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Dragoness by jenrabbit

Format: Novel
Chapters: 59
Word Count: 142,118
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, McGonagall, Lucius, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M), Percival
Pairings: Draco/Hermione, Harry/Ginny

First Published: 10/23/2007
Last Chapter: 12/10/2009
Last Updated: 12/10/2009

Summary:

She was a Dragoness in every sense of the word, a lone fighter in an endless war, strong and imune to all attacks. She loved but a few, but would protect those she loved with her last breath. And then he cracked her with the only weapon that would melt her long frozen heart... compassion.  

120,780+ Reads, YAYNESS!!!!!!!!!! Thank You One And All !!!!!!!!!


Chapter 1: The Game
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            Hermione Granger sprinted down the field, feeling the sun beat down upon her nearly bare back. She looked like some goddess of sports to the spectators, but then again, didn’t the whole team? Her usually bushy hair was French braided into pigtails, and then wrapped around her head and pinned down tightly, all the Dragonesses hair was up like this. Green silk ribbons were woven into her hair; they matched her sports bra perfectly.

            Hermione was a soccer player, not an English football player; no she preferred soccer by far. Here in the states, soccer was a contact sport, maybe it wasn’t supposed to be, but it was. Thus, here in the states was where she spent two out of her three month summer every year. She had lived in the U.S. until she was nine, but then had moved over seas with her parents, something about a business opportunity for her mom. Still, she had never completely forgotten her hometown of Dallas, Texas.

            So, back to why Hermione was sprinting down the field in a green sports bra.  Every summer, Hermione played soccer for the all girls team the Dragonesses. They were the envy of their league, and a few others too. Nothing was too hard, or to revealing for a Dragoness. The teams official uniform was a tight green tank top with Dragoness scrawled across it in silver cursive. On the back was a serpentine silver dragon, a flaming soccer ball, and their numbers, Hermione’s was twelve. But of course, would an entire team of headstrong, talented seventeen year old girls be content with a tank top and short silver shorts, of course not. No, they had gone even further and had green sports bras, with silver dragons on them made too.

            Now that my dear readers is what Hermione Granger was doing pelting down a humid soccer field, in the middle of July, in nothing but a sports bra, and some shorts that had would have made her mother faint. Lucky for our main character, her mother was safely on the other side of a rather large ocean, and her Aunt, who was far more easy going, was cheering on the sidelines. Now can I please get back to the actual story?

            The breath was ragged in Hermione’s chest; it hurt to breathe this hot wet air when you were sprinting. If they wanted to win this game they needed to keep the ball out of their goal for another five minutes, another point to their side wouldn’t hurt, but it wasn’t necessary. They were one up on the all boys team, the Lions, (A/n ironic right? Lol ;P) who also happened to be their biggest rivals. The boy’s striker ran just yards in front of her, he was shirtless, just like the rest of his team, and damn did he have a six-pack. His shorts were black and red, and showed off his cute butt, oh well, too bad he had to fall on it, she would have liked to look at it a bit longer.

            Grinning tightly Hermione accelerated till she was even with him, and then ahead. With the fearlessness that came with years of practice she dropped down beside him and swept her foot at his. The ball rocketed away as her foot slid across the ground and back into her; easily she hopped back to her feet. The boy, Jack Martian suddenly found himself airborne; he had tripped over his own feet when the ball was suddenly taken out of his possession. Hermione was already off down the field, offering an open player for her cousin Jamie daBie to pass to.

            The Lions groaned almost as one when they saw who had the ball, Jamie and Hermione had been playing together since they both started when they were four. Since then they had formed a bond, a sort of way to communicate on the field. Hermione tilted her head ever so slightly to the goal; the keeper was wiping sweat out of his eyes with the back of one already sweat soaked glove. Smirking gleefully Jamie prepped like she was going to go for a shot, even though they had only just crossed the midfield line.

            Hermione knew Jamie’s mind like she knew her own, she could almost hear her cousin's thoughts, I could sooo make this shot if I wanted to, but why take a long shot when I can do this. Gently she tapped it barely three feet to the right; out of nowhere Hermione rocketed in and took a shot just to the left of the goalie. The boys grinned, “Loosing your touch Granger?” asked Jack, coming up behind her at an easy lope.

            Jamie swooped in as the ball sped to the goalie’s waiting hands, and grounded the ball with her rock hard stomach. Hermione grinned as the Lion’s jaws dropped as one, Jamie had abs that most girls, and more than a few guys would die for. With an almost casual flick of her right cleats Jamie put the ball in the net. “Nope,” Hermione laughed at the guy’s awestruck expression, “and neither is Drajamie.” She smiled at the teams name for her cuz, they had decided to tack Dra- at the beginning of all their names, in homage to their team.

            “Little bitches.” Jack muttered to her as the ref blew his whistle.

            “Game goes to the Dragonesses” he bellowed as the sidelines erupted in cheers.

            Jamie ran up to her favorite cousin, “Wattid he say?” she asked.

            “oh nothing, just called us bitches, stupid Jackass couldn’t come up with anything better.”

            Jamie smirked, “Well,” her voice was almost sad, “I guess we’ll have to live with that” her smirk grew more pronounced, “but I thing I’d rather be a dog than a man whore.” Jack scowled at them, he had heard, but couldn’t say anything, because everyone knew that he slept around. “Come-on, Dramoine, I think the team wants us to be in the middle.”

            Together the lifelong friends jogged to where their team waited with their coach. “Good game girls, what a way to end the season.” The coach told them as they went down into a huddle.  “Now I believe there is something you want to do in front of these boys?”

            Grinning the team formed a tight circle around Jamie and Hermione; their arms crossed on each others backs. Jamie and Hermione put their hands on each others shoulders, their faces were identical smirks. The rest of the team bowed, still linked in a circle, leaving the two girls standing in the center. Drajamie and Dramione raised their faces to the cloudless blue sky and bellowed together, “OUR TEAM IS WHAT!?!?!”

            The two in the center bowed towards the hallowed grass, while the team stood and replied “RED HOT!!”

            The team bowed to the sacred field, as the cousins stood, “OUR TEAM IS WHAT!?!?!”

            The pattern repeated. “RED HOT!!!”

            The cousins stood, but the entire team shouted “OUR TEAM IS R-E-D”

             The team stood while the star players bowed, together they continued, “WITH A LITTLE BIT OF H-O-T!!”

            “OH BABY”

            “R-E-D”

            “RED H-O-T RED HOT RED HOT RED HOT!!!!!!” And then as one they gave a victory scream, and the outer circle began rotating clockwise, while the inner two went counterclockwise.

            The other team stood mesmerized by the fast moving sweaty bodies. At last the girls ceased their spinning, “PARTY AT THE DRAGONESSES LAIR!!” bellowed the coach, the girls smirked, their coach’s family owned the hottest teen club, and during June and July, ‘The Digs’, was not known as ‘The Digs’, it was the Dragonesses Lair, and no rival team dared enter.

            Screaming the girls raced for the cars, fans, and exhaustion forgotten in their rush to get to their ‘Lair’. “See ya Aunt Elisa” bellowed Hermione as she and Jamie rushed to her mustang convertible.

            “Yeah, bye mom, we’ll be back by two.” Jamie bellowed out the window as she started the car while Hermione climbed into the passenger’s side.

            “I don’t see why I can’t drive, I mean it is my car.” Grumbled Hermione as she pressed the button that made the top go down. And it was true; Hermione had been saving up for this car for several years.

            “It may be your car, but it’s still over here in the States until you decide to move it. And anyway, it’s not like you’d drive it, even if it was overseas, I mean you’re at Hogwarts most of the year, and what would you do if you had it with you up there.”

            “I’d show off my baby, I love my stang, you know that. There are enough muggle born kids up there that I would have a constant following as I drove up and down the castle halls.” Hermione sniggered at the thought.

            Jamie snorted with her, and pointed to the glove box, "lets clean ourselves up, hand me my wand please and thank you.” Shaking her head and muttering about injustices Dramione reached into the compartment and pulled out their wands. With a simple flick she cleaned all the sweat and dirt off her and her cousin. “Showoff.” Drajamie muttered as she rolled to a stop at a red light, checking her makeup in the rearview mirror. “How’s my war paint?”

            Hermione grinned; another thing that set the Dragonesses apart was that they all had on heavy makeup at every game. They all put on thick, glittery green water proof eye shadow. On their eyelashes they always layered on silver mascara, and on their left shoulders they would put three stripes of paint that looked like claw marks. Well at least they had always done that, until they went on a three week trip to France to train, early this summer. There the team had all had their shoulders tattooed with their infamous claw marks. The tats were deep red, but shimmered the tiniest bit green in just the right light, ahh the wonders of magic.

            Hermione pulled out her red razr and flipped it open, barely glancing at her fingers she dialed one of her team mates numbers. “Dramoine?” asked the girl.

            “Hey Drashaley, just wonderin if this is a maj only, or will there be…”

            “Nope, it’s a maj only, you’ve got to get here, they’ve got some cousin here for the summer and they’ve put him to work. Total hotty, and he’s here from England, wonder if you know him? He's got a killer accent, you should know.”

            “Oh, thanks" Hermione's voice dripped sarcasm, " We’ll see when we get there or right now since we’re pulling into the lot, bye.” With a snap she closed the phone and undid her seatbelt. Drajamie handed her a green and silver silk robe to put on over herself, usually she wouldn’t worry, but if there was a guy for them to ogle at she didn’t want to look the slut in only a sports bra. Drajamie already had hers on; together the cousins entered the Dragonesses Lair.

Chapter 2: Music and Malfoy
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 A/N: I DON'T OWN HARRY POTTER!! If i did would i waste time donig this, well i consider t time well wasted, but still, I DON'T OWN THE CHARACTORS!! 
PS: Party Like a Rockstar is by Freak Nasty, & Rockstar is by Nickleback.  
PS2: I luv U Jessy!! U R STILL AWSOME!!!
Now, on with the Show...
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            “Dramoine, Drajamie.” A call came from the counter, the team was squished together onto the stools,”Budge up you lot, you can make room for the star players can’t you.” Drashaley told the twenty person team, laughing about half the girls went to tables with their drinks, leaving the others to chat animatedly.

            The cousins seated themselves on either side of their friend, “is that him Drashaley.” Muttered Drajamie, her eyes fixed on the boy behind the counter who had their back to them.

            “Yup, and he has the most perfect name, it goes right along with our team.” Drashaley gushed.

            “Really, what?” asked Dramoine, mystified, and also staring at the back of his white blond head. For some reason it was vaguely familiar, and disconcerting.

            “Draco Malfoy at your service ladies.” He said, turning around to face the three girls.

            Hermione found herself staring into a pair of icy blue grey eyes that belonged to the boy she had hated since her first day of Hogwarts. “You.” She hissed, her honey and cinnamon eyes suddenly losing their warmth.

^*~^*~^*

            Draco looked at the girl in front of him, her eyes were cold as they surveyed him, what had he done to deserve the instant dislike of such a, a hot girl? Her body, though wrapped in a green silk robe was obviously shapely. Her warm brown hair was up in the same style as all the girls, her skin was smooth, and beautifully tanned, and green was soooo her color.

            “Do I know-“he stopped, his eyes scanning her face, and then softly so that only the four of them could hear he said “Mudblood?”
            “What the hell are you doing here?” she hissed, her eyes frigid as she surveyed her enemy.

            “Well, I could say the same to you, and ask what you are doing in my colors. If you’re trying to impress me don’t waste your time, I don’t date dirty blooded bitches.” He said his tone conversational.

               Drajamie and Drashley watched transfixed as the two old enemies shot insults back and forth at each other. “I am not a bitch, I’m a Dragoness and FYI, for the summer these are my colors.” Her voice would have stopped Attila the Hun as he charged, but Malfoy didn’t seem fazed.

            “Hmm, is that so, and what would you be, water girl?” he asked sniggering.

            Hermione smirked and said, “No, I’m Dramoine, the heartless.” And with that she turned around and slid her robe down to reveal her left shoulder. There were the three slightly shimmering claw marks, but under them was a black heart, it was her own device, each girls’ tat was personalized.

             “Oh really, and why would they call you that oh, heartless mudblood?” his tone was skeptical to say the least.

            “Because that’s what she is out on the field.” The coach’s voice roused them from their conversation. The four teens turned to see her standing there in her own emerald silk robe, looking at Draco and Hermione with bemused eyes. “Do you know each other?” she asked, she had already guessed, but Angela Balester was not one to leave anything to guessing.

            Hermione let out a bark of mirthless laughter, “Know each other? He’s made my life at school living hell from time to time, but other than that, no we don’t know each other.”

            “Explain please.” Drangela snapped, it was not a request.

            “We’re in rival houses, and she’s a mudblood, like she said, we go to school together, that doesn’t mean we know each other.”

            “Okay, but if I ever here that word come out of your mouth again I will personally scrub it out with soap. And you’d better learn to like each other, because you’ll be sharing a common room this year.”

            Hermione hollered “What?”

            While Draco snapped, “you kept that awful quiet.”

            “Get used to it kiddies, yer owls just came, and they both have the Headmasters handwriting on them, not McGonagall’s, you know what that means.”

            “We made Heads.” Breathed Hermione, her face twisted in a new expression, somewhere between physical pain, and disgust.

            Just then Drashaley decided to intervene, “Dramione, your song is like soo up next, remember?”

            Hermione listened, Let’s rearrange, I wish you were a stranger I could disengage, just say that we agree and then never change- “Ohmigod, it so is, Drajamie, will you be my backup?”

            “Only if you’ll back me.”

            “Watch and learn, ferret.“ hissed Hermione, cutting her eyes at Draco before sweeping the dance floor with them. “Clear.” She bellowed as the final strains of Over my Head (A/N: The Fray is wonderful, I love that song!!) faded away. The girls that had been dancing were already moving, as dramione and Drajamie took off their silk robes.

            The two girls were still wearing only their sports bras, and short silver soccer shorts, the only change was that they had on black and silver flip-flops instead of cleats and shin guards. Easily the two girls kicked off their flip-flops and walked barefoot into the center of the dance floor.  As one they grabbed mikes, and stood with their feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, their heads handing.

            The guitar work started, and Draco felt his pulse beginning to race as the one they were calling Drajamie began. "y-y-yeah, y-y-yeah, y-y-yeah, y-y-yeah, totally dude!!!” with each ‘y-y-yeah’ Her-, no Granger, would roll her body up, head coming up last, and then drop back in time for the next one.

            At totally dude Hermione pop, lock, and dropped it before rolling back up and singing. “Party like a rock, party like a rockstar, party like a rock, party like a rockstar. Party like a rock, party like a rockstar, party like a rockstar totally dude.” The cousins danced seamlessly, stomping out the beat as they wove their voices into the rap. “I’m on a money makin mission, but I party like a rockstar, I’m flyin down the 20 lookin good in my hot car.” It was right around here that Draco got lost, unable to keep up with the fast flowing words, a few verses later he caught up.

“As soon as I came out the womb

 My momma knew a star was born

 Now I’m on the golf course

 trippin’ wit da Osborne’s

I seen da show wtravis barker

Rockstar mentality

I’m jumpin in the crowd

Just to see if they would carry me.

            “What in the bloody name of Merlin is this?” Draco muttered to Drashaley, conveniently forgetting that she was probably a halfblood, and therefore not worthy of his attention.

            “What, does Dramoine not act like this at school? You should have seen last year, they only did one song, but it was good.” She smirked, “You really should see their version of Do yo Chain Hang Low?

            “What, the mudblood bookworm? I’ve never seen her in anything more revealing than her school robes, and the closest I’ve ever seen her to this was in third year when she slapped me.”

            Drashaley hissed at the word mudblood, in an undertone she warned him, “I wouldn’t call her that where anyone can hear if I were you.”

            “What is that a threat?” Draco asked, smirking at the idea of this girl coming after him.

            “No, it’s a promise, look around you.” Draco glanced around the club, all he could see was the team, around twenty, seventeen year old girls. “We’re all allowed to use magic out of school, and we’ve been a team since we were all four. We’re sisters, that time Drashanon got her heart broken by Jack Martin, we all hunted him down. When we were in grade school together, a teacher was being unfair to me, without me knowing the rest of the girls rolled her house, saran wrapped her car, and skittled her yard. To this day she doesn’t know who did it. And, last summer when Dramione, our strongest member was, those bastards- I’m not sure if she’d want you to know. We tracked them every night for two weeks; they’ll never mess with a woman again.” Her eyes were flinty, and she didn’t say anything else. As the song drew to a close she finally said, “We look out for each other, that’s all I’m saying. Don’t mess with one of us unless you can deal with all of us.” Was all she said, and with that Drashaley stood and joined another group, leaving Draco at the counter deep in thought.

            Granger was attacked, that much is obvious, she must not have told Weasel or Boy Wonder though. If she had they would have been overbearingly protective last year. How can she be such better friends with all these girls that she only sees during the summer, when the ‘Golden Trio’ is together all year. Wait, did she say that they had been a team since they were four!?! Well, even I’ve gotta admit that’s pretty impressive for a mudblood. A damn fine mudblood too, look at those hips, shut it Draco, you know better than to think that. If your father- fuck my father, she’s still hot.

            The one they were calling Drajamie stepped up as the songs switched, “I’m through with standing in line

To the clubs I’ll never get in
It's like the bottom of the ninth
and I'm never gonna win
This life hasn't turned out
quite the way I want it to be”


             Hermione suddenly stopped dancing in the background and asked in a surprisingly deep voice,”Tell me what you want.”   

            Jamie came back and answered, her eyes sparkling with laughter,

“I want a brand new house
on an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
for ten plus me”


            The song continued, and Draco was surprised at how lavishly muggle rockstars seemed to live. When the song finally finished both girls made their way back over to the counter, perching a few stools down from the Slytherin, and chatting animatedly “I think we did good, I didn’t miss any steps, did you?”

            “Nope, we make a good team Drajamie, and I so hate you for stealing my song.”

            “Yeah, well some Nickelback concert tickets help that? There’s one here in Dallas in December.”

            “Seriously, you buy and I’ll be here.”

            “Deal, did you get a new Bluetooth?”

            “Nope, but I thought Drashanon said she got Lips of an Angel.”

            “No”

            “Yes, Drashanon” she called to a tall girl with her thick black hair pinned up like theirs.

            “Yeah,“ called the girl, turning away from the conversation at her table to look at them.

            “Hinder?”

            “Yeah, want it?”
            “Duh” the cousins yelled together, summoning their cell phones out of the car with casual flicks of their wands. Hermione flicked open her Red razr with one green and silver fingernail, while Jamie keyed in the access code for her mint Lg chocolate phone.

            Drashanon strolled over, her own black razor out, her fingers flying across the miniscule keyboard. The three girls held their phones together for a moment, before breaking apart and heading back to their seats. “Thanks” the cousins called over their shoulders at their friend.

            The two teens jabbered at each other animatedly, as they put away their cell phones. Suddenly all conversation stopped. An amazing array of ringtones sounded out, causing the team to as one pull phones out of bags of pockets, and check. 

            “Lotw, lol” Hermione read, and then glanced at her cousin, “What bout you?”

            “Same here, god and we were having a good time to.”

            “Would anybody care to explain what those magic letters mean?” drawled Malfoy coming out from behind the bar to peer over Hermione’s shoulder.

            Hermione didn’t even bother to look annoyed at him for being so close to her person. “See how the first L is capital? That means it’s a name, the Lions have been sending us this message for years. It means Lions on the way, lol.”

            “What’s lol?”

            Hermione looked at him, her eyes wide, and contemptuous. “Laugh out loud, did you honestly not know about that?”

            Draco shrugged carelessly, “It’s a muggle thing, I’m a pureblood, what can I say.”

            “That’s no excuse nephew.” Drangela, the coach told him, “I’m a pureblood too incase you’ve forgotten, Dramione, don’t hurt them too bad this time, men must have their pride you know.”

            “But they have the nerve to show up on our territory, they deserve it.”

            “Before this goes any further, who the hell are these lions?”

            “You look a little pissed ferret, the Lions are our biggest rivals, you might want to get back behind the bar and fetch me a double mocha with caramel, I’m gonna need it, Drajamie.”

            “Coming” Drajamie linked her arm through Dramione’s, and shot back over her shoulder, “Me too Malfoy.”

            The two girls stood in the middle of the dance floor facing the door. Outside they heard the crunch of parking lot gravel being stepped on by numerous persons. The door swung open to reveal the entire Lions team, still shirtless, arrogantly examining the scene before them. “Hey look its mudblood Granger,” stated the tall, well taned and toned blond in front. As one the Dragonesses stood and removed their robes, hackles up.

            “Hey look ladies.” Hermione called, walking toward Jack (aka the tall blond) “entertainment.” Slowly she sauntered forward, swaying her hips seductively, till she and Jack were merely a foot apart. “You’ve got a lot of nerve to show up here, you know that right?”

            Jack took a step, now they were so close their noses were centimeters apart. “Yeah, I know.” He breathed, and forced his lips onto hers.

^*~^*~^*

            Draco watched in awed silence, even he, the Slytherin sex god would not have dared kiss Granger when she was in such a mood, not that there was enough galleons in the world to pay him to kiss Granger, he quickly backtracked. Instead of pushing him away and screaming obscenities at him as he expected, Hermione, no Granger, molded her body to his and began snogging the dude. And instead of jumping forward and hexing the couple into oblivion, as he now expected, the entire Dragoness team stood, identical smirks on their faces.

            Suddenly the blond went ridged, and tried to pull away, only to find himself to be literally stuck by the tongue. Granger had bit down hard on his tongue, and wasn’t letting go. After maybe ten seconds Drajamie stepped in and muttered in her ear. With a sickening slurp the two separated, the blond, Jack, he gathered was his name, was bleeding profusely, spitting blood onto the floor repeatedly.

            “What the hell was that for?” spat Jack, blood flying from his lips.

            Hermione smirked, wait, did she just use my smirk? ran through Malfoy’s head. “That was to make sure you remember Dramione the heartless”, and with that she spun on her heel and strode back toward her seat, her tattoo seemed sharper, more defined than ever.

            Draco strutted up to Herm- no, she was defiantly Dramione, and right now with that smirk in place, and blood on her teeth, she could be heartless. “Not bad Granger, and you know that’s a good one since it comes from the Hogwarts playboy.”

            “Thanks, I guess, just get me that double mocha latte with carmal, and make it snappy.” Hermione yawned, leaning nonchalantly against the counter, surprising Draco with her calm, demanding demeanor.
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A/N: If the dacing dosn't work to the music, well either your doin it wrong, or i'm an idiot, cause it  worked in my mind. R&R PLEAZE!!
*~*~*~*~*Jenrabbit luvs anyone who does!!*~*~*~*~*

 

Chapter 3: Her Past
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I DON'T OWN HARRY POTTER!! Now if J.K. was willing to sell for $5, or whatever i've got in my pocket then it would be a diffrent story. Any way, Jessy, ur still awsome, and i just learned how to put a line across the page. 


Everyone be proud of me, now lets get this show on the road...


      
            “Err-“ Draco knew how to take commands from his father, God knew he got enough of them, but this was the mudblood. Still her voice and body language screamed that she expected to be obeyed, and her haughty gaze stifled his retort.

            “You heard her nephew of mine, double mocha latte, and make it snappy.” Draco shot a glare at his mom’s sister, and then glanced down at what he was wearing. A pair of kaki cargo pants and a black button up shirt with green and silver writing scrawled on the top right, his work uniform. How the hell did mother get the idea that working for the rest of summer would improve my character? Sure black looked good on him, and the pants were anything but cheap, but still, he had to fetch lattes for mudbloods.

            It took Draco a few minutes to figure out how to make a latte, and it made his blood boil that  Granger could sit there with her cousin and laugh at his lack of expertise while he slaved away making the damn drink. He was a Malfoy, Malfoy’s did not make coffee for mudbloods, hell they didn’t make coffee for themselves, that’s what house elves were for.

            “Havin a hard time there Drake?” asked a deep voice from behind him.

            Draco grimaced at his cousin, “Shit Travis, how the fuck do you make these things?”

            “Who’s it for?”

            Draco blinked, the question he had expected was ‘what is it?’ “It’s for Granger.” He grunted, his icy gray eyes flashing as he said her name.

            “Oi, Dramione.” Travis called.

            Hermione’s head shot up. Her eyes ran over Travis, and she smiled widely. Travis was a heart breaker, no doubt about it. His hair was a mass of soft brown curls that got in his eyes often, causing him to flick his head sexily. His skin was far tanner than Draco’s, and his muscles just as defined, his eyes were a deep brown, the color of dark chocolate. Yep, the twenty year old cousin of Draco Mafoy was hot, a knee trembler if ever there was one.

            “Your usual?”

            “Did you even have to ask?” she replied, approaching him casually. She didn’t look the least bit shy, as Draco had expected she would be, but here in Texas he wasn’t sure if she was afraid of anything. He hadn’t noticed it before, but she had the exact same accent as all the other girls, no trace of her English accent remained in her words.

            “Not really, Drake why don’t you chat with the pretty girl while I get her, her drink?”

            Draco scowled at his cousin, but leaned against the bar across from Hermione. “You know Travis?” he asked, endeavoring to be civil for once. 

            “You sound surprised, his mom has been coaching me for the past thirteen years.”

            “Not surprised abut knowing him exactly, I’m surprised you didn’t try to flirt with him like all the other girls that come through here.”

            “Except my team.” She qualified, a small smirk paying around her lips, “I’ve known Travis since I was four, he’s coach’s kid, I mean come on.”  

            Draco pursed his lips, surprised by the displeasure that was rising in him, was he jealous of Travis for having known Granger all her life? “So you two are just friends?” he smirked, expecting Granger to blush and mutter some nonsense.

            “Of course, get that through your abnormally thick head. Travis was the one that taught my team self defense before we learned magic.” She smirked, “and he’s always a good dancing partner, and he’s never dated a girl without our permission first.”

            “Let me get this straight, Travis, my cousin who is over here, what I am back home, needs permission from a bunch of teenage girls before he dates?”

            “You better believe it cuz.” Travis’s voice came from behind him as he approached with a tall glass full of the frothy latte. “These Dragonesses don’t like to share. By the way, Dramoine, how’s your body adjusting to the transfusion?”       

            Hermione beamed, and then grinned showing all her teeth in a wolf’s smile. Her front canines grew longer before the guys eyes, while the rest of her teeth grew sharper. The deep cinnamon and honey color of her eyes swirled ad shifted, her pupils became catlike slits, and the irises were a dark sinister orange. “I like having dragons blood in my veins.” She said her voice came out a little bit lower, a slightly growling sound that was alluring and dangerous at the same time. “Thanks for the drink.” She added sweetly, her voice, eyes, and teeth suddenly normal. Sipping delicately she turned and went to join one of the groups of girls at the tables.

            Travis laughed as she left, absently wiping the bar with a damp rag, “God I love Dramione.” he commented to his younger cousin.

            “What, you like Granger?” Draco snapped, whipping around to face his favorite cousin, the Malfoy who wasn’t a Malfoy, whose mother had left home at fifteen and never looked back.

            “Not like that Drake, what you sound jealous or something. Do you like Granger?” he mocked his cousin’s use of her last name. “Anyway, she’s like a sister to me, they all are. But that Dramione, she’s got to be my favorite, the strongest, and the most selfless. When those mother fuckers hurt her, she didn’t even want us to hunt them, we did, but she was only worried about us getting hurt, not about herself, or any diseases she may have gotten.”

            “What are you talking about, that girl, “ he pointed at Drashaley, “hinted that she was attacked last summer, but wouldn’t tell me anything more.” His grey eyes flashed orange, and then back to icy mercury.

            So Draco’s had the operation too huh? Well this’ll be interesting. “She was raped last summer by a few of the Lions.” His voice was expressionless, but his dark eyes were furious. “We found them, and, well, let’s just say I’ll be surprised if any of those boys ever have kids.”

            Draco winced, “Let me guess, those three,” he pointed to Jack and two others who had, with a few other Lions commandeered a handful tables in a corner. They were talking in low voices and playing cards for the most part.

            Travis glanced at Jack Martin and his two cronies, “That’s Jack Martin, Daniel Ross, and Roy Lewis. And yes, that’s them. Their star players on and off the field, Lewis and Ross were both wasted when they and Martin, who was more than a little buzzed, found Hermione walking home form the corner grocery store one night. She was less than a block from her aunt’s house where she stays every summer for two months to play soccer with us.” His voice was even colder than his eyes.

            “So the Jackasses were drunk and they attacked the Gryffindor golden girl? Who found her?”

            “Her aunt got worried when she was gone for more than thirty minutes, she didn’t have her wand and it was after dark you see.  Mrs. daBie knows that it doesn’t take a half hour to walk to the corner and buy a jug of orange juice. So she and Jamie called a few of us and we went looking for our friend. We found her knocked out with nothing but her T-shirt on behind some dumpsters about a half a block away. Jamie was the one that found her, and I was maybe ten yards away when I heard her scream for help.”

            Draco looked at Hermione with a new respect, “How does she do it?” he asked, his eyes fixed on the fiery brunet.

            “Do what?” Travis looked at his cousin questioningly.

            “Get up in the morning knowing that she’ll have to see him again on the field, or here? How does she have the strength to get up in the morning when we’re at school, and face Boy Wonder and Weasel? How is she so strong?”

            “That’s just our Dramione, I’ve known her since she was four, and even then she was our strongest. After the well, we’ve been calling it ‘the incident’; she took all her pain and turned it into anger. She became truly Heartless on and off the field, she only showed affection to the team and her family. She broke five guys’ hearts before the end of last summer, and has gone through at least a half dozen that I know of this season. She’s truly heartless, she date’s em’ for maybe a week, gets em’ to think she’ll go all the way, and then leaves em’ without a backward glance. I think she’s decided that all the men over here are worthless wastes of space, but that’s just a hunch.”

            Draco was silent for a moment, Travis hadn’t answered all his questions, but he had taught him that Hermione was someone to be respected, she was smart, beautiful, and out to get revenge on the entire male sex.               

Chapter 4: Teamwork
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Hi Guys, another chappy, another new character!!!! I love anyone and everyone who reviews!!! You all know the rap, i don't own Harry Potter, if i did would i be posting this here, JOKE(runs and hides in bomb shelter) anyway, READ AND REVIEW, i like the warm fuzzy feeling i get when you do. So, now that i'm done ramblein- ooh, a butterfly, no not really, never mind, JUST READ THE STINKEN CHAPTER!!!!(oh, another one, lol; * 
PS: Runnaway love is by Ludacris, and is an awasome song!!!! 






            Hermione was leaving for England in the morning. Thus, her ever gracious aunt decided to have all the Dragonesses, Coach and Travis, and since it would have been rude to leave him out, Draco. So, that was why the entire huge old Victorian style house was lit with pulsing blue green and purple lights, why the pool and hot tub were full of girls in bikinis, and two very lucky guys, and also why Hermione was standing in the huge stainless steel kitchen over the stove armed with a spatula, frying pan, butter, tortillas, and grated Velveeta cheese. “Next” Hermione bellowed out the open door that led to the patio and pool, as she slid another perfect quesadilla onto a teammate’s plate.

              “What is that?” Draco asked from the door, his eyes on Drashannon’s quesadilla.

            “Cheese, tortillas, and butter, want one?” Hermione asked, not even bothering to be rude. Draco looked good dripping wet on the black marble tile of her aunt’s kitchen, in nothing but a pair of green and black swim trunks, with a fluffy white towel draped around his neck.

            Draco looked at her for a moment, she was wearing her green and silver silk robe open over a tiny light blue and white bikini, her feet were bare, and her eyes were on the skillet. “Sure, why not.” Hermione nodded once and tossed the glorified cheese sandwich into the frying pan.

            Draco silently strolled up behind her, “You know those strings you’re wearing don’t match the robe.” He whispered in her ear, his hot breath hissing on her cheek.

            Hermione shivered, but muttered back defiantly, “I know and could care less, because I’m going to take off the robe after this one, I need a swim. Oh and Draco.” She added, and drove one sharp elbow into his gut, “Don’t blow in my ear again.” With a deft scoop and flick of her a spatula she turned the quesadilla over and turned at the sound of small wet feet slapping down the hard wood floor of the hall, “Jay.” She called, “don’t walk on the wood floor if you’re wet, come in here.” Coolly she turned to see a young boy, about five, walk through the arch that led to the rest of the house, into the kitchen.

            “Auntie” he bellowed, running to her, and slipping on the slick tile.

            With reflexes born of long practice Hermione sprang forward and caught him before he hit the ground, “What have I told you about running with wet feet?” she asked, propping him up on her hip and returning to the stove. “and you’re getting to be a big boy, I can’t carry you around like I used to.”

            Jason grinned at his favorite ‘Auntie’ technically she was his cousin, but who was going to correct a cute four year old. “What’s wrong with him?” he asked, pointing one finger at Draco.

            “Oh, him,” Hermione barely spared a glance for the boy who was doubled over with the wind knocked out of him, “He’s Travis’s cousin, Draco, this is Jason, Jamie’s kid, Jay this is Draco.”

            “Nice ter meet cha.” Jay said, reaching one hand out for Draco to shake, even though he was still on his cousin’s hip,

            “Pleasure” Draco replied his voice cool and his eyes expressionless as he shook the kid’s hand.”

            “Why don’t you go swim some more scamp, I’ll be out in a minute.” Hermione told Jason, finally setting him down. She smiled as he rushed outside, and grinned wider when she heard a loud splash, and her team mates’ complaints, coming from the pool.

            “Did you say he was Jamie’s kid?” Draco asked his eyes on Hermione as she checked the underside of the quesadilla.

            “Yes, can you hand me one of those plates please?” she asked, pointing to a stack of white china plates on his other side. Wordlessly he handed it to her, his eye’s never leaving her face. She sighed and turned to face him, the plate now held yet another perfect quesadilla. “I came here after second year; I’d just turned thirteen and was ready to see my favorite cousin and best friend. We had been owling all year, but when I step off the plane I’m greeted by my aunt and a cousin who’s seven months pregnant. About a week after I got here, I’d finally accepted that my teammate, best friend, the girl that I was born playing with, was pregnant, and we wake up at midnight to her screaming. At seven the next morning I was looking at a premature baby boy, and my hand was literally broken, I had to have the Healer that was here to deliver Jay fix it. So here we are, four years later, several tears, pints of blood, and gallons of sweat lighter, and still we’re kickin and screamin.” Hermione grinned and pulled out her wand, performing a neat flick that cut the quesadilla into fourths. “Jason’s the team mascot, now if you’ll excuse me I think I hear a child that needs to be dunked.” Still grinning she twisted a knob on the stove, turning the burner off, and dashed outside, shedding her robe as she went. “Move over kiddo, Cannonball!”

            Draco walked out after her, nibbling daintily on his snack, he couldn’t help but smirk at Hermione as she scooped up Jay and dipped him under the water, holding him there for a moment and bringing him back up spluttering and smiling.

            Suddenly Jamie cried, “Leave my baby alone, and pick on someone your own size.”

            Hermione dropped Jay obediently, leaving him to swim in circles around her, tickling her from all sides. “Is that a challenge?” she asked, quirking and eyebrow at her cousin.

            “You bet it is.” Jamie grinned, showing all her teeth, “Travis and I against you and whoever’ll be your base.”

            Hermione peered around the pool; all her lounging teammates shook their heads as her eyes fell upon them. Finally she turned to Draco and muttered, “if you tell anyone at Hogwarts about this I will kill you dead, now would you be my base for a hen fight?”

            Jamie smirked at him from where she was already perched on Travis’s shoulders, “What’s wrong scared?” Travis just grinned at his little cousin.

            “Nobody will find out about this?” Draco verified his eyes on Hermione.

            “It won’t leave this continent.” She swore, her eyes pleading.

            “Alright, what do I have to do?”

            “Get in the pool, and stand still.” she ordered. Draco complied, diving into the deep end and swimming up beside her in the shallower end (about four feet deep). “Get ready, I’m gonna have to get on your shoulders.” And with that she heaved her lean body up onto his broad, well muscled shoulders. Draco couldn’t help but notice how good it felt to have her up there, her legs wrapped securely under his arms. “Now I’m going to try and push Jamie off Travis, you try not to fall, if either of us goes down we automatically forfeit. “

            Draco grinned and advanced to the center where Travis and Jamie waited, he and Travis were muscled about the same, but Hermione looked to have better biceps than Jamie. Hermione and Jamie locked hands when they were close enough and proceeded to push. “Forward Drake, take one step forward.” Hermione bellowed, as she pushed Jamie with all her strength. “Alright, now one step back, fast.” As fast as the water would let him Draco moved back, and Hermione dropped Jamie’s hands. Without the support of Hermione’s weight, Jamie tumbled forward, over Travis’s head and into the water.

            “Victory is ours” Bellowed Draco, raising his hands over his head, as did Hermione, wrapping her legs a little tighter to help her balance.

            “Not so fast.” Cried Jamie from the water, “Best two out of three.”

            Hermione looked down at Draco, leaning forward so she could meet his eyes. He smirked at her, and she mirrored his expression, “You’re on” they said as one, shocking themselves, and every one else. Jamie hopped back on Travis’s shoulders and the game recommenced. This time Hermione pushed Jamie until she fell over backwards, causing Draco to shout his victory.

            “Sorry cuz.” Hermione told her spluttering cousin, “You should know by now that I have a stronger upper body than you. Nightly pushups do that to you ya know. “

            Jamie glared up at her, as Draco gripped her ankles and shoved Hermione off his shoulders. That brought out gales of laughter from all watching. “You should have known that I would want to get you off as soon as possible.” Draco told Hermione as he turned around to face her.

            Hermione just grinned, her soft brown eyes going orange and her teeth sharpening, “Then why’d you agree to a second match?” she replied, her grin becoming a smirk effortlessly. That struck him dumb, why did he agree to that second match, was it because he wanted to be the undisputed champion, or because he liked how she felt up there. Naw, I just wanted to win he comforted himself silently. Hermione grinned and punched his arm, “Come-on, I bet I can beat you in sharks and minnows.”

            Draco grinned, pulled from his troubling thoughts, “You wish.”

       ^*~^*~^*        

            Hours later the entire team, plus Draco, Travis, and Jay, was in the living room, lounging on the white leather couches, watching Coach as she plugged in the karaoke machine. “Alright guys” she announced, “most of you know how this goes, we play a round of BS, and whoever is caught has to sing the song that the group has for them.” She held up a list, “Here are the songs, there are the cards, get playing. “

            Jamie had five identical packs of cards, with one flick of her wand they shuffled themselves together and dealed (A/n is dealed even a word? And if you don’t know what BS is, sucks for you cause I’m not going to waste time typing up the rules) themselves out. “You know how to play BS?” Hermione muttered to Draco, who was seated beside her.

            “Mudblood, I grew up playing this game.” He muttered back, smirking at her.

            Hermione scowled, “I thought we were past the mudblood stuff, seems like we’re not, but anyway, I wasn’t sure since it is a muggle game.” 

            “Whatever, and BS” he told the girl who had jut thrown her cards into the pile saying ‘three fives’        

            “Nope” Drasara told him, flicking her wand, causing the cards to flip face up, “Three fives, read em and weep.” Draco looked incredulously at the cards, and then found a microphone shoved into his hand. “First song on the list is…” Sara grinned, “Runaway Love, he’s gonna need a partner.”

            Draco looked at Hermione, “I helped you out earlier.” He reminded her.

            “I guess it’s only fair, you’d better be able to rap, or I’ll turn this duet into a solo.” She warned him, and stood up, taking her own mike with her. Draco looked at the 60 inch plasma screen TV, watching as the music started and words began to roll across the screen, changing from white to yellow as he was supposed to say them.

            It began with Hermione singing,  “Runaway love, Runaway love, Runaway love, Runaway love, Runaway love, Runaway love, Runaway love, Runaway love”. 

            And then Draco entered with the rap, flawlessly pulling off the accent, voice tone, and surprising them all, except Travis who had heard his cousin listening to his muggle radio.

 

“Now little Lisa is only 9 years old
She's trying to figure out why the world is so cold
Why she's all alone and they never met her family

            And so the song continued, flowing between the two of them effortlessly. The two were perfectly matched, their voices wove together seamlessly, and they even began to dance, maybe not as well as Jamie and Hermione did together, but still good for their first time.

            “Wow” gasped Hermione after the last note, “You can rap like a black man, no offense.”

            Draco smiled, actually smiled at her, “None taken, you didn’t do to bad yourself.”

            “Should I take that as a complement, since it’s coming from ‘the Hogwarts playboy’?” she asked, sarcasm dripping from her lips.

            Draco’s smile morphed into a smirk easily, “of course” he answered, his tone just as sarcastic.

            “Auntie?” Hermione was distracted from their banter by Jason’s voice, “what’s high?” he asked, his face totally innocent, Hermione’s was mortified.

            “I think it’s time for someone to get to bed,” she told him, swooping down and scooping him up rather than answering his question. “Umph, you’re heavy, anyone wanna give me a hand?”

            “I will, I’m already up.” Draco answered before anyone else, relieving Hermione of her burden easily, carrying the kid as if he weighed nothing. “Where’s his room.”

            Follow me.” Hermione replied, leading him up the elegant, sweeping grand staircase. On the first floor they turned down the left hallway, and went three doors down. ”Here we are, small stuff.” She told the child in Draco’s arms, as she opened the door. Draco set the child down on his bed, and stood to examine the light blue room. As soon as he was set down, Jay rocketed up and dashed out the door before either of the teens could react. Out in the hall the heard a door open and close.

            “Shi-shoot” Hermione hissed under her breath.

            “Did I just hear the Gryffindor Princess almost cuss” Draco murmured in her ear.    

            “You would too if you knew this house like I do. Every room on this floor is connected by the bathrooms, and Jay, bless his heart knows that. Each room basically has two bathrooms, and their all connected, get my drift?”

            Draco paled, “We could be up here all night”

            “Exactly, so you go through that door” she pointed to a door set in the wall opposite them, “And I’ll go through this one, if he doesn’t go into the halls we should catch him between us.” Draco nodded and departed without a word.

            Shaking her head, Hermione went through the other adjoined bathroom, and began her search. It wasn’t long before Hermione opened a door to the hall and bellowed for the rest of the team to come help look. With a world weary air, the Dragonesses and Travis joined the search.   

            “How do we always end up doing this?” Jamie asked Travis as they plodded up the stairs.

            “Easy” Hermione answered from her position at the top of the stair, “He’s your kid Drajamie” she told her, turning and going back into the room to continue her search. A few rooms later she heard a giggle through a closed door, and the patter of small feet on a hardwood floor. “Gotcha” she cried, opening the door to find Jay scampering through the bathroom that connected the room she was in to the next, Hermione paled when she realized he was making a beeline for her room. “Come here midget” she called, sprinting after him, and scooping him up as he opened her door. “Come on Jay, time for bed” she told him, and was about to leave when the door to the other bathroom opened.

            “So you caught him” Draco drawled, leaning nonchalantly on the doorframe. 

            “Yup, and he’s going to bed now” she replied, turning around to face him.

            “Auntie, can I sleep in here? It’s your last night” Jay asked her.

            “Only if you promise to go to sleep”

            “I promise” he yawned in her arms, his eyes closing slowly. Hermione smiled and laid the sleeping child on her bed, before squatting down beside it and pulling at something. A giant drawer slid out from under the bed, revealing that it was another bed, fully made up with sheets and a blanket. Hermione pulled one of the many fluffy feather pillows from her bed and added it to the trundle, before tucking Jay into the pullout bed.

            “You’re leaving in the morning.” It wasn’t a question.

            “Yup, got everything packed, well, except for pj’s and an outfit for tomorrow.” She stood up, turning to face Draco again, and waving a casual hand at the silk tank top and shorts, the designer jeans, and finally the slinky purple top that all sat on her desk beside the sliver and black laptop, and  pink iPod that she would carry with her on the plane. Draco glanced at them, they were expensive, a small fortune in muggle merchandise was sitting on the desk.

            “You buy all that yourself?” he asked, honest curiosity coloring his voice.

            “Mum and Daddy own the biggest dentist office in London” she answered, and then grinned, her teeth were sharp again, and her eyes orange, “Rich rents spoil me rotten”

            “I guess they paid for the transfusion, and the tat?” he asked, his eyebrows quirking, and his own eyes turning a slightly darker orange than hers.

            ”You got it too?” she asked, ignoring his question.

            “Come on Mudblood, how long did you think it would be before I got it, with this name, and my money? Honestly, and I thought you were smart”

            “Oh, you thought I was smart?”

            Draco groaned, he knew her well enough to know she’d go on like this for hours if he let her, so he countered her question with one of his own, “I heard from Travis that you’ve got a pretty sweet ride, care to elaborate?”

            Hermione grinned; she could elaborate on her car for hours, but why describe it when she could show it off? “Why don’t you come see it?”

            “Sure”

            They exited her room, but not before Hermione placed locking charms on the doors to keep Jay in. Everyone was back downstairs, and back to playing cards when they got down “Draco wants to see my car” was all she said as they passed through on their way to the garage. 




Hi guys, thats a rap, for now... any way, my friend that little box down there gets awful lonley if yo don't fill her with letters. Please keep her (and me) happy, and i'll write another chappy!! teeheehee, i made a funny!!  

Chapter 5: The Garage (aka they must be friends)
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Hey everyone, sorry it took so long to validate the last chp, i had proplems w/ cuss words, the rating might have to move up to M for that alone. Well anyway here's another chappy, i hope ur happy!!  
(This chappy is completely my car fantasy, here’s to all you classic car luvers! ;p)
 PS: the Soulja Boy totally  belongs to soulja boy, and i know that song is old, but i still luv it!!!!







            “This is the garage” Hermione told Draco as she flicked on the basement lights. It was one of those multi million dollar garages, the type that held private collections of perfectly restored classic and rare cars. “Uncle David has a thing for cars” she told him as he took in the huge expanse, the floor was tiled black and whit e checks, and mirrors were laid out under every car with small spotlights so you could see the underside without having to get down on the ground. There was a ramp, wide enough for two cars to drive up with room on each side, with a garage door at the top. “That was the original garage, but it wasn’t big enough, so Uncle David remodeled the basement, he wasn’t about to put his collection out in the yard.” Hermione explained as they approached the first vehicle.




            Smiling fondly she produced a rag out of nowhere and polished the glossy black truck’s fender. “This was my uncles’ first car, it’s a 53’ Chevy, given to him by his dad. This was his first restoration project, there are the awards for it” she gestured carelessly to a lighted glass case full of dusty photos, trophies, certificates, and even a few medals. There was a trophy case in front of each vehicle, and each one was full.




            They strolled on, coming to a stop in front of an old Chevelle SS. “Jamie’s first car, a 1970 Chevelle SS that her dad found in a junkyard when we were about ten. Together they worked on it until she was sixteen, and now its showroom quality.” Hermione ran her fingertips across the hood as she passed her face nostalgic.



            “Next we have the 55’ Chevy Bel-Air” She grinned as they came upon the two toned classic, the envy of car lovers everywhere. With delicate fingers she stroked the fins, running her fingers along the shiny silver chrome that separated the red and white. Draco peered into the car, looking at the vintage dashboard, and plush white leather seats.




            “Not bad, now where’s yours?”



  
          Hermione grinned and continued, “That’s Aunt Elisa Porsche” she said casually as the passed the 2007, canary yellow sports car, scrawled in silver on one side was the word turbo. Draco grinned as they passed his dream car without even pausing; now that’s what I’m talking about. “And this is my baby” she perched lightly on the hood of a blue, 2007 mustang GT convertible, complete with white double stripes down the center of the hood, and matching white leather interior. The beige top was down, cause the girls had just hopped out when they had gotten home from wherever they had been last.



        
    “Not bad Granger.” Hermione hopped off the hood and reached for the dashboard, turning the key, and then the radio. A song was playing, something about a soldier boy. “What the hell is this? Soldier boy, I mean how dumb can you get?”



       
     Hermione grinned and cranked up the volume, “I love this song. Here dance the solja boy with me.”




            “Say What?”




            Hermione stepped away from her car, and danced, explaining the moves as she went. “and then you crank back, yeah, kinda rock on your heals like that,  yup that’s it. Oh here’s the chorus, ready, youuu” together they danced the Solja Boy, with an astonished Jamie standing in the garage doorway.




            “Not bad you two, Dramione, I thought you said you hated him?” Jamie called as she crossed the wide floor to join them.




            Hermione blushed a deep plum color and attempted to answer, but Draco beat her to it. “Oh but that was before I knew about…” he trailed off, his eyes on Hermione, who had gone from crimson to bone white in seconds.




            “You told him” she shrieked, her eyes flashing orange and her teeth turning to fangs.




            “No, I did.” Travis joined the trio by Hermione’s car. “Someone let enough slip that he got curious, don’t blame your cousin, it wasn’t her.”




            Hermione crumpled in on herself, her eyes were back to their usual rich brown, and were filled with tears. “My life is ruined, how long do you think it will stay a secret at Hogwarts? I’ll be the gossip of the year, Hermione Granger, rape victim, oh I can hear the Slytherin’s already.”




            They seem to have forgotten that I exist, and am RIGHT HERE “I won’t tell anyone if you don’t want me to.” Draco spoke up, his tone offhand and casual.




            “W-why would you do that for me?” Hermione sniffled.




            Draco looked her square in the eye, his own eyes were a burning orange, “It’s not my secret to tell, I may be a pain in the ass, but I’m no snitch.” For some reason seeing her crying like this disturbed him deeply, and made him want to rip Jack Martin into tiny, bloody pieces, quickly he repressed the dragon instinct to hunt down the bastard, and focused on Hermione.  




            Hermione laughed once humorlessly, “I remember once in first year, Hagrid had this dragon…”



     
       “Fine, I don’t snitch anymore. I was a little snot rag” (That’s an understatement, snorted Hermione), “But I’ve grown up since then.”



 
           Hermione couldn’t deny that, he looked good, his muscles were defined, and his six pack looked rock hard. “Fine then, but just remember, you’re not the only one with dragon blood at Hogwarts, if I hear so much as a whisper that you’ve spread rumors I’ll send you six feet under.”




            “I hear you loud and clear, but I got the operation when I was twelve Granger, you don’t scare me.” Draco shot back, glad to see that she had stopped crying, and was now sitting on the floor, just looking at him, her still orange eyes filled with humor.




       ^*~^*~^*  




            Jamie and Travis had left long ago, leaving the two to their banter. Now they stood in the kitchen, talking quietly. “Can you hear them? They’re arguing, but not like they hate each other.”




            “And back there when she was crying, he got her calmed down so much faster than either of us could. I wonder what their like to each other at school?”  




            “I don’t know, but I’d say their friends, maybe even closer friends than she, Harry and Ron are.”




            “Yeah, they must be friends” Travis stated, following Jamie as she wandered out of the kitchen and into the living room where the rest of the team waited.                     


Chapter 6: A Cry for Help & Thank God!!!
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Hey guys, (JESSY UR STILL AWSOME!!!) this is gonna be a short chp, but a very important one, so pay attention. I luv anyone nd everyone who reviews, and i would so send you all cookies if i knew where to mail them to. so, w/o further ado, here's the next chapter in the Dragoness erm, whatever this is. (whatever)










wait, Wait, WAIT!!! Theres a few things you probably need to know before you start this chapter. 

A/N: about three weeks have passed, it's a week till term starts, and our dear main character(did i spell that right?) is reading the mail that she recieved this morning. (she already has all of her  school suplies, so don't nag at me). Now you may read on...   

   
            Hermione was back in London, sitting in her parents’ living room reading a letter from Jamie.

 

            Dramione,

   Things here aren’t good. You said in your last letter that You Know Who (no don’t frown a me I don’t like saying, or writing his name!!!) seems to have stopped most of his attacks, well that’s cause he’s over here destroying the Wizarding World in the states. He knows that we’re close relatives of yours, and he wants Jason!!! I don’t know why, or how, but he wants my BABY!! What am I going to do!?! 

                                                                                    Drajamie

PS:HHHHEEEELLLPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!

            The letter fell from Hermione’s suddenly cold hands; silently it drifted down and settled on the polished surface of the coffee table, on top of the letter from Dumbledore. Her mind still blank Hermione picked up the letter from her Headmaster praying, to God, Alahh(sp?), whatever deity that would listen, for good news.

 

            Miss Granger,

   Congratulations on making Head Girl. I must say that out of every young lady in your year, you were by far the most qualified for this position of power. Though don’t go spreading that around, as your Headmaster I’m ordering you. Now, the real reason I wrote is that we here at Hogwarts wish for our Heads to enjoy every home comfort. Therefore, both you and Mr. Malfoy have been asked to mail us a list of things that we can provide here at the school that would make your stay a little more like home. Please reply promptly as it may take us time to get the things you request.

                                                Sincerely

                                                            Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster.                

 

            Hermione set Dumbledore’s letter down on the coffee table next to Jamie’s, her fertile mind already working on a plan to protect Jason. Her wand was also on the table, and with it she summoned a pen and a sheet of parchment.

 

            Professor Dumbledore,

   Thank you for your letter, but sir, I only really want one thing at school with me this year. You see, my cousin Jamie over in the U.S., has a son, Jason, and for some reason, probably because he’s close kin to me, Voldemort wants him. My cousin is in her last year at the Salem Academy of Magic and Principle, in Salem Massachusetts, and cannot have him there. Plus the U.S. is not a very safe place for Jason, even at another school.

   If it were at all possible, could I bring Jason to Hogwarts, I know he would be safe there, and he wouldn’t be any trouble. Please consider it Professor.

                                                            Sincerely

                                                                        Hermione Granger, Head Girl

PS: I would also appreciate a radio, a flat-screen TV, a computer, and a four-wheeler, but they are not necessary.

 

            Hermione carried the letter to the kitchen where her mum was feeding scraps from the chicken she was cutting up for dinner, to an owl. “’Mione, this owl that brought that letter from Dumbledore, it doesn’t want to leave” she told her daughter, a bemused smile on her face.

            “It’s waiting for my reply mum, and here it is.” With deft fingers Hermione tied the letter to the owl’s leg, and opened the window. Silently the owl took off, taking Hermione’s cry for help with him.

            Hermione watched the owl disappear from the horizon, before turning to her mother, tears in her eyes. “Voldemort wants Jason mum, he wants my little cousin, Jason mum, he wants Jason!!” she wailed, falling into her mothers arms, in a dead faint











Oh*MY*GOD!!!!!!!!
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry it took so long to get this chapter out, I SWEAR
it wasn't my fault!!
No really, this time it totaly wasn't, it's the rules, only 1/3 of a chapter can be letters, and originally(sp?), over half of this chapter was the letters. I Mean come on, it is sort of a dumb rule.  That is why I have generously  decided to add the next chapter to this one.
 










  Dragoness
 Chapter  Vll
 Thank God!!!














            Hermione woke up the next morning; her eyes were gritty from crying, and swollen from her tears. Feeling hideous Hermione trudged dully down the stairs, still in her pajamas. “Mornin” she croaked to her parents as she rummaged in the freezer, coming out with a stick of frozen margarine. “We don’t have any frozen spoons do we?” she asked, contemplating the glorified butter, it would work, but not as good as she wanted, and it would be messy, Hermione grimaced with distaste.

            “Yes dear, I put three in last night after you went to bed, bottom left drawer. The reply came, from Dumbledore I mean.” Hermione nodded, shoving the butter back into the freezer, and digging out one of the spoons. Holding the spoon against one eye (A/N: it reduces swelling and redness, trust me IT WORKS), she read Dumbledore’s reply with the other.

            “Thank God” Hermione breathed as she read the brief reply.

 

            Miss Granger,

Thank you for your prompt reply. Your cousin’s son is obviously in grave danger and therefore must be brought to Hogwarts as soon as wizardly possible. Please contact your cousin, have her floo her son to you, and then write me immediately. I will send further instruction when you contact me next.

                                                            Sincerely,

                                        Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster

 

            “Mum, I mean Mom, read this” Hermione screamed, shoving the letter under her mother’s nose, before running to the living room, her spoon clattering forgotten to the floor.

            Hermione ran to the fireplace, snatching an urn from the mantle. The large ornamental urn looked like it held the ashes of a cremated family member; in reality it hid Hermione’s floo powder stash. “The daBie’s house, Dallas TX” she snapped out clearly, shoving her head into the emerald flames. Hermione hated traveling by floo, but right now it was the fastest thing available, since she wasn’t sure she could aparate(sp?) that far. “Jamie, Aunt Elisa, Jason, SOMEONE COME TO THE FIRE PLACE!!!”

            “Dramione? Have you got any idea what time it is?” Travis asked, sprinting into the kitchen, wand drawn, wearing only his boxers.                                

            “Travis. What the hell are you doin’ here, no never mind, just wake Jamie up, I need to talk to her.”

            “I’m right here cuz, but first, what’s the name of our hangout, and what are the cars in my garage?”

            Hermione nodded seriously, it was good that Jamie remembered to check that she was who she said she was, “Our hangout is The Digs, or The Dragonesses Lair, depending on the season. Uncle David’s car is a black 53’ Chevy truck, Aunt Elisa’s is an 07’ yellow Porsche turbo, yours is a red 71’ Chevelle SS, mine is a light blue 07’ Mustang, and then there’s the Chevy Bel-Air that’s not really anyone’s.”

            Jamie smiled and swept forward kneeling on the ground beside the fireplace, “oh you must have good news, please say you have good news” she pleaded with her cousin.

            “Yes Jamie, I have good news and sad news. My headmaster, Dumbledore has agreed to protect Jason, but he has to stay with me in Hogwarts, he probably won’t be able to visit till Christmas.”

            Jamie sucked in a breath, tears brimming in her eyes, “Oh thank you so much Dramione. I can still write him, and Christmas isn’t too far away. I know you’ll take good care of him, do you need him right now?”

            “Yes, and you might want to wake Aunt Elisa and Uncle David while you’re at it, they should know.” Jamie nodded and hurried away, leaving Travis with Hermione.

            “Now what the hell are you doin here?” Hermione questioned Travis, her eyes probing.

            “I’m staying here every night as extra protection, it’s really good of you to protect Jason like this you know, I’m just sayin.”

            “Hey, I love the little nuisance, and Dumbledore will protect him too and-”

            “Dumbledore, you mean the Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin first class and defeater of the dark wizard Grindleward, and and-“

            “Yes, that Dumbledore, the one that likes lemon drops, who tucks his beard into his belt, and who has a deep abiding love of warm fuzzy socks. Dumbledore will protect Jason with his life, and I’m really getting a crick in my neck sitting like this. Can you pull me out?”

            Travis grabbed a fire-poker-thingy, and held it out to her, waving his wand over the hook to clean it. Gingerly he held it close to her mouth. Grimacing Hermione grasped the poker (A/N: you know, the big metal hook that you use to turn over logs) in her now pointed, teeth. Bracing his bare feet shoulder width apart, Travis took the handle in both hands and heaved for all he was worth.

            With a sickening sucking sound, and a hiss from Hermione, Jamie’s cousin slid ungracefully from the fireplace, and onto the impeccable black marble tile of her Aunt’s kitchen. “Urg, nasty, gross, eww, I hate getting out of the fireplace like that!! “Hermione hissed, rushing to the sink and rinsing her mouth out repeatedly.

            “a-aun-t-t-t-ie?” a small, tired voice came from the kitchen entrance.

            Hermione turned, wiping her dripping mouth hastily. “Jason, come here” she said, crouching so that he could run straight into her arms. “Oh, be brave scamp, we’ll get you out of this mess, we’ll protect you.” she whispered into his hair. “Get his things” she spoke sharply over Jason’s shoulder to Jamie, her eyes pleading.

            “Of course” Jamie murmured and ran out again, passing her mother and father on the stairs.   

            “Hermione” Elisa daBie sighed with relief, “will you really be taking Jason back with you, to be protected?”

            “Yes, I think Dumbledore is his only hope for protection right now, with the team split up like it is.” She was right, almost all of the Dragonesses were away at school, or about to go back, Hermione herself would be boarding the Hogwarts Express in a week.

            Mrs. daBie nodded once and hurried out of the kitchen to help Jamie pack. “Thank you Mione” Hermione’s uncle David choked out, it was hard for him, potentially losing his grandson, who he was already teaching about cars.

            “Don’t worry Uncle David, I’ll teach him all I know about cars, and soccer, and magic, and anything else the scamp wants to learn.” David daBie nodded, and pulled out his wand, summoning the box that they kept floo powder in.

            “Here, and here’s his clothes.” He added as Jamie and Elisa, came hurtling into the kitchen,their bare feet slapping the tile loudly.  “See ya small stuff” he told Jason, hugging him tightly.

            “Yes, bye Jason, I’ll visit real soon” Jamie added, squeezing the air out of the small boy, whispering promises to write in his ear.

            “Bye Jase” Travis said after Jamie relinquished her child, ruffling his head affectionately.

            “Oh grankid” Elisa used her pet name for him gently, kissing his forehead, and then hugging him as tightly as Jamie had. “I love you, we all do, so much, now you be good for your Auntie, and write often, and don’t you worry bout a thing” she touched his nose lightly with one finger, before adding “Promise?”

            Jason, who was already asleep for all practical purposes, just nodded, and nestled against Hermione. “I’ll write weekly” Hermione promised, hugging Jamie awkwardly (her arms were full of Jason), and kissing her aunt on the cheek. “Keep me posted on what’s going on here, the paper leaves stuff out.”

            Quickly Hermione stepped into the fire place, taking a handful of floo powder, and tightening her grip on Jason, “send Jason’s stuff in a minute please,”

            Jamie sniffled, “we will, now hurry, the sooner you leave the safer he is” Hermione nodded curtly and dropped the floo powder.

            “Granger’s house, London, England” she rapped out, her face hard, and her eyes glimmering with unshed tears.     













so thats it (for real this time), please review, i know it's long, live with it, i'll get a new chp up soon.
kisses
~*Jenni*~

Chapter 7: Back to school
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Hey guys, this is it, you know the rap, Read & Review, now get on with it!!




 
           Hermione fell out of the fireplace, the drowsy Jason clutched tightly to her. “Hermione! Jason? Hermione, what on earth just happened?” Hermione’s father yelled, his eyes sweeping the cousin’s.

            “I went to go get Jason, and now I need to write Dumbledore, and Dad, I’d back away from the fireplace I were you.

            “Why” Greg Granger asked, as a suitcase flew past his head. “Oh, that’s why.” A trunk soon followed the suitcase and three duffle bags after it.  “Jamie and Elisa sure know how to pack” Mr. Granger commented as he gathered all of the luggage together into a pile, setting it beside Hermione who was already writing furiously.

            “Yup, but then again he is going to be staying with me at Hogwarts this school year.”

            “All school year?” Greg qualified.

            “As near as we can tell.” Hermione replied, hurrying into the kitchen where an owl waited.

            Dear Professor

We’re back; I’ve got Jason, send further instruction soon. We’ll be waiting.

                                    Hermione Granger. 

       ^*~^*~^*  

            Less than an hour later the reply came in the form of a loud crack resounding from the backyard. Hermione rushed out, her wand drawn; this must be a powerful wizard to get past the wards she had placed over her home at the beginning of the summer.

            Albus Dumbledore stood by her mother’s gardenia bush, examining the flourishing shrub with interest. “Identify yourself” Hermione commanded, her wand pointed at his throat.

            “Hermione dear, you couldn’t harm me; you have too sweet a spirit, never the less… I am Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts school of Witch Craft and Wizardry, owner of the phoenix Fawks, who saved Harry Potter in his second year by crying his healing tears upon a wound inflicted by the tooth of a basilisk. You were being revived at the time by Madam Pomfrey(sp?) in the hospital wing, you had been petrified by said basilisk. “

            “Alright” Hermione lowered her wand slowly, pure steel in her fiery orange gaze, “but professor you’d be surprised at what I would do to protect Jason.”

            Dumbledore nodded sharply, “You can apperate(sp?) I trust?” Hermione nodded slowly, “Good, I will side-along apperate your cousin, you can bring the luggage, I will meet you outside Madam Rosmerta’s in Hogsmead.” Hermione nodded again and beckoned for her Headmaster to follow her into the house.

            “Mom, Daddy, Jason it’s alright, Dumbledore is here!” Hermione called to her parent’s and Jason who were hiding in a magically concealed chamber in the attic. Cautiously the Granger’s and Jason came down the stairs, their eyes way until they saw their daughter.

            “Is everything alright Mione?” Greg asked his eyes on Dumbledore, who stood in their sitting room looking glaringly out of place in his purple robes with silver stars. 

            “Yes Daddy, Dumbledore is going to apperate Jason to Hogwarts, while I carry our luggage.” Hermione explained.

            Greg Granger looked at Jason’s mound of luggage by the couch, “Honey, that’s an awful lot of stuff to carry, are you sure you can manage it?”

            “Daddy, you seem to have forgotten that I am a witch, we look at things differently.” Hermione explained gently as she summoned her own trunk (it had been packed or days).  The trunk soared down the stairs, and settled itself on the couch beside her, looking as innocent as if it had been there the whole time. “See” she added, muttering an incantation and waving her wand, effectively shrinking the luggage until all of it would fit into her pockets. Casually she scooped up the double handful of miniature luggage and stuffing it into her pockets.

            “Love you daddy, Mom” she told them, hugging them both tightly, and kissing her mother on the cheek.

            “Be good” her father commanded, returning her hug, and kissing her forehead. “And write us often”

            “I will Daddy, Jason you ready?” Jason was sleeping soundly in her fathers lazy chair, oblivious to everything.

            “He fell asleep while we were hiding; I thought it was better to let him rest.”

 

            Hermione nodded, and turned to Dumbledore “I’m ready, are you.” Dumbledore smiled, his eyes twinkling.

            “Yes miss Granger I am indeed ready. Good to meet you Mr. Granger, Mrs. Granger.” He said briskly, shaking hands with Hermione’s parents.

            “Nice to meet you, and thank you for-for everything.” Mrs. Granger choked out, tears brimming in her eyes.

            “My pleasure” Dumbledore replied, before he turned to Jason and picked him up gently. “I will see you in a moment miss Granger.” He said, and turned gracefully on spot, disappearing with another sharp crack.   

            “Bye Mom, Dad” Hermione rushed out as she turned, concentrating on the main street of Hogsmead. She too disappeared with a loud snap.

       ^*~^*~^*  

            Hermione landed awkwardly, staggering in a failed attempt to stay on her feet, with a soft cry she fell into the dust street. “Miss granger, are you alright?”

            “I think so professor, I’m just not used apperating such long distances.” She explained, rubbing her sore butt, and scrambling awkwardly to her feet.

            “Ahh” Dumbledore made a small noncommittal sound, before continuing briskly, “Did you splinch yourself?” Hermione shook her head, she knew what it felt like to be splinched, and she now knew how to keep it from happening again. “Good, now let us continue. I have asked Mr. Malfoy if he will come to the castle a week early, to become acquainted with his Head duties is the official reason, but I truly believe that you and he should become better acquainted, rather than he and his duties.”

            “But- but professor, this is Malfoy we’re talking ab-“

            “That’s enough Miss Granger, kindly act your age. Now as I was saying, Mr. Malfoy has kindly agreed to come early, and yes he knows that you are here also, he will arrive around five o’clock this afternoon, and I will expect you to be here at the train station waiting for him with me,” by now they were at Hogsmead station, and climbing into a horseless carriage “oh and you can come too Jason.” He added kindly, looking at the child that was across from him, beside Hermione. Jason’s eyes were bright with curiosity at the two older people, and his surroundings.

            “Is mafoy the same one?” Jason asked, leaving Dumbledore slightly confused.

            “Yes Jay, Malfoy is the same one you met this summer that last night I was at your mom’s house.” Hermione replied, her face impassive, her eyes staring directly into the empty seat in front of her.

            “But din’t you say his name was Dr-Draka?”

            “It’s Draco Jay, that’s his first name.” Hermione explained, turning her head so she could stare out the window, avoiding her Headmaster’s inquisitive gaze.   

            “Ohh” Jason answered softly. Silence enclosed the small carriage in it’s peaceful folds. It was not a tense, or embarrassed silence, but rather a restful peace, it was the type of quite that you could sit in for hours, and just look out the window. 

            Soon the horseless carriage came to a smooth stop in front of the front doors, and with a shrill squeak the carriage door opened at Hermione’s light push. “I will see you at the train at four forty-five Miss Granger.” Professor Dumbledore said firmly as she stepped out, and swung Jason down, for it was to high for hi to jump without Hermione worrying.

            “Of course professor.” Hermione replied, her voice tainted with mere hints of acid. “if I may go then?”

            Dumbledore nodded regally, “Sir Nicolas will show you to your Common  Room” He answered as the ghost that had yet to achieve headlessness soared through the tall oak doors.    





Alright guys this is the last chp that i have typed up, so the others may take a little longer, don't worry though, I will finish this story if it's the last thing I do!! (Yall do know thats just a figure of speech right, nevrous chuckle)
 till next time
kisses
~*Jenni*~

Chapter 8: The Common Room’s...Guardian?
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Hey guys, new chappy, new twists, a new charactor, and a common room thats not close to anywhere. you confused yet? Well, you know the routine, i don't own Hermione,only Jason.  Read and review   yata yata...


          Hermione and Jason traipsed up the wide grey flagstone steps, following the patron ghost of Gryffindor. Jason’s eyes were wide as saucers as the Sir Nicolas de Mimsy-Porpington turned a little too sharply at a corner and sailed effortlessly through the thick stone wall. “How can he do that?”

            Hermione smiled fondly, remembering her own aw upon seeing ghosts for the first time, “He’s a ghost honey, he’s dead; he can do just about anything he wants.” She replied, her eyes dancing with amusement.

            “Ohhhh” Jason’s short reply was turned into a jaw splitting, ear popping, makes you want to curl up and go to sleep just hearing it, yawn.

            “Come here scamp” Hermione said, scooping Jason up effortlessly, putting him on her hip. “You’ve had a long day, rest for now, cause you’re about to enter my world, and you’re gonna need your wits sharp for it.”

            “Kay” he yawned again, resting his head on her shoulder and closing his eyes.

            “We’re almost there” Nearly Headless Nick called back to Hermione and her cousin, as the ascended yet another flight of steps.

            “Good, this little guy’s no featherweight. I wonder what Jamie’s been feedin’ him.”

            “I take it Jamie is his mother?” Nick replied, as tactfully as possible.

            “Yes, Jamie is my cousin in the U.S., and you know how Voldemort has stepped up his attack over there?” She waited for him to nod n reply before continuing (his head wobbled dangerously, prompting Hermione to continue her tale before it fell off and possibly scared Jason). “Well somehow, some way he” the way she said it left no doubt as to who she was speaking of, “found out that I have family over there, and he targeted Jason specifically.” Hermione kissed Jason’s head tenderly, her eyes shining with love and devotion, “Jamie wrote me, asking for help, and I wrote Professor Dumbledore, and here we are. Now where is this common room, I swear Jay is carryin’ rocks in his pockets.”

            “Oh it’s just around the corner and up a spiral staircase.” Nick explained, as Hermione got a glimpse out a window as they passed.

            “Good grief, are we goin all the way to the west tower?”

            “Yes, that’s the Head’s Tower, you didn’t know that?”

            “No, I always thought it was storage.” Hermione was baffled, for once in her life she didn’t know everything. God I’m glad the Malfoy isn’t here, he’d never let me live this down!!

            “Here we are.” Sir Nick interrupted her musings, bringing them to an abrupt halt in front of a large statue of a mother dragoness coiled tightly over her clutch of granite eggs.

