You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Classes in Seduction by Lilybean84

Format: Short story
Chapters: 7
Word Count: 12,446
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, Pansy
Pairings: Draco/Hermione

First Published: 10/24/2006
Last Chapter: 03/19/2015
Last Updated: 03/19/2015

Summary:



Draco, Head Boy, and Hermione, Head Girl, are both frustrated at the thought of living together. Their past is a prickly one and yet in this moment, Draco needs Hermione and she, much to her surprise, has found a fascinating connection with him.  Together they find a balance but it upsets everything else around them in return. Risks will be taken, unbelievable situations become reality and Death itself will be defied.


Chapter 1: Mornings
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

OOC: Many people have read this story- but its been years and I've re-written so much of so that its less dramatic and makes a bit more sense ;) Enjoy
 

--August--

Hermione breathed deeply and dug her feet into the grass; she loved coming to the Burrow. All the stress and tension from life seemed to stop the minute she entered the are. There was something magical in the design of the trees, the movement of the wind and of course the Burrow itself.

The summer was winding down, and exciting thing as it hailed a new year at Hogwarts. It was the reason she was sitting outside in the sun. One last moment to take in the sunshine before throwing herself into the preparations for the upcoming year. She couldn’t believe it was right around the corner, as if time was slipping through her fingers and no matter how hard she clung to the moments they still faded into the past, leaving her with the uncertain future.

Well, uncertain was not a word to describe Hermione’s future. She was a smart and talented witch, even with the people scowling over her human parents, nothing could argue the fact that she was going places. Even Malfoy himself couldn't change that future.

“Hermione!”

She heard Ron’s voice roll across the distance. The wind made it sound so far, when he could only be a few feet away.

“Over here.” she said with a wave of her hand.

“What are you doing all the way over here?” he asked, flopping down next to her. Ron's red hair had recently been cut and it already seemed to be out of control. Hermione smiled softly, the thought of her fingers running through it passing her mind briefly.

”Contemplating the next year. It’s getting so close to the end of our time at Hogwarts.” she pulled up a couple blades of grass and let them fly in the wind, “Who knows what were going to face in the upcoming year. What if something happens and we separate?”

Hermione sighed and lifted her knees so she could rest her chin on them. Deep down she’d been trying to hide the feelings that she was sure were making themselves noticeable by now. Time was limited and Hermione felt it even more when he was around. She wanted to tell him that she loved his company and the times they spent together. But something was holding her back. There was an uncertainty to it, an uncertainty that kept her from saying a word.

“Ron...” she began, the words previously planned and carefully thought out.

“Yea?” was his usual response.

“I've got a question..” Hermione tucked her knees up tighter, “Ron, if you liked someone but you were scared of what they'd think, would you tell them?”

Ron simply looked at her, a blank stare for a moment before he grinned, “I knew this was coming.”

“You did?” her heart skipped a beat.

“Of course. I've seen the looks. It doesn't take a genius to see what's going on.” he added with a shrug.

“and your..feelings on it?” the words seemed to whisper out of her mouth.

“Well,” he ran a hand through his hair, “I don't think Ginny's going to like it.”
“She'll get over it.” Hermione said with a relieved chuckle, “She's your sister, it's her job to be this way.”

“Yeah but when it comes to Harry....”

“Harry?!” Hermione's head whipped around to look at him, “Ron what are you talking about you?”

A stumped look came over his face, “ You liking...Harry.”the words came out slowly.

“I...” she added, “What!”

“Isn't that what you mean?”he asked.

“No...I could never like Harry. He's like my brother.” the wince that followed was too sincere to be fake. It was the oddest thought to think of Harry in that way. Impossible in fact.

“Then who...”

“Oh never mind!!” she barked in a sharp tone, her voice raising as her body did off the grass. Standing she looked down at him, “You're...so...”

“Ron! Hermione! Tea's on!!” Mrs. Weasley's voice carried to them over the field.

Hermione didn't say a word. She just left, her mind strained from the conversation and her heart aching from the crushed hope. All she had to do was finish the conversation. She could have corrected him and put his name in instead of Harry's. It didn't seem right though.

“You alright dear?” Mrs Weasley asked as Hermione approached, “You look upset.”

“I'm fine. I'm going to go wash up.” Hermione said with a small smile before running into the house.

“Poor girl..” Mrs Weasley said quietly as she watched her retreat, “Loving a Weasley is a lot of work.” 






--August--

On a moonless night, the stars shine brighter than any other but, on this moonless night, Draco Malfoy couldn't give a damn. For tonight, he was lost in the middle of the woods. His wand had fallen into a pond and he'd been unable to retrieve it. He didn't have a map and this was still his home forest, technically this was his backyard. Definitely worst of all was the fact he was being chased by some large drooling wild animal.

"Bloody TREES and NATURE !" he yelled as his foot caught a stick and he fell into another bush full of thorns. His crisp robes had already been mangled by his previous prickled attacker leaving less fabric for this one to cling to. He grumbled as he stood up, a thorn piercing his palm, “OW!!”


The blood mixed with the mud from the puddled he'd previously tumbled into. This was not his night and more than anything he just wanted to be at home. He wanted to be safe in his bed, with a hot supper in front of him and some beautiful witch rubbing his feet.

"When I get home…" he began to yell as he moved through the darkness, "…I am cutting this entire damn forest down!" He kicked a log, "EVERY last tree..!"

His house was nearby, that much he knew. He hadn't meant to get lost, he'd just decided to get some fresh air and a short walk in. But while lost in his thoughts he wandered just a little too far and while returning seemed to have gone further into the forest then back. He blamed his father, it was his fault that Draco was such a confused mess. His father was to blame for the state his mother was in, for the state their family was in.

Family. A foreign word as of late. His mother was hidden away in her room half the time. With Voldemort and his crones always around, it didn't even feel as if it was his home. The usual buzz with school approaching seemed dwarfed in comparison. He wasn't even interested.

Suddenly his mind was filled with thoughts and memories of his childhood. Whether happy or sad they were better than what he had now. He walked, lost in thought for awhile. He hadn't even noticed he'd found his home. It wasn't until he reached the door and felt the handle, he snapped back to reality.

A strange feeling came over him as he opened the door and walked inside. The air was tense and uninviting, which despite rumours of his family, wasn't the usual thing you felt upon entering. As he shut the door quietly behind his back the urge to call out for his mom caught in his throat. Slowly he walked toward his father's den and stopped outside the door. Quiet voices were heard as he pressed his ear to the door trying to hear a little more.

"Come in Draco." The hiss of the voice was one he heard in his nightmares...Voldemort was in his house!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--September-

Hermione smiled as she leaned into the plush red fabric of the sofa in her common room. The silence was beautiful. The book in her hands was impossible to put down. She looked around at the decorated room, the crackling fire and realized that in this moment her life was perfect.

Almost perfect.

It had been an honour to be named Head Girl. An expected one but an honour all the same. She'd already known months in advance, as she'd been called to Hogwarts before the start of school to discuss a few changes. Putting the book down she reached over and picked up a roll of parchment. She opened it, looking over the schedules for the prefects. All was in order, but she knew there'd be issues with it. The Prefects loved to complain.

Such noises, it was one of the reasons she loved her peace in the common room. Small moments of sanity amidst a sea of insanity. Her own peaceful piece of paradise. She looked up the stairs toward the Head Boy's dorm. Well, relatively peaceful.

As much as she wanted to admit that it was a fluke seeing Draco Malfoy's name next to hers, she had to admit it wasn't. He was a reputable wizard. Although the reputation he prided himself on wasn't one she'd brag about in public. It was such things that made their living arrangements interesting.

