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What is Truth? by HermioneJadeZabini
Chapter 10 : Chapter 9, Masquerade
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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Disclaimer: Anything recognizable is NOT NOT NOT mine! Enjoy! (I DO own The Golden Six, however, and their songs belong to me. If you wish to view the entirety of any songs in the story or see their full album, leave a comment or message me or something, I’ll send the document.)

AN: Draco and Hermione, according to a family tree provided by JKR were born in 1980. But, so that they are more with the times, I am moving the year they were born a few years later. There is no hints within the book to indicate what time the story occurs, so this won’t mess anything up. I will say they were born in 1990 instead. This chapter starts on October 30th, 2007 and ends on

Chapter 9, Masquerade:

                                     

 

<Present time, Hermione is writing in her journal in her study in Zabini Manor, which now belongs to her.>

Journal Entry 386,

The date is October the 29th, the year is 2015.

                      Now, when I look back at that night, the night when everything changed, it’s still hard to believe that it did. I still find myself stopping dead in the middle of some chore or another on some days and wondering if this is really my life. But then I remember some of the better memories and I’m glad that things turned out this way. I know I couldn’t be happier about that aspect of my life. My husband and my children. They are everything I need and love. Looking back at that fight between us, back that last year of Hogwarts, I would never have suspected to end up here. All fights forgotten, love growing in their places, married to the man I thought would never forgive me. I’m glad he did.  I love the people in my life. And even if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything.

Not one thing.

<Back to story time, Hermione’s view>

For the next few days, I did forget that awful dream. I was consumed in planning and perfecting everything for the gala, I was emerged in my studies and no matter what, I refused to think about it anyway. It didn’t come back for quite awhile. At night, instead, my dreams were full of Draco, Ginny, Blaise, and the rest of my family and friends at various times and places. I had a few more flashbacks, recovering memories I had forgotten. Sometimes I dreamt about flying with Draco, other times it was Ginny and I hanging out around the castle and doing the weird stuff that girls do. In any case, my dreams were safe again. It was a very busy three days for me. I didn’t really even process the time passing. It wasn’t until Ginny alerted me to the fact that I realized it was Friday.

“So, Hermione, what time do you want Luna, Felicity and Me to come up tomorrow?” I looked up from the text book I had been pouring over. Ginny and I were seated in the library attempting to finish an essay for my secret godfather. She laughed at the confusion on my face. “Hermione, tomorrow is Saturday.”

“Yea, so?”

“The dance is tomorrow night?” She looked at me like maybe I had lost it. For a second I couldn’t think of what she meant, then it clicked.

 “Oh! Is it really tomorrow already?!” She nodded, laughing. I scrambled in my brain, trying to figure how the time had passed so quickly. I couldn’t remember much other than flying, worrying, patrolling, and homework. So far I’d been lucky not to get any confrontations this week, and I was praying my luck would hold. Pansy and Sven had been glaring at me every chance they got.

Ginny started laughing at my blank expression and this time I couldn’t help but join her. We packed up our books and started towards the stairs. “You guys can come up anytime after dinner. I’ll be waiting.” We grinned at each other a moment before tearing off excitedly in our separate directions, Ginny headed for Gryffindor tower, I headed for the Head’s Dorms. I flung my bag on the couch as I entered the common room, headed towards the kitchen for some milk and cookies, which Ginny and I had made earlier that week.

It gave me quite a scare when the couch grunted and kicked my bag off and onto the floor. I uttered a little scream and turned to see why the couch had groaned. I laughed at the pained expression on Draco’s face.

“I was sleeping woman. Why did you toss your bag on my stomach?” I giggled and walked over to him, offering him a hand. He took it and instead of letting me pull him up, he pulled me down to lay with him on the couch. I sighed happily.

“I didn’t mean to, I hadn’t realized you were there.” I giggled as he played with my hair. He smiled serenely down at me.

“I see, and did it ever occur to the fabulous bookworm to check before she throws heavy book bags onto snoring couches?” I grinned and shrugged.

“Oops?” He laughed.

“Where were you headed anyway?”

“For milk and cookies. Care to join me?” He kissed my neck and pulled us into a sitting position.

“Of course darling. What man would pass up cookies made by his girlfriend and his best mate’s girlfriend?” We were both laughing as we headed for the kitchen. I got out the milk, he got a plate of cookies for us, not many, just a few. We sat at the table and ate them, talking about the day and the week. Eventually the subject came up, though I wished it wouldn’t. “So, you excited for tomorrow night?” I swallowed and shrugged.

“I’m not not excited, more nervous I think.”

“About what?”

“Well, whether or not I chose the right outfit. I chose something quite a bit different from my friends. Whether or not my dancing skills will be any good is definitely a factor. Worrying whether or not everything will go smoothly, whether or not people will recognize me before the grand unmasking. Those kinds of things. That’s enough to make any girl nervous,” I smiled wryly at him. He chuckled.

