Draco smirked at Pansy and watched in appreciation as she smirked back, her eyes slightly narrowed. Turning back to his cauldron, he noted the flurry of movement as a girl swept hurriedly past him with a swish of robes.
Hermione smoothed her robes down and stared intently at the ingredients lying on her desk. And yet, no matter how much she tried to lose herself in the latest potion recipe, she could feel a magnetic pull compel her; begging her to turn around and meet the dark silver eyes that would be glittering oh-so-wickedly in the dungeon light.
Draco watched her unashamedly while he chopped a root. He could tell that she knew he was watching her. Her shoulders were set determinedly, and the angle of her neck indicated that she was entirely unwilling to turn even one angle towards him. He scowled as Ron moved towards Hermione, reflecting that Weasley was so gangly that he didn’t so much walk as lurch.
‘’Hermione, what do I do here?’’ Ron looked imploringly at her.
Draco looked over Ron’s shoulder and resisted the urge to laugh out loud. His desk looked as though a bomb had hit it. Hermione obviously had the same thought but instead she just smiled slightly wearily. ‘’I don’t know how you manage to make such a mess Ronald.’’
Leaving her own potion bubbling neatly, she moved over to Ron’s desk and began restoring order. Draco watched her robes sway around her hips and wondered why she had even considered helping Weasley. As far as he could see, she wasn’t getting anything out of it.
Ron looked into his cauldron to see it bubbling away perfectly and grinned in relief. ‘’I don’t know what I’d do without you Hermione.’’
It was so sweet it was practically diabetic. Draco wondered if he would vomit as he watched Weasley sling his arm around Hermione’s small shoulders. She looked at him with wide eyes and a sweet smile. ‘’You certainly wouldn’t be passing potions, that’s for sure.’’
‘’I need you for more than that.’’
Hermione blushed and Draco wondered how she had managed to remain so entirely naïve. It would have been touching if it wasn’t utterly pathetic. He looked at Pansy who met his glance with a steady gaze that promised him entirely adult pleasures. If he were to look at Hermione, she would blush, falter, and then go straight onto the offensive. Gryffindor girls had nothing on Slytherin girls, Draco reflected.
Ron smiled even more broadly and looked Hermione straight in the eye. ‘’I was wondering Hermione…’’
Draco finally let a small bark of laughter cross his lips. Ron and Hermione immediately spun in his direction. ‘’You laughing at anything in particular Ferret?’’
Draco looked at Ron who was straightening up and glaring at him. ‘’Well, I was just wondering why the hell Granger was humouring your pathetic little attempts at chatting her up. Clearly, and quite rightly, she’s never been the subject of a true flirtation.’’
‘’And you think you’re the right person for that, do you Malfoy? Well, I can assure you, you most certainly aren’t!’’ Hermione placed a hand on Ron’s elbow and turned him back around to his desk, smoothing the situation over.
Draco looked at their heads, bent close together over the desk and knew what he had to do. He had been going to let his idea of flirting with Granger drop given his attempt yesterday and the subsequent humiliation but the pair of them were really just asking for some kind of retribution. Grabbing a handful of lacewings, he hurled them into his cauldron and grinned in satisfaction as he watched his previously perfect potion mutate into something that looked like it had congealed in a gutter in Knockturn Alley.
Just as Ron had worked up the courage to open his mouth to ask Hermione what he had been going to ask her, Slughorn clapped his hands and asked for silence. With a regretful glance, she slid away from him and back into her seat, her heart racing. Was Ron finally going to take the chance that she had been praying that he would? If he could just spit out a simple question then he would find out that he had never had anything to worry about.
Slughorn began making his rounds of the classroom, examining every potion. When he came to Draco’s, he recoiled in horror. ‘’Dear Merlin, Malfoy, what on earth is that?’’
Hermione noted that it was highly unlike Malfoy to smile so happily when his work was being criticised but thought nothing of it. Instead, she checked on her potion and smiled sweetly at Ron when he turned and looked at her, sending a blush across his adorably freckled cheeks.
