a show to get back at me for humiliating his Quidditch team.” She explained with a stern voice.

 

“When did you humiliate their Quidditch team?” Ron asked curiously as he raised an eyebrow.

 

“That . . . is a different story but it’s irrelevant to this conversation.” She quickly said and sighed. “Look, I’m not dating Malfoy. There is absolutely nothing going on between us. We’re simply fighting like always. There’s nothing romantic about it.” She told them with a small grin.

 

“We know you’re not stupid to even consider dating that guy.” Harry said with a small grin as everyone else agreed except for Lavender who just scoffed.

 

Hermione let out a relieved sigh and smiled. “I’m glad you guys didn’t believe him. I mean, it’d be crazy if I dated him, right!?” She asked them with an incredulous laugh as she took out her wand from her robes to turn on the fire. Right when she took it out, they all stared at her with a weird expression. “What?”

 

“Whose . . . wand is that?” Ginny asked as she raised an eyebrow at her friend as she pointed to the unfamiliar wand.

 

“What are you all talking about?” Hermione asked with a small laugh as she looked down at her wand. “It’s obviously my . . .” Her voice trailed off and she gasped as her eyes widened. “Oh my god!” She yelled as she dropped the wand.

 

Ron reached over and grabbed it as he examined it. “Hey . . . wait, isn’t this Malfoy’s wand?” Ron asked Harry as he handed it over to his friend. Harry looked at it with his eyebrows knit together in confusion. He handed it back to Hermione slowly. “Why do you have his wand?”

 

“I thought you said there was nothing going on between you two.” Lavender stated matter-of-factly with a smirk.

 

Hermione quickly grabbed the wand and stuffed it into her bag. “You know what?” She asked in a hurry as she got up, walking to the door. “I need to get my wand back.” She told them and quickly left before anyone could stop her.

 

All four of them exchanged glances and looked back at the door to where Hermione disappeared to.

 

“I thought she said there was nothing going on between her and Malfoy . . .” Harry said with a confused look on his face.

 

“Yeah . . . but why did she have his wand?” Ron asked in a daze as he furrowed his eyebrows.

 

“And if there was nothing going on . . .” Harry started to say and turned to Ron.

 

“Then how did their wands get switched?” Ron and Harry said in unison in confusion.

 

Lavender simply smirked and slightly laughed at Hermione’s action. “Well, obviously she lied to you guys.”

 

“Hermione would never lie to us.” Ron said as he chewed on the inside of his cheek as if he was starting to doubt what he said.

 

Ginny sensed exactly what was happening and spoke up, “Well, you heard her. They’ve been fighting so obviously they started to fight and maybe perhaps their wands got switched. Come on guys, Hermione is a smart girl. She would never get herself romantically involved with Draco Malfoy.”

 

“You’re right.” Harry said as he nodded his head.

 

“And if I were you, Lavender, I would just shut my mouth because I don’t know anything about Hermione.” Ginny snapped at her brother’s girlfriend with a glare. “Just do what’s best for you . . . I have a bad temper you know. You never know when you’ll get hit by one of my hexes because of your stupidity.” She warned her and sighed as she looked at the time. “Well, I’ll be taking my leave. I promised Luna I would see her in the library.” She said and left the common room leaving Lavender shocked.

 

“Are you just going to let your sister treat me like that?” Lavender asked Ron with big angry eyes.

 

“Well, I . . . uh . . .” Ron looked over at Harry for help who just put his hands up in the air as if he was trying to stay out of the business.

 

“You’re on your own on this one, mate. Besides, I promised Neville that I’d help him with Quidditch.” Harry said and quickly left the awkward atmosphere.

 

Ron looked over at Lavender. “Just let her be, she won’t actually hex you.”

 

“Are you sure about that?” Lavender asked with a glare. “You should really learn to control your sister.”

 

“I’ll handle it.” Ron told her reassuringly and slightly grinned at Lavender who just glared at him, crossing her arms across her chest. “Lavender, don’t be like that.”

 

“Whatever.” Lavender said as she looked the other way, clearly upset.

 

Ron sighed and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Lav-Lav . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hello everybody :) I would just like to thank everyone for giving me such a great feedback in every chapter! All of your comments are so sweet and it really inspires me to write more and become a better writer. I appreciate all of it :) I won't be able to post up frequently because mid-terms are coming up and I'll be busy with a school play. But thankfully, I wrote a few chapter beforehand so I'll be able to post it up in my free time. Thank you so much and I hope you leave a review down there. I really enjoy reading all of your thoughts about the story. Thank you <3





-Annie


Chapter 6: Chapter 6
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione dashed through the empty corridors not knowing where she could find Malfoy. She simply just charged forward. She stopped after a while to catch her breath and chewed on her bottom lips. How stupid was she to switch their wands up? They felt completely different. She mentally slapped and kicked herself to oblivion and groaned at her mistake. Her plan to make him fall in love with her was not working . . . instead they were more at each other’s throats than in love. She sighed and started to walk slowly to wherever she was going.

 

“Granger.”

 

Hermione stopped and slowly turned around with a confused face to see Malfoy standing there. “Where did you come from?”

 

“The hall.” Malfoy pointed at the left hall behind him with a smirk. “What a pleasure meeting you here.” He said casually as he started to walk past her.

 

She quickly grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “Give me my wand and I’ll give you yours.” She told him sternly.

 

“Oh, our wands were switched? My, I didn’t even realize.” He said sarcastically as he glared down at Hermione.

 

“It was merely a mistake.” She defended herself and looked up at him. “Give it here.”

 

“Not until you give me mine.” He said as he held up Hermione’s wand in his hand which was too high for Hermione to reach up to get. He then stuck his other hand out, his palm waiting for his wand.

 

“I want my wand first.” She said as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“Now, really Granger . . . are we going to act like infantile children or act like adults about it?” Malfoy asked her as he raised an eyebrow at her.

 

Hermione pressed her lips together into a thin line as she sighed. “Fine.” She huffed and placed Malfoy’s wand on his palm. “Now, give me mine.”

 

“No, thank you.” Malfoy said with a smirk as he let out a small chuckle. “You may be an adult but I’m immature. I’m not giving you your wand back until you do something for me. Until then, your wand will be in my possession.” He said as he walked off.

 

“Malfoy!” She yelled helplessly as she watched him walk off. She placed a hand on her hip and the other on her forehead in frustration. “You are such an insufferable, narcissistic arse!” She yelled after him in anger and rolled her fingers into fist. She was dying to retrieve her wand and hex him to the next century! She sighed and stomped angrily on the floor. “What do you want me to do?!” She quickly yelled across the empty hall, her voice echoing throughout the whole corridor.

 

Malfoy smirked and turned around. “I thought you’d never ask!” He yelled over at her as he made his way towards her.

 

“What do you want me to do?” Hermione asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“Do as I say and then and only then will I give you your wand.” Draco explained as he displayed Hermione’s wand and his hand and then stuffing it in his pocket.

 

“Do not put my wand in your pocket.” Hermione said with a disgusted look. “At least put it in your robes.”

 

“I’m not as stupid as you think I am. I am, in fact, intelligent believe it or not. If I were to put it in my robes, then that would give you an easy access to get it, therefore putting it in my pocket makes it safe.”

 

“Oh, you don’t think I’m capable of reaching over there to retrieve my wand?” Hermione asked with a scoff as she raised an eyebrow.

 

“Okay, how about this, if you reach over and grab it, I’ll snog you. Personally, I have no intention of doing that and I know you don’t want to have a snogging session with me either, so don’t reach for it.” He said as he leaned in. “You’ll be doing both of us a favor.”

 

“Or you can just be a nice person and give it to me. Oh, wait, I’m sorry. I forgot you’re a selfish, arrogant imbecile.” Hermione snapped at him angrily. “I can’t believe that slipped my mind.”

 

“Hm, it is a pity you forgot. Next time, be sure to keep that in mind.” He said and slightly let out a haunting chuckle. “I’m not letting you off easily for cutting me off so much.”

 

Hermione rolled her light coffee bean orbs and bit the inside of her cheek. “Do you want anything from me right now?” She asked as she stared at him.

 

“Why?”

 

“You have something of mine.”

 

“Oh, do you want it back?” Malfoy asked with a smirk. “And why is that?”

 

“Well, I need it for my classes and so that I can hex you to oblivion.”

 

“Oh, that’s fancy.” Draco taunted her and leaned against the window sill with his arms crossed across his chest. “And for saying that, getting your wand back will be a bit harder.”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes once more and dropped arms down to her side. “Ah, forget it!” She yelled and quickly walked over to him, standing only a few centimeters away. She quickly reached over and tried to grab her wand from him.

 

“Whoa, you aren’t getting it.” Draco said as he grabbed both of her wrists, preventing her from getting it.

 

“Let go of me.” Hermione ordered as she tried to break free from his grip. She stared at him straight in the eye intently. “Let go of me now.”

 

“Do you remember what I told you would happen if you reach over or did your small, complicated brain already forget about it?” He asked her as he stared at her just as intensely.

 

“Oh, don’t be silly. We both know you aren’t going to do it.” Hermione stated with an incredulous laugh.

 

“Yes, and I thought you were too much of a prude but you did try to reach over and retrieve your wand, even if it’s in my pocket and that was definitely uncalled for. Now it’s my turn to surprise you.” Draco stated as he got up with a smirk, releasing his grip on her wrist and placed them on each side of her head. He started to lean in slowly as he smirked. Hermione’s eyes went wide and through instinct, quickly threw her head back and then back at his head as hard as she could.

 

“Ow!’ Draco yelped in pain as he removed his hands off of her as he rubbed his head when she hit him.

 

Hermione rubbed her own forehead with a glare as she groaned in pain. She hit him harder than she wanted to. She finally took her chance and quickly took her wand away from him. “I hope you learned your lesson. If you pull one of those dirty tricks again . . .” She said with a sigh and stared at him. “Do you want kids?”

 

“Pardon?” Malfoy asked with an incredulous look. She had just head butted him and now she was asking if he wanted kids?! Was she mental?! “Why are you asking me that?”

 

“Just answer it. Do you want kids or not?”

 

“Yes?”


“Then, I suggest you keep your hands to yourself next time or . . .” Her eyes went down to his pants and smirked as she looked back up. Draco had quickly covered his private area once he saw where she was looking. “I’ll make sure you won’t be able to produce any.” She told him with a smirk and walked off.

 

Draco cursed under his breath and sighed. He kicked the wall next to him in frustration and then started to rub his head. He was sure he had a red mark on his forehead by now. He was so close . . . so close to kissing her. Then, his whole plan would’ve been over. She would’ve been his girlfriend by now but she just had to head butt him at the situation. She was definitely not an easy girl; Draco now understood that he underestimated Granger a lot. But then again, she had underestimated Draco as well. Draco slightly smirked as he reached into his back pocket to reveal Granger’s real wand . . . which meant the wand she took was a fake. He started to walk off to the Slytherins common room with a groan as he rubbed his forehead once more. “Damn woman . . .” He muttered under his breath angrily.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione cursed under her breath with a groan as she rubbed her forehead. “That hurt . . .” She mumbled under her breath and walked back into the Gryffindor common room. She was sure that she had a huge red mark on her forehead. Unfortunately, she was right. She saw Ron sitting on the couch with a frown. He was the last person she wanted to see but . . . she couldn’t avoid him forever, right? She sighed and walked over as she sat down next to him. “Where’s Lavender? I expected to see you two snogging here like usual.” She said bitterly with a small frown.

 

Ron stared at her with a deeper frown. “We got into a small fight. She’s just a bit upset with me right now.” He stated coldly to her.

 

“Oh.” Hermione sighed and looked around the room awkwardly. Ever since Ron started dating Lavender again, it was a bit awkward between them.

 

“What happened about the wand?” Ron asked as he cleared his throat.

 

“Oh, I got mine back.” Hermione said as she raised her wand with a small grin. “See?” She asked with an excited grin.

 

“Uh . . . Hermione, that’s a stick.” Ron said as he bent his eyebrows in confusion. “Are you feeling alright?”

 

Hermione furrowed her eyebrows, too, in confusion as she slightly laughed. “What are you talking about it? Sure, I guess wands can be called sticks.” She said as she laughed at Ron’s words.

 

“No, Hermione that’s a branch . . . from a tree?” Ron stated as he took the wand from Hermione’s hand, revealing an ordinary stick.

 

Hermione’s jaw dropped wide open in shock. She felt the anger rise in her as she grabbed the wand away from Ron’s hands. “He transfigured a stick into my wand?!” She yelled with an incredulous laugh. “That clever prick.” She threw the stick onto the ground angrily and got up. “Ugh! Is he even allowed to do that?!” She yelled in anger and stared at Ron as she breathed heavily. “Give me your wand.”

 

“What?” Ron asked as he stared at her with a bewildered look.

 

“Give me your wand. Let me just borrow it.” She said as she bent over, searching Ron’s pockets.

 

“Whoa, Hermione!” Ron yelled as he got up from his seat, staying a good few feet away from her. “Why do you want my wand?”

 

“I’ll use your wand for a good reason.” Hermione told him as she walked over, immediately searching him again.

 

“My wand’s not in my pocket, so stop touching!” Ron said as he pushed Hermione’s hands away from his jeans.

 

“Oh, why didn’t you say so?” Hermione asked as she reached inside his robes for his wand.

 

“What are you going to do with it!?”

 

“I told you—“

 

“No, tell me in detail!”

 

Hermione stopped searching him and crossed her arms across her chest. “I’m going to throw a few hexes at Malfoy, alright?!”

 

“As much as I loathe that guy, no.” Ron said as he took a few steps away from her.

 

“And why not?! I’ll be doing both of us a favor!”

 

“No, who knows what’ll happen to my wand if you have it. You got yours stolen by Malfoy, I can’t risk my wand getting stolen, too.”

 

“Honestly, Ronald! Do you think I’ll lose it?” Hermione asked and suddenly stopped herself. “Wait, don’t answer that.” She told him quietly.

 

“Look, why don’t you just calm down for a bit. Rest or sleep or do something. Just stay in here until classes start up again. I’m going to go practice for the Quidditch game today, alright?” He told Hermione and slowly walked out of the common room.

 

Hermione crossed her arms across her chest as she huffed and puffed. “Well, fine! I’ll find another wand to use.” She grabbed the stick back up and stared at it. She rolled her caramel orbs and broke the stick in half as she tossed it into the fireplace. She groaned and collapsed on the couch as she covered her face with her hands as she replayed her scene with Malfoy. She groaned and kicked her legs furiously everywhere at how stupid she was to pick the wrong wand. “I should’ve never gotten involved with him in the first place!” She whined in regret. She suddenly realized something and immediately stood up. “Today’s the Quidditch game?” She asked herself and ran into her room as she looked at the calendar up in her room. “It’s Friday?” She asked herself and her eyes grew wide. She looked at the time and smirked.

 

. . . . . .

 

“You guys need to win. I’m just telling you guys that you should pulverize them to the ground!” Hermione said as she smacked her fist into her palm. “Pulverise.” She repeated with a smirk as she thought of Malfoy’s face.

 

“Uh, are you feeling okay, Hermione?” Ron asked as he slowly backed away from her.

 

Hermione snapped out of her fantasy and looked at her friends who looked worried. “I’m fine. I just . . . can’t wait until you guys win.” She said with a small grin and immediately grew dark. “You guys have to win. I’m counting on all of you to do this because if you guys don’t—I’ll hex everyone on the Quidditch team.” She told them with a glare.

 

“I’m sorry, why are you so eager for us to win? You were never a Quidditch type of girl.” Harry stated as he stared at Hermione.

 

“I like it when we win.” She said quietly with a small frown. “Can’t I support my house team?” She asked innocently.

 

“You’re threatening us.” Harry said with a small frown.

 

“I’m just trying to motivate you guys. Don’t worry, I won’t actually throw hexes at you three.” She told them with a small grin. “I just want you guys to really beat those slimy, cocky, Slytherins.”

 

“Okay, look, we’ll do all the action and you can watch.” Ginny said as she shook her head. “Hermione, don’t worry, we’ll win for you.”

 

“Fantastic.” Hermione said and sighed. “Good luck out there. Don’t get hurt, guys.” She said as she walked off to the stands.

 

“Does she seem a bit . . . off to you?” Harry asked as the trio all stared at Hermione going towards the stands.

 

“She’s gone mental, mate.” Ron answered quietly as he shook his head.

 

“She looked like she was going to hex us right here, I wonder how scary she’ll look if we don’t win.” Harry commented as he shuddered at the scary thought.

 

“I think she needs a bit of sleep.” Ginny said as she furrowed her eyebrows.

 

“No, I don’t think that’s it. I think it has to do with her whole Malfoy business and how he still has her wand.” Harry stated and shook his head. “Come on, guys, let’s get ready.” He said as he got his broom ready.

 

“Alright, well, there’s nothing to worry about. We always beat the Slytherins in Quidditch and plus, we have a great captain.” Ginny said and smiled sweetly at her boyfriend.

 

“Good luck and remember to be careful.” Harry warned his girlfriend with a grin as he pulled her into a kiss.

 

Ron made a face as he faked a barf sound. “Mate, that’s my little sister you’re snogging.” He interrupted them angrily.

 

Harry and Ginny separated from each other with a slight blush. “Be careful.” Harry warned her once more as he left.

 

Ginny let out a dreamy sigh as she smiled. She quickly walked over to the rest of them.

 

Hermione who was ready to go up the stairs to join her house mates suddenly got stopped as someone grabbed her wrist. She stopped and turned around. “Malfoy, what do you want? Shouldn’t you be coaching your team members?”

 

“Don’t I get a ‘good luck’ or something along those lines?” Malfoy asked with a smirk.

 

“Hmm, let me think—“ Hermione stared at him as if she was thinking and immediately snapped at him, “NO.”

 

“Why not? As far as I know, those people up there in the stands think we’re dating.” Malfoy stated as he looked up at the girls who giggled. Hermione looked up and saw the girls.

 

“We’re not dating!” She yelled at them, clarifying the rumor. “We’re really not.” She told them and looked at Malfoy. She punched him in the chest, completely flustered. “You better stop this ridiculous rumor about us dating.” She told him fiercely.

 

“Ouch.” Malfoy rubbed his chest and smirked. “I’ll stop them after you kiss me.” He said with a small scoff, knowing Hermione wouldn’t do a thing like that.

 

Hermione looked at him as she shot her daggers but raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

 

“Sure.” Draco said sarcastically with a smirk as he rolled his eyes.

 

“Okay.” Hermione leaned over and kissed him on the cheek and pulled away with a fake grin. “Good luck on your game.”

 

Draco stood there completely shocked as his eyes grew wide. He was absolutely flabbergasted. Did Hermione Granger just kiss him on the cheek?

 

Hermione frowned and stared at him with her arms crossed across her chest. “Now, that I’ve kissed you, I expect the rumors to stop, but if it doesn’t . . .” She dangerously stared at him. “You said you wanted kids, am I correct?” She asked him and turned around as she walked up the stairs.

 

Draco continued to stay in his exact spot with his eyes wide. He was frozen.

 

“MALFOY!” Zabini yelled as he flew over to Draco on his broom. “What are you doing standing there like an idiot? The game is about to start in thirty seconds.” He told his friend and quickly slapped Draco upside the head.

 

Draco immediately got knocked back into reality and shook his head. “Thanks, mate . . .” He said as he got on his broom as well. “Let’s play a good game.” He told Blaise, still in a daze from the kiss on the cheek. He was confused as to why she would do that. It was just a kiss on the cheek. He snogged and shagged girls on a daily basis! Why was he so shocked from a little kiss on the cheek? Why? Because it was Granger . . . Draco shook his head and quickly focused on the game. “Play fair guys! If I see someone breaking a rule, I’ll call time-out and you will be out of the game.” He warned his teammates who grunted in response. “Don’t get too nervous and play your best.” He encouraged them and finally broke apart, flying to their positions. Who knew Malfoy could actually be nice to someone? The balls were released and the games had begun.

 

. . . . . .




Hello :) I hope it hasn't been too long since my last chapter got posted up. (It would've been posted up sooner but I've been having validation problems so I'm really sorry about that!) As always, I really want to thank everyone for their wonderful feedback/support! :) I really enjoy reading every single one of them and it makes me very happy to see what you guys all think of the story. (: Reviews/comments are always welcome here! It will be awesome if you dropped a comment down below. I'm very excited to continue writing this story and see how it'll unfold because personally, I didn't plan this out at all so I'm just as anticipating as you all. Honestly, I'm a winger at everything. (Quizzes, tests, projects) I just go with the flow so hopefully, this story will turn out the way I want it to go. :D Here's a new fact about me, I never plan anything (which is bad) and I just go with  the flow. xD

&&I have one question for all of you. I was wondering if you it bothered you whether I used the word 'snog' or 'kiss' because I switch it up in the story several times, but I'm not sure if it bothers you guys or not. I'm not sure which to use, so it'd be nice if you told me which word you preferred better or if it doesn't matter to you. xD haha Thank you for everything and I promise I will post up soon after this. :) I'm sorry for making you all read this long, boring message. x





-Annie


Chapter 7: Chapter 7
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione looked down at her friends from the stands and nervously chewed on her bottom lip. She was, unfortunately, sitting beside Lavender but she did not have time to think of a way to hex her. She kept her hands tightly clasped together as she nervously waited for the game to start. “Lavender . . . do you think we’ll win?” She asked as she looked over at the blonde.

 

“Of course! Since Won-Won’s on the team, we’ll win.” Lavender said matter-of-factly with a sneer. “Why are you suddenly talking to me? You never talk to me.”

 

Hermione nodded in agreement, completely ignoring Lavender’s question. “Yeah, we’ll win.” She said to herself and her eyes widened as the game started. She kept her eyes glued on the game intently as she clenched her jaw.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione let out a sigh as she raked her fingers through her hair. Gryffindor and Slytherin were tied. She had to admit, Draco Malfoy was indeed a good captain. He was a bloody fast seeker as well. If Draco or Harry got the snitch, the game would be over and they would win. She suddenly heard the audience gasp and she immediately broke away from her train of thoughts. She had been too busy thinking that she hadn’t been paying attention to the game. She looked down and saw someone falling off their broom and violently hitting the hard floor. She swore she could here cracks from all the way up where she was. “What happened?” She asked Lavender with wide eyes.

 

“Draco Malfoy got him by one of the bludgers.” Lavender told Hermione with a small smirk.

 

Hermione’s eyes suddenly widened as she gasped. Before she could even stop herself, she stood up from her seat. Her jaw dropped open as she saw how painfully twisted Malfoy’s body looked. She suddenly felt several people in her house stare at her. “What?” She asked as she stared at Lavender who was staring at her with wide eyes.

 

“Draco Malfoy is from the other house, an arch enemy at that. Even the Slytherins, themselves, are looking at you.” Lavender said with her brows furrowed.

 

“He’s hurt for goodness sakes! I’m only human. I can’t stop myself from wanting to help someone who’s injured.” She stated and sighed as she quickly ran down the bleachers. She furrowed her eyebrows as she saw Draco get lifted off the ground by a professor with a wand pointed at him.

 

“Gryffindor wins!” She heard the announcer yell out; hearing boos and claps from all around the stadium.

 

Hermione forced herself to keep her feet firmly placed on the ground. She knew she should celebrate, her house won! But someone got hurt; badly. She couldn’t bring herself to be filled with joy and clap like an insane lunatic for her friends. She walked over to her friends and slightly grinned. “Congratulations, guys.”

 

“Thanks.” Ron said and immediately got pulled away to get kissed by Lavender.

 

“What exactly happened to Malfoy?” Hermione asked Ginny and Harry.

 

“His own teammate threw a bludger at him. Can you believe that? I guess that stupid snake didn’t like how Malfoy was playing fair and totally threw that bludger at him, full force.” Ginny said with a disgusted look. “He’s not going to be welcome to the Slytherins common room anymore. Not after what he did to Draco Malfoy, the Quidditch captain.”

 

“That’s absolutely preposterous and—and what an obnoxious prick . . .” Hermione said angrily and bit her tongue for saying it out loud. “I mean, Malfoy is horrible but he doesn’t even deserve to be in that much pain. Did you see his body? He looked . . .” She shook her head, loss at words.

 

“Dislocated . . .” Harry finished for his friend and sighed. “I don’t feel too happy about winning. Not after what happened to him, even if it was Draco Malfoy.” He said with a sigh.

 

“Yeah . . .” Hermione said with a sigh. “Congratulations, again, though. It was a good game. I’m glad you guys are all okay.” She said and slightly cracked a grin, trying to conceal her disappointment in Malfoy’s injury.

 

“Well, we’re going to go take a shower and we’ll meet you later at the after party?” Harry asked as he took the hint that Hermione was worried and not in the mood to talk to them.

 

“Sure.” Hermione said and walked off as her friends walked off the other way to the lockers rooms.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione checked her watch and sighed. She couldn’t let the Slytherins catch her waiting to go into the infirmary to check up on Draco Malfoy. She hid behind a column as she watched the other professors walk out of the hospital wing. She quietly slid over to the door and rapidly walked in. She let her eyes roam around the place until she spotted a striking platinum blonde haired boy on one of the hospital beds.

 

She walked over and slightly opened the curtain. She slightly gasped at what she saw. She saw bandages all around his stomach and it seemed like he had broken a few bones here and there. She got startled once she saw Draco Malfoy suddenly groan as he started to move.

 

Draco’s movements soon died down and finally came to a stop. “Hmm . . .” He groaned as he slightly opened his eyes.

 

Hermione gasped quietly as her eyes grew wide. She couldn’t be seen here? She hated him, right? What was she thinking, risking her life to be here with an enemy instead of celebrating for her house’s victory? She quickly turned around as she tried to go when she suddenly felt someone tug on her arm, stopping her. She froze and slowly turned around as she saw Draco looking at her. “How are you feeling?” Hermione asked as she raised an eyebrow. She cringed as she thought about how he had bones popping out where they shouldn’t have a few minutes ago. She felt sick to the stomach and frowned. “This is why I don’t like Quidditch. It’s way too violent.” She commented under her breath.

 

Draco slightly laughed but immediately regretted it as he felt a sharp pain in his stomach. “Ow.” He coughed and stared at Hermione. “I . . . feel like shit. I lost the game and my broomstick.” He said in a hoarse voice.

 

“You care about the game and your broomstick?  When you’re in a state like this?” Hermione asked with wide eyes as she shook her head. “Guys are just so damn prideful.” She said with disbelief. “Draco, you could’ve died. You should feel great right now.” She said, still worried. “You can replace a broomstick and make a comeback and win another Quidditch game. You don’t have a second chance at another life, though.” She ranted on.

 

“Did you just call me by my first name?” Draco asked with a smirk as he raised an eyebrow at her.

 

“What?! I did not call you by your first name!” She yelled in protest but realized she wasn’t going to get away with it. “Well, that is your name, isn’t it?” Hermione asked as she felt her cheeks flush.

 

“And you’re worrying about me?” He asked with a smirk now as he stared at her.

 

Hermione frowned and rolled her chocolate brown eyes. “I’m only here because you have my wand and I wanted it back.” She quickly said and cursed under her breath for such a lame excuse. “I’m not here because I bloody care about you, if that’s what you think.” She muttered under her breath with a small frown.

 

“It’s okay . . .  I’ll keep it a secret that you worried about me today.” He said throwing Hermione’s words right back at her.

 

Hermione slightly glared at him as she recalled what she said to him back in the corridor after Astronomy. “Right.”

 

“Well, this was a nice chat but I’m going to leave.” Draco said as he got up but immediately groaned as he placed his arm around his waist.

 

“You should really just stay put and recover as soon as possible.” Hermione said softly with concern as she immediately leaned down, helping him get comfortable.

 

“I thought you didn’t worry about me.” Draco stated with a smirk.

 

Hermione frowned and pushed him back down with a groan. “Shut up.”

 

“Granger, just tell me the truth.”

 

“What truth?” Hermione asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“You like me don’t you? You worried about me and now you’re here and you feel better that I’m okay. You even called me by my first name.” Draco listed the facts as he put on a complacent grin.

 

“Look, I told you already! I’m only here---“

 

“—because I have your wand and you want it back.” Draco finished for her and shook his head. “You’ll need a better excuse.”

 

“It’s not an excuse!”

 

“Sure, Granger.”

 

Hermione glared at him and shook her head. “Where’s my wand?”

 

“Your wand?” Draco asked and looked around the room. “I don’t recall having your wand.”

 

“You transfigured a stick into my wand. I want my real one.” Hermione said sternly as she stared at him.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Draco said as he brushed her off.

 

“Don’t be a prick and tell me.”

 

“I honestly don’t know.”

 

“Malfoy!”

 

“Granger!” Draco mocked Hermione with a smug grin. “I’ll give you your wand after I’m fully healed.”

 

“When is that?”

 

“Hmm, well I broke a few ribs and a few bones . . . I believe Madam Pomfrey healed all my broken bones, so I guess in about two weeks. I still have a huge bruise on my stomach.” He told her and sighed.

 

“Did your teammate really throw the bludger at you?” Hermione asked quietly.

 

“I believe so.” Draco said rather dryly as he immediately frowned.

 

“Why?”

 

“Weren’t you watching the game?” Draco questioned her.

 

“I was thinking and I didn’t focus on the game.” Hermione defended herself.

 

“I called time-out and yelled at him to stop breaking the rules and what do you know? Bastard decides to turn rebellious and hit the Quidditch captain out of anger and complete stupidity.” Draco said bitterly and sighed once more.

 

“Are you going to kick him off the team?” Hermione asked.

 

“Why do you want to know everything?” Draco asked her.

 

“I’m just curious.”

 

“Will you shut up and leave me alone if I tell you?” Draco asked and watched as Hermione eagerly nodded. “No, I will not be kicking him off the team. If he’s still on the team, I can abuse him. I’ll make him run around the Quidditch field until practice is over and all sorts of things.” He said as he smirked.

 

Hermione sighed and shook her head. “Well, I’d really like my wand back so I hope you’ll heal quickly.” She said and started to walk off when she suddenly heard footsteps. She turned back around to Draco and stood frozen.

 

Madam Pomfrey came in and slightly gasped as she saw Hermione. “Oh, dear, Miss Granger, when did you come in?”

 

“Not too long ago, Madam Pomfrey.” She answer quietly and slightly chuckled nervously. “I’ll leave you alone under his care.” She said as she tried to slip out.

 

Madam Pomfrey quickly stopped Hermione with a small grin. “Miss Granger, I was hoping if you could help me with something.”

 

“What do you need help with?” Hermione asked as she bent her eyebrows.

 

“Well, I was hoping you could take care of Mr. Malfoy for me. I have a lot of injured students right now and I could use an extra hand. And for Mr. Malfoy’s case, all he needs is some assistance and someone who’ll give him these medicines.” She said as she showed Hermione three vials of potion. She stared at Hermione with a hopeful grin.

 

Hermione was never one to defy a professor’s request. She sighed and sewed a grin onto her face. “I’d love to help out.” She said and pressed her lips into a thin line.

 

“Thank you so much, dear! I’ll have the headmistress know that you will be helping Mr. Malfoy. Will you be staying here for the winter holidays?”

 

“Yes.” Hermione answered weakly.

 

“Then, it’s perfect! Could you take care of Mr. Malfoy during the winter holidays? He’ll get better in two weeks. You just need to be with him at all times and give him the vial of medicine daily after dinner.”

 

“You can count on me.” Hermione replied meekly and received the vials.

 

“Thank you, my dear.” Madam Pomfrey said cheerfully. “With those three vials, you will be set for three days but if you need more, just come in here and ask me.”

 

“Alright.” Hermione answered with a grin.

 

“It’ll be best if you stayed in here with him just for tonight at least and then you can take him back to the dorm. I’ll talk to the headmistress about the dorms because it’ll be much easier if you were in the same dorm as him.” She said and walked off with a grin.

 

Hermione sighed and looked over at Draco who had smug grin on his face. “Wipe that cocky grin off your face.”

 

“Shouldn’t you be going home with Pothead, Weasel King, and She Weasel?” Hermione sneered at his nicknames as she shook her head. Draco waited for his answer as he smirked at her.

 

“Drop the nicknames.” Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head.

 

“I have a feeling this winter holidays will be . . . interesting. You’ll be spending majority of the winter holidays with me since it’s for three weeks. Two weeks with me and one week by yourself. I think it sounds fair.” He said and smirked.

 

“I can’t believe I agreed to take care of you for two weeks.”

 

“Why did you agree?”

 

“I, I ca—“

 

“Ah! I forgot you liked me.” Draco cut her off with taunting chuckle. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep it a secret.”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes and set the three vials down on the counter and sighed. “I’m going to go, but I’ll be back.” She told him as she walked off, leaving Draco by himself.

 

. . . . . .

 

“You’re what?!” Ron and Harry yelled in unison as they stared at Hermione in shock. They yelled a bit too loud because everyone at the party stopped and immediately grew quiet as all eyes fell on the four people in the middle.

 

Harry and Ron realized they said it too loud and looked back at the people. “Carry on! There’s nothing interesting about our conversation!” Harry told them with a hearty laugh and soon everyone was back to celebrating. They both stared at Hermione after a while.

 

“I’ll be taking care of Malfoy for two weeks so I won’t be able to be with you guys during break.” She told them with a nervous chuckle.

 

“Why are you doing it? Why can’t someone like Parkinson do it? Why you?” Ron asked her as he exploded with each question.

 

“I was with Malfoy in the infirmary—not because I was worried but because he had my wand—and Madam Pomfrey saw me and asked me to do this. You know how I can’t refuse to a professor.” Hermione said weakly.

 

“Well, will you be sharing a dorm with him?” Ginny asked as she wiggled her eyebrows at her friend.

 

“I don’t know and I hope not, but I believe there’s a slight chance that may happen.” She answered.

 

“Well, he’s injured so I’m sure he won’t do anything to do you.” Harry finally spoke up with a sigh.

 

“If you guys are worried Malfoy will do something with me—stop. I can take care of myself, thank you very much. I punched him in the nose in third year; I think I can handle him.” She said as she scoffed.

 

“If he’s giving you a hard time, just tell us right away. Harry and I will beat him up for you.” Ron told her with a sigh.

 

“Okay.” She told them.

 

“Does that mean you’ll have to help him get dressed and . . . perhaps shower?” Ginny asked her friend in a whisper so the boys wouldn’t hear as she stared at her.

 

Hermione rolled her eyes and smacked her friend in the arm. “What are you thinking about? Of course not!” She yelled at her friend.

 

Ginny simply laughed and shrugged her shoulders. “I’m just wondering. But if that ever does happen, tell me about it. Details, too.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

 

“Will you have to go now to start your duty?”

 

“Yes, unfortunately. I’m just going to take my homework over there and study while he rests. I’ll have to stay in the infirmary with him for at least tonight. Hopefully, Madam Pomfrey works something out for us.”

 

“Well, if you want my wand for protection—“ Ron started as he reached into his pocket.

 

“Ronald, honestly. I can take care of myself and besides, he’s injured. He won’t do anything.” Hermione said as she placed her hand on his hand, stopping him. “Relax.”

 

“Okay . . .” Ron said as he slowly calmed down.

 

Hermione removed her hand from his and awkwardly smiled at him. “Well, goodnight guys.” She said as she walked off.

 

“What were you talking about with Hermione?” Harry asked curiously at his girlfriend once he made sure Hermione was long gone.

 

“Nothing.” Ginny quickly said and smiled at him. “Let’s dance.” She changed the topic and took Harry into a big crowd as they started to dance.

 

Ron still looked at the door where Hermione left through. He sighed and turned around to see Lavender there. “Lav-Lav.”

 

“I heard you four talking.” She said with a frown as she crossed her arms across her chest. “Why are you so protective of her? You aren’t her boyfriend.”

 

“I’m her friend—“

 

“You haven’t been her friend ever since you started dating me. Why are you acting so over protective towards her? If someone didn’t know any better, they would think you’re jealous.” She stated angrily.

 

“Do you think I’m jealous of Malfoy?” Ron asked with a scoff.

 

“Yes!” Lavender yelled. “Do you like her?”

 

“What?”

 

“Do you like Hermione?”

 

Ron stared at her as he thought about it. Did he like her? He quickly brushed it off and said, “Of course, not. I like you and only you.”

 

“You shouldn’t have hesitated when answering that.” Lavender stated with a groan. “Have a nice party, Ron.” She said as she walked past him, clearly annoyed by him. She had actually used his real name, not a petty nickname. She was mad.

 

Ron sighed and threw his hands up in the air as he let them drop. “Lavender, you can’t seriously be mad at me.” He said as he ran after her.

 

. . . . . .

 

“How are you feeling?” Blaise asked his friend.

 

“Never been better.” Malfoy announced with a frown. “Why did you bring her here?” He asked his friend.

 

“She followed me.”

 

“Draky, are you feeling alright?” Pansy asked in a shrill scream as she whined about his injuries. “Who was it? Who hit you?”

 

“Pansy, give him some space.” Blaise said as he slightly pushed Pansy away from Draco.

 

“Do you want me to take care of you?” Pansy asked as she smiled at Draco.

 

“Actually, I already have a helper.” He stated with a smirk.

 

“Who?” Blaise and Pansy asked in unison. Blaise furrowed his eyebrows and shook his head and looked at Pansy. “Pansy, do not do that again. That was creepy.” He stated as he shuddered.

 

Pansy rolled her eyes as she flipped her off her shoulder.

 

“My helper is—“ Draco suddenly saw Granger walking in with her backpack. “—there she is, Granger.”

 

Pansy immediately glared at Granger as she felt fire rise in her. “Why is this mudblood taking care of you?” She asked.

 

Hermione scoffed and shook her head. “He’d rather have a filthy mudblood take care of him than you. That’s obviously saying something.” She said as she stared at Pansy with a grin.

 

Blaise choked back a laugh as he covered it up with a cough but secretly laughing. Pansy shot Blaise a glare and stared at Hermione. “Excuse me?” She asked Hermione with daggers.

 

Hermione sighed and dropped her things on Draco’s bed. “Do I have to repeat myself?”

 

Pansy ignored Hermione’s statement and stared at Draco, scoffing. “Why don’t I just supervise you and let this nerd go back to her library?”

 

“See it’s funny, I actually trust her more than I trust you.” Draco said with a smirk and sighed. “Go.”

 

“What?” Pansy asked as she shot a glare at Hermione. “You trust her more than me?”

 

“I thought we already established that.” Draco said and groaned. “Look, you’re already giving me a headache. Leave.”

 

Pansy dropped her arms to her side and scoffed. “Are you serious?”

 

“Pansy, how many times do I have to tell you?” Draco asked and suddenly realized an important fact. “I want to be here alone with my girlfriend than be with you.”

 

“Girlfriend?” Hermione and Pansy asked him unison.

 

Pansy scowled and glared at Hermione. “Don’t do that again. Ew.” She shuddered and stared at Blaise with an I-understand-what-you-meant-by-that look.

 

Hermione looked at Draco and sighed as she rolled her eyes. She looked back at Pansy and scowled. “Yes, because I’m his girlfriend.” She said in a monotone voice.

 

“Please, don’t try to lie to me.” Pansy said with a cackle.

 

“No, seriously, she’s his girlfriend.” Blaise chipped in with a serious face.

 

“Don’t lie to me.”

 

“We aren’t lying. Why would we be lying about something like that?” Draco asked.

 

“Because you want to get rid of me!” Pansy yelled furiously.

 

“Oh, so you do know that Malfoy doesn’t want you to be around him. See, you actually do have a brain.” Hermione commented with a gasp.

 

“I’m going to ignore that.” She said and sighed. “If you guys are dating, why are you guys calling each other by your last names?” Pansy asked as she placed a hand on her hip.

 

“I’m sorry, did I say Malfoy?” Hermione asked with a surprised look. “I meant . . .” She stopped and clenched her jaw. “I meant Draco.” She said through her teeth and sighed. “I guess old habits die hard?”

 

Draco slightly smirked once he heard his name flow out of her mouth a second time. He liked the how she said it. She said it as if she had been calling him by his first name forever, it sounded perfect for her voice.

 

Pansy sneered and glared at Hermione. “I don’t think so.”

 

Hermione sighed and rolled her bright, chocolate brown eyes. She looked over at Draco as she raised an eyebrow, putting one hand on her hip. “I’m going to leave since you have company.” She said after a while and started to walk off when Pansy suddenly tripped her. She fell down to her knees and bit back a scream as she groaned quietly.

 

Pansy smirked and looked over at a shocked Blaise and Draco. “You know how you said I should practice my spells and all?” She asked with a small laugh. “I don’t need a wand to fight my battles.” She told him and smirked as she checked her nails. “Well, I guess I’ll leave you alone with your, girlfriend.” She said with a scoff as she walked off with a small laugh.

 

Hermione got up after a while with a death glare. “Well, Draco, honey, you should really go to sleep now.” She said with sarcasm dripping from her voice. “You annoying prick.” She mumbled under her breath as she dusted herself off. She felt Zabini’s eyes on her and immediately glared at him. “May I help you? Or, wait, would you like to trip me, too?” She asked him with a small grin.

 

Zabini shook his head and cleared his throat. He looked over at Draco with a wow-she’s-scary look. “Well, get better soon. I’ll leave you two together now.” He said as he slowly started to walk off, eager to go away.

 

“Oh, and Zabini.” Hermione called after him and turned around. “Have you been talking to Ginny?” She asked as she raised an eyebrow.

 

“She-Weasel?” Blaise asked as he raised an eyebrow and slightly sighed. “She came up and talked to me . . . once or twice.”

 

“Oh.” Hermione said and stared at him. “I mean, I just saw you two talking during Astronomy last time and I was wondering . . .” She said as she played dumb.

 

“Oh, well, it was nothing really.” Blaise said as he hid a smile. He knew she was just checking up on their progression. He slightly scoffed to himself and shook his head. “Well, I’ll leave you two alone.” He said and walked off.

 

Hermione sighed and shoved her hands into the back pockets of her jeans. She looked at Draco for a long time and sighed as she shook her head, mumbling softly to herself.

 

“What are you mumbling to yourself about?” Draco asked as he observed her every move.

 

“I’m just wondering why I have such bad luck and how I have to play nurse with you.” She said as she grabbed her backpack off of his bed. She took a seat next to his bed and set her book bag down on the floor next to her. “Sleep.” She ordered and immediately took out a book out of her bag.

 

Draco scowled and stared at Hermione. “Really?”

 

“What?” Hermione asked as she started to read, looking down at her book.

 

“You’re just going to read?”

 

“What else do you suggest I do?” Hermione asked as she looked up at him with an annoyed look.

 

Draco smirked and grabbed the book out of Hermione’s lap. Although it took a lot of effort, he managed to toss it down on the floor next to him. “Play a game with me.”

 

Hermione rolled her brown chocolate orbs and scoffed. “What are we? Eleven?”

 

“Let’s play ‘let’s get to know each other better’.” Draco suggested, ignoring her statement.

 

“You just made that game up.” Hermione stated matter-of-factly.

 

“The more of a reason to play it, then.” He said and slightly smirked. “Okay, should I tell you the rules or what? The title is pretty self explanatory.”

 

Hermione sneered and finally gave up with a sigh. “Okay, fine. Let’s play the game.”

 

“Okay, I’ll start and you can only ask one question.”

 

“Okay.” Hermione said coolly as she leaned back in her chair.

 

“Do you like me?” Draco asked with a complacent grin. “I mean, then why were you so worried about me?”

 






Hello :) I hope I posted this sooner than before >_< Last time, I was having a lot of problems with the validation process so I apologize for that incident. Now, I promise to update this story sooner. Please leave a review below :) It always makes me happy to see one. xD haha &&thank you for those who answered my question about the whole 'snog' and 'kiss' deal. I now understand so thank you! &&Just a little heads up, I might have a new story up so ooh~~ Please wait for that. But, I'm not really sure yet . . . I'm pretty sure I'll have a new story, though. :)
 

-Annie


Chapter 8: Chapter 8
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione immediately scowled as she clenched her jaws together. She wished she knew the answers to those questions herself! Why had she been worried about him? It was definitely impossible that she liked him! Her eyes slightly grew wide at the thought, almost as if she was reconsidering it. She shook her head and crossed her arms across her chest. She was sure Malfoy was looking at her as if she was a lunatic. She finally opened her mouth to speak up. “You asked me two questions and that’s breaking the rule, so I’m going to skip your questions and ask you mine.” She said immediately and sighed. “What is your favorite color?”

 

Draco blinked a few times as he bent his eyebrows trying hard to register everything. “Really?” He finally asked after a while, his grey, steel eyes boring right into her soft, caramel orbs.

 

Hermione simply shrugged her shoulders as she raised both eyebrows. “We don’t have to play the game.”

 

“Black.” Draco answered almost immediately. “My favorite color is black.” He answered again with frustration.

 

“Lovely.” Hermione said with a fake grin and immediately frowned. “I guess it’s your turn—and don’t forget! You can only ask one question at a time. I already asked one question.”

 

Draco made a face and rolled his stormy grey eyes with annoyance. “What is your favorite color?”

 

“Purple.”

 

“Oh, I thought it was going to be red. You have so much house pride.” Draco muttered under his breath.

 

“Do you want me to throw you a snide remark, too? I’ll do it.” Hermione said as she uncrossed her arms, placing them both on her thighs.

 

Draco lifted both hands up in a sign of surrender. “No, that’s unnecessary and by the way, that’s two questions.”

 

“Fine.” Hermione said and looked around the room, trying to think of simple questions. Her sharp eyes finally landed on a vase of flowers. She looked over at Draco and slightly grinned. “What’s your favorite flower?”

 

“That’s three.” Draco groaned as he leaned back in his bed. “Do you know how to play this game?”

 

“Well, we’re simply playing, ‘let’s get to know each other better’. I’m just asking questions that I want to know about you. Oh, and that will be two questions for you.” Hermione replied with a smirk. “Why? Did you want me to ask more personal questions?”

 

Draco clenched his fists and shook his head. “No, it’s fine. Let’s just continue playing.” He said and sighed. “And by the way, you’re up to five questions already.”

 

“Okay, but before we do, I have another question.”

 

“What?”

 

“When does the game end?”

 

“Uh . . . let’s just ask each other twenty questions, each. That’s six.”

 

“We’re basically playing twenty questions.” Hermione said matter-of-factly. “And you have three.”

 

“Uh, sure.” Draco said and finally sighed. “I don’t like flowers.”

 

“You can’t seriously not like any flower.”

 

“Oh, you’re right! I forgot that you weren’t allowed to hate flowers. My apologies, it seemed to have slipped my mind.” Draco mocked her with a frown.

 

“You don’t have to be so rude about it.” Hermione said with a glare and groaned. “Just ask your next question then!”

 

“What’s your deepest darkest secret that you’ve never told anyone?” Draco asked in a serious tone after a while.

 

Hermione felt her body tense up as she felt shivers crawl down her spine. “I don’t want to tell you.”

 

“You have to.”

 

“It’s not a rule.”

 

“It is now.”

 

Hermione sighed and stared at him. “I don’t want to. It’s way too personal.”

 

Draco stared at Hermione for a long time and finally sighed. “Okay, fine.”

 

“Another time.” Hermione said quietly. “I’ll tell you another time.” She cleared her throat and immediately started to ask him a different question, “What’s your favorite childhood memory?”

 

Draco thought about it and looked up at the ceiling as he started to think hard. “Favorite childhood memory?” He asked and sighed. “Well, that’s easy. My favorite childhood memory was when my father would leave the manor for a few weeks and I’d be home with my mother.” He shared and slightly started to smile but since he was looking away from Hermione, she wasn’t so sure. “We would always walk around the garden and she’d tell me all these flower names and—“ Draco stopped himself before he got too caught up in the memory. He awkwardly cleared his throat and decided not to move his head. “What’s your favorite childhood memory?”

 

Hermione was confused. He had said he hated flowers but he seemed happy when he was talking about his mother and the garden. She shook the thought away and slightly grinned. “My favorite childhood memory was when my parents got me my very own library when I turned eight. I was still so young but . . . goodness.” She sighed dreamily as she slowly drifted off into her happy memory. “I loved the feeling that I got when I walked inside and just being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of books. The smell of old books was just so attracting and I literally lived in there. My parents would have to yell at me to get out of the library and they would complain about how I smelled like books.” She said with a soft giggle at the memory. “One time, I—“ She suddenly stopped herself and saw Draco’s face for the first time since she started talking. “Oh, I’m sorry. Uhm, what was your worst childhood memory?”

 

“I guess some things never change. You’re still a bookworm and frankly, you do smell like old books, no offense.” He said and hid a grin. He had looked over at her when she talked and saw how happy she was. She didn’t even notice he was staring at her the whole time since she was already in her own little land. “My worst childhood memory?” He stated the question to himself and his face grew dark. “Well, my worst childhood memory was when my father came back.” He said with bitterness as he grew angry just thinking about the man he hated most. “What about yours?” He quickly asked.

 

Hermione felt the hostility he had towards his father and dropped it. “Uh, my worst childhood memory was . . . when I went to the zoo for the first time in my life because a monkey somehow managed to pull on my hair. It was frightening and it managed to take some of my hair.” She said as she absent-mindedly touched the back of her head, reliving the moment. “It wasn’t great.” She said with a frown but swore she heard Draco laugh. She shot a glare at him and frowned. “Are you laughing at my pain?”

 

“What?” Draco asked as he bit back his laugh, hiding it with a cough. “Me? Laugh at you? Never.” He said as he faked another cough. “My, it’s getting cold in here, isn’t it? I believe I’m catching a cold.” Draco stated as he looked around the place, ignoring Hermione gaze.

 

Hermione remained frowning and glared at him. “Laugh if you want, I don’t care.” She said with a pout as she leaned back in her chair.

 

“Really?” Draco asked and immediately took action as he roared with laughter.

 

Hermione didn’t think he’d laugh that hard and immediately regretted telling him. She felt her cheeks turn a bit red from embarrassment and frowned. “Shut up, it isn’t that funny!”

 

“Oh, but it is! You got your hair pulled on by a monkey! A monkey!” He shouted as he continued to laugh hysterically.

 

Hermione couldn’t help but crack a grin at the sight of Malfoy laughing. The laugh was different . . . it was still a bit taunting but she could hear the joy in his voice. She was somewhat glad her story brought him laughter. She started to laugh a bit, too and before she knew it, she was laughing hysterically with him. “Now, that I think about it . . . it’s pretty hilarious . . . getting hair pulled on by a monkey.” She said through her laughs. The story wasn’t that funny, but they laughed like there was no tomorrow.

 

With just a little game of ‘let’s get to know each other better’, a.k.a. 20 questions, a possibility of a strong friendship blossomed without them knowing . . .

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione’s head fell sharply to the side and she immediately woke up from the impact. She opened her eyes and looked around the place. She sighed and yawned as she looked around the place. She had fallen asleep on the chair with her arms hugging her knees with a blanket over herself. She unwrapped her arms from around her knees and let her legs hang off the chair. She furrowed her eyebrows at the blanket on her. She didn’t remember covering herself last night with the blanket, but then again, she didn’t—no couldn’t, remember anything from last night. She sighed and got up as she stretched. She yawned once more and finally noticed Draco was still sleeping on the bed. She furrowed her eyebrows as she looked at him curiously. Had he put the blanket on her? She thought to herself and immediately shook her head as she silently laughed to herself. Impossible.

 

Hermione grabbed her wand from the table beside Draco’s bed and looked around for the time. She finally found the clock and sighed as she closed her eyes. It was already ten o’clock in the morning. She furrowed her eyebrows as she immediately opened her eyes. Why wasn’t anyone in here? Madam Pomfrey?

 

Just then, as if on cue, Madam Pomfrey walked in with a small grin. “Oh, Ms. Granger, I see you’re awake now.” She said with her usual happy voice. “Well, I have good news. I talked to the Headmistress about your situation and she agreed to let you stay in the Head’s common room. The common room is empty and there are four bedrooms in there. You and Mister Malfoy can stay in there until he heals and you might want some company or an extra hand, so you can invite a friend over to stay with you. Mister Malfoy can invite a friend of his, as well. Either one is fine.” She explained and smiled at Hermione. “Or if you don’t like that idea, both of your common rooms will be empty since almost everyone is gone for the holidays so you can possibly negotiate and live in one of the common rooms. Is that alright?”

 

Hermione immediately thought about Ginny and how the plan could easily be worked out if they lived under the same roof. She flashed the woman a kind smile and nodded her head. “Of course, it’s fine. Thank you so much for going through all that trouble.”

 

“Oh, the person who should be thanking is me, so thank you Ms. Granger for helping me out.” Madam Pomfrey said kind-heartedly. “I have things to do but I’ll be back here in twenty minutes.” She informed Hermione and left.

 

“No, thank you.” She said under her breath as she smirked. She looked over at a sleeping Draco and shrugged her shoulders. “A small little prank wouldn’t hurt . . .” She said quietly and slowly walked over to Draco. She leaned down so that she was hovering over him. She pointed her wand at her palm and conjured up a can of whip cream. She wore a devious smile as she silently chuckled to herself. She shook the can as fast as she could and took the cap off. She quickly conjured up a feather and leaned down once more. She slowly reached over and started to spray the whip cream on Draco’s hand. She quickly put that aside and grabbed the feather. Without hesitation, she rubbed the feather on his nose like the classic old trick. Right when she was about to step backwards, she felt long, cold fingers coil around her small wrist, pulling her in. Before she could even gasp, Draco’s hand gently hit her face. She stood frozen as he removed his hand laughing while whip cream slowly slipped off her face,

 

“Next time, try to be a tab bit quieter. You make way too much noise.” He stated as he laughed at her once more. He took a finger and wiped it on her cheek, getting some whip cream and put it in his mouth. “Hmm, this tastes really good.” He shared as he took his finger out. “You should really try some.”

 

Hermione glared at him and faked a grin.”Thanks for the heads up. I’m glad it tastes good.” She said sarcastically.

 

“Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed . . .” Draco muttered.

 

Hermione stood up straight and pointed to her chair. “WHAT BED?” She asked angrily.

 

“Hey, don’t blame me. You could’ve slept in the empty beds over there and here . . . or you could’ve slept in this bed with me.” He finished off with a smirk.

 

Hermione made a face at him and set her wand down on the table. She groaned and grabbed the whip cream as she quickly sprayed it all over him. She immediately burst out laughing once she realized she got his face, too. She took a finger and wiped it off his face, tasting it. “Hmm, it does taste good.  You were right.” She threw his words back at her as she slightly giggled.

 

Draco shot a glare at her and took his blanket off. “Do you really want to go there?”

 

“Oh, but I just did.” Hermione challenged him.

 

“Okay, it’s on!” He yelled as he jumped up from his bed, grabbing the whip cream can out of her hands in a second.

 

Hermione gasped as her eyes widened. “You can’t just do that! And you shouldn’t be standing, you’re injured!” She yelled at him.

 

“Oh, but I just did.” He said, mocking Hermione with her same exact words and quickly sprayed some whip cream on her. Hermione screamed and started to run away from him while he chased her with the can, constantly spraying at her with every opportunity he got.

 

“Stop! No, that’s not fair!” She yelled once she realized she got backed up into a corner. She cursed under her breath for getting caught. “Malfoy, put the bottle down.”

 

“Not quite ready yet.” Draco responded as he shook his head. He placed his hand on the wall next to Hermione’s head, blocking her path. “Just close your eyes and it’ll all be over.”

 

Hermione glared at him and tried to escape from under his arm but felt his strong arms wrap around her waist, pulling her back. She groaned and sighed in defeat. “I just wanted to wake you up and tell you to go to breakfast . . . we’re going to be late if we keep playing around.” She quickly made an excuse.

 

“No, we can just quickly get this over with and then go eat breakfast.”

 

“No, I like my idea better.”

 

“I like mine better.” Draco said with a smirk. “Get ready to be creamed—and don’t head butt me again.”

 

“Now, that you mention it . . .” Her voice trailed off as she looked up at him. They both looked ridiculous since they had whip cream all over their face, hair, and clothes. “I really don’t want to hurt you, but you’ve left me with no choice!” She yelled as she suddenly grabbed his arm, biting his hand. She quickly made her escape as she laughed, leaving Draco in the corner. She ran towards the door and right when she reached for it, the door opened and she bumped her face into the door. “Ow!” She groaned in pain as she fell backwards.

 

Draco from the corner burst out laughing once he saw her fall, even though he was still holding onto his bitten hand. “Ha! That’s what you get for biting me!”

 

Hermione scrunched her nose as she rubbed her forehead. “Ouch.” She whined and glared at Draco as she bit her bottom lip. “Shut up!” She yelled furiously as she sighed.

 

“Hermione, are you alright?” Hermione raised an eyebrow at the familiar voice and stopped rubbing her forehead. She looked up and saw Ginny looking down at her.

 

“What happened to you, mate?” Blaise asked Draco as he peeked in through the doors, looking at his friend.

 

“What the bloody hell? Why are you two here?” Malfoy asked as he got up, dropping the whip cream can down on the floor.

 

“No, the real question is . . . what the hell happened to you two?” Blaise asked as he stared at his friend. “And why is there a whip cream can on the floor?” He questioned as he pointed at it.

 

Hermione got up with the help of Ginny’s and dusted herself off. “Thank you.” She said and looked over at Draco and Blaise. “It was nothing.” Ginny raised an eyebrow at the comment and stared at her friend.

 

“You tried to pull the whole whip cream and feather prank, right?” Ginny asked after a long pause.

 

“No . . .” Hermione mumbled under her breath as she looked down.

 

“How many times have you done that prank? That’s the only thing you know how to do! You failed to prank Ron, Harry, and me.”

 

“I was so close but he was already awake and he slapped me in the face with the whip cream and then I sprayed some whip cream on him . . . and then the battle started.” Hermione explained.

 

Draco snickered as he wiped off some whip cream off his face, wiping it on Blaise’s robes. “You failed that prank and yet, you still attempted to try it on me?”

 

“Shut up.”

 

“You’re supposed to be helping me so don’t try to pull any more pranks on me.”

 

“You’re not the boss of me!”

 

“What?” Draco snapped at him.

 

“I’m going to do whatever the hell I want!” She yelled back as she stomped on the ground.

 

“Guys! Before you break out into a big fight, let me just say something!” Ginny yelled and immediately the couple quit yelling but they continued to glare at each other. “I was coming here to give you breakfast since I went to the kitchens and I met Zabini on the way. I guess he decided to get some food for Malfoy and we came here together.” She explained and stared at Zabini.

 

“But, before you two even eat, I think you guys should just go freshen up a bit, shower perhaps would be good.” Blaise said and stared at his friend. “I’m not sure if you can shower though.”

 

Just then, Madam Pomfrey walked in with a gasp. “Oh, what happened in here?” She asked, looking at the random spots with whip cream on it. “And what happened to you two?” She asked as she pointed to Hermione and Draco. “And when did you two get here?” She asked as she looked at Blaise and Ginny.

 

“I’m very sorry about this whole mess; I’ll have it cleaned up. I have a question, though. Will Malfoy be able to shower?” Hermione asked the nurse.

 

“Why of course. But he will have to put a fresh pair of bandage around his waist. I added the ointment on the bandage with my wand so it’ll be fine. I’m guessing you will have to shower so I’ll go look for it right now.” She said with a smile as she walked off.

 

Hermione walked over to the table and grabbed her wand. She quickly shot a non-verbal spell and in a few seconds, the place looked good as new. She glared at Malfoy and scowled when he glared at her back.

 

“Okay, you two really need to stop—“

 

Blaise got interrupted by Draco, “You know you should be thanking me.”

 

Hermione scoffed and let out a laugh. “And why should I be thanking you?”

 

“Who do you think put that blanket over you?” Draco asked with a hiss and immediately bit his tongue, already in regret for revealing that. He groaned and clenched his jaw as he looked the other way.

 

Hermione immediately widened her eyes as she stared at him in shock. “You were the one who put it over me?” She asked with an incredulous look spreading across her face. She suddenly got an epiphany. She remembered what happened last night.

 

. . . . . .

 

Last night . . .

 

“Okay! Another question.” Hermione said finally and grinned. “What is your favorite spell?” She asked as she curiously stared at him.

 

“To use or just the spell itself?” Draco asked her as he stared at her. “And don’t count that as another question.” He snapped at her before she could say anything.

 

Hermione simply nodded and slightly grinned. “The spell itself and then the spell you like to use.”

 

“That’s two questions.”

 

“Just answer it.”

 

“Avada Kedavra.” Draco answered instantly without hesitation. He stared at Hermione innocently and raised both eyebrows, shrugging his shoulders. He kept his serious face and immediately cracked up once he saw Hermione’s face grow dark. “I’m joking. My favorite spell is Obliviate.” He said after a while.

 

“Why is that?” Hermione asked as she furrowed her eyebrows. “And don’t count that as another question.” She warned him with a small, playful smile. Draco simply nodded and sighed.

 

“I always wondered what it’d be like to be obliviated. I sometimes wish that I could use that spell on myself . . . there are so many memories I’d kill to erase. I wish that I could start anew, build a new life, and forget the past . . .  simply just move on.” He said quietly. “But, I’m too much of a coward to use it against myself. Besides, I still have someone I want to protect.”

 

“Who do you want to protect?” Hermione asked with a frown.

 

“That’s a personal question for me.” He answered quietly. “Later, I’ll tell you later.”

 

Hermione stayed quiet for a while and silently sighed to herself. She couldn’t help but feel bad for him. She had no idea someone like Draco Malfoy could have such a . . . hard life.

 

“The spell I like to use is Expelliarmus .Why? I just do. Disarming another witch or wizard is just . . . fun, I guess. I just like using it, it makes me feel . . . like a wizard.” He said and pondered for a few minutes. “I’m not sure. I just like using it.” He finally summarized and sighed. “What about you? Which spell do you like to use and which one do you like just because?” He asked.

 

“I like to use Expulso . . . I just like blowing things up.” She said with a small laugh. “That makes me sound too vulgar and utterly vicious.” She said and shook her head. “It comes in handy sometimes. You never know when you’ll have to blow something up. Life or death situations.” She stated and remained silent for a while, thinking of a spell she liked. “I’ll have to say . . . a spell I like is . . . Accio. It really comes in handy at all times! It’s just a reliable spell. I love it.”

 

“You’re quite peculiar.” Draco claimed as he looked at Hermione.

 

“I beg your pardon?” She asked and slightly scoffed. “You’re quite unusual yourself, so I wouldn’t be talking.”

 

“No, you’re definitely odd.” He said and suddenly leaned towards Hermione. “I think you’re a special case. You’re a very bright witch but you like to blow things up and on top of that, you’re lazy so you depend on a spell.” He summed everything up and shook his head. “You’re strange.”

 

Hermione glared at him and rolled her eyes as she pushed his face away from her, slightly cracking a grin. “Whatever you say, oh so wise one.” She said as she slightly bowed down to him.

 

“I like the sound of that.” Draco stated with a small grin.

 

“Are you smiling?”

 

“What? No.” Draco quickly said as he frowned immediately.

 

“No, I think you were.” Hermione said with a small grin.

 

“No.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“No.”

 

“I saw it!” Hermione said as she got up, staring at him.

 

“You’re mental.”

 

“I saw it!”

 

“No, you’re bloody tired, aren’t you? You should really get some sleep.” Draco said as he pushed her away.

 

“No, no. I’m not tired. I’m perfectly fine.” Hermione insisted as she took another step closer to Draco’s bed. “Just admit that you smiled, I’ll keep it a secret.”

 

“Why is it so important for you to know?”

 

“Well, why is it so hard for you to just admit that you smiled?” She asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“Well, why do you want to know if I smiled or not?” Draco asked as he stared up at her.

 

“Well, why can’t I know?” She asked him as she stared him down.

 

“Get some sleep, Granger.” He said after a long pause and looked the other way.

 

“Fine, then, I’ll just say you did smile.” She said and sighed while she turned around. She suddenly felt her shoe get caught up in something from the bed and started to fall backwards. “Woah!”

 

Draco immediately wrapped an arm around her waist to help her back up, but instead, brought her down on top of him. He slightly groaned when he felt Hermione accidentally jab him in the stomach where his bruise was.

 

Hermione gasped as she dropped her jaw wide open. “I am so sorry. Are you alright?” She asked as she quickly tried to get up but failed when she noticed his arms were still wrapped tightly around her waist. “Uhm . . . Malfoy, you should really let me go. You’re really hurt and—“

 

“I’m fine.” Draco muttered and looked over at her. “You really need to stop being so clumsy. This is the second or third time I rescued you from a fall.” He said with a cocky grin. “Do you like being in my arms that much? Am I like your Prince Charming or something along those lines?”

 

Hermione rolled her chocolate brown eyes and scoffed. “I think you need some sleep.” She said and reached behind her and peeled his fingers off her waist and then removed his arm. “Thank you for saving me again, Prince Charming.” She joked and got up. “Get some rest.” She said quietly and turned around, sitting down in her chair.

 

Draco slightly grinned and looked over at her. “What are you planning to do?”

 

Hermione reached into her book bag and pulled out a book, waving it in the air for him to see. “Don’t worry, I won’t disturb you.” She stated and immediately looked down, reading quietly.

 

“Goodnight, then . . . Granger.” He said and sighed as he finally closed his eyes.

 

“Good night, Malfoy.” Draco heard her soft voice say to him and couldn’t help but to feel a bit warm inside. There was something about her voice . . . he knew he was going have a great sleep.

 

Hermione slightly grinned and returned to her book, to only find herself reading the same word over and over again. She was biting her bottom lip, replaying her fall with Draco just a few seconds ago repeatedly in her head. She felt safe in his arms . . . she felt like he really was her Prince Charming. She couldn’t brush off the fact that she formed butterflies in her stomach when she wound up on top of Draco. Her heart was beating uncontrollably when she realized his arms were still wrapped tightly around her waist. She almost wanted to just snog him right there . . . almost. She shook her head violently as she slapped herself mentally. What was she just thinking? She was supposed to be making him fall for her, not vice-versa. She ran her long, slim fingers through her hair and shook her head. “Read.” She muttered under her breath and started to read the book. Unfortunately, she got stuck on the same word as she continued to think about Draco . . .

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione couldn’t believe she thought that! She stared at Draco and clenched her jaw. “Why did you do it?”

 

Draco remained silent as he clenched his fists for even bringing it up. “Why do you want to know?”

 

“Just tell me why.”

 

“Why is it important for you to know?”

 

“Well, you put the blanket over me. I want to know why you did that. You could’ve just left me to sleep without one so why?” She demanded for an answer.

 

“Because I felt like it.” Draco finally said. “You’re supposed to be taking care of me and you were freezing to death. I had to save you so you could help me. It was for my sake. I didn’t want a sick helper.” He spat at her. “It wasn’t a kind act, it was because I need you to help me.” He said and quickly walked off.

 

Hermione breathed heavily as her chest heaved up and down. She couldn’t believe they actually talked yesterday and had fun. She sighed and groaned as she grabbed her book bag, storming out of the place angrily.

 

Ginny and Blaise stared at each other and sighed. “That went well.” Blaise finally said and clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth.

 

“Indeed.” Ginny commented bitterly. “Why is Malfoy acting like such an ignorant prick?” She asked as she placed a hand on her hip. “He’s treating Hermione like she’s a piece of garbage.”

 

“Well, why is Granger being such a bossy, moody bi—“ Blaise quickly caught himself before he got himself into trouble.

 

“Moody what?” Ginny asked with red, angry eyes. “You’re smart for stopping yourself there. I haven’t used my bat-bogey hex in a while but I’m sure I’m going to use it very soon . . .  on you.” She threatened him and walked off. “Hermione!” She yelled and left Blaise.

 

Blaise let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He had to be careful in front of that ginger. She was a scary person. “Damn, I need to watch myself from now on.” He muttered and slowly started to walk towards the Slytherin common room.

 






Hello, there :D I hope all of you have been well these past few weeks. I'm really sorry since this story if going really slow-paced. I'm sort of going-with-the-flow on this one. I didn't really plan it out so that's my mistake. I'm trying to make it as entertaining as possible. In the later chapters, which I'm currently writing right now, are slowly going in depth into their relationship. I hope you all stick around with this story for that! haha xD The new story I was talking about is still a maybe. I'm thinking about the plot and everything right now. Don't worry, I'm not abandoning this one, I'll still write it along with the new one. I enjoy writing this as much as you guys enjoy reading it! Please leave a comment/review down below and I'll post up as soon as possible. :)




-Annie

 

 


Chapter 9: Chapter 9
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione had finished taking a cold shower but that wasn’t enough to cool her down. She was still hot and red from irritation and humiliation. She grabbed her wand to smooth down her curls but suddenly stopped halfway. She looked at herself in the mirror and sighed as she set her wand down. She grabbed a hair tie from the cabinet and tied her hair back into a neat pony tail. She quickly bobby pinned her bangs back and walked out of her room. She walked down the stairs and became surprised when she saw Ginny, Blaise and Malfoy down on the couch. She furrowed her eyebrows and gripped onto her wand—just in case. “What brings you two here?” She asked after a while.

 

“It wasn’t my idea, it was this idiot right here who suggested we should eat breakfast together and discuss some matters.” Draco said as he cocked his head towards Blaise, looking away from Hermione.

 

“And you let them in?” She questioned Ginny as she raised an eyebrow with one hand on her hip.

 

“They looked desperate and besides, everyone’s out doing whatever.” Ginny said with a shrug and patted to the empty seat next to her on the couch. “Come sit.”

 

Hermione reluctantly walked over and sat down next to Ginny. “You guys should sit down, too.” She stated quietly.

 

“Yeah, sit down.” Ginny said and stared at Blaise intently giving him a sign.

 

Blaise understood and quickly took a seat in the single armchair and sighed. “Draco, sit down.” He said as he pointed to the empty spot next to Hermione.

 

Draco glared at Zabini while Hermione glared at Ginny and Blaise. “Why don’t you sit there?” Draco growled at his friend.

 

“Well, you probably know Granger way better than I do, so just sit down.” Blaise said as he shrugged it off. Draco sighed and cautiously sat down next to Hermione, unfortunately, Ginny was taking up most of the space so that Hermione and Draco were close.

 

Hermione noticed it and looked at Ginny. “Ginny, scoot down a bit.”

 

“Nah, I’m good.” Ginny said and quickly brought out a brown paper bag. “I went into the kitchen and asked Skippy to whip something up for me. When I mentioned it was for you, he added an extra toast and an apple.” She said with a grip as she tossed it at Hermione. “Eat up, we have a long day ahead of us.”

 

“We do?” Hermione asked as she curiously stared at her friend.

 

“No, but hopefully you do.” Ginny said and slightly grinned at her friend.

 

Blaise also threw a brown paper bag at Draco. “I went to the kitchens, as well, and asked Skippy to whip something up for me. When I mentioned it was for you, he graciously added an extra bagel and apple.” He said as she tossed it over to Draco. “Dig in.”

 

“Thanks.” Draco muttered and opened up his paper bag, reaching in to grab some food.

 

“So, I’m guessing everyone left for the holidays?” Hermione asked as she bit into a warm toast. Ginny nodded and slightly grinned.

 

“Oh, yeah, Pansy Parkinson left. She said that she wasn’t going to stay at this boring, old school and started ranting off about Malfoy.” Ginny said with a scoff. “She’s quite a character.”

 

“She left?” Draco asked with a small smirk.

 

“She left.” Blaise said with a nod.

 

“This winter break is going to be great.” Draco said and slightly stared at Hermione.

 

Hermione locked eyes with him and immediately looked away as she looked the other way. “Anyways, I have something to say. Since I have to take care of Malfoy, Madam Pomfrey talked with the headmistress and she approved of us living in the Heads’ common room during the whole break. We’re allowed to invite a friend to live there with us since there are four bedrooms. So, I choose Ginny and I’m guessing you’ll choose him?” Hermione explained and stared at Draco.

 

“Right you are.” Draco said and stared at Blaise. “This is going to be interesting.”

 

Ginny flashed Hermione a big grin, revealing her perfect set of pearly whites. “This is going to be very interesting. I wonder how it’ll be like . . . living under the same roof with two Slytherins.” She said as she stared at Blaise and Draco.

 

“We wonder how it’ll be like living under the same roof with two tedious Gryffindor girls.” Blaise commented back with a smirk.

 

Ginny slightly glared at him and Hermione slightly scowled. “Pack your bags right now and meet us at the infirmary.” She said coolly as she stood up. “We’ll meet in an hour, so meet us there and don’t be late because we’re going to leave.” She quickly walked off to her room with the rest of her breakfast.

 

“Now, that she’s gone.” Ginny started and stared at the two reckless boys in front of her and slightly smirked. “Don’t piss me off while we’re living in the same dormitory. I have a short temper and I feel like violence is always the answer. Don’t piss me off, don’t piss Hermione off—just don’t piss us off.” She told them sternly. “If one of you two piss me off or Hermione, I assure you I will throw a hex at one of you. I won’t hesitate, I’ll promise you that.” She threatened and left after glaring at them for a few long seconds.

 

Draco and Blaise let out a breath that they didn’t know they were holding and exchanged glances with each other. “Feisty ginger, huh?” Draco asked with a she’s-pretty-scary-look. “But, hey, it’s okay. I understand why you take a fancy to her, if you guys ever do date, I will try to support you guys.” He mocked his friend as he stood up with his breakfast.

 

“Whoa, you think I fancy her?” Blaise asked with a shocked look spreading across his face.