“All those questions are easily answered. I’m sure whatever outfit you chose was perfect for you. Each person’s style is their own. Your dancing skills will be perfect I am sure. I saw you at the Yule ball, and you looked great to me. Everything will go as smooth as silk with us in charge,” That characteristic smirk of his made my heart jump, “And I doubt others will recognize you, but a few might, such as myself. You have nothing to worry about darling. Everything will go swimmingly.” We laughed and cleaned up our mess before parting to our rooms. I don’t know what he might have been thinking about, but he was the only one in my thoughts as I lay down and closed my eyes.

The next morning I awoke feeling dazed, as though a thin fog was wrapped around my brain. I sluggishly took a shower and got dressed. As I made my way down to the great hall, I realized why I was so tired. I hadn’t gotten to sleep until one the previous night, and it was only seven now. I sighed and went back to the dorm, laying on the couch with a good book, curling up in the fire’s heat to read and relax for a while before breakfast. I hadn’t realized I fell asleep until I felt myself lifted and being carried elsewhere. I opened my eyes, a slight panic gripping me for a moment, only to see almost white blonde hair and a pale complexion above me.

“Draco?” He looked down at me and stopped.

“Oh, you’re awake. I saw you sleeping on the couch, you looked uncomfortable, so I was going to carry you to your room. But, if you’d rather go to the great hall and eat, that’s fine,” I grinned.

“Yea, breakfast sounds really good right now,” As if in agreement my stomach rumbled. I blushed as Draco chuckled. “Dray?”

“Hm?”

“Can you put me down now?”

“Oh! Sorry,” He set me down, his pale cheeks turning a delicate pink. I smiled and grabbed his hand.

“Shall we continue along our way?” He grinned and we both laughed as we headed out the portrait hole and down to the Great Hall.

Time seemed to pass very quickly that day. Before I even realized much of what was going on, Draco and Ginny and Blaise and I were out on the brooms, zooming around the castle. It was loads of fun and all, but I felt barely awake yet. We spent the majority of the morning on the brooms, Blaise and Ginny marveling at the skills I had already acquired in a time frame of a few lessons. Draco just seemed proud, though whether it was of himself or me, I couldn’t be sure.

After a while we all went in, just in time to clean up and head to the great hall for lunch. After lunch we all went to the library, working on various assignments for various teachers. That held us off till dinner. After dinner I went back to the dorm and all but charmed the door so Draco wouldn’t come in and disturb us. I told him he had until the girls got here, then he’d have to leave. He agreed somewhat reluctantly, torn between wanting to be in his own room and wanting to steer completely clear of girls getting ready for a ball. He knew better than to be in our way at least.

As I sat in my room studying, I heard the portrait door open and a few voices floated up to me. I grinned, hopping off the bed and rushing to my door. I stood at the top of the stairs, still grinning, and watched as my three closest girlfriends came in, each carrying their own bags. I laughed loudly at the site of the muggle tackle box in Ginny’s hands. I knew it contained her entire make-up inventory. Luna glanced up and saw me.

“Oh, hello Hermione. Are you as excited as we are? You seem a little nervous,” I grinned. Luna always stated what she saw and thought. It was one of the best and worst things about her. Ginny didn’t even wait for an answer, she immediately started up the stairs, bags and tackle box in her arms. Felicity followed, looking completely stoked for tonight. Luna followed last, her usual calm exterior and bright smile in place. Ginny had a look of pure determination in place, but her eyes betrayed how excited she was.

 I grinned and we all went into my room. Felicity hung her bags up on the hooks I had temporarily put on my closet doors, Luna hung hers up on the wall by the door, and Ginny spread hers out across my bed. My things were all by the bathroom wall. Ginny took charge right away.

“Okay, so, the basics first, make-up and hair. Then dress, then accessories.” Luna conjured a floating full length mirror in her corner, Felicity sat at my vanity and Ginny followed me into the bathroom, leaving the make-up kit opened on the bed. She began putting her make-up on right away, but I hesitated. I didn’t really know all that much about make-up.  Ginny, in the middle of putting tan and gold eye shadow on, glanced at me and sighed in exasperation. “Don’t tell me you’re unsure.” When I nodded she sighed again. “Sit down and relax then, I’ll finish mine quickly and then help you.” I did as was told, not in any hurry to mess with Ginny when it comes to fashion.

It was some time later that we all gathered in the center of my room, completely ready with masks on and everything.  We giggled and grabbed out purses before heading for the door. Just as I reached for the handle, Ginny cried out.

“Oh! I almost forgot! All of you come here. I went out and got a little something for each of you,” Right away we all started protesting; we all knew how the Weasleys were on monetary issues. She shushed us and summoned a small but obviously full clothes bag from her bag. She restored it to its original size and unzipped it.

First, she pulled out a dark blood red floor-length cloak, all satin and soft. She handed it to Felicity. “Put it on, no one will see your outfit until we get there this way.” Next was a silk white one for Luna, with small tassels lining the edges. The third was a gold cloak, patterned with light leaves. I noticed that this one and Felicity’s both had hoods whereas Luna’s did not. Ginny set the gold one aside and pulled out the most beautiful green cloak I had ever seen.