            Hermione quirked an eyebrow, but said nothing as the dragoness, who’s eyes were closed, slowly opened her eyes to display the brilliant orange beneath her stone lids. “I smell dragon’s blood.” The dragoness growled her voice very similar to what Hermione’s sounded like when she let the dragons’ blood in her veins take over.

            “Blood sister.” Hermione replied her own eyes deep sinister orange, her teeth sharp, and her shoulders aching for some reason.

            “Half blood.” the dragoness snarled, “touch not my nestlings.” She glared at Hermione balefully, crouching lower over her nest, her stone joints creaking as she moved more than she had in decades. 

            “I kill no nestlings” Hermione hissed in return, slipping into the dragon’s manner of speaking easily, “I protect my own, and care not for the rest, leave me to protect my own young one as you protect yours.”

            For the first time the dragonesses eyes flickered unwillingly to Jason in Hermione’s arms. “He has no blood of ours” she rumbled, for the first time her voice was colored with doubt.

            “Not blood of ours, blood of mine, he is nest-kin and will not be harmed.” Hermione placed Jason on his feet behind her (by now he was awake, and alive with interest), her eyes never leaving the dragoness. Hermione’s shoulders ached fiercely, but she chalked it up to having carried her little cousin up all those stairs.

            The dragoness stared at Hermione for a long moment. “You have not had our blood long, but you have had our heart all your life.” She spoke, her voice still guttural, but no longer angry.

            “Yes blood sister.” Hermione replied, her own voice rasping with nothing but the blood humming through her veins.

            “The name men call me is Reyna Guardian of the Tower, but you blood sister shall call me Gaia, mother earth.”

            “Gaia born of Chaos and mother of Titians.” Hermione murmured, her hushed voice filled with wonder.

            “My namesake” she replied, “tower dweller blood sister, what be your name.”

            “Hermione, Blood sister Gaia” she replied promptly.

            “Choose your word to pass.” The dragoness was suddenly all business.

            “Blood Brethren” Hermione answered, “For yet another blood brother will come late in this day.”

            Gaia nodded once and nosed one of her stone eggs so tat it shifted momentarily, before settling back to its former position, causing a hidden door to open behind her nest. “The way is clear.” And with this brief declaration she closed her eyes and became stone once more.

            Nearly Headless Nick spoke for the first time since they entered Gaia’s hallway, or hall end, “ahem, well the common room is at the top of the stairs, you are free to explore, just remember to meet Professor Dumbledore at the train station at four forty-five, a carriage will be outside waiting at four thirty sharp, and will leave at precisely four thirty five. Good day Miss Granger.”

            “Bye Sir Nicolas” Hermione replied courteously, picking Jason back up and waving before approaching the previously hidden doorway. Hermione, with Jason firmly on her hip, stepped through the doorway, and onto the tightly winding spiral staircase. “Umpf” Hermione grumbled swaying unsteadily as the staircase jolted into motion, carrying the duo up with no effort of their part. Her eyes were normal, as were her teeth, and even her voice, but her shoulders still hurt. “Grr Jason” she teased, “you eaten any bricks lately?”

            “Nope, you’re just a wimp.” He answered her seriously as the stairs stuttered to a halt in front of a heavy oak door. 

            Hermione grinned, “You are most certainly my cousin, and if you’ve got a comeback like that now, I can’t wait till you’re a teen.”

            Jason grinned impishly back “Mama would be proud.” He told her as Hermione set him down on the top step beside her.

            Laughing Hermione reached for the heavy ornate gold door handle, smoothly the door opened on greased hinges, and together the cousins entered what would be their living quarters for almost a year.     

Chapter 9: Settlin into the Common Lair
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Hey guys, I Jessy & Hinder(the band einstien!!!)!!! You'll understand after you read the library scene, and thats an awsome CD!! Here's another chappy, and hopefully(cross yer fingers) chapter six, lets all pray for a monent... Okay now that i've got that out of my system everyone enjoy this chapter, and yes i know its long, see u guys on the other side!!

    
           Hermione’s eyes flickered across the room hungrily, taking in the large, plain fireplace, the roughly hewn walls, and the bare stone floor hungrily.  To others it might appear plain, barren; stark even, but to Hermione it was perfect.

            There were two black leather chairs, and a matching black leather couch, were grouped around the gargantuan fireplace, large enough to heat the large circular tower. The walls were undressed stone, hard granite that to some would seem cold, but to Hermione, and the dragon’s blood that was steadily filling her veins, it was perfect, almost like a cave.

            The ceiling was high, at least twenty feet, probably higher, perfect. All the way around the wide circular room, maybe halfway up the stone walls was a window that continued all the way around the room, so there would be natural light at any time of the day, except high noon. About five feet above the windows was the rafters. The heavy dark wooden beams spanned across the ceiling, creating a network of wood, another space that waited to be explored. Hermione felt a fierce desire to be able to fly, to soar up there and perch above her lair, to keep watch for any who might wish to bring harm to her kith and kin.

            Slightly troubled by the feral turn of her thoughts, Hermione looked away from the roof struts, her shoulders were hurting again, dang kid; didn’t the mediwizards that gave her the transfusion tell her that her body would get stronger as the blood cells multiplied? Well obviously that part had yet to happen, she reasoned with herself as she looked at the tightly curving spiral staircases that flanked the fireplace.  “Come on Squirt” Hermione called (Jason was on the far side of the room scrutinizing the two executive mahogany desks that were parallel to each other there. In reply Jason scurried over to Hermione and followed up the corkscrew of a staircase.

            Twenty steps up the staircase stopped at a landing, off the landing was a cozy library, large enough to keep even Hermione happy for awhile. The bookcases reached up to the ceiling, though this ceiling wasn’t as high as the one downstairs, this was still saying something. The stone floor was smoother, polished, with thick, gold and green rugs littered around, complementing the large dark brown leather chairs that were grouped casually around a matching, highly polished coffee table. This looked like a place where the Heads could sit for hours on end in quiet productivity.

            Something black on the wall caught Hermione’s attention; it was a speaker, an expensive one, though small Hermione could tell it would project sound well. With one eyes on Jason, who was bouncing in the seat of one of the chairs, Hermione approached the amplifier for a better look. Further down the wall was a radio and CD player, and beside it what looked like a book shelf, but was actually a CD shelf, fully stocked by genre, and then alphabetically within that frame.  Hermione laughed with delight as she pulled her favorite Hinder CD off of its shelf, examining it as if she’d never seen it before.

            With nimble fingers she turned the CD player on, put Extreme Behavior (the CD) into the disc changer, and pressed PLAY. In seconds, Get Stoned was rocking out of the speakers, it sounded like the band was in the room. Hermione was about to start dancing, when she remembered that Jason was a short distance away, and that even easy going Aunt Elisa would be mortified if Jason came back singing this particular song. Hastily Hermione pressed PAUSE, deciding to listen to the CD later, preferably when Jason was in bed.

            “Let’s go see our rooms” Hermione suggested as she went back to where Jason was contentedly jumping from chair to coffee table, to other chair. “And don’t do that, look you’ve gotten foot prints all over the furniture.” Hermione gestured to the dusty prints of the bottom of Jason’s Nikes’. With a wave of her wand, and a muttered Scrougify, Hermione cleaned the chairs and table, before taking Jason firmly by the hand and leading him from the library, noting the door on the opposite wall, leading to Dra-Malfoy’s side.

            Together the cousins ascended the steep flight of stairs; at least it isn’t another spiral staircase. Hermione reminded herself, when she thought about complaining. Jason was just about jumping up the steps; his sporadic naps had left him refreshed, for now, but Hermione suspected he would soon crash again. Just as they were mounting the last few steps, the staircase lurched into motion, carrying them the rest of the way up, “These stairs had better start moving sooner, or my thighs will be the size of Texas.” Hermione commented to Jason as they opened the door to their sleeping chambers.

            “That’s awful big” Jason informed her, his face serious.

            “You bet it is.” Hermione responded, examining her bed chamber critically. It was nice, no more than nice, it was perfect!!! It seemed that Dumbledore knew of her summer team, to which she was far more faithful than her house team. 

            The enormous four-poster bed was an exotic dark wood, trimmed with silver, and draped with dark green velvet hangings. The floor was the same lustrous dark wood, adorned with soft silver and green rugs. A mural of a black and silver dragon battling a green and gold dragoness in a gray, overcast sky covered the ceiling. The two beasts were beautiful in their dreadfulness, wild and free, but their burning orange eyes showed a brutal cunning far older than man’s comparatively meager intelligence.

            A desk, yet again of the same dark wood, held a plasma screen computer, top of the line, and exactly like the one she had hoped to receive this year for Christmas. Many drawers ad compartments were built into the desk, it would easily hold all the supplies she would need. On a small bedside table was another radio, its speakers were cleverly situated around the circular chamber, this too was the best money could buy. A flat screen TV was attached to the wall directly across from the bed, with an inviting emerald leather couch in front of it.

            Three doors lead off the bedroom, the first one that Hermione opened was a considerable black marble and crystal bathroom. A bath tub the size of a small pool was sunk into the floor, a selection of silver taps ready to fill it. Beside it was a large (I’m talking ten feet by ten feet) shower, actually it was the size of a small room, but that was okay with Hermione, it would serve as a sauna also,(it even had a solid crystal bench, and several crystal shelves inside, and she could already imagine how wonderful it would smell when she used her favorite vanilla body wash and shampoo. The only thing that soured the wonderful room was the door at the opposite end, great, a conjoined bathroom.    

            Determinedly thinking happy thoughts, and ignoring her stomach, which was starting to grumble, Hermione shut the bathroom door and continued onward. The next door was a closet almost as big as the bathroom, hmm, Mom will have to send me some of my clothes from home, or money to go shopping. Ooh shopping, I’ll bet Ginny would love a good shopping trip, maybe some Hogsmead weekend, when she isn’t with Harry of course, Harry, Ron!!! Suddenly Hermione remembered her friends, and that they had no idea where she was. I’ll write them later. She promised herself as she closed the closet door and turned to the final entrance.

             With bated breath Hermione opened the door, what else could there be? Her silent question was answered with a glance; it was Jason’s room of course. It wasn’t as large or grand as Hermione’s, but it was perfect for the kid. The walls, instead of being dark paneled wood like Hermione’s, were a pleasing mint green, and the ceiling was dramatic black. The floor was a beautiful honey colored wood, polished mirror bright, with an oval black and silver rug dominating the center of it. The bed had a dark green bedspread that was complemented perfectly by the minty walls. Jason had his own closet, and even a desk, complete with colored pencils, crayons, and coloring books.  An immense solid wood chest with Jason’s initials stamped into it would hold his toys and them some, easily. 

            Hermione turned to Jason, to complement him on his room, only to find him sleeping soundly on his bed. Smiling gently, Hermione tiptoed out, closing the door softly behind her. As if to counter Hermione’s silence, as soon as she closed the door, her stomach growled loudly. Smiling wryly Hermione contemplated trudging all the way down to the kitchens to get a snack. Deciding that she would most likely pass out before she got there, instead Hermione went down to the common room and sat on one of the plush black leather chairs, and thought about her predicament.

            Tentatively she spoke to the empty air “Dobby?”

            With a sharp crack the fashion challenged, but overall adorable house elf appeared.  “What can Dobby do for Mr. Harry Potter’s friend miss?” Dobby spoke in his strident little voice.

            “It’s Hermione, and hamburger, meat, bread, and ketchup only please Dobby, and some coffee, I need a caffeine fix.” Hermione told him, sighing as she did, and praying that the house elves were as fast as usual.

            “Will that be all for Miss Hermione?”

            “I believe that’ll do it Dobby, and please hurry, I didn’t eat breakfast.”

            “Dobby will be back shortly Miss Hermione.” Dobby told her seriously, and with a sound like a whip crack he was gone. Yawning Hermione waved her wand at the fireplace, and it burst into flames, crackling merrily, and warming the drafty tower.

        ^*~^*~^* 

            Minutes later Dobby was back, waking Hermione from her light doze. “Dobby has Misses food miss” he squeaked at her from under an ornate silver tray that he held above his head.

            “Thanks Dobby here let me take that.” Hermione yawned, relieving him of the heavy tray easily, and placing it in her lap.

            “Does miss require anything else?”

            “No Dobby, you may go. And thanks again.” Hermione told him, deciding to give S.P.E.W. a rest, for once.  Dobby bowed low, and disappeared with another loud crack.

            Making a mental note to give Dobby some more socks for Christmas, Hermione dug into her hamburger, feeling the dull ache in her stomach ease as she did. Ever since her transfusion at the beginning of the summer, Hermione had noticed her growing craving for meat, the mediwizards had said that there would be a few changes in her diet, and lifestyle.

            Her temper would flare quicker, and last longer, her muscles would strengthen, and she would grow taller. The blood cells would multiply, and by this time next year she would have only dragon’s blood flowing through her veins. Hermione polished off her burger, and downed her scalding mug of coffee without blinking. Yawning Hermione set the tray on the coffee table and ambled over to the stairs, standing on the bottom step and waiting for them to start their ascension. 

            Once Hermione reached her room, it was hard not to collapse on the waiting bed. Instead she reached into her pockets and pulled out handfuls of miniature luggage. Tiredly (it had been a hard morning, and she hadn’t slept much the night before) she cast the suitcases onto her bed and waved her wand, turning the luggage back to its original size. Deciding that she needed some music to wake her up, the Head Girl summoned the Hinder CD from downstairs, and shoved it into her CD player.

            Hermione cranked up the volume and danced over to her trunk, opening it up and pulling another three shrunken suitcases out of a makeup bag. With another wave of her wand she engorged her remaining baggage, and got to work. By the time the CD started again almost all of Hermione’s and Jason’s clothes were away in their closets. Only one bag remained.


Alright guys, you know the rap, R&R, i luv readin all reviews, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I'll have another chapter up soon hopefully.
kisses to all who took time to read this!!
~*jenni*~

Chapter 10: Tha Big Black Duffle Bag
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  Alright folks, for those of you who apparently don't know this, (*hem hem* ayra blake *hem hem*) I OWN THIS STORY PLOT, AND MY ORRIGINAL CHARACTORS!! and for those of you wondering,  I am the orriginal Jenrabbit, author of Dragoness, AND I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE DECIDE TO COPY MT FIRST FANFIC EVER!!! Now that that's out of my system, this is kind of a dull chapter, but its kinda inportant, so just read it. 
 








          Hermione gulped as she grabbed the zipper of the big black duffle bag, yanking it open, and examining its contents. Get Stoned was playing again and Hermione was fighting a losing battle with her tears. This bag came with her every year, and for some reason it always made her cry, suck it up Hermione, it’s just some cleats and a few other things. Her mind screamed at her as she sniffled, and summoned the box of Kleenex she put in the bathroom two songs ago.  After three tissues, and an entire song with her face in the pillow, Hermione turned back to the one remaining unpacked bag that lay innocently beside her on the bed.

            First out came the cleats, she had worn the same ones for two years now, barely a week went by when she didn’t lace them on, and kick her soccer ball around. Smiling through her snuffles, Hermione went to her closet and put them on the rack at the very back that held all her other shoes (all four other pairs).

            Next there was the soccer ball, a size five, all weather, Nike brand ball, aired up just right, and begging her to take it out side. “Later, tonight.” She promised the ball, before putting it in a corner of her closet, close to her cleats so that they wouldn’t miss each other. She knew it was silly, talking to inanimate objects, and making sure they could converse amongst themselves, but it was an old habit, and a slightly comforting one.

            After that came a selection of sweat pants, hoodies, sports bras, tank tops, shorts, all her practice clothes. These all went into the closet to, followed by the green silk robe, though it was carefully hidden between two less Slytheriny articles of clothing. Second to last were her shin guards, the scuffed black protective gear was as old as the cleats, and it went on the rack with them, so that the wouldn’t get to lonely, even with the ball. There you go again girl, you’re going crazy, ya hear that YOU ARE GOING LOCO!!!  And then she unpacked the cloak. 

            The cloak was mottled black and dark gray; the light weight fabric ran through her hands like woven water. Despite its weight, and silky texture, the cloak didn’t shine like silk, no matter the light. This was her secret to staying at the top of her game all year long. This cloak was her camouflage, when she stood against the castles stone walls at night, she was all but invisible. With this garment she had successfully evaded six pairs of Heads, teachers, and even Filch, but not Ms. Norris. However, Ms. Norris was a clever cat with a soft spot for fresh salmon; it was easy to bribe her with fish pilfered from the kitchens.

            So back to “The Cloak” with this, Hermione’s Christmas gift from Jamie back in first year, Hermione had traversed the halls of Hogwarts by night more often than Harry, and Ron, though she wouldn’t go so far as to say more often than Fred and George. Hermione swallowed as she hung the cloak on a special padded hanger, smiling around the lump in her throat.

            The duffle was empty, and all her empty luggage, it included, was stowed safely in the back of her closet, not to be looked at until the last day school. And the thought of school ending brought on a fresh wave of tears, so Hermione did what any teenager who didn’t wish to leave the school that had been her home for so many years. She crumpled into a small ball on the floor of her closet, and began to cry her eyes out.

            And that was where Jason found her thirty minutes later, crying like a baby, red cheeked, and squinty eyed. ”Auntie?” his eyes were wide, his beloved aunt was on the floor crying for heavens sake.

            “I’m okay Jason, help me up.” Jason helped pull Hermione to her feet, and followed her out of the closet. “Here, watch TV for a little while, I need a shower” Hermione found the remote and turned the TV to some cartoons, and then turning off her CD player.  

            “Kay” he replied, settling himself onto the couch, eyes riveted to the television.

            “Thanks” Hermione murmured, kissing the top of his head before flitting into the bathroom, her green and silver silk robe in one hand.

        ^*~^*~^* 

            The water in the pool like tub was steaming, when Hermione dipped her foot into it. Sighing gratefully Hermione lowered herself into the scalding water, barely noticing the burning heat, not realizing that most people would be unable to stand this temperature for very long.

            It felt wonderful to scrub her face, cleansing her pores with her favorite Dove face wash. The delicious scent of her vanilla body wash made Hermione’s stomach growl, despite her recent meal. Sighing, Hermione reached for her razor, shaving her legs in the hot soapy water, before swimming down and pulling the big rubber plug from the bottom of the pool.

            The water was draining rapidly, and the undertow was strong. Hermione strained against the swirling bathwater, wishing that her body was long and sleek, hard scales covering iron muscles. Coiling her legs beneath her against the smooth bottom of pool, Hermione pushed off, not noticing the indentions she left in the solid marble, and burst out of the water, skidding onto the floor of the bathroom, and falling to the floor with a painful yelp.

            Hermione grabbed the fluffy cream towel that sat on the counter, drying herself off, and before throwing it into a bin for damp towels, and grabbing another to wrap her hair into. Pulling on her silk robe and tying it tightly, Hermione exited the steamy bathroom to her comparatively cool bathroom, steam swirling off her clean skin.

            Jason didn’t even twitch as she walked to her closet, his eyes were glued to the TV, Hermione glanced at the show, Spongebob again, she shook her head indulgently. Once in her closet, Hermione selected a pair of dark denim blue jeans, and a navy blue and silver football jersey, the type worn by hardcore fans to games in the middle of December. The Dallas Cowboys jersey was another gift from Jamie; this was last years Christmas, and Hermione wore it with pride, for she too was a Cowboys fan to the core. Decently dressed, Hermione walked back to the bedroom, ruffling Jason’s hair as she plopped down on the couch beside him, unwrapping her hair and shaking her head to get it to settle.

            “Eww” Jason complained as water droplets spattered him, “Auntie, do you have to do that?”

            “Yep” Hermione answered, standing up and shaking her head again, this time standing over him so he got most of the water droplets. Laughing Jason punched her lightly in the leg as she went back to the bathroom.

            Hermione chunked the towel into the wet towel bin, and grabbed her hair brush. Yanking it through her thick, damp chocolate curls, Hermione stuck her head out the door and looked at her digital alarm clock. The bright red numbers told no lies, 4:32. “Crap” Hermione screeched, dropping the brush and sprinting out of the bathroom. Quickly she accioed her shoes and put them on, snatching Jason from the couch as she clattered down the stairs.

            Leaping down the stairs three at a time, Hermione dashed through the common room, not even glancing at Gaia as she burst from the hidden common room entrance. The minutes ticked by as Hermione sprinted down halls, leapt recklessly down staircases, and slid down banister of the marble staircase in the front hall.

            Hermione slammed open the front doors, just in time to see the dust from the departing horseless carriage settle back onto the winding dirt path. 







So now what does our tardy main charactor do? Well, i havn't quite figguered that out yet, but when i do i will post it. Anyway, leave me a pretty review, i would luv u  for 4ever!!
kisses
~*jenni*~   

Chapter 11: The one you've all been waiting for
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Hey guys, I'm back, and i'm gonna be updateing as soon as they'll let me, but first I should mention a few people...




It's not the hall of fame, cause I don't have a building to put it in, it's not a hall of fame for the same reason, it's the(drumroll please...) Three Paragraphs of Fame!!!First:
Kissedbyavampire, my wonderful beta, my friend across the country, my, well you catch my drift. Thank you kbav, I am forever in your debt.
Second: 
Jessy, my first EVER reviewer, who is TOTTALLY AWSOME!!! Hey Jessy, luv ya, and i hope you know that!!! Yes, I am sending you mental cookies as you read this!!
Third:
Last but never least, Silver, my friend, my rock in the crazy world of freshman year in highschool, just want to send you a shout out!! And have you read the grapes of wrath yet? 




Okay, so I just wantedto thank those three wnderful people, now read on, and yes, our main man is back in this chapter, hence the name...

Hermione watched the dust settle, her expression dumbstruck with a curious, while Jason was  slightly irked for being so rudely torn from his TV show. It took her a few seconds to realize that for the first time in her short, overachieving life, she, Hermione Granger, would be late for an appointment with her professor.

 

“Well, drat Jason, now what are we gonna do?” she looked over at the child who was staring at her with inquiring eyes.

 

“We walk?” It sounded like a question, but she was sure he was being sarcastic. Hermione playfully ruffled his hair; he was so like his mother.

 

“No.” Hermione slung him on her back like a backpack. “We run.”

  

^*~^*~^*

 

Hermione ran steadily; she could scarcely feel Jason’s weight now, though she could feel him bouncing up and down on her back. The carriage was maybe two hundred yards in front of them, and the station was just around the bend and up the hill a ways.  Jason leaned down till his mouth was close to her ear.

 

“Faster, Auntie,” he whispered, excitement coloring his youthful voice and his already rosy cheeks.

 

Hermione grinned and narrowed her eyes against the dust. Her feet pounded the dirt path harder, and her stride lengthened. In for two steps out for two steps, was her breathing rhythm, a technique taught to her by her father, the man who had taught her how to run marathons with him.

 

Steadily her speed increased, her eyes flared brilliant orange, and just as the carriage was about to pull up to the station, she passed it and sprinted to where Dumbledore was waiting, his expression patient, but yet expectant.

 

He took in her red cheeks, panting breath, dusty clothes, and windblown hair without comment. Then he looked over her shoulder at the empty carriage. “You were late,” he stated calmly.

 

“Yes, but I took great pains to correct my error,” she gasped in reply, squatting so Jason could hop down from her back.

 

Dumbledore answered her with a stately nod. “See to it that this doesn’t happen again.”

 

“Of course, Professor. If I may, could I have leave to clean myself up a little bit?”

 

“Yes, but do hurry, the train should be arriving in precisely seven minutes and thirty two seconds.”

 

Hermione nodded shortly, and pulled her wand from its leather holster on her belt. With a few spells she had learned specifically to clean herself up with after soccer practice, a minute later both Hermione and Jason were perfectly presentable, and exactly six minutes and thirty two seconds after that, there was a train whistle, and the scarlet steam engine pulled up to the platform.

 

A door about halfway down the platform opened, and out stepped Draco Malfoy, three large trunks floating in his wake. Together the three waiting to greet him stepped forward. Hermione was taking deep calming breaths; she wasn’t sure about what had happened this summer, so she wasn’t sure how things stood between them.

 

Malfoy was looking at Dumbledore as he walked toward them, when suddenly his nostrils flared, and his eyes flashed orange, and back to silver blue so fast that she wasn’t sure she actually saw right.

 

Draco was laughing hysterically on the inside, but on the outside his face was calm, cool and collected though he was fighting the urge to roar with laughter. Granger’s scared, he thought to himself. With his keen dragon’s blood enhancing his senses, he could literally smell her fear. I wonder what for; if she’s thinking I’d go back on my word, she’s dead wrong.

 

“Mr. Malfoy, it is very good to see you looking so well. Please come this way, the carriage is just out side,” Dumbledore greeted his Head Boy, shaking his hand warmly, before glancing sternly at his Head Girl.

 

“Welcome back Malfoy,” Hermione said stiffly, her eyes daring the headmaster to say anything.

 

“Hiya Mista Daco!” Jason was exuberant, as he reached out his hand, feeling important at shaking hands like a grownup.

 

“Thank you both,” Draco said to Hermione and Dumbledore. “It’s good to be back, and good to see you again to champ,” he said to Jason. “Lead the way Professor.”

 

Dumbledore led the three younger people to the carriage, opening and holding the door open for them. Upon climbing in last, and closing the door with a snap, the horseless carriage jolted into motion. “So Mr. Malfoy, do you know why you are here?”

 

“To become better acquainted with my Head duties, the Head Girl, the teachers, and to settle into the common room,” he answered promptly. “But I am confused as to why Hermione’s little cousin is here.”

 

Hermione jumped a bit at hearing him say her first name, but remained silent, allowing Dumbledore to explain the situation, as she stroked Jason’s hair gently, her posture clearly stating to the only other carriage rider with the dragon’s blood that Jason was hers, and not to be trifled with. “Voldemort has targeted Miss Granger’s family in the states, specifically her young relative here, Jason.”

 

“Hmm?” Jason looked up upon hearing his name

 

“Nothing, squirt,” Hermione murmured to him, her eyes sharp on the two men, watching their faces for changes in expression.

 

Malfoy’s face remained immobile; he could feel her sharp, suddenly orange flecked eyes in him. “So Jason will be staying in our common room this year?” despite the wording, it came out a question.

“Yes,” Professor Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled with mischief as he answered the Head Boy, and Draco had the feeling that he was about to drop a bombshell. “However, the three of you will have to share a bathroom. Do you think you can handle that?”

 

I can,” Malfoy stated quickly, his flashing orange eyes challenging Hermione.

 

“I shall be civil.” Hermione replied laboriously, turning her eyes away from the two, so they couldn’t see her chagrin, which was clearly written across her face.

 

“Now that that’s all cleared up-“ Dumbledore sounded way to cheerful for just having told two teens, who were used to having a bathroom to themselves, that they would have to share not only with each other, but also with another, albeit a small other, person. “Miss Granger, would you show Mr. Malfoy to your common room, I think you will find it to your liking.” The carriage shuddered to a halt as it approached the wide flagstone steps, as Hermione and Jason, with Draco and Dumbledore coming out close behind.

 

“This way,” Hermione motioned to Draco, before turning back and asking, “if we may go Professor?” Dumbledore waved them off, and turned to stroke the nose of the thestral that had pulled their carriage. “Follow us.” Hermione stated in monotone, trudging up the steps heavily.

 

Hermione and Draco walked side by side in silence, Jason frolicking ahead of them. “So what happened Granger, why so frosty?” Draco asked, confused by her change from almost friends in the States to frigid acquaintances here at Hogwarts, at home.

 

Hermione stopped, turning to face Malfoy. “Malfoy, I don’t know what happened back at home,” she calls the U.S. home? “but make no mistake, we are polar opposites, enemies thrown together in a time of crises, nothing more. I will be civil for Jason’s sake alone, for he likes you, but that’s the only reason. Now, if you wish to reach the west tower before nightfall I suggest you get a move on.” Her voice was waspish, her eyes orange, and her teeth barely listing towards points.

 

“But Granger, we are of the same blood,” he stated as simply as if talking about the weather, his voice calm, and his eyes burning flames into hers.

 

“Bound only by blood coincidence are we, you are no blood kin of mine,” she snapped with her back to him as she strode down the corridor.

 

“Hermione, nest kin are we,” he answered passively, following her with a few steps between them.

 

For some reason the blood burning in her veins and pumping through her heart ached to answer affirmative. Rather than trust her voice, Hermione walked on, stomping up another flight of steps with unnecessary roughness.

 

^*~^*~^*

 

Soon they entered Gaia’s hall, and Hermione hailed her blood sister. “Blood sister, rise from your rest, our lair mate is arrived.”

 

“Blood sister,” Gaia answered, opening her stone lids to reveal her fiery eyes, “your mate this is?” she asked, tasting the air with her stone tongue, and examining Draco through narrowed eyes.

 

“No mate of mine,” Hermione answered firmly, “merely a lair mate, Gaia blood-sister. Meet Draco, our lair brother.” Hermione gestured to the blond beside her.

 

Draco opened his own fiery orange eyes, his fangs glistened, and his own forked tongue snaked out from between his razor canines. “Blood sister Gaia.” His voice grated through the air like a rusted knife with an even deeper growl than that of Gaia’s. He inclined his head by way of greeting to the ancient stone dragoness, guardian of the Heads Tower for generations.

 

“Lord of Court,” she dipped her majestic head, “give the word of passage and enter the lair of yours.”

 

Hermione stepped forward, irked at being left out, and said, “Blood Brethren.” Her own grating voice sounded weak compared to Draco’s and Gaia’s. With a regal nod Gaia nudged the stone egg, and the passage opened. Hermione led the way, Jason firmly on her hip, and Draco trailing on her heels, into the dark entrance, and onto the moving staircase.

So that's it for now, everyone leave me a pretty, you know what i want!!! 
kissestoalll
~*jenni*~ 

Chapter 12: We gotta talk
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Hey guys, sorry it took awhile, but I'm back, and i'm updateing soon!!
Huge thanxs to kbav, silver, and jessy, U GUYS ARE AWSOME!!!







Hermione turned the ornate gold door knob, and walked in, dropping Jason unceremoniously onto the black leather couch. Planting her feet and crossing her arms, Hermione turned to confront Draco, her eyes flashing orange, but her voice carefully controlled so as to not scare Jason, “Unpack, and then we need to talk.”

 
“Since when do I answer to you mud-muggle born?” Draco switched terms at the last second, his eyes flashing to Jason, and then back to her face.

 
“Since we are of the same blood,” she snapped, turning away from him, and scooped up Jason. “And stay to your own side,” she called over her shoulder as she started up her set of steps. 

 
One thing baffled her as she trudged up the spiral staircase; why didn’t he call me Mudblood? Was it because were the same now, or did he just not want Jason too hear anymore foul language than he has to. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful for it. The word means nothing to me anymore, but Jason is too young to be hearing it in casual conversation.

 
The steps seemed to anticipate her, starting to move smoothly as soon as she put weight on them. Hermione opened the door to her room and put Jason on the couch, though much gentler than she had downstairs. “Stay here, watch TV,” she paused, deliberating for a moment, “I won’t be far,” she added finally as she heard the bathroom door on her side open.

 
“Granger, I’ll talk if you’ll help me unpack.” Draco’s voice was smooth and calm, an underlying tension in his body which only someone with Hermione’s keen, dragon’s blood enhanced senses could detect.
 

“That’s the best offer I’m gonna get isn’t it?” Hermione replied, not turning around.

 
“You bet it is.” His voice was a mere hiss, so low that Jason, who wasn’t paying attention anyway, didn’t have a prayer of hearing. Hermione turned away from the TV to see her bathroom door open, but the bathroom itself was empty.

 
Muttering about stuck up boys, Hermione kicked off her shoes and put them in her closer, before sauntering through the bathroom. Gently knocking on Draco’s door frame she hissed sarcastically, “You rang?”

 
“Yes,” he said with his voice was warm and conversational, but hesitant; as if he was afraid he would scare her off. “Please, could you put the books on the shelf; we can talk while we work.” His voice was still warm, but it held a tone of authority that was different from the snooty “I’m a rich kid and I know it” tone it had held for years before.

 
Hermione sat down cross-legged on the floor beside a sizable cedar chest full of heavy leather-bound books, their pages yellowed with age. Hermione took out two and read their titles: Transfusions of Magic, a guide to magical creature blood transfusions, and Healing through the Ages. Hermione raised her eyebrows but said nothing as she placed them on the shelf. 

 
“You are curious.” It wasn’t a question. His voice interrupted her musing over the next title, Blood Brothers, the story of the Dragon Court.

 
“Yes,” she admitted. “What’s this one?” Holding up the weighty book so he could see the title, which was stamped in peeling gold letters, she waited.

 
Draco examined the cover briefly before turning back to what he was doing. “That one, my dear blood-sister, is my story, your story, and the story of any who choose to take our blood, be our kin, and fight our fight.”

 
^*~^*~^*

 
Hermione blinked, “So,” she drew out the word, as if chewing it over, the vowel lasting for what seemed like forever. “What are you smoking, and where can I get some?”

 
Draco looked at her, his eyes flashing orange, before he got control of his fiery temper, remembering her limited teachings. “You don’t take your choice seriously?”

 
“Why should I?” Her eyes were calm, but the tiniest hint of apprehension lurked around the edges of her irises. “I mean, it’s not going to affect my life extremely. I’m just going to have to keep my temper in check.” She sounded like she was trying to convince herself as well as him.

 
His silver blue eyes were gentle, but his voice was deadly serious. “Oh, no. You don’t know what you’ve done have you?”

 
“What?” she snapped, but softened when he shook his head sadly. “What on earth are you talking about; I’m just going to get a quicker temper, and stronger muscles, that’s all, right?” She waited for him to answer, but when he didn’t, she spoke again. “Right?” Her voice went up a few octaves in pitch, her eyes were frightened now.

 
“No, no, no. Oh, Merlin, how am I going to explain this?” Draco mused to himself as he ran a hand through his corn silk colored hair. “Look,” he turned back to face her, “Why did you get the operation?”
 

“Because I wanted it,” she answered petulantly, but something in his eyes made her falter, “and-” she paused, unwilling to finish, her face flushing as she turned away.

 
“And?” he prompted his eyes boring down into hers as she looked back up.

 
“I wanted protection,” she whispered. Her voice burned with shame, her eyes were downcast, and appalled. I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud.

 
“From what?” he said. His voice was so full of compassion that she almost wanted to hug him. But it was so kind, too kind for him; it only made her mistrust him more.

 
“Why do you care?” she snapped standing up; the book fell back into the trunk with a clearly audible thunk. “It was pleasant talking with you, now but really I must go do something.” Her voice was acidic, and she turned away from him as she left, making sure he couldn’t see the tears welling up in her eyes.

 
“Hermione,” he called as she opened the door and fled down the stairs, all the way to the common room. Once in the common room Hermione was confused, where to go? Her room was out of the question, Jason was there, and she didn’t want him to see her like this, not twice in the same day.

 
Hermione then remembered her final request when Dumbledore had asked her if she wanted any muggle comforts; a four wheeler. With this comforting thought Hermione exited the common room, off to find her headmaster, Dumbledore.   






Hey guys, sorry it took so long to get this one up, but you know what to do, review me sumthin nice, and i'll see you in the next chappy!!!
kisses
~*jenni*~    

Chapter 13: Distractions
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hey guys, sorry it took so long to get it up, validation probs and all that(rolls eyes) so anyway, that is neither here, nor there. So anyway, I'll see you on the other side...


 I just need a distraction, I just need to clear my head; I just need a break, Hermione thought privately as she wandered the halls looking for Dumbledore. Where is he? She had already tried his office, only to have the gargoyle tell her in no uncertain terms that Dumbledore was not in, and that no amount of screaming would make him appear in his office.

 
Grimacing and muttering obscenities, Hermione had walked away with what little dignity she had left. Next she had looked for a ghost, for surely Nearly Headless Nick or the Gray Lady would know where the headmaster was. However the only imprint of a departed soul she had come across so far was Peeves, who was happily sticking chewing gum into the keyholes of the great oak doors of the main hall. Making a mental note to clean the keyholes out later, Hermione had swept past him, her nose in the air as if the mere poltergeist was beneath her lofty notice. Peeves had looked at her as she passed, and blew an absentminded raspberry in her direction before returning to his keyhole plugging

 
Hermione had then checked the staff workroom, only to find an irritable Filch, who was looking particularly disgruntled having a cup of tea with the vulture of an old lady Ms. Pince. Neither of them had seen Professor Dumbledore recently. Upon seeing the black mood Filch was in, Hermione had beat a fast retreat, mumbling a quick thanks as she shut the door. Randomly, Hermione wandered into the Great Hall. Peeves had since moved on to another area of the castle from the great entrance hall. Hermione had never been in the hall when it was empty, and it was kind of weird. 

 
She was the only one in the enormous room, standing between the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw tables, staring up at the great chair that Dumbledore would occupy at meals.

 
“Where are you?” she asked the empty chair, wishing that for once that she had Harry’s Marauders Map; it would be easy to locate Dumbledore with the castle so empty. “Crap,” she added, remembering that she still needed to owl Harry and Ron.

 
“Merow?” softly called a cat from behind her.

 
“Crookshanks,” she laughed, turning to find his mesmerizing green eyes of her cat. “Sorry that I couldn’t bring you,” she explained as she cuddled him in her arms, “but I know how you don’t like apparating, and I knew you could get here on your own.” 
 

Smiling Hermione buried her nose in the soft, thick ginger fur of her cats flank, inhaling his sweet, clean cat smell. Still holding him, Hermione ambled out of the hall and wandered toward her common room.

 
They were there soon, but Gaia was skeptical as to why Hermione wanted the cat. “Does blood sister Hermione wish fresh meat for later hungers?”

 
“No, blood-sister Gaia, Crookshanks is a pet, a nest kin, only a bit different.” Her eyes held no hint of orange as she patiently explained this to her common room’s feral guardian.

 
“If this is what my blood sister wishes,” Gaia finally answered.

 
“It is, Blood Brethren,” and without another word, Gaia opened the entrance, Hermione entered the common room and put Crookshanks down gently before she turned to leave.

 
“Hermione, blood-sister.” His voice came from the foot of his spiral staircase behind her.
 

“I’m off; tell Jason I’ll be back later if he asks, please.” She didn’t wait for his reply, but instead of returned o the stairs, and was gone as quickly as she had come.

 
^*~^*~^*

 
It was quite a while later when she finally found Dumbledore in the kitchens, of all places, happily conducting the house elves in an enthusiastic chorus of the school song.
 

“Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy warty Hogwarts, teach us something please…”

 
Hermione listened and watched as the elves sang, and Dumbledore conducted with his wand, a goofy smile plastered across his wrinkled old face. “Ah, miss Granger, would you care to join us?” he asked as the song ended and the houselves went back to their work. Some of them disappearing with loud cracks, and Hermione assumed they were going to go clean and such elsewhere in the castle.

 
“I’m sure I’d love to some other time, but right now I was wondering if you had gotten the four-wheeler I requested. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be rude or anything, but right now I really need a distraction, and a nice long ride would be perfect.”

 
“Erm,” Hermione had never seen her headmaster at a loss for words, and found it quite entertaining now, “about this four-wheeler. You see none of us really knew what that was muggle slang for, or how to get a hold of one, so…”


 Hermione nodded. “I understand. Sir, four-wheeler is slang for an ATV, an All Terrain Vehicle. Yamaha is the best brand in my opinion, but any four-wheeler would do.” Hermione had never considered that the witches and wizards at her school might not know what a four-wheeler was.
 

“Thank you for explaining, Miss Granger. We will fill your request as soon as possible, however I would expect it to be at least three days till then.”

 
Again, she nodded, but this time is more of a sad acceptance. “Thank you sir, if I may be excused?”

 
“Yes, be on your way,” he dismissed her with a wave, and turned back to the waiting houselves. A few gave Hermione some cakes to eat later, and the rest began singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

 
Chuckling(it was June for heavens sake) , but defeated, Hermione began making her way back to the common room, nibbling on a pumpkin pasty as she walked. Gaia was sleeping when Hermione returned; drowsily, the stone dragoness let her in before returning to slumber.  The alarm clock said seven thirty when Hermione entered her bedroom, all doors locked to keep out annoyingly caring room mates.

 
Jason was asleep on the sofa, wrapped up in his bedspread, and curled up in the corner made between the arm rest and the sofa’s back. “Wake up kiddo, you must be starving,” Hermione said as she shook him, and gave him a meat pie she had found mixed in with the treats the houselves had forced into her hands

 
“Mmm!” Jason messily devoured everything the houselves had given Hermione, and was wide awake.

 
“Let’s watch a movie, and then later tonight we can go play soccer,” Hermione suggested, settling down beside him.

 
“’Kay auntie,” he agreed quickly, running over to the shelf of DVD’s, and pulling out one of the Land Before Time movies. “This one?” he asked, holding it up for her approval.

 
“Sure,” Hermione agreed, taking the DVD and putting it in to play. For the next hour and a half they watched the little dinosaur friends have adventures, and Hermione pretended to be interested, though mostly she just stroked Jason’s hair as he cuddled against her. “Let me get ready, and then we’ll go,” Hermione told him as they stretched. “Go put that blanket back on your bed while I get ready,” she added as she entered the closet.

 
In the closet Hermione put on her green and silver sports bra, and a pair of shiny black nylon soccer shorts. Next, she pulled on her shin guards, but not her cleats. Cleats are not ideal for sneaking around in; she had found that at years ago. That was why she put her ball and cleats in the black duffle bag, along with her wand. On her feet went a pair of soft leather moccasins that would make no sound on the stone floors. 

 
Last of all she put on “the cloak”. It was so long that it brushed the floor; it had magically grown with her, getting longer as she grew taller. With the duffle bag slung on her shoulder, Hermione left the closet and helped Jason put on his Nikes. Then she put him on her back and let the cloak fall over him, covering him completely.

 
“Stay quiet,” she ordered as they entered the empty common room. In her haste, Hermione did not notice the pair of silver eyes that were following her progress from the dark recesses of Draco’s staircase. Nor did she hear the soft swish of a cloak as the heavy oak door closed, and the stairs began taking her down to Gaia.

 
The dragoness was unconcerned by Hermione’s exit; apparently those with dragon’s blood in veins were prone to night wanderings. As much as this bothered Hermione, she was grateful, and though she could most likely get permission to roam at night from Dumbledore, it was more exciting if she snuck around.

 
With her wand, Hermione cleaned the chewing gum from the keyholes, before exiting via the main doors. Silently she sprinted across the grounds towards the Quidditch Pitch, all but invisible in her dark gray and black mottled cloak.

 
As Hermione sprinted to the only haven she wanted, a window in the Head’s Tower opened wide, and a large, shadowy, winged figure flew out and followed her, silent as a cloud shadow.    



hey guys!!! Thanxs for reading this far!!! Silver, Kbav, and Jessy, U guys are still wonderful, and everyone else, well... I guess I luv you guys too. So anyway, leave a review and get warm fuzzies on your insides knowing that youv'e made ME warm and fuzzy on the inside. 
kisses
~*jenni*~                                   

Chapter 14: Meetings by Moonlight
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Alright, for the umpteenth time(my computer has been acting up) Silver, Kbav, and Jessy, YOU GUYS ARE THE MOST WONDERFUL PEOPLE EVER!!!!!!!!!! Now, i'll see you guys on the other side, and let's boogie(yes I know no one says that anymore)


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Hermione entered the Quidditch Pitch, walking across the soft green grass with a particular spring in her step. On the edge of the field Hermione deposited her bag, and pulled Jason off her back. Quickly, her movements made rapid by anticipation, Hermione unzipped the bag and pulled out its contents, replacing them with the cloak and the moccasins. Fumbling with excitement at practicing on this field for the first time this semester, Hermione tied the laces of her cleats with lightning speed, and began stretching.


Hermione was too wound up to stretch properly; Hermione took up her wand and transfigured a goal post into a soccer goal. Smiling fiercely, Hermione dribbled down the smooth green to the goal, shooting the ball from thirty yards, and placing it neatly in the upper right corner.


“Shag the ball Jay, will you?” Hermione called as she continued down the field, chuckling at how shag had such a different meaning here. Back in the states, to shag your ball was to go fetch it, to bring it back, to retreive. Here, shag and screw meant the same thing, which made conversations very interesting sometimes.


The ball rolled out to meet her, kicked by the ever willing to help Jason. Smiling, Hermione kicked it back gently. “Throw it high, Jay I need to work on my headers.”


Hermione and Jason worked till midnight on passing and shooting; Hermione even taught Jason a dribbling drill. The moon was just reaching its peak, when Jason let loose his first yawn. Hermione took that as a signal, and went back to the bag, unlaced her cleats and pulled them and her shin-guards off.


“Eww,” Hermione complained as she looked at the sweat that had coated her leg beneath the shin-guards. “Remind me to bring a sweat towel next time Jason,” she said. When he didn’t answer, she called again, “Jason?” Hermione looked up to see her little cousin staring at something on the very top of the stands; something that had not been there when they first came in tonight, or any other night on which Hermione had been here before.


“Look, Auntie!” he exclaimed as he pointed at the figure. It faintly resembled a gargoyle, but then it stood up. It was a man, his pale naked torso radiant in the soft moonlight. But what startled Hermione the most was the black, leathery ribbed wings sprouting from his shoulders.


“Jason, get behind me now.” Hermione’s voice was harsh as protective instincts washed over her, making her eyes glow orange, and her teeth grow sharp. Jason scampered to her, crouching down in her shadow as the winged being too crouched, as if coiling for the spring.


Her wand at hand, Hermione stood protectively in front of Jason, her eyes luminescent as she stared at the blond headed enemy. Corn silk colored hair, I wonder… but she didn’t have time for any wondering as the figure leapt into the night sky and bore down upon them as a hawk speeds towards its prey. Hermione braced herself for an impact that never came.


“Hermione, we need to talk.” The voice was firm as they alighted before her on the grassy field.


“Malfoy, what the hell do you think you’re doing here? Why are you spying on me as I practice and scaring my cousin, and why the bloody hell do you have wings stuck to your back?!”


“You need to know what you’ve done to yourself. You can’t go on avoiding me.” He was stern in both voice and manner, speaking to her as a teacher speaks to a student that hasn’t met the standard to which the teacher holds them.


The teacher to student voice rubbed Hermione the wrong way, and she bristled. “I am not running.” Her voice was a calm ice that was just as fierce as the guttural snarls of a dragoness.


“Then pray tell what are you doing, oh fierce one,” he asked sarcastically, his wings shrinking into his back and disappearing into his flesh.


“I’m- I…” Hermione was at a loss for words. Her eyes burned angrily into his; she hated feeling the fool, particularly in front of Jason.


“Exactly,” he said smugly, his arms crossed over his bare, hard muscled chest.


“Look, let me get Jason up to bed and then we can talk. Now, leave Malfoy.” She pointed to the sky, her finger directing him to the castle with ruthless conviction.


“You’ll learn, Granger,” was all he said as the wings ripped themselves from his back, lifting him into the air effortlessly. Like an arrow from a bow he shot into the sky, momentarily framed against the full moon, before he was lost from sight over the top of the stands.


Mumbling rudely, Hermione turned back to her cousin who had watched this with wide eyes. Smiling sweetly, Hermione put on the moccasins and pulled out her wand, feeling a pang of jealousy at Malfoy; flying looked fun. Muttering the counter charm, Hermione turned her soccer goal back into a goal post before slinging the duffel bag onto one shoulder and letting Jason allowing Jason to clamber onto her back. Swinging the cloak into place, Hermione took one last look around; everything on the field was as it should be.


Silently, she sprinted up to the castle, silently opened the door, and softly oozed through the corridors. Filch’s shuffling steps alerted her of his approach, causing her to freeze for a moment as a thrill of fear ran its icy fingers down her spine. Thinking fast she shoved Jason into a corner, and stood in front of him, her cloak hiding them both. Filch scuffled by, and Ms. Norris barely glanced at her, the cat was very well paid.


When he was a ways off, Hermione breathed easily again, before picking
Jason back up and moving on. Gaia let them in without comment, but when Hermione asked if Malfoy had left the common room, the answer was a firm negative.


“So he must have flown from a window,” she told the drowsy Jason as they ascended the stairs. “Speak of the devil,” she added under her breath as they entered the common room to find him in one of the big leather chairs, staring meditatively into the fire.


He turned and flashed a dazzlingly wicked smile that let Hermione knew he had heard her. “I’m waiting,” he told the grey shrouded figure.


Hermione merely walked on up the stairs, dumping the duffle onto her bed before letting Jason hop down beside it. “Now, go brush your teeth and get ready for bed. I’m going to go talk to Malfoy, so don’t wait up. We’ll probably be late. Now kiss me goodnight.” She bent her head and let him place a sloppy kiss on her cheek. Hermione hugged him tight and whispered, “Sweet dreams baby,” before letting him hop off her bed and go get ready for his.


The cloak still on, Hermione retuned to the common room where Malfoy waited; he didn’t seem to have moved. Warily, Hermione sat down, throwing back her hood and looking at his pensive profile, and finally breaking the silence. “Well, Malfoy, here I am.”


Slowly, he turned his head and looked her dead in he eyes, “Yes Granger, here you are, now listen closely, for few are privy to this knowledge, and fewer still understand it.” His voice was deadly calm. Hermione gulped; this was going to be a long night.

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Alright guys, gimme a little R&R, you know the drill, and i'll see you wonderful people next chapter!!!
kisses
~*jenni*~

Chapter 15: Student, Teacher
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Hey guys, OVER 100 REVIEWS!!!!!!!!!!! AWSOMENESS TO THE EXTREME!!!!!!!!! Alright, jessy(my first ever, most wonderful reviewer) U R AWSOME!!! Kissedbyavampire (my ever wonderful beta) U 2 ARE WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! And last but never least, Silver, (one of my best friends) WE SURVIVED EXAMS, and you are also awsome. 
Now let's get on with the real story...


 
“Now, Granger I need you to be truthful; why did you get the operation?”

 

Hermione’s temper flared, “I already told you, protection, now could you please leave me be? Why do you insist on acting like I rushed into this with out thinking?”

 

“Because you did.” His simple answer crumbled the careful wall she had built, it found the weak chink in her armor, and it melted the ice.

 

“Wha-why?”

 

“Now, I’ll ask you again, why did you get the operation?”

 

“I- you know I was attacked last summer.” She stopped, her eyes flashing to his face, trying to decipher his expression. His stone features gave nothing away, though inside he was waiting with bated breath. Encouraged, she went on, “I didn’t have my wand; who needs it to go to the corner grocer for orange juice?”

 

Draco’s jaw tightened, but still he said nothing. “And then-they found me.”

 

“Jack?” he confirmed.

 

She nodded, adding “And his wingmen. Do you know what the bastard said to me when he was done?”

 

Malfoy shook his head, baffled by her voice; it was so tortured, so pained. He had never seen her like this, not even in the garage. She wasn’t broken down, though. Not yet; it was more like she was bottling up all the suffering and it was eating her from the inside out. Suddenly, he was no longer sitting, he was going to her, and he wasn’t telling his feet to move.

 

Hermione didn’t notice that Malfoy was no longer in his seat; her unshed tears were obstructing her vision. “That piece of rat’s filth said thanks for a good screw, and good luck in the game.” She turned his direction, but her eyes were miles, and months away, “but that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was that he took things from me, things I can never get back; he took my virginity, my innocence, and my strength. So that, Malfoy, is why I got this operation; to protect myself, and any who ever needs my strength.”

 

Draco wrapped his arms around her, cloak and all, she needed someone, and since the Savior-Of-The-Modern-World, and Boy Weasel weren’t handy, he’d have to do. Gently he climbed into the chair, pulling her into his lap, with cautious but impulsive hands he massaged her back, murmuring tender phrases into her ear as she cried.

 

“Thanks,” she whispered hoarsely, wiping her eyes on the cloak, and suddenly very aware that she was in Draco Malfoy’s lap, with only a thin silky layer of fabric between his bare skin and hers. Awkwardly she climbed out of his lap, and sat down in his chair, feeling the fire that had erupted across her skin when he touched her cool down as she put distance between the two of them. Sniffling one last time, Hermione regained her composure, and looked at him through eyes empty of emotion; her icy walls were back in place. “Now, what is the Dragon’s Court?”

 

Malfoy processed the change, no hints of expression in his own eyes. “The Dragon’s Court is what we, the ones with dragon’s blood, call ourselves. Be prepared, there are already four of us: myself, Zabini, Michael Corner, and Anthony Goldstein. They’re from Ravenclaw; do you know them?”

 

Hermione recalled the ill fated DA from fifth year, “We’re acquainted,” she answered shortly.

 

“Together, secretly mind you since we’ve all got reputations to uphold, we work together to hone our skills, among other things,” Draco said as he sat back, watching as this soaked in.

 

“So when do I meet them?” was the only answer he got, her voice void of all emotion.

 

“The second night of school, in the forbidden forest,” he replied coolly, but his eyebrows were raised at her lack of interest.

 

“And that’s all you’re going to tell me until then, isn’t it?”

 

“Yes, you would be correct in that assumption.”

 

“Well, in that case, good night Malfoy; my bed beckons me.” She stood, and with a formal nod left him staring morosely into the fire, pondering over what he had told her that evening.

 

Malfoy’s thoughts were spinning; he hadn’t told her everything, not by a long shot. She would learn though, she would learn, and The Court would be there to catch her when she fell, defend her when she was hurt, and lift her up when her world came crashing down.

 

He remembered way back to third year, the year she had slapped him across the face. He had thrown cheap shots at The Weasel, Boy Wonder, and the Mudblood several times, because cheap shots were all he could throw, for fear of loosing his temper. Then like a thunderbolt out of the blue she had slapped him right across the face, her cinnamon and honey eyes burning into his own mercurial ones. He had felt his control slipping as the stinging blow fell, catching him unawares. That had been over a year after he had gotten the operation, back when he was the youngest in The Court, least practiced, the most dangerous.

 

So he had hidden behind Crabbe and Goyle, his loyal, if clueless, bodyguards. They had, like the good dogs they were, cracked their knuckles and looked threatening whilst he kept his eyes down, knowing the change in iris color could be spotted easily. She had thrown insults, and he had hidden, wanting to explain everything, to make her one of them; with her brains, and strength, she could join in easily. But he had held his tongue, hoping against hope that she would one day stand among their ranks, and finally providence had held out

 

Draco smiled, recalling fondly how fiery, but innocent, she had been; she was still strong, but no longer fiery, or innocent, now she was icy, detached, caring only for her cousin and her teammates. How was he to melt that ice, when her walls went up like lightning, and her words were cold like ice?

 

Yes she had joined their ranks but at what cost? She was the first female to join The Court since before he had joined. What did that mean for him and what about the others? How would they take this staggering change of events?



Hello one and all, thank you for reading this far, now if you've taken this much time to read my story, can't you take an extra thirty seconds to type me somthing pretty? 
kisses
~*jenni*~
 

Chapter 16: Time to Protect
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Hello everyone, welcome to the next chapter of the Dragoness, erm, story. Alright, so i don't own any of the charactors except for the ever adorable jason, and the plot. everything else belongs to the wonderful JK Rowling, and if you don't understand that, well then you're just out of luck. 
Alright, So Small totally belongs to Carrie Underwood, and Sky Divin' belongs to Tim Mcgraw, you wonderful readers are my witnesses, I DO NOT OWN EITHER OF THESE SONGS, GETIT, GOTIT, GOOD!!! 
So Thanxs to my wonderful beta Kissedbyavampire, and UR Awsome nowandforever36xo , my first ever reviewer. Silver, my wonderful rock in the turbulant waters of highschool, thankyou also. 
Now lets get down to buisness...    







Hermione left Malfoy staring pensively into the fire as she made her way up the steps, the late hour finally catching up with her. It had been a stressful couple days, filled with tension, tears, and precious little rest. Upon reaching the heavy wooden door of her room, Hermione just stared at the doorknob for a full minute, unable to summon the strength to lift her hand and open it. Finally, after a short, but fierce, internal debate on whether she should just sleep out on the top step or not, she raised her hand and let it rest on the door handle; with her luck she would have fallen down the stairs anyway.

 

Her room was dark, lit only a small amount by the sliver moonlight that shined milk-pale from between the gossamer black and silver curtains that covered her tall bay window. Hermione staggered into her room, unclasping the Cloak and letting it fall unheeded to the floor. It landed in a small dark pile near the door, which swung back closed on oiled hinges.

 

Stumbling into the bathroom, Hermione stubbed her toe on the doorframe in the process. The marble and crystal room lit up with an unholy bright light as she crossed the threshold, causing the Head Girl to cover her eyes, giving her pupils time to dilate, and protect themselves. And that’s what I need; time to protect myself from this infernally understanding boy that has so insolently decided to throw himself into my path.

 

Hermione uncovered her eyes, smirking at her irony; she needed time to protect herself from the ferret? Black spots were still sprinkled across her vision as she closed the doors at either end of the long bathroom. First she brushed her teeth, and then turned the tap for hot water.

 

Bending over, Hermione scrubbed her face vigorously, trying to will some strength into her soul through her pores. However, she succeeded only in making herself sleepier; the warm water on her face was very soothing. She was bent over double to bring her face closer to thee sink, and didn’t want to straighten up. She knew that her back would ache momentarily as she made her body vertical again, and was unwilling to subject herself to that pain, no matter how fleeting.

 

After another silent debate, Hermione stood up straight, grimacing at the brief ache, before toweling her face dry, and turning the water off. Stiffly, she walked down the bathroom and unlocked the door on Draco’s side, but left it closed. She didn’t want to do anything but crawl under the covers and drift into blissful slumber.

 

Upon reentering her bedroom, Hermione had to wait a minute more as her eyes readjusted to the dark. Yawning, Hermione went to her closet and changed into an oversized T-shirt and a pair of soft cotton shorts. Her nimble fingers turned the radio to a Dallas country station; she was impressed that she could pick it up, but not altogether unsurprised; this was a radio enhanced with magic after all.

 

Hermione grinned sleepily as So Small came on. The gentle, yet powerful, song soothed her exhausted mind. She was just about to put the radio on sleep and crawl into bed, when she caught sight of The Cloak lying in a dark fabric heap directly in the path of a pale moon beam. Hermione looked from her bed, so inviting, to the cloak, so forlorn in its mound.

 

Sighing, and muttering about cousins, and generous gifts that had to be put up, Hermione yanked The Cloak from the floor, and hung it gently on its padded hanger. Sky Divin’ was coming out of the speakers when she pulled back the thick, downy covers, and crawled under them. She was so wrapped up in the familiar tune, that she almost missed the sound of Jason’s door opening.

 

“Auntie, I’m scared,” he whispered at her, his voice small, and tired.

 

“Well we can’t have that, now can we?” Hermione pulled back the covers back and let him climb up and snuggle up next to her. “I guess even fearless little ones need time to protect themselves.” Hermione murmured into his soft dark brown curls.

 

“Mmm?” he was already half asleep.

 

“Nothing sweetheart, nothing,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around him, letting him curl up against her. She remembered the summer nights sleeping out on the trampoline with Jamie, gossiping together till morning with Jason snuggled down between them.

 

Hermione knew she would protect Jason with her life, but first, she needed a little time; time to protect her stone heart, the same one that had a soft spot for a certain small child clutched tight to her breast. She loved few, but those she did love she would protect till the very end. It was only her teammates and her family that were the closest to her.

 

Harry and Ron, they were friends of convenience; maybe they used to be close, but since last summer she had hardened her heart. Harry wasn’t that bad, and she certainly liked Ginny, especially as his girlfriend and one of her better friends, but Ron was just stupid. Honestly, all he seemed to understand was Quidditch, and clumsy make-out sessions.

 

Shuddering at the thought, memories of a time past flashed before her eyes. He had dated him once; it had been a pity date really, and all it had gotten her was a cheap meal and an intensely gross half hour, before she had finally said she needed to go study. That had been the end of that, shortly thereafter Lavender Brown had come back into the picture, and Hermione had walked away without a backwards glance or a single regret.

 

The Air Head deserves him, she thought coolly. I will remain aloof, I will protect my heart, and I will never, ever, fall in love.

 

(Yeah, Right)










Alright everyone, i know it wasn't very exiciting, but next chapter will be up soon,I promise. You lot know the drill, give me a little feedback, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside., and I'll see you wonderful people next chapter.
kisses
~*jenni*~ 

Chapter 17: The lake
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okay, sorry i haven't updated in forever, I SWEAR IT WASN'T MY FAULT. You see what happened was, I wrote, in a moment of wild inspiration, a beutiful oneshot, that has had several issues about being validated. So, i finally decide to say screw it, and gave up on my oneshot for the time being, since you my wonderful readers have been waiting for me to update Dragoness. So here it is, a chapter, an exciting  chapter at that. So, wit no further ado, i'll see you guys on the other side.


  
Hermione woke up to an empty bed the next morning. Yawning, she stretched, feeling nothing amiss, until she opened her eyes and saw the lack of a little boy’s body next to hers.

 

“JASON!” she bellowed, looking around franticly for her little cousin in the vastly scattered covers on the bed.

 

“Auntie?” his voice came from the bathroom door.

 

A wave of sweet relief washed over her. “Oh baby, where have you been?” she asked, containing the worry in her voice, but just barely.

 

“I was helping him get dressed,” Malfoy answered calmly, appearing behind Jason.

 

“Well, thank you for that. I hope he wasn’t too much trouble.” Her voice was suddenly cool, and courteous; the type of voice a diplomat dreams of cultivating, for its detachment, but yet immense amounts of courtesy.

 

“No trouble at all, now if you’ll excuse me, I have business to attend to.” His voice mirrored hers perfectly.

 

Yeah, right. “Of course, and thank you again.” Her voice showed the tiniest hint of true thanks at this last statement, but her expression gave nothing away.

 

With a final curt nod, he disappeared from the doorway and Hermione flopped back down, averse to moving just yet. She didn’t want to move, she was tired, but it was the kind of weariness that you can’t sleep off; you can only grit your teeth and face it head on.

 

She was in the process of gritting her teeth and sitting back up, when Jason climbed onto the bed and began bouncing. “Jay,” she groaned, reaching up and pulling him down beside her horizontal form. Quickly, she sat up, leaning over him, and started tickling his sides.

 

“Stop, Auntie, STOP!” he shrieked, laughing as he tried to wriggle away.

 

“Not so fast,” Hermione growled, hauling him back to her. As they both calmed down, she looked at the window; the sun was filtering through the curtains, bright and clear. An idea sprang into her head. “Tell you what; want to go swimming in the lake?” Jason nodded eagerly; he liked swimming. “Good, go put on your swimming trunks. I’ll be ready in a minute.”  Hermione went and put on her bikini, sliding The Cloak over her shoulders, and wrapping the smoky material around her slim, tall figure. She would have used her silk, silver and green robe, but it was to Slytherin-like for Hogwarts.

 

Jason returned, wearing his black and red dragon printed swim trunks. “Ready Auntie?”

 

“Ready,” she said, taking his hand in hers. Together the duo left, taking a pair of towels with them. Draco watched them walk across the grounds from his high window, raising eyebrows when Hermione took off The Cloak and laid it reverently aside with the towels beside it in the grass. Adjusting himself comfortably on the padded window seat, Malfoy settled in to watch the cousins, surprised that Hermione let Jason swim about at will.

 

Hermione watched Jason swim out a bit; before wading in herself, savoring the deliciously cool water as it swirled around her thighs. Floating face up, Hermione let the tranquility of the morning seep into her, until a disturbance in the water made her open her eyes. She could hear it, maybe fifty feet below her, the distinctively smooth resonance of the Giant Squid, far below her, but heading toward Jason.

 

Smoothly, she flipped over and glided beneath the water, her eyes open beneath the surface, seeing as if it were a clear day below the world of air and sunlight. There, she thought to herself. The dim outline of the squid was visible, far below her swiftly swimming body, and it was rising; fast. It was accustomed to Hermione, a frequent moonlight swimmer during the first part of the year, but it had never seen the small, splashing creature thirty yards in front of her. So it was going to investigate, zeroing in on the potentially tasty morsel that dared frolic in its wet domain.

 

Hermione’s eyes darkened and a feral snarl curled her lips. Her body strengthened as she moved smoothly through the water, her untamed eyes flashing from the beast far below her, to the child far in front of her.

 

Draco watched this from his high vantage point, noticing immediately the change in her demeanor as he watched when she dove deeper into the water; his eyes flashed orange, giving him heightened vision. He watched as she swam toward her cousin, and the squid below them. Quickly he began unlatching his window, systematically unbuttoning his black button up shirt. The shirt fell way, leaving him bare-chested in a pair of khaki cargo shorts. The window sprang open, but he hesitated before leaping out, noticing that Hermione hadn’t taken a breath since he had been watching.

 

Beneath his eagerly watching eyes, her body lengthened, becoming serpentine, and scales washed over her flesh. Leather wings sprouted from her shoulders, but they remained pressed tightly to her back, a long twisting tail propelling her effortlessly through the water. Her legs were short with heavy claws; she looked like a Chinese dragon, with a bronze mane to set off her light blue scales. She sped through water, cutting the murky liquid like a sky and bronze blade.

 

As a single tentacle rose out of the water, prepared to wrap around Jason and pull him under, she swooped in; wrapping her tail around Jason, and flicking him back into the shallows, away from impending danger. In the same second she propelled herself into the tentacle, driving it back to its owner, the lake’s leviathan sent back into the deepest reaches of its watery kingdom.

 

Fast and strong she spun and swam back to Jason, morphing back to a human as she swam to her cousin. Jason was watching from the sandy shallows, his mouth forming an amazed “o”, and his eyes the size of saucers. Draco watched as Hermione slowly approached Jason, careful not to scare him, the watching boy observed.

 

Hermione watched as fear turned to awe in her little cousin’s eyes, and she felt much more relieve; she didn’t like Jason thinking she was anything other than his beloved Auntie. “Jay,” she murmured, slowly approaching him. “It’s okay, I’m not gonna hurt you.”

 

Jason looked at her, and then flung his small body into her arms, sobbing and laughing at the same time. “That was so cool!” He looked at her excitedly. “Can we do that again?” He was over the moon; obviously he didn’t realize how much danger he had been in.

“We’ll see.” She helped him up and put a hand in the small of his back, gently steering him up onto the grassy bank, where their towels waited.

 

^*~^*~^*

 

Hermione and Jason were back in the Head’s Tower before they ate; Hermione wanted to get the lake water out of her hair. Thus, Jason had the tub, so he could continue swimming in the hot clean water, and she was in the shower, glad for good water pressure, and hot steam. Malfoy had not been in when they returned to the tower, or at least they hadn’t seen him, and for that she was grateful. She would ask him about what happened that morning later, when Jason was in bed.

 

The vanilla scent of her shampoo was good enough to eat, and it made her empty stomach rumble and ache with hunger. She could almost feel her stomach eating its lining, she was so hungry. And that is what drove her to turn the gloriously hot water off, wrap herself in a towel, and stumble out of the shower. “Hurry up kiddo, I’m hungry,” she told Jason as she passed the bubble covered the pool. The small head in the center of the vast pool of foam nodded; swimming had made Jason hungry, too.

 

Soon they were dried, dressed, and decent to be seen in public. Which was good, since Hermione was caving in at this point, and just about ready to haul Jason to the kitchens half dressed. Fortunately for her, Jason was soon ready, and together they exited the common room, chatted with Gaia for a moment, and then hurried to the kitchens.

 

“So, what do you want?” Hermione asked as she tickled the pear in the painting, and then grasped the green handle.

 

“Bacon and eggs?” he asked.

 

“With toast on the side?” she replied, grinning down at him. It was one of her little cousin’s favorite breakfasts.

 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” he answered rapidly.

 

“Alrighty then,” she pulled open the tall painting, and bellowed at the houselves, “Clear a stove guys, I’m cooking breakfast.”





There you go people, tell me what you thought, I NEED FEEDBACK!! And thankyou, to everyone of you over 120 reviewers, who so patiantly gave me thirty second of your time. 
kisses
~*jenni*~

Chapter 18: Breakfast
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Hey guys, another day of slogging through this conundrum they call life, another chapter, another few hours wasted in school, another, err, yo get my point. So, here it is, Silver, Kbav, and jessy, U GUYS ARE ALL AWSOME(silver, 1sy reviewer on my 1st oneshot, HOW COOL IS THAT?). anywhoo, you guys just want the chapter right? Right...


 
Hermione looked at the awestruck faces of the few houselves left in the kitchens. With so few people in the castle, only a skeleton crew was needed for cooking, the rest were out changing sheets, cleaning fireplaces and preparing dorms for their soon-coming occupants. “What would miss like for breakfast?” a houself with particularly bright blue eyes asked.

 

“‘Miss’ would like an empty stove, a frying pan, a side of bacon, a few eggs, a loaf of bread, and some butter,” Hermione answered sweetly, “and I don’t want any of them to be cooked, except for the bread,” she added as an after thought. She hadn’t ever been able to bake very well.

 

“Right this way, miss.” The quivering blue eyed elf led her to an empty stove, the ingredients she had asked for coming from all corners of the kitchen.

 

“Thank you.” Hermione smiled sweetly at the elf that had given her the skillet, and then again at the one that handed her the side of bacon.

 

Jason and the elves watched as Hermione turned on a burner and plopped the bacon into the skillet, sniffing appreciatively when the bacon started sizzling. Soon a dozen strips of bacon were steaming on a plate, and the eggs would soon be frying in the grease. The bread slices were buttered lightly and put in the oven at a low temp; they would be toast soon.

 

Hermione was in her element, a white apron tied around her, and a spatula in her hand. “Now, elves and gentleman,” she declared, spreading her arms wide to gain their attention. “I give you, the egg.” Nimbly she juggled three raw eggs, before cracking them and plopping them in the big, grease filled frying pan. Next she pulled out a glass bottle of Worcestershire sauce, pouring some over each egg; the aroma was wonderful.

 

Next came the salt and pepper; these two were juggled in one hand as she lifted the edges of the eggs with the spatula, peering under to make sure they weren’t burning.  A neat dash of salt and pepper went on each egg, and then one after another the eggs were scooped off the frying pan, and placed on another plate.

 

Last of all, she swooped down with her oven mitts on and pulled out the cookie sheet of toast, stacking it up neatly on a third plate. Grinning, Hermione took a bow, sweeping off the tall white chef’s hat that had been perched jauntily on her head the whole time. Hermione turned off her burner and the oven, stacking her apron, oven mitts, and chef’s hat on one of the cool burners.

 

“I’ll wash the dishes when they’ve cooled,” she told the houselves, but they wouldn’t hear of it.

 

They were mortified enough at having watched a witch cook breakfast for herself and another; to watch her clean up too would be unbearable. The blue eyed elf assured her that a kitchen would be added on to the Heads dorm, and begged her never to come do that in their kitchens ever again. “Very well then,” Hermione sighed, giving up on S.P.E.W. once and for all.

 

Together she and Jason strolled outside, the fully stacked plates in hand. “Let’s go visit Hagrid.” Jason looked at her quizzically, but made no contradictions.  So they struck off across the grounds, down the hill to the little cabin at the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

 

They were greeted by the sounds of Fang’s booming bark, which made Jason shift till he was behind Hermione, instead of beside her. “Down, Fang, Down!” Hermione grinned like a kid in a candy shop when she heard Hagrid’s deep rumble. The colossal door opened, and Jason beheld the biggest man he had ever seen.

 

“’Ermione!” Hagrid bellowed, sweeping her into a bear hug.

 

“Hagrid, watch the plates!” Hermione gasped, “and it’s good to see you too.”

 

“An’ who’s this lil’ feller?” he asked, peering at Jason after he had set her down.

