Professor Dunbar stepped out from the tree where she had been hiding to watch Draco and Hermione’s reconciliation. It fascinated her that a love like this had appeared, such an unlikely couple, the Dark Lord would not have approved. With a sweeping of her cloak she followed them up to the school, careful to set a rain reflecting spell, so she would not get wet and ruin her pristine make-up. The cogs in her brain began turning, adding to the plan she had already begun to form, this Granger girl would be a great addition to her plan, but could also be a hindrance. Hermione would be heartbroken if anything happened to her precious Draco, but she would also protect him. Professor Dunbar knew she would have to be even more sneaky with her plan and a devious smile flickered across her lips, she could not let love get in the way of her revenge. She may not be able to touch the Potter boy, but she could hurt those who hurt her and a bonus would be leaving the girl broken hearted.
She quickened her pace until she was only a few metres behind the unsuspecting couple, who were walking nonchalantly close to each, not quite touching. Hermione and Draco had realised they needed to tell their friends about their relationship before the rest of the school began gossiping. Professor Dunbar jogged the last few steps to catch up with the pair; “Malfoy, would you mind coming to my office after dinner, there is something we need to discuss concerning your potions work” Professor Dunbar informed a confused Draco who just nodded obsoletely. His work had been flawless that term, as was usual for most of his potions work, so it was strange for her to want to see him alone, Draco had a small shiver down his spine which Hermione noticed but did not comment on. Draco shivered and twitched a lot due to the haunting memories of their past. He smiled down at her, noticing the concern in her eyes and wanting nothing more than for all her worries to go away, she smiled back and they continued walking to their shared rooms. They approached their common room slowly before suddenly realising the reason for their early return to school and ran to the head’s meeting.
Once they reached Professor Pittiman’s office they were quite out of breath, and held onto each other giggling breathlessly, before muttering the password and climbing the stairs to his office. Hermione enthusiastically apologised on behalf of the both of them and sat down quickly. The headmaster waved away their lateness not worrying too much, they were teenagers after all; they could be late once or twice, professor McGonagall however pursed her lips at the pair, but refrained from reprimanding them in front of the headmaster.
“Well, let’s get right down to it. It was a good first term, but exam pressure it about to start building and I think the students need something to look forward to, all the students I mean, not just the 7th years, who of course have the leaver’s ball. I was thinking some form of dance or party of whatever it is you call it” the headmaster informed them.
Hermione grinned “I think that’s a lovely idea Sir, but would it have an occasion…theme?”
“Well, that’s where you come in, don’t think I’m naïve, I know about the many parties you all have from time to time, but it would be nice to have a big school event with all the houses” Hermione’s eyebrows knitted together at the mention of non-school organised parties, whereas Draco smirked but they both nodded and agreed to be the primary organisers. Then they continued on with the meeting discussing other matters. When Hermione and Draco finally left the office it was nearly dinner time so they walked slowly toward the great hall, hands nearly touching. Suddenly, Draco grabbed Hermione by the waist and dragged her behind a tapestry to a hidden space; Hermione barely had time to gasp before she was in the dark. Then he kissed her, there was no connotations or need behind the kiss. It was just loving and sweet. Draco leant away from the kiss after a couple of seconds, but Hermione grabbed him from behind the neck and pulled him back in again, her hands wandering through his hair, messing up its perfect demeanour. Draco’s hands lay on her waist, before he pulled her closer into a hug and whispered “I love you” into her ear and kissed her on the cheek before exiting the tapestry and walking towards dinner, leaving a flustered Hermione behind. She flattened her clothes and walked out, making her way to dinner a few seconds after him.
Hermione groaned inwardly as she entered the great hall seeing Ron, she would have to break up with him eventually and the sooner the better. Hermione sighed and walked over to where her friends were sitting, making their way through dinner. Harry smiled at her as she sat down and Ron merely grunted- too absorbed in his food. Ginny raised an eyebrow at her slightly puffy looking lips and messy hair but dismissed it.
“How was the meeting?” Ginny asked.
“It was good thanks,” Hermione answered “they want to put on a party slash ball kind of thing, for this term.
“Ooh! That’s exciting, when’s it going to be?” Ginny asked
“Well I was thinking in the next couple of weeks, so it doesn’t interfere with revision too much, Draco and I haven’t discussed it much…” she trailed off.
“Ha! Good luck getting Malfoy to do anything…lazy git” Ron muttered, spitting out food as he spoke, Hermione blushed but ignored him and Ginny just narrowed her eyes slightly.
“I wonder who I’ll go with” Ginny said, at this Harry’s head snapped up
“You’ll go with me!” he practically shouted- he could be very defensive of Ginny. Ginny rolled her eyes and replied
“That’s no way to ask me, come on Hermione, I need your help on an essay” Ginny then stalked out the hall, but Hermione could see her shoulders shaking as she was laughing at winding Harry up so. Hermione winked at Harry’s bewildered face and followed her out the hall, leaving them both to ponder what they had done. Hermione jogged slightly to catch up with her as they made their way to the Gryffindor common room. “You shouldn’t lead him on you know,” Ginny said and Hermione raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘who?’, “Ron” Ginny whispered. Hermione stopped in her tracks and stared at Ginny. Ginny sighed and slowly began to explain herself, “I’ve seen the way you look at him Hermione, you love him, and not Ron, I mean Malfoy, you’ve barely spent any time with us recently, and you spent ages all upset in your room, I was really worried about you so I asked mum and she said it was ‘none of my business’” Ginny did a great Mrs Weasley impression “which means I knew it was something private and awful. I see the way he looks at you too, the jealousy in his eyes when you’re with Ron, it’s terrifying.”
