The deadline for the ball preparations came and went without so much as a snag. Draco and Hermione had woken up on the last of the allotted planning days, and resumed immediately. They had worked hard on the copies of notification, and asked around for contacts to a DJ. With luck, they had found one; Justin Finch-Fletchley's muggle brother, Micheal, had been working as a music mixer for a while. Justin assured the two Heads that his brother was extremely talented, and that they wouldn't be disappointed. That was all the reassurance the Heads needed.
Draco had owled his mother for the name of a respectable orchestra that would consider making an appearance at Hogwarts. She had excitedly suggested the Odeon Orchestra of Little Hangleton.
The Odeon Orchestra it was, then.
The two students, sitting back to relax in the commonroom, marveled at their precision and speed on the huge ball project. Now it was done, and all that was left to do was to obtain costumes for themselves and let the house elves decorate according to Hermione and Draco's master plan.
The ball was less than twenty-four hours away, and Hermione was already getting apprehensive butterflies. She had been so busy with the organization of the event, that she actually had looked passed assembling a costume, even though it was drilled into her mind not to forget anything. She wanted something that would stop her old friends in their tracks, and render Malfoy speechless.
Why did she keep thinking like that? For God sake, It was Malfoy! It was just a big 'no-no'.
Standing in front of her full-length mirror, clad in her baggy pajamas, Hermione began to practice her metamorphosis, as she had done for the past three days. She was getting pretty good at it, yet the change never lasted for more than an hour at the most. The Head Girl made a 'note to self' of making sure to take a break and re-transform during the ball, every now and again.
Yes, that was right, Hermione had decided a few nights earlier to attend the dance as her own alter ego, Aurora. It would blow everyone away. Yet she knew she would have to be careful not to reveal anything, she was just too excited about her discovery to hide it any longer. Hermione had sat up the night before, and devised an alibi to go along with the plan. She would tell anyone who asked that she had been brewing Polyjuice Potion for the past month. The features she would acquire, as Aurora, would be known as her muggle friend Sarah's appearances, although, in all actuality, there was no such person as 'Sarah'. This way, there would be no suspicion upon her.
It seemed like too much trouble for a cause, but Hermione wanted to show the boys around her exactly what they had pushed aside, and see a specific pair of liquid quicksilver eyes light up as she entered the room.
Again with Malfoy... Was she really that hooked?
Now to find an inspiration for the rest of her costume, since she had apparently set her sights on the boy to be inspired.
Looking in the mirror, Hermione produced a viciously evil thought in her mind, and watched as she changed. She would need to coordinate her costume with her new look, so why not transform? When the poisonous eyes were staring, piercingly, back at her, Hermione smiled. She loved how captivating they could be. Surprisingly, she was no longer mortified at the means by which she transformed. 'Hermione' was getting used to the fact that the transformations and thoughts wouldn't just stop and go away, but 'Aurora' seemed to thrive off the dark and mysterious feelings that were obtained from her form.
Observing herself with dedication, the now black-haired girl, saw something she hadn't taken note of before. Her teeth were a flawless, pearly-white, but her top and bottom canines had, more so, caught the eye by the fact that they were uncommonly pointed. This was just something more to add to the list of 'unexplainables' that she had started to form in her brain.
A light clicked on in Hermione's head moments after observing the 'fangs' that nestled in her mouth. She could use this to her advantage. There was no need to investigate the origin of the teeth if she couldn't even decipher who she really was to a complete end. Yet she welcomed the newest attribute with open arms, for they were her inspiration. She would dress as a vampire! It seemed like an overused Halloween characterization, but she was running low on time and steam. This was the best she had, and she was going to work with what she could get.
Her immediate visualization of a blood-sucking night terror was to be exactly that. Terrifying. That wasn't the angle Hermione was planning to base the outfit on. She had wanted to make an impression on the students around her, make them regret casting her away. She wanted to be irresistibly untouchable.
With that point determinedly engraved in her thoughts, Hermione set to work. Running to her wardrobe, she ripped the doors open and searched with all her might. There had to be something in this closet that could be of use. Digging deeper into the colossal mess of clothing, Hermione reached out and snatched a random handful of apparel. Looking at what she had captured, she realized it was her black, push-up bra. She had been saving it for a 'special occasion'. This would do just fine.
