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10 Ways To Impress A Mudblood by queen_luna

Format: Novella
Chapters: 10
Word Count: 23,235
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snape, Draco, Pansy, Ginny, Blaise (M)
Pairings: Draco/Hermione

First Published: 04/05/2008
Last Chapter: 06/16/2009
Last Updated: 02/26/2010

Summary:
Awesome banner by the talented hedwidgeon at TDA!







These are the top ten ways to impress a Mudblood, as told by the one and only Draco Malfoy.

In response to sirius_the_best's Title Challenge.

Nominated at the Dobby Awards for Best Humor Fic. ^_^


Chapter 1: I. A Potions Lesson
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Hello everyone! I know I shouldn't be starting another story, but I had to sign up for sirius_the_best's Title Challenge and this chapter was burning a hole in my hard drive...so I had to post it. :) Enjoy, and please review at the end!



I.


I am the one and only Draco Malfoy. Yes, that’s right, the Slytherin Prince, current Head Boy of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and holder of the most-sought-after-male title. And you are reading my guide, which will enlighten you on the top ten ways to impress a Mudblood.

Not just any Mudblood. The Mudblood we are talking about here is the one and only Hermione Granger. Yes, we are talking about the Gryffindor Princess, current Head Girl of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and holder of the most-gorgeous-know-it-all title. And she is the one I have tested these foolproof top ten strategies on.

You may be asking yourself why I chose Granger of all the girls at Hogwarts. Well, Granger is the girl of my dreams. Yes, you heard me right. I am in love with the Mudblood, and I am determined to make her love me back. Now stop staring at me in shock.

To impress a Mudblood, especially a one of a fiery, defiant temperament, you must show off all your charm, your wit, your humor, and your devastatingly handsome looks. This should be easy if your name is Draco Malfoy, but since it’s not (you are currently listening with rapt attention to the one and only Draco Malfoy) I have created this helpful guide. Once you impress the Mudblood, you will be well on your way to winning her heart.

The Mudblood in question here is not one who is easily amused. She actually has an intelligent mind, unlike most of these dim-witted girls at Hogwarts, and she will not laugh and giggle and shriek at every little thing you do. Hey, that just makes it a challenge, right? I, Draco Malfoy, can win any girl’s heart.

Now, without further ado, I shall begin with the first way to impress a Mudblood, which is to help her in a typically difficult Potions lesson. By doing this you will show that you are not, after all, an arrogant, conceited prat who only cares for himself, but a kind, helpful friend.

The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you must insist on assisting her, regardless of if she happens to be the brightest witch of her age, or if she can brew the potion with her eyes closed and one hand behind her back, or if she’s much smarter than you. It doesn’t matter. Trust me.

… 


Professor Snape swept into the Potions dungeon and torture chamber—er, classroom—in his usual irritable manner. His black robes billowed behind him like a bat's wings, his lank unwashed hair hung around his face, and his cold black eyes stared at us in his usual sneering fashion.

(Were you under the impression that I, Draco Malfoy, was fond of the head of the Sytherin house? Well, you were wrong. I detest that man…mostly because of his embarrassingly greasy hair.)

Conveniently enough for me, the Potions Master snapped, “Rearrange your seats at once! No, you fools! You must sit next to someone of a different house. Don’t groan at me like that, you morons, this is the Headmaster’s idea of house unity!” He was in such a temper that all of us jumped up like scared rabbits and scampered around in search of a new seat.

Taking advantage of this glorious opportunity the heavens have bestowed on me, I immediately gathered up my things and dumped them unceremoniously into the vacant seat next to Granger, who turned her head a fraction of an inch. She glared at me. I smirked at her. Inside I noted how gorgeous she is when she’s angry, especially when the anger is directed at me. Sigh.

"Can’t you dunderheads read?” Snape snapped at us once the class settled and looked up at him expectantly.

Pansy Parkinson, the most annoying girl I have ever met in my life (and one of those aforementioned dim-wits), raised her hand and piped up, “Professor, there’s nothing written on the board.” Idiot. That is all I have to say.

Fortunately for Pansy, Professor Snape does not yell at Slytherins because it is against his nature, so instead he furiously waved his wand at the blackboard. Writing appeared at once.

"Today you will be creating a simple (that is, simple if you’re not a dunderhead) draught of Befuddling Brew. Well, what are you waiting for? Get started!” Snape barked like a grouchy lieutenant. The class immediately started banging around with their cauldrons, hastily starting fires, and haphazardly chopping up ingredients. Snape instantly rounded on Harry Potter, abusing him in his usual manner. Normally I would lean back in my chair and enjoy the show, but today I was on a mission. Speaking of which…

Hermione lit a purple fire under her cauldron and then flipped through her potions book, muttering under her breath. I caught several words, including “arrogant prat,” "Slytherin git,” and “stupid ferret.”

It's all an act. You know she loves me.

I watched her out of the corner of my eye while pretending to get out my scales and designer dragon-hide gloves. She was still rifling through the textbook at an amazing speed. Her eyes darted back and forth, scanning the headings. Merlin, that girl can read fast. After a few more minutes of skimming through the book, however, she said in frustration, “I can’t find the instructions for the Befuddling Brew!” and threw up her hands dramatically.

I coughed quietly and discreetly, knowing she would notice me.

"What?” she snapped, turning towards me, as expected.

"Hermione dear, the instructions are clearly written on the board,” I said as sweetly as possible.

Her head whipped back to face the front of the room where, indeed, the instructions for the Befuddling Brew were written in the professor’s messy scrawl. She glared at me; I had no idea what for.

"What?” I said innocently.

"Never, ever call me Hermione dear again,” she said threateningly. Oh. So that was a problem. Not that adding fuel to the fire would do any good, but…

"Sure…sweetie pie.” I smirked at the incredulous look on her face.

"What’s gotten into you?” she said. I’m pretty sure she was bewildered and furious at the same time. Only an amazing girl like Hermione Granger can experience such a high range of emotions at once.

"Just kidding, Granger,” I said, still smirking away. It was time to swing into action. "So…about this Befuddling Brew. Would you like my assistance in creating this potion?”

She eyed me warily. “What are you playing at, Malfoy?”

"What d’you mean?” I asked, feigning ignorance.

"Why the hell are you being so nice?” she snapped irritably, getting straight to the point. That’s one of the things I love about her. She doesn’t waste time with useless banter and is very straightforward in what she says. Of course, that just sometimes makes her remarks more biting and caustic.

"Because I feel like it,” I said. She looked at me with very doubtful eyes.

She said, “My answer is no, I do not need your assistance in making this potion. Now can you please shut up and let me work in peace?” She turned back to her own cauldron and began tinkering with the ingredients.

Remember what I said before? You must insist on helping her, or else you won’t impress her at all. So here goes nothing.

"Psst,” I whisper annoyingly in Hermione’s direction. She whipped her head around to stare at me, her lovely curly brown hair flying and hitting me in the face. Mmm…it smelled like vanilla. Ouch, a lock of it got me in the eye…my eye began to water.

"What do you want?” she snapped.

"Do you need help cutting your gnarlypod root? I found mine a bit difficult to cut, and I thought you may need some help,” I said, blinking and putting what was sure to be a winning smile onto my face.

"No, thanks,” said Hermione, thoroughly annoyed. “If I ever happen to require your assistance, I will inform you, okay? So stop interrupting me.” She turned back to her potion.

I snatched the gnarlypod root away from her and, using my silver knife, began to cut it into perfect little squares. “Granger, I insist. It is my pleasure to help a fellow student like you.”

"Give that back, Malfoy!” she said, reaching for the root even though I clearly had a sharp knife in the vicinity. She obviously didn’t care. “I can manage perfectly fine on my own!”

"Back off, woman! I’ve got a knife in my hand, I might—”

She gasped as my knife (accidentally!) sliced into her palm. Her hand began bleeding profusely. I dropped my knife in shock.

"Granger! I’m so sorry! Here—let me fix that,” I said in a rush, reaching for my wand. I tapped her hand and muttered, “Reparo!”

"You idiot!” she gasped, clearly in pain. “You can’t use Reparo on human skin!” Sure enough, the cut seemed to worsen and blood dripped onto my designer robes.

I didn’t mind, of course. I love her. Hang on…these robes are pure silk! They were bloody expensive! I quickly siphoned the blood off while Hermione clutched her hand, slowly turning white from loss of blood.

Right on cue, Professor Snape swooped down on us. “What is the matter?” he sneered, deliberately ignoring Hermione’s injury.

"I accidentally cut her hand with my knife, sir,” I said hurriedly, smoothing down my impeccable silk robes and turning my attention to Hermione’s dire state. “Could you please fix it?”

"Foolish girl,” said Snape, fixing her cut with a wave of his wand. “Ten points from—”

"Please, sir, it was completely my fault. Take points from Slytherin, if you must.” That, my friend, took a lot of nerve. I usually live to take points away from Gryffindor. This was practically social suicide.

My good friend, Blaise Zabini, heard me (so did half the class, since we had created quite a commotion by now) and said, “What the hell has gotten into you, Malfoy? Are you mad?”

Pansy, being the idiotic wench she is, screamed, “It’s the Mudblood! She’s poisoned Draco with a love potion!”

Hermione’s mouth dropped open in shock, but before she could furiously retort I came to her defense like the gallant man I am.

"No she did not! She’s innocent! Look at her, she’s the victim here! She almost bled to death! Listen to me, Professor!” I pleaded. No, wait. Malfoys do not grovel. I was not begging, I was arguing and debating in a mature manner.

"Silence!” Snape bellowed. “Stop this nonsense at once and get back to work! Miss Granger, do refrain from eliciting help from Mr. Malfoy. You are distracting him, and he hasn’t even begun his own potion yet.” With a final glare he strode away to bully Potter once more.

Hermione was so indignant I thought she’d explode. After a few minutes or so, however, she calmed down and said out of the corner of her mouth, “Finish cutting up the root for me, Malfoy.”

"So you’re willing to accept my help now?” I said coyly. My plan was working!

"No,” she said snappishly. “It’s just that my hand really hurts now, thanks to you, and I can’t hold my knife properly.”

I shut up and proceeded to chop up the rest of her ingredients before she could protest. At the end of the lesson, Hermione’s potion was the precise shade of pink the book described.

As for me? Well, my cauldron was still empty. But it was worth it, because I was now in the good books of Hermione Granger.

Before the bell rang, Professor Snape barked, “A three-foot long essay on the effects of the Befuddling Brew will be due tomorrow.” The class would have groaned and protested, I knew, if Snape hadn’t given us all the evil eye.

I turned to Hermione. “Do you need help writing your essay, Granger?”

She raised an eyebrow at me. “Honestly, Malfoy. Thanks for helping me today, albeit after stabbing me, but I promise I will never ask for help again. Please shut up and leave me alone.”

Ah, can’t you just hear the love in her voice…. I grinned at her and then left the room, only to wait for her by the door.

That brings us to the second way to impress a Mudblood. 







What do you think? I know Draco's OOC, but it is supposed to be humorous. And also, just to let you awesome readers know, updates on this story will be quite slow because I still have to finish So You Think You Can Duel and The Game of Love. Am I crazy for trying to work on three stories at once? Lol, anyway, leave a review please!
Yours till the Wrackspurt loses your thoughts,
Queen Luna


Chapter 2: II. Books and Brawn
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Hello again! Wow, I did not expect to get so many reviews for just the first chapter! Thanks everyone! And here is chapter two...enjoy :) Oh, and you must have noticed the lovely banner. Hedwidgeon at TDA created it...thank you!






II.


Welcome to back to Draco Malfoy’s ten fail-safe ways to impress a Mudblood! We are picking up right where we left off with the second strategy, which is to carry her books for her, even if you have to take them by force.

First of all, carrying a girl’s books will relieve her of those heavy weights, especially if her name is Hermione Granger and she takes about twenty different classes, each requiring two or more thousand-plus-page books.

Second of all, she will be very impressed with your good manners and kindness in going out of your way to escort her to class.

And lastly, once you escort her to class, you may be rewarded with a date. Or at least that’s what I hoped would happen.

Anyway, the second part of this strategy states that you should resort to force when she refuses to let you carry her books. This piece of advice comes in handy particularly when the Mudblood is a bloody stubborn Gryffindor with way too much pride.



I pounced on Hermione the second she walked through the door of the Potions dungeon. Fortunately, her two bodyguards (she might call them friends of hers) were not there at her side. I think Potter went after some redheaded girl while Weasley was glued to the hip of the demanding Lavender Brown. Also fortunate for me was that her wand was tucked securely in her robes, which prevented her from pulling it out and hexing me to oblivion. Another added bonus was that Hermione was the last person to pack up (must be all those cumbersome books) and the other Slytherins were not present to witness whatever would happen next.

Anyway, I jumped out at Hermione. She in turn jumped in surprise, and then glared at me. Nothing new here.

"What in Merlin’s name are you doing?” she sputtered, attempting to hide her shock while trying to cram her potions book into her clearly overstuffed bag.

"Here, let me carry that for you,” I said, snatching the book out of her hand.

"Malfoy! Give that back,” Hermione snapped, reaching for it. I held it over my head and she tugged at the sleeve of my robes. In the process, her bag fell off her shoulder onto the ground, landing with a loud thunk. Several books spilled out, all of them immensely thick, heavy, and boring in appearance.

"Malfoy, honestly. I don’t have time for this.” She glared at me as she stood with her hands on her hips, tapping her foot impatiently.

I quickly gathered up the fallen books and stacked them neatly. I balanced them in one hand. You may be wondering how this is humanly possible. Well, I have very nicely toned arm muscles due to weekly Quidditch practices, plus there’s this thing called a Mass Reduction Spell. Anyway, I proceeded by handing her the bag, which was much lighter now.

"Okay, what are you planning on doing with my books?” she snapped, taking the bag and making a futile attempt to take back her books.