 

“Hagrid this is my little cousin, Jason. Jason say hello to Hagrid.” Jay shyly waved the hand that wasn’t clutching the plate of bacon.

 

“Come on in, I’ll fix us some tea.” Hagrid led then in, the big door swinging closed behind them. Hermione breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn’t mentioned his rock cakes. She didn’t feel like prying Jason’s jaws apart.

 

Jason and Hermione ate their breakfast and sipped tea with Hagrid from their bucket sized mugs. They left after eating, bidding adieu to Hagrid and wandering back up to the castle, Hermione carrying the stacked plates. With a wave of her wand she sent them flying back to the kitchens, and together they trudged up the many flights of stairs to their home tower. By the time they reached Gaia, Jason was ready to go outside and do something, and Hermione was ready to soak up some sun, too.

 

So Jason skipped up to his room and pulled out some toys, while Hermione got a book from her personal bookshelf, and a blanket. Then they were off again, down all those flights of stairs, and out onto the gentle green slope of the grounds. Hermione selected a patch of grass near the lake and kicked off her shoes and socks, letting her bare toes soak up sun too.

 

Jason was playing with his own little soccer ball, whilst Hermione opened Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, a book Jamie had given her that summer, but she hadn’t had time to read yet.

 

She was almost through the first chapter, First Sight, when Jason asked her if they could play. “Sure, sweetie,” she answered, regretfully laying aside the book, marking her spot with a blade of grass.  “Watcha need?”

 

“Passing?” he asked eagerly, kicking the small soccer ball to her.

 

“Sure.” Hermione stopped the ball easily; Jason couldn’t kick hard enough for her to need her shoes. Gently she tapped the ball back, careful not to use even a tenth of her leg muscles, she knew it would have been so easy to hurt Jason with a soccer ball, even before the operation.

 

“Ooh!” Jason kicked the ball back with all the strength in his small legs. The miniature soccer ball sped past Hermione, several feet to her left, and skimmed out to the lake. “Oops, I’ll get it.” He stared to move forward, before Hermione stopped him.

 

“No honey, that’s okay, I’ve got it.” Hermione rolled up her jeans and waded in, smiling as the mud squished up between her bare toes. “Ew, it’s squishy,” she called over her shoulder to Jason, as she reached the floating ball and rescued it from the water. He giggled at her observation. Hermione sloshed back onto the bank, tossing the ball for Jason to chase as she unrolled her pants and stretched out on the blanket, picking her book back up, and flipping to the grass marked page. Jason continued to play around her, and the book got better and better. It was turning out to be a really nice morning.

 

A pair of icy gray blue eyes watched from a lofty tower window, analyzing everything the duo did, and waiting for night to fall, when he knew she would come to him in search of answers.

 



Alright, so the ever wonderful Stephanie Meyer wrote the Awsome Twilight Series(to which i am addicted), and while i own a copy of each of the books, I do not actually have the copyright, or whatever. I'm not sure if  absolutly HAD to put that disclaimer, but whatever, gimme some feedback PLEAZ!!!!
kisses
~*jenni*~  

Chapter 19: Promised Letters
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Hello my peeps, this is unbeta'd, so bear with me on the spelling/grammer mistakes. I know the last chapter was kinda random, but i'm a random person, and well, if you don't like it, then there really isn't anything i can do about it. 
Anywhoo, i'll see you lovely people on the other side.




  
            She could feel his eyes, she could feel his eyes burning a hole into the back of her head, and then she felt his intense gaze leave her, probably to examine Jason, or to sweep the area. For some reason his stare did not make her uncomfortable, but rather she felt safe, one of her Blood Brothers was watching for her and her small kin, she was being protected. 

            Jason enjoyed the sunlight; the sparkling water of the lake was stretched out before them, its surface shining like diamonds were embedded into the deep green-black plane. Not a ripple distorted the vision; Hermione felt the unreasonable urge to jump in, to swim, to feel the water sliding past her long, strong, scaled bulk, to peer through the translucent water with eyes protected by clear lenses, to pursue fish to her hearts delight, to wrestle the giant squid, to…

            Hermione shook her head like a dog trying to get water out of its ears, she was endeavoring to shake these thoughts out of her brain; she really needed to talk to Malfoy soon. “Let’s head on in” she called to Jason, deciding that getting away from the water would help, it had to.

            Together the went in, Hermione sending the stuff up to their dorms with a wave of her wand before taking Jason to the Owlery, she still hadn’t sent her letter to Harry, Ron, and Ginny. Taking a quill and sheet of parchment from the box of writing supplies by the door, Hermione sank down to the dirty straw covered floor. Jason watched the sleeping owls with interest, most of then were back from their evening excursions, but as he watched, one very late owl swooped in with half a rat in its beak. “Pick one out for me please.” Hermione called from her spot against the wall, chewing on the tip of her quill, before remembering that theses were charmed to never need to be refilled with ink. Spitting the nasty black liquid out, Hermione began writing again, resolving to never forget that particular fact ever again.

            “This one” Jason cooed, pointing to a beautiful black owl with an iridescent blue-green shimmer to its feathers.

            Hermione signed the letter with a flourish, and glanced at the large owl perched above her cousin. “Sure” she sealed the letter with some of the cheap whitish wax provided, scrawling her initials into the soft wax with her quill tip.  “Hold this please young sir” she handed him the sealed scroll, making him giggle with her formal tone and words.

            With gentle words she coaxed the bird down onto her arm and with Jason’s help, attached the scroll to its leg. “Harry Potter” she told the owl, “He’s probably at the home of Arthur Weasly.” She looked into the owls sharp eyes, making sure it understood her.

            The owl took off with a low hoot, on silent wing it swept out of one of the glassless tower windows. “What makes it so quite?” Jason asked as they trudged back down the steps, this castle has way too many flights of stairs; they seriously need an elevator or something. Hermione thought privately, but out loud she answered.

            “The edges of their wings are covered with the softest feathers you’ve ever dreamed about touching. The underside’s the same way you see.” (A/N I’m pretty sure this is true, but if anyone knows otherwise, tell me so I can correct it, I don’t like false facts.).

            “Oh” Jason nodded seriously, before firing off on another round of questions, “Can I watch a movie?”

            “Erm,” she was thrown off balance, but came back quick, “sure, I need to do something anyway.”

            “Talk to Draco?”

              “As a matter of fact yes, I do need to talk to-” she paused, unsure of what to call her fellow head, “him” she finished, not willing to call him by his first, or his last name, she sidestepped that minefield.

            “Ah, what about?”

            “Some stuff”

            “What kinda stuff?”

            “Grown up stuff”

            “What kinda grown up stuff?”

            Hermione sighed, “You know this summer when I got my blood switched up?” she hadn’t been able to explain to him that she had had a bone marrow transplant. I mean how to you tell a kid that you have the core of some magical creature’s bones in your bone, and that blood is made there? How do you explain the basics of anatomy to a four year old?

            So instead she had just said her blood got switched out, which was true in a really basic, dumbed down way. “Yeah” he answered slowly.

            “Well the same thing happened to-” drat, there’s his name again, “-to our room mate, and I need to ask him some stuff about it.” Well, that’s pretty much it…

            “Ohh” he drew the single syllable out, “So can my eyes turn orange?”

            Shoot, how’d he pick up on that? He’s gonna be a quick one, well he already is, but when he’s my age. Hermione shuddered internally, but smiled down at him, “Maybe some day, but not until you’re older.”

            “Aww” but I wanna be like you an Draco, an all those others-“

            “You listened last night.” Her voice was sharp.

            Jason nodded, “You weren’t comin to bed, an I was scared.”

            “Oh baby.” Hermione scooped Jason up, holding him tight, “You should have waited up there, “I don’t know if Malfoy wants you to know some of that stuff.”

            “Is it innportant?” He asked, replacing the M with an N in his distress.

            “To me yes, but you don’t need to know it.” Hermione knew that if she made a big deal out of it he would be more likely to remember it than if she just shrugged it off. “I’ll ask Malfoy, while you watch a movie, and no more eavesdropping.”

            “What’s keys-dropping?”

            “Eavesdropping is when you listen to stuff you’re not supposed to.”

            “Oh, what’s the Dragon’s Court?”

            “Erg” Hermione knew the kid loved dragons; he had to if he wanted to live with Jamie. Of course he would pick up on the Court. She decided to be truthful, “I don’t really know, that’s somthin I need to ask about.”

            “Oh, can I listen?”

            “To what?”

            “To the Dragon’s Court.”

            “What about it?”

            “Auntie” he complained.

            “I don’t’ know, I’ll explain it when I find out some more.”

            “Promise?”

            “Promise what?”

            “You know.”

            “Fine, I promise, if” she stopped him in the middle of the hall and spun him around to face her, holding up one finger, “if you swear you won’t tell a soul.”

            “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.” He recited the simple rhyme that sealed promises.

            “Pinky” Hermione held up her pinky finger.

            Jason reached up his own pinky finger and linked it with hers, giving it a squeeze to seal the deal. “Promise”

            “Good, now come on scamp.” She ruffled his head and together they continued down the hall, toward the common room, and the answers they sought.


Okaay, so thats it, tell me whatcha think. 
kisses
~*jenni*~

Chapter 20: Questions
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Hi guys, I am currently not on the computer(i'm grounded and just snuck on), so updates might be kinda random until i get my grades back up, and am ungrounded(which should be soon). Anywhoo, just read it...


            Gaia watched them approach with her fiery eyes half lidded. “Blood sister, and small kin.” She greeted them as they drew level to her.

            “Gaia, wise one.” Hermione greeted her in kind.

            Jason on the other hand waved happily and called a boisterous “Hiya Gaia!!” 

            “Rite you will begin soon.” Gaia told her somberly.

            “Rite, what’s that?” Hermione dropped the dragon speak easily, far easier than before. She however didn’t notice this, her focus was trained on Gaia.

            “The initiation.” Draco’s voice came from behind them, causing them both t jump and spin around to face him. “Blood Brethren” he told Gaia, who uncovered the secret entrance, and bowed to him, before becoming stone again.

            “What?” Hermione ushered Jason in ahead of her, before looking sharply at her fellow Head.

            “I’ll explain in a minute.” He ran a hand through his silky platinum hair, ruffling it, and causing his bangs to fall gracefully into his silvery eyes. Hermione hadn’t noticed that he had stopped gelling it, nor had she noticed that once again he was shirtless, as she did now.

            “Are you ever fully clothed?” she asked impudently as the stairs beneath their feet began to shudder upwards.

            He surprised her by not making a rude comment, instead he answered her seriously, “I don’t like ruining my shirts with holes in the shoulders. It’s easier to fly without a shirt on, which will be a problem for you.”

            “How so?” she asked oblivious to what he was implying.

            “Well, unless you wish to show us guys what you’ve got Granger; I’d get a shirt with no back.”

            Hermione blushed furiously, mentally cursing herself for not realizing what he had been saying. And I left my halter top at home! “I’ll- I’ll go shopping in Hogsmead tomorrow.” She replied when she could speak again, the mortified flush that had colored her tanned cheeks was fading slowly.

            He nodded, “Can I come with you?”

            She just raised a speculative eyebrow at him as he opened the door to the common room, and held it open for her. “Thanks” she muttered, before adding in a normal tone, “I’ll get Jason settled, and be back down in a sec.” Jason was already scampering up the stairs.

            It took Jason several minutes to pick out which DVD he wished see, finally he settled on the Disney movie, Aladdin, and settled own on the sofa with a blanket. “I’ll be back soon” Hermione told him, ruffling his soft, dark chocolate curls as she left.

            “You promised” he called as she opened the door.

            Hermione paused, one hand holding the door open, framed in the doorway, with the golden light from downstairs illuminating her silhouette gently. “Yes, I did.” She after a moment of thought, and the door swung closed behind her.  

           ^*~^*~^*

            Draco was in the Head’s library, seated in one of the brown leather armchairs, idly tracing the pattern made by the decorative bronze studs on the front of the armrest, when she came in. “Took you long enough.” He commented without looking up.            

            “Well Jason didn’t know what he wanted to watch.” She snapped back waspishly, flitting between the bookshelves, trying to remember where the radio was. She didn’t hear his reply, or if he replied at all, she was too busy flicking through the CD collection. “What do you want to listen to, country, rap, rock, ooh Eagles.”

            “Rock?” He came up behind her, looking at the shiny discs, trying to figure out what she was talking about. “What the heck is Queen?” he asked, reading the title on a three disc collection.

            “Queen?” Hermione’s ears perked up at the mention of her favorite classic rock group.

            “Yeah, here.” He pointed to three CD’s in a silver cardboard box that kept the together.

            Hermione snatched the box, “Ooh Queen!

            “What is Queen?” he was confused to say the least.

            “Only the most awesome classic rock band ever. Hermione pulled out one of the three discs, “This is a three disc collectors addition,” she told him as she put the CD in. “Listen to this” Bohemian Rhapsody rocked out of the speakers.

            Draco listened to the long, complicated son with a bewildered expression, at the end he looked at her quizzled, “you call that music?”

            “Wait till you hear the third one, if you think that was wierd.” Hermione answered, as she walked back to the leather chairs.

            “What’s it called?”

            “Killer Queen.” He gulped as her eyes danced with mischief.                  

           ^*~^*~^*

            They sat down, listening to the second song, before finally Hermione asked, “What’s the Dragons Court?”

            “I’ve already told you, it’s what we call ourselves, it’s what we’ve called ourselves for generations.” He reached onto mirror bright face of the coffee table and lifted Blood Brothers, the story of the Dragon’s Court, off its overly shiny surface.

            “Not that infernal book.” Hermione groaned.

            Draco stroked the leather binding reverently, “You don’t wish to read our history?”

            Hermione looked at the book for a long minute, and then held out a hand for it, wincing as the weight of the old book settled onto her palm. Gently she placed the other hand on it, and threw the old tome into the crackling fireplace.

            “Now, now” Draco stood unhurriedly and strolled to the fire place, reaching in bare handed, and taking the book from the flames that licked around it. “That’s no way to treat the oldest known record of our small civilization, is it.” He turned back to face her, the book in his hands was undamaged, and his hands were unburned.

            “We can handle fire.” It wasn’t a question.

            “yes, we can tolerate high levels of heat, and to each other we feel warmer than humans, but to the humans themselves we feel no different.”

            “Say what?”

             “Feel my skin.” He proffered an arm, and gingerly she placed her fingers on the smooth pale skin of his wrist, where the blue veins that show through the thin skin there had turned red.

            “It feels like the warmth of a hardwood fire, its heat stretching far around it, comforting, but yet overpowering.” She whispered, more to herself, than to him.

            “And your skin has the heat of the sun warmed shallows of the lake, gentle and caressing, but with a cooler undertone that hints of danger.” He replied, his scorching orange eyes half lidded with concentration.

            Hermione met his burning eyes with her own for a long moment, before realizing that her fingers were still pressed to his wrist, feeling the steady pulse of his blood, her blood. Slowly she withdrew her hand, her treacherous fingers longed to be pressed back against his smooth, warm flesh, but she suppressed them, curling them into a fist in her lap. “How else are we different from-” she gulped, how odd to think she wasn’t one of them anymore, “humans” the word came out as a pained whisper.

            His tone was brisk and businesslike, which was good, she didn’t think she could stand a sincere apologetic voice right now. “We are taller, stand up.” Puzzled but obedient she stood, “I’m 6’4”, I don’t know if er, females of our race are as tall as males.”

            Hermione stood before him, “I’ve had a growth spurt since last school year.” She told him.

            “Not since school, since you got the operation. I’d say you’re about 6’1”, but you might not be done growing.”

            “Okay, so when I’m the tallest girl in Hogwarts, that’s why?”

            “Yes, the others are all 6’3”ish, so don’t worry, you’ll still be short to us.” He told her, grinning impudently.

            “And you’re the tallest, I take it, oh Lord of the Court.” She replied with light sarcasm.

            “Who told you that?” he was abruptly sharp, all traces of humor gone from his fiery orange eyes.

            Hermione gulped, oops.     


Okaaay, so I'm oober sorry it's been awhile since my last update, but could you pleeeaaaaaazzzzzz forgive me, and leave me a pretty post-it(aka review)? Luv you guys.
kisses
~*jenni*~  

Chapter 21: The lord hath come
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 Oh yeah, and We will Rock You is by the ever awsome  rock band Queen, and I am as of now ungrounded. Sorry for the wait, I had validation problems.




            Hermione watched him warily, her own eyes flecked with orange, she was ready to defend herself, but was also fascinated by the terrifying creature before her.  Draco Malfoy stood in front of the fire place, metallic black spikes protruding from his spine, his great leathery black wings tucked tight against his shoulders, out of his way. 

            Outrageously a sneeze built up in her, she could feel it tickling her nose, what would happen when she let it loose, when she returned his attention to herself, then what? Oh lordy, here it comes. ”A-achoo” it came out smaller than she expected, but it was still audible in the library, where the only sound was the Queen CD in the background.

            He spun, crouched as if to spring upon her, his fingernails were longer, and wickedly sharp, his eyes were the dark flaming orange, but no human intelligence remained in them. His pupils were fierce catlike slits, a brutal cunning shone through his blazing eyes, a cunning predating man. He opened his mouth, and out of it, in a guttural, barely recognizable voice, he repeated the question, “Where did you hear that?” 

            “Gaia, when you first came called you Lord of the Court, and it stands to reason.”

            “How so.” His voice was slightly more human, but still his posture was feral, as were his razor teeth, bared for her to see, along with his forked tongue.

            The only thing she could think of was to keep him talking, to calm him down, just as he calmed her that night in the garage, she hadn’t realized it at the time, but now she did, with startling clarity. “You’re the one who’s had this the longest are you not? So naturally you’re the most experienced, the strongest, the one who can handle things.” She was laying it on a little thick, and she knew it, but if it helped him tame this feral creature that had come from inside of him, she really didn’t care. “So, are you?”

            He looked into her wide eyes for a long minute, his untamed eyes probing her fearful ones. He didn’t like that that she was afraid of him, for whatever reason, and somewhere in his soul that clicked. Slowly, painfully, the transformation process reversed itself, his nails grew short, and neat again, instead of filed to vicious points they had been. The spines that had run down his back sank into his flesh, as did the winds, leaving faint, barely discernible scars where they had been.  His teeth changed, leaving his canines only slightly longer, and listing slightly more to a point than normal peoples.

            Only his eyes remained unaffected, they were remained the feral slits filled with brutal intelligence. “Yes” He straightened up, before taking his seat again, hiding his face behind one hand, placing the web between his thumb and first finger against his temple, and shielding his face with his fingers and palm. (A/n silver, he’s doing a Sam, the rest of you won’t know what this is, don’t worry, inside joke.) “I am the Lord of the Court, leader of the Dragon’s Court since Oliver Wood left.” He still didn’t meet her eyes.

            “Oliver Wood had Dragon’s Blood, more over, he was the Lord?”

            “You never guessed?”

            “No, well, he was tall.” Now that she thought about it, he was very tall, as tall as Malfoy at least. “I never would have guessed, but I only found out about The Operation this summer.”

            Malfoy nodded seriously, “I apologize for my inexcusable behavior.” He was very formal when he said that.

            His solemn words were words were greeted by a furious hiss from Hermione, “Don’t ever say that again,” she growled, her eyes just as orange as his.

            “What, why?” no he was confused, how did his apology trigger this?

            This was a spitting mad Hermione, her eyes flashing orange, and her long sharp nails piercing the leather. Her teeth were bared in an angry grimace, her long canines shining in the soft light of the library. Tears glimmered unshed in her eyes, but he knew she would not let them fall, she was stronger than that.

            “When my team, my la familia,” she used the Spanish words for the family, an endearment bestowed upon the Dragonesses by Maria, who spoke both Spanish and English fluently, “caught up with the worm, they made him apologize before my team and his. He spoke those very words, with oil dripping from his tongue, and malice shining in his eyes.”

            “Oh” was all he could say, dumbfounded by this sudden turn of events.

            “I’ve told you why that set me off, the least you could do is the same.” She was back to her old self, but something he couldn’t define still lurked in her eyes.

            “I-I just didn’t want you to know so soon, it’s hard to explain.”

            Hermione surprised him by chuckling softly, “You thought I’d think of you, or treat you different, am I right?”

            Draco looked at her, and them, almost grudgingly started to laugh quietly to himself, “Will you?” he asked as he chortled.

            “No” she said after a moments thought, “I’ll think of you different probably, but I’ll treat you the same if that’s what you want, Malfoy.” She added his last name at the very end, just to prove her words.

            “Well then thank you, Granger.” He replied lightly, before they lapsed into a companionable silence, until the second to last song on the CD came on. “What is this?” he asked after listening to the song for a moment.

            “We Will Rock You” Hermione answered, as if that explained everything, “here, go stomp, stomp, clap” she acted out her words as the same beat came on the CD. ”Left, right, clap, left, right, clap”

            Draco followed her lead, perplexed, but he found the beat enjoyable, and simple. ”So can I come shopping with you tomorrow?”

            “If you want, but why?”

            “I’m bored, and I’ll need to make sure the shirt will work.”

            “Whatever, hey, wanna go grab some lunch?” the suggestion came easily to her lips, more naturally than she would have ever thought possible.

            “Sure, go get Jason though.”

            “You act like I would have forgotten him” she muttered as she rose from her chair and went to get her cousin, “see you down in the common room in a sec.”

            “Very well then, Granger” He smirked the famous Malfoy smirk at her, and she stuck her tongue out in return. Both of them left the library grinning evilly, both thinking, well maybe this year won’t be so bad.    







Sorry it's been awhile, i'm FINALLY UNgrounded(everyone say YAY!!!! . R&R!!
kisses
~*jenni*~

Chapter 22: Lunch
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Hey guys, guess what, I GOT A PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!! Her name is Bella (lol Twilght fans!!!! ;-P) And she is tottaly adorable, and i love her to death. Now that that's out of my system, here's my next chappy, and i'll see you lot on the other side. Oh yeah, and i do not own Twilight, or Hary Potter, just thought you guys mught want to know that.


  
            Jason was unwilling to be pried away from his movie; it took Hermione several minuets of patient explaining to convince him that after it had been paused, it would stay in that spot for forever if you didn’t press Play. With the promise of lunch as an incentive, he was pulled off the couch, and his shoe laces were carefully double knotted. His hair was smoothed with loving fingers, and he was pronounced well enough to be seen in polite company.

            Together they sat down on the steps and waited for it the stairs to carry them down to the common room, where Malfoy waited. “Hiya” Jason was glad to see his friend again.

            “Hello small stuff” he answered, ruffling the kid’s carefully smoothed out, dark chocolate curls.

            “Let’s eat in the Room of Requirement.” Hermione suggested, as they exited, “you’ll like it Jason” she added, as he opened his mouth.

            “Good” he sounded satisfied, and something about the set of his mouth reminded her instantly of Jamie.

            Draco watched the pain flash across her face, but it disappeared in seconds, buried deep beneath a bright smile, and a swift declaration of hunger. After an internal debate, he decided to ignore it for the time being, instead he entered the conversation with the comment, “You know Granger, I’ve never been in the Come and go Room.”

            “Well you’re in for a treat; it equips itself with whatever the user needs.”

            “Really, I’ve read about it, but does it really work as well as they say?”

            “Oh yes, you’ll remember the DA?”

            “That little study club you lot had back in fifth year, how could I forget?”

            “Well that was the Room of Requirement; it really is an amazing place. Where did you read about it? We had to hear about I from a houself.”

            “One of the books in my family’s library has the details of the most concealed rooms in Hogwarts.”

            “Really, like what?” She became more animated at the mention of such a rare manuscript.            

            “Well, there was a chapter on The Chamber of Secrets. Ring a bell?”

            “Oh yes, and what else?”

            “Well, there were three whole chapters on the secret passages; you know there’s one behind the grand staircase, one of the stones-“

            “Will swing out, and there is a small passage behind it, leading down to the dungeons.” Hermione grinned at his dumbstruck expression.

            “How-when?”

            “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies.”

            “Oh come on, you can tell me.” Hermione giggled, Draco Malfoy pleading.

            “Fine then, but break my heart for I must hold my tongue.” She quoted solemnly, and laughed out right at his face.

            “Who ever thought of a dumb saying like that?” he spluttered.

            “Shakespeare” Hermione frowned at his disrespect, “only the greatest playwright ever, he wrote Romeo and-“

            “Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and many more.” He finished her sentence easily.

            “You know muggle writers”

            “Only the classics, To Kill a Mockingbird, Dune, Jane Austen works, stuff like that.”

            “Hmm, well who’d a thunk it?” she asked, her Texas accent making its first appearance since she got back. “Well, here we are” they halted in front of a bare patch of all, across from a tapestry of an ill fated ballet lesson. Hermione paced back and forth three times, and a door began to take shape.

            They entered, to find a simple, round wooden table waiting, silver domes covering the dishes. Steam wafted off the meals as they sat down and uncovered their plates. For Jason there was Macaroni and cheese, for Hermione shrimp gumbo, with crusty bread to dip in the spicy soup, and for Malfoy there was a steak, medium rare, with crisp green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, and a number of grilled shrimp in a red sauce over to the side. “Nice to see you kept it simple” Hermione commented dryly as she unwrapped her silverware from it’s white cloth napkin.

            “Hey, I’m hungry.” He defended himself.

            “Yeah, so get a good hardy bowl of gumbo” she answered as she tore a roll in two and dipped one half into her soup. “Try some” warily he took the other half of the roll and dipped it into the dish.  

            His eyes never left hers as he took a bite, and chewed slowly. “What is this?” he finally asked.

            “A Cajun muggle dish, I’ve got a great aunt in New Orleans who makes gumbo way better than this.”

            “Okay, so what is it?”

            “Erm,” Hermione stirred the soup with her spoon, “looks like this one has shrimp, some crab, ooh, crawfish,” she pulled a whole crawfish claw from the soup and laid it carefully aside for later, “some okra, some rice, a few basil leaves. Gumbo can have anything in it, during the depression it was whatever you could find, put into a pot with whatever spices you could find.”

            “All that goes into this?”

            “Sure, how’s yours Jay?” her question was greeted with a happy slurp. “That good huh?” Jason nodded vigorously, his mouth over stuffed.

            “So what’s this rite of passage, or whatever that I’m about to start?”

            Draco’s eyes were hard; “tonight will be the worst of your life.” He told her bluntly. She raised one eyebrow, a trick she had learned from Travis years ago. Malfoy recognized the expression, and almost choked on a bite of steak, with an inelegant gulp he swallowed, and coughed into his napkin. “You’ll be fine by morning, but you’ll be sick all night, fever, sick to your stomach, headachy, the whole bit.”

            Hermione’s eyes widened, “Will you take Jason for tonight?”

            “Sure, but, you may want me there to help you.”

            “Fine, but make sure he’s asleep before you come to help me.” He nodded, “Why will I get sick?”

            “It has something to do with the moon, and your first transformation, which was very impressive might I add, I saw it this morning. I’ve never seen someone stage a transformation so soon after they have The Operation.”

            Hermione digested this silently, and surprised him with her casual, “I just wish I had been green, instead of blue and brown.” She told him offhandedly.

            “I think it was more bronze, and what you’re wearing the first time you phase affects the color, as well as the element whose influence is strongest.”

            “So I’m gonna be some type of water dragon?”

            “You won’t control water, but where most of us are weak in water, you will be unaffected.”

            “Oh, so what element are you?”

            “The first time I phased, was about six months after I got The Operation, my father was beating me in his study, and an enormous fire was roaring in the fireplace. I fell on the hearth, and, it just took me. My mother finally got me calmed down, and she told me, my colors were black and silver.”

            “Cool, just like my mural.”

            “What?”

            “The ceiling of my room is painted with a mural of two dragons fighting, one is black and silver, and the other, a dragoness, is green and gold.”

            “Hmm” he was thoughtful, “My ceiling is like the Great Hall’s ceiling, charmed to look like the sky outside.”

            “Well that’s odd, but you’ll have to come look at the mural some time.” She blushed suddenly, realizing she’d just invited Draco Malfoy to come examine her bed chamber.

            “Sure” he replied mildly, graciously overlooking he blush.

            “Can I go watch my movie?” Jason piped up, he looked very bored.

            “Um okay” Hermione had almost forgotten he was there. “Are you done?”

            “Yes auntie, may I be excused?”

            “To go wash up, we’ll be done by the time you get back.” She took a hurried bite of her gumbo, the bowl was almost empty, she didn’t remember eating, but she wasn’t hungry anymore, had she really been eating that entire time?

            Maloy polished off his plate, as she mopped up the last drops of soup with her last piece of bread. Jason came back from the sink that had appeared for him to wash his hands and face in. “Shall we go?” he asked smoothly.

            “Yes, we shall” she stood, taking Jason by the hand; together the three of them left the Come and go Room. Gaia was taking a midday nap when they reached the entrance, and let them in without a word.

            Jason was soon happily employed with his movie, and the two Heads settled into the library for a peaceful afternoon. In silence they read, occasionally sharing something from their books, the overall atmosphere was peaceful. Around seven o’clock however, Draco carefully marked his place in his book, and looked at her, “It is time.”

Hermione swallowed, and put down Twilight, her intestines knotting uncomfortably as they together trooped up the stairs to wait out the night.


okay, i know it was short, the chapters will start getting longer after this, i promise!!! Now leave me sonthin pretty to motivate me to write a little harder, pleeeaaaazzzzzzzz!!!!! Luv all you guys bunches!!!
kisses
~*jenni*~

Chapter 23: The Rite of Passage
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Hey guys, here's another one for you, I hope you like it...


            Jason was sent to Malfoy’s room, He didn’t want to leave Hermione, but she made him pinky swear to stay on the other side of the bathroom the entire night. After sealing the door so he couldn’t break his swear and cross back over, Hermione turned to Malfoy, “so when does it start?”

            “When the moon rises, you’d best get comfortable, it’s going to be a long night.”

            Hermione nodded and went to her closet, closing the door behind her with a firm snap, not so much for Draco, as for her own peace of mind. It took several deep breaths to calm her fast beating heart, she didn’t like being sick, and knowing she would soon be sick made it far worse. She had just finished changing into her pajamas, when it hit.

            Her hand was on the doorknob, she was grasping it, when a wave of nausea washed over her. On the other side of the door, Draco heard her hit the floor, “Hermione” he called through the door, rattling the knob fruitlessly, she had locked it. Orange washed his eyes, the thick muscles of his arms, chest, and back tensed, and with a simple wrench, he yanked the door from its hinges, laying it aside easily. “Hermione” he repeated her name, and received a weak groan in response.

            Her body shuddered; he knew what was coming next… With a terrific upheaval, Hermione vomited all over herself, her closet floor, and Draco Malfoy’s toes. Resisting the urge to be sick himself, and trying not to breath the stench, Malfoy waved his wand vanishing the vomit. Gently he lifted her, ignoring the surge of pleasure that coursed through his veins when she snuggled her feverish body against his chest. She was cold, and he knew that his skin would be much warmer than a normal humans’, to her anyway. With one hard muscled arm he held her cradled her to him, as he drew back the covers with his other hand.

            Hermione nestled down into her covers, still shivering violently; it pained him to watch her body shudder as the fever ravaged her person. Battling with himself, he sat on top of the covers beside her, laying his warm hand against her burning cheek. She twitched, and then leaned against it, turning so her face was cradled in his palm. Coughs came ragged from her already vomit raw throat, weakly she tried to move her hand to cover her mouth, ever the polite one. A smile twitched at his lips, despite her discomfort, she would be fine, and most likely tell him off for staying with her instead of Jason.

            She was sick three more times that night, and each time Malfoy patiently cleaned it with a wave of his wand. When her nose ran he went and gingerly went and got one of the muggle Kleenex, and wiped her runny nose, all the while trying to convince himself that he would do this for any of his Blood Brethren. It was truly a long night, the hours ticked by painfully slowly, and Hermione suffered through her Rite of Passage.

            It seemed worse than either his, or Blaise Zabini’s, which he had sat through, as they were more like brothers than best friends, even before The Operation. Neither Michael Corner, nor Anthony Goldstein had described theirs as being this bad either or maybe it had just been too long, maybe he didn’t remember right.

            Another round of coughing from Hermione brought him back to the present, no; none of them had coughed, they had only thrown up and had fevers, and headaches. The coughs were violent, a painful hacking that made him wince just listening to them. The most painful part however, was knowing he couldn’t do anything about it, they all had to go through this, and the only thing he could do to help was vanish vomit, and be there for moral support.

            But no matter how awful the night, dawn will come, and come it did, with a new sunrise and a sprinkling of cool dew on the fresh green grass. Draco watched the sunrise through Hermione’s window, leaving her side only because she had finally fallen into a fitful sleep. As the moon fell below the horizon, Hermione stirred, coughing for the last time, and blinking at him through bleary eyes. “Is it over?” she croaked, her throat was still raw.

            “Yes, the sun just rose.”

            “You were right, that was one of the worst night I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the worst, not by a long shot.”

            “What was the worst?” she just looked at him with angry orange eyes. ”I guess I know” he murmured, ashamed at having forgotten what happened to her the summer before.

            “Could you watch Jason while I clean up?” she acted like she hadn’t heard him.

            “Sure”

            “and Malfoy”

            “Hmm” he paused at the bathroom door.

            “Thanks, for” what for? “-for everything” she finished, looking down at her bedspread as if fascinated by the cloth. ”I couldn’t have done this without you.” She was mumbling, embarrassed at her confession.

            “I’ll leave you to get cleaned up, and Granger.”

            She was still looking at her bedding, twitching like she wanted to look up when he said her name, but still her eyes were down. “Hmm” she tried to sound indifferent.

            “Anytime”

            She looked up suddenly, but he was already gone, through the bathroom and back to his side of the Head’s tower. Hermione smiled to herself and pushed the covers back, throwing her legs over the edge of the bed. She had a shopping trip with Draco to get ready for…   

 

And that’s it folks, except it seems a little short, maybe I’ll add just a teeny, tiny bit more.

 

            Hermione brushed her teeth, showered, brushed her teeth, rinsed her mouth with mouth wash, went and changed into jeans and the emerald and silver tank top that was her soccer uniform and them she went back and brushed her teeth again. “How many times did I throw up?” she bellowed at Draco’s closed bathroom door. 

            “Four times” he hollered back, “Are you decent?”

            Surprised that he asked, she called “Yeah, I’m dressed”

            The door opened, and Draco, in fresh jeans and a blue and white striped polo shirt. Jason still in his pajamas scampered through the bathroom, and wrapped his arms around Hermione’s legs, “Feellin better?”

            “Yep, get a shower kiddo, we’ve got a big day ahead of us.” Malfoy nodded to her, and closed the door on his side, smirking to his room at the thought of her in his colors.

            Jason showered, and was coaxed out of the bathroom so Hermione could brush her teeth again; she really wanted to get the taste of vomit off her tongue. Once Jason was dried, and dressed, and Hermione had, yet again, rinsed her mouth with mouth wash, they were ready to go. Together the cousins descended the stairs, in the common room Malfoy was waiting. He wasn’t facing them, but was rather contemplating the empty fireplace.

            He turned when they clattered down the stairs however, “An owl came for you, check it, and then we’ll go.” Hermione nodded, and went to where the sealed letter waited on the coffee table.

            “It’s from Ginny” she was exited as she tore open the envelope and read the words written on the parchment hungrily. 

                        Dear Hermione,

             Glad to hear that you had a good summer, ours was pretty uneventful. I’m sorry about your cousin, and look forward to meeting Jason, he sounds sweet. You’re so lucky; you get to share a dorm with the hottest guy in our fair school, even if he is an arse.

            The real reason I wrote is that Harry and Ron are going to Hogsmead for the remainder of term (all three days or whatever, I know), they don’t understand that you can take care of yourself. They think they’ll be needed to protect you, I know you’re the smartest witch in you’re year, but you know our guys, boys will be boys. 

            Anyway, don’t go too hard on them, but do get in a good shout for me, I’m sure this’ll be quite the scene. I’ll see you really soon.

                                                Love always, Ginny        

            Hermione’s hands shook with fury, “they think I need protection.” She hissed through sharp fangs.

            “What’s that?” Malfoy asked, he had gone back to studying the bare hearth.

            “Harry and Ron are coming to Hogsmead because they think I need protection” she told him, her voice shaking worse than her hands.

            “Protection from what?”

            “From you, of all people, I mean-”

            “Do they know what happened this summer, or what you are?” he cut her off in mid rant.

            “Well, no”

            “Then there’s your answer, they don’t have the whole story. Now are we going shopping or not?”

            Hermione grinned, “Let’s go”     


I know it was short, you don't have to tell me. But, if there's anything else you wish to tell me(like how awsome, or stupid I/my story am/is ) pleaz, Pleaz, PLEAZ, leave me a pretty little post-it in the box below this. It'll only take a second, and i promise I'll answer( eyes dart furtivly) sometime.  Luv you guys always. 
kisses
~*jenni*~  

Chapter 24: Blood and Banter
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Hi guys. New chapter, somemore Hermione/Draco chatting, enjoy it!!! Oh, and i know it's short, i swear they WILL get longer, eventually...


            The not so golden trio exited the castle, to find a thestral draw carriage awaiting them in the gravel drive. “You told Dumbledore I’m guessing?” Hermione raised her brows at him.

            “No, wily old geezer must know everything” he retorted, half wishing he could be as cunning as the ancient teacher.  

            “Don’t call him a geezer, he may be old, but you should respect the greatest wizard of our age.” Hermione’s snapped back waspishly.

            “What, Saint Potter isn’t the greatest wizard ever?” he was slightly shocked.

            “No” Hermione laughed, “Harry will be great one day, but right no he needs to work on his potions, if nothing else.”

            “I pride myself in my potions” Draco adopted a very dignified, rather snooty tone of voice.

            “Yes, well I pride myself on being able to take boys who’ve gotten to big for their boots down.” She replied in kind.

            “Well I’m hungry.” Jason interrupted the two teen’s bantering.

            “We’ll stop at The Three Broomsticks” Hermione promised as the carriage rattled down the road towards the small village.

            “What’s at’?”

            “A restaurant” Draco interrupted before she could answer, “Granger, where were you thinking of shopping?”

            “There’s a small shop of muggle women’s clothing, we’ll try there, worst comes to worst I write Jamie and ask her to send me something, I’d ask mum, but she might have a heart attack.”

            “What’s a heart attack?”

            “A muggle ailment, it’s often fatal”

            “Oh, why would she have one?”

            “Mom doesn’t know how I act in Dallas, she’s very conservative.”

            “Ah, so even Hermione Granger, The Muggleborn Bookworm is a rebellious teen on the inside.” He sounded extremely satisfied, but was confused by her grateful expression. “What?”

            “You didn’t say,“ she thought for a moment, searching for the right term, “that other word.” She ended finally.

            “You aren’t, your blood is just the same as mine, now anyway. No dirt runs in our veins.” He explained.

            Her face became hard, “So if I hadn’t gotten The Operation, you would have treated me different.” She stated flatly, Jason felt her stiffen beside him, and looked away from the window which he had formerly had his nose pressed to, his eyes were questioning.

            Draco’s face was pained; he didn’t want to have this conversation, particularly not in front of Jason, he leaned forward, his face was level with hers, and his mercury eyes were deadly serious “Listen to me, blood does not matter to me, it mattered to my father, who dictated my life until last summer, when they finally bundled him off to Azkaban. Now we can discuss this now in front of your cousin, or we can talk later, your choice.” He begged Merlin that she understood.

            Her sharp orange eyes drilled into his, “I won’t forget.” She hissed between her teeth, before turning to look out the window with Jason. He knew she had understood.

            Malfoy leaned back in his seat, knowing he couldn’t postpone this conversation for forever, but at least he could keep it from reaching Jason’s ears for a little while longer. He had grown up knowing he was above everyone else, knowing that he was royalty among his people, and then Hermione Granger had barged into his life.

            When he had first encountered her in first year, he had been scornful, of her house, her lineage, and her inexplicable talent for magic. He had worked to beat her; he had worked hard, only to come up second best, only to be beaten by her, and that entire sodding House she called her own. Then, for his twelfth birthday he had gotten The Operation, and it had changed his perspective entirely.

            He had entered The Court, and through the years proved to be the strongest of those in his year, but then again, he had had The Opreation the longest, Blaise had joined him later that year, and the others got The Operation the summer after third year. His Blood Brothers were all that truly mattered, and he tried vainly to forget the fiery muggleborn, only to have life come back and slap him in the face, literally. That was when he was certain that she would become a member of The Court, whether he had to pay to have a healer advertise The Operation where she would see, or not.

            He had decided that that plan was to risky shortly after fourth year, and had decided to just kidnap her and inject the blood creating bone marrow into her bones himself. But that hair brained plan was also discarded, not long after the beginning of fifth year. He had been working on a new plan since then, but nothing had come to mind since then, and now, with no assistance from him, she had found this obscure branch of magic, and gotten The Operation. No matter how blindly she had gotten herself into this, he would help her, just like he would help any other with Dragon’s Blood; at least he tried to convince himself that he would help her just like he would help any other newcomer to their way of life. 

            “We’re here” Hermione interrupted his musings, as the carriage stopped, and the door opened on its own accord.

            Jason was out the door before either of them could stand, scampering across the carriage, and clambering down gleefully. Hermione charged after him, pushing the slightly dazed youngest Malfoy back into his seat, “JASON” she bellowed as she leapt nimbly into the dusty street, hot on the heals of her small charge. He heard her call “Get your midget tush back here” as he exited the carriage more sedately than its other former occupants. Jason was laughing as he ran down the lane towards The Three Broomsticks, dodging joyfully around the early visitors to the sleepy village. “Jason Travis daBie” she roared as she sprinted, causing those that they passed to chuckle at the two, it was obvious they were brother and sister, or something of the like.

            Malfoy was watching them through questioning grey eyes, Travis, know why isn’t he named after her father or some such, why is her cousin’s middle name the same as my cousin’s first name? Interesting, very interesting... He pondered, smiling distractedly at Madam Rosmerta as she swept off the front step of her bar, dressed for the day, but still wearing her fluffy high-heeled house shoes, then he heard the echo of Hermione’s voice reverberating off the walls of the village buildings.. It was raised not in playful jest as it had been towards her cousin, but in actual anger, danger ringing in her every word. 

            “Ronald Weasley, get your hand OFF my Jason…”

            Oh Merlin… 




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Chapter 25: Nice to see you too
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Hi guys, hopefully this'll update before they cut off the quenu, iff not, well, you'll still read it eventually. enjoy!!!


          Draco dashed away, his nostrils flaring as he followed her scent. He could always find one of the members of The Court by his sense of smell alone, he was that good. The long muscles that stretched the length of his legs moved harmoniously, he could feel his wings aching to rip open, but he couldn’t let them. He knew he would move far faster, but there were to many witnesses, to many potentials for trouble, on his part as well as on Hermione’s.

            He drew level with them shortly, but didn’t rush in without thought, these were her friends, to speak with them would take diplomacy, and control. He had to remain in control at all times, Potter and Weasley would be instantly suspicious if his eyes changed color, or he grew fangs. But that wasn’t the only reason, whether she consciously knew it or not, Hermione, or rather the Dragoness inside her, would take her cues from him, the dominate male, the Lord of the Court.                 

          Hermione stood firmly in the middle of the street, her feet planted shoulder-width apart, but despite her rigid posture, he could see the miniscule shakes that rattled her form. She was on edge, teetering between exploding with rage, or breaking down with anguish. He wanted to step in, but was unsure; did she want to handle this herself? Could she handle this herself, they hadn’t noticed him, save for maybe Hermione whose nostrils widened, but she didn’t turn to him.      

            It was Jason who made up his mind, Weasley held the child by the arm, grasping him in a manner that couldn’t be comfortable. Jason’s eyes found Draco’s as he searched for a friendly, helpful face. His eyes were wide as saucers; his brown irises were molten chocolate, not cinnamon and honey like Hermione and Jamie’s eyes. His eyes were identical to Travis’s, mirror images of his cousin’s, his cousin who had known Hermione’s cousin all her life.

            Draco gave Jason a single nod, answering the plea shining in his eyes, the windows to his young soul. “Weasley, you seem to be hurting the child” he spoke calmly, stepping closer to the quartet.

            “Sod off Malfoy” Potter spat, not taking his emerald eyes off of Hermione.

            “Oh now I’m scared” sarcasm dripped from his aristocratic tongue.

            “Go to bloody hell Malfoy” Weasley shouted, yanking his watery blue eyes off Hermione, to focus on Draco.

            “Do not” Hermione’s voice was low, scarcely audible, but fury burned in those two low syllables.

            “Don’t what?” Ron’s voice was unimpressed, and condescending.

            “Do not” her volume rose fractionally, “talk to him like that, not where Jason can hear.”

            “Hermione” Harry’s voice was gentle; he spoke to her like she was a child who didn’t realize she was doing something wrong. “You know you’re defending Malfoy, right?”

            She turned her head slowly, appraising him through orange flecked eyes, the might not have noticed it, but the detail didn’t escape Draco. “Tell your sidekick to let my cousin go, and maybe we can talk about this like civilized people.” She told him flatly, Draco could feel her patience wearing thin, and he noticed she said people, not human beings, like he had expected her to say.

            Ron was alarmed; Hermione never defended Malfoy, or put him (Ronald Weasley, who was considered by many to be her future husband) down, at least not with that flat, hard tone that brooked no nonsense. “Did you just-just” he couldn’t frame the words, his throat was stuck.

            “My cousin, Ron”

            Jason’s arm fell from his stunned hand. Suddenly finding himself unsupported, the boy fell into the dust with a high pitched squeak. Hermione swept forward, stood the child on his feet, brushed the dirt off him briskly, and without a backward glance turned on her heal and strode away, Jason in tow. Sh paused three steps away, “Coming Malfoy?” she called, not turning to look at him.    

            Malfoy treated the two boys to one of his famous smirks, winked cheekily, and followed Hermione, not uttering a sound until they were well out of earshot. “Nice display, I’m impressed with your control.” He muttered in her ear, pulling her from her reverie.   

            “What?” she was confused.

            “You didn’t lose your temper, you didn’t shift, I’m impressed at how much control you already have. “

            I couldn’t shift.” She was still confused.

            “Why not?” now he was confused, as he held the door to the Three Broomsticks open for her and Jason.

            “Well I can’t exactly change into a Dragon right there in front of my friends now can I?”

            “You’re not supposed to, we need to keep our, er abilities secret, at least from the general public.”

            “Why, is The Operation illegal?”

            “No, but it’s such an obscure branch of magic, these transfusions, most people frown upon tampering with your DNA.”

            “Our DNA is altered?”

            “Yes, I’m guessing you didn’t realize this.”

            “No-”

            Just then Madam Rosmerta appeared beside their booth, still in her fluffy high-healed house shoes, but holding a small pad of paper. “What can I get you guy’s to drink?” she asked as she handed Draco 3 menus.

            “Tea, Earl Grey please” Draco looked at Hermione.

            “Coffee for me, and chocolate milk for the little scamp here.” Hermione pointed to Jason, who sat beside her, Draco sat across the table from them.

            “I’ll be back in a just sec.” She flashed a brilliant, rather toothy smile, and left in a flurry of clicking heels.

            “So what looks good midget?” Hermione asked, opening her menu and holding it where Jason could see.

            “That one” Jay immediately pointed to a huge pile of chocolate chip pancakes, maple syrup and butter dripped tantalizingly from the stack, made even more tempting by the actual movement.

            “Mmm” Hermione’s stomach growled as she studied the enticing moving picture, “I think I’ll split that with ya kiddo. I don’t think you can deal with that all by your lonesome.”

            “What’s that?” Draco asked, flipping idly through his own menu, examining a particularly handsome plate of French toast with mild interest.

            “The chocolate chip pancakes, second page.” Hermione answered, not looking up from the delicious image.

            “They do look wonderful” he sounded as tempted as she felt.

            “Are you gonna order em?”

            “Probably”

            “Well let’s just get the triple deluxe platter that should be enough for all of us”

            He finally looked up from his menu, “Really, you’d share a plate with me?”

            “Sure, no point in wasting money on getting us all separate orders, just get a large side of bacon and I’ll be happy.”

            “Me to” Jason chimed in.

            “Well how can I say no then?” he smiled at Jason, but his eyes met Hermione’s, they were grateful, whether she knew it or not, she had truly accepted him. Galleons were nothing to him, but it was nice to be included in the little duo.

            Madam Rosmerta returned with their beverages, and took their order of a huge pile of chocolate chip pancakes, and a large side of bacon. The three in their cozy booth chatted, watched the other breakfast customers, and conversed about their fellow classmates lightly. Hermione commented as a foursome of middle age witches entered and made a beeline for a booth as if they had had it staked out for years, “I never realized this was a restaurant as well as a bar.”

            “Oh yes, I’ve been coming here for years, Madam Rosmerta there is a friend of my mum’s from way back in their Hogwarts days.”

            “Really, she didn’t act like she knew you particularly well.”

            “Well she can’t show to much favoritism to a student now can she?”

            “I guess not” they lapsed into a companionable silence, until Rosmerta herself appeared, a plate the size of a turkey platter levitating behind.

            “Good to see you again Draco” she greeted him as she eased the dish onto the table with her wand.

            “And you too Miss Rose” he answered, “This is Hermione Granger, and her little cousin Jason” he added, gesturing to his companions.

            “How do you do” she shook their hands warmly, “but aren’t you usually Harry Potter and that Weasley kid?” she was curious, and fishing for gossip. It was something only a women and a very few men could detect, a change in tone, and a twitch in the eyes.

            “Draco and I are Heads together, we figured we’d best get to know each other, if we’re gonna spend the year in the same dorm.” she answered artfully, saying nothing that the barmaid wouldn’t have heard before, a diplomatic not answer.

            “Oh, how nice.” She smiled her toothy smile, “you two enjoy your meal then” she bustled away to serve another couple that had just walked in. 

            Hermione unrolled her knife and fork from their paper napkin, and began spreading butter liberally over all the pancakes. “she’s nice”

            “Yes, but she is a bit gossipy” he answered, unrolling his own utensils and beginning to help her butter the breakfast.

            “I noticed”

            “Don’t let it get to you, she’s like that to everyone.”

            “Pass the syrup please”

            He handed it to her and offhandedly remarked, “You called me by my first name.”

            “So”

            “So

            “I couldn’t very well call you Malfoy if we’re supposed to be acting all chummy now.”

            “So it was a business decision.”

            “Of course, purely business, no emotional ties to me whatsoever.” Her voice was brusque as she began pouring warm maple syrup over the stack.

            “If you say so” the door opened, bringing in a gust of warm summer air into the pub. Ron and Harry walked in, not noticing them as they sat at empty booth.    

            Hermione hissed lowly, as she cut off a bite of pancakes with her forks, stuffing it into her mouth. Jason was already eating with fervor, and a little apprehensively, he had never shared a plate with anyone, Draco took up his own fork and started on his side.

            They ate in silence, chewing and drinking without a word. Finally they were full, not a crumb of bacon remained, and very few drips of syrup adorned the enormous licked clean plate.  “They won’t have to wash this un will they?” Hermione told Jason.

            “Un uh” he shook his head seriously and wiped his sticky fingers with his even stickier napkin.

            “The bathroom’s are that way, go wash your hands and face” she pointed to the restrooms and stood so the kid could get out of the booth.

            Jason scooted out and scampered away, ducking around tables and people easily.

            “You’re gonna let him go by himself?” Draco quirked his eyebrow coolly.

            “Yes, unless you’d rather deal with Harry and Ron by yourself?” she nodded to her friends as they stood and began ambling over casually.

            “Ah” he glanced at the duo, and sipped his tea sagely, “I could, but I’d much rather not” his answer was serene.

            “Just what I thought, and here they come” she muttered as they approached the table. “Fancy seein’ you two here” she said louder as they drew nearer.

            “Nice to see you too” Harry answered as he and Ron crossed their arms over their chests.    





So that's it for now. Tell me what you thought, you know, just a few words, thirty seconds out of your day, I promise i'll answer it. Thanxs for reading!!!! =)
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Chapter 26: Just Leave me Be
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 I'll bet you guys don't really wannt to hear from me, but I'm just SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to be POSTING AGAIN, that I can't KEEP IT TO MYSELF!!!!! Yay, happiness, now read away, you know you want to.




           Hermione sipped her coffee and looked up at the two straight faced boys, “So watchya want?” her hands were wrapped around the mug, her fingers through the handle, holding it securely as she put her elbows on the table.

            “We want to know a few things” Harry’s voice was calm, in a barely controlled sort of way.

            “Okay, shoot”

            Ron was puzzled by the muggle saying, it was Harry who answered again, “Why are you with Malfoy, who’s the kid you had earlier, and why are you so tan?”

            Hermione glanced at her bare forearm with mild interest; she’d forgotten she still had her perfect Texas gall tan. “Malfoy and I are Heads together, I explained in my letter, we decided we might as well learn to get along, if we’re gonna share a dorm for the year” Ron’s face went hard as she mentioned that, his jaw was tenser even than Harry’s. “the kid is Jason, my cousin, who for reason’s beyond my control needs to be with me this year. His mother, my other cousin, and I play soccer together every summer over in the States. That’s where I got the tan, you pick em up in Dallas when you’re outside in nothin but a sports bra.” Her voice was casual, but she knew her final comment would make the boys uncomfortable, hopefully enough that they would go away.

            Sadly, it had the opposite effect. “You play topless?” Harry’s green eyes were flinty.

            “It’s hot, and humid, and how else are we supposed to play? Weighed down with sodden T-shirts like proper ladies I suppose?” her calm voice had a steely edge, she was reaching her breaking point.

            But Ron reached his first, “YOU LITTLE WHORE!! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU PLAY IN ONLY A BRA!!?!!?!!? I DON’T CARE WHAT SPORT THIS IS, THAT’S SICK!!!”

            Hermione stood up, the pub was silent, her eyes were burning orange, this time Harry noticed, even if Ron was too mad to notice, “Ronald Weasley, you will not speak to a Dragoness that way” her voice was gentle, and frightening as the barest hint of a growl entered her final words.

            “I’LL BLODDY WELL SPEAK TO YOU HOW I WANT TO!!!!” he howled, as Jason came back from the bathrooms.

            “DON’T TALK ABOUT MY AUNTIE LIKE THAT!!” he screamed, rocketing forward to attack Ron’s legs. Ron was as tall as Draco, but not muscled out; he was still as gangly as he had been at fourteen.  Jason punched Ron’s kneecap with all the strength in his four year old body, and kicked his shin fiercely.

            “OWWW” Ron bellowed, grabbing Jason by the back of shirt, hopping up and down, on his good leg.” Why you little fu-“

            “Don’t talk to my baby like that” Hermione snapped, standing and yanking Jason away, ripping the back of his shirt in the process. Malfoy waved his wand without a sound and the fabric rewove itself instantly, he had hoped to not draw attention to himself, by being silent he was unsuccessful.

            “And you.” Ron pointed an accusing finger at Malfoy, jabbing it in his face, “You leave our friend alone”

            Malfoy looked up slowly, his eyes were flaming orange “Excuse me?” his voice was soft and dangerous. This time even Ron couldn’t fail to notice the change in eye color.

            Hermione laughed mirthlessly, “Take your hand away Weasley, before you get it bitten off. Do you honestly think I’m still your friend after this?”

            “But Hermione

            “You threaten my cousin, you publicly humiliate me, you call me a hoe, and you expect me to stay chums with you? I guess you, like everyone else thought we’d be the perfect couple, you know that family that the Golden Trio would finally be. If Harry married Ginny, and I married you, and we all saved the world, and Sirius came back to life, Dumbledore finally broke down and spilled all his secrets, and rainbows and butterflies were everywhere, well guess what.” She took a deep breath, “My rainbow faded a long time ago, my butterflies have long since died, I have little I live for, and I love but a few. We were once friends, when I was young, ignorant, and innocent. That time has gone, now just leave me be.” She was shaking, with rage or tears she knew not which, but she was close to losing her meager control, and Draco could see it.

            He stood and placed a hand on her shoulder, “You’ve said your piece Weasley, now leave” his voice was a threatening, guttural sound, his eyes still flamed orange. He ushered Hermione out, Jason following, but not before flipping Ron and Harry the bird, a trick he had learned inadvertently from Jamie.

            The pub was silent as they walked out onto the street, so silent that as the door swung closed, from the street Hermione could hear Ron ask “What’s a hoe?”

            “Sorry” Hermione murmured, scrubbing away her angry tears with the back of her hand, and taking in a ragged breath.

            “For what?”

            “For letting the cat out of the bag, for spllin the beans, for letting that entire pub know our secret, and for publicly humiliating you, through my thoroughly humiliating former friends.”

            “Don’t worry, all that pub saw was a few teens fighting, and some cool magic tricks, and me with some sinus drainage in my throat. They didn’t see the wings, or the spines that are trying to poke through my shirt.”

            “Really?” Hermione reached without thinking and stroked her fingers down his spine, feeling the bony spikes that were his spines. Under her fingers they sank back into his skin, leaving her stroking the flawless muscles of his back beneath his shirt. Draco repressed a shudder of pleasure at her touch. “Oh” Hermione blushed, “let’s go shopping shall we?” she tried to put some enthusiasm into her voice, to hide the embarrassment.

            Draco hid his own feelings as well, “Yes, let’s go to that shop you mentioned.” Hermione nodded and led the way down the lane.

            Soon they were outside of a small shop, half a block away from Madam Puddifoots tea shop. Hermione had stuck her tongue out at the place; she was very much against pink, particularly the garish shade of hot pink that the place was painted. “You don’t like that place?” Draco’s voice was conversational as he held the door open for her.

            “No, to pink” she made a face, "It's like Barbie chewed bubble gum, and then threw up, what bout you?”

            “It’s okay.” She looked at him, eyebrow quirked, “girls like it.” He smirked, “I take most of my dates there.”

            “Urg, like I wanna know where you take your screw buddies. Speaking of which, if you have a girl, you will keep your bathroom door locked at all times, and she will not be in the common room longer than it takes her to dash up your stairs.”

            He was amused by her businesslike tone, “What makes you think I take my ‘screw buddies’” she could hear the quotation marks in his voice, “to my room?”

            “Like I said” Hermione told him as she examined the tops on a rack, “I don’t care where you take your screw buddies, but I don’t want to see them and I certainly don’t want Jason seein em” she pulled out a black halter top, adorned with rhinestones. “Would this make me look fat?” she asked, holding it up to her torso and turning to face him.

            “I don’t not know” Hermione smiled, recognizing one of Travis’s favorite sayings. “Try it on”

            Hermione hung the hanger on her wrist and moved on down the rack, “You’ve been hanging out with Travis way to much.”

            “I know” he held up a blue green one, a pattern of delicate black lilies was embroidered on it.

            “Ooh, I like that one” Hermione took it, and checked the tag, “But not the price” she handed it back.

            “Do you honestly think you’re going to pay for this?” he was offended.

            “I’m not going to take gifts, not from you, and certainly not shirts that cost thirty galleons.” She snapped, this was a sore spot.

            “Take it, you won’t get a Christmas gift” he answered, hanging it gently on her wrist, “For me” his eyes burned down into hers.

            “Aww, now I’ve got to get you a Christmas gift” Hermione whined, taking the tops to the dressing room, leaving Draco chuckling by the racks.                                    

^*~^*~^*

            Hermione exited the changing rooms in the black top with the rhinestones, “Watchya think?” she asked, spinning in a circle, so Draco could see her.

            “You have your bra on” his tone was accusing.

            “Excuse me you say that like it’s a bad thing.”

            “You know how stupid you look?”

            “You know how hoeish I’d look without one? This shirt don’t have cups.” She slipped back into her Texan accent without thinking.

            “This one does” he summoned the greeny blue with the black embroidery.

            “It’s expensive, if your gonna buy, then I’m gonna bargain hunt, this is half off you know”

            “Pur-leaz” he yawned, “I’m a Malfoy, don’t worry about it”

            “Whatever” she took the top from him and stomped back into the changing stalls, growling threats under her breath. “You’d better be watching Jason” she bellowed at him, disturbing the rather fat woman who was changing three stalls down from her. The fat woman left the shop in a hurry, not eager to be disrupted in her changing more than once.

            Draco glanced at Jason who was happily making club houses in the middle of the circular racks of clothes. “I’ve got my eye” his breath caught as she walked back out in the top, “on him” he breathed, taking in the sight of her.

            The light aquamarine fabric clung to her, exposing just the tiniest hint of her flat tanned stomach where it didn’t quite reach her low slung, dark washed jeans. She wasn’t’ as, erm, well endowed as some girls he’d seen, but she wasn’t flat as a board, not by a long shot. He cleared his suddenly tight throat with a brief cough into his fist, “spin” he ordered, and slowly she spun, stopping when her back was to him.  He stepped forward, gently tracing the hard muscles of her shoulders, his fingers light, and burning to her sensitive tanned skin. Her tattoo shimmered greenish as lighter that a moths wing his finger tips traced it, “This’ll do” he murmured in her ear.

            She shivered as her touched her, not sure if she wanted him to stop, or go on forever. “I like it” she told him, for lack of anything else to say.

            “Good, and you’ve got a tan line” he informed her, stepping away from her in an effort to curb the temptation.

            “Do I have to change? I kinda want to wear it, you know, break it in” 

            He thought about wandering around Hogsmead with Hermione dressed as she was by his side, “Sure” he smirked, he hoped they passed The Weasel and Prince Potter in the street.

            The cashier rang the shirt up, and even gave Hermione a bag for the shirt and bra she had worn in, but she also smiled a little too widely at Draco, and pulled the neckline of her blouse a tiny bit lower when they approached her counter. They left the shop fast, Jason scurrying happily behind them, chattering about a shirt he had taken a particular shine to(it had a red dragon with silver eyes, what can you expect?).

            “Well that was successful” Hermione commented, happy to have gotten just the right top.

            “I suppose, but now what?”

            “I’m kinda tired, let’s head back ho-to the castle for awhile”

            Was she about to say home? “Sure, the carriage should be waiting outside the post office.”

            “Oh good, I don’t want Jason to have to walk all the way back up that dreadful hill” Hermione looked fondly at the frolicking child, love shining through her eyes.

            Jason was several feet away when Draco scrounged up the courage to comment, “Oh, and you’re a liar by the way”      

            “Hmm” Hermione glanced over at him sharply, her eyes flashing orange momentarily, “Why do you say that?”

            Harry and Ron exited the post office not far in front of them, Draco’s eyes flashed orange also, “later” he growled, glaring at the two boys.

            “Along with everything else you need to explain?” She hissed back, but she too glared at her former friends.                

            “Sure, let’s just get this over with” he watched Harry stop and scratch the nose of the thestral that pulled their carriage. “Morning Potter, Weasley” he nodded at them briefly, opening the door and holding it for Hermione and Jason.

            Jason scrambled in first, and as Hermione turned her back to the three boys, in order climb in,  she was stopped by Ron’s jeering voice…”Hey Hermy, what’s that on your shoulder?”   

            “Weasley, I’ve already said it once, just leave me be

            “Or what, you’ll sick your little Slytherin on me? Do you really need his protection?”

            “No” her voice was low and vicious, the steely muscles that corded her back tensed as she stepped down from the carriage and turned to face him, her orange eyes blazing. “No, I don’t need his protection” she snarled, baring her sharp teeth, her hand raised slowly, her finger nails turning into razor claws. “I don’t need anyone’s protection

            She pulled her arm back to clout him, hand curled so he would get the full force of her sharp claws, but Draco caught it on the backswing. “No” was all he said, his eyes burning hers. A feral growl rumbled in her throat, “Blood sister” he hissed between his fangs, “as Lord of the Court I order you to lower your hand and disarm yourself his hissed words held authority.

            She glowered at him, and then turned to Ron and Harry, her glare was fierce with loathing, but she couldn’t disobey her Lord. With a sharp jerk she yanked her wrist from his grasp and spun around, climbing into the carriage without a word.

            “Hermione, since when do you answer to him?” Harry’s voice made her pause just inside the door.

            “Since things changed” she whispered so that the boys outside barely heard her.

            Silently Draco climbed in after her, and closed the door with a snap. With a jerk the carriage began moving, Draco watched Harry and Ron dwindle away through the window, before turning back to Hermione. Jason too was watching her curiously, his chocolate eyes wide and innocent, he didn’t realize how much had happened that day.

            Hermione leaned her head against the plush red velveteen seat, her eyes were closed, and under her summer tan she was very pale, her cheeks lacked their usual rosy glow. Draco suprised himself when he actually thought the phrase rosey cheeks. “I need to swim” she whispered to her companions, her lips barely moving, her eyelids not fluttering as the shadows played across her drained features.  



Okay, so that was it, notice how it was a little longer. Now everyone write me somthin, I wanna know what you thought. I LOVE ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO ACTUALLY READS THIS FAR!!!!!!! :-)


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Chapter 27: Swimmingly
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Ah, we meet again my friends, hello and welcome to the next chapter of the Dragoness, er, saga isn't quite the rightt word, but you lot get the idea. just a filler chappy pretty much, but enjoy it anyway.




Upon returning to the castle, Hermione recruited two houselves to entertain and watch Jason, changed into her bikini throwing her green silk robe on top, and put her new shirt away, all in rapid succession. “I’m going swimming, Jason is taken care of, and if you need anything you’d better talk fast Malfoy” Hermione was brisk as she pulled a fluffy white towel from a cupboard in the bathroom.

            “May I join you?” she snapped her head up so fast she hit the cupboard door, her expression startled, “in the swim I mean.” He added at her puzzled expression.

            “Whatever, but don’t expect me to wait for you” she was hurried in her answer, as she stood and exited the bathroom.

            “I’ll be right down” his breath was cool on her cheek as he leaned down to whisper in her ear.

            She drove her sharp elbow into his gut, “What have I told you about hissing in my ear?” she asked as she made her way to the common room, leaving a rather winded Draco behind her. 

            ^*~^*~^*

            Hermione was soon down at the lake, her robe and towel abandoned on the grass far below her. She was perched in the branches of a large tree that leaned off a hill and over the water somewhat. A single long, high branch stretched far out over the water, and tied skillfully around it was a long, thickly knotted rope. The rope was usually wrapped around the tree branch and out of sight, but now it swung loose, free of rot due to many clever preservation spells.

            Hermione pulled the rope up too her and wrapped her hands around it, she sat on the edge of the branch, her bare toes dangling in the air. With a whoop and a rush of air she scooted off the edge and swung out across the water, letting go of the rope as the swing reached its peak.  Gracefully she soared through the air and landed with a loud splash in the lake. Grinning and gasping for breath she surfaced, and began swimming back to where the rope dangled mere inches from the waters surface.   

            With wet, strong hands she hauled her dripping body up the rope, and rested on a particularly large knot. Her toes dug into a slightly smaller knot hanging below her. “I’m here” a low voice called from out across the water.

            Hermione watched Draco wing gracefully over the sparkling lake, his wingtips skimming the water from time to time, sending up fountains of liquid diamonds. “Over here” she called, waving from where she swung gently on the rope.

            “You look better” he commented, perching on the branch from which the rope swung.

            “Oh yes, I’m getting along quite” she thought for a moment and grinned, “swimmingly.”

             A smile quirked at the corners of Draco’s mouth, “Well that’s good to hear” he reached below the branch and grasped the rope in his hands.

            Hermione tightened he hold, expecting him to try and shake her off; instead he began swinging it a little more, making Hermione giggle on her improvised swing. “So how am I a liar?” she called up to him playfully, skimming her toes in the delightfully cool water, as he continued to swing her on the rope.

            “You know who Jason’s father is” he answered, not stopping the motion of the rope.

            She peered up at him for a moment, “I let it slip didn’t I?”

            “Jason Travis daBie?”

            “We’re related, through that little kid”

            “This summer, my cuz said you were his favorite of the Dragonesses.”

            “Shortly after Jason was born, I figured out the truth, Travis, Jamie and I held a meeting.”

            “Come up here”

            “What?”

            “Come up here, or do I need to come down and get you?”

            Hermione rolled her eyes and shimmied up the rope easily. “Happy?”

            He grinned at her exasperated expression, “Much better, now you Jamie and Travis held a meeting.”

            “We discussed, and decided that the only way Travis could see Jason was if no one ever found out, so it’s our secret.”

            “Who would keep them apart?”

            “My aunt and uncle would be angry, even angrier than they were when they found out she was pregnant.”

             “So how did ya’ll explain his name?”

            “Travis is our best guy friend; of course we would name the child after the boy who’s practically our brother.”

            “So will they get married?”

            Hermione glanced at him sharply, “They’ve dated off and on for ages, but I can’t tell you if they’ll get married when she graduates. Anyway, they’d have to wait till she’s 18.”

            “Why?”

            “Muggles go to school from age five to age eighteen; she’s friends with enough muggles that people will talk, even if she’s eighteen or nineteen.” 

            “Oh, it’d be like us getting married at sixteen, right?”

            Hermione blushed, and he realized what he had just implied, “I don’t know about us, but yeah, you get the idea.” She muttered, keeping her eyes down so he couldn’t see the confusion that lay there. 

            “Let’s swim” he suggested, hoping to relive some of her embarrassment.    

             It worked, “Okay, you’ve gotta try the rope first” she told him, reaching down and slowly hauling the rope up.

             “Er, sure, what do I do?” He grabbed the end as she pulled it up, and allowed her to rearrange his hands a little farther up.

            “Hang on” she answered, pushing him sharply off the branch.

            He swung down, and landed with a tremendous splash. “Why you little-“

            “Watch your language” she hollered back, sliding neatly down the rope, and gracefully entering the water. “I’ll scrub your mouth out with soap” she informed him primly, swimming towards him with a few strong strokes.

            “Oh yeah”

            She grinned back playfully, “yeah”

            He smiled and dove for her, tackling her in the deep water, in a tangle of limbs and laughs they sunk below the now turbulent surface. One of his hands was on her shoulder, the other gripped her arm, but beneath his warm palms he felt her skin grow slick, scales covering her body. She slid from his grasp with a deft twist and a devilish smile, before becoming a full dragoness and spiraling deeper into the water.

             He felt the dragon inside him begging to be released, it longed to shift, to turn his six foot three frame into over twenty feet of black and silver sinew and scales. But here, in the water where she was unaffected, he would be weakened. The dragon in his heart snarled in reply, the blood in his veins pumped harshly, oh crap. 

            He exploded out of his flesh, scales rippling across his skin, violently displaced water rushed around him, as he spiraled down through the water in hot pursuit. Hermione may have had the advantage of being unaffected by water, but he was the Lord of the Court, and as such, was far stronger than most of his kind. With a twist of silver and black scales he dove down into the murky water in hot pursuit of a particularly elusive Dragoness.  

            Hermione swam hard and fast, feeling the repercussions of Draco’s shift for human to dragon form, but he wasn’t at home here, at least not like she was. Tendrils of waterweeds brushed the smooth overlapping scales of her underbelly; she even heard the muffled squeaks of fear as she passed over a nest of grindylows. The merpeople watched her with distrustful yellow eyes as she sped past their crude cluster dwellings; the few that were out in the open ran fingers up and down the hafts of their spears and tridents, tense, and wary. But Hermione couldn’t be bothered by these mere distractions; even the sight of Moaning Myrtle floating gloomily on the wayside didn’t phase her. The giant squid waved its mammoth tentacles at her lazily as she swirled by, after their last encounter it wasn’t eager to tangle with the Dragoness. 

            Hermione tilted her course ever so slightly upwards; she would need a breath of air soon. The water above her began to lighten, signaling that there was a world of air and sunlight somewhere above her. She was aiming for the lightened disk that was the sun, when she felt the water around her ripple, he was coming. With a final fierce push she propelled her body to the surface… and flew through the air, a gloriously tanned girl leaping out of the water.

