This chapter is dedicated to Sparkle15 and cMc_grylion! Thank you cMc_grylion for your reviews, and thank you to Sparkle15 for asking the right questions about my plot! If you review with your email there are probably a few things we could discuss!!! Kisses for you both.
-Sarah (AKA: Bleeding_Red_Roses)
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Now on with what you really came here for…
Hermione woke with a start, feeling first very safe, second very comfortable, and third- VERY warm! Stiflingly hot, almost too hot. ‘What the hell is that weight?’, she thought to herself. She blinked her eyes slowly against the rising sun, by the height in the sky she knew it was only about six in the morning, breakfast didn’t start until nine, and classes didn’t start until ten. She turned to roll over to set a charm, and she was met with a resistance against her arm. Her head shot up, as did the person’s whose back she happened to punch.
“Oh!” She whispered softly, she remembered falling asleep with the two most unlikely boys that she could possibly imagine.
Blaise held up a finger to his lips, signaling to her that Draco was still asleep. “Hey.” He said with a smile, it grew wider as he finished “I told Draco you wouldn’t kill us for falling asleep here.” He turned to face her as he was speaking.
“Yeah, I’ve needed to sleep next to people… since…” she trailed off with the thought.
“Don’t worry, go back to sleep sweetheart.” He scooted over closer to her, front facing her this time, and he wrapped his arm around her, placing his hand on top of Draco’s hip.
“You don’t feel weird or awkward or anything?” she asked him sleepily, her eyes half closed, but still managing an innocent blush.
“Nope, I told you already, we’re here for your protection.” He told her. He debated with himself whether or not he should tell her exactly how he came to the conclusion he did. Finally, truth won over. “When I was six, my sister passed away. She was only four and she had spinal meningitis. She passed away due to something muggle doctors called a ‘grand maul seisure’ in her sleep. I had been staying with her at night, because she didn’t like to be alone. She felt a lot of pain some nights, but when I was there, she always slept better. The night of her funeral, I went outside. I threw a rock at a street lamp and it shattered, and the light went out. A few seconds later, it lit up again. I was sitting on the curb of the street, and Dumbledore sat down next to me, I swear I could hear his old bones creaking. He told me that eventually there would be another girl for me to protect, and that she’d need my help above all else. He told me that she’d be an enemy under my house. I knew that when McGonagall asked whether or not we’d like to be resorted, that if I got sorted in to Gryffindor, it would be you. You’re mine to protect now, I couldn’t save her, but for some reason Dumbledore thought you’d need saving. You’re mine to protect.” He looked at her, snapping out of his little explanation. She smiled with her eyes closed and he figured she had probably only understood about four words of what he had said. He kissed the top of her head and she snuggled into him. Though this was new to all of them, it didn’t feel anything but normal.
Draco woke up quickly to the alarm, but Blaise was faster. He reached out to the table behind him and grabbed his wand, disarming the alarm before it could wake the still-sleeping girl between them. “Hey man, what time is it?” Draco whispered. Realizing his arms were still around Hermione, he pulled them away a little self-consciously. “Merlin! Did she actually sleep here? What the hell?” He got up slowly, making sure he didn’t wake her, and stretched himself out.
“Yeah, she enjoyed it too. She woke up at six, it’s about eight now. Our first class is at ten.” He looked down at her and smiled.
“Do you really think she’s the one he meant Blaise? I really don’t want this whole being nice to Granger thing a habit if you’re going to change your damn mind.” He knew full well why they were in the position they were in, and he was worried about his friend’s mental health.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt mate. She’s ours now.” He continued stroking her hair as he was talking. It looked as though he had never seen the sun before, the way he was staring at her so intently.
Draco looked at her a little disbelievingly, “I’m going to shower, this shit is a little too heavy, you know? Most of all for the first day back, seriously. Plus, there are some things I need to find out about little miss Granger before we continue on our little path toward her freakin’ sanity or whatever. How the hell did I get trapped in this fantasy land anyway?” he asked shaking his head.
“Because mate, you need her too. I’m good when it comes to this stuff. You weren’t complaining last night wrapped around our dearest ‘Mione.” He grinned at his best friend, who returned the favor by slapping him upside the head on his way by to his intended destination. “Though I highly doubt she’ll take this with such a level head when she fully wakes up. She’ll probably feel awkward. Maybe we should get outta here?”
“As I said, I’ll be in the shower. You stay with her, she likes you best.” Draco told Blaise, while thinking to himself ‘Please, anything to get me out of here… what a horrible idea! I mean, I know he’s still really torn up about the whole Blythe thing, but seriously… Granger… of all people… Granger!’ all the way to the bathroom.
