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Chapter 2 : Chapter 2
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. . . . . .
“No, Hermione, no matter how much you say it, it won’t work.” Ginny said with a sigh. “It’s impossible, absolutely impossible to make Malfoy fall in love with you.”
“Don’t be silly, Ginny, nothing’s impossible.”
“But let’s think about this. He’s our enemy, he used to be an ex-deatheater, he’s a Slytherin—he, he’s just Draco Malfoy! No, it won’t work!” Ginny said, trying to convince her friend. “If you two started to date it would be like, what do muggles call it? World War Six?”
“World War Three actually.”
“That’s beside the point! Let’s be rational here—“
“Don’t be so dramatic, Ginny. If . . . we were to date, I suppose we’ll just bring house unity. I’ll be getting what I want and I’ll be bringing peace to this school. How great is that?” Hermione asked with a grin.
“No, that’s not great at all. Who cares about house unity at this point? We already have house unity since the war kind of solved that problem for us, Hermione!”
“Ginny, I have everything under control. I know what I’m doing.”
“No you don’t.” She muttered under her breath and looked at her friend desperately. “Okay, well, you guys have been enemies ever since you two laid eyes on each other. Hell, none of us talked to him ever since the war. It’s going to be weird if you just started to talk to him. We haven’t talked to him and he hasn’t talked to us ever since the war ended, okay? How will you make him fall in love with you?”
“I’ll do whatever I have to do to make him fall in love with me.” She said coolly as she leaned back in her seat with her arms crossed across her chest. She was done talking about the plan. “Please promise me you’ll keep this a secret.”
Ginny furrowed her eyebrows and stared at Hermione for a long hard time. She finally gave up and sighed. There was no turning back for her now, she had decided and she was quiet the stubborn one. “I promise but please just don’t get into a lot of trouble.” She said with a hopeful grin.
“You’re the best.” Hermione stated happily as she shot up from her seat. “I guess I’ll be busy this winter break, huh?” She asked her friend and grinned.
“Wait, is Draco Malfoy staying here for the holidays?” Ginny asked as she stood up, too.
“Well, considering his father . . .” Hermione stopped herself and pursed her lips. “I don’t think he’ll want to go back home for the holidays.” Hermione answered with her voice suddenly low and quiet—almost like a whisper.
“That’s right.” Ginny said under her breath and felt the awkward atmosphere around them. The Malfoys’ were all over the newspaper when the war ended and almost everybody in the Wizarding World knew about them. It was a touchy subject to talk about, considering it didn’t end well for Draco Malfoy.
“Let’s go back to our dorm and just get a nice rest.” Hermione suggested.
“That sounds very welcoming right now.” Ginny said with a grin as they started walking out of the library. “So how long is this “mission” of yours going on for? Have you decided yet?”
“My plan is to try to at least be friends with him by the end of winter break. That’ll give me two weeks and then after those two weeks, if I’m friends with him by then . . . I’ll make my first move.”
“Let’s just pray that it works.”
“Really Hard.” Ginny sighed and stared at her friend. “I can’t believe you’re still doing this. There’s still time to turn back—“
“I’ve decided that I will stick to the plan and that’s final, Ginny. I’m not changing my mind so let’s just have a restful night and I’ll see you tomorrow morning.” Hermione said as they reached their destination. Hermione walked up the stairs with Ginny and separated into their own rooms.
Hermione set her book bag down on her bed and sighed as she walked into the bathroom. She examined herself through the mirror and slightly frowned. She wasn’t exactly gorgeous, she still had freckles sprinkled across her nose and although her bushy mane tamed itself and turned into soft curls, she just wasn’t that attractive. She had a slender body, 5’6 and lean. Was she that unattractive? Was that why . . .? She suddenly imagined Ron and groaned in frustration as she shook her head, erasing her train of thoughts. She sighed and tied her hair back into a messy bun, getting ready to wash up.
. . . . . .
“What? You’re going to do what?” Blaise asked as he stared at his friend, shaking his head.
“Are you deaf? How many times do I have to repeat this?” Draco asked his friend with a sigh.
