Chapter 21 : Theory
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“The people around you are all potential victims of a seduction, but first you must know what type of victim you are dealing with. Victims are categorized by what they feel they are missing in life – adventure, attention, romance, a naughty experience, mental or physical stimulation, etc. Once you identify their type, you have the necessary ingredients for a seduction: you will be the one to give them what they lack and cannot get on their own. In studying potential victims, learn to the reality behind the appearance. A timid person may yearn to play the star; a prude may long for a transgressive thrill. Never try to seduce your own type.”
Well that all made sense if you thought about it.
“GRANGER? ARE YOU READY YET?!”
The Halloween Dance was the following night, and since the breakup, Hermione had spent her time submerging herself in plans for the event and studying for her classes (since a certain Head Boy was currently ranked above her, much to her disliking). The Prefect meeting for tonight was to finalize everyone’s assignments for the next day, since they had only the afternoon to get everything ready.
Hermione sighed as she closed The Art of Seduction and went down to the common room to meet Malfoy, who was smiling slightly as she stepped from the stairs and into his direct line of view.
“Took you long enough.”
She raised an eyebrow. “I was ready a while ago, I don’t take half an hour getting my hair ready.”
“You don’t take half an hour to do anything.”
Hermione shrugged and smiled. “Thanks for letting me borrow your potions book last night, I still have absolutely no idea where mine is.”
Draco shook his head. “I do, but you’re welcome nonetheless.”
He nodded as they climbed out of the portrait hole and walked off down the hall. “Don’t you remember? The other day in class? You lent it to that Tyler bloke.”
She thought about a few moments before snapping. “You’re right! I can’t believe I forgot that! How in the world did you remember?”
“Because the potion lists we were doing together were in there, and we had to stay up that night rewriting them so the assignment wouldn’t be late.”
Hermione blushed slightly. “That’s right. Sorry about that.”
As they walked the rest of the way in silence, Hermione couldn’t help but feel a little better. Her and Draco had slowly started to become friends, or some semblance of friends, since Blaise left. At first it was because they had no choice – assignments together in class, meetings with the prefects, patrolling together. But as the days passed, greetings in passing became friendlier and short conversations happened when they were in the common room together. After the fiasco with Blaise, Hermione wasn’t ready to rely on anyone just yet, and she especially didn’t want to invest so much of herself in someone she barely knew.
They were the last to arrive, and as they stood at the edge of the long table, all eyes came to rest on them. Another thing that had changed since the breakup was the way people reacted to her – as if she now deserved respect for being with one of the “popular” guys and living through it, still being a hot commodity that boys wanted.
Draco cleared his throat and scanned the room to make sure they were all present, not bothering with a sign in sheet. “I don’t want to spend more time here than I have to. Everyone knows what they have to do for tomorrow, right?”
The 24 heads nodded.
Hermione pulled a slip of paper out of a bag Draco hadn’t noticed she had brought. “If you could please use this to sign in and out tomorrow, just to make sure all tasks are completed. Draco and I will be in the Great Hall the entire time decorating is taking place.”
She glared at Draco, who proceeded to roll his eyes. “We’re there to help, not to babysit or do your work for you. Keep in mind that if you suffer on your part, it’ll take away from the fun you’ll be having that night.”
The 24 heads nodded again, the girls more urgently than the boys.
Hermione opened her mouth to speak again but Draco beat her to it. “You lot all have dates right?”
Ron glared at Draco before shaking his head. “Desperate Malfoy?”
Draco scoffed. “Why would I be desperate? I’m not a pathetic Gryffindor from a poor family, am I?”
“Well at least I have a date!” Ron’s ears were beginning to turn red.
“Are you implying that I don’t?”
The teenagers looked back and forth from Malfoy, Head Boy even though they hated him, to Ron, Harry Potter’s best friend. Hermione knew she should get involved but despite herself, she was interested in who Draco was taking to the dance. Not out of jealousy though, she reminded herself.
Ron stared at Draco challengingly. “Who would want to go with you?”
Draco stood up straighter and crossed his arms in front of his chest. “For your information Weasel, Gran-, Hermione is accompanying me as my date. Now judging by the dumb look on your face, I’d say we’re done here. Meeting dismissed.”
Hermione sat down numbly as Ron stormed out, followed by the rest of the prefects who were muttering under their breath to each other in amazement. She was going to the dance with her ex’s best friend?
When all the prefects had left, Draco closed the door tightly behind them and stood over Hermione with a guarded expression on his face. “I guess I should apologize for that.”
She looked up and shook her head with a sigh. “It’s ok, it’s not like I had a date anyway...”
He resisted the urge to laugh and instead said, “Well we can go together, if you want. Everyone will be in masks and it’s not like we’ll have to be around each other, just walk in at the same time.”
Hermione considered the alternative, which was showing up alone. Even if no one would know who she was under the disguise, it would still make her feel pretty pathetic. “Well...”
Draco nodded. “I’ll pick out a dress that will match my attire, I’ll have it delivered to your room later tonight.”
