At the end of the week, on Friday, was the first Prefects meeting with the Head Boy and Girl.
Hermione and Blaise had spent the week together, sitting next to each other in class and spending the evenings in the Head’s common room, even though it annoyed Draco greatly. Hermione was still bothered about the sudden change in Blaise, and how he was so willing to do whatever she needed. She wanted to know what he was going to gain out of it, but everytime she asked he replied with his same answer that it was irrelevant. He still teased her and made her feel inferior at times but what she was learning from him was valuable knowledge.
Since she had been spending all that time with him, The Art of Seduction hadn’t been read since Monday. She had finished the Siren chapter and wanted to focus on fine tuning that before moving on to the next seducer, the Rake.
Hermione sighed and stormed to her door then opened it loudly. “WHAT MALFOY?”
“MEETING. HURRY UP. I CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT YOU!”
She sighed and exited her room, slamming the door behind her and stomping down the stairs. “Listen Malfoy, this is our first meeting and we have to set a good example and a strong united front for the Prefects.”
Draco sighed with annoyance and started leaving the common room. “Whatever you say.”
They made their way silently to the Meeting Room near the Prefect’s bathroom, arriving first and sitting down next to each other. Hermione pulled out a folder from her bag with a list of topics. Draco’s eyes wandered over it but he lost interest quickly and chose to lean his head back and close his eyes. If she wanted to run the meeting, he’d be glad to let her do so. He didn’t even want to be there.
There were 6 prefects per house, resulting in 24 total. By the time the meeting started at 7, everyone was assembled and talking amongst themselves. The main topic, still, was the drastic transformation of Hermione. It was odd to go from being a somewhat disheveled and near invisible girl to being the female that every guy was constantly looking at for, just to catch a glimpse.
Hermione, though she was still committed to keeping it up, was beginning to think more everyday at how superficial the whole thing was. They were attracted to her clothes and makeup, not who she was as a person. But it was still attention nonetheless, and maybe she’d find someone who would like her mind just as much as they liked her body. As much as she hated to admit it, it was kind of nice having Blaise around. He was actually quite smart, but his laziness won over. He made her laugh and being with him had aroused a suspicion around Hermione, a big intrigue. It was what she wanted, and it would’ve taken alot long if she didn’t have Blaise. In short, she was thankful.
But he was delusional if he was expecting her to say that.
“SHUT UP.” All eyes turned to Draco as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on the long table before him, where he sat at the head with Hermione. “Start the meeting Granger.”
Fighting the urge to blush, Hermione stood up. “Thank you for arriving on time. Is everyone he,”
“They’re all here.”
Hermione glared at Draco then faced the rest of the table, picking up the folder. “Pass around these papers, take one each. It’s a list of topics we need to cover and things we need to decide on. I plan on running this meeting and all others in a respectful way, which means being polite and courteous of others as they talk and give their opinion.”
Ron, who was sitting in the last chair at the end, narrowed his eyes as she said this. “How long is this going to take?”
“As long as it damn well needs to.” Draco replied, before grabbing the paper out of Hermione’s hands. “Ok. Point one is breaks. Why do we have to talk about breaks?”
Hermione sighed. “Because teachers have been receiving complaints from the younger students about not getting free periods like we do. McGonagall advised that we discuss wether it’s fair to add a free period for 1st through 5th years.”
Tyler, the Ravenclaw boy Hermione had Arithmacy with, raised his hand. “I think it’s something to consider.”
Draco rolled his eyes. “Why is that?”
“Well, they take the same classes we do...”
“So? Their tests aren’t nearly as challenging as ours, 6th and 7th years are trying to plan for the future. We need that time. If you let the younger students have free periods, it completely ruins our focus. I guarantee it.”
Hermione was surprised to find she agreed. “He has a good point, Tyler. What does everyone else think?” No one said anything. “Well I guess let’s just vote since no one wants to talk...”
“All in favor of adding free periods for the younger set?” Draco asked, counting only 6 hands. “Well I guess they’ll be disappointed. Moving on.”
“Next is robes.” Hermione announced.
“What about them?” Draco asked.
“Students have been requesting that instead of the all black robes with a house crest, the robes are the house colors with a Hogwarts crest. Like scarlet robes for Gryffindor with a Hogwarts crest, emerald for Slytherin and so on.”
Despite the majority of prefect’s heads agreeing, Draco laughed. “That’s stupid.”
“It’s not stupid if it’s an issue continually brought up to the Heads of House.”
“Well the idiots who keep asking are exactly that: idiots. No one wants to parade around in a scarlet colored robe.”