 

“I don’t think, I know.”

 

“What? How?”

 

“You told me during our fifth year, remember? You came up to me and told me that you liked an aggressive ginger that had multiple loser brothers and told me to keep it a secret. Simple as that.”

 

Blaise immediately felt a red blush bloom across his cheeks and cleared his throat. “That was, what, like three-four years ago?” Blaise asked with a small scoff. “I don’t fancy her anymore.” He said as he brushed it off.

 

“Anymore? So you did fancy her at one point. I lied, I made that story up.” Draco stated and raised an eyebrow at his friend. “You’re quite gullible.” He said with a small mocking laugh. “Well, I’m going to go take my leave. Thanks for the breakfast.” He said and walked out of the common room.

 

Blaise sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “I should’ve known that was a lie. I don’t recall myself telling Draco I fancied her. We weren’t even that close during fifth year! Damn, I’m stupid.” He grumbled and dragged his feet out the door.

 

. . . . . .

 

The four students got together in front of the infirmary where they talked with Madam Pomfrey about their new dorm. They ended up sending Hermione to go talk with Professor McGonagall and soon enough, they got to their new dorms.

 

“Lemon drops.” Hermione said the password and entered through the door once again for the fifth time. “I still get surprised walking in here. It’s magnificent.” She said with awe. The place was indeed magnificent, the bedrooms were big and everything was perfect.

 

“I swear, Granger, you walk out and back in again one more time . . . I will make sure the portrait doesn’t open next time.” Draco growled at her as he shot her a glare.

 

“Okay, I get your point.” Hermione mumbled and sat down next to Ginny on the couch. “Isn’t this so exciting? The bedrooms are huge and the bathrooms are really big, too. We should have a sleepover.” Hermione started talking to Ginny with excitement as if they were the only two people in the room.

 

“Oh, we should do that! I haven’t had a sleepover with you in ages! I’ve been dying to talk to you about Harry and Ron and-and Lavender. You cannot believe how annoying she is these days because all she does is talk about Ron and why—“

 

“Wow, that’s great! We can all have a sleepover together and do each other’s nails! We should totally gossip away and talk about hot guys at this school like Blaise Zabini and Draco Malfoy! It sounds like an awful lot of fun!” Blaise chipped in sarcastically as he faked his enthusiasm. He clapped his hand together with a wide girlish grin. “We should do it tonight.”

 

Ginny and Hermione looked at each other and then at the boys. “Wow, you guys seem to be really familiar with the sleepovers. Have you ever been to one before?” Ginny asked with a serious face. “If you guys want to join us, you guys can.”

 

Blaise immediately dropped his smile and hands as he looked away. “I was kidding. You ladies do your thing—continue to ignore us.” He said as he stared at Malfoy for help.

 

“You didn’t have to say that but you did—you’re on your own.” Draco said to him with a laugh.

 

“Next time, keep your comment to yourself. It’s not like anyone wants to hear it, anyway.” Ginny said and cleared her throat. “Okay, we need to clarify something.”

 

“Clarify what?” The guys asked as they raised their eyebrows.

 

“I believe we should all set some rules down while living with each other during the break.” Hermione said sternly as she stared at Blaise and then at Draco.

 

“Fine.” “Deal.” Blaise and Draco replied back in unison.

 

“Okay, why don’t we all make up at least two rules to announce to each other.” Hermione said and sighed as she took out her wand. She pointed it at her backpack. “Accio parchment, ink and quill!” Soon the fresh, new parchment was on Hermione’s lap with a quill in her hand. The ink was on the coffee table in front of them. “Okay, I’ll go first and we’ll just pass it along.” She said and started to write her ideas down.

 

After about twenty minutes of passing and writing, Hermione took the parchment and set it down on the table for all of them to see. “All right, let’s see them.”

 

Rule #1 – We will respect each other’s privacy.

Rule #2 – None of us can enter someone else’s room without permission to.

Rule #3 – Don’t piss me off.

Rule #4 – Don’t be an arrogant prick.

Rule #5 – First person to be awake must make the whole team breakfast and some tea or coffee.

Rule #6 – Curfew is eleven at night, if you are not in the dorm by then, we will ask the kind man in the portrait to change the password so you cannot enter.

Rule #7 – Don’t tell anyone about this dorm so don’t invite anyone.

Rule #8 – Don’t use all the hot water when you shower.

Rule #9 – You aren’t allowed to study during this break.

 

Everyone finished reading it and sighed.

 

“Ginny, are you number three and four?” Hermione asked as she furrowed her eyebrows.

 

“Yes, I am and I hope I made myself clear.” She said as she stared at the two guys.

 

“I’m number five and six.” Blaise announced.

 

“I’m the last three.” Draco said and smirked. “I think the rules are all good.”

 

Hermione stared at the rules and chewed on her bottom lip. “Rule number . . . nine seems very interesting.” She said bitterly as she glared at Malfoy.

 

“I don’t want a bossy, know-it-all to ruin my winter break.” Draco stated as he smirked.

 

“I’ll refrain myself from studying.” She mumbled to herself and glared at Draco. “But, there’s one more thing.” She said as she looked at the group. “We need a punishment.”

 

“Ah, my favorite part.” Ginny said with a smirk. “Since we all made our own rules, I think the person who breaks it should get punished by the person who made the rule.” Ginny suggested with a smirk.

 

“Sure. Sounds good.” Blaise nodded and sighed. “If you break one of my rules, your punishment would be . . . hmm . . . you will have to pay me five galleons.” He said with a shrug of his shoulders.

 

“Okay, if you break one of my rules, I’ll hex you.” Ginny stated clearly.

 

Hermione and Draco glared at each other and finally Hermione spoke up, “If you break one of my rules . . . you have to do whatever I say for a week.”

 

“If you break one of my rules, you’ll have to take a cold shower for a whole week and you have to do whatever I say for a week.” Draco told them but mostly staring at Hermione.

 

“Fine.” Hermione said as she looked at him with determined eyes. “And to make sure we all know who breaks which rules, we’ll put a charm on the list.” She said and tapped her wand on the list several times, casting a non-verbal spell. She flicked her wand up and the piece of parchment flew up, landing on the front door.

 

“Okay, then it’s settled.” Ginny stood up and licked her dry lips. “You three have fun, I’m going out.” She said and started for the door.

 

“Don’t forget, curfew is at eleven.” Blaise shouted back.

 

“Don’t forget, don’t piss me off.” Ginny retorted back as she gripped onto her wand. “You’re already on my hit list.” She told him and walked off.

 

“She’s really scary sometimes.” Blaise finally said after a while. “Well, I’m going to go, too.” He got up and quickly walked out, leaving Hermione and Draco together alone.

 

“I’m sorry about earlier.” Hermione finally said after a while.

 

“You’re apologizing again?” Draco asked and slightly scoffed. “Who knew I’d be hearing Hermione Granger apologize to me a second time.” He asked sarcastically, spitting venom.

 

“I think you owe me an apology, too.” Hermione said as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“No, I don’t think so.” He shook his head.

 

“Pardon?”

 

Draco groaned as he rolled his steel grey eyes out of annoyance. “I’m sorry.” He mumbled as he looked the other way.

 

“I guess we’re even, then.” She said and ran her tongue against her teeth. “Well, I’m going to go study for the upcoming tests—“ She stopped herself abruptly and glared at Malfoy. She clenched her teeth as she closed her eyes.

 

“I’m sorry, what are you going to do?” Draco teased her with a bigger smirk.

 

“Nothing.” Hermione said in defeat as she opened her eyes back up. “Absolutely nothing.” She leaned down on the couch with a small pout as she crossed her arms across her chest, clearly she was upset.

 

“All right, then. I’ll be in my room.” He said and got up, walking towards his room.

 

She got up at once and silently screamed and she kicked and punched the air angrily. She breathed heavily, her chest heaving up and down as she stomped her foot on the ground heavily. “Ugh!” She clenched her fists and stormed into her room. She hopped on her bed and huffed and puffed. “I can still study . . .  who cares if I break that rule.” She said with a smirk as she grabbed her Potions books.

 

. . . . . .

 

Blaise quickly met Ginny in the library at the back corner. “Okay, I’m positive they don’t suspect a thing about us.” He said proudly.

 

“Of course not, they’re too caught up in their problem. We just need to keep acting like we don’t care about each other and that’s very easy.” Ginny replied back and pretended to be looking for a book. “Okay, it was really smart of Malfoy to add that last rule because Hermione will crack.” She said with a smirk.

 

“Yes, but she isn’t going to break the rules so what we’re planning, isn’t going as planned.” Blaise said with a sigh.

 

“Oh, she’ll break the rules, alright. I just know it. I bet she already broke at least one of his.” She said with a scoff.

 

“Why would she do it?”

 

“Well, she is either 1. Pissed at Malfoy, 2. Pissed at Malfoy, or 3. She’s purposely breaking a rule of his so that she can tick him off and eventually, he’ll break hers and they’ll have something to fight about—but, I’m guessing she’s doing it because of 1 or 2.” Ginny explained with a smirk as she picked a random book off the shelf.

 

“That’ll work. Draco will definitely break one of Granger’s after he finds out she broke his. That’s good; we just need to stand in the sidelines throughout the process.”

 

“But I do worry for Malfoy; I’m afraid Hermione will lose it and hex him to oblivion.” Ginny warned Blaise.

 

“Yeah, I worry for him, too. He’s an arse.” Blaise agreed and looked at the book Ginny was holding. “You’re interested in those types of books?” He asked curiously.

 

“What?” Ginny asked and looked down at her book to see that it was a pregnancy book. She raised an eyebrow at it and curiously looked up at Blaise. “Since when did this school have books on these?” She asked as she shoved it back on the shelf. “Wait, what section are we in?” She asked as she backed up, looking for a label somewhere, making Blaise chuckle.

 

. . . . . .

 

After about two hours later, Hermione heard a knock on her door.

 

“Who is it?” She yelled out as she kept her eyes focused on her book.

 

There was no answer.

 

“You can’t come in, Malfoy.” She immediately said and sighed. After a few seconds later, her bedroom door flew open.”You could’ve at least said please.” She stated and her eyes suddenly grew wide as she saw a half naked Malfoy glaring at her. He had casual jeans wrapped around his hip, revealing his nicely toned arms and his six-pack but it was all bruised and purple ‘Quidditch is good in some aspect . . . but that bruise looks really painful.’ She immediately caught herself staring and looked back at him.

 

“Are you studying?” Draco asked coolly as he stared at her. He had a roll of bandage in one hand with a shirt in the other.

 

“Maybe I am.” She said as she brushed him off.

 

Draco scoffed and frowned. He threw something at her and looked the other way as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, you broke my rule so you have to do whatever I tell you to do for a week. But that doesn’t matter, since you already have to do it anyway, it’s your job.” He said and sighed. “I need help putting that on, I forgot to put that on up until now and I tried three times . . . but I can’t seem to do it.” He muttered as he continued to avoid eye contact with her.

 

“Awh, are you embarrassed to ask me for help?” She asked with a small laugh as she grabbed the bandage.

 

“No.” He said with a frown.

 

“Okay, well, since I’m a generous person, I’ll do it.” She said and got up from her bed. “Madam Pomfrey said that she made sure the ointment was on the bandage beforehand so we won’t need to put anything on your bruise.” She muttered to herself and looked up at him. “Spread your arms out wide and keep it there.” She ordered and Malfoy slowly did what he was told. She unrolled the bandage and carefully placed it where his bruise started. “I’m no healer so I’m sorry if I hurt you.” She told him as she carefully concentrated on her work.

 

Draco awkwardly stood there with his arms open wide while Hermione did all the work. “Er, uh, thanks for doing this.”

 

“You welcome and besides, if I do this, it cancels my punishment so it all works out.” Hermione shrugged and continued to make her way around him several times, wrapping the bandage around his nicely toned torso.

 

“What?” Draco asked as he furrowed his eyebrows.

 

“Yeah, that was the deal.” Hermione said innocently and quickly clipped the end. “All right, that’s done.”

 

“Fine.” Draco said after a long pause. “I guess that’s fair.” He stated and sighed. “For now. You still have to take cold showers for a whole week.”

 

“And how will you check up on me?” Hermione asked as she bent an eyebrow at him with a smirk.

 

“Well, I haven’t thought about that yet.” He said with a sigh as he cursed under his breath.

 

“I thought so.” She said and walked over to her bed.

 

“Well, there is one way I know.” Draco suddenly said with a wide smirk.

 

“Don’t even think about it.” Hermione scoffed as shook her head.

 

Draco scowled as he gently put his shirt back on (to Hermione’s disappointment) and looked at her. “What are you doing?”

 

“Studying.”

 

“No, I mean, what are you planning to do?”

 

“Study some more.”

 

“You’re the one who suggested the whole rule thing. Why aren’t you sticking to it?” He asked with frustration.

 

“Because I want to.” She said and got up. “You broke one of my rules therefore you have to do whatever I tell you to do. Get out.”

 

“What? No. I’m not leaving.”

 

“You have to.”

 

“No, I think I’m just going to break the rules.” He said and walked past Hermione. He fell down on the bed, getting comfortable. “Ahh, you know, I think you’re bed is a lot more comfortable than mine.” He said as he slightly jumped on it. “I like it, let’s switch.”

 

“Get off my bed.” Hermione demanded as she walked over to her bed.

 

“Come and join me.” He said as he grabbed her wrist, making her fall on the bed next to him. She furrowed her eyebrows and reluctantly got comfortable on the bed.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny and Blaise had parted from the library, off to do whatever they wanted. Ginny ended up bumping into Harry and Ron in the halls and smiled at them. “Hello.”

 

“Ginny, we’ve been looking all over for you. And Hermione.” Ron said with a concerned look.

 

“Why?”

 

“Lavender came to ask us where you two were. She said your things and Hermione’s things were all gone—as if you two disappeared.” Harry said with a relieved sigh. “I’m glad you’re okay, though.” He said as he hugged his girlfriend. “But I’m confused about your belongings . . .” He said as he pulled away from the hug.

 

“Uhm . . .” Ginny remembered that she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about their dormitory but she couldn’t lie to them about where they were staying. “Well, Hermione has to take care of Malfoy and somehow she has to live with him in the empty Heads’ dormitory and she invited me to live there with her during the holidays. Zabini is living there, too.” She blurted out.

 

“What?!” Ron yelled angrily.

 

“I wasn’t supposed to tell you two that . . .” Ginny said as she chewed on her bottom lip, slowly backing down.

 

“Is Hermione alone?” Harry asked quietly.

 

“She might be with Malfoy.” Ginny answered quietly.

 

“What?! You can’t leave her alone with him!” Ron yelled.

 

“And why not?” Ginny asked as she stood her ground, placing both hands on her hips. “She’s a responsible girl; she wouldn’t do anything inappropriate with Malfoy.” She stated with a straight face. ‘Well, not yet at least.’ She thought to herself as she hid a smirk.

 

. . . . . .

 

“You must really like me.” She said after a while of just looking up at the ceiling with him.

 

Draco slightly chuckled and shook his head. “No, you clearly like me more.”

 

“What? No, you like me more. You’re the one who wanted me to lie down on this bed with you.”

 

“But you stayed.” Draco said as he smirked at her, winking at her. “And you haven’t told me to get out.” He added with a cocky grin.

 

Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head. “I already asked you to leave a thousand times now.” She said and looked over at him. “You haven’t left yet so obviously, you like me.”

 

“Excuses, excuses, excuses.” Draco complained as he looked over at her, now stormy grey clouds were boring right into warm, soft coffee beans.

 

“Whatever.” Hermione managed to say as she shook her head but continuing to keep her eyes locked with his.

 

“Ah, so you aren’t denying it.” Draco said with a bigger smirk as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“Well, I thought there was nothing to deny, considering the fact that I don’t like you.” Hermione retorted back as she smirked back at him.

 

“No, I think you like me.” He said as he shook his head, agreeing with himself.

 

“Dream on.”

 

“I still think you like me.” He shrugged and frowned. “I’m going to keep thinking that until you prove me wrong otherwise.” He stated as he smirked.

 

“Okay, Malfoy.” She said as she rose up from her bed but got pushed down by Malfoy. “I need to use to bathroom.” She said as she stared at him incredulously.

 

“I need to use it first.” Malfoy said and got up, quickly walking over to the bathroom.

 

“Oh, way to be mature!” Hermione yelled as she glared at him.

 

“You just sit tight.” He said and walked into the bathroom.

 

She sighed and collapsed back on the bed as she looked up at the ceiling. ‘He’s actually pretty handsome . . . why have I never realized this?’ She thought to herself and gasped as she hit herself on the head. “I must be crazy, thinking that.” She muttered to herself, completely shocked with her own words.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco shut the door and locked it. He let out a relieved sigh as he leaned against the door. ‘That was close . . .’ He thought to himself as he shook his head. He couldn’t believe what he was thinking just now. He thought Granger looked very attractive! He must be crazy. He silently chuckled to himself at his outrageous thought and shook his head once more. “Wow, it’s hot in here.” He muttered and walked over to the sink, turning the cold water on and quickly splashing it all over his face. ‘Wow, this is really challenging. Usually, girls would be all over me if they saw me shirtless, but Granger looked perfectly calm. Oh merlin, does she like girls? No, she liked Weasel-King for the longest time; she’s perfectly sane and likes boys. Why does she not like me? She should be all over me by now.’ He let the thoughts all run loose inside his head and finally shook his head, throwing them off his brain. He quickly shut the faucet and grabbed a nearby towel, wiping his face. ‘I. Can. Do. This.’ He said to himself and walked out of the bathroom to see Hermione standing right outside the door, so that they were only centimeters apart. He felt his heart stop for a minute but quickly regained control of himself. “If you wanted to snog me, you should’ve said so.” He commented with a smirk.

 

Hermione’s eyes were wide with shock and her heart was beating furiously. She felt a tint a blush spread across her cheeks once she heard Draco’s comment. “I-I was just wondering what took you so long.” She said and turned around, trying to hide her blush. She placed her hand over her heart, trying to calm it down.

 

“Well, the bathroom is all yours.” He said casually as she walked over to her bed.

 

“I don’t need it anymore.” Hermione snapped and looked the other way as Malfoy passed her.

 

Draco smirked and looked over at her. He walked over to her and stood right in front of her. “Are you blushing?” He asked with a teasing smirk.

 

“Me? Blush? Never!” Hermione immediately yelled. “I’m simply hot, that’s all.” She said as she fanned herself, letting out a deep breath. “It’s getting really hot in here.”

 

“No, it’s normal room temperature.” Draco said as he stared at her. “Why? Are you blushing because of what I said?”

 

“No.” Hermione snapped and looked up at him, their eyes immediately locking together. “I-I-I . . .” She stumbled on her words as her mind drew a blank. “I-uh-I . . . uhm . . .”

 

“Wow, this is a first! Granger is finally speechless!” Draco announced with a smirk. “Who would’ve thought that Granger would run out of words to say?”

 

Hermione bent her eyebrows and raised a fist to hit him. “You are such a prick!” She yelled as she took a step forward, getting ready to hit him on his head but, being clumsy, she slipped and started to fall backwards.

 

“Whoa!” Draco leaped forward and snaked his arms around her petite waist, ready to pull her back up on her two feet but instead, fell on top of her. “Ouch . . .” He groaned and looked down at Hermione. His eyes grew wide because they were only a few millimeters away from each other. “We really need to stop meeting like this.” He said with a smirk but his smirk soon disappeared as he slowly got lost in her hypnotizing brown eyes.

 

Hermione silently gasped once she saw how close they were. Her heart started to beat uncontrollably as he started to lean in. Draco didn’t know what he was doing but his body was leaning in. His heart was beating faster than usual and he felt very bothered. It was his first time anyone made his heart beat that fast. Ever. Right when their lips were about to touch, they heard a loud bang outside the room. They both let out a relieved yet disappointed sigh. Draco leaned in towards her ear and whispered, “I think you like me since you obviously wanted to snog me just now. Don’t worry, I promise we’ll do it properly next time.” He leaned back out with a smirk and although Hermione wanted to protest, they both immediately got up. Hermione glared at Draco and looked outside the room to see Ron, Harry, and an angry Ginny. Hermione crossed her arms across her chest as she walked out of her room to meet the trio. “What do you think you’re doing?”

 

Draco walked out of the room, standing beside Granger. “I thought we made our rules clear.” He said as he stared at Ginny.

 

Before Ginny could even open her mouth, Ron yelled, “Why the hell are you coming out of that room with Hermione?!”

 

Hermione and Draco exchanged awkward glances and both of them cleared their throats. “Why the hell are you in here?” Draco asked as he furrowed his eyebrows. “This is our common room.”

 

“Hermione, you can’t seriously be living here with him!” Ron asked angrily as he looked up at her.

 

“Ron! Ginny and Zabini are living here, too. It’s not just us and besides, he’s injured! I’m only taking care of him. And for your information, I was only putting his bandage on for him!” Hermione snapped as she walked over to Malfoy, lifting up his shirt. “That’s all we were doing.”

 

Ginny slightly smirked when she caught a small blush creep across Hermione and Draco’s face. She couldn’t believe her eyes. “Don’t tell me . . .” She muttered under her breath as she stared at her friend.

 

“You were in a room alone with him . . . with him being shirtless?” Ron asked incredulously.

 

“Are you implying we did something together other than putting the bandage on?” Malfoy asked with a sneer. “Look, I wouldn’t touch your precious Granger even if my life depended on it.”

 

“And I would never do anything with him!” Hermione yelled at Ron and sighed. “Ginny, please show them the way out.” She said with a sigh as she walked into her room.

 

Draco slightly smirked at Ron. “Are you afraid I’d do something to her?” He asked.

 

“What are you trying to get at?” Ron asked furiously.

 

“I’m just saying, you lost your chance with her so . . .” Malfoy said and smirked even wider. “Just remember you lost your chance with her but I might have a shot with her.” He stated and walked off before Ron could even open his mouth.

 

Ron heard a snap in his body and he was ready to yell when he suddenly felt someone grab his shoulder. He whipped his head around and saw Harry looking at him. “Harry, let go.”

 

“Mate, I know you’re mad but we’re talking about Hermione right now. She wouldn’t do anything with him and you know that, don’t you? She can take care of herself and it was inappropriate of us to barge in here.” He told his friend calmly. “And don’t let Malfoy’s words get to your head; he’s merely trying to provoke you.”

 

“Fine.” Ron muttered angrily as he stormed out of the door.

 

Ginny smiled at her boyfriend and walked over to him. “Thank you.” She said and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll be here, too, so don’t worry. I won’t let anything happen to Hermione and she can take care of herself.” She explained and sighed. “But, I must tell you that you have to keep this room a secret. We all made rules and one of them if that we can’t have any visitors in here, so that means this needs to be kept a secret. Please keep it a secret?”

 

“Of course, it’s Ron we need to warn.”

 

“I’ve got that covered.” She said with a smirk and took out her wand. “Let’s go, after I handle my brother, we should go to the lake or something like that.” She said with a wink as she grabbed his hand, walking out of the room with him.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione let out a relieved sigh as he left the room. “Finally . . .” She said and leaned against the wall beside her. “I can’t believe we almost . . .” She said and the thought about it made a blush creep across her face. “What am I going to do? I’m simply thinking about him and I’m blushing.” She asked herself with a soft cry as she frowned. She placed her hand over her heart and gasped as she felt it beat fast. “I can’t be feeling like this.” She told herself quietly. It was only four p.m. and she was frustrated. She knew she wasn’t going to get any sleep tonight. Ah, Merlin, please help her.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco coolly walked over to his room but once he got into his room, he panicked. His heart was definitely going crazy. They almost kissed. They were so close but stupid Weasel-King had to ruin everything. He furrowed his eyebrow as he placed his hand over his heart, feeling it thump fast. He suddenly thought about Granger’s eyes and how lost he could get into them and how they almost kissed—he quickly shook his head and charged for the bathroom. He refused to think about her. He was supposed to make her fall in love with him, not the other way around. He happily turned the faucet on and splashed his face and neck with cold water immediately. But the cold water wasn’t enough to stop his heart from beating crazily. Merlin, he was in trouble.

 




 

 

Hey guys :) Sorry, for the late update. I've been quite busy with school and whatnot. I'll keep this message very simple. Thank you for all the support and please drop a review down in the box please. I'll really appreciate it. Thanks. :)





-Annie


Chapter 10: Chapter 10
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. . . . . .

 

The whole day, Draco and Hermione stayed locked up inside their rooms, both skipping lunch. It was now six and dinner was in a few minutes. Hermione was cooped up in her bed because she was embarrassed to face her friends after what happened and she was very confused about Draco. Draco stayed in his room, thinking about Hermione the whole time non-stop. He was definitely going mad.

 

Ginny and Blaise both decided to take them out to dinner and try to clear things up. They talked a little bit about their friends and soon parted ways, knocking on their friend’s bedroom doors.

 

“Hermione, let’s go eat dinner.” Ginny said sweetly as she knocked on the door.

 

“Mate, I’m starving!” Blaise yelled as he knocked on the door.

 

Hermione and Draco opened their doors at the same time, scaring Blaise and Ginny.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

They all walked out of the portrait hole together and started to walk towards the Great Hall. Who would’ve thought two Slytherins and two Gryffindors would be walking side by side to eat dinner together? No one. Right when they stepped in the Great Hall, the room fell silent (although it wasn’t very loud to start with since mostly everyone was gone.) Some teachers looked surprised to see house unity and the thirty left over students staying over looked just about ready to die of shock.

 

“Okay, yeah, let’s eat separately.” Ginny said as she shooed the guys to their own table. “We can’t look too friendly; I don’t want people to actually think we’re friends.”

 

“Likewise.” The boys said and sat down at their own table.

 

Hermione stared at Ginny and licked her dry lips. “Let’s not sit with them today. I really need to talk to you about something so let’s just sit here.” She said nervously as she pushed her friend down at the very last seat at the table, leaving a huge gap between them and their friends.

 

“Oh, I know, you do. I saw something when you lifted up his shirt. You two were blushing.” Ginny said with a small laugh as she stared at her friend, slowly piling her plate with food. “Go on, tell me what happened.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Mate, something really bad is happening.” Draco explained as he started to pile his plate with food. “This whole ‘plan’ is getting a bit out of control.” He stated with a sigh. He had chosen to sit at the very edge of the table, just like Hermione and Ginny.

 

“Talk to me.” Blaise said as he chewed on his chicken leg.

 

“We almost kissed . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

“But it was only because he fell on top of me!” Hermione exclaimed with big eyes.

 

. . . . . .

 

“And she’s always so clumsy, so I always try to rescue her but this time I fell on top of her.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“And then our eyes locked . . .” Hermione said with a dreamy sigh. “His eyes are just so mesmerizing and it’s like a magnet, it pulls you in and then you’re just lost forever.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Her eyes are incredibly hypnotizing, I mean, one look and you’re gone.” Draco explained with a sigh. “And then my heart started to beat really fast. It was weird.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“And then my heart started to beat uncontrollably and I couldn’t stop blushing!” Hermione said with a sigh. “I haven’t blushed like that since I realized my feelings for Ron, no, I blushed more. How is that possible?”

 

. . . . . .

 

“What do you think they’re talking about?” Ron asked Harry curiously as he stared at Hermione and his sister.

 

“Probably girl stuff. Last time they sat there, they were talking about yo—“ Harry stopped himself and cleared his throat. “Girl stuff that we wouldn’t understand.”

 

“Y, yeah . . .” Ron said as he shook his head. “Wait, they were talking about me when they sat over there for a week that one time?”

 

“Like I said, they were talking about girl stuff that we would never understand.”

 

“I wonder who they’re talking about now.” Ron muttered under his breath.

 

Harry looked over at Hermione and slowly looked over at Malfoy. ‘Is it possible that they might be talking about . . . him?’ He asked himself and slowly shook his head. ‘No, Hermione would never . . .’

 

. . . . . .

 

“I think I’m looking over this too much. I mean, the plan is just as simple as it can get. Make her fall in love with me and then dump her after using her.” Malfoy explained. “But, she’s a big challenge, Zabini. I can’t seem to read her mind like I do with other girls. She doesn’t seem to have the slightest interest in me. I’ve used about every single Malfoy charm I have up my sleeve but nothing seems to be working. I’ve used the ‘let’s get to know each other better’ game on her and you know what she asked me?! What’s my favorite color? What’s my favorite flower!? Usually, girls would take that chance to ask if I liked them and then I would lie and say yes. Then we would shag and I’d leave her the next day! Granger asks stupid questions!”

 

. . . . . .

 

“This was supposed to be an easy plan for me. Get him to fall in love with me, make Ron regret it, and then dump Malfoy. It was just that! But, he’s a lot more challenging than I thought. I mean, I can’t flirt, I know that, but . . .  I’m trying to talk to him and get closer that way but I can’t! It’s hard. I’m socially awkward, Ginny. All we do is just bicker at each other about who likes who and sometimes, I believe that I like him but I don’t! And then he asked me to play ‘let’s get to know each other better’ and we had a fun time but then after that . . . I don’t know. We have moments where we actually have a nice talk and it seems like he’s starting to at least consider me as a friend and then the next, one of us screws up and before you know it, we’re at each other’s throats!”

 

. . . . . .

 

 

Ginny and Blaise both took in what their friends told them and couldn’t help but laugh at their ridiculous complaints.

 

Blaise wiped away a tear and shook his head as he stared at Draco. “Wow, I have to give Granger some credit! I never thought you would ever come to me and ask me for girl advice. You. Girl advice.” He said and laughed once more. “That’s hilarious! She’s not easy, I’m telling you. She’s a special one.”

 

Draco frowned and glared at his friend. “I’m not asking for help! I’m simply . . . ranting.”

 

“Right.” Blaise said and sighed. “Look, just . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Just be yourself. Don’t think about the plan, don’t think about how you should flirt, just don’t think about anything rationally. Just be yourself, say things you’d say to your usual friends. Treat him like a friend.” Ginny told her friend and smiled. “You know, if no one knew better, they’d think you were falling for Draco Malfoy.”

 

Hermione gasped as her eyes widened. “No, don’t be crazy. I’m just complaining about how difficult he is.” She said and felt herself blush. She covered her face with her hands. “I’m hopeless! I just want to grab my wand and hex him sometimes!”

 

“I never thought I’d see the day where you would ask me for help.” Ginny said with a grin.

 

“I feel like you’re enjoying my pain a little too much.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Right. Be myself because that’s so easy. If I act like myself, I’ll completely shut her out. I’ll be the cold, sick, dark bastard who doesn’t give a crap about this world—“

 

“Just be your damn self. Don’t wear a mask in front of her. I know you too well and I know you don’t like to open up easily. Hell, sometimes I still get confused by your actions. You wear this mask and whenever you’re around someone, you build this hard, cold wall around yourself. That wall makes it hard for anyone to approach you. You need to let your guard down and be honest with Granger. Tell her things, just talk to her. Don’t pull anymore Malfoy tricks and just be a normal boy who just wants to talk to a normal girl.”

 

“It’s not as easy as you say—“

 

“It’s not easy because you make it hard on yourself. All you need to do is remove your mask. She’ll fall for you easily because you aren’t that bad of a bloke. You’ve changed ever since the war, make her realize that.” Blaise finished. “Damn, I’m good at speaking to others.  I give pretty damn good advice.”

 

“If only you’d take your own advice.” Malfoy muttered but slightly smiled. “Thanks.”

 

“You’re welcome.”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione nodded as she let out a deep sigh. “You’re right. I just need to go up to him and tell him that I want to be friends with him and that we should hang out sometimes.” She said with a big grin as she shook her head. “No.” Her big smile faltered, turning upside down into a frown. “I’ll be myself. I’m a shy, know-it-all bookworm who doesn’t know how to flirt so I live in the library, exiling myself from everyone in this world.” She rushed through her words and finally caught her breath at the end. “That’s me. I’m a boring person.”

 

“You’re wrong . . . well, half-wrong. Look, you may be the shy, know-it-all bookworm who doesn’t know how to flirt so you live in the library, exiling yourself from everyone in this world but there’s more to you. You’re gorgeous, generous, witty, intelligent, courageous, loyal, and hell! You’re freaking Hermione Granger!”

 

Hermione slightly grinned at her friend and nodded. “All right, I understand. You’re right.”

 

“Of course I am.” Ginny said with a cocky grin.

 

“Don’t push it, Gin.” Hermione said and continued to eat. “So . . . did Malfoy really blush when I lifted his shirt?”

 

“Oh, it was faint but he did. You two almost kissed, I mean come on! What is this? You’re first kiss?”

 

“Second.” Hermione said gloomily.

 

“Wait, who was your first . . .?” Ginny asked and immediately shut her mouth. “Right . . . sorry, I almost forgot.” She said and cleared her throat. “Wow, that’s awkward.” She mumbled and quickly spoke up. “When you two kiss, tell me how it is! I want to know if the rumors are all true about Draco Malfoy being the Slytherin Sex god and all the good stuff.

 

“Who says we’re going to kiss?” Hermione raised an eyebrow at her friend.

 

“Me. Trust me, it’ll happen real soon.”

 

“Not on my watch.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Wait, so tell me exactly—who leaned in first?” Blaise asked after a while. “You said you two almost kissed because you fell on top of her, but who took the first step?”

 

“I did.”

 

“If you did it, I’m sure you’ll be doing it the next opportunity you get.” Blaise nodded and smirked. “Hmm, I wonder what it’ll be like to kiss Granger . . . I mean, come on. She’s a bookworm and a complete prude . . .”

 

“Shut up.”

 

“Well, tell me how it is after you do kiss her.” Blaise teased his friend with a wink.

 

“Just eat.” Draco growled at his friend as he shoved a big spoonful of mash potatoes into Blaise’s mouth.

 

“Yo-mmhhh-goring-tew-tank-me!” Blaise mumbled through his mash potatoes, trying to state his sentence.

 

“I’m sorry, what was that?” Draco asked with a smirk as he watched his friend glare at him.

 

. . . . . .

 

Soon, after dinner, Hermione, Ginny, Draco, and Blaise started to walk back to their dorm when suddenly, they heard a yell. Ginny furrowed her eyebrows as she stopped walking, resulting Hermione to stop, too, while the boys continued to walk on. The boys stopped talking and realized they were walking alone and stopped, turning around.

 

“Wait, I think I heard my name.” Ginny said as she looked around the place until she spotted refreshing emerald eyes and messy jet black hair. “Harry?” She asked and saw a guy waving at her. She turned back to her roommates. “I’ll be taking my leave.” She said and started to run towards her boyfriend.

 

“Curfew is at eleven!” The trio yelled after her and sighed. Hermione slightly frowned since she ended up walking with the guys alone. They continued to walk forward until Blaise suddenly stopped.

 

“What is it now?” Draco asked with an irritated look as he turned around.

 

“What time is it?” Blaise asked with a shocked face.

 

Hermione checked her watch and looked back up. “It’s seven t—“

 

“I gotta go! And I know, curfew!” Blaise yelled and ran away from the couple.

 

“Ten.” Hermione finished and sighed. She couldn’t believe she was alone with Malfoy now. They awkwardly stared at each other and continued to walk onwards. But then, Hermione suddenly stopped.

 

Draco rolled his eyes and turned around. “What is it?!”

 

Hermione gestured him to shut up and furrowed her eyebrows as she listened. “I think someone’s calling my name . . .”She said and slowly turned around as she looked down the hall to see someone running towards her. “Who is that?” She asked Draco, trying to guess who it is.

 

Draco focused on the person running and furrowed his eyebrows. “Uh . . . Weasley—no, Brown. No, Weasley . . . oh, nope. It’s Brown.”

 

“Why is she calling my name?” Hermione muttered under her breath and crossed her arms across her chest as Lavender Brown stood in front of them. “What is it?”

 

“I was wondering if you knew where Won-Won ran off to.” Lavender asked after catching her breath.

 

“How should I know? I was with him.” She said as she pointed at Draco who glared at her.

 

“Oh, I thought he went this way.” She replied with a sigh and slightly glared at Hermione. “You know, he’s been complaining about you a lot these days. Every time he opens his mouth, it’s about you.”

 

“And you’re telling me this because?”

 

“I just really hope you stop messing with Won-Won’s head. Stop confusing him.”

 

“I’m not doing anything.”

 

“He thinks he likes you. He thinks he should think about you all the time. He thinks he should talk about you all the time. He thinks you like him, too!” Lavender exploded with anger with each phrase.

 

Hermione kept a straight face and stared at Lavender. “And what do you want me to do about it? Look, you’re the girlfriend; it’s your job to straighten him up.” Hermione said with a glare and turned back around to walk off when she suddenly smirked, turning back around. “Oh, and by the way. He wouldn’t be so confused about who he likes if he actually liked you a lot. I guess it’s your fault for not being able to show him that. I wish you luck.” She said with a small grin as she walked off.

 

Draco took that as a cue to leave, walking beside Hermione. He couldn’t believe how scary Granger could get. “Wow, I didn’t expect you to act like that . . .”

 

“Well, what did you want me to say? ‘Oh, I’m sorry for leading Ron on; I’ll stop even though I’m not doing anything with him.’ Ron’s her boyfriend not mine, she should blame herself instead of blaming me.”

 

“Ooh, I smell some hostility—no, is it jealousy?” 

 

“Jealous!?” Hermione yelled as she stopped walking, glaring up at him. “And who says I’m jealous? Jealous of who exactly?”

 

“Oh, so you are jealous. You’re reaction says it all.” Draco said as he brushed it off, continuing to walk.

 

Hermione grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “Why do you think I’m jealous? Jealous of whom?”

 

“I just thought you were jealous of Lavender Brown since she’s dating Weasley.”

 

Hermione felt a small tug on her heart but ignored it. “Oh . . .” She said as she chewed the inside of her cheek. “Well, I’m not. I’m just . . . annoyed.” She said and continued to walk after a moment.

 

“Annoyed about what?” Draco asked as he walked beside her.

 

“I’m annoyed about Lavender complaining about Ron and blaming me for it, annoyed about Ron getting confused and making Lavender mad, and annoyed . . . annoyed about you! Why are you asking me this?!”

 

“I was just curious.”

 

“Well, stop being curious!” Hermione yelled as she breathed heavily. She caught her breath and calmed down. “I’m sorry. I was just—“

 

“Having a mental breakdown?” Malfoy suggested for her as he looked down at her.

 

“No, I was going to say, I was just mad.” She said as she lowered her gaze on him.

 

“Are you still mad?” Draco asked as he stopped walking, looking at her.

 

“Yes, because of you.” Hermione said as she took a step forward but ended up getting pulled back by Draco.

 

“Then, let’s go somewhere.”

 

“With you?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“No.”

 

“Yes, come on. I know a perfect place for you to clear your head.” Draco said as he pulled her towards the opposite staircase.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Where are you taking me?”

 

“I don’t want to tell you.” Malfoy said with a shrug as he kept his hand over her eyes. 

 

“How do I know you’re not taking me to a slaughter house right now? You’re covering my eyes, no one knows where we are except you, and it’s now night time. Can’t blame a girl for being suspicious, right?” Hermione snapped at Malfoy.

 

“You’re a girl?” Draco asked acting surprised.

 

Hermione groaned and whacked her hand in the air, hoping to hit Malfoy but hit herself instead. “Ow!” She said as she rubbed her cheek. “But really, you’re taking me to a cliff so you can push me off, aren’t you? Trying to, uh, put me out of my misery or something?” She asked.

 

Draco shook his head in disapproval. “You think way too much. I go to bed in fear every night that your brain will explode any minute from thinking too much! Just shut up.”

 

“Ha-ha-ha.” Hermione said in a sarcastic, monotone voice. “I go to bed in fear every night that your head will explode with that huge ego of yours!”

 

“Hey, don’t get jealous.” Draco said and she swore she could hear a smirk in his voice.

 

“Argh! Just tell me where the hell you’re taking me!”

 

“We’re almost there.” Draco said and they took three long strides (at least he did) and then he uncovered her eyes. “We have arrived.”

 

Hermione slowly opened her eyelids and blinked a few times before getting adjusted to the scenery. She kept her eyes on Draco with a glare and smacked him on the arm. “That’s for the snide comment and for making me climb up all those stairs!” She yelled angrily and looked around. “Wait, you made me climb all those stairs just to get here? The Astronomy Tower?”

 

“I thought it might help. You do need the exercise.” Hermione immediately glared at him.

 

“Just joking. I thought it might help to clear your head. I used to come up here all the time during my sixth year . . . it helped me clear my head and . . . the sunset and sunrise are both pretty extraordinary.”

 

“Oh, well . . . that’s very kind of you.” Hermione said after a while.

 

“You welcome.” Draco said as he sat down on one of the window sills. He tapped the empty space beside him and looked at her.

 

Hermione rolled her eyes, hiding a small grin and walked over, sitting down beside him. “Okay, now that I’m here . . . how would you like to spend our time here?”

 

“Let’s just . . . simply talk.”

 

“Talking sounds nice.” Hermione quietly and slightly grinned.

 





 

 



Oh my goodness! You guys are all the best! 100 reviews?! I just died when I saw that! xD I want to thank each and every one of you! <3 I’m so glad you all like the story and I really enjoy reading all of the reviews you guys leave me. I really appreciate every single one of it and I promise that I’ll keep updating as quickly as I can. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter, although it’s a bit boring. In about three-four chapters, you will get some Dramione action! Ah, finally. Haha  (: Thank you all for being patient and supportive. I love you all <3 Please drop review below, thank you.

 

-Annie


Chapter 11: Chapter 11
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. . . . . .

 

“We never got to finish our game of ‘let’s get to know each other better’, you know that?” Draco asked with small smirk as he stared at Hermione who slightly grinned at his comment.

 

“No, we haven’t. I believe we still have a few more questions left.” She said and smiled as she leaned back against one of the columns. “So, I’ll ask you a question first. What is your favorite beverage?”

 

“Firewhiskey.”

 

Hermione slightly laughed at his answer but read his serious face and stopped. “Are you serious?”

 

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Draco asked as he bent his eyebrows at her.

 

“Oh, well . . . I guess that’s understandable. We are all eighteen now and it’s legal for us to consume alcoholic beverages.”

 

“Yeah, I used to sneak some last year.”

 

“Like in the school grounds?” Hermione asked with wide eyes, completely appalled. “You illegally drank firewhiskey?”

 

“Everybody else did.” He shrugged his shoulders as if it was nothing.

 

“That’s absolutely preposterous! How did you guys ever sneak it in? No, how did you even lay your hands on that drink?” She started asking questions with wide eyes.

 

“I think you’re up to at least fifteen questions now.”

 

Hermione closed her mouth and cleared her throat. “Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter whether you drank firewhiskey illegally or legally.”

 

“What’s your favorite beverage?” Draco asked as he stared at her.

 

“Butterbeer.” Hermione answered crisply as she put on her small grin. “That’s the only beverage I drink that’s even close to alcohol. Ever. I even got slightly drunk after drinking two cups.”

 

“You’re telling me you’ve never had a drop of firewhiskey?” It was now Draco’s turn to be shocked. “Are you crazy? H, how do you live with yourself? Do you even call yourself a witch?”

 

“I think you’re up to at least fifteen questions now, too.” Hermione smirked as she threw his words back at him.

 

“That’s beside the point! You know what? I’m going to have to take you out to have some firewhiskey. You’re insane!”

 

“I’ve lived perfectly fine without it.”

 

“That’s because you don’t have the slightest clue on how it tastes like. Once you have a sip of firewhiskey, butterbeer will be your least favorite drink.”

 

“Wait, did you just offer to buy me a drink?” Hermione asked as she raised an eyebrow. “Interesting.”

 

“Well, do you have anything against it?” He asked with a smirk. “It’ll be like two friends having a drink together.”

 

“Friends, huh? Yeah, okay. But, must I remind you, we can’t get out of the school grounds.”

 

“Are you sure? We can just sneak out.”

 

“We’ll get expelled. We could just simply propose the idea of a few students going out to Hogsmeade to Professor McGonagall.”

 

“That’s boring. Don’t you want to live a little?”

 

“No, I want to finish my education and get a nice job with a great wage.”

 

“So you would rather choose career over family?”

 

“Well, it depends. I want to marry early but who says I’ll meet a guy that’s perfect for me?”

 

“Interesting. What if you do get a good job with a great pay but then you meet this guy and you fall in love with him. You two are madly in love with each other and you two want to get married . . . but he asks you to choose your career over him because there’s no other choice. Would you give up your love for this guy or your career?”

 

“Well, what kind of guy would ask me to give up my career if he knows I love my job? I think it’s a bit selfish of him to make me choose over my career or marriage but it makes me selfish to choose my career over him . . .”

 

“Well, what is it then?”

 

“I would give up my career for this guy. If I loved him a lot, well, then I have no choice. Jobs, you can get whenever, but love doesn’t come around and wait for you. It comes once and you have to hold onto it. You can replace a job in a heartbeat. What about you? Family or career?’

 

“Family.” Draco said after a long, hard thought.

 

“Oh, I didn’t realize you would be the type to do that.”

 

“Yeah, well, my parents weren’t around at all and look how I turned out to be? I want my kids to grow up into a big, loving family.”

 

Hermione slightly frowned as she heard him speak. “Malfoy, there’s nothing wrong about the way you turned out. Sure, you made a few wrong mistakes but you got over that. Besides, everyone makes a mistake more than once. I can see that you’ve changed ever since the war. In fact, I believe you turned out to be a great person.” She told him with a soft, warm voice as she hesitated to put her hand on top of his. “I hope you realize that you aren’t so bad of a guy so don’t be so hard on yourself.”

 

Draco’s eyes widened as he stared at her. Words didn’t—no, couldn’t come out of his mouth. All he did was stare right into her warm, caring, caramel orbs and she understood what he meant to say.

 

Hermione slightly grinned and removed her hand from his. She couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed when their hands disconnected but she hid her disappointment with a smile. “I think we asked each other more than twenty questions.” She said with a small chuckle.

 

Draco wore a smirk and nodded. “Yes, well, I’m glad. You weren’t very fun to play with anyway.” He said as he shook his head in disapproval. “I expected more from you. Your questions were just awful and boring. And I’ll have to buy you that drink soon once we talk to Professor McGonagall about Hogsmeade.”

 

Hermione shot a glare at him and crossed her arms across her chest. “Okay, fine. But first, let’s just continue asking questions.”

 

“Okay, but this is your last chance, Granger. Try to make this one fun.” Draco taunted her and smirked even wider. “Would you rather kiss me or . . . Longbottom?”

 

“Neville?” Hermione asked and sighed. “Well, Neville’s dating Luna.” She said and shook her head. “But, I would . . . rather kiss you. This better stay in this tower—if I hear one thing about me saying this, you’re dead.”

 

“What happens in the Astronomy Tower, stays in the Astronomy Tower.” Draco said and stared at her. “So you would rather kiss me, huh?”

 

“Would you rather kiss me or Parkinson?”

 

“Well, I’ve already snogged her so I would probably have to say you.” He replied and sighed. “Hmm, would you rather kiss me or Weasley?”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes out of annoyance and shot daggers at him. “I would rather kiss you.” She said and groaned. “I already snogged him before.”

 

“So how was it?”

 

“I’m not telling you that.” She said with a scoff as she stared at him in disbelief. “It’s like me asking you how it was to kiss Pansy Parkinson and you don’t want to answer tha—“

 

“She’s good. I’ve answered so it’s your turn.”

 

“Ah, no. I’m not telling you.”

 

“You have to.”

 

“Fine, but like I said before, this stays here.” She said and groaned as she licked her dry lips. “Kissing Ron was a . . . interesting experience. He’s a bit messy but that was my first kiss so I wouldn’t really know—“ She knew she revealed too much. Her cheeks went bright red as she gasped. “I did not just say that . . .”

 

“Your first kiss was with Weasley!?” Draco roared with laughter. “It’s a shame . . . it could’ve been with me.”

 

“Oh, shut up.” Hermione said as she looked outside the tower.

 

“Okay, are you a virgin?”

 

She got caught off guard as she stared at him in disbelief. “Why do you want to know?” She snapped at him as she felt her whole face turn red, almost as red as the Weasley family’s hair.

 

“So yes.”

 

“Why do you ask me questions when you already know the answer to it yourself?” Hermione asked him angrily as she chewed the inside of her cheek.

 

“It’s fun to see your reactions.” He said with a shrug, Hermione simply raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“Are you a virgin?”

 

“As a matter of fact, no.” He said with a smirk.

 

“Oh, big shocker.” Hermione replied with sarcasm dripping from her voice. “I would’ve never guessed.”

 

“Why are you asking me questions you already know the answers to? You’re a hypocrite, I see.”

 

“Whatever.” She said and sighed.

 

“Do you see me as a friend now?”

 

Hermione stared at Draco for a long time and finally opened her mouth. “You’re getting there. I’d say we’re more acquaintances now. We don’t know each other that well.”

 

“That’s a start.”

 

“Yes, it is.”

 

“Well, that’s good. I never got to apologize so . . .” He said and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry for everything the past six years. I know I was a pompous arse to everyone.”

 

“Do you mean it or are you just trying to make me see you as a friend?” Hermione teased him as she raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“How did you know? I’m just dying to be your friend.” He said with sarcasm.

 

“Apology accepted. I apologize, too, for everything I said to you and for punching you in the nose during third year. I’ve come to realize I can’t punch you since you’re a lot taller and stronger than me now.” She said and slightly grinned. “I don’t hold any grudge against you.”

 

“Not a single one?” Draco asked in a low voice.

 

“No.”

 

“What about during the war? Aren’t you mad at me for . . . what happened at the manor?” He quietly asked as he looked outside the tower, watching the stars shine brightly.

 

Hermione absent-mindedly touched her forearm where she got tortured. She felt a wave of emotions hit her, a mixture of sorrow, anger, disappointment, and most of all—pain. Not just from the torture but her heart was in a lot of pain because of Ron at that time. She inhaled and exhaled deeply as she shook her head. “I buried that memory deep inside of me a long time ago. It’s locked away somewhere far away. I don’t want to remember that . . . particular event.” She said quietly. “But, I don’t blame you. You couldn’t have done anything. You were trying to save your family.” She said and looked down at her arm, still tracing up and down the scar. “Actually, you were a hero that day. You pretended not to know us and that bought us a lot of time.”

 

“But you still got tortured because of my aun—“

 

“I don’t blame you.” She said and slightly grinned as she looked back at him. “Just forget about it. I’ve forgotten about it and I think it’s time you do, too.” She told him but watched as he remained silent, staring out into the sky. “Don’t blame yourself. You would’ve died that day if you defied her. I’m glad you didn’t because then, you wouldn’t be here. I would’ve never been able to find out what kind of person you really are and I’m grateful I learned the truth about you.” She said reassuringly.

 

“Could I . . . see your arm?” Draco asked as he slightly pointed at her arm. Hermione simply nodded and lifted her arm up for him. He lightly coiled his fingers around her small wrist and rolled up her sleeves. He saw a small scar on her arm and slowly traced it. Hermione sucked in her breath quietly as she felt his cold fingers trace along her scar. She had never really shown anyone her scar. Everyone knew she had the scar but she never let anyone touch it. Draco furrowed his eyebrows as he stopped tracing his fingers along her scar and sighed. “It hurts a lot, doesn’t it?”

 

“It doesn’t anymore.”

 

“No, I mean, getting hit by the Cruciatus spell . . .”

 

“Yeah, but how would you know the pain?”

 

“I got hit by it at least three times a day.” He whispered. “I screwed up so much; I’m surprised Voldermort didn’t kill me.”

 

Hermione’s jaw dropped as she stared at him. “He hurt you?”

 

“I don’t like talking about it. It brings back bad memories that I don’t want to remember.” He said as he slowly unrolled her sleeves, gently placing it back beside her sides.

 

“I understand.” She said quickly and nodded. “I take it back, I do consider you as a friend—not an acquaintance.” She flashed him a small grin.

 

A smirk crawled onto his lips. “I knew you couldn’t resist.”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“I have this attraction that makes people want to be friends with me. It was only a matter of time before you got captivated by my sexiness.”

 

“Oh sure.” She said as she shook her head with a small grin. “You know, it’s quite peaceful up here. When no one’s around . . .”

 

“Isn’t it?”

 

“How about this? Why don’t we come up here every night and just talk and relax?” She suggested.

 

“I see you’ve fallen for me already.” He said with a smirk and received a smack on the arm from her. He slightly smirked and nodded. “Sure, it sounds good. It’s a date.”

 

“Great.” She said with a grin. “Oh, and by the way, I didn’t suggest that because I’ve fallen for you. I did it to merely help you since you’re in love with me.”

 

“Oh, is that what you think?” Draco asked with a frown. “No, see, you like me.”

 

“No, other way around.” She corrected him with a smug grin.

 

“No, you like me. Not the other way around.”

 

“No, I don’t think so.”

 

“Yes, I’m right.”

 

“No, I’m right.”

 

And so their little bickering session started up again . . .

 

. . . . . .

 

“Well, this is nice.” Ginny said as they walked around the school with their hands intertwined together.

 

“It is.” Harry said as he flashed his girlfriend a grin. “It’s quite peaceful, isn’t it?”

 

“I agree.” She stated and they stopped in front of the big Astronomy tower. “Do you want to go up?” She asked with wide eyes. “I love stargazing up there.”

 

“Anything you want, love.” He said with a sweet grin as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder, walking towards the tower. Ginny grinned as she followed Harry up the stairs to the top of the tower.

 

“I’m glad we found this secret passageway.” She stated excitedly. After a few minutes of climbing the stairs, Ginny reached the top with Harry behind her. Ginny finished laughing about what Harry said and stepped into the room when she suddenly saw two shadows near the window. She gasped and her eyes widened. “Oh, Harry, I guess this tower is occupied right now.” She said as she turned around to take Harry back when she suddenly realized something. “Wait a second.”

 

“What is it?” Harry asked as he raised an eyebrow at her, looking quizzically at his girlfriend.

 

Ginny slowly turned back around and realized who the two were. “Her---“ She stopped herself once she looked over at Harry. She couldn’t let Hermione be caught up her with Draco Malfoy by Harry. “Let’s go back.” She told Harry quickly as she started to push him down the stairs.  

 

“What? Why? Who’s up there?” Harry asked as walked down the stairs.

 

“No one that we know but they were snogging.” Ginny lied and sighed. “Let’s just go back to the common room, alright?” She asked as they reached the bottom of the stairs. “I need to go to the bathroom so you go head on over there. I’ll meet you there.” She said quickly as she pushed Harry away.

 

“Uh, all right, Ginny.” Harry said with a confused look but he didn’t bother to argue. He simply sighed and walked off.

 

Ginny, who pretended to walk towards the bathroom, stopped and poked her head over the wall. She made sure Harry was gone and raced up the stairs. “Hermione!” She yelled as she reached the steps, her chest heaving up and down.

 

Hermione and Draco stepped out of the dark and stared at Ginny. “It was you . . .?” Hermione whispered and quickly looked alarmed, thinking Harry was there, too. “We’re done with the tower, you can use it now.” She quickly said.

 

“This isn’t some bathroom, we aren’t taking turns using it.” Ginny said and shook her head. “What are you two doing up here . . .?” She questioned as she raised an eyebrow at Malfoy.

 

“We were just talking.” Hermione said and stared at Ginny. “Is Harry . . .?”

 

“No, do you think I’m crazy?! We were going to stay up here but I saw you and quickly chased Harry down the stairs. I sent him back to our common room. I told him I’d be in the bathroom so we need to talk quickly.” She answered and crossed her arms across the chest. “I thought you two would be in the dorm, what happened?” She asked as she waited for an answer.

 

Draco looked the other way, looking uninterested in the conversation. Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes. “Well, you left and then Zabini left in a hurry to wherever he went . . . and then, Lavender came and complained about Ron and I told her off. I got mad because she kept blaming me for her problems and so, Malfoy told me he’d take me somewhere to take my mind off things and he brought me here.” Hermione told her friend as she nodded. “That’s it.”

 

“That’s it?” Ginny asked disappointedly, completely disenchanted with the conversation. “Nothing interesting happened?”

 

“Well, we’re friends now.” Hermione announced with a small grin.

 

“That’s a start.” Ginny mumbled and frowned. She had hoped Hermione would say something like, they were now dating or they had just kissed each other, but instead they just became friends. “Well, you two have fun, then.” She said and started to stalk off.

 

“Okay.” Hermione said and pressed her lips into a thin line. “Why did she look so disappointed?” She asked Draco after Ginny left.

 

“She probably wanted you to say something like . . . you hexed me or we were here because you wanted to push me off this tower, somewhere along those lines, perhaps.” He shrugged and brushed it off.

 

“Where do you suppose your friend ran off to?” Hermione asked Draco after a while, almost as if she had been considering doing the following things Draco had said to her.

 

“He probably has a secret girlfriend or something.” He replied and burst out laughing as he shook his head. “No, that’s not possible.” He said, continuing to shake his head. “He doesn’t do girlfriends.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“We’re Slytherins. We, Slytherins, rarely have ‘girlfriends’, more like a shagging partner.” He said with a smirk.

 

“Oh, so that’s what you like?” Hermione asked as she raised an eyebrow. “You prefer a shagging partner rather than a girlfriend.”

 

“Well, yes. It’s a clean break up.”

 

“You are so inconsiderate. How do you think the girls you toy with feel?” Hermione asked with a glare as she stared at him.

 

“Those girls are idiots to be attracted by me.”

 

Hermione made a face at him and shook her head. “I worry that you won’t get married in the future. You said you wanted a big, loving family? Well, let me tell you something. You can’t get a big, loving family if the only relationships you have are just shagging partners.”

 

“That’s why I’m waiting for a worthy woman to be my girlfriend.”

 

“I won’t be surprised if you end up single for the rest of your life.”

 

“Don’t jump into conclusions, Granger.”

 

“Why not? It’s true. You’ve never had a real girlfriend before, am I right?”

 

Draco looked out the window as he bent his brows, thinking hard. He shook his head and looked back at Hermione. “You’re correct.”

 

“And you think you can get a girlfriend when everyone is aware of your reputation?”

 

“I’ll just have to find the right girl to be my girlfriend. Granger, it’s quite easy. I can get a girlfriend easily.”

 

“I don’t think so.”

 

“Why do you doubt my skills?”

 

“What skills?!” Hermione asked him as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“My romantic, flirting skills.”

 

“I don’t doubt those skills. I doubt your long relationship skills, but wait! You never had one before.”

 

“Okay, fine. What about you? Have you ever had a boyfriend before? You seem to know loads about subject.” Draco retorted back as he crossed his arms across his chest, challenging her.

 

“I’ve actually had a boyfriend before.” She stated with an angry glare.

 

“Weasley doesn’t count.” He glared at her hard.

 

“I’m not talking about him.” She said with a smirk.

 

“Wait, you’re serious?” He asked with complete shock as his eyes widened. “Who?”

 

“It was Viktor Krum during fourth year.” She said casually and smirked. “It might be surprising to you, but guys actually found me attractive.”

 

“Oh, really? I never realized.” He said and shook his head. “He broke up with you, didn’t he?”

 

“No, I broke it up, thank you very much.”

 

“You dumped Krum?”

 

“Yes and I’m not telling you why.” She snapped at him and stared at him. “A relationship with someone isn’t some fun game.”

 

“Oh, yes, thank you for the advice. You’re just so experienced in that department.” He said sarcastically as he frowned at her.

 

“You’re just mad I had a boyfriend before.”

 

“No, I’m surprised. I mean, who would date you?” He asked, obviously picking a fight with her.

 

“What’s wrong with me?” She asked him with a glare.

 

“I’d rather not tell you. It might hurt your pride, maybe even lower your confidence.” He said with a smirk.

 

“Thanks for caring, but I think I can handle myself. Tell me.” She said with a death glare. If looks could kill . . . Draco Malfoy would no longer exist in the world.

 

“Well, for instance, you’re hair is a big mane, but don’t worry. Your hair is very nice now.” He received a dagger from Hermione as she continued to glare at him. “You’re an insufferable know-it-all and you’re way too uptight.”

 

“UPTIGHT?! I AM NOT UPTIGHT!” She yelled angrily and shut her mouth immediately as she calmed herself down. “I mean, I can be fun. I can be crazy and chill.” She said quickly.

 

“I don’t think you can.”

 

“Okay, fine, you know what?! Let’s make a bet.”

 

“A bet?”

 

“A bet.” She stated and stared at him. “I think you can’t get a girlfriend and you think I can’t be fun or chill. So let’s see who can prove each other wrong. If I can be fun or chill or—or crazy, then I win and if you get a girlfriend, you win.”

 

“Okay, what does the winner get?”

 

“The winner gets . . .” Her voice trailed off as she slightly chewed on her bottom lip.

 

“The winner gets a kiss from the loser. I like that. I like the bet.”

 

“What?! No, if we make it like that, there’s no difference between the winner and loser.”

 

“Actually, there is. The winner gets a kiss from the loser.”

 

“No, that’s absurd! We both don’t want to kiss each other. It’s a punishment for both of us.”

 

“I thought you said you were going to be crazy or chill or fun. You’re off to a pretty shaky start.”

 

Before Hermione could do anything, her pride got the best of her. “All right, fine! The winner gets a kiss from the loser.” She said with determination. “The bet ends in two weeks.”

 

“And you’ll win the bet if I admit that you’re a fun person. It’s a challenge for me to get a girlfriend since there aren’t many girls here. We both have an advantage and a challenge.” He said as he bored his piercing, steel-grey eyes into her sharp, caramel eyes.

 

“That sounds excellent.” She told him fiercely as she looked at him intently.

 

“It sounds good to me, too.” He said and stuck out his hand. Hermione reluctantly shook his hand. The bet was on. “This is getting fun—and not because of you. You’re still too uptight.” He said and stared at Hermione. “Well then, friend, let’s get going to our dorm.” He said as he hooked an arm around Hermione’s neck, pulling her close to him in a friendly manner.

 

“You’re going to lose.”

 

“Oh, do you want me to kiss you that badly?”

 

“No, that’s not what I meant.” Hermione said quickly and sighed as she groaned. “Just shut up you prick.” She said as they descended down the stairs.

 







 

 

Hello, there lovelies :) Thank you all so much for all the wonderful support! It makes me very happy. <3 You guys are the best. &&it really encourages me to continue writing and I’m glad that I’m able to share this with all of you. Thank you for all the wonderful feedback on the latest chapters. Haha x] They had their serious moment with each other and that means that they took a giant leap into their friendship. :) Soon, very soon, in exactly two chapters! THE DRAMIONE ACTION YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR WILL HAPPEN! Whoot whoot! Party time ~~ But until then, the story won’t be that fun. Lol But I’ll still appreciate each and every review you all leave me~ :D Thank you and I’ll be sure to update as soon as possible.

 

-Annie


Chapter 12: Chapter 12
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. . . . . .









“Whoa, hey, Zabini, where were you?” Ginny asked leaning her whole body against the side of the door with her arms crossed across her chest. She had been waiting for him to come arrive to their dorm since she got back.

 

“Me?” Blaise asked, completely caught off guard to see her there. “Well, I was here and there . . . everywhere.”

 

“Like where?”

 

“Well, where were you?” He questioned as he crossed his arms across his chest, staring at her, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Don’t try to turn this to me.” Ginny told him quickly with a slight glare.

 

“Ladies first.”

 

“I was with Harry, obviously.” She said as she rolled her eyes annoyingly. “Now, where were you?”

 

“Why do you want to know so much?” He asked as he walked over to the couch, sitting down.

 

“Well, I’m just curious.” She said as she walked over to him, sitting on the edge of the arm chair beside him.

 

“Why? Do you secretly like me?” He asked with a smirk. “Is that why you want to know where I am so badly?”

 

“Ha-ha, you’re funny.” She faked a laugh and smacked him in the arm. “Tell me.”

 

“No, maybe some other time.” He said as he let out a big yawn, stretching. “I’m really tired . . .”

 

“Fine, I’ll leave it alone for now.” She said sternly as she got up from her seat, still glaring at him. “I expect an answer next time, Zabini so you best be ready to spill.” She said and walked off. “Goodnight.”

 

“Goodnight.” Zabini called out and once he heard her door slam, he let out a deep breath that he didn’t know he was holding. “That was close . . .” He said and let out a sigh, shaking his head as he placed his hand over his chest. “I need to be more careful next time . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione got into bed and shut her light off. She sighed and sank into her bed, relaxing almost immediately. She pulled the covers over herself and nodded. “It’s been a long day . . .” She told herself and groaned. “What was I thinking agreeing to that absurd bet and the . . . outcome of it?” She scolded herself as she squirmed in her bed, frustrated with herself. “There’s no point in winning or losing . . . in the end, we’re going to kiss.” She told herself with a sigh. “But, he thinks I can’t be fun . . . I might as well prove him wrong. There’s nothing to lose . . . except my pride, dignity, and my brain in the process of proving him wrong.” Hermione shook her head and let out a deep breath. “Tomorrow’s a new day . . . tomorrow is the first day of the bet.” She said and slowly calmed down. “I just need to put up with him for three weeks . . . just three. Twenty one days with Malfoy . . . well, no it’s twenty days. Twenty days to make Malfoy fall in love with me . . . twenty days until Ron realizes his mistake . . . twenty more days with him.” She corrected herself and slowly drifted off the sleep thinking about the bet.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco threw himself on the bed backwards, landing on his back. He let out a deep breath with his eyes closed as he let everything sink in. His eyes fluttered open and he cursed loudly. “Shit!” He couldn’t believe what he got himself into! He couldn’t get a girlfriend in two weeks! 1. There were only seven girls staying here (excluding Granger, She-Weaslette, and Brown) and they weren’t attractive at all; 2. He had to make Granger fall in love with him, so; 3. He couldn’t get a girlfriend either way. He groaned as he slapped both hands on his face, thinking hard. His hands rubbed down his face and fell onto the bed. He made his decision. He was going to deliberately lose the bet so that he could kiss her. If he kissed her, she would surely fall for her. But if he did get a girlfriend, Granger would surely get jealous, right? He smirked as he thought about it but immediately shook his head. “No, do not take any chances. For the first time ever in your whole entire life, do this the safe way. Don’t bring anyone into this. It’s a bet between you and Granger, and only you two.” He told himself and nodded, agreeing with himself.  “All right, then, Granger . . . let’s see how fun you can be.” He stared up at the ceiling and sighed, letting out a groan. “This whole plan is so damn frustrating!” He complained as he got up. “Why is it so hot in here?” He asked himself and quickly threw his shirt over his head, throwing it on the floor. “I have twenty days to make Granger fall in love with me . . . I have twenty days until Pansy is off my back . . . just twenty more days and it’ll all be . . . over.” He muttered to himself as he fell into a deep slumber.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Granger.”

 

“Malfoy.”

 

Hermione and Malfoy greeted each other as Malfoy sat directly across from her during breakfast. The decided to sit with each other for breakfast since mostly everyone, especially Ron and Harry in particular, were fast asleep. They simply ate in silence, completely ignoring each other’s presence. They were both too consumed in their thoughts, they forgot how to talk.

 

Outside the Great Hall, Ginny and Blaise were talking behind the corner. “Okay, well, I think we should just leave them alone for now. I mean, it’s not like we’ve been doing anything. Let’s just let them do their thing and if they come to us, we talk to them. Otherwise, we will stay out of their business.” Blaise shared with Ginny.

 

“Right, but we should still be acting worried. Well, not acting, we care for our friends but you know, let’s just think outside of our plan for a few seconds. You know what I mean? We still have to be friends for them.” She warned him and nodded. “Great, we just need to stay out of their way but help them in some sort.” She pressed her lips into a thin line as she furrowed her eyebrows. “I just confused myself but it’s okay, I’m a bright girl, I’ll figure it out.” She stated and sighed. “You wait for a few seconds.” She said and walked off towards the Great Hall.

 

Blaise muttered under his breath about their plan. “Stay out of their way . . . stay worried for Draco . . . help them but from far away . . .” He nodded and slightly grinned. “Sounds easy.” He said with confidence and walked into the Great Hall.

 

Hermione’s eyes immediately shifted over to a certain redhead. She shot her head to the side and saw Ginny. “Good morning.” She said and scooted over for her friend to sit. “How’s it . . . uh, going?”

 

“Fine, thanks.” Ginny said, a bit confused by Hermione’s behavior but quickly brushed it off. She slowly started to pile up her plate with ham and eggs.

 

Blaise walked over and sat down next to Malfoy. “Mate, your brain seems about ready to explode.” He said with a chuckle as he stole a piece of toast from Malfoy’s plate. “What’s on your mind? You seem to be thinking about something important.”

 

“Nothing.” Draco said and sighed. “It’s just Granger here challenged me yesterday night.” He said with a smirk as he stared at Hermione who simply stared back.

 

“A challenge?” Blaise and Ginny asked simultaneously, both leaning in towards their friend for an answer.

 

“A bet.” Draco said and winked at Hermione quickly.

 

Hermione scoffed slightly and shook her head. “Zabini, you should really help him out on this one.”

 

“What’s the bet about?” Blaise asked curiously, waiting for a response.

 

“Well, I said that she was too uptight and she didn’t know how to be fun . . . “ Draco started and stared at Blaise.

 

“Well, it’s true—“ Blaise stopped as he felt two pair of eyes boring into the side of his cheek and looked at the two angry girls in front of him. He sighed and stared at Draco for help.

 

“And I said he couldn’t get a girlfriend if he tried because he’s scared to get into long-term relationships.” Hermione chimed in as she kept glaring at Blaise but soon her eyes moved over to Draco.

 

“Oh, I see what kind of bet this is.” Ginny said and smirked as she stared at the two of them. “What does the winner get?” She asked, anticipating on the answer.

 

“The winner gets a kiss from the loser.” Draco and Hermione both answered in unison, leaving Blaise and Ginny in shock.

 

“A kiss?” Ginny asked with a shocked face.

 

“A kiss . . .” Blaise said under his breath in amazement. “I wonder who’s going to win.” He said with a smirk.

 

“Hermione would never agree to a bet like that . . .” Ginny said as she stared at Hermione.

 

“No, you see, your friend has too much pride so she agreed to it before she could even let it sink into her head. She wants to prove to me that she can be fun and daring.” He told Ginny but his eyes remained on Hermione. His eyes were taunting her as if the smirk on his lips were reaching his cold, grey eyes.

 

“I wish you luck on getting a girlfriend with those two girls over there.” Hermione replied with a smirk as she cocked her head towards the two bitter Slytherin girls in the back, glaring at them. “They look friendly . . . just your type.” She teased Draco with a small grin. “I think the one on the left takes a fancy in you or you know, Lavender can be an option, too.”

 

Draco turned around to see the girl on the left with a big wart on her face looking right at him. He felt sick to the core looking at the wart and thinking about Lavender as a candidate and turned back at Hermione. “Hmm . . . don’t worry about me. You should worry about yourself. You have to be fun and I have to admit that. I have a different definition of fun in my dictionary.” He flashed Hermione a big smirk making Hermione make a face at him.

 

“I can be fun.” She told him sternly.

 

“Please, don’t lie to yourself.”

 

“You know what?!” She asked as she slammed her hand to the desk loudly, everyone’s (as in the fifteen people left in the school who are actually awake) eyes on them. “I have a perfect thing for us to do that’ll be fun. And I’m not talking about the library, either.” She said and stood up quickly. “Get up and follow me.” She ordered him and walked off.

 

Draco smirked and scoffed as he looked at his plate of food. “Whatever you say, Granger.” He said and grabbed a piece of toast as he walked out of the Great Hall, following Hermione.

 

Ginny and Blaise stared at each other with wide eyes.

 

“What do you think they’re going to do?” She asked him urgently.

 

“Hopefully, nothing illegal that’ll get them thrown into Azkaban.” Blaise said and shook his head. “We’re talking about Granger . . . she won’t do anything that involves breaking the rule. She’s Granger for goodness sakes! She probably thinks putting her books in alphabetical order is fun. Don’t worry about it.”

 

Ginny nodded and sighed. “I guess . . . but, did you hear them? Their bet is interesting.”

 

“They better be in love with each other by then.”

 

“Why don’t we make a bet?”

 

“And the loser kisses the winner?” Blaise asked with a smirk as he winked at her.

 

“No, the loser has to complete the winner’s homework for a week.” Ginny said with a duh-what-do-you-think look. “Let’s make a bet, okay?”

 

“About what?”

 

“I bet you that Hermione will win the bet.”

 

“Fine, I bet you that Draco will win the bet.”

 

“Deal.”

 

“Deal.”

 

And so, they shook on it with confident smirks plastered on their faces.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Where exactly are you taking me?” Draco complained as he looked down at Hermione.

 

“We are going to first, slip into the Gryffindor common room, sneak into the boys’ dormitory room and I’m going to simply . . . borrow something of Harry’s.” She said and looked up at him. “He has a little something that’ll help us sneak into Hogsmeade.”

 

“Sneak into Hogsmeade?” Draco scoffed and shook his head as he stopped walking. “I already know how to sneak into Hogsmeade.”

 

Hermione stopped and turned around. “You do?”

 

“I’ve known ever since fourth year.” He said as he shrugged his shoulders.

 

“Well, I know a secret passageway to Hogsmeade.” Hermione tried to defend herself.

 

“Well, I—“

 

“Shut up, we’re taking it my way whether you like it or not.” She snapped at him and turned back around, walking off.

 

Draco smirked as he followed Hermione. “Whatever you wish.”

