Hello everyone! I just wanted to thank all of my lovely readers and reviewers. You guys are awesome! I hope the updates are coming faster now. And here is Chapter Eleven!
Chapter Eleven: The Quidditch Date: Part One
At promptly twenty to ten 'o clock, Hermione donned the outfit Ginny had so kindly picked out for her, took one look in the mirror, and just nearly tore it off again. The red top featured a pair of skinny spaghetti straps that revealed her shoulders. It hugged her figure so much that it was almost like second skin. The black shorts were so short Hermione thought her legs had suddenly sprouted another ten inches. She could not go out looking like this.
"I think you look fine," said Isabelle when Hermione voiced her thoughts out loud. The French girl looked up from her magazine and tilted her head to one side. "A touch of mascara and lip gloss and you'll look amazing."
Georgina sauntered in and stopped short, looking Hermione up and down. "You could do with gaining some weight. You 'ave such skinny legs." She said this in a disapproving manner that made Hermione feel very uncomfortable.
"I think Draco will like it," said Isabelle, earning a glare from Georgina.
Hermione hastily dabbed on some lip gloss and applied mascara with difficulty and left the room before another row would start. She made her way down the marble staircase, nearly twisting her ankles because of the ridiculously high-heeled shoes Ginny had forced to wear. She breathed a sigh of relief when she made it out the front door without falling and breaking her neck.
She was met by a strong gust of wind that almost made her lose her balance, but a pair of strong arms held her up. She had almost relaxed into the mysterious person's embrace when she remembered where she was.
"Dra--Malfoy!" she said, startled. She moved back a few feet, rubbing her bare arms where he had touched her.
"Hello again, Granger," said Draco smoothly, folding his arms and leaning back on a marble pillar nonchalantly. He was wearing a pair of dark-wash jeans, a crisp button-up shirt, and sunglasses. He lifted the shades and peered at her critically.
Instead of shrinking away self-consciously as she had always done when someone judged her appearance, she held her head up high and gazed back at him evenly.
He let out a low whistle. "I must say, I am impressed, Granger. Who knew you had such shapely legs under those frumpy Hogwarts robes?"
Hermione glared at him while unsuccessfully trying to shield her legs from his unabashed stare. "You wore the same frumpy robes, but I could always see your arrogant, large head."
"Ouch, Granger," said Draco, pretending to wince. "You possess a harsh tongue."
"Some might call it a sharp wit," she shot back.
"Either way, it hurts," he said, smirking.
"Do you ever stop doing that?" said Hermione, huffing impatiently.
"What? Impress you with my charm?"
She scowled again. "No, smirk."
"Ah." He paused, pretending to contemplate. "No."
"Bloody git," Hermione muttered.
"What was that?"
"Nothing of importance. Where is everyone else? They're late!" Hermione checked her watch and then threw her hands up in annoyance.
"That's because I told them to come down at half past ten." He seemed very pleased with himself.
"Then you must have made a mistake on my invitation," she said, trying to remain calm.
"No, I don't believe I did." He smirked again.
"You made me come early on purpose!" she sputtered in indignation.
"And what do you suppose that purpose might be?" he said, raising an eyebrow at her provocatively.
She eyed him warily. "To make me as infuriated as possible and on edge for the rest of this bloody date, I presume."
"I would really love to slap you right now," Hermione informed him.
"Please refrain from releasing your unhealthy anger on me," he said smoothly. "Potter and Weasley may enjoy your abuse, but I do not."
This time Hermione really did slap him, without providing any warning.
"Ow! Hey!" he said, bringing a hand to his cheek. Of course it did not hurt, since she hadn't put much power into it, but it still stung a little.
"How's that for abuse and unhealthy anger?" said Hermione sarcastically.
"Okay, okay," said Draco, putting his hands up in surrender. "How about we declare a truce for the rest of the day?"
"Just for today?"
"I don't think I can stand being civil to you for more than twenty-four hours."
"Same here. Truce." They shook hands. Hermione nearly burst out laughing at the absurdity of her new relationship, for lack of a better word, with Draco Malfoy.
At that precise moment, the four other girls came out, each wearing as little if not less than Hermione. They all stared at her suspiciously. Draco quickly let go of her hand.
"Good morning, ladies," he said, glossing over the sticky moment. "Who's ready for some Quidditch?"
Everyone but Hermione cheered enthusiastically and swarmed around the bachelor, casually bumping Hermione out of the circle.
"How are we getting there?" one of the girls piped up. She was very tall, almost as tall as Draco himself, with straight blonde hair.
"Excellent question, Maddi," he said, flashing her a smile that made her flutter her eyelids. Hermione all but expected cartoon hearts to pop up around her blonde head.
"What better way to arrive at a Quidditch game than on a broomstick?" Draco continued, looking even more pleased with himself.
Hermione's heart nearly leaped out of her chest. "What?" she said loudly, causing everyone to turn to her.
"Brooms, Granger," said Draco slowly and condescendingly. "We're going to fly."
"I can't," she said right away. It was true. Flying had always been Harry, Ron, and Ginny's field of expertise, not hers.
"In that case, you can ride with me." The other girls' mouths dropped open and they glared at Hermione enviously.