 It was dark velvet on the outside and jade green silk on the inside. This one also had a hood. Though it wasn’t as detailed and beautiful as Ginny’s, nor was it as long as Felicity’s where it would drag, it was still exquisite. I pulled it on carefully and it was the perfect length, falling to half an inch above the floor. Felicity’s and Ginny’s dragged slightly on the ground, whereas Luna’s was shorter than mine, but the tassels made it the same length.

Now that our outfits were covered and our looks completely altered, we stopped to look each other really quickly, make sure nothing was out of place. Luna was first, turning slowly on the spot in her white outfit. Her hair was done up in soft curls, almost like miniature buns, but not quite, and dyed a slightly darker shade of blonde, her eyes having been charmed to look lavender. Her make-up was all silvers and blues and the palest of pinks. We gave her the ok, all of us murmuring how beautiful she looked.

Then it was Felicity’s turn. She revolved slowly, her hair done up in tight intricate bun and dyed completely one colour; a sexy looking dark red, almost brown. With a giant rose next to the bun but slightly overlapping, she looked ready for a dance party. A few strands curled around her face perfectly, her dark blacks, reds, and gold make-up making her shine. Her eyes had been changed from vivid green to a sexy and mysterious dark grey. She looked a little gothic, but still amazing none the less.

 Ginny called next and we watched as she slowly turned in a circle too. Her hair was done very intricately in curls and waves, a few white and silver flowers placed here and there, and her normal vivid red hair was dyed a delicate brown, her eyes changed from their shining blue-green to a more subtle hazel. Her make-up was all charcoal, golds, tans, and peaches.

 “You look stunning!” I told her as she turned to face us once more. Then it was my turn. I sighed and stepped forward a bit, revolving slowly on the spot. My hair was done up very delicately as well. First we had dyed it a dark brown, then cut it so it was only shoulder length when up instead of half way down my back. Ginny used the same charm Luna and Felicity had to turn my eyes from bright green to violent purple. My hair was a small half bun with the rest swirling down around it, a few strands wrapped around in intricate designs. I would have a hairpin headache tomorrow for sure. A couple white flowers were woven in as well, the tips of the petals dyed the palest of greens. As I spun around to face them again, my temporarily dark brown hair feeling strangely bouncy, they were all grinning. Luna spoke first.

“Hermione, you are the most beautiful of us all,” She whispered. I blushed.

“That’s not true! I think you guys look fabulous! No one will look at me next to you guys!” Felicity laughed.

“Hermione, you’re too oblivious for your own good. You’re smexy!” I blushed harder.

“They are right Mi, you look down right gorgeous. Draco will be drooling in no time.” I giggled and we all headed for the door.

 

As we entered the ball room, we slowly removed our cloaks, setting them at a table nearby. A few of the prefects were already there. They all had done fabulous jobs on their outfits. I couldn’t tell who they were at all, and I might have been a bit worried that they were students who had snuck in early if it weren’t for the fact that you had to know the password to get through the currently locked doors. The password would be removed once the ball began. Which reminded me of something.

“Ginny? I need to remove some of my charms so that Draco can find me! We are supposed to open the dance tonight!” She laughed.

“Easily done. We can even charm your outfit a bit so that it won’t be recognized either,” She muttered, already starting to make adjustments. First she turned my hair back to black, my eyes back to green, and she let my hair grow back out again. Then she changed my make-up to a different colour set altogether. She changed it from the browns and greens and golds to blacks and silvers and blues. She shortened the sleeves and tail of my dress, made it silk instead of what it had been originally made of and turned it into a dark blue dress with the golds becoming silvers and the lighter greens becoming blacks. She changed the colour and types of the flowers in my hair as well, the jewelry turning gold instead of white and silver, and the mask changing from green and gold to dark blue and silver.

“There, now, when you are ready for everything to change back, all you have to do is murmur the word ‘grelic’ which means green in, like, welsh or something. If you ever need to change back to this blue out fit, the word is ‘bonro’. Good luck girl,” She smiled at me and stepped back, showing me my new look in a mirror. I smiled. It did look convincing. I smiled and at them again and turned, running off to find Draco.

<Draco’s View>

I sighed and looked around. I had changed my look for the ball then remembered I had to dance the first dance with Hermione. That did cheer me up a bit, but it also meant I had to change my appearance long enough for her to find me for the opening dance. Originally, I had been in black dress pants, a white button-down shirt and black dress shoes. I had my black with silver lining cloak wrapped around me and silver mask to cover my face. My hair had been dyed black to match hers and chopped shorter, but I had left my eyes alone.

However, so that Hermione could find me, I had removed the mask and changed my hair back. I made a few adjustments to my outfit as well, so that no one would be able to tell who I was once that first dance was over. I changed the black and silver cape to dark blue and gold. My pants stayed black for the most part, but I added darkest blue pin stripes. My shirt became silver and my mask became white, since it would be nearby anyway, though not on.

