“‘Nose hair clipping,’ that’s what it said!” Hermione was falling about with laughter as she recounted the events of the day in the library to Ginny, who was lately spending a lot of time with Hermione, especially after the episode with Ron.
“I can’t believe Malfoy has nose hair issues!” Ginny exclaimed, doubling up with laughter once again.
“I’ll be sure to check next time I see him.” Hermione said half-jokingly.
They continued to gossip aimlessly for the next half hour, exchanging stories until they settled on a more sensitive topic.
“Ginny… d’you know who it was that Ron was...,” she trailed off, gesturing wildly with her hands.
Ginny understood. “Oh, right.” Her eyebrows knitted in concern. “Well, I heard that it was, uh, Romilda… Romilda Vane.”
Ginny nodded sheepishly. “Don’t ask me, though, I’ve no idea why he chose her, what with that bushy hair she’s got…,” she stopped when she realized they were both thinking about Hermione’s hair and how frizzy it was.
“I mean, her hair is so much bushier than yours! Er… what I meant was… your hair is nicer. Sleeker,” she quickly amended.
Hermione tried to laugh it off. “No, it’s quite alright. My hair is a bit frizzy, I know,” she admitted, patting her chestnut brown curls down gently. She still couldn’t believe it was Romilda in the library the other day. Honestly, Ron is such an idiot sometimes, she thought angrily.
“Ginny, I think I’ll go to the library for, you know, a bit of peace and quiet. I’m a little behind in my studies,” she added, so as not to seem like she just wanted to escape from this awkward situation.
“Sure, no problem. I’ll see if Harry’s down in the commons,” Ginny replied cheerfully, getting up and leaving. “See you later, ’Mione.”
Hermione cringed slightly at the nickname and waved goodbye. She collected her things: a few textbooks, a quill, and two pots of ink, and shoved it all into her rucksack. Then, she was on her way.
She arrived at the library just as a group of giggling, third-year girls were leaving.
“Just so cute,” one of them sighed.
It didn’t take long to figure out who they were talking about. As always, she spotted a tall, wiry figure in the Restricted area, only this time, he was leaning onto the bookshelf behind him just enough so that it didn’t tip over, and so that he was almost sitting down. He was engrossed in the same, leather-bound book as before. Since Harry and Ron weren’t on speaking terms anymore, Hermione had been spending a lot more time in the library, and Malfoy was always present in the same place, reading the same book. She was tempted to ask him about the nose hair, but she didn’t want him to know that she had looked at the book.
“That’s quite a fan club you’ve got there, Malfoy,” Hermione remarked as she passed by the Restricted Section to take a seat in the same chair that she always did.
“Shut your mouth, Granger, it would be better for all of us,” he replied swiftly.
“What do you mean?” she asked, genuinely caught off guard.
“Well, we wouldn’t have to see your hideous buckteeth, then, would we?” He sneered and went back to his book.
Hermione stayed quiet as tears welled in her eyes. Why did everyone care so much about her appearance all of a sudden, anyways?
“At least I’m not as idiotic as some of the girls you shag,” was all she could manage.
Malfoy was quiet for a few seconds before mumbling, “I suppose I have to agree with you on that one.”
Hermione was utterly taken by surprise. Had he really just paid her a compliment?
She didn’t know what else to say, so she didn’t say anything at all. Instead, she opened one of her books to start studying.
“Granger, could you move your head? I can’t see the board,” Malfoy sighed wearily, as if it was Hermione’s fault that he sat behind her.
They were seated in Defense Against the Dark Arts for the second time that week, and frankly, Hermione was beginning to dread the class. Malfoy was annoying her endlessly each time she sat down, and she was already sick of it.
“I said could you please move your massive head?” He repeated loudly.
This is going too far, Hermione thought, as half the class craned their necks to look at her.
She shrunk down into her seat and blushed bright red.
“Thanks,” Malfoy muttered sarcastically from behind her.
“Silence!” Snape snarled at them. Everyone in the room immediately became still.