She watched in amazement and confusion as he briskly walked out of the room without giving her a chance to respond. He’s getting me dress? She couldn’t believe it.
Dinner was still half an hour away, so she grabbed The Art of Seduction and made her way down to the library as a plan began taking shape in her head. If Draco was going to be her “date” tomorrow night, that would mean she would have to spend more one-on-one time with him than she had before, and they’d most likely have to make conversation and act as if they enjoyed each other’s company so it would seem convincing. Not to mention Draco was Blaise’s best friend, and wouldn’t that be just spectacular to see Blaise get jealous when the masks were unveiled and she was clutched in the arms of Draco? She had all the necessary tools to seduce Draco until Blaise couldn’t take it anymore and came crawling back to her. She could easily wrap Draco around her finger, pretending to be the seducer to fit his type, until she could cast him away and be with Blaise again. It all made perfect sense, and it would be the perfect thrill to pick her up out of the post-breakup slump she had seemed to fall into. Draco was the most desired boy around, though girls who weren’t in Slytherin would hardly admit it, and he would be a great prize. The game of seducing men was becoming too much for Hermione to ignore, she wanted to continue, to try her new tricks on all the boys who had barely glanced in her direction before.
“Nobody in this world feels whole and complete. We all sense some gap in our character, something we or want but cannot get on our own. When we fall in love, it is often with someone who seems to fill that gap. The process is usually unconscious and depends on luck: we wait for the right person to cross our path, and when we fall for them we hope they return our love. But the seducer does not leave such things to chance.”
It sounded dead on. How many times had she listened to Ginny go on and on about daydreaming of finding her Prince Charming (of course, she had Harry now). And she couldn’t get an exact number of times she heard other girls in the Gryffindor common room talking about waiting for love, waiting on chance, believing in fate and hoping that it would be returned.
“Look at the people around you. Forget their social exterior, their obvious character traits; look behind all of that, focusing on the gaps, the missing pieces in their psyche. That is the raw material of any seduction. Pay close attention to their clothes, their gestures, their offhand comments, the things in their house, certain looks in their eyes; get them to talk about their past, particularly past romances. And slowly the outline of those missing pieces will come into view. Understand: people are constantly giving out signals as to what they lack. They long for completeness, whether the illusion of it or the reality, and if it has to come from another person, that person has tremendous power over them. We may call them victims of a seduction, but they are almost always willing victims.”
She paused in her reading and considered whether Draco was the type of person to feel incomplete. He had everything, didn’t he? The money, the friends, the ego, the power (though dark)... What was someone like that missing?
“This chapter outlines the eighteen types of victims, each one of which has a dominant lack.” Skip. “In identifying your victim’s type, be careful to not be taken in by outward appearances. Both deliberately and unconsciously, we often develop a social exterior designed specifically to disguise our weaknesses and lacks. For instance, you may thing you are dealing with someone who is tough and cynical, without realizing that deep inside they have a soft sentimental core. They secretly pine for romance. And unless you identify their type and the emotions beneath their toughness, you lose the chance to truly seduce them.”
Was that why it didn’t work out with Blaise? Did I not truly identify his type and figure out how to appeal to what he lacks?
“Most important: expunge the nasty habit of thinking that other people have the same lacks you do. You may crave comfort and security, but in giving comfort and security to someone else, on the assumption they must want them as well, you are most likely smothering and pushing them away. Never try to seduce someone who is of your own type. You will be like two puzzles missing the same parts.”
Hermione closed the book, her hand holding her place, and bit her bottom lip. Eighteen types: the Reformed Rake or Siren, the Disappointed Dreamer, the Pampered Royal, the New Prude, the Crushed Star, the Novice, the Conqueror, the Exotic Fetishist, the Drama Queen, the Professor, the Beauty, the Aging Baby, the Rescuer, the Roue, the Idol Worshiper, the Sensualist, the Lonely Leader and the Floating Garden. Without reading the descriptions, it seemed like Draco would a Pampered Royal, but she didn’t want to leave things to chance.
“Are you coming to dinner?”
She looked up to see Tyler smiling down at her, so she returned the smile and waved her free hand. “No, not tonight, I’m not very hungry.”
He looked disappointed and shrugged. “Suit yourself. I’ll see you later, ok?”
Hermione nodded and watched him go, she hadn’t even realized he was in the library. She felt kind of bad brushing off what was clearly an invite to eat together, but she had bigger things to worry about.
“What are you, Draco Malfoy?”
hi everyone! sorry it took a while, I’m easily distracted :P
so IMPORTANT NEWS: everyone (so far) seems to think the facebook fan page was a great idea so I went ahead and made it! :D if you login to facebook, just search The Art of Seduction - HPFF and you'll find the page! please please like it and feel free to talk to me on there as much as you want about anything <3
also, I wanna give a shoutout to Ellie aka realitylapse :] she added me on facebook and we’ve been talking, she’s a really cool person! I love her <3
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