Slughorn looked into Hermione’s cauldron and beamed at her. ‘’Excellent Miss Granger. Probably the best in the class.’’
Hermione opened her mouth to thank her teacher but Draco’s clipped tones cut in. ‘’Well, you know what Professor, this could be the perfect solution.’’
Hermione felt the cold hand of dread run up and down her spine, which wasn’t helped by Slughorn actually turning to pay attention to Draco. She wanted to scream, to jump up and down, anything to avert the evil moment which was coming.
Draco smirked and carried on. ‘’Well, I’ve been having a bit of difficulty with this particular module. I’m sure having a tutor would help me, and who better to tutor me than the best student in the class?’’
Hermione’s head snapped towards Draco, and he smiled infuriatingly into her livid amber eyes and Ron’s furious blue ones. Hermione turned back to her teacher, desperate to appeal to him but he was already nodding and telling her that she should agree with Malfoy when she would meet him to help him.
Hermione’s mouth was open but for what must have been the first time in her life, a clear and incisive argument wasn’t coming. Draco walked towards her, patted her shoulder in a manner that was so patronising she could have cheerfully clawed his eyes out and said ‘’Thank you so much for helping me Hermione. We’re going to have so much fun together.’’
And with an evil little smirk that left her with no doubt about his less than honourable intentions, he slid out of the classroom. Hermione turned to Harry and Ron, her face hopeless. ‘’What’s he playing at? He doesn’t need any tutoring!’’
Ron picked up her bag for her and led her to the door. ‘’Harry and I will sit in the library while you tutor him.’’
‘’He isn’t going to let that pass Ron. He’ll kick up a fuss and Slughorn will just ask you to leave him alone.’’
‘’I’m not leaving you alone with him Hermione.’’
Hermione looked up at the tall redhead and felt a faint flicker of irritation. He couldn’t work up the courage to ask her out but he could tell her who she could be alone with or not? But as soon as she thought it, she forgot it. Ron was just being himself. He cared for her, and he was trying to look out for her in his own idiosyncratic way. He wasn’t a boorish pig trying to control her life. Rubbing his arm gently, she smiled at him. ‘’Ronald, I can take care of Malfoy. He’s just doing this to try and irritate you. Don’t let him get to you. He has absolutely no interest in me at all.’’
But as soon as she said that she remembered Draco’s body pressing up against hers in the corridor. Whatever Draco’s intentions, he certainly had some kind of interest in her, no matter how cruel the interest was. Pressing her lips together, she could feel the statement burning corrosively on the tip of her tongue as she walked along the corridor with her two best friends, determined not to worry them with what would turn out to be an entirely inconsequential detail. She was a Gryffindor, she could handle herself.
Draco sauntered back to his common room, almost glowing with his latest triumph. With one ruined potion, he had managed to piss off Weasley and isolate Granger from her friends. He was positively Machiavellian.
Stripping off his uniform, he cast a brief glance at his reflection in the mirror and admired what he saw. Granger could pretend she wanted nothing to do with him but he most certainly had the tools to make her his property. He would flirt with her relentlessly, intoxicate her, have her, hold her briefly and then drop her like the worthless piece of crap that she was. Weasley would have been so infuriated by the lack of attention that he would have been getting off Hermione that he would have no interest in restoring her to her previous happiness. Draco smirked and pulled on a t-shirt. Two people’s happiness ruined in one clean chop of the axe, and his status as a gorgeous heartbreaker secured once again.
Lounging across his bed, and flicking through his potions textbook, he wondered how he would pass the time in his tutoring sessions. What would be the best way to drive Granger wild with desire? And if he could irritate her beyond human forbearance at the same time so much the better.
Rooting through his bedside table drawer, he pulled out a chocolate frog. Ignoring the charm that made it try to flee him, he snapped one of its legs off and let it dissolve in his mouth. Licking a smear of chocolate off his finger, he paused and smirked. He knew exactly what he was going to do.
AN: Enjoy it? Then make this author magically very happy, and review! Thanks, petitesorciere xxx
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