Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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A/N – This is a one shot thing. I’ve been reading a lot of Hermione/Draco stories when I came up with this. If I get enough reviews I may continue it (after my exams).
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me, so don’t sue me. Please read and Review. Enjoy!
Just One Compliment
The Great Hall was beautifully decorated with magical snowflakes falling from the ceiling, landing on the wooden floor of the Hall without leaving a trace. Pine trees from Norway had been shipped in especially for the event, and some were so tall their tips were lost in the cloud up in the ceiling. The Hall had miniature snowmen and Santa’s dotted about the room, and was decorated in the brightest reds, greens and golds the students had ever seen.
It was a beautiful sight. But all this was insignificant compared to Hermione. She sat on one of the tables that had been pushed to the edge of the room to give a dance floor. She wore a flowing white gown, which was specially fitted for her, and trailed to the ground. It had a low swooping neck line and was backless. It was beautiful, not showy or gaudy, just simple and elegant. Her while sandals, sparkled with diamonds encrusted into them. Her shawl was draped over her shoulders finishing the whole look. Her hair had been piled on to of her head, with a few strands left hanging down, which had been curled into ringlets. Her make-up was tasteful and not over the top. Just enough to extenuate her looks not overpower them. It had taken nearly three hours to do her hair, make-up and dress, and she looked beautiful. Both Lavender and Ginny agreed. Mind you they were the ones who helped her pull it off. So she sat there wondering, why was she alone?
When she had come down the stairs to the Gryffindor Common Room, Harry and Ron were waiting for her. None of the had dates, and they had always planned to go together. But she was devastated when neither of them said anything about how she looked. She knew they saw her as a sister type but a little, you look nice, wouldn’t have gone amiss.
They walked her to the Great Hall, neither really paying attention to her, but instead, more interested in the upcoming Quidditch match than her. When they got inside the dance, the commented on the decoration of the Great Hall. Great, comment on something that would have taken five minutes to do, and not on the thing that took three hours, Hermione complained to herself. But the worst thing was, they left her. They wandered off leaving her on her own. She didn’t have anyone else to talk to. Lavender and Ginny were ‘busy’ with their dates, and she didn’t really know anyone else that well to talk to. What would it take for them to compliment her? A huge neon sign saying ‘COMPLIMENT ME!’. So here she sat, on a bench, in the most amazing dress she could find, without a date or even a compliment from her friends.
“They’re idiots,” a voice from behind her said. She instantly recognised the voice. It was Draco Malfoy.
“Malfoy, just shut up. I’m not in the mood to…” she started to say.
“They’re idiots if they can’t see how beautiful you look tonight,” he said. Hermione was shocked to hear a compliment from her sworn enemy.
“What?” she said turning round to face him. He was dressed in a simple black suit with a black shirt and white tie. It was smart, but still he managed to make it look so casual.
“You look stunning,” he said leaning over to whisper it to her. She blushed, but was still extremely confused.
“Malfoy, is this some kind of sick joke?” she demanded.
“No. Unlike them, I’m not an idiot. I see a beautiful woman, sitting alone, and I go over to ask her to dance,” he said offering her his hand. Hermione stared at it for a moment.
“I’m not going to bite, I promise,’ Draco reassured her. Cautiously she took his hand and he led her to the dance floor.
“Everyone’s looking at us,” Hermione said suddenly self-conscious.
“Trust me, they’re looking at you,” Draco whispered.
“Why are you doing this?” Hermione asked while they were dancing to a slow song.
“Because I realised something about you tonight.”
“You’re a woman,” Draco said.
“Good observation Draco,” Hermione quipped.
“I mean, before you were just Potter’s friend, but I’ve just realised that you are the most beautiful woman in this room. Look, we may be arch-nemesis’ but it doesn’t mean I can’t notice how beautiful you look tonight.” Hermione blushed again. She really couldn’t believe that Draco Malfoy thought she looked beautiful and was willing to put 5 years of fighting behind, just to tell her that. “I was watching you. Not once have those two idiots complimented you, have they?” Draco asked.
“No,” Hermione said quietly.
“Didn’t think so. I may not like you as a person Hermione, but I’m not blind.”
“Looks aren’t everything. It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” Hermione lectured.
“Is that why you spent hours getting ready?” Draco quipped back.
“That’s different,” Hermione defended herself.
“Is it? I don’t think so. You got all dressed up tonight, did something special with your hair because you wanted to look nice for someone – and may I say you definitely succeeded. I doubt it was for me, it was probably for Potter or Weasley and you’re upset because they haven’t noticed. You say it’s not all about looks, but you still tried hard to looked gorgeous tonight didn’t you?” Draco pointed about.
“How do you know that?” Hermione said embarrassed that he guessed her intentions.
“I have a younger sister, you pick stuff up,” he casually said. They danced quietly for a while, just letting the music flow through them as they danced, twirling round and round, ignoring the stares from the rest of the student body. Suddenly Hermione spoke up.
“Thank you.” Draco looked at her confused. Her wasn’t sure if she was being serious or not.
“You are the only person who has been kind to me tonight. Regardless of your motives, it was still sweet of you,” Hermione thanked him.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled. “But I’m the envy of every lad in this room. I got to dance with the best looking chick in the room.” Hermione laughed. Who would have thought that Hermione Granger would cause such a stir with the lads! The song finally ended, and Draco returned her to her seat.