“As many times as possible until it gets through my damn head and I’m thinking this is outrageous.” Blaise stated clearly.
Draco snickered and rolled his eyes in annoyance. “The plan will work and I will succeed.”
“It’s impossible. She hates us.”
“Ah, you won’t know what’s impossible unless you try! Besides, nothing is impossible. Where’s your spirit?” He asked his friend with a smirk.
“Amuse me then, tell me your magnificent plan.” Draco raised an eyebrow at his friend’s sarcasm but brushed it off.
“I, Draco Malfoy, will make Hermione Granger fall in love with me. First, I will befriend her during the winter holidays and after that, we’ll be good friends. Good enough friends to start making my move on her. You understand me?”
“Go into more detail for me, will you?”
Draco rolled his steel grey eyes out of frustration and annoyance. “Look, I’m just going to start being civil with her until winter break is over. I’m going to start tomorrow and we will argue about something, then I’ll say something to throw her off and we all know she’s curious. I’m going to be on her mind all day and night, and then the next day we’ll meet again, argue about something, and boom! I’m sure, by then, we will be best of friends and then I will make my first move on her. I assure you, by then Granger will be all over me.”
“You should really get that brain of yours checked out at St. Mungo’s. It’s really beginning to worry me.”
“Blaise, I’m serious.”
“Are you?” Blaise questioned as he raised an eyebrow. “Look, I know you want Pansy to leave you alone but must you have to go this far?”
“Yes.” Draco said and got up from his seat and sighed.
“But, think it over. The war has ended, mate. And none of us has exchanged any words with each other ever since then. I mean, they all probably still hate us.”
“I know but I’m going to get through that.”
“You’ll go to extreme measures for that girl?”
“Anything to get her to—“
“Fall in love with you and make Pansy back off. Yes, okay, I get it.” Blaise sighed in defeat; there was no turning back for Draco. A stubborn one, he was.
“Glad you’re finally getting with the program. Now, that we are done discussing I’m going to go sleep now.” He stated and started to walk towards the boys’ dormitory stairs. “Oh, and Blaise.” He started as he turned around. “This is a secret between you and me, okay? So if word gets around about this, I will come straight to you and hex you to oblivion.” He warned his friend with cold, ominous grey marbles.
“You have my word, mate.” He breathed out as he leaned back on the couch, completely exasperated from the talk.
“You are indeed a good friend, Zabini.” Malfoy said with a cheeky grin as he walked off, leaving his worried friend.
“He’s mental. The war obviously did something to him. Sure, he changed for the greater good because of the war but . . . he’s mental now.” Blaise began to mutter other nonsense under his breath as he stared off into space. “Mental . . .” He mumbled with a frown as he shook his head in utter disappointment.
. . . . . .
The next morning, Hermione was seen sitting on the couch of the Gryffindor common room reading a book. She had a nice blanket over her with the fire flaming hot in the fireplace. She chewed on her bottom lip with her eyebrows closely knit together, she was focusing hard. She suddenly heard footsteps descending down the stairs from the left side of her, the boys’ dormitory. She ripped her eyes off the pages of her book and lifted her head.
“Good morning.” He yawned as he stretched his arms.
“Good morning, Harry.” Hermione chimed happily as she stared at him. She slightly laughed at his usual messy raven colored hair.
Harry curiously stared at Hermione and immediately shot his hand up, trying to smooth his hair down but it stood still. He sighed and gave it a rest as he dropped his hands to his sides. “What are you reading at this early of an hour?” He asked as he took a seat next to Hermione. “It’s only six thirty . . . in the morning.”
“I’m just reading Hogwarts, A History like usual. But that’s not the real question.” Hermione said as she raised an eyebrow at her friend anxiously. “What are you doing up so early?”
“I just couldn’t sleep, that’s all. Ron was snoring incredibly loud! It’s ridiculous how late he gets in every night.” Harry blurted out and his eyes widened as he furrowed his eyebrows. He pressed his lips into a thin line and fixed his glasses. “You weren’t supposed to hear that.” He laughed nervously as he stared at Hermione.
