A/N: Hello again everyone! I’m back with another installment of LMM! I know I left you guys hanging a little since I cut this chapter in half, but it was necessary. When I wrote it, I realized this half was ridiculously long, so I split it. S/O to Merlyana_Moon, dracos lover, Ms.NoOne, anonymous writer, Draco_or_Harry_102597, what, and dontdiscriminate for the lovely reviews last chapter. Strong language warning in this chapter. Anyways, here it is, part 2! xx
We sprinted to the dungeons, not stopping until we reached the Potions room. Professor Imohera—along with the rest of the class—turned around as we entered, breathing heavily, hands on our knees. “Sorry Professor, we had to escort first years to Herbology. It took longer than expected,” I gasped, sucking in lungfulls of air.
“That’s quite all right, just pull out your books and get started on Amortentia. I presume you can do it, yes? Since everyone else has been partnered up already, you two will work together for the rest of the term. Begin!” Professor Imohera said, his frustrated expression changing to one of pleasant indifference as they left.
Fantastic. I know what I’ll smell, since it’ll be the same as last year with Slughorn. Especially since Granger’s my partner, I won’t hardly be able to keep away from her. I wonder what she smells, and whether it’s changed since last year wheb she was so obviously in love with Weasley. Ugh, this needs to be bloody over already.
We set our bags down at the last open table; I retrieved the cauldron and began prepping it while Hermione got the ingredients. She returned quickly and handed me ingredients to chop, squeeze, and otherwise dismantle like clockwork. My book was open to the instructions, but since we were the top two students again, now that Potter had lost Snape’s old Potion book, we barely looked at them; we only checked to confirm we were completing the procedures correctly.
Even with our late start, we managed to finish with about fifteen minutes to spare, so we sat back, Hermione stirring the potion occasionally to keep it evenly mixed. This is my chance to see who she really loves, I thought.
Nervously I cleared my throat and wiped my sweaty palms on my thighs. “So, Granger, what do you smell? Still smelling spearmint toothpaste and freshly-mown grass?” I smirked, keeping it light so she wouldn’t suspect anything.
She gave me one of her trademark looks and replied, “No, actually. Now I smell…roses, crushed pine needles, and…something almost, spicy? I still smell new parchment and old books though.” Hermione said dazedly after sniffing the potion’s fumes for so long. “What do you smell, then?”
Shit. I received a raised brow when I didn’t respond immediately. “Well?” she prodded.
“I smell a hint of apples…vanilla, outside after it’s rained, and…violets,” I stated quietly. Hermione’s brows were furrowed as she tried to figure out why I smelled that combination. The minute she said pine needles and roses I knew it was I; she just didn’t know it yet.
Immediately a plan began forming in my mind. But before I could put it into action, I needed to get on civil terms with Weasley. Potter was already halfway there, so hopefully Weasley would follow his lead. I knew it would take time for all of them to get over all the insults and hurt I threw their way in the past. My fellow Slytherins saw my change and regret, and followed suit—in some respects at least. There remained animosity between them and Gryffindor, but that was to be expected. The few of us returning seventh years were slowly becoming friends. Inter-house relationships were springing up everywhere; although, Slytherins were less involved with this, but nonetheless, a few still took chances at talking to other Houses.
I snapped out of my reverie when Granger elbowed me in the ribs. I made to make an angry reply when she shot me a look and nodded towards the front of the classroom. Professor Imohera said, “All right class, settle down. Your time is up so stop brewing your potion, Mr. Weasley. Now, those of you managing to brew a decent Amortentia will put your potion into vials to be sent for use in the Ministry and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Miss Granger and Mr. Malfoy, and Ms. Patil and Mr. Zabini, please bring your cauldrons to the front. The rest of you clean up your messes and begin writing your essay over the uses of Amortentia and it’s harmful effects; one roll of parchment at minimum. You are dismissed.”
