Chapter 4 : Masquerade Magic
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This is my second fanfic. Please review, but do not flame. Constructive criticism is encouraged.
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Hermione stared at her reflection in the mirror. If she didn’t know any better, she wouldn’t be able to recognize herself. No one would be able to guess that only yesterday, she was Hermione Granger. Now she looked every bit of the pureblood Zabini that she was.
That afternoon, Priscilla suggested that they should go shopping for some new clothes for her. Hermione expected for them to shop in Diagon Alley, but instead they made their purchases at Paris’s most exclusive shopping district for purebloods. All of the salespeople in each store made it their personal mission to find the perfect robes for Hermione.
They bought so many robes, that Hermione couldn’t think of when she could possibly wear them all. It simply wasn’t practical to have so many silk and satin robes. But then again, she wasn’t a mudblood who always was worrying about her next meal anymore. She was a Zabini, a pureblood, and filthy rich. Now Hermione could afford to live lavishly and spend her money on luxurious things.
Just when Hermione finally thought that they were done with their shopping, Priscilla insisted on taking her to the chicest hair salon this side of the English Channel. Hair that was once bushy brown was now silky soft, and fell into perfect waves. Black streaks framed her newly tanned face, and black eyeliner framed her honey brown eyes. She wore lipstick in a shade called ‘tiara’, and her cheeks were a dusky rose color. She looked as if she belonged in a magazine.
However, it was her costume that stunned her. Dressed as a medieval princess, she wore a black and gold dress with a square, low cut neckline. The skirt opened up to reveal petticoats of golden lace, and her sleeves flowed down until they met the floor. On her head, she wore a gold tiara that was encrusted with rubies. Her necklace was a single ruby, that although beautiful, also resembled a droplet of blood. She wore a mask of gold that was shaped like vines that entwined with red ruby roses, and sapphire bluebells.
She was still gazing into the mirror in a state of wonderment when the door opened, and Priscilla stepped in. She was dressed as the Greek goddess Hera, Queen of Mount Olympus, in a white toga that sparkled with diamonds.
“Oh, Hermione, dear,” she said, her usually giggly voice now warm and motherly, “You look a picture. All the boys at the masquerade won’t be able to take their eyes off of you. Come now, the carriage is waiting.”
Hermione stepped out of the carriage, and gazed in awe at the glorious house in front of her. It was colossal, even bigger than her own house. The extensive front lawn, which was littered with other purebloods, dressed in a wide variety of costumes, was magically lit by floating candles. A large orchestra was playing what sounded like Beethoven, but since he was a muggle, it was likely that it was not.
Suddenly, a tall and graceful woman came gliding over towards them. She was dressed as the legendary Egyptian princess, Cleopatra, except this woman had blonde hair. Hermione took her to be roughly the same age as Priscilla, but she somehow seemed a bit more sophisticated and mature than Priscilla.
“Priscilla, darling, how delightful that you are here at last!” the blonde woman exclaimed, wrapping Priscilla into a hug, “but who is this exquisite beauty?”
“Narcissa, I would like you to meet my daughter. This is Hermione Lavinia Zabini. Hermione, this is my good friend Narcissa Malfoy,” Priscilla said, introducing them.
‘A Malfoy!’ Hermione thought. No wonder she thought that blonde hair looked so familiar. This was Draco Malfoy’s mother! Well, if his mother was here, then that probably unfortunately meant that Draco was lurking around here somewhere.
“Oh, my! So you are Priscilla’s daughter, eh? Well it is lovely to see that you re finally here with us, as you belong. Now, why don’t you run along and enjoy yourself? You’re mother and I have some gossip to catch up on,” Narcissa suggested.
Rather a bit reluctantly, Hermione started walking through the crowd, trying to figure out what to do. She never really was one to dance, as she didn’t think that she could do anything except to slow dance. Yet she was too shy to ask any of these strange boys to dance with her. So, the question of what to do came back.
“Just bloody great,” Hermione muttered to herself under her breath, “You finally get invited to a masquerade ball, and you have nothing to do except stand around looking bored.”
Looking around, Hermione saw gardens grounds stretching far behind the immense house. These gardens were just as beautiful and large, if not larger, as the gardens that she had briefly explored that morning. Tall hedges created maze like paths, and strange lights flickered. Hermione ventured onto the path, losing sight of the house, and discovered that what she assumed were more floating candles, were actually tiny fairies fluttering about. Around the corner, she saw a dazzling decorative fountain that shot sparkling baby blue water out of the horn of a sculpted unicorn that was enchanted to gallop around the pool of the fountain. This garden was the most breathtaking view that she could ever hope to see.