            Water rushed up in a fountain as she fell back into it, and Draco broke the surface, his wings straining to raise his enormous scaled bulk out of the lake. His tail whipped around and splashed water at her face, causing Hermione to duck below the surface to avoid the water.

            He hovered above where she had dipped below the water, now in winged human form, waiting for her to show herself. He was soon rewarded with a wet head breaking the still chaotic water. “Draco Malfoy you-“

            “Devilishly handsome and amazingly strong rascal, right?” he grinned at her irritated features. ”let’s go swing for a while” he called, hoping to appease her.

            It worked, to an extent. She was still rather huffy as she swam back to where the tree leaned out over the lake. Draco perched on the limb as she climbed up the rope, he couldn’t help but admire how well her lean muscles looked, dripping wet, and steely strong beneath her flawlessly tanned skin. “What you lookin at?” she snapped, hauling herself onto the branch beside him, and proceeding to pull up the rope.

            “Nothing” he answered firmly, receiving a yeah right look in return. Ignoring the look he grabbed the rope from her, and slid off, gripping her wrist at the last moment.   

            “You jack-” Hermione’s words got cut off by her scream as she was yanked into his chest. Quickly she hid her wet face in his chest, tensing for the moment when he would release the rope and they would fall into the lake.

            Draco felt he clutch herself closer to him, her face buried in his chest, her arms automatically circled around his neck to make her hold more secure. He liked that, he liked that she was pressed so close to him and that she held him tightly to make her feel more secure, safer. He wanted her to feel safe around him; he wanted her to be comfortable with him. He released the rope and wrapped his arms around her tightly, hoping to make he feel more protected.

            Hermione felt the rope slide from his hands, and squeezed her body tighter to his, resisting the urge to wrap her legs around his waist for more support. But the water never came, they continued to sail easily through the air, Hermione gathered her courage and peeked up at him, his wings were out, supporting both of them effortlessly.

            Draco noticed her eyeing his wings apprehensively, “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine” he whispered into her ear, angling their bodies so the drifted gently downward. Hermione looked at his face for a long moment, her expression difficult to decipher, and then she glanced at the slowly approaching water. They would land in the shallows near where their stuff was, but still, the sight of the ground so many feet below her made Hermione squeak and stow her face safely against his neck, her eyes tightly closed.

            Her breath panted near his ear, she was nervous, he would have scoffed if he could, as if he would allow anything to happen to her. They landed in a tinkle to tiny splashes, the water was only ankle deep, and the sand beneath their bare feet was soft. Hermione loosened her death hold on him, but he only loosened his arms marginally, continuing to hold her close to him.

            “Malfoy” she whispered, breathless, her eyes accusing, but yet confused.

            “Hermione” he breathed, dipping his face in closer to her. Her eyes cautioned him to back off, but he ignored the warning they held. Gently he lowered his mouth to hers, their lips meeting sweetly.

            He brushed his tongue along her lips, begging for entrance. Hermione didn’t want this, she was supposed to be icy, to love few, and she wasn’t supposed to be weak in the knees. All the guys she’d had that summer, not one of them had made her legs go all wobbly, she’d thought that she was immune to men’s charms. She was wrong.

            His tongue persisted, tasting the curve of her lips; she tasted intoxicatingly like cinnamon, and something sweet, vanilla maybe. She relented, opening her lips a fraction, and that was all his skillful tongue needed to push her lips open, and sweep the inside of her mouth. It was heavenly, sweet and cinnamon, and her tongue was just as skilled as his. He momentarily wondered if she would bite him like she had bitten Jack, but decided no to care, this was worth several bitten tongues.

            Hermione felt her wet body go limp against his, a feral sound rumbled in her throat as her tongue tangled with his, oh he tasted so good. He tasted like honey and evergreens, sweet, but still fresh. She loved how it felt to be pressed against him, her hands exploring the hard muscles of his back, his hands fingering her hair, and the tie string of her bikini top. She smirked against his mouth, the strings were charmed not to come undone, only the counter charm would undo her top, and she was fairly sure he didn’t have his wand.                                

            Her top wasn’t untying, but that was okay, she was smiling, or smirking, whatever, but he loved the way her lips curved against his. Finally they had to break it off, gasping for air.

            Daco rested his forehead against hers, noting with satisfaction that she was just the right height for him to do so without getting a crick in his neck. “Hermione” he breathed her name again, their noses were brushing each other.

            “No” she whispered, ignoring the part of her that wanted to fall against him again. She pushed her body off his, “I swore I would never fall in love” she whispered to him.

            “Don’t tell me you didn’t feel that” he protested as she pulled away from his arms.

            “Feel it, yes.” She told him, stepping further away, “but I don’t want it, I don’t want to feel anything for any man” her voice was breathy as she backed away from his outstretched arms. “Not any man” she stumbled when her heel hit the bank, but didn’t stop.

            Before Draco could take a step she had grabbed her robe and towel, and was racing away, shrugging on the robe as she sprinted. Draco felt the Dragon inside him fighting to be released, to chase her, to catch her, to make her understand he wasn’t just any man. But she was already gone, and Draco was left standing alone in ankle deep water, with Harry and Ron watching curiously from the trees.      



   hahahahaha, I laugh at you all, and eagerly anticipate your reviews!!! 
kisses
~*jenni*~ 

Chapter 28: Because of you
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Okay people, loophole, this is now officaially a Songfic, maybe the longest one in the history of the site, but still a songfic, now, the other important stuff...
Oh yeah, and sorry bout the wait. 
The wonderful song Because of you belongs to the ever awsome Kelly Clarkson!!! Everyone got that? Good. 
Next, the charactors do not belong to me either, except for a few OC's, and those are mine, all mine, so don't even think about takin em. 
Er, and other than that, enjoy!!!!!







            Hermione ran as fast as she possibly could, her bare feet slapping the ground painfully. The breath was ragged in her chest, and her legs, already tired from swimming, burned with exhaustion. Her long wet hair was a burden she wished she didn’t have to bear; why couldn’t she be like Dranna and has short hair; why couldn’t she have short cutely spiked, black hair? Was having short hair really such a bad thing? 

            Hermione shook her head, sending water droplets scattering into the dust of the castle driveway. No, she liked her hair, just not right now, but later, when it was clean and dry, then she would like it again, but until that happy moment… She would continue to wish for short hair.

            Hermione continued pounding up the drive, nearing the castle with each painful step. In three long strides she bounded up the steps, and was soon well on her way to the prefects bathroom. She could go to the Heads tower, which was even nicer than the prefects baths, but he would expect her to go straight back, he would just follow her there, and she couldn’t, she wouldn’t face him, not yet anyway.

            So she ran to the prefects’ bathroom, and crashed into the door. “oww” she whimpered, sliding down the door like a bug slides down a windshield. Hermione crumpled at the bottom of the door, when she reached the floor she proceeded to bring her knees up to her chest and place her forehead on them. I can’t believe that I forgot that I don’t know the password, idjit, stupid, mother effin…         

            “Miss Granger?”

            O great, not the Headmaster… “Yes professor?” she looked up and smiled sweetly, as if she was often found curled up on the ground in a fetal position beside bathroom doors.

            “Miss Granger, is there anything you wish to tell me?”

            “That I don’t know the password to the prefects’ bathroom and am contemplating blowing the door off its hinges?” it came out as a question, and a cheeky one at that.

            “Ahh” he looked serious, “what spell were you thinking of using?”

            “Erm, well I though impedimenta might work, but I wasn’t entirely sure. What do you think sir?”

            “No, these doors have a nasty retaliation for impedimenta, but I believe that that is not your actual problem. I am I correct n this assumption?”

            He looked at her with his twinkling blue eyes, a knowing half smile graced his lips. “I-I’m just confused at the moment.” She answered honestly.

            “I see, but not clearly. May I be so bold as to inquire about what you are confused?”

            “Erm, well sir, it’s Malfoy you see.”

            “I’m afraid I don’t see. I had thought you two were getting along rather well.”

            “We were, sort of. But that’s it, he’s being too nice, it’s confusing me. I’m supposed to hate him, but we met this summer while I was visiting my cousin in The Big D, (Dallas), and it started then, and I thought he would just act like it never happened, but he isn’t and-and, I just don’t get him.”

            “What do you not understand?”    

            “He’s hated me and my friends for years, and suddenly I’m having civil conversations with him, and defending him from Harry and Ron. And Jason likes him, so I can’t exactly tell him to bugger off, so it’s just all a tangled mess.”

            “Ah, you can’t put him in a neat little box anymore can you?”

            “Exactly” her orange eyes were excited by this development, “I’ve always known exactly where I stand with him, and now he’s going and muddling with every belief and understanding that I’ve built up.”

            Dumbledore looked at his young Blood Sister, “You didn’t know The Operation would mess with your life this much did you?”

            “Why is everyone telling me that?” Hermione’s voice wasn’t angry; it was resigned, and sarcastic.

            “Young Blood Sister, you rushed into this, you were so eager for strength that you didn’t think further than that.” She just looked at him, her eyes prompting him to continue. “Mister Malfoy is your Blood Brother, and your Lord, you will feel drawn to him, just as you will be drawn to your fellow Court Members. I myself had The Operation many years ago, but I’m not the one to speak to you about these things.”

             “Then who is, Malfoy?” she fought to not sneer his name.

            “No”

            Then who is it?

            “Professor McGonagall.”

            What!?!

            “She was the first female Court Member in Hogwarts; you should speak with her if you have any concerns.”

            Hermione thought of the formidable transfiguration professor, it made sense that she would be a Blood Sister. “I’ll be sure to do that sometime.” She assured him.

            “Well in that case I must be off, oh and I almost forgot, your four-wheeler is in, speak Madam Hooch when you want it.“ he began walking away, “And the password is lemon balm, if you were wondering.”

            He walked away sharply, leaving a flabbergasted Hermione sitting on the floor beside the door to the prefect girls’ bathroom. “Talkin to him is like an out of body experience.” She muttered to the air.  

            “Tell me about it” the suit of armor across the hall said in kind. Hermione looked at the suit of armor for a long moment, but it didn’t say or do anything else. Shrugging, she turned and told the door the password, glancing warily back over her shoulder at the suit of armor before slipping safely inside.   

            ^*~^*~^*

            Hermione closed the door with a sharp snap, carefully checking the dead bolt, it was locked. That little bit of business taken care of, she leaned her back against the door, an slid down slowly until she was resting on the floor, once again curled up in a fetal position at the base of the bathroom door, only this time she was on the right side.  

            After several minutes of indulgent self pity, Hermione stood back up, stretched her arms high above her head, and then ambled over to the enormous pool like bath tub; it was even larger than the Heads’ bath. Soon she had turned on a blue jeweled tap; it spewed her favorite vanilla scented bubble bath, a thick cream colored blanket of foam covered the surface of the steaming water as it shot into the pool.

            Hermione laid her still unused towel aside; it was only a little damp from being clutched to her as she ran. Next she shed the robe, and then she happily peeled off her lake smelling swimsuit. Slipping a little on the smooth, seamless marble, she made her was back to the almost filled bathing pool. The small diving board looked rather inviting as she contemplated how best to enter the water.

            The diving board would be nice, but right now she just wanted to relax and forget about the world, if only for a little while.  So instead she just lowered her body slowly into the water, and swam over to an underwater bench on the opposite side of the pool. It was there that she spent the next hour, soaking, and scrubbing away the lake smell.

            When she was positive she smelled of nothing but vanilla, Hermione pushed off from the bench and began to tread water. Gently she tilted he body back and brought her feet to the surface, floating peacefully, her eyes fluttering closed. She was the essence of repose, floating silently in the empty white marble bathroom, but it was silent, too silent. Her tongue darted out and wet her lips, trying to forget that his lips had been pressed against them not long ago.

            She sucked in a deep breath and parted her lips, softly beginning to sing one of her favorite songs.

I will not make, the same mistakes that you did.

I will not let myself; cause my heart so much misery.

            Draco entered the castle slowly, wondering where she could be. She might have gone back to the tower, but that was too obvious.

I will not break

The way you did, you fell so hard

            Hermione’s powerful voice welled deep inside her, coming out strong, and deep. It filled the stone covered room, reverberating off the walls; this bathroom had surprisingly good acoustics.  

I learned the hard way

To never let it get that far

            She had learned, she and jack had flirted all through that fateful summer before last. She had liked him, thought he was cute, sarcastic, but sweetish if he wanted to be.

Because of you, I’ll never stray to far from the sidewalk

Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt.

            Well that part was a lie, she had been devastated, emotionally and physically, but the emotional part hadn’t lasted long. To prove she wasn’t affected, she had chased and caught another known heartbreaker.

Because of you I find it hard to trust

Not only me, but everyone around me

            That wasn’t a lie, she didn’t, she couldn’t trust, not anymore. Travis and the team understood that, she trusted them more than she trusted anyone else, but she didn’t trust anyone completely. But they all knew they could trust her, she was strong, and could be counted on to use that strength when needed.

Because of you

I am afraid

            She was afraid, not matter how she tried to hide it. And she hated that, she hated the weakness that fear always seemed to bring with it. So she had made herself stronger, if fear came, now, even at her weakest, she was still stronger than most.

I lose my way and it’s not to long before you point it out

I can not cry, because I known that’s weakness in your eyes

            She couldn’t make mistakes, and least not on the soccer field. He always came to every game he could, making sure to call out her misses, and bellow her fouls to the referee. The Dragonesses creed was, it’s not a foul unless you get caught; well he made sure she always got caught. She hadn’t tripped anybody on purpose since the third game of the season, how dull was that?

            She couldn’t cry either, that was a sign of female weakness, you don’t cry where people can see. If and when she cried, it was in private, as was decent, in her eyes.

I’m forced to fake

A smile a laugh every day my lie

            Her fearless façade in front of him was just that, a mask of her true feelings, her true fear. She was still afraid of him, even that time in The Lair, surrounded by her sisters in soccer, she was still terrified. But she hid it well, only Jamie and Travis could see through her shield, but they would keep her secret, she had asked them to.

My heart can’t possibly break

When it wasn’t even whole to start with

            No, her heart had been whole before, before that night. But it wasn’t anymore; her first time had been forced, stolen one balmy Texas night. It had been in an ally less than a block from her aunt’s house, where she was comfortable, where she felt safe. She didn’t feel safe anymore, not anywhere.

            Draco wandered the halls, looking for her. His sharp hearing picked up the sound of her singing, he liked it. He knew instantly it was her, he knew her voice any day, but the song was new to him, he sat down against the door and listened harder.   

Because of you

I’ll never stray to far from the sidewalk 

            That was a laugh; she would purse dangerous men, heartbreakers, cheaters, boys who thought they were bad. She would break them; show the world the geldings they truly were, while she remained like an untamed stallion in a mare’s body.     

Because of you

I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

            Ha, she wouldn’t stay safe, not when so many women needed her help, not when she was strong where so many were weak. Her eyes were sharp in the night, always watching for those who could harm someone else, she wasn’t worried about her own safety. Her ears were keen, always listening for sounds of distress, always ready to go defend.

Because of you, I find it hard to trust

Not only me, but everyone around me

            Oh how she wished she could trust people, but she couldn’t, not now, not ever. She hated him for stealing her trust.

            Draco heard that, and heard the conviction in her words, even if the rest of the song didn’t apply to her, this at least was true. She didn’t trust, she didn’t trust him, or her cousin, or his cousin, she just didn’t trust.

I watched you die, I heard you cry

Every night in your sleep

            Ah, another lie, though what she wouldn’t give to see him crying? She would pay anything to see him on his knees, begging for mercy, and crying his eyes out.  She wanted him begging her for forgiveness, for mercy, she wanted him to be humiliated, oh what she wouldn’t give.

            He smiled at this, he too would give dearly to see Jack Martin on his knees, crying, begging.

I was so young         

You should have known

            Known what? Draco listened harder, holding his breath to insure that he would be silent. 

Better than to lean on me

You never thought of anyone else

            Ain’t that the truth, Hermione was nearly positive that Jack had never thought of anyone but himself. He was always lookin out for number one.

You just saw your needs

And now I cry in the middle of the night over that same damn thing. 

            Hermione‘s closed eyelids twitched, fighting to hold the tears in, she would not cry over him, not now, not ever. Her voice became a little rougher, but it suited the song, and it suited her.

Because of you I’ll never stray to far from the sidewalk

Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt.            

            Oh, she hated him, because of him she was afraid, strong, and trained not to show it, but still afraid.

Because of you I find it hard to trust

Not only me, but everyone around me

            He stole her trust, and she hated him for that too. She wanted to trust people, to be able to trust without thinking about it, but now, now every choice was considered carefully, cautiously studied from different angles. She was always alert for deception.

Because of you

I am afraid.

            She hated fear, her fear, others fear, fear in general, and him in particular. She wanted revenge, but how, how could she publicly humiliate him, she needed allies in this fight, people he didn’t know. Her orange eyes snapped open.

OoOooo

            Her voice descended on the last note, and she heard a muffled gasp for air from the other side of the door.  Swiftly she rinsed the bubbles off her clean skin and climbed out, putting on a fluffy white robe that had appeared with a clean, completely dry towel. As fast as she could she toweled herself off and wrapped her hair in the towel, and shrugged into the robe, barely noticing that it was made of fine Egyptian cotton.

            “Malfoy” she called, fumbling to unlock the door, “You there?”

            “Yeah”

            “You remember Jack Martin from this summer?” She heard him grit his teeth together, and exhale sharply. The door swung open to reveal his furiously burning eyes, and enraged expression. “I’ll take that as a yes. Listen, can you help me get revenge on him?”

            “How, and when?”

            “Over the Christmas Holidays, Jamie and I are going to a concert, and we’ll probably see him sometime, would you be up to visitin your aunt for Christmas?”

            Draco smirked evilly, feeling like a true Slytherin for the first time in a long time. “Count me in, I want to see him fall.”  









Ahh, the plot thickens, tell me watcha think. Yes, I know it's not as exciting as the last chappy, live with it, and I'll have another chapter up just as soon as this one posts. Love all you guys bunches!!! And I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sory bout the wait, it didn't validate 1st time through.
kisses
~*jenni*~

Chapter 29: Erm?
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Hi guys, sorry that tjhe last update took so danged long. Whatever, heres the next chappy, enjoy, and see ya on the other side. ^.^



            “So am I forgiven?” Draco asked, looking at her carefully, searching for signs of distaste.

            “For now” she told him, as she went back into the bathroom and began gathering her things. “I want revenge on Jack, and I need help so for now, I will forgive and forget.”

             “How can I help?” he bent and scooped her silk robe up off the cold stone floor.

            “You can befriend him, I need to know his weaknesses.”

            “I can’t yet, not till break.”

            “I know, but we can start planning.” She straightened, scanning the bathroom for her bikini bottoms. “Oh there they are” she said out loud, scooping them up and adding them to the bundle of damp cloth in her arms.

            Draco led her out of the bathroom, and together they began planning. “How do I meet him?”

            “He’s loaded; he’s kinda like an American you, only worse. So he’ll probably go to that concert, but concerts have thousands of people, hmm.” She lapsed into thoughtful silence, “You can meet him in the mall sometime.” She decided, I’ll have Jamie send me the blueprints, we’ll have the Dragonesses, and Travis with us, and maybe-”

            “I’ll be Blaise, Michael, and Anthony would help.” He cut in; she cut her eyes at him, skeptical, “hey, wait till you meet em before you judge em.”

            Hermione shrugged and continued down the hall she was around the corner before him, he heard her greet Gaia, and then heard the dragoness reply, her growling voice reverberating down the stone corridor. “Greeting Lord Blood Brother” she rumbled as he approached her stone being.

            “Gaia, Mother Protector.” He replied respectfully.

            “Blood Brethren” Hermione declared, she was ready to make sure Jason was okay. As soon as the way was clear she charged up the stairs, leaving Draco chatting with Gaia, and postponing the argument about blood that he knew they would have eventually. The door at the top of the stairs opened to reveal two exhausted houselves doing acrobatic tricks for a giggling Jason. “stop” she cried, causing one of the elves to try and halt in mid cartwheel. “Thank you both for watching Jason, if one of you could just tell me how he acted really quick I would be eternally grateful. Then you can go get some rest.”

            One of the elves piped up, “Young master Jason was very good, but master was most exuberant.”

            Hermione raised an eyebrow, “Jason go to your room” she said, not looking away from the elf. “Now, how did he really, act?”

            “Master Jason is very energetic” the elf said, sweat was trickling off his brow. “He is very excitable is master Jason.”

            “Ahh, we’ll work on that, thank you both. You may go.” The elves bowed in unison, and disappeared with identical cracks. Hermione followed Jason up the stairs, and ignored him as she entered her closet, looking for clothes.  

            “I wadn’t bad” he called to her, she could tell he was standing just on the other side of the closed door.

            “The elves were very tired Jay, what’id you do?” she called, fumbling with the clasp to her bra.

            “They just sang to me” he called back.

            “And?”

            “and they danced, and then they did a puppet show. And then a play, and then we played tag and then-”

            “Jay-son, they were exhausted, you’d run em nearly to death. Their just like you friends at home, you can’t play constantly, you’ve gotta take breaks”

            “What hausted mean?”

            “It means very, very tired.” She opened the door, letting him see her disappointed face. She was wearing a purple fitted t-shirt that said ‘If I throw a stick will you go away?’ across her chest, and stone washed blue jeans. Still barefoot she kneeled before him, looking the little boy square in the eyes, “Promise me you won’t do that next time.”

            “I promise” he shuffled his feet, his socks had bright yellow dump trucks, and lifting cranes on them.

            Hermione couldn’t help but grin at the sight of them, “Are those the socks I gave you?” she asked him teasingly so he knew she was done scolding him.

            He smiled back at her, “yep, their my favite”

            “You mean your favorite, right?”

            “Yep”

            “Come on squirt” she stood and ruffled his hairs fondly, “have you eaten yet?”

            “Nope”

            “You hungry?”

            “Yep”

            “Let’s go get somthin to eat.” She led him down to the common room, where the elves had put in a kitchen so she wouldn’t come terrorize them again in their own kitchens. All the appliances were brand new, stainless steal and beautiful granite counter tops. There was an island with three tall stools pulled up where you could eat on the counter on one side, and an oven on the other. The stove burners had never been used, Hermione got a tingly feeling as she ran her hand appreciatively over them.  “This is my kitchen Jay, all my own” she looked at him, her eyes shining.

            “What bout Draco?”

            “I doubt he cooks”

            “You would be correct in that assumption” He came in and leaned against the door jamb.

            “Speak of the devil” Hermione smirked at him, ‘What’d you boys want for supper?” she asked, opening the refrigerator and rummaging around, it was fully stocked.

            “Erm”

            “Spughetti” Jason cried happily.

            “You mean spaghetti.”

            “Yep, at’s what I said, spughitti”

            Hermione rolled her eyes at Draco, giving it up as a lost cause. “Sound good to you?”

            “Sure” he ambled forward and sat on one of the tall wooden stools, helping Jason up onto the stool beside him. 

            Hermione soon had noodles soaking in water, and burger browning on in a cast iron skillet. She was glad she had a cast iron skillet, all the other dishes were brand new, but good cast iron, well that was hard to come by. Hermione mused about how lucky she was to have such a skillet, as she merrily chopped an onion, and scraped the neatly diced vegetable into the meat.

            “Ew” Hermione was surprised that it was Draco complaining instead of Jason.

            “You’ve never had spaghetti have you?” she quirked an eyebrow at him, and she turned the meat with her wooden spoon, making sure it browned evenly.

            “It’s a muggle dish" he shrugged.

            Hermione bridled at the word muggle, but controlled her temper, “Well, the onions bring out the flavor of the meat” she explained as mildly as she could.

            “You can’t taste em” Jason explained sagely.

            “From the mouths of children shall come the truth” she quoted calmly, adding another pot to the stove, putting sauce into this one.

            “Who said that?” Draco wanted to know.

            “I dunno,” she tasted the meat gingerly, “Ow, that’s hot.” She chewed it over, “some dead dude, and this need’s something” she turned her back to them and rummaged through the wall cabinets. “Hmm” she read the label on a can of spice, and opened it, sprinkling a tiny bit into her palm. Swiftly she tilted back her head, and tossed the spice down; “mmm, perfect” she carried the can back and sprinkled it liberally on the meat.         

            “What’s at?” Jason pointed to the spice can, which was now floating back to its cabinet.

            “Spices, brings out the flavor even more, which reminds me.” She flicked her wand, and a salt shaker zipped into her outstretched hand. Salt was tossed over the meat, and then the shaker went beside the stove, she used salt in to many things for it to be practical to keep the shaker in the spice cabinet.

            Deftly, she turned the meat with her wooden spoon; made sure the spices were mixed in thoroughly, and threw the skillet full into the pan of sauce. The sauce was stirred, and the noodles cooked, and Jason was scolded for trying to lick the meat skillet, so basically all was normal. At least for Hermione, now Draco, well that was a different story.

            Draco had rarely seen a woman cook, sure, the wife went and ordered the meal from the houselves, but she didn’t cook, at least women of his social status didn’t. “You seem at home in the kitchen” he commented as she gingerly tested a noodle to see if it was done.

            “That’s cause I am.” She replied, glancing up at him, “Mom taught me to cook years ago, said it was a wife’s proper place in the home.” She nonchalantly stirred the sauce, and began rummaging in the drawers for oven mitts. “Jason, will you set the table? I think the silverware’s in there” she pointed to a drawer near him.        

            “Kay” Jason hopped off his stool and scurried across the smooth granite tile to the afore mentioned drawer, sliding a little in his construction equipment socks, on the slick tile.

            “Malfoy”

            “Hm?”

            “Will you pour drinks?”

            He was startled, she wanted him to intrude upon this tradition of the wife preparing the meal, she wanted him to pour them drinks? “Um, me?’

            “Well do you see any other Malfoys in the room? Don’t answer that, glasses are above me, and milk’s in the fridge, you can have what you want to drink, but Jason and I both need our 2%.” she was businesslike, putting the pot of spaghetti on a trivet on the oak table at the far end of the kitchen, and then turning to him and putting her still oven mitted hands on her hips. Her expression challenged him to come up with an excuse.

            “Erm, sure” he got awkwardly to his feet, and went to get three goblets from the cabinet above where she had been. It had an elegant cut glass door, so you could see the fine china, and crystal goblets within. Next he got the gallon of milk and carefully poured three goblets full, literally, full.

             Hermione turned around in time to see him pick up one in each hand “Don’t-”

            Too late, milk sloshed over his hands, icy cold, and onto the beautiful, slick tiled floor. Hermione rushed forward to catch one of the goblets, as it flew from his hand, only to succeed in slipping on the spilt milk!

            Draco leapt forward and caught her one handed, the other pulled out his wand in one smooth move, and levitated the other airborne glass safely back onto the counter. “Nice catch” she breathed, his face was so close to hers, his scent was making her dizzy. No, she wasn’t supposed to like him as anything more than an accomplice, an ally in her war against those who did her wrong. I do not like him, damn he smells good, I do not like him, ooh he’s so close, SHUT UP brain. Your talking to yourself, I SAID SHUT UP!! Nah-nah-neh-nah-nah .

            Hermione shook her head, trying to clear it of the two voices that were engaged in a fierce verbal battle in her brain. “Not so bad yourself” he murmured to her, his eyes darting to the chalice clutched in her hands, before wandering back up to her eyes.

            “Erm” she was still muddled from all the mental voices, “thanks” awkwardly she scrambled to get her feet under her body, struggling to become upright. Draco graciously helped her to stand, but wished she would stay in his arms for forever. Hermione was soon upright, but Malfoy’s hands remained around her waist, to ensure she didn’t lose her balance again.

            As soon as she was sure of her footing, Hermione moved away from him, losing the heat of his hands on her hips, and hating herself for regretting that loss. Draco muttered a spell, and the milk disappeared, leaving the floor spotless, while Hermione poured more milk, and ferried the glasses safely to the table. “Let’s eat” she sighed, wishing she had garlic bread, but to hungry to try and make anything else. They sat down at the polished round, dark wood table. “Jason, will you say grace?” she asked, sending Draco a stern glance when he reached for his knife and fork immediately after sitting down.

            Jason clasped his small hands in front of him, and bowed his head, Hermione did likewise, and a confused Draco followed suit. “God is great; god is good, let us thank him for our food, in Jesus name Amen.” 

            “Amen” Hermione echoed. “Jason, how much do you want?” she picked up his plate in one hand, and skillfully used a set of tongs to scoop up a pile of pasta. She dished up the spaghetti until he told her to stop, and took his plate back.  “Malfoy?” she took his plate and gave him a generous serving, before filling her own plate. “I just wish we had garlic bread” she sighed, twirling her fork expertly in her mound of spaghetti.            “This is fine” Malfoy told her, through a sloppy mouthful.

            Hermione giggled, “you twirl it on your fork, like this” she demonstrated, “If we were being really fancy I’d get out big spoons so we could shape our forkfuls just right.”

            He tried the alternate way of picking up the noodles, “Erm, it works”

            “Of course it works, do you think I’m an idiot?”

            “Um, no comment?”

            “Hey” Hermione sat bolt up right, her face indignant, wadding up her unused napkin, she threw it at him it bounced off his nose, sending Jason into peals of laughter. “I take offense from that”

            Draco laughed, and finally Hermione cracked a smile, “Well I do” she defended herself, taking back her napkin and pretending to wipe her mouth so they couldn’t see her wide grin.  

            The rest of supper passed lightly, everyone got seconds, and there were still mass amounts of spaghetti left over, to be put in plastic containers, and stored in the fridge. “Mm, leftovers” Hermione knew lots of things that leftovers were good for.

            “Auntie, may I be excused?”

            Hermione glanced at the clock above the sink, “Yes you may, now go wash up and get ready for bed” she told him. 

            “But what about a story?”

            “Alright, go wash up, and come back down here, I’ll tell you a story then.” Jason nodded eagerly, and scooted out of his chair, scurrying away to wash his hands and face.

            Draco helped her clear the table, “That was excellent” he told her, as she piled the dirty dishes on the short counter beside the sink.

            “Thank you” she began running hot water, and searching for the dish soap. “Have you seen a bottle that says Dawn on it, or any other type of dish soap?”

            “Why don’t you just charm the dishes to wash themselves?”

            “Because I like washing dishes, and because I’ve got a window above the sink, and window with an interesting view too, might I add”

            “Whatever, want some help?”

            “Nope, I think I’ve got it, oh here it is, little bugger” she waved the bottle of dish soap over her head triumphantly, and squirted some into the hot water, swirling the water with her hand to mix it.

            Jason pattered back into the kitchen, “story, Story, STORY, pleeease

            Hermione turned, soap bubbles coating her arms up to her elbows. “Sit down on the stool and listen hard, I’ve got a good story for tonight.”  

            “Is it bout you an Mommy?”

            “It is, it’s about us a long time ago.”

            “Really?”

            “Really, now are you gonna keep asking questions, or can I tell it?” He just shook his head. Hermione smiled gently, and turned back to the dishes, not seeing Draco settle onto the stool beside Jason, listening just as hard as the child. “Once, a long time ago I lived over in the states, in Dallas, just like you and Jamie, and Aunt Elissa, and Uncle David, and Travis, and all the Dragonesses.   Well, one Christmas my Dad decided to give me and Jamie football tickets as presents, and we freaked, we screamed, we danced, we sang, we tackled Daddy, and we lost our tickets.” Jason’s mouth dropped open, Hermione laughed to herself as she scrubbed the saucepan, “yup, we lost them amid the shuffle of wrapping paper, and so as our punishment, we had to drag all the wrapping paper out and did through it till we found em.

            You know how we sack all the paper up every Christmas, how we’re always so careful and neat, so we can save the world one bit of recycled paper at a time, well we tore those trash bags up. The three big trash bags stuffed full of crumpled wrapping paper were demolished by the time we were done, and the tickets were still lost. Now the living room was a mess, and we had to clean that up too, and now we were crying.

            Dad was calling the ticket office to get replacements, but it’s closed on Christmas day, and the game was sold out anyway. He was about to tell us this, when Travis started laughing at our red faces, and teary eyes”

            “That’s mean” Jason interjected.

            “Hush” Draco quieted him gently, “I want to hear the end”

            Hermione continued as if she hadn’t heard them, “He said he knew where out tickets were. We asked where, franticly begging, he teased us for ages, never quite givin it up. Finally, he told us to check our pockets. Slowly we reached into the pockets of our new Christmas pjs, and sure enough, there they were, a little bent, but it was our tickets.”

            Jason laughed happily, clapping his hands, “So did you go to the game?”

            “Yes, but that’s a story for another night, come give me a kiss, and then go to bed.” Obediently Jason hopped off the stool and went to her, kissing her cheek loudly, and then scampering away, calling night Draco on his way out.

            Hermione scrubbed away at the dishes in silence for a few minutes, “Don’t you have a few things to tell me?”

        Draco sighed, “Yes, but finish that first, we need to sit down”      Hermione nodded without turning, “I’m almost done.”     





Hello again, sorry if any of you were offended by the grace Jason said. It just felt wrong to have a dinner scene without havin a blessin, to me anyway. 
Thanx everyone for sticken with me this far, I'll update just as soon as they'll let me. 
kisses
~*Jenni*~

Chapter 30: Spell Circle
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Hi guys, sorry about the long wait, the backlog's bein kinda mean. You know how that goes. lol, oh, and I have a small anouncement for you guys...
 Hemhem, as of late my writing has come under fire, and i would like to clear a few things up, so lend me your ears, er, eyes. 
First, I do play soccer. I play on a coed team. WE play all male teams because we are the only coed team in our area. For years I was the only girl on above said team, and now I am one of three. 
Second, for those of you who have yet to figure this out, this story is rather AU, those of you who did not know this, you have been told. 
Okay, I think that's it, now on with the show...


    Draco waited for Hermione in the Common room; once again he was staring moodily into the flames crackling in the grate, and rubbing his sore neck. “Do you always light a fire? Even though it’s summer?”

            He glanced up at her; she was leaning nonchalantly against the back of his chair. “Yes, it creates an impressive effect, don’t you think?”

            “Mmm, if you say so,” she glanced down at him, his shoulders were tense. Gently she reached down and began massaging them, he flinched at her touch, but relaxed involuntarily as her strong hands rubbed small circles at the base of his neck. “You’re so tense” she murmured, her hands now kneading his muscles, trying to loosen them was like trying to soften rocks.

            “Ooh” he leaned forward so she could reach his back more easily, “a little lower, you’re a good masseuse” he noted, wondering how many other poor, dumped men’s necks had been treated to her fabulous hands.

            “Thanks” she smirked, and he could hear the smirk in her voice, she leaned down to his ear, “I get a lot of practice” she whispered, before straightening back up, and rubbing harder at the knotted muscles halfway down his back. “Alright, I can’t do anything for you until I can reach your full back.” She took her hands away, and the soreness instantly returned. 

            “What do you suggest?” he smirked at the fireplace

            “Lay down on your stomach”

            The bottom fell out of his smirk, “what, on the floor?”

            “Yes on floor, the hearth rug is lovely and thick, and your back needs to be walked on.”

            “What?”

            “Just do it” she ordered.

            Puzzled but obedient to anything that would ease his pains, Draco stood and walked to the hearth rug, laying down on it, and rolling over so he was belly down. “Like this?” he called up to her.

            “Yes” Hermione looked at him questioningly, and then stepped on his back, one foot on either side of his spine.

            “What are you doing” he panicked under her feet, making her spread her arms and bend her legs to keep balance.

            “I’m massaging your back now be still, or you’ll tump me.” Slowly, warily, he stilled beneath her bare feet, and she continued, shifting weight from one foot to the other. Then she went up on her toes and stepped one foot a little bit forward, rubbing with her newly placed toe, before stepping the other foot, and repeating the process.

            “That feels lovely” he hummed, his orange eyes half closed with pleasure.

            “Told you” she scolded, now working her way back down his back. Gingerly she stepped off his back, and said, “Now put your head in my lap, face up, and tell me about your views on blood.”          

            “I was raised to hate muggleborns and halfbloods, there’s no two ways about it.” Hermione’s hands tightened briefly on his shoulders, but said nothing. “but you’re no longer either, so it’s really moot point.”

            “You’re wrong” her voice was soft, and her hands never ceased their motion.

            “How so?”

            “You said muggleborns not mudbloods, I may not have their blood flowing in my veins anymore, but my mother still gave birth to me, and my father is still the one who held me when I took my first steps. I will always be a muggleborn, even long after I am dead and gone, or inducted into your little clique, or boys club, or whatever you guys call yourselves.”

            He swallowed hard, he had expected anger, but he never would have anticipated this voice. Her voice was so emotionless, so dead, that he almost shuddered, had he not been lying with his head in her lap he probably would have shuddered, as it was, he couldn’t move without alerting her. “You may be a muggleborn, but you’re still of Dragon’s Blood, and therefore you are my kin, your fight is my battle, your pain is my agony, your anger is my fury, we are linked by blood and the Court’s history, do not underestimate that bond” his tone was a warning, she still didn’t grasp how deeply, even intimately, they were connected.

            “Until I see it in action, with my own eyes, I will continue to underestimate this bond, as you call it.” She retorted, “You’ve had years to strengthen your ties to each other, I didn’t even know about this little club until this week.” Draco shrugged, displacing her hands briefly. “So I’ll ask again, what are your views on blood?”

            He tried hard not to look uncomfortable, “I have long thought of you as an equal, you’re strong, smart, and brave, your choice of friends notwithstanding, I’ve though of you as my equal since third year.”

            She paused again, and then shook herself from her reverie, “When?”

            “Hmm?”

            “When did you change your mind exactly?”

            “Oh, the day you slapped me.”

            “Huh?”

            “The day you slapped me, I was still new to the Court, my control was not yet perfected. I almost lost control completely, I had to avoid eye contact very studiously, you would have noticed, and maybe even those two lunkheads you ran with at the time.”

            Hermione let out a startled bark of laughter, “That was possibly the worst day of my year, and you pick then to finally notice me?”   

            He smiled wryly, “Well, it’s hard not to notice you, when you go around slapping chaps across the face like that” his voice was extremely dry.

            “Okay, but you weren’t distracted b my huge teeth, or even huger hair?” she looked down at him, grinning playfully.

            “At the time you looked like one of the Furies from Roman mythology, to me at least.”

            “The avenging goddesses, honestly, I’m blushing” she lifted her hands to her cheeks and turned her head as if to hide a blush.  They laughed together for a moment, and then she swung her head back around to face him, “Hey, aren’t they supposed to be ugly?”

            “Incredibly so, but I didn’t think you’d appreciate being called the vengeful angel, or some such.”

            “I’m no angel, that’s for sure” she mused, before slapping his shoulder gently, “you’re done, but if your back continues to trouble you, tell me” He rolled his shoulders, forward, and then backward, the muscles were relaxed, and the pain soothed.

            “Thanks, oh, and do you know anything about spell circles?”

            “Erm,”

            “I’ll take that as a no”

            “It’s a very obscure branch of magic” she protested,

            “And that’s not what you love researching” his tone dripped sarcasm.

            “I’m havin’ trouble, the library here has next to nothing on em, and my summers aren’t exactly lazy, an-“

            “Do you have an excuse for everything?”

            She thought for a long, rather tense moment, “Everything except the weather, I mean, I’m a witch, but I can’t change the weather, how dumb is that?”

            “So anyway, what do you know?”

            “That magic wielders who can actually use spell circles are very rare, and that those who can use them must train for years before they are proficient with them.” She glanced at him, and he nodded for her to continue. “And each spell circle is as unique as the individual who uses it.” She stopped, and showed no inclination to continue.

            “Do you know what they do? Or how they work?

            She blushed and muttered, “No, now bugger off”

            He laughed, “Do you want to see a spell circle?”

            Her eyes lit up, “oh yes, do you have a book, a diagram?”

            “I do have a book, but that’s not what I’m talking about.” He stepped into the middle of the common room, away from all furniture, and stood, his feet braced shoulder width apart.

            “Then what?” she moved to step toward him, and then noticed the floor.

            Around Draco, maybe eight feet across, etched in silver light on the flagstone floor, was a circle of light. He stood at the very of a large, seven pointed star, with a smaller circle at its center. The smaller circle ringed his feet, mere inches from his toes.

            He smiled at her; the pure joy shining on his face was illuminated by the silver light of his spell circle. His brilliantly flashing orange eyes danced, he truly loved the feeling of power he got when he used his spell circle. “Whoa” a soft, reverent voice made both of them turn toward the stairs. “Can you do that auntie?” Jason asked from where he stood about three steps up on his and Hermione’s staircase.

            “I don’t know Jason, can I do that?” She turned and addressed Draco uncertainly.

            “Well” the light faded from the floor, leaving it completely unmarked, as he scratched the back of his neck idly. “Possibly, I mean you’re certainly powerful enough, but you may not have The Gift?”

             “How’s this ‘Gift’ different from magic?”

            “The Gift is the ability to use wandless magic, though it has many branches, including The Sight, and the ability to magnify ones power using spell circles. It’s infinitely more powerful than, though I hate to call it this, ‘just plain magic’, so to speak. Though it is more common in those with the blood of a magical creature, such as you and I, it is still undeniably rare.”

            “How do I see if I’ve got it?”

            The spell circle lit back up, and Hermione took an instinctive step backwards, away from the sudden blinding light. “The test is simple, if you can step into my circle uninvited, without pain, then you can produce one.” Hermione nodded and took a cautious step forward, her eyes darting around the room, searching for signs of trickery. He held up a hand “You do not have permission to enter this circle unharmed.” Hermione looked at him, confused, and then nodded slowly, and continued forward.   

            She paused at the circle’s edge, taking a deep breath and bracing herself for whatever happened. Solemnly she stepped into the circle, and felt a burning sensation wash over her skin. She knew she should be burned, but the Dragon in her embraced the heat, still, even Dragons don’t bathe in magma, and she stepped back out of the circle swiftly.  “It burned, and for a second there I could take it, and then…” she trailed off.

            “Even you couldn’t stand the heat.” H finished gravely, disappointed that she wasn’t one of the chosen few who could wield a spell circle.

            “My turn” cried Jason, racing down the stairs, tripping as he skidded across the floor, and slid into the circle, only just retaining his balance. Hermione braced herself for the scream of pain she knew would come, and was already almost in the circle, before she actually looked at Jason.

            He was standing near Draco, looking around the circle excitedly, “So what now?” he asked, grinning, and swinging his arms happily.    

            Hermione looked at Draco, “No” she whispered, wanting to deny it.

            “It can’t be” Draco looked back at her, the circle fading away.

            “Aww nuts” Jason scuffed the floor with one bare toe, “I liked the light thingy.”

            Hermione’s jaw hit the floor in perfect sync with Draco’s, this complicated things, to say the least.    




Okay, kind of a shorter chapter, sorry about that. Sorry also for bein so beligerantup there at the top, I was venting, I shouldn't vent to you guys, but, it needed to be said. THe next chapter will be out just as soon as possible. Love all you guys who read, and love you even more if you review!!!
kisses
~*Jenni*~    

Chapter 31: Once upon a childhood
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Hey guys, it's good to be back. Yes, I know i'm drawin thisout pretty long, sorry, the back to class chappy is comin up. happy reading!!!


            Hermione was the first to recover, “Come on Jason, let’s go to bed, G’night Malfoy” she called, hastily ushering her cousin back up the steps, though not before sending him a deep, ‘You’d-better-explain-this-or-face-your-doom’ look.        

            Malfoy got the message loud and clear, and nodded, his expression screamed ‘we’ll-talk-tomorrow-for-a-very-long-time-cause-I’ve-got-some-explaining-to-do-or,-try-to-do-anyway’.

            Hermione hurried Jason up the stairs, and tucked him snugly into bed, kissed his forehead, and whispered “sweet dreams little mystery” to him, before turning to go, switching off the light as she left, and closing his door softly.

            Hermione turned on her radio, it was still on the country station, and Broken Wing by Martina McBride was slipping sweetly out of the speakers. Hermione smile was a little sad; this was her and Jamie’s favorite song once upon a childhood. Slowly she sank to the floor, as the bittersweet song brought back memories of hot summers, and long nights spent giggling together over ice cream and movies.

            She remembered the night they watched Titanic, the first and only time either of them would watch the painfully sad, yet beautifully preformed movie. They had curled up together and cried over their Double Dutch Bluebell ice cream, falling asleep with the evidence of their late night comfort food craving strewn around them. They had awoken puffy eyed, side by side on the rug by the fireplace, Hermione had still been clutching her spoon.

            Jamie’s parents had just laughed it off, saying they were only kids once, so what the heck. Hermione pounded the dark wood floor with her fists, yes, they had only been kids once, and now they were left, struggling semi-adults, in a world that still saw them as inexperienced kids. Jamie had had a child for heavens sake, and though she loved Jason more than anything, she was still effin seventeen, both of them were.

            Jamie should not have had to have a child before she was a teenager, and Hermione should not have had to endure rape ever, much less by someone she had known for most of her life.  Frustrated tears ran down her cheeks, as Hermione shakily stood, and made her way to her desk, where parchment and ink waited, willing to bear whatever burden she had to pen upon it.

            Tonight I find my mind drifting back to a time long past. Tonight I’m finding this life I lead particularly burdensome, tonight, I look at the stars, and hate that I looked at the very same stars when I was a child.

                        Children wish upon stars, the first star to shine brightly through the depths of night. They say that simple little rhyme, and wish silently, as the stars begin to pepper the sky, their innocent eyes wide as they examine the diamonds that are sewn so permanently into the blue black velvet drape of the night sky.

            But the stars are too innocent; they’re a symbol of a childhood long lost, a shining innocent reminder that I will never again join the leagues of poor mortals who wander so trustingly through this world, through this life. Never again will I walk the streets of the city I would prefer to call home without glancing over my shoulder, or listening carefully. I’m a statistic, a number on a page, one of those women who are totaled into a percentage, one of the blemished, no longer innocent ones.

            Once upon a childhood I could laugh without fear of being hurt, once upon a childhood I knew not what fear meant. Once upon a childhood…

            Her quill paused, and then the gentle scratching of quill nub on parchment started again, her thoughts pouring were out onto the page once again. She didn’t notice the tears that occasionally dripped onto her painstakingly neat, though growing progressively shakier, handwriting.

            I am no longer a child, I am strong, I’m a warrior in an unending  fight, no, I’m not a warrior, not a just a  fighter, I’m a solja girl, I will struggle on, and no one will stop me.

            Once upon a childhood I listened to the stories, the warnings, and thought I’d never be one of the unlucky few. No longer can I afford that kind of naivety, I am not naïve, I am no longer ignorant, nor am I sheltered. As long as I have breath in my body I will protect the weak, defend the hurt, and never, ever, let down my guard.   

            I her righteous anger, she stabbed the last period so hard she punched a small hole in her parchment. Looking at the small hole for a moment, she suddenly felt drained, she always felt this way when she wrote exactly what she was feeling, she had just poured her soul out onto a sheet of parchment, and she had every right to feel drained. 

            Laying aside her, now slightly crumpled from being grasped to tightly, quill, and rubbing her eyes with ink flecked hands, Hermione thought about what she had just penned. It was rough, but truthful, certainly not the best thing she’d ever written, but for now, it would do. She would burn it soon, she didn’t want anyone to read her innermost thoughts, but first, maybe she would get ready for bed. Then she could go to the library on the pretext of getting a book to read, and then accidentally drop it into the fireplace. Of course, if he wasn’t there, then she had nothing to worry about, but if he was, well, she could always wad it up and chunk it into the fireplace when he wasn’t looking.

             Quickly she went to the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth. Soon, dressed in some very short, lime green cotton shorts and matching white and lime striped tank-top, she descended the stairs to the library, the parchment wadded into a small crumpled ball in her hand.

            Lady Luck was with her, the library was empty when she entered, and Twilight was sitting innocently on the coffee table, beside it was Blood Brothers, the story of the Dragons Court. Hermione smiled, he must have left it out for her, and it was a new book. Instinctively she swooped down upon it, and settled down into one of the big armchairs chairs, she might as well know what she was getting herself into, and the parchment could wait till after the first few pages at the very least.

            She was on chapter three (Great Lords of the Court, their rises and falls) when Draco entered the library. “It really is interesting isn’t it?” she nodded without speaking, not wanting to be disturbed. “Are you surprised at how old The Court is?” she made a noncommittal noise in her throat; she really didn’t want to be bothered. Draco was tired of answers that weren’t words, “What chapter you on?”

            “Three” she muttered, her eyes never leaving the page.

            “Ah yes, tells you bout some of our greatest leaders right?” she shrugged. He frowned at her complete lack of response, surely she wanted to ask about some of the terms being used, or what he thought about this or that, surely she had something to say. “Do you understand all the terms, I mean-”

            “Yes” her answer was curt, and fast, he hadn’t even finished the sentence.

            “How?”

            “Glossary” she growled, she hated being interrupted when she was reading something she was as deeply involved in as this.

            “What do you think of chapter three?” surely she couldn’t answer that in one word.

            “It’s okay”

            Okay, so two words wasn’t a big improvement, but it was still making progress. “Who’s your favorite so far?” Ha, they all had names like Alfred the Mighty Lord of the Library (their greatest scholar, and original historian for The Dragons Court), it wasn’t possible for her to answer in under five words.

            “None of em” she snapped.

            Another word, next they could try full sentences. Then he actually thought about what she had said “Wait, what?”

            Hermione glanced at her page number, and then snapped the book shut angrily. “I said None-of-em, and incase you are unfamiliar with the term ‘em’ it is slang for them, I bid you goodnight.” with the book, and Twilight tucked firmly under her arm she stood and turned to leave, her nose in the air.

            His voice stopped her, “what’s this?” she turned automatically, to see the familiar, innocently crumpled ball of parchment in his upraised hand.

            “Noth-it’s nothing, just some spare parchment. Chuck it in the fire.”

            “Really, it’s awful heavy with ink, for it to be nothing.”

            “I’m serious, it’s just a scrap of parchment, now throw it away, or give I here.” She held out her free hand, praying he couldn’t smell her bluff.

            “If it’s nothing, then you won’t mind me reading it” he answered, starting to pull it open.

            “No” he grinned triumphantly, and she slapped her hand over her mouth, now you’ve done it genius.

            “Why don’t you like any of the Dragon Court’s past leaders?”

            “I-wait, what?” she hated that she was echoing him.

            “Why” he spoke slowly, as if she was a child, “don’t you like any of the Dragon Court’s past leaders?”

            Her eyes darted from the parchment in his hand, to his face, “Because” she chewed over her words thoughtfully before actually releasing them into the air, “they were all men.

            That wasn’t the answer he was expecting, “What?”

            “You heard me” her eyes were now flashing with fiery passion, she was about to get on her soap box so to speak “They were all egotistical, big headed, sexist men. Not once in the three chapters I’ve read has it mentioned women Dragons, and I know I’m not the only one, McGonagall was one, Dumbledore told me. Is this just a boys club that we, the fair, weaker sex are not supposed to know about? Should I go have the Reversal? Cause if that’s the case, I can owl my parents, and have the Reversal over Christmas.”

            Draco winced at the mention of The Reversal, the process that removed the dragon’s blood from ones veins, and forced thin, weak human blood back into passages that had adjusted for the thicker heartier blood of Dragons. The Reversal was supposed to be painful, to say the least. “No, you just haven’t gotten to the right chapter, here, let me show you.”

            Warily she handed him the book, “See, women won’t be mentioned for another five, six, seven chapters, not for another seven chapters.” mutely she looked down at the table of contents.

            “There are only eleven chapters, and women aren’t mentioned until the second to last one?” her eyes were incredulous, and hiding something. Suddenly she snatched the parchment, which was held loosely in his hand, angrily she threw it in the cherry red embers of the fire, and snatched the book back. “Thank you for informing me, now, once again, I bid you good night” with that she stalked out of the library, satisfied that her mission had been a success.

            Shaking his head, Draco pulled the ball of parchment out of his pocket, smoothing the creases out with his fingers, barely sparing a glance for the hastily crumpled sheet of blank parchment that was now burning. “Oh dear’ he muttered to himself, his brow wrinkling as he read what Hermione had so desperately tried to destroy.  “Once upon a childhood…”     




Okay, that's a rap, I'll send out another chapter just as soon as this updates, love you guys!!!!
kisses
~*Jenni*~

Chapter 32: Well, this chapter has no name, Sooooo...
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Hello again, I'M BACK!! Enjoy another chapter...
Oh, and I don't own the songs mentioned, Pat Green, and Rascal Flatts do, NOW, enjoy...






Hermione trooped roughly up the stairs, the books gripped tightly under her arm, and a scowl planted firmly upon her face. Idjit, it would have taken you all of two seconds to throw that in the fire, but no, you just can’t resist a new book now can you? And now you know that the majority of the book is taken up by spouting tributes about a bunch of egotistical men. Well it serves you right, and don’t you get huffy with me young lady.

            And now I’m scolding myself. Hermione rolled her eyes as she opened her door, it isn’t healthy to talk to yourself, even in your head, and she knew that, but did her conscience know that? That had yet to be determined.

            Rascal Flatts Me and My Gang was playing as she entered the dark room, and Hermione smiled at the lyrics, this was another favorite song. Way on down to southern Alabama, with the guitars jamin that’s why we’re here. Straight up to Beuton Montana singin Lord I was born a ramblin’ man, California to Oregon, Even New York City got one or two hillbillies ready to hit the road.         

      The room was dark save for the green numbers on her radio that showed what station she was on. But then, as if a lens had been placed over her eye when she blinked, she could see, and see well. Her eyes had not adjusted, not exactly; it was more like she suddenly had the night vision of a cat, or, a dragon maybe? This was something else he failed to mention, and compared to other, more pressing issues, the fact that she could see in  the dark really wasn’t that big of a deal.

            Making her way over to her bedside table, Hermione turned on her lamp, sure she could see in the dark, but it was just too strange, just one of those things that would bother her for a long time, and  then, eventually, she would adjust, and she’d never think about it again. Blood Brothers was placed on the bedside table, and Twilight was what she settled on for bedtime reading.

            Interesting though Blood Brothers might be, it was still heavy reading for a girl who just wanted to relax before going to sleep. She hadn’t been reading for two songs, when Jason’s door opened quietly.

            “Jay?” she called softly.

            “I can’t sleep” he mumbled, wandering into the warm yellowish light of her lamp.

            “Well hop up then” she pulled the covers back and let him snuggle down beside her. “Just let me finish this chapter, and I’ll put the light out.”

            “Whatcha reading?”

            “It’s called Twilight, Jamie said I should read it.”  

            “Will you read it to me?”

            Hermione glanced at her page number regretfully; she had less than a hundred pages left, before flipping back to the first page. “Sure, this chapter’s called First Sight” Her voice was steady as she read, but inside she was crying, this was something Jamie did with Jason, and she felt guilty, as if she was taking something from her cousin across the ocean.

            But none of her inner turmoil showed in her voice, instead she coolly read the first chapter, skillfully changing her voice for the different characters, putting on accents, and deepening or lightening her tone for Jason’s benefit. On the last page of the first chapter Jason’s head, which had been leaned against her for several minutes, began to nod. Hermione finished the last paragraph, “Let’s call that good for tonight” she murmured, stroking his dark curls, and closing the book softly.

            “Ohtay” he mumbled as she leaned over and put it on the bedside table, and switched off the light. “G’night”

            “Sweet dreams” she whispered as he curled up beside her, already half asleep. Her eyes drifted closed, as Dixie Lullaby by Pat Green wafted out of the radio, she fell asleep smiling.   

            ^*~^*~^*

            Draco finished reading Hermione’s parchment, his brow deeply furrowed with worry, she didn’t see herself clearly. Sighing, he shoved the crumbled document into his pocket, and began trudging back up his stairs.

            Hermione’s voice was drifting into his dark room when he opened the door, both of the bathroom doors were opened just a crack, and with his keen dragon’s hearing, her voice sounded clear in his ears. Silently he opened the bathroom door on his side, and listened as she finished the chapter and told Jason goodnight. The thin strip of light that escaped her room and into the bathroom disappeared as she turned off her bedside lamp. As Draco silently exited the conjoined bathroom, he heard the song coming from the radio, and smiled, Dixie Lullaby was one of Travis’s favorites.

            Quietly Draco too got ready for bed, careful not to disturb those sleeping in the next room.   

            ^*~^*~^* Earlier That Same Day, Yes the last several chapters all happened in one day…

            Hermione’s two former friends watched with interest as Malfoy slowly followed Hermione up the dusty path to the castle. Slowly they emerged from the trees where they had been hiding in the trees, what had jus happened?

            “Either I’m going crazy, or Malfoy just had wings. Now which is it?” Ron questioned his companion.     

            Harry, who had been staring out at the lake distractedly, was yanked back down to earth. “Well then I’m going crazy with you, cause he definitely had wings, and was a dragon before that too.”    

            “So what is he?” Ron asked with chagrin, “I mean with the eyes, and the voice, and the whole forma talk back at Hogsmeade, and now this…” he trailed off, realizing that Harry was again thinking.

            “Well” the emerald eyed teenager spoke slowly, thoughtfully, “whatever he is, Hermione’s one too. Remember, her eyes turned orange too, and her fingers went funny when she was about to hit you. Remember?”

            “I remember the fingers, they looked painful, but her eyes didn’t change, did they?”

            Harry resisted the urge to let out an exasperated sigh at his friend, “Yes when she was ranting at you in the pub her eyes were completely orange, and then later his were orange too, only darker, and-and…” he thought about the implications of all this.

            “So what are they?” Ron was still a little slow.

            “Some sort of animagus I guess, let’s go talk to Dumbledore”

            “Why?”

            “Cause he’ll know the answer.” Harry was confident in his mentor’s knowledge of anything, and everything, surely Dumbledore would have the answer.

            ^*~^*~^*

            Dumbledore looked at the two teenage boys over the top of his half-moon spectacles, his wise blue eyes twinkling with mischief. “Well gentlemen” he spoke slowly, gravely, “I suppose you could ask Miss Granger herself, could you not?”

            The boys were suddenly fascinated by the floor, and the toes of their sneakers, “Erm, well you see sir”

            “Yes Mister Potter?”

            “We’re not on the best terms with Hermione right now; you see what happened was…”

            Dumbledore coughed to cover up his chuckle, “If you are referring to the scene this morning down in village, then I have already heard.”

            “Then you understand why she won’t want to talk to us.”

            “I’m afraid I don’t”

            “You don’t”

            “No”

            “Ron called our best friend on earth a whore, you can’t understand that?”

            “I’d understand why she wouldn’t wish to speak with Mister Weasley, but I have not heard that you insulted her. Does she have a valid reason to not explain to you?”

            “Well it’s kinda condemnation by association, if you get my meaning.”

            Ron glanced up from studying his shoe laces, understanding that they were talking about him, but not quite getting the meaning of Harry’s words. He met Dumbledore’s calm, twinkling eyes, and quickly went back to staring at the floor, sure he didn’t want to know what they were saying about him.

            “I do see, but you should at least apologize.”

            Harry nodded, “I-we will, and you’re not going to tell us what they are, are you sir?”

            He shook his shaggy, silver head. “It’s not my secret to tell.”

            “Thank you sir, may we go?”

            “Yes, oh, and you might want to look through your Transfiguration textbook. Chapter thirteen is going to be particularly difficult.”

            Ron looked puzzled, but Harry just nodded, a half-smile on his face “Thank you sir, we’ll be sure to do that.”    

            ^*~^*~^*

            “What was that about the book?” Ron questioned Harry as they trudged back down to the village.

            “I’m not sure” Harry answered, while mentally trying to figure out where his new text book was.

            “Well that was completely useless then”

            “Dumbledore knows, he just can’t tell us”

            “Why not?” Ron demanded, outraged.

            “Like he said, it’s not his secret to tell, if we want to know we’ve gotta ask Hermione, or Malfoy.”

            “What about the kid?”

            “What about him?”

            “That kid that was with them, I’ll bet it knows something.”

            “Erm, I’m pretty sure it was a boy, you don’t have to talk about him like he’s a thing.”    

            “Whatever, let’s just find the kid and ask him.”

            “Even a little kid like that’s not just gonna spill. Not if he’s related to Hermione anyway, he’ll be smarter than that.”

            “So, we squeeze him till he squeaks”

            Harry was horrified, his best friend was suggesting they hurt the child just to get information, and he didn’t seem worried about it. Hiding his chagrin, he answered slowly, “Do you want to look all over this castle for him? I don’t, and anyway, I couldn’t hurt a kid, and especially not if he was related to Hermione.”

             “But this could be our only chance.”

            “No” Harry was firm; no one was going to get hurt in their hunt for answers. “And besides, we could just ask Hermione.”

            “Yeah, and all that’ll earn us is a slap across the face like Malfoy back in third year.”

            “It’s still worth a shot”

            “Whatever, but you’re going alone, I’m smarter than that.” Ron sped up as they entered the village, hurrying to the inn where they were staying till school started.

            Harry hid his grin of triumph, and followed his tactless friend into the inn.  




Anyone wondering about Ron? Do I have some vedetta against Ronald Weasley? Maybe, does he make a good antagonist, possibly, is there some other, crazier answer that you wouldn't beleve even if I tried to tell you? 
Well, we'll just have to see won't we? lol, review please, and aren't you proud that I got this one up so fast? 
kisses
~*Jenni*~

Chapter 33: Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
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Okay, and another chapter, hopefully in quick succession(sp?), are you guys proud of me? This isn't EXACTLY Dramione action, but it IS a little quality time, enjoy....


            Draco woke up the next morning to the sound of water running in the next room. Slowly he stood, stretching luxuriously, before rubbing the grit of sleep from his eyes with his fists. He didn’t have to listen hard to hear Jason giggling and splashing, and then the shower water started running too, so Hermione must have been in there too.

            Resisting the urge to indulgently fanaticize about Hermione in the shower, Draco gathered his clothes for the day, so he would be ready to shower as soon as the cousins vacated the bathroom. He didn’t have to wait long. Soon the shower water was cut off, and shortly after that the sounds of the tub draining swirled into his ears. Jason’s bare wet feet slapped the tile floor (he couldn’t imagine Hermione making that much noise when she walked), and the bathroom door on his side opened.

            “The bathrooms empty if you wanna bathe, but make it quick, if you’re gonna eat with Jay and me” She blushed, seeing that he was only wearing boxers, she just had a towel wrapped firmly around her body, but didn’t lower her eyes from his face.

            Draco smirked, “Well isn’t this a nice sight first thing in the morning.” He teased her gently.

            Hermione flushed, if possible, a brighter shade red, “Oh do shut up” she snapped, more aggravated than actually angry. “You’re making me feel like a paint chip.” 

            “A what?” he was confused.

            “It’s a piece of paper that muggle home improvement stores will have, it shows you different shades of a color, so you don’t have to actually look at the paint”

            “Oh” he was still confused, and trying hard not to show it.

            “I’ll show you one sometime” she promised turning and walking back through the steamy bathroom, to her own side.

            “Er, yeah, and I’ll be down in a minute” he called after her; she nodded, and closed the door on her side with a snap. “Testy in the morning aren’t ya?” he muttered to himself as he picked up his bundle of clothes and entered the bathroom.

            “I heard that” she bellowed through the closed door, he chuckled, good; her extra sensitive hearing was coming in. “and I’ll show you testy if you keep making comments like that.”   

            A brief shower later, Draco was dressed and down the stairs, he was in a hurry to see what Hermione was making for breakfast. The result of his rush was a little anticlimactic.

            He opened the swinging kitchen door, trying to appear calm and unruffled after his mad dash down the stairs, only to find Hermione and Jason chewing placidly on something that was in bowels on the island bar in front of them. “Cereal’s on the counter, milks in the fridge.” Hermione called to him, taking another spoonful of her breakfast, and not glancing up from that morning’s copy of The Daily Prophet.

            “What?” Hermione’s eyes flashed to him, and regretfully back to her paper.

            “I forgot, running down the stairs like that you sounded just like Jamie when she thinks I’m cookin’ breakfast.”

            Nothing showed on Draco’s face, but inside he cursed his bad luck that her hearing had suddenly developed, he had taken great pains to be as quite as possible while he took the stairs two at a time. “Get a bowel out of the cabinet and fill it with the cereal of your choice, and then pour milk over it” she instructed him, watching with amusement lurking deep within her eyes, Jason, giggled out right, unable to keep a straight face.    

            Clumsily he poured his bowel of cold cereal, and covered it with milk, taking a cautious bite of the muggle breakfast. “Soooo” Jason asked as he chewed slowly, and swallowed. “Whatcha think?”

            “Its okay” He answered diplomatically, “but it needs just a little sweetener.”

            Hermione choked on her coffee, squirting some of the hot liquid onto her newspaper in the process. “Oh crap.” she muttered, whipping out her wand and cleaning the paper with a soundless wave. “I’ll get you some brown sugar to put on it” she laughed a she got off her stool, making her way to the cabinets, still chuckling. 

            She soon returned with an unopened bag of brown sugar in one hand, and a piece of wire in the other. Neatly she opened the bag and sprinkled a generous portion over his cereal. She added some to her own bowel, and a few pinches to Jason’s, Jamie’s son did not take kindly to having the least amount.

            “You don’t need any more sugar; you’re hyper enough as it is” she informed the child briskly, as she tied the bag off with the thin strip of wire.

            Draco tried the sweetened cereal, and nodded his approval, polishing off the remainder of the bowel faster even than Jason. “So what’re we doin today?” he asked, handing her his bowel casually.

            Hermione took it and rinsed the last dregs of milk and soggy crumbs of cheerios out of his bowel. “Well first, I’m writing Jamie to ask if she’ll send some proper coffee, this is some of the weakest joe I’ve ever drunk.”

            “What?”

            “Joe, you know coffee.”

            “Okay, so what am I doing today?”

            “Writing the rest of the boys club and telling them that I want to meet them Friday night after the feast?” Her tone made it a question.

            “Sure”

            “Then what?”

            “I wanna get on my computer for a minute, and then I think Jason and I are gonna enjoy this sunshine for a little while.”

            “Your what?”

            “It’s a muggle thing, its how I talk with my friends back home” she answered him, her back still turned. ”So what are you doin?”

            “I’ll probably practice my keys a little, and after that, I don’t know.”

            Hermione didn’t ask what his keys were, instead turned back around and picked up her empty mug, refilling it, and taking a tiny sip. Her nose wrinkled quickly, and her mouth twisted, “erg” she sloshed the steaming brown liquid into the sink, spitting out her mouthful as she did, “I need to write Jamie soon” she told him, rinsing out the mug and filling it with water instead.

            Draco laughed at her face, and stood slowly, “Well, I’ll go write that letter then, shall I”

            His hand was on the swinging kitchen door, when her voice stopped him. “Malfoy” her tone was strong, but unsure.

            “Yes” he turned his hand still on the door.

            “If you wanna come with Jason and me, I think we’ll mess around on the four wheeler some and I’ll bet we can fit three on it if we try hard enough.” Her sentence trailed off, her voice uncertain.

            “Sure, I just need to write that letter, and then I’ll be in my room, just come get me when you’re ready to go.”

            Hermione nodded mutely, and he left, the door swinging silently on its hinges, Hermione hated that his exit left her breathless. But her reverie didn’t last long, Jason was soon pushing his bowel at her, “Let’s write Mommy letters” he suggested as she rinsed his bowel too.

            Hermione smiled warmly at him, “let’s write mommy letters” he led her up the stairs, throwing himself on her bed. Hermione followed, laughing, and seated herself at her desk, where her computer waited patiently.  

            ^*~^*~^*

            Draco had just finished his letter to Blaise, and sent it off with his impressive eagle owl, Joeshie. He smiled as she winged her way across the blue sky; it was going to be a gorgeous day. Regretfully he turned away from his window seat, and turned to the small room that branched off his own, it was his equivalent to Jason’s room.

            It was the same size as Jamie’s child’s room, but most of the outer wall was windows, and most of them were open, their black silk curtains fluttering softly in the light, warm breeze. The polished, rosewood floor gleamed under his bare feet as he approached the beautiful instrument he had brought from home.

            It was a grand piano, its ivory keys gleaming polished white against the black wood of the piano itself, and the black keys that rested between every other key for three keys, and then skipped one, and then surrounded on key. Another key was skipped, and it was every other key for three keys again, he loved the pattern, complex, but yet simple at the same time.

            Slowly he lifted the lid off the strings, about halfway up, to allow the sound to flow. His fingers danced across the keys, barely touching them, until finally he stroaked the middle G. The note slipped into the air, perfectly in tune, he breathed a sigh of relief. He had been worried that his beauty might have been damaged by it’s semiannual trip to Hogwarts. The instrument had been the only thing he inherited from his grandmother when she had died years ago. As a boy of nine years, he had thought it very stupid that he of all people should get a grand piano and even stupider when his mother put him through lessons.

            And then something amazing happened, he actually heard his teacher play the piano. Suddenly he fell in love with his beautiful instrument, and learned faster than any student Madame Ripsole (pronounced Rip-sole-y) had ever taught. By the time he was shipped off to Hogwarts for the first time he was writing his own pieces, and practiced constantly.

            His ceaseless practice indoors had made him paler than his usual complexion, and his never ending key strokes had made his fingers long and thin. That combined with his pale hair had made him rather sickly looking, but he had not cared, his piano had been shrunk and was safely in his pocket, he had not cared about anything else.

            And then that awful Weasley child had laughed at his name, he had been stressed enough for not having practiced in several hours, but then someone as low down as a Weasley had had the nerve to laugh at his name. He had been harsh, he could admit that now, and he had been overly addicted to his piano.

            His reactions to lack of practice had changed, grown more subtle, but his love for the instrument had not diminished. Finally he sat on his small, black leather, swivel stool. It had taken him years to master the art of playing the piano on a stool, now he didn’t even think about it, though he had been taught on a bench. The stool, he had decided, was manlier, and it looked cool.

            His feet pressed the pedal gently, and his fingers flowed over the smooth keys. Whoever invented the saying tickle the ivories hadn’t known what an understatement that was…      

            ^*~^*~^*

            Hermione opened the Word Processor on her screen, noting that her new computer had full internet access, which would be useful later.

            Her letter was long and chatty, describing the scene in the village, begging for real coffee, telling about the extensive DVD collection Dumbledore had gotten them, and teasing that she even had Music and Lyrics, the movie they had both recently christened their favorite ever.

            She typed her name neatly, and then set to work trading the letters for numbers.

            It was a code based on their cell phone’s keyboard, a number two for A, B. or C. a number three for D, E, or F, and so on. The code was immensely complicated, because each number meant one of three letters, therefore there were hundreds of chances of decoding it wrong. Hermione knew that Jamie would be ticked at having to spend her time decoding, but if Jamie was barely willing to spend time on it, how many dark wizards who had never seen a cell phone were likely to try their hand at it?

            She signed her name in numbers and printed the sheet off, grinning in spite of herself, it looked like a sheet of random, meaningless numbers. The code had been used by the Dragonesses ever since Dratama (Tamara Tensing) had gotten the first cell phone of the lot of them back when they were just ten years old.             

            Jason looked at the seemingly worthless sheet of paper for a long second, and then looked up at her, “four-wheeler?”

            “I’ll get Malfoy, you get dressed.” Jason had just put his pajamas back on after his bath.

            He looked down at himself, and back up at her, “kay” and he dashed off to his room, bare feet pitter-patting across the dark, smooth, hardwood floor.   

            “Merow?” a questioning cat noise came from the uneven piles of blankets on her unmade bed.