Hermione bit back her words as she clenched her jaw. It took a lot of effort trying not to care about the guy who broke her heart. “Oh?” She asked as she acted as casual as she could. She bookmarked her page and closed it. “And why is that?”
“Well, I . . . I’m not sure if I should tell you or not—“
“Just calm down.” Hermione laughed and shook her head. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Ron’s doing out so late.” She said slightly bitterly.
“Look, Hermione, I’m sorry for bringing him up. I know you aren’t . . . well, comfortable with him right now?” Harry tried to apologize.
“It’s okay, I’m over it.” Hermione lied as she kept her head high. She spoke so sternly that it surprised Harry how strong she was about it, but she was only trying to convince herself. “I was just upset about a stupid little heartbreak. I’m over it and I’m planning on moving forward.” She told Harry but mostly telling herself.
“Oh really?” He asked with a small grin. “Well, I’m glad you are. I was afraid my two best friends would become enemies over a . . .”
“Misunderstanding.” Hermione finished for him and flashed him a grin. “It’s okay because you won’t have to worry about that.” She lied and immediately felt guilty about it. She was lying to her best friend and she was getting away with it, that’s what made her feel even worse about herself.
“You welcome.” She said and quickly got up as she stretched. “Well, I’m going to take a shower so I’ll meet you at breakfast?”
“Of course.” Harry said with a grin and watched as Hermione quickly left towards the stairs.
. . . . . .
Hermione frowned as she stared at Ron and Liberty, then at Harry and Ginny, and then Malfoy, and then back again with the cycle. She hadn’t touched her food at all since she got there and wasn’t planning on it either. She felt the guilt already eating her alive but she couldn’t just quit, right? She was just getting started. She groaned in frustration as she buried her face into her hands.
“Are you feeling alright, Mione?”
Hermione immediately shot her head back up and lowered her hands. She realized Ron asked her and let out a small laugh. “Oh, I’m fine. I’m just a bit tired, that’s all.” She said as casually as possible.
“You seem to be really stressed out, though.” Lavender said in a fake, sympathetic voice.
Hermione glared at Lavender and quickly rolled her eyes as she shook her head. “I was up studying for the Potions test today.” She replied with a phony grin.
Lavender rolled her eyes annoyingly and scoffed. “Of course you’d study since you can’t get a single guy to take interest in you.” She muttered under her breath but loud enough for Hermione to hear.
Hermione bit back her tongue as she tried to remain calm. She grazed her tongue across her teeth as she held her words.
“We have a Potions test today?” Ron asked with wide eyes.
“Oh, that’s right . . .” Harry said as he scratched his head, exchanging confused glances with Ron.
“You guys are hopeless idiots.” Ginny said with a groan as she rolled her eyes. “You guys both should have just taken that job offer as an Auror instead of coming back here for education. It’s not like it’ll get you both anywhere.”
“Ouch, that hurt.” Harry and Ron managed to say in unison as she glared at the fiery redhead.
“It’s true, isn’t it?” She retorted back with a smirk.
“Won-Won, it’s not true. You’re smart and you will get a wonderful job after you graduate from Hogwarts.” Lavender told him in a sweet whisper as she hooked their fingers together. Ron smiled at her while Hermione and Ginny scowled. Harry wasn’t sure how to react so he just stared at Lavender and Ron with a shocked expression.
Ginny looked at Harry and shook her head. “I’m not going to feed you lies. I’ll say something like that when you deserve it.” She informed him and watched as Harry sighed a bit.
Hermione slightly chuckled and stared at Ginny. “Don’t you think you’re being a bit harsh to your boyfriend?”
“Of course not, I’m acting like this because he’s my boyfriend.” Ginny said matter-of-factly. “Now, enough about that, why are you staring at all of us constantly?”
“Anyone with a brain noticed . . . that’s why those three idiotic people sitting with us haven’t noticed anything.” Ginny said as she shook her head.
“Well, if it’s just you, I won’t worry because you actually know my plan.” Hermione said as she let out a sigh of relief.
“What’s bothering you? You were so excited for the plan yesterday night.”
“I’m just . . . thinking.”
“Yeah, thinking rather hard.” Ginny commented and stared at Hermione. “What’s on your mind?”