“What are you trying to say Ginny?” Hermione whispered, not making eye contact.
“I love you Hermione and though I don’t adore your choice of…umm…Malfoy, I don’t hate it. The war is over and we need to get over our prejudices- though I didn’t expect you to get under them” Ginny chuckled and Hermione stared horrified. “Ohmygod Hermione it was a joke! You haven’t!!! But you haven’t had sex with Ron, how can you have had…” Ginny trailed off.
“I’m so sorry Ginny, it just happened and I’m going to tell Ron, I am I swear, it’s just difficult, I don’t want to hurt him.”
“Yeah I understand. But you shouldn’t tell him exactly. It’ll crush him to know you cheated, just say you need to concentrate on exams, or it’s just too soon, I don’t know. Then wait a while and go public with Malfoy or whatever, or maybe go back to Ron, I don’t know.”
“Ginny,” Hermione put a hand on the red head’s shoulder “I’m not going to change my mind about this, I love him. But if you don’t think Ron will like the truth then I won’t tell him, for now” Ginny smiled weakly at her and turned to go into the common room, Hermione turned to return to her own common room before she saw Ron coming down the passageway. He waved at her and then gingerly kissed her when he reached her. “Ron, we need to talk.” Hermione gulped.
Draco walked slowly down to the dungeons trying to avoid any Slytherins that might try to annoy him, dinner had finished a good half an hour ago, but as it was the weekend, many students were still wondering around aimlessly. But Draco passed less and less as he walked deeper into the castle’s depths until there was no one about and nothing moved but the dim torches flickering on the walls. Finally, Draco reached Professor Dunbar’s office and rapped quickly on the door 3 times, it opened automatically, admitting Draco, the door closed quickly behind him, pushing him slightly into the room. He heard clattering of shelves behind her desk and Professor Dunbar appeared from behind and indicated for him to sit as she sat behind her own desk.
“Mr Malfoy, so pleased you could come” she stopped and breathed deeply, adrenaline rushing through her; she knew she had to control herself or she’d make him suspicious. “You have been doing exceptionally well in my subject this year and I wondered if you could help me out with a little thing or two” she smiled sweetly, representing Umbridge slightly, but with a more attractive and feisty edge. “I am experimenting with this potion and I wondered if you could monitor it for me, write notes on what it does, colour change, smell, texture change, you know what I mean. It would be a huge help and would be a lot of extra credit on your potions marks” Draco nodded non-committedly he still did not trust Professor Dunbar, but his marks were important to him and he wanted to do as well as possible. “Ah excellent! I knew you’d want to help. Let me just go get it for you, you can just keep it in your room somewhere.” She quickly got up from her chair and went in search of the potion; Draco’s eyes wondered around the room, it had changed since Snape had been in there. The walls were mainly blank and there were no pictures not decorations anywhere, it was eerily dark. She returned quickly and handed him a small bottle with an open top, inside was a sickly pink coloured liquid, with the consistency of water. Professor Dunbar immediately dismissed him and carried on with her work, when the door had shut behind Draco she smiled evilly. Her plan could not be going more perfectly.
Draco left the office slightly perplexed by the odd task he had been given, but shrugged it off and started to quicken his pace; hoping Hermione would be in the common room waiting for him. When he arrived back in the common room there seemed to be no sign of her at all, until he heard a slight groan from the sofa, Draco chuckled and put the potion beside his bed before he went over to the sofa to see why Hermione was so distraught. He smiled down at her; she was lying on her back with a hand over her face and her hair flying out haphazardly around her head. Draco pushed some hair out from her face and knelt down beside her, slowly she lifted her hand from her face so her eyes could meet his.
“I broke up with Ron, it was horrid” Hermione sighed sitting up so Draco could sit next to her but then she just lay back down across his lap and he played silently with her hair listening to the play-by-play of her breakup with Ron. How she had told him she couldn’t manage it right now and that she still adored him but it wasn’t right, Hermione had said so many things that just left Ron with false hope of their relationship, but Draco shrugged this off, there was no point killing the boy’s spirits yet. It wasn’t till Hermione said that they couldn’t publicly be a couple yet that Draco got annoyed.
“What?” Draco said darkly. Hermione did a double take and sat up slightly.
“I mean…for now, so as not to hurt his feelings” Hermione bit her lip looking nervous but Draco didn’t shrink away from her, he just shrugged.
“Alright,” Hermione looked surprised, Draco laughed at her expression “if you don’t want to hurt someone then I can wait for a bit, but in the meantime…” Draco hooked his hand round the back of Hermione flipping her under him on the sofa. Then he kissed her softly and then deepened the kiss, Hermione’s hands began roaming through his hair again as his held tightly onto her waist. Hermione then unhooked her hands from his hair and started unbuttoning his shirt, he expertly pushed her hands away and unbuttoned them swiftly himself while kissing her lightly on the neck. Draco made a move to go to his bedroom but Hermione dragged him back down, not wanting to move from the sofa.
The next morning they woke up still lying on the sofa, exactly where they had been the night before, and this time when Draco went to shower, Hermione went with him.