Hermione stormed into the Great Hall, her ears probably letting out steam. “MALFOY! How dare you! You moron! Git! Where the hell are you?” she screamed. Her chocolate brown eyes were wild with fury as she scanned the Slytherin table for the pureblood brat.
She huffed angrily. The ferret was nowhere to be found. She thought, If that’s how he wants it, so be it! Then she stubbornly marched up to Zabini and grabbed hum be the neckline of his robe with such anger that she wondered whether Ron and Ginny’s Weasley ways had started rubbing off on her.
“Where. Is. He?” she muttered, teeth clenched in frustration. The arrogance, the insolence of the ferret to do that!
To her disappointment, Zabini’s brown eyes glittered with amusement. What else could she have expected? After all, he was Malfoy’s best mate– or as close as Slytherins could get without realizing they were actually turning into caring human beings. “Poor Granger. Did Malfoy do something to tarnish our ever-perfect Head Girl’s image now?” he mocked, but then a girl sitting next to him slapped his arm.
She stared angrily at him with fiery chocolate eyes, and Zabini instantly lost any trace of evil in his expression. His eyes melted into such an abundance of warmth and affection that Hermione wondered whether she was imagining all of this.
The girl turned to Hermione and said sweetly, “Don’t mind Blaise. He can be a bit irritating at times.” At this, Zabini donned a pout, which caused the girl to laugh. “I’m Astoria, by the way. Astoria Greengrass,” she finished, extending her hand out.
Hermione shook it, still dazed. “Are you certain you’re a Slytherin?” she asked incredulously.
"You know, the war changed most of us Slytherins,” Astoria stated matter-of-factly. “Most.”
Yeah, but not Malfoy, Hermione scoffed inwardly. The ferret was too high up on his pedestal to ever come down. She then took leave of Astoria to hunt down the mummy’s boy. Just when she reached the arch that marked the Great Hall, someone bumped into her, causing her to stumble sideways. She was still so angry at Malfoy that she was ready to hex the innocent bypasser.
Suddenly Hermione felt something envelop her waist, pulling her body against someone else’s. The contact sent an electrifying chill through her bones. She shivered deeply when hot breath fell upon her right ear. Hermione closed her eyes. The only person who had held her like this was Ron… when they had been dating… and she could never be his again…. Her eyes snapped open once she realized that she was still frozen in place while someone was all over her body. She willed herself to wrench away, but her body refused to accept.
"Looking for someone, Mudblood?” a low, cold voice whispered into her ear. Hermione’s eyes stretched even wider as she realized who the speaker was. Normally, her anger would have fueled her to pull away and throw some spells his way, but by some black magic (maybe Voldemort’s– it was a possibility, after all!), her feet were rooted in place.
As she opened her mouth and mentally prepared an angry rant, he grabbed her wrist and spun her around sharply. Hermione then found herself glaring into stormy gray eyes. For some reason, this sight made her slightly dizzy. She didn’t have time to fall to the ground, however. He tugged at her again, and suddenly her body was crushed against his, her arms on his chest, his arms tight around her waist. Hermione tried to block out any thought that screamed that this felt so right, but there were too many of these thoughts to ignore. It’s not right! He’s Malfoy, by Merlin! Ignoring the strange feelings that were fluttering about in her stomach, she tried to break away from him, but he only held on tighter.
She tried to reassure herself about her strange behavior. I haven’t eaten since last night. And I’m a teenager; this is bound to happen. I just have to try my best to battle it. Concentrate, Granger! Yes, that was it. Stupid teenage hormones. Here was a challenge that would be awfully hard for Hermione to overcome, but she wasn’t going to go down without a fight. She beamed inwardly as she regained control of herself. The real Hermione Granger is back. The ferret can’t mess with me!
Realizing that Malfoy was still smirking at her, she spat in full-fledged Hermione fury, “What do you want, Malfoy? I can’t believe you would honestly do that in Potions! And Slughorn was fooled! I told you that you should’ve done the bloody essay instead of fooling around with Zabini, who, might I add, actually finished his essay! You’re so… despicable! Get your hands off me!”
Malfoy chuckled. “What a disorganized speech. Could it possibly be that our glorious Head Girl is slipping up? First skipping an essay, now this? What a shame,” he taunted.
These false accusations left Hermione gaping. “For your information, that happened to be a rant, not a speech. Rants are not organized. You know as well as I do that it was you, not me, who skipped that essay. Now get away from me!” She managed to fish out her wand and blast him back into the wall.
“Bloody hell!” came his cry of pain. “What was that for, Granger?” he howled, rubbing the back of his head, trying to blink the tears out of his eyes.
"That,” Hermione smirked triumphantly, “was for switching my essay with your blank one. Anyways, you’ll get caught. I mentioned topics that Professor Slughorn and I discussed privately.” She could feel her smirk growing with every word.