"What does it look like I’m doing?” I said. “I’m carrying them for you. It must be exhausting to lug these all over the place. Where’s your next class?”

She said right away, “Ancient Runes. It’s all the way up on the fourth floor. I’m sure you don’t want to walk all the way up there, especially when your next class is Herbology, which is in the opposite direction.”

"So you’ve memorized my schedule, huh?” I said, flashing her my signature smirk. Most girls die for that smirk. To Hermione, of course, it is a primary source of annoyance. “Are you stalking me?” I asked playfully.

"No,” she said, glaring at me. She obviously was not in the mood to banter around. "And if anyone’s doing the stalking, it’s you.”

I pretended to look wounded. “I am not a stalker. I am merely an innocent teenaged wizard who finds a certain Head Girl intriguing and wants to get to know her better.”

"Okay, that’s it,” said Hermione, completely riled up now. She pulled out her wand. "Accio books!” Her books sailed out of my arms into her bag neatly. She shot me one last glare and began striding away briskly. Meanwhile, I admired the view from behind. Her plaid uniform skirt swung above her knees. Her stockings hugged her lovely legs. And her beautiful curly hair (I once labeled it as ‘bushy’ and ‘untamable’) bounced when she walked.

Oh, bloody hell. I was failing in my mission to carry her books for her. I suddenly felt angry. Here I was, offering to be a lowly pack mule for her, and here she was refusing me thanks to her bloody Gryffindor pride.

Oh, wait. Carrying books would be considered an act of chivalry. Isn’t chivalry a Gryffindor thing? Well, to hell with that. Even a Slytherin can be chivalrous every once in a while.

Anyway, I recalculated my current situation to find that Hermione had already disappeared. I ran down the corridor and skidded to a stop at the foot of the stairs that would take me up from the dungeons. I got there just in time to see her ascend the last step and walk away.

I sprinted up the staircase in two seconds flat and chased after her. Several annoying first years who didn’t know how to mind their own business stared at me curiously. I glared at them threateningly, which caused them to disperse immediately, and continued my pursuit of Hermione.

I rounded a corner and saw her just ahead. Unfortunately, at the momentum I was going at, I was unable to stop and slammed into the wall and fell in a daze to the ground. From my spot on the floor I saw Hermione look over her shoulder at me in disbelief. Her steps faltered. The Gryffindor side of her must have been causing her to consider helping me out, while the sensible side must have been screaming at her to take advantage of my temporary delay and run away, fast.

The sensible side won, and she started walking again. Once the stars swimming around my vision disappeared, I jumped to my feet and chased her down the hallway.

When I was a mere meter or two away from her, I took a running leap and tackled her to the ground while issuing a Cushioning Charm. Not very graceful, but I succeeded in pinning her to the ground. Her beautiful hair spilled out around her head. Her chocolate brown eyes stared at me, although in a not so loving way. She looked about ready to murder me in cold blood.

"What the bloody hell are you doing, you stupid ferret!” Hermione shrieked. She struggled to get up, squirming beneath me.

Focus, Draco, focus. “I just wanted to carry your books for you,” I said pleadingly.

Just then, the bell rang, signaling for class to start. Oh, to hell with Herbology and all those bloody plants. I had more important things to do.

"If I let you carry my books just this once, will you leave me alone?” Hermione said, at the very end of her patience.

"Perhaps,” I said, smirking. I was still lying on top of her. I toyed around with the idea of keeping her in that position.

"Okay, you win,” said Hermione exasperatedly. I just grinned down at her. She gave me an annoyed look before I got the hint and got off of her, though a little reluctantly.

"Merlin!” Hermione muttered under her breath, sitting up and rubbing her arm, where I could see a lovely bruise forming. “What a bloody prat.”

I held out my hand. She stared at me suspiciously.

"Come on, Granger. It’s just a helping hand.” I wiggled my eyebrows at her. She rolled her eyes and grabbed my hand. I pulled her up and before she could shake me off, I gathered her into a hug, squeezing her to me. I found that I could not control myself from doing so.

"What the bloody hell!” Hermione sputtered, her hands splayed out on my chest. Her voice was muffled, due to the fact that her face was pressed into my shoulder. I enjoyed the sensation for as long as it lasted. “Malfoy! I can’t breathe!”

I released her, smiling jovially. “Just a friendly hug, Granger,” I said, smirking all the while.

Hermione shook her head, clearly infuriated. But I could see her relenting a bit. I was growing on her. That is, until she caught sight of the time the grandfather clock displayed. “Merlin's pants! I am incredibly late to Ancient Runes!” she cried, wringing her hands in distress. "I've never been late to class before! Malfoy, thanks to you I've ruined my perfect record! You are so bloody aggravating!"

Oops. Be sure, my friend, that you never make the Mudblood late to class when you offer to carry her books. Especially when that Mudblood absolutely loves school and would rather die than skive off class. Well, the damage has already been done. I might as well close the deal and finish the job.

"So…” I said, taking a wild chance here. “Since we’re already late, why don’t we just skive off class completely?”

She looked horrified. Her eyes were open wide and her mouth dropped open to achieve a comical effect. “I refuse! I can’t skive off class! I’m Head Girl…and you’re Head Boy! What the hell are we doing?” She reached blindly for her books, which I had conveniently Vanished when she wasn’t looking.

"Looking for something?” I said slyly. I know. This was very cruel of me. A Mudblood like Hermione adores books, and I had just Vanished them. Plus now she was never going to get to class.

"Malfoy!” she shrieked. “Where are my books?”

"Come with me and I’ll show you,” I said, winking suggestively.

"No! And I bloody hate you,” she groaned, throwing up her hands. I took this as a gesture of surrender and, without hesitating, leaned in to kiss her full on the mouth. She squealed and tried to push me away, but my Quidditch muscles overpowered her book-hauling strength.

At first the kiss was a very one-sided thing on my part, but soon she relaxed a little and began to kiss me back. Her arms wrapped themselves around my neck. One of her hands found its way to my hair. I enjoyed every moment of it, nibbling on her soft pink lips and tasting her sweet mouth. She slowly backed into the wall of the deserted corridor. I followed her, glued to her lips.

Finally, after a minute or two of feeling as though the world were on fire, we came up for air. She stared at me, bemused. Her hair was messy where I had run my hands through to feel its silkiness. Her white button-down shirt was a little askew, as was her red and gold Gryffindor tie.

"What was that for?” she gasped, struggling to come back down to earth.

"What do you think, Granger?” I said, smirking. “I am head over heels in love with you.”
"How is that even possible?” she said in a strangled whisper.

I answered by engaging her in another breathtaking kiss. “Believe me now?”

She responded by pushing me away and shaking her head, picking up her discarded and empty book bag, and slowly walking away, saying as she went, “I don’t know what’s gotten into you, Malfoy, but I am really confused right now. Please leave me alone.”

I watched her walk away, feeling my heart sink like a stone. Not only had I failed in carrying the Mudblood’s books to class, but now, because of that kiss, she was sure to avoid me like the plague.





Hehe. That first-kiss scene came really early, didn't it? :P Well, things are going at a slow pace in my novel-length story, The Game of Love, so I had fun writing this :) Please review!
Yours till the Snorkack's horn crumples,
Queen Luna


Chapter 3: III. Muggle Studies
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III.


Hello there. Draco Malfoy here. I am quite depressed at the moment, considering that my relationship with the Mudblood, also known as Hermione Granger, has frozen completely. She does not acknowledge me in the hallways, or during class, or in Prefect meetings, or even as we take turns using the Heads bathroom. I think that kiss scared her off. But isn’t she supposed to be a Gryffindor? What happened to all that bloody courage?

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not about to give up completely. I have come up with another tactic to try out, and it is to exhibit my immense knowledge of the glorious Muggle world. This way she will see that I am willing to learn about non-purebloods (momentary shudder) in order to learn more about her. To do this I have stolen some tiny little third year’s Muggle Studies book, and I have been reading it at night. It was the most boring book I have ever attempted to read in my life, but I did it. I struggled for a week or two and now I have finally finished it. Now I just have to somehow get Hermione’s attention.



It was a quiet Saturday evening. I was lying on my back on the leather couch in the Heads common room, staring at the ceiling. Every few seconds I would take a peek at Hermione to take stock of the situation.

Hermione was bent over her desk, scribbling furiously. Her white feather quill darted back and forth on the parchment. Her face was frowning in concentration. A stack of books (she had obviously found a way to get them back after I had Vanished them) sat on the corner of the desk, each patiently waiting for their turn. One was propped open. The pages kept falling to one side, no doubt annoying her to no end. She kept flipping the book back open impatiently, finding her place and then resuming her furious scribbling. Three candles lit her workspace. I admired the way the light played off her hair. I never knew so many different colors could exist amid brown hair.

A few minutes later, Hermione dropped her quill and leaned back in her chair, stretching. She yawned, glancing at the clock. Time to act, before she left to go to her own room.

"Granger," I called out, making sure to keep my gaze on the oh so fascinating ceiling. She did not need to know that I had spent the better part of the past hour staring at her.

"What, Malfoy?" she said warily, without looking at me.

"I know how fellytones work," I said, with a pleased grin on my face.

Hermione finally turned around completely. She looked bewildered. "Pardon?"

"Fellytones," I said. "You know, those Muggle objects that let you talk to someone who's really far away."

She still looked confused. Merlin, she couldn't be that daft, could she?

"You mean telephones?" said Hermione, arching an eyebrow. "The one invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876?"

"Yeah," I said, feeling a blush creep onto my face. Damn it. Malfoys don't blush. "That's what I meant. Telephones."

Hermione took a seat in the chair next to the one I was lounging on. This was the closest she had ventured near me since our kiss.

"So," she said, trying to keep her face straight. "How do they work, Malfoy?"

"Well," I began. Come on, Draco. You just read this two days ago. "One person has a telephone and they punch in a number, called a telephone number, and then it magically connects via wires and stuff like that and the other person's fellytone--er, telephone--rings and then they can talk."

Now she was grinning. Well, I may have made a fool out of myself but at least she was entertained. "It's not magical," she said, shaking her head. "Otherwise they wouldn't be Muggles, would they? No, it's all based on science. No magic."

"Not even a little?" I said.

She shook her head, still grinning. "Did you know that telephones are almost a thing of the past? Muggles have cell phones now. They're like miniature telephones that you can carry around everywhere. And they have laptop computers, music players--"

Eager to redeem myself, I cut in and continued, "--and toasters, telegraphs, veletators, phonographs, scaliators, and marine subs."

She burst out laughing. While her laugh was amazingly beautiful, I had a feeling she was laughing at me. So I did not laugh along.

"What's so funny?" I said, scowling.

"Toasters? Phonographs? Malfoy, those things were invented ages ago. And what on earth are veletators and scaliators?" She fought to keep her laughter down.

"You know," I said, still scowling. "Veletators are those boxes that carry people from the first floor to the second floor. Kind of like the lifts at the Ministry, only they run without magic. And scaliators are moving stairs. Like the ones at Hogwarts."

She burst out laughing again. "Are you talking about elevators and escalators? Would you care to explain what marine subs are, then?"

She was patronizing me. My friend, let me tell you that it was a very humbling experience. "They are robotic whales," I muttered for an answer. "They go underwater and probe."

Hermione pressed her face into a pillow, but that didn't stop her laughter at all. "Robotic whales!" she choked out in between laughs.

"Okay, Granger. You can stop laughing now. It's not funny anymore," I said, thoroughly done with this conversation. Why did I even bring it up in the first place?

She raised her face from the pillow, her eyes streaming with tears of mirth at my expense. "You're funny, Draco. That was the most bloody hilarious conversation I've ever had with you, or anyone for that matter."

I would have gone up to bed completely irritable, but something registered in my mind that made me stop and think. Did she just call me Draco?

She seemed to have realized it at the same time. "Did I just--" She stopped and shook her head as though she were frightened. "I must be delirious. Anyway, I have to finish my essay…. Malfoy, I'm impressed. I didn't know that you knew so much about the Muggle world." She smirked, the corner of her mouth twitching. Hey! That's my smirk!

She took her essay with her into her bedroom, slamming the door shut behind her while I sat there in a daze. Only one thing was running through my mind: she was impressed. Hermione Granger was impressed. The Mudblood was impressed by my immense knowledge of Muggles!

My life, at the moment she uttered those words, was almost complete. Almost. 





Kind of short, and not exactly the most exciting chapter...I know. And sorry about the long wait! There are seven more ways to impress a Mudblood, and the next chapter should be up soon! Please review. They keep me going :)
Yours till the Wrackspurt steals your thoughts,
Queen Luna


Chapter 4: IV. Of Pride and Prejudice
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Sorry about the long wait! I hope you all haven't deserted this story.... Anyway, here's chapter four.






IV. 


I know what you're thinking right now. You're thinking that I, Draco Malfoy, am the most amazing male figure in the entire universe. After all, I--a pureblooded Slytherin--willingly learned an entire course of Muggle Studies in two weeks just to impress the Mudblood. Well, you are about to be even more amazed. I just stole a Muggle romance novel from Hermione Granger's shelf…and I fully intend to read it.

The theft itself was quite daring. After she admitted to being impressed by my knowledge of the Muggle world (see previous way to impress a Mudblood), she went up to her room for bed. I stayed in the common room while a bold plan formulated in my brilliant mind. Buoyed by my recent success, I decided to follow through with it.

After waiting two hours or so to make sure she was deeply asleep, I tiptoed to her door only to find that it was locked. Not a problem. I used the ever so useful Alohomora charm and slipped inside. I was fully expecting to meet some sort of booby trap to impede my way.

When none came, I darted across the carpeted floor and snatched a book at random off of her shelf. Then I simply duplicated it, replaced it, and left as quickly as I had come.

No, I did not spend half an hour staring at her sleeping form by the light of the moon. Ahem.