 

Hermione reached the portrait and smiled sweetly. “Tapeworm.” She told the Fat Lady who looked disapprovingly at Malfoy.

 

“What is a Slytherin doing here with you, dearie?” The Fat Lady asked Hermione disapprovingly.

 

“He’s a friend, now could you please open up?” She said impatiently.

 

The Fat Lady made a face at Hermione as she opened up. Hermione sighed and grabbed Draco by the sleeve of his shirt as she dragged him into the Gryffindor common room. “Now, we just need to go up, get in, and get out. We need to watch out for Harry and Ron, they’re the only ones staying here.” She said and led them to the bedroom door. She opened it quietly and pushed it open. She looked behind her and looked at Malfoy. “Just stay quiet.” She said and right when she was about to step into the room, she heard a high pitched scream.

 

“Won-Won? Are you still sleeping?!”

 

Hermione’s eyes widened and she looked at Draco. She quickly pushed Draco and closed the door behind her as she looked around the place to hide and looked at Draco for help. Draco looked around and rolled his eyes. “You’re an idiot.” He muttered at Hermione and grabbed Hermione, pulling her into a back corner behind the wall. They both barely fit and held their breath once Lavender came into view. Thankfully, Lavender just walked right into bedroom. Hermione let out a sigh of relief as she leaned against the wall.

 

“That was close.” She whispered and her eyes widened when she looked up at Draco. She didn’t realize their bodies were pressed together, leaving no space in between each other. She felt a blush spread across her cheeks like wildfire. Draco quietly cleared his throat and slightly placed one arm on the wall, right beside Hermione’s head, trying to get comfortable in such a tight spot. He looked down at Hermione and looked up, feeling a bit uncomfortable. They both heard some shuffling and yells coming from Lavender.

 

“Should we just make a run for it?” Hermione whispered at him after a while.

 

“Wait.” He said quietly and waited silently.

 

“I think we can leave.” She said as she took a step out from the corner but suddenly felt Draco’s eyes on her. She stopped what she was doing and looked back up at him. “What . . . is it?” She asked as she furrowed her eyebrows.

 

Draco stared into her eyes intently and coiled his fingers around her wrist, pulling her back in just in time before the door opened.

 

Ron walked out with a groan, scratching his head and yawning. He stretched and continued to walk down the stairs. “Lav-Lav, it’s a bit too early.” He complained from all the way downstairs.

 

Harry walked out a minute later scratching his head and yawning. His glasses were on crooked and his hair was messy as usual. He stretched as he walked down the stairs.

 

Hermione gulped as she waited for the portrait the open and shut. She heard a faint close from downstairs and sighed. “That was close.”

 

“You’re an idiot.” Draco repeated as he shook his head.

 

“Well, I—“ She stopped as she became aware of their closeness again. “Well . . . uhm . . .”

 

Draco stared into her chocolate brown eyes and felt strangely attracted to her right there. Hermione nervously stared back into his mysterious stormy grey eyes that resembled the dark sky. He slowly leaned in and stopped right in front of her face, only inches away. She caught her breath as she slightly pushed her head up against the wall as far away from his as she could. Draco smirked and continued to stare at her for a minute longer. He pulled back reluctantly. “I guess you do want to kiss me.” He said and smirked wider. “You’re not that big of an idiot, then.” He stated and slipped out of the tight space.

 

Hermione remained in her spot with her heart beating uncontrollably. She placed her hand on her heart and let it calm down. She could still smell the faint scent of peppermint and pine . . . it smelled nice. Her eyes widened as she hit herself in the head thinking that. ‘Wait a second . . . peppermint and pine? I remember something like that before . . . what was it again?’ She asked herself curiously.

 

“You coming?” Draco asked, poking his head into the corner, surprising Hermione.

 

Hermione jumped and gasped as she saw him. “I am!” She said and slipped out of the corner. “Let’s just get the map and leave.” She said and walked past Draco, disappearing into the room.

 

Draco let out a relieved sigh to see her gone and shook his head. His heart was beating faster than it ever had before. She smelled like fresh vanilla . . . was it her perfume or her hair that smelled like vanilla? He quickly shook his head and composed himself. He walked into the bedroom acting like nothing happened.

 

Hermione walked over to Harry’s trunk and opened it. She knew exactly where the map was. She smirked and grabbed the old parchment and closed his trunk. “I promise, Harry, I’ll only be borrowing it for a day.” She said quietly and turned around to Draco as she showed him the piece of old parchment. “Okay, let’s go.”

 

“We came in here for a stupid parchment?” Draco asked with disbelief.

 

“It’s not just any parchment.”

 

“You’re right, my mistake! It’s an old parchment that belongs to Potter!” Draco said with sarcasm.

 

“Oh, shut up, will you? Let’s just get out.” She told him sternly and walked out of the room. Draco frowned and followed her down the stairs and out of the common room. They safely made it out and casually walked out and about in the corridors. “This is our ticket to get to Hogsmeade.” She said excitedly.

 

“I told you, I already know how to sneak out of here to get to Hogsmeade.” He said annoyingly as he stared at her.

 

“How?” Hermione asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“Well, there’s this passage I know behind the statue Gregory the Smarmy.” He said as he stared at her.

 

“And Filch knows about that passageway so you probably have to be real sneaky about it, I suppose?” Hermione asked with a smirk as she scoffed.

 

“I don’t suppose you know a better way, then?” He asked as he slightly glared at her.

 

“As a matter of fact, I do know a passageway that Filch is not aware of. It takes you right into the Honeydukes cellar.” She said with a smug grin. “All I have to do is find it and say a simple little spell and we can be in Hogsmeade.”

 

“Really? Why don’t we go during the afternoon?” He asked her with a smirk, challenging her.

 

“I was planning on it.” She said and sighed. “This is going to be great!” She said excitedly but suddenly frowned. “I’ve never broken a rule like this before and if we get caught we can get expelled.” She said frantically.

 

“We can back out of it.”

 

“No!” Hermione snapped at him and cleared her throat. “I mean, no. I never said I didn’t want to do it.” She stated and sighed. “We’ll go this afternoon.”

 

“Great, it’s a date.” He said and winked at her as he walked off.

 

“Ha-ha.” She said as she rolled her eyes playfully. She looked down at the Marauder’s Map and bit her bottom lip. “Just this once Harry . . . I promise.” She said and took out her wand. “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.” She whispered as she tapped the map. She slightly gasped as ink started to appear right before her eyes. “Where was the entrance again? I remember using Dissendium.” She mumbled under her breath as she started to study the map, walking towards the One-Eyed Witch that led to the Honeydukes cellar.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny and Blaise walked into their dorm and both went straight to the couch to sit down. Ginny sighed and looked over at Blaise and he immediately got the message through her eyes.

 

“Not now.” Blaise said almost immediately as he stared at her.

 

“Oh, come on! Why not?” Ginny asked as she frowned, crossing her arms across her chest.

 

“I-I’m not ready yet.” Blaise said as he avoided Ginny’s glare.

 

“Wait!” Ginny yelled and gasped as her eyes widened. “You have a girlfriend! Blaise Zabini has a girlfriend and he’s too shy to reveal it to his friends!” She accused as she let out a laugh. “Damn, I’m right, aren’t I?” She asked with a content smile stitched on her lips.

 

“Girlfriend?”

 

Ginny furrowed her eyebrows as she stared at Blaise. “That wasn’t your voice . . .”

 

“No, it wasn’t . . .” He furrowed his eyebrows and slowly turned his head to the side to see Draco standing behind them. “It was him.” He informed Ginny as he turned to look at her.

 

Ginny smirked and stared at Malfoy. “I’m so glad you’re here! Guess what? Your friend has a little secret girlfriend.” She told him with a wide grin.

 

“Blaise . . .” Malfoy slowly looked at his friend and smirked at him. “A girlfriend?”

 

Blaise chuckled and shook his head. “Draco, I do not have a girlfriend. Weaslette, I do not have a girlfriend.”

 

“No, I saw how caught off guard you were when I said it.”

 

“It’s because it’s a funny suggestion! I don’t do girlfriends; I do shagging partners, not girlfriends.”

 

“Okay, fine, so you found yourself a new shagging partner. Am I right?” She asked him.

 

Draco raised an eyebrow at his friend, waiting for a reply. “Really?”

 

“No! Unfortunately, I haven’t found a shagging partner or a girlfriend!” He yelled and stood up as he quickly walked into his room, slamming the door behind him.

 

Ginny shook her head as she glared at the door. “He so has a girlfriend . . .” She muttered under her breath with a scoff. “He can’t lie.” She stated as she stared at Draco.

 

“He’s been getting a bit rusty.” He admitted as he agreed to Ginny’s statement.

 

“How about you?”

 

“What about me?”

 

“Are you good at lying, too?”

 

“No.”

 

Oh, you’re good.” Ginny said as she acknowledged his lying abilities. “You know, I’m just saying this to you because I’m Hermione’s friend and it’s a job as a friend to do this. No hard feelings, all right?” She stood up and walked over to him, standing right in front of him. “You may be good at lying, but I can see right through you. Hermione, on the other hand, doesn’t have the slightest clue.” She revealed as her fierce chocolate brown eyes bored straight into his steel-grey eyes. “Don’t hurt her.” She finally said after a long time of glaring at him. “Whatever you’re doing right now . . . I hope you’ll just pray that you won’t hurt her in the process of it because I will hurt you.”

 

“Don’t count on it because I’m not going to hurt her.” He claimed as he stared right into her eyes intently.

 

“I’ll believe your word right now . . . I hope I’m making the right choice of believing you.”

 

“You won’t regret it.”

 

“Let’s hope not.” She said flatly and lingered around for a few more seconds before she stalked off towards her bedroom door. She stopped in front of her door and turned around. “Oh, and whatever you two are doing that’s ‘fun’ . . .” She said and slightly smirked. “Try not to get caught and expelled. Hermione will be devastated and she might just blame you.” She said with a smug grin as she walked into her room, closing the door behind her.

 

Draco slightly smirked as he stood there. Did he just get threatened by Weaslette? Yes. Is he taking the threat to heart? No. He slightly scoffed and shook his head. “You have my word, Weaslette.” He muttered under his breath and started to walk towards his room when suddenly the portrait flew open. He stopped and glanced to the side to see Hermione staring at him.

 

“Why don’t we push the Hogsmeade trip to tomorrow?” She suggested nervously as she bent her eyebrows.

 

“Is there a problem?” He asked as he raised an eyebrow at her, now shifting his whole body so that it was facing her. She had his full attention.

 

“Well . . . I found the passageway but Ron and Harry caught me.” She said and sighed. “They’re really suspicious about me right now so let’s skip today’s plan and make a new one.”

 

“I thought you said you wanted to be fun and dar—“

 

“I know what I said! I said that I can be fun and daring! I didn’t say I wanted get murdered by my two best friends!” She snapped at him and breathed heavily from her small outburst. “I can be fun and daring.” She stated but almost as if she was trying to convince herself that. Draco simply stared at her, simply amused, with a smirk threatening to play out. “I will find something fun for us to do.” She told him and frowned.

 

“I know something we can do that’ll be really fun.” He said with a smirk as he stared at her.

 

Hermione made a face at him and shook her head. “Not with that again.” She muttered under her breath and let out a groan, completely irritated. “I know exactly what we can do tonight.”

 

“What is that?”

 

“Let’s go to the lake at night . . .”

 

“Oh, that’s so daring.” He mocked her as he made a scared face.

 

“I’m not finished.” She said and slightly smirked. “And we’ll swim in it.”

 

Draco raised an eyebrow at her as he crossed his arms across his chest. “In the middle of winter . . . with an unfriendly giant squid?”

 

“Okay, the giant squid is actually very friendly. And it might even swim with us.” Hermione retorted back, defending the giant squid as if her life depended on it.

 

“You really want to swim with a clingy, friendly giant squid?”

 

“Why? Is it not fun enough for you?”

 

“It’s not fun at all.”

 

“We’ll skinny dip.” She snapped back before she could even think of something bright to say.

 

“Skinny dip?”

 

“Skinny dip.” She muttered quietly as she looked down at her hands.

 

“Are you sure?” He asked with a smirk.

 

“Positive.” She replied quietly.

 

“I’m sorry, what was that?” He asked as he teased her some more.

 

“WE’LL GO SKINNY DIPPING IN THE LAKE TONIGHT!” She yelled at him as she glared at him.

 

“Okay, fine with me.”

 

“Wait, but you’re hurt, I forgot. You can’t swim—“

 

“No, I’m fine. In fact, the bruise is slowly going away. I can swim.”

 

“No, I don’t think you can—“

 

“No, I assure you, I can.” He said and slightly chuckled. “I never thought I’d say this, but I think this will be fun.”

 

“It will.” She told him and headed towards her room. “I’ll see you tonight then.”

 

“Tonight.”

 

“At ten pm, meet me up at the Astronomy tower. I know a secret passageway that’ll lead us straight to the lake from there.”

 

“You seem to know a lot of passages.”

 

“I might know a few.” She told him with an enthralling grin and let out a relieved sigh. “Tonight, then.” She retreated into her room, shutting the door behind her.

 

Draco smirked and sighed. This was getting very interesting . . . He was definitely anticipating on the date tonight. He walked into his room and closed the door behind him.

 





 

 

Oh my gosh! :O Only one more chapter until DRAMIONE ACTION! Who's excited? I'm excited to read all the reactions! xD It's almost here! I have to admit, this chapter is really boring, there's nothing really special about it. Not really. But, hopefully, the next chapter will satisfy your need for some Dramione action! I hope you guys enjoy and please leave a review below. <3 && Recently I made a 'Meet the Author' topic so please feel free to leave a comment on anything really. You can ask me anything about my writing, inspiration, etc. Thank you.

 

http://www.hpfanfictionforums.com/index.php?showtopic=75851#top

 

-Annie

 

( P.S. Thank you for all the wonderful comments. It always puts a smile on my face. :D )


Chapter 13: Chapter 13
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. . . . . .

 

By lunchtime, Hermione was freaking out. She was sitting with Ginny and barely touching her food. “Ginny . . . I made the worst mistake ever.”

 

“You’ve finally realized your plan is a complete failure?” Ginny asked with a small smirk.

 

“No. I just realized I made two major big mistakes.” She cursed under her breath and frowned. “The first mistake is that I’m going to go skinny dipping with Draco Malfoy tonight at ten in the Black Lake.” She said with wide eyes, letting the words sink in. She looked over and saw Malfoy and Blaise both conversing with each other at their table. She turned back to her friend and let out a helpless moan. “I can’t believe I set that up.”

 

“Well, wasn’t that what you were planning from the very beginning?”

 

“No.” She said as she shook her head. She slightly looked over at Harry and Ron who were staring straight at her. “This is where the second big mistake comes in. I was planning on . . . doing something else and I . . .” She lowered her voice and whispered to Ginny. “I stole Harry’s map and tried to find a passageway to go somewhere else but Harry and Ron caught me . . . and Harry saw the map in my hand. I’m not really their favorite person right now and they’re slowly losing their trust in me.”

 

Ginny nodded and sighed. “That’s why they were so bitter when I met up with them at the common room.” She said as she realized that the pieces all fit together. “They were upset with you.”

 

“Thank you for reminding me.”

 

“No, I mean . . . they aren’t mad-mad at you, they’re a bit upset with you.”

 

“You don’t know what happened . . .”

 

“Tell me what happened.”

 

Hermione continued to look over at Harry and Ron just in case. She stared at Ginny and nodded. “Well . . . I opened the passage to the certain place I needed to get to, Harry and Ron found me, I dropped the map and Harry saw it. He looked disappointed but he said we’d talk later. And so I just left and I’ve been feeling horrible about it.” She said and sighed.

 

“Well, that’s not that bad! You should just talk it out with them right now.”

 

As if on cue, Harry and Ron stood up as they walked over to the girls. “Hermione, I think we should talk and get some things clear.” Harry said as he stared at her.

 

Hermione stared at Ginny for help but knew there was nothing she could do. “Okay . . .” She agreed and got up. The trio walked out of the Great Hall and stood right outside of it, stopping at the corner.

 

. . . . . .

 

 “Why—how did you get your hands on my map?” Harry asked with a sigh as he stared at his friend.

 

“I snuck into your room and took it out of your trunk when no one was around.” She replied quietly and immediately looked down in shame.

 

“Why did you want it?” Harry asked and suddenly started to glue the pieces together. “Wait a minute, d-did you by any chance steal it to open the passageway to Hogsmeade?”

 

“I didn’t steal it! I only meant to borrow it for a few hours.” She said and frowned. “I know this looks bad but—“

 

“Was it for Malfoy?” Ron suddenly spat at her with a deadly glare.

 

Blue met Brown.

 

“What?” Hermione asked as she stared at Ron with shock, feeling the blood drain out of her body. “Wh, why would it be for Malfoy?”

 

“Don’t lie to us, Hermione. Did that slimy git ask you to help him sneak into Hogsmeade? Did he threaten you?”

 

Hermione slightly scoffed and shook her head. “Merlin . . .” She sighed out and licked her dry lips. “He has nothing to do with it. And besides, I can take care of myself. I don’t let him do anything to me.” She told him and gulped.

 

“You’re right. Of course he wouldn’t do anything to you.” He commented with venom as if he was implying something.

 

“What is that supposed to mean?” She snapped at Ron, completely ignoring the fact that Harry was still there.

 

“You’ve changed a lot ever since I started dating Lavender, you know that? You started to act cold to me and her. Ever since we started dating, you changed and you drifted away from us. Are you best friends with Malfoy now? Is that why you two are close nowadays?” He snapped at her as he clenched his fists.

 

“You can’t bring that up now.” She said as she let out a shaky breath. “You have the audacity to start pointing fingers at me for ruining our friendship? It wasn’t me, Ron! It was clearly you because you started dating Lavender! The only thing you said to me was about Lavender, Lavender, Lavender, Lavender! You only cared about Lavender.” She said weakly as she stared at him, breathing heavily. “What? Is Lavender not enough? Do you need more attention? Do you need me to give you attention?” She asked him as she scoffed. “Are you jealous that I’m paying more attention to Malfoy instead of you? You’re right, Ron. He’s my new friend. I replaced you with him because he’s a far better friend than you.” She stated and drew in a shaky breath as she felt tears form in her eyes.

 

“You think I’m jealous of Malfoy?” Ron spat at her with bewilderment. “No, I’m not the jealous one! You’re jealous of Lavender, aren’t you?! You wanted me to choose you over Lavender, right?!” Ron retorted back angrily as he yelled at her, pointing a finger in her direction.

 

Hermione clenched her jaw as she fought back tears. She felt her past feelings for him rush through her body and felt the same piercing in her heart she felt when she found out he was dating Lavender again. She gritted her teeth and exhaled deeply. She kept her wet, teary eyes on the person she once loved and felt disgusted. “It’ll always be Lavender . . .” She mumbled under her breath. “It’ll never be me.” She stated quietly as she shook her head. “Well, if Lavender is so important to you, I’d appreciate it if you left me alone. I’ll do whatever I want with Malfoy and you do whatever you want with Lavender. Stay out of my business because I’ve been staying out of yours.” She told him with bitter, wet eyes.

 

“Hermione—“

 

“Don’t.” Hermione snapped at Harry as she turned her head towards him but her face softened when her eyes met with his refreshing, emerald eyes. “Please . . .” She whispered as she brushed past Ron, quickly walking away with anger. She stopped and slightly turned back around. “Oh and by the way, I was only trying to get into Hogsmeade because I wanted to buy some Christmas presents. I guess there’s one less present to buy now.” She commented, directing it at Ron as she slightly smirked. She turned back around and walked off.

 

Little did they know the students were listening in on their conversation . . .

 

“Ron—“ Harry started but once again got cut off.

 

“Just leave me alone . . .” Ron muttered with a deep sigh as he walked off in the other direction, leaving Harry alone.

 

“Ronald Bilius Weasley!” An angry voice shouted from the Great Hall. Ginny stood up angrily and dashed out of the hall, heading straight toward her brother.

 

Harry let out a deep aggravated sigh as he rubbed the back of his head with frustration. He exhaled deeply and looked back at the Great Hall to see everyone’s eyes on him. He took a step back in shock and furrowed his eyebrows. Everyone immediately took action and looked away and started chatting away about the latest news on the Golden trio. Harry sighed and shook his head in disbelief. “Why am I the one who’s still here . . . I have to clean up the mess, now.” He muttered under his breath and started to walk towards the entrance when he suddenly saw Draco Malfoy walking right towards him. He stopped and waited for him to throw a nasty comment at him but nothing came.

 

Draco walked right past Harry towards Hermione in urgency.

 

Harry stood there shocked as he quickly turned back around to see Draco Malfoy running towards where Hermione ran off to. His eyes widened as he looked back at the Great Hall. “Are they really friends?” He asked himself quietly and shook his head. “Impossible . . .” He took a step forward but realized he had no one to sit with so instead turned back and walked back towards the common room. Hopefully, Ron and Ginny were there . . . possibly fighting.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Leave me the bloody hell alone, Ginny.” Ron snarled angrily as he walked away from his sister.

 

“No, you listen to what I have to say!” Ginny ordered as she walked after him.

 

“What is it, then!? Say it quick and leave me alone.”

 

“Stop acting like a bitchy, emotional sixteen year old girl.” She snapped as her brother as she glared at him.

 

Ron raised an eyebrow at his little sister, completely shocked by her words. “What?!”

 

“You heard me.”

 

“How am I acting like a . . . whatever you said?” He asked with bewilderment.

 

“You don’t realize how loud you were, huh?” She asked in disbelief. The whole school heard you—or at least the thirty people who actually stayed here for the holidays—and they’re all talking about you and Hermione right now. Do you realize what you just did?”

 

“She’s the one who—“

 

“No, you’re the one who made a complete fool out of Hermione! You embarrassed her, do you not realize that? Everyone now thinks she’s jealous of Lavender Brown and now she’s bitter so she replaced you with Malfoy!”

 

“Well, it’s her bloody fault then. It’s not my fault that she can’t convince people. And you know damn well she replaced me with that bloody bastard.”

 

“You replaced her with Lavender, first!” Ginny retorted back with just as much as fire and anger as she jabbed a finger into his chest. “You were the one who left her. You were the one who threw her to the side while you gave all of your attention to your girlfriend, Lavender. You were the one who hurt her in the first place.”

 

“How did I hurt her?!”

 

“You are the epitome of a stupid, oblivious git!” Ginny snarled at her brother with anger as she shot him daggers. “Do you really not know or should I make you remember?” She threatened in a low voice.

 

“Is it my fault I chose Lavender instead of her? It’s not my fault she didn’t attract me.”

 

“You’re despicable.”

 

“It doesn’t really matter, now. She’s with her new friend, Malfoy.” He spat with anger and disgust, completely appalled by the idea of Hermione with Malfoy.

 

“You’re jealous of Draco Malfoy, that’s why you’re acting like such an arse.” She stated and shook her head. “No, scratch that. You already are an arse but since you’re jealous of Draco Malfoy, you’re acting like a bigger arse.”

 

“What do you want me to do, then?!” Ron roared with anger as he took a step forward, staring down at his sister.

 

“You can start by apologizing to Hermione.” Ginny growled as she stood her ground, remaining angry and fierce. “You may not realize this, but Hermione really did like you. Do you know how devastated she was when she found out you were going out with Lavender again? You’re completely oblivious.” She told him with disbelief. “You want to know why she’s hanging out with Malfoy nowadays?” She asked him rhetorically. “She found someone else to depend on. She didn’t replace you with Malfoy, you replaced her with Lavender. You abandoned her.”

 

Ron’s eyes widened as the last sentence rang in his head. She found someone else to depend on. You abandoned her. He let out a low sigh as he sat down on the couch, covering his face with his hands.

 

“You realize your mistake, now?” Ginny asked as she sighed. “It’s not too late to apologize to her . . .” She said and stared at her brother for a long time before turning around and walking towards the portrait door. She hesitated to say something else but shook her head and walked out just as Harry was about to walk in. She slightly bumped into Harry but they both stood still. “You should talk with him. He needs all the help he can get.” She said as she walked off.

 

Harry pressed his lips into a thin line and took a deep breath before he stepped into the common room.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco cautiously stepped onto the last step of the staircase and let out a relieved sigh to see Hermione sitting on the window sill. He slightly smirked as he walked over to her quietly. “There you are!” He said and sat down directly across from her on the other side of the window sill.

 

Hermione slightly gasped as she jumped. She soon came to realize it was only Draco and let out a relieve sigh. “How did you find me?”

 

“Well, it was worth a shot. This is where I used to come whenever I had problems or just wanted to be alone so I thought maybe you came here. I guess I was right.” He stated with a triumphant smirk.

 

“Don’t be too happy, Malfoy. You just walked in on some sticky business.” She said and sighed. “Do you really want to hear me complain about my life?”

 

“No, I don’t and neither do you.” He shook his head and sighed. “I’ll simply just sit here and wait for you to calm down. You can cry, scream, or even talk to me--just do whatever you want until you’re feeling better. After you’re done, we can go back down to our dormitory or the library and do something.”

 

“Really?” Hermione asked with wide eyes as she stared at him.

 

“I don’t lie, Granger.” Hermione slightly scoffed at that and shook her head.

 

“I don’t lie much.” He rephrased and slightly smirked as he saw a small grin form on Hermione’s lips.

 

“Okay, deal.” She nodded and looked out the window with an odd look in her eye. Shame? Embarrassment? Shock? Pain? All? “Just out of curiosity . . . did you hear everything?” She mustered up some courage to ask as she swallowed hard. She was certain almost everyone in the Great Hall heard.

 

“Everyone in the Great Hall heard the conversation. You three weren’t really far away from the place.” He replied back as he, too, stared out the window. “Fortunately for you, only the students heard. The teachers were oblivious as always.”

 

Hermione sighed under her breath and for the first time, she hated being right about something. “Great, everyone knows how jealous I am of Lavender now.”

 

“Well, at least they know that Weasley is jealous of me and that you’re friends with a hot guy like me. Consider yourself lucky, Granger.”

 

“Oh, yes, I’m so thrilled to have a hot friend.” She commented with sarcasm. She peeled her eyes off of the sky for a second and glued them onto Malfoy, but quickly retreated, looking back out to the sky.

 

“You should be.” His eyes ripped away from the sky and landed on the beautiful curly haired brunette with wet streaks of tears stained on her flawless skin and the sad, broken eyes sitting across from him.

 

“Thank you.” She said quietly, cracking the tiniest grin possible. She started to feel loads better with company around.

 

“For what?” He asked as he raised an eyebrow. He felt an uncomfortable itching in his heart that started to bother him a lot. He crinkled his face and looked away from Hermione, feeling loads better. His heart was reacting strangely weird--jumpy. It was probably because he was not used to being around crying girls. Well . . . he made Pansy cry but she didn’t count. Granger was someone he thought was strong, who wouldn’t let anyone see her tears but . . . he was wrong. She had her moments. She was vulnerable at times but what he came to realize was that after her break down, she picked herself right off the ground and stood tall and strong. It was like she never shed a tear, that’s how strong she made herself.

 

“Thank you for finding me . . . and comforting me.” She answered and flashed him a small, yet alluring grin. “I didn’t want anyone to find me . . . yet, I hoped someone would.”

 

“Well, then, you very welcome.”

 

Hermione nodded and sniffled as she drew in a deep breath. She exhaled with her eyes closed as she calmed down. She opened her eyes back, revealing her shiny, caramel brown eyes. “Why did you come after me?”

 

“I thought you might’ve needed a friend, that’s all.” He replied shortly after her question.

 

“Is that really the reason why?” She teased him as she raised an eyebrow. “Or was it because the person you liked was crying?”

 

“Now, now Granger, let’s not get too caught up in ourselves. I do not have a crush on you; you have a crush on me.”

 

“Malfoy, we’ve been talking about this for how long? We know it’s you that likes me.”

 

“Nope, you like me.”

 

“This conversation is getting quite repetitive . . . it’s getting boring.”

 

“Well, it would actually be a fun conversation if you would just confess you like me.”

 

“No.”

 

“No?”

 

“NO.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because I don’t like you.”

 

“Ouch, that hurt.” Draco stated as he placed a heart over his heart, acting like he was in pain. “You like me because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be denying it and you wouldn’t’ve suggested we go skinny dipping in the Black Lake.”

 

“Oh, really?” She asked with a shocked laugh. “I only suggested we go skinny dipping because it’s fun.”

 

“Fun? Yes, it is. But, you have another motive. Perhaps, you want to see my body, I saw the way you were looking at me when I was shirtless.”

 

“Whatever, Malfoy.”

 

“Ah, so it’s true! It’s okay, I don’t blame you. My body is magnificent!” He exclaimed with a cocky grin.

 

“You’re pretty happy to go skinny dipping, aren’t you?”

 

“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.”

 

“Why is that?”

 

“I want to see if the prude Granger actually has a girl body.” He said with a smirk.

 

Hermione immediately glared at him. “I am a girl, you dimwit!”

 

“I don’t know . . . it’s hard to see a womanly figure under the loose school uniform.”

 

“I’ll have you know, I have a womanly figure!” She blurted out and felt herself turn red in the face.

 

“I can’t wait to see it, then. Since you’re bragging about your womanly figure, I’ll be watching tonight. I’m anticipating on this one.” He said with a smirk as he winked at her.

 

“Malfoy!” She screeched as she got up from the window sill, ready to get him.

 

Draco quickly got up and ran towards the stairs. “I hope you have curves.” He commented with smirk. “I like my girl full of curves.” He added and immediately ran down the stairs with an embarrassed and upset Hermione running after him.

 

“MALFOY!”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione and Draco ended up staying in their common room, watching the fire crackle in the fireplace, warming them up. “You know, I don’t think it’s wise for us to go skinny dipping . . . in the middle of winter . . .”

 

“At the dead of night.” Draco finished and looked over at her. “Are you scared?”

 

“No, I’m just . . . what if we get hypothermia?”

 

“We can do magic . . .” He told her matter-of-factly. “And we have the best healer in the Wizarding world . . . Madam Pomfrey

 

“Don’t you think she’ll wonder why we got hyperthermia in the first place?”

 

“She never asks and she never tells. Well, if we do tell her we went out in the middle of the night in winter to take a dip in the lake—it will probably be frowned upon but, she won’t say anything about it.”

 

“Something tells me you’ve done this a lot before.”

 

“Skinny dipping? No. Sneaking out? Yes.” He shared with a smirk as he leaned back into the couch, stretching. “In fact, I sneaked out too much to the point where Filch doesn’t even bother to try and catch me.”

 

“Because that’s something you should be proud of.” She said as she rolled her eyes at him.

 

“I am proud of it, thank you very much.” He shared with her as he smirked at her.

 

“Congratulations, then.” She made a face at him and shook her head.

 

“I don’t appreciate the sarcasm.”

 

“I don’t care.” She told him in a sing song voice as she tilted her head to the side slightly.

 

“You kno—“

 

“So, this is what’s going to happen.” She said and shifted her whole body towards him, staring at him. “We’re going to go to dinner and act natural, then we’ll meet up at the astronomy tower and then we’ll go on from there.”

 

“Are you sure you’re up for it?”

 

“Yes.” She snapped at him but her eyes faltered. “I’m sure, it’ll be fun.”

 

“Oh, it will.” He said, wearing a mischievous grin.

 

. . . . . .

 

In the Great Hall, everyone felt the hostility between the Golden trio, of course mostly between Ron and Hermione but Harry seemed to be a bit upset with both his friends. All the students ate in silence, afraid to make the slightest sound. The teachers simply talked quietly amongst each other like always. Hermione acted as natural as possible as she talked with Ginny. “I’m fine.”

 

“Are you really?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Positive?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“One hundred percent—“

 

“Sure? Yes!” Hermione finally cracked and told her friend with wide eyes. “Stop asking me if I’m fine or not. Please.”

 

“I’m just making sure. It’s my job.”

 

“Well, that’s one hell of a job.” Hermione commented as she nibbled on her chicken.

 

“It is.” Ginny agreed as she sipped on her soup. “Are you just going to continue with the plan?” She asked her friend casually as she tore off a piece of bread, placing it in her mouth.

 

“Yes, the plan is still on. There’s nothing that’s stopping me from completing it.” She replied as she took a sip of her pumpkin juice.

 

“Okay, well, don’t get too caught up in it.” She warned briskly.

 

“What do mean?”

 

“I’m just saying you need to keep your head in the game. This is just a plan to get revenge on Ron . . . try not to fall in love with Malfoy.”

 

Hermione slightly laughed and stared at her friend. “I’m not.”

 

“You never know.”


“I’m not! That’s impossible—th, that’s absurd!”

 

“All right, as long as you know.” Ginny said as she hid a small grin.

 

“Okay.” Hermione slightly chewed on her both lip as she thought about Ginny’s statement. ‘Oh god, what if I do fall in love with him? No! No, that’s impossible. No. Absolutely not. No.’ She thought to herself and shook her head. “Don’t worry, Ginny. I’ll make sure he falls in love with me.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Really.”

 

“Okay.” Ginny smiled and licked her lips. “So what are you two going to do tonight that’s so adventurous and fun?”

 

“Skinny dipping in the Black Lake.” Hermione responded casually as she continued to eat. “I told you earlier today, remember?”

 

“Oh, that’s right.” Ginny said with a slight smirk. “Sounds fun.”

 

From across the room, Draco and Blaise talked quickly amongst themselves. “You know, you seem to be enjoying this whole plan way too much.” Blaise commented.

 

“What?”

 

“I just feel like you’re enjoying the whole plan to make Granger fall in love with you a little too much.”


“Why do you feel that?’

 

“Well, for instance, you’re really happy about this break.”

 

“Well, of course I am, I get to be with Granger for the whole break and that means I’ll get Pansy off my back quickly.”

 

“Are you sure? I feel like there’s something more to it.” Blaise pushed a bit more as he eyed his friend intently.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Malfoy said as he took a big gulp out of his pumpkin juice as if he was trying to avoid his friend’s stare.

 

“Look, just be careful. Don’t get too caught up in the plan. Remember that you’re supposed to make her fall in love with you.”

 

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

 

“You better . . .” He muttered under his breath as he took a sip out of his goblet.

 

“What was that?”

 

“Nothing.” He answered quickly as he shook his friend, continuing to eat. “So what are you two doing tonight that’s so called fun?” He asked, taking a big gulp out of his goblet.

 

“Skinny dipping in the Black Lake.” Draco answered with a smirk as he took a bite out of his chicken.

 

Blaise’s eyes widened as he suddenly spit the pumpkin juice out of his mouth. “What?!” He yelled and everyone stared at them. He suddenly realized his mistake and immediately got out of his seat. “No, mate, come on.”

 

“I’m giving you three seconds.” Draco whispered as he wiped the liquid off his face. Blaise Zabini spit pumpkin juice in Draco Malfoy’s face. The outcome? Death.

 

 “Come on, Draco, it was an accid—ahhh!” Blaise immediately ran out of the Great Hall as Draco jumped out of his seat, chasing him. “I’M SORRY!”

 

“I’M SORRY, TOO, YOU ARSEHOLE!” Draco yelled after him, running faster.

 

Everyone burst out laughing once they heard their screams. The professors slightly stifled a laugh but tried to keep a straight face as they continued to eat.

 

Hermione slightly giggled with Ginny as she shook her head. “They’re idiots.”

 

“Definitely.” She agreed with her friend. “So, skinny dipping, huh?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Tell me how his body is. All the details—“


“Ginny, you have Harry.”

 

“I’m just a bit curi—“

 

“No.”

 

“A small detail then, ple—“

 

“No.”

 

“Just tell me if he has a nice body . . . you don’t have to tell me what’s going on down there.” Ginny said as she wiggled her eyebrows.

 

Hermione blushed as her eyes widened. “No, Ginny! I’m not going to stare at his naked body!” She yelled and once again, the curious students and teachers looked over to them, completely shocked by Hermione’s words.

 

Ginny held in a laugh as she stared at Hermione who looked crazy. She slowly got out of her seat cautiously. “Oops . . .” She said as she slowly started to take steps away from her friend.

 

Hermione felt like she was going to die of embarrassment. She set her fork down and glared at her friend. “Oops?” She asked with anger as she got up. “Ginerva Molly Weasley, you better run before I kill you!”

 

“YOU’RE THE ONE WHO SAID IT, NOT ME!” Ginny yelled as she dashed out of the Great Hall.

 

“YOU BROUGHT IT UP!” Hermione roared as she ran after her friend.

 

“What the bloody hell is going on? First, Malfoy and Zabini and then it’s them?” Ron commented as he shook his head.

 

“Did we miss something? Did we not get the memo to make fun of a friend and then run out screaming?”

 

“I guess we did.”

 

“Hmm, it’s odd, don’t you think? I mean, first Malfoy and Zabini, then Hermione and Ginny. All four of them have been hanging out a lot these days.”

 

“Obviously, Hermione and Ginny are both mental to be hanging out with them.” Ron spat bitterly.

 

“I can’t help but feel a bit of hostility and what’s the other one?” Harry asked matter-of-factly as he raised an eyebrow at his friend. “Jealousy, is it?”

 

“Jealous?” Ron asked with shock as he made a face. “Jealous of who exactly? Bloody hell, I’m not jealous of anyone.”

 

“Maybe jealous of a certain blonde . . .”

 

“You think I’m jealous of Draco Malfoy?!” Harry nodded as he stared his friend down. “You’re all mental! Especially you, Harry! You think I’m jealous of that bastard? No.” He said and looked around to see if anyone was listening to his conversation. Thankfully, Lavender decided to sit with a few Hufflepuffs for dinner.

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Just drop it.”

 

“I always thought you were somewhat jealous of him ever since Hermione moved to the same dorm as him. You’re always afraid about what he’ll do to her. It’s not like they’ll do anything together. Can you imagine Hermione snogging Malfoy?” Harry asked with a laugh, shaking his head.

 

“Don’t talk about her doing things like that.” Ron snapped as he shook his head. “Please, I’m eating here. Don’t make me puke.”

 

“Have you apologized to Hermione yet?” Harry asked his friend after a while.

 

“No, not yet . . . I’m planning on giving her some space before I do. I sure as bloody hell need it.” He said with a small frown. “But, don’t you think she’s hanging around with Malfoy a little too much these days?”

 

“You know, she can take care of herself. Hermione won’t do anything with him, like the one time when they came out of the same bedroom together; you thought they were doing something.”

 

“I thought we agreed we wouldn’t talk about that. Ever. Again.” Ron snarled as his face turned red, almost matching his hair color.

 

“Look, I’m just saying, you’ve been acting jealous of Malfoy. You haven’t been paying attention to your girlfriend because all you’re thinking about is Hermione and what she’s doing with Draco Malfoy. It’s not like they’re falling in love with each other and they’re snogging constantly-- “ Harry stopped mid-sentence as he felt an odd aura coming from Ron.

 

“On second thought, I think we got the memo.” Ron said as he slowly dropped his knife.

 

“Ron . . .”

 

“Harry!”

 

Harry immediately dropped everything and dashed out of the place with Ron running after.

 

“YOU PROMISED YOU WOULDN’T TALK ABOUT THAT INCIDENT!”

 

“I DIDN’T PROMISE ANYTHING LIKE THAT! I PROMISED I WOULDN’T TALK ABOUT IT IN FRONT OF HERMIONE!”

 

“HARRY JAMES POTTER! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

 

“RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY! YOU CANNOT KILL ME!”

 

“AND WHY NOT?”

 

“BECAUSE I’M HARRY POTTER! I’M THE BOY WHO LIVED! I KILLED VOLDERMORT AND I SURE AS HELL WILL NOT GET TO GET KILLED BY YOU!”

 

“SHUT UP! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

 








 
ONLY ONE MORE EPISODE TILL THE BIG DRAMIONE ACTION! WHOOT WHOOT~~ Celebration :) haha, we’re finally going to get some of the Dramione Action. I cannot wait for you guys to read it. This was yet . . . another filler. I’m sorry but hopefully, the next chapter will be good. &&I recently posted my new story so please check it out :

http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com/viewstory.php?psid=314378

I’d love for you all to read and leave a review there. Thank you.

And speaking of reviews, please leave a review/comment and I will try to post up soon.

(I also made a Meet the Author page so please go to my main profile and click on it! Ask me anything you’d like, I’d love to talk to you all! <3)


-Annie



Chapter 14: Chapter 14
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. . . . . .

 

After their episode of running and screaming for mercy, they all calmed down and went back to their daily lives of their daily routines. Ginny and Blaise stayed in their dorm secretly discussing important matters while Ron and Harry decided to play wizard chess in their empty common room. Hermione and Draco, of course, were off to go skinny dipping. ;)

 

Hermione cautiously eyed Draco as she nervously gulped. “We can get expelled for doing this.”

 

“Don’t be so dramatic, Granger.” Draco said as he rolled his eyes.

 

“Well, we’re outside of the school after curfew. I mean, this is preposterous. I would never do this.”

 

“You’re right, we should stop and go back to our dorm and act like two boring, average people.”

 

“No. I didn’t say we weren’t going to do it.” She snapped at him and furrowed her eyebrows as they made their way down the hill slowly. “It’s really cold out here.” She said as her teeth chattered uncontrollable. It was about ten degrees outside and the sky was dropping little white snowflakes on its surroundings.

 

“We can always back out, Granger.” Draco told her as he stopped walking, raising an eyebrow at her.

 

Hermione groaned and glared at him. “No, we’re doing it!” She yelled and immediately shut her mouth. She was supposed to be quiet not to get caught. “Let’s just get this over with.”

 

“Finally.” He let out an exasperated sigh and so they continued down to the lake quietly. Right when they reached the lake, they exchanged glances.

 

“No magic.” Hermione said as she set her wand slowly on the ground.

 

“Okay.” He said coolly as he tossed his wand over towards hers on the ground. “Let’s do this.” He said with a smirk as he immediately threw his shirt over his head.

 

Hermione looked at his body and found herself staring. She snapped herself out of it and glared at him. “Where’s your bandage?”

 

“I took it off for tonight.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Well, I don’t want a dirty or wet bandage.”

 

“Oh . . . that’s right.” She said and shook her head. “Wait, skinny dipping in this cold winter night is just too much. Why don’t we keep our undergarments on?” She asked him as she chewed on her bottom lip.

 

“Okay.” He said and slightly chuckled. “You’re scared, aren’t you?”

 

“No.” She said and quickly gathered up the courage to start stripping down. “Just hurry up.” She snarled through her teeth as she took off her sweater. She immediately shivered violently as the cold air bit her skin. Her body shivered but she started to take off her shirt when she suddenly felt two eyes staring at her. She stopped and glared at Draco. “What are you doing?” She asked urgently as she pulled her shirt down.

 

“It’s not like there’s anything to look at . . .” He muttered under his breath as he looked the other way.

 

“What?” She asked him since she heard what he said.

 

“Just hurry up, will you?” He said as he started to unbuckled his belt.

 

Hermione sighed and quickly took her shirt off, throwing it over at Draco. “Oops.”

 

Draco looked over with a smirk. “You should’ve just told me you wanted me to look at your body. You don’t have to throw your shirt at me to get my attention.” He said as he held up her shirt and tossing it down onto the ground.

 

Hermione opened her mouth to speak but she got cut off by Draco. “I guess I wrong. You actually do have curves. And you wear silk, who would’ve thought?” He said with a nod as if he was impressed. “Don’t mind me.” He said as he took off his jeans.

 

Hermione immediately looked over and now, she wasn’t as cold as before. Fortunately but unfortunately, she was hot from blushing. She immediately looked over at the water once Draco started taking off his jeans. She sucked back her screams and unbuttoned her jeans, quickly ripping them away from her legs. Now, she was cold and very insecure. She didn’t like the fact that he was staring. “Stop staring.”

 

“I can’t help it . . . I have a very nice view.” He told her and she swore she heard a smirk in his voice.

 

Hermione shot him a glare and shook her head. “You are an idiot.”

 

He simply shrugged but continued to let his eyes raid her whole body. He was impressed. Truly. He thought she was a prude with no body whatsoever but merlin was he wrong? She had the perfect body. She had curves in all the right places, the flat stomach, full breasts (to his surprise), and just . . . she had a hot body. There, he said it. She was hot. Draco Malfoy just admitted that Hermione Granger was hot. He shook his head, clearing his mind and looked up at her face. “Shall we?”

 

Hermione let out a deep breath and nodded. “Oh god, I’m going to kill myself after we do this.” She said and then on cue, both of them ran and jumped into the water, making a loud splash.

 

Hermione immediately let out a small squeal as the cold water pierced her skin. She was going to kill herself for doing this. She popped her head out of the water and heard Draco laughing. She shot him a glare as she frowned. “You think this is funny?” She growled at him.

 

“Very.” Draco said as he continued to laugh.

 

“You arse!” She whispered ferociously at him as she splashed water in his face.

 

He immediately stopped laughing as he stared at her. “D, did you just splash me?”

 

“No, the giant squid did.” She said sarcastically. “Who else?”

 

“That’s it.” He said and splashed her back.

 

She screamed and stared at him. “Oh, it’s on.” She declared and immediately, they broke out into a splash war. Though they were very cold, since they were being active and staying in the water, they slightly got warm. But they were still very cold.

 

After about ten seconds of the splash war they both stopped, the cold wind wrapping itself around their bodies. “Okay, I’m damn cold. I’m getting out.” Hermione shivered violently as she swam back to shore.

 

“What? No! You can’t!” Draco yelled as he swam after her, reaching his arm over to stop her. “Wait!” He ordered and grabbed something on her back and before he knew it, he was holding her bra in his hand. His eyes grew wide as he looked at the black silky bra in his hand and looked over at Hermione.

 

Hermione’s eyes went wide as her face turned bright red. She immediately turned around and saw that he had her bra in his hand. “Oh . . . my . . .” She whispered, she couldn’t even scream. She was beyond mad and embarrassed. “Did you just . . .?”

 

“It just happened.” He said as he slowly swam away from her, but keeping his eye on her.

 

“Give it back!” She yelled as she reached for it.

 

“No, I think I’ll keep it as a souvenir or something.”

 

“Souvenir for what?!”

 

“Semi-skinny dipping in the Black Lake with the prude, uptight Granger.” He said and quickly got out of the water.

 

Hermione frowned and started to whine as she debated on whether she should get out and stay. She knew she had to get out eventually and she was cold. “Malfoy!”

 

“Granger!”  Draco mocked her as he started to change back into his clothes. “Aren’t you coming out?” He asked with a smirk.

 

Hermione groaned and quickly covered her chest as she stepped out of the water. She immediately ran to her clothes and covered her chest. She glared at him as she breathed heavily. “Malfoy, give it back.”

 

“No, it’s a souvenir.”

 

“No, it’s my bra.”

 

“Souvenir for me.”

 

“Ugh!” She yelled as she reached for the bra but she was a second behind because Draco immediately put it out of her reach. “You! You! You are!” She didn’t know what to say. “You are mean!” She finally yelled and mentally slapped herself. She groaned and turned around, her back facing him. She quickly put on her jeans and put on her shirt. Right when she was about to put on her jacket, they both saw a light from on top of the hill. Hermione gasped and kept her jacket close to her chest as her eyes widened. She turned around and looked over at Draco who immediately grabbed their belongings.

 

Draco looked over at her and put the side of his index finger on his lips, giving her a sign to stay quiet. He slowly walked over to her with his hand held in the air.

 

“Who’s there?!” A voice shouted angrily and they both knew who it was. Filch.

 

Draco grabbed Hermione’s wrist without hesitation and ran in the other direction, pulling Hermione behind him.

 

Hermione gasped once she felt herself being pulled. One hand was with Malfoy while the other was holding her jacket against her chest. Draco looked behind him with a slight smile on his face. She couldn’t help but smile a bit herself. She was mental. Who would smile if they were in their situation? Before they knew it, they were both laughing while running away from filch.

 

These two definitely needed to get their brains checked in St. Mungo.

 

“Over here.” Draco whispered once they finally settled down and pulled her behind a big column. He pushed Hermione gently on the wall while pressing his back against it as well. They saw Filch run past them with a red nose, muttering unkind words.

 

Hermione held in a laugh as she covered her mouth with her hand. Draco slightly grinned as he looked down. Once they realized Filch was long gone, they slightly laughed. “That was crazy.” Hermione said quietly as she dropped her hand to her side.

 

“I have to admit, it was a bit fun.” He commented as he slightly bumped shoulder with her.

 

“I’m glad you had fun.” She added with a bit of sarcasm as she bumped him back. “But, now that we’re done being chased by Filch, I’d like my bra back.”

 

“Oh, you still want it back?” He asked as he raised both eyebrows.

 

“Yes and my wand.”

 

“Ah, so your wand is back in my possession.” He said with a smirk crawling on his lips. “Well, then, you should know by now. I’m not giving it back unless . . .”

 

“Unless what?”

 

“You give me a kiss.” He said with a wider smirk. “And we all know you aren’t going to do that.”

 

Hermione lowered her gaze on him and groaned. “You’re horrible.” She said and turned around. “After I put my jacket on, we should get going.” She muttered and quickly put her shirt on in a second. She turned back at Draco and frowned. “You aren’t giving it back?”

 

“Nope.”

 

“Unless I kiss you?” She asked as she stared right into his grey orbs.

 

“Unless you kiss—“ He suddenly got caught off by a pair of hands and lips. It took a while before he registered what was going on. Bloody hell. Hermione Granger was kissing him. He looked at Hermione who had her eyes closed. He didn’t know what to do.

 

Hermione slapped her hands on both sides of his face and pulled him into a kiss. She didn’t know why. It was probably because of all the adrenaline and—and—she wasn’t thinking right. She was too caught up in the moment. One crazy thing led to another. But, the strange this was, she was just going to leave a peck on his lips but she couldn’t bring herself to pull away. She felt electricity flow throughout her whole body, emitting sparks. This was only her third kiss but . . . the kiss felt like a first kiss to her.

 

Draco should’ve pulled away. He should’ve pushed her away and smirk. He should’ve possibly made a snide remark about her liking him or something along those lines. He should’ve done many things. But he didn’t do any of those things. He did something he would’ve never thought he’d do. He kissed her back. He closed his eyes and slowly wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. Both their wands and her bra were in his hands while his arms remained wrapped around her waist.

 

Not the typical, cliché romantic kiss . . . guys usually don’t have the girl’s bra and wand in his hand. But for them, that was the case.

 

Draco kissed thousands of girls—hell, he shagged them, too. But, never in his whole entire life as a womanizer/sex god, had he felt something in a kiss. Sure, the kisses were great but this one kiss was totally different. It was unexpected. It was strange. It was spontaneous. It was . . . it was Hermione Granger’s lips . . . her kiss.

 

Hermione felt herself getting into the kiss even more because her hands somehow made its way up and her arms snaked itself around his neck Her long, slim fingers ran through his wet locks. She was not herself. She had to pull away. She had to . . . not pull away. She did not have to pull away.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny and Blaise looked out their window and sighed. “I wonder if they’re still in the water . . .” Ginny questioned as she frowned.

 

“I doubt it. It’s snowing outside! Who in the right mind would be out there, skinny dipping in the lake?”

 

“Obviously our friends.” She said matter-of-factly. “They’re lucky we can’t really hear them. They would’ve been expelled by now.”

 

“Yeah, but Filch might be chasing them right now. He’s everywhere.”

 

“I know, he’s weird.” She said as she shuddered. “Oh gosh, it’s so cold in here.” She said as she quickly grabbed her wand, lighting the fireplace, immediately feeling a lot better. “I wonder how cold it is outside.”

 

“Well, I’m sure they’re keeping each other warm.” Blaise said and they laughed it off, thinking it was impossible.

 

Boy, were they so wrong . . . but so right.

 

. . . . . .

 

The next morning . . .

 

 

“What happened last night?”

 

“We went semi-skinny dipping.” Hermione answered as she played with her food.

 

“Good thing you guys came back in one piece.” She said with a grin. “When did you guys get back?”

 

“Around 2 a.m.”

 

“Why so late?”

 

“Well, we stayed behind a column for an hour, just being cautious of Filch and then we took off but we walked slowly.”

 

“Oh … so did anything happen?”

 

“Like what?”

 

“Like, did you see his body?”

 

“We semi skinny-dipping.” She told her friend who looked slightly puzzled. “We decided to keep our undergarments on but it didn’t help much.” She said with a frown.

 

“Ah, so close!” Ginny whined and snapped her fingers. She was disappointed.

 

“Ginny.”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“Do you remember Harry? He’s your boyfriend.”

 

“I know that. I’m just saying . . . Malfoy is known for the hot body . . .”

 

“Ew, stop.”

 

Ginny slightly laughed and slightly cocked her head to the side. “Where’s your wand? You always have it with you on the table every day.”

 

“My wand?” She asked and raised both eyebrows. “I don’t have it.”

 

“Right now?”

 

“No, I don’t have it. At all.”


“What? Why?”

 

“Malfoy has it.”

 

“Ah, well, of course. I should’ve known. Tell him to give it back.” She said with a scoff.

 

“Well, that’s the thing. He won’t give it back.” Hermione replied back as she bit her bottom lip. She was trying hard to avoid the details of last night.


“Did you ask for it?”

 

Oh yeah … “ Hermione said with wide eyes as she shook her head.

 

“And he still didn’t give it back?”

 

“He still has my wand.” She said and slightly sighed, relieved to avoid the subject again. “But, I’m sure he’s going to give it back—“ As if on cue, an owl swooped into the castle and flew towards Hermione. The owl suddenly dropped something in front of Hermione and quickly away. “That’s strange . . . owls aren’t supposed to be delivering . . .” She said and reached for the package when she suddenly caught Draco Malfoy’s smirk.

 

“What is it?” Ginny asked as she reached for it.

 

“NO!” She yelled and grabbed the package away from her friend. “No, it’s probably nothing.”

 

“It doesn’t seem like nothing since you’re acting like that.”

 

“No! Don’t look at it!” Hermione said, hugging the package when a note suddenly dropped out of it, landing on the table. Her eyes widen and she reached for it, but Ginny grabbed just a second faster. “Ginny . . .” She whined and knew she was going to die.

 

‘You forgot something last night. I had fun.’

                                    -DM

 

Ginny’s eyes widened as her jaw dropped. She dropped the letter and ripped the package away from Hermione and quickly unwrapped it. She suddenly gasped as she saw a black silky bra in front of her. “Hermione Jean Granger! Did you sleep with him?” She whispered loudly but quiet enough for only Hermione to hear.

 

“No!” She yelled as she quickly reached for the package but she wasn’t fast enough.

 

Ginny grabbed it away from her and took the bra out for her friend to see. “What is this, then?!”

 

Hermione’s jaw dropped as she saw everyone, including Harry and Ron and the professors, staring at the bra. “Ginny, it’s not what you think.” She whispered as she quickly grabbed the bra and away from her friend and the note. She quickly read it and smashed it in her hand. She groaned and glared at Draco who was laughing uncontrollably.

 

“What exactly happened last night?”

 

“I’ll tell you, but not here.”

 

“Okay, let’s leave, then!” Ginny yelled as she walked out of the Great Hall.

 

Hermione shook her head and bit her bottom lip. She quickly shoved her bra away and glared at Draco. She grabbed her belongings and stood up. She shot him the world’s most deadly glare at Malfoy. If looks could kill, he would be long gone from this world.

 

Draco sat there shaking his head, calming himself down.

 

“What the hell is going on?” Blaise asked, looking confused.

 

“Granger and I kissed last night.” He answered his friend casually, taking a bite out of his toast.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Draco and I kissed last night.” Hermione spilled as they stood in the empty corridors.

 

. . . . . .

 

“She kissed me first.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“I kissed him but only because . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

“I had her wand and bra. She wanted it back and so I told her she had to kiss me to get it back. I didn’t think she’d do it, but she did.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“And I know. How did he even have my bra in the first place? Well, I got really cold in the water after about a minute or two and started to swim away, Draco accidently reached for me to come back, and next thing I know, he had my bra in his hand.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Then, we kissed for a minute or two . . . maybe five minutes.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“And we pulled away and it was really awkward. We just walked back to the school in silence and when we reached our dorm . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

“I didn’t give her bra and wand back. I kept it and walked off. As you can tell, I gave her bra back but I still have her wand.” Draco finished and stared at his friend.

 

“She kissed you?”

 

“She kissed me.”

 

“How was it?”

 

“I’m not telling you.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“It was good, okay?”

 

Really? You know, I feel like you two falling in love.”

 

“Don’t be an arse.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“He still has my wand so I’m pretty much screwed.” Hermione finished as she bit her bottom lip.

 

“Wow . . .” Ginny breathed out as she raised an eyebrow. “You two kissed?”

 

“Yes . . .”

 

“Holy freaking mother of pearl!” She yelled excitedly as she smiled brightly. “You two finally kissed!”

 

“What?”

 

“I’ve been dying for you to kiss!”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because, it was bound to happen anyway.” She said and smiled. “How was it?”

 

“It was . . . weird.” She said and slightly grinned. “It was okay.”

 

“You can’t seriously say kissing Draco Malfoy was okay!”

 

“Okay, fine! It was great.”

 

“Ooh, do I smell love in the air?” She teased her friend.

 

Hermione went bright red and slightly pushed her friend. “Just go away, Ginny.” She said with a small laugh.

 

“This is good. We’re finally getting somewhere. You two kissed so you guys are probably going to develop some kind of romantic bond, eh?”

 

“No.” Hermione said after a while. “Well, after the kiss . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Last night . . .

 

Hermione and Draco pulled away after a few minutes later. They were both breathing heavily and staring at each other. Hermione was the first one to finally do something. She quickly pulled her arms back and took a few steps away from him. “Uhm . . .”

 

Draco furrowed his eyebrows as he rubbed the back of his neck. Did he just make out with Granger? He slightly scowled and sighed.

 

“That wasn’t supposed to happen.” She whispered to herself and licked her swollen lips and immediately bit her bottom lip back. “That was . . . uhm . . .”

 

“Hmm, yeah. That was . . .”

 

“Totally uncalled for. I’m sorry for doing that. I guess I was so caught up in the moment. I mean, I must’ve still been excited about the lake and running away from Filch that I did that.” She rambled on. “I don’t usually kiss people when they have my wand or something. It’s probably because I’m cold and wet right now . . .” She stumbled on her words and let her words trail off, feeling like an idiot for blurting out nonsense. She pressed her lips into a thin line and mentally slapped herself.

 

“No, it’s fine.” Draco said after a while and put on a smirk. “That was one hell of a kiss, though. I should start stealing things from you more often if you keep kissing me in return.” He added with a smug grin.

 

Hermione immediately scowled and shook her head. They were back to being their old selves again. It was like the kiss never happened. “Give me back my wand and bra.” She said as she held her hand up in the air.

 

To her surprise, she felt Draco’s hand grab her hand and turn it over, leaving a kiss on her hand. She stared at him and blinked a few times. “Really?”

 

“Really.” He said and pushed her hand away as he started to walk away.

 

“Really?!” She asked as she placed her hand on her hip.

 

“Really.”

 

“Ugh!” She groaned and quickly pulled her jacket over herself, walking over to him. “You are a complete—“

 

“Arse? Bastard? Prick? Jerk?” Draco asked with a smug grin as he looked at her.

 

“Moron!” She yelled at him angrily and walked off.

 

Draco slightly chuckled to himself and sighed. “Damn, it’s cold. I thought she’d never leave.” He muttered under his breath as he grabbed his wand out, quickly putting a heating charm on himself. “Much better . . . much better.” He said in content and walked off slowly. “Granger, watch out for that—nevermind.” He said as he saw her slip and fall.

 

She groaned angrily and glared at him. “You could’ve warned me.”

 

“I tried but you were just a little bit faster.” He said innocently, shrugging his shoulders.

 

She clenched her jaw and exhaled deeply. “I do not want to see your face for another second!” She told him sternly as she walked off, once again.

 

“Too bad we live together.”

 

“Shut up!” Draco smirked and walked towards the castle, trailing behind Hermione.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny stared at her friend when she finished explained everything. “Sounds to me like you two are getting awfully close.” She said with a small grin.

 

“No, he’s a complete arse. I don’t even know why I kissed him! Hell, I don’t even know why I started this whole ridiculous plan. Why didn’t you stop me?”

 

“Oh, I tried to stop you! You’re just stubborn.” Ginny said with a sigh. “And besides, don’t deny it, you liked the kiss.”

 

“No, don’t be silly.” She said and slightly looked away.

 

“You enjoyed the kiss.” Ginny teased her friend even more. “Just admit it. You said the kiss was great, but please. I see right through you. You thought the kiss was fantastic. It was a hot kiss.”

 

“Okay, yeah, the kiss was fantastic, it was hot! Okay?” Hermione yelled at her friend as she avoided eye contact with her.

 

“I knew it.” Hermione’s eyes widened as she stared at her friend. The voice did not come out of Ginny’s mouth.

 

“You knew he was there?” She whispered furiously at Ginny who slightly laughed. “Oh, I will kill you!”

 

“I didn’t expect you to go around telling your friends already about the kiss. Have you told Potty and Weasel-King, yet? I’m sure they’d love to hear about that.” He teased her with a smirk on his lips as he walked over to her, standing behind her.

 

Hermione scowled scornfully and turned around, a bit surprised to see him so close, but remained calm. “You know, Malfoy . . .” She said and put on a sweet grin as she placed her hand on his cheek, lightly slapping it. “The kiss we shared should be forgotten.” She told him and cheerfully grinned at him. “I’ve already forgotten about it. It’s easy so you should do it, too.”

 

“Hmm, really? You already forgot it?” He asked as he furrowed his eyebrows.

 

“Yes.”

 

“That’s not good. Should I help refresh your memory, then?” He asked as he grabbed her wrist and pulled her close to him. “Let’s see . . . I believe you did something like this.” He stated as he grabbed both hands now, placing her hands on both sides of his cheek.

 

“Malfoy, no, let’s not.” She said with wide eyes as she stared at him.

 

“No, no, I insist.” He said and looked around the room, thinking hard and then he looked down at her. He slowly wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close to him. “Ah yes! And then, you did something like this.” He said with a smirk as he started to lean in.

 

Hermione did the only thing she could do in that situation. She threw her head back and smacked their foreheads together. “Ow!” She yelled in pain as Draco groaned in pain.

 

“Really?”

 

“That ought to make you forget.” Hermione replied as she removed his arm from around her waist. “Remember, we’re just friends.”

 

Draco smirked as he rubbed his red forehead. “Friends, huh? Do friends usually kiss each other?”

 

“No.” She said quickly when she spotted Blaise Zabini staring at them with wide eyes.

 

“Then, what do you call us? I mean, we kissed yesterday night—“

 

“We’re just friends!” She yelled as she stared at him.

 

“Are you sure? That kiss was one hell of a kiss, I don’t think friends usually kiss each other like that. Do you not remember?”

 

“I remember so another example won’t be necessary.”

 

“Are you sure?’

 

“Positive.”

 

“Okay.” He said as he shrugged his shoulder. “Oh and by the way, Zabini knows so you don’t have to be so surprised.”

 

“What?! You told him?!”

 

“You told her.” He said as he pointed at Ginny.

 

“Well, okay, fine. But, from here on out, we do not speak of the kiss. Ever!” She said sternly at him and pointed a finger at Ginny and Blaise. “Do not mention it to anyone!”

 

“Promise.” Blaise and Ginny replied in unison.

 

Hermione stared Draco down, waiting for an answer.

 

“I promise.” He said with a sigh as he rolled his eyes.

 

“Okay, good.” She said and sighed as she licked her dry lips. “Now, that we have that cleared up . . . I’m going to leave.” She said as she started to walk off when Draco pulled her back.

 

“Wait a minute . . . you have to be by my side because I’m hurt.”

 

“Oh please! You jumped into that lake and ran away from Filch perfectly fine.”

 

“It was a spur of the moment. Besides, the water was so cold, my body was numb.”

 

“That’s true . . .” She muttered under her breath and sighed. “Injured my arse.” She complained as she stood beside him with a frown.

 

“Well, then, let’s go to the library.” Draco said as he casually put his arm around her shoulder.

 

Hermione grabbed his hand and put it back by his side. “Why the library?”

 

“I was just being considerate, but if you don’t want to go—“

 

“Let’s go!” She said with a grin and pulled him away to the library.

 

“They seem really friendly, now, huh?” Ginny asked as she stared at the couple leaving.

 

“Real close.”

 

“Something definitely happened yesterday night.”

 

“Well, of course! They kissed.” Blaise said and sighed.

 

“Not only the kiss . . . they’re actually starting to like each other. Don’t you see? They’re friendly with each now.”

 

“Next thing you know, they’re going to tell us they’re getting married or she’s pregnant. They sure move fast.”


“I know, friends my arse. They threw that idea out the window.” Ginny agreed as she scoffed. “This is getting easier and easier. I feel like it’s a bit too easy.”

 

“I had that feeling, too. Sure, they’ll fall in love in no time . . . but I feel like something or someone’s going to try and stop that.”

 

“Great minds think alike.” Ginny said and smiled. “So they kissed! What comes next?”

 

“Good friends . . . with benefits.” Blaise said and they both laughed together.

 

Very good friends.” She added and they laughed once more, enjoying making fun of their friends.

 






 

 

Oh my goodness. I’m so incredibly sorry for the oh-so-long-unecessary-wait! My computer broke down and I had absolutely no back up computer/laptop and especially because it was spring break, too. I am so sorry! My computer desktop broke and I recently just got a new one! This is the first thing I’m doing since I plugged it in and all that jazz. Please forgive me for the really long wait. I hope you all enjoy and please leave a review. :)

 

-Annie

 


Chapter 15: Chapter 15
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. . . . . .

 

“Hermione, you do realize you look like a dead rat, right?” Ginny asked as she took a seat next to Hermione on the bed.

 

“What a nice thing to tell a friend.” Hermione said sarcastically without looking up, keeping her eyes glued to her book.

 

Ginny groaned and rolled her eyes with annoyance. “Oh come off it! You still have four weeks to finish that book, it can wait. The conversation we’re about to have can’t wait.” She said as she grabbed the book out of her friends hand and tossing it behind her carelessly.

 

“How’s talking about me looking like a dead rat more important than an assignment!” Hermione yelled.

 

“Hermione, I’m talking about something else.”

 

Hermione groaned and crossed her arms across her chest. “What do you want to talk about?”

 

“Malfoy and you . . . how’s it going?” She asked as she wiggled her eyebrows at him.

 

“Good.”

 

“Are you serious? Good?” Ginny asked with bewilderment.

 

“Okay, great.”

 

“Oh come on! When you two are together, there’s so much sexual tension between you two it’s not even funny!”

 

“We do not have sexual tension between us!” Hermione protested with wide eyes.

 

“That’s what you two make together—sexual tension.” She explained and smirked. “You two shared a hot kiss two nights ago and you’re telling me nothing happened today?”

 

“All we did was talk and make fun of each other the last two days. Nothing exciting happened.”

 

“Damn …” She muttered under her breath and pouted. “I was so sure something would’ve happened. I mean, come on! You two kissed for goodness sakes!”

 

“I know but obviously, the kiss was nothing.”

 

“Is that what you feel?”

 

“What?”

 

“You think the kiss was nothing?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Why?!”

 

“Because it didn’t mean anything. We were both just cold and wet and it was just the spur of the moment.” She lied to her friend and looked away as she cooled down a bit.

 

Ginny caught her slightly turning red and hid a smile. “How’s the bet going? The loser has to kiss the winner, am I correct?”


Hermione shot her friend a glare and groaned. “You just love teasing me, don’t you?”

 

“It’s my favorite thing to do.” She responded with a laugh. “So, how’s the bet going? Who’s winning?”

 

“I’m not telling you.”

 

“Tell me!”

 

“No.”

 

“Do it!”

 

“No, Ginny, you can wait until the bet’s over.” She said with a smirk as she got up. “You just need to wait three more days.” She taunted her friend and sighed. “I’m going to shower.”

 

“I hope you drown.”

 

“I love you, too.” Hermione laughed as she shook her head.

 

“Are you going to meet up with Malfoy after?” Ginny asked her last question of the day.

 

“Possibly.” She told her friend and walked into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.

 

“Zabini better have gotten some information on Malfoy.” Ginny muttered under her breath as she got up, leaving the room.

 

. . . . . .

 

Meanwhile . . .

 

“Come on, mate, spit it out.”

 

“Spit what out?” Malfoy asked with an irritated look as he looked at his friend.

 

“Anything happening between you and Granger?” He asked his friend with a grin, waiting for an answer.

 

“No.” He replied in a monotone voice as he blinked at his friend.

 

“No?”


“Do I have to repeat myself?”

 

“No.”

 

“That’s right.”

 

“How can nothing happen? You two kissed, I mean, shouldn’t you be doing something?”

 

“Well, I am.” Draco explained as he raised both eyebrows. “Why are you so curious about this?”

 

“Well, it’s part of the plan isn’t it? Make her fall in love with you?” Blaise quickly covered up as he cleared his throat, crossed his arms across his chest and intently staring at his friend.

 

Draco furrowed his eyebrows for a second, suspicious of his friend. “Right . . . the plan . . .” He said and sighed. “Well, if you really want to know . . . come here.” He motioned his friend over with secretive eyes.

 

“What is it?” Blaise asked as he walked over to his friend, leaning in.

 

Draco smirked and smacked his friend upside the head. “Quit being a nosy, annoying prick.”

 

“OW!” Blaise yelled as he jumped back, rubbing his head. “What the hell was that for?”

 

“Must I repeat myself again? That was for being a nosy, annoying prick.”

 

“How was I being a nosy, annoying prick?”

 

“You want to know everything about my life. Look, Zabini, I know you’re in love with me but please, let’s not look too obsessed, okay?” He asked his friend sincerely with a smirk as he got up from his bed, walking over to the bathroom.

 

“Look who the prick is now.”

 

“Still you.”

 

“You’re right, you’re the sick bastard.”

 

“Right you are, Zabini.”

 

“So you’re just going to shut me out?”

 

“Precisely.”

 

“But, you’ll tell me who wins the bet, right?” Blaise asked with disbelief.

 

“Maybe, I’ll have to think about it.” Draco replied and frowned. “It depends whether I think you’re a prick or not on that day. I’m going to take a shower, don’t follow me inside.” He teased his friend with a wink as he walked in.

 

“Damn bastard . . .” Blaise muttered under his breath with a frown as he walked out of the room. There, he met Ginny sitting on the couch. “He’s a sick bastard. He won’t tell me anything.” He said to her as he sat down next to her.

 

“Hermione’s keeping her mouth shut for once about something.” Ginny responded and scowled. “Those two are just perfect for each other! They’re both so secretive about their love life. I mean, we’re the ones who pushed them towards each other and what do we get? A slam in the face.” She complained as she pouted.

 

“If you put it that way . . .” Blaise said as he looked off into space. “They’re treating us like dirt. We invented them and they ignore us.”

 

“Exactly.” Ginny said and sighed as she let out an exasperated sigh. “Whatever, they’re going to kiss anyways in three days so I’m done. I’m going to quit worrying about them and have nice dates with my boyfriend.” She said as she got off.

 

“And I will go out and have nice dates with—“ His eyes widened at his mistake and quickly covered it up with a small laugh. “—with myself . . . me, myself, and I.”

 

“So you do have a girlfriend!” Ginny exclaimed excitedly as she pointed a finger at him accusingly.

 

“What? Where did you get that silly idea?” Blaise asked nervously as he got up, walking towards the door.


“Blaise.”

 

“Ginny.”

 

“What’s her name?” She asked with a grin on her face.

 

“Who’s name?”


“Your girlfriend.”


“My what? What’s that? I don’t have one. Impossible. Girlfriend? HA!” He rambled on and on as he quickly walked out of the door.

 

“No, tell me!” She yelled after him as she ran after him.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 

Ginny glared at him and let out a low growl. “Fine, but mark my words, Zabini, I will find her. And when I do . . .” She said with a dangerous smirk—almost as cold as Malfoy’s.

 

Blaise felt a deep shock run through his body. He was truly afraid of the ginger in front of him. “When you do . . .?”

 

“You’ll see.” Ginny said as she flashed him a big grin. “Have fun with her.” She waved and walked off.

 

Blaise furrowed his eyebrows and gulped. “Oh hell . . .” He muttered and sighed. “Have fun my arse! It’s a living hell . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione finished up her three foot long essay for Potions and set it aside. “Are you done?” She asked as she leaned across the table to find a bored Draco writing lazily on the parchment.

 

“Yes.” He replied in a monotone voice as he stared at her. “You’re killing me, here”

 

“Well, if I had my wand, we could actually be sneaking off to Hogsmeade but no, somebody won’t give it back.”

 

“I gave you back your bra, didn’t I?”

 

“I want my wand back more than my bra.”

 

Draco groaned and sunk down in his seat with a frown. “Just use my wand.”

 

“No.”

 

“Well fine, I don’t care. We don’t have to go to Hogsmeade.”

 

“Actually, we do. I need to buy Christmas presents for my friends and . . . you need to buy presents for your friends.”

 

“Well, that’s your problem, not mine.”

 

“What about Zabini? He’s your friend and I’m sure he’ll want a gift from you.”

 

“He has everything he needs! He’s got the looks, the money, the broomsticks, the clothes, everything!”

 

Hermione lowered her gaze on him and kicked him from under the table. “I’m sure he’ll appreciate something from you.”