"GRANGER!!" his voice bellowed from the top of the stairs.

She shuddered at the sound, "I'M COMING!" putting down the parchment she made her way up the stairs. Stopping in front of his bedroom she tentatively knocked on the door, “Malfoy?”

"COME IN! IT'S NOT LIKE I CAN ANSWER THE DAMN THING"

Hermione winced at his words. Opening the door she poked her head around the corner, "You don't have to shout so much" she said quietly, "There are better ways to communicate"

“Shut up Mudblood.” he snarled.

“Hey! You know the deal! That word doesn't come into this.” she said, resting her back on the door.

“Deals! I don't make deals with Mudbloods.”

“Then I've got no reason to be here.” she said, her hand touching the handle.

"Granger wait!" he leapt off the bed to follow her but the moment his legs left the safe mattress they folded and crumpled underneath him. His body made a sickening 'thump' on the hard surface as it landed, "You know..." he balled up his fist and slammed it into the floor while resting his forehead against the cool wood. He kept his eyes down, "This...isn't easy for me"

"Being stuck together wasn't something either of us planned on, but you know that no one else, not even Pansy, is willing to come up here every morning and put up with you."

His ears twitched as her words, soft and low, sank in. She sounded so close to him and yet he had just watched her almost walk out of his room. Lifting his head, he surprisingly met her gaze. She was close. Staring him in the face, laying on the floor with her head resting in the palm of her hand.

He had to stop from staring at the eyes that were locked onto his. Pushing himself up onto his elbows he examined her delicate chin and soft lips, his eyes noticed every mark, tint and curve of her cheeks. The length of her eye lashes, and the dimple that threatened to make itself known when she smiled.

"How do you know just being around you doesn't make me feel like an invalid."

"It doesn't really matter if it does." Her chin bounced up and down on her hand that it rested on, as she spoke. "Point is, I know you're not willing to give up on classes and until they figure out what happened to you and can get you out of this mess you're in." she sat up and held out her hand, "You're going to take my hand, sit up, and get to class like you always do and tomorrow…” She shrugged a little. “…we repeat the process.”

"I hate you when you're a know-it-all!" However he had to admit she was right which made him roll his eyes. Groaning he grabbed her hand and allowed her to help him get up into a semi-kneeling position. The lack of feeling in his legs made him very unsteady but lucky for Hermione, Draco Malfoy was built like a rock from the belt up. His strong arms held onto her tightly. More than once she found herself acutely away of his arms flexing against her as he kept his balance. His hands felt firm on her shoulders as she used her wand to pull his chair behind him.

"I hate this thing!" He mumbled moving his hands to the sides of the chair, slowly pulling himself d to sit into it.

She sighed, "If we kept track of everything you hated we could write a book," she grinned as he wound the straps tightly around his legs,securing them in place "and it wouldn't be a very good book at that."

"You’d read it. It’s MY book after all." A tiny smirk crossed his face as he finished and motioned for her to get him going.

Hermione stared at him then shrugged. How could they go from talking like two people who hated each other to cracking jokes in an almost carefree way the next? It was a complex and confused relationship they had. Well not a relationship, that word was far too strong. This was more a temporary agreement.

"Yeah…you're probably right." She said in response to his little quip. Checking the rest of the chair she tapped it lightly with her wand and said a short spell, "Alright, you are set and ready to go. If you need me, you know what to do." she went and opened the door wider for him.

As Draco moved past her she marvelled at the ingenuity of the Wizarding World. The chair was taken from the basic muggle wheelchair but enchanted so the user didn't have to worry about stairs or any other obstacles. Malfoy could easily move, climb and virtually head anywhere in the castle all by himself.

The only problem was getting in and out of the blasted thing. That was Hermione's job. That was the reason she'd had to come early to Hogwarts. He could easily run it himself but for some reason Dumbledore decided that it required two people to get it going. Perhaps to stop Malfoy from running off at night or drowning himself in the lake.

"See you tonight, Malfoy."

"Unfortunately, Granger."

Hermione rolled her eyes and headed on her way to breakfast.



"Hermione!! Did you see the mess that..." Ron leaned close to her and muffled his laughter.

She put her finger to her lips and motioned for him to be silent. The end of the day was at hand and the two Heads sat at the front of the table. The Prefects nervously awaited what was expected to be quite the reprimand. The schedules Hermione had spent hours planning were a mess and three times Filch had to come tell her that he had caught a couple of the pairs being rather inappropriate behind a statue.

“I believe we are all here” she said quickly. She felt like the evil mother about to beat the children. She looked over at Draco, his smug smile giving little encouragement. This was how the meetings seemed to go. She was the evil lad and he was the daddy stood in the corner with lollipops and hugs for afterwards.

Draco's little smirk wasn't helping the situation.

Hermione had always thought that the three things that made up Draco Malfoy were his arrogant smirk, overconfident attitude and swaggering walk. Now, his walk was replaced with a cocky race car attitude. He wheeled up and down the corridors with an ease that made the teachers jump out of the way and the girls wish to get a ride. It made Hermione want to throw up.

"As you all know"she began regardless of whether people noticed, "There have been numerous problems with the Prefect's schedule..."

All the heads turned to a quiet snickering from the back of the room. Hermione's eyes flared at the interruption but she ignored it. The silence continued and she looked about the room.

“We have had, several warning from Filch regarding the behaviour of the Prefects while on patrol. I am only going to issue this warning once more. Patrol is not a time for snuggles or to catch up on what you missed out on while in class. If Filch catches anyone else there will be serious consequences.”

“How serious?” a brunette short hair boy from Hufflepuff asked.

“Dumbledore will be in the meeting, that's how serious,” Draco added, his voice causing Hermione to jump. The room whispered for a moment. Some faces turning pale, others a little flushed. It was obvious the point had been made.

“Also, once the schedule is set there is no changing it without Malfoy's or my permission. You cannot randomly swap shifts if you decide you need out of of it.” she picked up the parchment, “Unless Malfoy and I sign the changes, if you don't show up it will be counted as an absence and dealt with as such.”

A blond haired girl who Hermione didn't recognize but knew was from Slytherin gulped rather noticeably while raising her hand, "I...well. I ..." her cheeks turned a bright red colour.

"Yes?." Hermione asked with a raised brow.

"Well, I did go to see Drac-... I mean Malfoy about my schedule change but...” she blushed and stopped talking.

“I forgot to sign it,” Draco interrupted, a sudden glare in his eye at the blonde girl, “My mistake. It won't happen again.”

The girls around the blonde Slytherin giggled and Hermione had an idea as to why he'd forgotten, “That's no excuse".

"Oh, come now Granger!" came Draco's annoyingly calm voice from beside her, “It was a simple mistake. "

Hermione looked back at Draco, “If I forgave all of your mistakes and looked at them as a one off, we'd barely get anything done around here.”

Some small giggles erupted and Hermione shushed them before getting back to business. The rest of the meeting was dull in comparison to the beginning but Hermione felt they'd gotten a lot done. It was going to take time to make a routine that pleased everyone but Hermione had the time and she wasn't going to let her last year go down in flames.

”Do you intend to use your position as Head boy to get in a shag whenever you want?” she asked curiously.

“Of course not but you’ve gotta admit that she was quite pretty to look at. Not the brightest I admit but I can’t complain. Nor can she.” he grinned.

“So that’s the kind of women Draco Malfoy goes for.” Hermione packed up her belongings, “Not surprising.”

