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A Beginning and Therefore Change by CrimsonCharmRose
Chapter 7 : Chapter 7~ Partners
 
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Nothing that is completely recognizable from the books or the character are mine, they belong to the one and only J. K. Rowling :)

 

Chapter 7~ Partners

 

            Two week had passed and everything seemed to be falling into a decent pattern. There had been no word on anything to do with their newly assigned partners so everyone was still trying to figure it out and those who hated the idea were gratefully ignoring it. Hermione wasn’t thinking about it much and was finding that, until the next couple times that she had to work on the Polyjuice Potion with Malfoy, she was able to avoid him pretty well. She had already looked up the instructions for the potion and figured out what class days they’d be working on it. She had another week that she would be Malfoy free. Or so she thought. 

She was in the library and was researching for an essay when she heard someone moving around on the other side of the book case directly across from her cozy chair in her corner. They were making enough noise that she finally got up to tell them to be quiet. As she rounded the tight corner she came face to face with Malfoy. Naturally she took a step back. He was looking at her but it wasn’t in a mean way. It looked to her like he was trying to study her. She took another step back, but as she did he took a step towards her. Then he leaned in very close and whispered in her ear,

“Aren’t you supposed to be studying Granger?”

His scent was all that she could smell and when he spoke so close to her she felt shivers down her spine. The butterflies in her stomach went crazy.
“I see I’ve made you speechless again. I think it’s becoming a habit.” He said giving her his smirk, but it was softer somehow.

He took a step back, went over and picked up two books sitting on the ledge and then. As he passed her again he nodded his head,
“Night Granger.”

Then he was gone.

She leaned against the bookcase behind her. If she didn’t know any better she would say that Malfoy was trying to get her attention. She tried to shake it off, but that night she had dreams with him… dreams she was not exactly comfortable with.

The next morning things got even better. As she was sitting at breakfast the mail came and letters suddenly appeared in front of everyone. She opened it up and felt herself become nervous,

Miss Granger,

This is to inform you that you and your sorted partner are required to meet in the Transfiguration classroom this Friday at 8:00pm. Instructions will be given to you then.

Have a nice day,

Headmistress McGonagall.

“Hermione?”
“Yeah?”

“Is yours about this whole partner thing too?”

She looked at Harry who had asked her and nodded.

“What does yours say?” She asked him.

He handed her his letter and she read it. She saw that it said almost the same thing but the names and the location were different. She had a day. She made the mistake of looking over to see Malfoy reading his letter and she felt nervous again. What am I supposed to do? She had to be a Gryffindor.  Brave. She had to also face the facts that she had faced much worse than working on a project with Malfoy. Ron arrived and she looked him while he was reading his letter with a scowl. He looked up at them and asked,

“Did you lot get this too?”

They held their letters up to show him. But Hermione had a question.
“Ron, whats the date on your letter?”

“Uh, the Friday two weeks from now… why?”

She looked at Harry. She knew that would have to be split up, but this whole thing still made her feel weird.
“Mine and Hermione’s are both this Friday. McGonagall must be splitting up the times of when everyone meets.” Harry said.

“Oh, sorry mate.” Ron replied and patted Harry on the back.

They went to the dungeons for potions and Hermione made more of an effort not to interact with Malfoy or look at him. By doing this she didn’t notice the glances she got a few times. The day passed uneventful, which Hermione was grateful for. She had enough on her mind. She knew that not everyone was having the same feelings as she and Ron were. Other people had people they knew or liked, or just people from a better house than the one she had gotten stuck with.

After dinner that day she decided she wanted to go to bed early. She muttered the password at the Fat lady and then went directly to her room. She lay in bed for awhile trying not to think, but for her that was almost impossible. She grabbed her wand off the bedside table and practiced non-verbal spells until she finally fell asleep.

Friday arrived and Hermione was not thrilled. She hadn’t been sleeping well and at breakfast wasn’t talking to anyone. They, or more like Ginny, had seen she was in a mood and the boys didn’t say anything to her. She was glad that Ginny picked up on stuff like that sometimes. The day seemed to drag on and make the waiting and her nerves want to explode. She was fidgety at dinner and was so preoccupied in their common room that she finally just left and walked to the Transfiguration classroom. She sat on a desk and played around with different spells while she waited. Hermione had her back to the door so she didn’t notice when Malfoy walked in.

“Evening Granger”

She jumped a little and spun around wand raised, although she knew who it was.

“Did you have to scare me?” She snapped at him.
“Someone’s in a good mood.” He said frowning a little. “What would you have liked me to do? Come down the hall making as much noise as possible?”

She realized she was being uptight and a little unfair. But this was Malfoy so part of her wanted to say “yes” to his ridiculous question. She decided to not say anything. They waited a few more minutes and then both of them started to get anxious. Hermione had been expecting someone to come in and explain things. The letter had said that instructions would be given here.
“Your letter did say tonight at eight, right?” Malfoy suddenly asked, a little hesitant.
“Yeah, and it also said we would receive instructions here.” She didn’t snap this time. She saw no point in it.