            “Hey Crookshanks” she walked over and petted the cat, scratching his cheek in just the right spot. The fat mound of squashy faced lovableness let out a deep, throaty purr that made her laugh. “See ya Crooky” she said as she stood, making a mental note to spend more time with her cat later.          

            ^*~^*~^*

            His fingers were flowing across the ivory keys as fast as they ever had, sweat was beading his forehead, and dripping down his bangs onto his fast flowing hands, his feet were pressing the pedals, making the music surge and diminish around him, and that was how she found him.

            He didn’t even hear her soft knock on his bathroom door, or her cautious footsteps on his bedroom floor. Nor did he listen as she gasped when she crossed the threshold of his piano room, the silencing that had been keyed to the door was broken when she stepped through the doorway, now the entire tower could hear his music.

            But he didn’t realize any of this, until he sensed her presence, and glanced up to see her standing awestruck, framed in the doorway. There were tears in her eyes.

            He immediately stopped playing, concerned, the abrupt end to his music brought Hermione back down to earth, roughly she brushed her tears away with the back of her hand, “It’s beautiful” her voice was choked, but her eyes were dry. 

            “Thanks” he brushed his fingers gently across the keys, and then closed the lid that covers the keys, before standing and covering the lid that protected the strings. ”I’ve had this piano for a long time”

            He stood and faced Hermione, who ran her eyes over his black button down shirt that was rolled up to the elbows, with the top couple of buttons undone, and his dark jeans. “You’re wearing that?”

            “What’s wrong with it?” he glanced down at his attire, he saw nothing out of place.               

            “Well,” she dragged the short word out so it sounded more like Wellllllllllllllll. “You usually get a little messy; you might want some dirty jeans and an old T-shirt. 

            He looked at her attire, a large, hole speckled, T-shirt, with the ties of her bikini top peeking out of the back of the collar, and short, cutoff jeans. Her legs stretched endlessly to the floor, where her feet were wrapped in dirty old tennis shoes that had streaks of bright red clay on them.

            She glanced down at her feet also, “We went muddin in the bottoms this summer” she shrugged, her eyes following his to the dusty red splashes.

            “What?”

            “We went muddin in the river bottoms”

            “What’s mudding?”

            “If you’ll get dressed, and we find some mud, I’ll show you.”  

            “What should I wear?”

            Hermione looked around his freakishly immaculate room, “Where are your clothes?”

            “What?”

            She turned back to him, hands on hips, “Would you rather go through everything you own and hold it up for me to say yay or nay on?”

            Mutely he pointed to his dresser.

            Hermione shuffled through his undershirt drawer, “You don’t have any T-shirts do you?”

            “That’s it in there.”

            Hermione rolled her eyes, “you’ll have to go shirtless then, cause these are all to white” she closed the drawer firmly, blocking the dazzling, pristine whiteness from her view.       

            She opened another drawer and found boxers and his swim trunks in it. Quickly she yanked out the swimsuit and closed his underwear drawer, “You could have warned me” her voice was very dry as she threw the swimsuit at him, “And I’m gonna swim afterward anyway, to get the dust off, so you might as well swim too.”

            He shrugged, “Jason and I’ll wait for you in the common room.” She called nonchalantly, returning to her side of the bathroom, and hurrying to check on her cousin, who was still trying to figure out what to wear.   

            He was deciding between his favorite socks, or a pair he didn’t mind getting dirty. Apparently it was a tough decision.

            Hermione stuffed him into the pair he didn’t mind getting dirty, and accioed his sneakers. She tied them briskly, firm double knots, and then took his small hand in hers, leading him down the stairs to the common room.  

            She examined the empty fireplace, clean off all ashes and charred bits of wood, while Jason hopped around from couch to couch. She knew she should stop him, but decided it would do no harm, the child was as sure footed as any mountain goat, and the dusty footprints were easy to clean off.

            Footsteps on the stairs made her turn to watch Malfoy join them, “Here” she yanked the oversized, holey T-shirt off and handed it to him. He eyed it, and its many dirt stains. “It doesn’t feel right that I should wear two tops, and you go shirtless.”

            He shrugged into the shirt; it was big even on his considerably thicker frame. She glanced at his feet, they were tennis shoes alright, but they were also Puma’s, and expensive brand to go four-wheeler riding in.

            But she didn’t comment, it would only serve to confuse him further if she did, so instead she waved her wand to clean the furniture, and led the way out of the common room.                      

            It took a few minutes to find Madam Hooch, and then another minute to convince her to give over the keys. It seemed that she had examined the ATV, and thought it a little too dangerous.

              But soon Hermione was leading them out to the broomshed, keys jingling as she bounced them from hand to hand. Malfoy smirked thinking of the many fun times he had had with his various adoring, female, fans, after practice, before practice, after games, and so on. The shed was larger, with a wide door that had not been there before.

            Hermione unlatched the wide door, and swung it open to reveal, not one, but two huge four-wheelers. One was camo, and the other bright yellow. “Which do you want?” she looked at Malfoy questioningly.

            “The camouflaged one” the long word fell awkwardly from his tongue.

            Hermione chuckled, “good, I wanted the yellow, and call it camo, it’s easier to say.”

            “Camo?”

            “Yup. Do you know how to drive?”

            “Not really”

            Hermione inserted the right key into the camo one and drove it out of the shed. She swung her long leg back over, dismounting easily, and leaving Draco speechless as the sun highlighted her sculpted, well tanned limb. “Hop on” she pushed her hair back, irritated that it was getting in her way. Awkwardly he climbed on in her place.

            Hermione blew a strand of her face, annoyed at the few, persistent hairs. “Now this is the gas.” She pointed to the right lever.

            “The what?”

            “It makes it go forward. Now this is the brake.”

            “And that does what?”

            Hermione yanked her hair back, roughly throwing it up into a pony tail with the black band from her wrist. “Scoot up”

            “What?”

            “I’m gonna have to teach you the way Travis taught me.”

            “My cousin?”

            “Yes, now scoot up” He scooted forward as far as he could. She climbed on behind him, and reached around him, getting as close as she could without actually touching him. Jason sat on the grass and watched them with interest, as Hermione taught him by example, having him watch her hands as she sped up, slowed down, stopped, and turned.

            She showed him how to shift gears, and then had him replace her hands with his, and watched closely over his shoulder. His starts and stops were a little jerky, but Hermione was satisfied, “You can at least sort of keep up.” She told him, “it just takes practice.”

            She climbed out from behind him, ignoring the fact that she had been fighting the urge to wrap her arms around him the entire time she had spent teaching him. Instead she climbed on her own four-wheeler, and revved the engine, enjoying the smell of gasoline, and the sound of the powerful engine beneath her.

            She came to a rolling stop in front of Jason, and patted the seat behind her, inviting him to ride with her, rather than Draco. Draco may be an adequate driver, but she still didn’t want Jason on the four-wheeler with him, he wasn’t that good, not yet.

            “Ready?” she called to Malfoy, as Jason gripped the lattice of bars behind him, his eyes wide and excited. Draco jerked his head by way of a nod, and they were off.

            They didn’t break for lunch till well after noon, they had been having too much fun to even notice the passing hours. Races across the lawns, speeding through a wide stretch of shallow lake water, dodging in and out of the first few trees of the forest, where they were spaced wide enough to do so. They had a few tense moments when Draco almost flipped himself, but he swung his weight just in time, and saved himself from being squished.

            Hermione taught him how to pop a wheelie, or was about to, when Jason tugged on her pony tail. “Hungry” he bellowed over the delicious growling of the engine.

            Hermione laughed and waved Malfoy over, “Jay’s Hungry, what about you?”

            “I could do with a bite”

            “Good, me too” she wheeled her ATV around and raced toward the shed. They rolled to a stop outside the shed, and Hermione cut the engine. ”Do you wanna come right back out?”

            “Duh” he answered, killing his own machine too, “you’ve still gotta show me how to do that thing where you go back on two wheels.”

            Hermione blushed, and scratched the back of her head, fiddling with her tied back hair, “it’s nothing, really, just a trick Jamie taught me when we were kids.”

            Draco laughed his face soft, “I’m sure, let’s go grab somthin to eat.”

            They were trudging up the steps, Hermione and Draco were even, each holding one of Jason’s hands, picking him up jointly, and putting him down, making the kid giggle as he bounced up the steps. “We’ve gotta go back to the common room, I’m not welcome in the kitchens anymore.”

            Draco nodded, and opened the great doors with his free hand.

            “I was thinking about spaghetti sandwiches, if that’s alright with-”

            “Hermione?”

            She turned slowly, standing in the drive was Harry, a heavy, leather bound book under his arm.



Okay, so that was it, tiny cliffy, how will Harry react huh? 
Well, find out next time, AND DON'T HATE ME FOR RON'S BEIN A @$#^&%^#!!!
kisses
~*Jenni*~

Chapter 34: Harry
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I'm tryin this again, it wouldn't let me send in this chapter last night, so we're givin this another shot. I just barely mention the song Days go By by Keith Urban, but there's the disclaimer, I'm not keith everyone, I don't own that song any more than I own Harry Potter. 
Enjoy, I'll see you on the other side...



            “Hermione, I know what you are.” His bottle green eyes intent on her face.

            But she laughed, “Harry, you sound like someone from a cheesy horror film” 

            He faltered, as Hermione motioned for Malfoy and Jason to go ahead, and leave her outside with Harry. “You switched out your blood didn’t you.”

            “More like my bone marrow, but I suppose you get the idea.” She casually breathed on her fingernails, and then examined them, her posture offhand, but her stomach knotting.

            “Cross Breed Transfusions are forbidden by most societies.”

            “But the Operation is not illegal.” She countered, her brain working furiously to figure out what he was getting at.

            “And Malfoy’s one too?”

            “Yes” she answered slowly, cautious of how much she was allowed to reveal. 

            “But there are others”

            “Three besides him and me, in our year at least.”

            “Do I know them?”

            “Probably”

            “You’ve changed” it wasn’t a question.

            “No”

            “No?”

            “No” He raised his black brows; she noticed that he really needed to start plucking them, which made her wonder how bad her own eyebrows were. But anyway, he raised his eyebrows questioningly. “I haven’t changed; I’ve just started saying what I think.” 

            “Ah, and Malfoy?”

            “We met this summer over in the states, he figured me out.”

            “So you’ve decided you don’t need us.”

            “Ron scared Jason” her voice was a fierce hiss, and her arms crossed over her chest, her eyes flashing orange. “And that alone would be reason enough for me to kill him, but then he insulted me publicly as well, and that I will never forget, or forgive.”

            “He’s just confused-” Harry tried to defend his best friend.

            “And so were you” He looked down, scuffing the gravel of the drive with the toe of his shoe, “but did you shout at me in public, in front of the little boy that I have loved since I helped birth him.”

            “Who is he, this Jason kid I mean.”

             Her hard face softened at the mention of her little cousin, “he’s the son of the cousin I play soccer with over in Dallas every summer.”

            “How old is she?”

            “She turns eighteen in January.”

            He whistled through his teeth, “started a family a little early didn’t she?”

            “Jamie made a mistake one night, and the father helps take care of Jason, do not criticize her.”

            Harry sighed, they had much they needed to discuss, and out on the front steps of the school was no the place for such a chat, Hermione realized that about the same time. She glanced over her shoulder, “wanna come have lunch with us?” she unreasonably worried about his answer, and wondered why.

            “What?”

            “Do you” she spoke slowly, and pointed at him when she said you, “want to have lunch” she mimed eating, “with us” she spread her hands out, as if gesturing too many people.   

            Harry laughed, “sure, but Malfoy’ll be there won’t he?”

            “I’ll tell him to be on his best behavior.” She laughed with him, and beckoned for him to follow her into the castle.

            ^*~^*~^*

            Harry was awestruck by Gaia, who examined him with her sharp eyes, and pronounced him harmless, Hermione laughed at that, and commented, “compared to you, everyone is harmless”

            “Nay compared to all of us, blood sister.”

            Hermione shrugged, allowing that, before giving the password, and leading Harry up the stairs into the Head’s Tower.

            ^*~^*~^*

            Malfoy and Jason were in the library, trying to figure out the radio, “oh good” he said, looking up to see her standing between the shelves, hands on hips, expression amused, “Granger, how do you put in another, er, one these” he waved her Queen collection at her, “all we keep hearing is this crackly sound.”

            Hermione laughed freely, and strode over, listening, “that’s called static, and” she examined the machine for a second, “You have it switched over to radio, and we don’t have many stations here.” She took the CD case from him, and fiddled with the controls, “Oh, and Harry’s lunching with us.” She added, taking out the CD that had been left in the player, and putting it up.

            “Potter” Draco turned and growled at Harry, who was examining the contents of the shelves with interest.

            He turned, his hand still hovering over the spine of a book, “Malfoy” he answered with equal venom.

            “Who’s he?” Jason’s eyes widened, “He was with carrot top.”

            Hermione frowned, “The carrot top will never come in here, but Harry,” she gestured to her friend, who was at a loss for words “is okay, he isn’t mean like carrot top.”

            “So why is he here?” Malfoy put in rudely.

            “He needs to eat lunch just like everyone else, and we have plenty of leftover spaghetti.” Now her frown was directed at her fellow Head.

            “Fine, but don’t expe-”

            “I expect you to be on your best behavior, because Harry is my friend, and therefore an ally to The Court.”

            “What?”

            Hermione turned back to the now even more confused Harry, “just nod like you know what we’re talking about, I’ll explain later.”

            “You will not” she turned back to Draco, irked by his contradiction.

            “yes I will’ her teeth were gritted as she spoke.

            “As the Lord of your Court, I say you will not.

            “As the first female in The Court since McGonagall, I say I will.”

            “as the more powerful Dragon I say you will not.”

            “As the girl who helped you beat your older cousin in a chicken fight, I say I will”

            “You promised that wouldn’t leave the continent.”

            “Did I? must have slipped my mind, but we made a great team, I mean me on top and-”

            “Uncle”

            She smirked, and turned to Harry, her pony tail sweeping Draco’s face as she turned, while they had been arguing they had unconsciously been leaning forward. Draco tried to ignore the tantalizing scent of her vanilla and brown sugar shampoo. “I’ll tell you later” she promised, and this time Draco was silent, not wanting her to continue her explanation of their summer escapades.

            “I’m still hungry” Jason, who had been silent through the entire thing, now chose to voice his singular most important thought at the moment.

            “Me too, let us go dine” she helped the child off of the floor, where he had been sitting, and lead the others to the kitchen. Once there she dug the big Tupperware dish that held the leftover spaghetti, and the butter. From the pantry she pulled out a loaf of bread, and from the spice cabinet came garlic salt.

            Two slices of bread went into the toaster, while a pile of spaghetti was warmed up on a plate in the microwave. “cheese?” Jason asked, standing on tip toe to watch the pile of pasta (say that five times fast) rotate as it heated.

            “Oh right, parmesan” she dug out the white cheese and grated  some swiftly, just as the microwave dinged, and the toaster popped up perfectly toasted toast almost simultaneously.

            Harry and Draco watched amazed as she yanked the hot plate out, and pulled the toast out of the toaster with bare seconds between the two actions. Her butter knife was a blur as she spread butter over the toast, and the sprinkled the buttered side with garlic salt. Using a fork she piled the spaghetti on one of the pieces of toast, and slapped the other on top. “Spaghetti sandwich done, Jay, can you put in some more toast?” she handed the plate to the hand that took it, and didn’t even look up as she pulled out cups and called over her shoulder, “want milk?”

            “Sure” Draco’s voice came from where she had handed the plate off.

            “What bout you Harry?” she asked, pulling out the gallon jug and filling the cups.

            “Yeah, milk’ll be good.”

            She was half through pouring the second glass of milk, when the toast pooped up. She buttered and garlicked it, as the microwave dinged. Jason put in two more pieces of bread as Hermione scooped more spaghetti onto a plate, and put it in the microwave to heat.

            “How did you do all that?”

            “What?”

            “Make the sandwiches so fast?”

            “Jamie and I have single handedly fed the Dragonesses, Coach, and Travis, you guys are easy compared that.”

            “Oh, wait, who?”

            “The Dragonesses is the team I play soccer for over in the States, we’ve played together since we were four. Coach, has coached us since those first games where you chase the ball and forget what position you’re supposed to be. And Travis, is Coach’s son, he’s twenty, and has been our friend since the team was formed. He also eats three times as much as any of us, he downed three and a half sandwiches at one sitting.”

            “Oh, can I have another?” Harry asked, looking hopefully from his empty plate to her face.

            Hermione looked down at her own half finished sandwich, “Glutton” she growled playfully, snatching the plate away, and strutting away from the table, where they were all eating. She returned soon, filled plate in tow. “Malfoy, do you need a refill.”

            He looked guiltily up from where he had been contemplating his empty plate thoughtfully, “please?’ his voice was very small. The plate disappeared from his line of sight, as Hermione whisked it away, and trooped back to the bread loaf.

            “Anyone else need something?”

            “Milk?” Jason held up his empty glass.

            Hermione got the jug wordlessly and refilled all their glasses. “Anything else?” there was a muffled chorus of No’s, the boys were all thoroughly entrenched in their sandwiches. “Good” she sat and devoured her now lukewarm sandwich, happy to have played the role of provider.

            “So how did you two meet this summer?” Harry asked when they were all full, and just sipping their milk.

            “Travis, remember him?”

            “The twenty year old bottomless pit?”

            “Yeah, he’s-”

            “My cousin.” They both turned, surprised that Draco had entered the conversation. “his mom, my aunt, ran away from her parents, and arranged marriage to Lucius when she was fifteen. My mom was the only one she wrote too, and she never said where she was. Anyway, instead of marrying the oldest child, lucius married my mom, the youngest, and that’s how she’s a Malfoy, or, at least she was once she got out of school, she was thirteen when Angela ran away, and Lucius was seventeen.”

            “So there’s a “good” Malfoy” everyone could hear the quotation marks in his voice.

            “What’s that supposed to mean?” Draco’s voice was surprisingly casual.

            “Nothin.” Harry snorted.

            “Guys” Hermione’s voice was patronizing as she took their empty plates, “play nice, or I might have to put you in time out” her eyes danced with mirth as she turned away from the table and began running dish washing water.

            “He started it” Malfoy was accusing.

            “Me, you’re the one that told the story that started this thing.”

            “You wanted to hear the story.”

            “Well you butted into mine and Hermione’s conversation,”

            “Boys, boys, boys.” Hermione sounded like a mother separating her arguing sons, “you know better, now go play somewhere else, and don’t bother Mommy, or do you not want desert tonight?”

            They both turned and looked at her with the exact same expression, disbelief, and then the three teens burst out in incredulous laughter, “Who would have thought-” Harry choked out, wiping away tears of mirth.

            “I know what you mean” Malfoy coughed back.

            “Us three banterin like that” Hermione was holding her sides, and bent over double, fighting to hold her balance.

            Jason looked from Harry, to Draco, to Hermione, “you guys are weird.” He declared, his voice sober, as he shook his small head gravely.

            Hermione laughed harder, as, with an effort, she straightened up, and began gathering the remaining dirty dishes. “We just about finished up that spaghetti, thanks guys.”

            “No problem and thank you for such a delicious lunch.”

            “Oh, this was easy, come tonight, and I might actually cook something, instead of just nuking leftovers.”

            “nuking?”

            “microwaving”

            “Oh, I see” Draco nodded sagely, while Harry doubled up with laughter again.

            ^*~^*~^*

            They talked in the kitchen, boring poor Jason out of his mind, as the “grown ups” reminisced about the past.

            “You know there’s a song about this.” Hermione chuckled, her back was to the three boys, who were all on stools across the island from her.

            “Really, how’s it go?”

            “Let’s see” she looked up at the ceiling, as if searching for answers in the heavens, “day’s go by, I can feel em flyin like a hand out the window in the wind, cars go by, hey it’s all we been given, so ya better start livin right now, days go byyy” she closed her eyes, trying to dredge up something more, “that’s the chorus, I don’t remember any of the verses.”

            Harry laughed, “it speaks true though, this is all we’ve been given”

            “Should we be sad?” Hermione glanced over her shoulder at Draco, surprised by his question.

            “I’m not, I’ve got two friends, and a cousin that I would do anything for in this room, I’ve got a kitchen of my own to entertain said friends, and other friends, in. I’ve got a cousin across the ocean that I love to death, and know like the back of my hand.” She turned around to face them, her arms covered with soap bubbles up to the elbows, “I’m the top of my class in the greatest school this side of the Atlantic, I’ve got a library as yet unexplored just above our heads, And I’ve got nineteen sisters that I would die for, what more could I want?” She spun back around continuing to wash dishes as if nothing had happened.

            “Granger, can you ever give a short answer?”

            She was silent, thinking, “No, I doubt I can, at least not very often”

            “She’s been like that since first year, don’t let it get to you.” Harry yawned, and glanced at his watch. “crap” he hissed, almost silently.

            “Don’t say that in front of Jason” Hermione scolded him automatically, “And do you need to go or somthin?”

            “Actually, I’ve gotta go meet Ron, I left him alone in the village, and god only knows what he’s gotten himself into by now.” Draco let out a bark of laughter at that.

            “Go if you must” Hermione sighed, “You’re welcome back any time, but, not, you know…” she trailed off as she rinsed the bubbles from her arms.

            “Yeah I know” he answered, “see you soon, it was good talking to you, you too Malfoy.”

            Draco jumped, startled, but pleased, “Yeah, right back atcha” he shook Harry’s hand warmly, glad to finally make peace.

            Harry smiled at Jason, “See ya kid” he ruffled his hair, and waved to Hermione as he left, the door swung closed slow enough that he saw her smile and wave in return. A happy glow filled his chest as he descended the stairs that Gaia guarded, and he even had the courage to wave to the dragoness as he reached the end of the corridor.

            Ron was in the inn, waiting on Harry.

            His friend entered their shared room, and sat on his bed, facing ron, who sat on his own bed across the room, “She’s doin good, I stayed over there for lunch, our Hermione’s quite a cook.”

            Ron shrugged, “what bout Malfoy?”

            “He’s actually not that bad, he and the kid ate lunch with us, Hermione treats him like a brother almost.”

            Ron stiffened at this, “And the kid?”

            “I wouldn’t touch a hair on his head. He’s the sweetest little squirt, and Hermione would kill anyone who looked wrong at him, he’s her little cousin I think.”  

            “Did ya figure out what she is?”

            Harry was silent, unsure of his story.

            “Harry?”

            “Yeah.”

            “Yeah you found out, or yeah I’m still alive?”

            “Both” he muttered unwillingly, torn between his friends.

            “So”

            “So?”

            “So what is she?”

            “The same thing Malfoy is.”

            “Which is…”

            “Read and find out.” Harry shoved his history book at his friend, who flipped it open to the marked page with poor grace.

            “She’s no longer human.”

            He placed the book on his knees, the title of chapter thirteen was in bold print across the top pf the page, Human Transformations. The sub title was Changing Blood, the permanent switch.

            Harry nodded soberly, and turned his head, not wanting Ron to see the pain etched behind his eyes.  



Hi again guys, thanx for readin, tell me watcha think!!!
kisses
~*Jenni*~ 

Chapter 35: The Rest of the Week aka Tongue Twisters
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Hi guys, as you are reading this I am either lounging on some beach in Costa Rica, or tramping throughsome Rain Forest in Costa Rica. Therefore, sad as it is, I will not be updateing for 2 weeks. Sorry, but I will be several contries away from my computer, and unable to see you lovely people. 
Sorry, I'll be back soon with updates!!! So enjoy this chapter, and I'll see you on the other side...


            Hermione and Draco went back outside, Hermione taught him how to pop a wheelie, and explained how the four wheeler got its name.

             “You see there used to be three wheelers that had two wheels in back and one in front, as well as four wheelers. You distinguished between the two by sayin the number of tires you see, but then three wheelers were outlawed, they tump over way too easy when you pop a wheelie. And the four wheelers name stuck, even though most people don’t even remember the three wheelers.”  

            They spent their days swimming, visiting the village, and riding their four wheelers, which had been magically altered to non longer run on gasoline, though at Hermione’s request they still made the aroma, because to her it smelled good, Draco thought she was crazy, but tolerated it.

 

            And then one morning Hermione woke up and it was Friday, the rest of the students would arrive that evening on the Hogwarts Express.

            She was frantic all day, washing Jason, and herself, and shoving Draco into the bathroom and yelling at him to shower because they had less than three hours till the train arrived.

            Jason loved it though, he thought it hysterical to follow Hermione on her chaotic path as she dashed around the common room, pulling on her robes as she searched frantically for her shoes, which it turned out thy hadn’t moved since she had put them on the shoe rack in her closet the first day they arrived. 

            Next she combed Jason’s damp curls carefully, only to realize he was still in casual clothes, rather than the nice jeans and tiny polo she had picked out for him to wear to the feast.

            Halfway through redressing him she remembered that she needed to pluck her eyebrows.

            Malfoy was still in the shower when she banged on the door, Jason in a T-shirt and the nice jeans behind her looking rather lost, “Hurry up, I gotta pluck my eyebrows.” She bellowed at him, before turning back to Jason and helping him pull his T shirt off.

            The polo was in only barely in place, when Draco opened the door, billows of stem wafting into Hermione’s room around him. “What?” he demanded, drying his hair with one fluffy white towel, another towel was wrapped firmly around his waist.

            “Good god, can’t you put on some clothes? And hurry up, I’ve gotta pluck my eyebrows before we go down.”

            “Relax, we’ve still got two hours.”

            “Um, FYI, we’ve only got an hour and a half, and could you please hurry and vacate the bathroom, my eyebrows must be hideous.”

            He turned and ambled back through the bathroom, “An hour and a half is plenty of time, there’s probably a spell for your eyebrows, and you may want to finish buttoning your shirt, some of the guys might get ideas if you walked around with it that low.”

            Hermione glanced down at her white blouse, and gasped, only the bottom three mother of pearl buttons were done up, laying bare to the world her flat, toned and tanned stomach, and her black, lacy Victoria’s Secret bra. Tomato red, she hurriedly finished fastening her blouse, her fingers fumbling as her hands shook with embarrassment.

            An hour later Jason was dressed, both his shoes tied, and his soft, dark curls were combed, and parted neatly. Hermione had her tie done up, and her shirt buttoned to the top, the turn down collar folded neatly against the gray sweater she was wearing over her blouse, and both were tucked into her maroon, gray, and gold plaid skirt. Her hideous, uniform regulated shoes were polished to a mirror bright shine, and over all this her robes hung open, not yet zipped up.      

            And Draco was no where to b seen.

            “Malfoy, where the bloody hell are you?” she bellowed, pounding on his bedroom door in her aggravation. She was about to try out her strength, and se if she could yank the door off its hinges like he had done to her closet door (which he still hadn’t fixed), when he opened the door.   

            His white button down shirt was untucked, and half the buttons were done up in the wrong holes. “What woman?” He bellowed to her face, “can’t you see I’m in the middle of somthin?”

            “Shut up” she replied calmly, unbuttoning his shirt, and re-buttoning it the correct way. “Your shirt was messed up, now where’s your tie?” he handed the silver and green tie over; neatly she threw it around his neck, and tied it efficiently. “Now zip up your fly and finish getting ready.” He glanced down at the zipper of his slacks, his pale cheeks turning rosy as she hurried back down the stairs, a smirk lighting her features.

            Ten minutes later he was down the stairs, his usually perfect hair in disarray, and his shoes, which were shinier than her own, were untied, but other than that he was perfectly presentable. “Sit and tie your shoes, I’ll work on your hair.” She whipped a comb out of nowhere and went to work, as he bent over and tried to tie his laces without moving his head to much.

            When he stood back up, he was flawless, unless you counted the fact that his cheeks were still a tad to pink, but by the time they reached the Great Hall, that would have faded, though his discomfiture had not. 

            Jason was also ready, he was impatient to eat, and ready to see the rest of the school’s occupants. 

            Hermione gave then all a quick go over, and pronounced Jason, Draco, and herself fit to be seen, though in truth she was nervous, afraid that they wouldn’t be flawless enough.   

            They descended the stairs together, and waved goodbye to Gaia briskly, as Draco led them through the halls to Dumbledore’s office, where they were to meet the headmaster before they were presented to the school. The gargoyle leapt aside at the mention of Little Debbie snacks, and the moving staircase moved smoothly beneath their feet, unlike the rickety stairs that garnished the Head’s Tower.

            The door to the office opened before any of them could knock, and they were greeted by the sight of their headmaster peering into his pensive, Fawks the phoenix perched awkwardly on his stand (he was at his bad stage).

            “Greeting Gentlemen, and gentle Lady” Dumbledore rumbled, looking up from the basin of silvery vaporish liquid. “The feast is about to begin, but before it does, I would like to know where you wish to be seated. It is customary for the Head’s to sit up at the high table with the teachers, for at least the feasts, but if you wish to sit with your peers that too is not unheard of.”   

            Hermione glanced at Draco, who was peering sideways at her, “We’re fine wherever you put us” the Head Boy replied slowly.

            “Well, if you wish to inform your Court Brethren of their new Blood Sister, and the meeting tonight, you might wish to sit with them. However, if they are already aware of that, you could just as easily sit at the high table.

            And you Miss Granger, if you wish to say hello to young Miss Weasley, then you also might wish to be seated with your peers.”

            “Permission to speak freely.” Hermione barked.

            “Granted” Dumbledore graciously nodded, as if he often gave military like orders.

            “Sir, do you know everything that happens in this school, or just most of what’s goin on?”

            “Only some Miss Granger, I wouldn’t dare say I know nearly everything about this school, once I did say that, and in return for my cockiness I stumbled into a tapestry that concealed a secret passage to the deepest, dankest pit of a dungeon we have.”

            “Ah, sir, are you trying to hint that we should forego the usual exalted seating arrangements, for our usual seats?”

            “I would not presume Miss Granger.”

            “Jason and I will sit with our, er, my fellows in the glorious house of Godric the great Gryffindor, say that five times fast.”

            “Glorious house of Godric the great Gryffindor,  glorious house of Godric the great Gryffindor, glorious house of Godric the great Gryffindor, glorious house of Godric the great Gryffindor ,  glorious house of Godrit- Ahh” Draco gave up. “You win, and as for myself, I shall be seated with those who serve the splendid house of Salazar, the self righteous Slytherin. Beat that” he turned to Hermione at the last sentence.

            “Shall be seated with those who swerve the splintid house of slazer  the, oh shut up, I never could say tongue twisters.”  

            Dumbledore watched in fascination as the two bantered like old friends, Jason too watched in fascination, his eyes going round as gold galleons at the snaky words the two were spouting. “Wonderful as this is towards inter-house relations, the feast will be starting soon, and if you wish to find seats by your friends, I‘d suggest you hurry.” He chided gently.

            “Thank you sir, we’ll see you at the feast.” Hermione called, ushering Jason out, “Comin Malfoy?” 

            “Yup, thanks Professor, see you in a few minutes” and he followed his tower mates from the headmasters office. “You could have waited.” He griped, taking the moving stairs two at a time in order to catch up.

            “We’re almost there” Hermione ignored him, instead, focusing on controlling her writhing stomach, as well as her eager cousin. They could hear the many tramping feet of their peers, long before they turned into the entrance hall.

            Hermione bent and picked up Jason, planting him firmly on her hip, as much to help keep her composure, as to keep him from running away, into the crowd of strangers. Draco looked over at her face, her mouth was a thin, tight line, and her jaw was clenched too. “You okay.”

            “No” her answer was curt, and offered no explanation.

            “I can assure you I’m far worse off.” He kept his tone matter of fact, masking his own anxiety.

            “How?” she snapped, her voice still brusque.

            “I have to enter the Great Hall with a muggle born and her little cousin, and then go try to find a seat at my house table where I won’t be shot dirty looks, or hear the disgruntled mutterings.”

            “So, you’ve got Zambini, and probably that ho Parkinson.”

            “And you’ve got Potter, and his little girlfriend the she Weasley, your point?”

            “I still have to find places for both myself and Jason.”

            “And I have to find a spot where I won’t get jinxes, and hexes sent at me, once again, your point?”

            “My house will think I’ve turned on them.”

            “And mine will try to jump me some dark night.”

            “I have to cook for you and Jason, as well as myself.”

            “I have to balance my pure-blood façade for my father, and my growing respect for mixed blood.”

            “I have to make sure Jason has his shoes on the right feet.”

            “I have to make sure our Blood Brothers don’t blow a casket when they see you.”

            “I think you mean gasket.”

            “whatever,-” he took a breath to continue, they were almost to the Great Hall doors now, the other students had already entered.

            “And I have to worry about my new Brothers, which I would rather not have, like me.”

            “What do you mean like you, of course they’ll like you.”

            “How do you know that?”

            “Cause I’ll tell them to.”

            “Oh great, so I’ve got your protection.

            “Exactly”

            “You know very well I resent that.”

            “So.”

            “So, I don’t need Daddy Dearest taking care of his only daughter, mother.

            “What’s that supposed to mean?”

            “You’re tryin to ‘Mother hen’ me, that’s what it’s supposed to mean.”

            “I am not trying to baby you.”

            “Yes you are, and I resent you for it.” 

 

            Inside the Great Hall, Professor Dumbledore smiled at the muffled sounds of the argument, “Our Head’s this year are…” the doors swung open to reveal Hermione, with Jason still on her hip, and Draco, both of whom immediately plastered smiles across their faces, and waved to their fellow students, who clapped politely, they continued to argue out of the corner of their mouths.

            “I still resent you.” Her lips didn’t even tremble, Draco was impressed.

            “Resent away m’dear, you know you still adore me.”

            “More like the grave that awaits you.”

            His lips twitched, his smile becoming more genuine, “So you say.”

            “Later Ferret.” She grinned happily, leaving him to continue to cross the Hall alone, while she searched for two seats that were together at the Gryffindor table. Ginny waved at her, and she hurried to her friend.    

            Dumbledore waved his gnarled hand for silence, “There is a time for speaking, and there is a time for eating. This would be the latter.” He sat, careful not to sit on his long silver hair, as the food bloomed onto the empty gold platters.

            Hermione grinned as Jason’s eyes went wider than they already were, drinking in the beautiful vision of culinary radiance. She piled his plate high with anything he would eat, and filled his glass with water, certain he wouldn’t wan pumpkin juice. Once he was thoroughly entrenched, she turned to Ginny, who was eating at more sedate pace. “So how’s it?”

            Ginny swallowed slowly, and glanced at her friend, “Probably better than you.”

            Hermione glanced across the Hall, where Draco and Blaise were talking a the end of the Slytherin table, their heads down, she grinned when Zambini shot her a fleeting look, and muttered something to Draco. “You have no idea.” She told her friend, reaching for the mashed potatoes as she did, refilling Jason’s plate as he emptied it, and filling her own.   

 



Ahh, fun stuff. Tell me watcha think, I still won't read it till I get back, but it'll be nice to know. Hasta la vista!!!!!
kisses
~*Jenni*~ 

Chapter 36: Siblings... of all Sorts
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Hola folks, I am happily back in the USofA, and all of my family members(yes, SEVEN of us went on this trip to Costa Rica) are home safe in thier various states. 
I really recomend Cosat Rica for anyone looking for a place to vacation, it was beautifull, and had gorgeous beaches, and great shopping. AND awsome national parks, which I got to see three I think. 
Anyway, enough of my rambling, here's the chapter, the REAL part that you clicked for...



            Ginny cooed over Jason, happy to finally meet her best friend’s cousin, and delighted at how cute he was. “I think I’ve found the love of my life.” She joked, ruffling Jason’s dark curls.

            “No, he’s my cousin, he’s off limits, and don’t touch his head, you’ve got no idea how much trouble it was to get his curls to lie strait.” She stroked his hair back into place, careful not to disturb his eating.

            Ginny grinned, and reached one finger toward his head, the tip barely brushing the outermost strands, “touch”

            Hermione shot her a filthy look, and stuffed a forkful of garlic mashed potatoes into her mouth, “I ant tal wit y mouf ull” she grumbled, careful to show Ginny as much of her chewed up food as possible.

            “You sick person, how did anyone ever trust you with a child?” Ginny’s voice was genial.

            Hermione grinned at Jason, “His mamma’s worse.” She laughed, “But I love her to death.”

            Ginny chuckled around the roll that she was biting into, “Who is she?”

            “She’s my cousin over in the States, the one I play soccer with every summer. Jamie, we’re sisters, I guess you could say. She’s my best friend and my worst enemy, I know her inside and out, and she knows me like she knows herself. We just, we’ve always been there for each other, and we always will.” Her voice was rather melancholy by the end, so Ginny feigned a hurt expression, putting her finger to the outside corner of her eye and tracing it down her face, in place of a tear.

            “What about me?” Her voice nearly broke Hermione’s heart, though she didn’t let it show on her face.

            “What about you?” her tone was harsh.

            “What about me?”

            “I guess I could call you a sister, of sorts any way.”

            “I’m honestly hurt. I have poured my heart and soul into our relationship, and you just hang me out to dry like that. We’re through.”

            “Oh shut up and go find some other chick, I’ve been over you a long time.”

            “Ugh” Ginny turned her back to Hermione, who in turn twisted in her seat so her back was to Ginny’s back. Jason, who was seated between them, was oblivious to all this, now fascinated by the many deserts that were beginning to appear as the main course dished emptied.

            “Oh kiss and make up you lezzies.” Harry called from Ginny’s other side, laughing at the antics of his best friend and his girlfriend.

            Ginny turned slowly to Hermione, who turned back to her, “hey sorry.” Hermione muttered, acting like she was embarrassed.

            “I’m not takin you back yet, but I missed you.” Ginny answered, tracing the tear again, only this time on both sides.

            “Hug” they cried at the same time, and squished Jason between them.

            “And we wonder why people think we’re by.” Ginny laughed, turning to a pecan pie that had suddenly caught her interest.

            “Hey, my door don’t swing that way.” Hermione chuckled, this was a game she and Ginny had been playing for a long time, and occasionally, they even caught someone who didn’t know it was a prank, and had the joy of seeing their flabbergasted face.      

         “Oh yeah, which way does it swing?”

            “The way of my tall, dark stranger who will sweep me off my feet, whoever he may be.” Hermione answered cheekily, scanning the table for a cherry pie.

            Ginny watched her, unsure if she was serious, or joking. “Well I don’t know about dark per say, but a tall stranger is making his way over here.” She muttered to her friend, hiding her face behind the curtain of her ginger hair. 

            Hermione glanced up, Malfoy was approaching. She jerked her head at him, towards the entrance hall, and glanced at Jason, he was nodding off in his seat, the combination of good food, and the hum of conversation making him drowsy. “Ready to go kiddo?”

            “Yeah” Jason mumbled.

            Hermione stood, and scooped him onto her hip, “I’ll see you guys later, Jason’s tired, and so am I.” she faked a yawn, and patted Jason’s head.

            “ G’night” Harry called, his eyes on an enormous chocolate cake that had just appeared mere inches from his plate.

            “See you in the morning” Ginny called, and Hermione waved in acknowledgement, not turning around, she had other, more pressing thoughts on her mind.

            Draco was waiting for her on the other side of the doors. Together they began making their way back to their tower, “We’ll meet in an hour, Blaise, Michael, and Anthony will meet you in the clearing, here.” He pulled out a crude map, and pointed to a clearing a short ways from the paddock where Hagrid had kept the giant winged horses back in fourth year.

            Hermione nodded, she would ride her four-wheeler to meet them. “Where will you be?”

            “I will be at the Court, a short distance away.”

            “Will I have to fly?”

            “No, you don’t have to; it is the easiest way though.”

            “I’ll ride my four-wheeler.”

            “You should be able to get most of the way there.”

            Hermione nodded, and smiled at Gaia, who could smell the anxiety oozing from her every pore, as could Draco. “Blood brethren” she said, her tone even, masking her intense apprehension. 

            Draco smiled as they stepped onto the moving stairs, “exactly.”         

            ^*~^*~^*

            Hermione sat on the cushions that made the seat by her bay window comfortable, the windows were open, and the mild breeze was blowing the gauzy curtains, they licked gently at her smooth, tan skin. The night was warm, and overhead the stars shone like diamonds scattered across deep black velvet, the crescent moon was a sliver of a gold coin, dropped carelessly into the midst of the diamonds and heavy fabric.

            Jason was tucked into her bed, snoring gently, his tiny form barely visible among the thick comforter, and many feather pillows. Hermione turned her edgy orange eyes to him, and despite the tension in her jaw, smiled softly, Jason was safe, everything would be fine…

           

            Draco opened his window with a tiny creak; he wanted to tell Hermione that she should be going down, but he couldn’t, she would be offended that he was worried about her. Instead he glanced around his room one last time, and jumped out, his wings ripping from his flesh, and opening without him thinking.

            Silently he glided to the forest, glancing back at the Head’s tower only once, his quick eyes observing that not one, but two windows were open and that even as he watched, a figure behind one window moved away from it.

            Grinning wolfishly he executed an acrobatic twist in the air, and spiraled down to the forest, the Lord of the Court was on his way.       

            ^*~^*~^*

            Hermione was wearing a black tank-top, and grey sweat pants that hugged her gently, her old tennis shoes were double knotted, and her posture was tense. Gently she kissed Jason on the forehead, before picking up The Cloak, and drifting silently down the stairs, twirling the keys to her four-wheeler on her finger, they clinked the softest musical notes, the only sound from her passage.

            Gaia let her out without comment, returning promptly to her sleep, Hermione guessed that she was tired enough that she didn’t care. She drifted through the corridors silent as a cloud shadow, her dark mottled cloak blending seamlessly with the murky stone walls, and the dim shadows cast by the feeble torches. Filch shuffled past her at one point, but deep in a corner, with her well paid friend Miss Norris acting oblivious, the Dragoness went undiscovered.

            Her path was unopposed, and soon she was dashing across the lawn, her feet light on the still warm grass, leaving no trace of her passage. Far overhead, three winged shapes swooped over her head; Hermione just glimpsed the boy’s bar torsos, before they winged away. Grinning to the velvet skies, Hermione opened the broom shed and sauntered over to her yellow ATV. 

            ^*~^*~^*

              Blaise Zambini, Michael Corner, and Anthony Goldstein landed in the trees, their wing folding back into their hard muscled backs as they turned to each other. “So that was her.” Michael finally broke the silence.

            “Yeah, guess it was.” Anthony scratched the back of his head, showing his armpit hair to the other two.

            “Dude, gross.”

            “What?” he yawned at Michael, “it’s not like you don’t have pit hair.”

            “Yeah, but I don’t go around shownin it to people.”

            “I was not showin it to you guys.”

            “Yes you-”

            “Oh give it a rest you two.” They both turned and confronted their Brother, Blaise grinned at them wickedly, his eyes flashing, one its usual pale mint green, the other deep burnt orange. The effect was odd at best, or you could call it downright disturbing.

            Corner and Goldstein were unimpressed. “That doesn’t work anymore dude.” Michael yawned.

            Anthony flashed his own wicked grin, “Show her that, I wanna see her face.” 

            “Aww” Blaise’s orange eye faded to the same misty green as the eye, “Is that anyway to treat our newest Blood sib?”

            “Oh come on, Granger could stand to lighten up a little.” Michael beamed his canines wickedly sharp.

            “Shush, here she comes” muttered Anthony, his eyes flashing orange at the sound of tires crunching through the thick blanket of fallen leaves.

            Oi, Granger, over here.” Blaise waved, the four wheeler rolled to a stop in front of him, and his Brothers.

            “I can see just fine thanks.” She growled, her brown eyes darting to the flashlight Zambini had thoughtfully brought for her use. She didn’t dismount her vehicle “Now, where is this ‘Court’ to be held?”

            They could all hear the quotations in her voice, “Follow us.” Anthony ordered curtly, wincing internally at her obvious disdain for the Court, which they all held in high regard.

            The four-wheeler began to vibrate again, though it made no sound. ”On foot” Michael stopped her before she began moving again, he was in her direct path, and fast though he was, didn’t want to risk getting mowed down.

            Hermione made a dissatisfied sound deep in her throat, but said nothing, dismounting slowly, and walking up till she was level with the boys. As one they jerked their heads for her to follow, and turned, moving silently through the underbrush. Hermione followed, disgruntled, but uncomplaining, she was too nervous to do much more than walk quickly in attempt to keep up with their long strides.

            Then, they broke through the trees.

            It was a primordial circle of standing stones, similar to Stonehenge, but yet, even more mysterious, though she knew exactly where this ancient circle came from.

            “The Founders.” She whispered her eyes glazing as she was transported back to what the Court must have looked like centuries before.

            “Yes, Slytherin was the first of our brethren to receive the Blood Change, now known as the Operation.” Draco was speaking, striding towards them from between two of the massive, upright slabs of ancient granite.

            He was majestic, his black leather wings half open, his silver blond hair falling in his misty grey eyes, his pale chest bare in the moonlight. His feet were bare, and his loose black jeans were low slung enough that you could see the waistband of his boxers, Hermione almost smirked at that, it was a style favored by Travis.  

            His eyes were on her, detecting every change in posture, every modify in expression, perceiving every shift in her physique. She was nervous, awed, and quick to pass judgment, her teeth were sharp with her agitation, and they were chewing on her bottom lip, working away at the plump skin. He found it rather distracting.       

            But not so distracting that he forgot his position, or, at least not so he’d show that he’d almost forgotten the other Court members there.

            “Enter the Court with welcome Brothers, and Sister.” He stated formally, opening his arms in a gesture of greeting, before turning and leading them into the flagstone paved center of the circle of standing stones.

            Hermione started a little when he called her Sister, but said nothing, following her Brothers, her smile wry at the thought of all the siblings she had acknowledged that evening.

            The moon was bright overhead as they entered, and Hermione saw that it was not just boys in her year that made up the Court.

            There were at least a dozen of them, third to sixth years from the look of them, lounging around on the randomly placed rough stone benches; many of them leered at her, and the low, scoop neck tank-top she was wearing.

            Hermione was surprised when Michael, Anthony, and Blaise all growled low in their throats at the smirking ones, and though Draco made no sound, he too stiffened, and his eyes flashed briefly orange.

            The thought almost made her smile for real, but then one wolf whistled, and her tiny grin disappeared in a flash. Draco’s step faltered, and the other three stopped completely, Hermione too was forced to stop, if only because she was behind them. Slowly, Hermione and the other three turned, while Draco proceeded to the roughly hewn throne at the center of the Court. 

            A grinning boy from sixth year Slytherin winked at her, while the extremely tall boys around her stiffened further. 

            One of Blaise’s eyes flashed orange, the other, pale green eye narrowed to a threatening slit.

            Anthony’s eyes were both vicious orange, and his nails were sharp claws, the stones under his feet were shaking, fighting gravity, Hermione was awed by the powerful display of wandless magic. The wide paving stones were each over a meter long, and probably several inches thick.   

            The air around Michael was completely still, through a warm night breeze was ruffling the bits of Hermione’s hair that had fallen down. She had pulled it into a smooth bun for the welcoming feast, but her silent dash through the castle, across the grounds, combined with her fast ride on the four wheeler, and stroll through the woods, had brought several strands of her thick curls down. One strand fell across her eyes; she blew it aside with an aggravated exhale.

            The sixth year seemed to be rethinking his actions, with the three menacing boys bearing down on him; it seemed he had acted to hastily. His eyes were orange also, but not as dark as Hermione’s defenders, but his sharpened teeth were bared in a feral grimace.

            “Enough” Draco’s voice caused the tense boys to relax slowly, “an insult has been offered, and the only way to deal with it is for the insulted to punish the insulter. You all know that.”

            Hermione shot him a panicked look, but his eyes were not on her.

            They were on the sixth year. The boy’s face no longer bore any expression, save for his eyes, which were incredulous.

            “How do you mean?”

            All eyes turned to Hermione, who suddenly felt very small. “Pardon?” Draco frowned at her, puzzled.

            “How do you mean Malfoy.” She restated, and clarified, “How am I to ‘punish the insulter’?”

            “How ever you see fit, though the most common punishment is to fight.” Blaise answered from behind her.

            “Then let’s roll.”

            Draco was taken aback, but not nearly so startled as the sixth year, “What? You honestly want me to fight her? The girl? I can’t hit a girl”

            Hermione spun on her heal, and marched up to the boy, her furious orange eyes boring into his. Her hand reared back, and with a hollow smack she slapped him across the face.

            His fingers brushed his stinging face. “You wench, what was that for?” he cried, both his cheeks flaming, and not just with pain.

            “Now can you hit a girl? Or do I need to peg the other cheek too?” she demanded, forgetting that the rest of the Court was watching then intently.

            The boy glared balefully down at her, Hermione noticed for the first time that he had a good inch on her in height, and called over her head to Draco, “Set up the ring oh Lord, I think I’ll have to eat my words.”

            Draco nodded formally, and Hermione backed away from the boy, not turning her back to him till she was out of his reach. Blaise, Anthony, and Michael pulled her into their midst, “you fool” Anthony hissed in her ear,

            “You shouldn’t challenge someone who’s been a Blood brother longer than you.” Michael was speaking now, the air around him had lost it’s unnatural stillness, and Hermione wondered what he had done earlier.

            “She’s got guts though, you gotta admit.” Anthony spoke over her head to Michael.

            “Yeah, but Jonathan got the Operation two years ago, he’s gotta-”

            “She’s got the heart.”

            The bewildered Hermione and the arguing other two turned to Blaise as he spoke for the first time, his eyes still didn’t match. “Her heart is in this, and she’ll fight to prove herself, she’s done it before.”

            “You know they don’t allow wands Zambini” Anthony warned.

            Blaise turned his odd eyes to his Brother, and grinned a wolf’s smile, “I know.”

            His orange eye faded, and he swayed on spot, “oh god, I hate this feeling.”  He muttered, clapping his hand over the previously orange eye. Hermione glanced at him worried, but he brushed it off, the color fast returning to his coffee tinted cheeks.

            “Don’t worry about me, and don’t go for the groin,” he ordered her, “That move won’t work on him, he’s got a cup, and he’s been trained to fend off that basic.”

            Hermione’s jaw dropped, that was one of the first moves she had planned on using.

            “Other than that, fight with your heart and your memories, you know this, you just need to expand.” They were now moving slowly towards a bare expanse of rock, these were not flagstones, but rather a seamless, smooth rock maybe thirty feet across.

            Hermione watched her opponent, Jonathan, bend to remove his shoes, and almost did the same, when she remembered one of the first things Travis had taught her many years ago, “if you’re wearin shoes you can run in, leave em on, speed is important, and you can’t run from an attacker with glass in your feet.”

            Travis had taught all the Dragonesses some self defense, years ago, before she had started to Hogwarts, and even for a few years after.

            Her shoes didn’t come off.

            Jonathan stepped into the ring, and stood erect, facing her.

            Hermione stood across from him, her feet apart, and knees bent slightly, she was well braced, just as she had been taught.

            Draco stood at the edge of the arena, “There will be no wands, on my count, three two one, fight.”     

            Jonathan was in motion as the single syllable left Draco’s lips, but the adrenalin hit Hermione before he had gotten very far. She wasn’t seeing things in slow motion so much as she could just process things faster, but whatever the reason, she dodged his first punch easily by diving to the ground and tucking her body into a roll.   

            She was on her feet as he spun to face her; evading his high kick just as easily as she had dodged his punch.

            “Are you just gonna run?” he asked, not even breathing hard.

            Hermione caught his foot as he swept it at her stomach, twisting his ankle, before pushing it away roughly, throwing him off balance. “No” she growled, her fist pounding into the thick muscles of his shoulder, he fell with a painful clout onto the unforgiving stone.

            She let him get up, and instantly regretted it, when she saw his blazing eyes. He opened his mouth, and his fangs lengthened even further, swinging slightly outward on a hidden hinge.

            Something liquid shot out, and Hermione dived to the side, hitting the ground with a painful thud, and rolling away from the hole his acid venom was eating through the thick stone they were fighting on.

            He spat again, Hermione rolled again, this time struggling to get up before he could aim again.

            She couldn’t stand fast enough; she was forced to hit the dirt again, as venom shot past where her shoulder had been.

            “You gonna punish me?” Jonathan jeered, his fangs swinging out again.

            Hermione gritted her teeth in helpless rage, and rolled again, this time aiming for his feet, he danced lightly out of her way.

            He spat again, and this time the venom grazed her shoulder.

            She bit back her scream, and struggled to stand. “Jamie.” She whispered, gritting her teeth on her cousin’s name.

            “What was that?” he cupped his hand over his ear, disarming his fangs for the moment.

            “Travis” she pushed her body up laboriously, biting off her friends name harshly.

            “Still can’t hear you.” He mocked, this time tilting his head, and lightly hitting his upper hear with his hand, as if trying to knock something out of the other ear.  

            “Coach”

            He laughed cruelly, righting his head.

            Her orange eyes smoldered “Aunt Elisa.” Her shoulders were shaking, the thin skin across her bare shoulder was disintegrating painfully, but she didn’t flinch.

            He stared at her incredulously, surprised that she hadn’t broken down, or fainted with pain yet, the muscles of her shoulder were now slowly dissolving.

            “Jason.”

            The name was loud, almost as loud as the sharp snap of her fingers snapping.

            Energy crackled across the silent arena, everyone felt it, but no one understood, save for Blaise, his lone orange eye winked at her when she glanced across the hushed assembly.

            She clapped her hands once.

            Jonathan froze, unable to move.

            Hermione walked up to him slowly, sauntered really, though her right hand was cupped protectively over her slowly disbanding left shoulder, and snapped her fingers in his ear.

            He twitched, and his eyes rolled into his head, and he crumpled at her feet.

            Her breath was coming in unsteady gasps, “You” she gasped again, “have” gasp, “been punished.” She stirred him with her foot, and then turned to the crowd, “I” gasp, “am” deep breath, “The Heartless.” She fell on top of her vanquished rival in a dead faint.

            Draco blinked, and then began applauding, cueing the others to also clap. Across the arena, Blaise met his ice blue gaze, and nodded once, before hurrying to Hermione’s side, where Michael and Anthony were already crouched.

            “Does he have a pulse?” some one cried from the crowd.

            “Who care’s bout him?” Anthony shouted back, “if he’s hurt our Sister we’ll make sure he doesn’t have one.”

            “Why you-” they couldn’t tell who was making the threat, but they were on their feet anyway, when Draco cut in.

            “Does she have a pulse?” The three other seventh years could tell he was anxious, but none of the others could see through his carefully impassive mask.

            Michael held two fingers to her throat, “yes.” He called, checking her wrist just to be sure.

            “Fly her back to our tower, don’t try and wake her, she won’t thank you.”

            The three nodded and stood, Michael gathering Hermione up in his arms as is she were a child, Draco fought the fury that burned in his belly at seeing someone else hold her so close, so intimately. The bitter taste of angry bile rose in his mouth, but he said nothing, knowing his sharpened fangs would give his inexplicable rage, if his hot eyes hadn’t already.

            Blaise, the most perceptive person Draco ever had the fortune (or misfortune, depending on how you looked at it) to meet, saw his longtime friend and Brother was boiling, and thought quickly. “Change Michael, I’ll fly above you and make sure she doesn’t fall, Anthony, you fly too, if she falls I can’t catch her by myself.”

            Michael laid her down gently, pushing Jonathan further away from her still, prostrate form, and closed his eyes. Deep red scales boiled out of his skin, and all but the seventh years moved back instinctively as the Dragon rose before their eyes. Michael furled his widespread wings carefully, and crouched as low as he could, letting Blaise carefully place Hermione between his wings. There would be a small nimbus of comparatively still air there, though it would be hard for the others to fly close to her.

            Anthony’s bright copper wings sprouted, and he took off, Blaise, winging on green leather, chased him to the sky. Michael took off gingerly, and the others hovered as close to him as they dared, following him as he began to fly to the castle.

            Draco watched them fly, and fought the urge to take off himself, and carry her back to the safety of their tower, but his sense of duty held him fast. The younger Court members were still trying to rouse Jonathan, and not having much success, though he did apparently have a pulse, which was good.

            Pitiful groans were coming from the sixth year, as he slowly came around, and began milking it for all it was worth. His head was cradled in his hands, he was moaning, and faking sobs.

            “Where is the bit-witch?” he whined, slowly looking up at Draco, his expression accusing, “did you let her get away free?”

            “Free? She shouldn’t be punished for following the Laws” Draco made his voice as cool as he could. “You offered an insult, she punished you for it. She also discovered her Talent, and fainted because she used it. What would you have me do?”

            There was a scattering of disconcerted grumblings, but no one spoke up. “Good.” Draco continued briskly, “Well that’s it for this meeting, I only wanted you lot to meet our newest Sister, and since she is no longer with us, you are dismissed.”

            Wings were sprouted, and in seconds the Court was cleared, even Jonathan, injured though he was had scraped himself together enough to get out of sight.

 Injured.

            Draco’s wings tore out of his back; his pale face was set as he passed his court Brothers in the night skies, not even glancing back as they swirled out of his way. He was grace and speed as he ripped across the diamond studded, black velvet, his black and silver wings cleaving the warm night air as he narrowed the gap between himself, and the other three.

            They had just reached the tower, and were trying to maneuver her through his window, without much success.

            “Drop her” he cried, speeding up.

            Michael changed, his body becoming human with wings, Hermione plummeted to the unforgiving ground.

            A mere foot above the grass Draco swooped in and caught her, her long hair brushed the earth, and then they were climbing swiftly back towards his window. Blaise and the others breathed a sigh of relief, they trusted Draco, but for one heart stopping second, they had all held their breath.

            “Thank you and I bid you all a fond goodnight.” Draco stated formally, standing framed in his window, the gauzy black curtains floating around him, Hermione clutched tightly to his bare chest.

            Anthony, Michael, and Blaise nodded in unison, and turned with and identical motion to fly away. As they soared out of sight Draco turned, and hurried to his bed, laying her tenderly among the unmade sheets.

            With his slender fingers he drew a miniature spell circle in the air above Hermione’s shoulder, it shimmered silver, and then settled onto where the acidic venom had devoured much of her flesh.

            He watched fascinated as the dissolved muscles knit themselves back together under his hands, and was almost sorry when the skin swathed across the fast mending damage, blocking his view of the healing. There was a pang as the energy needed to heal her left him, but it wasn’t much, he had healed worse before, and would most likely heal worse in the future.

            With soft fingers he pulled the blankets up, and tucked her in, before tiptoeing out, and closing the door behind him.

            In the library, his fingers sought out an ancient tome bound in red leather, and stamped with peeling gold print. Wandless Magiks of Many Formes was the title; the entire thing was a dictionary of the various, rare, wandless magic’s, and exactly what he was looking for. His fingers shook with the excitement of discovery as he flipped to the index and began with Nonverbal Magiks.


Alright, so the lezzies crack, I've got a couple of friends that do that during athletics, much to the horror of the coaches that aren't in on the joke. But I am extremely sorry if I offended anyone. 
I'll have the next chapter up as soon as possible, anyone who reviews gets a cyber cookie from me, for what its worth. Luv you guys!!! ^.^
kisses
  ~*Jenni*~

Chapter 37: Talents
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Hiya guys!!! Welcome to the next chapter, sorry, but I'm the bearer of bad news. I will be home for the rest of this week, and all of next week, but then, after that, I'll be gone for another two weeks. 
Sorry, color gaurd camp and my youth groups mission trip are the what I'm goin to be doin, it seriously can't be helped. 
BUT, this one, and hopefully another chapter after it should update before I leave, so everyone, be happy I guess. Anywhoo, I guess on with the program now...


 
            Hermione woke up in an unfamiliar bed, surrounded by Draco’s horribly recognizable smell, and she wasn’t sure if she was horrified, or just wanted to go back to sleep. Her shoulder was a little sore, and all her muscles ached to some extent, maybe she should sleep a little while longer.

            Her stomach growled with surprising ferocity.

            Maybe not

            Yawning she sat up and stretched, the luxurious black comforter fell off of her body, and she grimaced realizing she was still completely dressed, only her shoes had been taken off.

            Then Draco’s scent hit her again, and she realized that that was probably a good thing. Lazily she stood and walked to the open bathroom door, scratching her head as she trudged across to her own room.

            Jason wasn’t in her bed, or his, but she caught a faint whiff of Draco again, so she decided not to worry, and settled on taking a shower instead of running around in her currently rumpled state.

            A shower later she felt like a new woman.

            She was wandering around in her Dragoness sports bra and jeans when she heard a lower murmur of voices coming from the library. “Malfoy, what’s up?” she bellowed through her closed door, alerting the world outside her door, and most of the castle, of her undeniable presence among the living.

            Her back was to the door when it opened, “Blaise, Anthony, and Michael are all here to talk, would you care to join us?”

            Hermione turned to see her fellow Head, as well as their visitors, and her cousin all standing in the open doorway looking at her curiously. “Nice colors.” Michael smirked earning a smack on the back of his head that would have crushed a human’s skull. “Ow” he rubbed his head, and glanced at Draco, “What was at for? It was a complement for Merlin’s sake.”

            Draco glowered at him, but said nothing.

            “Perv” Hermione commented, sounding completely unconcerned, “Have any of you seen my wand by any chance? And have ya’ll eaten?”

            Four stomachs rumbled in response.

            “Then someone dry my hair, let me put on a shirt, and I’ll be down to whip up sumthin.”

            “How?” They all had their wands out.

            Hermione eyed them dubiously, “None of you’ve done this before have you?” They glanced surreptitiously at each other, which was answer enough. “Never mind then.”

            Hermione brushed by them and marched on down the stairs, which started moving as she was just past halfway down them. Jason skipped down after her, was thrown off by the suddenly moving steps, and started to tumble. Hermione leapt back, and he thudded into her back neatly, his small hands gripped her shoulders, and she pulled his legs around her waist, she carried him piggyback to the kitchen, where she deposited him on the counter.

            His sock clad feet bumped the cabinet as his swung his legs, “Jason” her tone was warning enough, he stopped as the other four entered the kitchen. “What’re you all thinkin about for breakfast?” she called, not turning around; she was digging through the fridge with gusto.

            “erm?”  Anthony started.

            “Ooh, biscuits.” She came up with three cans of Grand’s. “Or how do doughnuts sound?”

            Everyone but Jason looked confused. Jay immediately cried gave his approval, and the others decided it was best if they didn’t say anything against Hermione’s cherished younger cousin.

            Hermione dug around for a deep fryer, and was happy to discover a large jar of cooking grease while she was at it. While the grease was heating, she yanked her still wet hair up into a messy bun, and got out the sugar.

            The cans of biscuits were cracked open, and each biscuit had a hole poked through its middle. Each be-holed biscuit was dropped into the hot grease, and deep fried, before it was scooped out with a slotted spoon, and plopped onto a paper towel.

            The paper towel soaked up the grease, as the fried biscuit was sprinkled liberally with sugar on both sides, no; each fried biscuit was rolled in sugar until it no longer held sugar, and then it was eaten hot.

            And the best part was that only Jason could burn his mouth, and he didn’t mind, because his was one of his favorite breakfasts.  

            Almost three whole cans on Grand’s biscuits later, they were all seated around the table, staring dejectedly at the last doughnut. “You guys do know there’s another can of Grand’s, don’t you?” Hermione asked her stare was just as morose as the next person’s.

            “Yeah” Michael growled, glaring at the hateful doughnut, curses on uneven numbers.

            “You should have it.” Anthony muttered, glancing at Hermione. 

            “Yeah, you cooked breakfast for us all, you deserve it.” Blaise mumbled.

            “Okay” Hermione accepted awkwardly, and then they all went back to staring at the doughnut.

            “You gonna eat it?” Draco inquired.

            “I’m actually kinda full” Hermione still didn’t move.

            As one the four teenage boys began slowly moving towards it, not even consciously thinking about it.

            And then Jason’s small hand whisked in and took the fast cooling pastry; he took a large, sloppy bite, and looked at Hermione, his cheeks covered with sugar, “Can I have it Auntie?”

            Hermione and the boys disguised their disappointment well. “Yes honey, why don’t you eat it, and then go watch a movie or somthin while we chat.” Jason skipped off, trailing crumbs of deep fried biscuit and sugar in his wake.

            Hermione was moving before the door had swung closed behind him, “Who wants more?” The boy’s hands shot up, and they waited impatiently for the next course.

 

            Another can of Grands later; they were all feeling sluggish, overly full, and unwilling to do dishes. Hermione looked at their crumb covered plates with deep disgust, the delicate blue pattern that graced the usually snowy china surfaces seemed to weaken a little under her withering look.

            Draco was contemplating the plates also, finally he used his finger to draw a spell circle on the glossy table top, the geometric design glimmered with silver fire, before duplicates of it appeared on each of the dirty plates. He waved his hand and the circles faded, along with the crumbs and whatever else was on the plates, leaving them pristine, and Hermione even more disgruntled.

            “Lazy arse.”  She muttered, standing and gathering the now clean plates, stacking them neatly, and returning then to the cabinet.

            ‘What?” he was confused, had he not just done her a favor?

            “If I laze out once I’ll skip again, and then I’ll decide it’s easier to use magic to clean up after Jason, and then that I don’t want to do the dishes, or cook supper, and pretty soon…”  she was looking panicky for some reason, the words were pouring out of her mouth fast, and her pitch was going higher.

            “Hermione” Draco was on his feet instantly, overstuffed stomach forgotten in his worry, “calm” he placed his warm palms on her cheeks, tilting her face so she was facing him, but her eyes were far away, and her mouth still moved, though nothing came out.

            His burning touch soothed her, and her eyes stopped looking through his, and were instead looking at him, but her voice was still alarmed, “I can’t lose touch like that, I can’t become lazy, I can’t-”

            “Shhhhh” he pulled her to his chest, letting her hide her wide eyes in his shirt, gently he rubbed her back, “Now what’s wrong?” The others were surrounding them, the heat of their skin penetrated Hermione, though they weren’t touching either her or Draco.

            She took comfort from Draco’s firm hold, and from her Brothers’ strong presence, and drew a shaky breath, her voice was the barest dry whisper, “he used magic to undress me, said he didn’t want to dirty his hands.”

            Draco’s hands balled into fists against her back, pulling her tighter to him, as he struggled to control his rage, the Zambini, Corner, and Goldstein were all very quiet, they knew what had happened to her from Draco, and were just as angry.

            The tension was unbearable, so Hermione gently disentangled herself from Draco’s arms, and attempted a shaky laugh, “look at me, goin off like that over somthin silly like that.”

            The boys went stiller at that, sensing her attempt to lighten the mood, and not appreciating her interruption of their big-brother-ish-over-protectiveness.

            They were in the middle of each plotting his own revenge, and that in and of itself was an excruciatingly long and thorough process, which would ensure that no part of Jack Martin would escape harm.

            “Hermione.” Blaise’s voice shook as he tried to grip his rage, “You can’t-”

            “Listen to me” she snapped her fingers in front of their faces, which she suddenly realized were uncommonly close to her own.

            They all froze, and Hermione watched in horror as each one crumpled onto her kitchen floor, one right after the other. 
It would have been funny , had she not been in the middle of it.                   A scream built up in her throat, but she bit her tongue to stop it, no, Jason couldn’t run in and panic, hell, she couldn’t panic, she had to retain her cool head. 

            McGonagall, Dumbledore had said she was the one Hermione needed to talk to, and Hermione cringed at the thought. Though the formidable transfiguration professor was by far her favorite teacher, she still wasn’t sure how welcome the Deputy Headmistress would be toward an early morning visit.   

            Hermione was out of the kitchen, and flying across the common room before he glanced down at her attire, or lack there of.

            Growling she dashed back up the stairs, grabbed a black fitted T-shirt with a crimson rose sprawled across the chest, rhinestones dotting the petals like water drops, it was a shirt of Jamie’s that she had borrowed without permission over the summer, and somehow forgotten to return.

            She peeked over the back of the couch, saw Jason sacked out, a DVD still held in his small hand, and breathed a sigh of relief; with a full stomach he could sleep for hours. Hopefully she wouldn’t need hours, but, one never knew for sure.

            And then she was flying across the common room, and out the door, her bare feet echoed along the empty corridors as they slapped the floor stones, she didn’t feel any pain though, the bottoms of her feet had become covered in protective blue scales.

            But no one noticed the blue bottoms of her fast flitting feet, in fact, hardly anyone noticed her at all, it was still morning, and only ten at that. All the sensible students were still abed, only a few, eager to please first years were up and about, and even they looked too sleepy to really notice anything besides the fact that their heads were no longer connected to the pillow.   

            Even if they had noticed, most of them would have chalked blue feet up to magic that they had yet to learn, and go on their sleepy little ways.

            But Hermione didn’t really care what the foolishly early rising first years thought, no, she only noticed them enough to not run into them, though she did perhaps brush by them a little harder then she would have had she not been so frantic.

            Anyway, Hermione was sprinting to McGonagall’s office.

            She rapped frenetically on the door, bouncing from foot to foot, and straining her ears for sounds of the occupant.

            She heard a sleepy shuffle, and knocked again, harder this time, her agitation easily read on her face.

            The tired Transfiguration Professor opened the door, and blinked rather owlishly at her best pupil, “Miss Granger, isn’t it a little early for social calls?” she asked, yawning politely behind her hand.

            “Blood sister” Hermione growled, her orange eyes pleading.

            The old Dragonesses eyes snapped clear orange, but her voice was controlled, “Come on in Miss Granger, Now what did you want to know about that summer homework?”

            Flitwick, whose office was right beside McGonagall’s, had heard the commotion and come to investigate, “Silly over achieving child.” Minerva muttered to the Charms professor, who nodded sagely and shuffled back into his office.  

            The oak door closed with a snap that echoed through the office, Hermione was slumped in one of the strait backed chairs opposite the professor's cluttered desk. Her elbows were perched on her legs, just above her knees, and her head was in her hands, hair had fallen down in her mad dash, and was spilling over her shoulders, hiding her face further.

            Minerva frowned, where was her take-charge, go getter Gryffindor? Where was the girl she had made her fearless Head Girl?

            “Hermione?”  her voice was gentle.

            “Blood sister.” Hermione rasped again, looking up slowly, her hair still falling haphazardly in her face.

            “So I didn’t dream it.” The older woman muttered, “Sister, for help you’ve come?”

            “Yes Sister, I fear I have killed my Lord.”

            “Malfoy?”

            “Yes.”

            “How?”

            “I don’t know.” Hermione wailed, her cinnamon and honey eyes filling as she dropped the Dragonspeak. “All I did was snap my fingers, and they all just fell.”

            “Come again?”

            “They were arguing about something, and I just” she snapped fingers, and the tin of cookies on her professor’s desk exploded,  sending fragments of ginger newts, and chocolate snakes over both of them, along with shards of the tin itself.   

            They both ducked, as protective scales washed their exposed skin, the debris that did hit them rattled harmlessly off the thick scales, and fell to the floor in a light rain.

            They both stared at the scorch mark for a long, tense, silent minute.

            “I’m so sorry.” Hermione murmured, downcast. 

            But McGonagall was thoughtful, “Don’t be dear, I never liked that tin anyway, but it was a Christmas gift from a fellow staff member who would notice if I didn’t use their present. And-” she raised one thin, impressively long-fingered hand to forestall any argument, “it gave me excellent insight into your talent.”

            “Talent?”

            “Yes, but we must be on our way, those boys might need our help.” 

            Hermione had to trot to keep up with the Professors long strides; she had never noticed how tall her Transfiguration teacher was, she was now in aw of McGonagall’s long strides, and how impressive she looked striding like she was.

            Even though the striking picture was marred slightly by her long, tartan dressing gown; though the robe did swish nicely around her ankles with every step she took.