“You do realise that tomorrow we go back to being enemies?” he said.
“I kind of guessed,” Hermione said. Draco kissed her hand, and winked at her, making her smile sweetly at him.
“Have fun, mudblood,” He said as he left her. Hermione smiled again. The term mudblood was not used nastily, but more in endearment. It was his name for her, and it amused her that he would try and use it to remind her of their status, even after everything he had said to her. He returned to the other side of the room where the Slytherins had congregated. The lads were patting him on the back, while Pansy was going crazy, crying her eyes out. Draco looked back across the room at Hermione who was still watching him. Did she just have a conversation, albeit twisted, with Draco Malfoy? She did! She had the only compliment of the night him too. It was strange. The one person she hated the most making her feel that happy gave her so many mixed emotions.
Finally the Yule Ball ended and Hermione did not want to stay a moment longer, so she quickly exited the Hall. Draco on the other hand, was one of the very last to leave, which is when Harry and Ron caught up with him.
“Oi, Malfoy!” Ron bellowed down the corridor. Draco slowly turned round to face them. Three guesses to what this was all about.
“Well, if it ain’t Potty and Weasel,” he sneered at them.
“I don’t know what sick plan you’re concocting, but you better leave Hermione alone!” Ron threatened.
“Like you two?” Malfoy quipped back.
“I mean it Malfoy, if you hurt her…” Harry said threatening him.
“Me hurt her? You two hurt her more tonight than all of my comments to her added together.” Harry and Ron looked confused, unsure what he meant.
“Malfoy, have you completely lost it?” Harry asked perplexed.
“No, you two are the idiots. What sort of person brings the most beautiful woman to a ball and then ignores her all night? And you call yourselves her best friends!” Draco commented and wandered off leaving a confused Harry and Ron standing in an empty corridor.
Once Harry and Ron were inside the Gryffindor Common Room they finally returned to see Hermione, and they had a hundred and one questions to ask her, namely, “What they Hell were you thinking!?!”
She tried to ignore their comment, but finally she snapped. “Do you know how long it took me to get ready? And for what? A grunt! That’s all I got when I asked how did I look. A simple, “you look nice” would have sufficed, but I don’t even get that!” she screamed at them.
“And you’re telling me you got a compliment off Malfoy?” Ron joked.
“Actually, yes. I did. He told me I looked stunning.” The lads looked as shocked as she did when Draco had first said it.
“He must be after something,” Harry devised. Hermione rolled her teary eyes.
“You just don’t get it!” she said at the end of the tether.
“What? And Malfoy did??” Harry asked.
“He did. He knew all I wanted was a single compliment. Just the one. One to make my hours of getting ready worth while,” Hermione replied.
“Well you looked nice tonight Hermione,” Ron said hoping it would help. Boy did he get it wrong.
“It’s too late now,” she said and she ran off to her dormitory.
Hermione slammed the door to her dormitory shut with a bang. She threw herself down on her bed, with her head landing hard on her pillow. Was it too much to ask for just one compliment? She rolled over on her bed to stare at the ceiling, tears now fully flowing down her face. She sat up, and happened to see a glimpse of herself in the mirror of the opposite wall. She had lines of watery black mascara running down both cheeks. Some of her hair had fallen out, and it looked lopped sided. She looked a mess. She got up and walked over to the bathroom. She washed the rest of her make-up off and untied he hair, which had returned to its usual frizzy state.
“Now call me stunning Draco,” she said to herself. She stared at herself in the mirror. She couldn’t believe he had thought she looked beautiful. Of all people! “I have freckles and frizzy hair,” she said critically about herself. She heard voices of people coming up the stairs. It must be Ginny and Lavender. She quickly jumped into bed and pretended to be asleep.
“Oh don’t you dare pretend you’re asleep Hermione,” Ginny said as she saw Hermione in her bed. “Like you could sleep after the night you’ve had.” Hermione laughed and turned round to greet their inquisitive faces sitting on the bed beside hers.
“Have fun?” Hermione innocently asked.
“Clearly not as much fun as you,” Ginny commented.
“Yeah, I mean, you got to dance with Draco Malfoy!” Lavender added.
“It certainly was an interesting experience,” Hermione said.
“So what happened?” Ginny asked intrigued. Hermione retold the whole story for them, including all of his comments. Once she had finished the story, Ginny and Lavender looked at each other.
“What?” Hermione asked.
“Well…” Ginny said reluctant to continue.
“Ginny! What’s going on?” Hermione demanded.
“Once you had finished your dance with Draco, Lavender and I went to see Pansy Parkinson, once she had somewhat calmed down. She told us that she always believed that…” Ginny stopped, fearful about continuing.
“Believed what?” Hermione pressed Ginny.
“That Draco fancies you. The dance confirmed it for her”
“That’s why she was so upset,” Lavender added.
“Draco Malfoy fancies me?” Hermione laughed.
“He asked you to dance didn’t he?” Lavender pointed out.
“True,” Hermione said staring off into space.
“Oh My God! You like him don’t you?” Ginny said upon seeing the expression on her face.
“NO!” Hermione said emphatically. But she couldn’t help blushing.
“You do!” Lavender shouted. Hermione blushed even more now.
“Well, it’s not everyday that your sworn enemy tells you your stunning,” Hermione said. The girls all laugh. Hermione settled down to sleep. She smiled as she thought about her dance with Draco. Well, at least she got just one compliment.
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