Now it is morning again, and classes are about to start. The Muggle novel, entitled Pride and Prejudice and written by some Muggle author named Jane Austen, is tucked inside my bag. I disguised it to make it appear as 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know. As if I would read such a book…I've got enough charm as it is. Sorry, bad pun.

Just then, Hermione came down from her room, yawning and stretching. "Good morning, Malfoy," she said good-naturedly.

"Morning, Granger," I replied. "You're in a good mood today, aren't you?" I slung my bag onto my shoulder and prepared to leave for class.

She nodded a little absentmindedly. Suddenly she pointed at my bag. "What's that?"

"What's what?" I said, casually stuffing 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know into the depths of the bag. I tried to appear calm, but inside I was panicking. How could she possibly know?

"The dark blue book. It looked kind of familiar for some reason," she said. Damn. I knew I should have changed the color of the cover.

"Oh, just some book I bought at Hogsmeade," I said nonchalantly. "100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know."

"Ooh!" Hermione squealed. Yes…I know. That girl just squealed over a book. Typical Granger. "I've been wanting to read that book," she continued enthusiastically. "I've read reviews about it. They say it's essential if you're planning on getting good marks on the NEWTs." She stared at my bag with a sort of longing. I shifted uncomfortably. "May I borrow it sometime?"

I had to steer this situation out of dangerous waters. "Tell you what, Granger. If you're a good girl I'll get you one of your own when I go to Hogsmeade this weekend."

Hermione rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. "And what would being a good girl entail?"

I stepped forward and grasped her by the shoulders. She gasped. I slid one hand through her silky curls while the other traced a path across her collarbone and up her slender neck to rest on her cheek. Her eyelids fluttered closed.

"Come with me to Hogsmeade," I breathed into her ear before releasing her.

She opened her eyes and blushed a pretty pink. "I don't know, Malfoy," she said, appearing quite flustered. She fidgeted with her bag and looked at everything but me.

I smirked. I was making her nervous. "Just think about it," I said, in a voice no other girl in Hogwarts has ever been able to resist.

"Oh. Okay. Oh, er, class is about to start. See you later, Dra--er, Malfoy." She swept past me, keeping her head down.

So she won't admit her feelings for me yet. But do not doubt my abilities. She'll come through eventually…I know it. She has to, or I would not be writing this guide, now would I?



The book was burning a hole in my bag. I had to read it soon, or else the progress I have so recently and so painstakingly made in my relationship with the Mudblood will all be lost. During lunch, I had my first opportunity to begin reading. I had Charms with the midget of a Professor Flitwick next, so it would not look suspicious if I whipped out a book with the title 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know.

But as soon as I pulled it out, I drew the attention of the ever so irritating Pansy Parkinson.

"What are you reading, Drakie?" she simpered in that high-pitched voice of hers.

"Just some boring book about Charms," I said shortly, keen on killing the conversation.

To my dismay, she scooted across the bench until she was practically in my lap and read over my shoulder.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession--" Pansy began, in a voice that was much too loud.

"Shut up!" I snapped, slamming the book shut while my mind raced. A single man in possession of what? I had to read the next word!

Pansy made a face, which did not help her appearance. "You are so rude these days, Drakie. I'm going to go talk to Blaise." She put an emphasis on Blaise's name as though it would make me jealous.

"Go on," I said irately. "I couldn't care less."

And she flounced away. I glanced around secretively and slyly. Theodore Nott sat opposite me, and he seemed to be deeply engrossed in his steak-and-kidney pie. I slowly cracked open Pride and Prejudice again.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

I am definitely a single man in possession of a good fortune who is in want of a certain Mudblood. Jane Austen sure knew what she was talking about!

Theodore looked up from his lunch and stared at me curiously. "What'd you just say, Malfoy?"

Had I said that last bit out loud? "Huh? I didn't say anything, Nott. You must be losing your marbles." With that I shoved a bread roll into my mouth and left the Slytherin table in search for a quieter atmosphere. Hence, I made my way to the library.



And whom does one find at the library at all times without fail? Why, the Mudblood of course. I entered the library and immediately spotted her half-hidden behind a pile of books. She was quite alone. I smirked with satisfaction and navigated my way through the maze of shelves and desks to Hermione.

"Fancy seeing you here, Granger," I said casually, pulling out a chair and sitting down across from her.

She looked up, startled. "Oh, it's you," she said, not very nicely.

"I don't like your tone of voice," I said slowly, drumming my fingers on the tabletop.

"What do you mean?" she huffed, moving a stack of books so I was blocked from her view.

This made me angry. "What the hell is wrong with you?" I moved away the top half of the pile of books only to see her glaring at me.

"Listen, Malfoy," she said in what she obviously thought was a threatening manner. "Harry and Ron are getting suspicious--"

"About what?" I interrupted.

"About--about you and me," she said, lowering her voice a notch. "And frankly, I can see where they're coming from. We've been enemies for six years. They don't trust you…and I'm not sure if I do either."

"What are you saying?" I said, trying to keep my temper in check.

"I'm saying that we should go back to the way we were. Stop messing with my mind, Malfoy. I don't know what to think anymore these days." She began gathering up her things, but I grabbed her by the wrist.

"Let go of me, Malfoy," she said furiously, struggling against my grip.

I released her and threw 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know at her.

"I can buy my own copy," she snapped.

"Read it," I said through clenched teeth. "Right now." I flipped it open for her to the first page, and she automatically bent her head to read. Three seconds later I knew I had won.

"What is this?" she whispered.

"Pride and Prejudice," I said.

"I know," she said, puzzled. "But how--why--"

"I 'borrowed' it from your bookshelf," I said impatiently, using air-quotes around the word borrowed.

She was so focused on the why that she forgot to blow up at me about the how. "Why in the name of Merlin are you reading Jane Austen?" she said incredulously.

"It's all because of you," I said.

Her mouth dropped open slightly. I nearly kissed her right then and there.

"Really?" she stammered uncertainly.

I nodded, locking my gaze on her. She peered over the mountain of books that blocked us from view and then whispered at me, "Fine. But we should keep this a secret, okay?"

"Keep what a secret exactly?" I said slyly.

"This," she said, looking confused. "Me--and you--er, us. I mean to say, our friendship."

"Right." I smirked as she bit her bottom lip and gazed at me warily. "So we're friends then."

"Right," she said slowly.

"And so, as a friend, will you come with me to Hogsmeade this weekend?" I said slyly, smiling ever so charmingly.

"What?" she said, as though it should surprise her that I would ask a friend to go to Hogsmeade with me.

"Say you will," I said, half commandingly and half pleadingly.

"No!"

"Yes!"

"No, Malfoy!"

"No, Granger!"

"Yes!" Hermione clapped a hand over her mouth when she realized her mistake. I smirked at her.

"So you're coming then? Great! I'll meet you in our common room at nine in the morning sharp. We'll go buy that book you so desperately want." I said all of this without giving her time to interject.

"Malfoy," she said sternly, "I am not going to Hogsmeade with you." The bell rang just then, and she seemed grateful for the interruption. "Goodbye." And she stomped away.

As for me, I leaned back in my chair, grinning like an idiot at the ceiling. Did I ever finish reading Pride and Prejudice? Well, no. But even so, I still managed to make great strides in my relationship with Granger. And we had a date to Hogsmeade scheduled for this Saturday. Okay, so I might need to drag her there, and it wasn't technically a date, but still. Stay tuned for the fifth way to impress a Mudblood! 





As you can tell, I used a line from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Obviously, it belongs to her and not me. In fact, nothing here is mine except for the plot. 
I kind of have writer's block for Ch. 5... *sigh* Reviews are much appreciated. :) So please review. And thanks for reading! I hope you're enjoying this story.
Yours till the Nargles infest your brain,
Queen Luna


Chapter 5: V. To Hogsmeade
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Hello readers! So, funny story. I was writing Chapter Six and I kept going on and on and on and soon it was over 3000 words. I felt like I was dragging it on (and on and on and on) but I didn't want to delete any of it so I decided to add on a few hundred words to Chapter Five. So if you've read this chapter already, just skip to the end for a little more Draco/Hermione fun. :)






V.

Welcome to the fifth way to impress a Mudblood! I have been anticipating this one for some time now, because I am about to take none other than Hermione Granger out on a date. Yes, that's right. A real date…well, sort of.

If you recall from the last time we met, you may remember the fact that I somewhat tricked the Mudblood into going out with me. This is sometimes necessary, so feel free to use your cunning Slytherin mind to do that. If you are not a Slytherin, then I pity you.

Anyway, as you have probably figured out by now, the fifth way to impress a Mudblood is to take her out on a proper date. For most Hogwarts students, the only option other than the Room of Requirement is the charming village of Hogsmeade.

The date will show how much you care about your relationship with her. It will also show how brave you are, because it takes a great deal of bravery for a Slytherin to go out in public with a Mudblood. Of course, bravery is a Gryffindor trait that most Slytherins do not possess, or want to possess for that matter. Our sneakiness and ability to deceive is what makes us Slytherins so brilliant. We always get what we want…especially me.



Saturday rolled around fairly quickly. On that fateful day, by seven 'o clock, I was fully awake and humming a happy tune as I got ready in the bathroom. I combed my beautiful silver locks until they were more than worthy enough to be featured in an ad for shampoo in Witch Weekly. I tossed my head just like the male models do it and watched admiringly as the light in the bathroom illuminated my silky strands. I patted my hair lovingly to smooth it down again and then winked at my reflection.

"Draco, you are the most gorgeous thing in the world," I told myself loudly.

"Why thank you," I answered myself back. "It's true, isn't it?"

I leaned in towards the mirror to inspect my flawless face. No blemishes. Perfect as usual. I was about to reach for a bottle of expensive cologne when I caught sight of Hermione's reflection in the mirror. She was staring at me, openmouthed.

"Good morning, Granger," I said cheerfully, nodding to her reflection.

She looked torn between amusement and…was that disgust?

"Is something wrong?" I asked worriedly. Maybe I had a hair out of place or something. It was possible.

She shook her head, scowling. "You are the most conceited, vain, and self-centered prat I have ever had the misfortune to know!" she snapped before running out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

I groaned loudly. This was not how I had imagined it in my head. I took a deep breath and raced after her.

The portrait door was ajar. I leaped out into the corridor and caught a glimpse of her just as she was about to turn the corner.

"Hermione, wait!" I shouted, hoping that the Heads corridor was deserted.

She stopped and turned around. I was surprised to see tears running down her face.

"Hermione, please," I begged. "Don't leave me like this. I love you!" Okay, so I was turning into a lovesick puddle of mush, but I was desperate. I had never seen her cry before! And I was the one who had made her cry!

"How can you love me when you're so deeply in love with yourself?" she cried.

"I…" How was I supposed to answer that?

"Just leave me alone," she said angrily, stomping off again.

"Hermione, you have to understand. I may be conceited and vain and self-centered, but I can't help it! I was brought up that way!"

"You're getting nowhere with this, you know," she snapped, although she stopped and turned to face me again.

"I'm not done yet. Hermione, you are the most beautiful thing in my world. And yet you're so selfless and kind and generous and that's why I love you." I waited hopefully for her reaction.

"Really?" she said, her expression softening.

"It's the truth," I said, taking a few steps toward her.

"No one has ever called me beautiful before," she said softly.

"Then I must be the only person in the world who's not blind," I whispered back, before folding her into my arms for a close embrace.

That, my friend, was when I looked over her shoulder to see a crowd of people staring at us and the little scene we had just created. Every single one of them stood there, slack-jawed, gazing disbelieving at us. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

I was about to inform her of this when she spoke first. "Draco," she said matter-of-factly, "there are people staring at us."

"Yeah…" I wasn't sure how to act from here. Plus I had just realized that I was wearing nothing but my green-and-silver monogrammed boxers.

"Do we tell them the truth?" she said, in a tone that suggested we were talking about something trifle, like the weather.

I desperately ask her what she meant by that, but I had to fix the crisis we were in first. "What do you want to do?"

"I'm going to slap you," she said, looking just a tad too happy when she said that.

"Okay," I said rather dumbly. My brain was too fogged up at the moment to say anything else. Then I realized what she had just said. "Wait, why?"

"Just follow my lead," she whispered into my ear. Then, without giving me time to get ready, she smacked me across the face. It hurt, but not quite as badly as that one time in third year.

"Malfoy!" she shouted angrily, pushing me away. "That was not how it was supposed to go."

I stared at her blankly.

She stomped her foot impatiently. "You messed up your lines completely, you moron!"

I still didn't understand what she was going on about, but the way she was glaring at me told me it was my turn to say something. "Stop being so bloody annoying, Granger!" I said, hoping it was vague enough to not give everything away.

"Didn't you read over the script Professor McGonagall gave us?" she said in a shrilly voice.

Lines? Script? Oh. "This whole thing is stupid anyway!" I fumed, really getting into character now.

"Professor McGonagall is expecting us to put on a play to promote house unity, you idiot!" she snapped.

"And look how well that's turning out," I said sarcastically. I considered sticking out my tongue at her, but decided that it would be an immature move.

"Go practice your lines and make sure you know them by heart before our next rehearsal. Ugh!" She stormed down the hall back to our portrait hole, barking at the onlookers and making them scatter.

"You heard her!" I snapped at the stubborn ones who doubted our charade. "Get out of here!" I glared as menacingly as I could, and almost all of them scampered away.

The last one still standing there was a familiar redheaded girl. Ah…the Weasel's little sister. She was staring at me suspiciously.

"I'm going to take a hundred points from Gryffindor if you don't disappear in ten seconds!" I growled.

That girl had the nerve to roll her eyes at me. Then I remembered that she was Hermione's friend and Potter's girlfriend, and she was probably seconds away from telling the entire school about Hermione and me.

"You might want to put some clothes on, Malfoy," she snickered.

