The next few weeks passed by mostly uneventful. Hermione was angrier at Malfoy than ever and tried to avoid him as much as possible. She was also upset with Ron for not comforting her, more like making a fool of her in front of everyone. She wasn’t in the best mood these past few weeks, so she basically avoided everyone, even Harry and Ginny, who didn’t do anything wrong. They were very worried about her, but still knew to give it time and she will come around.
Malfoy, on the other hand, was taking her melancholy as pleasure for him. Even though his subconscious told him to repay her since he hated being indebted more than anything, he just couldn’t do it. Every time he saw Hermione, insults just blurted out of him. He was never the type of person to think before he acted. It was as if Hermione was a magnet to his remarks; she could never escape them.
However, Hermione’s response to these rude comments confused and suprised Malfoy. Whenever he would say something offensive to her, even if it was in the common room where no one could see, she would simply look at him with gloomy eyes, take a deep breath as if she was about to say something, then turn her head and give her attention back to whatever she was doing. Although this behavior did not give Malfoy as much amusement, he kept insulting her nonetheless.
Even though Ron still had no idea what he had done to get Hermione upset, both Harry and Ginny managed to persuade him to apologize to her. This lifted Hermione’s spirits, not knowing that the others had convinced him to do so, because he was not one to say “sorry”. In no time at all, she was back to retorting to Malfoy as if nothing had ever happened. Hermione convinced herself that she wasn’t exactly mad at Malfoy before, only at Ron, and decided to take it out on them both. Plus, this gave her a legitimate reason to ignore Malfoy, even if sometimes she had to bite her lip to prevent her from saying anything. It was exactly what Hermione had needed; a few peaceful weeks where Malfoy couldn’t get to the better of her. This gave her some time to focus on her studies and nothing else.
Before she knew it, it was October, and the weather took a rapid change. There was always a slight breeze outside, and the leaves were turning beautiful shades of amber, jade, and crimson. This also meant that the first Hogsmeade trip was coming up very soon. This brought down Hermione’s spirits by a small amount, since she had to spend the majority of it with Malfoy. She was excited for her lunch break when she would be able to spend time with Harry, Ron, and hopefully Ginny as well. Everywhere she went students, and even teachers, were talking cheerfully about it.
Finally, the fourth of October came at last; the day of the Hogsmeade trip. Hermione entered the Great Hall to find students already lined up according to house. She scanned the crowd when her eyes finally fell on Harry and Ron towards the back of the Gryffindor line. They were apparently looking for her as well because when Ron spotted her, he nudged Harry to look over, and they both waved excitedly.
“I have to go help Professor McGonagall, but I just wanted to say hello first,” Hermione said with a smile.
Harry and Ron looked disappointed. “Well, we’ll meet you at the Three Broomsticks around one, then?”
Hermione nodded, waved goodbye, and headed off toward Professor McGonagall, who was yelling at a few second years who were trying to get in.
“Don’t even try to convince me that you are third years, because I know each student that goes here by heart!”
Malfoy finally came to the front of the line with a grim look on his face. It looked like it took a great deal of energy for him to come within three feet of Hermione. Even so, he did his Head job, even if he was sulking the entire time. He and Hermione were assigned to make sure there wasn’t anyone in the lines that did not have permission to go and to try to control the large crowd.
At last, the group made their way to Hogsmeade with Malfoy, Hermione, and the professors in front. Hermione was glad that she brought a jacket because it was quite chilly outside with the slight breeze. She was already looking forward to going to The Three Broomsticks for a delicious, warm mug of butterbeer. After what felt like an hour, the students reached the village and immediately spread out.
Without even turning to Hermione, Malfoy exclaimed arrogantly and sarcastically, “Oh, yeah. I almost forgot that we have to patrol Hogsmeade together. This should be thrilling.” He rolled his eyes, but Hermione acted like she didn’t hear him.
Hermione and Malfoy started to make their way around the perimeter of Hogsmeade. They kept a few feet of distance between them, and Hermione was walking slightly slower than Malfoy. Some seventh years gave them curious glances, but then realized that they were Head Boy and Girl, so that was why they were walking together. One third year Hufflepuff student who seemed to know exactly who they were looked at Hermione, then Malfoy, then back to Hermione without any hint of subtleness.
“What’re you looking at? Sod off, or I’ll take off house points,” Malfoy said irritably as he waved him off. This seemed to frighten the student because they scurried off without a last glance at the two.
“What’s going on? Everyone’s acting as if they had just seen a ghost,” Malfoy asked more to himself than Hermione.
“Everyone’s acting as if they had just seen two mortal enemies walking together, Malfoy,” Hermione corrected him.
Malfoy grunted at this. “Did they not get the message that we are H-E-A-D-B-O-Y-A-N-D-H-E-A-D-G-I-R-L?”
“I suppose not,” Hermione said with a shrug. The situation they were in obviously annoyed Malfoy a great deal more than Hermione, which surprised her, since she thought he would have liked all the attention. Clearly he did not by his facial expression whenever someone even glimpsed their way.