With a plan in her mind, the clever witch drew her wand from her pocket, and spoke the proper incantation. “Fera Verto!” The bra that she had been holding, instantly transfigured into a pitch-black corset, that laced up in the back, and came complete with a halter strap around where her neck would eventually be. An intricate and detailed overlaying pattern wove itself about a shimmering silver underlay in a softer shade of black. The center-front of the garment, running from bust to north edge, was a solid shade of the notorious afore mentioned color. Hermione smiled. This just screamed evil vampire seductress.
Next, bottoms were called for. Searching her now organizationally-challenged wardrobe, Hermione laid her green eyes on a flirtatious, summer skirt that she had purchased in Paris two holidays back. Picking it up by the waistband, the brunette swung the elegant piece of clothing around in the air, watching as it flowed gracefully. This would be perfect. With a second flick of the wand, Hermione now held a mid-thigh-length, midnight skirt with an identical over- and underlay pattern and the same center-front black strip as the corset, running vertically. It held a stunning, ruffled a-line appearance; it was sexy, but cute, nowhere near slutty, which was a gigantic plus. That was exactly the opposite of what she would be trying to achieve; the last thing she wanted people to think was that she was some type of common whore.
Now for shoes. Her old, worn sneakers would do the trick. “Fera Verto!” the enthusiastic girl called yet again, watching her molding footwear change into knee high, leather, stiletto boots. Well... maybe she could push the borderline street-whore footwear. What did she have to lose? They were rather high and would require practice to be able to walk properly, but Hermione found that they went perfectly with the rest of the materialized outfit, being black, after all.
Setting the danerous but beautiful collaboration aside on her dresser, Hermione glanced at the clock above her bathroom door. It was almost one in the morning. Kicking off her slippers, she jumped into the black sheets on her serpent inspired bed, and thought happy thoughts, feeling old 'Hermione' wash over her once more. She would definitely require all the beauty sleep that she could accomplish. A big day lay before her, not to mention that no one wanted to look tired and ugly for a dance.
Rising bright and early, Draco sat up and stretched out on his bed. This was going to be an incomparably eventful day. The day of the ball. It was today that he would begin to live up to his Death Eater status and start his task. He really wasn't apprehensive about it in the least. He was aware of his attraction to Hermione and of hers to him. The looks she gave his way unconsciously, her growing hate for Gryffindors, and her slow personality change were constantly driving him mad; it didn't help that he had dreamt about her that night either. His best guess at his slow plan of action was that he didn't want to screw it up. He didn't want to screw it up for Voldemort, but mostly he didn't want to screw up with the girl he had become addicted to, whatever form shown. There was just something about her.
He stood from the mattress, tossing his messy platinum hair in frustration, and headed to the bathroom, only to find the door locked.
“Rosier! Open up!” he yelled though the door as he pounded upon its surface, figuring it could only be his room mate that occupied the space beyond. How bad he was plagued by sudden visions of her in the bath, naked. "What is wrong with me?" he whispered in judgement.
“Screw off, Malfoy!” came a voice through the wood. “I'm in the bathtub. I'll be out shortly, so unbunch your panties from your ass and leave me alone for a while.”
At the sound of her voice, Draco was yanked from his fantasies and realized just how badly he had to use the washroom. He was starting to get uncomfortable. “But I really have to go!” he whined indignantly.
“Jesus! You sound like a five-year-old.” he listened to her call. The sound of splashing water could be heard vividly from his side of the partition, and it was, in no way, helping his 'pee' situation. Malfoy started to fidget slightly. He was so desperate to go to the bathroom that he dashed right past Hermione, and headed straight for the toilet as soon as she unlocked the door and allowed him entrance.
“Oh, Malfoy, come on! Can't you at least wait until I've left to expose yourself?” Hermione wrinkled her nose and walked out of the room and into the Head Boy's bed chamber, closing the door behind her.
Malfoy smirked to himself. He had been spot-on before, she was so extraordinarily naïve. After he had completed his 'business', he reopened the door to his room and found a soaking wet Hermione sitting on his bed, wearing nothing but a towel... How Interesting.
“A little vulnerable aren't we, Rosier?” Hermione's eyes snapped in his direction and flashed dangerously. He just took his post and leaned against the washroom door frame.
“You've taken a liking to my newfound last name have you, Malfoy?” Her eyes went wild green once more.
“I thought we already talked about that little eye problem of yours, Hermione.” he emphasized after her previous comment. “As I seem to recall, I advised you to try and learn to keep it under control, did I not?” His infamous smirk lingered on his lips.