He chuckled and wheeled toward her, “You talk pretty big for a girl who’s never had any man go near her.”

“I have to!” she flushed, the retort shot back before she'd really thought about it.

“Oh yes, we all know about Victor Krum…but you broke up with him before his pretty little hands could get anywhere near that brainy body of yours. Unless he dumped you for being damn boring”

Hermione had to bite back her tears. It wasn’t fair that he could hurt her and she couldn’t say anything in return that would even make a dent in the cold exterior of his. Victor was a sensitive subject. Dating a famous quidditch player put her in a place that she hadn’t enjoyed…reputation wise and otherwise.

“You…” she couldn’t think of the words or a come back. Turning she picked up her books of the couch, “I'll see you in the common room!”

Draco waved, watching her walk out on him once again, “Maybe you'll find a retort in one of your books there.” he mumbled after her.


Chapter 2: Hot baths and Cold showers
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

--September--

Nobody could ever say that Hermione Granger was unforgiving. It could also never be said that she couldn't roll with the punches. She had, in fact, rolled with so many punches as of late that she was dreadfully close to being knocked out.

And here she was, sat again in front of her peers, being asked to roll again.

"Miss Granger, I'm afraid we have yet another favour to ask of you this term" Dumbledore said quietly while sat opposite her at his desk.

Hermione cringed inwardly at those words. The feeling she received told her this was not something she would enjoy. She remembered being in the same place not too long ago when they'd asked her aid with Malfoy. She'd been called to Hogwarts for a special meeting. Professor Snape, Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore were all there.

It was then she found out about Draco's condition and her place in the scheme of it all. She'd argued that a Slytherin would be more useful. One of his friends even. But they'd pointed out the fact that some of Draco's friends were of the same breeding and could easily turn on him. No, they wanted to put his life in her hands.

Her Mudblood hands.

They urged her to give it a chance. They told her that despite his upbringing, the new death of his father had changed his views. Coupled with his paralysis, Draco was now forging a new path and a new destiny. His hatred of his father brought about the ability to see past what lies he'd been taught about pure-blood and half-blood differences.

“So you want to use me as a guinea pig. You want to see if he can handle being around me?”

That had been her response to which the had all nodded. She'd agreed and now here she was sitting again.

"Another favour?" she asked.

"This afternoon Mister Malfoy had a bit of an accident." Professor McGonagall said quietly.

"Is he alright?" Hermione blinked twice, the honest concern that she felt surprised not only herself but the others in the room.

"Yes, he's fine. Although I believe his ego will be deflated if word of this gets out. I would trust you to kept this silent. He's quite embarrassed" Dumbledore's quip about Malfoy's ego made Hermione smile slightly.

"What on earth did he do?" her curiosity was peaking,"If it's only bruising his ego then I don't think I want to fluff it up again."

"If it was that simple, you wouldn't be here.” Snape said with a hiss, “ The truth is he almost drowned in the bathtub," It was probably one of the strangest sentences he'd ever said to a student.

"Drowned..in the bathtub?" she could hear the disbelief in her voice, "How did he manage that?" A random giggle escaped her lips at the picture that was evolving in her mind.

"This is not a laughing matter Miss Granger! I would have expected a different reaction from you of all people" the voice set Hermione's spine straight and the humorous image disappeared. Hermione and given her so many chances to excel at the things she loved.

"I didn't mean to be disrespectful. It's just not something you hear everyday" Hermione swallowed quietly, "I just never expected something like that."

"Perhaps we should tie your legs together and see how well you do getting in and out of the Head bath." McGonagall seemed to be particularly cranky and her words were surprising.

"I don't think that will be necessary. I'm sorry." Hermione looked at the Headmaster, "So what exactly is this new favour?"

"We need you to assist Malfoy when he's getting out of the bath" Dumbledore seemed distressed to even say the words, "I know it's not a usual request but this is an unusual matter. We believed that you would be mature enough to handle this."

"NO WAY IN... !" 




---Friday----Two weeks later---

It had been two weeks, well almost two weeks, since the meeting. She and Malfoy had argued for hours over the request. He'd winced and pretended to vomit, she'd hidden in her room trying to find an alternative way around it. Neither did much good.

In the end they'd decided to bathe together. They both owned bathing suits, they both could ignore each other while in confined spaces. They'd had tons of practice at that even before being Heads. As for the bathing, it was relatively simplistic. Helping him in and out wasn't hard, she was more like a lifeguard on duty.

But today was going to be nothing like the past two weeks. She'd been dared, by Ginny of course, to try something different. Hermione knew it had been a mistake telling Ginny about the bathing from the start but she'd needed an ear. Living with Malfoy was very stressful and letting out in a rant to a friend brought her to a relaxing place.

"Malfoy?" she called out while knocking on his door,"Malfoy?" she knocked louder and paused before touching the door handle. Was he possibly still asleep? Preparing to take a look, she halted as her ears caught a muffled noise followed by a growl. Obviously he'd just woken up. Another pause revealed a shriek and a stream of abuse at the alarm clock. A laugh escaped on it's own terms letting him know she was outside his door.

"GRANGER!"

Without hesitating she opened the door, "Yes, Master?"

He glared at her but with his morning bed hair the glare only made her laugh more."Are you just going to stand there or are you going to help me out of this bed?"

She covered up her snickering and nodded. After settling him in his chair she wheeled him over to the bathroom. Oddly enough the bathroom was one of Hermione's favourite. It was beautiful, carved out of marble and decorated with shimmering dragon scales. The bath was enchanted and changed the water colour with the mood of the person in it. Hermione loved settling into the warm water and falling asleep. It helped her mind slow down and allowed some peace given the insanity surrounding her.

"Now if you don't mind Granger, turn around. I have to change" Malfoy's smirk returned, "Unless you want to watch? I'm sure you've peeked more than once already.”

Hermione flushed and turned her back to him. To aid him, since he couldn't stand, he had been taught a series of dressing spells. She couldn't imagine what he'd do if he was a muggle, having someone to dress you like a child.

"You can turn around now," the usual bite to his tone echoing off the bathroom walls.

She'd turned just in time to see him perform the simple, or what he made look simple, manoeuvre from chair to bath. They'd installed some bars, just like they had above his bed, to aid him in the task. With the way he used them, you'd never have guessed he wasn't a natural cripple.

It was rather eerie how he seemed perfectly at ease with the ways he had to get around. She'd seen him upset at the smallest of things growing up. He'd cried and ran off whenever he'd received the smallest scratch or bruise. But here he was, a serious injury and he didn't show a thing. His arm muscles tensed as he settled into the warm soapy water.

“Is the water alright?” she asked quietly.

“Yep,” he said, the water turning a nice shade of sky blue as he closed his eyes and relaxed, “Do you have to come in?” he groaned, the water turning slightly purple.

"I could leave but sadly I do need to bathe," she saw his lips move to speak and she interrupted, "Yes I do bathe and Yes! I do wash my hair! You've seen me do it."

“Remarkable how you know what I'm thinking,” he said with a snort.

"You are impossible at times! It's a wonder anyone even likes you!" she said with a sigh. She tugged lightly on the robe tied around her waist. Perhaps this was a bad idea. She was going to kill Ginny.

"No one likes me" he said quietly. Words that quite surprised her as they seemed almost like they belonged more to an outcast school boy then to Malfoy.

"Don't give me that. You've got a bigger following than Jesus Christ!" she put her towel down on a chair before taking her pony tail out.

"People are attracted to my money and my family's reputation, that has nothing to do with me," Draco splashed the water gently and grabbed a handful of bubbles,"If I was to drown not a single person would care. They'd all be at my funeral but only because they'd want to show off the fact they knew me." the water turned a murky brown as Draco sank into it up to his nose.

