Due to her long and heavy conversation with Blaise, Hermione had missed her first afternoon class. She had Arithmacy next with the Ravenclaws, and got to class just before the bells rang. The only open seat was next to Tyler, a Ravenclaw loner who was known to be quite the romantic. They didn’t talk at all during the period, though he would glance at her smiling every few moments. When they were finally dismissed, he followed her out of the classroom and into the crowded hallway.
“So Hermione, you look nice.” he said pleasantly.
Hermione tried to smile, but she had too much on her mind. “Yeah, thanks Tyler.”
He fell into step with her and offered to take her bag. As she absentmindedly handed it to him he said, “We should hang out sometime, you and I. I think,”
“That won’t be necessary.”
Both looked up to see the tall figure of Blaise Zabini glaring at Tyler. “This is none of your concern, Zabini.” Tyler said, placing a somewhat protective arm around Hermione, who just shrugged it off.
“It’s more my business than you’d know.” Blaise grabbed Hermione’s bag out of Tyler’s hand and held his hand out to Hermione. “I believe we have plans?”
Hermione remembered what her and Blaise had discussed, how she was to act unattainable which would make her seem more attractive to guys. Guys always wanted what they couldn’t have, and this was no exception. Ignoring the nervous flutters in her stomach, she took Blaise’s hand.
“Sorry Tyler, we do have plans. I’ll see you next class, alright?” And with that said, both her and Blaise turned.
Curiously shocked faces followed their every move. First Hermione shows up a completely different person, and by the afternoon she’s walking off with a Slytherin? What was going on in the castle this year!
They didn’t talk as they made their way to the Head’s dorm, instead walking in a somewhat comfortable silence and blocking out the chatter of gossip around them. When they entered the common room, Blaise flopped down on the nearest couch and beckoned her over. Hermione sat down next to him and loosely tied her hair back into a ponytail, her hands shaking.
During their conversation, Blaise had told her he would be the help and guidance she needed, not knowing she was following a book. He would act like the somewhat constant male in her life, and when they were alone he would help her work on her new image, though rumors would leak about them supposedly hooking up. She needed an intriguing reputation, and she wanted the attention of guys. It was so out of her nature but there was no turning back now.
“You handled Tyler well,” he observed, his fingers rubbing circles on her shoulder.
She sighed. “This... This is so uncomfortable for me...”
“Being with me like this? Or just the whole situation?”
“Both. I don’t know why you’re doing this... It’s, so uncharacteristic of you.”
His eyes sparkled as he gently turned her around, so her back was to him. He began massaging and waited a few minutes before answering. “Let’s just say that what I gain out of this will make everything worthwhile, and what you gain will be everything you dreamed of. I’m willing to work with you if it means I get what I want in the end.”
Her head tipped back from the wonderful feeling of his hands. “Which is?”
Blaise chuckled. “It’s irrelevant right now.”
Arithmacy was her last class of the day, as well as his, so they had the rest of the afternoon until dinner to work things out. As much as she hated to admit it, Blaise was a very in demand guy, and could give her all the pointers and help she needed to make her plan work. She wanted so badly for people to see her in a different light, as someone attractive and beautiful and more than just intellect. Blaise could help her achieve that, and in the end, she could cast him away. She could put off him “having her” for as long as necessary, so long that it might not even happen.
“So tell me, what exactly is your plan?” she asked, leaning back into his chest with her eyes closed. Blaise thought he was playing her, but she would be the ultimate winner, deceiving him every step of the way and letting him think he was in control.
His arms wrapped around her waist. “What you’re doing right now? You need to do it in public, where people will see. You’ll give the appearance of being a total package because you’re with me, and it’ll make girls envious and guys hungry for you.”
“You make it sound so easy.”
Blaise shrugged. “It is. But for you, it might be a bit harder.”
Hermione ignored the dig and sat up. “Let’s practice something.”
“Practice what, Granger?”
She faced him and wound her arms around his neck. “We want everything to look real, right?” He nodded. “Then let’s practice making our kisses as real as possible.”
Blaise smirked. “It seems I underestimated you.”
He wound his hand in her hair, cupping her head and pulling her face closer to his. He kissed her softly at first, then hungrier and greedier. She might be a Gryffindor with dirty blood, but she was hot and it was all he could do to not take advantage of the situation.
“What the fuck is this!?”
They pulled apart and looked at a very angry Draco Malfoy, standing behind the couch glaring down at them. He couldn’t believe his best friend was swapping spit with the mudblood! How could he have fallen for her pathetic little rouse at being... Well, attractive? She was Granger for crying out loud! Not worthy and certainly not touchable!
Blaise composed himself and looked at Hermione, who smirked at Malfoy. “None of your damn business,” she said.
Blaise leaned forward and pecked her cheek, then stood up. She followed suit and wrapped her arms around Blaise’s tall, toned body. “You can’t have everything mate.” Blaise said simply, then slapped Hermione’s ass and left.
Draco stood glaring at Hermione for a few moments after Blaise left, then spat, “Mudblood.”
Though it hurt, Hermione’s features remained unchanged. Instead of responding she cocked an eyebrow at him then retreated up to her room. Draco was stunned. Things were changing drastically and quickly, before he knew it all of the boys would be after Granger’s knickers. The whole school would be chasing after the scum of the Earth! A waste of magical talent. He couldn’t believe his best friend was the first to succumb. Frustrated, he threw his bag against the wall and stormed into his room to lie down.
In her own room, Hermione was opening up The Art of Seduction to the end of the Siren chapter, where the Dangers section was.
“No matter how enlightened the age, no woman can maintain the image of being devoted to pleasure completely comfortably. And no matter how hard she tries to distance herself from it, the taint of being easy always follows the Siren. Cleopatra was hated in Rome as the Egyptian whore. That hatred eventually led to her downfall, as Octavius and the Roman army sought to extirpate the stain on Roman manhood that she came to represent. Even so, men are often forgiving when it comes to the Siren’s reputation. But danger often lies in the envy she stirs up among other women; much of Rome’s hatred for Cleopatra originated in the resentment she provoked among the city’s stern matrons. By playing up her innocence, by making herself seem the victim of male desire, the Siren can somewhat blunt the effects of feminine envy. But on the whole there is little she can – her power comes from her effect on men, and she must learn to accept, or ignore, the envy of other women.”
Envy of other women... Yes, that’s what she wanted. She wanted girls to finally envy her, instead of the other way around. She wanted to be able to hold the upper hand, have all the boys wanting her and only her. Blaise could help her do that, he could aide her in playing up her innocence. He could help block out the way the other girls would undoubtedly react to her new looks and power. She would him. He was going to be the biggest help she could ask for, and with his reputation already established, it would just make securing hers all the easier. It would seem like she was an add-on to his fame, but when the time came, he’d be gone and everyone would see that she had the upper hand. Because she did have the upper hand, even if Blaise thought it was really him.
She spent the rest of the time until dinner trying to do the homework she’d been assigned that day, but her thoughts were too busy to concentrate. How could a little book already do all this? Get her attention from guys, get a somewhat-sort-of-kind-of boyfriend who was going to help her become the most attractive girl in school, lose a friend... It was alot to take in. It seemed... Sudden. But she’d be lying if she said she didn’t like it. It was what she should’ve had the previous 6 years, but now with her new tools, she could finally have it all.