He had a point. “Fine. All in favor of keeping black robes?” All but 2 hands shot into the air. “Good.”
Draco rolled his eyes. “Dances is next.”
“We need to set a date for the next dance and figure the details.” Hermione said as she sat down.
Ginny raised her hand. “A Halloween dance, perhaps? On Halloween night?”
Hermione wrote it down. “That sounds do-able, but only leaves about 2 months to plan. Any other suggestions?”
“How about no dance at all?” Draco said, rolling his eyes as Hermione glared at him.
“All in favor of a Halloween dance?” Hermione said, excited that everyone but Draco raised their hands. “I’ll draw up a list of groups we need to get everything taken care of, make sure you sign up for at least one thing on your way out.”
“Fantastic. What’s left?” Draco asked, slouching further in his chair.
Hermione eyed the list. “Hogsmeade trip. What’s a good weekend?” No one raised their hands. “Ok. Why is no one talking?”
Tyler’s hand hesitantly went into the air. “I think we’re all too preoccupied with thoughts of your recent, shall we say, changes...”
Hermione blushed nervously. “That’s not what these meetings are about.”
A 5th year Hufflepuff named Luke raised his hand. “I think if you want to change yourself than you should...”
Ron laughed. “You have no idea how wrong you are.”
Hermione glared at Ron. “Change is inevitable in every aspect of life.”
Everyone could feel the tension between the two. Draco, though, was highly amused. “We all know you’ve had a crush on Granger since 1st year, Weasley. Are you upset that now she’ll find someone better?”
Ron’s ears turned vibrant red. “Shut your mouth, Malfoy.”
Draco laughed, and Hermione smacked him to stop. They were supposed to be setting an example, not egging on house rivalries. “I don’t think is an appropriate conversation for a Prefect’s meeting.”
Ginny, though embarassed by her brother, was very curious about the reasons for her change as well. “Well we’ve covered every topic on the list...”
Hermione was taken aback. “That’s not important. What I chose to do with myself is not the business of every student in Hogwarts.”
“You made it everyone’s business with that entrance of yours the first day of class!” Ron exclaimed. “You think that you can wear tighter shirts and shorter skirts and put some makeup on to make guys want you, but it won’t change who you are inside. You’ll still be an annoying overachiever and no one wants to put up with a snob.”
A hushed silence fell over the teenagers. Hermione felt like she had been slapped across the face. It was humiliating and hurtful and so... Not Ron. What had she done to deserve that? Why was it ok for other girls to grow up and dress differently but once she did, she was criticized? Sure it was later than most but it was exactly what every other girl in this school had done, what every girl everywhere had done! Ron had no right to say that to her... Again...
Tears were threatening to fall and her hands, as she hid them in her lap under the table, began to shake.
“Weasley, detention. For two nights. Meeting dismissed.” Draco said, standing up and staring them all down.
Hermione stared at the table as the Prefects pilled out of the room, gossiping about what had just happened. Ron lingered but with a glare from Malfoy, finally left. She couldn’t believe how immature everyone was acting... So what if she wanted to wear makeup or shorten her skirts. She had every right to do that! There was no rule that said she couldn’t. It was her body and her face and she wanted to do it.
“Thanks for that...” Hermione said softly, standing up and gathering the remainder of papers. “Oh crap, I forgot the sign up sheet!”
“Don’t worry about it Granger, just put it up later.” Draco replied.
She sighed. “I guess I’ll ju-,”
Both Head’s looked up to see Blaise standing in the door way, a concerned look on his face. “Blaise? What are you doing here?” she asked, rushing to shove everything back in her bag.
“I was passing the room as you dismissed the Prefects, they’re all talking about how upset you are. What happened?”
Draco snorted. “Oh please. What are you really doing here Zabini?”
Blaise glared at his best friend. “Checking on my girlfriend.”
Both Draco and Hermione choked on the word. “Girlfriend?” Hermione asked.
Blaise nodded and came in, pulling Hermione to him. “Just go along with it,” he whispered in her ear. “Yes Draco, my girlfriend. Got a problem with that?”
“Are you out of your bloody mind!?”
Hermione shrank slightly into Blaise; Draco’s outbursts were always a little frightening. “Just leave us alone, Malfoy.”
Draco laughed. “You’re insane Blaise, parading around with the mudblood. Your parents would be furious.”
“Don’t you ever call her that again.” Blaise grabbed Hermione’s bag and led her out of the room.
“What was all of that about?” Hermione asked weakly, trying to keep up with Blaise’s hurried strides.