Before I could answer back, she threw her hair over her shoulder and flounced away. I refrained from hexing her. The second she turned the corner, I practically sprinted back to the Heads' dormitory. I was about to shout the password when the portrait door flew open again. The heavy gold frame slammed into my once-perfect-but-now-surely-dented forehead. Thoroughly bemused, I groaned and slumped over onto the floor.

"Dra--Malfoy!" gasped Hermione. "Are you okay?"

I opened an eye to see her peering anxiously at me. She was dressed in jeans and a sweater, and she had her bag slung over her shoulder. It was stuffed full of books.

I immediately sat up when I noticed that little detail, ignoring the throbbing pain in my head. "Where do you think you're going with all those books?" I said suspiciously.

"To the library…" she said, her voice trailing off as she looked at me, confused.

"But you agreed to come to Hogsmeade with me today," I whined. I admit, it was rather pathetic.

"Oh," she said, as though she had just remembered our date. "Erm, about that. I don't think it'd be a good idea, especially after the little episode that half the school witnessed this morning--"

"There were only a couple of little first years," I interjected. "They can be dealt with easily."

"You will not bully the first years!" she huffed. "The point is--"

"The point is," I interrupted again, "my head hurts like hell and it is partly your fault and therefore you should humor me and come with me to Hogsmeade right now." I gave her my most stubborn gaze.

Hermione muttered something under her breath. I thought I caught a few curse words.

"Well?" I prompted.

She glared at me. "Oh, fine. I'll go to Hogsmeade with you."

I could have done a cartwheel to fully express my joy, but since my head still hurt quite badly. I struggled to sit up. To my chagrin, Hermione giggled uncharacteristically.

"What?" I scowled.

"You have a giant purple bruise blooming in the middle of your forehead," she informed me, stifling her giggles.

"That's just bloody fantastic," I complained.

"Here, let me fix that." She pulled out her wand, leaned over me, and tapped my bruised forehead gently. Suddenly my head stopped hurting. That was when I realized we were very close.

"Thanks," I said, smiling at her.

She blushed. My grin became even wider. "You're welcome," she stammered, and then scooted away from me.

"So," I said, after realizing that she was too flustered to say anything else. "How are we going to get to Hogsmeade?"

"Seeing as you're the one asking me out," she retorted, "I thought you'd have a plan."

"Touché." Besides fantasizing about our next kiss and choosing which outfit to wear, I hadn't given it much thought. Speaking of outfits, I needed to put some clothes on. But then I noticed that Hermione was staring at my chiseled chest. I considered going shirtless for the rest of the day.

Hermione dragged her eyes away from my chest and shut them briefly. "Malfoy, please go put some clothes on. Please."

I smirked and finally stood up. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," she said, her eyes remaining shut. She was massaging her temples.

I left her sitting like that and dashed into my room and began pulling on random articles of clothing. I was still vain enough (even after my soul-baring conversation with Hermione) to glance at the mirror before I left. The look I was going for could only be described as casual disarray. Only someone as handsome as I am could pull that look off. Making sure that Hermione wasn't around, I winked at my reflection. I was now ready to take the Mudblood out on a date. 



"Malfoy, I don't see how this is going to work," said Hermione nervously as we walked through the halls of Hogwarts together. We were on our way to Hogsmeade.

"Hermione," I said sternly. "We're going on a date. Therefore you should call me Draco."

"Fine," she snapped. "Draco. I don't understand this plan of yours."

I sighed. It was so simple that it was brilliant. Why couldn't she see that? "Hermione," I began, savoring the way her name rolled off of my tongue. "Trust me. It's going to work. All we have to do is build on that lie you started this morning. Dumbledore, being the mad old bat he is--"

"Professor Dumbledore is not a mad old bat!" she interjected indignantly.

"Just listen. Dumbledore forced the two of us to be civil so his dream for inter-house unity can come true. The first phase of his plan is to make us put on a play. The second is to have us go out together to set an example. Once the entire school sees that it's okay for a feisty Gryffindor girl to go out with a charming Slytherin boy, then this whole inter-house nonsense can take off."

"Yes, but once everyone sees how infatuated you are with me, they'll know we're lying," she said. Then she clapped a hand over her mouth. In an undertone, she said, "I can't believe I just said that Malfoy is infatuated with me." She blushed, her cheeks turning a pretty pink color.

"I may be infatuated with you," I countered, "but I can restrain myself."

"So we're going to pretend to hate each other?" she asked.

"Correct." I beamed. "Brilliant, eh?"

"Oh, whatever. I just hope we don't run into Harry or Ron. They can usually tell when I'm hiding something from them," she said nervously.

I scowled when she mentioned Potty and his faithful sidekick, Weasel. I hoped we wouldn't run into them either. They would just completely ruin my date with the Mudblood.

"They won't be there," I assured her as we exited Hogwarts and passed Filch.

She immediately looked suspicious. "Why, what'd you do to them?"

I tried to look shocked, indignant, and innocent at the same time. (Merlin, that was difficult. It is impossible for males to eloquently exhibit such a breadth of emotions at once. I've seen girls manage to accomplish that feat though….)

"Must you assume that I am the kind of man who has absolutely no virtue and simply disposes of people whom I find inconvenient? I am hurt by your lack of faith in my genuinely good character!"

Hermione burst out laughing. I glared at her, and she stopped.

"Oh. You were being serious?" she said, a look of innocent surprise, amusement, and doubt on her face.

(…You see? What'd I tell you about the female gender's ability to display such a range of emotions? Oh, and we're getting off-topic here, but it'll do you good to read a book on analyzing facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice in order to discern the plethora of emotions that women express. I can lend you one of those books if you bow down to my feet and address me as Lord Draco, the Exquisitely Handsome and Sexy King of Slytherin. Just kidding…on second thought, no, I'm not joking. I rather like that title I just made up. Must go tell my minions--er, friends--about it.)

"Hello? Draco?" came Hermione's voice from very far away.

"You shall address me as Lord Draco, the Exquisitely Handsome and Sexy King of Slytherin!" I commanded without thinking.

She gave a look that clearly showed that she thought I had lost all my marbles and was certifiably insane. "What the bloody hell did you just say?"

"Nothing," I said hurriedly. "Nothing at all. Now, where do you want to go first?"

For we had reached the gates to Hogsmeade, and now the fun could really begin. 







As you can imagine, the next chapter will deal with their actual date. I have already written it (yay!) so I will update soon. ^_^
Yours till the Snorkack's horn crumples,
Queen Luna


Chapter 6: VI. The Date
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In case you are unaware, I edited Chapter Five and added a little more to the story. So if you read Ch. 5 the first time it was published but not after it was edited, go back, scroll down towards the end, and start from there. :)






VI. The Date 


Oh, hello there. I'm Draco Malfoy, as you obviously already know. What you may not know is that I am walking around Hogsmeade with the love of my life, Hermione Granger.

I know! We're actually on a real date! It's so exciting!

Ahem. Calm down, Draco. It's not like you've never been on a date before. Okay.

Oh, and before we get to the sixth way to impress a Mudblood, I know we didn't exactly get to the fifth, due to the fact that I got, er, sidetracked. But you're not so daft that you didn't get the gist, I hope. Ask the Mudblood out, and she will be impressed by your boldness. I shall continue to elaborate on this method of impressing a Mudblood while I introduce the next way. Oh, yes… I can multitask. I am a man of many talents, as you can see.

Now, the sixth way to impress a Mudblood has to do with showering her with love and gifts during the first date. Being the wealthy man I am, I am completely capable of buying Hermione's love. (I think it's possible that would work, but I don't know for sure….) Of course, being the romantic person that I am, I would prefer to win her love the normal way. But a little present or two wouldn't hurt my chances…. I think I'll get her a gold bracelet. Yes, a gold bracelet studded with rubies. And one emerald, just for symbolic purposes. And I'll engrave something like Draco + Hermione Forever on the inside. (Or do you think that would scare her off? Wait a minute. What am I doing, asking you for your input? I know what I'm doing. You're the one who's supposed to be hanging onto every word I say.)

However, I know Hermione so well that I know what she'll appreciate even more than an expensive bracelet. That's right, the sixth way to impress a Mudblood is to buy her something she'll treasure forever. Remember how Hermione expressed her wish to read 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know? Well, I don't know if she'll treasure a book like that forever, but it's a start. Maybe, as we stroll through Hogsmeade, I'll find something perfect enough to show my love for her.




Hermione and I were standing just outside the gates to Hogsmeade. Since everyone else had arrived before us, the road to the village had been completely deserted. Now, though, we could hear the voices of scores of students as they wandered around in groups of two, three, or more, chatting amiably.

Hermione stopped walking, a strange look on her face. "I can't do this, Draco. I can't lie to the entire student body!"

"We're pretending we hate each other. How is that a lie, for you? Wait…does that mean you like me too?" I said eagerly.

She shot me a glare, but I thought I could discern a blush. "Of course not," she snapped. "What I mean is, I can't go out with you and pretend that Dumbledore set everything up. Besides, no one is going to believe us."

"I don't care," I growled. We had come so far and now she was just going to turn back and walk away? I don't think so. "We're going in. Come on."

"No," she said stubbornly, folding her arms over her chest.

"Granger, don't make me do this," I warned.

"Do what?" she snapped.

"This," I said, and before she knew what was going on, I seized her around the waist and slung her over my shoulder, fireman style. (Yes, I know what a fireman is. I read it in that Muggle Studies book, remember?)

As expected, she let out a loud shriek. "Put me down, Malfoy! Put me down right now, or I'll hex your face off!"

A wave of fear passed through me. "Would you really do that?" I asked nervously. "You're kidding, right? You wouldn't do anything like that, would you?"

Hermione let out an exasperated sigh. "Merlin's pants, Malfoy. You should know the answer to that question."

"You would never damage my beautiful face, right?" I beamed.

"Of course I would, you prat! Now put me down!"

"You might want to stop screaming," I informed her, ignoring her threat for now. "People are starting to stare."

"Well of course they're staring, you idiot, look at the way you're carrying me in! I can walk, damn it!"

"No need to start swearing, Granger," I said cheerfully enough. "And enough with the names too."

"Then put me down," she growled.

"Do you promise not to run away?" I pleaded.

"No."

"Okay, you asked for it." I shrugged my shoulders, shifting her into a more comfortable position, and continued walking, ignoring the crowd staring at us.

"Fine, I promise!" she snapped, beating her fists into my back.

"Stop punching me, woman!" I stopped walking and placed her gently on the ground, silently muttering a spell as I did so.

As expected, the second she was on her feet, she tried to bolt away. But thanks to my ingenuity, she couldn't. The spell I had used had conjured a pair of handcuffs that linked our wrists together. Now she was stuck to me for good.

I know. I am so darn clever.

"Ouch!" cried Hermione as she tried to leave my side. She looked down at her wrist and then back up at me, her expression absolutely furious. You didn't need a book to tell you how she was feeling at the moment.

"DRACO MALFOY, YOU BLOODY FERRET! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?" she exploded. Her lovely brown eyes (which weren't so lovely right now) were now glaring daggers at me. For one wild second, I thought laser beams would shoot out of her eyes and strike me dead or something.

I cowered under her intense, livid glare. Okay, so maybe I wasn't so clever after all.

"Get rid of this thing, right now!" she barked. Merlin, she was so bossy. And demanding. But I still love her despite her temper. Sigh.

"I can't," I said, mustering a meek voice. "You have to kiss me first."

"Stop joking around," she snarled. Her voice made my hair stand up on end…in a good way, of course.

"I'm not joking," I protested. "For the curse to break, you have to kiss me. And you have to mean it too."

"What is this, some sort of twisted fairy tale?" she said snappishly.

"Sure," I said, not sure what she was talking about.

"I am about ready to murder you, Malfoy!" she said in a shrilly voice.

"I know," I said happily.

She shot me an exasperated look, but at least she wasn't screaming at me anymore. However, she hadn't stopped screaming soon enough. The volume of her voice had attracted some of the people she knew, and soon we had company.

"Hermione?" said a familiar, hated voice.

She spun around, dragging me with her. I staggered to retain my balance, trying not to look foolish even though the handcuffs had been my idea in the first place.

"Harry! Ron!" she squealed.

Yes…she squealed upon seeing the two people I dislike the most at Hogwarts. I was thinking about whether I could successfully land a punch on Weasley's freckled face with my left fist when I remembered the plan. And I carefully arranged my face into a look of cool, arrogant disdain. It was my signature look, one that usually caused people to shrink when my gaze fell upon them.

But not Potty and Weasel. They glared and scowled and bared their teeth at me. Okay, not really, but the looks I was getting from them were not friendly in the least.

"Hermione, what in the name of Merlin are you doing?" said the redheaded one. I briefly considered lighting his head on fire, but then thought to myself that no one would be able to tell the flames apart from his obnoxiously red mop of hair. Ho hum, I crack myself up.

"I'm on an assignment for Professor Dumbledore," she said through gritted teeth. "Right, Malfoy?"

I hid my surprise at her readiness to lie. "Right, Granger," I said in a bored voice.

"Does this have anything to do with the play Ginny told us about?" said Potter skeptically.

"No," I said.

At the same time, Hermione said, "Yes."

We glared at each other for slipping up. Thankfully, the two idiots she called friends didn't seem to notice the disparity in our answers.

"What exactly are the handcuffs for?" Weasley pressed on.

"When you're done interrogating us, Weasel, we'll be on our way," I drawled.

"Don't call him that!" said Hermione, jerking on my arm, the one that was connected to hers by the handcuff, the one I had initially thought was so clever but was now thoroughly regretting due to my sore wrist and arm socket.

"Well?" said Weasley impatiently.

Probably for the first time in her life, Hermione feigned ignorance. "Well what?"

"What--" Weasley began.

"What are you talking about?" I cut in.

"What did you say?" said Hermione loudly.

"What the--" Potter muttered, pulling at his hair.

Now, as intended, Weasel was thoroughly confused. "What?" he said slowly.

I sighed. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw the corner of Hermione's mouth twitch like she was trying not to laugh. Upon seeing this, I smirked.