Hermione's mouth dropped open like a fish, "You must've had a really bad dream or a really bad night last night. That sounds almost depressing.”

Draco popped his mouth up out of the brown water"Admit it, you'd be glad to get rid of me.”

"Wow! this is something I never thought I'd see" she said with her hands on her hips.

"What?" he said quietly.

"A Malfoy..acting like a common muggle," she untied her robe and with a deep breath pushed it off her shoulders and tossed it onto the same chair as her towel, " A pity party is something I didn't think a Malfoy was capable of. I thought you'd never sink low enough to actually whine about something other than how you're stuck around us Mudbloods.” she tested the water with her toes and knelt down to sit on the edge while immersing both legs in the water.

“I thought we weren't using that word,” he said, looking back at her, “Holy Shit!” he coughed, swallowing a mouthful of bathwater, “What is that!”

“A bathing suit, I misplaced mine.” she said simply, looking down at her bare skin barely covered by Ginny's red bikini, “It's nothing to really freak out over.”

“But you have skin.” he said blinking rapidly.

“We all do Malfoy.” Hermione laughed and slid into the water. With both of them in there the water was normally a deep black from the conflicting emotions. But at the moment, it seemed to be turning a bright red, “Odd.” she said with a shrug,"Are you going to wash your hair? We don't have much time" she asked.

He didn't reply.

"Has the water clogged your ears again?" using her hands she sent a spray in his general direction, “What's with you? You've suddenly got quiet.” she splashed him again.

What ensued next was something that would probably fit under the categories of unusually disturbing and altogether marvellous. Hermione Granger found herself splashed straight back. A playful grin crossing Malfoy's featured as he eyed her over, “You'll loose Granger. You always do.” Those words began the rather nasty and large water fight that soaked the floors, walls and even ceiling of their bathroom. .

"We're going to be late,” Hermione squealed, as she made her way over to the side of the tub where Malfoy was sitting, "Let's do something about that hair." she filled her hand with shampoo and splashed it down onto his head.

"Hey! Watch my eyes!" he moaned. Draco could have easily thrown her off but she seemed to be having far too much fun playing with his hair. Who was he to stop her? Plus, he also was almost afraid to touch her. Everywhere was open skin and it wasn't speckled, slimy or scaled. It was creamy and touchable. Draco knew if he put his hands anywhere on her, it would be too tempting to see what it tasted like.

"Aww shush you big baby," she lathered the soap into his hair, amazed at how thick it actually was in comparison to how thin it normally looked. Massaging his scalp she moved her hands from the front of his head to the back and down his neck, gently working the soap into his base of his hair.

Oh gods, this was Granger!..To make matters even worse she was too busy concentrating on his hair to notice the position they were in. Her knees straddled his useless legs and her cleavage rested at eye level. A delicious sight for any man..wizard or muggle.

"Umm..Granger. I think it's washed" his voice came out rather squeaky

"Yep..now to rinse" she unceremoniously dumped a rinsing bucket full of water over his head.

"All clean!" she giggled and moved off to wash her own hair.

Right..all clean. He actually felt rather dirty at the moment, given the thoughts in his mind Reaching up he grabbed the metal bar above his head and with a strong pull he lifted his body out of the water. Turning around to gauge his distance to the safety of the floor, he didn't fancy falling.

"Careful," Hermione said as she rinsed her hair. That simple movement caused the breath to pause in his lungs, she looked so different with her hair wet and straight. It glistened beautifully when wet. She really had no idea how alluring she was at that moment. Alluring and innocent.

Draco's mind wandered and it was beginning to show in his swimming trunk. He panicked, it wasn't something he wanted her to see especially when alone together. There wasn't even a woman he could blame it on, “Crap,” he mumbled as he decided to quickly dunk back into the bath. Letting go of the bar he splashed back into the water. In his haste, he hadn't given time to catch the rim of the tub and found himself once again underwater.

"Malfoy!" she reached into the water, using all her strength to pull him up out of the water ,"For a man who boasts such strength you sure are a klutz" she had the most bewildered look upon her face and her grip on his torso was almost suffocating. Had he scared her?

"Well I can blame you for this,” he said with a growl.

“Me!”she yelped, “I wasn't anywhere near you.”

“Don't think I was born yesterday Granger. I know all about your little plot.” he said with a laugh, “Surprising but no thanks, I'm not interested.”

Hermione contemplated letting him go, “What are you talking about? Did you bang your head and loosen something in there?”

“Me! Look at you! Look at what you're wearing!” he smirked, “Misplaced your bathing suit indeed. You couldn't misplace anything even if you tried.”

“I...” she flushed.

“Admit it Granger. You're showing off for me.”

"As if! " she let go of his waist suddenly, backing off.

“Oi!” he grinned, grabbing the side of the bathtub, “Take a look at the colour of the water. Sort out what it means yourself.” he splashed some of the bright red water her way.

“I know what red means. But seeing as we're both in her, I can assume it's a mutual feeling.” she stood up, adjusting the bathing suit and stepping out of the bath.

“I'm a man. It'd be mutual to any woman in a bikini.” he grabbed the bar and hauled his body out, placing it back down into the chair. “You on the other hand...” he grinned, “I'm flattered.”

“Don't be.” she said with a shrug, “I'd assume as I feel nothing towards the matter that the water reflected you more than me. Dominant emotions rule.”

“That is bullshit and you know it Granger. Clashing emotions make the water turn black.” he shrugged as he picked up his wand and dried his body off, “And with the brightness of that red, I'd say the lust was mutual.”

Hermione quickly put her robe back on and laughed, “I'd never fantasize about you.”

"Oh Granger, I do love winding you up. Getting your knickers in a twist is half the fun of my day" it was true, he did relish the time he had to torment her.

Hermione winced, "Malfoy. you and my knickers will never be in the same sentence again"

“Oh really?” he replied, “We'll see.”

"See you tonight, Malfoy" she said leaving to get dressed.

His reply was a simple wink and then silence as he wheeled out of the room.

Chapter 3: Steamy....very steamy
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


The sun was setting with the Hogwarts castle soaking up the last few rays of sunlight. Hermione had finished her classwork, sorted the schedule and decided it was time for some stimulating conversation with her close friends. They met up outside, walking the grounds and talking about classes and teachers. The occasional student came in but normally with a blush or a snide comment. They'd been each others companions for so long, all the others were just acquaintances.

They stopped near the water, enjoying the suns reflection on the dark water. A rock skidded across it and Hermione smiled at Ron, “Nice throw.” of course when she tried it sunk.

“So...” Ron said, “About that idea we mentioned yesterday.”

“Same answer as yesterday,” Hermione quickly said, shutting him down. Reaching down she picked up another stone and attempted to skip it.

"Come on Hermione! It'd be fun!"Ron whined.

"Please!" Harry chimed in, “You know you want to. It'd be fun ”

"Right, fun. You two would have a right laugh while I got into all the trouble.!"Sometimes she wondered how they'd remained friends, they were all so different.

The day before Ron had mentioned his brothers had a new prank spell, it could reanimate toys and objects. The main thrill came from the fact the user could control the object, see what was happening from its point of view.

"Aww come on Hermione.We'd be famous for months for pulling that stunt on the great and powerful Malfoy.” Harry threw a rock, it skipping across the pond perfectly just like Ron's. Hermione fumed as hers sank again.

