Chapter 3 : And Hermione Gets Hers
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- THE NIGHT BEFORE THE DRESS REHEARSAL -
Hermione Granger sat comfortably on her old bed in the Gryffindor Girls dormitories. Being head girl sometimes got a little lonely, so she would on rare occasions visit her old dormitory in Gryffindor Tower. Surrounded by her friends, Ginny, Lavender, Parvati and Padma, Hermione listened to their incessant gossip with an expression of indifference. In truth, she missed the giggles and the company of the other girls. Of course, she would never openly admit it.
"So Hermione," Hermione was snapped out of her reverie by Lavender's voice, "I never knew what a great dancer Malfoy was. Have you enjoyed tango-ing with the Slytherin Sex God?"
Looking disgusted and trying with all her might to hide the tell-tale blush from staining her pale cheeks, Hermione replied, "Are you joking? If it isn't obvious that I'd love nothing more than to hex him all the way to the next century then something is seriously wrong with you."
The girls laughed at this.
Padma said simply, "Really? Then you fooled us all. It looked to me like you wanted to shag him silly."
Hermione let out an involuntary gasp.
Ginny looked over to Hermione with her brow arched, clearly demanding an explanation.
Despite her best efforts, Hermione did blush. And of course it was incredibly easy for the girls who knew her so well to catch it.
That was all it took - they all started talking at once, in loud, high-pitched voices. Hermione certainly did not miss THIS particular aspect of living with the Gryffindor girls.
"Stop it! SHUT UP!" Hermione shouted at the top of her lungs, her expression furious but her cheeks still a pretty pink. "I do NOT, in any way shape or form -"
"Oh save it for someone who'll believe you, Hermione Jane Granger." Lavender said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Honestly, if you didn't enjoy that bloody dancing then I'd say something was seriously wrong with YOU."
Hermione looked nonplussed.
Dismissing Hermione's expression with a gentle wave of her hand, Lavender continued, "Yes, we all hate the boy; he's an arrogant, cold, insufferable git. But if you can't admit even to yourself that he is a brilliant dancer and all-the-more sexy because of his badboy status then we have failed you as fellow women and as friends."
The head girl tried to reply, but found that nothing came out. She felt like a bloody fish out of water, gaping at her friends. She couldn't believe it! They were all encouraging her traitorous feelings towards the Head Boy. This was insanity!
She looked to Ginny for support. If ever she needed someone to physically or figuratively destroy a Malfoy, it was a Weasley. Unfortunately, this Weasley wasn't on her side.
Ginny shrugged. "Hermione, as much as it pains me to say this, Lavender's right. Malfoy's a bloody git, but he's a sexy, bloody git. I can't imagine what it's like to tango with the bloke - like playing with fire, I'd guess. I can't say I'd blame you if you felt all hot and bothered because of him."
"Ginerva Weasley! I don't believe it!"
Parvati added, "Oh just give it a rest, Hermione. You can still hate the wanker, but it's okay to appreciate his...attributes." She smirked and Ginny chuckled, both at the statement and at Hermione's horrified expression.
Lavender leapt from her bed and sauntered over to Hermione's, plopping down next to her.
Admitting defeat, Hermione realized that no matter how hard she tried to lie about her situation, either her eyes or her cheeks would say otherwise.
"Merlin, I hate him." She spat. Having a sudden idea, she looked up at Lavender. Maybe the pretty Gryffindor could help her out. She knew she was going to need someone's help before she would finally be able to bring Malfoy to his knees, to show him she had power of her own. She couldn't do it alone.
"You know, I only wish that I had as much control as he seems to have. I wish I could just wipe the smug little sneer right off his pale, pureblooded, death eater face. Leave him feeling a little unstable for once."
She saw a slow smile spread across Lavender's face. It was almost frightening.
"I think I can help with that." She answered.
Looking to the other girls, she started giving orders. Well, this was her area of expertise, and Hermione had asked for it, right? "Ginny, you're about Hermione's size, aren't you? Could you go get that dark red dress you wore a few years ago - yeah, the short one. Padma, do you think Hermione could borrow some of your jewelry for the ball? Can you bring it out so we can have a look? I'll go get some heels, and the rest we can do magically."