 

Draco groaned in pain as he bit his lip back. “No, I’m sure he doesn’t.” He said as he kicked her back just as hard. Hermione groaned in response and shot him a glare. He simply smirked at her and sighed. “You started it.”

 

“Oh, way to be mature, Malfoy.”

 

Draco shrugged his shoulder and leaned in towards Hermione, resting both elbows on top of the table. “You need to get me a Christmas present.”

 

“Fine, what do you want? A new personality? Perhaps a new ego?” She snapped at him as she made a face.

 

“No, I want to change something between us.”

 

“What is that?” Hermione asked as she stared at him intently.

 

 “I think we should start dropping the last names.”

 

“You want me to call you by your first name?”

 

“Well, that is my name, isn’t it?”

 

“And you want to call me by my first name?”

 

“Yes, that’s your name, isn’t it?” He mocked her as he rolled his eyes.

 

“But, I’ve never even said your first name before.”

 

“Don’t you remember? You called me Draco when I got hit by that bludger. You were concerned.”

 

Hermione nodded and pursed her lips. “Oh, I remember that.” She said with disappointment. “Okay, fine, let’s start addressing each other by our first names.”

 

“Lovely.”

 

“Why do you want to do it, Mal--Draco?” She asked him with a fake grin.

 

“Well, Gra—Hermione, I just thought since we’re great friends now . . . we could start calling each other properly.”

 

“This is going to take a lot of practice.”

 

“Yes it is.”

 

Hermione sighed and stared at him. “Well, I’ve been thinking . . . we’re always up at the Astronomy tower together every night but it’s risky because anyone can walk in on us talking.” She said and licked her lips. “So, I was thinking, we could move our night talks to the . . .”

 

“I know what you’re thinking.”

 

“What?”

 

“Our dorm.”

 

“Actually, yes.” Hermione said with a grin. “You want to do that?”

 

“Sure. I mean, our friends know about us being friends so it wouldn’t matter much and they’ll be asleep.”

 

“We’ll start tomorrow night.” She told him with a smug grin. “We’ll go directly there after dinner.”

 

“Sounds great.” He replied briskly. “I have something to announce again.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“Do you remember when we kissed?”

 

“How could I not? You remind me every single second we’re together.” She let out an exasperated sigh.

 

“Well, obviously it’s for a reason.”

 

“No, we are not going to kiss again.” She told him strictly as she grabbed her book. “We’re friends.” She told him and got up, putting the book back.

 

“Friends? We can be one of those . . . friends with benefits.” He complained as he got up, too, following Hermione.

 

Hermione rolled her eyes as she shoved her book back into the empty space. She turned around and looked at him. “No.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Why should we?” She asked him as she placed a hand on her hip, waiting for an answer.

 

You fancy me. I’m doing you a favor.”

 

“Ha! Get off your high horse. I do not fancy you.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then what’s the problem? We can kiss and you can tell me if you felt something and if you don’t . . . then we’ll just be friends.” He said as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“If we kiss . . . right now, will you drop it and never mention it again?”

 

“If you don’t feel anything, then yes.” He said with a smirk.

 

Hermione stared at him long and hard. She bit her bottom lip back and debated whether she should agree or not.

 

“Well?”

 

“If I don’t feel anything from the kiss . . .”

 

“I will never mention it again and I’ll give you back your wand.” He added as he stared at her.

 

“No.” She finally said after a while and started to walk away when he suddenly grabbed her wrist, pulling her back. “No, Draco.” She told him and pulled herself away from him. “We should really get going; Madam Pince was generous enough to let us stay this late here.” She explained and grabbed her book bag.

 

“Just one kiss.” Draco pushed a bit more as he grabbed his own book bag, walking beside her.

 

“You must fancy me a lot since you want to kiss me so much.” She said with disbelief. “You are so persistent.” She told him with a sigh as she continued to walk back to their dorm.

 

“I am persistent and maybe it’s because I actually do fancy you.” He told her as he looked down at her while walking.

 

“What?” She asked with shocked eyes.

 

“Maybe I fancy you.”

 

“Maybe?” She repeated again slowly, still a bit shocked. Now, they were in front of the portrait. She quickly muttered the password and in they walked.

 

“Maybe.” He replied back as they stood in front of the fireplace together.

 

Hermione was right about to decline the offer again when he suddenly snaked an arm around her waist, pulling her towards him. “Draco, no.”

 

“Hermione.” He said smoothly with a smirk and Hermione had to admit, it made her swoon a bit.

 

“No.”

 

“Yes.” He said as he slowly leaned in.

 

“No.” She repeated and pushed him off. She sighed and shook her head.

 

“Don’t I deserve a goodnight kiss?” Draco asked as he groaned. “I’m getting very tired. I need some sleep but I don’t think I can sleep until I get a goodnight kiss.” He whined.

 

“I don’t think so.” She responded with a smirk.

 

“I think I do.” Draco said as he took a step forward. He held onto her wrists and smirked as he leaned in.

 

“I said n—“

 

She wasn’t able to finish her sentence when she suddenly heard a voice.

 

“What the hell are you two doing?” Ron asked angrily through his teeth. Hermione and Draco had been too busy with each other that they didn’t even realize the portrait door opened.

 

Hermione immediately pushed Draco away from her and cleared her throat. She saw Draco frown and heard him mutter a few things. She frowned when she saw Ron glaring at Draco. “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t come back here anymore.”

 

“I was going to apologize about what I said to you but I found you two instead.” He replied bitterly as he finally stared at Hermione with disgust. “Are you dating him now?”

 

Hermione lightly scoffed as she heard his words. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I had to get your permission to hang out with people.”

 

“That’s not it. It’s Draco Malfoy, Hermione. He’s our enemy.”  Ron tried to reason. “I thought you were just taking care of him, but I guess—“

 

 “Draco and I are friends now, if you haven’t noticed but wait—you wouldn’t have because you were probably too busy eating Lavender’s face.” She stated and sighed as she placed a hand on her hip and the other on her forehead. “Could we please just talk about this tomo--”

 

“No.” Ron cut her off and glared at Draco. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? I’m her best friend! Stay away from her!” He said as he charged towards him, throwing a punch at Draco square in the jaw—hard.

 

Hermione’s eyes widened as she covered her mouth with her hand. She shot a glare at Ron. “What is wrong with you!?” She shrieked at him as she walked over to Draco. “Are you alright?” She asked with concern as she helped him back up.

 

“Well, that sure woke me up.” Draco said as he wiped the blood off his mouth.

 

She stood in front of him and placed both hands on his cheek, examining his jaw. “That’s got to hurt.”

 

Ron was now furious when he saw Hermione getting worried over him. He walked over to them angrily and pushed Hermione away, punching Draco again and again, repeatedly.

 

She fell onto the floor with a hard thud. She felt pain strike her arm and groaned. She looked up and got up slowly, holding onto her arm. She glared at Ron who was beating Draco up badly. Draco finally gained control and threw a few punches at Ron. She couldn’t say she didn’t feel satisfied that he finally threw some punches back. She grabbed Draco’s wand that rolled on the floor and pointed it at the two guys, shooting a non-verbal spell at them. Right when she shot it, Ron flew back and Draco flew back but fortunately for him, he was behind the couch.

 

“Ronald Bilius Weasley! You have no right to barge in here and start beating Draco up. I want you out of here in 3 seconds or I swear I will make you regret coming in here.” She threatened in a low voice as she glared at him. “I don’t need a friend like you anymore so don’t even try to come back and ask for forgiveness because you aren’t getting one—no, you don’t deserve one.”

 

Ron glared at her and got up. “Are you seriously taking his side!?” He asked angrily and watched as she crossed her arms across her chest. “You know! You’ve really changed ever since you started hanging out with him!”

 

“Does it really matter to you who I’m hanging out with or kissing?” She snapped at him angrily.

 

“Yes!”

 

“Well, I don’t think it’s fair. You don’t see me going around yelling at you for snogging Lavender.”


“Lavender is my girlfriend!”

 

“Well, Draco is—“ She suddenly stopped herself, not knowing how to explain their relationship.

 

“What is he?”


“Draco is a friend.” She admitted with a sigh as she swallowed hard.

 

“Do friends kiss each other?” Ron asked with a scoff.

 

“We did.” She snapped at him and saw his face immediately change into a bit of shock.

 

“Hermione—“ Ron started but got cut off.

 

“Why?” She asked as she looked down, feeling angry tears form in her eyes. “Why do you care? You left me a long time ago so why are you pretending to care now?” She asked him angrily.

 

“I care about what you’re doing.”

 

“Do you really have the right to say that you were my friend this school year? Did you even think a second about me this whole school year except asking me if you could copy my homework?” She asked him and shook her head. “No, you didn’t. See, Harry and Ginny may be dating but they still find time for me. But you . . . you’re too engrossed with Lavender. I haven’t had a decent conversation with you ever since you two started dating.”

 

“Are you blaming this on Lavender and me?” He asked as he slightly raised his voice. “It’s not my fault you were still holding a grudge on my about choosing Lavender over you!”

 

“Is that what you think?” She asked with a scoff.

 

“That’s exactly what I think. You’re trying to blame our ruined friendship on me because I couldn’t find time for you. Well, you know, I’m busy. I have a girlfriend and—“

 

Draco took this as a cue to step into the argument when Hermione suddenly spoke out.

 

“You’re right! I’m so sorry for bothering you! I didn’t know I was such a burden. And here, I was thinking we were best friends. I thought nothing could get in between us but you’re right. It’s all my fault. I should’ve known your girlfriend who you’ve only been dating for a few months was more important that your best friend who you’ve been friends with since you were eleven!” Hermione yelled at him. “My apologizes. Do you want me to apologize to Lavender, too?”

 

Ron clenched his jaw tightly together as he glared at her. “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” He stated repulsively.

 

“I’m not the one who changed . . . you are. You already forgot who your friends are. But, I’m glad you still have Lavender and Harry to be there for you.” She said and swallowed hard. “Could you just leave me alone now? Haven’t you pestered me enough for today?”

 

“If I walk away from you right now, our friendship is over.” He threatened as he stared at Hermione intently.

 

“You can leave.” She said as she pointed straight to the door.

 

Ron breathed heavily as he glared at her. “You’re going to regret doing this. That bastard over there will hurt you and you’ll be alone. Don’t come to me or Harry when that happens. It’s your own damn fault.” He said harshly and started to walk towards the door. “You want to know why I chose Lavender over you.” He asked as he turned around slowly.

 

Hermione stayed silent as he lips trembled.

 

“It’s because you’re too uptight … you’re hardly even a girl.” He told her with a slightly scoff and he stormed out the door.

 

Hermione slightly flinched as she heard Ron’s voice process through her brain. She clenched her jaw as she held back some tears. She inhaled deeply and turned around to see Draco on the couch.

 

“Are you okay?” They both asked in a chorus.

 

He nodded as he stood up. “Eh, a few healing spells and I’ll be fixed up good as new.” He said and raised an eyebrow at her. “Are you alright?”

 

“I think I’ll live. My arm feels fine now.” She said casually.

 

“No, not your arm . . .” Draco said as he stared her down.

 

“I’m fine, really. He wasn’t a very good friend anyway.” She lied as she shook her head. “Don’t worry about me.”

 

“It’s kind of hard to.”

 

“Shut up and drop it.” She told him and reached up, holding his face gently as she examined his face. “A few quick spells will do the trick.” She said with a small grin as she dropped her arms to her side.

 

“I’m fine, but do you need some cheering up? Even though he wasn’t a good friend, it still must be upsetting to have him leave like that.”

 

“Yes.” She admitted as she looked at him.


“We didn’t kiss back there so we can—“

 

“No.”

 

“It’s okay, fine.” He said coolly as he nodded. “Once the bet’s over, we can try again.” Draco commented with a smirk. “Which is on Saturday, by the way, which is in three days.”

 

Hermione cracked a grin and shook her head lightly. “You just never stop, do you?”

 

“I always get what I want.” He told her with a confident smirk.

 

“And what exactly is it that you want?” She asked him as she stared right into his cool, grey orbs.

 

He stared right into her shiny, caramel orbs and slightly smirked before saying, “You.”

 

And right at that moment, her heart stopped beating.










Cliffhanger! I just had to do it! I haven’t really ended a chapter on a cliffhanger, so I decided to do it here. Mostly, because I don’t want the chapter to be too long. But, omg! You got your Dramione action (not really) in this chapter and yes! I know some of you are sort of rooting for Blaise and Ginny to get together but, who knows? Maybe. I’m still thinking about them. But, probably not. But, don’t trust me on this one. I might just change them. Who knows? I don’t even know. Yet. I hope you guys liked this chapter! Please leave a review below. :)

 

-Annie


Chapter 16: Chapter 16
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. . . . . .

 

Did she hear him correctly? Did Draco Malfoy just say he wanted her? Her?  “I’m sorry, what?” She asked as she stared at him with wide eyes.

 

Draco flashed her a smirk and shook his head. “I don’t repeat things twice.” He told her and raised an eyebrow.

 

“I’m not sure I heard correctly.” She told him, looking dazed.

 

“No, you did.”

 

“Draco, are you just joking?”

 

“I don’t know, am I?” He teased her with a smirk.

 

Hermione pressed her lips into a thin line and smacked him in the arm. “Don’t joke around.”

 

“Why? Did it make your heart flutter? Did it make you realize you love me?”

 

“Don’t push it.” She snarled and gripped onto his wand as she pushed him down on the couch. “Just shut up while I heal your wounds.” She ordered sternly and sighed deeply as she started to cast non-verbal spells. Soon, all the cuts and bruises disappeared from his face. He looked good as new. “That’s it.”

 

“Wow, you know, you should become a healer. You’ll make a pretty damn good one.” He praised her as he touched his face. “I feel good as new.”

 

“I know.” She said pompously with a smug grin. “Goodnight.” She told him and got up from the couch.

 

“Whoa, wait. My wand.” He said as he stood up, looking down at her.

 

“No, it’s mine.” She said and slipped the wand into her back pocket.

 

“What?”

 

“As long as my wand is in your possession, your wand is in mine.” She told him with a smirk and laughed. “Goodnight, Draco.” She said sweetly and walked off with a hum.

 

“GRANGER!” He yelled angrily as he looked at her.

 

“Malfoy!” She mocked him with a giggle and shook her head. “I’ll give it back when you decide to give me back my wand.” She told him and disappeared into her bedroom.

 

“Damn woman.” He groaned and sighed as he walked over to his bedroom.

 

. . . . . .

 

The next morning, Draco decided to sit with Hermione for breakfast. Blaise quickly ate and left because he had something ‘important’ to do. The couple was happily in the Great Hall finishing up breakfast and bickering about whose grades was better while Harry and Ginny sat a few seats away from them.

 

“What happened to my darling’s face!?” The familiar shriek echoed throughout the almost empty Great Hall. Hermione and Draco stared at each other and sighed almost immediately. The curly, blonde haired girl stood behind them, making the couple turn around in their seats. She stared at the couple with wide eyes, her arms crossed across her chest. “Well!?”

 

“Gee, I’m sorry I damaged your precious darling’s face.” Draco stated with sarcasm dripping from his voice as he rolled his eyes with annoyance. “But I must say he’s never looked better.” He said with his infamous smirk.

 

“How dare you lay your filthy hand on his precious face!?” Lavender shouted angrily.

 

“Do you really want the truth?” Draco asked as he stood up from his seat. “Do you really want to know why I punched Weasley?”

 

“Draco, stop . . .” Hermione said softly as she pulled on the end of his shirt, warning him. She looked over to at Ginny with wide eyes that read, ‘This is bad.’

 

“No, I think she deserves an explanation.” Draco said with a smirk as he stared back at Lavender. “Your precious boyfriend walked in on us almost kissing and apparently got jealous. I guess seeing Hermione kissing someone else was just too much for him to handle. He threw the first twenty punches at me and I threw some back.” He said and leaned in closer to her. “I guess he likes Hermione more than he likes you.” He whispered into her ear and slightly pulled away. “I don’t blame him.” He whispered at her and leaned back with a devious smile.

 

“Ugh, you jerk!” Lavender shouted angrily as she slapped Draco hard on the cheek, leaving a red hand print of his pale cheek. She glared at him and then looked at Hermione who looked shocked. “And you! Stay away from Ron!”

 

“Oh, I was planning on it. Don’t worry.” Hermione said as she stood up slowly, it was her time to glare. “How dare you lay your filthy hand on his precious face?” She mocked Lavender and smirked. “Look, stop being such a brat and leave. Go help your little darling out because you’re all he has left now.”

 

Lavender’s chest rose up and down rapidly. “Ugh!” She shoved Hermione roughly and stomped off angrily out the Great Hall.

 

“Whoa!” Hermione yelled as she lost balance but fortunately, Draco was there to save the day. He quickly snaked his arms around her small waist and pulled her back up.

 

“You should really be careful.” He said with a small smirk as he stared at her.

 

“Thanks.” She said with a small blush as she stood in his arms awkwardly.

 

“Awh, I didn’t know I made you blush so much.” Draco teased with a smirk as he let her go.

 

“Shut up.” Hermione said with a small grin and shook her head as she stared at him. She couldn’t help but laugh as she saw the red hand print on his cheek. “You seem to be getting hurt a lot lately. Last night with Ron and right now . . .” She said apologetically and placed her hand over his cheek. “Ouch, it seems like it hurts.” She said and slightly chuckled. “I’m afraid there are no spells for a slap on the cheek.”

 

“You do you realize I’m getting hurt because of you, right?” Draco asked as he raised an eyebrow.

 

“Ah, well that’s what friends are for.” She exclaimed as she dropped her hand to her side. She attempted to put her arm around his shoulder but found herself struggling to do it comfortably, even though she was on her tippy toes. “Could you shrink a bit? You’re too tall.” She said with a frown.

 

Draco smirked and shook his head. “I didn’t know you wanted to touch me so much.”

 

She glared at him and slapped him upside the head; she was relieved that she could still reach his head. “Get off your damn high horse!” She yelled.

 

“That’s another hit.” He mumbled as he rubbed the back of his head.

 

“You deserved that one. Let’s just go to the library.” She suggested as she headed out the door.

 

“Again? That’s our five hundredth time there this week.” He complained but he still followed her.

 

“You don’t have to come.”

 

“But I have nothing better to do and I can’t let a great opportunity to tease you pass by!”

 

“Then quit complaining.” She said and walked into the library with Draco who reluctantly followed behind. They quickly took their normal seat all the way in the back corner that no one, hardly knew about. It became “their spot” ever since winter break started since they practically lived there half the time.

 

“So what are you planning on studying this fine morning?” He asked as he stared at Hermione digging through her book bag for something.

 

“Not studying, writing.” She corrected him as she placed a quill and parchment in front of her.

 

“Writing what exactly?” He asked curiously, leaning towards her.

 

“I’m writing a letter to my old friends back home. Christmas is coming up so I have to write them and inform them about . . . current events and I have to send them their present.” She stated as she immediately started writing on the parchment.

 

“Oh.” He said and nodded as he leaned back in his chair, simply just staring.

 

“Are you going to just sit there and watch?” She asked as she glared at him.

 

“I have no one to write to.” He replied with a shrug and furrowed his eyebrows. “Why aren’t you writing to your parents?”

 

“My parents?” She asked and slightly let out a small chuckle. “I … I already sent them their letter and present a while back. I got my parents tickets to their favorite author and the event was early.” She explained.

 

“Oh, I bet they liked that.” He said with as his grey eyes filled up with sorrow.

 

“Of course they did. I’m sure your parents—“ She immediately stopped as she realized her mistakes.

 

“No need to stop yourself. It’s okay, you can say it.” He said with a fake, sad smirk.

 

“No, Draco, I’m sorry. That was my fault. I was careless.” She apologized quickly.

 

“You can just say it. My parents are dead.” He said slightly uncomfortably and cleared his throat as he shifted awkwardly in his seat. “They’re dead anyway, it doesn’t matter anymore.” He said quietly and slightly frowned. “What do you want for Christmas?” He asked her, quickly changing the subject.

 

Hermione decided to change the subject and slightly grinned. She couldn’t help but notice the sadness in his eyes, it was broken. He was broken. “I don’t really want anything.” She said after she cleared her throat.

 

“Oh, come on. There’s got to be something you want for Christmas.”

 

“You’re right. I’ll tell you my Christmas list this year. I want a breakfast in bed, watch the stars and constellations up at the Astronomy tower at midnight with a friend all night long, have a heated snow ball fight, set up the Christmas tree, and just talk all night until we fall asleep.” She said with a fake-cheery voice and clapped her hands together with a phony grin. She rolled her eyes and sighed. “No, I don’t need any of those things. I’ve got everything I need already. I have Ginny, Harry, and now I have a new great friend like you.” She said as she flashed him a warm smile that melted Draco’s heart instantly.

 

“Well, I want something for Christmas.” Draco said with a smug grin.

 

She chuckled and stared at him. “I should’ve known.” She said and smiled. “What do you want?”

 

Draco smirked and stared at her intently. “You.”

 

 “That joke is getting old.” She replied after a while. Although it was her second time hearing such nonsense, Draco still managed to melt her heart with that one word. That was all she needed to hear from someone to make her heart jump and melt.

 

“You caught me.” He said as he raised his hands up in the air in surrender. “I just thought if I said it one more time . . . you’d be all over me.”

 

“Nope, sorry.”

 

“Damn, I shouldn’t say that to the smartest witch of our generation. Only the stupid, naive girls would believe that.” He mumbled under his breath.

 

Hermione slightly laughed and shook her head. “Try it on some other girl.” She told him and sighed. “But seriously, do you want something for Christmas?”

 

“No . . . not that I know of. I’ll tell you if I think of something.” He told her with a smirk.

 

“Sounds like a plan.” She told him and slightly grinned. “You know what, I want something for Christmas.”

 

“What else do you want?’

 

“A want a smile from you.” She said with a hopeful grin.

 

“No.” He immediately said.

 

“A small smile.” She pleaded but got ignored. “That’d be the best Christmas present ever!”

 

“Maybe.” He replied back.

 

“Maybe?”


“Maybe.” He repeated and smirked. “But, for now, I have something else in mind.”

 

“What is that?”


“Well, for starters, your Christmas present will begin tomorrow.”

 

“What do you mean?” She asked as she furrowed her eyebrows.

 

“You’ll see.” He said and got up, stretching. “Are you done writing? I’m bloody bored.”

 

“I’m almost done.” She told him as she rolled her eyes.

 

“Good.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“I don’t know what to do anymore! Last night, Draco tried to kiss me and then Ron came in, then they fought and that’s why you saw Lavender being a drama queen this morning. But, he said something last night that . . . got my attention.” She told her friend.

 

“What did he say?” Ginny asked with a small grin.

 

“He really wants to kiss me but I’m guessing it’s because he’s just teasing me. But, he said he wanted me. He said it last night and said it this morning.”

 

“He said what!?” Ginny shouted with wide eyes.

 

Hermione shut her mouth and sighed. “He said he wanted me for Christmas and then he said he was just teasing me—“

 

“You are so clueless. He probably said he was only teasing you because you didn’t react to it the way he wanted you to.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“He probably did mean it when he said he wanted you but you didn’t react the way he wanted you to.” She said and sighed. “You may be book smart but you have no common sense in the relationship department.”

 

“Touché.” Hermione said and furrowed her eyebrows. “But . . . why would he say it two times to me?”

 

“I’m not a mind reader!” Ginny said and slightly grinned. “Did he say anything to you after that?”

 

“No, we just mostly talked and walked around the school and just now, we came back.” Hermione said and sighed with bent eyebrows. “He’s just so mysterious and . . . surprising.”

 

“You seemed to be frazzled. You like him, don’t you?”

 

“What!?” Hermione shouted, completely caught off guard. “N-no.”

 

“You like him! If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be so worked up about this and you wouldn’t react like that!” Ginny shouted with a smug grin as she laughed. “You two are so annoying. Just go out with each other already! You two obviously feel attracted to each other!”

 

“That’s not part of the plan—“

 

“There is no plan, ‘Mione. That plan of yours went out the window the minute you talked to him for the first time.”

 

“Did not.”

 

“I am not playing that game with you.” She said and smiled. “Admit it.”

 

“I . . .” Hermione sighed and plopped down on her bed with another sigh. “I really don’t know.” She said and covered her face with her hands. “Everything going on with Ron recently and then there’s Lavender and . . . I just don’t know anymore. I feel like I like him but then other times, there’s a part of me that tells me it’s wrong and that I shouldn’t like him.”

 

“You can’t control your feelings.” Ginny said softly and reassuringly. “Malfoy is head over heels for you. People look at you two and they automatically think you two are together. There’s a certain look his eyes and yours, too, that just screams, ‘I’M ATTRACTED TO YOU’.”

 

“Yeah, but what will he do when he finds out the only reason I started talking to him was because I wanted to make Ron jealous?” She asked and scoffed. “Oh, yeah, he’d definitely still like me.” She said and sighed as she stood up slowly. “I’m going to read a book or something . . . and just think this through. I’ll see you at dinner.”

 

Ginny sighed and got up with a frown. She pressed her lips into a thin line and walked out of the door.

 

. . . . . .

 

“You want to do what?!” Blaise asked as he choked on his water.

 

“I’m going to give Hermione the best Christmas present she’s ever received.” He said nonchalantly.

 

“What are you planning to do?” He asked with a grin.

 

“Mini-events.” Draco replied with a grin.

 

“Draco, you totally sound like a love sick puppy.” He said with a laugh.

 

“Shut up.”

 

“I’m sorry but you do.” Blaise said with another laugh.

 

“Ha-ha, laugh all you want.” Draco responded and rolled his eyes.

 

“I’m sure she’ll fall in love you when you do that for her.”

 

“Sure.”

 

“I don’t think you know this but everyone knows you two like each other except you two. You two are completely oblivious!”

 

“Impossible.” Draco said with a scoff. “I don’t like her.” He stated confidently but slightly frowned. “Everyone knows?” He asked with hopeful grin but immediately threw it off his lips. “Don’t raise my hopes up.” He muttered with a frown and shook his head. “I need everything to be absolutely perfect so I can’t have you messing it up, mate. I’m going to take nap so I’ll see you later.”

 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got you.” He said as he stood up. “I’ll see you at dinner, love bird.” He teased and winked at his friend as he walked out booming with laughter.

 

Draco sighed as he got up from the bed. What would Hermione think once she finds out about his secret? He sighed once more before disappearing through the bathroom door.

 

. . . . . .

 

Blaise and Ginny sat down on the couch both with serious faces. “It’s been a week and a half and they’re slowly starting to like each other.” Ginny stated with a sigh.

 

“That’s a start. I guess they’re taking things slowly.” Blaise commented with a frown.

 

“Well, I mean, they’re going to kiss tomorrow and maybe that’ll spark something.”

 

“Maybe.” Blaise repeated.

 

“Maybe.” Ginny sighed and pressed her lips into a thin line. “What do we do?”

 

“Well, I guess we’ll just have to sit back and enjoy the show.” He said with a small smirk. “They’re doing whatever they’re doing perfectly fine. We might ruin it if we bump in.” He reasoned.


“But, you do realize that when they’re in love with each other, we’ll have to break it to them gently that they have to think of the plan, right? I mean, that’s what a good friend would do. We need to do that.”

 

“I guess you’re right. If we keep encouraging them, we’ll be a bit suspicious. I mean, if we’re their best friend, we need to be protective of them.”

 

“Right.”

 

“Right.” Blaise said and sighed. “Well, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go . . . meet someone.”

 

“Your girlfriend?” Ginny asked as she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

 

“No.” Blaise snapped quickly as he got up.

 

“Sure, lover boy.” Ginny said with a smirk as she slightly laughed.

 

“You don’t understand.” Blaise muttered under his breath as he walked away.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione and Draco walked into the Great Hall and felt glares coming from a particular couple. They both exchanged glances with each other and sighed. “Why don’t we sit with each other again?” Hermione asked with a small grin. “We did it this morning and people don’t really seem to care.”

 

“I knew you’ve been dying to ask me that.” Draco responded with a smirk and received a slap on the arm from a laughing Hermione.

 

“You’re so funny.” She told him and shook her head. “And completely hopeless.” She ended and walked over to the Gryffindor table when she suddenly felt a tug on the arm.

 

“Who said I was going to sit with you Gryffindors?” He asked, staring at her quizzically.

 

“You sat here two times, what’s the problem?” She asked with a frown.

 

“Why can’t you sit over there?” He asked, pointing to the Slytherin table.

 

“I’m not sitting over there.” She immediately said as she shook her head.

 

“Really?” He asked as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“Really.” She told him as she stared him down.

 

“Ah, just shut up both of you and sit your arses down.” Ginny walked past them with a yawn. She took a seat at the edge of the table, immediately piling her plate with food. Soon, Blaise walked by the arguing couple and sat down in front of Ginny, making small talk and eating.

 

Hermione smirked as she stared at Draco. “You don’t have to sit here.” She told him and walked over, sitting next to Ginny.

 

Draco made a face and groaned as she took a seat next to Blaise. “Really? You don’t have any house pride.” He told Blaise.

 

“I’m hungry.” Blaise defended himself as he took a bite out of his warm bread. “Besides, there’s no one over there except a few of Pansy’s followers and they aren’t quite friendly.” He added and nodded in content. “And I feel like the food over here is much better.”

 

“It is.” Ginny told him with a duh-what-else look. “Obviously, Gryffindor people are just really nice and warm.”

 

The boys scoffed and rolled their eyes simultaneously as if they were programmed to. “Right . . .” They said in unison.

 

The four of them bickered and laughed as if they were best friends catching up on things. By the time, dessert came out; most of the students stopped eating and watched the four friends as if they were an interesting art exhibit.

 

Hermione shook her head and grabbed a strawberry. “Hmm, I don’t really like strawberries.”

 

“Really? I don’t really like jell-o.” Ginny responded as she crinkled her nose.

 

“How could you hate strawberries?!” Draco asked, completely shocked.

 

“How could you hate jell-o?!” Blaise yelled with bewilderment.

 

 “I don’t like it.” Hermione replied back as she shrugged her shoulders.

 

“I chocked on it once so I don’t like it.” Ginny told Blaise and brushed it off.

 

“You should eat lots and lots of fruits. Hermione, you need it.” Draco commented with a smirk. “Last time when I saw you shirtless, you did need some work.” He teased her.

 

Hermione glared at him and shoved the strawberry into his mouth. “Oh really? Last time I remember, you were checking me out.” She snarled and stuck her tongue at him. “You like strawberries, don’t you?”

 

Draco chewed slowly as he stared at her intently. “I don’t remember such a thing.”

 

“You don’t remember it?” She asked with a scoff.

 

“I do not remember, but maybe I’ll remember if you took off your shirt.” He said sarcastically as he shoved a spoonful pudding into her mouth. “Well, if you don’t like strawberries, you must like pudding.”

 

Hermione glared at him and grabbed a handful of strawberries, shoving it all into his mouth. She flashed him a toothless grin as she swallowed her pudding slowly.

 

Draco smiled back at her with a glare and fed her pudding non-stop. Blaise and Ginny stared at their friends and laughed. They both looked like little chipmunks, their cheeks huge full of food.

 

Hermione and Draco glared at their friends and then glared back at each other. They took in everything and soon enough, small chunks of strawberries flew out of Draco’s mouth while Hermione spit out some pudding. They all started cracking up at their big mess.

 

Ron and Lavender both glared at Hermione and Draco. Harry simply stifled a laugh and immediately replaced it with a cough once her received glares from the crazy girlfriend and his friend. “Not funny at all. They’re so loud.” He immediately said as he shook his head in disapproval, looking down and eating silently.

 

Lots of the students watching shook their heads and went back to eating. The professors all stifled a laugh and quietly talked amongst themselves—especially about ‘beautiful house unity’.

 

Hermione licked her lips and wrinkled her nose. “We’re making such a mess here.” She commented with a small grin as she wiped her mouth carelessly with the napkin.

 

Ginny and Blaise stared at each other with eyes that read they-should-date-already-because-it’ll-make-our-lives-so-much-easier.

 

Draco slightly smirked and wiped his own mouth with the napkin. “You’re eighteen and you still don’t know how to wipe your mouth properly.” He said as he stared at Hermione.

 

“What are you talking about?” She asked as she reached over to wipe her mouth when Draco suddenly stopped her hand with his. He flashed her a small grin and reached over, wiping the small smudge of pudding off her mouth.

 

Hermione’s eyes widened as she felt his hand on her lips. She blinked as she stared at him. “You just smiled.”

 

“What?” Draco asked as he wiped his thumb with the napkin. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 

“You smiled at me.” She said with a wide grin. “You actually smiled at me!”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Granger.” He said as he rolled his eyes. “She thinks I smiled.” He told Ginny and Blaise with a scoff.

 

“He smiled! Didn’t you two see it?!” She asked Ginny and Blaise excitedly.


“No idea.” They said in unison as they hid a smirk.

 

“You definitely smiled at me.” She said as she stared at Draco.

 

“Impossible.”

 

“You smiled like this!” She said and leaned over, taking both her index finger and placing them on the corner of his lips, tugging them upwards. “You smiled at me like this, I’m serious!”

 

Draco stared at her, blinking several times before her reached up, grabbing her wrists. “No.” He continued to deny as he pushed her hands back.

 

Hermione glared at him and frowned. “Why is it so hard for you to accept the fact that you smiled at me?” She asked with a pout now, crossing her arms across her chest.

 

“Why do you want a smile from me so bad?” He asked, copying her exact moves in mockery.

 

She glared at him and groaned. “Fine, you don’t have to give me a small, genuine smile.” She gave up with a sigh. “How’s your part of the bet going?” She asked after a while.

 

“Oh, well, considering the fact that I’m glued right next to you, it’s going bad. I haven’t talked to a single girl other than you or Weaslette.”

 

“That’s right . . .” Hermione said and slightly grinned. “Here, I’ll give you some free time. I have a lot to do anyways so let’s see . . . that girl over there seems nice and she’s probably interested in you.”

 

“Are you sure you aren’t going to get jealous?”

 

“Jealous?” She asked, completely caught off guard. “Me? Jealous? No.” She said as she let out a laugh. “That’s ridiculous.” She said and slightly cleared her throat. She never really thought about it but now that Draco mentioned it . . . she was feeling slightly jealous. “I don’t care if you go and shag a girl.” She told him as she waved him off casually.

 

“Really?”

 

“Really.” She told him and got up. “Here, start getting your Malfoy charm ready for her.” She said and waved at the girl, gesturing the only girl from the Ravenclaw table. “Hey, you! Yeah, you. Draco Malfoy wants to talk to you.” She told the girl with a wide grin.

 

“What?” Draco asked as he stared at Hermione.

 

Ginny and Blaise pretended to make small talk as they ate. “Yeah, the Quidditch game was nice . . . real nice.”

 

“She’s coming over here. Great, try to charm her. But, remember, don’t use that joke on her like you did to me, Ravenclaws are smart.” She told him with a smirk and grabbed her book bag, walking out of the Great Hall.

 

Ginny and Blaise both laughed once Hermione left a very mad Malfoy. They both felt a glare coming their way and faced Malfoy. “It was something I said.” Ginny said as she went back into the conversation with Blaise casually.

 

Draco groaned and shook his head. He slightly put on a smirk as he saw the shy girl. “Hello.” He greeted her.

 

“Are you and Hermione Granger dating?” The girl with the bright green eyes asked with a grin.

 

“Uh, not yet.” He answered as he nodded his head.

 

“Oh, well that’s a shame. I was hoping I could have a chance with you.” The girl said shyly as she looked down at her feet.

 

“Ravenclaws are not smart.” He muttered under his breath and immediately smirked. “Maybe you do.” And so, he put on his Malfoy charms and started to flirt.

 

Ginny and Blaise both stared and shook their heads. “Wow, he’s quite the charmer.” Ginny commented and sighed. “I wonder what Hermione’s doing.”

 

“Probably studying.” Blaise said and shrugged his shoulders. “Well, look, I’m heading back to the dorm.” He said as he got up. “And I think we should all have a nice meeting tomorrow in the living room. We need to discuss some things about the house rules and all the good stuff.”

 

“I’ll tell Hermione about it.”

 

“Great.” He said and winked playfully at Ginny before he left.

 

Ginny slightly laughed and sighed as she got up. She stared at Draco who looked at her for help. “You’re doing great.” She whispered at him and walked over to Harry. “Hey, let’s get out of here.” She whispered into his ear with a playful smirk stitched on her lips.

 

“Let’s do it then.” Harry replied back with a goofy grin as he interlaced their fingers together, walking out.

 






 

 

This was a pretty boring chapter. I apologize. -_- I really appreciate all the wonderful & supportive feedback I’m getting from you all. I love all of you <3 You are all too sweet! >_<  Thank you so much for everything so far! Please leave a review :)

&&please, check out my meet the author topic and ask me any questions you’d like about anything! I’d love to talk with all of you and answer any questions for you all. Please and thank you. :D

-Annie


Chapter 17: Chapter 17
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. . . . . .


 

Hermione snickered as she walked into her bedroom. “He thinks I’ll get jealous if he gets a girlfriend?” She asked herself with a scoff. “Definitely not! Why would I be jealous? There’s no reason to be jealous. Because I don’t like him!” She told herself as she fell backwards onto her bed. “I would only be jealous if I liked him . . . and I don’t like him. So, I can’t possibly get jealous if I see him flirting with another girl. I have no right to. We’re not dating, we’re just friends.” She rambled on and on to herself, slowly trying to convince herself. “We’re just friends . . .” She repeated to herself and felt disappointment overwhelm her. “Just friends . . .” She said quietly and looked up at the ceiling. “That’s what we are and nothing more than that.” She clarified and groaned as she closed her eyes. “No need to be jealous, then.”

 

But, once her eyes shut, an image of Draco with another girl, flirting and kissing popped up out of nowhere. She immediately opened her eyes and shot up from her bed. “I don’t care if he goes out on a date with another girl. He can snog and shag her for all I care!” She yelled as she crossed her arms across her chest. She frowned deeply and licked her dry lips. “What’s wrong with me?” She asked herself with wide eyes. “Am I . . . am I jealous?”

 

She shook her head in refusal immediately. “No. I’m not jealous. I’m simply . . . just worrying about him. Yeah . . . just worrying about him. Who knows? Maybe the girl might hurt him and he might get really devastated.” She knew that that was the lamest—no, dumbest excuse ever made but her pride got the best of her. She wasn’t jealous, she was simply overly worried about him, or so she thought. She nodded in approval now, agreeing with herself. “You are not jealous.” She said proudly with a smile. But then that pesky voice thought differently.

 

“Stop lying to yourself. You’re jealous just thinking about Malfoy being with someone else.”

 

Hermione furrowed her eyebrows as she bit her bottom lip.

 

“I am not jealous.” She retorted back to herself, trying to stay on the positive side.

 

“You so are, we both know it.”

 

“No.”


“Yes.”


 

“I refuse to believe in such . . . in such trivial words!”

 

“Stop denying it. You--no, I know it’s true”

 

“There’s nothing to deny.”


“Damn, I am too stubborn; I can’t even convince myself on something.”


 

“I’m not jealous of Draco Malfoy being with someone else other than me.”

 

“Sure.”

 

She snapped out of her thoughts and jumped off her bed, pacing back and forth in her room. She continued to bite her bottom lip and placed one hand on her hip while the other ran through her hair and rested on her forehead. “I’m now having fights with myself? Why am I so worked up about this?” She asked herself suddenly. “I’m the one, who pushed him to talk to other girls, I shouldn’t be jealous. That proves that I’m not capable of getting jealous because I’m helping him.” She explained to herself and slightly smiled. “Good.”

 

“Hey, Hermione—“

 

“I’M NOT JEALOUS!” She suddenly yelled as she turned around towards the door. She gasped and closed her mouth tightly when she saw Harry standing in front of her. “Harry,”

 

“This seems like a bad time to talk to you.” He said as he stared at her quizzically.

 

“Oh, no, it’s fine! I’m perfectly fine.” Hermione told him quickly and smiled. “What brings you here?”

 

“Well, I just wanted to talk. We haven’t hung out in a really long time and all but if you’re busy . . .”

 

“I’m not busy at all.” She told him with a nervous grin. “Did you hear everything?”

 

“Fortunately for us, no. I’m sure you wouldn’t have wanted me to hear and I definitely don’t want to know what you were talking about.” Harry responded with a crooked grin.

 

“Thank you.” She said with a small grin.

 

“Hermione, I was wondering if you were doing anything this week.”

 

“Not that I know of . . . why?”

 

“Well, I was hoping the four of us could hang out like old times.”

 

“Four?” She asked and immediately frowned. “You mean you, Ginny, me, and Ron?”

 

“Hermione, I know you two are—“

 

“Harry, I’m sorry but I can’t. We’re far too damaged for repair and . . . besides, we ended on bad terms.”

 

“I was just hoping I could spend Christmas with my two best friends together . . . not just one.” Harry said with a sad grin.

 

“Harry—“ She said as she felt a pang of guilt.

 

“No, it’s okay. I’m sorry for suggesting that. I’ll just leave you to whatever you were doing.”

 

“Harry—“

 

“It’s fine, Hermione.” Harry said with a small grin as he walked out of the room.

 

Hermione let out a deep sigh as she frowned deeper. “Great . . .” She breathed out and placed her hand on her forehead, sighing. She licked her dry lips and quickly ran out of the room, trying to reach Harry when she suddenly bumped into him. “Harry?” She asked with astonishment.

 

“Ten seconds, Hermione. Not too shabby, although it did worry me. I thought you weren’t coming out of there.” He said with a sly grin.

 

“You knew I was going to come out, didn’t you?” She asked as she slightly punched him in the arm.

 

“What are best friends for? We know everything about each other.” He said with a small laugh.

 

“Well, I’m guessing you know my answer, then?” She asked with a sigh of relief.

 

“It’d be nice if you told be yourself.”

 

“The thing is . . . I might have already made some plans with someone else.” She said as she bit her bottom lip. “But, we can all get together for Christmas Eve, right?”

 

“Christmas Eve sounds great. I’m quite jealous of whoever gets to have you all day for Christmas. I feel replaced.” Harry told her with a goofy grin.

 

“Don’t be. I’m not doing it to have fun . . . I have things to take care of.” She told him quietly and sighed. “I’ve missed you a lot, Harry. Everything going on with Ron and Lavender and Draco—“

 

She suddenly got cut off by a hug and she let out a relieved sigh and hugged her best friend.

 

“I thought you might’ve needed a hug.” Harry told her as he continued to hug her tightly.

 

“Thank you.” She said sweetly as she smiled. “I really needed it.” She said, pulling away from the hug. “You know, you can sit with me during breakfast . . . and lunch . . . possibly dinner.”

 

“Ron will kill me.” Harry said with wide eyes. “I’m in.” He cracked a grin. “Let’s just see how great of a friend Malfoy is . . . it seems to me like you replaced me with him. He must be an okay guy, I suspect?”

 

“We aren’t exactly the best of friends, Harry Potter. He will never replace you as my best friend. You’re the closest thing I have to a brother, you’re irreplaceable. Draco is just . . . a friend.”

 

Really? It seems to me like you two fancy each other.” Harry responded with a smirk.

 

Hermione snorted and scoffed. “Don’t be silly.” She said and cleared her throat, slightly blushing. “Friends. Just that.”

 

“You keep thinking that, Hermione.” He told her and walked off towards the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning, then. Ginny’s waiting for me outside.” He winked and walked out of the room.

 

Hermione sighed and shook her head. “Harry Potter . . . please don’t hate me when you find out what I’m doing.” She said quietly and pursed her lips. She crossed her arms across her chest and took a deep breath in.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione continued to read her book in front of the fireplace. It was exactly eleven fifty-six when she heard the portrait door swing open and footsteps coming towards her. Draco. She slightly scoffed and her eyes remained on the page.

 

“I must say, thank you so much for introducing me to that wonderful girl back there.” His voice suddenly cut the silence and he looked down at her.

 

“You welcome.” She said curtly.

 

“You aren’t jealous or anything so I guess I can tell you what we did.” He said as he sat down next to her.

 

Hermione slammed the book and looked at him. “Of course I’m not jealous.” She said and immediately shut her mouth. She was jealous and he knew.

 

“That’s what I just said.” Draco said with a smirk and let out a relieved sigh. “But now that you say that, you must be jealous.” He said slowly and stared at her. “You’re jealous, right?” He asked with a teasing smile.

 

“Don’t be ridiculous.” She protested as she slightly laughed, shaking her head in denial.

 

“Why else you would be avoiding eye contact and—“

 

“I’m reading, obviously.” She snapped at him as she looked at him, holding the book up.

 

“I think there’s another reason.” Draco pushed a bit more as his smirk widened.

 

“You’re wrong, then.” She simply stated, reopening her book and looking down at a random page.

 

“I don’t know, Hermione, I think you’re jealous.”

 

“You can think whatever you want, Draco.” She said sternly through her teeth, keeping her eyes on the page.

 

“Fine, but since you aren’t jealous, I guess I can tell you all about Clare? Yes?”

 

Hermione stiffened at the name and she crinkled her face when she heard the smirk in his voice. She was very jealous. She forced a grin and looked up. “Clare, huh? What did you two talk about?”

 

“We talked about all sorts of things, really. I walked her back to her dorm and now I’m here.”

 

“How lovely. Is she your new girlfriend?” She asked as she hid her frown.

 

“No . . . not yet.” He replied back shortly after.

 

“Yet?” She asked quickly with a glare. She immediately cleared her throat and looked away. “I mean, that’s great.” She told him through her teeth.

 

Draco smirked once again as he slightly leaned in towards her. “Hmm, you’re acting strange . . . perhaps you’re jealous?” He teased her.

 

“ Jealous?” She asked with an incredulous laugh but under all that, her body froze.

 

“Precisely.”  His smirk widened—if that was even possible.

 

Hermione snapped her neck, facing him with a glare. “I’m not jealous.”

 

“Really?” He pushed and leaned in a bit closer.

 

“Of course.” She snapped back at him and slightly smirked. “Why? Do you want me to be jealous?” She asked, turning the conversation over to him.

 

Draco slightly got caught off guard and leaned back a little. He cleared his throat and shook his head. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t care if you’re jealous or not.”

 

“Oh, but that contradicts what you asked me a few seconds ago. Clearly, you want me to admit that I’m jealous—which I’m not. Why do you want me to be jealous?”

 

“I’m just te—“

 

“Oh, don’t try too hard, Draco. I know you want my attention by talking to other girls and trying to make me jealous but it’s not happening.” She told him with a small grin as she placed a hand on his cheek, lightly tapping it.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about—“

 

“How about this? I’ll leave you alone whenever and you can go take Clare on a nice date or two.” She cut him off and got up. “Don’t try too hard next time.” She winked and grabbed her book, walking towards her door.

 

Draco looked at Hermione in complete, utter defeat. Another score for Hermione granger. Draco slightly smirked as he looked down at his plate. “I clearly underestimated you again . . .” He muttered under his breath, lightly chuckling as he walked over to his bedroom. “Oh, one more thing.” He shouted and turned around to see her waiting impatiently in front of her door. “Goodnight Granger . . .”

 

“Is that all?” She asked from her door, clearly waiting to go inside and sleep.

 

“Oh yeah . . .” He nodded and slightly scoffed. “Anyone can see that you, Hermione Granger, are jealous of Clare.” He finally muttered under his breath but loud enough for Hermione to hear as he walked into his bedroom, leaving behind a frustrated Hermione.

 

One point for Draco Malfoy.

 

. . . . . .

 

The next morning, Hermione walked out of her bedroom and saw Ginny, Blaise, and Draco all seated on the two love seats. Blaise and Ginny shared one while there was an empty spot next to Draco. “What is all this?” She asked as she walked over to them, sitting next to Draco.

 

Ginny smirked and sighed. “Well, Zabini, here, wanted to have a meeting with all of us.”

 

“About?” Draco asked as he stared at his friend.

 

“I’ve realized the whole house rule and punishments aren’t working out. I mean, we all broke each and every one of the rules at least once and we never do the whole punishments and—“

 

“What he’s trying to say it that he thinks we should just get rid of the rules.” Ginny cut in and looked at them. “Yes? We agree?”

 

Hermione and Draco nodded. “Is that all?” Draco asked with an are-you-serious-look.

 

“You two wanted to talk about that?” Hermione asked with a frown.

 

Blaise frowned and cleared his throat. “Well, as a fellow roommate, I felt like we should’ve . . . talked together about this.” He said bitterly. “Well, I guess since all of you don’t appreciate it. I’ll take my leave.” He said and quickly left the room.

 

Ginny shook her head and rolled her eyes. “He’s like a little kid. One little thing and he gets upset.” She complained and got up, staring at the two. “I’ll see you during breakfast.” She said and walked off.

 

“So, did you sleep okay?” Draco asked casually as he stared at Hermione.

 

“No.” She snapped at him with a sigh.

 

“Why not? I didn’t lose a wink of sleep last night.” He smirked as he snickered.

 

“I had a lot on my mind . . .” She told him, frowning.

 

“A lot on your mind? Perhaps like . . . deciding on admitting you fancy me?” He asked her, raising his eyebrows.

 

“No.” She made a face as she shook her head.

 

“I think that was it.” He said, leaning back on the couch.

 

She stared at him for a long time and sighed as she rolled her eyes. “I’m not even going to fight with you today because it is a very special day for us.”

 

“I know it is.” He said and smirked.

 

“That’s right!” Hermione said, completely oblivious to the tone in his voice.

 

“I’m guessing you were waiting for this?” He asked, completely thrown off by her response. Were they thinking about the same thing or . . .?

 

“Well, Christmas is in about five days. We still have presents to buy and all so let’s go to Hogsmeade today.” She said with a wide grin.

 

“Are you serious?” He asked as his smirk dropped off his face. Nope, they were on completely two different pages.

 

“Of course, what else?” She asked as she scoffed.

 

Draco stared at her for a few more seconds and got an idea. He casually nodded and shrugged. “Okay, fine by me. You’re still not getting your wand back, though.” He said with a smirk.

 

“You’re not getting yours back either.” She told him with a smirk as she winked at him. “Get ready.”

 

“Wait, we’re going now?” He asked as he furrowed his eyebrows.

 

“Yes, we don’t have a lot of time, you know. I mean, this is a huge deal. We’re sneaking off to Hogsmeade and well since we’re legal adults . . . we can do anything there without getting in trouble.” She said with an excited grin, with that same childish glint in her eye.

 

“Oh, I know that look.” He said as he stared at her. “You always look like that when you’re nervous and really excited to break a rule.” He said and shook his head. “Are you sure you want to just leave right now in the morning?”

 

“I’m positive.” She told him as she nodded.

 

“What about Blaise and Weaslette?” He asked curiously, staring down at her.

 

“They’ll assume we’re somewhere else. We’ll tell them about it after we come back.” She said with a groan. “Well?”

 

“But, I’m really hungr—“

 

“We’ll eat when we get there.” She told him as she got up. “We’re wasting time. Are you in or are you out?”

 

“The person you should be asking is yourself. I’ve snuck out plenty of times but you? I’m not so sure.” He said with a smirk, getting up and stretching.

 

“This will be so much fun! Breaking another school rule and just the fact that we can get expelled if we get caught—it’s frightening and very exciting.” She said eagerly and smiled. “We’ll meet back in an hour.” She announced and ran into her room excitedly.

 

Draco chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “Oh boy . . . she’s worse than handling a four year old on Christmas.” He muttered and couldn’t help but to smile a bit. “The things she’s making me do.” He said and walked off into his room.

 





 

I hope you all enjoyed this chapter! We’re getting close to Christmas in this story. Whoot! Whoot! Please leave a review and I’ll try to post up the next one ASAP. Thank you all for reading and leaving a review. :)

-Annie


Chapter 18: Chapter 18
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. . . . . .

 

“Hmmm, where are Hermione . . . and Malfoy?” Harry asked his girlfriend as he sat with her and Zabini.

 

“I have no idea. She was with us a few minutes ago.” Ginny furrowed her eyebrows, staring at Blaise. “Do you know where they are?”

 

Zabini looked up just as he stuffed a mouthful of bacon into his mouth. He shook his head as he chewed. “I left them back in the room. I assumed that they’d follow you.” He said as he chewed.

 

Ginny made a face and frowned. “Ugh, you’re just like my brother.” She said and stared at Harry. “We don’t know where they are.” She said and shrugged. “But, Harry, why are you sitting here anyways?”

 

“Well, Hermione and I talked yesterday and we decided to have me sit and eat with you guys.” He replied solemnly. “I guess they left to go somewhere.”

 

“I don’t even know what’s going on with them right now.” Ginny half-lied because, 1. She did know what was going on between the two, but 2. She didn’t really know what they were doing.

 

“I was hoping we could catch up on things.” Harry frowned and looked over at Zabini. “You don’t know anything about Malfoy’s whereabouts?”

 

“He doesn’t tell me a single damn thing. That bloody git.” Blaise answered bitterly, shaking his head in disapproval.

 

“I see.” Harry sighed and stared at his girlfriend. “Is Ron staring at us?” He asked Ginny who was facing them while Harry had his back turned towards them.

 

“Yes, but it seems to me like Lavender is doing most of it.” Ginny replied with a groan. “When will he break up with her? She’s bloody annoying.” She rolled her brown eyes, completely irritated.

 

Blaise scoffed and swallowed the last bit of his eggs. “Brown! Take a picture; I can assure you that it’ll last longer.” He yelled across the table and smirked when he saw Lavender turn red from embarrassment, looking away.

 

Ginny and Harry stifled a laugh as they looked at each other.

 

“I can’t eat comfortably without having two pairs of eyes looking over here.” Blaise explained and sighed, grabbing his goblet and taking a big gulp of it.

 

Ron turned into a red shade—almost as red as his hair. The couple looked at each other and down at their foods.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione stomped on his foot as she lifted her index finger to her mouth, telling him he should be quiet.

 

“You didn’t have to do that!” Draco whispered angrily.

 

“Yes, I did.” She whispered back.

 

“Okay! That’s it! I’m done whispering. There’s no one here. We don’t have to sneak around like this. We look even more suspicious if we do this.” He said, crossing his arms across his chest.

 

Hermione straightened her back and cleared her throat. “I just thought . . . we could be careful.” She said and started walking towards the statue with Draco walking behind her. She took out Draco’s wand and whispered, “Dissendium.” The statue opened and she quickly put the wand back.

 

“I have to admit, that was wicked.” Draco said with amazement.

 

“I know.” She said and started to climb in when she suddenly heard footsteps and giggling. “Draco, please tell me that’s you.” She froze and stopped breathing.

 

“Shit! Get in!” She heard a panicked Draco and felt two big hands land on her butt, pushing her in. She screamed as she slid down on the slide. She fell off the slide and landed on the ground, face down. And to make things worse, Draco landed on top of her. She groaned and moaned in pain. “Get off you arse!” She squeaked out. The door closed behind them but they heard two girls squealing and giggling.

 

“Shit, we’ve been found out.” Draco said as he got up, dusting himself off.

 

Hermione glared at him and got up with struggle. “You’re so heavy.” She complained and dusted herself off.

 

“Well, your fault for not moving fast enough.” She said and sighed.

 

“And also, you didn’t have to touch my butt.” She complained and dusted her butt off. “Ugh.” She frowned and shook her head.

 

“And again, it’s your fault for not moving fast enough. Let’s get going.” He said and started walking forward. “Nice arse, by the way.” He told her with a smirk.

 

She felt her jaw drop wide open as her eyes widened. She scoffed and shook her head. “Oh, I will murder you Draco Malfoy!” She yelled, walking toward him.

 

“No, you won’t.”

 

“What’s stopping me?”

 

“You’re in love with me, remember?” He whispered into her ear and bolted for the end, running fast.

 

“Come back you—you—ugh!” She yelled after him, chasing him in anger.

 

. . . . . .

 

Harry, Ginny, and Blaise had just finished breakfast when they heard two third years giggling.

 

“Did you see them? Where do you think they were sneaking off to?” One girl asked her friend, giggling.

 

“They’re so cute together. Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger—it’s like forbidden love.” The other said, blushing. “Oh, how romantic . . . sneaking off together like that just to be alone.”

 

The girls squealed of joy and giggled some more.

 

The trio stopped dead at their tracks and slowly turned to look at the two girls. Ginny crossed her arms across her chest. “Just where exactly did you see the two together?” She asked the two girls who jumped and gasped.

 

“We, uhm, on the thi-third floor . . . it was near a statue.” One girl quickly answered.

 

“Thanks, and don’t tell anyone about it.” Ginny said with a small grin, walking back to the boys.

 

“Oh my god. That was Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter’s girlfriend!” The girls stared at each other in disbelief, beginning to giggle as they walked off.

 

“What did they say?” Harry asked eagerly.

 

“They’re off school grounds.”

 

“Hogsmeade.” Harry said at once with a sigh.

 

“Damn, I should’ve known.” Blaise said. “They’re probably there to buy Christmas presents.”

 

“And for other matters.” Harry shared and grabbed Ginny’s hand. “Get dressed—we’re going to Hogsmeade. Zabini, you coming?” He asked.

 

“Yes, I am.” He replied with a nod. “How are we getting there?”

 

“I know a nice passageway that can get us there—they probably went through that one.”

 

“Fine by me.” He said and so the trio left to crash Hermione and Draco’s ‘date’.

 

“Meet me in front of the library in an hour.” Harry announced to the group and they disbanded.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Who knew you wanted to go on a date with me.” Draco smirked as they walked through the busy streets.

 

“It’s not a date.” She growled at him, crossing her arms across her chest.

 

“Very smooth, using the ‘I need to buy Christmas presents’ as an excuse to bring me out here.” He teased her.

 

“Draco, it’s not a date.” She told him sternly.

 

“Sure.” He responded with a quick nod.

 

“You’re a prick.” She muttered at him under her breath.

 

“And you’re in love with me.” He muttered under his breath with a smirk.

 

Hermione glared at him and pressed her lips into a thin line. She groaned and clenched her jaw together refraining herself from screaming at him.

 

“I’m absolutely starving!” Draco exclaimed as he put his hands on his stomach. “Aren’t you?”

 

“No.” She said but her body betrayed her because it decided to let out a big growl following her response. She blushed wildly and chewed on the inside of her cheek. She cleared her throat and avoided eye contact with him.

 

“What was that?” He asked with a smirk, leaning in towards her.

 

“P, perhaps I’m a little—“ Her stomach growled louder than ever. “—I’m very hungry.” She finally admitted with a sigh.

 

“You know, Hermione . . . one mustn’t tell lies.” He said with a cheeky grin.

 

“I, well . . .” She stuttered as she licked her dry lips. “I wasn’t hungry at the time . . . my stomach was, apparently.”

 

“Your stomach doesn’t have a mind of its own.”

 

Hermione cocked an eyebrow up at him as she walked into a small café. She quickly walked over to an empty table right beside the window, getting a nice view of the outside. “Hurry up, we don’t have much time.”

 

“We have plenty of time, Hermione. It’s only . . .” He walked over and sat down as he checked his watch. “Damn, this stupid watch stopped again.”

 

Hermione looked over at his watch and saw that it was completely still, not moving an inch. “How long have you had that watch for?”

 

“Two years, maybe three. It’s old, anyways; it was passed down from my grandfather.” He said and sighed as he took it off his wrist, tossing it on the table. “Well, it’s early. We left around ten in the morning and I’m sure it’s about eleven thirty now. We have a lot of time.”

 

“We’re shopping for Christmas presents, Draco. It takes a really long time to pick out presents for your friends.” She told him as she rolled her eyes at him.

 

“I don’t understand, though.” He started as he crossed his arms across his chest, examining Hermione’s face carefully, taking in every single little detail from the little freckles spread across her face to her rosy, red cheeks from being out in the cold for so long.

 

“What don’t you understand?” She asked in a tired voice, obviously getting tired of talking to him. She connected her eyebrows together as she waited patiently for a waitress to come over and serve them. She put her hand over her stomach and slightly pouted, getting hungrier by the second.

 

“Why’d you want to come here today?” He asked as he leaned in towards her, resting his elbows on the table.

 

“I’ve been meaning to buy Christmas presents for a while now and I thought it’d be a perfect day to come. And I read in a magazine that some of the shops here were having a mini Christmas sale. How neat is that?” She asked with a small grin. “And there’s snow on the ground, snow is still falling on the ground . . . there are great Christmas decorations everywhere. It’s just a very nice Christmas feeling, isn’t it?” She smiled at him.

 

“I see the sale got you to come here today, huh? What? Is today the last day for the sales or something?” He asked as he leaned back into his chair, disappointed by her answer. He was secretly hoping it was because of him.

 

“Well, don’t say it like that! It makes me sound shallow and selfish if you say I only came here for the sales.” She told him and slightly frowned. “It is the last day for sales, though.” She added quietly.

 

Draco slightly chuckled and shook his head. “You never fail to amuse me, Hermione Granger.”

 

“It’s a skill.” She said through a smile as she looked around the place. “Where is the damn waitress? I’m starving.” She complained and looked at him. “We’re not giving a lot of tip.”

 

“Calm down, there’s a waitress coming over here right now.” He said with a small chuckle.

 

Hermione’s eyes brightened once she saw the menus in the waitress’s hands and smiled. “Hello—“ She was in the middle of saying in a very jolly voice when she got cut off.

 

“Hello. How may I serve you today?” The blonde waitress asked in the most flirtiest (and desperate) voice she could muster as she batted her eyelashes.

 

Hermione immediately frowned as she scoffed. “Really?” She mouthed silently to herself as she made her eyes wide. “Everywhere we go . . . someone will hit on him.” She muttered to herself.

 

“Hello, there.” Draco responded with a charming grin making the waitress swoon.

 

Hermione made a face as she looked at the waitress. “Hi, yeah, I’m here, too.” She interrupted and received a nasty glare from the blonde. The waitress tossed the menu over to Hermione with a glare and looked back at Draco with the same flirty, desperate look on her face. She gently put the menu down in front of him neatly and smiled. “Any drinks?”

 

Hermione glared at the waitress and snatched the menu off the table and looked at it. “I’ll have water.” She said and glared over at the waitress.

 

The waitress glared right back and let out a sigh as she scribbled it down on the notepad. “Anything else?” She snapped at Hermione.

 

“No, that’s all for me right now.” She said with a fake grin. “Thank you.”

 

“You welcome.” The girl said and looked back at Draco. “Anything for you?”

 

“I’ll have water, too. Thank you . . .” He said with a wink and looked at the girl’s name tag. “Clara.” He said with a wink and looked back at Hermione. “Would you look at that? Her name is Clara.”

 

Hermione continued to look at the menu. “Wow, amazing.” She responded in a monotone voice, hinting that she didn’t care.

 

The waitress slightly glared at Hermione and scoffed. “I’ll be back later for your order.” She said rudely to Hermione and looked at Draco. “Take your time.” She said and walked off, purposely swaying her hips more than usual.

 

Draco slightly chuckled and looked at his menu. “She’s nice.”

 

“Oh, yeah, real nice.” Hermione made a face and licked her dry lips. “I’m not giving her any tip with that attitude.” She complained to herself. “Clara.” She muttered and continued to look through her menu.

 

“Are you alright?” Draco asked her as he raised his eyebrows at her.

 

“I’m just peachy.” She told him and looked at her menu. “What are you getting?”

 

“Uh, I’ll have the pancakes with bacon on the side.” He answered promptly as he put the menu down.

 

Hermione nodded and put hers down, too. “I’ll have that, too.” She said and looked over at him. “Call your lady-friend over quickly.” She ordered him.

 

“Lady-friend?” He asked as he raised an eyebrow at her but shook his head, dropping the subject. “Clara?” He called out as he gestured her to come over.

 

Clara walked over to them with two glasses of iced water. “Here you go.” She said sweetly as she placed one of the cups gently down in front of Draco. She then turned to Hermione and slammed the glass of water down in front of her, slightly splashing the water over to table. “Whoops.” She said insincerely. “I’m sorry.” She scoffed and looked at Draco.

 

Hermione bit her bottom lip back as she forced herself to remain calm. “Oh, no, it’s fine.” She said as cheerfully as she could, grabbing a napkin and wiping the table.

 

Draco slightly chuckled and looked at the waitress, Clara. “Yes, uhm, my date and I will both have the number seven.” He said kindly, placing the menus back into her hands.

 

“Date?” Clara asked with wide eyes as she choked on the word. She looked over at Hermione and then at Draco. She turned pale as her eyes widened.

 

“Date?” Hermione asked quietly with her jaw dropped wide open.

 

“Date.” He answered with a complacent grin. “Thank you, Clara.” He dismissed her and looked at Hermione. “So, where do you want to go first after we eat?”

 

“Don’t change the subject. Date?” She asked him with bewilderment.

 

“Did you want her to keep treating you like that? I mean I can call her back and we can tell her that you’re not my date and that she can keep treating you like you’re dirt. I’m perfectly fine with that.”

 

“P, perhaps, we can say this is a date.” She reasoned with him and pursed her lips.

 

“Anyways, where do you want to go?”

 

“How about . . . we go to Tomes and Scrolls first?” She asked with a small smirk.

 

“Really? The bookstore?”

 

“I’m planning on buying . . . myself a book.” She admitted as she pressed her lips into a thin line. “And then, we’ll go wherever you want.”

 

“Deal.” He said as he looked out the window. “It seems to be snowing pretty hard.”

 

“Hopefully, we don’t see anyone that we know here.” She said, clearly thinking out loud to herself.

 

Draco looked over at Hermione and smirked. “One can only hope so much.” He stated and as he winked at her. “Don’t you want people to catch us together here . . . alone . . . eating breakfast together?”

 

“Oh shut up.” She said as she rolled her eyes at him, but couldn’t help but smile.

 

“I take that as a yes?” He asked as he smirked at her.

 

“Of course not.” She told him as she shook her head in denial. “Now, drop this conversation.”

 

“Okay, okay.” He said as he lifted both hands up to his shoulders, capitulating to Hermione. “I understand . . . you’re embarrassed to admit it. Completely understandable.”

 

Hermione stared at him intently until his grey eyes looked up, locking with her brown marbles. “Don’t push it.” She told him after a few seconds of intense staring and finally looked away. She sucked her breath in and let out a deep breath as she blew the air out of her cheeks. She looked out the window and slightly fanned herself.

 

Draco looked over and slightly chuckled. He couldn’t help but notice a small blush creeping across her rosy cheeks.

 






 

 

And there you have it :) This one is a bit short compared to my other chapters but please bear with me. I’m writing the other one and it’ll be long. Thank you for all the support and please drop a review below and tell me all about your comments, concerns, or anything. xD

-Annie


Chapter 19: Chapter 19
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. . . . . .

 

“Damn, this is wicked.” Blaise let out a hearty laugh as he saw the statue reveal a passageway. “I cannot believe I didn’t know about this one.” He said in complete awe. “Potter, I must say, you’re quite a bloke.” He complimented and nodded in approval.

 

“Thank you?” Harry responded with uncertainty but brushed it off. “Okay, hurry up. We don’t have much time.” He told them as he looked around the empty corridors. “There’s a slide down there so go one at a time.” He said and stared at his girlfriend.

 

“I’m not going in there first.” She said, shaking her head. Instead, she turned to Blaise and smirked. “Ladies’ first.” She told him as she did a bow, stepping to the side, leading the path clear and open for Blaise.

 

“Ha-ha.” He sneered and sighed. “I guess I’ll go, then.” He grumbled and finally stepped inside the hole and unexpectedly found himself sliding down a small slide. “Woah!” He yelled and fell face first on the ground with a groan. “Ouch—“ He suddenly heard a scream and felt someone fall on top of him. “I swear, if it’s you potter . . . I will bloody murder you.” He managed to choke out as he groaned. He looked to the side and saw red hair flashing wildly, even in the dim tunnel. “You damn woman.” He muttered.

 

“Thanks for the landing.” She chuckled and got up easily, dusting herself off. “I needed a soft landing.” She told him and fixed her scarf.

 

“Oh, you welcome.” Blaise told her with a glare as he started to lift himself up but . . .

 

“Incoming!” Harry’s voice rang out and Blaise suddenly felt himself being pushed back down to the ground with an even heavier weight on his back. The boys groaned in pain while Ginny busted out laughing her head off. She put an arm over her stomach and fell over, laughing.

 

“My bad, Zabini.” Harry said apologetically, getting up.

 

Blaise pressed his lips into a thin line and simply nodded. He got up slowly and stretched a bit. “Quit your damn laughing.” He muttered, glaring at Ginny and walking off.

 

Ginny’s laugh died down after a minute or two and finally, she got up, wiping away her tears. “Oh, I love you, Harry Potter.” She said and put an arm around his shoulder.

 

“I love you, too, Ginny Weasley.” Harry said as he planted a kiss on her cheek in return.

 

“Hurry up!” Blaise’s irritated voice yelled.

 

“We’re coming!” Ginny yelled back and started to walk hand in hand with Harry.

 

“When will this tunnel end?!” Blaise shouted at them in agony.

 

“It takes about an hour to get there!” Harry shouted back and got rewarded an agitated groan from Blaise and a stare from Ginny.

 

“Really?” She asked, her eyes widening.

 

“Really.”

 

“Hmm, an hour alone with you and Zabini.” She said and smirked. “I think it’s time for a little prank.” She said and looked at Harry with a mischievous glint in her eyes.

 

“Oh no, Ginny, we talked about this—“

 

“It’s Zabini! We can do whatever the hell we want, you know why? He’s Blaise Zabini. Ron is my brother, so he’s a different story. But Zabini, he’s different. We can pull pranks on him . . . and you know you want to.” She said and smiled smugly. “If only we could visit George . . . I mean, technically we actually could.” She added with a smirk.

 

“Oh boy . . .” Harry muttered under his breath. “He’s going to kill me.” He stated as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously.

 

“He loves you . . . and me. Besides, it’s George we’re talking about. He doesn’t care if we come or not, he’s a goofball.”

 

“I don’t think it’s a good idea, though. He hasn’t been himself since . . .”

 

“He’s recovering.” She said slowly and sighed. “He’ll understand.” She told him with a positive grin and slightly frowned when she looked at her boyfriend. “I’ve been meaning to ask, why do you have Hermione’s beaded handbag?”

 

“I, uh, you’ll see. She borrowed my map once; I’m borrowing her handbag for a few hours. It’s a win-win.” He shrugged and walked on with Ginny walking beside him.

 

“Okay.” She answered and smiled. “Do you want me to hold it?” She asked after a while. “I mean, you look pretty ridiculous. A boy carrying around a handbag. I’m surprised Zabini didn’t comment on it.”

 

“Yeah, it’s probably better for you to hold on to it for now.” He said with a nod as he handed it to her.


“What’s in here, anywhere?” She asked as she held it, looking at it curiously.

 

“You’ll see.” Harry said with a smile.

 

“Whatever you say, Mr. Potter.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“No.”

 

“No?” Hermione asked and sighed. “Hmm, so you don’t know any fairytales or myths . . . what about Shakespeare?”

 

“Correction, I don’t know any muggle fairytales and myths.” He said and looked down at a random book. “Shakespeare?” He asked as the corners of his lips curled up. “’Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.’” He recited off the top of his head as he nodded in triumph. He didn’t dare turn around to look at her face.

 

Hermione stared at him in shock; her jaw dropped wide open as she blinked a few times. She slightly smirked and continued to look at the book she grabbed off the shelf. “Very impressive, Draco. Who would’ve thought you’d be a fan of Romeo and Juliet?” She asked with a small laugh.

 

“What are you laughing about over there?” He asked curiously as he knitted his eyebrows together. He was on one side of a bookshelf while she was one the other. They had their backs facing each other as they talked together in the nearly empty bookstore.

 

“Nothing, just something funny in this book.” She lied as she giggled once more, covering her mouth with her hand. She quickly shut her mouth and put the book back on the shelf, turning around finally. There was a big enough gap to be able to see Draco.

 

Draco turned around at the exact moment and their eyes locked for a bit as they looked at each other through the book shelf. “’But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief, that thou her maid art far more fair than she: be not her maid, since she is envious; her vestal livery is but sick and green and none but fools do wear it; cast it off. It is my lady, O, it is my love!’”

 

Hermione shook her head as she kept her eyes locked on his. “What do you do during your free time? Memorize the whole play and rehearse it by yourself?” She asked as she looked at him with inquisitiveness, her voice dripping with lighthearted mockery.

 

He ignored her and tried another line, “’Lady, by yonder blessed moon I swear. That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops—‘“

 

Hermione laughed and rolled her eyes with a hint of playfulness as her eyes landed back on his. “’O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, that monthly changes in her circled orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable.’” She continued the second act of her favorite scene.

 

“’What shall I swear by?’” Draco recited word for word as his clear, grey eyes pierced right through her warm, caramel orbs.

 

“’Do not swear at all; Or, if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, which is the god of my idolatry, and I'll believe thee.’” She said and smile brightly as she and Draco burst out laughing together.

 

“What do you do during your free time? Memorize the whole play and rehearse it by yourself?” Draco mocked her as he stared at her with the same curiosity.

 

“In fact, I very much did memorize the whole play.” She admitted as she smiled warmly at him. She leaned in with a mischievous glint in her eyes. “I bet you did the same, though, Romeo.” She whispered to him and leaned back out with a laugh.

 

“I may have . . . studied the play a bit.” He finally admitted painfully, a bit embarrassed by that fact.