“What is that?”
“What’s what?” She said frustrated.

He pointed to something over her shoulder. She looked around and saw paper sitting on a desk. It hadn’t been there when she arrived so it must have appeared when she wasn’t paying attention. They both walked over and looked at it. On the front were the words Instructions. Oh very funny Hermione thought to herself. She would have thought it would have a much nicer and informative title, but no. She reached her hand out and flipped the first page.

It was mostly blank. The only writing on the page was something telling them to sign and then two lines underneath. They both grabbed the quill, which had appeared next to them and each of them signed their name. As Malfoy finished signing, the paper became a stack of papers. They looked at each other. Then Malfoy spoke.

“If all we’re going to do is read and fill out papers, I’m not doing this.”
“I’m not too thrilled with that thought either.” She frowned.

She turned the next page and saw a full page of writing. Now we’re getting somewhere. She began to read.

Mister Malfoy and Miss Granger,

Thank you for accepting this attempt to partner with someone from a different house in order to try and unite the school. In this packet you will find all the instructions you need for everything that you will do. You may go beyond when it here, but this is the minimum.

Once you have read the instructions and accomplished what is described, put a check mark at the bottom of the page in the box with the ink and quill next to this packet. It will allow you to see the next set of instructions.

There is no exact time limit for this, but if either of you should fail to check off the page or there is too much time in between, someone will inquire as to why.

Check off the bottom of this page and you may see the next step.

Thank you and good luck to you both,

Headmistress McGonagall 

Hermione just stared. They were just expected to do this on their own. She doubted that Malfoy would. She didn’t know what to think about this whole thing. While she had stood there thinking about what she had just read, Malfoy had leaned across and checked off the page. He then turned to the next page and they both read it.

1. Get to know your partner; ask questions and find out.

2. Pick a subject and decide on a project that goes along with it. This project can be turned in to either the Headmistress or the professor of that subject you’ve chosen.

*It is suggested that the project not take too long.

Oh fun, chit chat with Malfoy… This is going to be a slow torturous year. She turned and looked at Malfoy. He seemed slightly amused by it.
“So Granger… ready to sit down and have a nice talk?” he smirked.
Hermione decided to skip answering his comment and get right to it.
“Whats your favorite color? Oh and black doesn’t count.”

“Right to business? Fine. Um…I guess green.”

Now it was Hermione’s turn to smirk.
“Typical.”
“Hey, you asked and I answered. Whats your favorite color?”
“Purple.”

They went on like this for a few minutes and then Hermione remembered the assignment.
“What’s your favorite subject?”
She was expecting it to be either Potions or Defense against the Dark Arts, but his response surprised her.
“Charms.”

“Really?” She said as her interest peeked. She was finding that talking to him wasn’t so bad.
“Yeah, what were expecting? Potions?”
“Yes, or defense against the dark arts.”
A shadow flitted across his face and he looked away.
“I suppose that’s because I’m a Malfoy?” he said through gritted teeth.
Hermione raced to find something to say. She hadn’t meant to insult him, but knowing how he had been she’d always assumed. 
“No. I guess it was just because of… never mind.”
She turned away. Great, now things are awkward. She felt heat rising on her face. She didn’t want to look at him. So when he spoke again she had to force herself to look up.
“You really think I’m an evil, twisted prick don’t you?”
She opened her mouth, but he spoke again.
“I guess you have reason. I treated you horribly.” Pause.  “I… I’m sorry Granger.”
Her mouth dropped again, but this time it was from shock. Had Malfoy just apologized? She quickly closed her mouth and then studied him. He really did seem sincere about it.

 

Draco’s view…

Malfoy had just stopped speaking. He had just apologized to Hermione Granger. What did I just say? Me apologize to Granger? I guess I really am falling for her, but I can’t let her know. He had fully come to terms with the fact that he liked her, but he was not going to say anything. For all he knew she still hated him and was just playing politeness. He stared at the floor but had seen her mouth drop as he had uttered his apology. They both needed to continue with their project, which they both realized, but he was hesitant to say anything at the moment. Finally she spoke to him.

“Um… I think we should continue on the project. So, Charms is your favorite. We could do something in that subject.”
He sighed a little in relief. They were moving forward.

“Yeah, that sounds fine. What kind of project are you thinking of?” He asked her shaking his slightly shaggy hair out of his eyes.

“Well, I’ve always liked and been pretty good at different flames, but there is so much that we could choose from. What is something you like?”
He thought for a moment. What did he enjoy? He had an idea.

“What about different kinds of concealment? Like the Disillusionment Charm and spells to make ourselves invisible?”
He could see her thinking about it. Draco figured she probably didn’t want to agree with him right off, but she was considering it.