 I looked around again, waiting for her at a table near the back of the room. Just then a group of girls came through the door, four of them. I wondered if this could be Ginny, Luna, Felicity and Hermione, but it couldn’t have been, there wasn’t any redheads and no one had black hair. I sighed and turned to Blaise who sat next to me.

“Dude, where do you think she is?” He shrugged.

“I don’t know Drake, maybe they are still getting ready? She doesn’t have to be here to actually open the dance; she just has to dance the first dance with you. They still have to open the doors and go through rules before then.” I sighed and glanced at his outfit again. I tried not to laugh.

He was wearing black dress pants and a darkest velvet red button up vest, the buttons being gold. His black dress boots had made quite the hilarious sound against the cobblestones outside in the courtyard when he had come with me to make sure that the lights and such were adequate. He had on a white poet’s shirt under the vest, which had ruffles down the middle front and at the ends of the sleeves, the collar having no ruffles, but being rather high up.

 I snorted as I looked at him again. He had cut his hair to what Hermione had once described as ‘army cut’. Meaning it was so short he could have been bald if he went any shorter. He had kept it black, but he had changed his eyes from clear blue to a murky hazel. He even had a cloak, though it didn’t have a hood like mine, with red silk inside and black satin outside. He had topped it all off with white gloves and a silver mask. The mask itself was hilarious.  It was silver with glitter designs of silver and black and it had a black with silver trim headpiece, a silver flower nestled in the middle. He glowered at me as I continued to try and not laugh. “Oh stop. I was going for the creepy medieval Vampiric look!”

“Well dude, you certainly accomplished the creepy part,” I chuckled. Brandon was snickering quietly on my other side while Victor was smirking on Blaise’s left.

Brandon, unlike his brother, had chosen an outfit he could actually pull off. He was wearing black dress pants and a white button down shirt. It would not have looked like anything more than a muggle outfit had it not been for the black cape draped over his shoulders and the white mask covering his face. He also had on black dress shoes and white gloves. He wore a black with gold trim pirate hat with a white feather sticking out. He had changed his eyes from their deep blue that was nearly black to the lightest gray with black flecks and his hair which had been a dark brown and about chin length had become inky black and shoulder length, much like Snape’s.

I was fairly impressed with his outfit, since his brother and he usually wore similar concepts. I glanced at Blaise again and snorted. Brandon quirking another smile and Victor chuckling. We all looked at Victor and burst into loud laughter. His outfit was nearly as hideous as Blaise’s. I had to say it was better because he pulled it off the way he looked. He was already creepy to most people to begin with, this only helped.

Victor was wearing long black dress pants and a white shirt. He had an over shirt (much like a long wide tie) that was ripped and tattered, making it look old and worn out. He had on long, tall, black boots, much like that Thantos dude in that witch movie Hermione and I watched a few nights ago, about twin witches.  The sleeves dangled and were every bit as torn and frayed as the over shirt. Over the white shirt he had on a black over coat. The coat tails were also ripped and frayed. The over coat and pants had silver buttons strategically placed as well. His mask was a thin black velvet strip with eye holes. He also carried a black cane with a white tip on the bottom and a crystal ball on top.

Once we had controlled our laughter and he had stopped glaring I looked around. I noticed a girl wandering around. She seemed to be looking for someone. As she turned a bit I realized who it was. She was stunning in the long blue, black and gold dress and mask. I smiled and stood up, walking towards her. She turned when I was almost to her, a hesitant smile appeared on her face and then it was that sparkling smile I adored. I hugged her gently and kissed her cheek. “Well, it seems we unintentionally matched our outfits this evening,” I chuckled. She giggled.

“Yes, I suppose we did.” We walked over to a table and sat down. Hermione pulled her chair closer to mine, but was careful not to touch me. This worried me a bit.

“Hermione, are you okay?”

“Yes, why do you ask?”

“Well, nothing, it’s just, you seem a little distant.”

“Oh, well, Draco, we are at a formal event, one must display a sense of decorum.” I laughed gently and pulled her off her chair and into my lap, kissing her neck gently.

“Decorum my ass. They can go get eaten by the giant squid if anyone has a problem with our relationship.” She giggled before a sudden look of confusion came over her face, then it turned to one of humoured curiosity. I rolled my eyes smiling, knowing she was probably talking in her head to her brothers.

<End of Draco’s view>

Suddenly, as I giggled at Draco, I caught a snippet of the guys’ thoughts, wherever they were.

*Do you think…?*

~Nah, they can’t know yet! It’s too soon. Maybe it just happened on it’s own.~

‘You two want to tell me what is going on?’ I butted in.

*Sorry Mione, can’t* And they said no more on the subject. I sighed, frustrated and turned back to Draco. The two of us sat talking for a bit until McGonagall eventually came over, and told us to follow her. She led us to the back room where the band was waiting.

Once we were inside, I noticed Ginny, Neville, Luna,  Harry, and Ron were already there. There was a brief meet and greet with the band, Ron and Harry staying as far from me as possible. I blushed a little when the female lead singer, Gwenivieve, approached me directly to tell me that I was such an inspiration to women everywhere and that she is honoured to meet me.