 

Hermione laughed when she saw how uncomfortable he was. She realized that his warm stare was still on her and she quickly looked the other way, acting as if she was looking at a book. “Stop looking at me. Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” She told him through book as her face turned scarlet red.

 

Draco took two steps to his right and heard her voice through the books. He quickly grabbed two with each hand and removed the books, placing them elsewhere. He made a hole in the middle of the bookshelf and saw Hermione staring shocked at him. “Why’d you move? I was just about to whip out a camera and take a picture of you. It did sound promising, it would last forever.” He teased her as he stared at her.

 

Hermione stared at him and shook her head as she lightly scoffed. She grabbed a few books from her side and shoved them into the empty hole, putting a wall of books between them. She quickly took a few steps to her left again, trying to avoid him.

 

Draco copied her and took a few steps to his right and again, took the books out of the bookshelf to look at her. “Aren’t you going to tell me?”

 

“No.” She responded briskly as she shoved the books back in place. She took another step to the left once more and realized she was at the end of the bookshelf. She waited for Draco to pop out to see her through the book shelf but saw nothing. “Huh . . .?” She stared at the non-moving bookshelf and let out a sigh of relief but a bit of disappointment. She lightly leaned against the bookshelf as she took several breaths in and out. She blew a raspberry as she connected her brows together in utter confusion. She looked behind the shelf and saw no one. “Where did he go?” She asked herself and chewed on the inside of her lip.

 

Thud.

 

Hermione heard a book drop nearby and cocked her head to the noise. She walked closer to the noise and stopped at the end of a new aisle. She planted both hands on her hips firmly as she lowered her eyebrows. ‘He’s going to try to scare me any minute now . . .’  “Draco, I know you’re hiding some—ahhh!” She screamed as a strong pair of arms hooked around her waist and pulled her back quickly. Her eyelids went up, her eyes widening. She quickly slapped her hand over her mouth when she saw a few customers looking over their way.

 

She heard a low laugh coming from behind her and she let out a growl. Draco was laughing quietly to himself as his grip on her stayed firm. She shut her mouth and slapped him on the chest, her back still facing him. “You stupid git!” She yelled at him fiercely as she turned her head to the side and upward as she looked at him.

 

“I just had to do it. It was necessary.” He defended himself as he looked down at her.

 

She made a face at him and let out a laugh. “And I just had to do this!” She said as she stomped on his foot out of anger, ripping his arm off her waist. She turned around and faced him as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

Draco groaned in pain as he held onto his throbbing foot. “Bloody woman . . .” He muttered under his breath.

 

She shot daggers at him and sighed, shaking her head. “I’m just going to go purchase a few books and we can get on our way to wherever you want.” She told him after a moment of silence, walking away.

 

He slightly laughed as he let his foot connect with the ground once again. A complacent smile crawled its way onto his lips as he stood proudly, nodding in approval. “I was pretty damn good.” He said praising himself as his feet walked out the store.

 

Hermione saw Draco leave from where she was and let out a sigh of relief. The corners of her lips lifted upward, creating a smile as she let out a chuckle. She raised her hand and placed it on her cheek. “I can’t believe he scared me . . .” She muttered to herself and felt herself turning into a brilliant shade of crimson red. She was not only embarrassed but pleased because of his warm embrace back there. Her heart still melted whenever he wrapped his long arms around her waist, making her feel safe. She found herself daydreaming about Draco and quickly slapped herself on the cheek, snapping out of it almost immediately. She lowered her hand and shook her head. She turned around and grabbed the books she wanted when she suddenly got an idea. She spotted a rather interesting book a few rows away from her and she quickly grabbed it off the shelf. “Hmm, what a nice . . . Christmas present.” She said with a taunting chuckle.

 

Hermione quickly exited the store with a bag in her hand. She saw Draco waiting for her and walked over. “Okay, it’s your turn to pick.”

 

“Spintwitches.” He said and frowned immediately. “No, on second thought, we’re going to Quality Quidditch Supplies.”

 

“That’s in Diagon Alley, not here, in Hogsmeade.” Hermione reminded him as she stared at him.

 

“It’s called a little apparition.” Draco shrugged his shoulders as he held out his hand to hers.

 

“But, we snuck out of school and—“

 

“We’ve already snuck out of school to come here, might as well go to Diagon Alley while we’re still free.” He said as he stared at her down.

 

“Well, I guess that’s true . . .” She said and looked at him. “But, people might recognize us.” She said with uncertainty but still reached for his hand.

 

Draco felt her small, cold hands sit on his big, warm ones. The corners of his lips tugged upward as he squeezed her hand. “Let them.” He whispered to her and pulled her in, wrapping an arm around her waist and apparating to Diagon Alley.

 

. . . . . .

 

The trio arrived and looked around the place. “How exactly do you think we’re going to find them? I mean, they could be anywhere!” Ginny asked as she gulped down.

 

“I guess we’re just going to have to start by looking around the place—“

 

“Was that Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy that I saw over there?” A nearby group of girls, all in their early twenties, asked each other.

 

“Yeah, I mean, they just apparated in the open. How did we not miss it?” Another girl with coal black hair asked her friends as she rolled her eyes. “They could’ve at least been subtle about it.”

 

“Well, maybe they didn’t want to. Perhaps, they didn’t care what people like us thought.” Another girl spoke up matter-of-factly. “The war’s over so all the prejudice over the whole blood thing is so . . . well, over.” She stated and flipped her platinum blonde hair back away from her shoulder.

 

“Do you think they’re together?” The girl with the black hair asked her friends.

 

“Seriously, what does it even have to do with us? We shouldn’t even be caring about them, it’s their lives, let them do whatever they want with it.” A red-headed girl spoke up to her friends. “We’re to shop so let’s do exactly that.” She turned around and started to shop. Her group of friends looked at each other but quickly disbanded, all going to different sections of the shop.

 

Ginny, Harry, and Blaise all stared at each other and finally Ginny cracked a smirk. “Or we can just apparate ourselves to Diagon Alley.” She stated happily. “Well, we don’t want to stir any trouble so why don’t we go to a more . . . deserted place.” She said as she dragged the boys into a random abandoned alley. “Okay, let’s apparate out of here—“

 

“Wait, but you’re Harry Potter, ‘the boy who lived’. We’re going to get trampled there and Draco and Granger might find out we’re here.” Blaise cut Ginny off as he stared at Harry with concern. “We’re going to have to put you in a disguise.”

 

“No, you won’t.” Harry said as he shook his head. “I knew if I went out in public, we’d surely get caught, so I brought a little friend of mine.” He told him and looked at Ginny. “The bag, please.”

 

Ginny handed him the handbag and waited curiously with Blaise. Harry reached inside and pulled something out—something invisible. He handed Ginny the handbag back and smiled his crooked smile.

 

“You brought your invisibility cloak?” Blaise asked as he raised an eyebrow in awe. “You’re quite impressive.”

 

“Thank you.” Harry said and quickly put it over his body, immediately disappearing. “Okay, so just hold onto me and we’ll apparate over there, you two walk casually around the place and I’ll follow behind. It’ll look weird if you two are walking with a huge gap between the two of you.” His voice explained to them.

 

Blaise looked over at the empty space where Harry was. “I’m not holding your hand, wonder boy.” He stated with determination.

 

“Just hold my arm and I’ll hold Harry’s hand.” Ginny said as she rolled her eyes. “You’re such a girl.” She said and lent Blaise her arm.

 

“Oh, shut up.” Blaise muttered under his breath as he grabbed her wrist awkwardly.

 

Ginny and Blaise shared an awkward glance and quickly looked away. Ginny cleared her throat and stuck out her hand for Harry to grab, wherever he was. She suddenly saw a hand appear out of thin air and grab hers. She grinned and looked straight ahead. “Alright, boys! Next stop, Diagon Alley.” She announced brightly.

 

Crack.

 

And they apparated away.


 








Hello, I hope you all enjoyed. Please drop a review below, I really appreciate each and every one of them. Thank you all for the wonderful reviews in the previous chapters! I love reading all of them. :D This will probably be the last chapter of June, if it gets validated and up on the site by then but anywho, since the staff are going to go on their vacation soon, I won’t be able to post up any new chapters. I promise I’ll be writing the next few chapters so do not worry. I hope all of you are having a great summer.


-Annie

 




 

Romeo and Juliet, Shakspeare (Act 2. Lines: 1-9 , 111-120)


Chapter 20: Chapter 20
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. . . . . .


 

Hermione felt very nauseous after apparating. She hadn’t realized she had her arms wrapped his neck, with her head on his chest, eyes completely shut. She gasped and jumped a good few feet away from him and cleared her throat. “I warning would be nice, next time.” She told him as she fixed her hair and clothes. She licked her lips and chewed on the inside of her cheek.

 

Draco slightly chuckled and stared at Hermione. “Well, let’s shop.” He said with a grin as he walked towards Quality Quidditch Supplies. “Help me pick out a broom for Zabini.” He said as he entered the store with Hermione.

 

“I hardly know anything about brooms. You should’ve brought Harry along with you to pick out Blaise’s present.” She teased him as she looked around the place. “Just pick one, I mean, brooms are practically sticks.”

 

“Just sticks?” He asked, appalled by her blunt description. “They aren’t just sticks. They are—“

 

“Explain it to someone who actually cares about broom sticks, Draco.” She cut him off and suddenly got a good idea. She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed. “Look, why don’t you pick out Blaise’s present and I’m going to go buy Ginny and Harry’s present. I think it wouldn’t be bad if you bought Ginny something, too. I’m probably going to buy Blaise something.” She said with a smile.

 

“Do I have to buy Weaslette one, too?”

 

“It’d be nice, Draco.”

 

“Fine.” He grumbled and looked around the store.

 

“Well, I’m going to go . . . elsewhere. Meet me back in front of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour in about two hours.”

 

“Splendid. I wouldn’t mind getting away from you. I think we spend too much time with each other.” Draco said with a sarcastic tone, a smirk playing on his lips.

 

Hermione slightly sneered and quickly slipped out of the store. She ran to Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions and checked the time. “I have 118 minutes to buy five presents.” She said and sighed. “This is going to be stressful.” She groaned out and quickly scanned the store. “A nice travel coat would be nice for Harry and Zabini . . . a cute dress for Ginny?” She whispered to herself as she looked around the place.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco waited until Hermione was out of the store and immediately checked the time. “Damn, I need to buy three presents in 119 minutes.” He sighed and looked around the place. “Blaise and Weaslette, I’ll get them something from here and Hermione . . .” His voice trailed off as he nodded. He immediately a Thunderbolt 3000 off the shelf and examined. “It’s the newest thing, so Blaise would like that.” He said as he shrugged and looked around the store and groaned. He grabbed another Thunderbolt 3000 off the shelf and shook his head. “Weaslette is very lucky this year . . .” He quickly walked over to the owner. “I’ll buy these two.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“Thanks to you, genius, we lost two hours worth of time.” Ginny pushed Blaise lightly.

 

“Subtract 30 minutes from that. We shopped for an hour and a half.” He corrected Ginny and looked at her. “Besides, I had to buy my own Christmas presents, too.” He said and glared at her. “You and your freaking invisible boyfriend bought a lot more presents than me so don’t complain! It was smart for us to buy our Christmas presents here. It’s not every day you sneak out here without getting caught, you know.” He said and sighed.

 

“Okay, fine.” Ginny sneered and looked at what was hopefully Harry. “Let’s go visit my brother.” She said and quickly walked over to her brother’s shop. She waited for the guys to come and walked inside. She immediately spotted the red-headed boy upstairs. “Let’s go.” She said to the boys and quickly climbed the stairs. “Hey, George.” Ginny said casually, ambling over to her older brother with Blaise and (an invisible) Harry behind her.

 

“Wha—Ginny? What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at school?” George asked with shock as his little sister brought him into a hug. He pushed her off gently by the shoulders and stared at her. Then, his eyes traveled over to Blaise. He blinked twice as he rubbed his eyes. “Okay, we need to go somewhere more private.” He decided and took them behind the store where they could talk. “So, Blaise Zabini? Ginny?” He questioned his little sister with concern.

 

Harry took off his cloak and smiled at George. “I’m here, too.”

 

George slightly jumped and looked at the odd trio and sighed. “I’m going to have a headache real soon.” He grumbled and licked his lips. “Coming over here, was one thing . . . bringing Harry along was another thing, but coming here with Blaise Zabini is yet another thing!” He yelled at his sister with shock.

 

Ginny simply smiled and slightly punched him on the shoulder. “Ah, loosen up, George. I just made a few new friends this year. After all, our new headmistress is promoting house unity. And that’s exactly what she’s getting.” She said with a sneaky grin.

 

“Speaking of headmistresses, what are you three doing out here?” He asked curiously, folding his arms across his chest.

 

The three of them exchanged glances and frowned. “We’re here to buy Christmas presents.” Blaise spoke up after a while.

 

“Does McGonagall even know you three are here?” He asked, raising an eyebrow at them.

 

“She’s not aware of it . . . well, not yet at least.” Blaise told him carefully, choosing his words wisely.

 

George stared at them with a straight face but it soon cracked and a big smile replaced his frown. “Wicked! You guys snuck out of school without getting caught?” He asked and high fived Harry and hesitantly and awkwardly high fived Blaise, then pulling Ginny into a side hug. “You really are my little sister, aren’t you?” He asked teasingly at her and chuckled. “But why are you three really here?”

 

“We have to find someone.” Harry said, being as vague as possible.

 

George stared at Harry for a while before responding, “Wow, that narrows it down, Harry. May I ask who you’re trying to finding?” He asked with sarcasm dripping from his voice.

 

Ginny looked at her brother and shook her head. “It’s top secret, George.”

 

“Well, then, I guess I’m going to have to tell this situation to mum and dad—“

 

“We’ll tell you!” Harry and Ginny yelled as they grabbed a hold of George’s arms.

 

“That’s more like it. Now, spill.” He said as he stared at all three of them.

 

“We’re here to find a girl . . . and a boy who snuck out here before us. We’re trying to bring them back to school.” Blaise said slowly.

 

“Right, and who is this girl and boy?”

 

“That is confidential inf—“

 

“Tell me again, how did you three become friends again?” George asked, cutting Blaise off and staring at him for a few seconds, dragging his index finger across the air, directing at the three teenagers in front of him.

 

“We didn’t.” Harry reminded George as he nervously glanced his way.

 

“Well, tell me now.”

 

“Hermione and . . .” Ginny started as she looked down at her hands.

 

“Let me guess, Draco Malfoy.” George finished and looked at the shocked expressions on their faces. “Blimey, you three must not have heard. A few people spotted Hermione and Malfoy together somewhere, it’s all over the place, but I thought it was a rumor . . . until now.” He let out a long sigh. “When did this all happen?! I never thought Hermione would be the one to cheat on Ron, I mean—“

 

“Wait, Ron didn’t tell you?” Ginny cut her brother off with shock.

 

“Tell me that Hermione has been cheating on him? No—“

 

“Our parents and everyone else in our family know that they broke up. Why is it that you’re the only one who doesn’t know?” She asked as confusion took over her.

 

“Everyone knew?” George exclaimed with confusion. “Why didn’t I hear about this?” He asked his little sister.

 

“That arse.” Ginny yelled out loud as she groaned.

 

“Ginny, it’s not very nice to call your brother that . . . even if it’s true.”

 

“Hermione isn’t cheating on anyone.” Ginny explained to her brother with a frustrated sigh. “Ron cheated on her with Lavender. They broke up, Hermione’s been devastated, then she and Malfoy hit it off and he’s making her happy right now.” She shortened the long story and left a few crucial details.

 

George’s eyes widened as he heard his little sister. “Ron cheated on her? He cheated on Hermione with Lavender Brown?” He asked with shock and threw his hands up in the air. “Why?! Hermione’s the best thing that happened to him!”

 

“Which is exactly why I called him an arse!”

 

“He’s not an arse. He’s much more than that. He, he’s a stupid git!” George looked over at Harry. “You knew about this?”

 

“Yes.” Harry replied shortly after.

 

“And you?” George pointed at Blaise who nodded in response. “How come I didn’t know about this?” He asked himself as he searched the floor as if the answers would be written on the floor tiles.

 

“The whole school knew.” Blaise explained to George with a scoff. “Even some of the Slytherins thought Weasel-King was stupid.” He slightly laughed but realized no one was laughing with him so he checked his watch. “Well, uhm, it has been a pleasure talking with you but we really need to get going.”

 

“Where to?” George asked them.

 

“We need to start hunting for the two before they cause any trouble.” Ginny stated and sighed.

 

“I’d go with you but I have to work. Look, Ginny, I won’t tell mum and dad you snuck out of here or anything. But I would like you to give Ron a big punch for me.” He requested with a sloppy grin.

 

“I already beat him up once, might as well beat him up again.” Ginny shrugged and smiled at her brother. “We originally came here so that I could pull a prank of Blaise but it seems like I’m busy. Send me some things to use on him for Christmas.” She told him with a laugh.

 

“I’m right here, you know.” Blaise stated with a frown as he glared at the fiery ginger.

 

“I know.” She said as she waved her hand in the air, dismissing his words. “Be sure to send me a good one.” She told her brother and tapped his shoulder. “Work hard.” She smiled and waved goodbye as her brother walked back inside the store. “Okay, Harry, time to put the cloak back on.”

 

“On it.” Harry responded as he quickly covered himself with the cloak. “Do you two want to split up or . . . what?”

 

Ginny looked at Blaise and sighed. “Uhm, well since you’re invisible, how about you look for them alone? So, Zabini and I will look for them together.” She suggested with a grin.

 

“O, okay.” Harry said and let out a sigh. “I guess we’ll just meet back here whether we find them or not?”

 

“Yeah, let’s meet back in an hour.” Ginny said with a grin and soon enough, Harry was gone. Ginny looked around and let out a deep breath.

 

“What do you have up your sleeves?” Blaise asked as he cocked an eyebrow at her. “You must have some hidden weapon since you sent Potter out there to find our friends.”

 

Ginny smirked and rolled her eyes. “You caught me.” She said and reached inside her jacket and pulled something out. A thick, blank parchment.

 

“What’s that?”

 

Ginny pulled out her wand and tapped the front of the map, quickly mumbling something under her breath before Zabini could catch it. Before they knew it, they were staring at the Marauder’s map. “This, my friend, is a trusty little friend that’ll help us find our friends before Harry does.”

 

“Damn … that’s nice.”

 

Ginny laughed and opened the map up. “Okay, we’re going to have to keep an eye on Harry. Look for Malfoy and I’ll look for Hermione.” She said as they looked at the map intently.

 

“I found him.” Blaise suddenly said as he placed his index finger on Draco Malfoy’s footsteps.

 

“Yeah, and I found Hermione.” Ginny said as she pointed at her friend’s footsteps.

 

“Draco’s at . . . bloody hell.” He breathed out as he quickly covered up the place with his hand. “Well, I found him.”

 

“Where is he?” She asked as she glared at Blaise. She looked down at his hand and tried to remove it.

 

“Woah, this is obviously top secret information, Weasley.” He said as he kept his hand firmly on the map. “I think it’s safe if I know where he is. You can go where Granger is.”

 

“Fine.” Ginny said as cleared her throat, looking down at the map. “Well, we should find Harry, fir—damn! Damn!” She yelled as she spotted his footsteps.

 

“What is it?!” Blaise asked as alarm took over him.

 

“He’s near Hermione!” Ginny yelled as she saw her boyfriend’s footsteps a few stores down from where Hermione was.

 

“Well, go get her first before your bloody boyfriend does. I’ll go find Draco and take him to Flourish and Blotts, okay? You can find us there with Granger.” He said quickly as he dashed off.

 

“Okay.” Ginny said as she stared blankly at the place where Zabini was a few seconds ago. She started to take a step towards Hermione when a pesky smirk plastered itself onto her lips. She opened up the map and looked for Malfoy. Her eyes went wide when she saw where he was. “Perhaps, for Hermione’s present?” She said with a smile and quickly snapped out of it. “Right, Hermione.” She quickly dashed towards where Hermione was. She looked at the map and made sure she avoided Harry.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione looked at the watch with admiration as she lightly touched it with her finger. With an eager grin stitched onto her face, she closed the box and placed it back into the bag. She looked at the small bag and quickly put it into her bigger shopping bag from Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions. She let out a content sigh and started to head for the door when she suddenly dropped her wallet. “Oops.” She muttered and bent down just as Ginny ran into the store.

 

“Hermione!” A familiar voice yelled resulting in Hermione freezing in place. She felt a cold chill run down her spine as he eyes went wide. She slightly looked up and saw her friend.

 

“Ginny?” She asked with shock as she abruptly stood up, straightening her back. “W, what are you doing here?” She asked as she stared at her friend strangely.

 

“I’ll explain later, now—we need to hide.” Ginny yelled in a rush as she grabbed Hermione by the arm and running towards the far back corner of the store, making sure they were invisible to on-goers who looked through the windows. She sighed and the corners of her lips were brought upwards, creating a smile. “So . . . Diagon Alley’s new watch store, huh? I wonder what brought you here.” She teased her friend knowingly and lightly giggled.

 

Hermione felt her face turn beet red as she lightly nipped at her bottom lip with her eyebrows knitting together. “Don’t you dare tell anyone about this!” She warned her friend as she slapped Ginny’s arm when she started laughing again.

 

“My lips are sealed.” Ginny told her friend with a grin. “But, enough about this—we’ll talk later about this, you can’t escape from me.” She shared with her friend and licked her slight parched lips. “Zabini and I are here once we found out you two were here . . .” She explained slowly and looked at her friend. “Harry’s here, too.”

 

“Harry?” Hermione’s eyes widened as she repeated the name. “Does he know we’re here?”

 

“Hermione, of course he knows you two are here, which is why we’re here—“

 

“Of course I know that! What I mean is does he know you and I are here right now in this very store?”

 

“Oh, that makes a lot more sense. And no, Harry doesn’t know. Zabini is probably with Malfoy right now. We’re not here to ruin your date, we’re here to save it. We’re going to keep you two safe and once we hit the one hour mark, we will go back to Harry and leave. You two can finish the lovely date.”

 

“It’s not a date.” Hermione snapped at her friend and nodded. “But, thank you for doing this for us. I don’t want to explain things to Harry now . . . I need some more time to think of how to break it to him.” She slowly stated and suddenly gazed at her friend intently. “How did you know I was here? And how does Zabini know where Malfoy is? I don’t even know where he is.”

 

Ginny laughed and extracted a thick piece of parchment and exhibited to Hermione. “I simply borrowed something that belongs to my boyfriend. I’m extremely lucky that Harry wasn’t smart enough to take this with him. You see, he took his invisibility cloak but not this wonderful thing.”

 

“That’s how you tracked us down?” Hermione asked and suddenly got an idea. “Where are Draco and Zabini right now?” She asked with a mischievous smirk playing on her face.

 

“Uh-uh. I’m not telling you anything.” Ginny told her friend as she quickly stuck the parchment into her jacket. “You’ll find out when you receive your Christmas present from Malfoy himself.” She bit back a smile and raised an eyebrow. “Speaking of presents, what did you get me?”

 

“Uh-uh. I’m not telling you anything.” Hermione wore a big smirk as she mocked her friend.

 

Ginny frowned in utter disappointment. “Fine.”

 

“Fine.” Hermione smiled as she laughed.

 

“Oh, shut up.” Ginny laughed as she and Hermione leaned against the wall together.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco looked down at the necklace in content as he slightly grinned. He nodded as he stared at it, completely approving it. “Nice job, Draco.” He complimented himself and placed it back into the shopping bag. He looked at the small shopping bag and dropped it into his bigger shopping bag from Quality Quidditch Supplies. He fixed his shirt and took a step towards the door when someone suddenly opened the door, hitting Malfoy in the face and making him fall down. “Damn.” He groaned as he rubbed his left cheek that was sporting a new red mark. He groaned and looked up angrily at the stranger and immediately let out a scoff. “Blaise . . .”

 

“Draco.”  Blaise greeted him and looked behind him uneasily. “Come on, mate. We’ve got to go.” He said quickly as he helped his friend up. “Good thing I rammed that door into you. He could’ve seen you if I didn’t.” He said and dragged Draco into the back of the store, making sure they were out of the view of people passing by the stores. He looked around and leaned against the wall, wiping a sweat from his brow. “Damn, that was bloody terrifying.”

 

“Would you care to explain?” Draco asked as he crossed his arms across his chest, looking down at his friend.

 

“Don’t give me attitude. I just said your bloody arse! I should be the one asking you.” Blaise snapped at his friend as he slightly pushed Draco.

 

Draco cleared his throat and fixed his shirt. “Perhaps, I do need to do some explaining myself.” He said and looked at Blaise, slightly cocking his head at him.

 

“You want me to explain first?” Blaise asked, completely appalled by the request.

 

“Yes.”

 

“No. You first.”

 

“No, you—“

 

“You’re older than me; the older one has to say it first.”

 

Draco bit back his tongue as he groaned, glaring at his friend. “You prick.” He muttered and sighed. “I’m here, well—no, there’s no need for me to explain. You should know. You came here because you knew I was here. Your turn.”

 

“Stubborn arse.” Blaise mumbled and sighed. “I’m here, because Weaslette . . . Potter and I found out that you and Granger were here, having a nice, romantic date. Weaslette and I are here for a different reason than Potter. Potter, who is in fact not a bad bloke, is here because he wants to catch you and Granger and hear some answers. Weaslette and I are here to hide you two, go back to Hogwarts with Potter, in order for you two to finish a successful date. Weaslette and I are risking our arses to save both of yours.” He told his friend with a shake of his head.

 

“Potter’s here?” Draco asked after a few seconds of thinking.

 

“After I give you that whole speech about us risking our arses for you, you immediately think of Potter? Damn, I do not feel appreciated.” Blaise complained and frowned. “Yes, Potter’s here. In fact, why don’t I go and get him here!”

 

“I was simply clarifying something.” Draco replied with a cheeky grin. “I appreciate your help, mate.” He said as he lightly slapped his best friend’s back. “Happy?”

 

“Kind satisfied actually.” He said and they let out a hearty laugh. “So, what did you get Granger? I mean, you are in the very new store of Diagon Alley . . .” He said as he wiggled his eyebrows. “Perhaps a necklace for Granger?”

 

“I’m not telling you anything.”

 

“But come on. We’re in Diagon Alley’s new jewelry store.”

 

“You seem to have a functional brain for once, use it and figure it out yourself.”

 

“Fine, we all know you got her a necklace.” He said and looked at his friend’s shopping bags. His eyes went wide as he looked at it. “What did you get me?”

 

“Not telling.” Draco cleared his throat as he tried to hide the end of the two broomsticks that were poking out of the shopping bag. He put it behind him to make sure Zabini couldn’t see.

 

“I should get you a Christmas present now, too.”

 

“You weren’t planning on getting me anything.

 

“Well, first, I was going to give me to you as a present but I decided not to. So, I got you something.”

 

“What is it?’

 

“That’s a secret that I’m not revealing.” Blaise said with a playful smirk stitched on his lips. “This is what it feels to have power over Draco Malfoy, huh?” He asked with a cocky grin. “I can get used to it.”

 

“Well, don’t get comfortable now. It won’t happen again for you.”

 

“Really?”


“Not on my watch, it won’t.” Draco said with a frown.

 

Blaise laughed and shook his head. “Right.” He said and playfully punched Draco’s arm. “We should really get going now. I promised Weaslette we’d meet up with her at Flourish and Blotts. Let’s go. Now, we have to be careful since we don’t have that damn wicked map, so we’re going over there—“

 

“What map?”

 

“The Marauder’s Map that Weaslette has. We found you two that way, using that. But Weaslette has the map so she can avoid Potter easily. Us? We’re going to just run for the store and hope that we don’t get caught by Potter? Understand?”

 

“That map was pretty wicked. Hermione showed it to me—“

 

“Woah, Hermione? You two are on first-name bases now?” Blaise asked as he looked at his friend. “Since when?”

 

“Since not too long ago.” Draco said quickly and sighed. “We should get going, right?”

 

“We’ll talk later.” Blaise pestered Draco and let out a deep breath. “On the count of three, we’ll run out of here, okay?”

 

“Okay.”

 

“One . . .” Blaise counted slowly.

 

“Three!” Draco yelled and quickly ran out of the store to Flourish and Blotts.

 

“Hey! That’s cheating!” Blaise yelled after Draco, running after him.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione and Ginny waited in Flourish and Blotts, randomly looking at books.

 

“When are they coming?” Hermione asked as she put the book back on the shelf.

 

Ginny quickly pulled out the map and looked at it. “They’re here.” Ginny responded and right then two boys ran right into them, making the girls fall.

 

“Ouch . . .” Hermione groaned as she rubbed her red forehead.

 

“Why must your fat forehead be so damn hard?” He complained as he flicked her forehead.

 

“Ouch!” Hermione yelled as she rubbed her scarlet red forehead. “Was that necessary!?”

 

“Yes, it was.” Draco responded and quickly got up. 

 

Hermione glared at him and kicked his shin with all her strength and got up. “Now, we’re even.”

 

“I’m going to kill you.” Draco threatened as he groaned in pain, rubbing his shin.

 

“Give it your best shot.” Hermione taunted him as she stuck out her tongue at him.

 

“Get off.” Ginny snapped as she pushed Zabini off of her. She quickly got up and dusted herself off. “Way to make an entrance.” She told the boys with a glare. “Okay, so now that we’re here . . . here’s the plan.” She said and looked at the couple. “Are you two done shopping?”

 

Hermione and Draco looked at each other and nodded. “I’m done.” Hermione said with a nod.

 

“Me, too.” Draco replied back.

 

“Good.” Ginny said and smiled. “Now, kill some time here together. Zabini and I will leave in about five minutes and we’ll meet up with Harry and go home. Since we’re going to have to go back to Hogsmeade, you two stay here for about ten more minutes before you decide to go back there. I don’t want you two bump into us on the way.” She explained and nodded. “Sounds good?”

 

“Yes.” The trio all nodded.

 

“Excellent.” Ginny exclaimed and looked at the clock and then at the map. “Harry’s walking back so we should get going, too.”

 

“Alright, then. Have fun, mate.” Blaise told Malfoy as he awkwardly waved at Hermione.

 

“I will see you later . . . we have a lot of talking to do.” Ginny said as she hugged her friend and looked over at Malfoy. “Try to stay out of trouble. You made a pretty big deal about apparating over here out in the open.” She warned Malfoy and shook her head. “Don’t go it again.” She told him sternly.

 

“Let’s go.” Blaise told Ginny and they walked out of the store.

 

Hermione looked over at Malfoy and sighed. “Well, what do you want to do now?” She asked with a frown.

 

“There’s nothing to do here, but we can do something over at Hogsmeade.”

 

“Like what?”

 

“We’re going to go take a visit at The Three Broomsticks.” Draco replied with a smirk.

 

“Why?”

 

“I did promise you that I’d buy you Firewhiskey, didn’t I?” He asked with a smirk as he leaned in towards her. “It’s going to happen today.”

 

“But it’s still only five o’clock in the afternoon.”

 

“Then, we will kill time over at Hogsmeade and then at eight o’clock, we’ll go have a drink.”

 

“. . .”

 

“Well?” He asked as he quirked an eyebrow.

 

“Okay.” She replied slowly and suddenly looked at him. “Are you trying to get me drunk?”

 

“What? Of course not!” Draco replied and let out a sly smirk run across his face. “Maybe.” He said finally and winked at her, making Hermione laugh.

 





 
Sorry for the wait, I came back from a vacation just recently and didn't have time to post the chapter up while I was in Flordia. : But, anywhos . . .
This was a sort of cute, (hopefully) funny chapter. I hope you all enjoyed and I promise, the next chapter will be . . . Dramione-action-ized. ß I just made that up, but you guys get me? Yeah? Hopefully you do. Maybe not. If not, you’ll just have to wait for the next chapter then and see what I’m talking about. :D Please leave a review below :) Speaking of reviews, I absolutely enjoy reading all your wonderful reviews but I’m not sure if you guys get my response back sometimes? I hope you do, I want you all to know how much I appreciate them. But in the wonderful reviews, some of you seem to have questions on the story or just about me in general. Please go check out my author’s page because you can really ask me anything and I will be more than delighted to answer all of them. It’s a win-win. You guys get answers to questions and I get to interact with you charming people. <3


Chapter 21: Chapter 21
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. . . . . .

 

“Did you have any luck in finding them?” Harry asked the two as he slipped his cloak off of him, fixing his glasses.

 

The two exchanged looks and shook their heads. “No, I didn’t see them at all. It’s like they disappeared or left.” Blaise said with a sigh.

 

“Yeah, I didn’t see them either.” Harry responded and licked his dry lips. “Why don’t we head back, then? I’m sure they’ll come back soon.”

 

“Yeah, let’s just go.” Ginny said as she hooked her arm with her boyfriend’s. “But you know, I think we should have a date of our own, soon.”

 

“I think so, too.” Harry replied with a grin.

 

“But back at Hogwarts, coming here is too much of a drag and especially because you’re Harry Potter.” She said and giggled.

 

“Agreed.”

 

“Don’t make me puke.” Blaise warned the couple as he rolled his eyes out of annoyance.

 

“Don’t make us leave you here.” Ginny retorted back with a glare.

 

“I know my own way back.” Blaise growled at her and kicked the snow out of anger. “I really need to get myself a girlfriend, too.” He said and immediately looked up. “And don’t you dare say anything right now.”

 

Ginny pressed her lips into a thin line and nodded. “I won’t.” She said and looked at Harry. “Zabini has a girlfriend.”

 

“You and your big mouth!”

 

Harry looked over at Zabini and smiled. “Who is she?”

 

“No, I refuse to have a heart-to-heart conversation with you two. I do not have a girlfriend, Potter. Your girlfriend misunderstood the situation.” He told Harry and quickly walked off. “Hurry up!”

 

“I think he has a girlfriend.” Ginny said and Harry nodded in agreement as they walked behind Blaise, purposely walking slower than needed.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione checked the clock above the counter and nodded. “I think we can go now. We’ve been sitting here for half an hour.” She said as she stood up, stretching her arms and legs.

 

“We can stay here for another half an hour.” Draco responded as he pulled Hermione back down in her seat. They were still in Flourish and Blotts, sitting on the love seats in the back corner. “Shopping takes a lot of energy out of you.” Draco said and soon yawned as he stretched.

 

Hermione scoffed but started yawning as well. “I suppose we could just stay here and relax for a little bit and then head back to Hogsmeade.” She reasoned as she shrugged, getting comfortable on the couch.

 

“Let’s play a game.” He suggested with a grin as he looked at her.

 

“Are you talking about your ridiculous ‘let’s get to know each other better’ game?” She asked as she smiled at him.

 

“The one and only.” He said as he laughed with her. “And it’s ridiculously amazing.”

 

“Okay, fine. You start.” Hermione said as she looked at him.

 

“Hmm . . . let’s see, I’m thinking.” He said as he put his legs up on the coffee table in front of them.

 

“Think fast, I’m getting bored.” She said as she, too, lifted her legs up and rested them next to Draco’s feet on the coffee table. “Come on, hurry up.” She teased him as she slightly tapped his foot with her own.

 

Draco looked over at her and then their feet. He lightly bumped his foot with hers. “Don’t rush me.”

 

Hermione felt a warm grin play on her lips as she let out a small laugh. “I can’t help it if I’m bored.”

 

“Okay, I got one!” He announced and looked over at Hermione. “Are you ticklish? Is so, where?”

 

Hermione slightly glared at him and pressed her lips into a thin line. “I am ticklish . . . but I’m not going to tell you whe—ahhh!” She let out a scream when she felt Draco start to tickle her sides. “Draco, stop it!” She demanded as she let small giggles escape from her lips.

 

“So you are ticklish.” Draco laughed as he continued to tickle her sides, practically now on top of her on the loveseat, straddling her.

 

She tried to catch her breath and remain calm. “Draco—stop it!” She pleaded in between giggles and finally snapped. “I bet you’re ticklish, too!” She yelled as she started to tickle Draco’s sides but saw that he just looked at her. “You’re not ticklish?” She asked in disbelief.

 

“Is that your question for me?” He asked and looked down at her. “I am ticklish, but not there unlike somebody.” He said as he tickled her again.

 

Hermione laughed and quickly grabbed his hands. “That’s enough.” She said and pushed him off of her as she quickly straightened out her clothes and hair. “You’re ticklish but not on your sides, huh?” She asked and immediately her eyes went down to his feet. She looked back up at him and quickly grabbed one of his legs. Draco’s eyes widened as he quickly tried to escape from her grasp. “So you’re ticklish on your feet?” She asked and laughed as she set his leg down. “I just had to clarify something.” She told him with a smirk. “Ask away.” She shrugged as she leaned back into the seat.

 

“Okay, what did you get me for Christmas?” He asked as he slightly leaned in towards her.

 

“I can’t tell you that.” She said as she waved him off. “Another question.”

 

“I’ll tell you what I got you.” He said, trying to reason with her.

 

“I don’t want to know.” She lied and quickly cleared her throat. “Another question.”

 

“What’s your favorite . . . animal?” He asked randomly and looked at her. “I hope it’s not a monkey.” He teased her with a small wink.

 

“Now, that, I can answer.” She responded with a grin and took a deep breath. “It’s not a monkey, either.” She told him with a small laugh. “I would have to say . . . a cat?” She smiled and nodded. “I love my cat, Crookshanks, what’s yours?”

 

“Believe it or not, I really like dogs.” He replied shortly after. “Ooh, I guess we wouldn’t be able to live together if we had pets. I would have a dog and you would have a cat.” He said and suddenly frowned. “Wait, where is your cat? It’s not in school, is it?”

 

“No, Crookshanks is with . . . my parents. I stopped brining him over because of the war.” She responded hesitantly.

 

“Why do you do that?” He asked curiously as he looked right into her caramel orbs.

 

“Do what?”

 

“You start to get hesitant and insecure when it comes to talking about your parents, almost like it hurts to talk about them.” He said quietly.

 

Hermione looked away from his sharp stare and instead, looked down at her fingers. She sighed and licked her dry lips. “Do you remember when we first played this game?”

 

“Yeah, of course.” He said with a crooked grin.

 

“And you asked me if there was a dark secret that I’ve never told anyone before, right?” She asked as she looked up at him with sad eyes.

 

“You refused to tell me because it was too personal, that you’d tell me some other day.” He told her with a nod, telling her that he understood.

 

“Well, that ‘some other day’ is today, I guess.” She said slowly and drew in a shaky breath. “You have to promise not to tell or I’ll have to hex you to the next century.” She said with a nervous laugh.

 

“I promise.”

 

“Before the war began, I worried about my parent’s safety. I’m a muggleborn and reading the Daily Prophet about poor, innocent muggle families getting murdered . . . it scared me.” She started and paused before she could tell the rest. “I obliviated my parents.” She whispered through her teeth. “I made sure they didn’t know who I was, I changed their identities, their occupations, and everything. I sent them to Australia to hide them from Voldermort and the death-eaters.” She told him and looked up at him with wet eyes. “After the war, I went to Australia to look for them to reverse the spell . . . but I found out that they’d died in a car accident a few days before I got there.” Her voice cracked at the last part but she cleared her throat and remained strong. She looked over at Draco and forced a grin. “If I had only been a bit faster, maybe I could have parents right now. But because of my stupid spell—I ended up killing my own parents.” She said quietly and took a deep breath after a while. “Well, here is Hermione Granger’s sob story. Thank you for listening.” She tried to joke as she faked a grin.

 

“Don’t do that.” He said in a serious tone.

 

“Do what?”

 

“Act like you’re okay. You’re scared to look vulnerable; you don’t always have to smile.” He told her as he shook his head. “Just this once, you don’t have to act brave. Get rid of your stupid house pride, forget the whole bravery act, and just be what you feel like for once.” He said as he looked into her sad eyes.

 

Hermione sighed and pressed her lips into a thin line. “You caught me.” She quietly whispered to him and felt tears well up in her eyes. “Thank you, Draco.” She suddenly told him as she sniffled, staring at him with a real, sincere smile. “It’s nice to know that I have someone I can lean on.”

 

Draco nodded and hesitantly reached for her face but quickly put his hand down when she turned to face him. “Well, remember when I said that I had someone to protect? You wanted to know and I said later since it was personal?”

 

“Of course.” She said as she gazed up at him.

 

“Well, you told me yours so I’ll share mine with you, too.” He said and sighed. “The truth is . . . my mother isn’t dead.” He revealed and waited for Hermione to gasp or scream. Nothing. He looked over at Hermione to see her wide eyes staring at him but nothing. He only saw encouragement written on her face, for him to continue talking. “My father is already dead, but not my mother. After the war, it was hard for my mother and me, with her husband gone because of Voldermort.” He said and sighed. “She was sick of the reporters always outside our house, she was broken, you know?” He asked and locked his lips. “She developed a drinking habit, she wasn’t herself, she-she was—is a dead soul. I admitted her to the hospital without anyone knowing and she’s still there in great hands. I went back to the house and made up a story that my mother left and possibly committed suicide due to her broken heart and depression. I just needed a solid story that would keep the reporters away from the manor. I didn’t think my mother needed anymore stress from them. I stayed with her the whole time during the summer but now, during school, I can only owl the doctor and ask how she is.”

 

“That’s exceedingly courageous and generous of you to do that for your mother.” Hermione finally said as she placed a hand on his. “I’m sure that she loves you with all her heart and that she appreciates what you did for her. She’s recovering now and I hope that you get to go back home to her soon.” She told him with a grin. “I promise not to tell because I know you’ll have to hex me to oblivion.” She whispered to him with a laugh.

 

Draco exchanged the laugh with Hermione and he nodded. “Thank you for listening.”


“Thank you for telling. And you know, if someone didn’t know any better, they’d think you were a Gryffindor. Watch out, Slytherin, I think I may be rubbing off on you.” She warned him mockingly as she winked at him. Draco could only stare at her and smile in content.

 

“It’s not kind to stare, Draco.” She teased him once more and sighed. “You should smile more often, you’re very charming when you do.” Hermione commented as she smiled at him. “Well, I guess we’re both really messed up people with dark secrets, huh?”

 

“I say, we should drink to that.” Draco said as he got up from the loveseat, lending a hand for Hermione to grab.

 

“And I agree.” She said with a grin as she took his warm hand. “What time is it?”

 

“Surprisingly, it’s . . . seven o’clock.” He said as he pulled her up to him.

 

“I suppose we could go have a drink right now.” She said with a giggle as they walked out of the store together. “Remember what Ginny said! Don’t apparate us out of here in the open.” She said and dragged him over to a random alley. “Let’s go.”

 

“Let’s.” He agreed and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her in and smiled at her before he apparated them out of the place.

 

. . . . . .

 

The couple arrived in an abandoned alley but they were back in Hogsmeade. Hermione escaped from Draco’s grip and pulled him by his jacket. “Let’s not waste time.” She said as she walked towards the Three Broomsticks Inn.

 

“You seem to be a bit eager, don’t you think?” Draco teased her as he walked beside her.

 

“I just thought I could loosen up a bit, be fun.” She retorted back with a small laugh.

 

“Okay.” He said mockingly and entered the pub and quickly led her to an empty table. He quickly sat down and looked at her. “What do you want to order?”

 

“I’m not the expert on drinks, so why don’t you do the ordering.” She told him and raised an eyebrow.

 

“Fine, I’ll go get the drink, then.” Draco sighed and walked off.

 

Hermione looked around and sighed. She blew a raspberry as she waited for Draco to come back. A few seconds later, Draco came back with two glasses of firewhiskey in his hand. He set it down on the table and sat down. “Well, here it is.” He said as he looked at her.

 

Hermione stared at the drink uneasily but grabbed it anyways. “Does it taste bad?”

 

“Find out for yourself.” Draco said as he took a sip of his drink, nodding in approval after.

 

Hermione looked down at it and looked back up at Draco. She let out a deep breath and took a sip of it. The liquid substance burned as it ran down her throat but the sensation was over. She expected herself to spit it out and never drink it again but . . . it was actually quite satisfying. She looked at the drink and then at Draco, raising her eyebrows. “It’s actually not that bad.”

 

“But do you really think you can drink that whole thing?” He challenged her as he took another sip of his drink.

 

“Do you doubt my drinking abilities?” She asked, offended by his question.

 

“I mean, you were the one who said you got a tad bit drunk from drinking butterbeer.” He said with a smirk as he continued to tease her.

 

“I bet I can drink more than you.” She quickly said as she stared him down.

 

“Really?” He asked, a bit taken back. “I’ve been drinking this for a while now, but you—you started today.” He stated and looked at her. “And besides, Firewhiskey gives confidence to those who drink it . . . I think you’re a victim already.”

 

“Awh, are you scared I’m going to beat you?” Hermione challenged him as she smirked at him, completely disregarding his last sentence.

 

“Okay, fine. It’s on.” Draco stated as he looked at her.


“Let’s see who can drink the most cups and the loser has to give the winner . . .” She said and pondered for a bit. “The loser has to give the winner a piggy-back ride.” She said with a grin.

 

“Sure.” He said and scoffed. “You better get ready to give me a piggy-back ride.” He said as he took off his jacket.

 

“You should worry about yourself.” She told him as she took off her jacket and scarf. They looked at each other, gripping onto their cups.

 

“One the count of three, we chug this whole thing down.” Draco stated and received a nod from her. “One . . .”

 

“Two, three!” Hermione yelled and quickly started to drink the Firewhiskey.

 

“Hey! You cheated!” Draco yelled in protest but realized she wasn’t listening. “Shit.” He said as he quickly started to chug his down as fast as he could, trying to beat Hermione.

 

Hermione looked over at Draco out of the corner of her eye and saw that she was winning. She quickly drank the alcohol down and slammed it down on the table, wiping her mouth. She simply stared at Draco with a smug grin.

 

Draco frowned as he finished up his drink, setting it down on the table. “You cheated.”


“What’s done is done.” She shrugged him off and felt herself get a bit lightheaded. She brushed off the feeling and stared at him. “Another one?”

 

Draco lightly laughed as he looked at her. “If you can handle it.”

 

“I can.”

 

“Round 2, then.” He said as he got up to get another.

 

Hermione looked at her empty cup and lightly hiccupped. “Damn . . .” She said as she tried to stop her hiccupping before Draco came back.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny walked out of her bedroom and saw Blaise sitting on the couch. “What do you think they’re doing right now? It’s been three hours since we left them.”

 

“On a date, what else?” Blaise asked with a scoff.

 

“Oh really? I did not know that! Thank you for stating the obvious, you arse!” Ginny yelled at him as she walked over, smacking his head with a pillow. “Seriously?”

 

“Ouch.” Blaise groaned as he rubbed the back of his head. “They’re probably out drinking.”

 

“Drinking?” Ginny asked as she put on her earrings. “Drinking what?”

 

“Firewhiskey.”

 

“How do you know?” She asked as she sat down next to him, holding a necklace up.

 

“Draco always and only drinks Firewhiskey.” Blaise said as he rolled his eyes.

 

“Hey, put this on for me.” She said, nudging Blaise and handing him her necklace. She quickly reached behind her and gathered up all her hair in her hands and lifted it up for Blaise to put the necklace on for her. “But Hermione can’t drink at all. She once got drunk off of butterbeer. I say the least she can drink is about two cups. That’s how low her alcohol tolerance is.” She said as she lightly laughed.

 

Blaise awkwardly put the necklace on Ginny and cleared his throat, telling her he did it. He felt his cheeks burn bright red and looked away from Ginny.

 

“Thanks, Zabini.” Ginny said as she got up. She was wearing casual jeans and nice shirt. “I’m going out.”

 

“Like that?” Blaise asked, slowly quirking up an eyebrow as he stared at her thin clothing.

 

“Yes.”

 

“It’s cold outside.”

 

“I’ll put a heating charm on, mum. Don’t worry.”

 

“I, I was just saying, I didn’t want you to get a cold when we have to help our friends.” Blaise said and got up, clearing his throat again.

 

“You’ve been clearing your throat an awful lot, Zabini. You should watch out for yourself. You might’ve caught a cold.” She said and cracked a grin at him. “I’ll be back before eleven, mother.” She teased him as she rolled her eyes playfully. “’Night, Zabini.” She waved and walked out of the room.

 

Blaise let out a deep breath and shook his head. “Wow, it’s hot in here.” He said as he lifted up his shirt up and down, trying to get some air through his body. “Merlin, this is not good.” He said and sighed. “I just need some sleep. It’s been a long day.” He told himself and checked the time. “Damn, it’s only seven o’clock.” He said and his eyes suddenly widened. “Damn, it’s seven. I need to go meet her!” He yelled and quickly ran out of the room.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Are you sure you can drink anymore?” Draco asked with a nervous chuckle as he looked at Hermione.

 

Hermione’s cheeks were bright red but she showed no other signs of being drunk. She remained calm and lightly scoffed. “I’m not drunk so of course I can drink more.” She said and lightly laughed at her own statement, but quickly covering it up with a cough. “Bring us another one.” She demanded as she took a deep breath.

 

“We still haven’t finished this one.” He said as he raised a new glass of Firewhiskey.

 

Hermione stared at Draco with a confused look and then looked at his full drink then at hers. She cracked a grin and nodded. “Oh, I understand now.” She said and lightly shook her head. “Yeah, another glass.” She said with a frown as she held in her hiccup.

 

“Why don’t we pause for a bit?” He asked as he quickly reached over, snatching the drink away from Hermione. He looked at their table and saw eight empty glasses beside them. They had each consumed four glasses of Firewhiskey and he was okay but Hermione seemed . . . frazzled. “Why don’t we stop? You seem to be drunk.”

 

“I, I’m not drunk!” Hermione yelled and then hiccupped as she leaned back in her chair. “I am simply not myself right now.” She told him reassuringly as she casually leaned over, trying to grab the glass of Firewhiskey.

 

He kept it out of her reach and stood up. “Okay, that’s it. We’re done drinking.” He stated as he looked at a very tenacious, but clearly drunk Hermione.

 

Hermione looked up at him with her red cheeks as she hiccupped. “But—“

 

“You win. I can’t drink anymore. You win the bet, alright?” Draco said as he smiled at her.

 

“I did?” She asked as she broke out into a grin, hiccupping.

 

“Yes, you did.” He said as he set the two glasses of Firewhiskey down on the table. “Let’s go.” He suggested as he quickly grabbed his jacket, putting it on and handing Hermione her clothes. He looked over at Madam Rosmerta and lifted up the money to know he would pay for everything and placed the money on the table. “Let’s go, Hermione.” He said as he helped her up.

 

Hermione giggled and immediately fell over into his arm. “I’m tired.” She told him and looked up at him. “You have to give me a piggy-back ride.” She wasn’t slurring her words but she was still clearly drunk.

 

“Okay, I will.” He said as he crouched down, allowing Hermione to get on his back. “This woman’s got a very weird drinking habit.” He mumbled under his breath.

 

“Thank you.” She said as she got on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck.

 

He quickly walked out of the pub and sighed as he felt the cold air breeze through them. He started to walk towards Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop to help sober Hermione up. “You okay back there?” He asked with a small grin.

 

“Yes.” She said and let out a sigh. “Your back is really comfortable . . .” She told him quietly. “Just like my dad’s. His back was always so warm, big, and safe.” She said and slightly sniffled. “Just like this . . .” Her voice trailed off as she rested her chin on his shoulder. “Draco.”

 

Draco stopped dead in his tracks and slightly turned his head towards Hermione. “What is it?”

 

“I’m not drunk . . .  anymore. I’m a bit sobered up now, probably because of the cold air. You can let me down. I’m probably really heavy right now.” She whispered into his ear with a small shy laugh.

 

 “Alright, let’s go have some nice tea for you.” He said as he gently let her get off.

 

“Tea?” She asked and looked ahead to see Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop. “Over there?” Draco nodded as he stared at her. “Sure, tea sounds nice.” She told him with a grin but then grin soon turned into a frown.  “Sorry, I think I . . . drooled on your jacket.” She told him quietly as she lightly tapped his back.

 

Draco looked at her and frowned. “You’re buying the tea this time, then.” He said and they walked towards the shop. “You know, you seem to have an awful lot of control when you’re drunk.” He commented as he smirked. “Your cheeks were bloody red but you seemed to be calm . . . that’s not normal.”

 

“I hiccup a lot when I’m drunk so I-I guess I was trying to stay calm and swallow back the hiccups.” She told him, a blush spreading throughout her cheeks evenly.

 

Draco laughed lightly as they into the shop. They found a spot next to the window and ordered two cups of tea and a plate of cookies just so they wouldn’t get glared at by the owner for only ordering tea.

 

The two of them looked around the shop to see couples everything in every corner and side kissing and holding hands. They cleared their throats and took a sip of their tea. “Wow, so you wanted to come here?” Hermione asked, now completely sobered up as she took a bite of the cookie.

 

“Hey, I was trying to help you. You were drunk back there, you should’ve seen yourself.” He defended himself as he took another sip of his tea and eating a cookie. “Wow, the cookies here are good.” He nodded in approval.

 

Hermione lightly scoffed and smiled. “Well, it’s not like I meant to get drunk and besides, I’m fine now.”

 

“Thanks to me, I think you owe me a ‘thank you’.”

 

Hermione frowned and looked at him. “Thank you.” She finally said after a while. “Happy?”

 

“Very.” He smirked at her and looked around. “I’ve never been in here before and I now know that I should never come back.”

 

“I remember Harry came here with Cho before he started dating Ginny. He said it was quite a nightmare especially well, look around. Doesn’t it remind you of Umbridge?” She asked with a shiver. “She was horrible.”

 

“Right.” Draco said awkwardly as he nodded.

 

Hermione realized her mistake and cleared her throat again, looking out the window. “It’s snowing . . . again.”

 

“Yeah.” He said awkwardly.

 

Hermione sighed and started chugging the tea down and grabbing a few napkins and taking the remainder of the cookies that were left on the plate. “Let’s get out of here.” She told him as she stood up.

 

“What? O, okay.” He said as he stood up, drinking the last bit of his tea.

 

Hermione quickly placed her money on the table and grabbed Draco’s hand, pulling him out of the shop. “Sorry, I just couldn’t take the whole . . . place.” She said, blushing.

 

“I felt like that, too, so you’re forgiven.” He said and he looked down at their hands as he smirked. “If you wanted to hold my hand, you could’ve just asked. But, that was smooth, Granger.”

 

“I, I didn’t do it on purpose.” She protested as she tried to pull away when Draco grabbed her hand, interlacing them together. She immediately turned crimson red and gasped lightly, looking over at Draco.

 

“I like it like this.” He said as he started to walk.

 

Hermione couldn’t help but smile as she looked at their hands. It felt perfect, like they belonged together, as if they were a puzzle piece. She looked up and pressed her lips together, trying to hide her grin which wasn’t very successful. “Cookie?” She asked as she lifted one up with her other hand.

 

“Sure.” He said as he bit the cookie from her hand, surprising Hermione. “It seems to be a lot better when someone’s feeding it to you.” He exclaimed as he smiled at her.

 

“Really?” She asked and raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“Yes.” He said as he took a cookie from her hand and held it up in front of her face. “Try it.”

 

Hermione hesitantly ate the cookie from his hand and slightly grinned. “I guess it is.” She said and lifted the last cookie up and looked at him.

 

Draco stopped walking as he looked at her. They stood in front of the many stores with beautiful Christmas lights hung around the place. He wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her towards him, making Hermione drop the last cookie on the floor. “To be honest, when you told me today was a special day, I was thinking of something completely different.”

 

“W, what’s that?” She asked as her eyes locked onto his stormy grey eyes.

 

“I lost the bet, didn’t I?” He asked as he smiled.

 

Hermione realized what he was saying and her eyes widened. “Oh . . .” She said and bit her bottom lip.

 

Suddenly, above them, mistletoe appeared from the ceiling, falling right above their heads.

 

Draco and Hermione looked up and smiled. “I guess they’re encouraging this.” Draco said as he started to lean in.

 

Hermione waited for him to kiss her as she shut her eyes but nothing came. She opened her eyes back up to see Draco pausing right in front of her face. She groaned and rolled her chocolate brown eyes. “Oh, just hurry up and kiss me already.” She whispered to him and went on her tippy-toes, closing the gap between them and capturing his lips with her own. She wrapped an arm around his neck, her fingers running through his blonde locks. Draco smiled through the kiss and his grip on her waist tightened while he placed his free hand on her cheek.

 

Hermione smiled and pulled away as she looked at him. “Wow . . . I think I can get used to this.” She stated as her clear brown eyes stayed locked with his arctic ones.

 

“Most certainly.” He nodded in agreement and crashed their lips together once again.

 





 

 

Updates and reminders:

Helloo, lovely people. <3 How did you like this chapter? You got some of them Dramione action that we all want. xD I really do hope you all enjoyed this chapter. It was a sweet, ‘heart-to-heart’ moment for the couple. I’m warning you now; it won’t be so fluffy in the next following chapters even if Christmas is coming around the corner for them. I’m not really sure how long this story will be, but my best guess it that it might end on chapter 30+? Maybe, I’m not really sure. We’ll just have to see about this. After this story, my ‘Friendly Neighbors’ will continue and I’d appreciate it if you guys will check that out soon J Please go check out my author’s page because you can really ask me anything and I will be seriously, like . . . I will jump up and down and praise you if you left me a few questions to answer. I’m sort of a loser/dweeb like that so I’m going to be the happiest person on earth. LOL. It’s a win-win. You guys get answers to questions and I get to interact with you all charming people. <3

 


Chapter 22: Chapter 22
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. . . . . .

 

Draco peeked behind the pillar and turned back around, giving Hermione a nod. “It’s empty, let’s go.” He whispered to her as he kept his hand attached to hers as they ran across the corridor. “I don’t think anyone’s here, let’s just make a run for it.” He suggested and quickly ran down the hall to where the stairs waited for their return. Hermione surprisingly stayed on track with Draco as she sped down the stairs with him. If and only if they hit the bottom of the staircase, they were safe.

 

“Miss Granger, Mister Malfoy.” A very familiar voice greeted them at the end of the staircase.

 

The couple immediately froze in their spots and dropped their shopping bag as they looked down at Professor McGonagall. The headmistress stood before them with a small smile, looking composed. They stepped off the last step together and immediately looked at their hands. They quickly threw themselves away from each other. “Professor.” They both greeted the headmistress with nervous glances.

 

“I suppose you two know where we’re headed next?” She asked as she smiled at them, which was eerie, considering the situation they were in.

 

Hermione gulped and looked at her professor with a frown. “O-of course, Professor.” She said as she lowered her head in shame.

 

Draco stayed poised and calm as he followed the headmistress down to her office. Hermione slowly dragged her feet, staying behind the two people. Before they knew it, they were both seated in front of Professor McGonagall.

 

“Now, what will the excuse be?” She asked as she looked at them with her sharp, sea green eyes.

 

“I, uh, the-there is no excuse, Professor.” Hermione spoke up as she looked her Professor straight in the eye. “I knew that sneaking out of school grounds would mean expulsion, but I just wanted to buy Christmas presents for a few . . . friends.” She admitted as she rolled up her fingers into a ball, her knuckles turning whiter than snow. “A, and also, it was my idea. I forced Dra—Malfoy to come with me.” She explained and sighed as she looked back down. “If any should be expelled, it . . . it should be me. That’s only fair.”

 

“And you, Mister Malfoy?” McGonagall pressed as she looked at Draco.

 

“I, well, what Her—Granger said is true. We went shopping for Christmas presents. She wanted to come back as soon as possible after the shopping was done but I, being a well—a Slytherin, I convinced her to just stay at Hogsmeade until nightfall.” He told his professor with a sigh. “I take blame for staying out so late. You should expel me instead.”

 

“Yes, that’s very interesting.” McGonagall started and lightly laughed. She raised her wand and shot a non-verbal spell at the door and soon the door opened to reveal a large room. “Please come out.” She said calmly and out walked Ginny, Harry, and Blaise. “Please do make sure to be discreet when you sneak out next time. Word spread around that you five were seen sneaking out.” She told them and warmly smiled at them. “I would have expelled each and every one of you, but that would take a lot of explaining to do and I would be throwing out five talented witches and wizards. You five showed house unity at last and seeing that all five of you asked to be expelled instead of the other—Professor Dumbledore would’ve liked to finally see house unity amongst the four houses.” She explained and got up. “I will not be expelling anyone in this room. But—“ She said and sternly glared at each of them. “That does not mean you aren’t in any trouble. 100 points from both houses and you five will be cleaning the classrooms after dinner for two weeks after this break.”

 

“That’s it?” Ginny asked as she raised an eyebrow.

 

“Yes, unless you would like me to add—“

 

“No, no! We’re not complaining.” Blaise quickly interjected. “We’re all happy with the outcome.” He said and let out a sigh of relief.

 

The five of them all exchanged glances and let out a sigh of relief in unison. “Thank you, Professor.” They all said together in one voice.

 

“If something like this happens again, don’t think I’ll let you off again. You will be expelled.” She told them strictly and her cold, emerald green eyes softened. The corners of McGonagall’s lips curved upward as she nodded. “You five best be on your way then, correct?”

 

“Yes.” They all said and quickly left the office.

 

“I cannot believe I almost got expelled.” Ginny said as she shook her head. “I didn’t have a chance to prank Zabini over here. She had me worried there.” She explained and stuck her tongue out at Zabini.

 

“You damn woman.” Blaise cursed under his breath.

 

“Thank you all for trying to take the blame for us.” Hermione said with a smile.

 

“What are friends for, right?” Harry asked as he smiled at Hermione and awkwardly nodded at Draco.

 

“Don’t make it any more awkward, Potter. Just look away, now.” Draco said as he shook his head. “Your effort is very much appreciated, though.”

 

Blaise, Ginny, and Hermione laughed at Harry and Draco. “I think you two could be good friends.” Ginny said as she smirked at Draco. “Well, I’d love to stay and chat some more, but Harry and I have a date to finish.” Ginny excused herself and Harry as they quickly dashed off.

 

“Yeah, I have some . . . business to take care of.” Blaise said as he slowly inched away from the couple. “Goodnight!” He yelled as he ran off.

 

“And then there were two.” Hermione said as she looked over at Draco. “It’s been a long day.” She said with a groan. “I’m ready to sleep.”

 

“We have something really important to do before we sleep.” Draco stated as he took her by the hand, intertwining them together.

Really? What is it?” She asked as she looked at him as they walked towards their dorm.


“We still need to shower.” He said as he looked down at her. “Don’t tell me you weren’t going to shower?”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes and slapped his chest with her other hand. “Oh, shove it, will you, Malfoy?” She asked as she shook her head.

 

“You better make me, Granger.” He retorted back and laughed with Hermione.

 

“Do you have anything planned for us, tomorrow?” She asked him curiously.

 

“I might have one or two things in mind.” He said as he shrugged.

 

“Like what?”

 

“It’s a surprise. You’ll find out in a couple of hours.” He told Hermione as they took two right turns, almost arriving to their dorm. “Patience is a virtue.”

 

“If you’re not telling me . . . the surprise better be good.” She said as she pulled her hand away from his as she walked ahead of him. She stood in front of the portrait and quickly whispered the password, walking in with Draco walking behind her. “It better be worth waiting for.” She said as she turned around, stopping in front of the staircase.

 

“You’re going to be shocked tomorrow.” He said with a sly grin.

 

“What? Are you going to do something romantic for me?” She asked with a small laugh. “Draco Malfoy is an actual romantic guy?” She asked him as she crossed her arms across her chest. “Really?”

 

“Why is it so hard to believe?” He asked as he followed Hermione up the stairs.

Hermione abruptly came to a stop and looked at him, raising an eyebrow. “You’re really asking me?”


“Perhaps that was a rather . . . bad question. Don’t answer it.” He said and sighed. “I guess I’ll just prove you wrong tomorrow, then.”

 

“Blow me away, I’ll be waiting.” She told him with an alluring smile. “I’m tired, so good night.” She said as she started to walk towards her door.

 

“No good night kiss?” He asked as he looked at her.

 

“Right you are.” She said with a grin. “Patience is a virtue.” She mocked him with a smirk.

 

“Goodnight, Granger.” Draco said as he waved goodbye, walking down the stairs to his bedroom.

 

“Malfoy.” Hermione called out quietly as she quickly ran over to him.

 

“What?” He asked as he turned around and felt a small peck on his cheek.

 

“Goodnight.” She whispered to him and quickly ran into her room.

 

A goofy grin spread across his face like butter on toast as he touched his cheek where she kissed him. “Goodnight.” He whispered back and lightly laughed to himself as he walked towards his bedroom. “She’ll be the death of me.” He breathed out as he shook his head with a small grin but it soon started to fade. “What should I get her?” He asked himself curiously. “I’ll have to ask . . . Weaslette.” He let out an exasperated sigh and walked into the bathroom.

 

. . . . . .

 

8 a.m.

 

Knock. Knock.

 

Hermione groaned as she heard the annoying sound from her bed. She furrowed her eyebrows as she rolled over in bed, trying to ignore the sound. She heard another knock on her door and crinkled her nose as she frowned. She put the extra pillow beside her over her head.

 

Knock. Knock.

 

“GO AWAY!” Hermione finally shouted with an angry growl as she slightly opened her eyes. She heard her door open and groaned. She ever so slightly opened her eyes back up and peeked over to see a blurry figure that belonged to a male with a small table. ‘Merlin, what is going on?’ She asked herself and rubbed her eyes as she finally decided to wake up.

 

She stirred in bed a bit more to hear a familiar chuckle. It was like music to her ears. She immediately got up and saw Draco laughing. “What are you doing in here?” She asked as she covered herself with her blanket. She ran her hand on her hair and licked her lips. She cleared her throat as she stared at Draco curiously. “Why are you in here?”

 

“Well, you did say you wanted to experience a ‘breakfast in bed’, didn’t you? I believe that was on your Christmas list.” He told her with a charming grin. “So here it is, your very own breakfast in bed.” He said with a smirk and walked closer to her, placing the table safely on front of Hermione. “I specifically asked the house elves for this. I didn’t know what you liked so I asked Weaslette, as well.” He said shyly as he rubbed the back of his neck nervously.

 

Hermione grinned and chuckled. “You were right, I’m absolutely surprised. You proved me wrong, you are a gentlemen and very romantic.” She said as she stared at him in awe.

 

“I tend to hear that a lot—“ Draco stopped as his eyes widened once he felt Hermione throw her arms around his neck. He was surprised at first but soon found his arms snaked around her small waist, hugging her back. He felt so warm and loved in her embrace. He wouldn’t have minded if he had to stay there forever but to his dismay, she pulled away. He hid his disappointment and fluidly got up. “What was that for?”

 

“It was just a way for me to say ‘thank you’.” Hermione replied as she pressed her lips into a thin line.

 

“I’ll take my leave, but it you need anything . . . just call for me.” Draco said awkwardly as he cleared his throat, walking towards the door.

 

Hermione looked down at her breakfast and looked back up. “Draco.”

 

“Yes?” He asked as he turned around almost immediately after hearing his name.

 

“Have you had breakfast yet?”

 

“Not yet, why?”

 

“Well, then, why don’t you come over here and eat it with me?” She asked hesitantly, afraid she would get rejected, as she kept her eyes locked on her food.

 

“Ah, I knew you’d ask me sooner or later. Ladies can’t resist me.” Draco walked towards her, sitting on her bed in front of her.

 

Hermione frowned immediately and glared at him. “On second thought, just go. I’d like to eat breakfast by myself.” She said as she grabbed her fork, stabbing it into the perfectly pre-cut pancake and stuffed a piece in her mouth. “Wow, this is good.” She said, purposely talking while chewing her food.

 

“You seemed desperate back there, I think I’ll just stay and eat with you.” He said as he stared at her.

 

Hermione swallowed and stared right back at him. “But you don’t have another fork to eat with.”

 

Draco smirked and looked at her and then the fork. “I knew you were going to ask me, why do you think I didn’t bring another fork with me?”

 

Hermione soon realized what he meant but cleared her throat and shrugged. “I don’t know, you tell me.” She said as she stuffed a strawberry into her mouth, chewing with a smile on her face.

 

“You really don’t know?” Draco asked in disbelief.

 

Hermione smirked and stared at him. “Oh, you mean, you want me to feed you?” She asked as she flashed him a taunting smile.

 

“If you say it like that—“

 

Hermione nodded and stabbed a small piece of the pancake and stuck her hand in front of Draco’s face, holding the piece for him to eat. She smiled and nodded, encouraging him to eat it. Draco stared at her and opened his mouth to eat it when Hermione quickly stuffed it into her mouth. “Wow, this is good.” She smiled at him and laughed. “Okay, I’m sorry. I’ll really give it to you this time.” She said as she started the whole process over again and as if history repeated itself, Draco was yet again fooled by her.

 

Draco stared at her with a frown. He scoffed and tried to shrug it off as if it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t a big deal, it really wasn’t . . . but for him, it was a pretty big deal. He turned the other way and shook his head. “I cannot believe I fancy such an immature girl.” He muttered under his breath.

 

“You fancy me?” She asked as she looked at him.

 

Draco cursed under his breath for saying it so loudly and looked at her. “Maybe.”

 

Hermione slightly grinned and looked down. “Well, then maybe I fancy you, too.” She said as she raised an eyebrow at him. She finally raised the fork over to him with a piece of the pancake in front of Draco. “I’m not going to eat it, really.”

 

Draco furrowed his eyebrows and hesitantly opened his mouth to eat it when Hermione inched away. He heard her erupt into laughter and finally she put it in front of him again. “I’m not eating it.” He said to her with a frown.

 

“Awh, did I upset you?” She teased him as she leaned in towards him.

 

“Why don’t you fix that mane of yours.” He growled at her as he looked away.

 

Hermione placed the fork on the tray and felt the back of her hair with her hands. “My hair’s nice and smooth; I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She said with a shrug as she dismissed his last statement. “Oh, you must be upset. I’m sorry; I’ll really let you eat it this time.” She said as she placed the tray aside and grabbing the fork. She slid over to Draco and placed the fork in front of his face.

 

Draco looked at her and sighed. “I can’t believe I’ve become so weak . . .” He complained and ate the pancake happily. “It is good.”

 

Hermione smiled and nodded. “Is it, right?” She asked as she placed the fork on the tray and grabbing a napkin on the way. “You got a little syrup right there.” She told him as she wiped the corner of his lip with the napkin. She felt her heart beat uncontrollably and too fast that she thought it was going to pop. She caught her breath as she stared at his beautiful face. His magnificent lightly tanned skin, warm, stunning arctic grey eyes, the perfectly structured jaw, and the slightly thin, soft lips that she loved to taste every time they kissed, he was flawless. His impeccable platinum blonde hair wasn’t gelled to the side but slightly messy making him look like he just had gotten out of bed. Slowly, a bright hue of red spread across Hermione’s face, making even a red rose jealous of the color. She bit her bottom lip nervously when she caught Draco staring at her. “Uhm, I’m just going to—“

 

Draco unexpectedly grabbed her wrist, stopping her and catching her attention. His eyes stayed locked on her soft coffee bean marbles and he lightly smirked before leaning in and capturing her lips with his own. Hermione immediately accepted the kiss and let go of the napkin, wrapping her arms around his neck as they fell on the bed with Draco on top of her. She felt Draco’s tongue graze her bottom lip, begging for an entrance and she complied. She opened her mouth for his tongue to explore and taste every inch of her mouth. Draco placed a hand on her neck and slid it back to the nape of her neck, digging his hands through her messy, soft curls. Hermione ran her hand through his messy locks and placed her other hand on his shoulder. The kiss grew more passionate and intense as seconds flew by.

 

“Wake up, Herm—“ A voice called out but immediately got cut off. “My bad.”

 

Hermione and Draco immediately pulled away from the kiss and flew a good two feet away from each other. Hermione licked her pink and now swollen lips as she fixed her hair. She got out of bed and cleared her throat as she looked over at her friend. “Good morning.” She said with a shaky breath.

 

“I should knock next time, huh?” Ginny asked with a cheeky grin as she looked behind her to see if anyone was there. She nodded and shut the door, locking it. “Well, that was a heck of a snog. If I entered a few seconds later, you two would’ve been naked and shagging each other.” She explained and exhaled deeply.

 

Hermione pressed her lips into a thin line as she nervously exchanged a glance with Draco who looked content and proud. She glared at him and pinched his arm. “We were just saying good morning.” She told her friend as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“That’s a long, passionate and not to mention intimate good morning.” Ginny continued to tease her friend. “And here I was thinking you would be eating breakfast in bed . . . is he your breakfast? I mean considering the fact that he was in your bed. And you two were eating each other’s faces up.” She stated and smiled brightly at her mortified friend.

 

Hermione stared at her friend with wide eyes and groaned. She looked away from her friend angrily but couldn’t hide the red glow that came over her face. She licked her lips and mustered up the courage to look at Ginny again. “OKAY, that’s enough. Ginny, I’ll be out in a few minutes, please leave. Please.” She told her friend as she fanned herself lightly.

 

“I was just explaining what I saw.” Ginny smirked. “Just telling the truth.” She defended herself and stared at Draco. “You should probably leave, too and get changed. Zabini wants another group meeting.” She said as she rolled her eyes. “And besides, I don’t want to see another episode of that.” She commented as she wiggled her eyebrows, walking out laughing.

 

“Oh, I’m going to kill her.” Hermione said as she fanned herself. “Thank you for the breakfast, Draco. You should leave and get ready, too.” She told him awkwardly.

