Chapter 13 : Feeling Funky
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*update* I still tend to update weekly on stories I am currently posting...
So much had happened in such a short time that Hermione found it impossible to sleep. Her mind was reeling over what had occurred between her and Draco Malfoy. Are we a couple now? she wondered. And then followed by, A couple of what? I am definitely attracted to him, but Ron and I are…what, exactly? Up until now, everything had seemed clear. Ron was her boyfriend; they had been there for each other through thick and thin. But now…Ron didn’t seem to be there for her, yet Malfoy was. And even though she happened to find him extremely attractive at the moment, that didn’t change the fact that they had been enemies for the past 7 years.
Could she trust Malfoy? And had she just jeopardized her friendship with Harry and Ron? Was Malfoy worth this entire mess?
Over the course of the night, Hermione went through every emotion imaginable from guilt, embarrassment, ecstasy, fear, worry, excitement, until she finally settled on anger. This was all Malfoy’s fault. She had been just fine until he started poking his ferrety (handsome, sexy…no, that wasn’t right) face in her business. Yes, that was it. The anger continued to build in her until sleep became impossible. By daybreak, she decided to cut her losses and study for a while, then head to class extra early so that at least seating arrangements wouldn’t be a concern.
She was the first to arrive at the dungeon for Potions, and she claimed a table up front and formed a wall of textbooks and materials around her in an attempt to seriously discourage anyone from sitting with her. She was feeling quite peevish due to lack of sleep and in no mood to deal with nonsense of any kind.
She took out her textbook and began to review the material that they would be covering in class, and behind her she could hear students beginning to pile into the room. She didn’t bother to look up. As long as everyone gave her space, she should be able to get through the class without much of a problem.
But a problem found her nonetheless. The crash of a bookbag onto the table she was sitting at caused her to grip her textbook so tightly that it was astonishing that the book held up under the pressure. She knew who it was, and slowly, excruciatingly, she glared up at the object of her frustration.
Malfoy was smirking down at her in such a smug fashion that Hermione found herself contemplating murder.
“Smashing morning, Granger! Shove over.” He pushed down an exterior wall of her books and plopped down into the seat right next to her.
“You can’t sit here,” she hissed at him while she attempted to rearrange her textbook wall.
“I just did, Granger, what are you going to do about it?” He was obviously enjoying himself, which irked Hermione even more.
“Does it matter to you that I don’t want you to sit here?” she countered, still trying to rebuild her barrier of bookage.
Malfoy stared at her for a few seconds, eyes narrowed, and then let out a slow sigh of exasperation. Hermione wouldn’t look at him, hoping that if she ignored him long enough he would just go away.
Then again, this was Malfoy she was dealing with. Slowly, he leaned in until his lips were mere inches from her ear. She felt the gooseflesh rise on her neck. “What’s the deal, Hermione?” he said softly.
The effect was overwhelming. She couldn’t think of anything but how her name sounded on his lips and how his breath softly warmed her ear as he had spoken. She could feel herself trembling. “W-What do you mean?” she managed to whisper back.
“This hot-cold thing that you’re pulling. You can act like you hate me, but you and I both know that if we were alone right now—“
“Stop it,” she interrupted.
“—we wouldn’t be talking, that’s for sure,” he continued as if she hadn’t even spoken.
She glared at him even though there were butterflies in her stomach. “So sure of that, are you?” she said in a haughty tone.
He leaned back in his chair and raised an eyebrow at her, smirking confidently. “Is that a challenge?”
Her heart started to pound, but she wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of knowing his effect on her. “Malfoy, quit it.”
“That’s not what you said last night.”
“I mean it. We can’t do this.” She had to look away from him; he was positively intoxicating and infuriating all at the same time. She wasn’t used to being so swept away by her emotions and was fighting for control. “I have a boyfriend,” she continued.
“Gobshite. Don’t lie to me.” He was glaring at her. “If that was how you really felt, you wouldn’t have shown up last night.”
Hermione opened her mouth to retort, but stopped abruptly as Professor Slughorn entered the room. Malfoy sat back in his seat and ran a hand through his hair in frustration. He was obviously upset that the conversation had been aborted. Hermione, on the other hand, was relieved. Confrontations with Malfoy were never easy for her because he was always so blunt—truthful to the point of rudeness, demanding and raw. She couldn’t hide anything from him.
Professor Slughorn didn’t seem all that pleased, either. He obviously no longer trusted Hermione and Malfoy in such close proximity to each other, but at least they were in the front row where he could keep a good eye on them. Hermione’s plan was to give him absolutely no reason to worry—plus, it was a great excuse to keep Malfoy at arm’s length.
The class atmosphere was very tense for Hermione, mainly because she could feel Malfoy’s eyes on her most of the time. She couldn’t look at him, and she definitely wasn’t looking forward to the end of class. She knew that the conversation wasn’t closed as far as he was concerned.
She had underestimated him. She thought that he would wait until class was over and corner her in the halls, but Draco Malfoy was a cunning Slytherin. As they were working on a particularly complicated potion, he deliberately slipped something into the cauldron which caused it to overflow with an extremely vile-smelling foam. Before she realized what was happening, both she and Malfoy were practically covered in a smell combination of rotten eggs, mold, vomit and seaweed.
“Granger! Watch what you’re doing! Sorry, Professor, looks like the Head Girl’s a little distracted today,” Malfoy added to Professor Slughorn with an innocent look.
“Malfoy! You did that on purpose!” Hermione shrieked and shoved him away from the cauldron, trying futilely to stop the malodorous mess.
“Moi? Why would I deliberately try to mess up my favorite class?” Malfoy exclaimed with an exaggerated expression of disbelief.
“Miss Granger, Mr. Malfoy, in my office this instant! I’ll be up there shortly as soon as I have this fetid fiasco of yours under control,” Slughorn was furiously waving his wand over the foaming cauldron.
Hermione couldn’t believe she was in trouble with Slughorn yet again, and that it was Malfoy’s fault yet again. She was frozen on the spot, but Malfoy had already taken the liberty of gathering up all of her materials into her bookbag and slinging it over his free shoulder.
Slughorn’s face was purple, he was sweating profusely and he couldn’t seem to get the cauldron to stop overflowing. “Now, Miss Granger!” he reiterated. Then added, “Class dismissed!”
At this point, half the class had already started to leave being as the noxious odor had begun to permeate the entire room. Malfoy was tugging at the sleeve of her jumper. “Come on, Granger, let’s get going.”
It was too much for Hermione. Without another word, she let Malfoy lead her out of the Potions dungeon and down the corridor towards Slughorn’s office.
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