I looked around , blushing, to see the band members each talking with their counter parts. The other two females, Ashlee the bass Guitarist and Hayley the dancer/ singer, were talking to Luna and Ginny while Mikk the guitar player, was talking to Neville. The drummer, Gus, was talking to Ron and the male lead, Enjelou, was talking to Harry.

I turned my attention back to Gwen. We all sat talking for a while, Draco watching off in the corner, before McGonagall ushered us back out to the Hall. Draco wrapped his arms around me as we walked, causing me to blush. We followed her to the center of the room where she stood a little in front of us, conjuring a podium and stepping up to it. I tried to stay standing, not willing to be so open about my relationship in front of her, but Draco pulled me onto his lap where he had sat down on a nearby chair. McGonagall gave a sort of half smile before calling the attention of all the prefects who gathered near us to listen.

“I will be opening the doors in five minutes. We will bring them all in and at precisely 8:45 I will begin with the rules. After that you two,” She glanced at Draco and me, “Will take the floor for the opening dance. After which you are all free to do whatever you wish. After that first dance you are all freed from your heads and prefects duties until noon tomorrow. The teachers and I are all more than willing to take over for you so that you may all enjoy this evening. The Gala,” She smiled at me when she used the term, “Ends at midnight but curfew is at one,” This startled me a bit, as it was extremely generous, “Because I know how high energy levels can be after an event like this. The Grand Unmasking is at 11:30. Now, if you will all go to your positions, I will open the doors.”

As everyone scurried to their positions, Draco and I sat on the chairs next to the microphone on stage. The stage was where the teachers’ table normally is. The band was waiting in the room behind. Once everyone was ready McGonagall waved her wand and the doors opened, the students trickling in.

McGonagall, true to her word, took her place at the head mic at 8:45 and addressed the students. I didn’t really pay all that much attention to her as she explained the rules. I had them memorized because I had helped create them. Which is why it came a slight shock when I suddenly heard my name.

“Now If you will please welcome our heads, Mr. Draco Malfoy and Miss Hermione Zabini, who will be opening the Halloween Masquerade Gala with the first dance.” As she gestured to us, Draco pulled me up by the hand and led me down the steps to the center of the dance floor. McGonagall also came down as the band came out of the back room and onto the stage. There was some initial excitement when the band came out, then it quieted down as they stepped to their instruments, Gwen and Enjelou stepping to the two lead mics, and Gwen started counting in a very soft whisper.

“1, 2, a 1 2 3 4.” The music started, it was a soft slow beat. I smiled a little as I recognized one of My favorite songs by them, “Girl You Know.” I smiled at Gwen. When we had talked she had specifically asked what were some of the songs I liked by them when I mentioned that it was they who inspired me. I had told her this was my favorite. She winked. I turned back to Draco as Enjelou started to sing.

“Time is flying by so fast, I can’t seem to make it last, With You. And girl it seems that when I try, to make the sun stay in the sky, It won’t,” The bridge began and I let my head fall onto Draco’s shoulder, watching as Luna and someone I could only presume to be Neville, joined the dance floor to a few scattered applause.

“I’d spend forever, here in your arms, you knew if I only could. I’d spend forever, under the stars, girl you know I would,” As the chorus began, a few more couples joined us and I let my eyes flutter close.

“And girl - you know, I’ll be here forever, and girl- you know, I’ll never leave your side, and girl- you know, like birds of a feather, we’re meant to be together, girl –You know.” When the song lapsed into the second verse, I became aware of Draco’s smooth silky voice singing the words in my ear.

Every evening when we part, I think of all the laughs, I whisper goodnight, hold you in my arms, and know that this is right.” I smiled and looked up at him.

I glanced around and noticed that though the dance floor was nearly full, everyone had stopped dancing and was watching us. I blushed and hid my face in Draco’s chest. He chuckled and continued to spin me around the floor until the song ended. He led me off as the room applauded, even the band was applauding. I smiled courteously, though I wanted to hide. I never did like attention much.

Draco excused himself and I headed towards the table at the back, where I had left my cloak. I pulled my wand out and muttered the charm Ginny taught me, turning back into the green outfit. I put on my mask and turned towards the dance floor, intent on having a good time. I smiled and waved when I saw Ginny. She was dancing with someone in one of the most ridiculous outfits I had ever seen, but they seemed to be getting along well. I grinned and walked over to her.

“Hello Rose, how is your evening going?” The girls and I had decided to use our middle names this evening so that our identities could remain secret. She smiled, though she kept dancing with the gentleman.

“Quite delightfully my dear Jade, and yours?”

“Oh, very splendid indeed. Did you see the heads dancing?”

“Oh yes, didn’t they make the cutest couple?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that…” A slight blush tinted my cheek and I giggled. She rolled her eyes, giggling as well. The poor gentleman she was dancing with looked completely bewildered. We both looked at him and laughed. “Well, I’ll let you and…”

“He says his name for the evening is simply B.” I instantly realized who it was. I glanced at Ginny, who seemed to have no clue. I chuckled inwardly and finished my sentence.

