Chapter 6 : VI. The Date
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VI. The Date
Oh, hello there. I'm Draco Malfoy, as you obviously already know. What you may not know is that I am walking around Hogsmeade with the love of my life, Hermione Granger.
I know! We're actually on a real date! It's so exciting!
Ahem. Calm down, Draco. It's not like you've never been on a date before. Okay.
Oh, and before we get to the sixth way to impress a Mudblood, I know we didn't exactly get to the fifth, due to the fact that I got, er, sidetracked. But you're not so daft that you didn't get the gist, I hope. Ask the Mudblood out, and she will be impressed by your boldness. I shall continue to elaborate on this method of impressing a Mudblood while I introduce the next way. Oh, yes… I can multitask. I am a man of many talents, as you can see.
Now, the sixth way to impress a Mudblood has to do with showering her with love and gifts during the first date. Being the wealthy man I am, I am completely capable of buying Hermione's love. (I think it's possible that would work, but I don't know for sure….) Of course, being the romantic person that I am, I would prefer to win her love the normal way. But a little present or two wouldn't hurt my chances…. I think I'll get her a gold bracelet. Yes, a gold bracelet studded with rubies. And one emerald, just for symbolic purposes. And I'll engrave something like Draco + Hermione Forever on the inside. (Or do you think that would scare her off? Wait a minute. What am I doing, asking you for your input? I know what I'm doing. You're the one who's supposed to be hanging onto every word I say.)
However, I know Hermione so well that I know what she'll appreciate even more than an expensive bracelet. That's right, the sixth way to impress a Mudblood is to buy her something she'll treasure forever. Remember how Hermione expressed her wish to read 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know? Well, I don't know if she'll treasure a book like that forever, but it's a start. Maybe, as we stroll through Hogsmeade, I'll find something perfect enough to show my love for her.
Hermione and I were standing just outside the gates to Hogsmeade. Since everyone else had arrived before us, the road to the village had been completely deserted. Now, though, we could hear the voices of scores of students as they wandered around in groups of two, three, or more, chatting amiably.
Hermione stopped walking, a strange look on her face. "I can't do this, Draco. I can't lie to the entire student body!"
"We're pretending we hate each other. How is that a lie, for you? Wait…does that mean you like me too?" I said eagerly.
She shot me a glare, but I thought I could discern a blush. "Of course not," she snapped. "What I mean is, I can't go out with you and pretend that Dumbledore set everything up. Besides, no one is going to believe us."
"I don't care," I growled. We had come so far and now she was just going to turn back and walk away? I don't think so. "We're going in. Come on."
"No," she said stubbornly, folding her arms over her chest.
"Granger, don't make me do this," I warned.
"Do what?" she snapped.
"This," I said, and before she knew what was going on, I seized her around the waist and slung her over my shoulder, fireman style. (Yes, I know what a fireman is. I read it in that Muggle Studies book, remember?)
As expected, she let out a loud shriek. "Put me down, Malfoy! Put me down right now, or I'll hex your face off!"
A wave of fear passed through me. "Would you really do that?" I asked nervously. "You're kidding, right? You wouldn't do anything like that, would you?"
Hermione let out an exasperated sigh. "Merlin's pants, Malfoy. You should know the answer to that question."
"You would never damage my beautiful face, right?" I beamed.
"Of course I would, you prat! Now put me down!"
"You might want to stop screaming," I informed her, ignoring her threat for now. "People are starting to stare."
"Well of course they're staring, you idiot, look at the way you're carrying me in! I can walk, damn it!"
"No need to start swearing, Granger," I said cheerfully enough. "And enough with the names too."
"Then put me down," she growled.
"Do you promise not to run away?" I pleaded.
"Okay, you asked for it." I shrugged my shoulders, shifting her into a more comfortable position, and continued walking, ignoring the crowd staring at us.
"Fine, I promise!" she snapped, beating her fists into my back.
"Stop punching me, woman!" I stopped walking and placed her gently on the ground, silently muttering a spell as I did so.
As expected, the second she was on her feet, she tried to bolt away. But thanks to my ingenuity, she couldn't. The spell I had used had conjured a pair of handcuffs that linked our wrists together. Now she was stuck to me for good.
I know. I am so darn clever.
"Ouch!" cried Hermione as she tried to leave my side. She looked down at her wrist and then back up at me, her expression absolutely furious. You didn't need a book to tell you how she was feeling at the moment.