"Well," said Hermione rapidly. "We must really finish our assignment for the Headmaster, so I'll see you two later!"

"No you won't," Potter grumbled. "You're always with him."

"Yeah," echoed Weasley. "That evil git."

"Are you referring to me?" I said loudly.

"I am not always with him!" said Hermione indignantly.

"Yes you are," argued Potter. "You do patrols with him, you spend time in the Head dormitories with him, and now you're going to Hogsmeade with him."

"Are you jealous, Potter?" I drawled, keen on getting this conversation over with.

"'Course not," he said sharply, the muscle in his jaw twitching. "I'm saying this for Ron's benefit."

"So Weasley is jealous, but too afraid to admit it?" I said shrewdly.

Weasley turned a shade of tomato red. Now his face clashed with his hair quite horribly. I felt the need to shade my eyes from the sight.

"We really need to go now," Hermione squeaked, tugging at my wrist with the handcuffs.

"'Kay," Weasley mumbled. "Bye." He slouched away with an angry Potter at his side.

"What was that all about?" Hermione demanded as soon as they were out of earshot.

"I don't know," I said impatiently, not wanting to discuss Weasel's potential feelings for her. Just the thought of someone else stealing my woman made me feel like punching something.

"Harry probably hates me now," she said nervously. "And Ron too."

"I don't really care," I muttered.

She glared at me again. "Are you happy now, Malfoy? Look where your bloody plan got us. The entire school will be expecting an inter-house unity play, at least half of them think we're--Merlin forbid--dating, and my two best friends think I'm spending too much time with you!"

"I don't see what's so wrong about that list of yours," I said cockily, "Apart from the fact that I have no desire to put on a play for the school."

When she didn't reply, I hurriedly said, "Look, Hermione. Everything will blow over soon enough and whatever happened today will be old news. Now stop worrying. You're in Hogsmeade on a beautiful Saturday morning with me. What else could you want?"

We were now standing in front of the Hogsmeade division of Flourish and Blotts. One section of the display window was devoted to helping seventh year students pass their NEWTs. Sure enough, 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know was for sale. I had timed my question perfectly.

"Ooh, 100 Charms Every NEWT Student Should Know!" she squealed. Again.

"Come on, let's go buy it for you," I said, leading her into the bookstore. I even chivalrously opened the door for her and let her go in first.

More than three hours later, I had learned this important lesson: Never let a Mudblood, a Mudblood who has an unnatural adoration for books, loose in a bookstore. More importantly, never tell her that she can spend as much time as she wants perusing said books, and never offer to buy her whatever books her heart desires. (For the last bit, Hermione tried to refuse my money, but when I threatened to light the books on fire she caved in.)

We were now attempting to exit Flourish and Blotts. The problem was that I, being the chivalrous gentleman I am (how do those bloody Gryffindors do it?), had offered to carry all twenty-three parcels of books for her. Even after I had charmed them to make them lighter, they were still so heavy that my arms were ready to fall off (although I'd never admit that to anybody). The fact that I was handcuffed to her didn't make my job any easier.

In addition, my moneybag was a lot lighter. The Malfoy family might have limitless stores of gold, but my father still kept a severe eye on my allowance. I would have to come up with a good story to explain where all that gold went. (Hmm, maybe I could tell him I decided to donate some money to some sort of charity. Hang on, a Malfoy never donates to charity! What the heck was I thinking?)

But you see, it was all worth it. Hermione was so happy with her new books that she was practically glowing.

"Oh, thank you so much, Draco! I can't wait to sort and catalogue all these books into my little library. How will I ever repay you?" she said breathlessly. She was talking really fast. I think books make her hyper.

At this moment I dropped a parcel onto my foot, swore, and dropped the rest of the parcels onto the floor, earning a glare from the shopkeeper. Then I took out my wand and magically transported everything back to our common room.

"That was clever. I should've thought of it," said Hermione, still talking very speedily.

Ha! She called me clever! I victoriously stored this moment into my memory and then turned to her. "Now," I said. "You were asking me how you were going to repay me."

"Oh," she said, her voice faltering. "Right. Um, you can borrow the books anytime you like!"

"Uh, thanks. But no thanks," I said, trying not to roll my eyes.

"Well," she said slowly. "I could get two jobs and work on the weekends for five years until I can pay you back--oh, what the heck. I'll just thank you by kissing you, isn't that what you want?" A rather mischievous smile had settled on her pretty face.

"Hermione, do you even have to ask?" I said, smirking.

I stood completely still as she rose onto her tiptoes and kissed me gently on the lips. Merlin, she was braver than I thought. Before she could pull away completely, I wrapped my arms around her and brought my lips crashing back down onto hers, kissing her more passionately than I had ever kissed her before. And she fervently returned the kiss, which made me one very happy man.

I slowly backed her into a bookshelf, ignoring the shopkeeper whom I could see from the corner of my eye was gaping at us like a fish out of water. He apparently did not know the proper protocol for dealing with a pair of hormonal teenagers making out in his shop.


"Draco--stop. I can't breathe," she gasped, pulling away. Her lips were swollen, her skin was flushed, her eyes were bright, and her hair was a lovely, disheveled mess.

I couldn't really breathe either. In fact, I felt rather lightheaded and for a moment all I could think about was taking her somewhere private to continue this kiss and perhaps do a little more than just kiss. Resisting the urge to do just that, I eventually came back down to earth and silently undid the spell and the handcuffs that had linked us together all day disappeared.

She would never know that I could have gotten rid of them at anytime, no kiss necessary.





Wow, that was a long chapter for me. I hope you all liked it! Please review. :)
Yours till Fudge cooks the goblins,
Queen Luna


Chapter 7: VII. A Quidditch Match
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Having kept you all waiting long enough (SORRY!), I quickly typed up this chapter. ^_^ Enjoy!








VII.


You are currently reading the seventh way to impress a Mudblood. If you're not a bumbling fool like my minions, Crabbe and Goyle, then you know that we are at the halfway mark. You should have the object of your desire almost in your grasp, just like me.

Anyway, the seventh way to impress a Mudblood is all about Quidditch. Yes…Quidditch. If you are as handsome and talented as I am, then you have the position of the Seeker on the Slytherin team. Since I am the best and only Seeker Slytherin has got, you must not be as handsome and talented as I. Therefore, go on and skip ahead to the eighth way. (Or stick around for the fun.)

Girls love guys who play sports. No, chess is not a sport (ahem…Weasley). I'm talking about sports that require blood, sweat, and tears. Sports that give you those glorious muscles you love to flex. Sports like the noble game of Quidditch.

So, to sum this up in one line, the seventh way to impress a Mudblood is to beat Potter, the stupid Boy-Who-Just-Had-To-Live, in a Quidditch match and actually catch the Snitch for once. You must know that every single game I have lost was a fluke. Potter is just so damn lucky. There's no talent involved in any of his wins whatsoever. Right.



"Where on earth have you been?" Hermione asked me curiously as I stumbled into the Heads common room at half past twelve.

I tossed my prized Nimbus Two Thousand and Seven onto the floor just as my knees gave out. I sank to the floor and lay there, sprawled like a common peasant, on the deep red carpet. I was too tired to move.

"You look tired," she observed unnecessarily, getting off of the couch where she had been curled up with a book (one of the hundreds--or was it thousands--that I had purchased for her during that memorable Hogsmeade weekend) and walking over to me.

"Uunngh," I groaned in reply.

"What?" she said, being very unhelpful in my opinion. Just draw a hot bath and give me a back massage, woman!

But of course I didn't say that. I wouldn't advise you to try either. Last time I said that to Daphne Greengrass, she kicked me in the groin. That, my friend, took away some of my pride and dignity, as least until I stopped moaning in pain.

"Quidditch," I clarified. "I've been practicing Quidditch for the past seventy billion hours."

"Oh, that's right, it's Gryffindor versus Slytherin tomorrow, isn't it?" she said, kneeling down on the carpet by my head.

"Will you cheer for me?" I said, trying to get that old arrogant swagger back into my voice. But I was too tired.

"Of course not, silly," she said, whacking me playfully. Except I wasn't in the mood for playfulness, and I winced in pain.

"Why not?" I said, struggling to sit up.

"I always root for Harry and for Gryffindor. It would be rather traitorous to go over to the dark side." Her golden-brown eyes glittered at me.

"In that case, a kiss beforehand should suffice." Before she could protest or scramble away, I leaned towards her face and brought my lips crashing down on hers. In my exhausted state of being, I fell on top of her, my lips still glued to hers.

"Mmm--Malfoy! Get off!" she said, struggling to get away. My head lolled against her shoulder.

"I'm tired," I said groggily. And then I promptly fell asleep…on top of Hermione.

What a lovely position to be in, don't you think?



I woke up in the same spot I had fallen asleep in, sans Hermione to my disappointment. I stood up and winced in pain. It is not a good idea to spend the night on the hard, cold floor. Now I had sore muscles to deal with while impressing Hermione.

I blinked, still in a sleepy stupor, and glanced around the room. Something didn't feel quite right. The sun was shining brightly and the grandfather clock in the corner was beginning to chime. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the clock again. Galloping gargoyles! It was nine 'o clock already! I felt as though I had received a huge electric shock. If Urquhart, the troll-like captain, hadn't managed to stall the start of the match for me, then they would play the idiot Harper instead! I began to panic.

My first thought was to run down to the Quidditch field. I was almost out the portrait hole when I remembered that I should probably bring my broom. Once I grabbed my Nimbus Two Thousand and Seven (it's about time I asked Father for a new broom, I should think…the Nimbus series have gone out of style), I luckily caught sight of my reflection in the mirror. Merlin's pants, I looked horrible. I couldn't very well go out and impress Hermione looking like I had been run over by a Hippogriff.

Upon reaching this conclusion, I spent a good seven minutes primping in front of the mirror. Here's where magic comes in very handy. A few glamour charms and I looked as gorgeous as I always do. No one would be able to tell that I had spent the night on the dusty common room floor. No one would be able to tell that I had overslept either…apart from the fact that I was now more than ten minutes late for the match.

One last glance in the mirror and then I was ready. I jumped out the portrait hole, mounted my broom, and zoomed through the castle corridors, out an open window, and down to the Quidditch field. (Haven't you always wanted to fly through the halls of Hogwarts on a broomstick?)

My sudden appearance was met by cheers from the green-colored crowd and boos from the rest. I ignored the negative feedback and instead did something like pre-game victory lap, waving at my many fans, ignoring the sound of Madame Hooch's voice screeching at me to get down here this instant.

The entire Slytherin section gave ear-splitting (in a good way) shrieks as I flew past them. The Hufflepuffs, being too nice and docile to boo, simply frowned at me. A few of the girls giggled nervously though, which made me smirk at them (even though I would never consider any of them seriously, especially now that I have Hermione). As I passed the Ravenclaws, I was met with indifference. You know, the Ravenclaws are a pretty good-looking lot. They are quite proud of their intelligence as well, which makes them seem somewhat snotty. But their pride is far surpassed by that of Gryffindor, of course. Those bloody Gryffindors. I ended my pre-game victory lap before I got to their section, which only made them shout even more profanities. The sound of Weaselette's annoying voice made me turn back around and zoom over there, making rude hand gestures at everyone I saw as I went. (Every single one of them returned the gesture without pause.)

And then I saw Hermione. She was looking at me disapprovingly. Oh dear. I stopped with the hand gestures and smiled at her sweetly. Inwardly, I laughed as every Gryffindor (apart from my darling Hermione) in the stands swiveled their big fat heads around to see who I was smiling at.

Now she looked rather annoyed. She was blushing too. I smirked again. Then, on a complete whim, I decided to blow her a kiss. That, my friend, caused quite a stir.

First of all, she blushed an even darker shade of pink. The fact that she was blushing only made her look suspicious. Most of those idiot Gryffindors were a little slow on the uptake though, and she was able to avoid immediate scrutiny from them.

By the time I finally landed on the pitch next to my Slytherin teammates, most of them were staring at me with mixed expressions of anger and awe. Anger, because I had delayed the start of the game by at least half an hour (my mere presence, or lack thereof, has incredible influence). Awe, because of what I had just done. No one saw that coming. As an elite member of the Slytherin House, heck, as an elite member of the human race, it is my duty to keep everyone on their toes. It's fairly exhausting work, but hey, someone has got to do it.

Urquhart, the captain (it amazes me how that troll was made captain while I, superb Quidditch player that I am, was not), was absolutely livid.

"Malfoy, what the bloody hell have you been doing? You do realize we have a game to win?" he spat at me.

I gave him a look of supreme disdain. "I'm here now, am I not?"

As expected, he was taken aback. Trying to regain his authority (as if), he shouted, "Don't get smart with me, Malfoy! I'm the captain of this team--"

I yawned exaggeratedly. "Oh, stop your blabbering and let's get on with it already."

(If you're wondering why I'm being so belligerent to my fellow Slytherins, it's because that's just what we do. We test our meanness--words only, no wands--on each other to ensure that it is sufficient enough for everyone else, namely, my enemies Potty and Weasel.)

When Urquhart finally stopped sputtering, I turned my attention to the Gryffindor team. Ah…those darn Gryffindors. The primary source of my troubles. Potter especially.

Anyway, the bumbling fools clad in scarlet and gold (what a nauseating combination of colors…unless my darling Hermione is wearing them, of course) were as enraged as can be. Everyone except Weasley. He looked rather green, like he was going to be sick very soon. This observation made me laugh.

Potter's scowl deepened. The muscle in his jaw was working furiously. The hand holding his broomstick (how Potty got a Firebolt is what I'd like to know) was twitching. In fact, he was being rather jumpy and fidgety in general. This made me laugh again.

"When you're done acting like a fool, this game can begin," said Madame Hooch sharply.

I turned my glare on her. Unfortunately, it does not really work on her.

