The first thing Hermione could recall on how it all began was the taste of Draco’s lips on her, Sweet, arrogant and deep. So one can complain on how arrogance could be tasted, but Hermione was Hermione and that was how she saw it. Arrogance could be tasted, much like hatred- hatred tasted like blood, and love with hatred tasted like a kiss with blood.
Some say that love knows no bounds, or people or wealth- even opposites attract. But Hermione had one problem; she had all of those ‘afflictions’ aforementioned and she loved Draco Malfoy to the point of destruction.
It didn’t start out simple enough where hate turned to love. It had its tremendous upsets, marred with emotional setbacks and denial. It was their last year in Hogwarts. She was Head Girl, while some Ravenclaw; Head Boy. She had her trials that day, mostly related to academics and the planning of the special holidays Hogwarts was about to have.
It was the first month of September, when Slytherin lad and Gryffindor lass first had a strange sort of connection that would later shock the school year and the students, and even until they had all graduated.
It was six-thirty in the morning and Hermione went to the library sitting at the right most corner; after a very early breakfast to catch on reading her notes for an exam under Professor Sprout. Her minute handwriting was fifty-two pages worth in her notebook of a hundred leaves and classes had just started five days ago. She had a purpose to be busy. This is training, she thought, willing herself to keep busy and keep herself at the top of her game or their N.E.W.T.S. And she began, clenching a fist, recalling the horrible turn out of events the day after Hogwarts begun its term. She shook her head and willed herself again to concentrate-
Aconite. An extremely poisonous plant (hence its other name of wolfsbane). It is also called monkshood because the shape of the flowers somewhat resembles a monk's cowl…if I used this to put it in his- argh! Stop it Hermione…okay…so this poison that- if he drank it with butterbeer he wouldn’t get to taste the bitterness in it much…if I could just- Okay! Hermione concentrate, please! Bloody hell! I am going to use this to poison him- calm down, Hermione. He didn’t break up with you, you broke up with him…Yeah, I still feel miserable, the cheating son-of-a- Hermione! Study! Study! Herbology exam worth two hundred points…I swear, I’m going to watch him choke on his butterbeer once I’m through with-
She heard a thudding sound a few feet away from her- coming from one of the bookshelves behind her. She stood up, wondering if it was Neville again, carrying a ridiculous stack of Herbology books like the last time she saw him. She walked for the person, knelt near a bookshelf, grabbing the books from the cold stone floor. She began to help the young lad and when she looked up he scowled.
Her eyes narrowed and she said nothing more as she gave him the last book. That was Draco Malfoy, the bastard that he was. No ‘thank you’ for the early morning ‘help’ at all.
Draco’s head conjured something. He recalled with relish the events that happened the second day after the school term began…
Hermione gasped a gasp audible enough for everyone to hear. “Her?“ she repeated in the sudden stillness of the hallway. Classes had been dismissed and Ron wanted to tell her something important…
Ron’s face looked redder than his hair. “Hermione keep- keep your voice down! Please?“
“And let you get away with it?“ her voice piped to a higher tone. She was not letting him get away with it. He was going to pay. He was going to pay dearly…Hermione felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked at Harry’s troubled green eyes. “You knew, right? All summer when I wasn’t with you guys? You knew!“
Harry’s hand dropped and he sighed. Of course he knew. Ron was his best mate, but as was Hermione…and he felt like a traitor to both of them now. He tried to touch Hermione’s shoulder again but she slapped it away.
“Don’t you dare touch me!“
At that moment, everyone present in the supposedly quiet hallway knew what it was all about. Some had their suspicions, others felt pity, and others felt happy for Ron that Ron had found someone else-
“Hermione, please!“ Ron reasoned, his dark eyes glistening in frustration.
“Touch me again and I’ll give you a hex you won’t forget!“ she said in a low voice. She was trying hard not to cry, trying hard to control her rage, but rage cannot be controlled. She was seeing Ron’s face in blood now.
The crowd shifted and Lavender stood there with Parvati, carrying a book, her face in misery for betraying her friend.