"DRACO MALFOY, YOU BLOODY FERRET! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?" she exploded. Her lovely brown eyes (which weren't so lovely right now) were now glaring daggers at me. For one wild second, I thought laser beams would shoot out of her eyes and strike me dead or something.
I cowered under her intense, livid glare. Okay, so maybe I wasn't so clever after all.
"Get rid of this thing, right now!" she barked. Merlin, she was so bossy. And demanding. But I still love her despite her temper. Sigh.
"I can't," I said, mustering a meek voice. "You have to kiss me first."
"Stop joking around," she snarled. Her voice made my hair stand up on end…in a good way, of course.
"I'm not joking," I protested. "For the curse to break, you have to kiss me. And you have to mean it too."
"What is this, some sort of twisted fairy tale?" she said snappishly.
"Sure," I said, not sure what she was talking about.
"I am about ready to murder you, Malfoy!" she said in a shrilly voice.
"I know," I said happily.
She shot me an exasperated look, but at least she wasn't screaming at me anymore. However, she hadn't stopped screaming soon enough. The volume of her voice had attracted some of the people she knew, and soon we had company.
"Hermione?" said a familiar, hated voice.
She spun around, dragging me with her. I staggered to retain my balance, trying not to look foolish even though the handcuffs had been my idea in the first place.
"Harry! Ron!" she squealed.
Yes…she squealed upon seeing the two people I dislike the most at Hogwarts. I was thinking about whether I could successfully land a punch on Weasley's freckled face with my left fist when I remembered the plan. And I carefully arranged my face into a look of cool, arrogant disdain. It was my signature look, one that usually caused people to shrink when my gaze fell upon them.
But not Potty and Weasel. They glared and scowled and bared their teeth at me. Okay, not really, but the looks I was getting from them were not friendly in the least.
"Hermione, what in the name of Merlin are you doing?" said the redheaded one. I briefly considered lighting his head on fire, but then thought to myself that no one would be able to tell the flames apart from his obnoxiously red mop of hair. Ho hum, I crack myself up.
"I'm on an assignment for Professor Dumbledore," she said through gritted teeth. "Right, Malfoy?"
I hid my surprise at her readiness to lie. "Right, Granger," I said in a bored voice.
"Does this have anything to do with the play Ginny told us about?" said Potter skeptically.
"No," I said.
At the same time, Hermione said, "Yes."
We glared at each other for slipping up. Thankfully, the two idiots she called friends didn't seem to notice the disparity in our answers.
"What exactly are the handcuffs for?" Weasley pressed on.
"When you're done interrogating us, Weasel, we'll be on our way," I drawled.
"Don't call him that!" said Hermione, jerking on my arm, the one that was connected to hers by the handcuff, the one I had initially thought was so clever but was now thoroughly regretting due to my sore wrist and arm socket.
"Well?" said Weasley impatiently.
Probably for the first time in her life, Hermione feigned ignorance. "Well what?"
"What--" Weasley began.
"What are you talking about?" I cut in.
"What did you say?" said Hermione loudly.
"What the--" Potter muttered, pulling at his hair.
Now, as intended, Weasel was thoroughly confused. "What?" he said slowly.
I sighed. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw the corner of Hermione's mouth twitch like she was trying not to laugh. Upon seeing this, I smirked.
"Well," said Hermione rapidly. "We must really finish our assignment for the Headmaster, so I'll see you two later!"
"No you won't," Potter grumbled. "You're always with him."
"Yeah," echoed Weasley. "That evil git."
"Are you referring to me?" I said loudly.
"I am not always with him!" said Hermione indignantly.
"Yes you are," argued Potter. "You do patrols with him, you spend time in the Head dormitories with him, and now you're going to Hogsmeade with him."
"Are you jealous, Potter?" I drawled, keen on getting this conversation over with.
"'Course not," he said sharply, the muscle in his jaw twitching. "I'm saying this for Ron's benefit."
"So Weasley is jealous, but too afraid to admit it?" I said shrewdly.
Weasley turned a shade of tomato red. Now his face clashed with his hair quite horribly. I felt the need to shade my eyes from the sight.
"We really need to go now," Hermione squeaked, tugging at my wrist with the handcuffs.
"'Kay," Weasley mumbled. "Bye." He slouched away with an angry Potter at his side.
"What was that all about?" Hermione demanded as soon as they were out of earshot.
"I don't know," I said impatiently, not wanting to discuss Weasel's potential feelings for her. Just the thought of someone else stealing my woman made me feel like punching something.