“I think that’s a good idea but it’s a really general area so why don’t you take one of them and I’ll take the other and then we can combine. If we wanted we could even make it a practical and applied project where we try some of the spells. Under supervision, of course.”

“Supervision?” He questioned.
He realized what she meant and right as he came up with the answer in his head she had already started answering.
“Well I don’t think you would want to make yourself invisible and have something go wrong. It might may things kind of complicated.”

He saw her smile to herself a little. She had a very nice smile. Shut up Draco… Just because you like her doesn’t mean you need to start noticing this…but he couldn’t help it. He also couldn’t resist the opportunity to tease a little.

“What? Be invisible and have no one be able to see me and find me? Who wouldn’t want to get stuck like that?”
She stared at him and then realized he was joking, although part of him wasn’t. He was pretty sure that if he suddenly disappeared no one would notice or care. There had been times he considered it. He was drawn from his thinking when she spoke again.
“I think we have it figured out then. Did the package have a time frame for this?”

“I don’t know, lets see.” And with that he checked off the current page.

The following page had two simple lines both with checks marks and the answer to their question. It gave them up to 3 weeks to complete their project. As Granger looked at the sheet Draco glanced up at the clock. Ten o’clock. They had already been there two hours and it had been easy. He looked back at her and sighed to himself because part of him didn’t want to leave her presence, but he must. She looked up to see him looking at her and Draco saw her blush a little.
“It’s late, so we best be heading back. I think we have our idea but we should check in with either other by memo or something to stay on the same page.” He suggested.

He saw her look a little surprised but she nodded and spoke.

“I agree. We wouldn’t want to going way off track. So before we turn in, what part do you want to do?”
“Um, I’ll do invisibility.”
“Ok, then I’ll research information on different disillusionment charms.”

They both walked toward the door and once outside Draco knew they would head in different directions. He turned to her with his classic smirk.

“Night Granger.” He said.
His glaze lingered long enough to see her reaction which was between shock and… annoyance maybe? He made his way back to the dungeons thinking about the last two hours. He allowed himself to think that he was going to actually enjoy these times where he had to meet with her. Plus they had to stay in touch so that meant he had all the right to talk to her outside of class and send her notes. Anticipation filled him and he began to think of how he could do this. Weasely would be furious by him sending letters, but there was nothing that git could do about it. He smiled to himself. This would be fun. Then his thoughts drifted back to the girl he was in love with as he fell asleep.

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Hermione realized she had just been standing there for a couple minutes after Malfoy had said goodnight and walked away from her. She was still surprised by his behavior the entire night. He hadn’t teased or insulted her at all. She had found it actually quite pleasant to talk with him and learn about him. She realized they would also have to stay in contact outside of their meeting times. Her stomach gave a weird flop as she thought about it but she ignored it. She had made her way along the corridors and was about half way to the Gryffindor Tower when she heard a noise. She looked around her and saw Peeves floating towards her slowly. She stopped.

“Ooohhhh it’s one of the Golden Trio!” He cackled. “What mischief is you up to?”
“Oh shut up Peeves.”
“Oh, not feeling very friendly.”
He suddenly brought his hands from behind his back and Hermione saw a large blue water balloon trapped between his fingers.
“Don’t you dare Peeves!”

“Peeves is just going to wipe that unfriendliness away.” And with that he promptly dropped the water balloon directly on Hermione’s head. It burst and she was soaked from head to toe. He watched her reaction and then zoomed off cackling some more.

“Peeves… you’ll bloody pay for this!” She shouted after him.
She knew it was no use. There wasn’t much that could be done about him except to try and avoid him. She wiped the water out of her eyes and continued to the tower. She was now in a bad mood and all the good things that had been running through her mind had vanished.

“I hate that bloody poltergeist.” She muttered to herself as she climbed through the portrait hole. She looked around the room and noticed that only older students where in the room. As her eyes fell on Harry, Ron and Ginny they all looked around at her and gaped.
“Hermione, what happened to you?” Harry asked looking concerned.
“Was it Malfoy? Just give me a reason to hit him back.” Ron seethed.
“No, it wasn’t Malfoy. It was Peeves.”
“Oh.” All three of them said.
Ginny spoke up.
“Do you want me to help you dry your clothes? Oh and how did things go with Malfoy?”
Hermione smiled. Ginny was always a good person, that was, unless you got on her bad side. Then you would be wise to run.
“Things with Dr…Malfoy went fine. We talked and decided on a project. He has actually changed a lot.”
Ron didn’t seem to believe her but Harry nudged him so he wouldn’t say anything. Harry just nodded and Ginny looked reassured. Then Ginny stepped forward and took her arm.
“Lets go get you changed and then you can decide what you want to do. It’s already about eleven.”

Both girls went up to their room, changed and then decided to talk about what was going on around the school before going to bed.

 

Any responses would be appreciated. Those of you who have kept reading are far enough in to have an opinion. I hope you like it!


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