Hermione felt a serge travel through her. It was time to be brave, and show this Slytherin Bad Boy just who he was playing with. Standing up, and walking slowly in his direction, she countered. “I am controlling them, Malfoy.” As she spoke these words, the aggressive witch simultaneously flickered her eyes from brown to green, repeatedly. Returning his smirk, she stopped in front of him and planted her hands on her hips, displaying her toweled figure to his wandering eyes. “Like what you see?”
He knew she was being ostentatious, but he really couldn't care. All that he was focused on was that fluffy white barrier between his hands and her skin. He was about to make the subconscious decision of removing the towel from her body when her words brought him back to reality. Why was he all of a sudden having urges to make moves on 'old Granger'?
“Course you like it. It's too bad this isn't the real me.” she said with mock sweetness and pity.
As quickly as he could manage, Malfoy reached forward to try and grasp the towel. She dodged him and re-entered the bathroom, laughing at his ill attempt at disrobing her. She slammed the door and noted that it had hit him in the back, as it latched closed. The boy really wasn't all that coordinated.
Malfoy smirked at her creative escape, and softly knocked on the door as a plea for entrance. She couldn't resist. Opening the door just a crack she gazed straight into his softening steel eyes.
“I just wanted to know... Who is Jesus?”
Hermione burst out laughing and shut the door on him once again. She had let the muggle God's name flood from her lips as she stumbled out of the bath. She had to admire his persistence and curiosity.
Draco stumbled backward, as the door closed on him a second time. Rubbing his back and recently hit shoulder, he shrugged and laid down on his bed. He couldn't do anything with himself until that stubborn witch was out of their conjoined lavatory. He focused his eyes on the clover colored canopy above him. What had he been thinking? He had just tried to strip the 'Aurora Rosier' of her clothing! He would have been murdered on the spot if Voldemort or his father were here. And she had laughed! He had never been so confused in his life. He was a smooth talker and smooth walker, but in fact, her really was no Prince Charming. That thought brought a winning smirk to his face. He would be no Prince Charming... until tonight.
The bathroom door creaked open once more. This time revealing a fully clothed and dry girl, to Draco's disappointment. “It's all yours.” she said softly, and with an air of politeness. She left the door frame and journeyed back toward her own chamber.
With a straining sigh, the blond got up and walked through the door, putting a hand through his hair. This shower would feel great after the lack of sleep he seemed to be getting lately, between planning the ball, midnight missions for his lord, and dreams starring his fellow Head Girl.
Glancing at the clock, Hermione could tell that it was almost time. The ball would be commencing in five minute. Professor Dumbledore had instructed herself and Malfoy to enter the venue ten minutes later then everyone else. The rest of the student body were to notice them when they entered, and cheer for the work they had done. The cheering seemed unlikely to happen, she was seriously disliked these days.
Presented, fully clad in her manifested vampire outfit, she stepped in front of the mirror and transformed. She gasped for breath as she became Aurora. Apparently the clothing she had created was fit for a bookworm body type. Looking into her reflection, her eyes fell upon her chest. Never had she been so happy. She had cleavage! For the first time in her life she had an asset to show off. Even though the corset was tighter then she had thought previously, Hermione left it alone, loving the way it made her body look. Her legs appeared longer then normal with help from the boots too. This was just too fabulous! And now for the make-up. Filing through her tiny make-up kit, Hermione pulled out a hardly used stick of eyeliner. Putting it to her lid, she drew a thick, onyx line to match the one she had previously applied on he lower lid. Once she had done so, she reached for her wand and cast a smudging charm on the blackness around her eyes. The liner had to be skewed, she was supposed to be a living dead girl, after all, she couldn't look too perfect.
With a few more random touch ups -red lipstick and some mascara- and other changes, the unrecognizable witch finished strapping up her boots, and headed for the door. As she opened the heavy oak partition to the commonroom, Hermione half smiled, half smirked at the boy waiting at the bottom of her stairs.
Draco was poised and proper, presented in his royal costume. It was every little girl's dream to go to a ball with Prince Charming. His soft fawn, leather vest was held to him with a thick dark belt, and buckle. Off the belt hung a serpent encrusted sword, with carrying case. Malfoy was also sporting a black tunic, and a crown fit for only the finest royalty. He was ready for any kingly battle.
In his hand was the most beautiful flower Hermione had ever laid eyes on. It was a Mercuric Tiger Lily, and according to her research, it was one of the rarest flowers in the magical world. The thoughtfulness and trouble Draco must have gone through to obtain it made Hermione blush, furiously. But what stood out most about him was his face; a shocked and impressed look swept through his features like the waters of a flood.