            Hermione glanced at the first years, who were rather cowed by the salient figure their new professor cut, but she gave them little thought, silly children, they should be savoring their last days of sleeping in.

            They reached Gaia in record time, and she seemed to recognize the formidable professor, for she moved aside before Hermione could open her mouth to give the password.

            Hermione led her Sister to the kitchen, where her Brothers were still slumped on the floor, motionless, save for their shallow breathing; she almost fainted at the sight of them. But her teacher showed no emotion as she crouched beside Blaise, and shook him gently, his breathing stuttered, and then regained its rhythm.

            “Move them onto the couch and chairs, they’ll wake up soon.” Professor McGonagall ordered, and watched as Hermione heaved Blaise onto her shoulder, and made her way back to the common room. She dumped him in one of the leather armchairs, and went back for Anthony, who went in the other chair.

            Michael went on the couch, when she discovered a problem.

            The couch was to small for both Draco, and Michael, but she couldn’t just leave Draco there on her kitchen floor, he didn’t go with her décor for one thing.

            Sighing, she heaved him on her back, he wasn’t as heavy as she had thought he would be, none of them were for that matter, but that could have just been her Dragon strength making its presence known. So she lugged him up to the library, and chunked him into one of the chairs there.

            He stirred, his nose crinkling, and his eyelids twitching, his mouth twisting.

            “Are you awake?” she asked petulantly, her hands on her hips, hiding her relief.

            “Don’t talk so loud.” He growled, raising his forearm, and covering his eyes with it, “Why do I have a hangover?” his voice was strained, she watched his forehead crinkle as he squeezed his eyes shut.

            “You’re not hungover, I just knocked you out with a snap of my fingers.”

            “Not so loud” he grumbled, his voice pained.

            “Oh snap out of it, you don’t feel that bad, do you?” She hid her concern well, but he still detected it.

            “I’ve had worse.” He sighed, rubbing his eyes, and standing unsteadily.

            “Worse hangovers, or worse headaches?”

            “Both, think you could do my back again?”

            “Sure, come here.” She steadied him, offering him a shoulder to lean on. “You sure you’re alright?”

            “Positive” he informed her firmly, as he stumbled on a stair.

            Hermione put a hand firmly on his chest to stabilize him, helping him regain his balance, “Yeah, sure” sarcasm dripped from her tongue. She helped him into the common room, and eased him onto one of the two stools that McGonagall must have brought in from the kitchen, before seating herself on the other stool.

            The Professor herself was crouched beside an extremely groggy Anthony, her wan was out and she was muttering spells in a strange, guttural language. His clouded eyes cleared, and McGonagall moved on to Blaise, who was also coming around. A groan from the couch proved the Michael was also awake, his eyes fluttered open for the briefest second, and then began spouting swear words, first in French, then German, and then finally English.

            “Bloody muther fu-“

            “That’s quite enough Mister Corner.”  The Transfiguration Professor cut him off crisply, her mouth was a hard, pale line.

            “Sorry.” He muttered, closing his eyes, he was pallid under his caramel complexion; under his professor’s administration he began to regain his usual skin tone. His deep sapphire eyes opened again and this time they sparkled with their usual wicked twinkle.

            ‘I didn’t now you were bilingual, er, trilingual.” Hermione’s voice was off hand, casual.

            Draco laughed, and then winced, rubbing sore ribs, “he only knows curse words.”

            McGonagall’s mouth, if at all possible, went thinner, behind her square, wire rimmed glasses, her usually pale, greenish yellow eyes flashed burning orange, “I could scrub your mouth out with soap for that.” She growled at her pupil, he was visibly cowed under her fierce gaze.

            The others chuckled, and as one the three sniggering boys winced, “Umph”

            Hermione frowned, “sore?”

            “Yup,” Blaise growled, “You’ve gotta learn some control.”

            Hermione blushed, and shifted uncomfortably, Draco sensed her discomfort, and placed one of his burning hands on her shoulder, “You’re new to this, it’s to be expected.  I’ll help you practice today, but for the most part you’ve gotta figure this out on your own.”

            “This may help.” McGonagall came over and took Hermione’s hands, turning them over so her palms were facing up. Gently she wrote on the untanned skin of the inside of her wrists, Hermione fought the urge to wriggle as her teachers long fingers ran over the thin, tender skin above her veins.

            In deep crimson, a rune appeared on her left wrist, traced there by her professor’s finger. “This is the rune for control.” She switched wrists, and began on a different one, “and this is for binding, here Draco.” He wordlessly gave her his hand, the inside of his wrist facing up. She rewrote the rune, but it was a reflection of the other, equal and opposite.

            “She is Bound to you Lord of the Dragon’s Court, the binding of her vein magic to your own protects her from herself, and you as well. Break the bond only when you both are ready for her to gain her powers in full.”

            Draco nodded seriously, and Hermione nodded sullenly, she wasn’t yet sure what she thought of Malfoy, and she knew that yet another thing in common would just make their twisted relationship even more complicated. To hide her reluctant expression she turned her eyes to the fast fading runes, under her confused gaze the bold crimson lines and dots sank into her skin, leaving nothing. Her skin was maybe the tiniest bit paler, but the casual, or even the uncasual, observer would not notice anything amiss. 

            “So what are these Talents that you speak of?”

            “Not all, but most of us have some extra power that The Blood brings out. For the most part it’s something that we could have learned before The Operation, but having the blood of such powerfully magical beasts in our veins brings the aptitude out.“ McGonagall explained, “Take Draco for instance, he could perform simple spell circles before he received the Transfusion, but with the extra magic burning in his veins, his ability increased ten fold, at least.

            Or take Michael over there, he has control over air, and it’s movements. Gravity also falls under his hand, his Talent is diverged from an Elemental ancestor, and though the strain within him is weak, with Blood Magic, it was made strong again. He is nearly as powerful as an Elemental with his Talent, though he is not one. “

            Hermione stared at her brother, “A boy that curses in various languages has the powers of an Elemental?” her voice was incredulous, to say the least.

            Michael, who had been laying down shot up, “I take that as an insult.” He cried, and then lay back down with a groan, “And I need some headache potion.” He massaged his temples gently, his eyes squeezed shut to block the painful light.

            “I’ll get you some aspirin.” Hermione said quickly, standing and shrugging Draco’s hand from her shoulder, where he seemed to have forgotten it.

            She dashed up her stairs without a backward glance, until she reached the curve in the spiral staircase, then she leaned her back against the wall, and allowed her body to slide down the smooth stones till she was sitting on one of the steps, her back resting against the wall. She rubbed her temples, much like Michael had, sighing, and trying not to prevent a mental breakdown, and then the fickle stairs decided to start moving. Startled, she jumped up, and ran back up the stairs, before they could carry her back down to the common room. It was just her luck that they had decided to go down, rather than up like she would have liked them to.

            She burst into her room, the door slamming into the wall at the exact moment she remembered that Jason was sleeping on her couch. The child shot out of bed screaming, as Hermione simultaneously tried to apologize, and catch him.

            Jason was quivering in her bed, the thick comforter over his head, when she sat beside him, her weight making him slide towards her. Slowly she bent towards the lump of shaking covers, “I’m sorry Jay, I forgot you were sleeping.” Her voice burned sincerity,  her tone was soft, repentant.

            “I had a dream.” He whispered.

            “What kinda dream?” she wrapped her arms around the lump, and leaned closer.

            “It was mommy and Travis, they were to hugging, and then, a-a man came.”

            Hermione realized she wasn’t breathing, and sucked in a deep breath, trying to stay calm, she knew Jason would pick up her anxiety in a heartbeat. “And then what?” Her voice shook the tiniest bit, and Jason heard it.

            He pushed the covers off his head, he was shivering, despite the thick eiderdown, and the warm air, “There was lots of blood.”

            Hermione bit her gasp off short, but he still heard it, and leaned into her, her arms were wrapped around him protectively. Tenderly she leaned her cheek on top of his messy curls, and squeezed him tighter. “It was just a dr-”

            Jamie and Travis were standing in Jamie’s room, Travis’s shirt was off, his arms wrapped around Jamie’s shuddering body. Jamie’s arms encircled her lovers torso, her face was pressed into his bare, hard muscled shoulder, she was sobbing, while Travis stroked her hair gently.

            He was murmuring to her gently, though Hermione could not hear the words, she picked up the tenor; he was in anguish, and trying to comfort her. Jamie tried unsuccessfully to say something, and he just held her tighter, his hand never ceasing its soothing stroking of her hair, so like Hermione’s, just a shade lighter, and not quite as curly.

            Then, a stranger dressed all in black entered the scene. Travis saw him first, and spoke harshly, pulling Jamie protectively behind him, Hermione still couldn’t understand their words, though they were obviously speaking loud enough. The stranger in his moonless-midnight robes laughed at Travis’s face, and pulled a wand from the folds of their cloak.

            Travis was reaching for his own wand, when a flash of sinister burgundy light lit the room with its eerie glow. Travis fell, oozing burns covering his body, blood spattering his face.

            Jamie whipped out her own wand and cried something, but a jet of pure white light hit her, and she was cut down, falling atop the father of her child. The stranger in black turned to leave, ad he did, Hermione caught a glimpse of a Death Eater’s mask in the cheerful glow of the lamp on Jamie’s bedside table.

            The stranger pointed his wand at the lamp and it exploded, sending shards of wickedly shards glass and metal over the felled Travis, and feebly stirring Jamie.

            Hermione squeezed her eyes shut to block out the terrible image, and was transported back to her body with a sound similar to the roar of ocean waves crashing against jagged shore rocks. Jason was shaking in her grasp, and e knew that he too had seen the awful dream, only for him it would be a terrifying second time, rather than a fearful first time.

            The first time you can always hope for a happy ending, the second time you can only watch with renewed horror, with the unspeakable knowledge that there is no happy ending for that story, that there is no riding triumphantly off into the sunset, no happily ever after.

            Hermione looked down at Jason, hugging him tighter, “eam” she finished her sentence resolutely, “just a terrible, terrible dream, nothing more.” She whispered, rocking him soothingly, while her heart screamed in agony.

            Draco and the others found them like this several minutes later, worried by the lack of aspirin appearing, they had all come to investigate. Hermione heard them come up the stairs, and looked up to see Draco framed in her doorway, the others crowded behind him, the sight of such a close relative of Travis’s mad her heart break anew, and she was forced to bury her face in Jason’s untidy dark curls to hide the tears welling behind her eyes.

            When her forehead touched the crown of Jason’s head, they were all transported back into the dream, but this time it was like they were all standing together watching, still in their own bodies, but a thick layer of glass seemed to separate them from the action, like an audience to a horrific play.

            Her Brothers and Sister watched in horror, as Hermione crouched and drew Jason to her, pulling his face to her chest to save his eyes, though she could do nothing for his ears. He still heard the muddled voices, even if he could no longer see their owners.

            Hermione watched again, over the top of Jason’s head, praying for some change, but when the Death Eater drew his wand, she squeezed her eyes closed and pulled Jason closer; it would over in a minute.

            When she opened her eyes, they were back in her room, Jason was still clutched tightly to her, and Draco was wrapping his arms around her, protecting her from the horror etched behind her eyes. Her other Brothers were there also, sitting on her bed all around her, reassuring her with their very presence, though none of them touched her.

            Hermione felt Jason relax against her finally, lulled back into a deep sleep by her gentle rocking, and soothing embrace. Hermione sat a little straighter, and attempted a laugh, “I guess it’s kinda silly, that bein just a dream an all.” She scrubbed a hand over her almost teary eyes, failing miserably in her effort to sound nonchalant.

            Draco nodded, his own throat was tight, as he reluctantly released her, and scooted off the bed, and their Brothers followed his example. Slowly Hermione too slid off, cradling Jason effortlessly to her chest, protecting him from all that was wrong in the world.

            Slowly, the Siblings, and Draco walked down to the common room, where all the seats save for one of the large leather chairs was taken before Hermione and her precious cargo entered. Wordlessly she sat, Jason curling up in her lap, and snuggling deeper against her, gently she rubbed his back.

            “So, Talents…” her tone made it absolutely certain that there would be no discussion of what had just taken place.

            “I’ll start teaching you control today, but for the most part you must harness your Talent on your own.”

            Hermione felt all eyes on her, and it made her self conscious, “Then let’s begin.” She said, maybe a little louder than she intended, but her voice was firm, and the note of panic that had crept in was well contained.

            Draco nodded, “Let’s” 


Okaaaay, so what's up with our Jason's dream? And how will she learn about her talent? Find out next time, maybe, on Dragoness!!!
lol, I just sounded like some cheesey TV show announcer, anyway, thought? Comennts, concerns? I'd love to hear em, and I'll even answer!!!
kisses
~*Jenni*~ 

Chapter 38: Cannot be Taught
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Okay, I'm back again, and this may or may not be the last update for a few days. It all depends on when this updates, and where I am. 
Any way, I know it's a little shorter, deal with it, the next chapter will be out as oon as possible.
Oh, and I do not own the Star Wars movies, I just mention them down towards the end, just so all you guys know. Now, on with the show... 



            Jason was curled up in the large, squashy leather chair, Blaise, Michael, and Anthony were in the kitchen finishing up some of their summer homework, and Professor McGonagall had departed for her office, declaring she had lessons to plan, lectures to prepare, and schedules to write. Draco and Hermione were at the large mahogany desks across the common room from the fireplace and the chairs and couch. A large pitcher of warm water was sitting at the desk across from them, and a full glass of water was place directly in front of Hermione.

            “The most basic form of wandless magic is control of temperature. Since air is difficult to restrain to heat it, we will be working with water. Your task is simple, freeze the water in the glass by whatever means necessary, save for your wand.”

            He left for the kitchen, leaving Hermione staring at the glass of lukewarm water, baffled by her assignment. Slowly she raised her hand, and stared at her fingers for a long minute. Gently she placed her thumb against her middle finger, and snapped, the sharp crack echoed around the silent room.

            But there was no rush power, no tingle of magic, nothing save for a loud crack that made her jump, and Jason mumble in his sleep. Guiltily Hermione glanced over at her little cousin, and then back at the stubbornly un-chilled goblet of water. “Hmph” she frowned, and tried snapping again, only to have the same, nonexistent effect. Still scowling she closed her eyes and tried to remember the definition of magic she had memorized the summer before her first yea, before she had learned the control that had been drilled into her and every other student here at Hogwarts.

            Magic requires no wand, incantation, potion, or teaching. Magic is merely channeled willpower, nothing but pure will. Blood does not determine magical ability, blood only determines aptitude, not actual ability. So called “Pure Bloods” have a genetic advantage over “muggles” but it has been proven that anyone with the right strength of mind can perform magic.

            Wands, incantations, and potions all are tools used by the magical folk, but are not necessary; it is actually a proven fact that wandless magic is the most powerful known to Wizard. But proficient users of above said magic are few and far between, they discipline it takes to master these gifts is unimaginable to anyone but those dedicated few-

            Hermione opened her eyes, stupid photographic memory, she had just wanted to recall the definition, not read the entire page, though what she had remembered was interesting, it was also fairly useless, and disheartening.

            Hermione blew a stray strand of hair out off her face, only to have another lock fall into her eyes. Growling, Hermione pulled her hair into a severe ponytail, it was still damp, had her shower really been only a few hours ago? It seemed several lifetimes since she had woken up between Malfoy’s sheets.

            Ewwww, how perverted does that sound? Never think, never think, never think, he smelled really good. Gross, don’t ever think that either. Now what was I supposed to do again? Oh yeah, the glass.

            She focused on the stubbornly uncooled water, slowly raising her fingers till they were between her eyes and the glass. She snapped again, but nothing happened.

            She tried to evoke same surge of power that she had felt the night before, but the entire fight was hazy, and the spine tingling strength wasn’t flooding back. Glowering at the door through which Malfoy had disappeared, Hermione made an impatient gesture with her still raised hand.

            Her hand hit the glass, causing it to shudder, and a few drops of the warmish water flicked out, and onto her fingers.

            Hermione stared at the droplets that dotted her fingers, and threw her arm out, sending the full glass flying out into empty space. She watched as it seemed to hover at the pinnacle of its flight, just like they did in all those cartoons she’d watched as a child, the ones where the character would run off a building or some such, and then pause in air, legs still pumping, before holding up a sign that said something like Uh-Oh, or Oops.

            And then it shattered into millions of diamond fragments, making Hermione jump out of her chair, and glance guiltily around the room, Jason stirred, but didn’t wake, and no sound came from the kitchen. 

            Sighing, she bent to sweep the shards into a pile, and received a cut on her finger for her trouble. Grimacing at her bad luck, Hermione was putting her finger to her mouth to suck away the blood, when she noticed something funny.

            “Draco Waddeveryourmiddlenameis Malfoy.”

            “You rang?” He looked up from the Daily Prophet that he was reading at the bar, a steaming mug of tea beside him.

            The other three were spread out across the table, parchments, quills, textbooks, and rapidly drying bottles of ink were littered around the procrastinators. Hermione frowned at the school stuff that was strewn across her pretty tabletop; procrastination was a dirty sin indeed, to her anyway.

            But she couldn’t allow that to distract her, was that an ink drop on her table?!?!?! Wait, mad at Malfoy, not Brothers, deal with table later, no, ink will dry, must-deal-with… 

            Draco watched with amusement as emotions played across her face, she looked strained as she tried to drag her eyes away from a particular spot on the table. He glanced, and noticed the drying drop of ink at the precise moment Hermione forgot what she was mad about, and began bustling around the kitchen looking for a damp dishcloth.   

            She found one and attacked the ink spot with astonishing force, surprising the three boys who had been trying hard to hide the fact that they were watching Draco and Hermione with interest. As they spot lightened, she called over her shoulder, “I was mad at you about something.”

            “Really, I never would have known.”

            “Seriously, I was.”

            “Oh I believe you.” He sipped his tea sagely, his expression tranquil  

            Hermione checked the spot it was gone; she shot a dirty look at her brothers, warning whomever the perpetrator may be that she would be watching him. Then she looked at the rag, and noticed the peculiar stain that was spreading from her finger. “Oh yeah, why is my blood green?”

            He glanced at her proffered finger with mild interest, “Didn’t you know that Dragon’s Blood is green?”

            “Well yeah”

            “Then doesn’t it make sense?”

            “I guess.”

            “How’d you cut it?”

            Hermione took her injured finger from her mouth, and grinned wryly, “I got mad and smashed the glass, and then tried to clean it up without magic.”

            Draco clucked his tongue against his teeth thoughtfully, a habit the Hermione detested. “It took you that long to get frustrated? Guess I owe you a few galleons Zambini.”

            “Cough up” the other boy grinned, as Hermione’s ears began steaming.

            “YOU DIDN’T THINK I COULD DO IT?!?!?!”

            His tone was placating, “Well, I thought you’d get aggravated before this and-”

            Hermione growled at him, feeling power surge through her, “shut up.” Her voice was quiet as she snapped her fingers, his tea froze, and the mug cracked as the frozen water expanded.

            Draco grinned at the cracked mug, and his rock hard tea, “knew you could do it.” He said mildly, fixing the mug with a wave of his wand, and tossing the chunk of brown ice into the sink, where it would melt gradually and drain away.

            “That was a ploy?” her voice was weak.

            “Yup, good job Blaise.”

            “Thanks oh mighty Lord.”

            “You came up with that on the fly?”

            “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

            “Why you you-you”

            “What?” Anthony asked pleasantly, looking up from his half finished potions essay.

            “BOYS!!” Hermione finally shouted, and stormed out, leaving her Brothers, and her Lord chuckling in her wake. She glanced at the jug of water, and the damp spot scattered with glass fragments. She slumped in a chair, totally drained, and then, sat bolt upright, this time she knew exactly how it had felt to us her Talent, could she do it again?

            Her hand shook as she raised it, and looked at the pitcher of water; it took her a few tries before she could actually snap her fingers. When she finally succeeded, nothing happened.

            Closing her eyes, Hermione tried to recall the exact feeling, the straightening of her spine, the rush through her veins, the fire behind her eyes, and then, there it was. A dull blaze somewhere inside of her, she called the flames up, and raised her hand before her closed eyes, her fingers didn’t shake. She didn’t open her eyes, she only snapped, and concurrently whispered “hot”.

            A wave of steam washed over her, she opened her eyes to see the water in the jug boiling merrily, she shrieked with happiness, causing the boys to pile out of the kitchen, and Jason to shoot up, looking around with wide eyes.  Hermione was dancing in front of her jug of boiling water, grinning like a child at Christmas, “I did it, I did it, see, I told you I could do it.” She cackled, and then stopped suddenly, “That could really be taken the wrong way, couldn’t it?”

            All the boys, Jason included, nodded soberly, though her cousin wasn’t entirely sure what he was nodding about, he just knew it made him feel more grown up.

            “Thought so.” She paused for another moment, and then, shrugged, “whatever”, and began dancing around again, almost on top of the scattered glass shards. Draco, seeing the danger to her bare feet, slapped up a quick spell circle, which healed the glass, and sent it flying into his hand. Hermione noticed, and squealed “Thanks” before snapping her fingers again, and chilling the water in the container, and sending a layer of frost across the surface of the suddenly stilled water.

            “Don’t-” Michael began, as a long crack ran down the side of the pitcher, it shattered, and sent ice water across all of them.”-do that.”

            “What just happened?” Hermione was confused to say the least.

            “The rapid shift from boiling hot, to freezing cold will shatter glass.”

            “Yeah, I noticed that Mikey.”

            “That’s not my name.”

            “It is now.” Her voice was singsong

            “No it’s not.” He sang back.

            “Oh yes it is.”

            “Oh no it’s not.”

            “Yes”

            “No”

            “Get a room”

            They turned as one to Anthony, and made identical faces, “Ewwwww” they chorused, and then grinned at each other.

            “Andy.” Hermione whined, “You know you guys are my Brothers, don’t ever say something like that again, it’s just to gross to think about.”

            Blaise snickered, “Yeah Andy, it’s just to gross to think about.”

            Malfoy denied his flash of anger at “Andy” for even thinking that Hermione and- no; he didn’t care if she and Mich- no, he just didn’t care.

Yeah Right

            “Kay Blake” Anthony mocked in return.

            “No.” Hermione broke in, “Blake doesn’t work, how about… Blazz”

            “Blazz?”

            “Yup”

            “You’re sure?”

            “yup”

            “You’re positive?”

            “Yup”

            “You’re positive you’re positive?”

            “yup”

            “can you say anything else?”

            “Nope”

            “But you just did”

            “nope”

            “You’re still sure?”

            “yup.”

            “okay then, so what’s Draco’s name?”

            “Dunno.”

            ‘Why not?”

            “Cause Drakie doesn’t work, and neither does Malferret.”

            “Will you let that go?” Draco’s voice was exasperated; would he never live that down?

            “Nope” They all laughed as Hermione winked cheekily, “How bout just The Ferret? I kind of like that.”

            “The Ferret?”

            “I refuse to be called such an inferior name.”

            “Fine then, we won’t call you that.”

            “Really?” he looked at Hermione in disbelief.

            “Really” she assured him, “We’ll call you Lord Ferret instead” she finished, keeping her face perfectly straight.

            Draco sighed, and ran his hands through his hair, “I suppose-”

            “It isn’t so inferior, you’ve got to admit that.”

            He glared at Michael, “okay Mikey,” the others snorted, “Now what’s our name for you Granger?”

            That caught her off guard, “what?”

            “You’ve named all of us, now we get to name you.”

            “Now guys, is that really necessary?” there was a note of panic in her voice, what could they possibly name her, they didn’t even know her for goodness-sakes!! 

            “Yup” they chorused, leaving her even more worried than before.

            Jason, who had watched all of this with great interest, was now rather bored, and he told them all rather loudly, “Auntie, I’m Bored.”

            Hermione glanced at him, as if just remembering he was in the room, “well, what do you wanna do?”

            “I dunno, sumthin.”

            “I like Auntie.” Michael put in, and the others chewed it over for a moment.

            “Naaaa” the other three chorused.

            Hermione sighed, pretending she hadn’t heard, “Well, wanna go pop in a movie? We’ll watch with you, and then we can have some lunch.”

            Her Brothers hid their confusion well, they were all purebloods, and none of then knew much about muggles. They all piled up to her room, where Hermione had the boys bring all the blankets and pillows they could find, as popped in Star Wars episode IV, and settled herself onto the couch, stretched out as long as she could make her body, taking up the entire thing.

            The boys entered to see her sprawled upon the leather couch, and scowled darkly. Hermione laughed and hopped up, “just kidding guys, sheesh.” Soon, she and Jason were sprawled on the floor, which was swathed in many thick blankets. Draco sprawled beside them, and the other three fought over couch space.

            As everyone settled, Hermione gave them a crash course on the movie, “Kay guys, this is the first in the half-a-jillion Star Wars movies that were made. This isn’t the first in the series, but it is the oldest. The special effects are kinda crappy, but it’s from 77’ so what can you expect. There’ll be words in the beginning, Read em, they’ll be important. Now, let the show begin…”

            Jason hopped up and ran to switch off the lights, as the words slowly began rolling up the screen, Long, Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…       


Okaaay, so that's a rap, tell me watcha think, and I'll update as soon as I can!!! Oh, and I haven't watched the Star Wars movies in a long time, so someone please tell me if that's not the right words so I can go back and change it!!! ^.^
kisses
~*Jeni*~

Chapter 39: Fear Itself
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Hi guys, I know it's been a Loooooooooong time, i'm sorry, I seriously have no excuse. But a while back i wrote a seriously long oneshot for a friends birthday, (hiya Silver, happy belated birthday again!!!!), and then had tons of trouble getting it validated. And then I was gone here and there for various trip, it was just one huge mess after another, I seriously am sorry. 
And you can all give me a major guilt trip over it later, right now why don't you just read it? see you guys on the other side...



They took a brief break to grab cold cut sandwiches, and then dashed back up the stairs to watch two more of the Star Wars movies. A quick pee break, and scrounging around in the cabinets for several packages of microwave popcorn, and they were back at it again, to watch yet another one.

            It was just past dusk when the credits started scrolling up the screen. It was at this time that Hermione stretched, yawned, and lazily scratched her stomach, “I feel fat” she informed The Boys, looking lazily around the room. It certainly looked like several teens had camped out in it for most of the day, pillows and blankets of varying sizes, and designs were scattered around them.

            “You don’t look fat.” Draco yawned, lazily scratching the back of his neck.

            “Aww, thanks.” Hermione yawned, casting a languid eye over the slovenly remains of their movie day.

            Coke bottles, candy wrappers, three empty popcorn bowls, all of their shoes, and a couple of pairs of socks were strewn through the bedding, somewhere amidst the chaos was the remote, and none of them had the gumption to look for it. Instead they set Jason to gathering up the trash and tossing it into Hermione’s small waste paper basket, while they moved the bedding back to its appropriate beds.

            The remote was found; apparently Michael had been sitting on it for most of the last movie, and was promptly lost again in all the confusion cleaning. Jason found it shortly thereafter, in the trashcan atop an impressive mound of chocolate bar wrappers, no one was quite sure how it got there, but they were all too sluggish to really bother with it.

            A glance at Hermione’s alarm clock proved it to be eight thirty and therefore almost Jason’s bedtime. So everyone was shooed down to the kitchen where they all wolfed down bowls of cereal, before being roughly pushed out the door by Hermione, who declared it time for all sensible people to be in bed. Draco watched with mild amusement as the senior members of his Court were bossed around by a girl who was technically only a first year Court member. She should be the bottom of the totem pole, but he inwardly thought Merlin help whoever dared tell her that.

            Jason was pushed up the stairs, sent to go brush his teeth, while Hermione scrubbed the cereal dishes hurriedly. “Go to bed Draco” she told him softly, “I’m goin to practice once Jason’s asleep, so don’t worry if you hear something downstairs at midnight.”

            “What makes you think I’m going to bed?”

            “Whatever you’re doing, don’t wake Jason, and don’t you dare bring home any-” she struggled for a word, “tarts” she finally settled. “Jason is a growing boy, and he needs his sleep, I don’t want any bad influences on him.”

            “Me in particular?”

            “Maybe” she back was still to him.

            “But you called me Draco.”

            Her spine stiffened, “Maybe I’ve decided you’re human after all, whatever’s happened, don’t make me regret whatever small regard I hold you in.”

            His flawlessly chiseled lips curled into a smile, she could almost hear them shifting into that knee-trembling expression, even though he didn’t say anything for over a minute. She had almost believed him gone, when he spoke so softly, she almost thought he hadn’t meant for her to hear, “I can assure you, I hold you in higher regard than any other woman on earth.”

            “Your mother?” Her voice betrayed none of her inner turmoil.

            “Is a wonderful woman, who loves me dearly, but she doesn’t let me fight back.”

            “What?” Hermione glanced over her shoulder at him, his heartbreaking smile was gone, but the corners of his mouth still held a tiny smirk tucked in their corners.

            “She brooks no argument. How do you think I ended up in Dallas this summer?”

            “I don’t know, never really thought about it.” She kept her voice as nonchalant as possible, but a tension that he didn’t understand seemed to lurk below the surface of her words.    

            “She sent me, and I’m glad she did, now.”

            “Me to” Hermione whispered, not meaning for him to hear.

            “What was that?” but of course he had heard perfectly.

            “Nothing, are you off then?”

            “Yes, I need to work on an essay a little before bed.” She listened to him stretch, and tried hard not to remember how his muscles felt when stretched taut against her own. “Goodnight Granger.” He called, hand on the door.

            “Goodnight…” she heard him open the door, “Draco” she whispered, as the door swung shut, a small smile on her lips.    

            ^*~^*~^*

            The black duffle bag was slung over her shoulder; cleats, ball, wand (which had been found on her shoe rack of all places), water bottle, and sweat towel were all stuffed inside. The Cloak was around her shoulders, the cowl up and hiding her face, Draco watched her cross the common room from his stairs, before heading back up to work on his History of Magic essay.

            She drifted through the halls like a cloud shadow, her feet making no sound on the cold stones of the empty halls. The torches flickered in a very few corridors, but no one was out. As she passed one broom closet she heard breathless giggles, and rolled her eyes, children, couldn’t they at least cast a silencing spell? Filch would catch them if they got much louder, she highly doubted Miss Norris was bribed by anyone besides herself. 

            And then she had slipped out of the great, oaken doors, and was dashing across the grounds, the grass blurring beneath her feet, The Cloak streaming out behind her. She was soon slipping into the Quiddtich stadium, as she set down her bag, her breath caught, she could feel someone else there.

            The fine hairs on her arms were standing on end, though the night was warm, hot even, but goose flesh rippled across her body. She could almost hear a heart somewhere close, beating a counter point to her own wildly pounding rhythm. She stopped breathing for a mere minute, held her breath, and quieted her thoughts, there, her sensitive ears heard a soft intake of breath. She determinedly didn’t look at the stands, where she heard the soft gust as the breath was exhaled. 

            “Guys, I know you’re there, quit playing, Mikey, Blazz, Andy?” her voice drifted off, the breathing changed, she whipped around, but the stands were empty. “Lord Ferret?” she felt the bile of fear rising in her throat, “Blood Brothers?” she strained to keep her voice from shaking. “Jonathan, you worm if you’re out there…” she trail off, knowing it wasn’t him.

            A soft laugh surrounded her, a laugh she knew all to well.

            “Weasley” she kept her tone curt, the fool was trying (and succeeding) to scare her.

            “Maybe” he breathed on her neck, her breath caught, she hadn’t even heard him hit the grass, much less approach her.

            She spun to face him, but he wasn’t there, her muscles tensed, something was rotten in the state Denmark, er, Hogwarts.  “Who are you? Where’s Ron.”

            “Right here.” His voice was soft, gentle, sickeningly sweet, caressing even.

            She spun again, this time catching a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye, as he flitted across the smooth grass without a sound. That wasn’t like Ron at all; the Ron she knew was about as sneaky as a dying elephant, and a crippled one at that. He was lanky, all limbs, with too big hands and feet, graceless to a fault.  

            “Don’t toy with me.” Her voice was a dangerous growl, she didn’t know what was happening, but she didn’t like it.

            “Who said I was playing?” he was standing directly in front of her, the moon was a bare sliver, but she could still make him out perfectly.

            His features were the same, but his eyes’, their usual puppy-dog innocence was gone, leaving a cold clarity in them that she had never seen before. His mouth was twisted into an unfamiliar sneer, but he seemed to be carefully keeping his lips shut. 

            “Who are you?” she repeated her crouching slightly as her muscles coiled.

            “Why I’m Ronald Billius Weasley of course.” He smiled a threatening smile, as his lips moved she glimpsed his teeth.

            They were all crushingly flat, as if they had been filed down, except for his canines; they were sharper even than hers. “No you’re not.” She whispered, “Ron had human teeth.”

            He sneered again, this time parting his lips to give her a better look at his teeth; she’d never seen anything like them. “Who are you?” he asked in return.

            “Hermione Janice Granger, Dramione, The Heartless, Auntie, take your pick.” She sneered back, her heart pounding harder; she didn’t like not understanding what was happening.  

            He threw his head back and laughed; the token amount of moon light gleaming off his peculiar teeth, she shivered unconsciously.  “I knew you would be the one.” He chuckled.

            She was thrown off, but said nothing. “My mate needs a Host, and you would suit her perfectly.” Ron flashed another wolf’s smile.

             “Mate?” Host?!?!?! He was a parasite of some sort.

            “Yes, Migulea has been Hostless far to long.” This time he flashed a sultry smirk that made her skin crawl.

            “And you are?”

            “Skitrask”

            “A Parasite”

            “You could call me that; we prefer to call ourselves by our proper name.”

            “Which is?”

            “Wouldn’t you like to know?” The smirk hadn’t shifted a fraction, as he began walking towards her.   

            Hermione raised her fingers, feeling the power surge through her, and snapped, willing him to fall to the ground unconscious.

            He kept moving towards her, she backed up, and tried again, this time clapping her hands sharply. Again she felt the jolt as the energy needed to perform the task left her, but still, he kept approaching. Her back hit the stands, she felt the Dragoness in her blood clawing to be free, but as she willed her other form to come, still nothing happened.

            She tried to raise her arms, to punch his still leering face, but she was frozen, paralyzed, with fear, and some other force that she didn’t understand. It was then that Hermione used the last weapon in her arsenal, the one thing that was left.

            She screamed.    

            ^*~^*~^*

            Jason woke up screaming, and sobbing.

            Draco burst through the bathroom door, to find the boy wailing “Auntiiiieeeeeeee”   He gathered his little cousin in his arms, just as he had seen Hermione do so many times, and whispered “What’s wrong”

            The child sobbed into his shirt, “Auntie, dark, scared, carrot top, alone, scared-”

            Draco felt a chill wash through him, “Where” his voice was tight.

            “Practice field” Jason’s lips barely moved.

            “I’m going to go get her, you stay right here, got that?” Jason nodded tearfully.

            Draco settled him back amidst the blankets on Hermione’s bed, and opened her window, jumping out, and feeling his wings tear through his shirt. Hermione had better really be in trouble. The shirt was perfectly good silk, and he wouldn’t ruin it for just anyone.

            As he flew, he caught Hermione’s scent on the breeze, the tang of fear sweat making him strain his wings harder, speed being his only object. He was over the Quidditch Pitch, when he heard her scream, and dropped like a stone.

            ^*~^*~^*

            His hands were locked firmly on her shoulders, Hermione fought against the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes, she had cried for Jack, but she would not cry for some leech that had taken the body of another. His brown eyes were boring down into her cinnamon and honey pools, when Draco bulled into him.

            Ron, Skitrask, whatever he called himself was thrown backwards. Draco’s body rippled with furious snarls, as his wings slid back into his torn shirt, Hermione didn’t know how he was there, but she was eternally grateful. “Weasley” he growled at Ron’s prone form.

            “No” Skitrask laughed, bouncing up unhurt.

            “Daemon Leech” he roared in raw fury.

            “One of the few.” Skitrask cackled back.

            “Why are you here?”

            “He sent me, promised to renew our race if we just took from among these young hosts.”

            “Who?”

            “The one you should be serving,” he chuckled merrily, dancing back as fire shot from Draco, “naughty, naughty you should know spell circles are slow.” He tittered.

            “How?”

            “Rediscovered the spells, we’ll die out without his help, and since mischief is so dear to us.” He was dancing around, dodging Draco’s spells easily. Hermione snapped her fingers, the power had flowed back to her slowly, and her fingers were shaking as she snapped. She swallowed, fighting for consciousness.

            Skitrask in Ron’s body tripped, and the silver spell circle glowed beneath him, “I Banish you to the fires from whence you came.” Draco growled, as Skitrask screamed in pain. Ron went limp, as dusky shadow flowed from his open mouth.

            It formed, twisted, till a creature with skin the color of old blood stood beside him. It turned furious yellow eyes to them, before opening its mouth and shrieking again in agony, its teeth had the same strange filed down appearance, with the wickedly sharp canines. “We’ll return” it screeched, glaring at them balefully, as the silver lines of the spell circle burned it till the thing was nothing but a pile of pale ash that scattered in a light breeze.   

            Hermione was still standing behind Draco, when she began to feel dizzy her legs trembled, and she swayed on her feet, Draco’s back swirled towards her face as she slumped against him. Draco reached back, and pulled her around in front of him, his orange eyes concerned as he gently laid her on the soft grass of the Quidditch field. Ron was still out cold, he probably wouldn’t wake for some time, but Draco wasn’t particularly concerned about the Weaslbee.

            Hermione opened her eyes slowly, “what was that?”

            “A very long story, and another late night talk.”

            Hermione groaned, “Why can’t we ever discover something before midnight.”

            Draco consulted the antique gold pocket watch that he carried, “It’s only ten, if that makes anything better.”

            Hermione groaned again, “Can you get Ron to the hospital wing? I’ll meet you in the common room.”

            Draco nodded, and took off his shirt, handing it to Hermione, “I don’t wanna ruin it anymore than it already is, could you carry it?”

            Hermione nodded, and shuffled over to her duffle bag, stuffing it in with the rest of her stuff. Draco scooped Ron up, and took off, as soon as he was out of sight, Hermione pulled out his shirt and inhaled deeply, taking in as much of his scent as possible. He had saved her from whatever had been about to happen, and for that she owed him…big time.

            Shakily she pulled the duffle bag’s strap over her shoulder, and across her chest, almost over balancing, even though the bag didn’t weigh much. Her hands were trembling with exhaustion as she put Malfoy’s shirt back into the bag, and pulled out her water bottle. She drained it in four long draughts, and could have drunk more.  Easily.

            She was glad Draco had agreed to go ahead with Ron; she didn’t want him to see her like this, quivering with exhaustion, almost crying with pain.  She trudged up the first two steps towards the main entrance, when her muscles cramped, and she crumpled against the unforgiving stone. She bit back her whimper of pain, willing Draco to come looking for her, and at the same time praying he would never see her like this.

            Slowly she pushed her body up again, tears trailing down her cheeks, she took three steps, and to stop again, crumpling to the ground again. Her breath was coming in wild, painful gasps, she hated feeling this weak. Slowly she crawled to the doors, but they were closed, she would have to stand up to open them.

            It took all her strength to stand and open those massive doors, once they were cracked just enough for her to slip through, she fell again, and let them swing closed behind her. Her cheek rested against the cool pale marble floor, it would be wonderful to just lay there and slip out of this pain filled world. To let the warm black waters of sleep sweep her away, to not feel anything, to exist in another place, one where it didn’t hurt to breath.

            Then she felt footsteps through the floor, the soft skin of her cheek picked up the tiny tremors of someone’s paces, and she laboriously crawled across the endless floor. She pulled her pitiful body to the wall, and made herself as small as possible, as the owner of the footsteps walked across the entrance hall.

            Snape crossed the marble mere feet from her, but he didn’t look left or right, his stride was determined, as if he knew exactly where he was going, and needed to be there soon.

            Hermione didn’t have the energy to wonder where he was going, instead used the wall as a support, and hauled her aching body upright. She took three steps, and leaned against the wall to rest, before taking another painful three steps.

            Slowly she regained a little strength, and could even take four or five steps, before she had to rest against the welcome stone wall.

            Draco found her at the foot of the first of the many staircases that led up to their tower, her legs trembling, her breath ragged, as she contemplated the task at hand. She had jumped when she saw him, his pale chest gleaming in the dark. He had wordlessly swept her up, and carried her effortlessly up the stairs; there he had set her down, as he knew she would want him to.

            She was too prideful to have him carry her all the way to their tower. 

            Instead he walked back with her, stopping when she stopped, not offering to carry her bag, since he knew she would be offended, not even asking for his shirt back.  He carried her up each flight of stairs they came to, his face impassive as he sat her down at the top of each one, and walking beside her.

            When they reached Gaia he let her give the password, and didn’t offer to help her onto the moving staircase. Though when it did jolt, and almost send her tumbling, he did catch her, and hold her the rest of the ride up to ensure her safety.

            When he opened the common room door she said nothing, instead she staggered to the couch and fell onto it, face first. “So what was Skitrask?” her voice was muffled due to her face being pressed into the plush leather couch.

            “A Daemon that requires a Host to thrive.”

            “Yeah, I figured that out for myself thanks.”

            A tired smile tinged Draco’s lips; she still had her sarcasm, good. “Why don’t I make us some tea, to wake you up?”

            “Got any coffee?”

            “Only that stuff you didn’t like.”

            “Tea would be lovely.”

            “I’ll be right back.”

            Hermione rolled over and fought to stay awake, Draco soon returned holding two steaming mugs, thank god. She sipped her tea, and made a soft, complementary noise, “So what are they?”

            “In legend their called The Thieves, because that’s what they are. They steal their Host’s body, take possession of their memories, and shut their Host’s mind away. Some times they even let their Host “Watch” so they know what their body is doing, but are powerless to stop it.“

            “How are they created? Skitrask was talking about wanting me to Host his mate, are they…born?”

            “As humans and animals are? No. They are created with the bones of a dead human, and necromancy, a brand of dark magic which has I thought had been stamped out.”

            “How’s necromancy different from your spell circle magic? Or my snapping whatsit? Or even regular wand magic?”

            “Necromancers use the dead in their spells. They animate bodies, cast Curses, summon daemons from of Hells fires, and spread plagues, all sorts of good stuff.”

            “But we do some of that stuff too. We make inferi, and curses too.”

            “The spell used to create inferi is adapted from ancient Necromancy, and our curses are feeble compared to their gruesome works of magic. A Necromancer who can wield a Curse would say something like I curse your field’s barren, your children dead, your lineage shattered, your body crippled and may you have long life to see it all come to pass.”   

            Hermione was wide awake; the combination of fragrant tea, and horror had driven sleep far from her mind. “And daemons?”

            “They are created when a necromancers hate is so great for the dead human, whoever they are, that they attempt to reanimate the body for their own twisted purposes. In place of the dead’s soul comes the Daemon, but it is unable to possess a body that is already empty. Often they will possess their creator, and eventually kill them.

            A skilled necromancer can call a daemon from hell’s pits to be an evil minion, but Daemons are volatile, and do not take well to being called to the earth as a human’s toy.”

            “But he spoke of a mate.”

            “Yes, there are male and female Daemons, and they do become mates, possessing human bodies so that they may be lovers, but they cannot procreate.”

            “Do they die?”

            “No, to thrive they need a Host, but they can live without one. They are ageless, the only way to get rid of them is to send it back to Hell’s gates, where it will stay for all eternity, with luck. However, they can be recalled, but only by a necromancer, and necromancy is all but gone.”

            “But Voldemort has rediscovered the spell.”

            “If this Skitrask’s words are to be trusted, then yes.”

            “And he’s sent the few Daemons that still exist to Hogwarts, in search of Hosts?”

            “So it would seem.”    

            “Then we need to tell Dumbledore.”

            “I informed him when I dropped Weasley off at the hospital wing; he was speaking with Madam Pomfery.”

            “And?”

            “He has asked me to teach the Court how to Banish Daemons, we will have to defend Hogwarts, the Ministry refuses to believe that Daemons still exist.”

            “And the teachers?”

            “They will watch for Daemons, but Banishment is difficult for full humans.”

            “So we’re on our own.”

            “You could say that.”

            “What do Daemon’s feed off of?”

            “Fear itself. They feed off of their Host’s worst nightmares and darkest secrets.”

            Hermione gulped, “Great, so we’re screwed?”

            “You could say that too.”       


Kay guys, and now you know why Ron was acting like he was, anyone mad at me for this plot twist? Questions? coments? criticisms? Did I spell that right? I'll update just as soon as I can, thanx so much for reading guys!!!!
kisses
~*Jeni*~  

Chapter 40: Rash
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Back gain, and a fairly speedy update, be happy people!!!!! Oh, and this is an oober long, over 5,000 words chapter, so be even happier!!!!
Of course it could be complete garbage and you all hate it, but whatever, I'll see you guys on the other side... 



            Hermione crawled into bed beside Jason, still fully dressed, teeth unbrushed, hair still tied in its pony tail. It would be a tangled mess in the morning, but she honestly didn’t care, she was exhausted, and would in the coming months have to defend Hogwarts from creatures that possessed their victims, and fed off their fears.

            She thought that she deserved a rest.

            She woke up the next morning to Jason bouncing on the bed beside her, “come on Auntie, I’m hungry.”

            She groaned, “Go get some cereal, Auntie needs to sleep.” She squeezed her eyes shut to block out the painfully bright morning sun.

            “Can’t reach the box” Jason informed her, continuing to bounce.

            “Then get Malfoy to get some for you.”

            “He’s showerin.”

             Hermione listened, sure enough, she could hear the water running, “Go away, I’ll be down in a minute.”

            “Yay” Jason bounded away, and Hermione collapsed back down on the pillow, trying to scrape together the energy to move.

            Slowly she pushed her sore body upright, and slapped the on button of her radio, it was on a rock station, and the fast beats woke her up a little. It felt like there was gravel in her joints, and plaster in her skull as she swung her legs out of the bed, and sat her bare feet on the cool wood floor.

            That woke her up even more. Slowly she shuffled to her closet and yanked off her rumpled clothes, throwing them out of the door, and digging around for a clean bra.

            She couldn’t find a clean one anywhere, the only bra in sight was the black lacy push up she had worn to the welcoming feast. She didn’t even really like that bra, but it had been hideously expensive, and Jamie had given it to her, half as a joke. She had written a tiny note to go with it, “May this bra bring you luck, cause heaven knows it’s the only real bra you own.”

            And that was true, Hermione couldn’t stand push-ups, or strapless, or any of the other bras Jamie had once tried to force on her. Ever since they were little, Hermione’s mother had bought her sensible sports bras, and Aunt Elisa had bought Jamie these expensive, lace covered things. Hermione thought they itched, and were horribly impractical, thus, she only owned the one “real” bra.

            The black lace bra that Jamie had given her was actually fairly comfortable, and it fit her well, but still, she had vowed it would be the only bra like it that she would own, she thought bra shopping was awfully embarrassing also. Thus, she preferred her simple sport bras.

            But now she was left with no other options, so she put it on, rolling her eyes as she deftly snapped the clasp, and shrugged the straps into place. She had just pulled on a pair of soft cotton shorts for lounging around, when she heard the bathroom door on her side open.

            “Granger?”

            “In here.” She called, and he peered inside the cracked closet door before she could tell him not to.

            “Merlin” He snapped, turning around quickly, the sight of her in that small, push up, lacy, jet black - no Draco, bad Draco, no. “Can’t you tell me you’re changing? Or better yet close the door.”

            Hermione scoffed, “If I remember right, you opened the door, and what’d you think? That I hang out in my closet for fun? And what’s the big deal; you’ve seen me in a bra before. Plus you could have knocked like the sometimes polite person you are.”

            “Well, yeah I could have, but I’ve never seen you in a- a bra he shuddered at the word like it was dirty “like- like that.

            Hermione glanced down at herself, and chuckled, Draco Malfoy fumbling for words about a woman’s most prized undergarment, it was kinda cute. Wait, did she just use the word cute to describe Malfoy? Weird. Quickly she pulled on a T-shirt, one that had Gig’em Aggies blazed across it, in bright white, across the maroon background. Yes, she was an Aggie fan through and through, Jamie was a tea sipper from Austin, a TU fan, Thanksgiving Day games had been rather interesting while Hermione had still lived in Dallas. “I’m decent” she told Draco, as she pulled the hem of the shirt straight, and turned around to face him.

            Draco peeked around cautiously, afraid she might be pulling his leg, “Okay, so we need to explain the whole daemon thing to The Court, I’ve called an emergency meeting in the Room of Requirement, are you ready to go?”

            Hermione glanced down at her attire, she was extremely casual for wandering around the school, but, what the hell, she was Head Girl, and she might as well abuse her privileges a little before term officially started.

            She started to follow him out the door, and then chickened out, shoving him out into her room and closing the closet door in his face. As fast as her fingers would move, she pulled off the shorts and yanked on a pair of jeans, zipping and buttoning them swiftly. She grabbed some socks and pulled them on, jerking her tennis shoes on after them, before opening the door again. “Can you go get some cereal for Jason while I finish up?” she pleaded, scrambling around her room looking for her wand, which was of course right where she left it.

            “Sure, but the meetings in-”

            “I know, I’ve just gotta brush my teeth and hair, and I’ll be down.” Draco heaved a sigh, and rolled his eyes, slouching out of the room without another word. Hermione rushed into the still steamy bathroom, and brushed her teeth rapidly, at the same time yanking a brush through her hair.

            She spit out minty foam, and used both hands to pull her hair into a pony tail, while she swished water around her mouth to get rid of the last bits of toothpaste. Spitting that in the sink too, she bounded down the stairs, and burst into the kitchen, where Draco was sipping tea, while Jason munched on cereal. “I’m ready.” She announced to the room in general, and then frowned at Jason, she had planned on bringing him along, but he wasn’t dressed.

            Draco realized this at the same time she did, smoothly drew a complicated spell circle on the counter, and waved it towards the hungry child. It settled onto Jason’s back, and blinked out, and then, silver lines glowed across the contours of Jay’s clothes, the kid didn’t even twitch. The lines faded, and Jason’s clothing began to shift, changing into a pair of dork blue jeans, and a white T-shirt. Still Jason didn’t look up from his cereal.

            Hermione cast Draco a grateful glance, and summoned Jason’s shoes, putting them on his feet, and tying his laces as he slurped up the milk in his cereal bowl. When he wiped his mouth with a napkin, Hermione stood, “Ready kiddo?”

            “Teeth.” Jason informed her primly.

            Hermione laughed at his cheek, and swatted at his head gently, her fingers barely brushed his hair “Go on then squirt, I’ll wash your dishes, hurry.” Jason scampered off, while Hermione turned and scrubbed his dishes as fast as she could. They were lying on a dish towel, drying when he skipped back into the kitchen. “Ready kiddo?”

            “Ready Freddie.” Jay chirped back, making Hermione laugh again as Draco led them out of the common room, and down the stairs. Gaia grumbled sleepily as she let them out, her deep, stone shaking snores followed them down the hall, Hermione considered casting a silencing charm on the stone Dragoness, but decided that the tower guardian wouldn’t find it amusing.

            The halls were empty, everyone was savoring their last day to sleep in before the term of toil and drudgery began, Hermione envied their ability to sleep without worries, or cares. It must be nice to only have to worry about grades, homework, and mean teachers.

            They passed McGonagall in the hall, she nodded curtly to them, and they nodded shortly in return, her acknowledgment of their existence let them know that she would be at the Court meeting shortly. As they passed the main entrance, and a lounging group of fourth year Ravenclaws that Draco glanced at out of the corner of one brilliantly orange eye, telling them to hurry up with the briefest glance, Hermione wondered aloud, “How did you let everyone know about the meeting?”

            “Owls, lots of owls, and a handy copying spell.” He informed her, and they ascended a flight of stairs. 

            “Hmm, there’s gotta be an easier way.” She mused, “Have you tried two way mirrors?” 

            “We would have to make them ourselves, have you got any idea how many of us there are?”

            “A couple dozen.”

            “Yeah, and two way mirrors are, not only expensive, their also rare.”

            Hermione had to chuckle at that, “A Malfoy with money worries? The sky must be falling.”

            “I could afford it, but we would have to find two dozen odd mirrors, and alter the spell so that they weren’t just two way mirrors, but more like two dozen way mirrors.”

            “Hmm.” Hermione chewed it over, “And just creating a two way mirror is pretty advanced magic.”

            “For a group of teens, yeah.”

            “I’ll look some stuff up, see what I can find. With the right spell it should be possible.”

            He just stared at her, “What? I made pollyjuice potion in second year, why can’t I magic a few mirrors in my seventh?”

            “When’d you do that?”

            “For a good chunk of the year.”

            “obviously, but why?”

            “We wanted to figure something out, and it was the only way.”

            “So you changed yourself into some one else?”

            “Well, Harry and Ron successfully changed, I, er, had problems.” She blushed, and looked determinedly straight ahead.

            “How so?” he wouldn’t be dissuaded.

            “Um, you know how you’ve gotta put a bit of the person you wanna be into the potion?”

            “Yes.” He drawled slowly.

            “Well, I, er, put in a few cat hairs by accident.”

            He valiantly tried to turn his laugh into a cough, Hermione glared indomitably at the empty corridor in front of them. “It wasn’t funny.” She snapped, still not looking at him.

            “Of course not.” He stifled his chuckles, and schooled his features to complete tranquility, with difficulty.

            “I was stuck in the Hospital Wing for Merlin knows how long because of that, just so you know.” Her voice was still waspish.

            “It was four weeks and three days.” He replied promptly, making Hermione wonder exactly how much free time he had, and why he had spent it tallying up the days that she was gone. She shot him a speculative sidelong glance, “Not that I was counting of course.” He rushed to assure her.

            “Right.” Except it came out more like riiiiiight. “and here we are.” She stopped Jason at the end of the corridor, and let Draco pace back and forth three times, to make sure that the meeting room met his exact specifications, without being diluted by her, or Jason’s ideas.

            He spun on spot, as they watched the crude, stone door form in the wall, Hermione raised an eyebrow; she had never seen The Room produce a door quite like this.  Draco shrugged in response to her eyebrow, and opened the door, holding it open for Hermione and Jason, before entering himself.

            Hermione found herself standing on wide red sandstone paving stones, the entire room was red sandstone for that matter, but it wasn’t overwhelming, since the hues varied. There was a yellowish sandstone, and brownish sandstone, and warm red sandstone, and orangey sandstone and… you get the picture.

            Anyway, there were sandstone benches, which seemed to be held together by nothing more than gravity, but when Hermione sat on one she found it surprisingly solid. The stone felt sun warmed, though, they were obviously inside. A bookshelf that had been hacked into the sandstone wall was full of books, Hermione decided to investigate further, as Jason discovered the soccer ball that was in a corner for him to mess around with while the “big kids” conducted business. Draco, seated himself on the throne of hewn sandstone that was on a raised dais, finding it to his liking, he glanced, puzzled, at the second, slightly smaller throne to his right.

            Hermione was engrossed in the titles of the many books that were crammed onto the scooped out shelves. Here was one about banishing various daemons, and here was one about the history of necromancy. Another about particularly troublesome daemons through the ages, ooh, and here was one dedicated completely to The Thieves, parasitic daemons. Hermione plucked it from the shelf and sat on spot, flipping to the first page, and indulging in the new reading material.

            Draco glanced at her, reading happily, and then at Jason, who was passing the soccer ball to the wall, and watching where it bounced, before going and kicking it at the wall again. Then he looked at the second throne, which was very much there, and refusing to sink into the ground, and disappear. “Hermione, I guess you sit here, since, you, erm, were there last night?”

            Hermione’s eyes didn’t as much as flicker, she was fixated on her book, “kay.” She called, flipping the page, and bending closer to the parchment pages; her eyes were rapidly reaching the end of one line, and smoothly moving to the next. The door opened, and Blaise, Michael, and Anthony entered, Hermione glanced up briefly to see who it was, but then back down to her book, much to her Brothers amusement.

            “Ever the bookworm; Lord of the Court, haven’t seen you in, gosh, twenty hours or something like that.” Michael and Blaise chuckled appreciatively at Anthony’s wit.

            “Well, I didn’t know you were so obsessed with me Andy, you seriously need to get a girl.” Draco shot back, from where he was seated.

            “But I’ve got one already.” Anthony joked, going over, and hugging the seated Hermione, book and all. “See?”

            Draco glared orangly (instead of blackly, get it?), but said nothing, fearing that his rough voice would give him away to the now annoyed Hermione, who was trying in vain to push Anthony away.

            “You great lummox, get off of me.” She snapped, trying to read around his encircling arms, and push him off at the same time. It wasn’t working out to well for her.

            “No.” he replied, playfully stubborn.

            “Blaise, Michael, get this oaf off of me, I wanna finish my chapter afore the rest of you lot get here.” Blaise and Michael just laughed.

            “Too late.” Blaise said, as the door opened, and the fourth year Ravenclaw’s slouched in.

            Anthony straightened, as Hermione glanced at her page number, before closing it, and reaching up for a hand. All three Brothers gallantly helped her to her feet.

            Hermione hopped up onto the dais, and plumped herself down on her throne, where she promptly reopened the book, and flicked to her page, and continued ignoring the world around her. Jason watched the rapidly filling room with interest, and hurried to Hermione’s side, climbing into the spacious throne beside her. Hermione absently rubbed his back, still not looking up from her book.

            The rest of the Court took their seats, and eyed her exalted position with envy, but nobody said anything, they were too curious as to why they were there, so early on the last day of their summer holiday.       Draco cleared his throat, and the room quieted, only Hermione didn’t look at him.

            He cleared his throat again, hoping to gain her attention.

            She didn’t so much as bat and eyelash.

            “Gran-Hermione” he called.

            She didn’t move except to turn the page.

            Jason poked her, and she cuffed him gently over the head, “Not now Jay.” She reprimanded him, her eyes still on the page.

            “Hermione.” Draco’s voice was louder.

            She switched from the left hand page to the right hand, still motionless.

            The audience fidgeted, as Draco glared at Hermione, was she deliberately doing this to make him look foolish, or was she seriously oblivious to the fact that they were waiting on her? He cleared his throat again, “Granger.”

            “What Malfoy?” she snapped, turning the page again.

            “We’re waiting on you.” His tone was very hard, and rather cold.

            “Prefects your duties are to patrol the corridors between-” it sounded like she was rattling off a speech that she had long ago committed to memory, and no longer cared for. 

            “No.”

            “What?” she frowned at her book, her expression confused, but she still didn’t look up.

            “Wrong meeting.” Hermione put her finger under the sentence that she had been reading, and looked up, shaking the stray tendrils of hair out of her face.

            Her lips formed a silent “oh” and her eyes got extremely wide, she blushed deeply, and glanced at her page number, before closing the book with an audible snap. “My bad.” She was a deep crimson, “Continue please, I might have read some information that we can use.”

            Draco nodded regally, and began “Now, you are all wondering, I’m sure, why you were rolled out of bed so early on the last day of our summer holiday.” There were many nods, and a few yawns, “Last night our Sister, Hermione Granger was confronted by the Gryffindor Ronald Weasley, who seemed intent on attacking her. Hermione can describe the rest from there.”

            Hermione glared at him, uncomfortable at speaking in front of her fellow Court members, especially since she was so new to the Court, and hadn’t had time to write, and rehearse a speech.  “I was, practicing my soccer, when I, er, felt him watching me, you know the feeling you get when you’re alone, but you just know there’s someone there. Like you can hear their heart beat from across the room, or feel their breath, even though their far away from you?” they just stared at her blankly, Hermione rubbed Jason’s back nervously, and continued her narrative, “I thought he might be one of you guys playing with me, so I told him to cut it out.  And then I heard him in the stands, and then he was laughing behind me.”

            They all looked even more confused at that, and Hermione blushed, realizing she wasn’t really making sense. “I turned to look at him, but he was gone, and then his laugh was all around me, and he was breathing on the back of my neck.” Draco’s hands tightened on the arm rests of his throne, but no one noticed, save for maybe Blaise, who paid it no mind. Hermione was too wrapped up in her story, to notice anything; her eyes were staring unseeingly through the back wall, her voice almost singsong.

            “I realized it wasn’t him, Ron can’t sneak for all the world, but yet I hadn’t even heard him come up behind me. And his silencing spells aren’t that good.” She cut off all potential protests, “And I asked him who he was.” She edited a little, “He told me his name was Skitrask, and he wanted my body to Host his mate.” Okay, she edited a lot. “My magic wasn’t working on him, I couldn’t reach my wand, and my snappy thing wasn’t doing anything to him either.” She took a fortifying breath, “He told me he was a parasite, and his teeth were… funny.  They were flat; she opened her mouth and pointed to her own teeth, “Heuh, an thaus wuh shrup.”

            “What?” someone called, and Hermione blushed a the color of a maraschino cherry,  she ate with Ron and Harry, she should know that people couldn’t understand you when you talked with something in your mouth, even if it was your own hand.

            “Draco, will you be a demonstration?” she asked, the rest watched with interest at the slight of authority, but their Lord merely nodded mildly, and cranked open his jaws. “These teeth.” She pointed to his front teeth, the ones we use for biting down, “were flat, like they had been filed down or something.” The others nodded, and Hermione raised her hand, spreading her thumb and forefinger to indicate his canines, “And these, the canines, were wicked sharp. Sharper even than our teeth, I’d be surprised if he didn’t have numerous cuts on the inside of his mouth. They were long too, at least a half inch longer than then should be.” Her hand was shaking at the memory of those teeth, and her fingers barely brushed Draco’s teeth, he resisted the urge to close his lips, and suck on her finger. This was rather creepy when he thought about it, stupid beast in his blood that made him want to do weird things.

            Hermione removed her hand from his teeth, and was continuing, “I was screaming for help as he was bearing down on me, when Malfoy came out of nowhere, and shoved him over.” She almost winced at her words, and wished fervently that she could have prepared this a head of time, how amateur did she sound? “And our Lord can tell the rest.”

            Draco was still occupied with the strange things his blood was making him feel, and was roused from a rather entertaining train of thought that involved himself, Granger wearing very little, with a large python draped around her shoulders. “Oh, erm.” He coughed to regain his composure, “Yes, I shoved the daemon off of our Sister, and together we Banished him to the hellfires from whence he came.”

            Hermione glared, and she thought she had edited. “We delivered Ron to the hospital wing,” she picked up where he had left off, frowning at his lack of detail, “and informed Dumbledore of the latest development in our fight against Voldemort.” There was an immediate chorus of disapproving hisses, “Oh get over yourselves, that’s not even his name.” There was another chorus of hisses, and Draco decided to save her this time.

            “We went back to our common room where we discussed things for a short while, and then crawled off to our beds. First thing this morning I sent out the letters that you received, and here we are.”

            “So why are we here?”

            “Voldemort-” Draco began, and even he was greeted by soft noises of disapproval, “Oh come on, anyway, he has recruited the parasitic daemons to infiltrate Hogwarts, pose the students, and generally wreak havoc. In return, he claims to have rediscovered the spells used by ancient Necromancers to raise daemons from hell, and will use them to swell the ranks of daemons once more.”

            “So we’re screwed?” Jonathan called, obviously much recovered.

            “That’s what I said last night.” Hermione called back playfully, eager to show she bore him no ill will.

            “what were you getting screwed?” he called back to raucous laughter, Draco tightened his fists, only to see Hermione laughing along with many of the Court. Her Brothers were rather confused by that.

            “Wouldn’t you like to know?” she asked, winking suggestively.

            “Was it good?” someone called.

            “Why do you wanna know? You gonna screw him too?” she asked, making the fifth year Ravenclaw blush, as gales of laughter greeted her question. She laughed along with them, for a moment, before calling order to the Court with surprising speed, “Now that we’ve all had a laugh, let me make this very clear. Malfoy and I have a professional relationship only.”

            “That’s what she said” someone sniggered softly, but the entire room had extremely sensitive ears,

            “What was that?”  Hermione’s voice was a soft, caressing growl that had all the boys wiping their smirks off their faces as fast as they could.

            “I said-”

            “I know what you said.” She cut him off, standing abruptly, and striding down, and grabbing the kid by his lapels, and heaving his face up till it was close to her own. “I was asking why you felt the need to question my word.” She snarled. “Do you not take my word seriously?”

            “N-no” the boy muttered,

            “Good, now, our Lord has some important information to share with us, I suggest you listen.”  She let go of his collar, letting him drop back onto his bench with an ungraceful flump. Sedately she made her way back to her seat, where Jason waited, his expression thoroughly awed.

            Draco cleared his throat yet again, he was starting to feel like that hag Umbridge, “Yes, thank you Hermione, now, it is possible for full humans to Banish daemons, but extremely difficult, and even more dangerous.

            We, however, are more resilient, and it is not as difficult for us to perform Banishments. Therefore, we, Professor McGonagall, and Dumbledore are pretty much all this school has defending it from this enemy.”

            “So we are screwed.”

            “There are tender ears listening.” He informed Jonathan primly.

            “Is that a yes?”

            “Possibly.”

            “Merlin defend us”

            Hermione laughed humorlessly, “Merlin’s dead, the only ones who can defend us now are each other. Brothers, like it or not, we are, as of now, dependant on each other for our very survival.”

            Yet another someone contradicted her, “But he said it was easier for us to perform the Banishment.”

            “So?” Draco fired back, “It still took both of us to bring that thing in Weasley down, and Skitrask was a weak one.”

            They were all silent as they digested this ominous new, “You sure kept that quiet.” Hermione finally drawled her voice extremely wry.

            “Well, I didn’t want you to feel weak.”

            “Not funny.”

            “You know it was.”

            “So funny I forgot to laugh.”

            “They have a weakness.”

            “Oh?”

            “Yes, blades made of solid dogwood.”

            “Really?”

            “No lie.”

            “I’d better write a letter to Jamie then”

            “Travis might be better suited.”

            “Possibly, you write it then.” Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose, and glanced at the assembled court, as if only just remembering they were there. “Are they free to go?” she asked, waving a careless hand at the crowd.

            Draco blinked, as if he too had forgotten that they were still in attendance. “Yes, we’ll be meeting again in the coming weeks. In the meantime be on the lookout for odd teeth like Hermione described, and report to me, Blaise, Michael, or Anthony at the first sign of them. Dismissed.” The Court surged out the door, and the seventh years swarmed up the dais.

            “So.” Michael began.

            “So?” Draco asked pointedly in return.

            “We’re screwed.”

            Hermione and Draco looked at each other with identical expressions, as one they replied “You could say that.”

            “Don’t do that.” Griped Anthony.

            “Do what?” the chorused cheekily.

            Blaise laughed, “So are you two screwin? You sound like it.”

            Draco was speechless, while Hermione was mildly indignant, “Did you somehow miss the ocean of sarcasm dripping from my tongue? Blazz, come on.”

            “Don’t call me that.” He yawned, “And I was just checking. You two act like you’ve known each other for years.”

            They glanced at each other, at the exact same moment, with identical expressions of incredulity, Blaise watched as they quickly looked away from each other, their expressions the same, worry that they had been caught in all their quick looking. 

            “See” he explained, “You even act the same, it’s creepy how well you know each other.”

            “We don’t know each other that well.” Hermione protested, glancing at Draco again, only to see his silver orbs flash away.

            “Yeah” he added, “I ask me one thing about her that you don’t know.”

            “What book is on her bedside table right now?”

            “Well there’s several, there was Blood Brothers cause she still hasn’t given it back, and then there’s that muggle book her cousin sent her, midnight, or something like that, and I’m pretty sure-”

            “How do you know all that?”

            “What else was I supposed to do while you were getting popcorn? Sit there and watch Luke Skywalker stand there in the middle of a slash? By the way, midnight is a total chick book isn’t it?”

            “Yeah” her expression was still perplexed, “And its name is Twilight, have a little respect.”

            “I was afraid of that, it sounds pretty good, though” everyone stared at him like he was crazy, “For a predominantly girl book I mean.”

            Blaise broke the awkward silence that followed this, “Right, so what deodorant does Draco use Hermione?”

            “Gillette,” she answered promptly, “What, I was out of Tag, yeesh.”

            “You use Tag?”

            “I sweat like a guy, I swear-”

            “Don’t swear, it’s unattractive.” Michael cut her off primly.

            “Okay mother , I was out of deodorant, and I was wondering if he used the same kind as me, which you don’t, so don’t worry, I didn’t borrow any.”

            “Am I the only person who’s been made remarkably uncomfortable by this conversation?” Anthony asked, and when Michael and Blaise both raised their hands in response, he nodded, “knew I wasn’t the only one, proceed.” He motioned to Hermione and Draco for them to continue talking.

            “I get the feeling we’re being watched.” Hermione remarked to Draco, her voice offhand.

            “Yeah, by three peeping toms, make that four.” He glanced at Jason, who was watching them all with avid interest, as if all this was happening purely for his benefit.

            “No, some one is watching us.”   

            “Where?” Anthony questioned, his voice calm, unconcerned, casual.

            Draco sensed it too, “Behind your right shoulder, directly against the wall. It smells unhuman.”

            “daemon?” Michael asked,

            Blaise grinned manically, one of his eyes burning orange, “Yes, and it will show itself… now.”   

            They all spun on spot, to watch a third year Court member materialize, and smile wickedly, his canines peaking out over his lips, and when he opened mouth to speak, they all saw the horrible, wide, flat crushing teeth. He applauded them lazily, “Excellent presentation you gave, of course, I’d expect no less from the Lord of the Court, and his Mate.”

            Hermione didn’t just see orange at this, she saw red.    



Okaay, so, was the bra scene funny, or just akward? I thought it was funny, but I'm kinda out there, and hows that for a cliffy btw? I'll update quick as I can, but you guys need to leave me pretty postits to tell me watcha think!!! Love it, Hate it, Indiffrent? I would love to hear your oppinion, till next time...
kisses
~*Jeni*~ 

Chapter 41: Hermione Dear, Calm Down, You're Hurting him... Hermione? HERMIONE!!!
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I beez back and I beez updatin!!! Oh, and for those of you that may not have noticed, I havn't been answering reviews, sorry. It's been crazy, I'll try to geet back on that, but no promises. Now, enjoy...


            “Mate?” she screamed furiously, launching herself at the younger student, “Why you dare even think that I would belong to some egotistical male?” she was screeching as she pummeled every inch of his surprisingly hard skin that she could reach.

            She noticed instantly that rather than being warm, or even hot, to the touch, like Draco’s, or her Brother’s skin was, his skin was icy cold, and his scent burned her nose. He laughed as she slammed her fist into his jaw, bruising her knuckles, and doing nothing to him. ”You think that works?” She slammed her bruised knuckles into his gut, and drove her knee up between his legs, he didn’t even wince, and she injured her hand further. He was still laughing when he effortlessly threw her off of his person, sending her flying back into her Brothers’ arms.

            Draco, while she had been holding the Daemon still, had been conjuring a Spell Circle, and though he wished he could have been the one who caught Hermione, he was rather preoccupied by the fact that the final part of the Circle refused to come into being. The Daemon was somehow blocking it, forcefully. It was taking a lot of energy to maintain the circle, much less call up the final, crucial, piece.

            Blaise shoved the dazed, and spitting mad Hermione into Michael’s arms, and walked up beside Draco, grinning like a mad man, his eyes, mismatched, and glowing. He grinned his wolf’s grin, and closed the pale green eye, leaving the other one to stare down the now nervous Daemon. “Be gone.” He whispered, though it rang throughout the silent meeting hall.

            “Not without him.” The Daemon pointed to Jason, who was watching from between Anthony’s legs, the Daemon sounded like he was in pain.

            Hermione spat at him, pushing Michael’s arms away. “Never.” She gasped, snapping her fingers resolutely, and making the necromantic, soul leeching spirit double over in agony, the final section of circle appeared.