"Urquhart, Potter, shake hands," she barked. I watched with satisfaction as both captains (how either of them came to be captain is what I'd like to know) tried to crush the other's hand.

"Enough!" barked Madame Hooch when both captains refused to relinquish the other's hand. I spied Potter flexing his hand in pain behind his back. (Urquhart was doing the same…what a wimp.)

I started making faces at Weasley to mess up his mind a little more before the game started. However, although it had the intended effect (Weasley turned around and dropped to all fours like he was going to throw up), I missed the whistle that indicated the start of the game and hence looked like a fool (as Madame Hooch previously stated).

"Malfoy! Get on your bloody broomstick and fly, damn it!" Urquhart swore. For once, I immediately obeyed.

I kicked off the ground and zoomed into the air, swerving around so quickly that the move drew cheers from the female section of the crowd.

And thus the Quidditch match of my life began. For once I didn't spend my time insulting the Gryffindors and singing a song of my own brilliant composition, "Weasley Is Our King." Instead I flew around the field, surveying everything around me like a hawk. Potter seemed confused by my actions. Usually I'd be the one tailing him, but today he was the one tailing me. To get him off my trail I began zooming around, taking hairpin turns whenever I could. I heard a sickening crack behind me. Apparently Potter had gotten hit in the face with a Bludger. That wasn't part of the plan, but it was fine by me. (Thank you, oh god of Quidditch.) He sped to the ground, blood flying everywhere.

Strangely enough, I felt something blooming inside my heart (well, that sounded sappy beyond belief) that seemed to be pity. What was this nonsense? I couldn't possibly be feeling sorry for Potter!

Then I saw a familiar figure racing across the field to Potter's side. It was none other than my darling Hermione. What the hell was she doing?

I could almost hear her sarcastic reply in my head. ("Why, helping my best friend of course!")

I angrily turned away from the scene that was taking place at ground level and debated on what to do next. I could probably get one of Slytherin's idiotic Beaters to whack a Bludger at me.

Then I realized what was going through my mind…. I was willing to ruin my perfect face, all for a girl. The horror!

The world was evidently coming to an apocalyptic end.

But then again, it was all for a very special girl, so I guess the idea wasn't so crazy after all. However, after fingering my nose lovingly, I decided to stick with the original plan.

As I reached this conclusion, cheers erupted from the Gryffindor section. I didn't bother turning around to see Potter getting back on his broom. (But then I did anyway, just so I could watch my dear Hermione sprinting off the field back to the stands.)

The game resumed at a fast and furious pace. The Quaffle and the Bludgers zoomed around the air at dangerous speeds. I took extra care to avoid taking one in the face like Potter had. Since I wasn't going to take one willingly, there was no point in taking one accidentally.

I wasn't sure what the score was, but I didn't really care. This game was simply between me, Potter, and the Snitch. The prize? Hermione. (I'm not insinuating that Potter wants Hermione too--gag--but I'm just saying that Hermione is my personal prize. You know what I mean.)

At the thought of Hermione, I glanced over at the stands, trying to see which scarlet-and-gold blob was her. Almost without knowing it, I flew in a little closer. The scarlet-and-gold blobs became clearer. And a beacon of light seemed to shine on my love.

You know, being in love can release your inner romantic poet.

Ahem, back to the game. I caught a glimpse of Hermione, stored the beautiful image deep within the fiery chambers of my heart (more sappy language) and then refocused on the Snitch, wherever that blasted thing was.

That's when I saw it. Well, I didn't see it, but I saw Potter reaching for it. I'm fairly certain it was the Snitch, because what else would a Seeker be blindly grasping for in midair for?

Anyway, when I saw that look on Potter's face (I'm sounding like I know Potter very well…eurgh) I immediately accelerated and headed in his direction. I flew faster than I had ever flown before, praying it would be enough.

The god of Quidditch (he must be feeling kind toward me today) answered my wishes and prevented Potter from catching the Snitch. I was gaining on him; there were now only a few meters between Potter and me.

To this day, I do not know what impelled me to do so, but when I saw Potter reaching for that pesky little Snitch (and it looked like he was really going to grab it this time), I did something terribly dangerous and risky. I threw myself off my broom and propelled myself through the air by wildly waving my arms around like a windmill. I landed on top of Potter, who didn't even know what had hit him. At the momentum I had crash-landed at, the Firebolt dipped and began losing height. I jumped once more, using Potter as leverage, and made one last swipe for the Snitch. My hand enclosed around something small and winged. Potter was yelling and the crowd was screaming as I, head first, went falling towards the earth.



"Draco? Draco? Draco!"

I blearily opened my eyes. The face of an angel swam into view. Hmm…was I in heaven?

"Oh, thank Merlin!" a familiar, angelic voice sobbed. Arms were flung around my neck. Ouch. That hurt. My vocal cords got the message from my nerve endings and I groaned in protest.

"Oh. Sorry," said the same voice, a little breathless now. Hey, that was--

"Hermione!" I managed to croak.

The angel burst into fresh tears. "Don't you ever do that again!" she cried as she clasped her hand in mine.

"Okay," I croaked. Ow…every inch of me was hurting. Including my fingers. But I wasn't about to tell her to let go.

As I slowly gathered my senses, I realized that it was night and I was obviously in the hospital wing. Hermione was the only other soul in the room.

"How long have I been out?" I asked, not as croakily this time.

"Two days," she whispered.

I had to ask. I just had to. "Did you miss me?"

She gave me a tiny smile. "Yes. Very much."

If I didn't feel like someone had thrown me into hell and then dragged me back out again, then I would have jumped up and started singing and dancing. That's when I remembered why I was in the hospital wing in the first place.

"Did I impress you when I caught that Snitch?" I said drowsily. (Hey, why am I feeling sleepy again? Must be those painkilling potions Madame Pomfrey has me drugged up on.)

Hermione looked horrified. "You leapt off a broom fifty feet in the air to impress me?"

"Yeah…" I said, my voice trailing off. Why was she reacting this way?

"Draco Malfoy, if you weren't severely injured I would hit you right now!"

"Why?" I said, bewildered.

"Because you scared the hell out of me when you tried to bloody impress me, you idiot!"

Ah. Well, I'm going to take that as a yes.

I, Draco Malfoy, impressed the one and only Hermione Granger with nothing but my superb Seeker skills. Let's see you try and do that







Only three more ways to impress a Mudblood! I'm not sure when the next update will be. I'm going to be on hiatus during November because I, in a moment of insanity, decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo, which is where you write 50,000 words in a month. Yup. 
So, what'd you think of this chapter? Am I going overboard with the parenthetical asides? xD
Yours till the Snorkack's horn crumples,
Queen Luna
P.S. I would be forever grateful if you went back and reviewed some of the previous chapters that lost reviews after the site crash. ^_^


Chapter 8: VIII. The Meaning of Friendship
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I'M BACK! Did you miss me? I definitely missed HPFF... :P You guys have been waiting long enough, so without further ado, I present to you the eighth way to impress a Mudblood!

WARNING: Er...some Ron bashing. It's not that I don't like him; it just sort of turned out this way as I was typing it....






VIII. 



After recovering from the best Quidditch match of my life, I was ready to continue pursuing my one and only love, Hermione Granger. I was almost there, seeing as when we had last met she had already admitted that she was impressed by my daredevil flying skills.

Now, the eighth way to impress a Mudblood is a lot less painful…physically speaking, at least. Mentally and emotionally, it'll be a little more than difficult. You see, the eighth way to impress a Mudblood is to be nice to her friends.

Yes…I really just said that. Now stop staring at me slack-jawed and bug-eyed. You look a tad demented, my friend.

That's right. I, Draco Malfoy, am going to attempt to be nice to Potty and Weasel. Er, scratch that out. I meant to say I'm going to be nice to Potter and Weasley. Yes. I might as well start now.

Gah! Why did Hermione have to be friends with those two dimwits? How can someone so intelligent and beautiful have anything to do with--with Potty--er, Potter--and Weasel--Weasley?

Merlin's pants, this is going to be painful.



"Good morning, Hermione," I said jovially as we prepared to leave the common room for breakfast in the Great Hall. The previous night, I had concocted a brilliant plan to show Hermione just how far I was willing to go to impress her.

Hopefully I won't completely alienate myself from my fellow Slytherins. This is just a one-time thing after all…. I don't plan on being nice to my enemies all the time. That would be torture.

"Good morning, Draco," she said cheerfully. So she was in a good mood too. This would make my job a tad easier.

I casually slung my arm over her shoulders as we strolled toward the portrait hole. She didn't even notice, which was a good sign seeing as she wasn't about to kill me for doing so. We walked in this way, chatting amiably about nothing in particularly, all the way to the Great Hall. Before we could get there however, we were stopped.

"Oi, Malfoy! Get your hands off her!" a familiar and angry voice greeted me. It was Weasley, of course. An equally infuriated Potter was right next to him. Both of them were making furious moves toward me.

As for Hermione, she was rooted to the spot and blushing scarlet. It was quite cute, if you ask me.

"Draco!" she hissed at me out of the corner of her mouth. "Get your arm off of me!"

I pouted at her. "You didn't seem to mind just a second ago."

She glared at me while blushing even more. "I--you--" she stammered incoherently. "Just move your arm! Now, before they beat you up!"

"Hermione," I said, feigning surprise. "I didn't know you cared."

Okay, now she was mad at me too. "You are such a prat!" she growled.

By then Potter and Weasley had already reached us. Weasley's fist swung out at me wildly, like a gorilla waving its arms, and I instinctively ducked, dragging Hermione down with me.

"Release her!" Potter demanded.

As soon as I had set Hermione back on her two feet, I released her and held my hands up in the air in surrender. "I'm sorry, Potter…and Weasley. If I had known it would upset the two of you so much, I wouldn't have touched her." I tried my hardest to sound as sincere as possible.

Apparently it wasn't sincere enough, because Weasley snarled at me like a feral dog. "What are you playing at, Malfoy?" he spat at me.

I shrugged. "Nothing, Weasley. I just think it's about time to bury the hatchet."

"What hatchet?" Weasley snapped, showing off his intelligence. (I hope you saw the sarcasm there, my friend.)

Rather than mock him, I said, slowly and patiently, "What I meant, Weasley, was that we should stop having these petty arguments, and attempt to be civil toward each other."

Potter's mouth had dropped open. "Are you feeling alright, Malfoy?" he said sardonically. "Did you hit your head? Overdose on butterbeer? Or perhaps you're Imperiused?"

I laughed--not derisively, but you know, the kind of laugh you use when you're trying to be polite to someone who just made a bad joke.

"Of course not, Potter, I'm being completely serious," I said smoothly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hermione staring at me in disbelief. It was working.

Weasley was still trying to get this concept of "burying the hatchet" into his tiny brain. (Hey, I can think mean thoughts as long as I don't say them out loud.)

"Are you completely mental?" he said, apparently still in shock.

"As I have already told Potter, no, I am not mental. I truly want to leave the past behind us and move forward…perhaps not as friends, but definitely not enemies." Hermione was now looking at me like…like she had never seen me before. Hmm…

"So what you're saying," said Potter, "is that you don't want to be enemies anymore? You want to be…what's the word…"

"Acquaintances," Hermione cut in, speaking for the first time since this conversation started. Her chocolate brown eyes were open wide as she looked at us anxiously.

"Exactly," I said, inclining my head in her direction. "Thank you, Hermione."

"Hey!" said Weasley angrily. The redness of his ears was just beginning to fade, but now he was getting himself worked up all over again. "Don't call her Hermione! Only her friends are allowed to call her that, and last time I checked we're all acquaintances, not friends."

Ah…but what the Weasel--sorry, Weasley--doesn't know is that Hermione and I are almost more than friends.

"Thank you for elucidating upon the distinction between the two," I said back, unable to keep an icy tone from edging into my voice. "But I do think it is up to Hermione to decide what I should be allowed to call her. Isn't that fair?"

"Yeah," said Potter, looking surprised at himself for agreeing with me. To be honest, I was rather surprised too. As for Weasley, he was just flabbergasted.

"What?" bellowed Weasley, rounding on his best friend. "Since when were you on his side?"

Potter ran a hand through his hair, frustrated at his dimwit of a friend. (I don't blame him; I would be too. But since I am smart enough not to choose the first dimwit I meet to be my friend, I fortunately don't have to deal with that problem.) "Since he started making sense, Ron. And I think you should do the same."

Weasley could only gape at him while making obscene hand gestures toward me.

"Ron, stop that," Hermione reprimanded him. "It's rude."

"You've gone over to the dark side too!" he gasped in horror.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Anyway, I agree with Draco as well. And I am perfectly fine with whatever he calls me, so long as it isn't degrading."

"Like Mudblood," Weasley muttered under his breath.

Hermione glared at him. "What did you just say, Ronald?" she said dangerously. I could see her fingering her wand.

"I said, like Mudblood," said Weasley, glaring right back. I have to say he's a brave man. Not too many males at Hogwarts would be brave enough to look directly into Hermione's eyes when she's glaring daggers at them. Or maybe it's not bravery…perhaps I should call it stupidity. Yes, stupidity. Now I don't sound like I'm complimenting Weasley. Merlin forbid that I stoop so low!

"Are you calling me a Mudblood?" said Hermione through gritted teeth. Now her wand was out. Weasley, if he had a brain, should have been running away by now. Evidently, he doesn't possess one in his cranium. He only went out of the frying pan and into the fire.

(Hey…where the heck did I learn all these Muggle sayings? They seem to have magically appeared in my brain!)

"No, of course not," said Weasley hastily, taking a clumsy step backwards. "I was only reminding you of when he used to call you that. Remember? I belched slugs for you when he called you that. And now you're willing to forgive him? I can't believe you!"

Well, that's just disgusting. Belching slugs? That's some unpleasant imagery right there…. Oh wait! I remember! I was right there when that happened. I snickered, inwardly of course.

