Pansy wasn’t at breakfast the next morning. Blaise said that she had seemed pretty upset when he had seen her in the common room and had told him that she wasn’t going. Draco shrugged his shoulders as he bit into his toast and took a swig of his pumpkin juice.
“I take it that you’re the reason she’s pissed?” Blaise asked him. Draco rolled his eyes and pushed his plate away from him.
“It’s not my bloody fault that she can’t handle honesty.”
“Ah, but there’s the trick my friend… Your ‘honesty’ hurts like hell.”
Draco outright smirked because he knew that it was the truth. Some people called him a liar, of which he constantly denied because he didn’t lie per-se. He exaggerated the truth, and the only reason he did that was because nobody liked it when he was being honest. Like Blaise had just told him, his honesty hurt, but didn’t the truth always?
“…You never told me how it went yesterday.”
“Well, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, I don’t have a funny story to tell.”
“Really now..?” Blaise said in surprise. “Granger letting down her guard for you already…?”
“Not quite, not quite, but we did have a bit of a conversation yesterday. For people like us, complete polar opposites, it was very good to say the least. Can’t say that it’ll happen again, though,”
“Eh, I’ve got a bit of a row to have with her. Miss No-One’s-Better-Than-Me is under the impression that I’m like the rest of these imbeciles and that I haven’t a literate bone in my body.”
Blaise, who had just finished swallowing the last bit of his breakfast, had begun to laugh. Draco wasn’t quite expecting that sort of response, but he supposed it was plausible. He only read when he was sure that he was alone, so how would his best mate know? Sighing, Draco looked up from the table in just enough time to see that Granger was walking out of the Great Hall.
“Well, looks like it’s time to go.”
“Shall I hear an interesting story this time around?”
Like yesterday Draco got to the Advanced Transfiguration classroom after the door had been unlocked. He slipped himself inside and sure enough Granger was sitting in her usual spot with her book out. Draco smirked when upon inspection that the book that she had out was Andres McCarthy’s. Like as if she was waiting for me… He thought, and pulled out his chair rather loudly in order to catch her attention. It worked, a bit, for Granger visibly flinched and looked as if she would’ve turned around, but had decided against it. Draco supposed that he would have to initiate the conversation once again.
“How far have you gotten?” Draco asked as he sat down. He could still sense some hesitancy, but it was to be expected. He let the question linger and heard her turn a page.
“…Halfway through,” She replied softly. “I should be finished by tomorrow, Sunday the latest.”
“For Merlin’s sake, Granger, it’s a little more than a thousand pages.” He said, truly astounded. “When did you even start reading it?”
Granger had turned around in her seat to face him on that last note, and actually flashed a smile. Draco wanted nothing more than to wipe that grin from off of her face. She was gloating. It was one of those I’m-better-than-you smiles which she had no right to give. Well, I did say that I was going to have a row with her...he thought, and sighing, Draco slammed his text book shut and stared at her.
“Well, you’re just bloody proud of yourself, now aren’t you?”
“Excuse me?” Hermione said with a brow cocked, but the look of irritation on his face couldn’t be denied.
“You heard me. What, are you expecting to get some sort of prize for being able to finish a heavy volume in just three days?”
“Look, Malfoy, I don’t know what your problem is, but you asked me a question, and I answered it.”
“Yeah, you answered it alright…with an unnecessary smug look on your face like as if you’re the only person who could finish that book in record time. For your information I finished the book in two days.”
“Oh, well, congratulations. Do you want a prize for finishing the book in record time?”
For the first in all his life, Draco had nothing to say. He had yet to come up against someone who had a quicker tongue than he did, and it drove him mad to know that it was Granger. Before he could react, she had already turned back around in her seat and the door to the classroom had opened. Other students were beginning to pile into the room. His and Granger’s conversation was done for now and, unfortunately, it had ended with the mudblood having the upper hand.
“Granger’s the biggest pain the arse I’ve ever met.” Draco groaned as he sat on the edge of his bed that night. Blaise, whose bed was directly the next one over, was laughing hysterically, because his best mate had just finished telling him of the day’s events.
“I hate to say this, but I think you’ve found the female equivalent of you.”
“Is that supposed to be funny?”
“Come on, you’ve got to face it. Granger’s your rival. She shut you up for Merlin’s sake. Give the mudblood some credit.”
“I can’t believe you’re bloody enjoying this.”
“Yeah, I am.” Blaise chuckled. “Look, no hard feelings, but if you were me, you’d find this amusing too.”
That night Draco went to bed full of so much irritation that he thought would catch a fit in his sleep. First Granger shut him down completely, and now Blaise, his best friend, was laughing at him! Draco knew that his friend didn’t truly mean it, but that meant nothing. He felt like he was getting absolutely nowhere. It was like as if he was taking two steps forward just to take four steps back. It was maddening. To top things off the day was Friday. Draco would have to execute his next course of actions over the weekend –a setting he hadn’t had the opportunity to test yet. But he knew that whatever happened the next day, he had to come out on top.
