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Chapter 2 : A proposition
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Draco threw his bag on the floor and kicked it across the room, “That bitch has no idea what she’s doing to me!”
Blaise saw Hermione and cleared his throat. Draco looked at her and glared. He opened his mouth to spit something nasty, but she threw up her hands in defense, “Don’t bother, Malfoy; I’m leaving.”
She grabbed her stuff and booked it up the stairs to her room. She opened the door and closed it, but stayed just at the top of the stairs to eavesdrop.
Draco kicked his bag again and started pacing the room, “My father is going to kick my ass if he finds out that I’m failing a class so early in the year.”
“Why the hell did you sign up for Arithmancy anyway?” Blaise lounged on the couch and watched Draco wear a hole in the carpet.
“Clearly because I’m stupid.”
“So, just get a tutor.”
Draco scoffed, “Draco Malfoy does not have tutors.”
Blaise rolled his eyes, “You’ve really got to get over yourself, mate. If you don’t bring up your grade, your dad will kick your ass, as you said.”
Draco finally sat down and out his hands in his head, “I’m dead.”
Blaise went over and clapped his friend on the back, “Only if you choose to be, mate. Daphne needs my help with a potions assignment, so I’ll catch you later.”
Blaise left and Draco continued to sulk.
Hermione sat at the top of the stairs and reviewed everything that she had just heard; Draco Malfoy was failing Arithmancy. That was absolutely perfect; Arithmancy just happened to be one of her subjects. Blaise’s suggestion of Draco getting a tutor had given Hermione the perfect opportunity to put her plans into motion. She left her stuff by her door and descended the stairs. She saw Malfoy sitting in a chair, glaring at the fireplace.
She casually walked over and took a seat on the couch across from him.
He moved his glare from the fireplace to her, “What the hell do you want, Mudblood?”
Hermione rolled her eyes, “You’ve got to know by now that that name means absolutely nothing to me anymore.”
“Well, it’s what you are, so I will use it anytime I see fit.”
“Suit yourself; so, you are failing Arithmancy, huh?”
Draco jumped up and stocked towards her, “You were eavesdropping!?” Draco grabbed Hermione’s arm and roughly pulled her off the couch and pulled her against him, “Do you have death wish?”
This close to him, Hermione could see that Draco’s normally gray eyes were now a molten silver, “Hurting me isn’t going to fix your situation, Malfoy; let go of me!” She jerked her arm out of his grasp and put some distance between them.
“I can help you.”
“Why the fuck would I want help from you!?”
“Well, it seems that you either let me help you, or you deal with the wrath of your father.”
As soon as the words left her mouth, she regretted them when she saw him snarl and launch himself at her. She tried to side step him, but he grabbed her arm again and shoved her against the wall; she inhaled sharply from the pain as her back collided with the hard surface. He wrapped his hand around her throat and she swallowed hard.
“Don’t you dare say a word about my father, you stupid little bitch!” Draco seethed.
“Ok; I’m sorry!”
Draco released her and took a step back. Hermione breathed a sigh of relief and brought her hand to her neck to massage it. Draco looked at the bruises that were forming on her neck and he sighed. He went over and grabbed his wand out of his bag and pointed it at Hermione, muttering something under his breath as the bruises disappeared.
Hermione felt the pain go away and she looked at Draco in confusion, “You try to strangle me once minute, and then fix it the next. What the hell, Malfoy?”
“You’re welcome, Granger.”
Hermione snorted, “You expect me to thank for fixing the pain that you caused? Are you out of your damn mind?”
“I’m sorry that I hurt you, alright?”
Hermione looked at Malfoy as though he had just confessed his undying love to her, “I beg your pardon?”
Draco had never, in his life, physically hurt a woman...until today. Granger had popped off and he had lost his temper and hurt her. That was not who he was; he was not like his father.
“I--I shouldn’t have done that. I lost my temper and I’m sorry. Just don’t talk about my father. You know absolutely nothing about him, so just keep your mouth shut.” Draco was clenching his fists and trying to calm down.
Draco closed his eyes and took a breath; when he opened them, his normal, cocky demeanor was back and he smirked at Hermione, “You mentioned that you could help me?”
“Are you bipolar?”
“Am I what?”
Hermione rolled her eyes, “Never mind. Look, I will do your homework in Arithmancy for one month to get your grade back up and then I will tutor you until you can do your own homework without failing.”
“Ok Granger, I’ll bite. What do I have to do to get you to do my homework?”
Hermione didn’t answer him right away; she knew that once she told him everything, there would be no going back. She was about to tell Draco Malfoy that she was head over heels for his best friend and then nothing would be the same again. Hermione stomped her foot in defiance. Her brain was trying to talk her out of this, but her heart was telling her to just do it already!
Draco waved his hand in Hermione’s face, “Just spit it out Granger; what do you want?”
Hermione took a deep breath, “I want Zabini.”
Draco’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline, “I beg your pardon?”
“You heard me, Malfoy; I want Zabini.”
“Zabini...as in Blaise Zabini, my best friend?”
“That’s the one.”
At this point, Draco burst out laughing, “You are out of your fucking mind, woman!”
Hermione growled and threw a pillow at him, “That’s why I want your help, you stupid prat! You can tell me about him; stuff that I would need to know that would make him...notice me.”
Draco abruptly stopped laughing, “You’re serious about this?”
“Of course I am. Before I go any further, just tell me one thing; what are my chances? As it stands now, I know I don’t have a chance in hell, but with your help....would I?”
