Chapter 6 : An Interesting Turn Of Events
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Still sitting in the library, an owl dropped a letter in Hermione’s lap not long after Malfoy departed. Excitedly she ripped open the envelope and began to read.
Europe is fantastic! Harry and I have travelled all over, it’s been wonderful so far. It’s amazing being with him after everything that happened. I thought he would have changed-I suppose we all have, but he still wants to be with me after everything that happened and I really appreciate him so much.
Good news-Ron’s speaking to me again. Of course, he forgave Harry ages ago. I’m only his sister, after all, it’s obviously my fault I’m with Harry. Also, he says hello. I don’t know why he can’t tell you himself, it’s pathetic, but then again-it IS Ron.
So what else has happened at Hogwarts while we’ve been gone? That’s interesting, the development with the dorms. Harry says watch Draco, he can’t be trusted no matter how it appears or how much he apologised for last year. Poor Neville can never catch a break, having to share with him. Has anything happened between Neville and Luna yet? They were made for each other, in my opinion. Harry agrees.
Say hello to everyone for us, and we’ll be home before you know it. Watch out for that ferrety git Malfoy, and write back soon!
Love Ginny and Harry
Hermione refolded the letter with a smile. She loved to hear about Ginny and Harry’s relationship. They were made for each other, despite Ron’s reservations. Ginny needed someone who she could talk to and laugh with, but who also wouldn’t wrap her in cotton wool and restrict her. Harry, in turn, needed a strong girl who understood everything he had been through and saw past the glory of dating “The Chosen One”, to love the boy behind it all. Hermione had never felt her and Ron fit together like Harry and Ginny. They had been close friends for far too long and their relationship had felt like an unnatural extension of their friendship, a push too far. Even Ron had realised it, although it didn’t stop him from being incredibly annoyed with Hermione when they broke up.
Really, Hermione thought, he was overreacting. He didn’t speak to her or acknowledge her presence anymore, even though he had known the break-up was coming and Hermione was just as upset as he was.
Besides, Ginny reported he had been out a few times with Katie Bell recently, so he couldn’t be too upset. Hermione herself couldn’t imagine dating anyone so soon.
But she didn’t mind Malfoy kissing her.
Hermione shook herself. Where had that thought come from? She didn’t enjoy it! It was simply because she missed the intimacy having a partner brought. It was Malfoy, for Merlin’s sake!
On the other hand, it hadn’t been just a kiss. Malfoy had seemed almost affectionate after the trip to the Three Broomsticks, which was very un-Malfoy-like. Everyone knew Malfoy didn’t feel. Malfoy like himself and his lineage and that was it. And girls, according to the rumours always circulating about him. So that was it! Hermione was shocked. Malfoy, due to lack of any other eligible females in the castle, was trying to seduce her? Well, that would never happen. She had much higher standards than Draco Malfoy. Besides, if she ever gave into him, NOT that she ever would, but if she did, he would hold it over her head for the rest of her life, and probably a few years after. Hermione shuddered and drove all thoughts of Malfoy from her mind as she rose from the library chair and began to wander back to the dormitory.
The next few weeks passed by without incident. Hermione filled her days with study and trips to Hogsmeade with Luna and Neville. She rarely saw Malfoy and they didn’t speak when they did meet. She decided he was avoiding her and didn’t mind.
Draco, meanwhile, was trying to drive all thoughts of Hermione out of his head. He was failing miserably.
I just haven’t had any action for ages, he decided. It’s an unhealthy obsession with Granger because I’m bored and she’s the only remotely eligible female left in the castle. It’s her or Loony Lovegood, and there’s no way I’d touch Loony. Longbottom would have my head.
Unfortunately, he realised, his feelings towards her probably wouldn’t go away anytime soon. At least if he got some action from Granger he could get over this stupid thing and hold it over her head.
So Draco Malfoy decided to seduce Hermione Granger.
“Hello Hermione. I’m going for a walk around the grounds. Would you like to join me?” Hermione looked up from her book so see Luna standing in the door of their room.
“Is this a Luna and Neville thing? Because I’ve intruded on you two quite enough in these past few weeks!”
Luna smiled. “It’s nice to have a friend. I don’t feel like you are intruding. Neville’s quite shy anyway.” Hermione jumped off the bed and grabbed her cloak.
“Sure Luna, lets go. I’ve been reading too long anyway.”
Hermione and Luna walked down to the grounds by the lake, which was covered in a thin layer of ice around the edges. Neville was standing by the water, throwing frozen rocks into the black water beyond the shallows. As he did, a tentacle reached out of the water and grabbed a rock mid-air, disappearing with a splash.
“The merpeople don’t like that, you know.” Luna called to Neville with a slight smile. Neville turned, and seeing Luna, grinned broadly. He jogged over to them and pulled her into a tight embrace. Hermione stared hard across the lake, pretending not to be present during such an intimate moment. When Neville and Luna broke apart, Neville turned awkwardly to Hermione, his face rather red.
“Er…hey Hermione.” Neville smiled sheepishly. “Sorry...Um...”
“Don’t worry Neville, Hermione’s quite perceptive. I’m sure she’s worked out we are involved. She doesn’t mind.” Once more, Luna’s ability to tell the absolute truth of the matter diffused an awkward situation. Hermione and Neville laughed and the three of them began a slow walk around the grounds, discussing Christmas and the past year.