Levitating our cauldron up to the front table, I quickly gathered my things and put them in my bag, having dropped the briefcase soon into sixth year. Hermione was already ladling the potion into large vials, so I merely stood next to her as she finished up. Quietly observing her slightly untidy hair, I noticed a curl out of place and could feel my hand itching to tuck it behind her ear, but resisted.
Professor Imohera finally dismissed us to our next class. Thankfully, it was just Head Duties, so Granger and I would be late together, even though it really wouldn’t matter that much. We hurried to Professor McGonagall’s office, robes flapping wildly.
I really needed to thank Harry for sending Cho over to talk to me during the start-of-term feast soon. We were hitting it off, better than I ever had with Hermione or Lavender. Even though Lavender had survived the battle, she decided not to return to Hogwarts because of the werewolf bite and scars on her neck and face. I didn’t blame her though; I was actually kind of glad that I wouldn’t have to deal with her clinginess.
Cho and I walked to Charms together after we finished breakfast, me still fuming about Malfoy and Hermione. He had no right to be sitting so close to her! And now, with the dance incentive, they would be spending even more time together outside of class. That little git had better watch himself, or I’d have to tell him to bugger off myself.
Charms went well, considering I’m rubbish at it, even with Cho helped me out a lot. She even said she would help me with my essays! I think I might really like her. After Charms, we had to split up because she had to go to Herbology and I had to go to Defense Against the Dark Arts with Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan.
“Bye, Ron. See you at lunch,” Cho said, waving slightly as she walked off with a few other Ravenclaws.
“See ya,” I replied, a smile on my face. We had been partnered together for the rest of the term in Charms, something that cheered me greatly. Or maybe it was that Hermione didn’t upstage me all the time in class. I walked down the corridor to meet up with them at the statue of the humpbacked witch.
“Oi, Dean, Seamus! Over here!” I shouted above the noise, aware they didn’t see me. Dean met my eyes and hit Seamus on the arm, wading through the crowd to meet me.
“Sorry, mate, didn’t see you there. Let’s go to Defense,” Dean said cheerily. Seamus was mellower, not joining in the conversation much on the way to the classroom. When we entered, Professor Dragoran was nowhere to be found. The rest of our classmates, a mix of seventh year Hufflepuffs, Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins, were voicing their concerns as to the teacher’s whereabouts.
We stood milling about when a powerful male voice shouted, “Settle down, class! Take your seats, please.” Professor Dragoran strode into my line of sight in a pair of navy blue robes and levitating a large stack of textbooks—causing us all to groan loudly. “Now, I know you hate books, but you will not be taking these with you. Because you are in your final year, there is little left for you to learn from reading. Most of your classes will be spent practicing spells against dummies and your peers.”
Tuning his speech out, I thought, “This will be bloody amazing! Even though I’m not the best at spells, I should do well since I helped Harry kill You-Know-Who last summer. I’m already starting to like this Professor. Of course, no one can beat Lupin’s teaching.”
When everyone around me began getting up, I left my thoughts and asked Seamus what we were doing. “We’re partnering up with people from other Houses. I reckon it’s for McGonagall’s plan for House unity,” Seamus answered, shrugging a little.
I nodded in response and decided to be brave and see if Blaise Zabini would want to be partners. “Oi, Zabini!” I said loudly, walking over to where he and the other Slytherins were sulking in the corner. “Look, mate, I know you probably don’t want to do this as much as I do, but I think that for the sake of this class, we should be partners. McGonagall might loosen up a bit about House unity too.”
He gave me a cold look before he nodded once. “Err…great, then.” I walked back over to Dean and Seamus. “What, it had to be done. Might as well lead the way, right?” I said in response to their incredulous looks.
I really hope this was the beginning of something new for us all. I had Cho as a very possible girlfriend; prejudices were dropping. Everything was looking great, at least in my life.
“Severus Snape,” Draco spoke to the stone gargoyle, stealing a glance at Hermione’s flushed complexion next to his shoulder. “Do you know anything about the new class War and Peace?” he asked her, curious to see whether she really knew it all.