"Famous? I thought you were sick of fame, Mr Potter" Hermione threw another rock into the pond and rolled her eyes. It was obvious that Harry was hanging out with Ron too much. His IQ lessened substantially each year.

"This kind of fame is perfectly fine by me" Harry said with a laugh and punched Ron's arm playfully, “I think we can handle it.”

“Again,” Hermione added, “You get the fame and I get the flogging. Sorry, not appealing.”

"Come on Hermione! Please!"Ron begged, “You wouldn't get into trouble.”

"I can't and won't do that to Malfoy!" I said, “End of story.”

“So..” Ron walked up behind her, “I'm confused. Are you worried about getting into trouble or getting on Draco Malfoy's bad side?”

“Trouble obviously,” she turned to face him, “What would I care if he didn't like me.”

He placed his hands on her shoulder, cupping her neck lightly, "but wouldn't you love to see the ferret squirm from embarrassment?" Ron's thumbs gently brushed her chin. They were mere inches between them, Hermione's knees trembled.

“I..” Hermione's words were quiet. Ron smiled. Did he know what effect his hands were having on her neck? "Ron, I can't" Hermione said, mustering all her strength and trying to ignore his wonderful hands, "It's not right"

"Aww come on!" he lightly touched their foreheads, “For old times sake.”

She shook her head, “No...”

Harry stood off to the side, amazed at what he was seeing. Ron and Hermione were so close, too close for his own comfortable viewing. His arms wrapped around her neck, her arms resting lightly on his sides. It was as if he was viewing an intimate moment and not just a pair of friends.

“Uhh guys,” he chimed in.

Ron's head shot up and he looked at the position he and Hermione were in. His face flushed, as if he'd just come out of a trance, “I..” he pushed back.

The resounding splash as Hermione hit the water would echo in his ears that night. As would her face as she hit the cold water. The ripples stretched out across the water, then a moment later she broke the surface. Her lungs filled with air as she let out a yell.

"Ronald WEASLEY!” her voice was high and full of anger.

"Oh MERLIN , Hermione I'm so sorry" Ron reached down and helped her out of the pond. She took his hand, momentarily forgetting how angry she was.

"I look like a drowned rat!" she whined.

“Simple drying spell would cure that,” Ron mumbled, taking out his wand.

“No!” Harry interrupted, “Ron you're likely to turn her into a fish. Let her cast her own spells.”

He nodded, “I...I am..” he ran a hand through his hair, “I'm sorry Hermione. I forgot where you were standing.”

“You forgot?” she searched his face, so lost as to how he could forget such a thing. Then she realized that in the moment, as they had stood there, she too had forgotten Harry was there and where they were. Had he felt the same thing?

"I'm sorry Hermione! I didn't mean to push you in, I was just--"

"Being a moron!” she cut in.

“Hey!” Harry said, stepping in again, “It was an accident.”

"I know..” she looked down at her clothes and waved her wand over them, mumbling a drying spell as she did.

“Harry,” Ron said moving over to him, “I don't know what just happened.”

His old friend looked at him, “Honestly mate....you looked like you were going to kiss her.”

Ron laughed, “Me...kiss Hermione!” he let out a hearty laugh, “As if!”
“Umm..” Harry tapped Ron's shoulder, “She heard you..”

Ron turned just to see Hermione run back into the cast, “Shit..” he said quietly. A small something seemed to tug on his heart, begging him to chase after her. He ignored it.



Hermione tried her best to stay calm. Hearing the word from his mouth had almost been physically painful. He'd laughed at the thought of kissing her. Was that how he really felt? Or was he just being shy in front of Harry? If she'd leaned up and kissed him would he have responded? Sighing she greeted the portrait, a kind old man with a crooked cane. Reciting the password he swung open for her but not before asking if she was alright. She lied of course.

Entering the common room Hermione looked around, she'd worked so hard and it felt as if it was all for nothing at this moment. She didn't care that she was Head Girl, or that she had to look after Malfoy. All she wanted was for Ron to notice her. A sniffle caught the tears edging her throat.

"Trouble in paradise?"

"None of your business,” she said quietly.

“Oh but I think I'll make it my business today,” he'd been sitting by the fire, reading a book although it closed with a resounding 'thwack' before he turned his chair towards her.

"Not in the mood Malfoy" Hermione replied, heading towards the stairs.
“Ohhh no you don't,” his wheels were faster than her feet and he blocked the stairs, “You've seen me at my lowest, which is humiliating and you seem to enjoy it. Now it's my turn. Sit.” he motioned for the couch.

“Malfoy...” she began.

“Sit!” he pointed his wand towards the couch, “Move.”

Hermione would have stood but Malfoy's stubborn nature was just as strong as hers. She sighed, exasperated at the situation she moved and flopped down on the couch. Malfoy grinned and positioned himself to her right, just to prevent her from jumping up towards the stairs.
“So, what'd they do now?” he asked.

"Who?"Hermione said, pretending not to clue in.

"The only two men who can stand being around you" he paused, then continued," Wait ..let me rephrase that..the only two creatures with male anatomy that can stand being around you ..I wouldn't classify them as men yet" he paused again, "..wait..I probably never will"

Hermione chuckled lightly.

"Excuse me?"he raised his brow, “You're not angry?”

“No...” she then realized why his face looked so surprised. He'd just insulted Harry and Ron, to which she'd normally create a snide remark or some threat or some comparison to him and a small white rat.

"What the hell did they do to you, to make you agree with me?” Draco looked her over.

" Nothing..." she bit her lip.

"Right,” he wheeled in front of her and looked her dead in the face, “I've been fighting with you Hermione Granger since the first day we met. You and I... its a tradition. We hex each other, we fight and we enjoy it. I've got many great memories over the past few years and I know exactly what it takes to tip you over the edge.”

“Maybe I've grown up?” she said, crossing her arms while attempting to avoid his prying eyes.

“No, that I would have noticed.” he raised his brow, “What happened?”
Hermione sighed, “Nothing..”

“Bullshit.” Draco said, surprising her with his use of a muggle swearword.

“No seriously,” Hermione said, “Nothing happened.” she then sighed, “and that's the issue.”

“Mmmm..” Draco rubbed his chin, “I'm sensing that a certain red head is involved in this delusion.”

“I..” there was no point in denying it so Hermione just nodded.

“What happened?” he leaned closer, “Exactly what happened.”

“I uh.” she closed her eyes slightly remembering the feeling of Ron's hands, “We were down by the pond.” she opened her eyes, “Talking about random things..the boys wanted my help.”

“Help with?” he queried.

“A prank..” she bit her lip.

“To pull on me I assume,” he pushed a blonde strand of hair out of the way.

“Yea..but I refused.” she quickly added.

“How noble of you Granger.” he rolled his eyes, “Anyways, and then?”
“I..” she could feel the memories, they were still fresh in her mind but voicing them was difficult, “I refused and Ron..well he came to talk to me, to try to convince me. He got close.” she stopped, “Umm..” her cheeks flushed.

Draco hadn't seen her blush like this, it was new and he felt annoyance that it was over such a lower being as Weasley. How she could like him was beyond Draco's comprehensive ability, “And?”

“He put his hands on my neck..and tried to tell me I wouldn't get into trouble and that--”

“Wait,” he wheeled closed to the couch, “Come forward.”

“Why?” she said, a little weary.

“I want to do a little experiment. Now scoot! Sit on the edge of the couch so I can get close enough.” he watched as she moved forward, to which he promptly set himself in front of her. Their knees were touching, he couldn't feel it and yet he knew it without looking, “Now, you said his hands were on your neck.”

“Yea..” Hermione nodded.