*~*Inside Draco’s Head*~*
As he reached for the place where his shampoo normally is in the shower, Draco stopped short. He remembered he didn’t have any of his shower stuff with him. He hopped out of the shower, “accio’d” his stuff, and hopped back in. He absolutely refused to use Granger’s things. “It’s bad enough I slept in her bed. What was I thinking? I swear, that old bat must have put a charm or something on Blaise way back when, because all of a sudden it’s like all of the strings tying him to this world were cut, and freakin’ steel cables replaced them, all going toward her.” He shampooed his hair, conditioned it, and washed up. “Seriously, if he thinks the golden trio are actually going to stay split up he’s got another thing coming. She’ll forgive them; she’s too good not to do so. Seriously, Potter is going to come kill us, just because we’re stealing away his brain trust. When Weasleby finds out that we’re watching over her now, I’ll be that he’ll be halfway to hexing us before anyone knows he found out. I might as well dive my bloody broom off the astronomy tower now!”
Draco put all his things together and stepped out of the large shower, only after doing so did he realize her bathroom was not only bigger than his, but substantially so. He looked down the wall, and realized this room was ridiculously large, the mirrors that lined the back wall and the space in front of the sink helped with the effect. The shower was a large glassed in area with multiple jets, there was a large Jacuzzi-sized tub in the middle of the floor, and the sink matched the floor with white marble, with black and silver flecks within it. The walls were all the same off-white of the marble, with silver and black alternating thickness pinstripes. The trim was silver, and instead of looking gaudy, it looked very artful. He realized that she had redone her own bathroom, just as she had done Blaise’s room last night. “Granger should be an interior designer…” he thought.
Changing into his school uniform, he put on the black trousers and the white button-down shirt. He threw his blazer over his shoulder, and realized he forgot his gel. He shook his hair out, and let it fall over his face. He could deal with it for a day. He stepped out of the bathroom and back into Hermione’s room, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in hand.
When he walked into the bedroom, the first thing he noticed was that the girl in question wasn’t there, and neither was his best mate. “Odd, they must have gone to check out Blaise’s new room…” he thought aloud and went down the staircase after them.
Draco could hear the pair on the stairs, so he called out to them, “Wait up guys, I want to see too!” He put his things down and rushed his way down the rest of the stairs, where Blaise and Hermione had decided to wait.
“Now, you guys need to pay attention so you don’t get confused. I’ve changed a lot of things.” She opened the doorway at the bottom of the stairs leading from her bedroom to the rest of the head dorms. What met the boy’s eyes was not what they were expecting.
“Granger, seriously, the whole super small stone corridor isn’t my thing. Just saying.” Bliase started.
“Seriously, do you think I’d design your room like that? Honestly.” She scolded him for thinking so little of her, and with her head held high, she stepped into the corridor that wouldn’t fit more than a single- file line. The hallway was lit magically, and she started speaking. “I had to rearrange both floors. Keep an open mind, things are going to look a little odd, but I really think it’s worth it. First things first, instead of one gigantic room with ceilings way too high, unable to retain much heat, I’ve divided the space into a few different rooms. But I’m getting ahead of myself, we need to get to the entryway first.” She smiled as they neared another door that looked exactly like the one they went through to get from her room to this very place.
They walked through the door and they were met in a cute entry hall, very small but with all of the necessary things that made life a little easier for the housemates. Gesturing to her left, she pointed up to the coat rack, and then to the floor. “Boys, this rack is for cloaks and coats, and that rack down there is for any random shoes that you wear on a daily basis, such as school shoes.” She pointed directly across from her, and there was another door, which read ‘Draco’, scribed in fancy lettering carved right into the wood. To their right was the exit portrait, and to the left there was a door, which read ‘Blaise’ on the left side of a large staircase, and to the right of the staircase was another doorway, but this didn’t have a door blocking its way. Inside that room the boys could see that there was a large sitting room, with the fireplace in its original place. “Up those stairs is the kitchen and bathroom area. I enjoy cooking far too much to let the house elves do it all the time.” She smiled sweetly at Blaise. “And this is your room.” She swished her wand behind her and her smile widened when she saw Blaise’s look of shock. His room matched his at home exactly.
“Seriously, Granger, I think even the most wealthy pureblood families would hire you to redecorate their homes. You’re a godsend!” He went into his room, where all of his things were already brought up by the house elves. Draco peeked in, his eyes widening.