"No, Ron," Hermione was saying. Oh, now she was infuriated. "I can't believe you. You're always doing that--dragging up the past. Draco said he wanted to move on. Why can't you just accept that? Yes, I've forgiven him. What's so wrong about that? Why must we hold grudges? Why can't we all just be friends?"

She seemed to be near tears now. Merlin's pants. I didn't mean for it to go this far. All I meant to do was exchange a few friendly words, and then get out of there. But no, now we were turning this whole thing into some dramatic showdown. I glanced over at Potter. He looked about as uncomfortable as I felt.

"You've changed, Hermione," said Weasley, looking disgusted.

"And is that such a bad thing?" she snapped at him even while blinking back tears.

"Yeah," he said idiotically. "Yeah, it is. You've changed for the worse…ever since you started hanging around that." He pointed a shaking finger in my face.

I tried not to. I really did. But it was an automatic response. Yes, I sneered at him, with all the sneering ability I had. But I didn't say anything rude back, so I get some points there.

"That?" she repeated, now pointing her wand at him. "Are you referring to Draco as that?"

"What the bloody hell?" said Weasley, his entire face turning red. "So he's Draco to you now? Oh, I see how it is."

"Er…" Potter mumbled. No one, apart from me, heard him. "I'm going to go eat breakfast now," he said feebly, before departing from the scene. That was smart of him to do so, before things got nasty. I would have left too, but I've got to show my support for my beloved Hermione. I have to be ready to hex Weasley to pieces if he so much as harms a hair on her head.

"No, you don't see how it is. You really don't, Ron," said Hermione with a scary tone of finality. She raised her wand.

I was excitedly waiting to see what she was going to do to him, but before I could even blink, Weasley was screaming and running away from us down the hall, sprinting around the corner and out of sight.

"What the--" I muttered.

Hermione lowered her wand, looking slightly confused as well. "I didn't even do anything to him," she said. "That is, unless I accidentally used a nonverbal spell without even knowing it." She shrugged and sighed, rubbing her temples. "I can't believe I just killed my friendship with Ron."

"It's not your fault," I said comfortingly, pulling her into a hug. "Everything's going to work out in the end."

She laid her head on my shoulder. "Maybe so, but I still feel terrible. I mean, I've been friends with Ron ever since first year! What happened?"

For once, I wasn't angry because she was still dwelling over Weasley. In fact, I understood what she was feeling…sort of. "People change," I said in response to her question. "You changed. I changed. But he couldn't…and therein lies the problem."

"You're right," she sighed. "Goodness, Draco, you've changed a lot. Sometimes, when we're like this, I feel like I'm dreaming."

"Oh, it's happening," I said, grinning. My plan was working so well. Not only was she impressed by my actions, but she was also falling in love with me. How do I know? I just do.

Anyway, Hermione and I were just having a fine time hugging each other in the hallway when Potter had to come along and interrupt us. Fortunately for him, I remembered that I had promised to be nice to him.

"Er…" he said awkwardly.

Hermione broke away from me. Actually, she sort of shoved me away. But I won't dwell on that. "Hi Harry!" she squeaked.

He raised an eyebrow at her and then looked over at me. "So," he said, with the air of someone who was commenting on the weather, "are you two…together?"

"What does it look like to you, Potter?" I said.

"It sure as hell looks like you two are together to me," he mumbled.

"Well, you see Harry, I don't exactly hate him anymore," Hermione began, wringing her hands together nervously.

"Yes, I can see that," he said. Apparently Potter can do sarcasm.

"And, well, I suppose you could say that we're together…but please don't tell anyone, Harry!" she said anxiously.

Wait a second. Did she really just say that?

Hermione Granger has just admitted that she and I are together.

Wow.

This was going better than I thought.

Forget impressing the Mudblood…. By the end of these ten ways, I'm going to marry her.

Just kidding…or not.

Wink, wink. 




And there you go! Only two more ways to impress a Mudblood. Don't worry about Ron, like Draco said, everything will work out in the end. ;) Please review!
Yours till the Snorkack's horn crumples,
Queen Luna



Chapter 9: IX. To Study Or To Snog
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Oh my Merlin. Has it really been five months since I last updated this story? I feel terrible. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter, if you haven’t given up on me yet!






IX.

Welcome to the penultimate way to impress a Mudblood! We have come so far, and now we are nearly to the end. I have, in many ways, already met my goal due to the fact that I am the one and only Draco Malfoy, but you may have a little ways to go. Never fear, for I have two more tricks up my sleeve that I shall share with you.

Now, I don't know about the girl whom you are trying to impress, but Hermione Granger absolutely loves to study. It's something that many of us will never understand, but because of my love for her I will attempt to do so.

You see, the ninth way to impress a Mudblood is to help her study for exams. We have a huge Charms test coming up, worth about thirty percent of our bloody grade. It'll be the perfect opportunity to put my plan into action.

You may be thinking that I'm crazy. After all, Hermione doesn't need anyone to help her study! She's the most intelligent girl I've ever had the fortune to meet! She would ace the exam even if she didn't study! That's just how brilliant she is.

But, you forget that I am the one and only Draco Malfoy. I know all of this, of course. And besides, my plan goes one step further.

While helping her study, I'm also going to be studying with a fervor that has never been seen before, even by the likes of Hermione. If I study just a little more than she does, then maybe I'll even beat her on the Charms test. That, my friend, is my ultimate goal...for this particular way to impress a Mudblood, anyway.

I've been dying to get a higher exam score than the brilliant Hermione Granger ever since we were wee little first years. It may seem impossible, but I can make it happen. I'll admit it's a bit of a gamble, because I'm not entirely sure how she will react, but I'm hoping that everything will go according to plan.

And it will. Because I am the one and only--

Okay, okay, I don't need to say it again. You already know that I am the one and--

Sorry--it's a force of habit.



"Hermione, where are you off to?" I was lazily lounging on the most comfortable couch in our common room, the one that was right next to the cozy fireplace.

"The library," Hermione answered, as if that were the most natural place in the world to be on a Friday night. She checked her bag to make sure all her books were in there before making her way to the portrait hole.

"But Hermione," I whined. Oh wait. Malfoys do not whine. I wasn't whining…I was gently protesting. That's right. "It's a Friday night."

She raised an eyebrow at me. "So?" she said, as if she didn't see the big deal.

"We just had a tough week with classes," I explained patiently. "You should take it easy, Hermione. You don't have to study all the time."

At this she gave me a wry smile. "Draco, you should know me better than that by now. I have to study. I have to stay on top."

I could have interpreted that last line of hers a bit differently, but instead I told myself to get my mind out of the gutter (another Muggle saying that has crept into my brain) and took it the way she intended me to. "Why, Hermione?" I asked, genuinely wishing to know why she had to be the best in every subject.

"Because," she sighed heavily, "it's what I expect of myself."

"What do you mean?" I said, puzzled. I sat up in my seat so I could give her my fully undivided attention.

She thought for a moment, thinking of the best way to answer my question. "It's how I distinguish myself from everyone else," she said. "I have to make my mark somehow. Harry's the daring, noble Gryffindor hero. You're the charming Slytherin prince. Some people here at Hogwarts think I'm nothing more than a Mudblood…and, well, I have to show them that I'm so much more than that dirty word. I…I feel like I have to prove my intelligence and right to be here."

"Oh, you belong here alright," I said fiercely. "You're the smartest girl I've ever met. You're a thousand times better than those dimwits who call you that--that word."

"Thanks, Draco," she said, smiling sweetly. But then, her smile faded. "You know, you used to be one of them."

I didn't need to ask her what she meant by that. I realized right then and there how much I had hurt her in the past, and I must say it killed me a little inside. "I'm sorry," I said, ashamed. Merlin's pants, what's happening to me? Malfoys never feel sorry!

"You've changed," she said, smiling wryly. She had told me this before. "And so I've already forgiven you for what you've done to me in the past."

Relieved, I thanked my lucky stars that she was so compassionate and forgiving. But then she started making her way to the portrait hole again, and of course I couldn't let her do that.

"Here, come sit by me and we'll think of something better to do this evening," I said, invitingly patting the seat next to me and winking suggestively. As expected, she blushed a pretty pink.

"Draco, I already told you that I have to go study," she said, trying to look annoyed but failing at that. I knew she'd rather spend the evening with me than with a book.

"You know what, Hermione?" I said, suddenly struck with a brilliant idea. I had realized that this was the perfect moment to put my latest plan into action. "I'll come to the library with you. I could use some studying too."

She looked at me like I had sprouted antlers. "Really?" she said in complete and utter disbelief. "Did you hit your head just now?"

I was hurt. "I study too, you know!"

"But like you said…it's a Friday night. You never do work on a Friday night." She seemed suspicious. Oh no, what if she found out about my plan?

I was inwardly panicking, but I put a winning smile on my face. "Well, tonight's different. Shall we go?" I stood up and stretched.

She looked at me pointedly. "Aren't you going to bring any books?"

I kept grinning. I must've looked like an idiot. (Oh wait, did I just admit that to you? Scratch that, please.) "Nah, everything I need is in here." I tapped my head.

She gave me a weird look. "Okay, sure." I walked over to her, slung an arm around her shoulders, and then we headed down to the library for a serious study session (go ahead and laugh if you want to).



The Hogwarts library was dark and quiet. The air was hushed, and no one spoke above a murmur. Of course, the students who happened to be there on a Friday night had no one to speak to anyway…sad but true. Good thing Hermione had me here to keep her company. How dismal her life would be without me…. Sighing dramatically, I asked her where she wanted to sit.

She gave me another strange look that made me wonder if I had said that part about how lucky she was to have me in her life out loud. I responded by gazing at her innocently. She huffed and then pointed toward a collection of tables where several little second years were already sitting, right under the nose of the vulture-like Madame Pince. I shook my head.

"Let's find somewhere more…secluded," I said, winking at her. Before she could protest, I steered her into the maze of narrow bookshelves, taking her deeper and deeper into the dark recesses of the ancient library.

"There's not enough light back here!" she whispered loudly. "I can't study without light!"

"You're a witch," I said. "We'll conjure a lamp…or a candle. Yes, candles are definitely more romantic." I muttered the last bit to myself, but I think she still heard me.

"What's so romantic about studying?" she said, glaring at me. Oh look, she's angry with me again…. I must say, it's rather attractive.

"Everything, of course," I said, wondering where I was going to go with this. I was thinking fast. You see, my hormones had taken over and there was no bloody way I was going to let either of us study that night. Hence, a change of plans was necessary.

"Draco Malfoy, what do you mean by that?" she snapped, coming to a halt in the middle of the Defense Against the Dark Arts section. She shifted her bag full of books over her shoulder as she gazed at me with much suspicion. (It could have been adoration, you never know.)

"Oh, let me take that for you," I said chivalrously. (Yes, I have long accepted that it's alright to exhibit that particular Gryffindor-ish trait…it's good for getting girls.)

She absentmindedly handed over her books, which was quite astonishing. Either she really wanted to know what I was up to, or she was getting tired of carrying all those blasted things around. "Draco, you still haven't answered my question."

"Hermione, love," I said, sighing. "You have a lot to learn, don't you?"

"I--" she sputtered, not knowing what to make out of that.

"Come on, let's get going." I took her hand and we continued to venture deeper into the library, until we reached my intended destination.

"What's this?" she said, still suspicious.

It was an alcove, of course. A quiet, secluded alcove. Absolutely perfect for studying. Yes, it was rather dark as there were no lamps back here, but the light coming through the small circular window that looked out into the star-studded night sky would suffice. An old, ornately carved mahogany bench was placed beneath the window. I sat down, dropping her book bag onto the floor and patted the seat next to me.

Hermione sighed. "You are an absolute git," she informed me.

"An absolutely charming and lovable git, right?" I said endearingly.

She laughed, and I could tell she wasn't angry anymore. I took both of her hands and guided her to the bench. She sat down and leaned against me, her leg pressed against mine. My heart, I swear, started beating a little faster.

She turned her pretty face toward mine. The moonlight streaking in through the window seemed to make her hair and her eyes shine even more. "So much for studying," she whispered. Maybe she didn't mean to be seductive, but that's how it came across to me, and it was all I needed to bring my lips crashing down on hers.

To my immense delight, she kissed me back eagerly, her hands traveling up my chest and intertwining with my hair. She was everywhere. My senses were overloaded. I couldn't breathe.

And yet, I needed more. I kissed her even more passionately, if that was even possible. She returned everything I gave her, which only made me want even more. She was clinging to me like a lifeline. My lips never left hers.

At last, we both were in desperate need of air. For awhile we sat there, listening to each other breathe, with her head on my shoulder. The air wasn't hushed anymore. It was full of unspeakable emotion.

"I love you, Hermione," I murmured into her ear.

She looked up at me at these words and gave me a brilliant smile, but didn't say anything back. Still, I understood.

I kissed her forehead. It was then that I realized I had never actually asked her to be my girlfriend, even though we had already started to act like a real couple. After all those weeks of flirting and playful banter, I thought it was high time I did.

"Hermione?" I said tentatively.

"Yes, Draco?" she said.

"Will you be my girlfriend?" I asked, with utmost seriousness and sincerity.

"I was beginning to wonder when you'd actually ask," she said, a smile tugging at her lips.

"I'll take that as a yes," I whispered. I really couldn't say anything else at the moment. We proceeded to spend much of the night there, in that hidden alcove, enjoying each other's presence and company.

So I got a little off track. So what? Hermione was now officially mine, and that's really all that really matters.



The rest of the weekend passed in a blur. Hermione and I spent most of our time in either the Heads dormitory or our new favorite spot in the library. Needless to say, none of us did any studying. I mean, when one can snog or study…it's a no-brainer, really.

Hence, when the time came for the both of us to take that Charms test, we were both completely and woefully unprepared. I don't think I even saw the questions at all. I was too busy staring at Hermione across the classroom.