“I’ll leave you and B alone then, I must be off, who knows, maybe I’ll find a prince charming of my own this evening.” I grinned and began walking around. I found a few other friends but was careful to make sure no one knew who I was other than the Ginny, Luna, and Felicity. I was just making my way to the punch when a guy in a black cloak and silver mask came up to me.

“Would you like to dance?” I thought his voice sounded familiar, but I couldn’t tell. It was obvious that he, like us girls, had used a voice altering charm. I bowed a little, laughing lightly.

“I’d be delighted good sir.” He offered his hand and led me out onto the dance floor just as the band struck up a tango-like beat. As we danced across the floor, I couldn’t help feel a connection to him. His eyes were so familiar as well. They looked exactly like Draco’s. But seeing as almost everybody at the Gala had charmed their looks, I figured it couldn’t be him.

Soon a circle formed, a totally of five couples dancing inside. Myself and my mystery man, Ginny and hers, then a couple I realized was Luna and Neville. Besides us there was also Felicity and some guy I didn’t recognize as well as Harry, who hadn’t bothered to change much at all, and his date, who was very obviously Taylor.

She wasn’t trying to hide her identity either. At one point I heard a squeal and saw, out of the corner of my eye, Harry accidentally knock Taylor to the ground. She stormed off, he running after yelling out apologies. Next Luna and Neville simply slowed to a halt and joined the circle around Ginny, Felicity, our dates and myself.

The final lines of the song finished and My mystery man swept me into a low dip on the final beat. I looked around at the thunderous applause to see Ginny and Felicity in similar poses with their partners. We grinned at each other before standing up, bowing and heading towards the snack table. We all got there at the same time, our dance partners trailing after. The dance floor filled out once more behind us. We all giggled when we got to the table. “Nice moves Rose you too Gwen!” I giggled. They laughed and we hugged each other. Felicity gently punched my arm.

“Not too bad yourself there Jade.”

“Yea girly, so, who’s your mystery man? Any ideas? I think I figured out who “B” is,” Ginny grinned and hugged the man standing behind her who put a gentle arm around her. I smiled at him.

*I can only presume that you are Hermione, because I am guessing that the woman in my arms is Ginny, am I correct?* Came the soft thoughts of my brother in my head. I laughed.

“Oh Rose, how can you be so sure?” Meanwhile I was thinking a response back. ‘Yes, dear brother, only no one is to know who I am until the grand unmasking at 11:30, okay?’  He nodded almost imperceptibly. I turned to Felicity. “So, Gwen, any ideas who you’re dancing with?” She shrugged.

“Not really, and I don’t really mind waiting until 11:30 to figure it out. I like surprises.” I smiled and felt a smooth arm wrap around my waist. “How about you Jade, who is your guy?” I looked up into those cool eyes that seemed so familiar. I shrugged nonchalantly.

“Who knows?” I added in a girlish titter and whispered in a spooky voice, “Maybe I am dancing with the Head boy himself! Oh, I bet that his girlfriend would be sooooo jealous!”

“Did you hear? People are saying that him and the head girl are totally hooking up! That Hermione girl! You know the one. The one who was originally a Gryffindor then turned traitor and became a Slytherin?” Ginny winked at me. I laughed. The man behind me stiffened however.

“She did not turn traitor. Miss Zabini was unaware of her heritage until her seventeenth birthday, at which time her true identity was revealed to her and the glamour charm cast on her as a child wore off. After her friends betrayed her, she joined the Slytherins because they had mostly been nice to her. Only a select few Slytherins had ever been truly hateful towards her. Most have not come back this year and those who have apologized profusely. Now, if you would kindly stop talking rumours about my friend I would be much appreciative,” With that he took a step back. I grinned and turned to the girls.

“Well girls, I suppose we had better lay off. Otherwise this dude here is going to roughen us up a bit.” We all laughed and whoever he was rolled his eyes.

 “Alright, enough bickering ladies and gents, let’s get back to having fun!” Felicity grinned, grabbing her man’s hand and dragging him onto the dance floor as a hearty rock tune began. We all laughed and followed her lead. As we were dancing someone came over and asked to dance with me. My mystery man reluctantly, though courteously, let me go and I was led away by this new guy. As soon as we were out of ear shot of my mystery guy, this new one pulled me close, a slow song starting at just the right moment. As he pressed himself against me he leaned close to whisper in my ear.

“Do you know where I can find the head girl? I have a message for her from the head boy,” his voice was low and sweet, meant to be seductive. I tried to pull back a little, but he wouldn’t let me.

“Yes, I am she, what is the message? And could you please loosen your grasp? You’re hurting me.” He pulled me even closer, forcibly steering me out onto one of the make-shift terraces that had been charmed to jut out from a few windows. He closed the doors behind us, locking them with his wand.

“The message, dear Miss Zabini, it to stay here. He will join us shortly. He wishes to speak to you.” I glared at him. I changed myself back using the charm Ginny had taught me, so I once again looked like Hermione Zabini, like I had to open the dance. Just then I saw a girl leading a very wary Draco towards us. The girl was very obviously, at least to me, Pansy Parkinson. I looked at the guy who had brought me out here.