“Show me,” he held out his hands.

“What!” her eyes grew big.

“Look, you want my honest assessment of the situation you gotta show me.” he put his hands on her lap.

“I never said anything about wanting anything from you.” she attempted to stand but he pulled her down.

“Look Granger, you want my opinion believe me. Now shut up and show me.” he let go of her wrists and put his hands on hers.

Hermione looked at his hands and lightly touched them, his palms were warm and she found herself lightly skimming her nails over them,
investigating the softness.

“I said show me, not grope me.” Draco snapped at her, mostly because his body was responding to her light caresses.

“Right,” Hermione quickly picked up his hand and lifted them to her neck.

“You sure he wasn't trying to strangle you?” his failed humour was an attempt to ignore how smooth her skin was.

“No..” she spread his fingers on her neck, moving his thumbs up to her face, “Like this..”

“Mmmhmm,” he couldn't believe he was cupping her face in his hands, his white skin actually contrasting to her slightly darker skin, “And then?”

“And then..he came closer...” she bit her lip.

“How much closer?” Draco asked, “Show me.”

Hermione was beginning to think this was a bad idea. A very bad idea. Draco's hands were warming her neck, the heat was almost unbearable and her mouth was beginning to go a little dry.

“Umm..I don't think..” she moved back a little.

“Don't be a coward Granger.” he pulled her towards him, stopping when their noses touched, “I'm not going to bite you.” his voice was quiet.
“I'm not worried about your bite.” she said, gulping visibly as the energy crackled between them.

“Sure..” he tilted his head lightly, “Was he this close to you Granger?”

“Mmhmm..” she nodded, “He..rested his forehead on mine and just held me.”

“I bet this is the closest he's been to you..” he mumbled as their foreheads touched, “And then?”

“Harry spoke.” she said, “and Ron pushed back on my shoulders..and I fell in the lake.”

Draco laughed, “If you weren't already wet enough.”

“I..” she flushed, Draco was still to close. It felt different with him than it had with Ron. When she had been with Ron, the closeness was scary because she liked him so much. With Draco...there was just an air about him that drove her crazy. Angry crazy and in this case there seemed to be something more. She wasn't angry and yet her body seemed to stand on end.

“Is that what you were angry about? He didn't make a move?” he lightly brushed his thumb against her cheek.

“No,” she said shaking her head lightly, “Harry made a comment about it looking like he was going to kiss me and ...”

“He laughed,” Draco finished.

Hermione nodded.

“He's even more of a coward than I thought.” he smiled.

“Do you think he laughed it off because he was nervous? What if he did want to.” she was thinking out loud again.

“Granger, if he wanted to kiss you, he would have. Trust me, being this close to you...” He looked down at her face, noticing how close her lips were to his.

“Being this close to me?” she edged me to finish my sentence.

“Well obviously in my case its causing me a little nausea but..” he instantly regretted the words. Draco could see a sparkle in her eyes fade as it was replaced by an oncoming flow of tears. She blinked and pulled her head away.

“Damn you woman,” he pulled her closer and pressed his lips to hers. He had no idea why but he felt the need to replace the lost kiss. As if it would stop her from crying, not that he cared about her tears. The kiss was brief and simple. Two pairs of lips lightly touching, nothing kinky or seductive, just standard.

Hermione blinked, her eyes open and looking straight into the face of Draco Malfoy as he kissed her. His eyes were closed, his lips seeming to just rest on hers, not making a move. She didn't know what to do, her hand came up to slap him across the face, to push him off. He seemed to sense her hand movement and flinched into the kiss, as if preparing himself for what was to come. To her surprise her hand did move but it came down lightly, resting on his cheek as her lips made a move against his.

It was only a delicate shifting of her lips but Draco took it as enough to continue. Her hand moved across his face and up into his hair. He felt a shiver run down his back as she gripped the hair at the back of his neck. Their mouths moved in unison. The kiss didn't deepen, their tongues stayed retracted but the kiss was still hot enough without it. It last ages, Draco decided to keep going until she stopped but the more he kissed her, the more he realized she seemed to be following his lead and there was no sign of stopping anywhere.

A knock at the portrait finally forced their lips apart. Neither spoke, even if they'd tried both were speechless.

“Hermione?” came Harry's voice from the hall.

“They're here to apologize,” Draco said flatly, pulling his face away from hers as his chair wheeled back.

“What...” she light touched her lips.

“What just happened?” he licked his own lips, the feeling of hers still fresh in his memory, “It was nothing Granger.”

“Nothing?” she repeated, “Right.”

“Honestly, nothing.” he wheeled towards the stairs, “Don't do that girly thing..don't make it more than it is. I just wanted to prove a point.”
“Which was?” she looked over the back of the sofa towards him.

“I'm not sure yet but I'm sure there's a reason.” he headed up the stairs, “Don't take too long. I want to be in bed before midnight.”

Hermione looked at the clock, “What time..did I come back?”

Draco stopped, “About eight..”

“Its almost ten..” she said quietly, where had the last two hours go.

“What can I say, time flies when having fun,” she could almost hear the smirk on his face, “Before midnight Granger.” and then he was gone up the stairs.

Hermione stood up, straightened her skirt and took a deep breath. She wasn't in the mood to face the boys. Moving over to the portrait she looked back at the stairs, then sighed it was time to get back to reality, “Okay....”


Chapter 4: Admittance
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 "You're not still going on about that are you?" Ron moaned as the three of them sat at a table in the library, "It's been a week and, to be honest it was harmless."

"You're right." she nodded, putting the quill away, "It's fine."

"Fine?" both Ron and Harry said at the same time. Their faces mimicked the same look of unbelief as Hermione stood up and wandered off between the library bookshelves.

"She's got to be up to something evil," Ron said after a moments more silence "Harry...go talk to her. I'll never sleep tonight knowing she's out there."

Harry nodded, slowly rising from the table then heading off in the direction Hermione had gone. She was busy thumbing through a large dusty book, easy to spot and approach. Although Harry wasn't sure what exactly to say.

"I'm fine Harry," she suddenly said, not looking up from the book.

"It's creepy when you do that," he replied.

"Creepy is what I do best... apparently." her words were emphasized by a small shrug.

"Hermione, are you sure everything is fine with Ron?" Harry lightly touched the book, causing Hermione to look at him, "You've never let go of anything that easily."

"I'm fine Harry. We're fine." she closed the book quickly, almost catching Harry's hand in it, "It'd be pointless to hold a grudge against something so accidental."

"Hermione," Harry paused slightly, "Are you sure that you're only upset about the lake. I mean...Ron did scoff when I said..."

Hermione put up her hand to stop him, "Harry, please...as if I would even care about that. I think you're seeing into things that aren't there." a roll of her eyes followed as she attempted to move past him.

"No," he put his hand on the bookshelf to stop her, "Its about time we admit what is there. Hermione I'm not stupid nor as thick as Ron."

Her heart stopped, "I don't know..."

"Stop pretending Hermione. I've been through hell and back again. Do you think sensing that my best friend has a crush is going to be difficult?" he moved his hand off the bookshelf and out of her way, "But if you're confident there is nothing, then go."

Hermione looked past him not moving, she exhaled slowly, "Harry, whatever it is I can handle it."

"That's not the point," Harry took the book from her, "We live in a hectic time, we don't know if we're going to live through the year. Do you really want to face possible death with unfinished business?"

"That's being dramatic." Hermione laughed,"But..either way, it doesn't matter." she quickly reached for her book, "He's not interested and I can't change that."

"Try," Harry said, handing her the book and turning around, "You might be surprised."