            “I Banish you to the fires from whence you came.” Draco and Blaise chorused, and silver light engulfed the shuddering figure.

            The spell circle faded, and they all rushed to the aid of the prone Third Year, save or Hermione, who swept Jason up and hugged him tight, restating her promise to keep him safe at all costs.

            The Third Year, Josh was the name they kept calling, finally stirred groggily, and asked why he felt like he had been beaten, or run over by several angry centaurs who were chasing a flock of rampaging hippogriffs, who had also churned him into the dust.

            At this point Draco drew a healing circle, and Hermione whistled innocently, and looked the other way, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. And the other seventh years all tried their hardest not to look at her and bust out laughing. Of course, as soon as he hapless Josh had been sent on his way, they all broke out into gales of merriment, over the moon because of their victory.

            “My hand hurts.” Hermione laughed, holding out her aching, and swollen knuckles. It looked exceedingly painful, but they all just laughed harder at the slightly ridiculous statement. Draco cast a quick healing spell, his energy flagging fast, even the Lord of the Court had his limits, and he had just about reached them.

            “Why don’t you all go to the kitchens and get some ice cream or something, I want to go visit Ron, and then take a nap, a long one.” Hermione suggested, as Draco fixed her hand.

            His hands were gentle as they held hers, but she noticed that they shook, he had used an unimaginable amount of energy the night before, and then gotten up early, and done it again. He had to be close to collapsing. “You all go ahead; I think I just want a nap.” Draco shooed their Brother’s and Jason on.

            Jason had the choice, and immediately chose ice cream over visiting a sick friend, particularly one he didn’t like very much. But then again, what four year old in their right mind would pick the hospital over ice cream?

            Blaise, Anthony, and Michael left, Anthony and Michael each taking one of Jason’s hands, and bouncing him between them as they made their way to the kitchens. Hermione glanced worriedly at Draco, and opened the door, finding it a short distance from the Hospital Wing, she grinned, closed her eyes, wished hard, and stepped out, closing the door abruptly, before Draco could follow her out. She glanced over her shoulder, and the door was already gone, its next destination was a very short distance from the Head’s Tower.  

            Ron was still asleep, and Harry was confused. Hermione battled with herself briefly, and in the end told him she had no idea what had happened to him. If Dumbledore wanted Harry and Ron in on this then he would tell them, she for one wasn’t going to give Harry yet another chance to try and act the hero. Particularly when she knew for a fact that he hadn’t a prayer in the world of beating this foe.

            So she left shortly there after, and began the long trek back to her common room, wondering how hard it would be to convince the Headmaster that the Head’s required flying carpets to get around, as one of their privileges. She dismissed the thought quickly; it was too ludicrous, even Dumbledore would be suspicious of her complaining about aching feet. Especially when he knew that she was stronger than all of the Head Girls before her, except for McGonagall, of course.

            Gaia wasn’t feeling chatty, which she wasn’t surprised, she doubted that Dragonesses or even Dragoness statues ever felt particularly chatty. So she ascended the moving stairs, lost in her thoughts, and found Draco sacked out on the couch when she arrived in the common room.

            She grinned, he looked so young and innocent when he slept, his hair in his face, a few strands fluttering up and down as he breathed evenly. Hermione smiled, and went into the kitchen, needlessly scrubbing the counters, and table, soothing her soul with the rhythmic work. When she grew tired she went back into the common room, and curled up in one of the large leather arm chairs, snuggling in deep, and falling asleep with Draco’s steady breaths sounding soothingly in her ears.

            They awoke to their Brother’s, and Jason coming in, stretching, and yawning almost in sync, it was a little creepy to their fellow Court members. Jason was dropped off, and sent to watch a movie, while Hermione contemplated going back to sleep. “Auntie, is there a game on?” Jason called from halfway up the stairs, Hermione sat bolt up right.

            “Turn on my computer, let’s see.” Draco followed, watching with mild interest as Hermione drummed her fingernails impatiently on the desk while she waited for the computer to warm up. Then she double clicked on the internet explorer icon, and gritted her teeth as it took an extra five seconds for the page to pop up. The starting page was the ESPN home page, where the time for a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles was blared up at them in large red numbers.

            Hermione glanced at the clock, less than an hour away, and instructed Jason to turn the TV to channel 137, while she went and got snacks. Draco trailed behind her as Jason began slowly flipping through the stations, pausing occasionally to watch a couple of seconds of something or other.

            Hermione was making Chex Mix in a large metal basin when he entered the kitchen. “Jason almost to fifty yet?”

            Draco glanced back at the clock above the door, “In a few minutes.” Hermione chuckled, and kept mixing, digging out a bag of M&M’s, and throwing them into the mix.

            “Want some?” he took a handful, and made complementary noises through his full mouth, as Hermione ordered him to grab a couple of water bottles, and follow her, if he was gonna watch with them.

            Draco followed, mildly amused, as Hermione and Jason settled themselves on Hermione’s bed, the bowel of chex mix between them, and the water bottles lost somewhere amidst the shuffle of bedding, Draco had no choice but to join them, or else go snack less.

            Hermione watched with avid attention to the three announcers, listening to the pre-game stats, and trying to get him to debate them with her. Draco of course, had no idea what the meant, and they sounded pretty slow to him, seeing as he was used to brooms that could go zero to sixty in about two seconds. Hermione tried in vain to explain the difference between a touch down and a touch back, several times, only succeeding in confusing him further. She was equally fruitless when attempting to explain downs, and the importance of The Kickoff.

            The only thing he really understood the whole two hours they spent watching that game was the funny beer commercials. He was really impressed by the Budweiser Clydesdales, and surprised Hermione when he tried to get her to talk horses with him.

            As it turned out he rather enjoyed riding, and had extensive stables at his Manor, Hermione laughed when he insisted that being from Texas she must be a horse expert. Her reply was “You’ve been reading way too many westerns, I’ve ridden at my grandparents yeah, but I’d rather play soccer any day.”

            Draco had just shaken his head disparagingly, and gone on to explain in detail what kind of horse she would prefer, he had just decided a Lipizzaner stallion would be perfect for her temperament, when she began screaming.

            “TOUCHDOWN SAINTS!!!!!” She bellowed, scooping Jason up, and dancing around the room with him, hugging him fiercely.

            “Hermione, you’re hurting him, Hermione, Hermione, put Jason down, and explain why they have six extra points? No, seven, why did he just almost kick the other player’s hand off? And why did they get a point for it? Shouldn’t that be a foul, or penalty, or red card, or something?”

            “They got the extra point? Oh goody, we’re gonna winnn, we’re gonna winnnn.” She and Jason began chanting happily.

            “And I thought you were a Dallas fan?”

            “I am, but the Saints are a close second.” She was still doing her happy dance when the buzzer rang for the end of the game. “We won, we won, We won, we won.” She and Jason were still dancing around the room, when Draco shook his head, and took his leave, guessing, and correctly so, that Hermione wouldn’t miss him in the joy of the spectacular win.

            Hermione vanished the fallen remnants of crumbs from her bedding, and gathered the empty water bottles, throwing them away, while instructing Jason to dig out a pen and some paper. She wrote a brief letter to Jamie, gloating, because her cousin was staunchly against the Saints, for some crazy, unknown reason. The letter was written, and laid aside, she could mail it later. Right now it felt like time for another nap.

            So she and Jason curled up on her bed, and napped clear through lunch, something that they were very aware of when they woke up around three.

            “I’m hungry.” Jason informed her happily, making the bleary Hermione groan, and stretch, scratching the back of her neck lazily. “I think there’s a little spaghetti left, want that?”

            “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Jason said in time with his bouncing.

            “Move scamp.” She swatted him away, as she clambered out of the bed, and put her bare feet on the surprisingly cold dark wood floor. The chill woke her up even more, and by the time she was in the kitchen she was relatively coherent.

            “Awake yet?” Draco asked, reading his Daily Prophet, and sipping his customary tea.

            “Sort of.” She growled in response, pulling out the Tupperware dish of pasta, and shoved it into the microwave. She poured Jason a cup of milk, and gave it to him, before pulling the steaming spaghetti out, sticking a fork in it, and presenting it to Jason, who happily began slurping.  

            “Tea?”

            “Please.” He waved his wand, and an exact duplicate of his own cup appeared, tea and all. Hermione took it, and sipped delicately, making a contented sound deep in her throat, she took a larger mouthful, and rolled it over her tongue like a wine taster. “That’s excellent tea.” She sighed contentedly, “How’d you make it?”

            Draco winked impudently, “Old family secret, can’t tell you unless you’re a relation.”

            Hermione sipped sagely, “Then I’ll just have to marry you so I can have tea every day, and learn the secret.”

            Draco choked on his tea, “W-what?” he spluttered, mopping up the tea he had spewed across the counter. Jason shot them both a disgusted look, the flying droplets of tea had almost gotten in his spaghetti.

            Hermione chuckled at Jason’s distressed face, he looked exactly like Jamie when he did that, and began siphoning off the tea with her wand, “Just kidding, good grief, learn to laugh a little kid.”

            Draco in turn threw her a look of deeply injured dignity, and took as serious sip he could manage, sending Hermione into gales of laughter, and almost causing her to fall off her perch on the stool.

            “And you too, lighten up.”

            Draco gave a mock serious sniff, and turned his back to her, gazing out the window as if it had suddenly captivated his interest.

            Hermione laughed again, and sipped her tea, “Well, have you finished your homework?”

            “Yes, thankfully, you?”

            “Yeah, I got it done mostly at Jamie’s; they’re a couple of months ahead of us in class work, so she’s a great study buddy.”

            “She smart?”

            Hermione snorted, “Smarter than me.”

            “How so?”

            “She’s street smart.” Draco raised disbelieving eyebrows. “I’m smart, but I don’t know the different hand signs that the gangs use, or how to tell Bloods from Crips, from Vice Lords, from Mexican Mafia from whatever other groups of kids carrying guns that are roamin around Dallas. I don’t know how to talk my way out of sticky situations like she does.”

            Hermione laughed bitterly at his confusion, “What can a white girl who’s spent most of her life tryin to figure out what country she’s gonna live in possibly know about the gritty streets? Jamie does know, and I did, way back when we were kids. Back when the graffiti was a part of every day life. Back when life was tough, but friends were loyal as hell, and even rich white girls knew somthin of the other side. The ‘Ghetto’” she snorted when she used the term. “I doubt any of the kids who use the term actually know what it is derived from.”

            “So you’re not street smart?”

            “Not like she is, I’m book smart; I’m a nerd who can rattle off the seven uses of dragon’s blood at the drop of a pin. She’s just as smart with books, when she wants to be, but she can go into any crowd and blend like a native. I wouldn’t be surprised if the CIA picked her up as a special agent.”

            “The what?”

            “Never mind, Jason, hand me your plate.” Jason gave her the plate and cup, and she washed them quickly, “We’re going to go for a walk, care to join us?”

            “No, I think I’ll go practice my keys for a bit.”

            “Suit yourself, Jay, go wash up and get shoes on.” Jason did as he was told, as Hermione put the clean dishes away, “You’re sure?”

            “Positive, but keep your eyes open, we don’t know how many daemons have infiltrated Hogwarts yet. It’d be good if we had an idea of the numbers we’re dealing with.”

            Hermione nodded, “Will do,” and walked out, hurrying to change clothes, and grab her soccer ball.  

 

            She and Jason had a wonderful time down by the lake, she brought a soccer ball, and they passed for a bit, until a few other muggle-borns, and half-bloods asked if they could play too.

            Teams were organized goals marked, and the game commenced. Hermione dodged three opponents, and shot a goal, only to have it deflected by Anthony, who had become goalkeeper for the other team. She almost called him Andy, before remembering that she wasn’t supposed to know him that well. “Not bad Goldstein” was all she could call without looking suspicious.

            “Not bad yourself, Granger.” He called back, winking so fast she wasn’t sure she saw right.

            Several other students who had never played soccer before joined, just because it looked fun, and Hermione helped to sort them onto teams, welcoming them with open arms, the more the merrier as far as she was concerned.

            It was an amazing game, full of so many different skill levels, and ages, and it was pure fun she felt no need whatsoever to try and be competitive.

            Hermione dribbled down the grassy field, and was attacked by one of the defenders, their thighs locked, and Hermione found that she was matched for strength, the girl grinned, and she caught the barest glimpse of flat teeth. Hermione’s skin went cold, her ears roared, and she pulled one of her many trip ticks, sending the daemon possessed girl to the ground, as she dribbled to the goal, and practically ran in after it.

            “Another one.” She cried at Anthony, anyone else would have thought she meant another goal, but Andy heard the note of panic in her voice, and glanced at the girl that was still sprawled on the grass.

            “Good grief Granger,” he shouted back, “Can’t you go five minutes without scoring again?” Everyone else thought that they were talking about points, but Hermione just grinned, doggedly.

            “Guess not.” She gasped, and took the ball to midfield for another kick off.

            They played for over an hour, people coming and going as they pleased, some staying the whole time, some leaving to go eat, and then returning again, some just jumping in the middle of a play and declaring which team they were on. It really didn’t matter, it was all in good fun, and nobody was even bothering to keep score.

            Sweat was dripping in her eyes, and running down her nose when she finally called an end to the game, it was almost most supper time, and she was in desperate need of a shower. Everyone else agreed, and shouted that they needed to play again some time; Hermione just waved in response, and scooped up Jason and her ball, practically sprinting indoors.

            She dashed up flights of stairs, her ears straining, she knew the girl would be following her, and wanted to get as far away as possible. The follower’s footsteps were gaining on her, she dropped Jason and told him to run to the common room as fast as possible, and get Draco.

            She would stand and fight.

            Jason took off as fast as his little legs would carry him, and Hermione turned to face her pursuer, hearing the pair of feet dash up a flight of steps, and barrel around a corner, just as Jason sprinted out of sight.

            The girl practically tackled Hermione, and their hands met out in front of them, arms stiff, muscles and sinews standing out like whipcords in straining, already sweaty arms. Hermione twisted her to the side, breaking her grip and sending her flying, just as Travis had taught her in his backyard so many years ago.

            The girl slammed into a wall hard enough to make the windowpanes rattle, and Hermione walked to her, slamming her foot into her gut, possibly doing more damage to her foot than the actual daemon.

            She raised her fingers, and snapped, making the girl freeze, for a bare second, before she shook it off like a dog shaking water from its coat. Hermione was already exhausted from her prolonged scrimmage, now she was fighting to stand, and praying for help.

            She wasn’t sure how long Jason could keep up a sprint, and she was a couple of flights of stairs away from the common room, oh, if she could have gotten him one corridor closer, maybe he would be there by now. Oh Merlin, here it came!   

            She and the girl locked hands again, wrestling, and her remaining strength was draining rapidly, far more rapidly than she would have liked. Hermione drove her knee into her attackers gut, only to feel it bruise, either the girl had killer abs, or the presence of a daemon caused the skin of their human host to harden.

            She suspected the latter, as the other two’s skin had been just as hard.

            She heard a rapidly stifled gasp, and glanced over, her concentration breaking. A first year Hufflepuff was staring at them with wide, terrified eyes, as the daemon possessed girl easily threw Hermione into the wall. Hermione shot the girl a glance that screamed run you little idiot, before her eyes rolled up into her head, and she knew no more.  


Okaaay guys, so a little more of my culture, sorry to those of you who want it to stay staunchly European. The New Orleans Saints are my favorite football team, and if no one else but me understood the whole football talk then that's cool, it really wasn't that important. 
Oh, and yes, it is probably to soon in the season for them to be playing pro football, sorry, but I could careless, I am a football fanatic and proud of it. But, I don't own either the Saints, the Eagles, or the Budwiser clysdales, who were al mentioned in this chapter. 
And then I went and got on my soapbox about the stupidity of teen violence, sorry that you guys had to bear witness to that, this is, if nothing else, my venting point. Sorry people, I'll try to start keeping my venting to myself... 

But, then we popped off and played some soccer, and ferreted out another daemon, are you guys happy or what? And I have not read the Host, but it is possible that I subconciously picked up on that for this idea, my mind is funny like that sometime. 
Anyother questions? Comment me, I'll try to answer direct questions first, and others later.  Luv all you guys!!! ^.^
kisses
~*Jeni*~

Chapter 42: Fool
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And my life is officially insane, but that's okay, I like being bus, and I love what I do. So here I am doin what I do, updating for you, my peeps, my homedawgs, my friends from far and wide. 
hmm, that last bit doesn't work with the rest of the sentance, whatever, I'll work on it later. As it is, enjoy the chapter, and I'll see you on the other side...  



            Hermione awoke in her own bed, with Jason snuggled in beside her, and Draco watching her intently from her computer chair. Her eyes were dull burnt orange, with none of their usual wicked sparkle that danced I’ll never te-ell, was visible. She opened her mouth to speak, but all that came out was a dry hiss, her hand stirred feebly, as if to go to her throat, only for her to drop it with exhaustion.

            Draco poured her a glass of water from the pitcher beside him, and carried it too her, he held it out as if to hand it to her, she just stared at it, parched, and too weak to reach for it. His eyes widened, and clumsily he put the rim of the glass to her parted lips and tipped it, letting a little pour into her mouth.

            She tilted her head back laboriously, and swallowed, before begging him for more with her eyes. He gave her another drink, and she swallowed it painfully again, and they continued until the glass was empty, and the once filled pitcher half full.

            She sucked in a breath, “What happened?” her eyes flicked to the window, it was dark out side, how much time had passed?

            “I reached you shortly after you passed out, and cast the spell circle while she was still focusing on you. It was a powerful daemon that held that poor girl in its clutches.”

            “You don’t need to tell me that.” Hermione growled, her eyes glazing over with pain as she let out a ragged bark of laughter, her ribs hurt like hell.

            Draco let out a strained smile, “So I carried you back up here, pulled your shoes off your feet, and put you to bed, you should be alright, you’ve just got some bruised bones.”

            “Oh, is that all?” she growled, her dull eyes gaining a tiny spark of their old gleam.

            “Yeah, you shouldn’t even be late for classes tomorrow” Hermione glared at him, but said nothing, motioning instead for him to get her some more water. Draco let her sip another half glass before pulling it away, and beginning to ask the questions that had been pressing him since he had found her. “Why didn’t you come here as soon as you realized that you had found another one?”

            “I’m guessing you want this little operation to stay as underground as possible?” he said nothing, “Well, I couldn’t very well just leave, I mean, the game would have broken up completely if I had just up and left, especially since I would have taken my ball with me.”

            “Then why didn’t you send Jason? He knows the route by now.” Her face hardened her mouth going into a tight line, “Oh, you didn’t want him to get hurt. You thought you’d protect him by keeping him with you.” He sneered, his face twisting into the expression that he had cast her way for years, “Overconfident fool.”

            Hermione’s hands balled into fists on top of the blankets, her eyes were blazing, but fixated on her knees, rather than show him the full force of her glare. Her sharp teeth were digging through her bottom lip rather industriously, still she held her tongue.

            “You even told Anthony, warned one of your Brothers, but then didn’t even think to wait for him. No, you just dashed off, not even thinking to wait the extra five seconds it would have taken him to catch up with you.”

            Her teeth succeeded in breaking through the skin on her bottom lip, a trickle of greenish blood dripped down her chin, but she didn’t flinch, or move to wipe it away. Still she said nothing.

            Draco glared at her, and continued his rant, “You’re foolish beyond belief. McGonagall put restraints on your magic for a reason, if you had control of your full powers right now you would be dead, as in gone, like eight feet under. You’re reckless with yourself; you have confronted three daemons alone, in quick succession, you have fought a fellow Court member who was more experienced than you by several years, you have been so damned icy that your own Brothers have to wonder about you, and you have never been completely honest with me. I am disgusted with you, they call you the smartest witch of our age, but you are nothing but a reckless fool who is a danger to herself and everyone around her.”

            Her sharp claws had been digging into her palms, they too now broke through the flesh, bleeding crescents dotted the insides of her hands. She made not a sound, and moved not a muscle.

            He sucked in a ragged breath, why was she so bloody stubborn? “You told me once that you wanted to be stronger, and you got the Operation because of that wish. You were an idiot to do that, especially since you did this blind, without even thinking that it might just change your entire life. You may be stronger, but with strength come the responsibility to use your strength wisely, and you have not been wise.” Now came the catch, “I’m tightening the grip on your power, you will not be able to use your Blood Magic until you can prove that you are responsible enough to not get yourself, or those you care for killed.”

            He spun on his heel, and stalked through the bathroom to his own room, feeling the burn of unshed tears, her broken expression etched behind his eyes. She would have to learn, or else she would die, it was hard, but it was the only way.

 

            In the Head’s Library Anthony, Blaise, and Michael held their breaths, they listened as his steps echoed across the bathroom tile before piling up the stairs, and through Hermione’s door. Blaise gently washed the blood away with damp tissues, as Anthony poured her another glass of water, and Michael whispered the spell to refill the almost empty pitcher.

            “He was really worried.” Blaise told her as he smoothed her fingers out so he could get at the cuts with his wad of already soiled tissues. “You wouldn’t believe how heartbroken his expression was as he carried you up here.”

            Hermione snorted, and winced as her aching ribs protested, “Hard to believe that.”

            “No, it’s called tough love.” Anthony snapped, before endeavoring to make his voice gentler, “You left without me, and I watched that thing walk way too casually after you, and all I could do was try and shake off my friends. They were all chattering about the game, and how you really seemed to know what you were doing, and why was I so tense.” He was practically growling at her, “The daemon wouldn’t have confronted you if you had stayed where people were, you could have waited for me right there in the entrance hall, and no one would have noticed.”

            “I was out there also.” Blaise added, “I watched her follow you too, and couldn’t do anything either because you didn’t wait.

            Hermione felt tears prick her eyes, “So you guys hate me too?”

            Michael’s expression was soft, the other two were staring at their feet, “No, we don’t hate you, we’re just disappointed that you didn’t use that brain of yours that everyone says is so great.”

            Hermione sighed, “I just wanted to get Jason out of there, and I thought I was stronger than I am.”

            Blaise made a sympathetic noise, and ran a hand through his hair, “If you physically strengthen your body, then your magical strength will increase as well.”

            She nodded, staring down at her knees.

            Anthony glanced at the other two, before going to her desk and beginning to write something motioning for the other two to keep talking. Michael yawned, “Classes start in around eight hours, so guys, I think I’m gonna head that way.”

            Blaise yawned as well, “Yeah, besides, Sis here needs to recover her strength before she starts on her first day as Head Girl.”

            Anthony stretched, “Ohh me, yeah, I’m gonna hit the sack as well.” He winked and tossed the paper onto Hermione’s lap, before standing, “See you in class sis.”

            “Night Mikey, Andy, and Blazz.” Hermione yawned, sleeping really did sound like a good idea.

            She watched them troop out, before clicking on her radio, and setting it to play quietly for a few minutes, while she scanned Andy’s message.

            We’ll help you, but if we’re caught we’re ALL going to get in major trouble, so keep your pie hole shut. We’ll get word to you, be ready, it’ll be subtle. I’ll bet our glorious Lord has got an idea that we’re up to something, so be aware, and if at all possible, discreet.

            Hermione smiled, and shoved the scrap of parchment under her pillow; she would destroy it in the morning first chance she got.

            Draco settled back onto his own pillow, they would help her get stronger, and bond with her in the process, had they honestly thought that he wouldn’t be listening to their conversation? Draco was many things, and a shameless eavesdropper was one of them, along with a reader of private written ramblings, and an occasional diary stealer. He was a Slytherin, he didn’t need any explanation other than that.

            He sure as hell hoped Hermione would learn her lesson though, he wanted her as a part of The Court, she had already proven herself to be influential, and a good speaker, as well as able to banter with the best. She was everything that he needed in a strong right hand, she was serious, and caring, with mischief and humor tossed on top to make her interesting.

            She had the potential to be one of their greatest, one of the ones written about in that hallowed book that she scorned, but had yet to relinquish. 

            She was smart, and logical, with just the right twist of mindset figure out puzzles, and most of all, she was certainly no fool.  

 

            Her alarm clock beeped what felt like a short time later, and Hermione rolled over with a groan, it felt like there was gravel in her joints. She slapped the snooze button, and buried her head in the blankets just in time to here Draco turn the shower water on.

            Her eyes snapped open, and her lips parted

            School

            First day

            Gonna be late

            Jason

            Shower

            Breakfast

            Owww

            She cradled her aching head for a moment, relishing the protective darkness of her arms, before the alarm beeped again, and she was forced to sit up and turn it off. Jason mumbled in his sleep, and her pained expression softened momentarily, before she dug her teeth into the furrows that they had made not so long ago, and pushed the covers off her body, and swinging her legs over the edge.

            Strengthen the body huh? 

            She could deal with that.

            She laid down on the thick rug and began crunches, until her abs ached, and she felt like she couldn’t continue. She laid flat for a moment, listening, hearing wet feet on the tile floor, she turned her head in time to see Malfoy slide the door open. His hair was wet and disheveled, and his jeans were slung low on his hips, held up by a black leather belt.

            “Malfoy, got a minute?”

            “Maybe”

            Can you do me a favor?”

            “Depends”

            “You’ve just got to stand still with your feet braced shoulder width apart.” She told him, he yawned and assumed the stance. “Over here you idiot” she snapped, he sighed and walked over and stood on the edge of the rug.

            Hermione sighed, and wiggled until her head was between his feet, she gripped his ankles tightly. “Don’t move” she snapped, and raised her stiff legs eight centimeters off the ground, “Push my feet down when they are vertical.” She told him, her voice tight; slowly she swung her legs, still stiff, extended, and together till they were straight up and down.

            Draco gently pushed her feet, they sort of drifted down, “Harder” she snapped, her voice pained, “I’m no pansy” she whipped her feet up again, her abs clenching, and her mouth drawing tight. Draco pushed her feet down roughly, and she grinned struggling to bring them vertical again. “Three” she gasped as he pushed again.

            She did this until she had counted up to ten, before slamming her legs down, and flipping over to do ten perfect pushups. She then flipped over again, and before the befuddled Malfoy could move she was gripping his ankles again, and heaving her feet up. This time she did nine, and flipped over, and did nine pushups.

            Then she did eight.

            Seven

            Six

            Five      

            Sweat was pouring down her face, and Draco was yelling encouragement, as was Jason, who had been up since she did seven. And all the way down to one she worked, doing that final pushup rather sloppily, and not caring.

            She was gasping, and sweaty on the rug when she finished, face down after dropping from that last, god awful pushup. She sucked in a ragged breath, and flipped over, grinning triumphantly up at Jason, and the still confused Malfoy. “Done for now.” She gasped, before flipping lithely to her feet, “I’ll work some more tonight.” And with a casual flick of her fingers she walked into the bathroom, and slammed the door behind her.

            Draco glanced at Jason, who shrugged and flopped back onto the bed, before stalking out Hermione’s door, and crossing through the library to his own side of the Head’s Tower, trying hard to resist the image of a showering Granger.

            Hermione turned on the hot water and stepping into the shower, trying vainly to slow her breathing, she was tired, and it had taken an effort not to fall asleep on her rug there at Draco’s feet. She scrubbed the sticky sweat off her skin, putting a hand on her stomach to feel the abs that were chiseled there, yes, they were definitely harder, more defined. She washed her hair, and lathered her arms, rinsing her body before pulling up her leg and feeling her shin. She could probably manage one more day without shaving her legs. 

            Finally she stepped out, wishing she had decided to just go jog a few laps around the quidditch stadium, rather than do abs work, maybe tomorrow morning. She dressed slowly, before performing a spell that made her wand stream hot air from its tip; it was a little harder to manage a stick than a hair dryer, but it got the job done. She was putting her hair up into its usual ponytail when a houself appeared with a crack to take Jason down to the kitchens where the houselves would watch him till she got out of class.

            Hermione smiled and thanked the elf, before hugging Jason and telling him to be good and that she would see him on her free period. Jason nodded eagerly, and took the houself’s hand readily, and they both disappeared with a sharp snap, leaving Hermione to finish trying to tame her wild curls.

            It was times like these that she missed Jamie, and Jamie’s ability to French-braid her hair into a smooth plait, when no one else even wanted to try. Fighting off the sudden tears, Hermione closed her eyes, and took a deep breath, when she opened them her irises were deep orange, which gave her courage, before they faded to her usual brown.

            Her hair done Hermione shoved on her shoes, gave herself a once over in the mirror, and grabbed her leather messenger bag, calling to Draco that she was on her way down. His muffled reply told her to go on ahead, and a cheery Hermione walked briskly down the stairs, her Head Girl badge gleaming in the sunlight that danced through the windows.

            Hermione was one of the first ones in the Great Hall, but that was fine with her, she piled her plate with eggs, bacon, and fluffy biscuits without a second thought. Harry joined her presently, and Ginny shortly after him, the three of them were wondering about schedules, when Ron awkwardly shuffled up.  Mumbling an apology for everything, he plunked himself into the seat beside Ginny, and began morosely stuffing his face. “Use a napkin Ron” Hermione told him when he went to wipe his mouth with his sleeve, Ron’s eyes darted up, and he understood that he was forgiven, just like the other two understood that nothing more was to be said on the matter.

            The rest of breakfast was chipper, until Professor McGonagall passed out schedules, and Hermione saw that she only had one class with Harry and Ron. “I’m with the Slytherins all day,” she hissed “stupid advanced placement program” she added as she shoved the sheet of parchment with her classes on it under Harry’s nose.

            “At least you’re friendly with a couple of them” Harry tried to placate her.

            Hermione snorted, and glanced across the Great Hall, Malfoy of course had heard her soft outburst, everyone in the Court had, and he felt her eyes burning the back of his neck. He shot her a careless scowl, but his eyes flashed a fast orange warning, and Hermione snorted again.

            “Yeah right.” She told him, before stuffing the parchment away, and spending the rest of breakfast glaring at the remnants of eggs on her plate.

            Harry smiled, and shook his head at her, “Well, you would know best…”

            Hermione stabbed the fragments of her eggs with her fork, easily leaving four small holes in the plate where the tines of her utensil were thrust through the solid gold, “Yeah, I would know best.” She muttered rebelliously, before glancing at her watch, “Crap, gotta go, Professor Flitwick’s a stickler for being on time.” She stood, and shouldered her bag.

            Ginny smiled, “See you at free period?”

            “Yeah, we’ll go visit Jason.”

            Ron waved, his mouth full, and Harry sipped his coffee, smiling to himself, Hermione made a face, how could he stand the stuff they called coffee here? She waved, and exited, her robes swishing primly around her ankles, Ron swallowed his mouthful, “Do you think we’ll ever really understand her?”

            Harry laughed, and began gathering his own bag, “No, we never will.”

            Ginny just rolled her eyes muttering “boys” to herself, before swigging down her breakfast tea and standing to go to her first class.

 

            Hermione was the second one in the classroom, Professor Flitwick being the first. She set her book, wand, quill, ink, and parchment all neatly on her desk, before reading the instructions the miniscule professor was writing on the board.

            You will only need your wands today

            Hermione glanced at the supplies she had so neatly arranged on the scarred wooden surface of her desk, smiling ruefully, of course he would write something like that after she pulled out her materials. Her grin was annoyed, but not overly so as she put away everything but her thirteen inch dogwood and mermaid hair wand.

            Two of the other students in the advanced placement program for Charms settled into the empty desks on either side of her desk in the middle of the front row. She didn’t have to look at them to know who they were, she had conveniently overlooked the fact that she was also with Ravenclaws in this class.

            Draco and Blaise were the last to join them, and took seats on behind Anthony and Blaise, leaving the middle desk behind her empty.

            “So, this is my advanced class for this year?” Flitwick’s tiny voice brought their eyes to the front, he was trying to talk loud enough for them all to hear, though of course he could have whispered and it still would have been clear as a bell to their overly sensitive ears. “A motley crew if ever there was one.”

            Hermione covered a giggle at the name of the popular classic rock muggle band; her Brothers glanced at her sharply, wondering why she was trembling with silent laughter. She twitched her fingers, waving them off to pay attention to the still oblivious professor, while she worked to get a hold of herself.

            She then wondered why that had seemed so funny to her.

            Must be something to do with one of their songs…

            Maybe the mentioned midgets… 

            Or magic mayhap?

            She reigned in her wide-ranging thoughts, just in time to hear the professor tell them that they would take turns using a midlevel nonverbal spell in front of their peers, starting left to right.

            Michael had to go first.

            He used a complicated levitation charm, not only lifting the desk Hermione was sitting at, but also her body, though not the chair she was sitting in. But yet she was supported as if she were still sitting in the chair, and even leaned against the desk to find it as rock solid as it had been safely on the ground.

            He steadily lowered her and her desk, never tipping either of them in the slightest, her wand, which was laying in the center of her desk rolled not a fraction in any direction, though she had found it prone to rolling over the years.

            When her bum was safely in the seat of her chair she applauded him, a long with the professor, and the other three students, they were all impressed, levitation charms were infamous for being shaky and unstable.

            Halfway through her third clap she felt the fizzle of power in her hands, and lowered her palms to the desk, unsure of what to do. She really didn’t want to display her powers, whatever they were, to Professor Flitwick, especially since her control was about as stable as the average first year’s levitation spell. Draco watched her lower her hands uncertainly do her desk, her fingers tracing the names and other doodles scratched into the wood by generations of students.

            She was up next, and positive that she would be unable to top Michael’s impressive display… At least not when she wasn’t sure what her hands were, or weren’t, going to do.

            Swallowing dryly she stood and took up her wand, her grip on the tool that had served her so well for so long was ginger, hesitant.

            She preformed the first spell that came to mind...

            Her desk twitched, and began moving, as her chair turned into a soccer ball, and rolled obediently to her feet. Gently she tapped it to the desk, which obligingly shot it back, she passed again, this time a little harder, but it went a tiny bit off mark. Her expression grew pained, and then delighted as the desk shuffled two shuffles to the left, and stopped the ball, passing it back to her neatly.

            She passed it gently a third time, and the desk shot it back far harder than it had any other time. Her eyebrows shot up, and she shifted weight, her right foot stopping the ball, and stomping down with her shoe to send it back, slowly, but spinning, which made it harder to get a grip on, even when wearing cleats.

            It shot directly between the desk’s four legs, and she jumped, “Gooooaaaal” she shouted, drawing it out just as long as any announcer on TV.

            She then glanced at her amused audience, and blushed profusely, rubbing the back of her neck ruefully, “I couldn’t think of anything else.” She admitted, pulling out her wand and unrolling her chair from a ball, and causing her desk to settle back into its original place (it had been trying to pound its edge against the floor at its defeat).

            Flitwick’s squeaky voice was very dry, “I would say that was Transfiguration, and not what we were looking for, but then it would sound like I wasn’t impressed. Very well done Miss Granger, Mr. Goldstein, care to give us a demonstration?”

            Anthony looked extremely cowed, and she shot him an encouraging smile, before slumping in her desk and rubbing her temples, she shouldn’t have done that. It was to flashy, showy, too desperate to impress, too…not her.

            Idjit, stupid, dim-witted FOOL.

            She then let a grinning grimace twist her face, a look that was both cheerful, and at the same time rueful, she would never tell Draco that she had called herself what he had called her. She was a fool, but never would she admit that she agreed with him, that was for sure. 


hehe, so  don't own Motley Crew, for all you people out there, and that's about it I think. I look forward to your reviews and I'll update as soon as possible!!! ^.^ btw, I love you guys, I don't know if I've said that recently, but I do. 
kisses
~*Jeni*~

Chapter 43: First Flyte
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  kay, so guess what happens in this chapter? HERMIONE FALLS ASLEEP IN HISTORY OF MAGIC!!! Yeah, I know right, she doesn't Ever do that, hehe, she's got a good reason though. Enjoy, I'll see you on the other end!!


           As it turned out Hermione’s and Ginny’s free periods didn’t match up, and therefore she was forced to visit Jason alone, rather than ask one of her many guys friends to go with her. It was weird she mused as she tromped down the stairs to the kitchens, she had worried all her life that no guy would see her as anything but a friend, and suddenly it seemed like she was severely lacking friends that were girls. Weird.

            She tickled the pear, and opened the door, finding legions of houselves bowing to her in unison on the other side. Awkwardly she waved for them to go back to their business, and hurried to the corner from which the sounds of a boisterous Jason-At-Play were rising.

            She smiled at him, rolling in the floor playing with the old houself that had been assigned to watch him. She thanked the elf (Berry) profusely, and played with Jason herself for a few minutes before hugging him tightly, and promising to be back in a few periods to take him to lunch.

            She was in and out of the kitchens in less than fifteen minutes, the elves still weren’t eager for her to stay, not after the last time she had intruded upon their domain. So Hermione was left to wander back to the floors where students usually roamed, in search of something to do with the rest of her free period.

            She settled on returning to her common room to begin the essay that Flitwick had assigned on the finer points of what distinguished a Charm from various other spells. She had just settled down to work at one of the huge desks down in the common room, her books, notes, quills and ink strewn around her in a wide reaching semicircle, when Draco stomped through. He must not have seen her because he stomped into the kitchen without even glancing her way, but from the other side of the kitchen door she heard him call to her, asking what there was to eat.

            “Just about anything you want” she hollered back, not moving from where she was, refusing to be surprised that he had known she was there but yet not even spared her a glance.

            “What’s fast?”

            “You are” came the automatic response, and then she clamped her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide with surprise, and horror, it was the type of joke she would have made with Jamie, or one of the other Dragonesses.

            “What was that?” he growled playfully, opening the door to glare at her.

            She shook her head, her palm still clamped firmly across her lips, her eyes still wide with shock at herself. But now her shoulders were shaking with restrained laughter at his expression.

            “I take no cheek from my subordinates” he snarled, his crystal blue eyes dancing teasingly.

            She just shook her head again, her hand still plastered across her mouth.

            “Ugh, of all the indecorous things” he scoffed, still teasing her light heartedly.

            “If I wanted to be decorous I probably wouldn’t talk to you” she sniffed back, finally removing her palm from her mouth.

            “Oh really?”

            “Really” she still had her nose turned up with mock distaste.

            He dove at her, wings ripping through the back of his shirt, she leaped onto the table, her work scattering as she jumped off, and felt the fierce ache in her shoulders. The smooth muscles tensed, and rippled, her wings shoving through skin and fabric in a bid to be released. At the peak of her jump the bronze and blue leather wings sprouted and she swept up to the exposed rafters above them, perching easily, and grinning down at Draco.

            Only to find Draco mere inches from her, having followed her up without hesitation, she overbalanced and fell backwards, wings disappearing with her surprise. Draco folded his wings and dropped, catching her, before spreading his wings again and slowing their rapid dive, and righting their bodies, landing gently next to the couch.

            Hermione’s eyes laughed up at him, “So that’s flying?” she was breathless, and felt strangely drained.

            “Yes” his expression was worried as her eyelids fluttered closed, “You’ll be feeling the effects soon”

            “Mmmk, sleepy…” her voice trailed off, and her chest rose and fell steadily in the rhythm of sleep. She fell asleep standing up, with his arms around her, her head resting on the crook where his neck met his shoulder, Draco was dumbfounded at her immediate exhaustion.

            He conveniently his own intense fatigue after his First Flyte, he had slept for six hours straight in the middle of the day.

            He glanced at his watch over her shoulder, she wouldn’t have the luxury of sleeping that long, she could have ten more minutes while he mended her shirt with a spell, and then she would have to rush off to her next class, what ever that was. 

            It took time to wake her, and several tries before she was truly cognizant, but persistence paid off in the form of…

            “Get your nasty paws off me Malfoy!!” ah; she was such a passive girl.

            “What?!?!”  He was outraged, more by her indignation than by the actual action, “you fell asleep on me, not the other way around”

            “I did not, what happened? Why does my head feel like-” Her head hit his shoulder again, and she went still.

            “Like what? What? Hermione…”

            Her deep breathing told him that she had fallen asleep again. It took a few more shakes and the contemplation of using cold water before she was awake again.

            He chickened out at the last second on the cold water.

            “You’ve got to go to class soon Granger, and much as I’d love to skive Arithmacy, my feet are already asleep, I can only imagine what another hour will do to them.”

            “Kay” she sighed against his neck, her warm breath caressing his alabaster skin lightly, her back arched as she swayed away from him, unsteady on her feet. “Ohhhhh, God” she mumbled, making her tremulous to the stairs, where she sat and let them carry her up to her room.

            She then fumbled her way to the bathroom, blearily searching the cabinets for something to wake her. The best she could come up with was Advil for headaches and Dramamine for seasickness, which always made her sleepy anyway. Drat.

            She splashed cold water on her face and toweled it vigorously, willing her eyes to stay open for just a little while longer. Her hair was in disarray, and she didn’t have time to fix it by hand like she preferred, so instead she pulled out her wand and muttered the spell that Jamie had taught her to weave it into a thick French braid. She grimaced at the smooth plait as it began to weave itself before her eyes, neat, yes, contained, very, painful? You have no idea.

            But the pain woke her up some, she was dead on her feet, but at least she might be able to force herself into History of Magic where she would promptly set up the Quick Quotes Quill Travis had bought her three years before, and she had never used. From what she could figure out, it would write exactly like she would, all she had to do was write the first sentence, and the spell that controlled the Quill would take over from there. And Binns would never notice, since others regularly coughed up Zzz’s in his class, so for today at least, she would be fine.

            Malfoy watched her slouch back down the stairs, and pick up her packed messenger bag, not even pausing to notice that he had loaded it with the correct books and supplies, after digging through and finding her timetable. “See ya” she mumbled, stumbling to the moving stairs that would take her down to the entrance behind Gaia, and leaning against the wall for a few second power nap. Draco shook his head sympathetically, and grabbed his own bag, before giving the common room one last glance and stepping onto the stairs himself.

 

            Hermione slumped in her chair, her fingers wrapped awkwardly around the Quill; she was too tired to even look at her line of words as she took the first notes. The line of course was still as perfectly even as if she had used a straight edge, but her words were a bit sloppier than usual. She then let the Quill do its thing, and tipped her head back for a few more minutes of shuteye.

            She was seated at the back of the class, in the middle of the row, but still as far back in the classroom as possible. Only a handful of other seventh years had opted for the class, all the others were Ravenclaws of course. Anthony sat in the row in front of her and to the right, his expression was worried when he saw how done in she was, but Draco had caught him in the halls and explained, so he didn’t ask questions that a room full of too bored, too smart classmates would pick up on and question in return.

            Instead he gave her a smile and said he’d stay awake just this once to take notes.

            She hadn’t even heard, much less bothered to explain that for all practical purposes she had a brand new Quick Quotes Quill that after seeing the inside of a dusty case for three years was more than happy to take notes on The Dullest Subject On Earth.

            He however observed this shortly into the class, and after certifying that the notes were indeed as diligent as if Hermione had penned them herself, Anthony gave note taking up as a lost cause, and put his head down to catch his own forty winks.    

            Thus, when the bell finally rang and broke the enchantment of sleep that had held them all sway for the past hour, he was roused whilst his dear Sister barely stirred. After the rest had filed out, and Binns had drifted back through the chalkboard, Anthony approached Hermione and shook her shoulder gently. “Sis, wake up, we’ve got Transfiguration next, and if we want to get there in time to explain to McGonagall, we’re going to have to leave now.”

            “Mmmk” she mumbled, not waking.

            “Jason’s gonna die if you don’t”

            She shot out of her chair, and swung her fist at him, he dodged a full out punch in the nose by bare fractions of a hair, “whatid you say?” her voice was sleepy, and furious.

              “We need to go, now. McGonagall won’t be lenient on us, even if we explain that you’ve only just had your First Flyte, and are feeling the after affects.”

            “Kay” Hermione shook her head again and stumbled down the hall after him, her eyes down, and unfocused. She flopped in her usual seat in the classroom, and barely registered that Harry and Draco sat on either side of her. The class was all her Brothers, Harry, and McGonagall up at the front. Other Ravenclaws had made it into the class, all of them in fact, but there had been enough for another class, thus Minerva had requested to have her Blood Brethren in a class and Harry, being the lone other Gryffindor had also been thrown in with them.

            By the time Hermione had stumbled in behind Anthony, Draco and Blaise had explained to their Professor, who in turn made a copy of the days lesson plan, mostly they were talking about the N.E.W.T’s, so Hermione would be free to sleep until lunch, as long as she didn’t snore too loud.

            Twice Harry had to poke Hermione into a lighter slumber when her breaths began making the sympathetic professor’s mouth to tighten into a thin line. The bell barely caused her to change breathing patterns, and Harry produced the invisibility cloak so Draco could carry her back to their tower without funny looks, and scandalized whispers. Hermione slept through lunch on the sofa, while Draco heated up the very last of the spaghetti in the microwave, it took him a couple of tries, but eventually he got the pasta passably warm.

            Harry made excuses for her down in the Great Hall, and stopped by the Hospital Wing for a pepper-up potion, saying that Ron was feeling a little headachy. The nurse grudgingly handed over a steaming beaker, with dire warnings of what would happen if he was found to have given it to anyone other than Mister Weasley.

            Harry cheerfully lied through his teeth, and hurried off to the Head’s tower, where he was cowed by Gaia, but resolutely gave the password anyway. The statue of a dragoness stared at him so fiercely that he at first wondered if they had changed the password, then he figured out that she was trying to decide if Draco and Hermione would want him up there. She must have decided they did, because she eventually rolled away the stone and let him step through her nest and onto the staircase, Harry didn’t bother to conceal his sigh of relief.

            Draco was at his wits end, trying to decide if he ought to wake Hermione for Defense Against the Dark Arks, or just let her continue to sleep off the effects of her Flyte. When Harry stomped up with the potion he was so relieved that he seriously considered hugging the boy, it was however swiftly decided that Harry would not appreciate this show of gratitude, and he instead took the beaker with a word of thanks.

            Hermione’s mouth was cranked open and the steaming red liquid was poured down her jaws. Several coughs, splutters, and muttered curse words later she was glaring at them both with baleful orange eyes.

            Harry glanced nervously at Draco, who merely shrugged, and told her to hurry up, or she’d be late meeting the new Defense teacher. That got Hermione up and moving, even though she still shot occasional glares at them as she bustled around looking for her books.

            The three of them left the tower without incident, besides nobody came all the way out to the west tower; rumor had it that it was just a storage room. At least that’s what most students seemed to believe.

            If Hermione had possessed the energy it took to grin at the thought, she might have, but since she didn’t, I guess we’ll never know.  




Kay, so in the next chapter we will meet our lovely DaDa teacher, everyone excited? lol, tell me watcha think, the next chapter'll be out as soon as possible. ^.^
kisses
~*Jeni*~

Chapter 44: Would Rather be Sleeping
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Alright people, so in this chapter, in case there is a group of people I  haven't unintentionally insulted, I'm givin it another go. The information that i'm using is from the collection of short stories that Tamora Peirce (sp?) co-authored, but seeing as I could find little follow up on the internet I'm not sure how true it is. 
Anywhoo, no one understands that, but you will at the end of the chapter, so enjoy it, pleaz don't kill me, and offense given is completely unintentional, i'm gonna go hide now... 



Hermione shambled in behind Harry; Draco had gone ahead, so it wouldn’t look like they were all coming in together. Through the fog of exhaustion, Hermione registered that Harry plunked her down in a seat between himself and Ron, and watched her carefully as she pulled out book, wand, and quill. Ron picked up on Hermione’s exhaustion, and Harry’s vigilance fairly quickly, though not quite as fast as Draco(who was watching subtly from his seat across the room by Blaise, who was also keeping an eye on the worn out Sister) would have liked.

            But he picked up fast enough to help Harry in constantly poking Hermione’s ribs to keep her semi conscious. Her eyes got a little clearer when the door opened and in strode the newest Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. “Greetings class” the woman purred, the first female Defense professor that they had had since Umbridge, and Hermione wasn’t quite sure what to think.

             Her hair was as dark as a raven’s wing, and coiled into an impressive knot of braids at the nape of her neck, it must have been heavy, for its weight caused her head to tip up slightly. Her robes were the same black as their own, but the cut was far more flattering, where Hermione’s robes were sadly boxy, hers flowed with her curves. The fabric was different as well, something softer that swished around her frame gracefully, making her every move seem sinuous, and practiced.

            She eyed them all shrewdly with deep umber eyes, but there was mirth lurking deep below the surface, dancing at them all. Her skin was the deep ruddy cinnamon of the Native American tribes in the US, but surely…

            “My people named me She-of-the-Dancer-Eyes, but you, my pupils, may call me Professor Urthart. I have traveled many leagues to teach at this esteemed school, and crossed an ocean in the process. There are many different magics in this world, and many different cultures from which these magics spring.

            I was hired to teach you of the powers of my people, but also other society’s magics as well. Such as, ohh” she drew it out, her eyes traveling around the room, searching for inspiration, “India” she finally settled, her eyes on an enormous globe in the back corner of the classroom.

            Everyone turned and looked at Pravati, whose mother was from India, and had moved to England after completing her education. The Patill twin glared around for her absent sister, and finally muttered “Snake charming?”

            “Excellent, five points to Gryffindor Miss…” she glanced down at her roll sheet, “Patill, very good indeed.” Pravati practically glowed under such high praise, “Now Miss Patil, can you tell me the purpose for snake charming?”

            Pravati’s eyebrows contracted as she tried to scrounge out the answer, “Cobras mainly…” she spoke slowly, as if each word took time to conjure out of her head, “are sacred, and to hypnotize a creature so powerful as the cobra shows skill, power, and years of long practice?” in the end it all still sounded like a question.

            “Exactly, another five points to Gryffindor, in India cobras are seen as the most powerfully magical creatures, and therefore to hypnotize one is a show of prowess, in a way it would be how you show that you are a master of your craft.”

            Hermione’s eyes were wide, and though she wanted very badly to sleep some more, her two hour nap through Transfiguration and Lunch, and her deep doze through History of Magic had left her awake enough to soak up facts like a sponge. “Then what are witches called?” she asked, raising her hand. 

            “Ahh, snake charmers, or hypnotists, are for the most part male, and accepted into the society, if only because they appear to be normal muggles who whistle well in their flutes. They use instruments imbued with their own power to charm snakes, birds, and their fellow humans.

            Witches, in the muggle sense however, are viciously dubbed jadu, or sorceress. They go to her in secret for love potions and fortunes told, and for debts to be collected, she is a hard dealer, who knows these feeble magics they seek, but deals also in stronger stuff. Death magic, debts owed and debts collected, she is woman, and in us life is created, we have the power of creation, and therefore we have the power of destruction.” Hermione felt the hair rise on the back of her neck; she was wide awake now, and drinking in every word, her eyes on the teacher who swayed, caught in the power of the words flowing freely from her mouth. “If fire is life, than a jadu has the ability to kindle a spark from cold ash, or douse a roaring flame with naught but her hands.”

            The class was holding a collective breath, and almost as one they released it when their teacher fell silent. A map was unrolled over the black board behind the desk, Hermione noticed for the first time, it was almost like the ones she remembered from muggle primary school. The brightly colored maps that the teacher would unroll and point to a country and read it off slowly, telling them the name of the language, and the capital, as they the students stared with something akin to the stupor induced by History of Magic.

            On this map however, the seas rolled just enough to make her dizzy if she looked at it too long, and it was light or darker depending on what time it was in that part of the world at that time. She stared as the lights of New York City lit up, a sprawling spider web of shimmering Christmas lights.

            “Now who can tell me what the name of the witches and wizards of my People, the Iroquois, are called?”

            Hermione’s hand shot up with its old precision, proving that she was indeed truly awake, “Medicine men and women.” 

            “Superb, I, like my mother before me, and her mother before her, was marked at an early age to be a medicine woman. I have the silver stripe that runs through the ages on my brow, and have had it since I turned fourteen.” She pulled one of the many coils of hair out of her knot, and it proved to be indeed shot heavily with unmistakable silver. “As my mother is still firmly instated as our medicine woman I have come here to teach a younger generation, until the time when I am called to take up my mantle. Can anyone tell me what we medicine men and women do?”

            Hermione’s hand shot up again, Professor Urthart nodded to her and she rattled off as if she had committed this to memory long ago, she probably had. “Medicine men and women are healers for the most part, but also seers, they scry with wind, flame, water, and speak with the spirits of their forest. At a young age an animal chooses to be their spirit protector, and guide through the realms of the spirits. They are deeply connected with their ancestors, and in times of crisis will call upon the wisdom of those gone on before them for guidance…”

            The Professor raised a hand to stop the flow of information, “Very good, you were not born here were you?”

            Hermione blushed deeply, there she went again, showing off, being a-a fool. “No professor, I lived in Dallas until I was nine, and then moved here because my mom got a job opportunity.”

            “Ahh, so you studied us in your elementary school, correct?”

            “Yes Professor, my third grade teacher was half Native American, and loved to study the culture of her mother.”

            “That would explain it, now; does anyone know what a dream catcher is?”

            Hermione’s hand shot in the air once more, but also, surprisingly Blaise’s as well, the professor chose him over Hermione, much to the girl’s dismay. “They are woven circles that catch bad dreams in their web, and allow good dreams to slip in unhindered.”

            “Good, five points to Slytherin, and to Gryffindor as well for Miss Granger’s answer. Native peoples place great importance on dreams and visions, and dream catchers are one of the oldest methods of controlling The Sight, or the Inner Eye, as you sometimes call it.” Hermione repressed a snort, but said nothing. “Dreams are our method of communication with the past, present, and future…” she glanced at her watch, “And on that note I’ll leave you. We have three minutes to the bell, so pack your bags, and I will see you chillens next class. Oh, and I want you to write in ten sentences of less what you expect from this class this year.”

            There was a scuffle of parchment as everybody copied down the assignment, before packing bags and slouching on their desks. Hermione scrawled Ten sent. Expectations, DaDa on a spare scrap of parchment, knowing full well she wouldn’t remember what it meant later, and that she would probably need to ask Malfoy what the homework was.

            She also could care less, and seriously didn’t want to drag her aching skin down to potions, where she would have no friends, since her Brothers would be with their classmates, and have a façade to keep up. Thus, she slumped in her seat, and spent the remaining two minutes answering Harry and Ron’s chatter in low, unintelligible grunts. Draco snorted, and muttered that’s ladylike it Blaise, before shooting her a wicked smirk, knowing she could, and would hear it.

            She flashed him an orange eyed glare, before groaning, as the bell echoed through the corridors, signaling the end of the lesson, and the beginning of her descent into the cold, wet, dark, stone pit that someone had so loftily dubbed The Dungeons. If there happened to be a god somewhere, they had an extraneously cruel sense of humor.

            She waved goodbye to Ron and Harry gloomily, and made her limp, achy way down to the dungeons, trying to will a little more life into her limbs, knowing Slytherins could smell exhaustion like sharks smell blood.

            It did not brighten her outlook on life, in fact she almost felt like slaughtering a truckload of puppies and kittens.

            Almost, not quite.

            Maybe some nuns too, while she was at it.

            Anyway, she slipped into the dank cave that Snape called a classroom, and took a seat as far away from the emerald half of the room, though for a moment she felt like joining them. So much green reminded her of Dallas, and the way she and the other Dragonesses would gather in a glittering green cloud that made all other cliques look pallid, insipid.

            The wistful look that crept across her face was gone in a blink, and she was an impassive, stone faced student again, seated ramrod straight, with her eyes fixed firmly on the front of the classroom. Pansy opened her mouth to make a comment, but Blaise, sensing it, blinked his lone orange eye away and headed her off with a question about her summer.

            Draco, noticing the pointed tone of his best mate’s voice shot him a brief, grateful glance, he knew the Blaise had just defended Hermione in some shape, form, or fashion, he just wished it had been him shielding her instead. Hermione missed this whole bit in her effort to look like stone, and feel like stone. This would be a hard class, and without the kindly buffer of her Brothers, she wasn’t sure how she would survive the next two semesters.

            Snape swooped in to the cavern that he had made his own, and surveyed Hermione and the Slytherins through unfathomable black eyes that showed no spark of kindness, or kindred. “So you are the select few who have slipped by on the skins of your teeth” his voice had always made Hermione’s skin crawl, as it did now, she fought not to show how truly repulsed she was.

            Her back was a little stiffer; she had passed his exam with flying colors, and hated to be treated as though she had just barely scraped by. Hermione Granger did not just scrape by.

            Her anger woke her up even more than her thirst for knowledge had during the last class. Before her indignation could truly set in however, Snape opened his foul mouth and unleashed his skin crawling voice again. “I had paired you off for this semester, after the break we shall see if you are still here and” his gaze lingered maliciously on Hermione, “if your partner is willing to take you back.”

            Hermione’s cheeks flamed, and she had to fight to keep her eyes from swirling into a fiery orange. As it was they may have been a tad brighter than they were supposed to be, and if that caused the Potions Master to give her a sharp glance, well, it couldn’t be helped. She had honestly tried her hardest, and that was all anyone could ask of her.

            Draco let out a sharp exhale from across the room, and her back stiffened even more, she could hear the disapproval in his single breath, he still thought her a fool. Gritting her teeth she emptied her mind, and the normal cinnamon and honey tones of her irises swirled up as the orange faded completely. Draco snorted in approval, and Hermione pretended not to notice, focusing instead on the bat like teacher that was stalking around in front of the class.

            “The pairings stand as such…” the list of names began to drone, and Hermione tuned out, listening only vaguely for her own name. “Zambini you will be paired with Granger”

            “But sir-” Blaise called in outrage, Hermione was stung, but didn’t show it.

            “I’m sorry Zambini, but Parkinson specifically asked to b with Malfoy and there is simply no other partner with which I am willing to pair you.”    

            “Suck it up Zambini” Hermione’s voice was soft, but carrying, “I don’t bite, hard.”

            Pansy smirked, “kinky” she muttered, their voices were lost in the shuffle of people moving desks.

            “At least I didn’t request my partner” Hermione muttered as she pushed past Parkinson.

            Pansy threw back her head and laughed outright, “At least I have the purity of my blood to protect me in this class”     

            Hermione just smiled a little half-smile, and dropped her things on the worktable with Blaise’s. “If only she knew” her lips barely quivered as she murmured to her Brother.

            Blaise scowled darkly at her, but she saw the humor deep in his rather mint esque eyes, “Don’t get in my way Granger.”

            “Likewise Zambini” she shot back, before opening her satchel and digging out her potions book.

            “For the remainder of the class I want you and your partner to prepare a potion of your choice, it must be one of the brews listed on page one-thirty-eight to one-forty-three, you have and hour remaining, begin.”

            Hermione was already flipping through the book, her finger running down the list on the first page, “this one” she flipped the book over to Blaise, whose eyes flicked over the ingredients faster than Hermione would have dreamed possible.

            He jerked a nod of consent, and stood to get ingredients, while Hermione began setting up the cauldron. She prodded the base with her wand, and one of her trademark bluebell flames glowed beneath it, heating the two liters of water that she had carefully measured, and dumped in.

            Blaise returned with the ingredients and began chopping, even though she was wider awake, he didn’t trust her with a cutting implement of any kind. It was too much of a risk, and he wasn’t going to risk anything on his Sister, particularly since Draco was shooting him dirty looks every few seconds.

            Blaise didn’t let it bother him, whether Draco knew it or not it seemed that he and Hermione were destined to be together, and Draco, Lord of the Court that he was, was bound to be territorial. As Dragons they were doomed to be tied to someone, to find a mate, they could sleep around all they wanted, but one they found, wooed, and won her, the game was over, and you were done for good. Lucky for Blaise he had yet to find his mate, and could screw around all he wanted, just like his Brothers could, just like Draco was known for doing.

            A sharp glance was sent his way again, and Blaise released a world-weary sigh that made Hermione dart her eyes at him, before returning her intense gaze to the cauldron, stirring it exactly six times counterclockwise, before pausing, and rereading the directions. She then added precisely three, carefully measured tablespoons of something or other, before muttering to Blaise out of the corner of her mouth, “Why’s Malfoy looking at me again?”

            “Worried I suppose” he muttered back, dicing the gingerroots into perfect half inch chunks.

            “Why are we making a potion that gives the drinker heightened senses again?”

            “I don’t know”

            “Yes, you do” he accused softly, sharp green eyes darting around for anyone listening in. Malfoy shot the pair of them another fleeting look, but he ignored his Lord; no one else could hear them.

            “Seriously, I just thought it would impress him”

            “You’ve already got stronger senses than this could ever give you, so why…”

            “They come and go.” She growled, comparing the color of their potion with the description in the book.

            “Ahh continue”

            “I can hear stuff that you lot do, but normal humans, they sound just the same as always.”

            “It will come, just give it time-”

            “If you call me young grasshopper I swear by Merlin I’ll beat the crap out of you next Meeting”

            “Fine then, fledgling butterfly” she hissed, but said nothing, concentrating instead on the spluttering fire below the cauldron.

            Her frown was sharp, as she prodded the pale blue flames beneath the tripod on which they had set the cauldron, “My fires never go out” she whispered angrily. “I designed the spell myself, they’re waterproof, and can live in a capped jar without air, and they don’t even need fuel. So why is it spluttering” she was steaming, someone was sabotaging her fire, and she didn’t think it was funny.

            “You sure Granger?”

            “I’ve been perfecting this since second effin year, of course I’m sure.” She snapped, orange tinged eyes scanning the room, there. “Nott” she growled, “three desks back, diagonally to your right.”

            Blaise didn’t move, but his orange eyes flicked to Draco, who though he was busy concocting a potion with Parkinson, of course had heard every word. Draco barely nodded, and Hermione watched a shimmer of silver on the bottom of the desk, a sharpening of her gaze proved that a spell circle was carved into the wooden underside. He merely pressed his fingers to the carving, and it lit with the silver of his Talent.   

            Hermione didn’t have to look when she heard the shout of dismay from behind them, she knew something had happened. And when out of the corner of her eye she saw the silver wink out, and then glimpsed Draco flashing her the tiniest of smirks, she merely checked her fire. It crackled merrily, and she prodded it lower, their potion had to simmer for twenty minutes, and she could care less if Nott was writhing on the ground in agony.

            Not that he was, she couldn’t resist the briefest peek, instead he was trying to contain his over boiling cauldron, and trying to damp his happily roaring fire. She could feel the heat of the flames from here, and the Dragoness in her basked in its warm glow. Blaise watched with mild amusement, as Snape stalked back, whipping out his wand muttering low incantations as he prowled.

            Hermione didn’t twitch at the hiss of water dousing the boisterous flames, though she couldn’t contain a small, satisfied smile at the cries of how ruined his potion was. Served him right.

            The bell rang just as Blaise was labeling their completed potion, and placing it up on Professor Snape’s desk. She had just finished putting her stuff up, and was wondering if she ought to wait. Would it be conspicuous if she waited for Blaise and Draco? It was the last class of the day, so everyone was in a rush to put up their things and hang out in common rooms, would anyone notice?

            Draco noticed her indecision, and muttered to his half packed bag, “Go Granger, you’re dead on your feet.”

            That she was, but he didn’t need to point it out for everyone. Not that anyone could hear his remark, as it was under his breath, but it was the principle of the matter, if not the matter itself. “Arse” she muttered in response, before turning on her heel and marching out, trying not to show how sore she was.

            Blaise and Draco were the last to leave, “Planning to throw me any more dirty looks?” Blaise asked teasingly.

            “No” Draco replied lightly, “but at semester if you could specifically request Parkinson I would be much obliged.”

            “I’ll think about it” Blaise laughed, before turning to follow the other Slytherin’s deeper into the dungeons to their common room, whilst Draco took the steps up into the sunlight and the warmer upper layer of the castle. 

            When he arrived at their common room Hermione was sacked out on the couch, her shoes kicked across the room, and her bag dropped down beside her on the floor. Her feet dangled off the end of the couch, and her hair was spread around her in a bushy fan, he glimpsed the rubber band that had held it in place in a far corner.

            Laughing to himself Draco tiptoed on past her and was putting his foot on the first step when Hermione growled, “I’m no idiot” he looked back to see her glowering an orangey glower.

            “Never said you were” he kept his voice as light as possible.

            “liar”

            “Fool”

            “Shut up”

            “Why?”

            “Cause I said so”

            “I’m the higher authority”

            “I’m Head Girl”

            “I’m Head Boy”

            “McGonagall’s favorite”

            “Snape’s favorite”

            “Played soccer thirteen years”

            “Played quidditch longer”

            “Liar”

            “Am not”

            “Prove it”

            He shoved a picture under her nose of a tiny blond kid smirking, holding a toy broomstick in one hand, and a small quaffle under the other arm “You carry this around always?”

            “No, I just ran upstairs and back down”

            “How?” 
            “Like this” he was across the room in an instant, and then sitting beside her on the couch, and then in and out of the kitchen door, a bottle of water in his hand. He handed it to her, “You’ll develop it in time fledgling butterfly” he told her sagely.

            She unscrewed the top of the water bottle, took a swig, and chunked the remainder at him, before lowering her head back to the cushions, “I’m going to sleep till supper, could you go get Jason?”

            “Sure, I’ll be back in a bit.” The water vanished in a glow of silver, quietly he bent and picked up the plastic bottle and cap.

            “Thanks” and he was gone in an instant, leaving only his scent drifting behind. Hermione inhaled it deeply, before her eyelids drifted closed, and sleep overtook her once more.   


So our dear Dramione has met the new Defense teacher, is partenered with her Brother, has been defended by her Lord, and is very likely the recipiant of false info. Sorryy guys, the Jadu was a term I found in Young Warriors:Stories of Strength, and I really liked the discription given her. 
A lot of that however was my own creation, NO ONE TAKE ANY OF THAT AS FACT, IT LIKELY WAS NOT!!!!!!! 
And the Native American bit was what I looked up while I was writing, and what I remembered from various history classes. 
Anyone got info on legendary witches and wizards from various lands? I'd love some help, I'm thinkin of tackleing ancient Egypt next, but they not have many magic folk, just preists, hm...
Once again, terribly sorry if I've offended anyone, i'm tryin hard to research, but I've got little time as it is, and less patience for sifting through websites for the truest fact, more often than not I just wikipedia things. Sorry again to anyone who has read thos abnormally long authors note, I'll update as soon as possible!!  
Still luv you guys, even if you don't luv me ^.^
kisses
~*Jeni*~

Chapter 45: Grateful
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Hi guys, I'm updateing as fast as possible. Thank you to everyone who has stuck it out with me this far, whew it's gettin to be a long one, ^.^ Guess I'll see you on the other side...


            Hermione woke up a short while later to a boisterous Jason tickling her socked feet. She kicked him off gently, stretching and yawning, it had been a long day, and she was hungry.

            Jason trailed after her as she wandered through the kitchen in search of something, anything to nibble on. She opened the fridge and stared dejectedly at the fresh fruits and vegetable, the neatly packaged meats, the pre-sliced cheese in its little plastic wrappers, the milk in its jug. Yogurt cups were in there too, all different flavors, key-lime pie flavor, whipped chocolate cherry flavor, blackberry, banana, strawberry and pineapple, any flavor she could have wished and a dozen others besides. Chocolate syrup in the slot in the door beside a jar of pickles, a bottle of ketchup, a jar of mayonnaise, a few jars of various jellies, a jar of maraschino cherries, the carton of orange juice, more food than you could shake a stick at.

            There were people in the world dying of hunger, and all she could do was stare at the fully stocked fridge and wonder why she was hungry, but nothing sounded good. Why couldn’t she just be grateful, and eat what she had without wanting something else? She felt like such a glutton, though her stomach was empty and protesting loudly.

            Growling curses to herself, Hermione yanked the freezer side open and eyed the three different tubs of ice cream shrewdly. Sighing she grabbed the plain vanilla and plunked it down on the counter. “Go ask Malfoy if he wants a sundae” she told Jason, not looking at him, not wanting him to see her self revulsion at her own idiotic hunger. Her hunger was so pitiful compared to the starvation suffered by so many others, why had she been blessed with birth into a good family, when so many others were destined to die as children?

            Jason scampered away as Hermione dug around for an ice cream scoop, bowels, spoons, and bananas. She found all four in short order, and was filling the third bowel with ice cream when Draco walked in, “Yes please on the ice crea-” he paused, “I see you’ve already dished it up.” His voice was frighteningly dry.

            “Call it woman’s intuition” she replied, not looking up, “bananas?”

            “Sure” she peeled and sliced a banana in half, putting it on either side of the scoops of ice cream, hers and Jason’s already had their own bananas.

            “Chocolate, whipped cream?”

              “Sure and sure.”

             “Maraschino cherries?” she dug out the jar and was already putting a few in one of the bowels.

            “Why not?”

            Hermione laughed, skipped Jason’s bowel because she knew he hated all cherries with a fiery passion, and plunked a generous portion on top of Draco’s banana split as well. She stuck a spoon in and handed him the finished sundae, before helping Jason reach his (he was trying to climb onto the counter, as his arms weren’t long enough to reach over). She stuck the entire ice cream scoop in her mouth, as she began putting the cherries and ice cream and everything else away.

            Draco watched as she easily flipped the scoop around in her mouth with her tongue, rotating it without even blinking.

            Sweet Merlin, had he known she could do that? 

            He fought valiantly against thoughts of what else that tongue could do, trying very hard to concentrate on his ice cream. It was difficult though, especially when she pulled it out of her mouth, gave it one last lick, smacked her lips loudly, and put it in the sink.

            Not a drop of melted ice cream had survived to be washed off the scoop, though she rinsed it anyway before leaving it in the sink to be washed properly later.

            Hermione scarfed down her ice cream, and could have eaten more, but common sense told her that supper would be soon, and she had to eat there, or people would think she was going Ana. She shuddered at the thought, Drashaley had been anorexic a few years back, the damage it had wrought on her body still haunted all the Dragonesses. She never wanted to be like that ever.

            Shaley was still recovering, and every once in a long while, she would come to practice with a raw throat, and they all would swoop down and bully her into eating again, and keeping her food down. It was an uphill fight, but when the pack of Dragonesses had decided that like it or not they were going to save their team mate, the girl in question had given up, and decided it was better not to fight back. Talk about tough love.

            Anyway, she scraped her spoon along the bowel, getting the last few drops, before carrying it to the sink where she scrubbed the dish and spoon vigorously, laying then on a spread out towel to dry. “Care to explain the long face?” Draco’s voice was close behind her, too close.

            “Not particularly,” she felt his annoyed hiss on the tender flesh of her neck, okay, now he was way to close.

            “Why?” his hot breath caressed her ear, she had to fight not to twitch her head or lift her shoulder up to block his breath.

            “None of your beeswax” she snapped, “Oh and Draco” she drove her elbow into his gut, putting force from her Dragon’s strength behind it. “I thought I told you not to blow in my ear”

            Jason laughed as Draco doubled over, the wind completely knocked out of him, he shouldn’t have forgotten the last time he had tried to unhinge her by his proximity, and a few gentle breaths. For some odd reason he figured the Hermione wouldn’t be so easy to seduce, though for he seemed to want to be near her more every day.

            He growled, and shook his head, why were his thoughts so muddled? Hermione had left, taking Jason with her, without another word, bloody wench. He needed a quick shag, and he needed one soon, maybe tonight, no, definitely tonight, he would find some bint who would be more than happy to pleasure him in a broom cupboard.

            Hermione had laid the ground rule that he bring no tarts home, and he agreed, Jason shouldn’t be exposed to that sort of woman, maybe they couldn’t shelter him for long, but by Merlin they could try. And part of him didn’t want Granger to see him with one of the scrapings of the earth that he might drag back for a fast roll; he didn’t want her to think less of him for it.

            Bloody hell, why do I care? She’s just a know-it-all-bookworm, someone I’ve despised for ages, since when do I care what she thinks?