"Harry probably hates me now," she said nervously. "And Ron too."
"I don't really care," I muttered.
She glared at me again. "Are you happy now, Malfoy? Look where your bloody plan got us. The entire school will be expecting an inter-house unity play, at least half of them think we're--Merlin forbid--dating, and my two best friends think I'm spending too much time with you!"
"I don't see what's so wrong about that list of yours," I said cockily, "Apart from the fact that I have no desire to put on a play for the school."
When she didn't reply, I hurriedly said, "Look, Hermione. Everything will blow over soon enough and whatever happened today will be old news. Now stop worrying. You're in Hogsmeade on a beautiful Saturday morning with me. What else could you want?"
We were now standing in front of the Hogsmeade division of Flourish and Blotts. One section of the display window was devoted to helping seventh year students pass their NEWTs. Sure enough, 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know was for sale. I had timed my question perfectly.
"Ooh, 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know!" she squealed. Again.
"Come on, let's go buy it for you," I said, leading her into the bookstore. I even chivalrously opened the door for her and let her go in first.
More than three hours later, I had learned this important lesson: Never let a Mudblood, a Mudblood who has an unnatural adoration for books, loose in a bookstore. More importantly, never tell her that she can spend as much time as she wants perusing said books, and never offer to buy her whatever books her heart desires. (For the last bit, Hermione tried to refuse my money, but when I threatened to light the books on fire she caved in.)
We were now attempting to exit Flourish and Blotts. The problem was that I, being the chivalrous gentleman I am (how do those bloody Gryffindors do it?), had offered to carry all twenty-three parcels of books for her. Even after I had charmed them to make them lighter, they were still so heavy that my arms were ready to fall off (although I'd never admit that to anybody). The fact that I was handcuffed to her didn't make my job any easier.
In addition, my moneybag was a lot lighter. The Malfoy family might have limitless stores of gold, but my father still kept a severe eye on my allowance. I would have to come up with a good story to explain where all that gold went. (Hmm, maybe I could tell him I decided to donate some money to some sort of charity. Hang on, a Malfoy never donates to charity! What the heck was I thinking?)
But you see, it was all worth it. Hermione was so happy with her new books that she was practically glowing.
"Oh, thank you so much, Draco! I can't wait to sort and catalogue all these books into my little library. How will I ever repay you?" she said breathlessly. She was talking really fast. I think books make her hyper.
At this moment I dropped a parcel onto my foot, swore, and dropped the rest of the parcels onto the floor, earning a glare from the shopkeeper. Then I took out my wand and magically transported everything back to our common room.
"That was clever. I should've thought of it," said Hermione, still talking very speedily.
Ha! She called me clever! I victoriously stored this moment into my memory and then turned to her. "Now," I said. "You were asking me how you were going to repay me."
"Oh," she said, her voice faltering. "Right. Um, you can borrow the books anytime you like!"
"Uh, thanks. But no thanks," I said, trying not to roll my eyes.
"Well," she said slowly. "I could get two jobs and work on the weekends for five years until I can pay you back--oh, what the heck. I'll just thank you by kissing you, isn't that what you want?" A rather mischievous smile had settled on her pretty face.
"Hermione, do you even have to ask?" I said, smirking.
I stood completely still as she rose onto her tiptoes and kissed me gently on the lips. Merlin, she was braver than I thought. Before she could pull away completely, I wrapped my arms around her and brought my lips crashing back down onto hers, kissing her more passionately than I had ever kissed her before. And she fervently returned the kiss, which made me one very happy man.
I slowly backed her into a bookshelf, ignoring the shopkeeper whom I could see from the corner of my eye was gaping at us like a fish out of water. He apparently did not know the proper protocol for dealing with a pair of hormonal teenagers making out in his shop.
"Draco--stop. I can't breathe," she gasped, pulling away. Her lips were swollen, her skin was flushed, her eyes were bright, and her hair was a lovely, disheveled mess.
I couldn't really breathe either. In fact, I felt rather lightheaded and for a moment all I could think about was taking her somewhere private to continue this kiss and perhaps do a little more than just kiss. Resisting the urge to do just that, I eventually came back down to earth and silently undid the spell and the handcuffs that had linked us together all day disappeared.
She would never know that I could have gotten rid of them at anytime, no kiss necessary.
Wow, that was a long chapter for me. I hope you all liked it! Please review. :)
Yours till Fudge cooks the goblins,
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