Silence. This lasted for what felt like an eternity. All they could hear was the loud noise of their feet clanking against the rocky pavement and distant voices of laughter and excitement. Most of the students were all packed inside shops because it was so cold outside. Hermione felt a sudden pang of jealousy. She would give anything to be in the shops with Harry and Ron at her side, even if the stores were so jammed pack with people that it looked like the students couldn’t move an inch of their body.
Hermione and Malfoy passed The Three Broomsticks, Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeydukes Sweetshop… the list goes on and on of wonderful stores that they were missing. She looked in each shop as she passed it with a look of deep yearning. Malfoy, on the other hand, kept his eyes focused on whatever was in front of him, not looking right or left at all. He was also annoyed that he had to be with Hermione most of the day but was better at hiding it than she was.
They were finally done with their first round of patrol duty. It took them about thirty minutes since the village was not that small and since they were taking their time. Now, the two of them were at the exact same spot where they started.
“Now for our second round,” Hermione said with a sigh. She and Malfoy only took a few steps forward when a low, foreign voice sounded behind them.
“Herm-own-ninny!” a familiar, male voice shouted very loudly behind her. Hermione stopped dead in her tracks. Malfoy, who kept walking, noticed she had stopped and turned around to face her impatiently. She was grinning widely as she looked up at Malfoy, who was now about two feet away from her.
“What’s wrong with you, Granger? Just found a few galleons on the ground?” Malfoy said sarcastically. Then, he looked up, over Hermione’s head, to find a man who looked a few years older than he run towards them. His eyes widened the size of saucers, and his brows knit in a look of utter confusion and astonishment. Hermione had never seen him act like that ever before.
Hermione spun on her heel, wacking Malfoy with her thick curls. He instinctively moved backwards and grimaced at the thought of having been touched by a Mudblood. The man was now only a few feet away from Hermione, trying to a catch his breath. It was none other than-
“Viktor!” Hermione squealed with excitement. She walked towards him until she was only an inch away. Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around his neck in a tight hug. Krum returned the favor with a wide grin.
“What are you doing here, Viktor?” asked Hermione curiously once she had backed away from the famous Quidditch player.
Hermione hadn’t written to him since her fifth year when she called things off, so this visit was much unanticipated for her. Truthfully, the reason why she had stopped sending letters was because Hermione did not want to go steady with him anymore for numerous causes, and she was not quite sure he understood that. However, Hermione usually gave second chances to people, so she hoped that they could at least continue their friendship.
“I vas on my way over to London for a Quidditch match when I thought I vould visit! I’ve been looking for you all over this village! I heard from a professor at Hogvarts that you were here, but I couldn’t find you!”
“That was very considerate of you-” Hermione could not finish her sentence because Malfoy had suddenly appeared out of nowhere and nudged her to the side so that he was face-to-face with Krum. She had forgotten that Malfoy had been standing there this whole time.
Malfoy extended his hand out to the famous Seeker. “Malfoy. Draco Malfoy. Do you remember me?” He asked eagerly. Hermione was so shocked at his behavior that she had almost forgotten that Malfoy just pushed her.
Krum looked at him with disappointment. “Oh, yes. I remember. How vould I forget? You and you’re friends vere alvays there verever I went…”
Malfoy only looked slightly embarrassed as he cleared his throat. Hermione snorted behind him, but Malfoy pretended as if he had not heard.
“If you vould excuse me, I vould like to speak with Herm-own-ninny,” Krum said patiently.
Hermione gave Malfoy a satisfied grin. Krum looked at Hermione with a puzzled look. “Vat is he doing here with you, Herm-own-ninny?” He indicated at Malfoy with disappointment on his face.
Hermione simply chuckled at the very thought of being here voluntarily with a Malfoy.
“Oh, no, Krum. It’s not-” But before she could finish, Malfoy blurted out something very unexpected.
“You didn’t hear we were dating?” Malfoy said, acting as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. He reluctantly moved closer to Hermione, which made her shiver.
Hermione took a step backwards, starring at Malfoy and completely forgetting about Krum. What did he just say? Are my ears deceiving me? I can’t believe this!!! She was completely outraged and confused at the same time. She didn’t even have any time to be angry because she was pinching herself, trying to get out of this dream. She couldn’t. Krum was now looking at Hermione with sad eyes as his brows knitted with confusion.
“Herm-own-ninny? Is this true?”
“I – I have-” Hermione started quietly and nervously, but Malfoy, yet again, cut her off.
“It is true. We have been dating for ages now!” Malfoy said with fake cheerfulness.
“Wait-” Hermione squealed, reaching for Krum, but this time, Malfoy slapped his palm over her mouth with such great force that she staggered.
Malfoy knew that the only way his brilliant plan would work was if he did the unthinkable. Then, Krum would believe them, and Hermione would be too shocked to retort.