The magical silence was broken, however, when Hermione heard a twig snap from somewhere behind her. Hermione was a bit afraid to turn around, not knowing what she would be faced with. But in this magical garden, how could there be anything evil? She was still having a mental argument about it in her head, when she heard a soft and gentle, yet questioning voice in her ear.
“Who are you? Aphrodite? Venus? Fair Juliet? For whoever you are, you are enchanting,” the voice confessed.
Hermione whirled around to face this person who thought he could say such things to her. Did he not know that she was a Zabini? She was not some girl that he could bullshit into believing that romantic crap. True, Hermione was a romantic at heart, and it was also true that she was waiting for her prince charming, a guy just like Heathcliffe from ‘Wuthering Heights’, but she did not think that this guy was serious.
That is what she thought at least, until she caught sight of him. Dressed as a heroic knight, he practically glowed with good looks. His pale skin was just like the moon shining above them, and his vivid grey- blue eyes were soft, and sparkled like the sun. His hair was covered with a helmet that shined. There were no other words to describe him other than her knight in shining armor.
“Hello,” she uttered softly, momentarily speechless, but she quickly recovered, “Who are you?”
“I asked you that first,” he replied, his grey eyes that seemed so familiar, yet so new and different to her, glittering mischievously.
“If you would like to know my name, then you must wait a bit longer, seeing as I do not feel like giving it at the moment,” Hermione said coolly, waiting to see his reaction.
At first he looked surprised, for you could tell that with his good looks, most girls would already be drooling, but he quickly masked his look of surprise, and said, “Well, I shall give you my name when you give me yours. For now, I will just have to settle with calling you my fair lady, seeing as you refuse to tell me your name.”
“But who says that I am your fair lady? I belong to no one,” She replied flirtatiously. What had gotten into her? She always frowned down upon those girls who would sound so foolish flirting with a boy, yet here she was doing it herself. She couldn’t help it; simply being around this boy was intoxicating.
“Fine, fair lady whom belongs to no one, would you care to dance with me?” he asked, bowing like a perfect gentleman. His whole manner may have been normally sickeningly romantic, but Hermione’s heart melted when he smiled.
“I would love to, kind sir,” she said curtsying, and mimicking his formal manner.
The music from the party wafted into the small cobblestone path that they began to waltz on. Hermione rested her head on his shoulder, feeling oddly at ease with this stranger whom she had just met. They waltzed in silence for another few minutes. It was not an awkward silence, but it was as if they were communicating to each other on a subconscious level.
Then, just as all good things must come to an end, the song was at last finished, and Hermione reluctantly broke away. She heard the clock strike mid night, and feeling rather a bit like Cinderella, she knew that it was time for her to retire into her bedchamber. Just as everyone did at these sorts of events, she would, of course, be spending the night in a spare bedchamber of the host’s house.
“Wait, where are you going?” her prince charming implored as she started to walk back towards the manor.
“I’m sorry, but I have to go,” Hermione murmured softly.
Her knight rubbed his temples in exasperation, as he replied, “Well, if you must go, at least let me walk you back.”
But it was too late; she was already gone.
“This was a perfect night,” Hermione sighed, smiling inwardly at remembering her knight in shining armor. He was so... chivalrous and romantic. She felt like she was in love, but she knew that she had not known him long enough to be in love.
Perhaps she would see him tomorrow, in the gardens for a morning stroll. The Malfoy’s truly did have a gorgeous garden. Speaking of Malfoy, Hermione was really glad that she did not have to put up with his cruel sneers and snide remarks. She could just imagine the look of shock on his face when he saw her with her new beau. After all, she could remember him once commenting that no one could ever fall in love with a bucktoothed book worm like her. Although, it wasn’t as if he was in any position to say such things, as she was sure that no one could possibly ever love him either.
Authors note: What do you think? I really like this chapter. I know it a little sickeningly sweet with the romance, but not for long.
You all do realize who the knight in shining armor is, don’t you? Skin as pale as moonlight, and gorgeous grey- blue eyes that sparkle like the sun? Well, if you don’t get it, then you’ll just have to wait until next chapter to find out!
NOTE: time travel will be in the next chapter!