 

“I’d like to say the same thing to you.” Draco replied in a low husky, and yes, very sexy voice. He walked over to Hermione and kissed her once more. “I’ll see you out there.” He informed her and left the room.

 

Hermione broke out into a wide grin and bit her bottom lip. She reached up and touched her lips, still tasting his lips that were on her a few seconds ago or less. She let out a content sigh and walked into the bathroom to get ready for the day.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco walked into his room and shut the door behind him. He stood still for a few seconds and cracked a wide smile. He lightly chuckled as he rubbed the back of his neck as he replayed the scene that had happened a few minutes ago. He had to admit, he thought he was going to go insane when he was in her room. She was beautiful. He was constantly reminded of her adorable round eyes and her affectionate, caramel orbs, her cute nose that had a pinch of freckles sprinkled across her cheeks and nose, her pink, plump and luscious lips that he could kiss all day long, and her gorgeous brunette curls that were delicate and sleek to touch. He spent every waking moment of his life only thinking about her, just her and how perfect she was . . . and how she deserved better than someone like him.

 

. . . . . .

 

“They were snogging in there?” Blaise asked as he raised an eyebrow at Ginny.

 

“If someone didn’t know any better, they would’ve thought those two were going to shag each other.” Ginny said and chuckled. “Oh, that was hilarious.” She said as she wiped away a tear. “Okay, enough about them. What’s with this meeting again?” She asked as she pursed her lips.

 

“I’ll tell you once they get here.” Blaise said solemnly.

 

“Is something wrong?” Ginny asked as she looked at him with concern.

 

“What is it?” Draco cut in before Blaise could tell Ginny. He walked over and sat beside Blaise. Soon, Hermione walked over and sat down next to Ginny.

 

Blaise looked at the three and sighed as he rubbed his face. “Damn, this is going to be hard to explain.” He said and sighed once more as he looked at his friends. “Well, you know how I’ve been going out lately? I suppose you all assumed I had a girlfriend?” He asked.

 

“Yes.” They all answered without even blinking.

 

“Well, I don’t. I’ve been leaving because I have been trying to get some information on Pansy. You know that one Slytherin girl with the wart on her face? I figured out that she was working for Pansy and when I say working for her, I mean she’s been watching you two and reporting back to Pansy by owling her. I’ve been trying to distract her and getting some more information out of it. I’ve done things that I do not want to repeat so don’t ask. But, I found out something you all should know about.” He explained as he took a deep breath. “Pansy’s coming back on Christmas. She pulled a few strings and now she’s coming earlier than as planned.”

 

“What?” Draco asked with a groan. “She’s coming back on Christmas?”

 

Hermione let Zabini’s words sink in and finally she stared at him. “H, how much does she know about us?”

 

“A lot.” Blaise answered and licked his lips. “I’m just telling you three this because I want to give you a heads up. Don’t be surprised when she comes. She’ll come on the night of Christmas so it’s not so bad. Celebrate and don’t let it stress you out. Enjoy this holiday break, or at least, what’s left of it anyways.” He told them with a small grin.

 

“I can’t believe that psychotic bitch is coming back earlier.” Ginny said as she shook her head. “And you! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.” She whispered fiercely at Blaise quietly so only he could hear. “We’ll talk later.” She told him and looked at her friend. “Love birds, don’t worry. She’s coming in four days, okay? We know that now so we’re ready for her. She can’t do anything to us, right?” She asked uneasily at the last part as she looked over at Blaise and Draco.

 

“One thing for sure about Pansy is that she always has something up her sleeves.” Draco replied and sighed as he got up. “We’ll just spend the rest of the break as planned and not worry a thing about that girl.” He said as he looked at Hermione who looked like she was in a daze.

 

Hermione quickly snapped out of it and nodded, getting up. “Thank you, Zabini for telling us.” She told him with a small grin.

 

Ginny sighed and looked at her friend. “Hermione, you’re fine. If she comes near you, just hex her. That’s what I’d do.” She said with a small grin.

 

Hermione returned her friend a smile and nodded. “You’re right. I’m not afraid of her! I can take her down in a second.” She said and smiled. “Well, now that that talk is over. Meeting over?”

 

“Meeting over.” Blaise clarified with a nod.

 

“Great, I actually have something planned for us.” Draco told Hermione as he intertwined his fingers with hers as he led her out of the room.

 

“Don’t shag each other outside!” Ginny yelled with a smirk, knowing she had successfully embarrassed her friend. “Oh, life’s good.” She said and looked at Blaise, immediately turning serious. “And what else is there that you didn’t tell us—well, me?”

 

“You’re quite bright, aren’t you, Weaslette?” Blaise asked with a smirk and sat back down with a sigh. “What are we going to do?”

 

“About what?” Ginny asked, sitting down beside him.

 

“Telling Draco and Granger about how we’ve been working together and lying to them. They’re going to hate us. Knowing Pansy, if she finds out about us, she’ll surely use it as a weapon against us and them. She’ll probably tell Draco and Granger. She’s a manipulative bitch.” He explained. “I think we should tell them. We’ll let it slip out sooner or later and by then, there’s nothing we can do about it. If we accidentally say it, we’ll just have to explain it to them. I’m not encouraging it, but it would be better for both of us to just tell them . . . before they find out from someone else.”

 

“You’re right.” Ginny agreed and sighed as she crossed her arms across her chest. “But you do realize that if we tell them, it’ll be putting our friendship with them in jeopardy, right?”

 

“I’m aware but hey, if I was ever in their position, I’d rather hear it from a friend and feel betrayed than from someone else and feel even more betrayed than ever.”

 

“You’re right.” Ginny repeated again and bit her bottom lip. “Wow, she’s going to hate me.”

 

“I know, Draco will probably hex me and before you know it, I’ll be in the infirmary for the rest of the school year.” Blaise joked and laughed along with her. He smiled and slightly pushed Ginny with his shoulder. “Hey, don’t worry about it. Whatever happens, just keep going. It’s true, they will feel betrayed but . . . since we’re their best friends . . . they’ll know where we’re coming from.”

 

“You’re right, once again.” She said with a grin and dropped her arms to her side. “Are you ready?”

 

“For?”

 

“Pansy.” She replied back.

 

“I admit, she’s quite a challenge but we’ve come too far to back out. I’m a Slytherin, I like to win. And you’re a Gryffindor which means you’re brave and annoyingly loyal.” Blaise teased her and smiled.

 

“Well, I guess we’ll just have to sit back and wait for her arrival. We’ll be ready. And if we tell them the truth about us then we’ll have one less problem in our way.”

 

“That’s the kind of mind set we need to have.” Blaise complimented and nodded. “When she comes, we’ll be ready for her.”

 

“Unless something happens.” Ginny added but quickly cleared her throat. “I mean, of course nothing will happen . . .”

 

“What if something does happen?” Blaise asked after a few moments of silence.

 

“Then, we’re screwed.”

 

“Lovely.” Blaise said nervously.

 

. . . . . .

 

DUN DUN DUN DUUUNNN. She’s back. Ahahah, not yet but she will be in a few chapters or so. This is a long story. :) I hope all of you have been well. I do hope all of you liked this chapter. I was feeling a bit emotional and decided to add in a bit more of Dramione action than planned to. Nah, I’m kidding. I just felt like surprising you all with the long awaited Dramione action packed chapters. xD Please drop a review and don’t be afraid to ask me questions, I’d be happen to answer them. Just go to my author’s page and click the link that says click here and ask away.


Chapter 23: Chapter 23
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione looked over at Draco with a smug grin as she cracked her knuckles. “Are you sure you want to do this?” She asked as she fixed her scarf and hat.  “I just don’t think you’re ready for this.”

 

“I was born for this.” Draco told her with a small scoff as he fixed his scarf, pushing it out of his way.

 

“Oh, let’s not get too cocky now. I’ve been doing this my whole life.” She said as she raised an eyebrow.

 

“I believe I’m the champion.” He retorted back.

 

“Okay, fine, I guess we’ll find out right now, then.” She said and smiled as she tugged on Draco’s scarf, pulling him towards the center of the field that was covered in a thick coat of white--snow. “Okay, let’s begin our snow fight.” She told him and smiled. “And remember no magic. Simply hands.”

 

“Okay, but just so you know I don’t throw like a girl so the snowballs will come at you hard and I have excellent aim—“ Draco suddenly got cut off as he got hit right in the face with a pile of snow and he hated to admit it but it did hurt a bit. The snow slid of his face with his mouth still open, mid-sentence.

 

“You were saying?” Hermione asked with a smirk. “I’ll have you know, I grew up with two boys my entire life. I know everything I need to know.” She said and smiled as she placed her hands on her hips.

 

“Oh, I bet Potter and Weasley threw like girls when they played with you.” He shrugged and raised an eyebrow. “They aren’t even worth the competition.”

 

“I’m not going easy on you.” She said, ignoring his remark.

 

“I’m glad we’re on the same boat, then.” He said as he threw a snowball at Hermione, hitting her in the face as well.

 

Hermione screamed and felt the snow slide off her face. “Alright, that’s it! I will absolutely pulverize you!” She yelled angrily as she started to pile up snow into her hands.

 

“Yeah, go right ahead—if you can.” He said with a complacent grin as he threw another one at her but to his dismay, she dodged it.

 

And so . . . their snow fight battle began.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny stopped looking at the books and looked over at Blaise. “So . . . how much does the bitch know?” She asked curiously, leaning against the bookshelf lightly.”

 

“According to wart-head, Pansy knows everything about Granger and Draco. She knows that they’ve been together and absolutely inseparable this whole break. She knows that they’re practically dating.” Blaise informed Ginny as he stopped looking at his book. “Pansy knows what’s been happening in Hogwarts. She knows about the fight between Weaslette and Granger, Brown and Draco. She has some devoted spies.”

 

“Does she know anything at all about us?” Ginny asked, furrowing her eyebrows with worry.

 

Blaise looked over at Ginny and sighed as he nodded. “Not that I know of . . . all I know is that we have to be extra careful from now on.” He said as he looked around the library suspiciously and cautiously.

 

“Why are we hiding out in the library again?” She asked him once more as she looked around the empty place.

 

“Apparently, Pansy has another helper who always stays in the library. They always come here so that’s probably where the spy saw them together.” Blaise told her quietly as he continued to scan the place.

 

“Look for anyone suspicious, okay?” Blaise ordered and grabbed a random book off the bookshelf. “I’ll be in that corner, so you should go to the other side.” He told her quickly before walking off.

 

Ginny continued to stare at the place Blaise was just a second ago. “I guess I underestimated that girl . . .” She mumbled to herself and rolled her eyes with a sigh. She grabbed a random book off the shelf and quickly walked off to the other side. She sat down and opened the book, but kept her eyes around the place. Her eyes locked with Blaise’s and they both nodded at each other. She looked back at her book and sighed, running her fingers through her hair. Who was the one helping Pansy out other than wart-head?

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione screamed as Draco chased her around with four snowballs, two in each hand. “Draco, you aren’t seriously going to hit me with that, are you?”

 

“What’s stopping me?” Draco asked as he continued to chase her.

 

“Well, I’m a girl!”

 

“That hasn’t stopped me from hitting you before with the other snowballs!” He said, increasing in his speed.

 

“Well—ahh!” She screamed as she fell to ground with Draco on top of her. She immediately started to laugh with him as they looked at each other. Their soft, innocent laughter filled the crisp, winter air immediately warming it up. “You didn’t have to tackle me, you know that?” She asked as she breathed heavily, her chest rising up and down rapidly.

 

“I thought it was pretty necessary.” He said with a shrug as he smirked down at her. “You should really prepare yourself to get hit.” He said as he lifted the snowballs.

 

“Not yet.” Hermione said as she twirled them around in the snow, making sure she was on top of him. She smirked and looked down at him with her rosy cheeks. “You don’t like being tied down, huh?” She teased him and smiled.

 

“Awh, now that was not fair.”

 

She smiled and let out a content sigh. “Ah, I’m tired, why don’t we go in?” She suggested with a grin.

 

“Agreed.” He said and they smiled at each other for a while. He felt his sharp grey eyes lock with her gorgeous honey brown eyes. He knew immediately it was a mistake but found himself becoming another victim of her eyes before he had a chance to look away.

 

They both felt their heart beat faster by the second. Hermione closed her eyes shut as Draco leaned upward, his hand cupping her cheek. He was only a millimeter away but he suddenly fell back down. Hermione began to laugh as she rolled off of him, lying beside him. She had stuffed snow into his face before he could kiss her. She looked up at him and continued to laugh. “I guess I win, then.” She told him and got up, brushing off the snow from her clothes.

 

Draco quickly pushed the snow off his face and glared at Hermione as he shook his head.

 

“Let’s go in.” She told him as she started to walk back to the castle.

 

Draco licked his dry lips and got up slowly, brushing off the snow from his clothes. He fixed his scarf before he started to head back to the castle. He finally got inside the castle and saw Hermione waiting for him.

 

Hermione grinned from ear to ear and reached over for his scarf, grabbing it and pulling him close to her. She looked into his eyes and planted a small peck on his lips before letting him go and walking off with a smile on her face. “Are you going to stand there all day?” She asked as she continued to walk off.

 

Draco slightly cracked a grin as he started to walk over to Hermione. “What’s the plan?”

 

“Shower first and then how about we meet up in your room?” She asked him with a sly grin, looking up at him with a twinkle in her eye.

 

“Why?” Draco asked as he put on a confused look on his face.

 

“You’ll find out soon. See you in a little bit.” She told him with a wink before disappearing into the dorm room.

 

. . . . . .

 

“This is what we’re doing in my bedroom?” Draco asked, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms across his chest.

 

“Well, what did you think we were going to do?” Hermione asked him with a laugh as she jumped onto his bed, immediately making herself comfortable. She flipped over onto her stomach and looked over at him. “Join me?”

 

“Why are we looking at books?” Draco asked with a restless sigh as he walked over reluctantly, lying down next to Hermione on his stomach.

 

“I want to show you something.” She said as she let him look at the book. “Last time, at the book store, I saw this and I thought it’d be nice if we read it together.” She told him innocently as she looked down at the book.

 

“Fairytales?” Draco asked, looking over at Hermione with an are-you-serious look.

 

“Not just any fairytale stories.” She said excitedly as she opened up the book. “It’s the muggle fairytales.”

 

“I guess . . . that’s interesting.”

 

“Could you at least act enthusiastic about this?” Hermione asked him with a deep frown, glaring at him.

 

“Oh, fairytales! I absolutely love reading them! I do it all the time when I’m alone.” He amused Hermione as he overly exaggerated gaining a laugh from Hermione.

 

“Let’s just say this is a small date.” Hermione told him with a small grin and looked down at the book. “I haven’t read these fairytales in a long time . . . you’re technically doing me a favor and bringing my childhood back. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited for something.” She told him and looked over at him. “Would you do the honor of reading the first story?”

 

Draco kept his eyes locked on hers but finally cracked, sighing as he rolled his eyes. “You win, I can’t get out of this.” He said with a small grin and looked at the book. “Cinderella.” He read the title and looked over at Hermione. “You ready?” He received an eager nod and lightly chuckled. He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him as he started to read the book.













. . . . . .

 

Hours had passed and the sun had gone to sleep and yet, Ginny and Blaise we’re still in the library. They had no luck whatsoever in finding the mysterious spy. Ginny let out an angry sigh and tossed a book onto the big pile of other books that she had skimmed through the whole day. She got up and gathered all the books, walking towards the bookshelf. She shoved the books back onto the shelves carelessly, fuming with anger.

 

“What did the books ever do to you?”

 

“Blaise, we’ve been here the whole day and we didn’t find anyone!” Ginny angrily whispered to him, although she wanted to yell at him, she was still in the library so it wasn’t an option. “Are you positive there’s someone in here that we should be looking for?”

 

“That’s what wart-head told me—“

 

“Yes, I know that! But, is there a possibility that she could be lying to you? I mean, after all . . .” She sighed and looked around the place cautiously. “She’s working for Parkinson.”

 

“I’m positive there’s someone in here, there has to be.” Blaise told her confidently and sighed, rubbing the back of his neck and stretching. “How about we get some rest and start this search again tomorrow?”

 

“Tomorrow afternoon.” Ginny told him as she rolled her eyes. “I have to wrap Christmas presents and you should do the same.” She suggested and pressed her lips into a thin line. “Let’s get out of here. I’ve read enough books for a lifetime.” She said with a disgusted sigh.

 

“I promise you, we’ll find someone tomorrow.” Blaise told him as he walked out of the library with Ginny.

 

“Hurry up! I’m absolutely starving because of you . . . making me skip lunch.” She frowned as she placed her hands on her stomach. She glared at Blaise as she smacked his arm. “That’s for making me starve this whole day.” She told him angrily as she started to walk fast towards the Great Hall.

 

“Look, I apologize—“


“Talk to me after I have some food in my stomach. I can’t guarantee you’ll be in one piece if you talk to me now.” She warned him before she stepped into the Great Hall.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Okay, this is the last story in the book so why don’t we read together for this one?” She asked him with a giggle as she flipped the page. “Beauty and the Beast.”

 

“I-I think I’ve heard of this one.” Draco said, furrowing his eyebrows. “I believe my mother told me this story when I was young.”

 

“Really? Then, why don’t you tell me what it’s about?” Hermione raised an eyebrow, waiting for an answer.

 

“Well, it’s about Belle and a beast, who is in fact a prince, falling in love. He’s mean, angry, impatient, and rude while Belle is this gorgeous, intelligent, and polite girl. She ends up having to stay with him in order to save her sick father and as time goes on, she changes him . . . and they fall in love.” Draco told her as he looked at her intently.

 

“Wow, you know your stuff, huh.”

 

“He gets stabbed at the end and well, true love breaks anything, including his curse, so he turns back into a human. And I guess, I should say this since we repeated it several times in the other stories. They lived happily ever after.”

 

A warm smile spread across Hermione’s face, lighting up the whole room. “Thank you for that wonderful story.” She said as she closed the book, tossing it off the bed. “So . . . what were you thinking about when I told you that I’d come in here?” She asked him.

 

“Me?” Draco asked and rubbed the back of his neck, completely embarrassed. “I, uh, I thought we were just going . . . talk.” He told her nervously.

 

Hermione let out a laugh and looked at him. “Just talk?” She asked him and watched him nod his head. “Oh, and now the great Draco Malfoy is stuttering and speechless.” She teased him and smiled. “Wow, I seemed to have changed you, huh?”

 

“Well, love makes a man do crazy things . . .” Draco said and immediately shut his mouth, his eyes widening. He quickly got up and stretched. “Wow, you know, I’m getting hungry. I believe it’s time for dinner and wow, it’s getting late. Y, you should go—“

 

Hermione’s heart stopped beating for a second as a blush bloomed across her face. “I’m sorry, come again?”

 

“I just love reading with you, we should do it again. But, I think we should go and eat dinner—“

 

Hermione got up and walked over to him, crossing her arms across her chest. “No, tell me again. What makes a man do crazy things?” She continued to push him as she started to poke him.

 

“Hermione! Stop it.” Draco quickly ran out of the room and cursed under his breath. He mentally slapped himself for saying that out loud. He couldn’t believe he just told her he loved her—well indirectly, but still . . .

 

“Draco, come back!” Hermione yelled after him as she chased him across the empty corridors. She stopped running and caught her breath. She looked down at her shoe and smirked. “It worked last time . . . it better work it again.” She quickly took off her shoe and threw it at Draco, hitting him right in the head. She jumped with joy and ran over to him, grabbing her shoes. She put them on and looked at Draco. “Just say it again, and then I won’t ever ask you to do anything again.”

 

“No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Draco said as he avoided eye contact with her, rubbing the back of his head where she had hit him. “Keep your damn shoes where it belongs, stop throwing it at people.” He complained, trying to change the subject.

 

“Okay, I’ll stop.” She told him as she grabbed his hands, looking at him with big eyes. “I’m not going to stop bothering you until you repeat it again.”

 

“I said I loved reading with you.” He told her and cleared his throat, looking away.

 

Hermione smirked in content and looked at him. “Alright, fine, you don’t have to tell me. But, I expect to hear from you later.” She told him and intertwined their fingers together. “Let’s go eat dinner.”

 

“Gladly.” Draco let out a relieved sigh as he let out a big breath. He had to be extra cautious about when he said in front of her from now on.

 

. . . . . .

 

The petite girl heard a soft tap on her window. She looked over and furrowed her eyebrows to see an unfamiliar owl. She slowly got up and walked over to the window, opening it up to let the owl in. She examined the dark brown owl with strange blue eyes. She bit her bottom lip as she cautiously took the letter that it was holding. She looked at the envelope and saw that it had her name on it along with the sender’s. Her eyes widened as she looked at it. She looked around the room to make sure no one was in there. She quickly walked over to her bed and sat down, ripping the envelope open. She took out the letter and scanned it vigorously. She finished the letter and put it down. A small smirk crawled across her face and placed itself on her lips. She looked at the letter once more and let out a small laugh. “She wants my help?” She asked herself and walked over to the desk, getting out parchment and a quill. She quickly scribbled down one word and sent it off with the owl before she could change her mind. She watched the owl fly away and closed the window in content. The only thing she had written on her parchment was a simple word, ‘yes’.

 

. . . . . .

 

She looked inside the Great Hall to see Hermione, Draco, Ginny, and Blaise all laughing together as they ate dinner. She allowed a smirk to stitch itself upon her lips as she looked at them. “Let’s see who gets the last laugh.” She said quietly and suddenly heard footsteps behind her. She quickly hid behind the door and made sure she was hidden.

 

 







 

I hope you guys liked this chapter. I’ve been having a writer’s block for a while, so this isn’t my best work, but please bear with me. I’ll try to work up some magic and make the next chapter fantastic. As always, I really appreciate all the wonderful feedback I’m getting from them and I’m always encouraged to continue writing. Please drop a comment below and if you have any questions, please post it on my author’s page. Thanks.

-Annie

 

(Beauty and The Beast credits go to Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve [original writer of the fairy tale] and Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beautmont [revised work of the story that is well known today] )


Chapter 24: Chapter 24
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. . . . . .

 

“What do you have planned for us today?” Hermione asked Draco with an excited grin, her eyes shining with anticipation.

 

“Nothing special, I was planning on taking you to the Astronomy tower and staying up all night there.” Draco told her with a shrug as he looked over at her.

 

“You really want to do that?”

 

“Do what?”

 

“Stay up all night.”

 

“Why? Are you too weak to stay up all night? Do you need your beauty sleep?” He teased her as he lightly laughed.

 

“No, I was asking because I was worried about you. I know how much care for your beauty sleep. I just don’t want to ruin your sleeping pattern, either.” Hermione said coolly, shrugging him off as she looked down at her book.

 

“Is that a challenge?” Draco asked, cocking up an eyebrow as he stared at her.

 

“I don’t really see you as a challenge.” Hermione said, looking up and smirking at him. “I apologize.”

 

Draco scoffed and shook his head as he leaned back in his chair. “I’ll make sure you regret saying that to me.” He told her as he stretched.

 

“It’s the other way around, Draco.”

 

“We’ll see about that.” Draco told her as he leaned in towards her, placing his elbows on the table.

 

“Don’t go crying to Zabini when you lose.”

 

“I won’t be the one crying.”

 

“Are you certain?” Hermione asked as she shot up her eyebrows.

 

“Positive.”

 

“Well, it’s nice to know you have the confidence . . . and pride. I just hope your pride will hold up even when you lose to me.”

 

“Let’s make a bet.” Draco said as he stared at her with a small glare.

 

Hermione rolled her soft coffee bean eyes and groaned. “Another bet? I feel like our relationship is solely based on bets.” She complained as she lowered her gaze on him.

 

“That’s what keeps this relationship fun.” He told her with a wink and let out a deep breath, pondering on the punishment for a minute or two. He snapped his fingers and smirked. “The winner gets to draw on the loser’s face.”

 

“With a sharpie.” Hermione added and saw that she had lost him there. “It’s this muggle marker . . . it’s hard to get off. I have a few in my room so we’ll use that.” She said with a mischievous beam. “Deal?” She asked as she stuck out her hand.

 

“Deal.” Draco shook hands with Hermione with a competitive stare. “This is going to be a fun night.”

 

“It sure will be.” She said as she got up, closing the book and placing it on the bookshelf. “Prepare to be mortified in front of the whole school—well, what’s left of it at least.” She said as she left the library first, booming with laughter.

 

“I won’t be the one—ah, forget. She’s never going to listen to me.” He said with a small groan as he quickly jogged over to Hermione.

 

Back in the right corner of the library, Ginny and Blaise dropped their books from their faces and groaned. “I thought they’d never leave!” Ginny complained as she looked around the place. “Seriously, they need to stop coming to the library.”

 

“Well, now that the coast is clear . . . it’s time for another round of—“

 

“Yes, I know.” She snapped at him with angry eyes. “You’ve been mentioning it for the past, oh I don’t know, DAY!” She yelled at him angrily receiving a few glare from the students in the library. She glared right back at the people and sighed, nodding her head. “Sorry.” She apologized and shot daggers at Zabini. “If we don’t even find a lead on whom it is that’s working for Parkinson by tonight, I will personally hex you to oblivion and that is a promise.” She told him in a low, dangerous whisper as she got up, walking over to the other back corner.

 

Blaise stayed put in the same spot and pressed his lips into a thin line. “Damn woman . . . why is she so scary sometimes.” He complained, muttering under his breath as he took a seat. He grabbed a peculiar green book that looked a century old off the shelf and looked at it to see a few holes in the cover. “Wow, what happened to this one?” He shook his head and shrugged. He opened it when suddenly; a note fell out of it. He furrowed his eyebrows and reached for it. “Will this be a clue . . ?” He asked himself, his eyes widening as he opened the note to read it, only to realize it was just a paper full of gossiping made by some girls. He let out a frustrated groan and crumbled it up, throwing it aside angrily. “Who the hell is the one putting us in this wild hippogriff chase?” Blaise threw his hands up in the air, full of aggravation and resentment.

 

“Keep it down there.” A voice hissed as he felt someone slap him upside the head with a book. “Do you want to get our cover blown, you idiot.”

 

Blaise rubbed the back of his head and sighed, looking over to see a fuming red head. “A man has to let it out sometimes.”

 

“Yeah, I respect that—oh, wait, I don’t. I can’t afford for your miniscule guy pride to get in my way of finding the freaking culprit, alright? Now, get back to work or I will send another book flying up your face.” She threatened in a low whisper. “Damn, you are so lucky we’re in the library all the time. I would’ve half killed you by now if we weren’t.” She said and walked off with a grunt. “Damn libraries and their damn rules.” She grumbled under her breath, dragging her feet back to her spot.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Hmm, season?” Hermione asked as she looked over at him.

 

“Winter.” Draco answered immediately as a small smirk climbed itself onto his lips. “Weather?”

 

“Rain.” She replied back with a smile as she looked down at her hands. “Month?”

 

“Oh, let me think about this one.” Draco said, knitting his eyebrows together, pondering on the question for a few more seconds. “December.” He told her with a grin, looking over at her.

 

“Oh, I wonder why.” She told him flirtatiously as she put her hand down on the table, tapping her fingernails impatiently against it. “Subject?”

 

“Muggle studies, of course!” He exclaimed as he shrugged his shoulders.

 

“Now, you’re just making fun of me. Ha-ha.” Hermione told him as she lightly slapped his shoulder. “Enough with the teasing now.”

 

“Couldn’t help myself, it won’t happen again, though. I promise.” He said and placed his hand down on the table as well, subconsciously drawing shapes on the table with a finger. “Potions.” He told her and sighed. “Subject?”

 

“Charms . . . no, no. wait, I cancel that. Arithmancy is my favorite.” She said and opened her mouth to say something else when suddenly, Harry went up to them.

 

“Sorry to interrupt the . . . game, I was wondering if you two are aware of Ginny’s whereabouts.” Harry rubbed the back of his neck as he looked at them.

 

“Sorry, Harry, we haven’t seen her.” Hermione told him with a frown. “But, now that I think about it, her and Zabini have been disappearing a lot lately, haven’t they?” She asked Draco and pursed her lips. “I suppose she might be in the library? Actually, no, I doubt it. Ginny would never go into the library unless she absolutely needs to be. Besides, we were just in there over an hour ago and we didn’t see her there.” She said with a small scoff. “I’m afraid I don’t know.”

 

“Oh, it’s fine. I guess I’ll just have to ask Ron.” He muttered under his breath and looked at the two curiously. “What are you two playing?”

 

“Oh, we made up a game called, ‘Our Favorite Things’.” She responded with a coy smile.

 

“You two must be bored.”

 

“Right you are, Potter. I suppose you aren’t as obtuse and incompetent as I thought you were.” Draco immediately said as he shook his head with a smile on his head. Clearly, he was enjoying mocking Harry.

 

“Funny, Malfoy, real mature.” Harry frowned as he nodded his head. “I’m surprised Hermione’s still with you considering the fact that you’re such an infantile human being—sad excuse really, for a human being.”

 

“Look who’s mature now.” Draco retorted back with a smug grin.

 

“You know what I think you two need? I think a great bonding time would be real nice. Perhaps, a nice, touching heart-to-heart?” Hermione suggested as she got up, staring at the two. “I’m quite busy anyways with reading, so why don’t you two bond like real men?” She smiled at her friend with a wink and pushed him down next to Draco. “I’ll be taking my leave, but I hope you two will be friends by the time I come back for dinner. Don’t hurt each other.” She told them as she quickly dashed out of the place before either of the two boys could stop her.

 

“She’s gone mental.” Harry stated as he let out a deep breath, shaking his head.

 

“She should be locked up in St. Mungos.”  Draco agreed, but quickly made a face as he cringed. “I just agreed with you on something.” He glared over at Harry with disgust. “Don’t ever do something like that again.” He warned him as he slid down the seat, making sure there was a big gap between them.

 

Harry’s lips lifted up a scowl as he cleared his throat. He rubbed the back of his neck apprehensively as he looked over at Draco. He ripped his refreshing pair of soft emerald marbles from the blonde beauty and licked his lips. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you, Malfoy.” He began as he swallowed hard.

 

Draco’s face contorted as he heard Harry speak. He slightly shivered as he waited for him to go on. This was going to be a hell of a conversation.

 

“You’ve been hanging out with Hermione for quite some time now . . . almost three weeks actually.”

 

“Don’t beat around the bush, Potter.” Draco snarled as he continued to look the other way, frowning.

 

“If you hurt Hermione in any way, I promise you, I will pulverize you to the ground until you’re nothing but dust.” Harry threatened Draco as he finally looked over at him with a serious face. “I haven’t been able to hang out with Hermione at all these days, so I don’t know what her feelings and thoughts are about you. But, just by looking at her face . . .” His voice trailed off as he clenched his jaw, awkwardly looking away. “She’s in love with you . . . you make her happy. I haven’t seen her like that since the war ended. Ron completely damaged her but you, the most unexpected person, comes along and fixes her.”He explained and looked at Draco, grabbing his attention. “All I’m saying is, if you truly love her and you know you’re going to hurt her . . . just stop right now. I don’t ever want to see Hermione broken like that ever. We’ll lose her again. It hurts me, her best friend, to see her go through so much pain.”

 

Draco looked down at the floor, blinking repeatedly. He felt the guilt slowly rise up through his bodies, ready to spread through his veins. He linked his fingers together as he placed his elbows on his knees, leaning down. “I understand.”

 

“Promise me.”

 

“Promise you what?” Draco asked as he turned his head slightly, looking over at Harry, cocking up an eyebrow.

 

“That you won’t hurt her.”

 

Draco gazed intently into those sharp, sincere olive eyes and nodded. “I promise.” He said as he glanced back down to the floor.

 

“You promised, so if you ever break that promise –“

 

“I know, I know. You’ll pulverize me to the ground until I’m nothing but dust.” Draco intervened as he lifted his head up, nodding. “I understood you the first time. I don’t need you to say it again.” He grumbled and cleared his throat.

 

“Glad I got that off my chest. It’s been killing me for days. I’m glad we had that talk, Malfoy.” Harry said as he immediately broke out with a relieved sigh. “Honestly, though, I believe you truly changed her . . . for the better. She’s a lot happier than she was when she was with us, which does make me a little disheartened but I’m glad she’s with someone she appreciates.”  The raven hair boy said with a small grin. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but, thank you, Malfoy.”

 

Draco pressed his lips into a thin line and looked over to see Harry with a small grin, sticking out his hand in front of him. His sharp grey eyes looked up and down from Harry to his friendly hand gesture. He rolled his eyes as he shrugged lightly. “Thank you for allowing me to continue seeing her.” He mumbled as he shook Harry’s hand.

 

“I guess you got one approval from her friends—“

 

“I believe Weaslette approves of me, too. Make that two.” Draco said with a smug grin.

 

“Don’t start smiling now. You still have Ron to get through.” Harry reminded Draco with a small snicker. “You’re not going to get his approval anytime soon.”

 

“Are they still even friends?” Draco asked as he glanced over at Harry.

 

Harry grimaced and pressed his lips into a thin line, responding with a shake of his head. “They said nasty things to each other but we’ve been together since we were eleven, I think that they’ll make it. Only time will tell.” He said with a shrug, dismissing the matter. “Well, just know you made a new acquaintance today. I’m supporting you and Hermione one hundred percent, Ron will come around . . .”

 

“Eventually.” The two boys finished in unison and both stared at each other in shock.

 

“This must’ve been what Pansy was talking about back when I was at the infirmary with Blaise.” Draco mumbled to himself and a felt a shiver crawl down his spine. “Don’t ever do that again, Potter.”

 

“I feel the same way—“

 

“Don’t agree with me either.” The snake snapped at the lion and shook his head. “It’s strange and it’s not a good strange, it’s a bad strange.”

 

“Look, I don’t like it either—“

 

“Again with the agreeing, stop that. Potter, do you fancy me or some sort? Why are you—“

 

“Get off your high horse, Malfoy. You know what, I take it back. I’m not your acquaintance; you’re just an irritating arse.” Harry stated with an exasperated sigh, waving him off.

 

“If I’m an irritating arse, you’re an infuriating bastard-prick.” Draco hissed back with distaste as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“Bastard-prick? Is that really all you can come up with?” Harry asked with an incredulous laugh. “Note-to-self, Malfoy has the worst insults.”

 

“I see you’re writing yourself a petty little note since you have no one to share it with but with yourself.  I completely understand! Who’d want to be your friend?” He insulted with a smirk as he scoffed.

 

Harry’s smile was immediately slapped off his face. “At least I have loyal friends. You have that entourage of yours consisting of Zabini and Parkinson, real nice.”

 

Draco’s face contorted as he glared at Harry. “You’re pushing it.”

 

“You started it.” Harry simply stated as he raised his eyebrows, pointing the blame on Draco.

 

“You’re the instigator!”

 

“You are definitely the instigator.”

 

“So you agree to have started it, then?” Draco asked as he raised an eyebrow.

 

“No, you still started it.” Harry said and rolled his eyes as Draco started to speak. “Look, you started it—end of conversation. Enough is enough, Malfoy. You seriously need to know where the line is because, frankly, you cross it too many times.” He told him with a content smile as he walked away before Draco could fight back.

 

“Argh, you bothersome pain in the arse.” Draco muttered under his breath as he stood up. “Those damn Gryffindors are starting to look down on me because I’ve been letting my guard down these days. That damn woman and her damn charms making me fall for her.” He complained as he walked off.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Ginny, where have you and Zabini been the whole day?” Hermione asked inquisitively as she looked between the two culprits.

 

“We, I mean, I was at the library.” Ginny said as she looked at her friend. She quickly looked away, eating her dinner. “I know what you’re thinking, what was Ginny Weasley doing at the library? Crazy, I know.” She said as she rolled her eyes playfully as she reached for a piece of bread.

 

Hermione quickly reached for the bread before Ginny could grab it and stared her friend down. “Ginny, look at me.” She ordered, a small smile playing on her lips.

 

“I was hiding from Ron and Lavender all day, okay?” Ginny finally said as she let out a restless sigh, looking at her friend with a straight face.

 

Hermione continued to stare at her friend for a few more seconds and gave up. She shrugged and raised an eyebrow. “I’ll buy that . . . for now.” She told her friend as she handed the redhead the bread. “What about you Zabini?” She asked as she smirked, looking up at him.

 

Blaise dropped his spoon and glanced at Hermione with shock. “What are you talking about?” He asked as he wiped his fingers off with the napkin. “Where’s Draco, anyway? I need to tell him his girlfriend has gone insane.”

 

“I’m not his girlfriend.” Hermione snapped at Zabini with a red blush spreading through her face quickly. “We’re just friends.”

 

Blaise and Ginny stared at each other with a scoff and laughed. “Tell me you’re joking.” Ginny stated as she shook her head.

 

“I-I don’t know exactly what we are. I mean, we haven’t exactly stated what we are—“

 

“If you two spend the whole day together and have hot snogging sessions . . .” Ginny said as she looked at her friend, wiggling her eyebrows. “I don’t know what you’re calling that but in our book, we call that dating.”

 

“Whatever.” Hermione gave up fighting with her friend with a groan. “We are what we are . . . whatever it may be.”

 

“You two are in a relationship.” Blaise said as he began to eat his pasta.

 

Ginny suddenly gasped as she went wide eyed as she slapped Blaise’s arm. “I have the perfect idea.”

 

“Me too, my idea is that you should stop abusing me!” Blaise complained as he rubbed his arm.

 

“What is it?” Hermione asked her friend, taking a sip of her pumpkin juice.

 

“On Christmas, I think Bl—Zabini and I need to get to know our best friend’s lover a little bit better.” Ginny told her friend with a wink.

 

Hermione’s eyes widened, suddenly spitting out the pumpkin juice in shock. “What!?” She yelled, gaining attention from the other students.

 

Ginny and Blaise sighed, keeping their eyes closed. “I think she likes the idea.” Blaise muttered to Ginny as they each grabbed for a napkin, wiping off the pumpkin juice that Hermione shot at them.

 

The curly haired brunette apologetically stared at them and bit her bottom lip. “Sorry about that, I-I didn’t mean to.” She said quietly as she lowered her head. “I wonder where Harry is.” She mumbled to herself as she placed her hand on the back of her neck, looking away from them.

 

“Yes, I’ve noticed that, too. Harry and Malfoy are missing.” Ginny said as she looked around, throwing her napkin aside.

 

“This is how Draco felt when I spit my drink on him, huh. It’s quite a shitty feeling.” Blaise said as he looked at Hermione. “On Christmas, I might give you a hard time. I’m positive you’re smart to figure out why.”

 

Hermione flashed a coy grin as she looked at them. “Again, sorry about that . . . it was so sudden. To be fairly honest, it was your fault, Ginny.”

 

Ginny frowned as she glared at her friend. “Don’t make me give Malfoy a hard time, too, because I will. Perhaps, I’ll hex him just because of you.” She warned her friend as she licked her lips.

 

“Alright, alright, I get it. It was my fault, I’m sorry.” Hermione said with a small laugh. “But speaking of Harry and Draco—“

 

Unexpectedly, Harry and Draco walked into the Great Hall, sharing a laugh as they walked beside each other. The whole room immediately froze as all heads went over in their direction.

 

“That was a good game, Potter.” Draco told Harry as he patted his shoulder, completely oblivious to the fact that everyone was staring.

 

Harry nodded and smiled. “I must admit, it was quite fun.” He said as he took a seat next to Ginny, giving her a peck on the cheek. “Hello.” He greeted her with a goofy grin.

 

Draco sat down next to Hermione and winked at her as he gave her a charming, irresistible grin. “How was the reading?”

 

The girls stared in shock as they looked at each other. “What the hell is going on?” Ginny finally asked as she stared from her boyfriend to Malfoy. It was certainly a question everybody wanted to know.

 

Blaise looked at the two couples sitting next to him and sighed as looked beside him to see an empty space. “Damn, I need to get a girlfriend soon.” He muttered under his breath and looked at the two boys. “What the hell happened between you two!?” He asked with a frustrated sigh, glaring at the two guys.

 

Draco and Harry exchanged a quick look with each other and lightly chuckled. “We went out and played a round of Quidditch . . . I suppose you can say we’re friends.” Draco said with a shrug, brushing it off. He finally realized that the place was silent and all eyes were on them. He knitted his eyebrows together as he looked at the students and teachers, telling them to carry on. Everybody immediately went back to talking and gossiping about the latest news.

 

Hermione lifted up an eyebrow as she looked at Draco and Harry. “Wow, you two really bonded, huh? Well, I’m very proud of you two.” She said with a happy smile.

 

Ginny and Blaise looked at each other with a frown, thinking the same thing.

 

Things got a lot more complicated now that more people were involved.

 





Please read this!

A/N: Well, the writer’s block sure is still clinging onto me with its dear life. I had quite a lot of trouble with this chapter. I usually just go with the flow when I write a new chapter and I finish it in one bang. I don’t usually drag it out days but the last two chapters have been difficult to write. This one didn’t come out as I wanted it to, but I want update this story for you guys. I hope you liked it, nonetheless. I promise it’ll get better in the next chapter or so! I promise. As always, please leave a review and tell me what you think. I absolutely love reading them :) I’d love to chat with some of you sometimes so please feel free to ask me questions on my meet the author page or just message me on the forums. I’d be more than happy to chat with you all, answer any questions! && . . . Well, I heard the, uh, Dobby Awards are in town. –nudge nudge, wink wink- lolol I’m just kidding, but I’d really appreciate it if you voted for me. It would make me sooooooooo incredibly happy. Sorry for making this author’s note really long, thanks you for those of you who read this. :D You are all cool cats :P


Chapter 25: Chapter 25
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. . . . . .

 



Hermione glanced at Draco for a split second out of the corner of her eye as she sat down by the window sill next to him. She played with the sharpie in her hand and blew a raspberry. A devious grin curled up on Draco’s lips as he looked up at Hermione. “Well, it seems to me like you’re having a bit of a trouble over there . . . you’ve been looking over at me for the last three minutes consecutively.”

 

“I want to know what happened between you two.” Hermione asked the minute she saw the opportunity. She straightened up her back as she cleared her throat, waiting impatiently for the story to unfold.

 

“I obliviated him and told him that he and I were best friends and he was your brother who was dating Weaslette, your close friend.” Draco replied with a straight face, looking at Hermione with honesty written all over his face. “That’s why he might be a bit . . . off.”

 

Hermione shot him a glare and let out a low growl. She smacked him on the arm and pushed a strand of her hair out of her fair, tucking it behind her ear. “Yes, and I’m really a hippogriff.” She sneered at him as lowered her gaze on him. “Tell me what really happened or I will use this weapon on you whether you fall asleep or not.” She threatened him as she shoved the sharpie into his face, making sure he understood her.

 

“I actually thought you would buy it, I mean, have you seen how happy Potter looks? If someone didn’t know any better, they would’ve thought he earned himself another bottle of Liquid Luck.” He stated with a snort, rolling his stormy grey eyes. “We talked after you left about . . . manly topics and we went out to play a round of Quidditch to . . . relieve stress and any frustrations we had about each other? I think it went fairly well. Truth is . . . Potter actually got hit in the head by the bat.” Draco said and nonchalantly laughed, recalling the event from earlier.

 

“He got hit with the bludger bat?” Hermione asked with shock, her jaw dropping wide open as concern spread across her face.

 

“I didn’t hit him with it, if that’s what you’re thinking. He hit himself, like the idiot he is. He claimed to be fine but I had him go check with Madam Pomfrey.” He explained to her as he shrugged his shoulder.

 

“I assume he’s alright, no broken bones?” She asked him matter-of-factly.

 

“Of course, well—he did break his nose but Madam Pomfrey fixed it right up. He’s fine, good as new.” Draco assured her as he reached for her hand, his hand gently and ever so slightly brushing against hers.

 

His tender touch on her hand brought a smile to her lips, the corner of her lips lifting upwards automatically. “I’m really glad you two are friends, it . . . it’s a relief one of my closest friends approves of my—of you.” She said and bit her tongue lightly at her dense error. She crinkled her nose as she closed her eyes.

 

“You’re glad your friends approve of your what?” He taunted her mischievously as he leaned in towards her, waiting for her answer. Although he left the impression of a joke, he yearned for her to say the two words any boy wanted to hear from her.

 

“You are a friend . . . that is a boy.” She told him with a cunning smile as she winked over at him, happy to see that she had the upper-hand.

 

Draco firmly kept his lips into a thin line, leaning back out with a skeptic expression plastered on his face. “You can’t keep avoiding that.”

 

“What’s there to avoid when I don’t even know what we are.” Hermione reasoned as she defended herself. “Unless you know what we are then by all means, do tell.” She said with a wide grin, staring at him with anticipation.

 

“We are whatever you want us to be.” He told her smoothly, looking up at her innocently.

 

“That’s very smooth of you, Draco Malfoy.” She said as she quirked up an eyebrow. “I’ll let it slide this time, but I won’t let it go the next time.” She said as she let out a small giggle.

 

“I promise I’ll tell you with honesty next time you bring it up. But, I did not bring you up here to have another round of bickering and nonsense with you.” He said as he intertwined their hands together, his warm hand heating up Hermione’s cold ones rapidly. He stood up and grabbed the blanket it brought with him, swiftly throwing it over his shoulder as he waited for her to follow him. Hermione rolled her eyes playfully, laughing as she got up, following Draco. Draco continued to smile at her as he walked backwards, making sure to keep his eyes hooked with hers. He finally came to a halt as he gently pulled her in towards him.

 

“What are we doing?” Hermione asked him with bright, shining eyes as she looked up at him with a grin.

 

“Why don’t you just find out right now?” He asked as placed his hands on her shoulders, twirling her to the side so that they were facing the window that showed them the whole map of the sky. He moved them up closer and placed the blanket over himself and wrapping Hermione in it, pulling her close to him. Hermione smiled at the warm embrace and naturally rested her head on his shoulder as if she belonged there. Draco grinned and started pointing out his favorite constellations, whispering everything into her ear in a low, soft voice. He gently planted a kiss on her temple as they enjoyed their beautiful view, sharing their thoughts together.

 

. . . . . .

 

Blaise checked his watch and sighed as he looked over at Madam Pince and nodded. “Sorry, we’ll be right out.” He told her apologetically as he quickly walked over to where Ginny was. “Ginny, we’re going to have to lea . . .” His voice trailed off as he saw her sleeping away, her cheek meeting the table. He lightly chuckled and walked up to her. A small smile spread across his face, seeing how peaceful she looked when sleeping. She didn’t look . . . guarded, she looked calm and vulnerable. He looked over his shoulder to feel Madam Pince’s eyes boring into the back of his head. He sighed and reluctantly shook Ginny’s shoulder lightly to wake her up. “Wake up, we need to go now.”

 

“5 more minutes . . .” Ginny mumbled under her breath quietly as she brushed Blaise’s hand off her shoulder, getting into a more comfortable position. She went back to sleeping instantaneously and didn’t seem to be moving anywhere anytime soon.

 

Blaise sighed and gathered all the books that surrounded Ginny like a barrier and set it aside neatly in a stack. He gently lifted Ginny’s head off the table and tilted it back. Softly, he placed a firm arm on her back as he used the other arm to hook behind her knees. He lifted her up and from her chair as lightly as he could without disturbing her slumber and started to walk out of the library. Blaise started to walk towards the door with a small sad grin on his face as he looked down at Ginny. He felt Ginny wrap an arm around his neck for support and felt his heart jump with joy. He wished that he could just freeze time and stay like that for a few more minutes. Although he knew he couldn’t have her . . . he wanted to be greedy just this once and stay like that forever. He stopped walking and closed his eyes, enjoying the moment having Ginny in his arms.

 

“Zabini?”

 

Blaise shot his eyes open and saw Harry walking towards him. “Oh, Potter—just the person I was looking for.” He lied with a small chuckle. “She’s heavier than I thought she’d be! Get her off my arms, please.” He said as he unwillingly handed Ginny over to her rightful person, her boyfriend. He pretended to stretch and flex his arms. “I thought I was going to die back there, that’s why I was just standing there.” He explained to Harry who smiled at him.

 

“Thanks, Zabini. I’m glad Ginny has someone to rely on. You’re not so bad for a Slytherin.” Harry told Blaise with a genuine grin, looking over at him.

 

“You welcome. Since both our best friends have been spending time together, we ended up getting along—it, it’s nothing, really. I’m glad you came just in time.” He joked with Harry as they walked towards the dorm. “Well, I uh, I actually have something to do right now, so I’m going to take my leave.” Blaise said as he stopped walking, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

Harry came to a stop and turned around, staring at Zabini. “At this time of day?” He asked quizzically, referring to the dark night.

 

“I, I forgot something in the library.”

 

“Oh, the library is right there. I’ll wait for yo—“

 

“N, no, that won’t be necessary, Potter. Trust me, she may look light and feel light the first few minutes, but you’ll regret it later. You know the password to our dorm, right?”

 

“Yeah, I do—“

 

“Then, hurry up and go before she breaks both your arms.” Blaise said as he started to walk towards the library hurriedly.

 

Harry furrowed his eyebrows and sighed, lightly lifting his shoulder up and back down. “Strange . . .” He muttered and suddenly groaned as he lifted Ginny back into his arms. “She is getting heavy by the minute.” He stated and quickly walked back to the dorm, his thoughts of Zabini evaporating into thin air.

 

Blaise came out from behind the big column that safely hid him and saw that Harry was gone. He let out a sigh of relief and a tad bit of disappointment. He licked his lips and clenched his jaw, exhaling noisily once more. “It was nice while it lasted.” He told himself with a content grin. He started to walk towards the dorm slowly, taking his time, in deep thought.

 

. . . . . .

 

The raven haired girl walked inside the almost empty common room and let out a relieved sigh. “It’s good to be back.” She said with a sinister grin stitched on her lips as she raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms across her chest. “No one knows I’m here, right? You told them I would be coming back on Christmas?” She asked in a low whisper, shooting a glare at a girl who seemed to have a wart on her face. She sighed as she plopped herself down on the couch. “Well?”

 

“Everyone thinks you’re coming back on Christmas. I made sure to tell them exactly that.” The girl replied back proudly with a wide smile painted on her face with pride.

 

“And you made sure Zabini told the rest of the little group?” She asked and the loyal girl nodded her head.

 

“This is good, this is very good. Good job Margret.”

 

“It’s Anna—“

 

“Does it look like I care what your name is?” The girl asked in a stern cold voice, shooting the girl a deadly glare.

 

“N, no?”

 

“And you did exactly as I asked you to? Zabini has your full trust?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And you’ve been brewing the potion like I asked?”

 

“Excellent. And now it’s time to carry out our next plan.”

 

“S, she said she’d be here soon.”

 

“Did I ask you? Of course she’ll be here because I specifically asked you to and you do everything I tell you to do, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And what’s with the short answers? Are you not going to give me the full response that I need.”

 

“My apologies, Miss Parkinson . . . it won’t happen again.” Anna said quickly as she lowered her head in fear.

 

“Damn right it won’t . . . unless you want your dad to lose his job at the ministry.” Pansy warned her without even blinking an eye and let out a deep sigh. “Why is she taking so long? I thought you said that she’d come here.”

 

“She should be here. I told her the password to get in he—“

 

“I’m here, sorry I took a long time. I needed to retrieve the book that you wanted.” A voice suddenly said. Pansy and Anna looked behind them to see Lavender Brown standing before them.

 

Pansy smiled at Lavender and got up, walking towards her. “This is perfect. You said that Zabini and that blood-traitor Weaslette are on the false trail?” She asked Anna, snapping her head towards the girl.

 

“Yes, they’ve been in the library all the time because of what I told Zabini.” Anna responded back with a nod.

 

“Okay, then all we have to do is carry out the plan for tomorrow.” Pansy said with a nod as she went back to the couch, sitting down. She looked at the fire and felt her eyes completely locking with the hot, red flames. “That mudblood will get what she deserves . . . but first, we’re going to have to get those pesky little side-kicks to do the job for us. Merry Christmas, bitch. You’ll get the best Christmas present from me soon.” She said quietly as she lost herself in the fire.

 

Lavender took a deep breath as she looked at Pansy. “Why did you want me to bring Ginny’s book?”

 

“Well, you did say she kept it under her bed . . . she’ll hardly know it’s missing.” Pansy replied back with a laugh. “Like I said, this won’t even be hard. All we need are those two nosy friends to help us with the plan and after we’re done using them, we’ll throw them aside because they’re hardly even worth keeping.” She said and got up, fixing her hair. “You know, Amy, when I first heard about those two, I thought they’d get in the way but . . . they’re actually quite useful to us for now. I wonder how Granger will feel when she learns that her best friend was deceiving her this whole time.” She erupted into laughter at the thought and shook her head. “This is going to be entertaining. I need you to get out a piece of paper, just rip out a small piece from the book.” She ordered Lavender, walking over to her. She grabbed out a pen and quickly jotted something down on the paper, dropping it back into a random page of the book. “Anne, you know where they sit all the time. Put this in a bookshelf near them.” She ordered the girl as she shoved the book into her hands. “We’re set, ladies. Now, let’s just sit back and relax tomorrow because it’s going to be quite a show.”

 

“Why do you need me, though?”

 

“You’re vital to this plan. You’re what will seal the plan perfectly.” Pansy told Lavender and smiled. “Don’t get too impatient, you’ll know what to do when the time comes.” She said and rolled her eyes as she flipped her hair off her shoulder. “Enough with questions, I’m going to go wash up so you two are free to go now.” She walked off without another word and climbed up the stairs. “It’s so good to be back.” She repeated, a smirk forming on her lips.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny and Blaise simultaneously burst into laughter as they couple walked into the common room of their dorm. Hermione looked over at Draco and stifled a laugh, slapping her hand over her mouth in the speed of lightning. Draco frowned as he glared at all of them, crossing his arms across his chest wearing an impassive mask.

 

“Really? Are you positive you didn’t draw on my face with those blasted sharpies?” He finally broke the silence with a low voice, directing his intense eyes on Hermione.

 

“I made very subtle drawings on your face, don’t worry. It seems that they have very sharp eyes to see it.” Hermione told him reassuringly as she bounced back and forth from her heel to her toes gently. She had her hands interlocked together behind her back as she whistled innocently. With her mischievous milk chocolate pair of eyes, she began to desperately start searching for any new details in the common room that she may have missed.

 

“Subtle, huh?” He asked her once more and turned his head slowly towards Ginny and Blaise. “Subtle?”

 

“Yes, definitely . . . I can hardly see it. My mum always told me to eat carrots since it was good for the eye when I was younger. I didn’t believe that until today because I can see the very faint drawing on your face perfectly . . . carrots.” Ginny told him with a small grin, nodding her head up and down in a slow rhythmic pattern.

 

“Carrots.” Blaise agreed as he pointed at his friend, nodding.

 

“If I see something ridiculous on my face, I will make you regret it.” Draco threw Hermione an empty threat as he stuck his index finger at her sternly, storming off to his bedroom’s bathroom.

 

The second the door hit the door frame, Hermione let out a loud, boisterous laugh that she had been keeping in since last night. Without hesitation, the others followed suit instantaneously, not wasting a second to let it all out.

 

Hermione wipes away a tear and plopped herself down next to Ginny. “He’s going to come out in five, four, three, two, one—“

 

“Granger, Hermione Granger, what is the meaning of this? It won’t erase!” Draco complained as he shot fireballs at her.

 

Hermione looked at the others with a did-I-call-it-or-did-I-call-it look. “It’s a permanent marker, Malfoy, Draco Malfoy. I’m quite sure you’re intelligent enough to know what permanent means, yes?”

 

“You just wait, Hermione Granger. I’m going to get back at you.” Draco told her before he walked back into his room.

 

“I’d love to see you try, Draco Malfoy!” She yelled just before he closed the door, making sure he heard her.

 

Ginny chuckled and got up, straightening her shirt out. “Well, we’d love to stay and laugh at him some more, but we have something to take care of. “ Ginny told her friend with a frown.

 

“Wait, what? What do you mean as in ‘we’?” Hermione asked, catching Ginny’s error right away.

 

Ginny’s eyes widened, realizing her mistake. She looked over at Blaise for some assistance.

 

“’We’ as in, Ginny and I. We’re actually going to take our leave to talk about the many ways to aggravate our best friend’s lover.” Blaise hastily interjected as he laughed, getting up.

 

Hermione was just about to question their answer when she heard Draco call her name. She connected her eyebrows together and stared at the two skeptically. “You two have been really suspicious lately.” She said with frustration. “We’ll talk later.” She told Ginny as she walked into Draco’s bedroom without another word.

 

Ginny and Blaise let out a relieved sigh and shared a quick glance before heading out of the dorm. Once they hit the empty corridors, they started yelling at each other.

 

“How could you let that slip?!” Blaise yelled at her as he glared at her. “You almost ruined us, you know that?”

 

Ginny frowned at him and felt the anger boil inside her blood. She felt bad enough for making a stupid mistake like that; she didn’t need him to lecture her about it. “Well, it’s not like I deliberately meant to.” She told him with a sharp glare, shooting daggers at Blaise.

 

“You should’ve been more careful.” Blaise told her sternly with a frustrated sigh.

 

“Oh, well I’m sorry for being honest with my best friend. It was my mistake, it won’t happen again. And I don’t need you to sigh and lecture me, okay? I don’t need to be treated like some baby!” Ginny told him angrily as she stopped walking, glaring at him with just as fire and angst.

 

“I’m not lecturing you—“

 

“Yes you are! I don’t need you to scold me—“

 

“I am not—“

 

“Yes, you are!”

 

“Well, we almost got caught because of your big mouth! I think that’s worth lecturing about--”

 

“I already apologized, didn’t I?” She abruptly roared at him and let out an angry growl. “You are so annoying! I don’t even know why I’m still sticking around with you!”

 

“You’re not the only one hating every moment of it!”

 

“Well, then fine!”

 

“Fine!” Blaise yelled back angrily as he breathed heavily from yelling.

 

“Fine!” Ginny told him and pushed him back before stomping off.

 

“FINE!”

 

“FINE!”

 

“Do not walk away from me, Weaslette. WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!” Blaise asked her furiously when he realized she was walking away from him.

 

“THE LIBRARY YOU DESPICABLE ARSE!” Ginny retorted back at him with twice as much as resentment. She continued to walk with anger but almost immediately, the anger vanished from her body. Instead, remorse took over her body without delay as her footsteps gradually decreased. She finally came to a halt and sighed.  “ARE YOU COMING OR NOT?” She asked him loudly, turning around swiftly, standing still for Blaise to walk over.

 

Blaise watched as Ginny continued to walk off. He felt like an arse. He didn’t know why he was over-reacting over that small mistake. He should’ve made her feel better and told her not to worry instead of freaking out. The anger that was ready to spill out of his body like an erupting volcano had disappeared into thin air. The only thing he was feeling now was shame. He suddenly heard Ginny again and felt a bit relieved to see that she was still waiting for him. “I am.” He walked over to her and when he reached her, they continued to have a stare off when finally, both of them looked away. “I, I’m sorry for yelling at you and lecturing you about it.” Blaise mumbled softly, still looking away.

 

“I guess I am, too.” Ginny mumbled back and sighed. “I just—I didn’t mean to make that mistake and now that Parkinson’s coming back soon—I got worried because—“

 

“I understand. I’m sorry for overreacting, too. I was--am worried, too. I guess we’re both cranky and stressed at the fact that Pansy’s coming soon?”

 

“That was truly a trivial fight . . . it was totally out of line—unnecessary.” Ginny said and bit her tongue softly. “I hope no one heard us.”

 

“I’m pretty sure the whole school shook because of your monstrous roar. The beast was truly released.” Blaise teased her as he lightly chuckled.

 

“Yours was like a shrill, appalling scream—I could’ve sworn it was a girl I was fighting with back there.” Ginny teased right back as she and Blaise started to walk towards the library, laughing together.

 

“But, I think you were worse than me.” Blaise said as he looked down at her.

 

“And you’re sure about that?” She asked him with a scoff, lightly bumping shoulders with him with a laugh.

 

. . . . . .

 

“I didn’t realize how much of a baby you were.” Hermione told him with a sweet grin as she helped Draco remove the last bit of sharpie marked on his face. She was standing in front of him while he sat down on the bed. “All done—I promise.” She wiped off the water droplet that was left on his face.

 

“Why thank you.” Draco told her with a grin, wrapping his arms around her small waist. “And I beg to differ on that statement.”

 

“Oh really?” She asked him and giggled as she leaned in towards him, their foreheads touching and resting together. “Christmas is just two days away . . .” She told him as she sweetly placed her warm hand on his cheek.

 

“Are you curious about your Christmas present?”

 

“I have everything I need right here, right now. I think the Christmas present can wait.” She told him with a smile as she planted a small kiss on his lips. “But . . . what are going to do after this break?”

 

“What do you mean?” Draco asked, furrowing his eyebrows.

 

“What’s going to happen to us? I feel like the past three weeks have been a . . . brilliant, inconceivable, and romantic dream. I don’t want to wake up from this dream. But, I feel like something will wake me up, whether I like it or not. Well, more like someone.” She told him as she sighed, frowning at the thought of Pansy.

 

“Hey, shhh . . .” He hushed her as he tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. “Nothing will come in between us. This dream of yours . . . it’ll never end.” He told her reassuringly. “I promise.”

 

“Promise?” She asked as she stuck out her pinky for him.

 

“Pinky promise.” He told her with a laugh as he locked their pinky fingers together.

 

“If you break this promise, I’ll hex you without hesitation.” She whispered to him with a grin.

 

“Well, by all means. I approve of that one hundred percent.” He told her and pulled her into a kiss.

 

“I love you, Draco Malfoy.” Hermione mumbled through the kiss with a tad bit of sadness.

 

“I love you, too, Hermione Granger.” Draco told her with a grin as he pulled her into a deeper kiss.

 

. . . . . .

 

A/N: ~She’s finally back! Drama, drama, drama awaits!~ I hope you enjoyed this chapter; I made this one a bit longer than usual. I’m slowly breaking away from the writer’s block and this chapter came out somewhat okay. As always, please leave me a review. I’ve been trying to take note on some of the advice and trying to improve my writing. Thank you for those who have been leaving me supportive reviews. I love you all and I will try to update when I’m free. I’ve been busy these past few days and barely have time to write these chapters. I’ll try hard to make the time to write and post these up for you all! If you have any questions, just go to my meet the author page and ask away.

 Dobby awards . . . (wink wink – nudge nudge) That would slap a smile on my face and I would really appreciate it, really. Just a suggestion . . . just throwing it out there. :p

 

-Annie


 


Chapter 26: Chapter 26
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. . . . . .

 

“It’s Christmas Eve, Hermione! Do you know what that means for you? Well, for us?” Ginny asked her friend with huge grin as she pointed from herself to Blaise. “Well?” She pressed and wiggled her eyebrows excitedly.

 

“I’d rather not say.” Hermione said quietly as she avoided eye contact with her friends, looking over at Draco for help. She placed her elbow on the table and pressed her cheek against the palm of her hand, staring at Draco. “We should get the hell out of here before they can stop us.” She whispered hurriedly to Draco. She widened her eyes and allowed her pupils to swiftly look over at her friends as a clue for him.

 

“What do they have planned for us?” Draco asked in a whisper, leaning into her ear. “Is it something bad?”

 

“Zabini wants to spend time with me and Ginny wants to spend time with you—“

 

“Bloody hell! That will never happen! Over my dead body.” Draco yelled as he shook his head ferociously.

 

Ginny and Blaise exchanged glances and smirked together. “What are you two whispering about?”

 

“We’re . . . well—we were whispering sweet-nothings to each other.” Draco told them with a groan as he glared at them.

 

“I’m assuming you know what today is, then?” Blaise asked as he winked over at his friend.

 

“No, I will not allow this to happen. Never. You’ll both have to hex me to oblivion before you make me do—“

 

One minute later . . .

 

“So . . . Draco, what is it that you like about Hermione?” Ginny asked him as she smiled at him, nudging him slightly with her elbow.

 

“Don’t push it, Weaslette. Just don’t.” Draco warned her deadpan as he shook his head ever-so-slightly.

 

The smile that was once glued to Ginny’s face was kicked off. “Weaslette? Really? I thought we were on first name basis here!”

 

“We were never on first name basis and we never will be.” Draco scoffed as he got up, fixing his shirt. “If you’ll excuse me, I have better things to do.”

 

The redhead glared at Draco and sighed, rolling her eyes. “I really didn’t want to do this because you’re my best friend’s boyfriend, but I guess I have no choice.” She huffed under her breath as she pulled out her wand. She stood up and shot a nonverbal spell at Draco.

 

A yell soon followed suit.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione let out a laugh as she and Blaise continued to walk down the corridors of the school. “Draco did what?”

 

“He fell out the window once while trying to impress a girl. The girl got impressed, I mean, he fell a 10 ft floor building for her.” Blaise divulged all the embarrassing moments made by Draco Malfoy with a huge smile on his face.

 

“But it was accidental . . . and she probably wasn’t impressed, probably pitied him.” Hermione said and shook her head. “Goodness, he fell out a window? How stupid is he? Did he lose balance or something?”

 

“Well, don’t you know how guys roll? We have to look cool for you girls so what do we do? We lean against the window sill and look cool but in his case, he fell out because he was too nervous.”

 

Hermione beamed over at Blaise. “And who was this lucky girl?” She asked and suddenly clapped as she shook her head. “Wait, no, don’t tell me.” She quickly said before Blaise could open his mouth to speak.

 

“Why not?” Blaise asked with a scoff as he looked over at Hermione with an are-you-jealous –look.

 

Hermione shook her head as she frowned. “I’m just not curious anymore.”

 

“Oh, are we jealous?”

 

“What?” Hermione asked as she whipped her head towards Zabini. She laughed and shook her head. “Me? Jealous, no. And I am most certainly not jealous of the mystery girl who fell for Draco.” She said as she punctuated each word, trying to drill the words into Blaise’s head.

 

“No, I think you’re jealous.” He pushed a bit more as he stared at her intently.

 

Hermione felt a blush bloom across her cheeks and pressed her lips into a thin line. “I’m not jealous.” She said and glared at him. “I don’t need Draco to fall out a window for me to be impressed. I’m simply impressed by just . . . him.” She said and mentally slapped herself as she cursed under her breath for telling Blaise her feelings for Draco.

 

“Ah, and so the stubborn, fiery princess decides to speak the truth now, eh?” He teased her as he winked over at her. “So just Draco being his stupid self is enough for you to fall in love with him?”

 

She shot him daggers and cleared her throat; her cheeks were now blazing red. “Oh, shut up.” She said as she continued to walk on. Hermione stepped outside and found the whole place covered in white snow. “To the lake?” She suggested and watched as Blaise nodded his head in agreement.

 

Hermione and Blaise finally walked over to the lake and sat down at on the snowy ground. “Okay, enough about Draco and me. How is it that you and Ginny are so close?” Hermione asked as she cocked an eyebrow over at Zabini. “You didn’t think I’d forgotten about you two, right?”

 

Blaise cursed under his breath and scratched the back of his head. “We happened to become friends since our best friends were drooling over each other.”

 

“We were not drooling over each other.” Hermione corrected him as a scarlet flame brushed across her cheeks. “Wait, no, don’t try to turn this over to me. We are going to talk about you and Ginny.”

 

“Actually, we’re going to talk about you and Draco.” Blaise fought back as he stared at her with a complacent grin.

 

“I don’t think so.” Hermione told him with a hard stare as she frowned. “Look, there’s obviously something going on between you two. I’m not positive it’s a romantic relationship, but there’s seriously something going on. What is it?” She asked sternly, determined to get the answers to her questions once and for all.

 

Blaise looked at her for a long time before he finally cracked. “We aren’t in any romantic relationship . . . she’s with Potter.” He told her slowly and looked down with a small scoff. “But, what I’m telling you is the truth,” He started as he looked up back at her, looking Hermione straight in the eye. “Since you and Draco started spending every waking moment with each other, we ended up spending time with each other, too. Besides, I do believe Ginny told me that you coerced her into talking to me, hoping I’d divulge a few scandalous secrets about Draco.” He finished with his signature smirk as he nodded his head. “I know all about that. How? Draco asked me to do the same thing.”

 

“I did not coerce Ginny into doing any. . .” The brunette abruptly looked at him with astonishment, completely caught off guard by his statement. “Wait a minute . . .” She finally spoke as she suddenly shot up from the ground.

 

Blaise furrowed his eyebrows as he looked up at Hermione. It took him another second to realize his mistake and he quickly got up, staring at her with wide eyes. “No—“

 

Hermione took a step away from Blaise and glared over at him. “Why would Draco want you to get close with Ginny? A-and how would you know that I asked Ginny to get close with you?” She began to throw questions at Blaise left and right without hesitation.

 

“Granger, it’s not what you think—“

 

“I’m not even sure what I’m thinking, but you seem to know damn well.” She snapped at him with a deep sigh. “Do tell, Zabini. Tell me the big secret. Tell me what’s going on.” She ordered with a strict tone. She was going to get her answers. She had to. “What’s the big secret that I don’t know about?”

 

. . . . . .

 

“I don’t think the hex was necessary.” Draco mumbled as he rubbed his face from the pain.

 

“Oh, hush, it’s not like it was my first time using it on you.” She brushed it off with scoff and instantaneously brightened up. “But, enough about the hex.” Ginny plopped herself down next to Draco as she placed her hand on her cheek. “What did you get Hermione?”

 

“I don’t have to te—“ He suddenly got cut off by the sight of her wand. “I got her a necklace, okay?”

 

“Hermione does like necklaces, good choice.” Ginny lightly laughed as she nodded at him. “Why do you like her?”

 

“Why do I have to tell you?” He asked her as he rolled his eyes with an exasperated sigh.

 

“You know, Draco, we can do this the easy way or the hard way.” Ginny told him with a sigh as she cracked her knuckles.

 

“I’m not telling you anything anymore.” Draco stated stubbornly.

 

“Okay, fine the hard way.”Ginny said as she got up, sitting on the coffee table in front of Draco. “You know you should just really spit it out. I know you’re in love with her, everyone does, except for her.” She said and sighed.

 

“Everyone?” Draco asked with a slight frown.

 

“Ah, so you do love her.” Ginny said happily and clapped her hands together while Draco mentally kicked himself. “Okay, enough with the stupid games. Tell me, what made you fall in love with her?”

 

“I’m not telling you.”

 

Ginny’s eyes widened with frustration and she suddenly smirked. “Oh, okay, fine! I give up, you stubborn arse.” She said bitterly, lightly kicking his shin. “I’m just going to tell you this—you make Hermione the happiest girl in the world. She smiles every damn time she talks about you, frankly, it gets repetitive, but nonetheless, she’s happy. After my incompetent arse of a brother broke her heart . . .” She stopped and let out a sigh, thinking about her friend. “I was afraid she would never love again. She shut herself out from all of us for months and it took me a long time for her to start spending time with her old friends again.”

 

“Wow, you and Potter must really be a couple. I’ve been hearing this lecture from both of you—“

 

“I hope you’re learning from them, then.” She said as she patted his shoulder. “I do believe you’re quite a smart fellow, you understand what I’m saying?”

 

“Don’t treat me like a kid.”

 

“Give me a reason not to.” She slapped him with her words as she gave him a complacent grin.

 

He lowered his gaze on her as he cursed under his breath. “What do I have to do to get away from you?”

 

“Tell me what you love about Hermione.”

 

Draco groaned as he sunk down in his seat. “Do you really want to know?” He asked and received an eager nod from Ginny. “What do I love about Hermione?” He repeated the question to himself and pondered on that question for a minute or two. “She’s Hermione Granger—what is there not to love about her? She’s intelligent, beautiful, generous, loyal, and extremely brave, not to mention stubborn.” He said with a minuscule twitch of his lips that looked like a smile. “But I’m afraid that one day, I’ll wake up and she’ll be gone. Instead of a warm smile, she’s give me a scowl like she did the past six years. I’m afraid that one day, she’ll find out the truth about me and she’ll leave me.” He said as he started to frown, furrowing his eyebrows.

 

Ginny’s plan had worked—better than she had thought. It had worked too well. She felt her heart waver for Draco due to the fact that he truly did love Hermione, but his guilt was eating him up, badly. She just wanted to tell him about Hermione’s plan but she couldn’t bring herself to say it. “She loves you, she won’t ever leave you.”

 

Draco suddenly broke out of his trance and shut his eyes as he sighed. “What I just said, don’t repeat it to anyone or I will hex you.” He said as he opened his eyes.

 

Ginny laughed and smirked. “I promise not to tell.” She said and reached over, grabbing Draco’s hand hesitantly in a consoling matter. “Just know that you make her very happy. She changed you but you changed her, too. You two may not know it, but I believe you two are soul mates. You two love each other so much . . . the love you two share is so innocent and pure; it’s just full of trust and friendship. Don’t forget that. You two fell in love with each other by just spending time with one another and talking, am I right? It’s as innocent and pure as a child’s heart, you two truly love each other so don’t let anything get in between that connection you two share.” She told him with honest eyes. “And whatever happens . . . don’t let anyone steal it away from you. Keep it safe—locked up far away from everyone. Life may throw things at you, but with the love that you share with Hermione—I think you can get past it. Just trust each other.” She advised him slowly with a sad frown. These were the only words she could tell Draco. This was the only way for her to help them.

 

Draco let Ginny’s words sink in and somewhat grinned. “Thanks.”

