Chapter 5 : Of Private Lessons and Bloody Feet
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“Are you going to help me at all?” She dropped her quill in aggravation as she turned to face the large couch in the center of their common room.
He was stretched across the full length of it, one arm dangling off the edge over his head and dressed in his dance clothes for some odd reason. She immediately averted her eyes when they fell on the pale skin that was pulled taunt over the muscles in his arms. Dance clothes were very flattering on him.
“No.” He replied without even opening his eyes.
“Well, why not?!” She huffed. “You’re Head Boy. You heard Professor Dumbledore, we have a very important job to do.”
“I’m sure you have it completely under control, Princess Mudblood. And unlike you I don’t give a rat’s ass about what the Headmaster thinks. I have nothing to prove. So go organize your committee or whatever you are doing Queen of the Muggle-born.”
For a moment she couldn’t even respond and when she did it was through great struggle.
He ignored her as he pushed himself off the couch. He towered over her.
“Why did you say that?” A hurt feeling washed over her. He was pushing open the portrait. “Where do you think you are going?”
He turned back around to find the small brunette glaring angrily at him, hands on her hips. He almost smirked at the sight.
“I’m going to the dance studio. Not that it’s any of your business. ” His eyebrow quirked daringly.
Her fists clenched. “I need you to sit down here with me and concentrate.” She said through gritted teeth.
Now a smirk did appear on his face as he leaned against the doorframe. “The Great Hermione Granger needs my help.” He stated with obvious amusement.
She fought the blush rising in her cheeks. “No.” She insisted. “I simply need you to do your job.”
He appraised her momentarily before making his way to the chair at the table that was unoccupied.
With a large sigh of relief she pushed her notes towards him and began to explain what they needed to do.
November dawned cold and dreary with a pounding rain assaulting the grounds of Hogwarts.
Hermione was eating her lunch very slowly, simply dreading going to Dianna’s class. She hadn’t improved any and the rest of the class was well aware of her frequent escapades to Dianna’s office where Dianna would rant and rave about her disappointment with the girl.
Why didn’t she just fix it?
She sighed and laid her spoon back on the silver plate.
Because it hurt too much. That’s why.
Then there was Draco Malfoy. It was obvious Dianna adored the git. He was her star student and she made it painfully apparent every chance she got. When she had designated their dance partners for the year, every single girl, excepting Hermione, had been practically drooling to get him as their partner. Slytherin and Gryffindor alike. Hermione had been paired with some nameless Gryffindor third year who stepped on her feet almost as often as she did his.
The only improvement was that Draco had, for some reason, taken on his duties as Head Boy. In fact, Hermione could almost say that he had been entirely helpful. They had organized several meetings, set the date for the first Hogsmeade trip this weekend and even picked a theme for the first ball next month.
The bell rang throughout the hall and with a growing disappointment Hermione bid goodbye to Harry and Ron and made for the girl’s changing stalls.
“Hermione Granger! Point those toes!” Dianna thundered from the other side of the warm up bar. Hermione cringed and pointed her toes more. Dianna was not satisfied. “Hermione, I want to see you after class.” Dianna whispered in her ear as she passed by. Hermione hung her head as Dianna moved on down the bar, handing out little helpful tips as she went, but mostly encouraging words.
“What beautiful poise, Draco! Ten points to Slytherin!” Dianna clapped happily and moved on down the line. Hermione looked up and sneered in the blonde’s direction. I’m sure I’ll hear of this when we get back to the common room. He’ll just rub it in my face.
“Hermione! Wake up! We’re moving on now!” Dianna’s voice thundered into her thoughts once again and she became aware of the fact that the class was moving the bars out of the center of the room and changing their shoes. “Character shoes on, my children!” Dianna turned her back on Hermione to address the class.
Hermione scurried to her bag and pulled out her character shoes. I don’t see how anyone can dance in these contraptions. Who was the brilliant one who said ‘Oh, let’s dance in high heels’?!
After the female half of the class had put on their character shoes and resumed their spots before the mirror, Dianna started teaching a modern dance that involved lots of sliding to the side and shimmying to the front, neither of which Hermione couldn’t seem to get the hang of.