You see, Hermione was doing something I never thought I'd ever witness. She was staring vaguely into the distance, a dreamy smile on her face. Her test was untouched. She was twirling her quill absentmindedly with her slender fingers. In short, she was daydreaming. In the middle of a test. About me, probably. Upon realizing this, I smirked.

Hermione Granger was daydreaming about her amazing boyfriend, who happened to be me, the one and only Draco Malfoy.

That, my friend, is what you might call true love. 






So, what do you guys think? Only one chapter left! Once again, I apologize for making you all wait for so long. Please review!
Yours till the Wrackspurt steals your thoughts,
Queen Luna


Chapter 10: X. Mudblood or Mine
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Woohoo! It is with great pleasure that I present to you, my lovely readers, the tenth and final chapter of 10 Ways To Impress A Mudblood! :D Enjoy!





X.
 

You have reached the tenth and final way to impress a Mudblood. This is a momentous occasion, you know. You have come so far, and you know that you couldn’t have possibly done it without the aid of yours truly, the one and only Draco Malfoy.

Now, what brings you here to the tenth way to impress a Mudblood? Perhaps the first nine ways didn’t work for you, and you’re desperate. Or perhaps you’re like me (although I highly doubt it, as no one can be as amazing as I am). Your object of desire is already in your grasp, and you’re just curious to see the last trick that I happen to have up my sleeve.

Now what that trick is, I’m not entirely sure yet. I haven’t given it much thought lately because, well…I’ve been busy (see previous way to impress a Mudblood if you are a dunderhead and have no idea what I’m talking about). But fear not, for I shall figure it out soon. The tenth way to impress the girl of your dreams will come to me in a brilliant stroke of inspiration. You just wait and see.



It was a typical Tuesday morning. Hermione and I were holding hands as we strolled down the hall to our next class. Both of us had these vague, dreamy smiles on our faces, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t seem to stop smiling. And no, I wasn’t smirking either; I was truly, genuinely smiling. I know it must’ve been a strange sight. But people will get used to it soon because I had this feeling that I would be smiling like that a lot more often with Hermione by my side.

As we passed a stained glass window, I caught a glimpse of our reflections. My gorgeous hair was a bit more messy than usual, though not quite as messy as Potter’s. And Hermione’s gorgeous hair was a bit more untamed than usual, though it was still undoubtedly gorgeous. I could just run my hands through her hair all day…while doing other things of course.

Anyway, we were walking down the hall, oblivious to the rest of the world. Flowers seemed to appear out of nowhere, blooming before our very eyes. Romantic harp music was playing, although I didn’t see a harp anywhere. Everything seemed brighter, more colorful. I found that I could tolerate almost everybody’s presence. For instance, the first years appeared to be cute little children rather than annoying little twits for once.

This is what can happen to you when you’re in love, my friend. You might go a bit loony. But you know what, I’m perfectly fine with it…because I’ve got Hermione’s hand in mine. Nothing can go wrong. Hogwarts could get hit by a tornado, a bolt of lightning, a tidal wave, an earthquake, or anything, and I wouldn’t mind at all. The world could blow up for all I care, as long as Hermione is still with me…and provided that it doesn’t mess up my perfect looks or anything like that.

I noticed now that Hermione was looking at me with an amused expression on her lovely face.

“What?” I said, grinning goofily at her.

“Why are you so happy?” she inquired.

I gestured at the view outside the window. “It’s a beautiful day, don’t you think?”

Just as the words left my mouth, a storm cloud overhead broke and the heavens started pouring rain. Out in the courtyard, students caught unawares by the sudden thunderstorm shrieked and ran for cover. I sighed happily.

“Oh yes,” said Hermione, without the slightest trace of sarcasm. “I perfectly agree. It’s a beautiful day.”

A group of fourth years passing us happened to hear our short conversation and I heard one of them mutter to his friends that he thought that Hermione and I had gone completely mental.

And guess what? I didn’t care.

As we neared the dungeons for Double Potions with my favorite professor in the entire universe (not really, but I was in such a fantastic mood that I could pretend that this was true), I began to realize that for every other Hogwarts student, it wasn’t a typical Tuesday morning after all. Many of their stunned faces told me that they had no clue that Hermione and I were now officially an item. Idiots. Can they not see the love Hermione and I have for each other?

I led Hermione down the stone steps, and the door to the Potions classroom came into view. As expected, groups of Gryffindors and Slytherins were hanging around the corridor waiting for class to start.

My arrival attracted a lot of attention. I suppose I always draw attention—being the one and only Draco Malfoy, of course. But this time, with Hermione, I drew even more attention than usual.

As we neared Pansy and her Slytherin clique, I could see that they were all shocked speechless. When we walked past them, however, Pansy spat the word “Mudblood” at my beloved Hermione.

Hermione, completely unfazed by this, merely rolled her eyes and breezed on by. I, however, came to a halt and slowly turned to face Pansy, still holding onto Hermione’s hand.

“Don’t call her that,” I said, sharply and abruptly. From the corner of my I watched as Hermione came to a halt and slowly turned on her heel to watch the imminent Draco versus Pansy showdown.

Pansy stared at me like I had sprouted another head. “Drakie—”

“And for Merlin’s sake, stop calling me that,” I added through gritted teeth. It was about time I told her to stop with the insufferable pet names.

Now she was glaring at me. It didn’t improve her appearance at all.

Potter and his faithful sidekick Weasley chose this particular moment to enter the scene. Potter, who already knew that Hermione and I were together (refer to the eighth way if you’ve managed to forget that memorable moment), didn’t even blink when he saw us holding hands. Weasley, on the other hand, almost had a heart attack.

“You!” he sputtered while pointing a shaking finger at me. “And—and Hermione!”

Hermione sighed. “Yes, Ron?”

Weasley went cross-eyed and then passed out, hitting his head pretty hard on the stone floor.

It was one of those moments that would have been funny if it weren’t real. Before anyone else could bat an eyelash, Pansy screamed and dashed over to Weasley’s still form.

Immensely confused, and wondering if I had been dreaming this whole time, I blinked a few times, but the scene didn’t change. Pansy was indeed at Weasley’s side, crying and holding onto his hand like her life—or his—depended on it.

Now Potter was the one who looked like he might faint. “R-Ron and P-Parkinson?” he managed to say, summing up what everyone in the vicinity was thinking at the moment.

Weasley was coming around with the help of Pansy, who had taken out her wand and was muttering spells under her breath. He opened his eyes blearily.

“What happened?” he croaked. He blinked, and then recoiled in shock when he realized whose face was hovering a mere three inches away from his. “P-Pansy?” he said.

“Oh, Ron, I was so worried! Thank Merlin you’re alright!” Pansy cried, flinging her arms around his neck.

“Uh…” Weasley didn’t seem particularly capable of coherent speech at the moment. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t either, if I was in his position.

“Ron, care to explain?” said Hermione gently.

“Can’t you see that he’s in no condition to speak?” said Pansy indignantly from her spot on the floor.

“Fine then, Parkinson,” I cut in. “You explain.”

“Well,” Pansy began, wringing her hands. I had never before seen her look so nervous. “Weasley and I…we, um, sort of, you see…”

“Just spit it out, will you?” I said impatiently.

Pansy glared at me. “I like him,” she said bluntly. “So there.”

I saw a chance and I took it. “Well,” I said, “that’s fine with me. And I like Hermione. Are you still going to give me a hard time over that?”

She flipped her dark hair over her shoulder. “That’s different, Drakie—I mean, Draco. Weasley might be a Gryffindor, like Granger, but she’s still a Mud—”

Before anyone could blink I had my wand out and threateningly held it in front of her face. “Call her a Mudblood again, Parkinson, and I’ll hex your face off.”

Pansy whimpered. I glared at her but lowered my wand.

“Hey, everyone!” I said, addressing all the people who were within hearing range. They all listened with rapt attention. After all, it was quite rare that they witnessed such drama before a Potions lesson. “Yes, it’s true, Hermione Granger is my girlfriend, and I don’t give a damn how pure her blood is. That doesn’t even matter anymore. It never should have mattered in the first place. So if anyone of you—” I glared at the Slytherins in particular “—dare to call her that dirty word ever again, you’ll have to see to me personally. Is that clear?”

A murmur swept through the crowd. I could see some people nodding, some people staring at me in disbelief, and some of my fellow Slytherins cracking their knuckles. I sure hoped they weren’t planning on pummeling me to a pulp.

Weasley had managed to stagger to his feet. Pansy stood next to him, his arm draped over her shoulders for support. “Be good to her, Malfoy. She deserves...Hermione deserves the best. And if she loves you, and you love her…well, then, I’m okay with it.” He even held out a hand, albeit with a grimace on his face.

I kept my face impassive and firmly shook his hand. “I won’t hurt her, Weasley,” I said.

Hermione sniffled, and then ran past me hug Weasley, who disentangled himself from Pansy to return the hug. “Thanks for your support, Ron,” she said. She pulled back from his arms before I could get too jealous and then came back to my side, putting a slender arm around my waist.

Harry joined us just then. “I already knew about them,” he said, referring to me and Hermione, “but now I want to know how you two got together.” He gestured towards Weasley and Pansy (who had latched onto his arm as soon as Hermione had let go of him).

“Well,” said Weasley, turning pink, “it happened after…after Hermione and I had that awful fight. I ran into her, I was angry and ashamed, and…she started talking to me. I guess it just went from there.”

As much as I would have loved to hear the rest of his fascinating tale, we were interrupted.

“Malfoy,” a gruff voice said. I turned around to face whoever was speaking to me and immediately wished I hadn’t. I found myself facing a gang of Slytherins.

Goyle was the one who had spoken. I waited for him to continue, but then Blaise spoke instead, which was probably a good idea since Goyle didn’t know how to articulate himself very well. (He’s not a complete idiot, though. I may have been cruel to him, bossing him around all the time, but since I’ve recently turned nice, I decided that I should stop. He has a sensitive side, once you get to know him. Just a couple of days ago I discovered that he had been housing a little kitten named Charlie under his bed.)

Anyway, Blaise was talking to me. “We don’t really know what’s gotten into you, Malfoy, but we’re willing to stand by you. We Slytherins always have to stick together, and so we support you in your relationship with—with Hermione Granger.” He even nodded politely at Hermione, who smiled in return.

“Yeah, whatever, Draco,” said Daphne Greengrass, flicking her long blonde hair over her shoulder. “Just don’t expect us to become friends or anything.”

Hermione raised an eyebrow at her, but said nothing.

“Actually, Daphne,” I said, “Hermione likes Jane Austen as much as you do.” I have no idea what moved me to share that fact, but the surprise on both girls’ faces was worth it.

Daphne quickly masked her surprise by glaring at me. “Draco!” she hissed at me. “No one’s supposed to know. What would my parents say if they knew I’d been reading Muggle novels?”

I shrugged. “They won’t find out.”

Hermione smiled tentatively at Daphne. “My personal favorite is Pride and Prejudice,” she informed the Slytherin girl.

Pride and Prejudice is good,” Daphne asserted, “but Persuasion is the best, in my opinion.”

The two of them would have debated—in a friendly manner—for much longer, but Professor Snape swept into the corridor at that moment. It was then that I realized that class should have started twenty minutes ago.

“You are all tardy,” he snapped at us. “Twenty points from—”

“That’s hardly fair, Professor,” I dared to speak up. “You’re the one who’s late to class.”

For once, Snape looked ruffled. He didn’t even seem angry at my impertinence. Instead, he seemed a tad…embarrassed. How odd.

“I was held up by—oh, never mind.” He unlocked the classroom door and shoved it open. No one moved.

“Professor,” said Pansy, as though in wonder, “is that lipstick on your cheek?”

At that, I turned my head to look at my Head of House so quickly that I cricked my neck. Some of the girls started giggling.

Professor Snape glared daggers at all of us while simultaneously wiping his cheek with his hand. The lipstick was still there, though, stubbornly refusing to go away. “Get inside, before I take away points from both houses!” he said irritably.

“None of the professors here wear red lipstick,” I heard that Brown girl whisper to her friend, that Patil girl, as they sauntered into the classroom.

“Maybe it was someone in Hogsmeade,” suggested Patil, giggling madly.

As I passed Professor Snape on my way into the classroom, I stooped to pick up a folded square of paper that had fallen to the ground. It was a note, written not on parchment but on some strange sort of lined paper, addressed to none other than Severus Snape. Upon closer inspection I realized that is was addressed to not just Severus Snape, but dear Severus Snape. “Er, Professor, I think you dropped—”

Professor Snape snatched the note away from me before I could finish the sentence. “Thank you, Draco,” he said stonily. I smirked and strode into the room.

A little while later, after a very grumpy Professor Snape had finally begun today’s lesson, I was having a whispered conversation with Hermione regarding the note.

“It was written on white paper, with lines and this polka-dot border thing around it,” I said. “Not parchment. Isn’t that strange?”

“Hmm,” said Hermione as she dipped her pheasant feather quill into her inkwell. She was still taking notes even as she conversed with me. “Sounds like something you’d find at a Muggle stationary store.” The corner of her mouth twitched.

“Interesting,” I said, drawing my own conclusions from that. I leaned back in my chair, thinking. Maybe I should let old Snape read my top ten ways to impress—well, not Mudbloods, but girls in general. In fact, I think I’ll drop that word from the title…it’s unnecessary, really.

Because you know, Hermione Granger isn’t a Mudblood…she’s mine.


THE END 



Oh, wow. I can't believe I finally finished this story. This is the second ten-chaptered story I've finished.... I'm rather proud, if I do say so myself :D
I want to thank sirius_the_best for being the one who issued the Title Challenge in the first place and got this whole thing started. I also want to thank my readers and reviewers for sticking with me even when updates were slow.
For now, I have one more Dramione, The Game of Love, to finish. After that I can think about starting new stories! 
So, thank you for reading, and please review one more time :)
Yours till the Snorkack's horn crumples,
Queen Luna


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com