Hermione didn’t want to miss any classes, however the professors were right, they should have stopped dancing earlier, and if they didn’t do something their muscles would lock up. Hermione decided on a cold shower and gel packs on her legs, but didn’t wanted to take an ice bath and then have to wait to warm up again.
For courtesy’s sake Hermione decided to shower in shorts and a sports bra so that Draco could us the bath if he wanted. She walked into the bathroom to find Draco already there.
“I was going to use the bath…”
“Great, I was just going to shower… like this, so you can go ahead and use the bath.”
At Transfiguration Later
“Hermione thank you for joining us. Why are you late?” McGonagall asked.
“Professor Miranda was supposed to inform you. They unintentionally kept me dancing too long and I had to go and cool out and prevent my muscles from locking up.”
“And Mr. Malfoy?”
“He’s still taking his ice bath,” Hermione replied.
“Oh my, well, you will catch him up later then.” She nodded and took her seat quickly.
Hermione was surprised to find that Draco didn’t attend any other classes that day. Their schedules weren’t identical, but they shared several classes.
“You shouldn’t be shocked,” Hermione told herself, “he would take any excuse he could to skive off class.” She made her way back to the Heads dorm at the end of the day, fully prepared to tell Draco off. She entered the common room and upon not finding him there she went upstairs to the level that their rooms were on. She was about to storm in when she heard a strange sound coming from Draco’s room.
At first Hermione thought she might have heard hissing, “Does he have a snake in there?”. She realized it was coming from the bathroom so she crept back to her room and peered through the crack in the door. What she saw literally ripped her heart out.
Draco was inside, and Hermione in the few seconds she watched saw him cut his arm and heal it again. What could have possibly made him this miserable?
Hermione continued to watch and realized it wasn’t as she initially thought. Draco was healing himself, though it was from a different kind of skin wound. Draco was putting dry ice on his leg, pulling it off and healing it. She was dying to know why, but she wouldn’t admit to spying and so she left the door, unnoticed, or so she thought.
“Is there something you would like to know?” Draco asked coldly. He scared Hermione badly by sneaking up on her when her back was to the door.
“Wha- Oh Draco you scared me,” She breathed heavily.
“Malfoy. Call me Malfoy. I am not on first name basis with any spies,” He ordered coldly.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were hurt, I heard the hissing and-“
“Well, I’m not hurt, and appreciate if next time you are concerned you simply inform me of your concerns, and I will address them,” He left the room coldly, almost leaving an icy breeze. Hermione shuddered.
The next morning Hermione accidentally overslept. It was something that never happened unless Hermione went to bed upset, and in fact she had been upset at Draco’s clear displeasure with her. Honestly Hermione didn’t know why she cared. After all, it wasn’t as if Draco had ever cared. At least it seemed that way.
A shaft of light suddenly spurred Hermione’s instincts.
“Get up,” A sharp voice barked at her, “You overslept, and I do not want to look stupid by showing up for dance without a partner.” With that her door was slammed shut.
It took only moments for Hermione’s senses to snap back into place and she began to race around her room dressing and gathering her bags. Thanks to the aid of magic she managed to be out of her room and on the way to dance within minutes.
Upon entering the room Hermione rushed to change before realizing that she had no idea what she should be changing for.
“Professors, what will Malfoy and I be doing today?” She asked breathlessly.
“Ballet,” the word had barely escaped Professor Isabel’s mouth before Hermione shot to the changing room. She pulled on tights, a leotard and pointe shoes. She then proceeded to bun her hair before returning to the room.
“Okay classe,” Professor Isabel reverted to her native Spanish momentarily, “We will be testing the intermediates today, and it will take the whole period. For that reason the beginners are to go to the studio next door. There we will have you two,” She pointed at Draco and Hermione, “Practice ballet. It was your weakest, but that doesn’t mean much considering what we are comparing it to. The rest of you are to watch. “
The groups did as they were instructed and Draco and Hermione sullenly went next door. They wanted to be as far from one another as possible. The two professors stayed with the group they were testing so when they reached the other room Draco and Hermione did not hold back their thoughts for one another. The beginners sat against the wall as Draco and Hermione went to the bar. Hermione and Draco put a leg on it and began to stretch.
“Draco, I wanted to inform you that I have concerns that your end of the bar looks loose,” Hermione mocked the cold way he’d wanted her to speak to him.
“Well thank you for informing me of your concerns,” Draco flicked his wand quickly and the bar adjusted, “but you should mind your own business.”
“Forgive me if I don’t want to deal with an injured dance partner,” Hermione switched legs.
“It’s not as if you want me for your dance partner,” Draco snarled.