“Who are you?” He morphed his looks and outfit and then attempted to grab me, but I was too quick for him. I dodged out of the way. “Sven Parkinson!” I dashed back into the hall, headed straight for Draco who was being led towards me by Pansy. He looked just as he had to open the ball as well. “Draco! It’s a trap!” He pulled away from Pansy and whipped out his wand.

“Parkinson! You said she was injured! What is the meaning of this?” Just then Sven came bursting in behind me and grabbed my waist, holding a knife to my throat.

“Drop your wand Zabini, or I slit your throat. You too Malfoy, wand down.” I dropped my wand, willing somebody to look to the back of the hall, willing somebody to notice what was going on. But over the loud music and the chatter, none of this was going to be noticed. A few tears slid down my face and I had a sense of déjà vu, remembering the time I had been held captive by Bellatix LeStrange in Draco’s own home last year, exactly like this. I could feel Sven’s knife pressed to the same scar. I winced as he pressed a little harder. Draco set his wand on the floor, glaring the whole time. Sven snickered and Pansy giggled in a high pitched manner that was not at all attractive. “Now, we are going to discuss this calmly and rationally. Well, as calmly and rationally as two captives and their captors can anyway,” He snickered again.

<Draco’s View>

As I watched the wretched excuse for a human hold a knife to my beloved Hermione’s throat I didn’t know what else to do.

“What do you want Parkinson?” He smirked at me, lowering his lips to her throat, keeping his eyes on me the whole time. I gritted my teeth.

“Well, for one, you will never have anything to do with her again,” He muttered low and threatening. Pansy then cackled and added in,

“She will go back to being Mudblood Granger…permanently.”

“You, Draco, will go back to dating my wonderful sister and I’ll take the mudblood myself,” I glared at them.

“And if I fail to accept these ridiculous terms?” I spat at them.

“We’ll kill her,” Came the low reply from that pile of filth. How dare he?

 I muttered a spell under my breath. Sven froze like water in the arctic and dropped like a stiff board. I sighed and muttered. “Pansy, don’t make me hurt you, you know how I dislike defeating poor defenseless wimpy girls like yourself,” She took one look at her brother and backed off. I ran to Hermione as Pansy tried to undo my wand less magic. I cradled her in my arms. “Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” I whispered to her.

<Hermione’s view>

As Draco cradled me in his arms, I noticed Pansy revive Sven out of the corner of my eye.

“Draco! Look out!” I shoved him to the out of the way, diving for my wand as Sven and Pansy both shot nonverbal spells at us. Draco grabbed his wand at the same time I did. We stood to face the twins, only to realize the entire hall was now watching. “As head girl I revoke your activity privileges. You will both receive double detentions and will be banned from further events. And your house will lose fifty points each. Now, you will both head back to your dorms or I will have to involve the headmistress,” I muttered low to them.

“No need, Miss Zabini, she is already involved,” Came the tart reply from off to my right. I turned my head a fraction to see Professor McGonagall standing there, nostrils flaring, hands on her hips, wand out, and an absolute look of hatred on her face as she glared at the Parkinson twins. I smirked at them, lowering my wand and stepping back. Draco put his wand back in his robes and stepped up behind me, resting one hand on my shoulder, the other on my hip. I blushed a little as he pulled me back against him. Pansy looked ready to cry, Sven looked ready to kill. “I agree with the terms set by Miss Zabini, now, go, the both of you, and if I catch you anywhere out of Slytherin House again this evening, I will personally see to it your family is contacted and you are expelled. Threatening the heads of house is a serious offense indeed!” She marched them from the hall. I turned to the crowd.

“Alright, that’s enough, scene’s over!” I called to the band on stage. “Gwen! How about a little music?” She nodded, grinning and struck up another song. As the crowd dissipated, going back to the party, I turned to my knight in shining armour. “You saved me, again.” He said nothing, he only stepped forward again and wrapped me in his arms, whispering in my ear, his breath hot on my skin,

“I thought I almost lost you!” He kissed me gently then pulled away to look at my face. “I’m sorry, but I have to go find that girl. Can I meet you back at the refreshment table in a few minutes?”

“Dray, it’s almost time for the unmasking. It’s 11:15 now. Why not just go find her and then I’ll see you after the grand unmasking? I have to find the guy I was dancing with as well,” I offered, though I was not willing to let go quite yet. He nodded, though I could see it was reluctant. We broke apart. As soon as he was out of sight, I changed back to my masquerade outfit, becoming Simply Jade once more. I searched through the loud dancing crowd, searching for my mystery man. I finally found him.

“Oh, there you are! I have been looking for you!” He shouted over the rock music. I smiled and offered my hand.

“Shall we dance?” The song ended and a cha-cha rhythm began. He nodded, though he looked a little put out. “So, since it’s almost time for the grand unmasking, are you going to tell me what your name is?”

“You can call me Lucus, and you are?”