 

“You welcome.” Ginny said as she patted his hand and stood up. “Wow, I am feeling great today. Why don’t we go outside for a bit?” She recommended as she looked over her shoulder, already walking out of the dorm.

 

“It’s not like I really have a choice.” Draco grumbled, dragging his feet behind her.

 

“Everyone has choices . . . just not in this situation.” Ginny laughed as she waited for Draco. You know, I think if we keep this up, we’ll become great friends in no time.” She smiled at him as they began to walk towards the doors.

 

“And that’s what I’m afraid of.”

 

“Shut up.” Ginny said as she slapped him on the arm.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Zabini!” Hermione’s voice called out with annoyance as she snapped her fingers in front of his face. “What’s the matter with you?” She asked with a perplexed plastered across her face.

 

Blaise blinked a few times and finally snapped out of his nightmare. He shook his head repeatedly and surreptitiously pinched himself to check if he wasn’t dreaming. “Ah, sorry, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I guess . . . I dozed off a bit.”

 

“Are you okay?” Hermione asked with a more relieved sigh as she gently allowed her shoulders to relax.

 

“O, of course! I’m fine, you don’t have anything to worry about.” He reassured Hermione quickly with a furtive look.

 

“What were you thinking about so hard? It seemed like you were in a completely different world.”

 

“It was a bloody nightmare . . .” He muttered under his breath and caught a very puzzled Hermione. “What was the question again?” Quickly changing the subject, Blaise stretched casually and faked a yawn.

 

“Maybe next time . . .” Hermione told him slowly as she looked away from him. “We should probably get going now. I think we’ve had enough . . . bonding time for today. It seems to me like you need some sleep.” She said and got up at a snail's pace as she brushed off the snow from her jeans.

 

“That sounds like a great plan.” Blaise agreed and timidly stood up as he glanced over at Hermione.

 

“Do you think that the ice is thin?” Hermione asked Blaise suddenly, her eyes glued onto the frozen lake.

 

“Well, it sure isn’t thick, if that’s what you’re saying.” Blaise answered, now relieved to see that Hermione wasn’t suspicious of anything.

 

“It’s thin?” Hermione asked and turned to him with a sharp glare. “Then, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, Zabini.” She said in a low whisper. “You’re walking on thin ice right now . . . you should really be careful. You’ll never know when the ice will crack and swallow you up.” She told him in a dangerous tone as she pushed her lips together to form a thin line. “It’s just a friendly warning. I really don’t know what you’re up to with Ginny, but whatever it is . . . I think it should end now.” She stated ominously.

 

Blaise’s blood and body froze simultaneously when he heard Hermione’s whisper. He was terrified she knew about their plan but soon thought about different possibilities. “Wait, Granger,” He started and felt his blood start to flow through his body properly again. “Do you think that Ginny’s having an affair with me?” He asked with a bewildered expression.

 

“You’re not?” Hermione suddenly asked with surprise as she blinked up at him with her big eyes.

 

Her words were music to his ears. Blaise was completely relieved to see that Hermione hadn’t caught him. He burst into laughter as he realized how absurd Hermione’s conclusion was and how afraid he was just a minute ago.

 

“You two aren’t in a romantic relationship?” Hermione asked once more,  still mystified by his laughter.

 

“No, of course not!” Blaise said as his laughter soon died down, wiping away a tear from his eye. “If we were to have any romantic relationship between us, we wouldn’t even be civil to each other in front of you two! We would’ve continued to act like strangers—mutual friends.” He explained thoroughly to get it through her head. “Like I said, we’re only friends—just friends.” It hurt to hear those words come out of his own mouth but it was true. His smile slowly sailed off his lips when he ended his explanation. “We’re just friends—nothing more and nothing less.” He convinced Hermione—mostly to himself.

 

“Oh, I-I’m sorry for thinking that! I thought you two were dating behind Harry’s back this whole time, that’s why I was so suspicious of you two!” Hermione exclaimed with a comforted laugh. “I’m so glad you two are just friends. I didn’t want to go through the whole situation.”

 

“That’s why you were so suspicious of us? You thought we were dating?” Blaise asked and received a nod from Hermione. “You’re delusional—but, I can see why you thought that. We have been hanging out with each other a lot. I see where you’re coming from, but just know that it’s nothing.”

 

“Thank you.” She said with a wide grin. “Okay, now that that’s off my chest,” She threw her arm over Blaise’s shoulder but struggled due to the face that he was taller than her. “you and Draco both need to shrink, it’s impossible for me to do this.” She complained but smiled over at Blaise. “Now, that we cleared that up, we should get going.”

 

“We shall.”

 

“You  know, I think we can be great friends. And I’m really happy that Ginny has a friend like you, too.” Hermione approved as they walked back towards the castle, laughing like two good old friends.

 

. . . . . .

 

Harry continued to read his book as he sat down on the couch in the Gryffindor common room. Right when he flipped the page, he suddenly heard his friend speak.

 

“Mate,”

 

Harry stopped midway from flipping the page and turned his over to see Ron staring at him like a lost puppy. “What is it, now, Ron?”

 

“I’ve been thinking, Malfoy’s been acting weird ever since the holidays, don’t you think?” Ron asked as he sat himself down next to his friend.

 

Harry averted his eyes away from his friend with a stealthy sigh. “Ron, what is it with you and Malfoy? That’s all you’ve been talking about the past few days ever since you and Her . . . ever since you two stopped talking to each other.”

 

“J, just hear me out, Harry. I think I found something about Malfoy.” Ron told him in a quiet voice as he glanced behind his shoulder and around the room. “Is there anyone else in here?”

 

“Considering the fact that there are only ten Gryffindors who stayed here, I’m positive we’re alone here. Everyone’s probably all outside.” Harry told him with a grumble.

 

“Have you seen Lavender anywhere?”

 

“Now, you’re talking about your girlfriend? What—“

 

“Did you see her leave?!”

 

“Yes, she left a few hours ago—why?”

 

Ron let out a sigh as he glazed his tongue around his teeth. “Lavender’s been acting up these days.”

 

“Are we seriously talking about your problems with Lavender now?” Harry asked with a loud groan. “We were just talking about Malf—“

 

“Shut up and listen to me, will you!” Ron hushed Harry and swallowed hard. “We all know that Lavender stays by my side, right? She’s always stuck with me—whether I like it or not. Lately, she’s been running off somewhere in secrecy by herself. She never tells me where and I’m starting to get worried. She seems to be stressed about something.”

 

“She probably doesn’t like you anymore.” Harry mumbled under his breath, scratching his head.

 

“I’m serious, Harry. What worries me most is that I think Her—Hermione might be involved in all of this.” Ron stated with a low groan. “Lavender doesn’t know this, but I followed her last night . . .”

 

“And?” Harry asked a lot more interested in the conversation than before.

 

“I heard her talking to a girl . . . I wasn’t able to see her face or anything but, it sounded a lot like Parkinson.” Ron barely whispered the name as he looked around the place again.

 

“Parkinson? What does Parkinson have to do with this?” Harry asked as he looked at his friend. “Wait a minute! I thought she left for the holidays.”

 

“And that’s what I’m wondering, how is she back? No, more like, why is she back so early?” Ron stated his rhetorical questions to Harry with an I-told-you-I-was-onto-something-didn’t-I look.

 

“Tell me what you’re thinking.” Harry said, completely ignoring Ron’s smug smile on his face.

 

“Haven’t you ever wondered why Malfoy took a sudden interest in Hermione ever since the break started? And how quickly Hermione took interest in him?”

 

“What are you getting at, mate? Stop beating around the bush and tell me.”

 

“I heard Parkinson talk about getting rid of ‘the mudblood’.” Ron told Harry slowly and looked at him with a meaningful glance.

 

“Hermione . . .”

 

“She’s in danger. Hermione might be hanging out with the wrong people. I think Parkinson’s plotting something to hurt her. I may be mad at her right now, but she’s my best friend and I still love her. I don’t want anything to happen to her. Do you suppose Malfoy might be in on the plan with Parkinson?”

 

“Malfoy’s trying to get rid of Hermione? Why would Parkinson and Malfoy want to get rid of Hermione? Why now?”

 

“I, I haven’t gotten that far yet.”

 

Harry suddenly thought back to the conversation he had with Malfoy when they played Quidditch together.

 

. . . . . .

 

Flashback

 

“Potter, don’t worry about me hurting Hermione.” Draco stated reassuringly as he balanced himself on the broom. “I do love her . . . you were right about that.” He said and flew over to Harry. “I just have a feeling that something bad might happen to her. I think she might be in a trouble . . . I don’t know when but I think she will.” He told Harry in a low whisper.

 

“What are you talking about?” Harry asked as he furrowed his eyebrows. “Who would hurt Hermione?”

 

“She’ll get hurt because of me . . . someone close to me might put her into harm’s way.”

 

“Why are you telling me this right now?”

 

“You’re the only person I know that will guard Hermione. You’re the only one I trust with Hermione.”

 

“How do I know you’re not lying?”

 

“I told you that I loved her, didn’t I? You know damn well I do, don’t you?” Draco asked and looked away. “Since I promised you something back there, I need you to promise me something.” He said and looked at Harry with sincerity.

 

“What is it?” Harry asked quietly as waited for Draco.

 

“No matter what anyone says about me after the holidays . . . just know that I really do love her. Will you just protect Hermione? Whatever anyone might say about her, just believe her and protect her.”

 

“I, of course, I promise.”

 

“Thanks . . . Potter.” Draco said quietly with a nod of his head. Before Harry could even open his mouth to speak, he flew away from Harry and started the game.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Malfoy isn’t in on this plan.” Harry stated as he looked over at Ron.

 

“How do you know?” Ron asked, his eyes beaming with questioning.

 

“I talked to him . . . Malfoy really does love Hermione. You can see it in his eyes. It’s sincere. Ron, you have to believe me. I know what I’m saying.”

 

“I . . . believe you, too. As much as I hate to say it, Malfoy seems to truly love her. I’m actually thankful he came in time to make her happy. I broke her and he fixed her.”

 

“You said you heard this last night?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then, I think we need to talk to your little girlfriend when she gets back.”

 

“No, I have something better.”

 

“What?”

 

“I have a feeling Lavender will leave again to see Parkinson again tonight. I say we follow her and see what this is all about.” Ron divulged with Harry and nodded.

 

“Okay.”

 

“Okay, tonight is it.”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione stared at Ginny as she fixed her curls with her wand. “How was the date with Draco?”

 

“It went horrible. As a friend, Hermione, I really think you should break up with him. He’s truly a dangerous bastard.” Ginny replied, deadpan.

 

“What?” Hermione asked, putting on a frantic look. “What happened?”

 

Ginny cracked a grin and raised an eyebrow. “You know, he’s quite a gentleman. Not really, but let’s just sugar coat him up a bit.”

 

Hermione immediately frowned as she glared at her friend. “Really?”

 

“Really.” Ginny said with a wink. “He really does love you . . . and he told me all the things he loves about you—but I swore I wouldn’t tell anyone.” She stated as she looked over at her friend. “But, who the hell said that I’m good at keeping secrets?” She said as she shrugged her shoulders. “You should’ve heard him. He’s a love sick puppy for you. I did happen to trick him and hex him a bit, but it’s all good now. I mean, we had a real heart-to-heart conversation.”

 

The brunette continued to stare at her friend with disbelief. “You’re ridiculous.”

 

“And amazing—not to mention sexy.”

 

“Delusional.”

 

“I have nothing to say about that.” Ginny said and smacked her lips together. “Hermione, in all seriousness, I really do think you two are perfect for each other. I just hope you realize that Draco’s an amazing guy for you.”

 

Hermione lightly smiled as she felt her heart race from thinking about Draco. “Thank you.”

 

“But really, he’s an arse. That is why we will be great friends.” Ginny finished their conversation with a laugh as she headed for the bathroom.

 

Hermione laughed as she shook her head. She stood up and fixed her hair once more before she walked out of her room.

 

. . . . . .

 

“How did it go?” Draco asked as he stepped out of the bathroom wearing nothing but jeans. He walked over to his drawer and searched through for a shirt.

 

“She’s scary.” Blaise said as he thought back to his nightmare and the way she acted. “But, she’s a great match for you, mate. I approve of her.”

 

“Thank you for the approval, father.” Draco rolled his eyes with a scoff, putting on a shirt.

 

“Well, isn’t someone sassy?”

 

“Sassy?”

 

“I’ve been spending time with girls this whole winter break; it tends to rub off on you.”

 

“No, your feminine side is finally taking over.” Draco remarked as he dried his hair off with a towel.

 

“You’re still an arse.”

 

“You’re still a girl.” Draco replied back with a smirk. “I’ll be going out now, father. I won’t stay out too long.” He mocked his friend before he left the room. He was greeted by Hermione as they walked over to each other.

 

“How was your day?” Hermione asked with a giggle as he kissed her on the lips.

 

“Horrible—I thought I was going to die missing you. Were you feeling like that, too?”

 

“No, I was perfectly fine.” Hermione answered with a smirk as she stared at him. “Okay, rule number one, if you want to date me, please do not make any lovey-dovey remarks and comments. I hate those the most.”

 

“What? I can’t say that I missed you?”

 

“I’d rather not want to hear it verbally. I just don’t feel the need say it or hear it.”

 

“So you want your partner to show that he missed you?” Draco asked in a low husky voice as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

 

Hermione smiled and looked at him. “It depends.” She whispered back as she looked at him, only a few inches away from kissing him.

 

“I had no idea Hermione Granger had such a—“

 

“You two should really find a room before shagging each other. It’s very rude to do it in the common room where everyone can see.” Ginny suddenly scolded them from the side.

 

Hermione looked over and saw her friend looking at them.

 

“I can most definitely feel the sexual tension in the air. It’s overwhelming, please go.” Blaise said from the other side of them.

 

Draco looked over at his friend and sighed. “We weren’t going to do anything.” He said as he pulled away from her, looking at the two parents on the sidelines.

 

“I don’t know, I think something was definitely going to happen.” Ginny said and sighed. “Well, Zabini and I have things to do, so you two can carry on. I suggest in the bedroom, though. We might come back early and you two might take long.” Ginny continued to tease her friend until she was out the door with Zabini.

 

Hermione felt like someone had painted a bright red onto her face due to her embarrassment. “I’m going to kill her.”

 

“But before you do . . .” Draco walked back over to Hermione and put them back into the same position they were before they were rudely interrupted. “Where were we?”

 

“We were going to wrap our presents now.”

 

“No, we weren’t.”

 

“Yes, we were.” Hermione stated as she pushed Draco away from her. “Christmas is tomorrow and I think we should just get the gift wrapping done today.” She told him and winked over at him. “Maybe tomorrow we can finish where we left off.” She whispered over to him and laughed as she walked over to her bedroom again. “We’ll meet back here in an hour. I think we should wrap our presents alone.” She said and walked into her room.

 

“You’re the biggest tease I’ve ever met!” Draco stated as he shook his head, reluctantly walking towards his bedroom.

 




 

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Hopefully, you guys are excited for the next few chapters because they will be ... exciting. :) The writer’s block is 99% gone. But, there’s still 1% left, so don’t get your hopes up that the next chapter will be phenomenal. XD I'll try my hardest, though. As always, please drop a review below. I love reading them and just reading about your thoughts and opinions on the story. &&If you have any questions for me or just want to chat with me, please just message me or visit my meet the author page over the forums. I’d love to answer your questions and chat with you. :) Thank you so much.

-Annie


Chapter 27: Chapter 27
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. . . . . .

 

“Okay, I am so sick of living in this library. Today better be our last day of this stupid little investigation. I do not want to spend Christmas in here, I repeat; I do not want to spend Christmas here. Are we clear?” Ginny questioned Blaise rhetorically and let out a deep breath. “Let’s just get this over with. I am so ready to wrap the Christmas presents and take a nice long bath.” She mumbled as she walked away to her usual spot.

 

“She’ll probably murder me if we don’t finish by tonight.” Blaise shuddered at the thought and shook his whole body. “ He ambled over to the table in the far back corner and took in a deep breath before walking towards the bookcase. “Might as well just choose a book while waiting for anything suspicious to happen . . .” He lifted his hand up in the air, moving his index finger across the spine of every book. He furrowed his eyebrows when he stopped at a very ominous black tattered book that didn’t quite seem to belong there. “I choose you.” He whispered as he grabbed the book off the shelf when a note suddenly slipped out. His eyes immediately caught the fallen note that landed on the ground. “I feel like I’m in a movie.” Blaise managed to say in the situation as he snatched up the note from the ground. He eagerly opened up the note and allowed his eyes to scan it as quickly as possible.

 

If we want the Polyjuice potion to work, get a strand of her hair. Then, we’ll be set for Christmas.

 

His eyes widened as he looked at the piece of note and almost dropped the note from astonishment. He looked down and examined the title of the mysterious book. “Potions . . .” He read and gripped tightly to the book, walking over to Madam Pince. “I was wondering if you could tell me who last checked out this book.” He asked as he showed her the book.

 

Madam Pince looked at the book and then back at Blaise. “How did you get this?” She asked, seizing the peculiar book away from Blaise.

 

“I found it over there on the bookshelf.” He answered, furrowing his eyebrows.

 

“We don’t carry this book in our library. Someone must’ve bought it at a bookstore in Diagon Alley and accidentally left it here. It’s not ours.” She said and studied Blaise for a long time. “Why are you in here? You and your pretty friend stayed in here for the whole day yesterday and the day before that, and so on. Are you planning on doing the same today?”

 

“We made a bet in the beginning of break on who could read the most books until Christmas. It’s a stupid bet, we—“ Blaise said with a nervous chuckle but got cut off.

 

“Just don’t make any loud noises or I’ll have to kick you out and oh, please do tell your friend to put the books back where she found them . . . neatly instead of shoving them into random places.” She told him with a glare.

 

“I’m sorry for the inconvenience, I’ll be sure to tell her that.” He said and looked at the book.

 

“I’ll be keeping this safe, don’t you worry. When the owner comes back, I’ll be sure to give it back to them. But in the mean time, it’ll be in my possession. Thank you for bringing this back.”

 

“Madam Pince, would it be possible if you could tell me when the owner comes by to pick it up? It’s urgent--personal reasons.” He quickly said as he looked up at the librarian.

 

“I suppose I can . . . only if you’re in here. I’m not going to leave this place and search the whole castle for you to tell you that someone picked up their book.” She scowled at him and dismissed him by looking back down the books.

 

“Right, thank you for your help.” Blaise said and walked over to Ginny with wide eyes.

 

“What did you find?” She asked as she looked around the place. She grabbed her book and cocked her head over to an empty aisle. She quickly walked over to the end of the aisle and looked around the library once more. “What happened?” She asked, shoving the book back into a random shelf.

 

“First, Madam Pince told me to tell you to start putting the books back in the right place neatly. I’m pretty sure she’ll kick you out if you don’t.” He told her with a smirk as he lightly laughed.

 

“Oh, shove it, Zabini.” She said with a frown as she grabbed the book back and sighed. “What if I don’t know where I found it?”

 

“I guess I’ll be the only one looking out for the spy with this new clue I found.” Blaise reasoned as he held up the note in front of Ginny.

 

“Alright! Alright! I’ll put it back.” Ginny surrendered and placed it back into the bookshelf. She turned to look at Blaise and saw him looking at her. “It’s the right place, promise.”

 

“I found something.”

 

“Obviously.” Ginny remarked with a scowl as she pointed to the note in his hand.

 

“A note, it’s not signed or anything but it does have something important.” He said as he handed Ginny the note.

 

Ginny quickly read it and looked back at Blaise, chewing on her bottom lip. “This can mean anything. It might be an old note from four years ago—“

 

“But I found it in a book, a really old black book. But the book doesn’t belong in this library.” He whispered to Ginny with a small grin. “This can mean only one thing.”

 

“Was the book called Potions, by any chance?” Ginny asked with wide eyes as she stared at him with uncertainty.

 

“How did you know?”

 

“And did it happen to have a few holes in the front?”

 

“Were you looking over at me when I was looking at it?” Blaise asked with wide eyes, furrowing his eyebrows. “And besides, that old thing had holes everywhere.”

 

“That’s my book.” Ginny said and looked over at Blaise. “I left that book under my bed back in my Gryffindor dormitory.” She said and furrowed her eyebrows, her body tensing up slowly. She crossed her arms across her chest. “That means that person’s been in my room.”

 

“It couldn’t have been a male student since there’s a charm on the girls’ dormitory. It has to be a girl and not just that, but a Gryffindor.” Blaise concluded and sighed as he leaned against the wall. “This person is one step ahead of us. Whose hair do you think they’re referring to?”

 

“If this is from Parkinson or one of her little spies, it has to be Hermione. That means Hermione’s not safe.” She said and placed a hand on her forehead. “What are we going to do?”

 

“First, we need to find out who the spy is. Do you have any idea who could’ve snuck into the room and stolen the book? Maybe even the handwriting?”

 

“I was thinking Lavender but she’s always with Ron . . . other than that, I don’t know anyone else.” Ginny said and looked at Blaise. “Is this Parkinson’s handwriting? You should know.”

 

“I haven’t seen that girl write anything during classes, how the hell should I know what her handwriting looks like? Hell, I didn’t even know she could write.” He exclaimed as he shook his head.


“On the bright side, you won’t get hexed to oblivion tonight. You-we found something. You got lucky.” She told him and tapped his shoulder. “Let’s keep looking out for that spy.” She said as she started to walk away.

 

Blaise grabbed her wrist and pulled her back. “Wait, aren’t you going to retrieve the book? I mean, it’s yours. We can stop the communications and—“

 

“If we keep staying in this library, we can probably find out who it is. The person will surely come back and if they can’t find it, they’ll go to Madam Pince. Do you see where I’m getting at now?”

 

“And then we’ll see who the culprit is!” Blaise said and snapped his fingers. “You’re actually smart.”

 

“I know I’m smart, it’s you I’m worried about. You would’ve been staring at a dead end if you didn’t have me to help you.” She said with a chuckle and walked back to her seat.

 

And just a few aisles away, Lavender, who had seen and heard everything, smirked and retreated back to Pansy to tell about their current situation.

 

. . . . . .

 

Pansy paced back and forth as she impatiently chewed on her nails. She suddenly heard the door open and close, and she snapped her neck towards the sound to see Lavender standing before her with Anna. “Well?”

 

“I placed the book where I thought Zabini would most likely be. Lavender said she’d wait and see what happens and then report back he—“

 

“They fell for it like stupid rats.” A harsh voice cut in with a sinister laugh. “They’re staying in the library—waiting for someone to pick up the book.”

 

“Did they?” Pansy asked, faintly quirking up an eyebrow with a pleased grin. “My, my, this is becoming easier than I thought. Those two traitors fell for the trap and now, and all I have to do is give you two orders while I wait until tomorrow night to show up for the big finale.” She finished and laughed. “How pitiful . . . that mudblood doesn’t even know what’s coming to her.”

 

Lavender suddenly felt guilt rise in her body at the sudden thought of Hermione and Ron. “What will you do to her?”

 

Pansy looked over at Lavender and smirked menacingly, “She’s get what she deserves. Do you want to know, Brown? All I can say to you right now is to use your imagination. What I’m going to do to her is far worse than what you’re thinking—or even capable of thinking. I’ll make her endure the most excruciating thing on earth . . .”

 

“Will you use the cru—“

 

“Betrayal, Brown, use your head, will you? I don’t like to get my hands dirty.” Pansy informed Lavender with a disheartening smile. “I may not be good with my wand, but I’m unstoppable with my words. Granger can never be damaged from the outside. Haven’t you seen her?” She asked Lavender as she walked over to her bed, taking a seat. “In order to destroy her . . . you need to tear her down one by one from the inside out. What she needs is a little bit of betrayal from her close friends . . . and lover.” She spat venom with disgust as she made an ugly face at the thought of the mere word associated with Hermione.

 

“You’ll turn everyone against her?”

 

“Why the tone of surprise? I thought you wanted to take her down with me? It’s too late to back out. I need you now, and you need me, too. Don’t you want Weasley for yourself? You want him to look at only you, right? Getting rid of the bitch is the only way to get what you want.”

 

“Of course.” Lavender agreed, now determined to take Hermione down after hearing about Ron. “But what do you mean get rid of her?”

 

Pansy let out an exasperated sigh as she groaned, rolling her eyes. “Must I explain every little damn detail to you? Try to get my words through your thick skull, Brown! And they call me dense.” She insulted Lavender with a scoff as she glared at the girl. “Any more questions?”

 

“N, not at all.” Lavender squeaked out as she glued her bottom lip to her top lip, securing them together to prevent anymore slip ups. “Oh, wait, I do have something to say.” She said quietly and watched as Pansy lowered her eyes on her. “I have a feeling that Ron might be suspicious of my random disappearances to come here.”

 

Really?” She asked and smirked triumphantly. “It’s like killing two birds with one stone.” She muttered to herself and looked over at Lavender with a threatening look. “Change of plans . . . okay, let me tell you what we’ll be doing . . .” Pansy started to divulge their plan to the two girls.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione poked her head out her room and looked around to see if Draco was anyone to be found. A pleased smile spread across her face like butter on toast as she checked the time. “I have exactly five minutes before we see each other again . . . I better get to work.” She whispered to herself hurriedly as she flew out of the room and quickly over to the fireplace with a small Christmas tree in her hand. She took out her wand and pointed it at the empty space in front of her. She shut one eye as she tried to picture exactly what she wanted. Without another sound, she placed the small Christmas tree in the empty spot shot a nonverbal spell and soon, the small Christmas tree began to enlarge quickly until it was bigger than Hagrid. Hermione cheered quietly by herself as she clapped her hands together rapidly. She checked the time and her eye widened. She ran into her room and came back out, running towards the beautiful tree with tons of presents in her arms. She threw them down under the Christmas tree just in time for Draco to come out and see what she was up to.

 

“Is that a—“

 

“Christmas tree? I believe so.” Hermione finished for him with a giggle along with a smile playing on her lips. “Why don’t you grab your presents and put them under the Christmas tree to give the whole effect for tomorrow?”

 

“Of course.” Draco said slowly, clearly he was in awe, as he disappeared back into his room. He soon came out with his neatly wrapped presents and put them under the Christmas tree. “Wow . . .”

 

“What is it?”

 

“It’s just . . . I’ve never really had anyone surprise me with a Christmas tree before. I only saw them when I was here, at Hogwarts . . . never back at the manor.” He said quietly as he kept his eyes glued to the tree. “It’s amazing.”

 

Hermione grinned from ear to ear as she kissed him on the cheek. “I’m glad you like it but now . . .” She said as she interlaced their hands together. “Why don’t we go out for a bit? A small date outside the castle, for once.”

 

“That sounds like a plan.” Draco said as he pulled her into his arms, kissing the top of his head. “Go ahead and get dressed, it’s cold out.”

 

“You should get dressed, too.” She said as she laughed while walking off.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione and Draco walked hand in hand around the lake as they laughed. “Blaise told me about your little fall for that one girl.”  Hermione brought up with a mischievous grin plastered onto her face. “Do you mind telling me about that?”

 

Draco felt his body freeze as he snapped his neck towards her. “Wh, wha, did Blaise tell you about that?” He asked with wide eyes.

 

“Awh, it’s okay, it’ll be our little secret.” Hermione whispered into his ear followed by a chuckle as she stopped walking, standing in front of her. “Come on, I’m waiting to hear the full story. Don’t be shy, I’ve heard worse.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He stated stoically, looking past Hermione with his arms crossed across his chest.

 

“Oh?” She asked, raising her eyebrows as she stared at him. “You’re refusing to talk?” She questioned with a small frown as she saw Draco continue to look past her. “Fine, I’ll just have to ask Zabini again for more details on how . . .” She started to turn her body back towards the castle. “DRACO MALFOY FELL OUT OF A WINDOW WHEN HE TRIED TO IMPRESS A GI—“

 

Draco slapped his hand over her mouth as he brought her Hermione towards him. “Alright, alright, I’ll tell you.” He surrendered with a sigh as he looked at her.

 

Hermione took his hand off her mouth and smirked, completely satisfied. “You could’ve just told me when I asked nicely.”

 

“You and Weaslette are just so damn scary . . .”

 

“I’m sorry, what?”

 

“Nothing.” Draco said as he put an arm around Hermione’s small waist, pulling her closer to him. “I don’t know, judging by what you were yelling out, you seem to know the whole story.”

 

“Who was it?” She asked him, looking into his eyes as she waited patiently for an answer.

 

“Who was it?” Draco repeated and his face dropped as he looked over at Hermione. “I don’t think it really matters.”

 

“I just want to know who you were so in love with that you’d be nervous enough to fall out of a window.” She said as she innocently laughed.

 

“Pansy Parkinson.” Draco answered softly, looking away from her.

 

Hermione’s smile vanished into the cold, crisp wintry air. “Pansy . . . Parkinson?” She repeated to him, more so to herself, and gazed over at Draco. “Why do you hate her so much, now? You seemed to have liked her back then.”

 

“She was different from how she is now.”

 

“Oh . . . was she your first . . . love?” Hermione asked in a quiet voice, wanting to know his answer. Something in her heart stirred, she wanted to know but she knew that she would be disappointed once he answered ‘yes’.

 

“No . . .” Draco answered confidently as he lifted his eyes up to Hermione’s honey glazed marbles. “You’re my first love.” He told her with his signature smirk, wrapping another arm around her waist as he looked intently into her eyes.

 

“Liar . . .” Hermione muttered but couldn’t help but to smile at his answer, her heart thumping loudly and fast.

 

“Really . . . I’ve never truly loved anyone, well, not until now.” He told her, giving her an irresistible smile along with a wink.

 

“Then what was Pansy Parkinson?”

 

“Infatuation,” Draco replied as he leaned in close to her. “You are and always will be my first love, hopefully my last.” He whispered to her as he rested his forehead on hers.

 

“Well, you may not be my first . . . but you are definitely my best, and hopefully my last.” Hermione whispered back as a warm smile spread across her face.

 

“I guess that makes up for being second.”

 

“Good.” Hermione giggled before she leaned in, capturing his lips. She wrapped her arms around his waist as she kissed him in front of the lake with white snow gracefully lying on the ground beneath their feet.

 

Draco grinned and deepened the kiss, raising an arm up to the back of her neck, his fingers running through her soft cascading curls.

 

Hermione pulled away from the kiss and let out a content sigh. “It’s already getting dark out . . . we should start heading back.”

 

“Let’s walk around for a little bit more and head back.”

 

“Okay.”

 

. . . . . .

 

“I don’t think anyone’s coming to pick it up . . . not today, at least.” Ginny stated as she looked over at Blaise. “Let’s just go back. It’s Christmas Eve for crying out loud. I think we should give ourselves a bit of a break, don’t you think? We know that Pansy Parkinson is brewing up a Polyjuice po . . .” She suddenly stopped talking as she lightly gasped. “Hold on, that note doesn’t even make sense. A Polyjuice potion needs to brew for a month for it to work. If Parkinson is targeting Hermione because of Draco . . . it wouldn’t be possible. They’ve only been together for three weeks. Three weeks doesn’t give Parkinson enough time to brew it.” She told Blaise as she slapped his arm. “Parkinson is stupid and wrote this note down to trick us into staying here . . . and we fell right into the trap.” She finished and quickly grabbed her wand. “We need to go to the dorm, now.” She ordered as she ran for the door with Blaise trailing closely behind her.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Ron, I’m going to go out for a bit, okay? I’m meeting up with Susan Bones for a bit. Don’t wait up for me, okay? I’ll probably be a bit late.” Lavender told Ron as she planted a quick peck on his lips. “Goodnight, Harry.” She said and walked out of the door.

 

Ron and Harry exchanged glances with each other as they abruptly got up once the portrait doors opened and Lavender had left. “Susan Bones left for the holidays.” Harry corrected as he shook his head. “Something is definitely up. Let’s go.” He said and grabbed the piece of paper. “Just in case something happens to us, we’ll need Ginny or anyone to find it.”

 

“But you don’t even know where we’re going.”

 

“I have a feeling it’ll be somewhere we all know.”

 

“Alright, well let’s go before we lose her.”

 

Ron and Harry quietly ran over to the portrait door and slid out before it closed. They turned to their right and saw Lavender walking quickly—too quickly. Ron looked over at Harry and nodded, grabbing out his wand. “Let’s go.” He repeated one last time before they started trailing silently behind Lavender.

 

Soon enough, the boys found themselves hiding behind a column as Lavender stood in front of portrait door. Harry looked behind his shoulder as he furrowed his eyebrows. “That’s their dorm, Hermione and Ginny’s.”

 

“What the bloody hell is she doing . . . oh hell.” Ron peeked out of the column and saw Lavender waiting nervously in front of the portrait door. “She doesn’t know the password to the dorm . . . is she waiting for someone?” Ron whispered over to Harry in confusion, his eyes furrowed together.

 

“I don’t know, but something’s not right.” Harry said earnestly and suddenly heard a sound behind him. He quickly snapped his neck towards the sound but saw nothing. He turned back over to where Ron was to find him gone. “Ron?” He asked, panic filling his body. He quickly walked out from behind the column to see Ron unconscious in Lavender’s arms. “What the hell—“

 

“Harry, I’m so sorry.” He heard Lavender’s unsteady voice tell him.

 

“What’s going on, Lav—“ He suddenly felt a sharp pain go through the back of his head. “Ow . . .” He managed to squeak out before he collapsed onto the floor.

 

“Nice job, Lavender. Now, let’s take them to Pansy.” Anna stated as she dragged started to drag Harry’s body away from the scene.

 

Lavender nodded and quickly disappeared behind Anna whilst dragging Ron’s body.

 

Just as they had disappeared, Ginny ran behind the corner to the front of her dorm. Her chest heaved heavily up and down as she looked around the place. “Zabini, check the dorms. I’ll look out here and try to find anything wrong.” She ordered as she began to scan her eyes around the place.

 

Zabini muttered the password and ran into the room, searching for anything suspicious. He quickly searched through every room and found nothing. Everything looked the same as it was. He suddenly heard his name being called, “Zabini!” He quickly ran out of the dorm and out into the hall to see Ginny crouching down near a column. “What is it?”

 

“Read this,” Ginny handed over the small note to Blaise as she stood up.

 

Blaise quickly read the note,

If you find this note, it means we’re in trouble. Help us.  –HP

 

“Is HP . . .”

 

“Yes, and if it says ‘we’re’, that obviously means he’s with Ron.” Ginny finished Blaise’s sentence as she let out a deep sigh. “This cannot be happening. We fell for Parkinson’s damn trap!”

 

“We may have fallen for her trap, but she forgot to clean up her mess.” Blaise said as he looked over to a column. He saw something emerald and shimmering. He quickly dashed over to it and picked it up. “I know this . . .” He said as he looked at it. “This belongs to the girl I was telling you lot about. The girl who I’ve been gaining all my information from.” He showed it over to Ginny.

 

“This is definitely Parkinson’s doing, then. She made the girl take them away.” Ginny concluded as she handed back the jewel. “But there were two boys and one girl. That means she had a helper.”

 

“Parkinson isn’t the one to get her own hand dirty. How would Potter and Weasley end up getting captured here? Were they following someone or—“

 

“Let’s look for Lavender. If we can’t find her anyone, it’s her. She’s always with Ron . . .”

 

“You think Lavender helped kidnap Ron for Parkinson? Why would she do that? She loves him.”

 

“And that’s exactly why she would help Parkinson. The bitch obviously manipulated Brown and told her to help her get rid of Hermione. Do you know what that means for both of them? For Parkinson, Draco Malfoy.”

 

“For Brown, Weasley for herself.”

 

“I’m going to kill that girl.” Ginny stated with anger as she clenched her jaw.

 

“Where would they have gone?” Blaise asked as he leaned against the column.

 

“Well, we came from the place Harry left the note . . . which means they went straight.” Ginny said, pointing to a dark corridor in front of them. “Let’s go.”

 

“What if we get caught by Parkinson, too? What would Draco and Granger do?”

 

“We won’t. You don’t actually think I was planning on going without a plan, right?” She asked and scoffed lightly. “I’m the younger sister of the two--one biggest jokester ever. I have everything that they made . . . including the extendable ears.” She told him as she cocked her head over to their dorm. “Let me go grab that and try to find them. When we find them, we’ll eavesdrop on their plans. And then I’ll kill Lavender.” She stated as she ran into the dorm.

 

“Oh merlin, please save us.” Blaise stated with a deep sigh. “I have a feeling we’re in deep trouble.”

 

. . . . . .

 

 

 

Hermione and Draco walked back into the dorm and frowned as they saw it completely empty. “Where are they?” Hermione asked as she plopped herself down on the couch.

 

“Maybe they went out for a walk or—“

 

“It’s already eleven . . . do you think something happened to them?” Hermione asked apprehensively as she thought about her friends.

 

“I’m sure they’re fine.” Draco reassured her as he took a seat beside her, putting an arm around her.

 

Hermione nodded slowly and let out a big yawn as she looked at the mesmerizing fire. She reflected on everything that had happened to her during the wonderful break and couldn’t help but frown. She stole a quick peek over at Draco and back at the fire. “Draco, what would you do if . . . something happened between us after the break? I know we already went over this but, let’s think about this rationally. Let’s say that something dreadful happened between us . . . what would you do?”

 

“Well, how bad would this problem be?” Draco asked slowly as he stared at Hermione intently. He was afraid Hermione knew about his plan.

 

Hermione looked into his eyes and let out a deep sigh slowly as she shook her head, forcing a smile on her face. “Nevermind, forget I said anything about it.” She told him, quickly dismissing the conversation elsewhere. “I, I think it’s been a long day.” She told him, faking a yawn as she stretched her arms. “Goodnight, Draco. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Hermione kissed his cheek and quickly left him alone on the couch, disappearing into her room.

 

“Goodnight . . .” Draco muttered to himself as he stared at the empty space beside him. He firmly pressed his lips into a thin line and sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Where’s that bloke when you need him . . .” He groaned and got up, walking into his room without another word.

 

. . . . . .

 

Feeling a rough tap on his foot, he awoke with a light groan as he placed his hand over his pounding head. “Ugh . . . what the hell happened?”

 

“You’re finally awake.”

 

Harry quickly widened his eyes and looked beside him to see Ron. “Ron, where are we?”

 

Ron sneered as he looked around the place. “It seems to me like we’re in Parkinson’s territory . . .”

 

“Lavender set us up?” Harry asked in a ferocious whisper.

 

“We were stupid to follow without any caution . . . or back up, for that matter.” Ron whispered back with a scoff. “We were fooled by my girlfriend—ex-girlfriend.”

 

“No, I dropped the note by the column . . . hopefully they’ll find it and find us.”

 

“What are the chances of getting rescued by one of them?”

 

Harry stayed silent as he looked away from Ron, afraid to answer the question. “None . . . I guess.” He muttered as he sighed. “At least we’re both okay, though.”

 

“Physically, sure . . . emotionally and mentally, I’m not so sure about those.” Ron answered as he shifted awkwardly on the couch due to the tight rope wrapped around his torso, hands, and legs. “Do you happen to have your wand on you? I don’t have mine.”

 

“What are the odds of me still having my wand when you don’t?” Harry asked, shaking his head.

 

“You’re Harry freaking Potter, I thought you were supposed to save the day.”

 

“Not today, I’m not feeling like playing hero.”

 

“More like can’t.”

 

“And whose fault is that?” Harry snapped at Ron, shooting daggers at his friend.

 

“Are you saying we’re captured because of me?” Ron retorted back with anger.

 

“Maybe if you kept check on your girlfriend a little better, we probably wouldn’t even be in this mess right now!” Harry roared at Ron as he stomped on the floor because that was all he could do to show his anger. If only he wasn’t tied down by the rope . . .

 

“Well, you should’ve—“

 

“Oh, will you two ladies quit fighting. You two have bigger things to worry about, anyways.” A sharp voice cut in.

 

Harry and Ron both stared at each other, eyes widening, and looked over towards the fireplace to see three people walking over in front of the fire.

 

Pansy appeared before them with a big proud smirk stitched on her lips. “Wow . . . who knew I could capture you two so easily when even death eaters couldn’t?” She asked with a laugh. “Oh, but it wasn’t all just by doing. Of course, I have your little girlfriend to thank, huh?” She asked Ron as she raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“What girlfriend?” Ron growled at her with a sharp gaze.

 

Pansy laughed once more and turned to the side and looked over at Anna and Lavender. “I think you two need to talk later on.”

 

“Ron, I’m sorry, I had to—“ Lavender started when she was suddenly silenced by Pansy’s dangerous voice.

 

“I said later.” Pansy snapped at Lavender with a scowl and looked over at Anna. “You two go outside and check for anyone coming—I’m sure these two rats left crumbs on their way here.” She dismissed the two girls behind her and once the door shut, she relaxed a bit. “Now, that they’re gone, I think I can just tell you two what I want.”

 

“What is it?” Harry spat through his teeth.

 

“Calm down, Potter, I’m not here to hurt you two.” She told him with a scoff, rolling her eyes. “Actually, what I want from you two is fairly simple,” She sighed and took a seat on a different couch, staring at them. “I need you two to just sit there and look pretty until tomorrow evening.”

 

“And why the hell would we do that?” Ron asked as he looked at her.

 

“I just need something to help—something to push him into doing what’s right.”

 

“And what exactly is that?” Harry asked as he looked at the fire.

 

“My, you two are just full of questions. I’m afraid you’ll just have to find out tomorrow evening.” She told them and nodded, getting up. “That’s all. Make yourselves at home.”

 

“What? Are you just leaving us here?”

 

Pansy got up and let out a small giggle. “What else do you want me to do?” She asked and nodded as she stared at them. “Oh, I understand. How rude of me to let my prisoners suffer out here on the couch. I’ll have Anna come in and escort you two to another room. Hopefully that’ll be enough for you two.” She said and looked at Ron. “Don’t me so hard on Brown . . . she only did this to protect you.”

 

“Protect me from what?”

 

“Protect you from who is what you should be asking.” Pansy ended their conversation as she ambled off, leaving the two boys on the couch.

 

Harry and Ron let out a deep breath as they looked over at each other. “Hermione,” They said in unison and sighed, closing their eyes. “They’re all after her. We’re bait. We’re basically helping them hurt Hermione.” Ron concluded, putting all the pieces together.

 

“We can still help her . . . Ron, just talk to Lavender and try to make her help us get out of Parkinson’s grasp.”

 

“I’m afraid that train is long gone. Lavender is determined to get rid of Hermione . . . she helped Parkinson capture us for bait, don’t you think that’s enough of a reason as to how determined she is?”

 

“Just try because that’s our last hope.” Harry told him quietly, looking away.

 

“Okay, but don’t get your hopes up too high.” Ron warned his friend and sighed once more as the girl who was referred to as Anna, took them to a room far away from the entrance to the common room.

 






 

 

Please leave a review below and tell me what you think! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback/support I’ve been getting from each of you. I’m so pleased with it and all the reviews give me inspiration to continue writing. :D I recently put ‘Friendly Neighbors’ as 'abandoned' due to unfortunate loss of inspiration. I will continue that later . . . maybe after I finish two more stories, I’m not sure. I’m thinking right now. But, for now, Friendly Neighbors is not a work I’ll be writing. On the bright side, I have a new story that I’ve wanted to write for a while now. I hope you all anticipate on that because this series will come to end soon—not too soon but the end is coming. Just a heads up.

-Annie


Chapter 28: Chapter 28
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. . . . . .

 

D-Day, Christmas

 

Ginny exhaled noisily as she ran her fingers through her hair roughly, completely aggravated by the situation they were in. “We searched all the rooms down that hallway last night and heard nothing with the ears, nothing. I didn’t even hear the slightest thing. Lavender wasn’t in the Gryffindor common room or dorm which means she’s in on the whole plan with Parkinson! And we don’t even know where the hell the boys are and Pansy fucking Parkinson is going to get to our friends. What the bloody hell happened over break? I’m not in some fucking twisted book, yet . . .” She took a deep breath in, trying to calm down as she puffed out air. “How did things happen? How did everything turn out like this?” She finished her ranting as she let out an exasperated groan, collapsing on Zabini’s bed. 

 

“You sure can use profanity well,” Blaise stated with an impressed nod of the head as he sat down next to her. “Look, we may not know where the boys are but we do know that they’re in trouble and most likely bait to Draco or Granger, either one of those two. What we can do right now is keep those two lovebirds safe, we can’t let them out of our sights—if we do, just shoot the killing curse at yourself. We need to protect them. That’s our job right now.” He told her reassuringly, getting the plan into Ginny’s head.

 

“I know, I just—my boyfriend and my brother are trapped . . . wherever they are and I’m sure they’ve caught on that they’re bait for any one of us. If only there was a way to find where they are.”

 

Blaise did a double take on Ginny as he heard her words. A light bulb went off above his head, shining brightly at his new idea. He snapped his fingers loudly and pushed Ginny up and off the bed. “I think it’s time we use that map again.”

 

“What ma . . . p. That’s brilliant! No, y-you’re brilliant!” She yelled with joy as she shook her head approvingly. “O, okay, why don’t you stay here and keep them busy while I run over there and grab the map. Then, we can find out their location and probably Parkinson’s too. Why didn’t we think about that before when Parkinson returned? We could’ve caught her sooner.” She said with excitement and she practically flew out of the bedroom before Blaise could even process what had happened.

 

“You . . . do that.” Blaise said, gluing his lips together awkwardly as he continued to stare at the empty spot where Ginny had been occupying a few seconds ago. “I’m stuck with the couple, again.” He said with slight rancor as he stumbled out of the room. “Where the hell are they? I need to find them first in order to keep them busy! I need that damn map, myself.” He protested as he looked around the empty common room. “They’re on their own for now, I need that map to find them.” He ran out of the room, hoping to catch Ginny while she was still in the empty corridors.

 

Right after Blaise disappeared; Hermione and Draco poked their heads out of Hermione’s bedroom and furrowed their eyebrows simultaneously. “What map do you reckon he was talking about?” Draco asked as he looked down at her.

 

“I think I have an idea of what he’s after . . . but how would he know where—oh, I understand.” Hermione said as she opened the door fully, rising from the ground since she was on her knees looking out the door. She got up and dusted herself off. “I wonder why he wanted to keep us busy.”

 

“He probably just wanted to ruin our Christmas.” Draco joked as he shrugged his shoulders. “Who knows? He’s quite the sadist, you know. He just doesn’t show it much.”

 

Hermione chuckled and shook her head. “Zabini is nice and he doesn’t seem like a sadist at all.”

 

“You’re right, he’s a narcissistic bloke, can’t seem to take his eyes off of himself.”

 

“I think you might be confusing yourself with Zabini.” Hermione told him with a devilish glint in her eyes as she laughed at his facial expression. “Close your mouth, you’ll catch a fly.” She warned him and laughed once more at his confused expression. “It’s a muggle argot. You wouldn’t understand . . . my apologies.”

 

“Are you having fun teasing me?” Draco asked, cocking up an eyebrow as he placed his hands on his hips. “But I suppose you’re right about me being a narcissistic bloke. I mean, I don’t blame people for looking at me constantly. I’m a work of art.”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes at Draco and lightly shoved his chest. “Get off your damn high horse, Malfoy.” She told him with a playful sneer as she shook her head. “But . . .” She started and smiled as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “What do you want to do now? I mean, we have a lot of things to do at night so what do you suppose we do? Think about it, this is our best chance. I’m sure Ginny and Zabini won’t leave us alone this whole day so why don’t we just leave when we have the chance? The chance is now, they’re both gone and away, we can just slip out quickly and—“

 

“Let’s go to the Great Hall and get some lunch, I’m getting really hungry.” Blaise yelled enthusiastically as he waltzed into the room with a complacent grin stuck on his face. “I’m sorry, was I interrupting something?”

 

“As a matter of fact, you were.” Draco told his friend with a threatening gaze—of course it was an empty threat.

 

“Well, then let’s get going. Weaslette is waiting for us over there. She’s by herself right now, so we should probably get going before she loses her patience.” He warned them as he stared at them intensely. “You two didn’t think you’d celebrate Christmas alone, right?” He asked and laughed when the couple cleared their throats. “Oh, that’s quite embarrassing . . .”

 

“You should be em—“

 

“Oh, not me, you two should be embarrassed. You two are going to spend quality time with your friends.” He told them with a smirk as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“Zabini, I thought you two would give us a little bit of time together before the four of us gathered—“

 

“You thought wrong, Granger. Now, let’s get moving or that fiery ginger won’t let us off easy.” Blaise said as he waited for the couple to drag their feet out the door with lingering groans. “Oh, spending time with us isn’t that bad, I don’t understand why you two are so against it.”

 

“Well, what about you? I thought you were going to go retrieve a map, the Ma—“

 

“How’d you know about that?” Blaise asked with panic as he froze in his tracks.

 

“We heard you muttering to yourself—rather loudly—and storm out of the room.” Hermione replied back with a knowing look. “Who were you two trying to find?”

 

“No one.”

 

“No, you said that you were looking for something.” Draco chimed in as he looked at his friend. “Is there something you aren’t telling us? Something we should know about?”

 

Blaise stared at the couple who were drilling their eyes into his own. “It’s a surprise, Weaslette and I will tell you later . . . tonight.”

 

“Are you alright? Your face looks pale all of a sudden—“

 

“I’m fine; it’s just a bit chilly in here.” Blaise quickly shook it off, shivering just to lose suspicions. “Well, we should really get going.”

 

“Oh, how about we invite Harry to be with us later tonight?” Hermione asked and saw the two boys immediately exchange glances with each other.

 

“If Potter comes, Weasley comes, and if Weasley comes, Brown comes.” Blaise explained and shook his head. “I’d like to have a small gathering; it’ll be more special—intimate. Now, really, let’s go.” He said and quickly shoved them from behind to get going. “Getting these two to the Great Hall is more difficult than making a Hippogriff not kill you.”  He mumbled annoyingly under his breath, rubbing the back of his neck. “Stress . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny ran down the hall as she gripped onto the map with her dear life. She quickly raced into the Great Hall, thinking she was late and raised suspicions, but came to realize that no one was there yet. She breathed heavily, having trouble catching her breath. She took a seat at the edge of the bench and looked out the door to see if they were coming. She looked at all the food in front of her and grabbed all sorts of food, piling it on her plate. She quickly took a bite out of almost everything on the plate to make it seem like she was waiting for a long time. With her big chubby cheeks, she tried to chew as fast as she could. She grabbed out her wand and barely managed to squeak out, “I sholemnly shwear dat I em upt do no dood.” She sighed and peeked out the door and saw that the coast was clear. She furiously started chomping down the food and gulped the pumpkin juice down to make the process go faster. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” She said in a low whisper, tapping the map and quickly unfolded it. She looked out the doors and saw three figures walking towards the Great Hall. “Damn . . . mischief managed.” She tapped the map and quickly folded it, getting up and sitting on the map to hide it from her friends.

 

“Ginny, sorry for the long wait, we were talking for a little bit.” Hermione said apologetically with a grin as she walked over, sitting next to her friend.

 

“Took you three long enough, I was having lunch by myself for the past ten minutes.” She grumbled as she glared at the boys. “So, what should we do after this? Go outside and have a snowball fight?” She asked and nodded. “Perfect, snowball fight it is.”

 

“Why are you so jumpy, Gin?” Hermione asked with concern, placing her hand on her shoulder.

 

“It’s just, I want today to be great, I mean, it is the last day of break. Everyone’s coming back tomorrow and we’ll have to start our studies again. We might as well make the best of it, right?”

 

“Right . . . where’s Harry? And Ron?” Hermione asked, looking around the place. “Lavender seems to be gone, too.”

 

Blaise and Draco looked around the place and saw that they were all gone. During the time Hermione and Draco searched around for them, Blaise and Ginny looked at each other, giving each other signals through their eyes.

 

“I guess they’re still asleep.” Ginny said as she grabbed all of their attentions. “You two must be wondering why we weren’t in our dorm last night. We were with Harry and Ron and came back really late.” She lied as she avoided eye contact with her friend. “You know how they are, Hermione. They never wake up after staying up so late.”

 

“What were you four doing staying up that late?” Hermione asked with a small chuckle.

 

“We were just talking.” Blaise said nervously, looking at Ginny. “Right?”

 

“Ron’s been having trouble with Lavender lately, so I had to listen to his girl problems while Zabini talked to Harry.”

 

“Oh, well, I was worried last night since you two are always in the dorm.”  Hermione said, nodding, completely buying the story. “Well . . .” She began, starting a new topic allowing Ginny and Blaise to finally breathe comfortably.

 

This was going to be a lot harder than they thought.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Lavender, just think about all of this one more time . . . do you really want to hurt people just because you feel that I don’t like you?” Ron asked carefully, afraid that a tiny mention of Hermione would break Lavender. She was fragile—far too fragile for Ron to handle.

 

“I know what I’m doing and you can’t change my mind, Ron.” Lavender told him sternly as she looked at him.

 

“But why her? Why Parkinson? Why help her . . . do these things?”

 

“She promised me something and I trust she’ll give it to me. We both have a certain goal in mind and we’ll both benefit from it. No one loses in this deal.”

 

“What about Harry and me? We shouldn’t be involved in your little plan because we never asked for any of this. Let us go, Lavender.” Ron pleaded as he grabbed her hands.

 

“Parkinson hasn’t given me orders to let you two g—“

 

“No, he’s right, Brown. We’ll let them go . . . eventually.” Pansy walked into the room with a smirk on her face. “Did you two have a nice rest?” She asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

Harry shot her a dirty look. “You seemed to have a nice one.”

 

“I did, thank you for noticing, Potter.” Pansy said with a grin—which was scarier than a smirk or any other sort. “I won’t be keeping you two for long. I’ll let both of you go later. I’ve realized that I don’t need either of you to do what I want.” She told them calmly. “I didn’t hurt or even lay a hand on any of you, so don’t go around yelling that I’m some psychopath or something.”

 

“It’s hard not to.” Harry mumbled as he got up, staring at Pansy. “What about our wands?”

 

“Wands?” Pansy asked and nodded. “Brown, go get their wands from Amelia and bring it to them. I think they’re getting a bit grumpy without their wands.”

 

“It’s Anna . . . not Amelia.” Lavender said quietly before walking out of the room.

 

Pansy slammed the door behind Lavender and sat down on the chair beside her. “I know you have questions for me, ask away because this is your only chance. You two get five minutes.”

 

“Why are you doing this to us?” Ron asked as he glared at her. “Why bring us into your stupid plan?”

 

“I’ll be honest with both of you. I never had any intentions of using you two but Lavender told me her boyfriend and boyfriend’s best friend was suspicious of her whereabouts and that’s when I suddenly got an idea. I was wondering how I could get Zabini and Weaslette away from Draco and Granger and that’s when I realized you two were my answers.”

 

“Don’t bring Hermione here and use us to do things—“

 

“I’m not bringing Granger anywhere near you two. No, I’m not using you—“ She looked and Ron intensely and then at Harry with the same gaze. “—or you to settle things with her.”

 

Harry and Ron exchanged confused looks with each other.

 

“Confused, huh? It’s better if you don’t know anything at all about my plan, so don’t worry. You’ll be free to go in a few hours or so.” She said and sighed, looking around. “I think it’s been five minutes.” She ended the conversation and left the room just as Lavender was about to enter. “Brown, stay by the door. I’ll let you know when to let them go.” Pansy ordered with a knowing smirk on her face.

 

Lavender walked in and looked at the guys. “Here,” She handed them their wands and sighed. “Ron, don’t take this person—“

 

Ron looked down at his wand and nodded. “We’re over, Lavender. If you’re smart enough, you would’ve known that right when you captured me—well, us to be used as bait to hurt Hermione. But, you aren’t so bright, so you probably thought we were still together.” He said and scoffed. “It’d be ridiculous of me to stay with a girl who put me and my best friends in danger.”

 

“You and Hermione aren’t friends because last time I checked, you ended the friendship.” Lavender spoke through her teeth, clenching her jaw hard as she kept in her tears.

 

“That’s why we’re best friends . . . we might fight and say horrible things to each other, but at one point or another, we come back and we’re best friends again without having to say a word to each other. We just know.” Ron said as he let the words sink in for himself, hoping that that would happen between him and Hermione.

 

“Best friends never turn their backs on each other, no matter what happens.” Harry said as he looked at Lavender. “Now, that you aren’t Ron’s girlfriend, I’m just going to say it.” He said and walked up to her, looking her straight in the eye. “Don’t come near any of us again, don’t bother us ever again, and don’t speak to us again. You’ve done enough joining forces with Parkinson. Now, it makes it easier for all of us to hate you, Lavender. You’ve been a pain in our arses the moment you started dating Ron again, as if the first time wasn’t enough. After this, after all of this is over, stay away from all of us.” He warned Lavender in a low voice as he looked over at Ron. “Let’s go.”

 

Ron got up and walked past Lavender with Harry, their hands already on the doorknob. Lavender gasped and quickly took out her own wand. “Don’t move or I’ll hex you!”

 

Harry and Ron looked at each other and smirked wildly. Ron pointed his wand at Lavender, “Sorry, Lav-Lav. Petrificus Totalus.” He said the spell without hesitation and watched as Lavender froze and fell onto the ground with teary eyes. He turned the door knob and ran out of the door with Harry running behind him. They were in such a rush of escaping that they didn’t notice they had passed a rather calm Pansy waiting by the fireplace, watching them run away with a devilish smile on her face. The boys quickly reached the portrait door and ran out. “We need to find Ginny and tell her everything!” Harry told Ron and they ran down the corridors.

 

Back in the room, Pansy let out a sinister laugh as she nodded. “Perfect, those two idiots fell for it.” She smirked and quickly got up, fixing her skirt. “Anne!” She yelled out and soon, the girl ran in nervously. “We have things to do. Go unfreeze Brown and come with me. Thanks to those perfect idiots, I think I can show up a little bit earlier. Change of plans, so listen carefully when I tell you, okay?” She asked and watched as Anna ran over to the room to free Lavender. “I’m beginning to love Christmas . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione and Ginny laughed as they high-fived each other. “You two were saying?” Ginny asked as she crossed her arms across her chest.

 

“We obviously went easy on you two since we’re gentlemen. We don’t hurt girls, ever.” Blaise defended them as he and Draco exchanged a mortified gaze. They had been pummeled with snow by the girls who did not even try to show mercy.

 

“Gentlemen, huh? Never hurt a girl before?” Hermione asked and sneered as she looked at the two boys. “You two are known as the heart breakers, here, nice try, Zabini. You could’ve fooled me.” She told them with a wry grin. “Besides, you probably never hurt a girl physically, but mentally and emotionally—that’s a different story, I believe.”

 

“Alright, so you may be right about that, but you two were a bit vigorous and belligerent, don’t you think? We didn’t even have time to blink before you two bombarded us with those damn hard snowballs—“

 

“Oh, stop complaining, Malfoy. I thought you two were gentlemen. I mean, you boys both went easy on us, right? Unless we just overpowered you two . . . which makes sense and I completely think that’s what happened.” Ginny hushed the boys up as they looked down at the ground, embarrassed by their failure in having a snowball fight. “That wasn’t much of a game, was it? It was actually quite boring.”

 

“When we have snowball fights with Harry and Ron, it was actually worth to call it a snowball fight. This was more of a one sided fight.” Hermione agreed with Ginny as they both smiled, happy to be poking fun at the boys. “It hardly even took strength to win . . .”

 

“You two really need to work on teamwork, too. What I saw a minute ago was not teamwork. It was more of a one man show, kind of thing. Save yourself and the hell with the other kind of situation.” Ginny added and looked at the distressed boys. “I really like Christmas, don’t you, Hermione?”

 

“Very and it’s all thanks to you two so don’t feel too bad.” Hermione managed to shoot down their last bit of pride in themselves.

 

“I think we should just burn the presents, don’t you think, mate? It’ll keep us warm.” Blaise suggested as he completely ignored the girls.

 

“Yes, I believe we should. After all, it’s just presents.” Draco nodded in agreement as he got up from the ground, dusting the snow off of himself.

 

Ginny frowned as she looked at them. “Yeah, you know, Hermione, we should burn ours, too. Oh, wait! No, we should just give them all to Harry and Ron.” She mocked the boys as she winked at Hermione.

 

“Or maybe we should give them to Neville when he gets back . . . I think he’ll like mine and I’m sure he’ll like yours, as well.” Hermione smiled at Draco as she shrugged her shoulders. “If you two want to play dirty . . . well, don’t mind us.”

 

“I hate Christmas . . .” Blaise complained as he threw his hands up in the air. “Argh, why didn’t you block while I threw the snowballs! Maybe then, we could’ve had a shot at it!” He suddenly yelled at Draco, throwing a snowball at his friend.

 

Draco let the snow slide off his face as he glared at Blaise. He leaned down and made himself a big snowball with a calm face. “Or maybe . . . you should’ve blocked and gotten hit by the snowballs while I threw.” He said and right at the end of his sentence, he tossed the big snowball at Blaise, hitting him right in the face. “You would’ve done a fine job.”

 

Blaise felt the icy cold snow slide off his face and glared right back at Draco. “How about . . .” He leaned down and whipped himself a snowball. “You getting hit by the snowballs and blocking me while I threw!” He yelled and threw the snowball at Draco with immense force.

 

“Come here, mate.” Draco said as he made himself a snowball, threatening to throw it as he walked closer to Blaise. “Come here!” He yelled and soon, they started yelling and screaming, running away from each other with snowballs in their hands.

 

“I sometimes wonder about that duo over there . . . frankly, I worry for them.” Ginny commented as she shook her head at the sad scene.

 

“Maybe this is our chance to leave them . . . let them have their intimate moment together.” Hermione said as she slowly started to back away from the fight.

 

Ginny thought about Parkinson just as she was about to step back, as well. She grabbed Hermione’s arm and pulled her back next to her. “No, let’s watch this. I think it’s actually quite interesting.”

 

Hermione laughed and lightly pushed her friend. “You just love teasing them, don’t you?”

 

“I’ve actually acquired a new hobby during this wonderful winter break.”

 

“And let me guess, you don’t have presents to burn since you didn’t get them anything, right?”

 

“How’d you know?” Ginny asked with shock. “I only bought yours, Harry’s and Ron’s . . . well, I did buy Zabini one since he’s been quite a nice friend to me for the past few weeks. I didn’t get Malfoy anything—only because I knew he was going to care only for your present.”

 

“Nice save, Gin.” She said with a chuckle and looked at the two boys to see that the heated snowball fight had already ended. “That was quick.”

 

The boys walked over to the girls and cleared their throats. “I think we should get going, it’s getting pretty late and I think it’s time we wash up and have dinner.” Draco said as he breathed heavily.

 

They all agreed and made their way towards the castle again, ready to have a hot shower and eat.

 

. . . . . .

 

Harry and Ron both breathed heavily, their chest heaving up and down. Harry leaned down, both hands on his knees as he looked down, trying to catch his breath. “Where do you think they are? We’ve searched everywhere.”

 

“Maybe they’re outside, we didn’t look there, yet.” Ron suggested as he started to walk away.

 

“Wait, no, I have an easier way to find them.” Harry suddenly said as he looked at his friend, straightening his back. “We have my map. We can look for them—any of them with that.”

 

“Why didn’t we think of that before we started running like mad men?”

 

“We weren’t using our heads—and we were escaping from that . . . psychotic monster.” He said as they started to walk towards their dorm, taking their time. “Now that we mention it, I do recall catching a glimpse of Parkinson watching us as we escaped. She looked calm, didn’t seem like she wanted to stop us.” He said and they both froze as they looked at each other.

 

“Damn . . .”

 

“She manipulated us . . . she wanted us to escape. Why?” Harry asked as he looked around apprehensively.

 

“I thought she didn’t use her brain but she seems to be using it rather well—she’s completely mental. We’re just pawns in her little chess game and we’re helping her hurt Hermione.”

 

“But wouldn’t she want to keep us with her than out here? I mean, if we left we would go out and tell them about her plan and . . .” Harry’s voice trailed off as they looked at each other. He didn’t need to finish his sentence because they both knew the answer.

 

Pansy Parkinson let them escape for a reason . . .

 

“We can’t warn them about her or she’ll get her chance.” Ron told Harry nervously as he rubbed the back of his neck. “What do we do?”

 

“We need to let them do what they were planning on doing because if we interfere, Ginny and someone will do something that’ll result in chaos. We need to keep our distance from all of them. He looked outside and saw that it was getting dark. “It’s almost time for dinner, so we should just wash up and go eat. We should greet them and act normal.”

 

“What do we do about Lavender? They’ll probably be wondering where she is . . .”

 

“You broke up with her, tell them that.” Harry said and sighed as they started walking again.

 

“One hell of a Christmas . . .” Ron said as he shook his head, exhaling noisily.

 

“Tell me about it.” Harry agreed as he rolled his refreshing pair of emerald eyes. “Did your mum send you a sweater again?” He asked with a teasing grin.

 

“Don’t start smiling now because if I got one, you got one.”

 

Harry immediately frowned and they both burst out laughing.

 

“The is not the kind of Christmas I was expecting . . . instead of laughing and having a joyful time with friends and exchanging gifts, we’re going to have to stay far away from our friends in order to protect them from a psychotic, obsessed girl on the loose. Definitely something you want to tell your children and grandchildren.” Harry said as he scoffed, shaking his head.

 

“You should tell your children and grandchildren that and Voldermort. I swear, Parkinson’s little plan is almost like fighting Voldermort. They’re both crazy and they’re both driving us crazy.” Ron said as he sighed restlessly. “Can we ever just get a break from all this madness?”

 

“Yeah, but there’s one tiny little difference from Voldermort and now . . . Hermione’s not with us.”

 

They fell silent as that statement and walked to the Gryffindor common room in complete silence.

 




 

 

Well, this was a chapter that was quite hard to write because that 1% of writers block I had got to me. :(  This is horrible. It did not come out the way I planned and wanted it to but . . . I guess I’ll just have to redeem myself with the next chapter where everything falls into place. I hope you guys aren’t too depressed by this awful chapter because (hopefully) the next chapter will be awesome and make you happy. (: The chapter itself won’t be fluffy and happy Christmas time thing but things will get crazy, I promise you that. Pansy’s plan will unfold and reveal itself. How Draco and Hermione’s plans will reveal itself to one another . . . crazy things are going to happen. The next chapter is truly The Hoax. So, be ready for that! I hope you all enjoyed this . . . chapter and please drop a review below. I know it’ll be hard writing a nice review for this, but please try. I’ll really appreciate it. Thanks.

-Annie


Chapter 29: Chapter 29
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. . . . . .

 

“Draco, we need to get back before they finish showering,” Hermione whispered excitedly with a giggle as she and Draco jogged through the empty corridors. “Where are we going? We better not be going fa—“ She stopped as she looked at the flight of stairs in front of her. “Why are we back here?” She asked as her lips lifted up into a smile.

 

“You’ll find out in a few seconds,” Draco reassured her as he intertwined their hands together, running up the stairs with Hermione following closely behind him. “I just want one minute alone with you—“ He told her as they reached the top of the stairs. He had brought them up to the Astronomy tower—for old time sakes. “I knew that I wouldn’t get to have you for myself since those two friends are sticking around with us today. I just need five minutes, just five minutes and then we’ll head back, I promise.”

 

Hermione laughed as she looked at him. “I was thinking the same thing,” She said as she looked at up with twinkling eyes. “We haven’t been up here in a while together . . .”

 

“And I’ve been dying to do this all day long—“ He quickly leaned down and captured her soft lips with his own. Hermione lightly grinned as she kissed him back, hooking her arms around his neck as Draco wrapped his arms around her waist tightly, brining her closer to him. Their kiss lasted as fast as it had started.

 

“I didn’t bring you up here to snog all day with you – maybe another day.” Draco teased as he winked at her. “I wanted to give you your present right now . . . in case I didn’t have time to later.” He said as he pulled a long box wrapped tightly and neatly with a green gift wrapper out from his pockets.

 

Hermione looked over at him with a wide grin – no matter how hard she tried to conceal it, the smile shined brightly beneath the luminous moonlight in front of them, blinding even the moon’s light. She took the present from him and slowly unwrapped it, keeping her eyes on Draco. “This better not be a trick—“ She told him with suspicious eyes as she grinned.

 

“You better find out for yourself, then.” Draco replied back as he nervously waited for her to look inside of the box. His heart was about to burst any second due to the anxiety building up as Hermione started to open it up.  

 

Hermione looked down at the box as she finally lifted up the top half of it and lightly gasped as her eyes widened. “Wow . . .” She breathed it as she looked at the gorgeous necklace in front of her. “This is . . .” She knitted her eyebrows together as she shook her head softly. “I . . .”







“You don’t like it?” Draco asked with shock as he looked at her. “Is it the design? I knew it, I should’ve chosen the simple—“ He suddenly got cut off by a gorgeous tune coming out of Hermione—her laughter.

 

“Why are you so nervous? Is this your first time giving a present to someone?” She asked him as she laughed at him.

 

“My first . . .”

 

Hermione lifted both eyebrows in surprise as she gazed at Draco. “Really?” She asked and looked back at the necklace. The necklace was in the shape of a silver infinity sign with tiny diamond carats going across one half of the sign. “I absolutely love it, it’s beautiful, Draco Malfoy.” She breathed out with astonishment as she grazed her fingers across the cold silver necklace. “I, how, did you even get this kind of necklace?”

 

“I asked for that shape and . . . if you look at the back of the necklace, I mean –it’s really small and you can barely read it—“

 

Today, tomorrow, forever,” Hermione read the small letters engraved into the back of the necklace and grinned from ear to ear. “I think you fell for me a little too hard.” She suddenly said as she looked at the necklace. “I didn’t get you anything nearly as gorgeous, extravagant, and expensive as this!”

 

“It’s just one way to show you how much I love you.” Draco replied with a sly grin as her suddenly took the necklace out of the box, lifting it up. “May I?”

 

“Of course,” Hermione turned around gathered up her hair into a ponytail as she lifted it up for Draco to put the necklace on for her. Before she knew it, she felt a cold spot on her chest and looked down to see the necklace glued to her skin. “Wow . . .” She lightly giggled and turned back around once Draco was done. “Well, this isn’t fair. I didn’t bring your present.”

 

“I guess it just shows who loves who more.”

 

“I’ll give it to you later, okay?” She asked and closed the now empty box as she held onto it tightly. “Thank you, Draco.”

 

“Merry Christmas, Hermione Granger.” Draco said sweetly as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

 

“Merry Christmas, Draco Malfoy.” She whispered to him as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

 

“I love you, Hermione Granger.” Draco told her in a low whisper as he pressed his lips onto hers once more . . . one last time.

 

Little did they know it would be their last . . .

 

. . . . . .

 

“Where were you two?” Ginny asked indifferently as she bit into her biscuit. She was relieved Pansy Parkinson hadn’t gotten to them . . . or at least, it didn’t seem like it.

 

“We went out to get some fresh air—we just wanted to get away from you two for just one second.” Hermione joked as she smiled over at the uneasy duo. “What’s wrong with you two? You two seem really tense—“

 

“Tense? We aren’t tense. We were just worried you two left without . . .” Blaise replied quickly as he sighed. “We’re actually a bit sad to hear that you two weren’t happy to spend time with us today. It’s actually a bit disheartening to know that you two tried to ditch us—“

 

“We weren’t ditching anyone. We were just taking a break,” Hermione said and smiled. “After dinner, we head back to the dorm and open presents, how does that sound?”

 

“Excell . . . ent.” Ginny’s voice trailed off as her eyes widened at the sight of Harry and Ron. She nudged Blaise sharply as she cleared her throat. “I couldn’t find them on the map last time I checked, wha—how did they escape from Parkinson?” She suddenly whispered over to Blaise.

 

Hermione looked at the two being discreet and turned around, spotting Harry and Ron. She grinned at the sight of them and turned back to Draco. “Wait here, I’m just going to go talk to them for a little bit.” She told him with a warm grin as she got up, walking towards her old friends awkwardly and nervously.

 

Draco watched as Hermione walked over to the boys and sighed. He turned back to Blaise to see that they were still whispering to each other intensely. “Damn, I’m the one left out this time . . .” He muttered and sighed, turned his head to the side towards the doors to see someone strikingly familiar. He did a quick double take and saw Pansy Parkinson staring at him.

 

Pansy looked at Draco with a small smirk as she lifted  up her hand and pulling her fingers towards her—gesturing for Draco to come over.

 

Draco furrowed his eyebrows suspiciously as he examined Pansy. He looked back to Hermione who seemed to be carrying a conversation with Harry and then at Blaise and Ginny who were still whispering to each other. “I’ll be right back . . .” He slowly stood up and walked out towards Pansy.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Where have you two been?” Hermione asked awkwardly as she looked at Ron who looked right back.

 

“We were a little busy with some things . . .” Ron answered quietly as he continued to stare at Hermione. “How’s your day going so far?” He asked awkwardly.

 

“Fantastic,” Hermione replied quickly and looked away from his intense stare. “Although, Christmas isn’t the same without you guys, if that’s what you’re asking.” She said and sighed as she looked over at her table to see that Draco was gone. She furrowed her eyebrows and turned back to her friends. “Where’s Lavender?”

 

“Who knows? She’s been gone a lot lately.” Ron told her and sipped his pumpkin juice. “We broke up.”

 

“Oh?” Hermione stared at Ron with shock as she pressed her lips into a thin line. “When?”

 

“Today.”