            But she’s also your Sister

            He growled at that, for some reason Granger, and Sister didn’t quite match up, it just didn’t sound right.

            And your Brothers respect her enough to protect her, even with their facades.

          He snarled at that too, since when did his Brothers care about any girls? They all knew that eventually they would find their mate, and have her attached to them for the rest of their lives, but seriously, why would they all care so much about Granger?  

            Maybe they all found her to be their mate?

            That made his hands clench in fury, no, surely not.

            Not that he cared or anything.

            Maybe she had already found her mate…

            He bared his teeth in a feral grimace, impossible, but he remembered her words from the feast when she had been talking to the Weaslette The way of my tall, dark stranger who will sweep me off my feet, whoever he may be. So she went for the tanned ones huh, he could probably work on that…

            He glanced down at his alabaster skin, knowing he wouldn’t be able to naturally tan, he would burn like a lobster, but there were plenty of spells for that sort of thing, surely not all of them were crummy.

            And then he began to wonder why he would do that again?

            He liked being pale, and by Merlin’s saggy left… elbow he was going to stay pale, Granger or not.

            As the kitchen door swung closed behind him he began to wonder if Pansy would have any books with self tanning spells, until he caught sight of her crashed out on the couch again.

            He sat down on the chair beside her, “Where’s Jason?”

            Her voice was low and slurred with sleep, “Watchin tellie”

            She must be really tired not to call it TV, he had noticed her tendency to use a British accent, but hold on tightly to her American words. The strings of the two cultures seemed to get hopelessly snarled when it came to Hermione Granger, one foot on either side of the ocean.

            “You’re doing okay?” 

            “Sleepy” she murmured, already so out of it he doubted she would remember this tomorrow.

            “Cold? Hot? Comfortable?” She involuntarily shivered, it was unseasonably cold in the Head’s Tower, and he wasn’t sure how it was possible. A flick of Draco’s wand brought a heavy quilt out of its cupboard in the bathroom, and zipping out to meet him.

            Actually it slammed into his already sore gut with surprising force, sending him sprawling onto the drowsy Hermione. He steadied himself, landing on the edge of the cushion, barely jostling Hermione. He was congratulating himself on an arse well saved (he knew that she wouldn’t take to kindly to being awakened by a sprawling Malfoy) when she snuggled nearer to him, “waaaaarrrmm” she nearly purred, making him stiffen as she wriggled her lean body till she was practically wrapped around him.

            Awkward rang through his head, closely followed by mmmmm, heat. He really was kind of drowsy too, surely she wouldn’t remember, and he’d just wake up before her and get out before she woke up and demanded an explanation that she would never really trust.

            He relaxed against the couch, lying down carefully, her body pressed up rather close, almost uncomfortably close, except she fit him perfectly. Her curves and miles of lean muscle rested against him, fitted against him like they had been crafted for each other. He smiled into her hair and inhaled the perfume of her vanilla shampoo, mmmm, it almost made him hungry.

            Except, he wasn’t sure if he was hungry for food, or something else.

            I need a shag fast ran across his mind, and that was his last coherent thought, unless you count Granger, will you be still?

 

            Michael, Anthony, and Blaise found them like that after supper, Hermione’s face buried in Draco’s chest, Draco’s cheek pressed against the ridge that her braid made on the back of her head. Michael wandered around the couch and turned his Lord’s head the tiniest bit, there was a deep imprint of her braid on his cheek, he quirked an eyebrow at the other two.

            Anthony stifled a laugh, and Blaise grinned wickedly, and he said he didn’t care about Granger. Had she been any other girl they would probably not have wanted to enter for fear of graphic, life scarring scenes.

            Michael left Draco’s head tilt back to where it had been firmly pressed against their Sister’s hair.

            The three of them went silently into the kitchen, “You know, I don’t think I’d approve anyone else for her” Blaise commented.

            Michael snorted, “You’ve got that right, but I doubt she’d settle for less.”

            Anthony chuckled, “Remember fourth year when he was coming up with all those schemes to get her to join us?”

            “Remember the kidnapping?” They all laughed outright, one of Draco’s wilder schemes to get Hermione the Operation. It had fallen through though, just like all his others.

            “Remember the one where he was gonna come over to her house during the summer?”

            “And give her the Operation himself in her sleep? Yeah, I remember” Yet another early scheme, thankfully it too had not ever gotten past the planning stage.

            “Shush, they’ll be waking up soon” Blaise hissed, his orange eye flashing back to green in a blink.

            The three listened, a low groan was heard, Hermione waking, and then a contented growl, Draco still half asleep, and not wanting her to move.

            “I get the feeling that they’re going to be majorly pissed if they find us here.” Michael muttered, Anthony nodded and walked to the window, opening it as quietly as possible. Blaise nodded too and went to help Anthony; together they got the small window above the sink open as wide as it would go.

            Michael eyed the small space skeptically, it would have been a tight squeeze for thin little Hermione, much less the three of them, heavily muscled, and taller than normal because of their blood. “Who goes first?” Anthony muttered from behind him.

            Blaise climbed carefully onto the counter and squeezed his head and shoulders through, “Help” he gritted out as loudly as he dared; Michael and Anthony heard the sounds of Draco and Hermione becoming cognizant, and hurried to shove him out the rest of the way. They weren’t eager to be caught spying, albeit unknowingly, on their Lord, and his prospective mate.

            With a heavy oof, Blaise fell out, and growled as his wings ripped out of his shirt, he would have to re-find the spell that mended cloth. Michael was half in half out in seconds, and nearly completely stuck.

            Anthony shoved feverishly on his feet, and Blaise grabbed his arms, hauling his Brother out, only to have him replaced by Anthony, who had no one to push his feet. He cast frantic orange eyes at his Brothers; they could all hear the shouting of the brewing row. Blaise grabbed his right arm, and Michael his left, between them they heaved their Brother out, as the fight gathered steam and began moving to the kitchen.

            They had no time to close the window and make a clean getaway; instead they took flight for the nearest tower, eager not to be caught in the act of spying on their Siblings. Maybe Draco would be calm by the time he caught up with them next.

            Maybe not, either way, they weren’t going to stick around and find out.

 

            Hermione woke up feeling very warm and comfortable and to the steady rise and fall of someone else’s breathing. Her eyes opened, and she found them suspiciously close to a shoulder clothed in the white fabric of the school uniform shirts. It smelled good, clean and warm, and faintly of some cologne that she didn’t recognize, hmm, very masculine though, but almost soft at the same time, she could have purred at the delicious scent.

            Until she twitched her head to see who was in possession of above-said good smelling shoulder, only one person she knew had pale skin like that…

            “MALFOY” He jerked, squeezing her tighter to his chest, forcing the breath from her lungs, her next screams of outrage were more squeaks than anything else. Her arms were pinned to her sides, her legs tangled in his, so she did the only thing she could in such a situation.

            She twitched her head back, getting it out from under his chin, and pulled it back as far as possible. A crick in her neck protested as she rammed into the point of his chin with her forehead, right where her hairline ended, exactly like she had been taught to head balls.

            Stars sparked across her eyes as he released her, she tumbled off the couch, rubbing her head, soccer balls were comparatively soft, and besides, they weren’t bony, or anything close to bony. She winched as her fingers brushed the spot she had used to hit him, it wasn’t exactly the Sweet Spot they used in soccer, a bit too high for that, she wished she’d pushed the crick in her neck a little harder and gone for his throat rather than chin, that at least wasn’t so sharp.

            Draco reeled, he could feel a bruise spreading across his chin, and hear Hermione groaning somewhere near by, in fact…

            He peeked over the edge of the couch and found him staring into the angry orange gaze of a livid Granger, the glare was only marginally diminished by her right hand fluttering over her forehead and her mouth tightening as her fingers tapped certain spots.  “MALFOY” her voice put extra emphasis on the last part of his name, not that the entire thing wasn’t a low roar. “What was that?”

            He winced, exploring the painful spot on his jaw with delicate fingers, “Nothing?” he would have sounded innocent if it hadn’t come out an obvious question. 

            She stood, an angry bump beginning to form on her forehead “Define ‘nothing’”

            “Hey, you told me to stay” he raised his hands to show she had made the decision, not him.

            That threw her off balance, “Really?”

            “Yeah, you were saying something about cold, and I went to get a blanket, and then you pulled me back and said I was warm and-”

            “We both fell asleep” she finished for him, a deep blush spreading up from her neck and across her cheeks, “Sorry, I was so knackered I wasn’t even thinking, and it’s so bloody cold in here, or it was, and I just…”

            “We are creatures of fire and air, we thrive in heat, being cold and wanting warmth is no crime.” His voice was very gentle, but it sounded way to older brother-ish for Hermione, she didn’t mind her other Brothers, but for some reason calling Malfoy a Brother just sounded wrong.

            “Yeah, but I am sorry, I mean-”

            He chuckled, “we both had good naps, and now we need supper since we missed it, why don’t we leave it at that?”

            Hermione nodded and together they began walking around the couch, when she froze, “Do you smell that?”

            Draco sniffed, “Goldstein” he recognized Anthony’s cologne easily, the boy had been wearing the same stuff for years, “And the other two too.”

            Hermione sniffed, following the scent, but it was lost in the other smells of the room, the soot in the fire place burned her nose, covering most of the other whiffs of various smells that surrounded her. She sniffed curiously, never had she been so overwhelmed by the various smells of the world around her, never had she felt so in tune with them.

            Draco, smelling his Brother’s easily, watched her sniff the air, her eyes wide as she swiveled her head, her nose twitching and wrinkling as she picked up the various odors that he had long since stopped paying attention to. Her sense of smell must have finally developed, he grinned, seeing a teaching opportunity. “How long ago were they here?”

            She sniffed the air, before crouching and sniffing the ground, “Not long ago, Blaise stood here” she indicated the ground at her feet, “And…” she pulled it out, shuffling around on her knees, “Anthony stood here” she pointed to the ground in front of her, “Michael…” it took lots of knee shuffling, “Here” she finally found the spot where his scent originated.

            “And they went?” She caught on quick.

            “To the kitchen” she replied, following the smell left by their passage, it was fainter than it had been when they stood still, but it was certainly there. She tracked the clouds of smell into the kitchen, still shuffling on her hands and knees, Draco followed her, hands casually stuffed in the pockets of his school trousers, which he had yet to change out of.

            Hermione pushed the door open without standing, and scuffled into the kitchen, “Blaise leaned here” she said, using the counter that he had reclined against to haul herself up. “And Anthony-” a blast of warm wind made her turn her head, and laugh, while trying to growl with anger at the same time.

            Draco was just plain growling, “the cheeky devils.” He muttered, eyeing the open window, Hermione hurried to close it as Draco continued to mutter threats. Hermione didn’t quite comprehend why he was so angry, she turned questioning eyes towards him, “We missed them by seconds” he informed her; “They saw us, and will possibly spread rumors if it amuses them.”

            Hermione grimaced, suddenly realizing what that could mean for her reputation among the Court. Draco of course would get slapped on the back with indulgent smiles, hey, guys will be guys, but she would get mutters of whore, slut, and appraising eyes, wondering just how easy she truly was. “I’ll be a skank by midnight” she whispered, meaning the Hogwarts rumor mill would run rampant with the news of Goody Two Shoes Hermione Granger shagging Draco Malfoy rotten.

            Draco shook her head, “They wouldn’t do that, would probably fight anyone who said that actually. But they will know it, and tease us, and drop hints to the younger members, just be aware.”

            Hermione nodded, struck by his words, be aware, it was exactly what they had written her on that scrap of parchment, she would need to remember to look for clues as to when they were to meet to help her train.  “So, how about some dinner?”

            “Sure” Draco glanced at the clock, “We’ve missed the meal in the Great Hall, but the elves would be happy to give us something, or you could cook if you want…”

            “No, I really need to work on some homework, why don’t you go get some grub and I’ll dig Jason out of my couch and work on that essay.”

            Draco yawned and was gone, Hermione rolled her eyes, show off, she would need to learn the speed thing soon, maybe her Brothers would teach her…


            Draco returned with three trays of food floating along benignly behind him, he tossed his corn silk hair proudly, expecting lavish praise for the amount of provisions he had managed to steal.

            All he got was a spare glance and a “Not bad” before Hermione returned to her essay, “Jason stop” was added absentmindedly, for he was hopping behind Malfoy, taking swipes at the platters drifting just out of his reach. The child bent his knees experimentally, prepping for another jump, “Jason” she didn’t even look, but Draco watched her head tip slightly, detecting Jason’s deeper breath as he readied himself to leap.

            Her senses are sharpening, first scent, and now sound as well, tomorrow morning will be difficult for her if they keep developing at this rate, I’d best ready her…

            Hermione felt his gaze from across the table, and raised her calm eyes towards him, realization hit him like a thunderbolt, She hasn’t realized how receptive her senses are and will be. She doesn’t know how hard it will be to go on acting normal, to keep up this façade of humanity that we must cloak ourselves in, she hasn’t had to experience the heightened senses, not yet anyway…

            Hermione shifted under his gentle, almost pitying, Merlin, she hated pity, this time when she looked up at him it was with annoyance, “If you’ve got something to say tell me, if not, go away.”

            He shook his head like a dog clearing water out of its ears, “No, just you need to eat, you’ve had a big day, and you might want to visit your friends too…” he was babbling, why was he babbling?

            “Why?” her voice was blank, confused.

            “They will want to be sure that you’re alright, and they might need homework help” he added with a smirk, Hermione scowled at that, she hated being thought of as nothing more than a tutor.

            “They shouldn’t need me for a simple essay” she replied tartly, before softening, “But I will go see them, Ginny will ask awkward questions if I don’t.”

            Draco nodded, directing the still suspended trays to the counter, before getting out plates and fixing himself one, “sure, see you later then” he left in a breeze that smelled tantalizingly of steak and baked potatoes, the door swinging shut behind him.

            Hermione glanced at Jason, who was staring longingly up at the platters, before thrusting her chair away from the table, “Okay kiddo, so what do you want for supper?”

           

            Hermione returned late that evening, Jason sleeping as she carried him, his head nestled on her shoulder, his soft curls making her want to sneeze as they tickled her face. She carried him up to her room, laying him on the bed and removing his shoes in a fog of exhaustion, she was drained, never before had she realized how strongly the Gryffindor Common Room smelled.

            The fire had been smoky, or at least had smelled smokier than ever before, and Ginny must have bathed in perfume, because Hermione had been hard pressed not to cough from the thick cloud of rose petal bouquet that had surrounded the younger girl. Most people must not have bathed either, because the odor of sweat had mingled with the various body sprays that the girls used, mixing to form a gag worthy stench.

            Hermione undressed Jason and put him into his pajamas, before performing a quick cleaning spell on his teeth, rather than wake him and make him go brush them himself. He giggled groggily at the tickling sensation, before settling deeper into sleep, Hermione smiled at him, curled up sleeping; he at least had enjoyed himself wholly.

            A gobstones tournament had fascinated him to know end, as had the wizard’s chess match that Harry and Ron were playing in lieu of doing their essays. Ginny had cooed and petted him till his head would surely be inflated at having been praised so highly, she had stroked his hair, given him more chocolate frogs than Hermione cared to think about, and let him sit in her lap, laughing every time he wriggled, where Hermione would have instructed him to try and be still.

            Hermione was afraid that on the morrow he would be spoiled rotten, with a stomach ache from eating too many sweets. The houselves would have one heck of a day with him that was for sure. She undressed, sleeping in only a long t-shirt and knickers, before climbing into bed beside Jason; she was asleep before her head hit the pillow.  

            Draco listen to Hermione rustling around in her room, he heard the soft fluttering sound of cloth hitting the hardwood floor, and the click of buttons when they too landed. Hermione would have blushed many shades darker than mere red at the images that danced through his mind before he managed to gain control over his wandering thoughts.

            Her listened to her arranging the covers around her body, and heard Jason mumble softly as he nestled against her, and he smiled in the dark. She needed her sleep, if she thought tonight was draining, the tomorrow would be worse than today with its heavy fog of exhaustion.

            Tomorrow she would see, smell, hear, and highly possibly taste more than she ever had before, and would likely be ready to strangle herself, or anyone around her who dared mention anything about bad smells, tastes, sounds, or overall experiences…

            Merlin, if he was going to live with her through tomorrow he probably wanted some sleep too. And with that thought he sank into a deep sleep, and did not wake till morning, when he heard Hermione’s side of the bathroom open, and close, followed shortly by his own door closing.

            He listened carefully, so far so good, he heard her open the shower door and step in, and then, heard her break one of the taps off, and cry with dismay. He stood slowly, rolling his shoulders, Merlin; it was going to be a long day…


 Well guys, guess what, she's got her strength, that'll be interesting eh? Please leave me a revieew, I really apreciate them, and look for the update in about a week!! ^.^
kisses
~*Jeni*~ 

Chapter 46: Senses
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Okay guys, there are several reasons why it has taken an excruciatingly long time for this capter to be posted. 
First and foremost being that my computer waged an all out war on me last week, I won, but the stupid thing put up a pretty good fight. 
The next reason would be that I was gone for the two days after it finally got straightened out, I was several hours away in Austin running the course where the State Cross Country meet will be held. It wasn't an all buisness trip, or even a mostly buisness trip, but I still didn't get in until 1:30 on sunday morning, so yeah, i was pretty tired. 
The third, and final reason would be that right now, on the 5th of October, when I am sending this in, the backlog is twelve days. Yes, not hours, but days, I'm sorry, it can't be helped. So now, I am gonna shut up, and let you guys get on to the real reading, it's a long chapter, if that makes things better...    



            Hermione eyed the broken water fixture in her hand; it was solid steel, so how had she snapped it off when merely trying to get hot water? Experimentally she put the broken half up to the jagged break, holding it to the place where it had been mere seconds before, she half expected it to grow back or something.

            But nothing happened, so she raised her free hand and snapped her fingers gingerly, but there was no rush of fiery strength, nor was there a burning of power in her spine. Instead she felt foolish, sleepy, and completely incapable.

            She half opened her mouth to call Malfoy, and snapped it closed again, no, why should she go crying to him over a mere broken tap? Since when did she ever go crying to Malfoy? Why wasn’t she bolting to go get Harry or Ron, or better yet just fixing it herself with a simple wave of her wand?

            She was half turned to go get Malfoy, and instead half turned the other way to go get her wand, when she stopped again, why couldn’t she just fix it herself? Why couldn’t she just snap her fingers, or clap her hands and it be fixed? Like Malfoy mending her shoulder wit a spell circle, or Anthony making those stones move the night she battled Jonathan?

            Surely those were huge compared to a simple mending? Had she not made all her Brothers collapse with a mere snap? Was this not a simple, small thing in comparison?

            She observed the useless lump of polished steel in her hand, weighing it in her palm, using her fingers to test the smoothness of its outside, and the jagged edge where it broke away from its moorings. Her finger slipped on the sharp break, and a single drop of orange blood oozed out, falling across the gleaming silver steel.

            She gazed at the drop, feeling a low fire burn beneath her skin, her eyes sharpened, taking in every nick and scratch across the broken handle, her hand clenched, she felt her instincts taking over-

            With a casual flick of her wrist she tossed the tap up, before bringing her palms together and clapping once, it echoed in the marble bathroom even more than it would normally. The chunk of steel slowed in its downward flight, listing slightly towards the place where it had broken off.

            Her eyes were cool orange as she snapped the fingers of her right hand, watching keenly as the metal melded together, mending till it appeared to have never been broken. She palmed the metal lightly, feeling for cracks or a patchy repair; it was perfect, smooth. There was no bead where it had been welded, nor was there a warm line where she would be able to feel if a spell had mended it. It was whole, unbroken, perfect, a job well done. 

            She allowed herself a brief grin of pleasure before gingerly turning the tap and letting the hot water beat against her skin, still clammy from the light sweat she had worked up doing push-ups earlier that morning.

            Taking a shower was a whole new experience, she could feel each individual drop as it hit her skin, sense every wave of heat that broiled over her bare flesh, she rejoiced in the heat, and relished the steady pounding of water droplets on her back.

            She uncapped her shampoo, and the rich vanilla scent nearly overpowered her, never before had she realized how strong smelling it was she may need to change brands to something a little milder scented.

            But she could almost forget that as she scrubbed it vigorously into her scalp, scratching in the soap, before massaging it away, letting it swirl off her hair, trickle down her legs, and dance into the drain, leaving only its rich scent behind.

            Scrubbing her skin was an experience she would never again take for granted, she could feel every fiber that washed away dirt and grime she hadn’t known existed on her skin. She washed her hair twice and scrubbed every inch of her skin at least three times over, luxuriating in the experience, nearly purring with happiness.

            She rinsed her body one last time, and gently turned the water off, stepping out of the shower in a lush cloud of delicious smelling steam, her dripping hair swinging behind her in a dripping, snarled, edible smelling curtain. Gooseflesh rippled across her arms as she stepped out of the steamy bathroom and into her cool room, she almost turned around and hopped back in the shower rather than deal with the shivers that were rocking her spine.

            But Hermione Granger was made of sterner stuff than that, so instead she walked to her closet and began getting dressed, pausing every now and again to listen to Jason’s easy breathing and smile at it.

            She heard the door close on her side, and the water start again, so Draco was in the shower. Did he take the same joy in showering that she had just discovered? Probably, he seems like a guy who would enjoy his showers to their fullest… ewwww, scarred for life, think of other things, soccer-running-shooting goal-winning game-hot-sweaty-Dragonesses-The Lair-Draco getting mocha-dancing with Jamie-sweaty-strong-sweaty-Draco-stupid head-don’t think-

            In her eagerness to think of anything but Draco in the shower, she dredged up the image of her and Draco, hot and sweaty, on the soccer field, no!

            Did he know the effect he was having on her? She could smell him from here, his cinnamon and ginger spice that made her nose tingle almost like she wanted to sneeze, only instead she tried to breathe it in deeper. She could live on that smell alone; did he do that on purpose? Did he knowingly make her knees go weak, and her nose twitch happily at his smell, and her thoughts turn to the two of them hot and sweaty and-No, bad Hermione, bad-bad.

            She considered taking a leaf out of Dobby’s book and hitting her head repeatedly with one of the hideous uniform required shoes that she still had yet to put on. The soles were good heavy rubber, she would certainly learn her lesson, but, she might wake Jason, and Draco would notice any bruises she might show up with. Not if they’re under your clothes…

            She glanced down at herself, not sure where she could easily hit herself with the heavy shoe, and then she caught up with herself

            Why am I thinking about hitting myself with a shoe hard enough to bruise? Oh yeah, Draco Malfoy, bad thoughts, would notice uncovered bruises, weird…

            She shook her wet hair, sending water drops across the hanging clothes, and the dark wood floor, she resolved to never think of what she had just thought of ever again, and went on with pulling up her stockings.

            By the time the houselves arrived to take Jason back to the kitchens with them she was completely dressed with mostly dry hair, and an only slightly tired smile that didn’t so much a twitch when the crack that announced their appearance rained across her ears like heavy thunder. A groggy Jason was collected, and disappeared with them after receiving a hurried kiss on the cheek from Hermione, and firm instructions to be good, and she would visit him later.

            Hermione swung her damp hair through the air as she spun, searching for her leather messenger bag, only to find it exactly where she had left it the night before. She was rushed all morning, though she wasn’t sure why, she had plenty of time, but she felt the need to hurry, to dash through her morning rituals, even though she was moving faster than ever before. To a watching human she was moving about as fast as the average Olympic sprinter, Draco however, listened to her calmly, and marked with approval how well she was adapting unconsciously to her newfound speed.

            He counted her frantic steps, and adjusted the speed of his own morning routine to match hers; he was waiting for her down in the Common Room when she made her harried way through it. He fell into step with her without a word, noticing her nostrils flare and her back stiffen at his approach. She involuntarily took a deeper breath in unison with Draco, they breathed in each other’s unique scents, and continued on, their strides in perfect sync without either of them adjusting their steps.

            Hermione was drowning in his cinnamon and ginger spice, it tingled in her nose, making her breath deeper, willing him to keep moving, if only to keep his skin stirring the air, to keep the perfume of his flesh whisking across her nose. And then there was the perfect unison thing, she and Jamie could keep in sync, but they had to think about it, had to practice for hours, had to sweat side by side, before they could be considered in perfect harmony.

            Draco took in her fresh vanilla fragrance with progressively deeper breaths, she was grace itself, and every time her arm swished by her side, or she impatiently shook her hair from her face, the bouquet hit him afresh, almost causing him to break stride. But he wouldn’t dare break stride, he wouldn’t dare mess with this special synchronization, he wouldn’t mess with this, wouldn’t destroy this harmony, never had he felt so completed. She moved as he moved, he was walking in his usual strut, and she was sauntering along right beside him, her every step matching his own to perfection, her every breath taken in as he took in air.

            A fourth year Ravenclaw actually ran into a wall watching them as they walked down the corridor, for several seconds after they had passed he blinked and shook his head, wondering if he needed to see the nurse. The rivalry of Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy was legendary; surely what he had just witnessed was not true?

            Their fellow early risers who were sojourning to the Great Hall for coffee stared as they walked through, many muttered, wondering how long it took them to prefect that act, but they moved so unconsciously that few believed it was practiced.  The harmony the two Heads created was so second nature that many of the girls glanced at their boyfriends and sighed with envy, never would they achieve that synchronization, and sadly, they all knew they could do nothing about it.

            Hermione’s nose twitched distractedly, as the girls sighed with jealousy, the smell of their breath carried to her nose and disrupted Draco’s scent, her next footfall was harder, and Draco felt it, his misty eyes sliding over her form wordlessly.

            He felt her every step as it echoed silently through the paving stones, he could feel everyone’s steps, but her footfalls were a rhythm their own, and one that he was happy to keep time with.

            Hermione wasn’t sure how she knew exactly when he would step, but she did, and effortlessly she kept pace, it was unreal, and at the same time the most real thing se had ever done, ever had the pleasure of participating in.

            Michael and Anthony wordlessly watched them pass, “And all their doing is walking” one muttered to the other, Michael just shook his head incredulously at his Lord, and his Sister.

            Hermione placed her palm gingerly on the wood of the doors to the Great Hall, glancing over at the other of the enormous double doors to see Draco mirroring her action perfectly, without looking at her. As one they heaved the doors open, and walked in, still walking together to a beat all their own.

            The separated and began breezing to their own tables, when Hermione’s senses caught up with her, Draco heard her gasp cut off, and her steps falter, though no one else noticed. He looked back, to see her rooted to the spot, still several steps away from her seat, her eyes wide with horror; her hand halfway to her face destined to either be clapped over her mouth, or pinched over her nose. “Move it Granger” he muttered, her head swiveled around to look at him, her orange eyes flashing their chagrin.  “now” he hissed, the barest hint of an order masking his worry.

            He wanted nothing more than to sweep her up and fly her outside, lifting her higher and higher into the atmosphere, till the air was free of all scents except for rain in the clouds. He wanted to dash her from this human infested place with all its overwhelming smells, to take her up into the mountains where the air was pure and untainted. He wanted to protect her.

            The realization hit him like a ton of bricks, and he turned, poised to sprint to her side and carry her far, far away.

            But she seemed to draw strength from within herself; she drew in a deep breath through her mouth so she couldn’t smell it, and winced. Instead of smelling the Great Hall, she had tasted it, and that was far worse. Still she soldiered on, taking first one purposeful step towards the Gryffindor table, and her seat, and then another, she was almost there, having walked the whole way at the same painfully deliberate pace, when Harry and Ron bounced into the Hall.

            Draco watched Hermione wince as they each wrapped and arm around her shoulders, walking her the rest of the way to their places at the table, not noticing her light breaths, and pained expression each time either of them opened their mouth. Or exhaled,

            Or inhaled,

            Or moved.   

            Draco sat himself at the end of the Slytherin table, and took deep breaths, trying to harness the intense rage that gripped him in the wake of Hermione’s discomfort in the presence of her two best friends.

 

            Across the Hall, Hermione was having trouble controlling herself also, having trouble controlling her need to run from her friends and everyone else in here, except for Draco, he smelled good.

            Everyone else?

            Well, not so much…

            Never before had she detested the younger years who seemed to bathe in that scented gunk with names like Radiant Raspberry, Shimmering Strawberries and Cream, or Citrus Burst. What did they do? Use an entire bottle every morning?

            And could they just pick one scent, why did there have to be so many too strong smells clamoring in her delicate nose like clanging gongs in her ears. It was like someone had blown up a Bath and Body Works in the middle of the world’s strongest smelling flower garden, how did her Brothers deal with this?

            And then a first year walked by that she was positive had not showered in weeks, or used deodorant. Her nose wrinkled with distaste, her appetite was long gone, and she was glad her stomach was empty.  She would have emptied its contents right them and there had it not been as such. As it was all she could do was gag dryly, and try very hard to keep her face turned away from anyone and everyone.

            Ron must have forgotten to brush his teeth this morning, she could smell his unholy morning breath even when his lips were sealed, which wasn’t often.  Harry may have run a tooth brush over his pearly whites, but not very well, and certainly not over his tongue, she could smell his breath too, and it wasn’t much better. 

            A short ways down the table a third year sneezed, making it a high pitched, theatrical sneeze to get the attention of the fourth year boy a few seats down from her. Green gunk shot out of her left nostril at a surprising velocity, and Hermione was assailed by the slimy stench of snot. Did bogies even have a smell? Apparently so, because there was no other explanation for the sticky slime of an odor that slid down her nose and coated her nasal passages.

            Hermione shuddered, and held her breath for as long as possible, when she finally released it the reek still lingered, but she could almost ignore it, almost, but not quite. She shuddered again, and glanced back at the third year, watching in fascinated horror as her friend sitting across the table from her reached for the enormous dish of scrambled eggs that had just been sneezed upon.  Hermione looked determinedly away, reaching for a water jug; her throat was parched for some reason.

            She poured a half goblet of water and raised it to her lips, taking a careful sip, and resisting the urge to gag. The water had come from rusty water pipes, and then had a drop of some potion or other added to purify it. Then it had set somewhere near where they chopped vegetables, she could detect them, and Hermione was no fan of tomatoes, she set the goblet down and pushed it away, so much for that.

            Ron noticed her lack of appetite, “what’s wrong Hermione?” his rancid breath fanned her face, leaving her hard pressed not to throw up then and there. 

            “Nothing” she managed weakly, “Just not hungry”

            Ginny, who was sitting across from her, eyed her suspiciously, “Eat Hermione” she ordered teasingly, “Your skinny enough as it is.” Hermione laughed, but merely shook her head, she wasn’t going to touch any of this food, not when she could taste every ingredient added intentionally, or not.

            Ginny frowned, but said nothing more, her eyes flickered to Hermione every once in a while, her darting gaze calculating, and worried. A flame of apprehension lit in Hermione’s empty belly, if Ginny was convinced something was wrong she would hunt out what ever wrong she perceived, and make it right, by sheer force of will, if nothing else. Hermione occasionally thought she should have been born a bloodhound rather than a petite girl with swirling hair and a figure to die for.

            The distraught Dragoness was about to excuse herself, when Ginny’s voice stopped her, “Where’s Jason?”

            Hermione paused, “Oh, he’s already down in the kitchens” Hermione replied, as brightly as possible.

            “Let’s go visit him then” Ginny chirped back, her grin triumphant; the elves wouldn’t be able to resist feeding anyone who wandered into their domain, particularly if they looked too thin.

            Hermione paled visibly, “Th-the kitchens?” her voice was a worried squeak. The smell in here was terrible enough, the sweating unwashed bodies, the unbrushed teeth, the slightly burnt food, or even the food hat was cooked perfectly, it all combined in her nose to make a stench worthy of several rotting landfills. And there was the noise, the roar of voices that pounded on her eardrums and made her want to run far and fast, to escape the almighty clash of voices and clang of cutlery.

            She couldn’t imagine how the kitchens would smell, and she wasn’t eager to find out, suddenly her nose picked up a whiff of what she could honestly say was the best scent she ever had the privilege to inhale. Ginger and cinnamon spice, she inhaled deeply, unconsciously relaxing her tense shoulders as Draco spoke from over her shoulder, “Come on Granger, we’ve got that meeting with the Head’s of Houses, remember?”

            Ron stood up indignantly, “What meeting, Hermione didn’t mention a meeting.” His breaths made even Draco, with all his firm control hold in a lungful of air, while Hermione tried to placate her friend.

            “It slipped my mind Ron, I’m sorry, I’ll talk to you guys later” she glanced down at her watch and gasped, “Crap, we’re late, see you at break” and with that she yanked Draco along, together they dashed out of the Great Hall, both breathing as lightly as they could manage until they were outside.

            Hermione inhaled a deep lungful of clean air, feeling relief spread from the soles of her feet to the top of her head. She leaned against Draco unconsciously; continued to breathe as if she had been under water too long and had only just come up for air. “Thank you” she muttered quickly, unwilling to pause her breathing of the deliciously fresher air.

            “Anytime” his voice was an amused rumble somewhere close beside her, it irked Hermione that he had seemed unaffected by his senses in the Hall.

            “How do you not gag every meal?” she finally asked, still taking slow, deep breaths.

            “Practice, and a handy senses dulling charm that was passed down to me by the guy who was Lord back in second year.” 

             “Care to share with the class?” her voice was teasing and serious at the same time.

            “Sure, but you need to grow accustomed to your enhanced senses first, in a week I will give you the charm.”

            She whirled around to face him, and the breeze caused by her turn brought his delicious scent to her nose in a surprisingly strong gust. “You’re serious?”

            He eyed her warily, “Dead serious.”

            “And you will not be moved?”

            “Not on this matter.”

            “And there is nothing I can do to persuade you?” she unconsciously made her voice more alluring, trying in vain to shake his resolve.

            Well there is something… “No, nothing” he replied firmly, ignoring the voice in the back of his head that was shooting kinky suggestions at him right and left.

            She sighed, and turned to leave, she took one step, unintentionally stomping a tiny bit too hard, and casing the flagstone to crack under her shoe, she felt it give, the soft earth under the broken bit of courtyard pavement shifting as an unknown pocket of air allowed the two pieces to cave inward.

            Hermione processed that she had broken the stone, understood that the stone must have been laid over a small hole so that when it broke it would collapse inward, and decided to leap off the caving rocks onto safe ground before a human would have notice what had happened. Gracefully she bent her knees and jumped, shoving the broken halves firmly into the soft dirt as she took off, landing four meters away lightly, her shoes firm, but soft enough that she didn’t break any more chunks of granite.

            Draco nodded with satisfaction, “You should tell your Brothers that your training needs to start tonight. They will teach you how to manage your strength.”

            Hermione’s jaw dropped, Draco laughed, the sound hard, burdened, “You think I didn’t hear every thing? You honestly think any of our Brothers could hide anything from me for long? I’m the Lord of the Court, and I know all.”

            Hermione laughed freely at this, “Know this then oh wise one, you will never know everything, because he who thinks he knows everything knows nothing, but he who is willing to learn more will gain wisdom.”

            “What? That made absolutely no sense Granger.”

            Hermione noticed that he didn’t call her Sister, though he called the others Brothers frequently, she wondered if she should be upset, or shivery happy about this. On account of the number of headaches it would induce, she put this thought on the back burner, returning to her conversation in a snap.

            Her mind was functioning much faster, it had been but two and three quarter seconds since he asked the question, “I just made it up, it’s not supposed to make sense.”

            Malfoy merely shook his head, chuckling, “Get to class, and don’t forget to tell your Brothers.”

            Hermione nodded, waving as she walked away, herbology first thing in the morning; at least she had an empty stomach.  

 

            By lunch she was starving, and had absolutely no appetite. She conjured the purest mountain spring water to sip, only to detect traces of dish soap in the crystal goblet that she had summoned for it.

            Her delicate nose wrinkled in disgust and she threw the goblet away, smashing it against the wall on the empty corridor where she had taken refuge. The musty stench of layer upon layer of dust, and the stale reek of rats dung whispered through the cracks in the walls.  A sour tang of mildew came from the tapestry further down the way, but she was fine with all these smells.

            They were nothing compared to the overwhelming press of humanity’s smells upon her nose.

            Students everywhere, breathing through unbrushed teeth, belching, farting, sweating, spraying on flowery perfumes to cover up their body odor.

            No, these stale stinks were nothing compared to that.

            To bad that she was sitting halfway down the eighth floor corridor, the one hidden behind two trick doors, and guarded by a staircase that took fiendish delight in turning into a slide for a few seconds when one was a mere five steps from the top.

            She would have liked to visit this place more often; maybe she could fly here at night.

            There was a whisper of steps on the other side of the trick door at the end of the corridor, she could hear the dust rising on the breath of air caused by the intruders passing, and resettle, leaving the trespassers footprints clear. Hermione tensed, and then recognized Anthony’s cologne, and familiar scent.

            She was sitting against the wall when he pushed through the hidden exit, making the moldering tapestry it was hiding behind bulge out as he pushed the door open and slid through. He coughed lightly, approaching her slowly, “missed you at lunch.”

            Hermione smiled weakly, “Didn’t feel like eating.”

            Anthony nodded sympathetically, “Yeah, I heard that you had gotten your senses, you get used to it eventually.”

            Hermione sighed, “Malfoy said he’d teach me the restraining charm after a week.”

            “What?” except he was so startled he didn’t exactly get in the last T, so it sounded more like “Whaa?”

            “What’s wrong with you?” Hermione looked up at him, “He said I needed to experience my senses first, and then he would teach me how to manage them with some spell that the last Lord gave him.”

            “But that’s-that’s taboo.”

            “What do you mean?” her eyes were wide and orange, what in the name of Merlin’s happening?

            “Only the Lord’s are permitted to use that charm. It’s as old as the Court itself and it-it’s just not allowed.

            “Then why…“why would Malfoy offer something that isn’t his to offer? Why does he care so much?

            “The only instance of sharing The Charm with someone other than the Lord that I can remember is-”

            The cracked window at the end on the hall shattered inward, Hermione had been so wrapped up in Anthony’s words that she hadn’t heard the rush of air beneath black leathery wings. “Goldstein, you’re needed” Malfoy’s voice cracked through air as the glass tinkled on the floor around him.

            “Of course Lord.” Anthony’s voice was immediately grating, the rough growl of a Dragon.

            “Go.”

            “Gone.”

            Anthony dashed down the hall; barreling past Draco and leaping out the window, becoming invisible as he hit the open air, but not before Hermione glimpsed his wings ripping through the back of his shirt.

            Malfoy turned his burning orange eyes to Hermione, he didn’t want her to go, it would be dangerous, but she needed experience, and the only way to get it was through hands-on training. “Think you can fly?”

            Hermione stretched, reaching high above her head and standing on tiptoe so she was one long stream of muscle, all her energy channeled through her body, her entire being consumed with a raw strength that needed to be used. Others would call this restlessness, but it wasn’t, it was restlessness to the umpteenth degree. It was the need to run, jump, scream, sing, anything that would rid her of the urge to do something.

            Her smile was filled with razor sharp Dragon’s teeth. “I can manage.”

            Draco nodded, he could see the miles of sinew that stretched and pulled along her arms and legs, he could sense her need to work in her stance, he could hear her raw power in her voice.

            The human body is built to work, designed to sweat, to accomplish, here she stood, ready to work, willing to sweat, needing to accomplish.

            He thought she was bloody brilliant, strong, smart, capable, she fascinated him, captivated his interest and made him more uncomfortably at ease than he would have ever thought possible. She kept him on his toes, and he liked it, she wasn’t predictable, and wasn’t willing to lie down, she was proud, amazingly so, but she had every right to be, and he respected her for it.

            “Then let’s fly, I’ll brief you on the way there.”

            “You mean you sent Anthony out without him even knowing what’s happening?” her voice was accusing, her arms folded instantly across her chest in a sign of displeasure.

            Draco sighed, and she had such a strong moral compass he was surprised that magnets didn’t go haywire when around her person, surely she put out some sort of a field with this much force put into her distinction between right and wrong. “He’s been doing this a long time, we all have, he knows that on the wind there’s the scent of trouble, and like all of us he can follow that scent easily. Michael is already there, and Blaise is on his way, now can we go? They need my help, and you need experience in Court matters.”

            Hermione nodded, willing to put aside her chagrin in her eagerness to understand more about the world she had unwittingly thrust herself into. Draco took off down the corridor, not pausing as he crunched through the shattered glass littered around the window, launching his lean body out easily.

            Hermione followed, her skirt flying so that anyone that stood behind her would have had a lovely view of her knickers. However, the wing of the castle from which they were exiting had been abandoned for several years, so she had no worries.

            Well, she did have worries, but not about unknown parties seeing her undergarments.

            Her current worries were more along the lines of Sweet Merlin I’m about to leap out of an eighth floor window with little idea of what will happen.

            And then…

            Why am I doing this?

            Why am I dashing across broken glass and jumping out of a window for boys that up until very recently I’ve detested?

            She could think of no plausible answer as she was aware of her legs coiling under her like steel springs and shooting her long body straight out the window, some of the glass on the sill tinkling back down into the empty corridor as she hit the open air.

            Her arms spread instinctively, her entire body stretched to it’s limit in length, and then she felt it.

            The rip of dormant muscles, wrenching from her back, tearing through her flesh without breaking her skin, unfurling, breaking free, beating the air frantically, and then, with rhythm. She felt the enormous bat-like wing move, understood their rhythm, and detected the way air moved sinuously around them.

            Her smile was elated as she followed Draco through the skies, this was what she was truly meant to be, a being of fire and air. The fire was deep within her soul, in her love for her Court, and the air was in the way she moved, in her grace to ride the air currents known only to birds and Court members.

            She had no trepidation about following Malfoy, he was her Lord, and wouldn’t steer her wrong. Her Brothers were in need, and that alone meant she would follow him to the ends of the earth and back, because he would unswervingly lead her to them.

            And that was all that mattered.


Kay, so if you were grossed out by the Great Hall scene, then I did my job right, and other than that I really don't have anything to say. I'll update as soon as possible, but if the backlog stays like it is, then it might be a while, sorry guys. I still luv you though!!! ^.^
kisses
~*Jeni*~

Chapter 47: Control
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Um, good news or bad news? 
Good news, I'm a trusted author, stuff posts faster. 
Bad news, I'm, er, extremely busy and haven't got near as much time to write as I'd like? 
More good news, well, good for you, bad for me...
Cross Country season ends soon, and football season ends even sooner, with those out of the way I'll have a little more time. 
I'm just gonna let you read on now so you don't hurt me...



 
Hermione had no chance to fully appreciate the glories around her, the roiling dark sea of the Forbidden Forrest, the black ants that crawled across the jade lawns of the castle on their way to the green houses or the lake for free period, or Hagrid’s hut, or elsewhere for privacy. The sparkling splendor of the Black Lake and the pristine, perfect lime oval of the Quidditch Pitch were both lost on her as she ripped across the blue sky, her orange eyes intent on the form of her Lord.

            She followed him close enough that she was a part of his slipstream, not needing to worry about the playful breezes that would otherwise be hindering her progress. Draco cleaved these light winds as a silver blade slices through rippling silk, leaving still air in his wake, if one was daring enough to follow close behind him.

            Hermione was daring enough.

            They shot across the sky, their wings powerful, their bodies rippling with impatience, their noses straining, following the rank stench that was overlaid by the distinct scent of her Brothers, who had flown ahead.

            The cool air whipped her face, but her eyes didn’t sting as they normally would, in later studies she would discover that much like camels, Dragons have two eyelids rather than the normal one, the lid closest to the eye a clear protective barrier that allowed them to fly without blinking, the other a normal eyelid used to keep light and offensive sights out.

            At the moment she was merely grateful that she didn’t have watery eyes to distract her from the task at hand.

            Draco was descending, and unerringly she followed, instinct pulsing in her veins with the thick greenish blood that she had traded her status as a viable human for. Her orange eyes were burning, she could smell blood from here, it was thick and coppery, the stench that came with it nearly unbearable.

            And then her nose picked up Anthony’s smell, only different.

            It was stronger, wilder than she would ever have believed possible for the laidback Ravenclaw, but more importantly, it too was mingled with the copper tang of blood.

            His Blood, was her Blood.

            A feral growl rumbled in her throat, Malfoy merely pressed two fingers against the inside of his wrist, the rune that McGonnagal had etched there to bind her power glowed faintly, Hermione gasped, barely sustaining altitude at the sudden weakness that washed through her. “Malfoy” her hiss was furious beyond belief, this was a betrayal of the trust she had placed in him.

            She had trusted him to take him to her Brothers, never thinking that he would trick her like this, make her fall into some plan of his like this. She was preparing to launch herself at him and rip out his throat when his guttural voice stopped her.

             “Blood Sister.”

            “Court Lord, you do this for what purpose?”

            “Rush to aid your Brother, and you would most certainly have been hurt.” He was pained by the idea of her coming to harm, and if he had to sap her strength momentarily to get her to stop and think, he wouldn’t even think twice. “Down there is a creature the likes of which you have never seen. You are here to observe how we work only, your Brothers are all fine, now follow, but interfere not.”

            Hermione nodded shamefacedly, he had just saved her, and she had wanted to rip out his throat, what kind of a Court member was she?

            A pathetic one, that was for sure.

            Draco led her through the canopy, dropping to the forest floor and winging his way silently between the wide spaced ancient trunks.

            Hermione furled her wings and leapt lightly between trees, feeling like some enormous squirrel as she followed him from above, her long legs, strong arms, and heightened senses keeping her from fumbling.  When she thought back on it later she would remember nothing but the scrape of bark on her palm, the scent of blood in the air, and Draco’s breathing below her. This involved no conscious thought, it was pure instinct, and therefore she wouldn’t be able to recall the process of how she was lithely swinging through the tree.

            She would only know that she had done it.

            They moved swiftly through the trees, their passage marked only by the softest stirring of leaves in their wake.

            And then Draco pulled up short, and Hermione dropped from the branch over his head to land silently on the balls of her feet beside him. To her eyes the fall had been unimaginably slow, she could see exactly where to put her feet so that there would be no noise, could avoid the crunchy fallen leaves easily.  Draco nodded, impressed by her progress, she was a fast learner; he had expected no less from her though.

            “This is a Therianthrope, a diseased chimera created by some sick wizard, and then banished to these woods when the experiment is not successful.” Hermione’s orange eyes were wide with horror, “It is terrible Sister, this creature has been terrorizing the centaurs, it’s already carried off three of their foals, and has slain several unicorns as well, have no pity for the brute you are about to see.”

            Hermione swallowed, but was distracted by a fresh wave of Anthony’s Blood-Scent, her teeth bared, and she followed Draco through the last few trees at a run. They crashed into the clearing, and Hermione bit back a gasp at the carnage before them.

            It stood in the center of the clearing, its back to Hermione and Draco, facing Anthony, who was bleeding freely from his shoulder, and Blaise, who had a purple bruise rising around his eye. Michael was leaning heavily against a tree behind his Brothers, his eyes closed, Hermione could see the ugly greenish splotches on his chest; he had several broken ribs.  

            Ponderously the thing turned to face them, and grinned at her with flat, crushing teeth, its face a twisted mockery of human features. Bulls horns twisted out of its twig tangled hair, its body a perverse mixture of humanity and bovine. The eyes were red, as red as the blood that spotted the rough skins that it had clothed itself with.

            The blood of her Brother’s dripped from its cruel claws.

            Its warped mouth opened wider, and it grunted but one word, “Woman”

            Head down, it charged at them like a bull, Hermione stood paralyzed with fear, its hungry eyes pierced her through; she was as helpless as she had been that balmy night summer before last. She couldn’t even raise her arms to defend herself, it was as if she truly had been frozen, all she could do was watch in horror as it rushed forward; red eyes scrunching up too look at her under the folds of its heavy brow.

              And then Malfoy was there, his claws thrusting through the thing’s chest, his expression one of rage so intense it scorched his Brothers, though they were not the recipients of this intense hate. They only watched it unfold, watched him stare at the creature he had plunged his arm through till his clawed hand ripped through the creations spine, and emerged into the sunlight again, covered in blood, but otherwise unhurt.

            Roughly he yanked his arm free, bracing the corpse on his knee, stepping away with distaste, his eyes still burning his utter disgust. His fingers drew a simple circle in the air above the body, under their eyes and his blazing gaze; the body crumpled in on itself, disintegrating till there was nothing but a pile of ash. The blood covering Draco’s arm too turned to dust, and with a violent shake he cast it off, as if ridding himself of a curse.

            “Lets get back.” His voice was so cold, so barely suppressed, they all shuddered, Hermione’s Brothers taking off immediately, supporting Anthony between them. Hermione didn’t flinch as they took off, didn’t even spare them a glance, her eyes were riveted on Draco; he didn’t look so good.

            His chest was heaving; his breathing rough as he worked to control his anger, but from the way his claws dug into his palms, she knew he was a far cry from calm. “I told you to go” he hissed, his voice pained, and still angry.

            “No” she took a slow step towards him, “Not without you.”

            He spun to face her full on, Hermione flinched internally, he looked great, and terrible, so powerful, so enraged, so noble, but feral, a true Dragon. “Look at me” he snarled, though her eyes had never wavered, “I’m a creature no better than that thing I just slew, now leave me to think in peace.” There was strength behind his words that sounded suspiciously like an Order, an Order that would have sent her Brothers to he skies, but for some reason it only drew her closer to him.

            She took another step, her eyes continuing to rove his face.

            His teeth were long and jagged, not teeth so much as fangs, his eyes were blazing orange tinged red with anger. His pupils were vertical slits with strangely jagged edges, Hermione saw an instant resemblance between his eyes and the eyes of the chimera he had killed, but it didn’t scare her.

            Despite his angry eyes, he seemed worried, she didn’t like it that he was worried, that in and of itself made her unhappy.

            She stepped again, she was almost to him.

            She had realized that he wouldn’t hurt her.

            Or couldn’t hurt her.

            She took the final step, wrapping her arms around him and resting her head on his shoulder, her face in the crook of his neck, “You’ll be alright, just take deep breaths.” She spoke like she was calming a child, on any other occasion it would have annoyed Draco to no end, now however, it worked.

            “I’m no different” he whispered, his cheek on her head, “I’m no different from that diseased chimera.”

            “Yes, we are different.” She hissed against his skin, her warms breathe soothing him further, “We have our wits, we are not driven to attack others like he was. We are different, better.”

            “We are still fusions of humans and animals created by some man in a lab.”

            “We chose to be what we are, we walked into that lab with our eyes open, we work for good, we avenged those foals and the unicorns; it won’t ever kill again because of you.”

            “But it didn’t ask to be what it was, and we did. Does that make us less human?”

            Hermione looked up at him, he was gazing at the trees behind them; his hands were still on her waist, holding her close. From her odd angle she had a pretty good view of most of his cheek, and the left side of his face, she reached up and put her hand gently on his other cheek, turning his face to her fully. “You listen here Draco Malfoy” her voice was low and serious, “That thing preyed on women, a fixation like that doesn’t just come from being fused with an animal, trust me when I say this, he was not a good person as a human. As far as I’m concerned, he deserved everything he got.”

            His eyes burned into hers, “It doesn’t bother you?”

            She blinked, what does he mean? “What do you mean?” she was too confused to be anything but blunt.

            “I-I plunged my hand through the chest of a vaguely humanoid creature, and it doesn’t bother you?” he didn’t want her to ever see him that out of control again, surely it freaked her out.

            “Not really” now he was blinking, the last traces of his anger replaced by disbelief, “I actually thought it was pretty cool, how did you harden the skin of your hand without turning it into scales?”    

            “You’re-you’re sure?”

            She nodded confidently, “Yeah, now can you show me the scale trick?”

            The corner of his mouth twitched in an almost-smile, “Later, right now we need to get back to class.”

            Hermione snorted, “Well hell must have frozen over, Draco Malfoy telling Hermione Granger that we need to get back to class.”

            This time he smiled for real, albeit a tiny smirk, but it still counted as a smile, Hermione felt the glow of triumph, and smiled in return. “Can you fly back?”

            Hermione laughed freely, “I should hope so; I need the exercise.”

            He ran his eyes over her slim frame; he could feel her muscles like steel cables beneath her skin from where her flesh pressed sweetly against his own. “If you say so.” His tone was skeptical, she hadn’t eaten, he was sure of that much, she must be getting tired.

            She stepped away from him, still grinning, “Oh come on, in fact; I’ll race you…” her wings unfurled in a wink, and she was in the air shortly there after.

            Draco snorted, he should have seen that one coming, but something about her made it hard for him to predict her actions like he could their Brothers’. Lazily he opened his wings, and shot into the air like a leathery bullet, making her spin in the air with the wind his wings stirred up. His eyes sparked cheerfully at the challenge, Hermione felt her inner thrill of triumph flare; she had truly charmed him out of his black mood.

            But just as her sense of accomplishment flared, her energy suddenly waned, her face drained of color, and her wings crumpled into her body without her bidding them to. She plunged to earth, only to be snatched from the air by Draco, his eyes wide and panicked at her sickly pallor, and drawn features.  Her eyelids flickered, “What happened?” was all she could whisper, her voice not so much weak as confused.

            “You haven’t eaten in ages, probably haven’t drunk since before even then, your body just can’t take it; it takes more energy than you think to fly. Just because you can’t feel it at the time, doesn’t mean your body isn’t pushed to its limits.” His voice was stressed, how could he be so foolish, so careless as to not warn her?

            “Oh” Hermione murmured, instinctively curling closer to his chest, “I feel all shaky, like I’ve just played in a tournament without eating all day.”

            “You’re body is exhausted, here, drink some water” with his wand he began trickling water into her mouth, Hermione gulped, her throat moving as she drank.

            It tasted wonderful, so pure, untouched by impurities, so crisp, fresh, she had never tasted water like this. It was like she had been sick all her life, and suddenly, for the first time she could taste properly.  

            Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined water tasting this delicious. She drank until she could drink no more, feeling strength returning to her wobbly limbs steadily; still she stayed in Draco’s arms.

            She didn’t feel like moving.

            Didn’t want to move.

            Ever.

            She was basking in the heat he gave off, and so comfortable, his arms around her so strong, but gentle. 

            This is where I’m meant to be.

            It hit her suddenly, he had been such a big part of her life in the past few days, he had comforted her, protected her, even kissed her, but it wasn’t till now that she realized it.

            She shouldn’t ever leave his side again.

            She didn’t want to.

           

            And then her pride rebelled, shakily she unwound his arms from around her body, “How do you do it?” her rattling whisper was accusing.

            “What?” Draco’s arms felt so empty without her, why did she have to go and do that?

            “How do you make me feel like I need you? I don’t need anyone, I never have, and if I ever started depending on someone it certainly shouldn’t be you.” Helpless anger sparked deep in her eyes, “Tell me, how do you do this to me? Why do you do this to me?”

            “How do I affect you?” Draco hissed back, “What about what you do to me?” Hermione suddenly jerked upright, she had been half leaned over in an almost threatening posture, much like an angry beast.

            “You were a conundrum before you became like me, like us, one that I wanted to figure out. I wanted to get into your head, especially after you slapped me that day, what were you thinking? How had you mustered such strength, when you were a mere human, and a mudblood to boot?” Hermione didn’t even register the use of the disgusting term; she was so caught up in Draco’s fast flowing train of thought. “And then you were everywhere I was, beating me into the dust with your grades, and taking so many extra classes. You were always strong too, don’t think I haven’t seen you out there jogging from time to time, rain or snow, wind or sun, I’ve either seen or smelled you while you were out jogging for years.”

            Hermione opened and closed her mouth wordlessly, how could he, why would he care?

            “And here you stand in front of me, my Sister in Blood, and all I can think about is how wrong that sounds. I’ve wanted you to be a Dragoness for years, and now you are one, but you aren’t my Sister.”

            Hermione’s face crumpled, “I see how it is.” She hissed furiously, her legs bent, coiled like steel springs, and she exploded upwards, forgetting his warnings about weakness in her distress.

            Why did it hurt so bad to be rejected like that?

            Why?

            She heard a rush of air behind her, and knew he was following.

            Her wings beat stronger, anger fueling her flagging body, she just needed to get away from him; nothing else mattered.

            And then she felt it again, the inexplicable weakness, the trees suddenly shooting up to meet her, the howl of wind whipping her ears as her wings disappeared. He had pressed the rune again, sapped what little strength she had.

            The world suddenly righted itself; his burning arms were strong around her, his wings effortlessly holding them both aloft in the pristine sky.

            She felt whole, why did she feel safe with him?

            “I said it didn’t feel right to call you a Sister, I didn’t say anything about other names.” He whispered in her ear, his voice rough with some emotion.

            “And what names would those be?” her voice too was rough, and she wasn’t sure why. Her heart was beating strongly against his, their combined beats, and the steady thrums of his wings were the only sounds on the still afternoon.

            He took a deep breath, “Friend, Dragoness, Dramione, Head Girl and…” he trailed off uncertainly.

            “And?” her voice was expectant, almost as one their heart beats sped up, the thud of blood through their veins seemed to fill the air.

            The thud of the Blood that bound them together, the thump of their hearts sounded as one; there was no distinction in the beats.

            “Mate” it was the barest, dream of a whisper, so soft it seemed he hadn’t meant to say it at all.

            “Mate?” her voice was questioning, wondering, but not opposed, or even remotely hostile to the word.

            He could have purred with pure exultation, “Yeah” he buried his nose in her fragrant hair, “Mate.”

            Hermione relaxed against him, all tension leaving her long frame, her head resting on his shoulder so that her warm breath tickled his skin, “I think I could live with that.” Her dangling feet tangled loosely with his, her strong arms wrapped around his neck, holding him as securely as he held her.

            Slowly, as they flew back towards the castle her thoughts collected themselves well enough for her to think, yeah, I could live with that for a long time.        



Too sweet? Too fast? Too fluffy? 
Don't ask me where it came from, I sat down and it just kinda came up. I'm starting on the next chapter now, but no prmises as to when it'll be anywhere near done. Um, I'm extremely sorry, and am going to go start digging my bomb shelter now...
kisses
jeni 

Chapter 48: As It Should Be
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Kay, so um, it's been awhile, and while I like the first part of this chapter, the rest of it feels pretty filler, but, um, it's an update, and I've gotten over my bout of writers block, so everyone cheer while I go run and hide and work on the next chapter...


 
            They landed in the abandoned corridor where Hermione had taken refuge earlier that day, had it really been only an hour ago? It seemed like eternity since she had last been here. Her feet touched the firm stones cautiously, unsure if her legs would support her weight in the light of recent shocks. “Did you mean it?” Her back was to him a she tried out her legs, though he was still very close behind her, his hands resting lightly on her hips, ready to catch her should she fall.

            “Why would I lie?”

            “That’s not the answer I want.”

            “What answer do you want?”

            “Ever since our freak meeting this summer you have never been far from my thoughts. You are a part of my extended foster family so to speak, Travis is the closest thing I’ve had to a brother other than Harry and Ron and the Court, and you, by extension are somehow a part of that family. You have seen me at my strongest, and at my weakest, you have propped me up when I was sick, and held me up when I wanted to beat Jamie and Travis at a silly pool game.”

            She took a deep breath and turned slowly to face him, removing his hands from his hips as she did so and holding them tightly between her own palms, “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can’t seem to picture my life without you anymore. You are a part of me whether you like it or not, so I don’t want that to have been a slip of the tongue, or a way to placate me.”

            “I meant every word I said.” She had been staring steadily at their intertwined hands, now she raised her eyes to him as he began to speak. “I mean it when I say calling you anything less than mate for life just seems wrong. You have affected me in way that no other girl or woman has. This morning when we were simply walking together was more breathtaking than almost anything I have ever done, I didn’t want to do anything but have you by my side for the rest of eternity, and if that means walking beside you to the Great Hall and back all day everyday, then I think I could like with that.”

            Hermione smiled as he quoted her, “You said almost though”

            “Well I think that kiss by the lake has to be the most breathtaking thing, or maybe just holding you while we were flying.”

            That made her smile even wider, “Well this is the most breathtaking thing I’ve ever done.” She said, dropping his hands and taking a step closer, their bodies almost touching.

            “What?” he breathed, their faces mere inches apart, Hermione laid her hands on his shoulders.

            “This” she whispered, and closed the miniscule gap, her lips meeting his, her body pressing against every line of his muscular frame, her mouth opening and granting his tongue full access.

            His tongue battled hers hungrily; she was so sweet, so wickedly sweet, there was no comparison on earth that would come close to how he felt.

            Her hands were exploring the supple muscles of his shoulders, and sifting through his silky hair. One of his hands was cradling her head, the other was stroking her back sensually, each time venturing a little lower, making Hermione shudder with pleasure.

            He smiled into her mouth as her trembling made her press more firmly against him; he hitched her leg around his hip on impulse, bringing her, if possible, even closer. Hermione gasped, but was cut off by his mouth on hers, oh the things his hands were doing, the way he made her feel, she felt more alive than she had in a long time, possibly more alive than she had ever felt.

            His lips left hers, planting a trail of burning kisses down her neck to her shirt collar, he growled lowly as the fabric obstructed him from access to more of her delicious skin. His hand left from where it had been stroking her hair, and began working on the buttons of her shirt, fumbling because her crimson and gold tie, though loosened, was still in the way.

            Hermione chuckled giddily and pushed his hands away, untying the tie, and throwing it casually away, letting him work on the tiny faux pearl buttons unhindered. Draco undid the top two buttons smoothly, and resumed kissing her neck, trailing ever lower as his hands worked loose yet another button.

            They were dangerously close to getting extremely carried away when; out of nowhere the bell rang to change classes.

            Hermione sighed, “We’d better get down there.” She whispered regretfully, do they have bells everywhere in this school? “The Court will get suspicious if our Brothers are back, and we’re not.”

            Draco made a hum against her collarbone that sounded something like an “and I care why?” noise. His face rose, “They’ll find out eventually you know that right?”

            “Well, yes, but I would prefer it to be a little more than two days after I made a big deal about our relationship being purely professional.“

            He chuckled reluctantly, “Are you always so concerned with your image?”

            “No, only when it comes to people I like and respect, I don’t want them thinking I’m prone to changing my mind easily.”

            “Then we’ll explain that I had to persuade you.” He murmured suggestively, Hermione slapped him playfully.

            “Well I don’t want to be privy to that conversation personally, now are we going to go to Potions or not?”

            “I’d rather not…”

            “Parkinson’ll notice”

            “Probably, but us being together will come out eventually, we can’t be mates and no have someone outside the Court notice.”       

            “And all hell will break loose.”

            “That could very well happen, or not.”

            She favored him with a skeptical look, to say the least.

            “Okay, you’re right, the entire school will riot, now can we get back to what we doing?”

            Hermione sighed and moved away from him, “Tut-tut, such a one track mind, I should have known it would be this way.” She bent at the waist to retrieve her carelessly discarded tie, and listened to him give a sigh of longing as she did so. She smirked to herself, he was such a pig, but she honestly couldn’t say she wanted him to change. Slowly she straightened, unconsciously tightening the long muscles that ran along the backs of her thighs and calves, listening with pleasure to his swift intake of breath.

            “You tease” he hissed, coming up behind her and snagging her waist, Hermione just chuckled, stepping away from him again, knotting her tie with long, clever fingers, before reaching across to him to do the same to his own disheveled tie. Her wand was produced out of a shirt sleeve, and his shirt mended with no words, it goes without saying that the tell tale blood flecks disappeared as well. Briskly she plucked at the seam on his shoulder, straightening it, and then doing the same for his collar.

            “Tuck in your shirt.” She ordered, waving her wand to repair her own clothing, buttoning her blouse with quick, jerky movements.

            “You sure that you don’t want to do that for me?”

            Hermione openly gaped at him, and half considered it, and then decided that a deserted corridor a half dozen floors up wasn’t exactly the place for that sort of behavior.

            Draco must have decided the same thing, because he cursed softly, “Maybe not here huh?”

            Hermione nodded mutely, wondering where her ability to spit out snappy comebacks had gone. “Shall we go down then?” she finally spluttered.

            They were both fairly presentable, though their hair was rather windblown and, er, tousled?

            Draco finger combed his back into place, and Hermione preformed the French braid spell, wincing as her hair was tamed, forcefully. Draco watched with fascination as the locks twined themselves together, and then were bound deftly with the band from her wrist. He watched her long, clever fingers with something akin to the avid stare of a hungry man on a feast.

            He wanted nothing more than to grasp those long thin fingers in his own, to feel them trail across his bare flesh to…        

            The band snapped into place, and Hermione swung her head, feeling the braid follow her skull, getting the feel for the heavy rope of hair before turning and striding towards the hidden exit. She didn’t make it very far before her legs wobbled and she nearly lost her balance.

            Draco was suddenly there, arms wrapped protectively around her, keeping her from falling on unstable legs.  “Still hungry” Hermione explained weakly, trying to laugh it off and stand on her own, it wasn’t quite working out for her though. Every time she tried to put any kind of weight on her feet her legs just flopped like wet noodles, she tried, and failed, to lock her knees to help support her body.

            That wasn’t working either.

            Draco would have smiled at her attempt to keep him from worrying, if he hadn’t been berating himself soundly for not noticing her weakness himself. “Let’s get something in your stomach before we go back to class.”

            “Not the kitchens” her eyes widened with something breaching on panic, she couldn’t deal with that on top of everything else; she knew she couldn’t.

            “Here” Draco drew a spell circle over her forehead, and immediately her sense dulled, she could still see, and taste, touch, and smell, but it was…different. The colors were monotonous, the smells soft, his flesh still burned against hers, but it was dull, she felt little of the fiery passion that his touch had exited mere moments before.

            “Can you fix it?” she demanded, meaning her suddenly weakened senses.

            “Of course, but for the moment you need human senses if you want to eat without gagging.”

            Hermione sighed, nestling closer against his chest, “Okay, let’s go eat.”

            Draco’s deep chuckle rumbled through his chest, making Hermione feel giggly as his skin vibrated against hers with his mirth. Gallantly he carried her out of the abandoned corridor and down the stairs, through the trick doors, and over the fake steps, never missing a beat. Hermione was hardly jostled, and rather liked the rhythm of his steps, finding them soothing to her aching muscles, the gentle rocking lulling her into a light doze.

            They reached the third floor, the top level of the used classrooms, without incident, descended to the second floor unannounced as well.

            It was only when they reached the marble staircase that led to the entrance hall, and the ground floor, that their presence was suddenly, and rather rudely announced.

            “What have we here ickle seveies?” a sickly sweet voice sang at them from thin air.

            “Peeves” hissed Hermione, coming out of her doze at the hint of a threat.

            “Leave Peeves” Draco growled, Hermione glanced up to see his eyes a brilliant orange.

            “Ooh, and the Heads too” he the poltergeist cackled, ignoring them completely.

            “I mean it Peeves, leave now.” Draco’s voice was deadly soft.

            Peeves blew a loud raspberry at them, before sucking in an enormous lungful of air…”HEADS SKIVING CLASS, OFF TO THE BROOM CLOSET. DUMBLEDORE, MCGONNAGAL, MINESTER, HARRY POTTER, HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED, ANYONE AND EVERY ONE COME QUICK”        

            Draco took off before he got to Dumbledore, sprinting down the grand staircase, and bolting across the entrance hall, sliding down a stair railing to the corridor where the kitchens secret entrance was hidden. Hermione tickled the pear for them when they got to the painting, grabbing the handle that appeared, and holding on as Draco took two steps back, letting her drag it with her.  

            Draco’s finely tuned ears caught the thud of footsteps on the stairs, drat, Peeves must have snitched.

            But the door was open, all that remained was for him to step over the threshold, and let it swing closed behind him, and Hermione in his arms. “Food” was all she whispered, unable to hear the impending threat as he had dulled her senses.

            Grinning Draco set her down as houselves came from all corners of the kitchen to see what masters needed serving. In short order a large silver tray covered in light snacks and fragrant tea was making its way across the kitchen, appearing to float unsupported, as there were three elves holding it up from beneath, running in perfect unison.

            Hermione gulped down three servings of tea before she did anything, and then began to work on the food, tackling it with gusto. “Where’s the real food?” she inquired between mouthfuls, too hungry to care about table manners.

            “If by real you mean heavier food, then it will not be coming till your next meal. You will get sick if you eat too much rich meat and bread so soon. “

            Hermione conceded with poor grace, and returned to her light fruit and crackers, sulkily stuffing her face until she was happily surprised by Jason’s sudden appearance. Happy hug went around, and the child was chattering and stealing tidbits when McGonagall swept in, in search of her Heads.

            Hermione looked ashamed, while Draco explained what had transpired to the formidable old Dragoness, who stared at them as she would stare at a mouse that dared be lurking against the wall of a corridor at the same time she was walking down it.

            That is to say, she was not amused, or impressed.

            The silent rebuke was powerful enough to have Hermione bid Jason a hasty farewell, and together, with Draco, make a beeline for their next class.

            Lucky for the two Heads classes were again changing by the time they returned to the level of the living, and they managed to slip in with the crowds relatively unnoticed. Their last class of the day (astronomy), passed slowly, but it couldn’t be helped, and they both retreated gratefully to the Head’s Tower, where Jason was soon brought up by a harried houself who left as soon as she had been assured that they wanted for nothing.

            Jason was playing on the rug with Hermione when Blaise, Michael, and Anthony arrived, carrying with them more homework that should be leagal. “Great Merlin, that isn’t all yours is it?” was all Draco could manage, glancing up from his star chart.

            “Nope, not all of it, most of it is yours and Hermione’s” they grinned as the Heads groaned, “Well that’s what you get for playing hooky all day.”

            “It was only half the day.” Hermione defended weakly as she hauled herself over to the table, Jason trailing in her wake.

            “Yeah, and we only missed two classes, suck it up.” Anthony yawned, sitting at one of the two massive desks with his own star chart and beginning to fill it out, only occasionally glancing at Draco’s for reference.

            “Um, knock knock?” The crew of Dragons turned to see Harry and Ron standing nervously in the doorway, “We were wondering if Hermione could give us a hand on…”

            Hermione sighed, “Come on in guys, and might as well kill as many birds with one stone as possible.” Soon everyone was arranged around the huge desks, or splayed out on the floor, Hermione had rigged up a radio that was playing a lively mixture of popular wizard and muggle songs, and questions and answers were flying.

            They study hall didn’t break up until Harry and Ron had to leave for Quidditch, and the other Court members suddenly realized that they might be missed in their common rooms. Hermione watched them all go, not entirely sure what to say, she didn’t want to be rude, but on the other hand she really was ready to get some rest. The matter was settled for her when Draco sent their Brothers on their way with a few pointed glares, and a rather telling nod towards the door.

            He then, excellent mate that he was, ushered her into the kitchen where he clumsily poured her a bowl of cereal and kept her poked awake long enough to eat it, and then carried her up to bed. Hermione smiled in her doze as she snuggled closer to him, her hands draped loosely around his neck momentarily tightened, she hummed contentedly against his warm broad chest.

            Draco grinned and laid her on her bed, taking her shoes and socks off, and loosening her tie, before tucking the sleeping girl in, and returning downstairs to keep her young cousin from barreling up and waking her. Hermione slept with a smile on her face, and Draco grinned all evening long, happy to have his mate happy, and his brethren taken care of.

            For one night at least, everything was as it should be.  


So how about the steamy makeout? I thought that part of the chapter atleast flowed pretty well, even though the rest felt really clunky. Feel free to tell me how terribble it was, I am hard at work on the next chapter, and hope to have it out by the end of the weekend, no promises though.
kisses
~*Jeni*~ 

Chapter 49: Systems
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Hi guys, it's a short one, I know, sue me.
I'll post a buttload of chapters right before I leave to go to my aunt's house for Christmas, so check back the 23rd or so, you may have an