Hermione was miserable. Lately, it seemed that everyone was noticing either her bushy hair or her unusually large teeth. She was constantly hearing people say, “You have something stuck in your teeth,” and “Did you do something to your hair?” Every since Malfoy made that comment about her ‘hideous buckteeth,’ she was becoming paranoid about everything people said to her.
After class, Hermione caught up with Harry and Ginny, who looked a bit upset.
“What happened to you two?” she asked after a while.
Ginny looked up and uttered a single word.
Hermione nervously bit her lip as Harry continued.
“We tried to… talk to him, and apologize, but he just ignored us. He’s still hanging out with Romilda, either because he’s stubborn, or because he actually enjoys her company, which isn’t likely,” he told her, cursing Ron under his breath.
“Stupid git,” Ginny added, shaking her head.
“He’ll come around eventually,” Hermione said, trying to comfort them. “He can’t be that mad.”
“Oh, he is. Don’t really know why, but he is,” Ginny shrugged.
“He’s angry at me, too,” Hermione said. “Since I knew and didn’t tell him.”
“Yeah, but still, he doesn’t have to run off and start snogging the first person he comes across just to prove he’s better off without us,” Ginny complained.
There was some truth in what Ginny said. Hermione had also seen Ron with Romilda in the Great Hall. They didn’t look very happy, but when Ron noticed Hermione looking, he would strike up a determined conversation with the person nearest to him.
Ginny, Harry and Hermione decided to eat a quick dinner and then head back to the common room.
“Hermione, what was Malfoy talking to you about?” I couldn’t really hear from the front of the room,” Ginny said.
“Oh, Malfoy? He was just… asking me to move a bit so he could see.”
Ginny nodded and turned to Harry. She whispered something into his ear and they both burst into laughter.
Hermione froze. They couldn’t be talking about her hair. There was no way they were.
“Sorry, Hermione, it just reminded me of something funny,” Ginny explained after an uncomfortable silence.
Hermione smiled politely. She liked Harry and Ginny, of course, but something when all three of them were together, it could get awkward.
They had arrived at the Great Hall. She grabbed an apple and decided to go to the library, and collected some books on the way.
As she walked, she thought about Ron and Romilda. Did he actually enjoy her company? Hermione hated him for making her feel like she needed to apologize to him. She hadn’t done anything except stay silent about Harry and Ginny’s relationship. It wasn’t really lying if she hadn’t said anything. Still, though, she couldn’t believe Ron had chosen Romilda… over her.
“Excuse me,” someone mumbled.
Hermione had accidentally bumped into someone, and both of their books had been knocked to the ground.
“Oh! I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking-,” she looked up and saw the one person – besides Ron – that she dreaded seeing: Draco Malfoy.
“Er, sorry… Malfoy,” she squeaked.
“Watch where you’re going, Granger,” he smirked. “Suppose you can’t see past all that frizzy hair.” He bent down and began collecting their books.
Hermione stopped dead. “What did you say?”
“Nothing,” he said quietly, handing her her books and quickly walking away before she could say anything more.
That night, Hermione devised a plan. She was a smart girl, and she knew that eventually people would stop saying things about her appearance, but something about the way Ginny had indirectly called her hair bushy had hurt her, and the way Malfoy had… well, just Malfoy in general. It wasn’t like her to just sit there and take it.
She considered asking Harry for his Invisibility Cloak, but he would want to know why she needed it, and she didn’t have the time to make up a story that was plausible.
At midnight, Hermione crept out of bed and into the boys’ dormitory. She hurriedly located Harry’s trunk and rummaged through it until she found the silvery cloak. Harry was sound asleep, but she saw him stirring an awful lot.
As Hermione was closing the trunk, it slipped through her fingers and slammed shut, making a loud thud that was sure to wake everyone up.
Harry sat up and groggily opened her eyes.
“Hermione?” He scratched his head and yawned. “What are you doing here?”
Although her persuasion skills weren’t the best, Hermione tried to coax Harry back into his peaceful sleep.
“You’re dreaming, Harry,” she whispered. “Go back to sleep.”
He yawned once again and slumped back onto the bed, falling asleep immediately.
Hermione sighed in relief and tiptoed out of the room, slipping the cloak over her head.