"What in the name of Merlin are you doing?" Hermione stood up off the bed and looked at her friends in disbelief.
Lavender explained, "Hermione, you said you wanted some control over Malfoy. No doubt he's a little bit more experienced in the whole dealing-with-the-opposite-sex department than you are, no offense intended. But don't worry, you've got some ammunition of your own - you're very pretty - oh don't give me that look, I'm not full of shite. You are. But he doesn't see it yet. The one thing you can really do to surprise him will be to finally tap into your femininity. Learn the art of batting your eyelashes, flipping your hair, and walking in heels."
"Bloody hell, what was I thinking?" Hermione fell back on the bed, ungracefully. She supressed the urge to just run back to the Heads dormitory and hide in her room. But that would have been very un-gryffindor of her.
"Do you want this or not, Hermione Jane Granger?" The youngest Weasley stared at her with her hands on her hips, her lips set in a firm line and her eyes challenging.
"I - I suppose so. Yes. I did ask for help, didn't I?"
Finally all the girls returned to their beds with the supplies Lavender had requested. Presenting Hermione with her best pair of heels, Hermione balked.
"Lavender, I can't wear those shoes. They're...they're whore shoes..."
Lavender, frustrated, sighed. She gave Ginny a look, clearly pleading with her to explain the mechanics of heel-wearing to their dear but clueless friend, Hermione Granger.
"No, Hermione. It all depends on what you wear with the heels." Ginny cut in. "If you wore fishnets and a revealing top, yes, these could be considered, 'whore shoes.' But you'll be doing the tango - that's a passionate dance. You need heels, you need sexy, you need feminine, you need red. You can pull this off."
Still unconvinced, Hermione said, "Are you sure?"
Ginny nodded. "Think about it. Heels, especially pretty red ones like these, do wonders for your legs, your posture, and your confidence. If you can walk in a pair of heels like these, you can do just about anything."
Still a little skeptical, Hermione took the shoes from Lavender and tried her best to ignore the incessant squeals coming from said girl. The girlish shrieks ended when Ginny shot Lavender a glare that could have stopped Voldemort in his tracks.
Taking a deep breath, she put the shoes on the ground and cautiously slipped into them. They certainly were not like her simple, comfortable maryjanes. In fact, they added about three inches to her height. For a moment, she was afraid that she would lose her balance completely and topple over onto the ground. Steeling herself, she concentrated on taking a few steps in her new shoes.
Lavender must have charmed them, because they were not nearly as uncomfortable as she had anticipated.
It only took her a few minutes in the heels to realize that both Ginny and Lavender were right - she felt her hips sway gently with each step she took and she couldn't slouch. The rhythmic click of the heels against the floor of their dormitory was somehow sexy, empowering. Still testing them, she spun and tried to imagine herself dancing in them. She made her way over to Lavender's full-length mirror and gazed in amazement at the effect the shoes had on her over-all appearance. A grin slowly lit her features as the mirror said, "You look lovely, dear."
Ginny watched Hermione's changing expressions and smirked, a triumphant look plastered on her freckled face. "Welcome to the world of powerful women, Hermione Jane Granger. The ferret won't know what to do with himself."
- THE DRESS REHEARSAL -
The group of Slytherins and Gryffindors stood in the Dance room, dressed in entirety for the ball that friday. Hermione tried to remember all the advice the seventh year Gryffindor girls had given her the night before. Like she was wont to do, the over-achieving girl made a mental list of everything she needed to be completely prepared.
1. Be confident
3. Remember that this is only a dance.
4. You could make any red-blooded man weak in the knees.
5. Don't forget to -
Suddenly her thoughts were interrupted as she looked up and noticed Malfoy standing there in his dress robes, staring at her with what appeared to be a normal expression for him - smug, uninterested. Except that she could tell by the look in his eyes that he was far from uninterested. Those beautiful grey eyes that usually held a cool hint of steel had darkened to a storm-cloud grey as they roved over her slender figure. She could tell he was surprised. And interested.
And for dear Hermione Granger, the near-inaudible sound that came from his lips as he eye-shagged her sent her heart racing and a satisfied smirk to settle on her face.
She'd won this round.
He breathed, "Bloody hell!"