She ignored them. "I refuse," she said stubbornly.
Draco raised an eyebrow. "Oh really? It's a good thing I see that as a challenge, Granger. Accio broomstick!" he shouted suddenly, pulling his wand out of nowhere. A sleek silver broomstick came flying toward them and Hermione instinctively ducked. But in one swift movement, Draco had mounted the broom and had grabbed her by the waist (causing her to scream), lifted her up into the air (while she continued screaming), and deposited her unceremoniously onto the seat behind him.
"For the rest of you more talented women, choose a broomstick and follow along!"
Hermione ignored the insult and clutched Draco very tightly around the waist, squeezing her eyes firmly shut.
"Merlin, Granger," said Draco, chuckling. "I didn't know you were so terrified of flying."
"Put me down, put me down," Hermione begged. She really, really hated flying. Muggle airplanes were fine, but broomsticks? No bloody way. "Malfoy, put me down!"
"Absolutely not. And I know I'm attractive, but you don't need to hold me so tightly." He sounded as though he was enjoying this far too much.
"But then I'll fall," she said, almost child-like.
"Come on, Granger," he said. "I know we still hate each other, but I wouldn't let you fall…well, actually, I'd let you fall for a little bit just to scare you out of your wits, and then I'd save you."
"Not helping!" said Hermione, not relinquishing her grip on what she felt was safety. "Have we started flying yet?"
"If you'd only open your eyes, you'll see."
"I don't think so." She suddenly felt a burst of speed and swallowed her scream, trying to put on a brave front. She failed. "Slow down!"
"We'll never get there in time for the game if we go at this pace," he said, subconsciously enjoying the feel of Hermione holding on to him for dear life.
Hermione, for her part, wasn't enjoying anything in the slightest bit. Her head was spinning, she was cold, and she felt slightly nauseous.
"Granger, just open your eyes."
"No." Nothing he said would reassure her, ever.
"The other women are shooting dark, jealous glares at you," he noted, chuckling again.
"Trust me, I would rather be on solid ground and far away from you. Why don't you tell them that?"
"You and I both know there's nowhere you'd rather be right now than on this broomstick."
"I feel sick," said Hermione in reply.
"You're not going to be sick on me, are you?" he said, becoming slightly nervous.
"I can't guarantee anything at this point," she groaned.
"Nearly there," said Draco in a would-be encouraging voice. He really didn't want Hermione, or anyone for that matter, to throw up on him. Too bad he never bothered to console anyone before, so the attempt at encouragement failed and Hermione felt sicker than ever.
After what seemed like an agonizing three hours, which in reality was only twenty minutes, Draco landed lightly. Hermione could not sense anything with her closed eyes, and she tumbled down ungracefully into the grass.
"Oh, sorry Granger," he said carelessly.
All he got in reply was a groan. She didn't even try to stand up.
The four other girls landed shortly after, every single one of them throwing Hermione a scornful glance.
"Is she going to be alright?" said the one named Maddi, sounding as though she didn't really care that much.
"She better be," said another girl scathingly. "The game starts pretty soon. I don't want to miss anything."
"Granger?" said Draco, reluctantly kneeling down beside her and shaking her slightly.
"Just leave me here," she said petulantly. "Leave me here to rot and die."
"Oh, no, I don't think so." And with that he lifted her up as though she was as light as a feather and began walking towards the gate. Halfway there, Hermione realized what was happening and jabbed him in the ribs until he put her down, or more like dropped her. She staggered to her feet, shot him a glare, and walked the rest of the way on her own, feeling a little better.
They skipped the queue and entered the Quidditch stadium without any trouble. An usher showed them to their seats, which were high up and in the middle. Getting expensive tickets was not a problem if one were the most eligible bachelor in all of London.
After climbing up what seemed like a thousand flights of stairs, Hermione found herself sitting in the Top Box of the glittering Quidditch stadium. It was not as fancy as the one for the World Cup, but it was just as immense. When they had entered the Top Box, Draco had acted the part of the gentleman, allowing four of the five women to go in ahead of him while rudely cutting in front of the last woman, who happened to be Hermione. As a result, he had craftily ended up with Hermione sitting on his left and the other four on his right.
Hermione saw through the entire not-so-subtle act and was beginning to wonder what his motives were. Did he want to spend more time with her? Or was he doing it just to annoy her to her wit's end? Was he--Merlin forbid--attracted to her? Well, Hermione thought to herself firmly, I certainly am not attracted to him…right?
The stadium slowly filled until Hermione thought it would collapse under all the weight and finally, the game started.
"Bulgaria begins with ten points!" shouted a familiar voice. Hermione was not surprised at all that Lee Jordan had become a professional Quidditch commentator. Draco noticed this too.
"It's that bloody Gryffindor of a commentator, isn't it? I thought I had escaped his useless drabble when he left Hogwarts," said Draco, whispering in her ear.
She gave an involuntary shiver when she felt his hot breath on her skin, not sure if it was from pleasure or disgust. "I think he's a great commentator," she retorted, edging away from him slightly. Fortunately for Hermione, the girl sitting on the other side of him, Maddi, successfully forced the bachelor's attention all on her by engaging him in a spirited debate over whether Bulgaria or Transylvania would win.