Then she started walking away, humming a victory song. Suddenly, her stomach grumbled loudly. She groaned; maybe she wasn’t so successful after all. Stalking over to the Gryffindor table, she slammed herself down next to Ginny. If I don’t eat something now, I’ll die of starvation! she thought miserably. Luckily, there was still plenty of food to be eaten. Piling a great deal of chicken onto her plate, she eagerly sunk her fork into a piece. As she lifted it to her mouth, she could already taste its glory. Well, actually, she couldn’t because Ginny had turned to her and put her hand on Hermione’s arm.
“What was that, ’Mione?” hissed the redhead, her brown eyes blazing with annoyance. Hermione shrank back slightly. Everyone knew that the only thing worse than a hungry Hermione was an angry Ginny– and possibly Voldemort.
Glancing away from her friend, she timidly asked, “What was… what? Are you okay?”
Ginny huffed angrily. “No, I am not! Why didn’t you kiss Malfoy when he was all over you? A dare’s a dare, ’Mione. You can’t go back on your word…”
She trailed off when she noticed Hermione tearing up. The golden-haired girl’s eyes were lit with misery when she retorted, “Maybe I’m not ready! Maybe I haven’t moved on from Ron yet!” Hermione gasped. She had just barely come to terms with that statement. She hadn’t wanted to accept it, much less blurt it out! “I… I mean… I’m quite hungry, Gin. The ferret can wait,” she stammered half-heartedly. Well, her excuse wasn’t entirely fake, was it?
Hermione glanced at Ginny and realized that the feisty redhead was far from convinced. However, Ginny’s eyes had softened, and so had her tone. “Oh, ’Mione, my brother’s an idiot. I can understand the pain of separation, but my brother is not worth wasting your tears and drowning yourself in loneliness. The only girl who’s at his equally low level is Lavender.” These words warmed Hermione’s heart so much that she tackled Ginny with a hug. She places me above her own brother. Thank Merlin I have such wonderful friends! As she thought this, she realized that Ginny looked a bit off.
“What’s the matter?” she teased. “Harry’s waiting for you, Gin. He always will. No need to worry.”
Ginny blinked twice rapidly, quite frazzled. “’Mione, I think I’m psychic…” she trailed off.
This caused Hermione to burst out laughing. “Ginny, you’re starting to sound like that nutcase Trelawney!” she managed to convey in between spasms of laughter.
The redhead shoved her lightly. “I mean it! Look over there,” she pointed to two people sitting on the far end of the table.
What Hermione saw made her want to Avada Kedavra herself. Wait, is that even possible? She made a mental note to look that up. At the receiving end of her astonishment were Ron and Lavender, sitting almost on top of each other and snogging each other’s faces off, continuing the disgusting display they had started in sixth year. Hermione rolled her eyes. Of all people Ron flocks to, it’s her. As if she’ll make me jealous! Well, two can play this game!
A mischievous smirk crept onto her face as she turned to Ginny. “I just realized that I have a dare to complete. Oh, and make sure Ronald gets a good view, will you?” she laughed as she left in search of the ferret again.
This time she had no trouble finding him. He sat at the Slytherin table, playing with his food as he tried to ignore Parkinson’s horrible pleas for a second chance. Well, it’s about time he told her off! Hermione tapped his shoulder, and he whipped around instantly.
Pansy shrieked, “Drakie! The filthy Mudblood touched you!” Hermione rolled her eyes at the same time that Malfoy did.
“Yes, Granger?” he asked, his voice dripping with desire to get away from Pansy as well as hatred for her.
Trying to not laugh at Malfoy’s crisis (it was just too tempting), she asked, “Can I have a word with you? In private?”
“Please, give me a whole lecture!” he practically begged and followed her to a spot near the Gryffindor table. “Well?” he asked expectantly (although he probably didn’t care).
"Um…” Hermione stalled. She hadn’t thought her plan this far out– or at all. “McGonagall told me after Potions that she was disappointed by how little we get along. She says it doesn’t promote house unity, and so we need to act friendly.” Yes, this story was working out nicely; it was believable. Add that to my list of talents: winging it.
“And so we have to pretend to get along…” Malfoy concluded with disdain, although there was also something undetectable in his voice.
Hermione huffed, feigning boredom. “Pretty much. Oh, and I thought we could start off with this…” She grabbed his robe’s collar and brought her lips to his. Hell, she had no idea what she was doing. Luckily, Malfoy took control, putting his arms around her waist. He tilted his head slightly so as to deepen the kiss. Hermione lost control of her senses. She had never thought that kissing anyone, much less Malfoy, could be so electrifying. All her thoughts jumbled up, and she had to constantly remind herself to breathe. All she cared about now was kissing Malfoy, feeling the fire with which they kissed, not losing the warmth it gave her.
When she finally had enough sanity, she broke away and said, “To house unity!” Laughing merrily, Hermione left the Great Hall, leaving behind a cocky Malfoy, upset-beyond-words Ron, annoyed Lavender, and ecstatic Ginny. She groaned when she realized that she still hadn’t eaten anything.
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