Hermione practically ran to the Heads Dorm. She just wanted into her room where everything made sense. First Malfoy, now Harry. Both events had seriously tipped the scale on the amount of surprises she could handle within twenty four hours.

Harry had been right though, she'd forgiven Ron quicker this time than with any of his past incidences. Mostly because she'd not really thought much about the events of the lake due to Malfoy's kiss. How could she have spent almost two hours kissing someone she hated? It was just wrong!

The portrait swung open revealing the Head's common room. Hermione could hear the fire crackling and she quietly poked her head into the room, looking for Malfoy. Feeling it was safe, she walked through the portrait and moved towards the stairs.

"Granger," his voice stopped her motions instantly.

"Malfoy,"she said, looking up the stairs before climbing them, "Lurking as usual?"

"Waiting for you, as I'm bound to with this chair." he replied.

"It's not even evening yet." Hermione walked past him.

"Granger, " he wheeled after her, "We need to talk."

"No, we don't."she opened her door and would have shut it but he was in the way, "Go away Malfoy. I won't forget to tuck you in."

"Moody today Granger?" he grinned, "Lack of sleep? Dreaming of me?"

"Don't make me ill," she held fast onto the door, "I've had a long day. I just want to be alone if you don't mind."

"You haven't told anyone? Have you?"he ignored her previous comment and stayed in her doorway.

"No!" she visibly cringed, "Its going with me to my grave."

"Good." he pretended to wipe his brow, "I'd never be able to live it down." he wheeled back away from her door.

"You wouldn't?" Hermione suddenly half-grinned.

"Of course I..." he stopped, "Why are you smiling at me?"

"Because you're going to help me get Ronald Weasley." she crossed her arms, "Or else."

 



Chapter 5: Apraising a Jewel
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

OOC: Wow it’s been too long. I had tried editing this story but my computer crashed a while ago and I lost all the chapters I’d written. I’m in College now and I need something to keep me sane. I wonder …I wonder if I can finish this…

Let’s try! It will be homage to the greatness of Draco and Hermione.

 

 

 


 

 




 

Or Else

Damn that mudblood!

When Hermione had said those two words in a daunting tone, he’d laughed. What could she possibly say that would make him even consider tutoring her.

“Granger!” Draco growled from his chair.

It had only taken a few whispered sentences to show him that Hermione Granger wasn’t just book smart.  

“You know,” Hermione lightly pushed his door open, “I’m seriously thinking of adding an intercom between our rooms.”

“A what?”

“A muggle thing…never mind,” She paused and raised her brow, “Was there a reason you –“

“Aside from the usual get my chair moving magic, I needed to let you know that someone will be waiting in our common room after last class. She’s here for you, do whatever she says.” Draco leaned back in his chair, “Nod yes once if you understand.”

“Who?”

“You’ll see when classes are done.” Draco motioned for her to move towards his chair, “Lateness is not appreciated by Snape.”

“Nor is vagueness by me.”

“You said you wanted my help, I’m offering it.” Draco snorted, “You never said I had to do it alone.”

“And if I don’t come? I have my own schedule, I don’t enjoy changing it to make room for – “

“You said you wanted my help. If you don’t like being bossed by me, then we can always toss the whole deal. Believe me, I wouldn’t be too upset.” Draco raised his brow.

“Wouldn’t you just love to see that happen,” Hermione glared at him as he grinned, “Fine, I’ll be here but, “She tapped his chair, “No games.”

“Never,” Malfoy grinned, “I’m a good boy.” He waved as he wheeled out of the room, leaving Hermione standing alone, “Don’t forget your quill and parchment. You’ll want to take notes.”

“Notes…good boy…” She mumbled, pulling the door latch behind her as she walked out of his room, “My ass.”

 

 

 


 

 




Class had gone by as usual, although anyone could see Hermione was a little more distracted than usual. Her hand wasn’t up for every question and her potion was purple instead of lavender, a point that raised Snape’s brow and pulled a grin from his usually stern expression.

Thankfully as the day progressed she relaxed and thought less of Malfoy and more of the person she was meeting in the late afternoon. Who was she? How did Malfoy know her? Why was he bringing her into this?

“You okay Hermione?”

Hermione jumped, dropping her pile of books on the floor, “Oh hades.”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you, I was just worried, “Harry knelt down to help her with the books,” You seem a little…off.”

“Usual morning with Malfoy,” Hermione said with a shrug as she mumbled a spell to clear the spilled ink on the floor, “Nothing more.”

“You sure,” Harry continued, “I know you still haven’t spoken to Ron regarding the lake.”

“Is there some reason I should?”

Harry put his hand on her shoulder, “I know you’re upset. Ron’s a little thick and he needs things spelled out in black and white. That’s all.”

Hermione shrugged his hand off, “I’m not in the mood to educate him.” She stood, “Especially as the lesson is at my expense.”

“Hermione,” Harry followed after her as she walked off, “Where are you going?”

“To my room...”

“Not the library?” Harry stopped, “But you always –“

 

 

 


Hermione waved his sentence away. She wasn’t in the mood to explain anything to him. If she listened, she’d be questioned and the truth just might burst out of her.

 




Pushing open the portrait door into the Head’s Common Room, Hermione held her breath as the answer to her questions were about to be answered.

“Hello?” She called out as she pushed the door closed.

“You’re late.” The voice belonged to a woman, back turned to Hermione as she sat on the sofa. Her posture was perfect and the thin pin strip jacket she wore emphasized her long thin shoulders. She turned her face towards Hermione, the wide rimmed sunglasses moved slightly down her nose as she looked at the young witch, “Nice hair.” She pushed the sunglasses back up the bridge of her nose and turned back to the fire.

“Thanks,” Hermione let the insult roll of her shoulders. She was used to Malfoy making quips about her hair, it was nothing new.

“Come here, “Mace lifted a bony hand and wiggled her pointer finger towards the common room sitting area. Hermione couldn’t help but try guessing the age of the hand that commanded her. It was thin; the skin almost papery with the veins underneath drawing a map of the circulatory system but the woman’s face seemed ageless.

“And you’re a friend of Malfoys?” Hermione asked, her curiosity coming out in a far ruder manner than she’d originally intended.

“My dear girl,” Mace watched her walk onto the large area rug in front of the sofa, “Stop.”

“Stop?” Hermione repeated the word confused.

“Yes, stop, as in stop moving.” Mace crossed her legs, “Now turn.”

Hermione looked about and realized she was standing in the exact middle of the rug, directly in front of the sofa, “You want me to turn?”

“I could walk around you but that seems to bring a vulture circle its prey to mind, so turn.” Mace once again lifted her bony finger and made a turning potion.

“What for,” Hermione crossed her arms, “I would like to know what I’m on display for.”

“Your appraisal,” Mace shook her head and with a deep sigh removed her sunglasses, “Draco can be quite the cretin when he wants to be. He never told you what I’m here for, did he?”

Hermione shook her head ‘no’.

“Come sit by me.” Mace patted the sofa.

The term ‘cretin’ used to describe Malfoy seemed to lighten the mood of the encounter instantly. Slowly, Hermione sat on the sofa next to Mace, “Sorry if I was rude before.”

“Not at all, I’ve had things thrown at me before.” She flashed a flawless smile, “Of course those poor creatures know what I do for a living.”

“Appraisals?” Hermione guessed.

“Smart girl,” Mace paused and looked at Hermione as she sat, “I’ve heard you’ve got quite the brains hidden underneath that mop of hair.”