Now normally Draco would sleep in on a Saturday, but unfortunately he had some business to attend to. After Peeves’ little update about Granger, he had learned that she was prone to taking lone walks on the castle grounds early in the morning after grabbing something to eat. Draco hadn’t a single idea what part of the grounds she’d be wandering, or even what sort of conversation (or argument) was going to take place, but he had decided that he was just going to wing it. By the end of the day they had to reconcile, if not things would only get harder.
Draco wondered exactly how they were going to do just that, but he didn’t have much time to dwell on it because after keeping a watchful eye on the Hogwarts grounds, he found her sitting alone by one of the trees near the lake. He found it rather strange to have to go up to her, and imagined what her reaction would be. When he finally got up to her, his guess had been wrong for she casually looked up at him and then turned her attention back to the lake.
“…It’s funny,” Hermione said calmly. “I imagined you as the sleep-in-late kind of person.”
“And I am,” Draco told her, not quite daring to sit down next to her though he was tired of standing up. “Couldn’t really stay asleep this morning is all,”
“And you’re telling me this because…?”
“Because you’re the only other person up at this inhumane hour,”
Aside from the fact that Draco found it necessary to talk to her, it was true. Saturday mornings were the absolute best time for sleep since no one in their right mind would be up so early.
“For Merlin’s sake, Malfoy, it’s only nine in the morning.”
“Like I said,” He reiterated. “An inhumane hour,”
A subtle and nerve-wracking silence filled up the air between them. This would’ve been the perfect cue to walk away, or sneer, or give one of his riveting comments. But the conversation that they were about to have had to be sensible, and so, there was only one way Draco knew of to make that happen.
“I’m surprised you’re not reading that book.” He told her as he leaned up against the tree with his arms crossed. He was sure that there was a look of anger in his eyes. He was still rather pissed off at her from the day before, and he knew that she knew.
“I finished it late last night.” Hermione told him. She looked up at Draco and to be honest her stare startled him, because she looked just as irate as he did. “And for your information I wasn’t trying to show off yesterday. It’s not my fault you can’t handle a bit of competition.”
“I don’t give a rat’s arse about competition.”
“Oh, you don’t?” She replied with sarcasm and a raised brow. Draco scowled. She thinks she’s so cute… He thought, and then began wondering what Granger would do if he had ran a hand through her hair. She probably would’ve cursed him and tried throwing him into the lake, which was part of the reason why he didn’t do it.
“And what’s with the sudden interest in me all of a sudden?”
Draco’s gaze caught hers in a millisecond. Here he was thinking that he was being subtle when apparently it wasn’t subtle enough. Well, you are dealing with a smart witch…
“…Would you believe me if I said that I was trying to change?” He lied blindly. To that response Granger laughed. She laughed so hard that tears began to cascade down her cheeks and wiping them away wasn’t doing much good. Draco was growing impatient and was fighting the urge to throttle her.
“What the hell is so funny?”
“You are,” Hermione said betwixt her fits of giggles. “I thought you were a good liar, but obviously you aren’t.”
Draco watched her stand to her feet and then turn to face him. Her laughter had died down, and now she was staring at him with one of her more serious expressions.
“Alright, Malfoy, now listen up. I wish I could say that I didn’t know you, but I do. You only hang around people who aren’t in your ‘circle’ unless you want something. So, I’ll give you the chance now to tell me exactly what you want from me.”
“…I need a tutor.”
“A tutor…? You need a tutor?”
“Yeah, that’s right.” Draco told her with a smile. It was an on-the-spot lie, but it was right better than saying that he wanted to shag her so that she’d become his ultimate victory. “I’m not doing so hot in Advanced Transfiguration and you are the smartest one in the class.”
Granger eyed him suspiciously. She shook her head and huffed before walking away from him without giving him an answer.
“Hey, where are you going?” Draco called after her.
“Away,” She called back. “Isn’t it obvious?”
Draco was on the verge of killing Granger. What did she bloody want from him? She asked what she had wanted form her, and he told her. It was a lie of course, but the answer should’ve satisfied her. As he was writing these things in his journal that night, he began berating himself on how stupid he had been. Of course Granger hadn’t believed him. She was in the top of the class and Draco himself was number two. Aside from her, he was the one who answered all of Professor McGonagall’s questions. And he received close, if not the same, grades as Granger did. So why on earth would Draco need a tutor?
“Because I’m about to fail a test,” He said aloud, and smirked broadly. In all his Hogwarts years, Draco had yet to fail an exam, but as of right now, he didn’t have a way to get closer to Granger, and this was an absolute guarantee.
author's note:another chapter, yey! hope you all liked it, and please leave a review!