“Hermione-“ she began, trying hard not to sob in the crowd. “ I- I didn’t mean to hurt you-“
“Don’t you ever say that again- or you’ll never see the light of day tomorrow!“ she cried out, unaware that a tear or two spilled onto her cheeks. At that sight and at her threats, Lavender began to cry as well.
Ron moved for Lavender. “Don’t cry Lavvy, I’m going to finish this-“ he began consoling her.
“This’ll all be okay soon-“
Harry looked livid, how could he have the cheek to comfort Lavender Brown when Hermione was hurting more than her? “Ron!“ he said. “Stop!“
“No, keep going on, Ronald,“ Hermione said, controlling her voice finally, her glare growing icy on him. “Let’s see how well you stop making a girl cry.“
Ron made a move for Hermione but she stepped back on Harry’s foot and Harry said nothing, he only winced. “Don’t you dare touch me, Weasley! Not when you’ve just touched her.“
From the back of the interested crowd was Draco Malfoy, standing alone, listening to the drama, his smile belying his interest…
“Thanks, Weasley- I mean Granger,“ he finally said with a devious smile. And suddenly there was a resounding slap all around them and Draco’s books fell on the floor once more. The books remained unpicked.
He stared at her, she stared at him. Hostility grew in the air and so did something else that they never expected. But the annoyance always came first, always. Draco touched his cold cheek with one hand, feeling the warmth spread and he knew it was turning red.
“Don’t you ever-!“ Hermione began. But she didn’t continue. Instead she listened to the illusory calm surrounding them, the cool morning air enveloping them- and that something else they couldn’t be aware of as of the moment.
“How does it feel to be dumped?“ he hissed at her, his eyes twinkling, ready to exact revenge for the slap, ready to make her cry, ready to see her nose go runny and her eyes red just like the time Ron had-
“I wasn’t dumped, but I guess it feels a bit like this,“ she told him and he waited for what else she had to say but he felt another slap on his other cheek and he held her hand in retaliation and shoved her painfully against the book shelf. She winced and struggled against his body as he pressed himself hard against her, the rage glowing silver in his eyes.
“Nice try, mudblood,“ he whispered into her ear.
“It only felt a bit like that,“ she whispered back with the same degree of hatred.
And suddenly, he kissed her, eagerly, forcing her mouth to open and she resisted and then she did not. Their tongues met and Draco felt himself fall into lust, imagining how she would look like naked, wondering how soft her skin was underneath all that geeky looking uniform, sweat formed on his forehead and he felt how good everything was getting to be…then he yelped out.
“You bloody whore!“ he hissed, wiping his lips with the back of his hand. There was a smear of blood. She had bitten him! The mudblood had bitten him right on his lips while they kissed! They kissed and she had bitten him! How dare she bite Draco Mal-
“That’s right, Malfoy, call me any name you want, you just kissed a mudblood anyway or whatever name you’ll call me.“
“Perhaps you weren’t the great shag he thought you’d be,“ he retorted in a quiet voice. His ego had deflated the moment she had bit him. It was time for it to recover.
She smiled at him, biting her lower lip, his blood still there. “Perhaps. But I think you think I am.“
“Maybe he had a reason other than that,“ he began. “He tired of you, Granger. And I sympathize with him- you aren’t all that great, you know. You’re just a walking and talking book, predictable and over used- you’re an archive of woes and emotional failures.“
“If you’ve got nothing left to say, maybe you should grab those books on the floor and read. I hope you don’t fail the tests later,“ she said coolly, knowing he would fail again.
He watched her as she began to walk away from him when he unexpectedly grabbed her by the arms and held them down with his own. “You don’t walk away from me without falling for me,“ he said in a dangerous tone. Nobody walks away from Draco Malfoy without falling for him. He was going to make her pay.
She looked at him straight in the eye, fear kept well. He meant what he had said, she saw to that. And yet she could not help but believe what he said was true. She would fall for him. But he had forgotten her. He would fall for her too.
“If I fall for you, you’ll fall further for me,“ she hissed back, not really believing in what she said. But Draco did. Of course he wasn’t ready to admit it. Never. But the magic had begun.
Then it would begin; the pain, the lies, the desperation to keep the dream of love afloat, and the greed for having no one else but each other…but that would come much, much later.