 

“Oh . . .” That was all Hermione could say, ‘oh’. “I, I have to go back now before they start looking for me.” She quickly got up from her seat and looked at Ron. “It’s really nice talking to you again, Ron.”

 

“Hermione, I just- I just wanted to ask, are you happy?” Ron asked as he looked up at her hopefully.

 

“Yes, I am.” Hermione nodded her head as she spoke softly.

 

“I just want you to know that I’m sorry for being a complete ar—“

 

Hermione lightly grinned and locked eyes with him. She gave him a small nod as her smile got bigger. “I know . . .” She told him and walked off with a grin on her face. Things were finally starting to turn back to normal.

 

Ron slightly cracked a grin at her nod and looked at Harry. “I think that’s a good sign.” He said happily and furrowed his eyebrows. “Why are you so quiet all of a sudde—“

 

That’s a bad sign,” Harry mumbled as he pointed over to Draco as he walked back into the Great Hall, sitting back down next to Hermione. “Parkinson.” He spat at Ron as he pointed over at a girl walking away from the Great Hall.

 

Ron spotted Parkinson and turned to Harry. “What are we going to do?”

 

“We need to tell them everything about her plan, now.” Harry concluded as they looked at each other. “This is bad . . .”

 

“Right when I thought everything was going great, she had to mess it up.”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione watched as Draco walked back to his seat. “Where did you disappear to all of a sudden?” She asked as she took a sip out of her goblet.

 

“Nothing, I thought I heard something outside.” He quickly brushed it off and looked over at Ginny and Blaise who stayed silent. “What were you two talking about?”

 

“Nothing,” They replied together in unison.

 

“You three are all acting so weird right now.” Hermione said with a soft melodic laugh as she looked at them. “Well, finish up so we can go open presents.” She ordered with a smile as she continued to eat.

 

Ginny nodded and her eyes shifted over to Draco who seemed to look troubled and cold, like his old self. “Where did you go when we were talking?”

 

“I went out to stretch, you two were talking and Hermione left so what else could I do?” He snapped ferociously at Ginny and immediately regretted it as he closed his eyes, sighing.

 

The trio all looked at Draco with shocked faces. “You don’t have to be so bitchy about it . . .” Ginny finally spoke as she sneered at Draco, stabbing her fork into the chicken. “Thanks for changing the mood, Malfoy.”

 

“Look, I didn’t mean to—“

 

Blaise lowered his gaze on his friend and sighed as he played with the end of his fork. “Let’s go open our presents, I think I’m going to die with curiosity.” He said, putting on a cheerful face as he got up. He looked down at Ginny who was still biting into her chicken and rolled his eyes. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her up. “Carry the damn chicken while we walk over there. How much do you eat?”

 

“What is up with you two? I feel like I’m with two whiny little girls who seem to be on their periods. Calm the hell down, both of you.” Ginny growled at Blaise and walked over to Hermione, linking arms with her friend. “You two walk with each other.” She ordered the two boys and dragged Hermione out of the Great Hall.

 

Draco sighed as he rubbed the back of his head. “Let’s go before she—“

 

“When did you see her?” Blaise asked seriously as he stopped Draco from leaving the Great Hall.

 

A look of surprise covered his face but he quickly cleared his throat, looking around. “Why don’t we go outside and talk,” He suggested in a low voice as he walked out with Blaise eagerly following.

 

“When?”

 

“I went over to her when you two were whispering and Hermione was gone just now. She wanted to talk about something.”

 

“Don’t go, Draco. There isn’t anything for you two talk about. She’s just trying to break you and Granger up.” Blaise explained hurriedly as he looked around, just to be sure no one was listening in.

 

“How do you know this?” Draco asked suspiciously, a bit taken back by his friend’s outburst.

 

“Weaslette and I have been spending time in the library for the past few days and we found something out. We’re actually quite smart so we put the pieces together and now . . . we know what she’s up to.”

 

“What exactly is she planning to do?” He asked, staring his friend down as he crossed his arms across his chest.

 

“She wants you to help her hurt Hermione.” A voice suddenly rang from behind.

 

“We’re here to help you . . . Hermione’s in danger.” Another voice said with desperation.

 

Draco quirked up an eyebrow as he and Blaise turned around slowly to see Harry and Ron looking straight at them.

 

“We need to talk to you for five minutes, that’s all we need.” Harry explained as he let out a deep sigh. “Follow me, we need to be somewhere no one can hear us—or find us for that matter.” He whispered as he and Ron led them elsewhere.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny pursed her lips together as she stood in front of the fireplace. “Where the hell are those two?”

 

“I thought they were following us . . .” Hermione stated and gnawed at her lips nervously. “Here, I’m going to look out and see if they’re coming, okay?” She asked as she walked towards the door, pushing it just as Ginny yelled.

 

“Wait, no, Hermione I’ll do it . . . damn.” Ginny muttered under her breath when she saw Pansy standing in front of the door with a smirk plastered onto her face.

 

Hermione immediately frowned as she saw Pansy and backed away slightly. “What brings you here?”

 

“Just the person I wanted to talk to.” Pansy spoke softly as she looked over her shoulder at Lavender. “Could you please take Weaslette somewhere else while Granger and I discuss some . . . important matters?” She asked coldly as she shot a glare at Hermione. “It’s urgent.”

 

Ginny scoffed as she shot a dangerous look at Lavender. “Don’t even think about it,” She stated with venom dripping from her voice. “I’m not going anywhere, Parkinson, so if you want to talk to her, I’m going to have to be here, too.”

 

“Fine, don’t blame me when you regret staying, then.” Pansy shrugged her shoulders as she cocked her head to the side. “This conversation will be a whole lot interesting with you staying here, actually.” She lightly chuckled and turned her head towards Lavender. “Stay out here and look out for them.” She ordered and walked into the room, pushing past Hermione as she took a seat on the couch. “Is this where you all stayed during the holidays?” She asked casually, leaning towards the girls as if it was her own house.

 

“Get to the point, Parkinson, we don’t have all day.” Ginny snapped at her as she and Hermione stood a good three feet away from Parkinson as they stared the girl down.

 

“You’re absolutely right, we don’t have much time.” Pansy said and looked around the place and finally, her sharp eyes landed on Hermione. “Has Draco told you yet?”

 

“Tell me what?” Hermione asked carefully as she glared at the girl.

 

“Oh, he hasn’t told you anything yet? Well, then that’s no fun for me. Why should I tell you when you can hear it from your boyfriend?”

 

“What are you getting at?” Ginny asked as she furrowed her eyebrows.

 

Pansy snapped her head towards Ginny and smirked devilishly. “You know, for the past few days since I’ve been here, I’ve been wondering about you and Blaise. I finally figured it out. I’m not as dumb as I look.”

 

“Amuse me,” Hermione muttered under her breath as she lightly scoffed.

 

Pansy shot daggers at Hermione and got up, walking over to her. “Did you even have a clue that your best friend has been lying and deceiving you this whole time? As a matter of fact, Zabini, Weasley, Potter, and ever your dear lover, Draco has been lying to you this whole break.”

 

“What are you talking about?” Hermione asked, letting her guard down as her eyes flicked over to Ginny who looked nervous.

 

“I’ll let her do most of the explaining but I’ll just give you a brief overlook on it. Draco doesn’t actually love you, you know that? He’s just using you—playing around with you since he’s so bored this whole winter break. He was just planning on toying with you and then throwing you out like the little trash you are. He only pretended to fall for you because he wanted to make me jealous. Your friend knew all about the plan but she helped you. Why? Because you had a little plan of your own . . . but what’s different between you and Draco is that you actually fell for him while he didn’t. It’s all an act.” Pansy told Hermione candidly with a smug grin. “Are you amused now? Or shall I keep going? No, I’m sure you have a lot of questions running through your head. Don’t ask me, ask your friend over there. She has all the answers.” She said and sighed, flipping her hair off her shoulder. “I think it’s time for them to all come back now. I’m going to take my leave while you two have a nice conversation.” She walked towards the door but quickly turned around as she looked at Hermione who seemed frozen. “I hope you like the necklace . . . I helped him with that one. Merry Christmas, Granger.” Pansy laughed and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind her.

 

Hermione stared at the floor as she blinked away a few tears. She exhaled sharply and finally looked up at her friend with sad eyes. “She’s just lying, right? She wants to ruin our Christmas by throwing in such . . . absurd accusations.” She said with a light chuckle as tears blurred her vision.

 

Ginny locked eyes with her friend and felt the guilt rush in through her body. “Hermione, I didn’t want you to find out this way. Parkinson made is sound horrible than it really i—“

 

“Then what exactly is it? Tell me the truth because up until now, I thought everything was real. Apparently not.” Hermione pleaded as she took a deep breath in, sighing deeply. “I, I want you to tell me everything . . . please.” She said quietly, her voice betraying her as it cracked. Everything and everyone seemed to be betraying her all at once.

 

. . . . . .

 

“We don’t have much time, so we’re just going to say it, okay?” Harry asked as he sighed, looking over at Ron.

 

“Parkinson is going to try to break you two up, we don’t know how but it’s not going to be a pretty ending for either of you two. She’s going to try to hurt Hermione . . . mentally and emotionally, probably. Parkinson seems to hate Hermione right now because well, you and her and together.” Ron explained, looking at the two guys in front of him.

 

“She’s completely mental. I never knew she could use her head but it’s quite frightening how much she planned everything out. She kidnapped us for less than a day but she let us go easily. We were idiots and we ran for it without even thinking about why she was acting like that. She wanted us to escape so that we would tell all of you about her crazy plan. That’s exactly what she wanted us to do.” Harry added as he shook his head.

 

“Why would Parkinson want you two to tell all of us about her plan?” Draco asked with a perplexed expression painted across his face. “I don’t understand why she would let you two go so easily.”

 

“We wondered the same, too, but it made us think that maybe she thought that we wouldn’t tell Hermione about since it’s about her and how dangerous it was for her. She wanted us to get you two and Ginny alone while Parkinson went for Hermione and try to sabotage everything. We saw you go to Parkinson and we thought that we should at least tell you two.” Ron took his chance to explain to the two and sighed. “But, she probably didn’t get to Hermione since she’s with Ginny, right? That’s why we decided to tell you right now. She’s safe with Ginny.”

 

Blaise suddenly tensed up as his eyes widened. “No, they’re not. Parkinson probably knows about Ginny and me . . .” He whispered and felt the three guys stare at him with curiosity. “Ginny and me as in we were snooping around for clues, we knew about Parkinson.” He added quickly before he got any weird glances from Harry or Ron. “Trust me, Potter, she’s all yours.”

 

“How did you two know about Parkinson before us? What were you two snooping around for?” Harry pressed for answers.

 

Blaise looked over at Draco and sighed. “I’m going to have to tell everything,” He began and leaned against the wall. “Before winter break, Draco made a plan . . . a plan to make Granger fall in love with him to get Parkinson off his back. Well, apparently, Granger had the same plan in mind. She was going to make Draco, here, fall in love with her to get back at you, Weasley.” He explained awkwardly. “Oh, damn, this is getting awkward. I didn’t expect it to be this awkward. I know about Granger’s plan and Weaslette knows about Draco’s plan because both of them asked us, their trustworthy friends, to ask one another about each other. We told each other about the plans and decided to team up to make the two fall in love, to make it easier on us. But these two idiots actually fell in love with each other and Parkinson has helpers here . . .”

 

“And that’s how she found out about us.” Draco finished and clenched his jaw as he rolled his fingers up making two fists, his knuckles turning white. “What did you mean when you said that they’re not safe?”

 

“Parkinson found out about us, Ginny and me, and how we’re helping you two. She probably already got to Hermione, even if Ginny is with her. It doesn’t matter to Parkinson whether we’re there or not anymore.” He explained and groaned. “We need to get going and see if they’re alright.” He said hurriedly as he started to run towards the dorm with the rest of the guys following behind closely.

 

“And we thought we knew all the answers,” Ron muttered under his breath as he and Harry exchanged glances with each other.

 

“I’m sorry for not telling you, mate.” Blaise told Draco as he ran down the hall.

 

“I must say, it isn’t the best to be betrayed like this from my own friend but I’m glad you told me instead of having to hear it from Parkinson or something. I don’t entirely forgive you and I would much rather want to hex you but we have much more important things to take care of right now.” Draco answered with a playful smirk as he looked at his friend. “You would’ve been a dead man if I heard from Parkinson, consider yourself lucky since you’re so honest.”

 

“Hopefully, Ginny was able to tell Hermione before Parkinson got to them, then. Knowing Parkinson, she probably twisted the whole situation to make it sound like we’re all the bad ones. We just need to get there in time.” Harry interrupted as they finally reached the door.

 

Blaise agreed and quickly muttered the password, walking in with the rest just as they heard a door slam. The boys all looked to see Hermione in front of her bedroom with red eyes as she looked at them.

 

“I know everything now.” Hermione said painfully as a tear rolled down her face. Brown met grey. Her broken, wet chocolate brown eyes locked with his scared arctic grey ones. “I know . . . everything.” She repeated again softly as she quickly wiped her tear away with the back of her hand.

 

“Hermione . . .” Draco called out as he took a step forward just as Hermione took a step back, hitting her back to the door.

 

“Please, don’t.” She begged quietly as she lightly wore a grin. “Just stay where you are . . . that’s my last request to all of you.”

 




 

 Please read here :)


Wow, this is awkward. Uhm, remember when I said this would be like the best chapter ever? I’d say it’s like an okay chapter. I’m so sorry. T_T Please forgive me for this bad chapter. But, other than this chapter, I hope you all had a WONDERFUL THANSKGIVING. (: I apologize for not posting up lately. I’ve been busy with school and . . . eating. :) But, I promise to start posting up as much as I can. I think I will post up my new story soon so please stay tuned for that. I just want to thank every single one of you for leaving such fantastic reviews. They literally put a smile on my face and I want to respond to each and every one of you but I don’t even know if you guys get the response back so let me just say thank you so much right here where all of you can see. You all have been such a wonderful supportive group of readers that I thank and love dearly <3 Thank you and please drop a review below.

-Annie


Chapter 30: Chapter 30
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. . . . . .

 

“Hermione, it’s not what you think, we—“ Harry began as he took a step forward toward his friend.

 

“Ginny cleared everything up for me. You two have nothing to do with any of this so please just leave.” Hermione said sternly as she stared at Harry and Ron with pleading eyes. “If you two get into this mess, everything will just get—“

 

“Well, we’re already in this mess anyways. We might as well end the whole confusion together.” Ron interjected as he looked at her. “We’re part of all of this, too, you know.”

 

“No, you two got sucked into all of this—there’s a distinct difference between being in it and being sucked into it. You two had no choice because you were both captured by Parkinson. Please, this is for Malfoy and I to discuss.” She said sharply, gazing over at Draco just as she addressed him by his last name.

 

Draco and Blaise looked over at the two guys and nodded, telling them to leave. Ron and Harry sighed simultaneously as they agreed. “Okay, we’ll leave, but Hermione, whatever Parkinson told you, it’s not true. She twisted everything and . . . just hear them out.” Harry asked Hermione as they silently left the room.

 

Hermione watched the portrait door close and sighed, looking over to the side. “For once, I don’t know what to say.” She glanced over at the fire and clenched her teeth together. “Zabini, could you leave us alone? Perhaps, you can go over to Ginny’s room and talk for a bit.” Her face hardened as she said her friend’s name and waited for him to leave until it was just the two of them. “Do you want to go first, or should I?”

 

“What are you talking about?” Draco asked quietly, looking over at her.

 

. . . . . .

 

Pansy looked over at Lavender and grinned. “You left it there, right?” She asked, walking into her bedroom.

 

“Yes,”

 

“Okay, then let’s start listening.” She said as she walked over to her bed, pulling some sort of headphones out, receiving a weird look from Lavender. “You don’t actually think I came here unprepared? Muggles have quite interesting devices . . . one we’re going to use to eavesdrop of their conversation. A muggle’s device and a little bit a magic can do wonders.” Pansy explained with a smirk. “Just stay over there while I listen and make sure to be quiet so I can hear.” She put the earphones in her ear and started listening to their conversation.

 

 . . . . . .

 

“Just drop the act, we both know everything. There’s no point in trying to act innocent.” She told him as she finally looked at him. “I’ll be honest and I’m positive you already know this . . . I used you this winter break to get back at Ron for leaving me for Lavender. And I would feel bad right now, but you used me to make Parkinson jealous—or well, from Ginny, to get rid of her.” She told him and licked her dry lips. “So which one is it?”

 

“I only approached you because I wanted to get rid of Parkinson, and that’s the truth.”

 

“Okay, I’ll believe you but this is the last time. And this should probably be the last time you trust me, too. Everyone is coming back tomorrow night and honestly, I want to go back to normal. When all we exchanged were scowls with each other . . . that’s the normal I want.” She looked down at her wand in her hand. “Didn’t you say your favorite spell was obliviate?” She asked with wonder, looking up at him. “Just as I obliviated my parents and sent them off elsewhere . . . I want to obliviate myself from all of this. I want to forget the emotions, the words, the things we did together the past few weeks. But, a part of me still wants to remember the emotions, the words, and things we shared together.” Hermione told Draco and sighed. “I honestly don’t know what I’m goin—“

 

She suddenly got cut off when Draco flew over, pulling her into his warm embrace and holding her tightly, never wanting to let her go. “Whatever Pansy may have told you, it’s not true. I was trying to make you fall for me to get rid of her, but I ended up falling for you. And I’m positive the same happened to you, too. I forgot about the whole plan, I just enjoyed spending time with you.” He explained, continuing to hold onto her. “I love you, Hermione Granger, and I mean it.”

 

Hermione furrowed her eyebrows as she felt tears form in her eyes. “I love you, too . . . I love you, Draco Malfoy.” She told him as she hugged him back, closing her eyes and capturing the moment as a tear rolled down her face.

 

“Do you trust me?” Draco asked her softly.

 

“Yes,” She replied back just as gently without hesitating.

 

“Pansy won’t stop until she breaks us up, so whatever she might say to you, it isn’t true. I promise you that I will protect you from her. I’ll always be here for you, Hermione. And I’ll always love you,”

 

. . . . . .

 

Blaise and Ginny had their ears stuck to the door, trying to listen. “Damn, I can’t hear anything!” Blaise whispered angrily as he walked back over to Ginny’s bed, falling down angrily on it.

 

“I’m sure they made up, I made sure everything was clear between them.” Ginny explained as she walked over to Blaise, sitting down next to him.

 

“Why was she crying?” Blaise asked awkwardly, looking up at the ceiling.

 

“It wasn’t because of what Malfoy did or Parkinson’s doings . . . it was because of me. I couldn’t tell her, she heard all of it from Parkinson. More than feeling betrayal from Malfoy, she felt it from me. She couldn’t believe how I kept such a huge secret from her and how I still continued to help her. I understand where she’s coming from, we already talked about this before. I just . . . didn’t realize it would hurt this much, for both her and me.” Ginny said softly, holding back her tears. “She probably hates me right now.” She said, lifting up her head and looking at Blaise with big wet eyes. “She probably hates me more than she hated Ron . . . and that’s a lot.”

 

Blaise instantly sat up, completely alarmed by her tears. “Ginny, you don’t have to cry. Don’t you see Granger and Weasley? They seemed to be okay with each other again. You’re her best friend, aren’t you?” He asked in a hurry, trying to comfort her.

 

Was,” Ginny corrected him, sniffling as she wiped away her tears with her hands.

 

“If you were just a friend, it would be okay since there isn’t a big attachment to the person. Since you are her best friend, the betrayal is huge on Granger.”

 

“AREN’T YOU SUPPOSED TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER?” She yelled at him angrily, pushing him to the side, knitting her eyebrows together.

 

“What I’m trying to say is . . . since you’re her best friend; she’ll forgive you easily because she needs you when she’s in trouble and she’ll miss you terribly rather than a friend who betrayed her. A best friend is more important, more impacting in a person’s life. You’re a very important person in Granger’s life, she will sometimes really hate you, but in the end, she’ll always love you, cherish you, need you, and want you by her side through everything. Forgiving each other is just part of the best friend rule book.” He explained as he awkwardly patted her back.

 

“Get your hand off me, I’m feeling angry now because of you.” She snapped at him and looked at him. “Thank you, Zabini. Your words surprisingly helped me feel better . . . you idiot.” She mumbled as she lightly bumped shoulders with him as a small grin crawled onto her face.

 

Blaise grinned and bumped right back. “You’re the bigger idiot . . .”

 

“Prick . . .”

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione grinned over at Draco as she looked down at the intertwined hands. “We still have a lot of presents to unwrap . . . Christmas isn’t over yet.”

 

“You’re right, it isn’t. Why don’t we call the others back over here and wrap it up.” Draco suggested with a wink as he kissed her cheek quickly.

 

“I think that’s an excellent plan.” She said with a chuckle as she got up, running over to the door, knocking consecutively. “Let’s open our presents now!” She yelled happily as she laughed when the door immediately opened.

 

Zabini walked out first and smiled at Granger before running over to his friend, making a bit of a commotion. Hermione and Ginny exchanged glances with each other and everything became tense between the two. Hermione finally cracked the slightest grin accompanied by the old spark in her eyes. “I’ll be extra forgiving tonight since it is Christmas, consider yourself lucky. You’re not fully forgiven, so be careful.” She told her friend with a wink as they walked over to the boys, ready to end their Christmas with presents and laughs.

 

. . . . . .

 

Pansy heard the laughs and screams coming from the other end and clenched her jaw. She threw the earphones out of her ear furiously, throwing the whole device on the floor, making it crash and get completely destroyed. She immediately got up and looked over at Lavender with a glare. “Get out,” She ordered and heard the door close quickly. Anger boiled inside her body as she replayed all the sounds she heard from the other end. Why were they happy? Didn’t she destroy them enough to break them apart? “No . . . it isn’t over yet.” She suddenly said, a light bulb going off inside her head. “I’ll be lenient since it’s Christmas . . . after tonight, everything’s going to crumble.” She whispered to herself as a smug smirk stitched itself onto her face. “It’s even better this way . . . I can have Draco and destroy that ungrateful little mudblood at once.”

 

. . . . . .

 

Harry and Ron both looked at each other and sighed. “We’ve been so busy we didn’t even decorate the place . . . some Christmas, huh?” Ron asked as they stared at the dull common room, the fire slowly dying in the fireplace.

 

“Do you suppose Hermione and Malfoy made up?” Harry asked as they sat down on the couch.

 

“I have a feeling they did,” Ron answered with a small grin on his face. “This is Hermione we’re talking about, a person like Parkinson can’t break her this easily. The war was massive but she held her head and stayed strong through all of it. A problem with a crazy ex-girlfriend won’t break her.” He reassured his friend as they smiled at each other.

 

“You’re right, Hermione made it through the war, she can make it through this. I don’t know why I was having such a bad feeling about it. She can hold herself up with ease.”

 

“That’s our Hermione Granger,” Ron claimed with a grin and just then, the portrait door swung open. He and Harry immediately got up, reaching for their wands.

 

“Lower the wands, it’s just us,” A chuckle followed the statement and in walked Hermione Granger. She walked over to the boys with Draco following closely behind her. “We’re unwrapping gifts right now, so you two should come along.” She said with a grin.

 

Draco looked around the dull, cold place and then at the boys. “You two seem to be cozy here,”

 

“We’d love to come over,” Harry replied with a grin as he eagerly put his wand away.

 

Hermione laughed and attacked her two best friends with a big hug. “I’ve missed you two . . .” She whispered as they shared a small group hug.

 

Draco awkwardly stood over to the side, clearing his throat. “Are we done now?” He asked them and got kicked by Hermione, making him shut up. “A simple ‘no’ would’ve been great,” He complained, rubbing his shin with a scowl. He slowly stood up again and looked over at the group of friends back together again. He felt a stir in his heart and couldn’t help but feel warm from the group. A minuscule grin slid onto his face for a brief second.

 

 

. . . . . .

 

Blaise glanced over at Ginny as they all ate breakfast together. “Everyone’s coming back tonight, right?” He asked as he bit into his bagel.

 

“Yes, for the millionth time, Zabini. You’ve asked that question multiple times already.” Ginny snapped at him impatiently.

 

“I just . . . want to make sure.” He defended himself poorly as he sighed, shaking his head.

 

Hermione lightly grinned as she and Draco ate in silence. She looked straight at Ginny and Zabini. “Is she still looking?” She asked in a whisper, barely moving her mouth.

 

Ginny quickly looked behind the couple’s shoulder and saw the fierce eyes that were boring into their shoulders. “Oh yeah . . .” She replied as she looked back down at her food. “Tell me again why we’re hiding from her?”

 

“We’re not hiding—“

 

“But we’re somewhat afraid of her since we’re not talking to each other comfortably.” Ginny stated as she dropped her fork, folding her arms across her chest. “I thought everything was cleared up.”

 

“It is, but Parkinson might have a thing or two up her sleeve. We need to be careful—“

 

Ginny refrained from yelling at Parkinson, stuffing her mouth to help her with that. She looked over at the couple and then over at Parkinson who finally stopped staring. She nudged Blaise and kicked Draco’s foot from under the table. “She stopped,” She hissed at them with urgency.

 

Hermione heard the two boys groan at Ginny’s sudden attacks and stifled a laugh as she looked over at Draco through the corner of her eyes. She reached over and purposely brushed her hand against his for a brief second, allowing her skin to linger on there for a few more seconds before she grabbed a random strawberry off the plate. She glanced over at Draco with a wide grin, raising her eyebrows.

 

Draco stared over at her discreetly and a small grin formed on his face. “I . . . I believe I’m done eating.” He said as he placed his fork on his plate. He saw a napkin next to Hermione and reached for it, brushing his hand against hers and quickly grabbing the napkin and putting it towards his face. He glanced over at her with a grin, raising an eyebrow.

 

Blaise stared at them in disgust and frowned deeply. “I think I may have just lost my appetite.” He scowled, pushing his plate away as he saw the couple looking at each other with love and tender. “I want that . . .”

 

“What?” Ginny asked, looking at him. “What do you want?”

 

“Just eat,” Blaise crinkled his nose with frustration, stuffing an apple in her mouth. “Are you two done?” He asked the two people in front of him.

 

Draco immediately spun his head around, staring at Blaise. “What? Yes, I’m done. Let’s uh . . . why don’t we go to the tower?” He asked as he stared at Hermione.

 

“I’d love to, really, now let’s go.” Blaise said with a sigh, getting up and walking off with Draco slowly walking behind him.

 

Hermione finally looked away from Draco and let out a content sigh, pushing her plate away. She looked up and awkwardly locked eyes with Ginny. She slightly cleared her throat and sighed as she gently allowed her tongue to graze the top of her teeth. “Ginny . . .”

 

“No, you don’t have to say anything about forgiving me or anything.” Ginny said hurriedly, looking down at her plate.

 

“I, I wasn’t. Ginny, yesterday night . . . Christmas was unbelievable. I didn’t realize that things would get out of hand because of Parkinson and I didn’t realize you would be the one to-to hurt me. But, I don’t hate you, I could never do that. I was thinking about it a lot last night and I now know that you kept such a big secret because of me. I was the one who made up the whole plan and suck you into it without letting you even have the chance to walk away. On top of that, I asked you to get closer to Zabini in order for me to get to know Malfoy well enough to execute my ridiculous, absurd plan. You did everything for me and though you may have kept a big secret from me . . . I’m the one that’s at fault, here.” Hermione spoke to Ginny in a soft voice. “Yes, I felt very betrayed that I had to hear everything from Parkinson. But, I was being selfish and only caring about myself that time. I didn’t take the chance to see where you were coming from and what you must’ve gone through to keep me safe and . . . trying to tell me sooner. I think the person who really needs to be forgiven is me, not you. I dragged you into all of this and in the end; I blamed you for the outcome when it was my fault to begin with.” Hermione gnawed at her bottom lip as she looked down at her fingers. “I forgive you, Ginny, I really do. I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry, Ginny Weasley. I’ve been so selfish the past few days since I was so caught up with Malfoy and—“

 

“Hermione, stop talking!” Ginny exclaimed as she stared at her friend helplessly. Hermione shut her mouth immediately as she looked up at her friend. “I forgive you, Hermione. Of course, I do.”

 

Hermione lightly grinned as she stared at her friend. “Really?”

 

“Look, I think we’re both at fault for everything. I should’ve told you sooner and yes, maybe you shouldn’t have dragged me down so quickly with you on the plan—“ She said as she and Hermione gently laughed together. “—but, I would’ve helped you either way, whether or not you dragged me into or kept me out of it. We made mistakes, but everything’s okay, now . . . right?”

 

“Definietely,” Hermione said as she got up, walking over to her friend and hugging her tightly. “I love you, Ginny!”

 

Ginny laughed, getting up and hugging her back. “I love you, too, Hermione. Now, why don’t you go to the tower before Malfoy starts worrying where you are.” She said with a laugh, pulling away from the hug. “Besides, I think Zabini might be in the library and I might as well keep him company there. I actually grew to love the library after spending my whole time there during break.” She said and watched as Hermione quickly left the Great Hall to her boyfriend. She grinned and nodded her head with relief. She could finally breathe again. She turned her head towards Parkinson when she saw no one. The redhead furrowed her eyebrows as she looked around the place, wondering where the girl was. “When did she leave?” She asked herself in a low whisper. “Where could she have gone? Zabini, I need him.” She quickly ran out of the Great Hall, running towards the library.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione walked up the stairs and hit the top of the tower. She grinned to herself as she walked over to the window to see that it was empty. “Draco?” She called out with a perplexed expression masking her face. “Draco? Are you here?” She asked again and only silence answered her. “Where did he go?” She mumbled to herself as she sighed, sitting down on the window sill, looking out the window. She suddenly heard footsteps and snapped her neck towards the sound to see Draco. She cracked a huge grin and jumped off the window sill, walking over to her. “Hey, where were you? You left earlier than me.”

 

“I, I know, sorry. I was talking to Zabini for a bit, he was complaining to me about us and how he felt lonely.” Draco scoffed and brushed it off, walking towards her and wrapping an arm around her waist. “I missed you,” He whispered to her with a grin.

 

She let out a girlish laugh as she shook her head lightly. “You saw me a few minutes ago.”

 

“It felt more like five hours since I’ve last seen you,”

 

“Oh, I didn’t know Malfoy had such a romantic side of his like this. I’m shocked!” She exclaimed with a smile as she kissed his cheek. “What do you reckon we do today? It’s our last night until they all come back.”

 

“Let’s make the most of it, then.” Draco replied, pulling her into a kiss.

 

. . . . . .

 

Ginny rushed into the library and spotted him sitting at their old spot. “ZAB-ini!” She caught herself yelling and quickly whispered loudly, still earning a glare from Madam Pince. She ignored the hard glare and ran over to Blaise, sitting down across from him. “Is Draco up in the tower?”

 

“I believe so; he kindly dropped me off and went on with his way.” Blaise answered as he folded his fingers together and placing them on the table, slightly leaning in. “Why do you ask?”

 

“You two didn’t talk or anything? He went straight to the tower, right?” Ginny asked as she stared at him.

 

“Well, I called him a prick for being a bastard and then he pushed me into the library. I didn’t do anything after that, I assumed he went on. I’m sure he did, weren’t you suffocating back there in the Great Hall due to their intense sexual tension? I thought I was dying back there.”

 

“You’re right . . . he probably just went on over to the tower without talking to anyone or anyone like that.”

 

“Why are you asking that? And why are you so frantic about it?”

 

“After you two left, Hermione and I talked for a while and made up. Hermione left and I looked over to where Parkinson was sitting and she wasn’t there. I thought she followed you two and . . . I thought she might’ve gotten to Draco.” She stated and leaned back in her chair with a relieved sigh. “But, if you say that he just went on with his way, then I’m okay.”

 

Blaise’s eyes widened a bit as he leaned back in his chair, raising his hands and placing his palms on his interlaced hands on the top of his head. “Damn . . . I knew I felt something off when we were walking . . .”

 

“What are you talking about?” Ginny asked, sitting up in her seat.

 

“I don’t know if Draco heard or not, I doubt it, but when we were walking together . . . there was another pair of legs walking behind us. I mean that I heard more than just our footsteps. Whenever I glanced back, no one was there. I just assumed that I was being a bit paranoid. I didn’t see anyone after Draco pushed me in here, I just walked back over here and saw no one pass through the hallway.” He said and sighed again. “Unless, the person following us was small and petite, and fast on her feet.”

 

“You’re saying there a ninety-nine percent chance that Parkinson was following behind you two? Perhaps, followed Draco and did something.”

 

“Precisely,”

 

“M, maybe we’re just paranoid after everything. Parkinson is done, right? She’s done with everything?”

 

“I don’t think so, Parkinson gets what she wants. I don’t know how she does it, but she gets it in the end.” He said and got up slowly as he looked outside the window. “I don’t think she’s quite done with them . . . not yet, at least . . . not until she has Draco for herself.”

 

“Someone needs to throw her into Azkaban. She’s completely mental!” Ginny threw her hands up in the air followed by a frustrated groan. “That’s it, we’re going to the tower. I just need to check up on them, let’s go.” She got up abruptly and grabbed Zabini, dragging him with her.

 

. . . . . .

 

 Hermione looked over at Draco, knitting her eyebrows together. “What’s wrong? You’ve been acting sort of strangely. Did something happen to you on the way over here or something? Did you see Parkinson?” She asked with a small scoff. “You look confounded.”

 

“Nothing’s wrong, Hermione. I’m just trying to figure everything out since after yesterday’s event. I’m just sorting a few things out and I’m just tired, that’s all.” A lie breezed out of his lips easily and so fluidly.

 

“I guess I was just a little worried you met with Parkinson. Yesterday’s event was crazy and completely chaotic. I understand that you’re a bit confused.” She said quietly as she nodded her head. “Do you think Parkinson is done with everything? She’s not going to bother us anymore?”

 

Draco looked over at Hermione, not knowing what to say. He nodded and let out a deep sigh, putting an arm around her shoulders, pulling Hermione into a hug. “Of course she is. She’s finished; she knows she can’t hurt us.” He told her reassuringly, gently caressing her hair with his hand, kissing the crown of her head. “She won’t hurt us anymore . . . she’s done.” He whispered softly with a grim frown stitched on his face. “She’s . . .” He stopped and clenched his jaw tightly. ‘not done. Pansy Parkinson is still not done.’

 




 

 

Oh my goodness guys! I’m so sorry for such a looong wait. I have been so busy with school and with the holidays with family and all! I haven’t had time to write this the past few months! :O I sincerely apologize and I know you guys have been waiting for a very long time. I hope this chapter will sort of make it up to you. Maybe it won’t. This story will probably end soon but I have a new story coming up soon, so please stay tuned for that. Please drop a review below, it’s very much appreciated. Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews on this story! (:

xoxo Annie


Chapter 31: Chapter 31
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. . . . . .

 

Draco stood on top of the tower, waiting for Hermione as he viewed the gorgeous and breath-taking scenery that seemed to have been painted. He heard soft footsteps and he quirked up an eyebrow as the corner of his lips lifted upward into a smirk as he turned around slowly. “Took you long enou . . .” He immediately stopped talking as he saw a raven-haired with her arms crossed tightly across her chest. “What the hell are you doing here?”

 

“Am I not allowed up here?” Pansy asked with an incredulous scoff, taking a few quick strides over to Draco so that she was standing in front of him. “Is this place only for you and that mudblood?” She spat with a frown as she glared up at him.

 

“Don’t you ever know when to quit? You tried and you failed to break up apart—“

 

“That’s more of a reason to try again, Draco.” She said softly, her voice leaving a chilly aura around them as she walked over to the window, leaning against the window sill. “And this is the last time I’m going to try because it’s going to work this time.”

 

“Amuse me, Parkinson.” He rolled his cold grey marbles as he turned around slowly, facing her.

 

“I wonder what people will think when they hear that little miss goody-two-shoes is actually a vixen . . .? Oh, no, wait, I have something better. What if people found out that Hermione Granger, smartest witch of our generation, obliviated her own parents? Now that is something that will keep the students talking, right? Even the professors will think twice about that.”

 

“What are you talking about?” Draco asked alarmed by the fact that Pansy knew. He hid his emotions behind his emotionless mask, sneering.

 

“You know damn well what I’m talking about. Now, if you don’t want people to know that . . . and especially letting little Granger find out that you were the one to spread that rumor . . . you should consider the option I give you.” She told him with a proud smirk as she let out a small laugh, knowing she had found his weakness.

 

Draco gulped down as he looked at Pansy with hatred. “What do you want me to do?”

 

“Well, that’s easy!” Pansy exclaimed as she threw her hands up in the air, walking away from the window sill and back in front of him. “What do you think I want? I want you to come to me and leave Granger. If you want to keep her safe, you do exactly as I tell you. You keep this conversation between us and us only. You don’t have the choice to tell Granger about this whole arrangement. You have to make her think you were toying with her all this time—ignore her and if she comes to you . . . I think you know what to do. You’re going to act as my boyfriend this time—you’re mine, not hers.”

 

“I’m not anyone’s, Parkinson.” He spat at her angrily as he glared at her, rolling his fingers into a fist.

 

Pansy eyes his fists and chuckled as she looked up at him. “Be careful, Draco. I might just let it slip . . .” She warned him in a whisper and sighed. “I expect you to be my boyfriend tomorrow.” She told him and walked away without another word.

 

“Damn!” He shouted furiously, kicking the dirt angrily. He looked out the window but this time, there was no sense of serenity or beauty. He saw an enormous black cloud form in the back, the sun getting swallowed up by the ominous cloud. The once beautiful scenery was destroyed by the huge thunderstorm cloud. What was he going to do? He had to protect Hermione. She told him her big secret because she trusted him. He couldn’t allow for her big secret to run around the school for everyone to know. He had to keep her safe. He had to. Then, keeping her safe meant . . . losing her.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco shook his head as he sprawled out on the bed, looking up at the ceiling as he tried to shake off the horrible memory from earlier today. He had to leave her, right? That was all he could do for her. He had to keep her safe. He let out a deep sign, pondering on the huge dilemma Pansy had thrown at him. Just then, he heard a soft knock and the gentle creaking sound of the hinges from the door.

 

“Are you done thinking?” A soft voice asked him with a mellifluous chuckle at the end.

 

“Huh?” He asked, taken back by her question and quickly shook the surprise off his face. “Yeah . . . just a lot on my mind.”

 

“If you still need some time alone, tell me. I don’t want to bother you—I can come back later if you want.”

 

“No, I’m fine. What time is it?”

 

“Well you missed dinner, so Ginny and I smuggled some food for you if you would like some.” Hermione suggested as she looked up at him hopefully.

 

“That’s great, I thought I was going to starve to death.” He said as enthusiastically as possible, trying to shake away Parkinson’s deal from his head . . . for the time being. “Let’s go,” He said with a small grin, walking out the door with Hermione.

 

Ginny, who was sitting with Blaise, seemed to be in a deep conversation with him due to the fact that neither one of them noticed Draco and Hermione walking out.

 

“They’ve been like that the past few hours, they so secretive. They won’t even tell me what they’re talking about.” Hermione explained to Draco as she rolled her eyes. She walked him over to the couch where his food was sitting on a tray. “Eat up. Everyone’s coming in right about now.”

 

“They’re back already? So soon?” Draco asked as he stuffed his mouth with food as he looked at Hermione tentatively.

 

“Of course they are . . .” She said and took a deep breath as she stared at him. “Are we . . . going to stay together even if people are back from break?”

 

“What?” He asked, almost choking on his food and quickly gulped down his cup of pumpkin juice.

 

“What had gotten into you?” She asked as she hit his back, trying to help. “Why are you so jumpy all of a sudden?” She asked as she sat back down.

 

Ginny and Blaise stopped talking and looked over at Draco, furrowing their eyebrows. “Is something wrong, Draco?” Ginny asked slowly, lowering her eyes on him.

 

“N, nothing’s wrong.”

 

“Why are you stuttering, mate?” Blaise questioned even more, making sure to pay extra attention to Draco’s facial expressions.

 

“I almost choked on my food, is it wrong to be stu—“

 

“What has gotten into all of you?” Hermione cut them off, shooting up from her seat with her hands on her hips, instantly taking over the mother role to her three kids. “Why are you three fighting? And what is with this cold atmosphere between you three? Am I missing something?”

 

“No,” They answered in unison, receiving a suspicious look from Hermione.

 

“We’re just . . . checking something.” Ginny finally said as she rubbed the back of his neck, flinging her hair behind her shoulder as she put her hand down. “And it’s been a rough day for us, Blaise and me, so I’m just going to go to bed right now. I will see you three in the morning and hopefully, we’re all happy.” She told the group, ending her speech with a sigh. “Goodnight, make strong choices.” She said as she stared at Draco, walking over to her bedroom.

 

“Make strong choices?” Hermione asked, sitting back down as she looked at the two boys. “Do you two know what she means?”

 

“No idea and this is my cue to go to my bedroom.” Blaise quickly said, yawning and stretching. “Goodnight, hopefully you two are just as annoyingly romantic as you two were today,” He commented with a hard stare at Draco, walking into the bedroom and closing the door shut.

 

“What is going on?” Hermione asked as she knitted her eyebrows together, staring at Draco. “Why do they keep staring at you?”

 

“I’m quite a beautiful human being, who can blame them,” He shrugged it off casually, earning himself a smack from Hermione.

 

“I’m not joking—“

 

“Well, let’s just think about that . . . tomorrow. This is the last day of our break . . . let’s make it count.” He said slowly, trying to choose his words carefully.

 

“We’re still going to be together tomorrow, Draco. Why are we—“

 

“It’s the last day of our break together . . . without all the other infuriating students going about here and there.” He corrected himself as he held her hands in his.

 

Hermione smiled as she rolled her chocolate brown orbs, nodding her head. “Okay, we’ll just do what you say.” She said as she gazed up at him. “You’ve been acting really weird today, I don—“

 

“You’re too suspicious sometimes, Hermione.” Draco shushed her as he captured her lips with his own. It didn’t even take Hermione a second to kiss back, their kiss deepening. But, there was something different with the kiss. The kiss was passionate, long, and . . . bittersweet. Draco didn’t want to let go, but he had to some time. He slowly pulled away and looked at Hermione, his hand still lingering on her face.

 

“Wow . . .” She breathed out as she looked at Draco. She felt a tad bit of emptiness when he pulled away . . . as if it was their last kiss together. He was extra soft and gentle, yet extra passionate and hungry for more. “Is there something I should know about?” She asked him softly, gently grazing her fingers against his.

 

“Not a thing . . .” Draco whispered reassuringly as he tucked a hair piece behind her ear lovingly. “We should probably get sleeping. We start classes tomorrow morning. We have a big day ahead of us.” He said as he gave her a warm grin.

 

“Right . . .” Hermione whispered as she chewed on her bottom lip, slowly getting up. “D, do you want to join me?” She asked hesitantly, her face immediately turning red once it left her mouth. “N, not like that, just to sleep.” She explained as she stuttered, mentally slapping herself.

 

Draco let out a hearty chuckle as he got up, holding her hand. “I understand . . . just sleep.” He clarified with her once more, almost teasing her.

 

. . . . . .

 

Draco opened his eyes and saw Hermione sleeping peacefully in his arms. He softly smiled and ever-so-slightly kissed her nose, careful not to wake her up. He looked outside the door to see that the sun was just beginning to come up. He sighed as he gazed down at Hermione. “I’m sorry . . .” He whispered as he slowly reached his hand out to caress her cheek. Draco stopped an inch away from her face and let his hand linger over her cheek. He sighed as he rolled up his fingers into a fist, pulling his hand back. Letting out another quiet sigh, he furrowed his eyebrows. He took one last look at her and quickly snapped his head the other way.

 

Slowly and quietly, he unwrapped his arms from her and quickly jumped out of the bed as gently as he could, afraid of waking her up. Seeing the sight of Hermione still sound asleep, he fled towards the door, grabbing the door knob and swinging the door open. He stopped himself before her could take one step out the door—out of her life. Draco slowly turned his head but stopped himself before he could see Hermione and walked out of the room, closing it behind him.

 

He felt hollow inside the instant he stepped out of the bedroom. He took in a deep breath as he walked straight to his bedroom to get his things and leave without a single trace.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione stirred awake when she heard the door close. Her eyes fluttered open slowly like butterfly wings as she yawned, stretching her arms. Her eyes closed again before they could fully open and she allowed for a smile to cover her face. “Good morning,” She whispered happily as she reached out to touch Draco when her hand simply just hit the bed. She furrowed her eyebrows and let her hands run across the bed, feeling nothing but the air.

 

The bed was empty.

 

And she was alone.

 

Hermione immediately opened her eyes as she sat up in her bed, seeing no one next to her. Her heart sank as she saw the empty space beside her. The spot where Draco was sleeping just a few hours ago with her was still warm. “Draco?” She called out, expecting to see him walk out of the bathroom or pop his head inside her room with breakfast.

 

Nothing came. She heard nothing.

 

She waited a few more seconds before calling out his name, a little louder this time, but the only thing that she heard was a small whistling that was grew stronger and stronger by the minute. She snapped her head towards the window and realized it was only the wind answering her. She heard the wind screaming and howling outside, hitting windows violently, ready to break through the barrier that was keeping itself away from Hermione. The petite brunette frowned as she got out of the covers, walking over to the window and peering outside to see a copious amount of snow falling down lightly and gracefully as it landed neatly on the ground and trees. Everything was covered in pure white blankets of snow. Not even a little bit of dirt dared to ruin the fair white snow. But why did she feel so sad and lonely?

 

She shook her head as she brushed away all the negative thoughts. “He’s probably up and dressed, already in the Great Hall, maybe.” She told herself, a bright smile lighting up her face at the thought of Draco waiting for her. “I better hurry up.” She whispered to herself, almost running into the bathroom to get ready for the new day.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Have you two seen Draco this morning?” Hermione asked as she walked beside Ginny and Blaise. “He seemed to have cleaned up his things—there was nothing in his bedroom.” She told them, her voice slightly faltering.

 

Ginny stared at her friend as she pursed her lips. “I didn’t see him. I woke up five minutes after you, remember? What about you, Blaise?” She asked him curiously, hoping to hear the answer she wanted to hear.

 

“I woke up ten minutes later than you two . . . so no, I didn’t see him.” He said as they walked into the Great Hall. “He was always an early bird. We’ll find him somewhere he . . . re.” Blaise nearly choked on the word when he saw Draco sitting next to Pansy, eating something Pansy had given him.

 

“Found him . . .” Ginny whispered angrily as she saw the sight of the two eating breakfast together. She glared over at Pansy and stared at her friend in concern. “Hermione?”

 

Hermione sucked in her breath as she looked at the couple. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Her eyes locked with Draco’s and all she could do was stare at him.

 

He looked away with a disgusted sneer.

 

She connected her brows together, looking away from her as if she had been slapped across the face. She blinked a few times, trying to register what had just happened. Her heart sank as it broke into a million pieces, but there were no tears. She didn’t feel the need to cry. There had to be an explanation for that, right? She wasn’t going to waste her tears on something that may not even be true. Not yet . . . no, not yet.

 

“Hermione?” Ginny asked again, placing her hand on her friend’s shoulder. “Are, you okay?”

 

Hermione nodded as she gazed up at Draco to see him feeding Pansy and made an ugly face. “I’m fine,” She told him as she turned away from the new couple. “I think I may have just lost my appetite.”

 

“I think we all have . . .” Blaise muttered as he made an ugly face at the couple. “What the hell is going on?”

 

Hermione shut her eyes as she tried to comprehend everything, trying to calm herself down. She opened them back up to see bright emerald marbles staring at her. “Harry?”

 

“What is Malfoy doing over there?” He asked immediately, glaring at him and Parkinson. “You three missed the speech made by our Headmistress. Ron and I were looking for you and Malfoy until we saw him with her.”

 

“This is a joke, right?” Ron asked with a scoff, glaring over at Malfoy.

 

“I hope so . . .” Hermione whispered under her breath as she licked her dry lips.

 

“Hermione, do something. It’s even scarier with you being this calm. I’m not even in love with the bloke and I’m getting angry just watching him with that girl.” Ron pleaded as he stared at her.

 

“I don’t know what to say—“

 

“Granger,” A sharp voice called out icily making chills run down Hermione’s spine. She flinched at the sound of the familiar voice.

 

She slowly turned around and saw Draco staring at her intently. “What is it?” She asked sternly.

 

“Come with me . . . I need to talk to you about something.” He told her with an annoyed groan, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well, come on then. I want to make this quick and easy for both of us.” He complained as he started to walk out of the Great Hall with Pansy glaring down Hermione’s back when she followed him.

 

Ginny looked over at Blaise who looked over at Harry and Ron who were staring at Parkinson. “What do we do now?” Blaise asked as he looked at the new group.

 

“We don’t do anything—we can’t. This is Hermione’s own battle . . .” Ginny answered briskly. “If we try to interfere, we might ruin it even more.” She said thoughtfully as she looked at the boys. “All we can do is stay in the sidelines and help her from there.” She told them softly with sorrow as she bit the inside of her cheek nervously. “This is between her and Malfoy . . .”

 

Everyone stared at the ground, dumfounded by the situation they were in—the situation Hermione was in. How did everything happen like this? Everything was going great. Everything was great.

 

Pansy looked back over at the lost group and smirked proudly, crossing her arms across her chest as she looked at her girlfriends. “I had a great winter break . . . I got the best present ever.” She told them happily with her eyes still glued onto the broken group.

 







 

Hello guisee! :D I updated pretty quickly, right? I’m improving! Huzzahh~ I hope you enjoyed. I guess this one was a bit short, eh? My apologies, I was trying hard to quickly write this before I did my homework and upload this! Things are getting pretty crazy—what’s happening to Draco and Hermione?! Please don’t kill me—this story will have a happy ending . . . I’m 99.9% sure there is a happy ending to this! Please drop a review below and tell me what you guys thought of this :) Thanks so much!

-Annie


Chapter 32: Chapter 32
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. . . . . .

 

Hermione peered over at Draco as she clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth, watching the snow fall endlessly. She pressed her lips into a thin line awkwardly before letting out a deep breath, her breath visible up in the cold tower due to the freezing weather. “I, are you going to say anything?” She finally asked, turned her head as she stared at Draco.

 

A cruel smile stitched itself onto his lips as he turned to face the petite brunette with his hands shoved into his pockets. “I’m actually surprised I had you fooled,” He finally said with a sneer, laughing as he looked out the window at the beautiful scenery. “And I thought you were the smartest witch of our generation; I suppose you don’t live up to the title anymore.” He scowled as he turned back at her, his eyes lost of color and love and only to be replaced by a blank, cold stare. This wasn’t right.

 

Hermione felt the breezy air brush through her hair and body, making her shiver. She ignored it as she stared at Draco incredulously. “Stop beating around the bush and tell me what’s really going o—“

 

“I love you, Hermione Granger, I really do . . .” Draco suddenly said, the warmth and care in his voice immediately brought back as he gazed at her lovingly. He took his hand out of his pocket and reached out, caressing her cheek with his hand. “Do you trust me?” He asked as he looked at her with hopeful eyes.

 

For a moment, Hermione fell for his soft touch and gentle gaze . . . but his loving, gentle words didn’t quite reach her heart. She flinched away from his touch, pushing his hand away. “I’m not that stupid if that’s what you were thinking,”

 

Draco looked at his hand as he kept it in midair, shocked by her behavior. He composed himself and sighed, stuffing his hand back into his pocket. “I suppose you aren’t as stupid as I thought you were . . . it’s quite a shame, really. This would be so much easier if you were just a little bit smarter—don’t show any tears when I’m done with you, it’ll only make me hate you even more. I hate girls who cry.” He said monotonously, avoiding her stare and looking out the window instead. “If you have a brain, I’m positive you know what happened.”

 

“No, I want to hear it from you.” Hermione pressed as she stared at him with determination. “Look me in the eye—straight in the eye and tell me that everything you said was false, that you were only lying to me. I’d rather you tell me face to face—don’t be a coward and assume I already know. I know, I just want to hear it from you.”

 

He inwardly groaned as he rolled his sharp cold eyes. He looked her up and down with a frown, but finally his eyes landed right on hers. “I don’t love you, I never did and I never will.” He said slowly, making sure to emphasize each word as if doing so would help Hermione understand more clearly. “It was all a lie, our love was a lie. I did use you and you used me. However, I used you not to make Parkinson jealous or to get her away from me—but to toy with your feelings. Parkinson and I thought it would be entertaining to see what made the mighty lioness crumble and fall . . . and we did.” He said harshly as he let out a bitter laugh. “Although, I didn’t expect you to tell me your deepest, darkest secrets to me . . . I didn’t expect you to let down your guard and look vulnerable to me. That’s your biggest mistake—you trusted me too fast.”

 

Hermione listened to him as she blinked a few times, trying to take in everything he said. Her heart cracked with each word he spat. “Everything wasn’t real,” She muttered under her breath as she took a deep breath, her heart hurting with each second. “Was it fun?”

 

Draco was caught off guard by her question. He had expected a slap, a punch, her wand, anything but a calm question. “Wha—“

 

“Was it fun for you and Parkinson to play with my feelings?”

 

“Yes,” He replied briskly, scoffing as he looked away.

 

“I don’t believe you,” She said sharply, narrowing her gaze on him. “You make a pretty damn great actor, Malfoy. You really had me fooled. Is that what you want to hear?” She asked calmly, trying to keep her emotion down. “You’re right . . . I did trust you too easily, but so did you. You saw me at my weakest point and I saw you at yours.” Hermione told him sternly.

 

“It’s called acting—“

 

“So your mother is actually dead? It was a lie? She’s not at the hospital, right?” She pressed as she shrugged her shoulders. “So it would be alright if I told everyone since it’s not real.”

 

Draco clenched his jaw as he rolled his fingers up into a ball. “My mother is dead.” He forced those foul words out of his teeth as he glared at Hermione with angry eyes.

 

“I’m sure she’d want to be if she heard you say that,” Hermione whispered to him and scoffed, exhaling sharply. “Well, you really had me fooled, Malfoy. Congratulations, you toyed with me this whole winter break and I didn’t have the slightest clue. I thought everything was real, okay? I believed every word you said and all you did was abuse my trust. Are you and Parkinson satisfied now? Is a broken heart not enough to make you two happy?” She raised her voice with each question she threw at him. “Do I need to shed blood for you two to finally be happy?”

 

“No, internal pain is better than external pain . . . external pain heals quickly but a broken heart takes time to heal. We’re satisfied, although I expected you to throw a hex at me. I see you’ve softened up a bit, you’re controlling that crazy temper of yours.”

 

“You’re a bastard and I’m the idiot who fell for you,” She mumbled as she looked down in dismay, gluing her lips together, completely speechless. She knitted her eyebrows together as tears threatened to abandon her eyes. She refused to cry in front of him. She refused to cry over him. She refused to cry. “Let me guess, we pretend like nothing happened between us? No, ‘pretend’ isn’t even the correct word for this. After this, we don’t know each other and all we exchange are scowls and insults at each other.” She stated and before Draco could answer she shook her head. “No, let’s not even do that. Let’s just stop knowing each other—we’re strangers and we’re not even on the level to exchange scowls and insults. We’re strangers after this and if you or Parkinson try to do anything to me or my friends, I don’t know what I’ll do when that happens. Maybe I won’t control my temper.” She warned him with betrayal running across her face as she stared at him. “Hermione Granger loses to Draco Malfoy. You must be happy to have succeeded in hurting me in your own twisted, sadistic way.  You and Parkinson deserve each other. As for me, I’m an idiot for even coming near you this whole school year and I’m the one to blame for my own broken heart.”

 

“Well . . . I’m glad you understand, then, Granger. Make sure to tell your friends to keep their mouth shut.”

 

“It’d be embarrassing on my part if people were to find out that I fell in love with a former deatheater.” Hermione spat at him with venom dripping from her voice, looking down at the ground. The air grew colder as if it was possible and she felt the cruel sharp, cold wind pierce through her thin clothes and stabbing her skin like a thousand knives. Not even that amount of pain measured up to how she felt in her heart. “Leave,” She ordered softly, refusing to look at him as she stared at the window instead.

 

“I—“

 

“I said leave,” She demanded in a cold, dangerous whisper. She heard his footsteps disappear and breathed heavily as the tears that were trying to get out finally escaped and fled down her rosy cheeks. She quickly sniffled as she wiped her tears away roughly with the pad of her thumb. She clenched her jaw and fists as she furrowed her eyebrows. “I’m not going to cry.  I’m not going to cry. It’s over. I’m not . . . going to . . . I’m not going to. . .” The wind hit her face relentlessly with each phrase. “I . . . I,” Her voice was filled with sorrow as it cracked. She finally felt the tears abandon her eyes and soon, the rest followed suit without hesitation. Her tears started to sail down her cold cheeks like an endless waterfall. She quickly covered her hands over her mouth, trying to drown out her cries. She couldn’t hold it back. She cried. Hard. She felt her knees give in and immediately collapsed on the floor, crying as hard as she could. Another heartbreak. But this was far more painful than what Ron had caused her . . . because Ron didn’t have to say anything to her; she knew they weren’t going to be together. She removed one hand from her mouth and placed it over her chest where her heart was. She was grasping it painfully as if she was trying to hold her heart together in one piece. But it was already too late . . . her heart was shattered.

 

From down below, Draco hesitated down on his last step when he heard her soft cries. His blood went cold and he paled, slowly looking up the staircase, tempted to run back and apologize, but it was too late. He had hurt her and there was nothing he could do. He clenched his jaw as he walked away from the Astronomy tower—their tower.

 

“Well, that’s embarrassing,”

 

Draco stopped as he clenched his fists together and turned around furiously. “Shut up, Parkinson.”

 

Pansy raised an eyebrow as she stared at him with her hands on her hips. “Excuse me?” She asked with a glare but brushed it off. “You better start doing your part or she’ll really get hurt.” She warned him and walked over to him, linking her arms with his. “Now, be the good boyfriend you are and walk us back to the Great Hall.” She ordered and a malevolent smirk crawled onto her face when Draco started walking them back.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione walked into class with swollen red eyes as she sat next to Ginny nonchalantly. Class began after a few minutes as more students scurried in at the last minute. She remained quiet as she took her things out, an eerie aura emitting from her.

 

“Hermione . . .?” Ginny asked and silence was all she got in response. She knew. She knew not to bother Hermione. She nodded and turned back to face the professor. The professor started class with a grin, asking how everyone’s winter break was and slightly peered over at Hermione who was simply frozen, emotionless. The red head sighed and licked her lips when she suddenly felt the whole class stare at her—at them. She looked at everyone until her eyes froze on Professor Slughorn who was looking at Hermione.

 

“Miss Granger?” Professor Slughorn asked with surprise as he stared at his favorite student. Why hadn’t she raised her hand when he asked his question to the class?

 

Ginny nudged Hermione and finally, she was out of her trance. “Professor Slughorn asked a question,” Ginny informed Hermione with a tight grin.

 

The brunette looked at her professor and shook her head, “I, I don’t know.” She finally said, hearing gasps and whispers from the whole class. “Last time I checked, I’m not the only one who has a brain, I’m sure other people in here will be willing to answer your question.” She said, unintentionally coming off a bit rude. “I, I’m sorry, professor . . .” She quietly apologized as she chewed on her bottom lip nervously. “I just have a headache, that’s all . . .” Hermione told him quietly with a thin smile.

 

“No need for apologies, Ms. Granger, and you’re right, there are plenty of other students here who can answer my question—Mr. Potter.” He said with a small chuckle as he stared at Harry.

 

Harry ripped his eyes away from Hermione as he stared at Professor Slughorn with a perplexed mask. “I, uh . . . what was the question?” He whispered over to Ron who simply looked away, clearing his throat as he placed his hand over his mouth, faking a cough. Harry glared at his friend and stomped on his shoes before turning back to Professor Slughorn with a grin. “Would it be possible if you repeated the question again?” He asked, gaining small laughs and snickers from the class.

 

“We have a lot of work to do, I see.” Professor Slughorn commented as he widened his eyes at his hopeless class. “Do we all remember our partners in this class before break?” He asked, clapping his hands as he walked to the front of the class with a cheerful laugh.

 

Ginny locked eyes with Blaise who widened his eyes at Hermione. Ginny nodded at Blaise and then stared at her friend. “Do you remember your partner? I don’t remember anyone’s partner at all.” She quickly said with a nervous chuckle. “Let’s be partner—“

 

“Ah, here we go! This seems to have been the groups before break, well then, hurry on and sit with your partners once again. Please get in your seats in two minutes,” He announced, getting organized for the new potion they were about to brew. “It’s nice to brew potions first day back, huh?” He asked and received several groans and sighs from the class. “Always the optimistic ones, aren’t you all?” He muttered with a frown as he looked at his ingredients.

 

“Hermione, you should just do it with me,” Ginny stated as she slowly got up, wanting her friend to stop her.

 

“Granger,”

 

Hermione heard the familiar voice and rolled her dry, cold caramel brown eyes that had lost its color. “Ginny, I’ll be fine.” She told her friend with a ghost of a smile that was immediately replaced by a frown when Ginny got pushed away by Malfoy as he took his seat next to her.

 

Ginny caught herself and shot daggers at Malfoy as she fixed her hair. Her fingers itched for her wand while her lips itched for a hex but she caught herself before she made a scene. She let out a sigh as she looked at her friend. Hermione seemed lost and gone—her body was just a shell and Ginny wondered where her soul must’ve gone.

 

“Ginny,” Blaise called out as he grabbed Ginny’s elbow gently, pulling her away from the couple. “Let’s just see how things go from here,” He said and sat down, sitting behind Harry and Ron who turned around to talk to them.

 

“What are we supposed to do now? What if they kill each other—“

 

“Ron! They’re barely acknowledging each other’s presence. This is worse than when they hated each other.” Ginny whispered ferociously at her brother, hitting him upside the head. “Hermione isn’t even mad—she doesn’t seem mad. She just looks calm and that’s eerie.”

 

“I know, I’d rather want her to flip the table and hex that arse to oblivion then sitting there like a ghost,” Blaise commented as he shuddered when he looked over at the couple, feeling a cold atmosphere crowding around them. “She’s even scarier when she’s quiet . . .”

 

“The Hermione we all know wouldn’t be like that . . . she would pull out her wand and hex Malfoy.” Harry said as he shook his head. “I can’t believe he’s together with Parkinson,”

 

“There’s definitely something going on because I know Draco and Draco absolutely hated Parkinson and I’m positive he still does. Parkinson has something against Draco . . . that’s why he’s like that.” Blaise told them and quickly closed his mouth when Professor Slughorn shot them a glare. “We were just discussing about the new potion we’ll be brewing, we’re so excited!” He exclaimed as he stretched, trying to act casual.

 

Ginny stared at Blaise and raised an eyebrow. “Really? You should’ve just stayed quiet.” She snapped at him with a small grin as she turned to look at her professor.

 

“We will be brewing the ‘Elixir to Induce Euphoria’, can someone tell me what that potion does? It’s very easy, anyone?” He asked and saw no one raise their hands. “No one?”

 

Harry raised his hand and grinned when Professor Slughorn let out a relieved sigh, calling on him. “The potion induces a sense of inexplicable, irrational happiness to the drinker.” He replied and winked at Ginny as he nodded. “Memorized it straight from the book and I brewed this before,” He whispered over to her making Ginny laugh a little.

 

“Excellent! This is quite an easy potion to brew, especially for this lot, so let’s start the first day back to classes with an easy potion! Now, if you’ll look at the board . . .” He took his wand out, flicking his wrist once and directions to the potion appeared on the board including the ingredients. “One person from each table must collect the following: peppermint sprigs, wormwood, shrievelfig, porcupine quills, and castor beans. This time, your cauldrons are already set up on the desks, so hurry on then, get to the ingredients.” He ordered and the whole class got up to collect the ingredients except for Hermione and Draco.

 

Hermione quickly jotted down the directions on her parchment and looked over at the huge group of students fighting over the ingredients. She was going to wait until there were only a few people left up there. She took a deep breath and completely disregarded Draco’s presence and continued to eye the group of students and saw that most of them were now seated.

 

“Granger, don’t think of bothering m—“

 

Hermione briskly got up as she walked over to the ingredients, calmly reaching for the things she needed. She looked over and saw Ron staring at her and then stared past his head to see Harry, Ginny, and Blaise all staring. “I’m not going to die over a small little heartbreak,” She reassured Ron as she placed her hand on his shoulder. “I’m okay, so stop gawking over at me, I know I’m beautiful.” She teased him and grinned as she walked off.

 

“We were not gawking!” Ron shouted back with a goofy grin and sat back down next to Harry. “She’s not fine, but she says she is . . . I think we just need to leave her alone for now.” He grimaced, stealing one last look at Hermione before starting his project. “Harry, you said you did this before, so just show the way, mate.” He slid the ingredients over to Harry’s side with a sly grin.

 

“You’re not seriously telling me to do the whole thing by myself . . .” Harry muttered as he stared at his friend.

 

“You’ve done it before and come on, you defeated Voldermort!  I think you can handle a little bit of brewing.”

 

“No, mate, you do it.” Harry fought back as he pushed all the ingredients back over to Ron’s side.

 

“Will both of you two shut up and brew the potion, some people are trying to work here,” Blaise whispered at them, kicking their chairs.

 

Ginny shot him a glare as she kicked his chair. “I’m doing all the work right now so you need to shut up, too.” She told him as she angrily followed the directions, adding peppermint into the cauldron. “Come on, be useful, Zabini. When can I stop putting in the peppermint sprigs?”

 

“Until the potion turns red,”

 

“Okay, just keep telling me the directions.” Ginny ordered as she added the peppermint sprigs. “How are Hermione and that bastard doing?”

 

“Well . . .” Blaise glanced over and saw Hermione doing all the work and shook his head. “She’s doing all the work, they aren’t talking, and he’s simply just staring at her . . . good teamwork over there.”

 

Ginny stayed silent as she simply put the peppermint sprigs in. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do with Hermione acting like that. All she could do was watch from the sidelines . . . for now.

 

Hermione felt four pair of eyes boring into her left cheek and shook her head as she looked over, her friends immediately looking away. “I’m fine . . .” She muttered silently to herself as she looked down at her parchment, already onto the third step. She calmly began stirring the potion, waiting for it to turn blue.

 

Draco continued to peak glances at Hermione and felt horrible each time. Was he doing the right thing? Was he really protecting Hermione by ignoring her and hurting her? No. He didn’t have to hurt her in order to save her, which was morally incorrect. He screwed up and now he wasn’t even worth her time to sneer or scoff at. He was nothing to her. He deserved it.

 

The petite brunette glanced over at him with blank eyes and their eyes locked, she was the first to pull away. She quickly snapped out of it and looked down at the potion to see that she hadn’t over stirred it. She continued to make the potion—it was very easy for her level. Hermione sat down, waiting for the potion to simmer to purple. She was almost done with the potion. She could leave once she was finished with the potion. She could leave this place. She could leave him. She wanted to be away from him. She wanted many things . . . but the thing she wanted most was to be alone. But with her friends breathing down her back, she realized she wasn’t going to get the extra time alone like she wanted.

 

. . . . . .

 

 

“Excellent work today, Ms. Granger. You two may be excused to leave early! And the potion turned out perfectly, so each of you should take some of it.” He handed both of them a vile of the potion and sent them off happily.

 

Hermione looked down at the yellow liquid in the vile, considering drinking it but quickly put it away in her robes. Maybe, later. Her eyes locked with Draco’s and she immediately looked away, walking off without another word. She breathed heavily as she tried to walk faster when she suddenly heard his familiar footsteps rapidly coming closer. Her walking speed decreased until she came to a full stop while Draco walked right past her, going off without looking back. She blinked a few times as she saw him leave and took a deep breath. It hadn’t even been more than three hours and she was having a hard time with coping. She thought avoiding and ignoring him would be easy but . . . turns out it’s a lot harder than she imagined.

 

. . . . . .

 

“Hermione, where are you going? You haven’t even finished dinner yet—“

 

“I have a lot of studying to do and besides . . .” She cut Harry off and took another glance over at Parkinson feeding Malfoy and clenched her jaw, feeling sick to the stomach. “I’m not hungry anymore.” She got up and grabbed her books, walking out of the Great Hall.

 

“She’s going to study?” Harry asked Ginny and Ron. “Today is the first day back, what is there to study and besides! She knows everything already.”

 

“She’s using studying as tool to help cope with her heartbreak. She never does that unless she’s really upset or sad. She didn’t even do that when you left her for Brown.” Ginny said with panic as she frowned deeply. “She’s going to drown herself in her studies to get over him. That is not unhealthy.”

 

“Well, we can’t do anything starting tomorrow. We’re starting Quidditch practice tomorrow, remember?” Ron asked as he sighed. “Well, of course not outside but we’re going to start going over a few plans and positions.”

 

“It’s already time for that? Then, we’ll just have to drag Hermione out to practice. We have to do everything to get her away from her damn books.”

 

“Okay, we’ll try, too.” Harry said as he nodded and furrowed his eyebrows, looking over at Zabini who looked angry. “What is Zabini doing over there anyways?” He asked Ginny with curiosity.

 

“I told him to go back and find out what’s going on—“

 

“He looks livid.” Ron stated as he took a bite out of his chicken leg. “Wouldn’t blame that bloke though . . . just look at the couple.”

 

“I’m afraid my dinner will come back up if I did,” Ginny stated as she rolled her sharp, annoyed eyes. “Look, I’ll keep in touch with Blaise while you two try to cheer her up, okay?” She suggested and turned back around to catch Blaise’s eyes. “I have to get going so you two should better go check on Hermione, hopefully she’s just in the common room since you two can’t go into the girls’ side. I’m going to the library.” She announced and quickly stalked off and soon, Zabini got up and followed.

 

Harry and Ron looked at the two leaving the place and turned to face each other. “We need good teamwork like that . . .” Ron stated and quickly washed down his food with the remainder of his pumpkin juice. “Let’s go save Hermione,” He said and they quickly left the table.

 

. . . . . .

 

Hermione had read the same sentence for the thousandth time and sighed, closing the book and tossing it down on her bed. She looked around the empty room and shivered slightly from the cold bedroom and got up from her bed, going down to the common room where the fire was warm and welcoming. She walked down the stairs and saw that it was empty. Perfect. She sat down right in front of the fireplace and hugged her knees as she stared at the mesmerizing fire. The thoughts of her and Draco sitting by the fireplace flooded into her brain and so did all the other memories she had of them together, tearing up. How could he? It hadn’t even been a full day since he cut her off and here she was, wallowing alone in front of the fireplace. When had she become so weak and vulnerable? She was stronger than this even after the war. She truly had softened. She was weak and all she wanted was to be strong. More memories of her and Draco invaded her brain until it was all she could think about—each and every single second they spent together, gone—fake. Hermione felt tears swell up and buried her head into her knees, softly crying as she sat alone by the fire.

 

She heard the portrait door open but she didn’t dare look up. She remained frozen, trying to cry softly and felt a warm hand pat her back, rubbing her back in circles to comfort her.

 

“Hermione,” Ron said as he sat down next to her, rubbing her back softly in attempts to comfort her. “I, I’m not quite good at these things . . .” He stuttered awkwardly as he stared at his friend. “Malfoy is a pompous, arrogant, ignorant, oblivious, bastard that doesn’t even deserve to walk on the same planet as you. I’m sorry that you have to go through this . . . again. H, he doesn’t know what he lost. Parkinson isn’t even a quarter of what you are. He lost something so amazing and . . . and rare that he’s going to regret his whole life letting you go.” He continued softly, staring at the fire. “I know I do, but I know my mistake. I know I can’t turn things around with you. All I want is to be your friend again and that’s it. But . . . Malfoy, as much as I hate to say it, Malfoy made you really happy. He made you happier than Harry and I both ever had. It breaks all of us, Hermione; it breaks all of us to see you so broken and vulnerable like this—so unlike yourself. I-I, we, Ginny, Harry, and even Zabini, we all care for you and we’re all on your side. Malfoy is an idiot.”

 

Hermione remained silent as she kept her head down, the tears slowly streaming down her face as she waited to hear more.

 

“I hate having to admit this, too . . . but he really loved you. Y-you could see it in that bloke’s eyes, the way he looked at you and the way he talked to you . . . it was full of pure love and care. It couldn’t have been an act because it was real and genuine. The look he always gave you was only full of love. He truly loved you. You two had something beautiful and so, so unattainable for people like Harry and me. You two had something special and Parkinson ruined it.” He cleared his throat as he licked his lips. “The way he looked at you today at Potions . . . something in his eyes still told me that he loved you. Parkinson is the one who interfered; she had to have said something to him to make him act this way to you. Trust me, Hermione Jean Granger, Draco Malfoy still loves you and—“

 

Hermione lifted her head up abruptly as she turned over to Ron with tears rolling down her face, her eyes already puffy and red from crying as she sniffled. “I, I know he lied to me up in that tower today. I know he lied. But, what hurts me most is that he didn’t even try to stand up for us. He gave in to Parkinson so easily. He could’ve told me what was going on instead of trying to do things his way. What’s so scary about Parkinson to make him—to make him scared to tell me the truth? He could’ve just told me and we could’ve gone through it together but he chose to be stupid and did it on his own. H, he’s nothing but a coward; he always has been and he always will be. The fact that he actually lied to my face—to say such harsh words to me and the look he gave me . . . he ruined everything for us. Ron .