“Oh… she’s just being silly. Here, I’ll show you,” Malfoy removed his hand quickly, gripped her shoulders so hard she was sure there would be marks even through her jacket.
He pressed his lips against hers strongly. However, the kiss was not at all passionate or meaningful. It was more of a sloppy kiss because Malfoy was being foreceful and reluctant at the same time. He was trying to make it believable while not having to be in this situation with Granger any longer. So, he quickly drew away after a few seconds and wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt.
Hermione couldn’t register in her brain what had just happened. She just stared at him the whole time with wide eyes, her mouth slightly ajar. A few squeaks escaped her mouth here and there, but no words could form on her tongue. It was as if Malfoy had put a curse on her by kissing her to make her mute and frozen stiff.
“Oh, I see. I vill just be going… then…” Krum broke off as he gave Hermione one last miserable glance, then turned around and started heading off in the other direction, taking quick and steady steps with his head to the ground.
However, she was still staring at Malfoy, open-mouthed. Her brain finally kicked into gear and she quickly squealed, “No! Viktor, please wait-” But he couldn’t hear her. Even if he did, it had no effect on him. He already disappeared behind a shop, and there was nothing that would make him come back now that he had seen what he thought was her “true” feelings.
Malfoy had already started walking away as he continuously spat on the ground, wiped his mouth, and grimaced. Hermione, however, remained frozen to the spot. Her hands hung at her sides hopelessly. She was staring ahead of her at one of the shops. It didn’t look like a shop to her, though. The scenery in front of her was unclear and unnoticed by Hermione; she was convinced that she was in a bad dream. A nightmare. Malfoy turned around once again, and stomped his way over to Hermione with a smug look.
“Are you paralyzed or something? Hurry up, I haven’t got all day.”
“Wh – What did you ju – just do?” Hermione managed to say softly, now looking up at Malfoy’s cold, grey eyes that were now pouring into her brown ones.
“What are you talking about, Granger?” Malfoy said dangerously, willing her to act like nothing had happened.
“Don’t play dumb with me. You just ki – kissed me!” Hermione said a little too loudly as her face contorted with disgust at the very thought.
“I wouldn’t exactly call it a kiss. Far from it, actually. Stop being so dramatic, Granger, it was nothing,” Malfoy said impatiently, trying to convince even himself.
“YES IT WAS SOMETHING. YOU DON’T JUST DO THAT, MALFOY! WHY IN MERLIN’S SAKE DID YOU, ANYWAY?!” Hermione was now truly outraged by his calmness. Her face was flushed darker than ever before now, as she grabbed the sides of her bushy hair with both hands, now looking down at the ground.
Malfoy laughed coolly. “For a number of reasons, Granger. Firstly, I wanted to see what your reaction would be. It was priceless, by the way. Secondly, I needed a laugh, so it seemed humorous to make your precious boyfriend think you were cheating on him, or something. Thirdly, I wanted to know what it was like to kiss a Mudblood. It’s beyond grotesque, in case you were wondering. And, last but not least, I find it amusing, ruining your life and all,” he replied, giving her a malicious grin as his eyes glistened evilly.
“Don’t – even – think – you’re – getting – away – with – this – Malfoy,” Hermione said with a pause between each sentence to gain her breath because her heard was beating so fast. She didn’t remember being this angry in her life. She gave him a threateningly look, and then broke the contact by stomping loudly and angrily away, kicking a few stones with all her might. Then, she quickly turned her head and shouted, “DON’T FOLLOW ME!” She was walking so fast that within seconds she disappeared around a corner.
Hermione was going to do the patrol duty by herself now. Who needs him? I can do this by myself! How dare he ruin a perfectly good moment like that?! After what I had done for him in Transfiguration class! Oh, he’s going to be very, very sorry for what he did. It’s my turn to embarrass him in front of everyone. Then, he’ll see what it’s like. She touched her bottom lip softly and shuddered at the thought of Malfoy’s pressed against hers only minutes ago.
On the other hand, Malfoy hadn’t moved a step since she left. He had kissed her spare-of-the-moment and shocked even himself by doing it. This was definitely one of the times when he should have thought before he acted. Why in Merlin’s beard did I just kiss Granger?! Yes, all of those reasons I gave here were true… but I could have convinced Krum a different way! I didn’t have to go that extreme.
Malfoy ran his fingers through his pale-blonde hair as his brain worked five times faster than usually. His face contorted, he was thinking so hard as he stared down at the ground. It gave him a slight headache, so he gave up and shook his head at an attempt to remove any thoughts of Granger and the events that had just occurred out of his mind. It’s not that big of a deal, anyway. It’s not like that kiss meant anything; it was only for a few seconds. Granger wouldn’t tell anyone, so there’s no need to worry. She’d be too embarrassed to speak a word about it.
Without thinking, he gently touched his lips with his index finger and grimaced. Little did he know, Hermione wasn’t as predictable as he thought.
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