By the time class was over, Hermione was a ball of sweat and a jangle of nerves. She slowly put her shoes away and then redid her pony tail just to buy time. Once the class was gone she walked to Dianna’s office door.
“Take a seat.” Dianna was removing her point shoes and Hermione grimaced at the sight of her teacher’s bloody feet. Why did people put themselves through that? She sat down.
She knew . . . She shook her head. No. She did not know.
Dianna took a deep breath and massaged her temples. “Look, Hermione. I’m going to be honest with you. At the rate you’re going, there’s no way I can pass you for this class.”
Hermione’s heart stopped. Not pass?
“This is disappointing to me.” Dianna looked her square in the eye. “I think you are holding yourself back.”
Hermione’s head dropped and she stared at her clasped hands. Dianna sighed. “I am a dance teacher, Hermione. I’ve danced all my life. I know a dancer when I see one.”
“I don’t dance.” Hermione replied vehemently.
Dianna held up a hand but pushed the subject no more. “I don’t have any options left, except one. Are you willing to rectify the issue? Are you willing to work for this grade?”
Hermione nodded. She would do anything.
“Good.” Dianna stood from the desk and went to her shelf where there were all kinds of dance shoes. She was preparing for her next class, selecting out a pair of black jazz sneakers. “I’m assigning you a tutor. You will have until the final jury, and if you can’t show me a decent dance by then, I will fail you.”
Hermione stood from her chair. “I’ll do it.” She said.
“Good.” Dianna sat down and began to tie her shoes on to her feet. “Draco Malfoy will meet you here at 7:30 tonight for your first session.”
“What?!” Hermione cried. “Draco Malfoy?! I can’t work with him!”
“Then you will fail Miss Granger.” Dianna replied coldly. “He is the best dancer in this class, and you need the best.” She finished with a frown. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I believe we both have classes to be getting to.” And with that Dianna left.
Hermione’s stomach sank. Private dance tutor sessions with Draco Malfoy? She grabbed her bag and left through the studio door, she wanted to be gone before the next class got in.
That night she went back to the common room and changed into her Capezios and a breezy practice skirt. She tied her hair in a tight pony and grabbed her dance bag and a water bottle. She stopped before the mirror in her room before she went out the door. Off to meet the dragon. She thought to herself Merlin, what am I getting into?
She grabbed a zip up sweatshirt as she left the common room, Draco must have already gone to the studio.
Once she reached the dance studio she slowly opened the door. Music was coming from within. She was surprised to see Draco before the mirror, dancing alone.
She entered and softly shut the door, watching him. She frowned. He was impressive. He moved as if gravity was not a rule for him, as if it didn’t apply to his body.
She gently cleared her throat and as he landed a triple pirouette perfectly.
He looked up and frowned. “How long have you been standing there?” He growled as the music switched off.
“Only a moment. . .” She answered, slightly embarrassed.
“Put your stuff down and let’s get this over with.” He told her.
An hour later, things still weren’t looking so well.
“One, two, three. One, two, three. Down, up, up. Down, up, up. One -ow!- two, three. One, two, three. Down, -ow!-”
“-up, up. One, two, three. One two -ow!” Draco stopped and let go of her waist with a frown on his face. “Can’t you keep your feet to yourself, Granger?”
“I’m trying!” Hermione threw her hands in the air in defeat and turned her back on the large studio mirror. “I just can’t dance!” She dropped down on the floor with her back against the wall and hugged her knees to her chest.
Draco frowned again. “Well of course you can’t dance. Not with that attitude.”
Hermione grumbled from behind her knees. “Look who’s talking.”
Draco walked to the black stereo that sat on the table at the far corner of the room. Their professor, Dianna, being a muggle born, preferred to use her muggle contraption to play their music for class. To Hermione’s surprise, Draco knew how to work it and switched it on. A song began to play that she had never heard. The beat was slow at some points and fast at others, it had a dancy rhythm. A beat that made you want to move. If only she could dance.
Draco walked back to her and held out his hand.
“What?” She asked. “I’m done. I’m going to fail. I’ll never be able to dance!”
“Just shut up and take my hand.” He replied.
She grumbled and took his outstretched hand. He led her to the center of the room. “Look at yourself.” He commanded, turning her to face the mirror.