“I—uhm, nothing.” Hermione said after a while and slightly grinned. “I’m just wondering how I should approach Malfoy.”
“Well, lucky for you, we have Potions with Malfoy. That’s a perfect opportunity, isn’t it?” Ginny asked with a grin.
“I guess so.” Hermione cautiously took a glance as Malfoy and Zabini sitting together. She sighed and looked down at her food, then pushed it away. “Ron, do you want it?” She asked deliberately, knowing Ron would hands down agree.
“Mmm, yessh.” Ron asked cheerfully with food in his mouth as he took the plate over to his side. Hermione frowned at Ron’s disgusting eating habits. She thought once Lavender started dating him, she’d do something about it, but it seemed like she encouraged him to eat more. She wasn’t very hungry anymore.
. . . . . .
Draco took a seat next to Blaise the next morning with a frown.
“What happened to you?” Blaise asked with a small chuckle.
Draco shot a glare at his friend and groaned. “Don’t even—just shut up.” He said as he held back his tongue from yelling at his friend.
“Rough morning?” Draco merely gave a slight nod and said nothing. Blaise pressed his lips into a thin line as he felt a bit awkward at the silent atmosphere. “So, what are you planning to do today? Isn’t it Day One of your mission?”
“Yes.” Draco said thought his teeth. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”
“Oh . . . well, we have Potions today with Gryffindor so you can talk to her then?”
“Sure.” Draco managed to say and stared at the toast for a long time.
“Okay, then.” Blaise said as he finally gave up on making a conversation. He sighed and turned to his food.
Just then, the whole Great Hall became silent once Professor McGonagall, the new headmistress of Hogwarts, went up to the front. All it took was just the clear of her throat and she had every student’s attention. “I would like to make a few announcements.” She said in a stern yet calm voice.”I would like to inform you that your winter holiday starts next week on Monday so students who are leaving for home should start preparing for that. Those of you who are staying at Hogwarts should also get packed up because the professors and I have decided to carry out a new plan. Do not forget that we have our last Quidditch match before the winter holidays. Thank you.” She finished with a small grin and walked off.
Hermione’s eyes widened as she stared at Ginny, Ron, and Harry. “Quidditch game?” She muttered under her breath and looked at them. “Who are the two teams playing?”
“For the Quidditch game?” Ron asked and received a quick nod from Hermione. “Why, Gryffindor against Slytherin of course. A good last game.” He said with a grin.
Hermione smirked and stared at Ginny. “Interesting.” She said as she thought of a plan.
Ginny frowned and sighed. “What are you planning to do?’
“Nothing.” Hermione said an innocent smile as she shrugged.
On the other side of the Great Hall, Draco and Blaise exchanged glances with each other as the headmistress stepped off the platform.
“We have a game coming up, don’t we?” Draco asked with a sigh.
“You’re the captain, of course we do.” Blaise stated. “Wait, shouldn’t you know that? You’ve been talking about this game ever since our last one. Since we’re going against Gryffindor, you’ve been dying to pulverize them like we did to Ravenclaw.”
“Oh, shit. I forgot.” Draco said with another sigh as he rubbed the side of his face with one hand. “I’ve been so caught up with the Pansy business—“
“Hey, you’re okay, you have me.”
“That’s what worries me.” Draco muttered under his breath, but not soft enough because he received a glare from Blaise.
“We have Quidditch practice today so you should stay out of trouble today in your classes because we can’t afford you, the captain, to get detention again.” Blaise said bitterly as he still frowned at his friend’s comment about him.
Draco shot him a glare and scowled. “You say it like I get detention all the time.”
“Are we seriously going to go there? Of course you do! Every single time you open your damn mouth, you get a detention.” He told his friend with a frown. “Try not to open your mouth, Captain and get to class on time.” He said as he patted Draco on the shoulder, standing up. “I gotta go.”
“Just leave mother.” Draco muttered as he frowned at his food. He looked across the room and stared at Hermione. “Wait . . . we’re going up against Gryffindor? That’s . . . brilliant.” He said with a smirk as he looked over at Hermione Granger.
. . . . . .
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