"And Bulgaria scores again!" shouted Lee.
The fans of Transylvania booed. A chaser from the Transylvanian team flew by the Top Box just then. He had a pale face and dark hair. Hermione was suddenly and explicitly reminded of vampires. She shook the thought away.
Hermione cheered halfheartedly for Bulgaria. She normally enjoyed watching Quidditch, but only when she was either watching or watching with Harry and Ron. Instead, she sat with her hands knotted tightly in her lap, muttering something about "dangerous" and "could get themselves killed like that" and "those bloody Bludgers."
Maddi, on the other hand, was screaming herself hoarse with things like "GO BULGARIA!" and "I LOVE YOU, VLADIMIR KOFFSKIN!"
Draco clapped every now and then, but his mind was far from the game. For some reason he kept thinking about one of the girls sitting next to him. She was a know-it-all, her hair was currently a mess due to the wind, she irritated him out of his mind with her attitude, and she could not ride a broom to save her life. And yet he found her strangely attractive. He waved that thought away as soon as it flitted into his brain. No. He was most definitely not attracted to her. He turned his attention back to the game with difficulty.
"Bulgaria pulls ahead with three spectacular goals and the score is fifty-zero to Bulgaria!"
Hermione glanced at her watch subtly. Nearly an hour had passed since the start of the game, and neither Seeker had seen the Snitch. Not even a glimpse of the tiny golden ball had been reported. Thinking of the Snitch made her think of Viktor Krum, whom she had sighted many times, swooping over the field on his broomstick. He had not seen her yet, and she did not expect him too. After all, she was just a tiny speck in a crowd of ten thousand.
Meanwhile, Emmett Bochinsky of the Transylvanian team had scored three times in a row. The Bulgarian Keeper was apologizing profusely.
"My muzzer bought me this Muggle celly-fone!" he was saying. "She just sent me a whaddyoucallem, a text mezzage and I haff to reply!"
While he was yelling at the rest of his incensed team members, Jasper Moldovan of Transylvanian scored twice, tying the score to fifty points apiece.
"COME ON BULGARIA!" screamed Maddi. "GET BACK TO KEEPING, YOU STUPID KEEPER!"
Suddenly, Viktor and the Transylvanian Seeker, Edward Szekely, both went into spectacular dives. The Snitch had at last been sighted.
Maddi's screaming escalated to a new height. "GO VIKTOR! COME ON!"
Even Draco winced and covered his ears.
"Come on Viktor, come on, come on!" muttered Hermione under her breath, her eyes following his dive. He looked exactly the same as she had remembered with his dark eyebrows, surly face, curved nose, and black eyes.
The Snitch took a sudden change in direction, speeding upwards. Hermione could not believe it. The Snitch was flying straight towards the Top Box.
Viktor and Edward Szekelysped upwards, neck at neck. The Snitch continued its path of ascent. Then it stopped, hovering right by the Top Box.
"Oh no, go away, you stupid Snitch," Hermione muttered.
"What's wrong?" said Draco, confused. Then it dawned on him: Hermione and Viktor Krum had had some sort of relationship in the years past and judging by the anxious expression on her face, she did not want to see him again. Draco had the sudden impulse to protect the girl sitting next to him. He tried shaking off the feeling, but it wouldn't go.
"Nothing," Hermione said in a whisper. Draco's hand gave an involuntary twitch and suddenly her hand was clasped in his. His first thought was to let go, but his hand refused to obey. Hermione, for her part, clung on without really knowing whose hand she was holding.
The Snitch remained in its hovering state. The two Seekers continued at their breakneck speed and reached out their arms, fumbling for the tiny golden sphere.
The Snitch dodged both of their grasps. In the confusion, Edward Szekelyforgot to brake and shot upwards, while Viktor slowed.
He had one hand out. The Snitch was inches away. A Bulgarian victory was moments away. Then he raised his dark eyes and caught sight of something else.
A familiar face framed within a mass of curly brown hair. It was she, the girl who had captured his heart years ago, at the Triwizard Tournament.
He stared at her in complete surprise. Hermione was very agitated.
"Viktor!" she choked out.
"THE SNITCH!" Hermione shouted.
Viktor snapped back to attention and reached for the Snitch once more. This time he caught it, its golden wings struggling for release.
"BULGARIA WINS! VIKTOR KRUM HAS CAUGHT THE SNITCH!"
The red supporters roared their approval. Maddi had gone star-struck at the sight of Viktor Krum a mere two meters away. The other girls were muttering mutinously: "Why is he staring at her like that? Does she know him?" Draco was silent. Hermione was speechless.
Viktor's eyes traveled over Hermione until he saw the intertwined hands. A look of hurt washed over his face, and he grasped his broomstick firmly and flew away without glancing back.
Hehe...are there any Twilight fans out there? ;) How was Hermione's first date with Draco? It will continue in the next chapter... what do you think is going to happen? Please review!
Yours till radish earrings become fashionable,
Write a Review The Game of Love: Chapter Eleven: The Quidditch Date: Part One