“I--” Draco stopped and genuinely thought about this. Hermione Granger wanted his help to land his best friend. Would Blaise ever even go for her? Draco remembered their conversation that first night back when Blaise had said that he didn’t have anything against Granger; she was just to plain for him. Draco supposed that if she did something with her psychical appearance then she might stand a chance. Did he really want to play matchmaker for his friend? All he really had to do was give Granger information that would help her and if she failed miserably, then it would be her own fault. Granger really was the smartest witch in the school and she would definitely be the best person to help him get his grade back up. What could it hurt?
“Maybe; you would have to do a serious overhaul on your appearance. If you want Blaise to notice you, you have to have something worth noticing.”
“Well, can you help me with that also?”
“Do my homework for two months.”
Hermione grinned, “Deal.”
“This doesn’t mean that we are friends, Granger. I’m doing this just to get my grade back up before my father finds out.”
“Of course, Malfoy. I wouldn’t dream of tainting your reputation.” Hermione sneered.
“Good; now shut up for a minute so I can think.” Draco studied Hermione’s appearance. Her hair was pulled back in an unruly pony tail, her skirt went down to her knees, her shirt left everything to the imagination, she wore black fuzzy tights, and thick shoes. He grimaced and looked up at her face; her face was decent. He reminded himself that he was thinking from Blaise’s perspective and not from his own, so it was ok to think that Granger had a nice looking face. Draco grabbed a chair and transfigured it into a floor length mirror and hung it on the wall.
“Ok, Granger; turn around and face the mirror.”
Hermione faced the mirror and saw Draco walk up to her. He took hold of her shirt and untucked it, then he bent down and pulled her skirt down so that it was hanging off her hips and stopped at her calves.
Hermione gasped and Draco smirked, “Relax Granger.”
He stood back up and pointed his wand at her and muttered a spell. She watched her tights disappear, her skirt shorten until it stopped a few inches above her knees and her shirt shorten, just barely covering the top of her skirt. It also got tighter...a lot tighter. Draco saw that the shorter and tighter her clothes got, the more she blushed. Not being able to resist his chance to mess with her, he walked up right behind her and started unbuttoning the first few buttons on her shirt.
Hermione’s hand flew to his to stop him, “What are you doing?”
Draco leaned in and murmured in her ear, “Blaise won’t be interested in a girl that dresses like an old woman, Granger.” Hermione felt his breath on her ear and couldn’t help but shiver. Her gently grabbed her shoulder and turned her around to face him and then stepped back to admire his handy work. Who would have known that Granger actually had a nice body? She had a great rack and killer legs; it was obvious that she took care of herself, but he couldn’t figure out why she would even bother if she was just going to hide it from everyone.
“Better; now, take me to your room.”
“Are these the only clothes you own, Granger?”
“Of course not.”
“Well, then I need to fix all your other clothes.”
Hermione hesitated and Draco rolled his eyes, “Do you want my help or not?”
Hermione glared at him, but lead him up to her room. He went straight to her dresser, opened all the drawers and waved his wand over everything. When he opened her underwear drawer, Hermione protested.
“I’ve seen girls’ knickers before, Granger.” Draco stated. He pulled all of the tights out and then made them all disappear.
“Don’t ever wear another pair of fuzzy tights; you are not five years old anymore.”
Before he shut her underwear drawer, he said another spell and then shut it before she could see what he had done. He took one last look at her and flinched when he got up to her hair, “Put your hair down.”
She took the rubber band out of her hair and it fell down her back in a mess of frizz.
“Honestly Granger, I don’t know how you managed with that rat’s nest all these years. Come stand in front of the mirror.”
She walked over to her mirror and looked at her hair; Draco pointed his wand at it and she watched the transformation. Her hair shortened until it just past her shoulder blades, the frizz disappeared and it now fell in smooth, shiny layers. He made it a shade darker and added some red highlights.
Hermione gasped, “Oh, wow. It looks amazing!”
Draco dropped his wand to his side, “Why didn’t you just change your hair before?”
“Because I’m not a superficial slag like Pansy.”
“You don’t have to be superficial to want to look decent, Granger.”
“Well, I guess I just never cared. How am I going to explain this to people?”
Draco thought for a moment, “Tell people that I got tired of finding your hair in the bloody shower drain so I hexed it and it caught on fire and since you had to fix it anyway, you decided to improve it; I’ll confirm it.”
Hermione smirked at him, “You set my hair on fire? You’ve really thought about it, haven’t you?”
“Well, I was tired of finding your hair all over the damn place.”
“Well, thank you. Do you think Blaise will like it?”
“You are well on your way, Granger. Let’s finish this tomorrow, shall we?”
“Yea, ok. Bring me your homework from Vector and I’ll get started on it.”
Draco nodded and left her room. Hermione turned back to her mirror and stared in awe at her new appearance; she had to admit that she looked amazing. She could definitely see Blaise looking twice at her; maybe even three or four times. Draco reappeared with his homework and she took it.
“What about the blood thing? That’s not something I can change.”
“Blaise doesn’t care about blood status; he never has.”
“Hmm, that must be why he never helped you pick on me. Why do you care about it?”
Draco looked at her for a moment, “It’s the way I was raised.”
“Well, that’s a pretty poor reason if you ask me.”
“Then it’s a good thing I didn’t ask you.”
Hermione gave him a looked that bordered on pity and he glared at her. Before she could say anything else, he left the room and shut the door behind him, effectively ending their night. Hermione just shrugged at the door and went to her underwear drawer to see what Malfoy had done. She opened it and gasped; thongs, bikinis and lace as far as the eye could see all in green. He had changed every piece of underwear she owned; she held up a green thong and decided that it didn’t look very comfortable. She grabbed her wand and tried to change it all back. When none of the spells worked, she cursed and slammed the door shut; Malfoy was enjoying this way more than he should.
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