“Mop?!” Hermione reached up and touched the wild curls, “Far from a mop…”

“Hermione,” Mace reached over and gently pulled Hermione’s hand away from the tendril she was comforting, “It’s a mop but don’t feel bad. We all make hair blunders.  Until Draco met me he thought his hair slicked back made him look refined. In truth he looked like a bowling ball.”

A laugh erupted form Hermione’s mouth and she nodded, “It’s true.”

“You see.” Mace smiled, “I consult and appraise physical appearances. I improve what people can’t see or what they refuse to see.”

“And Draco sent you to help me?”

“I’m sure there’s a barb in my being here. However you don’t need to take it as such. ” Mace grinned, “But as you can tell, I’m good at my job. My skin hides my age, my figure is a perfect hourglass and it’s all magic. The right spells the right combinations of herbs and a few small base potions. He’s paying me, and you’re not. Use it.”

“Can I ask,” Hermione looked at Mace’s hands.

“The magic only does so much. I use my hands in my work and you can’t use some of my spells on moving busy body parts.” Mace shrugged, “I find it adds to the mystery of me.”

“Is it going to happen to me?”

Mace shook her head ‘no’, “You’re not as old as I am. Your skin is much younger and capable than mine.”

“Okay,” Hermione stood up from the sofa and resumed her position in the middle of the rug, “Assess away.”

 

 

 

 
 
 
 


Chapter 6: New Input
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


--Author's Note--

I haven't updated in forver and I got the urge to while at work. It's short but it's the ball rolling!

 

-----

Draco looked at the page number of his book and shook his head. He'd read at least four pages of the new chapter and could not, minus knowing the basis of what he was reading, recall a single new bit of information. He'd absorbed nothing and it was pissing him off. Shutting the book with a sharp clap he placed it on his lap and took a moment to calm.

"Having issues?" A hand touched the back of his neck as the words brushed his cheek, warm breath on his neck old him someone was very close. The scent of orange caught his nose and he smirked. Pansy.

"No," Draco responded, "Just done for the day." His tone was dry but friendly. He craned his head and turned his chair, "And you? Lurking about to find trouble?"

Pansy's nose wiggled and she shook her head, causing her short brown hair to sway, "Well I wouldn't have to find trouble if you were paying attention to me." She pouted playfully, "I miss you." A gentle caress of her fingers on his cheek followed, "You've all but disappeared on me."

"Pansy…" Draco pushed her fingers away, "..we've spoken of this already. I hate going over it."

Her shoulders dropped, "I know," Her tone changed. It was less sweet and more snide, "It seems unfair that Granger should get all your time. You know there's talk about you two."

Draco was well aware of the school gossip. His eyes moved up her body and then searched her eyes, "But you know its not true." He said after a moment, "You'd be more angry if you thought I'd put my hands on her." He watched her face another moment, "Yes...you'd be yelling by now if you thought that."

"Oh Draco…" Pansy wrapped her arms around his neck, "Deep down I knew it wasn't true." Squeezing him tightly, purposely mashing his face into her chest she sighed and smiled, "A part of me feared your recent issues might have clouded your judgements. I feared you were getting soft on mudbloods, maybe even sympathetic."

"As i-if.." Draco managed to get out as he gently pushed her back, "Now please.." He looked around at the eyes on them, "Pansy, I need you to be on the look out for such gossipers. We need to shut their mouths and promptly. Will you help me with that?"

"Oh, of course!" Pansy nodded gleefully, the chance to get in closer with the blonde slytherin was always something she was up for, "I won't let you down."

"Good." Draco patted her cheek lightly, "I know you won't." With a final suave grin he wheeled away. His smile faded as soon as he was far enough away. Of course people would talk, that was never anything new. Yet his feelings for Granger had changed. That was very new. He hovered up the stairs as he thought. His hands holding onto his books as he moved to his room. Surely Mace was done by now. The assessments of hers took hours but not more than two.

Just watch Granger's hair break that time restraint. Some things might even be out of Mace's power. He chuckled to himself as he thought of how tangled Granger's hair had been when she'd first arrived. It had tamed since then but a beast is never truly tame.

Was he tame? Was he mellowing out? Was it all that damn girl's fault? Draco wasn't entirely sure how to deal with this new issue. Granger hadn't changed, no she was still very much herself. Yet he'd gotten to know her. He'd grown to appreciate things about her and even care about some things.

Granger was still very much the goodie bookworm. Her friends were still the most annoying beings in school. Reaching the portrait he muttered the password and it opened for him. As he wheeled into the common room he heard the familiar tone of his stylist, "Draco...we need to talk."

"Lovely to see you too Mace." He moved over to her, "Looking beautiful as ever." Draco offered a polite smile, "And what do we need to discuss."

"Hermione," She said, the sound of her first name pulling something in Draco that rather annoyed him.

"What about her?" Draco asked, prepping himself for some news of her assessment. Perhaps even that it would be impossible, "Is there an issue with her?"

Mace spoke slowly, "Damn right there is. She's in love with you."


Chapter 7: Current Situations
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Author's Note - Sorry the Chapters are so small. But hey, they're flowing!

Professor McGonagall's frame was almost always perfectly erect yet as she walked there was a slight slump in her shoulders. Not enough for anyone without an observant eye to notice, but it was enough. Silently she moved through the halls towards Snape's classroom. The door was open and she entered.

"Severus," She called out, knowing he was there but not wishing to alarm him. A shuffling of fabric pulled her attention towards a small closet and she moved further into the room.

"Minerva." Snape said in his usual slow drawl, "What can I do for you?" He looked at her, his facial expression and tone altering as he added, "Draco?"

The two professors had been working closely with the crippled slytherin since his discovery. It had been no less than a miracle according to Albus that they had found him before it was too late. Even then, they had made little progress to reverse the paralysis of his body. They'd also not made it in time to save his parents, whom they'd assumed he'd watched die in a similar pattern.

As much as we've managed to slow it, I fear we are losing this battle." Her hands clasped and she found her fingers fidgeting, "I fear what will occur if the students discover it is not just his legs that aren't working."

"Do you think they'd be unable to digest what happened to him?" Snape asked, closing the doors to his closet with a gentle click, "It may be best if we let them deal with it, especially in case…" He halted his words and looked at her, "Even if we solve it, which you know I hope we do, opening it to the student body may take the light off of Miss Granger. I know enough students are confused as to her involvement and it may save Mr Malfoy a lot of stress if one of his own house can help out. It was something thrown together in the moment but I don't see how support from Slytherin will hinder him."

There was a quiet pause. Minerva was more than aware of the issues surrounding the pairing of Miss Granger and Mr Malfoy, "Haven't you noticed that his rate of paralysis has slowed since the baths with Miss Granger?"

"Perhaps slightly," Severus looked off to the side for a moment, "It wouldn't be past the Dark Lord to cast a spell that slowly tortures a person the more they fear it." He suddenly flipped a few pages in his book, scanned a page quickly before dipping his quill into the inkwell and jotting some notes down, "That may have given me an idea."

"Severus," Minerva said, interrupting his thoughts as he was now ignoring her, "I would hope that you can see that Miss Granger is proving to be a helpful distraction from this horrific event?" Minerva brushed the fabric of her dress, "I don't see why we should give reason to change that. We need as much time as we can get."

"Fine" Severus pulled a cork out of a small vial with a loud 'pop', "But," He promptly added, "I do have my concerns about the pairing. You are well aware of this, as always."

A knowing smile crossed the aged female professor's face, "Oh you have been rather verbal in that regards, which is why I have no issue reminding you that Albus sides with me in this matter."

"For now," Severus concluded.

 


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com