She stole into the library and slowly removed the cloak.
“Lumos,” she breathed. The tip of her wand lit up as she began to search for something helpful.
Soon enough, she found a book entitled Beauty in the Wizarding World. She flipped through it until she found the key words.
“Tooth whitening, tooth straightening… tooth shrinking!” Hermione finally found what she was looking for and repeated the charm to herself.
“Reducio… it’s simple enough,” she muttered.
She pointed her wand at her front teeth hesitantly.
She felt a most unusual sensation. It was as though her front teeth were going numb, just like after she ate a lot of ice cream. She touched her front teeth, not exactly able to feel the difference, although she was sure it had worked. She did the same for her hair. The spell was ‘rectumfacio’. Her once bushy, unmanageable curls now felt sleeker than ever.
Suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around and screamed. There was a ghostly, white figure standing directly behind her.
“Shut up, Granger! Filch’ll hear!”
She recognized that voice, and those pale, blue eyes.
“What are you doing here?” she gasped.
Malfoy smirked. “I should ask you the same question,” he responded, lowering his eyes to the book in Hermione’s hand. She hastily shoved it back into the bookshelf.
Eyes narrowed, they made a silent pact illustrating that they wouldn’t ask or tell why they were in the library at midnight as long as this nighttime encounter remained between the two of them.
All of a sudden, Malfoy gave her a funny look. “Granger, you look different.”
He squinted at her. “Your… hair?” he guessed, as if it was a foreign concept to him. “Your teeth, too!”
Hermione shrugged. “Could be.”
“Your teeth… what happened to them?”
Again, Hermione said nothing, but smiled.
“Yeah, I suppose,” Hermione agreed, smiling and trying to act innocent.
After a few seconds of silence, they both realized the oddity of the situation. A Gryffindor and a Slytherin were alone in the library at midnight, and they were actually holding a decent conversation. Then, Malfoy announced, “I’m leaving. Filch might come around here, because of your screaming.” He was just beginning to leave when he tripped over something. There was a meow as Malfoy cursed under his breath.
“Mrs. Norris!” Hermione exclaimed. However, it was too late. She could hear Filch’s heavy footsteps coming towards them. She scanned the darkness for an exit. Without thinking, she grabbed Malfoy by the wrist and ran towards the nearest door. He followed her as Filch and Mrs. Norris chased them through the castle.
Finally, they turned a corner and Hermione spotted the entrance to the Room of Requirement.
Yes! She thought. They quickly went inside, shutting the door so Filch couldn’t get to them.
Panting, Hermione listened at the wall to see if Filch was outside. There was only the sound of footsteps and muttering as Filch walked away.
Hermione was relieved. She leaned against the door and marveled at the sight in front of her.
The room was divided into two parts, each complete with a bed, bathroom and a dainty coffee table. Malfoy walked over to his coffee table and gulped down the glass of water that was sitting there. Then, before she could protest, he snatched her glass of water and drank that, too.
“Malfoy,” she groaned. “That’s the thanks I get for rescuing you from Filch?”
“Oh, right. Thanks for that.” He grinned and Hermione smiled back.
Then, abruptly, she stopped smiling. What was she doing here, alone with Draco Malfoy? Befriending him? She had to leave, and fast.
Malfoy was too busy wandering around the room to notice Hermione’s change of heart.
“You know,” he said with a smile, “your hair doesn’t look the least bit frizzy right now.”
That confirmed Hermione’s decision. She made her way across the room and slapped Malfoy smartly across the face.
“What the hell?” he yelped.
“Shut up about my hair, okay?” Hermione snapped. She walked to the door and paused.
“By the way, Malfoy,” she told him sweetly, “you probably already know that I’m not the only one with… hair issues.”
Hermione slammed the door on and angry and confused Malfoy, and marched back to her dormitory, gloating all the way.
A/N: So that's chapter 2.. I think this one was alright, but don't worry, things will get more interesting. ;) I should warn you that this isn't one of those Dramione's where they fall in love in a few chapters.. it'll take a while, you know how it is. I hope that doesn't scare you off -.-' Thanks for reading! As always, reviews are appreciated!