“Jade, just Jade.” He smiled a little at me as we twirled around the dance floor. We danced through three more songs before Gwen called out the final dance before the grand unmasking. They struck up a hot rhythm and the crowd cheered and began dancing the well-known dance seen in the music video to the song. Lucus and I joined in as well, laughing along with everyone else. It was going to kill me to say goodnight to him. I felt a special connection with him, though I couldn’t quite tell what it was. As the song ended Gwen called everyone to silence.

“Okay everyone, let’s countdown to 11:30. When we hit one, remove your masks and charms, it’s time for the grand unmasking!” Everyone cheered and Gwen began the countdown. “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4….3……2……1!” Charms flew everywhere, masks coming off, there was laughing and shouting and gasps of shock. I turned to my mystery man and removed the charms on me at the same time he removed his own mask and charms. I let out a gasp and his eyes went wide.

Draco!?”  The shout was not my own. Astoria Greengrass stood next to my boyfriend, a smile of surprise on her face. “Well, here you are! You know, I’ve been trying to find you all night!” But Draco was still staring at me. I couldn’t believe I had been dancing with him all night and never realized it. He seemed just as shocked. However, as the music started up again, Astoria grabbed his hand and pulled him away. “Come and dance with me Dray!” I glared after them, and I wasn’t the only one. Ronald was standing where Astoria had left him, looking just as hurt and angry as me. Well, at least he deserved it. I glanced at Draco, not at all happy with his lack of response. He seemed to come to his senses however and stopped abruptly.

No, Astoria, only My Love can call me Dray. And I will not dance with you,” Draco wrenched his arm from her grasp and began stalking back to me. I was a little bewildered at the look on his face but as soon as his eyes connected with mine, all the stress seemed to melt away and he was smiling. I blushed and reached out a hand for him. He reached me and took hold of it. “Will you dance with me, Miss Zabini?” I nodded and he led me past Astoria, who was staring at us in shock.

“But…but…But Dray! How can you choose her over me! That filthy blood-traitor!” Draco whipped around, puling out his wand.

“Take. It. Back.” He seethed. “Now.” Even I was frightened. Astoria gulped but stood her ground.

“Dray, I don’t care who she is now, she is still that know-it-all Gryffindor Slut of a Princess at heart! And you know it! She is one of them! She was against us in the war Dray! She probably would have killed you given the chance!” Draco, at this point, was beyond anger. He marched right up to her and pressed his wand against her throat.

“That’s enough, Astoria. You know I NEVER agreed with that pureblood/ dirty blood crap! She is not a slut, She probably would have killed me yes, but only if I tried to kill her first, and I wouldn’t have, because I have loved her since third year, and that wasn’t about to change!!” The entire hall was watching once more as Draco and Astoria shouted.

However, with this announcement, many people gasped and reeled, there was a lot of out cries and mutterings. I glanced around, wishing I could shrink into myself and disappear. I felt the tears stinging at my eyes from what Astoria had said. Draco glanced back at me and saw this. Slowly he turned and walked back to me, embracing me in his arms, I hid my face in his chest. He muttered just loud enough to be heard, “You will leave Astoria, as head boy this is an order. You will go to your common room and you will stay there the remainder of the evening. 30 points will be docked from Slytherin. Now go.” Her lip trembled but she bit it and ran from the hall. “Go on, all of you, back to your dancing.”  I felt myself slowly being led somewhere.

 It wasn’t until I felt the cool night air that I realized we were out on the grounds. I lifted my head to finally realized I was floating a few inches above the ground, Draco steering me along. I looked around. We were at the broom shed. I looked at him gratefully. I beat him to the brooms and was in the air before he was even back out of the shed. We flew a few laps around the castle and I felt an odd sense of surrealism as I watched everybody still inside having fun and dancing. A few friends waved when they saw me through the windows, I waved back half heartedly, just wanting to get away.

I turned and headed for the forbidden forest, Draco following me without question. I don’t know how long we spent flying around the grounds, but I didn’t care. At one point, while I was hovering some 60 feet above Black Lake, Draco pulled up next to me, pulled me onto the back of his broom and charmed my broom to fly back to the broom shed. I clung to him, just glad to be away from the noise of the Gala. I spent the rest of the morning on the back of his broom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, so what did you think about the journal entry at the beginning? That’s a piece of Hermione’s journal, a journal that she began keeping after Christmas in her eighth year. The journal, as you will find out shortly, was given to her as a gift. Anyway, I hope you liked it. Did you see the hint? That she marries someone who, during this eighth year, she was in a majour fight with that many thought could not be overcome. My editor remarked I was being purposefully cruel when I added it in. I laughed and decided to do so more often. :D And what did you think of the dance? Hermione just can’t catch a break from the drama can she?  In any case, only a few questions remain. Will Hermione’s horrid nightmares return? What is this budding romance between the former enemies? What were Brandon and Blaise talking about!? Will the fight between the former golden trio ever end? What will happen with the Parkinsons and Astoria? And of course…Who on earth is Hermione going to marry!? All this to be answered. Stay tuned for our next episode. :D. And remember, review, review, review!!!!

 

~KittyKiss

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