“Okay, would you guys like to see the upstairs?” She asked them. The stairway was a spiraling twist of black iron, so it didn’t take up any space at all. The kitchen and dining rooms were right in front of them, neatly partitioned off so that you could see the person cooking while they were at the stove. To the left of the stove was a lot of counter space, and a bunch of really expensive looking cookware and tools, all neatly laid out in racks. The cutlery drawer was closed shut, and underneath it were cabinets that led to pots, pans, and other such things. Above the countertops were more cabinets, which held dishes and glassware. The sink had a double basin, and there was a drying rack next to it. The refrigerator was across the room, and next to it was a closed in pantry.
Draco started laughing, and the other two in his company looked at him oddly. “Blaise man, do you see that? She put a sink up here! What are you going to do Granger? Bathe your cat?”
“The sink is to clean dishes, the muggle way. It relaxes me. Pipe down, or I’ll assign you to do them!” His responding look was priceless, but he didn’t doubt for a second that she’d end up finding some way to make him do the strange muggle task.
The floors were a pretty beige colored stone, and the table and countertops were black marble. The chairs to the table were white marble, and their cushions were plush and comfortable looking. The cabinets were a plain white. “I think I’ve outdone myself.” Hermione smiled.
Blaise just looked at her with his eyebrows raised. “So when are you going to cook?!” He rubbed his hands together and practically started drooling while he imagined all of the delectable things that would be made in the kitchen.
“Probably tonight, dinner up here instead of the great hall?” She asked smiling. “I know you guys probably don’t want to eat at the Gryffindor table.”
“You have no idea.” Draco said sarcastically. “So how do you plan on getting the food for this kitchen?” He smiled at her, thinking she hadn’t figured out this part of her plan.
“Oh, I already have that taken care of. Winky will get it here. I left her a list.” She smiled and went to the other side of where the stairway came up from the downstairs level. “This is the bathroom area. The bathrooms are connected through a door, but it is to remain locked at all times. You two will have to share a bathroom. I already put in a second shower and sick for Blaise. You two are welcome to my bath, providing there are bathing suits, or you warn me ahead of time if you’re thinking of alone-time.” She nodded to herself, then added quickly “There will be absolutely no females in my half of the bathroom, I don’t care if they just got out of the worst quidditch practice of their life. They will not be using my private bath.” She sniffed, knowing their reputations. “We can take the bathroom exits to our rooms. See you at breakfast!” She smiled and all but danced to the doorway.
“She’s amazing.” Blaise muttered.
“Man, I don’t know what the hell got into her, but if we’re going to be living like this I think it’s worth it. Wonder if she’ll take orders for food? Do you think she’ll make us whatever we want?” He smiled at the idea.
Blaise laughed. “Keep thinking with your stomach boy, and you won’t be able to fit on your broom.” He went into the bathroom followed by Draco. “I’m going to shower man, seeya.”
“I’ll be walking through in a minute, I just need to grab my stuff from Granger’s stairwell.” Draco said. He headed to her bathroom door, wrenched it open, and the sight that met his eyes was enough to make even the great Draco Malfoy blush.
Hermione had just dropped her towel, and was leaning with one leg up into the shower, leaving nothing to his imagination. The skirt she intended to wear to school today was lying on the ground next to her and her movements became clear as she dropped the razor she had been holding to the floor with a clatter midway through a long stroke of the white foam coating her leg, and he realized what she was doing.
“I… am… so… sorry…” Draco said slowly, for some reason being completely unable to look away even though his mind told him to. He gathered his wits after about ten seconds of blatant staring, and he found enough sense to look away. He shut his eyes tightly, placing his thumb and forefingers on the bridge of his nose, and pressing in. This didn’t help however, as he had a view of her a million times over reflected in the mirrors. He covered his eyes and sat down on the floor, not trusting himself to do much more than that. While he might have certain views of the world, he was still a man; and no man can resist a beautiful woman as inviting as she.
He could hear her moving around, and he fought the urge to look up. “If you look up before I say to Draco Malfoy, I promise that Ginny Weasley’s bat bogey hex will look like a bunch of fresh cut flowers next to what I will do to you.” She calmly grabbed her towel from the floor, thanking every deity she knew of that it was very large as she wrapped it around herself. She turned her back to him and announced in a clear voice. “Get up NOW, and get the fuck out of my bathroom!” He stood slowly, squinting as much as he possibly could while still being able to see what was going on in front of his path.
“Sorry, sorry, I uh, not that the view was bad, I’m not sorry about that, but… don’t get me wrong I’m not some pervy wanker… but… y-you’re… and… I’m just a-a regular guy… I mean I didn’t mean to… uh, yeah bye.” He stepped into her bedroom, and closed the door to the bathroom behind him. He slid down the door and tried to regain his lost breath. He thought to her perfect legs, her angry blush, and the secret places that he was sure that she wasn’t aware he saw. His head snapped up, and his heart almost stopped.