“Maybe I would want you for my dance partner if you didn’t act like everyone word I spoke had potential to be a killing curse,” Hermione growled right back. They glared at one another as they finished their warm up.
Draco turned on the music and began some basic moves as the warm up continued.
“I think they wanted us to work on ballet so you could strengthen your wobbly arabesque,” Draco pointed out as they came together to really begin.
“My arabesque is fine. I wobbled because your lift was unstable,” She accused.
“You didn’t mind my lifting on the sauté yesterday,” Draco shot back. Hermione groaned in frustration.
“Fine, you know what, I’ll arabesque, you watch, just see how long I can hold and not wobble,” Without waiting on agreement Hermione rolled up on point, raised her other leg parallel with the ground, and raised her arms slowly to be level with her sides.
Hermione stood rock firm.
“See,” Hermione gloated.
“Really, you think this proves something?” Draco grew smug, “Stay balanced.” He took her raised leg and gave a push to begin a common paired arabesque pirouette. She remained solid.
“Anything else?” Hermione probed.
“If you think my lift is so bad, let’s try it again,” He was clearly still annoyed. Hermione tightened her muscles as she prepared for the lift.
Draco put a hand on her raised thigh and her torso to lift her, and lo and behold, she wobbled. Her legs had remained stiff though, so she didn’t understand where the wobble came from.
“See, you wobbled!”
“I was tight though. I don’t understand how I could have wobbled,” Hermione answered. She was still guarded, but at least she wasn’t accusing him.
“Your muscles are too tight,” Draco had a realization, “Loosen up and when I pick you up for the lift you’ll flow upwards with the lift instead of being grounded down from the tightness of the muscles.” The pair tried it again, and then this time had success.
“Better,” Professor Carlos came in at that moment, “But cool out then go change we don’t want you two missing more classes.” The two did as instructed and parted ways. Draco to charms and Hermione to ancient runes. It was one of the classes Hermione had with Ginny. Because of the insane previous year the students who were in their actual 7th year (such as Ginny and Luna) had a mix of classes, some 6th year classes and some 7th year classes.
Upon joining Ginny in class Hermione noticed that her friend bore an unhappy expression.
“What’s wrong Ginny?” Hermione asked.
“I just came from Defense Against the Dark Arts. I’m a teacher’s assistant in that class and not only did I find out that my primary teacher will be Davies, not Harry, but it was made clear to me that he did not approve of my being a teacher’s assistant but that he could do nothing to change it.’
“Ginny, don’t worry what he thinks. He’s wrong, your Defense skills are amazing, right up there with Harry and I. Honestly, I don’t know a single Weasley who doesn’t have amazing dueling skills. Davies is probably just jealous of your bat bogey hex, like everyone else in the world,” Hermione worked to try and cheer up her friend. She knew the real issue was that she wanted to see Harry in class, but wasn’t given the chance, probably at Harry’s smart choice, if Hermione had to guess.
Ginny just had to smile to show her appreciation because the professor chose that moment to walk in.
At lunch Hermione sat with Neville, Luna and Ginny. The conversation was okay, thanks to Neville and Luna, but Ginny was still sulking.
“Attention,” McGonagall’s small frame rose and began to speak, “Now that you have all settled in this year I have an announcement. The ministry has decided to host a dance competition for Hogwarts students at the years end. For more information speak with either Professor Miranda, there is prize money offered.” She sat down and the hall grew abuzz.
“Good luck to you all,” Neville said cheerily, “But we all know that I have about as much chance of winning a dance competition as the Cannons do of beating… anyone.” Ginny chuckled a little at this, but Luna and Hermione simply shared a confused look.
“Well, I will see you all later, I’m off to Potions,” Ginny stood and dragged herself off to class.
“I’m off as well,” Neville added brightly, making it clear by his happiness he was headed to herbology.
“Divination for me,” Luna announced and pranced off to her class with Firenze. Hermione decided to leave early for her class rather than sit there, alone. She stood by the door to Professor Flitwick’s class when someone came up behind her unexpected.
“Michael,” Hermione gasped, “You scared me half to death.”
“Sorry,” He shrugged sheepishly, “But I wanted to ask you a favor.”
“Sure, name it,” She replied.
“Well, I was wondering, if you had time, if you could help me with my dancing? I could really use the prize money since I’d like to start a book store after Hogwarts, but I’ve no start up money,” He explained, face reddening from embarrassment.
“Sure,” Hermione decided on the spot, “But I must tell you my own dance partner comes first, you know how it is.” Hermione hated uttering those words, considering who her partner was, but anyone who dances understands that dance partners had to take care of each other. What Hermione had no idea of is that her partner would soon need her to take care of him off the dance floor…