She turned away. “I’d rather not.” He grabbed her shoulders and turned her back to the mirror. “Alright, fine.” She planted her feet and raised her eyes to the mirror. The sight of her body in it’s perfect poise was disconcerting. It was habit. She immediately changed her stance.
“Why did you do that?” He asked.
“I . . .I was uncomfortable.”
“No. That was perfect, your body was perfectly balanced, your feet even and your core was in the center. That’s not a stance you just happen on by mistake and you walked to the mirror and planted yourself in it.”
The music was still lilting through the room. What were those instruments? “It was an accident.” She insisted.
With an eyebrow raised he walked around her in a circle.
“What do you think you are? A vulture?”
“Shut up, Granger.”
He took her right arm and raised it to shoulder level. “Hold that right there.” He said. He ran his hand down the length of her arm, bending it slightly at the elbow and bending her wrist upward. He then posed her fingers, the middle slightly pointed down and her pointer and ring tilted up, as if there was a pencil between them. “Hold them still.” He said as she started to slip.
She was startled and jumped, but returned to the pose he had created. He then circled around her, analyzing her stance.
“Why are you staring?” She asked irritably.
“Will you just shut up for five whole minutes?” He stepped forward again and took her leg, stretching it out to the side. “Straighten out your foot. Point your toes as straight as they will go.” She did as she was told. “Straighter. You aren't the giant squid.”
“I am pointing them!” She protested.
“Not enough!” He then moved back up and took her left arm. “I was watching you today when Dianna had us do our Arabesques.” He again ran his hands down her arm until he reached her elbow, this time he held it out before her, and curved it slightly across her body. “Stand up straight.” He commanded. She grimaced. “Do as I said! Do you want to pass this course?” He was right in her face now. “Well do you?”
“Yes.” She answered quietly.
Apparently satisfied, he moved on to her other leg. “You’re gonna have one shot at this.” He said. “Raise up on your toes.”
“In this pose?!” She cried out.
“That’s what an Arabesque is Granger! You’re wearing point shoes. You might as well use them.” He replied, crossing his arms and leaning against the mirror. “We will not move on until you rise up on your toes and hold that pose until I am satisfied.”
Dear Merlin, how she hated him at this moment. “I can’t.” She whispered.
“Why not?” He asked from the mirror. “What’s stopping you?”
“I just can’t.” She replied, still holding the pose he had set.
“Oh, really?” He raised an eyebrow. “Who’s stopping you? Dianna’s not here.”
She turned her head away and allowed her arms to drop to her sides.
“The class isn’t here. I’m encouraging you. So tell me, Granger. Who’s stopping you?”
She pulled her legs back in and stood normally once more. She couldn’t look at him.
He stalked over to the stereo and shut the music off. He leaned against the table, bracing himself with his arms, his back to her. “No one’s stopping you, but Hermione Granger.” He answered.
She blinked back tears. He was right. The stupid arrogant git was right. She turned and grabbed her messenger bag and stalked out of the room, the door slamming behind her.
He sighed in frustration as the door slammed. When was she going to learn? He switched the stereo back on and went before the mirror, kicking off his dance shoes as he went. There was nothing like a good practice session to get the muscles tired and the mind off everything else.
Heh heh *embarassed grin*. I can explain. I really can. See . . . I no longer will be using the services of a co writer. It did not work out, and there were many things that got this decision to the point it's at, most of which I can't tell you guys. *sorry . .hands cookie* I'm almost gleeful at the fifty or so reviews I got that were correcting the mistakes in the last post because it just shows that you are all reading along so critically ^_^ Which makes me happy. To clear up the confusion I have gone back and edited the chapter and so you all know I will say it here: Yes. They share the Head's Dorm. Yes. Dumbledore is in fact the headmaster in this story. And yes, I do dance, but not so avidly as my character's in this story. I've done lot's of research and lot's of it comes from personal experiences and things I have seen. As does all of your writings ^_^ Thank you to every single one of you that offered to lend me assistance with the writngs of this story and I've contacted quite a few of you thus far, and will probably contact more of you in the future to gather your experiences as well. All in all . . . thanks for all the support guys! *gathers reviewers into rather large group hug*
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