This was not what Draco was expecting. There was no way he could have prepared himself for her appearance, and that was saying something. As he watched her descend the stone steps from her room, a rare fire started to burn deep inside his loins. Lust. There was no getting around it, she was the sexiest woman he had ever laid eyes on, and he had laid his vision on many a beautiful girl. Yet, this particular girl blew any remaining competition away. The long, soft, black hair, volumed in large, separated summer-like curls; the eyes that he had become addicted to; and the lips of a goddess, and the dangerous black boots all contributed to her perfection. The tanned skin didn't hurt either. He was particularly fond of the way she portrayed herself, powerful, dark, mysterious; the way Aurora was born to be. He couldn't quite decipher the dark eye make-up, the glistening red lipstick or the shady, silver and black outfit, but by his best guess, he'd had to say she was a vampire. When he was rewarded by a strong smile, for his look of admiration, Malfoy noticed the fangs. Had those always been there?
Searching for the words, Malfoy emitted a “Wow”. His brain was stuck in slow motion as he continued to stare. She smirked and he tore himself away from his thoughts.
Recomposing himself, he asked slyly, “So, when did you get those teeth?”
She couldn't stop grinning. Something about him made Hermione feel weak in the knees, but powerful and confident at the same time. Was that possible? She bowed her head, and controlled her facial expression before looking back into his silver eyes. “I got them when I transformed. I played off them for my costume.”
“So you are a vampire, then. Damn I'm good.” Draco gloated playfully.
“Don't go getting too full of yourself Malfoy, it may just end up that you will be going alone to this ball if you do. Wouldn't that be lonely and embarrassing for our resident 'Sex God'.”
He smirked. “Nah. I'll have company with or without you, Rosier. I brought along a little friend for later. With that, he slipped the bottle of Fire Whiskey out of his inside pocket to show her.
Hermione wasn't sure if she was disapproving of the alcohol or was curious. With a stern look she glanced to his face and spoke her mind. “I see, well just remember to save it for later, as in after the ball. We don't need the Head Boy stumbling like a drunk mess in public.”
He laughed and nodded, tucking the liquid safely back into his clothing. Observing what was still held in his opposite palm, he motioned for her to come to him. She trekked down the remaining steps and stood comfortably in front of the boy.
“Obviously, you have figured out that this flower is for you, I'm personally not really into wearing flowers. My father sent it for the girl I would choose to go with.” She looked at him oddly. “He didn't know that the Heads had to go together; I never told him because he hasn't really been informed of the real you.”
She grinned in comprehension. When the day, that Lucius found out who Hermione Granger really was, arrived, he would most likely suffer a coronary.
"Here.” Malfoy said as he gently tucked the delicate flower into her cascading, black locks.
Hermione closed her eyes as the blond critiqued the flower to look just right. Who knew that the cruelest boy, in all of Hogwarts, could be so gentle? It felt so... nice.
“We had better get moving. We are to be announced in only a few minutes.” With that point dictated, Draco held his arm out for Hermione to take.
She accepted and walked arm in arm with her, now considered, former-enemy.
What had changed between them. Malfoy being gentle? Hermione ignoring underage drinking? They had reached a point that had shown each of them the other's true behavior. Hermione was tired of following rules, and being something she didn't want to be. Draco, on the other hand, had just learned how to follow very dark dictation, and was becoming someone he truly had shrived to be. Now all that was left was to show the lost girl on his arm where she truly belonged and who she would become.
Conversation was scarce as the two strolled toward the Great Hall. They were both so consumed by their own mental topics that they hadn't even realize when they had come to the gigantic hall entrance. They could hear the Headmaster concluding his ever-elaborate speech through the barrier, and Hermione clenched Draco's arm for security.
“...Now to welcome the invisionaries, and producers of the 'Venom Ball'... Mr. Draco Malfoy, and his escort, Miss Hermione Granger...”
Looking towards each other, they could tell, exactly, what the other was about to say.
So... a nice fast update. After the mess that was made of the last validation I hope everything goes well with this one. I also hope you enjoyed it as much as ever. These last two chapters have been novel to write. I just couldn't stop, they're huge! Please review. Tell me EVERYTHING you think about my story. I'm short on the creative responses from you guys. My ears are open, lets hear what you have to say.
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