“Unfortunately, I probably know about as much as you do on this one, Malfoy,” she replied, a small frown on her face as they ascended the stairs.
Draco raised a hand and knocked lightly on the door, and opened it upon hearing a quiet “Come in,” from McGonagall, allowing Hermione in first. Restraining himself from staring at her bum, he looked around the office until he sat in one of the chairs across from McGonagall’s desk.
“Good morning to the both of you. I trust your first class went well? Splendid. Biscuit? Well, we have just a few things to discuss and then you may begin your rounds and place the donation box outside the Great Hall,” Professor McGonagall said, offering them both a biscuit before replacing them in a desk drawer. “Firstly, the new class War and Peace is something new for the school to have. I discussed it with Dumbledore, and he agreed that it would be a good idea. The two of you, Mr. Thomas, and Miss Lovegood will teach this course. You will teach what you deem necessary to further student understanding of the liability, troubles, emotions, and near about everything else concerning war," she paused.
"The reason the four of you are teaching it is because you four are unique to the war. Even though you, Miss Granger, were pivotal in Voldemort’s defeat, you can offer the clearest insight into our side and being a muggleborn. Mr. Malfoy, you can offer the insight of being a pureblood and what it was like to be forced to do things to stay alive, something many students don’t realize was a difficult thing. Mr. Thomas was chosen because he was captured by Snatchers and is a half-blood. And finally, Miss Lovegood will give the perspective of being held ransom and the necessity of retaining hope and sanity in times of war. The other two have been notified and informed of the class and agreed to teach it. All I need now is your confirmation.”
She looked at both of them, knowing already they would agree to it because both had rumors to dispel about their actions during the war. Draco and Hermione then looked at each other and nodded once.
“We’ll do it,” they said strongly in unison.
“Good. I’ll have Starry give you the course materials and rough structure of the class after dinner tonight in your common room. Tomorrow you will meet with the Prefects in my former Transfiguration classroom to form patrolling schedules and figure out the major points of the benefit. You will meet once every two weeks with them during this time; otherwise, it is a free period for the both of you. The staff and I have agreed upon which dance you are to perform for the benefit; it is the Argentine Tango. A teacher will be here next week to begin your lessons. Now, unless you have anything for me, you are dismissed,” Professor McGonagall finished, turning to a letter on her desk.
They stood to leave, careful not to touch each other. As soon as they were outside by the stone gargoyle, Draco had the sudden urge to shove Hermione against the wall and snog her senseless. He shook his head to get rid of that thought and stepped away for good measure. They walked down the corridor in comfortable silence, taking their time to get to Transfiguration, as they had some extra time. Neither of them noticed the poltergeist hiding behind a suit of armor, watching them with a mischievous glint in his eye.
Every time Harry tried getting Ginny alone, she would brush him off and walk away with her friends. He eventually stopped trying so frequently during the day, deciding to leave it until after dinner. In the meantime, Harry had begun talking to Luna again, her and Neville having sort of fizzled out, leaving her with a few less people to talk to that didn’t think she was crazy.
Harry had missed talking to Luna; her disturbingly clear insights were a nice break from Ginny’s accusations and glares. They didn’t have any class together because Luna was only a sixth year, like Ginny—her and Harry’s talking didn’t escape Ginny’s suspicious eyes. The only thing Harry hoped for was that Ginny would realize she was being stupid and come back to the boy who loved her and not go cavorting off with some unworthy guy.
He could only hope for the best, but the best was yet to come for a long time.
A/N: Dun dun dun! What’s going to happen with Peeves? How well can Ron and Blaise get along? Why are Draco and Hermione so in sync? You could answer all these questions if you leave me a review and give me a guess. If you’re right, I’ll mention you in the next chapter’s author’s note. :) Any other questions you have I’d love to answer (if I can) for you. Next chapter to be up soon, with a small time jump (about 2 weeks)! xx
Edited 1/30/13: Changed Seamus Finnegan to Dean Thomas.