Of course she passed her exams without the need to cram. She could have skipped her early morning studies and she still would have passed. She still sat beside Harry and Ron during Herbology but was so good in pretending they didn’t exist, Harry and Ron stopped talking to her, resigning that this was punishment, Hermione style. Lavender avoided Hermione at all times since day two at Hogwarts.
Hermione didn’t want to punish. She wanted retribution. She knew retribution was not part of her game, but maybe now was the time to stop acting like a saint, a model student. Now was the time to commit murder without shedding blood. They would regret collaborating against her. She wanted to be selfish this time, wanted to exact everything they had done, no matter how un-Hermione-like it all would be. She wanted to be free. Freedom came in a high price; it would become who she wasn’t.
Classes ended that day uneventfully. She aced everything written, but didn’t raise her hands when the new Potions professor asked the class questions, nor did she offer to show the class how to make a good anti-wrinkling potion in Herbology. Hermione was quiet. That was how everyone saw it.
Many girls thought Ron had been unfair to Hermione- some came to empathize with her and kept away from Lavender and Ron as protest. Hermione didn’t care who empathized and who did not. The antagonism in her never left- but she never let it get in the way with her studies. Love was different from school. Love did not subsist in school.
So Hermione escaped the school buzz, the gossip and empathy when she went out that day to sit near the Great Lake that slept near Hogwarts. Of course there was nothing spectacular there on a school day at past five-thirty in the afternoon. The water was as still as it could be as she sat on a boulder facing the Hogwarts Castle. One by one, she saw the lights glow from different areas within the castle.
She quickly grew bored and toyed with her wand, setting off a few sparks of red and purple in which she played with them as if bursting bubbles in the air with the tip of her wand. She smiled to herself, wondering if she could burst Ron’s head and Lavender’s too, with the tip of her wand. Her annoyance for Harry grew less now, as she understood that Harry was caught between loyalty for her and for Ron- but she still wouldn’t speak to him to let him learn his lesson. Never take a cheating bastard’s side, Hermione thought, especially if that cheating bastard was a redhead named Ron Weasley.
Hermione was snapped from her thoughts when she heard someone’s giggling and moaning. She stood up, wary of it now. She crept slowly; up to a patch of bushes a few feet away from her and her eyes grew wide and she burst out amused.
Draco Malfoy was in the process of removing his shirt as Pansy had already removed hers. She shrieked, seeing Hermione stand before them, fully clothed and grinning ear to ear.
Draco looked up, eyes ablaze in annoyance. His eyes narrowed as he stopped unbuttoning Pansy’s lacy brassiere. “The bloody hell-“
“I didn’t mean to-“ Hermione protested, still smiling. “I thought someone was in trouble. Turns out, it’s true.“
And Draco knew Head Girl was up to something, something that could jeopardize his future and Pansy’s as well. He motioned for Pansy to get up, and she did, dutifully- like she were his wife and she hastily put on her clothes together as she left the area quickly.
“If you say a word about this-“ he began, his mind conjuring up a thousand threats and a thousand ways to kill her off.
“I won’t," Hermione said calmly. “What good would this do to me? Besides, it’s stipulated in the Conduct Book that ‘those who are found engaging in lewd acts within Hogwarts Castle will be subject to disciplinary action…’ You’re out of Hogwarts Castle, so no worries there.“
Draco sputtered out. He had thought she would say something that would incriminate him in the eyes of Hogwarts Rules. He finally gave out a sly smile. Then he laughed for a short while. “Bloody hell, you could be in Slytherin with that kind of thinking. “
“I was thinking of transferring dormitories too,“ Hermione quipped. “ Aren’t you going after Pansy?“
“She can manage,“ he said nonchalantly. “And now that you’ve found my snogging and shagging place, I should start thinking somewhere else, outside of Hogwarts.“
“If you could,“ she said.
Draco’s annoyance suddenly came back. “What the hell are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be reading and studying like the arse that you are? Oh- wait, I get it. You’re staying away from everyone’s prying eyes.“
“Yes and that too. But I also thought fresh air would do me good- but I don’t I think I’ll get that here, with the kind of sensual atmosphere-“
He grabbed her hand tightly, jerking it upwards- causing her to stagger to his chest. “I don’t do good with interruptions,“ he whispered to her.