Draco stood up as quick as he could, using the floor as leverage. He tore out of Hermione’s bedroom and down the stairs, stopping only to grab the shower accessories that he had left there previously. “BLAISEEEEEEEE!!!” He yelled as soon as he got to the main landing, hoping his friend was in his bedroom. Blaise poked his head out of his doorway and Draco breathed a sigh of relief. Blaise stepped back from the door and opened it. He was standing there with a towel around his waist and a comb in his hands.
Blaise looked at his friend with his eyebrows raised and gestured for Draco to come inside, then he resumed his place at the mirror where he was gelling his hair for the upcoming school day.
“BLAISE! She’s BALD!!!” Draco burst suddenly.
“Like, her hair is actually a curtain?” Blaise asked intrigued.
Draco laughed manically “No man, more like, the curtain doesn’t match the rug dude!!!”
Blaise dropped the bottle of gel he had picked up. “How the hell did you figure that one out man?!” He took Draco by the shoulders and shook him a little, as his friend had a dumbfounded look on his face, a mix of being wrapped in pure bliss and complete shock.
“Oh man I’m an idiot! As if she didn’t have enough problems with me!” Draco babbled. “When I went to collect my things she was in the bathroom, shaving her legs man! SHE WAS SHAVING HER LEGS!!!”
Blaise, knowing the weakness his friend had for legs could only imagine what this was doing to the poor boy. He cracked a smile and picked his bottle of gel back up. She shook his head and resumed what he was doing. “Man, you’re not in any condition to go to class. I’m just saying. Maybe you should go uh, take a quick cold one. I want breakfast and our dearest Hermione won’t be making it here.” He arranged his inky hair into the spikes he so loved, and pulled on a black muscle shirt, putting his white school shirt on over it, rolled up to his shoulders. He tucked his tie loosely, noting the red and gold didn’t look that bad. “Draco, I think you’ve gotten your fair share of peep shows today, mind getting out while I put on my damn trousers?” Draco nodded and Blaise took a pair of nice red silk boxers out of his dresser. He put on his black slacks, tucking his shirt, and his black socks. Instead of the mandatory black dress shoes he put on a pair of black muggle shoes called “Pumas”.
“Sonorous.” Blaise charmed his voice to announce to the head common room “Hurry up, I’m ready to go!” He took the spell off himself, and went to wait in the entryway, sitting looking more like a Greek god than anyone had a right to.
Draco came out next, and sat beside his friend. His hair wasn’t gelled, but it was short and because of his recent findings, it stuck up in adorable pieces around his face. He sat next to his friend, lacing his shoes. He had a red muscle shirt on underneath his white school shirt, he left his tie undone around his neck and his shirt was tucked in perfectly, it was snug around him and his muscles showed nicely, he left the sleeves down but unbuttoned at the bottom.
Hermione came down her stairs and smiled at the two boys waiting for her, her previous anxiety forgotten. She had been standing at the door for nearly five minutes hyperventilating out of sheer mortification. She put on a smile and took a deep breath, and headed down to endure whatever it was that they would say to her.
“Hey Hermione! It’s about damn time you got down here. I’m hungry.” Blaise said, standing slowly. Draco’s head snapped up, and he stood quickly, averting his eyes away from her face, and more importantly, the legs that stretched for miles underneath that skirt. Blaise offered her his arm, and her shoes were already in place on her feet, a nice pair of red velvet flats, with golden string tied into a bow at the arch as an accent. She had a golden headband in her hair, encrusted with faux-ruby stones. They walked out of the common room with Draco following a few paces behind.
As they reached the hall, Draco saw fit to speed up slightly, to stand on Hermione’s other side. It was a good thing that he did, because just as he stepped in the path, a flying piece of mushy food flew at her from her left side. Where it would have hit Hermione square in the face, it hit him in the chest. He turned to look at the Hufflepuff table, and he located the source of the corned beef hash that was sliding down his shirt. A fourth year boy was sitting with a group of his friends, his mouth opened in a small “o” of surprise, and his eyes widened.
The boy recovered slightly and shouted, “That’s what you get for protecting the girl who betrayed Harry Potter!” Hermione’s eyes opened wide with shock. “Don’t look so stupid, you’re supposed to be the head girl! You just wanted to steal his glory, you never helped him, he had everything figured out for himself!” The boy glanced warily at the two boys on either side of her, huffed and sat down. Draco and Blaise looked at one another then grabbed each of Hermione’s arms. They led her out of the hall, and told her to wait outside the doors.