It was late afternoon when Luna and Neville decided to walk back up to the castle, having had enough of the cold. Hermione stayed outside, enjoying the last of the winter sunshine. She was conjuring a small flame midair to warm her hands when WHAM! A snowball hit her in the side of the face. Hermione looked around shocked but saw no one. She scraped the snow from her face angrily and yelled into the silence
“Peeves if that was you I swear I’ll hex you so hard you-” Hermione was interrupted by another clump of flying snow smacking hard into the back of her head. Hermione whipped out her wand and reeled around angrily.
“PEEVES! SHOW YOURSELF RIGHT NOW!” A familiar laugh rang out from behind a nearby tree. Hermione ran over, only to see a flash of blonde hair disappear behind a snow bank.
“MALFOY!” She ran over to the snow bank but he was gone. The grounds were silent. Hermione spun wildly, trying to see where Malfoy had disappeared to. She paused, listening closely. A twig snapped to her left. Hermione turned slowly and saw Malfoy sneaking through the trees. With a flick of her wand she sent a snowball flying straight into his face.
“Granger!” Malfoy coughed and spluttered, scraping snow out of his eyes just as another snowball landed on his head. Hermione cackled evilly and sent another flying his way. By this time Malfoy had realised what was going on and moved his wand to block the snowball. Hermione dodged the snow flying at her and began to run, sending a few back over her shoulder blindly, giggling.
“Watch yourself Granger! A couple of those almost came near me!” Malfoy gave chase, shooting snow at Hermione’s back and laughing as they hit her. That is, until Hermione spun to face him, conjuring up a wall of snow which Malfoy promptly fell through.
“Come on Malfoy, is that the best you’ve got? Pathetic! Beaten by a girl!” Hermione lobbed snow at his head, running off in the direction of the entrance hall. Malfoy stumbled up, covered in snow.
“I’ll win Hermione! Just you wait!” As he followed her into the hall, they continued to lob snowballs at each other, laughing. Hermione charmed snow to fall heavily over Malfoy’s head, coating him in powder. Malfoy conjured up a snowman to chase Hermione around the hall, trailing snow and slush in the process.
Suddenly, Hermione stoped dead. The snowman ran into her back and dissolved into a puddle on the floor. Smirking, Malfoy strode over to her.
“Give up Granger?” Hermione merely raised her arm to point down the hall. Mrs Norris stood at the end, her red eyes staring at them. Softly mewing, she trotted off, undoubtedly to fetch Filch. Malfoy breathed in sharply. Looking back the way they had just come, he saw the hall was covered in slush and puddles of water where snow had melted.
“Filch will kill us!” Hermione groaned. “No way we can clean this up in time!”
“I cannot afford detention, Granger. I was barely allowed back to Hogwarts this year as it is. Come on!” Malfoy turned sharply on his heel and strode off down the hall. Hermione ran after him.
“Slow down Malfoy! I’m not talking all the blame for this! Where are you going?”
“He won’t know it was us, Granger, if you hurry up!” They both hear footsteps approaching at the end of the hall. Mrs Norris appeared and the footsteps drew closer.
“Malfoy!” Hermione hissed. “It’s too late!” Quickly, Malfoy pulled her into a dead end corridor to their right. They heard Filch approaching their hiding place, grumbling about students and the snow.
“Malfoy, he’s going to see us! He’ll look right down this corridor! Give up! Theres-”
Hermione’s protest was silenced by Malfoy’s lips pressed hard against her own. Shocked, all thoughts of Filch and detention left her mind. Malfoy, in turn, was struggling to remember he was only kissing her to silence her protest. His hands were in her hair and on her waist, pulling her close. Hermione wrapped her arms around Malfoy’s broad shoulders, as she felt his tongue gently probing her open mouth. It didn’t occur to either of them to pull away.
Minutes passed and Filch’s grumbles faded and yet still they did not break apart. The voice of reason in Malfoy’s head that told him he shouldn’t be doing this was silenced by his heart hammering in his ears as he continued to kiss Hermione Granger, passionately and without reservation.
Eventually it was Hermione who pulled away, coming back to the present and stepping away from Malfoy, shocked. She was panting slightly and staring hard at the floor. She risked a glance up at him and was surprised to see he looked nervous. She had though it was part of his stupid plan to seduce her or upset her or whatever it was he was trying to do, but he didn’t look in control at the moment. It was very unusual.
Malfoy felt his cheeks flush as Hermione looked up at him and he nervously raised a hand to straighten his tie. He hadn’t expected her to get under his skin, like she had for a moment there. He was meant to be in control, not go weak at the knees! He’d obviously snapped. Taking a deep breath, he set his features and glared up at her.
“Filch is gone now, I expect. He didn’t know it was us. You’re welcome.” Hermione just stared at his dumbly. How could he change so suddenly? She narrowed her eyes and returned his glare.
“That was a stupid idea. Don’t ever touch me again Malfoy. I’d rather have detention.”
“Well that’s just what you’ll have then, isn’t it, Miss Granger. You too, Mr Malfoy.” Filch stood in the doorway, grinning evilly. “What an interesting turn of events…”