“Well, so do I,“ she whispered back, impervious and defiant. “ I won’t be put down by anyone, ever.“
“Good lesson learned, mudblood? “
“I was wondering when you’d say that. Now let go of my hand, or I’ll do my thing as Head Girl. I assure you, your father will be more than ungrateful to you when I’m through with you.“
And he let her go, his silver eyes burning, as if placed in molten metal. There was danger present and a newfound respect. She had a Slytherin spirit in her, alright; there was no denying that.
“I’ll see you in the lower state you are in now, if you ever say something about this incident.“
“People won’t pay attention to the snogging you did. They'll pay attention to the downfall."
He roughly brought her closer to his chest and she could feel the heat going on between them. The warmth was increasing with every second of silence that came between them. He said nothing but his eyes said everything. He felt something for her, the growing lust and frustration….it was beginning to be unbearable now…He had dreamed of her, and he would not admit it to himself when he woke up, trying to cloud Hermione as Pansy in his ache to have her beside him. He spent the rest of the night trying to fall asleep again, although he knew he could never fall asleep again. It was as futile as getting to have the ‘mudblood’, he had thought.
And now, he was this close to her, this close to telling her he had rather intense dreams of her last night in her lingerie, reading a book and then showering him with kisses only meant for lovers…he shook his head once.
“Mudblood, you’re strange,“ and it was all he could say.
Hermione’s brain began to run a thousand miles. Something was wrong, he would never say that- it was too simple- it was too kind...it was too…
“Do make the mistake of falling for me,“ he finally said, with a satisfied smirk.
“Don’t make the mistake of hurting because of me,“ she retorted, suddenly seething, suddenly angered.
And then he grabbed her again and kissed her hard on the lips, hurting her and making her knees tremble all at the same time. She pulled away after a second.
“How dare you!“ she spat out, her eyes yielding hurt and shock.
“Didn’t think I would kiss you again?“ Draco teased with another leer. “ You’d better get used to it. You’re going to be mine.“
“I don’t get owned by anybody.“
“Not this time.“
“Then I’ll own you as well,“ she simply said. The bravado of it all shocked her. She never thought she would be that impulsive. “We’ll see who wins.“
“You’re turning this into another game of wits? This isn’t Herbology or any subject for that matter, mudblood.“
“For starters, you can stop your juvenile teasing if you want to make me yours.“
“Giving me pointers on how to get laid?“
“I’ll be more than a lay to you, I assure you.“
“How can you be more than a lay to me? Pansy goes dense when I kiss her, and I know you lost your brain awhile back, too.“
“Don’t give yourself too much credit, Malfoy.“
“I don’t. It’s just as natural as it gets. You do know that I hate you, right?“
“Yes, and you do know that you can’t resist me.“
Draco laughed hearing that. “Merlin, we’re becoming humble now, aren’t we? Snape was right, you are a show-off.“ Draco felt a twinge of happiness surface and he quickly brushed it away. No way was he going to lose to this one. No way-
“Painfully one,“ Hermione replied, unrifled. She was beginning to like this rather unfriendly conversation. He challenged her and she liked challenges. “Is that where you get your insults? From him?“
“He isn’t here, now is he? It’s all mine, one hundred percent origin-“
“You done bragging on how great you are?“ she asked, spinning around. “This is getting boring.“ She couldn’t help but smile. It was actually fun teasing Malfoy.
Draco stopped halfway as she said that and he suddenly felt tiny pricks on his cheeks, red and tiny pricks. She was winning him over hands down. He stepped for her, ready to make her pay dearly, ready to make her knees buckle once-
“If you plan on kissing me again, forget it. Although yours weren’t that bad, I’ve had better kisses.“
And Draco watched Hermione leave calmly, an expression of contentment on her face. He had never been this more enamored for anyone, yet he felt his teeth clench and his manhood impaired. He would get her.
Author's note: Thank you for taking the time to read this. Do review. It makes me happy and inspires me. Your comments matter. ^^^